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and encountered tortures and death rather than yield one step to their Popish enemy. They at length held the crown of Scotland to be forfeited by the arbitrary attempt, and tendered it to William and Mary, and ultimately assented to the succession of the house of Hanover, because they were Protestants, and on the unalterable condition of adherence to the Protestant faith. These Scottish Whigs were opposed by the Jacobites, who excited two rebellions against the Protestant house of Hanover. But the Whigs of Scotland remained true to their religion and liberties. The Whigs of Glasgow, then a small city, raised in 1745 two regiments to support the Protestant cause, and to resist the restoration of that ferocious Popish tyranny under which so many of their fathers had become martyrs.
New times arrived. The Papists of Ireland extorted from a weak administration, during the war with our colonies, the privilege of voting in the election of members of the Parliament of Ireland. Then came the union of the Parliaments of Britain and Ireland. The Popish priesthood of Ireland thereby obtained the power, by the votes of their superstitious followers, of electing at least forty, and perhaps a hundred members of the British House of Commons. Still Papists could not lawfully sit in that house; but the Romish priesthood sent delegates thither, elected to support their ambitious views, and they never ceased to urge their followers to insist for the repeal of that last safeguard of the royal title of the house of Hanover and of the Prostestant faith. To that urgency they obtained fatal aid. From whom and from whence did that aid proceed? Attend to the fact, for it is of deep importance.
A band of ambitious men in England (of whom I will have more to say hereafter) attempted to climb to supreme power by allying themselves with the Irish Papists, whereby their numbers in the House of Commons were enlarged. They pleaded for Papists the slaves of a domineering priesthood and of Rome-as if they were freemen deprived of liberty on account of their piety. Under this pretext, Fox and others, while contending that political power ought to be given to Papists, impudently ventured to call themselves Whigs. While con
tending in favour of a sect that resists the liberty of the press, that dare not even trust their followers to read the Bible; and wherever they attain to power subdue all men by confiscation, tortures, and slaughter, into subserviency to their ambitious priesthood, these men-deriding the fidelity of George III. to his coronation oathso far ventured to rely on the blindness and credulity of their countrymen, as to assume the name of Whigs. The thing at first must have seemed strange and foolish; but during forty years they continued in speeches, books, pamphlets, reviews, to plead the cause of Popery and to call themselves Whigs, thereby impeaching the title to his throne of our Protestant King (he not being the first in the hereditary line), and reproaching our fathers as criminal, because they refused to yield up their religion and liberties to the dominion of Rome. Strange as it will hereafter appear in history, the nation, with incredible gullibility, swallowed the delusion. The royal title to the throne was disregarded, and the sufferings which our fathers endured, and the noble strife in which they persisted, were forgotten by a new generation destitute of historical knowledge. Cold, indifferent, or infidel in religionacquainted only with the literature of newspapers, reviews, and novel writers-many of the younger nobles and gentry learned, gradually, to take on trust the pretext that the Whigs of their day were the Whigs of 1688; and that the name of Whigs, assumed with such incredible effrontery by the supporters of Popery, was, in utter blindness, adopted as a symbol of brotherhood with these men by you, Protestants of Scotland! Absurdly saying you are Whigs-you in multitudes united with the supporters of Popery as your allies. You paraded under and around their banners, imagining them friends of freedom while they were only greedy to handle public money; and for that price were willing to enter into alliance with Popery, and all the slavery and brutal ignorance by which its domination in every country has been attended.
Now that this truth is broadly stated, ye supporters of Popery in Scotland, call yourselves Whigs if you will, but presume no longer, with gross hypocrisy, to say that you are Protestants. You have also called yourselves Re
formers. Truly, a beautiful reformation you have produced! You have delivered over a whole people (Ireland) for years to the dominion of Popery, and have brought your country backward nearly three centuries towards that gulfofsuperstition, ignorance, and infidelity. You have succeeded in obliging the successors of the Whigs of 1688 to desert a name which you have so vilely polluted, and to style themselves Conservatives of the principles of that Revolution.
The old English Whigs called those men Tories whom they accused of leaning towards Popery and high prerogative. They refuted the first of these accusations by joining the Whigs, or rather, along with the English Prelacy, by taking the lead in effecting the Revolution of 1688; but, for a time, they continued to regret the violation thereby produced of the hereditary line of succession to the crown, and hence the secular Tories regarded with favour the Scottish Jacobites.
