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Full text of "A letter to a Protestant friend on the Holy Scriptures : being a continuation of the Defense of Catholic principles"

JOHN M. KELLY LIBRARY 




Donated by 

The Redemptorists of 
the Toronto Province 

from the Library Collection of 
Holy Redeemer College, Windsor 



University of 
St. Michael s College, Toronto 



HOU REDEEMER tlBIWRY. 




A. PEOTEST 
HOLY 




BEIN9 A CONWNUATION OF THK 



"DEFENCE OF CATHOLIC PRINCIPLES. 1 



The foolishness of God is wiser than nien : and the weak.icsi 
of God is stronger than men." 1 COR. i. 25. 



BY DEMETRIUS A. QALLITZ1M. 

CHRISTIAN TRESS ASSOCIATION 
PUBLISHING COMPANY, 
NEW YORK 

AND SAN FRANCISCO, CAL. 

.. *> 



UftlY 




PREFACE. 



THE following "LETTER TO A PROTES 
1 ANT FRIEND,-" I give to the public at the request 
of some respectable friends, who are of opinion that it 
may be of benefit to other Protestants besides tut one 
to whom it is directed. Tn my " ADDRESS TO 
THE PROTESTANT PUBLIC," I have stated my 
reasons for not addressing the Protestant minister any 
more. His ungentlernanly language, together with 
.ne many falsehoods he advances in order to expose 
the Catholic cause to the hatred and contempt of the 
public, plainly shew that he is not actuated by motives 
of charity, and that he is blinded by passion ; and ol 
course, not open to conviction. However, truth com 
pels me to acknowledge, that I am, nevertheless, in 
debted to him for affording me a considerable degree of 
ussistance in converting Protestants to the Catholic 
faith. His "VINDICATION OF THE DOC 
TRINES OF THE REFORMATION," gave the 
finishing stroke to several of them, who after reading 
Catholic principles in Catholic books, were very curi 
ous to know what arguments Protestant writers couL l 
have to oppose to those principles. They read lh 



IV PREFACE. 

" Vindication" with the greatest attention, and read il 
again: what was the result? They came to me, and 
prayed to be admitted members of the Catholic church, 
On the first Sunday of October (after having made 
their sacramental confession) six of them made their 
public profession of Catholic faith, before the altar at 
St. Michael s church of Loretto, according to the rites 
and ceremonies prescribed by the Roman ritual, re 
nouncing their errors, and promising before God ami 
the congregation, to live and die in the Roman Catho 
lic church. Since that time several more Protestants 
have applied to me, and testified an eager desire to be 
come members of the holy Catholic church of Christ. 
If F had any favor to ask of the Protestant minister, it 
would be that he would please continue to write 
against the Catholic church, and to vindicate the doc 
trines of the reformation. I promise to make a good 
use of his writings, and to draw from them a great 
deal of useful information, for the conversion of all 
sorts of Protestants to the Catholic faith. 

There are some precious acknowledgments made by 
the Protestant minister in his " r Vindication of the Doc 
trines of the Reformation," which should be very suffi 
cient to open the eyes of Protestants to the imminent 
danger they are exposed to, whilst living in a state of 
separation from the holy Catholic church of Christ. I 
shall only notice two of those acknowledgments. 

1st, (page 13.) He tells us plainly that no such a 
thing as INFALLIBILITY was ever intended by 
Jesus Christ to be given to the church; in other words, 
it was never intended by Jesus Christ, that we should 
know to a certainty, whether we believe right or 



PREFACE. f 

wrong; for the mysteries of revelation aie so transcen 
dent^ above the reach of the human understanding, 
that none but a divine infallible guide can possibly 
prevent our going astray in investigating those pro 
found mysteries, or give us a certainty that we do not 
misunderstand the words or mistake the sense of our 
blessed Saviour. 

Protestants! here is a plain acknowledgment made 
by one of your ministers, and I dare say, confirmed by 
the whole of them, that the church or churches you 
and they belong to, are not infallible. Pause a little, 
if you value your souls, arid meditate seriously on the 
consequences of that acknowledgment. It appears, 
then, that your believing right or wrong is left to 
chance; that your ministers can give you no security 
that they deliver unto you the true interpretation of the 
Arord of God, or the sense of the Holy Ghost; and 
that you shall never know to a certainty whether you 
believe right or wrong until you find yourselves before 
the judgment of him who has declared that "he who 
believes not shall be condemned." Mark xvi. 16. 

2d, (page 117.) Speaking of the divisions in the 
Protestant communions, he acknowledges that there 
is "A CRIMINAL SCHISM SOMEWHERE" 
among them. 

Protestants! read the words of St. Paul, Ephes. v. 
25, 26, 27, and you will find that the church is the 
spouse of Christ, as holy as Christ could make it, and 
far from having in its bosom a criminal schism 
SOMEWHERE, has not even the least blemish any 
where. From your minister s own acknowledgment, 
the Protestant church, then, is not the church of Christ 



VJ PREFACE. 

and from his own acknowledgment, he knows 
THERE IS A CRIMINAL SCHISM SOME 
WHERE, but he is not able to tell where it is. Pro 
f-slants if you wish to know where it is, read the " De- 
it-nee of Catholic Principles," and read the following 
" Letter to a Protestant Friend," and you will find that 
die whole reformation is a criminal schism, or a sepa 
ration from the only true Catholic church of Jesus 
< ;hnst, which (although having many wicked mem 
bers, both among clergymen and laymen,) yet was 
always ITSELF holy, immaculate, and infallible in 
its faith and moral doctrine. 

The acknowledgments made by your Protestant 
minister, give the reformation a mortal stab. They 
give rise to very serious reflections; reflections that 
have opened the eyes of many, and have caused sev 
eral Protestant ministers in New York and elsewhere, 
to forsake the pretended reformation, and to join the 
Catholic Church. 

Protestants! as long as I live I shall consider it my 
duty to try to undeceive you; to remove the prejudices 
in which you have been raised: to counteract the 
schemes by which the ministers of the pretended refor 
mation have ever tried to render the Catholic church 
odious and ridiculous. I shall never cease calling 
upon you in the name of your and my Saviour, to for 
sake the criminal schism in which you live, and to re 
turn to the pale of the Catholic church, from which 
your ancestors departed. 

The Protestant minister accuses me, in his Preface, 
of KINDLING UP A FLAME THAT HAD LONG 
SINCE BEEN EXTINGUISHED, because I do not 



PREFACE. VH 

choose to let him say what he pleases against the 
Catholic church. Is this fair? Is this candid? 
Without any provocation on our part, and at a time 
when the country was in danger, when the enemy 
was in the heart of the country, our capital threatened, 
&-C. &,c. at that very time (the general government hav 
ing appointed a day of fasting, humiliation and pray 
er) it was expected that the ministers of religion would 
exhort their hearers to repentance, and call upon them 
in the name of God, to unite in defending their coun 
try, how does he fulfil that sacred duty? "Look." 
says he, "look through all the countries of your Po 
pish and Heathen neighbors, and see if the former 
have changed their superstition, or the latter their gods, 
which yet are no gods," &c. &.C., and again a little 
farther, "We are Americans, we are Protestants." 

The above expressions are well calculated to dis 
unite, to kindle up a flame, to raise scorn and contempt 
on one side, anger and ill will on the other side. I 
should think myself guilty of a gross neglect of duty, 
were I to suffer such expressions to pass unnoticed, or 
not to contradict the many falsehoods he advances in 
order to ridicule the Catholic doctrine. On the other 
hand I shall give him full liberty to advance whatever 
he pleases against my person. He tells us in his Pre 
face, that he took no notice whatever of a piece which 
I published in the Huntingdon Gazette, in order to 
refute his expressions, "because," says he, "it was too 
despicable to merit a reply." If he had added that my 
person itself is very despicable, I should feel obliged to 
acknowledge the correctness of his expressions, and 1 
hope, with the grace of God, that I shall never feel anv 



mi PREPACK. 

anger or resentment against his person were he even 
to say much worse of me. The truth is, I feel within 
my breast inclinations to every kind of evil, and if 
there is any evil which I do not commit, I must en 
tirely attribute it to the grace of God. My talents also, 
are very slender and trifling. It is no wonder, then, 
if their productions should be despicable. Indeed, if I 
I did not depend on the goodness of my cause, which 
is the cause of Jesus Christ, I should never have the 
presumption to s.^p forward in its defence. However, 
the same God that enabled an ass to speak, that ena 
bled the illiterate to convert the universe, that caused 
ignorance to overcome wisdom, and weakness to tri 
umph over power, may also enable my ignorance to 
detect and expose the cunning and artful stratagems of 
falsehood against truth, and to say something to the 
purpose, in defence of the Catholic cause. In truth, it 
does not require a very great share of knowledge or 
very extraordinary talents to refute the many falsehoods 
advanced against the Catholic doctrine. When we 
hear it said by thousands of Protestants, that the Pope 
is Antichrist, although the scripture plainly tells us that 
Antichrist will only reign three years and half a year, 
viz. forty-two months; when we hear it said that 
Catholic priests have horns; that Christ was crucified 
by the Roman priests; that Protestants turning to the 
Catholic church, are made to curse their mothers* 
breasts; that the Popes sell out licenses to commit sins; 
that Catholics think it no sin to murder Protestant 
kings; that Catholics do not think it a duty to keep 
faith with Protestants; that they think it meritorious to 
massacre Protestants; that their holy water is madp ol 



PREFACE. IX 

the priests spittle, &c.; that money will bring any 
souls out of purgatory, 8tc. When we here these, 
and many more lies, asserted among Protestants of 
every denomination and of every nation, we are not al 
a loss to know where those lies originate. Thank 
God, there are some Protestant ministers, who are men 
of conscience, and who, from principle, never will say 
a word against the Catholic church when they preach 
or instruct; some of them indeed have lost their places 
by this their moderate disposition; for, such is the taste 
of many Protestants, that the most eloquent sermons 
appear to them insipid, unless they are set off with 
some invectives against Popery. 

Protestants! it is a common saying, and a very true 
one, that "honey catches more ilies than vinegar." 
If your minister really believes that we are going as 
tray, along the broad road of perdition, why does he 
not address us in the sweet accents of charity ? Why 
does he not exhort his hearers to pray for our conver 
sion? Why does he not publish little tracts, written 
in the spirit of mildness and charity, and wherein he, 
in a gentle manner, proves the fallacy of our ic,al prin 
riples, without attributing to us principles and doc- 
irine.s which (he well knows) never belonged to us I 
We are made of the same flesh and blood as you ; wf 
are subject to the same infirmities; we are easily, toe 
easily, provoked by insults and calumnies; and whei 
provoked, feel very little inclined to listen even to the 
good instructions or advice of him that insults or pro 
vokes us. 

It vrtainly is a gross violation of the maxims of reli 
gion to substitute noise for sense, msult for argument, 



X PREFACE. 

accusation for conviction; and it is also a departure 
from the rules of wisdom and prudence. 

Insult is the instrument with which bad causes at 
tack good ones. If it be in the power of reason to con 
vince, why have recourse to abuse and invective? 
The celebrated Vossius says, that he one day observed 
to a Protestant minister at Dort in Holland, that it was 
wrong to impose upon the people, though it were even 
in regard of Popery. " What then ! " said the minister, 
"do you mean to take part with the Papists? No; 
believe me, you cannot abuse them too much; it is our 
duty to make the people detest them." Vossius in 
forms us also, that he heard the same observations from 
the ministers at Amsterdam ; "if we leave off preach 
ing that the Pope is Antichrist," said they, "the peo 
ple will leave our communion." 

Here is a candid acknowledgment. 

The Catholic church must be abused forsooth, be 
cause it has truth on its side, and truth is hateful to 
error. 

It must l)e misrepresented, because fairly represented 
it is divine; its beauty, its sublimity, its awful majesty 
prove its divine origin. 

Protestants! it must be held out an object of your 
execration and contempt, in order to keep you from 
becoming members of that holy church of Christ. 
Let a man err as he pleases, let him reject all revela 
tion, deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, or even the ex 
istence of a God ; let him be notorious for his blasphe 
mies or impieties, still there is charity for him for the 
Roman Catholic there is none. 

Most of Protestant ministers in all countries, unite 



PREFACE. XI 

in bawling out against Popery, in calling the Pope 
Antichrist, the church a sink of idolatry and supersti 
tion; and take pains to leave such unfavorable im 
pressions on the minds of their hearers with regard to 
the Catholic church, that they scorn the very idea of 
investigating its principles, and would be ashamed to 
be suspected of entertaining a favorable idea of it. 

The question naturally occurs, if the Catholic faith 
is really so ridiculously contemptible, so foolishly ab 
surd, why, in the name of good sense, keep so much 
fuss about it? If we despise an en< my, we pass him 
by in contemptuous silence, thinking him beneath our 
notice. Now it is notorious, that ever since the pre 
tended reformation, Protestant ministers of all sorts, 
and in all Protestant countries, have continually kepi 
up the most clamorous noise against it. It is not easy 
to conceive the extravagance of the sanctified violence 
with which the zeal of Protestant ministers was wont 
to assail us. The pulpits of the reformation re-echoed 
with abuse the most coarse, the most illiberal; oratori 
cal eloquence was exhausted in proving the absurdity 
of our principles, by attributing to us principles that 
were not ours; and the presses of the reformation were 
groaning with lies, and overflowing the world witli 
volumes of antidotes against Popery. In the name ol 
sense, why so much fuss, these three hundred years 
past, about a thing that is said to be so very contemp 
tible, far below the notice of any man of sense ? 

Protestants! by this manner of proceeding, your 
ministers have, in spite of themselves, offered their tri 
bute of respect and veneration to the Catholic cause, 
and tacitly acknowledged the respectability, the majes- 



Kl\ PREFACE. 

ty, and the divinity of that institute whi*,h the f affee 1 
to despise. The blaze of evidence shone so bright ?n 
favor of the Catholic doctrine, that clouds of dust had 
to be kicked up to blind your eyes. The voice of truth 
spoke so plain, through the mouth of the ministry of 
Christ in the Catholic church, that thundering voci 
ferations had to be raised to deafen your ears. The 
proofs of its divinity were so convincing, that your at 
tention had to be diverted from those proofs, by draw 
ing the same on the seeming contradictions and absur 
dities which Corrupted reason may readily find in mys 
teries which it is not able to understand. 

In truth, it requires very little learning to be able to 
ridicule transubstantiation and other mysteries of the 
Christian religion. The puny reason of a bad reasoner 
is sufficient for the task 5 and where the defect or lame 
ness of his argument might expose him to censure or 
to a discovery of the cheat, the defect may be supplied 
by a little exertion of his wit. A few sarcastic re 
marks, a few tales to excite a roar of laughter, such as 
the tale of the tub, from Dean Swift, (page 33 of the 
"Vindication,") will answer the purpose very well. 

My Protestant brethren! the following " Letter to a 
Protestant Friend," I offer for your perusal. The 
main subject of it is, the Holy Scripture, which the 
Catholic church venerates, as the word of God, and 
from which we draw the doctrine of salvation. By 
reading that part of the letter, you will be surprised to 
find how ill grounded the charge is, which your min 
ister makes against Catholic priests, of concealing 
scripture, &c. 

In the latter part of the letter, you will firjd several 



PREFACE. XH 

more points of Catholic doctrine explained, which are 
not mentioned in the " Defence of Catholic Princi 
ples," and also an answer to several objections of your 
minister. If I did not answer all his objections, or re 
fute all his arguments or assertions, it was for the fol 
lowing reasons : 

1. To answer them all minutely, would take more 
time than I have to spare. 

2. Most of his assertions are destitute of proof, and 
therefore, do not require an answer. 

3. Some of his arguments were either too sublime 
or too obscure for my weak understanding. 1 really 
could not comprehend them. I read page 27, on tran- 
substantiation, over and over again; I paused; 1 me 
ditated ; I read again ; I put my brains to the rack. 
All in vain. 1 found myself obliged to pass on, with 
out understanding the minister s meaning. I then re 
collected the following words of Dryden, which pui 
an end to my perplexity : 

"The lit ral sense is hard to flesh and blood, 
But nonsense never can be understood." 

4. Some of the minister s assertions are so evidently 
false, that it would be time lost to refute them. For 
instance, (page 115) where he asserts, that the num 
ber of those of the Romish church are now small, in 
comparison of those who have protested against its ty 
ranny, 8cc. Again, pages 48, 49, where he (upon the 
authority of his very inaccurate theologian, Buck) at 
tempts to deny that the Greeks believe in transubstan- 
tiation, the seven sacraments, confession, purgatory, 
3ie. &tc. Never did any differences exist between the, 

2 



XIV PREFACE. 

Latin and the Greek churches on those essential art* 
cles of faith. 

5. Many of his arguments are only sarcasms, and 
therefore, no arguments at all. 

6. Many more of his arguments consist in abuse, 
unbecoming epithets, &c., and those I should be very 
sorry to notice. 

These are some of my reasons for passing over a 
great part of the Protestant minister s " Vindication," 
in perfect silence. Some particular points, neverthe 
less, that would require a refutation, may have escap 
ed my notice. If I shall discover any such, I may pro 
bably make them the subject of some future publica 
tions; for I feel very anxious to conceal no part of the 
truth from you, that I may have nothing to answer for 
at the day of judgment, if you should be found out of 
the pale of Christ s church. 

I know, my Protestant brethren, that it is very diffi 
cult to divest one s self of prejudice, especially of pre 
judice contracted in one s infancy. I therefore ven 
ture to give you an advice, which, at any rate, can do 
you no harm. I know that from the prejudices in 
which you have been raised, the very words ROMAN 
CATHOLIC convey to your mind ideas of absurdity, 
nonsense, bigotry, superstition, &c., therefore I advise 
you (before you begin to read this or any other Catho 
lic book) to try to divest yourself of all your old preju 
dices, to forget that you ever heard a word against the 
Catholic church, to remember, that TRUTH always 
was, and always will be, hateful to this sinful world, 
that Jesus Christ was hated and persecuted because he 
was a preacher of the truth; that his church cannol 



PREFACE. XT 



expect better treatment than himself, because hii 
church is also a constant preacher of the truth, and ac 
cording to Christ s promise, "will have the Spirit of 
Truth forever." (John xiv. 16, 17.) Well, then, be 
fore you begin to read, pray your heavenly father who 
is infinitely merciful and both able and willing to save 
you, that he may discard prejudice from your mind, 
that he may give you grace to read and to examine 
without partiality, that he may enlighten your weak 
understanding, give you faith to believe, and courage, 
(in spite of all difficulties) to embrace that faith whicu 
alone can convey you to everlasting happiness. 



LETTER 

TO 

A PROTESTANT FRIEND 



Mr DEAR FRIEND, 

IN reading the " VINDICATION OF THE DOC 
TRINES OF THE REFORMATION," lately published 
by one of your ministers, you must have taken 
notice of one particular point of accusation, 
which he repeatedly urges against us, viz. that 
we (the Roman Catholic priests) have taken 
away the key of knowledge, by keeping the sa 
cred scriptures from the eyes of the people. 
The more serious the accusation is, the more it 
is deserving of an impartial and dispassionate 
investigation ; and to you in particular, my dear 
friend, to you who are seriously engaged in 
search of the true religion, it is a matter of great 
importance to know, whether the above accusa 
tion be founded on truth or not ; for, if you be 
lieve it true you will at once make up youi 
2* 



18 LETTER ON THE HOLT SCRIPTURES 

mind not to listen to me, or to any other of the 
impostors who withhold from the knowledge of 
mankind the sacred writings of their God and 
Saviour, published for the salvation of their souls. 

I confess, I am much surprised at the accusa 
tion so repeatedly brought against the Catholic 
clergy ; and by men who are not remote from 
correct sources of information. 

I lived, during fifteen years, in a Catholic 
country, under a Catholic government, where 
both the spiritual and temporal power were 
united in the same person the reigning prince 
of that country was our archbishop. In that 
country, you may be sure, the Catholic rules 
and principles were strictly observed ; and in 
that very country I saw the Catholic bible, in the 
German language, in all the booksellers shops, 
printed, and re-printed, and sold, without excep 
tion, to any person that wished to purchase. 
During a great part of that time I was not a 
memoer of the Catholic church; an intimacy 
which existed between our family and a certain 
celebrated French philosopher, had produced a 
contempt for revealed religion. Raised in pre 
judices against revelation, I felt every disposi 
tion to ridicule those very principles and prac 
tices which I have adopted since. I only men 
tion that circumstance, in order to convince you 
that my observations at that time being those of 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 19 

an enemy, and not of a bigoted member of the 
Catholic church, are, in the eyes of a Protestant, 
the more entitled to credit ; and from the same 
motive, I shall also add, that during those unfor 
tunate years of my infidelity, particular care was 
taken not to permit any clergyman to come near 
me. Thanks be to the God of infinite mercy, 
the clouds of infidelity were dispersed, and reve 
lation adopted in our family. I soon felt con 
vinced of the necessity of investigating the dif 
ferent religious systems, in order to find the true 
one. Although I was born a member of the 
Greek church, and although all my male rela 
tions, without any exception, were either Greeks 
or Protestant, yet did I resolve to embrace that 
religion only, which upon impartial inquiry, 
should appear to me to be the pure religion of 
Jesus Christ. My choice fell upon the Catholic 
church , and at the age of about seventeen I be 
came a member of that church. I read the bible ; 
and saw my neighbors, rich and poor, reading it, 
without any objection on the part of the clergy. 
I frequented numbers of Catholic churches, and 
in all of them heard numberless quotations from 
the bible, as from the written word of God. I 
was acquainted with hundreds of the Catholic 
Clergy ; and do assert, nay am willing to swear, 
if called upon by legal authority, that I never 
knew any Catholic bishop or parish priest to 



20 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

withhold the scripture from the knowledge o* 
the people committed to their care. I am inti 
mately acquainted with numbers of German 
French, Italian, English, Irish, and American 
priests, and never could hear from any of them, 
that the reading of the holy scriptures was pro 
hibited in their respective countries. I have 
seen many Catholic bibles, printed in France, 
England, Ireland, Scotland, &c. In this country 
the English Catholic bible has been printed and 
re-printed in several cities of the Union. The 
Catholic priests, scattered in the different pro 
vinces of the United States, are generally sub 
scribers to a great amount ; and encourage the 
sale of that sacred volume with the utmost zeal. 
I myself, on my last return from Baltimore, 
brought several English Catholic bibles with me ; 
one of them at the particular request, and for the 
use of the Protestant minister s townsman, Mr. 
Henry Dopp, of Huntingdon, who will have no 
objection to shew it to the Protestant minister, in 
order to undeceive him. 

As long as I live I intend to encourage the 
reading of the bible ? and am not in the east 
afraid of incurring thereby the blame of my bish 
op, or the censures of the Catholic church. Is 
it not surprising, my dear friend, that I should 
be, during thirty years, a member of the Catho 
lic church, that I should live so many years 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 21 

near the centie of Catholicity, that I should be, 
luring twenty-three years, an acting, though un 
worthy, minister of the Catholic church, and 
during all that time was not clear-sighted enough 
to find out, that the Catholic clergy were in the 
habit of withholding from their people the key of 
knowledge, the sacred scriptures ? You will ask 
me, probably, what then can be the reason that 
the accusation of concealing the scriptures is so 
generally brought against the Catholic clergy, 
b\ all Protestant ministers of every denomina 
tion? Is it possible that so many respectable 
characters would unite in propagating a palpable 
lie ? Charity, my dear friend, forbids such a sup 
position. I am far from accusing the Protestant 
minister or his colleagues of propagating a wilful 
lie. I am sensible that a lie bawled out with an 
impudent assurance, by any person of weight and 
influence, is often received as an undoubted truth, 
and as such propagated by thousands, without 
the least suspicion of its falsehood. The first 
broachers of the accusation were guilty of a wil 
ful lie. Rebelling against the lawful authority 
of the church, they had to give satisfactory rea 
sons for their rebellion. Thus, they contrived 
numberless accusations against that church ; 
charging the church with all the crimes and 
abuses of which many of its ignorant and corrupt 
ed members were guilty, and affecting to attribute 



?22 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

thtisfe crimes and abuses to the ignorance in 
which.- they .-were kept by the church, which, 
however, was to be attributed to their own neg 
lect and corruption, or perhaps in many in- 
Stances, -to the negligence, corruption, and bad 
example of some of their teachers. 

