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AN EXPOSITION OF THE
ROMAN CATHOLIC SYSTEM,
USE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE;
EMBRACING A FULL ACCOUNT OP
ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT AT ROME AND FROM ROME, ITS DISTINCTIVE
RELATIONS TO AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND LIBERTIES ;
THE WHOLE DRAWN FROM
OFFICIAL AND AUTHENTIC SOURCES,
AND ENRICHED WITH
GETHER WITH A FULL AND COMPLETE INDEX.
By Rev. SAMUEL W. BARNUM,
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
1879. Sept. 24.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871,
By SAMUEL W. BARNUM,
“ ANOTHER book_Romanism as it is !' I don't want to see it! I've heard about Romanism ever since I was a child; and the bookstores have more books on this subject now than are needed.”
Stop a minute, friend! Just read the title-page through ; look at this preface, if you please ; study the table of contents ; examine the engravings and the reading-matter; and then think, if you can, what there is, that can fill the place of this present volume. It is true that there are many books on some particular part or parts of the subject here presented ; and not a few, whose statements and arguments are, for one reason or another, received by many good people with great suspicion and multiform allowance; but there is no book which can properly claim to be so comprehensive and complete in all its parts, and so full of the most recent and authentic and valuable information on all the living questions connected with this great subject as this book.
The subject certainly ought to command attention from all Americans. The Roman Catholics constitute a large and increasing part of our population ; is it a matter of no concern to us who and what our neighbors are ? Do you not care, friend, who has the balance of power, or the whole power, in our country, prorided you can make money, or enjoy yourself for the time being? If there is any subject upon which every person in the United States of America should be well informed, it is the subject of Romanism.
This is not a sensation-book, which aims especially to tell big stories, and to please those who delight to read only the thrilling, the horrible, the unnatural, and the improbable. It is not a romance or a novel with fact and fiction mixed together in inextricable confusion. No! It has a higher aim—to make its readers wiser and better—to give them a more correct understanding of matters and questions that are of present and lasting importance, and to fit them for the right discharge of those responsible duties which the great and glorious Ruler over all has placed on us as a people and as individuals. In order to
make every thing plain to ordinary readers, the author has translated the foreign and learned terms which necessarily abound in such a volume, and has endeavored to simplify and explain what seemed obscure, and, by means of the table of contents, the frequent references, the general index, and other aids, to avoid needless repetitions, to bring the whole into a complete and symmetrical form, and to place all its stores of information at the reader's immediate command.
This book is not a partisan book, but a book of knowledge and of truth. It has cost much hard work to gather its materials and to put them in proper shape ; but what is here contained is believed to be honestly worth what it has cost the author and publishers, or will cost the reader. The most authentic sources of information have been consulted and used; the exact truth has been diligently sought and carefully presented to view that it may be seen and known just as it is. Whatever is wise and honorable and reputable and right and true in Rome itself or in the system which there has its origin and seat, has been brought out and exhibited without inquiring solicitously who would be pleased or displeased by the procedure. And, on the other hand, that which is unwise, dishonorable, disgraceful, unrighteous and false, has likewise been spoken of with the same attempt at impartiality and usefulness. Misapprehensions, prejudices, and misrepresentations ought to be corrected, whether they are found in the Roman Catholic or in the Protestant. If what is held or maintained as truth cannot bear the light and cannot stand with God's help, then it is not God's truth; and no Catholic or Protestant should cling to it.
While the author of this book is a thorough Protestant, ancestrally and personally, by position and feeling and undoubting conviction, he has allowed Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic authorities to speak for themselves on all points, to tell their own story, to present their own side in all its strength ; and he has likewise endeavored to let Protestantism have an equally fair chance to speak freely and forcibly. The main part of the book is from Roman Catholic sources ; much of it is translated from their standard Latin works which are altogether beyond the reach of people in general. Hence Roman Catholics themselves may learn more of their own church and system from this volume than they could in a century from all the sources of information to which they have access. The “ Canones et Decreta Sacrosancti Ecumenici Concilii Tridentini” (= Canons and Decrees of the Holy Ecumenical Council of Trent); the " Concilii Plenarii
Baltimorensis II., in Ecclesia Metropolitana Baltimorensi, a die vii. ad diem xxi. Octobris, A. D., MDCCCLXVI., habiti, et a Sede Apostolica recogniti, Acta et Decreta” (= Acts and Decrees of the 20 Plenary Council of Baltimore, held in the Metropolitan Church of Baltimore from the 7th to the 21st day of October, 1866, and authenticated by the Apostolic See); the “Missale Romanum "(= Roman Missal); the “ Breviarum Romanum” (= Roman Breviary); the “ Rituale Romanum”) Roman Ritual); the “ Pontificale Romanum” (=Roman Pontifical); " The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated, by Francis Patrick Kendrick, Bp. of Philadelphia ;” “The Garden of the Soul ;" The Catechism of the Council of Trent (Latin and English); Collot's " Doctrinal and Scriptural Catechism ; " Ambrose St. John's
“ Raccolta, or Collection of Indulgenced Prayers ;” “The Golden Book of the Confraternities;” “St. John's Manual ;" St. Alphonsus Liguori's « Glories of Mary ;” Brandes's “ Rome and the Popes ;” The “ Ceremonial,” published by authority of the Baltimore Council and with the approbation of the Holy See, for the use of the R. C. Churches in the U. S.; "The Vickers and Purcell Controversy," published by Abp. Purcell ; Cardinal Wiseman's Essays; “ The Catholic World; Catholic Family Almanac; “ Sadliers' Catholic Directory, Almanac, and Ordo ;” and other standard and approved Roman Catholic publications ; Gieseler's and Murdock's Mosheim's Ecclesiastical Histories; “ The Penny Cyclopedia of the [British] Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge," edited by Prof. George Long of University College, London, with the coöperation of more than 200 contributors; Appletons' “ New American Cyclopedia;” Murray's Handbook of Rome and its Environs ; Vasi & Nibby's “ Guide of Rome;' Harper's Hand-book for Travelers in Europe and the East; and numerous other volumes, pamphlets, and documents of authority and value, have all contributed their share to make the present volume A STANDARD Work in its department—a work which may be appealed to with confidence by every one who prizes truth and loves his country, as containing facts and views and arguments which he needs to know -a reliable and faithful “ Exposition of the Roman Catholic System for the Use of the American People.”