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question in debate, accompanied with a sincere endeavour to elucidate the truth, and to avoid all irritating and irrelevant matter. But how does the controversy of the Ministers of the Church of England with Roman Catholics, pártake of this character?. Instead of displaying the meek spirit of Christianity, it is full of rancour and malignity; instead of a calm, sober search after truth, it is a violent exposition of all the atrocious calumnies and falsehoods heaped upon us through three centuries of persecution.-It is, in fine, no controversy at all; but a marshalling of all sorts of acrimonious invective, in the face of the strongest historical evidence, and often in absolute contradiction to the principles of those who impugn us. -Can the laws of fair controversy be applicable to such a system, (for a mere system it is become,) which vilifies and calumniates Catholics, in order to preserve the monopoly of political privileges now in possession of Protestants. In mere matters of opinion in religion, much diversity is permitted, and must necessarily exist : in matters of faith and of fact, much discussion may sometimes be necessary, to dispel the darkness in which obscure and uninformed writers may have involved them, and to remove the difficulties with which prejudice and impiety may have encumbered them :--but to take up accusations which come only from adversaries, to receive every fact, with the distortions put upon
it by calumny, is to play the character of a partizan who carries on a warfare for the purposes of destruction, and who thereby places himself out of the protection of the law, and is, as it were, only to be repelled by force.
What, I will ask, can be dearer to an Englishman than his constitutional rights, rights secured (I cannot say to him) but to the Protestant subjects of this nation, by his Catholic ancestors, the wise and spirited framers of Magna Charta, of trial by jury, and the representative system ? and what can be more iniquitous than to defraud him of those rights, because Dr. Southey chooses to call him idolatrous and superstitious. Let Dr. S., and his coadjutors in the work of libel, if they have not the generosity to do us justice by advocating the cause of truth, at least cease their calumny; and in a very short time prejudice will subside, bigotry will resign her sway, and the triumph of civil and religious liberty will be, at length, achieved.
The last debate upon the Catholic question furnished a lamentable instance of misrepresentation in a quarter from which it was least expected. It was asserted, with much parade of solemn and momentous accusation against the most unimpeachable prelacy in the world, that they cancelled a precept from the Decalogue; and it was at least insinuated, that they did so in order to flatter their favorite propensities to Idolatry. Mr. Peel, for
this purpose, quoted from an abridgment of our catechism, in which, as a purely elementary work, the heads only of each commandment are given, when he could easily have found a hundred others in which they are recited at full length; one even being produced in the house that very night. As to the ridiculous charge of curtailing the commandments, by dividing them as we do, it is utterly without foundation. We give the first and second together, and divide the last into two. The consequence is, that in an abridgment, the heads only being given, what Protestants consider the second commandment is omitted; but then it must be remembered that this second commandment is merely an explanation of the first, and necessarily comprised in it in substance. It is astonishing that a man of Mr. Peel's character and reputation for fair dealing, should condescend to use misrepresentation when he finds argument fail him. But it only shews the extent of his delusion, and how fitted his mind is to receive impressions contrary to truth, reason, and common sense, when his favourite prejudices are to be cherished. If that delusion only affected the individual, we should lament it, without presuming to correct him; but when the delusion of an individual stands between the happiness of millions, and that individual is the champion of a party opposed to the best interests of the empire, then indeed it is a
delusion which ought to be exposed to the whole world.(m)
(m) “ We know that the Decalogue consisted of ten commandments; we find in it fourteen precepts; the question is, how they are to be reduced into the ten classes which form the ten commandments. In the Hebrew and other oriental versions, and in the early Vulgates, there is no classification of the ten commandments : how they should be classed, was an early subject of dispute in the Christian Church. St. Augustin recommended the classification now used by the Catholic Church: from his time till the Reformation, it was generally adopted. The early reformers made a new division of the precepts, by separating the first commandment from the second, and blending the ninth and tenth into one; but the Decalogue remained the same.
“ This was fully explained by Dr. Lingard on the Durham Controversy, and by the Irish Prelates in the examinations before the Committee on Irish Affairs. How then can the charge be now gravely made?"-Extract from the Catholic Miscellany for May, 1827.
“ In the division of the Decalogue, the Christian Churches are not agreed. That of England, and the whole of the Calvinists, with Josephus, make two distinct precepts of verses 8 and 7, Exodus, xx.; whereas, the Roman Catholics, and the Lutherans, divide with Saint Austin, and make one commandment, of what the former make two; but to keep the number of ten, they split what, in the other division is deemed the ninth. Every one who looks into Walton's Polyglott may see that the command not to make sculptilia, neque omnem similitudi
I will cite another illustration in point, both as a proof of the blind fury of our opponents, and of the ignorance to which it is to be attributed, and as enabling me to present to the reader an eloquent and argumentative appeal to his fellow-countrymen, from my valued friend and relative the present secretary to the British Catholic Association. -See APPENDIX, No. I. .
Neither can I refrain from referring the reader to another and a very flagrant instance of misrepresentation, from the mouth of a distinguished member of the upper House, which, though of ancient date, I consider to be of very considerable importance, as tending to exemplify the dispositions of mind of those individuals in the legislature, who have so long succeeded in making us the victims of their delusion.-See APPENDIX, No. V.
nem, &c. neque adorare ea, is retained in the Latin Vulgate; and surely, as to the division, it is of so little importance, that we may wonder it ever could beget a controversy. In the English church not a single word is said about the interdict to the Jews against making or worshipping graven images. Nor, through the whole of our Catechism, is there any caution introduced against the practice of the Church of Rome. I am not then warranted in arraigning the sincerity of the Roman belief, or the uprightness of their intentions, at all events. I should be ASHAMED of urging against them any FALSE accusations of disingenuous omission, or unauthorized arrangement in the Decalogue.”—Parr's Characters of C. J. Fox, vol. ii.