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of the (Roman) Catholic Religion in this kingdom, it would certainly be found in the amazing increase of places of Worship, which are springing up in every direction with astonishing rapidity throughout this country. Unlike the meritricious exertions of the Established Churches, raised only to make a show of fictitious numbers, and after spending large sums of the public money, are left to the delightful solitude of the Parson intonating to the deputy below, and receiving the faithful echo to their mutual edification. The New (Roman) Catholic Chapels, and the enlargement of others, are solely of necessity, for no other purpose
than the reception of an overflowing surplus of persons, eager for the blessings which the Catholic (Romish) Church alone can unfold and communi
Moreover, besides the establishment of the Jesuits at Stonyhurst, which is still, I believe, in full vigour, the Romish Church has lately acquired by purchase a magnificent mansion in the neighbourhood of Bath, with some hundred acres of land. The house has been converted into a college with a residence for the Bishop, and new buildings are being, or have been added to it. The Romish Church is said to be rapidly increasing in that quarter. It is likewise reported, that the Jesuits have purchased large estates near Birmingham, where preparations are making for the erection of an immense establishment.
It must also not be concealed from the reader, that new dangers and new trials from within now threaten and afflict the Protestant Churches, by the defection of some of their own ministers from the faith of the Reformation; certain clergymen of the
* Romish Orthodox Journal for November, 1830. Quoted in the Protestant Journal, vol. i.
English and Irish Episcopal churches having openly renounced the testimony of the Reformers against Papal Rome from the Prophetic Scriptures. We do not impute it to these persons that they abjure their Protestant profession; but in the face of the Churches, we do charge them with APOSTASY to such an extent as to have fallen from the character of THE WITNESSES OF GOD AGAINST PAPAL ROME, by denying the true sense of the Prophetic denunciation against that Church and HER HEAD THE POPE; and, therefore, we do affirm, that they have also fallen from the true name of PROTESTANT.
I am well aware, that in thus speaking, I shall incur much censure and obloquy in some quarters, and that in others I shall at least be charged with want of charity. I hope, however, I have long since ceased to desire the approbation even of good men, excepting in subordination to the higher calls of duty. I believe, that we live in times so perilous that half language will not do, and that if we would glorify God and save our own souls, we must speak and act with decision. In describing the error of those who deny the Protestant interpretation of the Prophecies of Antichrist as an Apostasy, I have used the very same term as is applied by one of their own number to the whole Protestant Churches, seeing that he calls Protestantism using the widest extent an apostate denomination.* Moreover, if, as is proved by the most
* Reverend W. Burgh's Lectures on the Second Advent, p. 40.—As this charge against Protestantism is referred to in more than one place in the Appendix, it may not be superfluous here to point out the sophism which is discernible in the above passage of Mr. Burgh's book. That which he describes is not in point of fact Protestantism, but a departure from Protestantism, and when the learned writer argues from Protestants as they now are, to Protestantism, the fallacy is just similar to that of Infidels,
irrefragable evidence in these pages, the Church of Rome be THE APOSTASY, and the PAPACY THE MAN OF Sin, 2 Thess. ii. 1-12; then it follows by necessary inference, that every professed Protestant who denies these truths is thus far guilty of apostasy from the faith of the Reformers,* seeing that they with one voice affirmed both these propositions.
Let me observe, in the next place, that I have long been persuaded, that of the false prophets of the last times, some will appear in the shape of false interpreters of the Prophetic Scriptures; and as it is my deliberate view of the principles of interpretation adopted by Mr. Burgh, that they are subversive of the faith of the Reformation, and tend
for the re-establishment of the Romish Church, I freely acknowledge, that in the Appendix wherein I have examined his arguments, there will be discerned a spirit of more than usual severity: Towards the Reverend Author himself, I cherish no other than a sincere desire that he may be converted to the faith of the Reformation. But of his errors (as I wholly repudiate the maxim of the innocence of error,t) i think it scarcely possible to speak in terms too severe.
I wish, in closing this preface, to supply one or two omissions in the body of this Tract. In giv
to pave the
who charge upon Christianity itself, the bloodshed, the persecutions, the impurities of those who have called themselves Christians. But does Mr. Burgh thus reason when Popery is in question ? O no. I refer to his Lectures, p. 62, 63.
* Using the word in the sense it bears in Acts xxi. 21, where the literal sense of the Greek is, that thou teachest Apostasy from Moses.
+ See the remarks of the late venerated Mr. Wilberforce on the Maxim, that sincerity is all in all, in the first Chapter of his Practical View..
ing the list of the ten Gothic kingdoms, into which the Roman Empire of the West was originally divided after its overthrow,* I have omitted to state, that the number Ten, frequently denotes in Scripture, an indefinite plurality. Examples of this occur in Gen. xxxi. 7. Zech, viii. 23. Amos vi. 9. 1 Sam. i. 8. It is not then, in point of fact, necessary to make out the precise number of Ten, and this remark furnishes a complete answer to the objection of those who are dissatisfied with every list of the ten kingdoms which has been or can be given; because, as they say, it cannot be clearly made out that exactly that number did simultaneously arise and continue in existence. All nations, it is presumed, do in like manner employ particular numbers to signify indefinite plurality. In our own tongue, the numbers, ten, twenty, fifty, an hundred, five hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, are all used after this manner.
There is mention made in the second chapter of this work, of a Romish Manuel of devotion to the Virgin, called the Mary Psalter, which I have never been able to procure. I have lately, however, received from the Secretary to the Reformation Society, a description of this Manual, which he saw and examined in the Bodleian library at Oxford, and the public library at Cambridge. It is not now to be found separately,t but only in the whole works of Bonaventure. It is a composition of his, and is an imitation of the Psalter of David. 'The author takes the first verse of every Psalm, and in each of them EXPUNGES THE NAME OF GOD,
AND INSERTS IN THE ROOM OF IT THE NAME OF THE
* See Chap. vii. of this Tract.
† A 12mo. edition of it was printed at Constance, in the year 1611. See Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica, vol. i.
VIRGIN. The remainder of each Psalm is the composition of Bonaventure himself, who is one of the most celebrated devotional writers of the Romish Church, being surnamed the Seraphic Doctor. He was a Cardinal, and is now one of the Saints worshipped by that Church, having been canonized in the year 1482, by Pope Sixtus IV., rather more than two centuries after his death, which happened in 1274.* The Church of Rome has, therefore, completely identified herself with this writer, and has thus taken to herself the guilt and the BLASPHEMY of expunging in the above Manual, the name of the LORD God Almighty, from the first verse of every Psalm, of the whole book of Psalms, and substituting for that AWFUL NAME, the name of the Virgin Mary; and the book thus composed, is called the Mary Psalter, which they who are admitted into the Confraternity of the Sacred Rosary, and desire to enjoy all its benefiis, are recommended to recite once a week.'
November 30th, 1833.
* Dupin Bibliotheque des Auteurs Ecclesiastiques, Tome xme,
† Debet semnel'in hebdomada recitare totum Psalterium, sive Rosarium, sive Coronam beatæ Virginis.- Let him once in the week recite the whole Psalter, or Rosary, or Crown, of the Blessed Virgin.--See Officium Beatæ Virginis Mariæ, p. 721. Antwerp, 1780,