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Corrected and Enlarged with the permission of the Author. 



ENTERED according to the Ar.t of Congress, in tne yew 
1837, by F. LUCAS, JR. in tne uierK s Office of the Dis 
trict Ccurt of Maryland- 


Preface, ... 5 

A Defence, &c. . 7 

ARTICLE I. A Summary of the Catholic Doctrine, 1?. 

ART. II. Confession, . , /ifi 

ART. III. The Eucharist or Lord s Supper, 56 

ART. IV. The Sacrifice of the Mass, 84 

ART. V Communion under one Kind or Form, 92 

ART. VI. Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead, 98 
ART. VII. Honouring the Saints, and applying to 

their Intercession, . 112 

ART. VIII. Images, Pictures and Relics, 129 

ART. IX. The Pope, . .. . 140 

ART. X. Toleration, . 158 

Conclusion, . . . 169 

An Appeal to the Protestant Public, 184 


A SERMON preached by a Protestant minister on 
a day appointed by government for humiliation 
and prayer, in order to avert from our beloved 
country the calamity of war, was the occasion of 
the present letter. 

The professed subject of this sermon on such a 
day, was, or should have been, to excite his hear 
ers to humility and contrition, and to a perfect 
union of hearts and exertions, during the impend 
ing storm ; but he, very likely alarmed at a much 
greater danger, of which nobody else but himself 
dreamed; alarmed I mean, and trembling for the 
ark of Israel, likely to be carried off by those 
Philistines, called Roman Catholics; or alarmed, 
perhaps, at the very probable danger of an intended 
invasion from the pope, who would, to be sure, 
avail himself of the confused state of the country, 
to assist his English friends in the conquest of it, 
that he might by that means, extend his jurisdic 
tion ; or, in fine, alarmed, perhaps, lest our treach 
erous Catholics would take advantage of the times, 
and by forming a new gunpowder plot, blow up 
the congress hall, state houses, and all the Protes 
tant meeting houses of the United States ; alarmed 
1* f> 


at least, by something or other, he suddenly forgets 
.his subject, and putting on a grave countenance, 
niters the most solemn caveat against his popish 
and heathen neighbours, cautions his hearers against 
their superstitions, and gives them plainly enough 
to understand, that such popish neighbours are not 
to be considered their fellow-citizens. 

It is no small source of astonishment to see in 
a country so liberal, polished, and enlightened as 
the United States of America, a continuation of 
violent attacks, unjust prejudices, and foul calum 
nies against the Roman Catholic Church. As at 
tacks of this kind are so very common, and gene 
rally proceed too evidently from ignorance or 
impotent rancour, to merit attention, I have always 
treated them hitherto with silent contempt the 
present one 1 have thought necessary to notice, 
both as it proceeded from a respectable quarter, 
and as I judged that silence, if invariably observed, 
would be construed by many into an admission of 
the charges alleged against us. 1 expected, at first, 
that a few respectful lines, which I published in a 
gazette, would have been sufficient to draw from 
the gentleman an apology for his uncharitable ex 
pressions. I found myself deceived in my expec 
tation. After having waited in vain from Septem 
ber, until some time in the winter, I made up my 
<mind to send the gentleman the following Defence 
of Catholic principles, 


Dear Sir, 

AFTER your unprovoked attack upon the 
whole body of Roman Catholics, it was expected 
that an apology for the same would have been 
considered by you as due to them. To exhibit 
above one hundred and fifty millions of Catholics,* 

* The number of one hundred and fii ty millions will not 
appear exaggerated to any one who considers, that Italy 
contains nearly twenty millions of Catholics ; France, up 
wards of thirty millions; that Spain, Portugal, Austria, 
Bohemia, Hungary, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, South 
America, and some parts of North America, viz: Cuba, 
Mexico, Lower Canada, &c. are inhabited almost exclu 
sively by Catholics ; that they are numerous in the United 
States, and still more so in the Protestant kingdoms ol 
Europe, ibr instance, five millions in the dominions ol the 
king of Prussia; that there are flourishing churches and 
missions in Turkey, throughout the vast continents i>f 
Asia and Africa, in the islands of the Pacific and th.- 
Southern Ocean; that the Phillippirie Islands contain two 
millions, and the diocess of Goa alone, nearly half a mil 
lion of Catholics. From these and other facts, we aie 
inclined to believe that the total number above mentioned, 
instead of being overrated, might, on the contrary, be raise" 
to one hundred and seventy, or perhaps, one hundred and 
eighty millions 

NOTE. This was written near!., llfty years ago. 


who undoubtedly constitute the most numerous 
and imposing Christian society in existence, as 
standing upon a level with heathens, to represent 
the whole of ihem as a superstitious set, wander 
ing in the paths of darkness, and finally, to exclude 
the Catholics of the United States from their rank 
of citizens, cannot be considered by you as a tri 
fling insult. Now, sir, as a gentleman, you cannot 
be ignorant of the common principles of civility. 
As a Christian, and especially as a teacher of the 
Christian religion, you cannot be ignorant of that 
great precept of Christian charity, which our blessed 
Saviour declares to be the very soul of religion. 
on which depend the whole law and the prophets, 
Matt. xxii. 40. Wishing to act under the influence 
of those principles, I shall, according to the direc 
tion of our common Saviour, (Matt. v. 44,) return 
you good for evil, and pray God to bless you, 
whilst you are persecuting and calumniating us. 
And, though your alleged charges, it is true, de 
stroy themselves, and their falsehood must be evi 
dent to any one who is even slightly acquainted 
with Catholic doctrines; nay, every reflecting mind 
should thence infer the weakness of that cause 
which stands in need of such aid for its support;* 

* It is an observation, says Count de Maistrc, which I 
recommend to the attention of all those who think and rea 
son : truth, when it combats error, is never ans;ry. Amidst 
the immense number of our controversial work.", it require;* 


yet, as you refuse us (what we think we are justlv 
entitled to) an apology, and as such charges con 
tinue to be repeated, I have deemed it expedient to 
give you and the public an explanation of our 
tenets, in order to convince every candid mind, 
that we are not guilty of superstition. 

With respect to the personal insult reflected on 
us from the odious colours in which we and our 
doctrines are exhibited, it excites in us rather com 
passion than anger. Our only wish is that our 
separated brethren may be enabled by the light of 
God to know the truth, and having known it, by 
his special assistance to embrace and follow it. 

If, instead of accusing us in a general manner, 
you had been pleased to state distinctly in what 

a microscopic eye to discover one single effusion of anger, 
which might escape from human weakness. Such men as 
Bellarmine, Bossuet, Borgier, &.c. were able to dispute all 
their life, without suffering themselves to use, I do not say 
the slightest insult, but even the slightest personality. This 
character the Protestant writers possess in common with 
the Catholic, whenever they combat incredulity. The 
reason of it is, because, in this case, it is the Christian that 
is combatting the Deist, the Materialist, and the Atheist ; 
and therefore, it is still truth refuting error. But, now, 
let these men only turn their arms against the church u! 
Koine, behold, every thing at once is altered ; they insult 
her with the grossest violence. And why? Because error 
is never calm, when it combats against truth. This two 
fold characteristic is visible every where, as also it is every 
whftie decisive. There are few demonstrations which 
conscience sees more clearlv. 


particular points we are guilty of superstition, a 
great deal of time would have been saved, as ray 
defence would be confined to those particular 
points of attack; but now, not knowing those 
against which the attack is intended, I must be 
ready at all points, 

In order to ascertain whether we are or not 
guilty of superstition, it will be necessary, in the 
first place, to give a distinct definition of the word 
superstition. Many disputes originate altogether 
in the misunderstanding of words, and might be 
entirely avoided, by first agreeing about the mean 
ing of those words. 

Such as have treated of superstition, give the 
following definition of it, which every one will 
readily grant to be correct : Superstition is an in 
ordinate worship of the true or of a false divinity 
To accuse us of superstition, then, is to say, 
that we either worship the true God in an ordi- 
nate manner, or that we worship false gods, or 
that we are guilty of both. 

To which of the tenets of the Catholic Church 
does any of these three modes of superstition 


I reply boldly, to none ; and in order t 
vince you and your hearers that I am justified in 
saying so, I shall give you a short sketch of our 
Catholic principles; but do not expect to find, 
maintained by them, those pretended Catholic 


principles which ignorance, prejudice, and I am 
apprehensive, sometimes malice and ill-will, falsely 
attribute to Catholics. Thus I shall say nothing 
of the pope s power to grant licenses to commit 
sin, or dispensations from the oath of allegiance, 
about the worship of saints, and many other arti 
cles falsely attributed to Roman Catholics, and 
which (I have too much reason to believe) are 
industriously propagated to answer certain selfish 
and iniquitous purposes. 

May the great God give me grace to display be 
fore your eyes and those of the public, the beauties 
and perfections of the Catholic church, that in her 
you may behold the true and immaculate spouse 
of Jesus Christ, Ephes. v. 31, 32; ever subject 
and ever faithful to him, 24; ever loved and che 
rished by him, 25; that in her you may behold 
the kingdom of which Jesus Christ is the king, 
Luke i. 32 ; the sheepfold of which Jesus Christ 
is the shepherd, John x. 16; the house of the 
living God, 1 Tim. iii. 15 ; the pillar and ground 
of the truth, ibid ; always one, John x. 16, 
Ephes. iv. 4, 5; always visible, Matt. v. 14; un 
conquerable by the united efforts of hell and earth, 
Matt. xvi. 18 ; that none may fall under the sen 
tence pronounced by St. Peter II. ii. 12, these men, 
blaspheming what they know not, shall perish ; 
and by St. Jude 10, these men blaspheme what 
they krow not. Woe to them, &c. On the con- 


trary, that all may feel themselves compelled to 
exclaim with Balaam, How beautiful are thy taber 
nacles, O Jacob; and thy tents, O Israel, Num 
xxiv. 5. 



WE believe, dear sir, that. Almighty God is per 
fect in himself, and perfect in all his works. After 
creating the world and all that it contains, God 
saw all the things that he had made, and they 
were very good, Gen. i. 31. By the help of 
natural philosophy, anatomy, astronomy and other 
sciences, many of the beauties and perfections of 
nature, have been discovered, which give us the 
most exalted idea of the power and wisdom of 
their Creator ; many more, however, are, and will 
remain wrapt up in mystery, and are thereby the 
better calculated to give us some, though faint 
idea, of the immensity of God. From the disco 
veries which have been made, we are struck with 
astonishment at the wonderful harmony displayed 
in the whole system of nature, and in every part 
of it. The progressive development of our facul 
ties, the gradual, though slow advancement of 
knowledge, have enabled us to penetrate into ;i 
few of the secrets of rature. Every discovery 


has paved the way to new ones, and were the 
world to last millions of years, we should still 
discover more, and yet be obliged to own that we 
have scarcely obtained one drop out of an ocean. 
This world, sir, which we so much admire, will 
pass away, notwithstanding all its beauties and 
perfections. It was created, we believe, for the 
use of man during his mortal life, to afford him a 
comfortable and happy existence. But, sir, man 
is not created for this visible world alone; his body 
was formed of clay, and his soul, his immortal 
soul, is the image of God, the breath of the most 
high : And the Lord God breathed into his face 
the breath of life, and man became a living soul, 
Gen. ii. 7. We believe that the soul of man was 
created for everlasting happiness, and that created 
to the image of God, we are to rest for ever in the 
bosom of God. With St. Augustine w r e exclaim, 
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our 
hearts are restless until they repose in thee. 

We believe that, although created to the image 
of God, we may defile in ourselves that imape, 
and thus remove ourselves from our original des 
tination. We believe we shall attain the objects 
of our destination, only if we try to preserve in 
ourselves that image undefiled or in other words 
if we try to be and to become more and more 
similar to our Creator ; be perfect (says our Sn- 
viour) as also your heavenly Father is perfect, 


Matt v. 48. We believe then, that in order to 
become ripe for heaven, we must try to keep our 
selves pure and undented, shew the most perfect 
obedience to our Creator, the most perfect submis 
sion of our hearts and understandings, practice 
humility, chastity, justice, and above all, the most 
perfect charity; that is, we must love God above 
all things, and our neighbour as ourselves. The 
will of God must always be the only rule of our 
conduct, we must love what he loves, hate what 
he hates, and with due proportion, do as he does ; 
consequently, we must consider sin as the greatest 
of all evils, and be willing to sacrifice even life 
itself, rather than offend our Creator, by a wilful 
transgression of his commandments. As Almighty 
God is infinitely just, infinitely good to all men, 
even to the worst of men, so must we be strictly 
just and charitable to all men, even to our ene 
mies, without distinction of believer or unbelievei 
Christian or Jew, or Mahometan, or Heathen, &c. 
In short, sir, we believe that, in order to become 
saints in heaven, we must lead a holy life upon 
earth, and that all the external acts of religion 
which we practice, can never afford a substitute 
for a holy and virtuous life. We hear taught from 
all the Catholic pulpits in the world, and believe, 
that confidence in external acts of religion, unsup 
ported and unaccompanied by the practice of vir 
tue, is a most abominable presumption and real 


To convince you, sir, that such is the real belief 
of Catholics, I refer you to all Catholic catechisms, 
prayer-books, meditations, sermons, in short, to all 
the spiritual books of any kind that ever were 
published in any part of the Catholic world. Being 
provided with books of that kind from almost every 
Catholic country in Europe, I readily offer them to 
the inspection of any person curious to ascertain 
the doctrine of Catholics on so important a sub 
ject, Dii which misrepresentation has created so 
many prejudices. What is more common, indeed, 
than to hear it said that a Catholic, or if you 
choose, a Papist, puts so much confidence in his 
priest, that it matters little to him whether he com 
mits sin or not; for after having broken all the 
commandments of God, he thinks he has nothing 
to do but to confess his sins to the priest, and be 
hold, from the gulf of perdition, he leaps at once 
into paradise ! 

Catholics, then, among whom there are thou 
sands and thousands of men eminent for their 
genius and learning, men of the most transcendant 
talents, celebrated in all the different branches of 
literature, and what is much better, famed for the 
most genuine, the most heroic virtue ; Catholics 
then, I say, are believed, or at least represented, to 
be most brutally stupid ! But let us proceed. 

We believe that man, originally created to the 
image of God, has in a great measure denied that 


sacred image, by tasting the forbidden fruit. \W 
believe that, in consequence of that sin which we 
call original sin, man fell under the curse 01 God, 
was not only driven out of the earthly paradise, 
but what is infinitely worse, forfeited his right and 
title to the happiness of heaven ; and we believe 
that it was not in the power of man, to offer to 
the irritated justice of God, a satisfaction adequate 
to the offence. As the malice and iniquity of an 
offence must in a great measure be determined by 
the degree of dignity and elevation of the being to 
whom the offence is given, God being infinite in 
power, dignity, and perfection, the offence must be 
in some measure, infinite in its malice. Man, on 
the other hand, being limited, can have nothing to 
offer by way of reparation or satisfaction, but 
what is limited in its value, and of course, not 
adequate as a satisfaction. The wrath and the 
justice of God demanded a victim; all mankind 
must be sacrificed, must suffer, and their sufferings 
must be infinite, which they cannot be, unless they 
last forever, or a being equal to the offended Crea 
tor, must step forward and pay the ransom. As 
every act of an Infinite Being, is of infinite value, 
one word, one sigh, from such a Being, would be 
an adequate satisfaction. Here then, is the pivot 
upon which turns the whole Christian religion, with 
all its profound mysteries. Mankind being doomed 
to eternal torments, and not being able to satisfy 


God s infinite justice, within any limited period, 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, equal to his Father, 
burning with zeal for his glory, and with love for 
man, offers himself as the victim of God s infinite 
justice. The ransom is accepted, and a new 
chance of heaven is offered to man. 

The main point to be explained now, is. in what 
manner we believe that Jesus Christ has accom 
plished the redemption of man. This will, oi 
course, exhibit all that Catholics believe of the 
church of Christ, of the Christian religion, and of 
all its mysteries. 

We believe that Jesus Christ, in order to become 
a victim of propitiation for our sins, assumed hu 
man nature, which being united to his Divine 
nature, formed one person. As God he could not 
suffer ; but by becoming a real man, assuming a 
real human soul, and a real human body, he made 
himself liable to sufferings, and by being God, his 
sufferings became of infinite value, and of course, 
adequate as a satisfaction. 

We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived in 
the womb of the spotless virgin Mary, by the power 
and operation of the Holy Ghost, Luc. i. 35. 

We believe that Jesus Christ, immolating him- 
sdf for our sins, acted in the capacity of a priest, 
a priest being the minister of a sacrifice; we be 
lieve that he is both high priest and victim, Heb 
v. 7, 8, 9, 10. 


Mankind having fallen by original sin, into a 
wonderful state of depravity, the light of their 
leason, being almost extinguished, their under 
standing perverted, (witness the many ridiculous 
and abominable systems taught by their wise men 
and philosophers,) their hearts corrupted and given 
up a prey to all the passions, Jesus Christ came 
not only to satisfy, for our sins, and by that means 
to open for us the gates of heaven, but he also 
came to shew both by word and example, what 
means we must take in order to obtain heaven. 

We believe that in Jesus Christ we have a per 
fect example and pattern of a holy life, and an 
infallible teacher of salvation. 

We believe that in the gospels is recorded a 
part, though a very small part, of what Christ did 
and preached during his visible existence on earth, 
John xxi. 25. 

We believe the authors of these gospels to have 
been inspired by the Holy Ghost, and therefore, 
we believe every word contained in them, as pro 
ceeding from the fountain of truth. 

As we believe the gospel of Christ to be a 
divine book, so we believe that none but a divine 
authority can expound it. We shudder at the idea 
of bringing that divine book before the tribunal of 
limited and corrupted reason, and we candidly 
confess that although we were provided with a 
greater share of M isdom and knowledge than Solo 


mon possessed, we should still be unequal of our 
selves to the task of understanding and explaining 
the gospel, or other parts of Holy Writ. In this 
we are confirmed by St. Peter, who says that t no 
prophecy of the Scripture is made by private in 
terpretation, 2 Peter, i. 20. 

As we believe that Holy Scripture is the word 
of God, so we believe that Holy Scripture misin 
terpreted, is not the word of God, but the word 
of corrupted man ; and that Scripture is often mis 
interpreted, we are obliged to believe from the 
assertion of St. Peter, who tells us that the un 
learned and unstable wrest the Scriptures to their 
own perdition, 2 Peter, iii. 16 ; and likewise 
from our own observations : for as common sense 
tells us that the Holy Ghost cannot be the authoi 
of contradictory doctrines, so it tells us of course, 
that numbers of doctrines preached pretendedly 
from Scripture, must be false, as they stand in con 
tradiction to other doctrines drawn from the same 

We believe that true faith is indispensably neces 
sary to salvation. 

He that believeth not, shall be condemned, 
Mark xvi. 16 ; and, without faith, it is impossible 
to please God, Heb. xi. 6. 

We believe that Jesus Christ, requiring faith as 
necessary to salvation, must have provided us with 
adequate means to obtain faith, that is, to believe 


without doubting all those things, which he has 
taught and instituted as necessary for salvation. If 
Jesus Christ has not provided us with such means, 
he must be a tyrant indeed ; as he would require 
of us what we could not otherwise possibly per 

We believe that Jesus Christ has established 
the holy Catholic Church for the above purpose, 
namely, as the supreme tribunal to regulate our 
faith, or in other words, to keep the precious de- 
posite of revelation unaltered, to explain to us 
( without any possibility of error) the meaning of 
every part of Holy Writ necessary to salvatior 
and likewise to preserve and transmit to posterity 
undefiled, all that part of Christ s divine doctrine, 
which was delivered only by word of mouth, 
either b) Christ or by his Apostles, according to 
ihese words of St. Paul, therefore, brethren, stand 
firm, and hold the traditions which you have 
learned, whether by word, or by our epistle, 2 
Thess. ii. 14. We believe that the unwritten 
Word of God, transmitted to us by tradition, is 
entitled to tne very same respect as the written 

We think it absurd to assert, that Jesus Christ 
has taught or preached nothing essential, but what 
is written in the few pages of the gospel. We do 
not find in the gospel, the instructions which Jesus 
Christ gave his Apostles, during the forty days thai 


he appeared to them after his resurrection ; and 
yet it is beyond all doubt, that Jesus Christ during 
these forty days, the last days he spent with his 
Apostles, instructed them particularly in the mys 
teries of his kingdom, or of his church, Acts i. 3. 

These last instructions which Jesus Christ gave 
his Apostles, before parting, and when they were 
about entering on the arduous duties of the minis 
try, these last instructions I say, are not lost, al 
though not recorded in the gospel. They form a 
part of that precious deposite entrusted to the 
church, and have, by an uninterrupted succession 
of pastors, been transmitted undefiled to our pre 
sent days, and will be thus transmitted to the most 
remote generations, even to the consummation of 

We believe, then, that the holy Catholic Church 
is the supreme judge, in matters of faith, both to 
determine the true sense of Scripture, and to settle 
our belief with regard to that part of Christ s doc 
trine, delivered by word of mouth. 

Whenever the church has pronounced, the con 
troversy is settled, doubts vanish, and we are as 
curtain as if Jesus Christ himself had spoken. 

This unerring authority of the church we dis 
cover, 1st, in the positive and most unequivocal 
promises of Jesus Christ. 

2d. In the dictates of common sense. 

1st. In the positive promises of Jesus Christ, 


4 Upon this rock I will build my church, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it, Matt, 
xvi. IS. 

If the church could possibly tear^ damnable 
errors, then the gates of hell could prevail against 
her, contrary to the above promise. Go ye there 
fore, and teach all nations ; baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you ; and behold I 
am with you all days, even to the consummation 
of the world, Matt, xxviii. 19, 20.* Christ ad 
dressing his twelve Apostles on the present occa 
sion, evidently speaks to all his ministers, succes 
sors of the Apostles, to the end of time, which, I 
think, needs no proof. Now, sir, upon that sub 
ject, I form the following argument, which sound 

* The passage taken from St. Matt. ch. 28, v. 19, 20, is 
very forcible, and one of those which will for ever silence 
every artifice and subterfuge of error. In fact, those words 
of Almighty God, I am with you, are used in a hundred 
places of the sacred Scriptures to designate a certain and 
infallible protection. See Psal. xxii. 4; Judg. vi.12; 
Isaiah, viii. 10. Our Lord making use of the same, wishes 
them to signify a similar protection with regard to his 
Apostles and their successors. But, how can he be said to 
assist the pastors of his church in so special a manner, ii 
he permit them to deviate from the truth ? How can he 
be said to remain with them all clays to the end of thu 
world, as he positively promises so to do, if it can e\er 
happen to them to teach error and superstition. 


logic will find correct. Christ promises that l\t 
himself will be with his Apostles, baptizing, preach 
ing and teaching all nations, until the consumma 
tion of time : now Christ cannot tell a lie; there 
fore, Christ has fulfilled his promise, and conse 
quently, during these 1815* years past, Christ ha" 
always been with his ministers, the pastors of tht 
holy Catholic Church, and lie will continue to be 
with them to the end of time, and will accompany 
and guide them, when they preach his word and 
administer his sacraments. 

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give 
you another paraclete, that he may abide with you 
for ever, the spirit of truth, John xiv. 16, 17.J 
It appears that Christ asked his heavenly Father to 

* Now 1S80 years. 

f The same observation that was applied to the above 
text of St. Matt, may be applied to this of St. John xiv. 
16, 17. Some, perhaps, may object to it, that the prayers 
of our Lord have not always been efficacious, for example, 
that which he addressed to his heavenly Father in the 
garden of Olives, Matt. xxvi. 39, my Father, if it be pos 
sible., let this chalice pass from me. But, that this was a 
prayer merely conditional, it is easy to discover from the 
words which immediately follow: Nevertheless, not as I 
will, but as thou wilt. On the contrary, that the succes? 
of his prayers made without restriction and condition, as 
the one referred to, John xiv. 16, 17, is infallible, he him 
self as- jres us in St. John xi. 41, 42, Father, I give ttve 
thanks because thou hast heard me; ant I know thou 
bearest me always. 


bless his ministers, the pastors of his church, with 
the spirit of truth for ever; pray, sir, did Christ 
offer up any prayer in vain ? And if his prayer 
was heard, how could the pastors of the church 
ever preach false doctrine ? 

But when he, the spirit of truth, shall come, lie 
will teach you all truth, John xvi. 13. k The 
church of the living God, the pillar and ground 
of the truth, 1 Tim. iii. 15. If the church itself, 
as it comes out of the hands of God, is the very 
ground and pillar of truth, it will never want the 
reforming hand of corrupted man to put it right ; 
it will always teach the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth : and instead of attempting 
to reform this most perfect of all the works and 
institutions of God, you and I must be reformed 
by it. To quote all the texts, that prove the holy 
church of Jesus Christ to be infallible, or invested 
by Christ with a supreme and unerring authority 
in matters of faith, would be endless. I said that 
we discover this unerring authority even in the 
dictates of common sense. Yes, sir, common 
sense tells us, that the works of God are perfect 
in their kind. Now the church being most em 
phatically the work of God, it most assuredly 
must be perfect; the church, however, must be 
very imperfect indeed, if it wants the main perfec 
tion, which is our guide and director to heaven , 
it therefore must have that of always teaching 


truth, that of always supplying the wants of our 
limited and corrupted reason, that of always car 
rying before our eyes the bright and divine light 
of revelation. 

Shew us a church which is not infallible, which 
owns itself fallible, wanting of course the maiu 
perfection which the church of Christ must have, 
and you shew us a church of corrupted man, not 
the church of Christ. Common sense tells us 
that, without an infallible tribunal, unanimity in 
faith is a thing impossible. Without a centre of 
unity, a fixed standard, an absolute and infallible 
tribunal, a living oracle to determine the mind, it 
is absolutely impossible, that men, framed as they 
are, should ever come to one and the same way 
of thinking. Whoever renounces this infallible 
authority of the church, has no longer any sure 
means to secure him against uncertainties, and to 
settle his doubts; he is in a sad and perplexed 
situation, tossed to and fro by every wind of doc 

We are confirmed in the above suggestions of 
common sense, by our observations. Unity in 
faith, we find no where but in the Catholic 
Church; above a hundred and fifty millions o r 
Catholics, scattered over the face of the earth, are 
perfectly one in matters of faith. We meet from 
the distant parts of the globe, ignorant of one 
another s language, manners, customs, &c. yet our 


thoughts and principles about religion and its my 
tsries are exactly alike. Pray, sir, is that unity to 
be found among those, who have shaken off the 
authority of the church ?* Since they have pre 
sumed to reform (as they call it) the Catholic 
Church, what do we see but one reformation 
upon another, hundreds and hundreds of different 
churches, one rising on the ruins of another, all 
widely different from one another, each styling 
herself the church of Christ, each appealing to 
the gospel for the orthodoxy of her doctrine, each 
calling her ministers, ministers of Christ, each 
calling the sermons of her ministers, the word of 
God, &c. &c.f 

* Our articles and liturgy, says Dr. Tomline, bishop ot 
Lincoln, in his charge to his clergy, 1S03, do not correspond 
with the sentiments of any of the reformers upon the con 
tinent, or with the creeds of any of the Protestant churches 
which are there established. Our church is not Lutheran- 
it is not Calvanistic it is not Arminian it is Scriptural. 5 
Query, which did his Lordship believe the others to be, 
scriptural or unscriptural ? 

f Very striking is the conduct of Protestants with re 
spect to the necessity of the authority of the church to 
settle disputes concerning faith. They have been com 
pelled, through want of other efficacious means, to estab 
lish among themselves that authority, or rather its shadow 
This was particularly the case at the famous Synod of Doit. 
There indeed, the greater number of Calvin s followers, 
viz: the Gomarists, strove to crush their opponents, the 
Arminians, by the weight of Synodal, and even civil au 


Common sense tells us, that the gospel, the 
written word, could not have been intended as the 
supreme judge, to fix our belief in matters of faith. 

1st. Because it may be misunderstood. 

The many contradictory doctrines, drawn from 
Scripture, prove that it is often misunderstood, anci 

thority : thus arrogating to themselves a power which they 
refused to acknowledge in the church, notwithstanding her 
incontestable claims ; admitting in practice, what they 
denied in theory ; and contradicting their principles in the 
face of the whole world. See Bossuet s Exposition and 
History of Variations, book xiv. 

Nor is this, however, peculiar to the Synod of Doit. 
The same has taken place in the reformed churches of 
France, in the established church of England, and, gene 
rally, in all Protestant societies. All of them, after reviling 
the exercise of authority in matters of faith, as an act of 
tyranny, have nevertheless been reduced to resort to it 
themselves. In all of them, the leaders exercise over theii 
flocks the most arbitrary despotism, and arrogate to them 
selves the privileges of infallibility, by requiring implicit 
submission of their deluded followers. A gross inconsis 
tency, it is true ; a full contradiction to the principles of 
Protestantism; but which shows, after all, how necessary 
is a living authority to settle all differences concerning 
matters of faith. Now, which of the two is to be pre 
ferred : the authority of a few men, who have received 
from God no mission whatever, and do not so much 3 
agree amongst themselves ; or the authority of the Catholic 
Church, who derives, through a regular succession, her 
claims from the Apostles, and has no other origin than 
that of Christianity itself. See Bossuet s Exposition, and 
Fletcher s Controversial Sermons note K to sermon ii 


even in matters which Christ declares it indispen 
sably necessary for salvation. Witness the fol 
io ving: 

Except a man be born again, of water and the 
Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of 
God, Joan. iii. 5. 

Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, 
artd drink his blood, you shall not have life in 
you, Joan vi. 54. 

Without faith it is impossible to please God, 
Heb. xi. 6. 

You will readily acknowledge that these several 
texts, although directing us to do certain things as 
indispensably necessary for salvation, are inter 
preted in contradictory ways, and of course mis 

Some find in the gospel the necessity of baptism 
for salvation ; others find in it, salvation without 

Some find in it the necessity ol receiving the 
flesh and blood of Christ; others find, that Christ 
gave us nothing but bread and wine, as memorials 
of his death. 

Some find in the gospel that faith alone will 
save; others find in the gospel, the insufficiency of 
faith alone. 

Some find in the gospel absolute and uncondi 
tional predestination; others reject it as impious 
and blasphemous. 


Now, sir, are all these right? Or, will it he 
g.iid, that it is immaterial which of these contra 
dictory opinions we embrace ? No, sir, common 
sense tells us that Holy Writ was not given us to 
be misunderstood, that when misunderstood, it 
leads us astray, whereas it was intended to guard 
us against the misfortune of being led astray. 
Common sense tells us then, that Scripture being 
a dead letter, a dumb book, which cannot explain 
itself, Christ must have provided some visible and 
living authority, some supreme and unerring tribu 
nal, to explain Scripture, and that this is and can 
be no other than the church. 

Otherwise, Jesus Christ, the uncreated wisdom, 
would have acted less wisely than human legisla 
tors, who indeed do not establish laws, without 
establishing tribunals to explain them. So much 
the less wisely, as the Holy Scriptures are in se 
veral parts full of obscurity : witness St. Peter, 
who says of the epistles of St. Paul : in which 
are some things hard to be understood, which the 
unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other 
Scriptures to their own destruction, 2 Pet. iii. 16. 
Witness also the difference, and even contrariety 
of expositions, given by Protestants themselves. 
on points of the greatest importance. 

A second reason, why Scripture cannot be our 
supreme judge in matters of faith, is, because there 
are many that cannot read. 


A third reason is : the gospels and epistles were 
not written for many years after the church of 
Christ was established and spread among many 
nations. For many hundred years after that, the 
art of printing not having been discovered, the 
Holy Scripture could not have been in the hands 
of many persons; and yet during that time the pre 
cious deposite of faith was as well kept as it has 
been since Holy Writ is in the hands of every 
body. Yes, sir, and better ; every body cannot 
read, but every body, learned or unlearned, can 
submit to the church, transmitting to both, by the 
assistance of the Holy Ghost, the doctrine of 
Christ uncorrupted and in its primitive purity. 
Here, sir, is a mode of instruction adapted to every 
body s capacity. 

A fourth reason : if I must take up my creed by 
reading Scripture, I must be convinced that the 
book which is put into my hands, and called the 
Holy Scripture, is really the genuine Scripture, as- 
written by the Apostles ; I, a poor illiterate man. 
not having enjoyed the benefit of a liberal educa 
tion, hardly acquainted with my own language, 
how shall I know whether the English Bible 
which you put into my hands is a faithful transla 
tion of the original Hebrew and Greek or not. 1 
shall have to take your word for it ! Jf I do, my 
faith then is pinned to your sleeve. But no, sir, I 
cannot submit to do so, because I find material 


differences in different translations of the Scrip 
tures ; of course, I am kept in suspense, if I know 
of none but a barely human authority in support 
of each of the different translations. 

A fifth reason is : that the Bible alone affords no 
security as to faith. For, it is not only concerning 
the fidelity of the translations, and the true sense 
of the Scriptures, that Protestants should entertain 
the most perplexing doubts ; but, they should do 
the same concerning the very authenticity and in 
spiration of that sacred volume Catholics, indeed, 
have not yet received a satisfactory answer, nor 
will such an answer, consistently with the princi 
ples of Protestantism, ever be given to the follow 
ing questions : how do you know that the different 
books of the Bible are authentic ; how do you 
know that all of them, and no other books, are to 
be received as sacred ; why do you admit neither 
more nor less than four gospels ? Sec. &c. 

Here Protestants cannot appeal to the Scriptures 
themselves, because this would be to beg the ques 
tion, and, moreover, the Scriptures are silent on 
these points. 

Neither can they appeal to the testimony of 
past ages; because they reject the authority of 
tradition with that of the church, and, in their 
opinion, the testimony of any body of men is 

IS" or to the contents of the sacred books, viz: 


prophecies and divine revelations ; because n.ost 
of these books are merely historical or moral. 
Moreover, this would suppose as prove.d, the very 
fact which is to be proved, viz : the authenticity of 
the Scriptures. 

Nor to the holy doctrine which they contain, 
nor to the wonderful effects produced by them ; 
for, the Spiritual Combat, the Following of Christ, 
the Sinner s Guide. &c. contain a most pious doc 
trine, and have produced most happy effects in 
innumerable souls ; nevertheless, they are, by no 
means, considered as divine and sacred. 

Nor, in fine, to a certain interior light, or illus 
tration of the Holy Ghost. The obscurity or 
simplicity of several books of the Old and New 
Testament, the difference of opinions among Pro 
testants on the canonicity of some others; in a 
word, both good sense and experience show that 
this last reason is to be rejected as quite unfound 
ed, as a mere illusion. 

Thus it is that Protestants who cease not to 
appeal to the Bible, cannot according to their prin 
ciples, be confident of its divinity, and find them 
selves stopped at the very outset. Still they admit 
the Bible: but why, and on what grounds ? Is it 
sufficient of itself without the four great charac 
teristics of the church, viz : Unity, Holiness, Ca 
tholicity, and Apostolicity ; and is it conformable 
to the great maxim of Protestantism, according tc 
which every body of men is liable to err >r? 


A sixth reason is : that on examining the con 
duct of Protestants, I find it quite at variance with 
their principles. A Protestant, to be consistent, 
must neither believe nor disbelieve any thing 
which he has not previously discussed. Hence, 
I would reasonably suppose, that he has compared 
his religion with all others that differ from it, and 
consequently, is convinced that his own religion 
is divine, and all others merely human institutions. 
But on the contrary, I find that with very few 
exceptions, the Protestant believes as he does, 
because accident has placed him in the society of 
Protestants. For after having rejected the tradi 
tion of the universal church, he, with strange in 
consistency, implicitly submits to the yoke of the 
particular tradition of the society to which he 
happens to belong. This, properly speaking, is 
the only guide of all or nearly all* of the reformed 

* As for those amongst the Protestants, who, like the 
Methodists, Quakers, &c. have adopted for their rule of 
faith immediate and private inspiration, they do nothing 
but wander still farther from the right path. For, is it not 
evident, that such a system is mere fanaticism ; quite con 
trary to every idea which we ought to entertain of the 
wisdom of God, and of his providence with respect to his 
church; capable of producing as many sects as it has pro 
fessors, and of leading men into every error and supersti 
tion ? The experience of all ages, from the time of Mon- 
tanists down to our own days, evidently confirms what w 
here assert 


sects, with regard to every part of their doctrine. 
In fact, before reading the Holy Scriptures, in 
order to form his faith, a Protestant, whether lie 
be a Calvinist, an Episcopalian, or a Lutheran, has 
his belief already formed by the catechism which 
lie learned from his childhood, as well as by the 
discourses with which his ears have constantly 
been greeted at home, at school, and in church. 
When he opens the sacred volume for the first 
time, he cannot fail to rind in every text, the sense 
commonly affixed to it in his society. The opi 
nions which he has already imbibed, are for him 
the dictates of the Holy Ghost. If he chanced to 
understand the Scriptures in any other sense, and 
dared maintain his private interpretation, he would 
be excommunicated, proscribed, and treated as a 

Such has ever been the conduct of heretics 
since the first ages. "Those wno advise us to 
examine, says Tertullian, Hvish to draw us after 
them. As soon as we have become their follow 
ers, they establish as dogmas, and prescribe with 
haughtiness, what they had before feigned to sub 
mit to our examination, de Praescript, cap. 8. 
Would not one imagine that Tertullian intended 
to portray the Reformers thirteen hundred years 
oefore their birth ? 

Another proof that the belief of Protestants is 
founded upon their particular tradition, is that 


they repeat, even in our days, the arguments, the 
impostures, and the calumnies of the first pre 
tended Reformers, although a thousand times re 
futed, and they believe them as the word of God 

These are sufficient reasons to induce us to be 
lieve that Holy Writ (although certainly God ? 
word) was not intended to be our supreme judge 
in matters of faith ; and to convince us that Christ 
has provided us with a living, visible and supreme 
authority, to settle all our doubts with regard to 
the true translation of the Scripture, the true sense 
of it, and likewise with regard to many other es 
sential matters not to be found in Holy Writ, but 
delivered by tradition. We believe then, that the 
Catholic Church is this living, visible and supreme 
authority ; and if we are asked where we believe 
this authority resides ; we answer, in the body of 
Christ s ministers, the pastors of the Catholic 
Church, united with their head, the Roman Pon 
tiff, and the lawful successors of those pastors, 
whom Jesus Christ appointed, and invested with 
full authority to discharge the functions of his 
ministry. To that body of pastors we look for 
heavenly instructions, in them we see the legates 
of Jesus Christ, invested by him with the same 
authority that he himself had received from his 
heavenly Father, As the Father hath sent me, .1 
also send you, John xx. 21. 


Ill them we behold the organs of the Holy 
Ghost, he that heareth you, heareth me, Luc, 
x. 16. And I will ask the Father, and he shal? 
give you another paraclete, that he may abide with 
you forever, the spirit of truth, John xiv. 16, 
17. But when he, the spirit of truth, shall come, 
he will teach you all truth, John xvi. 13. 

Dear sir, are we then guilty of superstition in 
putting full confidence in these assertions and pro 
mises of Christ, and in thus believing that tht 
spirit of truth never has departed, and never wil 
depart from the pastors of Christ s church? In 
our pastors we behold men invested with the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven ; that is, with the power 
of administering absolution or the forgiveness of 
our sins, Matt. xvi. 19, xviii. 18, and John xx. 23 
To them we apply, and from their hands we re 
ceive our heavenly and spiritual food, the sacred 
flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, which he enjoins 
us to receive, John vi. 48, 59 ; and which he 
empowers his ministers to procure for us, Luke 
xxii. 19. 

Can it be superstition, dear sir, to believe that 
our pastors are really in possession of the power, 
which Christ himself asserts he gave them, and 
which he promises shall remain with them for 
ever ? Since Jesus Christ has pledged his sacred 
veracity for the existence of those several powers 
n the pastors of his church, and since he has 


likewise promised, that the very fountain of truth, 
the Holy Ghost, shall be, and shall remain with 
those pastors for ever ; we should . think our 
selves guilty of a great sin, if we refused the sub 
mission of either our understanding or will, to 
their decisions and their precepts, and of a most 
daring presumption, and diabolical pride, if we 
would, even for one moment, permit our limited 
reason to sit in judgment over the decisions and 
precepts of those, whom Jesus Christ thus de 
clares to oe guided by the Holy Ghost for ever. 

Seeing then that the pastors of the church of 
Christ, have always been secured by the infinite 
power of God, against the danger of being them 
selves led astray, and of leading those under their 
care astray into false and erroneous doctrines, we 
rest secure under their guidance, and knowing that 
the understanding of the most transcending genius 
can never penetrate into the mysteries of the Most 
High, we, both learned and unlearned, take the 
easy and only safe way of submission, that path 
in which Holy Writ assures us, that the very fools 
cannot err, Isa. xxxv. 8. 

It is perhaps necessary to observe, that we do 
not believe this unerring authority to reside in any 
individual pastor. No : the pope himself, the 
successor of St. Peter, and the supreme pastor of 
the Catholic Church, is not by any article of 
Catholic communion believed to be infallible 


This unerring authority is by all Catholics be 
lieved to reside irv the body of the pastors, united 
with their head. If it does not reside there, it 
resides no where on earth ; and the plain promises 
of Christ are made void, and we left to be tossed 
to and fro by every wind of doctrine, which 
Christ meant to prevent by the establishment of 
pastors, Ephes. iv. 11, 12, 13, 14. 

If we are asked how a body of sinful and falli 
ble men, can give infallible decisions ? We an 
swer, by the power of God. 

How can there be life in a lump of clay ? We 
find the answer in Genesis ii. 7. And the Lord 
God breathed into his face the breath of life, and 
man became a living soul. 

How can there be infallibility in the decisions 
of a body of fallible men ? We iind the answer 
in John xx. 22. He (Jesus Christ) breathed on 
them, and he said to them, receive ye the Holy 
Ghost, &c. &c. 

The weak things of the world hath God chosen, 
that he may confound the strong, 1 Cor. i. 27. 

We readily grant, that men, evn the mos* 
learned, are fallible and subject to errors, whilst 
depending upon their reason, and their learning 
alone; and for this reason we believe, that not 
even the most extraordinary taler.ts, improved by 
the most liberal education that can be obtained 
upon earth, will ever alone qualify a man for a 


minister of Christ, a pastor of souls, a spiritual 
guide to heaven ; to pilot us surely and securely 
through the raging billows of a tempestuous sea, 
into the harbour of eternal peace. No, dear sir, 
this would be for the blind to lead the blind: for, 
if after nearly six thousand years of unrelenting 
exertions, human wisdom and philosophy have 
not been able to penetrate into one of the millions 
of secrets of this material world, which in a short 
time will be destroyed by fire : how much less 
can the limited understandings of even the most 
elevated geniuses penetrate into the dark recesses 
of God s sanctuary, where all is mystery ? How 
much less, I say, can they comprehend and explain 
the profound mysteries of this spiritual world, the 
church, created for the soul of man, which is to 
last for ever and ever, so long as God shall be 

Here, then, God in his mercy interposes his 
infinite power. Wishing to give us sure guides 
to lead us safely into the harbour of eternal life, 
Jesus Christ, God-man, by infusing his Holy Spiri 
of truth into those fallible men, whom he appoints 
his successors in the ministry, and promising never 
to take that spirit from them again, supplies at 
once the want of that knowledge which no genius, 
no talents, no education, ever will be able to give 

The body of pastors then, being guided by the 
ITolv Ghost every individual pastor draws his 


knowledge from that body, from the whole church. 
The most learned among them is willing to say 
with Jeremiah the prophet, A, a, a, Lord God, be 
hold, I cannot speak, for I am a child, Jer. i. 6 
He is willing to acknowledge the depth of those 
mysterious truths of religion, in the investigation 
of which he must stumble at every step, unless 
directed by an unerring guide. Thus he applies 
to the decisions of the church, for the true sense 
of Holy Writ, for the true doctrine of Christ de 
livered by tradition, for the knowledge of all those 
tenets of religion necessary to be known for sal 
vation. Thus, the pastor himself is led, and he is 
fit to be a pastor only, because he is led by an infal 
lible guide, and instead of consulting his limited 
and fallible reason, in the interpretation of Scrip 
ture, instead of delivering from the pulpit his 
opinions of the sense of Scripture, and calling 
such fallible opinions the Word of God, he gives 
no instruction to his flock, but what he derives 
from the decisions of the church, guided by the 
Holy Spirit of truth. Thus thousands and hun 
dreds of thousands of pastors, scattered over the 
whole globe, of different nations and tongues, de 
liver to their respective flocks one and the same 
doctrine, on all the different parts and mysteries 
of religion, and this doctrine they deliver not as 
opinions, but as a matter of certainty ; as certain 
as that God is God. Is it not a pity that things. 


on which our salvation essentially depend, should 
be only matters of opinion ? It is my opinion, 
says one, that children may be saved without 
baptism ; it is my opinion, says another, that God 
is too merciful to damn souls for ever; I think, 
says another, that it is immaterial what a person 
believes, or what religious creed he adopts, so he 
leads, a good life. It is your opinion! And you 
think ! Pray, are you certain ? And if you are 
not certain in matters of such weight, how can< 
~ou be happy ? Good God ! Will you leave it 
.o the day of judgment to disclose whether you are 
right or wrong? Or, will you not rather renounce 
that fallible guide, your limited and corrupted! 
reason, which never can give certainty in matters 
of revelation, and apply for spiritual knowledge to 
the fountain of eternal truth, the holy Catholic- 
Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, that you may 
no longer feed on opinions and uncertainties, but 
repose in the bosom of certainty. 

The true minister of Christ, dear sir, speaking 
in the name of his Divine Master, must speak 
with authority, with certainty, without any hesita 
tion, on all the different mysteries of religion, on 
which he is obliged to instruct his flock. \\o 
to the wretch who shall deliver his private opi 
nions, his own uncertain notions as the Word ot 
God; and thus often give poison for wholesome 


food, the productions of weak and corrupted rea 
son for divine revelations. 

The idea which we have of a minister of Christ, 
you will perceive is precisely the same that the 
first Christians must have had. Surely, dear sir, 
the church in 1815 must be the same as it was in 
the beginning: the same kind of pastors, provided 
with the same powers, administering the same 
baptism, the same eucharist or Lord s supper, in 
short, all the same sacraments, and preaching the 
same doctrine. For the words of God are un 
changeable, Mark xiii. 31; his promises, infallible, 
2 Cor. i. 20 ; his gifts, without repentance, Rom. 
xi. 29. Jesus Christ intended not to establish 
different churches, but only one, which being once 
founded, should last with the same faith, the same 
prerogatives, the same government, until the end 
of the world. 

The Apostles of Christ, scattered over the globe, 
preached one and the same doctrine, because 
Christ was with them, Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

The ministers of Christ in 1815, scattered over 
the globe, preach likewise one and the same doc- 
trine, because Christ is still with them. 

C I am with you all days, even to the consum- 
vmation of the world. Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

The Apostles of Christ received the confessions 
of the faithful. And many of those who be 
lieved, came confessing and declaring their deeds, 1 


Acts xix. 18. They had received from Jesus 
Christ the power of forgiving and retaining sins, 
John xx. 22, 23. 

The ministers of Christ in 1815, likewise hear 
the confessions of the faithful, because they have no 
idea that Christ ever deprived them of that power. 

The Apostles of Jesus Christ proposed as infal 
lible the decisions of the whole church, because, 
they knew the church to be guided by the Holy 
Ghost; witness the first council held at Jerusalem, 
which settled the question about circumcision; to 
the decisions of which all submitted. 

It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to 
us, to lay no further burthen upon you than these 
necessary things. He (Paul) went through Syria 
and Cilicia, confirming the churches : commanding 
them to keep the precepts of the Apostles and the 
ancients, Acts xv. 28, 41. And again, As they 
passed through the cities, they delivered unto them 
the decrees for to keep, that were decreed by the 
Apostles and ancients who were at Jerusalem, : 
Acts xvi. 4. 

The ministers of Christ in 1815, likewise sub 
mit to the decisions of the general councils of the 
church, because they know that the Holy Ghost is 
as much with the church in 1815, as he was im 
mediately after her institution. I will ask the 
Father, and he shall give you another paraclete, 
that he may abide with you for ever, John xiv. 16, 


In short, sir, we do not conceive why less spi 
ritual powers should be attributed to the ministry 
of Christ in 1815, than in the year 100 or 3QO, 
&c. &c. for at all times, and in all ages, the mhfis- 
try is, most assuredly, intended for the same func 
tions, as is evident from Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 

A minister of Christ in 1815, is a preacher of 
the truth, as well as in the year 100, and the 
truth, in 1815, is certainly the same, as in the 
year 100. c Some, indeed, he gave to be Apostles, 
and some Prophets, and others Evangelists, and 
others Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of 
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the 
edifying of the body of Christ : until we all meet 
in the unity of faith, ^tc. Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. 

A minister of Christ in 1815, is a minister of 
reconciliation, as well as in the year 100. You 
will readily allow, that men in 1815, are sinners 
as well as in former years, and therefore stand as 
much in need, as in former years, of those hea 
venly means and remedies, which our blessed 
Lord sent his Apostles to administer. Go ye, 
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost, Matt, xxviii. 19. Whose sins 
you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and 
whose sins you shall retain, they are retained, 
John xx. 23. Let a man look upon us as ministers 
of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of 


God, 1 Cor. iv. 1. Thus by baptism, they, in 
1815, wipe away the stain of original sin, as well 
as Christ s immediate successors did. Thus also, 
by absolution, in 1815, they wipe away the stain 
of actual sin, as well as the ministers first appoint 
ed by Christ. It cannot be conceived, that Jesus 
Christ should grant the power of forgiving sins 
merely in favour of a single generation, and 
should then (as if repenting of that grant) deprive 
all future generations of the same favour and bene 
fit; neither can it be believed, as there is not a 
word from the mouth of Christ in favour of such 
a belief. We believe then (even from the written 
word, without reference to the decision of the 
church,) that all the spiritual powers, originally 
granted by Christ to his ministers, still continue 
with his ministers, and will to the consummation 
of time. And we believe that any one, not in 
possession of those spiritual powers, which Christ 
himself declares he gave his ministers, cannot be 
a minister of Christ ; he may be a gentleman, he 
may be a man of learning, he may be what you 
please, but most assuredly he cannot be a minister 
of Christ. I shall thank you, dear sir, to point 
out to me, how, in thus believing, we are guilty 
of superstition. 

Having explained to you, what we believe of 
the church and the ministry of Jesus Christ, I 
shall now, in a brief manner, lay before you some 


of the particular tenets of the holy Catholic 
Church, those I mean which distinguish that 
church from all others. I begin with confession. 



THIS I know is the great stumbling block for 
all those, who, within the last three hundred 
years, have separated from the holy Catholic 
Church. We believe that the ministers of Christ, 
those whom we call bishops and priest, have re 
ceived the power of forgiving and retaining sins, 
which was given to the Apostles according to 
John xx. 22, 23. 

Pray, sir, is it superstition to believe that our 
omnipotent and merciful God is as able and as he 
was willing to continue that power in 1815, as he 
was, to give it to his first ministers. 

If we believed that man, by his own power, 
could forgive sin, you would be very justifiable in 
accusing us of superstition ; for who can forgive 
sins but God, or he who has received that powei 
from him. 

We believe that confession is necessarily dedu- 
cible from the grant of the above power. It can 
not be conceived how a minister of Christ is to 


exercise his power of forgiving or retaining sins, 
unless he has an exact knowledge of the state of 
the sinner s conscience ; this knowledge no one 
can give him but the sinner himself, as probably 
ninety-nine out of a hundred are sins concealed 
from the public eye, sins of thoughts, or desires, 

The minister of Christ forgives in the name and 
by the power of Christ ; but, he cannot grant ab 
solution of the sins confessed to him without a 
moral certainty, that such is the inward state of 
the sinner, such his repentance, such his purpose 
of amendment, such his willingness to make res 
titution of property, character, &c. as to entitle 
him to the mercy of God, and to forgiveness from 

The objections made against confession and the 
power of forgiving sins, are so futile, the benefits 
arising from that sacred institution so manifold 
and so solid, that it cannot be conceived how so 
many thousands were and are willing to be de 
prived of so valuable a blessing. 

These benefits are so great, that even some of 
the most relentless enemies of the church could 
not refuse their encomiums to that holy institu 
tion. There is not, perhaps, a wiser institution, 1 
says Voltaire in his remarks on the tragedv of 

This Voltaire, the greatest enemy that the church 


ever had, who spent his life in ridiculing the holy 
Scriptures and all the institutions of Christ, who 
declared an open war against Christ ; this Voltaire, 
at the age of eighty odd, when in his last sickness, 
sent for a priest to make his confession to him. 
Confession is an excellent thing, says the Philo 
sophical Dictionary, a curb to inveterate wicked 
ness. In the remotest antiquity, confession was 
practiced in the celebration of all the ancient mys 
teries ; we have imitated and sanctified this wise 
practice. It is excellent to induce hearts, ulcerated 
by hatred, to forgive, and to make thieves restore 
what they have unjustly taken from their neigh 
bour. The Lutherans of the Confession of Augs 
burg, have preserved that salutary institution. 
Luther himself would not suffer it to be abolished. 
Sooner (says he) would I submit to the Papal 
tyranny, than let confession be abolished. Col 
lection of Luther s German writings, vol. 3, p. 272. 

We find the precept of confession given by 
Almighty God to his chosen people. 

Say to the children of Israel, when a man or 
woman shall have committed any of all the sins 
that men are wont to commit, and by negligence, 
shall hare transgressed the commandment of the 
Lord, and offended, they shall confess their sin, 
and restore the principal itself, and the fifth part 
over and above, &c. Numb. v. 6, 7. 

It does not appear that the power of forgiving 


sins had been granted by Almighty God to the 
ministers of the old law. The confession ordered 
to he made under the law of Moses, may then be 
considered as a preparation and a figure of that 
required under the law of grace, which we call 
sacramental confession, as by the power of God 
and the merits of Christ, it has the grace of for 
giveness and reconciliation annexed to it. 

We find the practice of confession in the begin- 
ing of Christianity. And many of those who be 
lieved, came confessing and declaring their deeds, 
Acts xix. 18. 

We cannot believe that they came to boast of 
their good deeds ; and therefore we understand 
that they confessed their bad deeds, commonly 
called sins. 

All the holy fathers of the church, from the 
earliest dawn of Christianity, bear ample testimony 
to the general practice of confession. It is difli- 
cult to conceive how any man could ever have 
persuaded mankind to submit to a practice so re 
pugnant to flesh and blood, so mortifying to pride, 
so humiliating to human nature. The univer 
sality of this practice, to which the most powerful 
kings and emperors, the most renowned military 
commanders, the most exalted geniuses in all age*. 
and in all parts of the world, have cheerfully 
submitted, establishes in our minds a conviction 


beyond the possibility of a doubt, that confession 
owes its origin to the founder of Christianity.* 

The objections against sacramental confession, 
I repeat it, are so futile, so trifling, as hardly tc 
deserve any answer. 

First objection. How can man forgive sins ? 

I answer, by the power of God. 

* With respect to the belief of the early ages, concern 
ing the divine institution of confession, it will be suffi 
cient to quote a few authorities. Remember, says Ter- 
tullian, that Christ left the keys of heaven to St. Peter, 
and through him to the church, Scorpiaci, cap. 10. 

God, says St. Chrysostom, has not given to angels the 
power which he has given to priests, who not only re 
generate, but afterwards receive the power of forgiving 
sins, Lib. iii. de Sacerdotio. It would be needless to 
quote Origen in Psal. xiii ; St. Cyprian, de Lapsis, cap. 
12 ; St. Ambrose, Lib. de Poenitentia, cap. 2 and 8, and 
many others. I will now cite a passage from Henry viii. 
in his Defence of the Sacraments against Luther, not so 
much from any importance to be attached to his authority, 
as from the reasons which he adduces, being obvious to 
common sense. Though confession, says he, should not 
have been mentioned, nor even a word said about it by the 
holy fathers, yet, when I see so great a multitude, for so 
many ages, confessing their sins to priests, I cannot be 
lieve nor think otherwise than that the practice was not 
introduced by human contrivance, but clearly instituted 
by a divine precept. Confession, therefore, notwithstand 
ing what Luther may say, appears to me, to have beer, 
established, not by any custom of the people, nor by the 
institution of the fathers, but by God himself 


1 ansver again with our blessed Saviour; That 
you may know that the Son of man hath power 
on earth to forgive sins, &c. Matt. ix. 6. He 
does not say, That you may know that the Son 
of God has power on earth to forgive sins ; to 
give us to understand that this power, essentially 
belonging to God alone, is here communicated to 
man, the minister of God by excellence, and ex 
ercised by him in his own person ; and again ex 
ercised by him in the persons of his ministers, as 
he sends them, most assuredly, to do what he did, 
to preach as he did, to administer reconciliation as 
he did, &c. All power is given to me in heaven 
and in earth. Why this preamble, if he did not 
mean to give them a supernatural power ? Go 
ye therefore, &c. &c. Matt, xxviii. 18, 19. And 
receive ye the Holy Ghost ; whose sins you shall 
forgive ; they are forgiven, &c. John xx. 22, 23. 
Second objection. The institution of confession 
is a great encouragement to sin, as Papists think 
they have nothing to do, in order to obtain for 
giveness, but to relate their sins to a priest. 

Answer. The institution of confession misrepre 
sented, i? an encouragement to sin granted ; but 
surely, sir, to form a sound judgment on Catholic 
doctrines, it is not to polluted sources you will 
apply. I do not know the Protestant writer who 
represents them fairly ; yet, it is beyond all doubt, 
that almost all the knt wledge which Protestants 


have of Catholic principles, is derived from Pro 
testant books. And pray what do they all say r 
Beware of Catholic books, beware of popish 
priests, beware of priestcraft, beware of popish 
superstition; thus not one Protestant out of a 
hundred ever has an opportunity of knowing the 
genuine Catholic principles. As Fletcher very 
justly observes ; the little knowledge which the 
Protestant possesses of our religion is borrowed 
entirely from the declamations of pulpit violence, 
and the misrepresentations of interested prejudice. 
In general, Catholic principles are exhibited in all 
the dark colourings of malevolence, and in all the 
ludicrous shapes of low ribaldry. In Drydeirs 
words : 

A hideous figure of their foes they draw, 
Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true, 
And this grotesque design expose to public view, 
And yet the daubing pleases ! 

