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fidelity of their quotations. They had access to more books than I
I have given the words of popish authors, as given literally or translated by them, with reference to the books and pages; so that any man who has access to the original works, may try whether they have given the words or meaning faithfully. Had ihey made any misquotation or mistranslation, they would soon have been detected and exposed; and as this was never done that I have heard of, I have no hesitation in taking the correctness of their quotations as admitted. And with regard to the last mentioned writer, the author of “ Free Thoughts," though his book be anonymous, his quotations are not so, because he gives the names, and refers to the works and pages of the authors from whom he quotes. Authorities thus given are as authentic as if they came from the lips of the pope of Rome; and, perhaps, more so. I know that some modern Papists do not admit the authority of the word of God, as given by the Protestant translators, though the words should be precisely the same as in their own version; so, perhaps, they will not admit the very words of their own authors as they appear in Protestant books; but this only shows that they cannot be reasoned with, according to any rule of reason or common sense.
In matters of fact, relating to popish worship and practice, I do not think it necessary to confine myself to popish authors
. I know it is a rule with Papists, to believe nothing, and to deny every thing, which is attested by Protestant writers, however high in reputation, if it shall have the least tendency to expose the idolatry and superstition of the church of Rome; but this only shows that their system cannot bear the inspection and the verdict of honest men. No candid person would reject ihe evidence of such men as Dr. Middleton, or of any man, whatever be his private religious sentiments, who gives a credible account of what he saw and heard, and when there appears no motive that he could have to deceive his readers. Besides, it is affirmed by other travellers, and not denied by Papists themselves, that all that Dr. Middleton ascribes to popish worship is true; and of its conformity with heathenism, any classical scholar is able to judge.
I am quite aware that our Scottish Papists, who feel themselves unable to answer the arguments of The Protestant, and who feel hurt by the exposure which, from time to time, he makes of their impieties and extortions, endeavour to satisfy themselves and one another, with the reflection that he brings all his materials from books written by enemies of the church of Rome. The assertion is not true; but if it were, they ought not to reject the evidence which he brings against them; for, in nine instances out of ten, the enemies of Rome will be found to tell the truth.
Having done my popish correspondents the favour of printing every word that they have addressed to me, under their true character, it will be allowed to be but fair that I should treat my readers with one or two of the immense file of letters which I have received from Protestants. The following, which relates to the subject of not keeping faith with heretics, is from a clergyman in the country, who kindly authorizes me to give his name. I omit part of the first paragraph, which relates to matters of which my readers have had enough in my fiftieth number, and in my letter to Mr. M'Hardy. The paragraph concludes by assuring me, that I may depend on the truth of the statement; and
that the “circumstances are recorded in the court books of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.”
"Sir:- In the month of July, 1812, I was called to join in marriage two persons, the ran a Papist, and the woman a Protestant. At the period of their marriage, the intended husband vowed, in the most solemn manner, not only to allow the woman the liberty of worshipping God according to her conscience, but also of having the female children, who should proceed from the marriage, baptized by a Protestant clergyman, and brought up in the principles of the Protestant faith: she agreeing, at the same time, that the male children should be under his direction; it being understood by both parties, that, when the children came to years of understanding, they should have liberty of judging for themselves. All things went well till the month of June, 1813, when a female child was born. Immediately after, I was spoken to about baptism; but the husband had also applied to his priest to come forward and baptize it. At the earnest request of both parties, I was present at this intended meeting for baptism. I heard the afflicted mother, pale and weak from recent illness, tell her story with all the mildness of a Christian. I heard the priest, with sternness in his countenance, tell her, there was no help for her, that the principles of their church bound all their adherents to bring up all their children in the principles of the church of Rome, and to have their children baptized by a Catholic clergyman. I reminded him that this was a particular case, there was a solemn promise. It is a bad promise, said he, and therefore must be broken. I asked him to give me the definition of a bad promise. The answer I received was, Any promise inconsistent with the principles and practice of our church. Mr. Andrews, I hope, will observe this is not the assertion of a poor ignorant being, who could neither read nor write; but the declaration of a man to whom the infallible church of Rome has committed the charge of the interests of four or five hundred immortal souls. He will observe, I trust, that the vow was not made under constraint, but emitted voluntarily, and made in the most solemn manner, in the presence of that God who hath said, he will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain. According to his own declaration, that, in the church of Rome, the faith of one is the faith of all, the meaning of the whole, in plain English, seems to be this,—That no promise or vow, however solemn, is binding on any Papist, when it will further the interest of the church of Rome to break it. As Mr. Andrews calls for facts, if this one will serve you, you are at liberty to use it in the manner you see most proper.
