1795 · Philadelphia
Thayer was the first American-born New Englander ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood [XIV Catholic Encyclopedia 556]. Educated at Yale and a Congregational Clergyman, he attracted notoriety for his conversion. As "the first converted American divine" [DAB], he was known as 'John Turncoat.' Protestants, especially in New England, viciously attacked him. Evidently Thayer gave as good as he got: he was well-known, as the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it, for "his erratic and contentious temper." Because of it, "he failed as a pastor" to the Catholic Church in Boston.
This rare pamphlet defends the infallibility of the Catholic Church and points out various defects in the doctrines of his erstwhile Protestant colleagues. Reverend Lesslie naturally disagreed: Catholicism's "pretended infallibility" is "a cunningly-devised fable, a mere delusion, invented, and imposed on the people of that communion, not to serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but the bellies of the teachers and spiritual guides of the Church." Thayer takes up the challenge, and strikes back.
Evans 29620. ESTC W14258 . Parsons 149 [incorrect collation]. (Inventory #: 34014)