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Thornwell Against Infallibility


Art. I. - The Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament proved to be Corrupt Additions to the Word of God. - The Arguments of Romanists from the Infallibility of the Church and the Testimony of the Fathers in Behalf of the Apocrypha discussed and refuted. By James H. Thornwell. New York : Leavitt, Trow, & Co. Boston : Charles Tappan. 1845. 16mo. pp. 417.

In the articles already devoted to Mr. Thornwell's book, we have vindicated Dr. Lynch's argument drawn from the necessity of the case for the infallibility of the Church, and proved unanswerably, if any thing can be so proved, that, without the infallible Church, the Protestant is utterly unable to prove the inspiration of the Scriptures. Since, then, he concedes, that, if the infallible Church exists at all, it is the Catholic Church, Mr. Thornwell must either acknowledge its infallibility, or give up the Christian religion itself. Having done this, which has been wholly gratuitous on our part, we proceed to the consideration of the Professor's direct arguments for the fallibility of the Church, or his direct attempts to prove that she is not infallible.

We have shown in our first essay, that the nature of the argument the Professor is conducting does not permit him, even in case we should fail to prove the infallibility, to conclude the fallibility of the Church. He denies that she is infallible, that is, asserts that she is fallible, and it is only by proving her fallible that he can maintain his thesis, that the books which he calls apocryphal are "corrupt additions to the word of God." The question is not now on admitting, but on rejecting, the infallibility of the Church, and the onus probandi, as a matter of course, rests on him. He is the plaintiff in action, and must make out his case by proving the guilt, not by any failure on our own part, if fail we do, to prove the innocence, of the accused; for every one is to be presumed innocent till proved guilty.

We have also shown, that, in attempting to prove the fallibility of the Church, Mr. Thornwell must confine himself to such arguments as an infidel may consistently urge. We have already dislodged him from every position he might be disposed to occupy on Christian ground. He has no magazine from which he can draw proofs against the Church, but the reason common to all men. He can prove the Church fallible only by proving that she has actually erred; and he can prove that she has actually erred only by proving that she has actually contradicted some principle of reason. It will avail him nothing to prove by reason that she teaches things the truth of which reason cannot affirm ; for reason does not know all things, and things may be above reason, and yet not against reason. Nor will it avail him to prove that she contradicts his private convictions, or the teachings of his sect; for neither he nor his sect is infallible. Nothing will avail him but to prove some instance of her contradiction of a truth of reason, infallibly known to be such truth. The simple question for us to determine, then, in regard to what he alleges, is, Has he adduced an instance of such contradiction? If he has, he has succeeded; if he has not, he has failed, and we, since the presumption, as we say in law, is in our favor, may conclude the infallibility of the Church against him.

1. Mr. Thornwell's first alleged proof that the Church is not infallible is, that Catholics differ among themselves as to the seat of infallibility. It is uncertain where the infallibility is lodged. Then it is not apparent; and if not apparent, it does not exist; for de non apparentibus et non existentibus eadem est ratio. But this, supposing it to be true, though a good reason why we cannot assert the infallibility as a fact proved, is not a good reason for asserting that it does not exist. A thing may exist and yet not appear to us. Otherwise the stars would not exist when the sun shines, nor gems in the mine before being discovered. The point to be established is not the non-appearance of the infallibility, but its non-existence; and if the Professor does not show that non-existence, he fails, for his own maxim then bears against him, - de non apparentibus et non existentibus eadem est ratio. But what is alleged is not true. Catholics do not disagree as to the seat of infallibility. Mr. Thornwell is mistaken, when he says (p. 76), - "There are no less than three different opinions entertained in your Church as to the organ through which its infallibility is exercised or manifested." He confounds the three different modes in which Catholics hold that the infallibility is exercised with three different opinions as to its organ, evidently supposing that they who assert one of them must needs deny the other two. All Catholics agree, and must agree, for it is de fide, that the pastors of the Church, that is, the bishops in union with the Pope, their visible head, are infallible in what they leach, both when congregated in general council and when dispersed, each bishop in his own diocese; and the great majority hold that the Pope alone, when deciding a question of faith or morals for the whole Church, is also infallible. The only difference of opinion amongst us is as to the fact, whether the Pope is or is not infallible, when so deciding. But as there is no difference of opinion as to the other two modes, whatever difference there may be as to this, it is not true that there are "three different opinions in our Church as to the organ through which its infallibility is exercised or manifested."

2. The Church cannot be infallible, because she requires a slavish submission of all her members, bishops, priests, and laity, to the Pope. "The system of absolute submission runs unchecked until it terminates in the Sovereign Pontiff at Rome, whose edicts and decrees none can question, and who is therefore absolute lord of the Papal faith." (p. 77.) We can see nothing unreasonable in making the Pope, under God, the "absolute lord of the Papal faith." As to the submission, if the Pope has authority from God as the supreme visible head of the Church, it cannot be a slavish submission; for slavery is not in submission, but in submission to an authority which has no right to exact it. Reason teaches that we are bound to obey God, and to obey him equally through whatever organ it may please him to command us, or to promulgate his will. If he has commissioned the Pope as his vicar in the government of the Church, there is nothing repugnant to reason in submission or obedience to the Pope. The Professor must prove that the Pope is not divinely commissioned, before, from the fact that the Church obliges us to obey him, he can conclude that she errs or is liable to err. But this he has not proved.

3. The Church makes the Pope greater than God, - Il papa e piu che Dio per noi altri,- and cannot assert his supremacy without asserting his infallibility. But if she asserts the infallibility of the Pope, she denies that she is an infallible Church; for, during the first six centuries, there was no Pope. (p. 78.) Where the Professor picked up his scrap of Italian, he does not inform us; but if any one has made him believe that Catholics hold the Pope to be greater than God, he may be sure he has been imposed upon. How can we hold the Pope to be greater than God, when we believe him to be simply the vicar of Jesus Christ, receiving all that he is and has from God? Grant that Papal supremacy necessarily carries with it Papal infallibility, - a doctrine we by no means dispute,-the conclusion is not sustained; for it is not proved that during the first six centuries there was no Pope. What the Professor alleges as proof is not conclusive. His statements are either false or irrelevant. What he says that is true is not to his purpose; what he says that is to his purpose is not true. He alleges,- 1. Till the seventh century, at least, the bishops of the Church, not excepting the bishops of Rome, were regarded as officially equal; 2. According to St. Jerome, wherever there is. a bishop, he is of the same merit and the same priesthood, and, according to St. Cyprian, the episcopate is one, and every bishop has an undivided portion of it; 3. St. Cyprian says to the African bishops in the great council at Carthage, that none of them makes himself a bishop of bishops, and that it belongs solely to our Lord Jesus Christ to invest them with authority in the government of his Church, and to judge them ; and, 4. St. Gregory the Great disclaimed the title of "Universal Bishop." (pp. 78, 79.)

To the first we reply, that, not only as late as the seventh century were all the bishops of the Church, not excepting the bishops of Rome, regarded as officially equal, but they are, as bishops, so regarded even now; and as the fact that they are now so regarded does not prove that there is now no Pope, the fact that they were so regarded during the first six centuries cannot prove that there was no Pope then. The equality of all bishops is a doctrine of the Church. The Pope, as simple bishop, is only the equal of his brethren; he is superior only as bishop of Rome, of which see the primacy is an adjunct, or prerogative. "Thus a Roman council, in 378, says of Pope Damasus, that he is equal in office to (he other bishops, and surpasses them in the prerogative of his see." [1]

To the second we give a similar reply. The unity of the episcopate, and that each bishop possesses an undivided portion of it, that is, that the bishops possess or hold it in solido, according to the felicitous expression of St. Cyprian, is held by the Church now, and believed as firmly by all Catholics as ever it was. As the belief of this doctrine is not now disconnected with the belief in the Papacy, it cannot follow, from its having been entertained in the time of St. Cyprian, that there was then no Pope. This reply disposes of the citation from St. Jerome, as well as of that from St. Cyprian. But the Professor argues, that, if the episcopate be one, and the bishops possess it in solido, there can be no Pope. We do not see that this follows. Unity is inconceivable without a centre of unity, and how conceive the bishops united in one and the same episcopate without the Pope as their centre of union?

To the third we reply, that, according to the fair interpretation of the language of St. Cyprian, in reference to its occasion and purpose, it has nothing to do with the subject. But let it be that St. Cyprian intended to deny, and actually does deny, the Papal authority, what then? Before the Professor can conclude that there was no Pope down to St. Cyprian's time, he must prove either that St. Cyprian is a witness whose testimony we, as Catholics, are bound to receive, or that he is one who could not err. As Catholics, we are bound to receive the testimony of single fathers or doctors only so far as their teaching is coincident with that of the Church. The infallibility attaches to the Church, and to single doctors only in so far as they teach her doctrine. Never, then, can we be bound to receive the testimony of any father or doctor which conflicts with her teaching. The testimony of St. Cyprian does thus conflict, if what it is alleged to be. Therefore we are not bound to receive it, and it cannot be urged against us, as an argumentum ad hominem. Then the Professor must prove that St. Cyprian did not err. But, from the nature of the case, this he can do only by proving that he could not err. This he does not do, and cannot pretend; for he admits no infallible authority but that of the written word. (p. 84.) Consequently, let the testimony of St. Cyprian be what it may, it is not sufficient to prove that there was no Pope down to his time.

