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The Triumph of Truth, in the Conversion of the Rev. I. A. Mason from the Errors of Methodism to the Catholic Faith. Written by Himself. London: Andrews, October, 1827. 12mo. p. 64. In a former number we noticed "An Appeal to the Methodists" from the pen of the Rev. Mr. Mason; and it is now our pleasing duty to call the attention of our readers to the history of his conversion to the Catholic faith. Events of this kind are happily too frequent, and the causes that induce them are too well-understood, to call forth any expression of unseemly triumph, or to excite in us any other feeling than that of gratitude for the divine bounties. In each succeeding conversion we read an awful lesson for our own edification and whilst we rejoice that one soul is added to the



fold of the one shepherd" our joy is tempered with a holy fear, lest "the kingdom of God should be taken from us, and be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof."

Mr. Mason had been early distinguished, among the Methodists, for his rigid adherence to the tenets of that sect; and during several years he had exercised the functions of a preacher and class leader amongst them: yet, as he advanced, he had not failed to discover many discrepancies in the system, which had alarmed his conscience, and had contributed to shake his faith in the divine origin of methodism. From this moment he determined to devote himself to the inquiry, resolved to trample on every consideration of interest or affection, in the pursuit of this most important object. That the recollection of early and fond associations was, to him, a source of no ordinary conflict, is evident from the empassioned feelings, the mingled emotions of affection and sorrow which live in every line of the appeal he has addressed to them. Accident, about this time, brought him in contact with the Rev. Mr. Martyn, of Walsall, with whom he originated a controversy which ended in his conversion.

The first question proposed for their consideration was the rule of faith; that is, Is it the word of God as contained in the Scriptures, or the word of God as taught by the church of God? In support of this latter position Mr. Martyn adduces authorities to prove that the power of preaching and teaching given to the apostles, and confirmed to their successors, has been continued in the Catholic church down to the present time: whilst Mr. Mason, on the other hand, contends that if no appeal be allowed from the preacher to the

written word, the Scriptures are a dead letter, and may be entirely dispensed with. The following dialogue on this point will serve to illustrate the real doctrine of the Catholic church on this point, and we therefore present it to our readers :

"MARTYN.-An infallible authority does not make scriptures of no use -they are of great use. They are the inspired word of God-they are precious monuments of the lives, doctrines, and miracles of Christ and his apostles. They are useful for doctrine, for reproof, for confirmation and instruction. All I assert of them is, they are not the sole independent rule of faith; and that, as to the mere letter of scripture, they are not the rule at all; it is the sense and not the letter that is our rule. And moreover, that Jesus Christ never intended them as such. Jesus Christ wrote nothing, neither did he com. mand his apostles to write. His command is, go and preach, and teach all nations; and you yourself have acknowledged that this was the rule during the days of the apostles, and you could not disprove that the same infallible authority descended to their successors in the ministry.

"MASON. I have done so: but I insist that the fact of the apostles being inspired by the Holy Ghost to write is equivalent to a command; and as God never commands without just cause, it must be that they might become the rule of faith to following generations. But your assertions upon this point make the scriptures no rule at all.

"MARTYN.—I have asserted nothing that I have not proved, or can prove. I have asserted and proved, that the command of Christ was to preach and teach—therefore, whatever the apostles preached and taught, whether written or not written, is of divine authority. And hence the apostle requires the church to observe all that he had taught, whether by word, he says, or by our epistle. The scriptures were written by piecemeal; some parts to one church, and other some to another; and the cause was this:-The apostles, not having the gift of ubiquity, when difficulties or errors arose in the distant churches which they had planted, they wrote to them such instructions as were necessary; others wrote the Gospels for different purposes; and what was thus written, coming from the same inspired source as the unwritten word, was of equal authority with it. So far, therefore, as circumstances rendered it necessary to write, that necessity is equivalent to a command: but I deny that there was any command, or any necessity equivalent to a command; or that it ever was written as the sole independent rule of faith. As to your assertion, that the promises of Christ regard the apostles teaching by the scriptures, you have first to prove that the scriptures are as plain as the living voice of the apostles-and that no living voice is necessary to explain them-and that they contain all that the apostles taught-and that they can never be lost-which you can never do; for many books are already lost which have been written by the inspired prophets and apostles. Where, then, is the proof that Christ will be with the scriptures till the end of the world, and how do they guide men into all truth? How much plainer it is to understand these promises made to the ministry of the church in the persons of the apostles. And how much more congenial with other promises made to C. M.-VOL. VIII. NO 71.


vinced that infallibility must exist somewhere; yet anxious above all things, to prove that it did not reside in the Catholic church, Mr. Mason had fortified himself with every adverse argument that deep and anxious reading could supply; but all to no purpose. Scripture, history, the language of the fathers, the monuments of ancient times, the venerable and stately fabric of the Catholic church, and the pure precepts of the Catholic religion itself, alike conspired to prove her divine authority, and compelled him to surrender his weaker judgment to the humiliating conviction.

