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day, or prolonged them for one day, they would be without benefit. Whatever good intention they have to please God in making novenas in honour of the nine orders of angels,' they always, or almost always, mix with them some vain observance, imagining that if they had failed in the least circumstances prescribed to them, their oblations, austerities, prayers, masses would be of no use to them.

"The most equitable judgment which can be passed on novenas, in the opinion of this pious chancellor, is, not to condemn them always as impious, and not to believe that they are always mortal sins. According to him, a well-regulated faith does not practise novenas, and it regards them as one of those things which it is more advantageous not to do than to do, and that the Church only tolerates them through necessity, because they cannot entirely be rooted out, and because the faith of simple persons is often ill-regulated."-p. 119.

The following passage discloses the great practical evils which not unfrequently result from the practice of confession to unmarried priests.

"ON CONFESSION.-Confessions may be bad and superstitious, when they are made in order to enjoy the pleasure of conversing more at ease, and for a longer time, with the confessor. For how many girls and women are there, amongst others, who consider it a merit, and perhaps even a pleasure, to speak to their confessor, in order to tell him what is passing in the world, in the families which he does and does not know? How many are there who have no greater joy than when they can give him marks of their esteem, consideration, respect, confidence in his conduct, and attachment for his person? It is chiefly in the tribunal of penance that this is practised with so much more liberty and security, as the place does not appear suspicious, or dangerous; while charity, and, if I dare to say it, chastity, experience sad shipwrecks there. There are some, says Gerson, who only go to confession through curiosity, and to employ themselves in useless and profane matters. And would to God that what they seem to have begun in the spirit, they did not finish in the flesh! There is danger on both sides; and therefore enlightened and spiritual persons have always believed that female penitents should not have any familiarity with their confessors, nor speak to them of any thing but what concerns their confessions. 'Familiar conversations,' says D'Avila (p. 352), ' of men with women, though at first they seem edifying, are the temptations of the devil, to cause them to fall into sin. This obliges me, O Virgin of Jesus Christ, to encourage you in this laudable practice which you have, of keeping apart from all kinds of men, and of not being even with your confessor, except for the time which is requisite to make your confession to him in a few words. If you meet a man who assures your conscience before God, obey this guide with a sincere affection, and a respectful submission. Take good care, however, lest this love become an excess, and a vicious passion. If you do not regulate the first movements of your affection, it will become so strong, that you will find yourself at

length as inseparably attached to your confessor, as a wife is to her husband, or a mother to her children' (p. 354). The rules of the Jesuits are very remarkable on this subject. They expressly forbid them to undertake the charge either of nuns, or of other women, whoever they may be, as their ordinary confessors, or to be their directors. The examples produced by numbers of ecclesiastical writers prove, that the familiarities which exist between spiritual persons, even monks and nuns, are extremely dangerous. They may derive benefit from that which St. Francis so well said to his friars, who were too much attached to the nuns of St. Clare, I fear, my brethren, lest God should have taken from us wives, but the devil should have given us sisters." -p. 358.

We now come to perhaps the most fruitful branches of superstition and idolatry in the Church of Rome.

"ON INDULGENCES, AND WORSHIP OF THE VIRGIN AND SAINTS. -All Indulgences which are not conformable to the regulations of the Fourth Council of Lateran, far from being good and lawful, are to be extremely suspected of superstition. Indulgences are indiscreet, according to the Canonists, when they are false or pretended, or given without just cause. They are superfluous, when they are too frequent and in too great number.

"False, or pretended Indulgences are superstitious, because they concern false worship. Yet how many Indulgences there are of this kind! Gavantus mentions seven sorts which were condemned by a decree of the Roman Inquisition, in 1635. In the pontificate of Gregory IX., there were wicked persons in the province of Lyons, who, under pretence of raising funds for a church, forged bulls of the popes, by which they pretended to have the power of giving Indulgences (iv. 9). In the time of Stephen Poncher, Archbishop of Sens, 1519, the people of Paris made pilgrimages to St. Denis to gain Indulgences, which, being approved neither by him nor by the Holy See, were either false or pretended. This prelate forbad these pilgrimages.

