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“spondence of the late excellent Dr. Priestley and Dr. Price, and “ also in the amicable conference of the learned Beza and Pro“ fessor Jacobi, at Montbeliard."--Mr. Kirwan might have added, the Amica Collatio of Limbore and the Jew Orobia. They were not observed in the controversy between Bossuet and Fenelon; but, in the controversy between Bossuet and Clande, to the perusal of which I invite every reader, there was no de- . parture from any one of them.-" In my heart,” says Dr. Milner, in his Strictures on some of the publications of the learned Lady Margaret Professor" I love a good argu- . ment.”—Readers of this taste will be abundantly gratified by Bossuet's account of this celebrated conference.
In addition to the excellent rules for controversy, laid down by Doctor Hey, I beg leave to suggest the particular observance of the following rule in all religious controversies with Romancatholics :-" That no doctrines should be ascribed to them, as a body, except such as are Articles of their Faith."--Of the many misconceptions of their tenets, of which the Roman-catholics complain, they feel none more than those, which proceed from the want of observance of this rule. It is most true, that the Roman-catholics believe the doctrines of their church to be unchangeable : and that it is a Tenet of their Creed, that what their faith ever has been, such it was from the beginning, such it now is, and such it ever will be. But this they confine to the Articles of their Faith; and they consider no doctrine to be of faith, unless it have been delivered by divine revelation, and been propounded, as such, by the church. This the Romancatholics wish their adversaries never to forget.
When any of their adversaries find, in any Catholic writer a position which he thinks reprehensible, he should enquire whether it be an article of Catholic Faith, or an opinicn of the writer. In the latter case, he should reflect, that the general bindy of the Catholics is not responsible for it, and should therefore abstaiu from charging it upon the body.
If he take the higher ground, he should first endeavour to ascertain, that it is an article of the Roman-catholic Faith : but here, again, he should carefully examine, whether it be the Principle itself, which he means to impute to the Catholics, or a Consequence which he deduces from it. These are widely different, and should never be confounded. If it be the Principle, he shonld then enquire, whether it have ever been propounded to them, as an Article of Faith, by the church. A wise method of ascertaining this, would be, to read the “ Catechism of the Council of Trent.” A proper perusal, however, of that work, requires attentive study: if he be unable to give it such a perusal, let him read Bossuet's 6Erposition of Faith ;” and consult, (if not the work itself,). at least the Abridgement of Mr. Gother's “ Papist Misrepresented and Represented :” let him also read Doctor Challoner's “ Three Short Summaries of Catholic Faith and Doctrine," prefixed to his “ Garden of the soul,” the most popular PrayerBook of the English Catholics. Having read these, let him ascertain, whether the doctrine, with which he charges the Catholics, be, in terms or substance, stated in any of them, to be an article of their Faith. If he conceive that it is stated, in any of them, to be such, let him insert, in his publication, the passage in which he professes to discover it, mentioning explicitly the work, the edition of it, and the page in which it is to be found. Should the passage be found, in terms, or substance, in any of the works I have mentioned, then it will be incumbent on the Catholics, either to shew that the writer, in whose work the passage is found, was mistaken, (which from the acknowledged character of all the works I have mentioned, will not, I think, ever happen) or to admit that it is an Article of their Faith; and then the Roman-catholics will be justly chargeable with it. Whatever other opinions can be adduced, though they be the opinions of their most respectable writers, though they be the opinions of the Fathers of their church, still they are but matters of opinion, and a Catholic may disbelieve them, without ceasing to be a Catholic. Would it not be both a fair and a short way of ending the controversy between the Protestants and Catholics, that every person, who charges the general body of Catholics with any religious tenet, should be obliged to cite from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or from one or other of the works I have mentioned, of Bossuet, Mr. Gother, or Dr. Challoner, the passage in which such tenet is contained and propounded as an Article of Faith?
On the Work entitled “ Roman-Catholic Princi- ..
“ ples in reference to God and the King :" first published in 1680 ;-to which a correct edition of The Principles is added.
After the greater part of the preceding pages had been printe ed, it occurred to the writer of them, that the short document of Roman-catholic faith, which is the subject of the present articles, might, without impropriety, be allowed a place in this compilation. It has no pretensions to the rank of a symbolic book ; but it is a clear and accurate exposition of the Romancatholic creed, on some of its most important articles, and has all the authority that such a document can receive from time and universal assent.
The work was first printed in 1680.
Six editions of it were printed before 1684. Lord Stafford referred to it, on his memorable trial in 1680. In the following year appeared “ Stafford's Memoires, or a brief and impartial Account of the trial, principles, and final end of Wil
liam, late Lord Viscount Stafford.” In a folio edition of this work, which the present writer has seen, they are found in the 47th page.
Six editions of them were published by Mr. Gother in 1684 and 1686. Mr. Gother was the most eminent of the Romancatholic controversial advocates and spiritual writers of his time. Mr. Dodd, in the third volume of his Ecclesiastical History, p. 482, mentions seventeen controversial, and twelve spiritual works of his composition. “ The style of them," he says, “is “ natural and unaffected; and, in the opinion of Mr. Dryden, “ the Poet Laureat, a master-piece of the English language.” His most popular controversial work, is “A Papist misrepresented and represented, or a two-fold character of Popery.” A reply to it was published with the title, “ The Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome truly represented.” To this, Mr. Go- . ther replied, by.“ Reflections upon the answer to the Papist misrepresented.” A reply to it was published with the title, “ A Papist not misrepresented by Protestants.” Mr. Gother opposed to it, “ Papists protesting against Protestant Popery." This was met by “ An Answer to a discourse intitled, Papists protesting against Protestant Popery." There were other answers and replies ; those, which have been mentioned, were the most celebrated in their time, and are often met with bound together : he who possesses them has a complete attack and defence of the Roman-catholic religion. An Abridgment of the Papist misrepresented, was printed by the late Dr. Challoner; the seventeenth edition of it has been seen by the present writer. The most eminent of Mr. Gother's spiritual works, is his Instructions on the Epistles and Gospels of the whole year, in three volumes, 8vo. The reader of them will certainly agree with Mr. Dryden in his opinion of the great beauty of the style, and perhaps think with the present writer, that no composition in the Eng. ish language approaches nearer to the severe and nervous simplicity of the best writings of the Dean of St. Patrick's. It is no small commendation of The Principles, that they were adopted by such a writer.
Not fewer than twenty-four other editions of The Principles