Moreover, if the alleged testimony of St. Cyprian refers to the Papal authority at all, it refers to it only inasmuch as it denies the right of St. Stephen, his contemporary, whom Mr. Thornwell himself calls the Pope, to exercise that authority. If St. Cyprian's language does not express resistance to the Papal authority, it contains no reference to it. But resistance to an authority proves its existence. There was, then, in the time of St. Cyprian, an actual Pope, that is, a Pope claiming the right to exercise the Papal authority ; and the position of the Professor, that there was no Pope, is contradicted by his own witness. "But not according to the constitution of the Church." That is a question, not of reason, but of authority, and therefore not debatable. The simple question, slated in the terms most favorable to the Professor, resolves itself into this,-whether St. Cyprian is to be believed against St. Stephen, who claimed to be Pope, and the Church, who admitted his claim. To assume that he is is to beg the question. The Professor must, then, give us a valid reason for believing St. Cyprian rather than St. Stephen and the Church, or he proves nothing by St. Cyprian's testimony, be it what it may. But he has given us no such reason. St. Cyprian was fallible, and fallibility is not sufficient to set aside the claim of infallibility.

To the fourth we answer, St. Gregory the Great disclaimed through humility, as savoring of pride, the title of "Universal Bishop," we grant, but this is nothing to the purpose. The Professor must prove that he disclaimed the Papacy and the Papal authority, or he does not prove his position. But this he does not and cannot do; for St. Gregory the Great, as is well known, on numerous occasions, asserted and exercised that authority; nay, it was in the exercise of it that he rebuked John Jejunator, Patriarch of Constantinople, for arrogating to himself the title of "(Ecumenical Patriarch," a title which even the Bishop of Rome, though Sovereign Pontiff, forbore to assume.

The Professor, it is evident from these replies, fails to prove that during the first six centuries there was no Pope. His objection, founded on the assumption that there was none, falls, therefore, to the ground; and if it were required of our present argument, we could, and would, prove an uninterrupted succession of Popes from St. Peter to Pius the Ninth.

4. The Professor, taking it for granted that he had proved that the infallibility of the Church, if lodged with the Pope, could not be asserted, proceeds to show that it cannot be maintained, if lodged either with general councils or with the Ecclesia dispersa. But these three ways are all the possible suppositions, and if in no one of these the Church can be infallible, she cannot be infallible at all. But he has not, as we have seen, disproved her infallibility through the Pope, and, for aught he proves, she may be infallible through her Sovereign Pontiffs. Consequently, as far as the argument to disprove her infallibility is concerned, it is no matter whether she is infallible in either of the other two modes or. not.

But she cannot be infallible, if the infallibility be lodged with the general councils; for full two hundred years elapsed from the death of the last of the Apostles before such a council was assembled, (p. 79.) If her infallibility is expressed only through general councils, we concede it; but this is no Catholic doctrine; for we all, while we hold the general councils to be infallible, hold also that the bishops of the Church in union with their chief, the Pope, teach infallibly when dispersed, each in his own diocese, as well as when congregated in council.

But the councils cannot be infallible, because the early councils attributed the authority of the canons they settled to the sanction of the Emperor, (p. 80.) As this is asserted without any proof, it is sufficient for us simply to deny it. That the civil effect of the canons, or their authority as civil laws, depended on the sanction of the Emperor, we concede, - for the Church never assumes to enact civil laws; but that they depended on that sanction for their spiritual effect, or their authority in the spiritual order, we deny, and some better authority than that of one Barrow, an Anglican minister, which is no authority at all, will be needed to prove it.

The infallibility of the Church, continues the Professor, cannot be maintained, if lodged with the pastors of the Church dispersed each in his own diocese; because it would then depend on unanimous consent, and the unanimous consent of all can never be ascertained, (p. 81.) This unanimous consent could not be ascertained, if the pastors of the Church were so many independent and unrelated individuals, like Protestant ministers, we concede; but, whether congregated or dispersed, Catholic pastors are one body, hold the episcopate in solido, and through the Pope, the centre of unity and communion, they all commune with each, and each with all. Each is bound for all, and all for each, and each by virtue of this communion can give the unanimous faith of all. All that we need know is that the particular pastor to whom we are subjected is in communion with the Pope; for if he is, we know he is in communion with the head, then with the body, and then with the members. If thus in communion with the head, with the body, and with the members, what he gives as the unanimous faith of the whole must be the unanimous faith of the whole, or that which has the unanimous consent of all.

5. But the Church cannot be infallible, because she has contradicted herself. " Popes have contradicted Popes, councils have contradicted councils, pastors have contradicted pastors, &c." (p. 83.) This argument is good, if the fact be as alleged. But the fact of contradiction must be proved, not taken for granted. Does the Professor prove it? Let us see. The first proof he offers is, that "the Council of Constantinople decreed the removal of images, and the abolition of image-worship, and the Council of Nice, twenty-three years after, reestablished both." (p. 84.) But, unhappily for the Professor, no council of Constantinople, or of any other place, recognized or received by the Church as a council, ever decreed any such thing. There may have been, for aught we care, an assembly of Iconoclasts at Constantinople, collected by an Iconoclastic emperor, which made some such decree; but that no more implicates the Church than a decree of a college of dervishes or of a synod ot Presbyterian ministers.

"The second Council of Ephesus approved and sanctioned the impiety of Eutyches, and the Council of Chalcedon condemned it." (ib) But there was only one Council of Ephesus, and that was held before the rise of the Eutychian heresy! There was an Ephesian Latrocinium which approved the heresy of Eutyches, but it was no council, and its doings were condemned, instantly, by the Church.

"The fourth Council of Lateran asserted the doctrine of a physical change in the Eucharistic elements, in express contradiction to the teachings of the primitive Church, and the evident declarations of the Apostles of the Lord." (ib.) The Professor is not the authority for determining what was the doctrine of the Apostles or of the primitive Church, and cannot urge his notions of either as a standard by which to try the Church. He must adduce, on the authority of the Church herself, the teachings of the primitive Church contradicted by the decree of the fourth Council of Lateran, before he can allege that decree or assertion as a proof of her having contradicted herself. This he has not done.

"The second Council of Orange gave its sanction to some of the leading doctrines of the school of Augustine, and the Council of Trent threw the Church into the arms of Pelagius." (ib.) Here no instance of contradiction is expressed. But it is not true, and the Professor offers no proof of it, that the Council of Trent threw the Church into the arms of Pelagius; and that council, as a matter of fact, defines the doctrines of grace, which condemn the Pelagian heresy, in the very words of St. Augustine. The Professor would do well to set about the study of ecclesiastical history.

"Thus, at different periods, every type of doctrine has prevailed in the bosom of an unchangeable Church." (ib.) Not proved, and would not be, even if the foregoing charges were sustained. False inferences and unsupported assertions are not precisely the arguments to disprove the infallibility of the Church. We beg the Professor to review his logic.

" The Church has been distracted by every variety of sect, tormented by every kind of controversy, convulsed by every species of heresy." If this means that she has sanctioned every variety of sect and every species of heresy, we simply reply, that the Professor has not proved it; if it means, that, first and last, she has had to combat every variety of sect and species of heresy, we concede it. But to adduce this as a proof of her having contradicted herself is ridiculous in logic, and monstrous in morals. You might as well argue that the Church was once Lutheran, because she condemned Lutheranism, Calvinistic, because she condemned Calvinism, that St. John was a Gnostic, because he wrote his Gospel to condemn Gnosticism, or that Mr. Thornwell himself is a Catholic, because he anathematizes Catholicity; nay, that the judge, who, in the discharge of his judicial functions, condemns the crime of murder, must needs be the murderer, and that the eleven were guilty of the treachery of Judas, for they no doubt condemned it. Is this Protestant logic and Protestant morality?

The Church " at last has settled down on a platform which annihilates the word of God, denounces the doctrines of Christ and his Apostles, and bars the gates of salvation against men." (ib.) Indeed! How did the Professor learn all that?

Here is all the Professor adduces to prove the fact of the Church having contradicted herself, and it evidently does not prove it. Then the argument founded on it against the infallibility of the Church must go for nothing. For aught that yet appears, the Church may be infallible. It is certainly a great inconvenience not to know ecclesiastical history when one wishes to reason from it.

From these objections, which the Professor calls " historical difficulties in the doctrine of Papal infallibility," we proceed to consider another class, in his Sixth Letter, which we may term philosophical difficulties. The charge under this head is, that the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church - Papal infallibility, as the Professor improperly expresses it- leads to skepticism, (p. 89.) The proofs assigned, as nearly as we can get at them, amidst a mass of speculations sometimes correct enough, but illustrating, when considered in relation to the argument, only the ignorantia elenchi, - a favorite figure of logic with the author, - are two, namely, the Church enjoins dogmas which contradict reason, and holds that doctrines may be philosophically true, and yet theologically false.

