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J. YATES ; D. R. BLEAKLEY, AND J. BURNSIDE.
J. AIKEN HEAD, KILKENNY;
As perspicuity of thought, and not sublimity of expression, and as an anxious wish to convince my poor misguided Roman Catholic Countrymen of their errors, and not a mere desire of pleasing the fancy of my readers, are the principal objects of this Pamphlet, I hope that in the following pages I have not erred in the execution of my design, but that I have adopted a style of language intelligible to the capacity of the poorest individual.
DUBLIN :-PRINTED BY WILLIAM HOLDEN, JO, ABBEY-STREET.
In compliance with the advice of Christian Clerical Friends, I here introduce an extract from a letter of mine annexed to the fifth edition of my former pamphlet. The extract is descriptive of the interview between me and the Roman Catholic Bishop, upon my leaving the Church of Rome, and must prove to my countrymen, that my change in religious sentiments was not the effect of the moment, but the result of much deliberation. This extract, upon its first publication, appeared in the public prints of the day, while the fact of its being uncontradicted by any of the Reverend Gentlemen mentioned in its contents, will serve as undeniable proof to the world of the veracity of its assertions.
“Some short time previous to the open avowal of my conversion, I was deprived of papers upon which my religious doubts were written. These doubts I often submitted to clergymen in the hours of secrecy, and particularly to a near relation, who dissuaded me from time to time from entering upon the determined course of my religious conviction. These papers were taken from me in the house of the Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald, Parish Priest of Castletowndelvin, in the County of Westmeath, and where (previous to my last appointment) I had acted in the capacity of a Roman Catholic clergyman. The papers alluded to were given to the Rev. Dr. Cantwell, my then
Roman Catholic Bishop ; who, upon receiving them, immediately repaired to me in Fore, the place of my last appointment, and which lies within a few miles of said Castletowndelvin. To my agreeable surprise, the Rev. Dr. Cantwell consented that the Rev. Mr. Masterson, a Roman Priest, should be present at our interview. On the Rev. Mr. Masterson being introduced, Dr. Cantwell asked me “ did I lose any papers,” I answered, I did. “Then,” said he, 6 you admit yourself to be the author of their contents ?" I said, “ Yes.” “ Then you do not believe in the Roman Catholic doctrines ?” I said, “ Certainly not, nor did I believe in them these few years past.” I then went to my writingdesk, took out a letter directed to said Bishop, and which I put into his hands. This letter contained my disavowal of the Roman Catholic religion, and was signed, written, and sealed for many weeks before, in the presence of the Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald, Protestant Rector of Castletowndelvin, but which letter unavoidable circumstances prevented me from delivering to his Lordship at the time of its being written."
From the hour of my ordination in the Roman Church to the time of this interview with my Bishop, I had always enjoyed and exercised the privileges of a Roman clergyman. After this interview no episcopal censure, nor suspension, could be inficted, as the Roman Church passes her censures only upon those that are subject to her authority.
* But Israel in pursuing the law of justice,* is not come to the law of justice. Why so ? Because they sought it not of faith, but as it were of works.” Rom. ix. 31, 32, from the Roman Catholic Bible.
Athboy Vicarage. MY DEAR FRIENDS,
SINCE my last address to you, I have suffered much under a severe visitation of sickness. The hand of the Lord fell heavy upon me. I thought that the cold grasp of death had seized me, and that the days of my mortality were over. But (blessed be God) the arm which cast me down, has also raised me up, and has afforded me another opportunity of inscribing to you this second testimonial as to the sincerity of my conversion. I know that some of you have considered my late sickness as a punishment from God, for my having left the Church of Rome,
• The word justice, in the Roman Catholic Bible, is termed righteousness, in our translation ; but either words may be indiscriminately used : for, as it was the justice of the law that was violated, so it requires the justice or righteousness of Christ to make atonement. In proving any doctrinal point in my present pamphlet, I have taken particular care to select the texts from the Roman Catholic Bible, in order to remove the prejudices of individuals, who might be inclined to say, that I have deduced my arguments from the Protestant, or as they sometimes term it, the corrupt version of the Testamento