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victory, won during eighteen centuries of glorious strife with the world, the flesh, and the devil, by any such unhallowed means: and hence it is that the world hates her. It hated her divine Founder before her, and for the self-same reason.
She will not, because she can not, change ; and her adversaries cry out that she is not adapted to the spirit of the age, which is eminently a spirit of progress and of change in every thing, - from simple machinery up to the higher departments of philosophy and religion. She proclaims to the world, as the revelation of God, many doctrines unfathomable to reason and humbling to human pride ; and the world cries out, absurdity and nonsense! She enforces the divine obligation of many things painful to human nature ; and men cry out that she is the enslaver of the world, and that her principles are incompatible with human liberty. Still she heeds not all this clamor, but firmly, yet mildly, pursues her divine pilgrimage of mercy and charity, without turning either to the right or to the left, to please men.
It has ever been so. The tactics of the evil one, in his assaults against the truth, have not varied in the lapse of long centuries. From the time that he dared tempt Jesus Christ Himself in the wilderness, down to the very latest campaign he has made against His Church, the spirit of his warfare, as well as its chief appliances, has not changed. He tempted Christ by an impious and most unblushing appeal to the human passions of sense, of avarice, and of pride ; and he tempts the disciples of Christ by the self-same weapons of the flesh. To the disciples as to the Master, he says : “ All these things will I give you, if, falling down, you will adore me ;” but the disciples answer, as did the Master: "Begone, Satan; for it is written, the Lord thy God thou shalt adore, and Him only shalt thou serve."
We might easily illustrate all this, by a reference to the different phases of the warfare against Catholicity in ages past. We might prove that, how different soever were the favorite modes of attack at different periods, they all, nevertheless, possessed this trait in common ;--- they appealed to passion against truth. The older heretics did this; the modern dissenters still do the same. The ancient heretics succeeded partially and for a time; they seduced many from the truth by their maddening appeal to a corrupt nature : but they finally disappeared from the arena, together with their victims ; and the truth still stood forth triumphant, waving its unsullied banner of victory over a conquered world. The modern innovators have but renewed the same phases of unballowed warfare,---of apparent victory, and of final but certain and overwhelming defeat. It has ever been so ; it m'ist ever be so. He who could not deceive, had foretold that the world should hate His disciples, but that the gates of hell SHOULD NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HIS CHURCH, BUILT UPON A ROOK.
At the dawn of the reformation, Luther appealed to the political feelings and prejudices of the Germans against the primacy of the Pope. He
1 St. Matthew iv, 9, 10.
stirred up the slumbering embers of old feuds between the Popes and the emperors, blew on them with the warm breath of his indignant invective, and enkindled a fire in the bosom of Germany, which threatened to destroy the venerable edifice of Catholicity. He cried out at the top of his stentorian lungs, that the Germans had been groaning for centuries in the bondage of a worse than Babylonian captivity, and that the day of their emancipation was at hand. Those whom he could not lure to his standard by the impassioned cry of LIBERTY, he wooed by the softer, but yet more insinuating appeals which he made to their avarice or to their sensuality. To the princes he offered, as a bait, the plunder of the immense church property, accumulated during ages of faith and piety; to bishops, priests, and monks he held out the additional inducements of a handsome wife and a comfortable establishment; to all he offered freedom from many painful restraints on the passions, imposed by the ancient religion. Fasting, daily prayer, singing or reciting the divine office, celibacy, penance and mortification, were to be done away with ; and Christians were henceforth to get to heaven by treading the primrose path of dalliance with human nature, with the light of only one single principle, – that of faith alone, - beaming upon them for their guidance. The painful restraint of Church authority was to be discarded, and each one was to live as he listed, with his Bible for his guide, and his own private judgment as the only key to its meaning. With the employment of such means, no wonder that he gained proselytes; but the whole scheme was manifestly a downhill reformation.
