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Title: Monks, Popes, and their Political Intrigues
Author: Alberger, John
Language: English
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By John Alberger

"Like lambs have we crept into power; like wolves have we used it;
like dogs have we been driven out; like eagles shall we renew our
youth."--St. Francis Borgia.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."--Washington.

In One Volume

Baltimore 1871.


The object of the present work is to show the political nature of the
Catholic church, and its treasonable designs with regard to the American

In the course of the following pages the author has endeavored to show
that the Catholic Church is intrinsically a gigantic conspiracy against
the liberties of the world; ingenious in its construction, opulent in
its resources, extensive in its ramifications, and formidable in its
character. In proof of this assertion he submits to the consideration of
the reader a mass of irrefragable authority, and indisputable historical
incidents. The authorities on which he chiefly relies are papal bulls,
briefs, and encyclical letters; the canons of Catholic councils;
Catholic periodicals under the supervision of priests, such as the
_Civita Cattolica, Bronsoris Review, the Boston Pilot, the Toilet, the
Rambler, the Shepherd of the Valley, the Paris Univers_; also the works
of Dens, the author of the Catholic system of Divinity; of Llorente,
the secretary of the Spanish Inquisition; of Bellarmine, the celebrated
Catholic controversialist; of Ferraris, the author of the Catholic
Ecclesiastical Dictionary; of Fra Paola, the Catholic ecclesiastical
historian; of St. Thomas Aquinas, entitled by the church "_the Angelic
Doctor" "the Angel of the School," "the Fifth Doctor_" of St. Bernard,
called "_the Honeyed Teacher_" and his works "_Streams from Paradise_;"
of Labbeus, of St. Liquori, of Moscovius, and of a host of other oracles
of Catholicism.

By means of these authorities the veil of piety which conceals and
decorates the papal church is partly drawn aside, and her monarchial
character, political organization, despotic nature, ambitious designs
and treasonable principles, are distinctly presented to view.

The author pretends to no originality. The diction and logic are, of
course his own, but the facts and principles upon which he bases his
charges are the avowals of the church, the records of history, and the
official affirmations of civilized nations.

The Infidels, as faithful sentinels on the watch tower of liberty, have
often uttered the cry of warning; the Protestant pulpit has at intervals
startled from its drowsy slumbers, and echoed the same alarm; but
neither the one nor the other has been able to arouse the people from
their profound slumber. Gavazzi has lectured, Hogan, Colton, Hopkins
have written, but so profound and death-like is the torpidity which
holds the senses of Americans in indifference, that the warnings of
writers and speakers have died away with the tones in which they were
uttered. But Americans must awake--they will awake--if not soon
enough to avert the impending doom overhanging their country and their
posterity, yet soon enough! alas, too soon! to weep in despair over
their present apathy and indifference, amid the ruins of their republic.


Baltimore, Md. July 4th, 1871.



Guizot, speaking of the Christian Church, says: "I say the Christian
Church, and not Christianity, between which a broad distinction is to be
made." (Gen. Hist. Civilization, Lecture 11, p. 48.) The Catholic Church
has little except the name of Christianity, while it is secretly a
political organization to establish "the supremacy of the Pope over all
persons and things," which, according to Bellarmine's view, "is the main
substance of Christianity."

If we have recourse to the lexicon to ascertain the signification of
the term religion, we may arrive at a definite conclusion respecting
its classical use: but if we are guided in our inquiry by the popular
acceptation, we will discover that its definitions are as numerous as
the inhabitants of the globe, and as various as their features. We have
Natural religion, Pagan religion, Hindoo religion, Jewish religion,
Christian religion, and Mahometan religion. Among Christian sects some
believe religion to consist in individual feeling, some in baptism, some
in reverence for the clergy, some in problematical creeds and dogmas,
some in observances of church ordinations, some in rhapsodies, and some
in a species of sentimentalism.

The Boston Pilot says: "There can be no religion without an
Inquisition;" but Thomas Paine, with nobler philosophy, thinks
"religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and
endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy." The diversity and
discordance which have arisen respecting the import of this term,
originate from its compound nature adapting it to designate one idea,
or a variety of ideas. But while we rarely encounter two persons exactly
concurring in an opinion of what is religion, we find all readily
admitting that it essentially consists in just principles and correct
conduct. Principles are the fountains of thought and feeling; to be
just, they must be formed in accordance with truth and reason. Conduct
to be correct must be in harmony with the rights of others, and
the principles and designs of the human organism. According to this
definition, religion may exist with or without ceremonial observances.
All forms are merely external appendages, unessential to the nature of
religion, and as distinct from it as the casket is from the gem, or the
body from the vital principle. If this definition should be construed
into a definition of mere morality, it cannot invalidate any objection
founded on it to Catholicism, as every such objection will then become
demonstrative proof that the Catholic Church is not only destitute of
religion, but even of morality.

The signification of a corporate organization is well understood, but
how shall we ascertain its principles and designs? Not from the tenor of
its professions; but from the nature of its constitution, the tendency
of its measures, the sanctions which it has given, the recognitions
which it has made in its official capacity; and above all, from the
avowals it has uttered, under such a prosperous condition of affairs as
made disguise unnecessary. In courting popular favor, an organization
concocted to subvert the rights and interests of the people, would, from
motives of policy, be prompted to conceal its nature and design; but
when wealth and power had sufficiently fortified its security to enable
it to scorn and defy public opinion, it would then as naturally unfold
its latent principles, as a summer's sun would hatch an innocently
looking cluster of eggs into a nest of poisonous asps.

If among the members of an organization, which professes to be of
an exclusively religious character, men should be found who are
unquestionably religious or moral, this fact would no more prove it to
be a religious or moral institution, than would the membership of
the same persons to a railroad or municipal corporation prove such a
corporation to be a religious and not a secular organization. But if
at periods in its history, its most irreproachable and credible members
should denounce it as a political power, and labor to transform it into
a purely religious institution, and for such a "damnable heresy" were
burnt alive, and their ashes thrown into a river to prevent the people
from worshipping them, what would be the legitimate inference from such
facts? Would it not be that it claimed to be a political organization?
that it was high treason in its estimation to question its right to
this character? and that to utter such a question in its domains was
to provoke its heaviest penalty? Did not all these facts occur in Home
respecting Arnold of Brecia? And in Catholic history have not similar
facts, from his time down to the Reformation, been incarnadined in human
blood too deeply for audacity to deny or time to obliterate?

But what is a religious organization? If religion is moral goodness,
a religious organization must be an embodiment of its principles, a
practical exemplification of its maxims, and a scheme in measures and
policy adapted to extend the observance of its obligations. Such an
organization must be consistent with itself, and in harmony with the
natural principles of man. In integrity it must be invulnerable; in
adherence to right inflexible; in hostility to wrong, uncompromising.
It must be the champion of the rights of human nature; the friend of
freedom, equality and liberality; the enemy of bigotry, intolerance,
and despotism. Its claims must be commended by truth; its measures
sanctioned by reason and conscience; its triumphs won by argument
and persuasion. Its hands must be unstained with blood. It must never
perpetrate a fraud, nor descend to intrigue, nor dissemble, nor cherish
malice, nor slander an opponent, nor traffic for self-aggrandizement,
nor prostitute its principles to political objects, nor accommodate
itself to the vices of any age or country. Amid general corruption
it must always be pure, amid bigotry it must always be tolerant, amid
oppression it must always advocate the cause of justice, and amid
ignorance the cause of education.

Such are some of the essential characteristics of a religious or moral
organization. Any departure from them in an institution, proves its
secularism. No church in which they form not a distinguishing feature,
has any claims to be a religious or moral corporation.

Now when we see an institution, professing to be of an exclusively
religious character, organizing its departments upon a financial basis;
enjoining on its members the vow of unconditional obedience, in order to
subject them to its despotic domination; the vow of absolute poverty, in
order to enable them more successfully to administer to the increase of
its wealth; the vow of celibacy, in order to prevent them from having
legitimate heirs, to divert the ecclesiastical possessions from the
church; when we see it establishing schools to select and mould to its
designs the most promising among youth, instituting universities to
enrich itself by the sale of their honors, absolving sins for money,
selling indulgences for the commission of premeditated crime, erecting
missionary stations among Pagans for the purpose of traffic and
emolument, manufacturing evidence, committing forgeries, and corrupting
and interpolating the text of ancient authors, denouncing reason,
crushing liberty, circumscribing knowledge, anathematizing those who
disbelieve in its arbitrary dogmas, torturing those who question its
supreme authority, burning those who oppose its pretensions; having
a national cabinet, ministerial offices, accredited ambassadors,
maintaining a standing army, a naval force, religious military orders
to extend and enlarge its domains, carrying a national banner, wearing
a political crown, declaring war, concluding national covenants, coining
money, and exercising all the rights of an acknowledged independent
monarchy, it is more than credulity can admit, to concede that such
an organization is not a corrupt, cruel, despotic, and political
institution. That such is the constitution of the Catholic Church is a
fact, attested by the existing Papal Government, and by the spirit and
acts of its past history; and that it is now what in the past it has
been, is established by the unanimous testimony of its acknowledged
expounders. Simplicity has been amused by modern Catholic apologists,
who assert that the Papal monarch has resigned his former pretensions
to universal temporal sovereignty, and that he now merley maintains his
right to supreme spiritual authority. But this subterfuge can mislead
only a superficial, ignorant mind. As spiritual sovereignty is absolute
dominion over reason and conscience, it unavoidably involves temporal
sovereignty; nay, temporal sovereignty of the most despotic and
unlimited authority reason and conscience lay at the foundation of
all political power; and if Catholicism is adapted to govern them, it
transcends in despotism the most ingeniously contrived monarchy that
tyranny has ever elaborated, or by which the faculties of man have
ever been enthralled. Spain, Russia, or any other government is less
tyrannical in its constitution than is the Catholic Church. He who would
establish the contrary opinion, must first obliterate the Papal bulls,
the decrees of the Councils, and the authorities of the Catholic Church;
he must go to Rome and convert the present Pope and his college of
Cardinals; nay, he must attend the coming Ecumenical Council and induce
it to annul the canons of all the previous Councils, and to declare
that all the preceding Popes were "damnable heretics," and have them
accordingly excommunicated. These preliminary steps must be taken before
he can avoid absurdity or the imputation of wilful prevarication.

But the Papal See has never resigned its preposterous claim to universal
temporal sovereignty. The bulls and canons asserting this pretension
have never been annulled. They still form the canon law of the Church.
No official declaration has announced an abrogation of them. The
Pope's reiterated and blasphemous claim to infallibility precludes the
possibility of such a sensible act. Infallibility is inconsistent with
change of principle or error of conduct, and when the Church of Rome
arrogates such a divine attribute, she avers that her past history
indicates her present character and future intentions. In this opinion
all her authorities concur. Bishop Kendrick says: "All doctrine of
definitions already made by general Councils and former Pontiffs _are
marks which no man can remove_." (Primacy, p. 356). Brownson says: "What
the Church has done, what she has expressly or tacitly approved in the
past, is exactly what she will do, expressly or tacitly approve, in the
future, if the same circumstances occur." (Review, Jan. 1854). Again:
"The Catholic dogma, in regard to every subject whatever, has always
been the same from the beginning, remains always unchangeably the same,
and will always continue in every part of the world immutable." (Review,
Jan., 1850). Again: "Catholicity, as long as it continues Catholicity,
cannot be carried to excess. It will be all or nothing." (Review, Jan.,
1854). The editors of the _Civilita Cattolica_, the Pope's organ at
Rome, say: "From the darkness of the catacombs she (the Catholic Church)
dictated laws to the subjects of Emperors, abrogating decrees,
whether plebeian, senatorial or imperial, when in conflict with Catholic
ordinances. To-day, as in all time, the Church commands the spiritual
part of man; and, in ruling over the spirit, she rules the body,
rules over riches, over science, over affections, over interests, over
associations--rules, in fine, over monarchs and their ministers." The
Dublin Tablet, Feb. 24,1865, the accredited organ of Romanism in
the British realm, says: "The Pope is at this moment interfering in
Piedmont, defending one class of citizens against the government; and
in the House of Representatives of the United States, a Christian, Mr.
Chandler, in his speech, Jan., 1865), denies the right! Governments may
and do prohibit good works, and the Pope interferes. They also commit
evil, and the Pope interferes; and good Christians (Catholics) _prefer
the Pope's authority to that of the State_. The godless (non-Catholic )
colleges of Ireland, the troubles of Piedmont, all bear witness against
the unchristian opinion." The Paris _Univers_ says: "A heretic examined
and convicted by the Church, used to be delivered over to the secular
authority to be punished with death. Nothing has appeared to us more
necessary. More than 100,000 persons perished in consequence of the
heresy of Wickliffe, and a still greater number for that of John Huss;
and it would be impossible to count the bloodshed caused by Luther, _and
it is not yet over_." De Pratt, formerly an Abbe of the Pope, says: "The
Pope is chief of 150,000,000 of followers. Catholicism cannot have
less than 500,000 ministers. The Pope Commands more subjects than any
sovereign--more than many sovereigns together. These have subjects only
on their own territory, _the Pope commands subjects on the territory of
all sovereigns_" (Flag of the Union.) But the testimony is voluminous,
and I forbear further quotations on this point.

To understand, then, the past history of the Catholic Church, is of
paramount importance to every freeman. What is it? It is the development
of her nature. It is the unfolding of her treason to the world. It
is uncovering the cruelty and despotism concealed under her religious
profession. It is the revelation of her animosity to the rights of
men, to the progress of society, and to the exercise of reason and
conscience. It shows her to be a secret political organization,
skilfully constructed for the acquisition of supreme political power,
and hypocritically disguised under the semblance of religion. If in
her infancy she did not always avow her ambitious designs, she always
secretly cherished them; and, if in her adversity she has moderated her
tone, she has not her natural thirst for secular power. As she grew in
strength, she grew in arrogance and despotism; and when, by a system of
artful intrigues and bold usurpations, she had created a colossal power
that overawed the united monarchies of Christendom, she unsheathed the
double sword, the symbol of ecclesiastical and political power, and
asserted her right, as Vicar of Christ, to rule with or in preference
to Princes, invaded the rights and liberties of independent nations,
crowned and uncrowned monarchs, destroyed freedom everywhere,
anathematized, shackled, tortured and burnt all who opposed her
monarchical pretensions. Her triumphal processions have been the most
magnificent when her hands were the bloodiest, and her _Te Deum_ was
chaunted with the most fervor when the smoke of her stakes ascended in
the thickest volumes, and the gore shed by the double sword streamed in
the broadest and deepest currents.

When Time, the avenger, hurled her from her despotic throne, she
supplicated, because she could not command, and moderated her
pretensions, because she dare not assert them. But if she presumes not
now to tear the crown from the head of the mighty, who would annihilate
her for her audacious attempt; if she does not now absolve subjects from
allegiance to their governments, whose artillery, to avenge the insult
would be marshalled against her; if she does not now attempt to burn at
the stake those who reject her absurdities, and who would burn her for
an attempt--the reason of the extraordinary change in her infallible
holiness is palpable. It is not because she has discarded the doctrines
consecrated by so many bulls, battles and treaties, but because she
cannot carry them out without peril to her existence. But let Brownson,
whom Pope Pius IX., in a letter dated April 29, 1854, blessed with an
apostolic benediction for services rendered, solve this point. He
says: "_The Church, who possesses an admirable gift of discretion_, has
prudently judged that she would not declare all things explicitly from
the beginning, but at a given time, and in suitable circumstances,
would bring into light something which was hitherto in concealment, and
_covered with a certain obscurity_." (Review, January, 1854).


That the Holy Catholic Church is artfully constituted to subjugate
all secular and ecclesiastical power under its authority, and that its
object is not to advance the interests of moral goodness, but to acquire
temporal dominion, must be admitted by every one that fully comprehends
the principles upon which its religious Orders are organized. These
Orders were founded by Catholic saints and Bishops. They have been
confirmed by Popes and Councils. And though they have been suppressed,
on account of their corrupt tendency and political intrigues, in kingdom
after kingdom, yet in pontifical bulls they have been defended as being
the most useful and pious class of the Catholic community. They may
therefore be regarded as having been authoratively acknowledged to be
constituted in harmony with the principles and designs of the Catholic
Church. In fact they form the body of its organization, as the Pope does
its head, and the Councils do its members.

In investigating the intrinsic nature of these orders, we are naturally
led back to that period of their history which allowed them an
unembarrassed development. As they are sanctioned by a church which
claims the attribute of infallibility, whatever changes the advance of
civilization has effected in them, must be regarded as a mere prudent
accommodation to existing circumstances, to be tolerated no longer than
they are imperative. If in 1900 the Catholic Church gain the supremacy
in the United States which she hopes to gain, she will restore the
despotism and superstition which characterized her domination during the
dark ages. Pope Gregory XVI. in his Encyclical Epistle of 1832, says:
"Ever bearing in mind, the universal church suffers from every novelty,
as well as the admonition of Pope St. Agatho, that from what has been
regularly defined nothing can be taken away--no innovation introduced
there, no addition made, but that it must be preserved untouched as to
words and meaning."

The religious Orders consist of anchorites, monks, nuns and knights. The
anchorites in general lived separately, but sometimes in communities.
The nuns lived in perpetual solitude, as also did the monks, with the
exception of such as devoted themselves to the administration of the
public affairs of the church. The knights were soldiers of the cross,
instituted to defend and propagate the Romish faith by the force of
arms. The orders differed from one another chiefly in the style of their
dress, in degrees of rigidness of discipline, and in the assumption
of additional vows. They all assumed the vow of absolute poverty, of
perpetual celibacy, and of unconditional obedience to the rules of their
Order, and to the commands of their superior. Each member was subject
to the absolute authority of his superior, who resided in the monastery;
each superior to the absolute authority of his general, who resided at
Rome, and each general to the absolute authority of the Pope, who was
the head and the chief engineer of the whole machine. By means of this
machinery the monarchical power of the Pope has been, and is still,
although the machinery in some places is somewhat damaged, exerted in
every kingdom, in every republic, in every city, and over every Catholic
mind in Christendom.

When a novice assumed the monastic vows, he became the absolute
property, or chattel, of the institution which he entered, as
irreversibly as if he had signed, sealed, and delivered a deed conveying
to it his soul and body. By this act of piety he yielded up his personal
freedom, and became ironed with the shackles of an eternal slavery.
A culprit might hope for liberty when his time would expire, but the
recluse could only expect disenthralment by death. If disappointed
in finding the holiness which he fancied to hallow the place, or if,
relieved of the misanthropic gloom, the isolating superstition, or the
delusive representations which had induced him to enter the monastic
walls, he should escape, he was pursued, and if captured remanded back
by the civil authorities to the cold solitude of his prison house. Not
only have these cruel deeds been perpetrated in the dark ages, but
in this age of civilization--not only in despotic Europe, but in free
America. True, the civil authority in. Protestant countries has
not interfered, but Catholic ingenuity has discovered means equally
efficacious. How many escaped nuns have unaccountably disappeared from
society? What infamous means have Catholic priests adopted to fill their
nunneries? A young girl in Baltimore, who had just passed her sixteenth
year, was carried to a nunnery, and although her mother and relatives
invoked the interposition of the civil authorities, yet they were
unable to reclaim her, because she had arrived at age. Who that has any
conception of the numerous applications of distracted mothers at the
police station-houses of some of our large cities, for their children,
who have mysteriously disappeared; or that has read the account recently
published in the New York papers, (of the recovery of the body of a
young female who had been drowned, when in one day eight mothers called
at the dead-house to see if the corpse was not that of a daughter whom
each had missed), can avoid believing that if the nunneries were open to
public inspection, some of these mysteries might be resolved?

After the ceremonies were concluded which sepulchred the novice forever
in his monastic cloister, his thoughts, feelings, and desires were
henceforth to be regulated, not by the operations of the brain, but by
the rules of his Order. The most secret recesses of his mind were to
be opened to the inspection of his confessor. For the intrusion of a
natural thought he was liable to the infliction of the severest penalty;
and the voice of the superior was the only reason, the only conscience,
the only instinct he was at liberty to obey. Subjected to a systematic
course of rigid discipline adapted to paralyze reason, suppress
conscience and stifle instinct, he became a passionless, soulless,
mechanical automaton, as well formed to bless, pray and preach, as to
curse, forge and murder, and equally ready to do either at the mandate
of his superior.

When the superstition of the masses, the ignorance of princes, the
ambition of politicians, and the intrigues of the priesthood had favored
or cultivated the growth of Catholicism until it was matured into a
colossal monarchy, it was discovered that while its centre was in Rome,
its branches extended to every section of Christendom. Its monasteries
conveniently and strategetically located in different parts of the
world, its confessors penetrating the secret designs and wishes of
statesmen and princes, its spiritual advisers scrutinizing the conduct
of opulent and distinguished personagas, its spies, under the license
of Papal indulgences, professing all opinions, and entering all
associations and societies, and its agents in constant communication
with their superiors, their superiors with their generals, and their
generals with the Pope, and all acting in concert in every part of
Christendom toward the accomplishment of one grand design; the See of
Rome became the receptacle of accurate accounts of the condition, events
and characters of the various sections of the globe, and was capable of
improving every occurrence to its best advantage, and of commanding in
its support the power of every locality. As nothing was too great to
transcend its aspirations, so nothing was too minute to escape its
scrutiny. Monarchs, legislators, judges, jurists, statesmen, generals,
bankers, merchants, actors, schools, colleges, men, women, children--all
were objects which its spiritual machinery sought to control. Invisible,
but omniscient, the Pope was seen nowhere, while his power was felt
everywhere. He touched the secret springs of his machinery and the world
was roused to arms or silenced to submission; kings were astounded with
applauding subjects, or sat powerless on their thrones; armies rushed to
battle or grounded their arms; statesmen were blasted, none could tell
for what crime; miscreants were ennobled, none could tell for what
virtue; men's business or domestic affairs were disarranged, none could
tell for what cause. So sudden, secret and terrible were the revolutions
wrought in the fate of individuals and nations, that they seemed
like the vengeful interposition of Providence, and the mystery which
concealed the hidden cause led the ignorant and stupefied world to
interpret them, under the instruction of a crafty priesthood, as the
manifestations of divine wrath. When we calmly consider the disposition
of the Catholic organization, it seems that all the inventions of
ancient tyranny were condensed in it with improved malignancy. The
ambition of Caesar, which hurried him on to the destruction of the
liberties of his country, while he imagined the cold hand of his
departed mother clasped his heart; the jealousy of Commodus, who never
spared what he could suspect; the cruelty of Mithridates, who fed
on poison to escape the secret revenge of his injured subjects; the
inhumanity of Caligula, who wished the world had but one neck, that he
might cut off its disobedient head at one blow, are, indeed, terrible
examples of despotism, but they were limited to one nation, and left
reason and conscience unshackled. But in the Papal organization we find
a scrutiny which penetrated all secrets, a despotism that ironed reason
and conscience, an ambition that grasped heaven and earth, a malignity
that blasted for time and eternity--a policy in which all the elements
of bigotry, terror, malice, duplicity and obduracy were incorporated in
their most frightful proportion. Before this conception we might
well shudder, for its irons are secretly manacling our own limbs.
Its triumphs, written in the blood of the millions it has butchered,
commemorated by the monuments of ecclesiastical rubbish which it has
erected, seen in the gloom of superstition it has cast upon the world,
utter a solemn admonition to the freemen of America. Think not that the
present attainment in civilization is proof against this all-blasting
tree, whose sap is poison and whose fruit is death. Think of Egyptian,
Asiatic, Grecian civilization, and tremble lest their fate become
your own. Let not confidence beget an apathy that may close the eye of
vigilance, or enervate the powers of resistance. Listen to Pope Pius IX.
when he declares that "the Catholic religion, with its rights, ought to
be exclusively dominant, in such sort that every other worship shall
be banished and interdicted." Listen to Father Hecker, who says: "The
Catholic Church now numbers one-third of the American population, and
if its membership increase for the next thirty years, as it has for the
thirty years past, in 1900 Rome will have a majority, and be bound to
take the country and keep it." Read the statistics and learn the fearful
probability of the fulfillment of Hecker's prophesy. Then dream no more
that your liberties are safe.


The religious Orders were the fundamental principle of the growth of
the Papal monarchy. These orders assumed certain vows, the nature and
tendency of which we will proceed to investigate in the spirit of candid
inquiry. The first vow to which we will invite attention, is the vow of
perpetual solitude and seclusion. Although at the first introduction
of these monastic orders into the church, this vow, and those which
we shall hereafter examine, were not formally assumed, yet they were
invariably observed; and in the year 529, under the auspices of St.
Benedict, the express assumption of them became an indispensable
condition of membership. Until the tenth century, the hermits and the
Benedictine monks and nuns were the only Catholic Orders that existed;
the former generally, and the latter entirely, lived in solitary

The devout misanthropy of the hermits induced them to select for their
habitations the most gloomy, cheerless, and inhospitable regions
they could hunt up. Piously scorning the salubrious and magnificent
localities, so prodigally furnished by nature, they constructed their
huts at the bottom of dismal pits, among the cliffs of rugged rocks, in
barren deserts, and in solitary wildernesses. Some lived under trees,
others under shelving rocks, some on the top of poles, and others in the
deserted caverns of wild beasts. Some buried themselves in the gloomy
depth of trackless forests, isolated from human contiguity, and
assimilated in aspect and habits to the brute creation. Their bodies
divested of decent apparel, and covered with a profusion of hair, and
their aspect horrid and revolting beyond description, the hermits sought
to acquire the reputation of saints by attaining the nearest possible
approximation to wild beasts. Another class of these eccentric devotees
constructed a number of contiguous dungeons, and formed themselves into
a sort of monastic community. In these vaults they imprisoned themselves
for life, the door being locked, and sometimes walled up, a small
window only was allowed, through which to receive aliment and give
pious advice. In these dungeons they manacled their limbs with ponderous
chains, encircled their necks with massive collars, and clothed their
legs with heavy greaves. In the depth of winter they would immerse
themselves in icy water, and sing psalms. To make themselves revolting;
to imitate the habits of wild animals, until they became more horrible,
because more unnatural; to subject themselves to voluntary torture,
severe and bloody flagellations, were deemed the highest acts of piety.
Whatever conspired to comfort they considered profane; whatever was
pleasurable they avoided as sinful; and whatever was absurd, filthy, and
disgusting, they imagined allied them to gods and angels. St. Anthony,
who was so holy that he never washed himself, nor wore any apparel
except a shirt, was canonized by the Catholic Church for his
extraordinary attainment in sanctification. The approbation which the
church so readily conferred on oddity and singularity might at the
first appear surprising, but when we recollect the immense pecuniary and
political advantage she derived from them, we will no longer doubt her
motive, nor avaricious sagacity. A singular custom suggested by this
ludicrous institution may be worthy of a passing notice. The abbots of
the monasteries, in order to dispose of a brother abbot, whose celebrity
surpassed their own, or whose circumventive genius they feared, or
who had excited their suspicion, jealousy or revenge, would congregate
together, and declare that the fated brother had arrived at a degree of
sanctification that better qualified him for the hermit's cell than
for an abbotship of a monastery, and that to protect him from the
contamination of the world, and to enable him to perfect his holiness,
it was necessary to wall him up in eternal seclusion. In accordance with
this pious regard for their brother's sanctity, they adepted summary
measures for its forcible execution.

Silence, gloom and solitude, according most congenially with the designs
of the monastic institutions, they were generally located in sterile
wastes, dense and trackless forests, and other localities adapted to
excite the sensation of loneliness, dreariness and desolation; but when
secular considerations suggested they occupied picturesque and luxuriant
localities, commanding the sublimest prospects of Nature. These
edifices, which often rivalled gorgeous palaces, were nothing but
religious penitentiaries, in which the inmates endured all the
privations, and were shackled with all the irons with which criminals
are punished in ordinary penal institutions; and though they were
ostensibly constructed for religious purposes, they were really designed
for the infliction of punishment, in accordance with the ecclesiastical
code. With regard to this code Guizot says: "The Catholic Church did not
draw up a code like ours, which took account only of those crimes that
are at the same time offensive to morals and dangerous to Society,
and punishing them only because they bore this two-fold character; but
prepared a catalogue of all those actions, criminal more particularly
in a moral point of view, and punished all under the name of sins."
(Gen. Hist. Civil., Lee. x., p. 118). In what light these religious
penitentiaries have been regarded by their inmates their eternal
seclusion has prevented them from publicly divulging, but the few who
have broken their enthralment, and the "heretics" who have been confined
in them, have described them as the most intolerable of dungeons. In
fact the modern penitentiary system has originated from them. Guizot
thinks this is one of the great blessings which Catholicism has bestowed
on society--(see Gen. Hist. Civil., Lect. vi., p. 135).

The vow of perpetual seclusion comprises a renunciation of the pleasures
and business of life, an abnegation of the claims of consanguinity,
friendship and society; and an abjuration of all filial, parental and
natural affection. This vow is in contravention of the obligations
imposed on man by Nature, to improve society by contributing to the
advancement of its financial, social, political and scientific welfare.
It precludes the exercise, and consequent development, of the varied
powers of the human organism. It surrenders the personal refinement and
moral strength which may be acquired by social intercourse, and conflict
with opposing habits and principles. It ignores the imperative duty of
understanding and judiciously relieving human want and misery, and
of aiding the execution of efficient schemes of public utility and
philanthropy. It is not only in violation of the obligations of
humanity, and the noblest principles of human enjoyment, but it debars
the recluse from correcting any error into which he may have been
betrayed by false representations, or an overheated fancy; or, of
modifying his condition according to the change which experience and
reflection may have effected in his opinion and feelings. Yet, although
such are the absurd nature and injurious consequences of the vow of
perpetual seclusion, it is proposed by the church of Rome, as the surest
means of obtaining the sanctification of the soul and the crown of
eternal happiness. If to bury our talents, to wall ourselves up in a
dungeon; to sit for years upon a pole; to scorn the society of human
beings; to reject the comforts of civilized life; to retrograde into
barbarism; to assume the habits, and acquire the aspect of wild animals;
to imprison ourselves where we can never respond to the demands of
consanguinity, society, friendship and patriotism: where we can never
contribute to the knowledge, wealth or prosperity of the country of
our nativity--if this is religion, then Catholicism has the honor of
confirming the most revolting condensation of these monstrosities that
has ever disgusted the spirit of civilization. But if religion really
consists in fair dealing, in noble deeds, in moral integrity amid moral
turpitude, in individual purity amid general corruption, in unwavering
virtue among the strongest incentives to guilt, then the organization
that sanctions vows subversive of these attainments cannot be admitted,
consistently with the most indulgent liberality, to be of a religious

Thus far in our judgment, we have presumed that the novices, in assuming
their vow, were actuated by the laudable desire of obtaining the highest
degree of moral purity. This worthy ambition was doubtless the governing
motive of a proportion of them. Either from the instigations of moral
insanity, or from the vagaries of a distempered fancy, or from
the misrepresentation of artful and designing priests, or from the
despondency which misfortune is apt to engender in weak, or too
sensitive minds, or from a misconception of the natural tendency of
solitude, men and women have at times been led to assume the vows, and
submit to the penance prescribed by the religious orders. But there were
other motives equally, and perhaps more generally, active. Ludicrous
as were their holy isolation and penance, still the sanctity which the
monks imitated, and the tortures which they self-imposed, were rewarded
by a credulous and superstitious world with profound homage and
admiration. By undergoing sufferings which appeared intolerable to human
fortitude, they acquired the reputation of being sustained by divine
agency; and, as their popularity increased in proportion to their
wretchedness, they labored to extend their fame by adding to their
misery. Their sufferings and fortitude alike incomprehensible to human
reason, an awe-struck fancy betrayed the public into the delusion that
what it beheld was the results of superhuman sanctity; of a sublime
elevation above ordinary humanity; and of the interposition of divine
power. These misconceptions, artfully cultivated by the priesthood,
extended the fame of the self-tormentors beyond the celebrity of heroes,
poets and philosophers. Kings and queens visited them with superstitious
reverence; statesmen consulted them on abstruse questions of
governmental policy; peace and war were made at their mandates; and
pilgrims from remote regions bowed at their feet and begged their
blessing. Thus favored by the profound homage of all classes of
Christendom, they were enabled with more facility than any other
profession to become opulent bishops, royal cardinals, or monarchical
popes. Such being their eligibility to the honors and emoluments of the
spiritual dignities of the church, vanity was quick to perceive that
the anchorite's hut and the monk's cloister were the surest paths to
universal adulation; religion, that they were the most respectable
methods of becoming honored in life, and worshipped after death;
avarice, that they were the most available means of obtaining lucrative
positions; and ambition, that thay were the shortest roads to dignity
and power. With these attractive facts glaring on the eye of sacred
aspirants, it requires but little knowledge of human nature to conceive
with what avidity the ambitious would crowd into the most repulsive
cloisters; with what eagerness they would adopt the revolting habits and
ludicrous privations of the recluse; and with what ingenuity they would
indurate and torture the body, in order to win the applause of the
world, and the privilege of selecting its most advantageous positions.
Accordingly, monastery after monastery arose with sudden and astonishing
rapidity, and their cells became supplied--not with aspirants after
holiness and heaven--but with aspirants after secular and ecclesiastical
dignities, and the indolence, luxury, and licentiousness which they

The pious flattery that was lavished on voluntary suffering, and the
distinguished rewards which recompensed it, strongly tempted the feeble
conscience of monks and hermits, to task their ingenuity in inventing
contrivances for magnifying the apparent and diminishing the real
sufferings of their self-imposed torture. By the aid of an improved
invention an artful hypocrite could procure a greater reputation for
sanctity than a contrite penitent, and become more eligible to the
worldly honors and emoluments of the church. St. Simeon Stylltes,
who sat upon a pole for thirty years, convinced Christendom, by his
wonderful absurdity, that he was miraculously supported; while living
he enjoyed its profoundest respect, and when dead was canonized by
the Catholic Church. But an observer by describing the numerous
gesticulations of this sainted mountebank, disclosed the secret of his
artifice. By means of a system of gymnastics, he kept up a vigorous
circulation of blood through his frame, and thus acquired a health and
longevity which would have been incompatible with a state of inactivity.
But it appears that he was tormented with an ulcer on the thigh,
inflicted by the devil, who had tempted him to imitate Elijah in flying
to heaven, but who maliciously smote him upon his raising his foot
to make the ascension. His mystical gesticulations not healing, but
probably inflaming the wound, may have shortened the natural term of
his miserable existence. As he had gradually arisen from a pole of seven
feet high to one of fifty feet high, if had not been for his vanity
and his evil company he might have gained a still higher position;
but whether by this means he would ever have reached heaven may be
questioned by astronomy and heresy: but there is no doubt he acquired by
his folly and artifice the beatification of the Catholic Church.

The apathy with which the self-tormenters endured their excruciating
penance and the severe rigors of the seasons, was chiefly the effect of
artificial callousness, induced by an ingenious discipline, calculated
to destroy the susceptibility of the nervous system to the influence of
external agents. A similar course of training has always been practiced
by the religious orders of the Hindoos and the Mohametans, who, like
those of the Catholic Church, endure self-imposed torture which seems
to surpass human fortitude, and acquire by this species of ambition
unbounded popularity. Even the uncleanness of the holy brotherhood was
an artifice. It formed a protecting incrustation on the surface of the
skin, which, by covering the the papillae, the sentient, organs, or
destroying their capacity for sensation, enable the hermits to
endure without apparent emotion the cold winters and bleak winds of
inhospitable forests. This secret is known and practised by some African
tribes, upon whom washing is consequently inflicted as a penalty
for crimes. To the eye of superstition, clouded with ignorance, and
fascinated by the _ignes fatui_ of sacred fiction, the calmness of the
monks and hermits under torments and exposures which seemed insufferable
to humanity, appeared a palpable demonstration of miraculous
interposition, and consecrated them in its estimation. Their acts,
however, were as much tricks as are the mysterious capers of a conjurer.
As the more artful and callous could endure the severity of penitential
acts with greater indifference than the candid and sensitive they
acquired a higher reputation for holiness, advanced to the enjoyment of
more distinguished honors, and finally became canonized as paragons of
virtue and objects of adoration.

Such are the nature and consequences of the vow of perpetual seclusion.
Such is a portion of the "doctrinal definition already made by the
general councils and former pontiffs," which, according to Bishop
Kendrick, "are landmarks which no man can remove." (Primacy, p. 356).
Such are some of the Catholic dogmas, which, "in regard to every subject
whatever," according to Brownson "have been always the same from the
beginning, remain always unchangeably the same, and will always continue
in every part of the world immutable." (Review, January, 1850). Such
is in part "what the church has done, what she has tacitly or expressly
approved in the past," and according to the same authority "is exactly
what she will tacitly or expressly approve in the future, if the same
circumstances occur." (Review, January, 1854). "The same circumstances"
is the universal church, which Jesuit Hecker, in his recent speech
in Chicago, thinks the United States needs, and which the people
(Catholics) will at no distant day proclaim.


A vow of perpetual silence was assumed by several religious orders; but
it was observed with different degrees of austerity. Some monks passed
their whole lives in profound silence; others spoke on certain days of
the week; and others at particular hours of specified days. The modern
penitentiary regulations respecting the conversation of prisoners seem
to have been derived from the singular customs of the dumb brotherhood.

The members of the mute orders, perpetually concealing their features
with their cowls, and their thoughts by their silence, appear to have
concluded that secrecy was the substance of religion. He who could
conceal the best, and preserve silence the longest, obtained among the
devout the useful credit of possessing the most grace. The effusion of
the Holy Ghost, which, by a prodigal distribution of tongues, and their
clashing jargon, had set the primitive ecclesiastical council in an
uproar, and which, by its powerfully stimulating qualities had turned
so many cities upside down, had a very different effect on the silent
orders of the Catholic Church. While to the former it communicated
intuitive knowledge of all languages, to the latter it interdicted as
profane the use of any. To pass an entire life without uttering a word,
was considered by the dumb friars, as an unquestionable evidence of
their having received the unutterable fulness of the Holy Ghost.
Whether the primitive church and the Catholic orders were blest with the
influence of the same Holy Ghost, or whether the divine spirit politely
accommodates the nature of his unction to the demands of particular
ecclesiastical exigencies, seems to require some proof, before it can
be rationally admitted that profound silence and distracting discord are
effects of the same cause.

But the question of truth and error is of a less intricate nature. Truth
is candid, open and fearless; error is hidden, intolerant and cowardly.
The one challenges investigation; the other denounces it; the one opens
its breast to the scrutinizing gaze of the world; the other conceals its
features from the most intimate associate. If such is the fearlessness
of truth, and such the cowardice of error, the secrecy of the silent
orders commends them less to the confidence which candor inspires, than
to the suspicion which secrecy begets.

Secrecy is most generally adopted to cover objectionable designs; and,
the profounder the former is, the more objectionable are the latter. I
speak not of the secret signs by which benevolent societies recognize
their members, but of those associations which, while they are
professedly designed for religious purposes, conceal their principles
and projects from public view. Although in some other respects secrecy
may sometimes be suggested by discretion, yet it is often suggested
by guilt. All that offend against the natural sentiments of propriety,
shrink from the public gaze. Robbery, murder, and every other infraction
of civil ordinations seek to shroud their intentions and machinations
in the greatest secrecy. The traitor and the highwayman, afar from
the searching scrutiny of the inquisitive, retire to solitary forests,
inaccessible retreats, and dismal caverns, to hold their conclaves
and plot schemes of blood and depredation. Evasion, prevarication and
disguise are the inseparable concomitants of guilt. So secret is
crime that its perpetration can generally only be established by
circumstantial evidence. Secrecy is, therefore, naturally calculated
to excite suspicion; it seldom means good; it generally means evil;
sometimes robbery, frequently murder, often treason, always some plot so
antagonistical to reason and the welfare of society that its projectors
are conscious that publicity would endanger, and perhaps defeat its

The shocking crimes which the pious monasteries concealed have
frequently been divulged by those who have escaped from their cloisters,
but what unutterable deeds the taciturnity of the mute monks sanctioned
may not be so clearly proved as naturally imagined. That it was
exceedingly profitable will appear evident upon a moment's reflection.
These dumb friars were confessors, and as they never uttered a word,
they acquired the confidence of the most desperate criminals. The
Jesuits, who could not disclose the startling secrets of their order
without alarming the fears of temporal princes, confessed to none but to
the silent monks. All the devout who contemplated the commission of
the crimes of murder, sedition, or treason, preferred to unbosom their
designs to the taciturn fraternity, and receive through their agency
the absolution and indulgence of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. But the
connivance of the church at criminal deeds could be commanded only by
the power of gold; and the amount requisite for expiation was always in
proportion to the atrociousness of the crime. Now, as the commission of
the highest misdemeanors most imminently endangered the life and liberty
of the perpetrators; it is as easy to see the munificent pecuniary
advantages which perpetual silence obtained for the monks, as it is to
see that the most flagitious criminals would prefer disclosing their
intentions to the most silent lips.

It may here be remarked, by way of explanation, that confessors are not
bound, as is generally supposed, to inviolate secrecy. The secrets of
the confessional may be communicated from one priest to another; and,
when a confessor desires to make public use of any information which has
been confessed to him, he adopts the artifice of requesting the informer
to communicate the matter to him out of the confessional.

The dumb friars, not less artful than secret, elaborated a system of
sacred gesticulations, by which they managed to express their wants and
desires with as much force as they could have done with their tongues.
Although grimace and gesticulation were more clumsy and less varied in
their signs than is vocal articulation, yet by this means the dumb monks
contrived, as occasion suggested, to describe, command, supplicate,
scorn, imprecate, curse or bless. This odd device was well adapted to
the non-committal policy of the religious orders, as it enabled them to
affirm, deny, impugn, slander; to threaten any dignity, anathematize
any power, and commit any crime of which language is capable, without
incurring responsibility, violating any legal enactment, rendering
themselves amenable to any tribunal, or answerable for the breach of any
code of honor.

The adoption of this ingenious device to avoid compliance with unnatural
obligations, affords an instance of the singular duplicity into which
the subtilty of pious craft may betray human nature. The misfortune of
being born a mute is justly classed among the most deplorable calamities
that can afflict a human being. The natural privations of such a person
elicit in his favor the condoling sympathies of all considerate persons.
Yet in order to accomplish secret purposes of ambition or cupidity, the
dumb monks resigned the most important advantages with which Nature had
enriched them, and gratuitously assumed all the disadvantages that the
greatest calamity could have imposed. If there was nothing reprehensible
in the taciturn fraternity but this curious departure from the natural
use of the human faculties, it alone would be sufficient to subject them
to the suspicion of the candid, and the aversion of the prudent.

The tongue, it must be confessed, is sometimes an unruly member, but it
is also the noblest blessing of the human organism. It is among the
most prominent characteristics that distinguish the human from the
brute creation. It is mostly by the means of the judicious employment of
speech that the ignorant are instructed, the afflicted consoled, and the
cause of truth and freedom defended. It is by it that error is detected,
vice intimidated, and superstition and despotism are exposed. The
interchange of opinion, the animating power of debate, the searching
inquisition of truth, the spontaneous sallies of wit, the exhilarating
effusions of humor, the burst of eloquence, the lore of philosophy, art,
science, all the natural overflowing of the soul, find in the varied
and expressive functions of speech their most available avenues for the
outlet of their respective treasures. Speech is a reflective blessing;
it blesses him who exercises it, and him upon whom it is exercised. None
can use with propriety their vocal powers without improving them; none
can instruct without being instructed; none can advocate truth without
being enlightened by its beams. It is a means which all possess
of imparting consolation; which enriches the more prodigally it is
dispensed; which the poorest may bestow on the richest; which is always
the cheapest, often the most valuable, and sometimes the only one
that can avail. When speech is free and un-trammeled by the fetters of
intolerance, it is the most efficacious mode of improving the moral and
intellectual tone of society. It is more powerful than legal enactments,
and has been more successful than dungeons, racks, and all the
prescriptions of tyranny combined. Laws may interdict and gibbets
terrify, but neither can convince the understanding, nor purify the
sources of action. But freedom of speech enters the soul, converses with
the intellect, sifts opinions, and moulds the nature of man into order
and justice. She enters the halls of legislation and erects right into
law. She enters the court and gives equity to judicial proceedings. She
enters a community and breaks the iron of slavery, bestows equality
on all, and enthrones in power public opinion. She enters a nation of
slaves and makes them a nation of sovereigns. She is the great redeemer
of the moral world. Her touch has healed its disorders; her voice has
calmed its storms; her spirit has reanimated its dead. Such being her
mission, none but impostors need fear her scrutiny; none but bigots need
dread her vengeance; none but tyrants need tremble at her approach.

Yet, notwithstanding the immense advantages the power of speech confers
on its possessors, the silent monks have resigned all right to its use
and sought an equality with dumb brutes. Whatever motives of religion
may have mingled with the consummation of this atrocious folly, it
atones not for the good it has prohibited the monks from doing, nor the
luxurious pleasure it has obliged them to forego. If it is consistent
with the secret designs of any religious order to iron the faculties
of speech in eternal silence, it is not consistent with the designs
of Nature, the dictate of reason, nor the progress of man. If it
is consistent with the obligations of any religious organization to
prohibit the exercise of those powers by which error is checked,
truth promoted, virtue fortified, and the world enlightened, it is not
consistent with the obligations of man, the purest instincts of his
being, and the noblest virtues of his nature. If it is consistent with
the principles of any version of religion to view with dumb indifference
the errors it might correct, or the sorrows it might heal, it is not
consistent with the instinctive prompting of knowledge or of natural
sympathy. And if such designs, obligations and principles are consistent
with the faith and practice of the Catholic Church, she is a curse to
the world, at variance with the general interests of society, opposed
to the most sacred rights of man, an enemy to human knowledge, to human
progress, and to human sympathy. A slavery so abject, an absurdity so
gross, and a despotism so monstrous, as that which she sanctions, should
consign her reverence to contempt, and her holiness to the scorn and
ridicule of all enlightened nations and ages.


FIRST. Meditation not the Source of Knowledge.

Similar in nature to the vow of seclusion and silence, and equally
incompatible with a fulfilment of the obligations of reason and
humanity, was the vow of silent contemplation assumed by many of the
religious orders. Meditation, abstractly considered, is neither a virtue
nor a vice. It derives its merit or demerit from the objects on which
it dwells, and the manner in which it employs its faculties. The mind
receiving its impression from external objects, and their vividness
and profundity being in proportion to the constancy with which they
are contemplated, we as naturally become enlightened by what is true,
expanded by what is liberal, and animated by what is pleasing, as we
are misguided by what is erroneous, contracted by what is illiberal,
and depressed by what is gloomy. Amid objects of reality, amid scenes of
grandeur, where the subjects are the most numerous and varied, and where
the faculties are awakened to their severest and most rigid scrutiny,
is the great college in which the understanding is invigorated and
improved; in which the fancy is ennobled and chastened; in which the
mind acquires those maxims of wisdom, and that ascendency over impulse
and illusion which enable it to act in conformity with the principles of
happiness and of the human organism.

The process of meditation is the act of comparing facts, deducing
conclusions, analyzing compounds, and tracing the chain of cause
and effect. Knowledge is the material with which it works; and, in
proportion to its accuracy and extent, will be the value and greatness
of our elaborations.

But the processes of meditation are not adapted to the acquisition of
knowledge. None are so absurd as to expect to obtain a knowledge of
grammar, arithmetic, history, astronomy, or of the laws and properties
of matter, by the mere exercise of the contemplative powers. To retire
into solitude, and endeavor by the guess-work of meditation to acquire
even a knowledge of the alphabet, would be as ridiculous as to attempt
to make our feet perform the office of our hands. Not less absurd would
it be, were we to immure ourselves in the gloom and silence of perpetual
confinement, avoiding the objects of Nature and an intercourse with
society, with the expectation that by such means, though we possessed
the penetration of a Locke, the intellect of a Gibbon, or the
versatility of a Voltaire, to acquire anything but profound ignorance;
or any ideas but what were unnatural, distorted and misshapen.

To obtain knowledge we must exercise the perceptive faculties. The
senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching are the only
avenues by which knowledge can reach the mind. He whose observation has
been the most comprehensive, and whose investigations have been the most
thorough and accurate, is enabled to exercise the contemplative powers
with the greatest pleasure and advantage. The distinct and graphic
imagery of men, scenes, events, objects and their properties, with which
he has stored his mind, will give correctness to his ideas, variety
to his mental operations, comprehensiveness to his intellectual view,
clearness to his judgment, and truth to his conclusions. Possessing the
elements of correctness, he will also possess the elements of happiness
and success. He is enabled to open the volume of Nature, and read,
in her pages of rocks and stars, sublimer periods than the pen of
superstition ever recorded. He stands perpetually in the vestibule
of truth, opening on the fields of immensity, strewed with objects of
reality, before the blaze of whose overpowering grandeur the throne and
empire of fancy dwindle into insignificance. He is enabled to imbibe the
fervor, inhale the inspiration, and enjoy the ecstatic delights which
scientific truth alone can confer, and which in intensity and purity so
far transcend the fanatic's wildest excitement. He is inducted into the
secret by which science has achieved all her victories, and by which
she has erected in such solid grace and grandeur those literary and
philosophical structures which stand like imperishable columns amid the
ruin of temples and kingdoms.

But the acquisition of these exalted attainments embraces the exercise
of all the intellectual power on appropriate objects. The mental, like
the corporeal powers, are various; they are differently organized and
adapted to deal with objects of different natures; and, all require to
be exercised judiciously, in order to be kept in a healthy tone. If
any member of the body is disused, it will be deprived of its natural
energy; if any faculty of the mind is disused, it will lose its natural
strength. It is only when each faculty of mind and body is properly
exercised that the health and vigor of the whole organism can be
maintained. The physiological cause of the enervating effects of
indolence, and the invigorating consequences of exercise, are found in
those laws of the human organism, whereby the blood is increased in
a member by exercise, and decreased by inertia, and a proportionable
degree of strength imparted by one and, subtracted by the other. Now,
the faculties employed in the process of meditation, comprehend but
a small number of the mental powers; and if they are exclusively
exercised, a superabundant volume of blood will be distributed to them,
and they will absorb the aliment necessary for the subsistence of the
others. The establishment of this inequality in the distribution of the
blood will derange the harmonious condition of the cerebral organs;
some will be overcharged, and either inflamed or constipated, and others
impoverished or enervated. One class of the mental powers thus becoming
over-excited, another class enfeebled, and a third paralyzed, the ideas
which the mind, in this condition, is capable of elaborating, must
necessarily be partial, defective, disjointed and grotesque; resembling
those nightmares that flit in our sleep, or those monsters which are
born without limbs, and marked with deformity and distortion. But when
all the moral faculties are properly employed, they will all receive
their appropriate nourishment and maintain their natural vigor. In
consequence of a harmony, equality, unity and reciprocity of mental
action, thus induced, all the powers will be preserved in healthy
action--the perceptives in furnishing the mind with knowledge, memory
in storing it up, order in classifying it, analogy in comparing it,
judgment in deducing conclusions from it, taste in selecting what is
most appropriate, fancy in adorning it; and all proceeding as naturally
as the vital organ elaborates and vitalizes the blood, and the
reproductive system transforms it into animal fluids and solids.

But the partial exercise of the mental faculties, embraced in the act
of meditation, not only disproportionately develops the cerebral organs;
but deranges those which it labors to keep in incessant activity. A
period of rest after labor is indispensable to the maintenance of the
health and vigor of the cerebral organs. Exercise increases the flow of
blood to their parts; repose, by inducing the process of recuperation,
not only restores their vigor but increases their healthy volume. The
invigorating effect of sleep is derived from the profound slumber into
which all the faculties are calmed, except those whose functions are
destined to recuperate and vitalize the entire system. To labor to keep
the meditative faculties in constant action is to interrupt the process
of recuperation; and, consequently, to prevent them from becoming
vitalized. The man who attempts to lift a weight beyond the capacity of
his muscular vigor, may never afterward be enabled to raise the tenth
part of what was within his former ability; and Sir Isaac Newton, whose
powers of contemplation seemed almost superhuman, after he had enervated
his facilities by impelling them to constant and excessive exercise,
has furnished the world with an illustration of the imbecility it
engendered, by his works on the prophecies.

But the principle of self-preservation inherent in the human mind,
rebels against the destruction of its faculties. Habitually to exercise
the contemplative faculties on one class of objects is a superhuman
task. In spite of resistance the blood will pursue its natural course
to the different organs of the brain, and by virtue of this fact, in
conjunction with the natural condition of the system, instinct will
prompt, thought intrude, emotion arise, appetite crave, passion yearn,
distraction ensue; and under the external semblance of sanctity, a
moral volcano will burn and heave. We may, by means of the theological
subterfuge that the involuntary actions of the cerebral functions
are the suggestion of impure and malignant fiends, apologize to our
conscience for the intrusion of profane and worldly thoughts, but this
device will not exorcise them. We shall find that in the effort to
become automata, we are men; and that in the attempt to exercise one
class of faculties and to concentrate: them perpetually on one class of
objects, we have grappled with a giant, over whom, if we triumph it will
be in our death-struggle.

It is impossible to think and feel by rule. Neither particular trains of
thought, nor particular kinds of emotion are at the command of the will.
Belief or unbelief, the sensations of contrition, of devotion, of hope,
or any other sentiment or feeling can no moro be created by an act of
volition, than can storms and earthquakes.. There is a secret power
acting on the nervous system, over which the will has no control.

The state of the atmosphere, the sanity of the system, the unconscious
power of imbibed principles, the recollections of the past, the
circumstances of the present, and the prospects of the future, all like
unseen spirits stir the soul's depths with ideas and passions, always
involuntary, and sometimes as abruptly as an electrical flash. To
attempt to subject the laws by which ideas and emotions are created to
the power of the will, so that they may be conjured and shaped by its
mandates, is to war, not only against the constitution of the human
mind, but against the powers and elements of Nature.

SECOND. The Natural Effects of the Monastic Vow of Silent Contemplation.

Let us consider the character and products of the mind which the
monastic vow of silent contemplation is calculated to create.

When liberal education has disciplined the intellectual powers, and
study has enriched the mind with the facts and principles of science and
literature, a philosopher may find in solitude an influence congenial
to his high pursuits; and with his scientific instruments enlarging his
field of vision, he may discover new secrets in the realms of Nature,
and come forth from retirement a more useful member and a brighter
ornament of society. But if with distinguished abilities, and the
valuable results of an erudite industry, he should maintain perpetual
silence, and continue for life in a secluded abode, he would be of no
benefit to mankind, and neither win nor deserve the homage which they
accord to scientific benefactors.

But the monks were very far from being philosophers. They were
in general exceedingly illiterate. Some of their orders actually
interdicted as profane any attempt to cultivate the intellectual powers,
or to acquire either scientific or literary information. Filled with
abject and obscene pilgrims, with slaves who knew of nothing but manual
labor, with mechanics whose scanty wages had precluded the possibility
of a rudimental education, with soldiers who had no knowledge but that
of war, and who had fled before the victorious barbarian into obscurity
for safety, it could not be expected that the monasteries with such
material, imprisoned in solitude, deprived of social communion,
enervated in mental capacity, and restricted in the exercise of their
intellectual powers, could ever give birth to philosophers, or to
anything but mental imbecility and moral monstrosities.

It has been alleged in favor of monastic institutions that they have
originated and were sustained from a pious intention of affording the
devout an asylum, where, secluded from the distractions of life, and
occupied in silent contemplation on death and judgment, they might fit
themselves for the society of God and angels. That such a motive has at
times mingled with the causes which have induced individuals to assume
the monastic vow, is undoubtedly true; but had it been in every instance
the only incentive it would not have made the act less irrational,
unnatural and pernicious. Such a plea, in fact, would only prove that
monastic piety was identical with Pagan piety. Long before the origin of
Christianity, religious orders existed in India, which sought by means
of the destruction of all corporeality and intellectual activity, an
incorporation with the nature of God, and the realization of a state of
perfect happiness.

But an act may be absurd and pernicious, while its motive is pure; and
it is always absurd when its objects are imaginary, and pernicious when
they are in violation of the dictate of reason. The monastic vows and
regulations were ill calculated to make men either happy, enlightened,
or useful. Encaverned in solitude, the monks could not become
extensively acquainted with the objects of Nature; preserving perpetual
silence, they could not materially enlarge each others' information;
exercising but one class of the mental organs, they could not form the
numerous order of conceptions perfected only by the review of all the
faculties. Isolated from human contiguity, walled up in a dungeon, or
incarcerated in a monastic cell, the mind overtasked with labor, broken
down by fatigue, prostrated yet urged to action, one class of the
faculties paralyzed, another inflamed to frenzy, and all concentrated in
silent contemplation on terrible and incomprehensible subjects, partial
or complete insanity would ensue; incongruity would become tasteful,
exaggerations natural, impossibilities credible, shadows realities, and
visions, fiends, and angels take possession of the mind. The productions
of such a mind, being a transcript of its impressions, would present
nothing as real or symmetrical; but everything as disfigured,
indistinct, shadowy, inharmoniously blended, or superlatively gigantic.
Misshapen dwarfs, huge giants, beings that were neither men, nor beasts,
nor birds, nor fishes, nor angels, nor demons, but an incongruous
mixture of them all, would be its natural offspring. Men with birds'
wings, beasts with human heads, women with fishes' scales, and animals
variously compounded of the limbs, claws, and beaks, all in violation
of the natural order of Nature, and incompatible with the laws of life,
would spring in horrible profusion from the distorted imagination of the

All ideas of proportion, adaptation and utility would be transgressed in
their creations. They might regale credulity with an account of cities
fifteen hundred miles high, with asses reproving prophets, with snakes
conversing with women, with immaterial beings fluttering on ponderable
pinions, and with angels whose heads reached the stars, but whose
forms were so hugely disproportioned, that while one foot rested on an
insignificant portion of the isle of Patmos, the other would rest on
a like portion of the Mediterranean sea. The scenery, caught from the
gloom of forests, caves or cloisters, would naturally wear an infernal
aspect, where there would be shape, but no symmetry; color but no
contrast nor harmony; where immaterial beings would be represented as
tormented with the flames and suffocating effects of liquid brimstone;
where they would shriek and groan without vocal organs, war and wound
with material swords, and where corporeality and incorporeality would
be compounded in every variety and degree of inconsistency. If in the
intervals of the monk's gloomy ravings he should attempt a more cheerful
picture, the scene which he would probably portray might glitter
with gold and gems where they would be of no service; but it would be
pervaded by an awfulness which would be depressing, and by a splendor
which would be terrifying. The music might be loud enough to shake
Nature to its foundation, but it would naturally be monotonous, perhaps
consisting of one tone and one song, eternally sung by beings without
throats, assisted by the trumpets and harps invented by mortals; and
had pianos, fiddles and accordians been early enough invented, they too,
would probably have chimed In the grand chorus. Beside the music of the
operatic troupe, the other recreations would probably be so incompatible
with the principles of human enjoyment, and make the monk's very heaven
so awfully repulsive, that common sense would prudently shrink from
partaking of its glory. Thus the conceptions of virtue and of vice,
of perfect happiness and of perfect misery, of metaphysical and of
theological dogmas, formed by the distempered brains of hermits and
monks, while they might be awfully effulgent or in-supportably horrible,
would be conflicting in their parts, inconsistent with pure ideas
of men, of phantoms, or of things; and such a strange commingling of
incongruities as might remind reflections of the huts and palaces of
Christian Rome, which are constructed of the tombs, alters, temples and
palaces of Pagan Rome.

What reason would naturally deduce from the character of the monastic
vows and rules, is amply confirmed by the facts of history. Housed with
silent, ignorant and gloomy companions, the monks contemplated not the
realities of truth, but the fictions of a distempered fancy; and while
they scorned the first as profane, they trembled before the second as a
dread reality. Conceiving the deity as a monarch, they thought of him as
a tyrant; and believing their nature depraved, they punished themselves
as criminals. As they imagined freedom of thought sinful, they
acquired the temper of a slave; and as they were incapable of reasoning
themselves, they accepted as truth whatever their ecclesiastical tyrants
dictated. Impressed with the fancy that demons had taken possession of
their bodies, they attempted to dislodge them by making their abode as
uncomfortable as possible.

After having manacled their limbs with the heaviest chains, and
lacerated their bodies in the most horrible manner, they were surprised
at finding that they had not yet destroyed their constitutional
principles and appetites; and regarding themselves still as objects of
divine wrath, they trembled as if a fiery and bottomless pit yawned at
their feet. While they labored by monastic rules and exercises to fit
themselves for the society of God and angels, they rendered themselves
unfit for the society of human beings. The perceptive powers uninformed,
and inflamed by disease, furnishing nothing but extravagant and
perverted ideas, and the fancy combining them only into monstrous
and hideous shapes, the mind became perpetually filled with the most
horrible images. The superabundant volume of blood consequent on
overwrought excitement, distending the blood vessels of the visual and
auditory organs, and causing them unnaturally to press against these
organs, gave a vivid distinctness to the impressions, and so brought
out the mental perspective as to give the complexion and distinctness
of reality. In consequence of the condition of mind thus induced, the
sights and sounds conceived by fancy were recognized as real by the
perceptive organs. The senses thus recognizing visions as realities, the
life of the recluse was doomed to become an incessant struggle, not
only with real disease, but with imaginary demons. Less refined in their
mythology than the Pagans, who regarded the earth, air and water as
peopled with genii, naiads and fairies, they conceived them inhabited by
malignant fiends.

