Skip to main content

Full text of "The works of John England, first bishop of Charleston;"

See other formats



Right Rev. John England, 











frtof Ttu Bajttmort PuMMiag Co. KLKCTROTTPBD 

^ At the lUltlmore Tjrp-Funndry. 


INFALLIBILITY, ----...... 1 

ON INTENTION, -------.... 43 




DISPENSATION, - --------- 240 

THE BULLS OF THE CRUSADES, - - - - - - - - 282 











OUR first principle is, that man is not bound to believe 
uny doctrine as of faith, unless that doctrine has been 
revealed by God. Thus, a Roman Catholic does not 
acknowledge any power or right in the Church, nor in 
any portion thereof, nor in any angel, nor in any being, 
except God Himself, to require his belief of a doctrine 
which is above his reason's discovery. When, then, he 
says that the Church is infallible in giving her doctrinal 
-decisions, he does not mean to say that she can make 
that which God did not reveal become an article of faith. 
He does not mean that she can add to the revelations of 
God and will be infallibly correct in this addition. 

But man is bound to believe what God teaches. Yet, 
as man is a reasonable being, and must have a sufficient 
motive for his assent or belief, he is not required to 
believe without evidence. Thus, for his faith, evidence is 
necessary, otherwise his belief would have no foundation 
upon which it could rest. 

We next ask, what evidence is required? Certainly, if 
our reason could discover the truth of the doctrine sub- 
mitted to our minds, it would be quite superfluous for 
God to teach what we could discover without His teaching. 


Did we discover the truth of this doctrine, without the 
teaching of God, and solely by the exertion of our own 
intellect, our belief would be founded upon the evidence 
of reason, and further evidence would be superfluous. But, 
if we did not make the discovery by our own exertion 
if no exertion of our minds could reach so far and we 
received sufficient testimony of the truth from some persons 
who had seen and known and testified ; and, moreover, 
this witness was as incapable of deceit as he was beyond 
its influence; this testimony would be, to us, sufficient 
evidence of the truth of this doctrine. 

We would, then, require evidence that such a witness 
gave such testimony; and that evidence would be the sure 
foundation of our faith. Our belief would then be rational. 

It will not be questioned that God is such a witness. 
It will be admitted that His knowledge is more extensive 
than ours ; that His knowledge is not merely rational 
conjecture or high probability, but is undoubted, certain 
assurance of fact ; and that it is unalterable ; so that 
what He once asserts as truth will be truth forever. 

These principles are manifestly true. We come now to 
matter of fact and deduction. God did reveal His knowl- 
edge. They to whom He revealed it had evidence of the 
fact. They were bound. Why? Because they had an 
infallible certainty that the Lord spoke and an infallible 
certainty of what He said. Thus, the principle of obligation 
is founded in the infallible certainty of God's declaration. 

From this we perceive the indissoluble connection of 
faith with an infallible certainty of truth. Take away the 
certainty, upon what will faith rest? Give the infallibility, 
and we see the basis of faith. Conjecture is not faith ; 
probability is not faith; faith is certain knowledge resting 
upon the testimony of God. It must be founded upon an 
infallible certainty that God made a revelation, and upon 
an infallible certainty of what that revelation was. Suppose 
wo ascertain that He spoke; and, moreover, that He 
revealed the contents of a certain book : but great doubts 


arise as to the meaning of certain passages of that book, 
and learned men give to the same passage contradictory 
meanings ; so that, of these words, " Behold, I am with 
you all days, even to the consummation of the world," 
one division asserts the meaning to be, that Christ would 
preserve the visible body of His Church, who were teachers 
of His doctrine, in His truth, all days, to the end of the 
world ; and other divisions assert that such is not the 
meaning, but that, during ages in succession, long before 
the end of the world, this visible body would be false 
guides and teach the doctrines of Antichrist. Suppose an 
hundred such passages can be produced, upon which there 
are flat contradictions. Suppose the very copies were so 
called into question, that several passages of a most im- 
portant nature are by learned men said to have been 
introduced in dark and superstitious times, by cunning 
priests, to impose upon the credulity of a besotted people, 
and to bring persons to believe that God had taught what 
He never had revealed. Suppose equally learned and 
equally numerous and zealous men assert these passages to 
be genuine. We are left without any infallible guide to 
give us certain evidence. Upon what will our faith rest? 
Thus I repeat there is an indissoluble connection between 
faith and infallibility. 

This leads us to a correct view of what we hold, in 
the Roman Catholic Church, viz., that when God required 
man to believe mysteries upon His testimony, He furnished 
him with an infallible mode of knowing exactly what He 
taught and what man was to believe ; in other words, 
that God gave to man evidence, as the foundation upon 
which his faith should rest. And if God did not furnish 
man with an infallible guide, it would be unreasonable to 
to make faith necessary for salvation. It would be as if 
God should say to man : " You must believe firmly all 
that I teach; but, although I can establish several modes 
by which you can know My doctrine with infallible cer- 
tainty, still, I will not furnish you with an infallible 


guide. I shall leave you to conjecture, to probability, to 
speculation, and to doubt." 

Our doctrine, then, is, that God did establish this infal- 
lible guide ; and that, in the new law, the great majority 
of the bishops who succeed to the apostolic commission, 
together with the Bishop of Rome, either in council assem- 
bled, or teaching in their sees, form this tribunal. 

They have no authority to change what God has revealed; 
they have no authority to add to what God has revealed; 
but they will, in all cases of doubt, lead us with infallible 
certainty to a knowledge of what God has taught. Indi- 
viduals amongst them may err, and have erred, but the 
great majority will infallibly guide us to truth. 1 


I now proceed to show the grounds of my assertion, 
that the great majority of the bishops of the Church, 
together with the Bishop of Rome, form that tribunal which 
will, with infallible certainty, give to us those doctrines 
which are of faith. 

I feel that it is unnecessary to prove that there can 
be no faith without having an infallible certainty of what 
God has revealed. We cannot have this certainty unless 
we can find a witness whose testimony of that revelation 
will be infallibly correct. Thus we are brought to the 
dilemma: There can be no faith or there must be an 
infallible witness of doctrine. Hence, we are reduced at 
once to total want of evidence of what God did say (for 
conjecture or opinion is not evidence); or, we must find 
an infallible witness. We must place upon the same level 
the Pagan, the Deist, the Socinian, the Arian, the Mace- 
donian, the Mahometan, the Roman Catholic, the Jew, the 
Nestorian, the Presbyterian, the Quaker, the Methodist, the 
Anabaptist, the Baptist, the Sabbatarian, the Church-of- 
England-man, the Protestant Episcopalian, the Sub-Lapsarian, 

i Since Bishop Enaland wrote this, the Vatican Council of 1870 has passed the 
decree of Papal Infallibility. For a full explanation of its extent and limitations, 
see vol. il of Newnvui's "Difficulties of Anglicans," p. 179 ft geq. 


the Lutheran, the Swedenborgian, the Southcothonian, the 
Shaker, and the thousands of others whose names and 
systems vary. Yet all profess to hold truth and all con- 
tradict each other; still, truth is single and not contradictory. 

Has God revealed truth and commanded us to believe 
His Word, and yet placed it out of our power to know 
with certainty what He said? This clearly must be the 
case if we have no infallible witness to tell us what He 
said. However, a thousand of those divisions will arise, 
and with one accord say: "We have an infallible witness. 
God is good and wise and merciful. He has given us 
this witness ; stand aside move from amongst us, you 
Pagans, Deists, Jews, Mahometans, and Papists, you will 
not receive this witness ; it is the Bible." 

Obedient to the mandate, I move aside with my com- 
panions. I ask not how they know that Book to contain 
the doctrine of God to man, because the experience of 
centuries gives me the plain certainty of what will occur. 
At an humble distance I listen. One of the persons who 
remained now calls upon his fellows to adore the Lord 
Jesus ; another protests against such idolatry. The Book 
is produced ; pages are read ; each explains them in con- 
tradiction to the other. Their associates interpose to allay 
the ire of the disputants. One voice is heard, calling on 
them to hear the opinion of an English bishop ; another 
voice asks whether his ordination can be proved good ; a 
shrill rebuke of tyranny is now issuing from another 
quarter ; whilst another solemnly advises reference to a 
synod of presbyters and elders. " Why not each congrega- 
tion decide for itself," cries another voice ; " Scripture does 
not warrant the subjection of the freedom of the Gospel 
to such a yoke." Before the lapse of an hour there will 
be as many contradictions as there arc individuals. All 
appeal to the Book; yet the Book is silent, but is made 
by each to speak in favor of his opinion. 

The Deist calmly asks : " Is this the consistency of the 
Christian religion? Is this the manifestation of evident 


truth? Is this the uncontradictory code to which I am to 
sacrifice my reason ?" 

" Great Allah !" cries the Mahometan, " I bless Thee 
for the words of Thy prophet. They are light to mine 
eye ; they are fountains in the desert ; they are wafted in 
perfumes from Arabia ; they are lovely as the houris of 
paradise ; they sound in my ears as the first music with 
which Thou wilt greet my soul, when it will be borne 
from the angel of death." 

The Pagan looks first at the crowd in mute astonish- 
ment, and then asks whether the God of the Christians 
was He who sowed the teeth of the Dragon, and whether 
this Book partakes of the same qualities as were found in 
those teeth ; and he runs to unlock the temple of Janus. 

" Friend of the old Christianity," said the Israelite, 
turning to me, "when I shall be too idle to labor or 
poor enough to become a hypocrite and shall go to the 
new farm which the good Christians of America have 
purchased, to ameliorate my condition, which of those people 
shall I join?" 

"None of them," was my answer. 

"Then are we to give up that blessed Book?" asks the 
Deist, with a sneer. 

" No ! " was my reply. 

"Shall we go and join in the fray?" said the Pagan. 

" Stop ! " cried the Mahometan, " there is serenity in 
that man's countenance : lo ! he is about to speak ; the 
multitude is appeased." 

There arose, indeed, a man who stilled the tumult; 
and, as the noise subsided, his words were more plainly 
caught. The following passages I plainly heard : 

" Let even the Catholic be invited to the holy work. 
We all agree that the Book contains the Word of God; 
so does he. Let each take and read it for himself; let 
us have no strife ; let us send it to the Mahometan, to 
the Jew, to the Pagan, to the poor, benighted Deist. Let 
each read for himself; let each interpret for himself; let each 


believe as he likes ; we will all be Christians ; we will all 
agree. It contains one precept which we can all practice, 
' Love one another ;' this is enough." 

" Now," said the Deist, " there can be no necessity of a 
Bible. 'Love one another,' is, it appears, all the necessary 
part of its contents ; why print any more ? " 

" Why," said the Mahometan, " there is the great prin- 
ciple of Freemasonry. I have learned this in my lodge; the 
Koran teaches more than the Bible. Alas ! how ignorant are 
those Christian dogs ! " 

" And, brother," said the Jew to the Pagan, " you know 
that in our lodge we teach that Pythagoras, and Hiram, and 
Solomon, knew this principle as well as any sublime master 
since the day of Noe or even of Adam. Of what use, then, 
is Christianity?" 

To be serious : we must choose between an infallible 
guide to truth, who can speak and decide, or we must give 
up the cause of Christianity, of divine revelation; and though 
it is fashionable to profess to be a Christian, we unhesitat- 
ingly assert, that a vast portion of the more intelligent and 
enlightened of those who make this profession cannot see 
their way through the difficulties which surround them, any 
more than could the Jew, or the Pagan, or the Mahometan, 
or know what sect they should join in the contest; and the 
peaceful plea of distributing the Scripture, leaving to all the 
interpretation, is but, in other words, making a very rational 
compact not to fight about what they do not understand. 
But this sentence destroys the authority of revelation. 

We want an infallible guide ; the Bible is not and 
cannot be that guide ; because, although it contains the 
words of truth, those words are susceptible of contradictory 
interpretations ; and, in fact, are interpreted contradictorily. 

I stated that we could leave unquestioned the fact that 
this Book, which is thus triumphantly appealed to, was the 
communication of God's will to man. But why should we 
assume or admit this fact without evidence ; and, if we 
have no infallible witness to testify this to be such a 


divine communication, how shall we have this evidence ? 
Several of those divisions above enumerated contend that 
this Book differs in several places from the original which 
is supposed to have been given. Several assert that it 
contains books never given by God. Several contend that 
it is quite defective. What authority have we to side with 
one in preference to the other unless we have some argu- 
ment superior to those which they adduce? They adduce 
opinion. We want fact; and fact which will be fully, 
indisputably established by infallible authority; because, if 
our authority be fallible, we might be led into error ; and,, 
if we are liable to be led into error, we have no certainty 
that we are not so led. 

This view of the want of foundation for Christianity 
leaves it as baseless as any chimerical vision of fancy. 
This view has produced, and still produces, more infidelity 
than any other cause that I know of. I avow, that if I 
had nothing more substantial than opinion to rest upon, I 
would not be a Christian. 

What, then, is my view ? 

I find an unquestioned fact ; and upon that fact I 

The fact is, that there now exists in the world one 
very large society of Christians, spread through all its 
nations and forming but one body. I build upon this fact, 
by a series of others, equally plain. 2. That body has now 
a uniform code of doctrine. 3. That body has existed 
during several centuries. 4. All the other divisions of 
Christians have gone out from this body, either by sepa- 
rating from it or by sub-dividing from some division which 
had " previously separated. 5. These divisions all oppose 
each other upon the matter of doctrine, i. c. respecting the 
fact of what God told man to believe and to practice. 
0. Though they all agree in asserting that the great body 
from which the separation has been made did err in faith, 
no two of them are agreed as to what those errors precisely 
are, though many of them concur in stating that tho doc- 


trinal errors of this great body are, in teaching a variety 
of articles which they contradict; yet, one of them will 
always assert that what the other calls error is truth in 
tlie doctrines of the original code which God has revealed, 
7. They all assert that her errors consisted in changing 
from what was originally given by God. 8. They have 
neven been able satisfactorily to point out the date of those 
alleged changes, nor that at the period of such alleged 
change, there continued together any large body of Chris- 
tians who condemned this alleged change and who preserved 
the true doctrine. 9. This great body has clearly pointed 
out the date of all the changes which she alleged the sep- 
aratists to have made in doctrines; also, the special doc- 
trines, the author of the change, and all the circumstances 
of the separation. 10. This great body traces its unbroken 
existence to the days of Jesus Christ. 11. Such of the 
separated divisions as attempt to do the same, are obliged 
to graft themselves upon the stock of that great body, at 
the time that is pointed out as the period of their sepa- 
tion. 12. Those bodies have at different times since their 
separation changed their doctrine ; that is, at one period, they 
stated that God did not reveal what, at another time, they 
stated He revealed ; and no one of them lays claim to be 
infallible in showing what God taught. 13. This great body 
alleges that it has never altered its doctrine, and that, at 
this day, it holds to every doctrinal declaration which it 
has made during eighteen centuries ; and that it will infal- 
libly teach what God has revealed ; and, an imputation 
which other divisions frequently make upon it, and which 
it acknowledges to be to itself a source of gratification,, 
is, that it obstinately holds to whafr it first taught, and 
will make no reformation in its doctrine, to suit the change 
of times and the progress of science. 

I next view another body of facts, which are in full 
evidence, respecting which there can be no doubt. 1. Jesus 
Christ existed, and was put to death in Judea, about eighteen 
centuries ago. 2. He proved by miraculous works that He 


had a divine mission. 3. He wrote no book of doctrine ; 
but He instructed a number of persons whom He had 
selected; and He, in a special manner, gave particular 
instructions to some whom He had chosen from amongst 
these disciples. 4. He commissioned them to teach His 
doctrines to all mankind. 5. They did teach; and they, 
too, wrought miracles. 6. They instructed vast multitudes 
of others ; some of whom they selected and commissioned 
as teachers, and associated with themselves. 7. Their mode 
ef instruction was not by giving to the people a Book, 
which, they said, contained God's Word, and telling them 
to interpret it for themselve ; and that whatever they thought 
to be the meaning of the Book was to be followed, though 
that meaning should be contradictory, as the opinions of 
the readers might be contradictory. 8. A few of them wrote 
abridged histories of the acts and sayings of Jesus Christ, 
the copies of which were very scarce ; others wrote some 
espistles on particular occasions ; and an imperfect history 
of some of the Acts of the Apostles was also written ; 
together with a long and darkly mysterious history of a pro- 
phetic vision ; but of all these, the copies were very few, 
and the circulation very limited. .9. Several other histories, 
epistles, and visions, were also circulated, which have been 
generally acknowledged, long since, to be compilations of 
falsehood, and many of them of folly; and have been 
rejected as such. 10. During more than two centuries these 
productions continued to circulate, without any public distinc- 
tion having been generally made between them. 11. There 
was a dispute amongst the early Christians, in the days 
of the Apostles, as to what was the doctrine of Christ, 
rcspeqting the observance of the law of Moses, and several 
other subjects. 12. This dispute was terminated, not by 
referring persons to any books of authority and leaving the 
individuals to judge for themselves, but by the authorita- 
tive decision of the teachers, who gave a judgment, in 
which they asserted they had the aid and co-operation of 
the Holy Ghost. 13. The persons who would not submit 


to that judicial decision were cut off from the Church. 
14. All other disputes were terminated in like manner; 
and all who would not submit were cut off in like man- 
ner, and thus formed new sects, calling themselves Chris- 
tians, but not recognized by the great body. 15. More than 
three centuries elapsed, before the books which are recog- 
nized as containing the "Word of God, were separated from 
those which were spurious. 16. This selection was made 
by the successors of the Apostles and was an act of judi- 
cial, authoritative declaration. 17. Hitherto, those successors 
and their predecessors had been considered as the only 
authority, through which men could certainly know what 
Jesus Christ had taught. 18. Their recognition of the truth 
of what the selected books contained could not and did 
not destroy any authority which they previously had and 
which they and their successors were to have to the end 
of the world. 19. After this selection, they continued to 
exercise their authority as before. 20. At this period, sev- 
eral nations, containing several millions of Christians, had 
si. full knowledge of the doctrines of Christ, although they 
had never seen a copy of the Scriptures ; and then, their 
faith was found to agree -with that of the persons who, 
belonging to the great or universal or Catholic body, had 
also the Scriptures. 

From these facts I draw the following conclusions : 
1. Christ did not establish as the mode of knowing His 
doctrines, the publication of Bibles and leaving to individ- 
uals to interpret them as they thought fit; or what is 
but a modification of the same establish those individuals 
as judges, to know from Bible-reading whether the teacher 
gave them His doctrine or not. 2. He sent teachers, to 
whom the people were to listen, and from whom and upon 
whose authority, the people were to receive His doctrine. 
3. This authority of theirs was approved by miracles and 
therefore had the sanction of heaven. 4. It was by its 
exercise nations were converted and truth preserved. 5. It 
is only by its recognition we can know that Scripture con- 


tains the Word of God. 6. Without its recognition wc- 
have no certain knowledge that the New Testament con- 
tains the doctrines of Christ. 7. If it be a fallible tri- 
bunal in what concerns faith, we have no certainty that 
the books which we receive are inspired and that those 
which we reject are not God's Word. 8. Therefore, if the 
great body of teachers of the Church cannot give us with 
infallible certainty the doctrines of Christ, we have no cer- 
tainty that these doctrines are contained in the New Tes- 
tament or are now taught any where in the world. 


We have now seen general considerations founded upon 
facts, which lead one to conclude: 1. That we cannot have 
a certainty of what God has taught, without having a wit- 
ness who will give us with infallible certainty the doctrine 
which He revealed. 2. That we cannot have faith without 
such infallible testimony. And 3. That the facts of the 
establishment of Christianity evidently suppose the public 
teachers of the Church, as a body, to be a witness of this- 
description ; and that, if they be not, we have no certainty 
that Scripture is the Word of God; nor have we any cer- 
tainty that we now find the true doctrines of Christ. 

In every human society, men not only make laws ; but, 
however plain those laws may be, a tribunal from which 
there is no appeal decides for all the members what is the 
meaning of that law. And, although this tribunal is liable 
to error, society causes it to be regarded as infallible. So- 
ciety cannot make it infallible ; but it can have it treated 
as if it were an infallible tribunal ; otherwise, the law 
would be useless, if not mischievous. What would be thought 
of two litigants and their advocates who . would come into 
court, and, each producing his law book, decide in his own 
favor, when the tribunal had already decided ; the one whom 
the decision favored, remaining satisfied with this decision, 
while the other party said: "The tribunal has erred; I know 
the law; the judges are but men, I will not abide by 


their decision ? " Ho\v long could society hold together ? 
Who would live in a country where the order of the court 
could not be enforced? Yet, we all agree, this tribunal 
might err. Still, the good of society requires that it must 
be treated as if infallible. Indeed, if it could be made 
infallible, it ought to be made so; and, in practice, it is 
made so. No one goes before such a tribunal merely for 
advice or instruction ; recourse is had to it for authorita- 
tive decision. To go for advice or instruction would be 
giving it no power to effect the object of its creation ; 
because, you might be unwilling to follow the advice, and 
might not consider the instruction good, nor the evidence 
sufficient. The Supreme Court of the United States gener- 
ally publishes the grounds of its decisions; but the judge 
never asks the parties whether they consider those grounds 
sufficient. The decision is made by authority of the court, 
and not by the admission of the parties. Common sense, 
peace, truth, justice, the public good require this. 

We have seen that the contests as to what is the mean- 
ing of passages of the Bible are as numerous as the con- 
tests about the meaning of the law of our States ; and a 
tribunal is as necessary to give the one with accuracy and 
certainty, as to give the other. And, if it be important to 
know what God teaches, as it unquestionably is, it is im- 
portant that the tribunal appointed to tell us what He 
teaches should not err. Why are the courts of society 
fallible? Because society, from which they derive their 
.power, and by which they are erected, could not gift them 
with infallibility. The tribunal of the Church is erected 
by God, who is all-powerful. It derives its commission to 
teach from Him who could make it infallible ; and His 
wisdom shows the necessity of doing what His power can 
effect. He must, then, have made the tribunal of the Church 
infallible in testifying what He has taught. Single indi- 
viduals are liable to err in their decisions ; but the tri- 
bunal is infallible ; not because composed of a number of 
infallible individuals, but because Almighty wisdom saw the 


necessity and Almighty power can effect the great object^ 
Now, this tribunal consists of the Church, i. e., of the 
teaching portion which succeeds to the Apostles viz : the 
Bishop of Rome and the great majority of bishops in his 
communion. These successors of the Apostles have always 
formed this tribunal. Infallibity is then not a raising of 
these individuals as tyrants over their brethren, but the 
Providence of God securing to their united testimony shall 
give us a certain knowledge of what God has proposed to 
us as doctrines of faith. 

I shall conclude this portion of my remarks by stating 
another fact, which I can prove, but which might not be 
so easily admitted by our opponents as those unquestionable 
ones which I laid down before, viz., that from the begin- 
ning the great body of Christians testified that this tribunal 
was infallible. The doctrine is, th?t the Church is an 
infallible, authoritative tribunal, which herself examines and 
decides upon the evidence, and then declares to man the 
fact, by the authority of God, who made her infallible, and 
who gave to her the authority. But this authority extends 
only to matters which have been revealed by God; it does 
not reach to mere concerns of this world. 

Let us take another view of facts: 1. There was a 
Christian Church before there was a Christian Bible. 
2. That Church was organized and perfect, and widely 
spread abroad, before one particle of the Christian Bible 
was written. 3. It was upon the authoritative testimony of 
that Church that the Bible was received. 4. If that testi- 
mony had not been given, no person could have any 
certainty that this Book, which was selected from several 
scattered writings, contained the revelation of God to man. 

Whence we conclude: If that Church was not infallibly 
correct in giving this decision and testimony, we have no 
infallibly certain foundation for our faith. Therefore, if the 
Church is not infallible, the Christian Scriptures are not 
a certain rule of faith. And when Luther asserts that the 
epistle of St. James is a book of no authority, and does 


not contain the Word of God, perhaps lie is right; and 
the Church of England, which receives it as the AVord of 
God, perhaps is in error. How are we to know which we 
should believe ? The Presbyterian Church gives to us, as 
the Word of God, the seventh verse of the fifth chapter 
of the first epistle of St. John; 1 and a great many learned 
men and whole congregations tell us this is an impudent 
forgery which contradicts the Word of God. How are we 
to know which of them to believe? The Roman Catholic 
and other Churches tell us that, of the Old Testament, 
Baruch, Tobias, Judith Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and the two 
books of the Machabees, contain the Word of God; the 
Church of England and several others tell us they are 
apocryphal and of no authority. Which are we to believe? 

In the days of St. Jerome, that is, about fourteen hun- 
dred years ago, several persons rejected the last chapter of 
the Gospel of St. Mark ; and now it is received ; but an 
entire sentence which it then contained has been omitted. 
Upon what ground was this chapter received? Upon what 
ground was this sentence omitted? In the same age and 
the previous one were to be found several copies of the 
Gospel of St. Luke, which omitted two entire verses of 
the twenty-second chapter and one word of the nineteenth 
chapter, all which are most important and are in all the 
modern Bibles. By what authority were they introduced? 
Which held the true doctrine, they who omitted or they 
who inserted those passages? 

The principal portion of the eighth chapter of the Gospel 
of St. John, as now found in the Protestant and Catholic 
versions, is said to have been taken from an old and 
rejected Gospel, which no one now pretends to be the 
Word of God. 2 How are we to know whether this is 
God's Word or a fable? Marcion, Arius, Luther, Brentius, 
Kemnitz, and their followers all assert that St. Paul never 

1 And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, 
and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. 1 Ep. John, c. v, v. 7. 

* The Gospel used by the Nazarene Ebionite heretics called the " Gospel 
according to the Hebrews." 


wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, and that it dees not 
contain the Word of God. Calvin doubts if it was written 
by St. Paul, but asserts that it does contain the AVord 
of God, and is a part of Holy Scripture ; and that it is 
in error in the Lutherans to reject this canonical book. 
The Church of England puts it into her canon. AVhich of 
these are we to believe? Luther and his early adherents 
asserted that the epistle of Jude was undoubtedly not the 
AVord of God. He also rejects the first epistle of St. 
Peter, but receives the second, and has great doubts as to 
whether the second and third epistles of St. John contain 
the AVord of God. Calvin receives the two of Peter, the 
three of John, and that of Jude, as undoubtedly the AVord 
of God. So, too, does the English Church. AVhich are we 
to follow ? The Marcionists, the Alogians, the Theodocians 
rejected the Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John, as a 
forgery and not containing the word of God. Luther, in his 
first preface, rejects it as not the AVord of God, nor the 
production of an Apostle. Brentius and Kemnitz hold with 
these ; but, in his second preface, Luther doubts upon the 
subject. Calvin has no doubt whatever; he is certain that it 
is the AVord of God ; and so are the Centuriators of Magdc- 
burgh, who were Lutherans ; and so is the Church of Eng- 
land, which received it as one of which there never was 
question. Yet strange as it might seem there is not in the 
entire canon a book upon which there was longer and more 
serious question in the Church. Now, take away an infallible 
tribunal which is to give us a decision, and what are we to 
<lo? How is a question to be decided where the litigants 
not only cannot agree in the interpretation of the book which 
contains the law, but cannot even agree as to the precise 
passages which are of authority? Of what value is a book 
said to be authority upon any subject, which book has been 
collected from amongst many rejected documents which 
were at one time in equal circulation with the selected 
portions; and the collectors of which book neither had any 
authority to make the collection nor any author to point 


out with certainty what was a document of truth and what 
was a fabulous composition? Such a collection could be 
no evidence no authority. 

The Church existed before the Scriptures. The Church 
had authority to teach before the Scriptures were written. The 
Church did teach before the Scriptures were written. If the 
Church was not then infallible, she might have taught error 
for true doctrine. When the Scriptures were written, it was 
by the teaching of the Church that writing which contained 
the Word of God was separated from that which did not 
contain it. If the Church was not infallible in distinguish- 
ing the truth from the error, she might have given to us 
error for truth. If we do not follow the distinction of 
the Church, we, who are not infallible, may take what is 
not God's Word for that which really is His Word. 
Thus, if the Church is not infallible, we have no certainty 
what God has taught; we cannot know Scripture from 
foolish and blasphemous forgery. 

To this reasoning, I humbly apprehend, there can be no 
alternative by which the conclusion can be combatted, except 
by saying that every individual will infallibly discover that 
which the whole body of the Church cannot. Thus, instead 
of having an aggregate body infallible, we shall have every 
.individual infallible. And those infallible individuals will 
have a thousand contradictions, and all these contradictions 
will be true. Now, upon our doctrine, we have an aggre- 
gate body, which has existed in unbroken succession from 
the days of Christ to the present day, testifying to us 
with infallible and authoritative certainty what are the doc- 
trines which He taught, and in what books they may be 
found, and what is the meaning of the doubtful and obscure 
passages. And this body has not, in any one of those 
cases, during eighteen centuries, contradicted its testimony 
upon any of those heads. I further humbly apprehend 
that we have no choice left between embracing this doc- 
trine, and asserting that we cannot now know with any 


certainty what are the doctrines of Christ, nor where they 
are to be found. 

But, does not this monstrous and arrogant doctrine of 
infallibility enslave mankind? No. Suppose we were to 
go into any court of the United States, and say to the 
presiding judges : " You shall not sit here, because we are 
a free people. You are arrogant tyrants, who presume to 
tell us that we shall not quote the statutes of Congress, 
until you will please to recognize their authority. Ambi- 
tious, haughty fools, will you presume to set yourselves 
over Congress, and say that those laws shall not be pleaded 
before your honors, until they shall receive the fiat of your 
ephemeral omnipotence ? Are you not the creatures whom 
the law has formed ? Are we not the source of that power 
from which the law emanates? And yet, you tell us that 
we shall not plead that law before you, who are equally 
subject to it as the meanest of those over whom you are 
elevated, until you shall have examined and told us whether 
you will recognize the fact that it is the law of the 
nation. But, mark! what is more intolerable than your 
proud and insolent monopoly of the gifts which heaven 
has freely bestowed upon us all? You vouchsafe now to- 
tell us that this book contains the law. Admirable con- 
descension ! As if it was not equally law before you said 
so ! Surely, you will not pretend that it was your nod 
which made it binding? No. If you never saw it, still 
it would be law. But we must not interpret it, except 
according to your good will and pleasure ! What ! Have 
we not eyes to read as you have? Are we more dull 
than you are? Will you deny to us what God has given 
to "us, perhaps with less stinted measure than to your- 
selves intellect? So forsooth it is law, but you alone are 
to expound its meaning and to apply it to our several 
cases. Why then was it printed? Why are we called upon 
to read it? Is it to be to us a closed book, a sealed 
volume? You insult the legislature by supposing they 
cannot write or enact laws which can be understood by 


those for whom they are to be a code of instruction. You 
arrogate to yourself a dominion which we will not submit 
to ; a power to say that the law means what you please 
to say is its meaning, and that we must submit to your 
caprices. We want no well-paid arrogance such as yours, 
to intervene between a Congress which writes plain Eng- 
lish and a people to whom that language is most familiar. 
Your law-craft has created artificial difficulties. We can 
understand the law of God. Shall we be unable to under- 
stand the laws of men who live amongst us? The despotic 
arrogance of Romish infallibility has been annihilated ; why 
should yours survive? The principles of Popery and all 
courts of law are the same. One has fallen; the other 
must follow. The march of mind has commenced. The 
mariner's compass and the art of printing, the Reformation 
and the blow-pipe, calorics and gases were unknown to the 
ancients. Despotism must shrink back to its congenial 
darkness ; truth is effulgent ; trothic barbarism must give 
way. Leave those seats, from which you darted the light- 
ning of your threats and hurled the thunder of your 
despotism ! Man must be free." 

What would be thought of us should we make such an 
address to the supreme court of the United States of 
America ? 

Are our citizens enslaved? 


I now take up another view of this subject. It is 
possible to discover the doctrine of Christ or it is not. 
Shall we assert that it is impossible to discover now with 
certainty what the Saviour taught? Then we must say 
that Christianity has been lost. Revelation is now of no 
use. For, if we cannot know with certainty what God has 
revealed, of what use is it to know that He did formerly 
make a revelation? If we find it impossible to know with 
certainty what Christ has taught, Christianity has been lost. 
We assert that it is possible to know with certainty what 


our Saviour has taught. It must be by testimony, not by 
any new revelation. What is that testimony? The Roman 
Catholic says it is the testimony of all Catholic nations 
informing us what has been preserved by all the Christian 
Churches, through all ages, since the death of the Saviour. 

The separatist says this will not infallibly lead you to 
truth. Then we are without any certain and assured mode 
of knowing truth ; and therefore it is impossible to know 
for certain what is truth. We can only have conjecture. 
Faith is built upon certain knowledge, not upon conjecture; 
therefore we cannot have faith. 

But another person says : " We may receive with infal- 
lible certainty what the Bible contains ; and thus we, by 
that blessed Book, are brought to a certain knowledge and 
to faith." 

Our answer is very short. First, that any particular 
portion of that Book contains God's Word will, upon the 
principle of the separatists, depend only upon the opinion 
of one or more persons who are individually and collectively 
liable to err. And, next, the meaning of the passages of 
that portion will depend only upon the opinion of one or, 
more, who, taken individually or collectively, are liable to'v 
err. But opinion of persons liable to error, as well in^ 
their aggregate as in their individual capacity, is not a 
ground of certainty. Thus, there can be no faith. In 
order, then, to be certain, AVC must either admit the whole 
body to be infaillible in its testimony or we must assert 
that a portion of that body is infallible. The Roman 
Catholic says that the whole body is infallible, but the 
authoritative testimony is given by the established tribunal 
in the name of the body. That tribunal is the head and 
the great majority of the commissioned teachers, speaking 
in the name of the whole body. I now ask, which is 
more arrogant to make this assertion or to claim infalli- 
bility for every individual who says : " I know this Book 
is canonical; and I know this is its meaning; and I am 
right, and all who differ from me are wrong?" 


Yet must AVG take up one or the other of the following 
propositions: 1. It is now impossible to know with cer- 
tainty what Christ has taught. 2. It is from the Catholic 
-Church we will know with infallible certainty what God 
has revealed. 3. Every individual who reads the Bible 
with good dispositions will infallibly know that his disposi- 
tions are such as will insure to him a knowledge of truth; 
also, he will be infallibly correct in ascertaining what books 
contain the Word of God and also the full meaning of all 
the passages of those books. 4. Although the Roman 
Catholic Church may err, and individuals may err, yet a 
particular body will give us with infallible certainty a 
knowledge of what God has revealed, and that body is 

. Each reader is at liberty to fill the blank as he 


If we support the first proposition, we destroy faith. 
If we maintain the third, we shall have to reconcile 
myriads of contradictions. I do not know any one who 
will maintain the fourth. Therefore the second must be 
true, or our distinctive proposition is inaccurate. I shall 
believe it to be accurate until it shall be amended by 
giving me some fifth proposition. 

Arrogance, tyranny, superstition, priestcraft, and some other 
words of this land used in these States, have no definite 
meaning. The ear is accustomed to the sound; those sounds 
are declaimed against and written at. The perpetual playing 
upon them reminds me of the music of a drum, where there 
is great noise and great vacuity; but yet this noise excites 
to arms. To me the whole of what is thus written appears 
to mean as much as the philosophic question : " Utrum 
chimsera, bombilians in vacuo, potest comedere suas primarias 
intentiones ? " or as the following definitions : " A covenant 
is a cord to tie us to God ; and now God hath made an 
iron whip of these cords, which we have broken asunder to 
whip us withal." " The Gospel to a nation is like the Book 
of Canticles, which begins with a kiss and ends with spices." 

Let us examine facts. The object is to discover what 


has been taught by an Individual^who has plainly taught 
what it is necessary for us to know. He wrote nothing ; 
He commissioned a number of Apostles ; they associated a 
number of others to their commission ; they and their asso- 
ciates spread those doctrines through the world. In the 
course of nature they and their associates gradually died ; 
but new apostles arose in their stead, who, by the surviv- 
ors, were duly instructed, and by the faithful were fully 
recognized ; and whose doctrine, given in public, was, by 
all those who had heard the original Apostles, declared to be 
the same which they had from the beginning. The body 
of teachers and of hearers is thus continued, like the 
human frame, continually changing by loss and increment, 
but still always the same, though always in process of 
insensible change of the particles of which it is made up. 
The body of the Church pervades several nations, some- 
times at war, sometimes at peace, having conflicting inter- 
ests, discordant tastes, mutual prejudices, tongues generally 
unintelligible to each other. In every place persons sepa- 
rate. The separatists are condemned by those from whom 
they first went out. Their allegation is, that the great body 
changed the original doctrine. They cannot say who was 
the author of the change; they cannot tell the time when 
it took place; they find no body which they can point out 
as holding their new tenets; they succeed to no body; they 
build upon their own opinion of the meaning of a text. 
Their neighbors inform the whole body, which has subsisted 
from the beginning, that these men have made an innova- 
tion. This great body, so divided by worldly distinctions, 
and yet united in faith, examines what was given by the 
Founder of His Church; what has been held from the 
day of the foundation to the day of the examination ; every 
record is searched, every monument is examined, every 
document is unfolded. The meaning which those alleged 
texts had from the beginning is established. The vast ma- 
jority of the bishops from every nation, perhaps the whole 
body without an individual exception, all concur in stating 


that these innovators have made a mistake ; that they have 
erred; that man has no authority to change what God has 
given. Koine which possesses the original documents of 
centuries, collected from every Church which now exists and 
from thousands now no more ; Rome where Peter estab- 
lished his tribunal, presiding by divine appointment in the 
midst of his brethren, and whose successors, as history 
demonstrates, have always sat at the head of this vast 
society; Rome gives the testimony and the assent to this 

Yet, this is arrogance ; this is presumption ; this is 
priestcraft; this is tyranny. But it is no arrogance for the 
innovators to declaim against this universal testimony! No 
presumption for one or two men and their adherents to 
call this assembly the synagogue of the devil! No priest- 
craft can be where there is no priesthood; nor is it tyranny 
to oppose common sense, common order, every principle of 
reason, every principle of law. 

I would put one plain question. Which is more arro- 
gant, the man who says : " If certainty can be had, it 
must be obtained by such evidence as this ; it is impos- 
sible that there could have been so extensive a conspiracy 
against truth, and yet no one to discover it ; it is impos- 
sible that all these documents could have been fabricated, 
and yet no one to detect; it is impossible that God should 
have given man a revelation, and yet have provided no 
mode for its certain transmission ; that certain mode cannot 
be by a book which He never wrote and which can be 
interpreted into contradictions ; about the meaning of which 
millions are disputing ; and whose meaning will never be 
settled but by authoritative explanation ; it is impossible, 
if this Church has perished, that it could be re-established, 
except by Himself, or by His commission sufficiently attested. 
We have no such testimony ; but here is evidence of suc- 
cession ; here is evidence of consent ; here is evidence that 
there could not have been conspiracy or fabrication ; here 
are congregated millions, on one side, following up their 


predecessors ; and on the other, here are a few bold men, 
following no person, and opening a new path, from which, 
they assert without any evidence of the fact, that thoso 
millions, and the myriads of their predecessors, have deserted. 
I will submit to this authority." Or the other side which 
exhibits some men, who tell us: "Let every man judge 
for himself, and though we should contradict each other, we 
are all right." Or, perhaps : " Take and read ; . but follow 
our interpretation or you will be in error." 

Is there common sense in the assertion that contradic- 
tory propositions are true? Is there no arrogance in say- 
ing : " Though the Catholic world did mislead you, yet 
we cannot ; hold to us, for we alone are right ? " This 
leads to my former conclusion : Without infallibility there 
is no foundation for faith ; and if infallibility exists any 
where, it can only be found in the Roman Catholic Church. 

The distinction between anarchy and government consists 
in the subjection of individual will to law, in government; 
and the absence of law and the licentiousness of individual 
will is anarchy. If we have no rule to which the will is 
to be subject in religion, it is a state of anarchy. If we 
have a rule to which individual will must be subject, we 
have order and government in religion. If Scripture is 
said to be that law, the first question is, which books of 
Scripture are that law. If every man is free to accept 
or reject any book he pleases, this is anarchy. If man's 
individual will is regulated by any law upon the subject, 
what is that law, if the Church has no authority? If the 
Church has authority, but may err, in giving those books 
which do not contain God's law, or in withholding those 
which contain it, we are reduced to a complete uncertainty 
of what the law is ; we are left in a state of anarchy. 
Nothing short of infallible authority can relieve us from 
this state. 

Suppose this difficulty got over. Scripture is now the 
law to which individual will must submit. Two individuals 
read the same passages. One believes their meaning to be 


that Christ is God, and that if man refuses to adore Him r 
he will be punished eternally ; the other believes their 
meaning to be that Christ is not God that if adores Him 
he will be guilty of idolatry, and will be damned for the 
breach of the first commandment. Thus, private interpreta- 
tion is subjecting the law to the will of the individual, and 
not subjecting the will of the individual to the law. This 
is anarchy. If God gave a revelation to man, it certainly 
could not be upheld by anarchy. 

Despotism is where one master acts without any fixed 
rule to control his will ; where the will is restrained by 
the necessity of having the previous consent of others, 
there can be no despotism ; and where this consent must 
be given in a particular manner, well known and clearly 
ascertained, the persons who are guided by a council of 
this description are under a government of law, and not 
iinder the sway of a despotism ; and where this body is 
restrained to pass its judgment upon only one or a few 
ascertained subjects, and to make its laws only upon given 
and defined topics, so far from being a despotism, it is- 
an extremely -limited government of ascertained law and a 
defined constitution, which is the more likely to be free 
from cabal and intrigue and faction, as the members of 
that council reside in different nations, have conflicting local 
prejudices and local partialities, are wedded to distinct theo- 
ries and forms of human government, belong to States 
which have no common language, recent common origin, or 
common interest, but are frequently in open hostility with 
each other. As I find all these characteristics in the gov- 
ernment of our Church, I must call it anything but a 
despotism ; and will presume to say, that when such a 
body of teachers, together with their head, unite in decid- 
ing, after the examination of evidence, that those are the 
doctrines which God revealed to their predecessors, they 
will be infallibly correct in their decision ; and, that if 
the decision is opposed or impugned, the arrogance is more 
likely to be upon the side of the opponent, who, upon 


the strength of his opinion or that of a few of his com- 
panions, would say : " I am right, and all these are in 
rror." If there be despotism, it is more likely to be the 
despotism of the individual, who, bloated with his self- 
opinion, tells his followers : "All these have erred ; the 
millions who adhere to them err ; I am right ; follow me." 

I do not think the doctrine of Church infallibility is a 
doctrine of despotism or arrogance. 

The Apostles framed a creed, that is, a form of doctrine 
to which they required implicit assent to be given. Was 
this a piece of advice or a recommendation ? No ; it was 
.an act of authoritative decision ; and no person was per- 
mitted to join the Christian body until he gave his assent 
to this ; and, if a Christian doubted of the truth of any 
of its propositions, he was to be separated from the society. 
This document contained the . following as one of those 
indubitably true propositions : " I believe in the Holy 
Catholic Church." The meaning is obvious, that there was 
but one Church ; and that this Church was Catholic or 
Universal; and, for a very plain reason because God 
Almighty gave but one set of doctrines. They were the 
same for the whole world. He did not tell the people of 
England one set of propositions and tell the people of 
Rome another set, which contradicted those which He 
revealed to the English. Of all the extravagant notions 
that ever were admitted into the human mind, none is 
more puerile than that which is thoughtlessly cherished 
by many persons, viz. : " There can be two or more true 
Churches." The true Church teaches the true doctrine. 
God has revealed the true doctrine. Let us suppose we 
were to say : " God has told the Unitarians that He is 
but Ono person. God has told the Trinitarians that He 
is Three persons. He has told the former that Jesus 
( ) is not God and is not to be adored ; He has, 
however, told the latter that Jesus Christ is God and is 
to be adored." Ts this not absurdly puerile to make God 
guilty of ridiculous contradiction, because we desire to yield 


to our prejudices and to assume the appearance of liber- 
ality ? God reveals to the Episcopalian that bishops are a, 
different order from priests and priests different from 
deacons. But He reveals to the Presbyterian that all this 
is perfect delusion. God revealed to the Church-of-England- 
men in the first days of the change of religion under 
King Edward's protectors, that the sick were to be 
anointed; but in the reign of Elizabeth, He revealed 
that there was to be no anointing, and yet He left the 
injunction in the epistle of St. James. Are we then to 
say all those and a million more of contradictions are the 
" Holy Catholic Church ? " Yet, every division of these 
makes its " Confession of Faith," or its " Articles of 
Keligion ;" and it tells us : " This is the true faith ; yet I 
may have erred ; still, it is true ; and you must believe 
it, though I am not infallible." 

I can understand how an infallible Church might feel 
warranted in drawing up a formulary to be received ; but 
I am totally at a loss' to know how* a body which claims 
no infallibility can presume to say: "Though we are fallible, 
yet we are so certain that we give you what God has 
revealed, that unless you receive it, you are in gross 
error." If one could be amused at so melancholy an 
exhibition of inconsistency, this is indeed ridiculous. Noth- 
ing but a consciousness of infallibility could warrant such 
nn act. Yet, from the days of the Apostles to the present, 
it has been done, but with this essential difference, viz.: 
iill the Catholics, whilst they laid down the doctrine, claimed 
to be infallibly correct; all the separatists laid down the 
doctrine with equal precision, and said : " Neighbors, we 
are certain we are right, though we say not that we are 
infallible; and we are quite certain that Rome is wrong; 
and we are quite certain that all other separatists are 
wrong. We alone are right." 

Thus, they condemned each other and inveighed against 
the great body ; each proclaiming that he was certainly 
right and that his neighbor was certainly wrong. The 


world could not tempt them to say that they were infal- 
lible; but they always acted us if they were, and they 
killed more Catholics for not yielding to their infallibility 
than Catholics killed separatists for denying theirs. The 
Catholic Church always said she was infallible; and acted 
in full accordance with the principle. The separated Churches 
say they are not infallible; but they act as if they were. 
Thus, if we view the acts of all Christians, we shall find 
their conduct exhibiting the doctrine which only the great 
Catholic Church professes to believe, and has always pro- 
fessed, and upon which she and her opponents have always- 
acted; and, without holding which we could never know 
what was inspired Scripture or the doctrine of God. 


Let us keep our principles in view. Faith is the belief 
of what God has revealed : to believe what God has 
revealed, we must certainly know what it is: to know with 
certainty what God has revealed, we must have infallibly 
correct testimony: infallibly correct testimony cannot be 
given by a fallible or by a fallacious witness. Therefore, 
if my witness be not infallible, that is, one that cannot 
be deceived, and not fallacious or incapable of deceiving 
me, I can have no faith in God's revelation. Now, the- 
Bible can give no testimony of itself; but suppose we have 
it testified to. One fact is indisputably clear, viz.: all those 
who assert that the Bible is plain differ with each other 
in its interpretation, and they contradict each other as 
regards the plain meaning of several of its passages, and 
those contradictions are of such importance that they have 
caused them to break off communion with each other. For 
instance : 

The Episcopalian says : " It is plain from the Scriptures 
that God revealed that bishops, priests and deacons are 
necessary in the Church; and that priests have not the 
same power as bishops have ; and that priests cannot 
ordain a bishop nor ordain another priest." 


The Presbyterian says : " It is plain from Scripture that 
your prelacy is arrogance and impious domination ; the 
word * priest ' is Jewish and heathenish ; presbyters and 
bishops are but two names for the same description of 
persons, and the laying on of the hands of the presbytery 
is Scripture ordination." 

The Methodist says : " It is plain from the Scripture 
that bishops and presbyters and deacons are distinct orders ; 
it is not true that bishops and presbyters are but the same 
name for one class of persons they are different classes ; 
but, though the Episcopalian is right in this, he is wrong 
in asserting that bishops only can ordain. Nay, even pres- 
byters can ordain a bishop ; John Wesley was only a 
presbyter, and he ordained a bishop, and when that bishop 
was ordained, it became his usual duty to ordain other 
bishops and presbyters ; but there was plain Scripture for 
the act." 

All these will tell us that there is plain Scripture for 
baptizing infants. The Baptist w r ill say there is plain 
Scripture against baptizing any who have not been taught 
and converted to God. Here, then, are four divisions, each 
claiming plain Scripture for what he says is essential, the 
others asserting that Scripture is plainly against what, 
- his opponent states, it plainly alleges. These four agree 
that there is plain Scripture for the divinity of Jesus 
Christ. The Unitarian alleges that Scripture is plain 
in condemnation of this error. They all agree that upon 
this point it is essential to be correctly informed. We have 
now five divisions forming a Bible Society, giving us a 
Book which, they say, is so plain that it may be safely 
put into the hands of all persons, that they may form 
their faith from its contents ; that it contains only plain 
truth, and will infallibly lead us aright ; and yet they 
contradict each other and refuse to be of one Church, of 
one communion, because this plain Book has taught them 
those contradictions, by plain texts, upon the most essential 
doctrines. I might bring five hundred sects in lieu of five, 


if necessary. This is to me a greater mystery of the con- 
stitution of the human mind than many that we meet with. 

Thus, we can have no faith without an infallible witness; 
and yet, the simple view of an obvious fact convinces us 
that the Bible cannot be this witness 

Before the Bible was written such a witness was neces- 
sary; even if this Book, when it should be written, was to 
become what Ave see it could not. Faith was necessary as 
soon as God spoke to man. Now, we know as matter of 
history, that God made some promises and declarations to 
Adam. Promises and declarations were made known to his 
children ; sometimes by special revelation of God, sometimes 
by other testimony. These were not written ; God did not 
reveal them specially to each individual. Yet, these persons 
had faith, founded upon these promises and declarations ; 
and of these they had abundant evidence to create an infal- 
lible certainty. There was no public tribunal; but there was- 
public testimony as to the special facts. And there was 
special and renewed and frequent revelation to a well known 
public character, whose communication with God was matter 
of public and important notoriety to all concerned; not mere 
fanaticism of the imagination. Thus, from the days of Adam 
to the days of Moses, no generation passed away without 
such evidence ; and this evidence gave infallible certainty of 
what God told man. Man was not left to conjecture. He 
had an infallible witness ; and a witness who could not 
deceive him. Upon this he believed with certainty. This 
was faith. 

The people in Egypt and at Sinai had undoubted evi- 
dence of the fact that God spoke to Moses, and commissioned 
him to write His communication. When written, it was read 
for them. God again gave them evidence that it contained 
the communication of His will. By the direction of God 
Himself, several tribunals were established, and the individ- 
uals to form them were selected and placed in office, and 
their administration was commenced. 

Let us now view this matter historically. Before the 
law was given at Sinai, Moses had received the evidence 


of God's law by the tradition of his nation ; and had also 
had several special revelations. His authority had been 
attested by evident miracles <; and he was now at the moun- 
tain, where a new revelation was to be made in presence 
of the people. Before this period several questions con- 
cerning the law of God must have arisen. It will be right 
to see how they were decided. 

We find that Moses himself sat every day to judge and 
to decide, because the people came to him to inquire of 
God ; and he made known to them the statutes of God and 
His laws. But as this was a laborious and too heavy a 
duty minor tribunals were appointed by Moses, in which all 
minor cases were decided. But there lay a right of appeal 
to the chief, to whom God had given His manifestations ; 
and he decided all the hard and difficult questions. Thus 
decisions were made by authority, 1 not by conjecture, and 
there was a tribunal from which the law of God was pro- 
mulgated; and in this tribunal authority existed to apply 
the principle to the special case. 

The high priest of the Jews was appointed by God and 
derived his authority immediately from heaven. He was to 
be consulted in all religious matters as a tribunal of the 
last resort; and in solemn cases he took the seventy elders 
as his advisers. He frequently, in cases of great difficulty, 
went specially to consult the Lord at the Mercy-Seat, 2 and 
God promised to answer him. The history shows that this 
promise was frequently fulfilled ; and, indeed, it would be 
very extraordinary presumption and blasphemy to say that 
God would not or could not fulfill His promise. The deco- 
rations of the high priest, which were minutely prescribed 
by the great legislator of Sinai, were not without their mean- 
ing. Upon his breast-plate was judgment and truth, for 
Go I had appointed him the judge to decide and the witness 
to testify the true doctrine. His authority was not only 
respectable, but ultimate and conclusive, and bound under 
the penalty of death every man in Israel. All the histo- 
rians of the nation concur with Josephus that the high 

i Exod., c. xviil. * Ib., c. xxv. 


priests of the Jews were their judges of controversies, 1 and 
this by virtue of their office, which, we see, was of divine 
appointment. Certainly a person does not come to a judge 
in his official capacity for salutary advice as a respectable ' 
character, but as an authority to decide. Liberty is pre- 
served by law ; and law is valueless without authority for 
its administration. 

The authority of this high priest was what enabled the 
Jewish nation to discover the books which were written by 
inspired men, and which contained the communications of 
God to man, from those which did not possess this authority. 
In many instances the writers of the divine Word, wrought 
miracles, and thus attested their mission ; the recognition 
of the standing authority was also given. The Book was 
entrusted to the keeping of the priest ; and in all cases of 
doubt it was explained by his judgment. Amongst the 
Jewish people what we call the right of private judgment 
was not known : and they who used this privilege did so 
against the express provision of their law and disobeyed the 
command of God. They were the schismatical and heretical 
sects who introduced most of the corrupt doctrines and prac- 
tices against which our Saviour so pointedly inveighed. But 
He respected the authority, although it had fallen into bad 
hands, and drew near the term of its limitation. 2 

It is very plain that in the old law there was a living, 
speaking tribunal, to which, by the positive ordinance of God, 
every Israelite was bound, under the most severe penalty, 
to submit in religious concerns. I would ask two ques- 
tions : 1. Could a God whose essence is truth command this 
people, under the penalty of death, to pay implicit obedience 
to 'a tribunal which could lead them from truth into error? 
2. Could not that God, who commanded this obedience 
and who loves truth, make this tribunal infallibly correct 
in its decisions regarding any doctrine ? 

We feel the evidence of the fact that He gave the 
command ; and the knowledge of His power leads us 
irresistibly to the conclusion that in hearing the decision 

i Dcut., c. xvll. Matt., c. xiil, v. 2, 3. 


of that tribunal, we listen to the voice of God Himself; 
and as God cannot lead us into error, that the decisions of 
this tribunal must be, inevitably, conformable to divine truth. 

Is it presumable that God did more to preserve a 
knowledge of true doctrine in the Jewish Church than in 
the Christian Church; the institutions of the former being 
only the shadows and figures of those of the latter? Dr. 
Whitaker, a respectable Protestant divine, gives a very simple 
and sufficient reason for the law of Deuteronomy. " It was 
not lawful to appeal, for otherwise there would have been 
no end to contentions." 1 And to whom would the appeal 
be made? From the tribunal created by God to the 
litigant who stood before it ! Would it not be evidence of 
folly to create such a burlesque of a tribunal? And shall 
we say that the conduct of God is manifest folly? Core, 
Dathan and Abiram did not like to see Aaron clothed 
with this power. 2 Human pride revolts .at. the existence 
of any tribunal not occupied by itself or subjected to itself. 

1 presume I shall be permitted, now, to quote the 
prophecy of Isaias, as divinely inspired and containing the 
Word of God. I shall make my quotations from the 
Protestant version. The thirty-fifth chapter is a prophecy 
regarding the Christian Church : " And a high way shall 
be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of 
holiness ; the unclean shall not pass over it ; but it shall 
be for those : the way-faring men, though fools, shall not 
<err therein" 3 

I ask whether all those persons who hold contradictory 
opinions, upon the most important doctrines derived from 
their interpretation of the Bible, are free from error? 
How will a way-faring man, though a fool, be able 
to find exemption from error, where so many otherwise 
great and good men have exhibited themselves so 
weak, and so bewildered, and so inconsistent even with 
themselves? The Roman Catholic Church, (if we believe a 
.standard book of a respectable denomination of Protest- 

De Sac. Scrip. Num., c. xvi. s Is., c. xxxv, v. 8. 



ants,) 1 i. e., all Christendom, was, during eight hundred years 
and upwards, buried in the most profound idolatry; and the 
people had no way of extricating themselves therefrom. 
And the vast majority of Christendom is still in the same 
state. I cannot, then, recognize the truth of this prophecy 
with the facts that I see, even to-day ; for, if the Roman 
Catholic Church leads to error, many persons who are wise, 
and many who are fools, not only can but do err. And 
Protestants have made but little progress to abolish the- 
difficulty, because they give us only a rule, (if rule it may 
be called), a principle which has made serious divisions 
amongst themselves, and must, in the nature of things, not 
only perpetuate but multiply those divisions. 

If, however, there is, in that Church which has existed 
from the days of the Apostles, a tribunal, whose decision 
will infallibly preserve us from error ; even a fool may 
learn what that decision is, and the prophecy will be mani- 
festly fulfilled. 

In the fifty-fourth chapter the same prophet gives to 
the Church, amongst other promises of God, the following 
declarations : " For thy Maker is thine Husband, the Lord 
of Hosts is His name. . . . . In a little wrath I 
hid My face from thee for a moment; but witli everlasting 
kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy 
Redeemer. . .... . For, as I have sworn that the waters 
of Noe should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn 
that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 
For, the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed;, 
but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall 
the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord 
that hath mercy on thee. .... And all thy children 

shall be taught of the Lord Whosoever shall 

gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. . , . 
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and 
every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou 
shalt condemn." 3 

' " Horn, of Ch. of Knflr- and of tho P. E. Ch. of U. 8." Horn, on Peril of Idol. 
Is., o. llv. v 5. 8, O, 10, 13, 1 , 17. 


God does not make an eternal union with what might 
become the mother of error ; yet, here Pie makes Himself 
the Husband of the Christian Church, to which He promises 
everlasting kindness ; a covenant of peace more stable than 
the mountains, and to the observance of which He swears; 
as He did, that He would not destroy the world by a 
deluge ; and He bestows upon this Church the privilege of 
condemning in judgment every tongue which will rise up 
against her. If this Church, then, can err in those judicial 
condemnations, God has, by an oath, bound Himself to a 
covenant with error 

In his fifty-ninth chapter we have the Redeemer's cove- 
nant with the Christian Church in the following words : " My 
spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in 
thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the 
mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's 
seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever." 1 

Upon this passage I think no comment is necessary : 
" I will make thee an eternal excellency. . . . Thy 

sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon 
withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be unto thee an ever- 
lasting light." 2 

The reader will recollect that these are prophecies, to 
the complete fulfilling of which God has irrevocably bound 
Himself; that they are made to the Christian Church; and 
that if this Church can lead us into error, or herself be in 
error regarding God's doctrine, not one of those prophecies 
has been fulfilled; and that the Roman Catholic Church is 
the only portion of the Christian Church which now exists 
without having come away from some other division ; and 
that every division now in existence is but a portion 
which has separated from her, either in itself, or in some 
one from which it sprang ; and, that the plea for this 
separation always was, that this Church did err, and did 
lead others into error ; and that every such division formed 
a new Church upon the plea that there was not, at the 

1 is., c. iix, v. 21. * n>., c. ix, v. is, 20. 


time of its secession, any Church in existence which was 
free from error, and therefore, that the covenant which God 
made was not at that time fulfilled by Him. 


By looking a little closer into some other prophecies 
of the Mosaic Church, we shall find the principle which I 
contemplated in the last section greatly supported. I shall 
give but one more of this description. 

In the prophecy of Daniel it is stated concerning the 
Church of Christ, that "the God of heaven shall set up 
a kingdom which shall never be destroyed;" which "shall 
not be left to other people;" which "shall stand forever." 
But, if this Church can err in teaching the doctrines of 
God, it can be destroyed. If truth shall leave this Church 
to go to other people whom this Church condemns, this 
kingdom, then, will be left to those other people. If this 
Church has fallen off and not stood in truth, and no 
society was found at that time preserving the purity of 
doctrine from the beginning, then this kingdom did not 
stand. If, therefore, the Church originally established can 
lead men into error, the prophecy of Daniel has not been 

The Church of the old law was to last until the coming 
of the Redeemer, who was promised. The high priest and 
the council of the Sanhedrim were to be, until His arrival, 
a supreme, earthly tribunal, from which there was no appeal 
in matters of religion. From various events it was believed 
that if the time of redemption had not already arrived, it 
was t at hand. Inquiry was made of the chief priests 
and scribes, and explaining the prophecies, they distinctly 
told where the Redeemer should be born. At that period 
there was born in that place Jesus of Nazareth. His works 
and His declarations proved His commission and His nature. 
The Aaronitc commission became now superseded, and Jesus 
was to give a new one, of winch the former was only 
typical. He did give this commission to the Apostles. We 


find them, too, prove their commission by miracles; we 
behold them exercise their power. We believe that man is 
now to know what God has said in the same manner ; 
that is, upon the same principle that his ancestors were 
formerly to have known it. The Aaronite assembly was the 
court of final decision by which, under the appointment of 
God, all were bound in matters of religion. The Apostolic 
assembly succeeds to this tribunal ; the commission is 
extended ; decisions are given ; they are obeyed ; the Apos- 
tles assert that the Holy Ghost presides and aids them ; 
they refer to their appointment by the Saviour ; to the 
miracles wrought by themselves; they command the Chris- 
tians to hold to the testified doctrine, even in opposition, 
if the case were possible, to the testimony of angels ; they 
condemn all who separate from them ; they charge their 
followers to avoid heretics ; that is, choosers, persons who, 
instead of receiving the testimony of the authorized body, 
select, according to their own judgments, their own opinions. 
Their new associates their successors follow the same line 
of conduct. They require their decision to be received as 
final, because they will give, with infallible certainty, those 
doctrines which God revealed. They do not refer the per- 
sons to the Scriptures, saying to them : " Here is what 
God taught ; read and judge for yourselves ; let every man 
follow his own opinion ;" but they say : " We teach you 
what God has taught to our predecessors and what we 
have received from them; it is not in our power to alter 
it ; it is not in your power to reject it." 

Writings were found which contained statements of the 
acts and doctrines of Jesus Christ. Some of them were 
generally known to have been the authentic works of the 
Apostles; others manifestly were not; others were of doubtful 
authority, whose readings were not alike. Of what use were 
they? Plainly, whatever contained the Word of God derived 
its authority from God. But the knowledge of the fact 
that this was God's Word, must depend upon testimony; 
and as we before saw, this infallible certainty must rest 


upon the authority of an infallible witness. We, then, want 
the aid of an infallible witness : first, to tell us the fact 
which book is God's Word and which is not ; and next 
to toll us the meaning of the doubtful passages in the 
book so found. If the Church is an infallible witness of 
the fact and of the meaning, the revelation is from God, 
the testimony from the Church ; as, on Sinai, when God 
spoke to Moses and Moses reported to the people, the 
authority was that of God, the testimony that of Moses. 
None would hazard the assertion that Moses thus became 
the master of God. No person would say that the high 
priest and the Sanhedrim were the masters of God, be- 
cause they explained the hard and doubtful expressions of 
the revelation which He made. No person would pre- 
sume to say that the judiciary of the United States rules 
over Congress, because it explains the meaning of laws 
made by that body. No one will presume to say that it 
is from the judiciary the legislature derives its authority 
because the explanation of its authoritative acts is given to 
the judiciary. In like manner, the Church is not the mis- 
tress of the Word of God, because her testimony is given 
to establish the fact that " He said this," and the other 
fact that " this is the meaning which God always intended 
by this expression." Though I should, then, find it neces- 
sary to have the testimony of one infallible Church, to 
give me a certainty of what is divine Scripture, and what 
is its meaning, this does not set the Church above the 

By the facts which we historically know, we see that 
Jesus Christ was God and that He established a Church. 
We 'see what that Church did; and we see, from its acts, that 
it claimed to be infallible in deciding religious controversies. 
We see that some such infallibility was always necessary 
and did always exist; and we, further, cannot under- 
stand how, if it did not exist in the Christian Church, 
the old prophecies could be accomplished ; (yet we know 
them to have been divine;) and, without this infallibility, 


we cannot discover how to discern the genuine from the 
spurious books ; nor how to be certain of the meaning of 
any passage of Scripture. We, therefore, upon these grounds, 
believe the great body of the bishops, in union with their 
head will, with infallible certainty, testify to us the doc- 
trines of God. It is not, therefore, from the New Testament 
in the first instance that we derive our grounds for the 
belief of Church infallibility; neither is the New Testament 
necessary to establish our conclusion. Yet we shall see that 
it is useful. We may view the Gospels either as uninspired 
histories or as an inspired work, containing the revelation 
of God. In the former case, we do not need the authority 
of the Church to inform us that they contain the Word 
of God; because the' question in that case would not be 
concerning their containing the revelations of God, but 
merely regarding their general truth. Their general truth 
is perfectly consistent with some trivial errors, as to cir- 
cumstances and opinions. This general or historic truth 
might be established without the aid of an infallible witness. 

Viewing the New Testament in this way, I could deduce 
from its facts and from passages contained in it abundant 
evidence of Church infallibility. But I prefer viewing the 
Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and the other parts 
as an inspired work, containing the revelation of God. 
For this purpose we do need such a witness as we have 
shown the Church must necessarily be. 

This witness tells us that the books which we usually 
denominate the New Testament contain the Word of God. 
We now come to examine that book, not to learn what 
we have before known, but to add to our stock of knowl- 
edge, either by finding more ample evidence of known facts 
or testimony for new facts or doctrines. We believe the 
doctrine of infallibility; we look for testimonies to confirm 
us, not to give us any new doctrine on this head. 

I open the Gospel of St. MattheAV, where I read these 
words of our Lord to St. Peter : " Thou art Peter, and 
upon this rock I will build My Church ; and the gates 


of hell shall not prevail against it." 1 Now, if this Church 
can teach erroneous doctrines instead of Gcd's truth, it will 
be a prevailing of the gates of hell manifestly. Therefore, 
either Christ did not make this declaration, or that Church 
cannot teach error. Again : Christ says of a man who 
having been admonished in vain, is to be denounced to 
the Church ; (and Christ gave the Church no authority 
except in matters of religion) ; " But, if he neglect to hear 
the Church let him be to thee as a heathen man and a 
publican." 2 This regarded religion; and nothing is of more 
vital importance in religion than to know what God teaches. 
Now, God would never have bound man to such obedience 
to a Church which might tell him that God did not say 
what He said: or that God did teach what He contradicted. 
That God imposed the obligation is clear : therefore, God 
is chargeable with the error if the Church leads me thereto. 
Again, it is written : " And Jesus came and spake unto 
them, saying, All power is given unto Me, in heaven and 
on earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of 
the Holy Ghost ; teaching them to observe all things what- 
soever I have commanded you : and lo, I am with you, 
always, even unto the end of the world." 3 I merely ask, 
who are to teach the teachers? Is it the persons who are 
to learn from them? The text tells us that He who com- 
missioned them remains with them to preserve them fit to 
teach ; and this, not for a short time only, but always, 
even to the end of the world. 

To omit several other passages, I shall confine myself 
to a few. " But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 
whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach 
you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, 

whatsoever I have said unto you But when 

the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from 
the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth 
from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And ye, also, 
shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from 

'Matt., c. xvl, v. 13. *Ib., c. acvlil, v. ".7. 'Matt., c. xxvlil, v. 18-CO. 


the beginning." 1 We here perceive two sorts of knowledge: 

1. That which was to be brought to their memory; this 
they were to be enabled to testify by the aid of the Com- 
forter, and because they were witnesses from the beginning. 

2. The new knowledge which the Holy Ghost was to give 
them at His descent. Hence, our Saviour promises of^this 
sacred Spirit: "When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He 
will guide you into all truth." 2 

In accord with this is the prayer of the Saviour : 
" Sanctify them through Thy truth : Thy word is truth. 
As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I 
also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I 
sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through 
the truth. Neither pray I for these alone ; but for them 
also which shall believe on Me through their word." 3 It 
was of this Spirit He spoke, when He said : " But ye 
shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come 
upon you : and ye shall be witnesses to Me, both in 
Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the 
uttermost part of the earth." 4 Thus they were to be a per- 
manent body of witnesses to testify the doctrines of God 
to the whole world, and to the end of ages, always, to 
the end of the world ; and to aid them in this, the Holy 
Ghost was to be sent ; who was to remind them of what 
might have escaped their recollection, and to lead them 
generally into all truth that they might be able to teach 
those to whom they were sent, and who were commanded 
to hear them as being sent by God to teach the things 
which He commanded. Hence, the Apostle St. Paul calls 
this Church "the Church of the living God, the pillar and 
ground of the truth." 5 We have seen that the Apostles 
declare "it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to 
to us," where they plainly inform us of the fact that 
this sacred Spirit was present with them : and we see 
how long He was to remain "that He may abide with you 

1 Jno., c. xiv, v 26; c. XT, v. 26. lb., c. xvi, v. 13. Ib., c. xvii, v. 17, 13, 19. 
4 Acts, c. i, v. 8. * I Tim., c. ill, V. 15. 


Thus the Word of God confirms what reason showed 
to be necessary, and what the prophecies led us to expect; 
that the Church will, under the guidance of the Holy 
Ghost, infallibly lead us to a knowledge of what God has 
taught; and that God commands us to listen to her voice, 
and to receive her testimony. 

The history of the Church is filled with the most 
authentic and clear words, which are sufficient to make it 
manifest that such was the Christian doctrine and practice 
from the beginning to the present day. To use the figure 
of a good writer on the subject : This accumulation of 
evidence stands like one of the great pyramids of Egypt, 
a monument of antiquity upon the sandy plain. Nor time 
nor the rage of elements can make any impression upon 
its durability; like the Arab who lifts his spear against 
it, is the sectarian who assails our Church; the mighty 
dead of ages repose within its capacious walls ; its living 
inmates are protected from the fury of the Bedouin rover, 
who shivers his weapon into atoms at its base. After an 
hour of impotent fury he rides away and scarcely leaves 
a. trace of his assault; perhaps enough to mark the record 
of his folly; another and another at intervals succeeds, each, 
like his predecessor, to pass in defeat away. Ages have 
rolled along; heresies have risen and died; the names of 
some survive the latest relics of their dissolved bodies ; 
the assailants vary ; their boasts, their efforts, their failures, 
are alike ; whilst the mighty work reared by a heavenly 
hand remains still settling in solid permanency upon a base 
to which the promise of a God has secured unimpaired 
existence, till lime shall be no more. 



I HAVE received a pamphlet of about 70 pages, purport- 
ing to be letters of Mr. Thomas "VVaddell. The letters are 
five in number, and they are followed by an appendix of 
two pieces. The subjects of the letters are exceedingly vari- 
ous, and would require many more letters to answer the 
charges than were required to make them. 

First, I have to thank Mr. Thomas Waddell for the 
very great courtesy of his manner. He and I, in all 
probability, never met, and certainly do not know each 
other ; I had never written any thing to him or of him, 
when he vouchsafed to state that I " slipped off by a beg- 
garly evasion from a subject on which I pretended to 
refute Bishop Bowen." And not content with paying me 
this as an incipient compliment, he kindly designates me 
" that scribe," who makes a " barefaced denial " of what 
is " fairly stated and applied " on " the doctrine of inten- 
tion," and one whom he is not surprised at seeing in the 
use of " mean artifices," one of which is making " a false 
and impudent charge of misrepresentation " with a " shabby 
appearance." For these and sundry such compliments, he 
has my due acknowledgments and proper estimation. 

He has required me, "that fox, to come out from his 
retreat and finish his work on that subject, by stating that 
doctrine fairly, and defining our theological meaning of the 
word intention, not by his ipse dixit, but from the stand- 
ard books of Rome." I am perfectly at a loss to know upon 
what score Mr. Waddell could have made the above charges. 
In the first place, I never undertook to state in my 
remarks upon the Protestant catechism what the Catholic 



doctrines were; I only stated that I would point out 
where the passages of the catechism were misrepresentations 
of those doctrines. I not only did not undertake to refute 
the prelate to whom I addressed the letters, but I dis- 
tinctly stated in Letter I : "I seek no controversy upon 
the doctrinal differences of the two Churches. My object 
is to show that the Church of which I am a member has 
been misrepresented, villified and insulted." Thus, Mr. Wad- 
dell states the thing which is not the fact, when he asserts 
that I published my letters in the Miscellany for the pur- 
pose of a pretended refutation. 

Again, he has, in other places, thought proper to charge 
me with denying the doctrine of the Church to which I 

I could not indeed expect to be treated otherwise by 
a writer who in the fifth page of his introduction says of 
such Roman Catholic priests as "have studied," as each of 
them is obliged to do, "the Scriptures, the Fathers, history, 
and general councils;" "neither can I acquit any of them 
from willful fraud and corrupt perjury, who deny any of their 
doctrines, which they are sworn to confess till the last breath 
of their lives. How awfully, then, do the general body of the 
Papal priests trifle with their consciences, whenever they are 
assailed with inquiry, and find it necessary to deny their 
doctrines ! In these fraudful artifices they succeed amaz- 
ingly in perverting the weak and ignorant and in keeping 
their deluded people from ever knowing the blessed doc- 
trines of the glorious Gospel ; or even their own creed, 
which they are sworn to teach them. Surely the Papal 
clergy are the most complete tools Satan has in this world; 
and the Papal system, besides being the most pernicious, 
is the most degrading to the human mind that Satan has 
ever contrived." 

I am not astonished at finding that the editors of 
the Miscellany have no ambition of Mr. Waddell's farther 
acquaintance, and can easily account for it, upon the same 
principle that creates the practical classifications and inter- 


course of society. Happening to believe that it is possible 
for me to answer him without adopting his style, I shall 
endeavor to show that he is incorrect in stating as he does 
in p. 46 : 

"Your correspondent could not possibly expect to satisfy 
Bishop Bowen and other Protestants by this ridiculous con- 
jecture ; it is nothing more or less than a cunning fetch 
to deceive the ignorant and unwary by casting a cloud of 
darkness upon the plain word ; so that his simple readers 
would think that when used by such profound theologians 
as Popish priests it was some technical scholastic term of 
deep theological import, too profound for simple readers 
ever to understand, even though Peter Lombard or Thomas 
Aquinas should attempt to explain it for them. When he 
would thus set them a gazing at the word with wonder and 
delight, he might escape from it to some other subject and 
dazzle their eyes with sophistry. 

" Now, I put him and his brethren to the test, and defy 
them to show me that his Church attaches any meaning 
to the word different from that which it has in common 
acceptation. AVhatever, therefore, his theological meaning of 
the word intention may be, the overwhelming conclusion must 
be admitted, if it be intention at all, in any sense of the 
word, which a school boy can conceive. 

"I have long wished to see an explanation of this term, 
and I have been truly sorry that B. C. 1 has not favored the 
world with it. I have often been at a loss to know whether 
it be the virtual or actual intention, which is by his Church 
supposed to be necessary to the validity of her sacraments. 
If we could ascertain this, I think we would then be able 
to calculate, to some degree of certainty, the danger to which 
he says he is exposed by the occurrence of this defect. As 
he has never given us anything upon that subject, though he 
says the Miscellany is intended for the simple explanation of 
Catholic doctrines, and as we may rest assured that he never 
will, I have to enter upon an inquiry into the meaning of 
this important word myself or rather into the meaning of 

' One of Rishop England's favorite signatures. 


the whole canon, that I may, if possible, ascertain what 
intention is required whether the virtual intention, which 
consists in being free from a malicious or wanton design, or 
the actual intention to administer the sacrament aright, and 
confer the necessary grace. If I can thus arrivi at his 
theological meaning of this word, I may then, it seems, be 
wiser, perhaps, than Bishop Bowen." 

There is one reason which has frequently induced me to 
avoid giving to catechists of Mr. Waddell's description any 
reply to several of their inquiries respecting the religion which 
I profess. I had reason to believe that instead of seeking 
honestly for information they only sought an opportunity to 
dispute, and though Mr. Waddell may possibly question my 
veracity, yet I imagine, if I am not conscious, that I am. 
averse to wrangling disputation. I believe there is good 
reason to question that a man who writes as he does seeks 
for information. He knows not whether I am a layman or 
a clergyman. In p. 8 he states: "I have never yet known a 
Romanist amongst the laity who knew their own doctrine of 
intention." He could not seriously ask me for information, 
then, upon a subject on which he boasted superior knowledge. 
If I am a clergyman it will be seen from his published senti- 
ments how completely it would be wasting my time to under- 
take giving him any explanations. Hence all his appeals to 
the charity, the zeal, the information of our members, whether 
lay or clerical, are too plainly seen to be mere flourishes, 
which have only the unmeaning appearance of desire for 
information. The editors of the Miscellany, well aware of 
this, felt no disposition to permit Mr. Waddell to indulge 
himself at the expense of their space, their money, and their 

But he has charged me with denying our doctrine and 
its consequences, and lie lias kindly furnished me with what 
I wanted before I could undertake to justify myself. In 
pp. 4748 he gives me his notion of our doctrine. The 
little catechism did not give any description of what it 
imputed to us; but it asserted that certain consequences 


which it enumerated necessarily flowed from our doctrine, 
I perceived that 110 such consequences could follow, and 
therefore I stated that there must be a misrepresentation or 
misconception of what we held. The catechism did not give 
the description which he does, and therefore I could not 
examine what was not produced. He, however, says that 
being perhaps wiser than Bishop Bowen, he can go through 
the process of arriving at our theological meaning of the 
word " intention," and he lays out the following process, 
p. 47: 

" This intention, the Catholic canon says, is the intention 
of doing what the Church does. Here arises a question ; 
What does the Catholic Church do? She consecrates and 
administers her sacraments effectually, and confers grace by 
them. The minister, then, must have the actual intention to 
do what the Church has power to do, and what she actually 
does he must actually intend to consecrate and perform 
the sacraments truly and effectually and to confer grace by 
the work. If he does not believe he can do this, or if 
he does not think of the work and actually intend to do 
it, he has not the necessary intention, and the work is still 
undone. Should he, then, at the critical time, happen to 
think of something else and permit his thoughts to wander 
from his work, he would then fail of having this intention 
and all would be null and void. That it is this actual 
intention which the Catholic canon intends is evident by the- 
existence of the canon itself; for it was certainly formed 
with a view to guard as much as possible against the 
danger of this fatal occurrence, by informing the priest of 
the necessity of intention, that he might be upon the watch 
lest the defect should occur through his carelessness or inad- 
vertency; and that he might have his thoughts exercised 
about his work, to exert this good intention at the critical 
time. The Church surely could not have formed this canon 
with a view to prevent the occurrence of a iralicious inten- 
tion to spoil the sacrament ; for she would, by telling a 
malicious priest that the efficacy of the sacraments depends 


upon this intention, inform him of the evil he had power 
to do, and would thus put him upon destroying, by whole- 
sale or retail, the people who had offended him, if he only 
had malice enough. We see, then, by the language and 
manifest design of the canon, that the Church insists upon 
the actual intention of her priests, in order to the validity 
of her sacraments. But let us consult the Rubric of the 
Missal upon this point, which is intended as a golden 
key to let every priest into the meaning of this canon, that 
he may see what this intention is, and how he may fail of 
having it. 

"And, first, we may see that the want of this intention, 
by being placed in the class of defects occurring in the 
Mass, must be the want of the actual intention : for a 
positive, malicious intention is not a defect, but a property, 
arguing indeed the want of an actual good intention, which 
may or may not occur without this malicious design. But, 
the Rubric furnishes plainer language than this upon the 
subject; so plain that any novice, I think, can understand 
it very clearly whether Dr. Bowen does or not. Thus 
speaks that form of sound words : l If any one intend 
not to consecrate, but to cheat or banter ; also if any 
wafers remain forgotten on the altar, or if any part of the 
wine or any wafer lie hidden when he did not intend 
consecrating but what he saw ; also if he shall have before 
him eleven wafers, and intended to consecrate but ten only, 
not determining what ten he meant ; in all these cases the 
consecration fails, because intention is required.' 

" In the case of the wafers remaining forgotten on the 
altar, it appears evidently the actual intention is required. 
For as these wafers get mingled with others which the 
priest lays upon the altar for consecration, without being 
noticed by him, he has not his thoughts exercised about 
them when he proceeds to consecrate, and so they miss of 
being consecrated through the want of his actual intention , 
which was exerted only to consecrate the wafers he had 
noticed. The other case of the eleven wafers is exactly 


parallel ; and, if possible, more conclusive in favor of my 
opinion ; for if he should by misreckoning, or any other 
way, think he had but ten wafers on the altar when there 
were eleven, his thoughts would be exercised only about 
ten, without determining what ten he meant, and so they 
would all fail of being consecrated through the want of 
his actual intention, which was exerted upon none of them: 
not because he had a wanton, wicked design to spoil the 
work, but because he did not think particularly of the 
wafers he virtually meant to consecrate. Should anything 
therefore distract his attention from his work, he would 
fail of having the necessary actual intention. 

" Thus Dr. Bowen or any other man, whatever station 
he occupies, whether a bishopric or a barn, may easily see 
the theological meaning of the term, and that it is the 
actual intention that is required by the canon. 

"The other case of a defect, in which the Church sup- 
poses the priest may intend not to consecrate, but to cheat 
or banter, may very readily occur without a wanton, wicked 
intention. Suppose the priest should happen to think within 
himself, that Christ's humanity, which lias now existed for 
1800 years, and His divinity, which has existed from ever- 
lasting, cannot by any power whatever begin now to exist; 
and yet go on buzzing, crossing and mumming through the 
whole form of the Mass, pretending to consecrate ; he then 
cheats ; for he cannot intend to do what he knows or 
believes cannot be done." 

Now, the question is reduced to very narrow limits, and 
all will be resolved by merely ascertaining whether he has 
stated our doctrine correctly. If he has, I deserve his 
censure, and I was wrong when I stated that the catechism 
was a misrepresentation. 


The question between us is very simple ; it is whether 
Mr. WaddelPs description of our doctrine of intention is 
correct. That description he gives in page 47 of his pu.,.- 


phlet, in the phrases which I have copied. Upon the ordinary 
principles of testimony, it would be easy to arrive at a 
decision ; but, as if aware of the facility to convict him 
in this manner, he at once impeaches the integrity of the 
witnesses. I need only refer to one passage of his as a 
sample of several. In p. 44, speaking of our doctrines, 
he asks how Protestant authors could learn them, and he 
answers : 

"For these doctrines they could hardly learn from Roman 
authors. We might as well, indeed, expect to find wealth 
in a poet, sincerity in a lawyer, or truth in a gamester, 
as integrity and honor in a Roman writer in a Protestant 
country. Such writers are generally too near of kin to 
B. C. himself and his quondam brethren. To Roman 
Catholic priests, when stating their doctrines in Protestant 
countries, where they apprehend danger from investigation, 
the complaint, I think, of Shakespeare, may very fitly be 
applied : 

'"Why seek we truth from priests? 
A lawyer's frowns, a courtier's smiles, 
And mourning of an heir, 
Are truths to what priests tell. 
Oh, why has priesthood privilege to lie, 
And yet to be believed?'" 

Thus he will not allow me generally to produce Roman 
Catholic witnesses to state what are our doctrines. How- 
ever, in p. 13, he quotes Cardinal Bellarmine as upholding 
his cause, and the cardinal was not a Roman Catholic 
writer in a Protestant country. I shall therefore take the 
witness whom he produces against me as my authority, 
and shall leave to his testimony the decision of the case 
between Mr. Waddell and B. C. Mr. Waddell says of 
him and of Gabriel Biel, p. 13 : 

"Thus writes Bellarmine, that most able and steady 
supporter of the papal cause ; and none of the Catholic 
writers can invalidate the conclusion which he deduces from 
their doctrine, which is necessary, and is admitted by a 
greater authority than Bellarmine or Biel, even by the 


Church herself, as is manifested by her consistent practice 
at the fountain head of Popery, where she can have her 
will, being there free from all control of the secular 

Now I shall take Mr. Waddell's description of our 
doctrine, clause by clause, and compare it with the state- 
ments of the cardinal. He says, p. 47 : 

" This intention, the canon says, is the intention of 
doing what the Church does. Here arises a question : 
What does the Church do ? She consecrates and admin- 
isters her sacraments effectually and confers grace by them. 
The minister, then, must have the actual intention to do 
what the Church has power to do, and what she actually 
does he must actually intend to consecrate and perform the 
sacraments truly and effectually and to confer grace by the 
work. If he does not believe he can do this, or if he 
does not think of the work, and actually intend to do it, 
he has not the necessary intention, and the work is still 

He very correctly states that the canon requires that 
the celebrant shall have "the intention of doing what the 
Church does." But as soon as he proceeds to reason upon 
this statement, he draws a conclusion of his own, which 
is not contained in the premises that he has laid down 
He extends the meaning first to "doing what the Church 
has power to do," and he has thus changed the terms by sub- 
stituting the phrase "has power to do" for the word "does." 
Mr. Waddell ought to know that a man who gives only 
one dollar might have power to give a million; that a 
governor who has power to pardon does sign a death 
warrant. Having made this false step, Mr. Waddell goes 
on to make another error by a similar process, against the 
principle of that philosophy which warns him not to con- 
clude that all which a person has power to do is done 
by him. 

Mr. Waddell says : " The minister, then, mnst have the 
actual intention to do what the Church has the power to 


do and what she actually does." I now quote from 
Bellarmine : 

" Thirdly. An actual intention is not necessarily required, 
nor is an habitual one sufficient, but a virtual one is 
required, although persons should try to have an actual 
one. It is called actual when the minister has the inten- 
tion with the very act : which intention indeed is not 
required," etc. 

Now in the appendix Mr. Waddell had under his eye 
the very words of Bishop Hornihold. 

" Q. How many kinds of intention are men capable of? 

" A. Chiefly three, viz. : Actual, which is accompanied 
with an actual attention of the mind to the thing we are 
about. A virtual intention is when the actual intention is 
judged to remain in its force, by not being expressly 
retracted, or interrupted by too long a time. An habitual 
intention is the faculty of performing a thing, obtained by 
a habit or custom, without any actual reflection or vital 
influence upon the work." 

Mr. "VVaddell is also pleased to say that actual intention 
and virtual are perfectly synonymous. I can only say that 
divines are all in the habit of admitting the distinction ; 
and if he pleased to say that by what we designate brown 
he means white, it is useless for us to converse, for our 
words only mislead. He can only find safety in confusing 
terms that he might be able to confound things and thus 
escape in the confusion; but this is a privilege which he 
cannot be allowed. 

Mr. Waddell, then, is contradicted not only by Bellarmine 
and by Hornihold, but by all our divines, when he says, 
"the minister must have the actual intention." Nay, even 
Bellarmine refers to a passage of St. Thomas of Aquin, 
which would appear to require still less than he and Horn- 
ihold correctly state to be necessary. 

Mr. Waddell says : " He must actually intend to conse- 
crate and perform the sacraments truly and effectually and to 
confer grace by the work." 


He is by no means the first who made this statement; 
some generations have passed away since Cardinal Bellar- 
mine, writing upon the subject, stated of Tilman and Kem- 
nitz, in the chapter quoted before : 

" Each author, in the cited places, says, that the Council 
of Trent had defined, that the sacrament- was not effected 
unless the minister should intend not only the act, but 
also the end of the sacrament, that is, should intend that 
for which the sacrament was instituted; which certainly 
differs very much from our opinion." 

Hornihold has the same in the appendix which Mr. 
Waddell has given ; he had there under his eye the fol- 
lowing contradiction to what he asserts : 

" Q. Is it necessary to intend the effect of the sacrament ? 

"A. No, otherwise heretics and pagans could not baptize 
validly. It is sufficient to have an intention of doing what 
the Church of Christ does, without considering which is 
the true Church." 

Bellarmine is quite unceremonious in the epithet which, 
in the fashion of his day, he bestows upon the assertion 
which Mr. Waddell repeats : 

" But this is a mere lie. Because the Council, through 
the entire llth canon, makes no mention of the end of 
the , sacrament ; nor does the council say, as they would 
appear to have understood, that the minister ought to 
intend to do that which the Church intends, hut that which 
the Church does. Now that which the Church does signi- 
fies not the end but the action." 

Bellarmine then proceeds to show that the Church con- 
siders valid the baptism conferred by several who err greatly 
concerning the end, to attain which this sacrament is con- 
ferred, and who of course have no intention of producing 
an end which they look upon to be unattainable. 

Thus, Mr. AVaddell is again contradicted by both Bel- 
larmine and Hornihold. He proceeds farther in his descrip- 
tion. " If he does not believe he can do this, [confer 
grace by the work,] and actually intend to do it, he has 


not the necessary intention, and the work is still undone." 
In page 48, he again describes this defect. " Suppose the 
priest should happen to think within himself, that Christ's 
humanity, which has now existed for 1800 years, and 
His divinity, which has existed from everlasting, cannot by 
any power whatever begin now to exist." I shall observe 
that he would think very correctly; and if he were to 
imagine that what has previously existed and continues to 
exist, commenced only just now to exist, he would imagine 
an absurdity. When Mr. Waddell put this absurdity as 
the Catholic doctrine, he was grossly ignorant or grossly 
criminal. I should hope it is the former. Catholics say 
and believe that what previously existed might become 
present at a point where it previously was not. And this 
they believe to be -common sense, not contradiction. Mr. 
"Waddell's object is to show that if a priest loses his belief 
he cannot intend to do that which he does not believe 
possible ; and that, of course, want of faith or of correct 
belief in the minister argues want of sufficient intention 
and destroys the sacrament. In p. 49 he states: "As there- 
fore this actual intention may be wanting through unbelief, 
carelessness or inattention, we may, I think, ascertain pretty 
nearly the degree of the danger to which the Church says 
her children are exposed, by the fatal occurrence of this 
woful defect; for how easily may it thus occur!" In his 
description of intention, then, he says, that we require in the 
ministry correct belief respecting the sacrament or its effects. 
Let us have recourse to Cardinal Bellarmine, to see how 
he agrees with Mr. Waddell in attributing this doctrine to 
our Church. In chap, xxvi of the book previously cited, 
Ke states the question for examination thus : " Whether 
either faith or charity is to be necessarily required, so 
that heretics, infidels, schismatics, or wicked Catholics can- 
not confer sacraments, .... if that which faithless 
or wicked men do be invalid, though otherwise they be 
lawfully ordained priests or bishops, and do not omit any 
of those things which belong to the essence of the sac- 


raments." Upon this question Bellarniinc states that there 
appeared to be scarcely any, if at all any, difference between 
Catholics and Luther and Calvin, etc., for that they all 
appear to be agreed that neither faith, which is correct 
belief, nor morality, is required in the minister, in order 
to the validity of the sacraments. It is true that Luther 
writes in his book, "De Mis. Priv. et Unct. Sacerd." that 
if the devil came in human shape and was ordained, the 
sacraments conferred by him would be valid. I trust Mr. 
Waddell will not require of Roman Catholics to go so far. 
In the same chapter, Bellarmine proceeds to state not 
only the Catholic doctrine; that defect of faith or of cor- 
rect belief in the minister does not injure the sacrament 
which he administers ; but he gives the catalogue and his- 
tory of those condemned by the Church at several periods 
for teaching that such faith was necessary to the validity 
of the sacrament. He mentions some Asiatics in the third 
century, of whom Eusebius informs us in book vii, of his 
history; they are also mentioned by Denis of Alexandria. 
Some Africans in the same .century whom the same his- 
torian mentions, and of whom St. Augustine relates in chap. 
7, of his book ii, on Baptism, that they received their opinion 
from Agrippinus, the predecessor of St. Cyprian in the see 
of Carthage. The Donatists also fell into this error, and 
were combated upon that as well as other points by St. 
Augustine. St. Jerome counts it amongst the errors of the 
Luciferians. It was condemned by several Popes, amongst 
whom are Stephen I, who died about the year 258, Siricius, 
who died at the close of the succeeding century, Innocent 
I, who died about twenty years later, Leo I, about the 
middle of the fifth age, and Anastasius II, at its termina- 
tion. Mr. AVaddell might also have found upon inquiry 
that it was condemned at the first Council of Nice in 
325, as well as the first of Carthage in 348. The first 
Council of Aries held in the year 314 made a decree 
against the principle in its eighth canon. My object not 
being to prove the correctness of our doctrine, but its 


misrepresentation by Mr. Waddell and Mr. Waddell having 
made an effort to deprive me of the benefit of my witnesses 
as well as having denied my own competency to testify 
the doctrines taught by my Church, I have used against 
him the only witness to whom he appeared not to object, 
and upon whose works I could lay my hand. I have no 
access to those of Biel. I believe, I have then established 
by this testimony three substantial errors in Mr. WaddelPs 
description of our doctrine of intention. It will also be 
seen that Bishop Hornihold in Mr. WaddelPs own appendix 
contradicts Mr. Waddell here also, because he admits, as 
every Catholic must, that the baptism conferred by heretics 
and infidels is valid, provided they observe what Christ 
instituted, though neither of them has correct belief or 
faith. Thus Mr. Waddell not only attributed to us, as 
our doctrine, what our Church condemns as gross error, 
but he did so with the evidence of its contradiction under 
his eye; and he very fortunately published that evidence. 

He makes a fourth assertion equally incorrect, p. 47 : 
" Should he, then, at the critical time, happen to think of 
something else, and permit his thoughts to wander from 
his work, he would then fail of having this intention, and 
all would be null and void." He then asserts our doc- 
trine to be that the existence of distraction or inadvertency 
would destroy the sacrament by destroying the requisite 
intention. He therefore charges us with holding: 1. That 
actual advertence and attention are required for a sufficient 
intention.' 2. That consequently where the minister acts 
without this actual attention, the sacrament is not conferred. 
If I prove the second or consequential proposition to be 
untrue, the first will necessarily be untrue. I shall, how- 
ever, first show that I do not overstrain his meaning. 
Immediately after the passage above quoted he continues 
to develop his meaning. 

" Should he, then, at the critical time, happen to think 
of something else, and permit his thoughts to wander from 
his work, he would then fail of having this intention and 


all would be null and void. That it is this actual inten- 
tion which the Church's canon intends, is evident by the 
existence of the canon itself; for it was certainly formed 
with a view to guard as much as possible against the 
danger of this fatal occurrence, by informing the priest of 
the necessity of intention, that he might be upon the watch 
lest the defect should occur through his carelessness or 
inadvertency; and that he might have his thoughts exercised 
about his work, to exert this good intention at the critical 

Now, having previously shown Mr. "Waddell's assump- 
tion "that it is this actual intention which our canon 
intends," to be not only arbitrary but untrue, and the 
actual attention or advertency not being required except 
for actual intention, it necessarily follows that its ab- 
sence will not be fatal, because the virtual attention which 
is not destroyed by a little distraction or inadvertency will 
be sufficient for the virtual intention that suffices in the 
minister of the sacraments. 

Allow me here to exemplify. I shall at present confine 
myself to the definitions which I find in Mr. Waddell's 
own pamphlet. In p. 46 he states the common meaning 
of the word intention ; but I presume there is an error 
of the press. He writes of Bishop Bowen thus : " For 
he could not without doing the Catholic Church an injury, 
suppose for a moment that she means by the word inten- 
tion, something quite different from design or purpose, 
which is the meaning the word always has in common 
acceptation." Johnson gives three meanings in which the 
word might be used, the second of which is design : 
purpose. I now accept the word purpose as expressing the 
correct meaning of the word which has so much perplexed 
Mr. Waddell. In Mr. Waddell's appendix he inserts Horn- 
ihold's definition of actual intention as distinguished from 
virtual ; in this distinction we must find the character by 
which they are to be discerned. Hornihold says that " the 
actual intention is accompanied with an actual attention of 


mind to the things we are about." And this alone is the 
characteristic by which it is distinguished from virtual 
intention : as long as this actual attention or advertency 
exists, so long does the actual intention exist, and no 
longer. This attention or advertency ceases, but the purpose 
or " intention is judged to remain in force by not being 
expressly retracted or interrupted by too long a time." Here 
then is what Hornihold calls "virtual intention," which clearly 
exists without any actual attention or advertency of the mind 
at the present moment. We may easily suppose that a 
slight distraction of the mind from contemplating its original 
purpose, to the contemplation of some other object caused 
this want of attention. Yet the agent is fairly judged to 
retain his original purpose, because it has not been expressly 
retracted nor too long interrupted. There is therefore no 
actual attention where there exists only a virtual inten- 
tion, as our doctrine is that if virtual intention suffices 
for the validity of the sacrament, it necessarily follows 
that actual attention is not necessary, though desirable and 
becoming in the minister. 

Yet Mr. Waddell is good enough to tell us that "actual 
and virtual intention as used here by the bishop are pre- 
cisely synonymous." I am to suppose that he thinks so, 
and of course I can easily know the value of his arguments. 

I shall now examine what a few of our divines say 
respecting the necessity of this actual attention for the 
validity of the sacrament. Bellarmine informs us (in 
cap. xxvii, lib. 1, "De Sac. in Gen.") treating of actual 
intention : " It only requires that a man be present with his 
mind and do attentively what he performs, for that is called 
intention in act, as Cajetan says ; and as we have said, it is 
not necessarily required, because it is not in our power, 
but that our thoughts might sometimes be distracted even 
when we perform most holy things." 

Thus Bellarmine gives us actual attention as the char- 
acter of actual intention, and states that it is not required. 
Respecting virtual intention he writes: "It is called virtual, 


when because of some wandering of the mind, an actual 
intention does not now exist ; yet it was in existence a 
short time before and the act is done in virtue thereof; and 
all agree that if an actual intention does not exist this is 
required and suffices." 

Thus Bellarmine distinguishes what Mr. Waddell con- 
founds and contradicts Mr. Waddell's assertion that actual 
attention is necessary for that intention which suffices for 
the validity of a sacrament. 

Mr. Waddell has asserted that according to the doctrine 
of the Roman Catholic Church sacraments were not validly 
conferred if the minister had not an actual intention of 
conferring them at the very time of the administration ; or, 
if having such intention, he did not intend to confer grace 
by the work ; or, if he was at the time an unbeliever in 
the doctrines of the Church regarding the nature or effects 
of the sacraments conferred ; or, if through carelessness or 
inadvertency he at the critical time permitted his thoughts to 
wander from his work. His assertions are altogether untrue, 
and each of them is contradicted by every Catholic writer 
upon the subject. He has chosen Bellarmine and Hornihold, 
and I have confined myself to them ; but they agree with 
all the others in contradiction to Mr. "VVaddell. Yet Mr. 
. "Waddell modestly informs us at the conclusion of his fifth 
letter to the editors of the Miscellany: 

" I could, indeed, detect you on any point in the con- 
troversy, so as to know whether you stated your doctrine 
fairly or unfairly, or whether you denied it or not without 
a book at all. But this would ot be sufficient in con- 
troversy to expose or silence you, or to convince others 
that you dealt unfairly ; for it would be necessary in such 
a case to quote your authorities verbatim. For this purpose 
I would require more books of the kind than I have at 
present were I engaged to go through the whole course of 
the controversy with you ; but I have no occasion for any 
books to instruct me in your doctrine; for I know every 
point of it as well as you do yourselves, and this knowl- 


edge I have at present by a certain faculty called memory. 
This you very well know might be the case when you 
made the above ungenerous insinuation ; for I did not say 
that I had no books of the kind, or that I had never read 
any. All your italics heretofore and your three little 
capitals amount to nothing, and serve no other purpose 
than to satisfy your simple readers. Since you have made 
this foul insinuation, however, I shall shortly let you know 
whether I have detected your misstatements or not; for how- 
ever indecorous it may seem to address you again in the 
way of controversy, after your refusal to meet me upon 
any subject, I cannot let you escape with this foul insinua- 
tion and your false statements. I shall cite you before the 
public again and make the charge good ; and then you may 
answer for your conduct if you can, or suffer judgment to 
pass against you by default. 

"It is however, after all, no disparagement to your parts 
or learning that you have fallen before the fatal touch ; for 
who can contend with fate and unanswerable questions? But 
truly your honor and honesty must be called in question. 
You must know that you are laboring by foul means to 
support a bad cause and to deceive unwary souls." 