"Not long since some regulars of the diocese of Reims published false Indulgences of privileged altars, as M. le Tellier, Archbishop of Reims, declares in his charge, 1694. We may consider as false, all Indulgences which have been granted on facts and statements which are false (iv. 14). What then can be thought of the many Indulgences which are said to have been given on 'the Vision of Simon Stock,' and on the 'Sabbatine Bull,' which is believed to be false and pretended? What is to be said of the Indulgence of the Portiuncula, if the vision attributed to St. Francis is not conformable to the truth? But there is nothing which proves better that there are abundance of false and pretended Indulgences (and which consequently are superstitious), than the celebrated decree of the Congregation of Indulgences and Relics, made at Rome, 1678, and approved by the holy Father, Pope Innocent XI., suppressing false or revoked Indulgences, such as those granted to 'the Prayer of the Charity of our Lord;' to those that visit the church

of Campagnola; to the Revelation made to St. Bernard; to the archconfraternity and Order of the Redeemer; to kissing the measure of the Virgin's foot; to the image of the Virgin called Laghetti; to the use of the cord of St. Francis; to those who say the Ave Maria at the striking of the clock; to the image of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin; to those who say the prayer, O magnum mysterium, &c.; to those who sing the hymn, Te Matrem Dei laudamus, Te Mariam Virginem confitemur, &c.; to crowns, rosaries, images, and medals, blessed at the request of Cardinal Frederick Borromeo; to those who say, 'Praised be the holy sacrament,' in honour of the sacrament granted at the request of Cardinal Magalotti; to priests who say after mass, Ave Filia Dei Patris, &c.; to those who recite the Angelus morning, noon, and evening; to coronas of the mysteries of the passion of our Lord; to the confraternity of St. Nicholas, by means of which it was pretended that a soul might be delivered from purgatory every day; to those who wear the cord of St. Francis of Paul; to those who say the masses of St. Augustine; to those who recite the office of St. Francisca of Rome; or the anthem, O passio magna; or the rosary of St. Anne; or the office of the immaculate conception of the Virgin; or the prayer, Deus qui nobis in sancta sindone; or to those who testify, by some external sign, their veneration for the most holy Eucharist; the Indulgences of 80,000 years for those who say the prayer, Deus qui pro redemptione mundi; those which were printed at Pavia, 1670, with the title of Summary of Indulgences to the Image of the Conception of the glorious Virgin Mary;' those of the crown or stellary of the Immaculate Conception; to the beads, crosses, and crowns of St. Aloysia ; to the measure of our Saviour's height; to the image or measure of the wound in his side; to the prayer found in his sepulchre; to the revelations of St. Bridget, Mechtildis, Elizabeth, or Johanna of the Cross; to all crowns, rosaries, beads, crosses, and images existing previous to 1597; to all religious orders before 1606; to all societies, confraternities, orders, &c., before the time of Clement VIII. and Paul V. All summaries of Indulgences for the congregations of the Christian doctrine, the confraternity of the Trinity, and for the redemption of captives, of the man of God, of the rosary, of our Lady of Mercy, of our Lady of Mount Carmel, of the girdle of St. Augustine and St. Monica, are not permitted without being revised and approved even by the congregation."-iv. 17, &c.

The following passages furnish some new matter to the history of Mariolatry.

"Since the occasion so naturally presents itself, it may be well, in order to disabuse the simple of the vain confidence which they often put in certain prayers, to examine some of those which are found in most of the Hours,' or Books of Prayers, which are accompanied by prefaces promising great Indulgences, or singular graces, and which are in these places not free from superstition. The 'prayer of the Passion of our Lord' is referred by Salicet to St. Ambrose, and he says it was

confirmed by Anastasius I., who granted 500 days of indulgence to saying it. But it was not written by St. Ambrose; and how can it be known that Anastasius granted Indulgences to those who say it? The prayer to all the members of the Virgin, O dulcissima Regina Mundi, Dei genetrix Virgo Maria, dignare me, &c., though in a metaphorical style, may be tolerated; but the title promises that whoever says it devoutly, shall obtain special grace 'from the Virgin. Nevertheless, it is God alone who gives grace and glory; and every good gift and every perfect gift, says St. James, comes down from the Father of lights. It was assuredly on the plan of this prayer that a Capuchin published, in 1668, 'A Devout Salutation of the Sacred Members of the Virgin's Body.' We select some specimens:-'To HER HAIRS. I salute you, charming hairs of Mary! rays of the mystic sun, lines of the centre and circumference of all created perfection, golden veins of the mine of love, &c. TO HER EARS.-I salute you, intelligent ears of Mary, universities of Divine wisdom, generous receivers of clients, &c. TO HER WOMB.-I salute you, miraculous womb of Mary, depository of the prodigies of God, arch of his alliance with man, sphere which carries the sun, aurora which has produced the day,' &c. The other salutations are not less impertinent."-p. 67.

