Popery! As it Was and as it Is - LightNovelsOnl.com
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1. Whoever shall say that marriage is not truly and properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelical laws inst.i.tuted by Christ the Lord, but that it is invented by men in the church and does not confer grace; let him be accursed!
"2. Whoever shall say that it is lawful for Christians to Have several wives at once, and that this is forbidden by no divine law; let him be accursed!
"3. Whoever shall say that only those degrees of relations.h.i.+p and affinity, which are expressed in Leviticus, can hinder marriage from being contracted, and annul the contract; and that the church cannot dispense in any of them, or appoint that more may hinder and annul; let him be accursed!
"4. Whoever shall say that the Church could not const.i.tute impediments annulling marriage, or that in const.i.tuting them, she has erred; let him be accursed!
"5. Whoever shall say that the bond of marriage may be dissolved on account of heresy, or mutual dislike, or voluntary absence from the husband or wife; let him be accursed!
"6. Whoever shall say that a marriage solemnized, but not consummated, is not annulled by the solemn profession of a religious order by one of the parties; let him be accursed!
"7. Whoever shall say that the church errs, when she has taught and teaches that according to the evangelical and apostolical doctrine, the bond of marriage cannot be dissolved on account of the adultery of one or the other of the parties, and that neither of them, not even the innocent party who has given no cause for the adultery, may contract another marriage, whilst the party is living, and that he commits adultery, who marries another after putting away his adulterous wife, or she, who marries another, after putting away her adulterous husband; let him be accursed!
"8. Whoever shall say that the church is in error when, for many reasons, she decrees that a separation may be made between married persons, as to the bed, or as to intercourse, either for a certain, or an uncertain time; let him be accursed.
"9. Whoever shall say that the clergy, const.i.tuted in sacred order, or regulars, who have solemnly professed chast.i.ty, may contract marriage, and that the contract is valid, notwithstanding ecclesiastical law, or vow, and that to maintain the opposite, is nothing else than to condemn marriage; and that all may contract marriage, who do not think that they have the gift of chast.i.ty, even though they have vowed it; let him be accursed: as G.o.d does not deny this to those who seek it aright, nor does he suffer us to be tempted above what we are able to bear.
"10. Whoever shall say that the married state is to be preferred to a state of virginity, or celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or celibacy, than to be joined in marriage; let him be accursed!
"11. Whoever shall affirm that the prohibition of the solemnization of marriage, at certain times of the year, is a tyrannical superst.i.tion, borrowed from the superst.i.tions of the Pagans, or shall condemn the benedictions, and other ceremonies, which the church uses at those times; let him be accursed! u 12. Whoever shall affirm that matrimonial causes do not belong to the ecclesiastical judges; let him be accursed!"
The atrocity of the above doctrines, is evident to every reflecting mind. Protestants can now see for themselves, whether they can safely hold any communion with them, or have any confidence in Roman Catholics.
There is not a Protestant Christian in the United States, nor in the world, who is not publicly and solemnly denounced, as an accursed being, by the Roman Catholic church, and by each and every one of its members; but in addition to those curses, which I have enumerated, there is another more solemn; one which is annually p.r.o.nounced against them, by the Pope of Rome, and by every bishop and priest in this country. It is known by the t.i.tle of _Bulla in cena Domini_. The curse contained in this bull, is p.r.o.nounced annually at Rome, by the Pope, on Thursday before Good Friday. It includes every living being who is not a Roman Catholic. All our president, congress, governors, magistrates, munic.i.p.al authorities, officers of our navy and army, all our Protestant clergymen, whether Unitarians, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, or Methodists; and upon all these, without distinction, the Pope of Rome, dressed in his royal robes, invokes the curse of Heaven, once at least every year. Every priest in the Roman church is bound to do the same. It was a part of my own duty, and one which I never failed to discharge, until I protested against the doctrines of the Romish church.
