Popery! As it Was and as it Is - LightNovelsOnl.com
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How long shall we be amused by the executive messages, annually informing us of receiving "a.s.surances of friends.h.i.+p from Popish countries?" Let the people take this subject into their own hands; let them have no alliance, no treaty, no commerce with a people, who will deny them the right of wors.h.i.+pping G.o.d peaceably and respectfully, or who will refuse them the right of burying their dead decently and with due solemnity. The treaties which are made with Papists begin, on their part, with the most solemn avowal of good faith, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They a.s.sure us of their friendly sentiments towards us under this solemn and awful sanction; but no sooner is this promise made--no sooner have they pledged their honor, their faith, and all that is holy, to support it--than they disregard all those obligations, feeling and believing that they are already dispensed with by their church, which teaches them to hold no faith with heretics.
The priests, however, and bishops, more crafty than the ma.s.s of their people, plead _state necessity_ for withholding from us privileges which we give them. This is a shallow pretext, and worthy only of the source from which it comes. Can any case be supposed, or any necessity arise, to violate the eternal principles of right and wrong, of justice and truth? Are moral and national obligations anything more than mere dead letters and leaden rules, which can be bent by hands strong enough to do so, and to suit their own purposes and designs?
Suppose a man in private life--suppose further that man to be a Papist--he enters into a treaty of alliance and friends.h.i.+p with a Protestant; he calls G.o.d the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to witness that he will fulfil his engagement; we can easily fancy the Protestant, within the jurisdiction of that Papist, reading his Bible, without interfering or any way molesting the individual within whose jurisdiction he is. Let us imagine this Protestant seized by the Papist, thrown into prison by him, while alive, and if dead, thrown away as food for the birds of prey. Would you call this fulfilling the obligations of friends.h.i.+p or friendly alliance? Would the Protestant ever enter into such a treaty of alliance again? Would not every Protestant who witnessed this transaction look upon the Papist who committed it, even though he be but a private individual, as a bad man, with whom no further intercourse ought to be had? a.s.suredly, he would. But let it be borne in mind, that actions do not change their nature; immutable principles are always the same; they do not change with the paucity or number of actors; what is bad in an individual will be wrong in a nation, and in every individual of that nation. The only difference is, that an act of perfidy and bad faith in a nation is, if possible, worse in itself, and infinitely more mischievous, than if committed by an individual.
Our political sophists may deny this, and gloss over the conduct of Popish governments towards our citizens while among them; but they cannot long hide from our people that the eternal laws of truth cannot be violated; nor can their meaning be frittered away by the technicalities of treaties. Truth, whether moral or political, is like the suu of heaven; it is but one--it is the same every where. It is sometimes clouded, it is true, but these clouds are momentary; they pa.s.s away, and it s.h.i.+nes again in its native brilliancy. The day is fast coming, and I trust it has even arrived, when Americans will see, that by a treaty of amity is not meant the right of s.h.i.+pping our commodities to Popish countries, and receiving theirs in exchange; reserving to one party the privilege of denying to the other a right dearer to him than all earthly considerations; and which is guarantied to him by the eternal laws of G.o.d, while the other party is under no restraint as to the full and free enjoyment of those natural rights. And here, I beg leave to say to our legislators, that Protestant Americans, upon due reflection, will not long give their a.s.sent to any treaty, nor form an alliance with any country, which shall deny them the free exercise of their religion.
