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We do not fear that we shall meet with contradiction when we assert, that at no period since the reign of the second James, were the efforts of Romanism to regain its lost pre-eminence in this land, more vigorous and unremitting than at present. Under its auspices we see rising in various places, schools and convents, chapels and colleges, in numbers which a few years ago could never have been reckoned upon. All possible pains, too, are exerted for making its peculiar doctrines appear to Protestants in a favourable light. Lectures are delivered for the learned, and tracts dispersed among the ignorant, well calculated, by sophistry and concealment, to effect the desired purpose. In short, no attempt appears to be omitted, which affords the least hope of increasing its influence and ma'ing proselytes to its cause. And it must be confessed, that at no period since the time we have alluded to, were its prospects fairer, or its hopes of success more confident. Its followers, long incapable of any civil distinction, are now to be found in stations of eminence, on the bench, in the senate, and even at the Board of Privy Council; and not only so, but are almost able to direct the measures of one branch of the legislature according to their pleasure. They, who professed to regard it with peculiar horror, and separated from the National Church, because that Church was not in their judgment sufficiently purified from Romish corruption, have of late made common cause with the object of their abomination, and thus effectually lent it their aid and support. The government, too, display towards it no equivocal tokens of favour and good will, raising its members at home to offices of dignity and trust, and in the colonies aiding them with public money towards the maintenance of priests, and the erection of chapels, even under circumstances in which the Church of England had applied for similar help in vain. It is therefore natural that the members of the Romish community in these kingdoms, thus allied to the body of Protestant separatists, and encouraged and patronized by those in authority, should anticipate yet further accessions to their means of advancing their church; nor can we feel any surprise at the following expressions of gratitude and hope, to which one of their priests, on a public occasion, lately gave utterance.* “ It must be allowed that a fair opportunity is given to us at present by the ruling powers; that the government, instead of being, as formerly, marked by the strongest animosity against is, is now ready to show us justice and favour, and to aid our prelates in sending missionaries to foreign countries. I feel grateful for the benefit, and I offer prayers to God to continue this favour to us. As far as they

The Rev. Dr. Kenny, S. J., President of the Jesuit College at Clongowes, in sermon preached Sept. 18, 1839, “in the Metropolitan Church of the Conception," Dublin, at the first anniversary of “the Association for Propagating the Faith ;" quoted by the Bishop of Excier, in a note to his last Charge, from ihe "Weekly Freeman's Journal of Sept. 21.

show kindness lo us, we feel grateful; and I trust the time will shortly come, when they will be induced to grant us a due proportion of the favours which they lavish on other denominations of Christians."

Under these circumstances, it is plainly the duty of all those who believe the system of Romanism to be replete with falsehood and danger, to use all righteous means to prevent the hopes now entertained by its adherents from being realized ; to show those who are in danger of being deceived, how unfounded are its pretensions, how erroneous and sinful its doctrines, how cruel and iniquitous its practices; and to warn those who are disposed to give it encouragement, whether from motives of political expediency, or feelings of false liberality, of the impiety of their proceeding, and the sad consequences it is likely to produce. More particularly is this the duty of the appointed instructors of God's people, who have solemnly promised to " be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word;" and heavy would be their crime, and grievous their punishment, if, when opportunities are afforded them, they should be found wanting in this particular, and, by their neglect, allow the wolf to make havoc of the flock with which they have been entrusted.

Such neglect, we are happy to say, cannot, with any justice, be laid to the charge of Mr. Hall. In the Sermon now before us, he has, in a style well adapted for both popular hearing and popular perusal, exposed some of the more prominent errors of Romanism with learning and ability; and has faithfully warned both high and low of the guilt they would incur, and the punishment they must expect, if they do any thing to encourage a system so fraught with absurdity and corruption.

The text is Josh. vi. 26, which contains the curse pronounced by the Jewish leader, under the influence of divine inspiration, against the man who should presume to rebuild the idolatrous city of Jericho. The introduction of the Sermon contains a somewhat detailed narrative of the destruction of the city, a statement of the causes which probably operated to forbid its restoration, and an account of the fulfilment of the curse, five hundred and twenty years after it was uttered, in the person of Hiel the Bethelite. This part of the discourse is concluded with the following practical appeal to the consciences of the hearers, well calculated, in our judgment, to lead them to consider their ways, by impressing upon them the certainty of the punishment with which God has threatened the wilful transgressors of his laws.