The Popish priests never deemed it prudent to p.r.o.nounce this curse publicly?-in the United States, but while I was among them, we never omitted to do so privately, on the morning of Thursday before Good Friday. It commences with the following words on the part of the Pope:!!!!!
"We, therefore, following the ancient custom of our predecessors, of holy memory, do firstly--excommunicate and curse, in the name of Almighty G.o.d, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and by the authority of St.
Peter and St. Paul, and by our own authority, all Heretics, Hussites, Wiekliffites, Lutherans. Calvinists, Huguenots, Anabaptists, Trinitarians, and all apostates from the faith, and all who read their books," &c, &c. This curse includes every soul in the United States, who is not a Roman Catholic. Will you, Americans give these men and their doctrines footing among you? Will they longer dare to curse you and your children with impunity?
In the 6th section of the above bull, the Pope and his priests curse all civil powers, who impose taxes without the consent of the Roman court.
In the 12th section, they curse all who maltreat cardinals, bishops, or priests. You are, therefore, to take heed and not quarrel with priests, though they insult your wives, or debauch your families. In the 15th section, all are cursed, who take away jurisdiction from the court of Rome, and prefer leaving pauses of difference between them and priests, to our civil tribunals.
In the 17th section, all are cursed, who in any case appeal to civil tribunals, when the difficulty is between Romish priests and citizens.
In the 18th section, the Pope curses all who take away church property.
In the 19th section, the Pope curses all who, without express license from him, impose taxes on priests, monasteries, nunneries, or churches.
Our legislature is sitting while I write. Take heed, gentlemen, lest you tax the Roman Catholic bishop Fenwick, or any of his priests. Be sure you do not tax his real estate, his nunneries, or other property. If you do, you are doubly d.a.m.ned.
In the 20th section, the church curses all judges, and magistrates, who shall sit in judgment on a bishop or priest, without license from the holy see.
In the 22d section, this _bull_ is declared to be binding forever, and it is brought to a conclusion by a solemn a.s.surance that if any priest shall violate it, he shall incur the wrath of Almighty G.o.d, and of St.
Peter and Paul.
I would again ask Americans whether Roman Catholic priests, or bishop, or the two millions of followers which they have in this country, are any longer to be trusted. I tell Americans, and I proclaim it to the world, that they are spies upon our republic; they are the sworn foes of our laws, of our principles, and of our government; and they are united by the most fearful oath never to rest while our religious liberty lasts, and to use every means which ingenuity can devise, and treachery and perjury accomplish, to effect its overthrow, and subst.i.tute in its place, the religion of the Pope; a religion, if such a name can be given to a most infamous system of policy, which for sixteen hundred years has deluged Europe in blood.
I make these a.s.sertions, not at random, not upon hearsay, not upon the authority of Protestant writers, but upon that of Roman Catholic theologians, and upon my own personal knowledge. I solemnly declare it to be my deliberate opinion, that it is the duty of all civil governments on the face of the earth, to unite in excluding, from their territories, all Roman Catholic priests and bishops, as their deadly enemies, and the sworn transgressors of all national law; and for us in this country to countenance them, while they have any connection with the Pope of Rome, or profess to owe him any allegiance, is nothing short of a species of insanity. The _bull_ of which I have spoken, is taught in every Roman Catholic college in the United States. The students in those inst.i.tutions are educated in the belief that their church, which is infallible, requires of them to be unfaithful to this heretical government, and not only that, but to betray it, whenever the interest of the church demands it.
Every Irish Roman Catholic priest, who comes to this country, is instructed by his bishop, to pull down, if possible, the standard of heresy, which he is told he will find waving over the United States, and erect in its place that of the Pope, which he swears to defend.
