Popery! As it Was and as it Is - LightNovelsOnl.com
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These crimes, of course, were not long overlooked by the _infallible church!_ They were heresies. These people were heretics, and the holy mother, _in the plenitude of her affection_ for her strayed children, determined that they should be exterminated. But how was this to be done? The holy father, Pope Innocent III., was not long in determining.
He sent two spies amongst them, of the names of Guy and Regnier. These were Monks, whose hands were already stained with blood. They were empowered by the Pope, to use their own discretion in checking the heresy of the Albigenses by fire, sword, f.a.ggot, or the inquisition, which employed all those means upon such occasions.
The Albigenses however, were so numerous their lives so pure, so chaste and correct, that this was not easily accomplished; and his holiness had to preach a crusade against them, and published a bull addressed to all the authorities of southern France, declaring them _accursed_ and _excommunicated_, and giving absolution to all who should murder them and take possession of their property. Here are the words of the bull, "According to the canonical sanctions of the holy fathers, no faith ought to be kept with those who do not keep faith with G.o.d, or are separated from the communion of the faithful"--Papists. "We release, by our apostolical authority, all those who deem themselves bound to them by any oath, either of alliance or fealty; we permit every Catholic man to seize their persons, to take their lands, and keep them for the purpose of extirpating heresy."
Here, Americans, is a specimen of true, genuine Popery, as Innocent Expresses it, "_sanctioned by the canons and holy fathers of the Romish church_." People of New England, what think you of it? Bear in mind that this is not the act of a few fanatics; it is not the belief of a few zealots. If it were, it would be wrong to charge it to the Romish church. All denominations have had among them fanatics; but the extravagances of a few individuals are not chargeable to the body to which they might have belonged. Even our New England Presbyterian forefathers had among them persecutors; but who, in his sound mind, could charge this to the Presbyterian church? There is nothing in their creed or doctrines which sanctions the persecution of those who differ from them and there the Romish church differs from all others. The persecution and destruction of heretics, and the confiscation of their property, is an _integral part_ of the Roman Catholic faith, and the watchword of Papists.
The crusade against these unfortunate Albigen-ses commenced its march about the year 1209. Indulgences were offered to all who would unite in the war, and history informs as that the Pope and his va.s.sals in the church raised an army of between three and five thousand men, who were to serve for forty days; at the termination of which, the Pope, in one of his heavenly transports, saw that "every one of the sect of the Albigerises should be ma.s.sacred." To this army his _holiness_ caused to be added, by an offer of indulgences, mult.i.tudes of peasants, with scythes and clubs, who were to be under the command of monks, and whose peculiar duty it was, to slaughter the wives and children of these _heretics_, while their husbands and fathers were engaged in the field with their adversaries. Horrible! Yet this is a true picture of what _has been_, and what _will be_ in this country, at some future day, should Popery gain the ascendancy.
It is much to be lamented that the Christian League, as it is termed, had not looked to this, in place of going abroad in search of objects worthy of their philanthropy. They seem to me to have acted like a man who, while his own house is in a blaze, runs out to see if there be any of his neighbors' houses on fire, and leaves his own to smoulder into ruins. a.s.suredly, such a man would not be deemed prudent, nor should he even be considered sane.
Far be it from me to think or speak disrespectfully of the pious and reverend gentlemen who compose that league; but their solicitude for the welfare of a foreign country and a foreign people appears to me strange, when all their charities are much more needed at home. They desire the suppression of Popery, especially in Italy, where it is kept alive by Austrian bayonets and Popish bulls, and where it will live until those bayonets are broken and those bulls are burned. They can no more suppress Popery in Italy, than they could confine a fire with a flaxen band.
The continuance of Popery depends upon this country alone. Extinguish it in the United States, and it dies every where. The old world is sick of it; it has cursed it long enough. It is for us alone to say whether it shall live or die. Americans alone can sound the death knell of Popery; and, if this Christian League will unite their energies and bring them all to bear, in excluding Popery from the United States, they will be conferring a blessing, not only upon this, but upon the old world.
