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works are indeed its natural fruits ; but they are not its necessary fruits till faith is become a lively or productive faith. And as a tree may wither before it has produced its fruits, so faith may wither before it has produced good works. But if it does wither, and good works are not produced, the faith which had admitted us to the Christian covenant will fail of its intended purpose, and we shall lose everlasting salvation. In this manner is the church of England vindicated, on the one hand, from the charge of Antinomianism, while it is shewn, on the other hand, to differ from the church of Rome."
Here, for the present, we conclude. In our next number we shall resume the notice of Dr. Marsh's most able book, when we intend to notice Mr. Andrew's perversion of his words; and we shall probably venturę to explain a remarkable text of Scripture in a different sense to that which is stated by Dr. Marsh himself; such is the liberty allowed by the church of England, and exercised by her sons, without drawing down the censure of the church, or interrupting the harmony subsisting between ber members.
(To be continued.)
EPISTLE OF GHILINI TO THE FOUR ROMAN CATHOLIC
ARCHBISHOPS OF IRELAND, WITH PREFATORY OBSERVATIONS.
We have received the following document anonymously, and without either note or comment; but we believe it comes from a gentleman to whom we have before been obliged. It appears, and we have ascertained it, to be, a translation of a letter written by the Pope's puncio to the arch. bishops of the Romish communion in Ireland, at a time when the first steps were taking towards that relaxation of the penal laws which has since been carried to such a length. At that time, (in the year 1768) the question, we believe, had been little, if at all, agitated in parliament; it had not become a party question : still less was there at that time any near prospect of the Roman Catholics' obtaining that influence in our domestic politics, which might lead them ultimately to the attainment of their great object. There was no inducement therefore for the Pope or his conclave to dissemble, or to consider how much they might get by giving up something. Ghilini therefore, as will be seen, spoke, and must be considered as having spoken, the true and unsophisticated sentiments of the see of Rome; that see, for implicit attachment to which he so justly praises the Irish nation, that is, the Romisb part of it.
We may then here expect to find the truth : not in those guarded, or rather garbled statements, which have been made and have been procured to be made, in subserviency to a particular purpose; and which it has al. ways been the custom of the see of Rome to suffer to go uncontradicted, and itself to submit to, in order to gain a footing, or some accession of strength; but always under the secret reservation that such concessions were invalid, and never should stand in the way of its asserting what it considers as its indefeasible rights and prerogatives.
Here the reader will observe the unqualified condemnation of an oath, nol so strong, as far as we can judge, as that which the Popish prelates of Ireland now take, or certainly as that which the Popish electors in that country now take before they can give a vote at elections for members of parliament. He will therefore see and know how to appreciate the de clarations of men, who will at one time stigmatise and reprobate as uplawful and absolutely void, a form of oath, which, only a few years after, poder precisely the saine circumstances they suffer to be taken without the slightest objection.
And what is it that is so reprobated? Why, evidently that abjuration which we all make, of the doctrine (surely with great reason called delestable) that “ princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any anthority of the see of Rome may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other whatsoever." Perhaps too, it extended to what the Papists by the oath of 1778 and 1792, declare that they detest, viz. the position that it is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for, or under pretence of, their being heretics," and also that other position, “ that faith is not to be kept with heretics." The duce trine contained in these positions certainly, or some of them, it was, that the puncio declares, is “ maintained by very many Catholic nations, and hath very often been followed in practice by the apostolic see."
And we beg our readers to observe that the word used here by the nuncio is doctrine, because one of the evasions of the Romanists, when pressed with the persecuting tenets of their church, and particularly with soch canons as those of the IIId and IVth Lateran, 'is, that these are canons of discipline and not doctrine. The distinction is miserably fütile, because discipline must be founded in doctrine to be just and legal; but we see how the Pope's nuncio, speaking from authority, from the “ pientissimus animus," " the most mercifal," or " pious mind of his holi. Dess, admitting it to be doctrine, and reasoning upon it as such. We may therefore fairly stop the mouths of Dr. Milner and Mr. Lingard, and those who are dinning in our ears the opinions of the universities, with this superior authority of a Pope's nuncio. We must be allowed to insist opon it, that it is doctrine ; and, being false doctrine, also " im pions" and heretical."
Lastly, our readers will observe the avowal of what we have often urged; that all such oaths, as are now devised by the friends of the Romanists, and accepted by some (too many indeed) good natured easy Protestants, as sufficient securities for the loyalty of Roman Catholics towards a Protestant state, are considered by them, that is, by their great organ, and indeed in the nature of things will always be considered by them, as “ null and void," nay, “ unlawful," whenever they interfere with the paramount duty of advancing what they declare to be the only true religion, and the only faith by which salvation may be obtained.
The original of these letters may be seen in the appendix to the late Bishop Woodward's (of Cloyne's) pamphlet on “ The present State of the Church of Ireland," first published in 1787, and reprinted (after several editions) in Dublin, by John Brooke, 15, Parliament Street, 1808, A pamphlet which we cannot too warmly recommend to our readers, They are there extracted from a publication of Dr. Thomas Burke, Por pish bishop of Ossory, entitled Hibernia Dominicana, put forth in 1772. There can be no doubt of their genuineness. They have been since no. ticed and commented opon by Sir Richard Musgrave in his history of the Rebellion in Ireland; and among others by Bishop Watson, in his charge delivered in 1905 (p. 30); and never denied or called in question by any of our opponents.
