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the universal lawgiver, declared and applied by the one holy Catholic Church, which he himself has instituted for that purpose, and which is his body, which he animates, and in which he dwells, teaches, and governs.

It remains for us to consider the respective relations of Protestantism and Catholicity to religious liberty, or the freedoin of conscience.


In our third article on the Abbé Martin's exhaustive work on the future of Protestantism and Catholicity, we disposed of the pretension of Protestants that the reformation created and has sustained civil and political liberty in modern society. We proceed in the present and concluding article to dispose, as far as we can, of the pretension that it has founded and sustained religious liberty, or the freedom of conscience.

No fact is more certain than that the reformation has the credit with non-Catholics, if not even with some half-instructed Catholics themselves, of having originated religious liberty and vindicated the freedom of the mind. Here as elsewhere the formula of the age, or what claims to be enlightened in it, is Protestantism and freedom, or Catholicity and slavery; and it is to its prestige of having founded and sustained religious liberty that Protestantism owes its chief ability in our times to carry on its war against the church. Protestantism, like all false religions or systems, having no foundation in truth and no vital energy of its own, lives and prospers only by availing itself of the so-called spirit of the age, or by appealing to the dominant public opinion of the time and the place. In the sixteenth century, the age tended to the revival of imperialism or cæsarism, and Protestantism favored monarchical absolutism, and drew from it its life, its force, and its sustenance.

The spirit or dominant tendency of our age, dating from the middle of the last century, has been and is the revival of the pagan republic, or, as we call it, democratic cæsarism, which asserts for the people as the state the supremacy which under imperialism is asserted for the emperor. Protestantism lives and sustains itself now only by appealing to and representing this tendency, as we may see in the contemporary objections to the church, that she is “behind the age,

“does not conform to the age,” “is hostile to the spirit of the age,” “opposed to the spirit of the nineteenth century.”

Every age, nation, or community understan's by liberty, freedom to follow unrestrained its own dominant tendency; we might say, its own dominant passion. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, liberty meant the freedom of temporal sovereigns to govern according to their own good pleasure, unrestrained by the church, on the one hand, and estates, diets, or parliaments, on the other. Liberty means now the freedom of the people, unrestrained either by the rights of God or the rights of princes, to govern as they or the demagogues, their masters, judge proper. Hence, liberty, as the world understands it, varies in its meaning from age to age, and from nation to nation, and, indeed, from individual to individual. Whatever favors or is in accordance with the dominant tendency or passion of an age, nation, community, or individual, favors or is in accordance with liberty; and whatever opposes or impedes it is opposed to liberty—is civil, political, or spiritual despotism. Protestantism never resists, but always follows, and encourages and echoes the dominant tendency of the age or nation. The church, having a life and force derived from a source independent of the age or nation, seeks not support in that dominant passion or tendency, does not yield or conform to it, but labors unceasingly and with all her energy to conforin it to herself. Hence, in the estimation of the world, Protestantism is always on the side of liberty, and the church on the side of despotism and slavery.

The attempt to deny this, and to prove that the church favors liberty in this sense, is perfectly idle; and to seek to modify her position and action, so as to force her to accept and conform to the dominant or popular tendency or passion of the age or nation, is to mistake her essential character and office, and to forget that her precise mission is to govern all men and nations, kings and peoples, sovereigns and subjects, and to conformn them to the invariable and inflexible" law of God, which she is appointed by God himself to declare and apply, and therefore to resist with all her might every passion or tendency of every age, nation, community, or individual, whenever and wherever it deviates from that law of which she is the guardian and judge. The church is instituted, as every Catholic who understands his religion believes, to guard and defend the rights of God on earth against any and every enemy, at all times and in all places. She therefore does not and cannot accept, or in any degree favor, liberty in the Protestant sense of liberty, and if liberty in that sense be the true sense, the Protestant pretension cannot be successfully denied.

But we have already seen that liberty in the Protestant sense is no liberty at all, or a liberty that in the civil and political order is identified with cæsarism—the absolutism of the prince in a monarchy, the absolutism of the people or of the ruling majority for the time in a democracy. This last might be inferred from the ostracism practised in democratic Athens, and is asserted and defended, or rather taken for granted, by almost the entire secular press in democratic America. The most conservative politicians among us recognize the justice of no restrictions on the will of the

people but such as are imposed by written constitutions, and which a majority or three-fourths of the voters inay alter at will and as they will. It is the boast of our popular orators and writers that there are with us no restrictions on the absolute will of the people but such as the people voluntarily impose on themselves, which, as self-imposed, are simply no restrictions at all. •It is evident, then, if liberty means any thing, if there is any difference between liberty and despotism, freedom and slavery, the Protestant understanding of liberty is not the true one.