But to return to our subject. Cruel, beyond measure, were the sufferings of the Albigenses, a few instances of which I beg to lay before my readers, as specimens of Popish charity and their mode of fulfilling that holy commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." When the Pope's army arrived at a place called Beziers, the citizens were, of course, alarmed. The Pope's legate sent many messengers among them, advising them to give up such heretics, with their wives and children, as continued obstinate among them. They replied in the following words--"_Rather than be base enough to do what is required of us, and abandon our religious principles, we will eat our children first, and our wives will die with us_." On receiving this answer, the Pope's army, or rather incarnate devils, rushed upon them so suddenly, and in such numbers, that they had to surrender, after little or no resistance.
There were many among them who were not heretics, but, seeing the injustice done to their fellow-citizens, and knowing the purity of their lives, united with them in resisting oppression. Some of the most merciful of the Pope's army, entertaining scruples as to what should be done to those who were not heretics and happened to fall into their hands, deemed it a duty which they owed to _holy mother_, to consult the Pope's legate upon this occasion; and what, Christian reader, think you was the reply of this representative of the _Roman Catholic church?_ What was the answer of this imbodiment of Popery? It was what it would be this day, under similar circ.u.mstances.--"Kill them all; the Lord will know his own!" At this answer, the bells rung, by order of this legate.
and never ceased to toll, until fifteen thousand were butchered upon the spot, according to the account given by the legate himself; although a contemporary historian, named Bernard Itier, and much better authority than this blood-thirsty legate, informs us that thirty-eight thousand were slaughtered in cold blood.
During this time, Pope Innocent and the infallible church were not idle in other parts of France. Wherever heresy existed, or heretical blood was to be shed, there were to be found the representatives of the holy church, until not a vestige of the Protestant doctrines of the Albigenses was to be seen. Nearly all its ministers and its followers suffered the most cruel deaths, and their church was drowned in the blood of its defenders. But the man of sin being still apprehensive that some vestige of Protestantism might remain, or that the life of some unfortunate member of the Albigenses might have escaped, the Popish murderers established, in those countries, that accursed tribunal, the Inquisition; some of whose members appeared in the guise and occupation of farmers, to act as spies among that cla.s.s of people; others as merchants, others as mechanics, &c. To these were added female Jesuits, some of whom were shop-keepers, milliners, servant-maids, &c.; and, suitably educated, whenever necessary, were ready to act their parts well.
Thus no man was safe. No family, no lady, was safe. They dreaded the very air they breathed. They knew not when the officers of the inquisition would call them from their homes, their children, their husbands, and their wives, to be cast into the dungeon of the inquisition, without knowing their offence, or who accused them.
This was Popery in the twelfth century; this was Popery in the fourth century; and this is Popery in the nineteenth century. Americans, are-you aware that there are Jesuit nuns now in this country? Are you aware of the reasons why they are so anxious to get Protestant rather than Catholic scholars into their schools? The reason is this; they are in this country spies upon your actions. Your thoughts, your designs, your influence, the probable amount of your wealth, and your political opinions, are known to your children. These Jesuit nuns worm themselves into your confidence; the young hearts of their pupils are soon laid bare to these artful hypocrites; and before you scarcely notice the absence of your children, your domestic secrets are known to some Popish agent, who makes such use of them as the holy church may direct. This is done daily. I make this statement of my own knowledge, and I warn you, if you value your domestic happiness, or the peace and harmony of your children, never permit one of them, male or female, to enter a school kept by nuns or Jesuits.
From these observations, the reader must have seen that Popery, in its teachings and actions, is, and has been, the same always. What, then, becomes of the a.s.sertions, so frequently made by Roman Catholic priests and bishops, that the doctrines of the church, in relation to heretics, have been relaxed? Certain it is, at all events, that there has been no mitigation in the treatment of heretics down to the thirteenth century.
Let us come down a little farther, and see if any had taken place during the thirteenth century. We discover none whatever.
It was during this century, that the "Greater Excommunication," as it is called, was p.r.o.nounced by the Pope, and the whole church, against all who should interfere with the clergy in the exercise of their _temporal or spiritual rights_. The curse was p.r.o.nounced, by every parish priest, throughout the Papal world, four times a year,---_Christmas, Easter, Pentecost_, and _All-Hallows day_. The curse is in the following words, and is now repeated on the same days, by the Pope and all the priests and bishops of the Romish church, not publicly,--that they dare not do,--but in private. "Let them be accursed, eating and drinking, walking and sitting, speaking, and holding their peace, waking and sleeping, rowing and riding, laughing and weeping, in house and in field, in water and on land, in all places; cursed be their heads and their thoughts, their eyes and their ears, their tongues and their lips, their teeth and their throats, their shoulders and their b.r.e.a.s.t.s, their feet and their legs their thighs and their inward parts; let them remain accursed, from the sole of their foot to the crown of their heads; and just as this candle (the curser has a lighted candle in his hand, which he extinguishes) is deprived of us present light, so let them be deprived of their souls in h.e.l.l."
