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“How beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel !” Thus spoke the wicked Balaam, when, from the mountain of Phogor, he looked upon the encampment of the chosen people of God. He had been invited to come and pronounce a curse upon the Israelites, but God constrained him to change the curse into a blessing.

It has not unfrequently happened that men, who went forth to labor against God, have been compelled to act as the unwilling and almost unconscious instruments of His holy designs. Thus we see that, Julian the Apostate, when he undertook the impious task of attempting to falsify the prophecies, by rooting up the foundations of the temple of Jerusalem, and “not leaving a stone upon a stone,” but helped to fulfil the prophecies to the very letter. Thus, too, Volney, , the French infidel, who went to Palestine, for the express purpose of manufacturing evidence against the Christian religion, furnished, in the data, which he afterward gave in his works, abundant material for some of the most powerful and convincing arguments in favor of Christianity.

This idea is forced upon those, who have taken the pains to examine carefully the enormous number of books, of every size and description, which have been poured out upon the world with no other purpose than that of misrepresenting the Church of God, when they find some magnificent tributes to the truth and beauty of Catholicity in a vast mass of the most violent vituperation and shameless falsehood.

“For three centuries," says Count Joseph de Maistre, “history has been only one grand conspiracy against truth.” The suggestio falsi and the suppressio veri have been the grand principles of most of the non-Catholic historians. Whitaker, a Protestant, says that he blushes to admit that forgery has been the characteristic of the Reformation; and Nightingale candidly acknowledges that “In scarcely a single instance has the case concerning them (Catholics) been fairly stated, or the channels of history not been grossly, not to say wickedly, corrupted.” It would seem that like Nabuchodonosor, a beast's heart had been given them, and that they had no idea of moral justice, or honor, or honesty.

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But the machinations of mendacious writers were in vain, and only showed more strikingly the indefectibility of the Church, and verified the predictions of the prophet Isaias that “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that resisteth thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn."

While the sects that broke off from the Church, soon, like rotten branches, became subject to speedy disintegration, and fell to pieces, the Church stood, like a mighty, living, energizing oak of the forest, or rather it“stood like some majestic monument amid the desert of antiquity, just in its proportions, sublime in its associations, rich in the virtue of its saints, cemented by the blood of its martyrs, pouring forth for ages the unbroken series of its venerable hierarchy, and like the pyramid in the desert, only the more magnificent from the ruins by which it is surrounded.”

“Its light is 'light from heaven'; it will assist its children through the perils of their earthly pilgrimage ; and like the fiery pillar of the chosen'

; Israel, it will cheer the desert of their bondage, and light them to the land of their liberation !”

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