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lower. And this brings us to his eleventh reason. The reader will please prepare himself now for a prostrating argument. “My next step was in thought to hell, where I found in condemnation to everlasting torments, Simon Magus, Novatus Vigilantius, Pelagius, Nestorius, Macedonius, Marcion, &c.” May I never be under the necessity of descending so low for an argument! But the Duke does not say that he actually went to the bad place, but he went in thought. There, having gone in thought, he found so and so. Here is another advantage the Catholics have over us. They know who are in hell. We do not. Perhaps some are not there who we may fear are.
We do not hold ourselves qualified to judge in these matters. Well, he found them there. He was quite sure not one of them had repented and been saved. And he asked them how they came there, and they very civilly answered that "it was for their breaking off from the Roman Catholic church.” Now this is the argument that I have not seen answered by any Protestant writer, as far as I can recollect. I don't read of any Protestant who went even in thought to hell to consult the lost on the points in controversy between us and the Catholics. So that the Catholics have the whole of this argument to themselves. The Duke says they told him they were there for not being Catholics, and we have no counter testimony. Protestantism, however, having so many other " witnesses on the truth" of her system, can easily do without the testimony of “the spirits in prison." Let that be for the Catholics. But by the way, I wonder that the Duke relied so unhesitatingly on the testimony of those persons. How
does he know they told the truth ? Are not all such called in Scripture “the children of the devil," and does not every body know his character for veracity ? It is certainly an extraordinary answer for one of them, Simon Magus, to give, considering the time when he lived. How could he say with truth that he was there for breaking off from the Roman Catholic church, when at the date of his apostacy the Gospel had never been preached at Rome? There was no Roman church to break off from.
I was expecting that the Duke would push his inquiries yet one step farther, and, seeing he was on the spot, interrogate Satan in regard to the true religion. But he does not seem to have consulted “the father of lying,” but only the children. The truth is, the Devil does not wait to be consulted on that subject, but makes his suggestions to “them that dwell on the earth,” without being called on so to do.
I hope the Reformed religion will be able to stand the shock of this argument, notwithstanding the doubt I expressed in the beginning.
Beauties of the Leopold Reports.
I have been not a little interested with the extracts recently published from the Reports of the Leopold Society in Austria, and it has struck me that I might do some service, especially to those who have not the time or the patience to read long articles, by calling the attention of the public to the choice parts of the reports ; for even where all is good, you know, there are generally portions here and there of superior excellence. Will you allow me, then, to point out some of the beauties of the reports ? What has struck me with peculiar force, will probably affect others as forcibly.
Now I have admired the way in which the report speaks of conversions. It seems that these Catholics can foresee conversions with as much certainty as we, poor blind Protestants, can look back on them! F. Baraga writes, under date of March 10, 1832: “I long for the arrival of spring, when I shall have numerous conversions !!” Now, I am aware that the face of nature is renewed when spring appears, but I did not know this was as true of the souls of men. It is news to me that conversions can be foreseen with such perfect accuracy. It is hard to foresee what men will do. But here is a foreseeing of what God will do, unless they deny that conversion is his work! But what makes our Catholic brother speak so confidently of the conversions that were to take place ? How did he know it? Why, forsooth, some had promised him that they would be converted in the spring.
“ There are many pagan Indians,” he says, “ who promised me last summer and fall, that they would in the spring embrace the Christian religion !" This beats all. Why, if they were convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, did they not embrace it at once ? Why put it off till after the 1st of March? But not only had some promised him on their honor that they would be converted, but he says: “From two other counties I have received assurances, that many of the Indians there would be converted to the Christian reli
gion, if I would come and preach the gospel to them !" You see they had told others, who told Baraga, that they would. It came very straight. He speaks particularly of a Christian Indian who had brought him the intelligence. Now observe, they had never heard a word of the gospel-neither knew what it was, nor how confirmed! Yet they promised to embrace it promised to believe, and be converted—to have their hearts changed—to be born again! I know that God promises, “A new heart will I give you,” but I never knew before that any man, and especially one who had never heard the gospel, could look ahead and say, "at such a time I will have a new heart." Baraga says, “I cannot describe the joy such assurances give me." We Protestants are not so easily made happy by the promises of the unconverted.
Again, I have been struck with the manner in which Baraga speaks of the mother of Jesus, under date of July 1, 1832: “When I decided to be a missionary,” he says, “I promised our heavenly mother that I would consecrate to her the first church I should consecrate among the Indians, for I am convinced she will pray her Son continually for the progress of our missions.” Our heavenly mother!! Our heavenly Father is a phrase dear to every Christian heart; but it is the first time I ever heard we had a heavenly mother. O! O! Will the reader pause a moment and inquire the meaning of the word idolatry? Baraga promised her? Where had they the interview when that promise was made ? He must have been praying to her. And why was the promise made ? Because “I am convinced she will pray her Son." What! prayer in heaven! John, in Patmos, heard praise in
heaven, but not prayer. I know there is one advocate in heaven, Jesus Christ the righteous, who over liveth to make intercession. That one is enough. But here we are told of another advocate on high-a mediatrix. And she prays to her son-mediates between him and sinners. What! Do we need a mediator between us and Christ? I always knew we needed a mediator between God and us; but I supposed we need go directly and immediately to Christ, since he is himself a mediator. Baraga says presently after, "thanks be to Mary, gracious mother, who ever prays for the conversion of the heathen.” Now, if all this is not idolatry, I wish some body could tell me what idolatry is. I would as soon undertake to defend the worship of the golden calf as this.
Finally, what power these Catholic priests have ! Protestant ministers are only "mighty through God.” But the priests can succeed without that help. Father Senderl writes: 6 Young people of sixteen years, and not unfrequently older persons, have never confessed nor communed ; (taken the half sacrament, I suppose he means.) I prepare them for both, and for confirmation." I prepare them! And another writes concerning Baraga, that he achieves wonders of salvation among the Ottawas.
This is a specimen of the religion which Prince Metternich of Co. our Austrian brethren, those dear lovers of liberty, are benevolently contributing to give us here in America. They are afraid that our free institutions will not be permanent unless they help us to prop them up with the Catholic religion! Timeo Metternich et dona ferentem. [I fear Metternich, even sending gifts.]