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the least discompose us. In this very cry we hear an additional proof of what we are maintaining. We understand the full significance of this cry. The Protestant masses are escaping from their leaders. The sectarian ministers, especially of the species Evangelical, are losing their hold on their flocks, and finding that their old petrified forms, retained from Luther, or Calvin, or Knox, will no longer satisfy them,-have no longer vitality for them. Their craft is in danger; their power and influence are departing, and Ichabod is beginning to be written on their foreheads. They see the handwriting on the wall, and feel that something must be done to avert the terrible doom that awaits them. Fearfulness and trembling seize them, and, like the drowning man, they catch at the first straw, and hope, and yet with the mere hope of despair, that it will prove a plank of safety. They have no resource in their old, dried-up, dead forms. They must look abroad, call in some extrinsic aid, and, by means of some foreign power, delay the execution of the judgment they feel in their hearts has already been pronounced against them. They must get up some excitement which will captivate the people and blind their reason. No. excitement seems to them more likely to answer their purpose than a “No Popery” excitement, which they fancy will find a firm support in the hereditary passions and prejndices of their flocks. Here is the significance of this No Popery” excitement.

But this excitement will prove suicidal. Times have changed, and matters do not stand as they did in the days of Luther, and Zwingli

, and Henry, and Calvin, and Knox.. The temper of men's minds is different, and there is a new order of questions up for solution. The old watchwords no longer answer the purpose. What avails it to prove the pope to be antichrist, to populations that do not even believe in Christ? What avails it to thunder at Catholicity with texts which are no longer believed to have a divine authority? Protestantism must now fall back on her own principles, and fight her battles with her own weapons. She must throw out her own banner to the breeze, and call upon men. to gather and arm and fight for progress

, for liberty, for the unrestricted right of private judgment, or she will not rally a corporal's guard against Catholicity. But the moment she does this, she is, as the French say, enfoncée ; for she has subsisted and can subsist only by professing one thing and doing another. Let our Evangelical doctors, in their madness, rally, in the name of progress, of liberty, of private judgment, an army to put down the pope, and the matter will not end there. Their forces, furnished with arms against Catholicity, will turn upon themselves, and in a hoarse voice, and if need be, from brazen throats and tongues of flame, exclaim, “No more sham, gentlemen. We go for principle. We do not unpope the pope to find a new pope in each petty presbyter, and a spy and informer in each brother or sister communicant. You are nothing to us. Freedom, gentlemen ; doff your gowns, abrogate all your creeds and confessions, break up all your religious organizations, abolish all forms of worship except such as each individual may choose and exercise for himself, and acknowledge in fact, as well as in name, that every man is free to worship one God or twenty Gods, or no God at all, as seems to him good, unlicensed, unquestioned, or take the consequences. We will no more submit to your authority than you will to that of the pope.'

This is the tone and these the terms in which these “No Popery” doctors will find, one of these days, their flocks addressing them; for we have only given words to what they know as well as we is the predominant feeling of the great majority of the Protestant people. The very means, in the present temper of the Protestant public, they must use to insure their success, cannot fail to prove their ruin. They will only hasten the issue they would evade. Deprived, as they now are, for the most part, of all direct aid from the civil power, the force of things is against them, and it matters little whether they attempt to move or sit still. They were mad enough in the beginning to take their stand on a movable foundation, and they must move on with it, or be left to balance themselves in vacuity; and if they do move on with it, they will simply arrive-nowhither. They are doomed, and they cannot escape. Hence it is all their motions affect us only as the writhings and death-throes of the serpent whose head is crushed.

Regarding it of the greatest importance that the whole matter should be brought to its true and proper issue, and believing firmly, that when the real alternatives are distinctly apprehended and admitted, that many Protestants will choose "the better part,” we are not displeased to witness the very decided tendency to transcendentalism now manifesting itself throughout the Protestant world. It is a proof to us that the internal developments of Protestantism are not only bringing it to its strictly logical termination, but, what is more important still, to the term of its eristence. The nations which became Protestant rebelled against the God of their fathers, the God who had brought them up out of the bondage of ignorance, barbarism, idolatry, and superstition, and said they would not have him to reign over them, but they would henceforth be their own masters, and rule themselves. He, for wise and merciful but inscrutable purposes, gave them up to their reprobate sense, left them to themselves, to follow their own wills, till bitter experience should teach them their wickedness, their impiety, their folly and madness, and bring them in shame and confusion to pray, "O Lord, in thy wrath remember mercy; save us from ourselves, or we perish !" To this desirable result it was not to be expected they would come till Protestantism had run its natural course, and reached its legitimate termination. They would not abandon it till they had exhausted all its possibilities, and till it could no longer present a new face to charm or delude them. In this transcendental tendency, we see the evidence that it has run or very nearly run its natural course, and in transcendentalism reaches its termination, exhausts itself, and can go no further; for there is no further. Beyond transcendentalism, in the same direction, there is no place. Transcendentalism is the last stage this side of norhere ; and when reached, we must hold up, or flydff into boundless vacuity. In i's prevalence, then, we may trust we see the signs of a change near at hand; and any change must certainly be in a better direction.

