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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 reforiners 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 trutli

, 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. Boldly, or with brazen impudence, they threw it out, sent it fortli on its errand of

success.

mischief, and then laughed at the heavy answer which, in process of time, came lumbering after it. The objection was made in a few words, on a loose sheet, and wafted by the wind of controversy through every land, town, village, and hamlet, to every door, and became universally known; the answer followed in a ponderous quarto or folio, all bristling with scholastic formulas and scholistic distinctions, formidable even to the professional reader. Its circulation was necessarily limited, few only heard of it; fewer read it, and still fewer were able to appreciate it. The authors of the objection safely ignored it, or, if they could not, they misrepresented it, denied its conclusiveness, and even made it the occasion of a new triumph with their followers. Or, when they could neither conceal the fact of the answer nor its conclusiveness, they could still count on all the poodles, who would insist that there must have been something in the objection, or else it would not have required so elaborate and so learned a refutation. The lion had been attacked,—and that was something.

“ Where there is much smoke, there is some fire,” says the popular proverb. Surely there must be something wrong in the church, or so much would not, and could not, be said against her. Whether, therefore, the objections actually urged be precisely true or not, it is evident the church is not unobjectionable, and if not unobjectionable, we are justified in rejecting her. So reason the poodles, forgetting that our blessed Lord himself was everywhere spoken against, was called a glutton and a drunkard, the friend of publicans and sinners, a blasphemer, a seditious fellow, a fool, said to be possessed of the devil, and finally crucified between two thieves as a malefactor. Here was smoke enough,—was there also some fire? Here were objections enough raised, charges enouglı preferred,—was there also some truth in them? Where is the blasphemous wretch that dare think it? If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household! If so they have accused the Lord himself, how much more his church? To one competent to reason on the subject, the grave character and multiplicity of the objections alleged against the church are an evidence that she is Goil's church. “Will you tell me what books I may read to become acquainted with the Catholic faithı ?” said, the other day, an intelligent Protestant to the writer. “ I ain wholly ignorant of the Catholic Church, but I hear, every:

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where, so much said against it, that I cannot help thinking there must be something good in it, and that possibly it is the true church.” This lady, brought up a rigid Calvinist, through God's grace, had learned to reason far more justly than she had been taught by her Protestant masters, and, if true to the grace she has received, will ere long be admitted into the “ Communion of Saints." But she is not one of the poodles; and the reformers preferred, and their successors prefer, the admiration of these to the approbation of the sober and prudent greyhounds.

The policy of the reformers was indicated by Luther, when he took the discussion of theological questions out of the schools and from the tribunal of professional theologians, and brought it before the unprofessional public. I picked up, the other day, in a steamboat, a flaming quack advertisement. It appeared that the advertiser had, as he alleged, discovered an entirely new medical system, which placed all the regular mediciners, from Æsculapius down, quite in the wrong. IIe had challenged the regular prac

He titioners to a discussion of the merits of their respective systems. The challenge had been accepted, but on condition that the discussion should be before a jury of medical

The advertiser scorned this condition. It proved that the “regular doctors ” had no confidence in their own system; for if otherwise, they would not shrink from a public discussion. It was an insult to the public, and he would not submit to it. He was ready and anxious to discuss the question; but he would do it before no prejudiced jury of professional men; he would do it openly before his free and enlightened fellow-citizens, who were the only

He trusted his fellow-citizens, the free and enlightened public, would appreciate his motives in refusing to be a partner in offering so gross an indignity to their intelligence and impartial judgment, and would be at no loss to understand why the regular practitioners had annexed to their acceptance of his challenge so insulting a condition.

Now here am I, said I to myself, throwing down the advertisement, at least a fair average of the popular intelligence. I have even studied, with considerable attention, several branches of medical science; and yet how utterly unqualified I should be to sit as judge on the respective inerits of rival systems! I might listen to the statements of either party, but I am too iyi orant of the general subject

men.

proper tribunal.

I am.

to be able to perceive the bearing and real value of the statements of one or the other. I might, indeed, if such should happen to be the case, perceive that this pretended discoverer silenced his opponent; but I could draw no inference from that, for nothing is more common than for a man to triumph through impudence, or because too ignorant to be refuted. The proper judges of a controversy like the one here proposed are medical men themselves, as lawyers are the proper judges of law questions. Indeed, the very fact, that this advertiser refuses to argue his case before an audience of professional men, and appeals to the unprofessional public, is to me full proof that he is a quack, and sufficient to decide me, without further examination, against him. If I need medical advice, I am sure I shall not call him in, any more than I would a miserable pettifogger in an important and intricate law case.

I can confide my health and that of my family to no practitioner whose science and skill are not superior to my own, and vouched for by those who know more of medical matters than I do, and are far better judges of medical systems than

Just so would I have reasoned, if I had been present, when Luther made his appeal to the unprofessional public. Why did he make such appeal ? Because the public at large are the proper tribunal for professional questions? Because they can really judge better, discriminate more accurately, and decide with more wisdom and justice, than they who by their profession are at least somewhat acquainted with the matters in controversy! Because he really believed them the best qualitied to be judges? No one can

? be so simple as to believe it, so senseless as to pretend it. Luther knew that loose statements, confident assertions, bold allegations, and impassioned appeals would avail him nothing before a jury of theological doctors. He knew that there he could not lie with impunity, and that his “ bellowing in bad Latin” would win him no laurels. He may have persuaded himself, or suffered the devil to persuade him,and if we may believe his own statements, his colloquies with the devil were frequent, and intimate—that the church was wrong; but he must have known that the particular objections he brought against her were groundless, and that it was only by disregarding the established rules of reasoning, and resorting to falsehood and sophistry, confident assertions and bold and daring denunciations, that he could

VOL. VI-19.

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