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teris,* tum de debita erga potestates subjectione, tum de arcenda a populis exitiosa indifferentismi contagione, deque frenis injiciendis evaganti opinionum sermonumque licentiæ, tum demum de damnanda omnimodo conscientiæ libertate, teterrimaque societatum, vel ex cujuscumque false religionis cultoribus, in sacræ et publicæ rei perniciem conflatarum conspiratione, pro auctoritate humilitati nostræ tradita definivimus,

“Refugit sane animus ea perlegere, quibus ibidem auctor vinculum quodlibet fidelitatis subjectionisque erga principes disrumpere conatur, face undequaque perduellionis immissa qua publici ordinis clades, magistratuum contemptus, legum infractio grassetur, omniaque, tt sacræ, et civilis potestatis elementa convellantur. Hinc novo et iniquo commento potestatem principum, veluti divinæ legi infestam, imo opus peccati et Satano potestatem in calumniæ portentum traducit, præsidibusque sacrorum easdem, ac imperantibus turpitudinis notas inurit ob criminum molitionumque fædus, quo eos somniat inter se adversus populorum jura conjunctos. Neque tanto hoc ausu contentus omnigenam insuper opinionum, sermonum, conscientiæque libertatem obtrudit militibusque ad eam a tyrannide, ut ait, liberandam dimicaturis fausta omnia ac: felicia comprecatur, cætus ac consociationes furiali æstu ex universo qua patet Orbe advocat, et in tam nefaria consilia urgens atque instans compellit, ut eo etiam ex capite monita præscriptaque nostra proculcata ab. ipso sentiamus.

“Piget cuncta hic recensere, quæ pessimo hoc impietatis et audaciæ fætu ad divina humanaque omnia perturbanda congeruntur. Sed illud præsertim indignationem excitat, religionique plane intolerandum est, divinas præscriptiones tantis erroribus adserendis ab auctore afferri, et incautis venditari, eumque ad populos lege obedientiæ solvendos, perinde ac si a Deo missus et inspiratus esset, postquam in sacratissimo Trinitatis augustæ nomine præfatus est, Sacras Scripturas ubique obtendere, ipsarumque verba, quæ verba Dei sunt, ad prava hujuscemodi deliramenta inculcanda callide audacterque detorquere, quo fidentius, uti inquiebat S. Bernardus, pro luce tenebras offundat, et pro melle vel potius in melle venenum propinet, novum cudens populis Evangelium, aliudque ponens fundamentum præter id quod positum est.

Verum tantam hanc sanæ doctrinæ illatam perniciem silentio dissinulare ab eo vetamur, qui speculatores nos posuit in Israel, ut de errore illos moneamus, quos Auctor et consummator fidei Jesus nostræ curæ coucredidit.

Quare auditis nonnullis ex venerabilibus fratribus nostris S. R. E. cardinalibus, motu proprio, et ex certa scientia, deque Apostolicæ potestatis plenitudine memoratum librum, cui titulus: Paroles d'un Croyant, quo per impium Verbi Dei abusum populi corrumpuntur ad omnis ordinis publici vincula dissolvenda, ad utramque auctoritatem labefactandam, ad seditiones in imperiis, tumultus, rebellionesque excitandas,

* Epistola Encyclica, August. 15; 1832.

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fovendas, roborandas, librum ideo propositiones respective falsos, calum niosas, temerarias, inducentes in anarchiam, contrarias Verbo Dei, impias, scandalosas, erroneas jam ab Ecclesia præsertim in Valdensibus, Wiclefitis. Hussitis, aliisque id generis hæreticis damnatas continentem, reprobanius, damnamus, ac pro reprobato et dampato in perpetuum haberi volumus, atque decernimus.

