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human nature. But the sincere Ro- tion-every one receiving what was manists stake everything upon their asserted, or none disputing it, and submission to their Church; so that, all outside more or less believing to disturb them in their belief is and practising it-must necessarily like rending their heart-strings, to have become the belief to a greater say nothing of the incapacity of or less extent among the priests; at many, if not most, of them to ac- least that, as a matter of fact, whethquire new religion. Even er always completely believed in or Samuel Johnson used to say that not, it was the religion that all should many an Englishman would be obey and venerate. Many of them, come a religious man, if he only however, from the Pope downwards, knew how to go about it. Sincere have been actual, if not professed, Romanists, however, are seldom infidels and atheists, looking upon such by reflection and knowledge, everything they taught and defended, like Protestants; but by having been as to them, so many fortunate and the subjects of the ghostly influences profitable fables. It is a great stretch of the priest and Church before on the charity and credence of those their earliest recollections, and outside of their fold to believe that which they have hardly ever been many of them can be altogether sinwithout.
cere in what they profess and teach.* As regards the priests, many of Romanists, before they began the them are doubtless sincere, particularly the less intellectual or more * Many things will occur to the reader ignorant ones, however questionable under this head. For example, a convert they may privately consider some of leaves a large amount by will for masses
for his soul, and a high dignitary calls the doctrines and practices of their upon the widow for a further large sum, Church, or how they originated, or giving as his reason that the legacy had some of their own actions in life, or got him only so far out of purgatory. This the means they resort to to support Protestant community, but I pass over
happened to my own knowledge in a the interest and dignity of the the particulars for an obvious reason. Church, and everything connected Priests can go a great length in a matter with it. The whole matter concerns like this, or in anything tyrannical, or even the questions, what we are, where we
odious; for the devotees will turn to their come from, and whither we go,
Church, however hardly used, as they
cannot change their religion as they do about which one personally their garments. And no one knows that knows anything, but must naturally like the priests. look somewhere outside of himself In communities entirely Romanist, the for information. Everything Ro- poorest and most ignorant devotees are manists have, they have inherited, better than dogs; indeed, as many on
frequently treated, in many respects, little and been most rigorously brought getting possession of dogs, treat them up to. It is a possession received roughly to test their dog-like quality of from a high antiquity, to be believed submission, so do priests sometimes apin, maintained, and transmitted un- pear to test, in a somewhat similar way,
the obedience of their people. The genius impaired to the end of time. It of their religion makes it a moral necessimust be upheld against every oppo- ty to exact absolute submission to them nent, as everything that is pure and as representing it. When a contractor holy, angelic and august, surrounded engages labourers on an extensive scale, with its halo of hoary antiquity, and and especially when at a distance from
powerful local authority, he will somethe grandeur of mighty Rome; and times“ keep a priest;" and frequently everything derogatory to it must be will “his reverence be seen coming refuted, denied, or got rid of in some
tearing” down the road, with a whip in
hand. And that man would be “torn from way. All this having been bandied limb to limb" who would dare to lay his about and dinned into the ears of hand upon him, or treat him disrespectpriests from generation to genera- fully.
study for the priesthood, are assumed on a question like this, that has to have been as highly endowed with come down to them from a high anthe natural religious instinct as oth- tiquity, when anyone expresses a er people; and their second careful doubt in regard to it; and the most training has developed in them a positive, noisy and daring of them strong religious, priestly, or sacerdo- will carry the crowd with them in tal feeling, connected with what is the cry, Great is Diana of the distinct from the material things of Ephesians," " whom all Asia and life, such as may be called forth by the world worshippeth.” And “what parts of the service, its dogmas, in- man is there that knoweth not how cense, music, singing, praying and that the city of the Ephesians is a confession, and ceremonies foolish worshipper of the great goddess enough in themselves, and that gen- Diana, and of the image which fell eral obeisance to what is outside of down from Jupiter ?" Things that themselves, and which may be called cannot be spoken against ” (Acts ghostly; without destroying, but xix.), as if they were facts that no rather sharpening, those instincts one could or would dare doubt. that are applied to advance the in- Humanity as such will not question, terests of their corporation--all so and is hardly capable of questionimpressed on them that it is diffi- ing a national worship of this kind, cult to wean them from “Mother but receives it actively or passively, Church." To realize in some degree with something like a natural inthe ghostly