To return to the second objection, I say that 
confession, far from being an encouragement to 
sin, is the greatest check, and the greatest remedy 
against sin. 

It is in confession that the sinner discovers tc 
the minister of Christ, the physician of his soul, 
all his spiritual maladies, his weaknesses, his 
temptations, his inclinations, his doubts, the scru 
ples of his conscience, his apprehensions, &c and 
it is there he finds comfort, encouragement, advice. 


instructions, remedies against temptations, in short, 
every thing that is necessary to cause him to for 
sake the ways of perdition, and with the prodigal 
son, to return to his father ; it is there, sir, lie is 
told of his obligations it is there he is made sen 
sible of the impossibility of obtaining forgiveness, 
unless he restores what he got by stealing, cheat 
ing, usury, or by any kind of injustice, unless he 
is reconciled with his adversary, unless he for 
sakes the occasion of sin. It is there he is re 
minded of the vanity of earthly pleasure, of the 
shortness of time, of the dreadful punishments 
prepared for sinners by the infinite justice of God, 
and of the incomprehensible blessings which the 
mercy of God has prepared for his saints. It is 
there, that in the most pathetic strains, the minister 
of Christ exhorts the sinner to sincere repentance, 
and exhibits before his eyes the merits and thy 
sacred wounds of his dying Saviour, to rouse his 
desponding confidence. Ah ! sir, is this encour 
agement to sin ? Is this superstition ? Great 
God ! your wrath must have been provoked to a 
very high degree by the abominable sins com 
mitted on this polluted earth, when you permitted 
so many thousands of sinners to be deprived of 
so valuable a blessing as that derived from sacra 
mental confession. 

Yes, sir, many thousands of sinners, and of the 
most abandoned sinners, have been reclaimed in 


the tribunal of penance, and by the pious exertions 
of Christ s ministers brought back to the practice 
of virtue. There have been instances of sinners 
dying in the confessional, their hearts breaking 
with grief at the thoughts of having had the mis 
fortune to offend their merciful God and Saviour. 
Thus, according to Christ s declaration, Luc. vii. 
47, in one moment they expiated, by the perfec 
tion of their love, the sins of many years. 

I shall here add one remark made by the cele 
brated author of the Philosophical Catechism. 

4 A thing well worth observing (says he) and 
really supernatural and miraculous is the seal or 
secret of confession, entrusted every day to thou 
sands of priests, some of whom, alas ! ill qualified 
for their profession, and capable of any other pre 
varication, and yet so faithfully kept. Scarcely 
can ALL church history, during a period of more 
than eighteen hundred years, furnish one example 
of infidelity in this point, even among those who 
like Luther and Calvin, turned apostates to the 
church. If any one reflects on the inconsistency 
of mankind, on the curiosity of some, and the lo 
quacity and indiscretion of others, on the nature 
and importance of the affairs entrusted to confes 
sors, the revelation of which would often have 
astonishing effects, on the means which various 
interests, avarice, jealousy and other passions fail 
not to try in order to compass their ends, 8tc. ; 


there will remain no doubt, but that God watches 
over the preservation of his work, Philos. Ca 
techism, vol. 3, chap. vii. art. 1. 

I cannot forbear recommending, for your peru 
sal, a book not very long since published in the 
city of New York, entitled, The Catholic Question 
in America. 

You will there find what respect was paid to 
that venerable institution (sacramental confession) 
by a Protestant court of justice, at which presided 
the honourable De Witt Clinton. The Rev. Dr. 
Kohlman, a Catholic priest in the city of New 
York, was, by that sacrament, an instrument of 
restoring stolen property to its owner. Certain 
persons had been previously arrested on suspicion, 
and a prosecution instituted against them ; and Dr. 
Kohlman, after restoring the stolen property to its 
owner, was summoned to give in evidence, and 
required to disclose the person or persons from 
whom he had received it. He, in a most respect 
ful manner, stated to the court that not having any 
knowledge of the theft by any natural or common 
way of information, it being solely acquired by 
sacramental confession, it was his duty to suffer 
any punishment, even death itself, rather than 
divulge the knowledge acquired in that way. The 
court unanimously decided in his favour; and 
there being no evidence against .the defendants, 
they were acquitted. 


In that same book you will find a complete 
treatise on sacramental confession, wherein by the 
most respectable testimonies from the holy fathers, 
it is clearly proved that sacramental confession 
owes its origin to the Divine Founder of our holy 
religion, and has been practised from the earliest 
dawn of Christianity, and in all ages of the church, 
down to our present times. 

From this short explanation which I have given 
of the Catholic doctrine of confession, you will 
candidly acknowledge, dear sir, that the practice 
of sacramental confession, far from being super 
stitious, is a very useful one. I shall now explain 
what the Catholic Church teaches and commands 
us to believe with regard to the holy eucharist. 



IT is sufficient to read the words of Christ in 
the gospel to form an accurate idea of what the 
Catholic Church believes on that important subject. 

Jesus Christ says, 4 am the bread of life, John 
vi. 35 and 48. I am the living bread, which came 
down from heaven , if any man eat of this bread, 
he shall live for ever ; and the bread which I will 
give, is my flesh, for the life of the world, 1 John 
vi. 51, 52. 


Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and 
drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood 
hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at tho 
last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my 
blood is drink indeed. 

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my 
blood, abideth in me, and I in him. 

As the living Father hath sent me, and I live 
by the Father ; so he that eateth me, the same 
also shall live by me, John vi. 54, 58. 

Here you see in plain words what we believe on 
the subject of the eucharist. 

We believe that Jesus Christ is the living bread, 
the food of our immortal souls, John vi. 35, 48. 

We believe that we must feed on the sacred flesh 
and blood of Christ, in order to obtain eternal life, 
John vi. 54, 55. 

We believe that the flesh of Christ and the 
blood of Christ are our spiritual food indeed, and 
not in figure, 58 ; and finally, that in the holy 
eucharist we receive Jesus Christ himself, the 
spiritual food of our souls, 58. 

Divine mysteries being impervious to human 
reason, we do not arrogate to ourselves the right 
of philosophizing on the present mystery, nor do 
we make ourselves uneasy about the means, by 
which Christ is to enable us to accomplish what 
he here requires. We do not ask with the Jews : 


How can this man give us his flesh to eat ? But 
with Simon Peter we say, Lord, to whom shall 
we go ; thou hast the words of eternal life, John 
vi. 69. Surely, sir, we ought not to be blamed 
for believing that Christ meant what he said. 

The Jew may be scandalized, the philosopher 
may smile in his self-sufficiency, but the Catholic, 
with the humility of a child, submits, not knowing 
what it is to reason upon impenetrable mysteries. 
He may stand in silent raptures of astonishment 
at the depth of God s unfathomable wisdom, but 
he does not know what it is to doubt, and he has 
that comfort to know, that before the tribunal of 
Christ he will be able to bring the very words of 
Christ in evidence of the orthodoxy of his belief. 
Pray, sir, laying aside all prejudice, will you 
say that Christ, on the great day of retribution, 
will condemn me as guilty of superstition for be 
lieving precisely what he tells me, viz : that I 
must receive his living flesh and blood ; that I 
really receive both in the blessed eucharist ; that 
I receive Christ himself according to his own re 
peated declaration ? You will hardly say so. 

On the other hand, what excuse, what plea will 
any one have, who, notwithstanding Christ s posi 
tive declaration, can see nothing in the sacrament, 
but bread and wine ? 

Christ said, you must eat my flesh and drink 
my blood; no, no, says limited reason, for how 


can Christ give us his flesh to eat ? Christ says , 
my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink 
indeed. No, no, says corrupted reason, it cannot 
be so indeed, it must be meant as a figure only. 
Christ says : he that eateth me, shall live by me. 
What (says limited reason) what! eat Christ? 
that is absurd, that cannot be. An thus dons 
man s corrupted reason do away and make void 
the sacred words of Christ, and substitute a 
shadow, a mere nothing, for the most precious 
gift which Jesus Christ ever bestowed on man. 
To a superficial mind there is perhaps some 
thing specious in these dictates of limited reason. 
But, sir, we must remember that to understand 
and explain divine mysteries, is not the province 
of human reason. If we are justifiable in reject 
ing one mystery, because it is beyond the limits 
of reason, then we may, nay, (in order to be con 
sistent,) we ought to reject all divine mysteries as 
beyond the same limits. Thus we ought to ex 
punge from our creed the mystery of the trinity 
and of the incarnation, the very fundamental prin 
ciples of the Christian religion. Who indeed, can 
conceive how there are three really distinct per 
sons in God, and every one of them God, and yet 
that there is but one God ? Even the existence 
of a God invisible and immense ; in every place 
whole and entire, and yet but one ; even the ex 
istence of that God, I say, ought to be rejected, if 


we are justifiable in rejecting any mystery on 
account of its being impervious to limited reason. 

Here I would beg leave to observe, that a dis 
tinction ought to be made, between a thing being 
against reason and being above reason. *If a thing 
is really against sound reason, we cannot submit 
to believe it, neither would Almighty God require 
it, as in doing so, he would contradict his own 
work, which is impossible. If a thing is above 
reason, that is, beyond the limits of the human 
understanding : this is by no means a proof of its 
being false. 

With regard to the present mystery, then, if it 
is really against sound reason, Christ cannot, and 
will not require a belief of it ; if it is only beyond 
the limits of reason, it ought, to be believed where 
the words of Christ are plain. Nay, sir, its being 
impervious to reason stamps on it a character oi 
divinity, which essentially belongs to the works ol 

Revelation, similar to the pillar of fire, which 
guided the Israelites in the desert, has its dark 
side; but it has likewise its luminous side, 
whence emanate the purest and brightest rays of 
truth. In vain would human reason endeavour to 
penetrate into the dark recesses of the sanctuary ; 
a veil hangs before it, and in granting us the bless 
ing of revelation, it certainly was the will of God 
to supply the wants, the insufficiency of reason 


ft was the will of the Most High, that to him, 
with the most profound humility, we should 
make a sacrifice, not of reason itself, but of that 
vain and presumptuous confidence which we are 
too apt to have in the dictates of our limited rea- 
eon. As Mr. Voltaire observes, reason conducts 
you; advance by its light, proceed a few steps 
more-, but limit your career; on the brink of the 
Infinite, stop short, there an abyss begins, which 
you must respect. 

4 The most common things (says the celebrated 
Locke) have their dark sides, where the most 
piercing eye cannot penetrate; many difficulties 
are found in natural religion. 

Conceive, if you can, how any thing can be 
created out of nothing, how God is present every 
where, without being confined by space ; conceive 
what eternity is ; conceive, if you can, how in a 
living man, soul and body are joined together. Is 
it a wonder then, if in revealed religion, in God s 
sanctuary, many mysteries are found, exceeding 
the reach of human comprehension, and which it 
would even be impious to attempt to fathom 
The mysteries of revelation bear no proportion to 
the measure of human understanding. Reason 
leads you to the door of the sanctuary, but there it 
leaves you. Pveason is now silent and God speaks 5 
man listens, and adores. He sees evidently that 
he should believe; he hears God distinctly dictate 


mysteries, which he commands him to believe am) 
to revere; but he understands not those mysteries, 
which he is commanded to revere. He is even 
more satisfied than if he understood what forms 
the object of his belief: because, what man s 
limited understanding can comprehend, appears to 
be less awful, less worthy the divine greatness, 
than what human wisdom cannot penetrate. 

To return to the mystery of the eucharist, we 
grant, it is, in a great measure, incomprehensible; 
the most learned of our divines do not pretend to 
comprehend it. But, sir, it is evident, that God 
here speaks, and that he speaks in the most une 
quivocal terms, that he repeatedly makes use of 
the very same expressions : my flesh, my blood, 
&c. It is evident that Christ at the last supper 
tells his Apostles, Take and eat, &c. This is my 
body, cc. Drink ye all of this, &c. This is my 
blood. It is evident then, that we must listen 
and adore. A positive refusal to believe would be 
downright impiety. But, sir, if we permit our 
limited reason to sit in judgment on the mysteries 
of revelation, w r e may soon, by arbitrary interpre 
tations, get rid of them all; and thus a belief, 
framed by the interpretation of limited reason, 
amounts to a real and positive refusal to believe. 
In the present instance, what could justify us in 
asserting, that in the eucharist nothing is given, 
nothing received, but bread and wine ? Surely 


not the words of Christ, for his words and his 
repeated words are plainly, my Jlesh, my blood; 
surely not the impossibility of receiving the flesh 
and blood of Christ, for, it is certainly as easy for 
Jesus Christ to feed our immortal souls with his 
own flesh, as it was for him to assume that sacred 
flesh. It is as easy for him to conceal his sacred 
flesh and blood under the forms or appearances 
of bread and wine, as it is easy for him to con 
ceal his glorious divinity, although every where 
present, from our eyes. 

Surely it will not be said, that our belief is un 
reasonable. God is so great, so magnificent, so 
wonderful in his works ; he has done such stu 
pendous things for the happiness of man, tha. 
nothing how great, how mysterious, soever, pro 
ceeding from so great a God, appears to us unrea 
sonable to believe. 

Our immortal souls are the images of the eter 
nal Father. 

Our immortal souls are redeemed by the merits 
of the Divine Son, and washed in his sacred blood. 

It is for the sake of those immortal souls, that 
tiie Divine Son assumed human flesh and blood ; 
and during thirty-three years, was willing to lead 
a life of sufferings, and to subject himself to all 
the torment? which the malice of hell and earth 
combined, chose to inflict upon him. 

It was for the sake of our immortal souls tliat 


the Divine Son offered his sacred flesh and blood 
as a victim of propitiation to be immolated on the 

Our immortal souls then must be truly great, 
truly precious, in the sight of God, when so much 
was done for them. Is it then unreasonable to 
believe, after all this, that nothing less than the 
flesh and blood of a God-man is found by our 
great and merciful God, worthy to afford spiritual 
food and nourishment to those immortal souls, 
especially as this flesh and blood by being sacri 
ficed, became the life of those souls, which by sin 
were dead, to eternal lifer 

Will it be found unreasonable to believe, that 
Christ meant precisely what he said ? Surely, he 
came to instruct and not to deceive. When he 
saw that the Jews were scandalized, and asked, 
*how can this man give us his flesh to eat ? Was 
not this the opportunity to undeceive them, and to 
explain himself; in short, to say, 4 I do not mean 
that you shall eat my flesh and drink my blood, 
or in other words, 4 I do not mean what I said. 
Instead of this, we find Jesus Christ, after a double 
amen, insisting no less than six times in the most 
unequivocal manner upon the necessity of receiv 
ing his flesh and blood; we find Jesus Christ, 
at the last supper, taking bread and wine, and hav 
ing blessed them, giving them to his Apostles, and 
saying, take ye and eat this is my body drink 


ye all of this this is my blood, &c. We find 
the great St. Paul, 1 Cor. x. 16, and xi. 23, 29, 
making use of the very same expressions, and 
condemning the unworthy receiver, for not uis- 
cerning the Lord s body. Surely, sir, we could 
not be required to discern the body of Christ, 
were it not in the eucharist. 

We afterwards find the whole church of Christ, 
during eighteen centuries, that is, during almost 
fifteen hundred years before the pretended refor 
mation, and three hundred after it, believing and 
teaching every where that the flesh and blood of 
Christ are received in the holy eucharist. 

In the first age of the church, St. Ignatius, dis 
ciple of St. John the Evangelist, bishop of Antioch 
and martyr, speaks in the following manner of cer 
tain heretics of his time: they abstain from the 
holy eucharist and oblation, because they do not 
acknowledge the eucharist to be the flesh of our 
Saviour Jesus Chr^t, which suffered for our sins. 
Epist. ad Smyrn. Therefore, it is not the mere 
figure of the body of Christ, as Protestants say. 
but his flesh itself. 

In the second age, St. Justin Martyr has the 
following plain words. c As Jesus Christ incarnate 
had flesh and blood for our salvation, so are we 
taught, that the eucharist is the flesh and blood of 
the same Jesus incarnate, Apolog. ii. ad Jlnton mm. 

In the third age, St. Cyprian says, the bread 


which our Lord gave to his disciples, being 
changed, not in shape, but in nature, by the omni 
potence of the word, is made flesh. Serm. de 
Coena Domini, 

In the same age, the learned Origen says, in the 
old law, the manna was meat in an enigma, but 
now the flesh of God is meat in reality, as him 
self says, my flesh is meat indeed, Horn. 1. in 

In the same age again, Tertullian, the great 
champion and defender of the faith, says, the 
bread taken and distributed to his disciples, he 
made his body, Book 4 against Marcion, ch. 40. 
In the fourth age, St. Ambrose says, before it 
be consecrated, it is but bread, but when the words 
of consecration come, it is the body of Christ, 
Book 4 of the Sacram. ch. 5. 

In the same age, St. Gregory, of Nyssa, bears 
testimony to the same truth, we truly believe, 
even by the word of God, that the sanctified bread 
is changed into the body of God, Orat. Catechist 
c. 37. 

Also, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, in his 4th Cate 
chetical Instruction, says, since Christ himself 
has said of the bread, this is my body, who wil, 
henceforth dispute it ? And since he himself has 
said, this is my blood, who will dare entertain any 
doubt, and say, that it is not his blood ? On a 
former occasion, he changed water into wine, at 


Cana of Galilee ; shall we then consider him less 
worthy of credit, when he changes wine into 
blood ? Do not judge by the taste, but by laith, 
and be assured beyond all doubt that what appears 
to be bread, is not bread, but the body of Christ ; 
and what appears to be wine, is not wine, but the 
blood of Christ. Could the Doctor more clearly 
express the real presence, or more forcibly exclude 
the mere figure ? 

And also St. John Chrysostom, bishop of Con 
stantinople, c he that sits above with his Father, 
even in the same instant of time gives himself to 
all such as are willing to receive him, &c. whereas 
Christ leaving his flesh to us, ye-t ascending to 
heaven, there also he hath it, L. dt Sacerd. 

The same in his 60th homily, to the people of 
Antioch, has the following words : 

What pastor feeds his sheep with his own 
blood! but, what do I say? pastor! many mothers 
there are, who after having suffered the pains of 
labour, give their babes to strangers to nurse. 
This Jesus Christ would not suffer, but he feeds 
us himself, and that with his own blood. 

In the fifth age, St. Augustine, that great lumi 
nary of the church, and a convert from the Mani- 
chean heresy, in his sermon on the 33d Psalm, 
makes use of the following expressions : How 
David could be carried in his own hands, we find 
not. but in Christ we do, for lie was earned in his 


own hands, when giving his body, he said, this is 
my body; for then he carried that body in his 
own hands, Stc. 

In short, sir, it is evident, that in all ages, down 
to the pretended reformation, the real presence of 
Christ in the eucharist has been believed by all 
Christendom. It is evident, that the same belief 
has continued throughout the whole Catholic 
world to our present days. 

It is evident that such has always been, likewise, 
the constant belief of the eastern or Greek Church. 
See the testimonials of seven archbishops of the 
Greek Church, in a book entitled, Perpehdte de la 
Foi, vol. 3, p. 569, the testimonies of the arch 
bishops and clergy of the Archipelago, page 572; 
of four patriarchs of Constantinople, of the patri 
arch of Alexandria, and of thirty-five metropoli 
tans or archbishops, anno 1672, ch. 6, page 623 ; 
of the churches of Georgia and Mingrelia, ch. 7, 
page 634; of the patriarch of Jerusalem, &c. Sec. 
Such is the faith of the Armenians, Moscorites, 
Surians, Cophts, Moron ites, Russians, &c. &c * 

* These testimonies and several similar ones are to be 
found, not only in that learned work, La Perpetuite de la 
Foi, but also in the Amicable Discussion, in the letters of 
a Catholic doctor to a Protestant gentleman, by F. Scheff- 
macher, and in the Literal arid Dogmatical Explanation of 
the Ceremonies of the Mass, by F. Le Bran. They have 
all the characteristics of authenticity that can be desired, 
accompanied with the signatures not only of the 


This truth appeared so evident to Luther him 
self, that he never could get over it. His words 
are very remarkable. 

c lf any man (says he) could have convinced 
me five years ago, that in the sacrament there is 
nothing but bread and wine, he had wonderfully 
obliged me, for with great anxiety did I examine 
this point, and labour with all my force to get 
clear of the difficulty, because by this means, I 

Oriental bishops, but also of the ambassadors of different 
European nations. 

It may be proper here to mention why and how they 
were obtained. 

About the middle of the 17th century, the celebrated 
Nicolius had composed in favour of the real presence, a 
work, in which he adduces, among other proofs, that taken 
from the constant and unanimous belief of all Christian 
churches, the reformed ones alone being excepted. As 
the Protestant divines continued to maintain that the 
eastern churches held the same belief as themselves con 
cerning the eucharist, different ambassadors and consuls 
were requested to ascertain the fact. Having, agreeably 
to the request, made the necessary inquiries, they sent to 
France the professions of faith of the patriarchs, arch 
bishops, and bishops of the different Oriental churches. 
All, without exception, expressed themselves in the most 
positive terms in favour of the real presence which they 
declared to be their doctrine, and complained of the calum 
nies heaped on them by the Calvinists who had charged 
them with holding the contrary ; whereas, they condemned 
it as heretical, and anathematized those who dared main 
tain it. 


knew very well, I should terribly incommode the 
Papists. But I find I am caught without hopes of 
escaping, for the text of the gospel is so clear, as 
not to be susceptible of misconstruction. * 

* Luther held Christ to be really present together with 
the bread in the sacrament, as iron and fire are united in a 
red-hot bar. This sort of presence is called consubstantia- 
tion, and is surely as incomprehensible as the Catholic 
doctrine of transubstantiation. Calvin himself, asserted 
against Luther, that the doctrine of Catholics was more 
conformable to Scripture than his. Now, though it is evi 
dent that all the difficulties and alleged absurdities, attri 
buted to the Catholic doctrine, equally attach to the 
Lutheran, yet what preacher has ever attacked the latter, 
or what civil disabilities has it brought on its followers, 
while the former has constantly been a subject of profane 
ridicule for its enemies, and in some countries, for exam 
ple, Great Britain, a pretext for depriving its followers of 
their natural rights? This strange difference of conduct 
must excite the surprise of every reflecting mind. But, as 
the celebrated statesman, Canning, well observed, in a de 
bate on the Catholic Question, April 21, 1825, sympathy 
is quite the other way; now, continued he, what is it 
that we object to in the Catholic belief? One doctrine is 
that of transubstantiation. Yet do we not admit into our 
religious creed that other doctrine, consubstantiation ? 
which, if any one read Luther s polemic discourse on this 
subject, he will perceive it to bear so strong an affinity or 
relationship to the former, as not to be able to ascertain 
very easily their discrepancy or difference. Yet the oppo 
nent to the Catholic claims, will consider the man who 
professes to believe in consubstantiation, a faithful subject, 
and denounce the other as a traitor. 


Later Reformers were not so scrupulous, but 
soon got over the difficulty, by cutting 1 the Gor- 
dian knot. 

This indeed, is an easy way to get over all the 
difficulties we meet in the gospel, a way pretty 
generally followed by the philosophers of the day. 
But, dear sir, I hope you will not accuse us of 
superstition for taking a safer way, that of simply 
believing, even where we cannot understand, how! 
In believing the real presence of Christ in the 
eucharist, in believing that we receive the flesh 
and blood of Christ; in believing that we receive 
Christ himself, in believing that the substance of 
the flesh and blood of Christ; so far from being 
guilty of superstition, we have the satisfaction to 
know that we believe precisely what Christ com 
mands us to believe, what almost all Christendom, 
these eighteen hundred years, always did believe, 
and what at present, by far the greatest part of 
the Christian world, above two hundred millions, 
including the Greek Church, do believe. 

1 will suppose for a while, sir, that I am waver 
ing, perplexed, uncertain what to believe on the 
subject of the eucharist, and that J apply to you 
as a minister of Christ in order to have my doubts 
resolved, my difficulties removed, and certainty 
fixed in my mind, what would you tell me, what 
security could you offer in order to induce me tc 
reject the overwhelming weight of an the ritv 


which undoubtedly favours the Catholic doctrine 
of the eucharist, and to persuade me that I ought 
to believe there is nothing in the sacrament but 
bread and wine ? 

You will appeal to my senses, iny eyes, my 
taste, &LC. I confess, indeed, sir, that the senses of 
my body discover nothing in the sacrament but 
bread and wine, and that I do not see, nor taste 
the flesh and blood of Christ. But, sir, Christ 
tells me, blessed are they that have not seen and 
have believed, John xx. 29. 

I would then incline to say with St. Thomas* 

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur 
Sed auditu solo into creditur 
Credo quid quid dixit Dei filius 
Nil hoc Verbo veritatis verius. 
With nearly all Christendom for eighteen centu 
ries, I will sooner believe the testimony of my 
Divine Saviour, than the testimony of my senses ; 
to speak more correctly, I am not obliged to dis 
believe the testimony of my senses, for you know, 
sir, that what we perceive of any thing by our 
senses, is not the substance of the thing itself, 
but mere accidents, such as form, colour, taste, 
size. Now it is very evident that God, to whom 
aothing is impossible, may very easily change 
Jie substance of a thing and yet continue the ac 
cidents, or cause it to make upon my senses the 


same impression which it did before. This is 
precisely what the Catholics believe of the eucha- 

Good God! shall we say that Christ has no 
other way to make his words good, and to give 
us his flesh and blood, than to reach them to us 
in their natural form or appearance? Humanity 
shudders at the thought, and common sense natu 
rally suggests the reason why that sacred food of 
our souls is given us under the form of the most 
simple food of the body. You will tell me, per 
haps, that according to our doctrines, the body of 
Christ must be present in a great many places at 
the same time, which is impossible. 

In answer to this objection, I refer you to the 
system of the most celebrated Protestant philoso 
pher, Mr. Leibnitz, who, besides many others, 
from the most generally acknowledged principles 
of metaphysics, and from observations made in 
natural philosophy, clearly shews that this seem 
ing mystery, the existence of the same body in 
many places, cannot be proved impossible. But, 
sir, admitting it to be impossible for a body in its 
present corruptible state, can the same be said of 
a glorified body, which St. Paul calls c a spiritual 
body ? Can it be said especially of the glorified 
body of Christ? Pray, sir, do you know any 
thing at all about the nature of glorified bodies ? 
I must confess I do not; and whilst we are totally 


ignorant about the nature of a glorified or spiritual 
body, it appears to me vain to form any opinion 
about what is possible or impossible for such a 
body. When I see the glorified body of Christ 
passing through a door which was shut, John xx. 
19, I am willing to believe, that the same body 
may be present in thousands and millions of 
places at once; I am willing to believe that that 
same body may feed my soul, and yet continue 
glorious in heaven, if such is the will of God, 
although I cannot comprehend, far less explain, 
how it can be. 

Archbishop Cranmer owns, that Christ may be 
in the bread and wine, as also in the doors that 
were shut. Answer to Gardner Sc Smith, p. 454. 
Melancthon says, I would rather die than af 
firm that Christ s body can be but in one place. 
I am sensible, sir, that human reason once 
seated on the tribunal to judge of the trutli or false 
hood of revealed mysteries, and guided only by 
its-elf, will find a great many more objections. 
But, sir, as the raging waves, after having beaten 
against the majestic rock which rises from the 
bottom of the sea, return in harmless froth; so 
likewise will all the weak productions of human 
reason, when beating against the majestic fabric 
which Christ has raised. 

I beg leave here to quote the testimony of three 
celebrated Protestant divines in favour of the 
Catholic doctrine. 


"The adoration of the eucharist (says Mr. 
Thorndike) was the practice of the ancient and 
true church, before receiving, Epil. L. lii. c. 30 
4 And I (says the Protestant Bishop Andrews) with 
St. Ambrose, adore the flesh of Christ in the mys 
teries, Andrews to Bel. ch. 8. k The external 
adoration of Christ in the eucharist (says the Pro- 
tesiant Bishop Forbes) is the practice of sounder 
Protestants, and to deny such adoration is a mon 
strous error of rigid Protestants. Forbes de 
Euchar. L. 2* 

* A striking difference may be observed in the style of 
Protestant controvertists. Those among them who have 
been deservedly ranked the first for talents, learning, and 
good sense, are much more temperate in their language, 
than others who, in the estimation of the public, fall far 
short of them in the above qualities. In writers of the 
latter class, do we so often find such expressions as : the 
dogma of the real presence, is absurd: the adoration of 
Christ in the sacrament is idolatrous and superstitious. 
The example of wiser and better men should make them 
pause before they indulge in the effusions of rashness or 
malevolence. Before exposing themselves to the danger 
of blaspheming that which they know not, first, they 
should reflect that God can reveal nothing absurd: and, 
secondly, they should fully and impartially examine the 
proofs of God s having revealed the dogma which they 
deride. Were our opponents to proceed thus, they would 
regard the real presence as an adorable mystery, instead 
of rejecting it as absurd. For, what greater evidence of 
its divine revelation can be required than the authority of 
the Scriptures,, the doctrine of the Apostles, the testimony 


You will object, perhaps, the following words 
of Christ: It is the spirit that quickeneth, the 

of all ages, and the consent of all Christian nations until 
the epoch of the Reformation, and even now, the Protes 
tants alone excepted ? Finally, the belief of the church in 
her origin, and the ages immediately succeeding, when 
her doctrine is allowed to have been pure, and the impos 
sibility that this dogma, if not divinely revealed, couk 
have obtained so firm and constant belief, render it certain 
that it must have come from Jesus Christ himself. 