It is worthy of observation, as confirmatory of the truth of the sacred writings, how exactly, to the letter, this prediction of Joshua was fulfilled in Hiel five hundred and twenty years (some say more) after its delivery. This, my brethren, ought deeply to impress upon our minds the merciful warnings of God, and also the certainty of his judgments. Five hundred and twenty years had that warning been given to all who dwelt in Canaan. Five hundred and twenty years did the Lord threaten this curse before he executed it. Indeed it is part of his mercy to threaten, that he may not smite ; and if he smites, it is often that he may not destroy: "For this cause many are weak and sickly ainong you,"— "that ye should not be condemned with the world." I Cor. xi. 30, 32.' In the instance before us, we observe that God first pronounces the curse upon the man ; "cursed is the man." He next adds the death of the “first-born;" and lest that should not be sufficient to check the sinner in his progress, he seems, as it were, constrained to conclude with the death of his youngest son. So anxious does the Lord appear not to destroy the creatures he has made !

This, my christian hearers, should teach an important lesson to us in every rank, and in all the duties of life. Some of us have had the Lord's warnings before us for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, sixty, perhaps eighty years :- warnings, not to violate the Sabbath; not to neglect the perusal of his word ; not to lie; not to swear; not to take the name of God in vain; not to slander; not to covet or desire other men's goods; not to depend upon ourselves for salvation, but on Jesus Christ alone. Have we listened to these merciful warnings ? Alas! how many are there, who never enter God's house, except at a baptism or a burial! How many who never open their Bibles! How many who never call upon God, except by awful imprecations! How many whose neighbour's good fortune is their misery! How many who, instead of looking to Christ alone for salvation, are depending on the performance of one duty, while they wilfully neglect twenty others, and are carelessly confiding in the all-mercifulness of that God, whose laws and commands they have throughout their lives defied or neglected! Such may have a good name in this world, but their disobedience leaves not the slightest hope of salvation in the next.

When individuals, or families, of this class, are visited with some affliction or trouble, whether in the form of sickness, or poverty, or disquietude, can the visitation be matter of surprise ? If man will not cease to sin, God will not cease to punish. If the loss of Hiel's first-born does not deter him, the remainder, down to the youngest son, must be smitten. The punishment must bear some proportion to his sin. He persists in sinning; God prolongs the punishment. All his children must die.

The Bible, which contains so remarkable a prediction, and so exact a fulfilment of the curse, after a lapse of five hundred and twenty years, must be divine; and ought to rouse us to see what threats it contains against us,-against our besetting sin,-in order that we may believe and obey. Thus may we escape from a destruction far worse, perhaps, than that so awfully witnessed in the uprooting of the foundations of Jericho; and in the extinction of the offspring of idolatrous Hiel. -- Pp. 8–10.

After this, Mr. Hall comes to the main object of his discourse, which we have already stated. He considers that Popery, inasmuch as it is a system of iniquity, may be fitly represented by the wicked city of Jericho ; and that the curse pronounced on its restorer, may be therefore considered as attaching to those who do any thing to extend its influence. For this application of his text, he has the sanction of the Romanists themselves. “Jericho," say they, in their note upon the verse, “ in the mystical sense signifies iniquity; the sounding of the trumpets by the priests, the preaching of the word of God, by which the walls of Jericho are thrown down, when sinners are converted : and a dreadful curse will light on them who build them up again." It is superfluous for us to point out how accurately the former part of this comment describes the course of events which led to the Reformation, by which the Church of Rome was despoiled of so large a portion of its former power : we therefore proceed at once to Mr. Hall's own statement of what he proposes in the remaining part of his Sermon :

In the further application of my text, as I consider it may be fairly applied, I wish distinctly to be understood, that it is not my intention to treat of men, but of doctrines : to shew that the Romish Church, which I will denominate a mystical Jericho, contains doctrines and practices, if not as ruinous and deadly as those which brought destruction upon its idolatrous prototype, yet decidedly dangerous and injurious to the souls of those who are taught that God's word is perfect, converting the soul; that we are justified in the sight of God by the righteousness of Christ alone, and not by any thing that we can meritoriously do; that there is only one Mediator between God and man; and that the aloning sacrifice of Christ is all-sufficient for our eternal salvation. To this end, I must for the present be content with touching only upon some of the errors of that church, and trust, by God's help, to expose them so clearly, though briefly, that every one who hears me shall dread, either by his sanction or his indifference, to encourage the rebuilding of the papal walls within our borders, lest his ears should tingle with the denunciation—"Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up to build this city Jericho !”—Pp. 11, 12.