The monks often fancied that they saw the misshapen forms of demons, and
heard their diabolical whispers. Too illiterate or obtuse to account for
natural phenomena, they supposed that they had a hand in regulating the
operations of Nature; and, too unacquainted with the habits of the brute
creation to understand their mechanical capacity, they regarded the
contrivances of animals as the undoubted fruit of a nocturnal adventure
of the infernal inhabitants. They often conceived that they saw His
Satanic Majesty, with all his distinguishing appendages, such as his
cloven foot, his sooty aspect, his peculiar horns, and sulphurous odor.
Although his visitations were most formidable in the shape of a woman,
yet they frequently had the uncommon fortitude of sustaining long
conversations with him.

The more pious a monk was, the more frequently he was honored with the
company of demons. This fact is not surprising, for it is certain that
the more successfully he warred against nature and himself, the more
diseased would become his brain, the more extravagant his conceptions,
the more discordant his imagination, the more susceptible his senses
to false impressions, the more frequent and terrible would apparitions
appear, and the better he would be suited for the company of fiends and
spirits. If in the vigorous and wholesome bustle of life, the visual
organs may recognize images which have no real existence, the auditory,
sounds which are imaginary, and the olfactory, odors which are the mere
products of fancy, how much more vividly would analogous deceptions be
likely to occur in the minds of monks and anchorites, whose condition
was replete with causes calculated to create, them. Such was the
melancholy condition of those monks, who, aspiring after superhuman
sanctification, had with sincerity of purpose assumed the monastic
obligation; But there were others who, more ambitious of fame than of
internal purity, had assumed the same obligations. Professedly despising
pleasure and fortune, but secretly laboring to acquire their possession,
they manufactured with more facility diabolical apparitions, than those
which spontaneously sprang from the overwrought brain of the sincere.

Sanctification having become the passport to worldly honors, and its
degree orthodoxly estimated by the degrees of personal familiarity
with the Devil, the aspiring were too frail to resist the temptation of
increasing their celebrity by multiplying the number of satanic visits;
and as they could draw on an inexhaustible mine of conscienceless
inventions, and deliberately adorn them with the terrific and
interesting incidents of romance, they far outstripped the reputation
of the sincere, and with greater facility obtained the emoluments
of ecclesiastical sinecures. The sense of touch not being equally
susceptible of false impressions with the other senses, while the
sincere might see demons and hear their voices, they could not so well
recognize them by means of contact. But the hypocritical, untrammeled
by this limitation, would create by their inventive faculties any number
of personal encounters and terrific battles with the armies of the
infernal regions.

Although the monks sometimes relate how completely they vanquished the
Devil by their eloquence and the ingenuity of their arguments, yet they
oftener tell how valorously they triumphed over him after a desperate
struggle with his superhuman strength; and not seldom, how alone and
single-handed they encountered him in command of a battalion of fiends,
inflicting on the spiritual bodies of the demons such deep gashes, and
cutting up their impalpable substances in such a horrible manner that,
wounded, bleeding and demoralized, they retreated in wild disorder. As
the monkish cell, like the human brain, could accommodate any number of
devils, it was as convenient a hall of audience in which to receive His
Satanic Majesty, as it was an area for the scientific manoeuvering
of his legions. The crown of sanctification being awarded to the most
unscrupulous inventor of pious fictions, a hypocrite was encouraged
to labor to outrival the fame of an antagonist by the boldness of his
assertions, the extravagance of his fables, and the incredibleness of
his fabrications. Under such circumstances we are not astonished to find
that some claimed to have obtained a perfection in holiness that enabled
them to see the Devil anywhere, and to look upon hell at any time.

Even at the period of the Reformation, the popular belief recognized
the Devil and his imps as often visible. Martin Luther, while engaged in
translating the Bible, conceived that he saw the Devil enter his study,
for the purpose of embarrassing him in the execution of his useful
design. Annoyed at this unceremonious and impertinent intrusion, he
threw at His Satanic Majesty an inkstand, which, passing through the
dusky form and striking the wall beyond, left a stain which is visible
to this day.

THIRD. The Ignorance and Corruption induced by the Monastic Vow of
Silent Contemplation.

The profound homage won by the monks from ignorance and superstition,
gave such credit to their extravagant productions, that history has
sometimes been led into the error of recording them as real events;
and the craft or credulity of the church in incorporating them in her
devotional books has so deepened and perpetuated reverence for them,
that, even at the present day, they continue still to govern in a
measure the superstition, and to contaminate the creed and ritual of
reformed churches.

It has been alleged, with apparent plausibility, in favor of monastic
institutions, that they were during the middle ages the protectors of
learning. But, unfortunately, this noble virtue can be justly claimed
for only a few of them; and for that few in but a limited sense. Some of
the inmates being unfit for more remunerative employment were subjected
to the drudgery of copying manuscript; sometimes the task was imposed on
others as a penance. The aged and infirm of the Benedictine monks were
thus employed; and, as the multiplication of manuscripts is the most
efficient mode of preserving what is written on the perishable material
of paper and parchment, these monks have contributed to the preservation
of learning. But inveterate prejudice, obstinate bigotry, gross
ignorance, and abject servitude were ill qualified to render correct
versions, while they were well adapted to the perpetration of fraud and
corruption. Transcribing manuscripts, not to produce accurate copies,
but to consume time or do penance, and governed by the misleading
principles of their order, it is not as likely that the monks would
furnish authentic and reliable transcripts, as that they would mar them
with errors, embellish them with fancies, and interpolate them with
forgeries and wilful corruptions.

While such was the literary honesty of the religious orders, and such
likely to be the character of their manuscripts, the ignorance and
superstition of the age favored rather than obstructed the perpetration
of any pious fraud they might contemplate. A few facts will illustrate
the incredible ignorance of the Catholic clergy during the dark ages.
A Jew, converted to Christianity but not to truth, having persuaded the
Emperor Maximilian that the Hebrew works, the Old Testament excepted,
were all of pernicious tendency, the latter, at the horrible
revelation, ordered them to to be burnt. The learned Reuchlen
earnestly remonstrated against the imperial decree, and succeeded in
having its execution postponed until the matter of the allegation could
be critically examined. A controversy of ten years ensued. So grossly
ignorant were the clergy that not one of them with whom Reuchlen debated
had ever seen a Greek Testament, and as for the Hebrew Bible, they
denounced its alphabetical characters as the diabolical invention of
some profane sorcerer. So obstinate was their opposition to Hebrew
literature that they declared their readiness to support their cause
at the point of the sword. Neither the Pope nor the cardinals having
sufficient learning to decide on the merits of the question, the
former was induced to appoint as umpire the archbishop of Spires, whose
decision happily rescued oriental literature from the flames of the
stake. Pope Sylvester II., whose literary attainments were superior
to those of the clergy of his age, was regarded as a magician who held
unhallowed converse with infernal demons. St. Augustin, who was ignorant
of the Greek tongue, and whose learning was sufficiently superficial to
prepare him for canonization, pronounced the doctrine of the antipodes
a blasphemous heresy; and Pope Zachariah degraded a friar for indorsing
it, and excommunicated all Catholics who should believe it. The
patriarch Cyrille declared that neither he, nor the Vandal clergy, nor
the African clergy understood the Latin language. St. Hilary asserts
from his personal knowledge that but few of the prelates in the ten
provinces of Asia preserved the knowledge of the true god. (_Hilar,
de Synodis_. c. 63, p. 1186). It might reasonably be supposed that
the ecclesiastical councils, composed of the most influential
bishops, priests and abbots, would comprehend among their members many
distinguished scholars, yet according to the authority of Pope Gregory
II., the councils at his time were composed of men, not only ignorant of
letters, but of the scriptures. According to the testimony of Sabinus,
bishop of Heraclea, the Nicene bishops were "a set of illiterate, simple
creatures that understood nothing," and Cassian charges the Egyptian
monks of having ignorantly preached Epicurean Paganism as the gospel
of Christ. Among the crowd of slaves, soldiers, lords and priests that
thronged the convents, the sign of the cross, the sign of ignorance, was
a general mode of executing contracts, as all could make it, though few
could write their names.

That the literary progress of the church has not kept pace with the
progress of the world, will be attested by a few extracts from a work
written by William Hogan, formerly a Catholic priest of Philadelphia,
comprising an essay entitled, "A Synopsis of Popery, as it was and as it
is," and another entitled, "Auricular Confession and Popish Nunneries,"
published at Hartford, by Silas Andrew and Son, in 1850--a work that
may be profitably consulted by parents who educate their daughters at
nunnery schools, and by gentlemen who contemplate forming matrimonial
alliances with ladies who have been accomplished at such institutions.
Speaking of the ecclesiastical canons the author says: "These canons
are inaccessible to the majority of the American people, even of
theologians, and with the purport or meaning of them none but those who
have been educated Catholic priests have much or any acquaintance. He
who argues with Catholic priests must have had his education with them,
he must be of them and from among them. He must know from experience
that they will stop at no falsehood where the good of the church is
concerned; he must know that they will scruple at no forgery when
they desire to establish any point of doctrine, fundamentally or not
fundamentally, which is not taught by the church; he must be aware
that it is a standing rule with the Popish priests, in all their
controversies with Protestants, to admit nothing and deny everything,
and that if still driven into difficulty they will have recourse to
the archives of the church, where they keep piles of decretals, canons,
receipts, bulls, excommunications and interdicts, ready for all such
emergencies, some of them dated from 300 to 1000 years before they were
written or thought of, showing more clearly than perhaps anything else
the extreme ignorance of mankind between the third and ninth century,
when these forgeries were palmed on the world." (Synopsis, p. 9, 10).
Again, he observes: "The majority of Catholics in this country know
nothing of the religion which they profess, and for which they are
willing to fight, contend, and shed the blood of their fellow beings. I
am not even hazarding an assertion when I say there is not one of them
that has read the gospel through, or that knows any more about the
religion he professes than he does about the Koran of Mohammed. He is
told by the priest that Christ established a church on earth; that it
is infallible, and that he must submit implicitly to what its popes,
priests and bishops teach, under pain of 'damnation.' This is all the
great mass of Catholics know of religion; this is all they are required
to learn; and hence it is that these people are unacquainted with
the pretensions of the Pope, the intrigues of the Jesuits, and the
imposition practised on them by their bishops and priests." (_Synopsis_,
p. 29). Speaking of the theological education of the priests, he says:
"During the four years I spent in the college of Maynooth, they (the
scriptures) formed no portion of the education of the students. It is my
firm conviction, that out of the large number of students there for
the ministry, there was not one who read the gospels through, nor even
portions of them, except such as are found in detached passages, in
works of controversy between Catholics and Protestants. Until I went
to college I scarcely ever heard of a Bible. I know not of one in any
parish of Munster, except it may be a Latin one, which each priest may
or may not have, as he pleases. But I studied closely the holy fathers
of the church; so did most of the students. We were taught to rely upon
them as our sole guide in morals, and the only correct interpreters
of the Bible. A right of private judgment was entirely denied us, and
represented as the source of multifarious errors. The Bible, in fact,
we had no veneration for. It was, in truth, but a dead letter in the
college; it was a sealed book to us, though there were not an equal
number of students who were obliged to study more closely the sayings,
the sophistry, the metaphysics and mystic doctrines of those raving
dreamers called holy fathers; many of whom, if now living would be
deemed mad, and dealt with accordingly." (Auric. Confess., vol. 1, p.
79, 80).

But to return to the consideration of the monks. The pen of
transcribers, so generally ignorant, and so grossly superstitious,
could not render authentic manuscripts even when actuated by the best
intention; and when we recollect that the task which required the
exercise of an enlightened and vigorous intellect was devolved on the
most diseased and infirm of the religious orders, the impossibility
of its effectual performance will appear without a doubt. As
ignorance could not transcribe masterly, so superstition would pervert
intentionally. Conscience paralyzed by bigotry, and the love of truth
supplanted by a careful regard to the interests of the church, the
copyists would esteem it a Christian duty to omit such parts of a
manuscript as militated against the truth of their religion; to corrupt
such parts as might by perversion be made to administer to its support;
and to interpolate such parts with occurrences and apparent incidental
allusions to events, the omission of which was fatal to its credibility;
and thus by a system of typographical frauds, deliberate falsehoods and
artful perversions, contrive to make it appear that all Jewish and Pagan
literature concurred in establishing Catholicism.

The classics, unlike the canonical scriptures, have been subjected to
the purifying process of rigid criticism, and the monkish corruptions
which once perverted the meaning, are in a great measure eradicated
from modern editions. Had the New Testament been subjected to a similar
ordeal, such for instance as the learned Strauss, in his Life of Christ,
instituted, Infidels might have fewer objections to the gospels, and the
credit of these sacred books be far better sustained than it has been by
voluminous commentaries, declamatory sermons and conflicting polemical
works, defending the grossest frauds and the boldest interpolations.

The bigotry or fear of the church, which induced it to corrupt the works
of ancient authors, led it also to wage an exterminating war against
those profane productions which it could not satisfactorily answer.
For this purpose the secular power was invoked, and laws were framed
prescribing the severest penalty for those who should read or possess
a Pagan production. The persecution against philosophers and their
libraries was carried on with such pious insanity that besides its
causing piles of manuscripts to be destroyed, men of letters burned
their elegant libraries, lest some volume contained in them should
jeopardize their lives. Young Chrysostom, happening once to find a
proscribed volume, gave himself up for lost. St. Jerome, in order to
deter his readers from perusing any of the heathen authors, declared he
had been scourged by an angel for reading the productions of Virgil.
The Orthodox Theodosius, in the destruction of the Alexandrian library,
consigned to the flames the literary treasures of antiquity. The bare
thought of the existence of works which baffled the talent and learning
of the church to refute, irritated the sensitive piety of the monks
beyond endurance. They pursued the masterly productions of Celsus and
Porphery with an unscrupulousness which seemed to indicate that the
annihilation of them was indispensable to the existence of Christianity.
After malice had ferreted every crevice where a proscribed volume
could be secreted, and vengance had not left a vestige of any of them
remaining, except what was quoted or perverted in the works of Christian
apologists, the Church boasted that God had not left a work of hostile
literature in existence. With not less blasphemy and bigotry has the
same absurdity been echoed by dishonest, ignorant theologians of
all ages. So wide and unsparing was the monkish war against classic
literature, that it has left no work in existence belonging to the
period of Christ; and hence where knowledge is the most needed the
historian finds the least; and where the facts might be expected to be
the most abundant and of the clearest description, the wildest and most
ridiculous fancies are presented. The necessity for this destruction
proves the power of the works destroyed, and the alarm and weakness of
the faith that destroyed them.

Beside the destructive hostility of the monks to the formidable literary
obstacles which embarrassed the vindication of their theological
subtleties, their zeal led them to perpetrate the grossest forgeries in
order to manufacture historical data in their favor. Prominent among
the numerous instances of this disregard to truth, are the following
passages conceded by all scholars to be entire fabrications. The passage
in the works of Phlegon, in which he is made to speak of a total eclipse
of the sun and a simultaneous earthquake; a passage in Macrobius, which
represents the author as incidentally referring to the death of a son of
his as having occurred in consequence of a jealous order issued by Herod
for the massacre of all children under two years old; the Epistle of
Lentulus, prefect of Judaea at the time of Christ, who is represented
as describing the person and character of Christ, in a governmental
despatch, which according to prefectorial custom was encumbent on him,
in transmitting to Rome a report of all important events occurring
within the limits of his jurisdiction; the legend of the Veronica
handkerchief in which it is related how Abgarus, king of Edessa, sent
ambassadors to Christ to solicit the favor of his portrait, and how
wiping his face with a handkerchief, and thereby impressing his features
on it, politely accommodated the legation; the Epistle of Pontius Pilate
to the Emperor Tiberius, in which he is made to relate the alleged
circumstances of the death and resurrection of Christ; the fabulous
inscriptions on two fabulous columns, said to be situated near Tangiers,
relating to a robber called Joshua, son of Nun; and all the passages
found in Josephus in reference to Christ.

Origen, who wrote in the second century, complains that his own works
had been altered; and the practice of this base species of dishonesty
seems to have fearfully increased with the growth of the Church.
The monk Jerome, in the fourth century, finding the versions of the
scriptures which were received by the churches as authentic exceedingly
conflicting, undertook to abate the scandal it caused, by compiling a
Bible with genuine text. The product of this laborious exertion was,
however, so unsatisfactory to the theological tastes of the churches,
or to the results of their critical examinations, that but few of them
adopted it. Although Jerome's labors were but imperfectly appreciated
during his life, yet, as he had materially approximated toward
furnishing a catholic desideratum, the Vulgate, which is a modification
of his Bible, was declared by the Council of Trent, in 1546, to be
"authentic in all lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, and
no one shall presume to reject it under any pretense whatever." But in
attempting to execute this decree startling fact became evident that the
copies of the Vulgate, in consequence of the liberty which translators
had taken with the text, essentially differed from one another; that
each church believed in a different Bible; that it was impossible to
determine which divine book was the least corrupted; and that as the
Council, inspired by the Holy Ghost, had forgotten to designate which
copy of the Vulgate was the genuine one, it only increased the confusion
it had attempted to remedy. If disbelief in the Bible is infidelity, the
greater number of the churches were actually in a situation which made
them unconscious infidel conclaves. To relieve them from this perilous
predicament, the Pope appointed a learned committee to prepare a
Bible which should have genuine text. But the Bible elaborated by this
committee, not according with the Pope's theological fancies or secret
designs, was rejected. Pope Pius IV. next tried his hand at perfecting
and correcting the scriptural text; but the task exceeding his learning
and ingenuity, his efforts were alike unproductive of satisfactory
results. He was followed by Pope Pius V., who also labored in vain.
In 1590 Pope Sixtus V. made a Bible which his judgment or prejudice
pronounced to be authentic. Determined that Christendom should be
reduced to the alternative of accepting his version, or having none, he
anathematized all who should alter its text or reject his authority. But
Pope Clement VIII., not having the fear of his infallible predecessor's
anathema before his eyes, made another Bible, and promulgated it from
his throne as genuine and authoritative, amid a heavy storm of Vatican
thunder, in which he consigned to the care of the Devil and his angels
all who should presume to correct the work of his infallible hands. A
year had, however, scarcely elapsed when he was obliged to correct its
glaring inconsistencies himself; incurring the vengeance of his own
anathemas. Notwithstanding an incessant tinkering for ages by the ablest
theologians, to mend the numerous flaws in the Catholic word of God,
every well-informed Romanist admits, that while all the previously
received versions of the Vulgate are too grossly corrupted to be
defended, the one in present use is far from being perfect. Cardinal
Bellarmine, who was deeply versed in Biblical erudition, and who in life
had obtained such an eminent degree of popularity for sanctity, that
when he died a guard had to be placed over his corpse, to prevent the
devout from robbing it of its garments--who wished to preserve or vend
them as relics--declares that the most that can be said in favor of the
received version is, that it is the best that has been made.

The authorized English version of the holy scriptures, known as James'
Bible, is the product of forty-seven celebrated Biblical scholars,
after three years' labor. The manuscripts from which they made their
translations being exceedingly corrupted and discordant, the renderings
consequently were so conflicting and irreconcilable on any principle
of philological or exegetical criticism, that in order to effect any
agreement, and prevent the production of as many Bibles as there were
translators, they put the question concerning a disagreement to vote,
and decided which was the correct rendering by the authority of a
majority of suffrages. But this logic was not appreciated by Dr. Smith
and Bishop Belson, to whose joint scrutiny the Bible thus manufactured
was afterwards submitted, and they accordingly subjected it to a further
process of purification.

While philological criticism, and investigations concerning the
genuineness of the sacred text, have wrung from Catholics the reluctant
concession that the Vulgate needs a revision, they have equally extorted
from Protestants the unwilling admission that their version is corrupted
with undoubted forgeries. The doxology at the conclusion of the Lord's
prayer, the story of the pool of Bethsaida, the story of the rich man
and Lazarus, and the story of the adulteress, are universally conceded
by scholars to be wilful fabrications. The most distinguished among
Biblical scholars go further. Bretschneider, the friend and confident
of Joseph II. of Austria, rejects the Gospel of St. John. Dr. Lardner
rejects the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of St. James, the Second
Epistle of St. Peter, the Second Epistle of St. John, the Epistle of St.
Jude, and the book of Revelations. Dr. Evanson rejects the Gospel of St.
Matthew, the Gospel of St. Mark, the Gospel of St. Luke, the Epistle to
the Ephesians, the Epistle to the Colossians, the Epistle to the Romans,
the First Epistle of St. Peter and the First Epistle of St. John.

The Greek Testament comprehends 181,253 words, yet such is the number
of mistakes, perversions, forgeries and interpolations in the existing
manuscripts, that in comparing the documents together 130,000 various
readings are detected; showing that the manuscripts from which the New
Testament is translated, are not correct in one word out of six. These
discrepancies, affecting the mere spelling of a word in some instances,
and, in others, the sense of a passage, are of all degrees of

In Tischendorf's New Testament, published by Tauchnitz, at Leipzig,
in English, and for sale by the New York booksellers, we find the
following: "But the Greek text of the apostolic writings, since its
origin in the first century, has suffered many a mischance at the hands
of those who have used and studied it.... The authorized version, like
Luther's, was made from a Greek text which Erasmus in 1516, and Robert
Stephens in 1550, had formed from manuscripts of later date than the
tenth century.... Since the sixteenth century Greek manuscripts have
been discovered, of far greater antiquity than those of Erasmus and
Stephens; as well as others in Latin, Syriac, Coptic and Gothic, into
which languages the sacred text was translated, between the second and
fourth centuries.....Scholars are much divided in opinion as to the
readings which most exactly convey the word of God." (_Introduction_, p.
1, 2).

When mistakes in a manuscript arise, from the ignorance or incompetency
of the copyist, they invalidate its authority; when they arise from his
carelessness, they are proofs that he entertained no reverence for it;
and when they occur from a deliberate intention on his part to corrupt
and to interpolate it, they are demonstrations that he did not believe
in its divine inspiration. That the religious orders did not believe in
the divine inspiration of the holy scriptures, is as undeniable as it
is that they deliberately and intentionally marred all the Biblical
manuscripts that passed through their hands. The conviction is equally
irresistible that those who sanction the corruptions of the sacred text
by using them as authority, and those who defend them in defiance of the
irrefragable proof of their spurious character, forfeit all claim to a
reputation of common honesty.

There is another class of forgeries perpetrated for the good of the
Church, to which I will briefly advert. Of this description is
the Decretal Epistle of Constantine the Elder, addressed to Pope
Sylvester--the foundation of the Pope's claim to temporal sovereignty;
and also the Creed of Athanasius, forged two hundred years after his
death, and which Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople, upon first
reading, pronounced to be the work of a drunken man. All ranks of the
Church seemed to have become infatuated with an ambition to be forgers.
Pope Stephen II. forged a letter, and attributed its authorship to the
spirit of St. Peter. In this document, according to Gibbon, "The apostle
assures his adopted sons, the King, the clergy, and the nobles of
France, that dead in the flesh, he is still active in the spirit; that
they now hear and must obey the voice of the founder and guardian of the
Roman Church; that the virgins, the saints, and all the host of heaven,
unanimously urge the request, and will confess the obligation; that
riches, victory and paradise will crown their pious enterprise, and
that eternal damnation will be the penalty if they suffer his tomb,
his temple, and his people to fall into the hands of the perfidious
Saracens." (_Dec_. vol. v., chap, xlix., p. 26.) The evidences of similar
frauds are numerous. All the letters and decretals of Clementine are
spurious. But few of the numerous works ascribed to Pope Gregory the
Great are genuine. The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
is egregeously corrupted and interpolated; his second Epistle to the
Corinthians, is so much mutilated that but a fragment of it remains; his
autobiography, in which he is made to take a journey with St. Peter; and
all his apostolic canons, are entire fabrications. The Apocalypse was
rejected as spurious at the Council of Laodicea, by the seven churches
to which it was addressed, and the sentence was almost universally
confirmed by the churches of Christendom. Sirmund shows that the Nicene
canons have been corrupted, altered, abridged, and forged to accommodate
them to the designs of the church. (_Tom_. iv., p. 1-234). To establish
a historical basis for some pious imposition, the the letters of
bishops, decrees of councils, and bulls of Popes have been forged,
distorted, marred, interpolated or destroyed. Volume after volume has
been written and falsely attributed to the pen of some distinguished
author, in order to obtain respect and authority for an absurd
ecclesiastical claim or arbitrary usurpation. Without moral principle,
and intent only on supporting the ambitious pretensions of the Pope, the
religious orders, at the suggestion of interest, scrupled not to
destroy the finest models of literary taste, and to perpetrate the most
audacious forgeries. What could not militate against the credit of their
dogmas, or obstruct the consummation of their designs, or what might,
by an artful adulteration be made accessory to them, they might piously
spare; but whatever was in its nature too inflexibly inimical to the
success of them, they labored to annihilate. The unavoidable deduction
from the existence of the monkish forgeries is, that every doctrine
for which they have been fabricated to prove, is false; and that every
doctrine and event for which they have been manufactured to disprove, is
true. The mutilation and destruction of ancient authors by the religious
orders is a positive admission that such works were fatal to their
claims; the attempt to manufacture artificial proof by corrupting and
interpolating them, is an acknowledgment that the successful vindication
of their creed and pretensions required proof which did not exist;
and the cargoes of their forgeries, each instance of which being a
demonstration of these assertions, and consequently an undeniable
objection to the validity of the authority upon which they rest their
claims, show the vast amount of labor the monks have undergone to
disprove their own doctrines, and destroy their own credibility.

In the revival of learning, inaugurated by profane genius, the monastic
orders, which possessed the treasures of classic literature, took, in
general, no active part. The literary fires which smouldered in their
institutions cast but a sickly glare upon the darkness within, and the
feeble rays could not be expected to penetrate the massive walls of
these huge castles of ignorance. Resembling more a taper placed under
a bushel than a light set upon a hill, they left the surrounding region
enveloped in midnight gloom. The manuscripts transcribed or perverted by
the monks were stowed away as useless rubbish. At length the holy charm
which, for ages, had bound the church in stupid ignorance, was happily
dissolved. Pope Nicholas V., catching a spark of the fire which burned
in the breast of his lay associates, such as Cosmo Medici, his own, too,
became ignited. Unconscious or regardless of the liberalizing tendency
of classical literature, he became enthusiastic in its cause, and
inaugurated a pursuit which has exposed the forgeries and legends of the
Catholic Church to scorn and contempt. Whatever were his private views,
his public example and assertions indicate that he had arrived at a
firm conviction that the papal chair would not soon again be filled
with another friend to the classics. Diligently improving the auspicious
moment, he collected the dusky and mouldering manuscripts from the
monasteries, while his coadjutors sent vessels to gather them from
abroad. By the united labors of the Pope and his opulent laymen,
respectable libraries were formed, and the world was enlightened by
recovered versions of Xenophon, Diodorus, Polybius, Thuycidides and
other eminent authors.

The apprehensions of Nicholas, suggested probably by his knowledge of
the nature and past conduct of the church, were too well founded not
to be confirmed by subsequent history. The Pagan authors of Greece and
Rome, speaking in the clear tones of reason and philosophy, could not
subserve the purposes of ecclesiastical fraud and intolerance. The dark
conspiracy to deceive and enslave mankind, and the systematized measures
to keep the world in ignorance, which constitutes a permanent feature of
Catholic polity, could derive no aid from a liberal diffusion of Pagan
erudition. Hence Leo X., who is ranked among the most generous of the
pontifical patrons of the classics, prohibited the translation of them
into the vernacular language.

But it may be alleged as an exception to the usual hatred manifested
by the church to the cause of education, that the Pope did, at times,
establish colleges and universities. This fact is undeniably true. Pope
Six-tus IV. established several universities; but he required from each,
for a charter, 10,000 ducats; and for each collegiate title and
office, from 10,000 to 20,000 ducats, Pope Innocent III. also founded
a university; but it was on condition that he received 50,000 scudi for
its charter. He also very generously created twenty-six secretaryships,
and a host of other offices, to assist the labors of education, but he
sold appointments to them at very exorbitant prices. Pope Alexander VI.
also founded a university, but it was in consideration of a magnificent
bonus; and he even further displayed his magnanimity by nominating
eighty writers of popish briefs, and selling the appointments at 850
scudi each. But after all what was the object of these institutions?
Was it to advance the capacities of individual man? Was it to enlighten
society at large? Not at all. Guisot says: "For the development of the
clergy, for the instruction of the priesthood, she [the church] was
actively alive; to promote these she had her schools, her colleges,
and all other institutions which the deplorable state of society would
permit. These schools and colleges, it is true, were all theological,
and destined for the clergy; and, though from the intimacy between the
civil and religious orders they could not but have some influence on the
rest of the world, it was very slow and indirect." (_Gen. Hist. Civ_.,
Sect, vi., p. 132). Guizot might have added with truth, that even for
her own clergy the church never tolerated an educational institution
without receiving an exorbitant pecuniary consideration, nor appointed a
professor, or any other officer, without receiving pay for it.

Dens, in his "_Systematic Theology_" reasons thus: "Because forgers of
money, and other disturbers of the State, are justly punished with
death, therefore also are heretics, who are forgers of the faith, and,
as experience shows, greatly disturb the State." ( Dens, 2, 88, 89 ). If
this logic is sound, it is difficult to perceive how Popes, cardinals,
monks and priests can avoid conceding justice the right of putting
_them_ to death, as by the universal testimony of history and the
acknowledgment of the ablest Catholic authors, they have been forgers of
the faith; and, as they have been greater forgers than Protestants, they
may, according to their own logic, be more justly put to death. But this
we should be sorry to witness.

The efforts of the church to manufacture evidence in support of
gratuitous assumptions, which so clearly disproves what it asserts
at every step; sinks its character and authority into such utter
insignificance; and in proportion to the warmth of its zeal adds weight
to the contempt it has earned, might be considered unworthy the notice
of sober reason, and left to the crushing jeer of its own ludicrousness.
Yet when its polluting finger presumes to touch the sacred page of
history; when it would annihilate all historical authority by base
interpolations, and load the shelves of libraries with its spurious
trash, it has invaded a province sacred to the rights of the world;
a province in which truth, reason, and human progress have a deep
interest, and which must be protected against the intrusion of malignant

From the monastic vows and regulations, we might be agreeably surprised
if the literary productions of those who were governed by them were
anything but models of absurdity and puerility. It would naturally be
suspected that the ideas of the monks would be shaded by the gloom of
their melancholy abode, contracted by the influence of their solitary
confinement, and rendered misshapen by the habit of conversing
exclusively with their own meditations; and that their literary
productions would be rife with all the inventions to which bigotry and
superstition could prompt, and with all the craft and unscrupulousness
that could serve the purposes of unpolished and unnatural fraternities,
isolated from society, absolved from the ties and obligations of
humanity, and exclusively devoted to the defense and aggrandizement
of an organization which aimed at monopolizing all secular rights,
immunities and privileges, in order to command the dominion and luxuries
of the world. This reasonable presumption we shall find too well
confirmed for the credit of human nature, in those legends and
theological disquisitions which have often puzzled the credulous, but
much oftener curled the lips of the more enlightened into a smile of
philosophical contempt. Palpably fictitious, rarely possessing the merit
of ingenuity, and, in general, absolutely puerile, yet have the monkish
legends been consecrated as divine in the Catholic Mass-book, enforced
upon the acceptance of the obstinate by the terrors of the Inquisition,
and sometimes mistaken by history for actual events.

This ludicrous mass consists in part of magnified and distorted
events of true history, and in part of personages and details entirely
spurious. It is elaborately ornamented, or degraded with circumstancial
accounts of miracles which were never performed, with reports of debates
which never took place, and with details of battles which were never
fought. Faithful only in transcribing their own vitiated taste and
unscrupulous conscience; and decorating their narratives with coarse
scenes of blood and bigotry, of death and horror, of hell and demons,
they have furnished a record of absurdities, of a depth of hypocrisy,
of an audacity in fabrication, and of a total depravity in principle
unparalleled in the history of deception and imposition. Had they, like
Sir Thomas Moore, in his description of Eutopia, or no place, described
a people which were no people, a city which was invisible, and a river
which was waterless, they could scarcely have been less imaginary,
though it must be conceded that they are less entertaining and

Passing over the polemical rubbish, the absurd topics of discussion and
the ludicrous logic of the monastic orders, which would be too tedious
for a reader of the nineteenth century, we will briefly allude to some
of their amusing legends, which have been consecrated as sacred history
in the devotional books of the church. The actual sufferings and deaths
of the primitive Christians, they have grotesquely magnified, and
invented fanciful modes of torture, which never could have entered the
more cultivated brain of a Roman emperor.

According to the story of these visionists, when a Pagan female embraced
Christianity, she was often compelled to decide whether she valued her
virtue higher than she did her religion; and, when the inflexibility of
her faith imperiled her innocence, a divine power always interposed, and
miraculously rescued her from a dangerous predicament. The male converts
were subjected to similar modes of ingenious torture, A young saint, in
the passion of his first love, according to their authority, was once
chained naked to a bed of flowers, and in this hapless and exposed
condition, wontonly assaulted by a beautiful courtezan; but he saved his
chastity by biting off his tongue, St. Cecilia made a vow of perpetual
virginity, but her father disregarding the unnatural obligation,
betrothed her to a prince. In spite of all remonstrances to the
contrary, the marriage was on the eve of being consummated, when an
angel interposed, and, after satisfactorily adjusting matters between
the nuptial parties, rewarded the groom for the relinquishment of his
bride, and the virgin for the obstinacy of her resolution, by crowning
them both with wreaths of spiritual roses and lilies, culled from
heaven's flower garden. Sometime after the eventful occurences of this
wedding party, Amachius, a Roman prefect, commanded Cecilia to sacrifice
to the gods. Her piety obliging her to disobey the royal injunction,
it was determined that the majesty of the law should be vindicated by
having her boiled three days and three nights in a pot of water. The
coldness of divine grace however sufficiently impregnated her body to
protect it from injury. As her piety had rendered her invulnerable to
the effects of boiling water, the emperor ordered the executioner to try
the virtue of a ponderous axe. Accordingly she was laid upon the block;
the executioner gave her neck three scientific strokes, but perceiving
her head still attached by its integuments, desisted from further
effort convinced that the accomplishment of the task exceeded his
constitutional vigor.

The miraculous feat of this saint in inventing music, a long time after
all nations had acquired some proficiency, at least, in its principles,
has often been the theme of pious historians, orators and poets. St.
George slew a dragon ( a lizard ), which was about to swallow a king's
daughter. St. Dennis walked two miles after his head had been cut off.
St. John of God displayed so much whimsical zeal that he was supposed
to be demented, and was placed in a lunatic asylum. St. Hubert went on
a hunting excursion, and seeing a stag with a cross between its antlers,
became converted by the vision into a bishop. He received a key from St.
Peter, which is still preserved in St. Hubert's monastery, at Ardennes,
and is regarded as an infallible remedy for the hydrophobia.

St. Patrick found a lost boy, whom the hogs had nearly devoured. On
touching the mutilated frame with his holy hand, it recovered the lost
flesh which had been digested by the swine, and stood before the saint
perfectly proportioned in all its parts, and without a wound. This
charitable saint once fed 1,400 persons on one cow, two stags, and two
wild boars. Respecting, however, the rights of property, and perceiving
that to be benevolent at another's expense was a suspicious species of
morality, he so adroitly contrived the management of his miracle that
the cow which had been eaten up by the people, and which belonged to a
poor widow, was seen the next day well and hearty, and as comfortably
grazing in her usual pastures as if nothing had happened. St. Xavier,
while traversing the ocean, lost overboard a crucifix. On landing, a
crab brought it in his claw, and reverently laid it at his feet. The
Devil, assuming the shape of a charming woman, once made indelicate
proposals to him. This piece of impudence so enraged the saint that
he spit into His Satanic Majesty's angelic face. The Devil, being a
gentleman, was so disgusted at this coarse vulgarity, that he ever
afterward shunned Xavier's society. St. Anthony of Padua, after
exhausting the strength of the Catholic arguments in favor of
consubstantiation, in a debate with a heretic, finally converted his
antagonist by an appeal to the understanding of a horse. Holding up the
host before the animal, he addressed it thus: "In virtue and in the name
of thy creator, I command thee, O horse to come, and with humility adore
thy God." The horse, at the request of the saint, instantly left the
corn which it was eating, advanced to the host and fell upon its knees
before it.

St. Andrew being assaulted by the devil with an axe, and by a company of
imps with clubs, called for assistance on St. John, who responded with
a regiment of angels; and capturing the devils, chained them to the
ground. At this exploit St. Andrew laughed. The Emperor Maximus, having
cut St. Apia Tell into ten pieces, the angel Gabriel put him together
again. This contest of disintegration and recomposition was carried on
with much spirit between Maximus and Gabriel. Ten times a day for ten
consecutive days was the saint cut into ten pieces by the malice of the
one, and put together again by the anatomical skill of the other. St.
Martin of Tours, the patron saint of drunkards, whose festival was
formerly celebrated by the devout with banqueting, hilarity and
carousals, once, on a drunken frolic, divided his garments with a poor
soldier. At night, in a dream, he beheld Christ wearing the identical
garment he had given away. His mind became so impressed, probably
deranged, that he turned Catholic. The face of this saint was so
sanctimonious that it once paralyzed the arm of a robber, which was
raised to give him a death blow. He wrought many miracles; could raise
the dead to life. Clovis, after his Gothic victory, made him a rich
donation; and as the hero's war steed was in the saint's stable, he
proposed besides, to redeem it with the generous sum of 100 ducats, but
the pious horse refused to move until the sum was doubled. St. Anthony
saw a centaur in the desert. Finding the corpse of the hermit Paul in
the wilderness, and being too much prostrated through fasting to bury
it, two lions seeing his difficulty, politely offered their assistance;
and after digging a grave and depositing in it the hermit's corpse,
respectfully vanished away. St. Athanasius compliments him on account of
his holy abhorence of clean water, and for not having suffered his feet
to be contaminated with it except in cases of unavoidable necessity.
( _Vet. Ant_, c. 47 ), St. Palladus, seeing a hyena standing near his
cave, addressing it, asked: "What's the matter?" "Holy father," replied
the beast, "the odor of thy sanctity has reached me. I killed a sheep
last night, and want to confess and get absolution." St. Beuno caused
the earth to open and swallow a disappointed lover, who had cut off the
head of his mistress for her having refused to marry him. He then, by
saying mass over the remains of the unfortunate lady, caused her head
and body to reunite, and life to reanimate her frame. St. Nepomuk,
refusing to disclose the secret confessions of a queen, to her husband
who suspected her of infidelity, was doomed to suffer death by drowning.
This saint was canonized by Pope Innocent III., and his tomb is shown to
this day. But unfortunately for the infallibility of His Holiness, it
has been indisputably proved that no such person as St. Nepomuk ever
existed. A priest once travelling along a solitary road, heard a
most harmonious sound proceeding from a beehive. On approaching it he
discovered that the bees were adoring the eucharist, and singing psalms
to its honor. A monk residing at the monastery of Tebenoe was visited by
an angel who dictated to him a liturgy. This divine work is preferred by
the learned Cassion. St. Ambrose, piously inhuman, carefully instilled
into the youthful minds of Theodosius and Gratian the spirit and maxims
of religious persecution. He taught them that the worship of idols was
a crime against God, and that an emperor is guilty of the crime he
neglects to punish. All the intolerant laws and horrible religious
butcheries which disgraced the administrations of these princes, and
their successors, originated in their Catholic education. The same saint
justified the conduct of a bishop who had been convicted by the court of
setting fire to a Jewish Synagogue. (_Tom_, ii. Epistle xl. p. 946). St.
Augustine, whose most conspicuous virtue was an uncompomising hatred of
heretics, warmly commended the inhuman edicts of Honorius against the
Donatists, which proscribed and banished several thousands of their
priests, stripped them of their possessions, deprived their laymen of
the rights of citizens, distracted the land with tumult and blood, and
drove a large number of them to seek relief by invoking martyrdom. The
inhuman saint rejoiced at the despair and madness which shortened the
lives of these unfortunate persons, as it would hereafter lessen their
torments in hell. St. Jerome justly denounced the disgraceful practice
of the clergy in defrauding the natural heirs out of their inheritance,
and vindicated the governmental edicts to obstruct this systematic
plunder. But his brother monks recriminated; charged him with being the
lover of Paula, of profanely bestowing on her the title of mother-in-law
of God, of assigning himself the chief place in her will, of inducing
her to abandon her infant son at Rome, of exercising an undue influence
on her beautiful daughter, and of inducing the mother to consecrate
her to perpetual virginity, so that he might encounter no obstacles in
inheriting her immense possessions, in which was comprehended the
city of Necropolis. To these charges he replied that he was merely
the steward of the poor. With the fortune of Paula he built four
monasteries. He was bitterly opposed to St Chrysostom, who boldly
denounced the corruption and licentiousness of the clergy and imperial
court. Readily and maliciously he coincided with the opinion of
Theophilus, that Chrysostom had delivered his soul to the Devil to be
adulterated; and when zeal in the cause of virtue had brought upon the
head of Chrysostom the wrath of the emperor and the court, and he
was incarcerated in a dungeon, these two lights of the church had the
decency to regret that some punishment more adequate to his guilt was
not inflicted. St. Cyril, of Alexandria, piously lusted after temporal
power, and, as the patriotic Novitians obstructed his designs,
he closed their churches, took forcible possession of their sacred
utensils, plundered the dwelling of Theapentus, their bishop; and
then seizing on the Jewish synagogue, drove the Jews from the city and
pillaged their houses. The governor interposed; but five hundred armed
monks surrounded him and attempted to murder him. Hypatia, a lady
celebrated for her personal charms, unblemished character, and
extraordinary literary acquirements, was, on account of her Novitian
proclivities, assaulted by the holy forces of St. Cyril, dragged from
her carriage, and punctured to death with tiles.

The enumeration of the fables of the monks, and of the atrocious acts of
canonized saints, might be continued until it filled huge volumes; but
well-informed Catholics will be thankful that this notice is so brief.
The Missil, the Glories of Mary and other Catholic compendia, some of
which consist of fifty folio volumes, will satisfy the more curious.
The profound homage paid to the monks for supposed sanctity, and the
inquisitorial terrors which were brought to bear in favor of their
frauds, so blunted public perception to truth that the fictitious events
and personages invented by one age were believed by the succeeding,
until the church became the simple dupe of its own forgeries, and
self-cursed by accepting, as matters of fact, the fables and impositions
with which it had humbugged former ages. Meldegg, Catholic Professor of
the Theological Faculty of Freiburg, affords the following testimony
in favor of what has been stated: "The old breviary," says he, "crammed
full of fictitious or much-colored anecdotes of saints, with passages
of indecorous import, requires a thorough revision.... Some Masses are
founded on stories not sufficiently proved, or palpably ficticious,
as the Mass of the _Lancea Christi_, the _Inventio Orusis, &c_." The
ludicrousness of the monastic vow of silent contemplation is visible
in the misshapen ideas of the monks; its pernicious tendency, in the
frauds, perversions, distortions and interpolation which it has led
them to perpetrate; its bigotry, in the wide destruction of ancient
literature to which it has incited them; its absurdness, in the puerile
and contemptible productions which it has induced them to elaborate; and
its immorality, in that coarseness and vulgarity in their literature, so
offensive to a sense of propriety, and which sometimes makes an allusion
to their works a matter of reluctance.


The monachal vows which we have considered in the foregoing chapters
were assumed by all the religious orders prior to the thirteenth
century. At that period orders were inaugurated to assist in the
administration of the public affairs of the church. As these orders
assumed obligations incompatible with the observance of silence and
seclusion, the vows imposing them were not enjoined. But the vow of
poverty, which will be the subject of the present chapter, and the vow
of celibacy and obedience, which will hereafter be considered, were
assumed by all the religious orders, both antecedent and subsequent to
the thirteenth century.

The vow of poverty embraced an unqualified abjuration of all right to
acquire or hold individual property, but granted the privilege of owning
property in a corporate capacity. This privilege was, however, variously
restricted by the terms of different monastic charters. The Carmelites
and the Augustines were permitted to hold such an amount of real estate
as would be sufficient for their support; the Dominicans were limited
to the possession of personal property; while the Franciscans were not
allowed to hold either real estate or personal property.

The vow of poverty assumed by the monks was adopted either from the
instigations of an artful policy, to acquire wealth with the reputation
of despising it, or from a conviction that poverty was a blessing and
wealth an evil. If the first hypothesis is correct, the assumption of
the vow was exceedingly reprehensible; if the second, it was absolutely

A condition of poverty, abstractly considered, is a matter of neither
praise nor censure. It is sometimes a source of degredation; often
of crime, and always of inconvenience and embarrassment. Its general
tendency is to weaken in man his inborn sense of personal independence;
to debase his mind with notions of fictitious inferiority; to degrade
his social dignity by inducing sycophantic and obsequious habits; and
to lead him to sacrifice his conscious equality to the demands of
artificial rank. The incessant toil imposed by poverty on the energies
of the poor obdurates their nature; and, allowing no interval for
mental culture, permits nothing to interrupt or soften its tendency. The
mortifying difficulties experienced by this class of society to
obtain, by honest labor, a subsistence for themselves and their natural
dependents, have sometimes led them to become depredators upon society,
when their constitutional principles, unwarped by indigence, would have
secured their obedience to law and their labors for the public
good. Graces have been lost in brothels, and talents extinguished on
scaffolds, which, had tolerable means protected against the cravings
of hunger, might have added lustre to the female character, and heroes,
statesmen and scholars to the scroll of fame. Poverty begetting despair,
and despair destroying hope, the incentive to action, the powers of
genius sunk into the torpidity of stupefaction, and the strength of a
lion slumbered in the inactivity of a sloth. The chill which poverty
breathes over the mind is as unfriendly to the unfolding of the
intellectual germs, as the icy atmosphere of winter is to the
fructification of vegetable seed. The poet or philosopher, hoveled in
penury, without books or scientific instruments, with spare meals and
gloomy forebodings, never creates his brightest gem, nor solves his
profoundest problem. However sweetly Burns may sing or Otway melt, or
however importantly other sons of indigence may have contributed to the
augmentation of the volume of science and literature, yet the world has
never heard their sweetest song, nor read their brightest period; for
the groan of penury has marred the harmony of the one, and the tear of
want has dimmed the lustre of the other.

As a condition of poverty is, in the abstract, a subject of neither
praise nor blame, so also is a condition of wealth. Wealth, however, is
the ablest means of advancing individual and social progress, as well as
the sole remedy for the evils of poverty. If it cannot be adduced as
a ground of esteem or of respectability, or as an apology for the
ignorance, stupidity, pomposity, vanity and vulgarity with which it
may adventitiously be associated, yet, as it amplifies the means
of beneficence, and protects the weakness of human nature against
temptation arising from indigence, its honest acquisition is always
consistent with the severest principles of rectitude; and its pursuit
is recommended by the honorable pride of personal responsibility,
the motives of prudence and forecast, and the consideration of every
domestic and social obligation. Without its aid the world would have
remained in a state of primal barbarism; the commercial intercourse of
nations, the first element of civilization and the principal source of
national prosperity, power and greatness, would never have been
known; agricultural, manufacturing, mechanical and mining interests,
unstimulated by the lucrative traffic of supplying a foreign demand
for surplus domestic production, would never have been extensively
developed; the knowledge, the exotic luxuries, and the improvements
in the comforts and conveniences of civilized life derived from
international trade, could never have been obtained; the great bond of
the amity of nations, and the power created by the pecuniary advantages
of exchanging with one-another the products of their different climates,
and which, by dissipating mutual prejudices, suspicion, vanity and
self-conceit, has united them in friendly and beneficial intercourse,
would never have existed; and, as the first altars were erected for
the exposure of merchandise for sale, as the first offerings were the
currency by which goods were purchased, penalties satisfied, salaries
paid, and amity and friendship expressed; and, as the first temples
were market-houses built for the accommodation of the traffic of the
caravans, and to protect the goods against plundering barbarians, who
understood not the conventional rights of property, had it not been for
the fact that in the pursuit of wealth, communities felt the importance
of establishing convenient centres of trade and modes of exchange, the
ceremonies of religion would never have been invented. ( See Heeron's
Historical Researches, translated by Bancroft).

As neither a condition of poverty nor a condition of wealth is a subject
of praise nor censure; but, as the former inflicts on humanity its worst
evils, and the latter confers on it incalculable advantages, a vow of
poverty can have no innate sanctity to commend it, but must have all
constituents that can render it objectionable. When it is further
considered that there is a modifying reciprocity incessantly acting
between the conditions of the different members of the human family,
making the prosperity of one advantageous to all, and the indigence of
one disadvantageous to all, we may find not only a selfish, but also a
patriotic incentive in availing ourselves of any pecuniary right of our
being. No one can be indigent without decreasing the wealth of another,
nor opulent without contributing to the subsistence of others, nor
industrious without adding to the sum of national wealth, nor indolent
without consuming that for which he renders no equivalent. Now, as the
vow of poverty is inconsistent with the virtues and obligations created
by the mutual dependence and reciprocal influence of the condition and
circumstances of mankind on each other; as it fosters all the evils that
demoralize the social state; as it multiplies the number of paupers,
discourages industry, sanctifies pernicious influences, and burdens
society with the support of indolent and useless members, it is at
variance with the interests of man and the prosperity of government.

National wealth is the aggregate of individual wealth. The greater is
the amount of individual wealth in a nation, and the more equally it is
distributed among the inhabitants, the less are the evils of poverty,
the more independent and responsible are the citizens, the more
energetically are the agricultural, mineral, manufacturing, and
commercial interests developed, the more generally and intimately
are the interests of the people interwoven with the fabric of the
government, the greater will be the nation's prosperity, the more
formidable its arms, the more peaceful its internal condition, and the
more durable its prosperity.

A reformatory institution, to be efficacious, must be adapted to the
nature of man and his social condition. Its principles must be his
principles. Its measures must tend to aid his fullest development. To
accomplish this object it must seek to abolish all restrictions on his
rights, to remove whatever vitiates his sense of independence, to incite
his industry by making labor honorable and its rewards certain, and
to annul the immunities, exemptions, privileges and monopolies which
degrade the masses by indigence and invidious distinctions, and corrupt
the few by luxury and fictitious dignity. But the monachal institution,
which sanctions poverty, the most prolific source of crime; which
denounces individual wealth, the great element of civilization, and of
individual and national improvement; which inculcates indolence, the
parasite that feeds on the vitals of society; which discourages
the avocations of industry, the parent of personal independence and
responsibility; and which aims at a monopoly of wealth, itself the
source of political inequality, of despotic government and of popular
servitude--can advance no claim to a magnanimous mission. To esteem it
a virtue to be poor, pleasing to infinite intelligence to renounce the
best means of self-improvement, criminal to protect human integrity
against the assaults originating in a condition of poverty, are ideas of
such an absurd nature that the inference can scarcely be avoided, that
the source whence they originated must have been utterly destitute, not
only of moral principle, but of common sense.

But whenever conduct becomes enigmatical, and principles are avowed
contradictory to human reason, passion and interests, an ordinary
knowledge of the craft of ambition is apt to suggest a suspicion, that
these singular abnegations have not sprung from a sanctity that has
elevated the avowers above human nature, but from the injustice of their
designs and the profundity of their dissimulation. Conscious that
candor would be defeat, they have endeavored to accomplish objects by
pretending to oppose them. The church never being too strongly fortified
in holiness not to practise the advantageous vices of the world, has
invariably been betrayed into the adoption of this crafty policy; but,
always fanatical, she has never been discreet. Not only has she denied
her real designs, but, in order to conceal them, has imposed vows of
such an absurd and inconsistent import, as could not fail to reveal
the hypocrisy and craft that dictated them. The vow of poverty was not
assumed to become indigent, but to become opulent. It was a financial
manoeuvre, designed to facilitate the routine of business; and it proved
a very efficacious means of self-emolument. It won a reputation for the
holy beggars, that humbled imperial dignity at their feet, Theodosius
refused sustenance until a monk who had anathematized him, nullified
it by absolution. The Empress of Maximus, in her own palace, at her own
table, esteemed it a high honor to be permitted to wait as a servant on
St. Martin of Tours. While the assumption of unnatural vows invested the
mendicant monks with the credit and importance of supernatural beings,
and elevated them above the dignity of emperors and empresses, it opened
to their avarice the treasures of the world, and enabled them not only
to fill their coffers with the people's money, but to win their blessing
in the act of defrauding them. Such was the haughty indifference of the
Abbot Pambo, who seemed to imagine, with his church, that he was the
owner of the wealth of the world, that when Malaria, a rich sinner,
presented him a donation of plate for his monastery, and intimated that
its weight was about three hundred pounds, replied: "Offer you this to
me or to God? If to God, who weighs the mountains in a balance, he need
not be informed of the weight of your plate." The real design and value
of the monastic vows was once forcibly expressed by a Benedictine monk,
who remarked: "My vow of poverty has given me one hundred thousand
crowns a year; my vow of obedience has raised me to the rank of a
sovereign prince." An incident occurred in Paris, in relation to
two ecclesiastical dignitaries which illustrates the cupidity and
unapostolic character of the church. Innocent IX, and St. Thomas Aquinas
having met together in Paris, and a capacious plate, piled with gold,
the proceeds of the sale of indulgences, being brought into the room in
which they were seated, the enraptured Pope exclaimed: "Behold, the days
are past when the church could say, gold and silver have I none." But
the saint truthfully remarked: "The days are also past when the church
could say to the paralytic, arise and walk." Prætaxtatus, a Pagan
philosopher, viewing the princely revenues of the church, declared that
if he could become bishop of Rome, it might even remove his scruples
about believing in Christianity. Assuming the strongest possible
obligations to maintain a perpetual condition of absolute poverty, the
monks yet found it compatible with the principles and teachings of
the church, to convert their religious organizations into a financial
corporation, and to conceal its character and design under a veil
of angelic piety. The wealth which they apparently scorned, they
unscrupulously amassed; the power which they scoffed at as profane, they
attempted to monopolize; to whatever they seemed the most indifferent,
they the most sedulously labored to acquire; and whatever they professed
with their lips they violated in their practice. This consummate
hypocrisy might be condemned by the profane sceptic, but the _means_
crowned the _end_ with too high a degree of success not to be justified
by the piety of the religious orders.

The measures and designs of this false and crafty policy harmonized too
well with the pretensions of the Pope, and furnished his purposes with
too able and ingenious an auxiliary, not to command his fostering care
and protection. Equal in duplicity and rapaciousness, he exempted the
mendicant orders from all secular and ecclesiastical jurisdiction,
privileged them to demand alms without restriction, invested them with
the exclusive power of selling indulgences, and conferred on them the
lucrative prerogative of accepting legacies under the evasive name
of offerings. By this munificent lavishment of spiritual favors, the
mendicant orders soon found themselves transported from an apparent
condition of pauperism to a real condition of princely wealth and power;
enjoying at the same time all the sympathy that indigence could excite,
and all the luxury that money could purchase. Exempted from secular
jurisdiction, they were empowered to plunder, ravish and murder with
impunity; privileged to demand alms of all, they were the masters of
the fortunes of all; endowed with the exclusive power of vending
indulgences, they enjoyed a monopoly of the most lucrative trade that
was ever projected; and, allowed to receive legacies, they were enabled,
after having wheedled the devout out of their treasure while in health,
to take advantage of their dotage, and to stand over their dying pillow,
and dictate the terms of their last testament to the advantage of the
church, and to the disadvantage of natural heirs.

Avarice, like the cormorant, is insatiable; the more it is gorged, the
keener is its appetite; and this rapacious demon having taken complete
possession of the monastic body, every dollar that its craft wrung from
the devout only inflamed its greediness the more. When it had exhausted
the gold of a penitent, its covetous eye became fascinated by his
land; and, what avarice craved, financial sagacity quickly perceived an
available method of obtaining.

The church possessing no inherent moral vitality, sank with the middle
ages into barbarism; her power was then supreme, but insecurity of
life and property prevailed, and under her auspices temporal power
degenerated to a system of rapine and plunder. Had she been divine, she
would then have beamed as a lone star on a tempestuous ocean; but being
earthy, she resembled the other earthy compounds; nor could she well
be distinguished from the barbarians and savages with whom she mingled,
except by her imperfect notions of morality and justice, and her
superior financial skill in speculating on public calamity. The barons,
in the support of their interminable wars, had taxed their subjects to
an extent which produced general dissatisfaction. As the monasteries
enjoyed inviolability and freedom from taxation, they offered the
disaffected a refuge from an oppressive taxation, if they would become
lay monastic members, and convey their worldly goods to the church.
A wish to inhale the supposed holy atmosphere of the monasteries, to
partake of their luxuries, to enjoy the indulgence they accorded to the
commission of sin, to evade an impoverishing taxation, and at the same
time to retain some degree of personal freedom, induced wealthy persons
of both sexes to conclude contracts with the monasteries, by which
they became penniless, wholly dependent for subsistence on them, and
irrevocably subjected to their despotic domination.

Beside this shrewd speculation on public calamity, the excitement and
irruption of the crusades afforded the monks another opportunity for
the exercise of their financial skill. With the instinctive foresight of
cupidity, they had perceived the pecuniary advantages which would accrue
to their order in the course of the holy war about to be inaugurated;
and as they had fanned its first sparks into a general conflagration,
they could hardly have any conscientious scruples in remunerating
themselves, by concluding such sharp and profitable bargains as occasion
presented and vows facilitated. They well knew the commercial art of
bartering that which was worthless for that which was valuable; and
of advancing the market price of an article by a monopoly of it, or
depressing its value by increasing the supply beyond the demand.
In consequence of the public excitement real estate became greatly
depressed in value, and holy war-horses, clubs, lances, battle-axes,
and other sacred instruments of destruction, proportionally advanced
in price. The sagacious providence of the monks having in advance
accumulated vast military stores, very obligingly accommodated the
devout crusader, by exchanging an inconsiderable portion of them for
a very considerable tract of his land. By such operations the church
obtained very extensive domains in exchange for objects of trifling
value, or for very inadequate sums of money. The success of the
sacerdotal financiers becoming notorious, land speculation grew into a
contagious mania. Even kings came into the market to buy up the domains
of their deluded vassels. The competition between monks and monarchs was
as great as it was amusing; but sacerdotal craft was the more successful
negotiator. The oil with which the priests had been anointed at their
ordination was supposed to endow them with the power of bestowing
blessings and curses at will, and the high reputation for sanctity which
they had acquired by vows of absolute poverty, conferred advantages of
trade on them which crowns and sceptres could not command. Kings could
purchase only with money; but the monasteries had an exhaustless bank of
indulgences, of parting blessings, of promised prayers, and of promised
masses for departed souls. This bogus currency may provoke the levity
of the profane, but it was, nevertheless, prized by the saints above
the value of silver or gold, and held by the monasteries at its highest
marketable price. With the command of such unlimited resources, the
monasteries could successfully outbid princes, and purchase without
impoverishment what monarchs could not without bankruptcy.

With an air of piety and benevolence, but with an unscrupulousness that
regarded neither truth nor principle, the monks invented every fiction,
and adopted every possible method of augmenting the stores of their
wealth. Well aware that human piety is more easily inflamed by the
prospect of gold than by the prospect of heaven, they manufactured
extravagant reports of the wealth of Jerusalem; representing it as
a vast storehouse of gems and precious metal. So glowing were these
descriptions that the piety of the crusaders became excited into frenzy,
and their devotion into irrepressible vociferousness; a delightful
anticipation rapt them into heavenly ecstacies; and impatience for the
glorious results of the coming combat appeared to be the only unpleasant
ingredient that marred their happiness. On huts and farms, on palaces
and domains, they looked down with scornful indifference; for they felt
that wealth surpassing the treasures of the Indies, and palaces more
gorgeous than Europe could build, would inevitably reward their pious
adventure. The cool-headed priest, too well informed to partake of
the general delusion, deliberately viewed the enthusiasm, and calmly
calculated by what means it might be sustained and augmented, and how it
could most judiciously be made to administer to the pecuniary advantage
of the church. While the coldness with which the reason and conscience
of priests secretly regarded the general lunacy, was well disguised, the
masses, on the contrary, were all flame and fury, and wrought up to
such a pitch of anxiety to wrest the holy land from the Infidels and
appropriate it to themselves, that they became indifferent to the
treasure and land that they already possessed. In this unhealthy state
of the public mind, it was an easy task for spiritual advisers to
relieve their confiding pupils of their revenues, and ultimately to
become the proprietors of many of their domains.

