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"ceive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are "remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are re"tained."

On the doctrine of penance, however, is grounded the precept of confession. Confession of sin (that is, AURICULAR confession) is requisite for penance, and penance for absolution. This is the natural order in the Romish Church; although, in the primitive Christian Church, the ministers of religion were bound to offer absolution, in the name of GOD, to all truly penitent sinners, though they should not seek it at their hands by particular confession; and to exhort and beseech men generally "to be reconciled to Go D," by their ministry. Open and scandalous sins only were made the subjects of penance. This godly discipline was first superseded in the Church of Rome by LEO 1. called the Great, about the middle of the fifth century; who gave a general permission, that such sins might be confessed privately to a priest appointed for that purpose, instead of their being confessed, as theretofore, in the face of the congregation. So that the whole Roman doctrine and practice, as they now stand, were a change of the ancient discipline of the Church;-a change, as Mosheim observes, "by which one of the greatest restraints upon "licentiousness, and the only remaining barrier of chastity were en"tirely removed; and the actions of Christians were subject to no "other scrutiny than that of the CLERGY."

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"The Catholic Church is charged," etc.] In the granting of indulgences, the Roman Church is certainly chargeable with all the consequences that may arise from such concession. It would be very extraordinary indeed, if she professedly " gave leave to commit sin," by granting them; but if they are generally found to encourage the ignorant in sin and presumption, she virtually gives that leave.


"It is no pardon of sin at all."] But it is most intimately associated with it. What else did the present pope, in his bull of indiction for the jubilee of the last year, mean by saying " During this year of jubilee, we mercifully in the Lord grant and impart a plenary indulgence, remission, and pardon of all their sins, to all the "faithful in Christ, etc.?" The temporal punishment, mentioned in the Declaration, is the punishment in purgatory, which, it is said,

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John xx. 22, 23.

2 Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. cent. 5. par. 2. c. 4. § 3.

The obligation of SACRAMENTAL confession to a priest is not an imposition of the Church, but a precept of CHRIST. Without the voluntary confession of the penitent, the power of forgiving or retaining sins could not be exercised with discretion and judgment by the minister of the SACRAMENT of PENANCE. The confession of sins could never have been introduced, had it not been received from THE BEGINNING as a divine ordinance for the remission of sins. It has been practised from the earliest ages of Christianity. It is attended with the most salutary effects. Besides being the means of obtaining the remission of sin, it affords relief to the troubled conscience, and opportunities of reclaiming deluded sinners from mischievous projects, and of causing reparation to be made for injuries done to persons, property, or character. It may be ridiculed by such as "blaspheme those things which they know not," [2 Pet. ii. 12.) but will be ever cherished as a merciful and salutary institution by those who are sincerely sorry for their sins, and earnestly sue for pardon.


On Indulgences.

The Catholic Church is charged with encouraging guilt by giving leave to commit sin, and granting an anticipated pardon for sins to come, by indulgences.

The Catholic Church rejects with abhorrence the imputation, that, by granting an indulgence, she grants permission to commit sin, or a pardon for sins to come. An indulgence, in the sense of the Catholic Church, is no pardon for sin at all; it is only a remission of the whole, or a part of the temporal punishment, which the justice of God often reserves to be undergone by the sinner, after the guilt of his sin has been remitted.

family, and whole court of Portugal, went in solemn procession, to pay their devotions to "Our Lady of the Cave," (nossa Senhora da Barracca) an image of the VIRGIN, about four inches long, lately found in a hole near Lisbon? And did not this image perform miracles, which are recorded by authority? See Mrs. Marianne Baillie's "Lisbon ;" Letters 40, 44, and 53.

I Where to be found?

? To GoD certainly, but not to the priest.

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"God often reserves to be undergone by the sinner, after the guilt of his sin is remitted." And to this effect proceeds the pope, in the Bull just cited:-"To you it belongs, venerable brethren! to explain with perspicuity the power of indulgences; what is their efficacy, not only in the remission of canonical penance, but also "of the temporal punishment due to the divine justice for past sin; "and what succour is afforded out of this heavenly treasure, from the "merits of CHRIST and his SAINTS, to such as have departed real penitents in the love of GOD, yet before they had duly satisfied, by fruits worthy of penance, for their sins of commission and "omission, and are now purifying in the fire of PURGATORY, "that an entrance may be opened for them into their eternal coun"try, into which nothing that is defiled is admitted."



