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In order to produce to the satisfaction of the reader, a rational and real ground for admitting the doctrine of indulgences, we have to establish three propositions; the first is, that God, after forgiving sin, usually apportions a certain share of temporal punishment to be borne by the sinner; the second is, that Christ has left in the church a power to remit this punishment; and the third is, that this remission of the temporal pains, or the use of indulgences, has been constantly practised in the church. Nothing will be found clearer than the grounds, by which these three propositions are usually established.

Of the first proposition, that God, on forgiving sin, usually reserves to the sinner a certain portion of temporal pain, the slightest knowledge of the Scripture supplies the most abundant proof. It is known to those who have any knowledge of religion, that we are all born with the original stain of the transgression of him, in whom all have sinned", and that sin has entailed on all the children of Adam every species of temporal evil. This original sin, however, has been removed in various ways, in the law of nature, the law of Moses, and the law of grace; and yet the attendant pains of death, and the evils of suffering humanity, still remain. In the history of the Israelites, we find that stiff-necked

i Rom. v. 12.

people offending God by their violent murmurs ?; the Almighty expresses his displeasure with a solemn menace of disinheritance and destruction?; Moses interposes, and obtains their pardono; yet the temporal punishment of dying in the wilderness, and the consequent exclusion from the land of promise, are not removed. When God proclaimed pardon to David, by his prophet Nathan, for the enormous crimes of murder and adultery, he still made severe denunciations of temporal sufferings ; all which threats were carried into full effects. Various other examples might be produced from Scripture, which invincibly prove, that God, on forgiving sin, usually reserves a certain portion of temporal punishment to be endured by the sinner.

The next proposition to be established is, that Christ has left in his church a power to remit the temporal punishment, which has been proved to exist after the remission of sin. For this purpose, the reader has only to open his Scripture, and see the extensive and unbounded power which our Redeemer bequeathed to the apostles and their legitimate successors. To Peter, he says: I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of HEAVEN ; and WHATSOEVER thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. And

i Num. xiv. 2. 2 Ibid, 11, 12. 3 Ibid. 13-20. 4 lbid. 22, 23.

5 See and compare 2 Kings, al. 2 Sam. xii. 13, et seq ch. xiv. ch. xvii. 6 Matt. xvi. 19.

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In order to produce to the satisfaction of the reader, a rational and real ground for admitting the doctrine of indulgences, we have to establish three propositions ; the first is, that God, after forgiving sing usually apportions a certain share of temporal punishment to be borne by the sinner; the second is, that Christ has left in the church a power to remit this punishment; and the third is, that this remission of the temporal pains, or the use of indulgences, has been constantly practised in the church. Nothing will be found clearer than the grounds, by which these three propositions are usually established.

Of the first proposition, that God, on forgiving sin, usually reserves to the sinner a certain portion of temporal pain, the slightest knowledge of the Scripture supplies the most abundant proof. It is known to those who have any knowledge of religion, that we are all born with the original stain of the transgression of him, in whom all have sinned', and that sin has entailed on all the children of Adam every species of temporal evil. This original sin, however, has been removed in various ways, in the law of nature, the law of Moses, and the law of

grace; and yet the attendant pains of death, and the evils of suffering humanity, still remain. In the history of the Israelites, we find that stiff-necked

I Rom. v. 12.

people offending God by their violent murmurs '; the Almighty 'expresses his displeasure with a solemn menace of disinheritance and destruction”; Moses interposes, and obtains their pardon'; yet the temporal punishment of dying in the wilderness, and the consequent exclusion from the land of promise, are not removed". When God proclaimed pardon to David, by his prophet Nathan, for the enormous crimes of murder and adultery, he still made severe denunciations of temporal sufferings; all which threats were carried into full effect 5. Various other examples might be produced from Scripture, which invincibly prove, that God, on forgiving sin, usually reserves a certain portion of temporal punishment to be endured by the sinner.

The next proposition to be established is, that Christ has left in his church a power to remit the temporal punishment, which has been proved to exist after the remission of sin. For this purpose, the reader has only to open his Scripture, and see the extensive and unbounded power which our Redeemer bequeathed to the apostles and their legitimate successors. To Peter, he says: I will give unto thee the Keys of the kingdom of HEAVEN ; and whaTSOEVER thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. And

· Num. xiv. 2. 2 Ibid. 11, 12. 3 Ibid. 13_-20. 4 lbid. 22, 23.

5 See and compare 2 Kings, al. 2 Sam. xii. 13, et seq ch. xiv. ch. xviii. 6 Matt. xvi. 19.

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again, to the other apostles: Verily I say unto you, WHATSOEVER ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and WHATSOEVER Ye

shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven'. Here, the intelligent reader may remark, is promised by our Redeemer to his apostles, and, in their persons, to their successors, a clear, ample, broad, uncontrolled power, of removing every possible obstacle which can, by any construction, impede the ingress of the soul into the kingdom of heaven; consequently the license of dispensing with the temporal punishment to be endured after the remission of sin, must necessarily be included. Here is no distinction, no modification, no reserve expressed, not even insinuated. All is clear and intelligible to the meanest capacity; and we have only to establish the third proposition, that the church has ever exercised the power thus granted.

Here we may ask, Who ever understood the spirit of Christ better than St. Paul? Who was ever more qualified to ascertain the extent of that power which our Lord left to his church? Now we find the great apostle actually exercising the power of granting an indulgence, constantly and invariably claimed by the Catholic church. One of the early converts to the Christian religion falls into an enormous crime; he is removed from

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