The method by which this magnificent object was accomplished, was not
only by the treachery of exchanging trumpery for valuables, but also by
inducing the soldiers of the cross to devolve, during their absence,
the care of their land and revenues on the monasteries, and to make them
their heirs-at-law in case of death abroad. As but few of the crusaders
of some of the expeditions ever returned, as many of all of them
perished abroad, we must accord the credit of extraordinary shrewdness
to the calculating cupidity of the monks, who could make the love,
devotion, lunacy and enthusiasm of the devout, their life at home and
death abroad, equally advantageous to the monastic coffers. As
the infatuation, so beneficial to the church, was general; as the
convulsions of the times rendered property of all descriptions
exceedingly insecure; and, as many of the devout, equally frantic
with the crusaders, were restrained, either by infirmity or other
circumstances, from embarking in the holy enterprise, it was not
difficult for the monks, amid the general frenzy, to induce such persons
to become lay members of the monasteries, and to place their domains
under the protection of those powerful institutions; an advantageous
encumbrance which they always assumed with obliging avidity.

With such money-making devices and sharp practices, and many others of
a similar nature, the mendicant orders, united in an avaricious and
arrogant confederacy, enjoying the protection of the Pope, and the
confidence and homage of Christendom, and released from all secular and
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, seemed, while abjuring the possession of
property as a crime, and professing poverty as a virtue, to be rapidly
monopolizing the wealth of the world--the domains of princes, the
traffic of merchants, and the political power of governments. Under such
circumstances monastic opulence, without the intervention of a miracle,
must have prodigiously increased, and their domains augmented to

From the fifth century, in every section of Christendom, monastery
after monastery continued to rise, generally constructed with stupendous
proportions, and in sumptuous style; furnished with every species of
luxury, and polluted by every description of vice. St. Bernard, who, by
the assumption of the vow of absolute poverty, renounced a considerable
private inheritance, and who subsequently scorned the proffers of
lucrative dignities, could, nevertheless, by means of his monachal power
and opulence erect ten monasteries, make nobles and Popes tremble at his
authority, and even kings submit to his dictation.

The Jesuits, who enjoyed all the privileges of the mendicant and secular
orders, excelled them both in duplicity and rapaciousnes. Animated by
a crafty and unprincipled zeal for the emolument of their order, they
established mission-houses among savage nations, under the pretext of
civilizing them and saving their souls. But this specious pretext
was but a pious mask, under which was concealed an infamous scheme of
swindling the natives abroad out of property, and wheedling the devout
at home out of liberal donations, and splendid legacies. Their extensive
mission-houses were neither designed for temples of devotion, nor for
converting idolaters; their walls less frequently witnessed the monks
at devotion, than they did at plotting schemes of plunder. Like ancient
temples, and more recent churches, mosques and fairs, they were designed
as centres of trade to facilitate commercial transactions; and, as they
were the grand resort of the people for exchange of commodities, they,
like the former, gave rise to the numerous villages, towns and cities,
whose names they bear. Pagan simplicity has never been a match for
monkish craft; and no sooner had the gold and gems of the natives
inflamed the zeal and sharpened the shrewdness of the monks, than they
were wrung from them by some swindling transaction, Possessing the arts
of civilized society, they were enabled to astonish the natives with
miracles, and successfully to impose on their ignorance and simplicity.
They boasted of having induced multitudes to embrace Christianity; but
as their object was not to convert Pagans from idolatry, but to defraud
them out of their land and gold, they were careful not to offend them
by demanding a renunciation of the practice of idolatry, but contented
themselves with entreating their converts simply to adore Christ and his
mother when worshiping the images of their gods. With this ambiguous,
but insinuating modification of Christianity, they made fortunes out of
the devout at home and savages abroad.

In 1743, this avaricious sacerdotal order established a mission-house
at the island Martinique; and so adroitly did they manage their
Christianizing business operations, that in a short time they
monopolized the trade of that island, and of the surrounding islands.
Their success naturally excited the jealousy of the secular merchants;
and as they were generally regarded as destitute of commercial honor,
and unprincipled in their ambition, a formidable opposition was
easily fomented against them. This opposition, apparently justified by
self-preservation, and the necessity of inaugurating a more liberal and
enlightened commercial policy, impaired to a considerable extent the
interest and popularity of the sacerdotal establishments. At this stage
of their history, a circumstance occured which culminated in their
disgrace. Two valuable cargoes had been consigned to them by their
French correspondents. These cargoes were captured by the English, with
whom the French were at war. In conformity with maritime usage, the
consignors demanded indemnity of the Jesuits. The Jesuits denied the
legality of the demand, and refused to give the satisfaction asked. An
appeal was consequently taken to the King of France, who, deciding
in favor of the consignors, demanded the Jesuits to make the required
restitution. But their presumptuous piety led them to scorn his
authority in the same temper in which they had rejected the prayer of
his mercantile subjects. This insolent and treasonable conduct led
the king to investigate the principles of their order; and finally to
abrogate it in all the states of France, as a political organization
projected for the acquisition of power and riches.

By means of their Christianizing establishments in Paraguay and Uruguay,
the Jesuits ruled the natives with despotic power, and acquired an
immense amount of wealth. In 1750, Spain having by a commercial treaty
ceded to Portugal seven districts of these domains, the monks at the
head of an army of fourteen thousand men, compelled the contracting
nations to annul the treaty; but an attempt being afterwards made to
assassinate the King of Portugal, the government declared the order of
the Jesuits to be a treasonable organization, and confiscated all
their possessions in the dominion. The order of the Catholic Knights,
incorporated for the defense and propagation of the true faith, by the
force of arms, like the monks, rapaciously acquired an incredible amount
of riches while under the solemnest obligation to maintain a perpetual
condition of absolute poverty. These holy organizations were exclusively
military; the sword was the only argument they used. The Knights of
St. John, with the vow of poverty on their lips, but with the sword of
conquest in their hand, amassed such extensive domains, that they
gave their chief an annual salary of one million guilders. The Knights
Templars, while they vowed absolute poverty, acquired by arms, forced
loans, donations, bequests and other means, such a prodigious amount of
wealth that they erected nine thousand vast and princely palaces, each
enriched with extensive territory, and all powerful enough to maintain
immunity from the jurisdiction of the sovereign in whose kingdom they
were located. The Teutonic Knights, while they abjured the rights of
property, and swore never, to allow its possession to tarnish their
sanctity, wrung from Sweden all the territory that extends from the Oder
along its banks to the Gulf of Finland. It is reported by travellers
that the Shaggians, a barbarous tribe of Egypt, when meeting a foe, will
exclaim: "Peace be with you," and thrust a lance in his heart. The
wild mockery of these uncouth savages at avowed principles has been
far exceeded by the conduct and profession of the monachal and military
orders of the Catholic Church, whose vows were meant for imposition, and
whose life was a scene of perjury.

By the aid of magnificent revenues, the various orders of the religious
paupers were enabled successfully to negotiate for the most lucrative
dignities of the church, and enjoyed the fairest prospects of becoming
either bishops, cardinals or popes, and of obtaining the luxurious
indolence, idolatrous reverence, and impious adulation they secured. The
hypocritical devices of the ancient and modern Brahmins, of the Hindoo
and Mohammedan monks, and of the priests and prophets of ancient Pagan
nations have, in Christian countries, where no prejudice pleads in their
favor, and where their origin and claims are candidly investigated, been
justly exposed to the scoffs and contempt of common sense; and it
is possible that under the same circumstances, the monks, priests,
ceremonies and dogmas of Catholicism, which resemble them as nearly as a
type can its prototype, would sink to the same level.

When we calmly reflect on the monastic institution, and observe
the financial principles on which it is organized, the variety and
prodigious traffic which has distinguished its career, the immense
treasure and domains it has acquired by fraud and artifice, it seems
like some gigantic financial corporation, projected for speculating in
land, and for making money by the tricks of trade. When we call to
mind the avarice by which it has been actuated, the duplicity it has
practised, and the impositions of which it has been guilty, it appears
to be a corporation organized to make money, regardless of every maxim
of justice, and every principle of honor. When we consider how basely it
has prostituted its privileges and immunities; becoming superior to law
to violate the principles of rectitude; professing absolute indigence to
demand, like a highwayman, a tribute of every one it chanced to meet, if
not with a pistol in its hand, yet with an anathema at its disposal
more dreaded by the superstitious than thousands of pistols, it looms
up before the imagination as a corporation of outlaws, whose right is
might, whose object is money, and whose profession is to plunder. When
we reflect on its pretention of vending for gold the pardon of sin,
the favor of God, immunity for guilt, and protection against the future
retribution of heaven, it appears like a corporation of fiends which
arrogates the prerogatives of deity, traffic in the hearts and souls of
men, sport with their hopes and fears, and merchandise heaven and hell,
time and eternity. And when we remember that the Roman Catholic Church
has incorporated these infamous religious orders in her constitution,
and has officially pronounced them to be her most useful members, and
has thus sanctioned and made her own, all their duplicity, all their
rapacity, all their swindling operations, all their highway robbery, and
all their profanity, immorality and blasphemy, she seems like some black
and midnight monster, dripping with human gore, an embodiment of every
deformity, an incarnation of every loathsome, hideous and unsightly
demon, and a just representation of the character and principles of the


Nature has organized man for the conjugal union. She has endowed him
with powers adapted to its requirements; with passions that aspire after
its pleasures and benefits, and with sensibilities that can be gratified
only by the performance of its obligations. By the reciprocal relations,
and the amiable intercourse which it establishes between the sexes,
it furnishes an attractive means of mutual improvement, refining the
grossness of the sensual propensities, and developing the noblest graces
of the human character. By blending masculine boldness with feminine
delicacy, it takes rudeness from the one, and imparts energy to the
other; and thus contributes, in an eminent degree, to the formation of
that equanimity of character which is the happy medium between extremes,
and of that agreeable association of strength and urbanity which is best
fitted to cope with the difficulties incident to life.

By an alliance of mutual affection and interests for life, it secures
their highest development, and the most complete and undisturbed
enjoyment of their benefits. It identifies the honor and interests of
parents and children, securing affectionate protectors for helpless
infancy, faithful guardians for inexperienced youth, and interested
tutors for fitting the rising generation for the useful and noble
stations of society; and while it thus provides for children, it rewards
the solicitude of parents with a shelter in adversity, a support in
declining age, and a name in posterity.

But while such are the inducements of marriage, yet a regard to personal
interest and happiness might deter a considerate person from assuming
its obligations, when either a suitable companion has not been found, or
pecuniary resources are insufficient to meet the domestic demands in a
satisfactory manner. Pecuniary competency and similarity of taste and
disposition are requisites indispensable to connubial felicity. Without
them marriage would be a source of privation, difficulty and alienation;
and family a painful encumbrance. When, therefore, fortune has withheld
these essentials of conjugal happiness, celibacy, in either sex, is more
honorable than matrimony.

But to stifle the instincts that prompt to this union, and ungraciously
to spurn the incalculable benefits it proffers, unrestrained by any
prudential consideration, is to violate, without motive, the laws of
human happiness, and neglect the fulfilment of the most important
design of the organism of man. An act so unnatural is, perhaps, seldom
contemplated, except under extreme mental depression, or under the
singular delusions of which religious fanaticism is so prolific.
Disappointed love, reverses of fortune, or the hope of becoming
insensible to the wants of humanity by acquiring supernatural
perfection, has sometimes induced the weak and superstitious to assume
the monastic vow of perpetual celibacy. The motive of such conduct has
always originated in emotion; and though emotion is always sincere, it
is always fluctuating. A cloud that obscures the sun and casts a
gloom over earth, soon passes away, leaving the former in its natural
brightness, and the latter in its usual attractiveness. Not less
ephemeral is the mental gloom which adversity or superstition may throw
over the human mind. When the energies of acquisitiveness have been
prostrated by repeated pecuniary misfortunes; when the warmth of
ambition has been chilled by the wounds of reputation; when the currents
of love have been frozen by the cold breath of disappointment; the
desolated heart may feel that its struggle for subsistence is vain, that
its hopes of distinction have perished, and that its ties of love are
broken forever. But these despondent sensations are ephemeral; they are
the results of a temporary repose of passions which are rooted in the
constitution of our nature, and which can be destroyed only with our
being. Though despair may for a time throw a wintry gloom over the mind,
yet hope will again bud and bloom, avarice will again sigh for wealth,
ambition will again thirst for distinction, love will again yearn for
companionship, and every passion resuming its natural energy will again
create the emotions for which it was organized, and compel us to seek
its appropriate gratification in the social, conjugal, or political
relations which subsist in society.

This revulsion is inevitable. It is as certain as the subsidence of a
tempestuous torrent after having exhausted its energy, into its ordinary
peaceful roll. As all emotions are ephemeral, so must be all the vows
and resolutions which they generate. Each day brings with it new and
unexpected events, which abrogate or modify the emotions and resolves
which the circumstances of the preceding day had suggested; nay, more,
the antithetical emotions thus created are always proportionally strong
to those which they supplant. Hence vows assumed by any person under
extraordinary mental excitement, will be repudiated when he is under
extraordinary mental depression; and obligations assumed under either of
these conditions of mind, will be found inconsistent with the ordinary
obligations of life, when that usual current of thought and emotion
shall set in, which always flows in harmony with human reason,
philosophy and happiness, and the regular course of things. If when this
condition shall supervene; if when hope shall succeed to despair,
and reason and reflection to impulse and fanaticism, and when all
the passions and powers of our nature shall resume their natural
operation--if then, we shall have placed ourselves by any mistake,
however innocently committed, in a situation where we cannot respond to
the demands of our nature, we will find that we have doomed ourselves to
perpetual misery.

Nor will any degree of purity or sanctity of motive arrest the evils of
mistaken conduct. Nature is inexorable; she inflicts punishment on the
violators of her laws without regard to the motives by which they have
been actuated. She admits no apology; she knows no forgiveness. Neither
tears nor penitence can mitigate her vengeance; neither pleas of
conscientious motives, nor of ignorance of her ordinations, can soften
the rigor of her justice. Although the desire of perfection is a natural
and noble one, yet she has established laws by which alone it is to
be obtained, and punishes the aggressors of them with deformity and
imbecility. These laws are intelligible, Human perfection clearly
comprehends the perfect development of all the physical, mental and
moral powers of man. Exercise is the only means by which these faculties
can be developed. The system of exercise adapted to the attainment of
this end must embrace a judicious employment of every acuity belonging
to the human organism; allowing none to depreciate by indolence; none to
become enervated by incessant or overstrained exertion; but to maintain
all in that natural and reasonable condition in which, while they are
alternately relieved they are mutually strengthened. By the discipline
of such a system of exercise knowledge will gradually become the
foundation of reason, judgment the guide of fancy, conscience the
controller of the passions, the vital or gains the recuperator of the
physical and mental faculties; a healthy reciprocity and modifying
action will be maintained between all the powers, and that equilibrium
engendered which is peace; that condensation which is energy; and that
perfection which is essential to genius.

The monastic vow of perpetual celibacy is clearly unfavorable to this
general exercise of the powers of human nature. It permits the exercise
of only a limited number of these powers, and thereby obtrudes an
insuperable obstacle to the full development of the human character. It
stimulates those which it cultivates to incessant activity, and thereby
distorts and deforms their organisms by an abnormal development. It
fetters in inactivity the bulk of the human faculties, and thereby
lessens the number and variety of the natural sources of the pleasures
of life. It reduces activity in the vital system, and thereby saps
the fundamental strength of the whole organization, engendering those
physical and moral diseases, which render life joyless, and death often
the only remedy. It prohibits the exercise of those faculties by which
alone the design of the human organism can be accomplished, and permits
but a few of them to be exercised in order to attain the highest degree
of perfection. It would dry up the springs of a river, in order to
increase the volume of its current; it would weaken the foundation of an
edifice, in order to protect it against the shocks of earthquakes. But
whether these ecclesiastical absurdities are more insane than idiotical,
we respectfully submit to the acumen of the Ecumenical Council,
whenever it shall resume its session at Home.

The monastic vow of celibacy, is as weak in its fundamental principles,
as it is absurd in its discipline. It is founded on the ascetic
delusion, that the sensual passions are evils; and that human perfection
and happiness consist in the attainment of a passive state of mind,
untroubled by desire, thought or action. But this is a Brahminical
absurdity, rusted to its core by the abrasion of ages. Even if the
propensities were evils, yet wisdom would teach us that as they are a
result of our organism, they should be regulated; especially if by a
judicious regulation, they can be made to administer to the pleasures
of existence. But they are not evils; on the contrary, they are
unmeasurable benefits. If they are ever tormentors, it is when prudence
has not regulated their gratification, or when abuse has made their
cravings unnatural. If they are ever sources of disease, it is when they
are exercised in violation of the laws of human nature. If they
ever become impotent in the production of pleasure, it is when their
possessors have become gluttons, sots, debauchees, misers, or some
similar compound of human depravity. But when the animal passions are
refined by knowledge, chastened by virtue, directed by reason, governed
by conscience, and exercised with a considerate regard to the integrity
of the other powers, they become sources of pleasure and vigor,
incentives to industry and enterprise, and eminently contribute towards
the advancement of the perfection and happiness of our being.

Another fundamental error of the vow of celibacy, is the delusion
that man may by means of solitude and resolution arrest the natural
promptings of the propensities. The propensities are constituted by
nature essential portions of our being; and accordingly we must carry
them with us into whatever solitude we may retire; and as their emotions
are naturally irrepressible, their powers must be felt under whatever
obligation we may assume. Vows, resolutions and solitude are as
incapable of arresting the progress of the passions, as they are of
stopping the pulsations of the heart. Amid the deepest silence and
solitude they will still yearn for expression, and yearn the more the
deeper is the stillness. Amid the bustle and tumult of the world they
are excited by innumerable different objects; their attention is
divided among a variety of attractions; and each finds its appropriate
gratification constantly offered to its taste. But in solitude there
is every thing to concentrate, and nothing to divide their power;
every thing to inflame, and nothing to appease their appetites; and
consequently, under such circumstances, their powers must be the most
ungovernable, and the torments of their craving the most unsupportable.

The foregoing observations were made on the presumption, that the vow
of perpetual chastity was assumed by the Catholic orders with sincere
intentions of conforming to its requirements; but this was not always
the case. Whatever sincerity or sanctity may have mingled, in some
cases, with the motives that prompted its assumption, neither monks nor
nuns, nor priests, nor bishops, nor popes, have in general furnished a
reasonable amount of evidence in favor of their chastity.

The natural and efficient regulator of the animal passions is marriage.
The conjugal union, judiciously formed, is invaluable to man, but almost
indispensable to woman. Her organization preeminently qualifies her for
its conditions and relations. The sensitiveness peculiar to her nervous
system, obliges her to shrink from the rude battle of public life; her
weakness instructs her in the importance of placing herself under
the guardianship of the more muscular power of man, which is noblest
employed when it best protects the weak; and her characteristic
instincts and capacities lead her to seek her chief employment and
happiness in the modest retirement of domestic life, where she finds
the temple of which she alone is priestess; the idols which excite her
purest devotion; the altars on which she lavishes her choicest gifts;
and where, in administering her sacred profession, in dispensing
instruction to her children, care to her household, and consolation to
the sick and dying, her true dignity and beauty acquires the deepest
enchantment. Whatever the mental and personal charms of a female may be,
the true excellence of her character can never be seen or appreciated,
except in the practice of the amiable virtues which constitute the wife
and the mother. This, woman knows; this she feels; and to obtain this
end the rights of her nature, and the interests of society, concur in
authorizing her to adopt every available means. Yet, notwithstanding
these plain facts, the Catholic Church has the unpardonable presumption
to pronounce a curse on her, if she should prefer a union so essential
to her happiness and usefulness to a state of perpetual virginity. Every
time her common sense teaches her to say that marriage is preferable to
virginity, this religious monster, in the name of the Holy Trinity and
all the saints and angels, answers "Let her be accursed." Every time
her nature prompts her to say, that, to be joined in marriage is more
blessed than to remain in a state of virginity, this monster in horror
at the profane and unorthodox expressions, responds, "Let her be
accursed." Hear it from the lips of the holy mother herself:

"Whosoever shall say, that the church could not institute impediments
annulling marriage, or that in instituting them she has erred, let him
be accursed."

"Whosoever shall say, that the marriage state is preferable to a state
of virginity, or celibacy, or that it is not more blessed to remain in a
state of virginity or celibacy, than to be joined in matrimony, let him
be accursed."

"Whosoever shall affirm, that matrimonial causes do not belong to the
ecclesiastical judges, let him be accursed." ( Canon of the Council of

Atrocious as is this decree, it expresses not the full measure of
Catholic arrogance. For while with palpable inconsistency, the church
solemnizes among Catholics the rites which she anathematizes them for
prefer-ing, she declares that all those whose marriage ceremonies have
not been celebrated according to her fantastic requirements, are living
in a state of "shameful concubinage." It would seem that by consummating
the union which she holds men and women accursed for desiring, she
incurs on her own soul the curse she pronounces on others. She requires
no _fee_ for her matrimonial services, but accepts _marriage presents_,
which may perhaps have softened her malignity to this product of
civilization with regard to Catholics; but non-Catholics who do not
conciliate her holy aversion to it by such presents, she pronounces them
profligates, their wives prostitutes, and their children bastards. Hear
this from the lips of Pope Pius IX.

"Marriage cannot be given, unless there be, one and at the same time
a sacrament, consequently that _any other union_ between man and woman
among Christians, made in virtue of what civil law soever, is nothing
else than _a shameful and miserable concubinage_, so often condemned by
the church." (Allocution on the State of Affairs in New Grenada ).

So in the judgment of the present Pope, the non-Catholics in the United
States consist of strumpets and bastards. According to the principles
of the Catholic Church, thus officially enunciated, every person, the
marriage rites of whose parents have not been performed by a Catholic
priest, is an illegitimate offspring divested of all legal right to
inherit property of his parents. If the church shall ever gain in
America the numerical strength for which she is striving, what will be
the consequence to non-Catholics? Will she declare them legitimate, or
respect their property titles? Have not her priests made this land ring
with the assertion, that Infidels and Protestants have no right where
Catholicism is triumphant.

But who is she that has the audacity to proclaim such principles? A
church, which has been dripping with the blood of innocence for ages,
yet is thirsting for more. Who are they that prate about chastity? A
body of the most corrupt, unprincipled, and licentious priests that ever
disgraced the name of religion. The cold dissoluteness of the Catholic
orders is not only undeniable, but it is even frightful. Had history
been silent, and the real conduct of Catholic priests, and the interior
of Catholic nunneries remained a profound secret, yet, an ordinary
knowledge of human nature would have warranted the suspicion that
the priests were not models of chastity, nor the nunneries asylums of
innocence. But history has not been silent; she has spoken distinctly,
and spoken often. A nun escaped from her prison-house, or a priest not
yet steeled by hypocrisy to all the pleadings of virtue, or who was
disgusted beyond endurance at the corruption that festers in the heart
of the Catholic Church, has furnished history with startling records,
and raised the sacred veil, that the superstitious might behold the
horrible compound of duplicity, lust, and murder which secretly pollutes
the interior of the institutions which they reverence. But these fitful
revelations, although appealing to the noblest sympathies of mankind,
have seldom produced an effect equal to the exigency. Like bursts of
unexpected thunder, they have startled for a moment, but soon rumbled
into silence and forgetfulness.

Such is the general infatuation, that people seldom question that around
which the sanctions of religion are thrown, and when they do the doubt
is soon obliterated. They will reverently bow to a priest without
thinking it is possible that under the guise of his chaste and holy
profession, avarice, lust and murder may reign supreme. They will
heedlessly pass a nunnery without thinking how many broken hearts may
there be hopelessly imprisoned; how many gifted and accomplished females
may there be pining in anguish and despair, who, while they sought an
abode of unsullied chastity, found themselves entrapped in a den of
infamy, to be profaned by holy confessors! But reluctantly as charity
would believe these statements, they are substantiated beyond the
possibility of doubt or denial, by the records of Catholic authority of
the highest order.

An insight into the mysteries of Catholicism, and the mode by which
priests conceal from publicity their acts of seduction and adultery,
may be learned from the following extract from Hogan's "Auricular
Confession." "The secular orders," says he? "are composed chiefly
of parish priests and their curates, whose duty it is to hear their
parishioners. The orders of regulars are composed of friars, who are
subdivided into several minor orders, and who have no particular duties
to discharge, unless especially deputed to do so by the bishop, or the
deputy of the diocese into which they may be divided. It is so managed
by the secular priests, that whenever they fail in seducing their
penitents, and are detected by them that one of those friars shall
immediately be at hand to hear the confessions of all such females, and
forgive their sins, on condition that they shall never reveal to moral
being the thoughtless peccadillos of their parish priest, who for the
moment forgot himself, and whose tears of penitence now moisten the
ground on which he walks." (Auric. Confess, vol. ii. p. 168).

The adaptation of the confessional to prepare the way for seduction and
adultery may be comprehended by the following extract from the "Synopsis
of Popery" by the same author. "Do any of these families," asks he,
"know the questions which a priest puts to their families at the
confessional? Do husbands know the questions which priests put to their
wives at the confession?.... Fathers, mothers, guardians and husbands
fancy to yourself the most indelicate, immodest, libidinous questions
which the most immoral and profligate mind can conceive,--fancy those
ideas put into plain language, and that by way of questions and answers,
and you will then have a faint conception of the conversation which
takes place between a priest and your hitheto pure daughter. If after
two or three examinations, in that sacred tribunal, they still continue
virtuous, they are rare examples." (Synopsis, p. 170, 171).

While the Catholic Church imposes on the priests and monks the vow of
celibacy, it accords them the privilege of acting licentiously with
impunity. In the life of Bishop Scipio de Ricci, written by an eminent
Catholic, the practice of the church in allowing bishops and priests
to keep concubines, while it forbids them to marry under pain of
excommunication, is asserted and defended. The Council of Toledo passed
a canon forbidding priests to keep more than one concubine in public.
William Hogan asserts that every priest keeps a concubine, and every
teacher in a school attached to a Catholic nunnery, has been seduced by
her teacher. Chamancis says: "The adultery, obscenity and impiety of the
priests are beyond description." St. Chrysostom thinks the number of them
that will be saved, bears a very small proportion to those who will be
damned. Cardinal Conpaggio asserts that "the priest who marries
commits a more grievous sin than if he kept many concubines." Pope Paul
protected houses of ill-fame, and acquired great riches by selling them
licenses. The Council of Augsburg ordered that all suspected females
should be driven by whips from the dwellings of the clergy, and have
their hair cut off. A monk relates that he once made a contract with the
Devil that if he would cease to fill his mind with lascivious ideas, he
would omit some prayers to the saints whose pictures decorated the walls
of his cloister, but upon communicating the substance of the agreement
to the bishop, he was informed by him, that "rather than abstain from
adoring Christ and mother in their holy images it would be better to
enter every brothel and visit every prostitute in the city." Richard
of England replied to Fulk Nuelly, the legate of Pope Innocent III.,
commissioned to blow the trumpet of another crusade: "You advise me to
dismiss my three daughters, Pride, Avarice and Incontinence. I bequeath
them to the most deserving: my pride to the Knights Templars; my avarice
to the monks of Ciste; and, my incontinence to the prelates." Pope John
XXIII, was deposed by the Council of Constance for having committed
seventy different sorts of crimes, among the number of which was illicit
commerce with three hundred nuns. The Trappists, a monkish order
of highway robbers, were constantly employed in abducting females,
confining them in their monastery, and perpetrating the most atrocious
rapes. At the Council of Canterbury King Edgar declared that the houses
of the clergy were nothing but brothels, Petrarch laments over the fact
that the clergy at the papal court were shamefully licentious. Cardinals
lived openly with their concubines; and it became a question of
etiquette whether a bishop's concubine should not, at the court of His
Holiness, precede other ladies. Llorente, chief secretary of the
Spanish Inquisition in 1789, relates that the inquisitors having granted
permission to the females of a certain locality to denounce their guilty
confessors, the number of priests denounced was so great that thirty
secretaries were employed for sixty days in taking down depositions, and
that the profligacy of the clergy so far exceeded all calculation that
it was concluded to suspend investigation, and to destroy the records of
the proceedings. The extent and depth of clerical depravity can never be
divulged by those who know it, for St. Bernard asserts that "Bishops and
priests commit acts in private which it would be scandalous to express."

From nunneries governed and visited by priests of such a character,
what is the logical inference? Chamancis, an unimpeachable Catholic
authority, answers this question when he says: "To veil a woman in these
convents is synonymous to prostituting her." The seventh General Council
of Nice prohibited the erection of double convents for the accommodation
of both sexes; but the prohibition was not regarded. In Europe every
nunnery has attached to it a foundling asylum; in the United States, a
grave-yard. Llorente relates a curious account of Aquida, an abbess of a
Carmelite nunnery at Liemo. It appears that this female had, on several
occasions, professed to have become pregnant with stones, and to have
retired for the purpose of giving them birth. She had often exhibited
her miraculous progeny to the credulous, and pretended to be enabled, by
their divine nature, to cure diseases with them. Her success in working
miracles by them procured for her the reputation of a saint. But
unfortunate for her eventual canonization, a rumor became current
that instead of having given birth to stones, she had given birth to
children, and strangled them; and that she had obliged the holy nuns
under her supervision to practise the same iniquity. The informant, an
inmate of the nunnery, pointed out the place where the murdered babes
were buried; and subsequent excavation revealed the horrible fact, that
half the tale of blood had not been told.

The following additional facts, related by William Hogan, as having
transpired under his personal cognizance, afford further confirmative
proof of the general character of priests and nuns, and that it
remains as it has always been, in all countries, and at all periods of

"The Roman Catholics of Albany," says he, "had, about three years
previous to my coming among them, three Irish priests among them,
occasionally preaching, but always hearing confessions.... As soon as
I got settled in Albany I had, of course, to attend to the duty of
_auricular confession_, and in less than two months found that the
priests, during the time they were there, were the fathers of between
sixty and one hundred children, besides having debauched many who had
left the place previous to their confinement." (Auricular Confession, p.

"A short time previous to my coming to this country, and soon after my
being installed as confessor in the Romish Church, I became intimately
acquainted with a family of great respectability. This family consisted
of a widowed father and two daughters, and never in my life have I met
with more interesting young ladies than the daughters were.... In less
than two months after my first visit to this family, at their peaceful
and respectable breakfast table, I observed the chair which had been
usually occupied by the elder of the two ladies occupied by the younger,
and that of the latter to be vacant. I inquired the cause, and was
informed by the father that he had just accompanied her to the coach,
which had left that morning for Dublin, and that she went on a visit to
the Rev. B. K. It seems that both of the daughters of whom I have spoken
went to the school attached to the nunnery of the city of ------.
The confessor whose duty it was to hear the duty of the pupils of the
institute, was one Rev. B. K., a friar of the Franciscan order, who, as
soon as his plans were properly laid, and circumstances rendered them
ripe for execution, seduced the elder lady; and finding the fact could
no longer be concealed, arranged matters with a Dublin friend.... She
was confined at the house of his friend, and her illicit offspring given
to the managers of the foundling hospital in Dublin.... No sooner
was this elder lady provided for, than this incarnate demon, B. K.,
commenced the seduction of the younger lady. He succeeded, and ruined
her too. But there was no difficulty in providing for them. They both
became nuns..... I saw them in the convent at Mount Benedict. They were
great favorites of Bishop Fenton. They were spoken of by some of
the females of Boston as models of piety." (Auricular Confession, p.

"Soon after my arrival in Philadelphia,... a Roman Catholic priest by
the name of O. S. called on me, and showed me letters of recommendation
which he had from Bishop T., of Ireland, and countersigned by the Roman
Catholic bishop of New York, to Bishop England, of South Carolina....
He arrived at Charleston, and was well received by Bishop England. There
lived in the parish to which this reverend confessor was appointed, a
gentleman of respectability and wealth. Bishop England supplied this
new missionary with letters of strong recommendation to this gentleman,
advising him to place his children under his charge, assuring him they
would be brought up in the fear of God and love of religion.... The Rev.
Popish wretch seduced the eldest daughter of his benefactor, and the
father becoming aware of the fact, armed himself with a case of pistols,
and determined to shoot the seducer. But there was in the house a
good Catholic servant [a spy] who advised the seducer to fly. He soon
arrived in Charleston; the right reverend bishop understood his case,
advised him to go to confession, and absolved him from his sins;... sent
him on his way to New York.... His victim after a little time, having
given birth to a fine boy, goes to confession herself, and sends the
child of sin to the Sisters of Charity residing in ------, to be taken
care of as a _nullius filius_. As soon as the child was able to walk a
Roman Catholic lady adopted it as her own. The real mother of the child
soon removed to the city of ------, told the whole transaction to the
Roman Catholic bishop of ------, who knowing that she had a handsome
property, introduced her to a highly respectable Protestant gentleman,
who soon married her. He (the bishop ) soon after introduced the
gentleman to the Sisters of Charity who had provided for the illicit
offspring of the priest, concealing its parentage, and representing it
as having no father living. The gentleman was pleased with the boy, and
the holy Bishop finally prevailed on him and his wife to adopt it as his
own." (Auric. Confess, p. 111-115).

When quite young and just emerging from childhood, I became acquainted
with a Protestant family, residing in the neighborhood of my birthplace.
It consisted of a mother (a widow), and three interesting children, two
sons and one daughter.... In the course of time the sons grew up, and
their guardian in compliance with their wishes, and to gratify their
ambition, procured them commissions in the army.... As soon as the
sons left to join their respective regiments, which were then on the
Continent, the mother and daughter were much alone.... There was then
in the neighborhood only twenty miles from this family, a nunnery of the
order of Jesuits. To this nunnery was attached a school superintended
by the nuns of that order.... The mother yielded, in this case, to the
malign influence of fashion;... sent her beautiful daughter, her earthly
treasure, to the school of these nuns.... Soon after the daughter
was sent to school, I entered the college of Manooth as a theological
student, and in due time was ordained a Catholic priest.

An interval of some years passed.... There was a large party given, at
which among others I happened to be present; and there meeting with my
friends and interchanging the usual courtesies on such occasions, she
sportingly, as I then imagined, asked me whether I would preach her
reception sermon, as she intended becoming a nun and taking the veil....
I heard no more of the affair until about two months, when I received
a note from her designating the chapel in which she expected my
services.... On the reception of my friend's note a cold chill crept
over me, I anticipated and trembled, and felt there must be foul

Having no connection with the convent in which she was immured, I did
not see her for three months following. At the expiration of that time
one of the lay sisters delivered me a note.... I found my young friend
wished to see me on something important I of course lost no time in
calling on her, and being a priest, I was immediately admitted; but
never have I forgotten, never can I forget, the melancholy picture of
lost beauty and fallen humanity which met my astonished gaze in the
person of my once beautiful and virtuous friend.... 'I sent for you, my
friend, to see you once before my death..... I am in the family-way and
must die.'

He then proceeds to relate, that in the course of a conversation
which ensued he learned from the nun that she had been seduced by her
confessor, (which fact precluded any appeal or redress), and that the
lady abbess had proposed to procure an abortion, but that an inmate had
informed her that the medicine which the lady abbess would give would
contain poison. He promised to renew his visit within a few days; he did
so, but the foul deed was done.

Fiends! Monsters! Does not the blood curdle in every vein at such
recitals? Does not man and woman blush at their dishonored nature?
Is there a God that can allow the use of his name to sanction such
execrable depravity; that can look with indifference on women avowing
chastity in his name in order to allure the purest of their sex to
destruction; or that can be insensible to the imprecations of injured
innocence, profaned in holy houses? Is God a fiction, or divine
retribution a dream? No! While a thunderbolt leaves a monastery or a
nunnery in existence, lightning has no avenging power! While either of
them exists man may well doubt the existence of retributive justice in
human affairs.

But it may be said, that God has delegated to society the power to
punish offences committed against its moral interests, and therefore
does not himself interfere in the matter. But does society exercise its
authority in the matter any more visibly than deity? Society enacts
laws and prescribes penalties respecting murder, rape, brothels, false
imprisonment, and irregular interments. She also investigates all
alleged infractions of these laws, except when they involve the honor of
monastic institutions. But why are these dens exempted from the common
law of the land? Why are they allowed to bar their doors against
the authority which all others must respect? Why are they allowed to
organize within a government an independent government, nullifying
its jurisdiction over them? Why are not the interior of monastic
institutions constantly and thoroughly inspected, and the authority of
the common law maintained over them? Is it because they are too pious to
violate the law of the land? If this were so, it would do them no
harm, but much good, to have the fact week after week attested by an
investigating committee composed of their opponents. But is not the
contrary the fact? Do they not deprive their inmates of personal
liberty? Do they not imprison them in dungeons? Do they not punish
them? Do they not inflict on them barbarous chastisements? Are they not
sacerdotal brothels? Has not every age and country given its testimony
to show that kidnapped men and women have been imprisoned for life in
their cells; that there nuns have been poisoned, abortions procured,
babes murdered, women outraged by priests, and every law, human or
divine violated with impunity?

Are these sensational declamations? Would for the credit of human nature
they were. No! They are the true records of monastic history, alleged by
kings and statesmen, proved before councils, and acknowledged by monks,
nuns, priests, bishops, and popes. With such an array of evidence before
society, why does it allow institutions among it where every crime _may_
be committed secretly, and with impunity? Why do not grand juries, who
visit other jails, penitentiaries, and asylums, inspect also the more
secret and suspicious nunneries?

We have now described the nature and consequences of the monastic vow
of celibacy. This obligation is opposed to the nature, and defeats the
object of the human organism. It extinguishes conjugal, filial, and
parental affection. It severs the ties that bind the interests of
society together. It injures both the present and the future, by
abrogating their mutual connection. It strikes at the root of national
greatness, by arresting the tide of population. It degrades the dignity
of the community, by increasing the number of illegitimate children. It
wars against marriage, the noblest incentive to social refinement and
civilization; the basis of woman's hope and happiness; the impulse and
gratification of her pride of family, love of parental control,
and desire to live in posterity. It anathematizes woman's purest
aspirations, and man's holiest ties. It converts the ardor of chastity
into snares for its seduction. It sanctifies prostitution and adultery.
It violates the law of the land. It erects in the most magnificent parts
of a city its spacious brothels, with massive walls, secret doors,
false floors, guarded windows, grated cloisters, inaccessible to the
inspection of law, but accessible at all hours of night or day by
priests. Within these walls it allures beauty, virtue, and talent, and
while pretending to fit them for the society of infinite purity, betrays
them into the power of unprincipled priests, and imprisons them in
eternal seclusion, where no groan can meet the public ear, where they
can never tell the story of their wrong, nor appeal to a heart for
sympathy, nor to a law for redress.


Another vow which was universally assumed by the religious orders, was
the vow of unconditional obedience. By the obligation of this vow the
members of the convents were subjected to the absolute authority of the
superiors; the superiors to the absolute authority of the generals; the
generals to the absolute authority of the pope. The authority of these
holy officials strongly resembled that of the oriental despot, who, on
being informed by his general that it was impossible to build the bridge
over the river, as he had ordered, replied: "I inquired not of thee
whether it was impossible or not; I commanded thee to build it; if
thou failest thou shalt be strangled." Accordingly, at the mandate of a
superior a subordinate was obliged to go on any errand, for any purpose,
criminal or not, to depart on any mission, to perform any work, to
undertake any enterprise, or to occupy any station that he required of
him. The superior's decision was final, and from it there was no appeal.
The Jesuit's general was empowered to inflict and remit punishment at
option, and to expel any member of the order without the form of
charge or trial. It mattered not whether the task assigned the recluse
exceeded, or not, his mental or physical capacity, he was bound to obey
the order immediately, and fully; to hesitate, or seem to hesitate was a
crime, and by the penal code of some of the monasteries punished by the
infliction of one hundred lashes.

But to reduce a human being to such an absolute servitude was no easy
task. To transform an active being into a spiritless automaton; a
sensitive being into a senseless machine; a rational being into an
irrational brute, was not the work of a moment, but of years and
discipline. In order to subdue and habituate the will to implicit and
mechanical obedience, recourse had to be had to penance, to trials,
to all that could stifle doubt and inquiry, debilitate the power of
resistance, and degrade conscious dignity in the dust. The most menial
services, the most loathsome, disgusting, and absurd offices were
consequently assigned to the probationists. They were required to
suck the putrid sores of invalids, to remove enormous rocks, to walk
unflinchingly into fiery furnaces, to cast their infants into ponds of
water, to plant staffs in the ground and to water them until they
should grow. They were never allowed to be alone, two were always to be
together; the one a constant and conscious spy on the emotions of the
other. The faithful son who could harden himself into a cold, cruel, and
remorseless statue, was commended for his attainments in piety; but
the unfaithful son who could not but betray some emotion, or remaining
consciousness of the independence of his nature, in defiance of his
circumspection, was doomed to suffer the torments of an excruciating

The vow of solitude had stifled the social instincts; the vow of silence
had paralyzed the powers of speech, and sealed up the lips of wisdom,
knowledge and eloquence; the vow of contemplation had subjugated the
intellectual faculties to the domination of fancy, and the bewilderments
of ignorance; the vow of poverty had shackled the faculties of
improvement and enterprise; the vow of celibacy had extinguished
connubial and parental affection; and now the vow of unconditional
obedience, by subjugating reason, conscience, and the executive powers
to the absolute control of a superior, had completed the monk's slavery
in the ruin of every noble and valuable attribute of his nature.
Atrocious as were the other vows, the last exceeded the combined
atrocity of them all. It consummated the destruction of his nature. It
was the grave of his manhood; the tomb in which he buried himself alive.
After its assumption his reason was not to guide him; his knowledge
was not to direct him; his conscience was not to admonish him; but
in defiance of them all, and even at the risk of his life, he was to
tremble, and obey a spiritual despot. His perceptive faculties, his
conscious independence, his love of liberty and justice, his sense
of obligation and accountability, all the mental, moral, and physical
powers which constitute his being, were by this vow, basely surrendered
to an absolute lord, to whom he became a slave in mind and body,--and

The blind obedience which the pope demands to his despotic will, is
antagonistical to the Jewish religion, to the Christian religion, and to
Natural religion. It is a nullification of all religion; an abrogation
of the authority of the deity; a usurpation of the throne of Heaven. The
Jewish and the Christian religion require unconditional obedience to God
alone. In their sacred books, the pope is nowhere mentioned, nor is
any power referred to analagous to what he claims. Natural religion
prescribes reason and conscience as the supreme guide of man; and reason
and conscience reject the papal authority as absurd and unjust. In the
Hierophant of the Elysian mysteries, in the Apostolic Successor of
Buddha, in the Grand Lama, in the Egyptian and Persian High Priest we
may find something analagous to the claims of the Pope of Rome, but
nowhere else.

The unconditional obedience required by the pope is inconsistent with
all ideas of merit and demerit in human conduct. If man acts not from
the independent suggestion of his reason and conscience, but from the
secret orders of another, he is no more deserving of commendation for
useful acts, than a locomotive is for its obedience to the will of an

The unconditional obedience demanded by the pope is inconsistent with
human accountability. It is an abrogation of all obligation, and all
law. It assumes that the pope is above all authority; accountable to
none; and that he is capable of nullifying all obligations between man
and man, between government and subjects, between mankind and their
creator. It obtrudes between man and his reason, and forbids him to
listen to its voice. It obtrudes between man and his conscience, and
forbids him to obey its dictates. It obtrudes between man and his civil
obligations, and forbids him to obey the laws of his country. It leaves
no sense of duty or obligation existing in the constitution of man.
According to it, man is not accountable to reason, nor conscience, nor
society, nor God, but to the pope alone. The pope is therefore "more
than God," as one of his titles asserts; and God is no God or an
inferior one to him.

The unconditional obedience enforced by the pope is subversive of the
rights of the world. For one man, however good or great, to require
the united intelligence of the human family to submit to his arbitrary
dictation, is to deny their right to an independent will, reason,
conscience, or principle of action, or the privilege of exercising the
powers which they have inherited with their being. It is to declare
that all men are abject slaves to the pope. It is to deny that any has
a right above a brute that is bridled, harnessed, or yoked, to be
driven by the spurs and whips of its owner. In short, it is to crush all
liberty and the rights of human nature.

A claim of absolute authority is always absurd; but the papal claim
of absolute dominion over human conscience and reason, surpasses all
absurdity recorded in the annals of tyranny and arrogance. Even
were superiors, generals, and popes as wise and virtuous as humanity
permitted, yet such a degree of power entrusted to them would be
detrimental to the interests of society. Parents whose welfare and
honor are so intimately interwoven with the welfare and honor of their
children, often regret over the mistakes which they have committed
in giving counsel. For a spiritual despot, whose nature has been
religiously pruned of human sensibilities, whose mind has been
contracted within the bigoted circle of spiritual ideas, whose
interest is antagonistical to those of his subjects, and who owns no
accountability for the proper exercise of his functions, for such an
inhuman monster to be entrusted with exclusive control over the reason,
conscience, and interests of another, would as inevitably complete
his arrogance and tyranny as it would the misery and slavery of his
subordinate. Less than such a result could not be expected from the best
of superiors, generals, or monks. But when the past history of
these holy men has shown that they have invariably labored for their
self-aggrandizement, and that as a class, they have been ignorant,
immoral, cruel and intriguing, such power, in the hands of such men,
would not only extinguish all virtue in the breast of the governed, but
render them instruments of the most flagitious purposes. When by means
of an ecclesiastical despotism, learning was governed by ignorance,
wisdom by folly, virtue by vice, can we wonder that monks, superiors,
generals and popes were the basest and most licentious of men; that the
convents were rife with prostitution and murder; that the papal court
was the most profligate in the world; and that the most prosperous
period of Catholicism was the darkest age of mankind.

But the papal claim of absolute control over reason and conscience
refutes itself. It suggests a strong presumption that he is conscious
that he can make no successful appeal to either reason or conscience.
Had it been otherwise would he have denied their authority? Were he
confident that his pretensions are founded in truth, would he have
prohibited investigation'? Is not reason the clearest guide to truth,
conscience its most powerful advocate, investigation its most formidable
ally? And had these noble principles been available in supporting the
pretension of the pope, would he have had the stupidity to denounce

If it is consistent with religion to make automata of human beings,
slaves of men, a machine of the world; to harness mankind in the gears
of an ecclesiastical despot, that they may be driven under his lash
whithersoever his pleasure or interest may require; to obliterate the
faculties that distinguish men from brutes; to deny the existence of
a God by abrogating his attributes, and blaspheme Omnipotence by the
ridicule of assuming his prerogatives; then the absolute, implicit, and
unhesitating obedience enjoined on the religious orders by the Catholic
Church is in accordance with its spirit and design. But if religion is
morality in its highest development, humanity in its purest character,
and reason in its freest exercise, then is the papal despotism not only
subversive of religion, but destructive of the rights of man, of the
obligations of virtue, and dangerous to the liberty and interests of the


We have shown in the previous chapters that the monastic vows are in
conflict, not only with the requirements of moral goodness, but with
the dictates of reason, the principles of personal improvement, and the
interests and progress of society. We have shown, also, that they were
assumed not for the humble purpose of acquiring spiritual perfection,
but for the ambitious purpose of obtaining riches, power, and dominion.
From these considerations, and from the fact that the monachal orders
form an elementary part of the constitution of the Catholic Church,
we have inferred that she is rather a political than a religious
institution; and that while politics form her nature and principles,
religion is assumed as an ornament and disguise.

We will now adduce a few facts tending to show that monkish orders
originated, not from Christianity; that they existed in pre-historic
ages; and that so far as they constitute the Catholic Church, she is a
heathen, and not a Christian institution.

It is well known that the Carmelite monks claim Elijah, the prophet, as
their founder. Among the ancient personages whom they assert belonged
to their order, they enumerate Pythagoras, the Gallic Druids, all
the prophets and holy men mentioned in the Old and New Testament,
the Apostles, the Essenes, and the ancient hermits. Although amid
the wrangling of the monastic orders for preeminence, this claim has
rigorously been contested, yet Pope Benedict III. allowed the Carmelites
to erect in the Vatican the statue of Elijah as the founder of their
order. This permission, so far as the concession of the infallible
father is authority, places the antiquity of the monachal order remotely
beyond that of Christianity; acknowledges its institution to have
originated from Judaism; and grants that its rules and principles were
adopted by ancient Pagan fraternities.

That identical institutions have flourished in Asia from the remotest
historical periods, admits not of a question. The present Sufism of
Arabia is but a modified form of an ancient system of pantheistical
mysticism, which taught that through the observance of ascetic
practices the animal passions could be destroyed, the soul purified
and assimilated to God, and a beatific state attained whose tranquility
nothing could disturb. The Gymnosophists, the naked philosophers of
India, were an order of monks, who practised the most excruciating
penance; and who, in their eagerness to become pure, sometimes burnt
themselves alive. The God Fo, born in Cashmere B. C. 1027, the author
of the Braminical religion, strenuously advocated monachal institutions.
The different orders of the monks and hermits which originated from his
allegorical and mystical teaching, assumed the vows of unconditional
obedience and absolute poverty. The monks resided in monasteries, and
the hermits in deserts. They both practised the most rigorous penance,
professed to aspire after absolute purity, but in their conduct and
principles they were grovelling, intriguing, profligate and ambitious.
Buddha, born B. C. 1029, two years after Fo, founded the monastic order
of the Buddhists. His convents were governed by superiors who were
subject to the absolute authority of the patriarch, or, as he was
officially styled, the Apostolic Successor. The functions and authority
of the Buddhistic superiors were similar to those of the Catholic
orders; and the pretensions and dignity of the patriarch were one and
the same with those of the Pope of Rome. The monks lived in monasteries,
assumed the vows of obedience, poverty and celibacy, and admitted
virgins to social intercourse. Jeseus Christna, born B. C. 3,500, the
incarnate redeemer of the Hindoos, whose birth, life, and miracles
resemble those of Jesus Christ, (see "Bible in India,") alludes in
his discourses to monks and hermits as being at his time ancient,
flourishing and venerated orders. The Hindoo and Mohammedan Fakirs are
classes of monks who vow obedience, poverty and celibacy, retire from
the world, pass their time in silent contemplation, and acquire the
veneration of the populace by the practice of absurd and cruel penance.
The Essenes, who flourished in Egypt and Palestine before the Christian
era, were an organization of monks who derived their theological
principles from the God Theuth, the founder of the Egyptian religious

From the above enumerated facts the conclusion is irresistible, that
the Catholic monastic orders are neither of Christian origin, nor
inconsistent with the doctrines and worship of Paganism.

A Romish missionary who visited China, observing the similarity which
subsisted between the Chinese and the Catholic religion, declared
that the devil must have preceded him, and converted the nation to
Christianity, in order to cheat the church out of the credit of the
enterprise. A more learned but less pious authority concluded from
the same analogy, that Catholicism did not convert Paganism, but that
Paganism converted Catholicism.

We will now conclude our examination of the Catholic monastic orders,
with a few general remarks.

The monastic vows are not only a bold abnegation of the authority of
reason and conscience, but a crafty device to delude the credulous,
and secretly to acquire riches, power and influence. Although they were
assumed by the monks as perpetual obligations, yet they were evaded,
modified, or abrogated as interest and policy suggested. The mendicant
orders, which assumed the vow of perpetual and absolute poverty,
artfully labored to amass fortunes; and soon betrayed a secret design
of acquiring hierachal importance and supremacy. The Franciscans,
who solemnly obligated themselves to remain forever poor, incessantly
grasped after riches. When they had built nunneries, convents, and
became the proprietors of extensive domains, they abrogated their vow
of perpetual poverty, lest it should invalidate their title to vast
possessions which they held. With equal duplicity and ambition, they
assumed, upon their first organization, a vow of perpetual ignorance;
abjuring the acquisition of any intellectual accomplishment, and
consecrating themselves strictly to the preaching of the gospel. But
becoming enchanted with the magnificence of the papal crown, and wishing
to wield its immense power and lucrative patronage in behalf of their
order, and perceiving that literary acquirements would facilitate the
accomplishment of this object, they annulled their vow of perpetual
ignorance, and began to devote themselves to the acquisition of
some degree of profane erudition. Having acquired immense wealth and
popularity, and removed by art or bribery every obstacle to the success
of their ambition, they placed on the apostolic throne, from their
own order, Nicholas V., Alexander V., Sixtus IV., and Clement XIV.
The Dominicans, who were established to preach against infidels and
heretics, adopted at the commencement of their career the money-making
devices of the mendicant orders; but when their revenues had become so
great, and their domains so extensive that they had attracted a covetous
glance from the secular power, they prudently annulled the vows by which
they had been acquired, lest the profane avariciousness of princes
should cause their sequestration.

The Jesuits professed to have a holy abhorrence of riches, but
thankfully accepted costly presents, opulent legacies, vast tracts of
land, and the pecuniary means of erecting numerous stately structures.
While this pious fraternity resolved not to accept any ecclesiastical
dignity, it secretly and artfully labored to acquire all the privileges
of the mendicant orders, all the advantages of the secular clergy, and
to make the members of its order superior to those of any other, and
its general next in power and importance to the pope. By hypocrisy,
intrigue, and cringing sycophancy, these unscrupulous monks obtained
rights and privileges enjoyed by no other ecclesiastical corporation.
They not only obtained exemption from all civil and episcopal taxes, and
from all amenability to any other power than that of the pope; but also
the authority of absolving from all sins and ecclesiastical penalties;
of changing the object of the vows of the laity; and of acquiring
churches and domains without restriction. They were privileged also to
suit their dress to circumstances, their conduct to peculiarities, their
profession to the views of others; to be accommodating and complaisant
while pursuing a political enterprise, and under the mask of any
external appearance to prosecute in secret what might excite opposition
if openly avowed. They were allowed to become actual merchants,
mechanics, showmen, actors, and to adopt any profession calculated to
facilitate the accomplishment of a design, and to throw off the
mask whenever they thought expedient. Organized on the principles of
deception, and unrestricted in their privileges, they secretly labored
for their own aggrandizement, while they publicly professed to be
sacrificing their interests to the salvation of mankind. They became
professors of universities and tutors of schools, that they might select
the brightest minds of the rising generation, and mould them to their
purposes. They became the spiritual guides of females of rank and
opulence, that they might avail themselves of their influence and
control their wealth. They became the confessors of princes, that they
might penetrate their intentions, ferret out their secrets, watch over
their conduct, and enslave and govern their minds. They became the
governors of colonies, in order to grasp secular revenues, and to
exercise the political power in behalf of their interests. They
established seminaries and boarding schools for both sexes, in order to
acquire dominion over the young; they sought to occupy the confessional,
in order to discover all domestic and governmental secrets; and they
labored to monopolize the pulpit, in order to manufacture public
opinion, and influence the general tone of society in their favor.

The numerous divisions into which the religious orders were divided,
and their different degrees of austerity, enabled the church to suit
its policy to the corruption or purity, the ignorance or learning of the
nation it sought to proselyte and govern. Under its direction the monks
flattered every power they were ordered to subvert, and blushed at no
sycophancy that facilitated the accomplishment of an object. Governed
by unnatural vows, they sacrificed freedom, the source of natural
sentiment, to credulity and blind submission The most absurd and
criminal injunctions of a superior or general were obeyed without
compunction or remorse. If they aspired after perfection, it was by
sacrificing the virtues of life. If they strove to obtain personal
purity, it was by violating the laws of their being. They sought to
atone for offences by scourging their backs, ironing their limbs,
chaining themselves to rocks, passing their lives in caves, in days
without food, in nights without sleep, in years without speaking;
subsisting without money, propagating without women, acquiring the
respect of the world they despised, the riches they contemned, and the
dignity they abjured. They were a palpable deception, yet an object
of universal veneration. By cunning and obsequiousness they sought and
obtained power; by duplicity and fraud they amassed fortunes; by luxury
and tyranny they oppressed the world. Every species of absurdity, art,
hypocrisy, avarice, ambition and despotism, under the guise of sanctity
was embodied in their organization, and illustrated in their conduct.

The doctrines which they taught were often as pernicious as their
professions were false, and their conduct crafty. As the accommodating
morality of their religion allowed them to adopt any profession, or any
mode of life that would favor the success of a design, so the license of
their sophistry enabled them to construe the maxims of virtue according
to any standard that would justify the conduct dictated by their
interest or sycophancy. By the pliancy of their moral code they
consecrated the basest means to pious ends. By the subterfuge of
perplexing interpretations, mental reservations, and an artful ambiguity
of language, they excused and sanctioned perjury and every other crime.
They taught that offences were justified, if, when committed, the
criminal thought differently from what he said or done; and that a
mental reservation nullified the obligation of any promise, of any
contract, or of any treaty. The perversions of the maxims of virtue by
which they sought to justify the crimes of others, they applied to their
own conduct in the broadest sense. In 1809, when the papal archives
were brought to France, the startling fact became public that the
holy fathers had been in the habit of availing themselves of pious
subterfuges. It then appeared that while they had made contracts, and
issued bulls in conformity with the demands of temporal princes, they
had at the same time nullified, by virtue of mental reservations, such
of them as were obnoxious.

The absurdities and perniciousness of their moral code were not exceeded
by those of their penal code. According to the doctrines of Catholicity
the guilt of every crime may be expiated by the performance of penance.
To regulate the priest in prescribing this mode of punishment, the
church furnished him with an ecclesiastical body of laws, which he as
carefully as prudently concealed from the eyes of the intelligent. All
priests were enabled, by the use of this code, to understand the true
orthodox degree of punishment which had been authoratively decided
should be inflicted on penitents, for the commission of any offence of
word, thought or deed; and a uniformity in the administration of
penal prescriptions was maintained, which harmonized with the divine
inspiration by which the confessor pretended to be guided in the matter.
Fasts, prayers, self-torture, abstinence from business, were, by the
authority of the ecclesiastical code, declared to be the divinely
appointed methods of expiating the guilt of rape, of fornication, of
adultery, of robbery, of murder, and of every degree and species of
crime. These offences being very henious in their nature, and very
frequently committed by those who believed in the ability of the church
to absolve them from their guilt, and time being required for the
performance of the atoning penance, it is easy to see that an ordinary
Catholic sinner was in eminent danger of incurring a debt which would
require several centuries of penance to liquidate. Here was a dilemma.
Long fasting would starve him; long abstinence from business would
empoverish him; and either expedient would prevent him from being a
source of revenue to the church; and, in fact, defeat the object of
the holy sacrament of penance. To obviate this difficulty the ingenious
method of indulgences was adopted. By this happy expedient provision
was made for the relief of all criminals at stipulated prices, graduated
according to their pecuniary circumstances. A penance imposed on a
rich sinner for one year's indulgence in the commission of a particular
offence, was, by this crafty device, allowed to be cancelled by the
payment of twenty shillings to the priest; and if the sinner was poor,
by the payment of nine shillings. Yet even by this indulgence and
charitable discrimination, as every separate offence required the
atonement of a separate penance, few sinners escaped incurring less than
a debt of three hundred years, or of two hundred pounds sterling. The
liquidation of such an obligation during the dark ages would consume a
small fortune; but the expansive benevolence of the church, touched
at the sorrows of her contrite members, graciously accepted their land
after she had exhausted their purse.