The American, who will enter into an alliance with the Pope, or a Popish country, explicitly agrees to deny his G.o.d, and forswear the religion of his forefathers. He virtually consents that the party with which he makes the agreement shall be privileged to curse and d.a.m.n him, his country, his religion, and his rights. This needs no proof. Look around you, and see your citizens in Mexico denying their G.o.d by submitting to Popish laws, which forbid their wors.h.i.+p according to the dictates of their conscience. Were your puritan forefathers to witness this, would they not exclaim, "Shame upon our degenerate sons, who will barter their religion and their birthright for the petty advantages of commerce!" No wonder that Popish priests and Popish presses should call Americans _cowards and the sons of cowards_. Who but a coward, and what but a nation of cowards, would surrender that liberty of conscience which their forefathers purchased at the price of blood? This Americans do by a.s.senting to a treaty with any country which does not guarantee to them the right of wors.h.i.+pping G.o.d without hindrance. Americans will not forget, though they cannot too often be reminded of the fact, that those countries where their feelings are thus outraged are, _de facto,_ governed by the Pope and his vicegerents, whose actions for centuries back have proved them to have been no other than conspirators against the improvement and happiness of the human race. What were the means by which they conducted their governments? The very same that they are now in every Roman Catholic country, all over the globe; craft, dissimulation, oppression, extortion, and above all, fire, f.a.ggot, and the sword. There is not an article of their faith, nor a sacrament of their church, which is not enforced by curses, as I shall show in the sequel. These vicegerents of the humble Redeemer have the insolence to ape the very thunders of heaven. History informs us, that their robes have been crimsoned in blood. Their images of saints, some of which I have seen in Mexico, made of solid gold, and many of them six feet high and well-proportioned, were wrung from the poor.
Many of those countries, which they now possess, and where G.o.d and nature have scattered plenty, have been made barren by Popish avarice and the licentiousness of its priests. The fields, which laughed with plenty, they have watered with hunger and distress. They found the world gay with flowers, and with roses: they dyed it with blood. They and their doctrines acted upon it like the blast of an east wind. Popery, since the eighth century in particular, has been what a pestilence or conflagration is to a city.
Come with me, in imagination, to Italy, and judge for yourselves. Pa.s.s on with me, to Spain, Portugal, South America, and you will sec that I am not exaggerating. You will find that I have only told truth, but not the whole truth. No tongue can tell it. We have no language to express it. I will give you a few instances of the fruits of Popery in the neighboring island of Cuba. What I am about stating has come under my own observation; and is, besides, a matter of record, and accessible to many. The natives of Cuba pay fifteen millions per annum to her _most Christian_ Majesty, the queen of Spain. They support an army of sixteen thousand men, every one of whom is a native of old Spain, kept there for the sole purpose of extorting this enormous annual tribute. The number of priests there is immense. They, too, must be supported at the point of the bayonet. These priests are known to be the most profligate vagabonds in creation. And why, it will naturally be asked, should such men be tolerated? Why supply them with money to gamble at the faro table, at c.o.c.k-fights and bull-fights? The reason is plain; they act as spies for the Pope, who, in reality, manages the government of old Spain, and contrives to draw, from that already impoverished and distracted country, the last dollar of a people whom G.o.d has endowed with every virtue, and a capacity of cultivating them, had not the curse of Popery fallen upon them.
Such is the avarice of the Popish church and Popish tyrants, that, if a farmer in Cuba kills even a beef for his own use, he must pay the government ten per cent, upon its value. When I was in Cuba, the farmer must pay ten and a half dollars duty upon every barrel of flour imported into the island; when he might raise, in the field, before his own door, the finest wheat in the world, if the government would let him. Such are but a few of the blessings of Popish governments. Do Americans desire this republic reduced to such a state of va.s.salage as this? or will you profit by these lessons, which experience is daily teaching you?
Wherever you turn your eyes, and see Popery in the ascendant, you will find it the Pandora's box, out of which every curse has issued, without even leaving hope behind. It should, therefore, be suppressed on its appearance in any country. It should be the duty of every good man to extirpate it, and sweep it, if possible, from the face of the globe. It is nothing better than a political machine, cunningly devised, for the propagation of despotism. It is the masterpiece of satanic wickedness.
