תמונות בעמוד

in the affirmative, and their conduct is in unison therewith, that Protestant patriots will rest satisfied. Do they, then, believe, and are they ready to show it whenever and wherever practicable, in universal education, free inquiry, the right of all to read and study God's word, and the liberty and equality of all religious denominations? Do they renounce,-and if so, let them distinctly avow it, the infallibility of the pope and Catholic church, his universal jurisdiction, the power of eternal life vested in the priesthood, the beresy and consequent exposure to damnation of all who are not Catholics, and the propriety of their extermination by force, if other means fail? Let them fairly meet these questions, and no longer seek to evade them, by urging the piety and sincerity of Fenelon, Thomas a Kempis, and others in their communion. We cheerfully admit, that there are pious and devoted men within the pale of the Catholic church; men like Van Ess, ready to labor with their might to give the bible to the world,-individuals whose purity of life and sterling worth might put to the blush many who bear the name of Protestants. But this is nothing to the point under consideration. “Whether Catholics are pious or learned, is not the question ; but what are the republican tendencies of the system?" No candid person, after reading the following extracts, can reproach Dr. Beecher with intolerance.

" But have not the Catholics just as good a right to their religion as other denominations have to theirs ?I have said so. I not only admit their equal rights, but insist upon them; and am prepared to defend their rights as I am those of my own and other Protestant denominations. The Catholics have a perfect right to proselyte the nation to their faith, if they are able to do it. But I too have the right of preventing it, if I am able. They have a right freely to propagate their opinions and arguments; and I too have a right to apprise the nation of their political bearings on our republican institutions. They have a right to test the tendencies of protestantism by an appeal to history; and I, by an appeal to history, have a right to illustrate the coincidence between the political doctrines and the practice of the Catholic church, and to show, that always they have been hostile to civil and religious liberty. The Catholics claim and exercise the liberty of animadverting on the doctrines and doings of Protestants, and we do not complain of it: and why should they or their friends complain, that we in turn should animadvert on the political maxims and doings of the Catholic church? Must Catholics have all the liberty,—their own and ours too ? Can they not endure the reaction of free inquiry ? Must we lay our hand on our mouth in their presence, and stop the press ? Let them count the cost, and such as cannot bear the scrutiny of free inquiry, return where there is none ; for though we would kindly accommodate them in all practicable

ways, we cannot surrender our rights for their accommodation. pp. 87–89.

Another plea in behalf of the Catholics, is their influence in procuring the restitution of stolen property and allaying excitements among the ignorant population. But we are not so ready to admit this plea, as many others are. So far from it, this very fact is, in our view, one of the strongest objections to the prevalence of the Catholic religion, and the favor with wbich some Protestants seem to regard it. Is it so, that our rights, property and lives, the invaluable legacy bequeathed us by those who hazarded all for freedom, are to be held by the tenure of a dependence on the will of the Catholic priesthood, to protect us and ours ? Can the lifted hand of a Jesuit still the tumult and make the waves retire? But who shall assure us, that the same hand may not be raised to urge forward the tide about to whelm us? Is there in the midst of us such an irresponsible power, whose councils are guided by the dicta of a foreign head, whose decrees are secret as the grave, having at its beck thousands over whom it exerts a terrific control? and are we to be told, that the people of this republic have no cause for alarm ?

For what was the city of Boston for five nights under arms,-her military upon the alert,--her citizens enrolled, and a body of five hundred men constantly patrolling the streets ? Why were the accustomed lectures for public worship, and other public secular meetings, suspended? Why were the citizens, at sound of bell, convened at mid-day in Faneuil Hall ?--to hear Catholicism eulogized, and thanksgiving offered to his reverence the bishop, for his merciful protection of the children of the pilgrims! And why, by the cradle of liberty and under the shadow of Bunker's Hill, did men turn pale, and whisper, and look over their shoulders and around to ascertain whether it were safe to speak aloud, or meet to worship God ? Has it come to this ?—that the capital of New-England has been thrown into consternation by the threat of a Catholic mob, and that her temples and mansions stand only through the forbearance of a Catholic bishop ? There can be no liberty in the presence of such masses of dark mind, and of such despotic power over it in a single inan. Safety on such terms is not the protection of law, but of single handed despotism. Will our great cities consent to receive protection from the Catholic priesthood, -dependent on the Catholic powers of Europe, and favored by his holiness, who is himself governed by the bayonets of Austria ?' pp. 90–92.

Dr. Beecher has not put this question too strongly. We all know the testimony of the Lady Superior at the trial of the Convent rioters, as to the influence of the bishop over his 20,000 brave Irish. Within the last two or three years we have made most alarming strides in disorganization. Our cities bave rung with the shouts of mobs; our papers are filled with the demonstrations of the interserence of aliens with our political prospects as a nation ; and surely it is no pleasing fact to know, that the Catholic priesthood, by their overawing influence, may be a barrier for us against

the threats and attempts of lawless violence. Even while we are writing, the public journals inform us, that blood has been shed in various places; and scarcely a week passes, in which something does not occur to show us the disposition felt, by men comparatively aliens, to break down the peace and order of our well-regulated communities. Are the confessional and the ordinances of papal priests to be our substitutes for courts of justice and civil enactments ?