I would advise Mr. Waddell in future to have a little 
less confidence in his memory and more recourse to books. 
I might here close my case, satisfied that I have proved all 
that I cared to accomplish, which is, that Mr. Thomas 
Waddell misrepresented our doctrine of intention. But I 
shall examine a little farther into the contents of his very 
extraordinary pamphlet. 


Having shown that Mr. Waddell misrepresented our doc- 
trine of intention, I now state what I believe to be the fact, 
that he did not himself understand it. I also admit that 
the consequences which he drew from his misconception 
would generally flow from such a principle as he attributed 
to us ; but as the principle is not ours, neither can the con- 


sequences be, on that account, charged to us. I might, as JL 
before stated, here close my case. But there are a few 
other passages in Mr. Waddell's production which it will 
not be amiss to notice. 

He states in his " Introductory/' p. viii : 

"I have often thought that the argument of uncertainty 
drawn from the doctrine of intention has not been so gen- 
erally and so exclusively urged in the controversy as it 
ought to have been. It had indeed been sometimes called 
in as an auxiliary, when the arguments were sufficient with- 
out its aid. I have never before seen it used as a prin- 
cipal except once, when it was tried upon a renegade mis- 
sionary sent from Rome to Ireland in consequence of a 
challenge which he offered to all Protestants, ministers 
especially; and, like the heroes of the Miscellany, he stood 
dumb before it. It is an argument with which few Protest- 
ants are acquainted, and I have never yet met with a 
Romanist amongst the laity who knew their own doctrine 
of intention." 

Indeed, Mr. Waddell's reading upon the subject cannot 
be very extensive ; for a great many Protestant writers 
have, without as much boasting as his, put forward the 
argument with far more ingenuity than he has done ; and 
I have seldom found a Protestant even tolerably imbued 
with the spirit of controversy who Jias not been as fully 
acquainted with it as he appears to be ; that is, he mis- 
took its nature and urged his argument as unanswerable 
because of his mistake. I have met several of this descrip- 
tion, and I do not recollect' one of them who did not, as 
Mr. Waddell has, when I endeavored to disabuse him, assure 
me that he knew the doctrines of my Church better than 
I did myself, or if I knew them as well as he did, that 
I disguised or denied them. Will Mr. Waddell blame me 
Avhen I assure him that after such a declaration I leave 
the field to the hero who makes it, unless there should be 
some weighty and sufficient cause upon other grounds for 
my continuing therein? Perhaps the editors of the Miscellany 


have similar feelings, and it would argue some charity in 
Mr. Waddell to attribute their silence, as well as that of the 
gentleman whom he calls "a renegade," rather to this than 
to the cause which he has assigned. 

" I was, indeed, in my early days, brought into doubts 
and difficulties by them ; but I soon learned to see through 
their sophistry, and by degrees detected the various knavish 
tricks resorted to by the Popish sons of imposture to deceive 
the ignorant and to save their cause from destruction. I 
afterwards made the Popish controversy my study, and found 
upon trial it was a quick and easy piece of work to silence 
Roman gainsayers. I therefore determined, upon seeing 
the Catholic Miscellany, which contained nothing but the old 
silly arguments and wretched dogmatisms, to pose the heroes 
of it in short metre. As the distance was great, I made 
choice of an argument which I knew would gag them imme- 
diately. They trifled at first, and afterwards declined my 
invitation; the reasons they gave for declining the combat 
show clearly that the work is impracticable and their cause 

"To pose the heroes of the Miscellany in short metre," 
Mr. Waddell has quoted Bellarmine. "Will he excuse me 
for stating the grounds of my belief that he never read 
Bellarmine's works? I do not wish to come unnecessarily 
to the conclusion that -he printed a deliberate falsehood; if 
he read that author he would have seen in the places 
quoted by me before, and in other places of his work, 
that the argument founded upon misrepresenting the doc- 
trine of intention was used as a principal by several Protest- 
ant writers. I can as easily conceive that his imagination 
deludes him regarding the extent of his theological acquire- 
ments as it does regarding the nature of our doctrines. 

I shall now take up the quotation which lie makes from 
the cardinal ; and it is somewhat curious to observe that one 
should not be produced from thse books where he was 
writing expressly upon the subject, but one garbled from the 
midst of a paragraph upon another question in another book ; 


the isolated piece becomes thus ambiguous. He refers to 
Bellarmine, Lib. iii, de Justificatione, cap. 8. His reference 
is imperfect for he omits the book, and his quotation is 
but the tail of a sentence, and he gives the original of 
only a piece of that tail ; however, this is the place in 
which the words are found. Bellarmine's third book is 
entitled "Qui est de incertitudine, mutabilitate et inaequal- 
itate justitiae," which means, " concerning the uncertainty, 
the changeableness, and the inequality of righteousness." 

The cardinal was defending the doctrine of the Church 
on those points, which doctrine is: 1. That no individual 
can be certain, without a special revelation, that he is in 
a state of righteousness. 2. That a righteous man might 
fall into sin again and become a reprobate. 3. That there 
are various degrees of righteousness, at the same time, in 
several just persons ; as also that there might be various 
degrees thereof, at different times, in the same individual. 
In the eighth chapter of this book he is arguing in sup- 
port of the first of these doctrines, and answering persons 
who asserted that, even besides the case of special revela- 
tion, a man can know with the certainty of faith that he 
is in a state of righteousness. 

In the fifth paragraph of the chapter an argument is 
taken up by him, which might be thus condensed : " You 
have the certainty of faith that God gives His grace and 
justification to those who receive the sacraments with proper 
dispositions. But you can know when you have so received 
the sacraments. Therefore you can have the certainty of 
faith that you have been justified and are now righteous." 
In his answer to this, Bellarmine first denies that any man 
can know, without a special revelation, that he has received 
the sacraments with proper dispositions ; and next says that 
he cannot have the certainty of faith that he has received 
a true sacrament; and thus, although the first proposition 
be known with the certainty of faith, the second has not 
the evidence required as a basis for faith, and the man 
who imagined himself well disposed might have labored 


under a delusion; thus there was not a certainty of faith. 
In the second paragraph of the chapter, the cardinal had 
thus stated what is required for such a certainty: 

" Nothing can be certain with the certainty of faith, 
unless it be either immediately contained in the Word of 
God, or be deduced therefrom by evident consequence : 
because it is not faith unless it rests upon the authority 
of the divine Word." 

Now, we are not to confound the certainty of faith 
which requires the basis of the Word of God, or revelation, 
with every other description of certainty; and in ascertaining 
the meaning of any author, we must use his words in the 
sense which he attaches to them himself. Bellarmine, in 
chap, ii of the same book, gives us six descriptions of 
certainty, under two classes ; one class is under the head 
evident, which arises from either mental or sensible percep- 
tion; the other obscure, which arises, 1, from divine reve- 
lation, 2, from human testimony, and 3, from circumstances. 
Thus, besides faith, the author gives us five other grounds 
upon which we might build our certainty. Seeing his object 
and his language, let us now look to the quotation : 

" But perhaps Catharinus might answer, that perfect con- 
version and penance are not necessarily required, except 
without the sacrament; but that, together with the sacra- 
ment, it is sufficient if no obstacle be placed. But neither 
can any one be certain, with the certainty of faith, that 
he does not put an obstacle, for by reason of his gross 
ignorance, he might bear an affection to sin; neither can 
he be certain, with the certainty of faith, that he receives 
a true sacrament, since the sacrament might be without the 
intention of the minister, and no one can see the inten- 
tion of another." 

I have here given the passage at length; the object of 
Bellarmine was to prove as I before stated, that no man 
can without special revelation, which would, as being the 
Word of God, give him a ground for faith, know with 
the certainty of faith that he was righteous. We know by 


i'aith what tilings are required for the existence of a sac- 
rament ; but it is not by faith, but by other motives of 
credibility, that we are assured of the existence of those requi- 
sites. Intention is one of those requisites ; we do not 
know of its existence by faith, but we can have that cer- 
tainty by circumstances, which is according to Bellarmine a 
good ground of certainty, but not of the certainty of faith ; 
because founded upon revelation. In denying then that we 
have the certainty of faith, he is far from asserting that 
we have no certainty ; yet this is what Mr. Waddell has 
assumed, p. 13 he draws an universal conclusion from 
particular premises : 

"This uncertainty, the inevitable consequence of Catholic 
doctrine, is admitted by some of their most celebrated 
divines. ( No priest that celebrateth can know evidently 
whether he be a priest, because he cannot know evidently 
whether he be baptized or lawfully ordained.' And Cardinal 
Bellarmine tells us why : ' No man/ says he, * can be cer- 
tain, by the certainty of faith, that he receives a true 
sacrament ; because it depends upon the intention of the 
minister, and none can see another man's intention.' ' : 

Mr. Waddell, then, must feel that he has given to Bel- 
larmine a meaning which Bellarmine never intended. The 
cardinal does not say, that the sacrament "depends upon the 
intention of the minister." When he uses the words "inten- 
tionem alterius nemo videre possit " " No one can see the 
intention of another," I apprehend Mr. Waddell does not 
give to the word " videre," " see," the meaning which the 
cardinal did. In the sixth paragraph of his chap, ii, he 
explains himself thus: "Ccrtitudo evidens est earuni rerum 
quse aliquo modo videntur " " Certainty evident is of those 
things which are in some manner seen." In this class he 
places : first, principles ; next, the evident consequences 
of first principles ; lastly, that which is under the cogni- 
zance of well regulated senses. " Certitude obscura est 
earum rerum quae sola fide, vel opinione nituntur" "Cer- 
tainty obscure is of those things which rest only on faith 


or on opinion." In this class he places : knowledge derived 
first from the testimony of God ; next from human testi- 
mony; then, from circumstances. This explanation is the 
key which he gives to the meaning of his words through- 
out the book ; " evidens " and " videre," " evident " and 
" see/' then regard only the first class but not the second. 
We cannot see the intention of another person, for it is 
not a first principle, nor a consequence of that principle, 
nor does it come in its own immediate form under the 
cognizance of our senses. Neither can we know it gener- 
ally from the testimony of God, but from the testimony 
of men and from circumstances. Hence though a person 
cannot see the intention of another, he might know its 
existence with certainty; though neither with the certainty 
of faith, nor with the certainty of evidence. Thus, neither 
Bellarmine or Biel would admit the assumption, " That we 
are uncertain of the existence of our sacraments ; " because 
we have two grounds, either of which will assure us of 
their existence, though the special fact in each particular 
case is not an article of faith. Every reasonable man is 
perfectly certain of the truth of hundreds of facts, which, 
though neither first principles, nor their evident conse- 
quences, nor having come under the cognizance of his 
senses, nor yet having been revealed by God, still are sus- 
tained by motives of credibility which produce infallible 

When Mr. Waddell adds this to the four egregious 
blunders which he made in his description of the meaning 
of the word intention, as described before, probably I may 
leave to himself to appreciate the value of his compilation. 
' I stated that I accepted the English word " purpose " as 
expressing the meaning of the Latin technical word " inten- 
tio," or that which in our language is more equivocal, inten- 
tion. In Mr. WaddelFs pamphlet, p. 12, he states that a 
canon is found upon the subject in the proceedings of the 
Council of Florence; his words are: "This canon is found 
in the Council of Florence and that of Trent." The canon 


of which he makes this statement, he describes thus, p. 11 : 
"According to a certain canon, Catholics are bound to 
believe that 'the efficacy of every sacrament depends upon 
the intention of the officiating minister ; ' so that if he 
should fail of having this necessary intention, the apparent 
sacrament is null and void." Now, perhaps Mr. Waddell 
will think it, to use his own polite language, "knavery," 
"a pious fraud," "a shameful denial," when I inform 
him that the Council of Florence made no such canon, 
nor is any canon of our Church couched in such phrases, 
though he was so accurate as to place , them between 
inverted commas. The Council of Trent indeed made a 
canon upon the subject which Mr. Waddell quotes accu- 
rately in a note to p. 12, but the Council of Florence 
did not. However, Pope Eugenius IV, who remained at 
Florence after the departure of the Greeks, together .with 
some of the cardinals and bishops of the Latin Church 
continued the sessions in 1439, for the purpose of receiving 
into communion some of the Armenian Eutychians, and 
upon their reconciliation, the Pope in his decree of instruc- 
tion did, in treating of the sacraments, mention the neces- 
sity of the intention of the minister, besides the matter and 
form, to constitute a sacrament. I state this, not charging 
Mr. Waddell with being guilty of misrepresentation in this 
place, but merely to show him that besides " a certain faculty 
called memory," a certain quality called information is neces- 
sary for a person who undertakes to write upon these subjects. 
His appendix even would have taught him this. But per- 
haps he does not know the difference between a decree and 
a canon. 

" Q. What are we to believe as to the matter and form 
of the sacraments, and how they are to be conceived? 

"A. Eugenius IV, in his decree, in the Council of 
Florence, which was held in the year 1439, declares that 
every sacrament requires matter, form and intention of doing 
what the Church does." 

I now come to the " simple explanation " of our doc- 


trine which Mr. "Waddell has so completely enveloped in 
his effort to show it sustaining his conclusions. 

The whole doctrine may be thus expressed : " It is 
required that in the creation or administration of the 
sacraments the minister shall use the elements and the words 
in a reasonable mariner, for a Christian purpose." 

I shall take one sacrament as an exemplification, bap- 
tism. Pope Eugenius states that three things are necessary, 
the matter (water), the form (the words), and the intention 
of the minister (the purpose). I shall now give a few in- 
stances where the matter and the form would be applied 
to the proper subject, and yet no sacrament be conferred, 
because of the want of intention or purpose. 

1. A priest desires to show the sponsors how they ought 
to attend, and tells them that he will rehearse the ceremony, 
but not baptize the child at present ; he then uses the water 
and repeats the words for the purpose of making them 
acquainted with the manner of proceeding, but not for the 
purpose of conferring the sacrament. 

2. One minister is desirous of teaching another how to 
confer the sacrament; and for this purpose, but not for the 
purpose of conferring the sacrament, he seriously and de- 
liberately goes through the whole rite, using the elements 
and the words. 

3. A person undertakes to mimic the ceremony, and uses 
the water and the words to amuse those present, but not 
for the purpose of baptizing. 

4. At a theatre a baptism is to be represented; the 
matter and the form are used, but not for the purpose of 
doing what the Church does, that is, conforming to the insti- 
tution of Christ, but for the purpose of representation. 

5. A person intends to administer the sacrament, and 
actually commences, but is requested to defer it for a few 
hours, consents, but still, for the purpose of instructing the 
sponsors or others, goes through the remainder of the 

6. A person during his dream, or a somnambulist, uses 


the matter ani form upon an unbaptized subject which is 
near him. 

7. A person stupidly drunk. 

8. A person who is an idiot or crazy. 

9. An ignorant person might use the matter and form 
for the purpose of procuring the bodily health of a child 
without even knowing that it was ever a Church ceremony. 

In these and a variety of other cases there are the 
matter and form but there is not the intention ; the sacra- 
ment is not conferred, hence it has always been held in 
the Church that the existence of matter and the intention 
of doing what the Church does are necessary. And Mr. 
Waddell had under his eye, in his appendix, the very 
words of Hornihold, to show what our meaning was. 

" Q. In what cases is there a defect of a sufficient 

"A. If a minister performs the work in a ludicrous 
manner; if he is asleep, drunk or mad; he has either no 
intention or only an habitual one." 

All that we require is that it shall be a reasonable act 
done for the purpose of religion, that is, for the purpose 
of doing what the Church does. This also Mr. Waddell 
saw in his appendix from Hornihold. 
, " Q. "What intention is required in the minister ? 

"A. In the first place, intention in general is a volition 
or act of determining of a thing by the means ; it is 
requisite to every rational action, and much more to every 
religious action." 

Mr. Waddell gave the canon of the Council of Trent, in 
p. 12, pretty correctly. He only omitted the words "at 
least." "If any man shall say that when the ministers 
make and confer sacraments the intention, at least, of doing 
what the Church does, is not required ; let him be 
anathema." I cannot conjecture what his object in omitting 
those words "at least" could have been, except to destroy 
the distinction which we admit between two persons who both 
validly confer sacraments, viz. : The minister who knew 


and believed and gave actual and willing attention with a 
desire to procure grace for the recipient ; and the careless 
infidel who looked upon the ceremony to be idle and vain, 
but who nevertheless went through it for the purpose of 
religion, or of doing what the Church does. Our doctrine 
is that each of those persons confers the sacrament, but the 
Church exhorts her clergy and others to have the first and 
better disposition. There are several intermediate disposi- 
tions of mind between those tw r o ; it is useless to describe 
them. These are the two extremes, and in each, as well 
as in all the intermediate cases, there exists a sufficient 
intention for securing the validity of the sacrament, because 
in all these cases the minister acts for the purpose of doing 
what the Church does, that is, for the purpose of perform- 
ing a Christian rite. All our authors agree that it is 
'not necessary for the minister himself to believe the rite 
holy, or efficacious, or even useful ; but that it is suffi- 
cient if he should do the act for the purpose of adminis- 
tering a rite which Christians consider holy. 

I shall now suppose a man who has even a malicious dis- 
position called upon by a parent to baptize his child. The 
parent believing the rite to be of divine institution and des- 
tined to remove original sin, beseeches this person to admin- 
ister that baptism which Christ instituted. He is answered 
by the person to whom he applies that the whole is an idle 
and useless ceremony, and the person strives to dissuade 
the parent from its performance ; the parent answers that 
he is otherwise convinced, and entreats this person to per- 
form it. Thus urged the infidel complies, uses the water 
and pronounces the words in accordance with the request of 
the ' parent. Is it not manifest that whatever his own 
private malice might be his act was in compliance with the 
parent's request, and that the purpose was to perform the 
Christian rite? I may be told that in his soul he wished 
to prevent the effects of the rite. My answer is, that his 
act was for a purpose which was determined by the circum- 
stances, and he had no control over them ; he might have 


desired to destroy the effect of the Saviour's institutions, 
but the providence of God saved them from the power of 
his malice. The mercy of heaven is not made subject to 
his indiscretion, but is administered according to the institu- 
tions of the Saviour ; of them he is a minister but not a 
despot. He may refuse to act, but if he acts for a par- 
ticular purpose it is impossible that he should not act for 
that purpose; to suppose otherwise would be to suppose 
a contradiction. The matter and the form of the sacra- 
ments might be used for a variety of purposes ; but when 
used for the purpose instituted by Christ, then and only 
then they form a sacrament. This is the language of our 
Church, and I believe it is the language of common sense. 
In this view, though we have not the certainty of faith, 
or that which arises from divine revelation, for the exist- 
ence of a sacrament in each special case, nor the certainty 
of evidence in the scholastic meaning of the word as before 
laid down, we can have what is usually called evidence, 
in the ordinary use of words, for we can have that 
certainty which arises from human testimony and from 

Mr. Waddell will then perceive that it was from the 
want of knowing our doctrine of intention he charged upon 
us that state of uncertainty, in the consequences of which 
he triumphs. 

" Such then being their state of uncertainty and misery 
with respect to their sacraments, how can they possess 
peace of mind for a moment? And how can we look 
upon a Church as infallible, and a sure guide to heaven, 
which involves all her children in such miserable circum- 
stances, that they can never know whether they be Chris- 
tians or whether the clergy be true priests or Christians 
at all? How deplorable and miserable must their condition 
be if this doctrine be true ! And how poor must be their 
chance for salvation ! What an awful amount of sin and 
damage may one of their 'lay priests' be the cause of to 
thousands, who may attend upon him continually ! All his 


consecrations so many nullities, causing the continual practice 
of idolatry by himself, and the unfortunate creatures who 
attend upon him ; all his absolutions so many deceptions, 
leaving the people still in their sins. And how much 
damage may be done even by a true priest through the 
want of due intention in his ministrations, none of them 
can know. Through the fatal and frequent occurrence of 
this woful defect, many of his apparent marriages may be 
mere nullities states of licensed concubinage ;' many of his 
apparent baptisms may be mere nullities, leaving the poor 
children in a state of something below the level of heathen- 
ism, out of whtch they can never rise. And these children, 
by getting into the priesthood in their turn, may be the 
ministers of damnation to thousands and tens of thousands, 
who may have the misfortune to attend upon them. And 
suppose some of these blank priests should get into bishop- 
rics, how much more sin and destruction might be caused 
by them ! No mind can conceive half the amount ; for 
they might send out a number of sacrilegious pretenders, 
to deceive the multitude, who would be lost by hundreds and 
by thousands, by worshiping false Hosts and receiving false 
absolutions, from their pretending priests, who would fall 
and perish with their people, all through the occurrence of 
this fatal defect, in some careless or dishonest bishop, priest, 
doctor, old woman, or some other person, in the long lapse 
of eighteen hundred years. Thus the devastation once com- 
menced by one blank bishop might proceed with the celerity 
of geometrical progression, and in a few generations might 
unpriest a whole nation. Thus the Church in the plenitude 
of her infallibility, has plunged her children in an awful 
abyss of uncertainty and misery, and so their infallibility 
has undermined itself, and ruined its advocates. Live as 
they will, they can never know whether they be Chris- 
tians or not, or whether their practices be lawful, or 
wicked and ruinous. How melancholy and distressing must 
the consideration of these doleful and fearful truths be to 
every thoughtful, feeling heart ! 


"But their priests and people, notwithstanding this awful 
uncertainty and danger, seem to be quite easy in their 
minds and talk as confidently about their absolutions, bap- 
tisms, marriages, oblations, ordinations and consecrations as 
if the above canon had never existed. How shall we 
account for this stupid inconsistency ! Only by the fact 
that they do not sincerely believe this doctrine and atten- 
tively consider its import and ruinous consequences." 1 

Mr. Waddell has here some semblance of correct 
reasoning, for we do not believe in the doctrine which he 
describes as ours. 


I shall now examine how far Mr. Waddell was accu- 
rate or correct in his extracts from the Rubrics of our 
Missal and his comments upon them. 

He says that it was not a malicious intention to spoil 
the sacrament the canon which required intention regarded. 
To sustain this position he asserts that a positive malicious 
intention is not a defect but a property, and as the Rubric 
of the Missal treats only of defects, it could not mean 
malicious intention, for that would not be properly con- 
sidered a defect. Now, his translation of the words of the 
Missal will, I apprehend, be sufficient to correct his mistake: 
the words of the Missal are, " Si quis non intendit conficere, 
sed delusorie aliquid agere " " if a person do not intend to 
make (a sacrament,) but to do something in a delusive way," 
or as he translates it, " If any one intend not to consecrate, 
but to cheat or banter." In all these expressions we have 
the defect of a proper intention, viz.: "If a person do not 
intend to consecrate," i. e., not purpose to do what Christ 
instituted and the Church does ; but we have also the 
positive purpose of cheating or bantering, which on such 
an occasion must be positively malicious. Thus, where a 
man instead of doing an act of religion, intends to cheat 
or banter, he lias a malicious intention. It was on Mr. 
"Waddell's part a mistake to say that he had not. 

iPp. 14-15. 


In the case of wafers forgotten upon the altar, he tells 
us "for as these wafers get mingled with others which 
the priest lays upon the altar for consecration, without 
being noticed by him, he has not his thoughts exercised 
about them when he proceeds to consecrate, so they miss 
of being consecrated through the want of his actual inten- 
tion, which was exerted to consecrate only the wafers he 
had noticed." 

Mr. Waddell again asserts here, as if upon the authority 
of the Missal, that it is because of the want of actual 
intention the consecration failed. This is another mistake ; 
I shall help Mr. Waddell's "faculty called memory," by 
quoting from the very head of the Rubric which he 
garbles : 

" 4. If the intention be not actual at the very conse- 
cration because of some wandering of the mind, but 
virtual when the person going to the altar intends to do 
what the Church does, the sacrament is produced, yet the 
priest should carefully endeavor to bring with him an 
actual intention." 

Mr. Waddell is very unfortunate in conceiving wrong 
notions of our doctrine and making very unwarrantable 
conclusions, because of his mistakes. He speaks of "one 
forgotten particle which is mingled with those placed for 
consecration," and seen amongst them, which of course 
every priest intends to consecrate according to the direc- 
tion of the Missal, which he is so careful as not to 
notice : " Every priest ought always have such intention, 
viz., that of consecrating all those which he has placed 
before him for consecration." The direction follows imme- 
diately after the passage respecting eleven Hosts, where he 
imagined there were only ten. The case which Mr. "VVad- 
dell imagines of a forgotten wafer mingling with the 
others is not in the Missal. 

The case there described is that of particles which are 
not so mingled and which do not at any time become 
mingled with those placed separately for consecration ; but 


which in the preparation of the altar might have oeen 
laid aside upon some part of it, different from that where 
those for consecration are placed; and Avhich it was 
intended to remove, but which through forgetfulness had 
not been taken away. If previous to the consecration 
.they did get mingled with the others which the priest 
laid for consecration, they would be consecrated, for they 
would be seen with others, and his purpose was to con- 
secrate all which he saw in that place, but if they were 
forgotten on a remote part of the altar, they would not 
be consecrated, upon the same principle that those lying 
hidden would fail of being consecrated. 

They A\ 7 ho are in the habit of officiating at the altar 
could inform Mr. Waddell that there are a variety of 
cases in which a Host might be hidden. I shall give one 
instance which shall be sufficient. The particles to be 
consecrated are laid upon a small cloth called a corporal, 
because the corpus or body rests upon it ; in preparing 
the altar and placing this cloth some particles might lie 
hidden under it and not be noticed by the clergyman, 
having fallen there without being observed, and as not 
being known could not be forgotten. The plain purpose 
of the priest is to consecrate all that he placed upon the 
corporal ; to this his ministry is directed, he has no 
farther object. He has performed this duty, he has given 
communion, he has removed the remaining particles from 
off the corporal, if any be there : he now proceeds to 
fold the corporal itself and finds that some unconsecrated 
particles lay under it, others lay at a distance from it, 
forgotten and overlooked ; he never proposed to consecrate 
any of them, he knew nothing of them. The Missal says 
they are not consecrated: it is only the language of com- 
mon sense; for when a religious act is to be performed 
it must like all other acts be done in a reasonable manner. 
When anything is to be consecrated it must be designated, 
and the effect of the consecrating process does not go beyond 
the boundary of the designation. Suppose a clergyman is 


asked to baptize two children ; they are presented him, pointed 
out, designated and named; he proceeds to the baptism, 
and without any intimation to him, altogether without his 
knowledge, a third child is placed so as that the water 
shall flow upon it from the body of one of those whom 
he intends to baptize; the water flows whilst he uses the 
words, without any reference to this child, of whose 
presence he is perfectly unconscious. I hope Mr. Wad- 
dell would not say religion requires it is reasonable to 
assert that this third child was validly baptized. Suppose 
this child, so surreptitiously introduced, dies immediately ; 
it is now too late to administer a sacrament. Had the 
clergyman known of the existence of the concealed child, 
he would have baptized it; it was the child of a dear 
friend ; one of those baptized was the child of an enemy, 
to whom he bears a deadly malice, whose child he would 
keep from heaven if he could. Now, we would say 
that his affection cannot supply to the dead child what 
it has not received, nor can his malice prevent in the 
living child the effects of that ministry of divine insti- 
tution in which he has officiated. 

I trust Mr. Waddell will perceive that this is only the 
language of common sense which the Missal uses, when it 
states that a clergyman does not consecrate particles which 
he either removed from those selected for use but forgot 
to remove from the altar, nor particles of whose existence 
he knew nothing, because of their being hidden under the 
cloth, or the book, or in any other way. 

But let us see Mr. "Waddell's object. It is to infer 
that because these are not consecrated, therefore we cannot 
be ' certain that the particles upon the corporal are conse- 
crated, because as the clergyman did not intend to consecrate 
the forgotten and hidden, it is also possible that he did not 
intend to consecrate those which he saw, and to which he 
referred his acts. We have, as in the case of the children, 
the certainty arising from all the circumstances, of the inten- 
tion to act, and of the actual agency in the one case, whilst 


we have upon the same grounds the certainty that he had 
no purpose of acting and no rational agency in the other. 
And yet Mr. Waddell would expect, with this evidence of 
a difference between the two cases, that we should not 
draw any distinction between them ! 

I now come to the last case which Mr. Waddell takes 
from our Missal : " If he have before him eleven wafers, 
and intended to consecrate but ten only, not determining 
what ten he meant, consecration fails, because intention is 
required." He states : " If he should by misreckoning or 
any other way think he had but ten wafers on the altar 
when there were eleven," etc. Now, it is impossible that 
Mr. Waddell could have read the Missal Avhen he makes 
the assertion, that this regards a case of mistake by mis- 
reckoning, because the next paragraph, 2, which he does not 
quote, takes up the very case of such a mistake, and 
informs us that the consecration is valid. The case is thus 
described : " If the priest, thinking that he held only one 
Host, should, after consecration, find that there were t\vo 
joined together, let him receive both together," etc. 

Here we see that the mistake regarding the number 
would not invalidate the consecration. What, then, is the 
former case ? It is what Mr. Waddell says it is not. He 
says : " They would all fail of being consecrated through 
the want of his actual intention, which was exerted upon 
none of them ; not because he had a wanton wicked design 
to spoil the work, but because he did not think particu- 
larly of the wafers he virtually meant to consecrate." Such, 
as we have repeatedly seen, is not the fact. The case 
would be exactly parallel to this : Eleven children are 
placed for baptism; a person pours water on all the eleven, 
saying, "I baptize ten of you," etc. The act is not that 
of a rational being, it is not a consistent, it is a foolish, 
or a wanton, or a wicked one. Could Mr. Waddell point 
out any of the children that was baptized? From the cir- 
cumstances, it is plain that the man's purpose was not to 
baptize but to banter. There is no consecration in the 
other case, as there is no baptism in this case. 


I have to remark, that in the appendix No. 2, which 
Mr. Waddell gives as an extract from the Roman Missal, 
he has indeed given, not a continuous extract, but a num- 
ber of pieces selected from different parts of the Rubrics, 
in such a manner as to favor the view which he takes of 
our doctrine, but which would no longer support his position 
if he were fairly and fully to give the whole context. How- 
ever, as he proceeds by "a certain faculty called memory," 
he has been rather fortunate in recollecting even so much. 
Another ground upon which he assails our doctrine of 
intention, is thus described by him in pp. 13 and 14 : 

"If a husband or wife at Rome should declare solemnly 
that he or she had not the intention to be married when 
the nuptials were solemnized, the apparent marriage is then- 
pronounced a mere nullity; the parties are separated. We 
have this account from Bishop Burnet, who, in Rome, 
obtained full and satisfactory information on the subject,. 
and perhaps was an eye-witness to the practice. He says r 
also, that such divorces are very frequent there. Nor is 
the fact incredible, but highly reasonable and feasible ; for 
the practice is justifiable and even necessary, and ought to- 
prevail in all places, amongst papists, if their doctrine of 
intention be true. For, if the validity of the sacrament 
depends upon the intention of the receiver, as well as of 
the intention of the minister, there can be no sacrament,, 
and therefore no real marriage, unless the priest, man and 
woman all exert their intention to accomplish the work. 
According to this doctrine, we may reasonably suppose that 
vast numbers of their people are living in concubinage,, 
who are apparently married. I think, then, it would be a 
fait question to ask, why does not this good practice pre- 
vail amongst them in all places? And why - are the people 
not exhorted to consider and inquire whether they have 
had, on their part, the necessary ingredient in their mar- 
riage ; that if upon fair inquiry, it could be found they had 
it not at the critical time, they might be separated and 
delivered out of a wicked state of life, that would lead to- 



everlasting ruin. Many would then no doubt join their 

Church, with a view to accomplish fraudulent purposes, 
under the sanction of their new law, which ought thus, by 
the rule of consistency, to open a wide door to perfidy, 
knavery, and other evils. Query : Is this practice, which 
they observe at Rome, and which, according to their doc- 
trine, ought to prevail in all places, one of those laws 
which has descended in their Church by oral tradition ? " 

Now, there is a little difference between Bishop Bur- 
net's statement, such as it is, and Mr. Waddell's assertion : 
He states that "solemn swearing" is required. Mr. Waddell 
makes him say that " solemn declaration " is sufficient. 
However, even both are under a mistake. Again Mr. Wad- 
dell leads us to believe that Bishop Burnet "was perhaps 
an eye-witness of the practice." The bishop says nothing 
to warrant this supposition. As the bishop is just as much 
in error as Mr. Waddell is, I might as well give his text 
and Mr. Waddell's at once to my readers. Writing of mar- 
riage, he has the two following paragraphs, Art. xxv: 

"The matter assigned by the Roman doctors is the 
inward consent, by which both parties do mutually give them- 
selves to one another; the form they make to be the words or 
signs, by which this is expressed. Now it seems a strange 
thing to make the secret thoughts of men the matter and 
their w r ords the form of a sacrament; all mutual compacts 
being as much sacraments as this, there being no visible 
material things applied to the parties who receive them ; 
which is necessary to the being of a sacrament. It is also 
a very absurd opinion, which may have very fatal conse- 
quences and raise very afflicting scruples, if any should 
imagine that the imyard consent is the matter of this sacra- 
ment ; here is a foundation laid down for voiding every 
marriage. The parties may and often do marry against 
their wills ; and though they profess an outward consent, 
they do inwardly repine against what they are doing. If 
after this they grow to like their marriage, scruples must 
arise, since they know they have not the sacrament; because 


it is a doctrine in that Church, that as intention is neces- 
sary in every sacrament, so here that goes further, the 
intention being the only matter of this sacrament ; so that 
without it there is no marriage, and yet since they cannot be 
married again to complete or rather to make the marriage, 
such persons do live only in a state of concubinage. 

" On the other hand, here is a foundation laid down 
for breaking marriages as often as the parties, or either 
of them, will solemnly swear that they gave no inward 
consent, which is often practiced at Rome. All contracts 
are sacred things ; but of them all, marriage is the most 
sacred, since so much depends upon it. Men's words, con- 
firmed by oaths and other solemn acts, must either be 
binding according to the plain and acknowledged sense of 
them, or all the security and confidence of mankind is 
destroyed. No man can be safe if this principle is once 
admitted ; that a man is not bound by his promise and 
oaths, unless his inward consent went along with them ; 
and if such a fraudulent thing may be applied to mar- 
riages, in which so many persons are concerned, and upon 
which the order of the world does so much depend, it 
may be very justly applied to all other contracts whatso- 
ever, so that they may be voided at pleasure. A man's 
words and oaths bind him by the eternal laws of fidelity 
and truth : and it is a just prejudice against any religion 
whatsoever, if it should teach a doctrine in which, by the 
secret reserves of not giving an inward consent, the faith 
which is solemnly given may be broken. Here such a 
door is opened to perfidy and treachery, that the world 
can be no longer safe while it is allowed ; hereby lewd 
arid vicious persons may entangle others, and in the mean- 
while order their own thoughts so, that they shall be all 
the while free." 

I assure Mr. Waddell that I am quite at a loss whether 
most to admire Bishop Burnet or him in comparing their 
productions. Allow me, however, as Mr. Waddell is now 
my principal object, to get rid of the bishop as quickly 


as possible, for though he had been in Rome, he has 
made some sad mistakes. 1. He gave us a mere school 
opinion for a Catholic doctrine. 2. He distorts the opinion 
from its natural shape, giving us only its caricature. 

3. He thus argues against a phantom of his own creation. 

4. He confounds what the Church distinguishes, viz., the 
matter and the intention. 5. He mistakes the nature of 
intention itself. 6. He asserts a gross theological absurdity 
in stating that " if there be no marriage they cannot be 
married again." 7. From this false position he draws a 
false conclusion. 8. He states what is not the fact, where 
he asserts that a foundation is laid down for breaking the 
marriage where the parties or either of them solemnly 
swear that they gave no inward consent; if by laying a 
foundation he means that this is considered sufficient evi- 
dence of the fact, as his words and context seem to imply. 
9. All his conclusions, of course, drawn from this assump- 
tion are unwarranted imputations against the Roman Cath- 
olic Church. 

Mr. Waddell, then, has built upon the authority of 
Bishop Burnet the assertions : 1 . " That if a husband or 
wife at Rome declare solemnly that he or she had not 
the intention of being married when the nuptials were 
solemnized, the apparenc marriage is then pronounced a 
nullity; the parties are separated." Yet Bishop Burnet 
makes no such assertion, and if he did, he would have 
asserted an untruth. The principle of the Church is : 

1. That when there is no circumstance at the time to create 
a reasonable doubt of the consent being freely given, no 
examination shall be subsequently permitted, and under any 
circumstances, the oath of either party is the most suspi- 
cious testimony that could be adduced : because there is 
the prior and the more solemn evidence of the party itself 
given to the contrary assertion at the time of the marriage. 

2. Mr. Waddell asserts that the bishop obtained in Rome 
full and satisfactory information on the subject, and was 
perhaps an eye-witness to the practice. The bishop does 



not appear to say any such thing, but merely states in a 
note that he took the doctrine concerning the sacraments 
from the work of a well informed divine with whom ho 
conversed in Rome. 3. Mr. Waddell states that the bishop 
asserts such divorces to be very frequent in Rome. The 
bishop, I think, makes no such assertion ; he merely says, 
"the swearing is often practiced at Rome," and for which 
w r e have only Burnet's mere assertion. All that Mr, Wad- 
dell adds about the doctrine of intention respecting marriage, 
is totally at variance with the statement of the doctrine 
as laid down by Burnet, who makes the parties and not 
the priest the ministers of the sacrament, by rendering 
their words the form, whilst Mr. Waddell requires the 
intention of the priest and thus makes him the minister. 
His object is to show that we cannot know when marriages 
are good. The answer is, that which our practice exhibits : 
that is, we have the evidence of circumstances to show the 
intention of contracting; this produces certainty, and unless 
there be at the time of the contract some very suspicious 
circumstances, no declarations nor oaths of either or both 
parties will be considered equivalent to the evidence of the 
solemn contract of their marriage. Thus the statements put 
forward are palpable misrepresentations and the conclusions 
drawn from them must partake of their nature. 


Having shown Mr. Waddell's misconceptions of the 
authors and documents which he adduced to sustain his 
notion of our doctrine of intention, I shall take the liberty 
of inserting a few other passages of his letters for the 
purpose of more clearly and fully exhibiting his mistakes. 

In my remarks on the Protestant catechism, I stated 
the consequences of the doctrine which is imputed to us, 
in the following words which Mr. Waddell gives in his 
letter, p. 38 : " Roman Catholics cannot be certain that the 
Eucharist is duly consecrated, neither can they be certain 
of receiving any sacrament, and must at least be in a 


state of doubt and anxiety about all their sacraments, as 
the effect depends upon the secret and concealed intention 
of the priest." Upon which Mr. Waddell remarks : " This 
proposition does not differ from the statement and conclu- 
sion of the catechist, except in the adjectives secret and 
concealed, which are not in the catechism, though they 
must be implied if the observation of Bellarmine holds 
good, 'that none can see another man's intention.' The 
conclusion, also, that ' Koman Catholics must at best be in 
a state of doubt and anxiety about all their sacraments,' 
I believe is not in the catechism, though it is also implied: 
did they sincerely believe their doctrine, which if we can 
credit their most eminent writers, is not the case." 

I have already shown that he mistook Bellarmine's 
meaning, and that Roman Catholics had every reasonable 
certainty, in the testimony or circumstances which removed 
the doubt here assumed to exist. In reference to the 
doctrine imputed to us and its consequences as described 
in the above paragraph I had written : " This is a very 
serious misrepresentation of our doctrine of intention. I 
could scarely believe it was an innocent mistake, but that 
I have lately discovered, that the whole mode in which 
the general body of Protestant writers learn what Roman 
Catholics teach is not by reading the works of Roman 
Catholic authors. Hence, I do admit, that even you, 
Right Rev. Sir, might possibly, notwithstanding the sta- 
tion you occupy, be yourself under a very serious mistake 
upon this head, and that you perhaps do not know our 
theological meaning of the word intention ; at all events, 
your little tract is egregiously incorrect upon this head." 

Mr. Waddell took the liberty of introducing the word 
"whole," which I disclaim; and alluding to this paragraph 
of mine, he had the kindness to write : " Against this 
proposition, however, is raised the following piteous out- 
cry, which is indeed something like the bold beginning 
of a good reply, but as it wants the trifling particular 
called proof, is only like a piece of half begun work, 


which serves no other purpose than to show it can never 
be finished in such a way that the end will accord with 
a bold beginning." 

Full of his anticipated victory, and under the impression 
that he was not only right but unanswerable, he thus 
commenced his fourth letter : " In my second letter I 
requested to inform B. C. that he was required to resume 
his work upon the doctrine of intention, or rather upon 
the statement of that doctrine, in the Protestant catechism, 
and the consequences deduced from it by the catechism, for 
which he holds Bishop Bowen accountable. As he has 
given us nothing in support of his charge of misrepresenta- 
tion, I have thought it necessary to enter upon an inquiry 
into the theological meaning of the word intention, that I 
may repel the heavy charge which now stands against my 
letters on that head, as well as against Bishop Bowen, the 
catechist, and the general body of Protestant \vriters ; and 
that I may ascertain in some measure the degree of danger 
in which the Catholic Church says by this doctrine her 
children are exposed in the worship of the Host and 
through a failure in her other sacraments by the want of 
this necessary intention." 

Alluding to my declaration that our doctrine was mis- 
represented, he wrote : 

" What a bold beginning is here ! When I first saw 
it, I expected something very clever would follow, and I 
prepared my mind to examine and study it very attentively. 
How great was my surprise when I saw the whole affair 
end in a pitiful, broad assertion, just where it began? 
Must it not be disgusting and mortifying even to his own 
bigoted admirers, with whom every unsupported dogmatism 
and every beggarly sophism passes for a demonstration ? 
One who was not thoroughly acquainted with their credulity 
and stupidity would be disposed to think they could not 
but see the difficulty in which their favorite champion was 
involved, and his knavery to deceive them, that he might 
seem to deliver himself and his wretched cause from con- 


fusion. Must they not know it was incumbent upon him 
to state his doctrine fairly and to institute a comparison, 
that the very serious misrepresentation might appear to the 
confusion of the catechist and Bishop Bowen ; and also to 
explain his theological meaning of the word intention, that 
his doctrine might be delivered from the consequences 
deduced from it by the catechist and many other Protestant 
writers, as well as by some of his own doctors of the first 
rate ? But why need I ask such questions, for the poor 
deluded people are too simple and credulous to see any- 
thing that makes against the doctrines of Rome? But did 
he think Bishop Bowen and other Protestant readers were 
fools and blind and capable of being satisfied by the ipse 
dixit of. such a writer ? This indeed would have been a 
poor subterfuge for any man to fly to who even belonged 
to any honorable tribe of writers. 

" How can this be accounted for ? Only by the deplor- 
able distress and confusion of the writer. "What could he 
do in such a desperate case? If his doctrine can be neither 
explained away nor maintained, it must be denied if 

I am very far from imagining myself to be as favorite 
a champion of one side as probably Mr. Waddell esteems 
himself of the other. I have not rejoiced at the resuscita- 
tion of controversy, I did not feel confident that I could 
overthrow my opponents, nor did I find upon trial that, 
although I believed myself upon the side of truth, it was 
a quick and easy piece of work to pose the heroes of the 
opposite party. I was reluctantly dragged forth; I was 
taunted by Mr. Waddell with cowardice and inability; I 
was threatened with a gag; I was sneered at and held 
up to ridicule. 

" When I first heard of these proceedings, I rejoiced 
very much that the long dormant controversy was about to 
be renewed ; for I felt confident that the papal system 
would quickly be overthrown by being brought to a public 
investigation. The weapons of warfare used by the Roman- 


ists are nothing but frivolous sophistry, subtle distinctions, 
barefaced denials and forgeries, and inconclusive, plausible 
arguments. By these they may indeed do incalculable 
mischief amongst the silly and thoughtless; but if they can 
bring nothing more powerful against us in controversy, 
then let no man's heart fail because of them. I was, 
indeed, in my early days, brought into doubts and diffi- 
culties by them, but I soon learned to see through their 
sophistry, and by degrees detected the various knavish tricks 
resorted to by the Popish sous of imposture, to deceive 
the ignorant and to save the cause from destruction. I 
afterwards made the Popish controversy my study, and 
found upon trial it was a quick and easy piece of work 
to silence Roman gainsayers. I therefore determined, upon 
geeing the Catholic Miscellany, which contained nothing but 
the old silly arguments and wretched dogmatisms, to pose 
the heroes of it in short metre. As the distance was great, 
I made choice of an argument which I knew would gag 
them immediately. They trifled at first, and afterwards 
declined my invitation ; the reasons they give for declining 
the combat show clearly that the work is impracticable, and 
their cause untenable." 

Yet, when Mr. AVaddell forced me to come out, have 
I not shown from his own selected authorities that he 
misrepresented our doctrine? In p. 51 he asserted: 

" But of all the doctrines calculated to favor them most 
and raise them to their highest wish, the doctrine of 
intention appeared foremost. This doctrine showed the great 
power with which the priest was invested over the sacra- 
ments and over the souls of the people. Except he pos- 
sess'ed the actual intention in his consecration, there should 
be no sacrament; it would be null; then, though apparently 
married, baptized, etc., yet would they nevertheless be 
unmarried, unbaptized, etc., so would they be in a state 
of heathenism and concubinage; their penances, confessions, 
and absolutions, would be of no avail! the worship of the 
Host would be wicked idolatry: and so they would be all 
damned together. 


"To prevent all this, and seeing their salvation depending 
almost entirely upon the intention of the priest, they must 
feel it necessary ever to be attentive to him, and to 
endeavor to please him upon all occasions, that he might 
be always careful to have and to exert this good intention." 

I have shown that we do not require this actual inten- 
tion ; Mr. Waddell draws his train of consequences from 
the false assumption that we do. All these assumed or 
fancied conclusions are then baseless visions. I have stated 
our doctrine fairly, I have instituted a comparison between 
what we hold and what he imputed, and I have brought 
the testimony regarding our doctrine from the very authors 
which he pointed out, from Bellarmine and the Missal. 
Yet I am far from thinking that though I have delivered 
myself from what he is pleased to call the difficulty and 
the knavery and the confusion of my wretched cause, that 
he is either satisfied, or " posed," or silenced ; and when 
I undertook to write these letters, I had no hopes of 
attaining this object. 

However, before we separate, and probably forever, I 
shall take the liberty of instituting a few more comparisons; 
the result may be useful to others, if not to Mr. "Waddell. 

In his p. 8 he informs us, " I have never yet met 
wJth a Romanist amongst the laity who knew their own 
doctrine of intention." Really this appears a little strange 
since in p. 12, he informs us: 

" This canon is found in the Council of Florence and 
that of Trent, and teaches the doctrine thus : ' If any man 
shall say that when the ministers make and confer the 
sacraments the intention of doing what the Church does, 
is not required, let him be anathema.' Reily's catechism 
teaches the doctrine in much the same phraseology. That 
the intention insisted on by the above canon is in order 
to the efficacy of the sacrament, is manifest, by the sense 
which is attached to it in other books of equal authority. 
' The Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine,' a book pub- 
licly authorized and of general use in Ireland, as a book 


of instruction for the common people, teaches it in the 
following plain, unequivocal language : 

" ' Q. Is the ' intention of the minister to do what Christ 
ordained a condition without which the sacrament sub- 
sistcth not ? 

"'A. It is, as also the intention of the receiver to receive 
what Christ ordained, if he be at years of understanding. 

"'Q. Why do you say if he be at years of understanding? 

" 'A. Because for infants in the sacrament of baptism, the 
intention of the Church sufficeth." 3 

Reily's catechism was then generally used by all the 
Catholic children in Ireland, and if the doctrine was taught 
therein it must have been taught to all the children who 
learned their catechism. Strange that the laity did not 
know the doctrine which they were taught ! 

" The Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine," publicly 
authorized and in general use for the instruction of the 
common people, teaches the doctrine in plain and unequiv- 
ocal language, and yet Mr. Waddell never met with a 
Romanist who knew what he had thus been taught ! 

But it seems that although they had been thoroughly 
instructed in those doctrines of their Church, yet they did 
not know them ; for in p. 45 Mr. Waddell informs us : 

" The general body of their priests are poor theological 
cowards, liars and deceivers, who know their cause would 
soon go to destruction if it were fairly exposed to the 
light. By thus raising the outcry of misrepresentation 
against Protestant writers and aspersing their characters, 
they succeed admirably in filling the minds of their bigoted 
adherents with prejudice and hatred against them and 
against the truth which they teach; so that Satan himself 
is supposed to be a far more harmless creature than a 
Protestant writer : if he has got one cloven foot, be sure 
a Protestant writer has got two. This piece of Popish 
policy succeeds so well in deceiving the sons of papal 
delusion, that I have never yet conversed with one layman 
of their communion, whom I could not teach the doctrines 


of his Church, and who would not raise the outcry of 
misrepresentation against me like B. C. when I would 
state the naked truth. Thus they conceal many of the 
absurdities, and abominations of Popery, and daub the faces 
of Protestants and their doctrines so notably, that the minds 
of their deluded adherents arc quite inaccessible to the 
light of the Gospel, and even to their own doctrines, which 
they conceit they know thoroughly, although they are gen- 
erally ignorant of the worst parts of their system." 

To me it appears very strange that those Catholics 
should have in their hands the very books from which 
Mr. "Waddell makes his quotations, should have in their 
childhood been instructed in their doctrine from tnose very 
books, and yet not understand them. Some of them, as 
for instance, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Shiel, Mr. Wyse, Mr. 
Coppinger (for Mr. Waddell seems to confine himself to 
Ireland), might be supposed to have as much understanding 
as Mr. "Waddell, and have, we should suppose, at least as 
much information as the common people who learn the 
abridgment. Really, it is difficult to suppose that there 
are not laymen amongst the Romanists who do know their 
own doctrine of intention, though they might not have the 
honor of Mr. WaddelPs acquaintance. Now, there is only 
one circumstance which I shall state hereafter which pre- 
vents me from asserting that Mr. Waddell contradicted 
himself when he asserted they did not know their own 
doctrine, and yet that it was contained in the books from 
which they were taught. 

Mr. Waddell has charged our laity with stupidity, ignor- 
ance and carelessness. It would indeed almost take a 
reprint of his whole production to exhibit the manner in 
which he libels our clergy. The following extract respecting 
the venerable Doctor Challoner, Bishop of Debra, and one 
of the most eminent, learned and pious of the English 
Vicars- Apostolic, may be taken merely as a specimen. It 
is found in pp. 15 and 16 of his production : 

" But this magic jcharm, whatever power it may possess 
in laying their difficulties and doubts asleep, has never yet 


been sufficient to enable their writers to maintain their 
cause by giving a fair and solid answer to those who have 4 
not tasted of the powerful opiate. To illustrate the above 
remark, that their priests and people overlook the import 
of this doctrine and are blind to the danger implied by 
it, I shall produce the opinion of their great Dr. Challoner 
on this subject, 'who sings one note with his brethren. 

" ' Q. Is there no danger of idolatry in this practice 
(the divine worship of the Host)? 

"'A. No, certainly; because this honor is not paid to 
the outward veil or the sacramental signs, but to Jesus 
Christ who lies hidden there. Now Jesus Christ is no 
idol, but the true and living God.' 

" ' Q. But if the doctrine of the real presence and 
transubstantiation should not be true, should we not then 
at least be guilty of idolatry? 

"'A. We are as positively certain, by divine faith, of 
the truth of the doctrine of the real presence and of tran- 
substantiation, as Protestants can be of the divinity of Jesus 
Christ ; and therefore we are as much out of the reach 
of the danger of idolatry, in worshiping Christ in the 
sacrament, as they are of worshiping Him in heaven.' 1 

" Throughout the above questions the writer pretends to 
justify the worship of the Host only by the doctrine of 
transubstantiation; and argues that as that doctrine is true, 
he is as far out of the reach of the danger of idolatry 
in the divine worship of the Host, as Protestants, can be 
in worshiping Christ in heaven. Now, if he does not 
overlook the above canon, he tells a willful falsehood: and 
if he docs not contradict his Missal, there is no contradic- 
tion . between the Council of Trent and the articles of the 
Church of England; for the greatest of books asserts 
positively that 'Mass may be defective.' 

" Thus Dr. Challoner and the general body of their 
authors write, speak and act as if this canon had never 
existed. It is only therefore by this fact that they do 
not sincerely believe this doctrine of intention that I can 

1 " Catholic Christian Instructed," p. 77. 


account for their inconsistency, and the honesty and sincerity 
of their conduct in the, worship of their Host, and in 
speaking with such certainty of their consecrations, absolu- 
tions, etc., and for their stupidity in being blind to the 
danger to which they are exposed from all quarters if the 
above be not true. Nothing but a fond conceit in their 
infallibility can make them capable of thus receiving the 
doctrines implicitly without attending to their obvious, plain 
import. As, therefore, they do not sincerely believe this 
doctrine, Are charitably hope their practice may be sincere 
in the divine worship of the Host, if they believe in the 
doctrine of trans ubstantiation ; and that as their mistake 
extenuates their guilt, the Lord will forgive them, 'as they 
know not what they do.' " 

It is in perfect keeping with this that Mr. Waddell 
had previously asserted : " But their priests and people, 
notwithstanding this awful uncertainty and danger, seem to 
be quite easy in their minds, and talk as confidently about 
their absolutions, baptisms, marriages, ordinations and con- 
secrations, as if the above canon had never existed. How 
shall we account for this stupid inconsistency? Only by 
the fact that they do not sincerely believe this doctrine 
and attentively consider its import and ruinous consequences." 
, Hence he asserts in p. 39, that we do not sincerely 
believe the doctrine : " The conclusion also, that Roman 
Catholics must be at least in a state of doubt and anxiety 
about all their sacraments : " I believe is not in the cate- 
chism, though it is also implied : " Did they sincerely 
believe their doctrine which, if we can credit their most 
eminent writers, is not the case." I could continue extracts 
of this description as I pleased; but I am disgusted and 
tired, and hasten to an obvious conclusion, which is this : 
Mr. Waddell declares that he never yet met a layman of 
our Church who understood his own doctrine of intention ; 
and that our most eminent divines do not sincerely believe 
our doctrine. It is clear that a man must believe his 
own doctrine and that another might mistake it. Mr. 


Waddell and other Protestants impute to us a doctrine 
which is not ours, by giving to 1jie doctrine of intention a 
meaning which our most eminent divines do not admit, which 
our laity do not know, which our Missal contradicts ; and 
from this imputed doctrine they draw consequences which 
do not follow from what we believe ; and when they im- 
pute the consequences to us and to our doctrine, we com- 
plain that- they do us injustice and misrepresent our tenets. 
I leave to any rational being to decide whether this is not 
a more natural conclusion, than to assert that our laity do 
not know a doctrine which they are taught and that our 
clergy do not believe the truth of what they profess and 
teach. Nor is this a singular instance of the pertinacity 
with which men like Mr. Waddell will endeavor to fasten 
upon us follies which we disclaim. All the religious papers 
of the different Protestant Churches continually bear false 
witness thus against us. And when we complain of the 
calumny, like Mr. Waddell, they call us knaves, poor 
theological cowards, liars, deceivers, and every other vile 
epithet which the decorum of society would not permit in 
any other case ; but here, unfortunately, the public taste is 
vitiated, and public justice has yet to awake in these 
United States, to protect the feelings of a large body of 
citizens who have been the unpitied butt of every draw- 
cansir, whose ambition for polemic fame urged him to pick 
up and use the poisoned arrows which defeated men of 
prowess had cast away, when they left the field with blushes 
other than those of honor and of fame. 



" OUR Lord enjoined no austerities. He not only en- 
joined none as absolute duties, but He recommended none 
as carrying men to a higher degree of divine favor. Place 
Christianity, in this respect, by the side of all institutions 
which have been founded in fanaticism, either of their author 
or of his first followers; or rather compare, in this respect, 
Christianity as it came from Christ, with the same religion 
after it fell into other hands ; with the extravagant merit 
very soon ascribed to celibacy, solitude, voluntary poverty; 
with the rigors of an ascetic, and the vows of a monastic 
life ; the hair shirt, the watchings, the midnight prayers, 
the obmutescence ; the gloom and mortification of religious 
orders, and of those who aspired to religious perfection." 2 

I must premise that frequently a short objection requires 
a long answer, and Dr. Paley's charge upon the Church, 
in this paragraph, though comprised in a few words, 
contains a great deal of matter; it will necessitate many 
paragraphs in return. I do not recollect to have seen any 
work by a Catholic divine in answer to the doctor's 
charges. I have not for the doctor all the respect which 
some persons appear to feel. But the question for exami- 
nation is not, whether Paley did or did not know the 
practices of our communion nor whether the Church of 
England or the Protestant Episcopal Church of America is 
more rational, more pious, more sober than ours: the only 
question to be examined, I believe, is, whether the doctor's 
assertions are true in fact. To that I shall confine myself. 

i This essay was written in reply to a letter from a Protestant correspondent 
requesting an answer to the reasoning of Dr. Paley, in his " E%-idences of Chris- 
tianity," respecting austerities. 

2 Paley's "Evidences of Christianity," part II, c. ii, division 3, paragraph ii. 



I take Dr. Paley's first assertion, " Our Lord enjoined 
no austerities," to be so extremely vague that I must lay 
it aside for the present, until I shall come to its precise 
meaning, after having examined other portions of his sen- 
tence. I then proceed to the second assertion : " He not 
only enjoined none as absolute duties, but He recommended 
none as carrying men to a higher degree of divine favor." 
These two assertions are all that he has regarding our 
divine Lord. ]S"ow, ijiy object is to inquire what the doc- 
tor means by " austerities." I believe I am correct when 
I say that he ranks " celibacy," " solitude," " voluntary 
poverty," etc., under the head of " austerities." Let me 
then ask, did our blessed Lord not recommend celibacy 
to some persons ? I take the doctor's own version of the 
Bible that is, King James' version, as it is usually styled 
and I may say that it puts me upon very inferior ground,, 
on account of the imperfection of its translation, especially 
in those very passages which I now want. Still I will 
not shrink from using those very passages, incorrect as I 
believe the translation to be. 

In chap, xix of St. Matthew's Gospel, the Pharisees 
consult our blessed Lord upon the subject of marriage. 
After His answer we read: "His disciples say unto Him, 
if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good 
to marry. But He said unto them, all men cannot receive 
this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there 
are some eunuchs which were so born from their mother's 
womb ; and there arc some eunuchs which were made 
eunuchs of men ; and there be eunuchs which have made 
themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He 
that -is able to receive it, let him receive it." 

Now, I believe the meaning of the passage to be this : 
Our blessed Lord had brought back marriage to its origi- 
nal state, the indissoluble union of one man with one 
woman. Upon which some of His hearers said this was- 
so difficult a situation from its bond, that it would not be 
good to marry; of course whoever remained unmarried was. 


to continue in a state of celibacy. Our Lord proceeds 
further, and shows that some persons are obliged to remain 
in this state for natural causes, some from their defective 
birth, others from subsequent injury. Thus, He shows that 
it is not an unusual nor, perhaps, an unhappy state. But 
He had already informed them that all could not or, as 
our translation has, would not enter upon this state in 
preference to a married state, which was not only lawful 
but sanctified. There would be exceptions, and the excep- 
tions would consist, amongst others, of those who would 
remain in as perfect a state of celibacy as they who had 
been previously alluded to ; but would, themselves, volun- 
tarily choose this state for a special reason, viz., the king- 
dom of heaven's sake; and He recommends it in these 
words, according to that version, in stronger according to 
ours : " He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." 
Thus, it is clear that our Lord did state, without con- 
demnation, the fact that persons did, for the " kingdom of 
heaven's sake," that is, for a high degree of divine favor, 
place themselves in a state in which others were not placed. 
There was a distinction drawn by our Lord between two 
classes : "All cannot receive this saying ; " that is, all can- 
not do this which He speaks of. He does not say, "no 
one can do it," but He says, "all cannot do it." Then 
some can do it'; yes, for He shows the exception "save 
to whom it is given." Then some can do what all can- 
not do. What is it they can do which all cannot? V. 10 
informs us : " It is not good to marry." Yes, says the 
Lord, all cannot avoid marriage, but some to whom it is 
given can avoid it ; the distinction is then clear. But why 
will they refrain ? V. 1 2 informs us : " There be eunuchs 
which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of 
heaven's sake." Thus, these persons do not abstain from 
such causes as the other two enumerated before, but vol- 
untarily " they made themselves so ; " not by unjustifiable 
injury to themselves, but by voluntary abstinence, for 
obtaining a higher degree of divine favor. If they were 


not to obtain a higher favor for a higher sacrifice, the act 
would be irrational. Our Lord distinctly approves and 
recommends it by His permission, I would almost call it 
a command, to those some to whom it is given. V. 12: 
" He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Let 
those who feel that it is given to them to abstain from mar- 
riage, live in celibacy; all cannot, some can. Let those 
who can do so remain in that state, for the kingdom of 
heaven's sake. 

With respect to translation, I feel the objection much 
stronger in the next passages which I shall produce, but I 
shall waive that. The public will not, I trust, think that 
I go too far in saying, that I have reason to believe our 
Lord did recommend to some persons, though not to all, the 
state of celibacy nor will it think me unreasonable, I pre- 
sume, in my belief, that when to those He held out a special 
prospect, the kingdom of heaven's sake, it was to carry 
them to a higher degree of the divine favor, without 
undervaluing the state of marriage. 

I purposely abstain at present from adducing many 
arguments from various other topics which would, I have 
no doubt, materially aid in establishing the fact that our 
Lord did recommend celibacy to some persons upon the 
very ground that the doctor writes He did not, as I wish 
to be as concise as possible. But I shall adduce one 
from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. 

The doctor informs us in his " Horse Paulines," chap, iii, 
No. 1 : "It appears that this letter to the Corinthians 
was written by St. Paul in answer to one which he had 
received from them; and the seventh and some of the 
following chapters are taken up in resolving certain doubts 
and regulating certain points of order concerning which the 
Corinthians in their letter had consulted him." I differ 
with the doctor in the exposition which I next quote, 
but shall suppose him to be perfectly correct. Enumerating 
the doubts, etc., he writes : " The rule of duty and prudence 
relative to entering into marriage, as applicable to virgins 


and widows." I merely beg leave to observe what, if the 
doctor could answer, I believe he would admit, that the 
context makes it plain, virgins of both sexes are meant. 

Now, it will be admitted that St. Paul knew the spirit 
of our Lord's precepts a'nd advice. Let us then hear 
what he answers : " Now concerning virgins I have no com- 
mandments of the Lord; yet I give my judgment as one 
that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." 1 

Upon this I shall merely remark that it is plain the 
Apostle testifies that there was no command to marry. 
Hence that entering the marriage state or leading a life 
of celibacy are equally within the free choice of every 
Christian. This, I believe, is the meaning of the Apostle: 
" But, and if thou marry thou hast not sinned, and if a 
virgin marry she hath not sinned." 2 

And also of the following : " But if any man think that 
he behaveth himself uncomely towards his virgin, if she 
pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him 
do what he will, he sinneth not, let them marry. Never- 
theless, he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no 
necessity, but having power over his own will, and hath so 
decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth 
well." 3 

Thus, I say, the Apostle distinctly informs us that there 
is no command of the Lord for celibacy; no command for 
marriage. Therefore a life of celibacy is not forbidden by 
the Lord. Indeed, unless I mistake, I have before shown 
from His own words, that He recommended it to some, 
not to all. But the Apostle now proceeds to give his 
"judgment," and in what capacity? We see that he gives 
it as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 
That is, as a public interpreter of the divine will, who, 
through the mercy of God is a faithful interpreter thereof. 
" I suppose therefore that this is good for the present 
distress. I say that it is good for a man so to be. Art 
thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou 

1 1 Cor., c. vil, v. 25. 2 ib., v, 28. Ib., v. 36-37. 


loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But, and if thou 
marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she 
hath not sinned. Nevertheless, such shall have trouble in 
the flesh ; but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the 
time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives be 
as though they had none. And they that weep as though 
they wept not; and they that rejoice as though they 
rejoice not; and they that buy as though they possessed 
not ; and they that use this world as not abusing it ; for 
the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have 
you without carefulness. He that is unmarried carcth for 
the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please 
the Lord. But he that is married careth for the things 
that are of the world, and how Ire may please his wife. 
There is this difference also between a wife and a virgin. 
The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, 
that she may be holy both in body and in spirit ; but 
she that is married careth for the things of the world, how 
she may please her husband. And this I speak for your 
own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but 
for that which is comely, and that you may attend upon 
the Lord without distraction. But if any man think that 
he behaveth," etc. 1 "So then he that giveth her in mar- 
riage, doeth well ; but he that giveth her not in marriage, 
doeth better. The wife is bound by the law as long as 
her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at 
liberty to marry to whom she will; only in the Lord. But 
she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment; and I 
think also, that I have the Spirit of God." 2 

Upon the whole of this I will only remark, that having 
declared that there was no law or commandment binding 
persons to marriage or to celibacy, but that each state was 
equally optional for Christians, the Apostle now gives his 
judgment, as a faithful interpreter of the Lord's will, and 
led, as he thought, by the Spirit of God, and that judg- 
ment is, that a state of celibacy is better than a state of 

i The conclusion of this passage Is given above in verses 39 and 37. 
9 1 Cor., c. vli, v. 20-40. 


marriage, which decision is unquestionably given in v. 38 ; 
and besides the reasons which Dr. Paley and others insinuate 
for this decision, viz., a preference of a single to a married 
state, on account of the distress of present persecution ; for 
the other reasons given in verses 32, 33, 34, 35 and 40, 
which reasons are not temporary, which have no concern with 
a state of persecution rather than any other state, but rest 
wholly upon the kingdom of heaven's sake. 

In the previous part of this chapter, the Apostle writing 
concerning the duties of married persons to each other, which 
was apparently the first topic proposed, after laying down 
those duties, recommends, as we read : " Defraud not one 
the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may 
give yourselves to fasting and prayer ; and come together 
again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But 
I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For 
I would that all men were even as I myself. But every 
man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and 
another after that. I say, therefore, to the unmarried and 
the widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 
But if they cannot contain let them marry." 1 

Upon this I make but two remarks : one of the fact that 
St. Paul did lead a life of celibacy; the other, that he 
would recommend what he would wish; and he did wish 
that others should live in that state in which he lived. 

But what, it may be asked, has St. Paul's recommenda- 
tion to do with the question? Dr. Paley's statement was, 
that our Lord recommended not celibacy as carrying men 
to a higher degree of divine favor. My answer is, I have 
produced our Lord's own recommendation, and lest there 
should remain a doubt of my proper explanation of its 
meaning, I adduce the recommendation of St. Paul, who 
taught exactly the same doctrine which was taught by our 

Now I might introduce several passages from other parts 
of the inspired writings, to show that my exposition of 
our Lord's doctrine was in accordance with the doctrine of 

1 1 Cor., v. 5 9. 


St. John and other inspired writers. I might introduce the 
facts and writings of the eminent Christians of the first 
three ages to show that they believed, as we Catholics now 
do, that our Lord did teach what Dr. Paley asserts He 
did not teach regarding, what he is pleased to term, " the 
extravagant merit very soon ascribed to celibacy ;" and 
would conclude that the Gospel is plain, the acts of the 
Apostles furnish us with facts, the earliest history gives us 
examples ; the inspired epistles and the revelations of St. 
John are distinct, and the earliest writers are clear upon 
the subject, that our Lord did teach that a state of 
celibacy, entered upon and persevered in with the proper 
dispositions, did carry men to a higher degree of divine 
favor, and therefore did recommend it. All this was cer- 
tainly very soon, because it was coeval with Christianity. 
We know that extravagant encomiums might have been 
bestowed upon the state by unguarded eloquence or by 
thoughtless fanaticism ; but the doctor belongs, I have no 
doubt, to that class of men who can distinguish between 
the calm assertion of the superiority of a state, for a 
special purpose, and an extravagant encomium bestowed 
upon that state. The doctrine of the Roman Catholic 
Church, which is that of those very soon ages, leaves 
extravagant hyperbole which may outrage common taste and 
almost common sense, though it should not contradict truth, 
to the rejection and the reproof of all sober minds, but 
calmly asserts that our blessed Lord did teach that such 
a state of celibacy as I described was preferable to a state 
of marriage, though the married state is holy and honorable, 
but that all are not called to this latter state. 

Dr. Paley was Archdeacon of Carlisle, which is a very 
respectable living in the Church of England; of course the 
doctor subscribed his assent and consent to the thirty-nino 
articles of that Church, and amongst others to the following: 
" The second book of Homilies, the several titles whereof 
we have joined under this article, doth contain a godly 
and wholesome doctrine, and necessary for those times, as 


doth the former book of Homilies, which were set forth 
in the time of Edward the Sixth; and, therefore, we judge 
them to be read in churches by the ministers, diligently 
and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people." 

Now, in the book of Homilies, as set forward in the 
time of Edward the Sixth, is a homily or sermon against 
adultery, in three parts, near the conclusion of the third 
part of which is the following sentence : " Finally, all such 
as feel in themselves a sufficiency and ability, through the 
working of God's Spirit, to lead a sole and continent life, 
let them praise God for His gift, and seek all possible 
means to maintain the same; as by reading of the Holy 
Scriptures, by godly meditations, by continual prayers, and 
such other virtuous exercises." 

Dr. Paley should have recollected that this "article is 
received by his Church, so far as it declares the books of 
Homilies to be an explication of Christian doctrines and 
instructive in piety and morals." He would have also 
done well to recollect that on the 20th of May, 1814, the 
House of Bishops in General Convention of the Church, 
made this book of Homilies a work to be studied, and a 
knowledge of the contents of which would be indispen- 
sably required from candidates for ordination ; and that in 
consequence the said books were published in New York 
in 1815. Thus, Archdeacon Paley could have had but 
little difficulty in embracing the Roman Catholic principle, 
which neither binds any individual to marriage nor to 
celibacy except upon the full, free, and unbiassed choice 
and determination of the party concerned. Our Church 
indeed teaches what I have above exhibited, and as yet I 
am to learn that it is condemned therefor by either the 
Church of England or by the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of the United States. Where God leaves persons free, the 
Church does not bind, and if God shall give to any person 
the sufficiency and the ability to lead a sole and continent 
life, and this person had determined to lead such life, she 
thinks it would be equally cruel to compel such person 


to marriage, as to compel one desirous of marriage to enter 
a cloister. For my part, I can see no difference between 
the tyranny in one case and in the other ; either is crim- 
inal. I have frequently heard and read of cases of criminal 
compulsion to a religious profession, but I speak from my 
own experience when I assert that I never knew of a case 
where an individual was compelled or induced by force, 
threat, or entreaty to enter a convent ; but I have known 
many cases in which persons desirous of living in a state 
of celibacy have been tyrannically forced to marriage ; 
several in which entreaty, threats, and violence have been 
used to prevent persons embracing a life of celibacy. The 
principle of the Roman Catholic Church is not to compel 
either, but to afford the opportunities for each, and to 
permit individuals to make their own free choice. This is 
not fanaticism; this is Christian liberty. 

The next topic which naturally presents itself, is that 
of "the extravagant merit very soon ascribed to solitude." 
I am not, nor is the Church to which I belong, disposed 
to ascribe extravagant merit to solitude ; the doctor may 
perhaps deem extravagant what w r e deem rational. There 
is not and there cannot on these subjects be any fixed 
standard by which reasonableness can be measured, so as 
to give a scale which will answer for all. The principle 
in the Roman Catholic Church is now what it has ever 
been, viz.: That respecting austerities, what would be 
reasonable for one individual would be extravagant for 
another, and therefore that the judgment in each case must 
depend upon the special circumstances of the individual, 
the time, the place, the connections, and the other obliga- 
tions. Hence, in order to guard as much as possible 
against fanaticism, the Church has always had prudent, 
pious, and well-informed men of experience in official sta- 
tions, and she lias requested of her children not to under- 
take any extraordinary practices of devotion without the 


consent of those authorized guides, and where the acts of 
those who consulted them and followed their advice were 
seen to be extravagant, the advisers were deemed incompetent 
and others better qualified were substituted in their places. 
In order to aid those advisers, some of the best maxims 
of the best and wisest eminent Christian writers were 
appointed for their study, and some of the most respectable 
tribunals are always ready to aid in the solution of their 
difficulties. It does not then carry upon its face the 
semblance of fanaticism, to use such precaution to afford 
salutary counsel to those who wish to advance in virtue. 

These advisers and these tribunals have as general prin- 
ciples laid down : That avoiding the distraction of society 
is a great help to religious wisdom ; that they who are 
neither obliged nor disposed to enter into business or 
society, are at full liberty to live in retirement more or 
less, according to their circumstances, and provided they be 
occupied in the fulfillment of the great duty of prayer, or 
in the devotional contemplation of God and of heavenly 
things, or in profitable reading or meditation upon the 
Holy Scriptures, or manual labor, they serve God well; 
but that solitude and idleness are destructive to virtue. 

Now, that I have so far explained as to know what is 
meant by the word, I take the archdeacon's proposition : 
" Our blessed Lord did not recommend solitude, as carry- 
ing men to a higher degree of divine favor." 

In the Gospel of St. Matthew we read, as spoken by 
our blessed Lord : " Verily, verily, I say unto you, among 
them that are borne of woman, there hath not risen a 
greater than John the Baptist." 1 In the 9th verse of that 
chapter, he called him "more than a prophet." In the 
vii chap, of the Gospel of St. Luke, we find our blessed 
Lord use the same expressions. Now I have no doubt that 
our blessed Lord recommended the conduct of John as 
carrying men to a higher degree of the divine favor. What 
was part of that conduct? 

i St. Matt., c. xi, v. 2. 


In those same chapters we find our blessed Lord testi- 
fying by asking a question : " What went ye out in the 
wilderness to see ? " The answer is to found in several 
passages, as follows : 

" In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the 

wilderness of Judea For this is he that was 

spoken of by the prophet Isaias, saying the voice of one 
crying in the wilderness," etc. 1 "As it is written in the 
prophets, behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, 
which shall prepare the way before Thee. The voice of 
one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the 
Lord, and make His paths straight. John did baptize in 
the wilderness and preach," etc. 2 "And the child (John 
the Baptist) grew, and waxed strong in the spirit, -and 
was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto 
Israel." 3 "Annas and Caiphas being the high priests, the 
word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the 
wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan 
preaching," etc.* " He said, I am the voice of one crying 
in the wilderness." etc. 6 

I believe there can be little doubt that the greatest 
man who was born of woman did, in solitude, bring him- 
self by God's grace to a higher degree of divine favor 
than other men. But I still desire to give further proof, 
and must adduce my evidence before I make the comment. 
I mean to show two points : 1 . That John the Baptist 
was he who was to come as Elias before our blessed 
Lord. 2. That Elias led a life of solitude. Our Saviour, 
speaking of John, says: "And if ye will receive it, this 
is Elias which was for to come." "And His disciples 
asked him, saying, why then say the Scribes that Elias 
must first come? And Jesus answered and 'said unto them, 
Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I 
say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew 
him not. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto 
them of John the Baptist." 7 The angel foretelling the 

> St. Matt., c. ill, 1-3. Mark, c. i, v. 2-4. St. Luke, c. i, v. 80. * Ib., c. ill, v. 2-3. 
St. John, c. 1, v. 23. St. Matt., c. xl, v. 15. 1 Ib., c. xvii, v. 10-13. 


birth of John the Baptist to his father : " And he shall 
go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias." 1 Of 
course it is well known that Elias and Elisha are but 
two names for the same individual. " And the word of 
the Lord came unto him (Elias), saying, get thee hence, 
and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook 
Cherith, that is beyond the Jordan. And it shall be, that 
thou shalt drink of the brook, and I have commanded the 
ravens to feed thee there." 2 

In the first chapter of the next book of Kings, we find 
that this prophet resided upon the solitude of Mount Car- 
niel, was a hairy man, girt with a girdle of leather round 
his loins. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness upon 
locusts and wild honey, and was filled with the spirit of 
Elias. These have always been considered the two great 
founders of institutions for solitude and retirement, and 
have been certainly recommended by our blessed Lord for 
their virtues, which raised them to a higher degree of 
divine favor. 

The example of our blessed Lord, so far as it can be 
imitated, must be considered His most efficacious recom- 
mendation. " Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into 
the wilderness." 3 "And when He had sent the multitudes 
away, He wen$ up into a mountain apart to pray; and 
when the evening was come, He was there alone." 4 "And 
immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness- 

And He was there in the wilderness forty days 

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, 
He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there 
prayed." 5 Chap, vi and vii show that He was in the 
habit of retiring with His disciples into the desert, or 
solitudes, whither the people followed Him, so that they 
sometimes had been three days without food. "And Jesus 
being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan, 
and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." 6 "And He 
withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed." 7 "And 

' St. Luke, c. i, v. 17. s 1st Book of Kings, c. xiii, v. 2 4. St. Matt. c. iv, v. 1. 
lb., c. xiv, r. 23. 6 St. Mark, c. i, v. 12 -3, 35. St. Tiike, c. iif, v. 1 T Ib., c. v, v. 61. 


it came to pass in those days that He went out into a 
mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to 
God." 1 "And went away again beyond the Jordan, into 
the place where John first baptized; and there He abode." 2 

I have very little doubt that the days and weeks when 
our blessed Lord was not actually occupied in His public 
instructions and the display of His power, were spent with 
His disciples in solitude ; that His retreat was frequently 
broken in upon by those who desired instruction ; that in 
this solitude He taught some of His best lessons, before 
and after His resurrection, is evident ; that in this solitude 
He explained to His disciples His parables and taught 
them the mysteries of the kingdom of God, is apparent ; 
and that He occasionally withdrew altogether, and gave 
Himself to days and nights of prayer, is unquestionable. 
A very few references will also show that He recom- 
mended such retirement as raising man to a higher degree 
of the divine favor. " But when thou prayest enter into 
thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy 
Father which is in secret." 3 Thus He recommends the 
mode which He had practiced; and when we read in the 
49th verse of the xxiv chapter of St. Luke's Gospel His 
recommendation to His Apostles, as to how they were to 
spend the time between His ascension, and their being 
fully commissioned by the Holy Ghost, we find that mode 
explained by the recital of the fact, in the Acts of the 
Apostles, chapter i, 13, 14, in the solitude of an upper 
room, with one accord in prayer and supplication. 

Thus I apprehend that it may safely be said that our 
blessed Lord did recommend, as raising man to a higher 
degree of divine favor, the "solitude for religious medita- 
tion and prayer, and the midnight prayers," which were the 
great, characteristics of Elias, and so many others who imi- 
tated his mode of living upon Mount Carmcl, amongst 
whom perhaps were Simeon, who is commended in the 
Gospel of St. Luke, ii, 25, and Anna, of whom it is written 

iSt. Luke, c. vi, v. 12. St. John, c. x, v. 40. "St. Matthew, c. vl, v. 0. 


In the same chapter : "And there was one Anna, a pro- 
phetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser : 
she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband 
seven years from her virginity ; and she was a widow of 
about fourscore and four years, which departed not from 
the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night 
and day." 

Our blessed Lord recommended the religious practice of 
St. John the Baptist, a principal one of which was this 
solitude. He recommended it to all, in some degree, as a 
preparation for the act which specially raises man to a higher 
grade of divine favor, viz., prayer. He recommended it to 
His Apostles, and we find them practice it as far as their 
public duties would admit. We also perceive that our Lord 
spent much of His own time in solitude and led His dis- 
ciples thereto : that He prayed frequently at night, and 
sometimes all night; and very soon indeed, for immediately, 
the practice was continued in His Church, as the earliest 
writers allege, upon His recommendation, as well as in 
imitation of Himself and of His friends, associates and dis- 
ciples. I forbear adducing a considerable portion of other 
evidence that would, to my mind, establish facts distinctly, 
to which I have only alluded in this place. But, I now 
say, that well-regulated solitude is a considerable help to 
solid piety; and the Archdeacon of Carlisle was too hasty 
when he wrote that our blessed Lord did not recommend 
solitude, watchings, and midnight prayers, as carrying man 
to a higher degree of divine favor. 

Now, the good archdeacon himself tells us of our blessed 
Lord, towards the end of the same chapter ii, under the 
head "The Character of Christ," second paragraph of topic 
second : " Thus we see the devoutness of His mind in His 
frequent retirement to solitary prayer." The doctor refers 
to Matt, xiv, 23, xxvi, 36, and Luke ix, 28, for his 
proofs ; and in the next paragraph we read thus : " Our 
Saviour's lessons, besides what has been already remem- 
bered in them, touch, and that oftentimes, by very affect- 


ing representations, upon some of the most interesting topics 
of human duty and of human meditation ; upon the prin- 
ciples by which decisions of the last day will be regu- 
lated. (Matt, xx, 31). Upon the superior, or rather the 
supreme importance of religion. (Mark viii, 35, and Matt. 
vi, 23, Luke xii, 4, 5, 16-21). Upon penitence, by the 
most pressing calls and most encouraging invitations. (Luke 
xv). Upon self-denial, (Matt, v, 29), watchfulness. (Matt. 
iv, 42, Mark xiii, 37, Matt, xxv, 13)," etc. 

I certainly am mistaken if Archdeacon Paley himself does 
not here establish our blessed Lord's recommendation, by 
example, of solitude and midnight prayer and watching, as 
leading to a high degree of divine favor. 

I do therefore conceive that the dignitary wrote not what 
was the fact, but what he wished to have been the fact, 
when lie penned the paragraph at the beginning of this 


I may take the next propositions of the doctor in the 
passages laid before us, to be : " Our Lord recommended no 
austerities as carrying men to a higher degree of divine 
favor." He did not recommend as such " voluntary pov- 
erty," to which extravagant merit was very soon ascribed 
after Christianity, as it came from Christ, fell into other 

I certainly felt a little astonished at finding a writer of 
the archdeacon's penetrating intellect, judicious views, and 
deep erudition, deliberately commit himself in this proposi- 
tion. Certainly Dr. Paley must have read the texts which 
I shall here subjoin, and many other similar texts, clearly 
establishing the facts which I shall adduce as proved by 
them. "And a certain scribe came and said unto Him, 
Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. 
And Jesus said unto him, the foxes have holes, and the 
birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not 
where to lay His head." 1 "Jesus- saith unto him, then are 

J St. Matt c vifl, v. 19-20. 


the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend 
them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and 
take up the fish that first cometh up ; and when thou hast 
opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; and 
take and give unto them for Me and thee." 1 "And it 
came to pass, that as they went on the way, a certain man 
said unto Him, Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever 
Thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, foxes have holes, 
and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath 
not where to lay His head." 2 

From these it is evident, that our Lord Himself did 
abide in a state of voluntary poverty. There can be no 
question but His state was voluntarily taken up, nay, selected 
by Himself; and being houseless, and not having the tribute 
money to pay, until He had sent His Apostle to catch a 
fish for its payment, is full evidence of his poverty. That 
His favorite, St. John the Baptist, was also in a similar 
state of voluntary poverty, there can be no question. Now 
let us see His language to His disciples. "Provide neither 
gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses. Nor scrip for 
your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet 
staves." 3 "And commanded them that they should take 
nothing for their journey save a staff only; no scrip, no 
bread, no money in their purse. But be shod with sandals, 
and not put on two coats." 4 "And he said unto them, 
Take nothing for your journey, neither staves nor scrip, 
neither bread, neither money ; neither have two coats a 
piece." 6 "Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes." 6 
"And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, 
eat such things as are set before you. And He said unto 
them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and 
shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, nothing." 7 

I do not think my conclusion would be unwarranted did 
I from those texts assert that our Lord commanded some 
persons to observe voluntary poverty. I shall, however, be 
now content with deducing as the consequence that our 

'St. Matt., c. xvii, v. 26-97. 8t. Luke, c. lx,v. 57-58. St. Matt., c. x, v. 9-10. 
4 St. Mark, c. vi, v. 8-9. "St. Luke, c. ix, v 3. Ib . c. x, v. 4-8. 7 Ib., c. xxii, v. 35. 


Lord recommended voluntary poverty to some persons. I 
shall endeavor now to show why He recommended this 
virtue, which He practiced Himself. 

"And behold one came and said unto Him, Good Mas- 
ter, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal 
life ? And He said unto him, why callest thou Me good ? 
there is none good but One, that is, God : but if thou 
wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith 
unto Him, which? Jesus said, thou shalt do no murder, 
thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, 
thou shalt not bear false witness ; honor thy father and 
thy mother ; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 
The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I 
kept from my youth up : what lack I yet ? Jesus saith 
unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou 
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have a treasure 
in heaven: and come and follow Me. But when the young 
man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful : for he 
had great possessions. Then Jesus said unto His disciples, 
Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, 
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,, 
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 
When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, 
saying, Who then can be saved ? But Jesus beheld them, 
and said unto them, With man this is impossible ; but 
with God all things are possible. Then Peter answered 
and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all and 
followed Thee ; Avhat shall we have therefor ? And Jesus 
said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which 
ha^c followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of 
Man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall 
sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or 
sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, 
for My name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and 
shall inherit eternal life." 1 

> St. Matt, c. xix, v. 10 33. 


St. Mark relates this transaction and discourse in his 
tenth chapter, and St. Luke in his eighteenth chapter. The 
only circumstance which is found in either of those, in 
addition to what I have laid down, is found in the Gospel 
of St. Mark, viz., in the 29th verse is the answer of the 
young man : " Master, all these have I observed from my 
youth." " Then Jesus beholding him, loved him, and said 
unto him, one thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell what- 
soever thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shalt have 
treasure in heaven ; and come, take up the cross, and follow 

Now, without any difficulty, we can perceive the facts 
here related to be the discourse of a young man with our 
Lord, and the discourse of St. Peter with our Lord. The 
young man asked what he should do to obtain heaven. 
Our Lord answers him, keep the commandments. The 
young man hearing them enumerated, answers that he had 
not transgressed them. Our Lord loved him. So far we 
have reason to conclude that this young man was in the 
divine favor, as having complied with the essential duties 
of religion. That he was in the divine favor we cannot 
doubt, for our Lord loved him, and our Lord loves none 
but those who are in the divine favor. That he was so 
loved because he had fulfilled the essential duties of religion 
we have two reasons for believing : The first, our Lord 
informed him that the essential duties were those pre- 
scribed by the commandments ; the second, because the 
declaration of that affection is subsequent to the exhibition 
of the fact that he had fulfilled those duties. 

Our Lord next tells him, if he will be perfect, to 
embrace a state of voluntary poverty, and that he will have 
a treasure in heaven. Let us then remark the distinction : 
The discharge of the essential duties will procure our 
admittance into the kingdom of heaven ; the perfection of 
doing something beyond that which is of obligation, will 
secure for us a treasure after our admittance; one of the 
circumstances of this perfection is voluntary poverty, em- 
braced from a proper motive, with proper dispositions. 


Our Lord loves this young man, he is therefore in a 
certain degree of divine favor. Our Lord recommends to 
him voluntary poverty for the sake of perfection to secure 
a treasure. Surely I am justified in saying our Lord 
recommended voluntary poverty as raising man to a higher 
degree of divine favor. 

The second fact confirms my doctrine. We have before 
seen that our Lord recommended voluntary poverty to St. 
Peter and his associates. The Apostle now states that 
they followed that recommendation, and asks what will be 
the consequence. Our Lord marks out the very highest 
degree of divine favor they shall sit upon thrones judging 
the tribes of Israel on the great day of judgment. Surely 
the venerable Archdeacon of Carlisle was too hasty in his 
assertion that our Lord did not recommend voluntary 
poverty as raising man to a higher degree of the divine 

Nor does our Lord confine it to the case of the 
Apostles ; the 29th verse shows the recommendation to be 
general and the promise of the recompense is made gen- 
eral also. 

Thus, in His first sermon, the very first expression of our 
Lord is : " Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven." Certainly I will admit that a volun- 
tary divestment of property, without the true spirit of 
Christian motive and Christian disposition, would be per- 
fectly useless ; but when we treat of external acts, we 
always suppose the spirit without which the act is useless; 
upon that principle of the Apostle, "and though I give all 
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body 
to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 
It would be then gross misrepresentation to state, that the 
merit or the profit was attributable merely to the external 
act without the proper spirit. Look to the whole of that 
admirable discourse, and especially to the part contained in 
the sixth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, and it inculcates 
the very spirit of that voluntary poverty which our Lord 


did recommend. I cannot avoid selecting these verses : 
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where 
moth and rust do corrupt and where thieves break 
through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures 
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust do corrupt, and 
where thieves do not dig through nor steal. For where 
your treasure is, there will your heart be also." 1 "Sell 
that ye have, and give alms ; provide yourselves bags 
which wax not old, and treasures in the heaven that 
faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth cor- 
rupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart 
be also." 2 "And I say unto you, make yourselves friends 
of the mammon of unrighteousness ; that when ye fail they 
may receive you into everlasting habitations." 3 

I will acknowledge that if the archdeacon did prefer a 
married to a single life, and was blessed with eight or 
ten fine children, and besides attending to the things which 
were the Lord's and pleasing his wife, he had also to 
educate his sons and portion his daughters, and to intro- 
duce them into society, and to feel those natural attach- 
ments to his children and to his children's children, to 
the third and fourth generation, and to be divided amongst 
them this doctrine would be perhaps a little too severe 
for him. But it was one which answered very well for 
St. Paul, for St. John the Apostle, and some others of 
those who very soon, as the venerable archdeacon expresses 
it, took into their hands the maxims of Christianity as 
delivered by our Lord. They to be sure took these texts 
in their obvious meaning; and there might also have been 
some persons like those Pharisees of whom mention is 
made by St. Luke : " No servant can serve two masters ; 
for either he will hate the one and love the other ; or else 
he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot 
serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who 
were covetous, heard all those tilings ; and they derided 
Him. And He said unto them, Ye are they who justify 

St. Matt., c vi, 10-21. * St. Luke, c, xii, v. 33-34. ' Ib., c. xvi, v. 9. 


yourselves before men ; but God knoweth your hearts ; for 
that which is highly esteemed among men is abominable in 
the sight of God." 1 

Indeed I could not help observing that amongst other 
very serious omissions, made as I thought for obvious 
reasons, by Dr. Paley, in the characteristics of our Redeemer, 
was that of His voluntary poverty and some others which 
the old writers used to point out. However, we cannot 
blame the doctor, because he forgot some writings which 
were first indited sixteen or seventeen hundred years before 
he examined the documents. There is a system of which 
voluntary poverty forms one part, celibacy another, solitude 
another, and a few other such qualities are inseparably 
connected therewith. Like every perfect system, it must 
have all its parts ; and as some of them were a little 
inconvenient to the archdeacon's system, the whole were 
discarded. But he ought not to have asserted against 
evidence that this system and all its parts was not recom- 
mended by our Lord as carrying man to a higher degree 
of perfection. 

I might have accorded to the doctor that all men 
were not commanded to do those things which were gener- 
ally recommended and almost commanded to some. Thus 
voluntary poverty or the surrender of private property to 
a common fund was not commanded, but was recommended, 
and it was practiced. "And the multitude of them that 
believed were of one heart and one soul ; neither said any 
of them that aught of the things which he possessed was 
his own ; but they had all things in common. Neither was 
there any amongst them that lacked ; for as many as were 
possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the 
prices of things that were sold and laid them down at 
the Apostles' feet ; and distribution was made unto every 
man according as he had need." 2 " But a certain man 
named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 
and kept back part of the price, his wife being also privy 
to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the Apostles' 

i St. Luke, c. xiv, v. 13-15. a Acts, c. Iv, v; 32-35. 


feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine 
heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and keep back part of the 
price of the land? Whilst it remained, was it not thine 
own ? and after it was sold was it not in thine own 
power? Why hast tliou conceived this thing in thine 
heart? Thou hast not lied unto man, but unto God." 1 

I shall here conclude this topic. It is plain our Lord 
did recommend voluntary poverty as leading man to a 
higher degree of divine favor, and that he practiced it 
Himself; and it was practiced by St. John the Baptist, and 
by the Apostles and by the first Christians ; and that it is 
most useful, for it roots out altogether covetousness, and 
therefore was specially recommended to the clergy. "And 
having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But 
they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and 
into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in 
destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the 
root of all evil ; which while some have coveted after, they 
have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through 
with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these 
things." 2 

All men are not bound to voluntary poverty; yet it was 
recommended by our Lord, and was, indeed, very soon 
prized in the Church, because it was prized from the 


I have taken up the following topics of the sentence which 
was submitted to my inquiry, viz.: 1, celibacy; 2, solitude, 
watchings and midnight prayers ; and 3, voluntary poverty. 
I have still left " the rigors of an ascetic and the vows of 
a monastic life ; the hair shirt, the obmutescence, the gloom 
and mortification of religious orders and of those who 
aspired to religious perfection." 

Now it is well that we should have distinct notions of 
our topics. The rigors of an ascetic life are the practice of 
those special observances which come under examination ; 

i Acts, c. v, v 14. 21 Tim , c. vi, v. 8-11. 


therefore the fate of the whole must depend upon the fate of 
all the parts. If our Lord recommended all the parts, He 
recommended the entire. Next the vows of a monastic life : 
those vows are celibacy, voluntary poverty, and obedience to 
a regular superior. I have examined the first two topics : I 
have only the third remaining to be examined, and in addi- 
tion the general question, whether our Lord recommended 
vows as leading to a higher degree of the divine favor ; then 
the hair shirt, the obmutescence, the gloom and mortification, 
are to be considered. 

After having gone through those several topics, I believe 
I shall have treated the archdeacon's paragraph with suf- 
ficient fulness. But let me first try whether I can fairly 
dispense with examining any special topic here produced. 

The hair shirt is but a peculiar species of mortification. 
If mortification, which comprises all its species, be recom- 
mended, each species which fairly comes under the general 
head is recommended; hence I need not enter into any special 
examination of this topic. The archdeacon must have known 
that no Roman Catholic believed that wearing a hair shirt 
would, as such, raise man to a higher degree of divine favor, 
nor the wearing of fine linen sink him into disfavor, although 
some persons who, strange to say, are now considered by 
Protestants as their Gospel predecessors, did object to the 
Catholic clergy, as an act of great criminality, that they did 
wear fine linen, and that their bishops were clad in purple ; 
and they quoted Scripture and the very words of our Lord, 
for proving how correct their doctrine was. " There was a 
certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, 
and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain 
beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of 
sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell 
from the rich man's table : moreover the dog's came and 
licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, 
and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the 
rich man died and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his 
eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and 


Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father 
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that lie may 
dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I 
am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remem- 
ber that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and 
likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and 
thou art tormented." 1 And when those good folk were asked 
what ought to be the dress of the clergy, they very readily 
exhibited : " John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach 
the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And 
there went out to him all the land of Judea and they 
of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the Jor- 
dan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with 
camel's hair, and with a girdle of skin about his loins, and 
he did eat locusts and wild honey." 2 So that if the doctor 
now reproaches us with some amongst us wearing hair-cloth, 
there was a time when they who are called the first Protest- 
ants reproached our predecessors for not wearing hair-cloth. 
But I put the hair shirt aside, for, except as a species of 
mortification, it is valueless. I believe, and the Church has 
always believed, that a man may commit gross crimes whilst 
he is clothed in hair-cloth, and another who is clothed in 
purple and fine linen may do many acts of virtue. 

Obmutescence I shall place by its predecessor the hair 
shirt. In itself it has no merit, no value. But there are 
times, especially in religious communities, when silence is 
very useful for greater purposes than mere obmutescence. 
The archdeacon then used fallacy when he exhibited us as 
believing that obmutescence raised man to a higher degree 
of divine favor. In a religious community, similar duties 
are performed by all persons at the same time, and a very 
useful regulation is, that during the hours allotted to 
prayer, to meditation, and to study, strict silence shall be 
preserved, except in those cases where it is absolutely 
necessary to speak, and then so much only shall be said 
as may be indispensable, and in as low a tone of voice 
as possible, and visits of strangers shall be avoided as 

i St. Luke, c. xvi, v. 19-25. a St. Mark, c. i, v. 4-6. 


much as may be, at those hours. This rule of silence is 
then useful for prayer and meditation, which our Lord 
recommends as carrying men ta a higher degree of divine 
favor, and is most useful to aid the study of divine 
truth, an acquaintance with which our Lord does strongly 

Gloom is so vague a phrase that I do not know how 
to treat the topic. No two persons attach exactly the same 
definite quantity of the idea of seriousness to the expres- 
sion gloom. I avow that gloom does not raise man to a 
higher degree of divine favor. The Church does not attach 
any merit to gloom ; on the contrary, she wishes her 
children to enjoy the serenity and cheerfulness arising 
from a good conscience, and she commends moderate spright- 
liness. I shall only say for myself that I have intimately 
known many of the most severe monasteries of men and 
women, and mixed in some of the gayest circles of life, 
and I am not supposed to be gloomy. I found far more 
steady and consoling cheerfulness in those monasteries ; I 
have in them found more pure and unalloyed enjoyment, 
and seen more genuine and heartfelt sprightliness, and found 
more true and luxuriant peace co reign amongst their 
inmates, than in the revels of the great, the banquets of 
the wealthy, and the balls of the gay. I solemnly assure 
the public that Archdeacon Paley did not and could not 
know, oh, he could not feel how erroneous were his 
notions ! Many of my readers will be startled at my asser- 
tion. Upon an impartial and dispassionate review of my 
own observations, I would assert that almost the only 
earthly happiness I have seen come nearest to true bliss 
was in those abodes. For myself, I say the only days of 
true happiness I knew, were days spent in what the arch- 
deacon calls gloom. As well might the negro who toils 
upon a rice-swamp, be expected to write such a description 
as Moore gives of the valley of Cashmere, as Archdeacon 
Palcy or a novel-writer know how to describe the feelings 
of the inmates of a monastery, or the Big Warrior or lied 


Jacket compile histories of the Grecian and Ottoman dynas- 
ties. Several hundreds of persons who lived in religious 
retirement have written, and very few of their expressions 
are those of gloom. 

I now come to the topic, mortification. What does it 
mean? Subjecting the flesh to the spirit, for religious 
purposes, by occasional privations of what is pleasing to 
our sensual appetite. This is what we understand by 
mortification celibacy, voluntary poverty, midnight prayers, 
watchfulness, etc., these are so many parts of mortification. 
All these have been recommended by our Lord as leading 
man to a higher degree of divine favor. Fasting is a 
species of mortification. In the Gospel of St. Luke it is 
said of the devout Anna, that she served God '.with fastings 
and prayers, night and day ; this is mortification. 

John the Baptist led a life of mortification, and was 
commended by our Lord as being mortified, "not clad in 
soft garments." "Moreover, when you fast be not as the 
hypocrites, of a sad countenance : Verily I say unto you 
they have their reward. But when thou fastest, anoint 
thine head and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto 
men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret : and 
thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, 
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for 
your body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more 
than the meat?" 1 "Enter ye in at the straight gate, for 
wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to 
destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. Because 
straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth 
unto life, and few there be that find it."- "Then came 
unto Him the disciples of John saying, Why do we and 
the Pharisees fast oft, but Thy disciples fast not? And 
Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride 
chamber mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them? 
But the days will come when the Bridegroom shall be 
taken from them, and then they shall fast." 3 "And he 

iSt. Matt., c. vi, v 1625. sib., c. vii, v. 13 4. Mb. c. ix, v. 14-15 


that taketh not his cross .and followeth after Me, is not 
worthy of Me." 1 "Wo unto thee, Chorazin ! wo unto 
thee, Bethsaida ! for if the mighty works which have been 
done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they 
would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." - 
"The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this 
generation and shall condemn it : because they repented at 
the preaching of Jonas." 3 "So the people of Nineveh 
believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth 
from the greatest of them even to the least of them." 1 
" Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and 
fasting." 5 "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, 
cut them off and cast them from thee ; it is better for thee 
to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two 
hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if 
thine eye offend thee pluck it out, and cast it from thee: 
it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather 
than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.''' 6 "Then 
Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One 
thing thou lackest; go thy way and sell whatsoever than 
hast, and give to the poor; and thou shalt have a treas- 
ure in heaven; and come take up the cross and follow 
Mft."* "And He said to them all, If any man will come 
after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross 
daily and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life, 
shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My 
sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advan- 
taged if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be 
cast away?" 8 "If any man come to Me and hate not 
his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren 
and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My 
disciple." 9 

The passages here selected are but a portion of many 
which bear upon the subject, in the record which the 
evangelists have left us of our Lord's recommendations and 

> St. Matt , c. x, v. 88. Ib., c. xl. v. 21. Ib., c. xii, v. 41. Jonas, o. iii, v. 5. 

