Popery! As it Was and as it Is - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Nothing is heard but the softest and most melting strains of music. No wonder these should captivate minds which are strangers to guilt; nor is it strange that they should bring into their church those who are most guilty, in the full a.s.surance that their guilt shall be forgiven, and their crimes effaced from the records of heaven, by only confessing them to one of their priests.
Will the heads of those respectable families, to whom Bishop Fenwick alludes, and from whom he is making so many converts, permit me to ask them, whether they have ever reflected upon what they were doing, in permitting Romish priests to come among them? I have myself been a Catholic priest, as I have more than once stated; I am without any prejudice whatever. If I know myself, I would do an injustice to no man; but I hesitate not to tell those heads of families, whether they are the parents or guardians of those _converts_ to the Romish church, of whom mention is made, that if they have not used all their authority with which the laws of nature and of the land invests them, to prevent these _conversions_, they are highly culpable. If they are parents, they have become the moral a.s.sa.s.sins of their own children, and perhaps their own wives. Do any of those fathers know the _questions_ which a Romish priest puts to those children, at confession? Do husbands know the _questions_ which priests put to their wives, at confession? Though a married man, I would blush to mention the least of them.
Though not so fastidious as others, I cannot even think of them, much less name them, without a downcast eye and crimsoned cheek, and particularly those which are put to young and unmarried ladies.
Fathers, mothers, guardians, and husbands of these _converts_, fancy to yourselves the most indelicate, immodest, and libidinous questions which the most immoral and profligate mind can conceive!!!!! fancy those ideas put into plain English, and that by way of question and answer--and you will then have a faint conception of the conversation which takes place between a pampered Romish priest and your hitherto pure-minded daughters. If, after two or three of these _examinations_, in that _sacred tribunal_, they still continue virtuous, they are rare exceptions. After an experience of some years in that church, sooner--far sooner--would I see my daughters consigned to the grave, than see them go to confession to a Romish priest or bishop. One is not a whit better than the other. They mutually confess to each other.
It was not my intention, when I commenced this work, to enter into any thing like a discussion of the doctrines maintained by the Romish church. My sole object was to call the attention of _American Republicans_ to the dangers which were to be apprehended, and would inevitably follow, from the encouragement which they are giving to Popery amongst them. I have, however, deviated a little from my first intention, in more than one instance; but I trust, not without some advantage to many of my readers. I am aware that I have exposed myself to the charge of carelessness and indifference to public opinion, in not paying more attention to the construction and order of my sentences. Did I write for fame, or the applause of this world, I would have been more careful; but, as my object is only to state facts, in language so plain that none can misunderstand it, I have no doubt the reader will pardon any defects which he may find in the language, or want of consecutiveness in the statements, which these pages contain.
I will now ask the attention of the reader, for a few moments, to the Popish doctrine of _Indulgences_; and I do so because priests and bishops deny that such things as _indulgences_ are now either taught or granted to Catholics. They say from their pulpits and altars that indulgences are neither * bought nor sold by Catholics, and never were.
It is an axiom in our courts of law--and should be one in every well-regulated court of conscience--that _falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus_. The meaning of this axiom is, that he who tells a falsehood in one case will do so in every other. If this be true--and it is as true as that two and two make four--I p.r.o.nounce all Roman Catholic priests, bishops, Popes, monks, friars, and nuns, to be the most deliberate and wilful set of liars that ever infested this or any other country, or disgraced the name of religion. I a.s.sert, and defy contradiction, that there is not a Roman Catholic church, chapel, or house of wors.h.i.+p in any Catholic country, where _indulgences_ are not sold. I will even go further, and say, that there is not a Roman Catholic priest in the United States, who has denied the fact, that does not sell indulgences himself; and yet these priests, and these bishops--these men of sin, falsehood, impiety, impurity, and immorality--talk of _morals_, and preach _morals_, while in their sleeves, and in their practices, they laugh at such ideas as moral obligations. Here I would appeal even to Irish Catholics who are in this country. I would ask all, or any of them, if ever they have heard ma.s.s in any Catholic chapel in Dublin, or any other city in Ireland, without hearing published from the altar, a notice in the following words, or words of similar import.