feeling of Romanists stinct. Whatever the abuses, real lay or clerical—let any one enter or apparent, that may have crept their churches, and lay aside his re- into it, it was not for the priests ligious knowledge and principles, publicly to make an ado about them, and he can feel what Pagans were for fear of destroying the whole reinspired with when they entered ligion of the Great Diana herself. their temples and gloomy religious If it is hard for people to understand groves, provided he has a lively im- why the more intelligent of the agination, and a sensitive feeling of priests of Rome do not condemn the religion of nature. And that many things connected with their can be said in a much greater degree religion, but rather teach and pracof Romanists themselves, to whom tise them, it can be answered that the scene conveys, generally, an ex- such is for the interest of themselves quisite pleasure and a profound awe; and their infallible Church, which and especially when they contem- has to be upheld under all circumplate in the mass, God on the altar, stances; to say nothing of the things their own belief, confession, and complained of being submitted to, absolution, and the mysterious priest and doubtless believed in by as inas the instrument of the miracle of telligent lay members, who have no transubstantiation, and the custodier particular interest in doing so. Conof the keys of heaven for all believ- sidering the amazing things that have
Such phenomena as these are been practised as religion, we need nearly everything, when supported feel no surprise at what comes up of by the common example of old and that nature, and must therefore reyoung; no one questioning what is serve an opinion on what is believed taught and professed, and no infor- or not believed among Romanists, mation to be had to the contrary, or lay or clerical. At the worst, we no disposition shown to examine it can yield to the priests of Rome the Such people, when they come to credit due to as much belief in their gether, or think of their religion, will system as could be given to the look at each other for encourage- priests of Paganism, past and present, ment and support, passive or active, I whatever that might be, provided
they have never read the original | common with God and the saints, charter of Christianity, and been as representing the deities of ancient made aware of the changes and Rome, in the possession of a sodalivariations of those claiming to rep- ty of priests, or close sacerdotal cor., resent it. They have every human poration, making their worship a motive to make the most of a relig. Pagan one in reality, although Chrision which none of them, on their tian in name. Here we would have own knowledge, and relying upon the major deities changed and prethemselves, can tell whether it is true sented merely as a blind to the real or false; and they might say of it what Paganism and idolatry that make up Cicero made the pontiff of old Rome the worship, viz. : that of the Virgin say of the gods, that he did not be- and the saints, and the innumeralieve in them as a man, but did as a ble superstitions connected with pontiff, and as one upholding the them; Christ being seldom menreligion of his ancestors. The real tioned or thought of, but brought moral responsibility of the priests of forward on public occasions to Rome would begin with the study support or constitute their position of the word of God, and tradition, before the world; and God merely and history, contrasting these with a kind of Jupiter whom no one the doctrines and practices of Rome must trouble, but through the saints to-day; which they will not do, like deputed from one to another, till one that is afraid or ashamed to the petition reaches the "greatest look at himself in a mirror.
and best," " the father of gods and As the old Pagans, surrounded by men,” of the heathen. Christ and all the pomp and awe of animal sac the Holy Ghost seem, in practical rifices, incensed, prayed and sang Romanism, to be there merely bepraises to “Pan and all the gods, cause they were inherited, and could which existed only in their imagina- not in the nature of things be kept tions, so does human nature worship out; while the Bible is a superfluity, its deities in various countries to- and a source of great weakness day. As the Romans adored Jupi- when appealed to. If one had ter, and the Greeks Zeus-—" the entered many an old Roman temple, father of gods and men — with he would have found the people, a host of demigods, and to a great ex- with more or less sincerity, accordtent believed in God in the abstract, ing to the occasion, worshipping but did not worship Him adequately, Jupiter and some of the demigods, or only along with a multitude of and many with great sincerity at all beings of their own creation, so it times. Let one enter a Roman can be said of Romanists in their Church to-day, and he will find worship of God and the saints, who substantially the same religion, the are too numerous to be mentioned same human nature, and the same individually. They can as easily degrees of sincerity; the saints bebelieve in Christ and the Holy ing, at the very least, demigods that Ghost as they believe in God and are supposed to hear and answer the saints, or as the old Pagans the prayers of millions at the same believed in Jupiter, or as Eastern moment, that is, beings existing in nations believe in their deities, when that respect, and often in every they have been taught from infancy respect, only in the imaginations of to do so, and when it is obligatory the worshippers. on them as a part of an inherited It is strange that Christianity, public worship, which they could which recognized the worship, in not altogether corrupt or modify. all its simplicity, of God, Christ, Among Romanists, Christ and the and the Holy Ghost, only, and our Holy Ghost may be considered, in duties to each other, should, as it