The following questions and answers are taken from a 
German Lutheran Catechism, printed in Chambers-burg, in 
1815, byJohann Herschberger, for William Warner, book 
seller, of Baltimore. 

Q. What is the last supper of our Lord Jesus Christ? 

A. The last supper of Christ is a holy sacrament, a godly 
word and sign, in which Christ gives us truly and substan 
tially, with bread and wine, his body and blood, and assures 
us of the forgiveness of our sins, and life everlasting. 

Q. What do you receive, eat, and drink in the holy last 
supper ? 

A. With bread and wine, I do eat and drink the truo 
body and the true blood of Jesus Christ, as St. Paul says : 
. The chalice which we bless, is it not the communion of 
the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is 
it not the communion of the body of Christ?* 1 Cor. x. 16. 

And again, from the 5th article on the Sacrament of the 

Q. What is the sacrament of the altar? 

A. It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ 
in the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and drink, 
instituted by Christ himself, 1 Cor. x. 16, 17, xi. 23, 29. 

In both catechisms, the doctrine of the real presence is 
evidently implied by the words, taken in their obvious 


flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I have 
spoken to you, are spirit and life, John vi. 64. 

St. Augustine, who lived about fourteen hundred 
years ago, explains these words in his 27th trea 
tise on St. John. 

What means, the flesh profits nothing (says 
St. Augustine.) It profits nothing as they under 
stood it ; for they understood flesh, as it is torn 
in pieces in a dead body, or sold in the shambles ; 
and not as it is animated by the spirit. Where 
fore it is said the Jlesh profiteth nothing, in the 
same manner as it is said knowledge pujfeth upS 
1 Cor. viii. 1. Must we then fly from know 
ledge ? God forbid. What then means knowledge 
puffeth up ? That is, if it be alone without cha 
rity ; therefore, the Apostle added, but charity 
edifieth. Join therefore charity to knowledge, 
and knowledge will be profitable, not by itself, 

sense, as they ought to be, since catechetical instruction?, 
being designed for the young and ignorant, and therefore, 
adapted to the capacity of such, are naturally supposed to 
contain the plainest exposition of what is to be believed. 
Ft may, at first, appear strange, that Protestants should, in 
their language, approach so near to Catholic doctrine. 
The reason of this is, that our doctrine is so conformable 
to Scripture, that they, though differing from us in senti 
ments, yet affect to hold nearly the same language as we, 
in order to avoid the palpable contradiction of their pro 
fessed rule of following the Scriptures in their plain and 
.iteral sense. 


but through charity ; so here also the jlesh pro* 
fiteth nothing, viz : the flesh alone. Let the spirit 
be joined with the flesh, as charity is to be joined 
with knowledge, and then it profits much. For 
if the flesh profiteth nothing, the word (Christ) 
would not have been made flesh, that he might 
dwell in us. So far St. Augustine. 

Besides jlesh and blood is often mentioned in 
Scripture for the corruption of our nature, as when 
it is said, flesh and blood cannot inherit the king 
dom of God, 1 Cor. xv. 50 ; and flesh and blood 
hath not revealed it unto thee, Matt. xvi. 17. 
And in this sense the flesh profiteth nothing to 
discover and firmly believe what Christ an 
nounces ; but it is the spirit and grace of God 
that quickeneth and giveth life to our souls, by 
inspiring us with a full assent and obedience to 
divine revelation. Faith is undoubtedly a gift of 
heaven, and that we may not be deterred by our 
corrupted reason and senses from believing divine 
mysteries, we need the light and assistance of 
God himself. This our Divine Saviour plainly 
declares in these words : therefore did I say to 
you, that no man can come to me, unless it be 
given him by my Father. John vi. 66. So that the 
foregoing words the flesh profiteth nothing, rather 
.-suppose and confirm the truth of the real presence. 

But God forbid that we should say the flesh of 
"Christ profits nothing, this would be a blasphemy, 


and it is evident, that Christ asserting that flesh 
profits nothing, did not mean his flesh, for this 
would be contradicting his own assertion, my 
; flesh is meat indeed. 

Our doctrine on the eucharist is further con- 

firmed by the ancient figures or types of that 

sacrament; they were manifold. I shall notice 

only three of them, viz : the Paschal Lamb, the 

Blood of the Testament, and the Manna. 

1. The Paschal Lamb. That this was a figure 
of Christ, the Lamb of God, is acknowledged on 
all hands. The Paschal Lamb was killed at the 
going out of the land of Egypt on the journey to 
the land of promise. 

The Lamb of God is killed, and we are deli 
vered from a more than Egyptian darkness, and in 
troduced into the road to the real land of promise. 

The Paschal Lamb is eaten, Exod. xii. 8; so 
likewise must the Lamb of God be eaten to ac 
complish the figure. The Paschal Lamb had no 
blemish, Exod. xii. 5 ; the Lamb of God is pure 
and immacculate by excellence. The blood of 
the Paschal Lamb was a sign of salvation, Exod. 
xii. 13. The blood of the Lamb of God is salva 
tion itself. The sacrament of the eucharist was 
instituted by our Saviour immediately after eating 
the Paschal Lamb with his disciples ; the figure 
\\as then accomplished, and the substance sub 
stituted for the figure. 


2. That the Blood of the Testament, the blood 
of victims solemnly sacrificed to God, was a figure 
of the blood of Christ in the sacrament, appears 
evident from the words of Christ in administering 
that sacred blood. 

Moses said to the people, This is the Blood of 
the Testament, which God hath enjoined to you, 
Exod. xxiv. 8. and Heb. ix. 20. 

Jesus Christ said to his disciples, This is rny 
Blood of the New Testament, &c. Matt. xxvi. 26. 

3. That Manna was a figure of the sacrament 
of the flesh and blood of Christ, appears from 
John vi. 58, Your fathers did eat Manna and 
are dead ; he that eateth of this bread shall live 
for ever. Likewise from 1 Cor. x. 3. 

Manna came from the Lord, Exod. xvi. 15 ; the 
holy eucharist is also given by our Lord and 
Saviour, Matt. xxvi. 

Manna was given to the Israelites as their food 
during the whole time of their journey through 
the desert until they reached the land of promise. 

The holy eucharist is given to us as the spiri 
tual food and nourishment of our souls, during 
the whole time of our mortal pilgrimage, until we 
reach the true land of promise, our heavenly 
home. We cannot believe, dear sir, that the 
figure is better than the thing it represents ; St. 
Paul tells us on the contrary, that the old law 
had nothing but a shadow of good things io ^amc. 


Heb. 10. That all its sacrifices and sacraments 
were but weak and beggarly elements] Galat. iv. 9. 
And that it was annulled, by reason of its weak 
ness and unprofitableness] Heb. vii. 18. 

Now, sir, if the sacrament of the Lord s supper 
is nothing but bread and wine, it is evident that 
the figure (manna) is far better than the thing 
prefigured ; for manna comes from heaven ; bread 
comes from the baker s oven. 

Manna had a very pleasant taste, and was in 
many respects miraculous ; our bread is a common 
and natural food. 

I have said enough, I think, to convince you, 
dear sir, that we are not guilty of superstition in 
believing as we do, on the subject of the holy 
eucharist, and that our belief on that subject is 
founded on the plainest words of divine revela 
tion, and not contradicted by reason : add to this, 
that it is supported by the greatest authority on 

Admitting for a while, that the words of Christ 
were not very plain, or were susceptible of diffe 
rent interpretations, where are we to apply in 
order to know with certainty the true sense of 
the words ? Are we to adopt the sentiments of 
any of the Reformers ? If so, which are we to 
select for our guide ? Luther held that the bread 
is the body of Christ ; Osiander, that the bread is 
one an-" 1 the same person with Christ ; Calvin, 


Zuinglius, &c. that it is only a figure of the body 
of Christ. Nay, so far did this diversity of opi 
nions go, that after little more than half a century 
from the commencement of the Reformation, con- 
trovertists counted not less than two hundred 
different interpretations of the words, this is my 
body. The numerous sects of the present day, 
are not less at variance with one another, with 
respect to this point. What other effect then can 
such contrariety of belief have, than to bring more 
strongly to our recollection that observation of 
Tertullian It is natural for error to be ever 
changing. But Christ tells us to apply to the 
church which he has provided with the unerring 
light of truth for ever. This holy church com 
mands us to believe that in the eucharist, as given 
by Christ at the last supper, and as consecrated 
since by legally ordained ministers, are really 
contained the flesh and blood, the soul and divi 
nity of Jesus Christ Christ, God and man, 
Council of Trent, de Euchar. Sacram. Sess. 13, c. 

The words used by the confession of Augsburgh 
seem to convey the very same idea. The true 
body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present 
under the form of bread and wine in the Lord s 
supper, and are there given and received. 

Were we t : judge from the approved catechisms 
of several Protestant sects, they would seem to 


hold the same doctrine. The church of England 
in her catechism, declares that, the body and 
blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken anc 
received by the faithful in the Lord s supper. 

A seemingly weighty objection against the rea 
presence of Christ in the eucharist is found in the 
following words of our Saviour : do this for a 
commemoration of me, Luc. xxii.19; and in the 
words of St. Paul, as often as you shall eat, &c. 
and drink, &c. you shall shew the death of the 
Lord until he come, 1 Cor. xi. 26. 

We do not understand how those words can be 
considered as excluding the real presence of Christ. 
Whilst man is in his present state of imperfection, 
carnal, weak, under the influence of his senses, of 
his imagination, and of so many passions, he is 
very apt, even whilst engaged in the most solemn 
of all duties, saying his prayers, or celebrating the 
divine mysteries, to forget himself, and to perform 
those duties, through habit, mechanically, and of 
course, without benefit to himself. 

Christ, the subject of our adoration, not being 
visible in the eucharist, our attention may be very 
easily diverted from him by objects affecting our 
senses or imaginations, &c. at the very time we 
celebrate those mysteries. In order to guard us 
against that misfortune, we are particularly com 
manded to direct our attention to our Divine 
Saviour, to his death upon the cross ; we are not 


to receive his flesh and blood mechanically, but, 
whilst we receive them, to remember the infinite 
love of Jesus Christ in immolating that sacred 
flesh and blood for our salvation, and in feeding 
our souls with the same. 

The command then to remember the death of 
Christ when we celebrate and receive the Lord s 
supper so far from excluding the real presence of 
Christ, is rather founded upon it. 

Having now explained to you, dear sir, the doc 
trine of the Catholic Church concerning the 
blessed eucharist, this leads me naturally to the 
explanation of the sacrifice of the mass. 



IT is in the mass the holy eucharist is conse 
crated. The main objection against this sacrifice 
is its being considered a second sacrifice, whereas 
it is acknowledged by all Christians that the sacri 
fice of the cross, in which Jesus Christ immolated 
himself for the salvation of our souls, is the only 
sacrifice of the new law, and a very sufficient 
one, as by it, and by it alone, the redemption of 
man M r as consummated and God s justice satisfied. 

The objection arises from a misunderstanding 


The mass so far from being a second sacrifice is 
only a continuation, and at the same time, a com 
memoration, of the great sacrifice of the cross. 

Do this in commemoration of me, says Christ 
at the last supper to his Apostles, and, of course, 
to their successors. It is in the mass, dear sir, 
that this precept of Christ is fulfilled, it is there 
the bread and wine are consecrated, and by con 
secration, changed into the body and blood of 
Christ. In this consecration the blood is mysti 
cally separated from the body, as Jesus Christ did 
separately consecrate the bread into his body, and 
the wine into his blood, which includes a striking 
representation and commemoration of that real 
and violent separation, which took place upon the 

By this consecration, as I have shown before, 
Jesus Christ becomes really present upon the altai, 
under those signs or forms, which represent his 

Now Jesus Christ being present in the euoha- 
rist, by virtue of the consecration which he him 
self appointed, presents himself, (says St. Paul,) 
and appears for us, before the face of God, Neb. 
ix. 24. Here then is a continuation of the great 
sacrifice of the cross; here Jesus Christ continues 
to present to his heavenly Father the merits of 
his passion and death*, he perpetuates the memory 
of his obedience, even to the death of the cross. 


which includes an acknowledgment of God ? su 
preme dominion; of course here is a true and 
real sacrifice, and yet not a second sacrifice, hui 
only a continuation of the great sacrifice of the 
cross. Thus the prophecy of Malachias is ful 
filled; for from the rising of the sun, even to the 
going down, my name is great among the Gen 
tiles: and in every place there is sacrifice, and 
there is offered to my name a clean oblation, 1 &c. 
Malach. i. 11. 

The sacrifice here alluded to cannot he that 
offered on Mount Calvary on the cross, as that 
was only offered in one place, of course, it must 
he the holy sacrifice of the mass ; because this is 
offered in almost every part of the globe, and be 
cause Jesus Christ, who there perpetuates the 
memory of his passion and death, is the only one 
that can ofler a clean oblation to God. 

When we consider what Jesus Christ operates 
in this mystery; when by faith we behold him 
actually present with these signs of death, we 
unite ourselves to him in this state; we offer him 
to God as our only victim, and as the only one, 
who, by his blood, can merit for us mercy; pro 
testing, at the same time, that we have nothing to 
offer up to God but Jesus Christ, and the infinite 
merits of his death. We consecrate all our 
prayers by this sacred offering, and, in presenting 
Jesus Christ to God, we are taught to offer up 


ourselves also in him and by him to his Divine 
Majesty, as so many living victims. Pray, dear 
sir, does this doctrine savour of superstition. 

Here then is the great sacrifice of Christians, 
differing widely from that, which was in use in 
the old law, a spiritual sacrifice, and worthy the 
new covenant; where the victim, though present, 
is perceptible only by faith; where the immolating 
sword is the word, which mystically separates the 
body from the blood; where the shedding of the 
blood is of course but mystical, and where death 
intervenes but in representation : a most real sacri 
fice, however, inasmuch as Jesus Christ is truly 
contained in it, and presented to his Father undei 
these symbols of death. But still a sacrifice of 
commemoration, which, far from withdrawing us, 
as is objected, from the sacrifice of the cross, at 
taches us to it, by all its circumstances, since the 
former is not only totally referred to the latter, 
but in fact has no existence, except by this rela 
tion, from which its efficacy is entirely derived. 
Such is the express doctrine of the Council of 
Trent, which teaches that this sacrifice was insti 
tuted only to represent that which was once 
offered upon the cross ; to perpetuate the memory 
of it to the end of time; and to apply its saving 
virtue to us, for the remission of those sins which 
we every day commit, Sess. 22, c. 1. The 
church, then, far from believing the sacrifice of 


the cross to be by any means defective, is, on the 
contrary, so convinced of its perfection, that it 
looks upon every thing done in consequence, as 
intended merely to commemorate it, and apply its 

We believe then, the holy sacrifice of the mass 
to be the greatest act of religion that can be per 
formed, the only one perfectly worthy of God, as 
in that sacrifice Jesus Christ, equal to his Father, 
is both the high priest and the victim: he is the 
high priest, inasmuch as he immolates and offers 
up the victim, which is himself, to his Eternal 
Father, he is the high priest for ever according 
to the order of Melchisedech, Ps. cix. 4. 

For ever, because although he immolated him 
self but once in a bloody manner, yet in the mass 
he perpetuates this sacrifice day after day in an 
unbloody and mystical manner. According to the 
order of Melchisedech, because c as Melchisedech 
brought forth bread and wine, for lie was the 
priest of the most high God, Gen. xiv. 18. So 
does Christ the high priest of the new covenant 
bring forth bread and wine, and having by his 
omnipotence changed them into his flesh and 
blood, continues under those forms of bread and 
wine to offer himself up, to present to his hea 
venly Father the merits of his passion and death, 
and likewise under these forms to feed and nourish 
the souls of men. 


Whoever is in the least versed in the history of 
the church and the writings of the holy fathers, 
will readily acknowledge, that the mass was al 
ways considered as the great sacrifice of the new 
covenant, and that the practice of celebrating 
mass is as ancient as Christianity. 

In all the liturgies of the ancient churches, we 
trace the words, sacrifice, immolation, altar, priest 
hood, host, victim, namely Christ really present; 
and consequently, all the conditions of a true and 
perfect sacrifice. Now, the liturgies exhibit to us 
the belief of the whole church, even in the first 
ages, since they are themselves very ancient. 
They are ascribed to St. James, St. Mark, St. Basil, 
and St. Chrysostom, and have been carefully pre 
served, not only by the Latins and Greeks, but 
also by the Nestorians, Eutychians, &c. who de 
parted from the church 1400 years ago. 

It is the same with the holy fathers. St. Ire- 
naus, bishop of Lyons, in the second century, says : 
Christ took that which is naturally bread, and 
gave thanks, saying, this is my body, and he 
taught the new oblation of the new covenant, 
which the church receiving from the Apostles, 
every where presents to God. This Malachias 
had foretold, &c. Ad. Ilaer. lib. iv. cap. 23. In 
the third century, St. Cyprian, bishop of Car 
thage, says : who is the priest of the Most High 
in a more perfect manner, than our Lord, who 


offered a sacrifice to God, and offered the same 
that had been offered by Melchisedech, namely, 
bread and wine, that is, his body and blood ? 
Epist. 68 ad Caecilium. 

In the fourth century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem. 
says: when we offer the sacrifice, we pray for 
our departed brethren; believing that their souls 
receive much assistance from the awful sacrifice 
of our altars, Catech. 5. 

St. Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, says : 
the wise men worshipped him in the manger, 
thou seest him not in the manger, but on the altar, 
&c. in 1 Cor. 

Again, from its being offered in many places, 
are there then many Christs ? No: for as he 
who is every where offered is one body, and not 
many bodies, so the sacrifice is one, Horn. 17, in 
Hebr. In the same age, St. Ambrose says : when 
we sacrifice, Christ is present, 5 in Cap. 1 Luc. 

St. Augustine of the fifth age, says : when now 
we see this sacrifice offered to God in every place 
by the priesthood of Christ, according to the order 
of Melchisedech. and the Jews sacrifice cease, why 
do they yet expect another Christ ? De Civitate 
Dei, c. 35. And in book ix. of his Confessions. 
c. 3, he tells us, his mother Monica desired on her 
death-bed, to be remembered at the altar, where 
she knew the holy sacrifice to be offered, where 
with the indictment against us was blotted out. 


In another place he says : Christ is at the same 
time both the priest that offers, and the host (01 
victim) which is offered ; and he would that the 
sacrifice which the church daily offers, should be 
the sacrament and the representation of this mys 
tery; because the church being the body of that 
Divine Head, it offers itself by him. All these 
holy fathers and bishops of the church lived some 
1100, some 1200 years before the pretended Re 
formation-, at a time when even the most learned 
Protestants own that the church of Christ had not 
yet gone astray. In the sixth age, that is, about 
1000 years before the Reformation, St. Gregory 
the Great, by whose means England was con 
verted, has the following remarkable words, in a 
sermon which he preached on Christmas day: 
^whereas by the grace of God, we shall this day 
celebrate mass three times, we cannot speak very 
long on the gospel, Homil. 8. in Evangel. 

Such was the practice of the church 1300 years 
ago, and such is the practice of the church at 
present in 1815;* on Christmas day every priest 
celebrates mass three times. 

If then, dear sir, we are guilty <>f superstition 
in celebrating mass, and believing as we do of the 
mass, it is a great comfort to us to lind, that our 
superstition is no other than that, of which were 
guilty all the holiest and wisest bishops of the 

*Novv 1841 


most remote antiquity. It is a great comfort to 
us to know, that the church had already existed 
more than 1500 years before it was found out, 
that to celebrate mass and to believe that Christ 
is really present in the eucharist, are superstitious 
practices and doctrines. 

Before I conclude this important subject, I 
should not omit explaining the practice of the 
Catholic Church of giving communion under one 
kind or form. 



UPON this head we are accused of depriving the 
laity of an essential part of the sacrament. 

From the moment, dear sir, the real presence 
of Christ in the eucharist is admitted, there can 
exist no difference on this subject. It must be a 
matter of perfect indifference whether we receive 
the holy communion under one or both kinds.* 

* If the precept of Christ, drink ye all ot this, regard 
not the Apostles only, who alone were present, and were 
then ordained priests, for offering, under both kinds, this 
holy sacrifice, which was to be continued by their lawful 
successors, but be extended to ail persons indifferently, 
the absurd consequence will IK--, that all are priests 


Christ rising from the dead, says St. Paul, 
diethno more, Rom. vi. 9. Consequently wherever 
Christ is, there also is Christ s body ; wherever 
the flesh of Christ is, there also is his blood, his 
soul and divinity ; and where his blood is, there 
is also his flesh, &c. To say that Christ is 
divided between the two kinds or forms, so as for 
one form to contain the one-half, and for the 
other form to contain the other half of Christ, 
would be impious. But it is said, that in giving 
communion under one kind, and depriving lay 
people of the chalice, we transgress the command 
ment of Christ, who, at the last supper said, drink 
ye all of this, &c. &c. 

In answer to this, we say, that Christ only 

Moreover, did we Catholics hold the mere figurative sys 
tem, we could not deny that there would be some reason 
for receiving the liquid as well as the solid substance, as 
the former may appear to represent more aptly the blood, 
and the latter the body. But believing as we do, Christ 
to be really present, we believe that he is equally and en 
tirely present under each species, and consequently, is 
equally and entirely given to the faithful, whichever they 
receive. The Catholic clergy, far from thinking that they 
wrong the laity by withholding the cup, always act con 
formably to this belief. Hence, when any ol them are 
prevented by corporal infirmity, or any other cause, from 
offering the holy sacrifice, and wish to communicate, they 
receive under one kind. The same is observed at the 
hour of death, when the viaticum is always administered 
under one kind to the clergy as well as to the laity. 


spoke to his Apostles, as it is certain that none, 
were present at the last supper but they. The 
precept then was directed to the Apostles, in obe 
dience to which they and their successors to this 
day, when they celebrate the holy mysteries, 
always receive under both kinds. 

St. Paul very clearly states that communion 
may be validly received under either kind alone ; 
Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or 
drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, &c. 
1 Cor. xi. 27. I know, dear sir, that your Pro 
testant translations say eat and drink, instead of 
eat or drink; but if you compare the Catholic 
translation with the genuine original Greek, you 
will find it correct. The sufficiency of one kind 
in the holy communion is clearly acknowledged 
by the Calvinists of France in two of their synods. 
The Synod of Poiters, held A. D. 1560, has the 
following words : 

The bread of the Lord s supper ought to be 
administered to those who cannot drink wine, 
upon their making a protestation that it is not out 
of contempt, when they also obviate all scandal 
by bringing the cup as near to their mouth as they 
possibly can, Synod of Poiters, chap. 12, article 
7th of the Lord s supper. 

The same was again approved and confirmed 
by the Synod of La Rochelle, A. D. 1571. 

After all I have said, dear sir, you will con- 


ceive that Catholics are not guilty of superstition 
in believing as they do on the subject of the 
Lord s supper and the mass. 

They are compelled to believe so by the com 
bined weight of heavenly ard earthly authority, 
which overrules the dictates and judgment of our 
corrupted senses, and of our weak and limited 
reason ; and to all the arguments of human reason, 
or if you choose, philosophy, we answer with St. 
Paul, Our faith does not stand on the wisdom of 
man, but on the power of God, 1 Cor. ii. 5. 

I must confess that I am less surprised to see a 
person (with the Socinians) rejecting all mysteries, 
than to see him admit one and reject another, 
though the latter is perhaps more clearly ex 
pressed in the written word than the former. 

Although I detest the impiety of the Socinian, 
yet I cannot but acknowledge his consistency , 
arid should I ever have the misfortune (which 
God in his tender mercy forbid) to forsake the 
unerring guide, which now overawes and silences 
my reason into perfect submission, and should I 
ever become so much Minded by a more than 
diabolical pride, as to make my limited and cor 
rupted reason the sole arbiter of my faith, 1 think 
it would suggest to me the rejection of all myste 
ries, of every thing incomprehensible to that rea 
son, and thus lead me at once into the paths of 
Soeinianism. The same reason that would suggest 


to me the absurdity of eating the flesh of Christ, 
would likewise suggest the absurdity of three 
distinct persons in the divinity, which is essen 
tially one. 

If you cast your eyes around you, (without 
traveling many miles from home,) do you not 
see, in many respectable members of society, the 
deplorable consequences of trusting to the light 
of reason, and refusing submission to unerring 
authority ? Do you not perceive in many of 
those, whose reason has been developed by a 
liberal education, a perfect indifference, (if not a 
kind of contempt,) for the mysteries in general, 
and even in particular for those very mysteries, 
which by all societies are considered the funda 
mental principles of Christianity ? In proportion 
as the powers of their understanding have been 
improved, they seem to have acquired a greatei 
right to set up their reason as a judge over the 
divine mysteries, and thus to abuse the noblest 
gift of God to purposes of impiety. 

The whole system of the Christian religion ; 
the greatest of all the works of God, one and 
indivisible, must be believed in the whole and in 
all its parts ; neither does it require less impiety 
to reject one part of that divine system known to 
be revealed by Jesus Christ, than to reject the 
whole. Now, sir, from what you see, I mean the 
rejection both in principle and practice, of so 


many mysteries among Protestants, and this is 
only a natural consequence of making limited 
reason the arbiter of faith ; how long, do you 
suppose, will it be until faith will be entirely 
extinct? Will the present generation of children, 
after coming to the age of maturity, remember 
that their parents were Christians ? Will the 
next generation even enjoy the benefit of bap 
tism ? I am acquainted with many youths of both 
sexes, who, although born of Protestant parents, 
never received the benefit of baptism. Why so ? 
Because their Protestant parents, guided by the 
light of reason, could not see into the necessity 
of baptism, and thus probably judged it an idle 
ceremony. Thus is the child s eternal fate left to 
rest on the private opinions of their parents on 
religious mysteries, as if our merciful God had 
left us in a state of uncertainty, in those matters 
principally, in which certainty is absolutely ne 

After this digression, which a sincere zeal for 
the salvation of souls has occasioned, I shall con 
tinue to explain a few remaining articles of 
Catholic faith. Having explained the Catholic 
doctrine of the mass, this leads me to the Catholic 
doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead. 




WHAT has induced the gentlemen of the pre 
tended Reformation, to discard purgatory from 
their creed, and to renounce the practice of pray 
ing for the deceased, I am at a loss to know. To 
any man of information, it must be notorious, 
that the belief and the practice are older than 
Christianity, almost universal, and far from being 
impervious to human reason, must, upon a candid 
examination, meet the approbation of reason. 

The Catholic Church, the supreme tribunal of 
our faith, teaches that there is a purgatory, a place 
of temporal punishment after death, and that the 
souls therein detained are helped by the prayers 
of the faithful, and especially by the holy sacri 
fice of the mass, Concil. Trident. Sess. 25, De- 
cret. de Purg. This decree of the church, assem 
bled in general council, is sufficient for a Catholic 
to regulate his faith on the present subject, and to 
convince him fully of the existence of a purga 
tory, and of the usefulness of prayers for the 
dead. Still it is a satisfaction to a Catholic, al 
ready convinced by the authority of the church, 
to find that even the plain words of Scripture, and 
the plainest dictates of reason, are in perfect uni 
son with the declaration of the church Long 


before the coming of Christ, the people of God 
prayed and offered sacrifice for the dead. Witness 
the collection of money made by Judas Maccha- 
baeus, the defender of God s sanctuary; and 
making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand 
drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be 
offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and 
religiously concerning the resurrection it is there 
fore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for 
the dead, that they may be loosed from sins, 
2 Maccab. xii. 43 46. I know that Protestants 
reject the Macchabees. But you will permit 
me to observe that this rejection, made by 
modern Reformers, can bear no weight, when 
made in opposition to all antiquity, in opposition 
to the universal church, the only one extant at 
the time of the pretended Reformation. 

In the earliest ages of Christianity we find the 
holy fathers quoting the Macchabees, as well as 
other Scriptures. Witness St. Clement of Alexan 
dria, lib. 6, Stromaf.; Origcn, lib. 2, de Princi- 
piis, cap. 1 ; St. Cyprian, lib. de Exhortatione 
Martyrii; St. Jerom, cap. 23; IsaL; St. Augus 
tine, lib. 8, de Civltate Dei, cap. 36. St. Isidore 
Hispalensis says, the Books of the Macchabees, 
although separated by the Hebrews as Apocrypha, 
are by the church of Christ honoured, and pro 
claimed as Divine books, lib. 6. The General 



Council of Trent, Sess. 4, declares the two Mac- 
chabees to be Divine books.* 

The belief of a middle state is supported by 
many other texts of the Old and New Testaments. 

