Page images
PDF
EPUB

to the world the bright example of toleration and benevolence. ..

A peaceable life and happy death to all Adam's children! May the ministers of religion of every denomination, whether they pray at the head of their congregations in embroidered vestments, or black gowns, short coats, grey locks, powdered wigs, or black curls, instead of inflaming the rabble, and inspiring their hearers with hatred and animosity, or their fellow creatures, recommend love, peace, and harmony! . . ..■ >i i

*i-'

I have the honour to be, . .•

Gentlemen, your most affectionate, •. ■ '■

... • . •' • f

And humble servant,

* * .'

ARTHUR O'LEARY. ■■'«. REJOINDER TO

MR WESLEY'S REPLY.

THE following- extract from Locke's letter on Toleration, together with Mr. Wesley'* reply, has been sent to the author, with a request to answer it, If In His Power, says the writer of the letter. Mr. Locke in a profound manner opens the gate of toleration to all mortals, who do not entertain any principals injurious to the rights of civil society: but my correspondent is surprised that such an impartial writer should wake an oblique charge ou the Roman Catholics, if it were not grounded on truth:—

'We cannot find any sect that teache9 expressly and 'openly, that men are not obliged to keep their promise;

* that princes may be dethroned by those that differ from

* them in religion, or that the dominion of all things belongs

* only to themselves—but nevertheless wc find those^ that say

* the same thing in other words. What else do they mean

* who teach, that faith is not to be kept with heretics?—.

* What can be the meaning of their asserting that kings,

* excommunicated, forfeit their crowns and kingdoms ?— «That dominion is founded in grace, is an assertion by which,

* those that maintain it, do plainly lay a claim to the pos

* session of all things. 1 say, these have no right to be tole

* rated by the magistrate.'

Again: * That church can have no right to be tolerated ♦by the magistrate, which is constituted upon sucb a bottom, 4 that all those who enter into it, do hereby, ipso faclo, deli1 ver themselves up to the protection and service of another

* prince; for by this means the magistrate wonld give way

* to the setting up of a foreign jurisdiction in his own coun'try, and suffer his own people to be enlisted, as it were, 'for soldiers against his own government. Nor does the 'frivolous and fallacious distinction between the court

* and the church, afford any remedy to this inconvenience;

* especially when both the one and the other, are equally

* subject to the absolute authority of the same person;

* who has not only power to persuade the members of his

* Church to whatever he lists, either as purely religious, or

* as in order thereunto, but also can enjoin them, on pain

* of eternal fire.

'It is ridiculous for any one to profess himself to be a

* Mahometan only in his religion; but in every thing else a 'faithful subject to a Christian magistrate, whilst at the • same time, he acknowledges himself bound to yield blind 'obedience to the Mufti of Constantinople; who himself is 'entirely obedient to the Ottoman Emperor, and frames the 'feigned oracles of that religion according to his pleasure. 'But this Mahometan, living amongst Christians, would yet 'more apparently renounce their government, if he ac'knowlcdgcd the same person to be the head of his church, 'who is the supreme magistrate in the state.'

Locke on Toleration, p. 59

MR. O'LEJRY'S ANSWER.

Mr. Locke's supposed principles are fully answered in •Loyalty Asserted.' With every respect due to so great a man, he was as ignorant of the Catholics' creed, as any of the London rioters. 'That the dominion of all things be'longs to the saints,' was the doctrine of Wickliff, Huss, and the English regicides in the time of Charles the First: a doctrine condemned by the Council of Constance, in the thirtieth proposition, extracted from Huss's writings. •

Mr. Locke, in shutting the gates of toleration against the professors of such a doctrine, fully justifies the Emperor' Sigismund in putting Huss to death: as that unhappy roan not only preached, but practised it. In matters more within the verge of his knowledge, I widely differ from Mr. Locke. When he denies any innate ideas, or the least notion of a God implanted in our souls, independent of the senses, I prefer the Cartesian philosophers, Messieurs de Portroyal, the bishop of Rochester, and several others who were of a different opinion. But, when he supposes that 'the same 4 person who is head of the church, is the supreme magistrate 'in the state; that the people can frame the feigned oracles 'of the Catholic religion, as the Mufti can frame them for the •Turks, by the direction of the Ottoman Emperor; that he 'can persuade the members of his church to whateverhe lists, • and enjoin it them, on pain of eternal fire,' &c. my honest good English philosopher was either snoring, or as ignorant of the Catholic creed, as the old woman that used to bring

him his toast and ale, when he was writing on government, against Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha.