"_Take notice, that there will be an indulgence on----day, in--------church. Confessions will be heard on------day, to prepare those who wish to partake of the indulgence_." I have published hundreds of such notices myself; and any American, who may visit Ireland, or any Catholic country, and has the curiosity to enter any of the Romish chapels, can hear these notices read; but when he returns to the United States, he will hear the Roman priests say that "there are no indulgences sold by the Romish Church." Beware, Americans! How long will you be the dupes of Popish priests?
Will the reader permit me to take him back a few years, and show him in what light _indulgences_ were viewed in the 16th century, under the immediate eye of the Pope and full sanction of the _infallible church!_
The name Tetzel, is familiar to-every reader. He was an authorized agent for the sale of indulgences. I will give you one of his speeches, as recorded on the authority of Roman Catholic writers, and recently published in this country in D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation.
_Indulgences_--says this reverend delegate of the Pope--are the most precious and sublime of G.o.d's gifts.
Draw near, and I will give you letters duly sealed, by which even the sins you shall hereafter desire to commit shall be all forgiven you.
I would not exchange my privileges for those of St. Peter in heaven; for I have saved more souls by my indulgences, than he by his sermons.
There is no sin so great, that the indulgence cannot remit it, and even if any one should--which is impossible--ravish the holy Mother of G.o.d, let him pay, let him only pay largely, and it shall be forgiven him.
The very moment the money goes into the Pope's box, that moment even the condemned soul of the sinner flies to heaven.
Examine the history of Paganism, and you will not find in its darkest pages any thing more infamously blasphemous than the above extract, taken from a speech delivered by one of the Pope's auctioneers for the sale of indulgences. But even this would be almost pardonable, if priests did not try to persuade Americans that those sales have long since ceased.
It is not more than twelve months since I was in the city of Principe Cuba; and I beg permission to relate to my readers what I have there personally witnessed; or, as we would express it in our most homely language, seen with my own eyes.
At an early hour in the morning, I was aroused from my slumbers by a simultaneous ringing of all the bells in the city. On looking out, I witnessed the marching of troops, firing of cannons, field-officers in their full uniforms, all the city authorities wearing their official robes, with innumerable priests and friars bustling about from one end of the city to the other. My first impression was, that a destructive fire must have broken out somewhere, or that some frightful insurrection had taken place: but, on inquiry, what think you, reader, caused this simultaneous movement of the whole population of Principe, amounting in all to about sixty thousand? "Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in the streets of Askelon:" A huge bull of indulgences had arrived from the Pope of Rome, and they turned out--troops and all--to pay it _due homage_, and hear it read in the cathedral of Principe.
A day was appointed for the sale of the indulgences contained in the aforesaid bull! Accompanied by a Scotch gentleman, with whom I had the pleasure of forming an acquaintance, we went, with others, to the house of the _spiritual auctioneer_, and I there purchased of the priest, for two dollars and fifty cents, an _indulgence_ for any sin I might commit, except four, which I will not mention. These, I was told, could only be forgiven by the Pope, and would cost me a considerable sum of money.
Many of our citizens are in the habit of visiting Havana, and can purchase those indulgences at any sum from twelve and a half cents to five hundred dollars. Will you still listen to Popish priests, who tell you that indulgences are neither sold nor bought now in the Romish church?
From Cuba I immediately proceeded in the United States' s.h.i.+p Vandalia, to Vera Cruz, and from thence to the city of Mexico. I felt desirous of ascertaining the state of Popery in that exclusively Popish country, and availed myself of every opportunity to do so. Accordingly, soon after my arrival in Mexico, I strolled into the _cathedral_, and saw in the centre aisle a large table, about forty feet long and four wide, covered with papers, resembling, at a distance, some of our bank checks.
