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human testimony, and therefore liable to error. Doctor Milner rejects*, in the wholesale, the miracles related in the “ Golden Legend” of Jacobus de Voragine ; those related in the “ Speculum” of Vincentius Belluacensis ; and those related in the “Saints Lives” of the patrician Metaphrastes: no roman-catholic gives credit to those which rest on Surius, or Monbritius, Doctor Lingard t calls Osbert, the biographer of St. Dunstan, and the writer of his life, "an injudicious biographer, whose “ anile credulity collected and embellished every “ fable." Doctor Lingard, also, while he asserts that there are many miracles in the Anglo-Saxon times, which it would require no small ingenuity to disprove, and incredulity to discredit, admits that “ there are also many which must shrink from the “ frown of criticism ; some, which may have been “ the effect of accident or imagination; some, that
are more calculated to excite the smile than the “wonder of the readers; and some, which, on what“ever ground they were originally admitted, de
pend, at the present, on the distant testimony of “ writers, not remarkable for sagacity or discrimi
It was their misfortune," says the same excellent writer, “that the knowledge of these “ writers of miracles was not equal to their piety. “Of their censors, it may sometimes be said, that “their piety was not equal to their knowledge."
This exposition of the roman-catholic doctrine
* End of Controversy, Letter xxiv.
respecting miracles has been often given. May I not ask, if it be either just or GENEROUS to harass the present catholics with the weaknesses of the antient writers of their communion; and to attempt to render their religion and themselves odious by these unceasing and offensive repetitions ?
In a sermon, preached before queen Elizabeth, doctor Jewell, “ the learned, venerated, and autho“ rized organ of the protestant church,” as he is called by the bishop of St. David's, represented to her majesty, that “ witches and sorcerers won
derfully increased;" that “ her majesty's sub‘jects pined away until death ;” that “ their “ colours faded, their flesh rottened, their speech “ was removed, and their senses bereft.” In consequence of this representation, her majesty and the lords spiritual and temporal, in parliament assembled, made witchcraft felony. Numbers suffered upon it in that and subsequent reigns. What would a protestant think of a roman-catholic who should now revile the church of England, on account of this sermon, and the act of parliament which followed it; and should attempt to identify them with the actual doctrines of the established church?' By parity of reason, may not a roman-catholic justly complain, when you bring forward the miserable story of St. Dunstan pinching the devil's nose, and other tales of this sort; and represent them as forming part of the faith or doctrines of the catholic church?
Surely it is time that this kind of contention should cease. If there must be controversy between catholics and protestants, let it always be the controversy of scholars and gentlemen :-such controversy as was waged between Laud and Fisher
; between Chillingworth and Knott:—such as we find in the elegant letters of father Scheffmacher; and the learned treatise of doctor Isaac Barrow. Such, in fine, as we meet with in doctor Milner's “ Letters “ to a Prebendary,” and in his “ End of Contro
versy :". I have greatly availed of these in the letters which I now have the honour to address to you. I particularly recommend the perusal of them to you, and to every protestant, who sincerely wishes to be informed of our religious tenets, of the arguments by which we support them, and of the history of the English roman-catholics since the Reformation.
THIS is an important chapter. A romancatholic will peruse with pleasure the ample tribute of commendation which you pay, in parts of it, to the conduct of the roman missionaries; to the doctrine which they preached'; and to the manner in which they preached it. Still you are sometimes unjust to them. On these parts of the chapter I shall offer some observations: I shall show, 1. That the conduct of the missionaries was, under Providence, the chief cause of their success in preaching the gospel :—11. I shall notice an unfounded charge brought by you, in this chapter, against the Anglo-Saxon clergy :--And III. examine your assertion, that the faith of the Welch was purer than that taught by St. Augustine to the Anglo-Saxons.
The Conduct of the Missionaries was, under Providence,
the chief Cause of their Success. You ask,—why “christianity should have been “ established so early, and with such little struggle “ in England, seeing that its introduction into “ heathen countries has, in later centuries, been “ found so exceedingly difficult, as at one time to be generally considered hopeless, and almost impos“ sible, without a miracle ?" You assign for its early and quiet establishment among the AngloSaxons several natural causes. I coincide with
you in opinion, that all the causes you mention were favourable to the introduction and propagation of christianity in England. Several natural causes had, in like manner, been favourable to its introduction and propagation in the Roman world. All history shows, that the wisdom of Providence frequently uses the circumstances of mankind as instruments for its purposes; and thus frequently accomplishes its designs, partially at least, by human
But,—was not the success of the Anglo-Saxon apostles principally owing, under Providence, to their correspondence with the graces and gifts, which it pleased the Almighty to bestow upon them ? None of the circumstances mentioned by you to have been favourable to the introduction and extension of the gospel among the AngloSaxons, existed in some of the countries in which it was preached by St. Augustine's disciples; yet the success of the disciples was every where equal to the success of their Master. Should it not, therefore, be chiefly attributed to their having possessed the same virtues ?
In how many portions of the habitable globe have roman-catholic missions, even under the most discouraging circumstances, been attended with equal success? In opposition to the ruling powers, and often under severe persecutions, countless conver