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incline to the opinion that the hatred of England was at least as strong an impulse to their efforts as the love of liberty.-But[Time expired.]
Twelve o'clock, M. BISHOP PURCELL rises,
My friends, in order to meet one of the last allegations of the gentleman, namely, that the Catholic church has a law, making Protestant children illegitimate; I know of no law to that effect, which admits of the least practical difficulty ; but I will tell you where it is still in force, and imposes civil disabilities and disqualifications of the most odious character. It is in a Protestant country. And, here, let me say, once for all, that I judge too highly of the character of Scotsmen and Englishmen, and know too well that they detest these laws as much as I do, to mean anything disrespectful to them, when I allude to the acts of the British government, or the malpractices of individuals. Scotland has done much for science. Eagle-like she has soared to its sunniest heights. May she battle, like the Bruce, by the side of O'Connell, for human rights. But, facts are facts. Now, a Unitarian minister, Mr. Dewey, whom I have already quoted, says:
"The dissenters are demanding to be relieved from their burdens. Petitions to parliament, either for an entire abolition of the union between church and state, or for an essential modification of that union, have, it is well known, become matters of almost every day occurrence. There is a determination on this point, which must at length succeed; and I must say, indeed, from my own impressions about the hardships of the case, that if the dissenters—if those whose consciences and property and personal respectability are alike invaded by the church establishment, will not cause their voice, and the voice of justice to be heard, they deserve to be oppressed........ If the church endowments were a bequest for the benefit of any particular class of christians, it was for the Catholics. The largest portion of them were actually Catholic endowments. If it is proper that they should be diverted from that original design at all, it ought at least to be done in aid and furtherance of the whole religion of the country......No man I think, can travel through this country without knowing that the dissenters are frequently treated in a manner amounting to absolute indignity! As to the injustice of the system, it is well known. The dissenter is excluded from the universities. In fact, he can neither be born, nor baptized, nor married, nor buried, but under the opprobrium of the law. That is to say, there can be no legal regis
n of his birth; bis baptisnial certificate does not entitle him to legal marriage: and he can receive neither marriage, nor burial from the hands of his own pastor.
And now what is alleged in defence of this state of things? No principle or pretence of justice that I have ever heard, but only the principle of expediency. It is said that monopoly and exclusion here are necessary. It is said that religion cannot be supported in dignity and honor, without ample endowments and rich benefices." Vol. I. p. 143.
Such is the state of England in the enlightened nineteenth century, and a pretty state it certainly is! Thus, on incontrovertible testimony, that of the nation at large, are monopoly and exclusion necessary to the support of a system which Mr. Campbell has solemnly declared to be the only bulwark of the Protestant religion !!
My friends, for those tremendous curses which you have heard, and at which you have laughed so heartily! I must spoil or heighten the fun by telling you that they are not Catholic curses, nor yet Protestant curses exactly, but that they are the jeu d'esprit of a Protestant minister, Lawrence Sterne, all found in this book (exhibiting it,) which I have had brought me, this moment, from a book store, written by that worthy parson himself, and one of the most grossly obscene in the English language !! Verily, my opponent has given me, in this finale, a measure of revenge which I would not, myself, have asked
for. And he had these curses, stowed away for years, on that bit of soiled paper, to be produced as the coup de grace to the Catholics, at the close of this debate. I saw these curses, when some waggish wight had them published, in Philadelphia ; and the moment he mentioned them, I wrote on my notes, “ Sterne," “ Tristram Shandy," and sent for the book! Dr. Slop cuts his finger, untying a certain case of instruments: he whistles Lillebulero, to ease the pain; and Uncle Toby, or his nephew, with Cervantic gravity, swears by Juno's beard to the genuineness of these curses, and hands them to Dr. Slop, to read by way of an anodyne! But, seriously, in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, are to be found curses, as awful as these here pronounccd. Must we mock God that inspired, or the scripture that records them? Now the bible itself is turned into ridicule by the gentleman.