Such is the curse which the Pope p.r.o.nounced against all heretics in the thirteenth century! and however surprised you may be, a similar one is p.r.o.nounced once a year against all Protestants. There are many Americans who cannot believe that such a curse as the above, has ever been p.r.o.nounced against a fellow-being. I have conversed with some intelligent Protestants in this city, who doubted whether such an anathema was ever uttered, and seemed struck with horror, as well as surprise, when I informed them that it was p.r.o.nounced against myself in Philadelphia in presence of, at least, three thousand people. The reader must know, by this, that I am a heretic, and look upon the introduction of Popery into the United States, as the greatest evil which Providence has permitted to fall upon us. Arise, fellow-citizens, in the fulness of your power,--every Protestant in this country is a heretic, as well as myself. We are all annually cursed and d.a.m.ned by a set of Popish agents, bishops, and priests; men who, from my own personal acquaintance with them, I know to be unworthy of your friends.h.i.+p or your support; who walk your streets with apparent sanctimoniousness, but whose lives in private are such as delicacy forbids me to mention.
These men, under pretence of being democrats are attacking your liberties with the club of Hercules. They are acquiring gigantic force.
You have recently witnessed the truth of this a.s.sertion; they fancied they had strength enough to cut you down as the legate of Pope Innocent did the Albigenses in the twelfth century. They bid defiance to reason, argument, and the lew of your land; and it grieves me to see every thing yielding to their power, as chaff before the wind. But Providence interposed, and these miserable dupes of Romish priests received a check, which, if followed up, will have a salutary effect in future.
But, I pray you, be on your guard; watch the movements of Papists among you: have no confidence in them; have as little as possible to do with them. Trust them in nothing which may either directly or indirectly involve their religion. I most solemnly appeal to our national and state legislatures, to exclude them from every office of honor, profit, or trust, while they have any connection whatever, _spiritual or temporal_, with the Pope of Rome. Believe them not, when they tell you that their allegiance to the Pope is only _spiritual_. I understand what they mean by spiritual allegiance.
From what has been stated, it is clear that no modification had taken place in Popish pretensions during the thirteenth century, neither had the church relaxed one iota in her persecutions of heretics. On the contrary, her cruelties increased-the declarations of Popish priests to the contrary notwithstanding.
Let us now see what has been the conduct of the Popish church towards heretics, from the latter end of the thirteenth century to the conclusion of the fourteenth.
How was the ill.u.s.trious John Wickliffe, professor of divinity in Oxford, treated by the church of Rome, during the reign of Boniface IX. But let us first see what the crimes of Wickliffe were, for which he had been so severely punished by the _holy Roman church_. The ill.u.s.trious and good Wickliffe, the founder of the Reformation, whose very name every Christian venerates, maintained, 1st, That the Scriptures contain all truths necessary to salvation; 2d, That in the Scriptures only, is to be found, a perfect rule of Christian practice; 3d, He denied the authority of the Pope in temporal matters; 4th, He maintained that the Pope was the Man of Sin, the _son of perdition_, to which St. Paul alluded, "sitting as G.o.d in the temple of G.o.d." As soon as the opinions of Wickliffe were ascertained, Gregory XL, the ruling Pope, addressed a Bull to the primate of England, ordering him to have Wickliffe arrested and imprisoned, until he received further instructions.
The popularity of Wickliffe was such, that this step was considered dangerous; and we find that nothing further was done to this eminently pious man, than banis.h.i.+ng him from the university of Oxford into private life, where he died in peace, and went to his grave with the blessings of the good and the virtuous. But this did not satisfy the Pope, nor the _infallible church_. O, no. The _holy mother_ never forgives a heretic, dead or alive. As soon as Wickliffe departed this life, in the sixty-first year of his age, the church and Papists exhibited the wildest symptoms of joy. One of their writers, in giving an account of his death, uses the following language: "On the day of St. Thomas, the martyr, that limb of the devil, enemy of the church, deceiver of the people, idol of heretics, mirror of hypocrites, author of schism, sower of hatred, and inventor of lies, John Wickliffe, was, by the immediate judgment of G.o.d, suddenly struck with a palsy, which seized all the members of his body, when he was ready to vomit forth his blasphemies against the blessed St. Thomas, in a sermon which he had prepared to preach that day!"
