Imagens das páginas

one religious đenomination over another; and yet she does

; not hesitate to permit the introduction of books which teach that Papists are idolaters and image-worshippers. Have we not, in every land where we have had the power, prohibited the Romish worship? Why have we, the only friends of religious liberty, why have we who have poured out our treasure and our blood to redeem the world from Papal tyranny and superstition, why have we done this, but for the reason that we have not dared tolerate superstition and idolatry?

“Why did the Jews, God's chosen people, through whom the Messiah was to come, and who were hourly expecting him and praying for his coming, crucify him between two thieves when he did come, but on the pretext that he had a devil and was a blasphemer? Did the fact that they falsely accused him, and then crucified him on that false accusation, supported by false witnesses, render them the less guilty ? "

“Do you mean to say that so many great and good men, so many pure and holy men, the glory of their age, their country, and their religion, have all conspired to bear false witness against the Romish Church? The thing is incredible.”

“ More so than that the Jewish nation conspired to crucify their God? I know nothing about your great and good men, your pure and holy men ; but I know that whoever accuses the Church of idolatry, or any species of superstition, utters as foul a lie as did the wicked Jews who told our Lord he had a devil, and that he blasphemed. No doubt, it is an easy matter to prove the Church guilty, if all you have to do is to bring a false accusation, assume your own sanctity, and then conclude it must be well founded or you could not have made it. But your logic would be more respectable, if from the falsity of your accusation you concluded your want of sanctity. If the character of Protestants is a presumption against their conspiracy to bring a false accusation, the character of Catholics is a still stronger presumption against their having conspired to uphold and practise idolatry ; for the great and pure and holy men who have lived and died in the Catholic faith, granting you all

you can pretend to, are as a thousand to one to those of Protestant communions. But you forget that I was brought up a Protestant, and that to talk to me of Protestant

а sanctity is ridiculous. I am acquainted with Protestants, and with what they facetiously call their religion. Our dear mother, too, was brought up a Protestant, a Presbyterian, and yet what did she tell me on her death-bed?"



" What did she?" “ No matter now; but she did not die a Presbyterian.” - Did not ? What mean you ?” “ Some day, I may tell you, but you are not now worthy to “Did my father know ? " “As much as you, and no more." “ Did any body know, but yourself ? ” 6. Yes."

“Do you mean to insinuate that a Popish priest was smuggled into our house ? "

“O my wise brother, you do not know all things. Angels of mercy, messengers of grace, are sometimes sent even where the ministers of Satan fancy they do and can find no admission. All things are possible with God, and nothing is too good for him to do for those who are obedient to his grace.”

"Am I to understand that my mother on her death-bed renounced Presbyterianism, and became a Papist ? "

“ She did not die a Presbyterian. You may recollect, that during the last week of her life she refused to see Mr. Grimface, her old Presbyterian pastor."

" True, and my father and I thought it strange ; but as we had no doubt of her being one of the elect, it gave us no great uneasiness. But there was no Romish priest within two hundred miles of us.”

" I have no doubt that my mother died in a state of grace; but more I will not tell you, till you prove or withdraw your charge against the Church.”

“ But why did not our mother tell us all, as well as you, of her apostasy ? "

“She knew both your father and you, and that, if she had told you, she would have been denied the last consolations of religion ; and after she had received them, there was no opportunity, till she became unable to do so. But your charge, prove or withdraw it.”

“I will prove it, but you must excuse me now. versation has been long, and I am fatigued. But to-morrow, God willing, I will prove that the Romish Church is an idolatrous church.” Be it so.

But remember and prove it, or I shall require you to own that Protestantism

“ Is of the devil. I accept the alternative. If I fail to establish the charge of idolatry and superstition against the


Our con

Romish Church, I will consent that the Reformers be branded as calumniators, and that Protestants are and have been from the first acting under the delusion of Satan.”

" See that you keep your word.”

The brothers separated for the remainder of the day, and James, though pleading fatigue, betook himself to his library to look up his proofs and prepare for the morrow. He felt that all depended on the issue he had joined, and that, if he failed to justify his charge, he could no longer pretend to uphold the Reformers. Hitherto his brother had kept him discussing the law of the case ; but now he thought he saw a chance of entering upon its merits, and of introducing his witnesses. How he succeeded will be related in the next chapter.

pp. 225.

ART. II. – 1. The Jesuits. From the French of MM. Mi

chelet and Quinet, Professors in the College of France. Edited by C. Edwards Lester. New York: Gates & Stedman. 1845. 12mo. 2. Des Jesuites par un Jesuite. Première Partie. ExaMEN DES Textes. 2° Edition, augmentée. Paris. 1844. 18mo. 3. Des Jesuites par un Jesuite. Seconde Partie. EXAMEN DES FAITS HISTORIQUES. Paris. 1844. 18mo.

pp. 192.

pp. 381.

