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man to remain a slave to all his natural lusts. It never subdues or regenerates nature. Hence, throughout all Protestantdom, the tendency is, to reproduce heathen antiquity, with all its cant, hollowness, hypocrisy, slavery, and wretchedness,—to narrow men's views down to this transitory life and the fleeting shows of sense, and to make them live and labor for the meat that perisheth. We appeal to England, Sweden, Denmark, Protestant Germany, Holland, and our own country, for the truth of what we say. They were Protestant traders who trampled on the cross of Christ to gain the lucrative trade of Japan. It is in no spirit of exultation we allude to Protestant worldly-mindedness and spiritual impotency. Would to God the sketch were from fancy, or our own diseased imagination !
We do not mean to deny, that, in words, Protestantism teaches many, perhaps most, of the Christian virtues. It has even some good books on morals and practical religion. Its clergy, give good exhortations, and labor, no doubt, in good faith, for the spiritual culture of their flocks! No doubt, much truth, much valuable instruction, is given from Protestant pulpits. The Protestant clergy take no delight in the state of things they see around them. They would gladly see Christ reign in the hearts of men; they, no doubt, would joyfully dispense the bread of life to their famished people; and they do dispense the best they have. But alas! how can they dispense what they have not received ? The living bread is not on their communion table. They communicate, according to their own confession, only a figure, a shadow; and how shall the divine life be nourished with shadows? What we mean to say is, not that Protestantism does not aim to bring men to Christ, to make them pure and holy, but that it has no power to do it. It does not control human nature, and produce the fruits of a supernatural faith, hope, and charity. Its faith is merely an opinion or persuasion, its hope a wish, and its charity natural philanthropy. It necessarily leaves human nature as it finds it, and no pruning of that corrupt tree can make it bring forth good fruit. It is of the earth,-earthy; and it will bear fruit only for the earth. With unregenerated nature in full activity, we can have only sensuality and mammon-worship.
Hundreds and thousands among us, who are by no means favorably disposed to Catholicity, see this and deplore it. They say the age has no faith. They see the impotency of Protestantism ; that under it all the vices are sheltered; that, in spite of it; all the dangerous passions rage unchecked; and they turn away in disgust from its empty forms and vain words. Witness the response the biting sarcasms and withering irony of Carlyle bring from thousands of hearts in this republic, the echoes which the chiselled words and marble sentences of Emerson also bring. Witness, also, the movements of the Come-outers, the Socialists, Fourierists, Communists. All these see that Protestantism has nothing but words, while they want life, realities, not vain simulacra. They err most egregiously, no doubt; they go from the dying to the dead; but their error proves the truth of what we advance.
Now, assuming our view of Protestantism to be correct, we demand how it is to sustain, or we, with it alone, are to sustain our republican government. Do we not see, in this growing love of place and plunder, with this growing devotion to wealth, luxury, and pleasure, with these fierce electioneering contests, one no sooner ended than another begins, each to be fiercer and more absorbing and more destructive than the last, and each drawing within its vortex nearly the whole industrial interest of the country, and touching almost every man in his honor and his purse, that we want the moral elements without which a republic cannot stand? A republic can stand only as it rests upon the virtnes of the people; and these not the mere natural virtues of worldly prudence and social decency, but those loftier virtues which are possible to human nature only as elevated above itself by the infused habit of supernatural grace. This is a solemn fact to which it is in vain for us to close our eyes. Human nature left to itself tends to dissolution, to destruction, decay, death. So does every society that rests only on those virtues which have their origin, growth, and maturity in nature alone. This is the case with our own society. We have really no social bond; we have no true patriotism; none of that patience, that self-denial, that loyalty of soul, which is necessary to bind man to man, each to each, and each to all. Each is for himself. Save who can (Sauve qui peut), we exclaim. Hence a universal scramble. Man overthrows man, brother brother, the father the child, and the child the father, the demagogue all; while the devil stands at a distance, looks on, and enjoys the sport. Tell us, ye who boast of the glorious reformation, if a republican form of government is compatible with this moral state of the people?
Even in matters of education we can do little but sharpen the wit, and render brother more skilful and successful in plundering brother. With our multitude of sects, we may instruct, but not educate. Our children can have no moral training, for morality rests on theology, and theology on faith. But faith is expelled from our schools, because it is sectarian, and there is no one faith in the country which can be taught without exciting the jealousy of the followers of a rival faith. Cut up into such a multitude of sects, there is and can be no common moral culture in the country, no true religious training. We give a little instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, perhaps history, the Greek and Roman classics, and in the physical sciences; and send our children out into the world, to form their morals and their religion without other guide or assistant than their own short-sighted reason and perverted passions. How can we expect any thing from such a sowing, but what we reap? and how, under Protestantism, which broaches every thing, and settles nothing, raises all questions and answers none, and therefore necessarily giving birth to a perpetual succession of sects, each claiming with equal reason and justice to have the truth, and the claims of all equally respected, as they must be, by the government, is this terrible evil to be remedied? Protestantism is just a-going to remedy it; but, alas ! it does not succeed. It reminds us of a remark by a lady eating vegetable oysters,—“I always seem, when I eat vegetable oysters, as if I was just a-going to taste of an oyster.” So, when we examine Protestantism, hear its loud professions, witness its earnest strivings, and observe each new sect it gives birth to, we say it is the lady eating vegetable oysters. It seems to itself that it is just going to light upon the truth, and to hit upon some plan by which it can remove the terrible evils it sees and deplores, and call forth the virtues it owns to be necessary; but, alas ! it is only just a-going to taste the oyster: it never quite tastes it.
