« EdellinenJatka »
accusing myself, I complained of temptations, and strong inclinations to sin; in many instances I excused myself; I promised every thing only to obtain absolution. I repeat, that no Protestant can enter into those feelings, which I had after having received absolution; though I was conscious of having deceived the priest, still the idea of having obtained the absolution, I felt as easy as if I had really obtained the remission of all my sins, and a license to begin a new catalogue for the next time of confession.
My readers will think, that this was my individual fault; other papists are more sincere in the observance of the so-called sacrament of penance. My readers can be assured, that one-third of the inhabitants of Rome, confess only pro forma, to obtain tlie parochial ticket,' that they might not
The ticket is given by the parish priest at the altar, when he is administering the communion. A month after Easter he visits every house in his parish, collecting the said tickets, in order to know who had neglected that precept of the church. A person who is found without the ticket, is kindly admonished, but if obstinate, his name is fixed on the doors of the four Basilic churches, viz., St. Peter's, St. John of Lateran, St. Maria Maggiore, and St. Maria del Trastevere, with the excommunication of the Pope annexed. Should this second effort be also fruitless, the Pope, as the Father of the faithful, and anxious that no soul should be lost, causes him to be put in prison, where he is visited by the priests. But should the third ef
be subject to the vexations and punishmetits to which the disobedient members are exposed. A large number of the inhabitants do not confess at all, they buy the ticket from the boys, who usually serve the priests in the vestibulum, or room, where they dress themselves to appear before the altar. I remember having once bought such a ticket from the Sacristano. Not out of contempt to the sacrament, but for conscience sake; I thought it a sacrilege to commune without having obtained the absolution. I preferred to deceive the priest, by giving him a bought ticket, rather than my God, by communing with a load of sin upon my soul.
Another impediment, not less obstructive in the way of the truth of the gospel, is the temporal prospects, which the church of Rome holds out to her members. It is like a barrier raised up against the gospel truth. It is like an iron grasp,
fort prove fruitless also, then the Pope with the authority of the Vicar of Christ, and the love of the good Shepherd, gives him into the good care of the tortures of the Holy Inquisition, until he returns into the bosom of the mother church.
Sacristano is the seryant of the church, whose office is to dress the priest before he celebrates the mass, lighting the candles, adjusting the altar, and assisting at the mass, &c.
which holds them back. Every respectable family in Rome has a priest in its bosom, who is the hope of the family. Worldly honors; ecclessiastical offices; riches of this world are expected, and to obtain them, nothing is neglected; the mask of hypocrisy is put on; intrigues are entered into, even immoral means, and if necessary carnal prostitutions to some cardinal or prelate, or even to the humble confessor, are used, as means to become great in the Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome.
After all these repugnances and antipathies towards Protestantism; worldly inducements ; spiritual encouragements, and false peace to the troubled soul; add also the fear of papal excommunication, and the tortures of the Holy Inquisition, and then ask whether the conversion of a Roman Catholic is not a great wonder? Yes! a moral miracle, as great'as the opening of the eyes of the blind, and the raising up of the dead. For it is the opening of the eyes of the blind; and the raising of the dead in sins.
intention is not only to give my persone al experience, but also to describe Rome as it is now, the digression of the present chapter will not be considered a deviation from the subject, but an elucidation of the moral corruption of the church of Rome. Having mentioned Easter, when his Holiness the Pope so profusely pours out curses on Protestants, it will not be out of order to give a description of the manner in which that festival is celebrated, and sanctified in Rome.
Easter is one of the three great festivals in the church of Rome. It is true, the calendar is near ly all set apart to the commemoration of saints. We have more saints than there are days in the year; still Easter having been a subject of agitation in the church, and the cause of separation between the Latin and the Greek churches,' Rome displays more luxury, and ecclesiastical splendor in its celebration than in any other festival in the calendar.
Circa ann. 862.
ops in their pontifical dress; the generals
The Holy week, which precedes Easter, is worthy to be mentioned. Every amateur of musie will know something of the so far famed s miserere” which is performed in the Sixtin Chapel during the last three evenings of the Holy week. The chapel is in the Vatican, painted by Michael Angelo, fresh as if his master pencil had touched it only to-day; on the right of the altar a throne is erected for the Pope; on both sides the Cardinals are arrayed in purple, each of them assisted by their respective caudatario,' and Maestro di ceremonia.”—The patriarchs, and bishchiefs of every religious order in their monastic array. The lodges erected on both sides of the chapel are crowded with foreign ambassadors, their ladies and other distinguished foreigners of both sexes. In the middle of the chapel is a reading desk of a triangular form upon which
"The cardinal's usual dress is scarlet red, but in the morning they dress in purple.
2 Caudatario is literally translated tail-bearer, or one who carries the tail of the cardinal's toga.
3 Maestro di ceremonia, is a priest who directs the order in pontifical masses; every cardinal has one as an apendix to his suit, and in the house of his emi. nence, he is an overseer of the domestic affairs.