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manner of holy Mother Church, in order to expose her ceremonies to shame."
As the ambition of the ministers of superstition is every where the same, it has naturally happened that systems of superstition have borrowed ceremonials from each other. European monks have often reached China; and no doubt taught to their fellow priests the emblems of Western superstition. The inference is, that the Romish religion is truly a system of Pagan superstition, which has disguised itself under Christian names. 4. The Popish fraternity pretend that the Eternal God has at all times inspired them, or their chief the Pope, with a perfect knowledge of all religious truth. Not to believe what they announce, is styled heresy. It is an act of rebellion against the association; and, in proportion to their powers, is without mercy to be hunted down by persecution, assassination, confiscation, tortures, and death. It is, when persisted in, equivalent to a sin against the Holy Ghost, speaking through his Holiness the Pope and his fraternity. It is therefore a sin, and the only sin for which the priest can grant no ab. solution. A man may buy absolution for the crime of murdering his wife, or poisoning his father, but not for refusing to believe what his priest requires him to believe.
5. The greatest danger the fraternity ever encountered, arose from the invention of the art of printing; and they did at first receive from it a rude shock. A sagacious old priest said— "If we do not destroy printing, printing will destroy us.' Printing did not destroy them; and it was in baf. fling the efforts of this formidable adversary, that the system of Popery has most eminently displayed its resources. All was at stake. It was obvious, that if the Bible should be freely perused by multitudes in their own language, and intelligence acquired by the free perusal of books of all sorts, the idolatry fostered by the priests their infallibility-their wafer-god-their pretended miraclestheir power over the world to come -their vestments, processions, holy water, holy bells, holy bones, and all their other mummery, would be swept away. The arch enemy Printing, was encountered thus :
The fraternity pretended to entertain a great favour for it. The dan
ger was, that the people would employ teachers, whereby to enable themselves and their children to read the cheap books now produced. The priests stood eagerly forward, and offered to become teachers; and then they so managed matters as that nobody should learn. They taught the children to venerate the priests; to make endless repetitions of questions, creeds, and Latin prayers; and contrived so to disgust them with literature, that they carried little or none of it from the school. Thus, there remained little danger that they would read prohibited heretical books. On this subject, I cannot do better than quote the able and valuable letters of Mr Colquhoun of Killermont, M.P., to the Rev. James Carlisle, Commissioner of the Board of National Education, Dublin. In letter 8th, Mr Colquhoun says:
"On this point, as on many others, we Church. mistake the policy of the Roman Catholic We think it shallow-in fact it is profound; but our view of it is superficial. Two very distinguished priests, Wiseman and Dean Macnamara, were examined by the Committee (of the House of Commons) of 1835-6 on Education. To those who have not watched the policy of the priesthood, that evidence will appear embarrassing; to those who are acquainted with it, consistent and clear. Dr Wiseman informs the Committee that his Church pays the utmost attention to popular education. He says, 'that in Italy the education of the poor is specially attended to: that in every commune in the Roman States there is a free school; in every quarter of Rome there is the same. It will delight you to learn, that in Rome there is a board of national education. There are, besides, religious orders, who devote themselves to the instruction of the poor; and there are colleges and seminaries, generally gratuitous and largely endowed, for the instruction of the young, from the earliest period to the most advanced. For females there are schools of industry, and schools of general instruction.' In fact, according to Dr Wiseman, there never was a country so favoured as the Papal States-so drilled through and through with popular education. Nor is it confined to these States.-' Popular education,' he tells us, equally prevails in Tuscany.' He might have added-it is to be found in Naples, in Spain, and in France. In France, the Freres Ignorantins devote themselves to the work of educating the people, and upwards of 50,000
children are gathered into their schools. If, then, we are to believe this concurrent testimony, our notion that the Roman Catholic priests are opposed to the educa tion of the people, is an error. One thing, to be sure, is staggering, that it appears that these zealous exertions of the priests are never blessed with success. In the countries which I have mentioned, the people are marked, not as you would suppose, by knowledge, but by gross ignorance. In Italy, as every traveller knows, the peasantry are extremely illiterate. In Rome, not one man in a hundred can either read or write. In Naples, the case is worse; in Spain, worse still; and in France, till the present century, the peasantry were barbarously ignorant. And how do we explain these facts-these apparent contradictions? Quite easily. When the priests say when Dr Wiseman and Dean Macnamara say-that they are zealous for popular education, let us observe what they mean by education. They do not mean what we do -the developement of the faculties, the cultivation of the mind. They mean, gathering children into rooms, which they facetiously call schools, in which they are put under the charge of a priest or a monk; and the ob. ject of these saintly gentlemen is, to make them commit to memory catechisms and long prayers; to repeat the Hail Mary' and the doctrine; to impress on them an abject fear of the Church, and a heavy awe of the priest; and thus to develope in full force the passions of terror and superstition, &c. The Lancasterian mode of teaching was resisted by the priests as tending to excite a dangerous activity of intellect by mutual instruction."
