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more equally express to our purpose. They prove that he held, without any doubt, that the souls of the dead, who have died, as we say, in a state of grace, are aided by the prayers of the Church and those of the pious, by the sacrifice of the altar, that is, masses, and by almsdeeds, and surely this involves the whole doctrine of Purgatory. Never was a more rash or a more unfounded assertion than that which Mr. Derby makes to his son, and no language of ours would be strong enough to describe his turpitude, if he had, as he falsely asserts, gone to the “fountain heads." He has, with an inexcusable weakness and credulity, relied on mere hearsay, and introduced what, if he knows any thing of the legal profession, is neither competent nor credible evidence. It is the one standing complaint against him. His report of the fathers, as they say of Rail-road reports, has been "cooked,” though we willingly acquit him of having been personally the cook.
Mr. Derby begins his sixth Letter by summing up what he professes to have proved in the fifth, of which, we have shown, he has proved nothing. But assuming with admirable self-complacency that he has proved that our Church has erred in withholding the cup from the laity, and in making Purgatory an article of faith,
-doctrines, he says, of which St. Augustine knew nothing, he proceeds to "consider the supremacy and infallibility claimed for the Pope.” Very well ; but what has Mr. Derby to say against them?
The man who joins the Roman Catholic Church is obliged publicly to repeat and certify his assent to its creed without qualification or restriction.” p. 31. Mr. Derby quotes as his authority Dr. Hopkins, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Vermont. Is Dr. Hopkins one of “those early saints, fathers, and popes, revered by the Church itself ?" and one of those "authorities on which the Church of Rome relies ?” Did you not tell us in your Introduction that you had not resorted to the “writings of the opponents” of that Church ? And yet did you not tell us that when you knew you had confined yourself all but exclusively to the writings of her opponents ? What are we to think of a man so reckless in his assertions ? Why, we fear we must think that he has in very deed been taking lessons in the school of the Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Vermont, that rare compound of pretension, arrogance, self-complacency, ignorance, vanity, and unscrupulousness, as a scholar. We are loath to believe that even Mr. Derby in his hatred of Catholicity, or rather in his devotion to “Respectability,” or as Carlyle has it, “Gigmanity,” could descend so low as to take lessons of Dr. Hopkins.
But "the man who joins the Roman Catholic Church, is obliged publicly to repeat and certify his assent to its creed, without qualification and restriction.” Well, what if he is ? Would you have a man join a church without a creed, or if the church he joins has a creed, join it without believing its creed-thus act a lie ? Every man who joins a church that has a creed, by the very act of joining certifies his assent to its creed without qualification or restriction. When a man joins a church he either believes it is God's Church with authority to teach what he is and what he is not to believe, or he does not. If he does not, what business has he to join it ? Such a church is no church at all ; it may be a voluntary association, a parliamentary or a royal establishment, a conventicle of fanatics, or a synagogue of Satan, but church in the good sense of the word, it is not. If he believes it to be God's Church, where is the hardship in his being required to certify his assent to whatever she teaches ? For any Protestant church to require such a certification, would be intolerable, and yet the Presbyterian Church does it, and the Protestant Episcopal Church, we presume, would, if it had any creed, or any teaching faculty. But if the church really be the Church of God, really be commissioned by him to teach, what impropriety is there in her demanding the unqualified and unreserved assent of the man who joins her to the creed she believes ? I joined the Catholic Church because I bad the highest reason possible in any case whatever to believe her God's Church, authorized by him to teach me, and assisted by him to teach me the truth, and incapable of teaching me any thing but the truth. I could therefore with the greatest propriety in the world certify my assent to all she teaches, nay, swear to believe it without qualification or restriction. I believed her totally different in origin, nature, character, and powers, from any and all your Protestant establishments, sects, or conventicles, or I should never have joined her. Prove, if you can, that she is not God's Church, but do not think to prove it by proving that she does things which would be improper, if she were a Protestant sect, but perfectly proper on the supposition that she is God's Church,
“Pius V. by a bull issued under his plenary power undertook to depose Elizabeth and absolve her subjects.” p. 37. What if he did ? Did not the American Congress of 1776, so far as respected the American colonies, do the same to George the Third ? If he did do so, what can you say against him, if he had plenary power ?