1. The instance adduced to prove that the Church requires us to believe what contradicts reason is the doctrine of Tran-substantiation. It is a principle of reason that we believe our senses. But this doctrine denies the testimony of our senses, and therefore contradicts reason. "Upon the authority of Rome we are required to believe that what our senses pronounce to be bread, that what the minutest analysis which chemistry can institute is able to resolve into nothing but bread, what every sense pronounces to be material, is yet the Incarnate Son of God, soul, and body, and Divinity, full and entire, perfect and complete. Here Rome and the senses are evidently at war; and here the infallible Church is made to despise one of the original principles of belief which God has impressed upon the constitution of the mind." (p. 93.) What is here said about the minutest analysis chemistry can institute, &c, amounts to nothing, makes the case neither stronger nor weaker; for chemical analysis, however minute or successful, can give us only sensible phenomena. It never attains to substance itself. The simple assertion is, that the doctrine of Transubstantiation contradicts reason, because it contradicts the senses. But is this true?

There is no contradiction of the senses, unless the doctrine requires us to believe that what is attested by the senses is false. What is it the senses attest? Simply the presence in the Sacred Host of the species, accidents, or sensible phenomena of bread. This is all; for it is well settled in philosophy, that the senses attain only to the phenomena, and never to the substance or subject of the phenomena. Does the doctrine of Transubstantiation deny this? Not at all. It asserts precisely what the senses assert, namely, the presence in the Sacred Host of the species, accidents, or sensible phenomena of bread. Then it does not contradict the senses.

"But it is a principle of human nature to believe, that, where we find the phenomena, there is also their subject; that, if in the Sacred Host all the sensible phenomena of bread are present, the substance of bread is also present." Undoubtedly, if reason has no authority, satisfactory to herself, for believing the contrary. In ordinary cases, reason has no such authority, and we are to believe that the sensible phenomena and their subject do go together. But reason cannot deny that God, if he chooses, can, by a miraculous exertion of his power, change the subject without changing the phenomena, and if in any particular case it be certified infallibly to her that he actually does so, she herself requires us to believe it. In the Most Holy Eucharist, it is so certified to reason, if the Church be infallible, and therefore, in believing that the sensible phenomena of bread are there without their natural subject, we are simply obeying reason, and of course, then, do not contradict it. It is no contradiction of reason to believe on a higher reason what we should not and could not on a lower reason. In this doctrine, we are simply required to suspend the ordinary reason at the bidding of an extraordinary reason, which is not, and never can be, unreasonable. Consequently, there is in the doctrine nothing contrary to reason, and the Church, in enjoining it, does not enjoin a dogma which contradicts either reason or the senses, though she unquestionably does enjoin a dogma which is above reason. The first proof, therefore, that the doctrine of infallibility "leads to skepticism," must be abandoned, as having no foundation for itself.

2. The second proof is no better. That certain infidel or paganizing philosophers, in the latter part of the fifteenth and early part of the sixteenth century, maintained that propositions may be philosophically true, yet theologically false, we concede; that this was the doctrine of the Schoolmen, or that it was ever for a moment countenanced by the Church, we deny. Indeed, Leo X., in Concilii Lateranensis Sess. 8, 1513, condemns it, by declaring every assertion contrary to revealed faith to be false, and decreeing that all persons adhering to such erroneous assertions be avoided and punished as heretics, - tanquam haercticos. It would not be amiss, if the Professor would bear in mind that proofs which are themselves either false or in want of proof prove nothing, however pertinent they may be.

We cannot follow the Professor in his declamatory speculations in support of his charge. His reasoning is all fallacious. He starts with the assumption, that the Church is fallible, has no authority from God to teach, and then charges her with consequences which would follow, no doubt, if she were fallible, if she had no Divine commission; for they are the precise consequences which do follow from the teaching, or rather action, of the Protestant sects. If the Church were fallible, a mere human authority, arrogantly claiming to teach infallibly, we certainly should not defend her, or dispute that her influence would be as bad as Mr. Thornwell falsely alleges; but we do not recognize his right to assume the fallibility of the Church as the basis of his proofs that she is not infallible; and we cannot accept as facts mere consequences deduced from an hypothesis which we deny, and which is not yet proved, far less receive them as proofs of the hypothesis.

There are in Catholic countries, no doubt, many unbelievers; but before this can be adduced as evidence that the Church, by claiming to be infallible, leads them into unbelief, it is necessary to prove that she is not infallible. If infallible, she cannot have a skeptical tendency ; because what she enjoins must be infallible truth, and skepticism, when it does not proceed from malice, results always, not from truth being present to the mind, but from its not being present. But it is worthy of remark, that the objections to Christianity on which unbelievers chiefly rely are not drawn from the distinctive teachings of the Catholic Church, nor from the Scriptures as she interprets them. They are nearly all drawn from the Scriptures as interpreted by private judgment, and hence, as we should expect, infidelity abounds chiefly in Protestant countries. Protestant Germany, England, the United States, are, any one of them, far more infidel than even France; and our own city cannot, in religious belief, compare favorably with Paris, infidel as Paris unhappily is. Modern infidelity is of Protestant origin; Giordano Bruno sojourned in Protestant England; Bayle was a Protestant, and resided in Holland ; Voltaire, the father of French infidelity, did but transport to France the philosophy of the Englishman Locke, and the doctrines and objections of the English deists, Herbert of Cherbury, Tindal, Toland, Chubb, Morgan, Woolston, and others. Indeed, to England especially belongs the chief glory, such as it is, of infidelizing modern society. France and Germany are nothing but her pupils. Rightly do Protestants regard her as the bulwark of their religion; for in the war against the Church, against the revelation of Almighty God, she, with her sanctimonious face and corrupt heart, is the commander-in-chief. It were easy to show, that, aside from the internal malice of unbelievers, the chief cause of infidelity in modern society is Protestantism, which asserts the Divine authority of the Scriptures, and then leaves them to be interpreted by private judgment; but it is unnecessary. It is becoming every day more and more obvious, that, the more Protestants circulate the Bible, the more do they multiply scoffers and unbelievers.

In Letter VII. we come to another class of objections, which we may term moral objections. These are summed up in the assertion, The Church cannot be infallible, because her "infallibility is conducive to licentiousness and immorality." (p. 105.) The proof of this is, first, the unproved assertion, that the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church leads to skepticism; and, second, the allegation that Catholicity and Jesuitism are one and the same thing. The first assertion we dismiss, for we have just shown that the Professor does not sustain it. As to Jesuitism, we hardly know what to say; for we do not know, and the author does not inform us, what is meant by Jesuitism. For aught that appears, the identity asserted may be conceded without prejudice to the Church. The Society of Jesus is composed of Catholic priests, and we are not aware that these have any peculiar doctrines, either of faith or morals. Indeed, they could not have; for if they were to have any, they would be obliged to leave the Order and the Church. The notion among some Protestants, that the Jesuits area sect in the bosom of the Church, professing certain dogmas of faith or certain principles of morals different from those professed by other Catholics, is a ridiculous blunder. The Church enjoins the same faith and the same principles of morals upon all her children, and no person, or class of persons, would be suffered to teach in her communion, who should add to or take from them. The Jesuits are Catholics, neither more nor less, and it is fair to presume that in faith and principles of morals they agree with all Catholics, and profess what the Church teaches.

But that the Jesuits teach, or ever have taught, doctrines favorable to licentiousness or immorality is a matter to be proved, not taken for granted. What is the proof the Professor offers? Here is all we can find : - "These three cardinal principles- of intention, mental reservation, and probability - cover the whole ground of Jesuitical atrocity." (p. 115.) The Professor labors long and hard to identify Catholicity and Jesuitism. He must, therefore, concede that these three principles cover the whole of what he holds to be atrocious in Catholicity. Catholicity, then, is "conducive to licentiousness and immorality," because it contains the three principles of "intention, mental reservation, and probability." But what is the meaning the Professor attaches to these principles ? Unhappily, he gives us no clear and explicit answer; for he writes with his head full of false assumptions.

"The detestable principles," he says, "of this graceless order [the Jesuits].....may be found embodied in the recorded canons of general councils. That the end justifies the means, that the interests of the priesthood are superior to the claims of truth, justice, and humanity, is necessarily implied in the decree of the Council of Lateran, that no oaths are binding - that to keep them is perjury rather than fidelity - which conflict with the advantage of the Church. What fraud have the Jesuits ever recommended or committed, that can exceed in iniquity the bloody proceedings of the Council of Constance in reference to Huss? -What spirit have they ever breathed more deeply imbued with cruelty and slaughter, than the edict of Lateran to kings and magistrates, to extirpate heretics from the face of the earth? The principle on which the sixteenth canon of the third Council of Lateran proceeds covers the doctrine of mental reservations. If the end justifies the means, if we can be perjured with impunity to protect the authority of the priesthood, a good intention will certainly sanctify any other lie, and a man may always be sure that he is free from sin, if he can only be sure of his allegiance to Rome and his antipathy to heretics. The doctrine of probability is in full accordance with the spirit of the Papacy, in substituting authority for evidence, and making the opinions of men the arbiters of faith. And yet these three cardinal principles of intention, mental reservation, and probability, which are so thoroughly Papal, cover the whole ground of Jesuitical atrocity." - pp. 114, 115.

