Page images
PDF
EPUB

And this is to acquit the Church of Rome from the charge of having persecuted !! It could not, Dr. Milner says, and Sir John Coxe Hippisley says after him, have any thing to do with the sheduing of blood !! Itonly obliges Sovereigns by the dread of Ecclesiastical censures to extirpate Heretics ? it does not extirpate them itself! It only delivers over Heretics to the secular arm with an absolute certainty, that in consequence of that act they will be burnt, but it has nothing to do with the burning of them !! And here we find a principle wonderfully consolatory for all who are entrusted with the administration of justice. It now turns out that when a criminal is condemned to death, the judge and jury have in reality no concern in the matter ; the whole responsibility, and the guilt of an unjust sentence, if any, rests with the hangman !!!

Again Sir John adds, “ this canon, as well as the 3d canon of the ivth Lateran, were published among the Imperial Constitutions by Frederick ibe Il. at the request of Honorius III. on the day of his coronation "-" a proof,” he further adds, that the Pope considered them as belonging properly to the civil power." Certainly the hanging, beheading, burning, &c. belongs properly to the bangmen. Ergo, according to the premises laid down above, in this case to the temporal power. Observe too the delicacy of the expression, " at the request of Honorius III." Fleory, in his History, a Romanist writing to Romanists, says, " it was confirmed by the Pope." (H. E. Liv. LXXVIII. $ 40.) And in truth it bears that confirmation in the very terms in which all the Papal Bulls conclude, threarea. ing all those who infringe it with “ the indignation of the blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul."

But this fact is material on another account. For the honourable Baronet finding, we suppose, that this did not satisfy scrupulous Protestants, and having ota:ked with some one else in the mean time, in his IId “ Substance of a Speech,” makes a short turn. This canon, it seems, passed, as it was, so solemnly, by Lords Temporal and Spiritual in Parliament assembled, with the auvice of the Temporal Princes, embodied into a Constitution of the Empire, was really, nothing at all! “ The autho. rity of some of the canons is much questioned by the late Catholic Bishop Hay, of Scotland," (and by Dupin it is said, but we doubt this :) and * this offensive one rejected as spurious by -- Father O'Leary !!!" This is not all. A little lower in the same page (p. 15.) Sir John gives us to understand what think you, reader? “ That it never made its appearance till an hundred years after he date of the Council !" Nay, he goes on," it never was receivea !" (not even by the Emperor Frederic Ild.!) " but on the contrary it has been rejected by every State in Europe, even when Rome was in the zenith of its power !!" Indeed! we have bere

Vol. l. [Prot. Adu April, 1813.) 22

seen, on Sir John's own shewing, that it was received in Germany. Our readers may find in Wilkins (Concia, vol. 1. p. 585) and in Dupin, (XIIIth Century, p. 105.) that in 1222 it was solemnly received in Eng, laod, in a council held at Oxford. The provisions of this IIId canon were also enforced in the Council of Narbonve, and in other provincial councils in France :-he inquisition, which was founded on this and similar ca. pons, is, or was, within a very short time existing in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and in the Portuguese colonies in the East Indies ; millions of lives have been taken away in pursuance of iis sanctions; and yet“ it has been rejected by every State in Europe!!!" . Again, it .“ never made its appearance for a bundred years after the date of the council !" And in the very same paragraph it is said that the Nephew of Innocent I!I, Gregory the IXth, always called the canons of the IVıh Lateran “ his Uncle's canons."—Now, when did Gregory IX. live? when was be made Pope? Why, in the year 1227:- that is, not quite eleven years after his Uncle's death, and not twelve years after the Council of Lateran! Moreover, three years after, in the year 1230, he published the Decretals, a most important part of the canon law, where this same canon figures most conspicuously. True it is that it stands there as the decree of “ Innocent III, in the Council of Lateran." But still that is an odd way of proving that it was never heard of for a hundred years! And how does this invalidate the authority of the canon? Are we not told by every Romanist, that decrees issued by the Pope Ex Cathedrá, are not only valid, but infallible, upless dissented from by the majority of Bishops in their Church. But the canon in question was not only not dissented from, but expressly assented to by a General Council. What can we ask more! Surely these are miserable shifts ! surely Sir John bas been sadly advised ! Why will he give car to those who care not how much they expose him, so long as they can make him subservient to their ends ? so long as they can take refuge under his seven-fold shield ? Voltaire has said somewhere, in consequence of some misrepresentation of facts, Voilà comme on écrit l'Histoire !” We may say, “ thus it is that men write 6 Substances of Speeches !"

Here is a canon passed in a council, absolotely the most famous of the modern vecumenical councils of the Church of Rome, unless we except per• haps the Council of Trent ; within fifteen years of its passing, inserted in the body of the canon law, solemnly published by a Pope ; for six bune dred years uniformly acted upon ; and now, in this enlightened nineteenth century, the attempt is made by an accomplished “ Cavaliere," to call its very existence in question !!!

Of the many testimonies borne to the credit which this aotable Coute

cil has ever enjoyed in the Church of Rome, or of tảe contents of this canon, we bave said nothing, because our able correspondent, Melancthon, in our last Number, has fully anticipated us. And, indeed, our object was not so much to argue upon the council itself, as upon the manner io which it had been treated by Sir John Coxe Hippisley. As this gentleman is the avowed organ of the Roman Catholics; as it is his pride to be so, and as be is the channel through which their sentiments are conveyed to Parliament and to the people; what he says becomes of importance, and specially calls for consideration. Those who have been made to believe, that there is nothing but good faith in the Rompish Church, that nothing is meant but what is perfectly fair and open, may here learn a lesson which may put them upon their guard; and be of service to them and to the country.

