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she has sanctioned persecution once, has sanctioned it for ever. A Church really infallible is always sober; and one not infallible, but pretending to be so, is always drunk. In a Church like that of England, the folly of a generation may die out with the actual generation; and "addressers" from Oxford, were they entitled to usurp the name of the Church, do little more than expose themselves by the vanity of their assumptions.' So much for attempts at recrimination.

Again; let us suppose that the Romanists, by applying similar tests to the decisions of Councils as the worthy Professor of Canon Law told Mr. Seymour must be applied to the bulls of Popes, can annul the validity of these or those decrees, and among the rest the decrees enjoining persecution; as for example, by alleging that a council was not truly ecumenical or not duly called, or its decrees not duly ratified, or that they have not been universally received, or that they were never properly promulgated, or that they are not de fide, or that they are capable of different interpretations, or that the decree is interpolated or a forgery, or ten thousand other things, then the Romanist does, indeed, as Protestants willingly allow, deliver us from all political doubts on the subject immediately under consideration, but, as before, he makes the infallibility of the Church an infinite problem for the ingenuity of private judgment—and which, by such methods, it does actually solve differently.* Surely the best way


*So that, by something or other,' says Jeremy Taylor, after enumerating Bellarmine's escapes from certain obnoxious decrees of several different councils, either councils were not convened lawfully, or they did not proceed "conciliariter," ("council-like," -a "fine new nothing," as Taylor calls it;) or it is not certain

would be for Rome to convene a General Council, for the purpose of declaring to the world that Popes and Councils, however infallible singly or together, have often infallibly erred in supposing themselves infallible; and that though they cannot 'err in matters of faith,' they have often unluckily erred by not knowing what are matters of faith! But this, it must be admitted, by the nature of the case, is very difficult.

At all events, the following consequences seem the necessary result of the above statement. In the first place; on the supposition that Popes and Councils have erred in the preceding cases, then it must be admitted that the most tremendous exercises of the authority of the only infallible Church-the deposing of monarchs, releasing nations from allegiance, and persecuting heretics by fire and sword,-have been acts (and these carried out with a high hand for ages together) of the most alarming perversion and violation of the divine laws. In the second place; as long as it is both affirmed and denied that Popes and Councils have erred in these acts—and there have been plenty of advocates of Rome who have pleaded on both sides, the infallible Church, instead of having guided its members into infallible truth, has left them in absolute doubt on questions in which the laws of God are either observed or violated—one or other, men know not which, on the most important subjects and on the most comprehensive scale.

that the council was general or not, or whether the council were approbatum or reprobatum ; or else it is partim confirmatum, partim reprobatum; or else it is neque approbatum neque reprobatum; by one of these ways, or a device like to these, all councils and all decrees shall be made to signify nothing, and to have no authority.'

Thirdly; if it be said that the points in question are indifferent, being beyond the province of infallibility, and that on these, opinions may be formed on both sides, then it must be also said, not that Rome does not allow the exercise of private judgment, but only allows it in those cases where one would imagine unanimity of judgment would be tolerably certain! It sagely declares that private judgment must not be allowed to have its doubts on such deep questions, as whether prayer be profitable in an unknown tongue, but only on the trivial questions as to whether Popes may dethrone monarchs and dispose of crowns, release subjects from allegiance, and exterminate heretics! Romanists are certain for the Church has absolutely decided it that the apocryphal book of Tobit is to be reverenced equally with the canonical Scriptures; they are divided only about such trifling points as whether the Pope be endowed with absolute supremacy, temporal as well as spiritual, and whether it be right to kill men for heresy or to forbear! The tithe of 'mint, and anise, and cummin,' may have been taken by an infallible modus, but what has become of the 'weightier matters of the law?'


We do not appeal to the authority of particular 'doctors' of the Romish Church, for a solution of the difficulties in this article; partly because, as the Romish Church truly alleges, these are but individual opinions; and partly because, if we must calculate the number and weight of such authorities, and then determine the points, it is 'private judgment' which informs us what the infallible Church truly says, not she who tells us. We can accept nothing less than the authoritative declarations of the accredited organ of Romish infallibility, (whatever that may be,) that,

-so far from having declared what that organ appears to have declared, and multitudes of Romanists hold it has declared,-it has not affirmed any such thing, or has affirmed the contrary. When this has been shown, as clearly as it appears to be shown that such organ has affirmed the right to depose heretical monarchs, and exterminate heretics, then it will be time to decide who is to be the judge of that further momentous question,- Supposing an infallible authority to have declared some things that are fallible and some infallible, and its subjects to be divided as to which is one and which the other, what is the infallible criterion of that which alone is truly infallible?'

There will always be, indeed, even in that case, the dark side of the picture on which we have already insisted; for, if the Romish Church has been utterly wrong in dethroning monarchs, in disposing of crowns, in releasing subjects from their allegiance, in suppressing religious freedom, in crusades against heretics, in her patronage of Inquisitions, and in her Index Expurgatorius, then it is certain that the only infallible Church has been more enormously in error than any or all other Churches put together!

Similar ultramontane doubts necessarily attend the application of the very peculiar theory of 'spiritual authority,' pleaded for by the Romish Church. It does, directly and indirectly, extend to so many points which the generality of other religions regard as purely or chiefly secular, that it is hard to guess into what part of civil or political life it may not intrude. To attempt to separate between the temporal and spiritual in the Church of Rome, is like attempting to cut off Shylock's pound of flesh without spilling a drop of blood. Where her theory is fully carried out,

exclaims the Protestant, and the privileges of her canon law are fully enjoyed by her members, she effectually relieves the civil power of many of its most essential functions. Beware how you legislate,' she exclaims, 'on the subject of marriage; that is a sacrament.' Wills and testamentary dispositions are scarcely less sacred; ecclesiastical courts, it is urged, can alone be competent to deal with matters which have so visible a relation to spiritual things! Neither is it becoming that laymen should presume to sit in judgment on an offending bishop or priest, or interfere with any thing so solemn as the very crimes of the priestly order. All such points can be properly decided only by an ecclesiastical tribunal; all sacred persons must be exempted from civil jurisdiction. Similar observations apply to ecclesiastical property; Rome has often proposed that it should be untaxed by the State, and where she has had the upon

power, has insisted it. As science, philosophy,

and literature may be abused to the dissemination of heretical and infidel opinions, an index expurgatorius must by all means be compiled, that the faithful may know what alone they may safely read; the liberty of the press must be committed to orthodox censorship; such authors as Bacon and Milton must be proscribed. Induction' - except to a benefice-may be, as Galileo found, of dangerous consequence; and 'Paradise Lost' and 'Paradise Regained,' are both worthy of being sent to a literary purgatory.' The Bible is an admirable book, and contains, obscurely indeed, much admirable truth; but it is dangerous for a man to attempt to interpret it except it be first interpreted for him by an infallible oracle, especially as there are most important truths in it, such as the seven sacraments or the Pope's supremacy, which he

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