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vour to force their favourite measure sought to have stated likewise, that the on us, even against our declared de. jesuits have a very large establishtermination not to accept of emanci- ment in the united states, which is rapation on such terms. In this sup- ' pidly increasing, and this too without posed case we shall have to undergo creating any alarm among the Amea new mode of persecution in this rican people, lest their t`uly free and land of liberty and universal tolera, independent constitution should be tion. But until that period arrive, it subverted by these "active agents is our bounden duty, and we are an. of the pope," but this would not swerable to the Divine Founder of have answered the “ catholic fears.” our holy church, if we neglect to of the author of the report. And perform it, to use every legal means why are not the Americans as terrified in our power to avert the threatened at ihe power of the pope, and the blow.
increase of popery, as the people of The committee have favoured us England, who boast of being as free with the “ nature and substance of as any of their neighbours ? The anthe law and ordinances existing in swer is plain. Because in America foreign (despotic) states, respecting difference in religion is ro hindrance the regulation of their roman ca- to the altainment of ci il bonours. tbolic subjects in ecclesiastical mat. There the people enjoy real liberty ters, and their intercourse with the of conscience ; here we know it only see of Rome;" but they have not by name.- The committee have congiven us the nature and substance of cluded their appendix by the inserthe regulations adopted by the free tion of a law of the city of New York, government of the united states ofAme- dated lith of March, 1816, by rica, which is the only iudependent na- which it is deciared “ that if any tion whose constitution bears any re- person sball, on the 71h of March, semblance to that of England, from commonly called St. Patrick's day, which in fact it is taken ; and the carry or exhibir to view, in any manlanguage and manners of the inhabi- ver whatsoever, the effigy of St. Pa. tants are congenial to our owi). trick, or any titular saint, whether The report says " As no documents the same is intended as an effigy of, or communications bave been nade or desigried to ridicule, such titular
to the committee, respecting the law saint, such person shail forfeit and - affecting roman catholics in the united | pay for such offence the penalty of
states of Ainerica, in wbich states ten dollars.” This is the only docuDu particular religious communion / inent which the committee could obcan be said to be established, your rain from smerica respecting the recommittee confine themselves merely gulation of roman caibolic citizens to noticing the following facts of pub- in the united states, I will however lic notoriety,- pamely, that a bishop supply the deficiency from the deciof the roman catholic communion sion of a tribunal of the aforesaid city, has been, for many years, established on a question of great importance to 'at Baltimore, to whoin the pallium or the catholics in that country. At a pall of an archbishop was sent some court of general sessions in the city time since, and five suffragan Ame- of New York, in the year 1813, rican bishops were, at the same time, the following question came on for appointed by the see of Rome ;" and decision, namely, “ Whether a roall this, the committee might have man catholic clergyman, be in any added, without the least apprehension case, compellable to disclose the se or jealousy on the part of the Ame- crets of auricular confession ?"-African government. The committee ter counsel had been heard on both sides, the mayor, the Hon. De Witt | ousness,' or justify practices inconClinton, gave the unanimous decision sistent with the peace and safety of of the court in a very luminous and the state. ---Considering that we had argumentative speech, from which just emerged froin a colonial state, the followiog sentiments of the civic and were infected with the narrow magistrates are extracted : “ This is views and bigotted feelings which a great constitutional question, wbich prevailed at that time so strongly must not be solely decided by the max-against the roman catholics, that a ims of the common law, but by the prin- priest was liable to the punishmeut ciples of our government. We have of death if he came into the colony, considered it in a restricted shape this declaration of religious freedom let us now look at it upon more elevat- / is a wonderful monument of the wised ground, upon the ground of the dom, liberality, and philanthropy of constitution, of the social compact, its authors......A provisiou conceived aod, of civil and religious liberty. - in the spirit of the most profound Religion is an affair between God wisdom and the most exalted 'charity, and man, and not between man and ought to receive the most liberal man. The laws which regulate it | construction...... It is essential to the must emapate from the supreme be- | free exercise of religion that ils or: ing, not from human institutions....... dinances should be adıninistered, that Altho' no human legislator has a rigbt its ceremonies as well as its essentials to meddle with religion, yet the history should be protected. The sacraof the world is a history of oppresments of a religion are its most imsion and tyranny over the conscience portant elements...... It has been conof men, and the sages who formed tended that the provision of the conour constitution, with this instructive stitution, which speaks of practices lesson before their eyes, perceived inconsistent with the peace or safety the indis pensable necessity