St. Matt, c. xvil, v. 81. Ib, c. xvill, v. 8-9. 'St. Mark, c. x, v. 21. 

St. Luke, o. ix, v. 8325. Ib., c. xlv, v. 86. 


commands. Now let us review them and collect their sub- 
stance. We will find that He recommended : 1. Fasting. 
2. Preference of the spiritual to the sensual enjoyments, 
even to the length of being careless as to the quality of 
our food, and the texture of our clothing, and the under- 
valuing of a limb or an eye when our spiritual progress 
would be impeded by the retention of either, because spir- 
itual progress would insure heaven, and it would be pre- 
ferable to be in heaven maimed, or lame, or blind, than 
having all our limbs to be cast into hell. 3. The giving 
up not only of limb, but of life, rather than do ourselves 
spiritual injury. 4. The giving up the fellowship of our 
dearest connections, if they interfered witli our spiritual 
progress. 5. The separation from the customs of the world 
designated by entering at the narrow gate. 

Besides, He recommended under peculiar circumstances : 
1. Repenting in sackcloth and ashes together with fasting, 
which is what we emphatically style severe penance. 2. Self- 
denial. 3. Taking up the cross after having embraced a 
state of voluntary poverty, having sold possessions and given 
the proceeds in alms. Will Doctor Paley, after this, say 
that our Lord did not recommend mortification? Did our 
blessed Lord not then recommend what St. Paul practiced 
as he informs us ? " But I keep under my body, and 
bring it into subjection : lest that by any means when 
I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast- 
away." 1 I acknowledge that the force of this passage is 
considerably weakened by the intentional mistranslation of the 
Greek verb, which in the doctor's standard book is in the 
25th verse rendered into English by the word temperate. 
The proper translation may be found in the Catholic ver- 
sion, and is : " Every one that striveth for the mastery 
refraineth himself from all things." Protestant translation : 
" Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in 
all things." I have looked into several lexicons, and 
I cannot find any authority for the latter translation ; 
the composition of the Greek verb requires a far more 

1 1 Ccr., c. ix, v. 7. 


forcible English word than temperance; the Latin, which has 
been used very early, is much more forcible than temperate. 

But the 27th verse is still more distant from the truthful 
translation, for the word which is translated "keep under," 
in the Protestant version, is in the Catholic translated " chas- 
tise." The Latin given in Protestant translations is obtundo, 
I pound ; the Greek word is compounded of two words, 
which signify much more strong expressions than keep under. 
I have indulged in this little digression merely to show 
one of the reasons why the Church does not acknowledge 
the Protestant version of the Scriptures to be fit for the 
perusal of her children. She has very many objections, 
one of which is that by a little softening of phrases 
in one place, and a little strengthening in others, it is not 
a faithful expositor of the revealed will of God, and is 
calculated rather to mislead than to direct. Now, in my 
quotations from it I have labored under a great disad- 
vantage from this circumstance, yet with the whole weight 
of this against me, I apprehend that I have shown from 
the doctor's own version that he penned too hastily the 
paragraph which has been selected. 

But to return to our subject ; the Apostle tells us : 
"And they that are Christ's .have crucified the flesh with 
the affections and lusts." 1 But let us try the doctor a 
little by his own rule. In chap, ii of the "Morality of 
the Gospel," near the end, under the head " Character of 
Christ," the archdeacon favors us with the following pas- 
sage: "Our Saviour's lessons, besides what lias been already 
remarked in them, touch, and that oftentimes by very affect- 
ing representations, upon some of the most interesting topics 
of human duty and human meditation; upon the princi- 
ples, by which the decisions of the last day will be regu- 
lated; 2 upon the superior, or rather the supreme importance 
of religion; 3 upon penitence, by the most pressing calls 
and the most encouraging invitations ; * upon self-denial ; 5 

' II Cor., c. v, v. 84. 2 St. Matt . c. xxv, v. 81, et seq. 

"St. Mark, c. vlli, v. 86; St. Matt, c. vl, v. 81-83; St. Luke, c. xli, v. 16-21. 
St. Luke, c. xv. *St. Matt., c. v, v. 20. 


watchfulness," etc. " We are not, perhaps, at liberty to 
lake for granted that the lives of the preachers of Chris- 
tianity were as perfect as their lessons ; but we are entitled 
to contend, that the observable part of their behavior 
must have agreed in a great measure with the duties which 
they taught. There was, therefore, (which is all that we 
assert) a course of life pursued by them different from that 
which before they led, and this is of great importance. 
Men are brought to anything almost sooner than to change 
their habit of life, especially when the change is either 
inconvenient or made against the force of natural inclina- 
tions, or with the loss of accustomed indulgences." "And 
lastly, that their mode of life and conduct, visibly at 
least, corresponded with the institution which they delivered, 
and, so far, was both new and required continual self- 
denial." " Then as to the kind and degree of exertion 
which was employed, and the mode of life to which these 
persons (the Apostles and first Christians) submitted, we 
reasonably suppose it to be like that .which we observe in 
all others, who voluntarily become missionaries of a new 
faith. Frequent, earnest and laborious preaching, constantly 
conversing with religious persons upon religion, a sequestra- 
tion from the common pleasures, engagements and varieties 
of life, and an attention to one serious object, compose 
the habits of such men. I do not say that this mode of 
life is without enjoyment, but I say the enjoyment springs 
from sincerity." x 

Now, I would ask the venerable archdeacon whether he 
has not, in the character of our Lord and of His dis- 
ciples and Apostles, given us a perfect picture of austerity, 
mortification, in fact of a monastic or conventual life? Of 
what does it consist? Self-denial, sequestration from the 
common pleasures, engagements, and varieties of life; con- 
versation with religious persons upon religious subjects, 
meditation upon the supreme importance of religion, peni- 
tence, watchfulness; we have before, from our Lord's lips, 
been told of the fastings and repentance in sackcloth and 

1 Taley's "Moral 1'hilosophy," c. i. 


ashes. Now what addition is to be made to give a perfect 
picture of a monastic life, except celibacy and voluntary 
poverty, which we have before considered? The archdeacon 
must destroy the texts of the Scriptures and his own 
pages if he wishes us to believe the sentence quoted was 
not a tissue of untruths. 

But let me now go to the doctor himself for gloom, 
that is, proper seriousness upon the supreme concern of 
religion : " For as no one ever feels himself disposed to 
pleasantry, or capable of being diverted with the pleasantry 
of others, upon matters in which he is deeply interested ; 
so a mind intent upon the acquisition of heaven, rejects 
with indignation every attempt to entertain it with jests 
calculated to degrade or to deride subjects which it never 
recollects but with seriousness and anxiety. Nothing but 
stupidity or the most frivolous dissipation of thought can 
make even the inconsiderate forget the supreme importance 
of everything which relates to the expectation of a future 
state of existence. Whilst the infidel mocks at the super- 
stitions of the vulgar, insults over their credulous fears, 
their childish errors, or fantastic rites, it does not occur 
to him to observe that the most preposterous device by 
which the weakest devotee ever believed he was securing 
the happiness of a future life, is more rational than 
unconcern about it. Upon this subject, nothing is so 
absurd as indifference ; no folly so contemptible as thought- 
lessness and levity." 1 

The principle contained in this is that which the 
religion that I profess teaches. Serious attention ought to 
be paid to a paramount concern; no concern can equal 
that f of eternity. But serious attention is not gloom; gloom 
is rather the companion of despair. But the venerable 
Archdeacon of Carlisle is not the only writer who has 
made the accusation of fanaticism against us for those 
practices. In every age he has had predecessors; one of 
whom he quotes himself in the close of his second 
chapter : 

i Paley's "Moral Philosophy," c. Ix. 


" The constancy and by consequence the sufferings of 
the Christians of this period, is also referred to by 
Epictetus, who imputes their intrepidity to madness or to 
a kind of fashion or habit ; and about fifty years after- 
wards by Marcus Aurelius, who ascribes it to obstinacy. 
* Is it possible/ Epictetus asks, ' that a man may arrive at 
this temper and become indifferent to those things, from 
madness or habit as the Galileans?'" 1 

This was a general imputation upon the Christians, that 
they were fanatics, mad, unsocial, illiberal, bigoted, unfash- 
ionable ; but this madness was taught by our Lord, was 
noticed very soon, and having a method in it, has been 
brought down to the present day amongst us. 


The only questions remaining to be disposed of, are : 
Did our Lord recommend the rigors of an ascetic life? 
Did He recommend the vows of a monastic life as 
carrying man to a higher degree of divine favor? 

The rigors of the ascetic life consist in the practice of 
those virtues which we have before seen were recom- 
mended by our Lord as carrying man to a higher degree 
of divine favor. I unhesitatingly answer then, the arch- 
deacon asserted what Scripture does not warrant, when he 
stated that our Lord did not recommend it. But I also 
add, that every act done by every ascetic is not to be 
charged upon the general system. It would be bad 
reasoning to argue against the propriety of man's living 
in society, because in the social state he has opportunities 
and excitements to crimes which he would not know of 
and could not commit in a different state. It would be 
bad reasoning to accuse any body of men, generally, with 
the faults or the follies of some individuals of that body. 
It would be a fallacious and a wicked exhibition, if a 
man were to collect the catalogue of crimes and the list 
of criminals from the courts of a nation, and the cata- 
logue of follies and the list of the weak-minded through 

i Lib., iv, c. 7. 


an entire region, and publish both as a correct history of 
that country. It is true every fact would be correctly 
given ; no false statement could be found in the compila- 
tion. But I ask, would this be a correct history? The 
publisher would deserve at least the indignant reproof of 
the insulted community and the rebuke of every honest, 

There have been hypocrites and fanatics in the religious, 
orders ; there have been very few of the former, perhaps 
a greater number of the latter description amongst the 
ascetics. But every man who aspires to piety is not the 
Tartuife of Moliere's imagination. And the history of the 
ascetics of the Catholic Church is very unlike the misrep- 
resentations of their enemies, blending all the real faults 
and follies of hypocrites and enthusiasts with the immense 
fictions of the imagination, and either concealing the heroic 
virtues of persons of whom the world was not worthy, or 
giving such an occasional tincture of modified and compas- 
sionate praise, as would be necessary to keep some semblance 
of impartiality. 

The vows of a monastic life are those of continence,, 
voluntary poverty, and obedience to a regular superior. 
These topics have been before examined with the exception 
of obedience. Yet shall it be necessary for me to go 
through the examination of the question, whether consti- 
tutional obedience to a regularly appointed governor is 
virtuous? And if virtuous, does it not raise man to a 
higher degree of divine favor? And was not this virtue 
frequently inculcated by our blessed Lord? 

Thus I believe it must be clear that the boasted 
authority of Doctor Paley is devoid of that truth which 
ought to be its support; and that what he is pleased to 
call the fanaticism of Roman Catholics is more like the 
doctrine of our blessed Lord than is what he would call 
" rational Christianity." 



I HAVE often been amused at the use made of the 
word " liberality," and at the vague sense in which it is 
applied to religion. "With some persons, a liberal man 
means a person who considers all modes of worship exactly 
alike, and attends to none. With others, a liberal man is 
he who gives a preference to one mode, and says, at the 
same time, that all others are equally good. Others consider 
a liberal man to be a person who not only gives a 
preference to one mode, but avows that he considers some 
others quite erroneous at the same time that he considers 
some others equally good as his own, but does not oppose 
either. "With another class, a liberal man may consistently 
oppose some sects and support others, whilst he persecutes 

Let us for a moment examine those descriptions. The 
first exhibits to us an irreligious man. But if to be liberal 
it ,be requisite to be irreligious and that to be saved, it 
be necessary to be religious I must candidly avow that I 
give the preference to religion and salvation; and that I 
would sacrifice the foolish, empty praise of thoughtless 
infidelity to the substantial benefits of peace of conscience 
here and eternal glory hereafter. Irreligion is not liberality. 
Neglect of our duty to our Creator is not liberality. If 
there be such a being as an atheist, he would by this be 
the most liberal man in the world. 

The second is an irrational man. For, if all modes of 
worship be alike, if all be equally good, it is quite irra- 
tional to give a preference where there is perfect equality; 
and as preference involves choice founded upon some motive 

i This essay appeared in the United iStutes Catholic Miscellany, vol. i, 1822. 



after examination and comparison, the man who gives a 
preference and says he has no motive contradicts himself. 

Another consideration will exhibit this more clearly. It 
is a fact, that all the systems of religion differ from each 
other by their being contradictions to each other ; by one 
asserting exactly what another exactly denies. Thus, one 
system asserts Christ revealed that in the divine nature 
there are three persons. Another system denies Christ's 
having revealed that in the divine nature there are three 
persons. One system asserts that Christ established several 
distinct orders of clergymen in the Church. Another system 
denies that Christ established several distinct orders of 
clergymen in the Church. One system asserts that Christ 
instituted seven sacraments. Another system denies that 
Christ instituted seven sacraments. And so, in every distinct 
sect, there is at least one distinct tenet of contradiction to 
all the other sects ; and this contradiction is not upon a 
matter of opinion, but upon a matter of fact. Now, in 
matters of fact there can be no latitude of opinion; for 
it is strictly true, that the fact agrees with the assertion 
or disagrees with the assertion. Hence, if a man gives a 
preference to the assertions of one sect, it is ridiculous for 
him to say I profess to believe the fact to be as stated 
by this society; but he who denies the truth of that fact 
also agrees with me ; though he denies exactly what I 
assert, still we both believe the same. This I consider to 
be the assertion of an absurdity, viz., that the same propo- 
sition can be, at the same moment and in the same sense, 
true and false. And as I do not consider liberality to be 
absurdity, I do not consider the person who answers the 
second description to be a liberal man. 

The person described in the third place is exactly in 
the same predicament as the person described in the second; 
for it makes no difference in the argument whether the 
assertion be made that two hundred sets of contradictory 
propositions are at the same time true, or that only two 
contradictory propositions are true ; still, it is the assertion 
of an absurdity. 


The person described in the fourth place differs from 
the third only in this circumstance, that he opposes by 
argument or by not supporting some of those from whom 
he differs ; but he is in exactly the same predicament 
if he holds certain doctrines ; and whilst he holds it to 
be a fact that they were revealed by God, holds also that 
the person who denies this fact may believe truth in the 
denial. This contradiction is an evident absurdity. 

I have supposed, of course, all through that God has 
revealed certain doctrines, and that man can know the fact 
of tjod having spoken, and know what doctrine He did 
reveal when He spoke. 

I have been led to these remarks by my desire to fix 
some meaning for the expression, a "liberal man," in a 
religious sense; for I know of no phrase more frequently 
used and less understood. 


Frequently the proper signification of an expression is 
only discoverable by ascertaining what it does not mean ; 
and as every virtue is believed to consist in a happy mean, 
we should inquire for the virtue of liberality in a mean 
between extreme carelessness and infidelity on one side, and 
bigotry and intolerance on the other. I have examined the 
first extreme; let us glance at the second. 

I look upon bigotry to be an irrational attachment to 
doctrines, joined to a hatred of all who have not an 
attachment to the same doctrine. Thus, there may be 
bigots in true religion and in false religion. Bigotry is 
not the peculiarity of any sect, but is the result of 
criminal disposition or weakness of intellect in an indi- 
vidual. A person may have an irrational attachment to a 
true doctrine, and the doctrine is not rendered false by 
the unreasonableness of the individual. A person may 
have an irrational attachment to a doctrine, and still have 
no hatred to those who differ with him; such a person 
may be weak, but not criminal. Bigotry is criminal, and 



the criminality is the hatred which enters into its composi- 
tion. Bigotry is a weakness, and the weakness is exhibited 
by the unreasonableness of the attachment. Bigotry is then 
an unreasonable attachment to a doctrine whether true or 
false, joined to hatred of those who do not hold that 
doctrine. It may now be asked, hosv can a person be 
unreasonably attached to a true doctrine? I answer, the 
truth of the doctrine may not be evident to him who 
embraces it, and therefore his attachment is founded upon 
no rational principle. I may now be told that all belief 
of mysteries is irrational, for their truth is not evident to 
man ; as the very fact of their being mysteries is an 
assertion that their truth is not evident. My answer is 
very simple. To have evidence of the truth of a doctrine, 
it is sufficient that we have evidence of the capacity, 
knowledge and veracity of him who delivers it, and 
evidence of the fact that this witness testified the truth 
of this doctrine ; and as we thus give our assent and 
form our attachment to the doctrine upon a rational 
principle, our belief of mysteries upon the testimony of 
God is rational. Thus, the man who is attached to the 
doctrines of religion, many of which are mysterious, may 
have a rational ground for that attachment. But he may 
also have an irrational attachment, but the quality of his 
attachment does not influence the intrinsic truth or false- 
hood of the doctrine, neither does it influence the evidence 
of that truth or of that falsehood. Thus, a bigot may be 
attached to true doctrine without that attachment having 
been produced by a rational motive ; and a bigot iray be 
attached to a false doctrine, and thus bigotry is no test of 
doctrinal truth ; it is only an evidence of individual dis- 
position which disposition of hatred is criminal, whether 
the doctrine be true or false. My opinion is then, that 
the bigot is both weak and criminal, and every bigot is 
intolerant, but every intolerant man is not a bigot. 

The ground of my distinction is this: I call d, person 
intolerant who has a rational attachment to a doctrine, but 
who hates those who differ with him in doctrine. 


The evidence of truth is no -warrant for hatred, 
especially under a system which teaches to love our enemies ; 
and hence, even where the individual has the evidence 
and the conviction of truth, and thus forms a rational 
attachment to this truth, it is a crime for him to hate 
the person who rejects that truth ; for though he be com- 
manded to embrace truth, he is forbidden to hate his 

The intolerant or the bigot injuring the person whom 
he hates, is a persecutor. All persons are agreed, that the 
persecutor is not a liberal man. Now, as liberality is a 
quality of the soul, and as persecution is but the evidence 
of qualities of the soul exhibited by acts, the disposition 
which produced those acts is incompatible with the disposi- 
tion of a liberal man. ' Hence, I may conclude that neither 
the bigot, nor the intolerant, nor the persecutor, can lay 
claim to liberality. 

"What, then, is liberality? I answer, a rational attaca- 
ment to doctrine, without hatred or dislike of those who 
differ from or reject that doctrine. 

Then the liberal man is not an infidel, nor a person 
who is careless of discovering and embracing truth; he is 
not inconsistent, he is not absurd, irrational, a bigot, nor 
intolerant; but he is a person who, upon rational princi- 
ples, forms an attachment to a special body of doctrine, 
and does not molest or dislike those who differ from him. 
He does not sacrifice his own right of judgment, neither 
does he require any other person to make such a sacrifice 
to him. He inflicts an injury upon no man, but he is 
not obliged to permit others to injure him. He insults no 
person, but he is at liberty to prevent aggressions upon 
his own character, feelings or opinions. He follows what 
he sees to be true ; and as he loves truth, and feels it 
his duty to be consistent, he cannot acquiesce in the asser- 
tion that contradictions are true; and when a person who 
differs from him asserts that difference, though his good 
feeling prevents dislike, his truth prevents his becoming 


absurdly inconsistent, by stating, "though we differ in our 
doctrine, we are both right," because the fact is they do 
both differ, and only one of them can be right ; and the 
assertion of truth is as essential to the perfection of man 
as either charity or courtesy. The liberal man then pre- 
serves truth, and courtesy and charity at the same time. 
The bigot and the intolerant may preserve truth, but they 
destroy courtesy and charity, they embitter society, and fre- 
quently shed the blood of thousands. The infidel, latitudi- 
narian, and the speculator in religion may preserve courtesy 
and affection, but they destroy truth and debase the human 

I shall conclude this essay with a short fable, which I 
have made extremely simple, and I trust not, on that ac- 
count, the less applicable. 

It was reported in a certain city that an extraordinary 
phenomenon had made its appearance in the vicinity. The 
inhabitants thereupon, in a public assembly, deputed three 
persons for the purpose of ascertaining the fact. After 
their return each was called upon separately before the 
assembly to make his report. The first gave his statement, 
and one of the old citizens rising up, remarked that the 
gentleman must have made some mistake, for it was im- 
possible the facts could be as he described them, and gave 
his opinion of the manner in which the story would have 
a more credible appearance ; he concluded by asking the 
narrator whether things might not have been as he ex- 
hibited them. The narrator, who was a polite, good- 
naturecJ man, thought it would be indecorous to contradict 
an elderly gentleman, and said very possibly he was right, 
especially as he had experience on his side. One of the 
most learned men in the city next made his remarks, dif- 
fering altogether from the last speaker and from the re- 
porter, and concluded by asking if the view which he took 
was not right. He replied he could not think of differing 
with so erudite a gentleman, and that probably he was 
himself mistaken. Four or five others gave their several 


views, with each of whom the good-natured man suc- 
cessively concurred, until the meeting was divided into as 
many parties as there were speakers, who ultimately agreed 
only in one conclusion, that the reporter who had given so 
many contradictory explanations was a worthless character 
who could not be depended upon. 

The second was called in, and after he had delivered 
his report, he had to go through a similar ordeal as his 
predecessor ; but having less patience and more influence, he 
soon called upon his friends -to punish those insolent men 
who knew nothing of the facts, and could know nothing of 
what they never witnessed, but which he had not only 
seen but very closely examined. The tumult and uproar 
exceeded what had before taken place, until at length, 
cuffed and bruised on all sides, he contrived to make his 

The third commissioner was introduced. After a cessa- 
tion of hostilities had taken place, and when his report 
was made, several spokesmen began to controvert his asser- 
tions, to whom he calmly said : " Gentlemen, what I have 
stated I know; your doubts cannot destroy my convictions. 
I cannot force you to believe me, but I assure you my 
statements are correct. You are ingenious in your specula- 
tions you are inventive in your possibilities you are plau- 
sible in your theories; but I am convinced that I have 
been witness to facts, and those facts cannot be destroyed 
by your speculation. Had I not blazing before me the evi- 
dence of what I have examined, I might feel myself at 
liberty to select from amongst your theories, and some one 
of them might catch my imagination, or I could invent 
one to please my own fancy. But, gentlemen, I can never 
abandon the belief of a series of facts of which I have 
irrefragable evidence, in order to adopt a theory or system 
of opinions, be it ever so well constructed and alluring in 
its appearance; neither can I compel your assent to my 
statements, unless you see good reason for so doing. Let 
us then, in the name of God, avoid quarrels. I shall be- 


lieve those truths of which I have no doubt ; you, of 
course, will adopt systems as you please. We may live in 
friendship, though we cannot think alike. But, without 
meaning you any offence, I can never believe it possible 
for you to have truth on your side in your distinct con- 
tradiction of what I know to be fact. My testimony to 
you has not been a philosophical disquisition, but a narra- 
tive of facts." 

The decision was postponed, and the meeting broke up 
with considerable diversity of opinion, but with peace and 
harmony restored. 



IN the Theological Repertory for November, 1824, is 
an article headed " Roman Catholic Doctrines." After a 
most patient reperusal of this piece I find it to be a gross 
misrepresentation of Eomau Catholics, conveyed to its 
readers in unbecoming language; and a most unfounded 
calumny of my persecuted fellow-countrymen wantonly 
introduced, together with some historical blunders. 

Were this the first time that the writers exhibited zeal 
in attacking an unoffending Church and a meritorious 
people, I should have perhaps been satisfied to warn them 
of their errors in the hope that their zeal and their 
ignorance might plead their excuse. But the result of their 
late efforts being their total discomfiture, their zeal should 
have given way to prudence, and they ought to have 
studied to learn whether their statements were correct 
before they ventured to appear before a discerning public. 
I shall prove those statements to be totally devoid of truth, 
and they then will be left to choose between want of 
information and want of honesty. In either case they will 
be proved unqualified for editors of a religious publication. 

I stated that they attacked an unoffending Church. I 
now ask them, what offence has the Roman Catholic 
Church of this Union given to them? What offence has 
the Roman Catholic Church of the United States given to 
the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States? Do 
they answer? for I am at a loss to know what answers 
they can give. Will they have recourse to the old differ- 

i This serus of letters, occasioned by a violent attack upon the members of the 
Catholic Church, made in the columns of a periodical published in Washington, and 
conducted by several clergymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church, appeared in the 
United States Catholic Miscellany, vols, iii and iv, for 1834-25, and were afterwards pub- 
lished in a pamphlet form. 



ences at the other side of the Atlantic? Their Church is 
not there to be found. There is a Church like theirs it 
is true. But no theologian who had any respect for his 
character, would assert that and theirs to be the same 
Church, however similar they may be. However, this is 
not now matter for our inquiry. But suppose the Church 
of England and theirs to be, what they are not, the same ; 
when, where, or how have the Roman Catholics of the 
United States offended their Church in Europe? What is 
the pretext, then, of their attack? They may recollect the 
fable of the lamb drinking at the stream, and asked by a 
wolf who drank at the same rivulet, though much higher 
up, why he made the water so muddy as to render it 
unfit for the majesty of the wolf. "Do you not perceive 
that the water cannot flow up the stream ? " replied the 
lamb. "Perhaps so," rejoined the wolf, "but twelve months 
ago you made it muddy in another place." " Indeed," re- 
plied the lamb, " I was not born then." " But your father 
was," said the wolf, "and I will make you suffer." Thank 
God, however, the Constitution of the United States will 
not give Messrs. Hawley & Co. all the power which they 
would be disposed to exercise to our injury. 

Will they point out any persecution of the English 
Church by Roman Catholics of America? They know that 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew, about which they have writ- 
ten so much falsehood in so few lines, was not committed 
by American Catholics nor upon Protestant Episcopalians. 
In this happy country Protestants and Catholics are united 
in bonds of amity, their intercourse is unrestrictedly affection- 
ate. I, therefore, am totally at a loss for any reason why 
these people and writers of their description should be 
so anxious and so unremitting in their endeavors to inter- 
rupt this harmony, to create jealousy, to produce in America 
the miseries of European dissensions. The Roman Catholic 
Church of America has too long permitted herself to be 
assailed with impunity by every essayist in an unmeaning 
religious cant; it is time to exhibit their deformity. They 


must show, not by declamation, but by facts, in what their 
Church has been offended by ours in these United States, 
or they stand convicted of having attacked an unoffending 

They have charged a meritorious people with crimes of 
which they are not guilty. They have accused the heredi- 
tary Earl Marshal of England, the premier peer of the 
realm, the Duke of Norfolk, of being in principle a traitor 
to his government, although that government, with the ex- 
ception of about ten bigots in the House of Lords, has in 
the last session of Parliament directly contradicted them. 
"What is his crime? He refuses to swear that the King of 
England is the supreme head of his Church. Is this a 
crime? Will they swear that he is the head of their 
Church? Will Bishop White swear that the King of Eng- 
land is the supreme head of his Church ? Is Bishop White 
a traitor? Can the venerable eldest prelate of their Church 
be in principle a faithful citizen of this country though he 
should refuse to swear that the King of England is the 
supreme head of his Church? But that, bishop did once 
swear that the King of England was the head of his 
Church, and he afterwards rejected that headship ; yet will 
they dare to call him a traitor? Why, then, call men 
traitors Avho never believed, never professed, never swore to 
any such headship ; whose ancestors were plundered of their 
property, many of whom dragged out their lives in prisons, 
several of whom were put to death because they would 
not swear what they did not believe to be true. Though 
they should even look upon those men to have erred in 
faith because they did not swear that the King of Eng- 
land was the visible head of God's Church, yet they 
must allow them the merit of having suffered for con- 
science' sake. But in the plenitude of their liberality, 
and with singular consistency, they who do not acknowledge 
it to be necessary for salvation to swear the oath of 
supremacy, tell us that the British and Irish Catholics who 
refuse to swear it ought to be persecuted, that they are on 


a level with the wretched criminals who are sent to New 
Holland. What has the Duke of Norfolk done, what has 
the Earl of Shrewsbury done, what have the millions of 
Catholics whose grievances resound through Europe done to 
provoke their ire, that they, claiming to be American citi- 
zens, should thus sentence them to transportation because 
they follow the conviction of their consciences ? 

Look at their words : when they can produce no charge 
against the Roman Catholics of the United States, they 
arraign the Catholics of Great Britain. These are their 
expressions : 

" Such are the doctrines of a Church, the members of 
which have raised such an outcry against the intolerant 
spirit of the English government for not receiving them 
to a full share in its administration. They might as 
well accuse thai government of cruelty, for banishing the 
wretched criminals to New Holland ; or of illiberality, 
for punishing the man who traitorously conspires against 
his country." 

And is this the language of American citizens? Is this 
the liberality of an Association of Clergymen of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church of the United States? I- solemnly 
assure them that such a possibility could not be conceived 
in Europe. And what is the crime of those traitors who 
are placed on the level with the wretched criminals who 
are banished to New Holland? They will not swear that 
the King of England is the visible head on earth of God's 
Church ! This is the head and front of their offence. 

"Will the Quaker swear it? Will the Presbyterian swear 
it ? Will the Congregationalist swear it ? Will the Unita- 
rian swear it? Will the Baptist swear it? Will Mr. 
Hawley swear it? Will any bishop of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church now swear it? And are all those traitors to 
be now sent as wretched criminals to New Holland? And 
their banishment will not be an act even of illiberality ! 

No! Mr. Hawley and his associates will not banish 
those good men ; none deserve banishment as wretched 


criminals and traitors but those Irish Papists. Is this the 
language of gentlemen? No, it is not. Is this the lan- 
guage of scholars ? Is it the language of Christians ? No ; 
but I shall leave to the people of America to designate 
its character. 

What is the head and front of the charge ? No oath 
can bind Irish Papists to heretics. What is the proof? I 
shall examine first the probability of the charge in the 
special case which they adduce. I shall then give the facts; 
I shall then take up their general principle and their sem- 
blances of authority. 

What are the facts of their special case? The English 
government tells its Catholic subjects : " You must be dis- 
franchised until you swear that you believe the King of 
England is head of the Church, and that no foreign 
prelate has or ought to have any spiritual or ecclesiastical 
authority in this realm." The Catholic answers : "I do 
not believe either of the propositions to be true." The 
government answers : " I do not care what you believe, I 
only want you to swear." To show that I state the case 
fairly, I couli produce several instances of well-known 
persons who did not believe the truth of the doctrines 
required to be sworn to, but who, pressed by the danger 
of losing their property and their rights, did in a 
moment of temptation go into the Protestant Churches and 
read the forms, and into courts and take the oaths, and 
publicly declare, as soon as they received their certificates 
from the minister and the clerk of the crown, that they 
did not believe, but merely went through the form to 
comply with the law and to save themselves from ruin; 
and yet they were ever after considered good and lawful 
Protestants. Those disgusting recitals are painful to me; 
but these gentlemen have wantonly, I was about to add 
another expression, provoked them, and I suppress much 
which I would wish to forget. I was right, then, when I 
stated the answer of the British government to be : " We 
care not for your belief, we only want you to swear." 


The Catholics who continued faithful, that is, the Irish 
Papists, said : " "We will not swear what \ve do not 
believe;" and their property was swallowed up by the men 
who swore. Yet Mr. Hawley and his associates are kind 
enough to say, those men had no regard for their oaths 1 
Yes, the men who gave up their estates, their liberties, 
their homes, many of them their lives, and who 'could at 
once emancipate themselves by merely taking an oath which 
Mr. Hawley proclaims they do not consider binding, but 
which is all that the British government requires ! Did I 
take that oath, I would have avoided many of the ills of 
life. Did my ancestors take it, my lot would not have 
been poverty and the contemptuous oppression of the plun- 
derer of my patrimony, who, to gain what I lost, swore 
what, perhaps, he did not believe. But my conscience has 
no sting, and in this free country I may meet Mr. Hawley 
and his associates as they deserve. 

In the name of common justice, in the name of common 
sense, I ask, is it probable is it possible that those men 
who, sooner than swear one false oath to Protestants, per- 
mitted those same Protestants to run riot with their estates, 
their liberties and their lives, and those of their descendants, 
did not believe an oath to heretics was binding or ought 
to be observed ? 

Why were the Catholic bishops turned out of their sees 
by Queen Elizabeth? Because they would not swear what 
they did not believe. Why was Bishop Fisher beheaded? 
Because he would not swear that oath. Why was Arch- 
bishop Plunkett hanged, drawn, and quartered? Because he 
would not take that oath; I will not increase the dis- 
gusting catalogue which I could swell to thousands, in 
whose blood the contradictions to Messrs. Hawley & Co.'s 
libels might be written. They must be either totally unin- 
formed as to the proceedings in Great Britain, during the 
last eight pr ten years, or they must be the most careless 
of reputation or credit of any public writers that . ever 
ventured to brave an enlightened public. The greatest 


bigot on the benches of the House of Peers, the most 
infatuated old simpleton who peruses Fox's Martyrology, 
the most unblushing declaimer against Popery, the most 
degraded hawker of a paragraph for an Orange publication 
in the British islands, would feel himself overwhelmed with 
shame and confusion, did he venture to express, within 
the last few years, so gross a falsehood; though it was, 
for party purposes, imposed as unquestioned truth upon the 
people of Great Britain> for upwards of two centuries 
before. This atrocious calumny, like the depositions of the 
Rev. Titus Gates, has long since been treated with its 
well-merited reprobation in the British parliament. Lord 
Stafford has been replaced in his rank, and, notwithstanding 
the opposition of a very few bigots, the premier earl of 
England has been restored to his honors, though not to 
his rights, without requiring him to swear what he could 
not believe. The King of England, the majority of the 
peers, and the House of Commons, with unanimity, voted 
that he should, though a Roman Catholic, be permitted to 
do the duties of an office from which his ancestors and 
he had been excluded during two centuries under false 
pretences. Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, Mr. Percival, Lord Liver- 
pool, Lord Sidmouth, Mr. Grattan, Mr. Canning, Mr. 
Brougham, Lord Grenville, Lord Gray, Lord Erskine, and 
hundreds of men like these, pronounced, after close exam- 
ination, this virulent charge to be an atrocious calumny. 

Good God ! Then is America fallen so low is her 
intellect so debased are these States become such a sink 
of ignorance, as that all the rejected falsehoods of Europe 
are to find this as their asylum? Are we, who have led 
the way in the career of rational well-regulated liberty, to 
crawl after the bigots of Europe, sucking in what they 
disgorge, that we may vomit it upon each other? I pro- 
test, I cannot describe my feelings whilst I write ; I thought 
that I had flung the Atlantic between me and this necessity. 
I imagined that the testimony of George Washington would 
have had weight with the people of this Union. I did 


hope that the recollection of Archbishop Carroll wac r.ot 
blotted away altogether. I am now to be informed that 
Charles Carroll has forfeited the good will of his country, 
has betrayed his sacred honor, has snatched his pledged 
property from the perils of the contest for freedom, or 
has shamefully skulked from facing the enemies of his 
country in the day when his services were needed. No I 
we will be told there is a sufficient explanation of this. 

" The only reason why, among Papists, there are many 
good subjects of Protestant governments arises from the 
fact, that there are so many in the Roman Church incon- 
sistent with their profession, better than their profession ; 
having no idea of all the doctrines and all the enormous 
corruptions of the faith which they acknowledge." 

And pray, do the writers call this a compliment? "Sir r 
you profess a faith having enormous corruptions." I shall 
not now stop to examine the theology of men who could 
use such an expression as " corrupt faith," just as accurate 
as ." a false truth." " But, Mr. Carroll, you are a good 
man, but a very ignorant man ; and the reason you are 
good, is because you are ignorant ; for, sir, if your con- 
duct and your belief were to be consistent, you would be 
a very bad man." I really must repeat, I know not how 
to write upon so disgusting a collection of arrogant insulting 
calumnies. I must pause to ask : What has provoked it ? 
I do know many virtuous, amiable, excellent Protestants. 
I believe the doctrines of their Church to be erroneous 
in many instances. But if I know myself, I would sooner 
be deprived of my tongue or of my fingers than address 
to any one of them such a gross insult. I do not know,. 
I f never did know any Protestant friend of mine to be as 
good as his Church taught him to be. His Church teaches 
a very high and exalted morality. And when, in a friendly 
way, I discuss with him topics of doctrine, I do not find 
it necessary *o calumniate and to insult him. If Mr. 
Hawlcy and his associates have no better foundation for 
the support of their system than the ignorance or vice of 


some of those men to whom their Protestant neighbors 
would give honorable testimony for virtue and information, 
their base is tottering indeed. 

But what do they mean by calling America a Protestant 
country? Do they mean a Protestant Episcopalian country? 
Do they mean to insinuate that the government of America 
must be Protestant? Do they mean to insinuate that no 
Papists shall be allowed to live under these Protestant 
governments? If this be not their meaning their argument 
is worth nothing, for their statement is, that " Papists 
cannot be good subjects of Protestant governments." I 
know of only two Protestant governments in the United 
States, viz., New Jersey and North Carolina. Yet, in those 
States are to be found some Roman Catholic citizens who 
are amongst the best informed and most meritorious citizens 
of our Union; men beloved and respected by their Protest- 
ant fellow-citizens ; and I would not so far insult them, 
as to say their oaths would be considered as good a pledge 
as would the Rev. Win. Hawley's. Thank God, I know 
many of the members of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
who will be amongst the first to clip Mr. Hawley & Co.'s 
wings should they aspire to create an established Church 
or a dominant Church ; and they " must be reminded, that 
Congress has no power to make any law respecting the 
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise 
thereof. This is then as much a Presbyterian country, 
as much a Baptist country, as much a Unitarian country, 
as much a country of the. Israelite, and of the Roman 
Catholic, and of the Methodist, as it is of the High 
Churchman. The Israelite in the desert often longed for 
the flesh-pots of Egypt and loathed the manna, for it was 
very light food ; he complained that the days were gone 
by Avhen he used to eat bread to the full; yet he pre- 
ferred slavery to his Egyptian masters, who fed him well, 
to gping out in the desert in the freedom of a child of 
God. But repining is now useless; we have passed through 
the Red Sea; Pharaoh and his hosts have been overthrown^ 
a nobler destiny awaits us; the yoke of our bondage has 


been cast off; and, perhaps, Messrs. Hawley & Co. would 
consider it an aggravation of blasphemy to add to the 
imaginary curses of the Vatican, one other curse against 
him who would lay it upon us again. 


Messrs. Hawley & Co.'s libel upon my religion and my 
native country consists of a text and a comment the text 
purports to be an extract from Pearson's " Life of Hey ;" 
the comment is their own production. The text is a mis- 
representation of facts ; and in their comment they add 
falsehood, calumny and bad logic to a most uncharitable ex- 
hibition of their zeal against Popery, as they are pleased to 
call the religion of nearly, if not fully, two hundred mil- 
lions of the present inhabitants of the world. These are 
plain and strong, and by some perhaps will be considered 
bold assertions ; others, it is probable, will give them a less 
courteous appellation ; but I shall prove their truth or be 
content to assume the place which I now give our accusers. 
Recollect that this is their own seeking, not mine. Our 
writers left them unmolested but they barked at our doors, 
they snapped at us as we passed along, they grinned, 
they snarled, and they growled as if we were thieves, and 
they the protectors of the national rights of America. 
Mark their words: 

"If ever the Romish Church should be sufficiently power- 
ful in this country, nothing but a loose attachment to her 
essential principles will prevent its members from seizing 
the torch and scourge of persecution, and illuminating our 
benighted land with as many fires for our burning as ever 
bluzed amidst the Protestants of France." 

I would freely give more than they would that they 
had never published this passage "facilis desccnsus Averni." 
Their pen was certainly dipped in gall when they wrote 
it; and unless fully true, and they certain of its truth, 
was it not a most uncharitable exhibition of their zeal 
against the Romish Church to have written it? Of what 
Catholics would do at a future period they could not be 


certain, unless they were gifted with the spirit of prophecy; 
and as they very modestly and very properly lay aside all 
claim to those gifts promised by our Saviour in the Gos- 
pel of Mark xvi, 17, to the Church of true believers, they 
cannot be suspected of this miraculous accompaniment more 
than of the power of healing the sick. Was it not then 
an uncharitable exhibition of zeal against our religion to 
attempt to rouse the prejudices of our fellow-citizens against 
us upon the mere surmise of what our successors might 
possibly do hereafter ? 

Have they ever read of the Abingdon law, described by 
Heraclitus ridens, which was first to hang a man and then 
to try him? Or have they read of the Lifford law in 
Hay's Proverbs : 

That hang and draw, 

Then hear tho cause by Lifford law. 

Sir Roger L'Estrange mentions 1 that w r hen he was im- 
prisoned for his unsuccessful attempt upon Lyn-Eegis in 
1644, because Miles, the judge advocate, had not time to 
prepare the charges against him for the day originally fixed 
for the trial, he was liked to be hanged first and tried 
after, upon a charge which would be brought. And since 
I must avow my profanity, I have heard that in a play a 
certain Caleb Quotem, wishing to go to a review, whips all 
his pupils in the morning so as to pay them beforehand 
for their earning during the future part of the day, that 
he might have leisure to see the soldiers without being 
indebted to the children. Apropos! Was not Mr. Hawley 
a captain who marched to a review near Canada? Just so, 
the Roman Catholics of the United States are to be de- 
livered over to the execration of their fellow-citizens, be- 
cause it is possible that their descendants will burn future 
Protestants. Would it not be well to draw the horoscope 
of infants again, so as to spare the sheriffs the painful duty 
of hanging culprits, and judges and juries the loss of time 
in holding trials; for, all future malefactors could with 

i "Apol ," p. 3. 


facility be killed and buried at less expense when only one 
day old than in manhood? Two great advantages more 
would thus be secured. The crimes would be prevented, 
the golden age would return ; and it would only be neces- 
sary to baptize the infants to secure their salvation, whereas 
our black-coated gentry undergo great labor to convert the 
gallows into a path to paradise. 

Oh ! I would that they had never written the passage ; 
not because it makes the Church of the feminine gender in 
one line, " her essential principles," and of the neuter gen- 
der in the next, " prevent its members ; " for no person 
expects to find more than a semblance of 'English in this 
monthly compilation. They have not the privilege of a 
daily journalist, nor of a weekly publisher, whom the devil 
frequently torments into inaccuracy. Neither have 'they room 
to plead want of time for reflection. They have an entire 
month to concoct their doses. Their work is done with 
deliberation, and if with malice, it is malice prepense. The 
source of my regret is the transient pain which our readers 
must feel at perusing what they have forced me to write 
in self-defence. 

But to return. Is it not a most uncharitable exhibi- 
tion of zeal in these gentlemen to hold us forth to public 
execration for crimes not yet committed, and which perhaps 
no one of us ever intended to commit? Their answer is, 
that our essential principles necessarily lead to the commis- 
sion of the crime. We deny it. Our essential principle is 
"that we are bound to believe what God teaches, and to 
obey God's commandments." This is the sole principle of 
the Roman Catholic religion ; this is its essential principle ; 
it' has no other. All its doctrines, all its practices, must 
be conformable to this principle ; they arc nothing more 
than the application of evident facts to this simple princi- 
ple. Thus if the Romish Church, as you politely style us, 
calls upon a person to believe a special doctrine, it is only 
by virtue of this principle. " Believe the doctrine of tran- 
substantiation ; not because I can demonstrate to you by 
natural philosophy that the substance is changed, and the 


appearances still continue the same as they were before the 
change." Xo, no! This is not her address. "But because 
I will demonstrate to you that God revealed that such a 
change woul'd be made by Him in the circumstances which 
I prove to you are here found." Thus she says : " If you 
calumniate your unoffending neighbor grievously, and pub- 
licly, and repeatedly, you cannot pass unpunished, unless 
you repent and retract; for I will show you that GoA 
commanded you not to be a calumniator, and declared He 
would punish you, if you transgressed, and farther, that 
He declared you would not be pardoned unless you 
repented, and still more, that your repentance would be 
delusive unless you made reparation for the injury which 
you inflicted." Roman Catholics have no other principle 
essential or accidental in their whole series of doctrine and 
discipline but the above single principle. No Roman Catho- 
lic pretends to say that his conduct is as perfect as the 
principle ; but he will say that every deviation from the 
principle is more or less criminal, and that his Church, so 
far from sanctioning those deviations, unhesitatingly and 
unsparingly condemns each and every one of them. Thus 
these gentlemen and others style her bigoted because she 
will not assert that man is not bound to believe all that 
God reveals, and say that every man may receive or reject 
revelated truths as he pleases ; or because when she has 
full evidence, which satisfies her that God revealed a 
special doctrine, she will not assert that it is a matter 
of perfect indifference whether man believes that special 
doctrine or denies it. Thus others who do not like to be 
too tightly bound up by precepts are kind enough to call 
her tyrannical and bigoted, because when she sees full 
evidence that God gave a certain precept, she asserts that 
He gave it, and that it is necessary to observe it. Others 
again tax her with being inimical to the improvement of 
the human mind, and too antiquated to be fashionable ; 
because she says: "I possess evidence that eighteen hundred 
years ago God commanded this practice to be observed 
until the end of the world, and it is but a development 


of this doctrine which He then revealed. But the truth 
of the revelation and the divine origin of the practice 
were both denied one thousand three hundred and fifty 
years since. Solemn investigation was made, and it was 
fully proved, decided and recorded that the revelation was 
given by God, and that the practice was by Him instituted. 
Here is an authentic copy of the record then. Here are 
the proofs upon which the decision was had. Here is 
evidence that the same was received and acted upon with 
almost unanimity until about two hundred and fifty years 
since, when persons in such a place again denied those 
facts and doctrines, and ridiculed the practice as supersti- 
tious and childish, and told us that the production of our 
musty records was but enslaving the free mind of man." 
We have but one essential principle we believe what 
God has revealed, we care not how long it is since the 
revelation was made, provided the fact be proved. We 
obey God's commands. We only look for the proof of the 
fact that He did give the precept; we will not try its 
reasonableness at the tribunal of our weak intellect, but 
we will examine the testimony by which the fact is upheld. 
We have no other principle. Now, we do not believe that 
God has either revealed or commanded that we should, if 
we had power, burn these gentlemen, nor that our successors 
should burn their successors. Therefore, it was a most 
uncharitable exhibition of their zeal against Popery to assert 
this calumnious falsehood that our essential principles would 
urge us to burn them. Why should they be so much 
afraid of fire ? 

The quirks and cavils thou dost make, 

Are false and built upon mistake 

And I shall bring you, with your pack 

Of fallacies, t" Elenchi back, 

And put your arguments in mood, 

And figure, to bo understood ; 

I'll force you by right Ratiocination, 

To leave your Vitiligitigation, 

And make you keep to the question close, 

And argue, Dialeticos. 


Our essential principles, then, neither put torches nor 
scourges into our hands. And they ought to have known 
at least so much, for they are doctors in divinity. How- 

That petticoat about their shoulders 
Does not sa well become a soldier's. 

But I shall be told your principles are known, not by 
professions, but by acts, and we charge you with holding 
the principle, " that no oath can bind you to heretics." 
Now, we deny that we hold any such principles, and we 
trust they will not make the practical blunder which their 
friends at the other side of the Atlantic have made, in 
the philosophic and enlightened eighteenth century, and 
which they continue in the nineteenth. Mark the wisdom 
and philosophy evinced by the British parliament at the 
instigation of some wise men of Gotham and some learned 
Thebans, who were seated in dignity upon her episcopal 
bench. " The Papists," says some venerable Christian pre- 
late, a light, of the age, "do not believe that they ought 
to keep any oaths which they swear to us ; to remedy 
this, I would at least counsel your lordships to make them 
swear that they will not perjure themselves." " His Grace 
of Canterbury has outdone Solomon in wisdom, and well 
becomes his lawn," adds my Lord of Winchester, " but I 
would suggest that, to guard against his using a papal 
dispensation, which he might have already obtained for, 
my lords, our lot has been cast in anti-Christian times 
as also to foreclose the possibility of his hereinafter pro- 
curing such dispensation, which might absolve him from 
the observance of such oath, it would please your lordships 
to add to the oath another clause, to the intent that the 
said Papist hath not already obtained, and will not herein- 
after apply for, and if transmitted to him will not use 
any dispensation of the Bishop of Home, relieving him 
from the pacts, covenants, promises, and obligations of his 
oath." Admirable wisdom! Profound philosophy! Consist- 
ent legislation ! No oath can bind these Papists. The 


remedy is simple make them swear to observe their oaths! 
But after a Papist cakes the oath, he can procure a dis- 
pensation from the Pope. Make him swear that he will 
not use the dispensation! But the Pope will dispense with 
this third oath. Make him swear again not to nsc that 
second dispensation ! He has got a new dispensation from 
this last oath. "Miserable Papist, what are .we to do with 
you? We cannot believe your oath. You will swear 
anything to serve your purpose. That horrible old man, 
anti-Christ, will give you leave to forswear and to swear ! 
Come, put an end to the difficulty at once swear as we 
all do, and be done with it. Swear the oath of supremacy." 
" No, for I do not believe its propositions ; I would be 
a perjurer." "But we are heretics in your opinion, and you 
know it is a principle of your Church, that no oath can 
bind you to heretics ; and besides, you can get the dis- 
pensation after the oath, or before it if you prefer it : 
you can have the dispensation in your pocket whilst you 

Now, I put it to these gentlemen in sober sadness. 
Do not the facts prov.e that we are a calumniated people? 
Do not the facts prove the absurdity of British legislation? 
If we were what the bishops of the Church of England 
have so often proclaimed us to be is their wisdom greater 
than that of the Indian who placed the world on the back 
of an elephant, forgetting to examine upon what the ele- 
phant himself should stand? Oh! what an outcry against 
Popish ignorance, and Romish folly, and tyrannical bigotry, 
and remorseless cruelty, would be made if those prelates 
were in holy orders of the Roman Catholic Church ! But 
they being good English parliamentary bishops, we should 
even put a cloud under the elephant's feet, to enable him, 
to travel round the sun as softly and as much at ease as 
if he were moving upon woolsacks. 

But Pearson, in his " Life of Hey," adduces facts which 
prove that the Romish Church, that is, Papists, that is well- 
informed adherents of Popery, that is, men who have studied 


and been well educated, men of intellect none of your pro- 
fanum mdgus, nene of your rabble, but the good consistent 
Romish people, Romish Americans, for instance, such men 
as Archbishop Carroll to prove that those men hold it as a 
principle, "that no oath to heretics is binding." As for such 
poor wretches as the ignorant Irish Papists, they are so 
brutish in their ideas and such dolts, that it is impossible to 
teach them this sublime doctrine ; " having no idea of all the 
doctrines, 'all the enormous corruptions of the faith they 
acknowledge." Thus, ignorance is now a blessing, because 
the more ignorant a man is of the principles of his religion, 
the more moral will he be. Call you this Christianity? 

When I saw the wondrous quotation from Pearson's "Life 
of Hey," I looked upon my cause as lost. Pearson Pearson 
Hey Hey. Was there not a Bishop Pearson? asked I of 
a gentleman whom I met. Was he not a holy father, or a 
professor of divinity, or at least some person who wrote upon 
theological subjects? I could find no one to give me infor- 
mation. I went to a very respectable bookseller. " Pray, 
Mr. - , do you know such a work as Pearson's 'Life of 
Hey?'" "Yes, sir." "Have you got it?" "No, sir." 
" Do you know who has ?" " I believe it is in the Medical 
Library." "What should bring it there?" "Sir, it is its 
most natural place." "And do our physicians study theol- 
ogy?" "No, sir; Pearson was not a theologian." "What 
then was he?" "A surgeon." "A surgeon! Who was 
Hey?" "A surgeon." "What in the name of wonder sends 
Mr. Hawley of Washington and his compeer to study theology 
in a surgeon's biography ?" " I cannot tell, sir. But I 
believe Surgeon Hey, who was, I think, an Englishman, and 
lived at Liverpool, was considered to be a religious man. I 
think he was an Evangelical." " Are you certain he was 
not a Roman Catholic?" "I am quite positive he was not." 
"Nor Surgeon Pearson?" "Not at all." "So, so, it is from 
surgeons Mr. Hawley learns his theology. Do you think the. 
book is in the Medical Library?" "Yes, sir." 

I next met a medical friend. " Do you know, doctor, 


whether Pearson's 'Life of Hey' is in the Medical Library?" 
" I am not certain. But," continues my friend, archly 
smiling, " what can you now be seeking for ?" " I want 
to learn some theology." "Theology! Bless me! I thought 
you looked upon us doctors to be a set of infidels." 
" Not I. I have just been told that there are evangelical 
surgeons who write falsehoods, and my curiosity is quite 
on the qui vivc. Do let me see Pearson." My search 
was fruitless. I could not find the surgeon from whom 
these gentlemen have, learned to charge Catholics with hold- 
ing a principle which they do not hold. But it soon struck 
me that they might have some reasons connected with their 
theology for studying surgery. I recollected that Surgeon 
Pearson or Surgeon Hey might be preferable to invisible 
physicians, for teaching where the liver lay, and giving 
some information on the subject of discharge of the con- 
tents of non-existent abscesses ; and I cannot tell how my 
vision was strengthened, but so it was, that not even the 
" Star-Spangled Banner " could hide from my view these 
gentlemen's figures, as they anxiously counted their works of 
anatomy and surgeons' biography, to try if they could dis- 
cover some new mode of proving impossibilities. This may 
be one of those day-dreams in which we all occasionally in- 
dulge. But it struck me, as they could not make the sur- 
geons say all that they wished, they were satisfied to make 
the most of what they found. But poor indeed would have 
been the value of those gentlemen's surgical knowledge, un- 
less it exceeded in correctness the specimen which they have 
given us of their historical information. 


I recollect having once witnessed the protest of an old 
gentleman, who complained of a serious injury having been 
done to him, and was answered by those whom he charged 
with its infliction that he had no cause of complaint because 
they had sworn to each other that they would give him no 
redress ; and that it was a gross crime in him to expect 


that they should become perjurers for his gratification. It 
may be well to examine the supposed facts of this case. 
The old gentleman was guardian to minors whose property 
consisted chiefly of rent-charges upon the estates of several 
persons who lived in the same vicinity, and through whose 
lands the old gentleman himself had a right of passage, 
with liberty to cut timber, and to work mines, and to carry 
away the produce. The proprietors began to quarrel among 
themselves, and wasted each other's property. Moved by his 
duty to his wards, by his feelings of benevolence, and even, 
his self-interest, the old gentleman used his influence to 
bring about a reconciliation. Some of them proposed as the 
only mode of effecting this that he should relinquish his 
own rights and those of his wards, and leave them to fight 
it out until one should be vanquished. Others thought this 
unjust, and proposed to reinskte him in his rights and to 
pay the arrears of rent-charges, and to turn out of pos- 
session the persons who first called upon them to stop the 
payment: but at length they began seriously to consider of 
peace, as they were tired of war, and they found the prin- 
cipal obstacle to be who should pay the expenses. Again 
it was proposed to sequester part of the rent-charges, and 
to appropriate some of the produce of the mines to this 
purpose ; so that all who fought should be indemnified, anct 
the old man and his wards be made to pay for their 
benefit. The old gentleman protested from day to day, and 
still from day to day they continued to make their arrange- 
ments upon the principle of fixing the whole of their 
expenses and the amount of bribes and presents upon the 
property in his charge. Some, fearing that others would 
not be easily induced to oppose his claims if they should 
proceed to the spoliation, proposed to establish the bond of 
a mutual oath on all the parties to abide by their com- 
mon decision, and especially not to yield to the claims of 
the old gentleman. 

The treaty was made, the parties swore to its observ- 
ance, and they refused the chief part of the rent-charge, 


obstructed the passage, and took away the produce of the 
mines, and then divided the plunder amongst them, after 
which they kindly sent a messenger to inform their old 
neighbor, that they had settled all their differences, were 
good friends, and hoped they had gratified him by making 
peace. He complained of injuries done to him, and required 
redress. They sent their best respects, that they had sworn 
to abide by the terms which they had made, and he was, 
it seems, so ill advised as to write a letter, in which he 
published to them and to the world, that this oath could 
not bind them to plunder him, and that it was null and 
void, and that those persons who originally exerted them- 
selves to strip him of everything, his sworn enemies, were 
its contrivers, and that this oath ought not to be kept to 
gratify them, but that he ought to have his rights restored. 

The gentlemen of the Theological Repertory can have no 
objection to try this case by the principles of Archdeacon 
Paley, who was a dignitary of the English Church, by law 

The oath taken by those peace-makers was a promissory 
oatli ; an oath by which they promised to each other to 
observe the stipulations of their treaty. The archdeacon 
says: "Promissory oaths are not binding, where the promise 
itself would not be so ; for the several cases of which, see 
the chapter of promises." 1 "Promises are not binding 
where the performance is impossible." He follows on to 
explain: "1. But observe that the promiser is guilty of 
a fraud if he be secretly aware of the impossibility, at the 
time of making the promise. For when any one promises 
a thing, he asserts his belief, at least of the possibility of 
performing it ; as no one can accept or understand a 
promise under any other supposition. Instances of this sort 
are the following : The minister promises a place, which he 
knows to be engaged, or not at his disposal. A father in 
settling marriage articles, promises to leave his daughter an 
estate which lie knows to be entailed upon the heir male 
of his family." 2 

""Moral Philosophy," c. zvi, part v. Ib., c. v, part 111. 


Now, in the case alluded to or supposed, it was impos- 
sible for the contracting parties to fulfill their promise 
without being guilty of injustice ; and in morality, that 
which cannot be done justly is impossible, because it is 
impossible to be moral and at the same time unjust. Thus, 
although it was physically possible for those conspirators to 
plunder the claimant, still it was impossible in morality. 
They could not bind each other by an oath to do injustice, 
for an oath is not a bond of iniquity. The claimant then 
could fairly and properly and conscientiously answer them : 
Your pretext is frivolous, your object is bad, your oath is 
no bond ; you ought not to observe it. Shall I lose my 
claim to what is mine, because you swear to do what you 
cannot justly do? Shall it be in the power of a confeder- 
ation of villians to create a good title for themselves to 
the property of honest people by merely combining to seize 
upon what they please, and then partitioning their plunder 
and swearing that they will abide by their regulations ? 
And shall the plundered sufferer, who says their perjury 
and rapine are bad titles to his property, be taunted with 
the imputation of caring nothing for the sanctity of an oath, 
and branded as too impious to be permitted to live in 
civil society, because he cries out that an oath is not a 
bond of iniquity ? 

Now, can my opponents show any difference between the 
value of an oath by which a man promises to give to his 
daughter that which belongs to her brother's son, and of 
an oath by which two men who commit robbery guarantee 
to each other the property which they have stolen ? Will 
the title of the robber be better than the title of the father? 
I conjure them, then, by all the regard which they have 
for their reputation as sound divines ; as they would avoid 
the vile sneers of wicked passengers in New York steam- 
boats ; as they respect the authority of the venerable arch- 
deacon of a Church like theirs, and as they value the 
maxims of common sense and of good morality, to come 
into this conclusion : " That an old gentleman who has been 


plundered of what are, bona fide, his rights, or of what he 
conscientiously believes to be his rights, by confederates who 
swear not to restore these real or imaginary rights, may 
believe an oath to be a most holy and solemn bond, at 
the same time that he asserts that those confederates have 
been guilty of injustice, and that their oath is not binding." 

Now, having found our principle, let us apply it to 
our facts. Their surgeon theologian informs us : " When the 
Emperor and Roman Catholic Princes of Germany concluded 
the treaty of Westphalia with the Protestant Princes, they 
mutually bound each other, by a solemn oath, to the observ- 
ance of it. On which Pope Innocent X published a bull, 
pronouncing the oath to be null and void : as no oath 
could bind them to heretics." So writes Surgeon Pearson, 
we take their word for it, we have not seen the surgeon's 
book. Imprimis then, I deny that this is true. I state 
that the Pope is here grossly misrepresented ; not so much 
by the first part of the statement being false, as by a false 
coloring having been laid upon the whole transaction. 

Now, this Pope is the identical old gentleman whom I 
described before ; and this holy alliance of Westphalia was 
the confederation ; and the negotiators were the plunderers ; 
and the Pope declared the oath to be not binding, because 
it was a promissory oath, and a promissory oath would not 
be binding where the promise would not, and the promise 
would be null and void where it could not be fulfilled 
without committing injustice ; and the Pope declared that, by 
this treaty of Westphalia, great injustice was done to him 
and to his wards, and that any oath to do this injustice 
was null and void. The principle of the nullity of the 
oath, then, was the injustice of the promise, and not the 
heretical quality of some of the plunderers. Other Popes 
had declared similar oaths to be null and void, long before 
such special heresies were instituted, upon the same prin- 
ciple, and when the oaths were taken by Catholics to 

Now, I call upon these gentlemen to produce the 
bull, for they know Surgeon Pearson's hearsay cannot be 


admitted instead of documentary evidence, when the question 
at issue is the moral character of two hundred millions of 
persons, and the moral character of their predecessors 
during eighteen centuries, and of their successors in all 
future times. The charge is made upon the essential prin- 
ciples of the Roman Catholic Church, which, as they very 
truly observe; never change. Now, to convict such a 
dock-full of prisoners, even their own counsellor would tell 
them something more than the vague, unsworn statement of 
an evangelical anatomist would be required. Take the bull 
at once by the horns ; show courage here at least. They 
who dared all the familiars of the Inquisition, and daunt- 
lessly exposed themselves to fires which their fancy painted, 
to be tied with unfelt cords to imaginary stakes, should 
come forward and seize this bull. I promise them his 
horns are not as sharp as British bayonets ; my country 
has given me perhaps the privilege of an acquaintance and 
of an exhibition to which they are not entitled. I may 
play here safely, and they cannot : the bull is harmless. 
But let them keep away, for the bull will hurt them, be- 
cause of the very harmlessness ; and still more, I am 
greatly afraid that a pair of surgeons could not heal the 
wounds which they have already received. 

What in the name of prudence urged them to this bull- 
fight? Was it the suggestion of a friend of mine? 

So Spanish heroes with their lances, 
At once wound bulls and ladies' fancies, 
And he acquires the noblest spouse 
That widows greatest herds of cows ; 
Then, what may I expect to do, 
Wh' have quell'd so great a buffalo? 

Let me try what other principle we may agree upon 
before I bring forward other facts. 

Pray, whose property is the estate of Trinity Church in 
New York? Do these gentlemen think the governors of 
the several States could legally deprive their trustees of 
that property and divide it between themselves? AVhat 


would they say to the Popish priest, who is delegate to* 
Congress from Michigan, 1 if he had the audacity to suggest 
to some of the Radicals that it would be better to apply this 
money to national purposes than to building unnecessary 
churches in that city ? We should then, indeed, have our 
ears filled with invectives against unprincipled Romish 
tyranny; then would the fire of wrath be enkindled, and the 
fires of the Inquisition would shine in flaming splendor. 
And why? The inviolability of property, the sanctity of 
charters, the limits of power. But suppose the governors 
or Congress seized 'upon the revenues and swore a solemn 
oath never to give it back. Of course my friends would have 
such respect for the inviolability of an oath, especially if it 
had been taken at the suggestion of this Romish American 
deputy to Congress, that they would support their bereave- 
ment in resignation ; and even if the despoilers felt some 
qualms of conscience and had some misgivings, and consulted 
them as good divines, they would tell them : " It is true 
you robbed our Church, but you swore to keep the plun- 
der; your oath is registered in heaven. You must observe 
it. As for us : God forbid we should be partakers of 
sacrilege; should you violate your oaths and restore this 
property, we should never obtain forgiveness did we touch 
one cent thereof; for it would be concurring in your 
perjury; from which may our good consciences defend us!" 
Do they call this theology? Something like it was taught 
by the first royal head on earth of Christ's Church in 
Great Britain. King Henry VIII taught it with a witness; 
his Vicar General Crumwell taught it : the gentle Cranmer 
assented thereto ; the disinterested Somerset protected the 
principle along with Edward VI; Elizabeth was not impov- 
erished thereby; and it was most religiously acquiesced in 
by all the bishops whom she and her parliament made. 
However, the doctrine has been somewhat antiquated 
tempora in'uiantur. It is branded with little less, perhaps 
I ought to say a little more than the stamp of heresy by 
his grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of 

i Father Richard. 


all England ; by his grace the Lord Archbishop of York, 
Primate of England ; by his grace the Lord Archbishop 
of Armagh, Primate of all Ireland; by his grace the learned 
and conciliating, the grave, tolerant Lord Archbishop of 
Dublin, Primate of Ireland; by his grace the Lord Arch- 
bishop of Cashel; by his grace the Lord Archbishop of 
Tuam; by his Majesty's Cabinet Ministers; by his Majesty's 
Lord High Chancellor of that part of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, called Ireland, and by the 
Right Honorable William Conyngham Plunket, his Majesty's 
Attorney General of the same; and by all those members 
of the British House of Commons who, in the present 
year, accused Mr. Joseph Hume of the most sacrilegious 
criminality for daring to inquire whether the Protestant 
bishops and clergy of Ireland could not live 011 less than 
one-fifth of the land, though their flocks did not constitute 
the one-tenth of the population. Therefore) my opponents 
will not consider me profane if I conclude that it is not 
abhorrent to the principles of the Protestant Church of 
England, to say that Church property is inviolable, equally 
as private property ; that it is also perfectly compatible 
with the principles of the Protestant Episcopal Church of 
America to assert that Church property which is legally 
recpgnized, is to be sacredly preserved for the purposes to 
which it is destined, and cannot be applied to any other ; 
nor is it lawful to seize upon it by force, or to usurp 
the same. 

So , far is it recognized as a principle in the State of 
South Carolina, that it has been decided upon appeal in 
equity, that where a Protestant Episcopal church had 
certain revenues, and was for many years vacant, and no 
minister of that Church could be had, and some of the 
parishioners invited a Presbyterian clergyman to officiate, he 
could not, upon the principle of doing what came nearest 
to the object for which the fund was created, receive a 
salary therefrom, because it was created for a Protestant 
Episcopalian, and not for a Presbyterian; and the court 


could not in equity permit a fund sacred to one purpose 
to be given for a different purpose. It would be unjust 
to divert the fund from the purpose of its creation. 

Let us then in the name of consistency give the Pope 
leave to hold the same opinion respecting Church property 
of the Komish Church, that English Protestants hold 
respecting the property of the English Church : that Amer- 
ican Protestants and American courts of equity do respecting 
the property of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Let us 
give Innocent X the benefit of the principle now estab- 
lished, and by the application of obvious facts to this 
principle, we shall come to the proper result. 

The question now is, whether by the treaty of West- 
phalia the contracting parties did, against the Pope's consent, 
deprive him of rights which he previously had ; and 
whether the churches under his protection, and whose rights 
he was sworn to defend and bound to preserve, were 
against his will stripped of their rights and possessions. 
This is a plain question touching facts, and easily solved 
by history. As, however, history is rather cumbersome, my 
friends, who wish to be at their ease, dispense with its 
burden, and make sumpter mules of their surgeons. They 
lay all the faults of their quackery upon invisible physicians, 
and all their historical blunders upon intangible surgeons. 

To know how a question is to be solved, we should 
know its bearings. The rights which the German churches 
possessed were the right to hold the property bestowed for 
religious purposes, the right to have the offices filled by 
persons having the qualifications required by the 'donors, 
and the right of having those officers appointed by the 
authority established and in the mode pointed out by the 
donors. The property was bestowed by Roman Catholics 
for the support of the Roman Catholic worship. The offices 
were to be filled by Roman Catholic clergymen of several 
descriptions; they were to be appointed in some instances 
by the Pope, in others by the chapter, in otlvcrs by the 
bishop. The Pope had his own special rights, and was 


moreover guardian and protector of the rights of the bishops, 
of the chapters and of the churches generally; he had in 
Germany special rights beyond what he had in other places, 
arising from two causes: 1. He was the creator of that 
empire. 2. The emperor was bound by several treaties to 
preserve those special, peculiar and eminent privileges and 
rights, and to prevent any infringement of them or of any 
of them. But in the treaty of Westphalia, he did grossly 
infringe upon them. Archdeacon Paley tells us: "Promises 
are not binding when they contradict a former promise. 
Because the performance is then unlawful." 1 The first 
promise of the emperors was to protect and to preserve the 
rights of the Church. To observe this, they were sworn 
at their coronation. The first treaties of the emperor were 
to maintain the rights of the See of Rome. It was for 
this .purpose the empire was originally created. Therefore, 
i\ promise at the time of the treaty of "Westphalia was 
subsequent to those promises ; and would be unlawful if 
it contradicted them, and Archdeacon Paley says it would 
not be binding even if confirmed with an oath, for "prom- 
issory oaths are not binding where the promise itself would 
not be so." 

Now, I put it to my opponents as divines : Is it 
lawful to take away from Trinity Church, New York, its 
funds and to convert them to the repairing of the Cum- 
berland road or to the fortifying of Point Comfort? Or 
would the Rev. Mr. Hawley or the Rev. Mr. Mcllvaine 
consent to the lawfulness of appropriating the income of 
their churches to the defraying of the expenses of the city 
of Charleston, in the entertainment of General La Fayette? 
Now, Archdeacon Paley tells us that " promises are not 
binding when the performance is unlawful." Suppose our 
friend Captain Carbery, whom my opponents abused for 
being asleep when his sister was cured, was again elected 
by his fellow-citizens to be Mayor of Washington, and 
that he swore the income of one of their churches should 

'"Moral Philosophy." c. vi, part iii, aec. 3. 


be appropriated to the procuring of a good mansion house 
for the mayor of the federal city, would they give up 
the money rather than permit him to l?e esteemed a perjurer? 
Suppose a good, warm-hearted, foolish countryman of mine 
were to swear an oath that they should not quit his table 
until they were drunk, would they be obliged to become 
intoxicated lest he should be a perjurer? I hope this will 
not be found their maxim of morality. 

The principle of law, the principle of morality is prior 
to this oath. Listen to their own archdeacon : 

" The parties in those cases are not obliged to perform 
what the promise requires, because they were under a 
prior obligation to the contrary. From which prior obliga- 
tion what is to discharge them ? Their promise their own 
act and deed. But the obligation, from which a man can 
discharge himself by his own act, is no obligation at all. 
The guilt, therefore, of such promises lies in the making 
not in the breaking of them; and if in the interval 
betwixt the promise and performance, a man so far recover 
his reflection, as to repent of his engagements, he ought 
certainly break through them." 

'However, as my opponents perhaps will not be satisfied 
with a mere archdeacon of the English Church, it may be 
as well to give them the doctrine of the pure days of 
King Edward VI, with the approbation of her majesty Queen 
Elizabeth, who committed the crime of living in single 
blessedness they probably know as well as I do what is 
meant, cum yrano satis. The Homilies have authority from 
the ratification of the thirty-nine articles, together with the 
acceptation of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America. 
"But if a man shall at any time, either of ignorance or 
of malice, promise and swear to do anything which is 
against the law of Almighty God, or not in his power to 
perform, let him take it for an unlawful and ungodly 
oath." 1 "And finally ye have heard how damnable a thing 
it is cither to forswear ourselves or to keep an unlawful 
and unadvised oath." 2 

> No T. Sermon of Swearing, part 2, paragraph 2. s ib M j as t paragraph. 


However, as Pope Innocent X had not the benefit of 
Dr. Paley's learning, it may be no harm to see by what 
light he Avas guided. I shall therefore make a few quota- 
tions from Popish authors whom His Holiness could have 
consulted, and in such dark times those little scintillations 
might have sufficed ; though British divines might have 
been as much in error, as to the value of their authority, 
as the British soldiers were during the last war respecting 
the nature of fire-flics, when their scouts mistook them for 
sparks from flints preparing for the rifles which were to 
send them to a world of spirits. I shall, nevertheless, 
take one or two passages from St. Thomas of Aquin : 
"Some things are good under all circumstances, such as 
works of virtue, and such good things might be vowed or 
promised to be done. Other things are bad under all 
circumstances : such as things naturally sinful. And they 
can never be made the matter of a vow or of a promise. 
There are also some things which considered abstractedly 
are good, and under this view they may be the matter of 
a vow or of a promise. But under certain circumstances 
they may lead to a bad result ; and in this view they 
cannot be the matter of a vow or of a promise. 
Thus St. Jerome says of Jeptha, he was a fool in making 
a vow imprudently, and he was impious in its fulfillment." 1 

In his next question, 2 St. Thomas, after laying down 
his doctrine and its supports from reason, to show that a 
person ought not to observe an oath which appeared to bind 
to the performance of an unlawful or sinful act, produces 
the testimony of St. Ambrose, in those words : " It is some- 
times against duty to fulfill your promise, to keep your oath : 
as when Herod put John to death, lest he should not fulfill 
what he had sworn." My opponents know St. Thomas, and 
St. Jerome, and St. Ambrose, and all those writers of my 
Church were fanatics and poor ignorant creatures, who knew 
nothing of the mariner's compass, nor of the art of printing, 
which Romish men, however, invented, but as they wrote a 
kind of monkish Latin, which I feared they could not un- 

'"Summa," 2, 2J, q. 88, a. 11, ad secundum. * Ib. a. 7, ad sec. 


derstand, I give a translation in English. Thus they will 
perceive the archdeacon of a Church like theirs and my 
saints have agreed upon a principle ; all that remains for 
them and me is to find the facts and to draw the con- 

We have seen what rights the Pope had in Germany, 
or if they say these were imaginary rights, I will answer : 
That he considered the rights to be in him : and the 
Catholic princes and prelates and people believed the rights 
to be in him. It is true the Protestants asserted that he 
had no rights, and were enemies to his having any power 
in Germany or elsewhere, and one of the complaints of the 
Pope was that the Catholics knowing the object of the 
Protestants to be the destruction of his rights, invaded those 
rights to save their own privileges and purses. Thus he 
complained that those men were led by their heretical prin- 
ciples to try and bind Catholics to do him serious injus- 
tice ; and he declared that any oath taken to heretics to do 
this injustice was not to be kept by Catholics, not because 
the oath was made to heretics, but because it was made to 
do injustice. It is, then, gross misrepresentation to publish to 
the world that the doctrine of the Pope is, that oaths made 
to heretics by Catholics are not binding. It is that fallacy 
which draws a general conclusion from particular premises. 
It is that fallacy which comes to a general conclusion from 
an accidental circumstance. It is faulty in several respects. 
Sucli fallacious arguments are seldom used by honest men ; 
and when honest men use them it is only their ignorance 
which can plead their excuse. It is a species of sophistry 
highly discreditable to him who uses it ; and it is that which 
is almost perpetually used against the lloman Catholic 

The Protestants of Germany made several attempts to de- 
stroy the Catholic establishments. 1. By procuring disqual- 
ified persons to be elected and installed into places for 
which only Catholics were qualified. 2. By placing Prot- 
estant laics in the places founded for Catholic clergymen. 


3. By procuring, frequently by force and oftener by fraud, 
the secularization of Church property. What would my 
opponents say to the Roman Catholics of this Union did 
they pretend to be Protestants, and get elected upon the 
vestries of their churches, for the purpose of disposing of 
their revenues in a way injurious to their religion and bene- 
ficial to the Catholic Church? What would they say to 
them if they appointed Catholic laymen to fill the places of 
their pastors and kept them by force in those places, per- 
mitting them to hire Protestant clergymen at trifling salaries 
to go through the duties badly and irregularly, and pocketing 
large profits in the amount of difference between receipts and 
expenditures? What, if the Catholics had their chartered 
property seized upon and converted to the public purposes 
of the State, or divided amongst themselves? Yet of such 
a nature, as can be learned from the Protestant Archdeacon 
Coxe, were the facts in Germany. These gentlemen may, 
if they will, say that Popery is error, but does his error 
destroy the Papist's right to his property to the offices of 
his own Church and to their income? 

It is time to come now to the treaty of Westphalia. 
It was signed at Osnaburg on the 6th of August, and at 
Munster on the 8th of September, 1648, after a negotiation 
of two years. The Protestant powers together with Sweden 
met at Osnaburg under the mediation of Denmark. France, 
Spain, and the Catholic powers met at Munster under the 
mediation of the Pope. At a very early period of the 
negotiations, Chigi, the nuncio of Innocent X, protested 
against the injustice to the Papal See and the German 
churches, and withdrew. He succeeded Innocent in the 
Papacy by the name of Alexander VII. The negotiators 
foresaw the opposition which would be given by the parties 
whose rights they knew they were destroying. See what the 
Protestant archdeacon writes in his history of the house of 
Austria : "As the protests of the Pope and the King of 
Spain were foreseen, a particular clause, expressed in the 
strongest and most precise terms, established these treaties 


as a perpetual law and pragmatic sanction, and declared null 
and ineffectual all opposition made by any ecclesiastic or 
secular prince either within or without the empire." There 
was besides this a special compliment paid to the Pope 
quite in the Lutheran fashion at that day, of placing him 
in a stipulation of the treaty in that company which it was 
thought was most appropriate. The archdeacon gives it 
to us in these words : " The principal contracting parties 
were allowed to include their allies, if nominated within a 
certain period, and received by common consent ; and the 
different powers, specified under the sanction of this article, 
comprised all the European States, except the Pope and the 
Turkish Sultan." 

We shall now see the Church property, which was con- 
veyed away to indemnify the belligerents, and the whole 
Church property of the several denominations in the United 
States is far less than the Catholic Church was stripped of 
by this treaty : " Sweden obtained the Archbishopric of 
Bremen, secularized and converted into a duchy; and the 
Bishopric of Yerden, secularized and converted into a prin- 
cipality. The Elector of Brandenburg, in return for part 
of Pomerania, ceded to Sweden, obtained the Archbishopric 
of Magdeburgh, secularized and converted into a duchy ; 
the Bishopric of Halberstadt, converted into a princi- 
pality ; the Bishopric of Minden, converted into a prin- 
cipality ; the Bishopric of Cammin, converted into a princi- 
pality. The house of Brunswick Liineburg, in return for 
the patronage in the Catholic Church, lost by its leaving 
the Catholic religion, received the property of the convents 
of Walkenrid and Groningen, and the alternate possession 
for, one of the younger sons of the house of Hanover, of 
the revenues of the Bishopric of Osnabriick, the Bishop, a 
Roman Catholic, to have the alternation. By virtue of this 
clause, his Royal Highness, Frederick, Duke of York and 
Albany, and heir-apparent to the British throne, has re- 
ceived the income to the see of Osnabriick during the last 
sixty-one years, leaving the Catholics to find some way of 


supporting their Church, without the income left by their 
predecessors for that purpose. The Duke of Mecklenburg 
received the Bishopric of Schwerin, converted into a secular 
principality; the Bishopric of Ratzeburg, converted into a 
principality; two commanderies of the religious order of 
Knights of St. John. William, Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, 
who had no claim whatever for satisfaction or indemnity, 
because he had suffered no loss : by the support of the 
Swedes, and because his father was one of the first Ger- 
man princes who joined Gustavus Adolphus in opposition 
to the Catholics, obtained the princely possessions of the 
Abbey of Hirschfeld as a secular domain." Besides those 
special enumerations, a vast quantity of Catholic Church 
property was alienated indirectly by several other articles 
of the treaty; and a great many of the ancient and un- 
doubted rights of the See of Rome and of the Church 
were destroyed. My object is sufficiently answered by the 
general notice here given. I wished to show that the Pope 
complained steadily, constantly, and loudly, not that Catho- 
lics and Protestants made a fair treaty, and that Catholics 
ought not to observe an oath sworn to Protestants; but 
that Catholics and Protestants made a treaty to enrich each 
other by plundering the Church, and that he felt himself 
called upon to protest against the spoliation as an act of 
gross injustice, and to declare the pretext of the bond of 
an oath between the contracting parties to be a frivolous 
pretext, because the oath was not binding. 

This is the view which the principles of morality and 
the facts of history give of the case. I then unhesitatingly 
assert that the act of Innocent X was not immoral, and 
that it is a calumny of a very gross kind to assert that 
he taught, or that Catholics believe, that Catholics are not 
bound by their oaths to heretics. It manifests either a 
total ignorance of facts or a total absence of moral fee-ling 
in the writer who deliberately publishes the proposition ; 
and now I leave my opponents and Surgeon Pearson to 
share their well-deserved honors between them. 



Some persons are of opinion that I treat my opponents 
with too much severity ; " for/' say they, " this priest ought 
to make some allowance for the ignorance of facts under 
which the Rev. Mr. Hawley and his associates labor. These 
gentlemen are well disposed, but though they have studied 
divinity and are zealous preachers, they have not studied 
history to a sufficient extent to know all those things." 
Shall I admit this excuse for them, and against myself? 
Am I, and my religion, and my country -to be held up to- 
execration, without redress ? Are Roman Catholics to be 
libelled with impunity ? Are the great majority of the 
people of Ireland, and nearly a million of the respectable 
and best conducted peers, baronets, gentry, merchants, and 
other inhabitants of Great Britain to be denounced as 
traitors, who are on equal footing only with the wretched 
convicts who are transported to New Holland? And am I 
to suffer all this, merely because my opponents are ignorant? 
If their advocates have no better excuse, they had better 
continue silent. Would to God they had been silent ! I 
should never have disturbed their literary somnambulism had 
they not contrived to grope us out and seize upon us for 
destruction. They left us no alternative. We should either, 
before all the citizens of the Union, acquiesce in the truth 
of their horrible charges, and thus acknowledge ourselves 
too base and too wicked to be admitted into these repub- 
lics, or we should prove their intentional falsehood or their 
total ignorance. They left us no choice. I differ, there- 
fore, with their apologists, and must proceed. 

' Their next allegation is derived from their doctor : " In 
1768, when an oath of allegiance to be taken by the 
Roman Catholics of Ireland, was in the contemplation of 
parliament, containing a declaration of abhorrence of the 
doctrine, that faith was not to be kept with heretics, and 
that princes excommunicated by the Pope might be deposed 
or murdered : Thomas Maria Ghillini, the Pope's legate 


at Brussels, made the following observations on that oath, 
in four letters to the archbishops of Ireland : that these 
doctrines are defended by most Catholic nations, and the 
Holy See has frequently followed them in practice : that 
as the oath is in its whole extent unlawful, so in its nature 
it is invalid : that it can by no means bind or oblige 
consciences. It was \vith .reference to, and to guard against, 
these dangerous Popish tenets, that the following clauses 
were inserted in an oath of allegiance intended to have 
been taken by the Roman Catholics of Ireland : ' I do 
swear, that I do from my heart detest, and abjure as 
impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, 
that princes excommunicated by the Pope, or by any 
authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or mur- 
dered by their subjects/ etc. Before this oath could receive 
the sanction of the legislature, it was condemned by the 
vicars apostolical of the western, northern, and southern 
districts, in an encyclical letter addressed to all the faithful 
clergy and laity of those districts." 

Now, I am perfectly at a loss to know whether it is 
upon my opponents or upon Surgeon. Pearson the weight 
of all the blunders and misrepresentations of this precious 
collection ought to be laid. I have not seen the surgeon's 
work, from which it purports to be an extract. I do not 
know whether there is anything in the book to let the 
reader know that all this ought not to refer to Ireland ; 
but I do know, that here it appears to refer to the Roman 
Catholics of Ireland only; except so far as Legate Ghillini 
and the Papists at largo are calumniated. I shall there- 
fore place the whole to my opponents' debit, and they and 
their surgeon will be at full liberty to settle their own 
accounts as they think proper. 

Leaving the legate and the general imputation for awhile, 
let us see the other allegations : 1. They assert that the 
clause which they favor us with, was inserted in an oath 
intended to be taken by the Roman Catholics of Ireland. 
2. That it was so inserted, for the purpose of guarding 


against these Popish tenets which they have adduced, viz.: 
that faith was not to be kept with heretics ; and next, 
that princes excommunicated by the Pope might be deposed 
or murdered. 3. That in 1768 parliament contemplated 
framing an oath of. allegiance for the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland, containing a declaration of abhorence of these doc- 
trines. 4. That this oath was condemned by the vicars 
apostolical of the northern, western, and southern districts, 
before it could receive the sanction of the legislature. 

I beg leave to inform them, that each and every one 
of the above four propositions is a distinct falsehood : 
1. The clause they adduce was never inserted in any oath 
offered to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, nor in any 
oath intended for them by the Irish parliament, which was 
their legislature at the time. 2. That clause not having 
been introduced into the oath intended for them, could not 
have been introduced for a special purpose. 3. In the 
year 1768, the Irish parliament did not contemplate an 
oath of allegiance to be taken by the Roman Catholics. 
Lord Townshend was the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and 
the parliament was occupied chiefly with the octennial bill, 
and that regarding the judges, until its separation in June. 
It did not meet again until October, 1769 : and during 
the entire administration of this lord, which did not ter- 
minate until 1772, no question about the Roman Catholics 
was raised or considered of in the legislature. 4. There 
were no vicars apostolical in Ireland, and the English 
vicars apostolical had no concern with the Irish oath, and 
issued no circular or encyclical letter, either in approbation 
or in contradiction thereof. 

I might, so far as my opponents are concerned, rest 
here, satisfied with having exhibited their total ignorance 
of facts ; but my object is not to treat them as they 
richly deserve. I candidly avow, that from the specimens 
of their theological and historical knowledge which I have 
seen, I should be but little inclined to waste even my ink 
upon them; but;, as I feel every inclination to treat 


respectfully those who may read my effusions, I owe it to 
them, even at the hazard of being tedious, to show that 
I make no unfounded assertions. I shall, therefore, give 
as briefly as I can a statement of facts and an exhibition 
of documents which will correct misrepresentations. 

In 1757, the Duke of Bedford was appointed Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland. During many years previous, the 
Catholics had not only been ground down, but they suffered 
under a persecution worse than any bodily torture ; such 
.a persecution as the writers of the TJicological Repertory 
endeavor to continue the persecution of calumny. To an 
upright mind, it is the worst species of infliction. I feel, 
at this moment, a conflict within myself which is most 
painful. I know the precept of forgiveness which my 
Redeemer obliges me to observe, and I feel the tortures 
of their cruel injustice. I know the avowal will gratify 
them ; but let them enjoy it. God knows I do not envy 
them. Yet this precept, notwithstanding, I wish they could 
feel as I do : the torture of being publicly vilified by - 
I shall not write what I feel. Besides brutal oppression, 
the Irish Catholic felt then more than I now feel, and 
what, if these gentlemen once felt, if they had even the 
shred of the remnant of a heart, they would never inflict : 
the torture of being painted in every deformity which they 
detested. In that duke my ancestors found, what, notwith- 
standing foul falsehoods from men who preacli not to bear 
false witness, I found in America a kind Protestant 
friend. Such an unwonted, such an unexpected, such an 
extraordinary discovery, gave them courage and gratitude ; 
and the following extract from the address of the Roman 
Catholic clergy of Dublin to the laity was an exhibition 
of their feelings. Read it. It is the modest remonstrance 
of good and persecuted men, conscious of integrity, but 
scarcely venturing to insinuate that they had been calumni- 
ated, though they groaned under the calumny. Oh ! may 
God long preserve and fortify the principle which leaves 
every man in America at full liberty to reply to his 


defamer in language which, though perhaps too warm, is 
still less severe than a defamer deserves ; especially one 
who flings about him the mantle of religion, and calls 
upon his fellow-citizens, as they love God, to execrate their 

" But as we have not a more effectual method of show- 
ing our acknowledgment to our temporal governors than by 
an humble, peaceful, and obedient behavior, as hitherto, we 
earnestly exhort you to continue in the same happy and 
Christian disposition, and thus by degrees you will entirely 
efface in their minds those evil impressions which have 
been conceived so much to our prejudice, and industriously 
propagated by our enemies. A series of more than sixty 
years spent with a pious resignation under the hardships 
of very severe penal laws, and with the greatest thankful- 
ness for the lenity and moderation with which they were 
executed, ever since the accession of the present royal 
family, is certainly a fact which must outweigh, in the 
minds of all unbiased persons, any misconceived opinions- 
of the doctrine and tenets of our holy Church. 

" You know that it has always been our constant prac- 
tice as ministers of Jesus Christ, to inspire you with the 
greatest horror for thefts, frauds, murders and the like- 
abominable crimes, as being contrary to the laws of God 
and nature, destructive of civil society, condemned by our 
holy Church, which so far from justifying them on the 
score of religion, or any other pretext whatsoever, delivers 
the unrepenting authors of such criminal practices over to- 

" \Ve are no less zealous than ever in exhorting you 
to' abstain from cursing, swearing, and blaspheming; detest- 
able vices to which the poorer sort of our people are 
most unhappily addicted, and which must at one time or 
other bring down the vengeance of heaven upon you in 
some visible punishment, unless you absolutely refrain from 

" It is probable, that from hence some people have 
taken occasion to brand us with this infamous calumny, 


that we need not fear to take false oaths, and consequently 
to perjure ourselves, as if we believed that any power 
upon earth could authorize such damnable practices, or 
grant dispensations for this purpose. How unjust and cruel 
this charge is, you know by our instructions to you, both in 
public and private, in which we have ever condemned such 
doctrines as false and impious. 

" Others, likewise, may easily know it from the constant 
behavior of numbers of Roman Catholics, who have given the 
strongest proofs of their abhorrence of those tenets, by refusing 
to take oaths, which, however conducive to their temporal 
interest, appeared to them entirely repugnant to the prin- 
ciples of their religion." 1 

In the year 1757, the Catholic Committee was formed, and 
the venerable Dr. O'Kceffe, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, 
and founder of the College of St. Patrick, at Carlo w, pre- 
viously proposed to a meeting, of which Lord Trimbleston 
was chairman, a declaration of Roman Catholic tenets as 
regarded the calumnies with which they were assailed and 
insulted, and which declaration was adopted and signed 
unanimously. This declaration then, be it remembered, was 
drawn up by a Catholic bishop, and proposed by a Catho- 
lic bishop, and unanimously adopted by the Catholic Com- 
mittee, and signed by clergy and laity, and sent to Rome 
as the authentic act and deed of an Irish Catholic diocese, 
and there received without condemnation, in 1757, which 
was full eleven years before the period alluded to by the 
surgeon. This declaration, amongst other tilings, contains 
the following : 

"Whereas, certain opinions and principles inimical to 
good order and government, have been attributed to the 
Catholics, the existence of which we utterly deny; and 
whereas it is at this time peculiarly necessary to remove 
such imputations ; and to give the most full and ample 
satisfaction to our Protestant brethren, that we hold no 
principle whatever, incompatible with our duty as men or 

1 Extract from an Address to the Laity, read from the Altars of the Roman 
Catholic churches of Dublin, Sunday, Oct. 3, 1757. 


as subjects, or repugnant to liberty, whether political, civil, 
or religious ; now we, the Catholics of Ireland, for the 
removal of all such imputations, and in deference to the 
opinion of many respectable bodies of men and individuals 
among our Protestant brethren, do hereby in the face of 
our country, of all Europe, and before God, make this our 
deliberate and solemn declaration: 1. We abjure, disavow, and 
condemn the opinion, that princes excommunicated by the 
Pope or Council, or by any ecclesiastical authority what- 
soever, may therefore be deposed or murdered by their 
subjects, or by any other persons. We hold such doctrines 
in detestation, as wicked and impious ; and we declare that 
we do not believe that either the Pope, with or without 
a general council, or any prelate or priest, or any eccle- 
siastical power whatsoever, can absolve the subjects of this 
kingdom, or any of them, from their allegiance to hi& 
majesty King George, who is, by authority of parliament,, 
the lawful king of this realm. 2. We abjure, condemn, and 
detest, as unchristian and impious, the principle that it 
is lawful to murder, destroy, or any ways injure any 
person whatsoever, for, or under the pretext of being here- 
tics ; and we solemnly declare before God, that we believe 
no act, in itself unjust, immoral, or wicked, can ever be 
justified or excused by or under the pretence or color 
that it was done either for the good of the Church, or 
in obedience to any ecclesiastical power whatsoever. 3. We 
further declare that we hold it as an unchristian and 
impious principle ' that no faith is to be kept with here- 
tics.' This doctrine we detest and reprobate, not only as 
contrary to our religion, but as destructive of morality, 
society, and even common honesty ; and it is our firm 
belief, that an oath made to any person, not of the Catho- 
lic religion, is equally binding as if we made it to any 
Catholic whatsoever. 4. We have been charged with hold- 
ing as an article of our belief, that the Pope, with or 
without the authority of a general council, or that certain 
ecclesiastical powers, can acquit or absolve us before God 


from our oath of allegiance or even from the just oaths 
and contracts entered into between man and man : now, 
we do utterly renounce, abjure and deny, that we hold or 
maintain any such belief as being contrary to the peace 
and happiness of society, inconsistent with morality, and 
above all repugnant to the true spirit of the Catholic 

Look at this document; and if my opponents have a 
particle of feeling, can they dare to ascend the pulpit of 
the God of truth without seeking pardon for their gross, 
their uncalled-for libel upon a people persecuted in a 
manner too shocking to be related? This declaration was 
drawn up by a Catholic bishop, it was subscribed by the 
clergy and the laity, and it was registered in Rome, and 
published in Ireland over ten, nearly eleven years before 
their assumed date. 

The fact of Dr. Ghillini's interference, at a subsequent 
period, I am ready to admit and to show that it does 
not bear upon the question between them and me. 

That question is, whether the doctrines imputed by 
them to the Irish Catholics, and here rejected by Irish 
Catholics, were held by Irish Catholics. Another question 
will be, were they or are they Catholic, or in my oppo- 
nents' uncourteous phraseology, Popish doctrines. I will 
now suppose against the fact, that they were held by the 
legate at Brussels. My answer is as short as was that 
of Father O'Leary, viz. : " Mr. Ghillini is not the Roman 
Catholic Church; he is not infallible." 

The Roman Catholics were not noticed until 1773, when 
two bills were brought into parliament to enable them to 
lend money upon mortgage and to take leases of land for 
lives, under certain provisos. But both were rejected. 
Next year, 1774, on the 5th of March, leave was given 
to bring in a bill to enable them to testify their alle- 
giance, and it passed without opposition ; but it remitted 
no pain or penalty to which they were liable. It received 
the royal assent upon the 2d of June. So that in my 


opponents' statement of 1768, they made another mistake 
of six years ; but to them such inaccuracies are trifles. 
Great men who are occupied in deep philosophical re- 
searches, and whose meditations are made amidst the piles 
of the patriarchal tomes, cannot be expected to be good 
chronologists and, indeed, 1768 was a good guess for either 
1757 or 1774. But the misfortune is, that the parliament 
never contemplated the oath until the latter period. My 
opponents ought, however, to be forgiven this mistake. I 
would myself warrant ,they will never forget the dates 

As they may like to know the history of the oath, I 
shall give it to them, and they will be the more inter- 
ested in it, as a truly respectable Protestant bishop, one 
whose memory, Papist as I am, I respect, took a credit- 
able part in the transaction. It will also show that they 

who are not bishops, and are not however, I shall 

not write what I think, cannot be so much blamed for 
ignorance upon a point on which this great and good man 
was for a long time unenlightened. The following is an 
extract from the " Life of O'Leary," by the Reverend 
Thomas R. England, brother to the Bishop of Charleston : 

" The act is said to have originated from the following 
occurrence : The celebrated Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, 
whilst at dinner one day, with the professors of one of 
the Irish colleges in France, feelingly lamented the hard 
necessity which his learned and amiable countrymen were 
under, of spending in foreign countries the most valuable 
portion of their lives ; still he could not see, he added, 
why they refused to their native sovereign that allegiance 
and' fidelity which distinguish their conduct towards the 
continental monarchs in whose dominions the Irish colleges 
were situated. For his part, he wished the Catholics to 
enjoy freedom of conscience ; but until they were found to 
renounce the opinions generally entertained by them opin- 
ions which militated against the lives of those whom they 
termed heretics, the safety of the throne, and the obliga- 


tions of an oath he could not so I far forget what he 
owed to the peace and security of the country, as to show 
them any countenance there. This declaration gave rise to 
a conversation of some length ; in the course of which 
the noble guest learned the willingness of the Catholics, as 
stated to him, to afford every proof of temporal allegiance 
that could be required from subjects ; and moreover, their 
hearty abhorrence of the opinions imputed to them of 
holding no faith with heretics, and of being prepared, at 
every intimation from their religious superiors, to trample 
upon the obligations of an path. These statements were, 
upon his return home, circulated by his lordship among 
his political friends, and as the Catholics were gradually 
growing on the good will of some members of the admin- 
istration, the subject was very generally and freely can- 
vassed. The late venerable Lord Taafe, Charles O'Connor 
(a man whose name will ever be dear to Ireland), Mr. 
Wise, of "Waterford, Mr. R. Dermott, and some other gen- 
tlemen who acted as a committee for the Catholic body, 
after consulting with the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, 
drew up the form of an oath, which they professed their 
willingness and anxiety to take as an evidence of their 
ioyalty," etc. 1 

Such is the history of the first declaration. Next of 
the oath of 1774, regarding which my opponents made so 
many mistakes. It is but right now to give them a few 
passages from the oath itself, which was indeed formed 
upon the declaration : "And I do swear, that I do reject 
and detest as unchristian and impious the belief that it 
is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons 
whatsoever, for or under pretence of their being heretics : 
and also that unchristian and impious principle, that no 
faith is to be kept with heretics. I further declare, that 
it is no article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject 
and abjure the opinion that princes excommunicated by the 
Pope and Council, or by any authority of the See of 

' P. 63. 



Rome, or by any authority whatsoever, may be deposed or 
murdered by their subjects, or by any person whatever; 
and I do promise that I will not hold, maintain or abet 
any such opinion, or any other opinion contrary to what 
is expressed in this declaration : and I do declare, that I 
do not believe the Pope of Eome, or any other foreign 
prince, prelate, State, or potentate, hath or ought to have 
any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority or 
pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, in this realm." 

All this is clear: 1. The declaration and the oath both 
distinctly reject and condemn , as unchristian and impious 
that it is lawful to murder or destroy heretics for heresy 
or under that pretence. 2. They both distinctly reject and 
condemn as unchristian and impious, that no faith is to 
be kept with heretics. 3. The oath declares that it is not 
a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, that princes 
excommunicated may be deposed or murdered ; but it admits 
that such an opinion was held by some individuals. The 
juror declares he rejects and abjures the opinion. Upon 
this head the declaration is more accurately worded than 
the oath, though their meaning is precisely the same. 