It would seem from this, that the Professor understands by the principle of intention, that the moral character of the actor is determined by the intention with which he acts; by that of mental reservation, that no one can bind himself by oath to do that which conflicts with the advantage of the Church; and by that of probability, the substituting of authority for evidence, and making the opinions of men the arbiters oi faith. If this is not his meaning, we are unable to divine what it is.

That Catholicity teaches that the moral character of the actor is determined by his intention, or, in other words, that a man is to be judged according to his intention, may be true; but this must be morally wrong, or it cannot be adduced as a proof that the teaching of the Church is "conducive to licentiousness and immorality." That this is morally wrong, the Professor does not prove, or even attempt to prove. For ourselves, we are not now called upon to prove that it is right. It is for the Professor to prove that it is wrong. But we own, that, from our boyhood, we have always supposed it a dictate of reason that the man is to be praised or blamed according to his intention. If I really intend to do a man evil, my unintentional failure to do him evil does not exonerate me from guilt; if I really intend to do him good, but, in attempting to do him good, unintentionally do him evil, I am not guilty, if I have killed a man in self-defense, the law excuses or justifies me; and it does not hold me guilty of murder, unless the killing has been done with a felonious intent. He who takes the life of a fellow-being through private revenge is a murderer; the public officer who does it in pursuance of a judicial sentence is no murderer, and does but a justifiable act. Whence the difference, if not in the difference of intention? That no act, in relation to the actor, is blameworthy unless done from a malicious intention, or praiseworthy unless done from a virtuous intention, we have always supposed to be the teaching of reason, and we must have high authority to convince us that we have been wrong.

"But on this ground the Church erects her doctrine, that the end justifies the means." We cannot concede this; first, because the Church has no such doctrine; and second, because the principle does not imply it. The assertion, that the Church teaches, that any Catholic doctor teaches, or ever did teach, that the end justifies the means, is made without the faintest shadow of a reason, and the reverse is what she does teach, as every man knows who knows any thing of her leaching. The doctrine of intention objected to implies nothing of the sort. The Church teaches, indeed, that the act for which we are accountable is the act of the will; but she teaches that no act is done with a good intention that is not referred to God as the ultimate end, and that every one of our acts is to be so referred. Now, in choosing the means, we as much act as we do in the choice of the end, and therefore must be, as to the means, bound by the same law which binds us as to the end; and then we can no more choose unjust means than we can unjust ends, and therefore can be allowed to seek even just ends only by just means.

The Professor says that "the Jesuit Casnedi maintains in a published work, that at the clay of judgment God will say to many, ' Come, my beloved, you who have committed murder, blasphemed, &c, because you believed that in so doing you were right.' " But he takes good care not to give us a reference to the work itself, and we hazard nothing in saying that no Jesuit ever published such a sentence, unless it was to condemn it, as containing a Protestant heresy. That invincible ignorance, if really invincible, excuses from sin, is, no doubt, a doctrine of the Church; for she teaches that no one can sin in not doing that which he has no power to do. No doubt, involuntary mistakes, if unavoidable, springing from no malice in the will, from no culpable neglect of ours, are excusable; but no Catholic divine ever taught that invincible ignorance can extend to the great precepts of the natural law, to such as forbid murder, blasphemy, &c.; for they are engraven on the heart of every man, and are evident to every man by the light of natural reason. The Professor has been misled, by relying on the authority of Pascal, and other writers of his stamp. He refers us to Pascal's Provincial Letters "for a popular exposition of the morality of the Jesuits." He might as well refer us to Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary for a popular exposition of the morality of the Gospel. Pascal was a Jansenist, and Jansenists are heretics, not Catholics. The Provincial Letters are witty, but wicked,-a tissue of lies, forgeries, and misrepresentations, from beginning to end, as has been amply proved over and over again. If Mr. Thornwell is ignorant of this fact, he will have to search long before he will find a Catholic or a Jesuit doctor that will permit him to hold that his ignorance is excusable.[2]

1. The principle of mental reservation happens to be no Catholic doctrine. Protestants would, no doubt, be pleased to find that the Church teaches that lying is sometimes justifiable, for such a doctrine is one they stand very much in need of; but she teaches nothing of the sort. She does not command her children at all times and on all occasions to speak all the truth they may happen to know, but she does command them never to speak any thing but the truth; and she teaches them, that, when they use words which by their natural force convey a false sense, they speak falsehood, whatever may have been their secret meaning, and that knowingly and intentionally to use language which is naturally calculated to deceive the hearer, to convey to him a false meaning, or a meaning different from that in the mind of him that uses it, is to lie, to sin against God. All who are acquainted with Catholic morality know that this is her teaching, and whoever asserts the contrary is guilty of the very offence he would fasten upon her, and has no excuse for his conduct. For if he is ignorant of her doctrine, he speaks rashly; if he is not ignorant, he is guilty of a willful falsehood.

2. The facts which the Professor alleges, granting them to be facts, do not prove the principle of mental reservation. We presume the Professor wishes to maintain that the Church teaches that it is lawful for her children to take oaths which conflict with her advantage, but that they must take them with the mental reservation, not to keep them; and that if so taken, it is no sin to break them. This is what he needs in order to make out his case. But this he does not prove. Granting that he has rightly stated the doctrine of the Council of Lateran, - he does not tell us which council, - all he proves is, that the Church teaches that no oath taken to her prejudice is binding; but he does not prove that she teaches that the reason why it is not binding is because it was taken with a menial reservation not to keep it in case it conflicted with her advantage. For aught that appears, the reason why the Church declares that such oaths do not bind is because she holds them to be unlawful oaths, - oaths which no man has a right to take, and which therefore are void ab initio. The Professor will hardly maintain the morality of robbers and cutthroats, that a man who has taken an unlawful oath is bound to keep it. He will hardly pretend that he who should swear to assist in a plot for blowing up the Presbyterian Assembly when in session, for instance, would be bound to keep his oath, or to refrain from revealing the plot, simply because he had sworn not to do so. The whole sum and substance of the charge, then, is, that the Jesuits and the Church teach that unlawful oaths do not bind. Does this conflict with reason? Is this "conducive to licentiousness and immorality"? Is it immoral to teach that no man can bind himself to do wrong?

But in this the Church teaches that "the interests of the priesthood are superior to the claims of truth, justice, and humanity; for she holds that all oaths which conflict with her advantage are unlawful." The conclusion is not necessary, for it may be that her interests, her advantage, are identical with the claims of truth, justice, and humanity; or that it is only by promoting her interests and seeking her advantage that it is possible to vindicate the claims of truth, justice, and humanity. If she be what she professes to be, this must be so; and that she is what she professes to be the Professor must presume till he has proved the contrary. If she be the Church of God, any oath to her prejudice is an oath against God, and no man can be mad enough to say that an oath against God can bind, or that the claims of truth, justice, or humanity can be prejudiced by not keeping it. But the Professor cannot assume that she is not the Church of God, for that she is not is the very point he is to prove, and he cannot prove this by assuming it, and making the assumption the principle of his arguments to prove it. Such a procedure would simply beg the question. Granting, then, that the Church does teach that oaths to her prejudice are unlawful, and therefore do not bind, nothing proves that she is not right in so doing, and therefore nothing proves that in doing so she favors " licentiousness and immorality." To condemn the Church, on the ground the Professor assumes, would be to assert the doctrine opposite to hers; namely, unlawful oaths are to be kept, -that, if I have been foolish or wicked enough to swear to do wrong, I am bound in conscience to keep my oath and do the wrong, - a monstrous doctrine, which strikes at the foundation of all morals. It is strange what blunders Protestants commit, in trying to get an argument against the Church. It would seem as if it never occurred to them to examine the principle of the objections they urge. They seem to say, If the Church should favor licentiousness and immorality, then she would not be the Church of God; therefore she does favor licentiousness and immorality.

3. The Professor, evidently, is ignorant of the principle of probability, or probabilism, as understood by Catholic theologians. That principle, if he did but know it, is very nearly the contrary of what he supposes, and is little else than the well-known maxim of the common law, that, if there is a reasonable doubt, the accused is entitled to its benefit. But the principle, as the Professor defines it, is not embraced by the Church, nor defended by a single Catholic divine. He says, the Church substitutes "authority for evidence, and makes the opinions of men the arbiters of faith "; but this, in principle, at least, is a mistake; for the Church teaches that God alone is the arbiter of faith, and that nothing but his word, declared to be his word by himself through his divinely appointed organ, can be of faith. His word divinely declared to be his word is the highest evidence reason can demand or receive; and if the Church is proved to reason to be his organ for declaring his word, reason has the highest evidence it can conceive for believing whatever she teaches as the word of God is infallibly true. She asserts that reason has the right to demand this evidence, and has no right to dispense with it. In principle, then, she denies the principle of probability as set forth by the Professor. If she is what she claims to be, she denies it in her practice, and cannot possibly do as alleged. That she is what she professes to be the Professor is bound, as we have already shown, to presume, till he makes the contrary appear; which he does not do.