Curiosity induced me to examine them, and, instead of bank checks, I found checks on Heaven; or, in other words, _indulgences_ for sins of all descriptions.
I resolved upon purchasing; but, knowing full well that Americans, though _the most intelligent people in the world_, but long the dupes of Roman Catholics, would scarcely believe me if I told them that I bought an indulgence in Mexico. I went back and requested of our consul there, Mr. Black, to come with me to the cathedral and witness the purchase of, and payment by me for an _indulgence_. Will Catholic priests tell you there is no truth in this? If they do, be not hasty in making up your minds on the question. There are two or 8* three lines of packets running from New York to Vera Cruz, and you can easily ascertain, from Mr. Black, whether I am telling truth, or whether _Papists_ are humbugging you, as they have been for the last half century.
But why go abroad for evidence to fix upon Romish priests the indelible stigma of falsehood on the subject of indulgences? I have sold them myself, in Philadelphia and in Europe! The first year I officiated in Philadelphia as a Roman Catholic priest, I sold nearly three thousand of these indulgences, as the agent of _holy_ mother, _the infallible church_; and though several years have elapsed since, many of those who bought them are still living in that city.
Some explanation is necessary here, as I cannot presume that Americans are yet acquainted with a doctrine called Pious Frauds, held and acted upon by the _infallible_ church.
The Pope of Rome and the Propaganda, taking into consideration the _savage ignorance_ of Americans, deemed it _prudent_ to subst.i.tute some other _name_ for the usual name _indulgences_, and something else for the usual doc.u.ment specifying the nature of the indulgence which was given to _pious sinners_ in "the New World:" they thought it _possible_ that Yankees might have the curiosity to read the _written_ indulgences.
This, said they in their wisdom, must be prevented; and here is a case where our doctrine of _pious frauds_ comes beautifully into play. After singing the "_Veni Creator spiritus_"--as usual in such cases--they resolved that indulgences should be in future called _Scapulas_, and thus _piously_ enable all Roman Catholic priests and bishops to _swear on the Holy Evangelists that no indulgences were ever sold in the United States._ This is what _holy mother_ calls _pious fraud_.
All the indulgences which I sold in Philadelphia were called _scapulas_.
They are made of small pieces of cloth, with the letters I. H. S.
written on the outside, and are worn on the breast. I will give you an idea of the revenue arising from the sale of those scapulas in the United States, by stating to you the price at which I sold them.
The scapula costs the purchaser one dollar. The priest who sells it tells him that to make it thoroughly efficacious, it is necessary that he should cause some _ma.s.ses_ to be said, and the poor dupe gives one, five, ten, or twenty dollars, according to his or her means, for those ma.s.ses. I may safely say, that, on an average, every scapula or indulgence sold in the United States costs at least five dollars. What think you now of the word, the honor, or the oath of a Popish priest?
Are you not ashamed to be so long their dupes? Do you not blush at the reflection, that you have given so much of your money, your sympathy, and hospitality, to such arrant knaves? Sad is the reflection to me, and dark are the thoughts, that I should have ever belonged to a church, which imbodies in its doctrines all that is degrading to humanity, and reduces man, from being "little lower than the angels," to a thing, such as a Papist priest, in full communion with the Pope, having nothing in common with his fellow-beings but the form of humanity.
You, Americans, who have thoughtlessly united yourselves with these priests in their church, come out, I beseech you, from among them.