And if ever I wished for any portion of the spirit of 
Cervantes, of Butler, or of Swift it were to be able to 
describe as I ought the folly which endeavors to conceal 
its own injustice and errors by its laughable absurdity. 
The Catholics had been represented as not valuing the 
sanctity of an oath ; the proof of the charge was that they 
permitted themselves to be plundered and enslaved by Prot- 
estants sooner than swear what they did not believe. They 
had been represented as believing that the Pope could dis- 
pense with their observing their oaths ; yet they permitted 
themselvess to be afflicted to the last degree of endurance 
rather than ask for that dispensation. They had been rep- 
resented as believing that no oath to heretics is binding; 
yet they preferred permitting these heretics to take their 
valuable properties, and their valuable rights, and their 
valuable health and their valuable feelings, and their val- 


liable lives, rather than make those heretics the empty 
compliment of a valueless oath ! But now these Catholics 
were to be permitted to swear. Here was the jet of the 
melancholy joke. To permit them to swear was to acknowl- 
edge that they had been calumniated and plundered. Be- 
sides, the consciences of the episcopal bench must be sat- 
isfied. Let the free and rational and powerful mind of 
America read and stand amazed at the degrading burlesque 
of sanctimonious hypocrisy which assured the Catholic Com- 
mittee that the act could not pass without the following 
addition, which it was of course necessary to have added 
to the oath for the purpose of satisfying the timorous con- 
sciences of their worst oppressors and which to this day 
forms part of the recital of the disgusting farces which 
their courts occasionally exhibit. The Irish peer, the Irish 
archbishop, and the Irish peasant, who scarcely knows why 
he cannot be permitted to sign his own lease or give his 
note, until he shall have sworn to the truth of the con- 
tents of almost half a quire of paper, are equally insulted 
by the following conclusion of their oath : " And I do 
solemnly, in the presence of God, and of His only Son 
Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, profess, testify and declare, 
that I do make this declaration in the plain and ordinary 
sense of the words, without any equivocation or mental 
reservation whatever, and without any dispensation already 
granted by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, 
or of any person whatever, and without thinking that I 
am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved 
of this declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope 
or any other person or persons or authority whatsoever 
shall dispense with or annul the same or declare that it 
was null and void from the beginning. So help me God." 
Some persons thought this piece of insulting, contumelious 
falsehood, and blasphemous sporting with the name of God 
and the Redeemer, was added by a cunning device of men 
who wished to wound, but were afraid or ashamed to strike, 
.in order to disgust the Catholics with the oath and render 


their refusal subservient to their own vile system of mis- 
representations. Be this as it may; I have never read the 
oath without mingled feelings of indignation and contempt, 
for the blending of its malignant imputations and ludicrous 

Bad as its history is, I have been forced by my op- 
ponents to give it, and shall still have to enter more 
deeply into the history of the subsequent transactions, for 
the purpose of vindicating that Church to which I have 
the happiness and the honor of belonging, from the foul 
charges which they have, unfortunately for themselves and 
for my readers, been tempted to make. Why, in the name 
of common sense, did they not confine their extracts to 
some articles like the story which either they or Luther 
filched from Andrew Dunn ? In cases like that there is 
more safety. They can always fight in nubibus, and when 
they are driven to such a pass as not to be able to poison 
Papists with arsenic, they can shower down barrels of 
flour upon them to crush their carcasses and give manna 
to their foes. But facts are very dangerous, if they are 
portions of history ; they will neither be allowed to indulge 
their imagination nor to exercise their inventive powers; 
they will always be brought to evidence. The more they 
test facts, the more will they please me, because I shall 
stick close to them until I shall enable our readers plainly 
to discover the truth. 


I have given perhaps too much in detail the history 
of Jihe oath of 1774, which was the first oath. I now 
proceed to show that this first oath contained no ouch 
clause, which my opponents stated it did. The clause which 
they insert is in the following words : "I do swear that 
I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as impious 
and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that 
princes, excommunicated by the Pope or by the authority 
of the See of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their 


subjects/' etc. The clause which was really introduced into 
the oath, and which still forms part of it, is in the fol- 
lowing words : " I further declare that it is no article of my 
faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opin- 
ion that princes excommunicated by the Pope and Council, 
or by any authority of the See of Rome, or by any au- 
thority whatsoever, may be deposed or murdered by their 
subjects, or by any person whatsoever." 

So that it was not true to assert that a clause which 
never was in the oath was in it ; neither have the two 
clauses the same meaning, as I shall show when I come 
to treat of the fact which caused my opponents' mistake. 
Their total ignorance of the history of the British and 
Irish Catholics is manifest ; yet they thoughtlessly take 
upon them to write upon facts of which they are grossly 
ignorant. If they know anything of the firsc principles of 
theology, they must at once perceive a serious and an 
important difference between the meaning of the clauses, 
and I hope they will not require that a Popish priest 
should be under the necessity of teaching them how proper 
it is that oaths should be in precise words. They are 
not Roman Catholics who swear to the thirty-nine articles, 
and after having sworn, discuss what was the meaning of 
their oath. Roman Catholics like to know before they swear 
what is the exact meaning of the oath ; they were not 
Papists, who swore the d cetera oath in 1640. Lest my 
opponents might not have been able to find " The Anat- 
omy of, etc., or the Unfolding of the Dangerous Clause of 
the Sixth Canon," London, printed 1641, I will beg to 
inform them that it was a comment upon a clause of the 
said canon, enacted in the convention of 1640, which 
required every clergyman to swear, amongst other clauses, 
the following : " Nor will I ever give my consent to alter 
the government of this Church by archbishops, bishops, 
deans, archdeacons, etc." Some persons who appear to have 
just as much respect for oaths as Papists have, objected 
to swear the d cetera, upon the ground that it might be 


brought to mean several things, which they never intended : 
amongst others, Cleveland, the satirist, has left us the fol- 
lowing lines : 


I cannot half untruss 
Et cetera, it is so abominous ; 
The Trogau nag was not so fully lined. 
Unrip etc. ; and you shall find 
Og, the great commissary, and which is worse 
The apparator upon his skew-bald horse ; 
And finally my babe of grace forbear 
Et cetera, 'twill be too far to swear, 
For 'tis to speak in a familiar style 
A Yorkshire "Wea-bit," longer than a mile. 

No such clause as they adduce was ever introduced 
into the Irish Catholic's oath of allegiance. 

Now, will they be pleased to inform me how that which 
was never introduced could be introduced for a special pur- 
pose? One would be really tempted to imagine when he 
read this pretty lucubration of theirs that they were, in 
writing, perfectly careless of even the semblance of truth. 
Indeed, their making the Irish parliament introduce what 
they never introduced, to guard against a danger which 
never existed, is a sort of blunder to which moralists give 
a very short but a very significant name, and which, as 
not becoming the mouth of a gentleman to utter, I shall 
leave them to lisp out as prettily as they can ; my pen 
is too genteel to afford ink for writing the shortest mode 
of expressing the assertion of the thing which is not. This 
is number two. 

I have already shown what will warrant my stating 
that 17G8 is number three. As to number four, there 
never was a vicar apostolic, who had jurisdiction in Ire- 
land, since the days of St. Patrick ; for the Irish have in 
a most unprecedented manner preserved their hierarchy 
through fire and blood since the days of its establishment 
to the present day; nor, indeed, need they envy those 
who perhaps could boast for the commencement of theirs 
as celestial an emblem as that of Darius, King of Persia. 


I may then leave the noble war-horse to proclaim the new 
dynasty, by royal right and authority of parliament, and 
the Irish will feel satisfied with the possession of that 
which came to them through humble fishermen. Before the 
days of St. Patrick there were in Ireland a few vicars 
apostolic; .but Pope Celestine gave to him, not only epis- 
copal consecration and regular jurisdiction, but also legatine 
authority ; and he established an ordinary hierarchy, which, 
notwithstanding the worst efforts of the most cruel perse- 
cution, still continues, and which of course did exist in 

We are coming to see of what value is my opponent's 
argument respecting the letter of Dr. Ghillini . But before 
I proceed farther, I must ask who was Dr. Ghillini? The 
Pope's legate at Brussels. What is a legate? An ambas- 
sador. Is he infallible? No. Then what is the value of 
his assertions? The value of his commission. Does his 
oommission extend to explain the doctrines of the Church? 
Just as far as the American ambassador's at Paris extends 
to explain the Constitution of the United States. Would 
the American ambassador's decision supersede that of the 
supreme court? Would it outweigh that of the judges 
upon circuit? Would it even equal that of the attorney 
general ? No ; an ambassador of the Pope can bind his 
principal to do certain acts, which he has authority to 
agree to in his name; but he is not infallible, nor can he 
make the Pope infallible in any decision. If then the 
legate stated that these impious doctrines were doctrines of 
our Church, his declaration would not have made them so. 
If he did any act, its force would not extend beyond the 
territory to which lie was legate.* He was legate to Flan- 
ders, not to Ireland. The question is then easily settled : 
Dr. Ghillini's opinion was not of more authority than Mr. 
Hawley's would have been, so far as right is concerned. 
He ought to know the Catholic doctrine, but he was not 
infallible. He might have erred. Now I distinctly assert 
that if Dr. Ghillini did teach what my opponents state he 
did, ho did orr most egregiouslv. 


They represent the legate as teaching : 1 . That it would 
be unlawful to swear an abhorrence of the doctrine that 
faith was not to be kept with heretics ; and of the doc- 
trine that princes excommunicated by the Pope might be 
deposed or murdered. 2. That such an oatli would be in- 
valid, and could not bind or oblige conscience. 3. That 
these doctrines are defended by most ' Catholic nations. 
4. That the Holy See has frequently followed them in prac- 
tice. I shall show, first, that if Dr. Ghillini taught those 
four propositions, he taught what was not true, and I shall 
next show that he did not teach any one of them. 

The doctrine of the Roman Catholic religion never 
changes. My opponents acknowledge this themselves. Now, 
in 1757, whilst Benedict XIV, who was one of the most 
learned Popes of the last century, occupied the Chair of St. 
Peter, the declaration of the Roman Catholic clergy and laity 
of Ireland containing the solemn abhorrence of those two 
doctrines, was recorded in Rome, and its propositions so far 
from being contradicted were approved of. 2. The Irish 
clergy and laity, have, since 1774, been in the constant habit 
of publicly swearing their declaration of abhorrence of those 
two doctrines, and yet they have been considered and es- 
teemed most faithful Catholics, doing only what is lawful. 
3. The Roman Catholics of Great Britain, since the year 
1791, have been openly in the habit of swearing to their 
abhorrence of those two doctrines, and yet have been con- 
sidered and esteemed most faithful Roman Catholics, doing 
what was lawful. Pope Pius VI has approved of this abju- 
ration in each of those cases, and has held communion 
with those who abjured those doctrines; he has made them 
his , vicars, and has given them every mark of affection 
and token of communion and love. His successors, Pius 
VII and Leo XII, have followed the same line of con- 
duct. The bishops of France, of Spain, of Portugal, of 
Italy, of Germany, of all the rest of Europe, not to men- 
tion the rest of the Churches, held close communion with 
the bishops, who to their knowledge had made this abju- 


ration. The principal universities of the Roman Catholic 
Church in Europe were consulted by the directions of Mr. 
Pitt, by the Roman Catholics of England, upon the fol- 
lowing queries: " 1. Has the Pope, or any cardinal, or any 
body of men, or any individual of the Church of Rome, 
any civil authority, power, jurisdiction, or pre-eminence 
whatsoever, within the realm of England? 2. Can the Pope, 
or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of 
the Church of Rome, absolve or dispense his majesty's 
subjects from their oath of allegiance upon any pretext 
whatsoever? 3. Is there any principle in the tenets of the 
Catholic faith by which Catholics are justified in not keep- 
ing faith with heretics, or other persons differing from them 
in religious opinions, in an.y transaction either of a public 
or a private nature ? " 

The answers to this third query will be all I shall now 
refer to. They are as follows : 

From ike answer of the Sacred Faculty of Divinity of 
Paris: "There is no tenet of the Catholic Church by 
which Catholics are justified in not keeping faith with 
heretics or those who differ from them in matters of 
religion. The tenet, that it is lawful to break faitli with 
heretics, is so repugnant to common honesty and the 
opinions of Catholics, that there is nothing of which those 
who have defended the Catholic faith against Protestants have 
complained more heavily than the malice and calumny of 
their adversaries in imputing this tenet to them, etc. Given 
at Paris in the general assembly of the Sorbonne, held on 
Thursday, the llth day before the Calends of March, 1789." 

From the answer of the Faculty of Divinity of Douay : 
" To the third question the sacred faculty answers : That 
there is no principle of the Catholic faith by which Catho- 
lics are justified in not keeping faith with heretics, who 
differ from them in religious opinions. On the contrary, 
it is the unanimous doctrine of Catholics, that the .respect 
due to the name of God, so called to witness, requires 
that the oath be inviolably kept, to whomsoever it is 


pledged, whether Catholic, heretic, infidel, etc. February 5, 

From the answer of the University of Louvain : " The 
Faculty of Divinity of Louvain having been requested to 
give its opinion upon the questions above stated, does it 
with readiness but struck with astonishment that such 
questions should, at the end of this eighteenth century, be 
proposed to any learned body, by inhabitants of a king- 
dom that glories in the talents and discernment of its 
natives ! Proceeding to the third question, the said Faculty 
of Divinity (in perfect wonder that such a question should 
be proposed to it) most positively and unequivocally answers: 
That there is not and there never has been among the 
Catholics or in the doctrine of the Church of Rome, any 
law or principle which makes it lawful for Catholics to 
break their faith with heretics or others of a different per- 
suasion from themselves in matters of religion, either in 
public or private concerns. The faculty declares the doc- 
trine of the Catholics to be, that the divine and natural 
law, which makes it a duty to keep faith and promises, 
is the same ; and is neither shaken nor diminished, if 
those with whom the agreement is made hold erroneous 
opinions in matters of religion, etc. November 18, 1788." 

From the answer of the University of Alcala : " To the 
third question it is answered : That the doctrine which 
would exempt Catholics from the obligation of keeping faith 
with heretics or with any other persons who dissent from 
them in matters of religion, instead of being an article of 
Catholic faith, is entirely repugnant to its tenets. March 
17, 1789." 

From the answer of the University of Salamanca : " To 
the third, it is answered : That it is no article of Catho- 
lic faith, that Catholics may be allowed not to keep faith 
with heretics or with persons of any other desciption who 
dissent from them in matters of religion. March 7, 1789." 

From the answer of the University of Valladolid: "To 
the third, it is answered : That the obligation of keeping 


faith is founded on the law of nature, which binds all 
men equally without respect to their religious opinions ; and 
with regard to Catholics, it is still more, cogent, as it is 
confirmed by the principles of their religion. February 17, 

These decisions were procured at the desire of Mr. Pitt, 
by the Roman Catholics of England, because the British 
parliament could not without them be induced to relax any 
of its persecuting code. What a ridiculous figure must 
this arrogant and haughty nation have cut in the eyes 
of learned Europe, when she, to the astonishment, not only 
of the faculty of Louvain, but of every man of common 
information, sent to know whether those blasphemous absurd- 
ities 'were tenets of the faith of the most numerous por- 
tions of the. civilized world ! How must Mr. Pitt's 
superciliousness have been rebuked upon reading the answer 
of the faculty of Louvain ! I have often heard and read 
of the gullibility of John Bull ; I have kno\vn much of 
it. But it required all the force of evidence to persuade 
me that even a yelping Cockney, or a Cornish miner, could 
bfe induced to believe such a libellous absurdity. I always 
loved America ; I admired its rapid progress towards its 
high destinies ; I came expecting to find, at least as much 
liberality and as much information upon the plain facts of 
religion, as was to be had in some English country towns 
and on some Irish mountains. But what shall I say? Oh! 
I am mortified and humbled. When I find an entire junta 
of the ministers of the religion which pretends to most gen- 
tility and most information, clergymen of the old established 
religion, or at least its substitute, the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of the United States, at the very seat of govern- 
ment, in the federal city, the publishers of a Avork said to 
be religious, and ' men who, if I am rightly informed, have 
actually undertaken to teach some kind of theology ; I am 
mortified and humbled Avhen I find those men expose their 
ignorance so far as to repeat calumnies of Avhich Europe 
has been ashamed during nearly half a century. 


My conclusion here is, if Dr. Ghillini believed those 
were Catholic doctrines, he was egregiously in error. 1. If 
he taught that the oath by which they were abjured was 
therefore unlawful, he was in error. 2. If he taught that 
such oath was invalid and could not therefore bind con- 
science, lie was in error. 3. If he taught that those 
doctrines were defended by most Catholic nations, he was 
in error. 

They were condemned by the Catholic nation of France, 
by Catholic Flanders, whose university is astonished that 
a question should be raised upon the subject, and which 
declares that there never were such doctrines among Cath- 
olics. They were condemned by the Spanish universities. 
I know the Portuguese would, if consulted, have gone at 
least as far as Spain. Will it be said that . Germany was- 
backward? Is there any doubt as to Poland? Centuries- 
of the Italian history would wipe away any imputation 
from their nation upon this score. Where then are the 
Catholic nations? If he asserted that the Holy See has 
frequently followed in practice the principle that no faith 
was to be kept with heretics, he was in error. Let one 
such instance be proved against that see. If he held that 
the Holy Sec frequently followed in practice the doctrine 
that excommunicated princes might be murdered by their 
subjects, he was greatly in error. Let a single case of the 
description be produced. If he taught that the Holy See 
followed frequently in practice the principle that princes 
ought to be deposed, because they were excommunicated, he 
asserted what is not the fact. I shall not now state more 
upon this head, for this brings me to a new topic. Gliil- 
lini did not teach any of those propositions. We shall see 
what was his difficulty, and what was the scruple of those 
Catholics who cared nothing for the sanctity of an oath. 

Cardinal Bellarmine and a few other writers stated, not 
as jCatholic doctrines, but as their opinion, that God gave 
to the Pope as much temporal power as was necessary for 
guarding the faith, because his principal duty of its pres- 


ervation occasionally required the means for its protection 
by temporal aid: and therefore, that if one of the powerful 
-children of the Church became contumacious and mischiev- 
ously exerted his influence to destroy the faith, the common 
Father of the Church could, by God's authority, restrain 
him, and if he could not be restrained without an abridg- 
ment of his temporal authority, the greater good of pre- 
serving the faith was sufficient warrant to abridge it. This 
specious sophistry was rejected and treated as it deserved 
by the great bulk of the Catholic princes, clergy, and 
people. It was never even suspected to have been in the 
contemplation of any human being, to propose this as a 
doctrine revealed by God; of course, not as a tenet of 
the Catholic Church; for nothing can be received as a 
tenet of the Church, unless it has been revealed by God. 
But it was adduced as the opinion of some writers, I care 
not how many or how few. Ghillini never asserted that 
the Pope had such power from God. 

The Popes, in many instances, had a power of deposing 
kings and princes, not by divine right, but by the conces- 
sion and grant of the nations and the kings themselves, 
deliberately given in congress. Surely, my opponents will 
not assert that nations and their rulers cannot regulate 
certain cases, in which kings and princes of those nations 
can be lawfully deposed, and also appoint a judge of the 
case, and an executor of their will. The Holy See was 
made in several of these causes the judge, and in most 
instances the case of excommunication for public defection 
from the faith was one of those causes. Thus, if a king 
or prince, whose nation or whose predecessor had been a 
party of this convention, did fall off from the faith, the 
Pope had two duties to perform : he had, as head of the 
Church, by divine right, the duty of judging of the defec- 
tion, and pronouncing the sentence of excommunication : 
and he had, as delegate of the council or congress that 
made the convention or temporal law for deposing such 
princes, upon the same evidence, then to pronounce the 


sentence of deposition, not by divine right, but by human 
right, by virtue of human law. Thus, speaking properly, 
those persons were not deposed by the Pope because of 
the excommunication nor because of the defection from the 
faith, but because of the regulation of the congress which 
empowered him to execute the law Avhich it had made; and 
there was scarcely a king in Europe who did not, at one 
time or another, become a party to that law, and thus give 
the power by his own act. This law was not made by a 
council of bishops, but at their request by a congress of 
ambassadors, and confirmed, by their sovereigns, and accepted 
by their nations, and acted upon by each nation against the 
others, but resisted by almost every nation when it came to 
bear against itself. Thus, the Popes were, by the law of 
Europe, as fully warranted to depose the princes, who were 
parties to the law, as by the Constitution of the United 
States the President is warranted to execute any law of 
Congress. I do not now examine the propriety or justice 
of the regulation : I only state the fact. 

In the declaration of the Catholics in 1757, the words 
were, "that they condemned the opinion that princes excom- 
municated, etc., " may therefore be deposed," etc. This 
was clear and explicit; and whilst it left no doubt as to 
the Catholics not believing that sentence of excommunication 
was sufficient reason for withdrawing their allegiance, it 
left the old law of Europe, which by human authority 
gave to the Pope a special power, just as it found it, to 
rest upon that authority. This also was the doctrine of 
the universities. But in drawing the oath, the word therefore 
was omitted; and to Ghillini and others this appeared to 
be in opposition to what was known to be lawful, viz., 
that such a convention could give the power of deposing 
excommunicated princes. The practice had been in existence 
in several Catholic countries, and the Holy See had acted 
upon the powers given to it. The oath appeared to condemn 
all this. Thus, they thought the oath was meant retro- 
spectively to condemn all those acts which were legal at 


the time they were done. In this view the oath would 
in that part be unlawful ; and I need not, I trust, inform 
my opponents that if one clause of an oatli is bad, the 
whole oath is unlawful ; and if an oath is unlawful, their 
own homilies and their own archbishop will tell them what 
the legate told the Irish. But the Irish bishops, especially 
Dr. 'Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, and the other monster 
prelates, proved to the satisfaction of Pope Pius VI, that 
Ghillini and those other gentlemen made a great mistake 
as to the meaning given to the phrases by the Irish par- 
liament, which, of course, as being the legislature, was the 
tribunal best qualified to explain what it intended to have 
sworn. The mistake with regard to the Pope's power of 
dispensing with oaths was also understood imperfectly by 
the legate. But those questions have been settled to the 
satisfaction of the British government, and the Pope and 
those traitors, the Irish Papists, now during nearly fifty 
years ; and my opponents might have known more about 
them had they been at all industrious. It would be more 
creditable to them to study before they write, than to retail 
in America the libels upon us which have been, during a 
quarter of a century, scouted from Europe, and which no 
man who had the least regard for his reputation would, 
in Europe, repeat. As I am not informed that what is 
known in Europe to be untrue becomes truth when brought 
to America, I shall believe those statements to be here of 
the same nature as they would be there, until I shall 
have been better instructed. 

Here is the last statement purporting to be taken from 
the surgeon : " Before this oath could receive the sanction 
of the legislature, it was condemned by the vicars apos- 
tolical of the western, northern, and southern districts, in. 
an encyclical letter, addressed 'to all the faithful clergy 
and laity of those districts.' " 

This does not regard Ireland. The Irish act was passed 
in 1774, the explanations to which the variance between 
the terms of the declaration in 1757 and the oath in 1774 


gave rise, had been completed to the satisfaction of all 
parties in 1776. But in 1786, after a lapse of ten years, 
the English Catholic Committee was formed, and the present 
Mr. Charles Butler, under the appellation of secretary, 
became its dictator. With perhaps the best intentions, but 
with extraordinary presumption, he undertook to confer with 
a number of Protestant statesmen, who were disposed to 
be liberal, as to the best mode of so framing the discipline 
of the Catholic Church in England, as to meet the preju- 
dices of the people; and as they had been taught to hate 
the name " Roman Catholics," they were to lay this aside, 
and the poor Papists were to take up the harmonious 
nickname of "Protesting Catholic Dissenters." How a Pole, 
or a Russian, or an Italian, or a Chinese, or a Tartar, 
or even a poor Irish Papist, was to recognize his brother 
with a new nickname, and some of Mr. Butler's quibbles 
to prove by chancery distinctions how lawfully he might 
swear that he was a Protestant, because he protested against 
the calumnies charged upon him, and that he was a Dis- 
senter, because he dissented from the Church of England, 
would puzzle my opponents and me to know. I doubt that 
even the sign of the cross, and the Latin liturgy, and the 
holy water could have reconciled them, though unquestionably 
the new feathers stuck in could not have concealed all his 
plumage, for he still kept the Catholic. However, these 
sounds are rather novel, " Protestant Catholic," " Dissenter 
Catholic." To be sure, they jar a little now upon the ear, 
"sed plura to usus docebit." Now, neither my opponents 
nor Mr. Charles Butler can complain of me ; I will vouch 
they could swear that in his way I am as good a Protestant 
as any in America, and I could myself swear I am a staunch 

The Catholics thought this was going a little too far; but 
Mr. Mitford, now Lord Redesdale, thought otherwise. And 
that he was very fit to regulate their concerns, he proved 
by his bigoted folly, when he was lord chancellor in Ire- 
land. However, he grew more civil after the venerable 


Bishop Coppinger, of Cloyne and Ross, referred his lordship 
to some Irish statutes, which proved to -him that his 
virulence had even outrun the cruelty of Irish legislation, 
and proved to him that an Irish parish priest was not a 
traitor, though a good English Protestant had flogged him 
most unmercifully and had sent him to New Holland with 
wretched convicts. And Lord Redesdale thought it very 
ungenerous that his bishop should prove that this priest 
did not deserve this punishment, so that even the British 
government was, by the force of the evidence, obliged to 
bring him back. Lord Redesdale was as little pleased with 
this as my opponents are with me and for the very same 
reason that operates upon them. Yet this was one of the 
principal men selected to regulate the discipline of the Eng- 
lish Catholics. In England the Catholics lost their hier- 
archy they had vicars apostolic. Those vicars preferred 
regulating their own concerns. They found the oath which' 
was proposed contained several objectionable clauses; amongst 
others, one which, by direct implication, would assert that 
there existed a heresy such as never existed. They con- 
demned the oath for those faults, not for its abjuration of 
the imputed doctrines. They, through Bishop Milner, peti- 
tioned for the Irish oath, which abjured the doctrines ; 
they obtained it, they swore it ; to this day they swear it : 
therefore it is not true that they rejected and condemned 
an oath because it condemned those imputed tenets, but 
they rejected an oath which did condemn them, because it 
was on other accounts objectionable. 


Having exhibited, at much greater length than I intended, 
the total want of truth in my opponents' premises, so far as 
they regarded the treaty of Westphalia, the Roman Catholics 
of Ireland, the vicars apostolic of England, and Legate Ghil- 
lini, at Brussels, they now call me off to Rome, and they 
begin upon their own account : " These doctrines, in relation 
to excommunicated princes and faith with heretics, are allowed 



to have been contained in the 4th Lateran and other General 
Councils, uniformly considered infallible." They must permit 
me to translate the above passage into English. I have 
studied their language, and am therefore, I trust, competent 
to the task : " These doctrines in relation to excommunicated 
princes and faith with heretics, are allowed to have been 
taught by the 4th Lateran," etc. Or thus : "Are allowed to 
have been contained in the canons of the 4th Lateran," etc. 

The doctrine as put by their surgeon, that princes excom- 
municated by the Pope might be murdered by their subjects 
was never taught by any council, certainly not by the 4th 
Council of Lateran. The doctrine that princes excommuni- 
cated by any ecclesiastical authority might be murdered by 
their subjects was never taught by any council. The doc- 
trine that princes might, under any circumstances, be mur- 
dered by their subjects or by any person or persons was 
never taught, was never abetted, by any council. Murder 
has been prohibited by the law of God. No council ever 
assumed to change the law of God. No council ever 
assumed to justify what God has condemned. Neither is 
there any such provision nor any semblance of it in any of 
the acts of any council. The murder portion is not war- 
ranted by any single expression that I know of in any 
Roman Catholic council. 

However, it may not be amiss to produce what this 4th 
Council of Lateran enacted respecting shedding of blood. As 
my opponents are canonists, they must have read its enact- 
ments ; I believe they will allow the following to be a fair 
transcript of canon xviii : " Let no clergyman dictate or pro- 
nounce a sentence of blood; neither let him carry the vindic- 
tive sentence of blood into execution nor be at its execution. 
. . . . nor let any clergyman write or dictate letters 
destined to warrant the execution of a vindictive sentence of 
blood. Wherefore, let this charge be committed, not to clergy- 
men, but to laymen in the courts of princes." 

This is doubtless a very extraordinary canon for a council 
which we arc told taught that subjects might murder their 


princes, provided those princes had been excommunicated by 
the Pope. There were present in this council ambassadors of 
the Emperors Otho IV of the West, and Henry of the East, 
together with those of most of the kings and princes of 
Europe ; and yet we arc gravely told that without a single 
remark on their part, the council did teach that their masters 
might be murdered, provided the Pope had previously excom- 
municated them ! Now let us see what my opponents would 
have us believe-: 

1. That this council strained at a gnat in prohibiting 
clergymen, in its 18th canon, the practice of such parts of sur- 
gery as required amputations, incisions, and cautery; besides 
the passing, or executing, or aiding in executing a sentence, 
which caused the shedding of blood ; and yet swallowed a 
camel, by sanctioning murder, but gave this sanction so 
cunningly, that although it was given, it was so perfectly 
concealed as to baffle any person's scrutiny who sought to 
discover it. Probably it was written with lemon juice. 

2. That the council proclaimed this doctrine in the presence 
of the congress of all the emperors, kings and princes of 
Christendom, and that they, good souls, were so pious and 
so priest-ridden as not to object one syllable, lest the Pope 
should excommunicate them and they should be murdered. 

3. My opponents require of us to believe that several 
general councils taught the doctrine that princes excom- 
municated by the Pope might be murdered, and this weighty 
charge is fastened on those councils, and not only upon them, 
but upon all the Roman Catholics, except those who are too 
ignorant to be wicked, without their adducing one syllable 
from any act of any council ; without adducing any con- 
temporary writer ; without any contemporary historian ; with- 
out adducing any monument; in a word, without one particle 
of evidence ; but they repeat an old calumny of which 
the basest hack of the most degraded press in Europe would 
now feel ashamed. And they deliberately insult the under- 
standing of America by requiring it to take their assertion of 
falsehood for evidence of a fact. 4. They require us to 


believe this murderous doctrine, though they do not adduce 
the name of one prince who being excommunicated has been 
so murdered. Not to mention several upon the continent of 
Europe, the mean and unprincipled John of England, who 
would betray the rights of his people and of his throne 
to the ambition of Rome, found no one to murder him, 
but he found Roman Catholic bishops and Roman Catho- 
lic barons to compel him to preserve at least some liberty, 
to sign their Magna Charta, and to treat Rome as she 
deserved, when she interfered with the rights and liberties 
of the people of England. 1 The creator of my opponents' 
parent Church, King Henry VIII, whom they praise God 
for having raised up as a godly and pious prince, was 
excommunicated by the Pope, and yet no Roman Catholic 
dipped his hand in his blood. Their Elizabeth, of whose 
virginity they boast, as one of our States yet testifies, 
though they decry the observance in us which they com- 
mend in her, was excommunicated by the Pope : yet though 
her unfortunate Papist cousin was murdered, no Roman 
Catholic cut short the days of her single blessedness ; nor 
refused to venture his life against her enemies. 

Thus without evidence, against probability, in the face of 
facts, they make an assertion which we pronounce to be a 
calumny. What better proof of a negative can we adduce? 

The doctrine of the surgeon in relation to faith with 
heretics, viz., that no faith was to be kept with them, was 
never taught by this nor by any other Roman Catholic 
council that I know of. I therefore take the liberty of 
despatching very summarily my opponents' assertion in rela- 
tion thereto. They have made the assertion ; I deny its truth, 
and defy them to prove it. 2 

We come to a proposition which contains all the fallacy 
of the assertion which they have made, and which there- 
fore requires a more close examination. They assert it is 
well known that the doctrine that princes excommunicated 
by the Pope should therefore be deposed by their subjects 

i Tho former editors noted this as rather Incautious. They were wrong. No 
1'op , speaking 1 ex cathedra, lias claimed any authority over civil rights. 
* They never tried. 


was maintained in the 4th Council of Lateran and other 
general councils. Laying aside their vague phrase, other 
general councils, we shall confine ourselves to the one which 
they specify. They add, this council was uniformly considered 
infallible. This again is too loose a mode of writing where 
the charge is of so grave a nature. We had better first 
be precise here. 

I beg to remind them that they, being learned theolo- 
gians, must be aware that Roman Catholics do not believe 
general councils to be infallible in all their transactions. 
Suppose then a general council did teach that princes excom- 
municated by the Pope ought to be deposed, would this be 
a subject upon which Roman Catholics are bound to believe 
the judgment of the council would be infallibly correct? 
By no means. Roman Catholics believe the general council 
properly constituted and conducted will with infallible cer- 
tainty give a correct decision : 1 . Upon any question as 
to what doctrines God has revealed : that is, respecting arti- 
cles of faith. 2. Respecting doctrinal facts, such as whether 
a special book contains true doctrines, or has errors, and 
if so, what these errors are. 3. Respecting the truth or 
falsehood, the correctness or error of principles of morality. 
Beyond this extent, no Roman Catholic is bound to believe 
any council infallible. 

He is not bound to believe the council infallible in 
making civil or political regulations. Neither is he required 
to believe that the council has any power or authority to 
make any such regulation, and if the council should make 
it, he is not therefore bound to obey it. Suppose a general 
council were to make a law requiring, under pain of excom- 
munication, the Roman Catholic citizens of the United States 
to vote for no candidate for office unless he was a Roman 
Catholic, the Papists of this Union would disobey the law, 
their bishops and priests would continue to officiate and 
would be still in the communion of the Church, because 
the sentence of excommunication would be invalid, for the 
law would have been made respecting a subject not within 


the jurisdiction of the council. It would have just as much 
value as an act of Congress regulating how the cardinals 
should be chosen and in what manner the Archbishop of 
Toledo should make his visitation. If councils sometimes 
undertook what they ought not to undertake, they did no 
more than other bodies which have exceeded their powers 
but not forfeited them. Suppose Congress should, during 
its present session, pass an act to regulate the manner in 
which Leo XII should give his blessing during the jubilee, 
now observed in Rome, would General La Fayette's grant 
be therefore invalidated? Yet this is the species of logic 
with which we are every day assailed. " Your councils did 
some things which were not within their jurisdiction, there- 
fore they never had jurisdiction to do anything." 

My 'opponents would ask next, suppose an army of the 
Popish nations was raised to punish those excommunicated 
American Papists, what would be done ? Never fear ; we 
have General Jackson, and I assure them, if he would 
take the command, he need not ask a single Protestant to 
fight. We would give him Catholics enough who would 
never halt upon the boundary line to convert the Consti- 
tution into a shield for their bodies, instead of making 
their bodies a shield for the Constitution. Of course, in? 
opponents would cry out against the bigotry of this council 
for, preventing Papists from voting to place Protestants in 
offices. What say they to North Carolina and to New 
Jersey, that prevent Protestants from giving their votes to 
Catholics? i This is toleration. This is liberty of con- 
science. Suppose the Papists embodied themselves to place 
Catholics, by force, in those offices, and that those two 
tolerant sisters in our Union became disturbed in conse- 
quence of this exception to Papists in their constitutions, 
and .they called upon the President would not the whole 
military force of the Union be brought to bear upon the 
rebellious Papists in those States? And if they persisted, 
would they not . be exterminated ? Thus, in our own land 
of civil and religious liberty, we have two States whose 

' Thcso laws wore abolished chiefly through the exertions of Bishop England, 


sapient conventions, weighing well and duly estimating the 
dangers to which their liberties would be exposed by 
reason of the terrors of their childish imagination and the 
calumnies, of our enemies, have as yet continued an odious 
distinction, which is less disgrace to those who suffer under 
it than to those who continue it, and to support which, 
if necessary, all the force of the Union, Catholic and 
Protestant, should contribute even to the shedding of blood, 
until it shall be constitutionally abolished. 

Now, the canon of the Council of Lateran to which 
my opponents evidently allude, and which, if I can judge 
from their context, they appear rather to have learned of 
from others, than to have read themselves, is one which, 
if passed by bishops, was beyond their power, for it re- 
garded temporal punishment : which if passed by the con- 
gress of ambassadors, was by the law of nations good and 
valid: which, from the circumstances of the times seems 
to have been very necessary, and is more defensible upon 
just reasoning and upon the principles of our Constitution, 
than the clauses which disqualify Catholics for offices in 
North Carolina and New Jersey; and which has not by 
any means the force or extent which they insinuate. 

I might very easily deny at once their assertion, but I 
prefer giving a more detailed though perhaps a tedious 
explanation of the true meaning of this misrepresented 
canon of the Council of Lateran. * This council was held 
in 1215, under Pope Innocent III. The first canon con- 
demns a special heresy by its special recitations of doctrine. 
These were principally the unity of God who is Creator 
both of spirit and of matter, in opposition to the Mani- 
ohean principle of two Gods, one the creator of spirit, 
the other the creator of matter. Also that He created the 
good angels and the bad angels, all being created originally 
good, but some by the abuse of their free w.ill having 
become wicked ; in opposition to the same sect who taught 
that they were the creations of different Gods ; also that 
He was the author of the old law, given by Moses and 

'Sec "Discourse Boforo Congress," vol. i. 


the prophets, and of that given by Jesus Christ; moreover 
that the Son of God assumed true flesh from His Virgin 
Mother : that sect taught that the Son of God could not 
have true flesh, as all flesh was created by an evil prin- 
ciple, and that the Old Testament was given by the bad 
God and the New Testament by the author of good. I 
shall not go farther into the details, for here is all which 
now suits my purpose, and though the remainder would 
strengthen my argument it would only be a confirmation 
which just now it does not need. One of the conse- 
quences of this Manichsean principle was, that as it was 
criminal to oppose the author of good and to aid the 
author 'of evil, no person could without sin co-operate in 
the production of bodies; marriage was forbidden, but shame- 
ful and nameless criminality abounded, especially amongst 
the Bulgari, the Vaudois and the Albigenses. This profli- 
gate heresy was known in the council by the distinct and 
pre-eminent characteristic, " hcee hceresis this heresy." The 
council, it is true, condemned also the Abbot Joachim's 
errors of quaternity, in its second canon ; but it was not 
this heresy, and this heresy was no every-day heresy. In any 
civilized nation the crime of this heresy is punishable with 
death, and if Bishop Joycelyn had been found guilty of it 
in London, where he did not wait for his trial, he would 
have been hanged. Of course my opponents will not require 
of me to inform them who Bishop Joycelyn is, nor will 
I so far degrade myself as to imitate a certain class of 
writers, who, if in the course of a century they can find 
out a criminal Pope or a criminal bishop of the Roman 
Catholic Church, will exhibit him to the world as a fair 
sample of what the Church is, and when told that in the 
saine Church there are good and virtuous men, will answer, 
" True but they arc better than their religion." No, the 
Council of Lateran did not more deeply execrate and con- 
demn the cri'me than docs that Church to which Bishop 
Joycelyn belongs, and his crime and those of several English 
black-coats recorded in their public papers in England, within 


the last two or three years, are not to be imputed to the 
body which condemns and execrates their crimes. They 
would be condemned by its clergy, and they are doomed 
to death by the laws of England. Were the bishops 
of the Council of Lateran criminal in condemning this 
heresy? Were the members of the congress of ambassadors 
criminal in declaring it a crime, such as ought not to be 
tolerated, and enacting that if the feudatory lords did not 
punish the criminals, they should be deposed? Some pro- 
cess was necessary for the purpose of having the law 
executed. This was regulated in the third canon of that 
council, by the joint authority of the council and the con- 
gress. Let us see this obnoxious , portion of the canon : 
" Damnati vero hseretici soecularibus potestatibus prcesentibus, 
aut eorum ballivis relinquantur animadversione debita puni- 
endi. Clericis prius a suis ordinibus degradatis ; ita quod 
bona hujusmodi damnatorum, si laici sint confiscentur : si 
vero clerici, applicentur ecclesiis, a quibus stipendia per- 

My opponents must clearly perceive in this portion of 
the canon full evidence of the acts being of a temporal 
nature, and all such were passed by the temporal powers 
present ; but as there was also, upon two grounds, a claim 
respecting the concerns of the Church, the bishops were 
to pass this portion. Very clearly, too, this did not regard 
a decision of faith, as the two previous canons did ; it 
was a mere civil regulation, but having in two respects a 
bearing upon religious concerns ; the council had no claim 
either to infallibility, or exclusive jurisdiction, upon the 
subject. " But condemned heretics are to be left to be pun- 
ished, according to their deserts, by the secular powers 
that are present or by their bailiffs." 

Because of another canon which forbade, as I showed, 
a clergyman to interfere or even to draw the warrant, the 
clergy were merely to find as jurors the special fact, upon 
the question, whether the individual arraigned did hold 
such heretical tenets as were charged. The secular power 


alone had the right to say whether it would therefore look 
upon him to be a criminal ; and also, to say whether it 
would punish him, and to say what that punishment should 
be, and to inflict it. With all this the council had no 
concern ; God gave the Church no authority in those mat- 
ters. But it certainly was a question for an ecclesiastical 
tribunal to decide upon whether this man held that hereti- 
cal doctrine. The next was also a matter for bishops to 
regulate : the confiscation of property was a State question, 
but had been regulated by the feudal customs and law. 
" Clergymen are to be first degraded from their orders ; 
the goods also of the condemned, if they be laymen, are 
to be confiscated if they be clergymen, are to be given 
to the churches from which they receive stipends." 

The next object w r as to provide for the execution of this 
law. To judge fairly of any question we must try it by 
its own circumstances, not by extraneous or inapplicable 
circumstances. This law 'for punishing criminals was not 
lately made in America, where there is a special mode of 
impeachment, but in feudal times. We must judge by 
feudal customs. The feudatory held from his sovereign 
upon certain conditions; so long as he observed the con- 
ditions, his title was good ; so long as the title was good, 
his vassals were bound in allegiance to him ; as soon as 
he violated the conditions, the allegiance to him was at 
an end. The only persons who could affix those conditions 
to the tenure were the sovereigns ; and when the feudatory 
was in possession under his title, no new condition could 
be added without his consent and acceptance. The special 
mode adopted for insuring the execution of this law is 
contained in the subsequent part of this canon, and it 
regulates the whole process of the punishment ; deposition 
after impeachment of the negligent feudatory to whom the 
execution of the law was committed. The Pope was made 
the judge, and he had no discretion, for the canon regulated 
the process ; aqd after the process, he should pronounce the 
sentence : " But if the temporal lord, being required and 


admonished by the Church, shall have neglected to cleanse 
his land from this heretical filth, let him be excommunicated 
by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province ; 
and if he shall have neglected to make satisfaction within 
a year, let this be made known to the Pope, that he may 
declare absolved thenceforward from their allegiance his 
vassals, and may give up the land to be occupied by 
Catholics who, having dispossessed the heretics, may keep it 
without any contradiction in the purity of faith ; saving the 
right of the principal lord, provided he shall place no obstacle 
nor give any impediment to this : the same process is 
also to be observed respecting those who have no principal 

This is not a decision of doctrine made by divine 
authority by an infallible tribunal, and which is therefore 
justly to be called a tenet of the Church; and for which, 
and for the inevitable consequences of which, every indi- 
vidual member of that Church is responsible ; but it is a 
law by authority of the secular powers which were present, 
binding those whom they could bind, and no others, to its 
observance ; and providing for its execution by the princi- 
ples of what was for them then, but not now for us, the 
law of nations. Thus, although it gave to the Pope a 
power of declaring, after due process, what lord had for- 
feited his claim to allegiance, because of neglect of hi.s 
duty in a special case, it did not give to him a general 
power of deposing in any one case ; his power was rather 
declaratory than executive. The execution was committed 
to the secular powers which continued faithful. And the 
person who should execute the law would not hold his 
tenure from the Pope, but from the sovereign ; not by 
virtue of the papal authority, but in consequence of this 
special law. It is, therefore, as gross a misrepresentation 
to state, that it is a part of the Catholic religion to believe 
that the Pope has the power of deposing princes who are 
excommunicated, as it would be to say it was part and 
portion of the Protestant religion, that a child who became 


a Protestant should be entitled to strip nil his Popish 
brothers and sisters and his poor old Popish parents of 
their lands and tenements, because a Protestant parliament 
once made the law and the head of the Protestant Church 
has in hundreds of instances enforced it. 

How would all the presses in. the Union groan against my 
bigotry, and my ignorance, and my calumnious falsehood, were 
I to publish that it is part of their religion enacted by the 
same kind of general council that formed the Church of Eng- 
land, and frequently enforced by its supreme head, whether 
male or female, that the plunder of a whole conscientious 
family by a profligate, disobedient and hypocritical child is 
lawful in the sight of God and meritorious in the plun- 
derer ! Yet it is equally true as their assertion in fact, 
more near to truth, as I know well. Mark, then, the dif- 
ference, even in the United States, between them and me. 
They libel me, and not a press complains, but the single 
one employed by the Miscellany. No one, except their 
humble servant, tells them that they do wrong. But let 
us change sides ; let me treat them as they treat me, and 
I verily believe I dare not show my face abroad ; and 
even in the recesses of my concealment I would be pelted 
with paragraphs. Oh ! what an exhibition of Popery and 
bigotry would be made ? However, America daily adds to 
her stock of knowledge, and fables cannot, at this side of 
the Atlantic, much longer pass for history. 


My opponents, I trust, must now feel satisfied that they 
have failed to prove Roman Catholics guilty of holding the 
abominable and destructive tenet that " no faith is to be 
kept with heretics." They must perceive that the Pope 
did not teach that doctrine at the time of the protest against 
the treaty of Westphalia ; and they must feel equally certain 
that they grossly traduced my unfortunate countrymen, whom 
the objects of their esteem and admiration oppressed, and 
plundered, and persecuted. I am convinced, if they do not. 


perceive all this, such of the American people as have had 
the kindness and the patience to read my letters, have no 
doubt upon the subject. 

Allow me to put a case which, of course, is not very 
improbable. Suppose one of my opponents had the honor of 
being invited to preach before the Senate of the United 
States ; and this enlightened body was engaged in deliberation 
as to whether it would advise the President to make a treaty 
with the King of France, with the Emperor of Austria, with 
the King of Spain, with the King of Portugal, or any of 
those other Papists who are in power in Europe ; or with the 
Republic of Colombia, or that of Mexico, or any of those 
Popish governments at this side of the Atlantic. In common 
prudence, the Senate ought not to consider any man to be 
better than his profession ; or, if this enlightened body con- 
sidered any man inconsistent with his profession, what reliance 
could it have upon his profession to observe his treaty? 
Thus, if one of my opponents believed what they have 
written, he must feel it his duty to speak truth to the 
Senate, especially if he were paid for telling what he con- 
scientiously believed to be God's truth. It would then be 
his duty, a duty for which the nation pays him, to tell 
that Senate : " It is a religious tenet of this Popish nation 
not to keep faith with you heretics, for ' this is a Prot- 
estant country.' You have sworn to maintain the rights of 
the nation, and yet you sacrifice those rights to persons 
with whom you cannot safely treat; for they may promise 
as much as they please, but the Pope can ruin your 
diplomacy no faith will be kept with you." Suppose he 
were able to prevail upon the present chaplain of the Senate, 
who is a clergyman of his Church, to use such language 
as this; I should suppose the Senate would believe him, 
because I could not otherwise see how that body would be 
justified in paying him. They pay him out of the property 
of the nation for preaching truth, and beseeching God to 
give them wisdom. If this gentleman believed what my 
opponents wrote to be truth, it is his positive duty to 
preach it to the Senate ; it is his positive duty to pray 


to God to make the Senate wise, to sanction no treaty 
with men who are inconsistent with their profession, nor 
with men whose profession it is not to keep faith with 
this country. The Senate looks upon his doctrine to be 
true and advises the President accordingly. If they believe 
their preacher this is their bounden duty ; if they do ^not 
believe him, why pay him? The President bids Mr. Adams 
inform the ambassadors that the treaty cannot be entered 
into. Negotiators generally like to know why they cannot 
succeed, because it is a very natural question for their prin- 
cipals to ask them why they fail. Now, only imagine sivch 
a man as Mr. Adams telling the French ambassador, 
why, no doubt, people say that Mr, Adams himself said 
some things which we like to forget, and got some things 
printed which we hope he did not, but, only imagine Mr. 
Adams cogitating the various modes of diplomatic expres- 
sion which would convey these ideas : " Sir, the king, your 
master, and you and every member of the same Church, 
who is not too ignorant to know what his religion is, has 
so little principle, that we do not know how he can be 
bound to observe a treaty ; therefore we will make no treaty 
with him, nor with any member of his Church ; and this 
is . the reason why your mission has failed. Our Senate 
has selected a wise theologian to instruct it ; and he has 
assured the nation that you keep no faith with heretics 
like us, for, sir, this is a Protestant country." The ambas- 
sador writes home to Europe. "What a figure would our 
nation make? What wonder and awe would reign through 
all the Popish universities at contemplating the deep erudi- 
tion of the chaplain of the Senate ! How would kings and 
emperors envy the felicity of the august body which had 
so much piety and learning at the trifling expense of only 
eight dollars daily ! We are not certain of the amount, 
but this is only a trifle. How would the Prince of Croi, 
the Archbishop of Paris, Don Victor Sacz, and the old 
Trappist bite their lips ! The cardinals would tremble, the 
Tiber run back with affright, and our own capitol would 
no longer envy its ancient prototype the cackling sentinel, 


as we too should be providentially saved from Gaulish ruin. 
I should hope the reverend chaplain of the Senate does 
not believe that it is a tenet of Roman Catholics, " that 
faith is not to be kept with heretics." No, I should be 
sorry to think the Senate of the United States would so 
far testify against nearly, if not fully, t\vo hundred thou- 
sand of their fellow-citizens, as to select for their chaplain 
a man who would publish to the world that these Papists 
were unworthy of being trusted by their government until 
they changed their religion. "Would such men as Mr. 
Gaillard and Mr. Haynes insult their Catholic fellow-citi- 
zens in this State of South Carolina by indulging such a 
suspicion ? How many of them are to be found in Mr. 
Hayne's own regiment in this city of Charleston ? Yet 
my opponents would tell this respectable Senator not to 
confide in the Popish captain, the Popish lieutenants, the 
Popish sergeants, the Popish soldiers of his regiment! Do 
the Popish members of Congress know their religion? Do 
they keep faith with heretics? Do the Popish officers of 
the army keep faith with this country? Has the Secretary 
of War betrayed his trust when he selected a Popish clergy- 
man to make some of the most important examinations 
in the scientific department of our most useful national 
academy ? Are not all our archives in the Department of 
State in the custody of Papists ? "Were not some of our 
oldest commanders in the navy are not some of our present 
most active officers of that branch of the service are not 
a large portion of our sailors Papists ? Is not the greater 
number of our army made up of these traitors, the Irish 
Papists ? Are not many of our foreign consuls Papists ? 
What then could have possessed my opponents, with all 
these facts before their eyes in the midst of so many 
Popish ambassadors and ministers of Popish kings and 
powers, so to outrage common decency, to expose themselves, 
and as far as in them lay to degrade our nation, by de- 
claring such a monstrous falsehood as that it was a tenet of 
our Church, that no faith was to be kept with heretics ; 
that no oath could bind us to them, and that we cannot 


be good citizens unless we change our religion? I protest 
solemnly, though I have written so much upon the subject, 
and been so familiar with my opponents' mistakes, I can 
yet scarcely believe that I am awake, and in America, 
and find such an assertion seriously put forward by a 
man claiming to be a clergyman, and of a Church too 
very like one and almost a branch of one which has 
produced eminent and respectable scholars, men of great 
general knowledge and of extensive learning. 

Do I go too far when I turn my opponents' artillery 
upon themselves ? 

" Nor misdeem a soldier's bold emprise, 
Who, in the dissonance of barb'rous war 
Long-trained, revisits oft the saered treasures 
Of antique memory!" 

Suppose that the Roman Catholic Church were the guilty 
thing which they exhibited : 

" Thieves for their robbery have authority, 
When judges steal themselves, 

Go to your bosom ; 

Knock there, and ask your hearf, what it doth know, 
That's like my brother's fault: if it confess 
A natural guiltiness, such as is his. 
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue 
Against my brother's life." 


"The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, 
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two 
Guiltier than him they try." 

As I have got into conversation with old Will Shake- 
speare, I cannot for the life of me, without regret, quit my 
poor friend for such dry and tedious fellows, as I must 
soon keep company with, by their compulsion. My oppo- 
nents have come out boldly and in all their strength. 

"Oh, it is excellent, 

To have a giant's strength ; but it is tyrannous 
To use it like ft giant. 
Could great men thunder 

As Jove, himself does, Jove's would ne'er be quiet. 
For every pelting, petty officer, 

Would use his heaven for thunder ; nothing but thunder, 
Merciful heaven !" 


Dear ! dear ! I must get into other company. Well, my 
opponents have, of course, read of such a personage as 
Thomas Cranmer. Papists believe that an oath must be 
taken in the sense of the parties imposing it. Such, too, 
is the doctrine of all the public writers ; of all the mor- 
alists of the Church of England. This said Thomas obtained 
bulls for the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 1532 from 
Pope Clement VII and was consecrate^ in 1533, by a 
Popish bishop ; he being at the time privately married in 
Germany, contrary to the canons, which he then swore to 
observe, and which were then and during the reign of 
Henry VIII a part of the law of England. If the canons 
were against his conscience, why swear to observe and enforce 
them? If they were not, why swear to observe them whilst 
he was conscious of their violation ? He also swore the canon- 
ical bath of obedience to the Pope at the very time that 
he had determined to throw off his authority. I am aware 
that it is pretended that he, with the king's approbation, 
previously took four witnesses privately into St. Stephen's 
Chapel, and there in their presence signed a protestation 
against taking the oath, except with the reservation of its 
accordance with the law of God, the king's rights, and his 
own notions of reformation. I do not believe he made any 
such previous protestation, because I find the best critics 
nn$ the persons who were contemporary and intelligent and 
conscientious writers deny it. But suppose he made this 
private protestation without the Pope's knowledge, and with- 
out the knowledge of the consecrating bishop. We find 
him go publicly to the altar, and take the oath without 
n single remark before the public. What would my oppo- 
nents say to Papists if they justified such duplicity and 
dishonesty? Will oaths be any security, if it be lawful 
to make previous private protests, and publicly to swear 
boldly through the whole ? But this was not all : the 
good archbishop had to swear the same oath again before 
he was invested with the Pallium, and he swore it, pub- 
Jicly and openly and unqualifiedly; and it is the admirers 



of this man of apostolic simplicity who charge with a 
disregard for their oaths the men who suffered every species 
of plunder and contumely, rather than take an oath which 
they cannot look upon as a testimony to truth ! It is the 
admirers of this man who charge us with having papal 
dispensations to swear as we please ! 

This same good bishop who swore to observe the canons, 
yielded precedence in the convocation to Thomas Crumwell, 
a layman, as Vicar-General of his Majesty, King Henry 
VIII, to whom, as supreme head on earth of God's Church, 
he now swore the oath of supremacy; and because the 
king desired him, he, in contravention of that oath, yielded 
his own powers, and procured the other bishops to do the 
same, and to petition the king for commissions during his 
good pleasure. To how many contradictions and inconsis- 
tencies did he set his signature? How often did he swear 
to one side and the other ? This is my opponents' first- 
archbishop. Have Roman Catholics ever reasoned so badly 
or been so grossly unjust as to infer from this man's 
exhibitions, that it is a tenet of the English Protestant 
Church, that oaths are not binding ? Have they ever been 
guilty of the foul calumny of charging that Church with 
holding as tenets the corrupt maxims of its criminal mem- 
bers or the follies of its weak members, and unblushingly 
asserted that men who fall far short in their practice of 
the morality which it teaches, were better in their conduct 
than the principles of their religion ; and that their virtue 
was the result of their ignorance of their own tenets ? 

I do not mean to give my opponents more than a 
slight hint for the purpose of refreshing their memories, 
but if they are disposed to enter fully into the details, I 
will pledge myself to give them facts, until they cry out 
" hold, hold enough, enough." Suppose the Pope did cause 
those princes to be deposed who would not obey the general 
law of Christendom in favor of morality. Is the Roman 
Catholic Cliureh the only one which deposes magistrates 
for their peculiarity of doctrine? Allow me here to do 


justice to the Vaudois. In my last, I in the hurry of my 
pen wrote their name where I ought not : the early Vau- 
dois, that is, in the twelfth century, ought not to be classed 
with the folks of Bulgaria, or Toulouse, or Albi. Let us 
hear a few of the Reformers on this subject. Wickliffe 
would depose a magistrate for having committed any mortal 
sin ; one much less than heresy would answer : for instance, 
such a trifle as bearing false witness against a body of 
from one to two hundred millions of persons during about 
eighteen hundred years. I have no doubt but he would say, 
a man neither ought to be a king nor even have power 
to preach in a Senate chamber, who would have committed 
this peccadillo. What would he then have said to heresy, 
and especially to this heresy? Luther often attacked that 
arch heretic, the Pope. But in his " Theses," published 
in 1545, he informs his friends that the Pope is a mad 
wolf, " against which the world takes up arms at the first 
signal, without waiting for any command from a magistrate, 
and if after he has been shut up in an inclosure, the 
magistrate sets him at liberty, you may continue to pursue 
the savage beast, and with impunity attack those that pre- 
vent his destruction. If you fall in the engagement before 
the beast has received a mortal wound, you have only one 
thing to repent of, that you did not bury your dagger in 
his breast. This is the way to deal with the Pope ; all 
those who defend him must be treated also like a band 
of robbers under their captain, whether they be kings or 
Caesars." This is pretty clear. 

But England! Yes, that land of light and liberty. She 
would not depose a king, if he became a Catholic ! Is 
there no law in England to depose a king for being of 
an unparliamentary religion ? Indeed, indeed, I am not 
very fond of the memory of James II. I would not pay 
his relics as much respect as King George IV has paid 
them. I believe, however, that the true reason for his 
deposition was his Popery. Kings more arbitrary held the 
sceptre without having been deposed. Was he as arbitrary as 


his father, the martyr of my opponents' calendar ? I beg 
their pardon ; not theirs, but that of the Church of England. 
Was he as .arbitrary as his first name sake? I may be 
allowed the privilege of my country, if I make a king of 
the good Queen Bess. Pray, did the pusillanimous mon- 
arch, who helped to ruin that country, kick and cuff as 
despotically as did this virgin mistress? I am in error, 
for I address my opponents as if they were clergymen of 
the English Protestant Church. "What think they of King 
Henry VIII, " the faithful and true minister of most 
famous memory ? " Which was the greater despot, the 
greater tyrant, Henry VIII or James II? James was 
dethroned not so much for his Popery even, as because 
he endeavored to have the Papists tolerated. I do not 
attempt to justify his mode of doing what any honest 
man ought to do. But no king or queen that ever pre- 
viously occupied the British throne was questioned for 
doing similar acts to those for which he was dethroned ; 
nor would he, but for his religion. And, if the present 
King of England were to become a Roman Catholic from 
a conscientious motive, the law of England would depose 
him, as effectually as the law of the year 1215 would 
have deposed any feudal lord in Europe. Is it not a 
deposition from the office of constable, not to say governor, 
in North Carolina, to deny the truth of the Protestant 
religion? Are not the enjoyment of civil rights and the 
capacity of being elected to offices of trust or profit and 
to the legislature, attempted to be confined to Protestants 
in New Jersey? Though upon looking closely at the clause, 
I suspect some one has cheated the persons who wished 
to exclude all but Protestants, and only permitted them 
in 'truth to come in under the appearance of courtesy, for 
what it was meant they should possess exclusively. 1 Thus 
we find, if Catholics did exclude 'those who differed from 
them in religion from governing, and required their depo- 
sition, Protestants have done the same, and they still do 
the same and do it, not only in England, but in the 
' These laws wcro swept away chiefly by the exertions of Biehop England. 


United States of America : and only that delicacy to indi- 
viduals restrains me, I could show the American public, 
that it has and does produce very serious inconveniences 
to many excellent citizens. I do not advert to the old 
blue laws of Connecticut. I allude to laws and principles 
now in operation. I love America better than they do, 
who always boast of everything and of every person; but 
my love is not that blind affection which leads to unmean- 
ing rhapsody but that fond attachment which prizes and 
would preserve all the good which now is, and would 
endeavor to find and acquire that which is wanting. I love 
America, as Brooke makes Gustavus Vasa love Dalecarlia: 1 

"With thee I sought this favorite soil: with thee 
These favorite sons I sought : thy sons, O Liberty ! 
For even amid the wilds of life you lead them, 
Lift their low rafted cottage to the clouds, 
Smile o'er their heaths, and from their mountain tops 
Beam glory to the nations. 

* * * * s- 

"Are ye not marked by all the circling world, 
A 5 the great stake, the last effort for liberty? 
Say! is it not your wealth, the thirst, the food, 
The scope, the bright ambition of your souls? 
Why else have 'you, and your renowned forefathers, 
From the proud summit of their glitt'ring thrones 
Cast down the mightiest of your lawful kings, 
That dared the bold infringement? 

*- * * * $ 

"Now from my soul I joy. I joy, my friends 
To see ye feared ; to see that e'en your foes 
Do justice to your valor! " 

Such is my love for America. But that love and ad- 
miration shall not blind my mind's eye, if I be master of 
my powers. I shall not therefore say that any State in 
America does right in disfranchising a Catholic, merely 
because of his religion. I shall not say that my opponents 
did right in styling America a Protestant country, for the 
phrase is suited only to a State which gives a preference 

' It is worthy of remark that after Gustavus Vasa was raised to the throne by 
the heroic Catholics of Dalecarlia, he turned upon and subjected them to a cruel 


to the Protestant religion. Would I reason correctly if I 
were to say from these premises that the Protestant re- 
ligion teaches that if Catholics are in power they ought to 
be deposed, and if not in power, they should not be elected 
thereto? Would I reason correctly if I asserted that the 
Protestant religion teaches that powerful Catholics ought to 
be assassinated, because I find ifc to be a fact that the 
Duke of Guise was assassinated by Pol trot, and that Beza 
represents it as done very probably by the inspiration of 
heaven? Am I in reviewing the miseries and the degra- 
dation of Ireland, to attribute to the Protestant religion all 
the murders of persons of my creed, committed under the 
pretext of love of God, by those of one like my opponents'? 
This is an account which we have yet to adjust. 

Produce one fact similar to the breach of the articles of 
Limerick, in Ireland; show me where Catholics broke faith 
which they plighted to Protestants. The head of the Eng- 
lish Church pledged his faith, and the faith of Protestant 
England, to the traitors, the Irish Papists, that if they laid 
down their arms, and surrendered the city of Limerick, and 
the other garrisons which they held, and acknowledged him 
to be King of Ireland for he had not yet been recognized 
by them as King of Ireland that country not being then 
under the dominion of the English parliament, was not 
bound by the act of that body he would guarantee to them 
freedom of conscience, full civil rights, and their property. 
Yet when their army was disbanded, they were persecuted 
for the profession of their faith ; they were stripped of their 
civil rights; they were plundered of their property; they 
were calumniated to the world. More than a century has 
elapsed, and this injustice continues; this violation of faith 
with Catholics is persevered in by the Protestant head of 
the English Church, by the Protestant bishops, by the Prot- 
estant peers, by the Protestant House of Commons. My 
opponents retail the calumnies against the people who fly 
hither from this perfidious oppression, and without adducing 
one fact, they tell us that we keep no faith with heretics. 


Our forefathers kept their faith with them with a vengeance. 
They kept it very unnecessarily too. Plighted faith creates 
mutual obligation, and perfidy on one side discharges obliga- 
tion on the other. 1 


We now enter upon a new topic. I come to examine 
the correctness of the following assertions in my opponents' 
article: " 1. A Roman Catholic can be in principle a faith- 
ful subject of a Protestant government, only when an un- 
faithful subject of the Pope. 2. A consistent Papist, and a 
dutiful subject of a Protestant administration, must be in- 
compatible, so long as the Pope shall claim jurisdiction 
over all Christendom, and the Roman Church shall continue 
to maintain that faith is not necessary to be kept with 
heretics. 3. The only reason why, among Papists, there are 
many good subjects of Protestant governments, arises from 
the fact that there are so many in the Roman Church incon- 
sistent with their profession, better than their profession, 
having no idea of all the doctrines and all the erroneous 
corruptions of the faith they acknowledge." 

It will greatly facilitate our progress to know accurately 
the meaning of those assertions. To know the meaning, we 
should discover the object of their introduction. The first 
clauses of the sentence in which they are found, explain 
the objects of introducing the above passages in this pre- 
cious paragraph. These clauses are the following : " 1 . Such 
are the doctrines of a Church, the members of which have 
raised an outcry against the intolerant spirit of the English 
government for not receiving them to a full share of its 
administration. 2. They might as well accuse that govern- 
ment of cruelty, for banishing the wretched criminal to 
New Holland; or of illiberality, for punishing the man who 
traitorously conspires against his country." 

i Dr. Uoppintr, tha Protestant Bishop of Meath, undertook to preach a series of 
sermons in Christ Church, Dublin, and did preach to pr >ve that Protestants ought 
not to keep faith with Papists, and that the treaty of Limerick ought net to 
have been observed. 


Thus, their argument, if good for anything, is this : 
"The Roman Catholics cannot complain of being persecuted 
by Great Britain, for they are traitors who ought to be 
punished." In what, I ask, does their treason consist? I 
am answered: "In not being faithful subjects of a Prot- 
estant government." In what does their want of fidelity to 
that government consist ? " In saying that the Pope has 
jurisdiction over all Christendom." Also, "in the Roman 
Church maintaining that faith is not necessary to be kept 
with heretics." 

Allow me here to pause ; I write hastily, carelessly. I 
do not occupy a month in putting together three columns 
of a magazine ; still I should lay down my pen were I to 
have written as much nonsense in a year as the few ex- 
tracts now before me contain. Seldom, indeed, very seldom, 
have I been under the necessity of totally changing the 
structure of a sentence which I examined, in order to 
put forward clearly what the writer meant to convey. Yet 
I could not put this wretched compilation of my opponents 
into any form which would make it intelligible, or enable 
me to examine it as I ought, without such a process.' A 
story which is told, I believe, of King Charles II, would 
apply well to this writing. A peasant having contributed 
greatly to his majesty's safety or amusement on some occa- 
sion, was asked what reward he expected : " I hope your 
majesty will make me a gentleman." " That," replied the 
king, " is no easy matter ; there can be no question but I 
can make you a knight or a baron or even a duke; but 
I fear all the kings and emperors on earth could not make 
you a gentleman." 

I can well guess what is the drift of my opponents* 
propositions, but certainly their logical meaning is not that 
drift. For instance, the following proposition might be taught 
with a safe conscience : " Faith is not necessary to be kept 
with heretics." Now the proposition is equivocal : the word 
faith has several meanings. Were I to understand by the 
word faith, the belief of religious doctrine, I would unhesi- 


tatingly maintain this proposition : "A man who knowingly 
and willingly keeps faith with heretics, offends God, and of 
course commits sin." A heretic is a person who denies 
some truth which God has revealed. If I act in this 
way, I am unquestionably criminal for my deliberate denial 
of what I know God has revealed. Again, I could by 
faith mean fidelity to a lawful promise : now I could, with 
truth and moral rectitude, teach this proposition : " Faith is 
not necessary to be kept with heretics." The reason is 
plain : it is not necessary to keep a promise which has not 
been made it is not necessary to make any promise to 
heretics. When I do not then make the promise of fidelity, 
I am not bound to keep this promise, which I have not 
made, either by act or by implication. What my opponents 
ought to have written is the following : " The Roman Catholic 
Church teaches that Roman Catholics are not obliged to 
keep their fidelity to heretics." This is a very different 
proposition from either of the others, and is the one which 
they probably meant to give. 

A countryman of mine accompanied a friend of his, who 
understood the language of France, to that kingdom. In 
passing through the streets, they observed a man carrying 
a pair of buckets, and crying, " Eau ! Eau ! " " What is 
that fellow saying?" asked the Irishman. "Water," replied 
his friend ; " he has it for sale in those buckets." " Would 
it not then be as easy for him to say water ? " asked my 
countryman. Indeed, it is not over-squeamishness in me 
to hope that in future my opponents will write in such a 
manner as to express their ideas. 

The proposition which I have transformed into a gentleman 
is not true. Thus, this reason will not justify the British 
persecution of Roman Catholics, because a falsehood is no 
reason it is only pretext. Allow me to ask, what juris- 
diction does the Pope claim over Christendom ? Is it 
spiritual ? Is it temporal ? Is there no distinction ? I shall 
take the last first. The British government can only be 
justified by proving that the Pope claims temporal juris- 


diction, either directly or by implication, and that the Roman 
Catholics under them maintain his right thereto ; or by show- 
ing that spiritual jurisdiction in the Pope is incompatible 
with their temporal right. Great Britain teaches that the 
power of the king is not complete without his being head 
of the Church ; and that to disobey him upon the head of 
ecclesiastical duty is rebellion ; and thus, that it is treason 
to deny his headship, and to give to the Pope ecclesias- 
tical authority. Is this assertion correctly constitutional ? 
This was first made part of the law of England by 26 
of Henry VIII, 1, 3, 13; and on May 5, 1535, the first 
of its victims, the priors of charter-houses of London, 
Axiholm and Belleval, together with a monk of Syon and 
a secular clergyman, suffered the death of traitors, at Tyburn, 
not for asserting the supremacy of the Pope, but for deny- 
ing the supremacy of the king as head of the Church, 
" thereby depriving the sovereign of the dignity, style, and 
name of his royal estate." On June 22, Fisher, Bishop 
of Rochester, suffered the penalty of treason for denying, 
maliciously and traitorously, that the king was head of the 
Church. In the indictment under which Sir Thomas More 
was convicted, the second charge was, " having traitorously 
sought to deprive the king of his title of head of the 
Church ; " and this upright chancellor suffered the pains of 
a traitor, and had his head fixed on London Bridge. Thus, 
we see the criminality consisted in denying the title of 
ecclesiastical supremacy to the king, and thereby depriving 
him of a part of his royal name, title, and estate. Am I 
awake? Is it in the United States of America such lan- 
guage as this is held? Arc we, in the very federal city, 
from a man who might be selected to preach religious 
instruction to the Senate of the people the most free upon 
the earth, and who ought to be most jealous of the sanc- 
tuary of that freedom, the Senate chamber, to be taught 
that a man is unworthy of the compassion of his fellow- 
men is deserving the punishment of a traitor, because he 
refuses to swear that the King of England ought to be 


obeyed as head of the Church? Shade of the immortal 
Washington ! genius of Patrick Henry ! can you slumber in 
peace whilst this doctrine is proclaimed? Jefferson and 
Adams, will you sanction the reproach of black treason 
against your venerable brother, Charles Carroll, who, together 
with you, still survives to welcome to our shores that 
warrior who was but one of the Popish leaders of a Popish 
army, that aided you to fling off the tyranny of the head 
of the Church, who, as the Declaration of Independence 
states, plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our 
toxvns, and destroyed the lives of our people; who trans- 
ported large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the 
works of death, desolation, and tyranny, begun with circum- 
stances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the 
most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a 
civilized nation, much less the supreme head on earth of 
Christ's Church ? Shall we now be told that no compassion 
is to be shown to a people whose conscience would not 
permit them to swear that, without any Gospel authority, 
without any reason but that of the strong, despotic power 
of such a rapacious monster of lust and cruelty as Henry 
VIII that man was head of the Church, who in every 
.stage of frightful oppressions, when petitioned for redress in 
the most humble terms, answered those petitions only by 
repeated injury? a man who excited domestic insurrections 
amongst us, and who endeavored to bring upon our fron- 
tiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of 
warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, 
and conditions? Yet all those acts of tyranny in America 
are but specks, which would be scarcely distinguished upon 
the surface of that calamitous ocean of evils under Avliich 
my unfortunate country was merged, by tlie Church of 
which this man was the mildest, the most lenient, the 
most meek and virtuous apostolic head ! And will the 
people of America the descendants of men who would not 
submit to Church tyranny the descendants of men who 
would iiot submit to any tyranny one-third of whom are 


Irishmen, or the descendants, or the connections of Irish- 
men, and another large portion of whom are English or 
Scotch, or the descendants of English and Scotch, who have 
suffered for not taking the oath of supremacy to the King 
of England will they all permit themselves to be told by 
my opponents that they and their progenitors were traitors, 
because they would not swear this oath, which even the 
present chaplain to the Senate would not swear? 

See whither my opponents' folly naturally leads them. 
In every nation every government possesses the right of 
establishing a special religion ; and whosoever will not obey 
the government in conforming to this religion, is a traitor. 
Is this the doctrine of the chaplain to the Senate of the 
United States of America? Public opinion implicates him 
with this principle. The Senate has selected him to teach 
them their religious duties. The chaplain preaches : " Who- 
ever will not be a Protestant under a Protestant govern- 
ment, is a traitor America is under a Protestant govern- 
ment : the Papists will burn us as soon as they can, for 
they are traitors in principle." This is what the Rev. 
Mr. Hawley has published. He knows who wrote it. I 
believe it was not written by him. What does the Con- 
stitution say ? " Congress shall make no law respecting an 
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise 

Upon this clear and solid principle of our Constitution, 
no Roman Catholic owes allegiance to the King of Great 
Britain, and so far from being a traitor and deserving 
punishment, he is but an oppressed and aggrieved man 
who has been unjustly plundered of his rights, which are 
unjustly withheld by a tyrannical government. And a Catho- 
lic who swears allegiance to the British king is bound to 
observe his oath to the same extent only, that a weak 
man who is confined by a strong robber is bound by an 
oath which he takes that he will not use any unconceded 
advantage of a partial liberty which he may obtain under 
the pledge of his oath. A regard to the sacred nature of 


the oath binds him who takes it to observe every lawful 
promise which he makes even to his oppressor; but the 
reverence of the injured man for his oath is not a remis- 
sion to the invader of his right nor a justification of his 
oppression. He cannot meet injustice by crime. He may 
decline, swearing, and then use all lawful means to obtain 
his rights. But if he voluntarily puts some of those means 
out of his own power by bargaining not to use them and 
swearing to refrain from their use, he is bound by his 
bargain and by his oath, but not otherwise. 

Did the people of England and Ireland give to the 
king, in their original compact, a power to make them 
change their religion according to his caprice? Did the 
bishops and the barons at Runnymede give to John a 
power to make traitors of those who would refuse to make 
him supreme head of their Church, that he might with 
greater facility indulge his beastly propensities, reward his 
obsequious panders, and put to death his honest and con- 
scientious advisers? In vain does one look for such a 
clause in the laws of Edward, of Alfred, of Ina, or of 
even the Norman invaders. There is no such clause, in 
the Great Charter. Do my opponents find its origin in 
the Gospel ? They find it enacted by the vilest collection 
of slaves that ever crouched before a voluptuous tyrant, 
under circumstances which took away even the semblance 
of liberty. They find it based upon flagrant injustice, raised 
in the midst of jibbets and scaffolds, cemented with blood, 
and decorated with all the emblems of legalized murder, 
from that of the conscientious chancellor to that of the 
unprincipled concubine. They are American citizens. Call 
they this a constitution? 

This is a sweeping clause, with a vengeance. They tell 
the Pilgrims of New England that their progenitors were 
traitors; so Archbishop Laud told their fathers. They tell 
the Friends of Pennsylvania that their fathers were traitors ; 
so the bishops of the Church of England told their fathers. 
They tell us, wretched outcasts of Irish Papists, that we 


are traitors. They imagine that we have been now so 
long accustomed to their insolence, that we should bear it 
with as much patience as the old cook expected from the 
eels, of whose restlessness she complained, as they presumed 
to writhe under her hand during the operation of being 
flayed alive, though she had been upwards of forty years 
in the practice, and they ought to have known it. God 
grant us patience : we have not been as yet ten years 
accustomed to my opponents' falsehood, though their fathers 
have been telling lies of our fathers during upwards of 
two hundred and fifty years. Still we are not tamed down 
to acquiescence, and we are so indocile, that as yet we 
have not been untaught the difference between what is 
fact and what is calumny. 

But to be serious : Are my opponents not the most 
unfortunate of writers? In this land of true, and genuine, 
and rational freedom in the very sunshine of well-regulated 
liberty to presume to establish such a principle of despotism 
and intolerance! I know well and intimately the principles 
of the Church of England and those of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church of America. They are by no means similar even 
in their discipline. As for doctrine : my opponents will 
excuse me from stating what is now unnecessary. In pure 
despotism and intolerance, I know no Church which ever has 
approximated to the Church of England. What then could 
have induced them to assimilate their Church to it? Theirs 
is a more respectable Church. Theirs is a more permanent 
Church. Theirs will survive the Church of England. What 
induced them to defend for its honor the principle which 
would destroy the claim of the Protestant in France? 
which justified the Inquisition? which would drive from 
every country under a Catholic government every one who 
was not a Catholic? For if the English or Irish Catholic 
is a traitor, because he disobeys his government, upon the 
score of religion why shall not the Huguenot in France 
be .justly condemned as a traitor? why not condemn as a 
traitor the Moor in Spain ? the Jew in Portugal ? the 


Christian in Constantinople? Is not Europe, according to 
them, -wrong in not aiding the Sublime Porte to repress 
those rebellious Greeks who rejected the Koran ? Are not 
the Christians in Asia wretched traitors who give but a 
divided allegiance to their legitimate sovereign who is head 
of the Church as of the State? I call it a flagrant usurpa- 
tion. I cannot but feel proud that under all their sufferings 
my countrymen have never crouched to this slavery. I differ 
from the Scotch Presbyterians in doctrine ; but I respect 
the consistency which made them reject the headship of 
the king, when they rejected the headship of the Pope. 
In vain do I look through the world to find a Church 
similarly enslaved as that of England. Russia exhibits its 
nearest resemblance. Mahomedanism is its exact counter- 
part; the Sultan is the head of the Church by the same 
right ; he is temporal ruler, and one is equally a traitor 
who disobeys his religious order or his imperial firman. 
And my opponents would seek to justify this? Yes! for 
they advocate the principle. Are they Americans ? 

I am proud of America because she not only disavows 
but condemns that principle of slavery. It is a heresy in 
religion it is an absurdity in politics to assert, that be- 
cause a man possesses political power, therefore he possesses 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction ; or that because he has spiritual 
power, he therefore has magisterial rights in the State. 
The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church and the prin- 
ciples of the American Constitution are in unison upon this 
subject. The doctrines of the Church of England and the 
principles of our Constitution are in direct opposition upon 
the subject. And if one adopt the doctrine of the Eng- 
lish Church he is not a good citizen of America. In 
framing the religion of which my opponents are clergymen, 
it became necessary to reject some doctrines of the English 
Church. Her liturgy was mutilated; her canons made use- 
less ; and a vast portion of the homilies are blasphemies 
against our liberties. And is it possible that my opponents 
still cling to all that has been thus rejected ? 


I have read with pleasure the account of the dinner 
given by our Congress to La Fayette on the first of this 
month, 1 and I prized the intellect which gave to a toast 
frequently offered on public occasions its true and accurate 
expression : " The people, the source of all political power." 
Yes, and the declaration of the present King of Great 
Britain, when he was Prince of Wales, is in perfect ac- 
cordance with that principle expressed in the toast. His 
declaration was : " That the crown was held by the king 
in trust for the people." The kingly power is political; 
it is derived from the people. They are the source of 
political power. But they are not the source of spiritual 
power, they are not the source of ecclesiastical power. The 
King of England did not obtain ^ from them what they 
could not give. Roman Catholics believe that as political 
power is derived from the people, so spiritual and eccle- 
siastical power is derived from God. They saw no evidence 
of the fact that God had given this power to the King 
of England, therefore they would not swear that he pos- 
sessed what was not given to him. Is this a crime ? Am 
I a criminal when I assert that James Monroe, for whom 
and for whose office I have more respect than for all the 
British kings since the Norman conquests and for their 
office, has no supremacy over any Church ? Shall I be 
called a traitor, if I refuse to fashion my religion accord- 
ing to his wish or opinion, though no subject of any 
king is more devotedly ready to obey him, than I am to 
obey with alacrity every constitutional order of the Presi- 
dent of the Union or of the Governor of South Carolina? 
I am not then a traitor I am not a criminal, because I 
refuse to acknowledge in the President or the Governor a 
power which is not in him. I was not a traitor I was 
not a criminal in my native country, when I refused to 
swear that George III was supreme head of the Church. 
I saw its origin to be the usurpation of the eighth Henry. 
This usurpation was no evidence of right. It is a power 
which the people could not give. I would be guilty of 

'January 1, 1824. 


perjury if I swore it. Produce evidence to show any rea- 
sonable man in this Union, that I ought to have sworn 
the oath of supremacy, and I will yield to my opponents 
the palm of victory. 

I shall put a case for them to solve. When our blessed 
Saviour taught in Judea, He was the supreme head of 
God's Church. Ireland was not then under the Roman 
emperor's authority, she was governed by her native kings. 
Suppose an Irishman of that day was convinced of the 
divine authority of our blessed Lord, and told his fellow- 
countrymen that they ought to acknowledge the authority 
of Christ in matters of religion ; that they should receive 
His decisions in their spiritual concerns; that they should 
form congregations and have their churches regulated ac- 
cording to His advice ; that the persons to be admitted as 
the guides of their souls ought to derive from the Saviour 
their instruction and their authority. Would my opponents 
assert that this man might be justly taken up as a traitor; 
that he ought to be considered as a bad subject; that his 
allegiance was divided, and that he could be a faithful sub- 
ject of the Irish king only when an unfaithful subject of 
our Saviour? Yet here they would say that the spiritual 
submission of this man to the foreigner did not interfere 
with his temporal or political allegiance to his native monarch. 
If they adopt the principle that spiritual obedience to a 
foreigner is a violation of allegiance to the State, do they 
not justify every nation which persecuted the citizens of 
subjects who adhered to foreign claimants of spiritual 
power? Thus they justify every persecutor of the early 
Church. Do they violate the right of the Indian chief 
by persuading one of his tribe against the wish of the 
chief to become a Christian? Has that chief a right in 
conscience to punish that convert upon the plea that his 
allegiance to him is lessened by its being shared between 
him and one of their black-coats ? The argument is of 
the same value whether it be applied to an individual of 
a wandering tribe or the population of the Chinese empire. 



All the early martyrs of the Church disobeyed kings and 
emperors in matters of religion: will my opponents cull 
them traitors, and say that they ought to have been put 
to death? Was Nero justified in beheading St Paul? Did 
he only act as he ought in crucifying St. Peter? Was 
Pontius Pilate a meritorious governor, who conscientiously 
exercised his authority in putting Jesus Christ to death, 
upon the charge of His seducing the people from their 
allegiance to Csesar? The charge which my opponents make 
upon the Papists is exactly the same charge which the 
Jews were in the habit of making against the Apostles. 
From that day to the present we have met it as we meet 
it now. We have a kingdom it is true, in which we pay 
no obedience to Csesar ; but our kingdom is not of this 
world ; and whilst we render unto God the things that 
are God's, we render unto Csesar the things that are 
Caesar's. To the successors of the Apostles we render that 
obedience which is due to the authority left by Jesus Christ, 
who alone could bestow it. We do not give it to the 
President, we do not give it to the Governor, we do not 
give it to the Congress, we do not give it to the Legis- 
ture of the State. Neither do my opponents nor do the 
civil powers claim it ; nor would we give it if they did, 
for the claim would be unfounded. We give to them 
everything which the Constitution requires ; my opponents 
give no more they ought not to give more. Let the Pope 
and cardinals and all the powers of the Catholic world 
united make the least encroachment on that Constitution, 
we will protect it with our lives. Summon a general 
council; let that council interfere in the mode of our elect- 
ing but an assistant to a turnkey of a prison we deny 
its' right; we reject its usurpation. Let that council lay a 
tax of one cent only upon any of our churches we will 
not pay it. Yet, we are most obedient Papists ; we believe 
the Pope is Christ's Vicar on earth, supreme visible head 
of the Church throughout the world, and lawful successor 
to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. We believe all this 


power is in Pope Leo XII, and we believe that a general 
council is infallible in doctrinal decisions. Yet we deny 
to Pope and council united any power to interfere with 
one tittle of our political rights, as firmly as we deny 
the power of interfering with one tittle of our spiritual 
rights to the President and Congress. We will obey each 
in its proper place, we will resist any encroachment by 
one upon the rights of the other. Will my opponents 
permit Congress to do the duties of their convention? 

I shall now proceed to examine a few facts, the plain 
result of which must destroy their positions. Kings and 
emperors of the Roman Catholic Church have frequently 
been at war with the Pope. Yet they did not cease to be 
members of the Church, and subject to his spiritual juris- 
diction, although they resisted his warlike attacks. Any 
person in the least degree acquainted with the history of 
Europe can easily refer to several instances. The distinc- 
tion drawn by our blessed Saviour, when He stood in the 
presence of Pilate, was the principle of those rulers. They 
were faithful to the head of the Church whose kingdom 
is not of this world, but they repelled the attack of an 
enemy to their rights. My opponents acknowledge the 
authority of bishops. Suppose a bishop under whom they 
were placed proceeded to take away their property ; could 
they not defend their rights at law without infringing upon 
his spiritual authority? Are they reduced to the dilemma 
of being plundered or of denying an article of their relig- 
ion? Can they not keep their property and deny the right 
of the bishop to take it away and resist his aggression, 
at the same time that they are canonically obedient? Can 
they not be faithful to him as bishop, and to themselves 
as men? Thus, suppose the Bishop of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church of Maryland claimed some right which lie 
neither had by their Church law nor by the law of the 
State. They may and ought to resist the aggression. Yet 
they would not be unfaithful to him. Let the Pope be 
placed in the same predicament; I can be faithful to the 


Pope and to the government under which I live. I care 
not whether that government be administered by a Papist, 
by a Protestant, by a Jew, by a Mohammedan, or by a 
Pagan. It is then untrue to assert, as my opponents have 
done, that a consistent Papist and a dutiful subject of a 
Protestant administration must be incompatible. 


Let me distinctly lay down what Roman Catholics teach 
concerning the Pope's power : that is, what they are bound 
by their profession, as Roman Catholics, to believe. They 
believe that he has all the power which our blessed Saviour 
gave to St. Peter. They do not, as Roman Catholics, believe 
that he has one particle more. Tiberius and Nero were tem- 
poral rulers. St. Peter did not by virtue of his authority 
claim to be a partner of their throne, nor did he assert 
that their power was derived from him ; nor did he assert 
that it could be taken away from him. And when Con- 
stantine became a Christian, Pope Sylvester, who claimed all 
the power which St. Peter possessed, never claimed to be 
the donor of power to Constantine, nor did he add to the 
authority which that emperor had, and which he possessed 
and used as fully before his baptism as after. Constantine 
lost no temporal power by becoming a Christian ; Sylvester 
gained no new power from God, from the circumstance of 
the emperor's conversion. If the successors of Peter gained 
any temporal power, it was by the concession of the people 
or of princes ; not by the appointment of God. If they 
were vested with any right of arbitration between kings 
or princes or people, in temporal or political concerns, it 
was by the act of those kings and princes and people. 
It was not by any new revelation of any article of faith, 
nor was it by entering into possession or use of any old 
right, from using or possessing which they had been forci- 
bly restrained. 

Thus, God never gave to St. Peter any temporal power, 
any authority to depose kings, any authority to interfere 


with political concerns. And any rights which his succes- 
sors might claim for any of those purposes must be derived 
from some other source. A Roman Catholic has no farther 
connection with the Pope than as he succeeds Peter ; Peter 
had none of those rights. As a Roman Catholic I know 
nothing of them in the Pope ; he is equally Pope with or 
without them. Mr. Mcllvain would not be the less pastor 
of his congregation for being chaplain to the Senate, and 
though he should lose his chaplaincy when his father will 
vacate his seat, he will not thereby cease to be pastor. 
The clergymen who are members of Congress are not, by 
holding their seats, less clergymen than if they had them 
not. Neither is the Pope less Pope because there is now 
attached to his office the possession of a territory which 
must be governed. Nor would he be less Pope though 
another Bonaparte should rob him and put him into prison. 
And Pius VII, under the lock of the man who died on 
St. Helena, was as much the head of our Church, as was 
Gregory who made Europe bow and shook her monarchs 
with terror. 

Roman Catholics believe the Pope to be the successor 
of St. Peter, and therefore to be entitled to a supremacy 
of honor and jurisdiction through the whole of the Chris- 
tian world. This honor is only that which is due to a 
spiritual head ; this jurisdiction is only in spiritual and 
ecclesiastical concerns. The American Constitution leaves 
its citizens in perfect freedom to have w r hom they please 
to regulate their spiritual concerns. But if the Pope were 
to declare war against America, and any Roman Catholic 
under the pretext of spiritual obedience was to refuse to 
oppose this temporal aggressor, he would deserve to be 
punished for his refusal, because he owes to his country 
to maintain its rights. Spiritual power does not and can- 
not destroy the claim which the government has upon him. 
Suppose a clergyman of England were convicted of some 
crime for instance, Dr. Dodd and he was ordered for 
execution ; must the law be inoperative because the crim- 


inal is a clergyman? Do my opponents think that no one 
could be found in a Roman Catholic country to sentence 
or to execute a sentence upon a clergyman who was a 
criminal? All history testifies to the contrary. So, too, 
does all history show that upon the same principle Catho- 
lic kings and princes and peers and people have disobeyed 
improper mandates of the See of Rome, and have levied 
and carried on war against Popes, and still continued 
members of the Church. 

I shall give u very few instances. In the first fact 
which I adduce my opponents will find the spiritual 
grounds for the Pope's interference, which they will agree 
with me in pronouncing to be wholly inapplicable to our 
present state of society ; and of no force whatever, as 
respects the United States. 

When in the year 1202 John of England seized upon 
Arthur, the son of Geoffry, and imprisoned him at Rouen, 
after which this boy was never heard of: John having 
been strongly suspected of the murder of his nephew, was 
summoned, as Duke of Normandy, upon the accusation of 
the Bishop of Rennes, to answer to Philip of France, as his 
sovereign. Having neglected to appear, Philip, in the pres- 
ence of the peers of France, pronounced sentence : " That 
whereas John, Duke of Normandy, in violation of his oath to 
Philip his lord, had murdered Arthur, the son of his elder 
brother, u homager of the crown of France, and near kins- 
man to the king, and had perpetrated the crime within 
the scignory of France, he was found guilty of felony 
and treason, and w r as therefore adjudged to forfeit all the 
lands which he held by homage." King Philip and the 
Br,etons proceeded to execute this sentence by taking 
possession of the Duchy of Normandy. John was soon 
obliged to fly to England, and sought the aid of the 
Pope, who was the identical Innocent III, under whom 
was held the Council of Lateran, whose canons I have had 
to examine. Innocent sent two legates to King Philip to 
require of him to desist, and to decide the controversy 


between the two kings. Mark now in his letter the grounds 
of his right to interpose. After quoting the text from 
Matt, xviii, 15, 16, and 17, he proceeds: 

" Now the King of England maintains that, by enforcing 
the execution of an unjust sentence, the King of France 
has trespassed against him. He has therefore admonished 
him of his fault in the manner prescribed by the Gospel, 
and meeting with no redress, has, according to the admo- 
nition of the same Gospel, appealed to the Church ; how 
can we then, whom divine providence has placed at the 
head of that Church, refuse to obey the divine command? 
How can we hesitate to proceed according to the form 
pointed out by Christ Himself? We do not arrogate to 
ourselves any right as to judging the fee of the land or 
territory that belongs to the sovereign, the King of France. 
But we have a right to judge as to the sin committed, 
and it is our duty so to do whoever may be the offender. 
It has moreover been provided by the imperial law, that 
if one or two litigant parties shall prefer the judgment of 
the Apostolic See, the other shall be bound to submit 
thereto and to abide its judgment. But we say not this 
as if we would thereby found our jurisdiction upon civil 
authority. God has made it our duty to reprehend the 
man who falls into mortal sin, and if he neglect our repre- 
hensions, to compel him to amend, by ecclesiastical cen- 
sures. Moreover, both parties, viz., the kings, have sworn 
to observe the late treaty of peace ; and now it is plain that 
Philip has broken that treaty, the cognizance of cases of 
perjury is well known, and is universally allowed to belong 
to the ecclesiastical courts. Wherefore, upon this ground 
also we have a right to call the princes to our tribunal." 

Here we perceive the grounds on which the Pope claims 
a right to interfere. First, one which our Saviour meant 
for fraternal correction between individuals, and punishment 
of unjust aggressors, by the Church. The manner of pun- 
ishment is specified ecclesiastical censures. Suppose I held 
all this to be true ; suppose I did say that it regarded 


nations as well as individuals : assuming my opponents r 
principle of private judgment to ascertain the meaning of 
the text. The Pope has this right as well as they have 
it. He has then proved his case from the Gospel, and by 
their principle the Pope has a right by their Scriptures to 
act as he assumes, and they would be enemies of the 
Scriptures and of God in denying it. My principle, how- 
ever, will destroy his right. As a Roman Catholic, I be- 
lieve the Scriptures are not to be interpreted according to 
the caprice of the Pope, nor according to my opponents' 
caprice nor mine, but according to the unanimous consent 
of the Fathers. Now that consent confines the meaning of 
this passage to individuals, and does not extend it to gov- 
ernments. Wherefore, though I believe the exercise of the 
power was often salutary, I believe it was also often in- 
judicious and injurious, and is applicable only to indi- 
viduals. If it extends only to Church censures, what danger 
is there to America from that cause? Sometimes the sov- 
ereign deprived the censured person of his property ; but 
this was by his temporal power. The Church had no such 

As to the perjury: the law of Europe then gave its 
cognizance to the ecclesiastical courts. But the law of 
America does not. We have no dread upon this score. 
As to the imperial law, with that too we have no concern, 

As Protestants, my opponents could not refute the Scrip- 
tural doctrine of the Pope nor evade its application. As a 
Catholic, I assert it goes farther in its implication than the 
text warrants. So Philip of France thought, and disobeyed 
the mandate, and deprived John of Normandy. Yet Philip 
never left the Church ; he always continued to be a stead- 
fast Papist. 

Were I to follow up the enumeration of facts similar 
to this in the several countries of Christendom, I should 
write volumes, and each fact would more clearly prove that 
the spiritual obedience which a Roman Catholic owes to 
the Pope does not in the most remote degree interfere with 


his fidelity to the government under which he lives; because 
the principle of the Roman Catholic is, that spiritual au- 
thority springs from God, and regards the concerns of a 
man's soul in respect to eternal things; temporal authority r 
though sanctioned by God, springs from, the people, and 
regards the concerns of a man's well being as to the peace 
of this world and the goods of time. The spiritual ruler 
has no power to order the latter concerns, the temporal 
ruler has no power to order the former. But the principle 
of my opponents' much-admired English Church vests the 
management of both concerns in the same tribunal, and thus 
gives to the English oligarchy a more unlimited jurisdic- 
tion that could be claimed by or would be allowed to the 
most despotic monarch of Spain or Portugal. 

Let us see a few more facts. When, in 1213, that same 
Innocent pronounced sentence of deposition from the throne 
of England against John himself, and committed its execu- 
tion to Philip of France, John summoned his Catholic sub- 
jects. They were all Papists. Notwithstanding the papal 
sentence, they came to the coast of Kent, sailed from Ports- 
mouth on the 15th of April, captured Philip's squadron at 
the mouth of the Seine, destroyed the ships in the harbor 
of Fecamp, and burned the town of Dieppe. But, what the 
Pope's sentence never could effect, John's own lust and 
despotism effected. He alienated the affections of his people 
from his throne ; he made enormous exactions from the 
laity; he plundered the monasteries and stripped the clergy, 
though they all supported him against the Pope and the 
King of France. Yet not one of them fell under any 
censure, nor did any one of them, upon the principles of 
the Roman Catholic Church, commit the slightest act of in- 
fidelity to the Pope by opposing the army of Philip. If 
my opponents cannot understand this, it is because they do 
not know the principles of the feudal system which then 
prevailed, nor the principles of the Roman Catholic Church, 
which never changes. 

When John disgraced and degraded himself by swearing 
fealty to the Pope, in presence of the Legate Pandulf, he 


was forced to render the crown of England tributary to 
Rome by his own weakness, not by any principle of the 
Roman Catholic Church. The very men who had returned 
with him from his enterprise in France would have de- 
fended him against a world in arms. He had 60,000 of 
them, flushed with victory, still at his side. But a tyrant 
is always weak, and he felt that the arms which they bore 
might be turned against himself, not because of the Pope's 
interference, of which they had been aware before they 
assembled, and to oppose the execution of which they assem- 
bled, and to prevent the execution of which they had fought 
in the Channel and in France; but because of the crimes 
by which he was daily exasperating them. The people, as 
well as the barons, knew that John had acted illegally, 
tyrannically, and irreligiously towards the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (Langton) and the other bishops : they knew 
that John had incurred as well as deserved the censures ol 
the Church. To all this they made no opposition ; but 
when they found the King of France preparing to invade 
their country, and were called by their king to its defence, 
though he had deserved all the censures of the Church, 
they felt it to be their duty, the Pope's declarations not- 
withstanding, to repel every invader. Thus, in fact, they 
were faithful subjects to an impious king, and were not 
unfaithful to the head of the 'Roman Catholic Church, 
although they refused to obey the mandates of the arbiter 
of kings under the feudal system, and still under that 
system it was lawful for them to disobey. If my opponents 
know the nature of that system, they can explain those 
apparent incongruities. If they do not, I advise them, for 
the sake of their own character, to avoid writing about what 
they do not understand. 

The reign of John is most fruitful in exemplifications. 
To pass over many others, I shall take one which regards 
the Great Charter. Primate Langton, upon his return, had 
required of John, before the removal of the excommunica- 
tion, to swear, at Winchester, that he would abolish all 


illegal customs, restore to every man his rights, and revive 
the laws of the good King Edward. 

The barons met at St. Albans, under the presidency of 
the justiciary, Fitz Peter, and published the laws of Henry 
I, which were supposed to contain the provisions of Edward 
the Confessor. John, who found the barons had not fol- 
lowed him to France, which he intended to invade, returned 
from Jersey, and in his fury was about to do military 
execution upon the peers, who had published those laws, 
which he never seriously intended to have enforced. The 
primate restrained him, and insisted that if they were 
charged with crime, they should be tried by their peers. 
The barons met on the 25th of August, at St. Paul's, in 
London. Langton read to them the provisions of the charter 
of Henry I, commented upon them, enforced the necessity 
of restraining the king's lawless tyranny by its enactments, 
and prevailed on them to swear to each other, to die in 
defence of their liberties, sooner than make any surrender 

On the 20th of November, 1214, the barons assembled 
at the Abbey of St. Edmunds, after having, in several pre- 
vious meetings, fixed the special demands which they w r ere 
to make : all having been made ready and committed to 
writing. One by one, each advanced to ' the high altar, 
and took a solemn oath to God and to his peers, to Math- 
draw his allegiance from John as a tyrant, should he refuse 
to grant the claims of their and the public rights. 

On the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1215, ex- 
actly six hundred and ten years ago, five hundred and 
sixty years and six months before the Declaration of Ameri- 
can Independence, the bishops and other barons followed 
the king to the Temple, in London, where he had shut 
himself up, and there presented their claims. John threat- 
ened, and required of them to assure him, under their 
hands and seals, that they would never again have tho 
insolence to make such a demand ; three only were found 
base enough to comply, viz. : the Bishop of Winchester, 
the Earl of Chester, and Lord William Brewer. 


Finding them obstinate, the king gave, as his sureties, 
to furnish a favorable answer at Easter, the primate, the 
Bishop of Ely, and the Earl of Pembroke. Knowing that 
the bishops were the portion which had most influence, 
the insincere monarch used every effort, during the respite 
thus obtained, to detach them from the confederation. On 
the 15th of January, by a charter, he divested himself as 
of rights of several usurped powers which he and his pre- 
decessors had assumed in ecclesiastical concerns. He also 
applied to the Pope to aid him. He made a public vow 
to wage war against the infidel oppressors of the suffering 
Christians in Greece and Asia, and claimed, as a crusader, 
the aid of the Church, for the preservation of his rights, 
whilst he should be engaged in preparing for and prose- 
cuting so sacred an undertaking. Having thus hypocritically 
flung the mantle of religion over his iniquity, he, on the 
2d of February, ordered the sheriffs of the several coun- 
ties to assemble their freemen, and cause them to swear 
the oath of allegiance to him. On the 19th of March, 
the primate, Langton, received a letter from the Pope, 
complaining of the injustice of refusing to John the rights 
which had been peaceably possessed by his brother Richard 
and by his father Henry, charging the archbishop with 
seditiously encouraging the subjects against their monarch, 
and commanding him to exert his authority for their recon- 
ciliation. The barons received another letter from the 
Pope, in which he censured them for dem&nding violently 
as a right what they might have asked as a favor. He 
promised that if they behaved with humility and moder- 
ation, he would intercede for them, and obtain from the 
king any reasonable boon. He then annuls the proceedings 
of the confederation, and under penalty of excommuni- 
cation, forbids any further confederacy. Thus John thought 
himself secure from his Popish subjects. Easter came. 

