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dote), must always tend to assuage the animosity of contending nations;" and whether this generous act “ contributed to the restora tion of peace,” or not, “ the charity of Acacius of Amida, whose name might have dignified the saintly calendar, should not be lost in oblivion."

P. 271. Tout était à vendre dans l'église," &c.—Mantuan, a carmelite monk, has concisely expressed the same melancholy truth;

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“ Omnia venalia nobis,
Templa, sacerdotes, altaria sacra, coronæ,
Ignis, thura, preces, coelum est venale, Deusque."

Les satisfactions des saints, fc. — The merits of saints of the earlier ages were supposed to form a fund or treasury to supply the deficiencies of other men, and put up, so to speak, to auction. In the fourth century, when the era of the martyrs had passed, an extravagant veneration for departed saints soon began to tarnish the purity of the christian faith. Pilgrimages performed to the tombs of martyrs, gradually paved the way for the religious worship of the martyrs; modelled, by degrees, according to the religious services paid to heathen deities before the introduction of christianity. In the fifth century, superstitiou still


increased. “ The sepulchres of the saints” became “ the general rendezvous of suppliant multitudes! The images of those, who, during their lives, had acquired the reputation of uncommon sanctity, were honoured with a particular worship in several places; and many imagined that this worship drew down into the images the propitious presence of the saints or celestial beings they represented ; deluded perhaps into this idle fancy by the crafty fictions of the heathen priests, who had published the same thing concerning the statues of Jupiter and Mercury

In the sixth century the evil still extended itself. · The arts of a rapacious priesthood, (Mosheimt observes), were practised upon the ignorant devotion of the people; and even the remorse of the wicked was made an instrument of increasing the ecclesiastical treasure. For an opinion was propagated with industry among the people, that the remission of their sins was to be purchased by their liberality to the churches and monks, and that the prayers of departed saints, whose efficacy was victorious at the throne of God, were to be bought by offerings presented to the temples which were

• Mosheim's Ecc. His. i. 39.

+ Vol. i. 114.

consecrated to these celestial mediators." Thus, though the efficacy of our Saviour's atonement might be still expressed in creeds and forms of devotion, superstitious practices gained ground that tended imperceptibly to supersede a true reliance on his atonement, and direct ignorant devotees to place their confidence in the merits of departed saints. In the ninth century, the credulity of the ill-instructed multitude had so far increased, that those who deemed it their interest to deceive, succeeded, by the grossest imposition upon the understanding, in persuading the superstitious people that bones and other relics were the real remains of ancient worthies ;* that the relics of saints deserved to be held in the highest veneration ; and that churches and individuals would do well to choose some saint as an especial patron, or an imaginary protector and intercessor. An ac

• Thus, at Cologne, there is at this day a magnificent tomb, erected over the remains of the three wise men, or magi as denominated in the New Testament, (by Roman catholics called kings,) whose bodies, according to all the rules of probability, have slept with their parent earth in Persia for near 1,800 years. Yet there is a form of prayer in the cathedral of Cologne, to teach devotees how to address supplications to the magi, whose bodies are supposed to be there interred !

cession to the number of such tutelary deities * being continually made, by the avarice of some and the superstition of others, the pope (but not before the 10th century when pope John XV. enrolled Udalric, bishop of Augsburgh, amongst the saints), claimed this new mine of wealth for himself, and engrossed the pretended right to canonize or create saints. To cherish this false devotion, monastic writers who lived after the age of Charlemagne, drew up legends of the saints, in which “ all the resources of forgery and fable were exhausted, to celebrate exploits which had never been performed, and to perpetuate the memory of holy persons who had never existed,” verifying, by such a tissue of forgery, and tales of false miracles, the prophecy of St. Paul in 2 Thess. ii. 9, 11.

• Ample proofs that such canonized saints occupy the same place in the church of Rome, that one class of demons (or the deified souls of men) did in the pagan mythology, are produced by bishop Newton, (vol. iii. 414,-434,) from Hesiod, Plato, and Apuleius. Whilst this class of demons, or intermediate powers, were supposed to convey men's requests to the superior deities, and their gifts to men; a second class of demons were supposed to have never inhabited human bodies, yet to be the guardians of men. Such are the guardian-angels of the church of Rome, to whom adoration is forbidden by St. Paul in Col. ii. 18. A third class of demons were supposed to be malicious; the enemies, not the friends of mankind.


This extreme and unjustifiable veneration for the relics of saints was followed by the institution of jubilees and indulgences ; and “ l'amende pécuniaire de chaque péché,” as M. Peyran remarks, “ était marquée; le ciel s'achetait à bon marché." A condensed extract from the author of the “ Decline and Fall," will shew the nature of this corrupt systen. “In the middle ages, the bishops and priests inter

, rogated the criminal, compelled him to account for his thoughts, words, and actions; and prescribed the terms of his reconciliation with God. But as this discretionary power might alternately be abused by indulgence and tyranny, a rule of discipline was framed, to inform and regulate the spiritual judges. This mode of legislation was invented by the Greeks; their penitentials were translated or imitated in the Latin churches; and in the time of Charlemagne, the clergy of every diocese were provided with a code..... In this dangerous estimate of crimes and punishments each case was supposed, each difference was marked. ...and the more ordinary offences. ... were expiated by a penance, which, according to the various circumstances, was prolonged from forty days to seven years...... The patient was healed, the criminal was absolved, by a regimen of fasts and prayers ;. ... The magistrate laboured

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