Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and declaratians prescribed by the acts of the Irish parliament to Irish Roman Catholics :

6. The first is the oath of allegiance and declaration, prescribed by the Irish act of the 13th and 14th of his present majesty ; and is taken by all Irish Roman Catholics.

"1. A. B., do take Almighty God, and his only Son Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, to witness, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to our most gracious sovereign Lord King George the Third, and him will defend to the utmost of my power against all conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, that shall be made against his person, crown, and dignity ; and I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to his majesty and his heirs, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which may be formed against him or them; and I do faithtully promise to maintain, support, and detend, to the ut. most of my power, the succession of the crown in his mejesty's family, against any person or persons whatsoever, hereby utterly renouncing and abjuring any obedience or allegiance unto the person taking upon himself the style and title of Prince of Wales, in the life-time of his father, and who, since his death, is said to have assumed the style and title of King of Great Britain and Ireland, by the name of Charles the Third, and to any other person claiming, or pretending a right to the crown of these realms; and I do swear that I do reject and detest, as unchristian and impious to believe, that it is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons whatsoever for or under pretence of their being heritics, and also that unchristian and impious principle that no faith is to be kept with heritics : I further declare, that it is no article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure, the opinion that princes excommunicated by the pope and council, or by any authority of the see of Rome, or by any authority whatsoever, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or by any person whatsoever ; and I do promise, that I will not hold, maintain, or abet, any such opinion, or any other opinion, contrary to what is expressed in this declaration : and I do declare, that I do not believe that the pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm ; and I do solemnly in the presence of God, and of his only Son Jesus Christ niy Redeemer, profess, testify and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatever, and without any dispensation already granted by the pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, or any person whatever, and without thinking that I am, or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the pope, or any other person or personis or authority whatsoever, shall dispense with or annul

the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning:

“. So help me God." • The next is the oath and declaration prescribed by the Irish act of the 33d of his present majesty, and is taken by all Irish Roman Catholics, wishing to entitle themselves to the benefit of that act.

“'T, A. B., do hereby declare, that I do profess the Roman Catholic religion.

“!, A. B., do swear that I do abjure, condem, and detest, as unchristian and impious, the principle that it is lawful to murder, destroy, or any ways injure any persons whatsoever, for or under the pretence of being a heritic : And I do declare solemnly before God, that I believe that no act in itself unjust, iminoral or wicked, can ever be justified or excused, by or under pretence or colour that it was done either for the good of the church, or in obedience to any ecclesiastical power whatsoever : I also declare, that it is not an article of the Catholic faith, neither am I thereby required to believe or profess that the pope is infallible, or that I am bound to obey any order, in its own nature immoral, though the pope or any ecclesiastical power, should issue or direct such order; but on the contrary, I hold that it would be sinful in me to pay any respect or obedience thereto : I further declare that I do not believe that any sin whatever comunitted by me, can be forgiven, at the mere will of any pope, or of any priest, or of any person or persons whatsoever, but that sincere sorrow for past sins, a firm and sincere resolution to avoid future guilt, and to atone to God, are previous and indispensible requisites to establish a well

founded expectation of forgiveness, and that any person who receives absolution without these previous requisites, so far from obtaining thereby any remission of his sius, incurs the additional guilt of violating a sacrament: And I do swear that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the settlement and arrangement of property in this country, as established by the laws now in being : I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure, any intention to subvert the present church establishment, for the purpose of substituting a catholic establishment in its stead : And I do solemnly swear, that I will not exercise any privilege to which I am or may become entitled, to disturb and weaken the protestant religion and protestant government in this kingdom.

". So help me God.' “Such are the principles which his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects have publicly and solemnly declared and professed on oath. There is not, in any of them, a single principle which every Roman Catholic subject of his majesty does not profess; or which, if his king and country required it, he would not think it his duty to seal with his blood.

“III. - In the year 1788, a committee of the English catholics waited on Mr. Pitt, respecting their application for a repeal of the penal laws. He requested to be furnished with authentic evidence of the opinions of the Roman Catholic clergy and the Roman Catholic universities abroad, ‘on the existence and extent of the pope's dispensing power. Three questoins were accordingly framed, and sent to the universities of Paris, Louvain, Alcala, Doway, Salamanca, and Valladolid, for their opinions. The questions proposed to them were, 1. Has the dope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the church of Rome, any civil authority, power, jursidiction, or preeminence whatsoever, within the realm of England ? 2. Can the pope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the Church of Rome, absolve or dispense with his majesty's subjects from their oath of allegiance, upon any pretext whatsoever ? 3. Is there any principle in the tenets of the catholic faith, by which catholics are justified in not keeping faith with heretics, or other persons, differing from them in religious Opinions, in any transaction, either of a public or a private nature ?

“ The universities answered unanimously :--1. That the pope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the Church of Rome, has not any civil authority, power, jurisdiction or pre-eminence whatsoever, within the realm of England. 2. That the pope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any indi. vidual of the church of Rome, CANNOT absolve or dispense with his majesty's subjects from their oath of allegiance, upon any pretext whatsoever. 3. That there is no principle in the tenets of the catholic faith, by which catholics are justified in not keeping faith with heritics, or other persons differing from them in religious opinions, in any transactions either of a public or a private pature. As soon as the opinions of the foreign universities were received, they were transmitted to Mr. Pitt ; but we earnestly beg of you to observe, that it was for his satisfaction, not ours, that these opinions were taken : assuredly, his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects did not want the wisdoin of foreign universities to inform them, that his majesty is the lawful sovereign of all his Roman Catholic subjects; and that, by every divine and human law, his Roman Catholic subjects owe him true, dutiful, active, and unreserved allegiance.