But the English Papists of 1215 knew their rights just 
as well as did the American Congress of all religions in 
1775. The bishops and the barons met. No excommuni- 


cations could destroy their inalienable rights. Neither u 
Pope nor a general council could dictate to the British 
barons nor to the American people the terms of the com- 
pact between them and their temporal governments. Before 
u Pope was commissioned, before a general council was 
assembled, the God of nature regulated the rights of man 
in the social and civil state. The commission of St. 
Peter gave him no authority to regulate the manner in 
which kingdoms should be governed. 

Pandulf, the Pope's legate, and the Bishop of Exeter, 
contended that the primate was bound by the Pope's order 
to excommunicate the barons. The archbishop replied, that 
the king had brought in foreign troops to oppress his 
people, and unless they were forthwith removed, he would 
excommunicate them ; and that to the utmost of his power 
he would oppose the oppression of the liberties of Eng- 
land. Runnymede exhibited the value of the papal inter- 
ference with Roman Catholics who still were faithful to 
the head of their Church, but who acknowledged in him 
no right to interfere in their temporal government. At one 
side was the king, with the Pope's legate, eight bishops 
who had been drawn away by the means which I stated, 
and fifteen gentlemen. On the other side stood Fitz waiter, 
"the general of the army of God and of the holy Church," 
accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the rest of 
the English bishops, several abbots, and the host of the 
British nobility, together with their knights and esquires ; 
and the monarch was obliged to submit. 

I shall not dwell upon the resistance of the Roman 
Catholic bishops and barons to the repeated attempts made 
by the king, with the aid of the Pope, to annul the 
Great Charter which was thus obtained. All these, and a 
thousand other facts in history, plainly prove the distinc- 
tion between spiritual obedience and temporal allegiance. 
The British Catholics gave the latter to Elizabeth, a Prot- 
estant princess, when she was excommunicated by the Pope, 
yet she hanged them for paying him spiritual obedience. 


Thus it is clear, that a Roman Catholic might be a faith- 
ful subject of a Protestant government, at the same time 
that he is a faithful subject of the Pope, as my opponents 
are pleased to express themselves. 

Were the Canadians so unfaithful to their Protestant 
King George, as to make it safe for our militia captains 
to cross the line into their territory? Why did our cap- 
tains refuse to go over? They knew the Canadians were 
faithful Roman Catholics. Were the Canadian Papists un- 
faithful to the persecuting British Protestant government in 
1775? Had the Pope's interference any influence upon the 
Popish barons of England, who opposed the Papist William 
Wallace? Had it any influence upon the Popish adherents 
of the Papist Bruce? What influence had it upon the 
Irish chieftains, all Papists, who remonstrated with Pope 
John, upon the misconduct of King Edward II, of England, 
and who told His Holiness that they recognized no right 
in him or in the King of England, to regulate their tem- 
poral government ? My opponents should study history, 
before they presume to lay down as correct principles 
assumptions which all history proves to be false. 

I am a^vare, that, for its own purposes, the English 
Church and State has corrupted history ; but it is only the 
light and hasty and prejudiced reader, that can be imposed 
upon by the deceptive mass of muddy falsehood. Very little 
application of the rules of criticism is necessary to purify 
the collection. King Henry VIII knew the history of 
King John and Primate Langton, and of Henry II, and 
Primate Becket, and of many other kings and bishops ; 
and as he had many delicate affairs to manage, he thought 
an obsequious man, like the complying Thomas Cranmer, 
would do well as a nominal primate, whilst he could very 
well be Pope. . In this he was not impolitic ; he was then 
at full liberty to plunder, and to marry, and to behead, 
and to burn, as he thought proper ; and from that day to 
this, the English Church, with one exception, has been 
the most sleek, well-fed, obsequious, courtly Church in 


the world; that troublesome quality of independence is 
unknown ; all is perfect harmony. 

I have no doubt my opponents would like to see such 
another gentleman-like system in America; but I promise 
them, with God's help, they never will. The people here 
have too much good sense to permit the President, or even 
the Senate, to add the influence of their Church or mine 
or any other to the power of the executive. When the 
people shall be guilty of this folly, their liberties are lost, 
and they deserve their bondage. 



A WRITER for the press asserts, that "it is a doctrine 
of the Roman Catholic Church, that the Pope had the 
power of dispensing with the obligation of oaths." The 
proposition which he contradicts is reducible to this : 
" Catholics do not believe the Pope can dispense with the 
obligations of oaths." His proposition then must be 
reducible to the contradictory : " Catholics do believe the 
Pope can dispense with the obligation of oaths." His 
proofs are : " Catholic doctrine is always the same. But 
some Popes did dispense with certain oaths. Therefore 
Catholics believe the Pope can dispense with the obligation 
of oaths." Now I put it to the candor of the writer : Is 
his argument good? How many of the rules of syllogisms, 
which are but the maxims of right reason, does it violate? 

First, suppose I allow all his facts to be true, in the 
sense which he wishes to have conveyed by them, what 
do those facts prove? They prove that Gregory VII, 
Innocent III, Innocent IV, Clement VI, Pius V, and 
Sixtus V did absolve the subjects of certain princes from 
their allegiance. Here, then, we have only the acts of six 
Popes, and by those acts no Catholic is bound. The 
writer might as well have produced the criminal acts of 
six Popes, who could be named, and conclude from those 
acts that Catholics believe it lawful for the Pope and 
people to commit sins. I beg to inform him, that the 
Roman Catholic doctrine is not to be learned from the 
acts of the Popes, as the doctrines of the Church of 
England is not to be learned from the acts of King 
Charles II, or King George IV, or the Bishop of Clogher. 
The first fault of his argument then was, attempting to 



prove doctrine by individual acts. Even those persons 
who believe the Pope to be infallible, for there are such 
individuals, though the Roman Catholic Church does not 
require this belief, 1 draw a very palpable distinction between 
the doctrinal decision of the Pope and his private or even 
his public acts. Though they will receive solemn decisions 
of doctrine as rules for belief, they will condemn several 
of the papal acts. 

The next fault of the argument is, that from particular 
premises he draws a general conclusion. We have all those 
facts and the others which are adduced of only one 
description, oaths of allegiance to sovereigns. Now, though 
it should be true that the Pope claimed a right of 
absolving from an oath of allegiance to a sovereign, it 
does not follow that he claimed the same right with 
respect to every other oath. Hence, supposing all the facts 
proved, the conclusion would only come to this : " It is 
a fact that some Popes claimed a right to dispense the 
subjects of some monarchs from their observance of their 
oath of allegiance." This conclusion is amply proved. But 
it does not thence follow, that " it is believed by Catho- 
lics that the Pope can dispense with the obligation of 
oaths generally." There might be a special ground for 
their power of absolving from oaths of allegiance, and 
still no ground for their absolving from other oaths. 
There might also be special grounds upon which they had 
this power with respect to some nations, which did ' not 
extend to other nations. This is only to be known by 
examination of facts. 

Now let us examine the facts, to discover the principle 
of the papal acts. They have regard to the Emperors of 
Germany, to King Henry VIII of England, and to his 
daughter Elizabeth, and to Henry, King of Navarre. 
Perhaps in each of those cases we would find some 
special ground of justification for the interference. Surely 

I It Is now, though it was not then, a dogma of the Church that the Pope is 
.infallible when speaking ex cathedra. 


the writer will not say that a monarch might not have 
forfeited the claim of allegiance, and Ids subjects be there- 
fore justly absolved from their oaths to him. The writer 
will not, I trust, in his zeal for our respectable President, 
forget the grounds of Mr. Monroe's title to our support. 1 
Was not the ground of Mr. Monroe's authority a dispen- 
sation given to the inhabitants of the former British 
Colonies from observing an oath ? Did not General Wash- 
ington take an oath of allegiance to King George III, 
of England, and to his heirs and successors? Did not 
Mr. Monroe himself take this oath? Did not sonic of 
the most respectable Episcopal clergy of the Union take 
this oath, and also take another oath in contradiction 
thereto? Have they not renounced that allegiance, waged 
war upon that king, put his subjects to death, annoyed 
his faithful servants, taken his ships, confiscated his 
property, and done every act of hostility, notwithstanding 
that oath? Have not those venerable clergymen, who 
swore that his Majesty was the visible head on earth of 
the Church, renounced that headship, and separated them- 
selves from his Majesty's jurisdiction, taken his name 
from their liturgies, and prayed for the success of his 
declared enemies ? And shall we say that all the fathers 
of the Church and State in America were perjurers who 
violated their oaths? Shall we say that Mr. Monroe is 
but the leader of a band of powerful and organized 
rebels, who have violated their solemn oaths ? 

Look to the period of the British Eevolution of 1688. 
Did not the bishops, and the peers, and the clergy, and 
the laity of England swear allegiance to James II, and 
afterwards rise up to oppose him and forswear that alle- 
gia'ncc, and swear allegiance to William III, who fought 
against James II? Were they perjurers? Did they teach 
the doctrine of dispensing with oaths? 

The explanation in these cases is simple. They were 
dispensed from the oaths by the misconduct of those to 
whom the oaths were taken, and there was in the oath 

Monroe win thon Provident. 


that implied condition which must always subsist between 
the governor and the governed, justice and .protection on 
the one side, and obedience on the other. The convention 
in England, and the convention in America, declared the 
fact of the governor having violated the contract, and 
thereby forfeited the right which he had, and thus 
absolved the people from the moral bond or obligation of 
the oath, which subsisted until that declaration was made ; 
and thus the convention did in England and in America 
exactly what the Pope did in the case of Germany, and 
no more. This expresses the principle, so far as the laity 
are concerned, or so far as regards temporal allegiance. I 
shall not presume to insult the clergymen by explaining 
how the ecclesiastical bond Avas broken. They are more 
competent to the fulfilling of that task than I am. I do 
not pretend even to surmise the grounds for rejecting his 
Majesty's ecclesiastical authority, as I do not know 
George III to have been charged with any faults against 
the Church. 

All that is necessary, I presume, as far as relates to 
Germany, is that I should now show that the Pope had, 
as regarded the emperors, the same power that the con- 
vention had in England ; and I shall thus have answered 
that part of the case so as to satisfy the writer. 

I could wish he had extended his reading a little 
beyond Dr. Barrow and Bishop Burnet, who had both 
interested motives for publishing only a part and not the 
whole of the facts in those several cases ; and I suppose 
he has read more, and only needs to be reminded of 
some facts which have probably escaped his memory. I 
shall not now dwell upon them. 

In the first place, he knows that the title of Emperor 
of the West became extinct in 476 ; the last who held 
the shadow of that dignity being Romulus Augustulus, 
Odoacer the Goth having assumed the reins of government 
as King of Italy. But in the year 800, the title of the 
Emperor of the Romans was created by Pope Leo III, 


who, upon Christinas day in that year, conferred it upon 
Charlemagne jn the city of Kome. By the same authority 
his descendants held the same title. But upon the extinc- 
tion of the Carlovingian race, in the commencement of the 
10th century, after the following emperors of that line 
had reigned, viz., Lewis the Pious, Lothaire, Lewis II, 
Charles II, Lewis the Stammerer, Charles the Fat, Arnulph, 
and Lewis IV, otherwise Lewis the Infant, Conrad, Duke 
of Franconia and Hesse, was in 912 elected by the Ger- 
man princes to the government of that part of the 
empire, but he was never recognized as emperor. Upon 
his recommendation, Henry, Duke of Saxony, was chosen 
in his stead, when he died in ' 919. He is generally 
known by the appellation of Henry the Fowler. He 
reconciled all parties to his interest, but died on his way 
to Rome to be crowned emperor, in 936, leaving his 
eldest son, Otho I, his successor. Otho was not crowned 
in Rome until 963, and is thus recognized as, properly 
speaking, the first Emperor of Germany. 

One part of the contract between the Pope and the 
emperor was, that the latter should preserve to the former 
his temporal possessions against the incursions of the petty 
and lawless chieftains by whom he was surrounded and 
sometimes annoyed ; and another was, that the emperor 
would preserve to all the Churches, and especially to that 
of Rome, all their rights, privileges, and immunities. If 
he failed in the discharge of these duties, he consented to 
forfeit all title to the empire. 

Previous to the death of Otho III, in the year 1000, 
he and Pope Gregory V, who was a German and a rela- 
tive of his, had reduced, the number of electors of the 
emperors to seven princes of Germany, reserving to the 
Pope the power of confirming the election, without which 
it would be invalid, and also the right of crowning the 
person so elected and confirmed. 

Thus we perceive, that in the beginning of the eleventh 
century, by the creation of the empire, by the custom of the 


age, and by special diplomatic regulations, the Pope had 
become possessed of the right of declaring who was Emperor 
of Germany, and of declaring when he ceased to have a claim 
upon the allegiance of his vassals, by having violated the 
conditions of his compact : and thus Pope Gregory VII, 
by the law of nations, had the very same rights in rela- 
tion to the Emperor of Germany, that the British and 
American conventions had with respect to James II and 
George III. The German electors 'had frequently declared 
Henry's violation of their rights, and had taken up arms 
against him ; so too did the person who was constitu- 
tionally appointed to decide by confirmation or otherwise. 
Thus, in the very document which the writer quotes, the 
Pope, Gregory VII, states the ground of his deposing 
King Henry, who was not yet emperor, to be the viola- 
tion of this contract. One of the grounds only out of 
many is quoted by the writer, and that but the sum of 
a special enumeration. ""Who too boldly and rashly hath 
laid hands on Thy Church." Like the Declaration of 
Independence, and every other State document, it carries 
the reason of its proceedings in the tenor of its state- 
ments, which are numerous. 

"We see, therefore, upon several titles, the Pope had 
a right to interfere in the election and confirmation, and 
'to judge whether allegiance was or was not due to the 
claimants of the imperial crown. Not by divine right, 
but by human and temporary institution ; and his exer- 
cise of this right is no part of the Roman Catholic 

This Henry IV, properly speaking, he was Henry III, 
for, as we have seen, Henry the Fowler was not emperor, 
had some qualities which were to be found in another of 
the same name. We do not take his character from the 
Pope's friends, but from the Pope's avowed enemies and 
the eulogists of Henry, when it was possible to eulogize 
him; the compilers of the "Universal History," printed 
in London, 1782. We could give it in far worse colors 


by quoting from more impartial authors; however, let us 
hear his friends. They state that one of his first acts, 
upon coming of age, was to impose taxes which were not 
usual. If I recollect right, one passage of the Declaration 
of American Independence charged George III, "for im- 
posing taxes upon us without our consent." The Germans 
" murmured and traversed his design on pretence of de- 
fending their liberty, which, they affirmed, he intended to 
invade." Really one would think these good editors were 
lecturing the founders of American liberty, and defending 
the King of England. " They were besides irritated against 
him on account of his debauches, and encouraged to rebel- 
lion by Pope Alexander II, who at the earnest solicitation 
of Hildebrand, his successor and confidant, actually sum- 
moned the emperor to Rome to give an account of his 
loose life and to answer the charge of having exposed the 
investiture of benefices to sale." 

We have before seen that by the constitution of the 
German empire, he could not be recognized as emperor nor 
claim allegiance, until he had been elected, confirmed, and 
crowned ; as yet he was neither validly elected, confirmed, 
nor crowned, therefore there was no allegiance due to him 
as emperor. We have also seen that had he been em- 
peror, he violated the liberties of the people by arbitrary 
taxation, which was unconstitutioual, and by simony, which 
was against the rights of the Church, he violated the con- 
tract with the Pope. Thus he was not legally emperor, 
and had he been legally invested, he had exposed himself 
legally to the loss of the title and its appendages, as fully 
as George III did to the loss of America. 

His States presented him with a list of grievances, and 
concluded with assuring him that he should be respected, 
obeyed, and supported with their lives and fortunes, pro- 
vided he would comply with those requests, but should 
he -persist in his design to oppress them, they were resolved 
to defend themselves against violence and despotic power; 
and they did take up arms against him for his misconduct. 


In all this we still find a strong resemblance to the 
conduct of the founders of American freedom, who in truth 
were the descendants of the ancestors of those brave Saxons, 
who thus proved that their veins still contained blood of 
the same nature as that which glowed in the hearts of 
the founders of British liberty. They were sprung from 
the same fathers ; and it must be a gratification to the 
American of this day to perceive that those Popes, whom 
interested historians misrepresented as the despots of the 
dark ages, were in truth the allies of the only people who 
cherished freedom, and who aided that people in preserving 
it against the attempts of powerful despots. It must also 
be to them a most gratifying reflection, that the very prin- 
ciples for which those Popes contended, and to preserve 
which they endured such persecution, are the same which, 
brought from Saxony through Britain, have made America 
great and happy. 

Let us now hear the chief causes of Henry's dislike to 
Rome. Besides the opposition to his despotic schemes, 
"his incontinence was so great that he seldom or never set 
his eyes upon a beautiful young woman without endeavor- 
ing to sacrifice her virtue to his appetite. The vigilance 
of his wife being an obstruction to his amours, he con- 
ceived an unjust antipathy to that unfortunate princess, and 
even engaged one of his courtiers to undermine her chas- 
tity, that he might have a pretext for obtaining a divorce ; 
but her conduct was so blameless and discreet, that his 
design miscarried, and he in vain solicited the Pope to dis- 
solve the marriage." 

He even plotted the assassination of the principal nobility 
opposed to his election, but finding his plans frustrated, 
and the electors assembled at Mentz to choose an emperor, 
he hypocritically made declarations of sorrow, and procured 
their votes ; he obtained the concurrence of Gregory VII 
by similar means, having acknowledged himself guilty of 
simony and debauchery, and promising amendment and pray- 
ing for absolution, which was granted upon his apparent con- 
trition and his solemn oath of future good conduct. 


Gregory soon finding his conduct worse than ever, sent 
to admonish him, that unless he observed his promise, and 
governed with justice, and desisted from destroying religion 
by flagrant simony, he should proceed to depose him. 
Henry returned for answer, that the Pope was his vassal, 
that Gregory had entered into the Popedom without having 
been appointed by him and that he now deposed him from 
that Popery. Gregory excommunicated the emperor, who 
went to Italy, and did public penance, and was absolved by 
the Pope on the 28th of January, 1078, upon swearing 
that he would not molest the Pope in future. 

The emperor had scarcely departed, after this hypocritical 
submission, when he became worse than ever, and openly 
declared his hostility to the Pope, and his determination to 
injure that Church which he had so often sworn to pro- 
tect; whereupon Gregory, as he was constitutionally war- 
ranted to do, pronounced him deposed from the place which 
he had so unworthily filled, and the subjects of the empire 
freed from allegiance to him. 


I have shown that the German case did not establish 
the principle that the Pope has a right to dispense from 
all oaths. I stated the declaration of Pope Urban II re- 
garding the case of Henry of Germany ; and though Dr. 
Barrow, or his copyist, I cannot say which, brings forward 
the proposition in general terms, " subjects are by no- 
authority constrained to pay the fidelity which they have 
sworn to a Christian prince who opposes God and His 
saints, and violates their precepts;" yet this apparently 
universal assertion is really but a particular proposition, the 
meaning of which, and the application of which, is actually 
restrained by the circumstances to the particular case of 
Germany, which was that under consideration. 

One of the great causes of complaint which Catholics 
always have had against their opponents is, that they mis- 
represent the tenets of the Catholics. Thus they seldom 


attack the real doctrines of the Catholic Church. There is 
no species of misrepresentation worse than concealing part 
of the truth, and giving statements which, though true in 
themselves, yet stripped of their circumstances, convey to the 
mind wrong impressions. It is the worst sort of deceit. I 
shall illustrate this by an example which is intelligible to 
the people of the South. 

Suppose a traveler published to the world that in Caro- 
lina he was present when a number of men were tried for 
their lives by a regular constitutional court, and that the 
court impanelled no jury, and declared no jury was allowed 
by the State, and that the court further declared that the 
witnesses need not be confronted with the prisoners. Such 
a writer would convey to the world a false impression, 
though he would have stated nothing but what was strictly 
true. And he Avould have done exactly what was done by 
the person who extracted the declaration of Urban II ; he 
would have only concealed the most material fact which 
was the key to the full and satisfactory explanation of the 
entire ; and the publication of which would show that so far 
from this being the general law, it was an exception, viz., 
the case of negro slave conspirators. 

If the declaration of Urban II were a general proposition 
of Catholic doctrine, its meaning would be " that no allegi- 
ance was due to a Christian prince who violated the pre- 
cepts of God." The writer who could prove this to have 
been denned as faith in the Catholic Church, would indeed 
have for ever put down the doctrine of infallibility, and 
proved the whole of our system to be erroneous, for the 
Catholic Church condemned this doctrine as heretical when 
it was taught by Wickliffe and Huss, and the German 
boors, and some of the Puritans of England and Scotland. 
We shall perhaps soon be informed that it was from Urban 
II the doctrine was learned by John Knox and his brethren. 

Henry IV was either the person whom I have described 
as Henry III of Germany; if so, the -acts of Paschal II 
are explained exactly as those of Gregory and Urban have 


been. What I think more probable is that he was the son 
who is by some called Henry V, who was, if possible, still 
worse than his father, a vile hypocrite, a flagitious, bloody 
tyrant, who usurped the empire in a manner which 
exhibited a complication of irregularities ; and Paschal only 
performed his duty as principal elector and defender of 
the rights of the Roman empire by depriving such a 
monster of the sway which he held. 

The next case is that of Innocent III and Otho IV. 
Of course the principle of solution being known, the diffi- 
culty vanishes. The acts of any Pope, with respect to his 
treaties with nations or sovereigns, are no part of the 
Roman Catholic religion; neither are Roman Catholics obliged 
to believe, that in making those treaties, or observing or 
departing from them, the Pope acted properly and religiously. 
For his acts he is to be judged by the Lord, and it is 
impossible for us, at this moment, to pass judgment upon 
cases with all the circumstances of which we are not suf- 
ficiently acquainted. 

But a new feature is here exhibited. A general council, 
which was held at Rome, ordained, that if "a temporal 
lord being required and admonished by the Church, should 
neglect to purge his territory from heretical filth, he should, 
by the metropolitan and the other provincial bishops, be 
noosed in the band of excommunication ; and that, if he 
should slight to make satisfaction within a year, it should 
be signified to the Pope, that he might, from that time, 
denounce the subjects absolved from the fealty to him, and 
expose the territory to be seized by Catholics." Thus it 
is insinuated, that as this was a general council, this 
declaration must be a part of our doctrine. 

'There are here two mistakes. The first of doctrine, the 
second of fact. The Catholic Church looks upon a general 
oouncil to be infallible in declaring and defending what are 
the doctrines of faith, which have been revealed ; and in 
declaring and defending principles of morality founded upon 
reason and revelation, and teaches that all her children are 


bound to receive those decisions, and are bound to obey 
the regulations of ecclesiastical discipline, which are made for 
the whole Church in those councils. She recognizes in the 
council no farther power. 

Now, this canon of the Council of Lateran, under Pope 
Innocent III, which is the third of the 70 canons of that 
Church, is not a decision concerning a doctrine of faith, is 
not a decision of a principle of morality, is not a regula- 
tion of ecclesiastical discipline, and therefore is no part of 
the Roman Catholic religion, neither has it ever been con- 
sidered as such. Thus it is, to say the least, a great mis- 
take of our doctrine to assert that this is a portion of our 
religion ; and assuming this mistake as a principle, all the 
arguments drawn from it must be inapplicable. 

The mistake of fact is the supposition that this council 
consisted merely of bishops and other churchmen, and that 
this canon was made by mere ecclesiastical authority. 

In the first place, the two emperors and several other 
monarchs sent their ambassadors to the council, several of 
the archbishops and bishops were princes of extensive 
territories, and many proxies for other princes attended, so 
that the assembly consisted of two descriptions of persons, 
having separate and distinct objects, though many of the 
members had votes on each subject. The bishops as pastors 
only drew up and regulated the decisions of faith, morality, 
and discipline, and the temporal powers or congress of 
princes made regulations for temporal government ; and as 
the object of this assembly was twofold, the canons or 
laws are also twofold; and each referable to the proper 
source of authority, as its nature is either ecclesiastical or 
temporal, and a few of them are mixed. Now, this third 
canon is of the latter sort, and it is a mixed law con- 
curred in by both authorities. The object was the clearing 
of the territories of " heretical filth ;" and any person who 
is at all acquainted with the history of the time, and has 
the smallest share of candor, must allow that the very 
<'\istence of society required measures of extraordinary 


severity to preserve a considerable part of Europe from 
the unnatural consequences of Manichaism, as well as from 
the principles of Lollardism. The principles of botli those 
sects were what was specially described as " heretical filth," 
and princes, as well as prelates, found it necessary to root 
them out. The law was rather a temporal than an eccle- 
siastical canon ; and as it was inserted amongst the eccle- 
siastical laws, in consequence first of its treating of heresy, 
and next of ecclesiastical persons, this circumstance of its 
insertion caused the misrepresentation of the council having 
usurped a right to depose princes. 

Now I come to consider the nature of this law. It 
has several enactments. 1. It regulates that the punishment 
of condemning heretics must be left to the secular powers. 
This does not look like arrogating it to the Church. The 
Church may declare the fact of heresy as a jury does in 
its verdict; this is all its power in a temporal point of 
view the mere simple declaration of the fact. 2. If the 
heretics be clergymen, they shall be first degraded from 
their orders, and their property confiscated to the churches 
whence it was derived. So far it was an act of the 
Council of Bishops. 3. The property of lay heretics was 
confiscated to the State. This was an enactment of the 
congress. 4. If the temporal lord (i. e., a feudatory), being 
required by the Church, did not clear his territory, of 
heretical filth, he was to be excommunicated. This was 
ecclesiastical. 5. If he remained a year negligent, he was 
to be reported to the Pope, who was to declare, that by 
his neglect he forfeited all right to allegiance, etc. Quo 
jure? Was it by his spiritual authority? By no means 
but by the consent of the congress which made and sanc- 
'tioned this enactment. It was a new power granted to the 
Pope by States, whose representatives made the law. Thus 
it was no more a usurpation of the Pope to exercise this 
newly acquired right in all cases in which those States 
might have been subsequently involved, than it would be 
a usurpation for the President of the United States to use 


the power given to him by the Congress ,of those States 
within their several territories ; and in fact the whole of 
Christendom was met in that congress by its representa- 
tives, and freely gave its president, the Pope, this power. 

6. This was a clause by the same authority reserving the 
rights of seignory of the lords paramount or chief emper- 
ors or kings, notwithstanding the possible forfeiture by the 
puisne baron, prince, vassal, or holder under a fief tenure. 

7. By the same authority, this clause extended the penalties 
to chieftains and lords exempt, who held not in fief but 
in chief. All those enactments were made by the congress 
upon subjects under their power, but over which the Pope, 
by his spiritual jurisdiction, had no authority; but by this 
law he was invested with power, and might lawfully absolve 
the subjects of those States from their oaths of fealty, when 
the Church found the facts of heresy and negligence. I 
do not here mean to enter upon the examination of the 
propriety or impropriety of the law ; but we have ascer- 
tained the fact, that in this year the law was made and 
the power conferred, and therefore it might by the law of 
nations be used, and its use was no usurpation on the part 
of the executive officer. The remaining enactments of the 
third canon are merely ecclesiastical regarding preachers. 

The next fact produced is that of Pope Innocent IV 
declaring Frederick II to be his vassal ; and in his gen- 
eral Council of Lyons denouncing sentence of deprivation 
against him in a certain form of words. I do not suppose 
the form is of much account if he had a right to make 
this assertion and to pronounce this deprivation. 

The Popes did obtain and hold for a considerable time 
the principality of Sicily, and the usual acknowledgments 
were made to them as chiefs and sovereigns thereof. 
Frederick had only a small portion of Germany, besides 
the Duchy of Swabia, together with Naples and Sicily, for 
his hereditary dominions. These latter were fiefs of the 
Holy See, not in virtue of the spiritual supremacy of the 
Pope, but of his temporal power, and Frederick was his 


vassal for those territories. At his coronation as Emperor 
of Germany by Honorius III he swore to defend the pos- 
sessions of the Holy See, including the fiefs of the Countess 
Matilda, in Fondi, and to go into Asia, upon the requisi- 
tion oF the Pope, to aid the crusaders. He ravaged the 
possessions of the Holy See several times, usurped the fiefs 
of Fondi, evaded more than once his pledge regarding the 
crusades, excited civil wars in the States of the Church, 
let Saracens loose upon Italy, was rejected by the German 
electors, is stated by his friends to have been unprincipled, 
ambitious, violent, and a debauchee ; not only a heretic, but 
an atheist, and openly impious. I leave the writer then to 
determine upon how many grounds, according to the prin- 
ciples of civil polity, Frederick lost his claim to the crown 
of Germany; and upon how many valid grounds of the 
law of nations, by the principles of the age, and by how 
many special and positive laws, the Pope was warranted in 
deposing him by any form of words he might think proper. 
Still the Roman Catholic religion is no part of this, nor is 
this any part of the Roman Catholic religion. What in the 
name of common sense has all this to do with Mr. Monroe 
and Pope Pius VII? 

The writer not having vouchsafed to give vis a reference 
to the decree of Pope Boniface VIII, which he says is 
found in the canon law, I am not able to examine the 
topic as I would wish. I suppose the words are qu. ted 
correctly. I then shall take his proposition. " We declare, 
say, define, and pronounce it to be of necessity to salva- 
tion, for every human creature to be subject to the Roman 
Pontiff." The proposition in one sense is true in another 
it is false. Now, the writer who thinks well of a Church 
built on "the Rock of Ages," must acknowledge that it 
is necessary for every human creature to be subject to 
that power to which Christ made it subject. . Roman Catho- 
lics do believe: 1. That Christ placed every human 
creature under the spiritual charge of His Apostles. 2. That 
the head of those Apostles was St. Peter. 3, That his 


successor, who is also head of all the other successors of 
the other Apostles is the Roman Pontiff, and therefore they 
believe it to be necessary for every human creature, by 
Christ's ordinance, to be subject in spiritual things to the 
Roman Pontiff. In this sense the proposition is true. But 
what then ? Therefore, the Pope can dispense with the 
obligations of oaths, contracts, etc. Now I shall put a 
case. There is in the city of New York a respectable 
Protestant bishop. Some persons are subject to his spiritual 
jurisdiction. Therefore, this respectable gentleman can dis- 
pense with the obligation of oaths, contracts, etc. The 
Right Rev. Dr. Hobart would protest against such a con- 
clusion as unwarranted by common sense, and upon the 
same principle he would assure the writer that such sup- 
posed conclusions as Dr. Barrow's would be equally 
ridiculous. " But the Pope says the temporal power must 
be subject to the spiritual power." I too say, if there be 
questions of spiritual things, it must most undoubtedly. To 
follow up my first comparison, I have no doubt but if 
Governor Clinton be one of Dr. Hobart's flock, the right 
reverend gentleman claims just as much jurisdiction over the 
governor as if Mr. Clinton were merely a private citizen ; 
for it happens, that in America the chief ruleV has lost 
that commission of being " head on earth of the Church," 
which was founded by King Henry VIII in England. 
Hence in England, George IV is head of the Church, but 
in America no temporal ruler is head of the Church. But 
the Popes claim as head of the Church only that right 
which Dr. Hobart claims of governing spiritually the holder 
of the civil sword, equally as the victim upon whom that 
sword is used. So that in this respect neither Pope Boni- 
face VIII nor Pope Leo X, nor the Lateran Council 
claimed more for the spiritual power in the proper sense 
of the proposition than good Protestants also claim. But 
if the Pope meant to say that the spiritual power had 
authority to regulate temporal concerns by virtue of its 
spiritual commission, the position is untrue, and is no 
part of the Roman Catholic religion. 


" Pope Clement V declared, in the great Synod of 
Vienna (it ought to be the General Council of Vienne), that 
the emperor was subject to him." If the Pope was head 
of the Church, and the emperor a member of that Church, 
there can be no doubt but the member was subject to 
the head. " Therefore, the ' Pope could dispense with the 
obligation of oaths, contracts and agreements.' ' From such 
bad logic, good Lord preserve us ! Oh, no. Remember 
the rule of all reasoning. " The premises should clearly 
contain the conclusion." Governing the Church, and dis- 
pensing with oaths, etc., are two very different things. 
" Pope Clement VI pretended to depose the Emperor Lewis 
IV." It would have been shorter to have written: "Clem- 
ent VI deposed Lewis IV." The facts are, Lewis, Duke 
of Bavaria, after having had a minority of the suffrages 
of the electors, was refused confirmation by Pope John 
XXII, who confirmed Frederick, that had been elected by 
the majority. But Lewis, being a better soldier, was suc- 
cessful, and not only triumphed over the Emperor Fred- 
erick, but shut him up in prison, and then having 
extorted from the electors an assent to his title, he went 
to Rome and procured some bishops to crown him as 
emperor, notwithstanding the Pope's opposition. Lewis then 
assuming the spiritual as well as temporal sword, con- 
demned the Pope, as an heretic, excommunicated him, and 
proceeded to the formality of deposing him and establish- 
ing another in his stead. Meeting with a series of dis- 
asters, he, in 1330, sought pardon and reconciliation with 
the Pope, which was refused so long as he continued his 
usurpation. John dying in 1334, was succeeded by Ben- 
edict XII, who, for the same reasons, adhered to the same 
line of conduct as his predecessor. In 1342 Benedict was 
ucceeded by Clement VI, and for the same reasons Clem- 
ent declared Lewis an usurper, and that he never was 
lawful Emperor of Germany, but merely Duke of Bavaria. 
Lewis dying in 1340, put an end to the contest, and 
Charles IV of Bohemia succeeded by the regular form of 


the Germanic constitution. Whether Clement's conduct in 
the discharge of his duty as chief elector of the Empire 
of the West, was correct or incorrect, has no connection 
whatever with the Roman Catholic religion nor with Mr. 
Monroe's title to the Presidency of the United States, and 
the duty of its citizens, of all religions, to support him in 
the discharge of his functions; and therefore I humbly and 
respectfully conceive, that no one of the German cases, nor 
the whole put together, will prove that it is a doctrine 
of the Roman Catholic religion, that " the Pope can dis- 
pense with the obligation of oaths, contracts and agreements." 
I shall examine the other cases in succession. 


The writer quotes two of these, that of the Pope against 
King Henry VIII and that against Elizabeth. Now, let 
us examine the cases by the principle. The proposition 
which I laid down was : " Catholics do not believe the 
Pope can dispense with the obligation of oaths, contracts, 
and agreements." Of course I meant, that it was not the 
doctrine of Roman Catholics that the Pope, by his spiritual 
authority, could dispense with these moral obligations upon 
conscience. The writer means to prove, that " Catholics 
believed that the Pope could dispense with the obligation 
of oaths, contracts, and agreements." Meaning, of course, 
that by his spiritual authority, Catholics did believe His 
Holiness could discharge them from the moral obligations 
thus incurred. To prove this, he adduces a fact, that the 
Pope dispensed the subjects of King Henry VIII of Eng- 
land from the moral obligation of their oath of allegiance. 
I answer, that, admitting the fact, the conclusion is not 
correct, because the Pope may absolve the people and yet 
the Pope may know he is doing w T roug. The Pope may 
dispense with the obligations, and think he has the power, 
and the people still know that he has not the power, 
and not believe the dispensation good. And there is 
a third case. The Pope might, as in the German cases, 


know that he had the power, and the people, knowing 
that he had, believe themselves dispensed with, and yet 
the power be in the Pope, not as head of the Church, 
but by virtue of his authority, in consequence of a con- 
tract, or upon some other ground ; so that merely proving 
that the Pope declared the people dispensed from the oath, 
proves nothing. 

I unhesitatingly assert, that by the old feudal system 
the Pope had the power, not as head of the Church, but 
upon three or four grounds. I do not mean to assert 
that the acts which I am about to recite were proper or 
becoming, but that they did take place. In the first place,. 
Henry was King of Ireland, by virtue of a bull of a 
Pope. Adrian IV, at the request of Henry II, gave him 
a bull to conquer and to govern Ireland. 1 Though we 
consider that bull worth just as much as a tailor might 
give for the old parchment, and Avorth no more, yet this 
was the title upon which the Kings of England claimed 
the sovereignty of Ireland, and by virtue of which the 
orators and ambassadors of the British monarchs claimed, 
and were allowed in the general councils, a precedence to 
which they would not otherwise be entitled ; the kingdom 
of Ireland being a much more ancient sovereignty than 
most others. Upon this ground the Pope had his first 
claim ; if he could give, he could deprive. 

In the second place, John, King of England, shamefully 
made his kingdom a fief of the Holy See. 2 He ought 
not to have done so, but the fact is he did ; and the 
Kings of England paid tribute to Rome after this, as vas- 
sals of the Holy See. The Pope then had a claim to- 
interfere as liege lord, by his title of lord paramount, and 
not by his title as head of the Church. 

Again. The ambassadors of England were parties to the 
agreement of the potentates at the Council of Lateran, in 
1215, that any prince who refused to clear his dominions 

' The authenticity of this bull is doubted now. 

*As a matter of fact, Henry II had already made England a fief of the Holy 


of heresy within twelve months, should be declared deposed 
by the Pope; and this canon was still strongly supported 
in England. 

Another ground was, that Henry himself did accept the 
title of Defender of the Faith from the Pope, for his 
works against Luther. Thus the Pope had several grounds 
or pretexts for interfering with the government of Henry 
VIII, not one of which concerns Mr. Monroe. The Pope 
did not interfere in the deposition of the king merely by 
spiritual power, because this was no prerogative of St. 
Peter, but he interferred by virtue of the concessions of 
English kings and of their agreement, and that of their 
ambassadors, and by reason of the custom of the age. 

But the true question is not, whether the Pope believed 
he had power' to depose the king, or attempt to depose 
him, without having the power, but whether it be a doctrine 
of the Roman Catholic Church, that the Pope has the 
power of dispensing with the obligation of oaths, contracts, 
and agreements. I freely concede to the writer that Popes 
did sometimes assume power which they really had not by 
law or by right ; but the assumption of a Pope is not 
the doctrine of the Church. I will allow, that, although 
by the custom of the age, the Pope had many apparent 
plausible titles for interference in the temporal government 
of England, upon the grounds above stated, he had by no 
means the same right which his predecessors had in the 
German cases ; for the crown of England was, and ought 
to be, independent of the Bishop of Rome ; and Adrian 
had no right or power to grant Ireland to Henry II, nor 
had John any power to make his dominions a fief of the 
Holy See. All these transactions were deordinate, and arose 
from the unwarranted interference of the laity in ecclesi- 
astical concerns, which improper conduct produced the reac- 
tion of the churchmen meddling in temporal affairs, and 
the subsequent blending of Church and State together 
throughout Europe. 

Now, let us see the fact, for the purpose of ascertaining 
the Catholic doctrine. Did the British people consider 


themselves freed from their allegiance? And was it the 
doctrine of the Church, that they were absolved? These 
two questions are the true test to solve the difficulty. I 
unhesitatingly answer, the people continued in their alle- 
giance to Henry, notwithstanding the absolution ; and those 
people at the time were principally Catholics. Sir Thomas 
More, the chancellor, was beheaded for denying the king's 
supremacy : that is, for not changing his religion, to con- 
form to the king's humor ; yet he never considered him- 
self absolved from his allegiance. I, in like manner, assert, 
that neither Mr. Monroe, nor the Congress of the United 
States, nor the Governor of South Carolina, nor the Houses 
of Assembly of the State, have any authority to require 
of us to change our religion ; but, that any attempt of 
theirs to interfere would be a tyrannical usurpation ; and 
I also assert, that we owe allegiance to them, from which 
neither the Pope nor the whole Church could absolve us. 
Bishop Fisher was put to death for not deserting the 
Roman Catholic faith ; yet he never considered himself, or 
any other Roman Catholic, freed from allegiance to the 
King of England, who, de jure and de facto, was Henry 
VIII ; nor could he constitutionally, without leave of his 
parliament, give the Pope power to depose him, or to ab- 
solve his subjects from their allegiance. 

In the first place, Mr. Hume informs us, that, although 
the censures were passed, they were never openly denounced, 
that is, published. Secondly. It is no part of the Catholic 
doctrine that the Pope, as head of the Church, has power 
to depose kings, though he has power to excommunicate or 
place them under spiritual censures. Thirdly. The fact is 
that frequently the Popes received temporal authority, by 
which they could lawfully depose particular monarchs, and 
absolve their subjects from allegiance in particular cases. 
Fourthly. Some Popes did endeavor to make this special 
concession a general law. Fifthly. Some Popes and their 
flatterers did endeavor to argue, that what was thus granted 
as a favor, or human concession, was an inherent right of 


the Holy See. Sixthly. But this was never the doctrine of 
the Church. And, seventhly. In several places, where the 
Popes did unwarrantably attempt to exercise this power, the 
Roman Catholics could resist them, and were not therefore 
considered less faithful members of the Church. 

If it were a doctrine of the Catholic Church, that the 
Pope could dispense with the obligation of the oath of 
allegiance to Henry VIII, when he did command the Catho- 
lics to withdraw their allegiance, they would have done so ; 
yet we do not find they did withdraw it. Bishops, priests, 
and laity still adhered to him as their temporal sovereign, 
but they did not follow him in his religious aberrations, and 
they were still members of the Church. The English nobility 
were frequently and justly indignant, in those times, when 
they were Catholics, at the attempts made to assert a right of 
the Bishop of Rome to interfere in the temporal concerns of 
the nation. And now, although their sovereign was a rebel 
to the Church, they could see no ground for the assumption 
of His Holiness to depose their king and to absolve his sub- 
jects from their allegiance ; therefore, they did not believe 
that the Pope could dispense in oaths, contracts, and agree- 

The case of Elizabeth is stronger than that of Henry. 
She was not constitutionally Queen of England, except by the 
choice and consent of the people, for she was not the legiti- 
mate daughter of Henry. Elizabeth was born of a woman 
who lived with Henry during the lifetime of his lawful wife. 
The Roman Pontiff, who did not acknowledge the validity 
of her mother's marriage, could not allow the legitimacy of 
her birth ; and, down to that moment when Henry broke 
off communion with Rome, every Christian in England had 
always acknowledged that Rome was the final and superior 
court of appeals, to decide the validity or invalidity of 

This objection was superadded to those which existed 
against her father, together with a new one arising from 
her organizing a Church in opposition to the See of Rome, 


and her persecuting her Catholic subjects, and exciting the 
Protestants of Catholic States to oppose their rulers. 

Yet, notwithstanding all this, her Catholic subjects, the 
priests whom she had hanged, the nobility whose titles 
were lost and whose lands were confiscated, all classes of 
her Catholic subjects declared their allegiance to her, and 
never were accused of disobeying her, under pretext of the 
bull. On the contrary, the Catholics of England declared 
that they could not be absolved by any person from their 
duty to their sovereign. It is true, that pretended plots 
and conspiracies were spoken of, for the purpose of leading 
to the murder of the Queen of Scots. It is true, that 
Sixtus V issued a bull of deposition, etc.; but Mr. Hume 
himself gives us his testimony to one fact, the truth of 
which upsets all those fabrications and proves our propo- 

Speaking of the preparations of Elizabeth to meet the 
Spanish Armada, he informs us that " the firmest support 
of her throne consisted in the general zeal of the people 
for the Protestant religion, and the strong prejudices which 
they had imbibed against Popery. She took care to revive 
in the nation this attachment to her own sect and this 
abhorrence of the opposite." In her speech to her troops 
in the camp at Tilbury, she styles the Spaniards, on 
account of their Catholicity, " enemies of her God." Yet 
the Catholics did not rise up in arms against her. Mr. 
Hume informs us that Elizabeth knew how they would 
act, for she knew the principles of their religion. " She 
would not believe that all her Catholic subjects could be 
so blinded as to sacrifice to bigotry their duty to their 
sovereign, and the liberty and independence of their native 
country. She rejected all violent councils by which she 
was urged to seek pretences for dispatching the leaders of 
that party." This writer will see by this the explanation 
of many of the Popish plots ; for an Elizabeth was not 
always Queen of Protestant England. " She would not 
confine any considerable number of them." Though to 


gratify the wishes of her tolerant subjects of other denom- 
inations, she was always obliged to keep some in confine- 
ment, and to have some occasionally hanged, embowelled, 
beheaded and quartered, and sometimes burned. " And the 
Catholics, sensible of this good usage" I know not whether 
this good usage would be greatly relished by our Protestant 
friends "generally expressed great zeal for the public 
service. Some gentlemen of that sect, conscious that they 
could not justly expect any trust or authority, entered 
themselves as volunteers in the fleet or army." And why, 
I would ask Mr. Hume, would it be injustice to place 
trust in those men or to confide authority to them? And 
yet we are perpetually stunned with the repetition of Prot- 
estant liberality and Popish bigotry ! How strong is the 
force of habit! "Some 'Catholics' equipped ships at their 
own charge and gave the command of them to Protestants." 
I call upon my friend to produce an instance of persecuted 
Protestants equipping at their own charge ships to attack 
a, Protestant power at war with their persecutors, and 
giving the command to Catholics ! " Others were active in 
animating their tenants, and vassals, and neighbors to the 
defence of their country." 

I could multiply quotations, but it would be useless. 
Neither Queen Elizabeth nor those Catholics believed that 
it- was a doctrine of the Catholic Church, that the Pope 
had the power of dispensing with the obligation of oaths, 
contracts, or agreements ; and the English cases prove as 
little as the German. 


The last case of those adduced is that of Henry, King of 
Navarre. The argument is this : " Sixtus V absolved the per- 
sons who had sworn allegiance to Henry, King of Navarre, 
and to the Prince of Conde, from the obligation of that oath; 
therefore it is plain that Catholics believe that the Pope 
can dispense with the obligation of oaths, contracts, and 
agreements." I admit the fact that on September 9, 1585, 


Sixtus V did issue a bull excommunicating Henry and 
the Prince of Conde, and absolving their vassals from 
allegiance, etc. But I deny the conclusion to be legitimate. 

First. Suppose the Pope acted against the doctrine of 
the Church, his act would be no proof that the doctrine 
was consonant *to this act. To state that the acts of the 
Popes are no evidence of the doctrine is then by no means 
incorrect. We find many instances where the Papal acts- 
were in direct opposition to the Catholic doctrine. Did the 
Catholic Church teach that it was lawful for Alexander 
VI to commit murder or any of the other crimes which 
disgrace his character ? 

Again, we are not to decide from the acts of the Pope, 
but from the conduct of the people, what were the feelings 
and the dispositions of the people. Now, if the Catholics 
who had sworn allegiance to those princes were still faithful, 
notwithstanding the bull, will it not be more natural to 
conclude that those Catholics did not believe the Pope had 
the power of dispensing from the obligation of their oaths? 
And the fact is, they were faithful; and not only they 
were so, but the great body of the French Catholics, 
who were opposed to the King of Navarre at that time, 
condemned the Papal act, and denied the power of His 
Holiness to absolve those people from their oaths. Thus 
the evidence is, that the Roman Catholics, to whom the 
bull was directed, did not believe the Pope had the power 
of dispensing with this obligation of oaths, contracts, and 

The state of France and Navarre was at this period 
most unfortunate. The war between the Huguenots and 
the League was destructive ; the family of Guise looked 
upon tho King of Navarre and his adherents as rebels to 
their liege lord the King of France. The King of Navarre 
had embraced the Roman Catholic faith and relapsed into 

The leaders of the League, the chiefs of the house of 
Guise, represented to the Pope, that by the feudal regula- 


tions, the King of Navarre, having disobeyed her liege lord 
the King of France, had lost all claim to allegiance from 
his own vassals ; and also, by the regulations and agree- 
ments of the princes in several councils, the King of 
Navarre had lost all title to his crown by having relapsed 
into heresy : they therefore called upon the Pope to issue 
his bull, declaring, according to those provisions and the 
custom of the times, that the King of Navarre and the 
Prince of Conde had lost their titles, and that their sub- 
jects were absolved from their oaths : not by the spiritual 
authority of the Church, but by the regulations of the 
States and princes. 

France was Catholic, yet the greatest part of France 
opposed this bull, as Davila and De Thou inform us. 
The Parliament was Catholic, yet the whole Parliament 
waited upon King Henry III, requesting he would order 
the bull to be torn, and those who solicited the bull to 
be punished. It w r as never accepted in France it was 
never published. Henry himself appealed against it, and 
had his appeal filed in Rome. Wraxall, in his history of 
France, tells us : " The Catholics themselves, far from 
approving the excommunication, saw with regret and concern 
that its effects would be more beneficial than injurious to 

the party against whom it was directed Even 

Sixtus himself .... uniformly refused to open the 
treasury of the Church, or to contribute in any manner to 
the war declared against the Huguenots." 

Thus it is evident, that no Catholic who had sworn 
allegiance to those princes withdrew this allegiance in con- 
sequence of this bull ; and it is plain that the Catholics 
of France and Navarre generally believed that they were 
not dispensed from the obligation of their oaths, although 
there were at least plausible grounds for the conduct of 
the Pope in the circumstances of the case. 

Thus, neither the German, the English, nor the French 
cases will prove that it is the doctrine of the Catholic Church 
or that Catholics believe that the Pope can dispense with 
the obligation of oaths, contracts, or agreements. 


The writer concludes by stating : " The foregoing extracts 
will, I trust, be deemed sufficient to warrant the { People 
in the South' in believing that the Pope does or did 
claim and exercise the right of ' dispensing with the obli- 
gation of oaths.' ' Had he given the conclusion thus : 
" The extracts prove that some Popes did claim and exer- 
cise the right of dispensing with oaths of allegiance in 
particular cases ; " I would allow his conclusion was fairly 
drawn ; but this proposition does not contradict mine : 
" Catholics do not believe the Pope can dispense with the 
obligation of oaths, contracts, and agreements." The question 
was, what do Catholics believe, not, what did some Popes 
claim. Some Popes claimed what Catholics have never 
conceded to their ambition. 

The writer next states : " The Pope is a temporal sov- 
ereign, with troops at his command, as well as a bishop 
directing the spiritual concerns of the Church of Rome. 
In which capacity he pretends to this dispensing power, I 
am at a loss to determine." I am at no loss however to 
inform him, in neither capacity : because he does not pre- 
tend to it nor claim it at present. We have seen, by the 
examination of the German cases, that it was founded upon 
special concessions, and not upon general right. The Popes 
did originally claim it upon the ground of those concessions, 
and the claim was valid. Some of their flatterers sought to 
make it an essential prerogative of the spiritual governor of 
the Church, but this claim was evidently unsupported ; for, as 
this writer very properly observes, the Scriptures do not show 
us that St. Peter received any such commission ; and I assure 
him that neither tradition nor the Mishna testify any such 
commission ; and the Catholic Church has never acknowledged 
it'; and he could have adduced many better texts of Scripture 
to disprove the claim as of divine right, than that of St. 
Peter, which proves nothing in the case. Roman Catholics 
deny it to be one of their doctrines, and still my friend will 
insist upon their acknowledging it to be one of their doc- 
trines. This indeed is generous, to make us believe it 
whether we will or not. 


My object was to show this friend of mine that his prem- 
ises did not contain his conclusions, and that even his conclu- 
sion did not contradict my assertion. I believe I have succeeded 
in the attainment of this object. I now repeat, that it is no 
doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that the Pope can 
dispense in the obligation of oaths, contracts, and agreements. 

The writer, however, has gone farther. In his zeal he 
has not only forgotten texts of Scripture, but he has accused 
the inspired writer of blasphemy. " Pope Innocent IV de- 
clared that ' he held the place of Jesus Christ on earth.' 
I shudder whilst I copy this blasphemy." Now it must be 
evident to every person, that the Pope claims no more in 
this expression than St. Paul does when he says : " For 
we are God's coadjutors." 1 "Let a man so account of us 
s of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the 
mysteries of God." 2 "We are ambassadors for Christ." 3 
" He that heareth you, heareth Me, he that despiseth you, 
xlespiseth Me, and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him 
that sent Me,"* were the words of the Saviour to minor 
ambassadors. My friend then must either deny this to be 
Scripture, or deny the Pope to have apostolic power, or 
charge the Saviour and his Apostle with the blasphemy. 
For when the Saviour was leaving this earth, He left the 
Apostles to hold His place on earth, and therefore it is 
no blasphemy t to say what is correctly the fact. I could 
remind my friend, perhaps, of the time and the place, 
when and where, he stated that he held himself the place 
of Jesus Christ on earth, and yet did not shudder at 
solemnly and deliberately asserting, if he will so have it, 
the blasphemy. " Pope Pius V declared, as we have seen, 
that he was ' constituted prince over all nations and all 
kingdoms, that he might pluck up, destroy, dissipate, ruinate, 
plant, and build.' The bull of Paul III contains the same 
declaration, and quotes the Prophet Jeremiah for his author- 
ity. In looking at this authority, we find it is Jehovah 
speaking to the house of Israel!" 3 

1 1 Cor., c ill, 9. * Ib., c. Iv. 2 Cor., c. v, 20. St. Luke, c. x, 16. 
4 No'e to Jere-n., c. xviii, 7-11. 


Now, if a Roman Catholic were to do what has been 
done here, either by my friend or by Dr. Barrow, he would 
deserve perpetual execration ; but others are so often in 
the habit of doing what has here been done, that they are 
not so much to be blamed. In Jeremiah xviii, 7, we read 
as follows the words of Jehovah : " I will suddenly speak 
against a nation and against a kingdom, to root out, and 
to pull down, and to destroy it. If that nation against 
which I have spoken, shall repent of their evil, I also will 
repent of the evil that I have thought to do against them. 
And I will suddenly speak of a nation and of a kingdom, 
to build up and to plant it. If it shall do evil in My 
sight, that it obey not My voice, I will repent of the good 
that I have spoken to do to it. Now, therefore, tell the 
men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,. 
Thus saith the Lord : Behold, 1 frame evil against you, 
and devise a device against you : let every man return 
from his evil way, and make ye your ways and your 
doings good." In Jeremiah i, 10, addressed to the Prophet 
by Jehovah, are these words : "So I have constituted thee 
this day over nations and kingdoms, to root up, and to 
pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build up y 
and to plant." 

Would any man of common sense say, after having seen 
both those passages and the expressions of, the bull, that 
the first, and not the second, was the text alluded to by 
the Pope? And what would any person say of the candor 
of the man who would publish that the Pope asserted that 
he was Jehovah, and not Jeremiah? Who constituted 
Jehovah prince? No person. The self-existent Deity was 
not constituted he was prince by his own authority. But 
Jeremiah was constituted prince, etc. The Pope says he is 
constituted. The allusion is then plain. The words of th& 
bull and words of the first chapter are identically the 
same. The allusion is then plainly to the first chapter, 
and not to the eighteenth. The first chapter is actually 
quoted in the original bull, not the eighteenth. What then 


can be thought of the man who, whether it be Dr. Barrow 
or the writer, states that the allusion is to the text of the 
eighteenth chapter, and that the Pope assumes the place of 
Jehovah, when in fact the allusion is to the text of the 
first chapter, and the Pope assumes only the character of 
the prophet Jeremiah? This is what I call distinct, delib- 
erate misrepresentation ; it is an unbecoming trick, of which 
truth stands in no need, and of which a man having the 
least disposition to honesty, would be ashamed. 


I have shown that the writer failed in his attempts to 
prove that it was a doctrine of the Roman Catholic religion, 
that the Pope could dispense with the obligation of oaths, 
contracts, and agreements. I showed that the cases adduced 
by him did not come under the principle which he con- 
tended for; that they all had reference to oaths of alle- 
giance, and that in the German cases the Popes had, by 
the law of nations, and by the special constitution of the 
German empire, a right to interfere ; that in the English 
cases, though there was no strict right, according to the 
modern principles, there was a right of absolving from 
the oath according to the notions then entertained, by the 
concession of English kings, even of Henry VIII himself, 
who received from the Pope a title of " Defender of the 
Faith," which his successors have retained, though they 
have been almost uniformly the persecutors of the faith 
which he then defended ; which right was conceded and 
established by the consent of the ambassadors of the kings, 
in the temporal and civil regulations of several councils ; 
and as by the then laws of the realm, the crown of Eng- 
land was to go to the legitimate issue of the king, and 
by the law of Christendom the See of Rome was to judge 
of the legitimacy, and by the decision of that See Eliza- 
beth was illegitimate, and therefore not entitled to the 
throne. That in the case of Navarre, the king was not a 
lord paramount and independent, but a prince holding as 


a fief to a liege lord, to whom he was opposed, and at 
the request of whose prime minister the Pope, according 
to the laws then in force, knowing the fact of rebellious 
opposition which was alleged by the party of Guise, was 
bound to pronounce his subjects absolved from their oath 
to him who did not observe his oath to his liege lord. 

Thus, we have seen that no one of these cases bears 
any analogy to the case of an American citizen, who owes 
no conditional allegiance to his State ; whose government 
has conceded no right to any other power to interfere in 
its concerns ; which has never been a party to those regu- 
lations ; and which derives its rights and authority from 
the will of the people, and the law of God giving sanc- 
tion to that will, freely and fully expressed by the regular 
organs of the nation. 

But suppose the Popes did arrogate such a power un- 
justly to themselves in the cases of England and France. 
The people, who were Roman Catholics, did not acknowl- 
edge any right of the Popes to grant them such absolution. 
Yet those people held the Roman Catholic faith ; therefore 
it is no doctrine of the Roman Catholic faith that the 
Pope could dispense with their oaths of allegiance. 

Nor was this all : suppose even the Popes did hold 
such a doctrine ; I can gratify the writer by showing him 
the distinct act of the Pope disclaiming any such power, 
and the distinct statement, by six very high authorities, 
that so far from being part of the doctrine of the Roman 
Catholic religion, it is distinctly opposed to its spirit and 

The calumny against the Roman Catholic religion, like 
most others which are still maintained and cherished in 
America, originated in England, a country whose writers, 
under the semblance of history, have published more slan- 
ders against Roman Catholics and their religion, than all 
the other writers who ever stuifed falsehoods into their 
works in any other nation, or perhaps in all other nations 
of the world. The whole weight of English authority, and 


the unrestrained genius of English invention, and distortion, 
and fallacy, had been let loose and excited against the 
Roman Catholic religion during two centuries ; and from 
the nursery to the senate, wooden shoes and Popery were 
the theme of abuse. King-killing doctrines were charged 
upon them .by the high Tories, whilst the Whigs cried 
out that they were the most pernicious Jacobites, who held 
the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance, and 
that they looked upon every king to be a god. Their 
destruction was sealed, and whatever party held the reins, 
they were certain of being ground under the wheels of 
the State, whilst they were misrepresented to the nation. 
The pulpit and the press, the courts, the parliaments, the 
ale-ho.uses, all were employed in calumniating them ; and 
the Roman Catholics had neither press nor pulpit to rebut 
the charges, and by dint of repetition even the framers of 
lies began to imagine w r hat was re-echoed from so many 
quarters must be true. 

Towards the end of the last century, it was found 
necessary, for political purposes, to mitigate the persecu- 
tion ; and to afford some plausible pretext, and to preserve 
some appearance of decency, and consistency, and reason, 
Mr. Pitt affected to think that Catholics might be spared 
a little, provided they really did not hold those doctrines 
which their predecessors held ; but as their doctrine was 
unchangeable, he feared it was impossible for them to show 
that they did not hold the king-killing and deposing and 
other such doctrines. The Catholics told him, their doc- 
trines were unchangeable it was true, but that their prede- 
cessors were calumniated, they never held such doctrines; 
and they too were calumniated, neither they nor the other 
Roman Catholics held any such doctrines. The wily states- 
man appeared to be astonished, and said, if their univer- 
sities would testify that this imputed doctrine was no part 
of their creed, something might be done to relieve them. i 

i Tbe questions and answers are given in " '"alumnies on Catholics" in this 
volume, and we refer the reader to (section v of that article, 


After having thus given the answers of those Catholic 
universities, I next give the decision of the late Pope Pius 
VI. The Roman Catholics in Ireland were permitted to 
swear allegiance to the king in 1772; but besides allegi- 
ance, there was a test of doctrine proposed to them ; the 
form was submitted by the laity to the bishops, and sub- 
sequently was by them, together with their opinions there- 
upon, submitted to the Pope, Pius VI, after his accession 
to the pontificate, and it was solemnly approved by the 
Cardinals, and sanctioned by the Pope, as containing the 
spirit and expression of Catholic faith. The following is 
an abstract thereof, in the form in which it has since then 
been sworn by the Roman Catholics of Great Britain and 
Ireland : "I do swear that I do reject and detest as un- 
christian and impious to believe, that it is lawful to mur- 
der or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for or 
under the pretence of their being heretics ; and also that 
unchristian and impious principle, that no faith is to be 
kept with heretics ; I further declare that it is no article 
of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject and abjure the 
opinion, that princes excommunicated by the Pope and 
council, or by any authority of the See of Rome, or by 
any authority whatsoever, may be deposed or murdered by 
their subjects, or by any person whatsoever." . . . "I 
do declare that I do not believe that the Pope of Rome, 
or any other foreign prince, prelate, state, or potentate 
hath or ought to have, any temporal or jurisdiction, power, 
superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within 
this realm ; and I do solemnly, in the presence of God, 
and of His only Son, Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, profess, 
testify and declare, that I do make this declaration, and 
and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of 
the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, 
or mental reservation whatever, and without any dispensa- 
tion already granted by the Pope, or authority of the See 
of Rome, or any other person whatever; and without think- 
ing that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, 


or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although 
the Pope or any other person or persons, or authority 
whatsoever, shall dispense with or annul the same, or cle- 
olare that it was null and void from the beginning. So 
help me God." 

The Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland published the 
answer of the Pope and of the Sacred Congregation, declar- 
ing this to be consonant with what always was the Catholic 
doctrine, and declaring whatever was opposed thereto to 
be opposed to the Catholic faith. The bishops exhorted 
their flocks to take the oath, and they themselves set the 
example. Thus this writer, who always likes to look at the 
bright side of the question, and has so much respect for 
that Church built on " the Hock of Ages," will be gratified 
in finding, his opinion to have been erroneous ; and as becomes 
a man of candor and religion, raised to so respectable a situa- 
tion as he holds, I doubt not he will as openly avow his 
mistake. I have given him historical inquiry, public docu- 
ments, the decisions of the Pope and cardinals, of six univer- 
sities, and the solemn oaths of thirty-two bishops and their 
successors, and the solemn oaths of millions of men, who 
have endured persecution rather than take an oath which 
they could not with a safe conscience take; and I humbly 
conceive this is better evidence than the misrepresentation of 
Doctor Barrow, who was an interested writer in the midst 
of the prejudices of a persecuting nation. 

But lest this should not be sufficient, I shall lay before 
my friend another document, which was drawn up by the 
Catholic committee in Dublin, and published by them on 
the 17th of March, 1792, after it had received the sanction 
of the archbishops and bishops of Ireland, and which was 
subsequently moulded into the form of an oath, and approved 
of by the Pope and cardinals as consonant with Catholic doc- 
trine, and then taken generally by the archbishops, bishops, 
priests, and laity of Ireland. "We, the Catholics of Ireland, 
in deference to the opinion of many respectable bodies and 
individuals among our Protestant brethren, do hereby in the 



face of our country, of all Europe, and before God, make 
this, our deliberate and solemn declaration. We abjure, dis- 
avow, and condemn the opinion, that princes excommunicated 
by the Pope and council, or by any ecclesiastical authority 
whatsoever, may therefore be deposed or murdered by their 
subjects, or by any other persons. We hold such doctrine in 
detestation, as wicked and impious ; and we declare, that we 
do not believe that either the Pope, with or without a 
general council, or any prelate or priest, or any ecclesias- 
tical power whatsoever, can absolve the subjects of this 
kingdom, or any of them, from their allegiance to his 
majesty King George III, who is, by authority of Parlia- 
ment, the lawful king of this realm. 2. We abjure, con- 
demn, and detest as unchristian and impious, the principle 
that it is lawful to murder, or destroy, or anywise injure 
any person whatsoever, for or under the pretense of being 
heretics ; and we declare solemnly before God, that we 
believe no act in itself unjust, immoral, or wicked, can ever 
be justified or excused by, or under the pretense or color 
that it was done either for the good of the Church, or in 
obedience to any ecclesiastical power whatsoever. 3. We 
further declare, that we hold it as an unchristian and 
impious principle, that ' no faith is to be kept with here- 
tics.' This doctrine we detest and reprobate, not only as 
contrary to our religion, but as destructive of morality, of 
society, and even of common honesty ; and it is our firm 
belief, that an oath made to any person not of the Cath- 
olic religion, is equally binding as if it were made to any 
Catholic whatsoever. 4. We have been charged with holding, 
as an article of our belief, that the Pope, with or without 
a .general council, or that certain ecclesiastical powers, can 
acquit or absolve us before God from our oath of alle- 
giance, or even from the just oaths or contracts entered 
into between man and man : Now we utterly renounce, 
abjure, and deny that we hold or maintain any such belief, 
as being contrary to the peace and happiness of society, 
inconsistent with morality, and above all, repugnant to the 
true spirit of the Catholic religion." 


The declaration goes on to state several other calumnies, 
and to deny and to refute them. I would recommend to my 
friend and to all others who wish to form correct opinions of 
the Roman Catholics and of their religion, to read Catholic 
as well as Protestant writers ; for without meaning any impu- 
tation personally upon those who differ from us in. belief, I 
owe it to truth and to justice to state that of upwards of 
one hundred authors of the several Protestant communions, 
which I have read upon the subject of the Catholic religion, 
I could not name three who have not been guilty of the most 
glaring misrepresentation ; and no class of those writers hav3 
been so grossly erroneous in their statements as the English 
authors. Scarcely a single assertion of theirs concerning the 
doctrine of Catholics is correct ; and they have done more to 
corrupt and to pervert Church history than any other people 
that ever existed. 

I would recommend to my friend the perusal of the fol- 
lowing extract of a pastoral letter from a Roman Catholic 
bishop of Waterford, in Ireland, to his clergy. Besides 
showing them how little connection the Catholic religion has 
with politics, it exhibits that even where Catholics were per- 
secuted by Protestants, their principles, like those of the first 
Christians, were those of peace and not of rebellion : " In 
all your proceedings, very reverend and dearly beloved 
brethren, avoid intermixing with the politics of the -^yorld 
with the sublime and heavenly maxims of the Catholic 
religion ; they have not the smallest connection with each 
other ; the one is spiritual, the other temporal ; the one 
regards the transitory things of this world, the other the 
eternal affairs of the world to come. As the Catholic faith 
is a religion preached to all nations and to all people, so 
it is suitable to all climes and all forms of government, 
monarchies or republics, aristocracies or democracies. Des- 
potic or popular governments are not the concerns of the 
Catholic faith ; it may well suit a small sect to regulate 
its creed and form of worship according to the shape and 
form of government of the limited boundaries where that 


sect arose, exists and dies away. Not so the religion which 
the prophet foretold should extend from the rising to the: 
setting sun, Avhich has been propagated and promulgated 
from Peru to China, from the East to the West Indies, 
from pole to pole, teaching the same doctrine, administering 
the same sacraments, and offering up the adorable sacrifice 
of the Redeemer, wherever man is found or God adored. 
It is therefore called the Catholic or universal religion. It 
may well suit the laity of your respective districts to 
pursue their temporal concerns and their temporal politics, 
by such ways as appear to them fair, peaceable, and loyal ; 
and their past conduct is a proof that they are incapable 
of pursuing them by any other means. If their conduct 
has always been loyal and peaceable, even in the worst of 
times ; if even when religious penalties made them total 
strangers to their native land ; if. when the ruling party, 
with insolence in their looks and oppression in their hands, 
ground them down, when some of the most powerful men 
in the nation declared in the senate that they hoped to 
see the day when no Catholic would dare to speak to a 
Protestant with his hat on ; when even the course of 
justice was perverted and the channels of it dried up, 
according to the prejudices and party views of the judges 
who sat upon the bench, and were paid for the impartial 
administration of it, by taxes levied upon the oppressed 
sufferers ; yet even in these provoking times, if the body 
of Catholics remained inflexibly attached to their religion 
and to their king, what have you to dread from their 
proceedings, when not only the judges are equitable and 
humane, but also a great part of these impolitic religious 
penalties are removed, and the rest of them in such a 
state of progress to be totally removed ; that however a 
junto, for their own interested or other sinister views, may 
raise mobs to try to throw obstacles against the total 
repeal of them, yet all their efforts must be useless. The 
vast rock is already detached from the mountain's brow, 
and whoever opposes its descent and removal must be 


crushed by his own rash endeavors. The Popery laws are 
on the eve of being extinguished for ever ; and may no 
wicked hand ever again attempt to divide this land by 
making religious distinctions a mark to divide, to disturb, 
to oppress it. 

Does my friend mean to create religious dissensions in 
America by exciting unfounded prejudices against the Roman 
Catholics ? Does he regret the absence of division ? Is 
lie jealous of the recognition of the Roman Catholic by 
the Constitution? Would he draw here and wield that 
blood-stained sword which has spread such ruin through 
Europe? I trust those are not his views. 

What have the Catholic bishops of this country done to 
render them objects of suspicion to the government? Do 
they swear temporal or civil obedience to the Pope? If 
they do not, where is the necessity of submitting to the 
jurists a question of the possibility of taking the two 
oaths of spiritual obedience to the Pope and temporal 
obedience to the State? Neither is this objection new. 
It was raised in England, and it was there discussed, 
examined, and proved to be but a play upon the preju- 
dices of the people to whom the Pope had long been 
exhibited as the " raw head and bloody bones " to terrify 
aged children. It was examined in France, in Spain, in 
'Portugal, in Ireland, in every part of Europe. In China 
and several parts of Asia, and in all those places which 
were as jealous of their temporal rights as America is, it 
was declared that it was by no means opposed to the 
civil allegiance due the State ; and the bishops, on the 
same day, usually swear the two oaths of temporal fealty 
to the State and spiritual fealty to the Pope. The cir- 
cumstance of his being a temporal prince makes no change 
in the conditions, for it is not obedience to his temporal 
but to his spiritual authority which is promised. Jurists 
have already decided the case in every one of those coun- 
tries which I have mentioned, and many of those jurists 
were not Roman Catholics, yet they all determined that a 


citizen of any State may take it, and also the oath of 
fealty to the State. Do the United States claim Spiritual 
obedience from the citizens? No. They leave the people 
free to pay to whom they please any spiritual obedience 
they think proper ; and the Tartar, the Turk, the Greek, 
the Russian may, by the spirit of the Constitution, live 
here, and, provided they pay civil obedience to the State, be 
in spiritual submission to the Grand Lama, the Caliph, the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, or the Synod of St. Peters- 
burg; so may the Roman Catholic to the Pope. The con- 
science of each individual is to regulate his religion. Tho 
bishop of a Protestant Church has just as little right to 
regulate it as the bishop of a Catholic Church ; and may 
the people of this country be ever ready to resist any 
wicked attempt to divide this Union by making religious 
distinctions a pretext to disturb or to oppress any well- 
conducted citizen. 

What does the oath say? 1. The person taking it 
promises obedience to the Pope as successor of St. Peter. 
St. Peter never was a temporal prince ; the Apostle had 
supreme spiritual authority. It is then spiritual obedience 
he promises. 2. He promises that he will not consent to 
any plot to kill or maim the Pope ; to this, as to all 
the following clauses of a similar description, is added, 
"salvo meo ordine saving my order;" this expressed salvo 
distinctly excepts if the Pope shall invade the territory to 
which that bishop belongs, for then the law of nature and 
of nations requires the bishop to exhort his flock to oppose 
the unjust aggressor : and in the cases of some Popes who, 
forgetting their duty, did join in unjust wars, the bishops 
did oppose them under this salvo, though they had taken 
this *oath, and were always considered as having done their 
duty. 3. He promises to keep the counsels secret ; this 
too comes under the salvo ; that is the counsels apper- 
taining to the good of religion, not prejudicial to the rights 
of States or individuals. 4. He promises that he will help 
to keep for the Church the temporalities of the papacy; 


for it has always been considered a great benefit to have 
the head of the Church independent of the temporal 
control of any State or sovereign, because it prevents jealousy 
of other nations, and undue influence by his own sovereign 
to this clause ; however, the salvo too applies, for he is not 
required to arm or to excite to arms in its preservation. 
5. That he will assist the legates or ambassadors of the 
Church as far as he can and they require. 6. That he will 
preserve the primacy and superiority of the Holy See. Every 
Roman Catholic believes it to be derived from divine institu- 
tion ; it is therefore- his duty to preserve the institutions of 
God. The words "increase "'and "advance" mean no more 
than that he shall not endeavor to diminish and lessen them 
by sinister interpretations. His own order requires the 
preservation of its own rights ; to increase the power of 
that over himself unduly would diminish his own, and 
hence the " salvo meo ordine " is here again in force. 

7. That he will make known plots against the Pope. 

8. That he will preserve the deposit of faith, and the 
discipline, and rules, and laws of the ancient Church. 

9. That he will endeavor to follow after and to argue 
against heresy and schism. This clause has been badly 
translated, with the evident intention of conveying a false 
impression to the mind. " Hereticos, etc., persequar et 
impugnabo." Mr. Ainsworth gives seven meanings for the 
verb " persequar," and no one of them is persecute : the 
meaning here is follow after; and "impugnabo" means assail 
by argument; and "hereticos" has never been understood as 
meaning that the individuals were to be followed after, 
but the doctrines. Thus the meaning of this much-misrep- 
resented phrase is nothing more than the very same which 
a Protestant bishop solemnly promises that he will "root 
out and contend against erroneous doctrines ;" not meaning 
by the sword of persecution, but by the sword of the 
Word. Thus the clause is quite innoxious. However, as 
it was liable to misconstruction, it was in the pontificate 
of Pius VI regulated, that where the meaning was misrepre- 


sented the clause might be omitted; and no bishop m 
America has sworn it. The other clauses are not objected to. 

I now assure the writer who has, I should hope unin- 
tentionally, but grossly, misrepresented our religion, and I 
assure him in sincerity, in the words of a Secretary to- 
the Catholic Board of Ireland, in his letter to a Protestant 
historian who misrepresented the acts of that body at the 
very time of their session, "although we profess the Roman 
Catholic religion, we would not be of that communion one 
single hour, were its tenets such as they are represented 
through that baneful prejudice so prevalent in Great 
Britain and Ireland, which proves such an effectual drawback 
to the otherwise inevitable prosperity of the country. And 
we cannot sufficiently lament seeing unfounded calumnies so 
industriously circulated, as they only tend to keep alive 
prejudices which all liberal men reprobate as pestiferous to- 

I feel religion to be an important concern. I am con- 
vinced that no accident of birth or of education, that no 
antiquity or respectability of a Church, can be a warrant 
for our rejecting the truth. I was born of Roman Catho- 
lic parents, educated in the Roman Catholic religion. I 
find it to be venerable for its antiquity, the religion of the 
most enlightened nations, of the greatest empires, of the 
most powerful monarchs, of the most learned men, of the 
wisest statesmen, and most enlightened philosophers, during 
a long succession of ages. All those circumstances weigh 
nothing with me in the examination which I have made. 
I have read and studied the tenets of those who have 
separated from that Church, because from her every other 
Christian sect has mediately or immediately departed. I 
have weighed the alleged reasons for their separation. I 
have not taken their tenets, their reasons, their allegations 
from their adversaries, but from themselves : and thus I 
have made my decision. I respect the judgment of those 
who think differently from me. I freely concede to them, 
as I firmly demand for myself, the right to form the 


important decision in the choice of religious observance, 
with a solemn and awful responsibility to God alone. But 
whilst I shall have the opportunity of correcting the mis- 
takes of my friends, or the misrepresentations of my ene- 
mies. I shall do so with calm and undeviating perseverance, 
not by empty assertion, but by historical inquiry and the 
exhibition of facts. 

At present I close my task ; it remains with my fellow- 
Catholics to determine whether I shall resume it. Should 
no opportunity be afforded me, I must rest patiently con- 
tent to witness, as I have long done in silence, our 
religion reviled and our tenets misrepresented, to a people 
who are anxious for the discovery of truth, but who are 
amused with fabrications to a people who condemn us 
because they do not know us. 



IT is not without feelings of deep regret that I am 
compelled to charge the editor of the North American 
Review with having done serious injustice to my religion 
in his number for July last. I hope, I trust it was on 
his part unintentional ; yet, whatever might have been 
his motive and his impression, the fact is that he has 
libelled the Roman Catholic religion. "Were the facts which 
he alleges true, I should not dissent from his conclusions; 
for some of those he adduces the authority of writers 
whom he, I suppose, believed to be good witnesses. I 
would then exculpate him from so much; but he states 
other facts as if he had before him the documents upon 
which he rested as authority ; and if he had those docu- 
ments, and read them with the slightest attention, upon 
reperusing his own article he must perceive a total aber- 
ration in his statements. 

The article of which I complain is Art. x, p. 158, 
on South America. In all that he writes concerning the 
political bondage of the Spanish colonies, whatever my con- 
victions or feelings may be, I at present have no concern. 
In all his hopes and wishes for the welfare and prosperity 
of our neighboring republics, I most heartily concur. But 
in all that he has written concerning my religion, I beg to 

'This Essay, occasioned by an article in tho North. American Jievieto for July, 
1884, "in which were contained some vague and general denunciations of the cor- 
ruption of the Catholic religion in tho South Am rican States, is chitfly dvoted to 
an exposure of some of the historical fallacies and misrepresentations of laws, usages, 
and doctrines, upon which such charges are usually founded. The greater part is 
occupied with an accurate explanation of the Bulls of the Crusades and the Bull 
of Composition, wiih the special privileges enjoyed by force of these in the 
dominions of the King of Spain. Tho Essay was published in the United States 
Catholic Miscellany, vol. lii, 1824. 



inform him that he does not appear to be sufficiently 
acquainted with the subject of which he treats, and that 
he assumes as facts many things which are untrue. 

In p. 164 he informs us: 

" In the future pages of out journal, we hope to exhibit 
from time to time as full and minute a view of the 
revolutionary history of South America as the nature of 
our work will admit. AVe have access to materials which 
we trust will enable us to do reasonable justice to a sub- 
ject which is much less understood in this country than 
its merits deserve, or than our interests as a nation would 
seem to require, especially when relations of the most 
intimate kind are daily gaining strength between the United 
States and the new republics at the South." 

This is a reason why I am the more anxious that he 
should be better informed as regards my religion ; for we 
<lo not wish to be misrepresented to our fellow-citizens 
and to the reading world by an authority which is 
deservedly respected. I am aware that the editor condemns 
my religion as corrupted and superstitious ; I am aware 
that he is under what I will call an erroneous impression, 
that it is unfavorable to republicanism. Upon these topics 
I think very differently from him ; but this is not the 
ground of my complaint. I do not even object that in 
p. 192 he writes of Roman Catholics: "The spiritual guides 
of the people were the worst enemies to their peace and 
happiness ; precept and example conspired to scatter poison 
in the hearts of the unsuspecting, to corrupt the springs 
of good principle, and extinguish the light of moral truth." 
I do not complain of this, and more than this : I should 
blush to write it of the Unitarians ; and when I designate 
this division of persons, it is not to charge them with 
being more corrupt than others, but to ask the editor of 
the Review what would be his feelings did I wantonly thus 
attack that body to which I understand he belongs. 

But I do complain that the whole portion of his article 
which describes the Bulls of the Crusades is a palpable 


misstatement. As yet, I acquit the editor of the moral 
turpitude of intentional misrepresentation ; but he must 
permit me to prove my assertion ; and though my feelings 
have been deeply wounded, I shall, I trust, avoid that 
sort of disrespectful, I may call it contemptuous, language 
with which it is not even, by scholars and gentlemen, 
deemed illiberal to assail my Church. 

Here is the first extract : 

" But the most extraordinary imposition in the whole 
catalogue was the tax levied through the instrumentality of 
the Church, which practiced on the credulity, corrupted the 
morals, and degraded the character of the people, at the 
same time it picked their pockets. As long ago as the 
time of the Crusades, bulls were granted by the Pope to 
certain Spaniards, allowing dispensations for the zeal they 
displayed in exterminating the infidels, and as an induce- 
ment to perseverance in so pious a work. Custom, which 
establishes everything, brought these bulls into general use; 
and for many ages they have been palmed off on the people 
in Spain, ignorant and wise, as possessing a virtue and a 
power which could only come from heaven. And, as if 
to fix the last seal of degradation on the Americans, these 
precious devices of superstition and crime were scattered 
profusely over the whole extent of the New World, and 
there employed, by alarming the religious fears of the 
people on the one hand, and encouraging their vices on 
the other, to wring from them the little' that remained 
after the torturing engine of taxation had done its heaviest 

" The bulls were issued every two years, sent over to 
America from Spain, and sold Qut by the priests under the 
direction of a commissary appointed to superintend this branch 
of the revenue. They were of four kinds: 1. The bull for the 
living, or Bula dc Cruzada, so called because it has some tra- 
ditionary connection with the Bulls of the Crusades. It was 
deemed essential for every person to possess this bull, and 
its virtues were innumerable. Whoever purchased it might 


be absolved from all crimes, except heresy, by any priest; 
and even of heresy he could never be suspected with this 
shield to protect him. On fast days he might eat anything 
but meat, and on other days he was exempted from many 
of the rigorous injunctions of the Church. Two of these 
bulls, if they had been paid for, communicated double the 
benefits of one. 2. The bull for eating milk and eggs 
during Lent. This was intended only for ecclesiastics and 
persons not holding the first, which entitled the possessor 
to all the advantages of both. 3. The bull of the dead, 
Bula de Defuntos, which was indispensable to rescue 
departed souls from purgatory. It was bought by the 
relations of a deceased person as soon as possible after 
death ; and poor people were thrown into agonies of grief 
and lamentation, if they were not able to purchase this pass- 
port for the spirit of a relative suifering the miseries of 
purgatory. 4. The bull of composition, which released per- 
sons who had stolen goods from the obligation to restore 
them to the owner. One slight condition, it is true, was 
attached to this bull, which was, that the person, when 
stealing, had not been moved thereto by any forethought 
of the virtue of a bull to make the property his own and 
his conscience white. Bating this small condition, the bull 
converted all stolen goods into the true and lawful prop- 
erty of the thief. It had the power, moreover, to correct 
the moral offences of false weights and measures, tricks 
and fraud in trade ; and, in short, all those little obliqui- 
ties of principle and conduct, to which swindlers resort to 
rob honest people of their possessions. l It assures the 
purchaser,' says Depons, l the absolute property in whatever 
lie may obtain, by modes that ought to have conducted 
him to the gallows.' The price of these bulls depended 
on the amount of goods stolen; but it is just to add 
that only fifty of them could be taken by the same person 
in a year. 

" The price of the Bula de Cruzada was fixed by the 
commissary, and varied according to the quality of the 


purchasers. In the mandate of the commissary general for 
the year 1801, he says : * The price is a little raised, but 
it is on account of the new expenses of government, and 
of the necessity of extinguishing the royal certificates, which 
the scarcity of money in a time of war has compelled 
the king to issue.' At that time a viceroy paid fifteen 
dollars and other persons of wealth and distinction paid 
five. If any hian practiced deception in this matter, and 
bought a bull at a lower rate than his rank or property 
demanded, the bull was without virtue, and the purchaser 
had the comfort of reflecting that he had defrauded himself 
and thrown away his money. Such a deception was seldom 
known, even where the amount of a man's property had 
escaped the scrutiny of the officers ; and no sources of the 
revenue were more certain and productive than this scan- 
dalous traffic in scraps of brown paper. It must be 
remembered that these bulls were available for two years 
only, and then the people were again to be plundered by 
this infamous, juggling artifice to stir up their passions 
and interests, and even to quicken their crimes, where this 
could be done with a better prospect of grasping their 
money. But this league of the powers of darkness is fast 
dissolving; religion could not be mocked nor justice out- 
raged any longer; and if the revolution had done no other 
thing than relieve the minds of sixteen millions of people 
from a thraldom so barbarous and debasing, the deed would 
of itself be a good reward for the sacrifices and sufferings 
thus far endured by the South Americans in gaining their 

The history of the origin and continuance of these bulls 
might at first sight appear of no importance to their pres- 
ent nature ; however, such an impression would be erroneous, 
for without some knowledge of their history, it would 
be impossible to have a correct idea of their nature. I 
shall, therefore, as briefly as possible, give such a sketch 
as will be, I trust, sufficient. In page 184 of the Review, 
the editor has the following passage : " The alcavalda origi- 


nated in Old Spain during the wars against the Moors, 
and was granted to defray the expenses of those wars. 
It was limited to three years, but was afterwards extended ; 
and against all the principles of equitable government, it 
was entailed as an eternal inheritance on the Spanish prov- 
inces in South America." 

Now, my object is not to advocate either this tax upon 
sales which is here described, nor to enter into an exam- 
ination of the justice or injustice of extending it to the 
American colonies, but to show a fact, viz., that the tax 
for defraying the expenses of the wars against the Moors 
was extended to New Spain, as well as to Old Spain. 

I find another fact which is acknowledged by tho 
reviewer in page 196, viz. : that in the year 1519, Charles 
V changed the nature of the government, making the 
American territory an intregal part of the Spanish kingdom. 
In point of law, therefore, I apprehend it would not be 
very preposterous to assert, that the taxes to which one 
portion of the kingdom was liable might be extended to 
the other portion. The Americans might not have been 
fairly dealt with, either by their own local rulers, by the 
Council of the Indies, or by the king; but still this 
would not destroy the principle of the liability to taxation. 
I also find the fact that they were made liable to the 
tax alcavalda, which was imposed to defray the expense of 
the Moorish wars. Upon the same principle they were 
made liable to the tax of the Bula do Cruzada, which 
was one of exactly the same description as that of alca- 
valda. Thus we find it was not an ecclesiastical tax, but 
a civil tax paid to the king for the expenses of the State. 

My next inquiry regards its origin. 

Of course I do not expect the reviewer to believe the 
truth of our religious doctrines, neither am I now entering 
upon the discussion of their truth, but I am about to 
state, in fact, what are some of our doctrines. 

We believe that the Church has power to regulate eccle- 
siastical discipline, and that she received this power from our 


Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that a part of the discipline 
consists in observing days of fast and days of abstinence, and 
that she has authority to specify those days, and to regulate 
the extent of that abstinence. "We believe, of course, that 
she has the power of repealing those laws which she thus 
makes, and of modifying them, and of dispensing occasion- 
ally, when she shall see cause, with the observance of 
some or all of them. We believe this dispensation may 
be granted by the Pope, who is the head of the Church, 
to individuals or to collective bodies. Upon those prin- 
ciples I shall explain the part regarding fasting and ab- 

Another point of doctrine in our Church, is that in 
giving jurisdiction to a priest to hear confessions, the 
bishop has it in his power to give it either fully or 
partially. Of course if only partial jurisdiction has been 
given, and the clergyman finds the person who applies for 
his ministry to be included in the exceptions or reservations 
which affect his jurisdiction, this person should apply to a 
priest having full powers, or, as it is usually expressed, 
power to absolve from all crimes and censures. But of 
course this does not mean that he has power to absolve 
from any crime, unless the penitent has dispositions which 
will justify him before God. This will explain that part 
regarding the choice of a confessor. 

-I proceed to examine facts. Towards the close of the 
eleventh century, Peter the Hermit filled the centre of 
Europe with the talc of sufferings of the Christians in the 
East, and Pope Urban II, at the Council of Clermont, in 
1095, published the first Crusade to deliver the Greek and 
Asiatic Churches from the cruel persecution, humiliation, 
and massacres of the Mahometans. On this occasion, the 
remission of all canonical penances, full or plenary absolu- 
tion from all ecclesiastical censures which had been incurred 
for previous crimes, and plenary indulgence, or the remis- 
sion of all the temporal punishment due to sins which had 
been remitted by the mercy of God, through the merits of 


our Redeemer, together with a dispensation from certain 
fasts and abstinences, was by this Bull of the Crusade 
then published granted to all those who, with proper dis- 
positions, undertook an enterprise which, after solemn delib- 
eration, had been pronounced just, necessary and meritorious, 
and which appeared to be more called for by the circum- 
stances of the times than the present state of Greece de- 
mands the sympathy and aid of modern Christians. 

The Bull of the Crusade was then, in this view, a law 
exempting a class of persons who were looked upon as 
engaged in a service meritorious in the sight of God and 
man, useful to religion and humanity, exempting those 
men from the operation of a general ecclesiastical law, 
and extending to them certain spiritual benefits of which 
they were supposed capable, for reasons which were deemed 
sufficient. To enter upon the history of the Crusades is 
no part of my object; I shall not therefore pursue it. 
The first bull of this sort given to Spain was by Pope 
Gelasius II, in 1118. 

Spain had long groaned under the Moorish yoke, and 
her sons and her kings frequently attempted her deliverance. 
In the year 1128, exactly ten years after their first estab- 
lishment at Jerusalem, six of the nine original Knights 
Templar, who came to France, applied to the Council of 
Bishops, then sitting at Troyes, for a constitution and 
rules ; the council acceded to their request and referred 
their formation to Bernard, the famous Abbot of Claraval. 
The rule was strict, and amongst other regulations was 
one of abstinence on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 
throughout the year, and fast and abstinence from milk 
and eggs on Fridays. They got some possessions in Spain 
upon condition of defending them against the Moors. About 
1160 a report was current that the Arabs were bringing 
a great army to attack the town of Calatrava, in Castile, 
which was one of their commanderies. Knowing their weak- 
ness, the knights resigned the town to Sancho III, King 
of Castile. An abbot of Citeaux got the place for his 



order upon the same conditions that the Templars had held 
it, and the Archbishop of Toledo granted privileges similar 
to those of the Bull of the Crusade, to such persons as 
would aid the abbot and his monks to keep the city. 
Twenty thousand warriors assembled, the place was not 
attacked, the military members of the monastery had many 
skirmishes in which they were successful, and in 1163 
Pope Alexander III confirmed the order under the title 
of that of Calatrava. This was the second grant of similar 
dispensations to those contained in the bull to any part 
of Spain. 

A number of other military orders now sprang up and 
obtained extensive grants and privileges for preserving the 
country from the Mussulman ravages. 

In 1210 Alphonsus IX, King of Castile, being soreiy 
pressed by the infidels, besought the aid of the Christian 
v princes and people, and especially of the Pope. Innocent 
III exhorted the bishops of France and Provence particu- 
larly to assist him, and formally granted the dispensations 
of the Bull of the Crusade to those who would join his 
army before the Octave of Pentecost, 1211 ; and had 
prayers on his behalf oifered up at Rome. He was joined 
by a vast number of Crusaders, and amongst others, by 
the Kings of Navarre and of Arragon, and on the 16th 
of July he obtained one of the most signal victories on 
record. To go through the subsequent history of the 
Spanisli wars is not necessary. I shall just touch upon 
one or two other facts very briefly. 

On the eve of the feast of St. Peter, in 1236, Ferdi- 
nand, in whom the Kingdoms of Leon and Castile were 
united, took the city of Cordova, which had been one of 
the strongest holds of the Moorish power; but his revenues 
were greatly impaired, and it was necessary to have money 
as well as men to protect the Christians. The exemptions 
of the bull had been hitherto confined to those who gave 
personal service in the army. The king wrote to Pope 
Gregory IX, requesting he would obtain pecuniary aid 


from the clergy. The Pope wrote to the Archbishop of 
Toledo and to the Bishops of Burgos and of Osma, 
exhorting them to make and to procure contributions from 
the clergy and the monasteries, and exhorting the laity to 
contribute, and extending to those who, in proportion to 
their means, would aid by contributions the same privileges 
as if they served in the field. 

The long struggles with the Moors caused the same 
necessity for the continuation of this bull that existed for 
its original publication. And when, in 1483, Ferdinand 
and Isabella were endeavoring to regain Granada, and thus 
to secure the permanent safety of the peninsula against the 
irruptions of the ancient enemies of their people, they found 
themselves greatly in want of means. The then Pope, 
Sixtus IV, had exerted himself to procure them ' from the 
clergy and people. Innocent VIII succeeded Sixtus in 
1484, and in the next year he confirmed the act of his 
predecessor, so that the king prepared to attack Granada 
with a considerable force. In the next year, 1486, the 
grand master of the Order of Calatrava having died, the 
knights prepared to go into an election; but Ferdinand 
and Isabella had procured from Innocent VIII an injunc- 
tion by which the administration of the order and the 
nomination of its grand master was given to Ferdinand 
during his life, and upon a memorial of the kings to the 
Pope, it was evident that the orders had not rendered all 
the services they ought, that the kings had been at very 
great expense, and that the only mode of recompense which 
was left for their service and expenditure was to be found 
in the receipt of the revenues of the military orders, which 
had not done their duty, but had been too often the cause of 
dissension and of civil wars. However, it was not until the 
year 1500, that, under Pope Alexander VI, the grandmaster- 
ship of the orders of Calatrava and St. James of Alcantary 
was finally united to the crown of Spain. 

Meantime, however, Ferdinand was making progress ; in 
1488, after the siege of Baca, many of the principal Moors 


withdrew to Africa. In the next year he obtained not 
only the ordinary contributions, but the Bishops of Avila 
and of Leon were commissioned to make extraordinary col- 
lections. By means of these he raised an army of 50,000 
infantry and 12,000 cavalry, with which he vigorously pur- 
sued the war. In March, 1491, the Marquis of Villana 
went up to the enemy's country. Ferdinand and Isabella 
both went with the army to the conquest of this last 
retreat. At length a capitulation took place, and the final 
expulsion of the Moors was the consequence, though not 
immediately. Thus, in order to repay, in some measure, 
the expenses of a protracted warfare of upwards of six 
hundred years, the people were exhorted to contribute by 
a light tax, in proportion to their means, towards defraying 
the expenses ; and as the contest was principally for the 
preservation of the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ 
against Mahometans, the constituted authorities of the Church 
of our Lord Jesus Christ encouraged the faithful to con- 
tribute to the expenditures by a light tax, to be paid to 
that government which preserved the religion of our Saviour. 
The mode of encouragement was by granting certain exemp- 
tions from the severe discipline of the Church law to the 
contributors, and by those means repaying the government 
which protected religion. 

One question only can be raised : Had those persons 
power to dispense with the observance of the law? There 
is no question but they had, for he who makes a law can 
dispense with its observance. 

The reviewer, I suppose, looks upon the laws regarding 
fast and abstinence, and perhaps our entire discipline, "as 
affording a gloomy spectacle to the philanthropist or the 
friend of human improvement and happiness." I shall not 
now quarrel with him for his opinion, but I give my own, 
viz., that a contribution of alms, or, if he will call it so, 
a tax, was well bestowed to preserve Christianity where 
Mahometanism would have swayed, and whence it would 
have made its inroads upon the west of Europe, in con- 


junction with the ravages that it was making in the East. 
And we farther are of opinion that when the question was, 
shall we relax a part of non-essential Church discipline or 
expose the Church to destruction, there could be no doubt 
as to the decision. The system of loans was then unknown. 
But, in fact, ought not this tax properly be viewed more 
in the light of an interest which the posterity of the war- 
riors and people of that day continue to pay for the preser- 
vation of the blessing which has been transmitted to them, 
if Christianity is a blessing? The Church viewing things 
in this light, encourages the people to pay the tax, by 
granting certain privileges to the contributors. 

Now that we see the origin and nature of the Bula de 
Cruzada, I ask, why was it extended to the Spanish pos- 
sessions in America? The reviewer gives us the plain and 
obvious reason ; p. 206, he tells that the old Spaniards for 
many years constituted the chief part of the effective popu- 
lation, and willingly submitted to a government instituted 
in the country to which their associations and attachments 
were confined. He also gives us in p. 166 a second reason, 
viz., because in 1519, which was certainly before the many 
years to which he alludes had passed away, the American 
possessions became an integral portion of Spain. I give 
him a third reason, that the exemption consequent upon this 
'tax paid for such a purpose, is in the Roman Catholic 
Church considered a very extraordinary favor and privilege, 
which Spaniards enjoy as a reward for the zeal and fidelity 
of their ancestors. 

Now I come to examine the special provisions of this 
bull. For the reasons above mentioned it is not to be 
obtained at present in any other place but the territory of 
the King of Spain. If it has been continued in Mexico 
or Colombia or any of the republics which have cast off 
the Spanish yoke, I know not. The reviewer asserts that 
last year the bulls were sold in Mexico. If so, it must 
have been by a special continuation of power upon some 
new ground. It certainly could not be under the ancient 


regulation. I am ignorant of the facts. But I know that 
the case has been regularly decided: 1. That any place 
withdrawing allegiance from the crown of Spain, loses the 
privilege. 2. That upon special considerations the Pope 
may renew for them the privilege without requiring, as a 
condition, their return to the subjection from which they 
had withdrawn. 

The purchase of the bula was a perfectly voluntary act 
on the part of each individual. By not purchasing he only 
placed himself in the situation of any other Roman Catho- 
lic out -of the Spanish dominions : he committed no crime, 
he incurred no censure,, he deprived himself of no sacra- 
ment. He kept his money in his pocket and observed the 
laws of the Church. In this I can perceive nothing either 
" to alarm the religious fears " of the people, or to " wring 
from them " the little that remained after the torturing 
engine of taxation had done its heaviest work. I can also 
plainly perceive the error of the reviewer when, he tells 
us : " It was deemed essential for every person to possess 
this bull ; " for, in truth, it was essential for no person, 
being matter of perfect option. 

I have been somewhat tedious, but the charges made 
upon our Church were of the most destructive character, 
and by a respectable authority. I now say that although 
the writer may be of opinion that our belief is erroneous, 
and may consider the Church's discipline to be incorrect, 
yet he must feel that his article was constructed upon 
unsafe grounds, so far as I have examined ; but what 
remains must be closely scrutinized. 


I "now proceed to examine his "virtues" of these "scraps 
of brown paper." What then is the virtue of the scrap 
of brown paper? Nothing. This is an unfair mode of 
treating a question; neither does it manifest any wit. For 
when a person exhibits to you the deeds which are evi- 
dence of his right to property, when he exhibits to you 


his commission as an officer, or as a magistrate, or as an 
ambassador, it is not by the color of the paper you are 
to try whether he owns the property or possesses the power. 
In this case, the scrap of brown paper is the evidence of 
having obtained a certain privilege, the ground of which 
we have before seen. The holder presented himself to con- 
fess to a priest who had the common approbation of the 
bishop, but who had not ordinarily reserved jurisdiction. 
The penitent could be absolved, not because he had a scrap 
of brown paper, but because, for what was deemed sufficient 
cause, this priest had in this case been vested with all 
jurisdiction by the act of the Pope and the consent of the 

A person going to war might fall into a crime, the juris- 
diction to absolve from which was usually reserved, and he 
might not be able to meet a clergyman having extra juris- 
diction. The Bull of the Crusade, in this case, vested, as 
regarded him, every approved priest with extra jurisdiction, 
and when the same privilege was extended to contributors in 
money, they should produce to the priest the evidence of 
their privilege, which evidence might be upon coarse or fine 
paper. The quality of the paper made no difference. Now 
let us see the nature of this absolution from crime by the 
priest: "Plenarn omnium suorum peccatorum (si de illis corde 
contriti, et ore confessi fuerint) aut non valentes coufiteri id 
corde desideraverint indulgentiam, et remissionem ;" that is, 
"full remission and indulgence of all their sins (if they have 
heartfelt contrition, and shall have made oral confession), or 
not being able to confess, shall have desired it in their 
hearts." To the clause giving the power of selecting any 
approved confessor, whether his ordinary jurisdiction was 
limited or not, the reviewer has put an exception " except 
heresy; and even of heresy he could never be suspected 
with this shield to protect him." I have carefully perused 
several copies of the bull in different languages, and not 
one of them that I have seen contains even the most 
remote allusion to any such exception. Upon what authority, 


then, was it inserted? Aiid why Avas the exception really 
contained in the clause omitted ? The following is the 
contained exception : " Modo in casibus in quibus necessaria 
erit, per ipsos, vel dato impedimento, per hceredes aut 
alios satisfactio fiat :" so " that in those cases in which it 
shall be necessary, satisfaction be made by them, or they 
being impeded, by their heirs or by others." Thus, the 
persons who had injured their neighbors in property or 
character, could not obtain the privileges of the bull without 
making the necessary satisfaction. Every Roman Catholic 
knows what that satisfaction is, viz., restitution. But we 
shall have more of that hereafter. This clause also specifies, 
lest it might be in any way overlooked, the absolute 
necessity of hearty contrition for sins and negligences. 
Shall we be told that the doctrine of contrition of the 
heart for sin being necessary for reconciliation with heaven 
is " encouraging their vices," and that they who taught it 
"practiced on the credulity, corrupted the morals, and 
degraded the character of the people, at the same time 
that they picked their pockets?" For aught I know, this 
"might be a precious device of superstition and crime." 
But I think it is a salutary doctrine, and the only founda- 
tion of sound morality. 

