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it; as, for example, the rope with which Judas hanged himself, and the tail of Balaam's ass, both of which are kept and shown as relics.

But it may be asked if relics are not out of date. The inquirer should know that nothing ever gets out of date with the Catholics. Always and every where the same is their boast respecting their religion. Besides, in the Baltimore publication, “the Guide to Heaven,” notice is taken of relics. It says that the saints are to be honored and invocated, and that their relics are to be respected. Well, and where is the harm of respecting relics? I might retaliate and ask where is the use-what is the good of it? They must think that devotion is promoted by these relics. But I cannot see how the spirit of devotion is to be promoted by contemplating St. Joseph's axe and saw, or the comb of the Virgin Mary, or even the finger of St. Ann. If a person even knows that he is handling a piece of the identical wood of the cross, it does not occur to me how that is to enkindle the flame of piety in his heart. The ancient method of exciting the glow of devotion was quite different. It was by me. ditation on spiritual subjects. It was while the Psalmist was musing, that “the fire burned" within him, But it seems the Catholics come to the same thing by the aid of their relics. Well, if devotion is kindled by relics, towards whom does it flame? Towards the saints, to be sure, whose relics they are. These remains can only remind them of those to whom they once belonged. So that it is the religious veneration of saints, not the worship of Jehovah, that is promoted by relics. All that can be said for them is, that they serve the cause of idolatry.

But I have been writing as if these relics were genuine remains of the saints—the saw they show really St. Joseph's, and the finger St. Ann's. The seader must excuse me for indulging such a supposition. The very idea of such things being preserved, and transmitted through eighteen centuries, is preposlerous. Their own writers acknowledge that many

of them are spurious—that bones are often consecrated, which, so far from belonging to saints, probably did not belong to Christians, if indeed to human beings. If this be so, how are we to know which are genuine ? There can be no internal evidence to distinguish them. The bones of saints must look just like other bones. I know it is said there is an odor about the genuine relics which does not belong to the remains of the vulgar dead. How that is I cannot say. I understand that, in the failure of the ordinary, external evidence, the Pope takes it on him to pronounce them genuine. This is making short work of it. But some of the authorities of the church of Rome go so far as to say that it is not necessary the relics should be genuine. It is enough that the worshiper has an intention of honoring the saints whose bones he supposes them to be. If this is correct doctrine, churches and chapels may be readily furnished with relics, and the defect in this particular, which Catholics deplore in regard to many of their establishments, be supplied without going farther than the nearest graveyard.

If any one should still think that the relics may be genuine, there is a consideration which, if I mistake not, will carry complete conviction to his mind. It is, that there are altogether too many of these relics, so that some of them must be spurious. Five devout pil


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grims happening to meet on their return from Rome found, on comparing their notes, that each had been honored with a foot of the very ass upon which Christ rode to Jerusalem. Here were five feet for one anis mal. Moreover, it is said that there are as many pieces of the timber of the true cross in different parts of Europe, as would supply a town with fuel for a winter!

But, say they, were not the bones of Joseph preserved, and afterwards removed to Canaan. Undoubt. edly they were. But they were all kept together in a coffin, and they were removed, not to be worshiped, but to be buried. Joseph, being persuaded that God would visit his people, and bring them out of Egypt into Canaan, enjoined it on them to take his remains along with them, for he wished them to repose in the land of promise. What this has to do with relics I have not the discernment to perceive. How it bears any resemblance to the Catholic practice of disturbing coffins and separating bone from bone, and cherishing them as things to be revered, I cannot see. Yet no less a character than · Cardinal Bellarmine appeals to this fact in support of their doctrine of relics. So also they cite the case recorded in 2 Kings, 13: 21, of the dead 'man that was revived by coming in contact with the bones of Elisha. But how does this favor relics? The bones of Elisha were quietly reposing in the place where they were laid at his death. Nul one of them had been touched. But if relics had bcen in vogue then, do you suppose the remains of such an eminent saint as Elisha would have been left uudisturbed ?

I was surprised to find that Bellarmice refers to

Deut. 34: 6, in support of relics. It is that remarkable passage in which the Lord is said to have buried Moses in a valley in the land of Moab, and that no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. I suppose the cardinal would have us infer from this, that if the place of Moses' body had been known, it would have been dug up and converted into relics. And therefore the Lord took care it should not be known. The devil, it seems, from Jude, 5: 9, contended for it for some such purpose as this, but he was foiled. The reference to this passage strikes me as rather an unhappy one.

But were not handkerchiefs and aprons brought from the body of Paul, and miracles thereby wrought? Yes, but they were not relics. Paul was living. Besides, who does not see that those articles of dress were but signs to connect the miracles, in the minds of the people, with the person of God's inspired arnbassador ? Was any honor due to them ? Do we hear of their being preserved and revered ? No. I do not find them in any list of relics. They passed again immediately into their former appropriate use as handkerchiefs and aprons. Finally, they appeal to the efficacy of the shadow of Peter, as related, Acts, 5: 15, in proof of the virtue of relics. But as there appears to be no substance in this argument, I leave it unanswer. ed; and have only to add, that I wonder not that infidels abound so in Catholic countries, when Christianity is held up before them as embracing and even giving prominence to such doctrines as the veneration of relics, the invocation of saints, iind many more like them.

26. Seven Sacraments.

What! Seven ! How is this? I read in the Bible of only two. Whence have they the other five? O, they come from the other source of Christian doctrine, tradition. They were handed down. It is true, the apostles wrote of only two sacraments; but Catholics would have us believe that they preached and conversed about five others: and those that heard them spoke of these sacraments to others; and they to others still; and so the story passed from lip to lip, until the Council of Trent, I believe it was, concluded that something had better be written about these five extra sacraments. I wonder that was never thought of before. It is surprising that it never occurred to the apostles, when they were writing their Epistles, to say a syllable about these seven sacraments. It would seem to have been very thoughtless in them. I may be very hard to please, but I cannot help feeling a desire to have Scripture, as well as unwritten tradition, in support of a doctrine or practice called Christian. I like to be able to trace a doctrine all the way back to the Bible, and to find it originating in the very

oracles of God themselves. Some think it sufficient, if they' can follow a doctrine back as far as the earlier fathers; and especially if they can trace it to the Epistles of Ignatius. But this does not satisfy me. There are certain other Epistles, rather more ancient, in which I would like to find the doctrine. Ignatius was a very good man, but he did not belong to the days of Paul by any means. Ignatius, Clemens, and all those good fathers, stood on the bank of the stream, but Paul and

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