Entail not upon your children the curse of Popery. Flee from them as Lot did from Sodom. To err is the lot of man. To fall and to trip in his pa.s.sage through life, is the lot of even the best of men. You have erred in joining the Romish church, but you will doubly err by continuing in members.h.i.+p with her. The country which gave you birth is a glorious one; it has all the advantages of nature; it is fertilized by salubrious seas, and its own beautiful lakes. There is nothing you want which the G.o.d of nature has not given, and blessed for your use. There is but one dark speck upon the horizon of your national prosperity and greatness, but that is a deep one. It is a sad one, and may be a b.l.o.o.d.y one. Popery hovers over it, like some ill-omened bird, waiting only a favorable opportunity to pounce upon its prey; or some foul exhalation, which, being checked in its soaring, turns to a fog, causing darkness and scattering disease, wherever it falls. Alas, fellow-citizens, it has already fallen amongst us, and is growing with fearful rapidity; like the more noxious weed, it loves a rich soil; it cannot fail to flourish in ours.
Take heed, Americans, lest you allow this weed to come to maturity.
Eradicate it in time; let it not ripen amongst you; allow not its capsule to fill, blossom, and ripen; if you do, mark what I tell you: it will burst, scattering its noxious, sickening, and poisonous odors amid the pure breezes of that religious and political freedom, which have so long, so gracefully and sweetly played over this beloved "land of the free and home of the brave."
If you will look around you, and visit our courts of law; if you extend your visits to your prisons, your houses of industry and reformation; if you go farther, and examine your penitentiaries, what will you find?
Permit me to show you what you will behold in one single city, the city of New York. This, of itself, were there no other cause of alarm, should be sufficient to arouse your patriotism, for you must not forget that nearly all the foreigners, enumerated in the doc.u.ment which I here subjoin, are Roman Catholics, or reduced to their present condition while living in Catholic countries. But let the doc.u.ment speak for itself. It is official, and may be relied on.. It came from a committee of the Board of Aldermen of the city of New York upon the subject of alien pa.s.sengers. Taking this as your data, you may be able to form some idea of what you suffer in money, in virtue, and in your morals, from the introduction of foreign Papists among you.
"The Foreign Poor in our Alms-Houses, and the Foreign Criminals in our Penitentiaries.--We hasten to lay before our readers a highly interesting doc.u.ment, from a committee in the Board of Aldermen, upon the subject of bonding alien pa.s.sengers in New York. From the doc.u.ment, it appears that the bonds of nine firms in this city exhibit the enormous liabilities of $16,000,000: that of the 602 children supported by the city, at the Farm Schools, 457 are the children, (many, if not the most of them, illegitimate) of foreign parents; that of the latest-born infants at nurse, at the city's expense, 32 are foreign, and only two American, and that of the whole number of children, 626 have foreign parentage, and 195 Amer-can; exhibiting the average of more than three foreigners to one native, and an alarming increase of the ratio of foreigners in the more recent births.'
"The whole number of inmates in our penitentiary is 1419, showing an increase of 400 since July last; of these 333 are Americans, and 1198 foreigners. The number of prisoners and paupers, to support whom we all pay taxes, is 4344, showing an increase, since July last, of nearly 1000.
"In view of these alarming facts, and remember* ing that over 60,000 immigrants were commuted and bonded here the last year, the committee make some forcible appeals to the country, which cannot be without their effect. The enormous taxation to which we are subject, in order to support foreign paupers and criminals, is a great and growing evil, which presses heavily upon industry, as well as upon the character, morals, and politics of the country."
This is a frightful picture of things, especially in a country abounding and almost overflowing with the means of sustaining and abundantly supplying fifty times the population it contains.
Examine well the results of Popery, in a religious, moral, and political point of view, especially during the last thirty years, and you will find that there is no vice, no crime, no folly or absurdity, which time has brought into the old world, as Milton expresses it, "in its huge drag-net," that Papists are not introducing among you; and there is no consequence which followed it there which we shall not see here, unless you are to a man "up and doing," until this noxious weed is rooted from amongst you. I wish these unfortunate Papists no evil; far be such a sentiment from my mind. I would be their best friend; but who can befriend them, while they permit themselves to be controlled and deluded by their priests.