" On fast days he might cat anything but meat, and on 
other days he was exempted from many of the rigorous 
injunctions of the Church." The first part of this is cor- 
rect, and is almost the only exemption from the law of 
discipline ; the other part is so vague, that it may be true, 
or not, as the word rigorous is understood. I shall now 
take what he calls the second bull. 

The distinction here is one which is founded upon a 
general principle of the Church, that as the clergy ought 
to give good example to the laity, they ought to be more 
rigorously observant of discipline, and ought for any neces- 
sary relaxation or indulgence to make larger sacrifices. 
Thus, the common bull was taken by the laity, and bula 
parva by the clergy. The prelates paid highest nnd had 


least relaxation of discipline, and this principle so regulated 
the tax and the relaxation, until it came to the laity, that 
the more dignified the clergyman, the more he paid, 
and the less relaxation he obtained. The laity took the 
common bull, but viceroys and the nobility paid more than 
they whose income was small and who were untitled. But 
for all the laity the privileges were the same. Monks and 
nuns and friars were not allowed any relaxations. Now the 
innumerable virtues may be easily summed up. 

1. If any church or place should fall under interdict, 
these persons may use it for their devotion, provided they 
were not partakers in the crime which induced the inter- 
dict. They may in the territory under censure use their 
own private oratories for divine worship upon the same 
conditions, provided that on each occasion they devoutly 
prayed to God to restore peace and harmony to His people, 
and to free them from the persecutions and insults of 
Mahometans and other infidels. They may have Mass cele- 
brated in those places an hour earlier or an hour later 
than the canonical time. They may in those places l>e 
admitted to the sacraments, except the Easter Communion ; 
and should they die during the interdict, their obsequies 
may be celebrated in a moderate way, 

2. The laity may on days of abstinence and fast use 
all food which would otherwise be prohibited on those days, 
except flesh meat. The clergy follow special and more 
restricted rules as above. 

3. Those who shall through motives of piety, by fasting, 
prayer, or works of charity, or religious exercises volun- 
tarily undertaken, endeavor to obtain from God His mer- 
ciful aid for the protection of the true religion and the 
defeat of its oppressors, having the bull, shall receive the 
remission of certain penances and the participation in the 
prayers and merits of other pious persons. 

4. Persons of a like description, who shall on particular 
days unite their devout prayers with those of their brethren 
who offer them up for the like purpose five times before 


one altar, or at five different altars, shall obtain the same 
benefit as they who make the same stations at Home. 

5. That they may with greater purity of heart pray to 
God, and be more acceptably heard by Him, they have 
power to present themselves to any approved confessor, who 
shall be thereby authorized, upon their having the proper 
disposition of heart, especially true contrition for sins and 
negligences, and making the proper restitution to any person 
whom they have injured, to absolve them from all sin and 
censures, howsoever and to whomsoever reserved, and after 
enjoining salutary penance, to communicate to them a plenary 
indulgence. Once this power, and to a lesser extent at any 
other time through the year, and to its fullest extent at 
the hour of their death. 

6. That their confessor shall have power, upon exam- 
ination, to commute vows made by them into the perform- 
ance of other good but more convenient works, except in 
three cases, and except such commutation would be an act 
of injustice to a third person, who has not consented to 
the same. 

Now as regards the third head, the Bull of the Dead, 
(Bula de Defuntos), I shall find it necessary to enter 
somewhat more at large into my explanation of one or 
two doctrines of my Church, which the reviewer, I have 
no doubt, rejects as foolish and untenable. For this I 
shall not quarrel with him ; I believe them firmly, and 
have no doubt whatever that God has revealed their truth; 
but I do not now enter upon proofs, I merely give 

We believe that there is a purgatory, and that the souls 
therein detained may be assisted and benefitted by the 
suffrages of the faithful. We believe that Christ left in 
His Church the power of granting indulgences, and that 
those indulgences may be usefully applied by way of 
suffrage to the aid and benefit of those suffering souls. 
These are doctrines of the truth of which we are firmly 
convinced, but as they are doctrines which in this country 


are greatly and generally misunderstood, I shall develop 
them more fully. We believe purgatory to be a place of 
punishment where some souls suffer for a time before they 
are admitted into heaven. We believe there is a place of 
eternal punishment, to which all those souls that depart 
from this life in a state of mortal sin, enemies of God, 
will be irrevocably condemned. This place is called hell. 
We believe that no sin is remitted, nor grace obtained, 
except through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. We 
believe that those merits are efficacious, if He will, to 
remove the guilt of sin from the soul, and to release also 
from the punishment which is due to that guilt. We 
believe the guilt to be different from the punishment; the 
guilt may be incurred several years before the infliction 
of the punishment : or the punishment may be inflicted 
immediately after the guilt is incurred; punishment follows 
the guilt, but is not the guilt. We believe that pun- 
ishment for the guilt of sin may be temporary as regards 
this life : may also be temporary in the next life, or may 
be eternal as regards the next world. We believe it to 
be eternal in hell. We believe that when God removes 
the guilt of sin through the merits of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, He may remit the eternal punishment and not 
remit the temporary punishment. We believe that in remov- 
ing the guilt and remitting the eternal punishment, He 
generally inflicts a temporary punishment, the extent of 
which is known to Him but unknown to us, which must 
be endured by the justified soul, unless it be removed in 
one of those ways which will be efficacious for its removal. 
We believe that all the sins of men are not mortal sins, 
which deserve punishment during eternity in hell. We 
believe that although in baptism and on other occasions, 
God does remit the guilt and all the punishment due to 
sin, He often, on other occasions, inflicts a temporary 
punishment instead of the eternal punishment which He 
mercifully remits. We believe that all they who die in 
venial sin, and all who have not fully endured the tern- 


porary penalty affixed by God upon the remission of mortal 
sin, do suffer more or less in purgatory and arc afterwards 
admitted into heaven. We believe that all they who, jus- 
tified by the merits of Christ, die without the guilt of 
any sin, and having no arrear of temporary punishment 
unremitted, are the only persons who immediately enter 
heaven. We believe purgatory is not, of course, a perma- 
nent state. Yv r e think the suppositions which I have 
made are reasonable, and that the facts which I have 
stated are revealed by heaven. 

The communion of saints is another article of the 
Roman Catholic faith ; by this we believe that all they 
who belong to the Church and can be aided in their 
necessities, will be benefitted by the prayers and good 
works of persons who, through the merits of Christ, are 
acceptable to God. 

We believe persons who are in a state of temporary 
affliction may be aided by the suffrages, which means the 
prayers and good works, of acceptable supplicants offered 
on their behalf. Hence we believe upon those principles 
and upon the testimony of revelation, that the souls in 
purgatory may be assisted by the suffrages of their brethren. 

I next come to state the doctrine of indulgences. An 
indulgence is not leave to commit sin ; is not pardon of 
the guilt of sin; is not remission of the eternal punish- 
ment due to mortal sin : but is a total or partial remission 
of the canonical penance or of the temporary punishment 
which is due to sin after its guilt has been remitted, and 
which remission can be had only by the means established 
by God, accompanied with the dispositions required by God. 
We believe this power of indulgences was left by Christ in 
His Church. We believe it consists in the authorized min- 
ister of the God of heaven in His Church, granting by the 
authority of God an application of the superabundant means 
of reconciliation left by the ordinance of Christ, to the 
obtaining from God partial or total remission of temporary 
punishment to certain persons, for sufficient reasons. AVo 


believe this application cannot be arbitrarily and wantonly 
made, and if so made it is inefficacious. We believe that 
it must be made for good and sufficient cause, profitable 
to religion and the improvement of morals, and if not so 
made, it is inefficacious. We believe that no application 
of indulgence can be profitably made to a person who is 
not in the state of friendship with God, and truly serving 
Him in spirit and in truth, and if any benefit is expected 
from the use of an indulgence by a person in the state 
of mortal sin or disposed to commit mortal sin, such expec- 
tation is a foolish delusion. We believe that besides being 
in the friendship of God, a person in order to profit by 
an indulgence must faithfully perform the required duties. 
Thus we believe, that no ecclesiastical authority can 
grant an indulgence for mere temporal purposes, and any 
whose object would tend to such purposes and end in 
them would be altogether useless and invalid. But we 
believe that the contribution of alms for a purpose beneficial 
to religion is not for a mere temporal purpose, but to 
obtain spiritual benefit by temporal means; as to raise an 
army to protect a Christian nation from destruction by 
infidels. We also believe, that be the contribution ever so 
great in money, the contributor will not receive any benefit 
of the indulgence unless he first becomes reconciled to God 
by the means which God prescribes, and fully and sincerely 
determines to lead a virtuous life. 

Now the Bula de Cruzada expresses all this in a 
manner which, to Roman Catholics, is fully clear and much 
more forcibly conveyed than it is here by me. Hence, if 
the traffic in these bits of brown paper be a scandalous 
imposition, the means of detecting the imposition are afforded 
to the purchasers, because they have in print the conditions, 
which to them are fully intelligible. To one who is not a 
Roman Catholic, and who is too proud of his ignorance 
respecting tenets which he condemns without inquiry, in 
the technical expressions and in the phrases there might 
be some obscurity, which he ought to attribute to his own 


self-sufficiency in not caring to inquire ; and should he 
write about what he has never sought to know, can we 
be astonished at the exhibition of blunders which he would, 
perhaps, glory in for not having taken pains to prevent? 

Now, the writer of the Review did not understand the 
Catholic doctrine, and yet he has most majestically con- 
demned what he did not take the trouble to study. I 
prefer this to the other side of the alternative; for if he 
did know the Catholic doctrine, I should be reluctantly 
compelled to think most unfavorably of his moral feelings. 
I should consider him to be a deliberate and wanton 
libeller of the largest Christian body in the universe. 

The bull says: They who contribute to repay the Kings 
of Spain for the heavy losses and expenses incurred in 
preserving Christianity against the Mussulmans, shall be 
exempt from some of the rigorous discipline of the Church; 
and those of them who do besides, with true sorrow of 
heart for sin, endeavor to obtain pardon for those sins 
through the sacraments of our Lord Jesus Christ, received 
with proper dispositions, making satisfaction to their injured 
neighbors, shall receive an indulgence; and those of them 
who by prayers and good works, will endeavor to render 
God propitious to His Church, shall also receive an indul- 
gence. No one is obliged to contribute, but this encour- 
agement is held forth to the contributors. 

The reviewer says : " It is deemed essential for every 
person to possess the bull. This precious device of super- 
stition and of crime was employed by alarming the religious 
fears of the people on one hand, and encouraging their 
vices on the other, to wring from them the little that 
remained after the torturing engine of taxation had done 
its . heaviest work ; this tax corrupted the morals of the 
people at the same time that it picked their pockets." 

Now I would humbly ask how an optional contribution 
can be called a tax? How that which might be conscien- 
tiously omitted could be deemed essential ? How the 
religious fears of the people were alarmed by leaving them 


an unbiassed choice? How money was wrung from them 
which they were not placed under any necessity of paying? 
How pockets were picked in the case before us? How 
this custom which made true repentance of the heart the 
first requisite could be an encouragement of vice? How 
reconciliation to heaven and satisfaction >to the injured 
neighbor could be a device of crime and superstition? 

I do, with all due humility, suggest to the editor of 
the Review, that the people of this Union are not now to 
be misled by words ; that the mind of America looks for 
facts ; and that, so far as the Catholic religion is con- 
cerned, mere school declamation, and rounded periods, and 
degrading epithets of abuse prettily strung together will 
not serve for information. The mind that in South America 
conceived and carried through the mighty work of its useful 
revolution is not so puerile as to permit superstition and 
crime to domineer over a land which it has emancipated. 
Nor is the mind which is awake and healthfully energetic 
and now putting forth its vigor in this favored land so 
sunk in the prejudices of Great Britain as to be led by a 
cry of " No Popery," and to believe that everything which 
was described as horrible and superstitious, is such in fact, 
merely because the pilgrims said so. 

We will give the reviewer leave to designate all the 
Catholic creed folly and all its discipline superstition, if he 
will, but I assure him that he is grossly in error if he 
believes that creed or that discipline encourage vice or 
engender crimes. Upon close examination, he will find 
both theory and fact against his imagination. 

We believe the suffrages of the living are beneficial to 
the dead who are in need of them and capable of being 
relieved. We do not believe the saints in heaven need 
those suffrages. We do not believe the reprobate in hell 
are capable of relief. We believe the souls in purgatory do 
need aid and may be assisted. But though we know this 
genera] doctrine, we cannot know the fact that a particular 
individual is in purgatory, nor what special quantity of 


prayer or other suffrage would be adequate to full relief. 
It is true that God does know, and may inform us if 
He will, but He has not done so, and we are not in 
every case to expect a special revelation of the fact. Such 
a revelation would be an extraordinary interference. The 
Church teaches the general doctrine ; the Church does not 
know the special fact : no individual or body in the 
Church can tell who is in purgatory, nor what suffrages 
would be adequate to release one sufferer therefrom. A 
dark curtain divides us from the world of spirits. Our 
mighty Father could shoot the beam of knowledge through 
the immense mass of clouds if He would ; but He does 
not. His voice has penetrated through the chaos, and by 
the words of revelation He has taught us the general 
doctrine, He has exhorted us to the charity of aiding 
those who suffer, and taught us that our prayer will avail, 
but He has not informed us to what extent. We then, 
with eyes suffused with tears, yet lifted in hope, and hands 
stretched out in supplication, offer for our departed friends 
the suffrages of our prayers, of our works, of our piety, 
and through the merits of Christ we beseech for them a 
speedy release from the house of bondage. The Bula de 
Defuntos is a suffrage of this sort, applicable to the aid 
of those capable of being assisted, but giving no certainty 
of release. 

The reviewer will probably smile at our superstitious 
infatuation in praying for the dead. We look upon it to 
be an injunction of heaven, and we do not envy him the 
coldness, the barrenness, the desolation of his mock phi- 
losophy, whilst we indulge, under the sanction of God's 
revelation, the holiest propensity of our nature, by which 
the charities of religion and the feelings of warm affection 
are made to survive within us, and even after their object 
has faded to our view, after the worm has consumed all 
that was mortal of our friends, we still commune in the lan- 
guage of spirits, and feel how strongly the bonds of religion 
can unite those whom the desolations of nature have severed. 


But the reviewer is grossly incorrect when lie affirms 
that this bull was indispensable to rescue the departed 
souls from purgatory; it is not indispensable, and it could 
not be obtained except in the Spanish dominions ; so that, 
if his proposition was true, no one but a Spaniard could 
ever be rescued from purgatory. 

The poor people, whom he describes in mock commis- 
eration, knew well that this was no passport, though their 
affection and their piety might have made them anxious 
to obtain every species of relief. 


I now come to the most serious part of the charge 
against our religion and the gross portion of the libel. I 
shall insert the fact charged upon us. 

"4. The Bull of Composition which released persons 
who had stolen goods from the obligation to restore them 
to the owner. One slight condition, it is true, was attached 
to this bull, which was, that the person, when stealing, 
had not been moved thereto by any forethought of the 
virtue of a bull to make the property his own and his 
conscience white. Bating this small condition, the bull 
converted all stolen goods into the true and lawful prop- 
erty of the thief. It had the power, moreover, to correct 
the moral offences of false weights and measures, tricks 
and fraud in trade ; and, in short, all these little obliqui- 
ties of principles and conduct to which swindlers resort to 
rob honest people of their possessions. 'It assures the 
purchaser,' says Depons, 'the absolute property in whatever 
he may obtain by modes that ought to have conducted 
him to the gallows/ The price of these bulls depended 
on the amount of goods stolen; but it is just to add 
that only fifty of them could be taken by the same person 
in the year." 

I never read a more unfounded and libellous paragraph 
than the above. It distinctly exhibits the Roman Catholic 
Church as . entering into partnership with thieves and rob-' 


bers, and undertaking, for a share of the plunder, to 
whiten their consciences. When the reader shall have seen 
the true state of things, let him judge for himself. I 
must again lay down Catholic principles before I can 
explain the facts. 

We believe that the Church has no power to deprive 
any man of his property; for when our Lord established 
the Church, the authority which He gave was not tem- 
poral, but spiritual. We believe that no man has power to 
remit to another a debt which he owes, unless the debt 
be owing to him who remits it. Composition being a 
species of remission, we of course do not believe the 
Church has any power to make a composition with a 
debtor, and remit to him what he owes to another who 
is his creditor, or who has been injured by him, for this 
would be to exercise over property a dominion which God 
has never bestowed upon the Church. We believe that no 
man who has injured his neighbor in his property or 
character, can be truly contrite for his sin so committed, 
unless he has the disposition to make all the due satis- 
faction in his power to the injured neighbor. We believe 
that Avithout this contrition and satisfaction, the sin will 
not be remitted by God. 

The bull, as I have stated in that part regarding the 
remission of crimes and penalties, had this express condi- 
tion : " Modo in casibus in quibus neccssaria erit, per 
ipsos, vel dato impedimento, per hoeredes aut alios satis- 
factio fiat " " Provided, that in those cases where it shall 
be necessary, satisfaction be made by them, or they not 
being able, by their heirs or by others." This is a prin- 
ciple which nothing can subvert; until the last farthing 
shall be paid, there is no escaping from the judgments of 

What is the difference of practice between a Protestant 
and a Catholic on this head, for there is no difference of 
principle? It is more strict on the side of the Catholic. 
I put a case for elucidation. A Catholic and a Protestant 


have been both unjust; each repents. The Protestant feels 
that he ought to repair the injury; he makes his own 
estimate, I will admit conscientiously ; lie restores and 
prays to God for pardon, determining not to be again 
unjust. The Catholic repents and goes to confession, he 
informs a priest who is answerable at the risk of his own 
soul to decide to the best of his knowledge upon every 
case. The penitent is examined, the circumstances are 
weighed, the consequences inquired into. The decision is 
made by one not interested in diminishing the amount to 
be restored, by one who is answerable to the tribunal of 
God for any injustice which he may sanction, by one who 
has studied morality, and especially the principles of justice 
and contracts, in order to be able fairly to decide those 
cases, and to destroy the illusions of self-love in his pen- 
itents, to answer the sophistry which the love of money 
will dictate, and to speak the words of divine justice to 
the transgressor : after having been advised thus, and 
having repented and restored, the Catholic seeks pardon 
from God. I unhesitatingly assert : there is less danger 
of the Catholic who confesses not making proper satisfac- 
tion, than of his being deluded and deceived. 

But will not the Bull of Composition enable his con- 
fessor to go in shares with him and whiten his conscience? 
No! Payment to his confesser is not restitution. Giving 
money to his confessor is no satisfaction for his injustice ; 
neither does he give money to his confessor. I have 
known much of confession, but I never yet knew of 
money being paid for it, nor on account of it. But I 
have known money given to the confessor to be by him 
paid to the injured party, lest the penitent should be dis- 
covered ; for a man may repent and make restitution, but 
is not bound to expose himself; and I have in those 
cases known the confessor, as he. ought to do, procure the 
receipt of the persons to whom the money was given, 
which receipt he gave to his penitent to prove that he 
fulfilled his duty and discharged his trust. A Catholic 


finding money given by a penitent to a confessor, knows 
why it is given; the same act may wear to Protestants a 
different aspect; most of their prejudices arise from such 
imperfect judgments. 

/ What then is the Bull of Composition? I must state 
a few more principles before I can explain. 

Sometimes a man has injured his neighbor, and he 
cannot discover whither the injured person is gone, nor 
where his children may be found, but the property which 
he has unjustly obtained is not therefore transferred to 
him. Sometimes the property to be restored to individuals 
is but of small amount to each, and the persons to whom 
restitution should be made are at a great distance, not 
greatly in need, and not expected to return, and there is 
no mode of communicating with them, or of transmitting 
it to them; yet the dishonest possessor cannot retain it. 
Sometimes the injured person has died leaving no heirs, 
to whom restitution could be made; yet the possessor 
cannot retain property which he has unjustly acquired. 

A variety of cases of this desciption come repeatedly 
under the view Of the clergymen who hear confessions in 
our Church. The principles of justice are plain, evident, 
unchangeable. 1. " Suum cuique tributo" "Give to every 
one what belongs to him." 2. " Res clamat domino " 
" The property seeks for the master." 3. " Fraus sua 
nemini patrocinari debet " " No person should be a gainer 
by his dishonesty." 4. "Res fructificat domino" "Property 
increases for its owner." 5. "Alteri ne feceris quod tibi 
non fieri vis" "Do not unto others as you would not 
wish them to do unto you." Now upon those maxims the 
confessor cannot admit the penitent to the sacraments until 
after full restitution shall have been made to the injured 
person, if the said person can by any reasonable exertion 
be discovered, and if the penitent can in any way by any 
fair exertion make it ; or being unable now to do so, will 
enjoin his heirs or other friends upon whom he may have 
a claim, to do so. There is no useful receiving of the 


sacrament without this, and without the useful receiving of the 
sacrament, none of the benefits of this bull can be obtained. 
Thus, where the injured person is known and restitution 
can be made, it is absolutely and indispensably necessary 
to make it to himself or to secure it to him. Can I 
then be blamed at feeling warmly and perhaps almost 
indignantly on finding the Church to which I have the 
happiness to belong, and which has always been guided by 
those principles, traduced and villified, and abused and 
misrepresented to the American people in such a work as 
the North American Review? 

Then is there no composition? Yes, but a very dif- 
ferent kind from that which has been stated. Take my 
first supposition ; a man who feels that he has been unjust 
confesses it. The priest tells him to restore the amount 
to the owner. The penitent answers that he cannot dis- 
cover where the owner now is, nor whither he has gone, 
nor can he find any of his connections. The amount of the 
injustice is ascertained, and the penitent is told to purchase 
as many bulls as will cover the sum, and having done so, 
he exhibits them to the confessor as evidence of his having 
made the payment. This is called composition. And these 
are called the Bulls of Composition. Now there are here 
several indispensable conditions. 1. The penitent must make 
oath that he has used all diligence to find the injured 
party or his heirs, and has not been able to discover 
them nor any of them. 2. The penitent is distinctly 
informed that if injustice was committed with any view to 
making the restitution by this composition, it will not 
release his conscience, because this would be affording room 
for a malicious disposition to injure a person who ought 
to be protected, and quieting the conscience of the criminal 
by paying to the treasury a sum of money of which he 
defrauded another. This would enable him to gratify his 
revenge or malice, and produce many other evils. 3. It is 
restricted to the amount of the price of fifty of those 
bulls, because it is supposed that although small debts may 


be overlooked/ or small creditors not be found, still the 
presumption is, that persons to whom large sums are due 
could be discovered ; and if they cannot, special reference 
to a higher tribunal than ordinary must be had, for making 
particular investigation and special composition. 4. Should 
the injured person be discovered after this composition, and 
the unjust person find that his composition was not fully 
made, he is in conscience bound to restore the balance to 
the injured party. And if the creditor can show that the 
debtor could have found him by using greater diligence, 
he can compel him to pay the entire to himself. I appre- 
hend that when all those conditions arc fulfilled, the bull 
is found to have very little efficacy in converting the stolen 
goods into the true and lawful property of the thief. 

Now as to the power of correcting the moral offences 
of false weights, etc. The penitent examined before God 
how much he had gained by his fraud ; the confessor having 
ascertained the amount, told him that, as he injured a com- 
munity, he must make general restitution, then told him 
how many bulls to purchase ; he bought them, was exhorted 
to repent, and to ask pardon of God, to have recourse to 
the means established by Christ for forgiveness, to be honest 
in future and thus dismissed with his " moral offences cor- 
rected," a heart changed, and very little profit of his crimes. 

I have not the honor of knowing M. Depons ; but I 
unhesitatingly aver that I can have no respect for the 
authority of a man, who, with those facts under his eye, 
could write that the Bull of Composition "assures to the 
purchaser the absolute property, in whatever he may acquire 
by modes that ought to have conducted him to the gallows." 

There are two other cases in which the Bull of Com- 
position might be taken. The first, where a clergyman 
received the income of his place for the performance of 
sj)i ritual duties, which he neglected to fulfill, or which he- 
fulfilled badly, imperfectly. In this case he was evidently 
bound to restore the goods for which he did not make the 
proper return. He could not take bulls to more than half 


the amount, the other half he should return to the fund of 
the particular church. This was a special case, and is an 
exception ; for upon the general principle lie would be 
bound to return the entire to the injured church, as he 
knew the defrauded owner, and could reach it, but as the 
fund created by the bulls was intended for the good of 
religion, the Church to which the restitution ought to be 
made consented, by her chief pastor, to give half the 
proceeds of such restitution to the Crusade treasury. 

Another case of exception regards legacies left by the 
way of restitution for goods badly acquired. The Spanish 
and civil law both required certain formalities to be gone 
through within a year from notice received in such cases 
by the legatees. If they neglected within the year to go 
through the form, the heirs of the deceased w r ere authorized 
to pay half the amount to the treasury of the Crusade, 
by taking bulls or other evidence of the payment, and the 
bull declared that having thus honestly complied with the 
provisions of the law, they were in conscience exonerated. 
But this did not extend to any other species of legacy 
nor to any other debt. 

Having taken this view of the nature of the Bull of 
Composition, my readers will be better enabled to judge of 
the true meaning of the following extract: 

" That the commissary shall have power to make com- 
position for property unjustly held, also for the moiety of 
all legacies which are made for things unlawfully taken, if 
the legatees shall, during a year, have been negligent in 
making their claims, and for legacies which shall have 
been found made, or which may be made during the afore- 
said year, if the legatees cannot be discovered; also for 
property unjustly taken, or acquired by usurious wickedness 
or otherwise badly ; if, however, in all those cases (except 
those of the aforesaid year's neglect), the persons to whom 
the restitution or payment should be made, cannot be 
found, (the restorer having made oath that he had used 
diligence to find the legatees or the creditor, and could 
by no means find them)." 


Now, in the name of common justice, in the name of 
religion, in the name of truth and of honor, I ask the 
reviewer whether this is entering into partnership with 
thieves and plunderers, to whiten their consciences for a 
share of the plunder? 

But why give the money to the Crusade fund? I shall 
answer, but first I must explain. 

It is now clear that it is a principle of Catholic 
moralists, as it is of common justice, that no person who 
unjustly retains what belongs to his neighbor can obtain 
forgiveness from God unless he shall have made restitution. 
When the owner is known, it cannot be given to any other 
person except by his express authority. If a man holds 
ten dollars belonging to his neighbor, whom he knows, 
and subscribes one hundred and ten dollars towards build- 
ing a church or for any other good purpose, meaning to 
give one hundred as his donation, and to pay the ten on 
behalf of his injured neighbor, he is not thereby exonerated 
from the debt of that neighbor ; because payment to the 
Church is not payment to him. He not only still owes 
the ten dollars, but is, moreover, answerable for all the 
bad consequences of his unjust retaining of that money. 
Let him build a hundred churches and hospitals, and take 
fifty Bulls of Crusades, these ten dollars still remain due ; 
and if the injured person, for want of ten dollars, is cast 
into prison, or loses the fair opportunity of making a good 
purchase, the church-builder and bull-buyer is answerable 
before God for all the "consequences.' Nothing can weaken 
the force of this immutable principle of right. The duty 
of the debtor is to pay his creditor ; the right of the 
creditor is to build churches or buy bulls or fling his 
money into the fire, as he pleases. The man who assumes 
to be liberal, or charitable, or pious, with money which 
does not belong to him, is a rogue generally the worst 
kind of rogue, a hypocrite. 

But another principle of justice is equally clear: when you 
are bound to restore, but cannot find your creditor, this acci- 


dent does not give you a right to the fruit of your dis- 
honesty. The property is not yours. How is it to be dis- 
posed of? In that way which it is reasonably supposed 
would be most agreeable to the creditor. Give to his chil- 
dren, or to his relations, or to those whom he used to aid and 
serve. You cannot find any of these ; you have used proper 
though unavailing diligence. Then follow his presumed will: 
give it to that useful public institution which you believe he 
would himself prefer: give it to the poor, and the alms will, 
before God, be received on his account. But if any nation 
has made a public regulation upon the subject, you are to 
follow the decision of the law, in preference to your own pri- 
vate judgment. Spain has made this public regulation; and 
upon that ground the principle in Spain is, " when you 
have injured your neighbor, repent and restore to him his 
property ; if you cannot find him, pay it to the treasury 
of the nation, through the commissary of the Bula de 
Cruzada." The principle in Spain is, "your self-love and 
your avarice are likely to delude you in estimating the 
amount that you should restore. Go tell your case to a 
clergyman who has nothing to gain or to lose, and who 
must therefore be impartial, who is answerable to God for 
the decision, and therefore likely to be conscientious, who has 
studied the principles of justice, and after examination, been 
admitted to his place, and is therefore likely to be correct. 
Be guided by him: if you have reason to doubt the correct- 
ness of his judgment, go to another, or go to his superior, 
and remember the admonition, 'what will it profit a man 
to gain the whole world and to lose his own soul?'" 

It may, perhaps, be the effect of prejudice, or of partiality 
in me, but I have always thought this discipline of the 
Church was better calculated to promote the interests of 
society and of religion, better fitted to protect the property 
of individuals, and the morality of the public, than the mere 
general preaching of the same principles, without the special 
application of them to individual cases, as practiced in the 


The only difference between the Spanish dominions and 
other portions of the Catholic world on this subject, is, that 
in Spain and its dependencies the precise mode of making 
this sort of restoration is pointed out : in other places, the 
person bound to make the restoration has greater room for 
choice as to what object the money shall be applied; there 
is no choice as regards the immutable principles of justice. 

I have now given to the people of America the true 
statement of facts, and the correct exhibition of principles, 
the misrepresentations of both of which formed the ground- 
work of the flippant abuse and unmeasured language of the 
reviewer. Let him then look to his own phraseology and 
say was it deserved, if my statement is correct. For the 
correctness of that statement I am ready to stand amenable 
to the tribunal of the candor and investigation of this world, 
and I stake the salvation of my soul in the next. My 
asseveration is a solemn appeal to heaven : for we Catholics 
have been most cruelly ill-treated. Our religion has been 
accused by those who did not know it, with plundering the 
people by infamous juggling artifice, to stir up their pas- 
sions and interests ; and even to quicken their crimes, when 
this could be done with a better prospect of grasping their 
money. It was accused of " forming a league with the powers 
of darkness." It was accused "of mocking religion." It was 
accused "of outraging justice." It was accused "of keeping 
sixteen millions of people in a barbarous and debasing thral- 
dom." Bear with me, fellow-citizens, for awhile. This 
charge has been ushered forth under the auspices of your 
most conspicuous literary chieftain. Are we guilty ? Read 
the proofs against us ; read our answer. Too long have you 
formed your judgments of us upon the exclusive testimony, 
shall we call it ? no ! vituperation of our opponents. Hear 
us; examine us. But before you vilify, listen and reflect. 


A PASSAGE taken from the works of Tertullian, which 
appears to contradict the doctrine of the Church, on the 
dogma of transubstantiation, has been sent to me for 
explanation, by two or three esteemed friends of onr com- 
munion. It is amongst those adduced by Mr. Ratio, in 
the Missionary, and has been for some time bandied 
about by a Protestant clergyman of North Carolina, for 
whom I entertain sentiments of regard. In general I do 
not consider myself called upon to devote my time to 
explanations upon every objection to a particular tenet ; 
for if I were so bound, I would no longer be master of 
myself. But upon the present occasion, I shall take up 
the passage which has been now adduced against the 
doctrine for probably the ten-thousandth time within the 
last three hundred years, because, as far as I can observe, 
the answer has not reached the objectors nor the Catho- 
lics in the present instance. 

I must premise a few remarks. Suppose Tertullian did 
not believe in the doctrine of the real presence of Christ 
in -the holy Eucharist, but believed that sacrament to be 
only a figure of Christ's body and blood, should we 
therefore believe that all the other writers of the same 
and of the previous and subsequent ages, who did believe 
in the doctrine of the real presence, taught differently 
from the Church, and that Tertullian alone believed with 
the Church? A single name, how great soever, is not 
authority. Though the doctrine of Tertullian in regard 
to the Eucharist was in accordance with that of the 
Church, still at the latter period of his life he fell into 
the errors of Montanus, and, so far as they went, he dif- 
fered from the great body of Christians. If, therefore, u 
passage was found in his works in favor of the figura- 

'An Article in tho United States Catholic Miscellany, vol. iii, 1824. 



tive commemoration, it would no more prove that to have 
been the true doctrine, than the passages which are 
found in favor of the Montanist heresy prove that heresy 
to have heen the true doctrine. Such a passage would 
only prove that the writer held and taught that doctrine. 

My next remark is, that when the Catholic writers 
quote passages from the Fathers, they only produce public, 
competent witnesses, to testify what was the doctrine of 
the Church in their day. Suppose Tertullian's works 
favored the figurative commemoration, and that many 
and unsuspected teachers of the same age testified the 
doctrine of the real presence, we should decide by the 
number and the character of the witnesses, and say that 
the doctrine of the day was to be found by the testi- 
mony of the great body and not that of an individual. 

Next : The sense of a writer is not to be gathered 
from an isolated passage, but from the examination of 
the writer's object and comparison with several other 
passages. Any person in the least degree conversant with 
the rules of sound criticism, must at once perceive that 
an isolated passage taken without reference to its general 
object, and the circumstances with which it is accom- 
panied, so far from giving information, will mislead. 
This reminds me of the man who insisted he could prove 
atheism to be a Scriptural doctrine, and turning to the 
13th Psalm, (14th, Protestant version,) read very dis- 
tinctly the following words which are found in its first 
verse : " There is no God." His half discomfited adver- 
sary, however, seizing the book, looked eagerly and found 
the words, it is true, as they were read, but he exult- 
ingly read the preceding passage: "The fool hath said 
in his heart," and gave his opponent the choice between 
folly and defeat. The man of the strict letter was not, 
however, to be so easily put down, for he contended that 
it was not in his heart he said so, but with his lips. 
To be serious, however : It is clear an isolated passage 
will not be proof, unless the sense whicji it has in its 
separate state be also that which it has in its conjunc- 
tion with the context. 


Another principle of explanation, which every good 
critic and every honest man adheres to, is, to pay full 
deference to peculiarities in style of the writer, because 
the object is not to find what the words can he brought 
to mean, but what was the meaning of the writer. 

These observations being premised, I could furnish from 
Tertullian's works three other texts which would appear 
more forcibly to establish the figurative commemoration 
of the Eucharist than the one in question, and 1 could 
produce very few in plain support of our own doctrine ; 
yet I have no doubt that he believed upon this head 
as we do. 

The passage in question is taken from his 4th book 
against Marcion, and is the following : " Acceptem panem, 
et distribiitum discipulis corpus suum ilium fecit: Hoc est 
corpus meum dicendo, id est figura corporis mei." The 
translation which Mr. Ratio gives of the passage is the 
following: "The bread being taken and distributed to 
His disciples, Christ made it His body, saying, This is 
My body, that is, the figure of My body." 

In the first place I object to this translation ; not that 
the words might not be translated so, but because they 
ought not to be translated so. I do not say that it is 
not a good syntactical translation of those Latin words 
as they . are found so isolated, but it is not a correct 
representation of the meaning of Tertullian in that 
passage. First, the context will not admit this transla- 
tion as correct; next, the style of Tertullian will prove 
it incorrect; and thirdly, it would make Tertullian assert 
what was not the fact. 

To take the last. It makes Tertullian assert, that our 
Saviour said what the Evangelists do not record, and 
what no person ever asserted the Saviour to have said, 
viz., that at the institution of the Eucharist Christ added 
to the words which the Evangelists relate, "This is My 
body," those other words, "that is, the figure of My 
body." The good gentlemen who are so anxious to pre- 
serve the bare letter of the Scriptures from notes or com- 


ment as to threaten us with all the plagues that are 
written in the Book, if we add one word thereto, ought 
not even upon the authority of Tertullian to have added 
five or six words without some scruple of conscience. But, 
I will be told, they are not added to the Scriptures, they 
are the explanation of Tertullian. Then it is no crime 
to add a note to help out the Scriptures, which are so 
obscure as that therein a body means the figure of a 
body. I shall be told this is quibbling ; I shall soon, I 
trust, show that it is not. If Tertullian's meaning then 
was that our Lord said these words, he asserts that which 
is not true. It will then be admitted that Tertullian 
does not give them as spoken by our Saviour, but as his 
own comment. The words of our Lord were, "This is 
My body," and Tertullian says that by those words He 
made the bread His body. Mark: Tertullian does not say, 
Christ by these words, "This -is My body," "made the 
bread His body, that is, the figure of His body." Thus, 
lie neither says that the Saviour used these explanatory 
words, " that is, the figure of My body," nor does he say 
that the Saviour made the bread the figure of His body, 
but he distinctly says, that "He made it His body." But 
what are we to do with those words, "that is, the figure 
of My body ? " Have they no meaning, no force ? Arc 
we to throw them away ? Were they not written by 
Tertullian ? I shall keep the words very carefully, and 
put them into their proper place, because Tertullian wrote 
them, and his sentence would be very inapplicable to its 
object without them. 

What was his object? To refute Marcion. One of 
Marcion's errors was that our Saviour had not a real 
body. Tertullian's object was to prove that Christ had a 
real body and that in the new law He fulfilled the 
figures of the old law, by substituting the realities, and 
in this very place he is proving the fact that Christ had 
real flesh and blood, from the circumstance that in the 
old law which was a figure of the new there were 
several figures of the body and blood of Christ, which 


were all completed by the substitution of the reality of 
the body in the new for the figure of the body in the 
old. And in this special place his argument is to the 
following effect: "In the old law, the bread of proposi- 
tion, etc., was a figure of the body of Christ, for which 
He was to substitute the reality in the new law, and 
He did substitute the reality when at His last supper He 
took bread and gave it to His disciples, and by the 
words 'This/ which in the old law was a figure of His 
body, 'is My body/ made it His body, therefore Christ 
had a real body and not a figure of a body, for He put 
His body instead of the figure of His body, which in the 
old law was bread." 

Now I have to show the grounds of my statement. 
First, there is no question but the error of Marcion was 
what I state ; next, the object of Tertullian was what I 
state ; again, there is no question that his general line 
of proof is what I have laid down. Then if Tertullian's 
special argument was not what I have exhibited, his 
whole passage is nonsense, and so far from refuting 
Marcion, which all acknowledge he did, his words are 
without object, connection, or meaning; and so far from 
doing any violence to his style, I translate it most accu- 
rately. Whoever examines his works will discover them 
to exhibit a rapidity of thought which rushed to give 
his whole conception and then turned back to explain. 
This renders his style uneven, sometimes obscure, always 
crabbed and negligent; because whilst he wrote rapidly, 
he also endeavored to be concise. I shall adduce one or 
two instances of his peculiarity of style. In his book 
against Praxeas he has this passage : " Christus mortuus 
est, id est unctus." Translated as the passage in the 
objection is translated by Ratio, it reads, "Christ was dead, 
that is, anointed ;" this is perfect nonsense, for it is assert- 
ing death to mean being anointed if it would mean any- 
thing. Tertullian first gave his whole proposition, "Christ 
is dead," then turning back to explain what he before 
omitted, but wishes to state, he adds, " that is anointed." 


Where was the omission ? After the principal word 
"Christ.". Thus the meaning of his sentence is obviously 
this, "Christ, that is, the anointed, is dead." Common 
sense shows this to be the meaning, and this is perfectly 
intelligible when we know that the word Christ signifies 
anointed. A little farther on we have this passage: "Id 
quod est unctum, mortuum ostendit, id est carnem." Now 
by Mr. Ratio's rule we should translate it thus : " That 
which is anointed He shows dead, that is, flesh/' and by 
construction dead must mean the same as flesh. But 
knowing the writer's style makes common sense give us 
the meaning, "that which is anointed, that is flesh, he 
shows dead." 

By the same rule we translate the passage in question: 
"Acceptem panem et distributum discipulis corpus suum 
ilium fecit: Hoc est corpus meum dicendo, id est figura 
corporis mei:" thus: "That bread which was taken and 
distributed to His disciples He made His body, saying, 
This, that is, what was the figure of My body, is My 
body." In translating it thus I am certain, for many 
reasons, that I give Tertullian's meaning. First, it agrees 
perfectly with his style, as we have seen. Secondly, I do 
not make the writer contradict himself, as the other trans- 
lation does; for that makes him say that Christ made 
the bread His body, and then asserts that it was not His 
body, for it was only the figure of His body. Thirdly, 
the very words which follow prove my meaning to be that 
of the writer ; those words are : " Figura aut-em non fuisset, 
nisi veritatis esset corpus." Now those words are the 
conclusion of his argument upon this topic, in this sen- 
tence against Marcion, which argument we have before 
alluded to: "The old law contained figures of the realities 
of the new law. Bread, in the old law, was a figure ot 
the body of Christ ; in the new law, Christ put the reality 
in place of the figure. He changed the bread which was 
the figure of His body, into His body, when He said, 
'This is My body.' But it, the bread, would not have been 
a figure of His body, unless that sacrament was the body 


of truth." That is, there could have been no figure in 
the old law, unless there was a reality in the other. The 
writer's 'object was to refute Marcion who held, amongst 
other errors, that Christ had not a body. Unless he 
admitted that Christ's real body was in the Eucharist, 
this line of argument would have been ridiculous, for 
Marcion could have easily retorted: "In the old law bread 
was a figure of the body of Christ, yet you avow that in 
the old law Christ had not a body. Now in the new law 
you say bread is a figure of Christ's body ; your argument 
proves nothing against me, for I only require in the new 
law what you grant in the old law. In the old law there 
was a figure in bread and no real body, in the new law 
there is a figure in bread and no real body." Fourthly, 
Tertullian takes up for his principle that which was used 
by St. Paul, viz, that the prophecies of the old law faintly 
showed the facts of the new; and that the figures of the 
old law were its facts which were but shadows or types 
of the facts in the new law. In this same book against 
Marcion, a little forward, is this passage : " Cur panem 
corpus suum appellat, et non magis peponem, quern Marcion 
loco cordis habuit non intelligens veterem fuisse istam 
figuram corporis Christi, dicentis per Hieremiam ; Venite 
conjiciamus lignum in panem ajus ; scilicet crucem in corpus 
ejus? Itaque illuminator antiquitatum quid tune voluerit 
significasse panem, satis declaravit, corpus suum vocans 
panem." " Why He calls bread, and not rather other 
food which Marcion had instead of a heart, His body, not 
understanding that that was an ancient figure of the body 
of Christ, saying by Jeremias: Come let us cast wood 
upon His bread, to wit, the cross upon His body ? Thus 
the illustrator of intiquities has sufficiently declared what 
He then wished bread to signify, calling bread His body." 
The writer shows in a variety of places, that in the old law 
bread was a figure of the body, and in the passage under 
consideration he shows Marcion that those figures were 


fulfilled by placing the reality in their stead. Thus by 
His words He made the bread which in the old law was 



the figure of His body, His body, by the words "this is 
My body/' and bread would not have been a figure of 
His body, if His body was no-t given under the ' appear- 
ance of the bread. Jeremias foresaw the facts, and tells 
us that the wood of the cross is to be laid upon the flesh 
of Christ, when He carried it to the place of Jlis crucifixion. 
Therefore he says to Marcion, Christ had real flesh upon 
which that cross was laid as Jeremias prophecied. Fifthly,, 
explaining the prophecy of Jacob, Genesis xlix, he has this 
passage in the same book and for the same object: 
"Lavabit in vino stolam suam: et in sanguine uvce pallium 
suum, stolam carnem demonstrat, et vinum sanguinem. 
Ita et nunc sanguinem suum in vino consecravit, qui 
tune vinum in sanguine figuravit." "He will wash His 
stole in wine, and His cloak in the blood of the grape. 
The stole shows the flesh, and the wine the blood. So 
now, He who then figured wine in blood, has consecrated 
His blood in wine." The words "figured wine in blood," 
have according to Tertullian's style, this meaning, "made 
wine, which is the blood of the grape, a figure of His 
blood." Tertullian's explanations of this prophecy fully 
accord with his explanation of the prophecy of Jeremias. 
The stole shows the flesh: He will wash His flesh in 
His blood ; bread is a figure of His body, wine is a 
figure of His blood, He makes the bread His body, He 
has consecrated His blood in wine. The object of the 
writer was to show that Christ did not destroy the old 
law, but fulfill its figurative institutions and prophecies ;. 
instead of the figure bread, He gave His flesh , instead 
of the figure wine, He fulfills the prophecy by consecrat- 
ing blood in wine; this argument against Marcion is 
then conclusive. Thus the old figures are fulfilled by 
the substitution of the reality, and Christ has real flesh 
and real blood, which He gave in place of the old 

Thus, from the style of the writer and from his con- 
text I find his meaning, and do riot quibble upon an 
isolated paragraph, which might bear to be translated in 
two or three different ways. 


I now take a new view of the question. Tertullian's 
doctrine was not contradictory to itself upon this subject. 
It was consistent. Therefore, if 1 can find in his works 
other passages which exhibit a doctrine not of figurative 
but of real presence, it will confirm what I have written, 
if that confirmation should be necessary. 

A few observations as to the circumstances under which 
he wrote may be necessary to show why the expressions 
of this and other writers of the same period are so 
obscure. Christians were under the persecution and were 
generally cautious of attracting much notice ; they were 
ridiculed and were desirous of avoidin'g the irritation of 
their feelings; nothing was more fashionable than to 
hold up their doctrines and > ceremonies to contempt ; 
hence they studiously spoke and wrote in so guarded a 
manner as to be intelligible to each other, and not to 
the pagans, except in their apologetic works, and even in 
those they avoided particulars as much as possible. Thus 
it is only by a minute knowledge of special facts that 
their language is frequently to be understood. Tertullian 
flourished about the year 200. Amongst his works are 
two books to his wife. In the second he is stating the 
inconveniences which arise from a Christian wife being 
wedded to a pagan husband, and amongst others he 
mentions that which will arise from the difficulty of her 
receiving Communion: for she must altogether abstain 
from the Eucharist, or else it must be exposed to the 
contempt of her husband. 

To understand the ground of his difficulty, we must 
advert to a custom which existed in those times of per- 
secution. Christians who were faithful and approved of, 
were frequently permitted to take home the holy Eucharist, 
under the appearance of bread only, and keep it, lest 
upon the sudden breaking out of a persecution they might 
be deprived of their clergy, or lest they might be seized 
upon, and in order to give them the opportunity of 
Communion in either case, they were allowed to keep the 
holy Sacrament. Tertullian then expresses his difficulty 


thus : " Non sciet maritus quid secreto ante omnem cibum 
gustes ; et si sciverit, panem, non ilium credit esse qui 
dicitur" "Your husband will not know what you may 
taste privately, before all food ; and if he shall know, 
he believes it to be bread, not Him who is said to be 
there." The guarded phraseology of Tertullian is suffi- 
ciently intelligible to one who has been taught that it is 
not bread, but Him, viz., Christ, who is there in the 
Sacrament which, then and now, in our Church was and 
is taken before all food, fasting, according to a discipline 
introduced originally by St. Paul, at Corinth, to remedy 
an evil which he describes. 1 

Tertullian's difficulty could have been easily removed 
by a wife who could tell her husband: "This is sancti- 
fied bread, which is to me a figure to remind me of 
the principal doctrine of my belief." There would be 
nothing in this which her pagan husband could not as 
fully believe as she could. But it would be very difficult 
indeed for her to persuade a pagan that it was Christ 
who was there, and her faith would be put to many trials 
by his contempt of her supposed folly; and the object of 
the writer was to guard against those trials of her faith. 

In his book "De Corona Militis," he mentions a few of 
the customs of Christians. Amongst them he states the 
great anxiety of the faithful to guard against any falling 
of a particle, or shedding of a drop from the chalice, 
evidently upon the principle and in conformity with the 
decree of Pope Pius I, who presided over the Church 
from the year 142 to 157. The following is the extract 
from the decree: "Si per negligentiam aliquid de sanguine 
Domini stillaverit in terram, lingua lambetur, et tabula 
radctur, si nori fuerit tabula, ut non conculcatur, locus 
corradctur, ct igne consumatur, et cinis intra altare 
recondetur, et sacerdos quadraginta diebus pneniteat. Et si 
super altare stillaverit calix, sorbcat minister stillam et 
tribus diebus prenitcat," etc. "If through negligence any 
of the blood of the Lord shall have dropped upon the 
ground, let it be licked up with the tongue, and the 

' 1 Cor., c. xl, v. 20. 


board be scraped. If there be no board, that it should 
not be trodden upon, let the place be scraped up, and 
the scrapings burned with fire, and the ashes be laid up 
within the altar, and let the priest do penance during 
forty days. If the chalice shall have left a drop upon 
the altar, let him who administers suck it up and do 
penance during three days," etc. 

Origen, who lived nearly at the same period as Ter- 
tullian, in his 13th Homily on Genesis, explaining chap- 
ter 25, has these words : " Nostis qui divinis mysteriis 
interesse consuevistis, quomodo cum suscipitur corpus 
Domini, cum omni cautela et veneratione, servatis ne ex 
eo parum quid decidat," etc. "You who are accustomed 
to be present at the divine mysteries know how, when 
the body of the Lord is taken, you keep it with all 
caution and veneration lest the smallest particle should 
fall," etc. 

It will not then be doing any violence to the passage 
of Tertullian, to explain its meaning by the law which 
regarded the custom and by the more distinct testimony 
of Origen, whom we may call his contemporary. 

In Tertullian's book " On the Kesurrection," he uses as 
an argument in proof that our bodies will arise, from the 
topic that the sacraments must all come in contact with 
the body, before the soul will receive their benefit. The 
following is one passage : " Caro abluitur, ut anima emacu- 
letur ; caro ungitur ut anima consecretur ; caro corpore et 
sanguine Christi vescitur, ut anima saguinetur" "The flesh 
is washed that the soul might be cleansed ; the flesh is 
anointed t;iat the soul might be consecrated ; the flesh 
i; foil wit-i the body and blood of Christ that the 
soul niig'it be nourished." In this place his argument 
would not have any force, nor would his words have their 
moaning if t^ie flesh being fed with the body and blood 
of Gin-is 1 -, meant only the flesh is fed with bread, which 
is a figure, because still it would be only bread, and not 
the body of Christ. 

To understand the next passage, we must be aware of 
the mode 5:i which Communion was then given. The 


communicants held a small clean cloth of linen on the 
palm of the right hand, the Sacrament was laid upon 
this, and they conveyed It themselves to the mouth. Ter- 
tullian in his book on " Idolatry/' reproving those who 
gave the Sacrament into the hands of those who made 
idols in the way of their trade, has the following pas- 
sage : " Proh scelus ! Semel Judgei Christo manus intuler- 
ant, isti quotidie corpus ejus lacessunt. ! manus praa- 
scindendaa," etc. " Oh, wickedness ! The Jews once had 
laid hands upon Christ, these men every day abuse His 
body. Oh, hands which should be cut off," etc. 

There is another passage in the first book of this 
writer, against Marcion, which is quoted to show that he 
held the figurative sense. Speaking of the Eucharist it 
states: "Nee panem, quo ipsuin suurn corpus repraesen- 
tat" "Nor the bread with which He represents His own 
very body." Thus we are told the bread was by this 
writer stated to represent His body, that is to be a 
figure of His body, therefore not His body. The question 
here is, how the word " reprsesentat" ought to be trans- 
lated. No doubt it can be rendered into the English 
word represents, but the question really is not how it 
can, but how it ought to be translated. I say the verb 
"reprsesentat" may be translated, "correctly exhibited" or 
"presented;" I could adduce many classical passages to prove 
this; but the question is, what was Tertullian's meaning? 
We find him use the word again in his 4th book against 
Marcion ; in this passage stating the testimony of the 
voice of the eternal Father from heaven, testifying for 
the Son on Thabor. "Itaque jam repraesentans eum: Hie 
est films meus dilectus," etc. "Therefore now representing 
Him: this is My beloved Son," etc. Tertullian could not 
mean that it was a figure of Christ and not the real Christ 
which was upon Thabor, especially when his object was 
to prove that Christ had a real body; the word "repras- 
sentat" must then be translated "exhibited" or "presented." 
We will then have the Father presenting His Son on 
Thabor, by His testimony, and we will have Jesus Christ 


not representing a figure of His body in His bread, but 
presenting His body therein. 

I feel that I have been very tedious, but I was desir- 
ous to show that the testimony of our Church is not 
that little quibbling carping at possible translations of 
ambiguous passages, but the result of cleep research, close 
examination, accurate comparison, and the full investiga- 
tion of facts. Thus I thought it but right to show that 
although a few ambiguous passages might be adduced to 
throw doubts upon the fact that our doctrines were held 
by all the Fathers, still it would be folly in me to fill 
up my paper with critical exhibitions like the present 
upon every one of those which might be adduced. From 
the respectability of some of the applications on the 
present occasion, I thought myself called upon to give 
this article. 

I shall add but one topic before I hasten to its con- 
clusion. Tertullian was never suspected by his contem- 
poraries nor by the writers since his day of having erred 
upon the doctrine of the Eucharist, though he did err 
with the Montanists. Now if he taught, as the Sacramen- 
tarians do, the doctrine of only a figurative presence, he 
would have been as speedily arraigned and convicted for 
that as for his Montanist errors, by the host of writers 
whom I can adduce in the age in which he lived, and 
those ages which have since elapsed, teaching as we do. 
Yet they are all silent as to this alleged error of his 
respecting the, Eucharist. They all assumed and believed 
that he taught as they did, and they taught not a 
figurative but a real presence of Christ's body and blood 
in the Sacrament. 

My facts then are 1. That Tertullian did in some 
passages plainly teach the doctrine of the real presence. 
2. That in describing some circumstances regarding the 
Sacrament, he alludes to those customs and laws which 
existed amongst the persons who held the doctrine of the 
real presence, and with whom he was in accord upon the 
subject. 3. That the passages which appear to favor the 


figurative meaning do so only when translated in con- 
tradiction to his style of writing, and taken in an isolated 
way. 4. That those same passages, translated in accord- 
ance with his style, and paying due regard to the con- 
text, support the doctrine of the real presence. 5. That 
if he did not hold the doctrine of the real presence, 
his arguments against Marcion, which were universally 
acknowledged to be powerful, conclusive and unanswerable, 
would have no force or value. 6. That if those passages 
support the figurative sense, Tertullian has been guilty 
in those books of many self contradictions. And 7. That 
he was charged with no error on this score by those 
writers who. in his day and during 1,300 years after- 
wards, read his works, and believed the doctrine of the 
real presence. 

Whence I conclude that Tertullian did hold the doc- 
trine of the real presence, and that those passages which 
are adduced from his writings as opposed thereto, have 
not the meaning which is attempted to be put upon them 
by those persons who adduce them against us. 



I AM led, after much reflection, to enter more at large 
into this subject, than was my original intention ; and in 
the details which I give, and the views that I take, 
several friends for whom I have the highest esteem may 
not fully concur ; but I consider it to be my duty to 
write as I think, and should I make any erroneous 
statement, to give the opportunity for its correction ; and 
if my views be erroneous, I beg of my friends to set 
me right. 

I have been long under the impression, that not only 
in Europe, but even in the United States, very delusive 
fancies have been entertained of the progress of the 
Catholic Church in our Union, and even many mistakes 
as to the means most conducive to its propagation. I 
have no doubt upon my mind that, within fifty years, 
millions have been lost to the Catholic Church in the 
United States, nor do I believe that the fact has been 
sufficiently brought into notice, nor the proper remedies 
as yet applied to correct this evil. This is not the time, 
nor t'lis the place, to state what efforts have been made 
to draw attention to the mischief and to what was 
thought to be a remedy ; nor is it intended to insinuate 
by this, that there was in any quarter a want of zeal 
and devotion to religion on the part of any persons con- 
cerned, though they may differ in their views. 

To any one who for a moment calmly considers the 
question nothing cm be more plain than that, instead 
of an increase of t'le members naturally belonging to 
the Catholic Church in the United States, there has been 
actually a serious loss. 

i This article coi'sists of a <-on munication made to the Propagation Society in Lyons, 
France, dated September 23, 18 J8. 



The question is not whether the number of Catholics 
in the country has actually increased: because to answer 
this you have only to look at the cities and the towns, 
and everywhere you have the strongest and most irrefra- 
gable evidence of accession of numbers, in the thousands 
who rise up before you. There can be no doubt of the 
multiplication of missions and of priests, of the erection 
of churches, of the opening of colleges, of the creation of 
monasteries, of the amelioration of schools, of the estab- 
lishing of printing presses, and of the dissemination of 
books, however injudiciously the publishers may have 
acted in several instances. I do not then mean to say 
that the number of Catholics is this day less than it was 
fifty years ago, nor as small as it was five years since ; 
but I do assert that the loss of numbers to the Catholic 
Church has been exceedingly great, when we take into 
account the Catholic population at the time of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, the acquisition of territory previously 
occupied by Catholics, the arrivals of Catholic immigrants, 
and the conversions to the Catholic religion. 

I submit the following rough estimate as calculated 
to give a notion of this loss: Fifty years ago the popu- 
lation of the United States was three millions ; to-day it 
is fifteen millions. I shall suppose the natural increase 
of the original three to give us seven millions of our 
present number; this will leave us eight millions of 
immigrants and their descendants, together with those 
obtained by the acquisition of Louisiana and Florida, Of 
the population acquired by immigration and by cession, 
we may estimate at least one-half to have been Catho- 
lics: and supposing the children to have adhered to the 
religion of their parents, if there were no Iqss we should 
have" at least four millions of Catholics from these 
sources, without regarding the portion which was Catholic 
fifty years ago, and its natural increase and the many 
converts and their descendants. Yet there are many who 
this day are well informed upon the subject of our 
churches, who doubt if we have one million of Catholics. 


Four years since my estimate was little more than half 
a million. Upon my firsjb arrival in the United States, 
in 1820, I saw in a public -document, coming from a 
respectable source, the estimate to be 100,000, and this 
favorable, and from a gentleman by no means unfriendly. 
I have since then made more close inquiries, taken more 
special notice of details, and received better information, 
and I think the estimate may be safely fixed at 1,200,000. 
This is indeed a plain and simple view, and, as has been 
justly remarked, coincides pretty accurately in the result 
to which it would lead, with the estimate that I formerly 
gave of the number of descendants of Catholics, who in 
the Diocese of Charleston are found in the various sects. 
If I say, upon the foregoing data, that we ought, if there 
were no loss, to have five millions of Catholics, and that 
we have less than one million and a quarter, there 
must have been a loss of three millions and three- 
quarters at least; and the persons so lost are found 
amongst the various sects to the amount of thrice the 
number of the Catholic population of the whole country. 
I estimate the Catholics of my diocese at less than 
12,000, and the descendants of Catholics in the various 
sects at about 38,000 or 40,000. The coincidence of the 
results creates a strong probability, it is indeed presumptive 
evidence, of the correctness of each estimate. And we 
may unhesitatingly assert, that the Catholic Church has, 
within the last fifty years, lost millions of members in 
the United States. x 

Upon every view which I can take of this subject, 
and during several years I have endeavored to examine 
it very closely, I have been led, in a variety of places at 
several epochs, to special details which have been partial 
causes of this great and long-existing evil ; but however 
their several causes may seem to differ, and under what 
peculiar circumstances soever they may have arisen, I 
consider they may generally be reduced to the one great 

i The Catholic population of the United States to-day is estimated at between 
7,000.000 and 8000.000. There are those who say it ought from natural increase and 
immigration be at least 20,000,000. 


head, viz.: The absence of a clergy sufficiently numer- 
ous and properly qualified for the missions of the United 

Before I shall proceed farther, I shall try to unmask 
one of the most fatal errors that I have observed on 
this subject. 

The mind of Europe has been led to undervalue the 
nature of American institutions, and to look upon the 
society of the United States as considerably under the 
standard of that in Europe. So far as religion, and 
especially the ministry, is concerned, this mistake has 
not seldom led to very pernicious results. Frequently in 
European companies, where upon most other topics I could 
receive great accessions to my little stock of knowledge r 
I have been led to doubt whether I heard correctly the very 
strange questions that were addressed to me respecting our 
laws, our manners, our society, our institutions, and our 
habits. I was often obliged to avoid enlarging upon the- 
topics, and more than once to evade the questions upon 
the very painful conviction that it would be worse than 
useless to give information to those who were determined 
not to believe. They could very readily admit all that I 
chose to say about Indians, huts, lakes, wild beasts, ser- 
pents, assaults, murders, and escapes, but it was out of the 
question that my assertions would be equally well received 
if I insinuated that anything in legislation, manufactures, 
literature or the polish of society was comparable to 
even what was ordinary on the other side of the Atlantic, 
In fact it would seem as if a century had rolled away, 
and had left America and Europe in precisely the same- 
relative position as to improvement, as they were when 
the first European adventurers undertook to stem the tor- 
rent of the Mississippi, making a tedious and exhaust- 
ing effort to overcome, in six months, the obstacles of a 
voyage which now is little more than an excursion of 
a few days in a steamboat. The result of this notion 
was that anything was good enough for America ; and 
the Catholic Church has frequently felt the effects of this 


mistake. It has more than once happened that men with 
acquirements and manners scarcely fit for Indians, have 
been deemed fit for any part of this region of Indians, 
and were thus inconsiderately sent into the midst of a 
community at least equally intelligent and penetrating 
and inquiring as any in the world. 

The best way to give some correct notions upon the 
subject of which I treat, will be to draw an historical 
sketch of the Catholic religion in the regions which now 
form the territory of the United States. That view must, 
of course, be general, and very rapidly taken, and, for 
the sake of greater accuracy, it must be divided into 
several epochs, according to the various changes, whether 
of government or of other institutions or circumstances, 
that effected their religious position. 

These regions consist of three distinct portions. First, 
those places which were under Protestant dominion from 
the time of their discovery until the period of the 
American Revolution. Secondly, those places which had, 
up to that period, been chiefly, if not altogether, under 
the dominion of Catholic powers. And thirdly, that great 
region to the west of Missouri and the lakes, which was, 
and in a great measure, still is, the wild domain of the 
Indian, who knows little of either. 1 


The first portion includes the New England States, 
viz.: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 
Rhode Island and Connecticut, which form the present 
Diocese of Boston: New York, Delaware, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and the greater portion 
of Alabama. The English and the Dutch were the 
original settlers of most of those regions. Great Britain 
may be regarded as the possessor from their colonial 
formation, the Dutch having held possession of New York 
and New Jersey only during a short period; and the 

> It is curious to read this statement of 1836 with the development of 1884 before one- 


principle of religious administration, as respected Catholics, 
having been the same under each. 

The second portion embraces Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, 
Arkansas, part of Michigan (since this was written, Wis- 
consin and Iowa have been established), Louisiana, Mis- 
sissippi, Florida, and a portion of Alabama. Of this 
extensive territory, France and Spain had possession, 
whether conjointly or successively. It is unnecessary, for 
my present purpose, to notice the immense range of ter- 
ritory which stretches oif westward from these States, 
and which forms the third division. 

Before proceeding to notice the actual condition of 
this second portion, at the several periods when its various 
regions passed away from the dominion of the Catholic 
powers, I deem it necessary to make a short statement 
of what I have been informed was, and in many instances 
continues to be, the system of France arid of Spain 
respecting religion in those colonies. I cannot vouch for 
the truth of my information, and, should I have been 
misinformed, I shall feel very happy at having my mis- 
statements corrected. 

The policy of France was, not to permit the estab- 
lishment of a bishop in her colonies, but to procure from 
the Holy See, that a priest should be appointed prefect 
apostolic, with quasi-episcopal power and detached juris- 
diction, to superintend the other clergy and to administer 
the sacrament of confirmation. I know, from my own 
observation, that such is the mode of administration in 
most of her colonies. (Algiers is an exception since this 
document was draAyn up). To various inquiries that I 
made for the reason of this policy, I was told that it 
was adopted in order not to embarrass the governor, by 
creating so high a dignitary as a bishop ; and who should 
necessarily receive the great attention which such officers 
are known to pay to prelates; and not to expose bishops to 
the indignity that might be the consequence of any neglect 
of the superior colonial officers, should it be possible that 
any of them could so far forget what was due to religion, 


as to be wanting in proper civility to the bishop. It is 
not my business to canvass the value of the reason 
alleged ; but I feel quite at liberty to observe that the 
natural consequence of this palpable departure from the 
polity established by our Saviour and acted upon by the 
Apostles, has generally been the destruction of discipline 
amongst at least the secular clergy who were affected 
thereby: and if we are to believe one-fourth of what is 
generally credited respecting that discipline in the French 
colonies previous to 1*790, this statement would be fully 

I am here called upon to draw a contrast between 
what is known to have been the state of the Canadian 
colony, in which there, was a bishop established at 
Quebec, and those places which were administered by 
prefects apostolic. In Canada religion was respectably 
sustained, the faith preserved, discipline flourished : a 
clergy was maintained and perpetuated; and an edifying 
body of priests and people continued firmly attached to 
their ancient institutions, and virtuously fulfilling their 
duties, even under a government hostile to their faith, 
and using its best efforts to undermine their religion. 
Justice also obliges me to testify, that from what I have 
seen and learned in Guadeloupe, during a short visit to 
that island in 1833, I found that, notwithstanding the 
defects of the system, the excellent prefect and his clergy 
were meritoriously regular and zealous, and that religion 
had proper respect from the sensible and judicious gov- 
ernor of that colony. 

Not only is this system calculated to do a serious 
injury to discipline, but in some colonies the priests are 
at so great a distance from their superior, as to be 
seldom, if ever, under his supervision. In many instances, 
a great portion of the colonists are persons, who, not 
being able conveniently to remain in the mother country, 
repair to those distant settlements to escape inconvenience 
or to retrieve their fortune. They are not, then, the most 
healthy moral portion of the population. Amongst such 


a people it is no ready task for a clergyman, under tlio 
most favorable circumstances, to make great progress in 
the work of reformation, or to preserve himself unstained. 

Spain had not that semblance of respect for the epis- 
copal character, which would prevent her having bishops 
established in her colonies. But they were necessarily 
few and very distant; and though numbers of them are 
said to have been excellent men, yet it was believed that 
several others were persons whom the government that 
presented them did not like to set aside from promotion, 
but did not wish to see wearing mitres in Europe. It 
is also said that in many instances, in the French as in 
the Spanish colonies, priests that would not be tolerated 
in the mother country, forced their way into places for 
which they were by no means qualified. Thus, in those 
regions where the clergy wanted most rigid superintend- 
ence, there was the least efficient discipline. This may 
perhaps account for the situation in which the Churches 
of Louisiana and Florida were at the period of their 
cession to the United States. To my own knowledge, 
there was in Florida but one single efficient priest, who, 
not liking the change, retired to Cuba, and subsequently 
to Ireland, of which he was a native. I have heard 
nearly a similar account of Louisiana. So that when they 
were transferred to the JJnitcd States, those regions con- 
tained an uninstructed and neglected population profess- 
ing the Catholic religion, without Catholic customs or 
religious knowjedge, nearly bereft of a Catholic clergy. 
A large portion of this mass consisted of negro slaves. 

In no country where slavery exists was there, I believe, 
a better system of legal provisions for the religious and 
in.oral cultivation of this class, than in the Spanish pos- 
sessions; nor do I think there could be, generally speaking, 
a better mode devised for preventing some of the worst 
consequences to morality and religion, which are unfortu- 
nately almost inseparable from slavery in the colonies, 
than that which Spain had adopted, perhaps devised. 
This, however, was for many years a dead letter in the 


places of which I write, whilst under the latter days of 
Spanish dominion, and under the occasional possession by 
France, neither the legal provisions, nor the moral system, 
nor any substitute for either, was in existence. These 
considerations, taken together with the former remarks, 
will enable the readers of this paper to form some 
opinion of what sort of Catholic population was added to 
that of the United States by the cession of Louisiana 
and of Florida. No sooner did they become portions of this 
country, than all religious denominations and preachers 
of all opinions poured rapidly into those places, where 
larger bodies of untouched land oiFered the hope of greater 
returns for their industry. 

Long previous to the American Eevolution, whilst 
Britain yet held our States as colonies, Canada was ceded 
by capitulation to the crown of England. At that period, 
the Catholic missionaries had their congregations upon the 
Wabash, the Illinois, and other places which form the 
States of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The red man, 
induced to leave the superstition and the idolatry of his 
fathers, worshiped God in spirit and in truth, partaking 
of the sacraments of our Redeemer with full faith, humble 
confidence and tender piety. But, soon after this transfer 
was eifected, the missionary was obstructed, and the children 
of the forest, yet tenacious of their creed, wept by the 
side of the father of rivers, and mingled their lamenta- 
tions with the wailings of the wind, upon witnessing the 
desolation of their rude but venerated altars. The axe of 
the backwoodsman has felled the forest, the bounding 
deer has migrated towards the setting sun, the plough- 
share has furrowed the surface of the land, cities have 
arisen, the power of steam has overcome the resistance 
of the waters, the bones of the ancient worshipers have 
mouldered into dust; but still Kaskaskia and many a 
similar spot exhibit to us the ruins of those early 
Christian schools, where the Ottawa and the Illinois and 
the Pottowattomic exchanged their wampum and smoked 
their calumet and buried their hatchet ; whilst their eves 



shed unwonted tears at the recital of the sorrows of the 
Son of God. England hecame the mistress of these lands, 
and caused the Christian sacrifice to be taken away. The 
Kevolution soon followed ; and the American eagle, whilst 
he rose in the vigor of youth and the joy of victory, beheld 
no Catholic worship in the regions which oppression, 
strife and war had now made desolate. The mighty 
wilderness was left to become the habitation of successive 
immigrants from the East, who have produced the changes 
to which I have alluded. 


I have now to draw attention to those places, which, 
from their original settlement, were under Protestant 
domination. They are to be considered as seriously dif- 
fering from each other in a religious point of view. 
New England was settled, it is true, under English 
authority and by English Protestants, but they were not 
of the English Church; they were the Puritans, who 
complained that "the Reformation," as it is fashionable 
amongst some to call the great religious defection of the 
Sixteenth century, was by no means sufficiently perfect in 
England. They complained that several anti-Scriptural 
doctrines were retained in the established Protestant 
religion of that country, and that very many of its usages 
and ceremonies were superstitious, anti-Christian and 
idolatrous. They were driven from England by Protestant 
persecution. They first went to Holland, where they 
looked for more congenial opinions ; they felt, even there, 
great disappointments, and then set out for this new 
world, to colonize a region which they had procured from 
the British crown, and for the occupation of which they 
made some settlement with the Indians. 

The Puritans were inimical to the Church of England, 
and they would not permit those who differed from them 
in religious opinions to remain in their colony; and aa 
differences of this description necessarily must arise 
amongst all those who adopt the principle of individual 


inalienable right to the interpretation of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, they had in process of time their differences, 
persecutions, and separations into various colonies, but all 
agreed in a common determination of not tolerating 
Catholics. We may say the same of their Dutch 
neighbors, who settled in New Amsterdam, now called New 
York, and in a part of New Jersey, and when the English 
succeeded the Dutch in their dominion over those regions, 
they unflinchingly adhered to a similar principle. 

Virginia was a common name given at that period to 
the entire region which comprises not only that State, 
but also the Carolinas and the whole of the then unknown 
wilderness stretching away to the west, and going south 
to the unascertained boundaries of what was called Florida. 
In this region, the settlers professed the religion of the 
English Protestant Established Church, and embodied dur- 
ing their infancy in their code all the ferocious laws of 
England against the Catholics. A spirit of mutual ani- 
mosity and a practice of mutual persecution caused New 
England and Virginia, though colonized from the same 
country, to cherish animosity and rancorous dislike towards 
each other. 

Meantime, a small body of English Catholics, with 
whom a few Irish of the same religion associated, came 
over with Lord Baltimore, who, because he was a Catho- 
lic, was obliged to leave his country. They settled in 
Maryland, upon lands of Avhich he had obtained a grant, 
and lor governing the colony of which he had a charter. 
This little Catholic society made perfect religious liberty 
for every Christian the basis of their legislation, and were 
the first who gave the example of establishing religious 
freedom at this side of the Atlantic. After various efforts 
of the Virginians for their ruin or expulsion, they were 
permitted to remain in peace. In a short time the 
colony became prosperous, and the Virginian Dissenter and 
the New England Protestant Episcopalian, flying from 
the persecution with which each worried the other, were 
hospitably received by the Marylander, and not only pro- 



tected in their civil rights, but admitted to a full partici- 
pation of political power ; and it was thus that Maryland, 
Catholic Maryland at that time, led the way to the temple 
of religious liberty and to the concord of brethren. 

Very soon after this, a number of Quakers accompanied 
William Penn to the colony which he undertook to 
establish between Maryland and New Jersey. In this new 
settlement, there was no law to punish any man for his 
religious opinions; but it was not till after a considerable 
lapse of time that any Catholic had settled there. 

The revolution which took place in England, in 1641, 
having placed the Presbyterians and other Calvinists in 
power, its influence extended to the colonies ; and within 
less than a quarter of a century from the period of their 
arrival, the Catholics of Maryland found themselves deprived 
of their civil, religious, and political rights, and over- 
whelmed by a band of strangers who, flying from each 
others' cruelty, were received into this asylum of Chris- 
tian charity, and they now united to oppress and to per- 
secute the Catholics who had given them a shelter and a 
home. The laws which were passed subsequently in Eng- 
land against Catholics under Charles II, and by which 
they were stripped of most of the remnant which they 
held after the tyrannical persecution of the cruel Eliza- 
beth and of the cold-blooded, hypocritical pedant, James I, 
as well as the robberies of the succeeding period, now 
were made of force in the colonies, and vigorously carried 
into effect. Nor did the new legislators of Maryland deem 
the subsequent barbarous additions made under the heart- 
less Anne sufficient: they devised and introduced others, 
as if to show their greater ingenuity in adding the last 
affliction which could perfect the malice of the British 

Probably it will not be amiss here, to advert a little 
to the character of one of those laws which, to the 
ordinary reader, would not otherwise appear in their true 
position, and which, by reason of unfortunate prejudices, 
are not duly appreciated by all who peruse them. They 


appear to be laws merely relating to Irish servants arriv- 
ing in the colony. Their true nature can be known only 
by looking into the history of Ireland itself, that we 
may there learn who these servants were ; nor will this 
be without an important bearing upon what regards, this 
day, the missions of the United States, and perhaps of 
many other distant regions. 

It is notorious, that when in the excess of his rage, 
and filled with the spirit of revenge, Henry VIII, of Eng- 
land, compelled his parliaments to legalize his innovations 
in religion, very little was effected in Ireland. Numbers 
of old and settled families in such parts of that country 
as acknowledged its subjection to the English crown were 
firmly attached to their religion. They, together with the 
whole body of the Irish that yet preserved their independ- 
ence, continued steadfast adherents to the Catholic Church. 
Upon the accession of Elizabeth, her interest, as well as 
her pride, forced her to separate England from the Holy 
See. (Rome could not acknowledge the right of heirship 
in the issue of a notorious adultery). Her father's imperi- 
ous spirit dwelt fully and powerfully in her soul, and her 
parliaments were her crouching slaves. Secure of Eng- 
land, she sought to complete the conquest of Ireland, not 
only by reducing to her obedience that portion which was 
not as yet under her dominion, but also by forcing her 
newly made religion upon all the inhabitants. The 
descendants of the ancient Irish and English settlers 
were alike ordered to lay aside the religion of their 
fathers, and to practice -that which the queen had framed. 
Many of the Irish chieftains were unwilling to bend their 
necks to the yoke, and the whole body of the people 
refused to give up their faith or to forsake their altars. 
The history of her partial success is an account of perfidy, 
of famine, of blood, and of woe. Confiscation of their lands, 
loss of their titles, beggary, exile, or death were the por- 
tion allotted to those who remained faithful to their God. 
The tragedies enacted by Elizabeth's cruel officers scarcely 
find a parallel. Yet her power did not extend as far as 
her malevolence. 


James I succeeded to her throne, and without the 
abilities of Elizabeth, he pursued the path which she had 
opened. For Ireland he was a disastrous despot. Whole 
provinces were made desolate, and colonies of Presbyterians 
were introduced from Scotland to occupy those lands from 
which the Irish Catholics had been swept with a besom 
of destruction. They are the "Scotch-Irish." Charles I 
succeeded to James, and with increased ruin to the deso- 
lated land. Europe was appalled at the horrors that had 
been perpetrated, and looked with execration on the 
authors of the calamities of this devoted country. The 
oppressors, in order to create some semblance of excuse, 
added calumny to their other crimes, and that the world 
might be induced to imagine that there was some justi- 
fying ground for their cruelty, the Irish nation was said 
to be stupid, cruel, barbarous, ignorant, and intractable: 
every bad quality was imputed to them, merely because 
they were faithful to their religion, and tenacious of their 
property and their rights. It is indeed true it could soon 
be said that they were poor, because they were plundered; 
and they were then called a beggarly rabble. Still the 
fastnesses of the country offered an asylum to a few of 
the ancient princes of the land and their impoverished 
adherents, who were thus forced into the semblance of 
outlawed brigands. 

England had lost her hierarchy. Ireland saw her cathe- 
drals and her other church property in the hands of 
men intruded by force and protected by armies of mercena- 
ries, who vituperated and blasphemed that religion for 
whose service those cathedrals were erected and that prop- 
erty consecrated. Though she could not save the tempo- 
ralities of her prelates from the grasp of their persecutors, 
nor always protect themselves from assassination or prison, 
yet she preserved their succession. It is well known that 
many suffered martyrdom, and multitudes made glorious 
confessions of their faith ; but their fidelity to heaven 
was made treason to the government. "This man is no 
friend to Caesar." The Catholic clergy were from that 


day to the present denounced by the sycophants of their 
oppressors, and "by their dupes and their tools, as agitators 
and conspirators, plotting and exciting the people to 

Cromwell sprang from the scaffold of the unfortunate 
persecutor, who is ludicrously styled in the English liturgy, 
" King Charles the Martyr/' to the domination which is 
called a protectorate ; and with him fanaticism, hypocrisy, 
and rapine enjoyed their day of triumph. His myrmidons 
overran Ireland, penetrated to almost all its recesses, 
despoiling most of those who had escaped former plunder- 
ers, and stripping even those who, under the Tudor and 
the Stuart, had been enriched by the robbery of the Catho- 
lics. A more mean and voracious horde was never poured 
upon any other region, than were the soldiers of this 
revolutionary English army, who now were put into pos- 
session of a large bulk of the land of Ireland; and to 
these the unfortunate Irish Catholics were made hewers of 
wood and drawers of water. This epoch in Ireland corre- 
sponds with that of the plunder of the Catholics of Mary- 
land, by authority of the same power that raised to 
possession of the wealth of Ireland the gang of unprinci- 
pled adventurers who overspread that country. I do not 
recollect more than two branches of any respectable Irish 
families that have preserved any of their property by 
apostacy: these are a younger branch of the O'Neills, in 
the North, now decorated with an English title, and one 
sept of the O'Briens, at the South, now known by the 
title of Thomond, but better known in Irish by the appella- 
tion of Totane, from the incendiarism and plunder of some 
monasteries. If therp were others, they were not worthy 
of notice. 

It is human nature, that they who by such a process 
get into elevated situations should strive to make the 
world believe that the persons, into whose places they 
have made their way, were not worthy to hold them. 
This horde rose into wealth and power upon the principle 
of abolishing nobility and titles of distinction, as incom- 


patible with the laws of God and the rights of man. 
Upon the restoration of Charles II to the British throne, 
they changed sides in order to secure their possessions; 
and they made interest at court by the most perfect 
obsequiousness, and often by the meanest servility, to 
procure titles of nobility; and in process of time their 
children became the most conspicuous members of the 
peerage of Ireland. 

The next blow which the Irish Catholics received was, 
when upon the flight of the unfortunate James II they 
capitulated and received William and Mary as their sove- 
reigns, upon the condition of enjoying religious liberty. 
Previous to this, the troops of William were arrested at 
the walls of Limerick; the unaided Irish forces rendered 
the issue of the contest exceedingly doubtful. The English 
and Dutch commanders were privately instructed to come 
to any arrangement that would not be greatly mischievous 
or dishonorable, and the treaty was drawn up, but the 
articles were not yet subscribed, when the Catholics were 
informed that the fleet of France, with abundant aid, was- 
at the mouth of the Shannon ; and they were urged to 
withhold their signatures. They answered, that though 
their names had not been affixed, their consent had been 
given and their honor was engaged. They trusted to the 
faith and honor of a king: they were doomed to feel 
the scourging of a parliament chiefly composed of the 
Cromwellian gentry, and finding that instead of the liberty 
which they expected upon the faith of their contract, 
they were doomed to undergo more tyranny than even 
theretofore, they abandoned themselves to despair ; and 
multitudes of them quitted, with tears of sorrow and of 
indignation, the land of their fathers. 

Many of those exiles for their faith were hospitably 
received by the kings of Franco and Spain and by the 
Catholic powers of Germany. Some of the most ancient 
and respectable families in Europe have at this day the 
blood of those men flowing in their veins. Some of those 
hapless but voluntary exiles wandered across the Atlantic: 


they had heard of a Catholic settlement in Maryland, and 
they knew not the history of that perfidy which destroyed 
the principles of its establishment. They cherished the 
hope that upon a foreign shore they would not meet 
that contumely and that oppression which , were their 
portion at home. Several of those whose ancestors had 
enjoyed princely domains during centuries, sought to 
sustain themselves by laborious industry: of these some 
engaged, as a compensation for their passage, to work in 
the new country for a stipulated time at a rate lower than 
the usual wages. They were thus to redeem their debt 
by a limited servitude, and were called Irish redemptioners 
or Irish servants. The laws, now enacted in Ireland, 
inflicted banishment to a colony and service therein, as a 
penalty for the crime of practicing many duties of the 
Catholic religion, and the person transported under those 
laws were also known as Irish servants. 

At the period of which I write negroes were imported 
from Africa into the British colonies, and a tax was 
exacted for each slave upon the importer. The legislative 
body of Maryland of that day stands. I believe, alone 
and dishonorably conspicuous for having, amongst its other 
enactments of persecution, sought to degrade still lower 
the confessor of the faith, by imposing exactly the same 
tax upon the introduction of an '-'Irish servant" and the 
importaton of a negro slave ! The Irish Catholic, however, 
did not find this to be altogether a novelty; for the 
Protestant parliament of the land that lie left had set 
exactly the same price upon the head of a friar and the 
head of a wolf, ' when it sought the extermination of 
both ! Yet there was this notable difference made by the 
American law between the Africans and the Irish : the 
negro slave was subject to no penalty for practicing the 
idolatry of his father's land, while the statute-book was 
filled with enactments to punish the Irish servant or 
freeman, if he ventured to worship God with those 
Christian rites which St. Patrick had peaceably established 
when he preached the doctrine of the Redeemer in the 


Emerald Isle. Thus the negro, though a slave, had that 
religious freedom which was denied to the Irish Catholic, 
even if he should be free. 

Not only, then, did the Irish Catholic find all the laws 
of persecution, under which he was tortured at home in 
that land, upon entering which he was degraded and 
taxed, hut even many vexations were superadded. 

Without some knowledge of this portion of history, it 
is impossible to explain, properly, the difficulties which 
have retarded the progress of the Catholic religion in the 
United States. The true key to the explanation of many 
of these difficulties, which bewilder the unobserving, is to 
be found in a history which is overlooked or under- 
valued. No one will venture to assert that a generation 
is unaffected by the position of that which preceded it ; 
and the vast majority of the Catholic population of the 
United States are descendants of those men, of whose 
struggles at home for the preservation of their religion 
and the defence of their country, I have endeavored to 
trace an outline. England has, unfortunately, too well 
succeeded in linking contumely to their name in all her 
colonies; and though the United States have cast away 
the yoke under which she held them, many other causes 
combined to continue against the Irish Catholic, more or 
less, to the present day, the sneer of the supercilious, the 
contempt of the conceited, and the dull prosing of those 
who imagine themselves wise. That which more than a 
century of fashion has made habitual, is riot to be over- 
come in a year, and to any Irish Catholic who has dwelt 
in this country during one-fourth of the period of my 
sojourn, it will be painfully plain that, although the evil 
is slowly diminishing, its influence is not confined to the 
American nor to the anti-Catholic. When a race is once 
degraded, however unjustly, it is a weakness of our nature 
that, however we may be identified with them upon some 
points, we are desirous of showing that the similitude is 
not complete. You may be an Irishman but not a 
Catholic; you may be Catholic but not Irish; it is clear 


you are not an Irish Catholic in either case ! But when 
the great majority of the Catholics of the United States 
were either Irish or of Irish descent, the force of the 
prejudice against the Irish Catholic bore against the 
Catholic religion in the United States ; and the influence 
of this prejudice has been far more mischievous than is 
generally believed. 


Thus, they who know anything of American history 
will perceive, that nothing can be more erroneous than 
the notion, that, at the period of our revolution, Maryland 
was a Catholic settlement. The descendants of Lord 
Baltimore had abandoned their religion, and the great 
bulk of the population at the period of the Declaration 
of Independence was Protestant of one denomination or 
another. A few, and but a very few, of the Catholic 
families had preserved their religion, and a portion oi' 
their property. Some of the "Irish servants," as they 
were called, adhered to the cited of their fathers ; few 
of them, however, had been able to have recourse to its 
ministry, and still fewer to transmit it to their descend- 
ants. The difficulty of obtaining the aid of the ministry 
was, in most places, exceedingly great, because the clergy 
being the special objects of the persecuting code, and being 
very few, they were generally concealed from the zealots 
who hunted after them from bigotry, and the irreligious 
who chased them for mere wantonness and sport. 

Upon a general principle, which, however correct in 
theory, yet is frequently found to work mischievously in 
practice, as these were colonies of Great Britain, they were 
considered to be in charge of the vicar apostolic of the 
London district, when such a prelate had been established, 
and this dignitary being himself surrounded by difficulties, 
exposed to persecution, and unable to aid them, was just 
as little likely to know their wants or have power to 
apply remedies to their evils, as was the Khan of Tartary. 


Such was the situation of what began as a Catholic 
colony under the auspices of the crown of Great Britain 
and with the promise of royal protection. Such were the 
returns made by their Protestant neighbors to those 
Catholics who first established religious liberty upon the 
shores of America. This is but a faint outline of the 
misconduct of that party which taunts Catholics with 
bigotry and illiberality, and which boasts of the great 
edifice of civil and religious freedom, which, they allege, 
was raised in our republic by the genius of Protestantism. 
Such is an imperfect sketch of the way in which their 
wealth was obtained by the progenitors of those men who 
reproach the Irish and the American Catholics with their 
poverty. I shall add but one other detail to the recital. 
In doing so, I shall exhibit another way in which the 
wealth of several of the Irish nobility and landed gentry 
has been accumulated ; nor is America altogether free from 
the taint. 

Some of the Irish and a few of the American Catho- 
lics sought, through the friendship and honor of their 
Protestant neighbors, to preserve at the same time their 
property and their faith. They gave absolute titles of 
their lands, by a legal transfer, to their Protestant friends, 
who undertook privately, by a pledge of honor, which was 
all they could give, that whilst their ostensible OAvnership 
covered it from confiscation and rapine, they would admin- 
ister it for the benefit of the Catholic family that con- 
fided in their friendship, and would reconvey it to the 
proper owners by sufficient titles, when the law should 
permit Catholics to become proprietors. Several Protestants 
have honorably fulfilled this sacred trust, and have thus 
saved much for the victims of the law, if the outrageous 
robbery which they sanctioned be not a desecration of the 
name of law. But, for others, the temptation was too great 
to be resisted ; and many a high-headed, titled, and domi- 
neering Irish persecutor this day holds the wealth of which 
he boasts by a title thus infamously transmitted. This vile 
code, also, gave at once to the child of any Catholic, who- 


at any age should apostatize, the whole real property of 
the family, to the exclusion of the parents and of the 
other children, and Protestant trustees were to be appointed 
to hold it for him, until he arrived at the age of twenty- 
one years. 

Nor was this all. Even personal property was subjected, 
in a variety of ways, to plunder. Perhaps one anecdote 
will be a sufficient specimen of the system. I shall relate 
it, as I heard it from the late venerable Bishop of Cork, 
Doctor Moylan, who died in 1815. It occurred in his boy- 
hood, and is highly creditable to the Protestant Bishop 
Browne, of Cork, at the time when this system of robbery 
was in full force. I am not certain, whether it was not 
Timothy McCarthy (called Rabagh, or, as a lane, where 
he lived in obscure retreat, is now called, fiaiubuck, by 
mistake) was the then Bishop of Cork, or his successor, 
Bishop Walsh. By the aid of some of his flock he pro- 
cured two horses, to enable him to make the visitation 
of his diocese, accompanied by one of his priests, or to fly 
fram his pursuers, as the case might require. The law 
forbade any Catholic to possess a horse of the value of 
more than five pounds, and authorized any Protestant, upon 
the payment of five pounds, to take away, for himself, any 
horse that a Catholic owned. A person called on the 
bishop to inform him that his horses would probably be 
demanded under this law ; their value was more than six 
times the amount. Whilst they were yet devising how to 
save the horses, an agent from the Protestant bishop 
ontered, paid down ten pounds, demanded the horses, 
insisted upon their delivery, and carried them away; in 
a short time afterwards, another similar demand was made, 
but the horses were no longer there. A note was soon 
received from the Protestant bishop, informing the Catholic 
prelate, that being quite aware of the determination ot 
several Protestants to secure for themselves the horses, 
under the provisions of the law, he had sent early to 
secure them for himself, and having taken them into his 
possession, he now sent them back to their former owner 


as a loan to be kept and used until they should be sent 
for. This was not the only instance in which the benevo- 
lence of even the dignitaries of the Protestant Church 
mitigated the provisions of this atrocious code. In 
America, equally as in Ireland, were the Catholics deci- 
mated in numbers and in property by its operation ; and 
thus Maryland was made one of those colonies in which, 
though some Catholics were left, still the spirit of hostility 
to Catholics was made most manifest. And in Maryland, 
as in Ireland, if we find evidence of Protestant cruelty 
and oppression, we also find many noble instances of 
Protestant generosity, of Protestant friendship, and of 
Protestant protection. 

I have mentioned Pennsylvania as a colony, in which 
no laws were enacted to restrain religious freedom. Its- 
legislature adhered to this principle, and, as it bordered 
upon Maryland, when the persecution became vigorous in 
this colony, several Catholics retired from Maryland into 
Pennsylvania, but they had scarcely any opportunity of 
seeing a priest, nor was the term "religious liberty" suffici- 
ently understood by the Quakers to comprehend Catholicity. 
It is true, that they neither hanged, whipped, banished, 
nor fined the members of our Church for their faith, nor 
did they tax them as " Irish servants ; " but there is that 
solemn, distant, cold, systematic avoidance which proclaims, 
in a way sufficiently intelligible, the dislike and condemna- 
tion which one avoids to express by words. I know of no- 
better description of this conduct, than is contained in a 
common story told of a Quaker's conduct to a dog which 
he disliked. Looking at him as he saw some persons 
approach, he thus soliloquized : " I shall neither hang thee,. 
nor shoot thee, nor strike thec, but I shall call thee by 
a name," and as the people were within hearing, he ex- 
claimed: "Mad dog!" The unfortunate animal was pursued 
by the crowd and stoned to death, whilst the man who 
gave the name stood by, expressing his compassion for the 
suffering dog, and subsequently lectured the crowd for their 
cruelty to dumb beasts. I do not by any means seek to 


convey by this repetition of a common story my notion of 
the character of the "Society of Friends," amongst whom 
I have met several of the most benevolent individuals and 
kindest benefactors; but I give it as descriptive of what 
I do consider to have been the conduct of Pennsylvania 
towards the Catholics. And I shall give one instance as 
a sample of the facts upon which I have come to my 

About a century since a few Catholics in Philadelphia 
wished to erect a small chapel in an obscure corner of 
the city. No difficulty had, I believe, ever been raised 
to obstruct any of the several sectaries that were spread 
through the 'colony; but it was deemed necessary by those 
who then ruled, to send for advice upon the subject to 
the privy council in London. It was asked, as no law 
existed to prohibit them in the colony of Pennsylvania, 
yet as this people was everywhere contradicted, would it 
be proper to permit their raising this edifice ? The spirit 
of the answer corresponded with that of the application. 
There was no legal power, it said, to prevent the Catho- 
lics doing as they desired, but it was the wish of the 
council that as many difficulties as possible should be 
raised. And as the obedient rulers of the colony did not 
wish to incur the displeasure of their British masters, it 
is unnecessary to remark, that difficulties, and perplexity, 
and delays were not wanting. This suffices ' to show the 
situation of the Catholics in Pennsylvania ; and everywhere 
else there was positive, direct exclusion of anything Catho- 
lic. After the perusal of these details, the reader will be 
better prepared to judge of the difficulties experienced by 
Irish Catholics immigrating to these colonies. 

Previous to 1776, few Irish Catholics settled in any of 
the colonies except Maryland and Pennsylvania. Some 
"Irish servants" had been transported to Virginia, and a 
number of German Catholics had located themselves in 
Pennsylvania. But the want of a clergy was so great, 
that no priest was to be met with in more than three 
or four spots of this extensive region. Thus deprived of 
all spiritual aid, separated from their former associates, 


estranged from their kindred, mingled amongst sectaries, 
accustomed to hear their religion misrepresented and its 
professors villified and abused, and seeing no prospect of 
being able to resume its practices, great numbers of these 
persons made no profession of their faith. They were 
gradually drawn to attend the preaching and prayers of 
the sects ; they intermarried with the members of these 
strange Churches ; their children, frequently unconscious of 
the religion of the parent, were educated in direct hostility 
to its tenets and its practices ; so that, in fact, the 
descendants of far the greater portion of those Catholics 
who immigrated into the British American colonies arc 
now not only sectaries, but many of them the most 
virulent opponents of the Church of their ancestors. Not- 
withstanding these obstacles, it is said, and I believe upon 
good grounds, that the greater portion of the regular 
troops furnished by Pennsylvania during the Kevolutionary 
War, from 1*776 to 1*783 or, as they are called, the Penn- 
sylvania Line were Irish Catholics. This shows that, 
though the loss of the Catholic Church was exceedingly 
great, by reason of the various causes to which I have 
alluded, yet at the period of the Kevolution there was in 
the country a good number of Catholics, a considerable 
portion of whom, at least more than one-third, were 
natives of Ireland. 

The success of the Revolutionary army established a 
new state of society. Gradually the laws of persecution 
were torn away from the statute-books of most of the new 
republics. But however favorable this might have been, 
it could not supply a clergy nor abolish long-standing 
and deeply-rooted prejudices, which had been sedulously 
nourished by continued misrepresentations. And even after 
the' Revolution, years had passed away before several of 
the States could be induced to repeal the British laws 
against the Catholics. It is only last year that North 
Carolina has placed them on an equality with her other 
citizens ; and New Jersey has still a foul blot on her 
constitution. 1 

' No State now discriminates agntnst Catholics except in public education. 


It is now necessary, before coming to view the state 
of religion after the American Revolution, to cast an eye 
back to a few of the consequences of the transfer of 

We may consider Canada as consisting of some of 
that portion which is now called Lower, and which extends 
from Montreal to Quebec, on both sides of the river St. 
Lawrence, and thence to the mouth of that river, for little 
more was then settled. We may look upon the rest of 
Lower Canada, and of what is now called the Upper 
Province and all the western territory, together with what 
is now called New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as at that 
period of little or no importance. All this vast region, 
which was transferred by France to England, together with 
Canada, at the capitulation of Quebec, I shall consider as 
an out-territory. 

During the French administration, Canada was managed 
in its religious concerns, generally, with great prudence 
and great zeal. A bishopric was established at Quebec: 
parishes were formed, organized, and provided with a good 
and useful clergy, who spoke the same language, who had 
the same origin, and the same manners and habits as the 
colonists. Seminaries for the education of the clergy, col- 
leges for the laity, and convents and schools for the 
instruction of female children, were erected and endowed ; 
hospitals and other charitable institutions were provided. 
All had the most perfect analogy to the bulk of the 
settlers, so far as regarded language, manners, habits and 
religion. Everything was prosperous. Jesuits and other 
qualified missionaries made occasional settlements amongst 
the Indians in the out-territory. 

The government of England was hostile to the religion 
of the people. We have seen how violent were the preju- 
dices and how cruel the laws of the colonies to the south. 
So that, although by the articles of cession much had been 
secured by France for the protection of the religion of the 
new subjects of the British crown, yet they were exposed 
to great dangers. The successive English governors of 



Canada received the most precise and insidious private 
instructions from the English privy council, to undermine 
the Catholic religion in this newly acquired colony, for 
the purpose of making the English Protestant form of 
religion dominant and established. But, though the clergy 
and their faithful flocks and the interests of religion suf- 
fered seriously, all efforts of this description were fruitless, 
and Canada continued faithful to her God and to His. 

The English government was, hy its very position,, 
forced to do homage to that religion which it wished to 
destroy; and it was no time to come to a rupture with 
the Canadians, when the old colonies were making com- 
plaints and presenting demands, after petition had been 
found unavailing. England, then, yielding to the .dictates 
of good sense and sound policy, began to act with more 
moderation in her opposition to the religious feelings of 
her Canadian subjects ; and she reaped the benefit of her 
change of conduct, whilst the bigotry and intolerance of 
some of her revolting colonies materially aided to secure 
to her the co-operation and fidelity of this newly acquired 
and important Catholic settlement. 

Amongst the various complaints made by the thirteen 
colonies which subsequently became the United States, 
many were of great weight and manifest justice ; but 
others were palpably unfounded, some frivolous. One of 
the most conspicuous of these latter was the charge put 
forth by some of the colonies in their list of grievances, 
that the King of Great Britain was a tyrant, because he 
sought to destroy the liberties of the other colonies, and 
to introduce despotism, by favoring and sustaining, some 
of them went so far as to say, by tolerating Popery in 
Canada. They all appeared to use it as a ground for 
urging against this monarch their charge of a deliberate 
attempt to destroy their liberties. And yet, notwithstand- 
ing this act of so astonishing a character, the Congress 
of the United States actually sent a delegation in which 
there was a Catholic, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and 


which, upon the suggestion of Franklin, one of its mem- 
bers, was accompanied by a Catholic priest, the Kev. John 
Carroll, a- Jesuit, and subsequently the first bishop and 
first archbishop of the Catholic Church in the United 
States, to ask the Canadians to join in their Revolution ! 
It is not surprising that they could not succeed. I have 
my information from the lips of Charles Carroll. Canada 
had seen, she had heard enough. Canada had not forgotten 
the martyrdom of Father Sebastian Rasles, whom some of 
the soldiers of Massachusetts had murdered, in the midst 
of his congregation of Indians, on the 23d of August, 
1724, and whose dead body they treated with even worse 
indignity than Buzzell and his mob treated the bodies at 
Mount Benedict more than a century afterwards. Canada 
recollected many similar acts of kindness, received in like 
manner from the colonists of New England. This is suffi- 
cient to show the spirit which then pervaded the land. 
And we surely should consider the Canadians as the most 
besotted of all beings, were they prevailed upon tp give 
up the protection which England began to afford, in 
order to make common cause with the colonies, which, 
whatever their own grievances might have been, com- 
plained that conduct far different from such protection was 
tyranny to them. As Great Britain herself was led by 
her fears and her necessities to relax her persecutions, 
so, too, the United States forgot the tyranny of tolerating 
the Catholic religion, in their fear that without Canadian 
aid they might not be successful. And the lessons thus 
taught have since been improved upon ; considerable pro- 
gress has been made within sixty years. 

