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religious liberty itself. They prove themselves to be the bitter enemies of freedom of conscience, and the advocates of the right of the State to determine the religion of its subjects. They may deny this, or seek to disguise it as they will, but it is the simple, naked truth. Prating of religious liberty, they have no understanding of what it is, or no love or respect for it in their hearts. The contemptible so-called "Native American" party, hoping to conceal its hostility to religious liberty under the mask of an exalted patriotism, is nothing but a party expressly organized against the freedom of Catholic worship; and the shortsighted bigots at its head do not seem to imagine that their countrymen can see that freedom of conscience may be struck in the conscience of a Catholic as well as in the conscience of a Presbyterian, of a Baptist, or of a Methodist, that, when once the authority of the temporal power in matters of conscience is admitted, there can be henceforth, even if toleration, no religious freedom, and that no sect can observe its worship but by sufferance of the State. This whole cry against the Church is a declaration of the supremacy of the State in matters of conscience, -the most "damnable heresy" ever concocted or promulgated.
Some of the good folks, who reflect not that one cannot strike the freedom of conscience in another without striking it equally in himself, rolled up their eyes and tried to be astonished, scandalized even, when, in our last Review, we asserted that Protestants are, and always have been, the bitter enemies of religious liberty. Yet it is undeniably so. The proofs are complete. This Native American party is itself a proof of it. Its presses boldly declare, that a Catholic, in consequence of his allegiance to his Church, should not be permitted in this country the exercise of the elective franchise, that fidelity to the Catholic Church is treason to the State; and here is Mr. Stephen Harrington, a man who knows just enough to echo the wishes and designs of his class, sect, or party, and therefore a better witness than a greater or more distinguished man, calling us traitors to our country because we have, through God's great mercy, become a Catholic. What does all this mean, but that the State is and ought to be supreme in religious, as well as in civil matters? And what is the meaning of religious liberty, where the State is supreme over conscience? Do the bigots and fanatics understand themselves? Do they know the first principle of religious liberty? If they do, they know that religious liberty exists not, and cannot exist, under the Erastian heresy of the supremacy of the temporal power. If, then, they are not mere blind leaders of the blind, if they are not consummate fools, they know that when they oppose Catholicity on political grounds, for reasons of State, they are opposing, and intentionally opposing, religious liberty itself. But, whether they know it or not, this is what they are doing. They are stirring up a war
against religious liberty. But in this war we know where the Church will be found. She will be found where she always has been, and always will be to the consummation of the world. She will be found on the side opposed to the maddened hosts who deny the freedom of conscience. From the first moment of her existence, she has opposed them in defence of the freedom of religious worship. She asserted this freedom in face of the persecuting Jew and the persecuting Gentile, and consecrated it by the blood of her millions of martyrs. She asserted it in face of pagan Rome, has asserted it in face of the emperors of Germany, of the kings of England, and of France, and she will assert it here, in this free republic, in face of the sects, bigots, charlatans, demagogues, heretics, and schismatics, who would immolate it to their pride, their ambition, their folly, their wrath, and their madness. She is the guardian of this glorious freedom, and let the trumpets sound the charge, if they must; here, as in France, as in Switzerland, as in Spain, as in Naples, as in Tuscany, as in England, as in Ireland, as in Poland, as in Holland, as in Germany, as in Russia, as throughout the world, she is on the side of religious liberty. Everywhere you may read inscribed on her banners, CONSCIENCE IS ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD ALONE,— RELIGIOUS WORSHIP MUST BE FREE; and everywhere her sons are the first to take, and the last to quit, the field against the maddened hosts that would enslave conscience and gain for the State the power to lord it over God's heritage.