These are the principles of priests and their followers, who are coming amongst you in thousands; whom you have encouraged for the last fifty years, until at last, you have emboldened them, by your mistaken sensibility and mock philanthropy, to say and proclaim to the universe, _Americans shan't rule us_. This was their motto, during the last presidential election; a motto devised and blessed by those turbulent demagogues and pensioned agents of the Pope, in New York. But they are not the only Papists who have proclaimed that Americans shall not rule them. The same has been done in Philadelphia and Boston! These men are at the bottom of all the riots, tumults, and popular commotions, which have occurred in this country for several years back. Witness the disturbances in Philadelphia, in 1821 and 1822, by an Irish bishop, in trying to get possession, in the name of the Pope, of church property, estimated to be worth over a million of dollars. (I shall refer to this hereafter.) Witness the riots in the same city last May, where several Americans have been sacrificed to the fury of a Popish mob. Witness the proceeding in this city of Boston, on the occasion of a nun having made her escape from the convent in Charlestown, to avoid, I have no doubt, what delicacy forbade her to mention. Other causes were a.s.signed for her escape, and some were weak enough to deem them sufficient; but from my own knowledge of convents, there can be no doubt of the real cause of the escape, of the virtuous young lady, of whom mention is made.
Here is another instance of the morbid and mistaken sensibility of many of our people. A certain number of Popish agents have applied to our legislature to build a _jail_, which they call a convent, in our very midst. To this jail, they attach a school, for the education of young ladies, and for this ostensible purpose, numbers of older ones are kept in the _jail_ or convent, by the Pope's agents.
The young ladies, who are sent to this school, are treated with kindness and attention; every thing is done to please, to flatter them, and even to cultivate their minds. The interior of the jail or nunnery is depicted in the most delightful colors. The happiness of the inmates is said to be equal to the saints in paradise. No opportunity is lost to impress on the minds of their pupils, the temporal as well as eternal beat.i.tudes of this convent, until, finally, the young minds of the scholars become perfectly enchanted, and, in the full glow of their youthful imagination, they determine to become nuns. This step, too, they are taught to take with apparent caution; they must serve a noviciate, go through all the ceremony of wearing a white veil; the old nuns representing to them the happiness they are about to enjoy, when they are about to a.s.sume the black veil. But when this is done, the poor innocent victims soon feel the horrors of their condition. They are confined to solitary cells, to which no one has access _but the priests_, and thus, in our very midst, a free born American citizen is seduced from her parents, from her guardians, and fellow-citizens, and no one is permitted to go and ask her freely how she likes her condition. She is confined there with more severity, and watched more closely, than any female in a Turkish Seraglio; and as we all recollect, a few years ago, a Popish bishop, with his priests, and some thousands of their _subjects_, viz., Irish Papists, threatened to sack the city of Boston, because the people deemed it necessary to pull down that synagogue of satan, the Charlestown nunnery. I am not an advocate of mobs or riots: I would observe the law of the land, and see it enforced at every risk; but there is a point at which no man would support even the civil law.
There are laws founded upon necessity, and the eternal laws of morality, which have a paramount claim upon one. Allegiance. Suppose some h.o.a.ry-headed profligate should obtain a charter to build a house on Mount Benedict; suppose further, he attaches a school to it, to be governed by the faded victims of his former dissipation, with a view of making money for himself; suppose he and they had the address to gather around them some of the most innocent, lovely, and respectable females in the country; let us even suppose that ninety-nine in a hundred of those young ladies left that school with unblemished reputation and high accomplishments; and we had that evidence that _only one_ in a hundred fell victims to the designs of the founders of this corrupt inst.i.tution: who would hesitate to determine what should be done with this inst.i.tution, or this nunnery, as Roman Catholic priests would call it? An answer is not necessary. But suppose the h.o.a.ry-headed gentleman should apply to the legislature to rebuild it, would they do so? There was a time when their acquaintance with Popery might have induced them to say aye, if such a resolution were introduced; but now that they have seen Popery in its native colors, withered should be the tongue of him who would advance such a proposition; and paralyzed should be the arm of the American who would support it. But it may be replied, that the Roman Catholic church is different now from what it was in ancient times; that it has essentially changed in its doctrine and in its discipline.
Others may say that Protestants, too, have been intolerant, and guilty of many cruelties, in the propagation of their religion. This is freely admitted: but there is this wide difference between the two religions.
