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Wilberforce, for the instruction of the simple ones of a church, of which the author writes himself a Canon and Archdeacon. We warn every parent who does not wish to see the most ardent and conscientious of their sons become the debased and blinded tools of Rome; the most pliant and susceptible of their daughters reduced to the spiritual and mental degradation of a convent, most carefully to exclude this volume from the school-room. There is not a sentence in it that can profit any one, and every thing to mislead and mystify the simple. Better, if they must have fictions, have those that let sacred things alone, and mislead them only as to the present world.
Must we say more, to prove the mischief of these books ? Have we still to meet the assertion so often made to us, that these are trifling matters—they will do no harm-children will not find out what is erroneous in them? Assuredly they will not : does the babe who sucks disease in with its nurse's milk find out the mischief ? Does anybody find it out, till time developes the inbred distemper, by growing symptoms of habitual sickliness ? Children will first unconsciously receive impressions from these books; next they will be pleased with the things that correspond with their first impressions: to say that this has no tendency to the final adoption of principles from which the impressions are derived, is to deny the influence of early education altogether. If they are trifling matters, they are the trifles for which our own holy martyrs suffered and died!
One great and fearful peculiarity attends the incoming of this destructive heresy. Times have been when disorder has originated with the flock; some ravening wolf, perhaps, has broken in, picked out the choice ones of the fold, and scattered hither and thither the bewildered multitude, while the grieved shepherd has striven in vain to allay the tumult and recal the wanderers.
It is otherwise in this case: the sheep were secure in their fold; the lambs were resting on the Shepherd's bosom, in love and confidence for the pastor of their choice. No bleating was heard from within, no cry of alarm without ; while stake after stake of the inclosure was withdrawn, and all the defences levelled, by the very hands that should have kept and guarded them. It has been the minister, in most cases, perhaps in all, who has brought the corruption into his congregation, slowly, insidiously, insensibly. Some mere phrases and modes of expression,-perhaps first dropping the ordinary language of the Gospel, for something that may or may not mean the same ; some harmless practices next-canonical days and hours, in which it is impossible to say there is any overt evil, but wherein the wisdom of the Church, that has gradually disused
them, is despised, in deference to her original enactment of them. Meantime, the precious light of Gospel truth burns dimmer; its doctrines are modified; errors are apologetically dealt with; things are advocated in principle, while they are denounced by
Who marks the neared and ever-nearing precipice ? Not the pliant and confiding multitude, accustomed to the guidance of some loved shepherd's voice. Can he lead them wrong, who first gathered them, perhaps, into green pastures, and led them by all the right way they have come ? More critical hearers may observe, perhaps, and it is likely disapprove; but no matter, he is still their pastor-he is a good man-he is to them the minister of Christ; they need not go all lengths with him, but can derive some good, despite the evil mixture. We believe, nay, we know, that congregations have thus been led step by step into the danger, by the
hand to whose keeping they were entrusted ; till, all the doctrines of the cross withdrawn, and the vagaries of the new school substituted, they have been preached into utter forgetfulness and renunciation of the truth, by the very lips from which they learned it first!
If this is true, what does it become the lay members of the Church to do: thus called upon to defend themselves against their legitimate defenders? We think it becomes every experienced believer, whose example may have an influence on the minds of others, every father or master who has others under his controul, to watch very anxiously the words, the practices, the books, the sermons of those to whom he would at other times have unsuspiciously intrusted them ; openly and firmly and uncompromisingly to resist the first appearance of innovation upon the beaten path of gospel instruction; and if this be unavailing, to withdraw from the unwholesome atmosphere all those for whose spiritual health he may be in any way responsible.
THE MIRACLES AND LYING WONDERS OF ROME.
