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Book II - Chapter XX

Faith Not to be Kept with Heretics

There remains yet another matter,--a matter not strictly theological, it is true, yet one that enters deeply into the morality of the Church of Rome, and which is of vital moment as regards society. The question we are now to discuss discloses to our sight a very gulph of wickedness. It is as the opening of pandemonium itself. One wonders that the earth has borne so long a society so atrociously wicked, or that the lightnings of heaven have so long forborne to consume it. This doctrine of enormous turpitude is the dispensing power. The Church of Rome has adopted as a leading principle of her policy, that faith is not to be kept with heretics when its violation is necessary for the interests of the Church. This abominable doctrine papists have disclaimed. This does not surprise us. A priori, it was to be expected that any society that was wicked enough to adopt such a principle would be base enough to deny it. Besides, to confess to this policy would be the sure way of defeating its end. Who would contract alliances with Rome, if told beforehand that she would keep to them not a moment longer than it suited her own purposes? Who would entrust himself to her promise, if he saw it to be the net in which he was to be caught and destroyed? Were living Papists prepared publicly to avow this doctrine, they would be prepared also to abandon it, for it would manifestly be useless a moment longer to retain it. Besides, they are not prepared to brave the odium which the avowal of a maxim so abhorrent and detestable would be sure to provoke. This is the very mark of hell. Rome may wear this mark in her right hand, where its partial concealment is possible; but were that mark to be imprinted on her forehead, she dare not hold up her face before the world, knowing that the damning evidence of her guilt was visible to every eye. The living writers and priests of the Church of Rome are plainly inadmissible as witnesses here. We appeal the matter to her canons and her history,--a tribunal to which she can take no exception. At this bar do we sist her; and here she stands condemned as the CAIN of the human family,--the world's OUTLAW.

The proof,--and nothing is more capable of easy and complete demonstration,--is briefly as follows:--The doctrine that no faith is to be kept with heretics, when to do so would militate against the interests of the Church, was promulgated by the third Lateran Council, decreed by the Council of Constance, confirmed by the Council of Trent, and is sworn to by all priests at their ordination, when they declare on oath their belief of all the tenets taught in the sacred canons and the general councils; and it has been practised by the Church of Rome, both in particular cases of great flagrancy, and in the general course of her actings. The proof is as clear as the charge is grave and the crime enormous.

The third Lateran Council, which was held at Rome in 1167 under the pontificate of Alexander III., and which all Papists admit to be infallible, decreed in its sixteenth canon, that "oaths made against the interest and benefit of the Church are not so much to be considered as oaths, but as perjuries."1 The fourth or great Lateran Council absolved from their oath of allegiance the subjects of heretical princes.

The Council of Constance, which was holden in 1414, expressly decreed that no faith was to be kept with heretics. The words of this decree, as preserved by M. L'Enfant, in his learned history of that famous council, are, that "by no law, natural or divine, is it obligatory to keep faith with heretics, to the prejudice of the Catholic faith."2 This fearful doctrine the council ratified in a manner not less fearful, in the blood of John Huss. It is well known that this reformer came to the council trusting in a safe-conduct, which had been given him under the hand of the Emperor Sigismund. The document in the amplest terms guaranteed the safety of Huss, in his journey to Constance, in his stay there, and in his return home. Notwithstanding, he was seized, imprisoned, condemned, and burnt alive, at the instigation of the council, by the very man who had so solemnly guaranteed his safety.

When the Council of Trent assembled in the sixteenth century, it was exceedingly desirous of obtaining the presence of the Protestants at its deliberations. Accordingly, it issued numerous equivocal safe-conducts, all of which the Protestants, mindful of the fate of Huss, rejected. At last the council decreed, that for this time, and in this instance, the safe-conduct should not be violated, and that no "authority, power, statute, or decree, and especially that of the Council of Constance and Siena," should be employed against them. In this enactment of the Council of Trent, canons, decrees, and laws, to the prejudice of safe-conducts to heretics, are expressly recognised as already existing. These decrees are not revoked or abjured by the council; they are only suspended for the time,--"pro hac vice." This is a plain declaration, that on all other occasions Rome means to act upon them, and will, whenever she has the power. There has been no general council since; and as no decree of the Pope has repudiated the doctrine of these decrees and canons, they must be regarded as still in force.