The Catholics had several missions in the out-territory 
amongst the Indians, many of whom had been united to 
the Church, and whose conduct was edifying. The Jesuits 
had been principally engaged in this apostolic duty, and 
they had large funds applicable to this purpose, besides 
those necessary for the maintenance of their own institu- 
tions. The British gradually sent the Jesuits from those 
missions, seized upon their funds and buildings, and threw 


back the whole of this immense range of country, if I 
may so express it, into its original desolation; and thus, 
that portion of it to the west, which came into the pos- 
session of the United States though formerly, as we have 
seen, occupied by missionaries was, at the period of the 
Revolution, totally without religious opportunities, nor has 
it since been practicable to make any extensive efforts to 
seek after and to. instruct those red descendants of the 
first fervent Christian converts. Some of them, it is true, 
are now again gathered into a few congregations in the 
British possessions; others have wandered through the 
western forests towards the Pacific. 

Amongst the most wealthy and respectable colonists of 
the South were many families of Huguenots, whom Eng- 
land received upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes, 
and whom she placed in a region where, by their industry 
and perseverance, they had acquired for their descendants 
wealth and power. It was natural that they should 
entertain and cherish prejudices against that religion from 
which, * they had been taught, their fathers had suffered 
much; but justice requires the avowal that they have 
never manifested a spirit of persecution. At the period 
to which we have now arrived, there was scarcely a 
Catholic to be found in the whole extent of the Carolinas 
or Georgia, nor was there a priest in this region for many 
years after the Revolution. Great numbers of the Presby- 
terians, who were invited to immigrate into Carolina, were 
the descendants of those Scotch settlers who had been ' 
planted, as I before described, in the north of Ireland, upon 
the extermination of the Irish Catholics under Elizabeth 
and James I. Several large settlements had also been 
made directly from Scotland ;. and an extensive body of 
the land was occupied by German Protestants, and a few 
of the same religion from Switzerland. Still the great 
landed proprietors were of English or of French descent. 


This brings us to the period when the territory ceased 
to be under the government of England, and when, by a 


treaty of peace with that power, the independence of the 
United States was fully and formally recognized. It is 
obvious, that up to this period, the number of Catholics 
must have been considerably less than what it would have 
been had there existed a sufficient clergy and no perse- 
cution. It is at this moment difficult to say what was 
the number of Catholics, but I think the clergy would 
be numbered very fully in putting it down at twenty- 
five. Indeed, I consider this as overrating it. Many causes 
now combined to diminish the long existing prejudices. 
Not only had Catholics fought and fallen in the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, but Catholic France had aided with her 
army and her navy; her Catholic chaplains had celebrated 
our offices in the camps and in the cities ; Catholic Poles 
had fought by the side of the American soldiers, had led 
their troops into the thickest of the fight, and had 
sacrificed their lives for the cause of American freedom ; 
the best and most gallant and hardy portion of their 
own troops, the Pennsylvania Line, was chiefly com- 
posed of Irish Catholics. The commander-in-chief, the 
noble and generous Washington, had testified to their 
bravery and their devotion. A Catholic was the man who 
probably had staked the largest property in their cause, 
amongst that patriot band that had pledged life and for- 
tune and sacred honor to sustain the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. He had gone with Franklin and another, 
accompanied by a Catholic priest, through pathless woods 
and unexplored mountains, a long and perilous journey, 
to try whether they could wipe away from the mind of 
the Catholic colony of Canada the unfavorable impressions 
which the ignorance, the folly and the bigotry of those 
hostile to his creed had made, to the detriment of his 
country. The feelings of hostility to Catholics and the 
prejudices against our religion thus began, at the period 
of the Revolution, gradually to decline. Liberty of worship 
was soon restored in some of the States, penalties were 
blotted from the statute-book: yet was the public mind 
quite uninformed respecting our tenets and our principles; 


the ancient notions in regard to Catholic doctrines and 
practices continued to subsist, though feelings of kindness 
began to be entertained. 

Probably this would bave been an exceedingly favorable 
moment to have taken advantage of such a disposition ; but 
to do so would require a body of clergymen well-informed, 
prudent and far more numerous .than existed in the States. 
Just prejudices, if I may use the expression, were enter- 
tained against Great Britain, so that if England had had 
priests to spare, it is doubtful how far they would have 
been acceptable. That nation, so far as regarded our 
religion, was then in a very different position from that 
which she at present occupies, though even now she can- 
not furnish a clergy sufficient for her own demands, and 
the late vicar apostolic of the London district not long 
since remarked in answer to official inquiries, that it was 
impossible to foresee the period when England would be 
likely to furnish priests for her own colonies. At the 
time of which I treat, her few clergy were ground down 
under an afflicting persecution ; she had no place in the 
kingdom for the education of her candidates, and was of 
course totally unable to do anything for America. Ireland 
was in a still worse position ; yet the loss of the American 
colonies created in Great Britain a wholesome dread of 
too far exasperating the plundered population of this ill- 
treated land. In order to try and secure their attach- 
ment, during the war with France and the contest with 
the Revolutionary colonies, the government of Ireland had 
considerably mitigated the ferocity of its persecution. The 
Irish Catholics wanted a good many priests and were very 
insufficiently supplied. As this island had no seminary 
within her borders, she was dependent upon those which 
the -Catholic nations of Europe, especially France, had 
allowed to be opened upon their soil for the education 
of her zealous youth, who, in defiance of the prohibitions 
of those in power, ventured, at the risk of their ven- 
geance, to leave their country by stealth for that purpose, 
and to return in the face of every peril to serve upon the 


mission. Little of course could be then done by Ireland 
for America. 

The language of the Catholic nations being so differ- 
ent from the English tongue, which was that of the 
United States, and the almost impossibility for a foreigner 
to acquire it, in such a way as to be a useful public 
speaker, left little inducement for zealous missionaries 
from the continent of Europe to enter upon these missions. 
There existed also other obstacles of no little moment, 
which rendered it unlikely that European priests could at 
that time be usefully invited. The political principles of 
Europe and the vague notions which existed in regard 
to the Revolution and the republicanism of the new States, 
were undefined and unsatisfactory ; the manners and the 
habits of the Europeans were different from those of the 
Americans; the contemplation of those differences, added 
to that of the immense distance at which the great 
Atlantic then seemed to place the two hemispheres, the 
infrequency of communication, and a variety of similar 
difficulties, left little prospect of success as the result of 
any application. There was another obstacle, arising from 
the poverty of the Catholics as a body and the almost 
total absence of any funds, save what could be obtained 
from their generosity. The sole exception was, some prop- 
erty which had been originally destined for the missions 
that were served in early times by the Jesuits, and a 
portion of which had by a variety of contrivances been 
preserved, and which had at this period been legally 
vested in the priests of Maryland, who had been incor- 
porated by the new government ; and which has since 
insensibly passed into the possession of the Jesuits of 
Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, upon the condi- 
tion of paying something towards the support of the 
Archiepiscopal See of Baltimore. It was from this fund 
that the clergy then derived the principal means for their 

Thus, though the Catholics were now spread in greater 
or less numbers through the States, there were no clergy- 


men save in Maryland and in Pennsylvania, and these 
were far too few for the number who sought the aid of 
their ministry. In Maryland, they were pretty well spread 
in about a dozen places, but in Pennsylvania they could 
not be found in more than two or three spots outside of 
Philadelphia. Thus, though the immigration commenced, 
the Catholic immigrants could find neither priest nor altar 
nor associates in religious worship, save in a very few spots 
of these immense regions. I have before described the 
consequences of this lamentable dearth. To this is to be 
attributed the melancholy result, that so many thousands 
of the descendants of these first settlers are now found in 
the various sects. 

Probably not ten priests arrived from Ireland with the 
many thousands of Catholics who flocked hither from that 
country, during the years, which intervened between the 
establishment of independence and the erection of the first 
see at Baltimore, 'for the whole territory of the Union, 
in 1790. And whilst the people were scattered through 
the country, the priests were kept in the principal towns. 
Nor is it to be imagined that all the clergymen who, in 
the early days of our republic, migrated from Europe, 
were actuated in their transfer of residence by the purest 
zeal, nor that they were the persons best qualified to pro- 
mote the cause of religion. Some of them, indeed, were 
men of that description and were extremely useful ; but 
others were driven across the Atlantic by disappointment 
or by censure, and though they rendered occasional ser- 
vices, unfortunately, they too often counter-balanced them 
by their scandals. 

The leading citizens of these new States were not half 
civilized savages. They were men of strong understanding,, 
many of whom had received the best education which 
the schools of Europe could bestow; they had improved 
their minds by that observation which travelling calls forth; 
they had served their country at a critical period in the 
council and -in the field ; they had associated with some 
of the best-informed men of the age, and they had read 


extensively. The influence of such men upon the society 
by which they were surrounded was powerful. Others, 
gifted with talent and ambitious of distinction, improved 
by their intercourse, labored to emulate them, and frequently 
succeeded in the eifort. He who can understand their 
language has but to read the compositions which emanated 
from their pens, and the reports of the eloquent and manly 
speeches which flowed from their lips, and he must be 
convinced that no nation of only equal numbers furnished 
at the same time a larger body of admirable men than 
did the United States at the period which immediately 
succeeded their independence. Schools and colleges arose, 
governments were framed, courts of justice were established, 
religious congregations were organized: on every side crea- 
tive efforts were made for every purpose. 

But when, in the midst of this mighty movement, the 
observer contemplates the situation of the Catholic Church, 
he sees, indeed, a bishopric erected; the see is filled by a 
man worthy of his age, of his station, and of his religion, 
as well as of his country ; but he is found to be compara- 
tively powerless, because equally destitute of a proper clergy 
and of the means for its creation. The scattered Catholics 
were destitute of pastors, their children were lost to the 
Church ; the greater number of the few who exercised the 
ministry, were unable to remove the erroneous impressions 
of such a people as were found over the States. There 
were few opportunities ; no books could be procured in 
defence of Catholic doctrines ; the principal portions of 
English literature, which necessarily became that of the 
United States, were filled with passages tending to destroy 
our religion by misrepresentation, by sophistry, by ridicule, 
and by wit ; and through the whole country there was 
not found a press nor a bookseller to counteract this evil. 
The people sought for information upon the subject, and 
every source from which they could draw it was poisoned, 
every fountain at which they drank was tainted. Need we 
wonder at the continuance of prejudice, the dislike of our 
religion, the obloquy to which our principles and practices 


were exposed, or at the false shame which drew the pusil- 
lanimous from the profession of their creed? 

We now arrive at another epoch, desolating for Europe, 
beneficial to America. The machinations of infidelity pro- 
duced their horrible effects in France. Its religion was 
proscribed, its clergy were obliged to submit to banishment, 
to death, or to apostasy; several of its pious laity, escaping 
with their lives, found asylums in foreign lands, and not 
a few traversed the Atlantic. That small portion of the 
clergy which betrayed their holy charge, remained at home, 
and under the protection of the bad men who ruled, 
were intruded into desecrated sanctuaries to officiate at 
polluted altars. Their faithful brethren were bathed in 
their blood, or lurked in hiding-places to serve the few 
who, at the peril of their lives, adhered to their religion 
and gave shelter to its ministers. But the great bulk of 
the holy band was found in exile weeping for the desola- 
tion of their country, and beseeching heaven to receive 
it once more to its mercy. The pious and learned emi- 
grant clergy of France, not only edified several countries 
by their virtue, but elsewhere they aided greatly to the 
conversion of Protestants, by their zeal, their prayers, and 
their example. America had the good fortune to obtain 
several of them, and they became a very seasonable supply 
in this moment of her destitution. They made efforts to 
learn her language, and in many instances they were as 
successful as could reasonably be expected. There is no 
language more difficult for a foreigner, and it has its 
peculiar difficulties for one whose vernacular language is 
French ; they who can speak it tolerably in public are 
but rare exceptions amidst the great number that acquire 
it so as to be able to converse with facility. America 
has ' been fortunate in possessing a few of those exceptions. 
She has had two or three excellent men in her pulpits, 
to whom even persons of taste and of information could 
listen with pleasure, and from whom they could derive 
much instruction, as well as gratification. A number of 
others were able to make themselves more or less intel- 


ligible, but I may say that, with scarcely an exception, all 
edified with their piety and preached by their example. 
It is true, that persons who could speak fluently the 
language of the people, whilst they possessed the learning 
and the piety of those men, would have been more useful, 
especially if their habits and customs had better qualified 
them for mixing with the people, for serving upon the 
country missions, and for understanding the laws, and the 
civil and political institutions of the country; but such 
men .could not then be found, and it was a peculiar bless- 
ing from heaven that this seasonable aid was obtained. 

Shortly after this period, the insurrection in San 
Domingo (now Hayti) caused great numbers of the colo- 
nists of that island to fly with such of their slaves as 
would accompany them; a few of the clergy came with 
these emigrants, and they settled principally in the Southern 
States. Thus, the French portion of the Catholics in the 
Union was exceedingly well provided with spiritual aid, 
but it was far otherwise with the Irish, whose number was 
continually increasing in the sea-ports, though they went 
by thousands from these places to the interior, where set- 
tlements had already been made ; and still farther west, 
to thin the forest and to subdue the land by cultivation ; 
but in those regions no priest was then to be found. 

Ireland had most of her continental establishments for 
clerical education destroyed by the French Revolution and 
by the wars which succeeded, and years elapsed before she 
could obtain, even under the still greater mitigation which 
her persecutors granted, houses in which her children could 
be assembled, professors to teach them, and funds for their 
support. The devotion of her prelates and of her people 
having made a commencement, the Irish government gave 
reluctantly and sparingly a miserable dole, which the 
economy of those to whose management it had been 
entrusted expended to the best account. Still, however, 
many years elapsed before she could supply her own 
churches, and she naturally considered it to be her duty 
to make provision for them, before she would send any 


clergymen to those tens of thousands of her children, who,, 
having left her shores, were to be found in so many parts 
of these western regions. 

Thus, though there was an increase of a good clergy 
by reason of the French Kevolution, it was not precisely 
of the description that was 'required in the new republic. 

Besides the difficulties arising from the diversity of 
language and customs, there were some that occasionally 
arose from difference of political predilections. They who- 
outraged religion and massacred the clergy in France, 
desecrated the name of liberty by the anarchy and des- 
potism to which they so wickedly and inappropriately gave 
that appellation ; and they moreover rendered the name of 
republicanism odious through a large portion of the world,, 
by the atrocities which they perpetrated under the semblance 
of its sanction ; and although the clergy of France who* 
had escaped to America were sufficiently aware of the 
wide distinction between the well-regulated order of Ameri- 
can republicanism and the licentious and tyrannical infidelity 
which assumed that name in France, and though several 
amongst them were gradually becoming attached to American 
institutions, still, amongst others, unpleasant recollections 
were excited by the similarity of name, and this could not 
always exist without an unpleasant influence upon a man 
who had suffered grievously in the land he loved, for 
whose ruin he wept, and the memory of which, though 
dear to his heart, was blent with that of the murder of 
his cherished companions and devoted friends. It was not, 
and it could not be, in his power always to suppress the 
exhibition of what he felt. Too often, the thoughtless or 
the envious, the enthusiastic admirer of liberty or the cool 
opponent of his religion, made a serious mistake, or took an 
unfair and an unkind advantage because of this exhibition. 
Hence, though the cause of religion in the United States 
gained greatly by this accession, yet it was not free from 
some disadvantage. And, perhaps, during the twenty years 
tjiat succeeded the erection of the See of Baltimore, though 
there was a considerable increase of congregations and of 


religious opportunities, there was a vast loss to the Church, 
because there was not a body of clergy sufficiently numer- 
ous and perfectly fitted to attend the immigrants that 
arrived from Germany and from Ireland. 

Another great source of mischief was the loss of orphan 
children, even in those places where Catholic congregations 
were formed and priests were found. These children were 
placed in public or sectarian institutions, and almost uni- 
versally lost forever to the Church. 

Another may be added, that although there was a bishop, 
yet the peculiarity of his circumstances confined him almost 
exclusively to Baltimore and its vicinity, whilst his diocese, 
which was as extensive as half of Europe, could by no 
means have the advantage of his episcopal visitation. 


Before I leave this part of my subject, I must notice 
the foundation that was laid for much subsequent mischief, 
by the cause given for serious and anti-Catholic usurpations 
of trustees of church property, and for the schisms and 
disgraceful quarrels in churches. 

I have previously, in a general manner, noticed a want 
of acquaintance with our legal principles and provisions 
respecting property amongst some of the clergy. I may 
here observe, once for all, that unfortunately these prin- 
ciples and provisions seem to have been overlooked in 
some places to this day. I do not know any system 
more favorable to the security of religious rights and of 
church, property than that of the American law. I have 
consulted eminent jurists upon the subject. I have closely 
studied it, and have acted according to its provisions in 
various circumstances, favorable and unfavorable, during 
several years, and in many of the details and as a whole, 
I prefer it to the law of almost every Catholic country 
with which I am acquainted. I think, with the exception 
of one, perhaps two States, that it is a more honest, fair 
and liberal system. Like any other, it is liable to be 


abused, and sometimes the prejudices of the individual 
will accompany him to the bench or to the jury-box ; but 
this is not the fault of the system. I shall give an 
outline of its principles. 

The government of each State is that which is to be 
considered the original sovereign. It pre-existed the 
federation, and divested itself not of this sovereignty, but 
of the exercise of some of its powers, upon entering into 
the confederacy. A new power, viz., the government of 
the United States, was subsequently created, for the pur- 
pose of exercising those sovereign attributes of whose use 
the several States had debarred themselves. They not only 
did not give to the general government any authority in 
religious concerns, but expressly stipulated that " Congress 
shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, 
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Thus, whatever 
authority a government may rightfully possess in this 
respect resides in the several State sovereignties ; and in 
fact, they all at present act upon the principle of the 
above prohibitory enactment. The State does not then 
interfere with religion, which it considers to be the concern 
of each individual in his private capacity, and it leaves 
him in perfect freedom, provided that, in the exercise of 
this freedom, he will not disturb the public peace, or 
infringe upon the rights of his fellow-citizens. The State 
also considers religion to be useful to society, and there- 
fore an object for which a number of individuals, having 
common opinions and common principles, may lawfully and 
beneficially associate. It considers that associations so 
formed ought to be protected by securing the property or 
funds which they may consecrate to this object, as well 
as /by allowing them full opportunity of practicing their 
rites and ceremonies according to. their own views of 
propriety and utility, provided they do not thereby disturb 
the good order of society. The State, however, does not 
recognize in society thus formed any individual or class 
of persons as vested with more power than another, or 
as having any right not common to every other member, 


unless such power or right be created or recognized by 
the society itself. The State recognizes in each society 
thus formed the right to make for itself a constitution 
or form of government and by-laws for the management 
of its own concerns ; and when they are regularly made, 
it recognizes their force within that body; and generally 
speaking, it is willing to grant the privilege of incorpora- 
tion to religious congregations upon the principles here 

Upon these principles, there is no difficulty for a body 
of Catholics to assemble, to form themselves into an asso- 
ciation, to recognize the power of their Pope, of their 
bishop, of their priests, and the several rights of each 
individual or body according to the doctrine and the dis- 
cipline of their Church. They can, without departing from 
that doctrine or discipline, regulate the manner in which 
the property is to be held, and how it shall be managed, 
and can establish rules to restrict and to direct its man- 
agers. In a word, they can voluntarily bind themselves by 
special acts to maintain and observe the whole doctrine and 
discipline of the Church, and can regulate that no person 
shall be admitted a member of their association without 
his undertaking this obligation, or shall continue a mem- 
ber if he violates his contract for such observance. 

,By this process of American law no person is obliged 
to belong to any religious society except he shall desire 
it himself, and he cannot obtrude himself upon any 
religious society which is not willing to receive him or 
whose constitution he violates: and the legal tribunals of 
the State must, should questions of litigation arise, govern 
their decisions by the constitution and by-laws of the society 
itself, provided these laws be not incompatible with the 
laws of the particular State or of the United States. But 
where the society makes no constitution, or does not adopt 
any special regulations, but merely -has persons chosen as 
trustees to manage its concerns, without any special restric- 
tions ; these trustees have the power to make all regula- 
tions and to change them as they may think proper, 


during tho term for which they have been chosen. Thus 
there may be trustees with limited powers in some churches, 
and in others their powers may be altogether undefined. 

The Catholics, desirous of securing their property in the 
like manner as all other religious congregations were 
doing, frequently applied to the Legislatures of the States 
to have it vested in incorporated trustees, to be elected 
by themselves, but they seldom or never made any special 
constitution or laws to regulate or to restrict the power 
thus conferred ; or if they did make any regulations, they 
were altogether loose and by no means sufficiently precise 
or technically drawn ; and thus the power of the trustees 
generally became unlimited : it extended, if they choose to 
use it, over property, priests, bishops, and every person 
and thing that belonged to the society. This, it will be 
olearly perceived, was not a fault of the law, but a neces- 
sary consequence of not so applying its provisions as to 
.suit the doctrine and discipline of our Church. And it 
must be acknowledged, that for a considerable period no 
churches in the Union had been more negligently man- 
aged in this respect than those of the Catholics ; nor is 
it, even at this day, so easy to persuade some who have 
much influence in their direction, that the property can 
be better protected by the great principles of the law, 
than by expedients. 

The evils arising from this ill-digested description of 
trusteeship caused immense detriment during the infancy 
of the American Church ; nor are they merely a part of 
the history of days that have passed away. Men in several 
instances, well-disposed in regard to religion, but by no 
means sufficiently informed of Avhat was required by the 
doctrine of the Church whose faith they held, acting as 
they imagined for its interests, began to copy the regu- 
lations and to follow the example of Protestant Churches, 
and to consider their own clergy as a species of servants 
to perform religious services in the way that they deemed 
most convenient. They next proceeded, under the pretext 
of relieving the clergy from temporal cares, to exclude 


them from any share in the deliberations on the manage- 
ment of church concerns, though they forgot their own 
assumed principles whenever it was necessary to raise 
funds or to make collections ; for on such occasions the 
clergy were expected to be drudges; and if the income 
was diminished, or money wanted to pay debts or to make 
repairs or for any other purpose, the reduction of the 
clergyman's salary was the most obvious and natural way 
to relieve themselves. This necessarily created discontent 
and estrangement ; and if the clergyman complained, he 
was said to be avaricious and worldly-minded ; if their 
right to change his wages at their own caprice was denied, 
the clergyman was said to be ambitious and despotic, and 
the trustees soon claimed they had the right, and in some 
instances attempted to dismiss the priest without even 
regarding the rights of the bishop or the doctrines of 
their Church. They have in several instances intruded 
bad men, men devoid of vocation, having no jurisdiction, 
and have frequently wasted large sums of the Church 
income in supporting schisms and in persecuting their 
lawful pastors. At this moment there are men living in 
several parts of the Union, who, in the sight of God, are 
bound to make heavy restitution to religion for the share 
which they have had in such disgraceful and mischievous 
practices. 1 Many persons who were the leaders or con- 
.spicuous members amongst the schismatics on such occa- 
sions, were persons totally bereft of faith, men born of 
Catholic parents and educated in the Catholic Church, 
but who had by the influence of bad reading, of bad 
companions, or of their own immorality lost their faith, 
and laughed at the practices of that religion which they 
Jbowever by money contributed to sustain, in order, as 
they said, that it might preserve their wives virtuous 
and their children and servants in obedience. Such men 
may be seen lounging in the vicinity of the church, or 
carelessly or curiously gazing within its precincts, half a 
dozen times in the year ; but whenever a schism was 

' These scandals seldom take place now. 


meditated or a turmoil excited, no persons were more ready 
than were these " Catholic atheists " to be in the foremost 
ground to protect their rights, to aid religion, and to- 
preserve liberty, by opposing the bishop, by humbling 
the priest, and by teaching the whole body of the clergy 
the proper mode of governing the Catholic Church! I 
give in this but a brief and an imperfect outline of what 
my own register would show during a part of my own 
administration. I will not, however, deny that in some 
instances clergymen have forgotten the boundary of their 
sphere, and endeavored to encroach upon that of the laity, 
but had a report been made, as was fitting, to the bishops, 
the remedy would have been quickly and effectually applied. 

Hence I was convinced at an early period of my 
administration, that the remedy which was most natural,, 
most safe, easiest, and most consonant to our legal position,, 
was to designate, in such an instrument as the law would 
recognize and sanction, the line that separated the rights 
of the clergy from those of the laity, according to the 
principles of our doctrine and .discipline, and to have it 
so adopted as to be legally binding and legally protective 
for both. . 

I will here remark, that although in many places the 
clergy appear to have done very little, if anything, to 
provide legal security for their rights, some of their cun- 
ning would-be-masters have been so exceedingly ingenious as 
to procure a legal provision for the perpetual exclusion of 
priests or bishops from any share in the administration 
of church goods or property. I have seen some very 
curious specimens of this in the legislation of Louisiana,, 
where to the casual observer the provisions would appear 
to })e merely the suggestion of ordinary prudence for the 
respectable and useful administration of church affairs.. 
Yet it is in reality the studied deceitful cover which has 
been flung over mean and tyrannical usurpation, and is 
perfectly in keeping with that spirit which in so many 
other regions has, under the pretext of giving honor and 
protection to the Church, subjected it to the worst despot- 
ism of the State. 


The ill-regulated system to which I have thus adverted, 
has proved to be a source of great disaster, of many 
scandals, and of several schisms in the United States, and 
has estranged great numbers from the Church, by disgust- 
ing respectable and peaceable members, by driving some 
of the schismatics into heresy, and by fomenting, not 
only a spirit of disorder, of anarchy, and of contempt 
for discipline, but also an estrangement from religious prac- 
tices, an absence from the sacraments, and a destruction 
of the spirit of piety, in comparison to which the gross 
mismanagement of funds and other temporal losses are a 
mere insignificant trifle. Yet even in this respect the 
detriment has been very serious, and the respectability 
which a congregation loses by an exhibition of this 
description is not to be regained by several years of 
subsequent good conduct. 

At the first Provincial Council of Baltimore, in 1829, 
the present chief justice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, 1 then attorney-general of Maryland, together 
with two other respectable Catholic lawyers, having been 
consulted upon the subject of so securing church property 
as to insure- also the observance of our peculiar discipline, 
gave their advice. There was, however, a disinclination 
on the part of nearly all the prelates then assembled, to 
adopt its principles as a regulation. But, though at 
present a considerable diversity of practice prevails in the 
several dioceses of the Union, there is much greater 
harmony upon this subject between the clergy and the 
laity. There is very little agitation of the subject, the 
former disputes have been amicably settled, and there does 
not appear to be any great probability of new differences 
arising. Mutual confidence, a disposition to reciprocal 
respect and recognition, a more creditable zeal for the 
order and discipline of the Church on the part of the 
laity, are the symptoms that give assurance of better 
times. In most places, the experience of the good that 
has been produced by this line of conduct, not only in 
the prosperity of the Church, the benefit to religion, the 

1 Tancy. 


charity and affection of individuals, but also in the 
respectability which it brings to the Church and to its 
members, as well as the spirit of piety which exists, would 
be sufficient to outweigh all the efforts which could be 
made to reproduce such disgraceful contests as those that 
for years had distracted some of our churches and tended 
to destroy our religion. 

I have been exceedingly tedious in the details that I 
have given: but I felt it better to write the history of 
the Church, that outsiders may be able to draw their own 
conclusions, rather than to advance my opinions, without 
laying before the public the ground upon which I found 
them. . It now remains for me to take as rapid a view 
as I can of the period which has elapsed since the 
erection of the metropolitan See of Baltimore and the first 
suffragan Sees of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and 

In 1808, the number of Catholics had considerably 
increased, especially in the large towns on the Atlantic 
shore and in the regions west of Virginia and Pennsyl- 
vania. The Holy See considered that it would be advisa- 
ble to accede to the request of Bishop Carroll and of 
his coadjutor Bishop Neale, to erect new sees in Boston. 
New York, Philadelphia, and in Bardstown, in the State 
of Kentucky. In the next year, Baltimore was created a 
metropolitan see, and Doctor Carroll dignified with the 
title of archbishop. Two French priests, who had labored 
with zeal, assiduity, privations, and success upon those 
missions, were appointed to Boston and Bardstown. The 
names of Cheverus and of Flagct are sufficient to exhibit 
the wisdom of that selection ; nor were they the only 
priqsts of that description then to be found upon those 
missions. Doctor Matignon, of Boston, was one of the same 
class, and whose humility and love for Doctor Cheverus 
procured that the latter should take the place for which 
he had himself been designated. Two Irish priests were 
nominated for New York and Philadelphia: Doctor Con- 
cannon, who, though the first Bishop of New York, never 


oeheld his see ; he was consecrated in Rome, and died in 
Naples, on his way to America; Doctor Egan, the first 
Bishop of Philadelphia, the few years of whose adminis- 
tration were years of difficulty. Doctor Connelly succeeded 
to New York; and therefore, upon his arrival, may he 
considered the first that entered upon its administration. 
Everybody admired his virtue, his humility, and his exer- 
tions in discharging the duties of the confessional and 
attending the sick ; but he was not generally considered 
to be a prelate acquainted with missions and fitted to 
form a new and extensive diocese. One or two of his 
priests, however, were efficient and active, and much is 
due to the zeal and prudence of one of them who governed 
the diocese in times of difficulties, between his death and 
the nomination of his successor. Philadelphia got into 
great disorder, from whose consequences it was not easy 
to relieve it. The South demanded organization. New 
Orleans was committed to Doctor Dubourg, a man of the 
most extensive views; but he was without priests or means, 
and encountered many difficulties; he retired to St. Louis, 
and laid the foundation of that see, where numbers of 
Catholics, principally Irish, Germans, and Canadians, had 
begun, to congregate. Charleston and Richmond were 
created about five years after the death of Archbishop 
Carroll, who may justly be styled the father of the strug- 
gling Church. It is not the intention of the writer of 
this to pass judgment upon others ; but he thinks that, 
amongst various mistakes, the opposition to the separate 
administration of this latter diocese, by causing its bishop 1 
to return to Ireland as soon as he could obtain permis- 
sion from the Holy See, has been by no means favorable 
to the maintenance of religion in the State of Virginia. 
This mistake is about to be remedied, but the past cannot 
be recalled. 

Still the immigration increased with a wonderful rapidity. 
The Sees of Cincinnati and of St. Louis were next created ; 
Florida was ceded to the United States, but years elapsed, 
churches were vacant, property was lost, and usurpations 

' Bishop Kelley. 


took place before the See of Mobile was created, and it 
was then only a bishop who was established without a 
clergy. It is but a short time since Detroit has been 
erected into a see, and Vincennes has a daily increasing 
population of Irish and German Catholics pouring in upon 
its fertile vicinity. Railroads are now added to the canals 
that previously existed; the intercourse with Europe and 
the facilities of passage have wonderfully increased. The 
population, which fifty years ago was three millions, is 
this day 1 nearly seventeen, almost a sixfold increase. The 
Catholic settlers have been spread in thousands of places, 
not one-third of which, can be attended to by the clergy 
of the country, and the consequences are too plain to be 
called into doubt. There is no question with regard to 
the increase of Catholics, the erection of churches, the 
organization of establishments, but the question is, has 
there not been a real and serious loss, by reason of the 
want of a clergy, and by reason of the great delays in 
doing even what has been already done? I fear that this 
loss is not only real but exceedingly great. 

The principal causes of these evils I consider to be: 
1. The pouring in of vast numbers of Catholic immigrants 
upon a country, where nothing had been previously done 
to enable them to practice the duties of their religion, 
but where every obstacle existed to render its profession 
and its practice exceedingly inconvenient, especially to 
strangers. 2. The want of opportunity for the education 
of the children of Catholics in the religion of their parents. 
3. The exposure of the numerous orphans of immigrant 
Catholics, whose death or misfortunes or criminality left 
those unfortunate children to be educated in public insti- 
tutions uncongenial to the religion of their parents. 4. 
The want of a clergy sufficiently numerous to meet the 
demands upon their ministry, sufficiently well-informed 
to be able to act with judgment, and in many instances 
badly acquainted with the language, often incapable of 
giving public instruction, and not sufficiently aware of 
the nature of the government, the law, or the genius of 

1 1838. Perhaps 60,000,000 would not bo an over estimate now. 


the country. 5. The invasion of this mission by many 
priests, who in Europe were found to be incorrigibly bad, 
or unable to act except under the guidance of others. 

6. Injudicious appointments to places of administration. 

7. The want of mutual confidence and co-operation, arising 
from throwing together people of several nations well- 
disposed and zealous, yet having too many points of peculiar 
habits and divided interests to allow of their efficiently 
acting in a body. 8. The vigilance, activity, wealth, and 
co-operation of the various Protestant societies, which, 
though divided in religious belief, still are united in every 
effort to weaken or oppose tjie Catholics. 

I have also, after long examination, laid before the 
Holy Father what I considered to be the indication of a 
simple and practicable remedy for some of those evils, not 
only in the United States, but over a far wider range of 
missions which suffer most severely, in many instances, 
from similar causes. In doing so, I consider that I have 
done all that is required of me. I have honestly expressed 
my view of what I was bound to examine. I shall feel 
well pleased if a better remedy can be devised than that 
which I have suggested ; and if my opinions shall be 
considered unfounded, or my views incorrect, or my propo- 
sitions impracticable, I shall at least feel that I have done 
all that my situation required or permitted me to do; 
and shall endeavor within my own sphere to discharge 
my duty in the best way I can, satisfied that they who 
differ from me in opinion are actuated by the best motives, 
and are at least equally gifted as I can pretend to be 
with the faculties of observation and reflection, and that 
in due time proper remedies will be applied to evils 
which all acknowledge to be in existence and more or 
less powerful operation. It now remains for me to express 
my opinion of what the Propagation Society has done. 

I consider its existence to be one of the greatest benefits 
conferred upon religion in the United States, and its con- 
tinued exertions at this moment to be not only highly 
useful but indispensably necessary; for the active opposi- 


tion of the enemies of our faith has been excited and 
strengthened, since they have observed that we have been 
aided by our friends in Europe, and they have by their 
supporters been strenuously sustained in their efforts. 
Should we then be abandoned at such a moment, our 
power to resist them would be greatly diminished, and it 
would be questionable whether the Propagation Society's 
former generosity would not prove in its results more 
injurious to religion than it has been beneficial. How- 
ever, I have no fears upon this head ; the principles by 
which it is guided and the motives by which it is urged 
to action are my assurance. It is instigated by the love 
of God, by the love of its neighbor, by the zeal of religion, 
by the affection of charity. It is guided by those maxims 
of prudence which withhold it from interfering in what is 
not its province, whilst they make it active in its proper 
sphere. It has procured means for those who were destitute 
and entrusted their application to the authority which, by 
the discipline of the Church, had the right and power of 
superintendence. If any mistakes have been committed in 
the disbursement, the fault is not the society's ; but it 
has full merit of the bounty that emanated from its 
generous charity. It has built churches, it has erected 
seminaries, it has sustained missions, it has created con- 
vents, it has established schools; it has saved orphans 
from temporal misery and from eternal ruin; it has caused 
those who were blind to see the error in which they were; 
it has roused from their lethargy those whose ears had 
been long closed, to hear the testimony of truth, the 
terrors of judgment, and the invitations of virtue. It has 
made those who before were not able to move in the 
service of their God, now to run in the way of His 
Commandments. It has caused the Gospel to be preached 
to the poor, the neglected, and the forlorn ; in many a 
spot it has made what had been a desert to bloom with 
the verdure of religion, to swell with the buds of virtue, 
to blossom with the flowers of good works, to spread 
abroad the fragrance of pious example, and to bring forth 


fruits worthy of redemption. Thousands who sat in dart- 
ness and the shadow of death lift their hands to bless 
it, for the light and the warmth which they now enjoy 
from the splendor of the Orient which has beamed upon 
them. It has already done much to alleviate the misery 
and to check the devastation which have long desolated 
the western hemisphere. Even now a mighty change has 
been effected, and it was amongst the first to procure 
and furnish the means that contributed to its production. 
Let it go on, then, with increased zeal and redoubled 
activity, and be assured that the good men in whom it 
confides will, under the guidance of heaven, discover and 
adopt the best mode of applying its benefactions to the 
greatest advantage. 


I FEEL no small share of regret at finding myseli 
obliged to write what you have very thoughtlessly made 
necessary. I have just read your oration as it appeared 
in the Southern Recorder of the 15th of August. It is 
not because of the want of taste which you exhibited in 
your poetical selections; in the first of which you place 
before us the death of a tyrant preparatory to your dis- 
course upon the death of Jefferson, and in the second 
you tell us that another such has fallen, because Adams 
is no more. Neither do I complain because in your effu- 
sion you do not manifest as much capacity for treating 
your subject as might be expected from much more hum- 
ble aspirants to the fame of oratory. I shall not quarrel 
with you for the charge which you make upon General 
Washington and John Adams, or one of them, of having, 
during his Presidency, weakened and destroyed the Con- 
stitution ; though the one is embalmed in the recollections 
of the wise and the good, and the other was the object 
of your panegyric. But my charge against you is that 
you have made a very wanton attack upon a large number 
ot your fellow-citizens. 

You have said that in the Declaration of Independence 
Mr. Jefferson embodied what was valuable of Magna 
Charta, the Bill of Rights, and Act of Settlement. A 
subsequent passage of yours, and of which I regret to 
know you are the author, is the following: 

" The political constitutions of Europe, the offspring of 
feudalism and essentially despotic, were still more corrupted 
by a union with the constitution of the Roman Church. 
Priests came in aid of kings and nobles to multiply and 

' A letter to Governor Tmup, of Georgia, which appeared first in the Catholic 
Miscellany, September 9 and 16, 1880. 



perpetuate abuses, and the divine right and infallibility 
of royalty were preached by the successors of St. Peter, to 
make a mystery of government, and by impressing the 
hopelessness of reform but through divine grace, to per- 
petuate the dominion of the few and the vassalage of the 
many when, therefore, it was said that government was 
no mystery, that rational beings are capable of self-gov- 
ernment, that all men are equal, grid that governors are 
but the servants of the people, created by and responsible 
to the people, the promulgators of these obvious truths 
were decried as wild enthusiasts and visionary theorists, 
whose doctrines might amuse the multitude, but could never 
bo reduced to practice." 

Under any circumstances, such a declaration coming 
from the mouth of the Governor of one of the old thirteen 
States, must be galling to the Roman Catholics of America ; 
but if the statement which you made be untrue, and if 
you have in this instance calumniated institutions, with 
whose nature and whose history you appear to have little 
or no acquaintance ; the insulted Catholics will not be com- 
pensated for the injury which you have done tbem, even 
should they discover that you are an honorable man, who 
feels contrition for his offence ; they may pardon you, but 
still they suffer. 

Magna Charta was but a partial assertion of the rights 
of Englishmen against the feudal tyranny of their con- 
querors. Feudalism was introduced into England after the 
unfortunate overthrow at Hastings by William the Con- 
queror. Previous to this, the English had a free govern- 
ment, they had written charters, fixed laws, and well-defined 
principles : they also had in its full vigor the Roman 
Oatholic religion; and the best guarantee and bulwark of 
their liberties was voluntarily given to them from con- 
scientious convictions, and through the advice of bishops 
and priests, by a king whom the Roman Catholics 
generally revere as a saint. The laws of Edward the 
Confessor are at once the result of Catholic regal justice 
and the best protection of British liberty. They are the 


collected excellence of the laws of a series of Catholic 
kings. Those of Kent were promulgated first by Ethelbert 
in 602; and their enactment by which the fixed system 
of law was substituted for the monarch's or the witten's 
caprice was one of the first results of this king's conver- 
sion by priests sent from the Roman Church by the 
successor of St. Peter. So early did they commence their 
labor to make government not mystery but law. His. 
successor, Withred, in 696, continued their improvement ^ 
three years before, Ina had done the same for Wessex ; 
and in 790, the Mercians received their laws from Offa. 
Alfred, who was not only a most religious and pious 
Roman Catholic, but a student in Ireland, and a learner 
at Rome, and a disciple of the Pope in the art of gov- 
ernment, embodied the great principles of justice and 
of right which he found in those several codes, and in 
the laudable customs of his nation ; and gave to all 
England her first national code of law, and is justly styled 
the father of British liberty. He also gave a special code 
to Guthrum the Dane, who became a Roman Catholic ancT 
made an alliance with him in 870 or 871, and by which 
this convert was to govern the Danish Catholics who- 
were permitted to remain in East Angle. Athclstan, 
Sdmund, Edgar, and Ethelred improved those laws ; and 
from a conviction of its being his duty to secure for the 
people over whom he was called by their own free choice 
to reign, as much liberty and protection as he could r 
Edward the Confessor compiled his code of laws. During 
this whole period, there was no feudal principle in Eng- 
land; they had free customs and fixed laws and allodial 

Feudalism was established in several places upon the 
continent of Europe. I agree with you in stating that 
it was essentially despotic ; but your excellency must have 
forgotten your historical researches when you made your 
next assertion, "that those feudal constitutions were still 
more corrupted by a union with the constitution of the 
Roman Church." Had your excellency condescended to 


write without ambiguity, I should have had less trouble 
in iny answer. Gentlemen like you, perhaps, do not care 
to learn even obvious distinctions, where Popery is con- 
cerned : but the knowledge of the economy of even a nest 
of ants would be no degradation. There is as obvious a 
distinction between the constitution of the Roman Church 
and that of the Roman Catholic Church, as there is 
between the constitution of the city of Washington and 
the Constitution of the United States ; but, perhaps, you 
never took the trouble of examining either the one or 
the other. Believe me, your excellency would write and 
speak better upon any subject by being acquainted with its 
nature. If in your oration you meant what you said, the 
"Roman Church/' you made just as intelligible an assertion 
AS if you had gravely told your auditors, that the consti- 
tution of our colleges, essentially literary, became much 
better by a union with the constitution of the city of 
Washington. But if you meant the "Roman Catholic 
Ohurch," when you said " Roman Church," as I assume 
you did, you contradicted all history. 

If you do not know, you, and every man in such a 
station as you fill, ought to know more of the history of 
the European governments than you exhibit; you ought 
to know, that feudalism, at its first establishment in 
Southern Europe, was not only despotic but ferocious, and 
that its spirit was softened by the Roman Catholic Church, 
and its usurpations were resisted and checked by that 
same Church. I shall now glance at a few facts to which 
you have directed my attention, and confining myself to 
them, exhibit to you enough to make you feel that you 
have acted unwisely in venturing to. attack a Church of 
whose principles you know so little. 

We have seen that England had not the feudal prin- 
ciples in her constitution at the time of King Edward 
the Confessor, who died on the 5th of January, 1066. 
The Norman William soon found his sword had hewn a 
passage to the British throne. He preferred the Norman 
to the British principles ; and first established the feudal 


tenure in the island; though in 1070 he confirmed the 
laws of Edward, yet through his whole reign his first 
object was to make the English nation submit to miti- 
gated feudalism. The Church had before this conquest 
held her possessions either by the allodial title or that of 
free-arms, but the great object of the Conqueror was to have 
the title to these lands, and all other rights to any 
temporalities which she held, dependent upon and derived 
from the king, upon the feudal principle. In some 
instances he and his successors were able, by the dint of 
oppression, to force the clergy to a surrender of their 
ancient rights and acceptance of a new feudal title, for 
the whole or for a part, from his majesty. The old 
Saxons who did not accept of such titles when offered, 
were dispossessed, and Normans very gladly became feudal 
possessors in their stead. The laws of the Confessor and 
the ancient rights gradually fell into disuse or were 
superseded. Thus, during the reigns of the first two 
Williams, the two Henrys, Stephen, Eichard, and John, 
there existed an almost ceaseless war between those mon- 
archs and the Church, in consequence of the resistance of 
the prelates to the kingly usurpations. The barons were 
generally awed or interested, and the people were enslaved. 
The clergy alone made resistance in a body, though fre- 
quently, for peace' sake, some of that order, as they did 
at Clarendon to the second Henry, parted with much of 
their rights and of the property of which they were but 
trustees ; some, as Becket, lost their lives ; and, as Langton, 
were driven into exile. This is not the picturg of the 
constitution of the Church uniting with that of feudalism 
to make a despot more corruptly powerful. Will your 
excellency vouchsafe to accompany me to Runnymede ? 
Who produced the old copy of Edward's laws, and taught 
the barons and the freemen their rights? Who brought 
them to the altar to swear that they would hold together 
and persevere in seeking the restitution of their rights? 
Who stood forward to claim from John that restitution? 
Whose steady demand awed the crouching tyrant more 


than the gleaming of the armor which glittered on that 
field? It was Langton, the Roman Catholic Archbishop 
of Canterbury. Thus, whatever of good is to be found in 
Magna Charta is due to the very people whom Governor 
Troup has wantonly insulted. 

Feudalism was restrained in England by the Roman 
Catholic Church; and, but that neither my leisure permits 
me, nor does the subject require it, I would show you the 
same result upon the continent of Europe. We shall stay 
in England, because you have chosen it for your ground. 
With the exception of the third Edward, there was 
scarcely a monarch who did not endeavor to make his 
feudal prerogative prevail over popular right ; and in all 
those cases with scarcely an exception the king experienced 
the opposition of the Church ; until in the ferocity of his 
rage and lust, the eighth Henry laid that Church prostrate 
at his feet, because it would not sacrifice eternal truth to 
his beastly passions. This, may it please your excellency, 
was the commencement of the religious Reformation of 
England. Now indeed for the first time the principle of 
feudalism gave to the British monarch everything he 
sought; he was now lord paramount in Church and State. 
Need I inform Governor Troup what immediate conse- 
quences flowed from this usurpation? The parliament 
became a mere mockery ; the royal proclamation had the 
force of law; any freeman who sought to obtain the benefit 
of the Great Charter was transmitted to a dungeon ; no 
charter was a title ; did any bishop dare to raise his voice 
to vindicate his right, he was sent to the scaffold ; an 
honest chancellor's fate was to be similar. Under Edward 
the Sixth, the bishop's commission might be superseded. 
Thus, the genuine principle of perfect feudalism was esta- 
blished in England, only upon the destruction of the 
constitution of the Roman Catholic Church : and a more 
obedient set of gentlemen to the powers that be, has never 
been exhibited to the world, than in the substitutes for 
those turbulent prelates who contended for their ancient 
rights and chartered property. Every semblance of liberty, 


save the shadow of a parliament, was now lost. When 
the bill of rights was introduced and passed, it was but 
an attempt to restore long-lost liberties which had been 
tyrannically trampled upon, contrary to the laws, usages, 
and principles of the ancient, Catholic, English people. 
Those enumerated and enacted in the act of settlement 
are no more. The Koman Catholic Church has no principle 
in her constitution, no tenet in her doctrines, no custom 
in her discipline which teaches or implies that a king 
reigns by divine right. When kings state that they rule 
by the grace of God, they mean by His favor or kindness, 
as the word implies. You need not go to religion for its 
meaning, and certainly not to the Koman Catholic religion 
to explain that it is by a supernatural gift or favor of 
God that George IV now persecutes Roman Catholics. As 
I suppose you are a classical scholar, you must know that 
the words, " Gratia Dei," are a generic expression, which, 
according to the context are to be translated, the kind- 
ness of God regarding a temporal or a spiritual benefit. 
The Roman Catholic Church never classed the possession 
of a crown and sceptre amongst her sacraments. If your 
excellency means to speak or to write upon those subjects 
again, it would be well if you took the pains to study 
them ; because I believe the Almighty never promised to 
give historical, or classical, or legal information to kings 
or to governors by mere inspiration. Thus, if Mr. Jeffer- 
son drew up, with consummate felicity, an excellent 
declaration, "embodying what is valuable in Magna Charta, 
the bill . of rights, and act of settlement," it is no dis- 
paragement to his genius to assert, that the two latter 
only "invigorated and restored" what had been previously 
given in Magna Charta; but the force of that charter was 
impaired by feudalism, to which the Roman Catholic Church 
gave opposition, and which feudalism, by the destruction 
of that Church, got full vigor to destroy the charter ; and 
that this charter was obtained and established by the 
Roman Catholics in opposition to a feudal tyrant, and was 
but the imperfect restitution of what Roman Catholics had 


created and enjoyed by the aid of their Church, before a 
feudal conqueror robbed them of their rights; and that 
the English Eoman Catholic clergy endured their greatest 
hardships, because of their opposition to feudal tyrants. 

Your excellency having, in defiance of all records, stated 
in reference to England, that Roman Catholic priests came 
in to aid kings and nobles in perpetuating and multi- 
plying as well as establishing the abuses of feudalism, I 
come to examine your other assertions. 

"The divine right and infallibility of royalty were 
preached by the successors of St. Peter, to make a mystery 
of government, and by impressing the hopelessness of 
reform but through divine grace, to perpetuate the dominion 
of the few and the vassalage of the many." 

Your sentence is wretchedly constructed; but still we 
can discover your meaning. Will you please to inform 
us what successor of St. Peter preached the divine right 
of kings? Have not the Popes been generally accused of 
asserting that kings held their crowns from the Holy See, 
and not from God; by papal, not by divine right? What 
successor of Peter ever preached or taught the infallibility 
of kings? Have they not been generally accused of acting 
towards kings not only as if their majesties were fallible, 
but criminal? Have they not been at war with kings? 
Have they not deposed kings? What page of history, 
what record, what fact has exhibited to your excellency 
that they preached that government was a mystery? I 
have sometimes heard of the Popes stating that a king 
reigned by divine right; but I have never heard or read 
that any Pope preached such a doctrine, until I read it 
in your oration ; but for you was reserved the high dis- 
tinction of being, I believe, the first public authority to 
charge the Pope with preaching that kings are infallible. 
There are some persons, may it please your excellency, 
who hold as an opinion, that some of our State Governors 
imagine themselves to be infallible; perhaps there were 
in former times kings who really had as high notions of 
their own good sense and were as tenacious of their own 



opinions as any of our Governors ; the obstinacy of such 
kings might also have caused considerable loss of territory 
to their States. Believing such men as these, the Pope, 
who may also err in his views of human nature or mistake 
the dispositions of individuals, as I find I have done as- 
regards you ; he might have either taken their assertion 
of their own infallibility as evidence of the fact, or he 
might have inferred their opinion of themselves from their 
conduct; nor is it to be presumed that a man who con- 
tinues to act as if he was assured of his infallibility, 
does imagine himself liable to error. Be that as it may, 
your assertion of the Pope teaching that kings Avere 
infallible, is to me a totally new piece of information. I 
am so anxious to add to my stock of knowledge, that 
you will confer a great favor on me by informing me 
which of the Popes taught this doctrine ; and I promise 
to publish it as soon as you transmit the information. 
However, your excellency has placed the Pope in a very 
awkward position ; for whilst you made him preacli that 
the king was infallible, you made him hold out a hope 
to the people who were injured by the infallible king,, 
that they would be redressed by the same king when the 
grace of God should have led him to repair the evils- 
produced by his infallibility. Really, it requires more 
penetration than I can lay claim to, to reconcile that and 
this. These Popes have always been a very inconsistent 
race of beings ! 

As I am no advocate for the divine right of kings,, 
believing also that they have no claim to infallibility, I 
promise you for the name of every Pope whom you shall 
specify as having preached in support of the divine right 
of kings, I will give to you, for him, the names of two 
Protestant bishops who have preached the same doctrine ; 
but, we must have it a good close bargain; you must 
not only give the name of the Pope, but the passages of 
the sermon, and I will not only give the names of the 
bishops, but the passages of their sermons. It will be 
as well to inform you that unless you produce extracts 


from the sermons of seven Popes, I shall be victorious. 
I doubt that you can produce a single passage. Yet 
there were some Popes who held the doctrine, but not in 
the way that you appear to insinuate; like the "Gratia 
Dei," the "jure divirio" has a meaning which a little more 
examination into the law of nations, the feudal system, 
and Christian morality would exhibit, and which even 
natural religion, or the "jus divinum naturale," would estab- 
lish for yourself as long as the constitution of Georgia 
permits it, and no longer. But, I consent that we shall 
not construe the passages of sermons on either side upon 
this sound principle ; those which I have will not admit 
such construction ; it is for you to say what construction 
your passages will require. 

Now, your excellency must admit that in revolting 
against King George III, Mr. Jefferson and his associates 
were aided by a Catholic king, the eldest son of the 
Roman Catholic Church: and the revolt was against a 
Protestant king who persecuted Roman Catholics for not 
swearing that they would desert and reject the Pope. Yet, 
with admirable facility, with a tact peculiar to yourself, 
you give as the prelude to your insult upon the Roman 
Catholics and your assertions regarding the Pope, a 
declaration that the most inveterate of the enemies of 
.Rome was the superstitious Protestant despot. 

"Mr. Jefferson had already done enough for his country 
and for his own fame he had marched with his comrades 
in the vanguard of freedom, had palsied the arm of despot- 
ism, broken the chains of superstition, declared the inde- 
pendence of his country, and promulgated the natural, 
imprescriptible, and inalienable rights of man." 

In doing all which he was aided by Roman Catholics ! 
A Roman Catholic signature to his declaration pledged 
not only life and sacred honor, but a million of money; 
General Washington testified that no blood was more 
freely shed in defence of Mr. Jefferson's principles, than 
that of Roman Catholics ; the king of a Catholic nation, 
the king of all others most attached to Rome, sent his 


fleets and armies to be the copartners in palsying the 
despot's arm and breaking the chains of superstition. 
What superstition? Certainly not Eoman Catholic; because 
there was no Catholic superstition to enchain any person 
whom Mr. Jefferson had freed. What then does it mean? 
Protestant superstition ! Be it so, if you will. It is not 
my province to contend with you that it was not. But 
if % so, I ask you, why you attack the Pope and the Eornan 
Catholic Church in the next paragraph? Come, honestly 
declare that you used the words as many of our fellow- 
citizens use them every day, merely for their sound, and 
without considering whether they had reason or not. Why 
would you then carelessly insult a large portion of your 
fellow-citizens? I have done, 


"And 1 proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might 
afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of Him a right 
way for us, and for our children, and for all our substance." 1 Esdras, 
c. viii, v. 21. 

THIS declaration exhibits the acts of him who was 
commissioned to aid in rebuilding the temple of the Lord 
in his country and for his people. They had been scourged 
by the hand of God on account of their transgressions, 
and now assembled together and were seen entering into 
themselves to repent of their sins determined to remember 
and apply that principle of religion which their fathers 
had forgotten and which they had neglected, but the 
observance of which they now found must necessarily be 
the true and only basis of their prosperity. They had 
had many occasions to see the truth of that declaration ; 
if the Lord build not the house, in vain doth man 
endeavor to raise it. The history of preceding generations 
had exhibited to them the wonderful works of God 
towards their own and other nations. They had seen that 
the race was not always to the swift nor the victory 
always to him who, from his superior strength, was led 
to expect it. They looked back through the lapse of 
years, and beheld their fathers released from their bond- 
age in Egypt, the horses and chariots of their oppressor 
overthrown, and his armies swallowed up in the Red Sea, 
as they pursued his late captives. In the pride of his 
heart he had said: "They shall again be mine; with 
chains will I bind them and they shall serve me they 
and their children." But he counted that it was an arm 
of flesh that he opposed, but he soon realized that he 
had to struggle against the God of heaven. When he 

1 Preached at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, May 14, 1841, the day of 
general fast throughout the United States. 


beheld his chariots and his horsemen huried in the waves 
of the sea, he knew it was the Lord who had done this 
thing. So when Israel contended against Amalek, the 
victory was achieved by him who had been raised up by 
the hand of the Lord. And Ezra, looking back and behold- 
ing these things, and feeling a great desire to build up 
the prosperity of Judah, knew that it must be done 
through the blessing of heaven and not by the cunning 
devices of man; therefore in his affliction, he commanded 
the people to afflict themselves and observe a day of 
fasting before the Lord. And we, my brethren, called 
together in so solemn a manner, after a dispensation 
which is new to us, should prostrate ourselves before God, 
and beseech of Him His blessing, that He will secure to 
us the fruit of so many a wise council and so many a 
well-fought field and that we may, serving the Lord with 
our whole hearts, have our days serene upon the earth, 
and through the merits of our Saviour, enter at last into 
regions better than these. 

After a contest peculiarly marked by vigorous conten- 
tion, we beheld it settled in the one constitutional way. 
We, beheld the man who was the choice of a majority 
of the States and the people, raised to a station so high 
that the monarchs of the old world might envy it. We 
saw him take the solemn oath prescribed for his office, 
and about to enter upon the more active discharge of his 
duties. And we then beheld him in a moment stricken 
down, as it were, by an arrow from the grave ! We have 
seen the calculations and the hopes of those who had for 
years deliberated and toiled, baffled and overthrown at the 
very moment when they seemed to be fully realized the 
cup that was already lifted to the lip dashed from the 
hand and twenty-six independent though connected repub- 
lics astounded by an event as unexpected as it was unfore- 
seen. We see every child of the republic weeping for the 
death of a common father, forgetting their dissensions, their 
divided interests, their clashing opinions, and compelled to 
feel how impotent are the exertions of man unless they 


be ratified by God. They and we are approaching to-day 
our holy altars, to the end that we may so repent of our 
sins, that we may have peace and prosperity bestowed upon 
us by heaven. We pray to God that He may protect 
and bless us, and so prosper our endeavors, that our 
country may be enabled to take and maintain her high 
place among the nations of the earth so that peace may 
be our crown here, and happiness our reward hereafter. 

There is one peculiarity which forcibly strikes us in 
the midst of this scene, and which may not inappropriately 
be noticed ^here. Our minds are drawn to the contempla- 
tion of the wisdom which pervaded the councils of those 
who framed tha Constitution under which we live. They 
foresaw to what contingencies we might be liable, and 
provided wisely and efficaciously for the wants which 
might arise. In past times, such an event as has now 
befallen us would have carried desolation and ruin into 
any republic ; the nation, without a head, would have been 
shaken to its centre, dissolved into its original elements and 
from the highest glory cast down into utter disgrace. 
But behold, by the peaceful and legal operations of the 
provisions of our Constitution, all this is avoided. One 
is raised up to supply the place of him who is gone, 
and everything moves on as before. No change takes 
place. Our relations abroad, our councils at home, are 
unaltered and undisturbed. Everything is preserved in 
that perfect order which has been secured to us by the 
wisdom of those men of former times who framed our 
government. A source this is of great gratulation to our- 
selves, that by the blessing of God even in the inidst 
of party interests and political contests by an exact 
observance of those principles we all have sworn to main- 
tain, through a scene like this we can go on without 
feeling those convulsions which would have uprooted 
another people. 

But we should not rest on this. We should teach 
ourselves to look forward and see in what manner we 
may secure the continuance of these blessings to our 
children and our children's children. 


There is one principle of our political condition, which 
is laid down by all parties and acknowledged on all 
hands. It is that the basis on which our institutions 
rest is the popular will. The monarch may wield his 
sceptre and keep his people in subjection, even though 
corruption reign in his court; and by that very corruption,, 
it may be, he can most effectually preserve his authority. 
But not so with republicanism. Its energy lost its 
power at an end all the happiness which that species of 
government brings to the people gone it becomes the 
vision of an idle dream, if the people be corrupt. The 
power of the rulers is the gift of the people the choice 
of the rulers is the duty of the people and if, in making 
that choice the people look to their own individual and 
personal interests more than to the fitness of him who is 
chosen, if a spirit of mere partisanship obtain, a com- 
promise be made for private purposes, between him who 
chooses and him who is 'chosen then, indeed, republicanism- 
is near its end. It cannot subsist where there is no virtue,, 
ibr that which led to an aberration from principle in the 
first place, will lead to a continuance of that aberration. 
And thus the regarding the private good of each and 
not the public good of all, on the part of the citizens,, 
is the principle which will destroy the institutions of 

Our principle is this : That the man should be chosen 
for ruler, Avho is best qualified to fill the station, witli 
respect to the good of the whole nation. It is necessary 
therefore, that the people should be of a generous dispo- 
sition ; that they should be moved to prefer the public 
good to individual gain, (and this, in . the end, will best 
protect the individual); that they should entertain a spirit 
of altruism and not of selfishness. But how is this spirit 
to be preserved ? Only by each one cultivating it for 
himself. We have heard of patriotism we have indeed 
seen instances of patriotism but, as regards the world in 
general, the word is merely an empty sound. Where then 
is this spirit to be found? I answer, in religion. If a 


man feels an interest not only in this passing hour, but 
feels likewise that he is to be placed before the bar of 
a Judge who sees into the inmost recess of his heart, 

O * 

and who will render unto him, not according to his deeds 
only, but according to his thoughts also then will he feel 
his responsibility to God for the faithful discharge of his 
whole duty to man. Religion teaches man to love his 
neighbor as himself, and, consequently, to uphold those 
institutions which confer the most happiness on the whole 
to transmit to others blessings which have been secured 
to him. And if it teaches him this, then indeed by 
religion we can bind a man stronger than by any bond 
this world exhibits ; since his fate for eternity is bound 
up with his due discharge of his duty as a citizen. 

This, then, is the great conservative principle of repub- 
licanism. And if we look to the history of the chosen 
people of God in ancient times, we shall find that their 
religion was the sole foundation of their greatness. So long 
as they observed the Commandments of God, they found 
peace, prosperity and happiness. The moment they swerved 
from their duty, their enemies were let in upon them ; 
and instead of being the glory of the Lord of hosts, they 
became a byword and a jest to the nations. Though they 
had the outward semblance of a people, it was a shadow 
which belied. And so it will be with us, if we forget 
our gratitude to God and the republic at large, and sub- 
stitute for a sense of that duty a looking after private 
interest, a bargaining for place and power. If the great 
conservative principle of religion is replaced by these, then 
indeed shall we be able to make no calculation upon 
principle or virtue then indeed shall we be but a byword 
and a mockery. 

And on this day it is the great and solemn duty of 
each one of us, to enter into his own heart, and before 
Him who sees the heart, examine himself. His question 
should be: "From what motive did I act in exercising 
my privilege by casting a vote? what object had I? 
Did I seek the benefit of the people at large, the safety 


of the Constitution or was it from a wish for place, a 
bargain with one, or a chaffer with another? Was it 
from hatred, or malice, or revenge, or ambitien, or from a 
sincere wish to discharge my duty? I was given a voice 
in the election ; and how did I act ? " Too often, my 
hearers, too often do we forget that the right of suffrage 
is not a privilege conferred upon us for the advancement 
of our private interest, but that it is a great duty, for 
the whole discharge of which we are amenable to heaven. 
The permanence and prosperity of our institutions can be 
secured only by each individual exercising his political 
rights according to his conscience, and not from interested 
private views. This is what we call popular virtue, and 
this alone is the solid basis on which republicanism can 

And let me briefly remark here upon a few of the 
temptations which tend to the counteraction of this prin- 
iple. Unfortunately our country, especially in these latter 
days, has presented but too many of them. One of the 
.strongest of these temptations is the spirit of avarice, 
which, wholly regardless of the rights of others, seeks only 
individual profit, and power and place as a means of 
profit. I speak not now in a party spirit, for I know 
none ; but I must say that never were the words of Scrip- 
ture more perfectly applicable than to us: "To love riches 
leadeth a man into great peril." There has been, and is, 
a, spirit of wild speculation abroad, which has supplanted 
in a great degree the spirit of patient and untiring 
industry. If, however, we look to the day in which those 
men were found who achieved the independence and framed 
the Constitution of the country, and ask of what disposi- 
tion those men were, we shall find that they sought not, 
by -wild speculation, at once to grow rich but that they 
believed that the blessing of God rested upon honest 
labor, arid that the will of God has assigned to each one 
his place. They also thought that the spirit of true reli- 
gion is for man to bow down in submission to the will 
of God, to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, and 


by labor to fulfil his part of the penance imposed on all. 
They taught their children to labor. And in this ' belief 
and in this instruction, we should follow their example. 
They were animated by the spirit of the wise man, when 
he exclaimed : " Give me neither poverty nor riches, for 
the one may tempt mfc, and the other lead me to despise 
my fellow-men : but give me competence and a feeling of 
independence, that I may keep Thy Commandments, O Lord, 
and at my death be borne by angels to Abraham's bosom." 
Oh, my brethren, the tempting spirit against which I 
would have you guard, is that which causes man to place 
his hopes, his happiness, his enjoyment, upon that wealth 
which is too suddenly acquired, and to withdraw his heart 
from the contemplation of a happy abode in heaven. 
Never were the liberties of the country more endangered 
than from the prevalence of a spirit like this ; never 
were they safer than in the hands of those whose prin- 
ciple is that happiness is to be found in the continuance 
of labor. 

I would again impress upon you as the first great 
principle which religion teaches, in reference to our duties 
as citizens, that the greatest caution should be maintained 
against that seductive spirit which would, by undermining 
private integrity, lead men to bestow their suffrages in 
elections to public office, from a sole regard to their 
individual interests. Guard well against that, and, by the 
blessing of heaven, our republic is safe; once yield, and 
our liberties are destroyed. 

My brethren, there is another topic which, as connected 
with this, it may not be unprofitable to look at. To a cer- 
tain extent in every free country, some degree of opposition 
of parties is eminently useful ; if kept within proper bounds, 
instead of a curse, it is a blessing. It leads to a watch- 
fulness for the national good in the people, and guards 
jealously against the rulers taking the property of the 
people, under the pretext of its being done for the public 
protection. But there is another spirit of party, or rather 
a spirit of persecution, of which, unfortunately, we have 


not been without exhibitions in this country. They who 
framed the Constitution sought to guard against it as far 
as possible, and accordingly provided for universal tolera- 
tion in religious matters. But, unhappily, they have not 
completely succeeded in preventing its manifestation. 
Believing, as I do, that truth is single and indivisible, 
and that two contradictory principles cannot at the same- 
time be true, that religion consists in the worship of God 
in spirit and in truth, that the Bible contains the Word 
of God, and that the spirit of revelation is consistent in 
itself I am forced to believe that there cannot be two- 
religions. I look upon it as an extraordinary manifesta- 
tion of the weakness of the human mind, to maintain that 
two religions the one denying what the other asserts 
can both be true. But where persons are seeking for 
truth, they are not always capable of seeing it ; and where 
men honestly differ in opinion, it would be uncharitable, 
it would be irreligious for any one to condemn his fellow,, 
because he could not agree with him. For myself, I have 
no more doubt than I have of my existence, which is the 
true religion the religion that Jesus Christ delivered to 
His Apostles, and which they spread abroad in their own 
time and handed down to after generations; but I am 
not to say that it is equally clear to every other mind. 
There could not be a more criminal act on my part, than 
to depart from the religion which I believe and proclaim, 
but another may conscientiously feel it to be impossible 
to believe with me. Hence, I must leave the judgment 
to God. I cannot say to him: "I know that what you 
profess is not true" but I may say: "I have no doubt 
that what the Saviour taught is what I believe, but I 
know not the lights you may have had. God does. To 
Him, therefore, you must stand or fall." This is that 
spirit of toleration which, in a society like ours, ought 
always to exist ; it is that duty of charity which we all 
owe to one another. These differences should not make 
us hostile ; we should alike uphold the Constitution, the 
interest of the country, the social charities of life ; we 


ought to know no distinction of creed in all this. Even 
if the Word of the Lord has never sounded in the ear of 
our fellow-man, still we have been created by a common 
God; the blood of the Saviour has been shed for him as 
well as for us ; and that Saviour may yet raise him much 
.above ourselves. Even as Saul, who held the garments of 
the men who stoned St. Stephen, afterwards became the 
greatest of the Apostles, as by a flash from heaven; so 
may the same power which caused his conversion, make 
him who differs widely from us now go far beyond us in 
the path which we pursue. Hence, that spirit which 
would denounce those who differ from us, is one destructive 
of Christian charity and inimical to the principle of good. 
It was not in this spirit that the Constitution enacted that 
there should be no preference of one religion over another ; 
it was in direct opposition to it that the enlightened 
minds who framed that instrument yielded to the better 
conviction of their hearts, and blotted from the statute- 
book all exceptions to the great principle of right which 
has granted to all full freedom of conscience and worship. 
Their declaration was: "Let each, according to his own 
conscience, worship his Maker ; but let not the spirit of 
persecution be found." 

This caused the healthy action of the infant republic; 
but, unfortunately, we have seen in later times a disposi- 
tion to forget the great lesson thus inculcated, and to 
revert to a persecuting spirit. I care not from what this 
arose under what pretext it was urged by what reasons 
or excuses it was defended or palliated. It is lamentable 
that in any man it should be found to exist. But 
wherever it does exist, its evils are two-fold. It injures 
him who cherishes it and him who is its victim. In the 
one it engenders a spirit of domination over his fellow, 
and in the other a perpetual temptation to hatred and 
revenge. It is a spirit which separates brother from 
brother and induces mutual distrust. It may even graft 
itself upon political feeling or partisanship; it may cause 
political principles to be blended with religious distinc- 


tion ; and then we have at once a union of Church and 
State, the antagonist of civil liberty. 

Let me entreat all who hear me, first to seek to eradi- 
cate this spirit from their own hearts, and then to destroy 
it wherever it may he found. The good of the nation at 
large requires the sacrifice of individual preferences, and 
they who have heen the victims of a spirit of persecution 
hitherto, should lay their sufferings, as an obligation, 
upon the altar of the common good ; so that they who 
forgot for the moment their true principle and caused the 
evil to exist, may cause it to be obliterated as soon 
as possible. Thus, instead of being a collection of persona 
professing to be one brotherhood, and yet different in 
opinion and hostile in feeling, we shall be, in truth, one 
for the benefit of our common country, for the promotion 
of our mutual happiness, for our highest welfare here 
and hereafter. 

In a large portion of the civilized world, charges are 
prevalent against the Catholic religion as being incom- 
patible with civil and religious liberty. On what are these 
charges founded? From the pages of history it is inferred 
that the Eoman Catholic religion is at war with the spirit 
of republicanism. But allow me to ask in what way? 
The principle of republicanism is the equality of men. 
We teach that all Christians have a common Parent ; that 
all are equally redeemed by the blood of the Saviour; that 
all must appear before a common God who knows no 
distinction of persons. Where, then, is the inconsistency? 
Look through the records of the world, and see where the 
principles of true republicanism are first to be found. 
They had their origin in Christianity, and their earliest 
instance is in the Church of which we are members. Her 
institutions are eminently republican. Her rulers are 
chosen by the common consent ; her officers are obliged 
to account strictly to those over whom they preside ; her 
guide is a written constitution of higher force than the 
will of any individual. What call you this? Aristocracy? 
Monarchy? It is republicanism. Look again. Where were 


the bulwarks found that stayed the ravages of the bar- 
harians of the North, when they devastated the South of 
Europe? In the republican Catholic States of Italy- Go 
to a nation still more familiar to you search the pages 
of English history. One strain pervades them all a 
perpetual assault upon the memory of the prelates of the 
Catholic Church. Charges are brought that they were 
overbearing, haughty and tyrannical. Where are the 
proofs? There are none. Go to the records of parlia- 
ment, and you will rind the same thing there. Look at 
Britain in more ancient times, before the Norman conquest. 
One of her kings sent to Home he addressed the Pope, 
and requested of him a code of laws for the government 
of his realm. What was the answer of this haughty, 
tyrannical, all-grasping potentate, who is represented as 
having his foot upon the necks of kings and emperors? 
It may even now be found in her archives. "I can give 
you principles, but not laws. Your duty as a monarch is to 
consult your men of wisdom, acquainted with the wishes 
and necessities of your people ; regulate your conduct by 
their advice, but govern your land in your own way. 
Nations differ widely, and that which is proper for one 
might be highly injurious to another." The principles of 
the common law, that mighty fabric in which English 
liberty is said to reside, have been traced back to the 
Catholic Church. In this, then, is the germ of liberty to 
be found. After the Norman Conquest then it was that 
the conqueror dictated to his captives his own laws. But 
who refused to bow down in tame submission to his 
usurpation ? The bishops of England were the men. They 
rested their claims upon the ancient compact ; they took 
the laws of Alfred and of Edward, and from these they 
demanded of the conqueror himself an acknowledgment of 
the rights secured to the people by Edward. And when 
the base hypocrite, John, endeavored still more closely 
than before to fetter the people, it was the Archbishop 
of Canterbury and the bishops of England that resisted 
his power. At the field of Runnymede they wrung from 


his reluctant hand the Magna Charta, which is regarded 
as the English constitution, but which is only a part of 
what the people enjoyed under the laws of Alfred. 

These are the men who have been stigmatized as proud, 
as haughty, as ambitious. They were ambitious just as 
your Hancocks were ambitious just as your Warrens were 
ambitious just as your Montgomerys were ambitious just 
as those other men were ambitious who pledged their lives, 
their fortunes, and their sacred honor, to the support of 
that declaration whose successful maintenance wrested from 
the monarch of England the political rights which we 
now enjoy. But the historians of England, even while the 
word of liberty was upon their lips, filled their pages 
with misrepresentations of the principles of the Catholic 
prelates and calumnies upon their characters. Why was 
this? Because the Catholic religion was prescribed law. 
Hence it is that the pages of history have been garbled 
and distorted by the British historian, because the Catholic 
prelates resisted to the utmost the unjust encroachments 
of the British kings. The history of the American 
colonies, before they became an independent nation, more 
especially during the earlier years of their settlement, 
exhibits marked indications of the same spirit of intoler- 
ance towards the Catholic religion ; and this, too, on the 
part of those who themselves fled to this continent as a 
refuge from religious persecution. In this we find the 
explanation why, for generation after generation, the same 
charges against Catholicism have been made ; because the 
same dynasties have been set up, and its opposition has 
been the same to all. But if we endeavor to correct this 
source of evil, if we say: "Let history be divested of its 
prejudices and misrepresentations ; let education be separ- 
ated from sectarianism; let the truth alone be recorded 
and taught" then are we told we have been told that 
we are turbulent and discontented. Even in this country 
attempts have been made to divide the republic on account 
of religious differences ; but, thank heaven ! the public mind 
is becoming mpre and more enlightened on this point, 


and men are beginning to perceive that the greatest curse 
which could befall our country, would be the encourage- 
ment of any spirit of sectarian persecution. Let us beseech 
God, in His infinite mercy to avert from us all such a 
.spirit of uncharitableness and unkindness. Before heaven, 
let us always avoid it. Let us be a band of brothers as 
to our common rights; as to our religious differences, let 
us bury them. Would to God that we may always act 
in this manner that we may overcome the spirit of our 
nature and imbibe only the spirit of Christian charity. 
Oh! that we all may, with reference to our opponents, 
enter into the blessed spirit of that prayer: "Father, 
forgive them, for they know not what they do." Let us, 
then, endeavor with all our might to reduce these princi- 
ples to practice, and in the discharge of our duty to the 
republic, regard it as a duty to God. Thus shall we 
achieve the great object of our Constitution; thus shall 
we obtain of God His blessing. If we are assailed from 
abroad, let us join together as a band of brothers to 
repel the assault. Thus shall peace, and happiness, and 
prosperity reign among us ; thus shall we be contented 
with the things and the liberty given to us in this transi- 
tory scene, having our eyes fixed on the better things and 
the true liberty, promised to us in heaven, as the chil- 
dren of God. 



IT is some time since I called public attention to an 
essay which, appeared in the Christian Advocate, denying 
the fact of St. Peter having been at Home. That periodical 
work was under the management of the Rev. Dr. Green, 
a Presbyterian minister of Philadelphia; and the appear- 
ance of the essay, together with the comments by which 
it was accompanied, were intended to insinuate that the 
claims made by the Eoman Catholic Church were un- 
founded. 2 I have been informed by several respectable 
persons who differ from me in religious belief, that the 
evidence which I then hastily collected was abundantly 
sufficient to remove every shadow of doubt, if any was 
entertained, that the glorious Apostle was in Rome, was 
bishop of that city, and died there. The Rev. Dr. Green, 
has so far as I can discover, never made any retraction, 
nor corrected the error into which he contributed to lead 
his readers, nor exhibited the least symptom of regret for 
the part which he and his clerical brother played upon 
that occasion. 

I have since then marked Avith a greater degree of 
attention the proceedings of the body to which this minis- 

i This series of letters was occasioned, as the short note accompanying the extract 
from the Southern Iteligious Telegraph, which is prefixed to it, show-, by the denun- 
ciations made against Catholics, i this ami similar publications, as the enemies of 
civil freedom. It contains a brief history of the origin, progress and commencing' 
docljpo of the systematic effort to crush the rights and liberties of the Catholic 
communion, by classing its members with criminals against the State; an analysis 
of the theory of the federal government of tho United States, in its relation to 
moral and relizious questions, in which tho essential difference bctw en it and tho 
European polity of the M-ddle Ages is pointed out; a defence of tho Catholics of 
the United States against the accusation of hostility to its civil institutions; and 
a delineation of the course of p >) icy which tho party calling itself '-Evangelical." 
would seek to carry out, by means of a "Christian party in politics " Tho letters 
were first published in the United State* Catholic Miscellany, numbers 4-18. vol. xi 
for 1831, and afterwards republishod in a pamphlet. 
* Sco artic'e "St. Peter's Roman Episcopate," vol. !. 


ter belongs. Not only lias it continued through a number 
of its presses to vilify and to misrepresent Roman Catho- 
lics, but it has by some of its. publications endeavored to 
excite against them the suspicions and the hatred of all 
friends of civil and religious liberty. Not only has it 
sought, by means of associations formed under its auspices 
and directed by its influence, to secure for itself a wide- 
spread domination through the land; but it has collected 
vast sums of money, and prepared to organize a host of 
zealots to sweep from the valley of the Mississippi the 
religion of the survivor of that noble assembly that created 
the liberty which it enjoys. Not content with the posses- 
sion of the vast power which it at present holds, it looks 
forward to the securing of a future monopoly, of a more 
extensive and absorbing nature, and hesitates not in the 
triumph of its calculations to anticipate what it considers 
the inevitable arrival of the millennium of its glory, 
when the youth that it now trains up shall with its 
principles assert their bloodless victory at the ballot boxes. 
Yet impatient of the delay and desirous of hastening the 
happy epoch, it makes unceasing eiforts, at one moment 
to procure from Congress a fatal precedent in even one 
act of what it styles Christian legislation ; and at another, 
to render Catholics more odious to their fellow-citizens or 
more suspected of being dangerous to the republic. Let 
it succeed in either way, and a passage will have been 
opened, through which it may pour the stream of its power, 
sweeping away the obstacles that retard, widening and 
deepening the channel by the impetuosity of its current, 
until, like so many new feeders, laAv gradually added to 
law shall have caused Church after Church to disappear ; 
and if then an effort should be made to stop the torrent, 
if the dam itself should not be swept away, the inunda- 
tion Avould spread over the face of the land and overwhelm 
the inhabitants. 

I am not the only one who has beheld this ; I am but 
one out of millions to whom it was visible ; and, though 
silent until now upon the subject, I have heard and the 


public has heard the facts proclaimed by very many; and 
I submit to Americans whether the assertions which I 
make are not sustained, amongst others, by the article 
entitled "The Republic in Danger," which has been pub- 
lished in the Southern Religious Telegraph, in the city of 
Richmond, in Virginia, and reprinted in the Catholic Mis- 

The body to which I thus allude is not the Presby- 
terian Church. There are a large number of the members 
of that Church who have too much love of civil* and 
religous liberty, too much affection for their fellow-citizens, 
and too deep a sense of common honesty to belong to 
the association. Nor is it confined to the Presbyterian 
denomination, though a number of the Presbyterian presses 
are the chief instruments for disseminating its principles ; 
it embraces a vast multitude of other sects of various 
religious sentiments and forms of government. It is com- 
posed of the elect, the more sanctified and perfect of the 
land, as they esteem themselves ; who leagued together in 
a holy covenant, to wage a war of extermination against 
infidels and Roman Catholics, are urged by as pythonic a 
spirit against unbelievers and "the beast," as their prede- 
cessors in Europe were against the Turk and the Pope, 
and frequently with the Turk against the Holy Father. 

I consider then the production which I now undertake 
to review, not as a document of any one of the Churches 
of our country, but as publishing the well-known senti- 
ments of a large body diffused through several of the 
Churches and spread through all the States. Whatever 
the other objects of this body may be, I shall not now 
undertake to develop ; but shall confine myself at present 
to showing that its treatment of Roman Catholics is not 
only uncharitable and unjust, but is manifestly at variance 
with the spirit of our political institutions. 

I shall quote from their own version of the Scriptures the 
description given by St. Paul of charity, in the thirteenth 
chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians: "Charity 
suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity 


vaunteth not herself, is not puffed up, doth not behave 
herself tmseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily pro- 
voked, thinketh no evil, rcjoiceth not in iniquity, but 
rejoiceth in the truth ; beareth all things, believeth all 
things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things." 

Whoever reads their productions, whether they be the 
reports of Bible distributions, of tract supplyings, of mis- 
sions abroad or at home, of temperance societies, of revivals, 
or "Sabbath" observance societies, or whatever else that 
belongs to the associated body, will necessarily often meet 
with mention of Roman Catholics, and one of the leading 
exhibitions is the vulgar and unkind substitution of nick- 
names for the appellation by which this body is and has 
been known throughout the world. Great Britain, it is 
true, took the lead in this lowest species of offensive, 
unkind, unseemly, insulting, and therefore uncharitable 
scurrility; not indeed in point of time or of virulence, 
but of legalized and common phraseology. Luther previ- 
ously had bestowed the appellation of Antichrist upon the 
Pope for the first time in 1520 ; designated him as the 
Roman homicide, and threatened "that the name of the 
Popo should be taken from beneath the heavens:" he called 
him "a wolf possessed by an evil spirit." On a subsequent 
occasion he declared that "the Pope was so full of devils, 
that he spit them and blew them from his nose." 

In his subsequent writings he uses nicknames where 
he can, and would not vouchsafe to the adherents of the 
ancient Church any name but that of Papists. I do not 
now enter upon the question of his doctrine or his mission, 
but I assert, that be the errors of those whom we oppose 
what they may, the bestowal of a nickname is an evidence 
of the want of common courtesy; kindness and charity 
are violated by the persons who continued to use the 
term, especially in the spirit which gave it origin. It 
was in the same spirit that Luther in 1534 called Henry 
VIII of England, "a fool," "an idiot," "the most brutal 
of swine and asses." It was in the same spirit that 
when he came forth, in 1521, from his Patmos, as he called 


the place of his retreat, lie declared in his sermon in 
the church at Wittemberg : . " It was the word, whilst I 
slept quietly and drank my beer with my dear Melancthon 
and Amsdorf, that gave the Papacy such a shock ;" and 
that, when he threatened to re-establish the Mass, he asks 
his associates: "What hurt will the Popish Mass do you?" 
It was in this spirit that he styled Eome, .Babylon, the 
Pope, the man of sin, the beast, etc., and the Church, the 
whore of Babylon, etc. Indeed, he left scarcely room to 
any succeeding imagination to extend the nicknomanclature. 
Yet, though to him is due the invention, Great Britain 
has the discredit of introducing this vocabulary into her 
public legislation, and her high authority made that fash- 
ionable which in its origin and its essence was vulgar, 
unseemly and uncharitable. The object was to express 
contempt, which is not only unkind but is never sought 
after, save by those who are envious, vaunting, or puffed 
up. It contains no argument, but betrays a symptom of 
its absence ; for it is generally observed that he who is 
anxious to fasten a nickname upon his adversary, seldom 
makes the effort until he has failed in adducing a reason. 
The works of the principal English Protestant divines 
will go down to other days, lamentable monuments of the 
fact, that a perverse fashion is able to contaminate with 
rude and uncharitable vulgarity minds of the first order 
and of the best education. The statute book has, however, 
ceased to be the vehicle of scurrility, not only in Great 
Britain, but in the United States. During upwards of 
thirty years the calm and steady process of critical investi- 
gation has continued to rub away the stains which the 
reckless spirit of a bad and disastrous age has fastened 
upon those who were exhibited as too contemptible for 
association, too wicked for endurance, though not too poor 
to be victims of rapacity ; for such was the state to which 
the Catholic subjects of the British crown were reduced 
by the potent spell of nicknames and persevering audacity 
of unrestrained calumny. The plots with which they were 
charged are now acknowledged by the highest authorities 


to have been fictions. The credit of the Kev. Titus Gates 
and the inscription of the London pillar have vanished 
forever. Great Britain no longer enacts laws to prevent 
the growth of Popery, but to emancipate Roman Catholics ; 
she no longer confiscates the property of Papists, neither 
does she adjudge Romish ecclesiastics to be felons, nor will 
her polished society permit the feelings of their associates 
to be wounded by the vulgar phraseology, to perpetuate 
and to revive which an effort however is made by the 
over righteous ; who eaten up with the zeal which devours 
them, lament the relaxation of the penal code and the 
prospect of parliamentary reform ; and they shed tears for 
the abominations of negro slavery, and muster their forces 
to obtain for that degenerate race the sympathy which 
they denied to those with whom they had a more inti- 
mate relation. Whilst they bewail the destitution of the 
negro in Jamaica, they vociferate their abuse of the Irish 
Papists, and exhibit a genuine specimen of the spirit Avith 
which they are possessed, in preventing the collection of 
funds for the relief of the starving Catholic population of 
Ireland, because the forlorn beings will not forego the 
convictions of their consciences nor purchase temporary 
relief by abominable hypocrisy. These are the men who, 
at the other side of the Atlantic, would by the irritation 
of nicknames add rancor to the excessive bitterness of 
sectarian animosity. 

The colonies of Grreat Britain necessarily partook of 
the spirit of the mother country. Hence in the act of 
1696-7 "for making aliens free of this part of the province 
(Carolina), and for granting liberty of conscience to all 
Protestants," we read in the enacting part: "That all 
Christians which now are, or hereafter may be, in the 
province (Papists only excepted), shall enjoy the foil, free 
and undisturbed liberty of their consciences," etc. It was 
the same in the other provinces at this period, so far as 
I can ascertain ; and so far as the degradation of a nick- 
name could be inflicted, it was legally and unsparingly 
bestowed. It will not perhaps be amiss in this place to 


contrast the early legislation of what previous to that 
period was a Catholic colony, with the legislative practice 
which I thus impeach. 

In March, 1638, chap, i, of the laws which the freemen 
of Maryland passed, the first part ordained "that the holy 
Church (Roman Catholic) within this province shall have 
all her rights and liberties." In the same session, in. 
"a ^ill for the liberties of the people," the principle was 
recognized which constituted the uniform rule of the 
Catholic legislature of that province, viz: "All Christian 
inhabitants (slaves excepted) to have and enjoy such rights, 
liberties, immunities, privileges and free customs within 
this province, as any natural born subject of England 
hath or ought to have or enjoy in the realm of England by 
force or virtue of the common law or statute law of Eng- 
land." Bill 19, " an act for peopling the province," describes 
the settlers to be recognized only by the name of Chris- 
tians. In 1640, the act for Church liberties was passed, 
which enacts that "holy Church within this province shall 
have and enjoy all her rights, liberties and franchises, 
wholly and without blemish." A number of Protestants 
having subsequently come into the province and made 
settlements, religious disputes began, and offensive language 
became annoying; the assembly of April, 1649, passed "an 
act concerning religion," the 3d section of which enacts 
that "persons reproaching any other within the province 
by the name or denomination of Heretic, Schismatic, 
Idolater, Puritan, Independent, Presbyterian, Papist-priest, 
Jesuit, Jesuited-Papist, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, 
Brownist, Antinomian, Barrowist, Round-head Separatist, or 
any other name or term, in a reproachful manner, relating 
to any matter of religion, should forfeit ten shillings 
sterling for each offence ; one-half to the person reproached, 
the other half to the lord proprietor: or in default of 
payment, to be publicly whipped, and to suffer imprison- 
ment without bail or main-prize, until the offender shall 
satisfy the party reproached, by asking of him or her 
respectively forgiveness, publicly, for such an offence, beforo 


the chief officer or magistrate of the town or place where 
the offence shall he given." 

Thus, whilst the Eoraan Catholics vindicated the rights 
and liberties of their Church, they not only laid the 
foundations of our religious liberty at this side of the 
Atlantic, but they gave equal protection to the feelings 
of their Protestant brethren as they claimed for their 
own. It is in the fifth section of this act, that the wise 
and just provision is contained, which gave Catholic Mary- 
land the glorious prerogative of being the mother of 
religious liberty in America. 

The first exhibition of legal vulgarity that we find in 
the laws of Maryland is in the fourth of the acts passed 
at a general assembly held at Patuxent, on the 20th of 
October, 1654, by commission from his highness the lord 
protector, Cromwell. But the reader will observe the man- 
ner in which every innovation is palpable, for this mani- 
festly indicates its spirit by substituting the new appellation 
which was not commonly known, but was invented to insult 
and to degrade, for the old name which, time out of mind, 
had designated the body which it was intended to vilify 
and to injure. This was also "an act concerning religion," 
and it provided: "That none who professed and exercised 
the Popish (commonly called the Roman Catholic) religion, 
could be protected in this province by the laws of Eng- 
land formerly established and not yet repealed ;" " that 
such as profess faith in God by Jesus Christ, though dif- 
fering in judgment from the doctrine, worship, or discipline 
publicly held forth, should not be restrained from but be 
protected in the profession of their faith and exercise of 
their religion, . . . provided such liberty should 
not be construed as extending to Popery," etc. And this 
was not opposed by the Protestant Episcopalians, who 
were received when they sought hospitality in Maryland 
from the Catholics, not being able to have a resting place 
with the Puritans of New England ; but it was chiefly 
enacted by the Puritans, who feeling the domination of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the old dominion, 


were hospitably received and warmed in the bosom of this 
Catholic colony of Maryland. This law ceased to operate 
in 1658, and the old law of 1649 was gradually restored 
to execution and was made perpetual in 16Y6. But on 
the 23d of August, 1689, a convention met at St. Mary's 
"by virtue of letters missive from the several command- 
ers, officers and gentlemen associated in arms, for the 
defence of the Protestant religion and asserting the title 
of William and Mary." Now this association had not the 
shadow of a pretext for charging their Catholic brethren 
with any, even an unkind expression, much less with any 
attempt to injure them, because of their religion ; they 
were equally protected, represented and representatives, as 
the Catholics; they had offices in more than their ratio 
of numbers: but now they assumed a monopoly, and 
Maryland not only saw the Catholics deprived of power, 
but placed under the operation of the English code of 
insult and persecution. It was therefore true that at the 
period of the Carolina act, 1696, the Catholics were equally 
insulted in the other provinces. Even Pennsylvania in 
this year, 1696, in the act of October 26, went no farther 
to secure religious liberty, than to enact that persons who 
made affirmation, that is, Quakers, should be considered 
equally qualified as if they had sworn to the declaration 
of the first William and Mary, exempting their majesty's 
Protestant subjects dissenting from the Church of Eng- 
land from the penalties of certain laws: and under the 
laws in force at that period, the nicknames were in full 
vigor against the feelings of Roman Catholics, and Catho- 
lics were liable to the penalties. But Maryland, of all 
other provinces, was the most insulting, as she was the 
specially ungrateful. 

I shall adduce only one instance as an example. In 
the year 1715 she passed a law, of which the following 
is the title : "An act, laying an imposition on negroes, 
and on several sorts of liquors imported, and also on Irish 
servants, to prevent importing too great a number of 
Irish Papists into this province." The naval officer was 


to execute this law. In 1717, the general assembly of 
Maryland again placed the negroes and Irish Papists on 
a level, and deeming it expedient to double the tax on 
the latter, did the same for their associates, lest there 
should be any jealousy: "An act for laying an additional 
duty of twenty shillings current money, per poll, on all 
Irish servants, being Papists, to prevent the growth of 
Popery, by the importation of too great a number of them 
into this province : and also an additional duty of twenty 
shillings current money, per poll, on all negroes, for 
raising a fund, for the use of public schools within the 
several counties of this province." For the better discovery 
of the Papist, section 2 empowers and requires the naval 
officer to tender the oaths appointed by the act of assem- 
bly, as also the abjuration and the test, to every Irish 
servant except children under fourteen years of age. 

Thus habituated to the degradation of the members of 
our Church, the feelings of the community became torpid 
upon the subject; and the man who would go to death 
itself rather than suffer a contumelious word or the appli- 
cation of an epithet of contempt to himself, his party, or 
his Church, expected that a Catholic should quietly submit 
to the load of nicknames, which, with equal want of taste, 
of manners, and of charity, were now made the familiar 
language of laws and of society in his regard. 

It is true, there is an objection of which we are not 
altogether unmindful ; one imposed upon us by Him, who, 
for our sakes, underwent not only mockery and contumely, 
but even death. By that obligation we should submit; and 
some of us have rejoiced to be thought worthy of con- 
tumely for His sake ; and there is more Christian fortitude 
evinced by the coercion of our feelings, than there is 
Christian charity in assailing them. We may, therefore, 
upon this score, profit by the insolence of which I com- 

As in Great Britain, so in America, the legislative 
bodies have grown too refined for this, formerly, fashion- 
able vulgarity. Well-informed gentlemen have also learned 


to speak ana to write with becoming dignity and in appro- 
priate language ; but, unfortunately, when we cast our eyes 
around, and institute a general comparison, we must can- 
didly avow, that in this respect we are as far behind 
Great Britain as she is behind the continent of Europe 
in this species of politeness. 


I have endeavored to show the origin of the nick- 
names, Antichrist, Papist, Beast, Babylon, Romanist, Romish, 
Popish, Scarlet Whore, etc., applied to the Pope, to Roman 
Catholics, and to the Catholic Church. I have been, per- 
haps, somewhat prolix in the exhibition of facts to enable 
Americans to solve the apparent difficulty, how well- 
educated gentlemen could be degraded into vulgarity ; and 
in doing this, I have brought to vieyw a melancholy pic- 
ture ; its colors were bold and flaming, and its shades 
were very dark ; it' was no common spectacle. Americans 
have seen the Irish Catholic, upon his arrival in America, 
legally degraded to the level of the negro slave ; and this 
in a province where, when all around, in every other settle- 
ment of this country, the most heartless bigotry held 
unrestricted sway, Catholics, under the spiritual adminis- 
tration of Jesuits, first kindled at the fire of Christian 
charity that torch of religious freedom which was subse- 
quently quenched in their own tears. Allow me the poor 
but the gratifying consolation of cherishing, with fondness 
that increases with my years, the memory of those good 
Catholic freemen of Maryland, who erected for the American 
citizens of after times that beacon light, which, though 
extinguished by others, yet, after the days of captivity had 
passed away, blazed forth upon the first sacrifices having 
been offered upon the altar of liberty, as did that sacred 
flame which the priests of Israel hid upon their going to 
Babylon, but which was miraculously reproduced in the 
days of Nehemias. Yes ! the associates may sneer at me, 
for my " man-worship," if they will; they may cry, "to 


the law and the testimony," whose meaning they mistake ; 
they may appear zealous for the honor of that God by 
whose charity and whose justice those good men, whose 
memory I hold in benediction, were led; they may pro- 
claim me an idolater, but, in this respect, I feel in their 
regard what an old Irish Catholic chieftain expressed even 
after a field of disaster, where his son had fallen in the 
glorious discharge of a noble duty: "I would not give 
my dead son for all the living heroes they possess." No ! 
That single clause of the law which they enacted to pro- 
hibit nicknames in 1649, is of more value, in my estima- 
tion, than if all the mail stages in the Union should bo 
obliged to stop, from midnight on Saturday to midnight 
on Sunday ; than if every man, woman, and child was 
compelled, on the Lord's day, to live on cold food, and 
all the mothers to be prohibited from kissing their chil- 
dren on the "Sabbath," as it is called. Excuse me for 
this ebullition of feeling, into the restraint of which I 
have not yet been subdued. 

The changes in religion, which I cannot be expected 
to call a Reformation, did not stop exactly at that point 
which they who made the first alterations thought proper 
to prescribe. The principles of the Catholic Church are, 
that faith is the belief of what God has taught; that all 
men are bound to believe His revelation ; that it was 
perfected by Jesus Christ; that this divine Saviour com- 
missioned His Apostles and those whom they should 
associate to their body and the regular successors in that 
tribunal, to testify those doctrines to the world ; and that 
under His protection, though a few individuals might err, 
the vast majority of this tribunal will always and infalli- 
bly testify that which came down from the beginning; 
and that the doctrine of Christ was to be ascertained by 
the testimony of this tribunal and not by the conjectures 
of individuals. When they who, with Luther, separated 
from the great body and opposed the tribunal, undertook 
to judge, each for himself, the meaning of the sacred 
volume, they destroyed all claim of authority in any 


tribunal, to require of any individual submission to its 
testimony or to learn from it. All their members claimed 
to be each taught of God. Vast numbers claimed the 
privilege of divine inspiration ; and whilst, with one accord, 
they all proclaimed that no a-ssembly was infallibly correct 
in the interpretation of the sacred volume, nor even in 
ascertaining what books were inspired by the Holy Ghost, 
yet each individual spoke and acted as if he was himself 
infallible. The Church of England having separated from 
the Catholic Church, which she accused of error, could 
claim no higher privilege for herself; and she felt exceed- 
ingly awkward and ridiculous in declaring that they who, 
imitating her own example, differed from her in doctrine 
and separated from her, were heretics. Every reasonable 
person must instantly perceive that it would be, in this 
state of things, palpably absurd to expect unity of doctrine ; 
or for any person to undertake, upon those principles, to 
determine who was right or who was wrong. Every man 
gave his opinion as to what Christ taught, but no one 
could be certain that his opinion was the doctrine of the 
Apostles ; because there was scarcely a doctrine upon which 
all were agreed. The Bible was for them, not a book 
of peace and reconciliation, but was an occasion of dis- 
pute and discord. Notwithstanding the dictation of Luther, 
the divisions of the continental Protestants daily multiplied. 
And in spite of the power of the British government, 
the Church of England found herself assailed by a more 
restless and a more worrying foe than the Papists, by 
the Reformers of the Reformation. I shall not enter into 
their history; my object is merely to continue the history 
of nicknames, and to discover the spirit which has pre- 
served them. 

The various divisions of Presbyterians and Independents, 
who desired to purify the Church of England from what 
they called the dregs of Popery, now turned the weapons 
of that unfortunate Church against herself. She had 
abused Papists, and they called her members Papists in 
disguise. All that the Church of England had said 


of Romanists and the beast, the Puritans gave back to 
herself, with such usury as would have contented the most 
demure and sober-minded and avaricious money-lender. 
Thus, in their mutual scurrility, there was one neutral 
ground on which they met, one postulate was fully con- 
ceded by each to the other, viz.: That no abuse could be 
too bad for the Papists; and that the highest offence 
which either could give to the other would be, to assert 
that it bore some mark of the beast. So that, even in 
their mutual conflicts, the Roman Catholic Church was 
the greatest sufferer ; and men became accustomed to 
consider the propriety of our degradation as perfectly 
unquestionable. Allow me, however disgusting they may 
be, to give a few specimens of the manner in which the 
Puritans made their onslaught. 