"Vestrum nunc erit, venerabiles Fratres, nostris hisce mandatis, quæ rei et sacræ et civilis salus et incolumitas, necessario efflagitat, omni contentioni obsecundare, ne scriptum istius modi e latebris ad exitium emissum eo fiat perniciosius, quo magis vesanæ novitatis libidini velificatur, et late ut cancer serpit in populis. Muneris vestri sit, urgere sanam de tanto hoc negotio doctrinam, vafritiamque novatorum patefacere, acriusque pro Christiani Gregis custodia vigilare, ut studium re. ligionis, pietas actionum, pax publica floreant et augeantur feliciter. Id: sane a vestra fide, et ab impensa vestra pro communi bono instantia fidenter sperimus, ut, eo juvante qui pater est luminum, gratulemur (dicimus cum S. Cypriano) fuisse intellectum errorem, et retusum, et ideo prostratum, quia agnitum, atque detectum.

We hope the judgment of the Holy Father will weigh asmuch with our readers as that of the editor of The Boston Quarterly Review. We had for a time the unenviable honor of being ranked ourselves among those who attempted here and elsewhere to translate Christianity into socialism. There are, perhaps, yet living, persons who remember the zeal and perseverance with which we preached, in the name of the Gospel, the most damnable radicalism.

The general doctrine we asserted was not peculiar to us. We were never remarkable for our originality. We were remarkable, if for any thing, only for the care with which we studied the movement party of our times, seized its great principles, and abandoned ourselves to their direction. We accepted that party, and followed it, with a courage and perseverance worthy of a better cause. The views we put forth were those of our party. They were not peculiar to us then, and they are far less so now. During the last ten or twelve years they have made fearful progress, both at home and abroad. Affecting to be Christian, their advocates invoke the name of Jesus and appeal to the holy Scriptures, the texts of which, with a perverse ingenuity, they accommodate to their socialistic purpose. May Almighty God forgive us the share we had in propagating what we called the Democracy of Christianity! We have nothing to palliate our offence or to hide our shame ; for, if we knew no better at the time, we might have known better, and our ignorance was culpable. All we can say is, we followed the dominant sentiment of the age, which is a poor excuse for one who professed to be a preacher of the Gospel.

Veiling itself under Christian forms, attempting to distinguish between Christianity and the church, claiming for itself the authority and immense popularity of the Gospel, denouncing Christianity in the name of Christianity, discarding the Bible in the name of the Bible, and defying God in the name of God, socialism conceals from the undiscriminating multitude its true character, and, appealing to the dominant sentiment of the age and to some of our strongest natural inclinations and passions, it asserts itself with terrific power, and rolls on in its career of devastation and death with a force that human beings, in themselves, are impotent to resist. Men are assimilated to it by all the power of their own nature, and by all their reverence for religion. Their very faith and charity are perverted, and their noblest sympathies and their sublimest hopes are made subservient to their basest passions and their most grovelling propensities. Here is the secret of the strength of socialism, and here, is the principal source of its danger.

The open denial of Christianity is not now to be dreaded ; the incredulity of the last century is now in bad taste, and can work only under disguise. All the particular heresies which human pride or human perversity could invent are now effete or unfashionable. Every article in the creed has been successively denied, and the work of denial can go no further. The attempt to found a new sect on the denial of any particular article of faith would now only cover its authors with ridicule. The age laughs at Protestantism, and scorns sectarism. The spirit that works in the children of disobedience must, therefore, affect to be Christian, more Christian than Christianity itself, and not only Christian, but Catholic. It can manifest itself now, and gain friends, only by acknowledging the church and all Catholic symbols, and substituting for the divine and heavenly sense in which they have hitherto been understood a human and earthly sense. Hence the religious character which socialism attempts to wear. It rejects in name no Catholic symbol; it only rejects the Catholic sense. If it finds fault with the actual church, it is because she is not truly Catholic, does not understand herself, does not comprehend the profound sense of her own doctrines, fails to seize and expound the true Christian idea as it lay in the mind of Jesus, and as this enlightened age is prepared to receive it. The Christian syinbol needs a new and a more Catholic interpretation, adapted to our stage in universal progress. Where the old interpretation uses the words God, church, and heaven, you must understand humanity, society, and earth; you will then have the true Christian idea, and bring the Gospel down to the order of nature and within the scope of human reason. But while you put the human and earthly sense upon the old Catholic words, be careful and retain the words themselves. By taking care to do this, you can secure the support of the adherents of Christianity, who, if they meet their old familiar terms, will not miss their old, familiar ideas; and thus you will be able to reconcile the old Catholic world and the new, and to go on with humanity in her triumphant progress through the ages. .

