Page images
PDF
EPUB

seminaries: a province of Jesuits with a university and noviciate and two or three colleges: an establishment of Sulpicians with a university and college and a seminary: a province of Dominican friars with their professed house and college and noviciate; two or three establishments of Lazarists with their colleges and seminaries and schools; an establishment of Augustinian friars; two flourishing Ursuline convents, Visitation nuns, Carmelite nuns, poor Clares, Lorretines, Sisters of Charity, and five or six other descriptions of female religious societies, with their schools and establishments, besides some monasteries of men. Add to this, three or four periodical presses, and continual demand for new churches and more clergymen: the progress of the religion appearing to be in the ratio of the efforts to extinguish it or to impede its progress. The editor himself saw this, and complained of the very increase; and tells his readers that Popery has invaded the land, “is laying the foundations of an empire,” “is forging chains to bind the anti-Christian moralists,” and so on. Yet this writer, who observes and testifies the existence of this liberty and this Popery, who has beheld the wonderful progress of each in the same land and under the same government, very sapiently assures his readers, verily and of truth, that they “cannot co-exist,”— “from the nature of things it is impossible for them to flourish together.” And he very wisely gives us the assurance of this impossibility, whilst he assures us, that what he declares to be impossible is the fact. Which are we to believe, his doctrine or his testimony? “If the laws of the papal communion be administered, liberty must die.” But the said laws have been administered during half a century, and yet liberty has not died." Perhaps he has discovered that she is in her death sickness, for the administration of the laws of the papal communion must be the tariff: and the death sickness is evidently nullification. Bless us! what a glorious privilege it is, to be gifted with the power of looking into the

1 This illustration can be applied much more forcibly now, when there are ten times more Catholics in the United States than at that time,

imaginary world, and proclaiming the solution of those

enigmas which are so impervious to ken of ordinary

mortals. Now which of us, poor creatures, whose notions are confined to the surface of the globe, could have suspected that our civil and religious liberties had been so greatly jeopardized by the administration of the laws of the papal communion ? Sure enough, there was a provincial council in Baltimore nearly two years ago; the Pope has confirmed the proceedings of the prelates; the president has dismissed his cabinet; some of those who lost their places are very angry; the Vice-President and Mr. Crawford are at open war; South Carolina is about to do strange things, and we have a popish attorney-generall No wonder that the sun gave dim portent of mighty disasters. But even previous to his ghastly green and livid blue, the prognostication was drawn from a more unerring horoscope, by the sagacious editor of the Southern Religious Telegraph. “If you cannot reach a book off a shelf, you take a stool, and standing upon that stool, you are able to reach down the book; the stool are these gifts; grace alone many times cannot reach down such a notion in divinity as it is able to do by the help of gifts,” etc. Verily, it is a good gift, to be able to reconcile contradictions. This is a favor granted only to the elect. Passing by this paragraph, without further remarks for the present, allow me to exhibit the arrogance with which this evangelical editor treats the “tolerant friends of Popery,” as he is pleased to call the liberal Protestants of the United States. After degrading Roman Catholics to the level of the drunkard, the profane swearer, the gambler, the votary of dissipation, the infidel, and the antiChristian, and emphatically designating them as the slaves of the impositions of a crafty priesthood, as the subjects of a beast, he compliments all those Protestants who do not choose to adopt the rules of the Presbyterians with the assurance that their feelings and views accord perfectly well with the morality and practices of the abomi

nable outcasts whom he has thus described. This is a compliment for which the larger portion of the Protestants should feel very grateful. This is a species of liberality that ought to make a due impression upon them. It reminds me of the manner in which a stupid fellow once made his court to a person with whom he sought an intimacy. “My dear sir, I had a cousin of whom I was very fond; we were exceedingly intimate, and I was greatly attached to the poor fellow. He was one of the most jovial, merry scape-graces I ever knew; he lived in a continual round of gambling, dissipation, and their concomitant habits; until in an unlucky moment he had his career arrested—poor fellow ! You knew him; he was hanged last year. Your manner and appearance remind me so perfectly of him, that I have ever since sought to make your acquaintance—for really I feel at a loss for a companion.” It is quite out of the question to doubt the great respect in which the evangelical brethren hold their fellow-Protestants, the unconverted, the unregenerated, the worldly. Nor is this a novel feeling amongst the pure and the orthodox in regard to the other portion— the tolerant and the liberal; and not only in their regard, but towards all those who have fallen short of their notions of reformation and holy hatred of our Church. I shall give a few specimens.