As crime had its degrees of turpitude, the ecclesiastical code
prescribed degrees of severity in punishing it. Whoever could not pay
with their purse had to pay with their body. Three thousand lashes,
and the repetition of a portion of the Psalter, were prescribed as an
indispensable satisfaction for any crime whose penance required a year
to discharge; and fifteen thousand lashes and the repetition of the
whole Psalter, for any crime whose penance required five years to
discharge. A year's penance was taxed at three thousand lashes, a
century's at three hundred thousand lashes, and five centuries at
fifteen hundred thousand lashes. 13

These scourgings were always sanctified by the repetition of psalms. As
vicarious flagellation did not impair the revenues of the church, it
was not objected to; and a sinner would often expiate his guilt
by vigorously laying the stripes it demanded on the back of an
accommodating friend. The skill and hardihood of St, Dominic was able to
discharge the penitential lashes of a century in six days; and his
pious example was attempted to be imitated even by ladies of fashion and

The monasteries were ambiguous, oppressive corporations. If they have
at times preserved the literary treasures of the ancients, they have
impaired their authority by numerous corruptions and interpolations. If
they have sometimes established institutions for the education of youth,
they have generally usurped the fortunes of their patrons. If they have
ever been places of refuge for the proscribed, they have always been the
means of oppressing industry, and restricting freedom. If they have been
schools for the correction of error, and improvement in virtue, yet the
absurdities and immoralities taught within their sanctuaries, and the
crimes notoriously practised therein, have inflicted deeper injury on
the cause of truth, and on the interest of public morals, than can be
atoned for by any usefulness or virtue which they could possess, or
can pretend to claim. Their virtues were accidents; their vices natural
offsprings. They were financial institutions. The labor performed by
their inmates as a penance, was made a lucrative source of revenue.
The articles which they manufactured were represented as capable of
imparting a peculiar blessing to the purchaser, making them cheap at
any price. A simple badge of a religious order, to which were ascribed
divine virtue, and an unlimited amount of indulgences, was sold to lay
members at the price of a respectable fortune. The tutors with which
the monasteries furnished schools, the professors which they gave to
colleges, the confessors with which they supplied princes, and the
spiritual guides with which they provided the affluent of both sexes,
were benevolently granted upon the payment of exorbitant sums of money.
Gold being the source of power and luxury, it became the governing
principle of the church. For it she granted indulgences to violate the
laws of heaven and earth; threatened and repealed excommunications; and
merchandised every spiritual blessing, all the prerogatives of heaven,
and all the privileges of earth. Gold supplied the place of contrition,
atoned for the offences of criminals, released sinners from purgatory,
and opened to guilt the gates of Paradise. As it more ably than any
thing else increased the power and dominion of the church, it was a more
adorable object than the deity, a more precious savior than Christ, a
more sanctifying possession than the Holy Ghost. As all had sinned, all
had to pay; and as all were totally depraved, all had to be liberal.
The confessor was judge; and as he was interested in the amount, he was
likely to be exorbitant in the demand. The sin of total depravity,
which all had inherited from the forbidden fruit which Adam had eaten,
empowered a priest to demand of a penitent the surrender of the whole of
his fortune.

With extraordinary financial ingenuity, the church converted not only
the crimes of her members, but the virtues of her departed saints, into
a lucrative source of revenue. Happily conceiving that the saints, some
of whom had been executed as malefactors, had performed more good works
than was necessary for the salvation of their souls, she inferred that
the superabundant quantity of their goodness might be dealt out to
the destitute without detriment to the owners. With more cupidity than
reason, the church laid claim to these works of supererogation, and
began to vend them at exorbitant prices. The exhaustlessness of the
store, and the scarcity of the article among her members, made the
enterprise a very profitable speculation.

After disposing of a great portion of heaven, and finding it exceedingly
remunerative, her inveterate disposition to traffic led her to examine
the saints more carefully, and see if they had not other disposable
material for the exercise of her commercial ingenuity. She was not long
in discovering that the bones of the saints were likely to be deemed as
valuable as their virtues had been, and might prove as marketable. This
discovery induced an industrious search for their graves, and a careful
excavation of them. The bones of Samuel, the judge of Israel, which had
slept for five hundred years in Palestine, were exhumed and transported
to Rome. St. Stephen having appeared in a dream to a pious man, and
informed him where his corpse reposed, the locality was immediately
examined by bishops and priests in company with the dreamer.
Unmistakable proofs appeared as to the existence of a grave, but some
honest doubts arose as to it being the identical one in which St.
Stephen had been deposited; yet they all vanished upon opening the
coffin, for such celestial odors arose from the corpse, and such devout
reverence was manifested by the trees and rocks in the vicinity, that
the most sceptical was satisfied of the genuineness of the relics. A
saint's tomb being equal in value to a gold mine, it was natural for the
church to seek for it with great eagerness. But the deep earnestness of
her enthusiasm blunted the acuteness of her judgment. It sometimes led
her to mistake the bones of cats, of dogs, and of jackals for those of
saints; and as there is no difference between the bones of thieves
and murderers and those of saints, and as both classes have often been
regarded by law as synonymous, and interred together in the same field,
the former were frequently gathered up in mistake for the latter. But
however mortifying were such errors, they did not prove as unfortunate
as might have been expected; for until anatomy and history had rectified
them, the bones of pigs, of jackals, and of malefactors, brought as good
prices as the veritable bones of saints, were as eagerly sought after;
and what is very remarkable, performed as many and as great miracles.

We do not pretend to assert that the religious orders, even the most
objectionable of them, did not in some instances render valuable aid to
the cause of education and humanity The sanctity and disinterestedness
with which their profession was invested, though generally assumed, were
sometimes real. But the corrupt and pernicious principles which entered
into their constitution, were too self-evident to be concealed from the
eyes of mankind; and too revolting to escape the animadversion of some
of the more noble and courageous members of their fraternity. Some of
the clergy, and many of the learned men of the age boldly complained of
their base immorality. Their aversion to reform, and the worldly
policy which characterized their religious profession, sunk them in
the estimation of the enlightened and philanthropic. Their pernicious
intermeddling in political affairs, their cunning and obsequiousness,
their busy and intriguing spirit, and the powerful confederacy of their
orders, made them objects of suspicion to jurists and statesmen. The
numerous exemptions which they enjoyed under the protection of the laws,
their privileges nullifying the jurisdiction of the civil authority over
them, their overgrown power, and the base accommodation of principle to
circumstances, by which they labored to advance the pope's pretension to
supreme dominion, rendered their existence in a government a political
solecism. But notwithstanding these palpable facts, the force of habit
and of education, the deep-rooted reverence which existed in the
public mind for the spiritual guides, the superstitious dread of their
anathemas, and the servile temper which monarchical government engenders
in the minds of subjects, all conspired to conciliate Christendom to
the deep degradation inflicted on society by the monastic orders, until
their arrogant conduct towards some powerful monarch had surpassed
the limits of his forbearance. It was then that the discontent and
indignation which their outrageous conduct had created in the public
mind, but which superstition had held in check, broke forth in bold and
explicit demands for reformation. Reforms, consequently, were not only
projected, but peremptorily enforced. The temporal and spiritual powers
of the monastic orders were restricted by the abolishment of their
exemptions. Sov-reigns appropriated many of their rich estates to
education and charitable purposes; and sometimes to their own use. Even
Catholic princes obliged the monks to submit to unpleasant restrictions,
or to purchase exemption at an enormous rate. The different orders, one
after the other, were abrogated on account of some intolerable conduct.
The Jesuists were abolished in England on account of the political
plotting of its members; in Holland for having caused the assassination
of Maurice de Nassau; in Portugal for an attempt to murder Joseph I.; in
Spain, and its colonies, for conspiring against the government; in Italy
for licentiousness; and in France, as the decree expresses, because
"Their doctrine destroys the law of nature, that rule of morals which
God has inscribed on the heart of man. Their dogmas break all bounds
of civil society, authorizing theft, perjury, falsehood, the most
inordinate and criminal impiety, and generally all passions and
wickedness; teaching the nefarious principle of secret compensation,
equivocation and mental reservation; extirpating every sentiment of
humanity in their sanction of homicide and parricide; subverting the
authority of government, and, in fine, overthrowing the practice and
foundation of religion, and substituting in their stead all sorts of
superstition, with magic, blasphemy, and adultery." That their conduct
and principles are of the most execrable description, the history of all
nations affords melancholy evidence. They attempted to dethrone Queen
Elizabeth, but defeated in that, sought to murder her. They caused
the assassination of the Prince of Orange. They endeavored to poison
Maximillion I., King of Austria. They attempted to murder Henry IV.,
and Louis XV. They poisoned Pope Clement XIII., for having attempted to
abolish them, and Pope Clement XIX., for having abrogated their order,
although he did it with mental reservations. Loaded with the crimes
of ages, and the curses of nations, they were abolished with different
limitations in every part of Europe; and as they were the most powerful
of the monastic orders, the others rapidly incurred the sentence of the
same degradation. But notwithstanding all this, the Jesuistical order,
so execrable in its principles, so dangerous to public peace and morals,
and so justly reprobated by all enlightened men and governments, was
restored by Pope Pius VII., who intimated that it would reappear in the
same authority in which it fell. Again these monks are traversing the
world, arresting the progress of science, demoralizing society, and
plotting treason and rebellion in the advancement of the pope's claims
to supreme temporal and spiritual dominion, until the foundation
of independent government begins to quake; until the pillars of
constitutional liberty begin to totter; until despotism dares insult the
ears of freemen with the boldness of its prophecies; and until statesmen
and patriots turn pale as they view the portentous vapors darkling the
political horizon, which may gather into a storm, whose rain will be the
blood of nations, and whose thunder will shake governments to atoms.


That we may not commit the error of attributing to the holy mother
absurdities which she repudiates, we will inquire what are her
pretensions before arraigning her reason or justice in making them. An
unequivocal answer to this inquiry may ba obtained from the import
of her titles, from the bulls of her popes, from the canons of her
councils, and from the assertions of her acknowledged authorities. Some
of the pope's accredited titles are the following: "The Father of all
Fathers;" "The Chief High Priest and Prince of God;" "The Regent of the
House of the Lord;" "The Oracle of Religion;" "Our Most Holy Lord God;"
"Our Lord God the Pope;" "The Divine Majesty;" "The Victorious God and
Man in the See of Rome;" "The Lamb of God that taketh away the sins
of the world;" "The Bearer of Eternal Life;" "The Most Holy Father;"
"Priest of the World;" "God's Vicar General on Earth;" "The Most High
and Mighty God on Earth;" "More than God," &c, &c.

"Pius V., our reigning pope, is prince over all nations and kingdoms,
and he has power to pluck up, scatter, plant, ruin and build."--_Canon
of the Council of Trent._

"All mortals are judged by the pope, and the pope by nobody."--_Lateran

"It is necessary to salvation that all Christians be subject to the
pope."--_Pope Boniface VIII_

"Ireland, and all the isles on which Christ, the holy sun of
righteousness hath shone, do belong to the patrimony of. St. Peter and
the holy Catholic Church"--_Bull of Pope Adrian_.

"He (the pope) alone has the right to assume empire. All nations must
kiss his feet. His name is the only one to be uttered in the churches.
It is the only name in the world. He has the right to depose emperors.
No council can call itself general without the consent of the pope. No
chapter, no book can be reputed canonical without his authority. No one
can invalidate his sentence; he can abrogate those of all others. He
cannot be judged by any. All persons whatsoever are forbidden to condemn
him who is called to the apostolic chair. The Church of Rome is never
wrong, and will never fall into error. Every Roman pontiff when ordained
becomes holy."--_Bull of Gregory VII_.

"The pope is supreme over all the world, may impose taxes, and destroy
crowns and castles for the preservation of Christianity."--_St. Thomas

"The supremacy of the pope over all persons and things is the main
substance of Christianity."--Bellarmine.

"The pope is crowned with a triple crown, and is constituted over his
(God's) hand to regulate concerning all inferiors; he opens heaven,
sends the guilty to hell, confirms emperors, and orders the clerical
orders."--_Antonius of Florence, Dist. 40, Si Papa_.

"The pope is the only Vicar of God; his power is over all the world,
Pagan as well as Christian, the only Vicar of God, who has supreme power
and empire over all princes and kings of the earth."--_Blareus, De Rom,.
Eccl., Art. 5, sec. 19_.

"The pope has supreme power over kings and Christian princes; he may
remove them from office, and in their place put others."--_Browns, De
Rom. Pontiff, Cap. 46, p. 62_.

"The pope is the Lord of the whole world. The pope has temporal power;
his temporal power is most eminent. All other powers depend on the
pope."--_Marcinus, Jure Princep. Pom., Lib. 2, cap. 1, 2_.

"The pope is divine monarch, supreme emperor and king. Hence the pope
is crowned with a triple crown, as King of heaven, of earth, and of
hell. He is also above angels; so that if it were possible that angels
could err from the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the
pope."--_Feraris in Papa, Art. 11, No. 10_.

"The vicar of God in the place of God, remits to man the debt of a
plighted promise."--_Dens._ 4, 134.

"The pope can do all things that he wishes to do, and is empowered by
God to do all things that he himself can."--_Tiba_.

"The pope can transubstantiate sin into duty, and duty into

"The bishop of Rome cannot even sin without being

"God's tribunal and the pope's tribunal are the same."--_Moscovius_.

From the loftiness of these pretensions, we are involuntarily impelled
to look to the holy fathers for corresponding principles, character and
conduct. If they possess the moral attributes of the deity, they must
possess also his physical attributes; and if they possess his physical
attributes, they can much easier create some world out of nothing over
which to domineer, than they can create a claim to all the crowns,
riches, and territory of the earth, out of the patrimony of St. Peter,
who was never worth a cent. If, indeed, the pope's tribunal and God's
tribunal are the same; if he above all in heaven would be the proper
judge, and anathematizer of angels, should any of them fall; if he can
annul the obligation of any oath which man is under to his maker, then
he must be the associate judge of God Almighty, equal to him in dignity,
superior to him in jurisdiction, and supereminent to him in authority.
If the pope can transubstantiate sin into duty and duty into sin, he
can annihilate all distinction between right and wrong, and convert the
worship of God into a sin, and the adoration of himself into a duty. But
these extraordinary pretensions, if unsupported by irrefragable proofs
of divine power and virtue; if the administrative abilities of the popes
have not transcended those of infinite wisdom and goodness; and if their
monarchy is not such a just embodiment of unquestionable and universally
accepted principles as has produced and maintained among their subjects
on earth a degree of peace, order, and concord superior to that which
subsists among the angels in heaven, then are their pretensions not only
presumptuous but ridiculous, not only arrogant but blasphemous; denying
the existence of God by claiming equality with him, contemning his
authority by usurping his prerogatives, and trampling under foot his
name and character, by presuming to exercise a superior degree of
executive and judicial authority.

In selecting a person among mortals capable of filling a throne so
exalted above the thrones of earth and heaven, we perceive the great
embarrassment under which those must have labored on whom the difficult
task was devolved. They claim, however to have succeeded by the aid of
divine inspiration, although it cannot be denied that the persons whom
they have selected were in general the weakest and most corrupt men of
their age.

In the course of time and experience it became the custom of the
bishops, on the demise of a pope, to recommend to the suffrages of
the college of cardinals a suitable person for his successor. As the
populace claimed and enjoyed the prerogative of confirming or rejecting
the choice of the bishops, and as nobles, from selfish and ambitious
motives, often interfered in the proceedings, the papal elections were
always scenes of excitement, and sometimes of disorder. The jealousy of
emperors interfered in the matter, also, claiming the right to arbitrate
between rival candidates, to interdict the consecration of any pope
elect until the forms of his election should be inspected by their
deputies, and approved by themselves, and to convene synods for the
purpose of trying any of the holy fathers who should be charged with
criminal conduct, and to punishing such of them as should be found
guilty. But the despotism of the church, naturally increasing with her
power, enabled her eventually to relieve herself of these unpleasant
restrictions, to assert independence of the secular powers, and to
maintain it by force of arms. This papal triumph removing the wholesome
check which had hitherto restrained and softened the violence of
episcopal ambition, left the claims of rival candidates for the
vicarship of Christ to be disputed by the anathemas of the clergy and
the frenzy of the mob. The knell of a pope's death became the tocsin of
war, and the election of his successor a bloody struggle for political
interest. Rival aspirants appeared in the ecclesiastical arena;
acrimonious contests ensued; adherents were bought; competitors
insulted; votes extorted by threats; Rome polluted with blood; and the
peace of Christendom endangered. To defeat a hostile or elect a friendly
candidate, nobles and princes would appeal to the passions of the mob,
and excite them to ungovernable fury. Emperors would interpose not only
in the election, but in the administration of a pope. They often
obliged the inspired college to select such a candidate as suited their
interest; sometimes they prevented, and at other times anticipated
its action. Through the influence and intrigues of two royal harlots,
Theodora and Marozia, the chair of St. Peter was filled with their
lovers. Pope John XII., when he was eighteen years old, and Pope
Benedict IX., when he was twelve years, were, through the wealth and
power of those prostitutes, elevated to the papal dignity. Pope John XII
was deposed for ingratitude and treachery by the Emperor Otho I.,
who caused the inspired college to elect Leo VII., and placed him by
military force on the apostolic throne. Pope John XIII. was elected by
the inspired college at the command of Otho II., Pope Clement II. at the
command of Henry III., and Pope Clement III. at the Command of Henry
IV. Clement II. was elected to displace Benedict IX., Clement III. to
displace Gregory VII., Boniface I. to displace Dioscorus, and Martin
V. to displace John XXII., Gregory XII. and Benedict XII. three
cotemporaneous holy fathers. The antagonistic al popes would mutually
denounce each other as anti-popes, and tax their ingenuity to effect
each other's destruction. Benedict XII. disposed of his rival by
violence; John XIV. incarcerated his in a dungeon, in which he starved
to death.

Besides the rivalship which infuriated opposing candidates, and the
intermeddling of princes in their elections in order to secure a pliant
instrument for their political designs, the inspired college itself
was often rent into revengeful and irreconcilable factions. So violent
sometimes were these conflicts, that the college became divided into two
parties, each of which proceeded to separate churches, and electing its
favorite, presented him to the people as having been chosen by divine
inspiration. Two antagonistical popes thus being elected in accordance
with papal usages, divine inspiration, and canonical law, it became
difficult, without the aid of another inspired college, to determine
which of the two popes was the genuine holy father. Sometimes this
question was decided by priority in the moment of an election; sometimes
popular sanction or imperial preference resolved the difficulty; and
at other times different sections of Christendom arriving at opposite
conclusions, supported different popes. At one period two popes divided
the patrimony of St. Peter, the one reigning over one portion of it,
and the other over another; and at another time three popes asserted
jurisdiction over it. These rival holy fathers would incessantly
encounter one another with bulls, anathemas, and swords; and invoking
foreign arms in their support would distract, not only Rome, but all
Europe, with their irreconcilable controversies.

In order to abate the calamity of the papal elections, Pope Alexander
III., chosen in 1179, abolished the mode of electing a pope in which
the clergy and people participated, and invested the sole right in the
college of cardinals. This expedient prevented the frequency of double
elections, and their tumultuous and bloody schisms. But still the
disorderly elements which shook the church could not be entirely
eradicated without the abolishment of the papal throne. The passions and
private interests of the members of the sacred college; their wish
to secure the honors and emoluments of an independent reign; their
insidious machinations to become popes themselves; often deprived
the church, under the new electoral method, of the benefits of a holy
father. An interregnum of months, sometimes of years, would ensue
between the death of a pope and the election of his successor, while
disgraceful negotiations were always visible. Pope Clement IV. promised
the crown of both of the Sicilies to Charles of Anjou, on condition that
he would use his influence with the inspired college in favor of his
election to the papal throne; and Pope Boniface VIII., after expending
large sums of money on an election, excommunicated the obstinate
cardinals who had refused to vote for him.

The ambition and corruption of the cardinals having kept the papal
throne vacant for three years previous to the election of Gregory X., he
issued a bull in 1265, requiring the members of the college to assemble
in Rome nine days after the demise of a pope, and after taking an oath
to abjure all previous understanding, to retire with a single attendant
into a common apartment, and to remain there until they should be able
to agree on a choice. If within three days the influence of the Holy
Ghost should not be sufficiently powerful to enable them to arrive at a
canonical agreement, the luxury of their repast was to be abridged to
a single dish at dinner and supper; and if within eight days these
privations should still be insufficient to quicken the divine influence
on the grossness of human nature, the cardinals were then condemned to
subsist on a small allowance of bread, water and wine. The stimulus
of this regimen has seldom failed to produce a speedy and harmonious

But the corruption of the Holy See was the growth of ages, and had
carefully been systematized by the hand of experienced craft. It could
not therefore be entirely eradicated by any modification in the papal
electoral forms; although improvements might be introduced, making them
the occasion of less scandal. The fact that an attendant on a cardinal
during the session of an electoral college is worth an independent
fortune, is significant of the corrupt machinations by which the holy
fathers continue still to be elected. The bull of Pope Gregory X.
has, indeed, prevented the former frequency of schisms, but it was
insufficient to prevent one of seventy years' duration, which occurred
on the death of Pope Benedict XI, in 1348. The inspired college having
assembled in accordance with the requirements of the canon, sworn to
abjure all previous understanding, became, nevertheless, divided on
the question whether a Frenchman or an Italian should be elected as
the vicar of Christ. Two-thirds of the cardinals were in favor of a
Frenchman, but a mob of thirty thousand Romans preferred an Italian.
"Death or an Italian Pope," shouted an infuriated crowd, as it gathered
around the Vatican, and made preparations for burning any of the
inspired college who should vote for a French candidate; while the
cathedral bells, in harmony with the discordant clamor of the
mob, pealed forth an ominous warning. Under the terror of these
intimidations, the inspired college submitted to the wishes of the mob;
and electing Urban VI., an Italian, and presenting him to the populace
declared, according to usage, that they had been inspired to choose
him through the influence of the Holy Ghost. The disappointed cardinals
disguised their mortification under the warmest congratulations to the
newly elected pope, but gratified their secret malice by entering into
clandestine negotiation with Philip IV., King of France, and stipulating
with him to accommodate his interest by electing a pope in the place of
Urban, who should conform to his wishes in all things. After having by
flattery, and professions of friendship and allegiance, sufficiently
deceived the vicar of Christ, they retired to Fundi, and,
excommunicating him, elected Pope Clement in his place. The papal
monarchy hence became divided into two antagonistical bodies, the one
having its capitol at Rome, the other at Avignon in France.

The aspirants to the dignity of the vicarship of Christ endeavored, in
general, to obtain its holy honors by the employment of artifice and
intrigue. They were ready to flatter any power, assume any semblance,
agree to any terms, and profess any sentiment that promised to favor
their design. At the council of Constance, Pope Martin V. advocated the
most liberal ecclesiastical reforms, but recanted his heresy as soon as
he obtained the triple crown. Pope Alexander VI. was elected by
bribing Cardinals Cibo, Spozza and Rearis. Pope Alexander VII., while a
cardinal, assumed the semblance of great humility and sanctity, but no
sooner had he become a successor of St. Peter, than he threw off the
cumbrous mask by which he gained the honor, and openly began a course
of dissipation and luxurious indulgence. Sixtus VI. played a deep and
crafty game to win the papal crown. In order to deceive the cardinals he
assumed the appearance of an infirm old man, deaf, blind, and scarcely
able to hobble on a crutch; and who desired nothing but obscurity,
devotion and repose. By the agency of the confessional he correctly
informed himself of the wishes of princes and the secret designs
of cardinals. Under a mask of profound dissimulation he gained the
confidence of kings and nobles, and evaded the scrutiny of cardinals.
Having transformed himself into the semblance of such a convenient tool
as the members of the college desired to place on the apostolic throne,
they chose him unanimously; but repented of it unanimously immediately
afterwards. No sooner had the electoral formalities been con-concluded
than, in the presence of the cardinals, he raised himself from his
former stooping position, contemptuously threw away his crutch, and with
a bounding and vigorous step displayed to the horror consternation of
the sacred college that it had chosen for a holy father, not a pliant
simpleton, but a man of authority, determination, and sagacity. Pope
Celestine was elected solely on account of his ignorance and mental
imbecility. For twenty-seven months the disputes of the cardinals
had kept the papal throne without an incumbent. To conciliate their
differences they finally agreed to elect Celestine, who was celebrated
for his intellectual deficiency and profound ignorance of the world.
When this holy father entered Apulea after his consecration, he
symbolically rode upon an ass. But his incapability of transacting
the ordinary business the Holy See, obliged the sacred college to
reassemble, and endeavor by the aid of the Holy Ghost to select a more
suitable vicar of Christ. It succeeded in electing Boniface VIII., who
possessed more business capacity, but less moral integrity; and who,
standing in mortal dread of his simple and unaspiring predecessor, and
fearing the instability of the apostolic throne while he was at large,
pusillanimously imprisoned him for life.

It is a singular fact that while distant potentates trembled at the
thunders of the Vatican, the subjects of Rome scoffed with impunity at
its insolent pretensions. The tyranny and corruption of the holy fathers
have frequently been met with contempt and insurrection by the populace.
The cardinals have at times been stripped, beaten, and trodden under
foot. The priests have been caught by mobs, which, after digging out
their eyes, and crowning their heads with ludicrous mitres, have sent
them as admonitions to the pope. The sacred processions, headed by the
holy fathers, have been saluted with showers of stones. The vicegerents
of God, while on the apostolic throne, have been seized by the throat,
rudely buffeted, torn from their chair and incarcerated in dungeons.
Laudislaus, King of Naples, whom the pope had entitled "_General of
the Church_" in consideration of services rendered, thrice afterwards
entered Rome as a master, profaned the churches, violated the virgins,
plundered the citizens, and worshipped at the shrine of St. Peter. The
holy fathers, assailed by subjects at home and princes abroad, were
constantly fleeing from the insecure patrimony of St. Peter to find
refuge in France, Anangni, Perugia, Viterbo, or some other locality.
Sometimes they retaliated the insults of their Catholic subjects, and
levied armies to chastise them; and, on one occasion they had, in a
friendly conference, eleven deputies of the people murdered in cold
blood, and their bodies cast into the streets.

When the Holy See was transplanted from Rome to Avignon, the vices,
corruption, and tumults which were characteristic were transplanted
along with it. The same popular insubordination and papal insecurity
prevailed; the people were seditious and the popes insulted. A Catholic
freebooter at the head of his band, once entered Avignon, plundered
the people and churches, compelled the pope and cardinals to ransom
themselves by the payment of an enormous sum of gold, and to absolve him
and his fellow robbers from the guilt of the transaction, and from all
their crime.

Notwithstanding the ostentatious sanctity and gorgeous show with which
the church invests her external form, her throne has never been occupied
by a distinguised paragon of virtue; nor has it, notwithstanding her
liberal indulgence to moral turpitude, often been graced by those whom
she dared to canonize for the purity of their conduct. High principled
and lofty minded men have scorned to aspire to her dignities; and had
they not, they still could not have stooped to the dishonorable means
by which they are to be obtained. With pretensions demoralizing her
officials by destroying their sense of moral accountability, fostering
their vanity, pride and superciliousness, and dissolving all restraints
on the instigations of malice, revenge, cupidity, licentiousness,
duplicity and tyranny, it would be absurdity to expect to find in their
character any exalted degree of moral excellence. Look at those whom the
inspired college has chosen vicegerent of God. Where we might expect to
see the Solons, Cimons, and Catos of the age, we always see despotism,
generally duplicity, and often profligacy and cruelty. Look at Pope
Gregory, the Great. Was he not an aspiring and unscrupulous despot?
While pretending to wish to be unknown, did he not employ every device
to become the most notorious man of his age. To pave his way to the
pontifical throne, he devoted his patrimony to the use of convents, and
immured himself in them. By seeming to resist, he secured his election;
and by addressing an artful remonstrance against its confirmation to the
emperor, he removed every obstacle in the way of his consecration. To
disguise more deeply his ambition, he solicited a merchant, whom he
knew could not accommodate him, to convey him secretly from Rome; and,
finally, overacted his part by secreting himself in a wilderness, and
building a fire that his retreat might be discovered. His financial
skill was unquestioned. He induced Recared, King of Spain, to exchange a
great amount of gold and a valuable collection of jewels for a few hairs
of St. John the Baptist, a piece of the true cross, a key which, it was
alleged, contained some grains of a chain with which St. Peter had
been shackled while in a dungeon. He also sanctified the most atrocious
assassination that was, perhaps, ever perpetrated. The Roman legions
having become demoralized, the Emperor Maurice attempted to reduce them
to order by the enforcement of rigorous military discipline. This effort
produced a general dissatisfaction among the troops, which culminated in
the election of Phocus, an obscure soldier, in the place of Maurice. The
emperor, desirous of restoring tranquility to the nation, magnanimously
abdicated the purple. Never having heard of the name of Phocus before,
he inquired of his general who he was. "Alas," replied he, "a great
coward, and I fear will be a murderer." This prophecy was soon
fulfilled. Phocus sent to the private dwelling of Maurice assassins,
who, before the eyes of their father coldly butchered his five sons,
and then consummated the horrible tragedy with the murder of the emperor
himself. After this barbarous act had been perpetrated, Pope
Gregory, although he owed his elevation to the indulgence of Maurice,
complimented Phocus on his good fortune, and rejoiced that his piety and
benignity had raised him to the imperial throne.

From this model pope let us turn to Pope John XII., elected in 956. In
ambition unprincipled, in cruelty inexorable, in dissoluteness cold and
calculating; the annals of history scarcely furnish an equal compound of
moral deformity. Elevated to the papal throne through the influence of
a prostitute, he made the principles of his patroness the maxims of his
conduct. He was a drunkard, a profligate, a blasphemer, and a murderer.
He passed his time in hunting and gambling. He swore by the Pagan
Gods and Goddesses. He lived in public adultery with Roman matrons.
He converted the papal palace into a brothel, and made it a school for
education in the arts of prostitution. His rapes of widows, wives,
and virgins were so frequent, that female pilgrims were deterred from
visiting the tomb of St. Peter, for fear of being violated by the holy
father while kneeling at his shrine, to invoke his aid in the practice
of chastity and piety.

Now advert to Gregory VII., elected in 1075, and see what baseness,
trickery, avarice, and insolence have been consecrated as holy in the
character of a vicar of Christ. Protected from reproach by his claim
to infallibility, he presumed to outrage the sense of common decency
by living with the Countess Matilda under suspicious circumstances; and
conceiting that he was endowed with supreme power over all kings and
governments, and that if they resist his authority he must punish
them, he undertook to dethrone Henry IV., Emperor of Germany and Italy,
because that prince had exercised the right of investiture contrary to
the interdiction of the papal bulls. For this insolent proceed-ure the
emperor determined to depose him, and drive him from Rome. Penetrating
the emperor's design, he attempted to defeat it by buying the adherence
of the Italian populace; but this movement was effectually counterpoised
by the emperor's purchasing the support of the Italian nobility. He
also convened a council at by which Gregory was deposed; and another at
Brisen at which Clement III. was elected. To place Clement in possession
of the papal dignity, Henry formed a coalition with the Emperor Alexius:
to defeat this project Gregory formed an alliance with Robert Guiscard,
Duke of Apulia. The arms of Robert were victorious, and Gregory was
delivered from his perilous situation. But victory sometimes is as
disastrous as defeat. The formidable allies of the holy father, which
success had introduced into the city of Rome, comprehended a numerous
band of Saracens who hated the Christian name and capital, although they
had for money and the license of war been induced to take up arms in
defence of the sacerdotal monarch. A furious sedition happening to
arise in the city among the inhabitants, the Saracens eagerly availed
themselves of the occasion to gratify their hatred of Rome and of
Christianity. They commenced murdering the citizens, plundering
dwellings, profaning churches, and firing buildings; nor was their
revenge satiated until they had, not only depopulated the city, but
reduced the greater portion of it to ashes. This catastrophe completed
the disgrace of Gregory. Finding himself universally detested as
its author, he had to flee for safety to Salerno, leaving Henry to
consummate, without opposition, his design of placing Clement III. upon
the apostolic throne.

From the conduct of this crafty and talented sacerdotal despot, let us
turn a glance at pope Innocent II., elected in 1130. The elevation of
this Pope was the tocsin of a war which, during his administration, kept
Rome and Italy in a state of violent convulsion. The sacred college not
being able canonically to concur in his election, became divided into
two obstinate factions, each of which elected a vicegerent of God;
the one being Pope Innocent II., and the other Pope Anaclitus. Two
implacable despots being thus authorized to claim the papal throne, a
furious holy war was inevitable. Anaclitus having the heavier artillery
drove Innocent from Rome; but France and Germany espousing the cause
of the fugitive, enabled him to secure a sufficient army to effect his
return. He was, nevertheless, obliged to limit his papal jurisdiction to
one portion of the city; his antagonist being too strongly entrenched
in the other to be dislodged. But even from this limited domain he was
again driven by the arms of his formidable rival, and again reinstated
by the forces of the temporal power. The two holy fathers continued to
hate, persecute and anathematize each other, until death settled the
sanguinary controversy by the removal of Anaclitus. Relieved of the
terrors of a powerful adversary, Innocent II. convoked the Lateran
Council, in which one thousand bishops condemned the soul of Anaclitus,
and excommunicated Rogers of Sicily for having supported the schismatic.
On account of this papal insolence, Robert declared war against Pope
Innocent; and taking him prisoner, obliged him to absolve him from
the sentence of the excommunication, and to invest him with the papal
provinces of Apulia, Capua, and Calibria.

Let us now direct a moment's attention to Pope Innocent III, elected in
1198, who, when receiving the triple crown exclaimed: "The church has
given me a crown as a symbol of temporalities she has conferred on me a
mitre in token of spiritual power;--a mitre for the priesthood; a crown
for the kingdom; making me the vicar of him who bears on his garments
and thighs, 'The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.'" Inflated with this
popular conceit he imagined that he was supreme prince over all nations
and kingdoms, and that he had a divine light to pluck up, destroy,
scatter, ruin, plant and build whenever a notion happened to inspire his
presumptuous brain. He arbitrarily obliged the prefect of Rome to swear
allegiance to him, demanded royal homage of Marguard of Romagna,
and upon the refusal of that prince to compromise his sov-reignty by
submitting to such unwarrantable dictations, deprived him of the duchy
of Mark Ancona. With a despotic hand he wrung Spoleto from Duke Conrad.
He excommunicated Philip of France for having repudiated his wife,
and obliged him to sue for mercy at his feet. He deposed King John, of
England, for refusing to confirm the election of a bishop; instigated
France to declare war against him, obliged him to resign his kingdom to
the See of Rome, to pay large sums of money for absolution, and to hold
his throne as a papal fief. He exercised an oppressive despotism over
the temporal provinces of Christendom, established inqisisitorial
tribunals, suspended religious worship by interdicts, and urged the
cruel persecution of the Albigenses.

When his military forces were ready for combat, he is said to have
exclaimed: "Sword, sword, whet thyself for vengeance."

Turn from this ornament of the papal throne, and consider the character
and administration of Pope Boniface VIII., elected in 1295. Pliable
and revengeful, presumptuous and ambitious, he sought to make tools of
princes, and slaves of subjects. On his way to the Lateran palace, after
his election, the King of Hungary and the King of Sicily, in token of
their inferior rank, held the bridle of his horse; and with crowns on
their heads waited on him at table as menials. He boldly excommunicated
Philip IV., of France, but cowardly sought to escape the penalty by
taking refuge in the fortress of Anangni. While luxuriating in this
sumptuous retreat, in fancied security, William of Nosgeret surrounded
the palace with three hundred horse, and a scuffle ensued in which the
vicegerent of God was rudely seized by the throat, severely kicked and
cuffed, and cast into prison. A mob, however, soon released him from
confinement. In view of his flagitious and undeniable acts of duplicity,
simony, usurpation and profligacy, King Philip had resolved to summon a
council at Lyons for the purpose of deposing him; but the chastisement
of incarceration which he had undergone so mortified his pride, that
within three days after his liberation he died in a paroxysm of rage and

Look at the character of Pope Alexander III., elected in 1159, who,
demoralized and misled by papal pretensions, distracted all Europe,
and kept the Holy See in a state of perpetual insurrection. Under the
protection of Frederic I. the anti-popes Victor III., Pascal III., and
Calaxtus III., successively arose against him; repeatedly driving him
from Rome; sometimes to France; sometimes to Anangni; and sometimes to
Venice. But fortune eventually favoring him, he wreaked the heaviest
vengeance on the heads of his antagonists. He obliged Frederic to kiss
his feet, and to hold the stirrup of his horse. He laid Scotland under
an interdict.

He restored the thrones of England and Germany on conditions that
augmented his power. And in the exercise of his apostolic authority gave
the world calamitous proof that ecclesiastical supremacy is incompatible
with the peace of the world.

Regard for an instant the character of Pope Alexander VI., elected in
1523, who perfected in his papal character the dissipation which had
disgraced his youth. His policy, both domestic and foreign, was
base, treacherous and execrable. He undertook to seize on the Italian
provinces by the most cruel and dishonorable methods. He attempted to
extort money from the different sections of Christendom by fraud and
force. He seduced his own daughter; and gave notorious evidence of the
profligacy of his life by five illegitimate children. He conspired
with his son, Cardinal Caesar Borgia, to poison four cardinals, but the
conspirators drinking the poison themselves, became the victims of their
own treachery.

Look at Pope Julius II., elected in 1505, and mark his savage,
ferocious, and warlike character. Ambitious of military renown, he
commanded his army in person, and without regard to the rights of
nations or individuals gratified his lust of power and dominion. In the
prosecution of the interests of the Holy See, he excommunicated the Duke
of Ferrara, gave Navara to Spain, besieged Muandolo, colleagued against
the republic of Venice, and made war upon Louis XII., King of France.

Behold Clement V., elected in 1305, and mark the gross simony,
nepotism, and arrogance which disgraced his administration. Hear him
excommunicating Henry VII. of Germany, and his allies, for his refusing
to mediate between him and Robert; and hear him pronouncing a curse on
the Venitians for their refusing to submit to his dictation; declaring
them infamous, confiscating their gold and war vessels, abolishing their
governmental offices, and absolving the subjects from obedience to the

Turn to John XXII., elected in 1410, and see if any vice, public or
private, debarred a candidate from the papal throne. In his youth a
pirate, the sanctity of his pontifical character neither restrained nor
concealed the precocious viciousness which he had manifested. Although
he may have amused himself with the popish conceit that a holy father
cannot sin without being praised, yet the Council of Constance, on
the testimony of thirty-seven good Catholic witnesses, found seventy
indictments against him, and degraded him from the papal dignity. Among
the crimes for which he was deposed were simony, murder, rape, sodomy,
and illicit intercourse with his brother s wife, and with three hundred
nuns. This holy father died in jail.

Look at Julius III., elected in 1550, whose unnatural licentiousness
transcending all bounds of decency, sought its gratification with boys,
men, and even cardinals. Hear Sixtus V., in the college of cardinals,
pronouncing a eulogy on the assassinators of Henry III. King of France,
and comparing them with Judith and Eleazer. Hear Alexander I., as he
placed his foot on Frederic, King of Denmark, exclaim: "Thus shalt thou
tread upon the lion and the adder." Hear Pius V., as he excommunicated
Queen Elizabeth, exclaim: "I have this day set thee over the nations,
over the kingdoms, to root out, to pull down, to destroy, to build
up and to throw down." Witness Pope Leo III. abruptly crowning
Charlemagne, and to the astonishment of the world investing him with all
the titles, honors, and regal ornaments of the Cæsars. Witness Gregory
IV. fomenting discord between Charlemagne and his sons, then between the
sons themselves, then tampering with the officers of the imperial army,
then absolving them from their oath of allegiance, then uttering to
Louis I., son and successor of Charlemagne, that arrogant assertion:
"Know my chair is above the emperor's throne;" and ultimately see the
design of these atrocious acts, in the claim of the subsequent popes to
the dominion of the Cæsars, by virtue of the donation of Charlemagne.

Look at the two hundred and ninety-seven popes that have filled the
papal chair: Twenty-four of them were anti-popes; twenty-six were
deposed; nineteen were compelled to abandon Rome; twenty-eight were kept
on their throne only by foreign intervention; fifty-four were obliged
to rule over foreign parts; sixty-four died by violence; eighteen were
poisoned; one was shut up in a cage; one was strangled; one smothered;
one died by having nails driven in his temples; one by a noose around
his neck; and only one hundred and fifty-three out of the whole number
have proved themselves at all worthy. Read the papal annals; hear the
frequent and atrocious anathemas of the popes; mark the vices that have
continued century after century to disgrace the administrations of
the holy fathers, and say if profane history affords a catalogue
of monarchs so black with crime, so unprincipled in ambition, so
remorseless in revenge. Their pretensions were made not from conscious
right, but to justify intended usurpations. They claimed to be endowed
with power to do whatever God himself could do, in order to forge a
plea for governing the world as despots. They claimed the prerogative of
absolving subjects from their oaths of allegiance, that they might rule
kings with absolute authority. They claimed that they could not sin
without being praised, that they might commit any crime without being
censured. They claimed the ability of transubstantiating sin into duty,
and duty into sin, that they might justify themselves in adopting any
means to obtain an end. They claimed all the authority and holiness of
heaven, that they might be worshipped and feared as Gods. But while they
had the audacity to prefer these claims, it is not a supposable case
that the dullest of them was such a stupendous fool as to believe in
the validity of his own pretensions. With a triple crown on their heads,
with the keys of heaven and hell in their hands, with an assertion on
their lips that they are the king of kings, and the proprietors of
all the thrones, domains, revenues, gold and gems of the earth, they
seriously pretend that they are the successors of St. Peter, an humble
fisherman, who like his master, had not where to lay his head, and whose
patrimony, which they claim to inherit, must have consisted at most
of but an empty purse, a staff, a suit of unfashionable garments, and,
perhaps, some old fishing nets. And while they have been elected by
emperors, by mobs, by arms and clubs, by bribery, and by every species
of corruption, they affirm that they have been chosen by the inspiration
of the Holy Ghost.

The papal monarchy was neither designed nor calculated to foster the
growth of either truth, reason or virtue. The policy and measures
which it adopted were never intended to correct vice, but to make
it administer to the importance of its power, and the wealth of its
coffers. Its design has always been to reign supreme; and in conformity
with a policy dictated by this design, it has destroyed every virtue
that obtruded an obstacle to the accomplishment of its purposes, and
protected every vice that appeared to favor their success.

Such being the principles of the papal government, it could not be hoped
that the holy fathers would be the friends of truth and reform. In fact
they must have been conscious that a rigid system of reform would have
swept them from their thrones, and doomed many of them to confinement in
the dungeons of a penitentiary. Accordingly we see that while temporal
princes, some clergymen, and numerous laymen loudly demanded reform
in the head and body of the church, the popes strenuously opposed the
project as a dangerous innovation. When summons had been issued
by temporal princes for the assembling of councils for purposes of
reformation, the pontiffs frequently forbid obedience to them. When
circumstances have obliged popes to issue orders for the convocation of
such assemblages, they have rendered them nugatory by neglecting to fix
the time and place to their meeting. When compelled to be more definite
in their conduct and language, they have endeavored, by changing the
time and place for holding a proposed council, to defeat the object
which they were obliged to sanction. When their cautious vacillations
have been summarily arrested, and all the obstacles they had obtruded
removed, and a council for reform had been assembled, they endeavored by
base and corrupt means to control its action, and defeat its usefulness.
When in defiance of papal remonstrances, threats and intrigues,
reformatory decrees have been passed by councils, the popes have-,
nevertheless, attempted to nullify them by evasion, trickery or neglect.

Pope Gregory declared that a council could be useful only under a
Catholic prince. Pius II. forbid an appeal to a council. Julius II.
interdicted the assembling of one after it had been summoned. When
the united voice of princes and subjects compelled Pius VII. to call a
council, he nullified his own summons by neglecting to fit the time for
its meeting. When a critical state of public affairs had led Pope Paul
to imagine that he could shape the proceedings of an inspired council
according to his private interest, he convoked the Council of Trent; but
finding his intrigues inadequate to his ambition, he induced his legates
to exhaust its time in frivolous ceremonies and useless excursions.
When the Council of Pisa obliged Alexander VII. to pledge his word to
prosecute certain specified reforms, he adopted no measure in compliance
with his word. When the Council of Basle enacted decrees of reform, the
artifice of Pope Eugenius rendered them of no avail. When the Council
of Constance, after deposing three rival popes, elected Martin V. in
consideration of the zeal with which he had advocated church reform,
it was soon apparent that his zeal for reform was his ambition to be
elevated to the papal throne, and that it all had expired as soon as his
election was secure. Pope Pius denounced the reforms which Joseph II.,
of Austria, proposed to introduce into his kingdom, and adopted every
expedient to counteract them: When the tyranny and profligacy of the
monastic orders had awakened the indignation of all Christendom, the
vicar of Christ, by means of bulls, anathemas and intrigues, defended
them with ferocious zeal. When the Jesuists were banished from England
for treasonable machinations, from Italy for profligacy, from Portugal
for attempts at assassination, and from the other parts of Europe for
execrable conduct, the popes not only defended, but recommended them as
the most pious and useful members of the church. When the papal throne
was restored by England, a heretic, and Russia, a schismatic, in
conjunction with the Catholic powers, after it had been abolished by
France, the pope, in defiance of the wishes and resolutions of his
liberators, and in violation of the obligations of honor and gratitude,
restored the barbarous inquisition, the obnoxious order of the Jesuists,
and the superstitious practices of the dark ages.

The holy mother, indeed, has given birth to little besides
monstrosities. The features and principles of her offspring cast a dark
suspicion on her chastity. They usually wear the lineament, if not
the cloven foot of the arch-fiend. Ambition, duplicity, treachery,
viciousness, and immorality are deeply featured in their countenances,
and some of them seem to be an incarnation of every crime that could
entitle a human being to be considered as the offspring and heir of
hell. If there were some honorable exceptions, they were like stars on a
stormy night, obscured by the heavy mist through which they shone. Some
popes, it is true, have been great governors; men of great foresight and
enterprise; men who, looking beyond their age, have prepared measures
that have successfully met future exegencies; but their sagacity has
been quickened by ambition and avarice; and their great talents have
been wasted on duplicity and intrigue. The less exceptionable of them
have acknowledged and deplored the corruption of the Holy See; but they
seem to think it is incurable, for their hopes of the future are always
darkened by the recollection of the past. Hence we hear Nicholas V.,
as he bestowed an office on the worthy, say: "Take this, you will not
always have a Nicholas to bestow a gift on the ground of merit."



     The Papal Crown--Banner--Cabinet--Court--Decrees--
     Jurisprudence--Coinage--Army and Navy--Revenues--Oaths--and

Whatever plausibility the creed and ritual of the Catholic church may
throw around her religious pretensions, the fact is undeniable that she
is a temporal power, claiming to be the only legitimate sovereignty on
earth, and the right to reduce all governments, by fair or foul means,
under her absolute authority. The pope, the head of this unlimited
monarchy, is a political prince; his capital is the city of Rome, and
his domains, until recently, were the States of the Church. According to
a practice observed at the coronation of princes, the pope is invested
with national authority by ascending the Chair of State, and receiving
a headdress emblematical of temporal sovereignty. These symbolical
headdresses were originally garlands, invented by Prometheus in
imitation of the chains which he had worn for the redemption of
mankind, but which in the course of time became applied, by the Uranian
priestesses to decorate themselves and their altars; by lovers, to
adorn the doors of their mistresses: by the devout, to deck the animals
which they devoted to sacrifice; by slave owners, to attract attention
to the slaves whom the exposed for sale; by relatives, to embellish the
corpse of a deceased friend; and finally, in the dark ages, when
they were transformed into a variety of fantastical shapes, profusely
decorated with gold, gems and pearls, and had become associated
with ideas of greatness, power and authority, they were exclusively
appropriated by kings to symbolize the regal authority. In the ninth
century, this practice having become fashionable among the royal
classes, Pope Alexander III., who was elected in 1159, aspiring to
be considered rather as the successor of kings than of a fisherman,
ventured to encircle his sacerdotal mitre with a regal diadem,
emblematical of universal spiritual sovereignty. To this crown Pope
Boniface VIII., elected in 1295, added a second, to symbolize the pope's
universal temporal power; and to this crown Pope Urban V., elected in
1363, added a third, to denote the pope's supreme spiritual and temporal
power over Europe, Asia and Africa. The adoption of these regal emblems
by the holy fathers may seem in the eyes of the profane to represent
not their rights, but their ambition. They claim, however, to have been
moved by the Holy Ghost in adopting their head decorations; but if this
pretension absolves them from the vice of ambition, it limits at the
same time their authority to Europe, Asia and Africa. The Holy Ghost not
having intimated the existence of America in his social intercourse
with the papal monarchs, nor prescribed to them the adoption of a fourth
crown to symbolize their authority over it, it is rational to infer from
these facts that he intended to infer by his silence, that the
popes have no right whatever of exercising any jurisdiction over its
territory. If the pope's regalia have any significance, it is that his
government is restricted to Europe, Asia and Africa; and that he has
no right to exercise either temporal or spiritual authority over any
church, society or institution, on the American continent. But in sight
of the pope's monarchical palace, triple crown; and regal ornaments, the
statue of St. Peter, erected in the seventh century, wearing a simple
mitre, stands scoffing at them in eternal derision.

The pope as an independent sovereign has not only a temporal crown, but
a political banner. This ensign consists of a white flag with a device
of cross-keys; its white color may signify peace; the cross-keys the
possession of earth and heaven; and, conjointly, these emblems may
intimate that there is to be no peace until the claims of the pope to
universal spiritual and temporal sovereignty is acknowledged by all
nations. Apollo, the symbol of the rising sun, and Pluto, the symbol
of the closing day, are represented with keys in their hands, to denote
their office of opening and shutting the gates of day. It is thought by
some that the idea of the papal keys was borrowed from these emblems of
the Pagan Gods. But it was the custom of a conquered city to present to
the victor the keys of its gates, through its officials, in token of the
submission of the inhabitants to his authority. In conformity with
this ancient custom, it is affirmed by the popes • that Pepin, King of
France, after he had wrested the Exarcate from the possession of the
Lombards, presented the keys of the subjugated cities to the Holy See on
the tomb of St. Peter. They assert also, that Charlemagne presented the
pope with a banner, and authorized him to unfurl it in the cause of the
church. But if the story of Pepin's gift is as empty as the tomb of St.
Peter, at Rome, is and always has been, of the corpse of the apostle;
and if Charlemagne's donation of cities, most of which he never
possessed, and the remainder of which he governed as his own with the
most jealous scrupulosity until the day of his death, it is difficult to
perceive how the popes, by virtue of these gifts, can have any claim to
either keys or banners.

The pope, as an independent sovereign, has also a national cabinet. His
privy council is the college of cardinals; his minister of internal and
foreign affairs is the cardinal secretary; his viceroys are the legates
and nuncios which he accredits to foreign powers; his governors and
lieutenant-governors are the Catholic bishops and archbishops, which are
located in different parts of the world; and his ministers of finance
and police are the priests of different grades and orders. The civil
offices of the papal monarchy have always been filled by members of the
sacerdotal orders, and disposed of by the holy father for money.

As an independent sovereign the pope has an imperial court. In the
grades of this court he himself enjoys the first rank, being placed
on an equality with God, and in some respects above him. The cardinals
stand next to princes; they wear a purple mantle, the emblem of royalty;
formerly they ranked in Christendom equal with kings, preceded princes
of blood, and sat on the right of kings, or near the throne. The
generals of the Catholic orders, the abbots, archbishops, bishops
and priests, consider their titles as royal, and maintain that in
consideration of them they should be exempted from the jurisdiction of
civil magistrates.

As an independent sovereign the pope has the power to issue absolute
decrees. The papal bulls, apostolic briefs, and encyclical letters,
are the exercise of sovereign power. From the despotic tone of these
documents, sometimes moderated by fear, but never from inclination,
the pope evidently claims the right of interfering not only in the
ecclesiastical, but also in the political affairs of all nations.

As an independent sovereign the pope has a system of jurisprudence
and administrative justice. The canonical law by which he governs his
monarchy consists of the _Concordantia Discordantium_ or _Decretium
Gratiani_; the _Decratales Gregorii Noni_; the _Liber Sextus_, by
Boniface VIII; the _Extravagantes Johannis XXII_; the _Extravagantes
Communes_, and the _Clementinus_; all of which are known under
the general name of _Cor-pus Juris Canonica_; and all except the
_Extravagantes_ have the full authority of law. The papal system of
administrative justice consists of a chief court, a civil court, and an
apostolical court. The apostolical court regulates the pope's domains
and collects the taxes. The members of the court are always bishops, and
the presiding officer is generally a cardinal.

As an independent sovereign the pope has exercised the governmental
prerogative of coining money. The papal coins have various devices. They
all have the cross-keys; most of them the triple crown; and some of them
are inscribed with the word _Dominus_.

As an independent sovereign the pope has always maintained, when
possible, an army and a navy. Pope Clement VIII. elected in 1523, raised
an army of regulars and volunteers of thirty thousand foot and three
thousand cavalry. Pope Leo IX. commanded an army consisting of Italian
volunteers, several bands of robbers, and seven hundred Suabians. Pope
Alexander VI. at the head of a powerful army conquered Bologna, Ancona,
Ravenna and Ferrara. After the return of the pope to Rome from Avignon,
in 1577, a standing army was formed consisting of cavalry and infantry.

The papal military organizations have been of the most formidable
description. The Dominican Knights, the Teutonic Knights, the Knights
of St. John, and the Knight Templars, instituted for the defence
and propagation of Catholicism by the force of arms, were skilfully
organized and rigorously disciplined. They assumed the vows of celibacy,
poverty and unconditional obedience. They were interdicted, by the terms
of their charter, from acknowledging any protector but the pope, and
were made independent of any other authority. Upon becoming initiated
into their orders, the pope absolved them from all human obligations,
and they were required to sunder all human ties. They enjoyed all the
immunities and privileges of the religious orders; and in conjunction
with them formed a standing army of three hundred thousand men, fully
equipped for war, exclusively devoted to the pope's interest, and ready
at his call to serve him by land or sea.

As an independent sovereign the pope has a national revenue. This
revenue is domestic and foreign. From official reports the pope's
domestic revenue, in 1853, amounted to 13,000,000 florins; his
foreign revenue is not publicly known. In the dark ages half of the
ecclesiastical revenues of Europe flowed into the church treasury at
Rome; but at present the various streams of wealth destined for the
church, are diverted to convenient localities, situated in different
parts of the world, to be disbursed according to regulations prescribed
by the holy father. As the subject is somewhat curious, we are tempted
to inquire into some of the sources of the papal revenue.

One source of the pope's revenue is the sale of indulgences. St. Peter's
Church, at Rome, which cost 45,000,000 crowns, was chiefly built from
the proceeds of this species of traffic. William Hogan furnishes some
singular facts respecting this ingenious device, by which the church
accommodates the wishes of the members in the commission of sin, to her
pecuniary advantage. He says:

"They (the pope and the propagandi) resolved that indulgences should, in
the future, be called _scapulus_, and thus piously enable all Catholic
priests and bishops to swear on the Holy Evangelists that no indulgences
were sold in the United States..... The scapula costs the purchaser
one dollar. The priest who sells it tells him that in order to make it
thoroughly efficacious, it is necessary that he should cause some masses
to be said.... I may safely say that, on an average, every scapula sold
in the United States costs at least five dollars."--_Synopsis, pp_. 176,

The number of Catholics in the world is computed, by Catholic authority,
at 150,000,000. Some of the papal subjects would not, perhaps, purchase
a scapula in a year, while others might purchase a hundred; but at the
moderate estimate of one scapula annually to each Catholic, the pope
would derive from this source an annual revenue of 750,000,000 dollars.
The sale of the scapula would; of course, be in proportion to the
wickedness of the church members; the more virtuous they were the less
would they be necessitated to contribute to the coffers of the church;
and as merchants and traders always scheme to create a demand for their
goods, it is not reasonable that either the pope or his priests would
encourage their Catholic subjects in conduct that would render them of
no value to them; and that would injure the sale and lessen the demand
of their articles of trade, by which their treasure and luxuries are so
much augmented.

Another source of the pope's revenue are the masses which the church
requires to be said for the deliverance of the souls of deceased
Catholics out of purgatory. These masses were sold before the rebellion
at fifty cents a piece; whether they have since risen in value in
proportion to other articles, I have not the means of ascertaining. What
number of masses are requisite for conjuring a Catholic layman's soul
up from purgatory, I am not informed; but there is a will of a priest
recorded in Towsontown, Md.. which bequeaths to a brother priest the sum
of one hundred dollars to pay for two hundred masses, "to be said for
the benefit of his poor soul." If the church will not release the soul
of a priest from purgatory for less than one hundred dollars, how much
does she demand of a layman for a similar purpose? It would seem
that the sanctity of a priest ought enable her to get him out of the
purgatorial fire, and release him from the clutches of the devil for a
much less sum of money than would be requisite for the same purpose in
the case of an un-anointed layman.. This traffic in the souls of dead
men by the church, has been prosecuted in such an oppressive manner thai
her members have sometimes been provoked to remonstrate. I once knew
of a young Catholic who charged his priest with having forged a will in
order to swindle him out of a great portion of his maternal inheritance.
The pretext on which this pious fraud was attempted to be based was a
plea that the mother of the youth had bequeathed to the priest a house
of hers, in payment of a sufficient number of masses for the release of
her soul from purgatory. The annual revenue derived by the pope for
his service in opening the gates of purgatory to the devout must be
prodigious; but the secrecy with which it is veiled renders a reliable
computation exceedingly difficult. If we consider the number of
Catholics that are in the world, and the probable annual number of
deaths that occur among them, and calculate the sum of money which would
be necessary to deliver the average number that die yearly out of the
flames of purgatory, we may form some conception of the vast-ness
of this resource of papal revenue. Wars, pestilence, bereavements of
friends, which are calamities to families and nations, are pecuniary
advantages to the church; and in proportion to the mortality of her
members, she has cause to rejoice over the improvement of her finances.

Another source of the pope's revenue are the proceeds derived from the
sale of crosses, amulets, relics, pictures, beads, and articles made
by monks and nuns. These articles of pious merchandise are blest by the
bishop, and sold sometimes privately, and sometimes at Catholic fairs,
They are supposed by the purchaser to insure him good luck, and to keep
evil from his dwelling; and although they are often an unsightly set of
trumpery; yet as they are consecrated by the bishops blessing, which,
however, rather depreciates their intrinsic value, they are prized by
the cajoled Catholics as exceeding in value either gold or gems. We have
no data enabling us to calculate the amount of revenue derived by the
pope from this source of income; but we may be allowed to conclude from
the fact that, as the church has availed herself of its advantages in
all countries and ages, it has proved exceedingly remunerative.

Another source of the papal revenue are the contributions extorted from
laborers, female servants, and others of the industrial classes. I know
of a servant girl who paid one dollar every autumn towards furnishing
the church with winter fuel. What fuel costs the church, I do not know;
perhaps little or nothing. The number of Catholics in the United States
are commuted by Catholic authority to amount to 10,000,0000; and if each
one contributes one dollar annually for the benefit he derives from the
church furnaces, (and I am credibly informed he does), the pope receives
from this source an annual income of 10,000,000 dollars. But this is not
the only method by which the laboring classes are filched out of their
honest gains by the holy mother. On the regular monthly pay-day
of contractors for public works, and of mining, manufacturing and
mechanical companies, the priest makes his appearance, And exacts a
dollar a month from each of the faithful.

If there are non-Catholics among the employees, who hesitate to
contribute the monthly donation, they are insulted, intimidated, and
their life threatened to such a degree that they consider it prudent
to yield to the demand, or seek employment elsewhere. This system
of extortion is engineered among the workmen by some favorite of
the Catholic priest, who makes it his business to see that he is
not disappointed in getting his dollar a month. An engineer of this
description, employed on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, in his avidity
to accommodate the priesthood narrowly escaped being victimized by
a secular sharper. A stranger, professing to be a Catholic priest,
solicited in behalf of his necessities, his charity and influence.
Promptly heading a subscription list with the generous sum of
two dollars and fifty cents, he was soon enabled to exult in the
subscription of a very respectable amount by his fellow workmen.
The list was, in accordance with usage, handed to the cashier of the
establishment; but before any money was paid on its account it was
discovered that the priest was a spurious one, and that the money he
solicited was not intended for the treasury of the pope, but for
the pocket of an unconsecrated impostor. Catholic periodicals, with
commendable regard to their patrons' interest, have frequently published
instances in which pretended priests and monks have successfully gulled
the faithful. When we consider the vast proportion of poor to rich
Catholics in the world, it seems evident that this branch of the pope's
financial machinery, by which he wins a dollar a month from each of the
industrial classes of the Catholic church, must furnish his coffers
with an annual revenue exceeding that of any other government. Another
source of the pope's revenue are alms collected by an order of lay
mendicants. The church, instructed by the practice of mendication
among all nations and classes, at all periods of history, and under all
circumstances, has been enabled to perfect a system of extraordinary
comprehensiveness, sharpness and efficiency. Organ grinders, bead
counters, children, mothers with babes in their arms, men without
legs, the blind, the deaf, the cripple, any object that can touch? the
tender or religious sympathies of the community, are employed as beggars
for the pope of Rome. This description of mendicants sometimes openly
solicit alms for the holy father, but at other times endeavor to conceal
their mission under a mask of profound dissimulation. The eloquence of
broken noses, distorted forms, mutilated limbs, and tattered garments,
are made to plead with touching pathos in behalf of the papal monarch.
The revenue which he derives from his numerous crowd of professional
beggars, is one of the secrets of the Holy See; but from the liberality
with which Catholics respond, from a sense of religious duty, and
Protestants from prudential motives, it may reasonably be presumed that
it is not inconsiderable.

