« 前へ次へ »
THE Pope's LOGIC.
tation, as king of this country, and that none of my subjects must dare to read it without a written order from my Secretary, to be granted to those persons only of whose loyalty I entertain no suspicion ?
“Sire,' replies the deputation, if Magna Charta possess no authority or meaning without your signature and interpretation as king, it follows, that you cannot be the legitimate sovereign of these realms, but a lawless usurper; seeing that the only authority you pleaded in your favour was, by your own confession, no authority at all.'
66 Soldiers l'exclaims the despot, trembling with
rage, • load these rebels with irons, and drag them to prison. Go, Secretary, and tell the Commons, that if they are not silent on the question of my authority, I will turn my artillery upon them, and blow them into atoms.'
“ This crowned monster," continues the infidel, “is, mutatis mutandis, the Pope; Magna Charta is the Bible; and the Commons, the laity. The Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ, resting his pretensions on the Bible; and, in the same breath, he tells us we do not know what the Bible is, or what it says, till we are informed by him. Simple man! does he think there is no common-sense in the world? He
THE POPE'S LOGIC.
calls a witness into court to prove his case; and, instead of allowing said witness to speak for himself, or proving that he is worthy of credit, he merely remarks: This witness, Gentlemen of the jury, clearly affirms that I am the supreme head of the Church of Christ on earth.'
• But, I beg,' says the opposite counsel, to cross-examine the witness, in order to ascertain First, his credibility; and, Second, the real nature of his testimony. “As to his credibility,' remarks the Pope, with much candour, • I freely admit that his oath did not deserve credit in any court in Europe till I gave him a character; nor even now does his evidence deserve the slightest attention, only when it is in my favour.'
• That is very singular,' adds the counsellor, • but as you have brought him into court to prove your vicarship, I should like to examine him, to see what he says on that point.'
• You may, if you please,' quoth the Pope, but then it must be through me. For you must know that it is impossible to understand him in the vulgar tongue, and even in the “authentic Latin,” he speaks so indistinctly, that without my interpretation, you could make nothing of his evidence. The truth is, he is almost dumb, and nobody but myself can tell infallibly what is passing in his mind.'
And pray, how did you get this exclusive prerogative of telling what is passing in his mind? What proof have we that you possess it?'
What proof have you? You have no proof but I have, and that is enough!!'”
I have, my dear Friend, dwelt thus long on this point, to show that
church has no foundation but private judgment—that her pretended infallibility rests on a mere petio principii, a begging of the question, as gross and as palpable as any that can be found in the category of sophisms! You perceive that, in order to convince the infidel, the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Spencer must produce the evidence in favour of the inspiration of the Bible-external and internal. Would that he were acquainted with the most powerful of all—the experimental ! Would that he had found the “ Gospel the power of God” to his own salvation! A young lady, lately converted in a French convent, told the Archbishop of Canterbury that she had not changed her religion—the Roman Catholic faith being the first that had been offered to her. She had been a nominal Protestant, but not a real one. Such, it is to be hoped, was the case with Mr. Spencer. This supposition must be made in order to save his intellect. Now, if the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Spencer, in
the exercise of his private judgment, is able to prove the inspiration of the Bible, and thence to establish the infallibility of the Roman Church, surely he must be able, by the same private judgment, to understand how a simmer is to be accepted before God--what doctrines and duties are taught in the sacred pages, all matters necessary to salvation being inculcated with line upon line and precept upon precept, so that he that runs may read. Having discovered so many important things with his own eyes, is it not very
unreasonable and foolish in him to suffer himself now to be blind-folded, and led by an interested guide, he knows not whither! May the Lord
his eyes !
MY DEAR FRIEND, I WILL now proceed to establish to your satisfaction that the Church of Rome has no safe practical RULE OF FAITH. She has no authentic Bible.
The Council of Trent declared " that the ancient and common edition (of the Latin Bible) should be considered the authentic edition ; and that the Bible should be printed as correctly and as expeditiously as possible, principally according to the ancient and vulgate edition. In consequence of this, it was published by Sixtus Quintus, in 1590. He himself watched over the work with admirable attention and zeal; he perused every sheet both before it was committed to the press, and after it was printed off. But his edition scarcely made its appearance
before it was discovered to abound with errors.'
These are the words of an eminent Roman Catholic, highly esteemed as an advocate of your church. Pope Sixtus published his Bible as infallible head of the church, commanding it
Horæ Biblicæ ; by Charles Butler, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn. Dublin, 1799: p. 119.