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oughly and generally believed for eight hundred years, or down to the fifteenth century—how this helped to prepare the way for the Bishop of Rome, in his grasping ambition, to claim supremacy over all nations, all kings, and rulers, and people of the earth, by divine right—a claim which he has, to this day, never laid aside. Nor should it be forgotten, that every Bishop of that Church is required, at his consecration, to take an Oath, of which the following is a part :
“ The Apostolic commands, I will observe with all my power, and cause them them to be observed by others; the Roman Papacy, and the royalties of St. Peter, I will aid and defend against every man; heretics, schismatics, and rebels to the Pope, or his successors, I will, to the extent of my power, persecute and impugn."*—"pro posse, persequar et impugnabo."
Nor should we forget the ceaseless intrigues and machinations of the Jesuits, everywhere the sworn devotees of Ultramontanism. Here is a part of their “Oath of Secrecy,” as given by Archbishop Usher, and as lately publicly read by the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The Pope,
“By virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by Jesus Christ, be hath power to depose beretical Kings, Princes, States, Commonwealths and Governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation, and that they may safely be destroyed; therefore, to the utmost of my power, I will defend this doctrine, and his Holiness' rights and customs against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority whatsoever, especially against the now pretended authority and Church in England, and all adherents, in regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome. I do renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical King, Prince, or state named Protestant, or obedience to any of their inferior magistrates or officers. I do further declare the doctrine of the Church of England, of the Calvinists, Huguenots, and other Protestants, to be damnable, and those to be damned who will not forsake the same. I do further declare, that I will help, assist, and advise all or any of his Holiness' agents, in any place wherever I shall be, and do my utmost to extirpate the heretical Protestant doctrine, and to destroy all their pretended power, regal or otherwise."
While these Jesuits are swarming from the Old world into the New,—there are between seven and eight hundred of them here, where they have full play, let us not forget that not long ago, they had become so obnoxious in Europe, Pope Clement
XIV. was constrained to put forth his Bull “for the effectual suppression of the Order of Jesuits," July 21, 1773. If any body wishes to see what political Jesuitism is, and the proofs of certain maxims which the Holy See has, with reason, proscribed, as scandalous, and manifestly contrary to good morals ;" and of the revolts and intestine troubles in some of the Catholic States,” caused by Jesuits, let him read that famous Bull of Clement XIV.* Are Popes infallible ? Have the Jesuits changed their character, policy, or intentions ?
I have done no more, under this head, than simply to point out the relation which the Papacy sustains to man's highest temporal interests. I am no alarmist. I have no respect for, and no sympathy with, much of the popular, sectarian, political, partizan clamor against Roman Catholicism. That bitter spirit is too often aimed against all Organic Christianity, which it cannot control. But I do affirm, in the light of all past history, that the claims of Modern Popery are utterly destructive of Constitutional Liberty, individual conscience, and Modern Civilization, and that just in proportion as that System prevails in this country, are all these interests imperilled. It is this ceaseless intermeddling with, this secret plotting in respect to the interests of the kingdoms of this world, this pest of Popery in political, social, and private life, which has arrayed against the Church of Rome the undying hostility of her own noblest sons at home, the educated, intelligent Italian statesmen of our own times. What the system is there, it would be everywhere, if it had the opportunity.
Thus far, my dear Doctor, I have been treating of the organization of the Church of Rome, and of her unholy usurpations. I have not yet touched upon her Doctrinal and practical Errors and Corruptions. These I propose to examine in another, a somewhat longer, and concluding Letter. Meanwhile, I am, faithfully your Brother in
CHRIST and the CHURCH.
* See Constitutiones Societatis Jesu. Anno 1558. With Appendix, containing several important Documents. London: Rivingtons, 1838. 8vo. pp. 276.
ART. IV.-REV. THOMAS BACON–1745–1768,
INCUMBENT of St. Peter's, Talbot Co., AND ALL SAINTS, FRED
ERICK Co., MARYLAND.
MR. BACON was a man, who, in his day, occupied a very promising position in the public eye, and has left memorials of himself, which will secure his name from being forgotten, for generations yet to come. But these memorials are becoming, as years pass on, less and less known, even to the lovers of the past. It is due therefore to his memory, standing so high and so fair as he did, both in the Church and in the civil community, that he should be more widely and permanently known, especially in the State of his adoption, whose history must be forever indebted to him, beyond that of any other one who has ever lived within its borders.