Mr Colquhoun adds,
"That you may perceive more clearly, and observe that they mean the same thing all the world over, I will mention to you what was discovered at Manchester. There is a large Roman Catholic school in Manchester, out of which hundreds of children are paraded every Easter, to show how the Romish Church cares for her children. It was discovered, however, by the chaplain in the jail, that these children, so educated, were scarce ever able to read, and were brutally ignorant. How did this happen? From a very simple cause. It turned out that the Popish system of instruction in the heart of Manchester, was the same as in the heart of Rome. The children were drilled in catechism and dogmas, and made to bow and cringe and crawl before the priestand this was all the education they received. The little reading they got was so imperfect, that in a year or two it fled
The first object
from their minds, &c. of the priests in every country in which they have power, is to establish schools under their influence; and the reason why they establish schools at all, is a very sound one. If they left the children without some semblance of education, the people would originate schools for themselves, and they might thus acquire instruction. By taking the schools into their own hands, the priesthood secure that no knowledge shall reach the people. Accordingly, in all Roman Catholic countries -in Blgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy-you find the country covered with schools, and schools in the hands of the priests. And, so long as the state remains under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church the schools are such as I have described, -bigoted, formal, superstitious haunts; places in which the minds of the children are hammered as on a forge into a hardened bigotry."
"If driven to the necessity of teaching something in their schools, the priests make a show of giving education by teaching arithmetic, with as little of reading as possible. A pec
ple quick in calculation may remain superstitious; but a people reading, thinking, questioning, would throw off the yoke of bigotry." Above all, the free perusal of the sacred Scriptures, in a correct translation, is carefully prevented, and even denounced as a grievous crime; for this obvious reason, that the perusal of the New Testament would "lay the axe to the root of the tree," by showing that the pretext that the Popish association are teachers of the religion of Jesus Christ, is palpably untrue; and that the idolatry which they sanction, is utterly offensive to the divinity they pretend to worship.
By the arts now described, the associated priesthood of Rome have been able in a great degree, and in many countries, to resist the effect of the invention of the art of printing. danger from that invention was great and imminent; and it has cost them much toil and vigilance to defeat the effect of it. They have treated it as a most diabolical invention, and, in their malignity, they have represented John Faust, or Faustus, an early artist, if not the inventor of the art, as an associate of Satan; and have pretended to the vulgar of Germany and other countries, that he was finally carried off by the arch enemy of mankind.
From these remarks it cannot fail to be obvious, that there is a natural connexion between Popery and national degradation and general poverty. It will be intelligible how it happened that Spain, possessing the richest colonial empire and a fine European territory, sunk into comparative contempt among the nations of Europe; while Britain, after it got quit of the Popish domination, became as a queen among the nations in comparative power and riches. Compare, for an instant, the education of our own country of Scotland with that which the Popish system establishes, and it will be seen how it happened that a small northern territory has taken the lead, almost of the world, in the first of all arts, that of agriculture; and its population have diffused themselves over all lands, prospering and rising into wealth and distinction in every country and climate to which they have had access. But of this I
have more to say.
