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Protestant Love of Liberty

Brownson's Quarterly Review, July, 1845

Art. II.  The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America. By Rev. Nathaniel Ward. Edited by David Pulsifer. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 1843. 12mo. pp. 96.

Protestants claim to be the especial friends of civil liberty and religious, and pretend that Catholics are bound by their religion and Church to be the bitter enemies of both, and therefore ought not to be tolerated by a free people. Hence, in this country, they contend, in the name of civil freedom, that Catholics ought to have no political rights ; and form, in the name of liberty of conscience, Protestant unions, and seek, by means of fanatical lecturers and colporteurs, and incendiary publications, to kindle the flames of persecution, and to raise up against us a war of extermination,  as if liberty of conscience meant only liberty for the Protestant conscience !

Did it not concern a serious subject, this claim of the Protestants would strike us as a capital joke,  of the lucus a non lucendo kind. Nothing is or can be more unfounded. In no country has Protestantism, as Protestantism, shown itself the warm and generous friend of liberty ; and in no country has it, thus far, aided the progress even of civil liberty. Its rise and progress in the sixteenth century were accompanied and followed by immense accessions to the royal prerogative, and the destruction or virtual destruction of the estates which controlled the royal will and protected the subject. The governments of Europe are not so popular in their elements now as they were before the Reformation. The English Commons have less power in the state than they had in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the mass of the French nation are not so fully nor so effectually represented in the government as they were in the old feudal times. Spain lost, by the commotions caused by the Reformation, the greater part of her franchises, and the few not already lost the modern Liberals are trying to sweep away. The condition of the mass of the laboring classes, saving in a few localities, where favored by certain accidental and temporary causes, has been constantly deteriorating for the last three hundred years, especially in Protestant countries, and countries under Protestant influence. Wealth has accumulated in certain localities, but it may be questioned whether the aggregate wealth of the old world has been after all much augmented by modern industry. Let England restore to India and other lands what she has robbed them of, or what they possessed when she began her traffic with them, and she would be not a wonderful deal wealthier than she was before Henry the JEighth. We have very positive evidence to show that the laborers in Western Europe fared better in the Middle Ages than they do now. Some striking facts have lately been alleged, which go far to show that the population of Western Europe was as great in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as it is now, if not even greater ; that the soil was under a higher state of cultivation, and commerce equally extensive ; art, literature, and philosophy, we know, from the monuments which remain, were of a much higher order, and really more flourishing; while education, in every proper sense of the word, was more generally diffused and of a better quality. In mere physical comforts, we may form some notion of the superiority of Catholic times, when we are told, that, in England, prior to the Reformation, the laborer could obtain for a day's labor four times the amount of the necessaries of life that he can now, and that there were no paupers then, no union workhouses, no poor-tax, no national debt. Governments have become centralized machines for taxing the people ; they cost millions now where they cost thousands then, and yet do far less for the public weal.

As for republicanism, which with us is considered to be the synonyme of liberty, there is less of it in Europe now than before the Reformation, and less of it in Protestant Europe than in Catholic  Europe.    England is a miserable  oligarchy, in which the  mass of the people have very little  influence, and less than they had before passing the Reform Bill.    Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia are Protestant states, and as despotic as one could wish ; and even here, where republicanism is firmly established, it is rendered nugatory.    Some two or three hundred individuals rule the country as absolutely as the emperor of Russia rules his subjects,  and not for the common good of all,  because they control the business operations of the country, and Protestantism can oppose no antagonist power to wealth.    We need no prophet's ken to foresee, that, unless Providence interposes in our behalf, liberty with us, before many years, will be an empty name, and republicanism be nothing but demagoguism and mammonism.    The virtues which sustain freedom are every year disappearing, and the corruption of the mass is becoming every year greater and greater.    Even the intellect with us degenerates ; and education, while in appearance more, is less efficient in stimulating and strengthening the mind.    The reading of the country is the newspaper and the cheap novel, or some other trash equally vile,  producing intellectual flatulency, but affording no wholesome nourishment to the system.   And Protestantism has no remedy.    Its " Bible societies," " Tract societies," u Sabbath  conventions," its u Morrison-pills," which it proposes and  seeks every now and then to cram down our throats, like all quack medicines, divert perhaps for a moment the patient's fancy, but reach not the seat of his disease, effect no radical cure.

