תמונות בעמוד

neither images, if they be publicly set up, can be separated, nor men, if they see images in temples and churches, can be staid and kept, from idolatry.” (Hom. against Peril of Idolatry.)

The custom of granting letters, or certificates of Indulgence, to deliver persons from the consequences of transgressing the laws, either of God, or of the Church, has prevailed in the Church of Rome for many hundred years. It began first, by the Bishops granting in their own diocese, a remission of the penances which the authority of the Church enjoined upon offenders, in consideration of such offenders paying a sum of money for the use of the poor. As large sums of money were soon raised in this way, the Popes took the matter into their owu hands, and issued their plenary Indulgences, not only from Church censures, and from penalties, but also from future punishment in the next world, And to convince the people that they had a right to do this, they taught them, that all the good works of the saints, over and above what was necessary for their own justification, were deposited, along with the merits of Christ, in one inexhaustible treasury; the keys of this were given, (they said,) to St. Peter, and to his successors, the Popes, who could transfer as much of this merit as they pleased to any particular person for a sum of money, so as to secure him, either the pardon of his own sins, or the release of any one he pleased, from the pains of Purgatory. This traffic of Indulgences and pardons has been carried on in later times.

In the year 1800, a Spanish ship from Europe, was captured near the coast of South America, by Admiral Harvey, then captain of the Southampton frigate. There were on board large bales of paper, valued in her books at £7,500. It was a matter of surprise to him, to see them rated so high, and to hear the master of the captured vessel speak of them with great admiration; he examined them, and found all filled with large sheets of paper, printed, some in Spanish, and some in Latin, but all sealed with the seals of ecclesiastical Courts in Spain, or at Rome. These were Indulgences, or Pardons, for various sins mentioned in the Catholic Rubric, and the price, which varied from half a dollar to seven dollars, was marked upon each. They had been bought in Spain, and were intended for sale in South America. At Tortola some Dutch merchants bought the whole for £200, with the hope of being able to smuggle them among the Spaniards in America.

In 1809, Dr. Moylan, of Cork, procured from Rome the following Bull, which he published in a pastoral letter, in 1813, previous to the consecration of his cathedral Chapel :

Pius VII., by Divine Providence, Pope, grants unto each, and to every one, of the faithful in Christ, who, after assisting, at least eight times, at the holy exercise of the Mission, in the new cathedral of Cork, shall confess his or her sins, with true contrition, and approach unto the holy communion, shall devoutly visit the new cathedral chapel, and there offer up to God for some space of time, pious and fervent prayers, for the propagation of the holy Catholic faith, and to the intention of our holy Father, a plenary Indulgence, applicable to the souls in Purgatory, and this in form of a Jubilee.” The pastoral explains what will render this Indulgence effectual to the soul, and concludes with desiring all persons to observe it.

From the extracts given above, we may learn, that the members of the Church of Rome did formerly, and do now, teach and believe on the subject of Indulgences ; 1st. That these pardons are to be paid for ; 2nd. That they are granted through the merits of the Virgin, and of the Saints, as well as through the death and sufferings of our blessed Saviour ; 3d. That these pardons are more effectual at Rome than elsewhere, and that they are better at the time of the Pope's Jubilee, than in other years.

Now in all this, such doctrines do openly and plainly contradict the word of God. For in the first place, the Prophet Isaiah, instead of calling for money, says, “Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price.” (lv. 1.) Instead of speaking like Tetzel, St. Paul says, “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” (Rom. iii. 24, 25.) And, unlike the Pope, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev. xxii. 17.)

In the next place, the merits of saints are never said in Scripture to be the cause of their own salvation, or of that of others; for all that are saved, are said to be saved through faith in Christ; which faith produceth in them good works, as naturally as a trec produceth fruit. St. Peter declares, that “there is none other name under heaven given


among men, whereby we must be saved, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts iv. 12.)

And in the last place, as to the idea, that it is better to worship God in one city or country than in another, our Lord has plainly said, No, in his conversation with the woman of Samaria. She said, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John iv. 20-23.)