But holy mother was not yet satisfied. She had not the felicity of hanging Wickliffe; her ears were not delighted with his groans upon the rack; she did not hear his flesh hissing amid the flames of the f.a.ggot, nor his bones breaking upon the wheel; she must, however, have all the revenge left to satiate her malice. Thirty years after the death of Wickliffe, the _infallible_ council of Constance, at which the Pope presided, pa.s.sed an order that the body and bones of John Wickliffe, if they might be known and discerned from the bodies of faithful people--Papists--should be taken from the ground and thrown _far away from the_ burial of any church, according to the canon laws and decrees.
This decree was not put in execution for thirteen years afterwards. His grave was then opened and his body disinterred with great solemnity, and in the presence of the Catholic bishop of Lincoln, it was publicly burned, and the ashes thrown into a neighboring rivulet. But the indignities offered to Wickliffe, while living, and after his death, were not sufficient to appease the malice of Papists. Blood, and blood alone, could satiate their thirst for revenge. His followers were hunted up and mercilessly put to death. Among the first of his followers, who suffered, was Lord Cobham, a n.o.bleman, distinguished for his valor, devotion to his country, and true piety. His character was without blemish, and his morals and patriotism undoubted; but he was a heretic; he was among the followers of Wickliffe; he believed in the Holy Scriptures. This was crime enough, and for this he was _excommunicated_.
Cobham appealed to the Pope, but the appeal was refused: he was cited again; he was offered absolution, if he would sue for it, and submit to the Popish church. This he refused; the consequence was, he was thrown into prison, from which he escaped and was not retaken for nearly four years, he was, however, finally captured after a most heroic resistance.
He might have escaped again, being an overmatch for his captor, had not a _pious Roman Catholic woman_, while he was n.o.bly defending himself, taken up a stool, and with a desperate blow, broken both his legs. In this condition he was recommitted to prison until he was sentenced to death _for his heresy_. The sentence was, "that he should be drawn from his place of confinement through the city of London, to Temple Bar, there to be hanged, and burned hanging." The historian Bale gives a most affecting account of his execution.
"On the day appointed," says Bale, "he was brought out of the Tower with his arms bound behind him, having a very cheerful countenance. Then he was laid upon a hurdle as though he had been a most heinous traitor to the crown, and so drawn forth into St. Giles's field, where they had set up a new gallows. When he arrived at the place of execution, and taken from the hurdle, he fell down devoutly on his knees, and prayed G.o.d to forgive his enemies. Then he stood up and beheld the mult.i.tude, exhorting them, in the most G.o.dly manner, to follow the laws of G.o.d, written in the Scriptures, and to beware of such teachers as they see contrary to Christ, in their conversation and living, with many other special councils. Then was he hanged up there, by the middle, in chains of iron, and so consumed alive in the fire, praising the name of the Lord, so long as life lasted. In the end he commended his soul into the hands of G.o.d, and so, most Christianly, departed home, his body being resolved to ashes."
Thus was a n.o.bleman, and a n.o.ble Christian, most barbarously put to death for believing that the Bible contained G.o.d's truth; and therein differing from the Roman church, which teaches that the traditions of the fathers, and dreams of monks, are of equal authority.
Followers of Wickliffe,--and there are many of you in this country, who are an honor to his name,--have you ever reflected that there are nearly two millions of Papists in these United States, who entertain the same belief that the murderers of Cobham did; who believe that you are all _excommunicated_, as he was, and who, if they had the power, would consign yourselves, your wives, and children, to the same fate? and who are taught by their church, that, in so doing, they would be serving G.o.d? Romish priests may deny this. They do well. Otherwise, an indignant populace would tear them to pieces, or at least banish them from this land of freedom.
But I tell the priest or bishop, who dares deny it, that they are liars,--wilful and deliberate liars. I too have been a priest, and I solemnly declare to the world, and to my fellow-citizens of the United States in particular, _that to keep no faith with heretics, but to destroy them, is one of the most solemn duties of a Catholic_; and I go further, and state to you, that _if a bishop or priest denies this, upon oath, you are not to believe him_; his church requires from him to keep no faith with heretics, but to destroy and extirpate them. It allows him also to deny, under oath, the existence of such an obligation.