You ai-e sensible, my friend, that the act or the 
jieglect of one or more of the clergy, is not the 
, act or neglect of his church. I have acknow 
ledged, in my -" DEFENCE or CATHOLIC PRINCI 
PLES," and I do acknowledge again, that many of 
the clergy, as well as of the lay people, in the 
Catholic church, have been guilty of most cul 
pable negligence, and even of very great crimes, 
which Was particularly the case at the time of 
the .pretended reformation; in consequence of 
which the curse of God fell upon the earth and 
caused many, struck with blindness, to forsake 
the church, in the bosom of wnich they would 
have found a remedy for all their spiritual mala 
dies, and to. follow the smoother and broader 
roads of /the pretended reformation. The stand 
ard of rebellion being raised by the hand of 
pride, it was easy to persuade lust and luxury 
that eating is more pleasant than fasting, that a 
Change of wives is more pleasant than being con 
fined to one, that a confession made in genera] 
terms to God alone, is less restraining than a de 
tailed one made to God s minister, that self inter 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 23 

.pretation of God s word affords a greater chance 
to the unruly passions of a corrupted heart than 
the submitting to the interpretation of the church, 
and that liberty and independence is more sweet 
than obedience and submission. Well might the 
reformers proclaim to the world to be ruled by 
the bible, when they granted to every individual 
liberty to interpret and to judge for himself. 

V\ 7 liat would be the consequence, if every in 
dividual in this country was permitted to inter 
pret the law of the land for himself; and if the 
criminal, guilty of the most flagrant breach of 
these laws, enacted for the safety and protection 
of its citizen, was not obliged to submit to the 
interpretation and application of that law upon 
his particular case, made by the authority of the 
court and jury. The murderer would never find 
the law against the crime of murder, to apply to 
his peculiar case ; the thief or robber would find 
his case entitled to an exception from the law 
against thieving or robbing; the blasphemer would 
find in his interpretation, security against the 
punishment inflicted by the laws against bias 
phemy. The laws then, although good and suf 
ficient in themselves, would prove nugatory. 
The holy scriptures are the Christian s code of 
law. The church does not say "you shall not 
read it ;" but the church says, " you shall not in 
terpret it as you please." Scripture itself gives 



24 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

us this caution." "No prophecy of scnptuie la 
made by private interpretation." 2 Peter i. 20. 

The general council of Trent, session 5, chap. 
1, has given strict orders for establishing lectures 
and expositions of holy writ, in churches, mon 
asteries, and colleges; and the reason it gives is, 
that so " that heavenly treasure of holy scripture, 
with which the Holy Ghost, in his infinite boun 
ty, has provided us, may not lie neglected." 

But the same council knew, that as the law 
misinterpreted, is not the law, so also, scripture 
misinterpreted, is not the scripture, not the 
word of God. The holy council knew that, ac 
cording to St. Peter 2. iii. 16, many wrest the 
scriptures to their own perdition. Therefore, 
the council made a decree, session 4: "That 
nobody, relying on their own private judgment, 
presume to wrest the holy scriptures, in matters 
of faith or manners, to their own private sense, 
contrary to that sense which the holy church has 
held, and does hold, to whom it belongs, to judge 
of the true sense of scripture, or contrary to the 
unanimous consent of the holy fathers." 

In addition to this we find a rule laid down by 
Pope Pius IV. but not a law enacted by the 
general council, laying an obligation on the bish 
ops and parish priests, to restrain those only from 
reading the bible in the vulgar tongue, whom 



LETTER ON THE I1O..Y SCRIPTURES . 25 

they see so self-conceited or rash, as to be in 
Danger of wresting it to their own destruction. 

Read the letter of Pope Pius VI. to the arch 
bishop of Florence, which is prefixed to eui 
Catholic bible, and you will see how far he is 
from condemning the practice of reading tK 
bible. 

If, my dear friend, you blame the Cutholic 
church, for opposing ;md condemning f ^ivate in 
terpretation of the bible, you certainly suffer your 
reason to be obscured and overruled by preju 
dice. Liberty, no doubt, is a blessing, but it 
should be confined to its own province, and 
within proper limits. Although we enjoy that 
blessing in this country, and that to the utmost 
degree consistent with safety, yet I do not find 
our government disposed to leave the interpre 
tation of the laws to every individual; every one 
is compelled to submit in practice to the inter 
pretation and judgment of the judiciary, no mat 
ter how much his own private opinion and judg 
ment differs from that of the honorable court. 
Why then will you not allow the same dispensa 
tion, the same principles in church government, 
as the misunderstanding and misinterpreting of 
the laws intended for the salvation of man, would 
be attended with worse consequences than the 
misunderstanding and misinterpreting of the 
laws of the country. 
3 



26 LETTER ON THE HOL\ SCRIPTURES. 

The first reformers could not expect to sue* 
ceed in making proselytes unless by pleasing 
They could not please, except by flattering the 
passions. And as the main passion of man is 
the love of liberty and independence, they took 
care to flatter that particular passion by declaring 
their intention to emancipate nations from the 
yoke and tyranny which the Pope had imposed 
and exercised over them, contrary to the written 
word of God, which alone ought to be their 
guide. Their assertion was easily proved to the 
ignorant and the corrupt, especially at a time 
when real abuses practised by many clergymen, 
(though not authorized by the church,) furnish 
ed ample matter for declamation, and therefore a 
good opportunity for the reformers of exhibiting 
themselves, as burning with zeal for the glory of 
God. 

At the period of the pretended reformation, the 
bible in the vulgar language was in but very few 
persons hands; not in consequence of a prohi 
bition from the church, but in consequence of 
the art of printing being but lately discovered. 
The first book that ever was printed was David s 
Psalter; printed in 1457, by Faust and Schoeffer, 
of the city of Mentz, about sixty years before 
the beginning of the reformation. It required 
many years to bring the art of printing to thai 
degree of perfection which it has now acquired 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 27 

And before printing was known, and generally 
introduced, books of any kind must have been 
very scarce, and in the hands of very few ; no 
wonder, then, if, during the first fifteen centuries 
of the church, the bible could not be in every 
body s hands. 

You would do well, my friend, to ask the Pro 
testant minister, from whom the first reformers 
received that bible, from which they took occa 
sion to blaspheme the holy church of Christ, and 
on which they and their successors have bottom 
ed all their manifold contradictory systems. 
Did that sacred volume rain down from heaven 
into their hands ? No. Did the Almighty send 
the archangel Gabriel, the former messenger of 
happy tidings, to deliver the sacred volume into 
the hands of the reformers? No. Did they, 
through divine inspiration, discover it among the 
ruins of the holy city? No. Where then did 
they find it? In the Catholic church; which, 
during fifteen hundred years, had always care 
fully preserved this precious deposit of divine 
revelation. From it all the holy fathers of the 
church, all the pastors, lawful successors of the 
apostles, had derived that heavenly doctrine, re 
corded in many of their writings, for the instruc 
tion of their flocks, for the conversion of nations, 
and the edification of the church. 

If the popes had become antichrists, the church 



28 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, 

a sink of idolatry and superstition, in snort the 
whore of Babylon ; why did the clergy not de 
stroy those pure sources of divine revelation, 
which in the course of time would have oblitera 
ted the very remembrance of their existence, and 
hus prevented a discovery of the changes and 
novelties which they introduced, and by which 
they totally perverted the holy religion of Jesus 
Christ? 

The Protestant minister will be compelled to 
own, then, that it was in the very bosom of the 
Catholic church the first reformers found the 
sacred volume of scripture, which he says the 
Catholic clergy have carefully kept from the 
eyes of the people. The grand reason for ad 
mitting the books of scripture as divine and ca 
nonical, is, the constant and unvarying testimo 
ny and tradition of the Catholic church. 

I hope, my dear friend, you are convinced by 
this time that we are innocent of that particulai 
charge brought against us, of concealing the 
scriptures. 

However, I have not done yet; I wish to be 
very particular on this important subject, and 
point out to you, as clearly as possible, the dan 
gerous principles of the pretended reformation, 
and in opposition to them the doctrine of the 
Catholic church concerning the bible or the writ 
ten w ->rd of God. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 28 

There is nothing the Protestant gentleman can 
say in praise of the sacred volume, in which we 
do not heartily coincide. Call it a most beautiful 
flower in the garden of heaven, and we say, it is. 
But remember, that whilst the bee sucks from it 
the pure honoy of life, the spider draws from it 
the poison of death. Call it the precious pearl, 
(Mat. xiii. 46.) for the acquiring of which, man 
should sacrifice even the whole of his property, 
and we say, it is. But at the same time we shall 
tell you not to suffer it to be trampled by swine. 
Call it the treasure of God s revelations, and we 
again say, Yes. But we shall pray you to re 
member in whose hands was left the key of that 
precious treasure. (Mat. xvi. 19, xviii. 18.) Call 
it the bread of life, and we shall remind you that 
the most wholesome bread may occasion a sur 
feit, and even death. 

From all I could find in Protestant authors, I 
cannot discover any fixed rule, by which Protes 
tant ministers enable their hearers to find out in 
fallibly the true sense of scripture, the sense of 
the Holy Ghost. Some tell us that scripture is 
sufficiently plain, to convey its true meaning, at 
least by conferring one text with another. Others 
tell us, that common sense and reason is adequate 
to the task of discovering the true sense of scrip 
ture. Others agnin, that by sincere and fervent 
prayer any person may obtain grace to under- 
3* 



30 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

stand the scriptures. I have no doubt but these 
several means have been used by Protestants to 
ascertain the meaning of scripture. What has 
been the result? Confusion and contradiction. 
The first reformers already quarrelled, foamed, 
and raged, cursed and excommunicated one 
another, on account of their different and contra 
dictory explanation of the same scripture texts. 

Men emancipated from the government of the 
church, divided and subdivided into numberless 
sects, which have increased and multiplied to the 
present day, their differences are not about tri 
fling matters only; no, they differ about matters 
essential to salvation ; such as, baptism, the Lord s 
supper, &c. Now contradiction in such essential 
points is an evident sign of falsehood in cases 
where truth alone can save. 

The Protestant rules, then, are altogether in 
sufficient to give us the true interpretation of 
scripture, and to give us perfect security that we 
have infallibly found the true meaning of the 
Holy Ghost. I must confess, my dear friend, 
that I am astonished to see how easy it is to 
satisfy Protestants on the all important subject 
of icligion. Running from one meeting house to 
another, they hear the sacred text expounded in 
different ways, often in contradictory ways; no 
matter, to them it is still the word of God ; al 
though contradiction proves it to be, in many in 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 3 

stances, the word of satan, or the word of death 
I cannot conceive how I could, with any degree 
of devotion, nay even with patience, listen to 
such arbitrary explanations, unless the preacher 
could satisfy me, that by some means he has 
found the key of that precious treasure, and is 
himself an infallible interpreter of scripture. 
Read the "Vindication of the Doctrines of the 
Reformation" with the utmost attention, and you 
will not find any thing satisfactory on this all im 
portant subject. 

After what I had advanced on the subject of 
holy scriptures in my "Defence of Catholic Prin 
ciples," page 14, and again, page 20 22, it be 
came the Protestant minister s duty if he thought 
ihat I was wrong, to confute my arguments, and 
to prove that I was mistaken when I stated 

1. That the divine books cannot be interpreted 
unless by a Divine authority; and, 

2. That the written word could not have been 
intended as the supreme judge to fix our belief 
in matters of faith; which I proved by four argu 
ments. 

Instead of confuting those arguments, (which 
indeed all the Protestant synods of the whole 
Protestant world are not able to do,) what doe? 
the Protestant minister do? Read his "Vindica 
tion," page 9 12, and you will find that by a 
Jdnd of pious fraud, he misrepresents my very 



3 2 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 

plain words, and attempts to make his readers 
believe, that I condemn the reading of scripture 

I wish to be plain, very plain; so plain as tc 
be understood by the meanest capacity ; so plain 
as to leave no chance to sophistry. And I shou d 
be happy to see the combined wisdom of the Pro 
testant world, guided by the love of truth, and 
tired with the heavenly fire of charity, arrayed 
against the arguments that are brought in support 
of our principles. 

I say again, the sacred volume, although it is 
the word of God, is not the supreme judge to fix 
our belief in matters of faith. The letter we see, 
the sense we cannot see. 

Christianity subsisted during many years with 
out the gospels or epistles. It was established 
not by reading but by hearing. (Romans x. 17.) 
During fifteen centuries (printing not being in 
vented) the sacred volume was in very few hands. 
The golden age of the church, the age of martyrs 
the age of saints, the age of pure and unshaken 
faith, was the age when the written gospel did 
not exist at all, or existed in very few hands. 

To this day there are many thousands that can 
not read, and yet their faith is strong, their mor 
als pure ; and I do not know whether I would be 
wrong in asserting, that the most humble, the 
most obedient, the most edifying Christians, thq 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURL*. 33 

most linn believers in the gospel, are generally 
found among; those that cannot read. 

Who are those, who separating from the 
Catholic church, and running in different direc 
tions, have established so many contradictory 
systems of religion ? Protestant bible readers. 

Who are those, who, foaming and raging con 
tinually against the Catholic church, and telling; 
the most unwarrantable lies against her, are con 
tinually sinning against truth and charity, the 
main duties of religion ? Protestant bible read 
ers. 

Who are those thousands and thousands, who 
forsaking the very fundamentals of the Chris 
tian religion, and rejecting all its mysteries, are 
erecting in Baltimore and in many other cities 
very large and costly churches for the worship of 
the Socinian Divinity? Protestant bible readers 

Who are those, and not few in number, who 
pretending a great regard for the gospel, deny the 
divinity of Christ and the eternity of punish 
ments; men high in office, great in learning (re 
member I can prove what I say ) ? 

Protestant bible readers. 

Who are those, who contrary to the precept of 
St. Peter, 2 Ep. i. 20, are continually calling the 
divine books before the judgment seat of their 
own limited and corrupted reason ? Protestant 
bible readers. 



34 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

Who are those, who measuring the profound 
mysteries of God by the narrow and limited mea 
sure of their understanding, make void those 
very mysteries, thus pronouncing that this is 
my body," means, it is not my body , and also 
that " whose sins you forgive they are forgiven," 
could not mean what it says, because where is 
that power given to a sinful creature, and one 
who has to answer for his own sins, ("Vindica 
tion," page 19.) I ask, who are those men : 
Protestant bible readers. 

I expect, my dear friend, you begin to perceive 
that the reading of the sacred volume alone, is 
not sufficient to fix the religious principles of any 
person; nay, that a person might have the whole 
bible by heart, and yet be at a loss what religious 
principles to adopt. 

We respect the bible at least as much as you 
do. We believe it to be divinely inspired. We 
read it with fear and trembling. We kiss the 
sacred text every time we read the gospel of the 
day, in the mass. But we do not presume to 
interpret it : we do not throw that precious pearl 
before the swine. We caution our hearers 
against the danger of self interpretation ; and do 
publicly acknowledge that we are not able, by 
the utmost exertion of our mental powers, to 
fathom its profound mysteries. 

We do preach from scripture, it is true ; buj 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 35 

far from presuming to put our own interpretation 
on the sacred text we deliver to our hearers that 
interpretation which the Catholic church gives 
us, believing the church to be guided by the 
spirit of truth for ever. John xiv. 16. Believ 
ing Christ the fountain of truth and salvation to 
be with his ministers un il the consummation of 
the world. Mat. xxviii. 20. Believing the 
church to be the pillar and ground of truth. 1 
Tim. iii. 15. Thus all our interpretations of all 
essential parts of scripture, are exactly alike; 
and were you to listen to the Catholic minister in 
Pekin in China, or at Loretto in Cambria coun 
ty, Pennsylvania, you would find every where 
the same interpretation, the very same doctrine. 
The strong food of scripture digested by our 
holy mother the Catholic church, the sacred 
spouse of Jesus Christ, (Eph. v. 25,) we suck at 
her breasts, reduced to pure and wholesome milk. 
Ask your Protestant minister what objection 
he can have against this our practice? He tells 
us in his " Vindication, that the bible alone i& 
infallible. What does he mean by that? Does 
he mean that the dead letter of scripture carries 
with it its own interpretation? If it does, why 
then so many quarrels between the first reform 
ers ; and much more so between the numerous 
tribes of their offspring, Lutherans, Calvinists 
Zuinglians, Wiclefites, Anabaptists, Quakers 



36 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

Armenians and Gomarists, &c. &c. &c., and 
many more differing in most essential matters, 
necessary for salvation ? 

Although this fact stares the Protestant minis 
ter in the face, as a most stubborn proof that the 
Protestant rule of faith is very deficient, and that 
the letter of scripture alone is not a sufficient 
guide to salvation, yet he attempts to establish 
his principle by an argument a priori. " If the 
scripture is not plain," s:iys he, page 9, " then 
we must either say that the Holy Ghost could 
not dictate clearly, or that he would not. To sav 
the former of which, would be blasphemy ; and 
to affirm the Litter, is, in effect, to say that the 
scriptures are no revelation of the will of God to 
men." 

The answer to this argument is obvious. The 
Holy Ghost could express himself sufficiently 
plain; and he also did speak plain enough to be 
understood by applying to the proper interpreter, 
which the Holy Ghost himself points out, when 
he commands us to " hear the church." Mat. 
xviii. 17; also when he tells the apostles, by the 
mouth of Christ, " he that hears you hears me," 
Luke x. 16; again, when he tells us, by the 
mouth of St. Paul, 4 Eph. 1115, that "he gave 
some apostles, and some prophets, and other 
some evangelists, and other some pastors and 
doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 31 

ivork of the ministry, for the edifying of the 
body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of 

faith, that henceforth we be no more 

children tossed to and fro, and carried about with 
every wind of doctrine," &.c. &c. 

In consequence of the Protestant principle of 
private interpretation, the wind of doctrine blows 
every way; the members of the different Protes- 
*vmt sects are tossed to and fro ; and instead of that 
unity of faith of which St. Paul speaks, there is 
nothing but contradictions, fluctuations, uncer 
tainties and perplexities. To return then to your 
minister s argument, we say (without incurring 
the guilt of blasphemy) that the Holy Ghost 
would not express himself sufficiently plain, to 
be understood by every individual, guided by the 
faint light of his limited and corrupted reason 
only. The Holy Ghost, who has declared by 
the mouth of Christ, that "unless we become as 
little children, we shall not enter into the king 
dom of heaven," (Mat. xviii. 3,) would have us 
bow down in the dust and acknowledge our de 
pendence on the power and mercy of God ; would 
have us be indebted to God alone for all we 
know; would have us make a generous sacrifice 
of our mental faculties, of our self-will, of our 
pride, &,c. to the dictates of the supreme being; 
would have us "glory in nothing" (as St. Paul 
Bays, 2 Cor. xii. 5,) "but in our infirmities," 



38 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

"for power" (says he again, verse 9,) "is made 
perfect in infirmity." 

If the old man, according to Adam, sinned by 
preferring his own will, at the instigation of Sa 
tan, to the will of God, and thus falling under the 
curse of God, became a prey to all kinds of evils, 
temporal and eternal, the new man according to 
Chiist, treading in the steps of his Divine Sa 
viour, the most perfect pattern of humility and 
obedience, sees no surer way to recover the 
blessings lost, than by renouncing the treacher 
ous light of his understanding, and the corrupt 
inclinations ol his will. 

My dear friend, ask the Protestant minister 
what he means when he tells us. (page 9,) that 
"he will take no guide as infallible but what is 
written in the old and now testaments?" 

From what has been stated already, you must 
plainly perceive that the minister s principle is 
very defective. I say defective; and in order to 
convince yourself of it, go to him and ask him 
to tell you, in the name of God, whose mmistei 
he considers himself to be? What security he 
can give you, that he understands, and does nol 
misunderstand, the many texts of scripture? 
What security, that in expounding scripture, he 
never gives poison instead of wholesome food? 
As he lays no claim to infallibility vrm* nn*. 
tion may possibly puzzle fciim. Here are a lew 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 39 

more questions which will puzzle him no ess. 
As all the reformers have adopted the same prin 
ciple, of following no guide as infallible but what 
is written in the old and new testament, ask him, 
by what rule you are to find out infallibly which 
of the many hundreds of interpretations, made at 
different times, and by different reformers, is the 
right one ? Ask him to tell you what St. Paul 
meant when he desired the Thessalonians (2 Ep. 
li. 14) to "hold the tradition-s received by \void, 
as well as those received by his epistle r" 

Ask your minister to point out to you those 
unwritten traditions. Ask him also to point out 
to you the instructions which our blessed Saviour 
gave his apostles during forty days appearing to 
them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. 
(Acts i. 3.) Ask the Protestant minister next to 
point out to you the text of scripture which com 
mands to keep holy the Sunday or first day of 
the week, and which does away the sabbath or 
seventh day? The next question you may ask 
your minister is, to shew you the text of scrip 
ture which repeals the prohibition made by the 
apostles against the use of blood? (Acts xv. 
29.) Protestants eat blood puddings, and yet 
Protestants pretend to follow no guide as infalli 
ble, only what *.s written in the old and new tes 
taments. Asi your minister why Protestant el 
ders do not, > Cording to the command of St. 



40 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

James, chap. v. 14, anoint their sick with oil . 
And also, why Protestants do not according to 
the positive command of Christ, wash one an 
other s feet? "You also ought to wash one 
another s feet: for I have given you an example, 
that as I have done to you, so do you a/so." 
(John xiii. 14, 15.) 

I wish to be consistent, and 1 wish every per 
son to be consistent, or to act according to those 
principles which each one lays down for a guide 
and a rule of his conduct. If your minister is 
sincere when he tells you that he will take no 
guide as infallible, but "what is written in the 
old and new testaments," then we must conclude 
that whatever is written in the old and new tes 
taments, is, in all cases, the minister s infallible 
guide, or in other words, that the minister thinks 
himself in duty bound to comply with all the 
positive injunctions of that sacred volume, and 
as a minister of Christ, also enforces the same 
injunctions on his hearers. Consequently, (as 
there is not a word to be found from Genesis to 
Revelation repealing the command of keeping 
the sabbath or Saturday) the minister must think 
himself in duty bound, to keep the Saturday, and 
to check and reprimand his hearers for keeping 
the Sunday instead of the day clearly appointed 
in scripture. 

From the same principle of admitting no guide 



LETTER ON THE HOLY" SCRIPTURES. 41 

as infallible but what is written in scripture, i! 
is evident that he ought, both by word and ex 
ample to discountenance the practice of eating 
blood puddings. (Acts xv. 29.) That he is in 
conscience bound, to admonish his elders to 
anoint their sick with oil, (James, chap. v. 14.;) 
and to instruct his hearers to wash one another s 
feet, (John xiii. 14, 15.) 

