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Contrast the lives of the Popish priests—still bearing in mind the influence of education upon each—with the manners and habits of the ministers who act up to the doctrines of the “Reformed Church." The Protestant clergyman exhorts his flock to place their trust in God alone, and to seek salvation through the medium of his only Son JESUS CHRIST; an account of whose sacred mission it is his earnest care to recommend an attentive and oft-repeated perusal, as it was preserved for the unerring guide of posterity in the New Testament. His sermons teem not with invidious distinctions of persons ; but according to the doctrines of his Church, he prays for ALL, as CHRIST has enjoined his followers to do, without an impious assumption of superhuman knowledge to distinguish what amount of penance is a necessary and an adequate compensation for sin ;-nor affecting the right of condemning those to eternal perdition for whose errors he feels it his duty, as a Christian minister, to pray. As a husband and a father, whilst he feels and acknowledges the moral obligations these claims impose, he has a stronger incentive to illustrate by his own example the effects of the doctrines he teaches,--the affection and duty of his wife — the virtues and obedience of his children. Having made no vows which nature and opportunity incline him to break, and encircled by domestic enjoyments, whilst he zealously performs his duty to his God and to his NEIGHBOUR, he is a pattern to his flock, whom he “ allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way." His clerical functions are not even supposed to disenfranchise him from the rights of a citizen ; and, therefore, his advice and assistance are frequently sought and obtained to the more immediate advantage of his parishioners, generally. His life is simple,the rigidity of a scholastic education is softened by the most tender and endearing affections of social life; and thus is the minister of the Established Church, at once, the best spiritual guide, most loyal citizen, and good subject, whose practice accords with his profession.
Look on this picture, and on this. The Protestant clergyman claims the rights of citizenship which he enjoys in common with his fellow-subjects; but, surely, it is an affectation in the Popish clergy to evince in the “ assemblies of men” so great an eagerness to enjoy the “ sinful possessions of frail mortality” whilst professing themselves“ by their office and functions to be WHOLLY DEVoted to the service of God, and THE CARE of souls ?”-As we have professed not to introduce politics into the present examination,—with the question of civil rights, &c., we have nothing to do here, further than merely to observe, that we cannot see how those who declare in one place that they are “wholly devoted”
wholly devoted” to religion, can reconcile such devotion with their eager and vehement thirst after the sublunary temporalities of the world.
By the outline thus drawn of the practical doctrines of Protestant and Popish clergymen, it is not to be understood as giving any opinion of individuals of either persuasion. Among numerous bodies of men there must be always good and bad people. But who will say—or saying prove, that the Popish religion does not enjoin and empower a priest to sit for the picture here sketched of his clerical duties; or that the doctrines of the Protestant Church are not calculated deeply to impress upon her ministers the importance of every sacred and moral duty; and which are in themselves so expressive of peace, good will, and universal charity? It is sought not to beg either of these questions; as before observed, let Fact decide them: the first will be seen by the Popish “ faith,” which is about to be adduced; whilst for the principles of the Reformed Church,-as these are drawn from the Gospel itself, which “ Book of Life her members are taught to read in their vulgar tongue, it would
have been readily discovered, had they been opposed to the divine precepts of Christianity.
Should any indelicacy be found in the course of the extracts the writer may have occasion to make, the Papists must not charge him with impropriety on this score: since, were quotations from their own works not to be stated in precisely their own terms, they would be the first to insist upon the unfairness of so 66 obvious
a proceeding; and which would be attributed—not to the desire of drawing a veil over what an opponent might consider as gross or blasphemous, but—to a wish wilfully to pervert the sense and meaning, for the mere purpose of urging a contrary inference to that which such passages were intended to convey.
Fully aware of the motive which would attach to a Protestant did he not strictly adhere to the very letter in adducing a proof of the errors of Popery from Popish orthodoxy, the writer feels that he has no alternative; but trusts that members of the Reformed Church will not mistake for his any such Papal authorities he may deem it necessary, in proof of his assertions, to quote. He now calls upon the Romish priestshould any individual of such distinction think it worth his while to notice this “Examination,” to refute it--not by the arts of jesuitical sophistry, but, if he can, by an honest appeal to scriptural truths. It will, even by the Papist himself, it is hoped, be acknowledged that they have been fairly brought forward and distinguished from the comments of profane writers on the present occasion, in opposition to the selected, and often misquoted and irrelevant, passages, strained to support the assumptions of Popery; nor can it, with justice, be deemed unfair to compare and contrast the writings of Papists with themselves and with each other; or, with their own freedom of assertion, to comment and draw natural conclusions from real facts.
CHRISTIANITY AND CATHOLICISM
We now commence our “Grounds” of the Roman Catholic Faith with its title-page, determined that no word shall either be added to or subtracted from it until we arrive at its conclusion. We applied to our Roman Catholic friends to inform us what description of book it would be first necessary to peruse to obtain a knowledge of their profession of faith ;" and they recommended that which we are about to give entire ; and which, on a similar application at the booksellers' whose names appear in the imprint, was readily handed down from the shelf.
“The GROUNDS of the CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, as contained in the Profession of Faith, published by POPE Pius IV. By the Ven. and R. R. RICHARD CHALLONER, D. D. Bishop of Debra, and Vic. Apost. Twelfth Edition. “ Be ready always to give an answer to every one
that asketh you a reason of the hope
that is in you.”—1 Pet. iii. 15. “ London: printed and published by Keating and Brown, 38, Duke-street, Grosvenor-square, and 9, Ivy-lane, Paternoster-row.
1823." As the above title-page shows the work before us to have been first published by a Pope, and, in our own times, adapted by the late Dr. Challoner-a “venerable and right reverend bishop and vicar apostolical”—a divine whose “Garden of the Soul," &c. is deemed by the Popish clergy to be of greater importance to their flocks than Holy Writ, since the first is industriously circulated among them, whilst the latter they are forbidden (often on pain of excommunication) to peruse ;--as the above title-page is stamped, we say, with the authority of a pope and a bishop, it cannot be denied that we have been recommended to read the best summary of the Roman Catholic Faith extant. It will be perceived that its date is 1823; and as it is the twelfth edition,” we cannot but presume that every correction has been carefully made in so important a little apostolical morceau as Popish divinity itself could wish.
The motto adopted, either by the bishop or the pope, is from the 1st of Peter, iii. 15. Why “meekness and fear" should have been omitted we know not; surely Roman Catholics do not scorn the first and defy the last? The passage in the Testament runs thus: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” But we next come to the two first sentences (coupled together as one paragraph) of the Athanasian Creed, thus :
“Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled : without doubt, he shall perish everlastingly."
St. Athanasius's Creed. Nobody, we should think, will suppose that this brief extract is not evidently adduced to prove that, according to the Creed itself, none shall be saved but Roman Catholics. But as we find nothing further said of this Creed in the “Grounds" before us, and as it is retained by the REFORMED CHURCH, perhaps a few words upon the subject may not be deemed impertinent. In the early ages of Christianity there arose many schisms among the various churches, as Christ had himself foretold, and more particularly (as will be proved hereafter) after the assumption of infallibility by the Church of Rome.
The Athanasian Creed, as it is generally called, (many doubting if it was written by Athanasius,) does not, nor was it intended, to apply more particularly to the Roman Catholic than to the Eastern, Greek, or other Catholic churches. It