Do you, followers of Wickliffe, require any proof of this? It is a serious charge, and should not be lightly made. I therefore refer you to the letters of Martin II., who was Pope in the-year 1417, and considered one of the best Popes the Romish church ever had. This Pope, in one of his letters to the Duke of Lithuania, makes use of the following strong and emphatic language. "_Be a.s.sured, thou sinnest mortally, if thou keep thy faith with heretics_." St. Thomas Aquinas teaches the same doctrine.
Innocent VIII., who was Pope in 1484, declares "that _all persons who are bound by any con-tract whatever to heretics are at liberty to break it, even though they had sworn an oath to fulfil_ it." You here see, that I have done no injustice to Roman Catholics, in putting you on your guard against them, and charging them with a willingness to destroy yourselves, your wives and children, _as heretics_, had they power and opportunity of doing so. I am supported by the authority of Pope Martin V., and Pope Innocent VIII.; and though in your estimation, those blood-thirsty vagabonds may give no weight to my testimony, still it cannot fail to be highly satisfactory to Papists. Some of the Catholics may tell you, that the followers of Wickliffe were a seditious people; that they threatened to overthrow the civil inst.i.tutions of the country; that all law and order were set at defiance by them; and that this was the cause of their persecution. This is false in fact--it is historically false.
If the followers of Wickliffe, or Lollards, as they were called, were disturbers of the peace; if their lives were seditious, disorderly, and rebellious, why were they not indicted, under some statute of the realm, made and provided to take cognizance of such crimes? Why were they not even accused of such crimes? Was the meek, mild, and learned John Wickliffe, accused or indicted for disturbing the peace? Was it for disturbing the peace, that his venerable bones were disinterred thirty years after being deposited in the cold grave? Was it for disturbing the peace, and for riotous proceedings, his bones were subsequently burned, and their ashes thrown into the next river? Was it for disturbing the peace, the learned and brave Cobham was hung in iron chains, by the middle.
No such accusation has ever been brought against these great and good men, or against thousands who suffered with them. They were accused only of _heresy_. Papists were their accusers; Papists were their judges; and Papists were their executioners.
But the malice of those blood-thirsty Catholics was not even then satiated. It is as fresh _now_, as it was then. Papists are not content, that hundreds of years ago, Wickliffe and his followers should be persecuted, and the greater portion of them ma.s.sacred and burned. Their memories, also, are objects of Popish hatred, even to this day on which I write. They represent them as enemies of the human race. As despisers of chast.i.ty and morality. You will probably see these charges advanced against them in the Popish presses throughout the United States. But recollect, Americans, that age does not improve the piety of Papists.
The older _holy mother_ gets, the harder becomes her heart, and the more bitter her virulence. I might satisfy you, if necessary, on the testimony of the most respectable Protestant writers, that there lived not in the world, a people more simple, more pious, or virtuous than the Waldenses, or Wickliffites. It may be said of them, with truth, "_qualis pater tales filii_." But I will not refer to Protestant authority; knavish, lying, Popish priests may question it! I refer you, for the character of this persecuted people, to an early Popish historian, Florimond--. History of Heresy, book vii. ch. 7.
"They"--the Waldenses--says this writer, "have nothing in their mouths but Christ the Saviour--they know nothing else than Jesus Christ. These people read the Bible continually, in such a manner that they know all the books of it by heart." Horrid people these Wickliffites must be, to read the Bible until they know it by heart! And as these Bible-reading and Bible-loving people now const.i.tute a vast majority of our citizens, I call upon them to rise in the full force of their moral power, and ward off from themselves and their children, the curse of Popery, or the fate of Wickliffe and his followers will a.s.suredly be theirs. Many of you, Americans, are followers of Wickliffe. You believe as he believed!
You live as he lived! You love peace as he loved it. Do you wish to continue as you are now? Or will you permit a flood of vile priests, monks, and nuns, to overrun your country, and seduce your children from the paths of virtue, in which your own example and the perusal of their Bibles have taught them to walk?
I now call your attention to the belief and practice of the Romish church in the fifteenth century, and you will find that heresy and heretics were still persecuted by her. Witness the conduct of Pope Innocent VIII. toward the Vaudois. He sent one of his Jesuit legates amongst them, with instructions to prevail on Louis XII. to extirpate them from his dominions, without even hearing any deputies which they might send him. The answer of Louis did him much credit--"Though I were at war with a Turk or the devil, I would hear what he had to say for himself." They accordingly made their defence; and, upon this, the good King Louis sent commissioners to examine the state of things among them.
