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CHAPTER IV.

Eternal Perdition, showing that Terror is an active

Agent of both Romanist and Ritualist to effect their purpose of Enslaving Souls.

Some time ago a Roman Catholic book on the subject of eternal perdition fell into the writer's hands, and the great similarity between the denunciations contained in this work, i.e., Hell opened to Christians, by F. Pinamonti, S.J., and the Ritualist Pardon Through the Precious Blood, and Canon Carter's Self-Renunciation, is now shewn on the following pages.

So glaring is this similarity, and it demonstrates so plainly whence the Ritualist priests derive these horrors, and how they use them to obtain dominion over our souls by an infernal sword of Damocles, that it opened the eyes of the writer to search further, and in the interests of her fellow women to give the extracts now published. But, while I quote from this Roman and Jesuitical work, I cannot give the pictures therein inserted, and which are of such a nature that simple and timid persons would be likely to be driven mad with terror of an hereafter; and, indeed, the writer of the book must, if such delineations of agony be true, have visited the realms of this place, Hell opened to Christians. Perhaps the secret lies in that the priesthood, knowingly violating so many of God's commands, are themselves in dread of such punishments, and thus out of their own terrors prescribe for others. Apropos of this work, the reader is referred to pp. 64 and 65 of Monks and their Maidens, by Maria Monk, where is described several of these horrible pictures. It is said of them: “ The story told us was, that they were painted by an artist to whom God had given power to represent things exactly

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92

as they are in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory." " The Place of Darkness is that part of purgatory in which adults are collected; and there they are surrounded with flames, waiting to be delivered by the prayers of the living." “Persons of different descriptions were represented with the most distorted features, ghastly complexions, and every variety of dreadful expression; some with wild beasts gnawing at their heads, others furiously biting the iron bars which kept them in.” “The wretch who was biting at the bars of Hell, with a serpent gnawing his head, with chains and padlock on, etc. This last is almost identical with one of the pictures.

" There is no wound in this MEDITATION BEFORE CONworld, either in the soul or body, FESSION IN ORDER TO EXCITE which does not receive some ease A TRUE SORROW FOR HAVING from time; but to the damned all OFFENDED GUD. their hopes are vain : They shall “Consider again, O my soul, not only experience the scorch- the infinite wickedness of sin. ing rays of the Divine justice, How many glorious bright angels but shall lay under the weight of

converted by sin into His thunder-bolts, and shall hideous devils and imps of hell. never have either night, sleep or Alas! my soul; how wretched time to soften their pains. If must be thy state, if thou shouldst these unhappy wretches could at continue in sin. How horribly least deceive themselves by the foul and loathsome in the sight persuasion that some

were

time or

of God is a soul in mortal sin. other they should be eased, though It is all wounds and bruises it be never to happen, this might and putrefying sores. O my soul, afford them some kind of comfort; let not such a state be thine, but but they cannot so much as do this, flee away from it. because God will have them con- Consider, O my soul, the multistantly to bear before their eyes tude and heinousness of thy sins. the sentence of their eternal dam- Oh how great in number are nation written in characters never they! More than the sand on the to be blotted out "ut videant sea-shore ! Not one day hast thou semper” (Daniel xii. 2), and never passed of all thy life free from sin. to be able so much as one moment Oh, how early didst thou fall to turn their thoughts from it. away from God; which of thy If to those that undergo any powers hast thou not defiled ? torment, every hour seems a day; Thou hast abused the gifts of God how long will the misery of these to thine own destruction. How poor souls appear, that will never many souls it may be are already be interrupted for infinite ages ? lost for less sins than thou hast These unfortunate creatures will done! And yet God has waited not only be tormented for an for thee to bring thee to repenteternity, but will have eternity ance. How often has He called to itself to torment them ; because thee and thou hast not answered ? it being always in their sight, it Oh, what a return to make for all

will every moment oppress them with all its weight, as an immense sphere of brass would press with all its weight the plain it lies on, though it actually touched it but in one point."--Hell Opened to Christians, by F. PINAMONTI, S.J., pp. 94-5.

His love and goodness. Truly thou hast deserved hell a thousand times. ---Oh, my soul, wouldst thou escape the punishment of hell ? Return even now unto the Lord, and He has promised that He will abundantly pardon. Oh, resolve never more to offend so good, so gracious a God.” Pardon Through the Precious Blood, pp. 19-20.

