In submitting this little volume to the kind consideration of the citizens of Albany, the simple object of the writer is to take issue with many of our Protestant ministers, particularly Dr. Clark, of the Dutch Reformed Church, alias "two-steepled" church, alias First Reformed Church, who has lately been moving the heavens and the earth against the Catholics and their principles. This self-constituted minister of the gospel of peace, if he is sincere in what he utters, is one of the most bare-faced perverters of God's truth, that it has been our misfortune to "hear in a long time. At that season of the year when the anniversary of the birth of Christ is being celebrated by God's people throughout every land and clime, when the true ministers of the gospel are preaching peace and forgiveness to a sin-stricken world, this counterfeit holds forth in his Dutch pulpit, and, in the sacred and holy name of God, bears false witness against his neighbors, falsifies their motives, perverts history against them, and scatters seeds of hate and strife in a community where peace and harmony should prevail. This ought not to be the case, at this age and in this country. Where is the need of plump, well-fed parsons agitating religious feuds, and poisoning the minds of their hearers against a faith instituted by the Son of God — proclaimed by the Evangelists — preached by St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Patrick and St. Augustine — for which kings had laid down their crowns, and martyrs their sacred lives? When one contemplates the position that this man occupies, as lecturer to a congregation of our fellow citizens who wield a large amount of influence in commercial circles and the affairs of every-day life, and who are too closely confined to business to investigate Theology, or the history of the Christian Church, the faith and practices of Catholic people, nor what they have accomplished for the kingdom of our Lord, is it to be wondered at that they feel a prejudice against us? Under such an influence, it would not be surprising if they should break off all communication, socially, with any one bearing the name of Catholic, discharge all in their employ, as persons dangerous both in the community and family circle, organize native American, know-nothing and no-Popery combinations, pull down churches, burn convents, tar and feather Catholic priests, and defame and insult those leading pure and pious lives in religious community, as has been done often before in many parts of this enlightened republic. It is an old dodge of Protestant preachers, when they fail to interest their hearers, to ransack the Scriptures for quaint and ambiguous texts to preach from, and when those become stale, their last resource is sure to be a tirade against the Catholic Church, and that never fails to keep up the attention. Do Protestants imagine that we have no fine feelings — no rights — no honesty of purpose — that we are a God-forsaken people, ignorant and degraded — averse to every sense of right, and barely to be tolerated? They must- certainly think Bo, if they believe such men as Clark, Darling & Co. It is with this view, therefore, that the writer takes upon himself the responsibility of placing the subject fairly before them, leaving the issue to truth and their sense of justice.
I regret exceedingly, that I have not the manuscripts from which Dr. Clark read his Sunday evening lectures, in order that I might follow him step by step. These are beyond my reach, so he must be met upon general principles; besides, it would take more time than I could spare from my daily occupation to answer all his accusations, as I understand that he scarcely lets a Sunday pass, the year round, without railing in some way against Catholics.
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