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of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS." But if our correspondent has any other ground for his faith, any other authority for his worship, than the written word common to both, or if he esteems this which I so highly reverence, as entitled to the appellation of "VIPER," and fit fuel for the flames, it is incontrovertible that we can never together arrive at any conclusion in matters of faith."
The palpable error, so often urged upon us, that the Romish Church is every where, and in every age the same as to doctrine, and consequently without divisions and schisms-that, as different denominations compose the Protestant church, therefore, it cannot be the true church, and, that therefore the Bible should not be in the hands of the people generally, is met and exposed clearly in a short paragraph.
"Your correspondent appears to intimate that the various modifications of Faith to be found in the christian world,-that the va rious distinct associations existing among Protestants believers, derive their origin from the unrestrained use of the Bible; and he appears to be scandalized that equally upon the desks of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists, he finds the sacred volume. Does he imagine that in unwritten traditions there would be found a more inflexible, and unaccommodating, and incorruptible principle of union, and of Divine truth than in the written word? He taunts us with the fact of the Unitarian professing to derive even his opinions also from the Bible. Does he mean to imply that the pride of scepticism could not have generated them even in the bosom of the Romish Church ?-Does he find no fault then with the doctrine of Arius? and his followers? or does he imagine that even in those days that Heresy sprung from too great familiarity with the sacred volume? If it is the spirit of Protestantism which tends to disunion, and which forms various sects among Christians holding some great tenets in common, and distinguished by opposition in other points, how were the traditions of Rome, and the authority of the Pope, and the voice of an Infallible Church proved more efficacious, when the Agnonites, and the Barsanians, Nestorians, Montanists, Donatists, Monothelites, Iconoclastes, Manichæans, and Transubstantiarians and a countless host of others, ventured to conceive and utter dissent from their Sovereign and Infallible Guide ?"
In the Gazette of May 27, the Romanist appears again, in a very lengthy letter, written with a pen dipped in bitterness; says, that the Protestant writer "is punished alike by the contempt of the intelligent Roman Catholic, and the censure of the liberal Protestants." And to close matters, he once more urges, that the Bible only, is insufficient for salvation and that to prove it to be the
word of God, recourse must be had to Catholic authority.
"Your Subscriber' acknowledges that he has no other authority for his religious faith than the word of God.' I would ask him, Sir, upon what authority he admits the Bible to be the word of God? Certainly he cannot prove it to be such from its own testimony: that were insufficient, a mere circulus vitiosus. There must be some external authority, and that too infallible to decide which is truly and unquestionably the word of God, and which is supposititious. Sir, when your 'Subscriber' puts a bible into the hands of an infidel, should he be asked why it is necessary to believe it to be divinely inspired? how he can prove the divinity of it? in what manner would he satisfy the curiosity, and dispel the doubts of the unbe. liever? would he content himself with saying, 'read and judge for yourself; the scriptures of themselves are able to make you wise unto salvation?' No, Sir, this would not suffice. It would be necessary to produce some authority, independent of the Bible-and what authority could be produced but that of the Catholic Church, from which the First Reformers received the Bible; that Church which is the pillar and foundation of truth, that Church which ALL are commanded to hear under the most awful penalty :-He that will not hear the Church, let him be as an heathen and a publican, (Matthew 18, 17.)
MR. EDITOR-I am one of your subscribers whom you have gratified by devoting, in good earnest, so much of your paper as has been done, to a rigid and impartial inquiry into the nature and progress of Popery, and the influence it may, under a combination of possible circumstances, and even under the present state of things, exert upon the religion of our country. Important, toyour readers, as are other subjects of doctrinal and practical religion, and of church affairs in general, all of which claim room in our reigious periodicals, yet in the view of many of your readers the above subject is pressing itself irresistibly upon us, and the time has come when it not only demands, but will have attention.
What are the principles and dogmas of our Romish brethren, which at this late day still keep up as much as they call, uncharitable and unchristian feeling against them? Are they in reality what protestants represent, and deserving of all the hard names and religious bans pronounced against them? Are their modes of worship, their creed, their practice, their hopes as ruinous, and souldestroying as our public prints begin to assure us, or are unneces sary fears expressed upon the subject, and are protestants, because of an old grudge which father Luther and some more good men of his day, had against their highly venerated Pope and the Devil,
whom this good father of the protestant church, seemed to think were leagued together for establishing not Christ's but the kingdom of his Satanic Majesty? Are protestants, remembering this, wanting in charity and good will towards this branch of the church, seeing they will not bid it God speed. If the former why not examine and establish the consistency of the doctrines and views of their church with scripture, and let the same christian and brotherly relations exist between catholics and protestants, as between the different branches of protestantism. Were this done, were their consistency established, none more cordially than the writer would take them by the hand and bid them go on in doing good. Were this the result, none would more cheerfully join in changing the torrent of opposition formed against them. Daily am I more and more asured the truth of our holy religion and the Bible must stand or fall upon its own foundation. If true, it will stand and progress as it has done, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it-if false and a cunningly devised fable, it must be exposed, and if it were such, would have shared this just fate centuries ago. So with any branch of the church, if fundamentally wrong and ruinous, it will in due time be exposed and given up. If found to be fundamentally correct, it will stand and go hand in hand in the great work of christianizing the world. If then this branch of the christian church teaches the doctrines of the bible and the way of salvation through Christ Jesus fundamentally correct, let it be made manifest. If not, let her have honesty enough to confess the same, and learn from her neighbours.