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"The fifteen prayers of St. Bridget, on the passion of our Lord,' according to various books of prayers, are said to confer the following prerogatives,' If a man has been thirty years in mortal sin, and devoutly says these prayers, God will pardon all his sins, defend him from temptations, deliver his soul from eternal punishments, he shall obtain all he asks of God and the Virgin Mary, he will be assured of being joined to the sovereign choir of the angels,' &c. If all this be true, what need have we for Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penitence, Order, and Extreme Unction? Can theologians, and good men, who understand a little of their religion; can all those who love the honour of God's house, read without horror the impieties and blasphemies of these Prefaces? And yet they are printed continually in the Hours, and Books of Prayers: the ignorant are allowed to feed on the mortal poison contained in them, without any pains being taken to remove these execrable superstitions; and by these means sinners are retained in a vain confidence in their salvation, and in impenitence."-p. 74.

"The prayer of the thirty days' Holy Mary, perpetual Virgin of Virgins, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Grace,' &c., is in great fashion amongst the people, and amongst devotees. It is their favourite prayer. In this more than any other they place their confidence, because they are led to hope, that in saying it for thirty days, they will obtain from the mercy of God every lawful request made of Him. Whence is this assurance derived? Where has God revealed it? It will be seen that assurances of this kind are deceptive and superstitious. Why fix on the number thirty' rather than any other? It is imagined that this number is absolutely necessary to the validity of this prayer. Nevertheless it is a vain, useless, and superstitious condition, because the effect which is proposed eannot be reasonably expected. If a practice,

says St. Thomas, is made use of which visibly has no natural power to produce the effects expected, it is superstitious and unlawful.

"St. Francis de Sales, M. d'Alex, Bishops of Geneva, held the same opinions; and also Cardinal le Camus, Bishop of Grenoble."—p. 82. "The prayer to the Virgin: 'O most gracious Lady, and sweet Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of God, most full of all mercy,' &c., was composed, according to its title, by Pope Innocent, and whoever says it daily will be assisted by the holy Virgin in the last three days of his life; and she will announce to him the hour of his death, and will signify to him that he is amongst the number of the predestinated. These are very remarkable privileges. If they were true, there would be more advantage in saying this prayer than in receiving the Sacraments; for the Sacraments do not promise final perseverance to us.

"There are many extravagant expressions in this prayer, and much is attributed to the holy Virgin which is, properly, only applicable to God d; as when it is said that she is the way of wanderers,'' the salvation and hope of those that trust in her,' 'the fountain of life and pardon,'' the fountain of salvation and grace,' and when eternal glory is asked from her 'grant me eternal glory.' But this is common enough with indiscreet worshippers of the holy Virgin. They have much trouble in explaining the hyperbolical language which they employ in their discourses and their books; and when they come to explain them, they are obliged to speak and write like others who speak and write with moderation, and without excess. It is well to carry the praise of the Virgin above all creatures; but she ought never to be compared with God, who is her Creator and her Redeemer. These sorts of comparisons cannot edify. For if they are explained, their weakness and defects are evident; and if they are not explained, false ideas are left in the mind of the hearers or readers.

"For this reason,' says the very learned Father Petavius, of the Society of Jesus, 'I shall make no difficulty to recommend the worshippers and panegyrists of the holy Virgin, not to let their veneration and piety for her go too far; and to content themselves with the true and solid praises they may give her, without inventing false and pretended ones, which are not established on the testimony of any respectable author.' For this kind of secret and hidden idolatry in the human heart, as St. Augustine says, cannot be reconciled with the reserve of theology (p. 87), that is with the principles of Divine wisdom which cannot advance any thing that is not conformable to the certain and exact rules of truth.

"On these principles I wish with all my heart that the Cistertian monks had been more reserved than they appear to be in the worship they pay to the Virgin, who is the special patroness of their order, and under whose invocation all the churches of their order are consecrated to God. When they speak of God in their church offices, they do not kneel; but they kneel at the words, 'Mother of God, intercede for us,' which are at the end of the verse Post partum, &c.; also when they say Mother of God' in the mass, &c. The Carthusians kneel also and


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