The instances are innumerable in which popes and Roman Catholic writers have asserted and recommended this odious doctrine. It was promulgated by Hildebrand in the eleventh century. The cruel persecutions of the eleventh and twelfth centuries were based on this doctrine. Pope Martin V., in his letter to the Duke of Lithuania, says, Be assured that thou sinnest mortally if thou keep faith with heretics. "Gregory IX. made the following law:--'Be it known unto all who are under the jurisdiction of those who have openly fallen into heresy, that they are free from the obligation of fidelity, dominion, and every kind of obedience to them, by whatever means or bond they are tied to them, and how securely soever they may be bound.' On which Bishop Simanca gives this comment:--'Governors of forts and all kinds of vassals are by this constitution freed from the bond of the oath whereby they had promised fidelity to their lords and masters. Moreover, a Catholic wife is not obliged to perform the marriage contract with an heretical husband. If faith is not to be kept with tyrants, pirates, and other public robbers who kill the body, much less with obstinate heretics who kill the soul. Ay, but it is a sad thing to break faith. But, as saith Merius Salomonius, faith promised against Christ, if kept, is verily perfidy. Justly, therefore, were some heretics burnt by the most solemn judgment of the Council of Constance, although they had been promised security. And St. Thomas also is of opinion, that a Catholic might deliver over an untractable heretic to the judges, notwithstanding he had pledged his faith to him, and even confirmed it by the solemnity of an oath.' 'Contracts,' saith Bonacina, 'made against the canon law are invalid, though confirmed by oath; and a man is not bound to stand to his promise, though he had sworn to it.' 'Pope Innocent VIII., in his bull against the Waldenses in 1487, by his authority apostolical declares, that all those who had been bound and obliged by contract, or any other way whatever, to grant or pay anything to them, should not be under any manner of obligation to do so for the time to come.'"3

When Henry of Valois was elected to the throne of Poland in 1573, Cardinal Hosius laboured ineffectually to prevent the newly-elected monarch confirming by his oath the religious liberties of Poland. He next openly recommended to him to commit perjury, maintaining "that an oath given to heretics may be broken, even without absolution." In the letter which he despatched to the King, he desired him to "reflect that the oath was not a bond of iniquity, and that there was no necessity for him to be absolved from his oath, because, according to every law, all that he had inconsiderately done was neither binding nor had any value."4 But Solikowski, a learned Roman Catholic prelate, gave Henry more dangerous advice still. He counselled him to submit to the necessity, and promise and swear everything demanded of him, in the hope that, as soon as he ascended the throne, he would find himself in a condition to crush without violence the heresy he had sworn to maintain.5 Thus have the councils, the popes, and the casuists of the Roman Catholic Church enacted, defended, and promulgated this horrible doctrine. It is as undeniable as the sun at noon-day, that that Church holds it as a tenet of her faith, that it is unlawful to keep faith with heretics, when the good of the Church requires that it should be violated.

