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lity of Roman Catholics to a seat in the legislature, it, in effect, decided against the repeal of securities which alone keep them out of parliament.
" In the next place, the act of union with Scotland has guarantied the perpetuity of the Protestant religion, as by law established, that is, as established by those securities which Lord Grey's bill proposes to abrogate. Those securities cannot, I conceive, be repealed without the the consent of the church of Scotland. And the church of Scotland having no representatives in either house of parliament, and therefore, taking no share in the discussion of the subject, is a distinct party, and deeply interested, whose consent ought to be obtained, before the securities for the maintenance of the Protestant religion ought to be abrogated. The church of Scotland has already petitioned (in 1813) against innovating upon the laws which uphold our Protestant constitution.”
The reader will see that PHILOPATRIS is going more into the poli. tical question of “Catholic emancipation," than I choose to go ; but these extracts contain some information on the subject which may be useful. “ As to the religious view of the subject," says this writer, "it is alleged that the oaths and declaration related to mere speculative doctrines, and dogmatical opinions. The merely speculative character of the doctrines protested against in the declaration, does not lessen their importance, as a test of popery. They are essential articles of the papal creed, and are its most distinguishing tenets; and as such, the fittest that could have been chosen to distinguish Papists from Protestants.
"But it is objected, that some Protestants do not believe the doctrines to be idolatrous, which are the subject of the declaration, (i. e. transubslantiation and the invocation of saints.) To this it may be answered, that, so far as they do not consider the said doctrines to be idolatrous, they dissent from the principles of the reformation, and are, so far, not Protestants. If they do not see the idolatry of the doctrines, it must be for want of inquiry. What says the light of nature? Do you think that any one is so insane as to believe that which he eats is a god? What says the honest conviction of our own reason? That an Infinite Being cannot be circumscribed, whole and entire, within the compass of a wafer. What says the word of God? It says nothing that, in the smallest degree, warrants the doctrine, that a priest has the miraculous power of converting bread into an immaterial being; or, that any thing which he can make with the breath of his mouth, can be a proper object of divine worship. Transubstantiation, therefore, is, as the declaration pronounces it to be, an idolatrous doctrine. And so it is declared to be by all the great lights of the reformation, from WickLIFFE to JEWELL, especially by those holy men who died for their protest against it." Morning Post, June 9th, 1819.
The same writer gives, in the Morning Post of June 10th, the fol. lowing curious document: it is part of an address by the parliament to King James I. “From these causes, as bitter roots, we humbly offer to your majesty, that we foresee and fear there will necessarily follow very dangerous effects both to church and state. For, (1) The popish religion is incompatible with ours in respect to their positions. (2) It draweth with it an unavoidable dependency on foreign princes. (3) It
openeth too wide a gap for popularity to any who shall draw too great a party. (4) It has a restless spirit, and will strive by these gradations; if it once get but a connivance, it will press for a toleration ; if that should be obtained, they must have an equality; from thence they will aspire to superiority; and will never rest till they get a subversion of true religion.”
From the above, the reader will perceive, that the parliament of King James knew the true character of popery much better than some of our present senators do; and it is pretty evident, that Papists, having now for a long time enjoyed the most liberal toleration, are aiming at an equality, and a place in the legislature, only as a stepping-stone to that superiority which they all have in their eye, and which, when they have obtained, they will employ for the extirpation of all heretics.
TRANSUBSTANTIATION, ONE OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHING TENETS OF THE CHURCH OF
ROME. THE BLOODSHED WHICH HAS BEEN OCCASIONED BY ENFORCING THE BELIEF OF THE DOCTRINE. IMPROPER COMPLIANCE OF THE BRITISII AMBASSADOR IN PARIS. SPEECH OF EARL GREY IN THE HOCSE OF LORDS, AND STRICTURES UPON IT.
SATURDAY, August, 28th, 1819. It often happens that I receive interesting letters from correspondents, on subjects which I have just handled, and which would have furnished useful hints, had I received them before entering upon the discussion, or even in the course of it; but when I have finished what I intended to write on a particular topic, it is not always convenient to return to it, even when new and useful matter has been suggested.