It is evident that the employments in which the members of the Popish priesthood are engaged, must differ according to the situation, interests, and prospects of Popery. Being detached from all domestic and patriotic interests and affections, and exclusively devoted to the aggrandisement of their association, their occupations are much diversified. When sent into Protestant countries they are taught to act with the greatest humility and mildness, in order to guard against giving offence, and to say that they seek only in peace to attend to the spiritual welfare of their followers, without any view to worldly ambition. Thus a veil of the deepest hypocrisy covers them. But they never forget the task they have been commanded to fulfil. free country, under the pretence of fostering liberty, they incessantly stimulate their followers to labour to attain political privileges, which will to a certainty be employed in subserviency to the interests of the priesthood. These interests so totally absorb the minds of the members of that body, as to deprive them of every sentiment of humanity or regard for the rest of mankind, when the interest of the priesthood is at stake. Hence
the horrid cruelties and diabolical ty. ranny of their courts of Inquisition the massacres and bloody persecutions which they have devised, urged, and
accomplished against those styled heretics, meaning, thereby, persons who presumed to read the Bible and ventured to dispute the authority of the combined Roman priesthood, and to disregard the fables and superstition which they taught. These fables, and that superstition, with all its worship of wafers, statues, pictures, pilgrimages, confessions, holy waters, absolutions, and penances, the more intelligent members of the body regard with contempt; but consider them as necessary tools whereby to command the world, filled, as it comes to be under their domination, with a brutally ignorant, sensual, and contemptible race. So completely is the mind of the Popish priest or monk identified with his order, that the laws of morality uniformly bend to its views and aggrandisement. That is good which is profitable to the corps, and nothing is evil that has a tendency to promote its power. Hypocrisy, perjury, every vice, and all profligacy, may be tolerated, or even nanced, if the measure appears expedient towards advancing the views of the Church. The end sanctifies the means. In a Popish country a man of sense regards with disgust the gross mummery and miserable idolatry represented as religion; but having learned no other religion, and being aware of the hazard of exciting the hostility of the associated priesthood, he holds his peace, and takes refuge in total infidelity. Thus it happens that, in countries under the influence of the system of Popery, the mass of the people are sunk in miserable ignorance and superstition, and persons possessed of some intelligence become utter infidels. With these last the priesthood have no quarrel, as they let them alone. What they hate and fear are heretics; that is to say, men who seek after religious truth, and are disposed to rescue mankind from the dominion of a fraternity combined to hold them under a most brutalizing servitude. Το whatever country, as his birthplace, a member of that fraternity may belong-his king, chief, or government that obtains his fidelity, attachment, and allegiance, is the Pope or prince of Rome, as head of the association. They are loyal to no government that is not priestridden. In our days, they were loyal to the Bourbons merely because they were under servitude to
the priesthood. They are not loyal to Louis-Philippe, because he is not sufficiently submissive to their views. They caused the superstitious populace of Belgium, against the interest of the country, to revolt from Hol. land because its King is Protestant. They are not truly loyal to Leopold, because not sufficiently their creature. In Prussia, they occasionally give
trouble; but the government being Protestant, absolute, and military, and a succession of princes possessed of considerable vigour having held the crown, they have been with some difficulty kept tolerably quiet. What we are chiefly interested in, is the question how Popery ought to be treated in the British isles.
Any man of common sense, who considers the subject with tolerable attention, must be satisfied that it must prove extremely difficult and embarrassing to manage with success the affairs of a people, if Protestants and Papists are to be joined together in forming the legis. lature. The objects which the parties have in view, are totally different. The object which the system of Po. pery has in view is, to render all mankind subject to the associated priest hood. For that purpose the members of the association are made to abjure every tie that might divert their minds and efforts from that sovereign pur. pose. They must not marry-they must obey the superior of the corps to which they belong, and hold themselves to be the subjects of its head, the prince-bishop of Rome-the sacred and infallible vicar of God upon earth, and superior of all kings and potentates. To all this, every member of the incorporation is sworn. Every priest, monk, and nun, therefore, is devoted to the task of subduing mankind to obedience to the Church. Hence, in a free country, they devote their highest efforts to influence the election of the members of the legis lature, and to direct the people to the nomination of individuals devoted to the Church. For that purpose they spare no exertion. All the influence is called to his aid, by every priest, that can be derived from superstition, from the horror of heresy, the fear of hell and purgatory, and the influ ence derived from the power to create God in the mass-the power to grant or refuse absolution from eternal damnation. He regards only the interest of the Church, and disregards that of the members of his ignorant congregation. It is nothing to him that an individual, by voting as he directs, will quarrel with his landlord or best em
ployer, and lose the bread of his family. Even were the man a king, endangering his crown by obeying the priest his confessor, that hazard would be disregarded by the priest. They urged Charles X. of France and James II. of England to patronise Popery, obviously at that risk. What then? What then? The Popish priesthood cared not for the interest of these unhappy princes or their families. They said, let these kings reign for our benefit, or let them perish in a miserable exile.