The practice of the Church of Rome has been in strict accordance with her doctrine. Faith she has not kept with heretics, whenever it could serve her purpose to break it. Compacts framed with the highest solemnities, and sanctioned by the holiest oaths, she has violated, without the least scruple or compunction, when the interests of Protestantism were concerned. What, we ask, is her history, but one long unvaried tale of lies, frauds, perfidies, broken vows, and violated oaths? Every party that has trusted her she has in turn betrayed. It mattered not how awful the sanctions with which she was bound, or how numerous and sacred the pledges and guarantees of sincerity which she had given: these bonds were to Rome but as the green withes on the arm of Samson. Her wickedness is without parallel in the annals of human treachery. Perfidies which the most abandoned of pagan governments would have shuddered to commit, Rome has deliberately perpetrated and unblushingly justified. In the case of others, these enormities have been the exceptions, and have formed a departure from the generally recognised principles of their action; but in the case of Rome they have formed the rule, and have sprung from principles deliberately adopted as the guiding maxims of her policy. We question whether an instance can be adduced of so much as one engagement that has been kept in matters involving the conflicting interests of Protestantism and Popery, when it could be advantageously broken. We do not know of any such. But time would fail, and space is wanting, to narrate even a tithe of the instances in which the most solemn engagements were most perfidiously violated, nay, made to be violated,--framed to entrap the confiding victims. The cases are innumerable, we say, in which Roman Catholics have made promises and oaths to individuals, to cities, to provinces, with the most public and solemn forms; and the moment they obtained the advantage these oaths were intended to secure, they delivered over to slaughter and devastation those very men to whom they had sworn in the great name of GOD. Ah! could the soil of France disclose her slaughtered millions,--could the snows of the Alps and the vales of Piedmont give up the dead which they cover,--these confessors could tell how Rome kept her oaths and covenants. Their voice has been silent for ages; but history pleads their cause: it has preserved the vows solemnly made, but perfidiously violated; and, pointing to the blood of the martyr, it cries aloud to heaven for vengeance on the perfidy that shed it. In the Albigensian war, Louis of France having besieged the town of Avignon for a long time, and lost twenty-three thousand men before it, was on the point of raising the siege, when the following stratagem was successfully resorted to. The Roman legate swore before the city gates, that if admission were granted, he would enter alone with the prelates, simply for the purpose of examining the faith of the citizens. The gates were opened, the legate entered, the army rushed in at his back, hundreds of the houses were razed, multitudes of the inhabitants were slaughtered, and of the rest, a great part were carried away as hostages.

In the long and bloody war against the Waldenses in the thirteenth century, Rome never scrupled to employ treachery when the sword was unsuccessful; and it may be affirmed that that noble people were crushed rather by perfidy than by arms. They had much more to dread from the oaths than from the soldiers of Rome. Again and again did the house of Savoy pledge its faith to these confessors; but every new treaty was followed by new dishonour to the one party and new calamities to the other. The power of France itself would never have subdued these hardy mountaineers, but for the arts with which the arms of their powerful foe were seconded. Pacifications were framed with them, purposely to throw them off their guard, and pave the way for another crusade and another massacre. In this way did they perish from those vales which their piety had sanctified, and from those mountains which their struggles had made holy. They fell unlamented and unavenged. The throne of the crafty Bourbon still stood, and the sway of the triple tyrant was still prolonged; but in the silent vales where these martyrs had lived no trace of them now remained, save the ashes that blackened the site of their dwelling, and the bones that whitened the rocks by which it was overhung. Their names were unhonoured, and their deeds were unpraised, by a world which knew not how to estimate the greatness of their virtues or the grandeur of their cause. But not in vain did they offer themselves upon the altar of their faith. In the stillness that reigned throughout Europe, a solitary voice from a distant isle was heard saying, "Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints!"--the first utterance of a prayer in which a world shall yet join, and the first prophetic anticipation of a vengeance which, after the lapse of three centuries, God is now beginning to inflict upon the blood-stained dynasties and thrones which slew his saints.