Thou also by the blood of thy testament, has 
sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is 
no water, Zach. ix. 11. 

That pit cannot be hell, as out of hell there is 

* The Council of Trent, in defining the Divine Inspira 
tion of those books, has only followed the constant and 
unanimous tradition of the church, and the examples of 
other councils, some of which were even general. For 
those books had been reckoned among the sacred writings 
by the General Council of Florence, held in 1439, under 
Eugenius IV.; by a council of seventy bishops, held in 
Rome in 494, under Pope Gelasius; by Pope St. Inno 
cent I. in his famous epistles, written in 405, to St. Exu- 
perius, bishop of Tholouse ; by the third Council of Car 
thage, held in 397, at which St. Augustin assisted; by St. 
Augustin himself, in his work on Christian Doctrine, book 
xxii. chap. 23, and in the City of God, book xviii. chap 
36 ; in a word, by many other fathers. 

The Books of Mac.chabees must be allowed, even by 
those who do not receive them as canonical, to be, at least, 
authentic records; as such, then, they oear undeniable 
testimony of the belief and practice of the Jews of the 
present day, who, surely, have not borrowed them from 
Catholics. Seeing, then, the doctrine ot purgatory and 
praying for the dead to have been held by God s people 
150 years before Christ, what are we to think of the can- 
dour of those who assert it to be an invention of the dark- 
ages ? 


no redemption. Consequently it must be a place 
of temporal punishment from which redemption 
is had by the blood of the testament. 

Every man s work shall be made manifest : for 
the Lord shall be revealed by fire : and the fire 
shall try every man s work, of what sort it is. If 
any man s work abide, which he has built there 
upon, he shall receive a reward. If any man s work 
hum, he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall 
be saved, yet so as by fire, 1 Cor. iii. 13. 14. 15. 

This text hardly requires any comment. From 
it appears plainly, that although the works of 
man have been substantially good, and pleasing 
to Almighty God, yet on account of many defor 
mities, the effects of human frailty and corruption, 
man must be cleansed by a purging and punishing, 
yet saving fire, before he can be admitted into 
that sanctuary; into which nothing defiled can 
enter, Apocalypse xxi. 27. But I say unto you, 
that every idle word that men shall speak, they 
shall render an account for it, in the day of judg 
ment, Matt. xii. 36. Dear sir, you will hardly 
say that every idle word will consign man to the 
everlasting punishments of hell ! If so, who will 
be saved? There must then be some temporal 
punishments prepared after this life for trifling 
faults, which we call venial sins. 

According to the same Evangelist there are sins 
that shall not be forgiven neither in this world 


nor in the world to come, Matt. xii. 32. Does 
not this intimate that some sins may be atoned 
for in the world to come ? 

Make an agreement with thy adversary quickly, 
whilst thou art in the way with him : lest perhaps 
the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the 
judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast 
into prison. Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not 
go out from thence, until thou pay the last far 
thing, Matt. v. 25, 26. 

The last text I am going to quote, establishes 
the doctrine of a third place so very plainly, that 
it appears strange how it can be misunderstood. 

Christ also died once, for our sins, the just for 
the unjust, that he might offer us to God, being 
put to death indeed in the flesh, but brought to 
life by the spirit, in which also he came and 
preached to those spirits who were in prison : 
who in time past had been incredulous, when 
they waited for the patience of God, in the days 
of Noe, when the ark was building, &c. 1 Peter 
iii. 18, 19, 20. 

It will hardly be supposed that Christ preached 
to the damned spirits in hell, as it is acknowledged 
on all hands, I believe, that there is no redemption 
for them. How then can the above text be under 
stood, unless by admitting a place of temporal 
punishment, in which were confined those, who, 
in the time of Noah, were incredulous, and who 


had riot fully satisfied the justice of God before 
departing this life. 

The doctrine of the existence of a third place 
is founded on the belief, that very often, after the 
guilt and the eternal punishment are taken away 
by the mercy of God, upon the sinner s sincere 
repentance, there still remains, on account of the 
defects of that repentance, something due to the 
infinite justice of God, something to be expiated 
either in this world or in the next. Nothing in 
deed can be more clearly established in Scripture. 
Adam was cast out of the earthly paradise, 
himself and all his posterity punished with death 
and many miseries, after his sin of disobedience 
had been forgiven, and his right to heaven re 
stored to him. 

David was punished .with the death of his child, 
after his enormous crimes were forgiven, after his 
sincere repentance. 2 Kings c. xii. C O king, saith 
Daniel to Nabuchodonosor, redeem thy sins with 
alms. Dan. c. iv. 24. 

If temporal punishments have often been in 
dicted by the justice of God, after the guilt and 
the everlasting punishments were remitted, it fol 
lows of course, that if the person die before he 
iras suffered that temporal punishment, he dies 
chat much indebted to God s justice, and must 
undoubtedly discharge that debt before he can 
enter into heaven. 


The writings of the holy fathers of both the 
eastern and the western church, most clearly 
prove that from the earliest dawn of Christianity, 
the belief of a purgatory was general in the 
church. Tertullian, who lived in the second age, 
says, No man will doubt but that the soul doth 
recompense something in the places below, Lib. 
tie Anima c. 58. 

And again, in his book de Corona Militis, we 
make yearly oblations for the dead. 

St. Clement in the same age tells us, St. Peter 
taught them, among other works of mercy, to 
bury the dead, and diligently perform their funeral 
rites, and also to pray and give alms for them, 
. Epist. 1, de S. Petro. 

In the third age, St. Cyprian says, It is one 
thing to be cast into prison, and not to go out 
thence till he pay the last farthing ; another, pre 
sently to receive the reward of faith ; one thing 
to be afflicted with pains for sins to be expiated, 
and purged long with fire ; another, to have 
purged all sins by Bufferings, Epis. 52, ad Antone. 
In the same age Origen says, though a release- 
rnpnt out of prison be promised, St. Matt, v, yet 
it is signified, that none can get out from thence, 
but he who pays the last farthing. In Epist. ad 
Roman, and Horn. 35, in St. Luc. 

In the fourth age, St. Ambrose, But whereas St. 
Paul says, yet so as by fire, he shows indeed thai 


he shall be saved, but yet shall suffer the punish 
ment of fire, he may be saved, and not tormented 
for ever, as the infidels are with everlasting fire, 
Cap. 3, Epis. ad Cor. 

In the same age, this is that (says St. Jerome) 
which he saith, thou shalt not go out of prison, 
till thou shalt have paid for even thy little sins, 
C. v. Matt. 

In the same age, St. Cyril of Jerusalem says : 
We beseech God for all those who have died 
before us, believing the obsecration of that holy 
and dreadful sacrifice, which is put on the altar, 
to be the greatest help of the souls for which it is 
offered, Catech. Mystagog. 5. 

Again, in the same age, St. John Chrysostom. 
says, these things were not in vain ordained by 
the Apostles, that in the venerable and dreadful 
mysteries, the mass, there should be made a me 
mory of those who have departed this life; they 
knew much benefit would hence accrue to them, 
F-Iomil. 3, in Epist. ad Philip. Jt would fill vo 
lumes to quote all those passages from the holy 
fathers which prove the belief in a third place, 
and prayers for the dead, to be coeval with Chris 
tianity. Those whom I have quoted lived twelve, 
thirteen and fourteen centuries before the pre 
tended Reformation, and were of course better 
judges of genuine apostolical tradition than thr 
late Reformers could be. 


If these holy and learned doctors, some ol 
tvhom were the immediate successors of the Apos- 
tles, did not think themselves guilty of supersti 
tion in praying for the dead, but declared that in 
doing so, they followed and obeyed the ordi 
nances of the Apostles; neither are we guilty of 
superstition in believing and doing as they did. 

An objection against purgatory is found in the 
following words of Scripture : If the tree fall to 
the south, or to the north, in what place soever it 
shall fall, there it shall be, Eccles. xi. 3. 

Admitting that the Scripture here speaks of the 
soul after death, which indeed is highly probable, 
how does this make against purgatory? 

We believe, that there are only two eternal 
states after death, viz. the state of glory and the 
state of damnation. If the soul departs in the 
state of grace, it shall be for ever in that state, 
although it may have some venial sins to satisfy 
for, which may for a while retard the consumma 
tion of its happiness. If it dies in the state of 
mortal sin, and an enemy of God, it shall be ever 
in torments. Here are two everlasting states, 
which may be meant by the north and south of 
the above text. This is the interpretation, of 5t, 
Jerome, St. Gregory Pope, St. Bernard, St. Tho 
mas, &c. It is besides so satisfactory that it its 
surprising that Protestants, instead of -admitting it, 
vainly endeavour to discover in the text the mm- 


existence of purgatory. How any one can see in 
it the exclusion of our doctrine, I cannot conceive. 

I shall now undertake to prove, that the belief 
in a place of temporal punishment, after death, far 
from being unreasonable, is perfectly agreeable to 
the dictates of sound reason, and here I shall bor 
row the words of the Philosophical Catechism, 
Art. vii. sect. 4, N. 480. 

Here is what a Christian orator and philosopher 
might say : the soul of man ceasing to dwell upon 
earth, is summoned to appear before the tribunal 
of God; his works and virtues speak for him; 
the law, which he has religiously observed, stands 
up in his defence to get him crowned in the as 
sembly of the saints. A slight transgression, a 
foible hardly perceptible, a small failing, insepara 
ble from mortal nature, is perceived in a crowd 
of meritorious deeds. You, who acknowledge a 
just God, who adore a merciful God, and yet a 
God inimical to all iniquity, incapable by nature 
of admitting into his abode any thing sullied with 
guilt: say, what is to be the fate of this soul, 
righteous indeed, though stained with sin ; a friend 
to God, yet bearing in its bosom an enemy to 
God ? Shall its sins be placed along with its vir 
tues ? Its weakness and its fortitude be crowned 
alike? Its Christian works confounded with the 
works of natural frailty ? No, you will never 
"think it; n^r have even the adversaries of tkf 


tenet of purgatory ever ventured to say it openly. 
But, must this unfortunate soul be eternally re 
proved without mercy or resource ? Shall the 
purity of its faith, the liveliness of its hope, the 
good works without number or measure it has 
performed, plead for it in vain ? Far be it from u.s 
to think it. By thinking so, we should attack the 
infinite excellence and perfections of the sovereign 
Lord of this world. No ; never will God rank 
in the same category, inadvertence and malice, a 
distraction in prayer and the total neglect of it, an 
officious lie and a detestable perjury, the man with 
a few blemishes, and the miscreant sunk over head 
and ears in profligacy ; he will purify the one and 
reprobate the other ; he is at once the God of all 
justice, and the God of all sanctity. A holy 
soul, but sullied by a stain, shall not enter hi* 
mansion, because he is the God of sanctity, and 
yet shall enter, because he is the God of justice, 
He, therefore, will reform it, will complete the 
lustre of its virtues, establish the purity of its 
works, and then will place it in his glory. There 
is the solid foundation of the belief of a purga 
tory, and such is the conclusion we are to draw 
from the incontestable attributes of our Judge ?,nd 
our God. Hence it is that of all the tenets oi 
the Catholic Church, the most widely diffused, 
and the most generally admitted, is the tenet of 
purgatory. The knowledge of a God, both just 


and holy, has united the most inimical religions, 
and the most opposite to one another, in the be 
lief of a purgatory, that is, of a certain delay put 
to the eternal reward, during which the just man 
is still more sanctified ; an offended God does not 
damn, for venial sins, because his wrath does not 
extend to the offender s death, nor a remunerating 
God confer his rewards immediately, because his 
liberality is restrained by the faults of a just yet 
guilty man. This the sages of antiquity have 
taught in their books, Plato and Timaeo; this the 
profane, but sublime, poets have sung in their 
hymns, Virgil s ^nedi, L. vi. v. 730 ; this the na 
tions, misled by Mahomet, profess in their Alco 
ran ; in this the Hebrews, both ancient and modern, 
agree with the Christians ; and the Greeks, severed 
from the church by a long and obstinate schism, 
pray for the dead. 

Here then is the greatest part of mankind, all 
that believe in revelation, except those who follow 
our late Reformers, and numbers of those wh 
are guided by reason alone, agreed in the belit 
of a place of temporal punishment, and in th 
practice of praying for the dead. 

If then the Protestant continues to assert th. 
lie cannot find either purgatory or the practice ot 
praying for the dead in Scripture, the Catholic 
Church answer, that they find both the doctrine 
and the practice very clearly in Holy Scripture 


If the Protestant peremptorily decides, that the 
belief in purgatory is absurd, and the practice of 
praying for the dead ridiculous, we, in our sober 
senses, possessed of common sense as well as our 
good Protestant neighbours, enlightened by a libe 
ral education as well as many of them, endowed 
with genius and talents, capable of the most pro 
found disquisitions, in short, endowed, many of 
us, with all the perfections of the understanding 
which nature can give, or education improve, we 
answer, that we find the belief in a place of tem 
poral punishment, and the practice of praying for 
the dead, perfectly reasonable. 

Here then is reason opposed to reason, common 
sense to common sense, genius and talents to ge 
nius and talents; the reason, common sense, &.c. 
of very many in favour of purgatory opposed to 
the reason, common sense. &c. of comparatively 
few against purgatory. 

Who shall decide, and decide so as to put the 
question for ever to rest? None but the great 
tribunal which Jesus Christ established on eartb 
more than eighteen hundred years ago. When 
infusing into his ministers the spirit of truth, he 
promised that that spirit should never depart from 
them to the end of time. This tribunal, as I have 
proved above, has decided in our favour, and it is 
because that supreme and infallible tribunal has 
decided so, that we believe as we do. 


Just as I was going to close the present subject, 
a little pamphlet fell into my hands, the author of 
which calls himself an independent minister, in 
which I find the following objection against pur 

^This doctrine of purgatory casts a reproach on 
Christ as a Saviour of sinners, representing his 
obedience and suffering as insufficient to atone for 
their sins. 

This objection, dear sir, will appear very trifling 
to you when you know, that the Catholic Church 
teaches, that the merits of Jesus Christ are of 
themselves far more than sufficient to atone for all 
the sins of mankind. But Jesus Christ requires 
our co-operation; and it depends upon the degree 
of our co-operation, whether those infinite merits 
of Christ are applied to us in a more or less abun 
dant measure. 

It is in the order of grace as in the order of 
nature, In the sweat of thy face, shalt thou eat 
bread, Gen. iii. 19. 

God s omnipotence alone gives growth to our 
grain; yet without casting a reproach on that om 
nipotence we may safely assert, that, cczteris pari- 
/ms, in proportion as we plough and sow, in that 
proportion we shall reap. So, likewise, although 
Christ s merits and satisfaction for sinners are of 
infinite value, yet the benefit we shall reap of 
those infinite merits will be proportionate to our 


endeavours in subduing our corrupt nature, out 
sinful inclinations, and conforming to the will of 

4 He who soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly; 
and he who soweth in blessing shall also reap of 
blessings, 2 Cor. ix. 6. 

He, then, who soweth so sparingly in this world 
as to remain, in his dying moment, indebted to the 
Divine Justice, will, after his death, be compelled 
to pay to the last farthing what, by more strenu 
ous endeavours, he might have paid in this world. 

I believe, sir, I have fulfilled my promise of 
proving, that we are not guilty of superstition in 
believing a purgatory, and praying for the dead. 
I shall now try to prove, that we are no more 
guilty of superstition in honouring the saints, and 
applying to their intercession. 



FEW of the tenets of our holy religion are at 
tacked with more virulence, than the present one*, 
but pray, sir, how is it attacked ? By misrepre 
sentation ; it is exhibited in a most odious form, 
and then this phantom, the offspring of a heated 


imagination, or perhaps of a malicious heart, is 
attacked by the most violent abuse, the very 
worst of bad arguments ; it is attacked with the 
powerful arms of ridicule and low ribaldry. 

According to the bold assertions delivered from 
Protestant pulpits, and propagated from Protestant 
presses, we worship the saints, we make gods of 
them, we consider them as our mediators, we give 
them the honour belonging to God alone, &c. 

The General Council of Trent expressly teaches., 
that the saints who r,eign with Christ offer up: 
their prayers to God for men, and that it is good 
and useful to invoke them, and in order to obtain- 
from God, blessings through his son Jesus Christ 
our Lord, who alone is our Redeemer and Saviour, 
to have recourse to their prayers, help and assist 
ance, Cone. Trid. Sess. 25. Again, 

Although the church docs sometimes offer up 
masses in honour and in memory of the saints, 
yet it is riot to them, but to God alone, who has 
crowned them, that the sacrifice is offered up : 
therefore, the priest does not say, I offer up this 
sacrifice to thee, Peter, or thce, P<;\il, but to God 
himself, giving thanks to him for their victories, 
imploring their patronage, that thev may vouchsafe 
to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory -v-e 
celebrate on earth, Con. Trid. Sess. 25, c: 2". 

You will readily acknowledge, dear sir,, that 
*hnre is a wide difference between divine worship. 


and simple honour or reverence. Divine worship 
belongs to God alone, honour and reverence may 
be paid to ma.ny of God s creatures. Thus, even 
by God s commandment, we honour our parents, 
our superiors in church and state , we honour 
persons respectable for their rank, dignity, virtue, 
talents, 8ic. and all this without robbing God of 
that honour and reverence justly due to him. 

If then, it is no sin to honour poor mortals 
who are yet in this place of trial, of whose eternal 
fate we are very uncertain, why should it be sin 
to honour those whom the great God has been 
pleased to honour with a seat of eternal glory in 
his kingdom. All the power, riches and glory of 
this world are nothing in comparison to a single 
ray of glory emanating from the lowest saint in 

What honour does not a monarch receive over 
the whole earth ? And perhaps he is a very great 
sinner-, perhaps a victim of God s eternal ven- 
,-geance; how much more honour and reverence 
is even the least saint in heaven entitled to ? The 
Council of Trent ordering sacrifice to be offered 
to God alone, confines divine worship to God, but 
at the same time recommends the saints to be re 
membered and honoured, and their intercession, 
in our behalf, to be implored. 

The catechism of the Council of Trent (part 3) 
explains the prodigious difference there is between 


the manner of imploring the assistance of God, 
and that of imploring 1 the assistance of saints; 
we pray to God, it says, either to grant us good 
things, or to deliver us from evil : but because the 
saints are more agreeable to him than we are. we 
beg of them to plead in our behalf, and to obtain 
of God for us whatever we stand in need of." 1 
Hence it is, that we make use of two forms of 
prayer, widely different from one another ; for, in 
speaking to God, we say, have mercy on MS, hear 
MS, whereas, in addressing ourselves to a saint, we 
say no more than pray for us. 

It is a very ancient and common practice among 
Christians to ask one another s prayers, and to 
pray for one another. I beseech you, says St. 
Paul, that you also help me in your prayers to 
God for me, Rom. xv. 30. I make my prayer," 
says St. John, that thou mayest prosper as to all 
things, and be in health, &c. 3 John 2. 

The holy Apostles then, in applying to the in 
tercession of others, or praying for them, did not 
think they were guilty of derogating from any of 
the divine perfections, or of attributing to mere 
creatures, w-hat belongs to God alone. Neither 
are we guilty of derogating from the perfections 
of God, when we apply to one another s interces 
sion. Why then should we be guilty of derogat 
ing from the perfections c.f God, by applying to 
the intercession of his saints in heaven, admitting 


that the saints are able to hear our prayers, am 1 
willing to offer their intercession in our behalf? 
You will readily acknowledge, dear sir, that their 
intercession must be more efficacious than the in 
tercession of our fellow-mortals. Jf then praying 
to the saints is by the gentlemen of the Reforma 
tion, considered as superstitious, it must be, be 
cause the saints are considered too far from us to 
hear our prayers; or because they are thought 
unwilling to apply in our behalf. Such, indeed, 
is the objection I find in a book called the Morn 
ing Exercise against Popery, which is a collec 
tion of sermons preached by twenty-four Protes 
tant ministers, with the avowed purpose of de 
tecting and confuting errors of the Roman Catholic 
Church. This practice is irrational, (says Mr. 
Mayo, in his sermon against invocation of saints 
and angels, p. 525,) there is nothing more absurd. 
Consider (says he) their incapacity to hear the 
prayers that are directed to them. That this is 
the case of the glorified spirits is evident, because 
1. They are not omnipresent; they are circum 
scribed and finite crer.lires, and can be but in 
one place at once. 2. They are not omniperci- 
pient; if they should hear what men say with 
their mouths, they cannot perceive or understand 
what men say in their hearts. Here is logic 
indeed i 

The saints and angels are not every where, do 


not know every thing, therefore they do not hear 
our prayers, far less perceive our thoughts. Such 
and no better will be the way of reasoning of 
any person, who has no other guide than reason 
blinded by prejudice. 

Beginning where he should end, he will lay 
down as self-evident the very matters in dispute, 
without any better proof than his own bold and 
presumptuous assertion, it is certain, it is absurd, 
it is self-evident, &c. and thus starting from false 
principles, his conclusion can be no better. 

Mr. Mayo, and I suppose all the gentlemen of 
the Reformation, take it for granted, then, that 
saints and angels do not hear our prayers, far less 
perceive our thoughts. Now, sir, abstracting for 
awhile from the decision of the Catholic Church, 
which for Catholics is sufficient, and taking the 
present question on your own ground, what does 
Scripture say? There shall be joy before the 
angels of God upon one sinner doing penance, 
Luc. xv. 10. The angels then see our thoughts. 

Take heed that ye despise not one of these 
little ones, for I say to you their angels that are 
in heaven, always see the face of my Father. 
Matt, xviii. 10. The angels then know when we 
are injured, and pray to God in our behalf; and 
the saints are as the angels of God in heaven,^ 
Matt. xxii. 30. Equal to the angels, Luke xx. 36. 

When thou didst pray, said the angel Raphael 


to Tobias, I offered thy prayer to the Lord, Tob 
xii. 12. 

The angels are all ministering spirits, sent to 
minister for them who shall receive the inheri 
tance of salvation, Heb. i. 14. And that God 
gives the saints great power in the government of 
this world is plain from the following : 

He that shall overcome, and keep my works to 
the end, to him will I give power over the nations, 
and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, Apoc. 

11. 26, 27. 

That angels and saints actually pray for us, is 
likewise plainly stated in Scripture. The angel 
of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, 
how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, 
and the cities of Juda, with which thou hast been 
angry these three score and ten years ? Zacli. i. 

12. The four and twenty ancients fell down be 
fore the Lamb, having every one of them harps, 
and giolden vials full of odours, which are the 
prayers of the saints, Apoc. v. 8. And Judus 
Macchabeus saw in a vision Onias that had been 
high priest, holding up his hands and praying for 
the Jews, and pointing also to another, in these 
words : this is a lover of the brethren, who pi ay- 
eth much for the people and for the holy city 
namely, Jeremias, the prophet of God, 2 Macchab 
xv. 12, 13, 14. They had both been dead maiij 


That the practice of honouring and praying to 
the saints, is as ancient as Christianity, is evident 
from the testimony of the holy fathers in all ages. 
The belief of the first age on this point, will ap 
pear from St. Ignatius, who requesting, a little 
before his martyrdom, which happened in 107, 
the prayers of the Trallians for himself and his 
church, adds thus, that my soul may intercede 
for you, not only in this life, but hereafter in the 
presence of my God. 

St. Justin, the martyr, who lived in the second 
age, says, we venerate and worship the angelic 
host, and the spirits of the prophets, teaching 
others as we ourselves have been taught. 

I will begin to fall down on my knees, 5 says 
the learned Origen, who lived in the third age, 
l and pray to all the saints to succour me, who 
dare not ask God, for the exceeding greatness of 
my sin. O saints of God ! with tears and weep 
ing I beseech you to fall down before his mercy 
for me a wretch, in Lament. 

And again, al l the saints departed, still bearing 
charity towards the living, it will not be improper 
to say, that they have a care of their salvation, 
and help them with their prayers to God for them, 
&c. Homil. 3, in Cant. 

St. Ambrose, who lived in the fourth age, says: 
that my prayer may be more efficacious, I cal) 
upon the intercession of the B. V. Mary, I ask the 


prayers of the Apostles, the assistance of the mar 
tyrs and confessors, Prep, for Death. And, again, 
it is our duty to pray to the angels who have been 
given us to be our guardians. We should address 
our prayers to the martyrs, whose bodies still re 
maining among us, are pledges of their protection. 
Neither let us blush to ask their intercession under 
our infirmities, since they, even when they con 
quered, knew what infirmities are. 

In the same age lived St. Basil, who expressly 
refers this practice to the Apostles, where he savs, 
"I invoke the Apostles, Prophets, and Martyrs to 
pray for me, that God may be merciful to me, and 
forgive me my sins, since this has been ordained 
by tradition from the Apostles, and is practiced in 
all our churches. 

In the fifth age, St. Augustin says, we do not 
pray for the holy martyrs, but we recommend 
ourselves to their prayers, Tract. 84, in Joan. 

Inste-ad of quoting any more of the holy fathers, 
I cannot forbear giving you here the opinio-n of 
the learned Protestant Bishop Montague on this 

C I do not deny, says he, k but the saints are me 
diators, as they are called, of prayer and interces 
sion, but in general, and for all in general. They 
interpose with God by their supplications and 
mediate by their prayers, Antid. p. 20. The same 
Bishop Montague owns that the blessed in heaven 


do recommend to God in their prayers their kin 
dred, friends and acquaintances on earth ; and 
having given his reason, he says, this common 
voice with general concurrence, without contra 
diction of reverend and learned antiquity, for 
aught I ever could read or understand ; and 1 see 
uo cause or reason to dissent from them touching 
intercession, in this kind, Treat. Invoc. of Saint?. 
p. 103. He owns also that it is no injury to th; j 
mediation of Christ, to ask of the saints to pray 
for us. Indeed I grant Christ is not wronged ir, 
his mediation; it is no impiety to say, as they of 
the Roman Church do, holy Mary pray for me ; 
holy Peter pray for me, p. 118. And again, I 
see no absurdity in nature, no incongruity unto 
analogy of faith, no repugnancy at all to sacred 
Scripture, much less, impiety, for any man to say, 
holy angel guardian pray for me. 

It is true, the same Protestant Bwhop seems in 
another place to express a doubt whether thf 
saints can hear or know our prayers. 

Could I come at them, he says, or certainly 
inform them of my state, without any question 01 
much ado, t would readily and willingly say, holy 
Peter, blessed Paul, pray for me ; recommend m\ 
case unto Christ Jesus our Lord. Were they with 
me, by me in my kenning, I would run with ope:i 
inns and fall upon my knees, and with affection, 
desire them to pray for me. 


The only difficulty then, with this good Bi shop 
is, his uncertainty whether the saints can have 
any knowledge of the petitions made to them, 
but this difficulty seems to be completely re 
moved by the declaration of Scripture, that there 
is joy in heaven at the conversion of a sinner 
St. Augustine (Lib. de Cura pro Mort. c. 26,) 
moves the same difficulty, confessing it above the 
reach of his reason, to understand how the saints 
relieve those that call upon them. Yet he, with 
all .the holy fathers and doctors of the church, 
maintains that the saints do certainly assist us, 
and intercede for such as call upon them. 

Divine mysteries, as I have already observed, 
always offer difficulties to the human understand 
ing. The present difficulty, however, is not alto 
gether insuperable to human reason; on the con 
trary, dear sir, the Catholic belief on the present 
subject must, upon examination, meet the appro 
bation of reason. 

Would it not be unreasonable, even impious, to 
assert, that the saints and angels assisted with the 
light of grace and glory, do not know as much as 
the- infernal spirits, who are deprived of both. 
Now, sir, it is certain that evil spirits have know 
ledge of us, and in a great measure know not only 
our actions, but even our thoughts. 

The devil Cometh, says Christ, and taketli the 
word out of their heart, lest believing they should 


be saved. Luke viii. 12. When an unclean spirit 
is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry 
places, seeking rest, and fmdeth none. Then he 
saith, I will return into my house from whence T 
came out. And coming he findeth it empty, 
swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh 
with him seven other spirits more wicked than 
himself, and they enter .in and dwell there : and 
the last state of that man is made worse than the 
first, Matt. xii. 43, 44, 45. Moreover, since the 
evil spirit is said by St. John, to be the accuser 
of the servants of God, Apoc. xii. 10, and by St. 
Peter, c to be like a roaring lion going about, seek 
ing whom he may devour, 1 Pet. v. 8. 

Is it unreasonable to believe, that blessed spirits 
have at least as much power in protecting man, as 
infernal spirits in destroying man ? Is it unrea 
sonable to believe, that the blessed spirits who 
surround the throne of God, have at least as much 
zeal for the salvation of man, as infernal spirits 
for his damnation ? Finally, is it unreasonable to 
suppose, that the blessed in heaven are as able and 
willing to plead in our behalf, as evil spirits are to 
accuse us ? 

The secrets of hearts have been in many in 
stances known to mortals. Thus, Eliseus, in his 
house, knew the king s intention to take his head, 
4 Kings vi. 32. thus, the same Eliseus knew what 
passed between his servant Giezi and Narnan, 
when himself was absent, 4 Kings v. 26. 


