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Son cannot be God. Fifth, the Ebionites and Photinians who think that the Father is the Son, and that therefore the Father died upon the cross. These heresies, and several others, equally blasphemous, broached in the early ages, and immediately condemned and thrown into oblivion by the holy Catholic Fathers and Councils, are all raked up from the ashes by two heresiarchs in New England.
Against these poisonous errors, assume, dear brethren, the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand perfect in all things ; gird your loins with truth ; let none tremble or dread; there is the breast-plate of salvation ; there is the shield of faith against which the fiery arrows of the enemy are quenched and shivered : there is the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.The believer in Christ Jesus, when furnished with such arms, will not tremble or flinch in servile fear from the enemy. Behold the conflict is at hand, the battle rages, the adversary closely hurling his fiery missiles upon us. Let none of us quake, let none backslide, let none be recreant from God's cause ; for we have, brethren, on our side more and stronger forces than they have. We have the potent and eternal Truth ; we have the holy Prophets and Evangelists, and the Fathers, and the Popes and the sacred Councils, who had in olden times dispersed and routed the crafty and ingenious heretics. We will, with Gods' grace, by following their steps and wielding the same weapons which they wielded, using the same arguments which they used, disperse and rout the less crafty and less ingenious heretics of these days.
Now, in my seventy-second year, with tottering knees, trembling hands, dim eyes, and dizzy head, I must, to my sorrow and shame, confess that it was with great reluctance I took up the subject ; but hearing of no youthful, talented champion entering the arena, and fearing the Lord's rebuke: Wicked an slothful servant, thou oughtest to have given out my money, that at my coming, I should receive my own with usury, I felt courage and confidence to commence the work. The good Father of the family has providentially put into my hands heavenly talents, to be distributed among you. These talents are the bulky tomes of the ancient Fathers, who flourished near the rising sun, close to the Apostolic age; who valued the faith more than all earthly treasures, or life itself ; whose voluminous writings, like the rising sun, dispelling the clouds of night, will diffuse light and warmth in all future ages, to dissolve the cold fog of the heretics. Then, I beseech you, brethren, to receive in a good and very good heart, the heavenly waters which I have drawn from these perennial fountains, for your spiritual nourishment. And as the Apostle saith : Rom. XIII, 12.The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us cast off the fog of error, and dispel the darkness, of sin ; let us, with the help of divine grace, and a worthy confession and communion, endeavor to cleanse and purify our hearts from every stain and speck of sin. Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God.
I shall now, at last, draw the reader's attention to the subject and form, matter and method, of my epitome. It is divided into ten Chapters: the first exhibits and refutes various heresies culled out of Brownson's Quarterly Review; the following seven chapters contain positive proofs, from Scripture, and Tradition, of the Catholic mysteries—the Unity and Trinity of God, the Incarnation, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ Jesus ; the ninth defines, from the same sacred fountains, the Dominion or Lordship of God made man over all things visible and invisible, and traces to the denial of said temporal Lordship of Christ, or to the separation of the temporal affairs from the spiritual power, or, in other words, to the separation of the Church and State, the terrific deluge of infidelity rushing down in these latter days upon all countries ; and the tenth chapter exposes the fraud and injustice of bankers and bank paper. For the gratification of the learned readers who would naturally go to the fountain head, and see with their own eyes the state of things there, the Latin names of the authors, tomes and titles, under which my quotations are found, are carefully preserved.
