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extracted from Sir Richard Steele's appendix:—• EreEl themselves against God', is a phrase, meerly spiritual, and of a fatal tendency, because the broachers of such doctrines think it a sufficient plea against kings not inclined to receive the truths, they themselves are prompted to preach; and as every one thinks himself in the right, error has many chances for the sword of authority.

If empire be founded in grace, and not in the rights of nature, or the laws of civil society; if a deviation from the immutable truth that saw the world in its cradle, and is to preside at its dissolution, be a plea, against kings,; let them he eternally armed with the scales of the Leviathan, against the barbed irons to which they are exposed, from those who think themselves the only persons enlightened with the rays of gospel knowledge. Nothing then is to be apprehended from popesi Less, is to be apprehended . from spurious canons, or the ttiemory; of councils which gave up the ghost six hundred years ago. And any inference from the proceedings of the fathers of the councibof Lateran., or obsolete texts of the canon law, against former heretics, to alarm the Protestants of our days, is the fruit of ignorance or malice, or both. The Protestants of our days sway the sceptre of authority. Kingdoms and republics, laws and institutions, unions, and civil compacts,

blessings,' blessings in peace, and triumphs in war, the allegiance of their subjects, and protection the result of allegiance, record them in the annals of fame, and put them on the lame level with the Cæsars to whom tribute and submission are due. How are they connected with the motley rabble of heretics, who appeared and disappeared in former times, overturning and attacking church and state, and attacked by both in their turn. No state acknowledged their power. No band of civil union linked them together;—no subjects swore allegiance to them;—no Catholic recognized a king, parliament, or magistrate amongst the Albigenses, whom people dignify with the title of Protestants; and whom Protestant powers would consider as the pest and bane of society, if such were now in their dominions. Disciples of the Manicheans, they admitted two supreme and independent principles; and granted two wives, called Colla and Colliba, to the God of Truth. Had their doctrine been confined to meer speculations, in an age more enlightened than the thirteenth century, when the council of Latefan was held, in all appearance, humanity would pity them, and philosophy would smile at their errors.

But this wild theory was still surpassed by the most monstrous practices. They considered marriage as a state of perdition; but chastity was not one of their vows.


More could be said; but I am afraid that my readers already blush: and whoever dignifies the Albigenses with the title of Protestants, in order to inflame the rage, and kindle the rancour of fellow-subjects, by a recital of the ill treatment of those pretended martyrs, mould not only blush, but hide himself.

Let none imagine, that whatever is mentioned in the sessions of a general council, is an article of faith. There are decrees of discipline .which are at the discretion of kingdoms or provinces either to reject or adopt. There are articles Of faith which, in our opinion, neither time, place, or circumstances can alter. Thus, the council of Trent which commands the Rodman Catholics under pain of anatbemat or' curse, to believe the necessity of baptism and the reality of original sin, is universally received in all'Catholic countries, as far as it confines itself to the decision of speculative points, and proposes them as articles of belief: but, where the fame council decrees, that the manor or land on which a duel is fought, with the connivance of the owner, should be confiscated and applied to pious uses, it is rejected. Though the motive of ihc decree is laudable, as it tends to suppress vice and restrain the passions: yet, as the means, such as the forfeiture of lands, &c. are

t^uite quite oUt of the spiritual line, this decree of discipline is not received. By the fame rule, two things are to be confid ered relative to the council of Lateran,. often quoted, and as. often misapplied. The fathers of that council have anathematized the errors of the Albigenses so repugnant to reason, morality, and the principles of revealed religion, and every similar error extolling itself against: the orthodox faith. So. far they confined themselves within tho limits of their spiritual provinces, and so far every Roman Catholic submits to their decrees. But when they proceeded further, and granted the lands of the persons whom they condemned as heretics, to the Catholics who would take possession of them,* no Roman Catholic is concerned in a verdict that disposes of temporal property; for, neither popes nor councils have been appointed as the supreme and infallible- arbiters of succession to thrones, the transser of property, or temporal affairs, by Him. who refused tot compromise matters between two- brothers, and declared, that his kingdon? is not of this world. Nor is it to be presumed, that the ambassadors who assisted at the council, would betray the


• The author speaks in the supposition of the genuineness of the decree. For it is spurious, as well as the second decree about safe-conducts attributed to the Council of Constance, and which L'Enfant asserts to have been, found ia a manuscript in the Vienna library.

interests of their kings, who often exceptad against the competency of spiritual tribunals, as to th'e decision os temporal rights. And as to the distinction between faith, and canons of discipline, we find it even in the. New Testament.-—

The same apostles, who preached the divinity of Christ, which we all believe, decreed in a council, that the Christians (hould abstain from the use of blood, and the stesh of strangled animals. * We believe the doctrine they preached: we overlook, the discipline they established, because the prohibition was temporary. The Doctrine is permanent: opinions are fugitive; Ja.".s, discipline and decrees vary with time. W« are but little concerned in the transactions of the twelfth or thirteenth century. We are a new world railed on the ruins of the former, and if-hitherto we could not agree -as Christians, it is high time to live together as men. If speculative errors be punishable, there is a day of reckoning: and eternity is long enough for retribution* But during the short span os life, checkered with so many anxious cares, let us nofTesemble those savages who glory in dispeopling the earth, and carrying the mangled heads of their fellow-creatures on the. tops of their reeking {peats, as so many trophies of their barbarous


* Acts, 15th chap.

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