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more especially as a devouter spirit pervaded her, and in this spirit and at the instigation of her mother she presented herself for confession at the age of eighteen. For some time she had been attending the splendid musical services of a London Ritualistic church, where the deve ut behaviour, many religious ceremonies, including a “retreat” for three days (which meant spending the greater part of the day kneeling in church, and almost absolute silence with fasting.] the various formulas, and, above all, a sort of ecstatic state of mind, fascinated and magnetically attracted her to leave nothing undone or unused that might benefit her soul.
Now as the primary point in confession is self-examination, the writer has thought it wise, even at the cost of being tedious, to give verbatim the form of questions given below under the Seventh Commandment. Of course the Ritualist will jump at them and say, “Who is dealing with immoral things now?” “Wait a little, Massa ” Priest, * just turn to your own work (The Churchman's Guide to Faith and Piety), Part II., p. 29, and you will find it wri ten thus: “There is perhaps no precept of the moral law so frequently violated as this; and, certainly, there is no sin, or closs of sins, more unsparingly condemned as displeasing to God, or against which the Holy Scriptures more solemnly warn all persons”; and, “Do not say, as many do, that sins against chasti y are light sins, and that God bears with them.” Being then by the priestly teaching, and, abi ve all, by God's word the sin of sins, it is worth while to quote extensively, and also to show whence all this prurient filth is extracted. ROMANIST.
RITUALIST. “If the penitent be a girl, let “ Have I remembered that her be asked--Has she orna- my body is the temple of the mented herself in dress so as to HOLY GHOST; delighted in and please the male sex? or for the given way to impure thoughts ;t same end has she painted her- been guilty of beginning or self; or
bared her arms, her joining in immodest conversation, shoulders, or her bosom? Whether whether before children ; she has frı quented church in avoided hearing it; kept a watch order that she might show her- over my eyes ; 'been curious to self to be looked at in the porch ir quire into what is contrary to or at the window? Whether, in perfect modesty ; read impure
* MARRYAT'S Midshipman Easy'.
† How about what follows ?
company with others, she has
books or books suggestive of spoken, read, or sung anything evil,* or immollest accounts in immodest? Whether she is not
newspapers ; delighted in danaltached to some one? Whether
gerous songs, jests, or pictures ; she has not allowed him to take dressed immodestly; used imliberties with her ? Whether she
words with double has not allowed him to kiss her ? meanings ; been careless whose But if opportunity shall offer company I have sought; been to for carrying the inquiry further, places where indecent sights are the Confessor will do his duty, exhibited, at immoral games, but, however, prudently and plays, dances ; committed imcautiously.” – BAILLEY, Vol. VII., pure deeds; allowed others to p. 366. Confessional Unmasked, make too free with me, or been by C. B., p. 39.
too free with them ; persuaded or “ Hence let the wife, accusing led others into such sins; imherself in Confession of having modestly attra ted attention ? denied the marriage duty, be Have I been faithful to
my asked whether the husband de- husband (wife): not committed manded it with the full rigour of excess in what is lawful between his right,” e'c., etc.—DENS, vol. Husband and Wife? Have I VII., p. 187 (1819 ed.) † ; Con- eaten and drunk too much?” etc. fessional Unmasked, p. 42.
-T. T. Carter's Treasury of
Devotion, p. 127. The Churchman's Guide to Faith and Piety, Part II., pp. 28 and 29 are devoted to elaboration of this sin. There is still a worse form of self-examination to come, but this is reserved for Chapter III.
Of course it is needless for me to go into the already well-discussed theory of whether immoral questions are put by the priest to the penitent, as in the Priest in Absolution. It cannot matter, because, to make a truthful Confession, the penitent would say : “ I was unfaithful to my husband
-with- -; I rebelled against his marital right on -night or nights, because he had committed what I considered excess”; “ For,” says Canon Carter, p. 121 of the same work, “think with whom you have lived, acted, conversed, been intimate, where you have lived, in what town, house, street or room,” * and, says Pardon Through
* To wit, the identical work !
† If only the laity were more conversant with Latin, and would peruse vol. VII. of this work, their eyes would be opened to priestly iniquity, and the deliberate intention of the devil in disguise to separate man and wife.
Delicacy forbids putlication. This is taken from Dens, vol. VI., p. 142 (1819 ed.); Liguori, vol. II., p. 464. Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo,
the Precious Blood, p. 29, “tell distinctly the acts of sin of which your conscience accuses you, with the number of times that each has been committed,” and “not indeed to deny IF THE PRIEST QUESTIONS, BUT NOT TO CONFESS' ANY PARTICULAR UNLESS HE DOES QUESTION.”—Pardon Through the Precious Blood, p. 33.
The priest's authority for questioning is doubtless derived from the following, and it can thus be seen that the author of Pardon Through the Precious Blood is referring to the Romanist writers :
“Oportet ut Confessor solet cognoscere quid quid debet judicare. Diligens igitur inquisitor et subtilis investigator sapienter quasi astute interrogat a peccatore quod ignorat, vel verecundia volit occultare. “ It is necessary that he confessor should know everything on which he has to exercise his judgment. Let him then with wisdom and subtilty, interrogate the sinner on the sins which he may ignore, or conceal through shame!” he Mirror of the Clergy, p. 357, quoted in CHINIQUY's Priest, Woman, and Confessional, p. 92.