It was for a time thought that the battle for religious liberty could never need to be fought again in this republic. It was hoped that the question was settled for ever, by the political order frankly disclaiming all right to touch the empire of conscience. But when this disclaimer was inserted in our constitutions, Catholicity was looked upon as dead; there were few Catholics, comparatively speaking, in the country, and nobody dreamed of the possibility of their becoming numerous. The Protestants, feeling themselves strong, thought they might afford to be liberal. haps the recent struggle for political independence had, for the moment, humanized their feelings, and, in the sudden expansion of their hearts, they really imagined it might be a fine thing to try the experiment of religious liberty. Yet the acknowledgment of religious liberty was not obtained without strong opposition; and the history of the times shows clearly that the leading sects of the country, if they consented to it at all, consented with grave reluctance, and because they could not help themselves. The Calvinistic sects, unless we except the Baptists, have, from the first, been opposed to religious liberty, and have been constantly intriguing to overthrow it. They have retained ever the spirit of Calvin and Knox; and now, when Catholicity spreads and the sects divide and become insignificant, when the Catholic begins
to hope and the sectarian to fear, when the church threatens to supplant the meetinghouse, and the cross the weathercock that turns with every wind, serious alarm is felt, and the shout rings through the land, Down with religious liberty! A party is organized for its suppression, chiefly in the persons of Catholics. Already has this party, led on and excited by grave Calvinistic divines, burned some of our churches, seminaries, and convents, fired our dwellings, and shot down our people in the streets. Already has the wild shout of exultation broke from the citizens- not the rabble, but well dressed citizens of Philadelphia, on beholding the cross, the emblem of man's salvation, fall from St. Augustine's church, and become the prey of devouring flames; "a yell," as an eyewitness expressed it, "that was no doubt echoed in hell, and heard, too, in heaven." All over the land, this liberticide party, - for he who denies liberty of conscience kills liberty herself, in the sacred name of liberty, yes, liberty of the state to bind the free conscience, is establishing its presses, employing its demagogues and colporteurs to scatter the foulest falsehoods broadcast, forming its leagues and its associations for preparing the public mind to suppress the freedom of Catholic worship. The facts glare us in the face. We see them everywhere. We read them in every anti-Catholic press; we hear them in every anti-Catholic sermon; we smell their stench in every anti-Catholic book and pamphlet. There is no denying it. We tell our brethren, nay, we tell the friends of religious liberty, of every denomination, that a deadly blow is aimed at freedom of conscience. The old Calvinistic tyranny over conscience rears anew its crushed head and spits its venom, and we must decide which we will have, CALVINISM AND THE SLAVERY OF CONSCIENCE, or CATHOLICITY AND
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP.
This is no idle declamation. Our brethren may be assured, that a deadly blow, in the attack on their worship, is aimed at the freedom of conscience itself, and that here, as in every Protestant country, we are to be placed under ban of the law, or at best to exercise our worship only by the mere sufferance of the state. Yet we are unwilling to believe the enemies of religious liberty will succeed. When we feel the breeze that comes freely and joyously over our native hills, when we look out of our window and see the monument which marks the spot where Warren fell, when we remember that Catholic treasure and Catholic blood, as well as Protestant, were poured out to win our national independence, that it was a Catholic monarch who was our generous ally, who furnished us with men and means to terminate successfully the war of the Revolution, and that in more than half of the States of this Union the cross had been planted before the Protestant adventurer came, we confess it is hard to persuade ourselves that the demagogues and maddened bigots will succeed in sup
pressing religious liberty, in bringing our rich and noble country under a government that will tyrannize over conscience, and thus overturn the proudest monument of our fathers' glory. But numbers are against us, and we may be outvoted; but, nevertheless, God is for us, and we will not fear whatever may be against us. We can die; and, dying, win the victory.