It was the same in all the countries of Europe. Wherever Protestants existed they were assailed by arms and by treachery, and the latter weapon was a hundred times more fatal than the former. The butcheries of Alva in the Low Countries were preceded by promises and treaties of peace and conciliation oft and solemnly ratified. Philip II. pledged the honour of Spain to his subjects in Flanders; and the dungeons, the scaffolds, and the sanguinary troops by which that country was immediately thereafter inundated show how he redeemed the faith he had plighted. In the great struggle in Poland, in which for a while it seemed an even chance which of the two faiths should acquire the ascendancy, the Popish party kept their oaths only so long as they lacked opportunity of breaking them. When the struggle was at its height, Lippomani, the papal legate, arrived in Poland, and unscrupulously advised the sovereign, Sigismund Augustus, who pled that the laws of the kingdom forbade violence, to employ treachery and bloodshed to extirpate heresy.6 To this policy is to be ascribed the ultimate triumph of the Jesuitical party in Poland. "As the laws of the country," says Krasinski, "did not allow any inhabitant of Poland to be persecuted on account of his religious opinions, they [the Jesuits] left no means untried in order to evade those salutary laws; and the odious maxim that no faith should be kept with heretics was constantly advocated by them, as well as by other advocates of Romanism in our country."7 In most of the southern German States the Protestant cause was overthrown by the same arts. In truth, this maxim of Rome, that faith is not to be kept when to keep it would tend to the advantage of Protestantism or the detriment of Popery, kept Germany in the flames of war, with short intervals, for upwards of a century. The advantages which the Protestants had secured by their arms, and which they had compelled their enemies to ratify by solemn treaty, were perfidiously denied and infringed; they were thus forced again and again to take up arms; and the successive wars in which Europe was involved, and which occasioned so great an expenditure of blood and treasure, grew out of Rome's maxim, which in almost all these particular cases was directly applied and enforced by pontifical authority, that such oaths and treaties "were from the very beginning, and for ever shall be, null and void; and that no one is bound to observe them, or any of them, even though they have been often ratified and confirmed by oath."1

But the guiltiest land and throne in Europe, in respect of violated oaths, is France. In point of perfidy, the house of Bourbon has far exceeded the ordinary measure, we do not say of pagan governments, but of Roman Catholic governments. The kings of France were the eldest sons of the Church, and bore most of the paternal likeness. Every one of their acts proclaimed them to be of their father the Pope, who was a liar from the beginning. Did the poor Huguenots ever trust them but to be betrayed by them? Of the numerous engagements into which they entered with their Protestant subjects, was there one which they ever honestly fulfilled? What were these treaties, with their ample appendages of oaths and ratifications, but crafty devices for ensnaring, disarming, and then massacring the Protestants? The first edict, guaranteeing them the exercise of their religion, was granted in 1561. It was soon violated, and a worse persecution befell them. They were forced to take up arms, for the first time, to save their lives and vindicate their rights. They triumphed; and their success obtained for them a new pacification. This was violated in like manner. "They [the Court] restrained," says Mezeray, "every day their liberty, which had been granted them by the edicts, until it was reduced almost to nothing. The people fell upon them in the places where they were weakest. In those where they could defend themselves the governors made use of the authority of the king to oppress them. Their cities and forts were dismantled; there was no justice for them; in the parliaments or king's council they were massacred with impunity; they were not reinstalled in their goods and charges. In fine, they had conspired their ruin with the Pope, the house of Austria, and the Duke of Alva."9 Six times was the public faith of France plighted to the Protestants, in solemn treaty, ratified and sanctioned by solemn oath; six times was the plighted faith of France openly dishonoured and violated; and six times did civil war, the direct fruit of these broken vows, waste the treasure and the blood of that nation.