The following was their report, as history informs us: "Having made a strict inquiry into their mode of living, we cannot discover the least shadow of the crimes imputed to them. On the contrary, it appears that they piously observe the Sabbath, baptize their children after the manner of the primitive church, and are thoroughly instructed in the doctrine of the apostles' creed, and in the law of G.o.d." On hearing this report, the king exclaimed, in a pa.s.sion, addressing himself to the Pope's legate--"By the holy mother of G.o.d, these heretics, whom you and the Pope urge me to destroy, are better men than you or myself." He, however, soon departed this life, and every man acquainted with history knows what their sufferings were from the time of his death down to the days of Cromwell, who, whatever his faults may have been, fired with indignation at the barbarities committed by the Romish church, interposed in behalf of those persecuted people, and called upon Protestant princes and sovereigns to aid him in protecting them.
I will not burden the reader with a history of the sufferings of these people. It is familiar even to our schoolboys. I must, however, repeat the fact, that they were persecuted for no other reason than because they believed the Bible contained all the truths necessary to salvation, and because they did not believe in all the mummeries of Popery. Will Catholic bishops and priests still continue to a.s.sert that their church does not teach them to persecute heretics, and to hold no faith with them? Will they continue to a.s.sert, that the Pope of Rome does not claim temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction over the kingdoms of the earth? or if they do, are we compelled to listen to them?
There is scarcely any one who does not recollect the conduct of the holy see, as it is nicknamed, towards Queen Elizabeth, on her ascension to the throne of England. The queen sent a messenger to the court of Rome, to inform the Pope of the event. This was an act of state courtesy; but his holiness had the insolence to reply to the messenger who represented his sovereign: "Tell your mistress that England was held in fief of the apostolic see; that she could not succeed, being illegitimate; nor could she contradict the declarations made in that matter by his predecessors, Clement VII. and Paul III. Tell your mistress," said this insolent ecclesiastic, "that it was great boldness in her to a.s.sume the crown without my consent, for which, in reason, she deserves no favor at my hands; yet if she will _renounce_ her pretensions and refer herself wholly to me, I would show a fatherly affection to her, and do every thing for her that could consist with the dignity of the _Roman see_."
Fellow-citizens, do you want any other proof to satisfy you that the Pope of Rome claims universal jurisdiction over kings, queens, nations, kingdoms, and all mankind? It is only about three hundred years since this occurred; and is there evidence on record that the Pope has resigned the prerogative of universal dominion which he then claimed?
You may laugh at the idea of his claiming it over this country; but, mark what I tell you, some successor of the present Pope will not only claim, but exercise it in less than half the time that has elapsed since the days of Elizabeth. Other objects may divert your attention from this subject; you may sleep on in fancied security, but your sleep may be fatal.
"America," as a talented writer (Giustiniani) expresses it, "is the promised land, the land of the Jesuits' operations. To obtain the ascendency, they have no need of a _mercenary Swiss guard_, or the a.s.sistance of the _holy alliance_, but a majority of votes, which can easily be obtained by an importation of Roman Catholics from Ireland, Bavaria, and Austria. Rome, viewed at a distance, is a colossus; near at hand, its grandeur diminishes, its charm is lost. But the Jesuits are every where the same--cunning, immoral, and sneaking intriguers, until they have obtained the ascendency. Rome feels her weakness at home; she knows herself to be a mere _political_ inst.i.tution, dressed in the garment of Christianity. She takes good care to uphold that holy _militia_, the Jesuits, in order to appear what she is not. It is a strife for existence. I am not a politician," says this writer, "but knowing the active spirit of Jesuitism, and the indifference of the generality of Protestants, I have no doubt whatever, that in _ten_ years the Jesuits will have a mighty influence over the ballot-box, and in _twenty_ they will direct it according to their own pleasure. Now they fawn, in ten years they will menace, and in twenty command."
In this city they not only "fawn," but they have proceeded to "menace."