The concluding paragraph of my fifty-sixth number, in which I observed, that I would not take the word of a believer in transubstantiation for the identity of any person or thing in the world, has led a gentleman who subscribes himself “ ARMIGER OLIM," but who has also given me his real name, to address me a letter, of which I shall extract only that part which relates to transubstantiation, as I have not yet done with that subject. " Before I finish this short note,” says he, “ I shall detail the preached sentiments of a very respectable dignitary of the Romish church in this kingdom, whom I heard preach upon the subject, within these six months. From the service of the day read at the altar, he was led to address the congregation on the subject of transubstantiation. After treating the immortal Luther, at least, with no great respect, he strongly put the question to the separatists, as to the blessing of the priest not turning the bread and wine into the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, thus :— Are they sure their senses do not deceive them in this respect ?!” meaning, I suppose, that it may be a defect in the senses of Protestants, which disables them from seeing the real body, &c. in the elements; at least the question is put as if it were possible that our senses may be so deceived. Upon stating this to a friend,” says my correspondent, “ he observed, · Then I may shoot a man, and maintain that my senses impressed me with an idea that a grouse was before me. It would be a curious circumstance, if such a case were to come before the lord justice-clerk of Scotland, or
any other judge; and if the panel were to plead such an excuse for his conduct. We may easily imagine how any virtuous and upright judge would be affected by such a plea; what abhorrence it would ex: cite in the whole court; and in what a light transubstantiation would appear, when it was found to open a door for the commission of the greatest crimes. If men suffer their senses so to deceive them, what confidence could they have in a signature to a bill, the deposition of a witness in any case, civil or criminal, the purchase of an estate, or the solemn act of infefiment, or its record, well known in the Scotch law, as matters of the highest importance to the security of our lives and property ?! ”
A writer, whom I quoted in my last number, has justly remarked, that transubstantiation is one of the most distinguishing tenets of the church of Rome. Among Papists, it is test of heresy, for none buc a heretic would refuse to swallow it; and among Protestants, it is a test of popery, for no true Papist will renounce or disavow it. They will quibble about many other points, and even deny some things that really belong to their church; but they hold most tenaciously the most absurd and wicked of them all; for I can imagine nothing more absurd and wicked than the doctrine in question, and its necessary consequences. If, therefore, it be necessary to have a test, in order to know who are Papists and who are not, there seems to be nothing so fit for the purpose as transubstantiation. To try them on this point is to bring them to the test.
Absurd and wicked as the doctrine is, there is nobody in this country allowed to molest them on account of it. They are allowed to hold and teach it, as freely as any man is allowed to hold and teach the plainest truths of the gospel. But how stands the matter in popish countries, with regard to those who do not believe in transubstantiation ? This is a proof of heresy, and nothing more is necessary to send a man to the flames. It was so in England in Queen Mary's time, and there can be no doubt it will be so again, if ever Papists shall obtain the power and ascendancy which they are aiming at.
Speaking of transubstantiation, Dr. Tillotson remarks:—" It is scandalous also, on account of the cruel and bloody consequences of this doctrine; so contrary to the plain laws of Christianity, and to one great end and design of this sacrament, which is to unite Christians in the most perfect love and charity towards one another: whereas this doctrine has been the occasion of the most barbarous and bloody tragedies that ever were acted in the world. For this has been in the church of Rome, the great burning article; and as absurd and unreasonable as it is, more Christians have been murdered for the denial of it, than perhaps for all the other articles of their religion. And I think it may generally pass for a true observation, that all sects are commonly most hot and furious for those things for which there is least reason; for what men want of reason for their opinions, they usually supply and make up with rage.
O blessed Saviour! thou best friend and great. est lover of mankind, who can imagine that thou didst ever intend that men should kill one another, for not being able to believe contrary to their senses; for being unwilling to think that thou shouldst make one of the most horrid and barbarous things that can be imagined, a main duty and principal mystery of thy religion; for not flattering the pride
and presumption of the priest who says he can make God, and for not complying with the folly and stupidity of the people who are made to believe that they can eat him?" Sermons, folio, page 277.
It is true, we do not hear of any persons having been put to death of late, under form of law, in popish countries, for denying transub stantiation; but the reason is, that in countries thoroughly popish, there are no persons to be found so courageous as to deny it. Let any one be so bold as to make the trial in Spain, within reach of the Inquisition, and we shall see what will be the consequence.
One thing is certain, that, of late years, the Protestants in France have suffered not a little, because they will not acknowledge the real presence of Christ in the consecrated wafer, and worship it as their saviour. In all popish countries, it is the practice to carry the consecrated host in procession through the streets, in order to be adminis. tered to the sick or dying persons in their own houses; and whoever happens to meet it must fall down on his knees and worship. If, in some instances, Englishmen are exempted, it is because they are Eng. lishmen, not because they are Protestants; and even they are expected to show some mark of reverence, such as touching the hat in honour of the idol.
