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of God,"—that is, of Baal, quite true. 6 The most deadly enemy of man.” In the sense of being his best and only real friend, true, nothing more true. One only needs to take the contrary of what you say, to have the truth.
“In the name of Christ it has remorselessly grasped power which Christ refused.” How does the Reviewer know that? “ Claiming to be his vicegerent on earth, it has proclaimed doctrines which Christ never taught.” Whence did you learn that? You assert it ; she denies it, and wherein is your assertion better than her denial ?
You have for your assertion at best only your private judgment, and she at worst has her private judgment against you, and her private judgment, on any ground you choose to put it, is equal to yours. You are of yesterday. My grandfather was the contemporary of the founder of your sect, nay, even my mother might have known him. You are only the illegitimate offspring of the Anglican Establishment, itself of illegitimate birth. Your sect is self-constituted, and nobody can be silly enough to suppose that either our Lord or his Apostles founded the so-called “Methodist Episcopal Church.” Whatever may be said of the Catholic Church, it is certain that yours is a man-made church, and that you have no authority to decide what our Lord did or did not teach. You have no divine commission, and in the Church of God are simply nobody.
But see the admirable consistency of this man. He calls the Church a usurper because she claims authority to decide what Christ did and did not teach ; yet, in the very sentence quoted, he claims for himself and undertakes to exercise this very same authority. When he says the Church has proclaimed doctrines Christ never taught, does he not assume the authority to decide what Christ did and did not teach ? Who then is the usurper? If he says he has no authority, then his assertion is merely his opinion, and entitled to no consideration ; if he says he has it, he must show us his commission. “Sanctioned enormities which drew forth his severest censures.” Who made you a judge in the matter? Who authorized you to say what Christ did or did not censure ? Sanctioned enormities.” In the eyes of a worshipper of Baal, be it so ; in the eyes of the Christian, the worshipper of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is for you to prove. “Imposed burdens
intolerable to be borne.” Intolerable to those who say Baal is God, very likely; but at worst she imposes no burdens so heavy as those imposed by your sect on its members. “Instead of peace it has brought the sword.” The very thing our Lord said he had come to do. “Think not,” said he, “I am come to bring peace on earth, yea, a sword rather.” “Instead of consolation, wretchedness and despair.” To the enemies of Christ and worshippers of Baal, be it 80; to others it is false. “And yet its pernicious errors are 80 interwoven with the truth, and the monstrous usurpations so covered with the sacred form of Christ, that the eyes of a large proportion of Christendom are still held that they see not its true character.” How do you know, dear brother, that you yourself see its true character, and that what you call errors are not God's truths ? Are you infallible ? May it not be your eyes that “are held,” and not ours ?
“ The battle between these two contending systems has hitherto been waged at a distance from us. Confidence in our own safety, and belief in the impossibility of disturbing the strong foundations on which our religious liberties rest, have made us in a measure indifferent to the struggles of liberty abroad. We have forgotten, too, what our fathers suffered.” Your fathers, sir, if they suffered persecution at all, suffered it from the hands of Protestants alone. Neither they nor you have received wrong at our hands. But to hear this man talk one would think that Protestants have been the firm champions of religious liberty, and the sweet, innocent sufferers in its cause.
Why, he really has the effrontery to appeal to history. Does the poor man in his self-delusion suppose we cannot read history as well as he? Does he suppose that we are ignorant of the persecutions and the inherent persecuting spirit of the party with which he identifies himself ? Does he imagine that he is proving Protestantism to be the friend of religious liberty, by invoking its spirit in a war of extermination against Catholics? He is evidently aiming to arouse the Protestant feeling of this country against Catholics, and to deprive us of equal liberty with Protestants. Can he not understand that the religious liberty which he asserts is simply the liberty of Protestantism to trample on the Church ? Because we resist being trampled on by Protestants, does he accuse us of persecuting them ?
“So strong thus far has been the tide of Papal immigration from the old world, that Rome has already commenced the work of recasting our institutions to suit her schemes of ecclesiastical aggression.” Does the writer really believe this, or does he say it merely for effect ? If the former, let him talk no more of Protestant intelligence ; if the latter, let him be silent as to Protestant morality. The whole statement is nonsense. What does Rome want to recast our institutions for ? “ Her ecclesiastical aggressions,”-on what? Her ecclesiastical system is fixed, the power of her bishops defined, and there is here no motive for aggression, and nothing on which to make ecclesiastical aggression. What is there in our institutions Rome would wish to change ?
Use the power of the Republic to put down Protestants, or to deprive them of their freedom to remain Protestants ? Do you suppose she is so silly as to attempt any thing of that sort? Protestants have been here from the first settlement of the country, and have the full civil right to remain here as Protestants. It is not the principle or the practice of the Church to enter a country where another religion has had before her entrance a legal right to exist, to gain by intrigue, or in any other way, the government, and then use it to suppress the old religion. That is the Protestant, not the Catholic method of proceeding.
