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OF

THE ROMISH

C O N T R O V E R S Y.

BY GEORGE FINCH, ESQ.

A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE BRITISH REFORMATION SOCIETY.

“ And the woman, which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings

of the earth."-(Apoc. c. xvii. v. 18.)

London:

PRINTED BY G. NORMAN, 29, MAIDEN LANE, COVENT GARDEN.

1831.

اذا را

PRE FACE.

The object of the present work is rather to abridge the labours of the controversialist, than to impart to him any new information. The moral corruptions of the church of Rome, the contradictions of the fathers, and the numerous heresies which are bound up in Pope Pius IVth's creed with the Nicene creed, are generally known. The chief difficulty with which a Protestant disputant has to contend is the authentication of facts and doctrines with which he is familiar, but which the advocates of the Romish system unblushingly deny, and which they can only be compelled to admit by the production of extracts from Roman Catholic historians and Roman Catholic documents of undeniable authority. I have divided the work into three parts. The first part is composed solely of evidences of the moral corruption of the Romish church. These will be found useful, 1st. In rebutting the plea of sanctity which is frequently advanced to shield her doctrinal corruptions; 2ndly, in proving that the visible church of Rome is not the church of Christ; and 3rdly, in showing that the argument of improbability which is deduced from

the failings of the reformers, &c. acts more fatally against the Roman than against the Protestant church. In the defence of this position the crimes and immoralities of the popes may be profitably contrasted with the charges advanced against Luther, Cranmer, or Somerset; the severities of Charles 5th and Philip 2d, and the Duke of Alva, with those of William 3rd.; the massacre of St. Bartholomew with Elizabeth's executions, and the fiendish cruelties of the Spanish inquisition with the unjustifiable enactments of the penal code. It is abundantly evident that persecution is directly at variance with the genius of Protestantism, which recognizes the right of private judgment, and that toleration is equally opposed to Romanism, which preaches up the infallibility of the church of Rome and imposes fetters upon

the minds and consciences of her votaries.

The second part of this work contains various passages drawn from the writings of the fathers for a twofold purpose. Ist. To refute the constant affirmation on the part of Romanists that all the fathers concur with the Papal creed. And 2ndly, To sink the fathers, that is, to compel all parties to admit that the word of God interpreted by human reason, aided and guided by the Holy Spirit, is the sole standard of truth. Every person who is well yersed in their treatises can bear testimony to the fact, that what with Papal mutilation, interpolation and suppression, and their own fallibility, the works

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