The very same system of tactics was adopted at Geneva, in northern Europe, in Switzerland, in France, and in England ; and with precisely the same results. Everywhere the same maddening appeal was made to the worst passions of the multitude ; every where people were lured to the standard of revolt against the Church by carnal arguments, eloquently stimulating flesh and blood to war against the Pope. All this is strikingly true of England. The bluff old tyrant, Henry VIII., broke with the Pope, that he might secure a young wife in lieu of a most virtuous one, stricken in years, of whom he had grown tired; he brought his people over to his cause by a series of acts of high-handed tyranny which would have disgraced a Nero, and by a course of sacrilegious spoliation of altars and churches which would have disgraced Antiochus and Nebuchadonosor. But the master stroke of his policy, and of that of his successors, was the adroit and persevering appeal constantly made to the passions of the multitude. Open English history for the last three hundred years, and you will read evidences of this truth on almost every one of its sullied pages.
The self-same spirit pervades that phase of the warfare against Catholicity, which consists in holding up its dogmas to execration as absurd and opposed to human reason, and its worship as a senseless mummery. The mystery of the adorable Eucharist cannot be comprehended, therefore it is absurd ; the sacrifice of the Mass, based thereon, cannot be comprehended, therefore it is idolatrous; the ceremonies of Catholic worship cannot be
understood or appreciated, therefore they are downright mummery! With what other weapons does the Unitarian attack the mysteries of the incarsation, the atonement, and the trinity? And with what other does the deist assail all mysteries and all supernatural revelation? Do not the opponents of Catholicity, like the opponents of Christianity, stand forth self-condemned of "blaspheming whatsoever things they know not?"" Are they not convicted, by their mad course of opposition to Catholicity, of an implied consent to the destruction of Christianity itself? Do they not, like the infidels, “ despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty ?"? Let them look to it, and to the awful denunciation pronounced by the inspired Jude against those who do these things.
But by far the most vile mode of attack, which was ever adopted by the enemies of Catholicity, consists in an unblushing appeal to that low animal passion, unfortunately inherent in our nature, which leads to crimes that St. Paul would not have to be even so much as named among Christians. This may be pronounced the latest, it is certainly the most disgraceful, phase in the warfare against Rome. Reverend "no-popery" champions, boasted ministers of the God of holiness and purity, make no scruple whatever of treating with the most disgusting detail, both in the pulpit and through the press, certain matters which a pure-minded Christian should blush even to think about. Such Reverend ministers as the Sparries, the Brownlees, and the Breckenridges, think nothing of giving circulation to obscene matter, which would cover with disgrace the most ordinary citizen, who lays no claim to any peculiar sanctity, but simply stands forth clad in the panoply of an honest and a decent man. They even sometimes go so far, in their mad zeal against Rome, as to desecrate the temple of God itself with obscenity, by preaching therein sermons not fit for ears polite, and with doors accordingly closed against the ladies! What is not fit for ladies' ears, is fit for preachers of the gospel, and quite good enough for the temple of the living God!
How blind is bigotry! How odious and detestable is hypocrisy! Can we wonder that our beloved country is so much overspread with immorality and infidelity, when such men as these pass as the acoredited ministers of God's word, and the organs and leaders of His people? When they continue to do their dirty work, with scarcely a rebuke from the representatives of popular sentiment? The inspired apostle draws a graphic portrait of such men, when he characterizes them as “ raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion, wandering stars ; to whom the storm of darkness is reserved forever :"and, when he points the finger of withering denunciation at them, and says, “ these are they WHO SEPARATE THEMSELVES, sensual men, having not the spirit.”:
Nothing can be too bad for these men, provided it be only directed against the Catholic Church. Their morbid appetite for scandal rejects no food, no matter how loathsome. The most obscene narrative of the most obscene and abandoned wretch, like Maria Monk, or of the most drivelling 1 St. Jude, v. 10.
2 1b. v. 8.