The corruptions of Popery, selected for animadversion, relate to the following points :--the Rule of Faith, the Merit of Good Works, the Number of the Sacraments, Transubstantiation, and Idolatry. On the first of these points, it is ably observed :

According to the Sixth Article of the Church of England, " Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.” The Church of Rome denies that the Scriptures alone are a sufficient rule of faith, and therefore she adds to them her traditions, which are said to have proceeded either from the mouth of Christ himself, or to have been "delivered by the living voice of the apostles to the holy church, which has carefully delivered them from father to son in all ages down to us.” Besides which, the Romanists affirm that interpretations of holy writ, as given by Councils, are of equal authority with the word of God itself. They also maintain that the Apocrypha has claiins equal to those of the inspired writings.—Pp. 13, 14.

Our author proceeds to show from various considerations, especially from the insufficiency of tradition, when unsupported by a written revelation, in the patriarchal ages, the folly and danger of now relying upon it alone, for any doctrines necessary to salvation.

Although the principles of the patriarchal religion were few and simple, this was not sufficient to convey it pure to a third person. When Adam died, Methuselah was about two hundred years old ; when Methuselah died, Shem was near a hundred; when Shem died, Abraham was about one hundred and fifty; so that a tradition needed to pass only through two hands, from Adam to Abraham : and yet within this period, the tradition of the one true God was, in a manner, extinguished, and the world had generally lapsed into idolatry. Besides, we all know how little dependence is to be placed upon oral testimony, even for a year, however circumstantial it may seem. In half that time the same story, from the defect of memory in some, and the love of embellishment in others, will be told in twenty different forms. What, then, will be thought, when an interval of centuries elapsed between the apostolic age and the time when such doctrines were first recorded as those of

Transubstantiation, the worshipping of the Host,- the Propitiatory sacrifice of the Massthe Communion under one kind, -- the grant of Indulgences -the praying of souls out of Purgatory,—the Invocation of saints, ---and the Remission of sin through their intercession and merits? Think not, however, that I would reject tradition altogether, merely because it is tradition; inasmuch as this is sometimes the only evidence of certain facts that can be obtained, and may be susceptible of such investigation as will establish its credit and authority; but what I repudiate is this—That the Romish Church should require us to to believe, under a papal curse, in doctrines as being necessary to our eternal welfare, (without the slightest authority from God's word) for which, on so important a subject, there is no warrant at all beyond the unsatisfactory and inconclusive evidence of her tradition. To trust, then, in tradition, where our salvation is concerned, is madness: and why believe in a continual miracle, without any just reason for it, since the same end could be accomplished by writing ?-Pp. 15, 16.

We could wish, however, that he had said a little of the real use of Catholic tradition, fulfilling the test of Vincentius Lirinensis, semper, ubique, et ab omnibus, to fix the sense and interpretation of Scripture, and “ lead the Church into the true meaning of those things which are found in it, though not obvious to every eye there."'* He might also have shown how powerful a weapon such tradition is against the Romanists, inasmuch as one of its principal articles is the sufficiency of Scripture, and it not only refuses to afford any countenance to the peculiar doctrines for which they allege it, but for the most part witnesses directly against them. We cannot but think a statement of this sort the more necessary at this time, since by many any appeal to tradition, or at least any reverence for it, is looked upon with fear and suspicion, as an approximation to Popery. It would be well, however, for such alarmists to bear in mind, that “tradition in the mouth of a Romanist means quite a different thing from that which it means in the mouth of a Catholic. The Romanist understands by it, the decisions of a particular church, to which he assigns an equal authority with Holy Scripture ; whereas the Catholic means by it, the concurrent voice of the whole universal Church, which he receives as subordinate to Scripture, but very helpful to the right interpretation of Scripture." +

Some severe remarks are justly made on the Church of Rome, for keeping the laity as much as possible from the perusal of the Scriptures, and when, as in this country, it is unable entirely to effect its object, for throwing impediments in their way, by publishing its own versions at a price beyond the ability of its poor members to afford. This line of conduct, it is maintained, arises from a consciousness on the part of its rulers, that many of its doctrines and practices are incapable of bearing the light, and that it would consequently lose its hold on the minds of its members, were they to be allowed unrestrained intercourse with the

Abp. Laud's Conference with Fisher, sect. 14, num. 5. | Rev. W. Dudsworth's “ Romanism successfully opposed only on Catholic Principles," pp. 16, 17.

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