Elizabeth professed to be a Catholic, ascended the English throne as a Catholic, was crowned and took her coronation oath as a Catholic, and the Pope as the visible head of the Catholic Church, of which she professed herself a member, and which she had solemnly sworn to protect, had the right to depose her for her perjury, her persecution of Catholics, and her murder of Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth was a perjurer, a murderer, a relentless persecutor of Catholics, and richly deserved deposition, and you must prove that the Pope had no right to depose her, before you can conclude from his deposition of her, that the power claimed for the Pope by the Transalpine party, as you term them, is odious, or not given him by Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Mr. Derby (p. 33) pretends to cite a Catholic writer who declares the authority of the Pope to be greater than that of the Scriptures. This is malice without sense. No Catholic writer ever said any thing of the kind. The authority of the Pope in defining the sense of the Scriptures is greater than yours or mine ; but it is never greater than the authority of Scripture, when you once have it and know authoritatively that you have it.
But we must stop for the present number. We have dissected the jurist's statements thus far as thoroughly as they deserved. We shall continue to do so yet longer, but we confess, the game is hardly worth the candle, and our stock of patience is beginning to run low. We wish we could find sone man among our Protestant brethren, who would really make himself master of the subject and discuss it with solid learning, manly thought, and fair argument, so that one could reply without feeling himself humiliated in his own eyes. How happens it that the discussion of the great question between Catholics and Protestants, falls on the Protestant side into the hands of men of very moderate abilities and still more attainments, men without solid learning, without ordinary fairness, without, we must say it, ordinary honesty, men whose whole strength lies in the recklessness of their statements, the audacity of their falsehoods, and the low pettifogging skill with which they can appeal to the passions and prejudices of the ignorant but conceited vulgar. We have not thus far found in Mr. Derby an honest quotation, a candid statement, a true assertion, or a respectable argument. Is it not lamentable to have to deal with such men, men whom with the best dispositions in the world you cannot treat as gentlemen, or as fair-minded and honorable opponents, and with whom it is impossible to maintain dignified and profitable controversy ?
Yet it is works like the one before us, works which are but a tissue of falsifications, falsehoods, and miserable sophistries, chicaneries from beginning to end, that perpetuate the anti-Catholic prejudices in the community, render the people ready to join the No-popery cry, and break out in open acts of violence, or to form in secret Know-Kothing lodges conspiracies against peaceable and unoffending Catholics. It is degrading to one's manhood to find that men can be found base enough to write such books ; it is mortifying to one's patriotism to know that there are masses of his countrymen capable of being influenced by them. What strange infatuation has come over the Protestant world that they are able to regard themselves as the enlightened portion of mankind! Their controversial literature is marked by the most deplorable ignorance, and yet it is popular. It bears falsehood and absurdity stamped on every page, and yet there are whole multitudes of Protestants who read and devour it as if it were all Gospel truth. Is it possible to reach these people, to make them see themselves as they are, to persuade them to get wisdom, and with all their getting to get understanding ? With God it is possible, with men it is impossible. “Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar, yet will not his folly depart from him.” Yet we suffer not ourselves to despond. These people who can believe any thing but the truth, are, after all, not the whole non-Catholic world, and there are not a few in the Protestant ranks who are beginning to be disgusted with the sort of books we refer to. They doubt the honesty, the sincerity, as well as the learning and ability of the writers against the Church, and in the end distrust of the popular anti-Catholic literature will spread far and wide in the Protestant ranks.
Meanwhile, though they are not worth it, these books must be refuted, and their real character shown up. It is a fatiguing and a disgusting labor to do it, but possibly some good may come of it. One good result we have already obtained from it, that is, a clearer view of the Catholic character of the fathers than we before had. We knew before that the fathers were on our side, but we had no adequate conception before the examination Mr. Derby's books have led us to make of them, of the barefaced impudence and dishonesty of those writers who read them and undertake to press them into the service of Protestantism. The Catholicity as held by the Church is not only in here and there a passage, but it pervades them, and is their very spirit and essence. Catholicity, as we understand it, is the life and soul of the great fathers and doctors, the atmosphere in which they lived, moved, and breathed. Talk of Romish corruptions and innovations, it is miserable cant and dishonesty. The fact is, they were more Catholic, if any thing, than we, and it is necessary for us to return often to them to refresh ourselves, and to find an antidote to the prevailing Protestantism of the age and country.
Art. II.—1. L'Ange Conducteur dans les Prières, à Liège,
1782. 2. Manual de Oraçoes. Anno 1756. Lisboa. 3. The Key of Paradise. London : 1772. 4. Instructions and Devotions for hearing Mass,
printed in the year 1699. 5. A Dayly Exercise of the Devout Christian, printed
1673. We place these ancient prayer-books, written in French, Portuguese, and English, at the head of some remarks which we feel prompted to make, not wishing to excite jealousy