Dr. Beecher next speaks of Catholic schools, designed for the education of Protestant children. We see not how the purpose and tendency of these schools can be denied by any one, who has given an hour's reflection to the influences thus made to bear on the susceptible minds of youth. The whole machinery of this system of education is calculated, if any thing can do so, to effect the object of gaining important proselytes to the Catholic faith. These schools are wholly under the direction and supervision of Catholics. No public examinations are had from year to year; no reports are laid before the community in the midst of which they are situated; no invited visits and intercourse of Protestant parents and friends with the pupils. All these things are parts of the Protestant system of education. Not another denomination besides the Catholics, have ever manifested a wish to withhold all desired explanations, or not to have the whole system of instruction open to the public eye. Every thing among Protestants is unveiled and visible. Why should it be otherwise in Catholic seminaries and schools ? Is there any reason why greater confidence should be placed in the conductors of them, than in those who manage Protestant establishments ? Yet, what Protestant school could hope for the least encouragement, which should be carried on in accordance with the same principles of secrecy and concealment as prevails in Catholic institutions? Who can doubt, that an influence is designed, and is actually exerted, to make the pupils Catholics? No other reason can be alledged for the difference just adverted to, which is at all satisfactory to a candid mind. If credit is to be given to the sincerity of their professions, it cannot but be so. Viewing the children and youth committed to their charge as heretics, and, so long as out of the Catholic church, exposed to perdition, will they not seek to bring them into the true fold, --in a word, to make them Catholics? Catholic manuals are the only religious books tolerated; the Catholic worship only is maintained, and the pupils are required to assist in it. Now, what in the nature of things must be the result, with respect to the young and susceptible minds on which these causes are continually operating? Is a benevolent desire of imparting useful knowledge, aside from a wish to exert a proselyting influence, the object; why then are these schools so particularly devoted to Protestant chilVol. VII.


dren? Why are thousands and tens of thousands of Catholic children left groaning under all the evils of ignorance, and withheld from Protestant schools? Why are large sums of money lavished in endowing these Catholic schools, and gathering in Protestant children from the bosons of families where they will not be wholly neglected ? and why are not increasing and untiring efforts put forth, to raise the Catholic population among us from their almost hopeless condition of degradation? How can such things be reconciled: The christian public bas a right to put these questions; and they ought not to rest satisfied, until some better reason than any which has yet been given, is offered in reply. Professions, that Catholics have no wish to interfere with the religious principles of Protestant children, may be incessantly reiterated; but who can believe them, so long as their conduct is thus palpably inconsistent? We have no fault to find with their wish to proselyte; it is natural : but we cannot sufficiently express our detestation of the concealment under which they choose to act, and the utter disregard of candor which they evince, in seeking to disguise the purpose from those at whose dearest interests they aim so treacherous a blow, through their children. The dilemma is one they cannot avoid. If they are sincere, then, they believe that none can be saved out of the Catholic church; and even with the feelings of common humanity, they must seel prompted to labor for the conversion of the children to the Catholic religion; or, if insincere in that belief, distrusting them here, we must lose all ground of confidence in their denials, as to the object of their schools, and are left without any thing to assure us, that for the promotion of their selfish ends, and to strengthen their power, they will not do what they can, to establish and maintain a Catholic influence over the minds of their pupils. Let them take which side of the supposition they choose, and the result is the same. No desire will be felt to uphold the children in the Protestant faith. A powerful and secret influence, where a more open one cannot be used, will be exerted to effect their darling object. Nor are the Catholic priests, when writing to friends and employers in Europe, careful io disclaim such an intention. Extracts from their communications which have been translated and published, show this. Facts too, confirm the view which we have taken, as to the operation of causes. We need only reser our readers 10 statements made during the last anniversary of the American Home Missionary Society, and especially to the speech of the Rev. Mr. Hatfield, of St. Louis, respecting occurrences which had fallen within bis own coga nizance. Pupils who enter these schools Protestants, do come out Catholics. We might cite facts in support of the positions we have taken, but we presume our readers are familiar with most is not all of them. We have no doubt at all, from the evidence be

fore us, that among the adherents of the papal supremacy, both in this country and in Europe, an anxious desire is felt to promote the progress of the Catholic religion in the United States. We fully believe in the existence of the Leopold Society in Austria, and similar associations in other parts of Europe, which, under the patronage of men like Metternich, are laboring to effect this favorite object. Some, we know, think, that by proving the number of emigrants directly from Austria to be few, they bave overthrown all the evidence of such a design. Far from it: they have done no such thing. The Catholic church is one and indivisible, as to the influence of its priesthood upon its adherents. Now it cannot be denied, that by far the greatest portion of the Irish emigrants are bigoted Catholics. The power of the priests over them is proverbial. Who does not see, that if the establishment of the supremacy of the pope in these United States, and the destruction of our prosperity as a free and Protestant nation, is an object with Austria, the end may be as well accomplished, indirectly, through the influence of priests over the Catholic population coming from Ireland, as if she sent out her own subjects ? The simple question is, Does the system which they are laboring to 'phold, tend to destroy free institutions? On this subject, history speaks with a voice which cannot be gainsaid. All analogy favors the conclusion, that nothing but power in the priesthood is wanting, to renew here scenes which have been acted over in many a Catholic country in Europe. We mean not to include in this judgment Roman Catholics who are the native citizens of these States. We do not believe, that men like Charles Carroll, who have shared with Protestants in the burden and toil of rearing up our free institutions, and like them have pledged their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor" in their defense, would ever deliberately engage in scenes of outrage and persecution against their fellowcitizens. We regret that a discrimination has not been more clearly made, in the discussion of this subject, between such men and

foreign priesthood. It is from the influence of the latter, that dangers must arise, if our civil or religious rights are invaded by our Catholic population. How far home-born Americans, who hold the same opinions, might be wrought up by the influence of this foreign priesthood, could they secure an ascendency, we pretend not to say. It would be natural, were they, blinded by success, and in the moment of triumph, to forget the injustice of which they were guilty. We disclaim, however, all intention of associating them with a foreign priesthood, against whom, and the system which they inculcate, our remarks are particularly aimed.

The political and religious constitution of the Roman Catholic system are so blended, that it is impossible to consider them separately, when we treat of the influence which it may exert on our

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