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I did not know, before I read this book, that idolatry was the road to heaven, It did not use to be under the Jewish dispensation. These specimens of Catholic idolatry I think the reader will pronounce, with me quite up to the average of Pagan idolatry.
Here is one. “We fly to thy patronage, O holy mother of God; despise not our petitions in our neces. sities, but deliver us from all dangers.” That is the manner in which devout Catholics in the United States are directed to pray. They fly to Mary, but “God is our refuge.” There is the difference. They look to her to deliver them from all dangers. I don't know how she can deliver them from all dangers.
I think they had better ascertain the powers of the Virgin Mary, before they place such unbounded reliance on her. I should be a very fearful creature, had I none to fly to from danger but her. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee,” (the Lord.) So says the Psalmist, and it is my purpose too.
The next specimen is entitled, “The Salve Regina,” and thus it runs: “Hail ! holy queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee we cry, poor banished sons of Eve; to thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thy eyes of
us, and after this our exile is ended, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, o pious, O sweet Virgin Mary.” Now, is it not a farce to call this Christianity ? It is a great deal more like atheism. Here is an authorized Catholic prayer, in which there is no recognition of God whatever!
Then follows a call to devout contemplation, and
one would suppose that the object of it would be God, or the Savior. But no, it is the Virgin. “Let us, with exultation, contemplate the blessed Virgin Mary sitting in glory at the right hand of her beloved Son. She is crowned by the heavenly Father queen of heaven and earth, and appointed by Jesus Christ the dispenser of his graces.” It is singular that the Catholics, when they look up to heaven, sec no object so conspicuous as the blessed Virgin. Now, she was not the most prominent figure in those visions of heaven of which we have account in the Bible. Stephen saw “the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God,” but he saw nothing of the Virgin Mary sitting at her Son's right hand. Nor does John, in the history he gives in the book of Revelation of his visions of heaven, make any mention of seeing her. But it seems she is not only visible to the contemplative Catholic, but almost alone conspicuous.
They speak of her moreover as crowned universal queen, and appointed dispenser of the graces of Christ. But where did they get that information ? It is too much to expect us to take their word for it, since it is acknowledged that we have not the word of God for it. I always supposed Christ to be, through his Spirit, the dispenser of his own graces. I always understood it to be him who "received gifts for men.” But it seems, according to the Catholics, that quite a different person received and dispenses them. How much novelty there is in the Catholic religion ! It is almost all of it comparatively new doctrine. Ours, the Protestant, is the old religion, after all that is said to the contrary.
But the Catholic is so positive in regard 10 the coronation of the blessed Virgin, that we find him using the following thanksgiving, “O Jesus, in union with angels and saints, I bless thee for the glory with which thou hast environed thy holy mother, and I give thee thanks from the bottom of my heart, for having given her to me, for my queen, my protectress and my mother.” Here en the thanksgiving to Jesus. They soon become weary of addressing him, and fondly return to the mother. “O queen of angels and men, grant thy powerful intercession to those who are united to honor thee in the confrater
nity of the holy rosary,” (I don't know what that ..means; it is a mystery that I must leave unexplain
ed,)“and to all thy other servants.” Then follows something io which I solicit particular attention. I suspect the author and approvers of the book would be glad to obliterate the sentence I am going to quote, if they could. But it is too late. The words are these: “I consecrate myself entirely to thy service." Here the person wishing to be guided to hearen is directed, under the authority of the archbishon, to consecrate himself entirely to the service of the Virgin Mary, who is acknowledged on all hands to be a creaturc. Mark, it is entirely. This excludes God altogether from any share in the person's services. He is to be entirely consecrated to the service of the Virgin. Will any one, who has any regard for his character as an intelligent being, say that this is not idolatry? There cannot be a plainer case of idolatry made out in any part of the world, or from any portion of history. St. Paul beseeches us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God, which, he says, is our reasonable service; but this Catholic guide to heaven
directs us to consecrate ourselves entirely to the ser vice of the Virgin Mary.
Accordingly, the docile Catholic does consecrate aimself to Mary, as in the following act of devotion to her, which you may read in the same little book; “O blessed Virgin, I come to offer thee my most humble homage, and to implore the aid of thy prayers and protection. Thou art all-powerful with the Almighty. Thou knowest that from my tender years I looked up to thee as my mother, my advocate, and patroness. Thou wert pleased to consider me from that time as one of thy children. I will henceforth serve, honor and love thee. Accept my protestation of fidelity; look favorably on the confidence I have in thee; obtain for me, of thy dear Son, a lively faith; a firm hope; a tender, generous, and constant love, that I may experience the power of thy protection at my death.” Here you perceive the Catholic says he will do what “the guide” directs him to do. He will serve her; and so doing, he hopes to experience the power of her protection at his death. Poor soul! I pity him, if he has no better company in death than that. That was not the reason David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” His reason was, “ for Thou (the Lord, his shepherd) art with me; thy rod and thy statt, they comfort me.” How can Mary be with every dying Catholic who trusts in her? I should like to know. Do they go so far as to say she is omnipresent? Have they formally deified her, as in fact they have ?
The devotee in this prayer uses the following language to the virgin: “ Thou art all-powerful with the
Almighty." Shall I call this an error or a falsehood ? It is certain that there is no truth in it. She, a poor sinful creature, like the rest of us, saved by grace, allpowerful with the Almighty in intercession! Christ is that; but no other being is; and to say other is, is not only falsehood, but blasphemy.
I have other specimens of Catholic idolatry, which I mean to give; but those, I have exhibited are sufficient to convict that church of idolatry before any court that ever sat, or any jury that was ever impanneled. I have PROVED the Catholic church and religion to be idolatrous. I have not merely asserted it, it has been demonstrated, and the proof has been taken from her own authorized publication. To have said she was idolatrous, would have been uncharitable. To have proved it, is not. A man is responsible for the drift of his assertions, but not for the scope of his arguments.
Idolatrous! Yes, she who pretends to be the only church, is convicted, out of her own mouth, of idolatry. She has this millstone about her neck. I wonder she has swum with it so long. It must sink her presentiy. I think I see her going down already, although I know many suppose she is rising in the world.
23. More Specimens of Catholic Idolatry.
Why, reader, did you know that the Catholics not only pray to the Virgin Mary, but sing to her ? I was