The act of unparalleled crime which brought to an end the fourth pacification, that of 1570, merits our particular notice. Two years of profound dissimulation and hypocrisy paved the way for that awful tragedy,--the greatest of the crimes of Rome,--perhaps the most fearful monument of human wickedness which the history of the world contains,--the MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW. The chiefs of the Protestant party were invited to Court, caressed, and loaded with honours. The Protestants generally seemed to be taken into special favour, and now shared the same privileges with the Catholics. So bright was the deceitful gleam that heralded the dismal storm! Not only were the fears of the Protestants laid at rest, but those of Rome were awakened, thinking that either the King of France meant not to keep his engagement in the matter, or that he was overacting his part. But the cruel issue did more than make amends. In a moment the bolt fell. For three days and nights the work of human slaughter went on, and France became a very shambles. At length the dreadful business had an end. Seventy thousand corpses covered the soil of France. Paris shouted for joy, and the cannon of St. Angelo, from beyond the Alps, returned that shout. The Pope had some reason to rejoice. The blow struck at Paris decided the fortunes of Protestantism in Europe for two centuries. The Protestant faith was on the point of gaining the ascendancy both in Poland and France. The sagacious and patriotic Coligny meditated the project of a grand alliance between these two countries, and of giving thereby a powerful centre and a uniform action to the Protestant cause, and humbling the two main props of the Papacy, Spain and Austria.10 As matters then stood, the project would have been completely successful. The other Protestant states of Europe would have joined the alliance; but, in truth, France and Poland combined could have easily made head against the Popish powers, and could have shaken the dominion of Rome. But the massacre of St. Bartholomew was fatal to this great scheme. The venerable Coligny, as is well known, was its first victim; and his project, big with the fortunes of Protestantism, perished with him. The Protestants were panic-struck in France, and disheartened in other countries. The victory which had long trembled in the balance between the Reformation and Rome now inclined decidedly to the latter; and from that day the Protestant influence declined in Europe. The two centuries of dominion which have been added to Rome she owes to her grand maxim, that no dissimulation is too profound, and no perfidy too gross, to be employed against Protestants.

The last great national act of treachery on the part of France was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. "Never was an edict, law, or treaty more deliberately made, more solemnly ratified, more irrevocably established, more repeatedly confirmed; nor one whereof policy, duty, or gratitude, could have more ensured the execution; yet never was one more scandalously or absolutely violated. It was the result of three years' negotiation between the commissioners of the king and the deputies of the Protestants,--was the termination of forty years' wars and troubles,--was merited by the highest services, sealed by the highest authority, registered in all the parliaments and courts of Henry the Great,--was declared in the preamble to be perpetual and irrevocable."11 It was confirmed by the Queen-mother in 1610, and repeatedly ratified by succeeding monarchs of France; yet all the while the purpose of overturning it was secretly entertained and steadily and craftily prosecuted. The rights it conferred and the privileges it guaranteed were gradually encroached upon: oppressions cruel and manifold, contrary to the spirit and to the letter of the edict, were practised on the Protestants; and at last, in 1685, it was publicly revoked. When the old Chancellor Tellier, the Jesuit, signed the edict of revocation, full of joy at this consummation of the intrigues and labours of his party, he cried out,--"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."12 The proscriptions, the banishments, the massacres, which followed, and which were second only to the St. Bartholomew horror, are well known to every reader of history.

This act consummated the woes of French Protestantism and the guilt of the house of Bourbon. Tellier, in signing the Revocation, had signed the death-warrant of France. A chain of causes, extending from 1685 to 1785, and which it requires but a slight study of the history of that gloomy period clearly to trace, links together the Huguenot proscriptions and massacres of the one period with the revolutionary horrors of the other. Rome's favourite maxim, faithfully acted out by the bigoted court of France, introduced at last the Reign of Terror. How could it possibly be otherwise? Great part of the trade of the kingdom was in the hands of the Protestants; and when they were driven away, industry was paralyzed. The numerous and expensive wars waged against the Huguenots had exhausted the national exchequer, and new taxes had to be imposed, which pressed heavily on a crippled trade and a languishing agriculture. With religion had been extinguished the elements of morality and order. A new and powerful element, engendered by the Romish idolatry, was next introduced,--infidelity, which passed, in numerous instances, into atheism. These terrible elements, which had their rise in the Huguenot persecutions, gathered apace; and at last, in little more than a century from the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, they burst over France in unexampled and desolating fury. All things were now changed, but so changed as to bear stamped upon them the awful mark of retributive vengeance. The Jesuit cabal was exchanged for the democrats' club. Rome's sanctified dagger was set aside for the guillotine of the Revolution. The Bourbon was gone, and Robespierre reigned in his room; bloodthirsty and revengeful, doubtless, but not more so than the tyrant he had succeeded, and certainly not so perfidious and hypocritical. Crowds of wretched fugitives were again seen on the frontier; but this time it was the priesthood and the noblesse of France. By and by foreign war drew off into a new channel the energies of the Revolution; but soon they returned to their former sphere, descended on France, as eagles on the carcase, or as the fires on the sacrifice; and now again are they seen preying with consuming fierceness upon that devoted country. Nor will they ever be quenched till the land of violated oaths and blood unrighteously shed has become the Gomorrah of the nations. Read thus, the history of France is an awful demonstration of God's moral government. Nations unborn will peruse her story, and learn to avoid her crimes and her woes. The persecutor of the past will be the beacon of the future.

