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of rights, of advowsons, of presentations, of tithes, offerings, moduses, church-rates, and a thousand others; and I would ask that honourable gentleman, (Mr. Grattan,) whether if he had a son or a brother in the church, he would, with his experience of mankind, think that his son or brother, would confidently trust a Roman Catholic judge, sitting to decide many of such questions between the Protestant clergyman and the Roman Catholic parishioners: and whether there would not be that distrust and suspicion of an improper bias, which might disturb the fair course of justice, even if that suspicion and distrust were not in itself an evil, which it is the duty of prudent institutions entirely to remove, by removing their natural causes. So with respect to the office of privy councillor, who has to advise the sovereign in matters of religion, which are then matters of State, in some degree, though in a still higher degree, matters of conscience. All the same objections apply to the office of chancellor, in a much higher degree, and with the addition of his being the constitutional guardian of the royal conscience in affairs of this nature, as well as in those of a merely civil description."
"The source of the religious scruples which deprived James II. of his regal dignity, is expressed in one of the questions which he proposed to several divines of his persuasion. It comprises in a few words what every candid mind must perceive to be the true and only difficulty in the
admission of Roman Catholics to the Parliament of these kingdoms. What James doubted respecting the regal sanction, a member of either House may apply to the more limited influence of his vote. He asked Whether the King could promise to give his assent to all the laws which might be proposed for the greater security of the Church of England? Four English divines who attended James in his exile, answered without hesitation in the negative. The casuistry of the French court was certainly less abrupt. Louis XIV. observed to James, that 'as the exercise of the Catholic religion could not be re-established in England, save by removing from the people the impression that the king was resolved to make it triumph, he must dissuade him from saying or doing any thing which might authorize or augment this fear.' The powerful talents of Bossuet were engaged to support the political views of the French monarch. His answer is a striking specimen of casuistic subtlety. He begins by establishing a distinction between adhering to the erroneous principles professed by a church, and the protection given to it 'ostensibly, to preserve public tranquillity.' He calls the edict of Nantes, by which the Huguenots were for a time tolerated, 'a kind of protection to the reformed, shielding them from the insults of those who would trouble them in the exercise of their religion.' 'It never was thought,' adds Bossuet, 'that the con
science of the monarch was interested in these concessions, except so far as they were judged necessary for public tranquillity. The same may be said of the King of England; and if he grant greater advantages to his Protestant subjects, it is because the state in which they are in his kingdoms, and the object of public repose require it.' Speaking of the Articles, the Liturgy, and the Homilies, he says, 'it is not asked that the king should become the promoter of these three things, but only that he shall ostensibly leave them a free course, for the peace of his subjects.' 'The Catholics,' he continues, ought to consider the state in which they are, and the small portion they form of the population of England; which obliges them not to ask what is impossible of their king, but on the contrary, to sacrifice all the advantages with which they might idly flatter themselves, to the real and solid good of having a king of their religion, and securing his family on the throne, though Catholic; which may lead them naturally to expect in time, the entire establishment of their church and faith.'
"Such is the utmost stretch which can be given to the Roman Catholic principles in the toleration of a Church which dissents from the Roman faith. A conscientious Roman Catholic may, for the sake of public peace, and in the hope of finally serving the cause of his church, ostensibly give a free course to heresy. But, if it may be done without such dangers, it is his
unquestionable duty to undermine a system of which the direct tendency is, in his opinion, the spiritual and final ruin of men. A Roman Catholic cannot, without guilt, lend his support to a Protestant establishment, but is bound, as he wishes to save his soul, to miss no opportunity of checking the progress of heresy: the most grievous of all moral offences according to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church. Murder itself is less sinful, in the judgment of the Roman See, than a deliberate separation from her communion and creed. If any one still doubts the place which heresy holds in the Roman Catholic scale of criminal guilt, let him explain away, if he can, the following passage of the papal bull, which is every year published in the Spanish dominions, under the title of The Crusade. By that bull every person who pays a small sum towards an imaginary war against infidels, is privileged to be released from all ecclesiastical censures, and receive absolution at the hands of any priest, of all, whatever sins, he may have committed, even of those censures and sins which are reserved to the Apostolic See, the crime of heresy excepted.' Is it then to cherish, foment, and defend this heinous crimethe crime which the Pope excludes from the easy and plenary remission granted to the long list of abominations left for the ear of a common priest -is it this crime, as established, honoured, and endowed by the law of England, that Catholics
are anxious to sanction with their votes in Parliament?"*
"Remember," said Lord Stowell, then Sir William Scott, in his speech in the House of Commons, March 2, 1813, "remember the memorable declaration of the Earl of Bristol, in the House of Lords, upon the passing of the Test Act: Upon the whole matter, my lords, however the sentiments of a Catholic of the Church of Rome, may oblige me, upon scruple of conscience, in some particulars of this bill, to give my negative to it, when it comes to a passing; yet as a member of a Protestant Parliament, my advice cannot but go along with the main scope of it.' Here is the natural working of the religious conscience of the Roman Catholic against the prudential and political conscience. The measure proclaimed to be right and fit, but the vote directed against it, because it tended to the safety of the Protestant establishments of the country; which, as a disciple of the church of Rome, he was bound religiously to discounte
* See Practical and Internal Evidence against Catholicism by Rev. B. White.