As the reader may be, at this stage of my observations, desirous to know something of said Brownson, whose pernicious errors are exposed in the following pages, let me inform him that he is, as people say, a native of Vermont ; and that after having preached for several years for some Sect or Sects, in New England, he wheels about in the year 1843, and joins the Catholic Church in Boston, Massachusetts. But the appalling errors which he advances, show that his conversion is no gain, but a direful curse to us. a
Of all the wiles and devices of the heretics, for the destruction of the Catholic Church, not one is so treacherous and terrific as their insidious attack upon her under the mask of friendship ; for when they put the ignorant and unsuspicious watchmen off their guard, they freely belch out the inflammatory poison. As the crafty gambler allows a few games to his raw playmate, to entice and encourage him into the play, so the heretic now and then publishes wholesome articles in praise of the Blessed Virgin, and, perhaps, of our Bishops ; whilst he is only preparing himself to sap the very foundation of the whole Christian religion, II Cor. XI, 13. Such false apostles are deceitful workers, transforming theinselves into the apostles of Christ; and no wonder ; for Satan, himself, transformed himself into an angel of light: and therefore it is no great thing, if his ministers be transformed as the ministers of justice. Brownson was undoubtedly tutored in Satan's school ; for at the commencement of his Catholic career, his Review contained some good and orthodox articles, which gained for him our unreserved praise and confidence. But such articles grew, by degrees, scarce and far-between, and soon
after, they disappeared altogether; and within the year 1851, he throws off the mask and comes out in his native garb, belches forth the contents of his foul stomach, heresies and atheism.Hence, you would think that his conversion was never real, but feigned, for the purpose of undermining, under the orthodox name, and within the bosom of the Catholic Church, the whole Christian religion. Soon after his coming to us, and whilst yet stinking from his recent or rather present heresies, and without having spent one year, or even one day, at any Catholic school, he publishes his Quarterly Review; in which he takes cognizance of all sorts of publications, literary, political, and even of the most knotty religious questions, sits in judgment upon all ranks and stations, upon all persons, priests and laymen; taking good care to extol, right or wrong, our Bishops, to the skies, being forgetful or ignorant, of the saintly Catholic principle-- To praise no man during his life, for fear the man who praises be moved with flattery, or the person that is praised be inflated with pride. Alas, in this valley of tears, no man knows whether he is worthy of love or of hatred, or whether he will stand and persevere to the end. It is certainly the part of the vile sycophant to lavish praise upon those in power. The Protestant rashness is visible throughout Brownson's whole career. They spend years at school, to learn the worldly arts and sciencespenmanship, arithmetic, algebra, the classics, music,or painting, whilst the beardless youth, the stupid old man, the crazy maid, the cobler and tinker, without tuition or mission, conceits himself a prophet, self-sufficient expositor of the sacred volume.The same Protestant rashness accompanies Brownson everywhere; it becomes as if, his second nature, cannot wipe off the mud even at the entrance of the Catholic Church. The sailors who rashly desert the Ark, float on the deep, are tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine ; they cast, every now and then, a sorry look upon the distant shore, and soon after they sink to rise no more. The schismatics seek and
seek again and are bewildered amidst conflicting sects, and finally they fall down into ruthless infidelity. Brownson has fallen into the same fatal pit ; designing to be a disciple, he turned teacher, and soon after he lost every Catholic principle, if ever he had any, and became an atheist. Rashness and ignorance in a private man, is pernicious to himself, and nobody else ; in the military chief, it is ruinous to himself, his army,
and to the whole country ; but still its bitter fruits are of short duration, its evil effects spread not through future generations.
Rashness, ignorance or indifference in the pastor, produces endless evils to himself and his unfortunate hearers ; it draws them speedily from the straight into the crooked paths, from the wholesome to the poisonous pasture, from their God to the world ; the faith and Christian morals soon wither and decay amidst the weeds of false riches and worldly cares ; the wolves come to scatter and devour ; all things sacred and profane, justice and injustice, right and wrong, will soon be commingled in a confused chaos. When the blind leads the blind, both fall into the pit. God could not in his wrath inflict a greater curse upon the wicked adorers of mammon than a rash, ignorant or supine pastor. As the pastor is, so will the flock be. If thy eye be single, the whole body shall be lightsome ; but if thy eye be evil, thy whole body shall be darksome. If, then, the Ight that is in thee be darkness, the darkness itself how great shall it be?
The ancient Council of Toledo, IV, declares : “ that ignorance is the mother of all errors ; especially it is horrible in the Priests of God, who assume the office of teaching among the people. And St. Paul admonishes to read the Holy Scriptures, saying to Timothy, 1 Tim. IV, 13. Attend unto reading, to exhortation and to doctrine ; meditate on these things.
Therefore the priests should know the Holy Scriptures and the Canons; their whole study should consist of preaching and doctrine, and they should edify all persons by their sacred science