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who give a loose to private and public vices,' by denying all rewards ' and punishmen.ts. beyond
the grave. Should then the supreme magistrate;
to whom the right of the sword is reserved, de-'
termine the degree of' punishment, and instead t
of imprisonment, banishment, &e. make, it ca-a pital, let his conscience condemn. or acquit him: Every subject should still " reject and detett, as ".unchristian and impious to believe, that it is " lawful to murder 'or destroy any person: or " persons whatsoever, for or under the pre
" tence of their being heretics." We are never' '
to arrogate to ourselves the power of lifeand death, which God has intrusted to the' legiflators, and to them alone. '
To Catholic and Protestant magistrat'es let us, however, venture topr'opose the advice' of St. Bernard : " Haaretici capiantur non armis,' " sed argumentis;*" " Let hereti'cs be con" vinced not with blows, but arguments ;" and the opinion of St. Augustine, in his letter to' count Marcellin : " No doctrine should strike a " deeper horror into the human heart, than " that which teacheth that it is lawful to kill " any person or persons under pretence of he" resy, and under the mask of religion, spreads " the dismal seeds os the greatest evils in the V Christian world,-_murders, dissensions, wars z"
* Bernard, in Cant. Serm. Sa.
In fine, the opinion of a learned Protestant bishop: " Among all the heresies this age has ** spawned, there is not one more contrary to " the whole design of religion, and more de" structive of mankind, than is that bloody " opinion of defending religion by arms, and N of forcible resistance upon the colour of rea ligion." * '
However, upon closer inspection into those persecutions which have changed Europe into a scene of Gothic barbarity, we shall find a combination of various causes, amongst which religion was a pretext, pasiion and policy the main springs. ** Examine all 'your former wars, " (commonly stiled wars of religion) " says the
'most famous writer of the 'age, " you will see
* Church and State of Scotland.
" the first sparks of them kindled in the dark 9* recesses of the court, or' in the ambitious U breasts of the grandees. Matters were first " embroiled and entangled by the intrigues and " debates of the cabinet ; and afterwards the " leading men raised' the people in the name of " God."
In effect, fir, under the empire of grace, our paffions retain a fatal liberty; and even uniformity of belief does' not always preclude factious divisions. VVhigs and Tories, Guelphes
* Bishop os'Sa'rum, preface to the vindication of the
LovA'LTY AssuRTEo. and Gibelines * may repeat the fame creed, and be still divided. The Sicilian's' and French wentto the same churches to sing their hallefzgjahs upon an Easter Sunday, when soon after the air began to 'resound with 'the groans of bleeding victims, and the harmonious sounds of chiming bells; Had the sufferers been of a different perfuasion from that of their aggressors, religion would appear as the chief character in the tragedy, when represented by some of 'our English historians, especially sir John Temple, who spreads the wild theatre of imaginary mas. sacres, abuses the public faith, and blends the mendacity of heathen Greece into the history of Christians. " Et quidquid Graecia mendax U peccat in historia." T
To clear religion from those bloody imputa4 tions, let us contrast the present to the past times : the Huguen'ots, formerly victims to the policy of Catharine de Medicis, live now in peace and opulence, enjoy their rich estates in' p Poitou, Lower Normandy, &e. 'The order of Military Merit is instituted to reward the valour of their officers : an'd in France no man's religion is a bar to his promotion in the career of mili.f tary honours, Whereas nothing more commoft than to see the French leg'ions' commanded by
* Two formidable factions in Italy. 'I'Juvenah Sat. 10.' L \\ a * lief ' ,\ \
Protestant generals. Here in Ireland, the Cathoa lics, formerly drove by thousands into woods and caverns, and their clergy hunted like wild beasts, live unmolested, though debarred of the privilege of becoming soldiers or mayor's serjeants. The respective religions of the two kingdoms are now what they were then : whence proceeds this happy transition from persecution to lenity ? Not from the Christian religion, whose spirit never changes ; but from the different characters of its professors.
The French Huguenots are now under Lewis XVI. They have been formerly under the sway of a Medicis. Formerly under the
Stuarts, we are now governed by the Bruns- _
wics, Our magistrates are Protestants, but quite different from those who, instead of redreffing grievances, used to foment the rebellion, with a view of enriching themselves by the spoils of oppression, In fine, fir, let us divest ourselves of paffion : Religion will never arm our hand with
ss the poniard.
A R T. 'V..
I* I further declare, that it.is no article of my " faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and 5* abjure the opinion, that princes excommu." nicated by the pope and council, or by if any authority of the see of Romoe, or by zb a any
" any authority whatsoever, may be depose'd " or murdered by their subjects, or by any " person whatsoever : and I do promise, that " I will not hold, maintain, orv abet any 'such " opinion, or any other opinion, contrary to " what is expressed in this'd'eclaration," '
This article of the test requires a peculiar, dis
cuffion: as the pope's deposing power'has
caused such confusion in Europe, during the great struggles between the priesthood and empire,'and is often an engine employed in par.rliament, to defeat the good intentions of the
members, who, from principles of humanity'
and zeal for the prosperity of the kingdom,iendeavour to remove the heavy yoke of penal refiraints. The question is-Whether the' 'deposing power be an article of the Catholic faith? For my heart slartles and my hand recoils, at
:the words, " murdered by their subjects." Asif the 'principles of any sect ofvchrifiiansautho
rized a gloomy ruffian to plunge' the daggerKin the royal breast. To determine the question, let us enquire, first,' Into the doctrine of 'the church concerning the deposmg power :, re'condly, Into its origin. _ ,
Resistance vto princes has "Been an early' charge against the church : and from her in
fancy down to this day, her pafiors and'doctor' D 2. have