Well, the Legislature is met, and Protestant members and the delegates of the Romish priesthood are mingled together. The Popish members must obey their constituents. If money is proposed to be expended in the education of the people, the Popish member readily concurs; but their priesthood must be the teachers, or have influence in the nomination of the teachers, so that little may be learned at the national schools but to repeat Popish prayers to saints and catechisms-to abhor all heretics, and to adore the priest. If judges or magistrates are to be appointed, or officers of any description to be employed, the King or Queen's ministers will be opposed in Parliament by every Popish voter, if the crown's patronage is not placed in the hands of their priesthood. If the preferment to be granted form a part of the Protestant church establishment, so that it cannot openly be given to a Papist, the influence of the body is exerted in favour of a man of unsound faith, or so unprincipled that he may safely be relied on as a man who will make no opposition to Popery, and will even support all indirect measures demanded by that body. In short, it is in every respect the interest of the Popish system to subdue or retain the people under the
most brutal ignorance, and slavery to the most contemptible and odious form of Paganism! The old Greeks and Romans, though under a blind superstition, could still enjoy a degree of liberty; but the subjects of Popery, through their superstition, are fastened down under a degrading servitude to an unfeeling combination of priests.
On the other hand, it is the interest and the duty of Protestants, and of the Protestant members of the Legislature, to endeavour, in every form, to excite to fair exertion, and thereby to improve the talents and moral character of the people; and, for that purpose, to afford them the means of obtaining an enlightened and virtuous education. It is only in that way that the nation can be enabled to put forth all its powers; that is to say, it is only by bestowing on the mass of the population such a degree of literature, and of moral and religious habits, as are necessary to enable those among them, whom nature has gifted with talents, to labour under the control of the exalted and beneficent views that religion inspires-in extending the limits of every science, and the powers of every valuable art. It is the nature of Protestantism, and is consistent with an enlightened self-interest on the part of every Protestant, to endeavour to ac complish that object. It is only thus that his country, and his kindred and descendants,can become great, wealthy, and enlightened. Accordingly, Protestantism has produced that object look to Holland and to Britain from the time that Popery was banished from its government and counsels. Nay, even in France, after the Protestants had been removed from every branch of the public service; yet, by directing their attention to the improvement of arts and manufactures, they became the most industrious branch of the population, and the artists and enrichers of the nation. But the historical fact is well known; so utterly regardless is the Popish system of every interest but that of its own selfish ascendency, that the superstition of Louis XIV. was influenced by it to drive into exile many hundred thousands of those Protestants, by far his most valuable subjects, who carried their arts, the source of riches, to England and the Protestant part of Germany, where they peopled whole
towns. Those who did not go into exile were subjected to a cruel persecution, till, in consequence of the ascendency derived from Marlborough's victories, Britain demanded protection for them; and, in virtue of an article in the treaty of peace, the French nation had the mortification to see thousands of their countrymen liberated from French prisons in consequence of the glorious use of victory by a Protestant nation.
As it is the interest, and therefore the object pursued by Popery, to brutalize mankind, and that of Protestantism to enlighten and improve mankind, it is clear that a Legislature containing both Protestants and Papists must of necessity find itself involved in perplexity and embarrassment, at least if either the Papists be in any degree considerable in point of number, or if the Protestant factions in the state be at all divided. Papists will necessarily pursue Popish objects, and, acting under instructions from a concentrated body of priests, the Popish members will act consistently, zealously, and with uniformity, in the pursuit of the policy and special objects dictated to them. The Protestant members being, on the other hand, left to follow their own views as individuals, and being often influenced by personal and family interests, the Protestant party will not act with that unity and consistency which, in political contests, and in a popular assembly, is so necessary to success. Hence the Popish party may do more than balance or overcome, in the eyes of the executive government—that is, in point of efficiency as a faction-double their number of Protestant members, and may easily carry with them all those of an infidel and unprincipled character. Thus the Popish party will and must ultimately destroy the Protestant church and clergy. Nor is it possible to prevent this result, if political privilege be given to Papists. To make it a condition of their admission to the Legislature, that they shall take an oath not to injure the Protestant Church already established, is of no avail. If a man swear to do what is wrong, the crime consists in swearing and not in violating the oath. When the Papist swears he will not injure a heretical church, he does an act which in his estimation is of the same nature as if