Another source of the pope's revenue is derived, from his foreign
possessions. These possessions consist of churches, monasteries,
nunneries, mission houses, edifices for schools, colleges, hospitals,
asylums, private dwellings, tracts of land, and every other species of
property. The papal foreign property is sometimes held in the name of
the pope, sometimes in that of a priest, and sometimes in that of
a corporation, real or pretended. Every priest coming to the United
States, in order that he may legally be qualified to hold property for
the benefit of the church, is required to take the oath of allegiance,
whether he considers it consistent or not with his ordination oath. (See
Hogan's Synopsis, p. 36). In 1822 the pope claiming to be the proprietor
of St. Mary's Church at Philadelphia, leased it to a foreign priest, and
sent him over to take charge of it. The trustees, and William Hogan, the
recognized encumbent, refusing to obey the order of the pope's agents,
a suit of ejectment was brought against them in the Supreme Court of
Pennsylvania. Judge Tilghman presided at the trial. He decided that the
pope could legally hold no property in the United States, and sustained
the action of the defendants. (See Hogan's Synopsis, pp. 113,114). In a
suit brought by the brothers of the order of Hermits of St. Augustine,
against the county of Philadelphia, for the destruction of St.
Augustine's Church by a mob of the American party, it was discovered
that the alleged corporation was entirely spurious. The pretended
corporators consisted of Micheal Hurly, pastor of St. Augustine's Church
at Philadelphia, Prince Gallager, pastor at Bedford, Pa., Lewis de
Barth, pastor of St. Mary's Church at Philadelphia, Patrick Henry,
pastor at Coffee Run, Chester County, Pa., and J. B. Holland, pastor at
Lancaster, Pa. So profoundly secret was the existence of this company
kept, that no laymen or priest outside of the pretended corporators had
ever heard of it before the trial, and as the public documents contained
no enrolment of it in accordance with the requirement of law, it was
pronounced entirely spurious and invalid. The value of the property held
in the name of this pretended corporation, in evasion of the laws of the
United States, was computed at 5,000,000 dollars. Even in cities where
the Catholic population is deemed numerically insignificant, millions
worth of property of which the inhabitants have not the slightest
conception, is owned by the pope, under cover of fictitious names or
otherwise. (See Hogan's Auric. Confess., vol. 2, p. 204, &c). Whenever
the church has obtained sufficient power she has made a bequest to the
coffers of the church a condition to the validity of a will; and where
she has failed to acquire this power, she has still exacted a compliance
with it from her members, under pain of her penalties. Splendid palaces
and gorgeous church edifices alone are not adequate to satisfy the
cravings of her avarice, she must have lands and every species of
wealth. Wherever her priests have effected a pious entering wedge in a
block of buildings, by means of a church or an asylum, they must scheme
to work out the other proprietors, and monopolize the whole themselves.
Their covetous eye is always fixed on some magnificent farm, and their
active speculation, or deeper craft, has enabled them to become in
possession of very desirable tracts of land. I know of a priest who
netted ten thousand dollars by a single land speculation. The priests,
by means of the confessional, become accurately acquainted with all
secrets, with every contemplative movement in the general or State
government, or in financial corporations, that can effect the market
value of lands or stocks; and it would be exceedingly astonishing
if, with this advantage, their speculations should not invariably be
successful. In possession of such means, the church has in every age
accumulated prodigious wealth. Before the secularization of the monastic
property in Europe, the ecclesiastical domains and revenues were so
great that the benefices were bestowed by kings on royal heirs. In
California and Mexico, previous to the revolution that caused the
sequestration of the church domains, her mission-houses owned nearly all
the territory of the State. In China, even at this day, there are three
bishoprics endowed by the crown of Portugal, which hold seven provinces;
and the bishops of the Apostolic Vicars hold several others. The
possessions of the Catholic priests render them the wealthiest citizens
of the country in which they reside; and as no heir can inherit their
estates, each succeeding generation is destined to see them augmented
until every bishopric, however poor now, has become a princely domain,
with a princely revenue, governed by a titled priest.

Every Catholic edifice in the world, and every description of property
held by a priest, belongs to the pope; the real title, as lord
paramount, being vested in him, whatever ostensible title policy or
necessity may have induced the church to adopt. Over these possessions
he exercises supreme, despotic dominion, sometimes directly, and
sometimes indirectly.

We have now enumerated some of the sources of the pope's revenue; but
we have mentioned but a few of them. In fact the rites of the Catholic
church partake so plainly of a financial character, that they seem to
have been instituted for purposes of ecclesiastical revenue. With a
fiscal system principally based on them, extending over Christendom,
rigorous in its exactions on all classes, the church unites a rapacity
so unprincipled, measures so oppressive and unjustifiable, deeds so
horrible and arrogations so presumptuous, that were it not for her
religious aspect she might be mistaken for the demon of avarice. While
rolling in opulence and luxury, she stoops to the basest trickery to
filch from laborers and servant girls their wages; to disinherit lawful
heirs; taking advantage of ignorance and superstition, and pretending to
regulate the condition of the soul in the eternal world. The immense sum
of gold which she has, by means of her fiscal system, been piling up
in her coffers for ages, has had no visible outlet except what has been
expended in the support of her officials, and on bribery, corruption,
and political intrigue. The policy that dictates the accumulation
and reservation of this vast amount of treasure, must contemplate
the undertaking of some gigantic enterprise; and the world may yet be
startled from its slumber by the martial assertion of the church to her
pretensions of supreme dominion over the world; and by the fact that she
is better organized for war, and better furnished with its sinews than
any other power.

As an independent sovereign the pope has oaths of allegiance which he
prescribes to such of his subjects as he judges proper. According to
the authority of William Hogan, the consecration oath of the Jesuistical
bishops is as follows:

   "Therefore, to the utmost of my power I shall and
   "will defend this doctrine, and his holiness's rights and
   "customs against all usurpers, and heretical and Pro-
   "testant authority whatsoever; especially against, the
   "new pretended authority of the Church of England,
   "and all adherents, in regard that they and she be
   "usurpal and heretical, opposing the true mother church
   "of Rome. I do renounce and disown my allegiance
   "as due to any heretical king, prince, or State named
   "Protestant, or of obedience to any of their inferior
   "magistrates or officers. I do further declare the doctrine of
   "the Church of England, and of Calvinists,
   "Huguenots, and of the other named Protestants to be
   "damnable, and they themselves are damned, and to be
   "damned, that will not forsake them. I do further declare
   "that I will help, assist, advise all wherever I
   "shall be, in England, Scotland, Ireland, or in any
   "other kingdom I shall come to, and do my best to ex-
   "tirpate the heretical Protestant doctrines, and destroy
   "all their pretending powers, regal or otherwise. I
   "do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding
   "I am dispensed with, to assume any other religion
   "heretical for the propagation of the mother church's
   "interest, to keep secret and private all her agent's
   "councils from time to time, as they entrust me, and
   "not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writ-
   "ing, or circumstance whatever, but to execute all
   "that shall be proposed; given in charge, or discovered
   "unto me, by you my ghostly father, or by any of his
   "sacred convents. All which I, A. B. do swear by the
   "blessed Trinity, and blessed Sacraments which I am
   "now to receive, to perform, and on my part to keep
   "inviolably, and do call all the heavenly and glorious
   "hosts to witness these my real intentions to keep this
   "my oath."

The consecration oath of a Catholic bishop is as follows:

   "I do solemnly swear on the Holy Evangelists, and
   "before Almighty God, to defend the domains of St.
   "Peter against every aggressor; to preserve, augment
   "and extend the rights, honors, and privileges of the
   "Lord Pope and his successors; to observe, and with all
   "my might to enforce his decrees, ordinances, reserva-
   "tions, provisions, and all dispositions whatsoever;
   "to persecute and combat, to the last extremity
   "heretics and schismatics, and all who will not pay
   "the sovereign Pope all the obedience which he shall

The remainder of this oath is similar to the foregoing Jesuistical oath.

The priests of Maynooth, who form the vast majority of Catholic priests
in this country, assume the following obligation to the church:

   "I, A. B., do declare not to act or conduct any mat-
   "ter or thing prejudicial to her, in her sacred orders,
   "doctrines, tenets, or commands, without leave of its
   "supreme power, or its authority under her appoint-
   "ment; being so permitted, then to act, and further
   "her interests, more than my own earthly good and
   "earthly pleasures; as she and her head, His Holiness
   "and his successors, have, or ought to have, the supremacy
   "over all kings, princes, estates, or powers
   "whatsoever, either to deprive them of their crowns,
   "or governments, or to set up others in lieu thereof,
   "they dissenting from the mother church and her com-

It is said that by rescript of Pope Pius VII., in 1818, the clause
relating to "heretics" in the bishop's oath, is omitted by the bishops
subject to the British crown. It is also omitted in the following oath,
published by the Nashville American Union, April 6, 1856:

   "I, N.. elect of the church N., shall be from this
   "hour henceforward obedient to Blessed Peter the
   "Apostle, and to the holy Roman Catholic Church, and
   "to the most blessed father Pope N., and to his succes-
   "sors canonically chosen. I shall assist them to retain
   "and defend, against any man whatever, the Roman
   "Popedom, without prejudice to my rank; and shall
   "take care to preserve, defend and promote the rights,
   "honors, privileges, and authority of the holy Roman
   "Church, of the Pope, and his successors aforesaid.
   "With my whole strength I shall observe, and cause to
   "be observed by others, the rules of the Holy Fathers,
   "the decrees, ordinances, or dispositions and mandates
   "of the Apostolic See."

The next clause declares the willingness of the bishop to attend synods,
give an account to the pope of every thing appertaining to the church
and his flock, and obey such apostolic mandate as he shall receive. The
oath concludes thus:

   "I shall not sell, nor give away, nor mortgage,
   "enfeoff anew, nor in any way alienate the possessions
   "belonging to my table, without the leave of the Ro-
   "man Pontiff. And should I proceed to any alienation
   "of them, I am willing to contract, by the very fact,
   "the penalties specified in the constitutions published
   "on this subject.'

The Sanfideste's oath, exacted by Pope Gregory of his military forces,
was as follows:

   "I swear to elevate the altar and the throne upon the
   "infamous Liberals, and to exterminate them without
   "pity for the cries of their children, or the tears of
   "their old men."

William Hogan, speaking of the instructions given him previous to his
embarkation for America, by his bishop, describes it as follows:

"Let it be your first duty to extirpate heretics, but be cautious as to
the manner of doing it. Do nothing without consulting the bishop of the
diocese in which you may be located, and if there be no bishop there,
advise with the metropolitan bishop. He has instructions from Rome, and
he understands the character of the people. Be sure not to permit the
members of the holy church who may be under your charge to read the
Bible. It is the source of all heresy. Wherever you see an opportunity
of building a church, make it known to your bishop. Let the land be
purchased for the Pope, and his successors in office. Never yield or
give up the divine right which the head of the church has, by virtue
of the keys, to the command of North America, as well as every other
country. The confessional will enable you to know the people by degrees;
with the aid of that _holy_ tribunal, and the bishops, who are guided by
the spirit of God, we may expect at no distant day, to bring over North
America to our holy church."--_Synopsis_, pp.110, 111.

The atrocious doctrine that it is proper to equivocate, to dissimulate,
and to deceive by mental reservations, is boldly defended by the highest
authorities of the Catholic church. Dens says: "Notwithstanding it is
not lawful to lie, or to feign what is not, however, it is lawful to
dissemble what is, or to cover the truth with words, or other ambiguous
or doubtful signs, for a just cause, and when there is not a necessity
of confessing."--(Theol., vol. 2, p. 116). Again, he says: "The Vicar
of God, in the place of God, remits to man the debt of a plighted
promise."--(lb., 4: 134, 135). St. Liqnori says: "It is certain, and a
common opinion among all divines, that for a just cause it is lawful to
use equivocation, and to confirm it with an oath."--(Less. 1, 2, ch. 41,
n. 47).

The obligation of all oaths of allegiance in conflict with the papal
clerical oaths, or the interests of the pope, are declared by the
universal authority of the church to be null and void. Dens says: "All
the faithful, also bishops and patriarchs, are bound to obey the Roman
pontiff. The pope hath also not only directive, but coactive power over
the faithful."--(De Eccles. No. 94, p. 439). Pope Urban, elected in
1087, says: "Subjects are not bound to observe the fealty which they
swear to a Christian prince, who withstands God and the saints, and
condemns the precepts."--(Pithon, p. 260). Pope Gregory IX says: "The
fealty which subjects have sworn to a Christian king, who opposes
God and his saints, they are not bound by any authority to
perform."--Decret., vol. 1, p. 648). Again he says: "An oath contrary to
the utility of the church is not to be observed."--Vol. 2, p. 358.) And
again he asserts: "You are not bound by an oath of this kind, but on
the contrary you are freely bid Good-speed in standing against kings
for the rights and honors of that very church, and even in legislatively
defending your own peculiar privileges."--(Vol. 2.. p. 360). Bronson,
speaking of the church says: "As the guardian and judge of law she must
have power to take cognizance of the State, and to judge whether or not
it does conform to the condition and requirement of its trust, and to
pronounce sentence accordingly."--(Rev. Jan. 1854) Pope Pius V., in
relation to Queen Elizabeth, said: "We do declare her to be deprived of
her pretended right to the kingdom, and of all dominion whatsoever; and
also the subjects sworn to her to be forever dissolved from any such
oath." Pope Innocent III., elected in 1198, "Freed all that were bound
to those who had fallen into heresy, from all fealty, homage, and
obedience."--(Pithon, p. 24).

Bronson says: "Rome divided her British territory into dioceses, and
sends cardinals to London, notwithstanding the laws that England shall
not thus be divided."--(Rev., April, 1854). The trustees of the church of
St. Louis, at Buffalo, N. Y., having refused to comply with the canons
of the Council of Trent in violating the trust laws of the State of New
York, the bishop proceeded to excommunicate them. In consequence of this
conduct, the legislature of 1855 passed an act defining ecclesiastical
tenure. In a letter of Bishop Hughes, dated March 28th, 1855, and
published in the _Freeman's Journal_, respecting this law, he says:
"Now in this it seems to meddle with our religion, as well as our civil
rights; and we shall find twenty ways outside the intricate web of its
prohibitions for doing, and doing more largely still, the very thing it
wishes us not to do."

A curious and very objectionable feature of the papal monarchy is,
a system of searching espionage which it attempts to establish over
society. In addition to the confessors and spiritual guides by which
the pope seeks to discover the thoughts, and direct the conduct of
his Catholic subjects, he employs a set of men and women who, in the
capacity of servants scrutinize the domestic affairs of non-Catholics,
mark, their conversation, and communicate-all important facts through
their superior, to him at Rome. As an illustration of the disrespectful
inquisitiveness, and base incivility of this department of the papal
government, we submit the following facts furnished by William Hogan:

"Soon after my arrival in Philadelphia," says he, "I became acquainted
with a Protestant family. I had the pleasure of dining occasionally with
them, and could not help noticing a seemingly delicate young man, who
waited at the table.... Not long after this a messenger called at my
room to say that Theodore was taken ill, and wished to see me. I was
then officiating as a Romish priest, and calling to see him was shown up
stairs to a garret room, into which, after a loud rap, and announcement
of my name, I was admitted....

"He deliberately turned out of his bed, locked the door, and very
respectfully handed me a chair, and asked me to sit down as he had
something very important to tell me.... 'Sir, you have taken me for
a young man, but you are mistaken; I am a girl, but not so young as
I appeared in my boy's dress. I sent for you because I want to get a
character, and confess to you before I leave the city.' I answered, 'You
must explain yourself more fully before you can do either.' I moved my
chair farther from the bed, and tightened my grasp on a sword-cane which
I carried in my hand. 'Feel no alarm,' said the now young woman, 'I
am armed as well as you are,' taking from under her jacket an elegant
poignard. 'I will not hurt you. I am a lay sister belonging to the order
of Jesuists in Stonyhurst, England, and wear this dagger to protect
myself. There was no longer any mystery in the matter. I knew now where
I was, and the character of the being that stood before me. I discovered
from her that she had arrived in New Orleans some time previous, with
all due recommendation to the priests and nuns of that city.... They
received her with all due caution as far as could be seen by the public;
but privately in the warmest manner. Jesuists are active and diligent
in the discharge of duties to their superiors., and of course this lay
sister, who was chosen from among many for her zeal and craft, lost no
time in entering on her mission. The Sisters of Charity took immediate
charge of her, recommended her as a chambermaid to one of the most
respectable Protestant families in that city, and having clothed her
in an appropriate dress, she entered on her employment.... So great a
favorite did she become in the family, that in a short time she became
acquainted with all the circumstances and secrets, from those of the
father to those of the smallest child.

"According to the custom universally in vogue, she kept notes of every
circumstance which may tend to elucidate the character of the family,
never carrying them about her, but depositing them with the mother
abbess especially deputed to take charge of them..... Thus did this lay
sister continue to go from place to place, from family to family, until
she became better acquainted with the politics, the pecuniary means,
religious opinions, and whether favorable or not to the propagation
of popery in this country, than even the very individuals with whom
she associated.... This lay sister, this excellent chambermaid, or lay
Jesuist sister, wished to come North to a better climate....

"Americans can be gulled. The _Sisters of Charity_ have always in
readiness some friend to supply them with the means of performing
_corporeal acts of mercy_. This friend went around to the American
families where this chambermaid had lived from time to time, told them
she wanted to come as far as Baltimore, that it was a pity to have
her travel as a steerage passenger; a person of her virtue and correct
deportment should not be placed in a situation where she might be liable
to insult and rude treatment.... A handsome purse was soon made up, a
cabin passage was engaged, and the young ladies on whom she waited made
her presents of every article of dress necessary for her comfort and
convenience. She was the depository of all their love stories; she knew
the names of their lovers,... and if there were secrets among them they
were known to her; and, having made herself acquainted with the secrets
of New Orleans, she arrived in Baltimore.... She took possession of a
place as soon as convenient, and spent several months in that city....
Having now become acquainted with the secret circumstances of almost
every Protestant family of note in Baltimore, and made her report to the
mother abbess of the nunnery of her order in that city, she returned to
the District of Columbia, and after advising with the mother abbess
of the convent, she determined to change her apparent character and

"By advice of this venerable lady and holy prioress, on whom many of the
wives of our national representatives, and even grave senators, looked
as an example of piety and chastity, she cut her hair, dressed her in
a smart looking waiter's jacket and trowsers, and with the best
recommendations for intelligence and capacity, applied for a situation
as Waiter in Gadsby's Hotel, in Washington city. This smart and tidy
looking young man got instant employment.... Those senators on whom he
waited, not suspecting that he had the ordinary curiosity of servants
in general, were entirely thrown off their guard, and in their
conversations with one another seemed to forget their usual caution.
Such, in short, was their confidence in him, that their most important
papers and letters were left loose upon the table, satisfied by saying,
as they went out: 'Theodore, take care of my room and papers.'.... Now
it was known whether Henry Clay was a gambler; whether Daniel Webster
was a libertine; whether John C. Calhoun was an honest but credulous
man.... In fact this lay sister in male uniform, but a waiter in
Gadsby's Hotel, was enabled to give more correct information of the
actual state of things in this country, through the general of the
Jesuist order in Rome, than the whole corpse of diplomats from foreign
countries then residing at our seat of government.... 'I want a written
character from you. You must state in it that I have complied with my
duty, and as it is necessary that I should wear a cap for a while, you
must say that you visited me in my sick room, that I confessed to you,
received the _viaticum_, and had just recovered from a violent fever.
My business is not done yet. I must go to New York, where the Sisters
of Charity will find a place for me as a waiting maid."--_Auricular
Confession, volume 2_: pp. 99-108.

Through the instrumentality of this execrable system of espionage, the
pope becomes acquainted with the character, intentions, and acts of
every important private and public personage; with the nature and
object of every secret society; with the private intentions of every
government; with the incipiency and progress of every seditious and
treasonable project; and is prepared at all times, by the accuracy and
comprehensiveness of his information, to instruct his generals in the
actual state of affairs existing in any part of the world, and to direct
their conduct in the advancement of his interest, by the most prudent
and enlightened council.


     The Pope's Direct Authority--His Opposition to Marriage--To
     Slavery--His Claim to Temporal Power on the forged Decretal
     Letter of Constantine--On the Fictitious Gift of Pepin--On
     the Pretended Donation of Charlemagne--on the Disputed
     Bequest of Matildaf Duchess of Tuscany--The Title of Pope a
     Usurpation--The Papal Artful Policy--The State of Italy
     under the Papal Government.

We have now sketched the pope's temporal monarchy, which has its seat
in Rome, and its subjects in every part of the world. He claims to be
invested by divine right with supreme sovereignty over earth, heaven
and hell. To question the legitimacy of this claim is condemned, and has
been punished as blasphemous by his authority. Joseph Wolf, of Halle,
a Jew who had been converted to the Catholic faith, was, while studying
divinity at the _Seminarium Romanum_, imprisoned for blasphemy for
having expressed a doubt of the pope's infallibility. Fra Paola, who had
expressed in a private letter that so far from coveting the dignities
of Rome he held them in abomination, and who had advocated liberty in a
dispute which had occurred between the pope and the Venitian government,
was summoned to Rome to answer for his criminal assertions and conduct;
and though acquitted of the allegations preferred against him, narrowly
escaped the assassin's dagger.

But the "More than God," the Pope, is a very jealous "more than God."
He allows no master to stand between him and his subjects. His authority
over mind and body must be direct, and all influences or institutions
that obstruct it must be annihilated.. Hence Cardinal Ballarmine, the
distinguished papal controversialist, who was so devout a Catholic that
when he died he bequeathed one half of his soul to Jesus Christ and the
other half to the Virgin Mary, provoked the censure of the holy father
by asserting in a publication that the pope's influence in temporal
matters was not direct but indirect. As husbands obstruct the direct
influence of popes on wives, parents on children, and friends on
friends, he would nullify the conjugal, parental, filial and social
relations. Hence in a canon of the Council of Trent, he pronounces a
curse on all who say that marriage is preferable to celibacy. Should the
prompting of the social instincts be too strong to be repressed by the
terrors of canonical anathemas, and should they in natural indifference
to them still create the bonds, connections, and institutions of
friendship and families, he has a clerical machinery skilfully adapted
to moderate their influences and reciprocities, and to maintain the
predominence of his direct authority. Michelet, the philosophical
historian and celebrated controversialist, in a work entitled "Priests,
Women and Children," has explained the ingenious method by which this
object is effected. By separating as much as possible the husband
from the wife, and the children from their parents, the direct papal
influence, through the priest, is exerted on the isolated husband
abroad, on the lonely wife at home, and the defenceless children in
nunnery schools and Catholic asylums. Examples of a similar policy are
portrayed by Eugene Sue, a Catholic, in his "Wandering Jew." The logical
consequence of the dogma of the pope's direct authority has, in fact,
made the Catholic church a "free love" institution. Chastity and
marriage she tolerates because she cannot do otherwise; but in the lives
of her monks, her priests, her popes, and her saints, she as practically
ignores as she consistently hates them.

The jealous claim of the pope to a direct influence on the mind of his
subjects, has unavoidably made the church an inveterate enemy of human
slavery. The pope hates slavery, not because he wishes men free, but
because he wishes to exercise a direct authority over their minds. The
master nullifies the pope's influence on the slave, and therefore he
wishes him removed. No influence is equal to that of a master. The whip
he holds over the back of his slave, and the power he has over his life,
annihilates all other influences. Hence the Catholic church has always
been opposed to slavery. Guizot remarks, respecting feudal slavery: "It
cannot be denied, however, that the church has used its influence
to restrain it; the clergy in general, and especially several popes,
enforced the manumission of slaves as a duty incumbent on laymen, and
loudly enveighed against keeping Christians in bondage."--(Gen. Hist.,
Lect. VI., p. 132). Pope Pius II., in 1462, in a letter addressed to the
bishops of Eubi; Pope Paul III., in 1537, in his apostolic letter to the
cardinal bishops of Toledo; Pope Urban VII., in 1590, in an apostolic
letter to the Collector Jurium of the apostolic churches of Portugal;
Pope Benedict XIV., in 1731, in his apostolic letter to the clergy of
Brazil; and Pope Pius VII., in his official address to his clergy, all
denounced the traffic in blacks, and demanded that every species of
slavery should cease among Christians. Pope Gregory, in his apostolic
letter of 1839 says: "We, then, by virtue of our apostolic authority,
censure all the aforesaid practices as unworthy the Christian name,
and by that same authority we strictly prohibit and interdict any
ecclesiastic or layman from presuming to uphold, under any pretext or
color whatever, that same traffic in blacks, as if it were lawful in
its nature, or otherwise to preach, or in any way whatever publicly or
privately to teach in opposition to these things which we have made the
subject of our admonition in this our apostolic letter." We are
aware that African slavery owes its origin to a Catholic priest, who,
perceiving that the demand for laborers in the West India was likely to
subject the Indians to bondage, suggested as a less wrong that negroes
should be purchased of the Portuguese settlements in Africa, and held as
slaves for life; but whatever were his private opinions respecting the
propriety of African slavery, his church has never recognized it as

The perversion of public opinion by the Catholic church, and the
practical beguilement of her warmest friends, effected by the consummate
craft with which she plots to achieve her objects, have presented fresh
evidence to the world in the singular fact, that while she is radically
the most efficient abolition society that ever was projected, and
that while in her official mandates to the clergy she has invariably
denounced the traffic in human beings as infamous, yet has she commanded
the homage of the American slave-holder for her friendly disposition
towards the Southern institution; and induced her members, while using
them as instruments in the accomplishment of her projects for the
abolishment of slavery, to hate, denounce, and to anathematize the North
for its abolition proclivities.

But there were other considerations which probably stimulated the
humanity of the church in her labors for the abolition of slavery. The
condition of the slave precludes the possibility of his serving her in
the capacity of a spy on the opinions and conduct of his master; and
as he received no wages she could not assess him for her benefit. The
perfection of the pope's system of espionage, and the augmentation of
his revenue, were both connected with the slave's disenthralment. These
advantages could not be undesirable to the church, and the avidity with
which she has improved them, shows how clearly she foresaw them. Through
accident or Jesuistical craft, it has happened, that colored servants
have been supplanted to an incredible extent by white Catholic servants,
who as serviceable spies far excel them. I regret not the abolishment
of the revolting traffic in human beings, nor do I censure the Catholic
church for the important aid she rendered in its achievement; but I
hope American freemen will not want the vigilance to prevent her from
improving the new condition of things, so much to her advantage as to
endanger the liberty of the country.

But the "Lord God, the Pope," who claims by divine right to be lord
paramount of the world, has unwarily invalidated his title even to
the "patrimony of St. Peter," by an attempt to establish it by forged
decretal letters. Forgeries are criminal acts, and punished by all
nations as high misdemeanors. They are prejudicial to the ground of
action of a claimant, and as evident proof of an intent to swindle, as
they are of a base and contemptible origin. When successful, they may
overhang the mind for a while, as clouds in a dead still atmosphere
do the earth; but at the slightest breeze they are dissipated, and the
superstructure based upon them, though gorgeous as the setting sun,
will, like its area! enchantment, break up and dissolve away. Yet of
such base and flimsy material are the pope's claim to temporal power
constructed. Innumerable bulls, decretals, receipts, briefs, canons,
letters, interdicts, and other documents, have been forged, altered and
interpolated by the holy brotherhood, to furnish a legal basis for the
pope's temporal power. These documents were prepared between the third
and ninth centuries, and carefully treasured up in the papal archives,
ready for use as occasion might require. One of the boldest of these
pious forgeries is the decretal letter attributed to Constantine the
Great, forged probably by Benedict of Mentz, in the ninth century. It
reads as follows:

"We attribute to the Chair of St. Peter all imperial dignity, and power
and glory. We give to Pope Sylvester, and to his successors, our palace
of Lateran, one of the finest in the world; we give to him our crown,
our mitre, our diadem, all our imperial vestments. We give to the Holy
Pontiff as a free gift the city of Rome, and all the cities of Western
Italy, as well as all the cities of other countries. To make room for
him we abdicate our authority over these provinces, transferring the
seat of our empire to Byzantium, since it is not just that a temporal
emperor shall retain any power where God has set the head of his

The reason assigned for the bestowal of this magnificent donation was
gratitude on the part of Constantine, for having been cured of leprosy
through the administration of the rite of baptism at the hands of Pope
Sylvester. But it is historically established that Constantine did not
receive the rite of baptism until a late hour in his last sickness; that
when he did receive it, it did not cure his malady; and that the rite
was administered, not by the Pope of Rome, but by an Arian bishop.
Whatever donations of crowns, kingdoms and cities were bestowed on the
bishop who officiated on the occasion, were unquestionably granted to
a heretical sectary; and if Rome does not wish to confess herself an
Arian, she cannot consistently claim their gifts. But even had the case
been otherwise, how could Constantine bestow on the pope all the cities
of Western Italy, and of all other countries, when he did not possess
them himself? As the gift of a donor is worthless unless he has an
actual right in what he bestows, the pretensions of the pope on the
ground of Constantine's gift, are an actual nullification of all
his claims to temporal sovereignty. It is generally conceded that
Constantine allowed the pope the use of some buildings in Rome; but
it is denied that he ever invested him with a title to them as lord
paramount. This limited indulgence was the pope's precedent for holding
real estate, and formed the basis of his claim to all the crowns and
kingdoms of the world. But like the rapacious dog, who, with his mouth
full of meat, lost all he had by snapping at the shadow of more in a
river, the pope, by attempting through forged documents to grasp at all
the world, has lost his title, to any part of it.

Although the decretal letter attributed to Constantino was palpably
spurious, yet such was the general ignorance of the times, the respect
for the sanctity and infallibility of the pope, and the danger of
provoking the wrath of the inquisition by questioning a dogma of the
church, that its validity was not called into question.

At length, however, in a legal proceedings of a monastery at Sabine,
its fraudulent character was attempted to be substantiated. The bold
criticisms of Laurentius Valla, in the fifteenth century, gave the first
decisive blow to its credibility, and in the succeeding age it sunk into
public contempt, beneath the scorn of historians, the ridicule of poets,
and the concessions of theologians. But notwithstanding its universally
acknowledged spurious character, such is the reluctance of the popes to
yield a point, that it still continues to remain a portion of the canon
law of the holy Catholic church.

The alleged gift of Pepin to the Roman See forms another pretext by
which the popes have endeavored to lay a basis for their claim to the
right of temporal sovereignty. Pope Gregory excited a rebellion against
the authority of the Emperor Leo III., in the course of which the
Italian Exarcate was dismembered from the empire. It was decided by the
victors that the government should be administered by two Consuls, in
which the pope should participate, not in a secular, but in a paternal
capacity. For a monarch claiming the world as a just inheritance,
and all princes and governors as his menials, to accept such a humble
concession to his unlimited authority, and such an ambiguous office, is
the most remarkable instance on record of a monarchial condescension.
He, however, not only accepted it, but what is still more surprising,
accepted it with eagerness and gratitude; and even intrigued to obtain
it. But during the administration of Pope Stephen II. the victorious
sword of the Lombards wrung the Exarcate from the Consular government
of Rome. The pope, to retrieve his fortunes applied to Pepin, Mayor
of France, who, responding with an adequate force, reconquered the
Exereate, and expelled the barbarians. Grateful for the martial services
of Pepin, the pope solicited of the civil authority the privilege of
appointing him Patriarch of Rome, a title which was borne by the former
Exarchs; and by this innocent method initiated a precedent which soon
ripened into a prerogative of appointing civil magistrates. Having thus
advanced the interests of the Holy See by complimenting its deliverer,
he next ventured to anoint his head with oil, in hopes that in thus
imitating the example of Samuel in anointing kings, future popes might
have a pretext for usurping his prerogatives in acknowledging their
right to reign. Pepin, who ruled France under the title of Mayor, wished
to imprison the heir to the throne and usurp the government, and the
pope gave him his opinion that it was best for him to do so. In grateful
consideration of these extraordinary favors, it is alleged by the popes
that Pepin bestowed the conquered domains, consisting of the Exereate
and the Pentopolis (five cities) on the See of Rome, as supreme absolute
lord. It is, nevertheless, certain, that Pepin's donations to the Holy
See were on condition of its vassalage to the Frankish power, and that
during his life he exercised absolute sovereignty over Rome, and
over all his conquests, and allowed no pope to be either elected or
consecrated without his permission.

The right of the monarch of the world to temporal power, which was first
founded upon the usurpation of Constantine, and next upon the conquests
of Pepin, was annihilated by the conquests of the Lombards. Desiderious,
their king, wrested the Exercate from Rome; and wishing to subjugate
Charlemagne under his authority, proposed to Pope Adrian I. that he
should excite the subjects of that prince to rebellion, declare him a
usurper, and crown his nephews in his place. Adrian listened to these
overtures with seeming friendship, but with malignant delight, and
secretly communicating their substance to Charlemagne, the sword of the
latter was immediately drawn in behalf of the church; the pope revenged;
Desiderius imprisoned for life in a monastery; and all Italy, except the
Duchy of Benevento and the lower Italian republics, were reconquered.
Upon this signal success of his arms, it is alleged by the popes that
the blood-stained warrior, to purchase masses for the benefit of his
soul, confirmed the Holy See in the absolute possession of the former
grants of Pepin. The only copy ever known of these pretended donations
is one received by Cancio, the pope's chamberlain, in the twelfth
century. The undeniable historical fact that Charlemagne asserted, and
maintained during his whole life, a jealous and inalienable right to
Rome, and to every other portion of his dominions, casts a dark shade
of suspicion upon the genuineness of these documents. Even were they,
authenticated, yet as the right of a monarch to annul is equal to
his right to grant, and as his practice is the evidence of what he
surrenders or annuls, the exclusive sovereignty which Charlemagne
maintained over his Italian conquests, until the day of his death, is
a complete nullification of any grant that he had made to the pope, and
positive proof that any right or title to Rome, or to temporal power,
constructed upon them by the holy fathers, is as invalid, futile and
ludicrous, as if they were based on a grant from the man in the moon; in
whose place of abode a traveller, according to Ariosto, once found some
of the lost documents upon which the popes base their claim to temporal
dominion. Besides these laborious but ineffectual efforts to fabricate
historical data in support of the papal pretension to temporal
sovereignty, Gregory VII., in 1075 asserted that Matilda, Duchess of
Tuscany, had bequeathed to the church her domains. These possessions
consisted of Tuscany, a part of Umbria, a part of Mark Ancona, and
the Duchies of Spoleto and Verona. The validity of these bequests was
disputed by the natural heirs; the contest lasted three hundred years,
during which Italy was distracted, and Germany depopulated. Frederic
I., in vindication of his claims against the pretensions of the pope,
invaded Italy on three different occasions. Henry IV. emperor of
Germany, thrice crossed the Alps to chastise the popes for aggressions
on the Germanic possessions in Italy. During the first campaign pope
Paschal was made a prisoner; but on the approach of the imperial army
a second time he fled from Rome. Yet amid the disputes of the Germanic
succession, and during the minority of Frederic II., the arms and
intrigues of the pope won the concession of Europe to his claim of
Matilda's estates.

The spurious character of the pope's title to temporal power has been
exposed by the ablest Catholic authors, and rejected with impatient
contempt by history. But the arguments which have converted a world,
have never been able to convert the popes. They still maintain that
the reputed donations of Constantine, of Pepin, of Charlemagne and of
Matilda, are real and valid. This assertion may appear incredible, but
in 1822 Marino Malini, the pope's chamberlain, endeavored to establish
the genuineness of the fictitious charters of Louis-de-Debonnaire, of
Otho I., and of Henry II., in vindication of the pope's titles of the
alleged grants to the See of Rome.

If the apostolic chair of St. Peter is endowed with a divine title
to universal temporal sovereignty, a human title is superfluous. The
indefatigable exertions of the popes to establish a human title to their
temporal possessions, is a concession that they have no divine title
to them, and that a human title is necessary to the validity of their
claim. But as they have based their title on the authority of forged
documents, and endeavored to fortify and maintain it by successive
fabrications of the same nature, it is evident that they are fully and
alarmingly conscious that they have no title, either by virtue of their
office, or by that of any donation whatever, to temporal possession or

Not only is the holy fathers temporal power a usurpation, but so is also
his exclusive claim to the use of the title of pope. Every bishop, and
even some laymen, in the first centuries of Christianity, bore this
title. In the ancient Greek church it was bestowed upon every clergyman.
At the General Council of Constantinople, in 869, its adoption was first
limited to the four patriarchs. And in the course of the usurpations of
the holy fathers, pope Gregory VII., by authority of an Italian Council,
finally assumed it as the exclusive title of the bishops of Rome.

The popes, the monarchs of the world, in vindicating their title to
the States of the Church, had to maintain a long, bloody and desperate
struggle, during which their domains were abridged or enlarged, lost or
wont according to the varying fortunes of their arms and intrigues.
But as these warlike enterprises of the holy fathers were intimately
connected with the convulsions and revolutions of Europe, it will
prevent repetition by deferring further allusion to them until we
arrive at the subsequent chapters, in which we shall consider the papal
political intrigues in general.

The papal monarchy is certainly one of the most crafty, demoralizing,
and oppressive despotisms that has ever disgraced the name of
government. Its ambition is insatiable, its duplicity inscrutible, and
its policy and measures are disgraceful and unprincipled. The popes
have converted the courteous indulgence of friendship into inviolable
rights, and from the feeblest concession have manufactured the most
exorbitant claim. Pretending to be spiritual advisers, they became
temporal despots. Soon as they had acquired the right of owning a farm,
they asserted the fight of owning a kingdom; and when the right was
conceded of owning a single kingdom, they claimed the right of owning
all the kingdoms of the earth. A church, a mission-house, an acre of
land they construed into an implication that they had a right to all
power, temporal or spiritual, for which their capacious maw could crave.
They first founded mission-houses in different parts of the world;
next they claimed absolute jurisdiction over them. Disputes respecting
property arising between the citizens of Rome and these foreign
mission-houses of the church, the popes claimed the exclusive right to
arbitrate between them. The right to arbitrate gave them the power to
judge, and the opportunity of adjusting disputes according to their
advantage. As ecclesiastical litigation conduced to the extension of
their authority, pontiffs were not always too honorable to discourage
the causes which favored their mediatorial interposition. From the right
to arbitrate between churches, they next claimed the right to arbitrate
between subjects, then between cities, then between nobles, and then
between monarchs. As their mediation in church or state affairs enabled
them to adjust disputes according to their policy, they insidiously
labored to multiply the causes which favored their friendly

By a succession of forgeries, usurpations, and skilful manoeuvres the
papal government advanced, in the progress of events, from an obscure
origin to supreme secular and spiritual jurisdiction. By gradual steps
the popes acquired the right to decide on ecclesiastical and matrimonial
questions; to dispose of church dignities and benefices; to protect
their temporal acquisitions from alienation by the interdiction of the
marriage of the clergy; to abridge the investiture of bishoprics by the
princes; to reduce the clergy to absolute dependence on their favor by
dissolving all bonds of interest which subsisted between the bishops and
the princes; to convene at option synods and councils, and to exercise
the prerogative of ratifying their decrees; to command the concession of
their infallibility; to enforce confessors on princes and statesmen; to
introduce the inquisition into kingdoms; and to regulate and superintend
schools and colleges. The attainment of these objects was the work
of centuries. Conceiving a desire in one age, they plotted for its
accomplishment through the events and discords of succeeding ages; and
when machinations had matured their plan, they consummated their wishes
by usurpation. The pretensions to the alleged donation of Pepin, of
Charlemagne, of Matilda, and of the Gothic princes, were not asserted
until long after the death of the pretended donors, nor until art and
intrigue had prepared the way for it. The alleged grant of Constantine
was first announced in 765 by Pope Adrian I., in an epistle to
Charlemagne. The claim to the estates of Matilda was first made by Pope
Paschal, on the ground that they were granted to the Holy See as a fief;
and next by pope Innocent II., on the ground that they had been granted
to it as lord paramount. The participation of Pope Leo III. in the
Consular government of Rome, in a paternal capacity, was the first
instance of a pope's exercising temporal authority. The anointing of
Pepin by Pope Adrian I., in imitation of the example of Samuel, was the
first semblance of the pope's usurpation of the prerogatives of that
official in acknowledging the right of kings. The victory of Nicholas I,
over the Emperor Lothair, was the first papal triumph over the secular
authority. The coronation of Charles the Bold, in 875, by Pope John
VIII., was the first act of the papal monarch in disposing of crowns.
The conquests of Robert Guiscard, instigated by promises of the popes,
furnished the first ground of their feudal claims. The fear of the
terrible consequences of their anathemas and interdictions, the ill
regulated constitution of the European States, the imperfection of
domestic and international law, and the efficient operation of the papal
machinery, enabled them to render kingdom after kingdom tributary to the
Holy See. England, from the period of the introduction of the Catholic
church into her realm; Belgaria and Aragon, from the eleventh century;
Poland and Hungary from the thirteenth century; and the kingdom of
the two Sicilies, from 1265, had been reduced to dependency on the
sacerdotal monarchy; and had the crusades been successful, favored by
the confusion which it had universally' produced with regard to the
rights of citizens and the titles of property, it would have, under the
pretext of a zeal to wrest the sepulchre of Christ from the possession
of the Infidels, reduced the world to a state of vassalage. The success
of the political measures and intrigues of the Holy See havings at
the time of Gregory VII., raised it to a high degree of power and
importance, he attempted to convert it into a theocratical government,
with the pope for its head, the priests for its officials, the people
for its subjects, and the world for its dominion. Under Innocent III,
elected in 1195, it acquired almost unlimited spiritual and temporal
authority. Under Sixtus V., in 1585, it contemplated the subjugation of
Russia and Egypt, but the death of Bathore, Duke of Tuscany, frustrated
the design. But under Pope Clement XII., in 1652, its power began to
decline. He was obliged to cede Naples to Germany, the quarters of the
pope's embassadors in Venice to the Venitian government, and the right
of investiture in Savoy to the secular authority. Pope Pius VI., elected
in 1775, beheld the church property in France confiscated, and the
religious orders suppressed; in Naples the abolition of the customary
tribute of a horse; in Germany the interdiction of the nunciature; in
Italy the dismemberment of Romagna, Bologna and Ferrara; and finally,
the French troops entering Rome and declaring it a republic.

It is evident from the facts that have been adduced, that the Catholic
church, or the papal monarchy, designates an institution which has
politics for its principles, monarchy for its object, and religion for
its garb. It is not only political in its nature and design, but it is a
political despotism, insulting in its pretensions to the common sense
of mankind, and dangerous in its principles to the rights of independent
governments. When we consider the monarchial principles with which
it is constituted; its blasphemous arrogation of the attributes
and prerogatives of the deity; its presumptuous claim to supreme
jurisdiction over all other governments; the base forgeries which it has
committed in the support of its arbitrary pretensions; its impious
scoff at secular promises, contracts, laws, oaths and constitutions;
its atrocious sanctions of prevarication, of evasion, and of mental
reservation; its disgraceful system of espionage; its system of finance,
by which it wrings from beggars their pittance, from the laborer the
reward of his toil, from the dying the inheritance of heirs; that it
may pile the wealth of the world in secret coffers, to be lavished
on bribery, on corruption, on political intermeddling, on fomenting
sedition and conspiracies, and ultimately, through the means of their
disorganizing agencies, for the subjugation of all governments under its
absolute authority. When we behold the blood-stained sword which it
has drawn in the support of its frauds and usurpations; the frequent
convulsions with which its unprincipled ambition has shaken the
world; its triumphs over science, freedom and human right; the rapine,
devastated fields, and burning cities which has marked the progress of
its career; or when we turn our eyes to its late condition in Italy, and
see, in the nineteenth century, under its authority, the inquisition at
its bloody work; the study of philosophy banished from universities;
no book allowed to be published, or imported, except such as meet
the approval of bigoted censors; the government sustained only by
suppressing insurrection; the prisons crowded with heretics; political
offenders cruelly put to death; the nation struggling for freedom, but
bound in the fetters of despotism--good heavens! what a scourge is it,
and has it been to mankind. Bigotry and superstition may chaunt its
victories; but a land once prosperous, now choked up and oppressed with
the ruins of its former greatness; fields once fertile now turned into
barren wastes; a people once the most valiant, polished and civilized,
now the most debased, rude and imbecile--with ancestors that governed
the world, now not able to govern themselves; a commonwealth of kings,
now a commonwealth of slaves; where for liberty Cicero plead, Brutus
stabbed and Cato died, now a pope curses, an inquisition murders, and
prisons reverberate with the groans of patriots and freemen. These, oh
patriots! are the eternal monuments that commemorate the progress and
achievements of the papal monarchy. The usurper of all rights,
the sanctifier of all wrongs, the shrine of bigotry, the model of
despotism: the church now stands reaffirming the crimes and errors of
centuries, and is thirsting for an opportunity of repeating its past
horrible history. Such is the papal monarchy; such is the Catholic
church; such is the political institution which she claims the divine
authority to obtrude, by any means, on the world; and such are the
demoralizing, seditious and treasonable principles which she carries in
her bosom, scatters in her pathway, and is laboring to implant in the
American republic, in order that she may overthrow its structure, that
monarchy may supplant its liberal principles, despotic decrees its
legislative enactments, arbitrary appointments its popular elections,
aristocracy its equality, slavery its freedom, usurpation its guarantees
of natural rights, and bigotry, violence, and superstition its
tolerance, order and science.


     Papal Political Machinery--Papal Political Intrigues in
     England, under the Reigns of Henry II--of King John--of
     Henry VII--of Charles I--of Charles II--of James II--of
     William and Mary.

The design of ruling nations was clearly indicated by the principles
upon which the monastic orders were founded. Regarding supremacy to the
pope as the main substance of Christianity, and obedience to his will
as necessary to salvation, their doctrines harmonized with his claim
to supreme temporal and spiritual power; and their organization, based
strictly on monarchial principles, skilfully adapted to secure unity and
concentration of action, formed, together with the military knights, a
political machinery in the advancement of the papal interests, which was
capable of intimidating the boldest antagonist, and of shaking the power
of the strongest government. With the knowledge of this fact we may
perceive the origin of some of those mysterious seditions and rebellions
which have arisen apparently from trifling causes, and which, from
insignificant beginnings have gained such strength and dimensions as to
dismay the valor of disciplined arms, and distract every section of the
land, and every department of the government. We may also perceive from
the same fact, why the struggle of civil and religious liberty has been
such a long, bloody, and interminable conflict. That rational
beings should trample upon their rights, surrender up their personal
sovereignty, kneel in adoration at the feet of a despot, deliberately
rivet on their own limbs the irons of slavery, crucify their champions,
and deify their enemies, is certainly strange; and without the
supposition of the intervention of some secret power by which reason was
unseated in such instances, it is not conceivable. But that the pope,
by means of his political machinery, is capable of producing identical
extraordinary effects, is ft fact supported by the irrefragable
testimony of history; and that he has never scrupled to exercise his
terrible power whenever his ambitious projects required it, un-awed by
the magnitude of the public calamity which it threatened to entail, is
a fact written with the blood and tears of nations. The secrecy,
extent, and irresistible energy of his power, have sometimes led his
unsuspecting subjects to regard him as a magician; and sometimes they
have been the cause of his arraignment before councils on the charge of
practising magic, and of having dealings with the devil. But although
the effects which he produced were as malignant and surprising as those
which have been ascribed to the supernatural power of the arch-fiend,
yet the only magic he ever had the necessity of using was his political
machinery; through which he could charm like the poisonous adder;
mislead like the fabled sirens; pervert the public judgment; calm or
distract a nation; excite it to rebel against its best governor, or to
enthrone in power its bitterest foe.

From the hour when first the Catholic church planted her foot on the
soil of England until the present moment, her emissaries have labored as
far as practicable, by every available means, under every garb, in all
departments of the government, and at all periods of its history, to
subject the nation to the despotism of Rome. For a long period the
priests were the instructors of her princes, the advisers of her kings,
and under the semblance of spiritual guides, the spies on their thoughts
and actions.

Passing by the numerous instances of papal political intrigue in the
history of England, we will glance at a few of those which have taken
place since the coronation of Henry II., in 1154. The most accomplished
prince of his time, and celebrated for the acuteness of his judgment
and the equitableness of his decisions, he received at the hands of his
regal cotemporaries the distinguished honor of being chosen by them as
their arbiter, to settle their matters of dispute. He received also,
from the policy or generosity of Pope Adrian IV., a gift of the kingdom
of Ireland. The following extract from Adrian's bull on that occasion
will explain the nature and object of the donation: "No one doubts, and
you know the fact yourself, that Ireland, and all the isles that have
received the Christian faith belong to the church of Rome. And you have
signified to us that you wish to enter this island, in order to subject
the people to the laws, and extirpate their vices; to make them pay to
St. Peter a penny a year for each house, and preserve in all things
the rights of the church; which we grant to you with pleasure for
the increase of the Christian religion."--(Labb. 13, 14, 15). At the
dictation of the pope, the Irish clergy met at Waterford and took the
oath of allegiance to Henry and his successors. Thus by a pretended
prerogative of popery, "Ireland was blotted from the map, and
consigned to the loss of freedom, without a tribunal and without a
crime."--(McGeoghegan, 1: 440). But notwithstanding the munificent
bounty of the pope, yet the growing weight of the ecclesiastical
establishments--so oppressive to the industry and enterprise of the
people--and the continual and insidious encroachments of the clergy
on the prerogatives of the crown, determined Henry, under the
administration of Pope Alexander III., to summon a council of nobles and
clergy at Clarendon, to frame such a constitution as would be adequate
for the protection of the prerogatives of the crown and the rights of
the subjects. The principles of this constitution, like seeds sown among
thorns and brambles, were in danger of being oppressed in their early
growth by a heavy encumbrance of Catholic ignorance and superstition;
and not until intelligence and public spirit had removed the obstruction
did they show their native benificent vigor. Under the stormy reign of
Henry II. they were checked, thwarted, and at times almost extirpated;
but under that of King John they produced the "Magna Charta," under that
of Charles II. the "Habeas Corpus," and under those of succeeding princes
the various liberal acts which constitute English liberty.

Although this liberal and judicious constitution had received the
sanction of the Council of Clarendon, yet it was violently opposed by
Thomas-a-Becket, the oracle of the pope, and the chief engineer of his
political machinery in England. Denouncing it as a profane infraction
of the privileges and immunities of the church, he proceeded to
excommunicate all persons who had acquired, or should acquire
ecclesiastical property under the authority of its provisions. In savage
zeal in behalf of the pope, he had violated his oath of allegiance to
the king; and thus imprudently furnished his antagonists with legal
authority to retaliate the mischief of revenge by the confiscation of
all his property. Chagrined at the triumph of his foes, and exasperated
at the loss of his temporal possessions, he sought to solace his
wounded pride, and vent the ebullitions of his despair and rage in
excommunicating the principal officers of the crown, and all who should
presume to violate the church prerogatives. But duly impressed with the
intrinsic impotence of his own curses, and that neither their sanctity
nor potency could protect his insolent tongue from punishment even while
uttering them, he fled to France, that he might exercise with impunity
his sacred functions in cursing his foes. By the mandates of his
anathema the papal machinery was, of course, set in violent operation
to destroy the king for the benefit of the church, and to invoke in
its cause the insidious but formidable aid of scandal, vituperation
and defamation. The brilliant qualities of Henry were unfortunately
overshaded with the dark vice of un-chastity. As greater rakes are often
horrified at the peccadillos of lesser ones, so in this case, the more
profligate clergy became exceedingly exasperated upon discovering in the
conduct of Henry the practice of their own irregularities, modified by
less grossness and more refinement. Not possessing that charity which
covereth a multitude of sins, but that religion which magnifies,
distorts and publishes them, they soon managed to startle the sobriety
of every hamlet with whispers of the king's incredible depravity. To
secure the visitation of divine justice on the head of Henry, they
profaned the sanctity of his domestic circle by the dissemination of
treacherous and extravagant inventions, until the queen was frenzied
with jealousy, and Geoffry and Richard, two sons of Henry, were incited
to rebellion. The prudence and martial abilities of the king enabled
him, however, soon to suppress these afflictive and unnatural seditions.
But the papal machinery, more tremendous and pestiferious than the
fabled monsters of antiquity, with their poisonous breath, their hundred
heads and thousand hands, was still in action in every part of the
empire. Hence Henry's son Louis, whom he had crowned as his successor,
was induced to demand of him the surrender of the diadem. In
anticipation of this demand papal intrigue had secured the support of
France and Scotland in its favor; and consequently England was suddenly
involved in the horrors of a civil and a foreign war. But the coolness
and extraordinary military genius of Henry was adequate to the terrible
emergency. After a desperate contest he repelled the invaders, and
restored order to his kingdom. But the moral effluvia which was produced
by the action of the papal political machinery, continued still to
generate those noxious vapors which had so frequently overclouded the
atmosphere of England, and broke in storms of pestilence, blood and
death. The peace of his kingdom was consequently again disturbed by the
discovery of a conspiracy, at the head of which was Richard, Henry's
third son, and complicated with which was John, his favorite and
youngest son. Upon the disclosure of this mortifying fact, the king
pronounced a curse upon his rebellious children, which was more properly
merited by the pope and the father confessors of the princes, to whom
the first conception of their treason was known; and if they did not
originate, might have blasted it in its bud. But Henry was unconsciously
dealing with an invisible monster, that in the garb of a holy father was
commanding his homage and reverence, while it was profaning his domestic
hearth, exciting his subjects to sedition, his children to rebellion,
and at the same time inducing him to attribute to his family and
subjects the dreadful calamities that had been conjured by the
machinations of the monster himself. Had Henry had the sagacity to
penetrate the secrets of the Holy See, and had he been able, in defiance
of a papal alliance with the united crowned heads of Christendom, to
have annulled the authority of the pope in his realm, and broken up the
machinery of his treasonable machinations, how effectually might he have
suppressed the rebellion of his sons, and the disorders of his kingdom;
and what a blessing he would have been to England and to mankind.
Freedom will, however, ever be grateful to the king, who laid the
foundation of England's liberty. The cost at which he purchased this
invaluable legacy for posterity was as tremendous as are the obligations
of gratitude which it imposes. His family converted into a nest
of venomous reptiles; his sons, around whom his fondest hopes had
clustered, transformed into treacherous foes; his laborious efforts
to elevate the importance and improve the condition of his subjects,
converted into sources of the deepest of misfortunes; these were the
papal demands, outweighing the wealth of worlds, which were imposed
on him for having served the cause of justice, of humanity, and of his
country; and under the rigorous exactions of these demands, three days
after the disclosure of the last conspiracy of his sons, he sunk into an
unconsecrated grave, ruined and broken hearted.

The Papal See governed by an unscrupulous ambition to realize
the success of its projects for acquiring unbounded territorial
aggrandizement, has, with equal craft and baseness, endeavored to make
the vices as well as the power of princes administer to its interests.
This policy is illustrated in the schemes of papal policy and intrigue
concocted under the reign of King John, youngest son of Henry II., who
on the decease of his father in 1199 ascended the English throne. This
prince had conspired against the most indulgent of fathers, had warred
against his brother Richard, had murdered his brother Arthur, had
repudiated his wives, and had exercised regal authority with insolence
and tyranny, without provoking the maledictions or interference of the
Holy See. But as these enormities deprived him of the affections of his
subjects, a ruler's chief support; exhausted his coffers, the sinews of
war and opposition; made him more dependent on the favor of Rome, more
entangled in the network of its policy, and admirably prepared the way
for the accomplishment of its ulterior designs, its indulgence, and
perhaps connivance may be reasonably accounted for. But after a war with
France exhausted the resources of John, rendered him less popular, and
more irascible and impatient, Pope Innocent III. improved the flattering
opportunity which crime and misfortune had presented, to provoke a
collision with him favorable to the success of the papal designs. John
claimed the right of investiture; and in making this claim seems to have
been supported by the cooperation of the papal political machinery.
The See of Canterbury having become vacant, the pope appointed Cardinal
Langston to fill the vacancy. This act John resisted as an unjustifiable
encroachment on the prerogatives of the crown. But the arts of the pope
had involved the king in a snare; and now having fairly entangled him,
proceeded to prepare the way for realizing his temporal project by
exercising his spiritual functions. Accordingly he suspended the
performance of religious worship in the king's dominions, excommunicated
him, and absolved his subjects from their allegiance to him. The papal
political machinery acting in harmony with the maledictions of the pope,
the wildest disorders were excited among the people; anarchy suspended
all law; the army refused to obey the king's orders; his friends
deserted him; and he found himself without domestics, without alliances,
and without the means of resistance. It is an invariable practice of
the holy fathers, who claim a right to all the world by virtue of
their office, to endeavor to supersede the necessity of this title
by acquiring a legal one. Hence, Innocent III., seeing the helpless
condition to which he had reduced John, and touched at the cruel
misfortunes in which he had involved him, now graciously proposed to
mitigate the rigors of his adversities, and to restore him to his former
authority, if he would cede his kingdom to the Pope of Rome, and consent
to rule it as a vassal of the pope, Divested of adherents, arms or
alliances, the king submitted unconditionally to the terms dictated by
the sacerdotal despot. The design of the papal See of reducing England
to a state of vassalage, conceived in ambition, pursued by craft and
cruelty, was thus consummated by the most execrable tyranny. This
empty title to England and Ireland, so full of trick and fraud, is
nevertheless still mentioned by the Holy See as valid and indisputable.

But the benefits of the statesmanship, and of the divinely inspired
council of the holy father, by which John was bound in future to be
governed in the administration of his kingdom, did not prevent him from
exciting the indignation of his subjects, by encroachments on their
rights; nor restrain him from the perpetration of such unwarrantable
acts as created a popular hatred of him, which finally culminated in
open resistance to his authority. So violent were the conflicts that
arose between him and his subjects, that in order to save his crown he
had to yield to their demand the act of the "Magna Charta." The pope,
however, the natural foe of all constitutional guarantees of popular
right and liberty, benevolently interposed in behalf of the imbecile and
overawed prince, and absolved him from all obligations to comply with
any of the unpleasant concessions which he had made; declaring the Magna
Charta antagonistical to the Catholic religion; forbidding the king
to observe any of its provisions; and pronouncing sentence of
excommunication on all who should obey, or attempt to enforce the
heretical act. Again the papal machinery was set in violent operation.
Spies watched, confessors reported, abbots schemed, bishops predicted,
priests thundered, monks prowled and assassins murdered, until every
city, village and house, was distracted with alarm. In the midst of
the consternation which stupefied the public mind the king, through the
instrumentality of the papal machinery, suddenly appeared at the head
of a formidable army; and as if he were a foreign enemy, commenced
butchering his subjects, firing their dwellings and carrying terror and
devastation through his own kingdom. So profoundly secret were the
papal machinations carried on, and so suddenly and unexpectedly had John
appeared with an army fully equipped for war that--no suspicion of such
a design having been excited in the minds of the military barons--no
preparations were made to meet the emergency. As suddenly, mysteriously,
and adroitly as King John's army had sprung into existence, so did the
barons resolve, in order to defeat its object, to tender the crown of
the realm to France; which proffer being accepted, the intrigues of the
pope were thwarted, and Philip of France became sovereign of England.

The popes claim the divine attribute of infallibility, yet in changing
their policy and practice to suit the variations of time, place and
circumstance, they seem generally to have descended to the common level
of humanity. In order, however, to reconcile the irreconcilable, while
they profess to have had communicated to them the incommunicable, they
claim to have been endowed with power to change the unchangeable. Should
a prince resolve to do that which the pope's infallible holiness
has declared to be criminal, and should that prince happen to be too
powerful to be intimidated, and too dangerous to be provoked into
rebellion, in such, delicate cases the pope, with his facilities
to accommodate all difficulties, grants a dispensation, whereby the
applicant is empowered to violate all the infallible laws of the church
without incurring any of their penalties.

In the reign of Henry VII., who became king of England in 1485, we find
an illustration of this policy. That sovereign had married Arthur, his
eldest son, to Catherine, daughter of Ferdinand, king of Arragon. On
the decease of Arthur, the king, with the view of retaining the opulent
Spanish dowery in his family, desired to marry the widow of Arthur to
his next son. The young prince Henry, but fifteen years old, protested
against marrying a lady for whom he had no affection, and who was so
much his senior. Besides this difficulty the contemplated alliance was
in violation of the laws of consanguinity, so solemnly established by
the authority of the infallible church, and so terrifically armed
with all the terrors of anathemas and excommunication. To silence the
objection of his son, and the thunders of the Vatican, Henry applied
to the pope for permission to execute his purposes, in violation of the
established laws of the church; and the pope, not deeming it prudent
to offend so powerful a potentate, granted his request But vain are the
pope's pretensions to be able to change the moral law of heaven unless:
he can also change the natural course of events. In this attempt to
accommodate principle to interest, and the infallible laws of the church
to the changing whim of an avaricious monarch, he laid the foundation
for the final separation of the kingdom of England from the See of Rome.

After the death of Henry VII. his son, under the title of Henry VIII.,
succeeded to the British throne. Frank and vain, he became at an early
period of his life an object of the subtle policy of Rome. Naturally
generous, his indomitable love of power and dominion often led him
to violate the obligations of humanity; and impetuous in passion, and
impatient of restraint, he was tempted to annihilate the constitutional
restraints which conflicted with his designs, and to make the forms of
justice subservient to the gratification of his ambition and interest.