The first of these works is an English, or American, translation of the infamous lectures of Messrs. Michelet and Quinet, of the College of France, against the Jesuits, delivered in the summer of 1843; the other two works are a formal reply to them by a Jesuit, Father Cahour, written with great mildness, but with much keepness of wit and force of logic. They leave little to be desired by way of refutation of the Lectures, and ought to have accompanied the American edition of them ; and would, if the American editor, whose name we are loath to write, had had the least conceivable sense of justice.

The Lectures, owing to the position and reputation of the Professors, and to the state of the public mind, especially in Paris, at the time they were delivered, were not altogether without effect, and they are even now sometimes referred to by anti-Catholic writers with a certain degree of approbation. A Presbyterian minister of St. Louis, Missouri, who possesses all the zeal, and more than the average sourness of his sect, lately quoted them, in replying to an article of ours against him, as a work of authority ; and such is the deplorable ignorance of Protestants in general concerning Catholicity, especially concerning the religious orders it opposes, that many, we doubt not, may really suppose the work is in fact something better than a mere tissue of sophistry and misrepresentation. It may, therefore, not be amiss to subject these Lectures to a rigid examination, and lay open to the public their false assumptions, misstatements, and calumnies. We intended to do this some time since, and had, over a year ago, collected the necessary materials ; but we have hitherto been prevented from executing our intention by a press of other matters which we were unwilling to postpone. No great harm, however, can have resulted from the delay. The controversy is an old one, and changes not its character by lapse of time. The Society of Jesus remains, and will remain, as it was, and its enemies have long since ceased to be able to assume a new position or to invent a new falsehood against it.

Our readers are already familiar with the character of the Professors from the account we have given of them, when reviewing some of their other works. They are distinguished chiefs of what, in a general way, is called the modern Movement party, a party with which we ourselves were associated in the days of our blindness, and from which we hoped the redemption of man and society, till the grace of God disabused us. This party is variously denominated, and is not easily defined or described. Perhaps its most appropriate name is the Shadowistic or Symbolistic party ; very nearly what is commonly meant in this country by the Transcendental party. It is not Catholic ; it is not Protestant, in the sense old-fashioned Protestants wish us to understand Protestantism ; nor is it precisely infidel, after the fashion of the last century, or, if so at bottom, it seeks to disguise the fact by dressing up its infidelity in the costume of religion. Its members claim to be religious, even Christian ; but Christian only in their own peculiar sense, because they profess to embrace and seek to realize what they allege was the idea entertained by our Lord. All religion, according to them, is a shadow or symbol, never the reality or the substance itself. The idea entertained by our Lord, or


the religion he contemplated, was, they tell us, a religion which completely and exactly symbolizes the whole of human nature, and shadows forth all its permanent and indestructible facts or laws. All religions are to be accepted, for each symbolizes a portion of these ; but no one can be accepted as perfect religion, for no one completely and exactly symbolizes them all. All, so far as they are positive, are true and divine ; and each, so far as exclusive, is false and mischievous. This is the great truth our Lord taught, and in obedience to this truth he sought to select out the positive portions of all religions and mould them into a perfect and self-consistent whole, which should be the adequate expression of all the essential facts of human nature. To this end he labored, suffered, and died. They only

, are truly bis followers, or have the right to call themselves Christian, who, in this respect, imitate his example. To labor for such a religion is Christian, because it is to labor for the Christian idea, and to be a fellow-laborer with Christ himself is to be Christ — we shudder to write it in the sense he was Christ ! and is Catholic, because it is to accept all religions, and to construct out of the materials they furnish a universal religion.

Moreover, human nature is progressive, continuously progressive, and progressive without term. It is never the same in any two epochs or countries, hardly in any two individuals, or in the same individual at two different periods of his life. The religion which perfectly symbolizes it in one age or nation will not in another. The garments fitted to the child will not fit the full-grown man, and to demand that they be retained and worn without alteration or enlargement is, in effect, to demand that the man remain for ever a child. As man himself advances, as human nature grows, and is continually unfolding more and more of what was concealed in the original germ, so the religious symbol must itself advance, have a power of development or expansion, which enables us to keep it always in harmony with our actual state ; for, if it do not advance with us, we outgrow it, leave it behind us, and are compelled to go op in our eternal career of progress without it.

But the growth, progress, development, or expansion of the symbol is not the work of God as the author of grace, — who may, indeed, gratiâ inspirationis, develop his revelations as seemeth to him good, but the work of man himself. Man himself is intrusted with the work of casting his own shadow, of adapting his symbol to his nature. But to be able to do

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »