Obrázky na stránke

“ Paul says:

thers of the Church. St. Irenæus, writing during the second century, observes :

'God appointed in his church apostles, prophets, and doctors. Where, therefore, the holy gifts of God are, there must the truth be learned; with them is the succession from the apostles, and there is the socicty whose communication is sound and irreproveable, unadulterated, and pure. These preserve the faith of one God, who made all things; increase our love towards his divine Son, and expound, without danger, the scriptures to us, not blaspheming the name of God, nor dishonouring the patriarchs, nor contemning the prophets.' (Adversus Hær. L. iv. c. 45. p. 345.)" To him that believeth that there is one God, and holds to the head, which is Christ

to this man all things will be plain, if he read diligently the scriptures with the aid of those who are the priests in the church, and in whose hands, as we have shewn, rests the doctrine of the Apostles.” (Ibid. c. 52. p. 355.)

The infallibility of the Church of God, in expounding the scriptures, and delivering the doctrines of Christ, is the only question which our adversaries have any right to attack; for till this point be carried, all others must remain invulnerable; but it wears a panoply against which every arrow falls blunted to the ground. There is no proposition more true than this—that if a Catholic

be once separated from that great sheet anchor of his faith, the indefectibility of the Church of Christ, he is drifted as a mere wreck upon the waters, and, in point of religious belief, becomes as mutable as the waves, and as uncertain as the winds. “ Where such are the pretensions advanced,” viz. to infallibility, says the writer of the Charge to which I have alluded, “ the truth or the falsehood of particular articles of faith becomes a secondary question. If Christ has appointed the Church of Rome the exclusive possessor of his promises, the sole depositary of his authority, the infallible judge in controversies regarding the faith, it is useless to debate on other matter. If this point is decided in her favour, our only resource is to acknowledge our errors, to sue for reconciliation, and accept the system of doctrines which is proved to be true by her sanction.” (P. 16.). Now, if this point be not decided in her favour by the Bishop's own rule,—the language of Fathers and of Bishops, and from the genuine records of ancient usage and practice,-I pledge myself to desert her communion on the morrow.(")

(o) Any one who chooses may see the proofs in the work from which the following extracts are taken.-The Faith of Catholics confirmed by Scripture, and attested by the Fathers of the first four Centuries of the Church. Booker, 1812.


No. I.


At an Open Meeting of the General Committee of

the British Catholic Association, held at their rooms, on Saturday, the 21st of July, 1827, Lord Stourton in the Chair,

MR. Blount said,-I feel it my duty, as Secretary to this Association, and Chairman of that Committee whose peculiar province it is to repel unfounded calumnies upon our principles, to bespeak your attention for a few minutes. -On Friday, the 29th of last month, a General Public Meeting was held at the City of London Tavern, for the purpose of forming an Auxiliary Society in the City of London, to the British Society for promoting the religious principles of the Reformation. The Right Hon. Lord Farnham was in the Chair. The Hon. Granville Ryder moved the formation of the society, and Captain Gordon seconded the resolution. General Ord moved the next resolution, which was seconded by the Rev. Jos. Ivimey. It is to the substance of the speeches of Captain Gordon, and the Rev. Mr. Ivimey, that I think it my duty to call your attention, premising that not one word of disap


probation at the assertions made by these persons, or at the sentiments uttered, was expressed by the Chairman, or by any person present; and we are therefore compelled, with regret, to regard their sentiments as adopted by the meeting

Captain Gordon, after stating that “the vast mass of the population of Ireland were in a state of the most grievous moral degradation; and that crime, rapine, and bloodshed were the effect of this moral degradation," inquired to what this alleged depravity was owing; and he replied, that “ he had no hesitation in answering, to the nature and essence of the Roman Catholic religion, and to the total ignorance of the word of God prevailing in that community. Hence the necessity of a standing army of 30,000 men, and an armed police throughout the whole country.” He then proceeded to enumerate the number of criminals tried and condemned at the late assizes at Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, and Westmeath; and exultingly declared again, that “all this he attributed to the nature and essence of the Roman Catholic Religion.” [hear, hear.]—The Rev. Mr. Ivimey was not quite so strong in his pretended illustrations of alleged facts; but in the coarseness of his abuse, the Rev. Gentleman outstripped his competitor. “ He was one of those who would use no measured terms when speaking of Popery: it was the abomination that maketh desolate; it was a great lie, a long lie, and made up of every species of aggravation. It exposed its wretched followers to every sort of misery here, and eternal perdition hereafter.” The assertion made by these persons is neither more nor less than that the Roman Catholic faith produces the total breach of every moral obligation; and that the professors of it are the most abandoned and worthless of mankind.

This is the proposition distinctly avowed at a meeting held for the professed object of promoting the religious principles of the Reformation,-my Lord Farnham in the Chair, with names around him of still higher note than his own,-and not one murmur of disapprobation was whispered !- I should be wanting in my duty, did I not bring these facts before you. Are we then, indeed, the outcasts of society which these persons would teach the public that we are? Does that form of christianity which we profess, really inculcate every breach of morality? This was the religion of our Alfreds, our Henrys, our Edwards, of our Mores, and our Fishers; of the most splendid heroes, and exemplary characters that this country has known; of those who founded our seats of learning, to whom we are indebted for the preservation of science and of letters, and for very numerous editions of the holy writings. Does this religion necessarily cramp the genius, or debase the heart? God forbid that any form of christianity should teach its votaries to violate the dictates of christian charity, or the laws that are instituted for the well-being of society. The long catalogue of atrocious crime that now stains the moral character of this Protestant country, and which is nowhere exceeded in enormity, is not attributed to the principles of the Protestant faith. These crimes sprang from the disregard of the moral obligations imposed by every form of christian worship; and if any cause, more than another, tends to loosen the bonds of religious duty, it is the conduct of these professors of one form of faith, who shew so little of the vital spirit of christianity, as to pour out the most rancorous and insulting denunciations on the heads of the professors of another. The vast mass of the people of Ireland, who are declared to be in a state of the most grievous moral de

« PredošláPokračovať »