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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand

eight hundred and Afty, by

HARPER & BROTHERS,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District

of New York.

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CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

The restless Spirit of the Age manifest in a longing after Change.

-The Fact shown by the State of every human Institution.-Religion

not exempted from its Influence.—The sad Effects produced on others.

--Principles of the Church opposed to Novelty. -Christianity perfect

in the System of the Apostles.- Nevertheless, the Spirit of the Age

operates within the Church, only in the contrary Direction.--Hence

the longing after Change, while looking to the Old rather than to

the New, has led, in some Cases, to Romanism.—The gross Error in

the Leaders of this Movement.-Church of Rome the greatest of all

Innovators.—The Result has been a Demonstration of our Unity and

Strength.-The Disaffected were compelled to depart, and enter the

Communion of Rome. But they left soms Influence behind then.---

This Influence apparent in Mr. Maskels Work, urging the Practice

of Auricular Confession.—A few among us are inclined to "folicw his

Course. Therefore the present Book on the P.ise and Progress of the

Confessional.—The Plan set forth.......

Page 7

CHAPTER II.,

The Modern Doctrine of the Church of Rome stated at large in the

Words of the Catechism of the Council of Trent.--On Penance as a

Virtue and as a Sacrament.--Its Elements, Contrition, Confession, and

Satisfaction.-Absolution, Secrecy, &c...

13

CHAPTER III.

The Doctrine of the Church of England stated at large in the Words

of the Homily of Repentance, the Liturgy and Offices. The Contrast

between the Churches of Rome and England shown in fifteen Particu-

lars ....

34

CHAPTER IV.

The Errors of the Latin Vulgate, and the greater Errors of the
Doway Version of the Bible shown in forty-two Texts arranged in tab-
ular Form, along with the original Hebrew and Greek, the corrected
Version of the Roman Theologians Pagnini and Montanus, and our
own English Version.—A critical Examination of the Terms of Scrip-
ture.--The glaring Dishonesty of the Roman Translation.......

49

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CHAPTER IX.

Testimony of Augustin in plain Opposition to the modern Roman

System.—Some Passages indicate, nevertheless, the Decline of the an-

cient Strictness, and the Symptoms of an approaching Change.--Proof

from this Father that the Church had already innovated in many Re-

spects upon the primitive Simplicity..

119

CHAPTER X.

Testimony of Socrates and of Sozomen, the ecclesiastical Historians,

with respect to the Abolition of the Office of penitentiary Priest in the

Church of Constantinople.--Chrysostom.-Prosper...

134

CHAPTER XI.

Leo the Great.-A Change made by his Authority in Favor of Se-
cret Confession.—Gregory the Great.-- The Change advanced consid-
erably, but many salutary and true Opinions delivered by this Pope,

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CONTENTS.

V

CHAPTER XIV.

The Councils. - Council of Carthage, A.D. 252. — No canonical
Times of public Penitence yet appointed.—The Council of Elvira be-
gan the System of canonical Periods of Penitence.-The Councils of
Arles and of Nice, with a great Number of others, continued to legis-
late upon the same Subject.—The Penitence laid down by all these
was public.—The Inconsistency of it with the modern System of se-
cret Absolution proved by necessary Implication from many of the
Canons.-The third Council of Carthage.-The fourth Council of Car-
thage. The first Council of Toledo.—The Council of Chalons.---The
Council of Aix-la-Chapelle.—The Constitution of Riculf, bishop of
Soissons.-— The ecclesiastical Laws of King Edgar dictated by Arch-
bishop Dunstan.—Commutation of Penance, giving the Rich many great
Advantages over the Poor in obtaining the Absolution of their Sins.
- The Powers of the Priesthood kept steadily advancing to the Sum-

mit of Authority...

162

CHAPTER XV.

The fourth Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215, passed the great Decree

which compelled all to confess in private and receive Absolution once

a Year, under the Penalty of Excommunication.— The Canons of this

Council set forth at large.–Form of Absolution changed from the old

Language of Prayer to the Indicative, "I absolve thee."--Hugo Me-

nard's Account of the Change-Proof from Thomas Aquinas. The

Institution of Penance as a Sacrament came after this Council. The

Doctrine of Thomas Aquinas on the Subject.—This Doctrine was a

Novelty.—The Practice of the Oriental Churches stated.-Morinus,

with many other Romanists, admits the Innovation

181

CHAPTER XVI.

T'he Fruits of priestly Despotism shown by priestly Corruption and
Immorality.--The Council of Oxford and others on this Subject.---The

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