Nor is the Protestant understanding of religious liberty a whit more true. We have found that the basis or principle of all civil and political liberty is religious liberty, or the freedom and independence of religion-that is to say, the spiritual order ; but from the point of view of Protestantism there is no religion, no spiritual order, to be free and independent. According to Protestantism, religion is a function, not a substantive existence or an objective reality. It is, as we have seen, on Protestant principles, a function of the state, of the community, or of the individual, and whatever liberty there may be in the case, must be predicated of one or another of these, not of religion, or the spiritual order. With Protestants the freedom and inde. pendence of religion or the spiritual order would be an absurdity, for it is precisely that which they began by protesting against. It is of the very essence of Protestantism to deny and make unrelenting war on the freedom and independence of religion, and the only liberty in the case it can assert is the freedom of the state, the community, or the individual from religion as law, and the right of one or another of them to adopt or reject any religion, or none at all as they choose, which is irreligious or infidel, not religions liberty.

Protestantisin, under its most favorable aspect, is not, even in the estimation of Protestants themselves, religion, or a religion; but the view of religion which the reformers took, or which men take or may take of religion. At best it is not the objective truth or reality, but a human doctrine or theory of it, which has no existence out of the mind that forms or entertains it. Hence, Protestants assert, as their cardinal doctrine, justification by faith alone; and which faith is not the truth, but the mind's view of it. Hence, too, they deny that the sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato, and inaintain that, if efficacious, at all, they are so ex opere suscipientis. They reject the Real Presence as a "fond imagination, and make every thing in religion depend on the subjective faith, conviction, or persuasion of the recipient. The church they recognize or assert is no living organism, no kingdom of God on earth, founded to teach and govern all men and nations in all things pertaining to eternal life or the spiritual end of man, but a simple association of individuals, with no life or authority except what it derives from the individuals associated, and which is not hers, but theirs.

Some Protestants go so far as to doubt or deny that there is any truth or reality independent of the mind, and hold that å man is himself his own teacher and his own lawgiver ;. but all concede, nay, maintain, that what is known or is. present to the mind is never the reality, the truth, or the: divine law itself, but the mind's own representation of it. Hence their Protestantism is not something fixed and invariable, the same in all times and places, but varies as the mind of Protestants itself varies, or as their views, convictions, or feelings change, and they change ever with the spirit of the age or country. One of their gravest objections to the church was, in the sixteenth century, that she had altered the faith; and in the nineteenth century is, that she does not alter it, that she remains inflexibly the same, and absolutely refuses to change her faith to suit the times. They hold their own faith and doctrine alterable at will, and are continually changing it. Evidently, then, they do not hold it to be the truth; for truth never changes : nor to be the law of God, which they are bound to obey ; for if the law


of God is alterable at all, it can be so only by God himself, never by man, any body of men, or any creature of God. There is no Protestant ignorant or conceited enough to maintain the contrary.

This fact that Protestantism is a theory, a doctrine, or a view of religion, not the objective reality itself, not the recognition and assertion of the rights of God, but a human view or theory of them, proves sufficiently that it is incompatible with the assertion of religious liberty. All it can do is to assert the right or liberty of the state to adopt and ordain any view of religion it may take; of the community to form and enforce its own views, convictions, or opinions; or of the individual to make a religion to suit himself; or to go without any religion at all, as he pleases. In none of these cases is there any religious liberty; and in them all religion is subjected to a purely human authoritythe authority of the state, of the community, or of the individual, one as human as another. Protestantism is really in its very nature and essence an earnest and solemn protest against religious liberty, and for it to assert the freedom and independence of religion, or the spiritual order—that is, of religion as law to which all men are bound to conformwould be to commit suicide. Even the supremacy of the spiritual order, which our old Puritans asserted, was only the assertion of the authority of their interpretation of the written word against the divine authority to interpret it claimed by the church, and against the human authority of the civil magistrate claimed by Anglicanism, from which they separated, while it subjected it to the congregation, the brotherhood, or to the ministers and elders, no more spiritual than the civil magistrate himself.

In the beginning Protestantism made religion in nearly all Protestant nations a function of the state, as it is still in Great Britain, Prussia, the several Protestant German states, in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, and the Protestant cantons of Switzerland. The progress of events, and the changes of opinion, have produced a revolt among Protestant nations against this order, and Protestants now make, or are struggling to make, it a function of the community or the sect, and the more advanced party of them demand that it be made a function of the individual. This advanced party do not demand the freedom of religion, but the freedom of the individual from all religious restraints, from all obligations of obedience to any religious law, and indeed of

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