In saluting the Corinthian Church, St. Paul joins with them “ all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1 Cor. i. 2.) The Scripture does not tell us of any particular times, in which prayer is more acceptable to God than at others; but they exhort us to “ seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is near. (Isai. i. 6.) “To day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart.” (Psa. xcv. 7, 8.) “ Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring orth.” (Prov. xxvii. 1.)

“Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. vi. 2.) So that while God thus offers in the Bible, forgiveness through Christ, to all who shall repent and believe the Gospel; the Church of Rome presumes to tell her people, that it will be better for them, while they profess to repent and believe, to pay their money; and safer for them to come to Rome on jubilee years, or to Cork in a jubilee month, to receive the benefits of their absolution. Surely the people who believe all this, rather than their Bible, are like the Jews whom Jeremiah, in God's name, thus describes :-"My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer. ii. 13.) Or rather, it is to be feared, that the whole body, teachers and people, are like those of whom our Lord said, “They be blind leaders of the blind; and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. xv. 14.)


“SINCE the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, and by the Holy Scriptures, and the tradition of the Fathers, hath taught in sacred Councils, and most recently in this General Council, (of Trent,) that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls detained there are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar; the holy Council enjoins the Bishops to take diligent care that the sound doctrine on the subject of Purgatory, taught by the holy Fathers, and sacred Councils, be believed by the faithful in Christ, and be held, taught, and every where preached.” (Decret. Con. Tri. Sess. XXV.) And in the Decree relating to the Sacrifice of the Mass, it is said of the Host : “ That it is duly offered, according to the tradition of the Apostles, not only for the sins, punishments, and satisfactions, and other necessities of the living, but also for those who are deceased in Christ, and are not yet fully purged of their sins.” (Con. Trid. Sess. XXII. c. 2.) Of Purgatory itself,--a place of suffering; the Trent Catechism, Par. I. Act V. Sec. 5, speaks as Purgatorius ignis,” in contradiction to Gehenna, the place of punishment of damned spirits. By a reference, in the Decree of this Council, to the Canon Law, we are taught that “this fire, though not eternal, is yėt painful in a wondrous degree: it surpasses every punishment which any one ever suffered in this life.” Cardinal Bellarmine asserts the pains of Purgatory to be “ atrocissima," most horrible; such as exceed, beyond all comparison, any suffering upon earth. The belief of Purgatory is so necessary, “ that they who do not believe it, shall never arrive there, but must be tormented in the eternal fire of hell.” And, “ if any man shall say, that after the grace of justification has been received, the offence is so remitted to the penitent sinner, and the guilt of eternal punishment so effaced, that there remains no guilt of temporal punishment to be suffered, either in this world, or in the world to come, in Purgatory, before admission can be obtained to the kingdom of heaven; let him be accursed.” (Con. Trid. Sess. VI. Chap. 16. Can. 30.) In this place “ the souls of pious men,” (Cat. Trid. P. 1, Act 5,) who have received the grace of justification," and are “penitent sinners," (Decret. Sess. VI.c. XXX,.) and “who, having truly repented, die in the love of God, before they have brought forth fruits worthy of the repentance of their sins, are purified, after death, by the pains of Purgatory; and they are delivered from these pains by the suffrages of the faithful that are alive: such as holy sacrifices, prayers, alms, and other works of piety, which the faithful do for the other faithful, according to the orders of the Church. And the souls of those who have never sinned since baptism, or of those who, having fallen into sins, have been purified from them in their bodies, or after their departure out of them, enter immediately into heaven, and purely behold the Trinity; some more perfectly than others, according to the difference of the merits. Lastly; the souls of those who die in actual or mortal sin, or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell, there to be punished with torments, but not equally," (Concil. Flor. apud Lab. Tom. XIII.,) in expiation of the temporal punishment due to their sins. In this state they “are helped by the suffrages of the faithful; the sacrifices of the Mass, (2)

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