I remain, Yours, &c. “Kilbride, July 16th, 1819.
From the above, I beg leave to repeat the warning which I gave in my Protestant countrywomen on a former occasion, that they beware of connecting themselves with Papists. They may be assured it will be a miserable connexion, unless they shall go over to their husbands' religion, and renounce the gospel of Christ, for the mass and the Virgin Mary. Then, indeed, they may be as happy as Papists can be under the iron rod, and the endless extortions of their ghostly guides; and if they have money to pay the priest, they may receive such assurances as he can give of happiness in another life; but if they are poor, they
must shift for themselves. There is no mercy in the church of Rome. With her there is nothing but pay or perish.
The above certified case is only a sample of what very frequently takes place in such mixed marriages. The baptism of the first child is that which brings parties to the test. It was this that originated the quarrel between M Murray and his wife, and which led to his maltreating and abandoning both her and his child. Indeed, Papists are confessedly taken bound to have all their children baptized and brought up in what they call the only true church. If there be one more good natured than the rest, who chooses to indulge his Protestant wife in this matter, and allow her to get baptism to her child, in her own church, he is teased and tormented by his priest every time he goes to confession : and no wonder, as the priest considers himself robbed of his dues, which are no light matter, as we shall see by and by; and the poor man is also scouted at by all his brethren, as a lukewarm son of the church, and as a poor hen-pecked husband; an accusation which is not to be endured by any man of spirit. Hence he must compel his wife to yield to him the point of baptism by the priest, else he will wreak his vengeance on her, and make her life miserable.
A case lately occurred which will illustrate this matter. A Papist was brought before our police court for maltreating and threatening to murder his Protestant wife. Another gentleman and myself got the history of the case from the woman while she was in waiting in the office. She had been married little more than a year; and her husband had treated her pretty well till she had the child which was in her arms, and which appeared to be about two months old. She gave her consent, at least she did not hinder him from applying to Mr. Scott for baptism; but on application, the priest demanded half a guinea, and would not take less. This being more than the poor man was able to pay, he went home to his wife in dudgeon, and consented to go with her to her own minister, from whom she received baptism to her child for nothing ; but he soon appeared to have repented of his compliance. Whether this was owing to the taunts of his brethren, or the severe penance imposed by his priest, I cannot tell; but from that time he began to look down upon his wife; repeatedly beat her, as was declared by herself and some of her neighbours in open court: and she declared that she was in fear of her life.
The husband, when called upon for his defence, admitted that he was one of Mr. Scott's people, and did not deny the fact of beating his wife, which was indeed distinctly proved; but he pleaded that he did not beat her because she was a Protestant, but because he was drunk; and that he could not well restrain himself when in that state. dismissed with a reprimand and suitable advice; and I heard the woman say, after leaving the court, that she durst not for her life go home to him; but that she would go with her infant to her friends in the north, if she should beg her way. This, I suppose, she has done, for on making inquiry lately of the elder of her district, to whom she had been known, I could hear nothing of her. The minister who baptized, the child had previously told me the fact of a man and a woman coming to him, as described above, and particularly, that the man gave as his reason for coming to him, that Mr. Scott demanded half a guinea for the baptism; but whether this was the neat price of the job, or
whether it might not include some arrears, I cannot tell. Be this as it may, it must be allowed by every good Papist, that it was better that the child should perish under the guilt of heretical baptism, or without baptism, than that the priest should go without his half guinea.
The man was one of the wildest looking fellows I had ever seen. His body was covered with a few woollen rags; so far as appeared, he had no shirt; he accused his wife of having taken some things out of his house; and in her defence, she stated what was not denied by him, that she had put her blankets into a neighbour's house to save them from being taken away by him, and sold for liquor. This is a specimen of " Mr. Scott's people.” This is a true son of the church; one who has been regenerated by baptism, and who wants nothing but the absolution of Mr. Scott, when he comes to die, to carry him right to heaven, at least to heaven by way of purgatory : but, what is of more importance than all, this is one of the subjects from whom the priest humanely exacts half a guinea for his baptism of a child, which really is not worth half a farthing.