How your Protestant minister will extricate 
himself I do not know, but I sincerely believe, 
nay I am certain, that the above questions, which 
I have taken the liberty to suggest to you, can 
not be satisfactorily answered, but by the minis 
ters of the Catholic church. Their principle is, 
that the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, alone 
can be the true and infallible interpreter of his 
own words. Now if Christ did not deceive us, 
that holy Spirit of Truth is for ever in the church 
(John xiv. l(j.) The church then, the pillar and 
ground ol truth, (1 Tim. Hi. 15,) is the grand tri- 
rmnal which explains and expounds the sense of 
scripture; which discriminates between those 
commandments of scripture that continue in full 
force and those that have been abrogated or 
changed in some of their circumstances. In con 
sequence of that principle 1 , and consistent, with 
himself, the Catholic keeps holy the Sunday, al 
though he finds clearly written in the sacred vo 
lume the commandment of keeping holy the sab- 
4* 



f2 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRlPTURBb. 

bath or seventh day ; because in the authority of 
the church which is inspired by the Holy Spirit 
of Truth for ever, and which has received the 
jurisdiction of Christ, (Mat. xxviii. 19, and John 
vx. 21,) he finds a sufficient warrant for altering 
jf transferring the obligation from Saturday to 
Sunday. The Protestant, on the contrary admit 
ting only the letter of scripture as his infallible 
rule, and rejecting the authority of the church, 
has no other alternative but to conform to every 
plain injunction of scripture, ;md therefore to 
keep holy the sabbath or Saturday, or to acknow 
ledge the insufficiency of the letter of scripture 
to be his guide. This acknowledgment is actu 
ally made in practice by nearly all Protestants, 
who in many instances, deviate from plain in 
structions of scripture, and yet do not consider 
themselves guilty of any breach of the law ; and 
the same acknowledgment is made in plain words 
by some eminent Protestant divines. 

"There are hundreds of particulars," (says the 
Protestant bishop Montague, p. 396,) "which 
have been instituted by God in the point of reli 
gion, commanded and used by the church, of 
which, we own, that the scripture delivers or 
Caches no such things." 

It must be plain to you, my dear friend, tha 
.vhatever God has instituted in the point of re 
ligion is of divine authority, let it be written or 



LETTER ON THK UOI.Y SCKIPTUKKS. 43 

not written, let it be found in scripture or not: 
and that our Divine Saviour has instituted very 
many things that never were written, is evident 
from the above quoted texts. 2 Thes. ii. 14, and 
Acts, i. 3, also from John, xxi. 25. 

From the Protestant minister s principle i1 
would evidently follow : 

1. That the instructions which St. Paul deliv 
ered to the Thessalonians by word only and not 
in writing, are of no account whatever, because 
not found in the scriptures. 

2. That the heavenly instructions given by our 
Divine Saviour to his apostles during forty d;iys 
after his resurrection, are also to be despised and 
disregarded, because not written. From the Pro 
testant principle of following no guide but the 
written word, those heavenly instructions are en 
tirely lost to them, although they must have been 
very important, as being the last ones, and as 
being delivered to the apostles when on the 
point of commencing their ecclesiastical career 
and delivered to them after the resurrection ol 
their master had fully confirmed their belief in 
his divinity, and of course ennbled them to bear 
and to digest stronger food than before that glo 
rious event. 

3. From the same Protestant principle it fol 
lows, that the instructions given by St. Phillip. 
St. Bartholomew, &cc. &-c. are altogether lost, and 



44 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

indeed very unimportant, because not transmit 
ted in writing. 

4. It also follows from the same principle, that 
UK; apostles creed, " I believe in God the Father 
Almighty," &,c. &c. is not at all entitled to credit, 
and by no means the word of God, because not 
found in scripture. 

You will plainly perceive, my dear friend, that 
the Cath"li j ;nciple levels all those difficulties, 
and banisiic.j all doubis on these different sub 
jects. Convinced that the Catholic churrh is 
the holy spouse of Christ, we believe with a firm 
faith, which all the quibbles of your Protestant 
minister cannot shake, that this holy spouse of 
Christ has received the precious deposite of the 
Divine word, whether written or unwritten, that 
by the light of the Spirit of Truth infused into 
that church, (John, xiv. 16, 17.) she is always, 
and always will be, able to retain and to transmit 
that precious deposite of divine revelation, pure 
and undefiled, to the most remote ages. On the 
word of that church we receive the holy scrip 
ture as the word of God; on her word we re 
ceive the apostles creed as the word of God ; on 
her word we also receive as divine, whatever we 
know of the sacraments, of the government and 
hierarchy of the church, of the celebration of 
Sundays and holy days, &,e. &c. ; from her we 
receive thf true sense and interpretation of the 



LETTER ON THE HOi,V SCI JPTl RES. ift 

written word ; from IKT we know Avhat books ire 
canonical, and which <>f the many tmnslations 
uf scripture is faithful Mid uumine. You are 
sensible, my dear friend, iliat nothing less than 
an infallible authority is required, in order to sa 
tisfy us on all those; diilerent heads so as to leave 
uo doubt on our minds. With regard to the writ 
ten word or the holy scripture, we must be cer 
tain : 1. That the original scripture, viz. the old 
testament in Hebrew, and the new testament in 
Greek, is really the pure word of (rod, dictated 
by the Holy Ghost. 2. We must be certain 
which books belong to the canon of scripture, or 
in other words, which books are canonical, or of 
divine authority. 3. As the original scriptures 
have been translated into nearly all the different 
languages of the jrlobe, we must be certain that 
the translation which is put into our hands, is a 
faithful translation, that does not deviate from 
the original, or from the sense of the Holy Ghost; 
for it does not require any arguments to prove 
that a false translation of any sentence of scrip 
ture is not the word of God. 4. Finally, As 
many sentences in scripture are hard to be un 
derstood, and admit cf various interpretations, 
and as a false interpretation is not the word of 
God, we must have a certainty whether we un 
derstand or misunderstand scripture. 

In order to acquire a perfect certainty on all 



46 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

those different heads, and to banish even the pos 
sibility of a doubt, we must derive our know 
ledge on all those different heads from an infalli 
ble authority; from an authority that is not sub 
ject to error : and where shall we find this uner 
ring authority ? Not in the wisdom of man, nor 
in the collected wisdom of all mankind. For as 
St. Paul says, (1 Cor. iii. 19,) "the wisdom of 
this world is foolishness with God : for it is writ 
ten, I will catch the wise in their own crafti 
ness." And again, " I will destroy the wisdom 
of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I 
will reject." 1 Cor. i. 19. 

In truth, my dear friend, the greatest wisdom 
you can attain to in this world, is the knowledge 
of your own ignorance, of yonr insignificancy, of 
your dependance on the great God in every case, 
in every instance, and every moment. 

I ask again, where shall we find this unerring 
authority, to establish the canon of scripture, to 
point out the faithful translation, and to deter 
mine the true sense of scripture ? No where, 
my friend, but in the Catholic church ? which 
has the promise of the Spirit of Truth for e* $r. 
(John, xvi. 16.) 

I think it necessary to dwell on each of thosq 
particular subjects. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, 47 



THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE 

be determined by an infallible authority 
four protestant minister thinks himself able to 
establish the canon of scripture by the powers 
of reason ; and he gives us a specimen of his in 
genuity (page 48) in the following words : 

" We reject the apocryphal books which wer^ 
never received by the Jews, to whom the oracles, 
of God were committed. Of these, some are 
only abridgments, &c. &c. Others have very 
much the resemblance of a romance, us the pre 
tended histories of Judith and Susanna ; and 
lastly, who would believe the history of Tobit 
and his dog except a Roman Catholic, who can 
swallow any absurdity." 

My dear friend, all the ancient fathers of the 
church agree that Esdras was the compiler of the 
Jewish canon, which contained twenty-two 
books. This compilation took place after the 
Babylonian captivity, and did ,not comprehend 
any books but those that had been written before 
the said captivity ; and it does not appear that 
any other book was afterwards added to that ca 
non. But remember that our Saviour Jesus 
Christ does not send us to the Jews, but to his 
church, for instructions, and that he invests the, 
"hurch with the spirit of truth for ever, hi 



48 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

to make her a fit instructor in the ways of truth 
and salvation. Now, that holy church, in the 
third council of Carthage, Anno Domini 397, 
declares the Macchabees, Tobias, Judith, &c. to 
be divine books, as well as those contained in 
the Jewish canon ; and the same declaration is 
made about 1200 years afterwards by the Coun 
cil of Trent. Nearly all Protestants agree that 
the church of Christ was pure yet at the above 
period, Anno 397, and of course that credit is 
due to her declaration made at that time. 

Is not the unanimous consent of the Catholic 
or universal church of all ages, a safer rule to 
establish the canon of scripture than the private 
and contradictory opinions of innovators ? I say 
contradictory, for the different reformers did not 
agree about the different parts of scripture. Mar 
tin Luther tells us plainly, (vol. iii. p. 40, 41.) 
"we will neither hear nor see Moses, for he was 
given only to the Jews, neither does he belong 
any thing to us." 

Again in his Table Discourses, chapter of the 
laws and the gospel, Luther tells us, "I will not 
receive Moses with his law, for hfe is the enemy 
of Christ, (page 118,) Moses is the master of all 
hangmen." And in his sermon of Mos<s, he 
says, "the ten commandments belong not to 
Christians ; let the ten commandments be alto 
gether rejected, and all heresies will presently 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 49 

cease, for the ten commandments ;ire, as it were, 
the fountain from whence all his heresies spring." 

Islebius, Luther s scholar, taught the same 
doctrine. From him came the sect of Antino- 

mans, who taught publicly, "if thou be aw e, 

if an adulterer, or otherwise a sinner, believe, 
and thou walkest in the way of s;ilvation * * * 
* * * # * ^ All that busy themselves about 
Moses, that is the ten commandments, belong to 
the devil; to the gallows with Moses." (See 
Confession of the Manfield Ministers, in Latin. 
Tit. de Antinomi, p. 89, 90.) 

Castalio commanded the canticles of Solomon 
t > be thrust out of the canon. (See Beza in Vi 
ta Calvini.) 

Calvin rejects these words of St. Matthew, 
" Many are called but few chosen." (Sermon 
on Matthew, xx. 16.) 

Zuinglius and other Protestants affirm, that all 
things in St. Paul s epistles are not sacred, and 
that in sundry things he erred. 

Rogers makes mention of sundry Protestants 
who reject as apocryphal the epistle to the He 
brews, of St. James, the first and second of John, 
of Jude, and the Revelations. (Defence of the 
Articles, art. 6, page 32.) 

Calvin charges St. Peter to have erred in faith 
and morals. (See Calvin in Gal. 2. p. 510, 511.) 
There are other Protestant divines who admit the 
5 



50 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

very books as canonical which the Jews reject 
ed, and which are admitted by the Catholic 
church. 

The Calvinists of Geneva, in their preface to 
a bible published Anno 1551, by John Tomes ius, 
have the following instruction to the reader: 
" We are not to stand to the censure of the Jews, 
in regard of this maiming of the canon of scrip 
ture : and in these books (rejected by the Jews) 
there are true prophecies and hidden mysteries,) 
which could not be spoken but by the Holy 
Ghost, &c. &c. 

Dr. Bancroft, in his conference before the 
king, (page 60,) rejects the objections of the 
Jews, calling them "the old cavils of the Jews," 
&c. 

Conradus Pellican, Protestant divine at Ti- 
gure, says in his dedicatory epistle, that " those 
books were always counted ecclesiastical and 
biblical; that even from the apostles times they 
were read in the Catholic church with much 
reverence, although they were not produced in 
authority against the Jews, who received not 
these books into their sacred canon. * * * for 
the most part they clearly carry the right style 
of the Holy Ghost." &c. &c. It is evident, then., 
that the very first reformers did not agree among 
themselves on the canon of scripture, and that 
your Protestaiit. minister is much mistaken when 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 51 

he says (page 48,) that "the reformed church 
receives no other books but those which are ac 
knowledged canonical by all Christians, &c., and 
reject the apocryphal books which were never 
received by the Jews," &c. In fact, there are 
so many reformed churches, so many different 
opinions and variations even among Protestants 
of the same denomination, and so many changes 
in the faith and principles of the same reformed 
church from time to time, that it would be more 
correct to say that the principles of the reformed 
churches (not church) is to have no fixed prin 
ciple, but to be guided by mere opinions. 

It is your minister s opinion that the historic*, 
of Judith and Susanna have very much the re 
semblance of a romance ; and that the history of 
Tobit and his dog is an absurdity. 

Ask your minister what he thinks of Balaam 
and his ass, and also of Samson and his foxes? 
Ask him also how he will ever succeed in estab 
lishing a firm unshaken belief in his canon of 
scripture, when he cannot bottom it upon an in 
fallible unerring authority ? 

THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL TRANSLATION OF 
SCRIPTURE, 

ought also to be pointed out by an infallible ol 
unerring authority, as no tiling short of an infalli 
ble authority can give a perfect certainty to the. 



52 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

readers of scripture in the vulgar language, that 
what they read is the pure \vord of God. 

The Protestant minister tells you "that the 
Roman church, or its rulers, in order to hide the 
absurdities they taught, were obliged to make a 
bible for themselves, so unlike the true transla 
tion of that sacred book, that they who can read 
it in the original, would scarce know it to be the 
same." (Page 133, of the Vindication.) 

Those that live in the neighborhood of the Pro 
testant minister, have a very good opportunity of 
reading the English Catholic bible, if they chose 
so to do; and any one clear sighted enough to 
discover the priest s spittle and the live coal in 
the holy water, (Vindication, page 75) will also 
be able to discover the enormous difference be 
tween the Catholic and the Protestant bibles. 

The truth is, my dear friend, the two bibles 
are not quite so different as the minister would 
persuade you ; but still there are some differen 
ces, even in some essential points, which, how 
ever, may escape the notice of the reader, unless 
ne reads very attentively. 

The question then is, (and a very important 
question) which translation is the genuine one ? 

The minister will tell you at once, that it is 
the Protestant bible. If he does, ask him which 
of all the Protestant translations he means ? For 
you must know, my friend, that there are many 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 53 

Protestant translations, differing from one an 
other, as well as from the original; and you must 
know that the translations made by some Protes 
tants are most bitterly condemned by other Pro 
testants. 

Zuinglius, writing to Luther about his Ger 
man translation, has the following words: "Thou 
dost corrupt the word of God ; thou art seen to 
be a manifest and common corrupter and perver- 
ter of the holy scripture; how much are we 
ashamed of thee," &c. &c. vol. 2, of the Sacra 
ment, p. 412, 413. 

Keckman, another Protestant divine, affirms, 
that " Luther s German translation of the old tes 
tament, &c., has its blemishes, and those no 
small ones." (See Keckrmn s System of Di 
vinity, book 1, p. 188.) 

T shall only mention two of Luther s wilful 
corruptions. 

Where St. Paul (Rom. iii. 28) says "we ac 
count a man to be justified by faith, without the 
works of the law," Luther translates, "justified 
by faith alone," Sec., to support his aversion to 
good works ; and when admonished of this foul 
corruption, his answer was : " Sic volo, sic jubeo, 
sit pro ratione voluntas," &.c.,that is, "so I will, 
so I command, let my will be for a reason ; Lu 
ther will have it so. The word, alone, must re 
main in my new testament, although all the Pa 



54 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

pists go mad. If thy Papist shew himself angty 
for the word alone, forthwith tell him a Papi&< 
and an ass are the same thing," &c. (See Lu 
ther s German writings, vol.. 5, p. 141 144.) 

Also where it is said, ( Peter, i. 10,) "Where 
fore, brethren, labor the more, that by good works 
you may make sure your vocation and election." 
Luther here omitteth these words " by gooa 
works," which are also omitted in most of the 
English Protestant translations. 

On the other hand we find Luther rejecting 
the translation of the Zuinglians, and calling 
them " fools, asses, antichrists, deceivers," &c. 
(See Zuinglius, vol. 2. ad. Luth. of the Sacram. 
p. 388,. &c,) 

: The Tigurine translation was condemned by 
other Protestant divines ; and as Hospinian writes 
.in his boo k called "The Concord of Discord," p. 
238, it was rejected with great anger by the elec 
tor of Saxony. 

: The translation set forth by Oecolampadius 
and the Protestant divines of Basil is reproved 
by Beza, "as wicked in many places, and alto 
gether differing from the sense of the Holy 
Ghost." 

The translation of Castalio, another Protestant, 
which Dr. Humfrey affirms to be, " thorough Iv 
conferred, examined and polished/ (see Hu 

y De Rat. Interpret vol. 2. p. 62, 63, etc.; * 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRfPTURES. 55 

also condemned by Beza as sacrilegious and 
wicked," &c. (See Beza in Test. 1556, in Piasef. 
and in Annot. in Mat. 3, in 1 Cor. and in Mat. 
4, &c. &c.) 

Concerning Calvin s translation, the famous 
Protestant, Charles Molin;eus, aflirmeth, that 
" Calvin makes the text of the gospel to leap up 
and down ; he uses violence to the letter of the 
gospel; and besides this, adds to the text." (See 
Molinseus in his Translation of the New Testa 
ment, part 11, p. 110.) 

The same Molinacus also charges Beza "to 
change the text in his translation." 

King James thinks the Protestant translation 
of Geneva to be "the worst of all." (See Con 
ference before his Majesty, page 46.) 

Thus you see, that the very first reformers al 
ready quarrelled about their different translations 
of scripture. Now to speak more particularly of 
the English Protestant translations, we find great 
complaints made against them by Protestants 
themselves. 

In the petition presented to king James by 
numbers of the Protestant clergy, page 75, they 
complain that "the book of Psalms alone, differs 
from the Hebrew in at least two hundred places." 

Mr. Carlisle, a Protestant divine, asserts that 
the " English translators have depnived the sense 
of scripture, obscured the truth, and deceived th 



56 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

ignorant: that they shew themselves to lovi 
darkness more than light, falsehood more than 
truth." (See p. 116, 117, &c., of Christ s de 
scending into hell.) 

The Protestant ministers of the diocese of Lin 
coln affirm, that "the English translation takes 
away from, and adds to, the text, and that, some 
times to the changing or obscuring the meaning 
of the Holy Ghost; a translation which is absurd 
and senseless," &c. (See the Abridgment which 
the ministers of Lincoln delivered to his majes 
ty, page 11.) 

Mr. Burgess, another Protestant, in his " Apo 
logy," sect. 6, excuses himself for not subscrib 
ing to that Protestant translation. "How shall I 
approve," says he, " under my hand, a translation 
which has many omissions, many additions, 
which sometimes obscureth, sometimes pervert- 
eth the sense, being sometimes senseless, some 
times contrary." 

Mr. Broughton, a Protestant divine of great 
learning, wrote an epistle to the lords of the coun 
cil, desiring them to procure a new translation of 
the scripture, and assures the Protestant bishops 
that "the English translation perverts the text of 
the old testament in eight hundred and forty- 
eight places ; and causes millions of souls to run 
to eternal flames." 

Had not king James then just cause to com 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 57 

plain that he could never yet see a bible well 
translated into English. (See Conference be 
fore his Majesty, page 46.) 

Take notice, my dear friend, that the reforma 
tion had already existed about one hundred years, 
when these complaints were made; and remem 
ber here your minister s assertion, that nothing 
is to be taken as infallible but what is written in 
the old or new testament, which, however, ac 
cording to the Protestant doctor Whitaker, "is 
not the word of God, unless it faithfully expresses 
the meaning of the authentical (or original) text." 
(See Whitaker s answer to Rein, page 235.) 

From the testimonies of Protestants themselves 
then, you plainly see upon what foundation the 
edifice of the reformation was raised ; to wit, 
upon the dead letter of scripture, corruptly trans 
lated, curtailed, and perverted, which of course 
was not the word of God, and which besides, 
every one was to interpret for himself. 

The English Protestant bible, they pretend, is 
a faithful translation from the Hebrew and Greek 
origimls. This I declare to be impossible. Why 
so? Because the Hebrew and Greek originals 
are no longer in existence. Time, that demol 
ishes the strongest monuments raised by the 
hands of men, has also destroyed the originals 
of scripture. The present Hebrew and Greek 
texts are only copies, which in many places de- 



58 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

viate from ihe original ; of which I shall give 
you a few instances. 

First, in the present Hebrew old testament we 
read, Isaias ix. 6, " he shall call wonderful," &c. 
whereas it is evident from the context, and Cal 
vin owns to it, that it must be " he shall be caller 
wonderful," &c. Again, in Psalm xxi. 17, 
where all Christians read they have dug my 
hands" the Hebrew text says, like a lion, which 
has no sense at all. In Psalm xviii. 5, where 
we read " their sound hath gone forth into all the 
earth," which is quoted by St. Paul in the very 
same words, Rom. x. 18, the Hebrew text says, 
"their line or perpendicular went forth into all the 
earth," which the Protestant minister is perhaps 
more capable of explaining than I am. 

Again, Genesis viii. 7, where we read " the 
raven went forth and did not return" &c. the 
Hebrew text says " did return" From the trans 
lation of the Septuagint, and from all the ancient 
fathers who have quoted that text, it must be 
" did not return" 

There are besides, whole sentences omitted in 
the present Hebrew text ; for instance, in Exod. 
ii. 22. " And she bare another whom he called 
Eliezer, saying, for the God of my father, my 
helper, hath delivered me out of the hand of 
Pharaoh." These words must have been in the 
Hebrew original, as they are found in the Sep- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 59 

tuagint, which is a Greek translation from the 
Hebrew original, and also in St. Jerome s trans 
lation. 

The present Greek text is not pure neither 
which I shall prove by a few instances. 

1 Cor. xv. 47. Where we read, "the first man 
was of the earth, earthly : the second man from 
heaven, heavenly" which Calvin confesses to be 
the true way of reading. The Greek text says, 
"the second man, the Lord from heaven" 

Rom. xii. 11. Where the vulgate, as well as 
the Protestant testament says " serving the Lord," 
many Greek copies say "serving time;" which 
is evidently wrong, as appears from all the Greek 
fathers who have quoted the above text. 

Moreover, it is evident that in many Greek 
copies, words are added to the sacred text ; as, 
for instance, to the Lord s prayer, Mat. vi. the 
words "for thine is the kingdom, power and glo~ 
ry" &c. whicli words are not to be found in an} 
of the ancient fathers that have quoted and ex 
plained the Lord s prayer from the holy scripture 

In most of the Greek copies, considerable parts 
of holy writ are omitted ; for instance, the last 
chapter of St. Mark, and the history of the wo 
man apprehended in adultery. John viii. 

The present Hebrew and Greek, then, of 
which the Protestant bible is said to be a trans 
lation, is not pure ; of course the translat on can- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

..ot be pure, admitting it to be a faithful transla 
tion ; which, however, is not the case, as I hava 
proved by many Protestant authorities. 

It is true that upon so many complaints being 
brought before king James, the bible was revised ; 
but the most of its errors remained untouched, 
and continue in it to this day. 

The Catholic church makes use of the Latin 
bible, called the vulgate, which was published 
by St. Jerome, under the pontificate of pope Da- 
masus, sometime about the year 370. This is 
the bible which, the Protestant minister says, 
u the Roman church or its rulers, made for them 
selves, in order to hide the absurdities they 
taught, and which is so unlike the true transla 
tion, that they who can read it in the original, 
would scarce know it to be the same." 

Many learned Protestant ministers are of a 
different opinion. Hear what Beza says, in his 
preface to the New Testament: "I do embrace, 
for the most part, the vulgate edition, and prefer 
it before all others." And in his Annotations on 
Luke i. "the old interpreter seems to have inter 
preted the holy books with greatest religion." 