“ Such then, fellow-countrymen and fellow-subjects, such being our religious and civil principles, in respect to our king and our country,-let us now again ask you,- is there in them a single tenet which is incompatible with the purest loyalty ; or which in the slightest degree, interferes with the duty we owe to God, our King, or our country ?

“ But,-are these principles really instilled into us? Do our actions correspond with them ? In reply we ask,-- Are there not at this very moment, thousands of his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, who daily and hourly make the most heroic exertions and sacrifices in those fleets and armies, to whose patient and adventurous courage it is owing that we are still blessed with a king and country.

“ Now then, fellow-countrymen and fellow subjects, be assured, that among these heroic and inestimable defenders and

supporters of their king and their country, there is not one, whose parents and whose priests have not taught him, that loyalty is a religious as much as a civil duty ; and that when he is fighting for his king and his country, he is performing a duty to his God.”

This paper was signed by 59 of the most respectable catholic noblemen and gentlemen of the kingdom, with the late venerable Dr. Douglas, Vic. Ap. London, at their head.

A faithful view having thus been exhibited of the RELIGION of the Roman Catholics, so far as relates to doctrines and opinions, nothing remains but to attempt a similar description of their Rites and CEREMONIES, including some religious PRACTICES not already sufficiently explained.

It is well known that the Roman Catholics perform divine service in the Latin tongue. The Council of Trent decreed that this ought to be the case. This practice was introduced so early as the year 666 ; a very ominous number, being no other than the number of the beast mentioned in the holy scriptures, that beast being, as we protestants believe, no other than the church of Rome herself ;* though some ignorant catholics have declared that it meant the famous Doctor Martin Luther; and several later writers, that it applies to Napoleon Bonaparte, now fallen like Babylon of old. However this may be, the Church of Rome has chosen to have all her masses performed in the Latin tongue ; but for the instruction of the ignorant, all those prayers, &c. are translated into the mother-tongue.

It bas been said, but without foundation, that the Roman catholics forbid the use of the boly scriptures in the vulgar tongue; they now have numerous translations in use among the laity as well as among the clergy ; but the church does not encourage any translation besides her own.

Something ought to be said concerning Persecution and the Inquisition ; but all that is needful to be stated on those points is, that the religion of the catholics forbids the former, and knows no more of the latter than the protestant religion knows of the Star-chamber. They are state institutions and state practices, not properly chargeable upon the religion of the catholics ; though they may be upon catholic princes and rulers, who “not knowing what manner of spirit they were of," encourged them in despight of the obvious tenets of their religion.

The WORSHIP of the Church of home is of the grandest and most imposing character. Its ceremonials, especially in foreign countries, are extremely splendid. The most remarkable of their religious solennities shall be now described.

The ALTAR, according to the sacred canons, should be made of stone ; and it is the bishop's province to consecrate it. The table should be made of one single stone, supported by pillars ;

*The opinion that the Catholic Church is the Antichrist of the scriptures is not so general among Protestants as it has been. That church has never denied, explicitiv, the Father and the Son.

there should be three steps to go up to it, covered with a carpet ; and it is the clerk's business to see that the table be covered with a chrismal, that is, a fine cloth as white as possible, laid upon it. All this must be observed with the greatest exactness with regard to the high altar, where Christ's body, or the host, is generally deposited. The clerks must be dressed in their surplices when they approach it, and immediately kneel down and adore the holy sacrament. Certain rules are likewise to be observed in the change of the ornaments ; the whole of which must be blessed, crossed, &c. and sprinkled with holy, or consecrated water.

The same formalities are to be observed with respect to the TABERNACLE of the altar, to the pyr, that is, the box wherein the host is locked up, and the corporals on which they cousecrate ; in all which they are to provide every thing of the greatest value ; neither gold, silver, nor precious stones, are spared to adorn it; and the most splendid productions of art contribute to its lustre. Tapers are set on the right and left side, which must be made of white wax, except in offices for the dead, &c.

There must be a crucifix, in alto relievo, on the altar ; which is generally of curious workmanship. This crucifix must be so placed, that the foot may be as high as the top of the candlestick. There are, also, sundry cruets, basins, &c. for washing ; also, a little bell to be rung at what is called the sanctus, and the two elevations, or liftings-up, of the host. The clerk must tinkle it twice at each sanctus; and at the two elevations nine times (viz.) thrice when the priest kneels down ; thrice when he elevates the host, and thrice when he sets it down upon the altar.

The same formalities are observed in regard to the chalice, or cup.

The altar is inclosed within rails generallyt of curious workmanship, and the whole service is conducted with solemnity and great ceremony.

It will be proper here to explain, as well as I can, “ obscured as they are in the mist of antiquity," some of these ceremonies, and of the vestments with which the priests are decorated on their solemn occasions. The Rev. Peter Gandolphy, a learned priest of the metropolis, has given sufficient explanation of them in his preface to his edition of the liturgy, published a few years ago. These ceremonies, composed, as he says, for the edification of the faithful, were mostly intended to bear a mystical signification ; though convenience and propriety often dictated the adoption of some. Thus the praying with uplifted hands, in imitation of Moses, mystically expresses the elevation of our thoughts to God. St. Paul also gives a mystical reason for the custoin of men praying uncovered in churches ; and even to many of their ceremonies which propriety has introduced, the church has added a mystical sense. Thus the altars in the Roman Catholic churches are always raised above the level of the pavement, that the people may more easily

« ZurückWeiter »