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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Among the various sorts of expiations


Constantine

was answered, that, among the various sorts of expiations, there was not one which had the virtue of purifying his soul from so many and so atrocious crimes, and of exempting him from the punishment they deserved; and that no religion had resources enough to appease the justice of the irritated gods; and, let us mark: Constantine was a mighty emperor. One of his courtiers, seeing the trouble and agitation of his soul, devoured by the restless and undying remorse, told him that his sufferings were not hopeless; that there were in the Church of Rome, purifications which had the virtue of expiating all crimes, without any exception, that this Church held, that whoever joined it, whatever may be his crimes, might hope that all his crimes will be forgiven by the Deity, and that the exemption from their punishment will be obtained.

From that time Constantine took the Church of Rome under his protection. He was a wicked man who tried to deceive himself, and to appease the remorse of his conscience. He gave then full scope to his flagitiousness; and he postponed being baptized until the hour of his death, because it was, as it is now, a dogma of the Church of Rome, that baptism purifies the soul from the original and all other sins and crimes, and that it has also the virtue of exempting those baptized from the punishment of all their sins. Thus the entry of the temple of Eleusis was interdicted to Nero; and yet the Church of Rome would have admitted

him within her pale; would have purified his soul; and would have exempted him from the punishment of all his monstrous crimes, if he had taken her under his protection. How abominable a Church must be, when she deals so with tyrants and monsters with a human face! What! if Nero had been a Roman Catholic and had protected the Church of Rome, she would have canonized him! Why not? Constantine, as great a criminal as he was, has been canonized. In the ninth century his name was invoked at Rome in the ceremonies of the Church, and even now he is considered as a saint.

In England several churches have been built under the invocation of this pretended Saint Constantine, who founded at Constantinople a vast and costly establishment of ill fame. Such are the saints worshiped by the Church of Rome when she obtains their protection. Christ, reason, and nature, would never have absolved Nero from his crimes, and from the punishment they deserved; and yet the Church of Rome would have done it. Sophocles, in his Aedipe, says, that all the waters of the Danube, and of the Phase, would have been insufficient to purify, from their crimes, the souls of the family of Laius; and yet the Church of Rome would have done it. How truly the Arab poet Abu-Naovas exclaimed: "Lord, we have indulged to sin and to crime, because we saw that forgiveness soon followed them."

Therefore there is a striking similarity between the practices required by the Church of Rome, to obtain the forgiveness of sins, and to be exempted from the punishment of those sins, through the medium of a substitute, and those which were required in the Pagan religion for the same purpose.

2. We prove that the practices required by the Church of Rome to obtain the forgiveness of sins, and to be exempted from the punishment of those sins, through the medium of a substitute, were not instituted among Christians in the first two centuries.


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