But, it may be objected, these dreadful crimes and perjuries are to be attributed to the bad faith and despotic tendencies of governments, and not to the evil principles of the Church of Rome. Not so. It is Rome that must confront the appalling charge. She it was that broke all these vows and shed all this blood. She has associates in crime, doubtless, but she must not roll over on them the guilt she taught them to perpetrate. All the dreadful proceedings we have so briefly surveyed,--and they form scarce a tithe of the woes which constitute the history of Europe,--sprang directly out of the detestable doctrine which the councils, pontiffs, and casuists of the Roman Church inculcated. In the abyss of her councils were these plots hatched. France and the other Catholic powers did but follow the policy which the Court of Rome chalked out for them. All their enterprizes were undertaken with the Church's sanction, often at her earnest solicitation; and assuredly they were all undertaken in the Church's behalf,--for the extirpation of heresy and the aggrandisement of the priesthood. At her door, then, must be laid all this accumulated perfidy. The facts we have adduced undeniably prove that the doctrine that no faith is to be kept with heretics is regarded by the Church of Rome, not simply as a speculative theory, but as a maxim to which practical effect is to be given on all occasions, and to all the extent which the opportunities and the power of Rome will allow.

The recent history of Europe has furnished a fearful commentary on the Pope's "dispensing power." The sovereigns of southern Europe have of late been acting on this maxim, and, as a consequence, filling their dungeons with the most virtuous of their subjects; only this time the doctrine has been put in force, not against the confessors of religion solely, but also against the liberals in politics. A catechism, in which it is avowedly taught that "the head of the Church has authority to release consciences from oaths when he judges there is suitable cause for it," has been compiled by an ecclesiastic, is circulated by ecclesiastics, and taught to the youth in the schools of Naples. King Ferdinand, the bosom friend of Pio Nono, has taken the full benefit of this doctrine, by revoking the Constitution to which he solemnly swore in "the awful name of Almighty God," and has told his terror-stricken kingdom, that what he did he had a right to do,--that sovereignty is divine,--that an oath infringing on sovereignty possesses no obligation,--and that he alone is judge when the Constitution encroaches on his rights.13 The same "doctrine of devils" is taught by Liguori, who teaches that men may swear with any amount of equivocation or mental reservation,--that "any reasonable reason is enough" for violating an oath,--that an oath contrary to the rights of superiors or the interests of the Church is not to be kept with any party or on any occasion, and therefore, a fortiori, not to be kept with heretics. All this is taught by the "infallible" Liguori.14

What, then, are we to say of the strong disclaimers of this doctrine by some modern Papists in behalf of their Church? These disclaimers, it is manifest, possess not the smallest weight, when we put in opposition to them the vast body of evidence by which the charge is supported,--the decrees of councils, the bulls and rescripts of popes, the public and uniform actings of the Church for well nigh three hundred years, and the deliverances of modern writers in the Church of Rome,--of Dens, Liguori, and others. That this was the doctrine of the Church, no one can deny; that it was also her practice so long as she possessed the power, is equally undeniable. If she has renounced it, let it be shown when and where. Renounced it she has not, and cannot, without overthrowing the infallibility, on which her whole system is founded. In truth, when popish divines abjure the doctrine that no faith is to be kept with heretics, they are guilty of practising a wretched quibble. Their meaning is, that so long as the oath exists it must be kept; but the Pope, in virtue of his dispensing power, may declare, on just grounds,--of which "the necessity and utility of the Church"15 is one,--that the oath is null, and does not exist, and consequently is not to be kept. They then triumphantly ask, How can an oath be said to be violated that does not exist? Were it their object to release the subjects of Great Britain from their oaths of allegiance, the procedure adopted would be as follows: the people would be taught, that so long as the oath existed, it must be respected; but then nothing is easier than to put it out of existence! The Pope has only, on some "just ground," to declare our Queen no longer sovereign, and the oath would no longer exist. We know not which is the more astonishing,--the impiety of those who can juggle in this way, or the simplicity of those who can be deceived by such juggling. If those statesmen who are so desirous to form relations with Rome, can find comfort in this very peculiar mode of keeping faith, they are abundantly welcome to it. But plain it is, that when Romish priests disclaim on oath the lawfulness of the doctrine of not keeping faith with heretics, so plainly taught in those canons to which they have sworn, they are just exhibiting, as Dr. Cunningham strikingly remarks, "in its most aggravated form, the very enormity which they profess to abjure."16