More of such matter in my next.
THE MARRIAGE OF PROTESTANTS WITH PAPISTS ONE, CAUSE OF THE INCREASE OF CON
VERTS TO POPERY. DANGER OF THIS PRACTICE. ANECDOTE OF A GOVERNESS. CASE OF EXTORTION FROM A POOR WIDOW. RESTITUTION OF THE MONEY. REMARKS ON THE CASE. EXTRACT FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER, SHOWING THE IMMENSE SUMS COLLECTED FROM TH& IRISH PAPISTS,
SATURDAY, November 27th, 1819. In my last number, I alluded, in general terms, to the subject of mixed marriages, and showed the great misery that was likely to result from the union of Protestants with Papists. I have never heard of such a union being productive of happiness, in so much as one instance; and I am verily persuaded, that happiness, in the very lowest sense of the word, cannot be the result of such a connexion, without the entire sacrifice of principle on both sides; and then, to be sure, the parties may be as happy as other heathens in the married state; -or without the Protestant party falling into the religion of the Papist, so as to do away the distinction between them; and then they may live like other good and quiet children of Rome.
A man or a woman, being under the influence of Christian principles, would, I think, be very cautious with regard to the principles, as well as the character, of the person with whom he or she was to be united for life. There is, perhaps, little danger of such persons as the above forming a connexion with Papists. Real Christians have learned not to be unequally yoked; and the inequality between a real Christian and a real Papist, is so manifest at first view, that I cannot contemplate the possibility of such a union, without supposing a dereliction of principle, at least on the part of the former. The danger exists chiefly among thoughtless young persons, who have been born and brought up among Protestants, but who have received no religious education,
and who do not know what real Christianity is. They are chiefly young females who, in this part of the kingdom, are in danger of becoming victims; for the influx of males, from the popish part of the empire, in search of employment, is much greater than that of females; and there must, of course, be many popish young men willing to take wives of our Protestant women, while there are few or none of our Protestant young men, who would think of taking popish wives.
Now, what is the consequence of a union between a popish husband and a Protestant wise? Suppose the wife is like a great part of our female population, merely a creature for this world, who has never been taught to look forward to another world, or to consider her interest in it; she will, of course, look upon one religion as quite as good as another; and she cannot think of a better one than that of her husband, if he be but tolerably kind to her; she is therefore easily prevajled upon to fall into it. The husband, on the other hand, looks upon his religion as every thing to him. He may be a very sober man, or he may be ever so licentious. The difference of character will make no difference in his relation to the church of Rome, or in his zeal for her glory and increase. He will imagine no action so meritorious in itself, or that will recommend him more to his brethren, than the conversion of a heretic; his heart, in short, becomes set upon this object; and as the only heretic under his influence is his wife, he will never rest till he has brought her fully over to his mother church. It is in this way, I am credibly informed, that popery has of late increased so much in England. Mixed marriages generally issue in bringing the Protestant party over to popery; because the Protestant originally had no fixed religious principle of any kind, while the Papist was, in heart and soul, devoted to popery: and all the children of such marriages are usually baptized and educated in the church of Rome. I do not believe that popery in Glasgow has yet increased much from this cause. I question if Mr. Scott has, in his whole flock, half a dozen of adults who were born in Glasgow. The great bulk are Irish; there are a few from the North Highlands; and a few foreigners.
Sometimes, indeed, as in the case mentioned by a correspondent in my last number, there is a mutual stipulation, that the children of one sex shall be baptized and educated in the father's religion, and of the other sex in the mother's. In the case referred to, the agreement seems to have been made by the popish husband, without considering himself bound to observe it; at least it appeared, when he was brought to the test, that he paid more regard to the dispensation of his priest, than to his own solemn oath; and that he did not scruple to break faith with his wife. Indeed, it would be foolish to expect any thing else, without absolute indifference on both sides; for the side on which party zeal predominates will carry it against the more liberal. If both are equally zealous, the family will become a scene of perpetual discord; and the weaker vessel, whether it be the man or the wife, must ultimately give in.
It must be an odd sort of a schism that exists in families subject to such an arrangement as the above; and the effect must be extremely pernicious to the children. A friend of mine had, last year, an opportunity of witnessing this at one of the English watering places. There happened to lodge, under the same roof, a lady governess, hav