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edly leave without excuse such as suffer themselves to be imposed upon by its arrogant and impudent pretensions. If you look at the Apocalyptical account of the origin of this entire system, you find it to be "the bottomless pit," the abyss of hell; the whole is under the government, direction, and influence of the grand adversary of God and man-" the Destroyer," who reigns as king over them, Rev. ix. 2, 11; and, if you trace the subject to its issue in the visions of the Apocalypse, you will find it to be "the lake of fire and brimstone," ch. xix. 20. Here then I would take my leave of this part of the subject, were it not that I am anxious to fix your attention upon the prophetical account of the power of these locusts to torment such as are subject to their tyrannical sway. These locusts are said to possess "tails like scorpions, with stings in their tails;" for the torment inflicted by them is as "the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man," ver. 5, 10. To have some idea of what is couched under this figurative language, it should be observed that these locusts, or, in plain English, the clergy of the Romish church, do not divest those who are subject to them of all profession of Christianity (they do not kill them outright, as is done to those under the sixth trumpet who become Mahometans)-it would be a relief to myriads of poor deluded Roman Catholics to be rid of all profession of Christianity, even as it would rid them of the tormenting influence of the clergy did they really know the power of the gospel in making men free from the doctrines, commandments, and influence of human authority in the concerns of religion; but the case is far otherwise with these unhappy slaves of the priesthood: for, with all the subtilty and spite of the scorpion, these locusts of the church of Rome labour to extinguish the power of Christianity, and they do it with all the violence of horses running into the battle; and with the same deceit and violence they retain their votaries under an external form of Christianity, while totally destitute of its power, either by secular force, or their influence over the misguided conscience. And thus the torment which they inflict is as the torment of a scorpion when he strikes a man, and leaves him languishing between life and death. By inflicting this pain, these ecclesiastical locusts live and reign; the great mass of the people are held in a state of perpetual dependence on the clergy, while

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the latter contrive to render their power and influence over them the means of promoting their own wealth and grandeur. For proof of the truth of this representation, I appeal to the existing state of matters in the Catholic church—the influence which the priests maintain over the minds of their deluded votaries— the horrid state of slavery in which the latter are kept to their religious guides, and the use which the clergy dexterously make of it. Oh, what a relief would it be to millions of these unhappy beings to be convinced that the whole system of Catholicism, with which they are so miserably entangled and enslaved, is all a delusion, a falsehood—that it issued out of the bottomless pit, and conducts to the same fearful abode !

As I may possibly be suspected by some to have sketched the genius, spirit, and character of the Catholic religion in colours too sombre, I will now lay before you a few testimonies from an author who has had much better opportunities of knowing it than either you or I. The person to whom I refer, and whom I am about to quote, is the Rev. Joseph Blanco White, M. A., B. D., formerly a Spanish ecclesiastic, but now a clergyman of the church of England. This gentleman about five or six years ago published a volume entitled "Practical and Internal Evidence against Catholicism, in Letters addressed to the Impartial among the Roman Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland." The first letter is occupied in disclosing his own personal history, from which we learn that he is descended from an ancient and respectable Roman Catholic family of the county of Waterford, in Ireland, that his grandfather settled as a merchant at Seville, a city of Spain, and that his father was born and trained up there as a clergyman, imbibing "the unhesitating faith of persecuting Spain."

After a short account of his parents, our author proceeds to relate his own education for the priesthood at the University of Seville, where he obtained his ordination, with the degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity. Soon after this he was elected Fellow of the college of Seville, and rose rapidly on the scale of preferment. Devoting his whole time to the study of religion, he became conversant with the system of Catholic divinity. Hitherto, he tells us, his religious belief had been undisturbed; but light clouds of doubt began to pass over his



