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the subjects you treat of, and your talents of chicanery and declamation. Follow the wise counsel of Gamaliel, who by adhering to it himself, became a christian and a saint. By following the same you will regain your peace of mind in this life, and will, I hope, enjoy it at that awful time, when so many wandering sheep seek to enter into the one fold of the one shepherd, who never heard of the late miracles.

I am, &c.


To the Editor of the Catholic Miscellany.

MR. EDITOR,-Amid the degeneracies of this age, nothing is more common than people branding every pious custom of our illustrious ancestors, with the epithet, superstitious. The word superstition has been very ill defined; and what superstition really is, (as I shall presently shew,) few people know, because it is viewed in such different lights, by different individuals. Superstition, I conceive, means something unnecessary, extravagant, and contrary to the dictates of religion. Now, it is impossible a Catholic can be superstitious, (if he abides by what the church directs; and without obedience, no one can be a Catholic; and the reason is obvious,) because the church proposes nothing to his belief but what God has taught, consequently it would be charging the Almighty with superstition, to charge it to his church-it is an anomaly, much on a par with the doctrine of Calvin, "that God is the author of sin.” Our brethren of the Church of England, think us superstitious in believing the doctrine of the real presence in the blessed sacrament of the Eucharist. The seceders from the Church of England think the Church of England superstitious, in keeping up the semblance of a hierarchy and reading a form of prayer. The Baptist thinks the Dissenter superstitious in having his child baptized. The Quaker thinks the Baptist superstitious in allowing of any baptism at all. The Unitarian thinks all the christian world superstitious, nay even idolatrous, in believing the divinity of the second person of the most Holy Trinity.

The deist thinks the Unitarian superstitious for believing in revelation: and, Oh! great God! it can scarce be named, the atheist thinks the deist superstitious for believing the existence of a God. Without dwelling any further on this part of the subject, we will endeavour to analize those particular practices which in general are deemed superstitious by our protestant brethren, and see whether there is the least ground for so serious a charge. Making the sign of the cross, the use of holy water, invocation of the saints, and praying for the dead. First, then, as it regards the making the sign of the cross, protestants call it superstitious, and still continue to use it even in this enlightened age in the baptism of children, as well as in the decoration of their churches, and it is not a little remarkable, that the new churches which have been built in this reign, are adorned with crosses, whilst those which were built during the reign of Queen Anne, are without. Secondly-The use of holy water is mentioned in the apostolical institutions, and has been always retained in the christian church and cannot be deemed superstitious, particularly as it is not supposed that the use of holy water alone is meritorious, but the prayer that accompanies its application, that God would purify and bless all who use it. Thirdly. Invocation of the saints cannot be deemed superstitious; the very word invocation implies, that all we ask of the saints is the pious intercession, we abhor the thought of adoring them, but we believe their prayers will be efficacious in our behalf. Many protestants have approved of this practice: Mr. Thorndike, Bishop Montague, Archbishop Whitgift, Melancthon, Beza, &c. &c. And lastly, praying for the dead, is a custom which imparts such consolation to the christian heart, that if it were not branded with the stigma of superstitious, I would leave the private satisfaction resulting from the practice, to prove its propriety and defence; but here we have protestants again to defend the practice. Dr. Trappe defended it, and the learned Dr. Johnson prayed for his wife many years after her decease.

To conclude, when we behold the firmament on high, and gaze with admiration on the sun, moon and stars; when we contemplate the probability of the immense number of worlds

rolling in the boundlessness of space, larger than the world that we inhabit. When were reflect on the creation beneath us, as well as the stupendous grandeur of that above us. When we consider that there may be a range of creation infinitely smaller and beneath the mite, and which cannot be detected by the smallest microscopic view. When we look into ourselves and think how fearfully and wonderfully we are made, how admirably adapted is every organ of the body, for its various purposes -the brain for thought; the eye for sight; the ear for sound; the nose for smell; the tongue for taste; the stomach for digestion, &c. when we remember the instinct with which the animal creation is endowed: I say, when we reflect on all these wonders, and consider that there are men who brand with the epithet superstitious, those who believe in the being of a God; we may rest truly happy in being pronounced superstitious by adhering to that church and those practices which the fathers of that church defended with their blood, and which a crucified God, in the veil of humanity, declared he would lead into all truth, and remain with always, even to the consummation of the world.