We have a great deal more to say of Sir John's " deep researches ;" and of those points which he is so anxious to refer to a select committee, we have an account to settle with him on behalf of our Church and some of its Prelates; but so much of our attention has been occupied by the actual state of affairs, in consequence of the late vote in the House of Commoos, that we are constrained to postpone any further consideration of these substana tial lucubrations to a future Number. How matters will stand when we come next to take up the pen, it is not easy to foretell, or even to conjecture. This which was not easy in itself, is made more difficult by the conduct of our opponents. For it must have been observed by our readers, that even in the second debate which has taken place upon the question, the advocates for ihe claims have studiously abstained from speci. fying what are the securities wbich they mean to propose, or consider to be sufficient. As far as we can judge, not any two of them are agreed upon the subject. Sometimes we are led to suspect that this hanging back arises from another cause : that the view is to feel the pulse of the Protestants both in and out of the walls of the Houses of Parliament: to ascertain the quantum of concession which the patient may be persuaded to take : and this, at whatever risk to bis constitution; nay, to leave an opening to the very last, which may allow of an increase of the dose, as the state of the humours may vary. If there be any foundation for such a suspicion, it forms an additional reason for preserving, nay, increasing, that vigilance which has been recoinmended. Even if it should happen that the Irish soi-disant Catholic Board should, by a sudden transition, become mild and accommodating, as there is some appearance of it, we must be excused if we, for our parts, ascribe it to secret design, rather than to a real change of sentiment. We remember the policy of ancient as well as of modern

Rome ; and that, however, with seeming moderation, they sometimes professed to be satisfied with a part, they never for a moment, or in reality, laid aside their intention of possessing themselves of the whole.

(To be continued.)

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS IN FAVOUR OF THE REFORMED

RELIGION, RECOMMENDED BY THE EDITOR OF THE PROTESTANT ADVOCATE.

(Continued from p. 334.) 7. The Condact and Pretensions of the Roman Catholics considered, in a

Letter to the Freeholders of Oxfordshire. By F. Haggit, D. D.

This is a most excellent Tract. It is full of information; it abounds with the clearest reasoning imaginable; it discusses many popular topics, and will enable those who peruse it, to discern the fallacy of many vulgar er. rors perpetually broached, and loudly maintained by the partizans of Po. pery. It is written in a very spirited way; but the indignation which sometimes gives keenuess to the observations, and points the epigrammatic language of the author, is always subject to his good sense, and is repressed by his regard for propriety. He is master of a strain of chaste humour, almost peculiar to himself. He reminds us of the manner in which Swift used to draw up his political pamphlets; but Dr Haggit never indulges in the invective, or disgusts us with the ribaldry of Swift. We can. not refrain from giving our readers two or three specimens of this superior tract, by way of a taste-by way of whet we should say ; – and very happy shall we be to stimulate our reader's curiosity, and excite a wish in them to read the pamphlet. We acknowledge that we have been equally delighted and informed in turning over the sixty pages of which it consists.

Dr. Haggit, paying due respect to the laity, gives a very proper reason why the Clergy ought to take a part in the Roman Catholic Question. • Though the exertions of the laity may be more advantageous to the cause, the Clergy, I conceive, ought not on that account to remain inactive ; especially as our silence might be liable to misconstruction, and an approbation of the · Popish claims, or at least an acquiescence in them, might be attributed to a class of men who, above all others, cannot favour an attack upon Protestant institutions, without a breach of obligation bordering on apostacy. Individuals there are, and some for whom I feel a great respect, who are not convinced that any such attack has been made of

meant, and who doubtless, whenever they perceive the danger, will stand forward to repel it; but, unquestionably, a great majority of us do actually believe, that concession to the Roman Catholics would hazard the constitution in Church and State ; and, surely, with this persuasion we ought to be something more than spectators of the contest, nor should the fear of calumay deter us; active or peuter, we cannot escape reproach ; for if we take no part in the discussion, the friends of the Establishment will accuse us of indifference and neglect of duty ; and if, on the other hand, we declare our sentiments, the advocates of Popery revile us as illiberal and persecuting bigots. Now, gentlemen, in this dilemma, to me at least the choice is easy ; without any hesitation, I prefer the wrath of adversaries to the discontent of friends; and accordingly shall deliver my opinion, I hope without offence, I am certain without malevolence."

As to the expediency of investing the Roman Catholics with power, the author says, --" They (the Concessionists) pretend that this measure will pacify and conciliate three or four millions of Irishmen, recruit our armies, and unite the whole force of the empire against the enemy; objects very desirable without dispute, and which I would purchase at almost any price short of the Constitution. But I doubt if the very persons who make the walls of Parliament re-echo with this assertion, would verify it by their own example: their disposition to consolidate the force and population of the kingdom, and thus invigorate the hands of government, is a profound secret known only lo themselves."

We have the following judicious remarks on Parliamentary discussion of a certain de cription. Some members indeed endeavour to enlighten the public mind by sending “ the substance” of their speeches to the press. This is, at least, a generous mode of proceeding, beavuse an opportunity is afforded to retute their assertions. We beg leave, on this account, to thank Mr. Canning and Sir John Core Hippisley. They have enabled us to neutralize all that was noxious in their arguments. The “Substance" of the former gentleman's speech is already reduced lo a canut mortuum; and that of the latter is undergoing a similar process. “ In the course of the last session, some one, I remember, boasted in the House of Commons, that the publicity of parliamentary discussion was productive of great advantages : and great I am sure they ought to be, to countertelence the great evils of it. To mislead the judgment and inflame the passions of the vulgar, is not the way to make them orderly or useful members of society; to induce them to spend their time and money at public houses, imbibing politics and porter, will not, I conceive, render them more moral or more industrious: nor is the custom beneficial to Parliament itself; for it leads to declamation instead of reason; it is a provoca

« PreviousContinue »