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day will, with one voice, condemn persecution for conscience, sake; but they mean only persecution of the Catholic faith; and whenever they become so numerous as to gain the ascendancy, wo be to the Protestants who shall be within their reach, or subject to their dominion ! Who can think of this, and not contemplate danger from the encourage ment given to popery in this country, and particularly in this city?
"Every false or corrupt religion is a sanguinary and persecuting religion. It was so with the religion of heathenism; as the character of the heathen wars before Christianity, and of the heathen persecutions after its introduction, sufficiently testifies. Now, such has been remarkably the case with the Romish religion, which, from its earliest period, has been a religion of bloodshed and of bigotry: in proof of which fact, its whole history might be cited, but the present space will only permit the enumeration of a few instances; such as the papal wars in Italy, fomented and perpetuated by the pretended successors of the Prince of peace. The civil wars in France, which lasted a whole century, and which are so ably recorded by Davila. The continental wars of Germany, France, and Flanders, as recorded by De Thou. The massacre of St. Bartholemew, in Paris and the provinces, for which the pope of that day solemnly returned public thanks to Almighty God, in the cathedral of St. Peter. The Sicilian vespers. The cruelties of the Duke of Alva, and of the Jesuits, in the Low countries. The horrors which followed the revocation of the edict of Nantz, by that splendid scourge of Europe, Louis XIV. The abominable cruelties of the inquisition in Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere, from the earliest period of its establishment. The martyrdoms of England, in the reign of Philip and Mary. The appalling conspiracy of the 5th November, and the other sanguinary plots of the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. The atrocious and extensive massacre of the Protestants in Ireland, in the reign of Charles I., as recorded by Sir John Temple; and the Irish rebellion, in 1798, whose main object was the extinction of Protestantism, and which was fomented and conducted by the Romish priests, as authenticated by Sir Richard Musgrave. In all these abominable cruelties, the mystical woman of the apocalypse has trodden in the track of her heathen precursor; and, in either case, their footsteps have been marked with blood. If modern Rome has not caused her children, like the ancient idolaters, to pass through the fire to Moloch, she has not, on that account, slain fewer in other ways: and sanginary rites of the ancient superstition have only given place to the immolation of human victims in another form, though not on a less extensive scale.”—Preface to the letters by Ignotus.-From the Times.
It may be interesting to the reader to know, how the matter stands at present in France, with regard to toleration. If Papists were capable of learning moderation and tenderness, on the subject of religious difference, one should think the kindness which thousands of them received in this country, when driven from their own, would induce them, if not to think well of our religion, at least to tolerate those who profess it. But such is not the case. It seems that this very summer, our Protestant brethren, in France, are exposed to persecution; they are harassed, and brought to trial, and fined, because they will not decorate their houses in honour of the consecrated host that is carried, on certain days, through their streets; that is, because they will not do honour to an idol. They know that the host is an object of worship; they see their deluded neighbours falling down before it; and they believe, that if they were to pay any respect whatever to this idol, they would be guilty of consenting to idolatry; yet they must do so, notwithstanding the constitutional charter which professes to allow perfect freedom, with regard to religious worship, or they must be dragged as criminals before their courts of justice, and fined, as an example to others, and as an earnest of what they may further expect, if they persist in their contumacy. The following information, on this subject, is extracted from the Philanthropic Gazette, of the 9th instant, which, I am glad to see, has been published also in the Glasgow Chronicle, as I wish the facts to be as extensively known as possible:
"Persecution of Protestants at Bourdeaux.-On Sunday, May 31st, being Corpus Christi Day, the several parishes of the city of Bourdeaux went in procession through the streets, preceded by the public crier, who proclaimed the orders of the mayor to all the citizens, to line the front of their houses, without any regard to the difference of religion. No arrètè of the municipal authority, no proclamation whatever, was posted or inserted in the public papers. The citizens, of a religion different from the Roman Catholic, believed, that without a manifest violation of the constitutional charter, they could not be compelled to an act of outward homage, which offered violence to their religious sentiments. From these considerations, several Israelites and Calvinists did not hang out cloth in the front of their houses. The commissary of police of that division, in person, ordered several of them to obey. Two of them answered, that, though such an order offered violence to their conscience, and infringed on the liberty of their religious opinions, if he gave them an order, signed by himself, they would submit. This he refused to do, and at the same time noted their disobedience.
"All the citizens who had not complied with the order of lining the front of their houses, were cited to appear, June 12th, before the tribunal of ordinary police: some obeyed the mandate, and others neglected. Those that were present denied the legality of the citation.
