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made the unsuccessful attempt. To the investiture of bishoprics in Germany, which brought on the great broils between Popes and Emperors, was annexed some temporal emolument, founded upon compacts between the two powers. The English monarchs made their kingdom tributary to the apostolical see. If, then, pontiffs have deviated from the primitive paths in meddling in the teinporals of kings, the reason is obvious. They had prescription to plead; oaths and treaties to support their claims.' in the conduct of kings, choosing them for arbiters of their quarrels, and liege lords of their territories, they found a specious pretext to punish the infraction of treaties, and the breach of prerogative. A repetition of the same acts, introduced custom. Custom supported by time, obtains the force of a law. The law bound the parties concerned, and the violation of the law has been attended with penalties. Hence the deposition of an emperor was more owing to the code and pandects of Justinian, than to the gospel of Christ. Hence Henry the Eighth, and Queen Elizabeth's pretended danger from the Popes who threatened them, and attempted in vain to absolve their subjects from their allegiance.
The Popes considered themselves as the liege lords of the kingdom of England, after receiving for so many years a tribute from its sovereigns: they never absolved the CathoJics of Denmark and Sweden, from their allegiance to Protestant kings, because they could plead no stipulations. According to the canon law, a hundred years prescription can be pleaded against the Church of Rome. A hundred years and more have elapsed, since any Pope has attempted to absolve subjects from their allegiance; though armies have been poured into his territories, and his cities taken by princes. Kings have nothing to dread from an abrogated power, abolished by the same cause that gave it rise. But 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 be 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 Popes. Less is to be apprehended from spurious canons, or the memory of councils which gave up the ghost six hundred years ago. . And any inference from the proceedings of the fathers of the council of Lateran, or obsolete texts of the canon law, against fornier 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 constitutions, fæderal unions, and civil compacts, 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 same 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 mere specula. tions, in an age more enlightened than the thirteenth century, when the council of Lateran 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 infame the rage, and kindle the rancour of fellow-subjects, by a recital of the ill treatpient of those pretended nartyrs, should 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 circum. stances can alter. Thus, the council of Trent, which com. mands, the Roman Catholics, under pain of anathema, or çurse, 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 same council decrees, that the manor or land on which a duel is. fought, with the connivance of the owner, should be confis. cated and applied to pious uses, it is rejected. Though the motive of the decree is laudable, as it tends to suppress, vice and restrain the passions; yet, as the means, such as the for. feiture, of lands, &c. are quite out of the spiritual line, this decree of discipline is not received, : By the same rule, two things are to be considered 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 the limits of their spiritual provinces, and so farevery 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 pos. session 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 transfer of property, or temporal affairs, by Him who refused to compro-, mise matters between two brothers, and declared, that his kingdom is not of this world. Nor is it to be presumed, that the ambassadors who assisted at the council, would betray the interests of their kings, who often excepted against the competency of spiritual tribunals, as to the decision of temporal rights. And as to the distinction between articles of faith, and canons of discipline, we find it even in the New Testament.
ans, it is not, and if rare a new actiong
The same apostles, who preached the divinity of Christ. *. which we all believe, decreed in a council, that the Chris.
tians should abstain from the use of blood, and the flesh 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 : laws, discipline, and decrees vary with time We are but little concerned in the transactions of the twelfth or thirteenth century. We are a new world raised on the ruins of the former, and if hitherto we could not agree as Christians, it is high time to live together as men. There is land enough for us all; and it is by far better to see towns and cities rearing their heads on the banks of our rivers, than to see our fertile country de. populated by intolerance. Let religion be left out of the case. Whigs and tories, Guelphes and Gibelinst may repeat the same creed, and be still divided. The French and Sicilians went to the same churches to sing their halle. lujahs upon an Easter Sunday, when, soon after, the groans of bleeding victims began to mingle with the harmonious sound of chiming bells. The Dutch and English were Protestants, when the former massacred the latter in the island of Amboyna. Had the sufferers been of a different persuasion from that of the aggressors, religion would ap. pear as the chief character in the two tragedies. If specula. tive errors be punishable, there is a day of reckoning, and eternity is long enough for retribution. But during the short span of life, chequered with so many anxious cares, let us not resemble those savages who glory in dispeopling the earth, and carrying the mangled heads of their fellow-creatures on the tops of their reeking spears, as so many trophies of their barbarous victory. In vain do we give ourselves up to hatred and vengeance: we soon discover that such cruel pleasure was never adapted to the heart of man; that in hating others we punish ourselves; that humanity disclaims violence; and that the law of God, in commanding us to love our neighbour, has consulted the most upright and reasonable dictates of the
* Acts, chap. 15. , + Two formidable factions in the time of the disputes between the popes and emperors.
human heart. The world is tired of religious disputes, and it is high time for you, Gentlemen, to be tired of me.
It is time to agree to a truce, and leave the field to such champions as are willing to engage in national and political contests, infinitely more useful to the public than the thread. spun arguments of polemical divinity, decrees of councils, or obsolete canons.
Should any of the champions of the eighty-five legions of Glasgow, or any of their allies and confederates sound the trumpet, I shall not prepare myself for battle. If I at. tempted to throw fanaticism into ridicule, they are welcome to discharge at me arrows reposited in the quivers of the Spanish Friar and the Duenna. Of what use is it to the public, if I have recourse to Chrysal, or, the Adventures of a Guinea, where our modern apostles are taken off in the conference between Momus and Mother Brimstone.
If the attack be serious, the weapons will be taken from the mouldering arsenals of old councils, pope's decrees, and ob. solete canons. There it will be a repetition of the same thing, for ever and for aye, to use the words of old Robin Hood. But should Mr. Wesley, W. A. D-mm-d, or any apostle belonging to the eighty-five societies, intend to be of use to the public, I shall co-operate with their pious endeavours,
the pulithe veins in my late the privilege paper.
We have obtained of late the privilege of planting tobacco in Ireland, and our tobacconists want paper. Let Mr. Wesley then come with me, as the curate and barber went to shave and bless the library of Don Quixote. All the old books, old canons, sermons, and so forth, tending to kindle feuds, or promote rancour, let us fing them out at the win. dows. Society will lose nothing; the tobacconist will benefit by the spoils of antiquity. And if, upon mature deliberation, we decree that Mr. Wesley's Journal, and his apology for the Association's Appeal, should share the same fate with the old buckrams, we will procure them a gentle fall. After having rocked ourselves in the large and hospitable cradle of the Free-press, where the peer and the commoner, the priest and the alderman, the friar and swaddler, can stretch themselves at full length, provided they be not too churlish, let us laugh at those who breed useless quarrels, and set