This doctrine strikes at the foundation of society. If oaths do not bind,--if vows and treaties possess force only so far as it accords with the will and interests of one of the parties,--there is an end of society, and men must return to the condition of savages. And if saved from falling into this state, it can only be by one man getting the start of the others, and making his will a law to the rest; for men must have some standard of faith,--some ground of mutual action; and if they do not find it in the eternal equity of things, they may find it in the necessity of a universal and infallible despotism. This Rome attempted to establish, and in no other way could the ultimate disorganization of the world have been averted. But this does not hinder our perceiving the heinous sin and the ruinous tendency of her maxim; and it by no means surprises us, that some of the great masters of ethical and moral science should have held that a community that contravenes the first and most essential conditions of society should be denied the first and most essential of social rights. "If there were in that age," says Macaulay, "two persons inclined by their judgment and by their temper to toleration, these persons were Tillotson and Locke. Yet Tillotson, whose indulgence for various kinds of schismatics and heretics brought on him the reproach of heterodoxy, told the House of Commons from the pulpit, that it was their duty to make effectual provision against the propagation of a religion more mischievous than irreligion itself,--of a religion which demanded from its followers services directly opposed to the first principles of morality. In his judgment, pagans who had never heard the name of Christ, and who were guided only by the light of nature, were more trustworthy members of civil society than men who had been formed in the schools of the popish casuists. Locke, in his celebrated treatise, in which he had laboured to show that even the grossest form of idolatry ought not to be prohibited under penal sanctions, contended that the Church which taught men not to keep faith with heretics had no claim to toleration.17

1 "Non quasi juramenta, sed quasi perjuria."

2 "Nec aliqua sibi fides, aut promissio de jure naturali, divino, et humano fuerit in prejudicium Catholicae fidei observanda."

3 Free Thoughts on the Toleration of Popery, p. 119.

4 Lectures on Slavonia, by Count Valerian Krasinski, p. 277; Edin. 1849.

5 Ibid. p. 278.

6 Historical Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Reformation in Poland, by Count Valerian Krasinski, vol. i. p. 293; Lond. 1836


7 Historical Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Reformation in Poland, by Count Valerian Krasinski, preface, p. viii.

8 Letter of Clement XI. respecting the treaty of Alt Raustadt in 1707. The treaty was made by the Emperor with Charles XII. of Sweden, and contained some clauses favourable to Protestants.

9 Quoted from "Free Thoughts on the Toleration of Popery," p. 175.

10 Krasinski's Rise, Progress., and Decline of the Reformation in Poland, vol. ii. p. 6.

11 Free Thoughts on the Toleration of Popery, p. 177.

12 Voltaire's Age of Louis XIV. vol. ii. p. 197; Glasgow, 1753.

13 Two Letters to Lord Aberdeen, by Mr. Gladstone; Lond. 1851.

14 Liguori, tom. iv. p. 151, 152.

15 Theol. Mor. et Dog. Petri Dens, tom. iv. pp. 134-138.

16 Stillingfleet's Popery, by Dr. Cunningham, p. 232.

17 Macaulay's History of England, vol. ii. pp. 8, 9; Lond. 1850.