Bishop Bancroft gives us the following specimen of the 
manner in which the non-conformists assailed the English 
Protestant Church : " Christ's religion is fondly patched 
with the Pope's ; the communion book is an imperfect 
book, culled . and picked out of that Romish dunghill, the 
Portyse and Mass Book. The sacraments are wickedly 
mangled and profaned ; they eat not the Lord's Supper, 
but play a pageant of their own to blind the people ; 
their pomps, rites, laws and traditions are anti-Christian, 
carnal, beggarly Popish fooleries, Romish relics and rags 
of Antichrist, dregs and remnants of transformed Popery ; 
Pharisaical outward faces and vizzards, remnants of Romish 
Antichrist, a cursed leaven of a cursed blasphemous priest- 
hood, known liveries of Antichrist; cursed patches of 
Popery and idolatry, they are worse than lousie." 1 

One of their orators declaiming before the parliament 
on September 24, 1656, praising God for delivering them 
from the Protestant Episcopal Church of England, described 
the observances of that species of Protestants : " Altar 
genuflexions, cringings, with crossings, and all that Popish 
trash and trumpery" "the removal of these insupport- 
able burdens countervailed for the blood and treasure shed 
and spent in the late distractions." The following curious 

1 " Dangerous Positions," b. 2, c. 9. 


scrap exhibits the spirit in which the assault was made 
upon the Church of England under the name of the 
Church of Home. It is from a burlesque upon the Cate- 
chism of the English Protestant Church. " Ques. What 
is your name? Ans. Cavalier. Ques. Who gave you that 
name ? Ans. My seducers and deceivers in my innocence, 
wherein I was made a member of the Church of Rome, 
and consequently a limb of Antichrist, an enemy to all 
godliness, a child of the devil, an inheriter of the kingdom 
of darkness, amongst the infernal spirits that rule in the 
air of this terrestrial globe." 1 

Nalson gives us the following : " Cardinals, patriarchs, 
primates, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, deans and 
innumerable such vermin, a monster of which monstrous 
body our (Euglish Protestant) hierarchy is ... never 
came from God but rather from the Pope and the devil ; 
1 Diabolus cacavit illos.'" 3 

A compound of "holy" writers, whose initials gave the 
word " smectymnius," thus describe the English Protestant 
Church: "This many-headed monster is the beast against 
which we fight in the covenant. Thy mother, Papacy, 
shall be made childless amongst harlots." 

In Case's sermon, at Milk street, September 30, 1643, 
the clergy of the Protestant Church of England are called 
"swearing, drunken, unclean priests, that taught nothing 
but rebellion in Israel, and caused the people to abominate 
the sacrifice of the Lord. Arminian, Popish, idolatrous, vile 
wretches, such as, had Job been alive, he would not have 
set with the dogs of his flock." 

Vicar calls them "a stinking heap of atheistical Roman 
rubbish, a rotten rabble of slanderous priests, and spurious 
bastard sons of Belial, who by their affected ignorance 
and .laziness, by their most abominable lives and conver- 
sation, had made the Lord's ordinance to be. even abhorred 
by the people."* 

In 1720, a Church of England Protestant, complaining 
of the violent abuse of the clergy of that Church, by those 

'"Cavalier's Catechism," p. 26. *" Jehovah Jerah." 

s " Collections," v. 1, p. 499. 


Puritans who charged them with ignorance, debauchery, 
and villainy, after mentioning those charges, adds: "But 
this the clergy can forgive, provided their enemies would 
forbear to charge them with vices of Popery, or a recon- 
ciliation with the Church of Rome. They will always go 
on steadily to oppose Popery, though they should be 
traduced as favorers of it, by those very Presbyterians, 
who in the day of distress were busy in breaking down 
those fences by which alone it was to be kept out." This 
writer in another place abuses the Presbyterians for being 
so exceedingly wicked as not to hate Popery; he tells 
them that in the reign of James II, "the Dissenters, (to 
their eternal shame and conviction be it spoken,) paid all 
their addresses and compliments to the government, and 
accepted many insinuating favors from it, which the Church 
of England-men refused upon principles of conscience. But 
these good men notwithstanding their pretended stiffness 
against Popery at other times, could then comply with any- 
thing, if they could but lessen the esteem and authority of 
the Church ; and come Popery or whatever else, were very 
easy and caressed themselves ; and if our establishment had 
been borne down, it is certain that nothing but Popery could 
possibly have been established in the room ; for fanaticism 
is so wild and so untractable a thing, that it admits of 
no settlement upon any principles." 

It is then a plain fact, that the various religious sects 
that worried each other in England and in Scotland during 
the seventeenth century, united in abusing and censuring 
the Roman Catholic Church, as the most vile and loath- 
some and dangerous and wicked and pestilential of all 
institutions; and that when either desired to render the 
other obnoxious, it had recourse to what it considered the 
most easy and effectual mode of successj a charge of affec- 
tion to what it called Popery. The Church of England 
and the Independents each, indeed, proved with melancholy 
evidence the utter want of foundation for such imputa- 
tions ; because each of them contended with the other in 
the enactment of barbarous laws and the invention of 



degrading epithets, and the expressions of scorn, of hatred, 
and of contempt. Thus the religion of the great "bulk of 
the civilized world was made an object of contumely to 
those contending factions and to all to whom their influ- 
ence extended. The New England colonies were principally 
settled by the Puritans, those of Virginia by the members 
of the law-Church, or English Protestant Episcopalians. 
Each division brought with it across the Atlantic the 
same spirit and the same language that it had in the 
land whence it came ; and thus this barbarous and degrad- 
ing nomenclature was diffused through the colonies. We 
have seen the ineffectual effort of the Catholics to preserve 
at least one spot free from the domination of vulgarity 
and unprofaned by the spirit of persecution. We have 
seen the power of .that Catholic colony broken down, and 
the professors of that religion degraded to the level of 
the negro slave. 

France and Spain, two great and powerful nations, had 
colonies to the north and to the south ; they were also 
approaching upon the west: these colonies were Catholic, 
and the policy of Great Britain urged her to increase 
the hatred and the contempt for their religion, the better 
to guard against the alienation of her own colonies, by 
means of any combination with them. Thus was there 
upon the ground which we now occupy a population trained 
up by such circumstances into the strongest prejudices 
against the Catholic Church and without any mode what- 
ever of correcting its serious mistakes. Europe was differ- 
ently circumstanced; Catholics were there seen, and known, 
and observed. What must have been the situation of the 
American colonist, when the usual impression upon the 
mind of John Bull was, that the Pope really was not a 
man -like his fellows, that ho was some undefined kind 
of strange and dangerous animal ? I know an excellent 
priest, who within a very short time has, to my astonish- 
ment, convinced me that aged and respectable persons in 
the interior of Virginia have seriously examined his head, 
at his own request, to be satisfied that a Popish priest 


had not small horns. I have evidence of nearly a similar 
description in North Carolina. The familiar and ordinary 
phraseology of many in our States respecting our Church 
and its members is still the nicknomcnclature ; and though 
it has scarcely ever prevailed in the Protestant countries 
upon the continent of Europe, and heen nearly exploded 
from the more polished parts of Great Britain, as well as 
disused in her legislative and judicial halls, and has also 
heen discarded by our legislatures, still an effort is made 
by the party called Evangelical, 1 lo continue it in Great 
Britain and Ireland; and persons otherwise well educated 
and not usually vulgar, unconsciously offend others and 
degrade themselves by its continuance here. Would to 
God, I could attribute to ignorance the habit of the editors 
of what are called our religious periodicals ! They cannot 
avail themselves of this excuse. What then are we to 
think of the kind disposition, the Christian humility, the 
affability, the politeness, the courtesy, the charity, and the 
education of the editor of the Southern Religious Telegraph, 
who, in a short paragraph, gives us the following specimen 
of his claims to the character of a Christian gentleman ? 

"Popery has invaded the land." "Popery should be 
noticed in connection with intemperance." "It stupifies 
the conscience." "It blinds the understanding." "It makes 
,the whole man a superstitious slave to the impositions 
of a crafty priesthood." "The beast numbers half a mil- 
lion of subjects in these United States." "Popery is a 
monster, forging chains to bind the people." 

All this is gathered from one paragraph compiled by 
this writer in an essay put forward to instruct his readers 
how to offer their sacrifice of praise to God, on the 
anniversary of our independence, when every good man 
should endeavor to unite his fellow-citizens into one great 
harmonious band, to pay their grateful homage for a mighty 
and invaluable common benefit. Yes! it is in affecting to 
call upon his readers to make a due celebration of that 
day when twenty-four confederated republics rejoice in 

i The same ridiculous and vuljrar phraseology is also studiously affected by a 
certain section of the High Church party. 


their freedom, that this man villifies with his foul obloquy 
the religion of the only venerated survivor 1 of that band 
of patriots who staked their lives, their fortunes, and 
their sacred honor to procure that boon for which he 
affects gratitude ! Nor was this writer ignorant of this 
fact; nor was he unaware of the insulting nature of his 

But suppose, against all the evidence which I possess, 
and I have much, that this nian was not aware of the 
vile character of his phraseology, as above quoted. Surely 
no one will undertake to offer an excuse for his classing 
Roman Catholics with "drunkards," "profane swearers," 
"Sabbath breakers," "gamblers," "'all votaries of dissipation 
whose example is pernicious to the community." And 
this he deliberately does in an article directing his com- 
patriots how to celebrate the anniversary of our indepen- 
dence. Will he have the hardihood to assert that the 
Roman Catholic Church teaches men to become "drunk- 
ards," or sanctions intemperance ? Can he perceive no 
efforts of that Church to take away utterly the abomina- 
tion of profane swearing? Does she not by her own 
special regulations endeavor to bring to close practical 
operation the general command for the sanctification of 
one day in the week? Does she not lament and reprove 
the misconduct and negligence of such of her children 
as disregard or undervalue the divine ordinance? Does 
she not uniformly teach that "gambling" is not only 
injustice, but is closely allied to a variety of other crimes? 
In opposing "dissipation," is she not charged by her 
enemies with being too severe and harsh and superstitious 
in the recommendation and estimation of her works of. 
self-denial and mortification ? But the object was to fasten 
obloquy upon our body, to degrade us by nicknames, to 
mortify us by superciliousness, to estrange our fellow-citizens 
from us by contempt, and to deprive us of sympathy by 
daubing us with the coloring of the most despicable vices. 
There was however an ulterior object, to attain which this 
is only a preparation. 

i Charles Carroll was allvo at tho lime this was written. 


Look through the publications of this confederacy, and 
i-t will at once be perceived that, as regards us, obloquy 
is their usual style, vulgar nicknames their usual appella- 
tions ; and though our Church contains more than three- 
fifths of all Christendom in her communion, and has in 
her bosoni at least that ratio of the talent, of the science, 
of the virtue, in a word, of all the good qualities of the 
civilized world ; yet this combination of sections of sects 
affects to look down upon us as if we were beings care- 
lessly flung into some lower region, upon whom these 
self-complacent, refined, and chosen spirits may occasionally 
cast a glance from their empyreal sphere. Yet fallen and 
degraded as I am, I shall venture humbly to suggest to 
these mighty ones in Isreal, that even for them it might 
prove beneficial to ponder occasionally upon that beautiful 
parable which commences at the ninth verse of chapter 
xviii of the Gospel according to St. Luke. 


I have brought down the history of the nicknames 
with sufficient detail and accuracy. It might be asked, 
what can prompt their infliction ? I shall remark that in 
the base and ignoble portion of the human family, there 
exists a strong and almost uncontrollable propensity to 
inflict every species of pain upon its opponents, and that 
this melancholy exhibition is often adduced as one of the 
evidences of our fallen and degraded state. In those who 
are strong and powerful, that propensity finds its indul- 
gence in the bodily pain or destruction which it inflicts. 
When the hatred is excessive, even this will not suffice ; 
contumely is added to the injury; and henco, in that state 
of warfare which Homer describes between demi-savages, 
the hero is as powerful at wounding the soul with his 
tongue, as he is at wounding the body with his spear. 
The Indian loses half his revenge, if he cannot vent his 
malice in vituperation. But Christianity weeps over the 
victim that justice consigns to pain or to death, and even 


soothes the soul of the malefactor with the balm of reli- 
gion. When she authorizes the patriot to arm for the 
protection of his rights, she conjures him to .recollect that 
his hand is strengthened for the ruin of a brother, and 
she charges him as he will answer for it at the tribunal 
of heaven, to strike no unnecessary blow and to seek for no 
revenge. She commands him whilst he will devotedly 
expose himself and powerfully vindicate justice, yet to 
remember mercy and to bathe with the tear of humanity 
that gash which public right compels for the unnerving 
of an unjust aggressor. Thus does she breathe the air 
of heaven through the field of carnage, and exhibit her 
chosen warriors, calm, intrepid, charitable, and dignified ; 
the bulwark of their nation, the terror of its foes, able 
to repel the mighty, and then prepared to stoop to the 
solace of the fallen. From their mouths no ribaldry pro- 
ceeds, for their hearts cherish no hatred. 

But there are several who, unable to injure you, vent 
their impotent rage in abusive language ; and that fury 
which, in the strong, was divided between the hand and 
the tongue, here issues altogether from the mouth; so 
that, as the being is powerless, it becomes ribald ; and 
you may generally calculate its strength to be in the 
inverse ratio of its vulgar volubility. The veteran who 
has, during half a century, braved the varied perils of the 
field, the trench, the ambuscade, and the forlorn hope ; who 
could, with truth, sa,y, as the high-priest did to Abner, 
that he feared God, but had no other fear; this brave 
man, upon whose single word a countless host of undaunted 
heroes move, gladly resigns the inglorious palm of wound- 
ing words and vituperative phraseology, to a drab of the 
market, redolent of fish and bloated with her blustering. 
And well he may, for this is the appropriate field of the 
weak and the vulgar. 

But is this harmless, save as the feelings are assailed 
and worried? No, there are other consequences which 
naturally follow, and which, perhaps, I would be warranted 
in asserting to have been intended. The common sense 


of mankind has long since discovered, and the discovery 
now is admitted as an axiom : " That the public degrada- 
tion of any individual or body by nicknames or continual 
imputations, however undeserved or groundless, is for the 
direction of public opinion fully equivalent to the demon- 
stration of the charges which they intimate." Thus in 
Great Britain and her colonies, it was scarcely deemed 
necessary, even for the purpose of gratifying curiosity, to 
examine into the grounds of any of the vague and mon- 
strous and frequently self-contradictory libels upon the 
Roman Catholics. The very name of Papist was synony- 
mous with everything base, vile, and degrading; Popery 
was the most expressive word in the English language 
for all that was abominable ; and, generally speaking, mad 
dog was not more fatal to the quadruped, than Romanist 
or Papist to the biped. I shall give one or two instances 
out of several which lie within my reach. 

By the law of 1696, no Roman Catholic was permitted 
to profess his religion in Carolina ; and this law was not 
repealed at the time of the Revolution. As far as I can 
discover, no clergyman of that Church ever entered Caro- 
lina previous to 1783; no one was stationed in it until 
several years later ; until 1821 there was no station for a 
mission or a priest, in South Carolina, outside the city of 
Charleston. In 1790, there was considerable difficulty in 
'obtaining the means of very poor support for one priest 
in this city. 

With those facts before us, I would ask, what was the 
number of Catholics in the State in 1774 and in 1775? 
I believe that scarcely ten could be discovered. We shall 
find that there were two, and their history is not altogether 

In 1774, Judge Drayton informs us that about the 
month of August, news arrived in Charlestown, (now Char- 
leston,) that an act had been passed in the British 
parliament, extending the limits of the government of 
Quebec, and amongst other things "establishing therein 
the Roman Catholic religion." He should rather have said, 


permitting the people to follow the Catholic religion, which 
they always professed, and establishing the Protestant as 
the government religion. Almost every one of the colonies 
complained loudly of this act of toleration; and there 
was scarcely one of them that did not mark it down as 
a tyrannical assault by the British king upon their Protest- 
ant rights and liberties, and such as was likely to bring 
down the curse of God upon him. I shall here allow 
Judge Drayton to describe the feelings of the former 
inhabitants of that city in which I write: "These acts, 
sunk deep into the minds of the people, as they saw the 
crown now made despotic, and the Eomish Church estab- 
lished in a part of America. Men openly said, George III 
had broken his coronation oath ; as well as the solemn 
contract, under which he received his title to the crown. 
They said, the He volution of 1G88 was effected upon a- 
principle of rescuing the English dominions from the 
errors and tyranny of the Romish Church. That for this 
effect, William, Prince of Orange, had been placed on the 
British throne ; and after him the ancestor, from whom 
George III derived his royal titles; and that he was bound 
by the same conditions. Under these reflections, the meet- 
ing of the general assembly now approached, and the 
representatives with impatience wished for an opportunity 
of declaring in a legislative manner their sentiments 
respecting the late obnoxious acts of parliament." 1 

Would to God that I could acquit the Congress of 1774 
of acts upon this subject, which should be effaced by my 
tears, if shedding them in the bitterness of my heart 
could blot the record from their journals ! But enough of 
this. I must subdue the feeling which tempts me to place 
in contrast the declarations made by that body to the 
Protestants of what are now our republics, and those made 
by them to the Catholics of Quebec. Was I previously 
ignorant of the want of value in political professions, this 
would be an abundant lesson. Let it rest. It suffices for 
my present purpose to show that nicknames and ground- 
less imputations had destroyed the fair fame of Catholics 

' " Memoirs," vol 1, p. 136. 


in this part of America. Judge Dray ton gives us another 
instance, which shows the force of association. The occur- 
rence took place in April, 1775. 

"With all these occurrences, men's minds had become 
agitated ; and it was deemed proper to bring forth some- 
thing calculated to arrest the public attention, to throw 
odium on the British administration, to put down the 
crown-officers in the province, and to invigorate the ardor 
of the people. And nothing was deemed more likely to 
effect the same than some public exhibition, which might 
speak to the sight and senses of the multitude. For this 
purpose, effigies were brought forward supposed to be by 
the authority or connivance of the secret committee. They 
were executed under the direction of Mr. Poyas, in the 
Masonic lodge-room, in Lodge Alley; and represented the 
Pope, Lord Grenville, Lord North, and the devil. They 
were placed on the top of a frame, capable of containing 
one or two persons within it, and the frame was covered 
over with thick canvass, so that those within could not 
be distinguished. In the front of the frame, on the top, 
the Pope was seated in a chair of state, in his pontifical 
dress ; and at a distance immediately behind him, the devil 
was pla'ced in a standing position, holding a barbed dart 
in his right hand ; between the Pope and the devil on 
each side, Lords Grenville and North were stationed. Thus 
finished, the frame and effigies were fixed on four wheels ; 
and early in the morning, this uncommon spectacle was 
stationed between the Market 1 and St. Michael's church, 
in Broad Street, to the gaze of the citizens. Many were 
the surmises respecting it; but at length, by its evolu- 
tions, it soon began to explain the purposes for which it 
was constructed; for no sooner did any of the crown-officers, 
placemen, counsellors, or persons known to be disaffected 
to the common cause, pass by, than the Pope immediately 
bowed with .proportioned respect to them; and the devil, 
at the same moment, striking his dart at the head of 
the Pope, convulsed the populace with bursts of laughter. 

i The Beef Market was then where the elegant building of the City Hall is at 


While, on the other hand, the immovable effigies of Lords 
Grcnville and North, appearing like attendants on the 
Pope, or criminals, moved the people with sentiments of 
disgust and contempt against them and the whole British 
administration, for the many oppressive acts which they 
had been instrumental in procuring to be passed through 
both houses of parliament. In this manner, the machine 
was exposed, after which it was paraded through the town 
the whole day by the mob; and in the evening they car- 
ried it beyond the town, where, surrounding it with tar 
barrels, the whole was committed to the flames. Nor did 
the idea or influence of the thing end here; for boys 
forsook their customary sports to make models like it, 
with which, having amused themselves and roused their 
youthful spirits into a detestation of oppression, they also 
committed them to the flames. And many of those very 
boys supported, with their services and blood, the rights 
and liberties of their country. 

" On this occasion, Edward Weynian, a member of the 
secret committee of five, was one of the persons within 
the machine, who directed the operation of the machinery ; 
and to his knowledge of the men and characters he had 
to deal with, the public were indebted, no doubt, for the 
significant bows of respect which the Pope so appropri- 
ately paid to all those who preferred taxation and royalty 
to liberty and social happiness. Mr. Weynian being so 
engaged in the plot, naturally associates the secret com- 
mittee with him in the scheme ; as it has been already 
stated, that when that committee was originated, Mr. 
Weyman was expressly nominated as one of them, on 
account of the active and confidential services he would 
render." 1 

At, this period, the British ministers would incur the 
penalties of a prccmunire, or be put out of the protection 
of the law, if they should hold any communication with 
the Pope ; the British administration persecuted Koman 
Catholics with the utmost virulence; yet they are here 
brought together, as the most likely way of throwing 

' " Memoirs," vol. 1, p. 22O. 


odium upon the British ministry ; they arc made the sport 
of schoolboys and companions of the devil. We should 
feel exceedingly grateful to Messrs. Weyman and Poyas 
and to the other members of the secret committee, for this 
appropriate compliment. 

When the members of any body are thus held up to 
public scorn and detestation, it is an easy and a natural 
transition to maltreat them with impunity ; especially in 
a community where they are exceedingly few in number, 
and have neither wealth, power, nor friends. Such was the 
case of the few imfortunate Catholics, who, in defiance of 
the law, skulked in some of the obscure purlieus of Charles- 
ton, where this exhibition took place. Without a priest, 
without an altar, without property, without political exist- 
ence, hated and despised in Carolina, persecuted by Great 
Britain, who could imagine it possible that two or three 
insignificant outcasts of this description could even be 
suspected of exposing themselves openly to the vengeance 
of a people ? Who could imagine the possibility of their 
openly assailing with arms and threatening with death the 
patriotic Protestants of the city? Who could swallow the 
assertion, that at such a time, and after such an exhibi- 
tion, there should be danger of their escaping through the 
partiality of the judicial tribunals? Yet there were in this 
city men who, having discovered two Roman Catholics, set 
up these pretexts as a cover for the ill-treatment they 
were doomed to undergo. 

"The following petition 1 was transferred over to the 
secret committee, who acted upon it: 

"To the honorable members of the committee of corre- 
spondence, at Charlestown, the humble petition of 
Michael Hubart, showeth: 

" That upon the 2d day of June, your petitioner being 
in the house of Thomas Nicoll, in King street, a certain 
James Dealey came in, and told there was good news 
come to town. Being asked what was it, he answered 
that a number of arms was sent over to be distributed 
amongst the negroes, Eoman Catholics and Indians. Upon 

1 Orayton's "Memoirs," vol. 1, pp. 300-2. 


which your petitioner replied he thought it was very bad 
news that Koman Catholics and savages should bo per- 
mitted to join and massacre Christians. Upon which 
Dealey struck his breast and swore 'he was a Roman 
Catholic, and that he ^ had arms and would get arms and 
use them as he pleased.' Your petitioner went home to 
his house, and shortly after came in said Dealey and a 

certain Laughlin Martin and A Reed. After sitting 

down a little, Laughlin Martin arose and said: 'So, Mr. 
Hubart, you'll not allow Roman Catholics to carry guns?' 
Your petitioner answered that his circumstances were too 
small to forbid any party or sect to carry arms. Martin 
then damned your petitioner for a false-faced villain ; 
and declared he would believe Dealey sooner than me ; at 
same time ordered said Dealey to drag your petitioner 
out of the house and pull him to pieces. At the same 
time standing with a drawn cutteau in his hand, swear- 
ing if he did not, that he (Martin) would have blood 
himself. Dealey then dragged your petitioner into a shop 
in front of the house, holding him by the throat until 
released by the aforesaid Reed. But. upon being released, 
said Martin came up, with his cutteau drawn, threatening 
to put your petitioner to immediate death, when your 
petitioner, falling upon his knees, begged his life ; your 
petitioner's wife and children begging, at the same time, 
to spare the life of their father and husband. Your 
petitioner then arose and went into the next room, but 
was still followed by Martin, who vowed to God if your 
petitioner did not beg pardon of Dealey, he would, that 
instant, cut off his head. Upon which your petitioner, to 
save his life, did ask his (Dealey's) pardon. Martin then 
declared he was a Roman Catholic, and vowed to God to 
cut off the head of any person who said he should not 
carry arms. After which, said Martin called for some 
drink, and drank of it with Dealey and Reed; and one 
of his toasts was, ' Damnation to the committee and their 
proceedings.' Your petitioner has prosecuted them as law 
directs. But as the times appear to be very troublesome, 


and numbers of enemies, both to the Protestant interest 
and the present cause, are lurking amongst us, your peti- 
tioner hopes that you will inquire into such parts of their 
transaction as concerns the public; and your petitioner, as 
in duty bound, shall ever pray. 

"Michael Hubart. 

"Secret: tar and feather him. 1 Passed the secret com- 
mittee, and ordered to be put in execution. 2 On the 
back of the petition is written, in the real hand-writing of 
William Henry Drayton, the chairman of the secret commit- 
tee, the following, viz.: Laughlin Martin, 3 James Dealey." 4 

The result is thus stated by Drayton: "During the 
events which took place about this time, and of which 
mention has been made, it is of some consequence to observe 
that in the course of June of this year (1775), Laughlin 
Martin and James Dealey, having behaved in a very 
improper manner respecting the general committee and 
their proceedings, as well as respecting the association, 
and having threatened Michael Hubart with death, unless 
he begged their pardon for having justified the conduct 
of the committee, he sent a petition respecting the affair 
to the committee of correspondence of Charlestown. This 
committee immediately transferred it to the secret commit- 
tee of five, who, having considered the same, ordered both 
Martin and Dealey to be tarred and feathered. The order 
was promptly put in execution by suitable agents; and 
they were both stripped of their clothes, tarred, feathered 
and carted through the streets of Charlestown : affording 
the first instance of such a spectacle in this colony. This 
being done, the secret committee sent them on board a 
ship ready to sail for England; Laughlin Martin was, 
however, permitted to land again, and was discharged, on 
expressing his contrition in a public manner, but James 
Dealey, for an example, was sent away. These summary 

iThis order is in a disguised hand, supposed to be that of William Henry Drayton, 
chairman of the secret committee. 

3 This certificate is also in a disguised hand, supposed to be that of Edward Weyman, 
one of the members of the secret committee. 

To land, and bo discharged, upon his expressing his contrition in the most public 

4 Send away. 


measures nave been supposed by writers to nave proceeded 
from the intemperate zeal of the populace ; and there can 
be no doubt but many of them took their rise from that 
source. But there can be as little doubt this first com- 
mencement of so ludicrous and disgraceful a punishment 
owed its origin, in South Carolina, to this very case." 1 

Now I am confident that the unfortunate beings who 
were thus selected to undergo this "ludicrous and disgrace- 
ful punishment," endured it, not because they were guilty, 
but. because they were of the class of the Quaker's mad 
dog. Just think, for a moment, of the apprehensions of 
the sweet and veracious Michael Hubart, that in the year 
1*775, the "enemies to the Protestant interest" were so 
numerous in Charleston, as that a Protestant judge, and 
a Protestant jury, and Protestant prosecutors, and there 
could be none other, would be afraid to punish a Catholic 
malefactor ! Only imagine the heroism and prowess of so 
formidable an array as Dealey and Martin, compelling so 
good a Protestant as Hubart, surrounded by his friends, 
in so large a city, to save his precious life upon such 
ignominious terms! Only figure to yourself the terror 
which pervaded the Protestant forces of this good city 
when the redoubted Martin brandished his glittering 
cutteau! But how are fallen the mighty! How fickle is 
Dame Fortune ! The laurels had not yet faded on the 
brows of the victors ere the chaplets are torn from their 
heads; and that "Protestant interest" which was so feeble, 
and which had so many enemies, boldly leads them, in 
imresisted triumph, covered with their clucking honors, 
through the enraptured city. Not a hand is lifted to 
avenge the insult; not an eye is noticed to weep for 
their disgrace! And, after the lapse of half a century, a 
venerable judge of the land writes the record of this 
inglorious, this illegal, this despotic outrage, without a 
single observation of censure! 

Notwithstanding the effort of the notable Michael 
Hubart to identify negroes, Roman Catholics and Indians, 
and to exhibit the Roman Catholics and savages as 

i "Memoirs," vol. 1. p. 273. 


leagued for the massacre of Christians, I appprehend 
Americans now will believe with me that, in all likelihood, 
this was another of Mr. Weyman's devices, "calculated to 
arrest public attention and to throw odium on the British 

Thus the process is natural and easy from nicknames 
to ill-treatment, from degradation to the loss of sympathy, 
and to the excommunication from the charities of society 
and the protection of power. Would you insure the 
destruction of a wretched dog, you need only insinuate 
that he is mad. Am I asked what is the object of the 
sanctified host of our opponents, in their obstinate persist- 
ence in vulgar contumely let this be the reply: It 
must be the expression of a low but impotent disposition 
to hurt our feelings, since they are restrained from injur- 
ing our persons; or it is to make us odious, that we 
may be injured. If there be any other, let it be assigned. 


I will not assert that the object of our evangelical 
opponents is to procure Roman Catholics being tarred and 
feathered ; on the contrary, I believe they have no such 
object. But I do state that I believe their intention in 
continuing the use of nicknames is, first, to bring Catholics 
into contempt; and secondly, to deprive them of sympathy, 
and to excite against them suspicions of the worst kind 
and subject them to unmerited distrust and to its natural 

The editor of the Telegraph, besides using the nomen- 
clature which I have before exhibited, tells his readers 
that " Popery should be noticed in connection with intem- 
perance." 1 Let any person who possesses self-respect as 
a man or any portion of religious sentiment, ask himself 
what is the estimation in which the drunkard should be 
held. Let him view the body unnerved, the countenance 
bloated, the eye dull, the dress slovenly and covered with 

This has actually het.n repeated In our own day in Liverpool, England, where 
an evangelical publication announced last year that Popery and drunkenness wore 
the twin cvi's of tho a?c. 


the stains of vomit: contemplating this personification, let 
him. ask: "Is that the representation of a Catholic?" 
The mouth-piece of the brotherhood will tell him that it 
is, and will call the Catholic a "beast." Let him view the 
pictures drawn of the intemperate in all the associated 
publications ; let him ask what is the object of the wri- 
ters, of the preachers, of the societies ; is it not to cover 
intemperance with the contempt and the disgust and the 
hatred of the community? When, therefore, we are told 
by the same associates "that Popery should be noticed in 
connection with intemperance," is it not their intention 
to cover Catholics with the contempt and the disgust and 
the hatred of the community? Yet theso are men of 
sublime charity ! These are men of tender mercy ! These 
are men who oppose bigotry! These are the only men 
who seek to preserve our republican institutions. 

Let Americans look around, review their Catholic neigh- 
bors, and ask: Do the latter deserve this contumely? Are 
they justly exposed to this hatred? We have seen the 
manner in which they were treated previous to the Kev- 
olution, in what were then the colonies. I have given 
only a few specimens ; I can, if necessary, multiply them 
to disgusting satiety. Then they were charged by the 
legislative bodies, by the popular assemblies, and by indi- 
viduals, with a slavish spirit, with perfidious designs, with 
leaguing with negroes and savages for the extermination 
of Christians, to the destruction of freedom. It is not for 
me here to say how they behaved in the contest. In their 
own address to President Washington, they tell him : 
"Whilst our country preserves her freedom and independ- 
ence, we shall have a well-founded title to claim from 
her justice the equal rights of citizenship, as the price 
of our blood, spilt under your eyes, and our common exer- 
. tions for her defence, tinder your auspicious conduct." 
Upon those grounds they asserted, respecting those equal 
rights of citizenship, " we expect the full extension of them 
from the justice of those States which still restrict them." 
Besides the unjust and improper restrictions against 
Catholics, which yet are to be found in the constitutions 


of New Jersey and of North Carolina and those of some 
of the New England States the latter of which have 
heen since repealed the following were then the 12th 
and 13th sections of the constitution of South Carolina: 
" 12. No person shall he eligible to a seat in the Senate 
unless he he of the Protestant religion. 13. No person 
shall be eligible to sit in the House of Kepresentatives 
unless he be of the Protestant religion." 

None, had better opportunities of appreciating the con- 
duct of the Catholics than General Washington possessed ; 
and his answer to the address contains the following 
paragraph: "As mankind become more liberal, they will 
be more apt to allow, that all those who conduct them- 
selves as worthy members of the community, are equally 
entitled to the protection of the civil government. I hope 
ever to see America amongst the foremost nations in 
examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that 
your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which 
you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution and 
the establishment of their government; or the important 
assistance which they received from a nation in which 
the Roman Catholic faith is professed." 

One of the Catholics who subscribed that address, and 
who received that answer, yet survives. 1 Isolated in his 
grandeur, he raises his modest head amidst the graves 
of all his companions, linking together the past and the 
present generations. All the affections which we would 
transmit to the venerable fathers of our republics con- 
verge in him, and through him are conducted to them. 
Well has his life been devoted to the practice of virtue, 
nobly has his fortune been pledged for the benefit of 
myriads yet unborn. He has seen nearly a century pass 
away, and his honor is yet untarnished and sacred. And 
will America permit his departure to be embittered by 
the proclamation, that because of his profession and prac- 
tfce of the religion of the Alfreds, of the Augustines, of 
the Dorias, of the Tells, of the Ambroses, of the Fenelons, 

i Charles Carroll lived when this was written. 


of the vindicators of Magna Charta, of the heralds of 
Christianity, of the discoverers of this continent; that, 
because he is a member of that Church which preserved 
literature and civilized the world, the venerable Charles 
Carroll shall be classed with the most degraded portion 
of our sots by unappeasable and domineering bigotry? 
Yet, is not this the effort which is made? 

Again, I call upon Americans to look to their Catholic 
neighbors ; and ask do they deserve such a stigma as 
this? It is true that few of their names are to be found 
upon the lists of what are called "temperance societies." 
Yet it does not follow that they are intemperate. Others 
might have been actuated by the same motives which 
influenced him who now addresses the public, when he 
declined the invitation to enrol his name. He never was, 
and trusts in God that he never will be, intemperate : 
but he declined, because he has occasionally found the 
use of distilled liquors in a very moderate quantity, to 
be very necessary, and even prescribed by respectable and 
temperate physicians ; because more than once, his own 
life has, he believes, been saved by their use, as he has 
known others to have been lost by their abuse ; because 
he believed that the regulations of those societies, though 
they might produce partial good, produced, he thought, a 
greater evil, in the hypocrisy of some, and the pride of 
others ; and above all, because he found the association 
put forward by men whom, on every occasion when there 
was question of his religion, he found to be cither grossly 
ignorant, incorrigibly obstinate, and superciliously insolent; 
or, if they were well informed, were worse. I believe that 
for such reasons as these, few Catholics have joined or 
are likely to join these societies. I have also heard sev- 
eral 'members of other Churches say, that they would not 
enter such associations ; because they looked upon them 
to be only means used for extending the influence anji 
upholding the power of what is intended to be a "religious 
party in politics." 

But it will be said that this is not the ground upon 
which "Popery should be noticed in connection with 


intemperance ;" for the very essay itself is too plain to 
be misunderstood. It is the intrinsic baseness of Popery 
itself that places it on a level with intemperance; "for 
next to the fire which burns out reason and conscience, 
that power is to be dreaded which stupifies conscience, 
and blinds understanding, and withholds the only light 
which can guide human reason aright, and makes the 
whole man a superstitious slave to the impositions of a 
crafty priesthood." 

I believe I 'need take no trouble now to show that 
the object of the "saints" is to bring Catholics into 
contempt ; for what can be more contemptible than a 
body whose consciences are stupified, whose understandings 
arc blinded, and who are the superstitious slaves of a 
crafty and deceitful priesthood? Need I enter into any 
farther examination to show that the object is to deprive 
us of sympathy, to excite suspicion, and to subject us to 
distrust when we are exhibited as objects of dread ? And 
who is the man that thus denounces not only half a mil- 
lion of his fellow-citizens, but the vast majority of the 
Christian world ? 

The denunciation is against the Roman Catholic Church, 
which numbers in its communion considerably upwards of 
one hundred and fifty millions of the civilized population 
pf the globe. And by whom ? By the mouth-piece of one 
of the smaller divisions of the modern separatists from the 
Church of ages. I do not wish to write unkindly ; I 
would not write offensively of any one of the religious 
societies which cover our territory; but it is necessary often 
to bring those who are ignorant or forgetful, to the con- 
templation of facts. If the doctrines of the Catholic Church 
stupify the conscience, how has it happened that the best 
works, for the direction of conscience, that are found 
amongst our separated brethren, who boast so much of 
their light, are garbled imitations of Catholic writers, 
only deteriorated by their omissions? How has it happened 
that in the works of Catholic writers, before the unfor- 
tunate secession of Luther, all the great maxims of 


piety and morality are so conspicuous? How has it hap- 
pened, that in the bosom of the Catholic Church they 
have been studiously preserved, zealously enforced, continu- 
ally expounded, and nobly reduced to practice? It is true, 
that the Gersons, the Kempises, the Bourdaloues, the Fen- 
elons, the Kodriguezes, the Granadas, the Francises of 
Sales, the Massillons, the Gothers, the Challoners, and 
men of that description, wrote in the plain and intelli- 
gible language of common sense and of fervid piety, that 
whilst they enlightened the conscience they did not shock 
the taste nor disgust the understanding, though they 
won upon the heart. Their mode of stupifying the con- 
science was not indeed similar to that of the "holy men" 
who would sweep our Church with their besom of destruc- 
tion. Look at these extracts from the "saints:" 

"When the soul finds corruption in itself, it sets to 
the rock Jesus Christ, and there repenting and believing, 
yea, by the highest actings of faith, endeavoring to knock 
off its beak, its individuate desires unto the world. A 
'saint' becomes clad with the sun of righteousness, and 
presently the moon is under his feet; which makes him 
use the world as though he used it not. A renewed old 
man is a renewed eagle, enabled to mount in duties with 
the wings of eagles." 1 "Ye know, dear ' saints/ that the 
sweet-spirited nightingales and robin red-breasts cannot 
endure cages, but will soon die ; nor can precious souls 
be cooped up or kept in durance under any form what- 
soever, but they must be left free to fly up and down 
in Christian liberty." 2 "For though truth be as good a 
diet as partridge or pheasant, yet it is not to be served 
in or carved out raw, feathers and all ; no, but cooked, 
and seasoned, and now and then you have a pretty tart 
sauce to it too, to whet your stomachs. I pray accept 
of it, and say grace to it, and fall to, and much good 
may it do you." 3 "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 

' " Lamot'a Funeral Sermon," by Fulk Belldrs, p. 81. 
'"Ep'8tle dedicated to John Rosrere' Bethshemesh," p. 47. 
Ib , p 74. 


gifts ; grace alone many times cannot reach down such 
a notion in divinity as it is able to do by the help of 
gifts : gifts are given for the help of grace ; they are 
the handmaids of grace, arid they bring forth sweetly 
upon the knees of grace." 1 "I do not boast, but I speak 
it to His glory, that God vouchsafed to take up His 
lodgings in so vile, so contemptible, unswept, ungarnished 
a room as this unworthy cottage of mine ; but it was 
His will, and I am thankful for it." 2 "Let any true 
' saint' of God be taken away in the very act of any 
known sin, before it is possible for him to repent; I 
make no doubt or scruple of it ; but he shall be as 
surely saved as if he had lived to have repented of it." 3 
"The child of God in the power of grace doth perform 
every duty so well, that to ask pardon for failing either 
in the matter or manner of it, is a sin ; it is unlawful 
to pray for forgiveness of sins after conversion ; and if 
he does at any time fall, he can, by the power of grace, 
carry his sin to the Lord, and say, here I had it, and 
here I leave it."* 

These, I acknowledge, are not the maxims by which 
the conscience of a Catholic is enlightened. He must 
be guided by the great rules of moral truth as revealed 
by God, and expounded and testified by the great bulk 
of the Christian world, in communion with the successor 
of that Apostle, to whom Christ declared, that upon that 
rock (Peter) would He build His Church, against which 
the gates of hell should never prevail ; that Church founded 
and established in doctrine, after Christ, by the Apos- 
tles, upon whom the Holy Ghost descended, to lead them 
into all truth, and which truth was to continue for the 
guidance of the Christian people, as the pillar of cloud 
and fire remained to bring Israel into the land of promise. 
The fervent, faithful disciples of the early ages, the mar- 
tyrs and their companions, gave to our predecessors the 

' Bridge's " Sermon before the Lord Mayor." 1653. pp. 49-50. 
Cromwell's "learned, Devout and Conscientious Exercise," held at Sir Peter 
Temple's open room, 1, c., xiii, 1649, p 3. 

3 Prynns "Perpetuity of a Regenerate Man's Estate," p. 431. 
4 "Fifty Propositions taken from Brierly's Mouth," prop. 19. 


Sacred Volume which contains these maxims, together with 
the comment of their writings and of their conduct. 
Scattered through thousands of Churches, in every habitable 
portion of the globe, the zealous people preserved the 
deposit with religious fidelity under the powerful protec- 
tion of the celestial influence. Occasionally, proud men, 
and sometimes weak men, at other times corrupt men, 
went out from this body, censured for using novelties 
which could not be tolerated, because of their incompati- 
bility with the original truth. The writings, the institu- 
tions, and the recorded conduct of those men who in 
their days were acknowledged to have comprehended and 
taught the true doctrine and practice revealed in the 
Sacred Volume, exhibited to the inquirer, in the midst of 
the fluctuations of opinion, what was the correct rule for 
his conscience. What the Basils, the Gregorys, the Chry- 
sostoms, the Augustines, the Ambroses, the Cyrils, the 
Jeromes, have taught from the sacred record, is that 
which guides the Roman Catholic to-day ; this he prefers 
to the lucubrations, the conjectures, the anxieties, the 
experiences, the backslidings, and the contradictions of 
" nightingales and robin red-breasts," who wander to and 
fro in the full enjoyment of their powers of aberration. 
And yet we are told by this religious writer that the 
vast majority of the Christian world, guided by such means 
in the exposition of the sacred text, are " stupified in 
their consciences!" By whom has his been illustrated? He 
has had the spirit poured forth upon -him. He has been 
a man of prayer, and he has been taught by heaven. I 
am ready to admit, that "could we sec a spirit of prayer 
poured down upon us, I would not question but that God 
would open the bottles of His mercy and rain down upon 
us a -blessing in abundance." 1 But the spirit of prayer 
and its form are two very different things. And it is not 
by saying, "Lord, Lord," but by doing the will of the 
Father, that man is to obtain a blessing. The will of the 
Father is, that we obey the Saviour, and the Saviour com- 
manded us to hear that tribunal which He established, and 

' Sclater's "Sermon," Oct. 13, IOCS, p. 60. 


whose ministers He sent with a commission to teach: He 
did not command us to destroy the tribunal, and first pro- 
claiming unrestricted freedom under the pretext of unproved 
inspirations, then endeavor to subject others, under the 
.semblance of an underived commission. 

I have deviated from my plan in making this skirmish 
against the position that Catholics have their "consciences 
stupified ; " my object was not so much to combat the 
assertion, as to show the aim of the writer. I shall not 
therefore dwell at present upon the refutation of his other 
charges: "That the understandings of Catholics are blinded," 
and that they are the "superstitious slaves of a crafty 
priesthood," as also the charge that this priesthood is 
guilty of "impositions." I shall merely ask upon what are 
these charges based? It would seem from his article that 
the only reason he vouchsafes to give is, that the Catholic 
Church "withholds the only light which can guide human 
reason aright," by which I suppose he means the Bible. 
Assuming this to be the correct meaning of his piece, I 
shall cursorily observe, that forbidding the use of a bad 
and defective translation is not " withholding the Book:" 
nor is the forbidding its misinterpretation "withholding 
the Book." This is all that the Catholic Church does, 
and this, not only religion, but common sense and the 
public good would require. What he. insinuates as a 
reason is then but a figment, and if he lias no other 
proof of his charges, they are unsustained. His intention 
is manifest. It is to cast contempt upon the Catholics of 
the United States, to deprive them of the sympathy of 
their fellow-citizens; it is to excite against them sinister 
suspicions, and to prepare the mind of the community for 
ulterior steps in their regard. 


If it is inquired what could be the ulterior objects 
which the editor of the Southern Religious Telegraph 
sought in bringing Catholics into contempt and hatred, 


I shall refer to his own production for the answer. That 
production informs us of what I admit to be a fact; and 
I am gratified beyond measure at its development. Catho- 
lics, as they become better known, are more esteemed by 
their fellow-citizens. This is creditable to themselves, and 
to those by whom they are esteemed. In one it argues 
the absence of what deserves contempt or hatred ; in the 
other, it shows the .existence of a love of truth and of 

We have had ample evidence of the degradation of the 
Catholics in the United States at the period of the Rev- 
olution. They were sunk below the level of the negroes 
and of the Indians: few, poor, despised, bywords, butts of 
ridicule, objects of suspicion, victims of persecution, the 
mockery of school-boys, could they be sunk lower on the 
social scale ? They had scarcely the skeleton of a clergy ; 
and the greater portion of that little band consisted of 
men who had from their childhood been under the rod 
of affliction and trained up in a contentedness to neglect : 
they rejoiced that they were thought worthy to suffer v 
reproach for the name of Christ. With scarcely an excep- 
tion they were men who, though erudite, yet kept aloof 
from the learned, and, occupied in the discharge of their 
functions amongst their scattered poor, were only occasion- 
ally noticed by the public as strange objects of an unde- 
fined curiosity, or of pity, or contempt, or execration. The 
notions which the bulk of the citizens entertained of the 
doctrines of the Catholic Church were the most preposter- 
ous: they were formed from the worst books of their most 
unprincipled opponents ; from the allegations and preambles 
of the laws of their most bitter persecutors ; from the 
tales of terrified old ladies, and the declamations of relig- 
ious teachers, in whom it is hard to determine whether 
gross ignorance of Catholic tenets or fanatical hatred of 
everything Catholic predominated. The pulpit, the press, 
the bench, the bar, public prejudice, the assemblies of- 
the people, the representations of the theatre, the hall of 
the college, the lesson of the school, the tale of the 


nursery, whatever occupied the meditation of the sage, or 
guided the progress of the child, was all all eminently 
and emphatically anti-Catholic. The Pope was the beast 
of the Apocalypse ; the Church was the harlot who made 
the nations of the earth drunk with the cup of her 
abominations ; Kome was the great custom-house of sin, at 
which a stipulated tariff was to be paid, for leave to 
commit with impunity every crime by which man could 
be stained or God could be offended; incest, sodomy, 
murder, parricide might be perpetrated upon a trifling 
composition. Every Catholic was the sworn and devoted 
slave of the cruel tyrant who presided in this pest-house 
of abominations; an admirable contrivance of wicked moral 
mechanism enabled the monster to touch the springs by 
which his orders were secretly and securely and infallibly 
executed at the same moment, in a thousand places upon 
the surface of the globe, and by which he as infallibly 
learned all that occurred. The bishops confessed to him 
and received his directions; from these, he learned all that 
others had communicated to them, and through their agency, 
he conveyed his will to all his other vassals : each pre- 
late stood in a similar relation to the priests, who were 
the conductors between him and the people: and all were 
to consider the Pope as the Lord God : his will could 
change virtue into vice, and make vice become virtue. The 
inquisitors also were his agents, who, by his command, 
destroyed in the most cruel manner all who dared to 
question his omnipotence. 

This tyrant looked upon kings as his slaves, and set 
his feet upon the necks of emperors; he abominated republi- 
canism, and commanded the Bible to be destroyed. He 
lifted himself up in the temple of God against God 
Himself, and substituted a gross and desolating supersti- 
tion for the pure religion of the Apostles ; a pageantry 
of corrupt and tawdry worldly pomp, for the observances 
of the meek and lowly Jesus. Every crime which was 
perpetrated under the semblance of religion, every political 
machination in which a Catholic was concerned, every suf- 


fering of a Protestant in a Catholic nation, for what crime 
soever, all were attributed to the ravening of this mon- 
ster for human blood ; real cruelties were aggravated, and 
imaginary atrocities were conjured up; and this revolting 
aggregate of everything vile and villainous Avas styled the 
religion of Roman Catholics ! How the understanding is 
shocked, and the heart shudders, and charity recoils from 
the contemplation ! Does not the question naturally present 
itself. If the American people had such notions of the 
religion of Roman Catholics, how could they tolerate an 
individual of . that communion in the country? I shall 
not answer that question ; but I bring two facts under 
the American public's observation: 1. They did tolerate 
Catholics amongst them, and the general impression in 
their regard was such as I have imperfectly sketched. I will 
go further, and say, such is the picture which the Evan- 
gelicals would give of us to-day; such is the notion 
honestly formed by a vast portion of our fellow-citizens at 
present. And 2. Not one single trait of the above pic- 
ture is correctly drawn; no one of the features of the 
Catholic religion is there fairly or honestly represented. 
That which is now, unfortunately, the mistake of perhaps 
half our fellow-citizens, was, fifty years ago, the delusion 
of nearly the whole body. 

Allow me to examine the intermediate history, that 
we may trace effects to their causes, arid try to account 
for evangelical acrimony. 

Subsequent to the Revolution there was, in the immi- 
gration hither, some accession of Catholics, though not 
speedily in great numbers. They were principally from 
Ireland and from Germany, and they at first settled more 
generally in Pennsylvania and Maryland, from various 
causes to which I need not advert ; New York next 
received some accession, and only some stragglers found 
their way to the north or the south of this region. For 
a time their spiritual wants were but imperfectly, and 
only at intervals, supplied. Their conduct was open to 
the observation of their neighbors they were persons 


generally of the humbler grades of society; they had 
boon fully imbued with all the principles of the Catholic 
Church ; the Irish had been exasperated and ground down 
by oppression and persecution ; they felt partially relieved 
from the yoke which had so long pressed upon their 
fathers and themselves ; and their feelings against Pro- 
testants were rather embittered than affectionate : they 
had here no "crafty priesthood" to teach them the con- 
cealment of their true principles, arid to fit them with 
a mask of disguise ; they were proverbially communicative, 
open, and confiding ; in them an ordinary observer would 
soon detect the mark of the beast, and his true character 
would be easily developed. The Germans were blunt, 
rough, honest and fully as open to observation as the 
Irish. The few clergymen of either nation who, from 
time to time, migrated hither, were equally subject to 
the public scrutiny as their iiocks ; and the Americans 
are not remarkable for their indifference or imperfection 
of observation. 

From what I before stated, the public mind was not 
biased favorably towards this portion of the new settlers. 
Yet it is a fact, that they gradually Avon upon the favor 
of their fellow-citizens, and after some time they were 
considered not only to be Christians, but even to be 
moral, and several of them pious ; and some of their 
more reflecting neighbors began to hope that though it 
would be prudent not to be over sanguine, yet it was 
possible they might become good citizens. Where they 
were more numerous, their intercourse with their fellow- 
citizens was necessarily more extended, and the opportu- 
nities for observation enlarged; and as this occurred, 
prejudice rapidly diminished. 

Another accession was from France, at the period of 
her first revolution ; and a large number of her clergy 
were thus thrown upon our shores. Nearly ignorant of 
our language, scarcely recovered from the terrors of the 
atrocities with which their infatuated and infuriated 
countrymen had disgraced the name of liberty, and smart- 


ing under the wounds inflicted upon them in the name 
of republicanism, it would seem that these circumstances, 
superadded to the native deformities ascribed to Catholi- 
cism, would enable the cautious and inquisitive American 
to discover, in those men, the hideous traits of the beast. 
Yet, they too improved upon acquaintance, were found 
useful to the country, exceedingly virtuous in their con- 
duct, and aifectionate to their neighbors. New England 
began to see a few Catholic immigrants settle only in 
her seaports, for as yet she had no manufactories ; and 
the names of Matignon and Cheverus are affectionately 
recollected and pronounced with benediction by the sons 
of the Pilgrims. The insurrection of San Domingo cast 
hundreds of refugees upon our southern coasts ; a warm 
and cordial hospitality forgot the imagined abominations 
of their religion ; they were observed, they were known, 
they were confided in, and yet they were Roman Catho- 
lics ! The distresses of Ireland, and the love of America, 
brought out hordes who spread over the face of our land. 
Louisiana was purchased and occupied, Missouri has grown 
into a State, and Florida belongs to us. In all our wide 
domain, the Catholics of these newly acquired regions and 
the Protestants of the old British colonies became blended 
together ; they dwell in the same streets, they board in 
the same houses, they preside on the same bench, they 
serve -on the same juries, they have defended their common 
country in the same ranks, their blood has been commin- 
gled in peace and in war. The Catholic clergy, as well 
as the Catholic laity, are under the eye of Protestant 
observation. Many very respectable persons who were 
ornaments of their own religious societies, have closely 
investigated the principles and the doctrines of the Cath- 
olic' Church ; they have laid aside their early prejudices, 
they have entered the pale of her communion ; some of 
them minister at her altars, some of them are found in 
her cloisters, some of them are in the highest places of 
her esteem and confidence ; they are themselves witnesses 
of her doctrines to their families, to their relatives, to 


their connections, to their friends, and to their fellow- 

In this manner, within the period of fifty years, have 
common sense, and common observation, and honest pur- 
pose, and Protestant intelligence, and Protestant honor, 
made a serious encroachment upon ancient Protestant 
prejudice, and folly, and injustice. 

I have shown the description of persons upon whom 
the scrutiny has been made. Let us now to see who 
have been the scrutinizers. They are the American people. 
I dislike sectional distinctions ; but sometimes they may 
be inoffensively made. In making the inquiry which 
produced this result, we had first, the calm, steady, per- 
severing industry of Pennsylvania, and the keen observa- 
tion and jealous scrutiny of Maryland; we had the adverse, 
obstinate, determined investigation of New York; we had 
the prejudices of the New Englander deep-rooted and 
unbending, but yet loving truth, though cautious in the 
investigation. The New Englander has a character, many 
of the features of which I admire; and dare I venture 
upon a prophetic calculation, I would say, that the land 
of steady habits will, before the lapse of half a century, 
be a land in which the Catholic Church will extensively 
flourish? 1 Add to these the chivalrous feeling of the 
South, with its attachment to its High Church principles, 
which, though it would scarcely vouchsafe an examination 
of our creed, yet is most jealous and lynx-eyed as to the 
effect of our doctrines upon society. Yes, it is by a people 
of strong and varied prejudices against us, but a people 
of the most comprehensive mind, the most habitual jeal- 
ousy, and probably, as an aggregate, the best instructed 
in the universe, that, during half a century, this scrutiny 
has been made; the result of which is a decision, to a 
great degree, in our favor. We duly appreciate the kind- 
ness, and we are gratified for the benefit, though, as yet, 
it renders us only partial justice. 

It is this decision of the Americans which has enraged 
the Evangelicals, and driven them to assail us. The 

i A prediction fulfilled now ; nearly half the population of Boston is Catholic. 


writer in the Telegraph complains: That Americans regard 
our efforts with more complacency and delight than 
they do any enterprise of theirs. It is true, that our 
efforts are not directed to create a " Christian party 
in politics ;" and though we do count half a million of 
what they are pleased to call "subjects of the beast/' we 
are not found plotting, as the Rev. Doctor Ely testifies 
against his own party, to establish " sentiments which no 
man but an infidel need blush to avow," and from which, 
of course, a " saint " will not depart : the propriety and 
the certainty of bringing a combined religious club of 
half a million of votes to the polls on a given day, for 
a given purpose. Were we to make such an effort as 
this, Americans would not and ought not to regard it 
with complacency. Our efforts are made to diffuse learn- 
ing, by the means of schools and colleges, to erect 
churches, and to create pastors for our destitute flocks ; 
to introduce the correct knowledge of our peculiar prin- 
ciples and practices amongst our fellow-citizens, for the 
purpose of disabusing them of the unfounded prejudices 
under which they have labored, we trust, without any 
fault of their own. Our efforts are openly directed to 
these, and only to these objects. We do not calumniate 
our brethren, we do not "nickname God's creatures," we 
do not excite hatred against our fellow-citizens, we do 
not sow discord in the Union, nor do we, with Pharisaic 
rudeness, send our deacons to drag ladies from carriages, 
under the pretext of serving the God of benevolence. 

The writer complains that Americans have more sym- 
pathy for us than they have for any denomination of 
"enlightened Christians" in the land. This does honor 
to their feelings. For who is deserving of sympathy, if 
it be not the victim of bigotry and of misrepresentation? 
Americans have seen that such is the state to which we 
have been reduced. The "enlightened Christians," to what- 
ever denomination they may belong, need not their sym- 
pathy. Were they in our situation, and we in theirs, 
we trust they should receive not only our sympathy, but 


also our aid. When the British Dissenters were under 
the operation of the British test-act, the Roman Catholics 
uniformly petitioned on their behalf, though 'the evangel- 
ical section of the Dissenters uniformly petitioned against 
Catholic Emancipation, and for the emancipation of negroes. 
Thank God, the "enlightened Christians of other denom- 
inations" do not need American sympathy, but we do; 
and we thank them for it, though they are called '-'anti- 
Christian moralists," probably from their sympathy for the 
poor "slaves of Antichrist," as we are said to be. Yet 
we warn them to be cautious, for they are told "that 
the monster is forging chains to bind them." Lest they 
should doubt my accuracy, I shall again bring the pas- 
sage to their view. "Already 'the beast' numbers half 
a million of subjects in these United States. And the 
morality and practices of this communion accord so well 
with the views and feelings of thousands of the descend- 
ants of Protestants, who cannot endure the 'bigoted 
rules' of Presbyterians, that the industrious efforts of the 
minions of the Pope to extend his authority in our land, 
are regarded with more complacency and delight than 
any enterprise in which Christians have engaged to diffuse 
the light and influences of the Gospel. Yes, it is well 
known that the anti-Christian moralists of our times have 
more sympathy for the monster that is forging chains to 
bind them, than they have for any denomination of 
enlightened Christians in the land. And here the danger 
is the more imminent, because it is unseen. The tolerant 
friends of Popery, who seem to regard it as differing 
little from the religion of the Bible or of Protestants 
and the indifferent spectators, know not its influence," etc. 
Here, then, those "thousands" the writer might have 
substituted "millions" of the descendants of Protestants, 
who cannot endure the "bigoted rules" of Presbyterians, 
are complimented with the appellation of " anti-Christian 
moralists." We are thus nicknamed, in company with the 
largest and most respectable portion of our fellow-citizens, 
to whom this wanton insult has been arrogantly given, 


because they do not choose to submit to the discipline of 
those men, who aspire to the first places in the syna- 
gogues, to be saluted in the market-places, and to be 
called "rabbi" by their fellow-men: and also, because, after 
half a century of close scrutiny, they cannot find that we 
are such miscreants as the " saints " of former ages pro- 
claimed us to be. It worries the "holy ones" of the 
present day that Americans, "the tolerant friends of Popery, 
jseem to regard it as little differing from the religion of 
the Bible." Would they exhort Americans to be like them- 
selves, intolerant? After proclaiming that it is the right 
of every human being, man, woman, and child, to judge 
without dictation or Appeal of the meaning of every pas- 
sage of the Bible, will they presume to deprive Americans 
of that right? Or, are Americans to take from this com- 
paratively insignificant subdivision of a minority of Chris- 
tendom, an interpretation, the right of giving which they 
deny to the vast, the overwhelming majority? Are they 
,ble to assume that they have the genuine and original 
meaning of the sacred volume, and that it has been lost 
foy the great body which has subsisted in every age, and 
been spread through all nations? Is the American people 
not as competent as they are to judge of the true meaning 
of the Bible? Is not the public's understanding as good 
.-as theirs? Have not the public's opportunities of know- 
ing our doctrine been equally extensive ; has not the Ameri- 
can people been as free from prejudice and as anxious 
to discover truth as they? Why then will they presume 
to arraign the public opinion that our religion differs 
little from the religion of the Bible? Are we not equally 
competent as either the public or they to read that sacred 
volume, to judge of its contents, and to compare it with 
our ' tenets ? We have received from the same God equal 
portions of intellect as they have, our education has been 
equally good as theirs, our knowledge of our own doctrines 
is at least equally accurate ; and, after due comparison of 
bothj we say that our doctrine does not differ even little, 
.or at all, from the religion of the Bible. And upon what 


ground will those men presume to set their judgment 
above ours? In flinging this insult upon us, do they not 
offend the American public? Or, must it and we be com- 
pelled to learn from them the religion of the Bible ? Is 
this their notion of Christian liberty? What has become of 
the "sweet-spirited nightingales and robin red-breasts" of 
the days of yore? Is the freedom of every man to inter- 
pret the Bible according to the dictates of his private 
judgment, to be restricted by the proviso, that he mtist 
discover in it what is called evangelical religion, or, as 
the writer expresses it, "the 'bigoted rules' of the Presby- 
terians?" Because deliberate judgments have, after close 
observation and cautious inquiry and mature reflection, 
acquitted us of the foul charges made against us by the 
" saints " of former days, the possessors of those judgments 
too are abused and vilified by these self-sufficient men. 

But the American people does not stand alone in bear- 
ing this testimony in our ^favor. Our religion was calum- 
niated and persecuted in Great Britain: and after having 
been there also subjected to the most trying ordeal of 
examination, after enduring the repeated test of the parlia- 
mentary rack, after answering the varied charges of every 
bigot, put in every form; after combating the assaults of 
every defaraer, after references to our universities, the 
explanations of our prelates, the inspection of our colleges, 
the dissection of our institutions: notwithstanding the great 
weight of clerical opposition, the monitions of the lords- 
spiritual, the Evangelicals, denunciations of the Bible Socie- 
ties, the homilies of the societies for discountenancing vice, 
the sighs of the meek, the threats of strong, the terrors 
of old maids, and the prognostications of old men, Great 
Britain has laid down her prejudices, broken the bonds of 
her iniquity, and proclaimed the emptiness of the pretexts 
and the wickedness of the enactments, by whose means 
our religion was misrepresented and our people were 
ground down. The liberal Protestants of Great Britain 
and of America have then passed a just judgment in our 
favor; and this is gall and wormwood to the Evangelicals. 



Therefore it is that "the tolerant friends of Popery" are 
styled "anti-Christian moralists" by those intolerant men. 
Yes, Americans "have examined our principles of morality 
and the practices of our communion : " and these men 
truly say, "that they so well accord with the views and 
feelings of thousands of the descendants of Protestants," 
that, in their estimation, they "differ little from the 
religion of the Bible ; " and they therefore not only do 
not? hate us, but they regard "our industrious efforts with 
comparative complacency." We are deeply grateful to those 
tolerant friends who bear such honorable testimony in our 
regard ; and we are happy to know that they are numer- 
ous and increasing. To their kindness, to the excellence 
of our cause, and to the blessing of heaven, but not to 
the charity, the forbearance, or "sweet spirit" of the men 
of "bitter sanctity," do we commit ourselves. 


I have shown with what justice and kindness we have 
been treated by a large portion of our Protestant fellow- 
citizens, and how their good conduct displeased our oppon- 
ents. I shall now follow up the topic, so as to conclude 
my remarks upon the paragraph which I then took for 
examination. The editor of the Southern Religious Tele- 
graph endeavors to account for the favor which we have 
received from Protestants, upon the ground of their igno- 
rance or their stupidity. "The tolerant friends of Popery, 
who seem to regard it as differing little from the religion 
of the Bible, or of Protestants, and the indifferent specta- 
tors, know not its influence, its power to excite the 
imagination, captivate the senses, and enslave the mind 
to forms of superstition, while no truth is brought to bear 
on the conscience or the heart." Allow me to discuss 
this pretty paragraph. . Protestants and other tolerant, 
that is, indifferent, spectators are said to be ignorant x>f 
the following facts: First, that Popery has influence by its 
power to excite the imagination ; secondly, that it has 


influence by its power to captivate the senses; thirdly, 
that it has influence to enslave the mind to the forms 
of superstition ; and, fourthly, that all this is done, whilst 
no truth is brought to bear on the conscience or the heart. 
To sustain these four propositions, not one tittle of evi- 
dence is adduced. I shall, however, admit the two first 
to be perfectly true, and deny that there exists a particle of 
truth in either of the two last; and, as to sustain the 
editor's position would require the combined truth of *the 
entire, especially as derived from the correctness of his 
fourth proposition, which is notoriously untrue of course 
that position is utterly untenable. 

I am not bound to prove my negatives: but, by every 
rule of reason, he ought to make, at least, a prima facie 
case, before I could be called upon for a defence ; but 
I waive formalities. If the Catholic religion does not, by 
her ceremonial, excite the imagination to an excessive 
and disorderly pitch, or mislead it from facts to fancies, 
it does no injury ; but, if it so excites the imagination, 
as* to aid the memory in the recollection of important 
facts and their proper bearing, this is useful to devotion: 
and such is truly the case. 

The " holy " society of Evangelicals, whose interpreter the 
editor appears to be, frequently lament the want of this 
excitement, in what they call formal religionists; but 
revivals, outpourings of the spirit, rhapsody, conviction, 
experience, the triumph of grace, the apprehension of the 
Lord, the enthusiasm flowing from the imagined certainty 
of election and predestination ; this undoubting faith, as 
it is called ; all this excitement of the imagination is, 
according to the sanctimonious fraternity, the discovery 
of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. And yet, they 
talk of the excitement of the imagination by Popery! 
Verily, and of a truth, there are more of such imaginings 
at one revival, or camp-meeting, than would suffice for 
ten provinces of Popery. I cannot consent,, unless driven 
thereto, to enter into disgusting and ridiculous details, of 
which, if the brethren choose, they shall have abundance. 


The imagination of the Catholic is rationally excited 
by the representation of the great facts of religion, created 
in painting or statuary, and exhibited in ceremony; thus 
also Popery captivates the senses; but for what purpose? 
To excite the recollection of those facts which are recorded 
in the Bible ; to place before us the example of the 
faithful servants of God ; and, in doing so, we have the 
warrant of God's own precept and of His own example. 
We have it not only in the precepts which He gave to 
Moses respecting the ark and its decorations and appur- 
tenances, but also in the model of the work which He 
exhibited upon the mountain ; in the brazen serpent that 
He caused to be made and exposed, until it became an 
occasion of scandal, which rendered its removal necessary. 
I need not here multiply the proofs, by reference to the 
works of Solomon, of Nehemias, and of others. I need 
not refer to the raising up memorials of the passage of 
the Jordan, and of the sustenance of the people in the 
desert. -All these captivated the senses, excited the imag- 
ination, wrought upon the memory, and thereby led to 
the practice of religion ; and, as regards ceremony, surely 
we have the authority of God Himself, for the costly and 
ornamental and mystic attire of the priesthood, and of 
the attendants in the temple, for the symbolic rites of 
the Egyptian lamb, the feast of Tabernacles, the celebra- 
tion of Pentecost, and several others. All these are cal- 
.culated to captivate the senses, to excite the imagination, 
and thus influence man for the purposes of religion. 

But the writer says that "Popery enslaves the mind 
to the forms of superstition." He does not vouchsafe either 
to inform us what he means by superstition, what are 
those forms, nor the mode of the enslavement. Thus his 
charge is so indistinct that it is not susceptible of distinct 
refutation. But I shall tell what we mean by superstition. 
It is the use of any rite or ceremony or other means, 
with the expectation of thereby obtaining any spiritual 
or supernatural effect, not attached thereto by the nature of 
what we so use or by the institution of God. When he 


shall be able to show that any one of our authorized 
practices comes under this definition, then I shall admit 
that it is superstitious. Our authorized decorations and 
ceremonies are all calculated to impress the mind with 
the idea of God's presence, His perfection, the homage 
which we owe to Him, the benefits which He has con- 
ferred upon us, and the gratitude which we ought to 
exhibit in return. If this be superstition, we plead guilty. 
If this be religion, we claim to be religious. We first 
produce the definition; until this be admitted or denied, 
it would be ridiculous to go into special facts: but if 
the principle be agreed to, let our adversaries then go 
through, the catalogue of our practices, and we shall 
abide the results of the application of that description to 
each. If abiding by the principles of religion be an 
enslavement of the mind, then are we enslaved. If it be 
the freedom of the children of God, then are we free. 
Thus his third proposition is untrue. 

His fourth is utterly destitute of even a semblance of 
truth. He charges that in our system "no truth is brought 
to bear upon the conscience or the heart." I am perfectly 
well aware of the influence of prejudice upon every mind. 
I can therefore suppose that this man actually thinks as 
he writes, and that he is under the erroneous impression 
that ours is a mere external exhibition of unmeaning and 
empty pomp. The fact is quite otherwise. In all our 
ceremonial, there is not one particle of mere idle exhibi- 
tion. It is true that, like the language of a nation, the 
symbolic rite which our Church thus uses, is unintelligible 
to SL stranger, until he is taught. But they who conclude 
that it is useless or unmeaning show, may be well com- 
pared to the person who, upon arriving in a strange 
country, imagined its population were all idiots, and would 
fain persuade his companions that they used unmeaning 
and ridiculous babbling, instead of language ; he was 
certain that they could not understand each other, because 
they were incomprehensible to him. One of his associates, 
however, who had travelled more, soon contrived to learn 


some of their phrases, and understand their meaning, but 
could not make his obstinate friend recede from his first 
notions; though his associate showed himself now able to 
hold some intercourse with the natives, and declared that 
as his knowledge of their vocabulary became extended, he 
was delighted with the copiousness of their tongue and 
the rich significancy of their phraseology. 

I have known several respectable converts to our faith, 
whose devotion was wonderfully increased and whose piety 
was greatly soothed by the rich, and sublime, and varied 
language of our ceremonial, as soon as they became 
acquainted with the principles of its explanation. When 
they spoke to some of their friends upon the subject, in 
the warm language of their new feelings, their expressions 
were attributed to unmeaning fanaticism; for the persons 
whom they addressed perceived no change: the language 
was as yet unintelligible to them. So I should suppose 
ours is to the editor of the Southern Telegraph. But such is 
not our own case. In it we behold, compendiously and strik- 
ingly displayed, the fall and the imperfection of man ; 
the promise and the expectation of a Kedeemer ; the 
inefficiency of the ancient institutions for the purposes of 
our redemption ; the types of better things ; the arrival 
of the Saviour ; His death ; the promulgation of His 
Gospel ; its effects ; the institutions of the Saviour ; the 
source of their efficacy, the ground of our hope ; the 
lessons of morality which we should practice ; the approach 
of death ; the examples of the saints ; the rewards bestowed 
upon them by a merciful God: and we are excited to 
labor as they did, that through the merits of the same 
Saviour, we may obtain similar glory. Is not this bring- 
ing truth to bear upon the conscience arid the heart? I 
would now ask w.hether the ignorance is chargeable upon 
the tolerant Protestant, who in this worship perceives little 
that differs from the religion of the Bible, or upon the 
bigoted, or if he prefers it, the intolerant Protestant, who 
calls it "an enslavement of the mind to forms of supersti- 
tion, while no truth is brought to bear upon the conscience 
or the heart?" 


It is a notorious fact that, even upon the uninstructed, 
the forms of our religion are calculated to make an 
impression which better fits the mind for the recollection 
of divine truth, the contemplation of heavenly things, and 
the reverential payment of homage to the eternal God. 
Upon this I may confidently appeal to any person who has 
had the opportunity of witnessing them duly performed, 
and who has attended with an unprejudiced disposition. 
How often has the subdued demeanor, the solemn attention, 
and occasionally the moistened eye of the stranger testified 
the feeling? I recollect two instances, in different stations 
of life, in which the same feeling was expressed in differ- 
ent styles. An English gentleman asked his footman, a 
Protestant, who accompanied him to a High Mass, in 
Brussels, what he thought of* the ceremony. He answered : 
" Sir, I never saw God Almighty served like a gentleman 
before." One of the most talented and observant British 
diplomatists observed, after attending at a High Mass, cele- 
brated by the Archbishop of Paris, in Notre Dame: "If I 
were King of France, I would permit no subject to elevate 
the Host: that sublime act should be performed only by 
myself." Did our Protestant fellow-citizens take more 
pains to understand what is thoughtlessly condemned 
their information and our mutual charity would be 


Before I proceed to examine the charges which the 
editor of the Southern Religious Telegraph has made upon 
the Roman Catholic body, and to exhibit their utter 
want of foundation, allow me to draw attention to a very 
unfortunate assertion which, in his essay, follows the 
little paragraph upon which I have commented. Com- 
plaining of the stupidity of liberal Protestants, or, as he 
calls them, the tolerant friends of Popery, he states: 
"Nor do they appear to know the fact, which is demon- 
strated by the whole history of Popery, that civil and 
religious liberty, as understood in this country, the last 


half century, cannot co-exist with the laws of the papal 
communion. If the latter are administered, liberty must 
die ; from the nature of things it is impossible for them 
to flourish together." Was ever writer more unfortunate ? 
With notorious facts, palpably under his observation, it 
would seem that he not only cannot perceive the existence 
of what he announces, but he asserts the impossibility 
of what he proclaims to be a fact- 
He surely will not deny that "civil and religious liberty > 
as understood in this country the last half century," has 
during that half century been in a flourishing and pros- 
perous state. He anticipates evils it is true, but they 
have not as yet arrived, and as they might be only imagi- 
nary, he cannot assume the possibilities, dreaded by his 
imagination, to be really in existence. We have then 
hitherto preserved civil and religious liberty, and it ha& 
tis yet been well upheld. This is an unquestionable fact.. 
Now another fact equally unquestionable, is, that the Roman 
Catholic religion has, during the same period, made an 
astonishing progress in our republics ; and there is not 
in all Christendom a country in which "the laAvs of the 
papal communion," as ho calls the discipline of the Roman 
Catholic Church, have less impediment cast in the way of 
their administration by the civil government than amongst 
us. Arid these laws are effectually carried into full execu- 
tion. It is therefore evident that civil and religious 
liberty, such as he designates, and our religion, have actu- 
ally co-existed and flourished together. Fifty years ago 
our republics were by no means secure: they were cer- 
tainly not prosperous. To-day they are strong, powerful, 
efficient, formidable, happy, and respected. Fifty years ago, 
there was not a diocese, a bishop, a seminary, nor a, con- 
vent, of the Catholic Church in our Union. Now there is 
a perfect province, with its regular hierarchy, consisting 
of an archbishop, with seven suffragan bishops, and two 
coadjutors, besides two exempt dioceses and their bishops; 
giving an aggregate of twelve of the episcopal body, with 
their secular clergy; two universities and five or six 


seminaries: a province of Jesuits with a university and 
noviciate aiid 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 pro- 
gress 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 assur- 
ance 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. 1 

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 

' This illustration can be applied much more forcibly now, when there are ten 
limes 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 sus- 
pected 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. Craw- 
ford are at open war ; South Carolina is about to do 
strange things, and we have a popish attorney-general ! 
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 (Jown 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 recon- 
cile contradictions. This is a favor granted only to the 

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 anti- 
Christian, 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 per- 
fectly 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 con- 
tinual round of gambling, dissipation, and their concomi- 
tant 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." 1 
"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." 2 "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 Bastwlck. t Eplst. before the Demons." 


ness to vote for ye." 1 "The Church of England evidently) 
declares themselves limbs of Antichrist; therefore, there is 
no communion to be kept with such in their public wor- 
ship/' 2 "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." 3 "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 four- 
square r . . . . upon their heads 5 were coming 
amongst us . , . . The priests are secundurn ordi- 
nem diaboli, a generation of vipers, proud, ungrateful, 
illiterate asses." 6 "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. 7 "One parson is drunken 
and quarrelsome, but then he bows to the altar and 
thinks King William is damned. Another cheats every- 
body 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 con- 
stantly and fervently curses the Germans and the Presby- 
terians. A sixth is an evidence upon a trial and forswears 
himself, but the cause was for tithe, and he did it out 

1 Baxter's " Dispute," v., pp. 17 and 87. 
Vind. Cult. Evang. " p SO. 

" Rebels' Doom," p. 4ft. 

4 w 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, such as are still worn in the English universities. 

Nalson'a "Collect." v. 1. p. 602-8. 

' White's " First Century." Preface. 


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." 1 

These, and volumes of such passages, which abound in 
the publications of the "saints," during the last two cen- 
turies, 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 illiber- 
ality. 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 
rror 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 imagina- 
tion" 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 " Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury," pp. 15-18. 


there is danger." Of a verity, then, if the slumbering 
and careless " good citizens " indulge in their imaginations 
and their day-dreams ; the watchman hath loudly pro- 
claimed he hath delivered his own soul. But, pray, 
faithful sentinel, what is it you behold? Why such an 
aspect of terror? Why shake you so? Does any treach- 
erous foe invade the peaceful bosom of our land 

Frighting her pale-faced villagers with war? 

"The republic is invaded by enemies that are plotting 
its destruction, more numerous and more powerful than 
the hostile armies of '76." But, good friends, you must be 
under a mistake. Your eyes are weary from watching, or 
your imagination is excited from apprehension and vigi- 
lance: we perceive no enemy we see no danger. Yea, 
now, is not this deplorable ? "And what renders the con- 
dition of the republic more hazardous is the fact that the 
assaults of the enemy are so insidious that they are not 
generally observed by the people." But, friend, we really 
know not what bewilders and terrifies you. You acknowl- 
edge, as facts : 1, that our numbers increase ; 2, that our 
prosperity grows; and 3, that the people cannot observe 
and do not feel or perceive those assaults that you speak 
of. Are you not ashamed to make false alarms ? or are 
you demented? Demented! Woe be to the mockers: "Let 
good citizens look around them we would give no false 
alarm let them look at the encampment of the enemy, 
and see the hostile powers arrayed against the republic, 
and they will be convinced that the present is not the 
time to dream that all is safe." Keally, we have looked 
around us, and the only encampments that we can per- 
ceive are those for religious meetings of the Methodists 
and the Presbyterians, with a few, occasionally, of the 
Baptists. In these there undoubtedly is mighty bustle, 
there is fearful noise, but we cannot perceive that they 
are "hostile powers arrayed against the republic." Pray, 
do you call these enemies? Is it to disperse these con- 


gregations ; is it to send the men to their labor and the 
women to their household concerns, that you have told 
us that we should cry "To arms!" "to arms!" Is it for 
this purpose you proclaim that " the cry " should he 
"reiterated in every part of the republic?'' Is it for 
this that you declare "the whole people should have 
risen en masse?" We assure you, that to us no other 
camp is visible, save those religious camps; although we 
look upon them as not useful, either to religion, or 
morality, or the State, yet we do not think ourselves 
warranted to interfere with the rights of those who bellow 
or who rave, with the liberties of those who are frantic 
or sober, of those who feast or who fast, with the con- 
duct of the man of prayer, or of him of blasphemy, 
who might be found in this multitude. Woe to the 
careless ; woe to the unbeliever ! Woe to him who would 
compare the host of Israel to the Philistine the armies 
of Jehovah to the invader. " Do you not see that Popery 
has invaded the land, and is laying the foundations of 
an empire with which, if it prevail, the enlightened free- 
dom of the republic cannot exist?" So, so; is this the 
enemy? Is this the camp? Is this the hostile array? 
Oh ! now I begin to breathe more freely. Why, all these 
tropes, and figures, and hyperbolical expressions led me 
to fear that really there was some danger ; and especially 
when they were uttered by you. I could never have 
imagined that a gentleman of such well-regulated gravity, 
such holy calmness, so demure an aspect, so staid and 
measured a gait, so plain as to the exterior man, and so 
sober-minded as respects the interior man, could make so 
vehement an outcry, and permit his imagination to be so 
irrecoverably bewildered in metaphor. I assuredly believed 
you were describing what your corporeal eye discovered. 
Which of these are you? 

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, 
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend 
More than cool reason ever comprehends. 
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, 


Are of imagination all compact : 

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold ; 

That is the madman : the lover, all as frantic, 

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt ; 

The poet's eye, ia a fuw frenzy rolling, 

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven ; 

And, as imagination bodies forth 

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing 

A local habitation and a name. 

Such tricks hath strong imagination, 

That if it would but apprehend some joy, 

It comprehends some bringer of that joy ; 

Or in the night, imagining some fear, 

How easy is a bush supposed a bear ? 

Excuse me, if I have thus relaxed my style whilst I 
pursued my subject. I thought this colloquial criticism 
best calculated to expose the perfect folly of the paragraph- 
ist's apprehensions: whether deluded by his own imagina- 
tion, he really entertained them, or conscious of the absence 
of any foundation upon which they could solidly rest, he 
conjured up its semblance in the phraseology of terror. 
The Italians have a proverb which Avell describes this 
latter procedure. It represents a blacksmith running 
hastily, having a serious air of business, with a piece of 
cold iron in his tongs; he plunges it into the water from 
which a heated piece had just been removed, and over 
which the vapor yet rests; whilst he cunningly purrs to 
imitate that boiling which does not exist. This writer, 
after having made an astounding prologue about camps 
and armies, about alarms and enemies, about seventy-six 
and devastation, invasions and destruction, then exhibits 
hundreds of thousands of victims and immolations, sum- 
mons 300,000 temperance men, and astounds us with reiter- 
ations and levies en masse, he envelops the imagination 
in the fumes and vapors of intemperance, arid with the 
semblanco of affright, he now plunges Popery into those 
Avaters of bitterness in which he had extinguished the 
drunkard. Unquestionably it is a good specimen of bathos, 
but according to every rule of rhetoric, here it is a beauty, 
for the object was to describe a plunge. 


But why is he angry with Popery? Keason first: 
Because Popery and the enlightened freedom of the republic 
cannot coexist. Answer: They have coexisted, they do 
coexist, they will continue to coexist; they may therefore 
coexist, they can therefore coexist, let them coexist. Now, 
we have gone through all the moods and tenses with 
their coexistence ; the American public and I both do 
know the fact that they have coexisted ; and this single 
fact, whose truth no one can question, which even the 
writer of the Telegraph dare not deny, overturns his whole 
theory. Reason second : Popery stupefies the conscience. 
Answer second: This is not only an unwarranted assump- 
tion, but a palpable falsehood. When an attempt is made 
by any one worth notice to sustain the charge, he shall 
find the answer here given fully upheld. Reason third: 
Popery blinds the understanding. Answer third: This is 
not only a gratuitous and a false assertion, but it emanates 
from a spirit which is equally bereft of humility, of 
charity, of modesty, of benignity, as of truth. No attempt 
is made to prove its correctness: should any one under- 
take the task and appear to make progress, he shall not 
proceed without being encountered. Reason fourth: Popery 
withholds the only light which can guide human reason 
aright. Answer fourth: I shall not affect to misunderstand 
this ; I look upon it to be the hackneyed assertion, that 
by this light is meant the Bible. This is not withheld 
by the Catholic Church ; but she has preserved it. With- 
out her guardianship it would long since have been lost; 
without her testimony it would be no authority; she not 
only gives to her children the Book, but also its com- 
missioned expositor : as the State not only gives to us her 
statutes, but also her judiciary ; and as without the latter 
the former would be useless, so in religion, the Book 
without its commissioned judge would prove a rock of 
destruction in place of being the foundation of doc- 
trine. It is untrue that the Catholic Church withholds 
the only light which can guide human reason aright ; but 
it is true that she warns her children against receiving 



or relying upon the mutilated and imperfect and mis- 
translated volumes which the evangelical societies have 
substituted for the Word of God ; as it is equally true 
that she cautions them against misinterpretations and 
misapplications, and a submission to tribunals illegally 
and unwarrantably claiming a heavenly commission, whose 
existence they cannot prove. When he who makes the 
charge shall expound his reason, I shall develop my 
answer. 1 Keason fifth: Popery makes the whole man 
a superstitious slave to the impositions of a crafty priest- 
hood. Answer fifth: This is but an assertion, couched in 
language equally offensive to the priest and the people, 
without a single particle of evidence either to sustain its 
averments or to justify its epithets. I can only say of 
it, as of those that preceded it, he has asserted I have 
denied: upon him lies the obligation of adducing proof 
or submitting to the consequences. When he supplies this 
defect, I shall feel myself called upon to sustain my 

I have shown his charge, I have exhibited the manner 
in which he accounts for the alarm that he has given. 
I appeal to Americans whether he was justified in thus 
terrifying his readers. His last publication contains the 
account of an incursion of marauders upon some families 
at Southampton, and the horrible butchery of perhaps 
more than one hundred persons, who were left unpro- 
tected by the effective male population, because, as the 
Norfolk paper informs us, "they were absent at camp- 
meeting in Gates county, some miles off, a circumstance 
which gave a temporary security to the brigands in the 
perpetration of their butcheries." He does not place any 
"Kepublic in Danger" as the caption to this. Yet besides 
the .butcheries thus perpetrated, justice will necessarily 
destroy the lives of the wretches concerned in this atrocity- 
it is impossible that they should escape ; not only public 
justice but public security compels to the most unsparing 
search and its consequences. Was it Popery produced 
this? I would entreat the writer to abandon his fancies,. 

i See " Infallibility," vol. ii. 


and to dwell upon facts. Let him trace effects to their 
causes, and he will find enemies to the peace and the 
tranquility of our republic nearer home than in Popery. 
I would recommend to him to reserve his alarms and his 
wailings for causes which too plainly demand them, and 
to pay more attention to the real camps of his associates 
than to the imaginary camps of non-existent enemies. 


I now come to exhibit the drift of the paragraphist. 
He informs his readers, that "the danger to the republic 
from men of this stamp " that is, Catholics, tolerant Pro- 
testants, drunkards, profane swearers, Sabbath breakers, gam- 
blers, the votaries of dissipation, and infidels "has been 
increased by the fact, that they fill some of its important 
places of trust." Thus, the object of the party whose 
mouthpiece the editor is, clearly must be, to exclude from 
office not only Catholics and tolerant Protestants, but all 
those whom the Evangelicals designate as infidels. He 
first informs us, that "a bad man injures all with whom 
he has influence ; he injures the community in which he 
lives ; he injures the republic." He proceeds to inform 
us, that not only is "danger threatened but injury has been 
inflicted" upon the community and the republic "by some 
hundreds of thousands of the subjects of Popery and 
intemperance." He then states, that "thousands of others 
whose example and influence, even while they plume them- 
selves for patriots, are injuring the republic." Amongst 
them he enumerates specially "Sabbath breakers, who are 
weakening the restraints of virtue, and countenancing vice, 
and encouraging others to neglect the instructions and 
ordinances of the Church of Christ." Thus, when we know 
that the "Church of Christ," as contra-distinguished from 
the "synagogue of Satan," means the evangelical combina- 
tion, as segregated, because of its self-righteousness, from 
all the tolerant Protestants, the infidels, the ungodly, and 
the subjects of Popery and intemperance, we can easily 


perceive, when Sabbatli breaking is the theme, that the 
great complaint is the refusal of Congress to comply with 
the demand of the Church, for stopping the travelling of 
the mails on Sunday. This refusal is weakening the 
restraints of virtue ; this is the countenancing of vice ; 
this the encouraging of others to neglect the instructions 
and ordinances of the " Church of Christ ! " These instruc- 
tions and ordinances, he informs us, are "the only efficient 
means which have ever been knoAvn for saving a people 
from gross ignorance, wickedness, and supcrsition." Thus, 
having shown us the sources of danger, and the authors 
of the injury to the republic, he goes on to exhibit how 
"the danger has been increased" by the fact that such 
persons "fill important places of trust" in the republic. 
Clearly, then, the remedy which he considers effectual, 
would be to put such men out of the offices, and to fill 
them with persons who would encourage others, by their 
precept and example, to reduce to practice the instruc- 
tions and ordinances of the evangelical association. He 
does not like our present government. "So many of 
them" tolerant Protestants and infidels "had, by some 
means, obtained important stations of trust a year or two 
since, that no Christian could speak plainly of the dangers 
to which his country was exposed, without being charged 
with the crime of 'mingling religion with politics!' They 
seemed to regard the wise provisions of the Constitution, 
to prevent the establishment of religion by law, as an 
ordinance to consign the world of politics to the dominion 
of infidelity. They seemed to think that they had an 
exclusive right to reign in the political world." 

In all this, I believe we can evidently see the com- 
plaint to be, that the persons placed in political power 
took it into their heads that they were entrusted witli 
the regulation of the political concerns of the country, 
without being obliged to share their concern in that 
regulation with the "holy ones" who claimed an exclusive 
right to reign in the religious world. And when, filled 
with the zeal of the house of the Lord, the pious fraternite 


essayed to aid these infidels a complimentary name for 
our government in the burdensome work of legislation, 
they were informed that this was "mingling religion with 
politics." Then the "saints" protested that they sought 
not to have their Church established by law, as that was 
forbidden by the Constitution ; I believe that they were 
perfectly sincere, for the object was not to place the 
Church under the protection of Congress, but to take 
Congress under the direction of the Church, and against 
this there was indeed no express provision made in the 
Constitution; so that really, without any palpable verbal 
violation of that instrument, their reasonable desire might 
be complied with. But if they complained of the men 
then in places of important trust, what would they say 
now? Or rather what have they said? I heed but refer 
to their shameful attack upon the President of the United 
States for daring to call to the post of attorney-general 
one of the best lawyers, one of the most consistent politi- 
cians, one of the most virtuous private characters in the 
United States, merely because he was of, the same religion 
as the patriotic, the amiable, the venerable survivor of the 
band that established our liberty! Yes! one of the plain 
objects of these men and women who are banded together 
in the several evangelical associations, is the exclusion 
from political power of every one who is not of the 
brotherhood. But this is only as a lemma to their ulterior 
conclusion. Give them exclusive political power, and then, 
of course, they will use it for legislative purposes. Then 
the instructions and ordinances of the " Church of Christ " 
will of a surety be applied to the rational and religious 
purposes of saving the people from gross ignorance, wick- 
edness, and superstition. The reform may indeed commence 
at the post-office, but where is it to stop? Let me recall 
a few of the ordinances under which the Evangelicals 
formerly regulated the liberties of Connecticut. 

"None shall hold any office who is not sound in the 
faith." To be sure it was also regulated that he should 
be "faithful to their dominion." Thus, the spirit is not 


changed. As yet they have not the power to make the 
enactment constitutionally ; but let them have such a 
power as they calculate themselves upon acquiring through 
the instrumentality of their associations, arid they will 
inevitably have the moral power of making this provi- 
sion constitutional. They will then be able to revive the 
penalty. "And whoever votes for such a person shall pay 
a fine of one pound. For the second offence shall be dis- 
franchised." That this is the object of the party there 
can be no question. What says the paragraphist ? 
"Hence the outcry raised against the Kev. Dr. Ely for 
sentiments which he published relative to the importance 
of electing men of good principles, who could be trusted 
for civil rulers sentiments which no man but an infidel 
need blush to avow." Doctor Ely's sentiments were, that 
none but "men of good principles" of course no Papists, 
no infidels, no Sabbath breakers, no profane swearers, no 
drunkards, no tolerant Protestants, no anti-Christian moral- 
ists should be elected to offices. And though this could 
not be immediately effected, he calculates that, by reason 
of the organized systems of the associations, especially of 
the Sunday schools, the great bulk of the religious com- 
munity could ere long be brought to a simultaneous action 
at the polls, and carry everything before them, according 
as the wisdom by which they were guided should direct. 
From candidates the transition is natural to electors. We 
might next expect the revival of the enactment, "No one 
shall be a free man, or give a vote, unless he be converted, 
or a member of one of the Churches allowed in this 
dominion!" Would the beast be permitted to have "sub- 
jects?" Would a Komah Catholic Church be found in the 
dominion? Why the laws themselves answer: "No priest 
shall abide in this dominion. He shall be banished, and 
suffer death on his return." And this law extended to 
the priests of the Church of England, upon whom I have 
shown they bestowed such pretty epithets and of whom they 
furnish so many disgusting descriptions. Yet, there are 
priests of that Church who, without reflecting upon the 


consequences, abet efforts which would produce their own 
ruin! "Priests may be seized by any one without a war- 
rant;" so says the Puritanical legislation. Lest any person 
should harbor a doubt of the correctness of my meaning 
of the word "priest," or imagine that there was a dispo- 
sition to treat . the Church of England with kindness 
or indulgence, I shall furnish another extract from the 
same code : " No one shall read common prayer, keep 
Christmas or saints' day, make minced pies, dance, play 
cards, or play any instrument of music, except the drum, 
the trumpet and the jewsharp." 

Allow me to show what more may be reasonably 
expected if those men should succeed in their plans. "No 
Quaker or dissenter from the established worship of this 
dominion shall be allowed to give a vote at the election 
of magistrates or of any officer." But Americans neither 
know the history nor the characters of these men, if it 
is imagined they will, after having attained this point, 
stop contented. No ! The same restless spirit, the same 
grasping ambition, the same sectarian domination which 
led them to this acquisition, encouraged by the success of 
their efforts, will urge them to proceed ; and they will 
re-enact that "No food and lodging shall be afforded to 
a Quaker, Adamite or other heretic." And every one who 
belongs not to the evangelical combination is, in their 
estimation, an infidel or a heretic. "If any person turns 
Quaker, he shall be banished, and not suffered to return 
on pain of death." Papists may, of course, calculate upon 
giving up all expectation of remaining in the United 
States, when Dr. Ely's growing phalanx of voters is duly 
organized and efficient. It is quite against the consciences 
of the "saints" to permit the subjects of the beast to 
pollute the soil. I could give the names of several 
of the associates in Charleston who would not receive 
Catholics into their employ without enforcing a special 
clause that they should be under control of their employ- 
ers on Sundays, and some are honest enough to avow that 
the object is to prevent their going to Mass and to 


oblige them to go to an evangelical church. This is 110 
isolated, no extraordinary case ; it is frequent and usual 
amongst a large class of persons in Charleston to act 
upon this principle, though not so usual to make the 
avowal. Catholics looking for employment are thus per- 
petually worried and disappointed; and when they do get 
situations, in such places, without agreeing to the clause, 
they are liable to a variety of petty tyrannies and mean 
vexations, by throwing obstacles in the way of their 
attending Mass, their going to the sacraments, and par- 
ticularly from the shameful contrivance of endeavoring to 
starve them out of their religion, by keeping from them on 
days of abstinence such food as they are warranted, by 
their discipline, to use. Do Americans think that the petty 
malevolence which thus exhibits itself daily, in Charles- 
ton and in so many other places, would, if it were clothed 
with power equal to its deformity, confine itself to such 
despicable annoyance ? Care would, indeed, be taken, that 
Popery should not invade the land ; chains would be 
fastened upon "the monster," and he would be smitten 
by the elect of the Lord. "Drunkards" would, perhaps,, 
be permitted to remain, but they "shall have masters 
appointed by the select men, who arc to debar them the 
liberty of buying or selling." Protestant Episcopalians 
must give up their priests. The prelates, of course, would 
stink in the nostrils of the godly, and common prayer 
books and minced pies should disappear together. Whether 
organs would be permitted to remain is doubtful, as the 
jewsharp has been so little practiced of late that its dulcet 
notes could, with great difficulty, be brought to equal the 
diapason. Quakers, Adamites, and other heretics, in a, 
word, all dissenters from the Church, not united with the- 
State', but domineering over the State, being banished not 
only would the conveying of mails be stopped upon the 
"Sabbath," but "no one shall travel, cook victuals, make 
beds, sweep houses, cut hair, or shave on the Sabbath day." 
Alas for the barber! this would not be his sole misfor- 
tune, for "every male shall have his hair cut round, 


according to a cap." The fashionable touches of our 
titivators would be useless, as are the powder, bags, puffs 
and pomatum of their predecessors. "No one shall run 
of a Sabbath day, or walk in his garden, or elsewhere, but 
reverently to and from Church." "No woman shall kiss 
her child on the Sabbath or fasting day." Are Americans 
prepared for such domination as this? If they are ready 
to bow their necks to receive this yoke, of course, they 
will have no difficulty in permitting the enactment of a 
law similar to this: "Whoever wears clothes trimmed 
with silver or bone lace, above two shillings a yard, 
shall be presented by the grand jurors, and the select men 
shall tax the offender at the rate of 300 estate." I 
would ask whether any civilized nation, except under the 
dominion of this sect, ever submitted to such a code? I 
would ask whether any despot that ever ruled a degraded 
accumulation of vassals, dared to impose such a yoke? A 
man is not allowed to walk in his garden, nor a young 
mother to kiss her beloved infant on a Sunday! 1 

I by no means endeavor to create upon other minds 
an impression different from what exists on my own, 
when I exhibit these as the consequences likely to flow 
from the success of these efforts to create a "Christian 
party in politics." In 1645 and '46, when the same party 
had no dominion over the English parliament, but great 
encouragement from that assembly, they declared: "Toler- 
ation is the appointing a city of refuge in men's con- 
sciences for the devil to fly to ; a toleration of soul 
murther, the greatest murther of all others." 2 In the 
"Book of Discipline," published in the reign of Elizabeth, 
p. 142, we read: "Kings no less than the rest, must obey, 
and yield to the authority of the ecclesiastical magistrate." 
One of their writers (Cartwright) explains this submission : 
."Princes must remember to subject themselves to the 
Church, and to submit their sceptres and throw down 
their crowns before the Church; yea, to lick the dust off 
the feet of the Church." (P. 645.) Compare this with the 

1 Kinpsloy's " Hist Disc.," pp. 104-8. 

8 Bennett's "Introduce, to Abridg. of the London Cases," p 6. 


complaints of their writers at present, that too many 
infidels have obtained places of power ; that infidels seem 
to think they have an exclusive right to reign in the 
political world; that the instructions and ordinances of 
the Church are disregarded by "Sabbath" breakers; that 
good men are seduced by pernicious errors ; that Dr. Ely's 
plan is one which no man but an infidel need blush to 
avow. Add to this the fact that although they complain 
that, a year or two since, so many bad men have by some 
means obtained important stations in the government, yet 
they have actually more than their proportion of those 
places, in their ratio to the rest of the population of the 
Union, which they consider the ungodly. The article in 
the Telegraph has stated his numbers at only 300,000, 
out of 12,000,000, which would be but one to thirty-nine. 
He has, however, underrated his own side. The whole 
population consists of adults and infants ; he only gives 
us his adults, and even these are underrated. Instead of 
one "saint" to thirty-nine sinners, I think we may fairly 
give him one. "saint" to seven sinners, provided he con- 
siders all the converted and all the members of the 
evangelical Churches and their families, as he ought, as 
belonging to the aggregate of his population. This would 
give them a right to one-eighth of the public offices and 
of the representation ; and if they possess that portion 
they ought to be satisfied. How shall it be ascertained 
whether they have this portion ? 

On the 16th of April, the Southern Iteligious Telegraph, 
of May 5, 1831, informs us a meeting was held at the 
First Presbyterian Church, in the city of Washington, for 
establishing Sunday schools in the valley of the Missis- 
sippi. This is one of the leading objects of the confed- 
erates,' as it is through means of the Sunday schools 
Dr. Ely intends to secure the votes necessary to his own 
favorite object, of creating the dominion of a " Christian 
party in politics." We may, therefore, fairly put down, as 
belonging to their party, or under its influence, all the 
advocates and operators who then and there came forward. 


The Telegraph informs us, in emphatic italics, that "the most 
of the speakers on the interesting occasion were members 
of Congress. The friends of Sabbath schools will rejoice 
to learn that the most distinguished voices in our coun- 
try are proclaiming the importance of the holy enterprise, 
which is to cheer and bless and save the youth of our 
land, and re-echoing from the citadel of freedom, the noble 
resolution adopted last May, by the American Sunday 
School Union." The New York Observer, another of the 
.associated presses, informs us: "The North, the South, the 
West, the Middle States were well represented on this 

This does not look like the complaint of men feeling 
themselves treated with injustice and bereft of friends in 
important stations of the government of the United States! 
" Never did our legislators appear in an attitude of supe- 
rior dignity and interest, than as advocates, in the temple 
of God, of the great system of religious education, which 
is wielding its potent influence through their country, com- 
manding the best services of the best men in all communities, 
of all professions, and destined to pervade the whole of this 
mighty republic, and even to encircle the globe itself." 
After declaring that the fact of the system advocated 
by such men proves that there is no design of uniting 
Church and State, the Observer proceeds : " It is a fortunate 
circumstance that so many and so highly distinguished 
public men should have first openly stood forth at the 
seat of government, in defence of that very institution 
against which the most envenomed shafts of infidel fury 
have been hurled." Yet the writer, who is one of the 
heralds of the party, complains of the danger to the 
republic, from the fact that what it is pleased to call 
the "infidel party and the irreligious party" have not only 
filled some of its important places of trust, but by some 
means have obtained such stations, a year or two since, as to 
prevent " Christians " speaking of the dangers to which their 
country is exposed by Popery, intemperance, infidelity and 
" Sabbath " breaking, without being charged with the crime 


of "mingling religion with politics!" Have they not 
more than double their share of off