were, have ended in the system manifesting his divinity in the hear-
tures,” which he dares not say are The Pope has been declared to not infallible, the Pope would have be infallible to enunciate, but what nothing less than the human family 'would that avail if his followers are receive, as divine and infallible not equally infallible to understand ? truths, his dogmas,
dogmas, conveyed Does this Italian “God on earth” through a variety of earthen conreveal his will from day to day in duits, some of them being of the Latin, when he might not infallibly basest materials; while he, or the understand that language? Who in synagogue of which he is the chief, that case would guarantee the infal- infallibly assures us that mankind libility of his scribe, or the infal- at large can make nothing of these lible correctness of the translations Scriptures, and would be guilty of into the languages of all the tribes the highest presumption, if not abof the earth, or their infallible solute profanity, in even attempting meaning to the bog-trotters and to do it, unless in rare instances, or brigands, or the most ignorant by priestly permission. Of these of beings, clothed in rags and same Scriptures St. Paul wrote to covered with vermin-mere Mum- Timothy :-“From a child thou bo Jumbo religionists -- who are hast known the holy Scriptures, the most devoted of Romanists? which are able to make thee wise In short, we would require to be unto salvation through faith which all infallible to make the infallibility is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. iii. 15). of one of any use to the world; and The apparent trouble of the Pope then the infallible proclamation of in regard to the Scriptures is to get that one would be in a measure rid of their circulation, and perhaps superfluous. As it is, the Pope, themselves, altogether, if he could
do either with any show of decency; and, not being able to do it, beyond
* See page 53.
mistranslating them in many places, thick cloud upon the mount, and the and striking out the second com- voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so mandment, " Thou shalt not make that all the people that was in the camp unto thee any graven image,” it is was altogether on a smoke, because the
trembled. ... And Mount Sinai easy to understand why he pro- Lord descended upon it in fire; and the scribes them to the extent he does, smoke thereof ascended as the smoke or limits the reading of them; for of a furnace, and the whole mount when they are earnestly and prayer- quaked greatly."-Ex. xix. 16-18. fully studied by his followers, they
And Christ, whose vicegerent the lead them to “renounce him and his works,” with a bitterness that al- Pope claims to be, said :most amounts to an execration, after "For verily I say unto you, Till loosening themselves from the toils heaven and earth pass, one jot or one in which they had been held. Could tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therenot the Pope, in virtue of his re- fore shall break one of these least comcently proclaimed superhuman at- mandments, and shall teach men so, he tribute, be prevailed on to favour the shall be called the least in the kingworld with an ex cathedrâ decision dom of heaven” (Matthew v. 18, 19). on the meaning of the following Heaven and earth shall pass away; passages of Scripture:
but my words shall not pass away.”
Mark xiii. 31, and Luke xxi. 33. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall de Here is the second commandpart from the faith, giving heed to se- ment, which Romanists keep out of ducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; their catechisms and books of despeaking lies in hypocrisy; having their votion, and the Scriptures themconscience seared with a hot iron ; forbidding to marry, and commanding to selves, dividing the tenth, so as to abstain from meats, which God Kath nominally preserve the original created to be received with thanksgiving number : of them which believe and know the “ Thou shalt not make unto thee any truth.”—1 Tim. iv. 1-3.
graven image, or any likeness of any“Let no man deceive you by any thing that is in heaven above, or that is means; for that day shall not come, ex- in the earth beneath, or that is in the cept there come a falling away first, and water under the earth: Thou shalt not that man of sin be revealed, the son of bow down thyself to them, nor serve perdition ; who opposeth and exalteth them: for I the Lord thy God am a himself above all that is called God, or jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the that is worshipped; so that he as God fathers upon the children unto the third sitteth in the temple of God, showing and fourth generation of them that hate himself that he is God.”—2 Thess. ii. me; and showing mercy unto thousands 3, 4.
of them that love me, and keep my
commandments.”—Ex. xx. 4-6. Lord Bacon used to say that if
And in the last verse but two of these passages were printed as a "hue and cry,” no constable in the Scriptures we find the followEngland would find a difficulty in
ing : laying his hands on the person “And if any man shall take away wanted.
from the words of the book of this The ten commandments were de- prophecy, God shall take away his part
out of the book of life, and out of the livered to Moses amidst
holy city, and from the things which are Thunders and lightnings, and a
written in this book.”-Rev. xx. 19.