Christian charity and common sense, truth and justice, require imperatively, that no one should be condemned without a hearing, or charged with holding sentiments which he disavows. Here is the fullest, the clearest, the most unequivocal disavowal, of the doctrine of the pope's deposing power. The Catholics do not believe that he has any such power. We would be among the first to oppose him in its exercise ; and we would be neither heretics nor bad Catholics; and we each of us bishops swear the very words of the oath : “Persequar et impugnabo, salvo meo ordine,” in the sense specified, which is the only true sense, the assumption of any such power by the pope, or the pope for the assumption of any such power. FOR TEN CENTURIES THIS POWER WAS NEVER CLAIMED BY ANY POPE. IT CAN, THEREFORE, BE NO PART OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE. IT HAS NOT GAINED ONE FOOT OF LAND FOR THE POPE. IT IS NOT ANY WHERE BELIEVED, OR ACTED UPON, IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. NOR CAN IT BE, AT THIS LATE DAY, ESTABLISHED, IF ANY MAN COULD BE FOUND MAD ENOUGH TO MAKE THE ATTEMPT. Let these go before the American people, as the real principles of Catholics concerning the power of the pope. And if we must pronounce a judgment on the past, let it be remembered, that when the pope did use this power, it was when appealed to as a common father, and in favor of the oppressed! We should go back, in spirit, to former times, when we undertake to judge them. We should understand the condition of society at the period; we should know the circumstances, general and particular, which controlled or influenced the great events recorded in history. We should not quarrel with our ancestors, because they did not possess knowledge which we possess; nor flatter ourselves that we are vastly their betters, because of these adventitious advantages; while they manifestly surpass us in others of greater value, to the Christian, the moralist, the artist. They had the substance of good things : we seem to be content with the shadow of them. The very efforts now made by fanatical preachers, and petitioners to congress, to proscribe Roman Catholics, clearly show that we are far behind them in the regard for truth, and the exercise of toleration. Let it never be forgotten, what the sect was, of what religion the men were, who first petitioned congress, in this free country, to restrict, or, to use a more appropriate word, to abolish liberty of conscience, and to form a Christian party in politics. They were not Roman Catholics.
The Bull of Gregory XVI. censures bad books. He condemns not the liberty, but the licentiousness of the press. And is he not right! Can there be a greater corrupter of morals than bad books? Did not 2 E 2
St. Paul burn bad books to the amount of 5000 pieces of silver, as we read in Acts xix. 19? Is it not actionable in England and the United States to publish books against the existence of God? You see what one-sided views, some would be great men can take, of the doings of popes. The gentleman blew up the bible, and all the mysteries of christianity, and himself with them, when he tried to blast the rock of Peter; is it wonderful that he should implicate St. Paul, and Eng. lish and American common and statute law, when he would blow up the good old pope, Gregory XVI.?
In a rescript addressed by his holiness Pius VII. to the vicars apostolic of Great Britain, dated the 8th of April, 1820, his holiness exhorts them to take care that
“The faithful abstain from reading the wicked books, in which in these calamitous times, our religion is assailed from all sides; and that they should be strength. ened in faith and good works, by the reading of pious books, and particularly the boly scriptures, in editions approved by the church-you preceding them by word and example." “Uta perversorum librorum lectione, quibus,calamitosissimis hisce temporibus sancta nostra Religio undique impetitur, abstineant; ut piorum librorum, præsertim scripturarum sacrarum lectione, in editionibus ab Ecclesia approbatis in fide et in bonis operibus, vobis verbo et exemplo præuntibus, confortentur."
“In the reign of Louis XIV. of France, at the suggestion of Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, 50,000 copies of the new Testament in the vernacular tongue, were dig. tributed in the provinces." See vindication of religious Orders, No. 40, 3d. vol.
The Index is a book of which I have never had a copy; and no Catholic, that I know of, in the United States, has ever seen it. The law of nature is as much of an “Index” as that volume, for it forbids us to read bad books which the index-finger of conscience points to us as evil, with the word-BEWARE! The gentleman greatly mis. takes the Catholic doctrine, the morals of Catholics, the politics, the intellects of Catholics. I trust, as he becomes more enlightened, he will think better of them. I am sure this audience, and the publica will. All see by the crowds of Catholics thronging, to the very last moment, to this debate, how free and fearless of the investigation of their faith they are, and feel. They have had the full benefit of all the gentleman's sophistry and extracts; and the effect is infinitely better for Catholicism than any sermon that I, or any Catholic bishop in the union, has ever preached to them. They see that, with all the gentleman's learning and talents, he has utterly failed to establish a single one of his propositions. Hence they will be more attached to their faith than ever.