“The Church of England is a true whorish mother, and they that were of her were base begotten and bastardly children, and she neither is nor ever was truly married, joined, or united unto Jesus Christ, in that espoused band, which His true Churches are and ought to be.” “Of all the nations that have renounced the whore of Rome, there is none in the world so far out of square as England in retaining the popish hierarchy.” “Your Churches bear with drunkards, whore-mongers, railers, open scorners at godliness. The most ungodly of the land are the forwardest for your ways. You may have almost all the drunkards, blasphemers, and ignorant haters of godli

! Lilburn, cited by Bastwick. * "Epist, before the Demons."

ness to vote for ye.” “The Church of England evidently declares themselves limbs of Antichrist; therefore, there is no communion to be kept with such in their public worship.” “We have a long while been clouded by confusion in the Church by a loose priesthood, who have not only brought in an innumerable number of pagan rites and Jewish ceremonies, but by their hellish skill have just broke through our constitution and almost reduced her to the obedience of Rome.” “What can a man of sense believe when he shall see a priest at the altar, acting a holy part, bowing and cringing, approaching the bread and wine, as if the popish notion of transubstantiation was true?” “If we look upon the lives, actions, and manners of the priests and prelates of this age, and see their pride, impudency, profaneness, uncleanness, one would think that hell had broke loose, and that the devils in surplices, in hoods, and copes, and rochetts, and in foursquare . . . . upon their heads" were coming amongst us . . . . The priests are secundum ordinem diaboli, a generation of vipers, proud, ungrateful, illiterate asses.” “The bishops are men swallowed up with wine and strong drink, whose tables are full of vomit and filthiness, whore-mongers and adulterers, who as fed horses neigh after their neighbors' wives.” The rest of this passage is too obscene.” “One parson is drunken and quarrelsome, but then he bows to the altar and thinks King William is damned. Another cheats everybody and pays nobody, but he drinks to the royal orphan, and cannot abide King George. A third neither preaches nor prays, but he does a more meritorious thing, he constantly and fervently curses the Germans and the Presbyterians. A sixth is an evidence upon a trial and forswears himself, but the cause was for tithe, and he did it out of love for the Church. A seventh is a scoffer, who has laughed religion out of the world, but he hated my Lord Wharton like a toad, and got drunk frequently with Lord Harry for the prosperity of the Church.” These, and volumes of such passages, which abound in the publications of the “saints,” during the last two centuries, show their feelings toward other Protestants, and the estimation in which they hold all that do not come up to their standard of purity, and orthodoxy, and illiberality. Thus it is that the sanctified editor styles the other Protestants anti-Christian moralists, in contra-distinction to evangelical Christians, who are the Puritans of our day. He charges them with cherishing sympathy rather for gross error than for enlightened Christianity; and with stupidity and ignorance in not knowing the evil tendency of Popery, both upon the spiritual and -political concerns of the community and of the nation. This is the politeness, this the courtesy, this the forbearance with which the charitable editor treats the large mass of the Protestant population of America. What could an unfortunate Catholic expect from such a man, or from the host to which he belongs, when he is thus insulting and arrogant to the great body of the Protestants who profess to be reformed without professing to be evangelical? Let us now review his specific charges against the subjects of the beast. He places as the caption of his article—“The Republic in Danger!” He then repeats in the very commencement of his article that “it ought not to be concealed, that the republic is in danger;” he assures his readers that it is “a dream of the imagination” to suppose that “increasing numbers and growing prosperity are evidences of the safety of the republic and pledges of its perpetuity.” On the contrary he declares that this “dream of the imagination, so fondly entertained, instead of diminishing, increases the danger to which it is exposed.” Again, to make assurance doubly sure—to perform his duty as a watchman upon the tower, he ceases not to repeat, “whatever good citizens may imagine,

1 Baxter's "Dispute,” v., pp. 17 and 37.

* "Wind. Cult. Evang.” p 30.

* “Rebels' Doom,” p. 42.

* “Christianity no Creature of the State," p. 18.

* The clergy of the Church of England at the period of this publication used to wear square caps, su -h as are still worn in the English universities.

* Nalson's “Collect." v 1. p 602-3.

7 White's “First Century.” Preface,

1 "Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury,” pp. 15-16.

« PreviousContinue »