St. Peter knew the sacrilegious fraud acted pri 
vately between Ananias and Saphka, Acts v. What 
was possible for feeble mortals, by the light of 
grace, should that be impossible for the blessed 
saints, who have both the light of grace and glory ? 
Of whom St. Paul says, they see and know God 
face to face, even as they themselves are known, 
I Cor. xiii. 12. Much more might be said on the 
subject; enough has been said to convince the 
candid reader that Catholics are not guilty of 
superstition in honouring those whom God him 
self chooses to honour, arid in expecting much 
from the intercession and protection of those 
blessed angels and saints, who surround the 
throne of God, and whose thoughts, desires, 
affections, charity, zeal, &.c. are in perfect unison 
with God s holy will and infinite charity. 

It can be no superstition then, to believe, that 
the saints desire our salvation, because God de 
sires it. It can be no superstition to believe, that 
the saints know our thoughts and desires, (which 
even the devils know,) the Scripture declaring 
that the repentance of the sinner on earth, causes 
joy among the blessed in heaven, Luc. xv. 10. 

It can be no superstition to expect much from 
the protection of those, who, by the spirit of God 
are declared to be appointed ministering spirits 
for our salvation, Heb. i. 14. And who are again de 
clared to have power, and to be rulers of nations, 


Apoc. ii. 26. It can be no superstition to apply to 
the intercession of those, who in Holy Writ are 
declared intercessors in our behalf, Zach. i. and ii. 
Mac. xv. It can be no superstition to believe, 
that the intercession of the saints in heaven will 
be of more avail towards deciding the fate of 
men and nations, than the intercession of ten 
mortals would have been in deciding the fate 
of a city, Gen. xviii. 32. Or the intercession of 
one man (Job) in deciding the fate of his three 

Permit me, dear sir, to ask one question. Are 
you very certain, that the Lord, whose decrees are 
inscrutable, has not perhaps made your salvation 
dependent on the intercession of some certain 
saint or saints ? Are you altogether certain, that 
your own prayers will prove sufficient to obtain 
now, and in your last hour, a full application of 
the merits of your dying Saviour ? The Lord, it 
is true, is merciful beyond expression, but he calls 
himself a jealous God ; are you certain, that the 
Lord is not offended, that his wrath is not kindled 
to the highest degree, at seeing those neglected 
and despised upon earth, whom he so much exalts 
and honours in heaven. 

Are you certain, that those will ever le asso 
ciated in the enjoyment of eternal glory, to the 
blessea saints in heaven, that had no communica 
tion with them on earth ? 



The Apostles creed, / believe in God, <-c, 
makes mention of the communion of saints, which 
is the ninth article of this creed. Pray, which 
church is it that really, and not in words alone, 
holds and believes this communion of saints in 
every sense of the word ? 

Forgive me, dear sir, if my zeal for the salva 
tion of my Protestant fellow-mortals causes me 
sometimes to overstep the bounds of my subject, 
and of my original plan, which was to exculpate 
Roman Catholics from the guilt of superstition. 
Before concluding, I must here observe with re 
spect to this false and odious charge, that it was 
first made to serve the interested views of those 
who judged it expedient to excite clamour and 
prejudice against the Catholic religion. They 
well knew the falsehood of what they asserted, 
but wanting sufficient virtue to prefer truth to 
temporal advantages, they hesitated not to employ 
the vilest slanders to attain their end. The same 
are still propagated by many, either from the 
same base motive, or because they suppose this 
the surest and readiest means of bringing them 
selves into notice, or of acquiring influence in 
their respective societies, by thus gratifying the 
prejudices of their hearers. The conduct of die 
latter is scarcely less culpable than that of the 
former. It is a very weak excuse for those who 
now calumniate our religion, to say that they> 


finding those charges already made by others, 
take them for granted, without inquiring whether 
they are true or false. Such a mode of proceed 
ing would he extremely unjust towards even an 
individual, and it is much more so, towards the 
far largest body of Christians in existence. Our 
adversaries are so much the less excusable in im 
puting to us doctrines which we detest, as they 
might easily ascertain what we really hold, espe 
cially since so many approved works, containing 
the principles of our belief and practice, are be 
fore the public, and may be easily had. Some of 
them have so far misrepresented our invocation 
of the saints, as to charge us with substituting the 
worship of demons for that of God. The falsehood 
of this charge of idolatry, is evident from the 
simple statement of our doctrine on this point : 
we believe that it is good and profitable to invoke 
the prayers of the saints, to whom God can, by 
innumerable ways, reveal those addressed to them ; 
and therefore, it is unimportant to know what 
may be the particular means employed by him for 
this end. By praying to them, we attribute no 
divine perfection to creatures, as the idolaters did, 
since we acknowledge even in the greatest saints, 
no degree of excellence, but what come? from 
God ; no virtue, but what is the gift of his grace ; 
no knowlege of human affairs, but what he is 
pleased to communicate to them; in fine, no 


power of assisting us, except by their prayers. 
Moreover, that the saints are not raised above the 
rank of creatures, by ascribing to them the know 
ledge imparted, however, by God, not only of the 
things passing in this life, but even of our 
thoughts, is evident from the examples cf the 
Prophets, who knew not only things present^ but 
what is yet more wonderful, future things, the 
knowledge of which God seems to have particu 
larly reserved to himself. Hence, several eminent 
Protestant writers, who have viewed, in its proper 
light, the doctrine of Catholics on this point, have 
totally given up the groundless charge of idolatry 
and superstition : for example, Bishop Montague, 
qiroted above ; and Thorndike, prebendary of 
Westminster, warns his brethren not to lead 
people by the nose, to believe they can prove 
Papists to be idolaters, when they cannot, Just 
Weights, p. 10. 

I shall now in a few words explain the doctrine 
of the holy Catholic Church respecting images, 
pictures and re.Mcs. 




MUCH indeed needs not be said on that sub 
ject to those who are candid, and provided with 
the least share of common sense ; to those, who 
with seeing eyes will not see, and with hearing 
ears will not ear, too much has been said already. 

The General Council of Trent declares, that 
the sacred bodies of the holy martyrs and of 
other saints, who were living members of Christ, 
and the temples of the Holy Ghost, which bodies 
will by him be raised to eternal life and glorified, 
ought to be venerated by the faithful on earth, 
Cone. Trid. Ses. 25. Also, that the images of 
Christ, of the Blessed Virgin, and of other saints, 
are to be retained, especially in churches, and that 
due honour and veneration is to be given to them, 
not that any divinity or any power is believed to 
reside in them. The Catechism of the Council 
of Trent adds, istud maxime cavendum, ne quod 
Deo proprium est cuiquam pr&terae triburmit^ T. 
2, p. 603; particular care must be taken, tha to 
none be given what belongs to God alone. 

Here is nothing but what every Christian must 
approve as conformable to the Word of God, and 
to reason. 

St. John the Baptist venerated the \*ery latch ets 
of our Saviour s shoes. Mark i. 7. 


The Israelites venerated the brazen serpent, a. 
type or figure of Christ, Numb. xxi. 9. 

By the command of God, two images of cheru 
bim were made and placed on the ark, Exod. xxv 
18. The primitive Christians venerated the very 
shadows and garments of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
and received particular blessings thereby, Acts v. 
15 and xix. 12. 

Roman Catholics venerate the images of Christ, 
of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, on account 
of their prototypes. None of them are so stupid 
as to believe that any divinity, any power or 
virtue resides in any of those images. 

How many, both Protestants and Catholics, 
keep the picture of Gen. Washington, and exhibit 
the same in the most conspicuous place of their 
houses, certainly with a view of showing honour 
to the memory of the deceased general. Nobody, 
in his senses, ever thought of condemning that 
practice as superstitious. 

How many Protestants hang upon the walls of 
their houses the pictures of their deceased parents 
and friends ? How many a Protestant child will 
honour the picture of a deceased parent with a 
costly frame: look at that picture- with sentiments 
of respect and veneration, perhaps bedew it with 
tears of sorrow and gratitude, nay, with the most 
sincere affection press it to its lips ? Sir, will you 
accuse that cb ld of superstition ? 


Let prejudice subside, and now substitute a 
Catholic in the room of the Protestant, and the 
picture of Christ crucified, in the place of the 
picture of the deceased parent; pray, dear sir, 
will you not permit that Catholic to exhibit liia 
crucifix in the most conspicuous part of his house? 
Will you not permit him to look at his crucifix 
with respect and veneration ? Will you not per 
mit him to bedew his crucifix with tears of sorrow 
and gratitude ? Nay, with the most sincere love 
and affection to press that crucifix to his lips ? 
And suppose that Catholic should allow an ho 
nourable place to the picture of the most Blessed 
Virgin mother of our Saviour, and likewise to the 
pictures of the holy Apostles, and of the other 
servants of Christ, would you condemn him ? 
Would you accuse him of superstition ? I cannot 
think so. 

I have spent many happy moments before the 
c-elebrated picture of Guido Reni, in the gallery 
of Dusseklorf in Germany, which represents the 
assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and 1 must con 
fess that I was struck with awe. J found myself 
in a deep contemplation, my soul, as it were, with 
drawn from its earthly habitation, and elevated 
towards the mansions of eternal bliss. The hea 
venly looks of the Virgin, as expressed in the 
picture, pointed out to me the proper object of 
my affections. With the deepest sentiments oi 


my unworthiness, I had the most exalted ideas of 
the dignity of man, and it was with regret I left 
the spot, when called away to my lodgings. 

Religious pictures in general, are well calculated 
both to enlighten and edify. To enlighten by 
exhibiting the most remarkable arid prominent 
facts belonging to the history of religion ; to edify 
by kindling up the fire of devotion. 

What place then could be found more pioper 
for religious pictures than the church, the house 
of God, the sanctuary, where the tremendous 
sacrifice is offered, and where the sacraments, the 
divine mysteries, are administered. That place, 
above all others, is the place of devotion, and it is 
there, that by hearing the word of God, by offer 
ing up our prayers, by meditating on divers reli 
gious subjects represented by our pictures, medi 
tating on the religious and moral virtues of the 
saints, whose images are before us, meditating 
especially on the great sufferings of Christ, as 
represented by our crucifixes, on his immense 
love for sinners, &.c. it is there, I say, and by such 
means, that our piety is both enlightened and 

Superstition!!! Amiable superstition indeed, 
which is productive of so much good. And does 
not zeal for the cause of religion suggest a sincere 
desire, that the crucifix and other religious pic 
tures would be substituted in th" place of many 


those pictures that often adorn the walls of 
ou people of fashion, to the detriment of both 
religion and morals ? Would not that zeal which 
attacks our religious pictures, and exhib ts them 
mos\ shamefully as the objects of our supersti- 
tiousWorship, be more meritoriously employed 
in condemning those indecent, immodest and truly 
scanda\pus pictures, which by defiling the imagi 
nation, \nd tarnishing the purity of the heart, are 
so calcined to extinguish devotion, or the love 
of God ^together, and therefore to produce an 
effect the Very reverse of that produced by reli 
gious pictures : and if the commandment of God, 
4hou shalt not make to thyself any graven image-, 
&c. ever was intended to be understood in the 
literal sense, A\as it not principally with regard to 
such images ot pictures, as have a tendency, by 
defiling the imagination, and corrupting the heart, 
to withdraw fron\ the great Creator that affection. 
Honour and worship which are due to him alone, 
and to place them on the most unworthy of God s 
creatures. This, in my opinion, is the most dan 
gerous kind of idolatry, the most universally 
practised, both by bad Catholics and bad Protes 
tants. It is thus the idolatry of the Pagans 
chiefly originated ; never would altars have been 
erected to Bacchus or to Venus, had not corrupted 
man bestowed his heart and affections on the infa 
mous objects of His passions. 


Ah sir! permit me to say it, this is not one of 
the least of Satan s infernal stratagems, in order tr 
drag millions of souls into the gulf of perdition 
to raise the hue and cry against Popish pictures. 
Popish idolatry, to sound the trumpet of alarm 
from the rising to the setting of the sun, ind to 
attack the pious practice of keeping crucifixes and 
religious pictures, with sharp and poisonous shafts 
of low ribaldry and sarcasm. I say ths is not 
one of the least of Satan s infernal stratagems, in 
order to divert the attention of corrupted man 
from the far more dangerous idolatry jh which his 
own heart is engaged, having bestowed all his 
attention, his affection, his devotioi on the un 
worthy objects of his criminal passions, and 
feeling for his God nothing but Ine most perfect 

That gentlemen who call themselves ministers 
of Christ, who pretend to no inconsiderable share 
of learning, and who are, or might be well ac 
quainted with the doctrine and practice of the 
Catholic Church, in regard to crucifixes and pic 
tures, should join in this work of destruction, 
should wilfully misrepresent this pious and edify 
ing doctrine and practice, and that they should, 
with unabaied zeal, attack this pretended Popish 
idolatry, a mere phantom, instead of directing 
their united efforts against that real idolatry, 
which is driving mi 1 lions of souls into the g^ilf 


of perdition, is truly astonishing, and affords an 
additional proof of what I have already advanced, 
that sinful man, if he should become so presump 
tuous as to attempt reforming the most holy, the 
most perfect of all the works of God, the church, 
will, in just punishment for his sacrilegious pro 
sumption, be deprived of the heavenly light of 
God s grace ; with seeing eyes he will not see, he 
will call right wrong, and wrong right, and blas 
pheming what he does not know, he will perish 
in his own corruption, 2 Pet. ii. 12. 

With regard to relics or remains of saints, we 
honour them in the same way as we do religious 
images, according to the practice of antiquity. If 
this practice scandalizes you, sir, why do you per 
mit your Protestant hearers to show honour and 
respect to the remains or relics of their deceased 
friends ? Are not the remains or relics of your 
deceased Protestants honoured with decent burials, 
accompanied with many ceremonies ? Are not 
their tombs decorated with costly monuments ; 
Are not the remains or relics of many Protestants 
embalmed at very great expense, and sometimes 
even with great labour and cost, conveyed many 
thousand miles to the country of their nativity, to 
be deposited with great pomp and ceremony hi 
the burying ground of the family ? Is not this 
paying respect and honour to remains and relics ; 
such respect and honour are frequently shown by 


both Catholics and Protestants, without incurring 
the guilt of superstition, though shewn to the 
remains or relics of men often notorious for their 
impiety!!! To the remains or relics of men, 
who, though entitled by their services, to the gra 
titude of their country, yet in all their life-time, 
never seemed to remember their Saviour, only to 
blaspheme his holy name, and who have left UP, 
to say the very best, in the most cruel uncertainty, 
with regard to their future and everlasting destiny, 
having nothing to found our hopes on, but the 
late, commonly too late, repentance of the ago 
nizing sinner!!! 

Now, sir, if such honour and respect may be 
shown to the relics of men, whose souls have re 
ceived that sentence which their deeds deserved, 
and are actually a prey to God s eternal ven 
geance, why shall it be a sin, why superstition, to 
shew honour and respect to the relics of men, 
who, having been the best among the good, the 
holiest among the holy, are now enjoying in the 
bosom of God, the fruits of their penance and 
charity, sanctified by the merits of their Saviour ? 
Why shall it be superstition to venerate and 
honour the relics or remains of the Apostles, 
whose sacred bodies underwent such great fa 
tigues, labours and sufferings, in order to adminis 
ter salvation to the different nations of the globe ? 
Why superstition to respect and venerate the 


sacred remains of so many thousands of martyrs., 
whose souls and bodies were altogether employed 
in promoting the glory of God, and the salvation 
of their fellow-mortals, who died under the most 
excruciating torments, victims of their faith and 
charity ? 

How much Almighty God is pleased with the 
honour rendered to the relics of his deceased ser 
vants and saints, he has repeatedly proved by 
making these very relics instruments of miracles. 

The very touch of Eliseu s bones raised a dead 
man to life, 4 Kings xiii. 21. 

The napkins and handkerchiefs, that had but 
touched the body of St. Paul, cast out devils and 
cured diseases, Acts xix. 12. 

Nay, the very shadow of St. Peter, cured dis 
eases in such as honoured it, Acts v. 15. 

St. Augustin, a holy father, respected by both 
Protestants and Catholics, certifies, that at the 
relics of St. Stephen, there were so many miracles 
wrought, that if all should be recorded, they 
would fill many volumes, Book 22, of the City 
of God. 

When we consider, that the body of a Christian 
is, in a great measure, made partaker of those 
blessings, which by the holy sacraments of the 
church, are conveyed to his soul, and that at the 
general resurrection, it will likewise partake of 
thai divine glory, with w r hich the mercy of God 


will reward his faithful servants, we must readil) 
confess, that a great deal of honour, respect and 
veneration, is due to the remains or relics of a 

The water of regeneration administered in bap 
tism, sanctifies the body as well as the soul, and 
renders it susceptible through the merits of Christ 
of eternal glory. 

In the holy sacrament of confirmation, it it 
sanctified again by the presence of the Holy 
Ghost, and the anointing with the holy chrism. 

By means of that body we eat the flesh of 
Christ, who thus communicates himself to the 

Thus, a body, nothing but clay, and by the sin 
of Adam, nothing but corruption, becomes through, 
the merits of the Redeemer, a sanctified body, the 
temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. vi. 19. The 
mansion of Christ, destined to become at the 
general resurrection a spiritual body, a gk>rified 
body, resplendent with light and glory for ever, 1 
Cor. xv. 43, 44. 

Is it superstition, dear sir, to show great respect 
and veneration to those remains or relics, which 
God himself is pleased to honour so highly ? But 
you have been told, or you have read somewhere, 
that Catholics worship relics ! Of this I do not 
doubt, for I have been told so repeatedly, and 
have read it in several Protestant books ; yet, 


although I lived fifteen years in a Catholic coun 
try, and have been acquainted with numbers of 
Catholics, both of the clergy and laity from 
almost every Catholic country in Europe, I never 
knew one so stupid as to worship relics. The 
most ignorant can easily distinguish the supremo 
worship due to God alone, from the respect to be 
shown to the relics of the saints, his servants. If 
this relative respect may, as we have shown, be 
lawfully paid to the memorials of all distinguished 
persons, why may it not be equally so to those 
of the saints ? Veneration has been maintained 
for them in all ages of the church, for we know 
that the primitive Christians carried away the 
relics of St. Ignatius, St. Poly carp, and other 
martyrs, immediately after their execution, and 
carefully preserved them as more valuable than 
gold and precious stones. It appears from St 
Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the fourth age, 
that the relics of the saints were deposited in the 
churches. Hence, according to the custom of 
venerable antiquity, those precious relics are kept 
in costly shrines under and about the altars, and 
highly venerated, as having been even in their 
corruptible state, the temple of the Holy Ghost, 1 
Cor. vi. 19, and as being intended for eternal 
glory, when re-united to the soul. 

I shall now dismiss the subject, trusting that 1 
have said more than enough to convince you and 

lit) A I>F i I \ I or e \ i inn i. ri:i \i I I-I.I.H 

\oiir eandid lu\ m i-., tli.ii \\ e ;uc |.\ M 
MII ,I\ ol npei .lilu .11, 111 le .peelni" aiul In KM niriii<> 
ill im.i- e , .nul lehes o| siimtv The pimeipal 
utirl - i| nnpoilaiire lell lor me In explain, IN 
\\ hat \\r !x lle\e ! llir I IIH-. 


\ i I dirvc thai Jesus Clirisl, \\ln> \\onlil ha\i- 
liincli |.i In- ,,n, , ;,IK! -.,,h.ll\ l.inll iij.i.ii 
tiiiii\, li.iili in .lilulr.l ih.- pniiiacN ! St. lYtrr, I,. 
sii|)j).)H ami to n-iucnl il. 

! s i lYlri- alone, our hli-ssrd Sa\i.>m -auL 
Mhoii art I rh i- (| rook -nul upon llii- I \\ill 
l)iiil.l inv clunvli, 1 fee, M-iH. \\i 

I o \\-\:-v alone, our l>h .111 .ml, k | \\ ill 

! i\c lo llier (In- krx., ,,! (In- KIIPM loin ol licaven, 1 

\rr. l ( .). 

To lYlrr alone, onr |.|r,-.rl Sa\iom -,anl, I 
li:i\e pra\ ed lorlliee lliat lh\ lailli I. nl not , and 

iliou iicinu- onc0 converted) confirm il>\ inciincn/ 

Lue. \\n 

To I eler alone, our hlessed Savioin proposed 

tlie I ollnv, ni!^ ijiii slum, Simon, .son >! 

thoU me John \\i. l->, Hi. |7, 

mid Upon Teler^ an^uei in the aHinnalne, lie 

A , ?-.*. ] 1) 

vriee, feed my Jamb*, 1 am: 

Altr. r 

.all bind on earth. 

ball fc tnd whatsoever 

you shall . ! also 

in heaven. 5 Mart. \ >* ffaer 

. rr.ftivM thft pOW^r .V d4 

indiridnally, *I wfll give to ihee the ky of the 
kingdo ; v^n. and whatKoerer thoa hah 

bind npon earth, kc. Matt. xvi. 1 0. 

ally mentioned be- 

i:>r, ; . . . ----: . , 

>*t, Art* ii, 14; 

rirrt mhaenlowi core, Aete iii, 46; in the 
defenr he high priests, A^t* h-^ hi the 

jod^pnen t agaiiMt A nania* and Sa^ira, Aete v. ; 

to the ehoreh of 



day. Their names are all upon record, and any 
person versed in the history of the church, and 
the writings of the holy fathers, will candidly 
confess, that a primacy of jurisdiction has always 
been acknowledged in the bishops of Rome. 

Si. Irenams, in the second age, says, that all 
churches, round about, ought to resort to the Ro 
man Church, by reason of its more powerful 
principality, L. iii. c. 3. 

In the third age, St. Cyprian says, we hold 
Peter the head and root- of the church, and he 
calls the church of Rome, St. Peter s chair, 
Epist. 55. 

In the fourth age, St. Basil calls St. Peter, that 
blessed one, who was preferred before the rest of 
the Apostles, Serm. de Judicio Dei. 

In the same age, St. Epiphanius says, he chose 
Peter to be the chief of his disciples, Heres. 51. 

In the same age, again, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 
says, Peter the prince, and most excellent of all 
the Apostles, Catechis. 2. 

In the same age, St. Chrysostom says, the pas 
tor and head of the church was once a poor 
fisherman, Homil. 55 in Matt. 

In the same age, Eusebins Emissenus calls St. 
Peter not only pastor, but the pastor of pastors, 
Serm. de Nativ. S. Jo. 

Again, St. Ambrose says, Andrew first followed 
our Saviour, yet Andrew received not the primacy, 
hut Peter, in 2 Cor. xii. 


In the fifth age, St. Angustin calls 4 Peter the 
head of the Apostles, the gate-keeper of heaven, 
and the foundation of the church, (to -wit, under 
Christ,) Epist. 88. 

The first General Council of Nice, A. D. 325, 
defined, that he who holds the See of Rome, is the 
head and chief of all the patriarchs - as being 
the vicar of Christ our Lord over all people, and 
the universal church of Christ, and whosoever 
shall contradict this, is excommunicated. 

The same is declared by the General Council of 
Chalcedon, Sess. 15, Can. 58, A. D. 451. And in 
all subsequent general councils down to the last, 
the General Council of Trent, A. D. 1545, the 
bishop of Rome, with the unanimous consent of 
all the bishops always presided. 

Several learned Protestant divines own this pri 
macy of the church of Rome, and acknowledge 
its usefulness. 

Hugo Grotius, a celebrated Protestant divine, 
who was very industrious in examining into the 
root of all Protestant divisions, and very zealous 
in composing them, positively declares in his last 
work, written shortly before his death, "that there 
can be no hopes of uniting Protestants among 
themselves, except they are united together with 
those who are in communion with the See of 
Koine, Close of last reply to Rivet. 

Melancthon likewise confesses that c the primacy 
is even necessary for preserving unity. 


What is the reason (says the above quoted 
Grotius reply to Rivet, ad Art. 7,) that those 
among Catholics, who differ in opinion, still re 
main in the same body, without breaking commu 
nion, and those among the Protestants who disa 
gree, cannot do so, however they speak much 
of brotherly love ? Whoever will consider this 
aright, will find how great is the effect of primacy. 

c As certain bishops (says Melancthon) preside 
over many churches, so the bishop of Rome is 
president over all bishops. And this canonical 
policy, no wise man, I think, does or ought to 
disallow, for the monarchy of the bishop of Rome 
is, in my judgment, profitable to this end, that 
consent of doctrine may be retained. Wherefore 
an agreement may easily be established in this 
article of the Pope s supremacy, if other articles 
could be agreed upon, Cent. Epist. Theol. 74. 

Mr. Thorndike, another celebrated Protestant 
divine, confesses that c a pre-eminency of power 
and not of rank only, has been acknowledged 
originally in the church of Rome, Epic. L. 3, cap. 
20, p. 179. 

I have in my possession a letter, written by 
Martin Luther to Pope Leo the tenth, dated A. i>. 
1-518, and printed among the other works oi 
.^uther, in Jena, A. p. 1579, vol. i. p. 74. This 
locument is of so much the more importance as 
it proves beyond the possibility of a doubt, that 


Martin Luther, the father of the pretended Refor 
mation, at the date of the letter, acknowledged 
the bishop of Rome as the head of the church, 
and his lawful superior, and that if he afterwards 
.ejected the same authority, it was evidently the 
effect of passion, spite and malice, produced by 
the sentence of excommunication, w^hich the Pope 
pronounced against him; in this we are confirmed 
by the indecent, scurrilous and malicious lan 
guage made use of by Luther after his excommu 
nication, whenever he speaks of the Pope. 

I shall only quote two passages of Luther s 
letters to the Pope, the beginning and the conclu 

Epistola Luther i ad Lconem X. Rom. Pont. 
Beatissimo patri Leoni Decimo Pont. Max. F. 
Martinus Lutherus Jlugastinianus cBternam salu- 

^Jluditum audivi de me passinum Beatissime 
Pater , quo intelligi, quosdam amicos fecisse no- 
men meum gravissime cor am te et tuts foztere^ ut 
quia auctoritaiem et potestatem clavium, et summi 

pontificis minuere molitus sim sed rem ip- 

sam, Beatissime Pater, digneres audire ex mej $c. 
In English : 

Epistle of Luther to Leo X. Roman Pontiff 

To the most holy father Leo the tenth, sove 
reign Pontiff, brother Martin Luther of -the ordei 
of St. Augustine, wishes eternal welfare. 


1 I am informed, most holy father, that you have 
heard of me the very worst, and understand that 
certain friends have brought my name into very 
bad repute before you, &c., saying that I am trying 
to lessen the authority and power of the keys and 

of the sovereign Pontiff but deign, most holy 

father, to hear the whole business from me, &c. 

Luther concludes the letter with the following 
words : 

* Quare, Beatissime Pater, prostratum mepedi- 
bus tucB beatitudinis offero cum omnibus, qua 
sum et habeo. Vivifica, occide, voca, revoca, appro- 
ba, reproba, ut placuerit ; vocem tuam, vocem 
Christiin te prcesidentis et loquentis agnoscamj 
&c. In English : 

* Therefore, most holy father, prostrate at the 
feet of your holiness, I offer myself and all I have. 
Vivify, kill, call, recall, approve or reprove as 
you please, in your voice I acknowledge the 
voice of Christ, who presides and speaks to you, 

* Such was the language of Luther till his doctrine 
was condemned, when he shook off all authority, 
and set up the tribunal of his own private judgment. 
No sooner had he done so than his disciples, pro 
ceeding on the same principle, undertook to prove 
that his own doctrine was erroneous. Carlstadt, 
Zuinglius, Oecolampadius, Mimcer, and several others 


I shall not be detained in defending the tem 
poral power exercised by some Popes. That the 
Pope has any such power, was never an arti 
cle of faith. It is true that this power has been 
assumed and exercised. Yet candour requires 
that we should view history as it is in itself, and 
not as it appears through the prism of misrepre 
sentation. When ignorance and barbarity, which 
were the natural consequences of the dissolution 
of the Roman empire, and of the invasion of the 

of his followers, wrote and preached against him and 
against each other with the utmost virulence. In 
vain did he claim a superiority over them; in vain 
did he denounce hell-fire against them ; he had the 
mortification to see his assumed authority, as well 
as threats, totally disregarded by them. His follow 
ers continued to act in open defiance of him, till their 
mutual abuse became so scandalous as to fill the 
more moderate among them with grief and shame. 
Experience convinced them that for preserving unity 
of faith, and regularity of discipline, a fixed supreme 
authority is required. Capito, minister of Strasburg, 
writing to Farel, pastor of Geneva, thus complains to 
him, God has given me to understand the mischief 
we have done, by our precipitancy in breaking with 
the Pope, &c. Dudith, another Reformer, writing to 
Beza, says, in what single point are those churches 
which have declared war against the Pope, agreed 
amongst themselves ? 


barbarians, had spread all over Europe, national 
and civil wars were the order of the day. Na 
tions were arrayed against nations, kings and 
emperors against each other; myriads of petty 
chieftains, each one with his retinue, were laying 
waste the whole face of Europe. No safety was 
to be found; but destruction, violence, murder 
and bloodshed were to be met with every where. 
Among the laity there were none who knew how, 
or were willing or able to administer justice. In 
that general desolation, it was but natural that 
both the people and their chiefs should turn their 
attention towards the See of Peter, on which sat 
men to whom their eminent virtue and science 
gave a moral influence which placed them above 
all their contemporaries. All were anxious to 
take refuge under their protection. It was not 
the Popes who sought for power, but it was 
power which forced itself, as it were, upon the 
Popes. The people were like children calling on 
their common father to preserve them from de 
struction. Had the Pope turned a deaf ear to 
their call, he would have been accused of egotism 
and indifference; he protected them, and he is 
accused of ambition, of thirst of power, &c. as 
wfill might a young man who has become of age, 
accuse his guardian of ambition, because during 
his infancy, he watched over his interests. 

It is a remarkable fact, that whenever the Pope 


has exercised that temporal power which is the 
object of so much and so bifeter censure, lie has 
exercised it for the interest of the people against 
their oppressors, by deciding that they were no 
longer, in conscience, bound to obey those princes 
who instead of acting the part of fathers towards 
their subjects, had become their insufferable ty 
rants. It is also remarkable, that *n those memo 
rable occasions, when the Pope is said to have 
deprived princes of their dominions, it was never 
for his own benefit, and they never acquired an 
inch of ground for themselves. 

In short, the exercise of that power was ground 
ed on the general jurisprudence of those times,, 
and princes thems-elves contributed and gare sanc 
tion to it, by frequently applying to the holy See 
for the settlement of their temporal concerns. 
Thus, the accusation of ambition, pride, &c. against 
the Popes, disappears, when the facts are accu 
rately investigated, and truly stated. 

What is called the patrimony of St. Peter, is an 
estate which the Pope owes to the munificence ot 
his powerful friends, and which he has possessed 
for upwards of a thousand years; and when he 
has taken up arms, it has been either to protect it 
against aggressors, or to rescue it from the hands 
of those who had invaded it unjustly. 

I shall never try to defend the conduct of all 
our Popes. Peter denied his master ; is it a won 


der then if among so many of his successors, some 
should be found guilty of prevarications ? Some, 
no doubt, were far from being edifying in their 
conduct. Christ foresaw it ; what he says of the 
Pharisees and Jewish doctors may be said of 
them. The Pharisees and Scribes have sitten 
upon the chair of Moses. All therefore whatso 
ever they shall say unto you, observe and do ; but 
according to their works do ye not, Matt, xviii. 
2, 3. 

Although in their capacity as men, some Popes 
have exhibited proofs of their weakness and cor 
ruption, yet as heads of the church, they have all 
during these eighteen hundred years taught one 
and the same Catholic doctrine. 

If the abuse of power were conclusive against 
the title of him who exercises it, there would be 
no longer any authority upon earth. On the con 
trary, I may safely advance, that the real or sup 
posed abuse of power by some Popes, not only 
proves nothing against the solidity of their title, 
but is an argument in favour of its existence. 

If we take a retrospective view of the history 
<of the world, we shall find that abuses of power 
have almost always been attended with the de 
struction of the power in which they originated. 
Thus the abuse of regal power turned Rome into 
a republic; the abuse of republican power, turned 
republican Rome into imperial Rome. Thus the 


abuse of imperial power turned Switzerland ami 
other countries of Europe into republics, by abo 
lishing the authority abused. Thus the abuse ot 
English power turned the United States into a 
republic, by abolishing in these States the power 
of England. 

What is the reason then that the abuses of 
papal power, supposing them to be as great and 
numerous as you represent them to be, have not 
been attended with the same consequences, the 
destruction of the papal power itself? Why does 
that power, after a lapse of eighteen hundred 
years, still continue to be acknowledged by three- 
fourths of Christendom. 

Christ gives the answer to this interesting 
query; Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will 
build my church, and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it, Matt. 16 18. 

Attacked with the most relentless fury for ages. 
by the combined efforts of hell and earth, b\ 
fierce enemies in and out of the Catholic Church 
apparently on the brink of destruction, its down 
fall has often been prophesied. 

Many of the sovereign Pontiffs fell victims to 
those persecutions. The. majestic rock of St. 
Peter remained, Peter wa^ put to death. r \a?. the 
VII. was banished and kept in close confinement. 
During the period of about eighteen hundred 
years, from Peter to Pius the VIT. the chair of St 


Peter has still been occupied, and we have upon 
the records of the Catholic Church, the names of 
more than two hundred and fifty sovereign Pontiffe, 
who followed one another in regular succession, 
on the chair of St. Peter; a great number of whom 
died martyrs for their faith, very few of whom 
can be said to have been scandalous. 

Mr. Hume, who certainly will not be suspected 
of partiality for the Catholic religion, owns that 
although Hhe Popes sometimes misused the au 
thority they had, they most commonly made a 
laudable and humane use of it, by promoting peace 
among Christian princes, by uniting them against 
the hordes of barbarians who were extending 
every day their bloody conquests, by repressing 
simony, violence and every kind of excess, which 
overbearing, cruel masters committed against their 
weak, oppressed subjects ; it served to make, of 
the whole Christian world, one great family, whose 
differences were adjusted by ne common father, 
the Pontiff of the God of concord and justice,. A 
grand and affecting idea that, of the most extensive 
and the noblest administration that could be 
thought of. 

From what I have stated, you will plainly see, 
dear sir, that all that can be alleged of the criminal 
conduct or abuse of power of some Popes, makes 
nothing against the Catholic Church. It only 
proves that Popes are subject to human frailties 


in common with the rest of mankind; that with 
the Ron/an orator, they have a right to say, homo 
swm, humani niliil a me alicnum puto ? and that no 
power or authority, how great soever; no charac 
ter, how sacred soever ; affords sufficient security 
against the corruption of human nature, and the 
influence of the passions. 

Far from affording an argument against the 
Catholic Church, J rather think that the corruption 
of Popes, and of the clergy, admitting it to exist 
even beyond the limits our adversaries would fain 
wish to suppose, affords a powerful argument in 
favour of the Catholic Church. 

Any person possessing the least knowledge of 
the nature of man, and versed in the history of 
religion, will own that religious opinions have but 
too often originated in the passions and the cor 
rupted heart of man, their dictates being too often 
mistaken for those of cool and impartial reason : 
neither will it be denied that the great variety of 
religious systems (which may be counted by hun 
dreds) contradicting and condemning one another, 
owe their origin to the variety of human passions 
and interests. Before the coming of Christ, the 
objects of religious worship were more spiritual, 
or more carnal, according to the impulse given to 
the hearts of men, by their respective passions, 
either towards spiritual or carnal objects. The 
world embracing Christianity, has introduced into 


the church its corruption and its passions. Al 
though men ruled by the same passions, are. by 
the overwhelming force of evidence, prevented 
from mistaking the main object of their worship, 
which is Jesus Christ, yet being under the in 
fluence of these various passions and interests. 
thfv pretend to find out various ways of going to 
Jesus, ways more easy, more smooth, in short 
more congenial to each one s passions and incli 
nations ; ways more spiritual or more carnal , 
ways all differing from the old narrow road which 
alone was pointed out by Jesus Christ as leading 
to him. Now, sir, starting from this undeniable 
position, and admitting Popes, clergy, and if you 
choose, lay-people of the Catholic Church by 
millions, to have been very much corrupted, the 
Popes and cfergy to have been ruled by pride, 
ambition, covetousness, and all the passions that 
corrupted hearts are subject to ; to have set up 
and enforced the most extravagant claims, to have 
with Satan equalled themselves to the Most High ; 
if notwithstanding this sink of corruption, if not 
withstanding the wonderful irritation and opposi 
tion which such tyrannical claims and acts must 
have produced, if notwithstanding this dreadful 
conflict of passions and clashing of interest, the 
Catholic Church has still continued to this dav 
during a period of eighteen centuries, to preserve 
its perfect unity, has still continued to acknow- 


. edge the same power, and the same head, though 
guilty of such enormous abuses, must we not 
confess, that here is the hand of the Most High ? 

Travel over all the Catholic countries of Europe, 
why has the demon of discord, who has so many 
times overturned their governments by the most 
dreadful revolutions ; why have the furious tem 
pests rais ed by human passions, that have divided, 
destroyed, leveled with the ground so many hu 
man institutions, that seemed to bid defiance to 
time ; why have they not been able to divide, to 
destroy Catholic unity, to hurl the Pope from the 
See of St. Peter; to emancipate Catholics from 
the tyrannical yoke (as it is called) of the Roman 
Pontiffs ? 

The answer is plain. 

The Catholic Church, the See of St. Peter, 
Catholic unity, are all the work of God, which 
man cannot destroy. 

Popes, Bishops and Priests, as individuals, are 
subject to all the passions, and form of themselves 
nothing but a dead body, which, like any other 
h :man body, would soon become a prey to cor 
ruption and dissolution, were it not, according to 
tLe promise of Jesus Christ, animated, vivified and 
preserved forever in perfect unity by the holy 
spirit of truth. The Holy Ghost being the sou] 
of that body, keeps it alive, keeps it, head and 
members, in unity and harmony. Being itself the 


foundation of truth and holiness, it dispels the 
mists of falsehood and corruption, which the 
malice of Satan and the passions of individuals, 
whether clergy or lay-people, often cause to arise 
in order to obscure the bright and pure rays of 
Divine revelation. Thus the abuses in the church, 
whether in the members or the head, are reformed 
by the church, and the words of Christ accom 
plished, the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
iC &c. 

I shall take but little time to refute the false and 
ridiculous charge of those who accuse our Popes 
of granting indulgences to commit sin, requiring 
a certain sum of money, greater or smaller, ac 
cording to the kind of sin for which the indul 
gence is granted. 

That such a charge is frequently published in 
Protestant books, and from Protestant pulpits, 
you will not deny. Now, all Catholic books, 
sanctioned by the church, no matter where or 
when published, tell you plainly, that an indul 
gence is nothing but a remission or relaxation of 
certain temporal punishments, remaining due to 
sin, after the guilt and eternal punishment are re 
mitted, as in the case of David, to whom Nathan 
said, the Lord hath taken away thy sin ; never 
theless the child that is born to thee shall 

surely die, 2 Kings xii. 13, 14. 

Such indulgences are granted upon the sinner s 


sincere repentance, and satisfaction for his past 
sins; the Apostles and their successors having 
received from Christ full authority to forgive the 
sins of those who are judged worthy of forgive 
ness. There is no doubt, but owing to the per- 
verseness of many individuals among the clergy, 
the most shocking abuses have taken place some 
times in the dispensation of indulgences ; how 
ever, as these abuses were not sanctioned, but 
reprobated by the church, as you can see if you 
read chap. ix. of the 21st Sess. and Decretum d,- 
tndulgentiis of the 25th Sess. of the Council of 
Trent, they of course make nothing against the 
holiness, purity and infallibility of the church of 
Christ, and only prove, that all human flesh is 
subject to infirmities. 

I believe, dear sir, that I have fulfilled my pro 
mise, and proved to every body s satisfaction, thai 
Roman Catholics are not guilty of superstition in 
submitting to the spiritual jurisdiction of St. Peter 
and of his successors, the sovereign Pon tills or 
Bishops of Rome. 

Permit me to add a few words more on another 
important subject, on which our doctrine is grossly 
misrepresented, 1 mean the doctrine of the Catho 
lic Church on toleration. 




WE aie represented as the most intolerant set 
of men upon earth. The most cruel, the most 
uncharitable intolerance is laid to our charge ;* 

* A favourite topic with most Protestant writers, is, to 
charge the Catholic Church with a spirit of persecution. 
They constantly describe her as intolerant, and as claiming 
the right of punishing those who differ from her, with fire 
and sword. This is a malicious accusation, intended to 
excite hatred against her. The Catholic Church neither 
does, nor ever did claim any such right. Persecuting 
laws, it is true, have been made and acted upon by several 
Catholic princes, who, for the most part, judged such ne 
cessary to preserve the ancient order of things, and pre 
vent the anarchy which attended reforming principles Is 
it fair then, to ascribe what has been done, chiefly from 
motives of state policy, to the persecuting spirit of the 
church ? But has not persecution been practised by 
Protestants in every country in which they have acquired 
power; and this not only against Catholics, but even fel 
low Protestants ? Witness the conduct of the first settlers 
in New England. It may here be asked, can our accusers 
show in the statutes of any Catholic country, any to be 
compared with the demoralizing and inhuman penal laws 
of England and Ireland ? What Catholics have for centu 
ries suffered from religious persecution in thi* latter coi:r:- 
try alone, may be safely said to counterbalance all that 
Protestants have suffered on the score of religion through 
out the rest of the world. Such writers then as represent 
the Catholic religion as essentially intolerant, and the 


but this charge against us probably proceeds from 
a misunderstanding of our doctrine on that subject. 
The question here is not about civil toleration. 
Catholics and Protestants are united in considering 
civil toleration an invaluable blessing, especially 
in a country like ours, where there were so many 
different denominations at the time its constitution 
was formed. We all agree in believing, that no 
authority, merely human, possesses any right of 
controlling the consciences of men. 

The question then before us is concerning theo 
logical toleration, viz. whether Almighty God can 
approve of so many different religious systems, 
which we find established upon earth; whethei 
all these different religious systems can be consi 
dered as so many different ways to heaven. If 
so, we ought to be in favour of universal toleration. 
The Catholic Church teaches, that Jesus Christ 
established but one church for the salvation of 
man, and that out. of that one church salvation is 
not to be had. 

The written word is very plain on this subject: 
There shall be made one fold and one pastor, 
John x. 16. C I beseech you, that you <dl speak 

Protestant as alone admitting; toleration, shows any thing 
but candour. It would seem that they either have unac 
countably forgotten the existence of the above laws, still 
in several instances acted upon, or imagined their readers 
o ignorant, as not to know that such existed. 


one thing, and that there be no schisms among 
you, but that you be perfect in one sense and one 
judgment, 1 Cor. i. 10. 

Christ prayed that his disciples might be one, 
John xvii. 11. 

One Lord, one faith, one baptism, Ephes. iv. 5. 
k He that believeth not shall be condemned, Mar. 
xvi. 16. Without faith it is impossible to please 
God, Heb. xi. 6. 

I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic 
Church, says the Nicene Creed, which is admitted 
by both Catholics and Protestants. 

This is the Catholic faith, (says the Creed of 
St. Athanasius, likewise admitted by Catholics and 
Protestants,) which if any one does not faithfully 
and firmly believe, he cannot be saved. 

Several creeds and professions of faith which I 
have carefully perused, very plainly and unequivo 
cally assert, that out of the church, which is but 
one, salvation cannot be obtained: so says the 
church of England, so says the church of Scot 
land, &.c. What, indeed, can be more reasonable . 
And what, on the other hand, more unreasonable, 
more absurd, than universal toleration ? To be 
convinced of it, it is only necessary to examine 
what true religion is. 

True religion is an institution of which God 
himself is the founder. It is an institution in 
which God makes known to man what he must 


believe, and what he must do in order to obtain 
salvation. It is a system, not the offspring of 
human reason, not the result of human philoso 
phy, not the ingenious contrivance of humu i 
talents and learning; it originates in the fountain 
of eternal and infinite wisdom, and was by the 
supreme authority of God, established on earth, 
to control both the understanding and the will of 
man, dictating to his understanding what he must 
believe, and to his will what he must submit to do 
in order to obtain salvation. It will not be denied, 
that God has as much right to control our under 
standing, to require a submission of our under 
standing to the belief of whatever mysteries he 
chooses to reveal, as he has to control our will to 
submit to his commandments. It will be also ac 
knowledged, that God alone can save man, that 
God alone can institute a religion, worthy of him 
self, and adequate to supply all the spiritual wants 
and necessities of man, a religion, in which all 
those heavenly blessings are administered, which 
transform the carnal into a spiritual man, and 
finally into a citizen of heaven. God alone can 
draw man out of the mire of original corruption, 
and he alone has a right to determine by what 
means this wonderful change from depravity to 
innocence is to take place. None can attach to 
the weak element of water the power of perform 
ing this astonishing change. 


None but Got! can wash away the iniquities of 
man, can restore to him his sanctifying grace, and 
none, except him, has a right to determine the 
means by, and the conditions upon which, this 
blessing of reconciliation and forgiveness is to be 

None but God can feed and nourish the soul of 
man, or arm that soul with power sufficient to 
overcome his spiritual enemies, and to persevere 
to the last breath in the performance of his duty, 
and in the service of his Creator. 

In short, sir, whatever blessings we stand in 
need of none but God can convey them, or deter 
mine the precise manner in which we are to obtain 
them. To say that man, even the wisest man, 
may by the force of reasoning, contrive a religious 
system, calculated to answer the above purposes, 
is to equal him to God. 

Religion, then, is that divine institution of God s 
own creation, in which is shown to man the way 
to glorify God, and to procure everlasting happi 
ness to his own soul. In it are established by 
Jesus Christ, certain rites or ceremonies, as so 
many channels to convey to our souls those mani 
fold blessings, which we stand in need of. Those 
rites are called sacraments, and must be precisely 
the *-ery thing that Jesus Christ instituted. If 
they are only of t^e institution of man, they are; 
no longer entitled to religious respect, as man lias 


not the power to annex heavenly blessings to the 
performing of certain external acts. I shall ex 
plain this general position by a few examples. 

Jesus Christ has annexed, to the pouring of 
water on a person, and the pronouncing of the 
words, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the grace 
of cleans-ing that person from the guilt of original 
sin. So we are told by the church, the infallible 
interpreter of God s word. 

Pray, sir, would it be in the power of man to 
substitute some other words and ceremonies, and 
to make them equally efficacious in conveying the 
same blessing ? I believe not. Jesus Christ has 
annexed to the words, dbsolvo te a peccatis tuis, 
(I absolve thee from thy sins,) when pronounced 
by a lawful successor of the Apostles, the power 
of really remitting sins, provided the sinner is 
well disposed. So we are told again by the 
infallible interpreter of God s word. Pray, sir, 
would it be in the power of man to give the same 
efficacy to some other words of his own contri 
vance ? I think not. 

Jesus Christ has annexed to the imposition of 
nands by legally consecrated bishops, and to the 
pronouncing of certain words, the power of com 
municating the Holy Ghost, which rile we call the 
sacrament of confirmation. So we are told again 
by the church Is it in the power of man by 


some other ceremonies and words of his own 
contrivance, to impart the Spirit of God to his 
fellow-mortals ? Certainly not. 

It is obvious then, that none but the one system 
of religion, which Jesus Christ himself established. 
is entitled to any religious respect whatever, hi 
that one alone are to be found the true Scripture, 
the true interpreter of Scripture, the true word of 
God, the true sacrifice, the true sacraments ; only 
in that one system of religion are to be found the 
true ministry of Christ, the power of the keys, 
&c. Reform that system of religion in one only 
point and you deform it, you change the work of 
God into the work of man. Denominate this 
doctrine uncharitable, cruel, barbarous, or what 
ever you please, it is beyond all doubt the doc 
trine of truth and common sense, and of course, 
the only one which genuine charity will make use 
of, because it is the duty of charity, to lead along 
the thorny paths of truth, and not along the en 
chanting and flowery roads of falsehood ano 
deception. I here appeal not to your learning, 
not to your genius and talents, but only to your 
common sense, which enables you to know, that 
black is not white ; and 1 ask you, whether it be 
uncharitable to teach that contradictory systems 
of religion cannot all proceed from the holy spirit 
of truth ; whether it be uncharitable to say, that 
of a hundred religious systems contradicting one 


another in some point or other, only one can pos 
sibly be true, only one can proceed from the 
spirit of truth? When we hear one minister 
preaching up the necessity of baptism for salva 
tion, and another promising 1 salvation without bap 
tism, is it uncharitable to say, that one of them is 
the minister of error, and not of Christ? When 
we hear one minister declare infants not admissi 
ble to baptism, and another, on the contrary, in 
sisting on the necessity of baptizing infants, is it 
uncharitable to say, that one must be a teacher of 
error ? 

Is it uncharitable to say, that if Calvin is right, 
Luther must be wrong; if Arminius teacheth the 
truth, Gomar must be a teacher of falsehood; if 
Socinus is the teacher of pure and undefiled truth, 
Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Melancthon, Fox, Zuin- 
glius, &c. &c. must all be ministers of error. 

Or will it be more charitable, (adding blasphemy 
to deception,) to say, as the independent minister 
appears to do, page 58, that all these different 
teachers, although contradicting c.:ie another in 
most essential points, are all ministers of the God 
of truth? He makes mention of no less than 
seventy odd names of persons who were raised, 
he says, li y the Almighty, from the seventh to the 
sixteenth century, to oppose the errors of the 
church or Rome, many of whom differed more 
from one another in matters of faith, than they 


did from the Catholic Church. It appears then 
that he, with many more of his colleagues, admits 
but one criterion of the true faith, viz. that of pro 
testing against the holy Catholic Church. Thus 
when Luther pleads the necessity of baptism, and 
the real presence of Christ in the eucharist, he 
will say, the man is right. When Fox reject? 
baptism, eucharist, and all other sacraments, he> 
with the political Tinker, will say again, 1he man 
is right. When Calvin, differing from both, sees 
nothing in the eucharist but signs or symbols of 
the flesh and blood of Christ, again he will say, 
the man is right. 

When Wickliff rises up against almost all divine 
and human institutions, and tries to establish his 
abominable system of liberty and independence, 
which caused so much blood to flow, here again, 
I t1ie man is right. 

The independent minister, and I believe, all our 
modern ministers, those I mean, who would appear 
liberal, charitable, and 1 suppose, fashionable, will 
tell you, that all those men, and many more, were 
true ministers of God. They will tell you, for 
sooth, that they evinced their divine mission by 
opposing, by protesting against the church of 

Thus is common sens-e sacrificed at the shiine 
of spite and malice, and a most impious, blasphe 
mous system, a compound of the most palpable 


contradictions, obtruded on the ignorant and the 
prejudiced, as the pure religion of Jesus, under 
the name of Protestant religion. 

Here are toleration and liberality extending to 
all sorts of creeds, but excluding the greatest 
number of the Christian people. 

You will hardly call such a toleration and 
liberality charitable, as on the one hand it makes 
too many exceptions, aixl on the other hand, as T 
have proved, it is not founded upon truth, and 
cannot meet the approbation of common sense ; ii 
is a deceptive kind of charity, it calls out peace, 
peace, and there is no peace ; it lulls the unhappy 
sinner into false security, and under the pompous 
names of Reformation, Protestantism, &c. leads 
him far away from the only true church of Jesus 

Catholic intolerance is both rational and chari 
table ; it is founded upon the immovable rock of 
eternal truth. Sure of the assistance of Christ for 
ever, sure of being directed by the spirit of truth 
into the one truth for ever, the holy Catholic 
Church has at all times condemned as heresy, 
any doctrine contradicting her doctrine. 

As a tender mother and faithful spouse of Jesus 
Cm 1st, she has always, in the spirit of charity, 
endeavoured to preserve her children from the 
delusive and flowery paths of heresy ; and in the 
most sorrowful accents, she prays, she entreats 


those that have left her. to return to her pale 
She perseveres in fervent prayers for the conver 
sion of her strayed children, and would fain carry 
them back upon her shoulders to the only one 
fold of Christ. Is not this genuine charity ? 

Moreover, whilst the holy Catholic Church 
guided for ever by the Holy Ghost, fulminates her 
anathemas against all kinds of heresies or false 
doctrines, she feels nothing but charity and com 
passion for so many individuals born in heterodox 
societies. She charitably supposes several of 
them honest in their errors, invincibly ignorant 
of the true church, and consequently excusable in 
the sight of God. But still she deplores their 
misfortune of being deprived of so many means 
of salvation, not to be found out of her pale. 

Catholic intolerance then, exhibits stronger 
features of genuine and practical charity, than 
Protestant toleration and liberality. Yet 1 must 
confess its sound is harsher, and by no means so 
melodious as the syren song of deception and 
flattery, which calls every system, the true church 
of Christ, provided it protests against the Catholic 

The observation made by Tertullian in his time, 
was, that c the sole principle of unky amongst 
heretics, is the hatred of Catholicity.- The same 
may be truly applied to the numerous sects of the 
present day, which seem to have no other link of 


unity than their hostility to the parent church, 
which they have all abandoned. This seems 
their only rallying point, for whether we look to 
the Old World or the New, we will see the singu 
lar spectacle of men differing from one another in 
faith, as widely as earth from heaven, yet uniting 
in opposing that of Catholics. Nay, this ani 
mosity has long since been judged the criterion, 
not only of Protestant orthodoxy, but of Pro 
testant loyalty, since the British legislature re 
quired of the members of both houses of parlia 
ment, as a necessary condition before taking their 
seats, to swear that they believed the Catholic 
worship to be superstitious, idolatrous and damna 
ble ! Provided they held this fundamental point, 
they were at perfect liberty to hold any other 
religious opinion, or none if they pleased. 


I HAVE endeavoured to explain the most essen 
tial articles of Catholic faith, in order to prove 
that we are not guilty of superstition, and I hope 
that with the candid, I have succeeded.^ Those 
who are not sincere, who with seeing eyes will 
not see, I cannot expect to convince. Many 
points of minor importance I have omitted, not 
wishing to swell my defence into a large volume 


Thus, I have said nothing about the sign of the 
cross, about holy water, blessed salt, blessed can 
dles, and many more things made use of by 
Catholics. It is surprising indeed, that people 
who call themselves Christians, should be scanda 
lized at the sign of their redemption. Freemasons 
have their signs, and many other societies have 
their signs; soldiers have their signs and counter 
signs; pray, why should the soldier of Jesus 
Christ not be permitted to arm himself with the 
sign of the standard of Christianity, under which 
our chief conquered the powers of hell, and under 
which alone the Christian soldier is to conquer ? 
Tertullian testifies (in his book de Corona Militis) 
that the practice of making the sign of the cross 
is most ancient and most common in the church 
of Christ. 

Pray, how will those feel, who despise and 
ridicule that practice, when they shall SEE THE 
SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN appear in heaven? 
Matt. xxiv. 30. 

As for holy water, blessed salt, and many other 
things blessed by the prayers of the church, I do 
not understand how they can become any subject 
of scandal to any one believing in the power of 

If inanimate things have been cursed by God s 
infinite justice in punishment of the sin of our 
first parents. (Gen. iii. 17,) that curse cannot be 


removed and changed into a blessing, but by the 
power and the merits of Jesus Christ. This su 
preme power, confided by Christ to his ministers, 
Matt, xxviii. 18, is exercised by them in blessing 
water, salt, and many other things, for the use of 

Where is the superstition in believing that those 
elements, created for the use of man, but cursed 
by a justly irritated God, may be blessed again 
and sanctified by the prayers of the church, 
through the merits of Jesus Christ. 

Instances are so very common of the good 
effects produced by the use of holy water, blessed 
salt, and many other blessed things, that it would 
take volumes to publish them all. I have been 
frequently applied to by parents, whose children 
were afflicted with the most strange and unac 
countable symptoms, and have found that, after 
all the powers of medicine had been tried in vain. 
a little blessed salt, or some other things, blessed 
by the prayers of the church, through the merits 
of Jesus Christ, very often performed a complete 

If you were to read the memoirs of those mis 
sionaries, who, with unabated zeal, and often at 
the expense of their blood, converted millions of 
idolaters in Canada, South America, the East 
Indies, China, Cochin China, Siam, Persia, 8u\ 
you would find instances by hundreds, of the 


efficacy of the sign of the cross, holy water,. kc 
in banishing evil spirits, and destroying that 
power, which those infernal spirits frequently 
exercise over the souls, bodies and property of 
those who are guilty of idolatry, of which we 
find so many instances in the New Testament. 

God has chosen the weak things of this world, 
that he might confound the strong, 1 Cor. i. 27. 
The efficacy of blessed things is so well known 
to many Protestants, that it is not very uncommon 
to see Protestants apply to Catholic priests for 
holy water, blessed salt, blessed candles, &c. To 
believe that any miraculous power or virtue 
naturally resides in that water, salt, or any other 
of God s inanimate creatures, would be supersti 
tion indeed, but to believe that the infinite power 
and goodness of Jesus Christ, exercised by the 
church, may apply a certain blessing to those 
inanimate creature-s, so as to render them pro 
ductive of certain happy effects, when applied to 
man, is no more superstition, than to believe that 
the waters of the Jordan, through the power of 
God, became instrumental in curing the leprosy 
of Naaman, 4 Kings v. 14. 

Our age, dear sir, is the age of incredulity, com 
monly called the age of philosophy. It is almost 
fashionable to disbelieve, to reject with disdain and 
contempt, every thing which we cannot perceive 
our carnal senses, or compass with our limited 


and much corrupted understanding. At the hour 
of death, at the entrance of eternity, when the 
senses shall have lost their baneful influence, am! 
corrupted reason shall have been almost extin 
guished, we shall remember that God, who can do 
what he pleases, to whom the laws of nature are 
subject, who can and does, for his own glory and 
the salvation of man, subvert those very laws, as 
he did through the ministry of Moses, when ho 
opened the Red Sea, as he did again through the 
ministry of Joshua, when he stopped the sun in 
its course. We shall then remember that, there is 
a God of truth, who ought to be believed, who 
must be believed, and as much so, when what he 
reveals is incomprehensible, as when it is ever so 
plain; as much so, when what he reveals appears 
contrary to the laws of nature, as when his reve 
lations are in unison with those laws. 

Permit me, sir, to close my subject by contract 
ing into as narrow . a compass as possible, and 
exhibiting before your eyes, under one point of 
view, all the sublime mysteries of our creed, 
which have been explained to you one by one. 

I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator 
of heaven and earth. 1 As Father, he loves us, as 
God, his love to us is infinite, and as Almighty, 
he can do whatever he pleases, to shew his love 
in practice. 

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, 


both God and man, our only Redeemer, only as 
man subject to sufferings, and only as God able to 
satisfy God. 

"Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born 
of the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ then was both 
God and man, whilst enclosed in the womb of the 
Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary, is of course, the 
mother of Jesus Christ, both God and man, and 
consequently she is entitled to the highest honour 
which it is possible for man to exhibit to the most 
honourable and the most perfect of God s crea 

Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruciiied. 
dead and buried. Suffered out of infinite love to 
man, the most cruel torments that the malice of 
hell and earth could inflict on him ; suffered unto 
death, that we may live. 

fc He descended into hell ; the third day he arose 
again from the dead. He descended n.ot into the 
hell of the damned, but as St. Peter explains it, 
(1 Peter, iii. 18, 19, 20,) into that .prison, or place 
of temporal punishment, in which were detained 
many souls, that had departed befor.e the coming 
of Christ. 

He ascended into heaven ; sits a.t the right hand 
of God the Father Almighty. There his merits 
are continually pleading in our behalf, there he is 
our high priest for ever, according to the order of 
Melchisedech, there he continually guides and 


protects his church, being with his ministers to 
the end of time, protecting them against t.e spirit 
of error and darkness, according to his repeated 
promises, Matt, xxviii. 20, John xvi. 13, &c. 

From thence he shall come to judge the living 
and the dead; to give everlasting life to those who 
had the true faith, being members of the only true 
Catholic Church, and who led a holy life; and to 
punish with everlasting torments those who did 
not believe, Mark xvi. 16; those who, through 
their own fault, were not members of his only 
true Catholic Church, and those who led an un 
godly life, Matt. xvi. 27. 

4 1 believe in the Holy Ghost; who proceeds 
from the Father and the Son, and is equal to them ; 
who was promised by Jesus Christ to his church. 
John xiv. 26, and xvi. 13 ; who actually came 
upon the Apostles on Whitsunday, Acts ii. 1 4 ; 
who has enabled them and their successors to this 
day, and will enable them to the end of time, to 
persevere in the true and genuine doctrine of 
Jesus Christ, without deviating from it in one 
single point, John xiv. 16, 17, 18. 

The holy Catholic Church; that church of 
which Jesus Christ is the architect, built upon a 
rock, to stand for ever, in spite of all the efforts 
of hell, Matt. xvi. 18, xxviii. 20 ; that church is 
the house of the living God, 1 Tim. iii. 15 ; the 
kingdom of Christ, Luke i. 33, Dan. ii. 44; the 


sheep-fold of Christ, John x. 16; the body of 
which Christ is the head, Colos. i. 18, Ephes. v. 23; 
the spouse of Christ, Ephes. v. 24 31 ; that 
church is always subject and faithful to Christ, 
Eph. v. 24 ; always without spot, wrinkle or blem 
ish, always holy, Eph. v. 27; always loved and 
cherished by him, Ephes. v. 25, 29, Ephes. v. 31, 
33 ; that church is the pillar and ground of the 
(ruth, 1 Tim. iii. 15 ; always one, Cantic. vi. 8, 9, 
Joan. x. 16, Ephes. iv. 4, 5 ; always visible, Isa. 
ii. 2, 3, Mich. iv. 1, 2, Matt. v. 14 ; always and 
infallibly teaching the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth, Matt. xvi. 18, xxviii. 19, 20, 
Joan. xiv. 16, 17, 26, xvi. 13, 1 Tim. iii. 14, 15, 
&c. &c. 

That church of course can never stand in need 
of reformation. The very attempt of man to re 
form this, the most perfect, the most noble of all 
the works of God, is a most daring, a most sacri 
legious, most blasphemous act of impiety, of 
which no precedent can be found, except in the 
attempt made by Satan to equal himself to the 
Most High, for which he was precipitated into the 
eternal abyss. This holy Catholic Church is 
spread over the universe, which makes it Catholic, 
teaching every where the same doctrine, because 
she is wholly inspired and directed by the holy 
spirit of truth, John xiv. 16,17, 26, and always 
guided by Christ, Matt xxviii. 20. The ministers 


of that church form but one body, of which St. 
Peter and his successors were by divine authority 
constituted heads, Matt. xvi. 18, 19, Luke xxii. 32, 
Joan. xxi. 15, 16, 17. 

"The communion of saints. In the church of 
God, there is a communion of its members in 
holy things, being partakers of the same . spiritual 
blessings, sacraments, &c. which Christ empow 
ered his church to administer. We likewise com 
municate with the blessed saints in heaven. They 
are already landed on the shores of eternal peace. 
We are yet tossed by the raging billows of a tem 
pestuous sea. We stretch out our hands to them 
for help ; we beg their intercession to obtain a safe 
landing. We meditate on their virtues ; we are 
oncouraged by their examples; we confide much 
in their charitable intercession, Revel, v. 8, Zach. 
i. 12. 2,Macchab. xv.12 14, Tob. xii. 12, Heb. i. 
14, Rev. ii. 26, 27, Luc. xv. 10, Mat. xviii. 10, &c. 
Whilst we look up to the saints in heaven for 
their help and assistance, we offer up our prayers 
and intercession for those of our fellow-members, 
who having died before they had fully satisfied 
the justice of God, have yet to suffer for a time, 
before they can be admitted into that sanctuary 
where nothing defiled can enter, 1 Cor. iii. lo. 
1 Pet. iii. 1820. 

The forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness of 
sins, originating in the infinite power and mercy 


of God alone, and granted auieiy in considera 
tion of the merits ol Christ, is administered to 
us by the ministers of Christ in the holy Catholic 
Church, first in the sacrament of baptism ; and 
then again in the sacrament of penance, upon our 
sincere repentance and conversion, and upon sin 
cere confession, Matt, xviii. 18, John xx. 22. 23, 
Acts xix. 18, James v. 16, &c. 

The resurrection of the body, and life ever 
lasting, Amen. A glorious resurrection of soul 
and body, by which we are to become members 
of the church triumphant of Jesus Christ, will bo 
granted to those only, who have been true mem 
bers of the only one and true church militant 
of Christ on earth. And those who had not the 
holy Catholic Church, the spouse of Christ, for 
their mother, will find to their everlasting sorrow, 
that they have not Jesus Christ for their Father 
and Saviour. 

Permit me now, dear sir, to address you in the 
spirit of charity, and to entreat you to meditate 
seriously on the following solemn truths : 

The day is fast approaching, when you and I 
will be summoned before the dreaded tribunal of 
Jesus Christ ; I, in the capacity of a Roman Ca 
tholic p/iest; you, in the capacity of a Protestant 
minister; both claiming the title of minister of 
Christ. What will become of that one, who shall 
not be able then to substantiate his claim, and to 


establish his title. We may be suffered by a God 
of infinite mercy and patience, to establish the 
most unfounded, the most extravagant titles before 
men; but will the illusion be suffered to continue 
before the tribunal of eternal justice ? And will 
not the bright rays of pure and undefiled truth 
forever dissipate those foul and thick mists of 
corruption, which in this world enabled us to 
dupe ourselves and others ? Will not the two- 
edged sword of truth cut off all those difficulties, 
which our own corruption had raised as a bulwark 
against the authenticated revelations of Jesus 
Christ ? Will not the bright and dazzling rays 
of glory, that shall emanate from the throne of 
the Omnipotent Judge, be the most incontestable 
proof of the divinity of his revelation, and of the 
truth of those mysteries, against which proud and 
corrupted reason suggested so many difficulties ? 
When the sacred code shall be opened, by 
which all Christians are to be tried, will it be per 
mitted there, think you, to allege the foolish dic 
tates of human philosophy, in opposition to the 
plain revelations of that sacred code ? Will it be 
permitted there, to talk about reforming the most 
noble work of the great God ? \Vill it be per 
mitted there, (by way of apology,) to tell Jesus 
Christ, that he broke his repeated promises ? That 
he had promised to be with his church to the end 
of time, and yet that he had forsaken that church 


and permitted it to go astray? That he had pro 
mised the spirit of truth to it to guide it into all 
the truth for ever, yet he had withdrawn that spirit 
of truth, and permitted the church to become a 
sink of errors and idolatry ? Will it be permitted 
there, to call the plain ordinances of Jesus Christ, 
Papis-t superstitions ? Will it be permitted there, 
(by way of apology for not complying with his 
ordinances,) to tell Jesus Christ that such and 
such things were impossible ? That no man could 
forgive sin, not even those, who most plainly and 
distinctly had received that power from him ? 
Will you be permitted there, think you, to tell 
Jesus Christ to his face, that it was impossible for 
him to give his flesh and blood under the appear 
ance of bread and wine ? Will you there be per 
mitted to allege the testimony of your corrupted 
senses and limited reason, in opposition to the 
plain and repeated assertions of Infinite Wisdom ? 
Will it be permitted there, think you, in the 
face of the cross, that sign of the Son of Man, to 
ridicule those, who signed themselves with that 
holy sign ? In short, sir, will it be permitted 
there, to deceive yourself and others any longer ? 
Corrupted reason sat upon the tribunal in this 
world, and with more than Satanic presumption-, 
summoned before it the tremendous mysteries 
clearly and distinctly revealed by an Omnipotent 
God, to be judged, to be approved or condemned. 


according to its own whimsical notions, and more 
so according to its corrupt inclinations. The case 
will be then reversed, infinite power and wisdom 
will occupy the yiidgment seat; proud reason, 
with all its boast of philosophy, will stand con 
fused, appalled, convicted, and be forever silenced. 
Will it be permitted to say, by way of apology, 
I rejected such and such mysteries, Because I could 
not understand them, or because they appeared to 
me impossible ? But, you were not required to 
understand them, you were only commanded to 
listen and adore ; and this you could have done 
as easily, as so many millions of persons, as wise 
as yourself. Ah! sir, believe me, believe a per 
son, who is sincerely concerned for the salvation 
<if your soul ; the very garb which at present is 
considered by you as a mark of distinction and 
honour, will, before the dreadful tribunal, on the 
day of God s eternal vengeance, be the terror and 
despair of your soul, and its everlasting condem 
nation ; I mean the garb of Protestantism. Y ou 
protested ! Against what ? Against the church 
of Christ ! Against divine ordinances ! Against 
divine and tremendous mysteries. Against all 
that is sacred ! This was not enough. Under the 
title of minister of Christ, you taught thousands 
to do the same, to ridicule and blaspheme what 
they did not understand, and by misrepresenting 
the holy mysteries of the Catholic Church, you 


prevented their return to that only sheep-fold of 
Christ, from which the pride and corruption of 
some arch-heretics of former times caused their 
ancestors to depart. Thousands and thousands of 
these unfortunate lay-people will have a lawful 
excuse to allege before the tribunal of impartial 
justice, namely, the misrepresentation of their 
teachers. Many of them will find their acquittal 
in the plea of invincible ignorance. Will this 
plea be of any avail to those who with seeing 
^yes would not see ? To those, who, without 
mission from above, without deputation from the 
Catholic Church of Christ, presumed to step into 
the sanctuary, and to arrogate to themselves that 
sacred title, which the Catholic Church alone can 
give, she being exclusively the depository of the 
power of Jesus Christ on earth ? 

For God s sake, dear sir, if you value the glory 
of God, and the salvation of your soul, give up 
protesting against the Catholic Church ; in it 
alone you will find salvation. As sure as God 
lives, it is the true church of Christ. May the 
day of judgment be for me the day of God s eter 
nal vengeance, if the Roman Catholic Church is 
not the only one true and immaculate spouse of 
Christ. May my soul be doomed to suffer for 
von to all eternity, all those torments, which you 
would deserve by following all the pretended 
siipers-titions of the church of Home. 


Hush into silence your prejudices; listen and 
adore ; humble yourself with St. Paul to the very 
dust ; pray for light, and you shall see it brighter 
than the dazzling rays of the mid-day s sun. Ask 
for grace to overcome human respect and all car 
nal Considerations, those obstacles which Satan 
raises to prevent the conversion of millions ; that 
grace will be imparted to you. Seek the kingdom 
of heaven, by which in Scripture language, is often 
meant the church of Christ, the Catholic Church, 
as yet in a state of suffering, persecuted, ridiculed, 
tried like gold in the furnace, as yet wandering 
through the dreary and frightful desert, but on its 
way to the land of promise ; you will find it, am 
with it you will enter the mansions of eternal 
peace. That you and all your hearers may obtain 
that blessing of blessings, is the sincere desire, 
and shall be the constant prayer of 

Your humble and obedient servant, 



RELIGIOUS controversies, when carried on in 
the spirit of charity, and with candour, are cer 
tainly of great utility; as they tend to dispel the 
clouds of error which obscure or deform the 
truth, and to unite those whom a diversity of 
opinion keeps at variance. Unfortunately, how 
ever, for the cause of religion, religious contro 
versies do not often proceed from a spirit of 
charity, and are but seldom expressed in the sweet 
accents of harmonious suavity, in consequence of 
which, the breach is made wider. 

When I published my Defence of Catholic 
Principles, I was actuated by charity and zeal for 
the salvation of my brethren in Christ, and I did 
not intentionally make use of any expression cal 
culated to hurt the feelings of any. I was not the 
aggressor, but compelled by duty to repel the rude 
and unprovoked attacks of an enemy of our holy 
religion. I find by his late publication that he is 
one of those 

Who prove their doctrine orthodox, 

By apostolic blows and knocks. 3 

For this reason, and for some others which I am 


now going to state, I shall not address any more 
letters to the Protestant Minister, but direct my 
future publications on religious subjects, to a 
Protestant friend. 

The Protestant Minister, has spent nearly two 
years in gathering and publishing his Vindication, 
in which he endeavours to exhibit Roman Catho 
lics to the eyes of the public as a superstitious 
arid idolatrous people; and I must own, that in 
the execution of his design, he has acquired a 
claim on the gratitude of the whole body of Ca 
tholics, and especially of the Catholic clergy 
having furnished us with new proofs of the weak 
ness of his cause, and of the impossibility of over 
throwing, by fair argument, the principles of 

The most solid arguments by which I have es 
tablished our principles, he has not ventured to 
attack, but passed them unnoticed knowing them 
to be unanswerable. 

He has generally attached himself to some of 
the weakest proofs only, which I had adduced in 
favour of our principles ; but which alone, would 
not be sufficient to establish them. 

In my defence of Catholic Principles, Lava 
attached myself to the most essential points of 
religion only; those on which depends your sal 
vation. And the proofs on which I have estab 
lished these fundamental points, are principally 


taken from Scripture. Many of you, my F rotes 
tant brethren, have been candid enough to acknow 
ledge that these proofs are unanswerable, and leave 
no chance for a reply. Convinced by these argu 
ments, and giving way to the grace of God, some 
few among you have applied to me, and testified 
an eager desire to renounce their errors, and be 
come members of the Catholic Church. What 
does the Protestant Minister do? In order to 
draw your attention from the main subject, he 
introduces numbers of subjects of minor impor 
tance, which he exhibits in the most odious 
colours, and in all the ludicrous shapes of low 

Although he denies the existence of infallibility, 
in the whole body of Catholic prelates, yet he 
seems to claim that infallibility for himself: for 
.how can he otherwise expect that the least respect 
or attention can be due to his interpretations of 
Scripture, especially when he takes the liberty to 
take hold of the sacred text, as he would a nose 
of wax, and squeeze it into whatever shape lie 
pleases, to make it answer his purpose. In read 
ing his Vindication, you must have admired his 
ingenuity, as an interpreter of Scripture. 

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the 
church, Matt. xvi. That means, says he, page 
14, that death shall not prevail against the genuine 
members of the church. 


Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and 
drink his blood, you shall not have life in yoiu 
John vi. This means, says he, page 24, that we 
must believe in Christ. 

This is my body, &c. This is my blood, 
&c. That means, says the Protestant Minister, 
This is not my body, this is not my blood for it 
is nothing but bread and wine, page 27, 28. 

Receive ye the Holy Ghost ; whose sins you 
shall forgive, they are forgiven, &c. John xx. 22. 
23. That means nothing at all, for, says the Pro 
testant Minister, page 19, where is that power (of 
forgiving sins) given to a sinful creature, and one 
who has to answer for his own sins ? 

Jesus said, Son be of good cheer, thy sins are 
forgiven thee, Matt. ix. That means only, says 
the same minister, page 20, that the temporal pun 
ishment of sin was released. 

The church of the living God, says St. Paul, 
1 Tim. iii. 15, is the pillar and ground of truth. 
That means, says the Protestant Minister, pages 
15, 16, only the church of Ephesus. 

Christ says, Blessed are they that have not seen 
and have believed, John xx. 29. That means no 
thing; for the minister tells you, page 29, that 
the foundation of our faith must rely on the truth 
of our senses. 

The Apostle St. Paul, says, if any man s work 
burn, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be 


saved, yet so as by fire, 1 Cor. iii. 15. That 
means, says the Protestant Minister, yet so as out 
of the fire, page 47. 

I freely confess, my dear brethren, that I am no 
match for the Protestant Minister; for he hath the 
Holy Scripture at his command, can squeeze it 
into any shape, or make it say what he pleases ; 
he therefore, can never be at a loss. I, on the 
contrary, am so convinced of my ignorance, of 
my inability to interpret Scripture, that 1 in all 
cases, confine myself to that interpretation which 
the Holy Catholic Church gives me : because my 
Saviour Christ has promised, that the Spirit of 
Truth shall remain with his Apostles forever, 
John xiv. 16, 17. And because Christ, when he 
sent his Apostles, to begin the work of the minis 
try, preaching, baptizing, &c. &c. promised to be 
and remain with them until the consummation of 
the world, Matt, xxviii. 20. And finally, because 
the same Christ, the Divine Architect, who built 
the church, built it upon a rock, and promised 
that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. 
Matt. xvi. 18. The sense of which declaration is 
explained by Christ himself. Matt. vii. 25, where 
speaking of a house raised by a wise man, he 
says, it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. 
Now 1 am so confident that Christ has kept al) 
these promises, that I feel perfectly happy and 
safe in taking the Catholic Church as my only 


guide ill the interpretation of the Holy Scripturr . 
and in all matters of salvation. Thus I am con 
fined within certain narrow limits beyond which I 
cannot step, and therefore am no match for the 
Protestant Minister, who is not constrained by 
any limits whatever; for he tells us plainly, and 
repeatedly, that the Scriptures alone, no matter 
how interpreted, for every one is to interpret for 
himself, as well as he can, are our only rule of 

This is hot all. I do not wish to give the gen 
tleman any offence, or to hurt his feelings, know 
ing that charity is the principal virtue of a Chris 
tian, nay, the very soul of religion. However, 
truth being the sole object of a writer, \vho under 
takes to defend the true religion, he is of course 
obliged to point out the many misrepresentations 
by which it is deformed, and the falsehoods by 
which it is rendered hateful or ridiculous. To 
perform this task is highly unpleasant; as zeal for 
the cause of truth, which animates the writer, may 
easily be mistaken for malice or ill-will. God 
knows I feel nothing but charity for the Protestant 
Minister. His endeavours in misrepresenting the 
Catholic doctrine, the odium and ridicule lie 
throws on the Catholic clergy, by representing 
them as impostors, sorcerers, slight of hand men, 
cruel executioners, blood-suckers, roasting the 
bodies of men, &.c. &c. excites in me nothing biu 


compassion, and a fervent desire that God may 
open his eyes before it is too late. 

I would fain wish to persuade myself that he 
errs through ignorance, in which case I certainly 
should address a second letter to him, in order to 
undeceive him ; but no, I am compelled to believe, 
that he wilfully and knowingly advances false 
hoods in order to render the Catholic religion 
hateful and ridiculous, and establish his own sys 
tem. You, my dear brethren, will be able to 
judge whether I be right or wrong. I shall at 
present only mention a few of the most palpable 
falsehoods advarvced by the Protestant Minister, 
intending to be more particular in my future publi 

Page 20. He tells you that the Pope and his 
priests think it no blasphemy ********** 
* * to thrust the souls of men into purgatory, and 
either to roast them there for hundreds of years, 
or, if their friends are rich enough, to bring them 
out in a shorter time. 

As the Protestant Minister has read the Catholic 
doctrine of purgatory, lie, of course, knows the 
lines quoted above to be false. 

Page 75. He tells you that our holy water 4a 
composed of water, salt, a live coal put into it, 
and the priest s spittle. 

As the minister tells us, page 140, he is ac 
quainted with the missal or mass-book, which 


contains the blessing of the water, he therefore is 
guilty of a wilful falsehood in the above assertion. 
He is guilty of telling no less a falsehood, when 
he tells you, page 140, Hhat the Catholic priests 
have with all their might endeavoured to suppress 
all attempts of translating the Roman mass-book, 
breviary, &c. Sic. 

Thousands of English prayer-books, used by 
the Catholics of America, and hundreds of thou 
sands by the Catholics of England, Ireland and 
Scotland, contain the whole mass, word by word, 
in the English language; and there are besides 
other books printed for lay people, which contain 
in the English language, all the different masses 
and offices for the most solemn days and times of 
the year, such as Advent, Lent, Holy Week, Easter 
Week, Pentecost, .c. translated from the Roman 
mass-book and breviary. Many more such trans 
lations are to be found in the hands of Catholics 
living in Catholic countries, such as France, 
Spain, Portugal, Italy, the greater part of Germany, 
&c. &c. 

I have translations of the kind in both English 
and French, and I do most solemnly call upon 
you, my dear brethren, to produce any one person 
among yourselves, who understands French and 
Latin, and I shall in order to satisfy you, give him 
a chance to compare said translations with the 
Latin mass-book. This will also give 


you an opportunity of finding out how horribly 
the Protestant Minister imposes on you, and with 
how little conscience he calumniates the Catholic 
Church, when he speaks, page 140, of the filth 
and abominable corruption* contained in our mass- 
books, &c. and hid under the cover of an un 
known tongue. 

How much will you be surprised when you 
shall find that nearly nine-tenths of the contents 
of the mass-book and breviary are taken from the 
Holy Scriptures, and that the remainder is a short 
account of the holy lives of some of the principal 
saints, proposed for imitation, together with some 
prayers to obtain their intercession with Almighty 
God, that we may be enabled to follow their steps, 
and thus to be admitted to enjoy, in partnership 
with them, the blessings of eternal life. 

Page 104. The minister in laying before you 
the Catholic creed, as published by Pope Pius IV. 
has the following words : 

I do believe that the saints reigning togethei 
with Christ are to be worshipped and prayed unto. 
And again, pretending to quote the Council of 
Trent; the sacred bodies of martyrs, &c. are to 
be worshipped. 

Here again is a wilful conniption. The Roman 
ritual which contains the said creed or profession 
of faith for receiving converts into the church, 
does not say worshipped but Jionoured. 4 That the 


saints reigning together with Christ, are to be 
honoured^ 8cc. I pledge my word to you, dear 
brethren, to shew you these words in the Roman 
ritual any time you apply to me. The Council of 
Trent does not say that the sacred bodies of mar 
tyrs, &c. are to be worshipped but venerated, as 
having been in this life, according to St. Paul, 
1 Cor. iii. 16, 17, temples of the Holy Ghost, 
and according to the same, 1 Cor. vi. 15, members 
of Christ. What shall I say of the minister s 
assertion, page 100, that the church allows not 
only the deposing but also the killing of crowned 
heads. I hope you will forgive me, my dear 
brethren, if I denominate this a most wicked ma 
licious lie, invented by Satan, the father of lies, 
and his ministers, to lead you astray from the 
Holy Catholic Church. 

I shall not at present pollute my pages with any 
more of the Protestant Minister s misrepresenta- 
tions and falsehoods ; they shall all be noticed in 
due time. Let me here only remark, that as those 
falsehoods are generally advanced without any 
proof, they of course ought to bear no weight. It 
is a general principle of law and justice, that 
every person is to be considered innocent until 
proved guilty. And the more heinous the crime 
is, with which a person is charged, the stronger 
the proofs ought to be before he can be considered 
guilty. This principle is not admitted by the Pro- 


testant Minister; his most fixed determination i* 
to raise the utmost hatred against the Catholic 
Church, and to render it ridiculous and contemp 
tible. And in order to accomplish his design, he 
charges the church with all the crimes committed 
by some of its members. 

So, because Clement and Ravaillac, two mon 
sters in human flesh, were guilty of murdering 
two French kings, he tells you it is the principle 
-of the Catholic Church to murder kings. 

So, likewise, page 63, because certain ignorant 
friars wrote that even God himself is subject to 
the Virgin Mary, and such like blasphemies, 
therefore he tells you that the Catholic Church 
approves and teaches those blasphemies. 

What would you think of me, my friends, if I 
should assert that the Protestant religion approves 
of murder; for a certain Protestant minister mur 
dered one of his elders some years ago in Bedford. 
Or, if I should assert that the said religion ap 
proves of drunkenness, for some of its members, 
and even some of its ministers, are in the habit of 
getting drunk. 

Unfortunately, there are too many members of 
the Catholic Church, whose conduct widely differs 
from their speculative principles; who have no 
thing of Christians but the name; and who are 
capable of committing the most atrocious crimes. 
The church condemns their conduct, admonishes 


them to repent, denounces to them the judgments 
of God, if they do not repent, but she is not in 
vested with the power to compel their amendment. 

The Protestant Minister shews a particular want 
of generosity in his lengthy account of the wick 
edness and extravagant claims of some of the 
Popes. After the acknowledgment and concession 
I have made on that subject, pages 147 157 of 
my Defence, he ought to have been ashamed to 
say even one word on the subject. The prevari 
cations of Popes can no more be charged to the 
church, than the treason of Judas or the fall of 
St. Peter; and therefore if all his assertions against 
our Popes were true, this would be no argument 
against the Catholic Church. Throughout the 
whole of the minister s Vindication, I find a total 
want of sincerity and candour, a perversion and 
misrepresentation of my arguments, and the most 
sedulous and persevering endeavours to bury the 
fundamental and essential tenets of Catholic faith 
under a load of irrelevant matter. 

As an instance of his want of sincerity, and I 
must add, of a gross imposition on the public, I 
beg leave to refer you to page 9, line 29, of the 
Vindication, where the minister tries to make 
you believe that I said Scripture should not be 
read, 5 whereas he very well knows that I only 
said that Holy Writ, (although certainly God s 
word) was not intended to be our supreme judge 
in matters of faith &c. &,c. 


Where he could not by any solid arguments 
overthrow the Catholic doctrine itself, he has only 
attacked its abuses, for which the church cannot be 
made answerable ; for the most holy things have 
been, and will be abused. He has made use of 
vile and scurrilous language, unworthy a Christian 
and a gentleman, of which I need not give here any 
particular instance. 

He has wilfully perverted the words of our gen 
eral councils and the sense of our doctrine, in order 
to make it ridiculous and contemptible. 

He has even perverted the meaning of plain Eng 
lish words, to answer the same purpose, trying to 
make you believe that to venerate signifies wor 
ship, &c. 

He has been guilty of advancing most palpable 
falsehoods, as in the case of the holy water, &c. 

He has carefully, and in very many instances, 
concealed from your view most essential parts of 
the truth. 

Finally, such are his anger and ill-will against 
Catholics, that he cannot bring himself to call 
them by their proper name. Nothing will do for 
him but Papists, Romanists, Romish, in the true 
style of British statutes. 

These are a few of my reasons for not addressing 
any more of my letters to the Protestant minister. 

Should he ever be willing hereafter to recall the 
many falsehoods he has advanced ; to confute by 


solid arguments the Catholic principles ; to do il 
in a decorous manner, in a manner becoming a 
chnstian and a gentleman, without comparing the 
Pope to an old cow, without calling the priests 
impostors, sorcerers, conjurors, &c. without intro 
ducing irrelevant matters, such as the scandalous 
conduct of some Popes, &c. I shall then considei 
it my duty to resume the correspondence with the 
Protestant Minister. And I believe that a contro 
versy carried on in a mild dispassionate way, pro 
ceeding on both sides from a spirit of charity, 
attacking only principles, not men, would go a 
great way towards dispelling the clouds of error 
that have too long obscured the truth, would si 
lence the spirit of bigotry and malevolence, and 
would re-unite in the bonds of charity those 
whom the infernal spirit of religious discord, of 
ten mistaken for religious zeal, has too long kept 
at variance. 

My brethren, we are all the children of God. 
We are all brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. 
Let us for ever banish hatred and malice from onr 
hearts, and be guided only by the Spirit of Truth 
and Charity which Jesus Christ sent to his Apos 
tles and disciples, which formed them into one 
church, and which Christ promised should remain 
with them until the consummation of the world.