Execrated and exploded be this infernal machine! and thanks forever be to that G.o.d, who has shown me its intricacies, in time to save me from becoming what, I know of my own knowledge, Roman Catholic priests are--hypocrites, infidels, and licentious debauchees, under the mask of sanct.i.ty and holiness. Their religion is supported by _curses_, as I have before stated, and will now prove from the doctrines of their own church. The reader has already been told, that the Popish church maintains the doctrines that a belief in seven sacraments is necessary to salvation. These sacraments are designated as follows: _Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony_. And she enforces this by _curses_. I have already enumerated the curses with which she enforces her belief in baptism. The next sacrament is Confirmation, enforced by the following eloquent curses, p.r.o.nounced by the infallible council of Trent:!!!!!
"1. Whoever shall say that the confirmation of baptized persons is a needless ceremony, and not rather a true and proper sacrament: or that anciently it was nothing else than a kind of catechizing, by-which the youth expressed the reason of their faith before the church; let him be accursed!
"2. Whoever shall say that they do despite to the Holy Spirit who attributes any virtue to the holy chrism of confirmation; let him be accursed!
"3. Whoever shall say, the ordinary minister of holy confirmation is not the bishop alone, but any mere priest whatsoever; let him be accursed!"
The next sacrament is the Eucharist. The following is the doctrine of the Romish church in relation to this:!!!!!
Decree of the Council of Florence for the Instruction of the Armenians,
"The third is the sacrament of the Eucharist, the matter of which is wheaten bread, and wine from the vine; with which, before the consecration, a very small quant.i.ty of water should be mixed. But water is thus mixed, since it is believed that the Lord himself inst.i.tuted this sacrament in wine, mixed with water: besides, because this agrees with the representation of our Lords pa.s.sion: because it is recorded that blood and water flowed forth from the side of Christ: and also because this is proper to signify the effect of this sacrament, which is the union of Christian people with Christ: for water signifies the people, according to Rev. xvii. 15. _And he said to me, the waters, which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and nations, and tongues_.
"The form of this sacrament are the words of the Saviour, by which this sacrament is performed: for the priest, speaking in the person of Christ, performs this sacrament: for, by virtue of the words themselves, the substance of the bread is converted into the body, and the substance of the wine into the blood, of Christ; yet so that Christ is contained entire under the form of bread, and entire under the form of wine: Christ is entire also under every part of the consecrated host, and of the consecrated wine, after a separation has been made. The effect of this sacrament, which it produces in the soul of a worthy partaker, is the union of the person to Christ," &c.
_Canons of the Council of Trent, concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist._
"1. Whoever shall deny that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the entire Christ, but shall say that he is in it only as in a sign, or figure, or virtue, let him be accursed!
"2 Whoever shall say that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of bread and wine remains together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, only the forms of bread and wine remaining, which conversion indeed the Catholic church most aptly calls tran-substantiation; let him be accursed!
"3 Whoever shall deny that in the adorable sacrament of the Eucharist, the entire Christ is contained under each kind, and under the single parts of each kind, when a separation is made; let him be accursed!
"4. Whoever shall say that the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not present in the admirable Eucharist so soon as the consecration is performed, but only in the use when it is received, and neither before nor after, and that the true body of our Lord does not remain in the hosts, or consecrated morsels, which are reserved or left after the communion; let him be accursed!
"5. Whoever shall say either that remission of sins is the princ.i.p.al fruit of the most holy Eucharist, or that no other effects proceed from it; let him be accursed!
"6. Whoever shall affirm that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of G.o.d, is not to be adored, even with the external wors.h.i.+p of latria, and therefore that the Eucharist is to be honored neither with peculiar festive celebration, nor to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of the church, or that it is not to be held up publicly before the people that it may be adored, and that its wors.h.i.+ppers are idolaters; let him be accursed!
"7. Whoever shall say that it is not lawful that the holy Eucharist be reserved in the sacristy, but that it must necessarily be distributed to those who are present immediately after the consecration; that it is not proper that it be carried in procession to the sick; let him be accursed!
"8. Whoever shall say that Christ, as exhibited in the Eucharist, is eaten only spiritually, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be accursed.
"9. Whoever shall deny that each and every one of Christ's faithful, of both s.e.xes, when they have attained to years of discretion, are obliged, least once every year, at Easter, to commune according to the precept of holy mother church; let him be accursed!