The Professor identifies Jesuitism with Catholicity, and resolves all that is atrocious in Jesuitism into the three principles enumerated, and therefore all that is atrocious in Catholicity. But the first of these principles is a simple dictate of reason, and contains nothing atrocious. Then all that is atrocious in Catholicity, or all the atrocity that can be charged upon Catholicity, is resolvable into the other two principles, namely, mental reservation and probability. But these are not Catholic principles, and, however atrocious they may be, their atrocity cannot be charged to her. Therefore no atrocity can be charged to her, even according to the Professor's own argument. But to be "conducive to licentiousness and immorality" is undeniably atrocious. Therefore the Church is not conducive to them. So the Professor does not sustain his assertion, that "Papal infallibility is conducive to licentiousness and immorality." Assuredly, the Professor is ignorant of the laws of evidence.

The next proof offered against the infallibility of the Church is, that " it is the patron of superstition and will-worship." (p. 116.) This is a singular objection. How infallibility can patronize superstition and will-worship, that is, well-worship, conceding them to be wrong, is more than we are able to conceive. Infallibility can be the patron of nothing wrong, and the Professor, if he should prove his thesis, would prove that superstition and will-worship are right, not that the Church is fallible. Can he mean that the assertion of her infallibility is the patron of superstition and will-worship? But this he would be troubled to prove, even if he should prove the existence of superstition and will-worship in the Church; for they undeniably exist out of the Church, in communities which lay no claim to infallibility. Does he mean that the Church is not infallible, because she is the patron of superstition, &c.? Why, then, did he not say so? If this is his meaning, his argument is valid, if the fact be as alleged. But, unhappily for his cause, the fact is not as alleged, as we have proved in our Review for last January, in the concluding article of the series, entitled, The Two Brothers; or Why are you a Protestant ? to which we refer him for a full answer to this objection. Catholics pay divine honors to God alone, as every one knows who knows any thing of Catholic worship. That we keep relics, pictures, and images, and pay them a relative honor as memorials of departed sanctity, we admit; that we venerate the Saints, especially the Ever-blessed Virgin, the Most Holy Mother of God, we also admit; but that this is superstition or will-worship we deny, and the Professor must prove, or not assert it.

The last proof of the fallibility of the Church which the Professor attempts to offer is, that she is not infallible, for "she is hostile to civil government." (p. 143.) His argument is, when reduced to form, - the church that claims and exercises temporal authority is hostile to civil government; but the Roman Catholic Church claims and exercises temporal authority; therefore she is hostile to civil government. The church that is hostile to civil government is fallible; but the Roman Catholic Church is hostile to civil government; therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is fallible, that is, not infallible.

We distinguish the major of the first syllogism. The church that claims and exercises supreme temporal authority is hostile to civil government, if she has received from Almighty God no grant of that temporal authority, we concede; if she has received the grant, we deny. No church which possesses, by the Divine grant, temporal authority, can be hostile to civil government by claiming and exercising it, because she is herself, under God, the civil government. But the Roman Catholic Church, if she has received the grant, does thus possess the temporal authority. Therefore, if she claims and exercises that authority, she is not hostile to civil government.

We distinguish also the major of the second syllogism. The church that is hostile to all government in civil affairs is fallible, we concede; for the necessity of government in civil affairs is clearly evinced from reason; the church that is hostile only to distinct and independent civil government is fallible, we deny, for it may be that God has vested the government of civil as well as spiritual affairs in the same hands. The denial of civil government distinct from and independent of the Church is a proof of fallibility only on the supposition that such civil government exists by divine right. But if all government, civil as well as spiritual, is vested in the Church, it does not so exist. Therefore its denial is no proof of fallibility. Moreover, the minor of the second syllogism is not proved. The Roman Catholic Church, as we have seen, cannot be hostile to civil government, even if she claim and exercise the supreme temporal authority, if she has received it as a grant from God, the Supreme Ruler. But it is not proved that she claims or exercises it without such grant. Therefore it is not proved that she is hostile to civil government; and therefore, again, it is not proved that she is fallible.

The Professor labors to prove, that, according to Catholicity, "the Pope is the vicar of the Omnipotent God, invested alike with temporal power and ecclesiastical authority." (p. 147.) If so, the Pope is the vicar of God in both orders, and is invested with the supreme authority in both. Then he is by Divine appointment the temporal sovereign. But for the temporal sovereign to claim and exercise temporal authority is not to be hostile to the civil government, but to assert and maintain it.

But the claim of the Church "to secular authority merges the state in the Church. Kings and emperors, nations and communities, become merely the instruments and pliant tools of spiritual dominion." (p. 153.) What then, if the spiritual dominion be legitimate? All power is of God, and there is no legitimate authority not from him. Kings, emperors, nations, communities, have no right to exercise temporal authority, save as vicars of the Omnipotent God, and it is only for the reason that they are such that we are under any obligation to obey them. If Almighty God has made the Pope his sole vicar in both orders, obedience is due to him by all both in church and state, and then it is no objection to the Church that she exacts the submission of kings, emperors, nations, communities, for they can, in such case, have no authority not derived from God through the Pope. The Professor, if he grant that the Pope is the vicar of Almighty God in the temporal and in the spiritual order, cannot urge his objection, because in doing so he would resist the authority of the vicar of God, and therefore of God himself.

Again, if the Pope be the vicar of God in both orders, the claim and exercise of the supreme temporal dominion do not merge the state in the church, for then the Church is both church and state. The Church could merge the state in herself by claiming and exercising temporal power, only on condition that she had received no special grant of temporal power, and claimed to exercise it solely by virtue of her grant of spiritual authority. But if she teaches, as the Professor contends, that in the Pope she has been invested with temporal as well as with spiritual authority, she does not do this, that is, does not claim the temporal as incidental to the spiritual. Therefore, even granting that she claims the supreme temporal authority, she does not and cannot merge the state in the Church as a spiritual authority, which is the sense intended. This is evinced from the instance of the Papal states. The Pope in regard to them is supreme in both temporals and spirituals, but they exist as a state, as a civil government, as much so as Tuscany or Sardinia.

The Professor does not appear to understand the question he wishes to discuss. The spiritual order is undeniably superior to the temporal, and nothing can be legitimately concluded from the temporal to the prejudice of the spiritual. No man who has any knowledge of even natural morality can pretend that it is the prerogative of the temporal order to define or give law to the spiritual. It is not according to reason that the lower should rule the higher, the body the soul, for instance, or the state the Church. To object to the Church that she subjects the whole temporal order to the spiritual order, or that she makes the spiritual dominion supreme, is to make an objection which reason disavows, because it would be in principle the same as to deny the right of reason to rule the flesh, nay, the same as to deny reason itself. The Church, if she is God's Church, if she has received plenary spiritual authority as the vicar of the Omnipotent God, must needs be superior to the state, and the state can have no authority to do aught she declares to be sinful or morally wrong, and must be bound to do whatever she declares to be required by the moral law. To allege that she subjects kings, emperors, &c, to her dominion is, then, to allege nothing against her.

The Professor does not state the question properly. He begins with an assumption that he has no right to make. He assumes, that, if the Church claims any authority in the temporal order, she is a usurper, and therefore cannot be infallible. He takes it for granted, then, that, if he proves that she has claimed such authority, he has disproved her infallibility. But we demand the proof from reason, that she has no authority in temporals. Till he proves this, he cannot conclude, from the fact that she claims it, that she is a usurper, and therefore fallible. It is certain from reason, since all power is of God, and there is and can be no rightful authority to govern in any order not derived mediately or immediately from him, that he can make the Pope his sole vicar on earth in both orders, if such be his will and pleasure. If he does so, then it is also certain that the Pope has the right to exercise the supreme authority in both orders, and then that, so far from his temporal authority being usurped, all authority not derived from God through him is usurpation. What the Professor has to prove, then, in case he contends that the Church claims the supreme temporal authority, is, not that she claims it, but that she claims it without having received it from God. If she asserts that she has received it, - since the legal presumption is in her favor, and the argument is not to prove, but to disprove, her infallibility, - he can prove that she has not received it only by proving that she has in the exercise of it violated some principle of natural justice.

Now, we are far from conceding that the Church has ever claimed or exercised temporal authority in the sense intended; but pass over that. Let it be supposed for the present that she has. What is the evidence that she has ever violated any principle of natural justice? You can arraign her only on the law of nature, before the bar of natural reason. Produce, then, the precept of the law of nature which she has violated or contradicted. We have looked carefully through all that the Professor has urged, and we can find nothing that is immoral or unjust. All his proofs are reduced to this, that she claims and exercises temporal authority. Grant all this, what then? Where is your evidence that she has not rightfully claimed and exercised it? You offer none, and only work yourself up into a violent passion against her, because she has claimed and exercised it. Where is your evidence that the exercise you fancy you have proved has been contrary to the law of nature? You offer only two things; first, what you call the Jesuit's oath, and, second, the prohibition of duelling by the Council of Trent. The oath ascribed to the Jesuits is a forgery. The Jesuits have no such oath, for as Jesuits they take no oath at all. The Council of Trent condemns duelling, we grant; but is it the condemnation of duelling, or duelling itself, that is contrary to the precepts of justice? Which is easier to defend, - duelling, or the Church in condemning it? And who is in the wrong, - the Church in condemning, or you in defending, the base, cowardly, and detestable practice of single combat?