of apply of the state, excludes this case from ing a preventive, that would for the protection of the constitution, ever exclude the introduction of ca- and authorises the interference of this lamities that have deluged the world tribunal to coerce the witness. Iu with tears and with blood, and the order to sustain this proposition, it following section was accordingly en- | must be clearly made out ibat the grafted in our state constitution. concealment observed in the sacraAnd, whereas, we are required by the ment of penance, is a practice inconbenevolent principles of rational li sistent with the peace or safety of the berty, not only to expel civil tyranny, state...... The roman catholic religion but also to guard against that spiri- has existed from an early period of tual oppression and intolerance, christianity, and at one time it emwherewith the bigotry and ambition braced almost all christendom, and of weak and wicked princes have it now covers the greater part. The scourged mankind. This convention | objections which have been made to doth further, in the name, and by the penance, have been theological not / 60 authority of the good people of this political. The apprehensions which state, ordain, determine, and declare, have been entertained of this religion, that the free exercise and enjoyment have reference to the supremacy and of religious profession and worsbip, dispensing power attributed to the „without discrimination or preference, bishop of Rome, as head of the cashall for ever hereafter be allowed tholic church; but we are yet to learn within this state lo all mankind. Pro- that the coufession of sins has ever vided, that ihe liberty of conscience been considered as of pernicious tenhereby granted, shall not be so con- .dency, in any other respect thaa its strued, as to excuse acts of licenti- | being a theological error, or its hav
ing been sometimes in the hands of | 10 the fundamental principles of mobad meu perverted to the purposes rality, and endanger the well-being of peculation, an abuse inseparable of the state, they are to be protected froni all human agencies...... The lan- in the free exercise of their religion. guage of the constitutii n is emphatic ....We speak of this question not and striking ; it speaks of acts of li- in a theological seuse, but in its le. centiousness, of practices inconsist-gal and constitutional bearings. Alent with the tranquillity and safely though we differ from the witness and of the state; it has reference to some bis brethren in our religious creed, thing, actually not negatively inju. yet we have no reason to question rious; to acts committeil, not to acts the purity of their motives, or to jina omitted ; to offences of a deep dye peach their good conduct as citizens. and of an extensively, injurious na. They are protected by the laws and
ure; it would be stretching it on constitution of this country, in the the rack to say, that it can possibly full and free exercise of their relicontemplate the forbearance of a ro- gion, and this court can never counman catholic priest to testify what tenance or anthorise the application he has received in confession, or that of insult to their faith, or torture to it could ever consider the safety of their conscience." . the community involved in this ques. A more perspicuous or correct detion. To assert this as the genuine finition of liberty of conscience, unmeaning of the constitution, would der a free government, cannot be givbe to mock the understanding, and en than that which I have here quoted, to render the liberty of conscience a and this is all we wish for, in claiming mere illusion. It would be to de- our undoubted rights under the Bristroy the egacting clause by the pro- tish constitution. This is a parallel viso, and to render the exception case to our own, but those which broader than the rule, to subvert all the committee have quoted are not principle of sound reasoning, and The freedom of choice in the seoverthrow all the convictions of com-lection of prelates to guard the pumon sense....If a religious sect rity of our faith is as essential to the would rise up and violate the decen. exercise of our' religion, as the free cies of life, by practising their reli dom of election for members of pargious rights in a state of nakedpess, liament is necessary to preserve the hy following incest aud community integrity of the constitution. Here of wives. If the Hindoo should at then is our sheet anchor; and uutil tempt to introduce the burning of the advocates for restriction can prove widows on the funeral piles of their that greater danger is likely to arise deceased husbands, or the Mahome to civil liberty in these islands from tau his p!urality of wives, or the the imaginary power of the popë, Pagan his bacchanalian orgies or bu-than in the united states of America, man sacrifices. If a fanatical sect or the deinocratic cantons of Swit-! sbould spring up, as formerly in the zerland, they will excuse us if we concily of Munster, and pull up the pil- tinue to use every exertion in our powlars of society, or if any attempts er to defeat their efforts, and obtain should be made to establish the in- emancipation upon the only grouods quisition, then the licentious acts and satisfactory to the great mass of the dangerous practices contemplated by catholic body-that is to say, unenthe constitution would exist, and cumbered and unclogged with vethe hand of the magistrate would toistical clauses or loyalty-proving be rightfully raised to ebastise the boards of motley commissioners guilty agents... But until men, up- WM. EUSEBIUS ANDREWS. der pretence of religion, act counter Somers' Town, Jan. 23, 1817.
To the Editor of the Orthodox I printing of some official documenti... Journal..