mind, and in the course of a year or two he found himself bordering on Atheism! The monstrous atrocities of the system, so revolting to all the principles of humanity and justice, and of which he was a daily and hourly spectator, shocked him; he found it impossible so far to impose upon himself as to believe that such a religion emanated from the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift; and having been taught from his infancy to regard all other churches and sects as heretics, doomed to perdition-labouring under the unhappy delusion that, if Catholicism were a falsehood, there was no truth in the world-he " found himself bordering upon Atheism." He declares, however, that his case was far from being singular; that, on the contrary, the history of his own mind was, with little variation, that of a great portion of the Spanish clergy! In this horrible state, regarding religion as a fable, he passed ten years of his life, with feelings that are not to be described, yet daily compelled to act as a minister and promoter of imposture! The approach of Bonaparte's army happily drove him from Seville, and he sought an asylum in this country, where time, reflection, reading the writings of Protestant authors, and I would hope, above all, the study of the holy scriptures, led him to see that he might give up the whole farrago of Popery, and yet be a Christian-a thing which he never imagined while in Spain. His learning and talents and intimate acquaintance with the Catholic religion have qualified him beyond most men for discussing the points at issue between the churches of England and Rome, such as the authority claimed by the Pope to "feed, regulate, and govern the Universal church;" the infallibility, spiritual supremacy, and exclusive salvation arrogated by that church; the boasted unity claimed by Catholics, and their invariableness in the faith ;—all these topics are handled by Mr. Blanco White with considerable skill and dexterity, and render his book worthy of perusal by those who may be assailed with doubts and difficulties on any of them. But the portion of his book in which I have found myself most interested is the fifth and sixth letters, which treat of the moral character of the Roman church—the celibacy of the clergy-nunneries—the enmity of Rome to mental improvement-and the tendency of her prayer book, which they call the Breviary, to cherish credulity and

adulterate Christian virtue. Allow me, however, to submit to your consideration a few extracts from various parts of Mr. Blanco White's book, in corroboration of what I have formerly said of the Catholic religion.

"To begin with tradition; observe how wide a field is opened to the exercise of infallibility, by the supposition that an indefinite number of revealed truths were floating down the stream of ages, unconsigned to the inspired records of Christianity. The power of interpreting the word of God by a continual light from above might be confined to the Scriptures themselves, as it would be difficult to force doctrines on the belief of Christians of which the very name and subject seem to have been unknown to the inspired writers. Divine Tradition, the first born of Infallibility, removes this obstacle; and, so doing, increases the influence of Rome to an indefinite degree.

By the combined influence of tradition and infallibility, the church of Rome established the doctrine of Transubstantiation, From the moment people are made to believe that a man has the power of working, at all times, the stupendous miracle of converting bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, that man is raised to a dignity above all that kings are able to confer. What, then, must be the honour due to a bishop who can bestow the power of performing the miracle of transubstantiation? What the rank of the Pope, who is the head of the bishops themselves? The world beheld for centuries the natural consequences of the surprising belief in the power of priests to convert bread and wine into the incarnate Deity. Kings and emperors were forced to kiss the Pope's feet, because their subjects were in the daily habit of kissing the hands of priests-those hands which were believed to come in daily contact with the body of Christ.

"The wealth which has flowed into the lap of Rome, in exchange for indulgences, is incalculable. My unfortunate native country shows the nature and extent of this influence in a striking light. It appears from an official document appended to the Report of the Ecclesiastical Committee, dated March 1821, that, from the year 1537 to 1820, a regular contribution of 350,000 reals had been annually remitted to Rome for bulls of indulgence by the government of Spain, independent of the annual



sums paid by private individuals. Of the amount of the latter some estimate may be formed from the fact that in six years, viz. from 1814 to 1820, the payment for the Pope's bulls exceeded five millions of reals; and the cost of dispensations for marrying within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, affinity, and spiritual relationship, was more than four and twenty millions of the same money, p. 260.

"The belief in purgatory is inseparable from the sale of indulgences. The power of remitting canonical penance would have been useless on the cessation of penitential discipline; but TRADITION, having about the same time brought purgatory to light, offered an ample scope to the power of the Roman keys. The whole system, indeed, is surprisingly linked together; and the very connexion of its parts, tending to secure the influence and power of the source from whence it flows, gives it the ap pearance of an original invention, enlarged from the gradual suggestions of previous advantages.

"The worship of saints, relics, and images, might, when tradition began to spread it, have appeared less connected with the wealth and power of the church of Rome; yet none of its spiritual resources has proved more productive of both. Europe is covered with sanctuaries and churches, which owe their existence and revenues to some reported miraculous appearance of an image, or the presence, real or pretended, of some relic. To form a correct notion of the influence which such places have upon the people, it is necessary to have lived where they exist. But the house of Loretto alone would be sufficient to give some idea of the power and wealth which the church must have derived from similar sources, when the whole of Christendom was more ignorant and superstitious than the most degraded portions of it are at present. Of this fact, however, I am perfectly convinced, by long observation, that were it possible to abolish sanctuaries, and leave the same number of places of worship without the favourite virgin and saints, which give them both their peculiar denomination and their popular charm, more than half the blind deference which the multitude pay to the clergy, and through the clergy to Rome, would quickly disappear."

I shall now proceed to lay before you our author's view of the moral character of the church of Rome; and here the first thing he touches upon is that feature under which the Antichristian

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