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and would place all sects who profess to be Christians on the same level. The Unitarian, who denies the Holy Trinity and Incarnation, would be as orthodox as he who believes them; and the Universalist, who denies future rewards and punishments, would be as sound in the faith as they who believe the righteous will enter into life eternal, but the wicked will go away into everlasting punishment. Nor is this all. I am unable to find any distinctively Christian doctrines which all, who would in such a case be rallied under the Protestant banner, really agree in accepting; for I am not aware of a single one which some professed Protestant has not controverted. So, were we to adopt the suggestion, there would be no revealed truth which would not be abandoned as non-essential, and nothing above mere natural religion to be held to be essential.”

“So the various Protestant sects, taken altogether, have denied the whole Gospel, and left nothing but mere natural religion undisputed.”

“Not even that, in fact, for German and American transcendentalists question essential portions of even natural religion.”

“It is a hard case, brother, and I do not see that I can help you."


PROTESTANT controversialists are well hit off in Lessing's Fable of the Poodle and Greyhound. “How our race is degenerated in this country ” said one day a far-travelled poodle to his friend the greyhound. • In those distant revions which men call the Indies, there is still the genuine breed of hounds,-hounds, my brother, (you will not believe it, and yet I have seen it with my own eyes,) who do not fear to attack the lion and grapple with him.' • Do they overcome him ? asked the prudent greyhound. Overcome him! Why as to that I cannot exactly say; but only think, a lion attacked ! But,' continued the greyhound, 'if these boasted hounds of yours do not overcome the lion when they attack him, they are no better than we, but a great deal more

Only think, the church attacked! Attack her boldly, with or without success, and you are sure of the admiration of all the poc lles.

When the infamous Danton was asked by what means the. pitiable minority he headed were able to maintain their

stupid.? »

Reign of Terror and paralyze the millions opposed to him, he answered," By audacity, awlacity, AUDACITY.” Protestant leaders understand very well the advantages of audacity, and that, if one is only bold and unprincipled enough to throw out grave charges against the purest and noblest cause which ever existed, he will not fail of multitudes to credit him. Groundless objections, if not susceptible of an easy or a popular refutation, are as much to their purpose as any. They serve to attack the lion, to put Catholics on their defence, and that is the same as a victory. A child may start an objection which the ablest and most learned divine cannot answer—to the child. A very ordinary man may urge an objection to some article of faith which will demand, in him who is to receive the answer, as well as in him who is to give it, for its refutation, the most rare and extensive erudition, and familiarity with the deepest principles and nicest distinctions of scholastic theology and philosophy. No small part of the objections urged against the sacred mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Real Presence, and Transubstantiation, are objections which an ordinary mind may understand, but which it is impossible to answer to the general reader,-especially if the general reader be a Protestant. Such objections are exactly to the purpose of the Protestant controversialists, and gain them the applause of—the poodles.

These controversialists it is not to be presumed are ignorant that all the objections of past and present times to the church have been refuted, and unanswerably refuted ; but, from the nature of the case, they have, in numerous instances, been refuted only to the professional reader. The nature of the objection, though itself popular, precluded a popular reply. In all such cases, Protestant controversialists have only to deny that any reply has been given, or to assert that the one given is inconclusive, and they come off triumphant. This is their common practice. Nothing is more common than to meet, in Protestant controversial works, objections, which have been refuted a hundred times, reiterated without a hint that any reply has ever been even attempted, and urged in a tone of confidence, as if Catholics themselves conceded them to be unanswerable. The impudence of Protestant polemics in this respect is notorious and undeniable.

That this method of conducting a controversy, on matters in which no one has any real interest in being deceived or in

deceiving, is fair, honorable, or just, it is not presumed any Protestant is silly enough to pretend; but, filled with an inveterate hatred of the church, and having decided that it is the church of Antichrist, Protestant leaders, apparently, regard themselves at liberty to make use of any means for its overthrow which promise to be successful, and have no scruple in resorting to artifices which would shock the moral sense of an ordinary heathen. The Catholic writer who should give a faithful account of their nefarious conduct in their war on the church, would find it harder to sustain himself with his friends than against his enemies; and he would hardly fail to be condemned by his own communion as a calumniator. Their conduct is so foreign to all the habits and conceptions of a simple-minded, honest Catholic, that one needs to have been a Protestant a great part of his life to be able to conceive it possible for beings having the human form, and pretending to some respect for religion and morals, to be guilty of so wide a departure from all that is true, just, and honorable. Hence the great tenderness and forbearance with which Catholics usually treat Protestants, and the undeserved credit they are accustomed to give them for a partial degree, at least, of fairness and candor.

