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INTRODUCTION.ACCOUNT OF, MR. B. WHITE, AND HIS LATI
WORKS.-OUTLINE OF HIS HISTORY.-HIS INFIDELITY IN SPAIN, AND SINGULAR CONVERSION IN ENGLAND.-TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE INQUISITION.--MR. WHITE'S FALSE ASSIRTIONS RESPECTING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND HER AUTHORITY.
Our divine Redeemer declared, in confirmation of the prediction of his Prophet, that “a man's enemies should be they of his own household : and his Church has, at various times, found the bitterest enemies in those whom she had nourished in her bosom. She has had reason to exclaim : “ I have brought up children, and exalted them, but they have despised me.”+ An enemy of this kind has appeared of late, in the person of the Rev. Joseph BLANCO WHITE, M. A. B. D., in the University of Seville; Licentiate of Divinity in the University of Osuna; formerly Chaplain Magistral (Preacher) to the King of Spain, in the Royal Chapel at Seville ; Fellow, and once Rector of the College of St. Mary a Jesu of the same town ; Synodal Examiner of the Diocese of Cadiz ; Member of the Royal Academy of Belles-Lettres of Seville, &c. ģc.; now a Clergyman of the Church of England. Accustomed to be reviled by those who have been taught to hate our Religion from their infancy, who, misled by prejudice, blinded by interest,
* St. Matt. x, 36.
+ Isaiah, i, 2
or enslaved by party, have never correctly informed themselves of our real principles; we have in general little fear that from such assailants the weak should find a scandal, or our friends a stumbling-block. But when a man, whom our Church has honoured and cherished, not only forsakes her fold, but does his utmost to betray her to her enemies, we feel with the holy Psalmist : “ If my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it. And if he that hated me had spoken great things against me, I would perhaps have hid myself from him. But thou, a man of one mind, my guide and my familiar, who didst take sweetmeats together with me, in the house of God we walked with sent."* Our Redeemer complained in these affecting terms of the perfidy of one of bis own Apostles : he who was silent under his other sufferings, felt the treachery of his friend, more deeply than the malice of his open enemies. “ Even the man of my peace, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, hath greatly supplanted me.”+
Though Mr. White bas, too unhappily for himself, fulfilled the import of these words, and greatly laboured to supplant the faith in which he was nurtured, there is no reason to fear that his works will seduce any to imitate his apostacy. Catholics know too well the voice of their faithful pastors, to listen to the call of a hireling; they are too well acquainted with the true features of their Religion, to be allured by the revolting caricature under which this man would exhibit her por
* Psalms, liv, 13, 14, 15.
+ Psalm xl, 10.
trait. But there
be some of other communions, with whom the priestly character of this writer may so far weigh, as to lead them to give credit to all his statements concerning the Catholic Religion, and we are persuaded that the pompous enumeration of his former honours in the title-page of his works, was not made without some idea that such an effect might be pro. duced. It may be naturally thought that a priest must be a creditable witness on the subject of Catholic Faith ; and that great must be the superiority of another creed, which could prevail upon a man so talented and honoured to give it the preference. This, in general, is quite rational to suppose ; and certainly if a priest of holy and edifying life had left the communion of the Catholic Church, embraced another creed in preference, and were faithfully to exhibit the Faith of Catholics, honestly expose his objections to it, and shew honourable motives for leaving it; what he said might merit attention. But it will be easy to shew, from Mr. White's own works, that the features of his case are widely different; and that he is a very incompetent witness against the creed of his forefathers.
Mr. White is the author of two works against our Religion. The first is entitled; “ Practical and Internal Evidence against Catholicism.” It is an octavo volume of nearly 300 pages : its style is laboured and obscure; and its whole argumentation so tedious, that though many may have taken it up through curiosity, few will have had patience to go through it, and much fewer can have felt satisfied with its perusal. It was written, as Mr. White tells us, for the higher
classes; and we should have left it to have its due soporific effect upon them in their library chairs, if Mr. White bad not soon after put forth his 6 Poor Man's Preservative against Popery; addressed to the lower classes ;' in which he throws off the reserve of his first work, and declaims with upmeasured virulence against us, whom he styles as opprobriously as the worst of our enemies, Romanists and Papists. This latter work is printed in a cheap form; the profits are to be given to the “Society for promoting Christian Knowledge,” and no doubt this redoubtable production will be added to their list of works against Popery.* Perhaps thus industriously spread among those classes of the community, who are already sufficiently prejudiced against Catholics, and who have not often the means of reading or hearing any thing in our defence, this production of Mr. White's may add more aniinosity and increase unjust prepossession against the Faith of Catholics; and the present work is undertaken to defend our Religion from the evil report which Mr.White's writings havegiven of it;
* The writer of these pages sent some time ago to the Society above-named for all the works they had on sale against Popery. He received fifteen tracts of the most violent and calumniating character, imputing to the Catholics abominable tenets which they never held, and grossly misrepresenting what they do hold. Let those attend to this who are so loud in complaining of works circulated by Catholics. Let them point out one which charges Protestants with doctrines which they disclaim : and let them say if it be not a disgrace to a Society which professes to promote Christian Knowledge, to lend itself thus to the propagation of calumny, misrepresentation, and bitterness against so great a proportion of the Christian world.