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AYVIII

INTRODIICTORY

ESSAY.

a

Why, he

doth bestride

the

narrow world

Like

a

Colossus;

and

we

puny

men

Walk

under his

huge

legs,

and

peep

about

To

find ourselves dishonourable

graves."

Fictitious,

however, as is

the

basis on which

the

Popedom rests,

not

so

are

the

agents

it

employs,

the

homage

it

exacts,

and

the

means

which

it

takes to uphold the

fiction.

Its

agents, divided, as

they

may

be,

into

the

simpletons who

actually

believe

in

the

pretensions

of Popery,

and

who,

if

not

grossly

ignorant,

will

generally be found

to

labour

under

some

mental

malformation, and

the

sharpers

whose

business

and interest

it

is

to keep up

the

delusion,

though neither

of

them

would

be formidable

by

themselves, become

so

by working

into

each

other's

hands.

The largest and

flashiest

of

impostors

require

the

aid of

their

dupes

;

and

the

finger of

a

mere

child

may

serve

to pull

the

trigger

of

the

weapon which

the

assassin

has charged

and

pointed.

The

homage, again, exacted

by the

Popedom, extends

to

every soul

that

lives,

and

to

every action

and relation

of

life

;

demanding

the

abject prostration of every

faculty,

the

sacrifice

of

every

feeling,

and

the surrender

of every

right. And

the

means

employed to bolster

up

the

hideous phantasmagoria embrace every

possible

expedient, however much

it

may outrage

the

laws of God

and

man.

To complete

the

magic circle of

this

"

Mystery of

Iniquity,"

it

only

remains to be told,

that,

according

to the

well-known

maxim

of

the

Jesuits, in matters

involving

the interest

of

their

church (and these

may

be

very widely stretched), all sorts of deceit and imposture may

be lawfully

and

even laudably practised upon heretics, provided

it

be

done

"

with

a

good

intention

;"

and, accordingly, all

that

we

have

now

stated

as

"the

common

doctrine"

of

the

church

of Rome

may

be

disclaimed,

and

pronounced, even

under

the

solemn sanction

of

an

oath,

to be

pure

misrepresentation.

What

is more, on

the

same

principle,

it

may be

lawfully denied

that

any

such

maxim

is

held in

the

church of Rome

as

that it

is

lawful

to practise deceit upon

heretics

!

With

a

body

of

men calling themselves

a

church,

con-

victed of holding

such

a

principle,

it

would

be vain

to

argue,

and

worse

than

vain to

enter

into

compact.

Their testimony, in

their

own

case,

like

that

of

the

convicted liar,

must

be

held

inadmissible

in

any court of justice, and

the

only

safe course

must

be to ignore

it

altogether.

It

follows,

that

to

form

a

souád and

safe

estimate of

the

Papacy,

we

must, independently of

any

disclaimer

put

in by

the

devoted

adherents

of

that

system,

examine those

works

written

by themselves