A Roman Catholic priest is, _pro tanto_, the worst enemy of man. He degrades his mind by rendering him the slave of his church. He debauches his morals, and those of his wife and children, by withholding from them the word of G.o.d. He weakens his understanding, by filling his mind with absurd traditions. He evokes, and indirectly invites, the indulgence of his worst pa.s.sions, by promising him the pardon of his sins. He checks the n.o.blest aspirations and finest charities of his soul, by instilling into it the rankest hatred and animosity towards his fellow-being, whom G.o.d has commanded him to love as he loves himself, but whom the priest tells him to curse, hate, and exterminate. In a word, he almost degrades him to a level with the beast, by teaching him to lower that holy flag, on which should be written, _Glory be to G.o.d on high_,--and raising above it the bloodstained flag of Popery.
This American Protestants know full well. They feel it. It is known and felt in every Protestant land; but it seems as "if some strange spirit was pa.s.sing over people's dreams." Though found to be unsound, and even bad policy; though destructive to agricultural, commercial, and every other interest, yet we see no efforts made to arrest its advance amongst us. Neither are there any means taken, as far as the writer knows, in other Protestant countries, to suppress this religious, political, and commercial nuisance; on the contrary, we find that even in Great Britain further stimulants are being applied to Popish insolence.
Sir Robert Peel, the premier of England, has, or is about introducing a bill into parliament, with a view of making further appropriations for the Romish college of Maynooth, in Ireland; and, much to my surprise, as well I believe as to that of every man who correctly understands the spirit of Popery, he has some supporters. Even some of the British reviewers give him high praise.
"The credit to which Sir Robert Peel is ent.i.tled," says one of the British Quarterlies, "is greatly increased by reason of the prejudices of some of his supporters; but (continues the same Quarterly) his resolution is taken and his declaration made. This should read, in my humble apprehension his resolution is taken, and his infatuation complete."
I have been a student in that college; I know what is taught and done in that inst.i.tution. I am well acquainted with all the minutiae of its business and theological transactions; and I could tell Sir Robert Peel that he either knows not what he is doing, or is a traitor to his government! Does Sir Robert know that in that college are concocted all the plans and all the measures which O'Connell is proposing, and has been pursuing during the last thirty years, for emanc.i.p.ation, and now for the repeal of the Union? Does he know that Maynooth is the focus from which radiate all the treasons, a.s.sa.s.sinations, and murders of Protestants, in Ireland? Is he aware that this very Maynooth is the great Popish eccaleobion, in which most of those priests who infest Ireland, and are now infesting the United States, are hatched? Does he know that Daniel O'Connell and that college are the mutual tools of each other? O'Connell, riding on the backs of the priests into power and into wealth, and they alternately mounted upon Dan, advancing the _glory_ of the _infallible church!_
It is not probably known to Mr. Peel that thirty years or more have elapsed since it was _secretly_ resolved in Maynooth that _none but a Catholic should wear the British crown, and that he should receive it as a fief from the Pope_ of Rome. Every move and advance which O'Connell makes in remans a step gained towards this object, and upon this his ambitious eye rests with intense avarice. For this, Maynooth and its priests thirst with insatiable desire. It is not many years since O'Connell and Maynooth asked for _emanc.i.p.ation_, and they obtained it.
Protestants of England were duped into the belief that Papists would now be satisfied, and unite in supporting the government; but, scarcely was this granted, when the great agitator, _with the advice and consent of Maynooth_, asked for--what, think you, reader? Nothing less than a dismemberment of the British government--nothing less than a repeal of the Union; or, in other words, to permit one of the most turbulent demagogues that ever lived, Daniel O'Connell, to become king of Ireland, and to receive his crown from the Pope of Rome.
This is now the _avowed object of repeal_; but there is another object, not yet seen nor dreamed of by those who are not Roman Catholics; and I beg the reader to keep it in his recollection. It is this. O'Connell, by agitating Ireland, and scattering firebrands throughout England, believes that he and the Catholics will ultimately succeed in dethroning the sovereign of England, and placing the crown on some Popish head.