It is known to you and your readers that a chapel and small society of papists* holding regular service, exist in your place.Notice was recently given by their priest said to be a somewhat shrewd and artful logician-perhaps the informant meant, shrewd and artful jesuit-that, in a series of lectures upon the protestant catechism, he would shew his people the errors of protestantism, and explain and establish the truth of romanism, or the principles of their own church.
Gladly for one, was the opportunity embraced to hear a roman priest, thus for once coming up to the point of duty and resolved publickly to shew the evidence in favour of the so much complained of doctrines of his church, and remove and silence objections My seat was taken with the congregation. My determination was
*The roman church the writer hopes will not take offence, at the term papist, it being the proper term to designate this branch of the church, whether you take its etymology from its greek root, papa, or french papiste, originally meaning Father, and in that sense applied to all christian ministers, until the bishop of Rome acquired so much importance as to have himself styled the Father, Pope, or Head of the whole Christian church, and the name appropriated exclusively to himself. The term Catholic, in our view, does not apply to them, as it embraces, in meaning, not only the Roman, but the whole Christian church.
to hear and judge impartially, ex animo convinci volens; and all the attention I could command was given, that this result might be produced, and that no new important ideas or discoveries, coming from this reputed oracle of romanism might be lost, carefully* noted down the substance, the medulla of his remarks. The result of this Rev. priest's defence, together with a candid and unreserved examination of popery, if I may presume so much upon the liberality of the Intelligencer, will now be given in a series of communications to the community that both protestants and romans may judge for themselves.
We would candidly ask, is it not time, high time for this church to come forward with a more candid and open explanation and defence of her doctrines than she has yet done. We as protestants, as already stated, are complained of by them as wanting in charrity and every proper feeling, simply because viewing their principles of religion as we do, we are constrained to condemn them as fundamentally wrong, dangerous and destructive to the soul. If they are different, and we have misconceived them, why not let the fact be known, and a proper and convincing comment upon them be given. Thousands of protestants would rejoice, and extend to them, as well as to each other, the right hand of christian fellowship and love.
Our opposition is not against papists, or the romish church, as a separate branch of the church, or because of her name, but against her creed and the articles of her faith as ruinous to her worshippers. The papal or romish church, by any other name would be as horri ble, as repugnant to our feelings as the name which designates her. Her principles we wish satisfactorily proven as founded upon the bible, or else given up and changed; the name we care nothing about. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." This step then we hold to be the duty of her ministry. This our fear of her doctrines and opposition call for, and upon hearing this determination on the part of the priest in Frederick, I not only felt it my duty to hear the defence and explanation he promised to give, but on this very account, whatever was the result, felt a regard for the Rev. lecturer such as no other circumstance, but his thus coming up to our conviction of his duty, could have excited.
How many papists are in our land? With what rapidity are they increasing? What efforts are they making, to extend the doctrines and influence of their church, would be questions of no moment such as they now are; would be queries searched into with pleasure by the friends of all denominations, if in the view of charity, the kingdom of heaven was thereby extended, if thus these wanderers were brought into the fold of Jesus, and fed with the bread
*This plan of noting down sermons is becoming pretty general among hearers, especially in our cities. We can refer to congregations in which perhaps two thirds of the hearers are thus engaged. We wish it was more so. It evidences at least attention to the speaker.
of life. If thus they escaped from the dominion of Satan's kingdom, and were so instructed as to enter that of the Lord of Glory.
This however, protestants question. They doubt it and continue to do so for reasons convincing to their minds, and the fallacy of which have never yet been exposed. Truth and a conviction that thousands are perishing, in consequence of delusion and error in this church, and a sense of duty founded upon this conviction, these urge to the candid fears we express, and examination of her principles now proposed. To remove these fears, to put down opposition, to remove the cause why all other churches are wanting in christian charity and love, let her priests convince our understanding, let them give us evidence to prove, not that we must all become papists to be saved, and this would we do if it was indisputably proven; but that her dogmas are not fundamentally wrong, that they are not as dangerous and as destructive to the soul, as the far famed Indian Upas to the body, imparting death to man and beast coming within the atmosphere poisoned by its influence. In a word let them show that instead of salvation being impossible out of their church, it is possible in it, and that their views and doctrines are such as set forth and urge the conditions of salvation and our fears shall be laid aside, our opposition shall cease; though a separate branch of catholic zion, they will be brethren with us, living and acting together in the unity of faith and the bonds of peace, all being coworkers with the Saviour in the salvation of our world, in which work be assured, if this proof is given,
We'll wish you, in Christ's name
And pray that God for whom you toil
INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THE SOUL.
In our last number a practical example was given showing, where this erroneous notion of the spirit's influence prevailed, how the work of such extraordinary regeneration is conducted; we shall now briefly show the injury resulting to religion from this impression, and correct the error.
The conversion of such a person, as was mentioned, being now set down as the standard by which all are to be regulated and brought to a knowledge of the truth, it is presently followed by another, and a third, till repeated cases establish this notion of extraordinary regeneration beyond question; and the piety of any professor of religion, no matter how great his experience, or how grey he has grown in the service of his Saviour, is at once not only