PROTESTANTISM IN A NUTSHELL.*

[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for October, 1849.]

We have seen few works written with a more just appreciation of our age than the one before us, or so well adapted to the present state of the controversy which we are always obliged to carry on with the enemies of the church. Its author understands well the essential nature of Protestantism, and clearly and distinctly points out the proper method of meeting it under the various forms it at present assumies, and of imposing silence on its arrogant and noisy pretensions. He does not confine himself to the field of theological controversy, properly so called, but he meets Protestants on their own chosen ground, on the broad field of European civilization, and shows them that, under the point of view of civilization, of liberty, order, and social well-being, Protestantism has been a total failure, and that, even in reference to this world, Catholicity has found itself as superior to it as it claims to be in regard to the world to come. He does not merely vindicate Catholicity, in relation to civilization, from the charges preferred against it by the modern advocates of liberalism and progressism, but by a calm appeal to history and philosophy, he shows that the opposing system has interrupted the work of civilization which the church was prosecuting with vigor and success, and has operated solely in the interest of barbarism. In doing this, he has done a real service to the cause of truth, and we learn with pleasure that one of our friends in England has translated his work, and rendered it accessible to the great body of English and American readers.

Such a work as this was much needed in our language. We have, indeed, many able controversial works,-works admirable for the learning, ability, and skill of their authors; but we have comparatively few which are adapted to the present state of the controversy with Protestants. The greater part of those accessible to the mere English reader

*El Protestantismo comparado con el Catolicismo en sus relaciones con la civilizacion Europea. Por Don Jaime Balmes, Presbítero. Paris: 1849

135

are well adapted only to the few individuals whose hearts the grace of God has already touched, and whose faces are already set towards the church. Truth is one and invariable, but error is variable and manifold. It is always the same truth that we must

but it is seldom the same error for two successive moments to which we must oppose it. We must shoot error, as well as folly, “as it fies," and we must be able to shoot it under ever-varying and varied disguises. The works we have, excellent as they are in their way, and admirably fitted to guard the faithful against many of the devices of the enemy to detach them from the church, and to aid and instruct persons in heretical communions who are virtually prepared to return to the church, do not hit the reigning form of Protestantism; they do not reach the seat of the disease, and are apparently written on the supposition of soundness, where there is, in fact, only rottenness. The principles they assume as the basis of their refutation of Protestantism, though nominally professed or conceded by the majority of Protestants, are not held with sufficient firmness to be used as the foundation of an argument that is to have any practical efficacy in their conversion. They all appear to assume that Protestants as a body really mean to be Christians, and err only in regard to some of the dogmas of Christianity and the method of determining the faith ; that Protestantism is a specific heresy, a distinct and positive form of error, like Arianism or Pelagianism; and that its adherents would regard themselves as bound to reject it, if proved to be repugnant to Christianity, or contrary to the Holy Scriptures. This is a natural and a charitable supposition; but we are sorry to say, that, if it was ever warrantable, it is not by any means warrantable in our times, except as to the smail number of individuals in the several sects who are mere exceptions to the rule. Protestantism is no specific heresy, is no distinct or positive form of error, but error in general, indifferent to forms, and receptive of any form or of all forms, as suits the convenience or the exigency of its friends. It is a veritable Proteus, and takes any and every shape judged to be proper to deceive the eyes or to elude the blows of the champions of truth. It is Lutheran, Calvinistic, Arminian, Unitarian, Pantheistic, Atheistic, Pyrrhonistic, each by turns or all at once, as is necessary to its purpose. The Protestant as such has, in the ordinary sense, no principles to maintain, no character to support, no con

to error,

oppose

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