The universities of Paris, Valentia, Toulouse, Poictiers, Bourdeaux, Bourges, Rheiihs, Caen, &c. that is to say, the oracles of the doctrine taught in their respective countries, knew their creed better than an English philosopher could teach them. They have stigmatized those assertions obtruded on the public by Mr. Locke; and, in the condemnation of Santorellus, who asserted that the Pope could depose kings guilty of heresy, qualify his doctrine as 'new, 4 false, erroneous, contrary to the word of God, ealculated

* to bring an odium on the see of Rome, to impair the

* supreme civil authority that depends on God alone, and

* to disturb the public tranquility.'

Such is the doctrine of Catholics; and had Mr. Locke read history, or been candid enough to acknowledge it, he would have found the practice of the Catholics, in all ages, conformable to the decision.

'The Pope can persuade the members of his church to 'what he lists, and enjoin it them, on pain of eternal 'fire.'—Doubtless! he can persuade me to kill my mother, and enjoin it me, on pain of fire. He can persuade me that I eat my victuals with the big toe of my left foot; or that John Locke's mother was a virgin, when she was delivered of the author of the 'Essay on Human Understanding.'

Still the Pope could not persuade the English Catholics to give their benefices to Italian incumbents, in the time of Richard the Second, nor dissuade a Catholic parliament from introducing the premunire, against provisions obtained at the court of Rome; an evident proof that they knew the distinction between the church and the court. Pope Boniface VIII. could not persuade the Catholics of his time to believe that he was lord paramount of all the kingdoms of the earth; nor dissuade the king of France from writing the following letter to him: • We would have your Madness know, that 'we acknowledge no superior in temporals but God alone.'

Pius the Fifth, and Sixtus Quintus, in publishing their bulls of deposition against queen Elizabeth,* and absolving

* Such proceedings arc accounted for in Loyalty Asserted, in the discussion, of the deposing power.

Z

her subjects from their allegiance, could not persuade the Catholics of England to rise up in arms against their sovereign, though they were superior in numbers, and had room to expect every assistance.

Two proofs which will ever stand upon record, that Catholics never hold difference in religion, as a sufficient plea for dethroning kings; nor a Pope's bull a sufficient cause for withdrawing their allegiance. »

In the dark ages, Popes were deposed by the Council of Constance; and John the Twenty-second, who preached up the Millenarian doctrine, and held that souls do not enjoy the clear sight of God until after the resurrection, could not persuade the members of his church to believe him: nor dissuade the university of Paris from censuring a doctrine, which the head of their church preached from the pulpit at Avignon, and which he himself retracted before a notary public, and several witnesses in his last sickness; nor dissuade a French king from writing this short letter to him, 4 Retrade, oujeteferai ardre''—retract, or I will get § you burned. An evident proof that the Pope cannot 'persuade 'the members of his church, to what he lists, nor enjoin it 'them on pain of eternal fire.'

For the honour of Locke's memory, let my correspondent throw the fifty-ninth page of his treatise on toleration into the fire, for it is a jumble of nonsense.

All the Popes' bulls from the time of St. Peter, to the end of ages, cannot make an article of faith for Roman Catholics, without the acceptance of the Universal Church; and the church has no power over the temporals of kings, much less to command any thing against the laws of God.

Catholics never follow an arbitrary doctrine. The standard is fixed; the boundaries are prescribed, and the Pope himself cannot remove them: they consider him as the head pastor of the church.—Subordination in ever)' society, requires pre-eminence in its rulers: but his will is not their creed.

As to Mr. Wesley, his reply to me is little more than a repetition of his first letter. He denies 4 that he himself, or *his followers, were ever persecuted.' For the truth I appeal

« PreviousContinue »