But it is undeniable that the Ritualist priest not only does question but applies questions the reverse of proper, to wit :
“One widow lady told me a short time ago that undue pressure was used with her in order to compel her to go to ihe Confessional in a Ritualistic church not a thousand miles from Brighton, and that when she yielded and went, such questions were put to her that she was indignant and left the church, declaring she would never enter it again." -Letter from Rev. W. T. M'CORMICK in Sussex Daily News, June roth, 1890. (Thirteen years after the suppression of the Priest in Absolution !)
Thus, as naturally the woman would shrink from dealing with these sins of all others, it is necessary for the priest to question, and if the reader can obtain any of the pamphlets giving extracts from the Priest in Absolution, he or she will see by the quotations from Romanist works how similar is the tone.
Methinks it is the old story of the ostrich hiding its head. Our Legislature forbids the exposure of rankness under the garb of “obscene literature,” but it allows the tumour of Auricular Confession to fester and spread under the crust of skin, and while our laws profess to stop the
quando. That is—Who, which, where, with whom, why, how, when ? Is not then the Ritualist a Jesuit in disguise ?
sale of immoral literature* and prints, it allows men, virtuosi, bibliomaniacs, painters and artists to have sold, sell, and disperse books of a type too shameful to mention, and pictures of nude subjects too glaring for modest eyes ; but then, as the providers are worshippers of the golden calf, it matters little how immorality is diffused! We ought to strike at the root, namely, the doctrine of Confession, and tear it out, not merely lop off the twigs.
It is the question of self-examination which is so much pressed on the penitent, – this searing and heart-probing which is insisted on by the priest as necessary to salvation and a true Confession, and why? because by it little faults, under the depressing, humiliating morbidity of the Confessional, are magnified into sins and often lead 10 a discussion on, or a repetition of the foulest and filthiest sins, which, as is here shown, may be dilated upon by the corrupt Priest, as the pure God's representative.
“A woman, among other things upon her conscience, has a sin of impurity troubling her : She goes to Confession at regular intervals. As a Catholic she has been taught the Sacramental character of the ordinance, and that it would be a great sin to come to it carelessly. She has books on self-examination and repentance, and as a matter of course pravs before preparing for Confession. Now what question on the Seventh Commandment would she have to undergo? Possibly none at all, and nothing that could hurt her sense of purity if examined on the point, for this reason, viz., that the penitent is supposed to have been instructed in Confession, and to have prepared properly for it, and to confess things just as they happened, fully and truthfully.† They accuse themselves humbly and fully of their sin, how it came about, what it was, how often it occurred, and so on. One cannot explain from this sin, but take“ anger. Now a badly prepared or uninstructed person would most likely say “ I have given way to anger several times since my last Confession.” Then they would have to be questioned. “Given way to anger” might mean striking a blow (perhaps a relation), ill using school children, hasty answer to a parent,
a translation of parts of Dens' and Liguori's Confessional writings, disseminated that people might see whither the High Church were leading us, but where was the good of suppressing a work exposing the Confessional, when they left the Confessional itself?
† Including of course sins of this character ; hence the priest knows how far he can go !
I No, I should think not. It would let the cut out of the bag, whose tail is pretty well exposed in Saladin's Confessional.
stamping the foot, wishing harm to some offender, etc., and thus if persons said they had been impure, such a short general statement would not be satisfactory. It might be stated to avoid confessing the actual nature of the sin, to escape a stern reproof, or a sharp penance ; and the confessor would have to put questions." -Hints to Penitents, pp. 70-71.
Now the practice is, after nightly self-examination, to write down one's sins, and then, putting them together somewhat in this form, repeat them to the priest:
“Exaggeration, five times; I told a story, and as it concerned myself, with greater colouring than was strictly true. It was done to throw M. J. into the shade, of whose favour with so and so I was jealous. I was angry with P. because I was requested to write a letter for her on- I called my mother a detestable old cat because she made me put away my things on
“ I like fish very much, and ate greedily of it on Friday when I should have fasted. I partook of hot cross buns on Good Friday, yielding to the temptation.
“I omitted to read some devotional book on such and such mornings, or omitted to keep my hours.f “I yielded to my husband and stayed from Church on
and Holy Communion. $ I confess I ought to have suffered his censure rather than neglected Church.
“I let—die without calling in the priest and seeing that they had Holy Communion before doing so.
“I slept late on--morning, and thus neglected my devotional reading, being very fagged over night.” All these and many more are just ordinary confessions, but to show why this self-examination is in every manual so much insisted on, as preparatory to Confession, I recommend the reader to peruse Canon Carter's Treasury of Devotion, pp. 121 to 131, and which is too long to quote here.
* Here comes the admission at last, and as to the questions please see the above work.
† These are : Mattins, 1 a.m. ; Lauds, first twilight ; Prime, 7 a.m.; Tierce, 9 a.m. ; Sext, 12 a.m.; Nones, 3 p.m.; Vespers, 6 p.m.; Compline, 9 p.m. A short ejaculatory prayer is said at Tierce, Sext, and Nones. — Churchman's Guide, etc., Part I., p. 61.
I “You ought to attend the Church Services often. You must if you be a Christian attend the Divine Service as often as you can. You cannot put any ordinance of man above the ordinance of God.”- Plain Guide, p. 71.