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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 pervading 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 ascendancy 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 are 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 enterprising land like ours, to be made the subject of pecuniary speculation; accordingly we find such works as the • Master Key to Popery,' Secrets of Female Convents,' and Six Months in a Convent,' manufactured 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 rancour, 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 competition, 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 from 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 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 shows 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 bloodthirsty and rapacious.
“ Advancing a little further in point of time, we find a number of colonies advancing rapidly towards prosperity, on our Atlantic seaboard. In point of civil government they were somewhat detached, cach making its own municipal laws, and there being in each a predominance of the influence of one religious denomination. We might therefore expect to see the political bias of each sect carried out into practice; and it is curious to examine how far such was the fact. It is the more curious, because the writers and orators of one branch of this family of republics, are in the habit of attributing to their own fathers the principles of religious and political toleration, which became established throughout the whole, and are now the boast and pride of our nation. The impartial record of history affords on this subject a proof alike honourable to all, but which rebukes alike the sectional or sectarian vanity of each. New England was settled by English Puritans, New York by Dutch Protestants, Pennsylvania by Quakers, Maryland by Catholics, Virginia by the Episcopalian adherents of the Stuarts, and South Carolina by a mingled population of
Roundheads and Cavaliers from England, and of French Huguenotsyet the same broad foundations of civil and political liberty were laid simultaneously in them all, and the same spirit of resistance animated each community, when the oppressions of the mother country became intolerable. Religious intolerance prevailed in early times only in the eastern colonies; but the witchcraft superstition, though most strongly developed there, pervaded some other portions of the new settlements. We shall not amplify our remarks on this topic; it is enough to say, that if the love of monarchy was a component principle of the Catholic faith, it was not developed in our country when a fair opportunity was offered for its exercise; and that in the glorious struggle for liberty, for civil and religious emancipation—when our fathers arrayed themselves in defence of the sacred principles involving the whole broad ground of contest betwen liberty and despotism, the Catholic and the Protestant stood side by side on the battle-field, and in the council, and pledged to their common country, with equal devotedness, their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour. Nor should it be forgotten, that in a conflict thus peculiarly marked, a Catholic king was our ally, when the most powerful of Protestant governments was our enemy."
We close, in the language of the great father of American liberty. In a reply to a patriotic address of the Catholics of the United States, the illustrious Washington thus gave utterance to his feelings:
“Gentlemen,-While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called by an unanimous vote, to the first station in my country, I cannot but duly notice your politeness, in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony of the increase of the public prosperity, enhances the pleasure, which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.
" I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could have reasonably been expected; and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support, and extraordinary candour, of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.
“ The prospect of national prosperity now before us, is truly ani. mating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men, to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home, and respectability abroad.
“ As mankind become more liberal, they will be more apt to allow, that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community, are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their revolution, and the establishment of their government, or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.
"I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavour to justify the favourable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.”
CHRISTIANS, OR CHRISTIAN CONNEXION.
BY THE REV. DAVID MILLARD,
AUTHOR OF TRAVELS IN EGYPT, ARABIA PETREA, AND THE HOLY LAND.
Within about one half century, a very considerable body of religionists have arisen in the United States, who, rejecting all names, appellations, and badges of distinctive party among the followers of Christ, simply call themselves Christians. Sometimes, in speaking of themselves as a body, they use the term Christian Connexion. In many parts of our country this people have become numerous; and as their origin and progress have been marked with some rather singular coincidents, this article will present a few of them in brief detail.
Most of the Protestant sects owe their origin to some individual reformer, such as a Luther, a Calvin, a Fox, or a Wesley. The Christians never had any such leader, nor do they owe their origin to the labours of any one man. They rose nearly simultaneously in different sections of our country, remote from each other, without any preconcerted plan, or even knowledge of each other's movements. After the lapse of several years, the three branches obtained some information of each other, and upon opening a correspondence, were surprised to find that all had embraced nearly the same principles, and were engaged in carrying forward the same system of reform. This singular coincidence is regarded by them as evidence that they are a people raised up by the immediate direction and overruling providence of God; and that the ground they have assumed is the one which will finally swallow up all party distinctions in the gospel church.
While the American Revolution hurled a deathblow at political domination, it also diffused a spirit of liberty into the church. The Methodists had spread to some considerable extent in the United States, especially south of the Potomac. Previous to this time they had been considered a branch of the Church of England, and were dependent on English Episcopacy for the regular administration of the ordinances. But as the revolution had wrested the states from