At first view, one is at a loss to account for the sudden rise and rapid spread of the Protestant rebellion in the sixteenth century. Knowing by infallible faith, that the church is of God, the immaculate spouse of the Lamb, and that she has truth, wisdom, justice, sanctity, reason, evidence, on her side, the Catholic is astonished at so singular a phenomenon; but as he penetrates deeper into that mystery of iniquity, and becomes familiar with the character of the rebel chiefs, and the means they adopted, his astonishment ceases, and his wonder is, not that the success was so great, but that it was not greater,—that the revolt was so soon arrested and confined within limits that it has not as yet been able to overleap. He sees nothing marvellous in the success of these rebel chiefs, but he is struck with the manifest interposition of divine Providence to confound their language, to divide their counsels, to defeat their plans, to arrest their progress, to protect his church, to show his unfailing love for her, and to augment her power and glory. Protestantism, as relates to Europe, is actually confined within narrower limits than it was fifty years after the death of Luther, while the church has gone on enlarging her borders, and never at any former period was the number of the faithful so great as it is now.

They who attack existing institutions, especially if those institutions are wise and salutary, may always count on the admiration and applause of all the poodles. Fixed and authoritative institutions are offensive to the natural man. They are a restraint, and no man, save so far as assisted and subdued by grace, loves restraint'; and there is no one that has not a natural repugnance to whatever curbs his lawless desires and licentious passions, or interposes an obstacle to his living as he lists. In every community--because in every natural man,--there is always a predisposition, more or less manifest, to rebel against the existing order, and to welcome and adhere to those who are prepared to war against it, especially to credit whatever may be advanced to its prejudice. They who attack the existing order, appealing to this predisposition, have the appearance of attacking tyranny and oppression, and of being champions of freedom and justice. This fact renders them respectable, almost sacred, in the eyes of the multitude. Their position, moreover, permits them to assume a bold and daring tone, to make broad and sweeping assertions, and to forego clear and exact statements, and close and rigid logic. They can declaim, denounce, be impassioned, and affect all the eloquence of virtuous indignation. The eloquence of denunciation is the easiest thing in the world to command; for it appeals directly to those elements of our nature which lie nearest the surface and which are the most easily moved, and weak men prefer it and excel in it.

But he who defends authority labors always under a disadvantage. He has an unpopular cause. To the superficial, ---and they are always the great majority,-he is the advocate of tyranny, the enemy of liberty, warring against the best interests and true dignity and glory of his race. He can appeal to no popular passion, use no burning words, and pour forth no strains of indignant eloquence. He cannot speak to the multitude. He must speak to sober sense, to prudent judgment, and aim to convince the reason, instead of moving the sensibility, or inflaming the passions. His words, to all but the few, are cold and spiritless, tame and commonplace. For the foaming tankard or sparkling goblet, with which the popular declaimer regales his auditors, he has only simple water from the spring. He must be subdued in his tone, measured in his speech, exact in his statements, rigid in his reasoning, and few only will listen to him, and fewer still can appreciate him. He who for years has been on the side opposed to authority, and by his bold and daring declamation roused up a whole ocean of popular passion, and at every word brought an echo from the universal heart of humanity, no sooner finds himself on the other side, than all his marvellous eloquence is lost, and he is pronounced, by the very public which had hailed him as a second Cicero or Demosthenes, cold and weak, a Samson shorn of his locks and grinding in the mill of the Philistines. No matter how true and just his thought, how deep and searching his wit, how wise and prudent his counsel, how lucid and exact his statements, how clear and cogent his reasoning, he can excite no passion, move no sensibility, and bring no popular echo. The spell is broken ; his magic is over, and his power to charm is gone for ever. He is no Indian hound, fearing not to attack the lion, and the poodles see nothing in him to admire.

Then, again, the poodles regard the lion attacked as the lion vanquished. They hold every objection boldly and confidently made to be true, till it is proved to be false. In this fact, in the tendency of the great majority to regard every objection made to existing authority as well founded till the contrary is shown, Jies the secret of the Protestant reformation. To this the reformers owed their brilliant

They well understood that their objections to the church would be credited by multitudes, till refuted. It was a matter of little importance, so far as their success was concerned, whether their objections were true or false. What they wanted was simply objections easily made, but not easily refuted,-susceptible of being proposed in a popular form, but not susceptible of a popular answer.

Such objections they employed their wit in inventing, and their skill and activity in circulating. A lie, happily conceived, adroitly told, and well stuck to, was in their case hardly, if at all, inferior to the truth; and it must be conceded that they had a marvellous facility in inventing lies, and in adhering to them when they had once told them. Whoever coolly examines their objections to the church will readily perceive that they are all framed with respect, not to truth, but to the difficulty of refutation, and on the principle that a lie is as good as the truth till it is contradicted. Gloriously did they chuckle, we may fancy, when the “Father of lies” helped them to a popular objection, to which no popular answer could be returned. Böldly, or with brazen impudence, they threw it out, sent it forth on its errand of

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