By the by, we are informed by the bishop, that there were letters to the same effect addressed to the same persons so late as 1776, by Cardinal Castelli. We should be much obliged to any of our correspondents who can procure it, for a copy of them, or some more particular information as to them.
« 14th October, A. D. 1768. “ The most excellent and reverend Lord, the Apostolic Nuncio at Brussels, Thomas Maria Ghilini, Archbishop of Rhodes, eminent for his nobility, his learning, and his piety, sent to the four Archbishops of Ireland, letters truly golden and worthy of cedar. Those to the Archbishop of Dublin are to the following tenor.
.“ Most illustrious and reverend Lord,
“ The duty of my office toward the good Catholics of Ireland, orgeth and compelleth me to excite the zeal of your most illustrious lordship, that we may study together to resist a most heavy mischief; which, as is signified unto me, is prepared and even partly put in execution against that wretched and most numerous Christian people. Very credible witnesses have informed me, that a certain form of oath, contrived by some heretical person and written with his heretical band, (a copy wbereof I enclose)
has been offered to the Catholics; under the specious pretence that if they do not refuse to take that oath to the government, those penal laws whereunder they have so long groaned, might be repealed and abolished. I have heard also, that some Catholics, laics as well as ecclesiastics, nay, even bishops, have not blushed to take this imprudent oath, and that many others are ready to take it :-80 that I greatly fear, lest this great irregularity should speedily spread so wide as to become general.
“ Had the government introduced this most pernicious novelty, and demanded the acceptance of this new oath, by threatening the extermination of Catholicism if it were not taken ; then, although not any one Catholic could be worthy of excuse, who should yield to such unreasonable violence, yet they would at least be less unworthy of commiseration, who should suffer themselves to be prevailed over, for the averting such a peril. - But that the Catholics, who have now so long been accustomed to endure with the highest edification and eminent constancy the penal laws, severe indeed, but not adverse to the profession and exercise of the Catholic religion, and endured by them hitherto with incredible submission of mind; that they should voluntarily offer themselves, at the persuasion and suggestion of one of the sect of false-reformers, to perform a public act, such as this is, highly reprehensible in many chief points; is the greatest of all excesses, so intolerable, and so scandalous, that the holy see, the guardian of the integrity of our religion, cannot any longer dissemble, but is compelled to restrain it by a grave and public censure.
“ On very many accounts, this new oath is blameable, and unworthy of Catbolic prelates : but it is moreover intolerable, if we consider the protestation which is annexed to it, to wit, of abominating and detesting from the heart the doctrine which is therein declared to be abominable and pernicious.
“ Be it known to your erudition, that this DOCTRINE, which is asserted in the oath to be detestable, is defended and maintained by very many Catholic nations, and hath very often been followed in its practice by the apostolic sce. Wherefore it caonot be, that any Catholic shall de. clare it to be detestable and abominable, without the assertion incurring the character of a rash proposition, false, scandalous, and injurious to the holy see. Besides, I much question, whether a Catholic is bound by an oath to be true and faithful to the king, as the new formulary prescribes and afterward explains to be, according to the Irish laws; since the laws of England and Ireland recognise the king as head of the church and fountain of her spiritual authority. He therefore who takes such oath, and promises fidelity to the king according to the Irish laws, must [“* possil,"-it should be may] recognise the king, as head of the church and Vol. III, (Prot. Adv. Feb. 1815.]
fountain of her spiritual authority. If this is, or can be, the interpres tation of such words, your most illustrious lordship and every other Catholic ought to observe that it is a manifest error; and directly contrary to ihe principles of the Catholic religion, which acknowledgeth one only head and fountain of all spiritual authority, namely, the Roman Pontiff. And hence it appears, how blameable and detestable in this point is such an oath, since God is thereby called on as the witness and vindicator of
" When therefore an oath of this kind is so irregular and reprehensible, who, I pray you, can calculate in his mind that most bitter grief wherewith the most clement mind [pientissimus animus) of the most holy father was pierced, when it first reached his ears that the Catholic laity, clergy, and even bishops, had either offered themselves, or shewa themselves not repugnant, to take such an oath to the government which did pot require it from them: and this, before they had consulted the boly see and heard its oracle, according to that most laudable spirit of filial observance and subordination due to the vicar of Jesus Christ, their pastor and head; and of that conformity which every one should maintain to the centre of the Catholic union; which, with singular and eminent veneration, the renowned Irish nation hath professed, with such glory of its immortal name.
“ For these reasons I easily persuade myself, that the things which have been reported to me are not entirely true. Nevertheless, lest I should seem to fail of my duty in so important a matter, I bave deemed it an indispensable part of my office, to write these letters to your most illustrious lordship, that I may excite your pastoral zeal : so that, if the above related things be true, you may, by reason of your respectable ministry, apply the more prompt and fit remedies, with all efticacy and prudence, and without any delay; whereby the farther progress of so pernicious and scandalous an irregularity may be hindered ; and that it may recall to their proper duties all who have taken such an oath, and that they may repair the scandal which they bave given : since that oath, being in its whole ertent unlawful, is in its nature void and null and of no effect, so that it can not by any means bind or oblige consciences.* Let your zeal also take care, by all those means which shall seem most proper and effectual and conforma. ble to its prudence, to manifest to all your suffragan bishops, and, through their organ, to all the faithful, how great a guilt this new form of oath
* “ Juramentum : quod cæteroquin, quemadmodum in totâ sua extensionc est illici. tum, i'a natusà sua est irritum, ac nullum, nulliusque valoris, ut minime cons scientias adstringere et obligare possit."