Dr. Humphrey, a Protestant minister, confesg- 
eth that "the old interpreter was much addicted 
to the propriety of words, and that over-scrupu- 
lously, which yet (says he) I interpret him to 
have done upon religion, and not upon igrior 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 61 

ance." (See Humphrey de Ratione Interpret, 
book i. p. 74.) 

Molinueus, another Protestant, declares thai 
"he can hardly depart from the vulgar and ac 
customed reading, which also (says he) I am ac 
customed earnestly to defend : yea I prefer the 
vulgate edition before Erasmus, Bucer, Bullin- 
ger, &c., also before John Calvin, and all others." 
(See Molinseus on the New Test, part 30, and on 
Luk. 17.) 

Conradus Pellican, another Protestant minis 
ter, finds "the vulgate edition of the psalter to 
agree for the sense with such dexterity, learning 
and fidelity of the Hebrew, that I doubt not 
(says he,) but the Greek and Latin interpreter 
was a man most learned, most godly, and of a 
prophetic spirit." (See part 2 of the Def. of the 
Minister, p. 136.) 

" We grant it fit," says Dr. Dove, in his Per 
suasion to Recusants, page 16, "that for unifor 
mity in quotations of places, in schools and pul 
pits, one Latin text should be used. And we cam 
!>e contented for the antiquity thereof with the 
vulgate before all other Latin books." 

In confirmation of this antiquity, Dr. Covell, 
in his Answer to Burges, page 94, tells you thai 
" It was used in the church thirteen hundred 
years ago ;" that is at present more than fourteen 
>undred years, or more than eleven hundred 
6 



62 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

years before the pretended reformation; and ho 
himself doubts not "to prefer that translation be 
fore others;" and he adds, "that whereas there 
are many Protestant translations that disagree 
among themselves, the approved translation au 
thorised by the church of England, is that which 
cometh nearest to the vulgate, and is commonly 
called the bishop s bible." (Covell to Surges, 
pa ire 91.) 

You see then, my dear friend, that all Protes 
tants do not agree with your minister in con 
demning our Catholic bible ; and I do not thinl 
that he is able to give any other proofs for his as 
sertion, that the Roman Catholic rulers mad- 
that bible to hide the absurdities of their doctrine 
except his hatred against the Catholic church. 

Hatred and spite, my friend, are dangeroi . 
passions, that blind the sight and obscure t-t 
understanding. Persons actuated by those pv- 
sions lose sight of the very first principles of Jo- 
gic, and of all the rules of sound criticism, -nd 
condemn merely because they are deteriv^ed 
to condemn. 

According to the rules of sound critici*fk A the 
vulgate bible used by the Catholic chuivh de 
serves the preference before all the tn~" Htions 
of the reformers. 

1st. Because it was translated (.<*<. the He 
brew and the Greek nearly 1400y*~..t *>tfore the 



LET /ER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 63 

pictended reformation, at a time that those ori 
ginal sources were much purer than they are at 
present. 

2d. Because St. Jerome, the translator arid re 
viser of that divine book, was, not only a man of 
very great learning, but in particular a most com 
plete master of the three languages, Hebrew, 
{ reck, and Latin. 

3d. Because, after being appointed by Pope 
Damasus to revise and translate the holy scrip 
tures, he transported himself from Rome to Jeru 
salem, and spent several years in perfecting him 
self in the knowledge of Hebrew, and in exam 
ining and comparing all the ancient manuscripts 
of the bible, which he was able to procure. 

4th. Because the said bible, thus translated 
and revised by St. Jerome, was received by the 
whole Catholic church, at a time when even our 
adversaries confess it to have been the true 
church. The most of them suppose the whole 
world to have been buried in superstition and 
idolatry during the space of about eight hundred 
ye irs before the pretended reformation, viz. from 
about the year 700 to 1500; but the above trans 
lation, adopted by the Catholic church, was 
made about the year 370. 

Judge then, my dear friend, whether the vul- 
gate translation, which the Catholic church has 
Adopted as her standard of scripture, is not fai 



<)4 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

more to be depended upon, as being the genu 
ine, pure word of God, than any of those modern 
translations made by reformers, arid made irom 
a spirit of spite and opposition to the Car iolic 
church ? Made at a time when the original He 
brew and Greek did no longer exist in thei, pu- 
lity. And made without the help of that infalli 
ble and unerring Spirit of Truth, which undoubt 
edly guided the holy Catholic church in approv 
ing and adopting the translation of St. Jerome : 
for Christ had promised, (John xiv. 16, 17, and 
xvi. 13,) that the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete, 
should guide his church into all truth, and should 
guide her for ever. And certainly never was the 
fulfilling of that promise more necessary than on 
the solemn occasion of determining the important 
question " Which is the pure and genuine transla 
tion of the original written word of God?" 

The reformed translators of scripture were left 
to the light of their own limited and corrupted 
reason only, when they undertook, out of cor 
rupted and polluted sources, to draw the pure 
and heavenly doctrine of salvation. No wonder 
then, if those translations deviate in many in 
stances from the pure word of God, as has been 
proved by the testimonies of numbers of Protes 
tants. 

You will now understand the several positions 
contained in the Pope s brief against bible socle- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 65 

tics, which the Protestant minister publishes in 
a tone of triumph (page 136 138,) because in 
it hr finds it completely proved that the Roman 
Catholic church opposes the reading of scripture 
The loading positions in that brief are : 

1. That the bible printed by heretics is to be 
numbered among prohibited books. 

2. That the holy scriptures, when circulated 
in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity 
of men, produced more harm than benefit. 

3. As a consequence of 1. and 2. that no ver 
sions of the bible in the vulgar tongue be per 
mitted, except such as are approved by the apos 
tolic see, or published with annotations extracted 
from the writings of the holy fathers of the church. 

I do not find in the whole of the Pope s brief, 
any expressions more forcibly, more energeti 
cally, expressing the danger of false translations 
than those above-quoted expressions of the Pro 
testant minister Broughton, in his epistle to the 
lords of the council. " that the English transla 
tion (used in his time) perverts the text of the 
old testament, &c.," "and causes MILLIONS OF 

SOULS TO RUN TO ETKKNAL FLAMES." 

The Pope calls the circulating false translations 
of scripture, and scattering the same by millions 
among the nations of the globe, " a defilement of 
the fttitli imminently dangerous to souls. 11 Thia 
is certainly correct. 
6* 



36 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

If adding to, or taking away from, the words 
of God s revelation, will, according to Rev. xxii. 
18, 19, accumulate on the person guilty of that 
sacrilege all the woes announced in the sacred 
volume, what else but curses and the most dread 
ful punishments have those to expect who over 
flow the world with false translations of the word 
of God. and thus practice the most criminal de 
ception on millions of souls. 

But even admitting the translation to be genu 
ine, it is not by throwing the sacred volume by 
millions among the nations, that they will be 
converted to Christianity. Throwing the pearl 
before the swine (which is expressly forbidden) 
will never turn those swine into rational beings, 
and teach them to esteem that pearl. 

The Catholic missionaries, who in all ages 
have preached the gospel, and converted many 
nations in every part of the globe, found it ne 
cessary to adopt a far different method in order 
to bring under the yoke of Christ millions of 
savages that had of human nature nothing but 
the outward form ; that were more brutal than 
the tigers of the forest. With the most ardent 
charity, with the most heroic courage, and the 
most persevering patience, they hunted them up 
in their almost impenetrable forests, and renounc 
ing all the commodities of life, they adopted the 
mode of living, the same nourishment, had 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 6*7 

nothing but the cold earth for their beds, in short 
they became sav;ige with the savages, in order 
to gain them to Christ. (1 Cor. ix. 20, 2 2.) 
Many of those missionaries were massacred be 
fore ever they had any chance of announcing ic 
them the tidings of salvation. Their persevering 
endeavors were crowii^<l with success. About 
three hundred thousand iainilics in South Amer 
ica alone, were persuaded in leave their forests 
and their vagabond way of living, to form settle 
ments and to range themselves under the cross, 
the standard of Christianity ; and it is proved by 
the testimonies of the Spanish governors under 
whose jurisdiction those Indian settlements were, 
and also by the testimonies of numbers of travel 
lers, that those Indians were examples of Chris 
tian virtue and perfection, and that those vices 
which are so very common among the Christian 
nations- were entirely unknown to them. 

Take notice, my friend, that those nations were 
not converted by reading the bible, but, as St. 
Paul says, by hearing, (Rom. x. 17,) for none of 
them had any idea of a letter ; and even after 
their conversion very few of them ever learned 
to read. Their days were spent in praying and 
laboring. Without ever diving into the profound 
mysteries of scripture, they listened and sub 
mitted with the docility of children to their fa 
thers in Christ, and received from the church 



68 LE lTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURPS. 

the doctrine of salvation. In short they were 
not bible readers, but practisers of its command 
ments. 

They were not improved enough to measure 
the immeasurable abyss of Omnipotence, but they 
had a sufficient share of learning to know that 
nothing is impossible to Omnipotence. 

They were not wise enough to comprehend the 
profound mysteries of revelation, but had hu 
mility and grace enough to believe them. 

They were not philosophers enough to pro 
nounce on the possibility or impossibility of the 
mysteries, but had common sense enough to know 
thnt the God of truth could not be the author of 
lies and deception. 

They had not pride enough to sit in judgment 
over the divine revelations, and to determine 
their sense and meaning by the feeble light of 
their reason, but they had sense enough to know 
that a church guided for ever by the Spirit of 
Truth, and being the pillar and ground of truth, 
could ne er deceive them. 

They could not read the bible, but they re 
ceived the heavenly doctrine therein contained, 
digested and accommodated to their limited un 
derstanding, from their spiritual fathers in hear 
ing them they heard Christ himself, (Luke x. 16) 
and not being ingenious enough to know the 
wonderful power and virtue belonging to the 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 69 

words " it means" which changes flesh into 
bread, life into death, power into weakness, sub 
stance into shadow, they simply believed, with 
out scrutinizing. They were all united in the 
bonds of faith and charity. Thus what the mere 
riding of the bible never was able to produce, 
Vv s accomplished by humility and obedience. 

Put the bible into the h.-inds of the proud, lux- 
uiious and corrupt man, and guided by the cor 
rupt inclinations of flesh and blood, he will find 
in it whr.r will authorise his criminal practices ; 
especially when he is told to interpret for him 
self. Thus the most abominable heresies, the 
most *mpious systems, and the most immoral 
practices have been deduced from the sacred 
vrlume. 

It is not the reading of the bible itself, then, 
t at the Pope condemns in his brief, but reading 
With a bad disposition ; reading with pride and 
f y f-conceit ; reading without deference to the 
interpretation of the church ; and especially read- 
11 % false translations condemned by the church. 

Before I close this subject I shall point out to 
you a few instances of false translations in your 
p rotestant testament : 

Roman Catholic Testament. Protestant Testament. 

Luc. ii. 14. 

1 . Glory be to God in Glory to God in the high- 
the highest, and on earth est, and on earth peace, 
peace to men of good will, good will towards mo.i 



70 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 



Roman Catholic Testament. 

Matt. xix. 



Prot< 
11. 



itant Tesi;une:,t. 



2. He said to them : 
All men receive not this 
word, but they to whom 
it is given. 

John 

3. And Jesus saith to 
her : Woman whctt is it to 
me and to thee? my hour 
is not yet come. 



He said unto them : All 
men cannot receive this 
saying, save they to whom 
it is given. 
ii. 4. 

Jesus said unto her, 
Woman, what have I to do 
with thec ? mine hour is 
not yet come. 



Acts xix. 35. 



4. And \v.\en the town- 
clerk had appeased the 
multitudes, he said : Ye 
men of Ephesus, what 
man is there, that know- 
cth not that the city of the 
Ephesians is a worship 
per of the great Diana and 
of Jupiter s offspring ? 



5. I have left me seven 
thousand men that have 
not bowed their knees to 
Baal 

1. Cor 

6. Have we not power 
to lead about a woman a 
sitter as well as the rest 
of the apostles, &,c.? 



And when the town- 
clerk had appeased the 
people, he said, Ye men of 
Ephesus, what man is 
there that knoweth not 
how that the city of the 
Ephesians is a worshipper 
of the great goddess Diana, 
and of the image which 
fell down from Jupiter ? 
Rom. xi. 4. 

I have reserved to my 
self seven thousand men, 
who have not bowed the 
knee to the image of Baal. 
-x. 5. 

Have we not power tn 
lead about a sister a wife, 
as well as other apostles, 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 71 

K,inan Callmlio Testament. 1 n.ti stant Testament. 

1. Cor. xi. 27. 

7. Whosoever shall eai Whosoever shall eal 
ill is broad or drink the this bread and drink this 
chalice of the Lord un- cup of the Lord, unwor- 
worthilv. &c. thily, &.c. 

Gal. v. 17. 

8. The flesh lusteth The flesh lusteth against 
against the spirit, &,c., so the spirit, &c., so that ye 
that you do not the things cannot do the things that 
that you would. ye would. 

Phil. iv. 3. 

9. And I entreat thee And I entreat thee also, 
also, my sincere compan- true yoke fellow, help 
ion, help those women, &c. those women, &c. 

Heb. xi. 21. 

10. By faith Jacob, By faith Jacob, when 
when he was dying, bless- he was a dying, blessed 
ed each of the sons of Jo-- both the sons of Joseph, 
sepli, and worshipped the and worshipped, leaning 
top of his rod. upon the top of his staff. 

IIeb. xiii. 4. 

11. Marriage honorable Marriage is honorable 
in all, and the bod unde- in all, and the bed unde- 
filed, &c. filed. 

2. Peter i. 14. 

1 1 2. Brethren labor the The rather, brethren 

more, that by good works, give diligence to make 

you may make your call- your calling and electio 
ing and election sure. 



72 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

I have given you here a few instances of the 
corruptions of the Protestant testament. The 
Catholic texts quoted are a faithful translation 
from the Latin vulgate, which was translated from 
the Greek about the year 370, and adopted by 
the church, at a time when most Protestants ac 
knowledge it to have been pure yet. The Pro 
testant texts are not a faithful translation from 
the Greek, but seem to be wilfully corrupted to 
condemn the Catholic doctrine. 

No. 2 and 8. Cannot receive instead of receive 
not, also cannot do, instead of do not, seems to 
establish the favorite doctrine of the first refor 
mers, that it is impossible to keep the command 
ments. This was plainly asserted by Martin Lu 
ther. "Let this be your rule," says Luther, 
"where the scripture commands the doing a good 
work, understand it in this sense, that it forbids 
thee to do a good work, because thou canst not 
doit." vol. 3, p. 171. Again; "As it is not in 
rny power not to be a man, so it is not in my 
choice to be without a woman. And as it is not 
in my pow r er not to be a woman, so it is riot in 
my choice to live without a man." Serm. ad 
Matrim. vol. 5, p. 119. 

This is saying plainly that it is impossible tc 
live chaste, although God commands it. 

No. 3. " Woman, what have I to do with thee?" 



LMT lER ON THK HOLY SCRIPTURES. 73 

eems to authorise the contempt which reformers 
have ever shewn to the mother of Christ. 

No. 4 and 5. The word image added to both 
texts, must have been foisted in, perhaps wiC 
the view of condemning Catholic images. 

The addition in text 4, turns sense into .<\- 
sense. The Catholic text, " worshipper of ike 
great Diana and of Jupiter s offspring" is very 
intelligible ; for it is known from the mythology 
of the ancients, that Jupiter was considered the 
father of the gods, and that the other pretended 
divinities were, of course, Jupiter s offspring. 
But T am much at a loss how to understand the 
Protestant text, " the image which fell down from 
Jupiter. 3 

In No. 6, where St. Paul only speaks of such 
devout women, as, according to the custom of 
the Jews, waited on the preachers of the gospel, 
and supplied them with necessaries, of which 
we see many instances in the gospel, the refor 
mers say a sister a wife, instead of a woman a sis- 
ter; in condemnation of the single life of the 
Catholic clergy. 

From 1 Cor. vii. 7, 8, it appears plainly that 
St. Paul was not married. 

No. 7. The reformers, th;it they may prove 

the necessity of receiving the holy sacrament in 

both kinds, have falsely translated "eatanddrintf* 

instead "eat or drink," as is acknowledged by the 

7 



71 LETTER ON THE HOLT 

Protestant minister Steel, in his sermon on the 
Lord s supper. (See Morning Exercise against 
Popery, page 768.) 

No. 9. " True yoke fellow," instead of "sincere 
companion" must have been adopted by reform 
ers in order to intimate that St. Paul was married. 

No. 10. The sense here is entirely changed by 
the addition of two words, "leaning upon" The 
Catholic text represents the patriarch Jacob on 
his death bed, worshipping, in the spirit of pro 
phecy, the Saviour in which alone he confided 
for salvation ; whose power was prefigured by 
Joseph the saviour of Egypt; in whose rod, or 
sceptre, Jacob, by faith, beheld the future sceptre 
or power of the Mesias. But the reformers not 
relishing this relative honor, which savored too 
much of popery, took the liberty to accommodate 
the text to their own weak ideas and opinions. 
We would fain wish to know how the leaning on 
Hie top of a staff could be an argument of Jacob s 
faith ? 

No. 11. Here the word "is" is foisted in, pro 
bably to excuse the sacrilegious marriages of the 
first reformers, who had most solemnly consecra 
ted themselves to the service of God in a single 
life, by a vow of perpetual virginity. 

The Catholic text, " Marriage honorable in all, 
and the bed undcjiled" is a caution to those that 
aie lawfully married. Let marriage be honor: 1 - 



LETTER ON THK HOLY SCKI l> TURKS. 75 

ble, and no liberties or irregularities admitted 
th.it would be contrary to the .sanctity of the 
state of matrimony. 

No. 12. The wilful omi:-sion of the words " b^ 
good works," encourages the abominable doctrine 
of Luther and other arch heretics, that faith alone 
is sufficient for salvation. 

You see then, my dear friend, how strangely 
lay people are imposed upon by f;lse translations 
of scripture, which are given th< m as the pure 
word of God, upon which they are to build their 
faith, and from which they are to draw their re 
ligious principles. 

You perceive also, how necessary it is, that 
there should be an infallible, unerring authority 
to point out the true translation of scripture. 

It is no less necessary to determine 

THE TRUE SENSE OF SCRIPTURE. 

That the letter of scripture is not a sufficient 
guide to salvation is self-evident. 

" The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." 
2 Cor. iii. 6. 

And the minister s repeated assertions, that he 
will take nothing as infallible but what is con 
tained in the old and new testaments, is only an 
imposition on common sense. 

In my "Defence of Catholic Principles," 1 
laid down as a self-evident principle, that as the 



76 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

written word may be misunderstood, even in 
matters essential to salvation, therefore it couk 1 
not have been intended as the supreme judge to 
fix our belief in matters of faith, but that Christ 
must have provided, and actually has provided, 
a living, visible, and supreme authority, to de 
cide infallibly, and without appeal, the true sense 
of scripture, &c. (See Defence of Catholic Prin 
ciples, p. Cl - 25.) 

Now sir look at your minister s answer, (page 
9-12,) and you will find it to be no answer at all. 

To be sure, I do not blame him for not an 
swering ^vhat he, and the collected wisdom of 
all Protestant ministers never could answer, but 
I must censure him for his want of e;mdor and 
wilful misrepresentation of my argument, which 
he represents to be, against reading the scripture, 
whereas it is only against making the scripture 
the supreme judge of controversies. 

All the woes and curses which he denounces 
against the Catholic priests, (p. 9, 10,) will not 
deter me from asserting the above principle; and 
if I had not made up my mind not to address 
your minister any more, for the reasons stated in 
my "Appeal to the Protestant public," I should 
certainly press him very hard, to give me a rule 
by which controversies about the sense of scrip 
ture are to be infallibly settled, settled without 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 11 

appeal, settled in such a manner as to lea\e no 
doubt on the minds of scripture readers. 

Was [ to become one of your minister s hear 
ers, I am certain ill at I should not be satisfied 
with his interpretations of scripture, unless he 
would prove himself infallible. Any Protestant 
sincerely desirous of salvation must feel very 
uneasy, when he. on the one h;md, reads in the 
scripture, "Unit 1 s you believe or do such ana 
such things, you shall not enter the kingdom of 
heaven," and on the other hand, from his own 
ignorance, from I he fallibility, and the perpetual 
contradictions of his ministers, can never pro 
mise himself that he has obtained the true sense 
of those e.- sential passages of scripture. Youi 
minister tries to supply this want of infallibility 
in himself by the boldness of his own decisions. 

"It is evident:" "it is :ibsurd," "it is contrary 
to reason," " we defy the world to shew a notion 
so absurd," "it is unscriptural," Sec. &,c. &r. : 
and also by quotations from certain celebrated 
characters, whose names sanction as truth the 
most palpable lies, such as Tillotson, Hume, 
Buck, Sec. However, we shall have opportuni 
ties to notice some of their lies in some future 
publication ; suffice it to say, that in Britain, 
where the Catholics have been persecuted ever 
ince the reformation, and persecuted in the most 
cruel manner, deprived of all the privileges of 
7* 



78 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIP 1JRES 

citizens, their priests hanged and quartered i n 
saying mass, or even for coming into the king 
dom, their schoolmasters transported for teach 
ing, and hanged for a second offence, &c. &c., 
that in that country, I say, the only way for a 
clergyman or an historian to acquire popularity 
and to be promoted, was, as the English poet 
says, " Like a tall bully to lift his head and lie." 
It was by vomiting their bold and impudent lief 
against Catholics, from their pulpits and printing 
presses, that the hatred against popery was kept 
up, and ihe vengeance of the law brought down 
upon the heads of ;in unoffending loyal people. I 
cannot help noticing here the assertion of your 
minister (page 126.) " We who are Protestants 
have certainly a great advantage over Papists in 
that divine grace of charity. * * * * * we have 
never persecuted, and put to death with the most 
cruel torture, millions of our fellow creatures, 
because they could not believe impossibilities." 
After this assertion of your minister, who will 
believe any thing he will say ? The fact is, my 
dear friend, and I shall make it appear in some 
future publication, that (notwithstanding your 
minister s clamors about popish cruelty and per 
secutions) ever since the beginning of the refor 
mation, the most ciuel persecutions have been 
carried on, without exception, against Catholics, 
in everv countrx where Protestarts had th<j 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 79 

power in their hands ; and I engage to make it 
appear, that the balance of toleration is not iu 
favor of your minister s church. But let us re 
turn to our subject. 

Your minister ridicules the idea of an infalli 
ble authority to interpret scripture, and tells us 
repeatedly, in his "Vindication," that there is no 
infallible authority upon earth. 

Ask him what security he can give you that 
his interpretations of scripture are correct? 

He tells you in his Vindication," and I sup 
pose preaches the same from the pulpit, that 
"the gates of hell shall not prevail against the 
church," MEANS, that death shall not prevail 
against the genuine members of the church. 
(page 14.) " Unless you eat the flesh of the 
Son of Man and drink his blood," MEANS, that 
we must believe in Christ, (p. 24.) " This is my 
body, &c." "This is my blood," &c. MEANS, 
this is not my body, this is not my blood, (p. 
27,28.) "Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose 
sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven," and 
<: I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven, and whatsoever you shall bind upon 
earth, it shall be bound also in heaven," MEANS 
nothing at all, for where is tha?t power (of forgiv 
ing sins) given to a sinful creature, and one who 
has to answer for his own sins ? (page 19.) 