Happening to become enamored of Anne Bolyne, he began to suspect the
legality of his marriage with Catherine; and though he had recognized
its obligations by a union of twenty years, yet the oftener he saw
his mistress the stronger became his convictions of the heterodoxy and
unlawfulness of his matrimonial relations, and the more scrupulous he
became about his chastity. The want of male issue, and the disparity of
years between him and his wife mingled reflections with these legal and
religious scruples, and made them so pungent that Henry, in order to
get rid of the torment thus inflicted, finally applied to the pope for
a divorce. The pope promised to grant his request; but the fear of
offending Charles V., Catherine's nephew, produced strange vacillation
in the mind of the infallible holy father. Two powerful and crafty
princes dictated to him opposite courses; to offend either would be
disastrous; he therefore pretended to favor the wishes of both. Aware of
papal artifice, however, Henry became imperious in his demands. The pope
appeared to yield, and to soothe the impatient prince with a semblance
of compliance, but a means of procrastination, he commissioned Cardinals
Wolsey and Campaggio to adjust the difficulty. They cited the queen
to appear before them; she appealed to the pope; they declared her
contumacious. By these proceedings the controversy becoming more
embarrassed than before, and less capable of a speedy solution, Henry
peremptorily decided the matter by consummating his marriage with Anne
Bolyne. This act astonished the pope, and enraged Charles V. To gratify
Charles, and to punish Henry, the holy father proceeded to excommunicate
the latter. The despotic character of Henry, however, had too much
overawed his subjects to allow the papal machinery to give much efficacy
to the manifestos of its prime engineer; and placing himself at the
head of the Catholic church in England, he released his subjects from
allegiance to the See of Rome, effected a separation from it, and
nullified its temporal authority over his dominions.

Discarding the dogma of the pope's temporal power, Henry still strictly
adhered to the standard of Catholic theology in all other respects;
and the pope, at the same time, through the medium of Cardinal Wolsey,
continued to exert considerable indirect influence on his mind. This
prelate who, while he was a preacher at Limington was put into the
stocks for disorderly conduct in a drunken frolic; who afterwards was
made domestic chaplain by Dean, Archbishop of Canterbury, and who was
finally created cardinal by the pope, obtained such unlimited power
over the mind of Henry that the pope pensioned him to keep him in his
interest. It is not a matter of much surprise that Henry's aversion to
the reformers, inflamed by the arts of such a vicious counsellor, should
have brought so many of them to the stake; nor that the bigotry and
intolerance of Catholicism should have survived the destruction of
its political engine. Henry VIII. condemned to death Lambert, a school
teacher, for denying the real presence At intervals during his reign he
rigorously persecuted the Protestants. Catherine Parr, his last wife,
barely escaped execution for having encouraged the reformers. A warrant
had been wrung from the king by the Bishop of Winchester, for her
committal to the Tower on the charge of heretical opinions; but having
become secretly apprised of the fact in time she sought the king, and
satisfied him that when she had objected to his opinions it was from a
desire to become enlightened by his superior knowledge and intelligence.
While he employed violent means to enforce conformity to the Catholic
theology, he visited equal vengeance on those who advocated the pope's
temporal authority. When he discovered that the monks and friars were
guilty of defending the obnoxious heresy of the pope's temporal power,
he suppressed their houses; but not wishing to destroy the monastic
orders, he applied the sequestered funds to the establishment of other
similar institutions; but on perceiving these also to be secretly
engaged in machinations to restore the pope's temporal authority, he
abolished the religious orders altogether. Even Cardinal Wolsey fell
under his suspicion, and was executed for treason by his order. After
he had beheaded his wife, Catherine Howard for unchastity, his severity
against those who advocated the pope's temporal sovereignty, and against
those who denied the Romish theology, was cruel in the highest degree.

What papal rapaciousness cannot boldly grasp, it will secretly plot to
obtain. Kings who control nations, women who may perhaps control
kings, and children who are presumptive heirs of empires, are powerful
instruments in the accomplishment of political designs, and especial
objects of papal intrigue.

The inveterate opposition to Catholics in England rendered it almost
impossible for a Catholic to ascend the throne, and eventually
interdicted it by positive enactments. To counteract the consequences of
this spirit, a scheme was projected by papal craft to have the heirs of
the throne educated by Catholic mothers, so that future kings might
rule as Protestants with Catholic proclivities, and in course of time,
through the demoralization, dissatisfaction, discord and blood effected
by the cooperation of its adherents, the supremacy of the pope might
be reestablished in England, James I., who on the death of Elizabeth
succeeded to the crown of England and Scotland, a ruler devoid of
statesmen-like abilities, without firmness or stability, and bloated up
with fanciful notions of royal prerogatives, was the pliant instrument
of this subtle policy. An amorous flame having been kindled in him and
in Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV., of France, it was stipulated
that the union should be consummated, on condition that the heirs which
should issue should be subject to the exclusive control of their mother
until they were thirteen years of age. This contract secured a Catholic
education to the heirs of the British throne, and laid the foundations
for the dreadful calamities which afflicted the nation during the reigns
of Charles II. and James II.

The abolition of papal despotism over the English mind giving freedom to
thought and inquiry, could not but enlarge its conceptions of civil and
religious liberty. The old system of prerogatives sunk into contempt,
and the new system of representative government became more popular as
the mind became more comprehensive in its grasp, and more profound in
its investigation. Hence the Puritans, who originally were Catholics,
and merely advocated a simpler form of worship; the Presbyterians and
the Independents, who at first questioned only the temporal power of the
pope, yet driven from those whom they had venerated by the hate which
persecution engenders, and disenthralled from the shackles with which
custom and superstition enslaves the mind, began fearlessly and candidly
to investigate the fundamental principles of faith and practice, and
to elaborate theological creeds totally different from those of
Catholicism, and vastly superior to them. While the people were rapidly
advancing in liberal views of religion and government, the heir of the
throne was too much absorbed in magnifying his visionary prerogatives
to share in the progress of the age, or to study the character of the
people over whom he was destined to reign. When in 1625 he ascended the
English throne, under the title of Charles I., the new order of popular
sentiment had become an impetuous torrent. Common sagacity might have
perceived the inevitable destruction that would await him if he should
attempt to stem the popular tide of thought; and prudence would have
dictated a practicable compromise of differences rather than the certain
alternative of civil war. But Archbishop Laud, a Catholic under
the disguise of Protestantism, and who was the medium of the pope's
influence, exercised a despotism over the king's mind too absolute to
allow his reason to instruct, or his conscience to admonish him. The
religious views and secret designs of this professed Protestant bishop
cannot be misunderstood. He maintained that the papal authority
had always been visible in the realm. He furnished the king with
a significant list of the names of all his Catholic and Protestant
subjects. He was also the principal actor in the Star Chamber, and Court
of High Commission. So well was the pope satisfied with the orthodoxy
of this sacerdotal miscreant that he sent him a cardinal's hat, which he
declined for the ambiguous reason that the "Church of Rome was no other
than it was!" The king, controlled and ill-advised by such a counsellor,
blinded by his own bigotry, and elated with self-conceit, was led to
scorn the rising spirit of the nation, and to adopt measures for its
suppression. But parliament with prudent foresight, and patriotic
boldness, taught him that the Commons were the constitutional dispensers
and guardians of the public treasury. He next resolved to oblige
Scotland to conform to the ritual prescribed by the Church of England;
and as parliament had refused to allow him the use of the public funds
for that and other purposes, he attempted to raise means for their
accomplishment by unconstitutional methods. By this impolitic course he
aroused a lion from its den, with whose strength and fury he could not
well cope. The Scotch formed a league of Covenanters, composed of all
classes and factions, for the defence of their religious liberty; and as
the king viewed their enthusiastic and formidable array, and compared
it with the suspicious material of his own army, he prudently concluded
terms of pacification.

Having frequently called the Commons together in parliament, and finding
them more disposed to dictate than to obey, and inflexible in their
refusal to furnish him with the pecuniary aid necessary to the
accomplishment of his design, he finally determined to rule without
a parliament, and by a liberal construction of his prerogatives to
arrogate monarchial power. An object so consistent with the dogmas of
Catholicism, and so flattering to the vanity of the Episcopal royalists,
equally betrayed them into acquiescence. To aid the king in his despotic
design the royalists extolled his prerogatives, asserted their divine
origin, declared it impious to prescribe any limits to them, and
inculcated passive obedience as a Christian virtue and imperative duty.
The terror of the Star Chamber, and of the Court of High Commission,
was also called into requisition. But neither the eloquent encomiums
lavished on the king's prerogative, nor the atrocities of the Star
Chamber, nor the severity of the Court of High Commission, nor a
rebellion excited in Ireland against parliament, nor the arms of the
royal troops, produced anything for the king's prerogatives but disgrace
and ridicule. Dreading the liberalism and inflexibility of the Commons,
and the uncompromising hostility against his person and measures which
his persecution of non-conformists had excited in the majority of them,
yet he was obliged, by the critical state of public affairs, to call
them together. This parliament proved the memorable "long parliament."
As might have been expected, its embittered and exasperated members
opened the session with torrents of scorn and contempt poured on the
king and his prerogatives. They also adopted every expedient to inflame
the public mind, and to make it accessory to their design of reducing
the king to unresisting helplessness. They denounced the Episcopalians,
and other advocates of the king's prerogatives, in whom Catholicism and
monarchy had disguised themselves under the semblance of Protestantism.
They attempted to exclude the bishops from the House of Lords. They
so intimidated the royalists of the House that many of them absented
themselves from their seats. They restricted the king's prerogatives,
abolished the Star Chamber, and the Court of High Commission, passed
acts against superstitious practices, executed Laud and Stafford, and as
the king had set the dangerous precedent of liberal construction of law
and prerogatives, they availed themselves of the same means to justify
their measures. The impetuous tornado of their zeal and wrath swept
away all the king's elaborate schemes for the acquisition of monarchial
power, and poured upon his unprotected head a pitiless storm of wrath.
Condemned to be the helpless spectator of the destruction of his hopes
of absolute power, which art, tyranny, and usurpation had enabled him to
build, he became wild with despair and rage, and, in a desperate
attempt to retrieve his fortune by asserting in his extremity his empty
prerogatives, he brought his precarious condition to an unfortunate
close. Entering the House of Commons, he personally attempted to arrest
some of its members. The House, consequently, broke up in disorder; the
king saw his error, but too late; he fled from his capitol in terror;
two armies arose; the one under the king, the other under parliament:
after several bloody battles, the king lost his crown, and finally his

Parliament now resolved to rule without a king as the king had resolved
to rule without a parliament. The spirit of despotism under the form
of freedom, still, however, predominated in the national councils.
Cromwell, a professed republican, but a secret monarchist; as intolerant
as he was religious, and crafty as he was ambitious; who, as interest
instigated, favored or persecuted Catholics, Protestants, Puritans,
and Republicans, was this despotic spirit which desecrated the form of
Freedom, and which induced him while he governed England as a protector,
to seek to govern her as a king, and to plot in secret to reestablish
her throne. After the termination of his eventful career, and the
resignation of his appointed successor, Charles II., son of James I., in
1660 was crowned King of England.

Illiberal in mind, intolerant in disposition, defective in sensibility,
and destitute of honor and generosity, he was base as a man,
dishonorable as a prince, and a pliable instrument of the papal
intrigues. A hypocrite from his birth, he was capable of assuming any
guise; and supremely selfish, he tolerated vice and corruption whenever
it administered to his interests. By the licentiousness of his court
he degraded the moral standing of the British nation in the eyes of
the world and of history, and with a despotic and unprincipled set of
measures, arrogated power in defiance of constitutional obstructions,
and reduced the people to slavery in contempt of their hereditary valor
and independence, and the safeguards with which they had protected their

The pathway to his elevation to the throne having been prepared by
General Monk, he was received with frantic acclamations by conflicting
civil and religious sects, and without a struggle succeeded to those
danger-our prerogatives which had cost the nation so much blood and
treasure. The admonition of past occurrences had induced him to disguise
under the cloak of a pacific and accommodating policy, his secret and
ulterior designs. But the specious mask fell from his brow when he
passed the intolerent act of non-conformity, by which the Presbyterians
were peremptorily driven from their livings.

Profligacy, which enfeebles the intellectual powers, and destroys the
foundation of public respect, has ever been encouraged in princes or
people by the artifice of those whose ambition has plotted to make
them subservient to their interest, or dependent on their power. The
disgracefulness of this policy has never been too abhorrent to the Roman
See to cause it to forego the advantages of its adoption. The profligate
character of Charles II., and the dissolute manners which he introduced
into his court, ably aided the papal machinery in alienating from
him the respect and affection of his subjects, and in making him more
dependent on the favor of the pope. His extravagance involved him
eventually in such pecuniary embarrassments that he became a pensioner
on Louis, king of France; and in consequence became doubly ironed with
the papal shackles--the king of France forming one set of manacles, the
priests of England another--and both were equally bound to the interests
of the papal monarchy. That every thought and action might be discovered
in its incipiency, he was furnished with a French lady to amuse him
in his retirement This accomplished but abandoned female obtained such
ascendency over his mind, that she induced him to make her a duchess.
Thus watched, debased and controlled, he became the unconscious tool of
the designs of others, and was led to alarm the public mind by forming
a disgraceful cabal, by which to concert measures for making himself
independent of parliament.

To add to the public dissatisfaction the Duke of York, the heir
presumptive to the throne, openly espoused the cause of Catholicism.
Strong measures were consequently adopted to remove him from his post,
as admiral of the navy, and eventually to exclude him from the throne.
The violent factions, and fierce criminations and recriminations to
which these measures gave rise kept the people in a state of feverish
excitement. In the midst of these wild alarms a pretended popish plot
was reported to have been discovered, which received universal credence.
The design of this plot was said to be to destroy parliament and
assassinate the king. A secret Catholic faction was supposed to exist
in the nation, the object of which was to restore the authority of the
pope; and circumstances lending credibility to the supposition, the most
intense excitement seized the public mind. Parliament was terrific in
its denunciations, and the people clamorous for vengeance. Lords were
arrested, priests hung, the Duke of York fled from the country in
terror, the Earl of Stafford was beheaded, and the king, filled with
consternation, yielded to the popular demand the Habeas Corpus act, to
avert the storm that was muttering destruction over his head. Fortified
with this new safeguard to public freedom, the people became tranquil
once more; but the king perceiving the formidable obstacle which
parliament obtruded in the way of his acquisition of despotic power,
resolved to get rid of it by making it the instrument of its own
destruction. After having assembled it several times for this purpose,
and finding it inflexibly opposed to his measures, he determined to
dispense with it altogether, and to substitute his prerogatives in
the place of its authority. In order to reduce the corporations to an
absolute dependence on his will, he employed with as much baseness as
tyranny, intimidations to induce them to surrender their charters,
so that they might be remodelled in accordance with the claims of the
absolute power of his prerogatives. In order to deplete the ranks of
non-Catholics, he had recourse to gross and unfounded charges of plots
and conspiracies. Lord Shaftsbury, the author of the Habeas Corpus act,
was arrested, imprisoned in the Tower and tried for high treason; but
acquitted. Dungeons were overcrowded with subjects against whom no
allegation laid, except that of love of liberty and opposition to
tyranny. But while he was wading through the innocent blood of his
subjects to a crown of unlimited monarchy, some desperate spirits
were secretly concocting a plot to arrest his atrocious career by the
deplorable means of the assassin's dagger. This unsuccessful conspiracy,
known as the Rhyhouse plot, which could not escape the omniscient eye of
the Catholic machinery, was, of course, discovered before it had matured
its plans, and only gave the king a plausible pretence for gratifying
his malignancy against the ablest advocates of constitutional liberty.
William Russell, who had with undaunted firmness maintained the
fundamental principle of free government, was the first victim through
this unfortunate affair, to the eagerness of the king's bloodthirsty
revenge. Foredoomed, he was tried by a packed jury, and condemned
against conclusive proof of his innocence. Alerngon Sidney, another
apostle of liberty, was unjustly charged with high treason. The law
requiring two witnesses to substantiate allegations of this nature,
and but one having appeared, and he as unreliable as he was promptly
received, the infamous Jeffrey summoned into court a manuscript which
had been found in the closet of the defendant. In this manuscript the
author expressed a preference for a free to an arbitrary government. The
judge deciding that the document was a competent witness in his court,
(although he did not swear it), and that it supplied the want of the
other witness required by the law of treason, proceeded to pass sentence
of death on the accused.

By means of similar unwarrantable proceedings, and the co-operation
of the papal machinery, the king succeeded in dragooning Scotland into
conformity, in suppressing the bold Covenanters, and in amassing almost
sufficient power for the accomplishment of any purpose. After he had, in
defiance of parliament and the laws, and by means of tyrannical measures
and execrable usurpations, rendered himself as absolute in power as
any despot in Europe, death interposed in the midst of his success, and
removed him from a throne which he had disgraced, and a people whom
he had oppressed. Had his conduct during his life left a doubt of his
genuine Catholicism, and hypocritical profession of Protestantism,
the last moments of his existence were sufficient to dispel them. Just
before his death he received the sacrament according to the rites of
the Catholic church, and having no further need of deception, openly
professed himself a Catholic.

James II., brother of Charles II., in 1685 succeeded to the throne of
England and Scotland. Educated like his brother, he had imbibed similar
religious and political sentiments. While Duke of York he at first
secretly, but afterwards openly, professed the Catholic faith. When,
in the course of intrigue and conflict, the royal party had gained the
ascendency in Scotland, he retired thither; and manifested his barbarous
ferocity by personally assisting at the torturing of the Covenanters.
The rapid strides which his brother had made towards the acquisition of
absolute power, and the paralyzing dread which cruelty and tyranny had
cast over the public mind, enabled James II. to succeed to the British
throne without opposition. From the hour he became invested with the
royal dignity, he adopted every expedient that craft could devise to
convert his royal prerogatives into monarchial authority, and to secure
the restoration of Catholicism as the religion of the kingdom. As virtue
scorns to be the tool of vice, and as sycophants are the most pliable
instruments of despotism, he adopted the policy of investing the
most unscrupulous with official authority. Supreme among his base and
cringing creatures stood Judge Jeffrey. The chief engineer of the
papal machinery--the controlling spirit of the king and his councils;
insolent, imperious, arbitrary and oppressive, this man was ready for
any work that furnished sufficient blood and plunder. By barbarous and
inhuman acts, and by the arbitrary execution of innocent subjects, this
monster in human form succeeded in casting a deep gloom over the public
mind, and in annihilating all apparent opposition to the tyrannical
proceedure of the king. Amid the death-like silence which hung on
the lips of the people the king threw off his disguise, entered into
negotiation with the pope for the reception of England into the papal
church, celebrated mass invested with the royal paraphernalia, assumed
the power of parliament, nullified all test oaths, filled the councils
and army with Catholics, governed Scotland and Ireland by his creatures,
organized ecclesiastical tribunals to try such clergy as were suspected
of holding liberal sentiments, committed bishops to the Tower for having
remonstrated against the propriety of reading a document concerning a
popish indulgence which he had commanded to be read in all the churches,
and adopted every possible method to subvert civil and religious
liberty, and to bind on his subjects the shackles of papal despotism.
Towards the final consummation of his calamitous design he appeared to
be making rapid strides; but, though the papal machinery was formidable,
yet there was another power more formidable still; as wily and as
secret: which was quietly maturing its strength for the hour of
retribution. The oppressive measures of the king and the failure of
every attempt at compromise and conciliation, had created a stern
opposition in the mind of the people, of the gentry, and of some lords.
Silent but powerful, though this opposition seemed to slumber, yet
it was but calmly waiting the destined hour, when it would arise and
annihilate dynasties find prerogatives. While the king, deceived by the
treacherous calm, was trampling in insolent contempt on the people's
rights; while sycophantic priests were chaunting his song of triumph;
and while the pope was congratulating him on his success, and stretching
forth his hand to receive the kingdom, William of Orange suddenly
appeared on the coast of England with a formidable navy and army,
and, as with the stroke of an enchanter's wand, changed the calm and
brilliant prospects of the king into storms and sights of horror, and
the peans of his sycophants into howling and lamentations. Terrified at
the sight, the king repealed his unpopular acts, and proffered to
his subjects all the rights which they had in vain plead for before.
Conscious of their strength, and irreconcilable in the memory of their
wrongs, they rejected with scorn and indignation all his generous
overtures. As he had ruled as a tyrant, he now absconded as a coward.
The throne was declared abdicated, and William and Mary proclaimed
sovereigns of England and Scotland. After some fruitless attempts to
regain his kingdom, James II. turned Jesuist, and passed the remainder
of his life in doing penance, Edward, the Pretender, grandson of James
I., educated at Rome, was another instrument which the pope adopted to
establish his authority over the crown of England. This treasonable plot
was unanimously supported by the tory party. This faction had ever
been a prominent branch of the papal machinery. Under the disguise
of Protestantism, in 1680, the tories made vigorous efforts for the
subjugation of England to the papal dominion. They were the most
strenuous supporters of Charles II. In every scheme of oppression
and violence--in the persecution of dissenters, in the banishment of
patriots, in the murder of the advocates of popular freedom--in every
project of the king to grasp monarchial power, in the abrogation of
the free charters, in the assumption of despotic prerogatives, in
the efforts to abolish parliament, they were the bold and unequivocal
supporters. It was, therefore, consistent with their historic tradition
that they should welcome as allies of the pope the invasion of Edward,
and be ready to repeat their former atrocities in his cause. England's
vigilance, however, defeated Edward's first attempt, in 1742, but he
made another in 1745 which was more successful. Landing secretly in
Scotland with but seven trusty officers, yet such was the efficiency of
the papal machinery, that it soon enabled him to command an army which
made England tremble. But the contest was short and decisive. Although
he gained some important advantages, yet the signal victory over his
forces at Culloden, in 1746, effectually checked his career. Despairing
of success, he fled to France, where, through the intercession of the
king's mistress, he received a pension. He finally returned to Rome,
where he died of diseases engendered by habits of intemperance.

We have now alluded, in this chapter to some of those popish
intermeddlings in the political concerns of England, so grossly in
violation of international law, and which have been so prolific of
treason, of popular insurrection, of civil war, and of all that can
empoverish a nation and impede its progress; but we have mentioned but
few of them. The limits we have prescribed to this work will not allow
us to trace the wily and deadly serpent of papal intrigue in all its
secret windings, nor dwell upon the important admonitory lessons its
history furnishes to patriots, to rulers, and to mankind: these we must
leave to the reflection of the reader.


     Papal Intrigues in France during the Reign of Clovis--of
     Childeric III--of Pepin--of Charlemagne--of Hugh Capet--of
     Philip IV.--of Louis XII---of Francis I.--of Francis II--of
     Charles IX.--of Henry JTK--of Louis XIII--of Louis XIV.

The subtile poison of Catholicism was instilled into the French
government under the reign of Clovis, the Great, who succeeded his
father Childeric, King of the Franks, in 481. Aspiring to extend the
territory of his kingdom, which was confined within the sea and the
Scheldt, he made war upon Syagrius, the Roman governor at Soissons;
captured and put him to death; subjugated Paris, and the cities of
Belgia Secunda; and to obtain assistance in conquering the Allemanni;
espoused Clotilda, neice of Gundebald, King of Burgundy. Clotilda, who
had been educated by the Catholic priests, became in their hands an
instrument for the conversion of her royal husband. Conceiving that
the God and religion of Catholicism were better able to aid him in
completing his intended conquests than were the God and religious
contrivances of Paganism, Clovis submitted to be baptized by St.
Remigius, and anointed with some holy oil which the bishop affirmed had
been brought by a dove from heaven. The crimes and devotion of the king,
in the cause of the church, were rewarded with numberless miracles and
instances of divine interposition. A white hart of singular statue and
brilliancy became the conductor of his army through secret passes, a
dazzling meteor blazed forth as his forces approached the cathedral
at Poitiers, and the walls of Angouleme fell down at the blast of his
warlike bugle. Imbibing the orthodoxy of the bishops, he imbibed also
their hatred to the heretics. "It grieves me," said he to a company
of princes and warriors assembled at Paris, "to see the Arians still
possess the fairest portions of Gaul. Let us march against them with
the aid of God; and, having vanquished the heretics we will possess and
divide their fertile provinces." His savage piety led him to declare
that had he been at the trial of Christ he would have prevented his
crucifixion. He summoned and dismissed a council of Gaulic bishops; and
then deliberately assassinated all the princes belonging to his family.
After having removed, by violence or treachery, the princes of the
different Frankish tribes, incorporated their government into his own,
stained the soil with the blood of its proprietors and defenders, bowed
in abject reverence before the clergy, and committed the most fiendish
and heartrending atrocities, the pope of Rome, in consideration of his
piety and usefulness, bestowed upon him the title of "The most Christian
King and Eldest Son of the Church."

While the pope professed to be the humble successor of St. Peter, the
fisherman, he was secretly laboring to become the successor of the
Cæsars, the masters of the world. With this end in view he had scattered
his monks throughout Europe to preach the doctrines of humility,
of passive obedience, of reverence for the clergy, and of absolute
submission to himself. The support which these doctrines gave to
despotism rendered them acceptable to kings, and the conveniency with
which they supplied the want of morality made them popular with the
multitude. The arts and miracles of the holy brotherhood excited the
wonder, and commanded the reverence of the crowd; and their tact
and sycophancy enabled them to become the companions of kings, the
instructors of princes, the confessors of all classes, and the spies
upon the most secret recesses of their thoughts. The avaricious
character of their religious principles enabled them to accept without
scruple the spoils of plundering expeditions, and to augment the stores
of their wealth by artful tricks and pious frauds. The success of
their missionary rapacity enabled them to build spacious convents,
sufficiently sumptuous for the accommodation of pious kings who wished
to abdicate their thrones. The dungeons of these sanctuaries sometimes
contained a monarch, an heir to a throne, or some distinguished
personage whom usurpation, jealousy, ambition or tyranny had there
confined; and sometimes their halls afforded a hospitable asylum for the
sick, the indigent, or the refugee from oppression.

The popes having, with their usual skill and prudence, established the
various parts of their political machinery in different sections of
Europe, and sanctified them in the eyes of princes and people, eagerly
watched every opportunity to set them in motion in favor of their
cherished design. The Saracens, however, entered Europe, and threatened
to subjugate it to the authority of the religion of Mahomet; but the
hammer of Charles Martel, Mayor of France, which alone crushed 375,000
of the invaders, checked the career of their triumphant arms. But as the
warrior had applied the riches of the church to the necessities of
the state and the relief of his soldiers, a synod of Catholic bishops
declared that the man who had saved the Catholic church from extinction,
was doomed to the flames of hell on account of his sacrilege. The
inspired synod, in arriving at this orthodox conclusion was assisted by
the reported facts, that a saint while dreaming had seen the soul of the
savior of Europe, and of Christianity, burning in hell, and that
upon opening his coffin a strong odor of fire and brimstone had been
perceived. The pope entertained a better opinion of his son Carloman,
whose superstition strikingly resembled the malady of insanity. This
Mayor of France, while exercising the regal authority of his office, was
induced by his spiritual advisers to resign his dignity; to consecrate
the remainder of his life to God by shutting himself up in a convent;
and to give all his private possessions and valuables to the church. The
design which prompted this intrigue seems to have been, to prepare the
way for the usurpation of the crown of the Franks, by Pepin, the Short.
The pope well knew Pepin was ambitious of the diadem, and had only been
deterred from supplanting Childeric III., the King of France,--who was
but a youth--by fear of Carloman. This obstacle being removed by the
retirement of the devout warrior, Pepin consulted Pope Zachary about
his intentions, who replied: "He only ought to be king who exercised the
royal power." Encouraged by this papal sanction of prospective treason
and usurpation, he had the office of _Mais du Palais_ abolished, himself
proclaimed King of France, and Childeric imprisoned in a monastic
dungeon, in which he was obliged to pass the remainder of his life.

The interests of the pope and Pepin, by these artful machinations,
became deeply interwoven. The critical state of the Holy See soon
developed the sagacity and good policy of the pope. The Lombards entered
Italy, conquered the Exarchate, and threatened the reduction of Rome.
Oppressed with these misfortunes, the holy father appeared in the camp
of Pepin, dressed in mourning and covered with ashes, soliciting
the assistance of his arms in the defence of the church, and of the
Consulate government of Rome. But Pepin was more ready to speculate
on the misfortunes of the pope than to assist him in his distress. The
cruelties which stained the usurpers crown made him apprehensive of
insecurity. He therefore signified to the supplicant a willingness to
comply with his wishes, if he would officially sanction all the acts of
usurpation of which he had been guilty, crown his two sons, and anoint
them with the holy oil which the dove had brought from heaven. Terms
being satisfactorily arranged between the two parties, Pepin drew his
sword and reconquered the greater part of Italy.

The tricks, sophistry, and eloquence of the monks having failed to
convert the Saxons to the church, the pope was disposed to try the
efficacy of the sword. Charlemagne, Pepin's son, having succeeded to the
Frankish throne, and papal influence having gained the ascendency in his
councils, he was without difficulty tempted to unfurl his banner in the
cause of the church. But the Saxons were courageous warriors, full of
the love of independence and of liberty; and when the alternative of
extinction or Catholicism was presented to their choice, their proud
spirit gave a desperate valor to their arms, in the maintenance of their
rights of existence and of religious liberty. Against superior numbers,
they defended the integrity of their empire for thirty-three years; and
had not their chief advised to the contrary, would rather have suffered
extermination than to have submitted to a religion baptized in blood,
founded upon fraud and treachery, and forced upon their acceptance
against their reason and conscience, and by a sword reeking with the
blood of their fellow countrymen. The arms of Charlemagne, and the
religion and policy of the pope triumphed; but not until the land
was depopulated, the country converted into a desert, and the cost of
subjugation outbalanced the value of the victory.

The competition between aspiring candidates for the opulent bishopric
of Rome had often been productive of turmoil and bloodshed. The favorite
and intended successor of Adrian I. having been disappointed by the
unexpected election of Leo III., his exasperated adherents attacked the
sacred procession on the occasion, assaulted the chosen vicar of Christ,
and, as it is alleged, cut out his tongue, dug out his eyes, and left
him dead on the ground. But a miracle, it is averred, interposed in his
behalf; restored his life, eyes and tongue; and enabled him to escape
a repetition of the outrage by gaining the invisible precincts of the

After having received this assistance from heaven he invoked the
temporal aid of the Duke of Spoleto, and of the friendly interposition
of Charlemagne in his favor. By the influence of these secular princes
he was enabled to ascend the sacerdotal throne, and to exercise his
spiritual authority in banishing his competitors and their adherents.

On a visit of Charlemagne to Rome, after these events, the pope abruptly
crowned him with a diadem, invested him with the regalia of the
Cæsars, anointed him with the holy oil which the dove had conveyed
from Paradise, and pronounced him the pious Cæsar crowned by God. The
emperor who, professing to have been astonished at the pope's singular
conduct, nevertheless took an oath to preserve the faith and privileges
of the church. Agreeably to this oath he entrusted the clergy with
temporal and civil jurisdiction, expended more cost and labor in the
construction of cathedrals than on useful undertakings, and as the
demons of the air had admonished the payment of tithes he enforced their
exaction with extreme rigor. The favor and liberal indulgence of the
pope enabled the emperor, consistently with his Catholicism to enjoy the
possession of nine wives, to divert his capricious fancy with numberless
mistresses, to prolong the celibacy of his daughters that it might
extend the period of an illicit commerce, and to become the father of
numerous illegitimate children, whom, however, in atonement for his
indiscretions, he consecrated to the priesthood.

The barbarity and usurpations of which Charlemagne was guilty, in the
enlargement of his vast empire, naturally made him suspicious of the
loyalty of his subjects; and the frequent outbursts which disturbed
the peace of certain sections excited his most painful fears for the
stability of his throne. To prevent the disorganization of a power
which he had constructed with so much labor, but endangered with so
much crime, he imprudently scorned the wisdom of adopting concessionary
measures, and had recourse to the artifices of priestcraft. Dividing the
empire between two of his sons, he had them crowned and anointed with
the celestial oil, in expectation that these superstitious ceremonies
would excite in the minds of his subjects such reverence for the
imperial dignity as would secure in its favor their devout allegiance.
But this arrangement excluding his eldest son--the issue of a
divorced wife--from an equal participation with his brothers in the
administration of the government, excited him to rebel against the
authority of his father. His attempt to obtain by arms the justice
denied by parental authority was, in consequence of the loyalty of the
papal political machinery, unsuccessful; and the injured son was obliged
to expiate the guilt of his unfilial insubordination by serving the
church in the capacity of a monk, and passing the remainder of his days
in a monastic dungeon.

This conspiracy was not the only result that was produced by the policy
of Charlemagne, in substituting superstition in the place of justice in
his efforts to conciliate popular dissatisfaction. While it lent a
prop to the governmental structure, it furnished an instrument for
undermining its foundation. The division of the monarchy gave occasion,
after Charlemagne's death, to fraternal disputes and civil conflicts;
and as these disorders favored the pope's ambitious desire to succeed
to the crown and dominion of the Caesars, they were kept active by his
machinery until the empire was disintegrated.

The last survivor of the Carlovingian dynasty was Charles, Duke of
Lorraine. The subjects of the realm at that period had become greatly
dissatisfied concerning the oppressive privileges which the clergy
enjoyed, as well as with the impoverishing exactions which they extorted
from their industry. With these popular grievances the temper and
disposition of Charles engaged his warmest sympathies. Pope John XVI.,
elected in 986, perceiving that the heir presumptive to the throne
would, when he acceded to power, listen to the complaints and lessen the
burdens of his subjects; and acting on the historic motive of the Holy
See, in making rulers its tools, and changing dynasties to suit its
purposes, induced the Frankish nobility to proclaim Hugh Capet King
of France. But before this sycophantic papal favorite could be crowned
king, and anointed with the holy oil, he was obliged to swear to
preserve the clergy in all the privileges and immunities which they
enjoyed. Against this formidable conspiracy Charles found himself
powerless; and after making some demonstrations against the usurper,
retired to Lyons, which place was capable of withstanding a vigorous
siege. With great skill and energy, but without any flattering success,
his adversary assailed the strong-built fortifications. The success
which valor denied was, however, accorded by treachery. The bishop of
the city having entered into secret negotiations with Capet, the gates
were thrown open at midnight; and the usurper entering the precincts
amid the stillness of the hour captured the royal family, surprised
Charles in bed and threw him into prison, from which he was never
liberated. The Capitian dynasty, thus founded in fraud, violence and
usurpation, and unsupported by a shadow of legal right, stands forth
in history as the grand champion of the legitimacy of kings, or their
divine right to rule by virtue of their descent, independent of the
consent of the governed. The dynasties of empires and the political
events of nations are so intimately connected with the domestic affairs
of royal families, that in order to control the one, papal intrigue has
constantly intermeddled with the other, Robert II., who became king
of France in 997, married Bertha, his cousin, a lady of inestimable
qualities. The royal pair were a model of connubial loveliness and
felicity; but when an heir had completed the perfection of their
happiness the pope interfered, and by the exercise of his sacred
authority, embittered the remainder of their existence. Robert not
having purchased of the church an indulgence for marrying a cousin, Pope
Sylvester II. pronounced the conjugal union illegal, and commanded the
king to abandon his wife. To be guilty of an offence of such a henious
character against the most amiable of women; to act in violation of
all his matrimonial vows and obligations; to spurn his lawful wife as a
prostitute, and to declare his children bastards, was a complication of
iniquity which Robert declared to the pope that he would rather die than
commit. But the obdurate and savage-hearted holy father, whom the view
of no misfortune could move, in order to reduce the king to obedience
proceeded to pronounce a sentence of excommunication against him. This
act was designed to call into requisition all the appliances of the
pope's machinery in blasting the happiness of two persons, whose worth
was unequaled in the kingdom, and perhaps unsurpassed in the records of
history. Accordingly the churches were draped in mourning; the pictures
of the images of the saints shrouded in black; the bells were tolled
night and day; religious worship was suspended in the kingdom; and no
funeral ceremony allowed to be performed. The immaculate Bertha was
declared polluted; stories were circulated that she had given birth to
a monster, which had the head of a savage and the tail of a serpent; the
poor, on whom she had been accustomed to bestow charity, now fled at her
approach; her domestics broke the costly vases which adorned the palace,
and taking the viands from the royal table dashed them into the fire.
Consternation seized the populace; and priests, courtiers and people
fled alike from the sight of the amiable couple, as if they were
destructive monsters. At length, through the repeated requests of
Bertha, Robert agreed to a separation, and allowed her to retire to
a convent. This act, by which he placed his wife at the mercy of
licentious priests, conciliated the vengeance of the sacerdotal monster.

During the reign of Philip II., who became king of France in 1180,
the province of Languedoc enjoyed an eminent degree of liberty and
prosperity. The charters which the subjects had obtained from their
princes secured them in the enjoyment of many important civil rights,
fortified by such jealous guards as effectually protected them against
the encroachments of executive power. This liberality in their
political constitution encouraged liberality in religious inquiry, which
consequently led to doubts of the pope's right to temporal power. At
the flourishing city of Albi these progressive ideas assumed a definite
shape in an organization of the people, which received the appellation
of the Albigenses. The pope finding this sectary increasing in numbers
and popularity, in spite of the vigorous counteracting efforts of his
appliances of bishops, priests and monks, ordered Raymond VI., Count of
Toulouse, to compel the Albigenses, by force of arms, to change their
religious views. As Raymond of Rogers, Count of Beziers, nephew of
Raymond VI., had declared in favor of the reformer, the Count of
Toulouse refuse to oblige the pope by taking up arms against the Count
of Beziers. On account of this determination, dictated by a high and
delicate sense of duty and honor, the pope pronounced sentence of
excommunication against him. In addition to this insulting manifesto, he
commissioned his legate to raise an army of the cross, for the purpose
of exterminating the reformers and their allies. This authorized
desperado, through the energetic co-operation of the pope's political
machinery, soon collected a numerous army of crusaders; and imposing on
them a horrible oath that they would exterminate the Albigenses without
pity for the cries or tears of their wives or children, immediately
commenced the work of blood and devastation. As this army of murderers
approached the city of Carcassonne, an order was given not to leave
one stone upon another, and to put to death every man, woman, youth and
infant. The butchery was frightful, and mixed with the most fiendish
acts. To arrest the horrible work Raymond of Rogers offered to resign
his authority. With execrable treachery the legate pretended to be
willing to negotiate; but no sooner had he betrayed the Count into
his power than he incarcerated him in a dungeon, where he died after
experiencing years of suffering. After the removal of Raymond by this
base treachery, Carcasonne fell; and thirty thousand men, women and
children were butchered in one day. Tired of the terrible carnage, or
disgusted at its atrociousness, the chiefs of the army of the cross
declared to the legate, that among the crowd they could not distinguish
the heretic from the Catholic. "Kill on," replied the holy legate,
"God will know those which are his." The murderous army moved on; blood
flowed at every step; at Beziers sixty thousand were put to death; nor
did the carnage cease until the inhabitants of almost every town in
Languedoc, without distinction of age, sex or creed, were weltering
in their gore. As an express reward to Simon de Monfort for having
surpassed all others in hardihood and cruelty on those days of blood,
the pope bestowed upon him the devastated domains as a fief of the
church. But the soil sown with the bones of heroes, and enriched
with the blood of patriots, was prolific of formidable avengers;
who constantly shook the throne, and rendered it a calamity to its
blood-stained occupant. His son succeeded him; but not being able to
defend it against the uprising of the people, it was incorporated into
the French empire; but still the war raged, until 1226, when a peace was
concluded with Raymond IV., upon condition of his purchasing absolution
at an enormous price, and ceding the greater portion of his domains to

In 1285, when Philip IV. ascended the throne of France, the despotism of
Rome had perpetually encroached on the rights of the sovereignty of the
government, and by an insidious policy subjected it more and more to its
influence. Among the privileges which the popes arrogated was the
right to arbitrate the controversies which arose between independent
sovereignties. A dispute having sprung up between Philip IV., of France,
and Edward I., of England, Pope Boniface VIII., wishing to enjoy the
advantage of dictating the terms of adjustment, arbitrarily attempted
to interfere in the controversy. This officious intermeddling in the
affairs of a sovereign state was resisted by Philip with patriotic
firmness. The irascible pope, transported with rage at the irreverence
and independence of Philip, and at the recollection of his liberal
governmental views and measures, interdicted all religious worship in
his dominions, and suspended the dispensation of the means of grace. But
the policy of Philip, in introducing the "third estates," or deputies of
the people, which had been instituted by Charlemagne, but discontinued
by Hugh Capet, and in his extending the jurisdiction of parliament over
the crowned heads, had fortified him in the affections of his subjects,
while the papal establishments, in extracting the life-blood from the
industrial classes, had weakened popular attachment to the Holy See. The
liberality of the king nullified the virtue of the Vatican thunder;
and the generous support which he commanded from the people, and from a
faction of the priests, enabled him to resist the intermeddling of the
pope with the rights of the crown; nay more, as the tyranny of the holy
father had rendered him unpopular in Italy, it placed him at the mercy
of a prince whom he had insulted and exasperated, and who was capable of
taking revenge. Accordingly, emissaries were sent to Rome who, seizing
the holy father while he was defiantly seated in the apostolic chair,
dragged him from his despotic throne, and cast him into prison. From
this ignominious predicament he was, however, shortly afterwards
released; but as his character was black with crime, it was determined
to summon a council for his deposition. Depressed with the expectation
of certain degradation, chagrined and mortified at the loss of his
dignity and the insults to his holiness, and having refused all
sustenance in confinement for fear of being poisoned, his constitution
broke down, and he died in a paroxysm of rage and fear before
arrangements could be completed for his trial. According to Catholic
authority, "he entered like a fox, reigned like a tiger, and died like
a dog." His condition after his death may be variously conjectured by
theologians according to their different creeds; but Dante, who was a
Catholic, places him in hell between Pope Nicholas III. and Pope Clement

During the reign of Louis XII., who became King of France in 1498, the
duplicity and treachery which has in general characterized the history
of the papal intrigues obtained an illustration in the conduct of the
popes, which would have disgraced the chiefs of barbaric nations. Louis,
upon receiving the royal diadem, pardoned the wrongs which had been
done to him while he was duke, relieved the industry of his subjects by
reducing the burden of their taxation, elevated the literary standard of
the nation by the introduction of scientific collections, and displayed
a nobleness of disposition, and a capacity for the exercise of the
governmental functions prophetic of the highest degree of national
prosperity and greatness. Pope Julius II. before his election, had
professed the warmest friendship for Louis, and secured his influence
in gaining the sacerdotal crown. Having succeeded in this strategic
measure, his ambition led him to grasp at another object which he
conceived Louis's friendship might be made accessory in realizing. That
object was the obliteration of the Venitian republic. He accordingly
formed a holy league, called the "League of Cambray," with France,
Spain and Germany, for the accomplishment of his object. Faithful to
his obligations, Louis fought with distinguished bravery in the pope's
cause. His heroism won encomiums from all but from the holy father,
who was too jealous not to hate superiority, too selfish for sincere
friendship, and too sagacious not to perceive that in the further
developments of his aggressive designs he was bound to encounter in the
heroism and honor of Louis a powerful antagonist. The formidable valor
of the Venitian republicans in the defence of their government, the
mutual distrust among the allies, which they managed to excite, and
the conflicting interpretations of the terms of the compact eventually
dissolved the holy league. But the finesse of the pope, and the
adroitness with which he engineered his machinery, gave him the ability
to conciliate his difficulties with the republicans, and of inducing
that republic to unite with him in a league with Spain, England and
Switzerland, against France. Germany and France then called a council at
Pisa, for reformation in the head and body of the church; at the bar of
which they summoned the pope, to explain his conduct.

But scorning the mandate of the synod, he convened a council at the
Lateran; and causing a decree to be passed declaring Louis to have
forfeited his crown, excommunicated him, and interdicted the celebration
of religious worship in his kingdom. Louis was now assaulted by the
English at Guingate, by the Spanish at Navarre, by the Swiss at Dijon,
while his kingdom was internally convulsed by treacherous priests,
crafty spies, false friends, and unpatriotic Catholics. Unable to
contend against these formidable antagonists, he had to surrendered all
his possessions beyond the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Pope Leo X., who succeeded Julius II., governed by motives of nepotism
and ambition, concocted a scheme for obtaining for his family the
kingdom of Naples and the duchies of Ferrara and Urbino. At the
same time Louis entertained a design of reconquering Milan, which he
inherited from his grandmother, Valentina Visconti. The success of these
schemes depended on the mutual friendship of the projectors. The pope,
in order to secure the confidence of Louis, entered into a secret
alliance with him, and pretended to favor all his plans. But while he
was flattering his hopes, he was preparing to ruin his cause. To weaken
his resources he secretly sent Bambo, his legate, to Venice to detach
its alliance from France; and though this treacherous mission was
unsuccessful, yet when the French appeared on the confines of Italy, he
increased his power by the purchase of Modena, and finally reduced Louis
to a formal submission.

In 1515 Francis I, ascended the throne, and immediately commenced
preparations for the re-conquest of Milan. Pope Leo X., to defeat this
enterprise formed an alliance with Milan, Florence, Artois, Germany and
Switzerland. A bloody battle ensued in which tigers and giants seemed to
struggle with each other, and which was protracted without intermission
for two days and nights. France recovered Milan; the pope was reduced
to the last extremity; yet the prudence or superstition of Francis
concluded a concordat with him, upon such liberal terms as excited the
dissatisfaction of France, and the surprise of the world.

After this signal and generous triumph the belligerent powers became
reconciled. This event was hailed by the friends of humanity with united
acclamations. But the Holy See, whose policy has ever been to foster
wars and controversies between governments, that it might improve the
consequent confusion and disorder in aggrandizing its power, received
the news of pacification with chagrin and disappointment.

But Milan, which had cost France so much to win, was soon lost by the
conquest of Charles V., Emperor of Germany and King of Spain. This
prince having formed a league with Pope Leo X. against Francis
I.,--which league was afterwards joined by Henry VIII., of
England--active hostilities were soon commenced. After a war of
four disastrous years, the emperor captured Francis, obliged him to
relinquish his claims to Naples, Milan, Genoa, Asti, Flanders and
Artois; to dismember his kingdom by surrendering Burgundy; and to
ransom himself by the payment of 2,000,000 crowns. The popularity and
victorious march of the German emperor now alarmed the jealous fears of
the holy father, Pope Clement VII., who, apprehending in them his
own subjugation, united in an alliance with. Francis I:, the former
antagonist of the Roman See, and with all the Italian powers, to
arrest the dangerous triumphs of his new rival. The allies succeeded
in humbling the pride of Charles; but in the midst of their victories a
plague, more fearful than their foes, broke out in the French army, and
thinned its ranks with fearful mortality. This circumstance led to
the peace of Cambray. But the ambition of Francis, and his indomitable
thirst for the reconquest of Milan, soon led him to violate the terms
of this covenant. Confederating with Solyman II., Sultan of the Ottoman
empire, he drove Charles before his forces. The interest of the Holy See
being threatened by the successes of the allied army, and perhaps in
the event of the triumph of Charles not perfectly secure, Pope Paul
III. interposed his friendly mediation, and induced the belligerents to
conclude a truce of ten years.

In 1559 Francis II., son of Francis I., succeeded to the crown of
France. Amid the flattering successes of the papal intrigues, the rapid
progress of Protestantism in Europe, and the fearless boldness of its
advocates, occasioned great uneasiness to the Holy See. Scorning the
mild but able services of reason and conciliation, it counselled the
most sanguinary measures. The records of the times are consequently
filled with accounts of disorders, assassinations, massacres, and the
most deplorable conflicts. The French nation was divided into two
great factions; the one in favor of Catholicism, the other in favor
of Protestantism. By means of the papal machinery of bishops, abbots,
priests, monks and spies, the Catholics were made to believe that the
religious disorders which had convulsed the empire were but a prelude to
an intended extermination of all Romanists. To narrow-minded bigots, who
absurdly believed that their church afforded the only possible method of
escaping the pangs of purgatory, and of obtaining eternal happiness,
all the zeal which their hopes and fears of eternity could inspire was
awakened in the defence of their religion. While the Protestants who,
on the other hand, believed that Catholicism was idolatry, subversive
of Christianity, demoralizing in its tendency, and destructive of the
rights of conscience, reason and religious liberty, became equally
heated in the defence of their faith. Both factions had been educated in
intolerent principles; in the belief that error of opinion was perilous
to the soul; that it rendered a person a proper object of aversion
and denunciation; and, that a difference of opinion was a sufficient
justification of hatred and persecution. Both factions being educated in
the principles of bigotry and intolerance, nursed amid convulsions and
barbarity, embittered against each other by mutual provocations
and injury, were incapable of pacification by just and reasonable
concession. The Catholics, having the power, were enabled to inflict
on the Protestants the deeper injuries; and, to the credit of the
Protestants it will ever be remembered, that they sought not to
exterminate their foes, but to obtain equal rights with them.

The Cardinal of Lorraine, who had supervision of the clergy, and Henry,
Duke of Guise, the uncle of the king, who directed the military affairs,
were both uncompromising in their hostility to the Protestants. Antony
of Bourbon, King of Navarre, and his brother Louis, Prince of Condé,
being excluded from the governmental administration, united with the
Calvinists for the overthrow of the regime, under pretext of religious
zeal. Catherine de Medici, mother of the king, and niece of Pope Clement
VII., jealous of a power in which she could not participate, favored the
designs of Louis, and employed her art in stimulating the opposition of
the reformers to the administration of the Duke of Guise. Under these
circumstances a conspiracy against the duke was formed at Amboise,
which led to a murderous onslaught, and inaugurated civil war. Louis was
captured and condemned to death.

In the midst of the distraction of conflicting parties Francis I. died,
and Charles IX., in 1560, succeeded to the throne at the age of
ten years. Catherine de Medici, his mother, with the acquiesence of
parliament, administered the affairs of government. Although a bigoted
Catholic, yet having no principle but the love of sway, she was ready to
support any faction or creed that administered to her power, or removed
an obstacle to her ambition. Without profound views of policy, she
was incapable of either originating a great national object, or of
supporting it by adequate measures. So indomitable was her passion
for dominion, that it as much obdurated her maternal feelings as
it disqualified her for a judicious regent. She even studied to
incapacitate her sons for the exercise of the governmental functions,
and to divert their attention from the state of national affairs. With
this end in view she involved them in the grossest dissipation, and
strove to keep them in a perpetual whirl of voluptuous intoxication.
Perfect in the art of dissimulation, she cajoled Catholics and
Protestants. Anxious to obtain the support of all parties, she
alternately favored the one and the other. To embarrass the Duke
of Guise she threw everything into confusion; but to conciliate
the Protestants she had to redeem her pledges; and in spite of the
opposition of the court, to issue an act of toleration in their favor.

The lines of party became now distinctly drawn. The Protestant faction,
headed by the Prince of Condé, and Coligny, admiral of France, was
assisted by the English; and the Catholic faction, headed by Francis,
Duke of Guise, was assisted by Spain. At a season of intense public
excitement the Duke of Guise, with a band of adherents, was passing a
barn in which some Calvinists were singing psalms. Irritating taunts
were mutually exchanged between the two parties. This exasperating
conduct brought on a collision, in which sixty Calvinists were killed,
the flames of civil war ignited, and the empire divided and distracted
by the hostile conflicts of the two religious parties. The duke, at the
head of his forces, pursued the Protestants with pitiless revenge,
and the Protestants retaliated his cruelties with fearful retribution.
Desperate conflicts perpetually took place, and the land was drenched
with blood. The bigotry of both factions stained their cause with
deplorable excesses. At the battle of Dreux the belligerents came to a
decisive engagement. The Protestants were defeated, and Condé captured.
The Duke of Guise designing to crush Protestantism by striking a blow at
Orleans, its centre, commenced active preparations for the enterprise;
but while he was engaged in them he was shot by Poltrot de Mercy,
a Huguenot nobleman. Advising peace in his last moments, terms of
conciliation were accordingly offered the Protestants, which being
accepted, tranquillity was restored to the empire.

The arts of Catherine, the intolerance of Catholicism, and the suspicion
and fervor of Protestantism, soon convulsed the nation again with the
disorders of civil war. Aspiring to rule with more absolute power than
she had hitherto been able, Catherine conceived the idea of having the
king, whom she held helplessly under her control, declared to be
of competent age for the exercise of the royal functions. This
accomplished, she made a tour through the empire in company with him. At
Bayonne the young king had an interview with his sister, wife of Philip
II., King of Spain. The suspicions of the Calvinists were immediately
excited; they precipitately armed themselves for defence, and formed a
conspiracy to assassinate the king. Civil war consequently broke out. A
severe and bloody engagement took place at St. Dennis. The losses were
heavy on both sides; but Montmorency, a prominent Catholic leader being
killed, another treaty of peace was concluded. But the artifice and
dissimulation of Catherine only made treaties which contained the
elements of future wars. They satisfied neither the Catholics nor the
Protestants; and were evaded by both. Contrary to the stipulations of
the treaty of St. Dennis, the Calvinists still continued to hold places
which they had contracted to surrender, and to continue correspondence
with England and Holland, which they had agreed to break off. The
inflammable material of religious bigotry, together with these
circumstances, provoked another intestine war. The Duke of Anjou,
afterwards Henry III., commanded the Catholic faction; and Condé and
Admiral Coligny headed the Protestant faction. At the battle of Jarnac,
Condé was captured and shot; and at the battle of Montcontour Coligny
was defeated. Amid these discomfitures of the Protestants a peace was
offered them on terms of such extraordinary generosity by the Catholics,
that they were unconditionally accepted.

Henry of Navarre, Condé's son, subsequently Henry IV., on hearing of his
father's death swore to revenge his murder; but the peace which had just
been concluded rendered him destitute of means and arms. His mother,
Queen Jeanne d'Albret, after the death of her husband, Condé, King of
Navarre, had, in order to avoid the intrigues of Catherine, retired from
the French court to Bearn, her hereditary possessions. In this retreat
she declared herself in favor of the Huguenots. When her son was but
eleven years old the Guises, in conjunction with Philip II., King of
Spain, devised a plot for depriving the young prince of his hereditary
possessions in lower Navarre, and of placing him in the hands of the
latter tyrant. The sagacity of Elizabeth, Queen of England, however,
detected this conspiracy in time to frustrate it. In consequence of this
base machination, Queen Jeanne d'Albert placed her son Henry, when he
was but sixteen years old, at the head of a Protestant army, and caused
him to take an oath to shed the last drop of his blood in the defence of
his kingdom and religion.

Henry Guise, son of Francis Guise, Duke of Lorraine, became the
commander of the royal army. The bloody Catherine, in collusion
with this ambitious and bigoted duke, concocted a plot for the total
extermination of all the Protestants in the French empire. The peace
which had been concluded with the Protestants at Jarnac and Montcontour
was but the preliminary measure in the accomplishment of this horrible
project. The terms it accorded were so surprisingly advantageous to the
conquered forces, that the more cautious Protestants regarded it with
suspicion. The next device in this insidious plot, was a specious
pretence of uniting all parties in interest and harmony by the bonds
of two marriages, the one between the king, Charles IX., and Elizabeth,
daughter of Maximilian II., Emperor of Germany, and the other between
Margaret, the queen's sister, and Henry, Prince of Navarre. All the
distinguished Protestant leaders were earnestly invited to be present at
the celebration of the royal nuptials. Fearing treachery many of them,
however, declined the honor. Amid the magnificence and festivity of the
occasion Queen Jeanne d'Albert was poisoned. Shortly after Coligny was
wounded by a shot from a window. The king swore to punish the villain
who had attempted the assassination. His mother assured him Coligny had
the same designs on his life. Bursting into rage he exclaimed: "Kill
every Protestant--kill Coligny." Catherine then held her council
of blood. All having been concerted for a general massacre, on
Bartholomew's eve, at midnight of the day fixed, the church bells
announced the signal for commencing the horrible butchery. Wild shrieks
and murderous clamor immediately shook the air. "Spare none; it is
God's, it is Catherine's it is the kings order." shouted the Catholic
leaders as they led on their gangs of remorseless bigots. In the red
glare of terrifying flambeaux, were seen daggers dripping with the blood
of men, women, and even babes. The people without means of defence or
flight saw they were doomed to perish without mercy or revenge. Coligny
awakened from his sleep by the terrific yells and screams that filled
the air, arose from his bed and opened the door of his mansion.
Meeting the assassins, he courteously invited them into his chamber.
"Companions," said he, "finish your work. Take the blood sixty years
of war have respected: Coligny will forgive you. My life is of little
consequence, and though I would rather lose it in defending you, yet
take it." Touched at these words, and his calm, majestic countenance,
the ruffians fell upon their knees; one of them threw away his dagger;
another embraced the knees of his intended victim, and the courage of
all dissolved into tears. Besme, the commander of the gang, who had
waited in the court for Coligny's head, becoming impatient entered the
chamber, and seeing the assassins overcome by humanity denounced them
as traitors to Catherine. At this denunciation one of them averting his
head, drew his sword and plunged it into Coligny's breast. For
thirty days in every part of the kingdom the most atrocious acts were
perpetrated. Doors were burst open; men and women assassinated night
and day; babes torn from their mother's arms were murdered before their
parents' eyes. Over this dreadful calamity the friends and foes of
France might have together wept; but Rome was illuminated, cannons were
fired in its honor, churches were shaken with the peals of thanksgiving,
priests formed themselves into holy processions to testify their joy,
jubilees were proclaimed, and the pope, jealous of the authorship of
atrocities that shook the world with horror, had medals prepared
to immortalize his right to the honor of having originated the most
horrible massacre on record. When we consider the atrociousness of the
massacre, and the exultations of the holy father, we are at a loss which
most to pity, the victims of the catastrophe, or the fiend that rejoiced
over it. After the incidents of that day Henry of Navarre and the Prince
of Condé had to profess Catholicism in order to save their lives. This
device defeating the designs of Catherine on the life of Henry, she next
added to the ignominy of her character by attempting to dissolve the
marriage which, through her influence, had just been consummated. Foiled
in this scheme, she then sought to poison the happiness of the royal
pair. To hold Henry spell-bound in the power of her fascinations, she
spread around him all the voluptuous allurements of sensual pleasure.
But the native magnanimity of his spirit broke the thralls of her
enchantment; and secretly escaping from a corrupt and besotted court,
he recanted his Catholicism, and placed himself at the head of the
Protestant League as King of Navarre; a title which he had rightfully
assumed since his mother's death. The revenge which was now rife on
the lips of thousands, for slaughtered relatives and citizens, and the
portentous disasters which overhung the empire, convinced Catherine
of her error; and Charles, tracing the calamities of the nation to her
ambition, resolved to atone for his past neglect by governing the empire
himself: but death too soon deprived him of an opportunity to make this

On the death of Charles IX., Henry III., his brother, succeeded to
the throne. But being then King of Poland, Catherine, his mother, was
permitted to govern in his name until he should be able to assume the
administration himself. Catherine immediately concluded a peace with
the Huguenots, which granted them religious liberty But this liberal
concession exasperated the Catholics, and afforded Henry Guise a pretext
for perfecting a league which had been projected by Cardinal Lorraine.
The professed object of this league was to defend Catholicism, and
extirpate religious liberty; but it had also a secret object, which was
to usurp the throne. After Henry III. had returned to his domains, his
profligate disposition, and his want of decision and firmness made him
the dupe of his mother's intrigues. By her machinations he was kept
imprisoned in the royal palace, occupied with frivolous intrigues
and stupefied with debauch, even while dissension was shaking his
government, and treason plotting his downfall. Besides the unpopularity
which his neglect of national affairs engendered in the minds of his
subjects, his marriage with the Countess of Lorraine, giving the Guises
increased influence in the government, added suspicion to the popular

By the support of the papal machinery, Henry Guise became sufficiently
powerful to dictate laws to the king. He obliged him to annul all
provisions in favor of the reformers, and carried his insolence so far
that the king forbid him to approach the capitol. It was now discovered
that the duke intended to kidnap the king, imprison him in a monastic
dungeon, and usurp the imperial authority. Conscious of his power, the
duke boldly violated the king's command, that he should not enter Paris.
At this defiance the king called on his troops for assistance; but so
effectively had the pope's machinery operated, that the people attacked
the royal troops, drove them away, and thirty thousand papists sprung to
arms in the defence of the duke. Such was the helplessness of the king
that he had to fly for safety to Chartres, and to conclude a treaty with
his enemy. Upon the assembling of the Estates of Blois, they decided
that the duke was too powerful to be brought to trial, but that his open
treason would justify the king in having him assassinated. Appearing to
be reconciled to him he then partook of the eucharist in company with
him; but while he did so, gave secret orders for his assassination. In
a few days after this event the duke was stabbed as he entered the royal
palace, and Cardinal Lorraine met the same fate in a dungeon. The severe
disappointments which these melancholy events occasioned to the hopes
of the Papal See, gave rise to a holy league against Henry III., headed
by the Duke of Mayenne, brother of the Duke of Guise, which league was
supported by all the resources of Rome. Every department of the papal
machinery was now set in the most vigorous action. Paris and the
principal cities of France were incited to declare against the king. The
Sorbonne, the highest Catholic university in the empire, absolved the
subjects from their allegiance to him; the pope threatened him with
excommunication; and his assassination was publicly preached in the
churches; But by a fortunate coalition with Henry of Navarre the king
defeated the pope and his league, re-captured Paris, and established
again his authority in the empire. Yet the Catholic church, which never
forgives an offence, and scruples at no means to remove an obstacle,
found a Dominican monk who executed her vengeance by the assassination
of the king.