Since it professes to be Christian, and really denies the faith, socialism is a heresy ; and since by its interpretation it eviscerates the Catholic system of its entire meaning, it is the résumé of all the particular heresies which ever have been or can be. The ingenuity of men, aided by the great enemy of souls, can invent no further heresy. All possible heresies are here summed up and actualized in one universal heresy, on which the age is proceeding with all possible haste to erect a counterfeit Catholicity for the reception and worship of Antichrist as soon as he shall

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La Mennais, “to the bottom of things, and disengage from the wavering thoughts, vain and fleeting opinions, accidentally mingled with it, the powerful principle wbich, without interruption, ferments in the bosom of society, and what find you but Christianity itself? What is it the people wish, what is it they claim, with a perseverance that never tires, and an ardor that nothing can damp? Is it not the abolition of the reign of force, in order to substitute that of intelligence and right? Is it not the effective recognition and social realization of equality, inseparable from liberty, the necessary condition and essential form of which, in the organization of the state, is election, the first basis of the Christian community?

“What, again, do the people wish? What do they demand? The amelioration of the lot of the masses, everywhere so full of suffering; laws for the protection of labor, whence may result a more equitable distribution of the general wealth; that the few shall no longer exercise an exclusive influence for their own profit in the administration of the interests of all; that a legislation which has no bounds, the everlasting refuge of privilege, which it in vain attempts to disguise under lying names, shall no longer, on every side, drive the poor back into their misery; that the goods, destined by the Heavenly Father for all his children, shall become accessible to all; that human fraternity shall cease to be a.

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mockery, and a word without meaning. In short, suscitated by God to pronounce the final judgment upon the old social order, they have summoned it to appear, and recalling the ages which have crumbled away, they have said to it, ‘I was hungry, and ye gave me not to eat; thirsty, and ye gave me not to drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick and in prison, and ye did not visit me.' I interrogate you on the law. Respond. And the old social order is silent, for it has nothing to answer; and it raises its band against the people whom God has appointed to judge it. But what can it do against the people, and against God! Its doom is registered on high, and it will not be able to efface it with the blood which, for a brief period, it is permitted to shed.

“We cannot, then, but recognize in what is passing under our eyes the action of the Christian principle, which, having for long ages presided almost exclusively over individual life, seeks now to produce itself under a more general and perfect form, to incarnate itself, so to speak, in social institutions,—the second phase of its development, of which only the first labor as yet appears. Something instinctive and irresistible pushes the people in this direction. The few have taken possession of the earth; they have taken possession of it by wresting from all others even the smallest part of the common heritage; and the people will that men live as brothers according to the divine commandment. They battle for justice and charity; they battle for the doctrine which Jesus Christ came to preach to the world, and which will save it in spite of the powers of the world.”—Affaires de Rome, pp. 319–321.

This is as artful as it is bold. It wears a pious aspect, it has divine words on its lips, and almost unction in its speech. It is not easy for the unlearned to detect its fallacy, and the great body of the people are prepared to receive it as Christian truth. We cannot deny it without seeming to them to be warring against the true interests of society, and also against the Gospel of our Lord. Never was heresy more subtle, more adroit, better fitted for success. How skilfully it flatters the people! It is said, the saints shall judge the world. By the change of a word, the people are transformed into saints, and invested with the saintly character and office. How adroitly, too, it appeals to the people's envy and hatred of their superiors, and to their love of the world, without shocking their orthodoxy or wounding their piety! Surely Satan has here, in socialism, done his best, almost outdone himself, and would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect, so that no flesh should be saved.

What we have said will suffice to show the subtle and dangerous character of socialism, and how, although the

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