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THE PAIN OF Loss.

ETERNAL PERDITION. 1. Consider what great loss a “But who can fathom the fearsoul suffers in losing God for ever, ful torment of that soul which and with Him all the enjoyments has incurred an eternal separation which she might have hoped for from God ? Not that I would in possessing Him.

This pain here allude to those material pains in substance is a hell of itself; of hell with which our imagination greater than all the rest.

is filled when we hear of that Damnation essentially consists place of torment, but rather to that the understanding of man be one consequence of eternal pertotally deprived of Divine light, dition, which infinitely surpasses and his affection obstinately all that human sense or imagina. turned from the goodness of tion can perceive—the penalty of God.' This pain therefore is everlasting exclusion from God's infinite; for if the fury of that Presence, the eternal loss of Him. devouring fire could be a thou- The lost soul being for ever sand and a thousand times re- drawn towards that God, Whom doubled, it would never equal nevertheless it cannot reach, is this torment.” Here follows a one ceaseless agony, and in this minute account of the punish- lies the essential suffering of ments.—Ibid., p. 44.

eternal damnation. CARTER'S

Self-Renunciation, p. 131. The teaching here displayed is reiterated in one form or another in mnost Ritualistic manuals. St. Francis de Sales Devout Life, p. 28, gives a picture of hell in vivid form. “Represent to yourself a dark city, all burning with brimstone and stinking pitch, and full of inhabitants who cannot make their escape. What child does not know of

*

On p. 29 read what this denunciation ends in : “Regard yourselt as a sinner, at the feet of Jesus Christ, Who invites you to make a sincere confession of all your sins; and who, if you are truly penitent, will cleanse you from all your sins in the Sacramental Absolution. For by His appointed Minister He here dispenses to you His PRECIOUS BLOOD, which flows through this channel to wash your soul from the stains of sin, etc.”Pardon Through the Precious Blood,

a

the picture of the burning lake in the Peep o' Day, and the horrible nightmares it has given when awake in the night. Are we to be frightened into serving God? Is God a Moloch that He wants a service rendered Him because Hell and Damnation stare us in the face if we don't do just as His priests insist ? Where is working out our own salvation? where is the entreaty to come unto Him, “For I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light " (St. Matt. xi. 29-30), and, above all, there is a command of Christ emphatically distinct : “ Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged ” (St. Matt. vii. 1-2.) Surely then, under this, we have no right to say emphatically either Priest, Methodist, or Romanist is damned, or that any one shall fill that place; and when the priest arrogates to himself a divine character, when he preaches purity, and is impure, when though he declares Holy Mother Church and her teaching is infallible, yet, on searching, it is full of inconsistencies, many of them absurd, then we must take Christ's own word and go direct to our “Father which art in Heaven," relying on His mercy and goodness to help us to save our souls for that happy home where “the wicked cease from troubling, the weary are at rest,” and God's own presence and His grace are sufficient for us.

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PART II.

CHAPTER 1.

I.

Confession, and the Writer's Experience.

THE doctrine of confession, its use and abuse, is such a burning question, and has been so ably dealt with by wiser heads and pens than the present writer lays claim to, that, save a short "epitome of her experiences” in the confessional of a Ritualistic church, she prefers to quote the pernicious teaching of the Romanist and Ritualist, pointing out, however, that the latter was placed in her hands when a girl of from seventeen to twenty.

The thought of confession certainly did not for long contain any

charm. To stand with one's arms on a stile in the country, listen to God's creation around, and confess to Him who made all alike, one's frailty and sins; to gaze into the clear vault above and ponder on the beauty of sunrise or sunset, or the calm star-bespangled sky at night before retiring to rest, and mutely to acknowledge His all-watchful and guardian care and one's own shortcomings of the day, seemed preferable to speaking out one's sins and even thoughts to a man, however highly one valued his teaching. But at length the reiterated lesson that was dinned at one, that to neglect the ordinances of the Church was a terrible sin, * induced the writer to listen to the warning,

*

Many people think they need not go to Church. They sit at home, and perhaps read a little in their Bibles. This is a great sin.

Even though there were no special blessings to be got at Church, we should lose our place in the Church of Christ if we never came to claim it.”—Plain Guide, p. 69,

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