3 St. Jude, vv. 13, 19.
apostate, like Smith, Hogan, Giustiniani, and Ciocci, is precisely what most pleases their palate. They stop not to inquire what is the character of the writer or narrator, or what are his or her claims to be received as an accredited witness; provided the story militate against the Pope and the Catholic religion, it is enough. The book is published and circulated with zeal ; it is bought up and read with avidity by a certain class of the people stricken with the “no-popery” mania; and it has already done its deadly work, before its refutation can be made public. The refutation, did we
? The refutation cannot generally be made public; that is, it cannot reaoh those who have been infected with the poison ; the preachers and their agents will see to that; they are so fond of not keeping their people in ignorance, that they and their organs seldom, if ever, publish the refutation, how triumphant soever it may be! Their followers are thus allowed to read only on one side ; poisonous error and calumny have already sped with the velocity of lightning to the remotest ends of the union, on the wings of an untiring press; and when the truth comes “slowly limping after it," these ministers of truth take special care to check or prevent its progress ! How many, think you, of those hundreds of thousands who swallowed with avidity the poison of Maria Monk's obscene impostures,— known by all to be impostures, - were allowed to receive the antidote ? How
of the Protestant religious press published a contradiction of that wicked book ? And what vast multitudes are there not even now of the ignorant haters of the Pope, of pious old ladies of both sexes,— who still devoutly believe every syllable written in that infamous book ? Of course, these people are never priest-ridden !
We speak advisedly, and we know what we say. Is it not a burning shame that such things should be done in a Christian land, in the light of the nineteenth century, and by Christian ministers? And, when this course is still persisted in, in spite of all our just denunciation of its unchristian spirit and glaring injustice; when, as fast as one book of obscene horrors can be disposed of, the teeming press is in labor with another ; when many heads start into existence, in place of the one which we have stricken off from this hydra of an impure bigotry; and when even Reverend preachers are the active instruments in causing all this mischief, and in pouring over this virgin hemisphere all this foul torrent of impurity, could we, we ask, have employed softer language in rebuking a spirit so unclean? We know that in doing so, we have with us the most enlightened and pure-minded of the Protestant community itself; and we feel convinced that this disgraceful method of warfare has already recoiled, and will still recoil, with terrible effect, on the heads of those same mountebanks, who are now the active leaders of the crusade against Catholicity in this country. The American people will not consent to be forever duped ; there is a point beyond which even their forbearance will not go. The reaction must come, and the retribution it will bring with it, will be a fearful one for those who now seem to bask in popular favor.
We have been led into this train of reflection by perusing the work of Michelet, the title of which is given above. A more thoroughly wicked or a worse publication we have never chanced to read ; and we verily believe that if Satan himself could appear upon earth, clad in bodily form, armed with the appliances of pen, ink, and paper, he could not have written a worse book; though he certainly would have composed one marked with much more ability, - blended with at least equal hatred of Rome and Catholicity. He would not have blundered nor ranted half so much, but he would have written a more logical and a more effective work; and our word for it, the Reverend leaders of the anti-catholio crusade in this country would have republished it, duly translated, if necessary, into English ; after such a fashion, too, as to make it lose nothing of its malignity by the translation! When they are ready to fraternize with such unblushing infidels as Michelet, is it too much to believe that they would extend the right hand of fellowship to the evil one himself, were he visibly to step forth as a knighted “no-popery" champion ? We think not, and we believe that our readers will agree with us, when we shall have told them who this Michelet is, and what is the character of his book.
Who, then, is Michelet ? He is a French transcendentalist, a pantheist, and a downright infidel; a man who is even at no pains to conceal his infidelity. He is a disciple of Voltaire and Rousseau ; with the bitterly scoffing spirit of both, but without the talent of either. He has somewhat of the impetuosity, the incoherency, and the extravagance of Rousseau ; but he has little of his impetuous eloquence : while he has not a particle of the genius or of the polished and effective satire of that incarnation of demonism – Voltaire. He hates religion with a satanical hatred'; his hatred is blind, mad; but there is little method in his madness. He strikes about him with the malignity of a serpent, but also with its blindness. When he writes against the Catholic religion, he means to write against Christianity ; when he pours out his venom against priests, he means the ministers of all denominations.
He writes against priests, just as Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and Tom Paine wrote against them. And when the translator coolly undertakes to tell us that he meant only “ French priests," I and that he attacked only the Catholic religion as taught and practised in France, he takes a very narrow and most erroneous view of the scope contemplated by his author. He falls into about the same delusion into which some very cordial haters of the papacy fell, a few years ago, in the West.
The incident we allude to is both amusing and characteristic. Some years ago, a paper was announced as about to be published in New York under the captious title, “ Priestcraft Unmasked.” A number of elders of the Presbyterian church and other Protestants of our acquaintance, thinking from its title that it would be a first rate “no-popery” paper, subscribed for it with avidity, and paid their subscription in advance.
1 In his preface, which is a curious specimen of disingenuous special pleading.