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Errors Rites Ceremonies And Superstitious Practices Of The Romish Church

TRADITIONS.] The church of Rome having deprived the laity of the Bible,
substitutes in its stead apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions; and
obliges her disciples to admit for truth whatever she teaches them: but
what do the holy scriptures say? "Why do ye transgress the commandment
of God by your tradition?" Matt. xv. 3, 9, &c. They also command us "to
call no man master (in spiritual concerns;) to try the spirit, and
beware of false teachers."

interpret the scriptures otherwise than according to the sense of holy
mother church, and the pretended unanimous consent of the fathers: they
assert also, that the scriptures ought not to be read publicly, nor
indifferently by all; and, that the common people may be enslaved by
gross ignorance, they perform public worship in an unknown tongue,
contrary to the rule laid down by the apostle, "That all things should
be done to edification." St. Paul says, "If I pray in an unknown tongue,
my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful."

SEVEN SACRAMENTS.] Two only were instituted by Christ, to which the
Romish church has added five more, making in all seven, necessary to
salvation, namely, the eucharist, baptism, confirmation, penance,
extreme unction, orders, and matrimony. To those two which Christ
instituted, she has added a mixture of her own inventions; for in the
sacrament of baptism, she uses, salt, oil, or spittle; and in the
sacrament of the Lord's supper, the laity have only the bread
administered to them; and even that not after the manner ordained by
Christ, who broke the bread and gave it to his disciples; instead of
which the church of Rome administers to her members not bread, but a
wafer, and the priests only drink the wine, though our blessed Lord
said, "Drink ye ALL of this." Matt. xxvi. 27.

THE MASS.] Roman catholics believe it to be a true, proper, and
propitiatory sacrifice, and therefore call it the sacrament of the
altar; whereas, the death of Christ was a full and complete sacrifice,
"in which he hath, by one suffering, perfected for ever them that are
sanctified. He himself is a priest for ever; who, being raised from the
dead, died no more; and who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself
without spot to God." Paul's Epist. to the Hebrews, ch. ix. 10. It was
on account of this gross absurdity, and the irreligious application of
it, that our first reformers suffered, and so many were put to death in
the reign of queen Mary.

TRANSUBSTANTIATION.] Roman catholics profess, that in the most holy
sacrament of the Lord's supper, there is really and substantially the
body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of Christ, and that
the whole substance of the bread is turned into his body, and the whole
substance of the wine into his blood; which conversion, so contradictory
to our senses, they call transubstantiation, but at the same time they
affirm, that, under either kind or species, only one whole entire
Christ, and the true sacrament, is received. But why are those words,
"This is my body," to be taken in a literal sense, any more than those
concerning the cup? Our Saviour says, "I am the true vine, I am the
door." St. Paul says, "Our fathers drank of the rock that followed them,
and that rock was Christ;" and writing to the Corinthians, he affirms,
that, "he had fed them with milk." Can these passages be taken
literally? Why then must we be forced to interpret our Saviour's words
in a literal sense, when the apostle has explained the intention of the
sacrament to be "to show forth the Lord's death till he come!"

PURGATORY.] This, they say, is a certain place, in which, as in a
prison, after death, those souls, by the prayers of the faithful, are
purged, which in this life could not be fully cleansed; no not by the
blood of Christ: and notwithstanding it is asserted in the scriptures,
"if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John i. 9. This place of
purgatory is in the power of the pope, who dispenses the indulgences,
and directs the treasury of his merits, by which the pains are
mitigated, and the deliverance hastened. For the tormented sufferers, in
this ideal inquisition, his monks and friars say masses, all of whom
must be paid for their trouble; because, no penny, no pater-noster; by
which bubble the church of Rome amasses great wealth.

IDOLATRY AND CREATURE-WORSHIP.] In all the Romish worship the blessed
virgin is a principal object of adoration. She is styled the queen of
Heaven, lady of the world, the only hope of sinners, queen of angels,
patroness of men, advocate for sinners, mother of mercies, under which
titles they desire her, by the power of a mother, to command her Son. In
some prayers, they invoke God to bring them to heaven by the merits and
mediation of the Virgin Mary and all her saints, and that they may enjoy
perpetual soundness both of body and mind by her glorious intercession.
Hence it might be imagined by a papist, that the sacred writings were
full of encomiums on this pretended mother of God; whereas, on the
contrary, we do not find Christ in any part of scripture called the Son
of Mary, nor that he at any time calls her mother; and when the woman
cried, "Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that thou hast
sucked." "Yea, (returns our Lord) rather blessed are they that hear the
word of God, and keep it." Nor does our Saviour own any relation but
that of a disciple; for when his mother and brethren stood without,
desiring to speak with him, Jesus answered, "Who are my mother and
brethren?" And looking round upon his disciples, he saith, "Behold my
mother and my brethren; for whosoever shalt do the will of my Father who
is in heaven, the same is my brother, sister, and mother." Of the same
nature are their prayers to other saints and angels, by which they
derogate from the honour of our Christ, and transfer his offices to
others; though the scriptures expressly assert, there is but one
mediator between God and man. Nor must we omit under this head the
idolatry of the mass, in the elevation of the host. Thus is the second
commandment infringed, which the Romish church has endeavoured as much
as possible to suppress, and in many of their little manuals it is
altogether omitted.

PAPAL SOVEREIGNTY.] This is politically supported by a pretended
infallibility; auricular confession, founded upon the priest's power to
forgive sins; indulgences; pretended relics; penance; strings of beads
for Ave-Marys and pater-nosters; celibacy; merits and works of
supererogations; restrictions; monkish austerities; religious vows and
orders; palms; candles; decorated images; holy water; christening of
bells; hallowed flowers and branches; agnus dei; oblations;
consecrations, &c., &c.

LUDICROUS FORMS AND CEREMONIES.] At the feast of Christmas, the Roman
catholics have exhibited in their churches a cradle, with an image of an
infant in it, which is rocked with great seeming devotion; and on
Good-Friday they have the figure of our Saviour on the cross, and then
they perform the service which they call the Tenebres; having abundance
of lighted candles, all of which they extinguish one by one, after which
the body is taken down from the cross and put into a sepulchre, and men
stand to watch it.

CRUEL MAXIMS.] Papists hold that heretics may not be termed children and
kindred; that no faith is to be kept with heretics; and that it is
lawful to torture or kill them for the good of their souls.

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