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high spirits," said Louisa. Virginia, it is in ain to attempt to conceal it, there is an expression of sadness on your countenance."

"I must confess, mamma, that my spirits are somewhat damped, but do not, I beseech you, enquire the reason."

"Has Doctor Dorson satisfied you, Virginia ?" ked Louisa, rather abruptly. "What do you think of his note, and the book he sent you, mamma?" said Virginia. "Had you read the note, my dear, you might judge of the sensation it created in me. Such calumnies are no arguments. If Doctor Dorson would wish to counteract the instructions and sound reasoning of Mr. Rowland, he must make use of similar means."

"I have determined," said Louisa, "to believe nothing I hear about superstition, the dark ages, idolatry, and

"Why?" asked Virginia.

"Because it is calumny and idle verbiage." "What a difference between the calm, dispassionate reasoning of Mr. Rowland, and the vapid vituperation of Doctor Dorson."

"I must confess," said Virginia, "I have a better opinion of a Catholic priest than before; and," she added with some reluctance," I should have no objection to listen to Mr. Rowland again." Louisa was delighted with this concession.She looked at her mother and smiled.

"But what have you done with Doctor Dorson's letter, mamma ?" asked Virginia.

"I have sent it with a letter to Mr. Rowland," said Louisa.

"I should wish to see the answer. And how were you pleased with the book? Doctor Dorson mentioned that it would prove a sovereign antidote against popery in this country."

"The book shall not be read," returned Mrs. Wolburn, "until we receive Rowland's answer."

"I can bear anything in the Catholic church, but transubstantiation and purgatory," said Virginia.

"These are the doctrines I wish to have explained, my dear," returned Mrs. Wolburn ; but I am persuaded they are scriptural: we must have another interview with Mr. Rowland." "I shall be pleased to be present, my dear mamma," said Virginia.

"It will satisfy all her doubts," added Louisa. "For my part," resumed Mrs. Wolburn, "I am convinced that the Protestant cannot be the true religion, and I never again will appear in St. Saviour's. The Catholic church seems to me, as far as I have investigated the subject, to be that which was instituted by Christ, and can teach no error: therefore, it strikes me, the doctrine of that church must be true."

"That is, if it be the true church," said Virginia: "but that's the question. Yet I really must confess"-her voice faultered, and her sentence was left unfinished.

66

My dear, did Doctor Dorson refute the argument of Mr. Rowland ?" asked Mrs. Wolburn. "It were unless for me to make a secret of it; mamma, he did not: and, to be candid, my ideas respecting the Catholic religion are much altered since the short conversation I had with Mr. Rowland. Indeed, I am astonished at myself, when I reflect upon the singular antipathy I had before conceived to any thing like a priest, much more a Jesuit."

"Dear Virginia," exclaimed Mrs. Wolburn, as she clasped her in her arms, "I am charmed with your candour. God grant that we may all come to the knowledge of the truth, and embrace it."

"Really, mamma, Doctor Dorson could not answer the argument, and if it be unanswerable, the religion which I believe to be the true one,

and which I would have sacrificed my life for, cannot be the true one-my faith is shaken: and, as I know that without faith it is impossible to please God, I will leave nothing undone to embrace the true faith."

The resolution so suddenly effected in Virginia, was a matter of astonishment, not only to her nother, but even to herself. The puritanical prejudices in which she had been educated, and which had grown with her growth, were dispersed like clouds before the winds, and she determined to make the subject of religion a matter of serious investigation.

CHAPTER VII.

"An hideous figure of their foes they drew,
Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true,
And this grotesque design expose to public view."

DRYDEN.

LOUISA sat impatient to receive an answer from Rowland frequently did she run to the door, with the hope of seeing the servant returning. At length the boy appeared with a letter directed to her mother. She seized it with avidity, and hastened to give it to Mrs. Wolburn. Virginia was then called, and Mrs. Wolburn read it aloud, as follows:

"MY DEAR MADAM,

"Your communication suprised me not a little. I had heard much of the acrimony and illiberality of some who call themselves the ministers of peace and charity, but never could I ersuade myself that in this enlightened and free country, the cant of intolerant England could be carried to such an extreme. I flattered myself that we were no longer

regarded as idolators and intriguing men, and that we might at least enjoy in peace the right of believing and preaching what we please. But no: we are held up to the world as the worst of men, and our holy religion is represented as a medley of follies and errors, not less absurd than the reveries of Mahommed. Thank God! the fetters of the mind, as well as of the body, have been thrown off by the American people; our fellowcitizens will not be influenced in their estimation of Catholics, by men nurtured in the bosom of national prejudices, and intoxicated with antipathies against that church, which the great, the good, the learned, the noble, the wise, belonged to, and still belong to. Your friends may oppose the steps you are taking, my dear madam, 'for they know not what they do:' but I trust you will have strength, courage, perseverance enough to embrace the truth. What a pitiful attempt has Dorson not made to shake your resolution! Does it not prove the badness of his cause, when, to defend it, he must have recourse to abuse; when he can without blushing recommend to you such a book as Don Iago, or even Paschal's Letters? You ask if Paschal was a Catholic? I answer, he was not. He was a Jansenist, and as virulently opposed to the church as Dorson himself. His object in writing those letters was to destroy the Jesuits, a body of men diametrically opposed to the Jansenists. To effect this, he had recourse to satire, calumny, misrepresentation, and falsehood.

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"How glad should I be to have another conversation with you on these matters. Might I expect you this evening, dear madam? The weather is fair, and a ride to the chapel,' would, perhaps, be of service to you. Recommending you and your family to Almighty God, I remain, dear madam, your obedient servant, "ROWLAND."

"It is, indeed, astonishing," said Virginia, "that Doctor Dorson could recommend the work of a Jansenist, as that of a Roman Catholic."

"His object is to delude the simple and uninformed, Virginia," returned Louisa.

"Not to delude, I hope, Louisa," observed Virginia.

"Well then, to deceive or impose upon the common mass of readers."

"There will, no doubt, be a long list of signatures in commendation of this work, as there was in that of Don Iago," said Mrs Wolburn; "though I am informed by the best authority, that some of the signers are ashamed of themselves, and would willingly erase their names."

"Dr. Handerway is, in my opinion, the only minister who acted like a gentleman and a christian, on that occasion," said Louisa.

"It is strange, I must confess," said Mrs. Wolburn," that any gentleman could recommend a book full of calumnies against the religion of the most enlightened men of the age."

"In this number you will include the venerable Mr. Powell," said Louisa.

"But there are some points in the Catholic doctrine which appear strange and unreasonable to me, mamma," observed Virginia.

"I am not at all astonished at that, my dear; I had the very same ideas and prejudices, before I began seriously to investigate the subject. And, Virginia, my dear, I begin to be thoroughly convinced, that all the sects of the present day are mere impositions, disguised under the appearances of truth and religion."

"If Mr. Rowland, mamma, can convince me of transubstantiation, purgatory, praying to the saints, relics, absolution, and some other articles of the Roman Catholic faith, I should then have some reason to agree with you in your observation."

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