These facts, which we mention, are seen and felt by large numbers in our midst. Quiet, peaceable, but observing and reflecting men look on and observe our doings, and say to themselves, “ This republicanism, after all, is a mere delusion. It is all very fine, no doubt, in theory, but exceedingly hateful in practice. Washington, and Hamilton, and others, were wiser than Jefferson and Madison. So large a republic, with such frequency of elections, and so many thousands depending on the fate of an election for their very means
of subsistence, so many ins afraid of being turned out, so many outs anxious to be turned in, and the number each year increasing with the extent and population of the country,-well, let the republic stand if it can, but a change to a monarchy will soon be inevitable.' There are men who so reason, and they are neither few nor despicable; nor are they fairly answered by our Fourth of July glorifications, or hurrahs for Democracy, Vive la République ! Vive la Démocratie! Vive la Liberté ! We do not agree with them ;far from it; but we should agree with them, if we :saw nothing better for our republic than Protestantism. Protestants as they are, we say they reason correctly, and if the religion of the country remains Protestant for fifty years longer, facts will prove it.
But with Catholicity the republic may be sustained, not because the Catholic Church enjoins this form of government or that, but because she nourishes in the hearts of her children the virtues which render popular liberty both desirable and practicable. The Catholic Church meddles directly with no form of government. She leaves each people free to adopt such form of government as seems to themselves good, and to administer it in their own way. Her chief concern is to fit men for beatitude, and this she can do under any or all forms of government. But the :spirit she breathes into men, the graces she communicates, the dispositions she cultivates, and the virtues she produces, are such, that, while they render even arbitrary forms of government tolerable, fit a people for asserting and maintaining freedom. In countries where there are no constitutional checks on power, she remedies the evil by imposing moral restraints on its exercise, by inspiring rulers with a sense of justice and the public good. Where such checks do exist, she hallows them and renders them inviolable. In a republic she restrains the passions of the people, teaches them obedience to the laws of God, moderates their desires, weans their affections from the world, frees them from the dominion of their own lusts, and, by the meekness, humility, loyalty of heart which she cherishes, disposes them to the practice of those public virtues which render a republic secure. She also creates by her divine charity a true equality. No republic can stand where the dominant feeling is pride, which finds its expression in the assertion “I am as good as you." It must be based on love; not on the determination to defend our own rights and interests, but on the
fear to encroach on the rights and interests of others. But this love must be more than the mere sentiment of philanthropy. This sentiment of philanthropy is a very unsubstantial affair. Talk as we will about its excellence, it never goes beyond love to those who love us.
We love our friends and neighbors, but hate our enemies. This is all we do as philanthropists. All the fine speeches we make beyond-about the love of humanity, and all that—are fine speeches. Philanthropy must be exalted into the supernatural virtue of charity, before it can become that love which leads us to honor all men, and makes us shrink from encroaching upon the interests of any man, no matter how low or how vile. We must love our neighbor, not for his own sake, but for God's sake,-the child, for the sake of the Father; then we can love all, and joyfully make the most painful sacrifices for them. It is only in the bosom of the Catholic Church that this sublime charity has ever been found or can be found.
The Catholic Church also cherishes a spirit of independence, a loftiness and dignity of soul, favorable to the maintenance of popular freedom. It ennobles every one of its members. The lowest, the humblest Catholic is a member of that church which was founded by Jesus Christ himself; which has subsisted for eighteen hundred years; which has in every age been blessed with signal tokens of the Redeemer's love; which counts its saints by millions; and the blood of whose martyrs has made all earth hallowed ground. He is admitted into the goodly fellowship of the faithful of all ages and climes, and every day, throughout all the carth, the universal church sends up her prayers for him, and all the church above receives them, and, with her own, bears them as sweet incense up before the throne of the almighty and eternal God. He is a true nobleman, more than the peer of kings or Cæsars; for he is a child of the King of kings, and, if faithful unto death, heir of a crown of life, eternal in the heavens, that fadeth not away. Such a man is no slave. His soul is free; he looks into the perfect law of liberty. Can tyrants enslave him? No, indeed ; not because he will turn on the tyrant and kill, but because he can die and reign for ever.
What were a mere human tyrant before a nation of such men? Who could establish arbitrary government over them, or subject them to unwholesome or iniquitous laws ?
Here is our hope for our republic. We look for our