But the Church does more than condemn it. According to the statute of the Council of Trent, in its twenty-fifth session, "the temporal sovereign who permits a duel to take place in his dominions is punished not only with excommunication, but with the loss of the place in which the combat occurred. The duellists and their seconds are condemned in the same statute to perpetual infamy, the loss of their goods, and deprived, if they should fall, of Christian burial, while those who are merely spectators of the scene are sentenced to eternal malediction." (p. 152.) Well, what then? What then ? Why, this proves that the Church claims the right to exercise civil authority, nay, to inflict civil punishments; for such are the forfeiture of goods, and the loss, of the place where the combat occurs. Yes, as you cite the statute, but not as it was passed by the Council of Trent[3] But let that pass. If so, it is nothing to your purpose, unless the punishment prescribed is in itself unjust. Will you maintain that?

"In a conflict of power between princes and Popes, the first and highest duty of all the vassals of Rome is to maintain her honor and support her claims." (p. 153.) Suppose a conflict of power between the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the civil authorities of the country, which party would the Professor, as a Presbyterian minister and member of that church, support? The civil authorities? Then he either condemns his church, or raises the temporal order above the spiritual, which he expressly repudiates. Would he side with his church, and maintain the independence of the spiritual order? Then he would recognize and act on the principle he objects to us, and we retort his objection. Suppose a conflict between an infallible church and a fallible civil government, we demand which of the two ought to yield. "But the Church is not infallible." That is for you to prove. If she is infallible, she must be in the right, and then we are bound in reason to support her; if she is not infallible, we deny that we are bound to support her at all, for then she is not God's Church.

"Hence the Jesuit in his secret oath renounces all allegiance to all earthly powers which have not been confirmed by the Holy See." (ib.) The Jesuit has no secret oath, and renounces no allegiance to the civil government. The charge is false.

"The Romish Church, too, sets her face like a flint against the subjection of her spiritual officers to the legal tribunals of the state." (ib.) Well, what if she does? Where is the proof that in this she is wrong? She "has positively prohibited the intolerable presumption of laymen, though kings and magistrates, of demanding oaths of allegiance from the lofty members of her hierarchy." (ib.) In case they hold nothing temporal of them, conceded; but what then? Will the Professor be good enough to demonstrate the right of the temporal authority to demand from a minister of religion an oath of allegiance in spirituals.

La Fayette is reported to have said, that, "if ever the liberties of this country should be destroyed, it would be by the machinations of the Romish priests." (p. 154.) Therefore the Church is fallible! La Fayette is reported, by whom ? When? Where? What if he did say so? Was La Fayette infallible? And does it follow that the thing must be so, because La Fayette thought so? If he did once think so, it is possible that he changed his mind, for it is reported that he became reconciled to the Church and died a Catholic, and it is well known that he was, when dying, exceedingly anxious for the services of a "Romish priest." He had probably had enough of French philosophizing during his lifetime, without wishing to carry any with him into eternity.

"They are all of them [Catholic priests] sworn subjects of a foreign potentate." (ib.) Not true. The authority of the Church is Catholic, not national, and can be no more foreign here than at Rome.

"There are peculiar principles in the constitution and polity of Rome which render it an engine of tremendous power." (p. 159.) Who has more power than God? Because, if we admit the existence of God, we must admit his omnipotence, are we to be atheists? If the Church be not God's Church, she cannot possess the authority we claim for her, without danger, we concede; if she is his Church, and the Pope is his vicar, what have we to fear from her power more than we should have, if it were exerted immediately by God himself? We defend the Church as God's Church, and attempt no defense of her on the supposition that she is not his Church. Prove to us that he has not instituted her, and we will abandon her; but. remember that proving that she has a tremendous power is no proof to us that he has not instituted her; for it belongs not to us to say how much or how little power it is proper for him to delegate to her. The claim of similar power for a human or man-made church, like the Presbyterian, would unquestionably be dangerous, and has proved itself so in the whole history of Protestantism. But that it is dangerous in a divinely commissioned church, we know, and so does every man of common sense, is not and cannot be true; for God himself becomes our surety for the right exercise of the power, and that is sufficient.

"The doctrine of auricular confession establishes a system of espionage which is absolutely fatal to personal independence, and from the intimate connection between priests and bishops, and bishops and the Pope, all the important secrets of the earth can be easily transmitted to the Vatican." This is ridiculously absurd. No priest can communicate to any person living the secrets of the confessional, and he can no more do it to his bishop or to the Pope than he can to James H. Thornwell. He cannot speak, out of the confessional, of what has been told him in the confessional, even to the penitent himself. No instance of the secrets of the confessional having been betrayed has ever transpired. Even the vilest apostates have never been known to disclose what they had received under the seal of the confessional. The Catholic clergy do not record the confessions of their penitents in a book, making them a part of the records of the Church, as did the former Puritan ministers of New England, as we had occasion ourselves to know formerly from the inspection of the records of some of their churches, over which it was our misfortune to be settled as pastor.

As to the system of espionage, we all know that it was carried to its perfection in the Congregational churches of New England; and it still existed in full vigor a few years ago in the Presbyterian churches in the Middle States, as we had personal means of knowing. In most Calvinistic churches, especially the Congregational, the Presbyterian, and the Methodist, the members are bound by a solemn covenant, a covenant frequently renewed, to watch over one another, which means, practically, that they shall be spies one upon another; and who that has had the misfortune to be brought up a Presbyterian has not felt that he was under perpetual surveillance, that every member, it might be, of the particular church to which he belonged was on the look-out to catch him tripping? We have ourselves had ample opportunities of learning the degree of personal independence allowed by Presbyterianism, and we never knew the meaning of personal independence till we became a Catholic. There is no comparison, in this matter of personal independence, between Catholicity and any form of Protestantism we are acquainted with, and that is saying much, if what is alleged concerning our frequent changes be not altogether untrue. Catholicity provides us all the helps we need in order to attain to Christian perfection; she exhorts, she entreats us to avail ourselves of them, and to attain to that perfection; but she throws the responsibility on our own individual consciences. Catholics, also, usually mind their own business, and attend rather to their own consciences than to those of their neighbors. Hence, you find among them very little hypocrisy. Their conduct is free, frank, natural, and, as far as we have had opportunities for observing, they generally wear their worst side outward. It needs a close and intimate acquaintance with them to know, or even to suspect, their real piety and worth. This indicates any thing but the want of personal independence, and the presence of the system of espionage alleged. Indeed, the Professor in bringing this charge must have argued against us from what he knows to be true of his own sect; but this is to pass from one genus to another, -not allowable in logic. Servility, slavishness, the want of personal independence, the fear to say that our souls are our own, though unquestionably characteristics of the Presbyterian, are no characteristics of the Catholic. There is a total difference between the mild and parental authority exercised by our clergy over us, and the harsh and severe tyranny notoriously exercised by Presbyterian ministers over their flocks; and it would take much to make Catholics believe it possible for a people to stand in such awe and dread of a minister of religion as Presbyterians do of their ministers. Our children are delighted to see a priest come into the house; we, when a boy, if we saw a minister coming, used to run and hide in the barn.

The Professor has mentioned several other points, but they involve no principle not already met and disposed of. The great question of the mutual relation of the temporal and spiritual powers we have not discussed, for it has not lain in our way. In these essays we have not been laboring to establish the claims of the Church, but to test the validity of the objections urged by the Professor. We have shown that he has offered nothing that disproves, or tends to disprove, her infallibility. This is all that was required of us. That the Church is hostile to civil government we deny, and could easily prove, if it were necessary. But the burden of proof is on the Professor, and we are not disposed to assume it for ourselves. The Church represents the spiritual order, and has exclusive jurisdiction under God, for her own children, of all questions which pertain to that order; but as the Church, she has never enacted, or attempted to enact, civil laws. She asserts, undoubtedly, the independence, and if the independence, the supremacy of the spiritual order, because the spiritual order embraces every moral question, and the state is as much bound to obey the moral law as the individual; but as long as the civil government seeks the public good, without violating any precept of that law, she leaves it, within its own province, free to adopt and carry put the economical or prudential policy it judges proper or expedient.