As to the deposing power, I may recall to your recollection the fact that five great universities of Europe were consulted by William Pitt, and they all, in the most solemn language, reprobated such a doctrine. Their decisions may appear in an appendix, if we publish one. I have not time to read them now. In Millner's End of controversy, and Charles Butler's memoirs of English, Irish and Scottish Catholics, we'll find these matters fairly stated and discussed.
There is more liberty in Rome than the gentleman gives it credit for. There is a Protestant church, even in Rome, where service is regularly performed according to the Episcopalian rite. The Jews are not any where more charitably treated, than in the eternal city. Last year, they presented a splendid copy of the Holy Bible, or some other sacred book, to the pope, as a token of their gratitude.
The gentleman calls the system of tithes a dying system. It has indeed been a dying system. It has slain its thousands, and made the condition of the living worse than that of the dead.
Judge Hall, of this place, has treated the question discussed, more learnedly and eloquently than my worthy opponent or myself. I will give his remarks the place to which they are so well entitled for candor and liberality.
“This question has become so important in the United States, that it is time to begin to inquire into its bearings, and to know whether the public are really interested in the excitement wbich has been gotten up with unusual industry, and has been kept alive with a pertinacity that has seldom been equaled. For several years past the religious protestant papers of our country, with but few ex ceptions, have teemed with virulent attacks against the Catholics, and especially with paragraphs charging them substantially with designs hostile to our free institutions, and with a systematic opposition to the spread of all free inquiry and liberal knowledge. These are grave charges, involving consequences of serious import, and such as should not be believed or disbelieved upon mere rumor, or permitted to rest upon any vague hypothesis; because they are of a nature which renders them susceptible of proof. The spirit of our institutions requires that these questions should be thus examined. "We profess to guaranty to every inhabitant of our country, certain rights, in the enjoyment of which he shall not be molested, except through the instrumentality of a process of law which is clearly indicated. "Life, liberty, property, reputation, are thus guarded and equally sacred is the right secured to every man, to 'worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.'
But it is idle to talk of these inestimable rights, as having any efficacious existence, if the various checks and sanctions, thrown around them by our constitution and laws, may be evaded, and a lawless majority, with a high hand, ravish them by force from a few individuals who may be effectually outlawed by a perverted public opinion, produced by calumny and clamor. It is worse than idle, it is wicked, to talk of liberty, while a majority, having no other right than that of the strongest, persist in blasting the character of unoffending individuals by calumny, and in oppressing then by direct violence upon their persons and property, not only without evidence of their delinquency, but against evidence; not only without law, but in violation of law-and merely because they belong to an unpopular denomination.
The very fact that the Roman Catholics are, and can be with impunity, thus trampled upon, in a country like ours, affords in itself the most conclusive evidence of the groundlessness of the fears, which are entertained by some respecting them. Without the power to protect themselves, in the enjoyment of the ordinary rights of citizenship, and with a current of prejudice setting so strongly against them, that they find safety only in bending meekly to the storm, how idle, how puerile, how disingenuous is it, to rave as some have done, of the danger of Catholic influence! We repeat that this is a question which must rest upon t
testimony American people are too intelligent, toojust, too magnanimous, to suffer the temporary delusion by which so many have been blinded, to settle down into a permanent national prejudice, and to oppress one christian denomination at the bidding of others without some proof, or some reasonable argument.
We have not yet seen any evidence in the various publications that have reached us, of any unfairness on the part of the Catholics, in the propagation of their religious doctrines. If they are active, persevering, and ingenious, in their attempts to gain converts, and if they are successful in securing the countenance and support of those who maintain the same form of belief in other countries, these we imagine, are the legitimate proofs of christian zeal and sincerity. In relation to protestant sects, they are certainly so estimated; and we are yet to learn, wby the ordinary laws of evidence are to be set aside in reference to this denomination, and why the missionary spirit which is so praiseworthy in others, should be thought so wicked and so dangerous in then.
