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they bowed the knee before our Saviour, and saluted him, Huil, King of the Jews! When, therefore, a person performs any of these external signs of respect to any holy image or relic, though he do it in the most affectionate manner, can any thing be more uncharitable than to conclude from this, tbat he believes that image or relic to be the God. that made him; or that he loves it, adores it, and. trusts in it as his God? Can any thing be more unjust, than to persist in making this conclusion, even though the person bimsell, and all Roman Catholics whatsoever, unanimously declare, that they abhor and detest such a thought, and that all they intend by such actions, is to honour and reverence those sacred objects which these holy images represent ? just as Protestants every day shew an outward respect and regard for the pictures of their king, or deceased friends, in honour of those represented by them. Can any thing even be more unreasonable, than absolutely to conclude these outward acts of respect arise from a bad motive, when both justice and charity combine to shew, that they arise from a good and laudable motive, and of which the actions themselves are more susceptible than of a bad one ? When Josue saw the angel,
“ he fell on his face to the ground, and worshipped,” Jos. v. 15. Would any man in his wits conclude from this, that Josue was guilty of superstition or idoJatry, and believed this angel to be his God? Whèn David's nobles "bowed themselves, and worshipped God and the king," 1 Chron. xix. 20, will either justice or charity allow us to conclude from this, that they adored David as their God? When Josue “ fell flat on the ground, before the ark of the Lord, until the evening, both he and all the ancients of Israel, and cast dust upon their heads," Jos. vii. 6, could any thing be more unreasonable
than to conclude from this, that they gave divine adoration to the ark? Besides, with regard to a crucifix, or the image of Christ crucified; how can those who profess themselves Christians, be offended at the sight of an image which represents the sufferings of their Redeemer? Or how can they believe that it is incumbent on them to have the image of his death always present to their mind, and yet not allow it before their eyes ?
Q. 41. But do not the expressions used to the Cross of Christ, by the Church herself, in some of her hymns, shew that the Cross is believed to be more than a mere creature, and has power to help and save us ?
A. This is another shameful source of calumny and misrepresentation against the Catholic Church. Poetical compositions, such as bymps are, have this peculiar to them, that, without the smallest injury to truth, they use tropes, figures, and warm expressions, which no man in his wits ever under-, stands literally, because, in their literal sense, they are absolutely false, or nonsense; now, because such expressions are used in some of the Church hymns, is it not unjust and uncharitable, to the highest degree, to conclude from this, that the Church understands them in their literal sense, in which they are evidently false ? Can any thing be more unreasonable than to lay so heavy a charge upon her from such a ground; a charge which must suppose that all her members are fools and idiots ?
Q. 42. Are expressions of this kind authorized by the word of God?
A. They are authorized by the common practice of all mankind, and the word of God is full of them. Thus St. Paul says, “God forbid I should glory, sare in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," Gal. vi. 14. ; where, as the words lie in their lite
ral sense, the material cross is the only object of St. Paul's glory. In another place, if we take his words in their literal sense, the material cross was the cause of our reconciliation with God; for he says, Christ “reconciledman unto God in one body by the cross,” Ephes. ii. 16.; nay, he attributes blood to this cross as the price of our reconciliation; to reconcile all tbings to himself," says he, “making peace by the blood of his cross," Col. i. 20._And when the people of God were beaten by the Philistines, they said, “let us fetch unto us the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Shiloe, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies," 1 Kings (Sam.) iv. 3. Would it not be a ridiculous argument to conclude from these expressions, that St. Paul and the people of God were all idolaters? or that they attributed sense, and a power to help them, to the material wood of the eross, and to the Ark of the Covenant? How then can such an argument be used against the Church of Christ, especially when upon all occasions, and in all her catechisms, books of instruction, and the like, she protests her abhorrence of the slanderous accusation laid to her charge ? If calumny and slander be a mortal sin, those who accuse her in this manner have much to answer for.
Q. 43. Is there any other subject of importance to be considered before this treatise be concluded?
A. There yet remain two things of the highest importance, which we purposely delayed till now, that these instructions of the faith of Christ might end with them; and these are Death, that impor-, tant passage from time to eternity; and Hell, that place of punishment prepared for the wicked in tbe next world.
Q.44. WHAT is death ?
A. Death is the separation of the soul from the body, the dissolution of our mortal existence, which puts an end to our being in this world.
Q. 45. What are the effects of death?
A. (1.) It deprives us of all our possessions in this world, riches, honours, titles, dignities, lands, goods, cattle, and the like; and, in doing this, it makes no difference nor distinction between the king and the beggar; rich and poor, wise and foolish, all are reduced in an instant to the same most abject poverty, by the same all conquering hand of death. (2.) It deprives us of all our bodily or mental qualifications: For, though a person be ever so accomplished, ever so beautiful, though he has the best of memories, the most penetrating understanding, the most solid judgment, lively wit, agreeable turn of mind, amiable temper, and the most fertile genius; though all these natural talents had been improved to the highest degree, by all the help that reading, study, conversation, and experience can give, yet the moment that the fatal hour approaches, all must yield to death's devouring sword, which puts an immediate end to all these qualifications, as if they never had existed. (3.) It deprives us of our very powers, senses, and faculties themselves; the poor carcase becomes a lifeless lump of clay, which can neither see, nor bear, nor speak, nor move, nor feel. (4.) It causes ag
eternal separation from every enjoyment of this life, the light of the day, the charms of music, the conversation of our fellow-creatures, the society of man, the company of friends, relations, and acquaintances, however near or dear they may have been to us; all which we can never, never more enjoy in this world. (5.) It deprives us of our time itself, and with it of all further possibility of labouring for the great end of our being, the salvation of onr souls; and at once puts a stop to all our fine schemes about our worldly affairs, which so often fill our minds, and distract our thoughts, with anxious cares, and hinder us from attaining, as we ought, to the great concerns of eternity. (6.) It reduces the poor body to a most miserable state of poverty and nakedness, than which nothing can be more dismal and hideous; for it is no better than a 'stock or a stone, a lump of earth, a dunghill of corruption ?
Q.46. What appearance does the body makė after death?
A. A most dismal and ghastly appearance ; for the head falls down on one side, the neck being no longer able to support it; the hair is commonly wet with the dead sweat, and quite in disorder with the tossing and tumbling in the bed during the last ago. ny; the temples become hollow, and stick close to the bones; the ears hang loose and lifeless; the eyes are sunk in the head, and half open, quite deprived of their wonted brightness, and become all glazed in a ghastly manner; the cheeks fall in, and, as it were, stick close to the bones; the nose becomes sharp and pointed; the lips pale, and separated from one another, the teeth appearing from between them of a blackish or yellow colour; the tongue dry and parched ; and the whole body stiff and cold like a piece of marble! O what a dismal