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extort money from those who had more simplicity than prudence, and being besides, exercised most imprudently by the commissioners, the greatest part of whom purchased from the court the power of exercising them, had excited in many places great indignation and scandal, especially in Germany, where faculties for liberating the souls of the dead from purgatory were sold at a trifling price, or made the stakes of gambling in taverns.” (Philpot's Letters to Butler, 182 to 185.) This extract, brethren, which is in the words of their own writer, fully justifies the indignant zeal of Luther, when he publicly attacked these indulgences at Wittemberg: and thus was the excess of this modern corruption made the instrument of restoring the true doctrines of the Gospel, and bringing back the long neglected system of the Word of God.

Since the Reformation, an immense reduction has certainly been practically and theoretically effected in this matter. The assumed infallibility of the Church of Rome, however, prevents an open avowal of the improvement; and indeed the substantial errors of these three connected corruptions, satisfaction, purgatory and indulgences, are still maintained, although to a very different degree of extravagance, both in the papal dominions, and in countries where the Reformation has been successful. To show the existing state of the matter in our own day, the best evidence I can set before you is the bull of the pope, published in A. D. 1825, for the last jubilee.

“During this year,” saith the pope, “which we truly call the acceptable time and the time of salvation, &c., we have resolved, in virtue of the authority given to us by heaven, fully to unlock that sacred treasure, composed of the merits, sufferings and virtues of Christ our Lord, and of his virgin mother, and of all the saints, which the Author of human salvation has entrusted to our dispensation. We proclaim that the year of atonement and pardon, of redemption and grace, of remission and indulgence, is arrived ; in which we know that those benefits which the old law, the messenger of things to come, brought every fiftieth year to the Jewish people, are renewed in a much more sacred manner by the accumulation of spiritual blessings, through Him, by whom came peace and truth. During which year of the Jubilee, we mercifully give and grant in the Lord, a plenary indulgence, remission and pardon of all their sins, to all the faithful of Christ, truly penitent and confessing their sins and receiving the holy communion, who shall visit the Churches of blessed Peter and Paul, &c., and shall pour forth their pious prayers to God for the exaltation of the Church, the extirpation of heresies, the concord of Catholic princes, and the safety and tranquillity of Christian people.”

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“But you, venerable brethren,” continues the pope, in ano. ther part of the same instrument, “patriarchs, primates, arch. bishops, bishops, co-operate with these our cares and desires. To you it belongs 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 divine justice for sin; and what suiccour is afforded out of this heavenly treasure, from the merits of Christ and his saints, to such as have departed real penitents in God's love, yet before they had duly satisfied, by fruits worthy of penance, for 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 country, where nothing defiled is admitted. Courage and attention, venerable brethren, for some there are, following that wisdom which is not from God, and covering themselves under sheep's clothing-who, under the usual pretence of a more refined piety, are now sowing amongst the people erroneous comments on this subject.” (Philpot's Let. to But. Sup. p. 428.)

We see here, brethren, that the theory of this matter is stated in strong and plain terms under the very authority of the pope himself, while, with regard to the practice, the book


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called True Piety, prepared expressly for the Roman Catholics of this country, informs us, that a plenary indulgence may be obtained in the United States on the following days: “1. From Christmas Eve to Epiphany. 2. From the first Sunday in Lent to the second inclusive. 3. From Palm Sunday to Low Sunday inclusively, except Good Friday and Holy Saturday. 4. From Whitsunday to the end of the Octave of Corpus Christi. 5. On the five great festivals of the blessed virgin Mary, with their Octaves. 6. On the festivals of St. Peter and. St. Paul, of St. Michael the archangel, and within their Octaves.” (True Piety, New York ed. of 1826, p. 226.) From which it appears, that the American Roman Catholic can have a plenary indulgence, either for himself or for the souls in purgatory, on nearly half the days in the year. The fee paid for them I have no means of ascertaining, but I am well assured that they cannot be had without money and without price, however poor the man, and however pressing the supposed necessity.

And now, brethren, although I have wearied myself and you with this long discussion, I feel that it would be due to the occasion to speak of the result of these perversions, if a better opportunity were not at hand on the closing of the series. I shall only therefore, add, that our next and last subject will be the doctrine of the eucharistic sacrament, including transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass. The labour necessary in the preparation of these discourses, on my part, and the close attention demanded on yours, will not be without fruit, if they aid in strengthening our gratitude to God for the light of that Reformation, which has freed us from the yoke of this spiritual bondage. O! that the millions of our fellow Christians, who are still lying under it, might learn to know their error, and return to the Scriptural truth of that Gospel which alone can make them free. The Church of Rome was once the first among the Churches. St. Paul himself bore

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testimony, that their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world. God grant that it may yet be brought back to the same pure and apostolic standard, when every invention of men, every trace of superstition, every relic of a dark and bar. barous age, every perilous dependence upon the exercise of priestly power in the unseen world, which God has made subject neither to our observation nor to our control, -—when all, in a word, which has defiled and deformed the religion of the glorious Redeemer, shall be swept away from the Universal Church; when the faith that was once Catholic shall be Catholic again, and the blessed Word of God shall go forth to the ends of the earth, conquering and to conquer.

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1 Cor. xi. 29.-For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth

and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.—(Doway Version.)

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The topic on which we are about to enter, my brethren, is one of the most important points in our controversy with the Church of Rome, and has given rise to more subtle disputation than almost any other, amongst Protestants them. selves. It is the question of the presence of Christ in the administration of the holy Eucharist, commonly called the Lord's Supper. There are four or five varieties of opinion upon this subject, amongst orthodox Christians, of which, however, it does not fall within our proposed range to treat particularly; our design being chiefly to set forth the error which our own branch of the Reformation has condemned in the Thirty-nine Articles, under the well-known name of Transubstantiation.

This doctrine may be briefly stated as follows: The Church of Rome holds, that in the Sacrament of the Lord's Table, or of the Altar, there is a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice of the actual flesh and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine; and that by virtue of the priestly prayer of consecration, the elements are so changed, that nothing remains of their former substance but only the outward appearance, which they call the species; the whole of the bread being transmuted into the actual flesh, and the whole of the wine into the actual

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