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tower of strength; and if ever hereafter, in the vicissitudes of things, it should be her fate to fall, she would at least fall with honour and regret ; at present she would meet her ruin unmerited and unlamented; and as long as the question be, whether the Church of England shall perish, or seven millions of the king's subjects be emancipated from civil thraldom, we shall not hesitate to exclaim, Fiat justitia, ruat cælum. (*) As the established religion, like the Greek schism, began by a simple act of separation, so, saving this exception, has she deviated less widely from the parent church than any other, and so, in proportion, will she find the professors of the ancient faith more ready and willing to defend her, when they can do so with advantage to the country, and with honour to themselves : they are now the most numerous of her enemies, and may be easily transformed into the most powerful of her friends. But if she is obstinately determined not to do us justice, at least
(u) “What is it but the consciousness of injustice, or the innate weakness and inconsistency of any church, which can require in the present times that she be fenced in with laws and terrors, and rendered secure, not by her own truth and virtue, but by the oppression and humiliation of those who refuse to bow down and worship her like some golden calf. Let the church perish that thrives by oppression, and visits with temporal penalties the consciences of men !!”—(Reply to Dr. Magee.)
let her cease to make us the victims of calumny and misrepresentation; for it is calumny and misrepresentation alone that have reduced us to what
As credulity is one of the prevailing weaknesses of human nature, it is no wonder that the unjust accusations of our enemies should have been so successful in deceiving;—that while our religion remains pure and untainted as when it emanated from the revelations of heaven, it should be condemned by the credulous and the ignorant as superstitious and idolatrous ;(*)__and that though we remain as loyal members of the state as when we enjoyed our inheritance in full, we should be regarded as the disaffected and ill-omened of the creation. It is through interested defamation working upon extravagant fears, that we have been brought to this, that almost all who speak of us, deride and insult us-all who write of us, calumniate usmall who read of us, or hear of us, imbibe the poison, and reject the truth. How many, by the abuse of Catholicity, have paved their road to prefer
(3) See a few specimens of the hideous calumnies in vogue against us, in the 32nd Letter of The End of Religious Controversy; calumnies which have reached the cottages of the poor as well as the houses of the rich, and which no one can read without blushing to belong to the religion of the men who propagated them, or to the society of Christians who receive and believe them: they are still to be met with in almost every publication of the day.
ment both in church and state; and have found ample gain in so disgraceful a traffic. How many prelates have forfeited the title of CHRISTIAN by their anti-christian illiberality? How many statesmen have abandoned their dignity and honour by prostituting their talents in the cause of cruel and unjustifiable oppression! But at the same time that we find many to condemn, it is a pleasure to find others to commend. How illustrious are those many virtuous and patriotic senators, who have scorned to be any thing but the honest advocates of religious toleration ;-how benign amongst his colleagues is that venerable member of the Prelacy, who, in the true spirit of a Christian bishop, has ever known how to unite charity and benevolence with a dissent in religious tenets—who is now calmly journeying to the grave, eminent in wisdom and virtue, and who, when he is removed from amongst us, will perhaps leave Charity to seek in vain for another associate amongst the hierarchy of the establishment.”) Would to God
(9) Thatcharitable and benevolent individual, who a few years ago so laudably signalized his zeal, and exerted his talents in the cause of religious unity and peace, also bears most ample and liberal testimony in our favour. “By the reflecting members of the Church of England,” says this amiable writer, “who consider themselves a second branch of the Catholic church of Christ, the Church of Rome has
that such truly Christian sentiments as this amiable prelate has always professed, were common among his Protestant brethren; but the reverse is too generally the case; their judgment is distorted by prejudice, and their charity is converted into rancour by the force of falsely conceived opinions both in regard to us and to themselves. They weigh with impartiality every thing but Catholicity. They see others in their true colours, but
never been denied to be of the true church :” and again, “ There is among the Roman Catholics a fixedness in their religious principles which will have influence; there is a decided attachment to their faith, which comprises all the genuine doctrines of the gospel; and amidst the sad diversity and alarming indifference generally prevailing among Protestants, some consolation may be derived from a hope, that in reward for the zealous affection of Roman Catholics for their religion, that respectable and numerous body may, under divine providence, become purified from error, and be the honoured means of conveying the true faith to the remotest generations."
“I am pained,” says the late Dr. Parr,“ by the outrageous invectives that are thrown out against the Church of Rome; and I must further confess that they appear to me not only unjust, but even inhuman.”—“I hope,” he says in another place,“ to find a better way of showing myself either worthy to live, or fit to die, within the pale of the Church of England, than by insulting Roman Catholics with the opprobrious imputations of superstition and idolatry.”
they look at Catholics only through a jaundiced medium. They fasten the crimes of individuals upon the whole body, and the virtues which they are sometimes forced to admit and to admire, they confine to individual merit. Thus, whether we be good or bad—whether we be dark or lightsome, we are always wrong.
There is a general perversion of opinion against us, and, in the quaint language of former times, “ no wood comes amiss to make arrows for our destruction.” :)
(s) The Bishop of Chester (in his Letter to Mr. Butler, 4th edition) observes: “ Most sincerely do I wish that religious controversy could always have been carried on in that tone of mildness and moderation which, a few instances only excepted, pervades your answer to Dr. Southey's Book of the Church.”-Shortly after he says: “ You have yourself, in strong terms, deprecated the un fairness of imputing to the principles of a church, the individual obliquities of a few of it's members ;” and yet the very next moment, forgetting, in the ardour of his zeal, his own regulations for polemic warfare, he buckles on his armour, seizes the firebrand with one hand and the poisoned arrow with the other, and with slander on his tongue, rushes headlong-not against his antagonist in single combat—but into the midst of the whole camp of the enemy. “It affords,” cries the bishop, “a most clear and inarbitable evidence, that there is something in the spirit of the Roman Catholic religion which neither time nor experience can alter;" — and with the charitable intention of slandering, he only pronounces an honour