Dec. 29, 1823.



(Continued from page 529, Vol. II.)

July 14th. John Payne, priest, is taken by the treachery of one Elliot, on whom he had conferred many benefits: on the same day Shirt and George Gonsalvi, priests, are apprehended and thrown into prison.

22d. Edward Campion, priest S. J. being taken by the treachery of the same Elliot, is conducted with great pomp to the Tower, with this inscription in large letters placed in his hat; Campion, the seditious Jesuit. On the 22d together with Campion were brought into the same prison, Thomas Ford, Wm. Filbie, John Collington, priests; also Edward Yates, Edward Kain, John Jacobs, William Hildesley, Humphry Kaines,

Philip Laws, John Jacobs, gentlemen; and finally, William Valby and John Mansfield, catholics of inferior condition, who had heard Campion preach.

August 13th. William Harley, priest, and together with him, John Stoner and Stephen Buckley, gentlemen; also four servants, printers, John Harris, John Hare, John Tucker, and John Compton, being seized with the press, in the house of the renowned Lady Stoner were conducted into the Tower; the latter of these, naturally timid, when the keeper of the prison with his sword drawn, threatened him with death, unless he would promise to go to the heretical church, yielded, and by that means obtained his liberty.

17th. Thomas Ponds, a gentleman, and exemplary confessor, who had passed many years in other prisons upon account of his religion is led to the Tower.

31st. After Campion had been twice put upon the rack in private, together with his fellow captives, priests and laymen, is brought without any preparation to dispute with the heretics in the public chapel of the Tower, on this condition, that he should adduce no argument whatever for the catholic faith, but should only answer the impugning ministers. There were afterwards other disputations; two or three magistrates, I believe, requesting it, but they were quite private, and not public, as before; because the heretics had learned that the first disputation had much injured their cause.

October 31st. Edward Campion, after his disputation, is racked for the third time, and this more severely than before. John Payne, priest, is also most cruelly punished by the same


November 14. Edmund Campion, Rodolph Sherwin, Thos. Cottom, Robert Johnson, Luke Kirby, James Bosgrove, Edward Ruston, priests, and Henry Orton, a layman, were brought before the royal tribunal, and are formally accused of many feigned crimes; and are not allowed to make any other defence except to plead guilty or not guilty.

16th. Thomas Ford, Alexander Briant, John Shirt, William Kilby, Lawrence Richardson, John Collinton, John Hart, priests, having been presented before the judges in like manner, are brought back into their cells.

20th. Edmund Campion, with the before-mentioned seven associates are again brought up for judgment: although they had never before known each other, nor had ever seen each other in the same place, yet they are all condemned on the testimony of suborned witnesses, of the crimes which are pretended to have been committed at one and the same time, and at one and the same place, and receive the sentence of death.

21st. On the following day, Thomas Ford, with all his associates, except Collinton, was in the like manner adjudged to. death, but when Collinton was about to be condemned, a certain nobleman testified that he had seen him in England at the very time, in which this conspiracy was said to have taken place at Rome and at Rheims; on which evidence the judge was compelled to acquit him. Although contrary to every form of jurisprudence he ordered him again into prison. 21st. Many others could have procured the same evidence as Collinton, particularly Ford, who had been longer in England than Collinton; but these men of God would not impede their own martyrdom.

22d. William Filby, because he appeaerd after his condemnation to death more cheerful and firm than usual, was loaded with iron manacles to the day of his death. And Alexander Briant was placed in shackles for the space of two days after his trial, because he had recently shaved the crown of his head, that he might appear at his trial in the character of a priest, and because he had made himself a wooden cross, which he carried openly to his trial.

December 1st. Edmund Campion, S. J. Rodolph Sherwin, of the Alexander Briant of the Reimish Seminary, priest, being led out of the Tower by the command of the king, and drawn upon a hurdle to the gallows, finished their life by a glorious martyrdom.

(To be continued.)


For the Catholic Miscellany.

SIR,-The epithet, protestant, when applied to the martyrs of March, must convey a still more indefinite meaning than I

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