Puseyism sees this, and thinks that the evil will be remedied by a stricter observance of the rubrics, by preaching in the surplice instead of the gown.    Fourierism sees this, and fancies that the cure will come if we but organize the Phalanstery, and provide for the free development of the passions, on the homoeopathic principle of like cures like, or the hair of the same dog that bit will cure,  carry out to its perfection the system which works the evil, and it will remedy it.    The dose of lobelia did not cure, because it was too small;  take another, a larger dose, and dose after dose, and you will live,  if you do not die,    Owenism sees all this, and comes forward with its wise saws about " circumstances," and proposes to gather us into communities, to live in parallelograms, all sides and ends facing to the south.   Radicalism sees this, and cries out for the popular will,  Only let the people speak  vox populi, vox Dei -and, presto, all evils vanish ;just as if the evil was not in the very popular will and popular passions,  as if there could be more in the collective will than the sum of the several parts ! Agrarianism sees this, and,' Hurrah ! down with the monopoly in land ! the earth belongs to the children of men,  therefore to no body, and therefore each may take what he wants ;  as it any one takes now more than he wants, himself being judge. Infidelity sees this, and cries, Down with religion ! down with the priests ! down with all inquiries about right and wrong, and study chemistry, astronomy, and gastronomy, and all will go well !    Transcendentalism sees this, and bids us believe it all comes from forming too low an estimate of our own nature, from looking abroad, instead of looking at our own noses ; and it tells us to believe that we are gods or God, to fix our eyes devoutly on ourselves, and the huge world will come round to us and shape itself to our wishes.    Still the evil goes on, and Protestantism, proud of her motley brood, boasts of her wondrous power, of her love of freedom, of her marvellous achievements for the human race, and her ability to enable us to live like pigs in clover here, and enjoy the celestial paradise for ever hereafter.    Lucus a non lucendo !
In regard to religious liberty, the picture is not a whit more pleasing. Protestantism, quoad Protestantism, has never favored or tolerated religious liberty. We speak advisedly, and know very well what we say. We were born Protestant, and grew up with the usual Protestant prejudices. We know what Protestantism pretends to be. We 'know, also, what she is. Nothing is more false than the pretensions of modern Protestants ; and, if they were not blest with ignorance of Protestant history, or with conveniently short memories, they wouldyes, even they, would  blush to call themselves the friends of religious liberty, the advocates of freedom of conscience.
Protestantism was not, in its origin, as some in these days pretend, a protest against tyranny, and an uprising of the soul for religious freedom. No such thing. It originated with the temporal powers who sought to crush religious liberty. It was a movement, not in behalf of religious liberty, but against it. It is all very fine to talk of Luther and Melancthon, Calvin and Zwingle, Carlostadt, and John of Leyden ; but these men were but mere instruments in the hands of the political sovereigns. The fathers of your " glorious Reformation,"  yes, Republicans, Democrats, know the truth!  the fathers of your " glorious Reformation " were the temporal princes who were hostile to religious liberty, who were opposed to the independence of the Church, who wished to bring it into subjection to the state, and to make it their ally, their tool in oppressing the masses and fleecing the multitude. They would have no power that dared rebuke the wearer of a crown, no priest whom they could not make or unmake, as he conformed or not to their will. They wished to make the Church a branch of the civil police, and the sovereign pontiff a sort of high constable, or chief of the constabulary, and responsible to the crown. They wished to make the Universal Church the mean, contemptible, crouching slave of the state, which the Anglican Church has been for three hundred years, and still is,  powerless for good, but a most effective instrument in the hands of the sovereign for oppressing the people, and keeping them quiet under the most grievous burdens. This they could not do, so long as they acknowledged the spiritual authority of the Pope, or a common centre of ecclesiastical unity. Here is the noble, the royal origin of Protestantism, which has the impudence in open day to call herself republican, and the friend of religious liberty.

It is not now for the first time we have said this. We said this years ago, long before we ever dreamed that we should become a Catholic, and when no Catholic prejudices blinded us, if they do now.    We quote a paragraph or two :

" In classical antiquity religion is a function of the state. It is the same under Protestantism. Henry the Eighth of England declares himself the Supreme Head of the Church, not by virtue of his spiritual character, but by virtue of his character as a temporal prince.    The Protestant princes of Germany are protectors of the Church ; and.....there is an implied contract between the state and the ecclesiastical authorities. The state pledges itself to support the Church on condition that the Church support the state. Ask the kings, nobility, or even church dignitaries why they support religion, and they will answer with one voice, * Because the people cannot be preserved in order, cannot be made to submit to their rulers, and because civil society cannot exist without it.' The same or a similar answer will be returned by almost every political man in this country; and truly may it be said, that religion is valued by the Protestant world as a subsidiary to the state, as a mere matter of police."