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Other subjects of controversy prolonged the discussion during more than twelve months. All this time Mr. Mason continued, as he emphatically expresses it, "poking his way after truth in the dark; he saw its glimmerings at a distance, but its temple he could not find." But this did not long continue. In the bitter sincerity of his soul, he sought the divine light and assistance on this most important of all subjects, this unum necessarium. Lord teach me to know thy way, and give me grace to embrace it," was his sleeping and waking prayer; and the finger of heaven pointed out the way, it conducted him into the bosom of the Catholic church. Thus happily terminated this conflict between truth and error, duty and interest, religion and self-love. In the year 1819, Mr. Mason embraced the Catholic faith; and he is now a priest of those very altars which hitherto he had so much dreaded and detested. E.


The Rev. George Corless, of Crathorne, Yorkshire, has in the press "The Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation proved from the early Fathers," in Answer to a recent Pamphlet by the Rev. J. S. Faber, author of the Difficulties of Romanism.

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His task is done! his trials o'er,
Disease and pain can wound no more,
The wish'd-for haven's gain'd at last,
Life with its thousand cares is past;
Joyful he quits his pilgrim way,
"Tis the glad close of weary day.
There is not heard a mortal sound,
To break the solemn calm around,
Save when from anxious watchful friends
The softly whispered prayer ascends.-
He never scorned the voice of grief,
Nor e'en refused to give relief:
Each virtue that we hold the best
Was by his generous soul possess'd :

The wealth profusely round him thrown,
He never valued as his own,

But felt, with truly Christian love,
It was a trust placed from above
In his unworthy hands, to cheer
Those who are doom'd to suffer bere.
In goodness how his heart was skill'd,
And how that duty was fulfill'd,

The sufferer's thanks, the orphan's joy,
The widow's prayers can testify.

And now in this his parting hour,
Memory with her cheering pow'r

Strengthens his heart with hopes serene,
And brightly gilds the closing scene.
See, by his side Religion stands,

With dove-like eyes, and uprais'd hands,
Her pow'r sustain'd in trials past,

Her pow'r supports him to the last,

And glorious spirits hover near,

Who sweetly whisper to his ear,

"No more in exile shalt thou roam,

Thrice welcome to thy Father's home."

Mark that bright smile of pure delight
As heav'n was beaming on his sight,
And now he casts a glance around
While his lips breathe a murmur'd sound,
To call a blessing from above

On these, the objects of his love;

They, who have shar'd each grief or mirth-
'Twas the last thought he gave to earth.
He softly sighs his latest breath,
Sinks in the dreamless sleep of death,
And the freed spirit soars to meet,
With humble hope, God's judgment seat;
Receiving in the worlds of bliss,
Rich guerdon for the cares of this.
Oh! who that stands as we have stood,
To view the last hour of the good,
Who would not bid each thought depart
From earth, and whisper to his heart,
When gazing on a scene so pure-divine,
"Oh! may our death-bed be like thine!"



VIRTUE, all hail! the heedless bard who brings
The tribute of his votive verse to thee,
Whate'er his errors may have been, or be,
Still with a faithful feeling fondly clings
To thy pure loveliness! Amid the maze
Of life, to thee we turn with silent gaze—
Source of the mind's most blest imaginings!
How vain, alas! the search through devious ways
For bliss, when every simple flow'r that grows
Yields honey unto him, whose bosom glows
With thine unsullied and celestial love!
Pure are his pleasures-and the chast❜ning rod,
To which he nobly bends, but serves to prove
The wisdom and the mercy of his God.


THE minstrel of the morn along
The gale his music pours,
His shrill, melodious matin song
He sings as high he soars:

He sings and soars into the sky,
Far, far from earth's controul
The poet follows with his eye,

Ah! what prevents his soul?

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