Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

example of our Lord, St. Matt. xxvii. 42, 44, &c. and has nothing of absurdity in it.

Q. What is the meaning of the Rosary ?

A. The rosary is a method of saying the beads, fo as to meditate upon the incarnation, passion and resurrection of Christ, and it is divided into three parts, each part consisting of five mysteries, to be contemplated during the repeating of five decads or tens upon the heads. The firtt five are called the five joyful mysteries, viz. the Anunciation, when our Lord was conceived in his mother's womb; the Vi. firation, when the blefied Virgin visited her kinswoman St. Elizabeth, and by her was declared blessed among women, &c. the Nativity of our Lord, his presentment in the temple, together with the purification of the blessed Virgin, and his being found in the temple in the midst of the doctors, &c. The five next are called the dolorous and sorrowful mysteries, as having relation to the paffion of Christ, and are, his prayer and agony in the garden, his being fcourged ac the pillar, his crowning with thorns, his carriage of his cross, and his cruciớixion and death. The five last are called the five glorious mysteries, viz, the resurrection of our Lord, his ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Ghost, the assumption of the blested Virgin, and her coagmenation, together with the eternal glory of the saints in the kingdom of heaven *.

Of the Invocation of Angels and Saints.

Q: What is the doctrine and practice of the Catholic church, with regard to the invocation of angels and saints ?

A We hold it to be pious and profitable to apply ourlelves to them in the way of defiring them to pray to God for us; but not so as to addreis ourselves to them * Catholic Christian instructed, pag. 234.

as

[ocr errors]

as if they were the authors or disposers of pardon, grace, or salvation, or as if they had any power to help us independently of God's good will and pleasure.

2 But, in some of the addresses made to the saints and angels, I find petitions for mercy, aid or defence; what say you?

A. The meaning of those addresses, as far as they are authorised by the church, is no other than to beg mercy of the faints in this sense, that they would pity and compassionate our misery, and would pray

In like manner, when we beg their aid and defence, we mean to beg the aid and defence of their prayers ; and that the angels to whom God has given a charge over us, would affift us and defend us against the angels of darkness; and this is no more than what the Protestant church asks in the collect for Michaelmas day, praying that as the holy angels always serve God in heaven, lo by his appointment they may succour and defend us upon earth *

for us.

Of the Use and Veneration of Relicks in the

Catholic Church.

Q. What do you mean by relicks ?

À The dead bodies or bones of the saints we call relicks; as also whatever other things have belonged to them in their mortal life.

Q. And what is the doctrine and practice of the church with regard to these things ?

A. We keep such things as 'these with a religious respect and veneration, for the sake of those to whom they have belonged, but principally for the sake of him to whom the saints themselves belonged; that is, for the greater glory of God, who is glorious in his saints, and to whom is referred all the honour that is given to his faints. * Catholic Christian, page 224. Q2

Q: What

Q: What reason has the church for shewing this respect to the dead bodies or bones of the saints ?

A. 1. Because they have been the victims, and the living temples of God, in which his divine Majesty has, in a particular manner, inhabited, and which he has sanctified by his presence and grace ; and therefore, if God required of Moses, Exod. iii. 5. and of Joshua, Josh. v. 15. to loose their shoes from off their feet, in respect to the ground on which they stood, as being rendered holy by his presence, or that of his angels, we must think that it is agreeable to his divine Majesty, that we should testify the like honour to that venerable earth of the bodies of his faints, which he in such an extraordinary manner has fanctified, by abiding in them as in his temples. 2. We know the bodies of the saints are preordained to a happy resurrection and eternal glory, and upon this account also deserve our respect. 3. The bodies and other relicks of the saints have been, and are daily the instruments of the power of God for the working of innumerable miracles ; which God, who is truth and sanctity itself, would never have effected, if it had not been agreeable to him that we should honour and respect these precious remnants of his servants. 4. The relicks and shrines of the martyrs and other faints serve very much to encourage the faithful to an imitation of their virtues, and to help to raise their souls from the love of things present and ten poral to the love of things eternal. Of MIRACLES performed by or before the Images of

the Virgin Mary and other Saints. Aringhus, touching upon this subject, says, that the images of the blessed Virgin shine out continually by new and daily miracles, to the comfort of their votaries, and the confusion of all gainsayers. Within these few years, says he, under every Pope fuccessively fome or other of our facred images, especially of the more antient, have made themselves illustrious,

and

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

and acquired a peculiar worship and veneration, by the exhibition of fresh signs; as it is notorious to all who reside at Rome. He instances the images of St. Dominica, so conspicuous at this day for its never ceasing miracles, which attract the resort and admiration of the whole Christian world *.

In a collegiate church of regular canons, called St. Mary of Imprunetta, about fix miles from Florence, there is a miraculous picture of the Virgin Mary, painted by St. Luke, and held in the greatest veneration throughout all Tuscany, which, as oft as that state happens to be visited by any calamity, or in any peculiar danger, is sure to be brought out and carried in procession through the streets of Florence, attended by the Prince himself, with all the nobility, magiftrates, and clergy, where it has never failed to afford them present relief in the greatest difficulties; in testimony of which they produce antient acts and records, confirmed by public infcriptions, setting forth all the particular benefits miraculously obtained from each procession, and the several offerings made on that account to the sacred image for many centuries past, down to these very times +.

All their apologists indeed declare, that they do not ascribe these miracles to any power in the image itself, but to the power of God, who is moved to work them by the prayers and intercessions of his saints, for the benefit of those that have sought that intercession before the pictures or images, and in order to bear testiinony to the faith and practice of the church in that particular article 1.

Dr. Middleton tells us, in his letters from Rome, that they pretend to thew us there two orginal impresfions of our Saviour's face, on two different hand.

* Aringhus Roma subterran. tom. ii. p. 464; fect. 13. as quoted by Middleton.

† Middleton's Prefatory Discourse to his Letters from Rome, page 12. | Catholic Chriftian, page 251.

3

kerchiefs,

kerchiefs, the one sent a present by himself to Agbarus Prince of Edeffa, the other presented by him at the time of his crucifixion to a faint or holy woman named Veronica, on a handkerchief which she had lent him to wipe his face on that occafion; both which handkerchiefs are still preserved, as they affirm, and shewn with the utmoit reverence; the first in St. Sepulchre's church, the second in St. Peter's, where, in honour of this sacred relic, there is a fine altar built by Pope Urban VIII. with a statue of Veronica herself, and there is a prayer in their book of offices, ordered by the rubric to be addressed to this sacred and miraculous picture, in the following terms.--" Conduct us, Othou blessed figure, to our proper home, where we may behold the

pure

face of Christ *."

Of the Ceremony of carrying the Cross or CRUCIFIX

before the sovereign Pontiff. On all common, but public occasions, the cross is carried before the sovereign Pontiff. At the end of a pike about ten palms or spans long, the image of our Saviour is turned towards the Pope; and the chaplain, who carries it, walks bareheaded, when his holiness goes in public, or is carried on mens shoulders ; but when he goes in a coach or chair the chairman carries the crucifix on horseback bareheaded. But on all solemn and religious occasions where the Pope attends in his sacred robes, an auditor of the rota carries the crucifix at the folemn procession, on horseback, dressed in a rocket and capuche, or fort of cope, purple-coloured; but there are three days in Passion week on which he and the sacred college go to the chapel in mourning, without the cross being borne belore him.

* Middleton's Letters from Rome, page 174.

See likewise Conformity of antient and modern Ceremonies, page 158.

We

« FöregåendeFortsätt »