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met the claims of our fellow Christians of the Romish Church. Many, it hence appears, who would shudder at the idea of stretching the limbs, or lighting the pile, have no scruple-so deceitful is the heart of man-to harass the mind and torture the feelings of their religious opponents. While they declaim against violence and persecution, they traduce, without reserve or compunction, the characters, depress the fortunes, and abridge the civil privileges of those whom they cannot gain by their influence, or convince by their argument.

Into the political question connected with this subject, it is not my intention to enter. I leave it to the impartial and mature deliberations of men better qualified by their profession and talents to decide wisely, and to decide with authority. But I trust it will not be considered matter quite foreign to the occasion, or at least to the times, to investigate what, as Christians, we may conscientiously do, or leave undone, in the progress of this much-agitated and still undecided question.

In discussing this point, it is unnecessary to enter into any metaphysical speculations on the nature and grounds of human duty. We proceed, immediately to the fountain of truth, and from that source draw the water of life pure and uncontaminated for if we are sincerely desirous of learning how to walk and to please God, to whom should we go but to Him who hath the words of eternal life? This supreme and only infallible head of his church, when he spoke of the primary effect and event of his mission, predicted that he was sending a sword; but when he spoke of its purpose, design, and ultimate success, assures us that he came not to condemn or judge the world, but that the world through him might be saved. In the furtherance of this grand object of saving the world, he declares against all force, or show even of compulsion and menace. He would not do evil that good might come, however great that good might be. When his disciples, moved by a mistaken zeal, would have recommended a proceeding of severity against an unbelieving community, he turned and rebuked them-Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

Again he says, My kingdom is not of this world, otherwise would my servants fight; but now is my kingdom not of this world; of which the obvious inference is, that his servants should not fight for his religion, or the extension of his kingdom. He proceeds further, and as the author of a new religion, he disclaims all pretension to apportion men's shares of the possessions and privileges of this world. Who made me a divider over you? And, last of all, to show that we should not only deal out to men of all religious denominations, an equal measure of justice and equity, but also of

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generosity and charity, he introduces the Samaritan, showing compassion to the Jew, who had fallen among thieves; divided as these two sects were by an acrimony of hatred, as great as the essential difference of their respective creeds was inconsiderable.

Such is the spirit, such the principles of conduct, which the Divine Author of our faith prescribes. Let not any one, therefore, in defiance of such authority, imagine that he shall do God service, and his Saviour honor; or in any way advance the cause of religion or the interests of humanity, by any species of persecution, positive or negative; whether it affects the body or the mind; whether it takes away what is already possessed, or withholds what ought to be granted; for the law of Christ is infringed, and his spirit resisted, whenever we render a man's worldly condition worse, or refuse to make it better, on account of his religious principles.

Shall we then suffer an adverse and erroneous creed to make its way unresisted? Certainly not. Such a conduct would be a dereliction of our Christian duty in the other extreme. We ought always to be ready to give a reason for our own faith to him that asketh us, and to resist with meekness those that oppose themselves. But let us take care that our resistance be characterised with both reason and meekness. Let us, first of all, accurately ascertain what the tenets of our opponents really are, and expose them, not by the dim reflection of our own systems, but by those direct beams of truth which emanate from the Father of lights. Nor let us be in haste to do this, till we are sure we can do it in such spirit and temper, as may convince both them and our own conscience, that we are laboring for the purpose of acquiring the strength and confidence of numbers for our own party, or the acclamations of a triumph for ourselves; but that our hearts' desire is to convert the wanderer from the error of his ways, and to save his soul from death.

If this mode of resisting the progress of religious delusion does not succeed, our own personal experience and the history of our own country might serve to convince us of the futility of any other. It is in vain that our Statute Book has been disgraced by edicts more ingeniously cruel and absurdly oppressive than ever disgraced the codes of Imperial or Papal Rome. It is in vain that parents were compelled to surrender the nurture and education of their children, and the child bribed to rebel against his parents, to expel them from their homes, and consign them and their helpless families to beggary and famine. In vain have we attainted as a traitor the minister for performing at the altar the established offices of his religion, and branded as a felon the pious devotee who assisted at the solemn service. You have beaten them down to the earth indeed, but they have risen up from it with Antæan energy and

hydra-like fecundity. They sprung up from your ungenerous oppression, with renovated vigour and multiplied numbers to shame and amaze you. These sanguinary decrees (for laws they were not, if law has indeed " her seat in the bosom of God, and her voice be the harmony of the world"), these decrees are rescinded, and milder restrictions have been substituted in their place. But being conceived in the same spirit, their issue, though less pernicious, will not be more fortunate. They serve no other purpose, and never can, but to inflame their zeal, and to rivet their affections more fondly and closely to a faith which they conceive to be unfairly assailed, and for which they are obliged to make daily sacrifices of earthly emoluments and honors. Just in the same proportion are they alienated from your faith, by the abettors of which they conceive themselves unkindly treated, and are but too ready to proclaim a sense of their wrongs by a conduct equally pernicious to you and to themselves. After every fresh legislative enactment, there succeeds a temporary calm. But the fire sleeps: it is not extinguished. Under a surface of ashes it is collecting fresh strength, to burst forth at some ill-omened hour, when you shall have no leisure either to direct its progress, or repress its fury. Hopeless is the attempt to compress such a volatile and elastic element by brute force, or subdue its spirit by military menaces. While the disease prevails, the symptoms will show themselves. Men, indeed, are not to be coerced and menaced out of their religious prepossessions and affections. Were they base enough, under the influence of fear, to betray the friends of their childhood, and apostatise from the faith of their forefathers, they are not bold enough to barter for personal security and civil immunities all those principles, with which in their minds is associated every thing that is lovely and of good report, every thing that enables them to bear the calamities of a precarious life resignedly, and opens to them a prospect of a more durable existence, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. It is to commit the ant in battle with the elephant, to array human penalties and human terrors, still more petty prohibitions and vexatious disqualifications, against those mighty passions with which religion fortifies the soul. They reply to all the thunders of your edicts, and the brandishing of your arms, We fear not man who killeth the body, and after that hath no more that he can do; but we fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. We say unto you, we fear him. But there is no particular in which we do so much injustice to our brethren of the Romish communion, and eventually to ourselves, as by misrepresentation of their tenets and principles. I have already had occasion to say that we ought to begin the controversy by ascertaining accurately their tenets-but not from the statement

