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Jubilé. - After you have perused them, I should wish to ask you whether, if you should find yourself injured in fortune or character, and learn that the person who had injured you was a romancatholic, you would feel you had a less chance of restitution on account of his belief of the catholic doctrine of confession and of indulgences ?

You mention the abuses of indulgences. You say indulgences have been too easily granted, and often sold. It is too true: but what has not been abused? There is not in the universe a territory in which, in every secular, and every ecclesiastical department, some abuse does not exist. Are we on that account, to conclude with the Lollards, and other Manichean radicals, that all government is evil ?

You have seen the Taxa Cancellarii Romani;' and you

conclude that the sums of money, stated in that document to be paid for absolutions, are the purchase of them at those prices. The real state of the case is as follows:

-There are some sins so enormous, that, in order to raise the greater horror of them, the absolution from them is reserved to the holy see. In these cases, the priest, to whom the penitent reveals them in confession, states them, without

any mention of person, time or place, to the roman see; and the roman see, when it thinks the circumstance of the case renders it proper, grants a faculty to the priest to absolve the penitent from them. All this is attended with expense. An office or tribunal is kept up for the purpose, and, to defray the expenses attending these applications, a fee is required for the document in which the power of absolution is granted. Thus these sums of money are only fees of office : they are small : the lips of a Roman datary would water at the sight of a bill of an English proctor. When the absolute poverty of the party is stated, no fee is required

Does the church of England grant no indulgence or absolution for money ? Consult your own canons *. In a remonstrance of grievances presented by a committee of the Irish parliament to Charles l., complaint is made that "several bishops “received great sums of money for commutations “of penance, which they had converted to their “ own uset.” Has not doctor Glover abundantly shown that commutations of penance for money are, at this time, practised in your church ? Do I, then, criminate the church of England upon

this account? I only say, that her ministers should be circumspect, in criminating the church of Rome for similar commutations.

X. 4.

Grace and Free-will. “ Britain,” you inform us, “has the credit or “ discredit, whichever it may be deemed, of having given birth to Pelagius, the most remarkable “ man of whom Wales can boast, and the most “ reasonable of all those men, whom the antient “ church has branded with the note of heresy.” What proofs of superior reason were exhibited by Pelagius, I have yet to learn. By your account, he denied original sin ; and this, you justly observe, “ is a perilous error.” But, by your account also, “ he vindicated the goodness of God, by asserting “ the free-will of man ; and he judged more sanely “ than his triumphant antagonist St. Augustine, “ who, retaining too much of the philosophy which “ he had learned in the Manichean school, in“ fected with it the whole church during many “ centuries, and afterwards divided both the catho“ lic and protestant world.” Is this a fair statement of the comparative merits of Pelagius and St. Augustine ? Does it give an accurate view of the controversy between them.? You add, that, “ of “ all those ambitious spirits, who have, adulterated “ the true doctrine of revelation with their own

* Articuli pro Claro, A. D. 1584, Sparrow, 195. Received by the Synod of London in 1597, Sparrow, 248-252. Canon, 14, Sparrow, 368.

+ Cited by doctor Curry, in his Historical Memoirs of Ireland, vol. 1, p. 109.

# In his Reply to the Bishop of Peterborough.

opinions, Augustine, perhaps, is the one who has “ produced the widest and most injurious effects."

Many of the most eminent lights of your church have entertained a very different opinion of this great man ; you will find their testimonies collected in Mr. Brerely's “ Religion of St. Augustine," printed in 1620. Luther affirms, that, “ since " the apostles' time, the church had never a better “ doctor than St Augustine;" and that, “after “ the sacred scriptures, there is no doctor in the “ church, who is to be compared with him.” If you even cursorily rụn over the parts of doctor Lardner's learned work, which relate to the Mani. chees, you will see that the doctor repeatedly mentions St. Augustine in terms of the highest praise ; and, as Lardner had attentively read and considered all St. Augustine's works, his testimony is certainly of the greatest importance. Permit me to recommend his “ Confessions” to your peruşal; you will be delighted with them. If he had written no other work, this alone would give him a high rank among the most sublime, elegant and pious writers.

* Luth. Op. ed. Witten. tom. 7; Loc. Comm. class-4, p. 45.

As to your preference of Pelagius, I need not mention to a gentleman of your learning, that disputes on free-will have agitated the world, both before and after the introduction of christianity. The difficulty has always been to discover some system, which reconciles the freedom of will with the influence of motive upon it ; and which makes the good works of men meritorious in the eyes of the Almighty, while yet they remain his absolute gift. Pelagius maintained, that, both in the choice and execution of good, man acts independently of divine grace. In opposition to him, St. Augustine maintained, that grace prevents and aids our will ; but does not destroy it. When he was pressed to explain, how God could be the sole author of good, unless his grace necessitated man to the choice or execution of it, he acknowledged the extreme difficulty of the question: he frequently gives no other answer, than exclaiming with St. Paul *; “Oh! the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom " and the knowledge of God! His judgments, how “ unsearchable! His ways, how past belief!” He felt that the subject was beyond his reason ; the time, he knew, would come, when “ the Almighty “ would be judged and overcome;"—that is, when all the dispositions of his providence would be unfolded ; and the justice, the wisdom, and the holiness of his councils, would be seen and acknowledged.

* Rom. xi. 33.

Such is the system of St. Augustine on this difficult and abstruse subject :-I leave you now to decide between him and his adversary.

I am the more surprised at the harshness of your language, in respect to St. Augustine, as that great man was harsh to no one: he was mild and humble, even to those, whom he thought most to deserve blame. One passage in his writings is, upon this account, so exquisitely beautiful, that I cannot help transcribing it, particularly as I know that you, too, will peruse it with pleasure :-“ Let those “ be severe upon persons in error, who know not “ with what labour truth is discovered, and error « avoided. Let those be severe who know not how

harshly the diseases of the mind are cured, and “ the eye of the understanding prepared to see “ the light.

Let those be severe who were never “ entangled in error. As for me, I cannot be

severe ; I know the patience and long forbearance I myself have wanted *.”

* 1 Ep. ad Fund.

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