Such has of late been the strange absurdity of Scotsmen, that while so many of the Campbells, Kennedys, and Hamiltons, who persist in patronising Popery, are styled and support ed by you as Whigs, you oppose, as Tories, the old Whig Presbyterian families, the steadfast supporters of the house of Hanover and the Revolution of 1688, such as Lockhart, Scott, Douglas, Hope, Ramsay, and thousands of others, who, at this day, adhere to the faith of those Argyles
who perished on the scaffold or fought at Sheriff-Muir, and of that Cassillis whose signature authenticated our first copy of the Westminster Confession.
Meanwhile, to Scotsmen who have assumed the name of Whigs, and at the same time have given their votes to the patrons of Popery and infidelity, I say, without hesitation, you have been miserably misled into gross inconsistency by the mere sound of a name, OR you uttered your own condemnation-you thereby became hypocrites in religion-enemies of the house of Hanover, and enemies of the liberties and the improvement of mankind. I can only trust and hope that you have been acting under that temporary but most strange delusion which, in 1828, so extensively diffused blindness over the nation. England has recovered. Wellington, Peel, Graham, Stanleyall men of intelligence and upright principle-have every where recovered. Is Scotland to continue dishonoured, and its inhabitants regarded as fallen from the high name they once possessed, as an enlightened people of trustworthy Protestant character? From the sacred remains deposited in their Greyfriars' churchyard, a fearful voice of reproach ascends against the men of Edinburgh; and to you, more especially, men of Dundee, Perth, and Fife, of Stirling, and Glasgow, once the chosen seats of the Protestant Reformation, are addressed the words prefixed to this letter; look back to them, ponder them well!
The author of Christianity sent forth to instruct mankind a few private persons to whom he had taught his doctrines, and whom he directed to submit themselves to the civil power and magistracy of their own and other countries. I have no intention to trace historically the progress by which, in the west of Europe, the successors of these first teachers became united into a compact and powerful body, under a prince or chief-acquired in many countries a large proportion of the landed property, and a title to a tenth of the produce of the remainder-how they gradually assumed a superiority over all kings, princes, nobles, and legislators-how
they became intolerably corrupt and tyrannical-and how their strength was shaken by a schism, whereby some nations, under the name of Protestants, were relieved from their do.. minion, while they retained their power over other nations, and are now striving, with much apparent success, to resume it over all. I propose merely to state what the system of Popery actually is, as it has practically existed and received the solemn sanction of the great General Assembly of the leaders of the body, styled the Council of Trent.
In considering what Popery is, mankind must be divided into two classes: First, the mass of the popu
lation, whose intellectual character and external condition are affected by the opinions they have been taught, or the institutions under which they live and act; secondly, the class or body of directors and instructors. These, in a Popish country, assume the name of the priesthood or clergy. That class or institution constitutes Popery, just as a body of nobles and governing senate constitute an aristocracy.
Passing over for an instant the character of sanctity, or of priesthood, which it assumes, Popery, in a country that has a civil government, like France, Prussia, or Britain, may be described as the system according to which the affairs of a certain society, or company, or association, are carried on. The association consists of a body of individuals whose object is to rule mankind, and to acquire to their society the largest possible command of the power and riches of a people, without performing any part of the business, or submitting to any of the drudgery undertaken, or dangers encountered by the rest of the community. Yet, in those countries in which they are tolerated, they endeavour to attain, and generally do succeed in attaining, to the possession of high rank, riches, influence, and direct authority. The society, styled generally the Popish priesthood or clergy, consists of members received from all classes of the community. The association is perpetuated by the admission of new members, under the sanction of the dignitaries of the body. The great object of the society being to rule over the rest of the community, all their rules and proceedings are made subservient to that object.
On entering into the society, a man by solemn vows devotes himself to the pursuit of its interests exclusively, and to obedience to the superior members of the association. He renounces whatever may interfere with his exertions to promote the influence and aggrandizement of the body of which he is becoming a member. More especially, he takes a solemn vow against entering into marriage, lest domestic affections and the interests of a wife and children should obstruct the future business of his life, which is to extend the power of the society. We know what efforts men have made for their families, their kindred, and
their country. Even for the glory of his regiment many a gallant soldier has, without hesitation, sacrificed his life. To the Popish priest, the association into which he has entered holds the place of a wife and children, and kindred and country. The Pope, as head of the body, is his prince, and the association is the brotherhood which forms the object of all his attachments, and the ascendency and glory of which absorbs every sentiment, either of public spirit, or of selfishness or ambition in his nature.