The Popish creed inculcates persecution and utter extermination of all who do not believe in its doctrines; while on the contrary, the creed of the latter has never, and does not now, inculcate any other doctrine, than Jesus Christ, and him crucified. In plain English, the Romish church curses all who differ from her; while the Protestant church blesses all, though they may be in error, and sincerely prays for their conversion. The spirit of the latter breathes nothing but love, joy, peace, and good will to mankind; that of the former, malice, hatred, ill will, and persecution. This has been her uniform theory from the middle of the third century; and as I will now show you, from the lips of her own divines, and cannonized saints, her members have never ceased to reduce it to practice. Cyril, who is to this day invoked, and prayed to as a saint, taught and practised the above Romish doctrine. He was bishop of Alexandria, in the year four hundred and twelve. There is not a Roman Catholic, who is not taught to pray to him; and, of course, they can have no objection to my giving him as authority. Whatever St. Cyril believed, is believed by Papists now. Whatever he did was right, and according to sound doctrine consequently as Holy Mother, the church, never errs, and never can err, it must be right now. Let us see what this saint has done and believed, in his time. Socrates, a native of Constantinople, gives the following account of a portion of the life of St. Cyril, and other bishops of Alexandria. I take it from his ecclesiastical history.
The bishops of Alexandria had begun, says Socrates, to exceed the limits of ecclesiastical power, and to intermeddle with civil affairs, imitating, thereby, the bishop of Rome, whose sacred authority had, long since, been changed into dominion and empire.
The governors of Alexandria, looking upon the increase of the Romish episcopal power as a diminution of the civil, watched the bishops, in order to restrain them within the limits of the spiritual, and prevent their encroaching on the temporal jurisdiction. But Cyril, from the very beginning of his episcopacy, bade defiance to civil power, acting in such manner as showed but too plainly that he would be kept within no bounds. Soon after his installation, he caused, by his own authority, the churches, which the Novitians were allowed to have in Alexandria, to be shut up, seized on the sacred utensils, and plundering the house of their bishop, Theapemptus, drove him out of the city, stripped of every thing he possessed. Not long after this, Cyril put himself at the head of a _Christian_ mob, and, without the knowledge of the governor, took possession of the Jewish synagogue, drove the Jews out of Alexandria, pillaged their houses, and allowed the _Christians_--all Papists--who were concerned with him in the riot, to appropriate to themselves all their effects. This the governor highly resented, and not only rebuked Cyril very severely, for thus encroaching on his jurisdiction, and usurping a power that did not belong to him, but wrote to the emperor, complaining of him for s.n.a.t.c.hing the sword of justice from him, to put it into the hands of the undeserving mult.i.tude.
This occasioned a misunderstanding, or rather an avowed enmity between St. Cyril and the governor. With the _saint_ sided the clergy, the greater part of the mob, and the monks; with the governor, the soldiery and the better cla.s.s of citizens As the two parties were strangely animated against each other, there happened daily skirmishes in the streets of Alexandria. The friends of the governor, generally speaking, made their party good, having the soldiery on their side. But one day, as the governor was going out in his chariot, attended by his guards, he found himself, very unexpectedly, surrounded by no fewer than five hundred monks. The monks were, in those days, the standing army of the bishops, but are now of the Pope's alone. The monks in the service of St. Cyril, having surrounded the governor's chariot, dispersed the small guard that attended it, fell upon him, dangerously wounded him, and determined to put an end to the quarrel between him and St. Cyril, by taking his life.
The citizens, alarmed at his danger, flew to his rescue, put the cowardly monks to flight, and having seized on the monk by whom the governor was wounded, delivered him into his hands. The governor, to deter others, caused the monk to be put to death. But St. Cyril, partly to reward the zeal which the monk had exerted in attempting to a.s.sa.s.sinate his antagonist, caused him to be honored as a holy martyr.