"10. Whoever shall say that it is not lawful in the officiating priest to administer the communion to himself; let him be accursed!
"11. Whoever shall affirm that faith alone is sufficient preparation for taking the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be accursed And lest so great a sacrament be taken unworthily and therefore to death and condemnation, the sacred holy synod doth decree and declare, that sacrimental confession must necessarily precede in the case of those whom conscience accuses of mortal sin, if a confessor is at hand, however contrite they may suppose themselves to be. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or pertinacious a.s.sert, or in publicly disputing, to defend the contrary, let him by this very act be excommunicated."
Canons of the same Council concerning the Communion of Children, and in both Kinds.
"1. Whoever shall say that each and every of of Christ's faithful ought to take both kinds of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, by the command of G.o.d, or because necessary to salvation let him be accursed!
"2. Whoever shall say that the holy Catholic church has not been induced, by just causes and reasons, to administer the communion to the laity, and also to the clergy not officiating, only under the form of bread; or that she has erred in this; Let him be accursed!
"3. Whoever shall deny that the whole and entire Christ, the fountain and author of all graces, is received under the one form of bread, because, as some falsely a.s.sert, he is not received under both kinds, according to the inst.i.tution of Christ; let him be accursed!
"4 Whoever shall say that the communion of the Eucharist is necessary for little children before they have attained to years of discretion; let him be accursed!" &c.
The next in order is Extreme Unction,
Canons of the Council of Trent concerning Extreme Unction.
"1. Whoever shall say that extreme unction is not truly and properly a sacrament inst.i.tuted by Christ our Lord, and promulgated by the blessed apostle James, but only a rite received from, the fathers, or human invention; let turn be accursed!
"2. Whoever shall say that the sacred anointing of the sick does not confer grace, nor remit sins, nor raise up the sick, but that it has now ceased, as if the gift of healing existed only in past ages; let him be accursed!
"3. Whoever shall say that the ceremony of extreme unction in the practice which the holy Roman church observes, are repugnant to the meaning of the blessed apostle James, and that, therefore, they are to be changed; let him be accursed!"
The sixth sacrament is that of Orders.
Canons of the Council of Trent concerning Orders
"1. Whoever shall say that in the New Testament, there is not a visible and external priesthood: or that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of remitting and retaining sins: but only the office and naked ministry of preaching the gospel; or that they who do not preach are surely not priests; Let him be accursed!
"2. Whoever shall say that besides the priesthood there are not other orders in the Catholic church, both greater and inferior, by which as by certain steps, the priesthood may be attained; let him be accursed!
"3. Whoever shall say that orders, or sacred ordination, is not truly and properly a sacrament inst.i.tuted by Christ the Lord; or that it is a certain human invention, devised by men ignorant of ecclesiastical things, or that it is only a certain ceremony of choosing the ministers of the word of G.o.d and of the sacraments; let him be accursed!
"4. Whoever shall say that by sacred ordination the Holy Spirit is not given, and that therefore the bishops say in vain, Receive the Holy Ghost: or that by it character is not impressed: or that he who has once been a priest may again become a layman; let him be accursed!
"5. Whoever shall say that the sacred unction which the church uses in holy ordination is not only not required, but is contemptible and pernicious; likewise also the other ceremonies of orders; let him be accursed!
"6. Whoever shall say that in the Catholic church there is not a hierarchy inst.i.tuted by divine appointment, which consists of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be accursed!
"7. Whoever shall say that bishops are not superior to priests, or that they have not the power of confirming and ordaining; or that which they have is common to them with the priests; or that orders conferred by them without the consent or call of the people or the secular power, are null and void; or that they who have been neither duly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from some other source, are lawful ministers of the word and sacraments; let him be accursed!
"8. Whoever shall say that the bishops, who are appointed by the authority of the Roman pontiff, are not lawful and true bishops, but a human invention; let him be accursed!"
Canons of the Council of Trent concerning Marriage.