Henry III. left no male heirs; consequently Henry of Navarre became the
legitimate inheritor of the throne of France. The papal machinery which
in vain had been called into requisition to destroy him, was now set in
vigorous operation to prevent him from establishing a legal right to his
heritage. The Duke of Mayenne, at the head of the Catholics, declared
against him; Philip II., king of Spain, claimed the crown; and several
unsuccessful attempts were made to assassinate him. But the valor
and sagacity of Henry defeated his enemies, and triumphed over all
difficulties. The papal machinery was, however, still formidable; and
Henry IV., convinced that the blood of his subjects must continue to
flow as long as they were governed by a Protestant sovereign, decided to
profess the Catholic faith, which of all others he must have sincerely
detested. By this politic act of humiliation he acquired for his
subjects political security and entire religious liberty, and obtained
from the pope a concession to his right to the crown. But in sacrificing
principle to expediency he did not conciliate papal malice, nor secure
tranquillity to his reign. Conspiracies were rife, female intrigue
abounded, bigotry and intolerance gave birth to much violence and
disorder, and finally; the long-premeditated assassination of Henry
IV. was accomplished by Ravaillac, who stabbed him to the heart with a
double-edged sword, the papal symbol of spiritual and temporal power.

The papal machinery during the past reigns had demoralized the nation.
The national policy was characterized by a system of falsehood,
corruption and intrigue. Princes of the blood were excluded from the
throne, on account of their liberal proclivities. Innocent men, women
and children were imprisoned, murdered and burnt. Female intrigue, the
bane of national peace and virtue predominated in political circles;
and public robbery and extravagance laid the foundation of a debt which
ultimately broke down the government.

Under Louis XIII., who became King of France in 1610, the papal
machinery was directed by Cardinal Richelieu, who governed the king;
by M. Tellier, his confessor, and Madame Maitenon, his prostitute, who
governed the cabinet. Richelieu gave boldness and craft to the national
policy, and consummated the governmental absoluteness which had been
initiated by Louis XI. Division of power being more friendly to justice
and republicanism than consolidation, the papal political machinery has
always vigorously, as well as universally, labored to defeat the first
and encourage the second. But what is unfriendly to republicanism is
destructive to national prosperity; and consequently the papal intrigues
and appliances in favor of absoluteness in France destroyed the
greatness of the nation.

The political security and religious liberty which Henry IV. had secured
to the subjects were annulled by the repeal of the Edict of Nantes, and
Catholic intolerance again domineered over the lives and fortunes of
Protestants. Kings had been taught by their teachers and spiritual
guides that "to dissemble was to reign," and that "to become a great
man it was necessary to become a great villain." The consequence was
national weakness and demoralization. Mock treaties were made to conceal
real ones, and kings, to disguise their intentions, acted differently
from what they thought. A succession of weak, bigoted, tyrannical, and
criminal rulers had oppressed the industry of the country, and drove
thousands of subjects to seek a livelihood under less oppressive
government. Despotic ministers, rapacious favorites, intriguing
prostitutes, foolish enterprises absurd laws, professed rakes in the
garb of priests and cardinals, prodigality, corruption and tyranny
withering the vitality of the nation, and accumulating on the heads
of the people an insupportable load of taxation and misery, were the
deplorable results of the operation of the pope and his political
engine. But while such were the calamities which Catholicism was
maturing, the eloquent writings of Voltaire, of Rousseau, and other
liberal authors were awakening a spirit of inquiry in the public mind,
and preparing the way for political regeneration. The smouldering
fires of freedom which burned in the breast of the nation, rendered the
conflict between monarchy and republicanism inevitable. It finally
took place; the majesty of the people was vindicated; and, a national
assembly convened consisting of three hundred and seventeen clergy
men, three hundred and seventeen nobles, and six hundred and seventeen
deputies of the people; all of whom took an oath never to separate
until they had given France a free constitution, From the ruins of the
monarchy a republic arose in majesty and power. The feudal estates were
abolished without indemnification. The invidious game laws, the
feudal tribunals, the church tithes, the ecclesiastical revenues, the
hereditary descent of officers, the exemption of church dignities from
military taxation, the laws excluding Protestants from offices of
trust or profit, and denying them the right of inheriting, acquiring or
bequeathing property, and all that the toil of the papal machinery had
accumulated on the heads of the people, were swept away by the spirit of
liberal government. To obtain this freedom the nation had poured out
its blood. But the nation had been educated in Catholic bigotry and
intolerance; and now it visited on the heads of its tutors the lessons
which they had taught. The people swept away the despotism of the
throne, but left it remaining in the national councils; and, while
they made a wreck of oppression, they preserved its elements to be
reconstructed in another form. It is not, then, surprising, that hard
as their freedom was won, it was so easily betrayed by the genius of
Napoleon Bonaparte, once its advocate, but always its foe; who hated
republicanism as much as he hated papacy, for they both were in
conflict with his designs; and who loved nothing but himself and supreme
dominion. But the boon he sought his ambition defeated. While he stood
at the height of his fortune, with the conquest of Europe in his grasp,
the mask fell from his brow. The confidence of freemen forsook him;
and his glory, which else might have outrivalled the splendor of the
greatest, flickered, grew dim, and soon vanished away; leaving the
world as much astonished at the obscurity it left as it had been at the
effulgence it had emitted.


     Papal Intrigues in Germany under the reigns of Otho I--of
     Henry IV.--of Henry V--of Frederic I--of Frederic II--of
     Conrad IV.--of ALbert I--of Henry VII--of Louis of Bavaria--
     of Charles IV.--of Sigis-mund--of Charles V.--of Ferdinand
     II,--Papal Intrigues in Austria--in Prussia--and in the

Wittikind the Great, King of Saxony, after a vigorous resistance for
thirty-three years against the arms of Charlemagne, the confederate of
the pope, submitted to be baptized to spare the further effusion of
the blood of his subjects. But in the events of one hundred years, the
conquered became the emperors, and the Franks were supplanted on the
throne by the Saxons. From the time that the Carlovingian dynasty was
established until the dissolution of the empire in 1806, the secular
power had to continually struggle against the intrigues and usurpations
of the Papal See.

The pope's claim of being the disposer of crowns, and the source of
secular power, achieved something of a triumph in 962, when through a
crafty policy the pontiff bestowed the diadem on Otho. From motives
of policy the emperor conceded the spiritual claims of the pope, but
prudently nullified them by placing him under his authority. While Otho
acknowledged that he was emperor by the grace of God and the pope, he
required the latter, who was John XII., to swear allegiance to him, and
the Roman See to enter into a solemn agreement with him that henceforth
no pope should be chosen except in the presence of a Germanic imperial
commission. This judicious check on the intriguing policy of the Papal
See, was too unpleasant to be tolerated longer than weakness made it
unavoidable. Presumptuous as false, Pope John XII. was led to violate
his oath of allegiance, and to take up arms to acquire independence of
secular authority. For this act of perjury, treason, and violation of a
solemn treaty--which in a layman would have been a capital offence, but
in a priest was aggravated by the additional crime of hypocrisy--the
emperor could not do less than depose him.

In the papal monarchy virtue and ability were seldom conspicuous, and
generally when either appeared in its administration, it was less the
offspring of Catholicism than of the Germanic authority. The emperors
of Germany were far better men than the popes of Rome. While the first
labored to reform the church, the latter did little else than corrupt
it. Virtue, the foundation of public order and concord, could not but
be encouraged in the subjects by a sagacious monarch; and vice, the
indulgent mother of fraud and imposition, could not but be cultivated
by a crafty and ambitious priest. In the progress of the conduct of the
papal and the imperial policy, so mutually antagonistical, Henry III.,
who became Emperor of Germany in 1046, had to depose three popes, and to
fill the papal chair during his life with men of his own choice. He
also held the papal monarchy under strict surveillance, and forbade the
bestowal of any spiritual dignity, or the appropriation of any church
property without his sanction. The wholesome effects of his severity
won commendations even from those upon whom they were most rigorously
enforced; in proof of which it may be stated that the clergy
spontaneously bestowed on him the title of "The Pious," which he
condescended to accept.

In 1056 Henry IV. ascended the throne of Germany. The Papal See,
bitterly groaning under the jealous restraint which had been imposed on
it by the secular authority, eagerly watched, and artfully intrigued for
an opportunity to remove them. The impolitic and tyrannical conduct of
Henry IV. appeared, perhaps in its eye, as a providential circumstance
designed to aid the success of its long cherished design. The emperor,
governed by the advice of Archbishop Adelbert, attempted, by building
castles, and committing brutal and violent acts, to rule his people
through the terror of his authority. Neglecting to guard popular
interests, which alone can secure popular attachment, his efforts to
overawe his subjects produced only dissatisfaction and insurrection. In
an outburst of popular violence provoked by his imprudence, considerable
damage was done to some churches in Saxony and Thuringia. These
disorders gave Henry the opportunity of gratifying his revengeful
feelings in accusing the inhabitants before the pope of sacrilege, and
of entering their territory and perpetrating the most barbarous cruelty.
The consequences of this proceeding eventuated in such a favorable
crisis to the papal designs, that, had the ablest pope projected and
engineered them they could not have culminated more propitiously. The
injured and exasperated inhabitants appealed to the pope. Pope Gregory
VII., having ascended the papal throne without the consent of the German
court, eagerly embraced a cause which enabled him to assert his claim
claim to independent sovereignty, and supremacy over all secular
authority. Fully aware that the tyranny of Henry had deprived him of
the affections and support of his subjects, he commanded the unpopular
monarch to appear before him, under pain of excommunication. In
punishment for this ferocious warrant the emperor summoned a council
of bishops at Worms, and obliged them to renounce their allegiance to
Gregory. This daring act so irritated the pope that he began to lavish,
with unsparing liberality, anathemas on the head of the monarch. Henry
at first treated this display of arrogated divinity with scornful
indifference, but his vices had too much disembarrassed the action of
the papal machinery not to allow it to disable his power and revenge.
His subjects disowned their allegiance to him; his friends deserted him;
his soldiers disobeyed his orders; and he found himself helplessly at
the mercy of a revengeful and irritated priest. With a refinement of
malice that seems to do credit to papal ingenuity, at least, the emperor
was required to dress in penitential robes, formally to solicit for
three days an interview with the sacerdotal despot, and then to promise
unconditional obedience to him in all things. But the acts of tyranny
carry with them the seeds of retribution. The tyrant who could impose
such conditions on a fallen foe, could also have been guilty, in the
exercise of his power, of inflicting injuries on his subjects which
would be calculated to excite a disposition to revolt and retaliation,
This was precisely the case with Pope Gregory VII. He had oppressed the
Italian provinces to such a degree that the inhabitants longed for an
opportunity to depose him; and now the misfortunes of Henry appearing
to render him an available agent in the accomplishment of their designs,
they proposed a coalition with him. The pope becoming acquainted with
this secret machination, set about to counteract it. By the operation of
his skilful machinery he was enabled suddenly to create a conspiracy
in the heart of Germany, for the deposition of the emperor; but the
vigilance and valor of the latter defeated the revolutionary movement.
Having in vain exhausted all resources to subject the incorrigible
monarch to his absolute authority, he now sought to beguile the
mortification of his defeat by hurling anathemas at his obstinate head.
But the temper of Henry not disposing him to indulge the chagrined pope
in insolent sports, summoned a council of German and Italian bishops at
Brixen, and by proving to their satisfaction that Pope Gregory VII. was
a heretic, a sorcerer, and had dealings with the devil, effected his
degradation, and placed Clement III. in the papal chair.

The spirit and pretensions of Catholicism are so inimical to secular
authority that, to whatever extent they obtain a controlling influence
in a government they tend to abridge its sovereignty, and threaten its
subversion. This tendency, so clearly indicated by the principles of
the papal monarchy, and so fearfully illustrated in its history, is
incapable of being restrained by any sense of gratitude, or by any
obligation of oaths, A knowledge of this unhappy truth will prevent
surprise that the munificent favors which Henry bestowed on Pope Clement
III., in elevating him to the papal dignity, should not have caused the
repeal of the anathemas and excommunications which had been pronounced
against him, nor arrested the papal machinery in its insidious and
treacherous operations, in fostering the elements of discord which
existed in the empire. Nothing but the surrender of the principles of
sovereignty will ever conciliate a pope to the authority of a secular
government. The prudence, courage, and talents of the king were hence
constantly called into requisition to defeat the secret machinations of
his enemies. His eldest son was instigated to rebel against him.
After he had subdued him, his second son, whom he had crowned as
his successor, obliged him to surrender into his hands the imperial
authority. By the implacable revenge of the Papal See, operating through
its varied machinery, he was deprived of power, reduced to scorn and
neglect, and after it had murdered him by degrees, prohibited the
interment of his anathematized corpse in consecrated ground.

After Henry V., in 1106, had wrung from his father's hand the imperial
sceptre, he sought to have this atrocious act sanctified in the eyes
of his subjects by being crowned at Rome by the pope--Paschal II. This
sanction of unfilial conduct the pope was willing to accord; but as
it seemed to present an opportunity for making a good speculation, he
exacted, as the only condition on which the favor could be granted, a
concession to the Holy See of all the rights and privileges which had
been claimed for it by Pope Gregory VII.

This proposition startled Henry; he saw the ambitious designs of the
pope, and he felt the importance of checking them. Boldly denying the
papal pretensions, and rejecting with indignant contempt the proposition
of Paschal, he marched his army on Rome, dragged the pope from the altar
while he was celebrating mass, and casting him into prison, determined
that he should there remain until he consented to crown him without any
condition. To be restored to liberty and luxury the pope acceded to all
the terms dictated to him by the emperor, but with a secret disposition
to render them nugatory at the first opportunity. Disturbances occurring
in Germany, the pope was agreeably relieved of the embarrassing
restraints of the emperor's presence. To suppress the Germanic
revolution the skill and valor of Henry was occupied for two years. In
the meantime the pope, in order to nullify the concessions which he had
made, organized an Italian conspiracy against the emperor. Soon as Henry
had quelled the insubordination in Germany, he therefore returned to
Italy to punish the author of the calamities of his reign. But Pope
Paschal evaded the designed chastisement by absconding to Apulea, where
he shortly afterwards died.

Pope Galatius II., an enemy of Henry, having obtained the papal dignity,
the latter deposed him, and caused Bourden, under the name of Gregory
VIII., to be substituted in his place. The deposed pope and his
cardinals, having the control of the papal machinery, were enabled to
oppose, with great success, the policy of Henry in every part of
his dominion. Galatius assembled a council of bishops at Vienna and
excommunicated him; Calaxtus II. convened one at Rheims, and repeated
the sentence; the nobles broke out in frequent rebellion; and finally
such insubordination prevailed in the empire, and such violent outbursts
so frequently disturbed the public peace, that in order to restore
tranquillity Henry was compelled to subscribe to a concordat at Worms,
in which he renounced the right of investiture, and to any interference
in the consecration of bishops.

Frederic I. succeeded to the imperial throne in 1152. The increasing
opulence and power of the Italian and Lombardine cities owing allegience
to Germanic authority, the ambitious aspirations of the Papal See for
illimitable dominion, and the insidious operations of its machinery in
producing public taste and opinion in harmony with its desires, had,
at the beginning of the reign of Frederic I., produced revolts and
usurpations in Lombardy and Italy, which obliged the emperor to visit
and chastise the insurrectionary districts. Pope Alexander III., the
chief source of the public discord, fled on the approach of Frederic
to France, and excommunicated him. A league was then formed between
the pope, Venice, and the Greek empire against Frederic; and for twenty
years the calamities of war were protracted. The cruelty which the
emperor had exercised towards the rebellious cities created a desperate
opposition to his authority, and exercised an important influence in
stimulating the valor and energy of the people, by which their freedom
was finally achieved in the treaty of Venice in 1177.

The spiritual and temporal crown of the world which the Roman See
attempted to manufacture out of the fishhooks of St. Peter, however
visionary it might originally have appeared, assumed in the progress of
the papal political intrigues, the appearance of a stubborn, formidable
and frightful reality. With the profound policy which it elaborated, and
the systematic course of measures which it adopted, accommodated to all
exigencies and pursued through all periods, and at all places; with its'
machinery ramifying the political, social, and literary institutions of
Christendom; with its confessors transmitting to Rome every important
fact; with its inquisition extorting from victims an admission of
every false charge of which ecclesiastical interests required the
establishment; with its preachers and spiritual guides manufacturing,
private and public opinion suitable to its demands by perverted facts
and false statements; and with its army of monks, knights, sycophant
princes, servile kings, and deluded devotees; it had at the period of
Pope Innocent III. subjugated Christendom under its despotic authority.
During the progress of its aggressive course the voice of reason and
patriotism had often lifted up remonstrances against its advancement;
but the eloquent tones died away unheeded amid the clamorous chaunts of
superstitious rites. But now, after supineness had allowed it to
amass supreme and despotic power, and fortify itself by every means
of defence, the antagonism of the people began to be energetically
manifested. It is the fate of despotism of every form, when it has
developed the full strength of its all-blasting power, to awaken another
power destined to trample it in the dust. That power is the strength
which slumbers in the popular arm. When the papal despotism was no more
a pretension, but a fact, when it stood distinctly before the world
clotted with the blood of generations, surrounded by broken sceptres and
crushed thrones, with its feet on the neck of kings and people, and its
usurping hand grasping at the crowns of earth, heaven and hell, a murmur
of horror broke from the lips of the world. Then learning began to
scoff at its claims, research to expose its frauds, wit to ridicule
its pretensions; and then religious liberty, through the Albigenses and
Waldenses uttered that memorable peal, which is destined to reverberate
as an undying tone through all future ages. Then arose the free cities
from their long degradation, and began to perfect their internal
organizations by the establishment of corporations; then appeared the
first universities, arousing the dormant spirit of free inquiry and
investigation; then the abrogation of the system of violence began to
restore public security; and then the separate members of the empire
began to be assembled and deliberate on public affairs, originating the
principle of the provincial diets.

Frederic II., son of the emperor Henry VI., was born at this illustrious
period of German history. Philip, Duke of Suabia, was nominated
regent during Frederic's minority, but the pope, wishing a more pliant
instrument, substituted Berthold. Finding this scheme impracticable he
recommended Otho, and Philip being murdered, the papal policy succeeded.
But the pope soon found that his intrigue had vested with power a mortal
foe to the Papal See. For Otho clearly manifested a design of not only
wresting Sicily from Frederic, which the latter inherited from his
mother, princess of Constance, but of establishing the authority
of Germany over certain possessions of Italy which it claimed as an
inheritance. To counteract the mistake of his policy the pope took
Frederic under his protection, and called into requisition all the power
of his machinery. At the age of twenty-one years he crowned his protege
Emperor of Germany; but in order to bind him to his interests he exacted
a coronation oath that he would undertake a crusade in behalf of the
church. Frederic, enjoying the favor and influence of the pope, and
the advantageous co-operation of his machinery, soon defeated Otho, and
became sole sovereign of the empire.

With a grasp of intellect, and versatility of talent that rarely have
sprung from a royal cradle, Frederic II. elaborated projects which,
although they transcended the liberality and enlightenment of his age,
yet laid the foundation for their development in a future period. The
possession of the German and Sicilian crowns led him to hope that he
would be able to repress the powerful hierarchy of Rome, and reduce the
pope to the dignity of a bishop. Impressed with the importance of
this object, and the difficulty of its accomplishment, he slowly and
cautiously removed obstacle after obstacle, and selected the elements
for his great enterprise. As a preliminary measure he caused his son to
be crowned King of Rome. This act alarmed the jealousy of Pope Honorious
III., who desired to be acquainted with the motive of it. The emperor
replied that his coronation oath required him to undertake a crusade,
and the fulfilment of it rendered it necessary to invest his son with
regal authority. However ungratifying this reasoning was to the pope, he
could not refute it, and as the emperor promised to deal severely with
the heretics, and to exclude them from offices of trust or profit, he
became greatly pacified. In maturing his measures for the restoration
of the Italian empire, the emperor procrastinated for twelve years the
fulfilment of his undertaking, a crusade; and though the pope frequently
reminded him of the solemnity of his obligation, yet his apologies
were so plausible that they seemed fully to justify the delay. The
inexplicable mystery of Frederic's conduct, however, excited the
apprehensions of Pope Gregory IX.--and to get rid of his presence in
Europe he peremptorily demanded that he should undertake the promised
crusade. With a show of obedience to the pope's injunction, he commenced
preparing for the enterprise, but upon such an extensive scale, and
so interruptedly and slowly that it damped the fire, consumed the
provisions, and thinned the ranks of the pilgrims. At length he set
sail with his fleet, but becoming indisposed after three days' voyage
returned home. The return of his formidable army alarmed the fears of
the pope, who appears to have equally dreaded the success of his arms
abroad and of his presence at home. Adopting the customary policy of
the popes in their emergency, he endeavored to embarrass the designs
of Frederic by pronouncing sentence of excommunication on him, and
suspending all religious services in his dominions. The justice of this
sentence being attempted to be supported by the failure of the emperor
to fulfil his coronation oath, Frederic endeavored to nullify it, if not
in the eyes of the pope, yet in those of the people, by undertaking a
vigorous crusade. But the infallible pope who had excommunicated him for
not becoming a crusader, now excommunicated him for becoming one. During
the emperor's absence the pope preached a crusade against him in his own
dominions, organized a conspiracy against him, and devastated his empire
with his own troops. That he might weaken the power and popularity of
the emperor abroad, he ordered the bishops and knights of the army of
the cross in Palestine to dispute his command and oppose his designs.
But the remarkable genius of Frederic, undaunted by difficulties, and
unimpressible by discouragement and reverses, made him victorious, as
well over the arms of the Turks as over the intrigues of the pope. He
entered Jerusalem in triumph; and, not finding a bishop who would incur
the papal anathemas by crowning him, he performed the ceremony himself.
The success of Frederic filled Christendom with joy, but the pope with
indignation. He declared every church into which he entered profaned;
interdicted the celebration of divine worship in Jerusalem; and such
was his influence with the chivalrous knighthood, that among its members
were found persons base enough to secretly inform the Sultan how he
might dispose of his victor, by assassination, in his customary visits
to the river Jordan. But the magnanimity of the Sultan rejected the
proposition with contempt, and communicated the matter to the emperor to
place him on his guard.

While Frederic exacted from the pope what justice and self respect
demanded, he was so far from being disposed to treat him with
unnecessary rigor that, when his vices and tyranny had excited his
subjects into a rebellion, he interposed in his behalf and restored
tranquillity, An act so generous in the emperor should have awakened in
the pope an equal degree of magnanimity, but so far was he incapable of
any sense of gratitude, that he instigated the emperors son to conspire
against him, and assured him of the assistance of the Lombards. This
conspiracy was detected, and defeated in its bud; and, the emperor
regarding his son more as the victim of sacerdotal craft than as a real
foe to his authority, pardoned his disloyalty. The sense of gratitude
naturally arising from this act of clemency, added to the weight of
filial affection, should have been sufficient to form a disposition
which would have subjected the son to the most affectionate
subordination to the father. But the dispensations and absolutions
with which the church pretends to nullify social and civil obligations,
unhappily interfered with the natural instincts of the son's mind, and
led him to add to the guilt of his treason, the ignominy of attempting
to assassinate his father. This atrocious act cancelling every
obligation of nature, would have justified the emperor in proceeding to
extremes; but his native magnanimity prevailed, and he sentenced his son
to perpetual banishment.

The success of the policy of Frederic comprehended a union of the
hostile elements of his southern territory, the subjugation of the
Germanic aristocracy, and of the Italian cities in alliance with the
pope. Preparatory to the execution of this policy he made some conquests
in Lombardy These successes excited the revenge of the pope, who
accordingly visited on his head another excommunication. But the Vatican
thunder was allowed to roll on, as amid its music the emperor inarched
on from victory to victory. At length, in the development of the policy
of Frederic, the time arrived for striking a decisive blow at the
heart of the public disorder. By a sudden movement he entered the papal
dominions. The pope trembled on his throne. He saw his monarchy at the
mercy of an emperor, whom he had anathematized, whose son he had taught
to rebel, whose subjects he had corrupted, and whose downfall he had
labored to effect. The consummation of the policy of Frederic was
in his grasp; but the magnificent prospect which skill and valor had
obtained, superstition blasted. Having some reverence for the office,
though none for the character of the pope, and conscious of the powerful
influence it wielded over the superstitious, he ventured to listen
to the papal monarch, who professed a willingness to concede all his
demands, but proposed that they should first be sanctioned by a council
of the bishops of the church. The emperor soon perceived, but too
late, that this specious proposition was but a popish device. The
preliminaries for holding the proposed council established the
fact, that the pope intended to have it chiefly composed of the most
inveterate enemies of the emperor; in fact none but such were invited to
participate in its proceedings. Frederic felt justified, therefore,
in forbidding the convention to assemble. As his prohibition was
disregarded, he intercepted a Genoese fleet of one hundred bishops, and
brought them captive to Naples. This manoeuvre broke up the council, and
perhaps broke the pope's heart, as he shortly afterwards died.

Cardinal Fiesco, a warm friend of the emperor, became Pope Innocent IV.;
but the dignity of pope making him regard the emperor as hostile to
his monarchial pretensions; converted his former friendship into bitter
annimosity. Returning to Lyons, he confirmed all the anathemas that had
been pronounced against Frederic, and summoned him to appear at the bar
of a grand council to be convened at that place. In the proceedings of
this council the most ridiculous and groundless charges were preferred
against Frederic, and though completely refuted by his deputies, yet as
the proceedure was merely the semblance of a judicial trial, to sanction
preconcerted malice and revenge by forms of legality, the council
did not hesitate to declare him guilty, any proof of innocence to the
contrary, It seems to have concentrated its ingenuity in devising new
and unheard of methods to give terrific importance to the ventilation
of its hate. An anathema was pronounced on the body and soul of the
emperor, and on all his interests, friends and allies. While pronouncing
these religious curses, the priests, like fiends administering at some
infernal ceremonies, held in their hands lighted torches, and upon its
conclusion suddenly extinguished them; and by the theatrical trick of
uttering discordant shrieks and howls, seemed in the darkness of the
cathedral to have converted the holy place into the lower regions,
peopled with the arch-fiend and his agents. Though these artistical
elaborations were not without some effect, yet the vigor of the
emperor's genius, the magnanimity which he constantly displayed, his
vast popularity, and the triumph of his arms--which continued to his
death--demonstrated to the intelligent that there was no real curse in
the papal anathemas.

Conrad IV., son of Frederic II., became emperor of Germany in 1250.
Innocent IV., whose policy it was to profess any friendship, and violate
any obligation that contributed to his interests, determined to complete
on the son the vengeance he had commenced on the father. Presumptuous
as vindictive he declared that inasmuch as Frederic II. had been
excommunicated, his son could not inherit the throne. On the ground
of this ridiculous pretext, he pronounced him dispossessed of all his
inheritance; laid on him an interdict; and persecuted him by all the
means which his power and influence afforded. But notwithstanding a
revengeful pope, whose malice through his machinery operated everywhere,
yet, he had more than his equal to contend with. The courage and heroism
of Conrad defeated the papal army, kept the pope's allies in check, and
was about to enter Lombardy with the fairest prospects of success when
his illegitimate brother, by administering poison to him, relieved the
pope of a formidable adversary.

Conradin, son of Conrad IV., the last of the noble house of
Hohenstaufen, was the heir to the throne, The pope refused to
acknowledge his right to succession, because his father had been
excommunicated. He declared also that Conradin had forfeited his right
of inheritance to the crown of Naples and Sicily, and undertook to
bestow it on Charles of Anjou. But Conradin entered Italy and defeated
the usurper; but while he was pursuing the flying enemy with too much
recklessness, he was captured by the vanquished. The world expected
that his youth and valor could not but win compassion even from the
iron-hearted pope, but the intense hatred of the papal monarch to the
noble house of which this intrepid lad was the last scion, would
not permit him to allow an opportunity to escape of extinguishing it
forever. Conradin was therefore, though but sixteen years old, publicly
executed as a criminal; but his heroism, and the circumstances under
which he met death, crowned his memory with immortal honor, while it
cast a deeper tinge of ignominy on the already blackened character of
the pope.

The usurpation of territory, and interference in political affairs,
which are so strongly characteristic of the papal policy, originate from
the constitutional principles of the Roman See. In conformity with them
Pope Boniface VIII. proclaimed himself King of Rome; and declared that
the Roman See was the source whence the Germanic electors derived their
rights. Albert I. being chosen emperor by the electors in 1298; was
summoned by the pope to appear before him and apologize for having
accepted the crown without consulting his pleasure, and to expiate the
guilt of his offence by the performance of such penance as should be
prescribed. To enforce compliance with this injunction the pope formed
an allegiance with the archbishop of Mentz, a powerful military bishop,
and a former friend of Albert. To resist the belligerent pope Albert
effected an alliance with Philip la Belle, of France. Making a sudden
diversion into the electorate of Mentz, Albert obliged the bishop to
form a league with him for five years. The pope then suggested peaceful
negotiation rather than disastrous war. It was finally agreed between
the two contracting parties that the pope should give to Albert the
possessions of his ally, and that Albert should acknowledge that the
western empire was a grant as a fief from the pope, that the electors
derived their right from the Roman See, and that he would defend the
papal interests with his arms. The pope then proceeded, by virtue of an
excommunication, to invalidate the title of Louis la Belle, of France,
to his kingdom, and officially to transfer it to Albert I.

During the reign of Henry VII., who became emperor of Germany in 1308,
the tyranny and ambition of the pope were held in decent check, and the
Papal See was unusually quiet and respectable. The emperor, whom the
pope hated, but whom he dared not anathematize, was finally removed
by poison administered in the sacramental wine, by Moltipulcian, a
Dominican monk. Soon as this event occurred the pope's vengeance, which
had been accumulating in fury for years, but which was too much overawed
to utter a murmur, now burst forth with the most impetuous and indecent
violence in anathemas on the soul, the corpse, the coffin, and the tomb
of the dead emperor; but it is not supposed that they done any damage,
except to the character and good sense of the Roman See.

Louis IV., of Bavaria, became emperor of Germany in 1330, To arrest the
encroachments of the Papal See on the rights of the sovereignty of the
empire, the diet of Rense framed a constitution, in 1338, which provided
that the choice of the electors of the union should be final in
its decision, and independent of the Pope of Rome. These patriotic
proceedings seemed to the pope to be interfering with his rights; and
John XXI. accordingly prohibited the performance of divine worship in
the empire, until the obnoxious constitution should be annulled. But
Louis soon repaired this calamity by the creation of Pope Nicholas V.,
who, having equal authority with Pope John XXI., nullified all his
acts. Pope Clement VII., who succeeded to the papal throne in 1342,
excommunicated Louis, and by his intrigues caused five electors
to declare in favor of Charles of Luxemburg. This violation of the
celebrated constitution of 1338 induced three electors to assemble at
Lahstein, and declare the choice of Charles null and void; and as Louis
had died, they elected Edward of England, but he declining, they elected
Frederic the Severe; he also declining, the crown was finally settled
on Gunter of Schwarzburg. But Gunter being removed by poison, the papal
policy triumphed in the coronation of Charles of Luxemburg.

Charles IV., in 1346, wishing to be crowned by the pope at Rome, visited
Italy to negotiate for that favor; Pope Innocent VI., always inclined
to make the vanity and ambition of his subjects administer to his
aggrandizement, signified a disposition to accommodate the emperor,
but on such disgraceful conditions that, by accepting them he subjected
himself to the scorn and derision of the world. This self-degradation
was much aggravated by the fact that many distinguished Romans,
oppressed by the papal administration, united in requesting Charles
to claim the city of Rome as a portion of his empire. Instead of
improving this opportunity to extend the limits of his government, he
renounced all rights, not only to the city of Rome, but to the States of
the Church, to Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica. He also consented
to impose a tax on the empire for the benefit of the Papal See, equal
to one-tenth of the ecclesiastical revenues; and further added to his
disgrace by taking an oath never to enter Italy without the pope's
sanction. For this base sycophancy he was assailed by princes and
people with a storm of indignation. To allay the fury of this tempest he
announced an intention of convening a council for the reformation of the
clergy, and for making liberal concessions to the popular demands. But
this attempt to calm the people aroused the indignation of the Papal
See. The pope exhorted the electors to depose him instantly. Assailed on
all sides, dangers thickening around him from all quarters, but dreading
less the indignation of the empire than the anathema of the Roman See,
he yielded to the dictation of the pope and confirmed the clergy in all
their privileges, sanctioned all their abuses, protected them in all
their possessions, and made them entirely independent of the secular

The papal power, at the period of Frederic II., seemed to tremble on
the verge of inevitable destruction; but by a profound and unscrupulous
policy, and a system of crafty intrigues, aided by a political machinery
whose various parts ramified every portion of the empire, and acted
in concert through all ages and dynasties, it had steadily carried its
advancements through the blood of millions and the ruins of thrones,
until, at the time of Charles, it had regained its supremacy in the
empire; and dictated treaties to the emperors, measures to the diets,
and laws to the people. A power that could at its option excite or quell
a popular outburst, create or destroy a dynasty, might be an object
of terror to people and princes, but never an object of reverence. The
dread it cast on the mind was always unpleasant, and in proportion
as its power became oppressive and disadvantageous, opposition and
resistance were inevitably excited. The love of independence, the native
individualism of the Germanic character, was always a mortal foe to
papal despotism. It might be cowered into silence, but it still grew
in vigor, became more impatient as the pope became more despotic, and
bolder as it became more conscious of its numerical strength. This
spirit, in 1411, when Sigismund became Emperor of Germany, displayed
an energy prophetic of stirring events and important consequences. The
spirit of Germanic individualism led distinguished men of the nation to
deny, with emphatic boldness, the pretensions of the pope; to denounce
the profligacy of the clergy; and to demand in the body and head of the
church a thorough reformation. Prominent among the apostles of religious
freedom, which rose into consequence at that time, was John Huss, and
his disciples. The success of these reformers excited and alarmed the
pope. Hating any semblance of a right to participate in his authority,
or to assume any approach to an equality with him, he was strongly
averse to the assembling of a deliberative council; but conscious that
his divine attributes and prerogatives were not adequate to the existing
emergency, he consented that the Council of Constance should be called,
on condition that it should adopt the most energetic means for the
extirpation of the heretics.. With the secret design of betraying the
amiable reformer, John Huss, he was invited to respond in person to
a summons of the council. To quiet his apprehensions of danger, the
emperor furnished him with a safe conduct, and the pope pledged his
honor to protect him from harm. Thus guarded by the honor of the state
and the church, he was, notwithstanding, perfidiously betrayed, and
condemned to be burnt alive. The perfidy of the infallible pope is
justified by the saints and authorities of the Catholic church, on the
ground that no pledge, assurance, or oath, can rightfully protect a
heretic from punishment. Sigis-mund attended the horrid ceremonies; and
being reminded by a by-stander that the course of the wind might bear an
offensive efluvia to the position he occupied, answered: "The odor of a
burning heretic can never be offensive to Sigismund."

The death of John Huss was terribly revenged. The stake became the
watchword of union. The hitherto mild and submissive reformers became
desperate revengers. Churches and convents were burnt; monks and priests
slaughtered without mercy. The insurgents met and defeated the imperial
forces. The strongest armies of the cross withered before their
ferocity. For fifteen years they devastated the Papal dominions, and
shook the government with the violence of their retribution. Seeing
it impossible to restrain their rage, Sigismund obliged the Council of
Basle to negotiate with them for the adjustment of their difficulties.
This politic measure so incensed Pope Eugenius IV., whose uncompromising
vengeance longed for the extermination of every opponent to papal
despotism, that he ordered his legates to dissolve the obnoxious
assembly. But the laity had advanced in liberality and knowledge far
beyond the possible attainment of a papal despot, and in defiance of
his maledictions and intrigues, continued their useful session, and
terminated, by peaceful concessions, the war with the Hussites.

The grand struggle between religious freedom and Catholic despotism
was visibly approaching when Charles V., King of Spain, in 1519 became
Emperor of Germany. His design was to conquer the world, and his policy
was to unite all parties in augmenting the national strength. To
secure the favor of the pope, and the co-operation of his extensive and
effective machinery, he declared himself the defender of the Catholic
faith. To conciliate the Protestants he convened a diet at Worms, at
which, under a plausible show of toleration he allowed Luther, in his
presence, to defend the principles of the reformation. But his ambiguous
policy becoming offensive to the Roman See, he issued an edict against
the Protestants. A Catholic from interest, he was more disposed to make
the pope auxiliary to the success of his designs than to be governed by
him. Hence, when Francis I. preferred claims to certain portions of the
Germanic empire, he leagued with the pope and accomplished the defeat
of the king; but he was equally disposed to defend his interests against
the pope. The papal monarch, always apprehensive of the political power
of friend or foe, seeing that his confederacy with Charles had vastly
augmented the latter's preponderating power, and placed the papal
interests at his disposal, formed against him a counter league with the
Italian States. This effort to retrieve the errors of his policy only
aggravated his misfortune. The forces of the Holy League were defeated
by the arms of Charles, Rome taken by storm, the city plundered, the
pope imprisoned, and four hundred thousand crowns of gold demanded for
his ransom. When Charles heard of the success of his arms, in evident
mockery he dressed himself in mourning for the pope, ordered masses
to be said in all the churches for his deliverance from prison, and in
alleviation of his misfortune reduced the ransom to 100,000 crowns, The
power of Charles overawing the papal throne, it prudently refrained
from venting in insulting anathemas the ebullitions of its wrath. Pope
Clement VII., after the peace of Cambray in 1592, crowned Charles as
King of Lombardy and Rome.

On this occasion the emperor dutifully kissed the feet of the papal
monarch. The cause of this affection and harmony was shortly afterwards
manifested in an intolerant edict against the Protestants. This
significant menace led the Protestant princes to form the Smalkalden
League for the protection of Protestantism. Two years afterwards a
holy league was formed by the Catholic princes for the protection of
Catholicism. After some abortive attempts at negotiation, the Protestant
league raised the standard of war. The emperor by strategetic
movements, and by creating jealousy and divisions among the Protestant
confederates, obtained important advantages over their arms, and finally
succeeded in dissolving the league. But Maurice of Saxony had secretly
formed another league, which was joined by Henry II., King of France.
While Charles was at Innspruck, attending the Council of Trent, Maurice
suddenly appeared at the head of an army, and the emperor barely escaped
amid the darkness of a stormy night from being captured. The council was
consequently dissolved, and the Protestants dictated the terms of peace
at Passau; which the emperor ratified at Augsburg. By the terms of this
treaty it was agreed that no one should be attacked on account of his
religious belief; that no one should be molested in the enjoyment of his
property or mode of worship; that religious disputes should be adjusted
by pacific means; that persons for religious reasons should be allowed
to change their residences; that bishops on becoming Protestants should
forfeit their office and salary; and that every Protestant should enjoy
his faith until a religious compromise should be established!

Charles, broken down in health and constitution, enfeebled in mind, and
conceiving that he was haunted by some invisible power which blasted all
his prospects, abdicated the throne and retired to a monastery, where
he passed the remainder of his life in making wooden clocks, and in
performing his funeral ceremonies.

Ferdinand II., King of Spain, succeeded to the crown of Germany in 1619.
He was by nature of a morose and revengeful disposition, and the
bigotry and prejudice which had been instilled into his mind by Catholic
preceptors made him an accomplished instrument in the hands of the
church, in executing its exterminating vengeance on the heretics. During
the course of his tutelage he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where an oath
was administered to him by the pope, that if he should ever become
emperor he would exterminate heresy in his dominions. When he ascended
the throne Germany was divided into two factions. The one was known as
the "Catholic League," and the other as the "Evangelical Union." The
Catholic League was headed by Maximilian, elector of Bavaria, and
comprised the bishops and princes attached to the house of Austria.

The Evangelical Union was headed by the Duke of Wittenberg, the elector
of Saxony and Brandenburg, and composed of Lutheran and Calvinistic
princes and knights. A number of the princes of Bavaria assembled at
Prague, and declaring that they would not submit to Maximilian, chose
for their king Frederic, elector of the Palatina, a member of the
Evangelical Union. This revolt benefited the Evangelical Union by a
powerful accession. A desperate and bloody struggle was imminent between
these two parties. Notwithstanding the Protestant influence in Bavaria,
Ferdinand succeeded in having himself elected king. After this event he
tore up in a violent rage the charter which Rudolph II. had granted the
Bohemians, because it allowed them to build churches and school-houses.
He then showed his remembrance of his popish oath by persecuting the
Protestants, banishing their preachers, and depopulating the kingdom
by an intolerance which caused emigrations of whole sections from his
dominions. The victory of his troops near Prague enabling him to
dictate a treaty which crushed the Protestant cause, and dissolved
the Evangelical Union, he proceeded to restore the ecclesiastical
institutions which had been abolished by the Protestants, to exclude
Calvinists from the benefits of the religious peace of Augsburg, and
to require Protestants living under Catholic princes to believe in
Catholicism. Besides these decrees, enforced by the military power, the
conquest of the Palatinate of Frederic, the bestowal of that dignity on
Maximilian, the emperor's favorite, giving the Catholics the ascendency
in the electoral college, the army of Tilly in Lower Saxony, where no
existing enemy made it excusable, depriving the Protestants of their
churches, committing wanton violence on the Lutherans, and compelling
thousands to abandon their homes, property and country, were such gross
violations of treaties, and such strong incentives to resistance, that
the Protestant princes were impelled to unite in a league with the
King of Denmark and the Duke of Holstein, determining to exhaust every
resource in the defence of religious liberty. After some successes the
confederated forces were defeated, and the Protestants lost all that
they had acquired since the peace of Augsburg. At this dark hour in
the fortunes of the league, Gustavus Adolphus, with an army of thirty
thousand veterans, espoused its cause. His heroism, strategetic skill,
and indomitable valor soon annihilated Tilly's army, reduced the
imperial allies to extreme distress, conquered Lower Saxony and Bavaria,
and delivered the Protestants from their perilous situation. Tilly
having died, Wallenstein assumed command. Having raised an immense and
formidable army, the new general was enabled to attack Adolphus with
such overwhelming force that he compelled him to retire from Bavaria. In
1642, at Lutzen, the two powerful armies came to a general and decisive
engagement; the genius of Adolphus crowned his arms with victory, but
his intrepidity cost him his life. Through a wise policy the Swedes
still continued a triumphant career, victoriously marching through
the empire with incredible rapidity, and finally, after the battle of
Prague, dictating the peace of Westphalia.

By the terms of the peace of Westphalia Calvinists acquired the same
rights with Lutherans; princes were bound not to persecute subjects on
account of religious differences; all acquisitions of Protestants since
the peace of Augsburg were confirmed; entire equality of sect,
liberty of conscience, and the exercise of all modes of religion were
guaranteed, and the independence of Switzerland and of the Netherlands

Pope Innocent X. strenuously protested against this peace, complaining
in bitter terms of the deep injury it inflicted on the church. Though
the consequences of the treaty have been of the most benignant nature
to Europe, still the Papal See has, through all periods maintained, with
unabated animosity, its original opposition to the invaluable treaty.

The papal intrigues, so prolific of disastrous wars, were no less
pernicious to Austria than they had been to other powers. Upon the death
of Duke Frederic, its ruler, Frederic II., of Germany, declared the
duchy a vacant fief of his empire, and appointed over it a governor.
Pope Innocent V. persuaded Margaret, the sister of the deceased duke,
and Gertrude, his neice, to claim the duchy as their inheritance. The
Margrave Hermann, by the aid of the pope and his machinery, was enabled
to command a strong party in support of the project. After a war of
thirty-six years the dispute was settled by the interference of the
emperor Rodolph, who gave it to his two sons, Albert and Ro-dolph.

On the death of Maria Theresa, Joseph, her son, succeeded to the throne
of Austria. Maria Theresa was a very devout and superstitious princess,
a circumstance which enabled the sacerdotal fraternity to gain and
betray her confidence. But in making her an object of their craft they
made her son their enemy. Their duplicity having excited in the mind of
Joseph a strong aversion to the intermeddling and intriguing profession,
he no sooner ascended the throne than he manifested a disposition to
adopt a policy more in accordance with the enlightenment of the age than
was agreeable to the pope and the clergy. The world with pleasure, but
the church with consternation, beheld him enlarging the liberty of the
press, tolerating the Protestants, treating the Jews with moderation,
annulling ecclesiastical sinecures, and abolishing such monasteries and
nunneries as were not useful as schools or hospitals. Uneasy at these
useful reforms, yet not daring to mutter his Vatican thunder, and
finding his machinery unable to stop their progress, Pope Pius IV.
sought a personal interview with the liberal minded emperor, to dissuade
him from the further prosecution of his beneficent intentions. But
notwithstanding the earnest remonstrances of the vicar of Christ, the
emperor still continued to reduce the number of the monasteries, and to
effect reforms in the churches, and in the various departments of the
government. This wise and sagacious policy, which relieved the people of
the oppression of spiritual despotism, and renewed the vigor of national
energy, was not appreciated by the masses through the ignorance and
superstition of the age. The emperor not only had to contend with
opposition from those for whose moral advancement he was laboring, but
also with the disguised hostility of the pope, and the subtle operation
of his treacherous machinery. But still, amid wars, seditions and
rebellions, he pursued his magnanimous policy; and if he did not effect
all the reforms in the church, and in his government, that he had
contemplated, it was more through the intrigues of the pope than through
any want of disposition, skill and energy on his part.

The various orders of knights, whose avocation it was to enforce
conformity to the demands of Catholicism by the vengeance of the sword,
was an important part of the papal machinery. All who yielded not to
this argument were threatened with extermination; all who did, became
the slaves of spiritual despotism. Under pretext of protecting Poland
from the ravages of Prussian heathen, the Teutonic Knights, in 1226,
won from Conrad of Masovia a small strip of land on the Vistula. For
fifty-three years they carried on a war against the Persian tribes,
and finally obliged them to embrace Catholicism. This war, suggested
by papal craft, continued by incredible barbarity, culminated in the
grossest perfidy. In their protection of Poland they inflicted deeper
injuries on her than the savages of Prussia had ever contemplated, or
in fact had the ability to inflict. They subjugated the Baltic seaboard,
from the Oder to the Gulf of Finland, and wrung from her her maritime
commerce, and her northern line of defence. Poland and Prussia having
both been plundered and oppressed by the knights, united in a bond of
union against their common enemy, and a ferocious war was inaugurated,
during which the knights lost a great portion of their territory, and
finally their power was broken. In the various vicissitudes of the
succeeding fifty years the knights became abolished in Prussia, and
their possessions converted into a hereditary duchy, under the male
line of Prince Albert, which, under Francis III. became the kingdom of

The papal intrigues with regard to the Netherlands, were fruitful of
sanguinary and deplorable consequences. Under the reign of Charles
V. one hundred thousand Protestants fell a sacrifice to the papal
intolerance. Philip, his son and successor, narrow in his views,
irritable in his temper, and implacable in his hate, transcended
even Charles in the inhumanity of his measures towards his Protestant
subjects. Cardinal Granvella having introduced into the Netherlands the
inquisition, for the extirpation of religious freedom, the Prince of
Orange, in conjunction with other distinguished personages, remonstrated
against the measure. This remonstrance was regarded by the government
as an act of treason. The haughtiness of the cardinal, and the severe
measures he introduced to intimidate the people, produced great disorder
and alarm. The nobles conspired to defend their rights; the Protestants
boldly celebrated their religious ceremonies, and the people fled
in crowds to England and Saxony. In spite of intolerant edicts and
excruciating torture, a bold spirit of resistance was excited in the
provinces. Philip recalled Cardinal Granvella, but appointed in his
place Alva, a more cruel and implacable tyrant. Proud, fierce and
imperious, this man knew of nothing but to command in a despotic tone,
and expect his subjects to tremble and obey. Sixty years of warfare
always successful, had familiarized him to deeds of blood, without
humbling him by the salutary lessons of misfortune. Death, the usual
penalty of disobedience to his commands, gave his mandate a terrific
importance. As soon as he had assumed the direction of the Netherland
provinces, he established a council of blood by means of, which he
condemned all whom he suspected of heresy, or whose fortunes excited a
prospect of increasing his own, The noblest of the nation fell under the
axe of his executioner; and as avarice had always been a prominent
trait of his character, he now illustrated the obduracy with which it is
capable of debasing humanity, by confiscating the property, not only of
the present but of the absent; not only of the living but of the dead.
Having cited the Prince of Orange to appear before his council, and that
prince having refused on the ground of his exemption by privilege, law
and usage, he declared him dispossessed of all property, and seizing
on his son, sent him to Spain as a hostage. The prince, heretofore a
liberal-minded Catholic, now declared himself a Protestant, and drew
his sword in favor of religious freedom. By a perseverance which no
difficulties could prostrate, a sagacity which no subterfuge could
deceive, a heroism which no danger could appall, and a magnanimity
which commanded the admiration of the world, he struggled through
discouragement, vexation and defeat until he had laid a solid foundation
for the freedom of the provinces, by reconstructing them in a judicious
confederacy, under the name of the United Provinces of the Netherlands,
and inducing them to renounce allegiance to Spain. Philip hence declared
the prince an outlaw, and offered a reward of two hundred and fifty
thousand dollars for either his apprehension or his assassination. In
1584 the noble prince was shot dead by Balthazar Gerard, who confessed
that he had been instigated to the deed by a Franciscan monk and a
Jesuist priest. But though the founder of the republic fell a victim to
Romish treachery, its defence was continued with insuperable skill and
valor. Army after army sent against the republic was annihilated by the
indomitable bravery of its troops, until its soil became the cemetery
of the military strength of Spain. Its tolerance gave it population; its
freedom, energy; its maritime contests, a knowledge of navigation; and
its enterprise, commerce trade and prosperity. After a war of thirty
years, replete with heroism and magnanimity, it wrung from Spain, in the
Westphalia treaty, a full recognition of independence.


     In Portugal, under the reign of Alphonso I--Sancho II--
     Dionysus--John II--Emanuel--John III--Sebastian--Philip II--
     Joseph I--Maria Francesca Isabella--John VI--Pedro VI--and
     Dona Maria.

In Spain, under the reign of Reccarred I--Charles V--Philip II--Philip
III--Charles II--Charles III. Charles IV.--and Ferdinand VII

Alphonso, in 1139, in the cause of the church and of national
independence, subjugated the Moors of Portugal. The victor was saluted
on the field by his army as king of the conquered dominion; the Cortes
Lamego invested him with regal authority; and Pope Alexander III.
acknowledged his legitimacy, the independence of the nation, and the
laws and constitution which were prescribed. By a provision of the
constitution, which probably sprung from the religious tolerance of the
Moorish regime, the king was prohibited under forfeiture of the crown,
from becoming tributary to any foreign power. But notwithstanding this
proud interdiction, Alphonso in the course of severe conflicts which
afterwards took place between him and the kings of Castile and Leon,
made his kingdom, in violation of his own constitution, a fief of Rome,
in order to secure the papal support.

In consequence of this concession to papal supremacy, Sancho II., in
1245, became involved in a dispute with the clergy; and upon appealing
to Pope Innocent IV., had the misfortune to lose his crown.

Alphonso III. succeeded to the regal dignity. Jealous of the rights
of sovereignty, and determined to transmit them unimpaired to his
successor, his reign was, in consequence, a perpetual contest with the
intrigues of the clergy. Inflexibly firm and resolute, he defeated their
artful attempts to extend their landed estates; to obtain exemption from
taxation; to acquire for their persons and possessions an independence
of secular jurisdiction; and to subject the temporal to the spiritual
authority by an insidious and gradual encroachment on the rights of the

Dionysus, who succeeded Alphonso III., opposed with prudence and
firmness the papal intrigues, which had disturbed the peace of the
kingdom from its foundation. In order to moderate the selfishness and
tyranny of the first and second estates, composed of the clergy
and nobility, he erected the cities into a third estate, of equal
legislative authority. By elevating the dignity of the commonality, and
taking advantage of the commercial resources which the geography of
the country afforded, he awakened in the nation a spirit of indomitable
enterprise which laid the foundation of its subsequent greatness. This
liberal and enlightened policy cost him the friendship of the papal
court, but he disarmed its malice by an admirable course of prudence and

John II. became King of Portugal in 1450. During his administration
Ferdinand and Isabella, of Spain, governed by the spirit of Catholic
intolerance, instituted a rigorous prosecution against the Jews, by
which thousands of them were deprived of their fortunes, and driven
into exile. The Jews had arisen in Spain into considerable political
influence; they had become farmers of the revenue; and their
characteristic avarice had rendered them obnoxious to the people.
Instead of rectifying the evil by adequate measures, the crown and
people, influenced by the church, were made instrumental in gratifying
its hatred against the Hebrew race, by a persecution as unjust as it was
impolitic. John II., with more liberal views of government, improved
the injudicious measures of Spain, to the advantage of his own kingdom.
Discarding the intolerance of his religion, he invited the persecuted
Jews to his dominion; and by affording them a peaceful asylum, added
largely to the wealth, population, prosperity and importance of the

Emanuel, son of John II., succeeded to the throne of Portugal in 1495.
He married Elenora, sister of Charles V., of Germany. He had imbibed the
beneficent toleration of his sire, which had been so advantageous to the
nation, but which was too antagonistical to the spirit of Catholicism,
to command its support. The craft of priestly policy might conceal its
hostility to tolerance from public perception, but machinations for its
subversion would be no less incessantly at work. In the pious system of
sacerdotal intrigue the amiable qualities of human nature are the
most available, as they are the most insidious, and least liable to
be suspected. Devoid of the finer sentiments of honor, the priests,
in their capacity of spiritual advisers, scruple not to abuse the
privileges accorded them, in making the influence which a female may
exercise over a husband, lover or parent, subservient to their own
purposes. This species of ecclesiastical intrigue is illustrated in the
conduct of Queen Elenora. Having acquired a controlling ascendancy over
the king's mind, she was induced by her spiritual advisers to
extort from him a promise that he would require the Jews to embrace
Christianity under pain of being reduced to slavery for life. By
whatever considerations, Emanuel was led to promulgate a decree so
injurious to the national welfare, and so inconsistent with the tolerant
spirit he had manifested, yet he had the humanity or sagacity to
procrastinate its execution for twenty years, and thus to ameliorate the
horrors with which it was fraught; and to place the development of the
catastrophe beyond the period of his administration.

John III., son of Emanuel, was crowned King of Portugal in 1521. A
pliant tool in the hand of papal intrigue, he gave a fatal blow to the
tolerance and prosperity of his kingdom. The implacable hatred of the
church towards the Jews, hoarded for so many years, now relieved of all
restraint, exhibited its fiendish barbarism in deeds of exterminating
cruelty. To escape the persecution to which they were exposed, the Jews
practised the externals of Catholicism, while they secretly observed
their ancient rites. The vigilance of the papal machinery, like a
monster with a thousand eyes, penetrating all secrets, soon detected
this evasion. In order to discover the persons who thus consulted
self-preservation and the dictates of consciences, the inquisition was
introduced, and a crusade of blood and devastation preached against the
whole Hebrew race. Their property was confiscated; their children were
torn from them and placed under Catholic control; and they themselves
reduced to slavery, or subjected to the tortures of the inquisition.

While John III., during his reign, was the wretched instrument of
Catholicism for the accomplishment of its atrocious designs, his
grandson, Sebastian, who in 1557, at the age of three years succeeded
to the throne, was educated, by the express injunction of his father's
will, by the Jesuists, and consequently was moulded to the same
purposes, and reduced to the same flexible subserviency. Inclined to
extravagance by temper and disposition, and educated by bigotry and
craft, his ambition became singularly whimsical; his devotion to the
pope absolute; and his thirst indomitable and unquenchable to engage
in some enterprise in which he might shed the blood of infidels and
heretics. When he arrived at majority, in order to express his devotion
to the pope, he assumed the title of "Most Obedient King." At the age of
twenty years his restless fanaticism led him to undertake an expedition
against the unoffending infidels of Tangiers; and suddenly falling
on the astonished inhabitants, gained an easy victory over them. The
success of his forces against these defenceless mountaineers led him to
imagine that his arms were invincible. Muley Mohammed having conspired
against his uncle Muley Moloch, the governor of Morocco, Sebastian
conceived that by aiding the conspirators with his personal valor and
military forces, he might acquire some distinction for his name, and
some advantages for the church. The dictates of prudence and sound
policy, the protestations of his ablest counsellors, and the munificent
offer of Muley Moloch to purchase his neutrality by the cession of five
fortified places on the coast of Africa, were feeble remonstrances to
a mind like that of Sebastian's, in which fanaticism had supplanted
principle, and despotism humanity. To popularize the hazardous
undertaking, the papal machinery began to work industriously in its
favor. Collecting an army of twenty-one thousand three hundred men,
comprised of Portuguese, Germans, Spaniards, Frenchmen and Italians, and
a fleet of one hundred vessels, he sailed for Africa, and landed
with safety at the port of Alzira. Although the number and skilful
disposition of the Moorish troops left little doubt of their triumph;
although Sebastian's provisions were nearly exhausted; although Muley
Moloch, more concerned for the safety of the misguided fanatic than
from any apprehension of the success of his arms, again attempted to
negotiate a peace; although some of the Portuguese commanders advised
a retreat, and all of those of the conspirators a retreat to the coast,
yet so confident was Sebastian of the interposition of divine providence
in aiding him to butcher the infidels, that he even refused to defer the
engagement until the afternoon, in order that he might have the
darkness of the night to cover a retreat, should such a measure become
inevitable. Sebastian fought with distinguished bravery, yet his
desperate fanaticism was equalled, if not surpassed, by the heroic
courage of those who had been tortured, outraged, and exiled by his
intolerance. The martial semicircle of the Moors enclosed his forces in
a volume of destructive flame, and their disciplined valor and skilful
manoeuvres completely annihilated them. The bodies of the vanquished
that strewed the battlefield were, in general, too horribly disfigured
with wounds to admit of their persons being identified; and Sebastian's
corpse being among the number, his actual death became doubtful. This
circumstance, twenty years afterwards furnished the papal machinery
with a convenient opportunity for manufacturing a bogus Sebastian. But
although Joseph Taxera, a Dominican monk, traversed Europe to enlist the
imperial courts in its favor, yet the numerous spurious Sebastians that
had sprung up, and the eagerness of several crowned heads to seize the
kingdom, defeated the object of his mission. The controversy was finally
settled by the battle of Alancatura, which, crowning with victory the
arms of Philip II., of Spain, one of the claimants, subjugated Portugal
to the dominion of Spain.

The religious frenzy and whimsical ambition of Sebastian, the result of
his Catholic education, cost Portugal the flower of her nobility, the
strength of her army, and her national independence; overloaded her with
debt, and degraded her under the dominion of a government distracted
by unsuccessful wars, and governed by a rapacious and unprincipled
administration. When John III., in 1540, introduced the Jesuists into
his kingdom, the doom of Portugal was sealed. From that period, under
the intolerant measures of his administration, its power began rapidly
to decline, until its disastrous connection with Spain secured its
downfall. Guinea, Brazil, the Molluccas, and all the fairest dominions
of Portugal were wrung from her grasp. Spain oppressed her with
rapacious tyranny; England and the Jesuists monopolized her trade,
and the calamities which had visited her in such frightful succession
exhausted her resources.

