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THE RIGHT OF THE LAITY TO THE UNRESTRICTED READING
OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES VINDICATED.
BY THE LATE
REV. B. W. MATHIAS, M. A.
CHAPLAIN OF THE BETHESDA, DUBLIN.
EDITED BY THE
REV. W. B. STEWART MATHIAS, B.A.
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from
her, my people : that you be not partakers of her sins,
LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & co., STATIONERS' HALL.
The following controversial Lectures, on the Infallibility of the Church of Rome, were delivered in the Bethesda Chapel, Dublin, by the late Rev. B. W. Mathias, Chaplain, at a period when the clergy of both Churches in Ireland began to come forward in advocacy of their peculiar tenets. Discussions were frequently held, and the public mind was strongly excited on the subject. The deputations from the Hibernian Bible Society rarely visited the Auxiliary Societies throughout the country without their meetings terminating by a discussion, commenced by the Roman Catholic priest of the place, or else, by some one put forward by him, the advocate of scriptural truth on such occasion being most generally the clerical member of the deputation. Both Protestants and Romanists felt deeply interested in the results of these controversial campaigns. Many of the latter were led to a serious and scriptural examination of the doctrines of their Church ; and not a few members of that communion regularly visited the revered author of these discourses for his advice and instruction; and many, both priests and private individuals, through his instrumentality, were led to forsake, from conviction, the soul-destroying errors of Romanism, and embrace the pure religion of the unadulterated gospel of Christ.
The Editor has taken no further liberties with
these lectures than was absolutely necessary, in order to render them fit to meet the public eye. As they were delivered at intervals of a fortnight or a month, recapitulations and repetitions unavoidably occurred, these have been omitted ; and some expressions, which might, perhaps, be used with effect in the pulpit, have been changed for others, similar in meaning, but more suitable for a printed discourse. A few notes have been added.
The essay, entitled “Vindicia Laicæ,” was originally published in the form of a pamphlet, in the year 1827, and is reprinted, verbatim, from the copy in the Editor's possession.
The immediate cause of the present publication is the recent aggression of the Bishop of Rome, which renders it necessary that Protestants should have the arguments in favour of the truth placed fully and fairly before them.
The Editor presents this volume to the public with respectful confidence, as being the production of a late eminent servant of God, who has been well styled the Father of the Church in Ireland.
The earnest prayer of the Editor is, that the great Head of the Church may be pleased to accept this little work, and condescend to follow it with His blessing, for the maintenance of truth, and the exposure of error.
LIVERPOOL, January, 1851. N.B.-All passages of importance are given according to the Douay version.
Difficulty in ascertaining the doctrines of the Church of Rome-
Infallibility has never been defined Church of Rome claims
Claim of infallibility considered in two points of view-1. As a
question of right-Scripture proofs for that doctrine examined