A Catholic’s Refutation
IN a religious book published hy a fellow of the Society of Jesus, entitled, “The Faith of a Catholic,” the author examines what concerns the incredulous Jews and other infidels. He would show that Jesus Christ, author of the religion which bears his name, did not impose on or deceive the Apostles whom he taught; that the Apostles who preached it did not deceive those who were converted; and that those who were converted did not deceive us. In proving these three not difficult propositions he says, he confounds “the Atheist, who does not believe in God; the Pagan, who adores several; the Deist, who believes in one God, but who rejects a particular Providence; the Freethinker, who presumes to serve God according to his fancy, without being attached to any religion; the Philosopher, who takes reason and not revelation for the rule of his belief; the Gentile, who never having regarded the Jewish people as a chosen nation, does not believe God promised them a Messiah; and finally, the Jew, who refuses to adore the Messiah in the person of Christ.”
I have given this sketch, as it serves for a singular Catalogue of Heretics.
It is rather singular that so late as in the year 1765, a work should have appeared in Paris, which bears the title I translate, “The Christian Religion proved by a single fact; or a dissertation in which is shown that those Catholics of whom Huneric, King of the Vandals, cut the tongues, spoke miraculously all the remainder of their days; from whence is deduced the consequences of this miracle against the Arians, the Socinians, and the Deists, and particularly against the author of Emilius, by solving their difficulties.” It bears this Epigraph; “Ecce Ego admirationem faciam populo huic, miraculo grandi et stupendo.” There needs no further account of this book than the title.
¶ This article is slightly expanded from its original in early (1790s) editions of the Curiosities, which consisted of the first and second, but not the third of the paragraphs above.