connected with the catholic ques
tion. I am sorry," said Sir John SIR,Within these few days (Hippisley, 6that I cannot afford the have met with a work, lately. pub- house the same facility in consulting lished, of which I think it right to a most valuable report on the Ancient give some account to the catholics of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the England and Ireland, as it is evie Crown by Mr. Brown, of the Tem-, dently intended to influence the dem ple. A copy of that document has termination of the grand question been deposited in the hands of the about to be introduced into parlia secretary of state for the home dement, concerning the vassalage of partment, which every gentleman their church, or of its continuing to would do well to consult, before he enjoy the limited freedom which it gives a vote upon the important quespossesses at present. In fact, this is tion which it so pointedly illustrates." the real question, rather than that of. From the tenor of these quotations, cmancipation, or no emancipation. the intelligent reader will be induced
The work is entitled, An Histori. at once to dismiss James Baldwin cal Inquiry into the Ancient Eccle- Brown, Esq. of the Middle Temple, siastical Jurisdiction of the Crown. from his mind, and to view the preBy James Baldwin Brown, Esq. of sent work as the production of the the Middle Temple. It is dedicated hon, baconet, who, to his other tito Sir John Cox Hippisley, M. P.; tles, is known to be so violently bent with whom it is stated to have "en on adding that of his majesty's vicar tirely originated ;” “under whose general, in spirituals for his roman eye its plan is said to have been ma catholic subjects. tured ;'* “ many of whose materials Our hou. and learned author are acknowledged to have been de professes to derive his majesty's ecrived from his valuable stores ;” and clesiastical supremacy over British “ the eventual publication of it, un- and Irish catholics from the Roman der difficulties and discouragements, emperor Constantine ; in attempting which once threatened its total sup which he falls into a great number of pression," is stated 6 to be princi- gross errors and groundless assumppaliy, if not wholly, referrible to his iions But, dismissing those which frieodly exertions in its behalf.” By do not immediately relate to the point this latter passage, I presume, we are in question, I wish to ask him the folto understand, tbat Sir John Cox lowing plaiu questions: Admitting, Hippisley has paid for the present Sir, that Constantine called the counpublication. We further learn from cils of Arles and Nice to judge the the preface to the work, that “a copy questions at issue between the caihoof it was transmitted to lord Sid- | lics and donatists, on one hand, and mouth, his majesty's principal secre- the catholics and arians on the tary of state for the home depart other, and that he even gave a hearment, with a view to its being print- | ing to each of the erring parties, after ed by order of the house of com- they had been condemned by those mons, on the motion of au bon. and episcopal assemblies, does it follow learned member, at whose sugges- from these bare facts that he possessed' tion the work was originally, under- an ccclesiastical jurisdiction on spiritaken;": and that “this same hon. tual subjects paramount to that of and learned member has borne par- bishops in an ecumenical council ? '. liamentary testimony to the atility of Might not this youthful soldier, who, tbis (his own) work, on moving the at the time we refer to, was pot even
a christian, have mistaken the limits to take upon himself to judge of a of his duty, as protector of the sentence which had been pronounced church? How ignorant he then by the bishops at Rome."--Ep. 162. was of the christian religion appears in the same epistle, he says, that, from his letter to the bishop of Alex. " in yielding to the donatists as far andria; in which he equally blames as he did yield, after the judgment of bím and the arch-hereiic Arius for the bishops, he asked pardon of the disputing about a matter, the divi. bishops for what he had done." nity of Jesus Christ, which to him Conformably to this, Optatus intro(Constantine) seemed a matter of tri- duces Constantine, thus exclaiming fting importance. Again, might not against these schismatics, ---6 They he, like his son Constantius, and se invoke my judgment, who myself veral of his successors, have been expect the judgment of Christ. I flattered into the presumption of med-speak the truth. The judgment of dling with matters which did not be the priest ought to be considered as long to him? Instead, however, of if God himself sat in judgment." .. ! following the theological baronet These undeniable authorities, indeo' Through the mazes of error in which pendently of a thousand others, en-, he has entangled himself, particularly tirely overturn our amateur canonist's in relation to the donatists, I will new theory of establishing the roya! give part of the lucid account which ecclesiastical supremacy on the con- · the great St. Augustine, who was so duct of Constantine, with respect to deeply interested in what related to the donatist schismatics. It is not, their unhappy schism, furnishes con- however, for the sake of destroying cerning it. “Know," says St. Au- this system, but of holding it up in gustine, addressing the dovatists, its native colours to the catholics of “.that they were your predecessors, England and Ireland, that I bave whio carried the cause of Cecilian to taken up the pen at present. The the emperor Constantiue ; but, be- | baronet details his system in thirteen canse he did not dare to judge the long, but not very luminous proposicause of a bishop, he sent it to be tions, with two corrolaries drawn judged and decided by bishops, which from them. Suffice it to state, in was done at Rome, Melchiades, its brief, that he maintains the emperor, bishop, with many of his colleagues“ though not a christian," (and of there, presiding; who, when they course, Tiberius in the time of Christ, had pronounced Cecilian to be inno Nero in that of SS. Peter and Paul,) cent, and bad censured Donatus, the to have been the legitimate judge of author of the schism at Carthage, ecclesiastical causes between bishups your partisans came again to the em- as well as others; that it belonged peror, and complained of the judg. to him to convene æcumenical counment passed against them. There- cils, and to preside in them, (whence' fore, the merciful emperor gave we are to conclude, that Caligula, or them other judges of the episcopal one of the Herods, called the apostoorder at Arles, a city of Gaul. There lic council of Jerusalem, and di-. was. b wever, no appeal here from rected its proceedings); that an apthe judgment of Melchiades and his peal always lay from general councolleagues, but only murmurs and cils to the chief civil magistrate ; complaints against them, as partial that his decision was final; that he judges.”- . Aug. Ep. 166. He had a right to punish those who diselsewhere says, “The christian, cm- obeyed his ecclesiastical mandates peror did not receive their false and with confiscation of goods, imprison. noisy complaints in such manner as ment, and exile, “as a commutation