The granting of indulgences does therefore, to a certain extent, imply the pardon of sins. And such is the close connexion of the doctrine of INDULGENCES with that of PURGATORY, that the former of these was almost a natural consequence of the latter; and they must stand and fall together: both together have been the source of immense influence and revenue to the Roman Church. See page 32.

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Was given by Christ to St. Peter," etc.] This may very safely be denied. The doctrine of purgatory was never authoritatively propounded in the ROMAN Church till the latter end of the sixth century; (see page 28.) and, consequently, the doctrine of indulgences, which is chiefly founded upon it, was never revealed "by Christ to St. "Peter," nor the power of granting them "exercised from the earliest ages" of the Church. The assertion is in the very face of history, and is founded upon a misrepresentation of that remarkable passage in Matth. xvi. 16-19, which has been verified in widely different circumstances from those which related to purgatory and indulgences.

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"Surely, therefore, the doctrine," etc.] The SACRAMENT of penance, auricular confession, and the doctrine of indulgences, were the arbitrary impositions of the Church of ROME during a corrupt and unenlightened period: and it is impossible to see, especially if we look to the moral and religious state of those countries where she still rules with the most absolute sway, how they can produce those excellent effects which are here attributed to them. Experience is the only test of truth in this case. "By their fruits ye shall know "them." Matth. vii. 16-20.

The power of granting the remission of this temporal punishment was given by Christ to St. Peter and his successors, and has been exercised from the earliest ages. An indulgence, so far from exempting sinners from works of penance and piety, is an encouragement to the performance of such works, since they are prescribed as conditions for gaining the benefit of an indulgence.

Surely, therefore, the doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the sacrament of penance, confession, and indulgences, does not tend to relax Christian morality, nor to encourage guilt, nor facilitate the commission of crime; but rather to put an end to sin, and to promote the exercise of every Christian virtue among men.



"We cannot sufficiently express our astonishment," etc.] The whole of this Section is very plausible, and may possibly have been written with sincerity, though appearances are rather against this supposition: but still it must be recollected, that it forms part only of the Declaration of the individual Romish prelates who have signed it, and is destitute of all further authority. It speaks not the language of their CHURCH, as expressed in her decrees, and canons, and in the general conduct of her popes; and to these, and these ONLY, must we refer, as the authentic source of information as to her real doctrines. I have already stated, from decrees and canons which are still in force, what her real doctrine is upon the subject of an oath, and especially an oath of allegiance; and have given examples, to demonstrate the manner in which that doctrine has been allowed to operate in this country, even in modern times. In order therefore to avoid repetition, I beg leave to refer the reader to what I have advanced on the subject in pages 15-21 of these Remarks.

"Or dispense with any oath by which a Catholic," etc.] There is a degree of reservation here observable, which, in an avowed declaration of principles, ought by all means to have been avoided. Besides by "allegiance to his sOVEREIGN," it is here insinuated that "the Catholic" is bound by "an obligation of duty or justice to a THIRD PERSON." Now, who should this THIRD PERSON be, to whom "Catholics" are thus bound, but THE POPE? This ought to have been openly and fairly stated, that Protestants, who are generally unacquainted in this country with the ecclesiastical policy of ROME, might not be circumvented. All Romanists, in this country as well as every other, are compelled, by their very CREED, "to promise and swear true OBEDIENCE to the ROMAN BISHOP, the successor of "St. Peter:" and, of course, they cannot TRULY take that OATH of allegiance to the king, in the true sense thereof, which is prescribed by the political constitution of the land: they cannot acknowledge him as, under GOD, the SUPREME HEAD of the Church within his dominions; and therefore, as we have seen in a former part of this Declaration, they only acknowledge that "to the KING they

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1 See the next Remark.

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