On Corpus Christi day, it is the custom to carry the host about in solemn procession, in great pomp; and though France be not so thoroughly popish as Spain, Portugal, and Italy, yet all those who reside in the streets, through which the procession is to pass, are compelled to decorate their houses, in honour of the idol that is passing by. Now this is nothing less than to compel persons to be guilty of idolatry; for whatever Papists themselves may think and believe upon the subject, those who are not Papists believe that what they are commanded to honour is not God, but a piece of bread; and to compel them to violate their consciences, by honouring in the smallest degree such an idol, is such direct persecution, that were Papists in this country subjected to the tenth part of the hardships, our own Protestant population would cry out against it, and they would justly do so, as a proceeding unknown and unwarranted by any principle of genuine Christianity.
I am aware that, by the constitutional charter, Protestants in France are relieved from the obligation of this idolatrous compliance; but many have been compelled to it, notwithstanding; and others, on their refusal, have been exposed to vexations and sufferings innumerable.
It was lately stated, in some of the public papers, that the British minister in Paris had his house finely decorated on the octave of Corpus Christi day, in honour of the procession, that is, in honour of the great popish idol.* This, if true, must have been a voluntary thing
The following is the paragraph extracted from the Glasgow Chronicle, of June 29th, copied, I presume, from some of the London papers :-On Sunday, being the octave of Corpus Christi day, the processions of the host were repeated in various districts of Paris ; and Monsieur, Madame, and the dukes of Angouleme and Berry, again appeared in the train of the faithful. The English ambassador's hotel was decorated with rich and magnificent tapestry on this occasion, a circumstance, which, according to the Parisian journalists, excited general interest and delight. There was a period in our history, when such a mark of respect by any of our representatives at foreign courts, to one of the most absurd and ridiculous descriptions of idolatry ever invented, would have called for serious animadversion on the part of the British government. It
on his part; and, no doubt, some of our very liberal Protestants will consider it no more than a decent mark of respect for the established religion of the country in which he happened to reside; but, for my part, I consider it no less than an act of gross idolatry; and, as the person said to have been guilty of it was a public character, and the representative of the sovereign of Britain, I consider it no less than an act of national idolatry; and I shall continue to do so, until it be disclaimed by authority, and the guilty individual severely censured for his conduct.
I know there is a popular feeling in favour of small compliances with the religious practice of others, though not precisely what we would habitually practise ourselves. But, in matters of divine worship, there cannot be a small compliance, if it relate to any thing that diverts the mind from the only true God, as the sole object of worship. Idolatry, in every form, is pointed out in the Bible, as the object of divine displeasure and abhorrence; and it is not enough, that a Christian should forbear the external practice of it; he must also regard it with abhorrence; he must not be seen in an idol's temple; he must not taste or touch what has been offered to an idol; much less must he show positive respect to an idol, which has been the sin of Britain, in the person of their representative: I mean, if the fact be true, and I have never seen it contradicted.
What must the Protestants in France have thought of such a compliance on the part of the ambassador of a Protestant nation? Some of them were suffering the loss of all things rather than show the smallest respect to what they knew to be an idol. They considered Englishmen as their friends and their brethren, who, being of the same faith, would sympathize with them in their sufferings, and encourage them to be steadfast in their adherence to the truths of the reformation, and in opposition to all idolatry. But here is the representative of a great, nay of the greatest Protestant power in the world, symbolizing with popery in that very article, for non-compliance with which they suffered such persecution! Certainly this was calculated to depress them, and to encourage their persecutors to exercise greater severity. It furnished the persecutors with this strong argument, which they will not fail to make use of:-" It is nothing but unreasonable obstinacy on the part of you Protestants, that you will not do honour to the consecrated host; for seeing the British ambassador does it, it cannot be contrary to the tenets of the Protestant religion.” Thus, one Protestant may have given a deeper wound to the cause of true religion in France, than a thousand Papists could have done. There are doubt. less
many in that country, as there are in our own, who, though called Protestants, are not well grounded in the Protestant faith. Such will be encouraged to embrace popery, when they see that a Protestant ambassador can voluntarily give his countenance to what they had been taught to consider idolatrous, and inconsistent with the Protestant religion. Those who are really Christians, and confirmed in the Protestant faith, will reason more correctly; but we ought to remember, that though cannot be supposed that he acted under compulsion ; and his voluntary compliance cannot but prove truly disheartening to the French Protestants, many of whom have so recently remonstrated against their being subjected to this superstitious homage, as a wiolation of the rights of conscience, apil an infringement of the constitutional charter.”