The society, for greater efficiency in its enterprises, divides itself into classes. It allocates some to special districts, under the name of priests and bishops; but has reserves of members in monasteries, both male and female, ready to go forth on the business of the association. These add to their other oaths a vow of poverty, which, however, is a mere equivocation. It only means that whatever a monk has belongs to his brethren of the monastery, who, along with himself, when not in the view of the multitude, endeavour to pass their lives in luxurious opulence. The most pestilent of the whole are the Jesuits, a corps created to oppose Luther's Reformation, and who form the master-spirits who devise every intrigue and share in every conspiracy in Europe.
The Popish association adopt as the groundwork of their operations the Christian religion, of which they pretend they are the only true priests; but they do not hold themselves bound by its laws and doctrines, as contained in the books written by the Hebrew prophets and historians, or by those instructed by the immediate followers of Jesus of Nazareth, the whole of which united we call the Bible. The Popish association pretend that, besides what is to be found in the Bible, they have many doctrines and precepts communicated expressly to their body by Almighty God. They regard with extreme horror any attempt to lay open the written scriptures to the perusal of the mass of mankind, lest they discover the palpable inconsistency between the written doctrine and the system of idolatry, usurpation, and gross superstition sanctioned by the association. The Jewish Rabbis were the original inventors of this kind of device. They pretended that, besides
the written law openly sanctioned from Mount Sinai, a multitude of precepts were given and handed down to them by the traditions of the elders. Hence Jesus said, "Ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by your traditions."-Matt. xv. 6.
On examination, it will be found that the drift and purpose of all the institutions, and even of the doctrines and practical operations of the Popish association, is to exalt the members of the priestly fraternity over the rest of the community, and, in reality, to bring the rest of the community under subjection to them. This might, perhaps, be thought tolerable by some persons, if the means adopted were not utterly flagitious. The fraternity pretend that their head or chief, the Pope, is on earth the vicar or deputy of God's eternal Son, by whom were created all things, visible and invisible. That, in virtue of this delegation, the association are, by inherent right, the superiors, and independent of all kings, and princes, and political human establishments. Indeed, if it be admitted that the Popish priesthood hold communications from heaven of authority equal to the written Christian scriptures, conferring infallibility on them or their chief the Pope, it is not easy to limit their pretensions, because, in the name and by the alleged authority of Almighty God, they can declare their own powers and prerogatives to be whatever they think fit, just as Mahomet could solve every difficulty by bringing down the angel Gabriel with a new chapter of the Koran.
The plans of the Popish association are most artfully devised and actively enforced.
1. As they do not hesitate to claim intimate communication with the Eternal God, so they do not scruple to make profit of the Day of Judgment. Men, conscious of imperfection and improper conduct, have a natural fear of standing in judgment before the terrible tribunal of omniscient justice and irresistible power. Availing themselves of this fear, the fraternity say, God has given us power to forgive all sins; but to entitle us to do so, you must confess to us your sins. These they divide into two classes, venial and mortal. Venial sins may be expiated by the fire of purgatory, or the priest may pardon them on submitting to penance, or for a consideration,
Mortal sins are liable to be punished by eternal torture in hell. This can only be avoided by the sinner confessing them to the priest, declaring that he repents, and obtaining absolution. If the priest absolve the sinner from these mortal sins, he never can be sent to hell on account of them. But he must be careful to confess them all; for, if he omit one of them, he will certainly be condemned to hell fire for ever for that one sin, whereby absolution from the other sins will be of no avail. On this pretext the whole community, from infancy to old age, are assured that, to secure their salvation, it is absolutely necessary to inform the priest of all they think or do, lest they should omit the confession of some mortal sin. After absolution from a mortal sin, although the man cannot be sent to hell on account of it, he may, nevertheless, be put into the purifying and sufficiently horrible fire of purgatory, or exposed to misfortunes in this life. But from these consequences also, absolution may be purchased with lands or money, or by some good deed required by the holy fraternity.
