Front Page Titles (by Subject) Number XIII.: The shocking Antipathy of Popery to Common Sense and Christian Charity. - The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747)
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Number XIII.: The shocking Antipathy of Popery to Common Sense and Christian Charity. - Thomas Gordon, The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747) 
The Independent Whig. Being a Collection of Papers All written, some of them published During the Late Rebellion (London: J. Peele, 1747). Vol. 4.
Part of: The Independent Whig, 4 vols.
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The shocking Antipathy of Popery to Common Sense and Christian Charity.
THE further Enthusiasm departs from Reason, the more secure it is against Reason. Moderate Nonsense, Nonsense that comes near the Reach of Reason, may be cured by Reason; but downright Nonsense and Contradiction is an Overmatch for all the Reason of Mankind, especially when such Nonsense is accounted sacred, and Reason reckoned profane. Popish Craft is aware of all this; it knows where its chief Strength lies, and never cheats by halves. Its Delusion is above all human Comprehension, and scorns Argument as the Work of carnal Reason, perhaps a Temptation from Satan.
By the same Craft and Fanaticism, the Scriptures may be grosly abused by such as think that they believe the Scriptures; Cruelty may be made to pass for Charity; Imposture for Instruction; and the Gospel itself for a Book altogether unintelligible, and even dangerous, without the Explication of the Priest; who therefore carefully keeps it from his poor Dupes, and lets them have neither a New Testament nor a Saviour, but what are of his own making.
Their Tenets, like their Miracles, are foolish enough to raise Laughter, were it not for their Cruelty, which is without Bounds, and, but for the daily Practice of it, would be beyond Belief. Whatever Follies and Extravagancies are found in all other Religions, come far short of those in Popery, all wonderfully improved by all the Visions of dreaming Monks, and by all the adopted Drolleries of Paganism.
But, reserving the Fooleries of Popery for another Paper, I shall observe here the mad Assurance of Papists, in damning at once whole Nations and Empires; indeed all that are not perverted into their own Complication of Frauds, Nonsense, Fanaticism, Contradiction, Hypocrisy, and Cruelty. A Pagan, perverted into Popery, is to be pitied; yet, to make such Proselytes, is the great Boast and Pursuit of their Missionaries, who thence make them Ten times more the Children of——Delusion.
Father Alexander de Rhodes, makes a bold, and, I think, an impious Observation concerning the Chinese, though he makes it from what he thinks a Spirit of Piety. After he has computed the Number of Souls in that immense Empire to be Two hundred and Fifty Millions, he adds, with a Sigh, That at least Five Millions of them are damned every Year. That is, the whole Nation are as surely damned as they die, and as fast as they die. Helas! J’ay souvent fait le Compte, que tous les ans au moins cinque Millions descendent aux Enfers.
Would any rational Man, can any Christian Man, be of the same Religion with this blasphemous Enthusiast, or bear to see such Blasphemy and Enthusiasm propagated in the World? Such a Principle charged upon Christianity would deter all who consult Reason, and honour the Deity, from embracing it. Who, that does either, can believe that all the Souls whom God creates, or hath created, are damned, unless they learn the Popish Creed, which, perhaps, they never heard, or, perhaps, wanted Capacity to understand; or thought themselves not obliged to believe upon the Word of a Missionary? Could it be half so great a Crime to deny the Existence of a Deity, as to conceive the Deity to be such a cruel, such a diabolical Being?
That crazy Father adds, “That yet we remain with our Arms across, whilst Jesus Christ suffers such a mighty Reproach.” A mighty Reproach! Who is it that offers it, except this Father, and such Enthusiasts or Impostors, who turn God into a Tyrant, and Religion into Blasphemy?
FatherDandini breathes the same Antichristian Spirit, which is indeed the Spirit of that Church. He was Missionary and Apostolic Nuncio to the poor Christian Maronites upon Mount Lebanon. He says, that they defer the Baptism of their Children till they are Fifty or Sixty Days old: and then adds these horrible, these Antichristian Words: It thence happens, that they (the poor Infants, guiltless, and incapable of Guilt) die with the Loss of their Souls. Such Madmen and Blasphemers are called Teachers! What Tyrant, what Demon, was ever charged with such transcendent Cruelty, as is here charged upon the Father of Mercies and of Men?
Can Protestants be too often warned against this restless, this bloody Imposture, which abolishes Truth and Reason, and the Mercies of God; an Imposture which professes to banish Scripture, enslave Conscience, and persecute Protestants; to usurp their Wealth, to damn their Souls, and to burn their Bodies and Bibles.