" Faith is the substance of things to be hoped 



80 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

for, the evidence of things not seen," (Heb. xi.) 
and " Blessed are they that have not seen, and 
have believed, (John xx. 29,) means nothing, for 
the foundation of our faith must rely on the truth 
of our senses." (page 29.) " Yet so as by 
fire," means, "yet so as out of the fire." (page 
47,) &c. &c. &c. 

Now, giving such explanations of scripture, in 
print, or from his pulpit to his congregation, is 
what your minister would call preaching the 
word of God. Pray, my dear friend, does this 
satisfy you? or does it not leave a certain uneasi 
ness on your mind, lest perhaps your minister be 
mistaken in his interpretations ; and lest perhaps 
what he gives you for the word of God, turn out 
to be the word of Satan ? But you will tell me 
that the minister gives you arguments, and quotes 
authorities for his interpretations. Aye, true 
enough ? he fairly overwhelms us with the num 
ber of his arguments ; and he also quotes the 
learned archbishop Tillotson, the pious bishop 
White, the great Arabian philosopher Averroes, 
the great historian Hume, and the famous author 
of the Theological Dictionary, Buck. Admitting 
all those men to be men of candor, as well as 
men of learning, what weight can their authori 
ty, joined to all your minister s arguments, have 
in matters of revelation, in matters far more re- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 81 

mote from the reach of the human understanding 
than Saturn is from the earth ? 

He attempts by arguments to prove the mean 
ing of the Holy Ghost, but this is the very thing 
he is forbidden : " No prophecy of scripture is 
made by private interpretation." 2 Peter, i. 20 

He attempts, by the force of arguments to ex 
plain the thoughts and the ways of God ; but the 
spirit of God condemns the attempt. " As the 
heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my 
ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts 
above your thoughts." Isaiah Iv. 9. 

He attempts, by the calculations of human 
wisdom to establish the sense and meaning of 
.livine revelation, but he forgets that God "will 
destroy the wisdom of the wise," and that God 
hath " made foolish the wisdom of this world." 
1 Cor. i. 19, 20. 

He is not ashamed to bring forward the testi 
mony of Averroes, a pagan philosopher, and a 
man noted for his irreligion. in order, as he says, 
to put the Catholic church to the blush (p. 32,) 
ind in order to overthrow the interpretations 
which the said church makes of the written word 
of God. Averroes lived more than three hun 
dred years before the reformation, at the time 
when almost the only known Christian religion 
was the Roman Catholic. His attacks on the 
church were not confined to those tenets which 



82 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

now distinguish it from the Protestant sects, but 
were directed also against the very tenets adopt* 
>d by Protestants of all denominations. He call 
ed the Christian religion a religion impossible , 
the Jewish, the religion of children ; and the Ma 
hometan, the religion of hogs. 

It is remarkable, although not surprising, that 
Protestants and philosophers, those educated in 
the schools of infidelity, have generally agreed 
in their opinions of Catholic mysteries. I say it 
is not surprising, because from the same princi 
ples as causes the same effects must necessarily 
flow. Both Protestants and philosophers place 
reason on the judgment seat; both form their 
opinions on religious subjects from the dictates 
of that judge ; both reject what they do not com 
prehend ; both only admit what is conformable 
to their limited notions. The Protestant, it is 
true, admits the letter of scripture ; but as he 
takes the liberty to call it before the tribunal of 
his reason, and gives his reason full jurisdiction 
to decree without appeal, not what scripture says, 
but what it means to say ; the Protestant belief 
is, of course, a system the offspring of reason, 
and only nominally deduced from scripture. 
The philosopher, perhaps more consistent, and 
more candid, applies to reason at once, without 
the farce of consulting scripture, which he de- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. ^ 

clares to bo, together with all the mysteries of 
revelation, absurd and ridiculous. 

What the Protestant professor Robinson says, 
in his book called "Proofs of a Conspiracy," &c. 
is much to the purpose here. "The spirit of free 
inquiry was the great boast of the Protestants, 
and their only support against the Roman Catho 
lics; securing them both in their religious and 
their civil rights. It was therefore encouraged 
by their governments, and sometimes indulged to 
excess. In the progress of this contest, their 
own confessions did not escape censure ; and it 
was asserted that the reformation which these 
confessions expressed was not complete. Fur 
ther reformations were proposed. The scrip 
tures, the foundation of our faith, were examined, 
by clergymen of different capacities, dispositions, 
and views; till by explaining, correcting, alle 
gorizing, nnd otherwise twisting the bible, men s 
minds had hardly any tiling left to rest on as a 
doctrine of revealed religion. This encouraged 
others to go further, and to say that revelation 
was a solecism, as plainly appeared by the irre 
concilable differences amongst the ENLIGHTEF- 
ERS of the public, and that men had nothing to 
trust to, but the dictates of natural reason. An 
other set of writers, proceeding from this as a 
point already settled, proscribed all religion 
whatever, and openly taught materialism 



84 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

atheism. Most of these innovations were the 
work of Protestant divines, from the causes J 
have mentioned." 

Here is a candid acknowledgment made by & 
Protestant well acquainted with Protestant prin 
ciples and their consequences. The liberty of 
self interpretation is the destruction of all reli 
gious principles, and must necessarily lead to in 
fidelity. You must be blind, my dear friend, ii 
you do not see infidelity gaining ground in tru 
ranks of Protestantism, and especially amon^ 
those that have received the most liberal educa 
tion. What more common, than, to hear them 
deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the eter 
nity of punishments. What more common than 
a total neglect and even a contempt of religious 
exercises, a contempt of the sacraments, and 
even of those sacraments which Christ declares 
to be absolutely necessary for salvation. The 
progress of infidelity among Protestants in this 
country, as well as in Great Britain (which a 
great orator in congress emphatically calls the 
palladium or bulwark of Protestantism) is truly 
alarming. 

It is a matter of fact that the learned in this 
country, especially in the eastern states, are 
crowding the ranks of Socinianism, and having 
rejected the mysteries of the trinity, and divinity 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 85 

of Christ, express their creed in four words "1 
believe in God." 

It is a matter of great scandal nd alarm to the 
truly pious, to see a very large an l most magnifi 
cent temple erected in the city of Baltimore, by 
those that believe Christ to be a mere man. 

The progress of infidelity is far more alarming 
in Great Britain, where the very ministers of the 
church of England, the dignitaries of said church, 
nay, the very lords bishops, that have solemnly 
declared their belief of the thirty-nine articles, 
are openly preaching and printing against the 
fundamental mysteries of the Christian religion. 
Among those are conspicuous, Dr. Hoadly, lord 
bishop of Bangor, who shews a decided opposi 
tion to the doctrines of the blessed Trinity and 
the divinity of Jesus Christ, also, and more 
plainly so, Dr. Balguy and Dr. Sturges, preben 
daries of the cathedral church of Winchester, Dr. 
Clarke, &c. &c. 

I am alarmed, but I am not surprised. The 
leading principle of Protestants, (I mean the 
principle of self interpretation of the scriptures,) 
has been sapping the foundation of religion ever 
since the pretended reformation, and must, at 
no distant period, overthrow the whole fabric. 

Poor, silly, blind reason, biased and led by 
passion and prejudice, is a false and treacherous 
guide, and never more so than when presuming 
8 



S6 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

to dive into the arcana of revelation, and with 
Satanic pride, to explain, without appeal, the 
meaning of the Holy Ghost. The wise man has 
said it, " the searcher of majesty shall be over 
whelmed by glory," (Prov. xxv. 27.) 

Those that search into the incomprehensible 
ways of God, those that shall presumptuously 
look into the ark of God s sanctuary, their weak 
eyes will be blinded with the excess of light and 
glory. Being thus blinded, they shall not even 
see what they used to see, and what they still 
would have been permitted to see, had they not 
made the rash and presumptuous attempt. Thus 
it is that thousands and thousands, relying on 
their reason to explain the mysteries of revela 
tion, have lost sight of the very fundamentals of 
Christianity, and have become real infidels. 

The following remarks, from the pen of the 
Rev. Mr. Thayer, formerly a Presbyterian min 
ister in Boston, but since a Catholic priest, con 
firms the above remarks: "This uniformity 
which had subsisted among Catholics through all 
ages, made a lively impression on me, because J 
had never discovered it among Protestants. ] 
had been connected with the heads of our sects ; 
I had often conversed with them ; I knew their 
sentiments; there were not two amono- them 

O 

who agreed in the most essential articles: what 
is more, there was not one who had not varied in 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 87 

his doctrine. 1 recollect that one of our most 
rolebiateil preachers once made the same decla 
ration to me. " When I preached in sv.ch a place " 
said he, " I passed for heterodox ; I was so at that 
time, for I had very erroneous sentiments ; but 1 
have changed since ; and were I to preach there at 
present, my doctrine would be judged pure and or 
thodox ; but this is common to all our preachers, I 
do not know one who has not, like myself, varied in 
his doctrine." This declaration made no impres 
.sion on me at the time he was speaking; but it 
has occurred since, and has given rise to many 
reflections " **************** 
" This instability of our loading men in their doc 
trine caused mo much pain. I saw that it was 
an inevitable consequence of the fundamental 
principles of Protestants, which constitutes each 
one the judge of his own belief By this prin 
ciple there can be no fixed rule of faith. It is 
this which causes the eternal contradiction of 
ministers among themselves, and the frequent 
variations of each of them in their doctrine. I 
had endeavored to conciliate their systems to 
gether, but could find no other way than by sup 
posing it sufficed to believe in Jesus Christ, and 
to intend to honor God ; but I soon found that 
this method ; with which I was much pleased, 
tended equally to reconcile the most opposite 
and monstrous sects ; I consequently, from daj 



83 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 

to day, gave myself greater scope, and fixtd no 
bounds to the liberty of thinking ; and in a short 
time I should have adopted a system of toleration 
in its greatest extent. Protestants vainly pre 
tend that they admit scripture for* the rule of 
their faith. Since they acknowledge no living 
authority to determine its sense ; since each one 
is suffered to give it a private interpretation, it i* 
impossible to convince them of error; and when 
the Socinian, for instance, says, that he canno. 
find in scripture a demonstrative proof of the di 
vinity of Jesus Christ, no one has a right to re 
quire, that he should believe this dogma, or to 
condemn him because he rejects it. This prin 
ciple goes farther, and leads the man who reasons 
justly, to an indifference to all religion, and saps 
the very foundation of Christianity, by establish 
ing the private judgment of each individual the 
supreme arbiter of his creed." (See " An Ac 
count of the Conversion of the Rev. John Thay- 
er, lately a Protestant Minister." London edi 
tion, p. 15 18.) 

Your Protestant minister then will not be sur 
prised if all his arguments, his assertions, his 
decisions, "it is certain, " "it is evident," &c., 
will never make the least impression on the mind 
of any Roman Catholic that knows his religion, 
and has been taught to view all the attempts of 
human reason in fathoming and explaining di- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 89 

vine mysteries and revelations in the same light 
as he would the attempt to penetrate into the 
third heaven. This is not said through any dis 
respect or contempt for your minister. Admit 
ting him to be the wisest among the wise, and 
the best among the good, it is a fundamental 
principle among Catholics, grounded on their 
idea of the Infinite Being that is the author of 
revelation, and grounded on his own plain words, 
that all human wisdom is inadequate to the task 
of explaining divine revelation, and that none but 
God can explain the words of God. 

" Our faith does not stand on the wisdom of 
men, but on the power of God." 1 Cor. ii. 5. 

It is then in vain for the Protestant minister 
to tell us, that the learned and pious archbishop 
Tillotson SAYS, that the pious bishop White 
beautifully EXPLAINS, that the Arabian phi 
losopher scornfully LAUGHS, that the sleight- 
of-hand man blasphemously mocks the words of 
Christ by saying "Hocus pocus." You are all 
welcome, gentlemen, we say, heartily welcome, 
to take your way; you may say and unsay as 
you have done ever since the beginning of YOUR 
REFORMATION; you may laugh till you split 
your sides at our folly ; you may hocus pocus 
the scriptures into whatever shape you please; 
you may :c beautifully explain" the words of 
Christ, till you explain all the substance into 
8* 



90 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

empty figures ; but permit us to take our own 
way. We are fools, you say ; we sincerely be 
lieve it ; and it is because we believe ourselves 
to be fools that we do not wish to undertake to 
explain the divine word, but apply to tho church 
to know how we are to understand the several 
texts of scripture. We are such fools, that we 
are not able to conceive how a church built upon 
a rock by the hands of Omnipotence, can ever 
fall, especially when the sacred promise of Eter 
nal Truth is pledged for its everlasting duration. 
We are so stupid that \ve cannot conceive how 
the ministry of Christ, that have the promise of 
the Spirit of Truth FOR EVER (John xiv. 16.) 
ever could have become teachers of falsehood, 
and false interpreters of scripture. We are so 
blinded by prejudice, that we cannot understand, 
how the apostles or their successors, to the very 
end of time, can ever deviate from the primitive 
doctrine, whilst Christ fulfils his promise to be 
with them ALL DAYS until the consummation of 
time. 

Such is our folly, my friend. And take no 
tice, that this our folly has kept us these eigh 
teen centuries in perfect unity of faiih, whilst 
the wisdom of reformers has caused them to di 
vide and subdivide into numberless sects, differ 
ing from one another even in the most essential 
and fundamental points of religion. Yes we 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 91 

may defy the whole world to point out one tingle 
instance of variation in any article of our fcith, 
or one single instance of difference in matters ot 
faith between different parts of the Catholic world. 
Your minister, jealous of this unity, which dis 
tinguishes the Catholic church from all the sects, 
fills two pages (101, 102,) with arguments to 
prove that we are divided and distracted with 
dissentions and contests of various kinds, of 
which he quotes many instances. Vain attempt, 
my friend. As men, we have been divided, and 
will be divided on many points of doctrine, which 
have been derived from mere human knowledge, 
or are deduced by human arguments, but are by 
no means necessary for salvation, or have not 
been as yet determined by the church, thus : 
whilst the whole Catholic world is agreed in the 
belief of the infallibility of the whole body or a 
majority of pastors united with their head, great 
disputes have been carried on between some 
divines on the question, " whether the Pope was 
infallible or not ?" Thus again, whilst the whole 
Catholic world is agreed in believing the Blessed 
Virgin a powerful intercessor in heaven with her 
divine son, Jesus Christ, great disputes are car 
ried on between the divines of the Catholic church 
on the question, " whether she was conceived in 
original sin or not ?" 

In the third century a great dispute took place 



92 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

between St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, ana 
Pope St. Stephen, on the question, " whether 
baptism administered by heretics was to be con 
sidered valid or not?" The whole church hav 
ing decided the question in the affirmative, it has 
never been a matter of dispute since. 

What your minister adds (page 102,) about 
the pretended Catholic sects called Georgians, 
Mingrelians, Copts, Abyssinians, &c. &c. is only 
intended for a joke, for he well knows, that those 
are the names of nations, not of sects, and nations 
that are schismatics, not belonging to the Catho 
lic church at all. 

I repeat it, my dear friend, Catholics who con 
stitute about three-fourths of the Christian world, 
are perfectly united in the belief of all articles 
of faith necessary for salvation. 

All agree, that out of the Catholic church there 
is no ordinary possibility of salvation. 

All agree that baptism remits original sin, and 
is necessary for salvation. 

All agree that there are seven sacrament in 
stituted by Christ. 

All agree that the keys of the kingdom of hea 
ven, the power to forgive and retain sins, were 
given to the apostles and their successors to the 
end of time. 

All agree that Christ is really present in the 
eucharist, and therein, is both our victim of pro 
pitiation and the spiritual food of our souls. 



LETTER ON I UK HOLY SCRIPTURES. 93 

All agree that the Pope is the successor of St. 
Peter, and the visible head of the church. 

All agree that the scripture, which we use, is 
the pure word of God. 

All agree that the church is the living and in 
fallible tribunal appointed by Christ to determine 
the sense of scripture, arid to hand down divine 
and apostolical traditions from age to age. 

All agree that Christ is our only mediator, and 
that from his merits alone all blessings flow. 

All agree that it is good and wholesome to 
apply to the intercession of the saints in heaven 

All agree that there is a place of temporary 
punishment after this life, for those who were 
not in this life perfectly purified from the dross 
of sin. 

All agree that it is good and wholesome to 
pray for the dead. 

All agree that it is useful and commendable to 
keep and to honor (not to worship) religious pic 
tures, crucifixes, &c. &c. 

And why are they all agreed ? Because they 
do not presume to interpret scriptures, which 
would soon create as many different sects among 
them as there are among the Protestants. They 
nil apply to the church for the sense of scripture. 
From the church they learn what texts of scrip 
ture are to be understood in the literal sense, 
*nd what texts in a spiritual sense ; also which 



94 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

of the many spiritual senses of which a text maji 
be susceptible is the true one ; for their are dif 
ferent kinds of spiritual senses noticed by divines, 
to which, for the full understanding of scripture 
attention must be paid, viz. 

The allegoric sense, which relates to faith. 

The anagogic sense, which relates to eternal 
life. 

The tropologic sense, which relates to morals 

Although it is admitted as a fundamental prin 
ciple of religion ; that each and every text of 
scripture is most true, as being the word of God. 
yet each and every text is not always true ii 
every one of the above-mentioned senses. Jt i* 
of course necessary for the right understanding 
of scripture, to know, by the direction of the 
church, in which of the above senses the several 
texts are to be taken ; otherwise we will often 
be tempted to believe many of those texts to be 
false and contradictory, of which we have a most 
curious instance in page 15 of your minister s 
" Vindication," where he attempts to sweep off, 
like so many cobwebs, no less than four of 
Christ s solemn promises, by opposing to them 
corresponding promises made to the Jewish 
church, which latter promises (if I understand 
him right) he intimates not to have been fulfilled. 

To give his argument a logical form, it runs 
thus : Almighty God had made solemn promises 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 93 

to the Jewish church, to "dwell among the chil 
dren of Israel," 8tc. "To reign over them in 
XiiMi from henceforth and for ever," .c. See. 
Now Almighty God did not fulfil his promises, 
for the church of Judah has failed ; therefore the 
promises made by the same God, Christ Jesus, 
to be for ever with the church," "to send the 
Spirit of Truth," &c. See. ought to be disregarded. 

Here is logic, here is wisdom, but wisdom, 
merely human ; such wisdom as the foolishness 
of God confounds. (1 Cor. i. 25.) 

The very idea of a God the fountain of truth, 
forbids the supposition of promises made and not 
fulfilled. All promises made by Almighty God 
to the Jews, or by our blessed Saviour to the 
church, were undoubtedly fulfilled. We are not 
always able to discern in what way they have 
been fulfilled, because the feeble light of our 
reason is not always able to distinguish in what 
sense the promises are to be understood ; but the 
Spirit of Truth infused into the church, is very 
able to unravel the mystery and to level all dif 
ficulties. By this authority we are told that Je 
rusalem or Zion, which literally is a city of Juda, 
allegorically means the church of Christ on earth ; 
anagogically, means the kingdom of heaven ; 
tropologically, means the faithful soul. If we 
take the promise of God to the children of Israel 
in the literal sense, it will not be found true : 



M6 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCKlPtURES 

but if we take it in the allegorical sense it i? CM 
t airily mo.-t true. 

Had your minister made those distinctions, he 
certainly would not have made usi j of God s pro 
mises under the old law in order to invalidate 
the promises of Christ in the new. On the con 
trary, he vould have seen the connection of both, 
and would have been convinced that the pro 
mises in both cases relate to the sarnr object, and 
are of great support to each other. To under 
stand this better, let us take a general view of 
revealed religion, and we win soon perceive that 
the old and the new testaments only A>rm one 
system of religion, the rites, ceremonies, sacrifi 
ces, and precepts of which entirely relate to Je 
sus Christ the Mesias. Before his coming, viz. 
under the old law, to Jesus Christ to come ; and 
alter nis coming, viz. under the new law, to Jesus 
Christ already come. 

Jesus Christ himself shews this connexion and 
continuation, when he tells us, " I am not corne 
to destroy but to fulfil." (Mat. v. 17.) And the 
promises which he makes with regard to the in- 
defectibility, perpetual visibility, infallibility, or 
unerring authority of his church, are only a repe 
tition and a confirmation of those promises made 
repeatedly by his servants the prophets, some of 
which the Protestant minister has quoted (page 
IJ.) He promises " to reign over them in Zion 



LETTER ON THfc HOLY SCRIPTURES. 9*1 

from henceforth and for ever." (Mich. iv. 7.) 
This is my rest for ever: here will 1 dwell." 
(I salm cxxxii. 13, 14.) Here are some more. 
This is my covenant with them, s;iys the Lord : 
My spirit that is in thee, and my words that 1 
have put in thy mouth shall not depart out of thy 
pouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out 
ii* the mouth of thy seed s seed, says the Lord, 
from henceforth now and FOR EVER." (Isai. lix. 
21.) " And I will make a covenant of peace 
with them ; it shall be an everlasting covenant 
with them ; and I will establish them, and will 
multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the 
midst of them FOR EVER. And my tabernacle 
shall be with them; and I will be their God, and 
they- shall be my people." (Ezekiel xxxvii. 26, 
% 27.) Jesus Christ confirms those very promises 
when he tells his apostles, " Behold I am with 
you all days," &c. and when he promises them 
the Spirit of Truth for ever, &c. 

You see, my friend, how Catholic unity in ex 
plaining scripture, and in all matters of faith, 
necessarily flows from Catholic principles, and 
how divisions among Catholics never can take 
place, only concerning such matters as have 
never been in any way determined by the church 
Protestant divisions necessarily flow from the 
Protestant principle of self interpretation ; as it 
always has, it always will, prevent that unity 
" 9 



98 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTLKES. 

which is a main characteristic, of truth, and th 
reverse of which is a sure sign of falsehood. 1 
do not know whether the Protesiant minister is 
in earnest when he talks of a unity made up of 
the aggregate of contradictions, which in the 
language of theology might be styled " CONCOR- 

!)1A ECCLESIARUM DISCORDANTIUM." 

I will give you his very words, (page 117 of 
the "Vindication") which purport to be an an 
swer to mine (pauses 129, 130, of the " Defence 
of Catholic Principles.") The question which I 
proposed was, " Comparing together those many 
hundred religious systems, which your fruitful 
reformation has produced, contradicting one an 
other in the whole or in part, is it uncharitable 
to say, that but one of them (if any at all) can 
originate in the fountain of truth, &c."? Here is 
your ministers answer : 

" No reason can be assigned, why churches of 
different communions may notwithstanding be 
true parts of the true church, so long as they adhere 
to and hold the essentials of a true church. In 
deed, so long as divisions and separations remain, 
there is a criminal schism lying somewhere. 
But still those schismatical churches are parts of 
the true church ? their schism does not cut them 
off from being members of Christ s kingdom. Tt 
is certain there were separations and schisms, 
and different communions oven in the earliest 



LETTER ON THH HOLY SCRU TURKS. 9S 

times of Christianity, oven in the church of Co 
rinth when one would say, I am of Paul, ;md 
I of Apollo, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ, " &c. 

Here is something very curious, " the irut 
church of Christ composed of schlwiatical churches;" 
that is to say in plain English, the true church 
composed of parts not belonging to it ; the king 
dom of Christ made up <>i materials belonging to 
the kingdom of Satan ; and truth composed of an 
aggregate of falsehoods and contradictions. Ri- 
sum teneatis amici. 