As to Mr. Stephen Harrington's cant about the Bible, it will suffice to say, that, if he would read and understand the Bible bet ter, reverence and practise its teachings more truly, and spend less precious breath in praising it and in calumniating Catholics, he would be both a better Christian and a better citizen. If the Holy Father anathematizes Protestant Bible societies, he only proves himself the faithful shepherd of the flock. Even many Protestants themselves denounce the Bible societies, and we, when a Protestant, published some curious facts about them which we may have occasion to republish. There is some difference between anathematizing the sectarian machines called Bible societies and prohibiting the circulation of a book which Protestants facetiously call the Bible, and opposing the printing, circulating, and reading the Holy Scriptures, the word of God. When Protestants shall have the Bible to circulate, and shall in good faith circulate it, and not, under pretence of circulating the word of God, circulate their own word, perhaps they will meet with less opposition from the Holy Father.
Catholics in this country and in others may be ignorant; but Mr. Stephen Harrington will need to travel far before he finds a Catholic as ignorant of what constitutes the gentleman and the Christian as himself. As a general thing, the mass of the people are better educated in Catholic countries than they are in Protestant countries. The Austrian system of education is superior to the Prussian, the French to the Scottish, and the provisions for education in the Papal States are far superior to what they are in New England. The Irish are as well educated, to say the least, as the English, and that they are not better educated is owing to Protestant tyranny and oppression, which made it a high penal of fence for a Catholic father to teach his children even letters and science. For years, the Irish were obliged to choose between religion without education, and education without religion. It is to their credit that they did not choose the latter. Ignorant as Catholics may be, they have no reason to blush for their ignorance in the presence of Protestants.
That the Holy Father expends vast sums in educating the children of Protestants we should be glad to believe, for we really think it would be a deed of charity to give the children of Protestants a better education than they now get. But we think Mr. Harrington must be misinformed; for Dr. Bacon, we believe it was, told us, at the late anniversary of the Christian Alliance So
ciety, that the Pope is quite poor and can't pay his debts. If this be so, he can hardly send out hundreds of thousands to educate the children of Protestants. That Protestants do send their children sometimes to Catholic schools is undoubtedly true; but they are not obliged to do so; and when they do, it is of their own accord, because they prefer our schools to any they have of their own. If we establish better schools than the Protestants, under more accomplished and trustworthy teachers, really it cannot be regarded as our fault.
That Catholics, in establishing and multiplying schools, to the full extent of their means, in this country, have some ulterior object in view, there can be no doubt. They hope to make this whole country Catholic, without a single heretic in it. We are all laboring in our several ways, as we have opportunity, to this end, though not with half the zeal and energy that could be wished; for Catholics, in the midst of Protestants, too often experience the truth of the proverb, that "evil communications corrupt good manners." Nevertheless, we hold our Church is God's Church, and that whoso would enter into the kingdom of heaven must enter through it; and charity to God and man must necessarily make us somewhat active. Our schools, colleges, and seminaries are, unquestionably, all intended to further the cause of Catholicity, to promote Christian knowledge and virtue, and, if possible, to add to the number that are to be saved. That the Holy Father takes an interest in our doings, that his heart is gladdened when he sees the rose planted in the wilderness and living waters gush out in the thirsty land, we can believe; for he is the faithful shepherd, to whom has been committed the care of the whole flock.
That we are the "selected tool" of the Pope in this work is not true; but we wish it was. We seek no higher honor on earth than to be employed by him in any service he may judge us fit for. We reverence him as the chief pastor of the Church, as the vicar of Christ on earth, and we shall never feel aggrieved by being told that we are selected to be his tool.
We are not so much troubled about the "reward" we are likely to receive as our Protestant friends appear to be. It is remarkable how unable Protestants are to conceive it possible for a man to do any thing except from hope of some earthly reward. The idea, that a man can act from conviction, from a sense of duty, from an earnest desire to obey God and save his own soul from the flames of hell, strikes them as preposterous, and they seek to explain his conduct by imagining some paltry bribe of money or of worldly distinction. Nothing is more true than that, in judging others, we are sure to judge ourselves. In imagining low and unworthy motives for the conduct of others, when elevated and worthy ones are possible, we but betray our own low and unworthy tendencies. Whether we shall or shall not meet a "just recompense