"Ist. They alleged that no existing and known law prescribed such an obligation: that the municipal authority had not published, by means of the public prints, any arrèle, or ordonnance, relative to the subject; and that they were ignorant of what had been published by the crier.
" 2d. That they were by profession Calvinists, or Israelites, and that they were forbidden, by their religion, to render any external homage to a religion not their own.
“3d. That the third article of the charter gave equal liberty to all religions, and granted the same protection to every form of worship; and that every individual was perfectly free, in regard to his religious duties, nor was obliged to any act contrary to his conscience. The defendants, therefore, demanded to be released from the accusation, asking, at the same time, that their defence should be registered, together with the judgment pronounced, reserving to themselves the right of protesting, &c.
" The commissary of police, on the side of the prosecution, answered
by reading a decision of the court of cassation, by which the appeal of a Protestant lady had been rejected. This lady was condemned to pay a fine of six francs, for having refused to line, according to a printed order of the mayor of Puylaurent. He maintained, that the mayor of Bourdeaux had given sufficient notice to his constituents, by the crier, and that no one could justly pretend ignorance. He argued from the ordonnances of the Jurals, in 1759, from ancient edicts of the police of Paris, of a date still more remote, and from an article of the law of 7th of August, 1790. Thus, without any reference to the present code, he condemned the defendants to a fine of six francs for those who were present, and fifieen francs for the absentees, with costs.
" It may be proper also to state, that, on the 12th of June, four persons, Israelites, waited on the mayor again, to request that the procedure might be discontinued. The mayor refused, stating, that he did not intend to offer violence to the rights of conscience, but that he would abide by the decision of the court of cassation. It was answered, that notwithstanding the respect due to the decisions of that court, the persons who requested his interference would address a petition to the chamber of deputies next session, that the legislative body might pronounce on so important a subject, which, as from its nature it belonged to the political, and not to the administrative, was not to be determined by the court of cassation. In the name of many citizens of Bourdeaux-(Signed) LANGE.”
Such, it seems, is the state of religious toleration in France, in the year 1818. If a Jew or a Protestant refuse to violate the law of God, That is, if he shall refuse to do honour to an idol, he must pay a fine. It matters not that the fine is a very small sum, six francs being only five shillings sterling, since the principle is admitted, that it is a crime in law not to do honour to the consecrated bread: that is, what they call the real body of Christ, which is carried in solemn procession through the streets on Corpus Christi, that is, the body of Christ Day;
-since, I say, the principle is acted upon, that this is a criine, the punishment will not be long continued upon so low a scale, as a fine of five shillings. We shall soon hear of imprisonment, and banishment, and perhaps death, inflicted upon our Protestant brethren, who refuse to do homage to the popish idol.
The Papists in this country enjoy as much liberty of conscience as other dissenters. There are no obstructions whatever thrown in the way of their worship. They are not required to conform to any part of the established religion. They enjoy the most ample protection of their persons and property; and any person injuring them would be amenable to our laws, the same as if he had injured any other subject; yet we are told, by the editor of their Orthodoc Journal, that the most sanguinary and barbarous code of laws, against the professors of the Catholic faith, which ever disgraced the annals of a Christian country, is to be found in the statute books of England and Ireland ! Certainly then they are in the statute books only, and not to be found any where else, at least, they are not to be found in the practice of Protestants towards Papists; whereas, in France, the law is in favour of religious freedom, but the practice is against it. Besides, the principal laws against Papists in England and Ireland have been repealed during his present majesty's reign; but it did not suit the purpose of the
orthodox journalist to tell this. He wishes the world to believe that his brethren are objects of sanguinary persecution.
I have received several interesting communications, since the commencement of my labours, particularly this week, to which, at present, I can only give this general answer : -My kind and unknown correspondents are requested to accept my best thanks, and to rest assured, that I will, in due time, make the best use I can of their hints. I am particularly indebted to those who have sent me scarce books, on the subject of this controversy.
REPLY TO AMICUS VERITATIS :-HIS CHARGE OF BIGOTRY UNFOUNDED.