Were the college of Maynooth further endowed through the efforts or folly of Sir Robert Peel, does he believe, or can any man, acquainted with the genius of Popery believe, that this would satisfy O'Connell or the Pope's agents in Ireland? The very reverse would be the case.
It would only imbolden them still further. It would only increase their insolence; it would only add a new impetus to their treasonable demands, and give an increased momentum to their disorganizing meetings.
Should the British Government grant all O'Con-nell asks, or should parliament pa.s.s a bill for the repeal of the Union, is it to be supposed that O'Connell and the Irish bishops--the sworn allies of the king of Rome--would be satisfied? Not they. The truth is--and I wish I could impress it upon the minds of every Protestant in England as well as in this country--nothing short of the _total overthrow of the government of Great Britain and the Protestant religion_ will content the Popish church, whose cats-paw Daniel O'Connell is. Should Providence, in his inscrutable designs, grant them this, our experiment in the science of self-government is at an end. We shall become an easy prey to any _alliance_ which should be formed against our republican inst.i.tutions.
The jackals of Popery are amongst us: they have discovered us; and Popish priests, the natural enemies of free inst.i.tutions and of the Protestant religion, will soon destroy our republic and our religion.
It is useless to deny the fact. It cannot be denied. It were folly to conceal it. The _extirpation of heresy_, or, in other words, of the Protestant religion, is the grand object which O'Connell and the Pope have now in view; and, to effect this, they have judiciously divided and advantageously posted all their forces. These forces are well officered by Jesuits and priests, men without honor, principle, or religion; whose time is spent in advancing. Popery and the grossest indulgence of their own pa.s.sions. The Pope and O'Connell have, in this country, an army of nearly two millions of reckless desperadoes, who have given already strong evidences of their thirst for American Protestant blood. It is necessary to watch them well. Americans must recollect that these men receive their orders from Rome, through O'Connell, who, I sincerely believe, is this moment the worst man living, though the Pope calls him _the greatest layman living_. He is upon earth what the pirate is upon the seas, _inimicus humani generis_--the enemy of mankind. During the last thirty years he has kept the poor of Ireland in a state of poverty and excitement bordering upon madness. He has filched from them the last farthing they possessed. He has withdrawn them by thousands from their ordinary pursuits of industry: he has sown amongst them mutual hatred and a general discontent with their situations in life. But that is not all. He has pursued the poor people even to this country. He robs them here of their little earnings. They make remittances to him of hundreds and thousands of dollars; and this, while many of them, to my own knowledge, and not a hundred yards from where I write, are s.h.i.+vering in the cold blasts of winter,--all _for their good_, while O'Connell himself is feasting in Ireland, and enjoying the sports of the chase, on about three hundred thousand dollars a year.
This is not all. The great agitator, this national beggar, Daniel O'Connell, has recently discovered that there were some little glimmerings of Protestantism in France; that Louis Phillippe was neither a Don Miguel, a Ferdinand, nor a very strong advocate of Popery, opens upon him a battery of abuse. This foul-mouthed brawler was not content with sowing discord among the poor Irish, and scattering treason among the people of Great Britain, he tries what he can do with the inflammable people of France, who are now in the enjoyment of more domestic happiness and national glory than they have had for the last century. But even this is not enough; the genius of the great national beggar, fertile in schemes, treasons, rebellions, scurrility, and Popery, must cross the Atlantic and denounce Americans, who, since the declaration of their independence, have been the best and warmest friends of his poor countrymen; they have received them, employed them, giving them bread and clothing in abundance. They permitted them to bring with them their priests and their religion; they s.h.i.+elded and protected them in their lives and liberties. This country was to the Irish, a land flowing with milk and honey, and they might have enjoyed it, and been happy, had it not been for their accursed religion and its priests.