of their adversaries; not from the musty records of ancient days; but from their own acknowleged formularies of faith, and the avowed belief of living men.

It is alleged indeed that the Roman Catholic is unchanged; but it is alleged in defiance of common sense, and actual observation. For what can be more changed or contrasted than the condition and influence of the Pope seven centuries ago, when an English monarch (unworthy indeed of the name) was doing homage to him on his knees for his kingdom; and in our times, when a successor in the Papal chair was suing to our monarch for personal protection and the preservation of his patrimony. But if his influence and authority over the kings and people of Christendom were the same now as in the dark ages, such circumstances and contrasts could not arise. The authority of the Pope, like the authority of other men over their fellows, was an authority of opinion. Those opinions, on which his spiritual tyranny rested, are now gone both in Protestant and Catholic Europe, and they are gone for ever.

But if we do not succeed in showing the Roman Church to be formidable, we endeavor to make it odious. We charge on its members that they keep no faith with heretics, that they can dispense with the obligation of oaths; nay, that their Pope, and even a simple priest, can forgive sins, unrepented sins-sins however heinous and even grant indulgencies for future transgressions at a stipulated price. That these impious pretensions have been made, and even carried into practice in remote ages, is unquestionable; but it is equally true that in all modern times they have been renounced by the public and authentic acts of the highest Catholic authorities; and, what is more, by the uniform practice both of communities and individuals.

After attributing to them doctrines which they disavow, the next disingenuous artifice is to caricature those which they do maintain. In this spirit we call their invocation of saints, Idolatry; their doctrine of transubstantiation and adoration of the host, Blasphemy. We call the head of their church Anti-Christ, the Man of Sin, and names of still deeper turpitude. And after thus ascribing to him the malignity of the Spirit of Evil, we invest him with some of the attributes of Omnipotency; and ascribe to him the faculty of subverting the faith, and changing the religious opinions of the whole Catholic world, by the breath of his lips, and a turn of his pen. That men of education should fix on them such imputations, not only groundless but improbable, is more to be wondered at, than that those who follow them either through ignorance or interest, should very sedulously and seriously repeat them. For when all the several ideas of idolatry, blasphemy, perjury, and disloyalty are collected into one complex idea, and denominated Popery, no Pam. NO. LII.

VOL. XXVI.

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wonder that the unread, unthinking populace should join in one universal cry against a religion every where spoken against, and should be ready to expel from society all who profess it, and all who claim for its professors a fair hearing and equal justice.

But of all the charges against the Roman Catholics, that which is most obnoxious, is, that they yield a divided allegiance, at all times, and that on particular emergencies the portion of obedience, due to their temporal monarchs, may be dispensed with by their spiritual sovereign!

The Roman Catholics do indeed yield a divided allegiance. So do Protestants yield a divided allegiance to their temporal monarchs. They render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and to God the things that are God's. Both Romanists and Protestants, if they are conscientious, fear God and honour the King; but whenever these claims are conflicting, both one and the other think it their duty to obey God rather than man. The limits of those two duties are defined in the same words, and by the same authority to each; with this difference, that the Romanists concede the interpretation of the scriptural precept to the Pope and the Church; we reserve that as the privilege of private judgment. As to the power of dispensing with the duty of loyalty, it is one of those obsolete and antiquated pretensions which if not formally abrogated, has long fallen into desuetude; but which nevertheless we rake up from the oblivious dust under which it lay, and insist on its actual validity, in defiance of all their protestations, and all our own experience. Thus have their fathers eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge. We visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto many generations. We see before our eyes that the Roman Catholics, who live among us, are as devout, virtuous, loyal, and mindful of their oaths and moral duties, as men of other sects, and yet we persist in calling them in the mass hypocritical, idolatrous, perjured, and incapable of private or public patriotism. But surely men who bring this railing accusation against the brethren, without any examination into its truth, who take for proved every disgraceful imputation, however improbable and unnatural, incur a very serious responsibility, not to say a very heavy guilt.

What should we say of those venerable judges of the land, if they decided on the property, characters and lives of their fellowcreatures on common rumor and hearsay evidence, or even on the solemn testimony of one party alone? Would their high office and their higher characters screen them from the reproach of good men, and the compunctious visitings of their own consciences? Yet of such iniquity, but in a much more momentous case, are all those guilty who undertake to pronounce on the fates and fortunes of a great proportion of the empire, and on the happiness and peace of

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