The Professor alludes to the struggles which have at times occurred between the civil and ecclesiastical powers, and takes it for granted that in these struggles the civil power was always in the right, and the Church in the wrong. It is singular how readily Protestants, when they wish to deny the infallibility of the Church, assume it for individuals and for civil government. But civil government is confessedly fallible. The simple fact of a conflict between the two powers is, therefore, no evidence that right is against the Church. Indeed, the conflict itself is a presumption that the state is in the wrong; because the presumption is always in favor of the superior order. Do our Protestant friends ever reflect on the distrust which they manifest of their own pretended churches, when they assume that right must needs be, in every contest, on the side of the temporal authority? Do they remark that they prove themselves thus to be either courtiers or infidels? Even if the Church were only a human institution, it would not follow that she would not be in the right in warring against political tyrants. We certainly have no respect for Presbyterianism, and yet, if we should find the state, by virtue of its own authority, attempting to suppress it, we should side with Presbyterianism against the state; for we hold the utter incompetency of the state in spirituals, and we no more concede its right to sit in judgment on Presbyterianism than we do its right to sit in judgment on Catholicity. The question is one which belongs to the spiritual authority, and the state, in its own right, has and can have nothing to do with it.

It perhaps has never occurred to the Professor that it might be profitable to investigate those struggles which afford him so much matter of virulent but foolish declamation against the Church. In fact, the Popes, in their contests with the civil powers, need no apology. Judged even as a human power, they were always in the right, on the side of justice and humanity, defending the cause of the oppressed, and putting forth their power only to vindicate the rights of conscience, to succor the weak, to console the afflicted, and to protect the friendless. We said all this, and even more, while yet in the ranks of Protestants, and far from dreaming that we should one day be a Catholic. We grant that the Pope has excommunicated princes and nobles, deposed kings and emperors, and absolved their subjects from their allegiance; but in this he has only done his duty as the Spiritual Father of Christendom, and what was required by humanity as well as religion. These princes were his spiritual subjects, amenable to his authority by the law of the Church which they acknowledged, and by the constitution of their own states. He was their legal judge, had the right to summon them before him, and to cut them off, if he saw proper, from the communion of the faithful, and excommunication of itself worked virtual deposition. In absolving subjects from their allegiance, he usurped no authority, for he was the legal judge in the case; for whether the allegiance continued or had ceased presented a case of conscience, of which, as Sovereign Pontiff, he had supreme jurisdiction, and because he was by all parties the acknowledged umpire between princes and their subjects. But he never claimed the right to absolve from their allegiance the subjects of infidel princes, or of any princes not Catholic, or bound to be Catholic by the constitution of their states, as the kings and queens of Great Britain are bound, since 1688, to be Protestant.

But what, in fact, was the absolution granted, and in what cases has the Pope exercised, or claimed, the right to grant it? Has the Pope ever claimed the right to absolve from their allegiance the subjects of a legitimate prince, who reigns justly, according to the laws and constitution of his state? Never. In every such case he impresses upon his spiritual children the duty of obedience. But the obligation between prince and subject is reciprocal. If the subject is bound to obey the prince, the prince is bound to protect the subject. This is implied in the very nature of the social compact. The people are not for the prince, but the prince is for the people. The authority of the prince is not a personal franchise or right, but a trust, and he is bound to exercise it according to the conditions on which it is committed to him. Government exists, not for the good of the governors, but for the good of the governed. The true prince is the servant of his subjects. Government is instituted for the common good, and the moment it ceases to consult the common good, or the public good, it forfeits its rights. The tyrant, the oppressor, has and can have no right to reign, and therefore no right to exact obedience. His subjects cease to be subjects to him, and are free-in a lawful manner - to resist, and even depose him; for resistance to tyrants, if the manner of the resistance be just, is obedience to God. When a prince becomes a tyrant, when he oppresses his subjects, and tramples on the rights of our common humanity, he breaks the compact between him and his subjects, and by so doing releases them from their allegiance. Hence our Congress of 1776, after having proved George the Third to be a tyrant, conclude, - "Therefore.....these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; and they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown." Now suppose the subjects of a prince, feeling themselves aggrieved, oppressed, complain to the Holy Father, the judge recognized by both parties in the case, that their prince has broken the compact, violated his oath of office, and become a tyrant ; suppose the Holy Father entertains the complaint, and summons both parties to plead before him, and, after a patient hearing of the cause, gives judgment against the prince, declares him to have forfeited his rights, and that his subjects are absolved from their allegiance, what would there be in all this to which reason could object? Well, this is precisely the kind of absolution the Popes have granted, and never have they deposed a prince or absolved his subjects, except in cases precisely similar to the one here supposed. He merely declares the law, and applies it to the facts of the case presented. The absolution itself simply gives a legal character to a fact which already exists. The necessity of some such authority as that which Protestants complain of in the Popes is widely and deeply felt in modern society, and various substitutes for it, such as a congress of nations, have been suggested or attempted, but without any favorable results. Having rejected the Pope as the natural and legal umpire between the prince and his subjects, we find ourselves reduced to the dilemma, either of passive obedience and non-resistance to tyrants, or of revolution, which denies the right of government, renders order impracticable, and resolves society into primitive chaos. To deny the right to resist the tyrant is to doom the people to hopeless slavery; to assert it, and yet leave to each individual the right to judge of the time, the means, and the mode of resistance, is disorder, no-governmentism, the worst form of despotism. In the " dark ages," men were able to avoid either alternative. By recognizing the Pope as umpire, who, by his character and position, as head of the Church which embraced all nations, was naturally, not to say divinely, fitted to be impartial and just, they practically secured the right of resistance to tyranny, without undermining legitimate authority. It will be long before modern nations will be wise enough to recognize how much they have lost by what they call their progress.

For ourselves, we thank God that there was formerly a power on earth that was able to depose tyrants, and to step in between the people and their oppressors. We are not among those who are afraid to glory in the boldness and energy of those great Popes who made crowned heads shake, and princes hold their breath. Our heart leaps with joy when we see St. Peter smite the oppressor of the Church or of his people to the earth, and if we have ever felt any regret, it has been at the slowness of the Holy Father to smite, or at his want of power to smite with more instant effect. Even when a Protestant, we learned to revere the calumniated Hildebrands, Innocents, and Bonifaces, those noble and saintly defenders of innocence, protectors of the helpless, and humblers of crowned tyrants and ruthless nobles. O, how slow even we Catholics are to do them justice! How little do we reflect on the deep debt of gratitude we owe them! O, dumb be the tongue that would rail against the Popes or apologize for their firm resistance to the usurpation of the temporal authorities! Alas! how often in the history of modern Europe have we seen them, under God, the last hope of the world, the only solace of the afflicted, the sole resource of the wronged and downtrodden! Alas! it is precisely because of their noble defense of religion and freedom, of their fidelity to God and to man, that they have been calumniated, and the world has been filled with the outcries of tyrants, and their minions and dupes, against them.

That the interposition of the Sovereign Pontiffs in temporal affairs often occasioned much disturbance, and even civil wars, we are not disposed to deny; but on them who made the interposition necessary must rest the responsibility. In this world, it often happens that right cannot be peacefully asserted and maintained, and tyranny proves a curse, not only while it is unresisted, but even when resisted, and successfully resisted. We cannot permit a band of depredators to go unresisted, because we must disturb them by resisting them. Injustice, iniquity, can never be redressed, the tyrant can never be deposed and the legitimate sovereign restored, without a combat, and often a long and bloody one. Even our Lord himself told us to think not that he had come to send peace on the earth, but a sword rather. But shall we, therefore, make no efforts to right the wronged, to save justice and humanity from utter shipwreck? Let no man who glories in the revolutionary principle, who boasts of being a lover of freedom and the progress of mankind, pretend it. We are no revolutionists; we hold ourselves bound in conscience to obey the legal authority; but we acknowledge no obligation to obey the oppressor, and let the competent authority but declare him an oppressor and summon us to the battle-field, and we are ready to obey, to bind on our armor, rush in where blows fall thickest and fall heaviest, let the disturbance be what it may. We are, thank God, Roman Catholics, and therefore love freedom and justice, and dare not, when called upon, to shrink from defending them against any and every enemy, at any and every sacrifice.

The Professor contends that the Church is hostile to civil government; we would respectfully ask him if he has reflected, that, without her, civil government becomes impracticable. How, without her as umpire between government and government, and between prince and subject, and without her as a spiritual authority to command the obedience of the subject and the justice of the prince, will he be able to secure the independence of nations, and wise and just government? Will he learn from experience? Let him, then, read modern history. The age in politics discards the Church. Protestantism for three hundred years has been the religion of nearly a third, and, in politics, of the whole of Europe. Three hundred years is a fair time for an experiment. Well, what is the result? Despotism on the one hand, and anarchy on the other. There is not, at this moment, a single well-organized civil government on the whole Eastern continent, and only our own on the Western. The government of Great Britain may seem to be an exception for the Old World, but it is a perfect oligarchy; it fails to secure the common weal; enriches the few and impoverishes the many; and its very existence is threatened by a mob which the ever-increasing poverty of the industrial classes hourly augments, and grim want is rendering desperate. Our own government is sustained solely by the accidental advantages of the country, consisting chiefly in our vast quantities of unoccupied fertile lands, which absorb our rapidly increasing population, and form a sort of safety-valve for its superfluous energy. Strip us of these lands, or let them be filled up so that our expanding population should find its limit, and be compelled to recoil upon itself, our institutions would not stand a week.

