Imágenes de páginas

of the saints is clearly referred to and authorised by St. Cyprian, who suffered for the faith in the

year 258.

V. Then it is said that we disobey the command of God, by not making Jesus Christ our sole mediator : according to the apostle”, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is truly our mediator, who gave himself a ransom for all : this the Catholic Church ever readily and cheerfully acknowledges. But though our Redeemer is most assuredly. our mediator of redemption, and even of intercession too, in the primary and fullest sense of the word, this by no means excludes the interposition of his chosen friends, who charitably petition the throne of grace in our behalf. Let me again observe, that the catechist does not dishonour his sovereign by employing superior interest to procure a royal gift; nor do the faithful injure the mediation of our Redeemer by applying to the powerful aid and intercession of the saints. To this general intercourse between the saints in heaven and the faithful on earth, to this communion of saints, St. Cyprian clearly alludes, when he represents the blessed above secure of their own immortality, and solicitous for ours? But that the reader may have

· Vide Epist. ad Corn. Pap. lx. 271. edit. Oxon. Epist. lvii. 77–79. edit. Pamel. et not. doct. edit.

91 Tim. ii. 5. : St. Cypr. de Mortal. versus finem.


still more direct evidence of the practice of the first ages on the subject of the invocation of the saints, let him recollect what is recorded by Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history, and author of many learned works now extant. That most learned writer relates, that it was the usual custom in his days, to honour the martyrs as the friends of Gou, to approach to their tombs, and to pour forth supplications to them as to holy men, by whose intercession before God no small advantage was attained'. A writer who, in defiance of this testimony, should hereafter venture to call this holy practice an innovation, would deserve to be treated as a wanton calumniator, and never to possess the smallest share of credit in the literary world.

VI. Still the catechist urges, that we ascribe divine power to the saints, by asking of them what God alone can give. In answer to this, let me again and again observe, that we apply to the saints, not as to the authors and distributors of grace, but as intercessors only, whom we request to espouse our cause before the throne of God. All our prayers, however worded, are to be understood with this limitation. Thus we petition the Blessed Virgin Mary to protect us by her intercession, and so to befriend us by her aid,

с C

1 Vide Prepar. Evangel. lib. xii. 7.

that we may be favourably received at the hour of our death.

VII. The catechist is not yet satisfied-his piety leads him to apprehend that we charge our great Mediator with imperfection, by applying to the saints. Let me assure him that we do no such thing; we do not recur to the intercession of the saints, from any supposed defect in the mediation of our Redeemer, but from a consciousness of our own defects, imperfections, and miseries; and on this ground we apply to them for their succour, in the same spirit in which the friends of Job were directed by God himself, to seek the interposition of the just man.

VIII. The catechist, in his simplicity, imagines that the saints departed would disavow the honour shown them, could they be suffered to appear on earth. He may quiet his apprehensions on this ground, by remembering that the saints are represented in the book of the Revelations of St. John, as doing the good office which we request them to perform'.

IX. When he says, that it is not the same thing to pray to the saints departed, and to desire a neighbour to pray for us, I beg leave to observe, that these are actions resting on the same foundation, and supported by the same principles. When we request the aid of another's prayer, we

I See Rev. loc. cit.

desire him to perform an act of charity in our favour; and when we recur to the intercession of the saints, we make the same request, though with more effect, as their interest is greater before God, and their charity more animated and inflamed.


Why do not you worship or venerate the relics of saints?


1. Because, if I am not to give religious honour to saints de

parted, I must give none to relics. 2. There is no command nor example in Scripture for this

practice. 3. It is a novelty, for this trade of relics was not known or

heard of till very near four hundred years after Christ. 4. We read indeed that devout men carried St. Stephen to his

burial, but there was no stir made with his relics. 5. Some of the wiser sort of Papists confess themselves that

there are great cheats in relics, and that bones of thieves and murderers are sometimes honoured and adored for

relics of saints. 6. The miracles pretended to be wrought by these relics, have

been found often to be nothing but delusions of the devil. 7. By this superstitious veneration of relics, men’s minds are

diverted and turned away from that rational and spiritual

worship the gospel requires. 8. It is evident, from experience, that the people in the Church

of Rome put great trust and confidence in their relics, and abuse them into superstition.


The same principles which direct the Catholic Church in showing honour to the saints, are equally applicable to the veneration paid to their relics. All divine worship, denominated by divines cultus latriæ, is studiously and scru

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