The capacity of the nation for greatness, notwithstanding the
degradation into which she had sunk, still animated the patriotic
Portuguese with the hopes of a national redemption. In 1640 a powerful
conspiracy was formed against the Spanish regime, and in 1750 the
political independence of Portugal was achieved, and Joseph I. elevated
to the throne. Duke Pombal, an able statesman, and the prime minister of
the government, regarding the Jesuists as the origin of the weakness
and disgraces of the government, and believing that their secrecy,
dissimulation and treachery, absolved him from any obligation he might
assume with regard to them, inconsistent with the public good, became a
member of their order that he might acquire a correct knowledge of their
principles and mode of operation, and be qualified to counteract their
pernicious machinations. With profound dissimulation, he so completely
deceived them that they admitted him to an intimate knowledge of all
their secrets, plans and designs. After having fully obtained his object
he made a public exposition of their secrets. He disclosed the dangerous
principles of their constitution, their political objects, the oaths
by which they were bound, the baseness of their intrigues, their false
professions, their horrible deeds, and their disgraceful rapacity and
profligacy. By the exposure which he was enabled to make he succeeded
in having them removed from the important position of confessors to the
king, and instructors of youth in colleges. He also induced Joseph to
expel them from the missions of Paraguay; to abridge the power of the
bishops; and to prohibit the celebration of the "auto-da-fe" of the
inquisition. The Jesuists not being able successfully to arrest the
progress of reform determined to assassinate the king; but failing in
this attempt, the whole order fell under the ban of the kingdom, and
were officially declared a political organization under the mask of
religion, and its members expelled from the kingdom as enemies of
the public peace, and traitors to the government. Pope Clement XIII.,
enraged at this summary destruction of the most efficient department
of his machinery, endeavored to intimidate the reformers by threats of
excommunication, and commissioned a legate to adopt any means to arrest
proceedings against the Jesuists. But his legate was promptly escorted
out of the kingdom; and as the conduct of the holy father in protecting
and defending an organization of traitors and assassins, implicated him
in the guilt of an accessory, all connection with the See of Rome
was declared dissolved until the imputation should be removed by the
abolishment of the Jesuistical order. The vanity of Pope Clement
could not permit him to suffer such a mortification, and the decree of
dissolution was rigorously enforced; but his successor, at the hazard
of disproving the papal infallibility, complying with the demands of
Portugal, amicable relations were re-established.

On the death of Joseph I., in 1777, Maria Francesca Isabella, his eldest
daughter, succeeded to the royal dignity. The superstitious temperament
of this queen, and her natural infirmity, which terminated in confirmed
mental alienation, disqualified her for the administration of
the governmental powers on sound principles of public policy, and
surrendered her to the selfish control of a corrupt priesthood and
ambitious nobility. By the intrigues of these two classes, which seldom
scruple to sacrifice the popular interest to their personal advantage,
Pombal was deprived of his useful political influence, most of his
regulations were abolished, and Portugal, from the dawn of a magnificent
future, sunk into the obscurity and lethargy of her former condition.

In 1817 John VI., who had been regent during the imbecility of the
queen, from 1795 to her death, ascended the throne. The spirit of French
republicanism exerted a liberalizing influence over Europe generally,
and had apparently a similar effect on the pope and his machinery.

Those who did not understand the profoundity of sacerdotal craft might
have been stupefied with astonishment to see a pope, while professing
to be infallible, discarding principles and policies which had
been approved by the practice, and defended by the anathemas of his
predecessors. He not only sanctioned the prohibition of Portugal
forbidding Jesuists from entering the kingdom, and consented to the
abolition of the inquisition, but even requested that all persecution
against the Jews should cease, and that they should be admitted to
greater rights and privileges. The popular current had set in too
strongly in favor of change in the constitution and administration of
the government for papal sagacity to oppose, and unobstructed by
the sacerdotal machinery, it became daily augmented in volume and
impetuosity. The liberal feeling of the nation, allowed spontaneously to
flow, culminated in 1820 in establishing, without violence or bloodshed,
a provisional government and a new cortes. Tolerance on the lips of a
Catholic priest is treason to Rome; and, though this circumstance might
have cautioned prudence against investing any of them with power, yet
as they had warmly espoused the liberal cause, they were elected by the
people as members to the cortes, with the exception of a few lawyers
and governmental officers. At the assemblage of the cortes, under the
presidency of the archbishop of Braga, the revolutionary measures were
sanctioned, the inquisition forever interdicted, and a constitution
framed which secured freedom of person and property, the liberty of
the press, and legal equality. The king approved the provisions of
this constitution, and swore to support it. But under this prosperous
appearance of republican progress, the demon of religious intolerance
was secretly at work; availing itself of every means to arrest the
popular current. The portentous mutterings of an approaching storm were
frequently heard; and it was not, therefore, a matter of surprise to
the friends of freedom, that in 1832, a regency was established at
Valladolid, under the bishop of Lisbon, with the avowed object of
subverting the constitution, and inviting the people to rally under the
standard of monarchy; nor that this regency was supported by the queen,
Don Miguel, the clergy and the nobility. The machinations of the papal
machinery had so successfully extinguished the popular enthusiasm which
had won such important concessions to natural right, that no sooner was
the standard of royalty raised, than an enormous reduction took place in
the ranks of the liberal party. So many priests, noblemen, soldiers and
people espoused the royal cause, that John VI. found no difficulty in
declaring the constitution of 1822, which he had sworn to support, null
and void, and to protect his perjury and his treason to the freedom
of the people, by disarming the military and the national guards. The
absolutists then proceeded to annul all the concessions that had been
made, in accommodation to the popular feeling; they restored the
church confiscated property, established a censorship over the press,
imprisoned or banished the liberal members of the cortes, and organized
a junta for the purpose of framing a monarchial constitution. But
Don Migual, aspiring to become absolute king, could not submit to
the restriction of a constitution; and, being commander-in-chief, and
exercising the governmental powers, excited an insurrection against
the Lisbon cortes, and arbitrarily proceeded to banish all liberals,
constitutionalists, freemasons, and members of other secret societies.
That he might successfully remove every obstacle that imperiled his
ultimate designs, he forbade all appeals to the king. But the acts
which his ambition dictated were too reprehensible not to acquire for his
administration a dangerous and prejudicial notoriety. In spite of all
precaution the rumor of his tyranny penetrated the royal palace, and Don
Miguel was summoned into the presence of the king to explain the reasons
for his arbitrary conduct. Candidly acknowledging or artfully assuming
that he had been the innocent victim of craft and misrepresentation, he
succeeded in obtaining the king's pardon.

In 1826 John VI. died, and Isabella becoming regent, administered the
government until Pedro IV. of Brazil, the brother of the deceased king,
could make it convenient to visit Portugal, and assume the reigns
of government. After having done so he established a constitution,
providing two legislative chambers, and then abdicated in favor of his
eldest daughter, Dona Maria da Gloria. Don Miguel, his brother, the
chamberlains, and the magistrates swore to support the constitution. But
the first, in violation of his oath of allegiance, and of his fraternal
obligations, entered into a conspiracy for its overthrow. With this
object in view he organized an apostolic party, and abusing the power
and confidence with which he was honored, secretly filled the army,
navy, and civil offices with his adherents. Having matured his plans
he caused an insurrection to break out against the queen, in order to
enable him to seize the royal authority under pretense of restoring
public tranquillity. England, however, interfering, the revolution was
checked, and the project of usurpation frustrated. But the treasonable
plot was skilfully and comprehensively laid, and the zealous support
which it derived from the papal machinery soon rendered it popular with
the masses. As if enamored of slavery and despotism, the people began to
crowd into the ranks of the apostolic party, to second its declaration
in favor of Don Miguel as king, to unite in its shouts of "Long live the
absolute king," "Down with the constitutions," and to denounce, abuse
and assault those who refused to echo its suicidal acclamations. A few
military garrisons which still withstood the popular frenzy, and adhered
to the cause of constitutional government, raised the standard of
revolt; and being joined by other troops, an army was organized which
marched against Lisbon. It was met by the apostolic army, which greatly
outnumbered it; and being defeated, the liberal junta was dissolved and
Don Miguel proclaimed absolute king. In 1834 Don Miguel was defeated by
Don Pedro IV., and the constitution of 1826 was re-established by the


We will conclude our history of Papal Political Intrigues, by a cursory
glance at a few of its instances with regard to the government of Spain.

Catholicism was introduced into Spain in 586, under the reign of
Reccared I.; and from that period the governmental affairs were
controlled by the political intrigues of the clergy, until 711, when the
kingdom became a province of the Caliph of Bagdad.

The Moorish government adopted a more liberal policy than was consistent
with the spirit of Catholicism. It tolerated the free exercise of
all religions. It permitted the subjugated to retain their laws and
magistrates. Agriculture, commerce, arts and science flourished under
its auspices. It established libraries and universities; and, from
the hand of its civilization Europe has received the knowledge of
arithmetical characters, of gunpowder, and of the art of manufacturing
rags into paper. But the Infidels who conferred these advantages could
not conciliate the proud spirit of the Spaniard to subjugation under
foreign rule, nor the pope to the loss of revenues derivable from an
opulent kingdom. A national struggle for indivisibility of empire, and
primogenitureship in succession was consequently inaugurated; and a
succession of conquests, from 1220 to 1491, ultimated in the reduction
of the Moors under Castellian supremacy. With the achievement of
nationality, and the discovery of South America, Spain began to rank
with the first powers of Europe. But her decline was as rapid as her
elevation. Besides the conflicting laws and customs which prevented
national unity, and the political tyranny which oppressed the masses,
a rigorous persecution was inaugurated against the Moors and Jews,
compelling such as refused to be baptized to leave the kingdom.

In 1520 Charles V. became king of Spain, and subsequently, also Emperor
of Germany. After suppressing an insurrection of his Spanish subjects,
who demanded a liberal constitution, and annihilating the last vestige
of civil liberty by separating the deliberative estates, he established
over the kingdom a military, religious, and political despotism.
So oppressive was his administration, and so reckless were his
expenditures, that although Mexico, Peru, and Chili poured a continual
stream of wealth into the public treasury, yet excessive taxes had to
be imposed, and enormous loans negotiated to satisfy the demands of the
rapacious monarch.

In 1555 Philip II. ascended the throne of Spain. The Catholic education
of this prince fitted him better for a cloister than a throne. His
rapacity empoverished the nation, and his religious intolerance
perpetually convulsed it with sedition and war. His devoutest wish was
to extirpate heretics, and his most pleasing sight was an auto-da-fe,
in which he could behold his subjects expiring in the flames. Like
Sigismund, the smell of burning heretics was never offensive to his
nostrils. His inhuman and impolitic course having led his minister to
intimate that he was depopulating his kingdom by his frequent massacres,
he replied: "Better be without subjects than to reign over heretics."
As cowardly as he was blood-thirsty, it was his custom when his army was
engaged in battle, to retire to a safe retreat and pray for its success;
and whenever a victory was achieved to assume the head of the command,
as if the triumph was the result of his valor and military skill.

Although his Catholicism had transformed him into merely mechanical part
of the papal machinery, without feeling or reason, yet when his truce
with France was broken by the interference of Pope Paul IV., and his
right to the kingdom of Naples was declared forfeited, he awoke from his
lethargic slumbers, and commissioned the bloody Alva to proceed with an
army to Rome and chastise the holy father for his insulting political
intrigues. The pope alarmed, and, perhaps surprised at the belligerent
attitude of a king once so remarkably obedient, thought it better to
consult prudence than the divine prerogatives of his office, and to
avert the impending chastisement by subscribing to articles of peace.

In 1169 Philip III. became invested with the royal dignity. By nature
a tyrant, by temper a bigot, without any administrative capacity, and
educated in superstition and intolerance, he seems to have been born for
the the disgrace and destruction of the throne he inherited. In the
most brilliant period of Spanish history her religious despotism was
prophetic of her premature decay, and each succeeding reign verifying
the prophecy, she now tottered on the verge of ruin. Favorites were
allowed to waste the national revenues, England and Holland destroyed
the Spanish commerce, frequent insurrections destroyed the public peace;
eight hundred thousand Jews, and two million Moors were, during this and
the preceding administration driven from the country; and to complete
the national degradation Spain had to submit to the supremacy of

In 1665 Charles II. succeeded to the regal authority. At his death,
which occurred in 1700, he made Philip of Anjou, grandson of his sister,
consort of Louis XIV., the sole heir of his dominion, in order to
prevent the division of the empire, which had been resolved upon by
France, England and Holland. This will led to the war of the Spanish
succession, notwithstanding which the Bourbon, Philip V., maintained
himself on the Spanish throne.

In 1759 Charles III. succeeded to the throne of the Spanish monarchy.
The decaying embers of liberalism which had began to scintillate amid
the gloom of despotism, now shone forth with renewed brilliancy. Genius
and intelligence, which alone are capable of grappling with the astute
principles of government, and of developing the latent greatness of
a people, were fortunately exhibited in the favorite publicists and
statesmen of the monarch. Profound and elevated views of political
economy began to characterize the administration; and the true
principles of commerce, the national importance of agriculture, arts
and manufacture, and the best means for their development, became
more generally understood by the government and the people. With
Count Florida Blanca, a man of extraordinary ability and activity, as
ambassador at Rome, holding the pope in check; with Aranda, a man of
penetrating genius, occupying the most influential position of the
state; with Olavides enjoying the confidence of the monarch, and
elaborating laws for public improvement; and with Campomanes, a scholar
of varied and profound erudition, as fiscal giant of the royal council
of Castile, defending the enlightened policy of the government against
the attacks of bishops; equalizing taxation; and reducing the number
of mendicants, the nation could not but increase in splendor and
prosperity, notwithstanding it had became involved in a formidable war
which raged between France and England. By the co-operation of these
patriotic statesmen, whose lofty spirit scowled on despotism and
religious bigotry, a pragmatic sanction was obtained from the government
which restricted the inquisition, banished the Jesuists from the Spanish
dominions, and confiscated their property.

But Rome and her priests could not forgive these benefactors of the
nation, although their liberal policy had improved every department
of government, and had added, amid the disasters of war, wealth to
the treasury, and a million men to the population. Florida Blanca was
disgraced, imprisoned, and finally banished to his estates. Campomanes
was removed from office, and disgraced. Aranda, who so greatly
contributed to public security, good order, and the abolition of abuses,
after passing through several trying vicissitudes, was banished to
Arragon. And Olavides, in the midst of his beneficent and patriotic
labors was arrested for heresy, and imprisoned in a monastic dungeon.

For the better protection, perhaps, of the monarchy from aggressions
from without, and from insubordination from within, the pope, at the
request of Charles III., declared the Spanish monarchy to be under
the supervision of the Immaculate Conception. St. James, the former
protecting genius of Spain, was formally deposed from office, and the
Virgin Mary duly invested with his authority and jurisdiction. The truth
of the Immaculate Conception was demonstrated beyond prudent dispute by
the oaths of the emperor and the estates; and similar oaths were made
the indispensable condition of all who should henceforth receive a
university degree, or become a member of any corporation or association.
As reverence for the clergy had become the substance of the Catholic
religion, so now invocations to the Virgin Mary became the principal act
of devotion.

In 1788 Charles IV. was invested with the imperial dignity. In 1808 the
troops of Bonaparte having entered his dominions, he welcomed them as
allies, and shortly afterwards resigned the crown in favor of his son,
Ferdinand VII. A month had not elapsed before he secretly revoked his
resignation, and finally ceded his right to the crown to Napoleon,
who placed Joseph Bonaparte on the throne. Although the ministers
of Ferdinand VII., and the greater part of the educated classes of
Spaniards, acknowledged without hesitation the authority of Joseph, yet
the monks and priests, whose principles and interests are identified
with despotism, in conjunction with the absolutists, and supported by
England, found sufficient available material in the change of dynasty,
in the arrogance of the French, and in the national hostility to foreign
domination, to excite a general insurrection against the French regime,
and in favor of Ferdinand VII. as king. A junta was established at
Seville which proclaimed war against France, and announced an alliance
between England and Spain. A desperate struggle was now inaugurated,
which, through six bloody campaigns, raged from 1808 to 1814; during
which every important city was successively taken and lost, and every
province was desolated and drenched in blood. Armies after armies, on
both sides, were created and destroyed with melancholy rapidity. The
papal machinery held the people in such absolute control that, though
the French gained victory after victory, abolishing as they triumphed
the feudal privileges, the inquisition, the monkish order, and
endeavored by the most liberal concessions to conciliate the popular
prejudices, yet they retained no place which they did not garrison.
Their ranks were constantly thinned by the secret dagger, their
communications cut off by guerillas, and their wounded murdered in cold
blood. Insurgent bands everywhere carried on the bloodiest struggles,
and women took a fiendish delight in torturing and assassinating the
captives of war. A length the dreadful tragedy was closed, by the
victory of the English at Toulouse.

Peace being restored to the nation the cortes assembled, and shortly
afterwards passed a resolution, declaring that before Ferdinand should
be acknowledged as king, he should be required to swear to support the
constitution which had been drawn up by the cortes of 1812, and which
had been acknowledged by the allies of Spain. When interrogated as to
his disposition of complying with the demands of the cortes, he replied
in a tone of insolent indifference: "I have not thought about it." To
fortify the absolute power he intended to usurp he professed to abhor
despotism, and solemnly pledged his honor to grant the people a new
constitution, founded on liberal principles, and which would afford
ample protection to the rights of person and property, and to the
freedom of the press. But the motives which induced him to make these
promises did not urge him to fulfil them. While he nullified the old
constitution, he did not restrict his authority by a new one; but in the
exercise of absolute power arrested the officers who served under Joseph
Bonaparte, and banished them with their wives and children; abolished
freemasonry; restored the Jesuists; re-established the inquisition;
put liberals to the rack; executed all who opposed the domineering
pretensions of the priests; imprisoned those who ventured to remonstrate
against his measures; incarcerated in monastic dungeons the members of
the cortes; and domineered with absolute despotism over the lives
and fortunes of his subjects. These severe proceedings, intended to
intimidate insurgents, produced disloyalty, confusion and anarchy. The
army became dissatisfied; the people insubordinate; the country infested
with plundering and murdering guerillas; and, encouraged by this
turbulent state of affairs, four battalions, in 1819, under Riago,
declared for the constitution of 1812. The progress of this revolution
was strenuously opposed by the allied forces of the monks, the priests,
and the absolutists. The bishop of Cienfuegos defeated it at Cadiz. But
the people inhaling the patriotic enthusiasm, arose in masses in its
favor, and even the apostolics deserted their commanders. Ferdinand
deprived of troops, and almost of adherents, found himself obliged to
submit to the demands of the people. A provisional junta was established
to conduct-the public affairs, before which Ferdinand appeared and swore
to support the constitution of 1812. The inquisition was abolished. The
cortes assembled, and in a session of four months, endeavored by the
means of moderate measures to conciliate the prejudices and interests of
contending factions, and to restore harmony and vigor to the nation. The
clergy and absolutists, whom no concession could satisfy, except that of
unrestricted monarchy, organized a conspiracy for the overthrow of
the constitution; and as the cortes had in their reformatory measures
abolished some convents, and banished all non-juring priests, they
appealed to the religious frenzy of the people, and succeeded in
creating considerable opposition to the constitutions. In the interest
of this counter revolution an apostolic junta was established on
the frontiers of Portugal, for the avowed design of destroying the
privileges of the crown and the clergy. Numerous bands of armed monks
and peasants appeared in the different provinces; and their bold
assassinations and barbarous acts produced such universal consternation,
that the cortes declared the whole country in a state of siege. It was
now evident that the priests and monks who had stimulated the peasants
to insurrection had been instigated by the French government. But the
cortes met the conspirators with skilful and vigorous measures, and
having vanquished them in every engagement, succeeded finally in
effecting the disbandment of their forces.

In 1822 another attempt was made to subvert the constitution. At Soi
d'Urgel, on the confines of France, the absolutists established a
regency under the Marquis Mataflounds. France was the instigator of this
regency, and supported it with her influence and money. The army of the
absolutists, composed of apostolic soldiers, and soldiers of the faith,
were met by the united strength of the nation, and overwhelmed with
defeat. The regency fled to France. But this evidence of the capability
and determination of Spain to maintain a constitutional government,
awakened into opposition every element of despotism, not only within her
borders, but within all Europe. The pope refused to receive the Spanish
ambassadors. The nuncio left Madrid; France, Austria, and Prussia
demanded of the cortes that they should restore to Ferdinand full
sovereign powers, and England advised a compliance with the demand. The
Duke Angouleme, the commander of the French forces, established a
junta which formed a provisional government on absolute principles, and
declared the acts of the cortes null and void. France raised an army of
the soldiers of the faith, who were received by the Spanish clergy
with acclamations of joy, and termed by them "Good Christians."
The peasantry, controlled by the priests, espoused the cause of the
absolutists, but the army, the educated classes, and the
people residing in cities generally adhered to the party of the

The dictatorial interference of foreign powers in the internal affairs
of a sovereign nation, and their attempts to defeat a governmental
reform which they had sanctioned, and which, to achieve had cost the
nation so much treasure, and so many valuable lives, fired the native
pride and heroism of the Spanish character, and united the different
factions of the constitutionalists in a solid body in favor of their
country and its liberty. Though few in number, without allies, and
without pecuniary resources, yet they were full of energy and heroic
courage. The cortes repelled with patriotic indignation the insolent
interposition of foreign powers, and prepared for the doubtful contest
with consummate skill. As the church had been the chief cause of the
national calamity, they appropriated its surplus plate to the necessity
of the public treasury. The soldiers of the faith, and their guerilla
bands, exclusively requiring the attention of the national guards and
of the soldiers of the line, the cortes found themselves without
an efficient army to oppose the march of the French troops, and the
apostolic forces. This serious disadvantage enabled the absolutists to
march oh from victory to victory; and though some places made a good
defence, and others a stubborn and desperate resistance, yet others
submitted with scarcely a struggle. The gloom which now overshadowed
the prospects of the constitutionalists, was ominously deepened by the
defection of some of their generals. But the undaunted firmness of
the remaining leaders, and the unequalled boldness and skill which
characterized their manoeuvres, desperately disputed inch by inch the
progress of the monarchists, until the fall of Valencia terminated
the eventful struggle, so honorable to the constitutionalists, so
disgraceful to Europe, and so full of admonition to freemen. The bloody
contests in which the liberals had been engaged greatly depleted their
ranks, and now dungeons, exile, and the secret dagger nearly completed
their annihilation. Under these depressing circumstances, the cortes
invested Ferdinand with absolute power. The apostolics, the soldiers
of the faith, the clergy and the uneducated classes, hailed him with
acclamations of "Long live the absolute king;" "Long live religion;"
"Death to the nation;" "Death to the negroes." Ferdinand then declared
null and void all the acts of the constitutional government, and all the
public approvals by which he had sanctioned them. An attempt was made
to introduce the inquisition, but the liberals, supported by France, and
even approved by the pope, successfully resisted the obnoxious measure.
In 1832, the infirmities of Ferdinand having rendered him the dupe of
designing favorites, he created Christina, the queen, regent for the
infanta Isabella, his daughter. In 1837 the regent was obliged, by an
insurrection, to proclaim the constitution of 1812. In 1843, Isabella
having attained her majority, was declared queen. The constitution,
revised and deprived of its democratic provisions, was substituted for
that of 1837. After the adoption of this constitution the municipal
privileges were abridged, the sale of the sequestered church property
suspended, and extraordinary provisions devised for the support of the


     Papal Intrigues--Catholic Persecution--Protestant
     Persecution--Catholics in the Revolutionary War--In the late
     Rebellion--Catholic Enmity to Civil and Religious Liberty--
     An Alliance formed for the Subversion of the American
     Republic--The Duke of Richmond's Letter--Catholic
     Immigration--Progress of Catholicism--Its Consequences--The
     Republic in Imminent Danger--Union Only Means of Salvation--

That the papal pretensions have been a fruitful source of the seditions
and wars which, like successive tornadoes, have swept in fearful
rapidity over Christendom, the records of history furnish the most
unquestionable evidence; yet still no one will venture the assertion
that popish machinations have been the sole cause of political discords.
Treason and popular disaffection have revolutionized and annihilated
government after government long before the throne of St. Peter was
established; yet since that unfortunate period it cannot be denied,
that whenever the causes of civil or foreign war became active, the
sacerdotal monarchs have inflamed or soothed them according to the
dictates of their interests. Through their intrigues the exterminating
sword of Charlemagne compelled the Saxons to be baptized; and that
of Otho I. compelled the Danes to accept the same rite. Through their
intrigues Clovis was induced, by his Catholic wife, to consent to be
baptized; and his troops who had followed him to the field of slaughter,
were led to follow him also to the baptismal fount. By the same means
Ethelbert, who wished to marry Bertha, daughter of Carobert, King of
Paris, was persuaded to agree to matrimonial stipulations allowing her,
upon becoming his wife, to bring her bishop with her, and permitting him
to establish a Catholic church in the kingdom for her convenience. By
the same artful means Ethelwolf was led to confer on the clergy the
tithes of all the produce of the land; Alfred the Great, to expel from
his kingdom all the Danes that refused to be baptized; Edward to accept
the title of saint and confessor in lien of an heir to his throne, and
to consent to abstain from nuptial congress with his queen; Edward IV.
to promulgate a law committing to the flames all persons convicted
of the heresy of the Lollards; and Mary I., a person of good natural
qualities and administrative abilities, to imprison Protestant bishops
for high treason, to confine princess Elizabeth in the tower, to
execute Lady Jane Gray and her husband Guilford Dudley, to provoke the
insurrections of Cave and Wyat, to commit to the flames two hundred and
twenty-seven of her innocent subjects, and to render herself a terror to
her nation. By the same disgraceful and impertinent intrigues the reign
of Queen Elizabeth was perpetually disturbed with efforts to overthrow
her government. The popes excommunicated her; denied her legitimacy;
endeavored to supplant her with Mary Queen of Scots; induced the French
to support Scotland in a rebellion against her government; created a
sedition in the north; incited Spain to promote a conspiracy against
her, assisted by Florentine merchants, the Bishop of Ross, and the
Scotchmen residing in England; and when all these efforts proved
abortive, to organize a conspiracy to have her assassinated by Anthony
Babbington. By the same disastrous intermeddling the reign of Queen
Ann was disturbed with efforts to restore the succession to James the
Pretender, the pope's tool for the recovery of England; under that of
George I. the Duke of Marleborough was led to proclaim the Pretender in
Scotland; Cardinal Alberoni, minister of Spain, to form an alliance in
his favor with Russia, Sweden, France and Spain; and Atterbury, Bishop
of Rochester, to engage in a conspiracy for the same object. Similar
papal machinations have interfered with the peace of France, Germany,
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, Poland, China, Japan, Egypt,
Abyssinia, and of many other governments, all of which were fearfully
productive of sedition, anarchy, war and revolutions.

Besides these intermeddlings with the national affairs of all
governments, the Catholic church assails all non-Catholics with the most
execrable persecution, openly when she dares, secretly when she must.
In her fiendish malice she counsels the violation of every principle
of justice, of every obligation of humanity, of all contracts, of all
pecuniary engagements, of all oaths, and urges as a duty the persecution
and extermination of all unbelievers, by means of corporeal punishment,
by imprisonment, banishment, murder, fire, swords, racks, stakes and
scaffolds. Hear the truth of these assertions from the sanctified lips
of the holy mother herself:

"The Catholics believe that the Pope's authority is not only ministerial
but supreme, so that he has the right to direct and compel, with the
power of life and death."--_Ecc. Jacob. Mag., But. Reg. Oppos._ c. 138.

"Two swords were given to Peter, the one temporal, the other
spiritual."--_Bernard de Corned. Lib_. 4: c. 3.

"She (the church) bears, by divine right, both swords, but she exercises
the temporal sword by the hand of the prince, or the magistrate. The
temporal magistrate holds it subject to her order, to be exercised in
her service, and under her direction."--_Bronsons Rev., Jan_., 1854.

"Both swords are in the power of the Pope, namely, the spiritual and the
temporal sword; but the one is to be exercised by the church, the other
for the church; the one by the hands of the priest, the other by
the hands of the king and the soldiers, but as the sword of the
priest."--_Pope Boniface, Corp. Jur. Con. ed. Bocher_, tome 11: p. 1139.

"Civil contracts, promises, or oaths of Catholics with heretics, because
they are heretics, may be dissolved by the Pontiff."--_Pope Innocent X.,
Caron. 14._

Engagements made with heretics and schismatics of this kind, after such
have been consummated, are inconsiderate, illegal, and in law itself
is of no importance, (although made, per chance, by the lapse of those
persons into schism, or before the beginning of their heresy), even if
confirmed by an oath, or one's honor being pledged."--_Pope Urban VI.,
Bymer_ 7: 352.

"Though sworn to pay he may refuse the claims of a debtor who falls
into error or under excommunication. The debtor's oath implied the tacit
condition that the creditor, to be entitled to payment, should remain in
a state in which communication would be lawful."--_St. Bernard, Maynooth
Report_, 260.

"There are various punishments with which ecclesiastical sanctions and
imperial laws order heretics to be punished. Some are spiritual, and
effect the soul alone; others are corporeal, and effect the body...
Among the corporeal punishments, one which very much annoys heretics
is the proscription and confiscation of their property."--_Alphonso ae
Castro, cap_. 5: p. 98.

"Another punishment," says he, "is the deprival of every sort of
preeminence, jurisdiction and government, which they previously had over
all persons of all conditions; for he who is a heretic is, _ipso jure_,
deprived of all things."--_Ib., cap_. 7: p. 1055.

"The last punishment of the body for heretics," he informs us, "is
death, with which we will prove, by God's assistance, heretics ought to
be punished."--_Ib. i cap_. 12: p. 123.

But it will be said that Protestants have been guilty of persecution as
well as Catholics. This assertion is unquestionably true. We confess,
with regret, that Protestantism, although she admits the right of
private judgment, has proved a foe to civil and religious liberty, But
unlike Catholicism, she has made concessions; reluctantly, indeed,
but still she has made them. Guizot confesses that her practice has
necessarily been inconsistent with her profession of toleration. She,
however, claims not, like Catholicism, to be the source and supreme
controller of all political power; nor to be the sole disposer of crowns
and kingdoms; nor has she elaborated a policy, adopted a systematic
course of measures, and organized a clerical force for the acquisition
of supreme and universal temporal and spiritual dominion. She has no
central head, with spies penetrating all domestic and national secrets,
and communicating to it the information they have acquired. She has no
political-machinery ramifying every part of Christendom, and acting in
concert for the promotion of her interests. She has no convents,
nor nunneries; nor monastic vows; no father confessors; no religious
confessional; no religious orders, no military knights; and no spiritual
guides. She imposes no oaths of allegiance on her priests, requiring
them to adopt every available method of subjugating all government
under her authority. She has no inquisition, no rack and torture for
her opponents; no pretensions to absolve subjects from their oaths of
allegiance; no interdicts to alarm superstitious minds by the suspension
of religious worship in disaffected kingdoms. She has never interfered
between rulers and their subjects, concocting treason, fomenting
sedition, and producing anarchy. She has never organized armies for the
extension of her dominion, and for the subjugation of kingdoms to her
authority. She has never butchered whole cities for unbelief, nor in
one day put one hundred thousand heretics to death. She has done none of
these things, yet her hands are not unstained with innocent blood. Would
they were. Henry VIII., of England, persecuted with equal severity
those who believed in the pope's right to temporal power, and those
who disbelieved the other dogmas of Catholicism. The Church of England,
under Charles I., inflicted the most atrocious punishment on the Irish
Catholics; under James I., on the Puritans; and under Elizabeth, it
oppressed both Catholics and dissenters with tyrannical measures, and
illiberal disabilities. The Puritan Cromwell persecuted both Catholics
and Episcopalians. In Ireland he wasted the Catholics with fire and
sword; in Scotland he put whole garrisons of dissenters to death; and
as his schemes for obtaining the royal dignity suggested, persecuted
Covenanters, Republicans, and Puritans. When Charles II. was elevated to
the throne he deprived 2000 dissenting clergymen of their livings; and
by his five-mile act prohibited them from approaching within five miles
of their former parishes. But the rigor of Protestantism eventually
relaxed its severity. Under William III. some of the disabilities which
oppressed the dissenters were removed; and under that of George III.
additional toleration was accorded. Still it must be admitted that the
ablest agents in extorting these concessions to religious liberty
were the Free Thinkers of that age. Yet the Quakers, always the most
respectable body of citizens, and the professors of the most harmless of
all creeds, were still punished with fines, confiscation, imprisonment
and death. All who disbelieved in the holy trinity were also subject
to similar persecutions. Not until 1813 did Protestant England cease
to punish a belief in Unitarianism with imprisonment, and legal
disabilities. John Calvin, at the head of the Consistory of Geneva, had
John Guet beheaded on a charge of attempting to overthrow the doctrines
of the Calvinistic church; and Micheal Servetus arrested and burnt alive
for having attacked the doctrine of the holy trinity. Even in republic
America, under the elevating influence of liberal institutions, the
intolerant spirit of religious bigotry predominates more or less over
the mind of the Christian republic. In Massachusetts Baptists and
Quakers were once fined, imprisoned, and burnt alive. In Virginia all
Quakers that disbelieved in the holy trinity, and all persons that
refused to have their children baptized were scourged, confined,
banished or put to death. In Pennsylvania, under the charter of William
Penn, all Atheists were excluded from official position. In Maryland
disbelief in the holy trinity was declared to be a capital offence;
and not until recently was any person, who professed not to believe in
Christianity, unless a Jew, eligible to any office of trust or profit in
the State; nor even to this day is any person eligible who disbelieves
in a God. The statute books of every Protestant country bear testimony
to the same illiberality. Humboldt, Cuviert Buffon, La Place, Gibbon,
Voltaire, Hume, Jefferson, and other eminent scholars and patriots
would, by the provisions of almost every State constitution in the
Union, be debarred from filling the lowest office that they create. In
fact the history of no religious sectary indicates it to be a bond of
love, union, or concord. Every Protestant creed, sectary or conclave,
is a perpetual source of mutual jealousy, animosity and persecution,
The same intolerant spirit breathes its malignancy over the pages of the
religious press. "If we are not Christians," says the _Church Union_,
"let us make no hypocritical pretensions of founding governments on
Christian principles. If we are, I believe that they should predominate
over our whole life; let us have them incorporated in the basis of our
government, and the national policy shaped by them. Let no one hold an
office of trust or profit whose life is not conformably thereto."
These holy ravings remind us of an attempt once made by the Puritans to
incorporate the Bible into the British constitution. "The wrestlers
with God," as they called themselves were, deliberating upon a motion
to repeal the laws of England, and substitute in their place the laws
of Moses and the prophets. But Cromwell averted the calamity by a
peremptory dissolution of parliament, and a command to "the wrestlers"
to go home; nor did he think it prudent to call them together again. The
religious politics of the Methodist _Home Journal_ are similar in tone
with that of the _Church Union_. This infuriated orthodox theologian
says: "They that deny the doctrines of Christianity, ignore the basis on
which our government is founded. Can they be regarded as citizens? Ought
any man who holds to this position be admitted to--or permitted to
hold Christian citizenship under this government? We hold that to be
consistent with ourselves. Infidelity should not be tolerated in our
country, much less encouraged by those who openly profess and teach its
doctrines." These assertions are the evident irrepressible ebullitions
of innate treason to the republic. They ignore the basis on which our
government is founded, and, according to the logic of this fanatic the
sect that holds them ought not to be regarded as citizens, nor permitted
to hold Christian citizenship under this government. But the knife with
which this mad-man would cut his own throat Infidelity would wrest from
him. The sacred basis of our government is equal political and religious
rights. Had Methodism been chosen as the basis of our government, would
a republic have been thought of? Never! Did not John Wesley, its founder
and spirit, oppose the American revolution? Did he not write against
it, preach against if, and labor publicly and privately to arrest its
progress? Was there a man in England that inflicted deeper injury
on the American cause? While English Infidels aided the struggle for
independence with their pens, money and valor,--while English statesmen
blushed at the barbarous conduct of their government,--this bigoted
priest, a fugitive of justice from the State of North Carolina, defended
it without shame or compunction. Even at this day Protestant priests
have dared to assert that Infidels have no rights which they are bound
to respect; but such miscreants have no rights, (for they surrender
them by their assertions,) which any person is bound to respect. Such
self-accursed, self-outlawed bigots, in conjunction with unprincipled
demagogues and political aspiring judges, are to-day laboring to
incorporate in the national constitution the fanaticism of the _Church
Union_ and of the Methodist _Home Journal_. When their holy treason
shall have become a success, liberty will forsake her desecrated abode;
despotism will occupy her temple; and, we fondly hope that, in the
course of coming events the fanatics will not discover that they have
legalized their own extermination. Had Constantine the Great, though
frenzied with ambition and crimsoned with guilt, beheld the boundless
ocean of gore which was destined to flow from an incorporation of
Christianity with the civil power, and to roll its heavy surge over all
future time, he would have been more obdurate than a fiend had he not
cowled his head in horror at the frightful vision, and dropped in mercy
the pen already inked to inaugurate the tremendous catastrophe. Yet
how sickening is the thought that the example of this ambitious tyrant,
loaded with the curses of ages, is now attempted to be imitated by
Protestant priests, political judges, and United States officials. But
thanks to nature, the play of the natural principles of liberty in the
minds of some priests, have been too strong to be repressed by dogmatic
creeds. Gloriously inconsistent with their principles, they have
inscribed their names in imperishable honor on the scroll of liberty.
Thankful for the few names blazoned there, freedom must drop a tear over
the smallness of the number.

It will be asked, perhaps, notwithstanding the facts which have been
adduced showing the political nature and designs of the Catholic church,
what has the American republic to apprehend from it? It will be asked,
Did not Catholics fight for the establishment of a free government in
the revolutionary war? Did they not fight to defend it in the war of
1812? Did they not fight to preserve its unity in the late rebellion? No
well informed person will answer these questions in the negative; and
no candid person will fail to acknowledge the distinguished valor and
liberality which they displayed on these occasions. Catholics are
men; and the love of liberty is a natural principle of the human
constitution. Ignorance may blind it; prejudice mislead it; and
superstition overawe it; but when the natural vigor of its disposition
is aroused it will assert its rights in defiance of creeds, shackles and
stakes. It is not the nature, but the education of Catholics, and the
religious despotism with which they are enthralled, that has so often
deprived freedom of their homage and allegiance. The frequent opposition
of Catholic princes to the policy and measures of the popes, the
numerous leagues which they have formed, and the vast armies which they
have raised in their support, abundantly show how often their reverence
for the pope has been displaced by defiance to his authority, and
contempt for his pretensions. The liberal minded people of France have,
from an early date, boldly opposed the pope's claim to temporal power.
St. Louis IX., in 1269, declared in a pragmatic sanction, that the
temporal power of France was independent of the jurisdiction of Rome.
Charles VIII., of France, in a pragmatic sanction issued in 1433,
asserted for France, in conformity with the canons of the Council of
Basle, independence of Rome in all temporal matters. Louis XIV., in 1682
convened a national council of the clergy at Paris, which decided that
the Pope of Rome had no power to interfere, directly or indirectly, in
the temporal concerns of princes and sovereigns; that the usages of the
French church are inviolable; that the authority of the general councils
is superior to that of the pope; and that the pope is not infallible in
matters of faith. The popes, by the means of bulls, have attempted
to nullify these acts, but nevertheless they form the distinctive
principles of the Gallican Church, and also of other Catholic churches
in different; kingdoms of Europe. The Fenian order is another happy
instance of the predominance which patriotism may gain, in the minds of
Catholics, over their reverence for the church and its despotism.

If Catholics have at various times chastised the pope, deprived him of
temporal authority, assaulted his person, imprisoned and deposed him,
it is not surprising that they fought in the defence of the independence
and freedom of America, No one that has an adequate conception of the
papal policy, will be much astonished that the Catholics were prominent
leaders in the revolutionary war. It was a cause in which the pope
himself, in perfect consistency with his pretensions, might have
personally engaged. The pope claims England as his fief, and denounces
her kings as usurpers. The success of a revolt intended to deprive
England of her colonies was as gratifying to his revenge as it was
flattering to his ulterior designs on the colonies themselves. In a
republic he could plant his machinery, build up at will his monastic
penitentiaries, erect his strong castle-like and secret-celled churches,
leisurely select and occupy eligible and strategic points for citadels,
and collect from every kingdom his most faithful and reliable subjects.
Bishop Hughes asserted that Catholicism was friendly to republics, for
they allowed its free development. But the development of Catholicism
involves the subversion of republics, and the establishment in their
place of political and religious despotism.

The insincerity of any proposed attachment to the American republic by
popes or priests, is attested by the very occurrence of the Southern
rebellion. Had the pope and priests been opposed to it a Catholic rebel
would scarcely have been known; and had not the Catholics North and
South been in favor of the rebellion, it could not have taken place.
That singular and unnecessary intestine collision, in which the South
gained nothing but disgrace, the North nothing but depopulation and
empoverishment, and at the mystery of which leading secessionists were
so much puzzled that they declared it to be the effects of a general
lunacy, was nevertheless in perfect harmony with the profound and
masterly policy of the Roman See, which comprehends in its toils the
events of ages, and from the first projection of a plot to its final
consummation, shapes every intervening circumstance to the fulfilment of
its grand design. The Catholics North supported the cause of the Union,
and the Catholics South the cause of the rebellion with votes, money and
men; the rebellion, therefore, was not contrary to the teachings of the
church. The depopulation of the native element of the North, the influx
of foreign Catholics, the creation of an oppressive national debt,
the demoralization consequent on civil war, the engenderment of civil
antipathies, and the supplanting of colored servants by white Catholic
servants, were all known prospective results of the rebellion; were all
in harmony with the papal designs; and to realize which the Catholics
of the North, and the Catholics of the South were stimulated by their
priests to meet each in deadly conflict.

But dismemberment could not possibly have been intended by the secret
projectors of the rebellion. It was an impracticable idea. The
geography of the country interposed to its success an insurmountable
obstacle. It was also inconsistent with the papal designs. But monarchy
was not an impracticable idea. It encountered no difficulty in the
country's geography. It was in harmony with the policy of the Roman See.
The Catholic blood which was poured out in such torrents in the civil
conflicts was not intended to effect dismemberment, but to create the
elements conducive to the establishment of a monarchial government.
Shortly after the close of the rebellion this soil, hallowed by the
blood, and consecrated by the sepulture of millions of freemen,
Catholic as well as non-Catholic, was attempted to be desecrated by the
establishment of presses for openly advocating that execrable treason;
and it has been asserted by the leaders of the late rebellion, that the
civil war is not at an end; but that it will again break out, and
then the battle field will not be the South, but every State, city and
village in the Union. Perhaps they mean to intimate that it will be a
repetition of the massacre on St. Bartholomew's eve.

To those who fondly dream that the republic of America has nothing to
fear from the pretensions of the Pope of Rome, and his loyal subjects,
we submit the following extracts:

"Heresy (Protestantism) and Infidelity have not, and never had, and
never can have any right, being, as they undoubtedly are, contrary to
the law of God."--_Bronson's Rev., Jan_., 1852.

"Heresy (Protestantism) and unbelief are crimes, and in Christian
countries, as in Italy and Spain for instance, where the Catholic
religion is the essential law of the land, they are punished as other
crimes."--_Bishop Kendrich_.

"Protestantism of every form has not, and never can have any right,
where Catholicism is triumphant; and therefore we lose all the breath
we expend in declaiming against bigotry and intolerance, and in favor of
religious liberty, or the right of any one to be of any religion, or of
no religion, as best pleases him."--_Catholic Rev., Jan_., 1852.

"Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried
into effect without peril to the Catholic world."--_Bishop O'Connor; of

"If the Catholics ever gain, which they surely will, an immense
numerical majority, religious freedom in this country will be at an
end."--_Archbishop of St. Louis_.

"Catholicity will one day rule America, and religious freedom will be at
an end."--_Bishop of St. Louis_.

"The Catholic church numbers one-third of the American population; and
if its membership shall increase for the next thirty years as it has for
the thirty years past, in 1900 Rome will have a majority, and be bound
to take the country and keep it."--_Seeker_.

"Should the said church go on increasing for the next twenty years,
the papists will be in a majority of the people of the United
States."--_William Hogan_.

"St. Thomas Aquinas, in his second book, chapter 3, page 58, says:
'Heretics (non-Catholics) may justly be Killed.' But you will answer,
there is no danger of this. They can never acquire them power in this
country to sanction that doctrine. How sadly mistaken are you! How
lamentably unacquainted with the secret springs or machinery of
popery."--_William Hogan_.

Quoting from an author Hogan writes:

"America is the promised land of the Jesuists. To obtain the ascendency
they have no need of Swiss guards, or the assistance of the holy
alliance, but a majority of votes, which can easily be obtained by the
importation of Catholic voters from Ireland, Austria, and Bavaria.... I
am not a politician, but knowing the active spirit of Jesuitism, and the
indifference of the generality of Protestants, I have no doubt that in
ten years the Jesuists will have a mighty influence over the ballot box,
and in twenty will direct it according to pleasure. Now they fawn, in
ten years they will menace, in twenty command."--_Synopsis, p_. 106.

In the above quoted authorities we have a unanimous declaration of
Catholic bishops, priests and periodicals, that the Catholic church is
radically opposed to religious liberty; that she regards Protestants and
Infidels as criminals; that whenever she obtains the political power she
punishes them as such; and that the success of her policy and measures
in this country has been sufficient to justify her expectation, that in
1900 she will be enabled to accomplish all her bloody and treasonable
designs. That these hopes are not altogether chimerical, we have also
the reluctant and alarming concessions of her opponents. Those who abuse
liberty should be deprived of its benefits; and those abuse it most who
take advantage of its generous indulgence to plot for its destruction.
The rights of toleration subsist only by mutual consent; their
obligations are reciprocal; and whenever the silent compact is violated
by one party, the other is exonerated from its obligations. No man
possesses a right which is not possessed by another; nor has he any
authority for claiming for himself that which he does not concede
to others. When, therefore, the Catholic priests proclaim that
Protestantism in any form has no right where Catholicism is triumphant,
they surrender their rights where Protestantism in any form is
triumphant. When they assert heresy and unbelief are crimes, and where
the Catholic religion is the essential law of the land, are punished as
crimes, they authorize heretics and unbelievers to consider Catholicism
a crime, and where heresy and unbelief are the essential law of the
land, to punish Catholics as criminals. When they say that Catholicity
will one day rule America, and then religious liberty will be at an end,
they appeal to the instincts of self-preservation, and justify freemen
in adopting any measure that is necessary to render their avowed treason
and destructive designs abortive. They assail the fundamental principles
of the Constitution, and forfeit all right to its protection. Neither
Protestants nor Infidels may be disposed to avail themselves of the
privileges of these concessions, while forbearance is a virtue; but they
may be provoked to consider the further tolerance of the Jesuists
in this country as inconsistent with the peace and stability of the

As the treasonable designs of the Catholic priests are undeniable, it
is important to understand by what means they expect to accomplish
their infamous purposes. The subjoined letter of the Duke of Richmond,
formerly Governor-General of Canada, will explain their policy, their
system of measures, and the co-operation which they are to receive
from the sovereigns of Europe. "_It (the American republic) will be
destroyed_" says he, "_it ought not, and will not be permitted to
exist_. The curse of the French revolution, and subsequent wars and
commotions of Europe, are to be attributed to its example, and so long
as it exists no prince will be safe on his throne, and the sovereigns of
Europe are aware of it, and _they are determined on its destruction, and
they have come to an understanding on the subject, and have decided
on the means to accomplish it_; and they will eventually succeed, by
subversion rather than by conquest. All the low and surplus population
of the different nations of Europe will be carried into that country. It
is, and will be, the receptacle of the bad and disaffected population of
Europe, when they are not wanted for soldiers or to supply navies; and
the governments of Europe will favor such a cause. This will create a
surplus majority of low population, who are so very easily excited, and
they will bring with them their principles, and in nine cases out of ten
adhere to their ancient and former governments, laws, manners, customs
and religion, and will transmit them to their posterity, and in many
cases propagate them among the natives. These men will become citizens,
and by the constitution and laws be invested with the right of suffrage.
Hence discord, dissension, anarchy and civil war will ensue, and some
popular individual will assume the government, restore order, and the
sovereigns of Europe, the immigrants, and many of the natives will
sustain him. _The church of Rome has a design on this country\ and
it will in time be the established religion, and it will aid in the
destruction of the republic_. I have conversed with many sovereigns and
princes of Europe, and they have unanimously expressed their opinion
relative to the government of the United States, and their determination
to subvert it." According to this admonitory letter an alliance has been
formed by the European powers and the Pope of Rome, for the subversion
of the American republic, the substitution of a monarchy in its place,
and the establishment of Catholicism as the national religion. Had the
Duke of Richmond been silent, still no well informed person could doubt
that all the European sovereigns, whether Protestant or Catholic, would
act upon the avowed principle of the Holy Alliance in their conduct with
regard to North America. Would England consent, it may be asked, to ally
herself with the papal despot? Why not? She has done so before; in the
recent troubles of the Roman See she sent her war vessels to protect the
pope; and she assented to the principles of the Holy Alliance, which was
for the extinguishment of all freedom in Europe. The good sense of the
English people would never have recognized a policy which inevitably
involved their own destruction; but they are a cypher in the great
account of the short-sighted government. That England heartily
co-operates with the papal priests in their infamous work, may be
learned from the subjoined extract of the _Dublin Evening Mail_,
elicited by the news from America that certain teachers had been
dismissed from a school of the West on account of their foreign birth,
&c.: "The foreign birth and Roman Catholic proclivities of the teachers
thus dismissed," says he, "are sufficient evidence that they have been
imported into the United States by the Church of Rome, with a view
to pervert the secular education of the country to the purposes of
proselytism. They are, in fact, emissaries of the _College de Propaganda
Fide_, and have been trained and qualified, no doubt, by its education,
to carry out abroad the principles it has been so successful in
disseminating here in Dublin. _The pope has not a more efficient
free-handed institution at his back than the imperial parliament of the
united kingdom_, which spares no expense to furnish his holiness with
zealous and well informed agents for the spreading of his dominion over
the face of the globe. Does he require priests to publish and extend it
wherever the English language is spoken, the halls and dormitories of
Maynooth are enlarged, and their larder abundantly replenished to keep a
constant supply of young ecclesiastics for his service. Do these in turn
send home a requisition for more teachers to assist them in their work,
_the Chancellor of the Exchequer adds some ten thousand pounds for
his yearly estimate for national education in Ireland_, and continued
re-enforcements of propagandists are thus maintained, in readiness to
move in obedience to the call, whenever Rome may need their service."

According to the Duke of Richmond's letter, one of the means by which
the tyrant of Rome and his colleagues have adopted for accomplishing
the downfall of the government of the United States, is that of foreign
immigration. Let us examine the operation of this device. The editor
of the _Louisville Journal_, in discussing the question of foreign
immigration, makes the following statement: "In 1850 our native white
population was about 17,300,000. In the same year our foreign population
was about 2,300,000. In 1852 the immigration was about 398,170. At that
rate it would take only about six years to double the foreign population
here in 1850. This is about five times our population's increase, which
is in a ratio of three or four per cent, per annum, while the increase
of foreigners is from fourteen to sixteen per cent, on the census of
1830, 1840, and 1850.

"In 1852 our presidential vote was about 3,300,000. In 1848 it was about
2,880,000. In 1852 our foreign arrivals, as shown, were about 400,000,
and 240,000 of these were males, thus showing that in one year, the
arrivals of foreign males into this country, was nearly as great as the
increase of our whole voting population during four years."


     The foreign arrivals by sea alone were--

     "In 1850                                            315,333

     "1851                                               403,828

     "1852                                               398,470

     "1853                                               400,777

     From Canada and Mexico during the same
     period about                                        700,408


It appears from the census of 1850 that the total aggregate of foreign
population of the United States in 1849 was 2,210,829. If the tide of
immigration has added but two millions to the number of the foreign
population every four years since 1849, it must have amounted, in 1869,
to 7,210,829.

All the immigrants are not, however, Catholics. Some are Protestants,
some Infidels, and some Radical Republicans. The Turners, the Free
Germans, and the members of the Revolutionary League are all firm
friends of free governments. The proportion of Catholics among the
immigrants, at a fair computation, is presumed to be about three-fourths
of the entire number. They must, therefore, add to the Catholic
numerical strength about 3,750,000 at every decade, besides the
numerical augmentation of the Catholic church through the medium of
foreign immigration, there are other appliances acting powerfully in its
favor. "It is not long," says William Hogan, "since I saw a-letter from
the Catholic bishop Kendrick, of the diocese of Massachusetts, in which
he informs the authorities of Rome that he is making converts of some of
the first families in the diocese."--_Synopsis_, p. 169. "I have often
conversed," says he, "with American Protestants on this subject,
and regret finding many of them--especially those of the Unitarian
creed--are strong advocates of popery, and in favor of its introduction
among the people." John L. Chapman, a Methodist clergyman, in a work
written before the Southern outbreak, says in substance, according to
my recollection, that a Methodist preacher cannot now address his
congregation upon the subject of Catholicism with the same freedom he
could formerly; that those who imagine a Methodist preacher can now
utter in the pulpit, or at a tract or bible meeting, the sentiments of
John Wesley respecting popery, are entirely mistaken; and that those
who suppose that an editor of a Methodist periodical can now assail
the errors of Catholicism without the loss of subscribers, are laboring
under a great delusions. While the pulpits, revivals, and evangelical
enterprises are making no converts of any account among Catholics, the
confirmation services of the Catholic bishops show the great number of
adult non-Catholics which they are adding to their church. The number of
children kidnapped, and the extraordinary number confirmed by Catholic
bishops, might suggest a suspicion that the church has not abandoned
its historic mode of adding to its members. Every non-Catholic child
educated in a Catholic school becomes a Catholic, or strongly biassed
in favor of that church. We hear of Protestant priests, and sometimes of
Protestant bishops, and of whole bodies of theological students becoming
Roman Catholics.

It is an undeniable fact that the annual increase of the Catholic
population far outstrips that of the non-Catholic population; and that
at some future period its numerical strength will be capable of deciding
in favor of the church every election that takes place. When that
unfortunate hour arrives every policeman, councilman, mayor, judge,
governor, delegate, congressman, senator, president, civil official,
army or naval officer will be a Catholic. Then the non-Catholics will
be powerless, and at the mercy of those who believe they have no rights.
Then, by the secret operation of the papal machinery, one faction
will be inflamed against another, and one section of the land
against another. Then rapine, violence, assassination, sedition,
massacre--everything that can render life and property insecure--will
distract every state, city and village in the Union. Then, amid the
anarchy and confusion thus produced, some Catholic tyrant will arise,
and--the civil disorders subsiding at the bidding of the pope--will be
proclaimed dictator. Supported by the Catholic and Protestant kings
of Europe, he will abolish the republic, and establish in its place a
Catholic monarchial government. Then, according to Bronson, heresy
and Infidelity will be declared to have no rights. Then, according to
Archbishop Kendrick, Protestantism will be declared to be a crime,
and punished as such. Then, according to the archbishop of St. Louis,
religious liberty will no longer be endured. Then, according to Hecker,
the Catholic church will be bound to take the country, and keep it. Then
inquisitions will be introduced, and stakes erected. Then the darkness
of the middle ages will settle over the land. Then the school-houses,
the colleges, the asylums, and the churches built with Protestant
funds will be applied to Catholic purposes. Then the fortunes which
non-Catholics have amassed will be confiscated. Then the territorial
acquisitions of the Government, all its resources, all the advantages
it has acquired by arms and treaties, its navy and its army, will become
the property of the papal monarchy, and applied to its defence and
extension, Then it will be the business of Americans, not to create
magistrates, but to obey despots; not to share in the sovereignty of the
government, but to toil in slavery to support an execrable despotism.
Then liberty of speech and freedom of the press will be no more. Then
the ecclesiastical dungeons, which the supineness of Americans have
allowed Catholicism to erect among them, will be the homes and graves of
freemen. Then will arise a government constructed of schemes for public
plunder; where an aristocracy are privileged robbers; where moral worth
and dignity are the helpless victims of power and injustice; where
laws are made for subjects, not for rulers; and where the people are
inherited by royal heirs, like so much land and cattle. Then will the
monarchial demon, the God of slaves and aristocrats, seated on the
people's throne, with his feet on the people's neck, quaff blood like
water; and eye with scornful indifference the squalid millions whom he
has doomed by an enormous taxation to huddle in hovels, without light
or air, with clothing scarcely enough to hide their nakedness, with food
scarcely enough to sustain life, or fire scarcely enough to keep them
from freezing.

When the pope shall have succeeded in his attempts to establish such a
monarchy over the American people, he will next proceed to enlarge its
dominions by the annexation of Canada, Mexico, all South America,
and all the Pacific and Atlantic islands. With such a dominion, such
resources, such an army and navy, he will be master of the land and the
ocean. He will then proceed to plunder and discrown the very kings that
had assisted him in erecting his colossal power. He will then enforce,
by the thunders of American monitors and war steamers, his claim to
the crowns of England and Russia; his claim to be the disposer of all
crowns; his claim to be the only monarch that ought to wear the token
of royalty; in fine, his claim to the supreme temporal and spiritual
monarchy of the world. Then England will awake, but it will be in the
vengeful folds of a serpent crushing out her life. Then the European
despots will awake, but it will be amid the crumbling of their thrones.
Then the papal allies will awake, but it will be to find their limbs
fettered, and the foot of the sacerdotal monarch placed in malignant
triumph upon their necks. Then the world will awake, but it will be to
find that it has suffered the extinction of the last star of liberty,
and involved itself in a night of despotism without the hope of a morn.

But the spirit of freedom is immortal; its conflict with despotism will
be eternal. Bolts, dungeons, shackles cannot confine it; racks, flames
and gibbets cannot extinguish it. To annihilate it, the most formidable
efforts of bigotry, the most ingenious arts of statesmen, the combined
power of church and state, have been applied in vain. Though the blood
of freedom's sons have streamed in torrents, and the smoke of their
stakes have darkened the face of heaven, yet their spirit has still
walked abroad over the world. So it has been in the past; so it will be
in the future. If the Catholic demon should massacre all the freemen in
one age, they will rise up more powerful in the next; and successively
as time rolls on, shake with their energy the accursed throne. Hence
civil war will never cease, fields will eternally reek with gore,
burning cathedrals and convents will illuminate the night, till the
world, instructed by its past errors, will unite in a natural union for
the extinguishment of Catholicism.

We have now alluded to the dangers which begin to blacken our political
firmament. Can the storm be averted? We believe it can. A union of the
Protestants, Jews, Spiritualists, Free Religionists, Infidels, Atheists,
Turners, Free Germans, and of all non-Catholics, without regard to
creed, race or color, on a basis of universal civil and religious
liberty, with a judicious policy, and a corresponding system of
measures, will prove adequate to the emergency. Such an organization, if
sufficiently liberally constituted, might command the support of
Gallic and Fenian Catholics. The life, liberty and welfare of all
non-Catholics, if not, indeed, of the Fenians and Gallicans themselves,
are in equal danger, and why should they not organize for mutual safety?
Does prejudice forbid it? Millions of lives must be sacrificed if
a union be not effected. Who would, then, hesitate to sacrifice a
prejudice that it may be effected? A tyrant may demand concessions
without rendering an equivalent, but freemen can not. Can Americans
sleep in peace, while the clang of the hammers that are forging their
chains are sounding in their ears, and the pillars which support their
government are tottering over their heads? It seems impossible. Their
obligations to their country, to posterity, to the world, demand union.
Union or slavery; union or confiscation; union or the rack, the stake,
the gibbet. One or the other is inevitable. Which do you now chose? A
few more years hence you will have no choice.

Every citizen knows that under the present form of government his merits
have rewards, and his industry has encouragements enjoyed by no people
in any country, or under any other form of government. The poorest and
the richest are here accorded equal chances, equal privileges; and
an equal voice in selecting legislators, judges and rulers. They
are equally untrammelled by legal impediments in seeking the highest
positions in the government. Each citizen is an integral part of the
sovereignty of the nation; he participates in its management, and
shares its greatness and glory. It is a consolation enjoyed only by an
American, that if fame nor fortune should gratify his ambition, he can
still bequeath to his children a richer inheritance than that of either
fame or fortune, the inheritance of a free government. Judging of the
future by the past, it is his privilege to believe that the republic
will continue to grow in power and greatness with each succeeding age,
until the light of her glory shall fill the earth; until despots shall
tremble before the majesty of the people; until the clank of slavery,
and the groan of the oppressed shall no more be heard; and until
the united world shall rise to the majesty and greatness of equal
privileges, equal rights and equal laws.

Such are the blessings guaranteed, and the expectations warranted by
the continuance of the republic; but monarchy, like a deadly blast,
annihilates them all. With the liberty, it lays the greatness and glory
of the nation in the grave. Intolerance will then re-establish its
racks and torture. Industry will then be oppressed, and enterprise
annihilated. This land, which has so long resounded with the song of
liberty, will then reverberate with the clanking irons of servitude.
This nation, which is now the wonder and glory of the earth; which is
so powerful and prosperous; this nation will be no more. Her life and
splendor will have departed with her freedom. History may record her
eventful story; her sons may clank in chains around her tomb; future
freemen may curse the degenerate sons who wanted the valor or unanimity
to transmit to their posterity the government which they inherited from
their ancestors; but these will not call her to life and glory again.
Like a wave she will have rolled away; like a dream, she will have
departed; like a thunder peal, she will have muttered into eternal
silence. Like these she had but one existence, and that will then have

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