The partizans of St. Cyril, enraged at the death of the monk, and under the advice of this Romish _saint_, determined to revenge it; and the person they singled out among the friends of the governor to wreak their rage and revenge on, was one who, of all the inhabitants of Alexandria, deserved it the least. This was the famous and celebrated Hypatia, the wonder of her age for beauty, for virtue, and knowledge. She kept a public school of philosophy in Alexandria; where she was born, and her reputation was so great, that not only disciples flocked from all parts to hear her, but the greatest philosophers used to consult her as an oracle, with respect to the most abstruse points of astronomy, geometry, and the Platonic philosophy, which she was particularly well versed in.
Though she was very beautiful, and freely conversed with men of all ranks, yet they were so awed by her known virtue and modesty, that none ever presumed to show, in her presence, the least symptom of pa.s.sion.
The governor entertained the highest opinion of her abilities, often consulted her, and in all perplexed cases governed himself by her advice. As she was the person in Alexandria whom he most valued, St.
Cyril and his friends, to wound him the more effectually, entered into a conspiracy to destroy this beautiful and innocent lady.
This barbarous resolution being taken, as she was one day returning home in her chariot, a band of the dregs of the people, encouraged and headed by one of St. Cyril's priests, attacked her in her chariot, pulled her out of it, and throwing her on the ground, dragged her to the great church called Caesareum; there they stripped, her naked, and with sharp tiles, either brought with them or found there, continued cutting, tearing, and mangling her flesh, till nature, yielding to pain, she expired under their hands. Her death did not satisfy their rage and fury. They tore her body in pieces, dragged her mangled limbs through all the streets of Alexandria, and then gathering them together, burned them. Such was the end of the famous Hypatia, the most learned person of the age she lived in; but she was not a Roman Catholic. Can you, Americans, believe that this very Cyril is now a saint in the Roman Catholic church; that he is daily prayed to, honored, and wors.h.i.+pped by Papists? Can you believe that the Catholics whom you employ in your houses, the nuns to whom you intrust the education of your children, daily invoke the intercession of this murderous Cyril?
And think you, fellow-citizens, that the spirit of the Popish bishop, Cyril, has died with him, or that the church, which approved of his conduct, would refuse to sanction a similar act at this day? If you do, you are mistaken. Was the conduct of Cyril ever censured by the church?
Were the murders and atrocities which he committed, and caused to be committed, even disapproved by the holy mother? If they were, I would ask at what council was it done? Where and when was such a council held? Who was the presiding Pope? The fact is, so far from incurring the displeasure of the Romish church, this notorious Popish murderer of Jews and heretics was _canonized and sainted_; and similar distinctions would be now awarded to him who would commit similar crimes, if his holiness the Pope deemed it prudent to have such crimes committed.
We saw an instance of the spirit which actuated Cyril, some years ago, in this city, when, in the case of the Ursuline Convent, to which I have already referred, every Papist within fifty miles of Boston, who was able to bear arms, volunteered his aid to his bishop, in taking vengeance upon our citizens, merely because they would not sanction among them the existence of a house, called a nunnery, and used as a jail, for the confinement of some of our most virtuous females, against their will. Had Miss Reed, who escaped from that den of profligacy, been caught by her Popish pursuers, and without the knowledge of our citizens, what would have been her fate? She might not have been torn to pieces, as Hypatia was, but her torments would not have been less cruel.
She would have been kept upon her bare knees, perhaps ten hours in the twenty-four, for months.
She would be obliged to pray to the same St. Cyril, and a string of such vagabonds, for the _remission of her sins_. She would be compelled to kiss the ground and lick it with her tongue, at stated intervals, and bread and water her diet, until the zeal of her holy confessors was perfectly satisfied. And if those who aided her escape were detected, what would have been their fate? Thanks to our republican government, they could not be punished in this country; but had they committed the deed under a purely Catholic government, the _infallible_ church would consign them to the inquisition, and have broken them upon the rack.
This is the church, and her members are the men, whom you are countenancing amongst you. The Romish church never surrendered the right which she once claimed of destroying heretics. She only suspends it for the moment, until her strength and numbers shall enable her to enforce it. But there are some who will not believe this, especially when Catholic priests and bishops deny it. Many Protestants, who are natives of this country, and unacquainted with Roman Catholic doctrines, will not believe it. Many, even, of our Protestant clergymen will scarcely believe it; such is the craft and consummate falsehood of priests and bishops, that I have never met with one Protestant who entertained the most remote idea that keeping no faith with heretics, and persecuting them to death, formed any portion of the doctrine of the church of Rome.
This is owing to the fact of their being born in a free country, at a distance from the seat of Romish power, and their having little access and no acquaintance with the standard works of Popery.
Many, even, of the native born Americans, who have become Roman Catholics, know little or nothing of the doctrines of the church into which they have permitted themselves to be seduced. I will hazard the a.s.sertion, that there are not ten lay members amongst them, in the United States, who have read the works of Belarmine, the canons, or decrees of the various councils that have been held in the Popish church, or even the _corpus juris canonici_, containing the decrees of the council of Trent.
If the writings of De La Hogue, used in the college of Maynooth, Ireland, or the works of Antoine or Den, taught in that college when I was a student there, were thoroughly read, and the doctrines contained in those standard works of Popery understood, there is not a moral man living who would not shun the church of Rome, as a thing too unclean, too impure, too licentious, too wicked, too corrupt, and of too persecuting a character to be allowed to exist at all. This their priests well know; and, having recently discovered that a few copies of Den's "Theology" had found their way into this country, they have the unblus.h.i.+ng effrontery to deny that his work was ever approved of by the church, or was ever received as such in any college in Ireland. I studied in the college of Maynooth, and have read speculative theology under Dr. De La Hogue, and moral theology under Dr. Antoine, in the same cla.s.s with several priests now in this country, and among other works which we read in that cla.s.s was the "Moral Theology" of the Rev Peter Den; especially his treatise _de Peccatis_.
I have the pleasure of an acquaintance with some native Americans who are become Roman Catholics. They are men of honor, moral worth, and possess highly cultivated minds. They were religious men; and deeming a connection with some church to be necessary, and seeing nothing of the Romish church but its seductive and imposing ceremonies, they united themselves with it, or, if they happened to hesitate in joining it, and deemed it necessary to consult with Catholic priests and bishops, these crafty Jesuits soon furnished them with Catholic works manufactured for such occasions, and un.o.bjectionable to the most pious Christian; taking good care, at the same time, to keep out of their way such works as I have alluded to, from which they may learn that there is no religion in the Popish church, and that it is no more than a political machine, devised for the suppression of republicanism, knowledge, and the liberties of man.
Let us pa.s.s over the time which intervened between the fourth and twelfth centuries. The history of the Popes and the Romish church, during that period, is replete with crimes committed by Popes, and atrocities sanctioned by the church, the bare mention of which humanity shudders The very earth is almost saturated with the blood which Popish despots caused to be shed under the mask of religion, but, in reality, for the advancement of their own temporal power.
I will now show that the spirit of Cyril had not died with him. During the reign of Pope Innocent III., that holy pontiff discovered that there was, in the province of Narbonne and in several other provinces of the south of France, a religious sect, called the Albigenses, who presumed to differ from the Romish church, and had the audacity to believe that the Bible was the only rule of faith. They rejected the external rites of the Romish church, except baptism and the Lord's supper.
They had no faith in images, indulgences, and other such semi-pagan mummeries. Auricular confession and the forgiveness of sins by man they rejected as impious. They looked upon nunneries as places of sin, inst.i.tuted by priests, as a sort of subst.i.tute for the marriage of the clergy. They demolished such of them as were in existence among them, and declared the marriage of the clergy as lawful and honorable. They scouted at the idea of the temporal jurisdiction of the Pope over the nations of the earth, and looked upon him as emphatically _the Man of Sin_.