" Free schools, free presses, free Bibles, free speech, and free thought, are the natural supports of the great principle of Protestantism ; and these, therefore, in some way must be subject to her regulation.” p. 36. If Almighty God has given her the power and made it her duty to regulate them, what have you to object? If she does what you allege, you must prove that she has no authority from God to do it, before you can conclude any thing from it to her prejudice. “ Free schools." Would you, a Methodist, send your children to a school taught by infidels, in which the books used were filled with slanders on Methodism, and in which your children would be trained up to despise the religion of their father and mother, to deny revelation, to deny God, and all moral distinctions ? And what would you think of the man who should accuse you, because opposed to such schools, of being opposed to free schools, and to education? You would think of him
just what we think of you. Nay, would you send your children to Catholic schools, in which they would be likely to be trained up Catholics ? Of course not. cannot hold Catholicity in greater horror than we hold your Methodism. It is not to free schools we object; it is not to education we object ; but the sort of education you give in your free schools. You blame us for acting on the very principle on which you yourselves act. Why have the Methodists established schools, seminaries, colleges of their own, under the regulation of their own sect ? Why do they not send their children to schools and colleges under the exclusive control of Episcopalians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Universalists, or Mormons ?
“ Free presses." Whether the Church likes or dislikes them, it is certain the Methodists are opposed to them. The Methodists, as a sect, have their own Book Concern, and superintend their own publications. It is understood that the members of the sect are to restrict their purchases of books to the works issued by their own Book Concern, and that they are not to purchase even books approved by the sect if issued by other publishers ; at least this was the case some time since. As to journalism, the Methodists allow it no freedom; all the journals of the denomination are under the control of the denomination. The Methodist Quarterly Review belongs to the Book Concern, and the editor is designated by the authority of the sect, and is simply its agent. He has nothing of the freedom we have as the editor of a Catholic Review. The only restraint we are under is the restraint of conscience itself; but he must conform to the will of his employers or be dismissed. As to the press itself, there is a question whether the censorship shall be exercised before or after publication, not yet settled ; but there is none as to the propriety of the censorship itself. Great Britain, the United States, France, Spain, Belgium, Sardinia, and ove or two German States, recognize the liberty of the press, but punish or profess to punish the misuse of its liberty. Other states continue to exercise a previous censorship ; which is the better system I am not called upon to decide.
The Reviewer is terribly scandalized at a recent publication of the Patriarch of Venice.
" If any one supposes that Rome is more tolerant of the press now than formerly, let him read the Circular of Pietro Amerilo Matti, by the mercy of God, Patriarch of Venice, to his beloved sons, the booksellers, publishers, and true believers, residing in the city and diocese,' issued so recently as December 31, 1855. This fulmination follows directly in the wake of the Concordat just granted to the pope by the most pious 'Emperor of Austria, and is the first signal gun to warn all impracticable sons of the Church, as well as heretics, of what they are now to expect. We extract a couple of paragraphs.
“No one, be he priest or layman, will be allowed, without previously obtaining permission from our ecclesiastical “ censure,” to publish either as author, printer, or vender, any work either directly or indirectly touching on religion or morality, or specially treating of the Liturgy, or of any other subject. It is also forbidden to introduce any book whatever from other countries, without having applied for and obtained the approbation of the ecclesiastical “ Censure Office,” excepting in such cases where the book has been marked as being among the works which are permitted.
“. Should any person dare publicly or privately to sell books, prints, or paintings, which are prohibited by the Church, or could be prejudicial to religion or morality, be it known unto him, that we will not only suppress such illicit sale ourselves, but will also call in the arm of the civil power, which the monarch has placed at the disposal of the Church to our assistance.'
“ What this arm of the civil power' means, the unhappy victims of priestly despotism in Austria understand full well.
" It is not the sudden overthrow among us of the rights and immunities of Protestant liberty, that we fear; open and direct assault would defeat its own aim. Rome understands too well the laws of human nature. She saps and mines by slow approaches. What cannot be accomplished in a year may yield perhaps to a generation or a century. The ages are hers. Like the painter Zeuxis, she works ‘for eternity.'”—pp. 36, 37.
The words any other subject,” understood in the universal sense, and as indicating the extent of the ecclesiastical prohibition, could not have been in the original, for they transcend the canons of the Church, and imply a power the canons do not confer on the Patriarch. The rest of the prohibitory sentence is no more than is claimed by every Evangelical sect. The canons of the Church prohibit, indeed, the publication of works touching faith, discipline, or worship, by a layman or simple priest, without the permission of the proper authority ; but these canons are simply penal laws. I can publish what I please at my own risk. If what I publish contains nothing incompatible with faith, morals, discipline, or worship, I incur