Here in the present state of the world, hardly to be paralleled in universal history, - when old governments are either all fallen or tottering ready to fall; when all authority is cast off, and law is despised; when the streets of the most civilized cities run with the blood of citizens shed by citizens, and the lurid light of burning cottage and castle gleams on the midnight sky; when saintly prelates bearing the olive-branch of peace are shot down by infuriated ruffians; when murder and rapine hardly seek concealment, and all civilization seems to be thrown back into the savagism of the forests, - here we may read the wisdom of those who discard the Church, and denounce her as hostile to civil government, - the wisdom of the doctrine which a scoffing and unbelieving age opposes to the truth which Almighty God has revealed, and to the lessons of universal experience. Alas! how true it is, that God permits strong delusions to blind the impious and the licentious, that they may bring swift destruction upon themselves!

But it is time to bring our remarks to a close. We have examined the principal arguments which Mr. Thornwell has brought forward to prove the fallibility of the Church, and we leave our readers to judge for themselves whether we have not proved, that, in every instance, they are either unsound in principle or irrelevant, proving nothing but the Professor's own malice or ignorance. The Professor has made numerous assumptions, numerous bold assertions, but in no instance has he done better than simply to assume the point he was to prove. He has declaimed loudly against the Church, he has said many hard things against her, but he has harmed only himself and his brethren. We now take our leave of him. We have done all we proposed. We have vindicated the Catholic argument for the disputed books drawn from the infallibility of the Church, which is enough, without the testimonies of the Fathers, although we have even these. We regret that the task of answering the Professor had not been assumed by Dr. Lynch himself, who would have accomplished it so much better than we have done. Yet it was hardly fitting that he should have assumed it. He could not, with a proper respect for himself and his profession, have replied to such a vituperative performance as Mr. Thornwell's book. We were brought up a Presbyterian, and have been accustomed from our youth to the sort of stuff we have had to deal with, and therefore have been able to reply without feeling the degradation we should have felt, had we all our lifetime been accustomed to the courtesy and candor of Catholic controversialists.


1 Ep. v. Apud Constant, T. J. col. 528, cited by Kenrick, Primacy of the Apostolic See. p. 106, 3d edition.

2 In ordinary times, what we have said in the text is all that would need to be said in reference to the Society of Jesus; but now, when the Society is suffering a severe persecution, even in Catholic countries, we are unwilling to pass the subject over without bearing our testimony, feeble as it is, in favor of the children of St. Ignatius. We do this the more willingly, because we are conscious that we have ourselves frequently done them great injustice, both in our thoughts and in our words, for which we are heartily sorry, and pray them to forgive us. It is hard, when we hear a body of men widely and constantly decried, not to be more or less prejudiced against them; and nothing is more natural than, when under the influence of this prejudice, to exaggerate beyond all reasonable bounds the slight imperfections we may observe in here and there an individual member, and to generalize them into characteristics of the body itself. Pew persons have been more prejudiced against the Society of Jesus than we ourselves. But having taken some pains to find a basis for the unfavorable judgment we had formed, we hardly know when or how, we confess that we have been entirely unsuccessful. There may have been individual Jesuits whose conduct we could not approve, but we are satisfied, after studying the history of the Order, that it needs no other defense than a simple statement of facts, and no other eulogium than the recital of its deeds.

Every body knows the popular meaning attached to Jesuitical, Taking the word in this meaning, there are no men so little Jesuitical as the Jesuits. Their whole history proves them to be remarkable for their simplicity of heart, singleness of purpose, and straightforwardness of conduct. No man can take up a work in defense of the Order, written by a member, without being fully convinced that the Jesuit is the antithesis of the character commonly ascribed to him. We have heard many charges, and grave charges, against him; but we have not heard one that we have not seen refuted. Jesuits are men, and, of course, suffer more or less the infirmities common to all men; but we should like to be shown a body of men, of equal numbers, placed in the trying circumstances in which they have been, who have shown less of human infirmity, or been more true to the motto, Ad majorem Dei Gloriam. There is no field of science or art which they have not cultivated with success; no department of literature which they have not enriched with their contributions; scarcely a nation to which they have not preached the cross; and hardly a land which they have not sanctified with the blood of their martyrs.

Even the present persecution of the Society is to its glory. If the Jesuits had been political demagogues, - if they had been violent radicals, ready to sacrifice liberty to license, order to anarchy, religion to politics, heaven to earth, - our ears would not have been stunned with maddened outcries against them; the world would have owned them as her children, and the age would have delighted to honor them. We know it is pretended that they are the enemies of liberty and the friends of despotism, but it needs only a slight knowledge of facts to know that this is mere pretence. Liberty has more than once found her noblest champion in the Jesuits, and the hostility a year or two since manifested to them in France was because they demanded the freedom of education, a right guarantied by the Charter itself. They may not be, in these days, foremost among those who stir up rebellions and revolutions; they may not regard the fearful events which have just transpired in Europe, or are now transpiring, as sure to bring back the golden age of the poets; they may hold their mission to be spiritual, rather than political, and believe it more important to convert individuals and nations to God than to one- political creed or another; but if so, it does not follow that they are wrong, or that for this very reason they are not all the more worthy of our respect and confidence.

The Society of Jesus was instituted, not for political, but for religious purposes, and its members, by their profession, are devoted to preaching the Gospel, hearing confessions, and educating youth, and that not for one country only, but for all countries. These ends are the same and of equal importance everywhere and under all forms of government. If the Jesuits were to adopt a political creed, and become its propagandists, how could they devote themselves alike to the ends of their institute under the monarchy of Europe and the democracy of America'? What course would or could be proper for them, but to abstain from declaring themselves in favor of any particular form of government, and to content themselves with simply inculcating upon all citizens to obey the legitimate government of their country, whatever its form or constitution?

The charge against the Jesuits of being in favor of this or that form of government arises from their refusal to declare themselves in favor of one or another, from the fact that they have no political creed, and make it a point of duty to stand aloof from politics, and to confine themselves to the discharge of their spiritual functions. They obey the powers that be, and comport themselves as loyal subjects to the authority of the country, whether it be autocracy, as in Russia, constitutionalism, as in France and Great Britain, or republicanism, as in America. What more could we ask of them? If tyrants denounce them because they will not turn defenders of tyranny, if revolutionists denounce them because they will not join in the war against legitimate authority, whose fault is it? Are we to condemn the Jesuits because tyrants and revolutionists wrong them?

Wherever the Jesuits are permitted to establish themselves, they are a blessing. It is not easy to estimate the value to this country of their services as instructors of our youth. It would be difficult to find a substitute for them as educators. In every part of the country, they are, for the pure love of God, founding colleges, and training up our children in the way they should go. Is this nothing? These colleges are but of yesterday, yet have they already done great service, - as we ourselves can testify, who have had four sons for a long time in one of them, and who have peculiar reason to thank Almighty God for raising up and moving the good fathers to devote themselves to the important work of education. But as yet they have really done nothing, in comparison with what they will do. They now rank among the best in the country, and in a few years they must place education with us at least on a level with what it is in the most favored countries of the Old World. And can we count this small service?

Worldlings may despise the Jesuits, infidels and heretics may calumniate them; misguided Catholics, whose faith is but a dead faith, may distrust them; but the world needs them, our own country needs them, and though the Church is dependent on no religious order, they are not the least efficient of her servants. Protestants, in their estimation of the Jesuit, betray only their ignorance or their malice, or both. The character they ascribe to the Jesuit they will find in its perfection in their own ministers, and the best definition of Jesuitical, in the popular acceptation of the term, is a Presbyterian minister, the antithesis of a Jesuit. Mr. Thornwell illustrates and accepts, in the book before us, every element of what he calls Jesuitism. No man can have been brought up among Presbyterians without knowing that the principle, that the end justifies the means, is the one on which they generally act, whether they avow it or not. No one can read one of their books against the Church without perceiving that the principle of mental reservation, or, in plain terms, the right to lie for the purpose of advancing Protestantism, is a principle which they practically adopt, and hold in constant requisition; and whoever will read a Presbyterian dogmatical work will see that to higher certainty than probability its author does not aspire, and that to substitute authority for evidence, and to make the opinions of men the arbiters of faith, is his boast. Nothing is more ridiculous than for a Presbyterian minister to accuse Jesuits of a want of principle, of candor, of honesty, or to charge them with fraud and cruelty. Who ever heard of a Presbyterian minister that was not, officially, the very impersonation of pride, cant, hypocrisy, bigotry, and cruelty? If such a one there ever was, we may "be sure that he did not live and die a Presbyterian. We know something of Presbyterianism; it was our misfortune to have been brought up a Presbyterian. We know what are its secret covenants, the pledges it exacts of its adherents, and the measures it takes to prevent the least ray of light from penetrating their darkness. Take a Protestant's account of Catholicity or Jesuitism, change the name, and it is a faithful picture, as far as it goes, of proud, arrogant, bigoted, cruel, and persecuting Presbyterianism. There is not a charge brought against us by Presbyterians that we cannot retort.

3 Vide Cone. Trident. Sess. 25, cap. xix.