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III. The bishop having thus censured the Reformation and vindicated the Inquisition, nothing more was wanting to the rotundity of his system than that he should bear his testimony against freedom of religious worship. Accordingly, against this crying abomination of the Anglican church his lordship has raised his voice like a trumpet.

1. In her own bosom, we are assured, the too

' of God, and relying upon the authority of the blessed apostles 'Peter and Paul, relax two years of enjoined penance to those 'faithful christians, who, by the counsel of the bishops or other 'prelates, shall take up arms against them to subdue them by fighting against them, or, if such christians shall spend a longer time ' in the business, we leave it to the discretion of the bishops to grant 'them a longer indulgence. As for those, who shall fail to obey 'the admonition of the bishop to this effect, we inhibit them from 'a participation of the body and blood of the Lord. Meanwhile, 'those, who in the ardour of faith shall undertake the just labour ' of subduing them, we receive into the protection of the church; granting to them the same privileges of security in property and in person, as are granted to those who visit the holy sepulchre.' -Labb. Concil. Sacrosan. vol. x. p. 1522, 1523.

If a Romanist hold the infallibility of his church, then he is compelled by this infallible decree of an infallible council, duly ratified by the pope himself, both to vindicate persecution in theory, and zealously to promote it in practice: if he abhor persecution in theory, and if he refuse to promote it in practice; then he is compelled, by this very abhorrence and refusal, to pronounce an infallible council to have grievously erred, and thence of necessity to deny the infallibility of his church.

From this dilemma I see no possibility of evasion: and, accordingly, no evasion is attempted.

When a dogmatical point is to be determined,' says the late Bishop Walmesley, 'the catholic church speaks but once; and her decree is irrevocable. The solemn determinations of general coun'cils have remained unalterable and will ever be so.-Gen. Hist. of the Church, chap. ix. p. 224. Dublin, 1812.


The principles of the catholic church, once defined,' says the bishop of Aire, are irrevocable. She herself is immutably chained by bonds, which at no future period can she ever rend asunder.'— Discuss. Amic. vol. ii. p. 324.

Thus speak two modern Latin ecclesiastics: and from their statement it is manifest that the persecuting twenty-seventh canon of the third Council of Lateran, itself the reputed eleventh general council, is IRREVOCABLE and IMMUTABLE both Now and FOR


tolerant church of England madly cherishes and fondly carries the viperine principle of her own destruction. The adder, which she thus warms only for the purpose of stinging herself to death, is freedom of religious worship: and the mode, by which this baleful and impolitic principle operates to her dissolution, is in the uncontrolled secession of the dissenters and above all in the rapid accumulation of the methodists.

What the bishop censures in the church of England is a principle which the church of Rome has ever abhorred. The very fact of his censure demonstrates, by a necessary implication, that any such censure of the Latin church would be wholly unmerited: for, if the existing principle of the Latin church were the same as the existing principle of the English church, it is clear, that his lordship's censure could not have been directed against the latter exclusively. When the bishop declares, that the English church carries in her bosom a principle which must finally produce her destruction; he in effect declares, that the Latin church is far too wise and too politic to entertain and to harbour such a viper: for it were plain fatuity to censure the practice of the English church, if it were equally the practice of the Latin church. But the principle in question is FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. Therefore, in the judgment of the bishop of Aire, FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP is a foolish and impolitic principle, which no wise church would tolerate as she values her own safety, and which accordingly the sagacious church of Rome does not tolerate.

2. The future destiny of the church of England neither the bishop nor myself can with certainty prognosticate.

To the Catholic church in general Christ has promised perpetuity; but, in the lapse of ages, any particular church may perish. Should the church of England fall by the fickleness and defection of her

children, the principle, which destroys, will at least not disgrace her should the church of Rome be established upon her ruins; those, who have indirectly contributed to her destruction, will have small reason to congratulate themselves. A church, which is censured for granting freedom of religious worship, were ill exchanged for the church which censures her impolicy.

3. Some modern protestants are wont very innocently to maintain, that the church of Rome is now quite different from her ancient self. But when did we hear a Latin profess that his church had changed? NEVER.

In proof of the immutability of the Roman church, I cite not the wild and furious declamation of some vulgar fanatic. I turn to a scholar and a gentleman: I adduce the present bishop of Aire.

The principles of the Latin church, once defined, are irrevocable. She herself is immutably chained by bonds, which at no future period can she ever 'rend asunder. *

Thus speaks a very estimable Roman ecclesiastic: and his meaning is fully explained by the line of argument which he himself has chosen. He calls upon us to unite, or rather to submit, to his church: and, as the consistent advocate of that church, he vindicates idolatry, stigmatizes the Reformation, patronises the eve of St. Bartholomew, lays the blame of persecution upon the persecuted, palliates the Inquisition, and censures freedom of religious worship.

The English laity are no longer ignorant of the price of an union with Rome. Should the terms please them, nothing remains save to strike the bargain.

4. If a reconciliation can thus happily be effected, the bishop of Aire promises, that all the prelates of the alone true catholic church will spring from their

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chairs of office, and request the parochial clergy of England to take their places.†

Certainly, to us plain rural divines, whose merit has hitherto been overlooked by undiscerning patrons, and whose humility has never been endangered by the flattering offer of ecclesiastical dignities, such a proposal is no ordinary temptation: yet, if the episcopate can only be obtained by an union with a professedly intolerant church, I trust we shall all have sufficient virtue to pronounce the Nolo episcopari.

Much as we regret the secession of the dissenters, and the half-separation of the methodists, and fully agreeing with the bishop that such unhappy divisions have a direct tendency to promote the interest of the church of Rome, still we cannot conscientiously purchase the dignities which are thus freely offered to us. Since the price is the adoption of the whole Latin creed on the one hand, and the entire extinction of all freedom of religious worship on the other hand: such a price, for our scanty means, we find to be far too costly.

Si les grâces, les honneurs, manquoient encore à son empressement de vous en revêtir, nos évêques sauroient bien, à l'exemple de leurs anciens prédécesseurs, déscendre de leurs sièges et vous presser d'y monter à leur place. Epît. Dedic. au Clergé. p. 8, 9.



To follow the example of the bishop of Aire, in giving a recapitulation of what has been said, does not appear to me to be necessary. The plan, in general, is an excellent one: and I have rarely seen it better executed than by his lordship. But, in my own particular case at present, I deem it superfluous. If my statement of facts and authorities fail of leaving a distinct impression upon the mind, no recapitulation will render it more luminous.

I have now met the bishop of Aire on ground selected by himself. With what success I have met him, let others decide. In bidding farewell to my learned and respectable opponent, he cannot be offended, if I express a hearty wish, by way of furthering his projected union, that his church may more and more resemble that portrait of it, which at the close of the second century was drawn from the life by the eloquent and gifted Tertullian.

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Happy, thrice-happy, church! To thee, the apostles 'with their own blood, profusely communicated their 'whole doctrine. There Peter was assimilated to the 'passion of his Lord: there Paul was crowned by the evasion of John: there John himself, after suffering 'no ill from the boiling cauldron, was banished to 'Patmos. What learned she; what taught she: 'when, symbolizing also with the African churches, 'she acknowledged one God the Creator of the uni'verse, and Jesus Christ the Son of God the Creator

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