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Commissioner of the Courts of Requests in New South Wales,

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Sydney, August 27, 1882.

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SIR,—You will require, I am persuaded, no other explanation of my reasons for thus addressing you, than that

which I have already put you in possession of; namely, that as you, in commenting upon a private letter, had taken occasion publicly to controvert the main principle of the Reformation, it was proper that some notice should as publicly be taken of your arguments. In a controversy of this description, turning wholly upon a question in theology, it may be asked why are the opinions of a layman selected as the object of special remark? I reply, because at the late Meeting in the Roman Catholic Chapel you came forward as the most prominent defender of the Roman Catholic system, and of the practice which has prevailed of its receiving support and encouragement from Protestants. I question the propriety of bringing such subjects into discussion before an auditory thus assembled ; and am still less satisfied that Religion will derive benefit from the publication of your observations in the columns of a Newspaper. But as you, Sir, have thought yourself authorised to employ that mode of expressing and circulating your opinions, you must not be offended by the notice of them, which anxiety for their own pure scriptural faith may draw from Protestants.

It may be said that the tenor of the letter which you were commenting upon, proved the wish and

intention of the writer to provoke discussion. Allow me to remind you that the provocation was given, and the discussion entered upon, by yourself. The letter of Sir Edward Parry was written in reply to an application from you to give his active support to measures which had for their object the extension and perpetuation of the Roman Catholic Religion. Such an application, addressed to a Protestant, carries a most offensive imputation. It implies that the person addressed has no conviction at heart of the truth of his own profession ; but that while he outwardly appeals to the Scriptures as his only guide, and supplicates the mercy of God through the merits of his Saviour alone, he is yet so little in earnest upon these points as to be ready to lend his aid to the advancement of a system which lays down a directly opposite rule of faith, and pleads the merits and intercession of created and sinful beings unitedly with those of the eternal Son of God. By asking a Protestant to aid you in such a cause, you virtually tell him that he has no heart and no sincerity ; but that you believe him to be a person prepared to sanction contradictions.

Sir Edward Parry, I am well assured, is able to defend himself; and therefore

shall offer no other observation than that he has my cordial respect and my thanks (if these are of any value in his estimation) for the manliness and intrepidity with which, when thus attacked, he has expressed his sentiments. Such feelings as he has manifested, will, I am quite aware, receive very little encouragement under the prevailing system of phlegmatic and listless unconcern respecting matters of faith and principle. It is, I know, accounted a proof of a contracted and illiberal disposition to manifest any degree of earnestness upon that subject, which ought to take the lead of all other subjects in our contemplations and affections. It must be obvious to every observer, that the system of the Romish Church at the present moment, is to lull the jealousy of Protestants; and, not content with reducing them to indifference and inaction, to induce the luke-warm and unsuspecting to lend their active aid to a cause, which, if they knew their own principles, they must think it worse than sacrilege in any degree to espouse. You could scarcely expect, Sir, that we (for I speak in the name of all reflecting Protestants) should be content without notice or remonstrance to witness a consolidation of this system, which has been already carried on too long. It has become our duty to speak out. The opposition which you have already encountered from one individual will have the effect, I trust, of inducing others to pause, and reflect upon their own responsibility here and hereafter, before they lend their aid, upon any consideration whatever, to that which they are not religiously persuaded is agreeable to the truth.

That which misleads the generality of Protestants, and delivers them over bound hand and foot into the power of their adversaries, to work for their interest and according to their pleasure, is forgetfulness or inconsideration of their own principles. Why are they Protestants ? What caused their ancestors to become Protestants ? It was the conviction they entertained that the truth of God and the purity of the Gospel could not be maintained under the system which the Church of Rome sought to force upon them. I do not charge all Protestants who act differently from Sir Edward Parry, with deliberately intending to promote error in religion ; but I cannot acquit them of indifference which has all the ill-effects of such an intention, and is, therefore, but in a limited degree less culpable.

The tendency of late proceedings, and especially of the speech delivered by you in the Roman Catholic Chapel, is to encourage still more in the Protestant mind this

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