St. Paul had a different idea of the church of 
Christ when he wrote to the Ephesians, that be 
ing sanctified by Christ it became a glorious 
church, having neither spot nor wrinkle, holy 
and without blemish. (Eph. v. 26, 27.) Also 
when he calls the church " the pillar and ground 
of truth/ (1. Tim. iii. 15.) 

There is a criminal schism somewhere says 
your minister, but in the church of Christ there 
is a criminal schism no where, for there is no 
spot, no wrinkle, no blemish at all : nothing but 
truth, holiness and perfection. And when St. 
Paul blames the Corinthians for contending and 
boasting about their teachers, he does not even 
intimate that there were schisms or different 
communions among them ; on the contrary, he 
plainly tells them, that those teachers were la 
borers in the same vineyard of the Lord. * I 



100 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

have planted, Apollo warred, but God gave tne 
increase." (1. Cor. iii. o .) 

They all taught the same doctrine, were teach 
ers of the same church, and perfectly united in 
the same faith. You plainly see, then, that 
r minister s answer is no answer to my que*- 
iiori, the amount of which was, whether an ag 
gregate of contradictions could form unity? I 
asked, and I now ask again, whether the neces 
sity of baptism for salvation, and the non-neces 
sity of baptism, can both be admitted as articles 
of faith in the same church of Christ ? 

Whether in the same church of Christ one 
minister can be sent % by the God of truth to preach 
up the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, 
as Luther did, and another minister sent by the 
same God of truth, to tell you that the former is 
a liar, and that there is nothing in the sacrament 
but bread and wine ? 

Whether Christ can send one set of ministers 
to preach up the insufficiency of communion in 
one kind, which is the doctrine of your Protes 
tant minister and others, and also send ministers 
to preach up the sufficiency of one kind, the 
doctrine of the Calvanist Synod of Poitiers and 
La Rochelle, &c. &c.? 

In short, whether Luther, Calvin, Zuinglius, 
Gomar, Arminius, Fox, &c. &c. who contradict 
one <iuoiuer in the nost essential points of doc 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 10" 

.line, iii tlio.se very mat ers which Christ declares 
essential for salvation, whether all those can be 
con.-idered ministers of the same God of truth ? 
and whether their churches or communions arc 
to be considered as parts of the holy church of 
Christ ? Your minister says, Yes. Hear, my 
friend, what a celebrated English poet says: 
In short, in doctrine or in discipline, 
Not one reform d can with another join ; 
But all from each, as from damnation, fly ; 
Nor union they pretend, but in non-popery. 
Nor, should their numbers in a synod meet, 
Could any church presume to take the seat, 
Above the rest, their discords to decide, 
None would obey, but each would be the guide; 
And face to face dissentions would increase 
For only distance now preserves the peace : 
All, in their turns, accusers and accused, 
Babel was never half so much confus d. 
What one can plead, the rest can plead as well, 
For amongst equals lies no last appeal, 
And all confess T themselves are fallible. 
Now since you grant some necessary guide, 
All who can err are justly laid aside : 
Because a trust so sacred to confer 
Shews want of such a sure interpreter, 
And how can he be needful who can err. 
Then granting that unerring guide we want, 
That such there is, you stand obliged to grant ; 
Our Saviour else were wanting to supply 
Our needs, and obviate that necessity ; 
It then remains that church can only be 
The guide which owns unfailing certainty. 

9* 



102 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

It would surprise you much, my dear friend, 
were you to know the wonderful contradictions 
in most essential points of doctrine not only be 
tween Protestant ministers of different denomi 
nations, not only between ministers of the same 
denomination, but even between the doctrine of 
the same minister at one time and his doctrine 
at a ; other time. 

We will begin with Martin Luther, the fathei 
of the reformation, whom the learned bishop 
Tillotson styles a bold or a rough wedge, fit to 
split the knotty block of Popery, which however 
is not split yet. 

Luther says, in the seventh volume of his 
works, edition of Wittemberg, page 32, A. D. 
1,151, that there are seven sacraments, but in the 
12th article on confession, page 74, and again in 
the 13th article on the sacraments, he asserts 
" there are only three sacraments." Again, vol. 
7, Sermon of the new testament, page 34, he 
says there are five sacraments. In the 7th vol. 
page 350, Luther teaches that the holy sacrament 
of the eucharist ought to be revered and adored, 
but in the 32d article against Henry king of Eng 
land he teaches the reverse. 

In his writings against Zuinglius and Oeco- 
lampadius, Luther requires (article 16,) that we 
submit to the decisions of church councils ; but 
in his writings against the king of England, vol. 
7, chap. 15, page 262, he teaches that there in 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCUIPTl. RES 

no obligation to submit to the decisions of any 
councils. 

In his sermon on the first commandment he 
maintains the merits and intercession of saints, 
but in his Sermon de Mammona he flatly denies 
the same. 

In vol. 8, page 27, on the 122d psalm, he 
maintains that baptism confers grace : also in 
chap. 6, Genes, vol. 5, p. 53, that it blots out 
original sin, and in his sermon 2nd lor Trinity 
Sunday, on John iii. that it is necessary for sal 
vation. But in vol. 3, page 349, on good works, 
and again, in vol. 7, page 96, baptism does not 
blot out original sin, and is not necessary for sal 
vation, &c. See. &,c. 

These are only a few instances among many, 
which I could quote, to prove that the very fa 
ther of the reformation contradicted himself in 
most essential parts of doctrine. 

Now hear what the first reformers say of one 
another, and there you will be surprised to find 
them tearing one another like wild boars, instead 
of joining hand in hand in their spiritual cam 
paign against what they called Antichrist and the 
whore of Babylon : 

" We censure in earnest as heretics and aliens 
from the church of God, all Zuinglians and sa- 
cramentarians who deny Christ s body by the 
carnal mouth in the venenMe eucharist." (Lu 
ther Cont. Art. Lovan. Theo. 27.) 



104 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 

Conrad Schluoselburg, a Lutheran di\me, 
speaking of the Caivinists says, that " Satan 
speaks by the Calvii lists as by his own organs 
and instruments." (Lib. 3, art. 8.) John Modes- 
tus, another Lutheran divine, says, " they are no 
Christians, but baptised Turks and Jews," 

Shuire, in his preface to the Fifty Causes. 
tells us that the " Calvinian profession is a sink 
w hereunto many heresies flow, and the very last 
anger of Satan, which he, stirred up with fury, 
exercises against Christ and his church." 

" Let any holy or friendly reader, (says Osi- 
ander in Enchridon Contra Calvin, p. 267,) think 
what deadly poison Satan pours into men under 
the Calvinian doctrine, by which all Christianity 
is almost overthrown." 

Now hear what olher Protestant divines sav 
about the church of England. 

c Ministers of the church of England are Egyp 
tian enchanters, limbs of the devil, sycophants 
angels of hell, in whom are the uttermost deceit- 
and effectual delusions of Satan." (Bernard in 
his book of Separatists, Schism, page 72.) 

The Protestant author of the Dangerous Po.i- 
tions says, " the church of England ministers 
pi*t no difference between truth and falsehood, 
betwixt Christ and Antichrist, between God and 
the devil. They are an antichristian swinish 
rabble, enemies of the gospel," &c. (lib. 2, c.9.) 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 105 

"They are all infidels," (says Allison) that 
go to the late church of England it shall be 
easier for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of 
judgment than for the court of parliament by 
which the Protestant religion was confirmed 
The English congregation consists of all sorts ol 
unclean spirits, and is no member of Christ. * 
******** Their sacraments are no sacra 
ments ; it is a very Babylon." (Reply to Usher 
245.) 

Here what Castalio, another Protestant, says, 
in speaking of Geneva, the very centre of the 
Calvinian reformation. 

" They name their Geneva the holy city, and 
their assembly Jerusalem ; but in truth we should 
call it, Babylon, Babylon ! O infamous Sodom 
and Gomorrah!" (Castalio apud Recium, p. 54.) 

Sir Edward Sands affirms that "the conten 
tions of Protestants tend mainly to the increase 
of Atheism within, and Mahometism abroad." 
(Ed. Sands Relation of Religion, 4, 5,6.) And 
Zanchius, another Protestant, affirms that " Athe 
ism has been brought out of hell by the ministers 

D J 

of Satan in some of the reformed churches. * 
(Zanch. in his Epistle before his Conf. p. 7.) 

Mr. Perks in his Dedicatory Epistle before his 
Apology, speaking of the contentions in England 
concerning religion, complains that, by it, settled 
minds are distracted, the parts of the same bod} 



106 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

dismembered, and religion itself brought to be a 
matter of mere dispute and altercation, not with 
out fear, that it befal unto us as it did to the 
builders of Babel. These contentions are no 
small preparatives to Atheism, so that we may 
say * * * * * that there are as many faiths as 
wills, and as many doctrines as names of men ; 
* * * * * in so much, that many are brought to 
their wit s end, not knowing what to do. 

The Protestant bishop Bilson, of Winchester, 
(on Church Government, chap. 16,) and the 
above quoted Ed. Sands, both complain of these 
contentions, and lament that " they are past all 
hopes of remedy." And so they are ; for I have 
proved that these multiplied differences and con 
tradictions, even in matters of the first importance, 
necessarily flow from the Protestant principle of 
self-interpretation ; of course they must continue, 
and even increase and multiply, by forming more 
and more sects, whilst it shall continue to be a 
fundamental principle that every one must draw 
his religious system from scripture interpreted 
by himself. 

You would be much surprised, my dear friend, 
were you to read the creeds or professions of 
faith formed by the first reformers, by those who 
are said to have been inspired, and sent by the 
Almighty to reform the church ; and were you 
\o compare them with the professions of faith of 



LETTER ON THE MOF.Y SCRIPTURES. 107 

modem Protestants. Supposing tin- assertion 
true, supposing the reformers to have been like 
the first apostles, inspired with the holy Spirit of 
Truth, what inu.-t ho the consequence ? The ne- 
ce>s;ny consequence is, that their professions of 
faith, formed by inspiration of thai Holy Spirit. 
inu>t be perfectly true in all its parts. The fur 
ther consequence is, that the same professions of 
faith ought to be, at the present day. ihe standard 
of all Protestants in every part oi the world, for 
what is true and genuine divine doctrine in 1500 
must be true and genuine divine doctrine in 1800, 
and what is true divine doctrine in Germany, 
must be true divine doctrine in England or 
America. How much would you be surprised 
then to read in the Confession of Augsburg, 
which is the first standard of faith, formed by 
the reformers themselves : 

*flrt. III. "Mass is retained by us, and cele 
brated with utmost reverence. The usual cere 
monies are likewise mostly all preserved," and, 

Jlri. IX. " Private absolution is to be retained 
in the churches." 

Now take up the XXXIX Articles of the 
church of England, and their book of Common 
prayer, which may be called the first standard of 
faith of English reformers, and you find in art 
viii, the three creeds admitted ; the apostles 
creed, the Nicene creed, and the creed of St, 



108 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

Athanasius, which positively asserts that "he 
that does not hold the Catholic faith whole and 
entire, shall, without doubt, perish for ever." In 
art. xx. you find a declaration that the church 
his authority in controversies of faith. 

You also find in the Order of Visitatit n or the 
si/k confession recommended to be made to the 
minister, and absolution by him pronounced m 
almost the very same words used by the Catho 
lic church. 

In the Ordination of Ministers you find the 
following words: "Receive the Holy Ghost, 
whose sin thou dost forgive, they are forgiven ; 
and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained." 

In consequence of this, you also find numbers 
of th<: primitive Protestant bishops and ministers 
maintaining those doctrines, such as Cranmer 
Ridley, Jewel, Parker, Hooker, Ailson, Andrews 
IVirson, Laud, Gunning, Ken, &c. &c. 

By the 5th canon of the Convocation, A. D 
lb 03, it is decreed, " Whosoever shall affirm that 
any of the xxxix Articles are in any part super 
s itious or erroneous let him be excommunicated." 

After reading these solemn professions of faith 
made, (it is said,) by inspired reformers, and 
adopted in so solemn a manner, who would not 
exclaim "thank God, the grand work of the re 
formation is accomplished, the standard of faith 
s planted, the colors of Christianity are flying 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 109 

flic dark clouds of Popish superstition and idola 
try are scattered, and the sun of divine revelation 
is illuminating the globe." No such a thing 
my friend. 

The first reformers proved themselves to be 
quacks : they did not understand the scriptures. 
Their reformation must be reformed again. It 
will be found, under king Edward VI. that Christ 
is not present in the sacrament, and the words 
expressing his real presence will be expunged, 
as Dr. Heylin informs us; and it will be declared 
in the &)lh article, that the body of Christ being 
now in heaven, cannot, be also in the sacrament. 

Cnder queen Elizabeth this article is put out 
again, and the old belief re-adopted. 

After f- ome lime, numbers ot reforming quacks 
start up and ref rm the reformed church of Eng 
land, having got a better understanding of scrip 
ture than the first reformers. The church 01" 
England ministers are by them declared to be 
ministers of Satan, a swinish rabble, &cc. &c. &c. 
and they set up a new reformation. The farce 
is not ended yet. George Fox, the cobbler, de 
clares they are all fools, and shaking his head, 
he groans out the operations of the spirit, that 
spiritualize the whole of the scriptures. From 
England transport yourself over to America, and 
here you will see the church of England reformed 
over again, accommodated to the genius of a free 
10 



110 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

and independent people, dividing and subdivid 
ing into numberless branches, and degenerating 
into deism and even atheism. The xxxix arti 
cles, which in England are divine truths are 
falsehoods in America. 

Christ who is present in I he holy sacrament in 
England, has nothing to do with the sacrament 
in America. 

The power of absolution given to the reforma 
tion of England is denied to the reformation of 
America what is divine truth in England is 
heresy in America and the interpretation of 
scripture which is correct in England is false in 
America. 

The reformation, then, (pretended to be the 
work of God wrought by inspired men,) is not 
the same thing in every place and in every age, 
as it ought to be to prove itself the work of God. 

The reformation of Germany is not the refor 
mation of England, that of England not the same 
as that of America. 

The reformation of Luther is not the reforma 
tion of Calvin. 

The reformation of Zuinglius not that of Wes 
ley, and the reformation of Wesley not ihat of 
Fox. 

The reformation of 1517 is not the reformation 
cf 1800, and nobody living at present is able tq 
foretell what the reformation of 1900 will be. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Ill 

If it be permitted to form a conjecture, I think 
that your Protestant minister is going to intro 
duce a new reformation, for he has discovered 
(page 69) that kissing a crucifix is an act of idol 
atry. Now I recollect seeing numbers of Pro 
testants kissing the calfskin cover of the bible. 
Ask your minister whether kissing leather is not 
as much idolatry as kissing wood or brass ? If 
so, then it becomes necessary to reform that 
practice. 

The truth is, my dear friend, by misinterpre 
tation and raeh judgments, many of the most in 
nocent ;md even edifying practices of religion 
may be construed into acts of idolatry ; and no 
wonder if those who from hatred against the 
Catholic church, squeeze and screw the scrip 
ture into senses the most congenial to their feel 
ings and prejudices, should also, from the same 
disposition, put most hateful constructions on the 
most innocent Catholic practices. 

Thus your minister, who is determined that 
Catholics shall be idolaters, wilfully shuts his 
eyes against the doctrine of the Catholic church, 
which in her profession of faith, in all her cate 
chisms, in all her general councils, founded on 
the \vord of God, plainly declares her belief in 
one only God, the only fountain of all blessings, 
and plainly condemns any confidence in the pow 
er of the blessed saints, and angels, only that, 



112 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

which as mere creatures, they have obtained 
from the great creator, " to rule over nations." 
(Rev. ii. 26, 27,) " To minister for them who 
shall receive the inheritance of salvation." (Heb. 
i 14. Acts, v. 19. and xxvii. 23.) To pray or 
intercede for us sinners. (Zach. i. 12. Rev. v. 
8. &c. &c.) 

Your minister, I say, determined that we shall 
be idolaters, shuts his eyes against the very words 
f scripture, which he PRETENDS, to revere, and 
thus perverts our praying to the saints into an 
unscriptural act of idolatry. 

The scripture says, "judge not," &c. (Matt. 
vii. 1.) but your minister says, " I will judge the 
Papist ; and in their confessing to God and to 
the whole court of heaven, and in their prayers 
to the saints, I am determined to find them guilty 
of idolatry." 

The scripture gives us several instances of 
miracles wrought by the Almighty by means of 
the bones, of the clothes, and even of the shadow 
of saints, (4th Book of Kings, xiii. 21. Acts, v. 
15, and xix. 12,) but your minister is determined 
that we shall be guilty of idolatry whene\er we 
shew any respect for the relics of saints, or any 
confidence that the Almighty, who makes use of 
the most weak and despicable means and thinp-s 
to bring about great ends, will still make use of 
those relics as instruments to convey certain 



LETTER ON THE IIOLF SCRIPTURES. 113 

blessings, of which there are thousands of instan 
ces in the Catholic church. It was a miracle of 
that kind which accelerated the conversion of 
Mr. Thayer, a Presbyterian minister of Boston, 
who had been as loud and clamorous againsl 
praying to the saints and venerating their relics 
as your minister. (See the history of Mr. Thay- 
er s conversion written by himself.) 

When we pray to the saints for certain bless 
ings, or to be delivered from certain evils, your 
minister (by an evil interpretation of our words) 
finds us guilty of idolatry, although we protest 
that we do not expect any thing from them in 
our behalf but their intercession, and the exercise 
of that subordinate power, which as creatures but 
as glorified creatures, and as friends of God, they 
have received from the great Creator. " He 
that shall overcome," &c. (says the Almighty,) 
" to him I will give power over the nations." 
(Rev. ii. 26.) 

It is no wonder, indeed, that your minister, 
who is willing to screw and squeeze the sacred 
text of scripture into what sense he pleases, 
should be willing to misinterpret our prayers, 
and even our intentions, to make them appear 
idolatrous. 

The Protestant minister has filled a great num 
ber of pages with irrelevant matter, as so many 
auxiliaries in his ecclesiastical campaign against 
10* 



114 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

the Catholic church. As my time is very limited 
I shall embrace the opportunity which the presen 
letter affords me, in order, by a few additional 
lines, to supercede the necessity of a confutation 
in form. 

The Protestant minister has ransacked some 
old libraries, and shaken off the dust of many an 
old book, that lay forgotten and neglected, in 
order to furnish himself with arms against Popery, 
and behold the happy discovery he has made ! 

He has found some authors that say " God 
g;ive the Virgin Mary the half of his kingdom ; 
that the prayers made to her are better than 
those made to Christ ; that the mother s milk ia 
equally to be esteemed with the son s blood," 
&c. &c. (page 55 of the Vindication.) 

My friend, you certainly will not be deceived 
by such tricks. If all the nonsense, all the blas 
phemies, all the impieties, written by individual 
Catholics, laymen or clergymen, together with 
all the nonsense and absurdities falsely attributed 
to them by their enemies, and published under 
forged Catholic names, were put up in one heap, 
an acre of ground would not be sufficient to con 
tain them. But remember that I have only un 
dertaken to defend the doctrine of the Catholic 
church, not the absurdities and blasphemies of 
individuals. Your minister says (after quoting 
the above absurdities,) " this is a part of the ser- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 115 

vice, the church of Rome puts up to the Virgin 
Mary," &c. (page 55.) Tell your minister to 
remember the commandment, "Thou shalt not 
bear false witness," &c. and to remember also 
the priest s spittle in the holy water ! ! ! I pray 
that none of his slanderous assertions may rise 
against him on the awful day of God s eternal 
vengeance. 

What he calls (in the same page 55,) abun 
dance not only of superstition but also of idolatry, 
viz : our confiding in the merits and prayers of 
the saints, is also founded on his misconception 
or misrepresentation. Listen to his reasons : 
" It is the will of God," (says he,) " and the ex 
press command of scripture, that we should re 
gard Jesus Christ as the only cause of our salva 
tion." 

The Catholic church never acknowledged any 
other but her divine Spouse Jesus Christ, as the 
fountain of salvation. But ask your minister, 
my friend, whether he believes the declaration 
made by God himself, "that he would spare a 
whole city for the sake often just men." (Gen. 
xviii. 32.) 

" That he will accept the face of Job (his 
prayers and intercession) in behalf of his three 
friends." (Job, xlii. 8.) 

"That he will forgive the people of Israel for 
the sake of Moses." (Numb. xiv. 20.) 



116 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

It is truly ludicrous to see with what degree 
of pertinacity your minister is determined tc 
carry his point, and to prove us idolaters. 

He is not aware of the consequences of his 
assertions. Jesus Christ says he is the only 
cause of salvation, and therefore Catholics are 
idolaters for applying to the friends of Jesus 
Christ for help, for that help which they can only 
grant in virtue of the power of Jesus Christ. 
Retorting his own argument, I shall now prove 
that all Protestants, with their clergy, are idola 
ters ; for it is evident that Jesus Christ alone is 
the fountain of all knowledge, of all wisdom. 
Now it is also evident that Protestants, instead 
of applying immediately to that fountain, address 
themselves to their ministers, (who are but weak 
mortals) for instruction. It is also evident that 
the ministers themselves are idolaters, for al 
though they know Jesus Christ alone to be the 
sole author of all spiritual power, yet instead of 
going straight away to him for knowledge in 
divinity and for ordination, they go to a college 
conducted by mere men in order to obtain both 
learning and ordination. 

I expect, my friend, you will. acknowledge my 
argument to be as good as that of your minister. 
If applying for help of any kind to subordinate 
beings in heaven be an injury to Christ and an 
act of idolatry, it is a greater injury to Christ 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURE!. 117 

and a more gross act of idolatry, to apply foi 
help of any kind to subordinate beings on earth, 
and as Christ God is the fountain of all blessings, 
the king, and only rightful owner and ruler of 
the whole universe, every body is guilty of idola 
try who in any case whatever applies to man for 
any favor instead of applying to Christ. 

Such are the absurd consequences of your 
minister s doctrine ; what then is the conclusion ? 
If it be no sin, no idolatry, to apply to weak 
mortals for many favors or blessings, for bread, 
for money, for instruction, for offices, for prayers, 
&c. provided we acknowledge God alone to be 
the author of all those blessings ; neither is it 
idolatry to ask blessings, favors, prayers, Sec. of 
the blessed saints, provided we acknowledge 
God alone to be the fountain of those blessings, 
which by God s own appointment are often dis 
tributed through the ministry, and at the inter 
cession of those blessed spirits, as I have proved 
from Rev. ii. 26, 27. Acts, v. 19. and xxvii. 23. 
Heb. i. 14. Zach. i. 12. &c. &c. 

Your minister peremptorily decides, (page 54,) 
it is certain the saints cannot hear us." 

Ask him, my friend, at what time he was by 
the Almighty admitted, like St. Paul, into the 
third heavens ? Unless he was, I do not under 
stand how he is able to make that bold decision, 
especially when he has to make it in contradic- 



118 LETTER ON THE HO LI SCRIPTURES. 

lion to scripture, which declares the angels capa 
ble of knowing our very thoughts, as I prove in 
my " Defence," (page 97,) from Luke, xv. 10, 
&c. &c. 

I shall say nothing here about his charge con 
cerning our using charms and conjurations in 
blessing water, salt, oil, &c. which in plain Eng 
lish means that we invoke the devil in blessing 
those things. The minister has read the Roman 
mass-book, ritual, pontifical, &c. as plainly ap 
pears from page 140 of his "Vindication," and 
therefore he knows himself guilty of bearing false 
witness. 

A few words more on the following subjects 
("Vindication," page 8,) and I shall close the 
present letter, which I am afraid begins to tire 
you: 

" 1. Celibacy of the clergy. 

