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science calmed, and his hopes elated, but by the seasonable administration of the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist, and Extreme Unction. Is ang man sick among you ? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore your sins one to another..) The Protestant Liturgy formerly contained these injunctions equally with the Catholic.()
(6) St. James, v. 15, 15, 16. (1) If in this discussion I have asserted any thing concerning the Establishment, which is not founded in fact, I am willing to stand corrected: I have relied upon the best information that came within my reach, and any misapprehension into which I may have fallen, will, I hope, be admitted as an unintentional error.
Having thus shortly attempted to detail some of the reasons which govern Catholics in their nonconformity to Protestantism, and serve to attach them so firmly to their own faith ; I beg the indulgence of my readers for a moment, whilst I offer a few desultory observations, intimately connected with, and naturally arising from, the subject of the foregoing pages. Of the importance of religious controversy, I need say nothing. All who believe in Revelation, all who value the morality of the Gospel, all who ground the hope of their salvation upon the doctrine of our Redeemer, must acknowledge the necessity of a firm, a lively, and a steadfast faith.(a) This being the case, and since it is the misfortune of Christendom to be harrassed and divided by such a variety of religious creeds, out of which we are bound to adopt one as the only true one, the utility and necessity of polemic controversy appears to be incontestably established. So long as there
(a) 2 St. Pet. iii, 17,
are false prophets and lying teachers among the people ;() so long as we should always be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh us, a reason of the hope that is in us, with meekness ;) so long as it is necessary to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error:(d) so long, also, will religious controversy be necessary to furnish us with a knowledge of the points in dispute, and for the defence and the confirmation of our faith. I must apologize for again reverting to
(6) 2 St. Pet. ii. 1. c) 1 St. Pet. iii. 15. (d) St. John, iv. 6.
(6) If the Protestant practice in cases of divorce, were the only instance of a violation of the morality of the gospel on the part of the Reformers, it would of itself be amply sufficient to justify a continual controversial discussion. If divorce is attempted to be justified by the letter of the gospel, the letter of the gospel will be discovered to be diametrically opposed to it; and if an appeal be made to the spirit of the gospel, that spirit will rise up in judgment against it. The solitary text of scripture upon which it is so vaguely attempted to justify divorce, is susceptible of a very different interpretation from what Protestants endeavour to impose upon it. The corresponding passages in St. Mark (xii), St. Luke (xvi. 18), St. Paul (Cor. vii. 10.), and even in St. Matt. himself (v. 32.), most unequivocally point out the manner in which we are to understand it, namely, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, committeth adultery; and whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, committeth adultery. If not, the sa
the subject of misrepresentation; but it is the most cruel and the most successful weapon which our
cred penmen are all at variance and in contradiction with each other; and the positive injunction of our Saviour, What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder, (St. Mark x. 9.) is a false and nugatory precept. It was even in the very act of abrogating the ancient law of divorce, that these words were pronounced; and instead of permitting divorces upon any terms, the object was to do away with them altogether. But to revert to the text of St. Matthew, since without any contortion it will bear the interpretation which the Catholic church affixes to it, and which St. Matthew himself has clearly given it in another passage (Chap. v. 32.);—and since we know, by incontrovertible historical evidence, that it was understood in that sense during the earliest ages of the church, there is an end to the argument of scripture authority being in favour of divorces. So far for the literal interpretation of this text; as to the spirit of it, there is no passage in the sacred writings, the misinterpretation of which is of more serious and permanent detriment to domestic happiness and morality, than this. How many would restrain their passions, were it not for the previous knowledge that those passions may in the end be legally indulged. Is it not an incentive to adultery to know that it may be pursued almost with impunity? Is it not a temptation to every species of villainy and hypocrisy, to be aware that the sacred bond of matrimony may, at any time, be broken asunder, and transferred to another object? It is this state of things, which has occasioned in this country violations of the laws of matrimony, that have made us the scorn and contempt of every civilized people in the world.
enemies employ against us. It is, however, a signal triumph to us, that none can ever attack Catholicity, without first enlisting falsehood and
The divorces which take place yearly, not to say monthly, in the British empire, (though, thank heaven, they are not yet become the law of the land) are an infringement upon every law both human and divine, ecclesiastical and civil. I have already shown that they stand in opposition to the law of God; they are also prohibited by our civil code, which recognizes only a separation a mensâ et a thoro; they are also contrary to our ecclesiastical law, which permits no more (both being the laws of ancient Catholic times); and it is necessary to call on the omnipotent power of a British parliament, which arrogates to itself a superiority over every power in the world, to break down all the fences which reason, law, and revelation have united to erect for the security of domestic life, and the durability of the sacred vows of matrimony. As to the regulations respecting divorces, and the facilities, afforded them in Scotland, they would almost disgrace a trịbe of savage Indians.
As in every thing else that is the offspring of Protestantism, there is so much inconsistency in the principles and the laws of divorce, as to render the whole system a complete paradox. The bishops in their own courts acknowledge no such practice; but the bishops in the House of Lords lend their sanction to them. The trial of the late Queen is a striking instance of the incalculable evils of such a system; it may with truth be said, that a more disgraceful scene was never exhibited in any Christian country.