Let us inquire into this matter calmly. Why is it that the Catholics are pursued with such pertinacity, with such vindictiveness, with such ruthless malevolence? Why cannot their peculiar opinions be opposed by argument, by persuasion, by rem suasion, by remonstrance, as one christian sect should oppose each other? We speak kindly of the Jew, and even of the heathen; there are those that love a
Negro or a Cherokee even better than their own flesh and blood; but a Catholic is an abomination, for whom there is no law, no charity, no bond of christian fraternity.
These reflections rise naturally out of the recent proceedings in relation to the Roman Catholics. A nunnery has been demolished by an infuriated mob a small community of refined and unprotected females, lawfully and usefully engaged in the tuition of children, whose parents have voluntarily committed them to their care, have been driven from their home--yet the perpetrators have escaped punishment, and the act, if not openly excused, is winked at, by protestant christians. The outrage was public, extensive, and undeniable; and a most respectable committee, who investigated all the facts, have shown that it was unprovoked--a mere wanton ebullition of savage malignity. Yet the sympathies of a large portion of the protestant community are untouched.
Is another instance required, of the pervadiny character of this prejudice? How common has been the expedient, employed by missionaries from the west, in the eastern states, of raising money for education or for religion upon the allegation that it was necessary to prevent the ascendency of the catholics. How often has it been asserted, throughout the last ten years, that this was the chosen field on which the papists had erected their standard, and where the battle must be fought for civil and religious liberty. What tales of horror have been poured into the ears of the confiding children of the pilgrims-of young men emigrating to the west, marrying catholic ladies, and collapsing without a struggle into the arms of Romanism-of splendid edifices undermined by profound dungeons, prepared for the reception of heretic republicans--of boxes of firearms secretly transported into hidden receptacles, in the very bosoms of our flourishing cities of vast and widely ramified European conspiracies by which Irish catholics aro suddenly converted into lovers of monarchy, and obedient instruments of kings!
A prejudice so indomitable and so blind, could not fail, in an ingenious and en terprising land like ours, to be made the subject of pecuniary speculation; accord ingly we find such works as the Master Key to Popery,' Secrets of Female Convents,' and · Six Months in a Convent,' inanufactured with a distinct view to making a profit out of this diseased state of the public mind. The abuse of the catholics therefore is not merely matter of party rancor, but, is a regular trade, and the compilation of anti-catholic books of the character alluded to, has become a part of the regular industry of the country, as much as the making of nutmegs, or the construction of clocks.
Philosophy sanctions the belief, that power held by any set of men without restraint or conipetition, is liable to abuse; and history teaches the humiliating fact that power thus held has always been abused. "To inquire who has been the greatest aggressor against the rights of human nature, when all who have been tempted have evinced a common propensity to trample upon the laws of justice and benevolence, would be an unprofitable procedure. The reformers punished heresy by death as well as the catholics; and the murders perpetrated by intolerance, in the reign of Elizabeth, were not less atrocious than those which occurred under the bloody Mary,' We might even come nearer home, and point to colonies on our own continent, planted by men professing to have fled from religious persecution, who not only excluded froni all civil and political rights those who were separated from them by only slight shades of religious belief, but persecuted many even to death, for heresy and witchcraft. Yet these things are not taken into the calculation, and the catholics are assumed, without examination, to be exclusively and especially prone to the sins of oppression and cruelty. 'The French catholics, at a very early period, commenced a system of missions for the conversion of the Indians, and were remarkably successful in gaining converts, and conciliating the confidence and affections of the tribes, While the Pequods and other northern tribes were becoming exterminated, or sold into slavery, the more fortunate savage of the Mississippi was listening to the pious counsels of the catholic missionary - This is another fact, which deserves to be remembered, and which should be weighed in the examination of the testimony. It shews that the catholic appetite for cruelty is not quite so keen as is usually imagined, and that they exercised, of choice, an expansive benevolence, at a period when protestants, similarly situated, were blood-thirsty and rapacious.
Advancing a little further in point of time, we find a number of colonies advancing rapidly towards prosperity, on our Atlantic sea board. In point of civil