" 2. The holy office of the inquisition. 

" 3. Works of supererogation. 

4. Persecution of Protestants ; that is, burn 
ing the body for the good of the soul. 

" 5. Miracles wrought by the priests and 
monks of the church of Rome. 

" d Mass celebrated in an unknown tongje." 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 119 

1. THE CELIBACY OR SINGLE LIFE OF THE 
CLERGY 

[s founded on the declaration of St. Paul, (1. 
Cor. vii. 84, 35, and 38, 40,) by which it is plain 
that virginity is by the spirit of God preferred to 
marriage, and the reason given " that you may 
attend upon the Lord, without distraction." No 
man is compelled by the church to remain sin 
gle ; but the church declares herself unwilling 
to admit to ordination any but those who after 
mature deliberation and many years trial are 
willing to promise continency, that being undi 
vided (1 Cor. vii. 34,) they may the better attend 
to the things of the Lord. 

Against this holy doctrine of St. Paul s, em 
braced by the Catholic church., if one should 
object the dangers arising from the corruptions 
of human nature, my answer is, that the grace 
of God, which by proper means can be obtained, 
is sufficient to overcome that corruption, and 
that without the grace of God, marriage itself 
offers no sufficient security, as woful experience 
proves. 

How great an obstacle the incumbrance of a 
family must be to zealous clergymen, in the dis 
charge of their duties under many particular cir 
cumstances, must be obvious, (says bishop Mil- 
ner, letter iii. page 60, Baltimore edition,) such 
as in times of persecution, when religion is to be 



120 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

propagated amongst infidel and barbarous nations, 
and when persons dying of infectious diseases 
require the consolation and help of religion ta 
support- them. 

Some years ago, when that dreadful contagion 
.aged amongst the prisoners of war confined in 
the king s house, London, which carried off so 
many hundreds, numbers of them, who were 
French Protestants, called upon Protestant min 
isters for that attendance which they saw admin 
istered to the Catholic prisoners by one or two 
priests. They called in vain ; which caused 
those Protestant prisoners to apply to the priests 
and to die Catholics. What was the excuse of 
the Protestant ministers for not attending ? It 
was what might be expected : " We are not more 
afraid," said they, " as individuals, to face death 
in the discharge of our professional duties, than 
the priests are, but we must not cany a poison 
ous contagion into the bosom of our families." 

Another advantage which a continent clergy 
has over a married clergy, is in the case of mis 
sions for the conversion of infidels. 

An expedition of missionaries was sent from 
London, at an immense expense, for the conver 
sion of the people of Otaheite and the neighbor 
ing islands. The married missionaries took their 
wives with them. The consequence was, that 
jealousies and quarrels concerning the women 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 121 

soon took place between the savages and their 
preachers, the latter being obliged to take up 
arms, and to learn the manual exercise, in ordei 
to restrain the lustful passion of the former, 
which they were unable to quell by the SWORD 
OF THE SPIRIT. (See their Letter, dated March 
f), 1798, published in the London Courier, Dec. 
18, 1799. See also Memoirs of a Missionary 
Voyage in the ship Duff, pages 81, 85.) 

It has been partly owing to this disadvantage 
in their ministry, that the Protestants have hardly 
yet succeeded in converting any but very few 
infidels to Christianity, whilst the Catholics have 
made converts by thousands and millions among 
the infidel nations of the globe. 

2. THE HOLY OFFICE OF THE INQUISITION. 

If it had been established (as your minister 
would fain wish to make you believe,) in order 
by tortures, &c. to force the consciences of men, 
I should no more attempt to advocate it than 
your minister will attempt to advocate the pro 
ceedings of the court of high commission against 
the Catholics under queen Elizabeth ; both then 
would be monuments of barbarism and of the 
infernal spirit of religious fanaticism and bigotry. 
Of this I shall say more in some future publica 
tion ; remember meanwhile, that the said insti 
tution, and the nature of its proceedings, have 



l 2*2 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCR1PTLKES. 

been very much misrepresented by Protestant 
writers. 

3. WORKS OF SUPEREROGATION. 

Praying, fasting, almsdeeds, and other good 
works recommended in many texts of holy writ, 
and by Almighty God recompensed with great 
blessings. 

Moses fasted forty days without eating or 
drinking. (Exod. xxxiv. 28.) 

Achab put haircloth upon his flesh, and fasted, 
and slept in sack cloth," &c. and the Lord said 
" because Achab has humbled himself for my 
sake, I will not bring the evil in his days." (3d. 
Kings, xxi. 2729.) 

"The angel Raphael said to Tobias: prayer 
is good with fasting and alms. * * * * Alms de- 
livereth from death, and the same is that which 
purgetli away sins and maketh to find mercy and 
life everlasting." (Tob. xii. 8, 9.) 

By fasting and prayer the people of Bethulia 
obtained the grace of God to be delivered from 
Holofernes. (Judith.) 

By fasting and prayer, the Ninevites, doomed 
to destruction, appeased the anger of God. and 
obtained their pardon. (Jonas, iii. 5 10.) 

Christ himself fasted forty days before enter 
ing on his ministry, &c. &c. Sec. 

Besides many things commanded by holy wrH 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 121 

/here are many other things counselled, and 
great rewards promised, to those who follow 
those counsels, for instance: "If thou wilt be 
perfect, go sell the things that thou hast, and 
give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in 
heaven: and come follow me." (Mat. xix. 21.) 

Again, St. Paul advises to a single life and per 
fect continency, as himself followed, (1 Cor. vii ) 

When a Christian, with the view of pleasing 
God, of punishing himself for his sins, of obtain 
ing mercy from the Lord, of being admitted to a 
greater degree of glory hereafter, performs those 
things, which are not absolutely commanded but 
counselled, he is said to do works of supereroga 
tion. 

4. PERSECUTION OF PROTESTANTS, THAT IS, 
BURNING THE BODY FOR THE GOOD OF THE 
SOUL. 

I am much at a loss to know why your min 
ister has introduced this article, which he well 
knows is no article of the Catholic creed. Dot s 
not this look like wishing to kindle up a flame 5 
(See preface to Dr. Johnson s "Vindication." 
Would he think it fair if I was to attack his reli 
gion, by bringing forward the bloody statutes of 
England against Catholics, the confiscations of 
property that reduced millions to poverty, the 
hangings, burnings, embowellings, &,c. &c. 8tc 



124 LETTER ON THE HOLT SCRIPTURES, 

inflict I d on Catholic priests and schoolmasters 
lor saying mass or teaching. 

The Catholic church so much abhors persecu 
tions for the sake of religion, that the clergymen 
<>f that church have upon all occasions exerted 
their zeal to prevent it and to oppose it. 

Read the letters of the celebrated bishop Bar 
tholomew de las Casas, and you will see with 
how much zeal he opposed, during fifty years, 
the detestable cruelties exercised by the Span 
iards against the Indians, which gave the latter 
an insurmountable hatred against the Christian 
religion. 

When the celebrated Fenelon, archbishop of 
Cambray, was appointed to bring back to the 
church so many Calvinists of France, and was 
informed that Louis XIV. had determined to back 
his mission with a military force, Fenelon abso 
lutely opposed the measure, obtained its repeal, 
and having undertaken their conversion, by his 
zeal tempered with mildness and charity, brought 
many of those strayed sheep back to the pale of 
the church. 

So did also the celebrated Francis de Sales 
bishop of Geneva, whose mission among the 
Calvinists of his diocese was to be protected by 
an armed force sent by the French king. Armed 
only with the cross, and with confidence in the 
protection of God, he succeeded in converting 
about seventy thousand of then 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 1*25 

At the time of the execiable massacre of the 
French Calvinists, und(;r Charles IX. thousands 
of those poor devoted victims found shelter in 
the houses of Catholic bishops and priests, upon 
which many of them embraced the Catholic 
faith. 

1 am happy to have it in my power to state, 
that an illustrious example of that kind, is found 
in the late generous reception and protection 
granted by the Protestant clergy of England to 
thousands of the persecuted Catholic clergymen 
of France. 

Times nre altered, my friend. The faggot (as 
O Leary says) which formerly roasted the man 
at the stake, is now confined to the kitchen, and 
destined to feed him. 

Catholic or Protestant potentates who abused 
their power, in order to force the consciences of 
men, and by tortures to oblige them to embrace 
their own creed, were monsters and not Chris 
tians; and the Catholic church so much abhors 
the shedding of blood, or any acts of cruelty, 
that by a law of said church, all those are ex 
cluded from ordination, and are declared irregu 
lar, who either directly or indirectly have any 
hand in the effusion of blood, even although no 
crime is thereby committed ; thus, any person 
co-operating towards bringing a malefactor to 
capital punishment, as accuser, lawyer, witness 
11* 



126 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

notary to write the sentence, or as judge, becomes 
irregular, and inadmissable to holy orders. 

5. MIRACLES WROUGHT BY THE PRIESTS AND 
MONKS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME. 

This article, of which your minister demands 
an explanation, is no article of our creed. Bu 
to gratify his curiosity, I shall only observe, that 
miracles are eome of those extraordinary means 
which God uses when he pleases, for the promo 
tion of his glory and the salvation of souls, and 
in the performing of which he may use not only 
priests and monks but also lay people as his in 
struments. The apostles of Christ had the gift 
of miracles, by which they proved their mission 
and convinced nations of the necessity of em 
bracing the law of Christ. 

St. Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, St. Augus 
tine, who converted England, many other cler 
gymen who converted pagan nations of Europe, 
in later times St. Francis Xaverius, the apostle 
of the East Indies, and others in different parts 
of the new world, had the gift of miracles, which 
established the divinity of their mission, and con 
verted millions. God is master of his gifts, he 
communicates them to whom he pleases, and his 
arm is not shortened, his power not curtailed : 
but there are persons who contrary to the advice 
of Chri>t to Thomas, (John xx. 29,) will not be 
lieve unless thev have seen. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 127 

6. MASS CELEBRATED IN AN UNKNOWN 
TONGUE. 

Viz. In the Latin tongue. This custom is 
Founded upon very good reasons : 

1st. The Latin is a dead language, not subject 
to changes, therefore better adapted than a living 
language to prevent changes creeping into the 
liturgy of the church. 

2nd. The use of the Latin establishes a uni 
formity in the service throughout the whole 
vorld. 

3d. There are priests of all nations. Mass, 
whjch is the principal part of the Catholic wor 
ship, beinir every where celebrated in Latin, a 
jmest from any country whatever, may go to any 
country under the globe, and the very day lie 
arrives he is fit to step before the altar and cele 
brate mass. 

4th. The mass contains awful and tremendous 
mysteries, therefore, although celebrated in pub 
lic, the sacred words therein used and pronounced, 
ought not to be exposed to profanation, therefore 
they are pronounced in a language only known 
to the more improved classes of society. An 
instance of such profanation your ministei has 
recorded in his " Vindication," with his own 
hand, (pa^e 43) where he has attempted to inti 
mate that hocus pocus is derived from the sacred 
jwords of Christ hoc est Corpus meum, this is m) 



1 28 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

body. He meant to throw a slur on Catholit 
priests, but as the words originate with Christ 
himself, and not with the priest, it is upon Christ 
that the aspersion falls. Any blasphemy, any 
sacrilegious scurrility will pass with ceitain per 
sons, if it only militates against the Catholic 
church. 

Catholics assisting at mass suffer no detriment 
by not understanding the Latin language, as they 
have the mass prayers in the vernacular language 
in almost all their prayer books. 

Your minister ihinks (see " Vindication," page 
140,) that greater service could not be done the 
reformation, than by translating into English the 
missal or mass-book, breviary, &c. You may 
tell him that this has been done long since in the 
city of London, where Catholics are nevertheless 
increasing from year to year. 

What your minister states of the wickedness 
of Popes, is nothing to the purpose. It no more 
disproves the divinity and holiness of the Catho 
lic church, than the prevarication of Judas or the 
fall of St. Peter. Nor does it disprove the validity 
of the Pope s supremacy. (See "Defence of 
Catholic Principles," p. 116130.) Ask him 
whether bad conduct, extravagant claims, or usur 
pation of power by a president, would prove the 
constitution of the United States to be bad ? Hia 
account of the corruption of Popes is much e^? 



l.KTTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 129 

rated, and no wonder, when he draws his 
ini orrnatioii on Uiat sul)ject from such sources as 
David Hume, Buck, father Paul, &c. the two 
former of whom were as eminent for their inac 
curacies and misrepresentations, as the latter was 
for his hypocrisy and treachery, as is proved by 
the Protestant bishop Burnet, and others. How 
ever, let this pass with all the other misrepresen 
tations contained in your minister s Vindication. 
It unfortunately requires more time to confute 
calumnies than to advance them. It would take 
volumes to confute very minutely every false 
hood advanced to the few pages of said publica 
tion, which would require more time than I have 
to spare, nor in fact is it necessary, as much of 
.hat matter is altogether irrelevant, I mean to 
confine myself to what is really important, as 
belonging to the substance of religion. I shall 
therefore, for this time, only notice one more 
passage in your minister s " Vindication," which 
indeed is too curious to be omitted. 

After spending 133 pages, in order, by scur 
rility, abuses, misrepresentations, &.c. to prove 

the Catholic church to be the w e of Babylon, 

the Pope Antichrist, the priests magicians, sor 
cerers, bloodhounds, the lay people silly, ignor 
ant, stupid, &cc. Sec., in short, the whole chur h 
a sink of corruption, superstition, and idolatry, 
he tells us very gravely, (page 134,) "Itha 



130 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 

been, and yet is, the opinion of the Protestants, 
that an ignorant and unlearned people, who have 
been brought up and educated in such or such 
religious principles, THOUGH NEVER so ABSURD, 
SHOULD ADHERE TO THEM, as the prejudice of 
education will go a great length," &c. 

Accordingly, if some of our Roman Catholics, 
after reading your minister s " Vindicatkm," 
should begin to open their eyes, and finding that 
they have been imposed upon and led astray by 
their priests should apply to your Protestant 
minister for instruction, here is what he would 
tell them : 

" My dear Popish brethren : 

" When meditating seriously, in the silence of 
retirement, on the sublime truths of revelation, 
I am struck with awe and terror at the dreadful 
remembrance of the judgments denounced against 
idolaters My heart melts within me, and my 
eyes flow with tears of compassion and sorrow, 
seeing so many millions of you embracing the 
\vh e of Babylon and riding the seven headed 
beast, which is bringing you along the broad 
road to eternal flames. Ah, my friends ! my 
brethren ! why do you suffer yourselves to be 
imposed upon by your priests ? Why are you 
so simple as to believe what they tell you about 
the promises of Christ, that the Spirit of Truth 
vhould never leave his ministers, that himself will 



LETTER ON THk HOLY SCRIPTURES. 131 

be with them to the consummation of the world, 
Sec.? Cannot you see with your own eyes, that 
Christ has broken his promises long since, and 
that the church, the grand work of Christ, was 
going to destruction fast, had not we (the refor 
mers) risen in our might, to mend it, and restore, 
it again? Ah, my brethren ! as a pastor of souls, 
as a minister of Chris , 1 led myself consumed 
with the fire of divine love, and with zeal for the 
salvation of your souls. Forsake then, my friends, 
forsake the road of idolatry, the road of damna 
tion. Search the scriptures. Interpret for your 
selves. The scriptures alone are infallible. If 
you should be at a loss about the sense of scrip 
ture, or if you should be staggered by our contra 
dictory interpretations, never mind that ; at all 
events fly my brethren, fly from the \vh e of 
Babylon. Behold the ark of salvation, the holy 
reformation, the concord of discordant doctrines, 
the most perfect unity made up of all manner of 
contradictions ! But no, my friends : Stop, I was 
mistaken; stop , be comforted! You are ignor 
ant and unlearned, therefore continue as you 
have begun. You began the career of idolatry ; 
continue to the end. You have been riding the 
seven headed beast, do not forsake that beast ; 
and may the broad road to hell and damnation 
bring you to the kingdom of heaven. Amen." 
How do you like the above advice . I shall 



132 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, 

now give you the advice of a Catholic clergy ma i 
to his Protestant brethren, and then leave it to 
your judgment to determine which of the two 
advices is the most rational and the most safe, 
and which of the two you will adopt. 

" My dear Protestant brethren : 

"Do not be deceived; there is only ONE LORD, 

ONE FAITH, AND ONE BAPTISM. (Eph. iv.) Only 

ONE church, raised by the hands of Jesus Christ, 
against which all the powers of hell shall never 
prevail. (Mat. xvi. 18.) Only ONE church in 
which the Spirit of Truth abides for ever. (John, 
xiv. 16.) Only ONE ark of salvation, of which 
Jesus Christ is the pilot, until the consummation 
of the world. (Mat. xxviii. 20.) Whoever is 
not in that one only vessel shall suffer shipwreck; 
whoever will not hear that church will meet the 
fate of heathens and publicans. (Mat. xviii. 17.) 

" Search the scriptures, my friends ; they 
loudly proclaim the divinity of Jesus Christ, and 
of course bear testimony to the truth of his words. 

"Search the scriptures; they clearly point 
out to you the church as your only guide in the 
ways of salvation. It is to her, and not to their 
own dead letters, they send you for instruction 

" Search the scriptures ; but do not erect your 
selves judges of their contents. Search them in 
the spirit of humility, and you will discover a 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 13S 

abyss of divine wisdom, that will baffle all the 
efforts of human reason ; a splendor of light, 
which your weak eyes will not be able to bear ; 
a food too rich, too strong for your weak stomach. 
He not dismayed. Like a little child, apply to 
your mother the holy church of Christ, and you 
v/ill find that sirong food by her digested, and 
adapted to the weakness of your stomach. 

" Do not be imposed upon by the assertion of 
your ministers. All their learning, (and some 
of them are men of great learning,) all their in 
genuity, (and some of them are very ingenious,) 
all their bible quotations, (;md some of them have 
almost the whole bible by heart,) will never be 
able to invalidate the promises of Christ. 

" Remember that the combined wisdom, learn 
ing, and ingenuity of ALL Protestant bishops, 
will never be able to hurl the Catholic church 
from the rock on which it was raised, to deprive 
the said church of the Spirit of Truth, which is 
to guide it for ever, or to tear Jesus Christ from 
the helm of that vessel of salvation, which he 
has promised to conduct until the consummation 
of the world. 

"Do not be imposed upon by great names. 
The true greatness of man depends on the depth 
of his humility, and the perfection of his obedi 
ence. Learning and talents are useful when ap 
plied to their proper objects ; to those I mean 
12 



134 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

that are within the grasp of the human undei 
standing. When applied to objects which art 
of their own nature impervious or impenetrable 
to human reason, they are very dangerous ; they 
(urn wisdom into folly, and make of the greatest 
divines mere quacks and empirics. 

" When you are told, then, that the celebrated 
l<i hop Tillotson, the most learned bishop White, 
the great philosopher Averoes, have, by their 
powers of reasoning, by the ingenuity of their 
sarcastic remarks, or by their thundering vocife 
rations, &c. overturned transubstantiation, con 
fession of sins, &c. &c. admire the height of 
human folly, in attempting to measure immeasur 
able abysses, and to compass with the senses or 
with a limited reason, what is transcendently 
above the nature of human things. 

" Do not be imposed upon by a pretended 
respect for the bible. By the magic powers of 
the words IT MEANS, the reformed ministers 
make the bible say what they please. With all 
the dignity of power, with all the self-importance 
of a ridiculous pride, with the most impudent 
assurance, they determine the sense of the Holy 
Ghost ; and they always take care to make their 
interpretations militate against the Catholic doc 
trine. They are very fond of quoting from the 
most difficult and obscure parts of scripture, such 
is the book of Revelation and the epistles of St.. 



t.ETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 135 

Paul which being mysterious, and hard to be 
understood. (2 Peter, iii.) afford a great chance to 
self-conceited and prejudiced interpreters. 

"Do not be deceived by your minister s long 
tales, (some true and some false,) about the 
wickedness of some Popes and other Catholic 
clergymen. Christ did not promise impeccability 
or exemption from sin, to any clergymen. He 
promised the Spirit of Truth to teach all truth to 
the body of the pastors, and when he enjoins obe 
dience to their commands, he in the same breath 
cautions us against their bad examples. (Mat. 
xxiii. 2, 3.) He foretels, that until the harvest 
day, good and bad shall be mixed in his church; 
and he suffered two of his apostles to fall into 
very great crimes. Your ministers are very fond 
of blending together those two distinct subjects 
impeccability and infallibility, in order to create 
a confusion, and to impose on the ignorant and 
the simple, many of whom honestly believe, that 
by infallibility we mean exemption from sin, 
whereas we mean nothing but what your own 
scripture plainly teaches you, that from the foun 
dation of the church until its consummation, the 
divine Spirit of Truth shall be always with the 
apostles and their successors in the ministry, 
(John xiv. 16,) to enable them to teach all truth 
and no falsehood, (Mat. xxviii. 20,) to enable 
them to know the true meaning of the cifferent 



136 LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 

scripture te>ts, to discern the true from so manj 
false translations, to know the canonical or divine 
books, and also to distinguish divine from human 
traditions ; in short, to preserve the whole depos- 
ite of faith in its original purity. To know all 
hese things, my brethren, is so essentially ne 
cessary for salvation, and to know them is so 
completely impossible, without a divine infallible 
or unerring authority, that, to deny this infallible 
authority, so clearly and pointedly established 
by Christ, is to subvert the religion of Jesus Christ, 
and to establish in its place the fluctuating opin 
ions of men. 

" Pray then, my friends, pray sincerely, tha> 
your eyes may be opened ; pray for humility to 
submit your understanding in all matters of reli 
gion to the dictates of the ancient church of Jesus 
Christ, whicji alone is guided by the Spirit of 
Truth for ever, which alone is Catholic or uni 
versal, spread among all nations and embracing 
about three-fourths of Christendom, which alone 
is perfectly one in all matters of faith and salva 
tion, which alone is the immaculate spouse of 
Christ, without spot or wrinkle. (Eph. v.) 1 
again pledge my salvation, that in it, (provided 
you will submit to its precepts) you will find sal 
vation, which (as sure as Jesus Christ is God) 
cannot be obtained in any of those churches 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 137 

that have separated from that only spouse of 
Christ." 

My dear friend, if the above advice appears tc 
you rational, and conformable to what you al 
ready know of the word of God, you will take it 
After meditating seriously on the subject, you 
will let me know your sentiments ; and you may 
axpect to hear more on the subject, from 
Your humble servant, 

And friend, 

DEMETRIUS A. GALLITZIN. 
MARCH 29, 1819. 



POSTSCRIPT. 



Before sending off this letter, I think it neces 
sary to add a few lines, in orcrer to explain the 
words which your minister quotes from page 143 
of my " Defence," and which he calls a strong 
imprecation. The words which I there made 
use of, and which I shall be willing to repeat in 
my dying hour, if by the mercy of God, I die 
in my senses and in the state of God s grace, are 
as follows : 

"May the day of judgment be for me the day 
of God s eternal vengeance, if the holy Roman 
Catholic church is not the only one, true, and 
immaculate spouse of Christ. May my soul be 
doomed to suffer for you eternally all those tor 
ments which you would deserve, by following 
all the pretended superstitions of the church of 
Rome !" 

"I have never met with a stronger impreca 
tion," says the Protestant minister, " one ex- 
cepted, which was, when the Jews crucified the 
Saviour of the world, &c. they cried out, His 
blood be on us, and on our children, &c." (Vin 
dication, page 126.) 

