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XII.

Intolerance of Popery.

In proof of the intolerance of the Roman Catholic religion, I might refer to the Massacre of the French Huguonots on the festival of St. Bartholomew-a deed of blood, which must be imputed to the Romanists at large; for it was sanctioned by the principles which they then acknowledged I might mention that it was approved by the Pope, whom they obeyed-that it was executed by the adherents to his creed, in obedience to their priests—that it was celebrated as an act of religion in Rome--and that it was justified as a holy deed by the partisans of the Romish opinions. I might relate the fact that medals were struck in memory of the massacre of St. Bartholomew on one side, the king was represented sitting on a throne, and treading on dead bodies, with the motto, "Virtus in rebelles" on the reverse, were the arms of France, crowned between two columns; the motto, “Pietas excitavit justitiam."-I might mention that a solemn thanksgiving was made at Rome, accompanied with a jubilee to all Christendom: for which one of the reasons assigned was, that

they should thank God for the slaughter of the enemies of the church lately executed in France. This and numberless other instances might I bring forward from history to prove the intolerant spirit of Popery; but the advocates for concession deprecate all reference to history. Let us turn then to the principles avowed by Bossuet and Pope Pius VII; and see in what light the enormities of popery recorded in history, are viewed by Irish Papists of the present day.

"The principles of the Roman Catholic religion," says Lord Colchester, "are in direct hostility to the reformed religion; and the basis of my refusal to admit Roman Catholics to the supreme offices of the state, is founded in my conviction of their sincerity in the religion they profess.

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"If you ask for the evidence of this hostility, it is prominent and undeniable. In his (Bossuet's) great work upon the variations of the Protestant reformers from the true standard of the faith, we are told again and again:- The exercise of the power of the sword in matters of religion and conscience, is a point not to be called in question. There is no illusion more dangerous than to make toleration a characteristic of the true Church.'* The Church of Rome is the most intolerant of all Christian sects. It is her holy and inflexible incompatibility which renders her severe, unconciliatory, * Bossuet, Hist. des Variations, livre X.

and odious to all sects separated from her. They desire only to be tolerated by her; but her holy severity forbids such indulgence.'* These doctrines renewed, as they have been in our own times by the pontifical authority itself, it is in vain for the Roman Catholic laity to disclaim, unless their clergy also, in whose hands their conscience is placed, shall now come forward, and openly renounce this hostility."

"I find," says Lord Stowell," in the interesting account given of the transactions of the Pope, under the usurpations of Buonaparte, declarations of the Pope, given in pastoral instruction, to this effect: The protection much boasted of for different worships, is only a pretext and a colour to authorize the secular power to meddle in things spiritual; since, in showing respect for all sects, with all their opinions, customs, and superstitions, a government does not respect, in effect, any right, any institution, any law of the Roman Catholic church. Under such protection, is concealed a persecution, the most crafty and dangerous which can be exercised against the religion of Jesus Christ. He does not love or understand our most holy religion, out of which there is no hope of salvation, who does not revolt at such an order of things.' These are the opinions of the supreme head of the

* Hist. de Variations, Sixième Advertissement.

+ Circular Letter of Pius VII. to the Cardinals, 5th February, 1808.

Roman Catholic church, upon the mere toleration of other worships. If so, what must be his opinion of a state of things, in which another worship is dominant, and the Roman Catholic faith is in a state of depression? Do I misrepresent the opinion, when I say, it can be no other than this: that such a state is an inverted and unnatural state, which cannot continue without endangering the salvation of the country where it exists."

"Our own experience," as Sir Robert Inglis has well observed, "the observations of to-day, prove, in fact, that the intolerance of the see of Rome is as great as ever. The late Pope, good as he was in many points, is a sufficient example of this position, particularly as he appears in that very curious work printed here thirteen years ago, containing his official correspondence with Alquier and Miollis, when they seized the papal states in 1808. The Pope himself was carried off a prisoner into France. While Buonaparte was meditating this outrage, he still felt it right to submit, for the sanction of the Pope, certain articles relating, not to the universal church, but to the internal administration of France itself, as it related to religion. One of those articles was, that all religions should be free: Que tous les cultes soient libres et publiquement exercés.' The Pope answered as if he had been Julius the Second, or Sixtus the Fifth. He turns round to his cardinals, and tells them in words which

no Protestant should ever forget, We have rejected this article, as contrary to the canons, to the councils, to the Catholic religion, to the tranquillity of life, and to the welfare of the state.'* In another rescript to the bishops, in the same work, he refers to the toleration of all sects, actually granted in France under Buonaparte; and says, that such alliance can no more consist with the Catholic church, than a concord between Christ and Belial. Let it always be recollected, that this was in reference to an application from a sovereign on his throne, in the plenitude of his power, to a decrepit old man, whom he was about to carry off as a prisoner into the centre of France; that Buonaparte felt the spiritual power of the Pope, when he asked the exercise of it, to confirm his own regulations for the internal government of France; and that the Pope showed the unchanging character of

* Pius VII. to his cardinals, 5th February, 1808 :—“ Si pretende la libertà d'ogni culto con publico esercizio, e questo articolo siccome opposto à canoni ed ai concili, e alla religione Cattolica, al quieto vivere, ed alla felicità dello stato, per le funeste consequenze che ne deriverebbero, lo abbiamo pure rigettato."-Relation, tom. i. p. 42.

Religion

+Instruction of Pius VII. to the bishops: Catholique, Apostolique et Romaine . . . . . laquelle, parce qu'elle est divine, est necessairement seule et unique, et par la même, ne peut faire alliance avec aucune autre; de même que le Christ ne peut s'allier avec Belial, la lumière avec les tenebres, la verité avec l'erreur, la vraie pieté avec l'impieté." -Relation, tom. i. p. 193.

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