Some of the knowing ones among the Catholics now boast that they have the power to govern this city, and they intend to exercise it. This is no idle threat. Even now, though they are actually less in numerical strength in the aggregate, than the Protestants, and pay far less for the support of our free schools, they, nevertheless, have succeeded in depriving Protestant children of the privilege of using the Bible for a school-book, as they have been wont to do. Protestants may sleep on if they will, but they may be a.s.sured that they are sleeping on the sides of a burning volcano, and that ere long they will be awakened, but too late, we fear, by the angry thunders of the upheaving fires within, which shall scathe and desolate the fair heritage they now enjoy.
I entreat you, fellow-citizens, never to forget the solemn declaration of the father of your country: "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of a republican government." This is the warning of the immortal Was.h.i.+ngton, and should not pa.s.s unheeded. To the same effect spoke other revolutionary patriots. Jefferson says, "I hope we may find some means in future of s.h.i.+elding ourselves from foreign influence, political, commercial, or in whatever form it may be attempted. I can scarcely withhold myself from joining in the wish of Silas Deane--that there were an ocean of fire between this and the old world." And Madison said, "Foreign influence is truly a _Grecian horse_ to the republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its entrance."
The cruelty of Papists, the intrigue and craft of Popes, the hypocrisy of Jesuits, the dynasties which they have overthrown, the devastations and carnage which they had occasioned, for centuries back, were matters of historical notoriety, and were well known to our pure-minded and clear-headed forefathers. They dreaded similar occurrences in this happy republic, which they have bequeathed to us as their trustees, to be handed down to posterity; and hence arose their warnings to be on our guard against all foreign interference with our inst.i.tutions or our country.
Ponder upon those warnings, and let each and every Protestant in the Union pledge himself to guard our liberties, as the apple of his eye.
I speak from experience. I am myself a foreigner by birth, though a resident of this country for thirty years. My life has been a checkered one. Born a Roman Catholic in the south of Ireland, educated a Roman Catholic priest, officiating in that capacity for some years, here, as well as in my native country, and for many years a member of the bar in South Carolina and Georgia, I could not fail to acquire a correct knowledge of the doctrines and practices of the Romish church. The result of my experience is, that the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church are fatal to the morals of any people; at variance with sound national policy and pure religion. It is a rank and poisonous weed, which will flourish even in the soil of liberty. Would that I could eradicate it! Would that you would enable me to tear up this Upas, which is spreading its poison, from one end of our land to the other! Would that you could aid me in muzzling those Popish bloodhounds, who are freely coursing over our eastern mountains and western valleys! Already have they scented blood, and I warn you to be on your guard or they will scent more.
I am no sectarian; I am not the tool of any party, either in church or state. I have never asked the countenance or support of any religious denomination, nor has any ever been tendered to me. I have stood alone in my opposition to that hydra-headed monster, Popery. There is no abuse which I have not received; no calumny which has not been heaped upon me; no crime which they have not accused me of; no scurrilous epithet which they have not applied to me. All this I have met single-handed; but I would bear it again, rather than submit to the iniquitous doctrines of Popery. I would bear it again, rather than submit, as _native Americans_ have done, and are doing, to be publicly denounced, as _cowards and sons of cowards and pirates_.
But, fellow-citizens, they do not consider you cowards and pirates alone; they will, by-and-by, apply to you a term, which you will better deserve. It is sweet, it is a euphonious name, and I trust you will bear it with as much Christian philanthropy, as you have that of cowards, and pirates--_Fools_. It is the only ignominious term, in the English language, which they have not applied to myself, and I a.s.sure my fellow-citizens, natives of this country, that if you are willing to be governed by the Pope of Rome, and his priests, and bishops, I shall never question your paramount claim to this preeminent distinction.
Can you bear the following opprobrious language applied to you by the Jesuit, now the Boston Pilot, the organ of the bishop of that city. "How in the name of conscience," says this Popish organ, "can a man have the impudence to find fault with honest emigrants, whose own fathers were _emigrant pirates?_" You are also complimented by the Literary and Catholic Sentinel, another Popish press, in Philadelphia. That blessed organ of Popery, the Sentinel, in its comments upon a sermon delivered by that eloquent Presbyterian divine, McCalla, thus eulogizes New England. He, Mr. McCalla, knew the character of his New England audience, that their minds were warped by fanaticism, darkened by bigotry, and vitiated by the abhorred, and atrocious principles inculcated by the _vile and sanguinary wretches, called the Pilgrim Fathers_. He well knew that the mental capacity of the generality of his hearers were chained down by ignorance.