The result of the whole is, that the priest is, upon earth, truly a god, seeing he holds the divine power of forgiving sins. The only practical inferiority of the priest to the Most High God is, that the priest does not know the actions of men till they are told (confessed) to him. To secure their future salvation, the children of Papists are carefully trained to the practice of confession, and to pour into the ear of the priest, both spontaneously and in answer to his minute interrogatories, a detail of all their acts and imaginings.
Confession to the priest is represented as a holy sacrament. It must be made by the sinner (though a king or queen) kneeling before this ter restrial god, who has full power over the world to come. Thus the fraternity of priests become the lords and rulers of the credulous nation or people over whom they have acquired an ascendency, or whom they have persuaded to believe in the fabulous privileges which they assume. procure safety from hell and posses. sion of immortal felicity in heaven, becomes a matter of bargain with the priest, who has the power of fixing the price of the inestimable boon
which he is to bestow, and which is to soothe the mind and allay the horrors of the dying sinner. By such bargains, the Popish association of priests, monks, and nuns, were at one time proprietors of nearly half the land of Scotland, and of a tenth (teind) of the annual produce of the remaining lands of our country.
2. The fraternity affirm that each individual priest has the extraordinary power of actually making or creating God himself. On the repetition, by the priest, of certain Latin words (hoc est corpus meum), a morsel of bread (generally a wafer) is transformed into the Eternal Second Person of the Holy Trinity, both God and man in one person. The priest offers him up as a sacrifice for the sins of any person who will pay for the operation. The table at which the operation is performed, is called the altar. After a wafer has thus been converted (without any apparent change) into the Lord Jesus Christ, soul, body, and divinity, it is raised aloft, and all persons are expected to kneel and worship it, as it is borne along the streets to the house of any sick person who has sent for it and is to pay for it.
Necessarily, the priest who has the power to create the Son of God, or to perform the Mass, must, in the estimation of Papists, be of extreme importance-sacred in his person and awfully privileged.
To all practical purposes, Christ has only died for the profit of the priest, who may grant or refuse at his pleasure all the benefits resulting from the sufferings and intercession of "the Son of the Blessed." God is converted into a sort of slumbering or inactive divinity, who has intrusted all his powers to his prime minister or vicar on earth, the Pope and his subordinates. God and Christ are thus practically dethroned, and so they are usually complimented merely with Latin prayers, while the real business of obtaining safety here and hereafter must be transacted with the ministry.
3. As the fraternity thrive by exciting towards themselves and their operations the sentiments of fear, wonder, and admiration, and by withdrawing the minds of men from rational pursuits and fixing them on ob
jects of superstition, they adorn the persons of the higher priests with costly robes, they build magnificent temples, and support establishments of vocal and instrumental music. They fill their temples with paintings to represent God the Father, and Jesus, and his mother Mary, and especially with innumerable statues of Mary, and saints, and angels, before which the people are admonished to offer up prayers for their intercession with God and Christ. In every shape, the fraternity labour to establish a religion that is to fill the imagination with objects of superstition. They baptise bells to drive the devils from the air— they consecrate barrel-fulls of water wherewith to sprinkle devotees-exhibit bones of saints as objects of veneration-encourage pilgrimages to their celebrated temples. Above all, in utter despite of all the prohibitions in the Bible, they fill their temples with consecrated idols. Indeed, with the exception of the sacrifice of animals, there is scarcely a practice of paganism which they do not adopt.
In a recent account of China,* the superstitious practices of the priests of Budho are mentioned. A recital of them may supersede the necessity of a far ther detail of the Romish superstitions.
"We cannot conclude our account of the Buddhestic religion," says the author, "without noticing the similarity of its ceremonies to those of the Church of Rome. The points of coincidence are many and striking. The celibacy, tonsure, professed poverty, secluded abodes, and peculiar dress of the priests-the use of the rosary, candles, incense, holy water, bells, and relics, in their worship-their belief in purgatory, with the possibility of praying souls out of its fires-the offering up of prayers in a strange language, with their incessant repetition-the pretension to miracles-the similarity of their altar. pieces, and the very titles of their intercessors, such as Goddess of mercy,"
Holy mother,' 'Queen of heaven,' with the image of a virgin having a child in her arms holding a cross-are all such striking coincidences, that the Catholic missionaries were greatly stumbled at the resemblance between the Chinese worship and their own when they came over to convert the natives to Christianity; and some of them thought that the author of evil had induced those Pagans to imitate the
China, its State and Prospects, by W. H. Medhurst, p. 217.