1. LETTER FROM THE EARL OF SHREWSBURY TO
AMBROSE LISLE PHILLIPS, Esq., descriptive of the
London: Dolman. 1841. 2. VITA DEL TAUMATURGO PORTOGHESE SANT AN
TONIO DE PADOVA, &c. &c. Dal Sacerdote Emmanuele de Azevedo Coimbricese. In Venezia, 1788. Appresso
Antonia Zatta con licenza dei superiori. 3. NOTIZIE ISTORICHE SULL' ORIGINI E GLI EFFETTI
DELLANUOVA MEDAGLIA. Sotto la denominazione de Medaglia Miraculosa collaggiunta di alcune recentissime guarigioni e grazie raccolte dalla moderna Edizione. Dall Abb. Le GUILLOU, &c. &c. Roma, 1835, dai Tipi de Angelo Ajani con privitiva. (The authority for printing the above at Rome.) Imprimatur F. D. Butlanoni, S. P. A. Magister,
Imprimatur A. Piatti Archiep, Trapezunt. Viceg. 4. SOME ANSWER TO THE ENQUIRY, WHY ARE YOU
BECOME A CATHOLIC? In a Letter to a Friend. By
In commencing the second year of our labours, with a promise that they shall be more abundant than those of the year past, we would not have our readers suppose from this curious collection of publications, that we intend to depart from our former tone of gravity; at the same time we will not affect to deny, that our alternate fits of laughter and righteous indignation have occasionally been uncontrolable, according as we have detected, in reading the several productions placed at the head of this article, the folly and simplicity of the deceived, or the knavery of the deceivers. Several of our able and zealous clergymen have of late years devoted much time and labour to the study of the Roman Catholic religion, in authorized and approved writings. They have endeavoured to explain to the people of this country, that all books of a theological description, published during the last and the preceding centuries, in Roman Catholic countries, were necessarily stamped with the authority of the Church (see the Life of St. Anthony of Padua,) and that therefore there could be no mistake as to the genuineness of the source from whence they drew their information. But, notwithstanding this assurance of their candour in quoting only from authorized documents, whenever they produced those samples of Romish corruptions, which the apologists for Rome would rather have had concealed, they were met either by the imputation of false quotations, or by a want of charity for a bygone age of ignorance and credulity. The more wily apologists, like Dr. Wiseman, pleaded for a distinction between the acts of a popular devotion, in which there was no harm; and matters of faith. Others alleged it was unfair to rake out all the follies of an age in which neither literature nor science prevailed, and impute them to the enlightened Roman Catholics of England in the 19th century. And the sturdy Protestants, who have so long been endeavouring to open the eyes of their sleepy brethren to the enormities of the Church of Rome, have been well nigh overwhelmed, for affirming that in all these matters Rome continues the same. But now the first Earl of the kingdom has set the question at rest, and confirmed all the statements of our Protestant champions, and by his account of the Tyrolese saints, which his lordship has seen with his own eyes, there will henceforth be no doubt as to the vaunted character of Rome; that, in this respect at least, she is semper eadem. It would never have occurred to us, as persons wishing to remain at peace, as much as in us lies, with all men, to produce the miraculous life of St. Antony of Padua, unless we could have placed by the side of it the Shrewsbury miracles; for we should only have run the risk of being called by those hard names which some of our brethren have endured for their honest exposures of the lying wonders of Rome; and we should have been considered as railing against a system now no longer practised, as the Most Rev. Dr. Murray, in case of necessity, would bear witness. But as we are now furnished with a document as undoubtedly genuine as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Mr. Ambrose Lisle Phillips can supply; we proceed, with all respect for these two exalted members of the Church of Rome, to examine what the real nature of that devotion is, which has so captivated the Rev. Waldo Sibthorp as to lead him into the “ fold” [net] “of Rome.”
It is well known to all who have visited those countries of Europe where the Roman Catholic is the domineering religion, that almost every church and Oratorio possesses its stock of relics, and every district has its legends, and every priest his agnuses impregnated with grace, to sell to the faithful for a consideration. These are the staple commodity of every town in Italy, and are found in the greatest perfection at the metropolis of the Church Militant. besides these standard orthodox incentives to devotion, (some of which we shall shortly enumerate, for the benefit of our nonitinerant readers, special miracles are got up from time to time, to revive (for the Church of Rome has its Revivals) the dying embers of superstition, or may be, to replenish the coffers of some impoverished fraternity. If the time and place be not well selected (as often happened during the French Revolution, it is about the same mistake as if any one should imagine that No. 90 was really a “Tract for the Times:” it only serves to expose the trickery of the system of reserve; and the premature attempt of the bungling contriver is very properly hissed by the fratres minores, with the same good humour as the Italians hiss off the stage a badly-contrived new opera. The occasional miracles to which we now allude occur also during great political excitements; memorials of such still exist at Rome, ever since the revolutionary attempts of 1796. At the corner of the Via Paganica Via delle botteghe oscure in Rome, exists at this moment a picture of the Virgin Mary, with her title written, which at one time Mr. Sibthorp would have called blasphemous—Mater Providentia—and below is this historical record : -“Quam venerabilis imago cum Sept. id Jul. 1796, vario oculorum motu propitio aspectu supplicem populum reficeret omnia corda sibi demeruit et ex corde laudes, hoc amor M. P. :" which, for the benefit of some of our readers, we will try to interpret :-“In the month of September, 1796, this adorable image, by sundry winkings of its eyes, refreshed the praying crowds with its benign countenance, and so won all hearts to itself; moreover, out of the heart came forth praise !” A few months after this, the reigning Pope, Pius VI., invested all the devotional privileges of this image in a consolidated fund, as the Italian inscription, still to be read by posterity, sets forth :—“Col recitare le litanie si acquistano cc giorni d'indulgenza concessa per indulto pontificio emanato sotto il di 29 marzo 1797 ; d'applicarsi ancora per le anime del purgatorio.” Accordingly, every evening at sun-set now, in 1842 ! devotees may be seen kneeling on the hard pavement repeating those litanies, in the hope of obtaining 200 days' indulgence; that is, 200 days' remission of the penalties due to venial sins, either for themselves, or for their departed friends supposed to be suffering in purgatory. At the same revolutionary period, as we find from similar records, the Madonnas (so the images and pictures of the Virgin Mary are called, per syncopen) began very generally to dispense their smiles and move their eyes; and finally, when the French really got possession of Rome, the smiles diminished, but the eyes had scarcely any rest : the Republican general, finding the religious excitement of the Roman people grow to an inconvenient height, sent an intimation to the arch