Mr. Bacon was a native of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea, about equi-distant from England, Scotland and Ireland, which forms part of the Diocese of the Bishop of Sodor and Man. He must have been born not far from the year 1700, and was of good lineal descent, being the brother of Sir Anthony Bacon. Of his early education, we have learned nothing. But so early as 1737, he had published a volume, by order of the chief Commissioners and Governors of the revenue of the Kingdom. This is said to have been a laborious and judicious work, entitled a “Complete System of Revenue in England.” This fact may show us that, up to this period, he had been engaged in civil pursuits, that he had become favorably known to the public, and that he had attained some years in life's manhood. He at this time appears to have resided in the City of Dublin.
Having at length passed through various scenes in life, experienced various turns of fortune, travelled through many countries, and laden with the knowledge of books and men, [see Med. Gaz. Sept. 1768,] he came, ripe in age, to the decision of giving himself to his Master's cause in a Missionary life, in some one of England's Foreign Colonies. He then became the pupil of the pious and celebrated Bishop Wilson, of the Diocese just mentioned. Having completed his studies, he was admitted to Holy Orders by him, (as is shown in the London and Oxford edition, 1853, of his Sacra Privata,) being ordained by him Deacon, Sept. 23, 1744, at Kirk Michael, by permission of the Lord Bishop of London, for a Missionary and Priest, March 10, 1745, in order to go to the Plantations.
Soon after this, he received the appointment of Chaplain to Lord Baltimore, whose ancestors and himself, for forty years past, had been Protestants, and then sailed for Maryland, Early in the October following, he had reached Oxford, in Talbot County, on the Eastern Shore, having with him his wife and son.
Mr. Henry Callister, a merchant, was then residing there, who was also from the Isle of Man, and Mr. Bacon brought him letters from his friends of that Island, which secured for him a most welcome reception.
From Mr. Callister's letter-book, now in the writer's possession, we have copies of letters, in which Mr. Bacon is often mentioned. In one to Mr. William Tear, of Douglass, a small sea-port in the Isle of Man, dated Nov. 5, 1745, he writes thus :
“I should have passed for a tip-top musician, if the Rev. Mr. Bacon had not come in, and handed me your letter, and some others from Douglass. Immediately, on Landing, he found the way to our house, and staid with me about half a day. He has been to see us several times since. And at our parish Church, [St. Peters, the old Church at Wbitemarsh,] he has given us several Sermons. He is a very agreeable companion, and a sober and learned man. His performance on the violin and violincello, has afforded us much de. light, and his conversation as much. I have a pretty set of music, and he has a better. We have a brute of a parson here, in our parish, and the Vestry and people would gladly turn him out, to make room for Mr. Bacon, but the latter will not be concerned, as he compassionates the other's misfortunes. We shall however prevail on him, at last, to accept a good salary. The ordinary salary would not be much, but the extraordinary subscriptions which he would get, if he would stay with us, would be worth his wbile. He has, in a very little time, got the esteem of our best people. He is still a neighbor, but I am afraid he will leave us, as soon as a vacancy in some other part of the province offers for him."
Of the sainted Herbert, who died only ten years previous to
this, it is said, his chiefest recreation was music, in which heavenly art he was a most excellent master, and did himself compose many hymns and anthems, which he set and sung to his lute or viol. He would often say, religion does not banish mirth, but only moderates and sets rules to it. In this respect, Bacon was like Herbert. And though some, now-a-days, look upon the use of the viol with no little horror, yet his love of music will not be set down as a fault, or as necessarily detracting from the most earnest piety and devotion.
The “brute of a Parson,” mentioned by Mr. Callister, soon after this left the Parish. He was not, however, the incumbent, or Rector of it, but the Rector's Curate, employed to relieve him, under the infirmities of his old age. On leaving here, this Curate was appointed the incumbent of St. Margaret's, Westminster parish, in Apu Arundel County ; the parish between Baltimore and Annapolis. Here he continued some five years, and then was presented to Coventry parish, Somerset County. His character has come down to us, as that of an unblushing drunkard and gambler, whose end is said to have been according to his work,—he died in jail ! being there for debt, and none were found to help him. Happily for the Church of Maryland, before the Revolution, the like were rare; while the Hendersons, the Cradocks, the Brogdens, and others like them, formed the great majority, and stood up manfully for Gospel truth and holiness. But most unhappy was it for the Church, that Maryland should have had a Governor-a Protestant—who twice, by virtue of his office, placed such a man as was this curate, in the charge of souls. No wonder that Pope should have held him up to scorn and ridicule as he did.
Just one week after Mr. Callister wrote as above, he wrote to his brother in Douglass, in which he says :
“I received with pleasure yours of the 18th of June, which was handed me by the Rev. Mr. Thomas Bacon, whom I am in great hopes we shall retain among us. He is very much esteemed by the best of our people, and almost universally, he is esteemed a clever fellow, and I believe a good man; we have had several concerts together. He is received as curate of this parish, and is allowed by the Parson, who is now an invalid, 20,000 lbs. of tobacco per annum, with per.