BIGOTRY DEFINED. THE PAPIST IS THE TRUE BIGOT. ANECDOTE OF DUNSTAN, ARCHBISHOP OF SCOTLAND. DUKE OF BRUNSWICK CONVERTED TO POPERY. ONE OP HIS REASONS FOR THE CHANGE. POPISII TOLERANCE. EXTRACT FROM A CATHOLIC
SATURDAY, October 3d, 1818. It is time to return to Amicus Veritatis, who writes to the editor of the Glasgow Chronicle thus :—" When I first addressed you, it was far from my intention to enter upon religious controversy, but only a desire of putting bigotry to the blush, and of advocating the cause of truth.” Prot. Part I. p. 32. Bigot is a name which Papists are very fond of applying to their Protestant neighbours, while they consider themselves injured when they are called Papists. Amicus VERITATIS trespassed, he says, upon the public, merely from desire of exposing the weakness and futility of censorious bigotry.” He "thanks Heaven, the phantoms raised by bigotry and by prejudice have fled before the light of reason." Part I. p. 12. He asks the Protestant—"Will he again spout out the noxious venom of religious intolerance and bigotry? O how shameful and obstinate a thing is bigotry! To what end, says Philips, is an argument with the bigot?" &c. Part I. p. 45.
It is easy calling names, when one is at a loss for arguments. Amicus VERITATIS knows, that a bigot is an odious thing; and he cannot but know, that it has been pretty generally attached to his own communion. He does, therefore, what he can, to throw it upon the Protestants, and to make it attach to me in particular; thinking, perhaps, that in this way he will get quit of it.
That the reader may be able to judge to whom this word is most applicable, I shall give the definition of it by Dr. Johnson :—“BigotRY; prejudice ;---unreasonable warmth in favour of party opinions. BIGOTTED; blindly prepossessed in favour of something; irrationally zealous." Bigotry, it is evident from this, is not warmth and zeal in any thing; or rather, zeal and warmth, and prepossession, are not bigotry; but unreasonable warmth,—blind prepossession,-irrational zeal, are bigotry. I shall not disavow either warmth, or zeal, or prepossession. I confess that my mind was prepossessed, or preoccupied by certain truths, before I entered upon this controversy. It was prepossessed by a conviction that the word of God is true; that this word
is contained in the holy scriptures; and that these contain all that God has to say to us, till the day of judgment. But this is not bigotry, because it is not blind prepossession.— The Bible proves itself to be the word of God, and there can be nothing more reasonable than to believe, that what he says is true. Neither shall I acquit myself of zeal, but rather confess that I have not enough of it; but zeal is not bigotry, unless it be irrational. I must also plead guilty to the charge of occasional warmth; but this is not bigotry, unless it be unreasonable. It would ill become me to say I am entirely free from prejudice; but it would be unfair to charge me with it, unless I have advanced something for which I cannot give a satisfactory reason, of which nobody has yet convicted me. As for party opinions, if this is meant for principles founded upon the word of God, I do not disavow being prepossessed in favour of them: In matters of religion, there are, properly speaking, only two parties in the world; and I hope I shall always be found ready to advocate the opinions, or rather the principles, of that party which is on the side of real Christianity, against those of antichrist; but neither is this bigotry, unless it be done with unreasonable warmth.
But it would be no difficult matter to show that, with regard to every part of the definition, a true Papist is a bigot. He is so full of prejudice, that, without reasoning or inquiry, he believes all that his church teaches; and holds it undoubted, that whatever is not taught by his church, must be heresy. This would be reasonable, if it were the result of conviction, from the consideration of sufficient evidence. But with Papists this is not the case. They hold and teach many things, for which no man on earth can give a satisfactory reason. They are, therefore, bigotted in the strongest sense of the word. Their religion is founded upon prejudice, not upon evidence. They are blindly prepossessed in favour of it; they are irrationally zealous in its support and propagation; they are unreasonably warm in their anathemas against those who expose their errors, and who propagate the truth. Papists, undoubtedly, are bigots.
They are extremely zealous, for instance, in maintaining, that Peter was bishop of Rome, and that the pope is his successor. This is blind prepossession ; it is a mere prejudice; for, as I have shown in my seventh and eighth numbers, Peter never was bishop of Rome; and I defy the whole world to produce the shadow of evidence of the fact, from any authentic history. Yet they will part with any thing sooner, than give up this point. They are so blindly prepossessed in favour of it, that rather than renounce it, they would deny the evidence of their own senses. I have before me what is publicly sold in Italy for the Bible. It is a collection of stories, taken from the historical books of the Old and New Testament, and the Apocrypha, with what are called moral reflections. This is all the Bible that is generally circulated among the Italians, in their own language; at least, that the gentleman whose copy is in my possession, could get to buy when lately in that country; and great care has been taken that nothing should be contained in it, that is dangerous to the Romish religion ; that is, in short, nothing that can teach a sinner the way of salvation, by Jesus Christ alone, without the aid of a priest. In this work, they profess to give the genealogy of the popes, from Jesus Christ down