My dear friend, you may tell your minister 
that all the Catholic clergy, together with all the 
well informed lay members of our church, will 



LETTER ON THE HOi.Y SCRIPTURES. 139 

with the greatest pleasure, join with me in this 
pretended imprecation. 

Words to the same amount, in the mouth of a 
Protestant, would he extremely rash and pre 
sumptuous, because, the Protestant having nc 
guide but his blind reason in the interpretation 
if (lie divine word, can never acquire a certainty 
sufficient to justify the above expressions. The 
utmost influence that any Protest .-nit creed can 
possibly have over a Protestant mind is, a mere 
hope or presumption, that it may be true; which 
from the acknowledged fallibility of that guide, 
(blind, puny reason,) must leave a fear on the 
Protestant mind, that he is perhaps mistaken, 
nay, a certainty that thousands are actually mis 
taken, as the different Protestant creeds do con 
tradict one another in most essential points, even 
in the very fundamentals of Christianity. 

The case of a Roman Catholic is far different. 
He believes that Jesus Christ is God, and as a 
necessary consequence, that every word spoken 
by Jesus Christ is a divine truth. 

He therefore believes that the church of Christ 
stands on a rock ever since the time it was by 
the Divine Architect raised on that rock. (Mat. 
xvi. 18.) He also believes that on the same- 
rock it will stand until the end of time, and that 
the gates of hell (the powers of darkness) will 
never prevail over it. 

He believes that the spirit of truth has never 
departed from the ministers of that church, of 
which Christ is the founder ; and that the same 
Spirit of Truth will continue to teach them all 



l40 POSTSCRIPT. 

truth, for ever. (John xiv. 16, 17 and 26, also 
xvi. 13.) 

He believes that Christ himself has been, ever 
since the foundation of the church, and will be 
to the consummation of the world, the guide of 
his ministers, when they teach all nations, nd 
administer to them baptism and the other sacra 
ments. (Mat. xxviii.) These truths, my friend, 
cannot be disbelieved, only by those that impi 
ously deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, they 
cannot be misunderstood, ns they are expressed 
in as plain words as ever proceeded from the 
mouth of Eternal Truth. 

Founded on these divine truths, which may 
be called the axioms of religion, ;md which are 
much more certain than the axioms of Euclid, 
the Catholic can say without any rashness or 
presumption : 

"As sure as God is God, the Catholic church 
of Christ, founded by Christ on a rock, has these 
1800 years been, and will be to the end of time, 
a tencher of the truth, without the least mixture 
of error. 

" As sure as God is in heaven, the Catholic 
church never stood in need of being reformed, 
being always holy, without spot or wrinkle. (Eph. 
v. 27.) 

" As sure as Jesus Christ is God, the protesting 
against that church, and much more so, the at 
tempt made by sinful man, made by a miserable 
worm of the earth, to reform the church the most 
nobk of all the works of God, is a most horrible, 
most detestable act of impiety. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 141 

"As sure as Jesus Christ is truth itself, the 
churches raised in opposition to the Catholic 
church, called Protestant churches, are no parts 
of the church of Christ ; are churches of Satan, 
ways to perdition. 

" As sure as Jesus Christ is not an impostor, 
every point of doctrine taught by the Catholic 
church is divine, and as true as if taught by the 
mouth of Jesus Christ him>elf, although the puny 
reason of a Protestant minister cannot compre 
hend, nor the pride of the philosopher submit to 
its doctrine." 

Without air ashness then, without any pre 
sumption, the Oatholic can offer you his soul and 
salvation in security for the truth and divinity of 
his holy religion. 

The Protestant is not able to offer you the same 
security, because he has no certainty. All he 
can venture to say, when he preaches or expounds 
ihe scripture, is, " IT is MY OPINION," or, " IF r 
AM NOT MISTAKEN." This, my dear friend, 
proves to you at once, that he is not a minister 
of Christ, for a minister of Christ is appointed to 
teach you in the place of Christ, and under the 
authority of Christ ; he that hears him, hears 
Christ himself, (Luke x. 16.) He does not 
hesitate : he does not waver ; he has no opinions 
of his own to deliver unto you ; but under the 
guidance of the church, which has ihe Spirit of 
Truth for ever, he (without any hesitation, with 
out any doubt or uncertainty on his mind) tells 
you in the name of Christ, plainly and distinctly, 
what you must believe, and what you must do in 



142 POSTSCRIPT. 

order to obtain salvation ; and he :uns no risk in 
pledging his salvation for the truth of his doctrine 
why so ? Because he has the veracity of Jesus 
Christ pledged for the continuance of the Spirit 
of Truth in the church FOR EVER, for the con 
tinual guidance of the church by Jesus Christ, 
until the consummation of the world. (Mat. 
xxviii.) In short, for the perpetual infallibility, 
indefectibility and holiness of the church. 

Observe, my friend ! no Catholic priest will 
pledge his salvation that every Catholic will be 
saved, or that every thing done or said by Catho 
lics, or even by their clergymen, is correct far 
from it. We very willingly acknowledge that 
(whilst our doctrine, as ministers of Christ, dic 
tated by the church, is divine) our own example 
and our words as men are often, too often, scan 
dalous. 

We do not say that the son of divine truth 
shall never be obscured by clouds, or by fogs 
raised by the corruption and wickedness of men, 
even of clergymen, but we pledge our salvation 
th.it the sun itself behind these clouds, shall 
always be bright, and shall never cease emiting 
the purest rays of light, which shall, even through 
those clouds, penetrate unto the earth. 

We do not say, that the vessel shall never be 
beaten by tempests, by howling winds and raging 
waves, so as to appear to the eyes of man to be 
in danger of sinking, but we pledge our salvation 
that Je:^us Chris will be and remain at the helm, 
consequently, that the vessel will ride out thq 
vtcrm, and in safety reach the harbor 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPT URES. 143 

We do not say, that the house which Christ 
raised on the rock will never have its floors or 
walls overspread with cobwebs, or sullied with 
the dirt flung against it by its enemies, but we 
pledge salvation, that the house itself will stand 
firm and unshaken until the consummation of 
time. 

One more passage of the minister s "Vindica 
tion" I shall notice, and then I mean to dismiss 
the subject for this time. 

(Page 135.) The Protestant minister affects 
to express the greatest astonishment that I should 
really believe the tenets of the Catholic faith, 
which he calls absurd and contradictory, and that 
I should even pledge my salvation for the truth 
of them. "This," says he, "we could not have 
believed unless we had seen it from under his 
hand." 

How much more astonished will he be to hear 
that the late archbishop Carroll, one of the most 
learned men, one of the most amiable characters, 
one of the most accomplished gentlemen in the 
United States, lived and died in the firm belief 
of all those several tenets, of which he made an 
open profession on his death bed, and that in the 
presence of a numerous circle of both Catholic 
and Protestant friends that surrounded his bed 
on that mournful occasion. 

How much more astonished will he be to hear 
that numbers of well informed gentlemen, even 
clergymen, both in Europe and in America are 
continually leaving the reformation and crowding 
the ranks of Catholicity. Although my informa- 



144 POSTSCRIPT. 

tion on that subject is very limited, yet I know 
of eight Protestant and Methodist preachers in 
this country, that have become Roman Catholics, 
and some of them Roman Catholic priests. 

His astonishment must be inexpressible, if he 
is in the least acquainted with history, and espe 
cially with the history of the late times. 

So firm was the belief of thousands of the cler 
gy and millions of the lay people of France in 
those very tenets, which the puny reason of your 
minister very rashly decides to be absurd and 
contradictory, that they cheerfully submitted, in 
defence of these tenets, to the loss of all their 
property, of all that was dear to them on this 
side of the grave, and even to the loss of their 
lives; and met death, inflicted in the most cruel 
manner whi^h the infuriated Jacobins could de 
vise, with the most intrepid courage. Of one 
hundred and thirty odd archbishops and bishops 
(and those were generally men of the most pro 
found learning) only four or five renounced their 
belief in order to save their lives and property. 
The number of priests that renounced their reli 
gion was also comparatively small. When one 
word would have saved the whole of them, must 
it not appear astonishing beyond conception to 
your minister, that so many thousand of learned 
men could persevere to their last breath in the 
belief of those ABSURD and CONTRADICTORY te 
nets, which their temporal interests certainly 
required them not to believe. 

Whilft those pastors renowned for their learn- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 145 

ing and piety, and millions of their flocks, were 
laying down their lives for their faith, and whilst 
the streams of Catholic blood that fattened the 
soil of France and reddened its rivers, was a 
more than convincing testimony that those men 
really and sincerely believed in these tenets 
called absurd and contradictory, many of your 
Protestant ministers (behold here a proof of theii 
great charity) were exulting at the downfall of 
Popery, and prophesying its utter destruction. 

Your minister, whose ingenuity is never at a 
loss for evasive answers, will probably attribute 
the sufferings of the French clergy, &c. in the 
cause of religion to the enthusiasm of the mo 
ment. Let him turn his eyes to Great Britain, 
and especially to Ireland ; there he will see what 
will raise his astonishment to the highest pitch 
the sword of persecution hanging, during two 
hundred years, over four or five millions of 
Catholics, for believing the very tenets which he 
calls ABSURD and CONTRADICTORY. 

Transportation to Botany Bay, hanging, whip 
ping, tortures, &c. &c. inflicted for saying mass, 
for hearing mass, for teaching the Catholic cate 
chism ; nearly the whole population of Ireland 
deprived of every foot of their real property, 
ground down by enormous taxes, treated like 
aliens, nay, like slaves, in their own country : 
compelled to pay the tenth of all their produce 
to the Protestant ministers, every moment at the 
mercy of vile informers and Protestant spies, 
who are encouraged by the greatest rewards, to 
13 



146 POSTSCRIPT. 

Accuse them of complying with the duties of 
Catholics. See the very laws of nature over 
turned by a Protestant government, and the son, 
(by the laws of that country,) authorised to turn 
his Catholic father into the street, and himself 
(by becoming a Protestant, and informing against 
the father) stepping into the whole of his father s 
property. In short, my friend, behold a system 
of the most cruel persecution, written in letters 
of blood, dictated by a Protestant government, 
(out of pure charity, I suppose, see " VindicrV 
tion," page 126, lines 5 10 ; and again, page 
115, lines 18 21,) and persevering in its cruel 
operations, during two hundred years, against 
four or five millions of Catholics, on account of 
remaining faithful to those tenets which they 
hud received from their apostle St. Patrick, such 
as, transubstantiation, confession of sins, purga 
tory, &c. &c. 

To secure themselves from the sword of per 
secution, and from the bloody statutes enacted 
against them, they had nothing to do, but go to 
the next meeting house and renounce the absurd 
and contradictory tenets of the Catholic faith ; 
this they would not do, but preferred all the pun 
ishments the law could inflict, and even death, 
to renouncing any one of these tenets. Your 
minister will not deny, but among those several 
generations of Catholics, and in so extensive a 
population, there must have been (and especially 
among their prelates and other clergymen) many 
thousands endowed with at least as great a share 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES 141 

of learning and talents as he himself poss sses, 
and yet it is proved by the above facts, that they 
sincerely believed in the divinity of the very 
tenets which your minister, relying on the die- 
tales of his fallible reason, decrees to be absurd 
and contradictory. If your minister would seri 
ously meditate on the above matters of fact, his 
astonishment at my stupidity for believing the 
tenets of the Catholic creed, would cease, or 
would be turned against himself. He would be, 
or ought to be, surprised to find himself aston 
ished at the belief of tenets adopted by the sages 
and the most brilliant geniuses of nil ages, such 
as the Alfreds, the Bedes, the Fenelons, the Bos- 
suets, the Popes, the Drydens, the Stolbergs, &c. 
&c. who have astonished the world by their pro 
found erudition and the brilliancy of their genius, 
and some of whom, (being born Protestants.) 
after the most mature deliberation and many 
years close study, did embrace the Roman Catho 
lic faith. 

In truth, my friend, that a Christian believing 
Christ Jesus to be God, to be omnipotent, should 
be willing to believe the most incomprehensible 
mysteries plainly revealed by Christ, is by no 
means astonishing. 

It is not astonishing, that a Christian, really 
believing Christ to be the increated wisdom, the 
fountain of all knowledge, ond himself blind and 
corrupted, should read the acred book of Reve 
lation with fear and tiv.nbling, should acknow 
ledge that he is not able to understand its con 
tents. 



148 POSTSCRIPT. 

ft is not astonishing that he should, in that 
state of perplexity, apply to that very authority 
(the authority of the church) which Christ him 
self points out ; nor is it astonishing that he 
should listen to that authority as to the voice of 
God, when he hears Christ God declare, " he 
that hears you, hears me," and when he hears 
the positive promise from the mouth of Christ, 
that the Spirit of Truth shall be with his minis 
ters for ever, and that he himself will be their 
guide, their pilot, their teacher, until the consum 
mation of the world. 

It is not astonishing that a believer in the di 
vinity of Christ should expect to find the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven, the power of forgiving 
sins, in that place, and with those persons, where 
Christ declares he left those keys and that power. 

It is not astonishing that a believer in the di 
vinity of Christ, should also believe that Christ, 
who commands us repeatedly to eat and drink 
his flesh and blood, must have left that flesh and 
blood, in order to enable us to fulfil his command 
ment. 

It is not astonishing that Catholics, who be 
lieve God to be incomprehensible, should, believe 
the incomprehensible mysteries by him revealed. 

On the other hand, it is truly astonishing, that 
a believer in the bible should disbelieve many 
parts of its contents. 

It is truly astonishing that a believer in the 
divinity of Christ should be a disbeliever in all 
the different and most essential powers granted 
by Christ to his church. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 149 

It is exceedingly astonishing that a learned 
man, and a man calling himself a minister of 
Christ, should read in his testament, "receive 
ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive 
they are forgiven," &c. and after reading these 
words of his divine Master, should ask the ques 
tion, " where is that power given to a sinful crea 
ture, and one who has to answer for his own 
sins?" ("Vindication," page 19.) 

It is, beyond expression, astonishing that a be 
liever in the sacred records, who tells us repeat 
edly that he will believe nothing but what ia 
contained in the old and new testaments, at the 
same time proclaims to the world that he, even 
in most essential matters, believes the very re- 
vjrse. 

Whereas the sacred record, dictated by the 
Holy Ghost, tells him that the church is the 
spouse of Christ, holy, glorious, without spot or 
wrinkle, and without blemish; (Eph.v. 25 27.) 
"No, no," says the minister, "it is not so; for 
the church proved an adultress, a wh e, a sink 
of corruption, idolatry, and superstition." 

Whereas the sacred record plainly exhibits 
Christ as promising to his ministers the Spirit of 
Truth, not for three or four hundred years only, 
but for ever; (John xiv. 16, 17.) "No, no," says 
the minister, "not for ever ; for after a few hun 
dred years the church became the teacher of 
errors and not of truth." 

In shor^ whereas every word in the sacred 
record proceeds from the infinite abyss of Eta* 



15\> POSTSCR PT. 

nal wisdom, and cannot be fully understood and 
explained, except by the Holy Spirit of Truth. 
" No, no," says the minister, (substituting his 
own puny reason to that guide which Christ left 
his church for ever) " no, no ; I can explain all 
myself." And then assuming an authority which 
1 never knew an earthly judge to assume in ex 
plaining the laws of man, he goes on to decree 
what Jesus Christ evidently MEANT ; he goes 
on to discard the most essential powers that 
Christ left his; church; he goes on to level down 
all the difficulties and mysteries of revelation to 
the level of his contracted understanding. This 
is truly astonishing, and more astonishing thar 
t/ansubstantiation and all the other mysteries of 
the Catholic church; for it certainly is not sur 
prising that out of the abyss of Infinite Power 
and Infinite Wisdom, incomprehensible myste 
ries should proceed. 

It is not surprising that the very authority 
should be found in the church which Jesus Christ 
left with the church, when he declares, " As the 
father has sent me, I also send you. * ***** 
Receive ye the Holy Ghost," &c. (John xx. 21, 
22, 23.) 

With power and authority the Father sent 
Jesus Christ ; with power and authority then 
Jesus Christ sent his ministers. 

i According to your Protestant minister, there 
is not an atom of power left in the church, and 

i the ministers themselv es are the most useless 
.beings on earth. 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURKS. 151 

They have not the power of forgiving you! 
sins. 

They have not the power, by consecration, to 
procure for you the flesh and blood of Christ, 
which Christ" declares (John vi.) to be the spirit 
ual food of your souls. 

They have not the power to bless water, salt, 
or ;iny of God s creatures. Your minister laughs 
at the very idea. (" Vindication," page 125.) 

They have not the power of banishing evil 
spirits. 

They have not the power of explaining to you 
the true sense of scripture. By the minister s 
acknowledgment, their church or churches arr 
fallible subject to errors and mistakes. 

You know then, my friend, from your minis 
ter s " Vindication," what powers he has not. 
ft would be worth your while to go to him and 
to ask him what power he haul I cannot ima 
gine what his answer would be ; for after having 
discarded all the. different powers essentially ne 
cessary to enable the ministry of Christ to be of 
service to their flock, I do not see any power 
left for him to claim, but a power that any lay 
person may claim as well, viz. the power of say 
ing some prayers and the power of reading a text 
of scripture, and putting on it some sort of con 
struction, either true or false, which even Satan 
is able to do. (Mat. iv. 6.) 

I am acquainted with a very respectable man, 
formerly a Protestant, whom this acknowledged 
want of power in his minister, caused to forsake 



152 POSTSCRIPT. 

the pretended reformation, and with his vr ;ole 
family, to embrace the Catholic faith. For a 
considerable length of tinne he was persecuted, 
and his property destroyed by the agency of evil 
spirits ; the clothes belonging to him and his 
family were seen (by invisible hands) a cutting 
to pieces, stones were seen moving across the 
room held by invisible hands, fire bursted repeat 
edly from out of their beds at broad day-light, 
strange and frightful apparitions and strange 
noises terrified them very often at night. 

The good old man reading in his bible that 
Christ had given to his ministers power over evil 
spirits, started from home to Winchester in Vir 
ginia, and having, with tears in his eyes, related 

to his minister (parson S 1) the history of his 

distress, losses, and sufferings, begged of him to 
come to his house, and to exercise in his favor 
the power which he had received from Jesus 
Christ. The parson candidly confessed that he 
had no such power. The good old man insisted 
that he must have that power, for he had found 
it in his bible. The parson replied, that that 
power only existed in old times, but was done 
away now. (See " Vindication," page 125, lines 
1 15.) The old man, although living in this 
"ENLIGHTENED AGE," had not sagacity enough 
to understand the distinction between old times 
and new times, but according to your minister ^ 
rule, believed nothing but what he found con 
tained in his bible. He therefore rationally con 
cluded that parson S 1 could not be a minis* 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 153 

ter of Christ; and having left him, he applied to 
other persons calling themselves ministers of 
Christ some of whom promised relief. They 
came, prayed, and read ; but they prayed and 
read in vain. Finally, the old man having 
(through the means of a respectable Catholic 
neighbor) obtained the assistance of a real min 
ister of Christ, found the relief for which he had 
prayed so fervently ; and soon afterwards be 
came a most edifying member of the Catholic 
church. 

Your minister would laugh heartily if you 
should relate to him the above facts; for with 
wise men of our enlightened age, he has peremp 
torily decided that miracles, &,c. are no longer 
necessary, and of course they have ceased. 
Since when I did not learn ; nor did I ever find 
any passage in scripture which authorises the 
belief that miracles should ever cease altogether, 
or that evil spirits should never have it any more 
in their power to molest the bodies and property 
of men, as they used to do during the lite time 
of our Saviour, and even after his resurrection. 
(Acts v. 16.) 

Thousands of the most respectable, the most 
learned, the most holy of our missionaries, in all 
the different parts of the globe, met with num 
berless instances of the kind, especially among 
the infidels, and had as many opportunities of 
exercising in their favor the power which Jesus 
Christ granted his apostles over evil spirits. (Mat 



154 POSTSCRIPT. 

x. i.) which power has descended to their sue 
cessors. 

The same missionaries acknowledge that with 
many of those poor infidi Is all their arguments 
would have been lost, had not an eager desire to 
free themselves from the molestations of the in 
fernal enemy, almost forced them to fly for help 
to the cross of Jesus Christ, ;md to apply to those 
means (so very despicable and ridiculous in the 
eyes of your minister, yet) so powerful and effi 
cacious in the hands of the ministry of Jesus 
Christ, who, in order to confound human pride, 
human wisdom, makes use of the most weak 
things of this world that he may confound the 
strong: (1. Cor. i. 23,) who in order to baffle all 
the calculations of the wise men of our enlight 
ened age, makes use of poor weak sinful men, 
with no other help hut that of weak elements of 
the sign of the cross, and of a few words, to break 
down the stratagems of the infernal spirit. 

Facts, my dear friend, even the best authenti 
cated facts, are no proofs, for those who are de 
termined to disbelieve them ; and the Protestant 
minister is determined not if believe ;my facts 
that would tend, ever so remotely, to establish 
the authority of the Catholic church. 

General principles, in order to be correct, 
ought to be the result of logical re;;s ning, the 
first link in the chain of which ought to be a fact 
or ari axiom, a self-evident truth that needs no 
proof. To our enlightened age it was reserved to 
frame general principles, not the result of rea- 



LETTER ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. 155 

soiling, riot deduced from any facts or from airp 
axiom, and to establish them by the boldness of 
tin- assertion and by the ridicule thrown on those 
that would undertake to dispute those principles : 
in short, by making them fashionable. Thus it 
is that the general principle has obtained among 
Protestants " that miracles have ceased, that noth 
ing miraculous or supernatural ought to be be 
lieved, Sec. and that ;my one asserting as fact any 
thing of the kind, is a fool or an impostor." 

A fox having lost his tail in a trap, gathered 
all the foxes in the neighborhood, and having 
placed himself against a tree, so as to hide his 
detect, he railed out against their long tails, as a 
worse than useless incumbrance, and tried to 
convince them of the advantage they would reap 
by parting with them, &c. 

The above fable accounts for the clamors 
generally raised by Protestant ministers not only 
against miracles, but against all the powers which 
the ministry of Christ very justly claim, in con 
sequence of the grant of their Divine Ma-ster, 
and which the first reformers lost in the trap of 
Satan, by leaving the only church which Jesus 
Christ had invested with all spiritual power and 
authority. 

Judge then, my dear friend, from the acknow 
ledgments made by your Protestant minister, 
whether you can consider him to be a minister 
oi Jesus Christ who declares that he sends his 
uiinisters as his heavenly father sent him ; whf 



156 POSTSCRIPT. 

plainly specifies the several powers which he 
grants to his ministers, viz: 

The power over evil spirits. (Mat. x. 8.) 

The power of reconciliation, or of forgiving 
sins in baptism and penance. (Mat., xxviii. 18, 
19. John xx. 22, 23.) 

The power of consecration to procure the 
spiritual food of our souls, the flesh and blood of 
Christ. (Luke xxii. 19, 20, and 1 Cor. xi. 24, 
25.) 

The power of preaching the true, genuine doc 
trine, without any mixture of error. (Mat. xxviii 
19, 20. John xiv. 16, 17, and xvi. 13. Eph. iv 
11, 12, 13, 14, &c. &c.) 

My dear friend, meditate seriously on the 
above subjects, and let me know the result. 

You shall probably hear more on the subject 
tats: 

Your humble servant, 

DEMFTR T US A. QALIITZIN. 



BX 1780 .634 1820 SMC 

Gal 1 itzin, Demetrius A. 

(Demetrius Augustine) , 
A letter to a Protestant 

friend on the Holy 
AYN-9882 (mcsk)