" Such, in its general aspect, in its dominant tendency, is Protestantism. It is a new and much improved edition of the classics Its civilization belongs to the same order as that of Greece and Rome. It is in advance, greatly in advance, of Greece and Rome, but it is the same in its grouudwork. The material predominates over the spiritual. Men labor six days for this world, and at best but one for the world to come. The great strife is for temporal goods, fame, or pleasure. God, the Soul, Heaven, and Eternity are thrown into the background, and almost entirely disappear in the distance. Right yields to expediency, and duty is measured by utility. The real character of Protestantism, the result to which it must come, wherever it can have its full development, may be best seen in France at the close of the last century. The Church was converted into the Pantheon, and made the resting-place of the great and renowned of earth; God was converted into a symbol of human reason, and man into the Man-machine;.....and
the French Revolution marked the complete triumph of Materialism (the material order)."*(footnote: * New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church. By O. A. Brownson.    Boston, 1836.)

This is the testimony, not of a Catholic, but of one born and bred a Protestant, and as far removed in his own estimation from being or becoming a Catholic as Drs. Beecher and Breck-enridge themselves. We could sustain the same view, if we had space, by ample quotations from eminent Protestant writers, but we forbear for the present. Not the exactions of the popes, but the exactions of the kings and princes, rent the Church in the sixteenth century ; and the only love of liberty that placed Protestantism in the world was the love of license on the one hand, and the liberty of plundering on the other.

Not one of the Protestant sects, unless in a pitiful minority, has ever favored religious liberty ; and every one, where it has had the strength, has enacted itself and maintained itself as the religion of the state as long as it could. Luther was no tolerationist. Calvin procured the burning of Michael Serve-tus, and wrote a book to prove that it is lawful for the civil magistrate to punish heretics. Melancthon, the meek and gentle Melancthon, wrote a short work justifying the burning of Servetus. The Presbyterians in Scotland, led on by John Knox, resorted to the most unheard-of violence towards Catholics ; and the history of the Calvinists in France and the Dutch States, as well as in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, proves that the disciples inherited the spirit of their master, whose religion, as an eminent anticatholic writer has said, was founded on hate as its principle. The Church of England stands preeminent in the annals of intolerance, and has tolerated liberty only in proportion as compelled to do so by the multiplication in the nation of dissenters, infidels, latitudinarians, and the indifferent.

No Protestant country on earth guaranties or ever has guarantied religious liberty. England does not do it, never has done it. Holland does not do it, never has done it. Prussia and the Protestant German States, though at times tolerant, do not do it, never have done it. Denmark tolerates no religion but that of the state, and prohibits by law a Protestant from renouncing his Protestant faith. The same may be said of Sweden. Protestant Switzerland has never done it, does not do it now, but seeks at the present moment, by its armed myrmidons, by fire and sword, to prevent the Catholic Cantons from worshipping God according to the faith of their fathers,  a faith which was that of William Tell, of Arnold von Win-kelried, and the whole band of patriots who won and defended Swiss freedom.

In this country we are told there is an exception. Is it so ? Episcopalianism established itself in Virginia, and maintained itself there till the time of the American Revolution, with its usual intolerant spirit. In Maryland it overthrew religious liberty, and made the Protestant religion the religion of the land. In Massachusetts, Puritanism was the religion of the state, bored the ears and tongues of dissenters, imprisoned, branded, exiled, hung men and women for their religious belief. In the very city in which we write, the public authorities whipped and hung the Quakers, men and women. At the breaking out of the American Revolution, there was not one of the American Colonies that fully and unequivocally guarantied religious liberty, the full liberty of conscience, unless we must except Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. The oldest State Constitution in the Union that guaranties freedom of conscience is the Constitution of Vermont, framed by men who were not remarkable for their attachment to any form of religion. And even now there are quite a number of States which give a constitutional preference to the Protestant faith over the Catholic. We may be mistaken, but we have a very strong impression that there was not in 1775 a single Colony that gave full liberty of professing and practising their religion to Roman Catholics, or that gave Catholics and Protestants equal political rights and privileges. Up to 1776, Protestantism in this country, then, had not established religious liberty.

But has she not done it since ? No : for equal religious liberty is not even yet guarantied to all, throughout the country. Congress, it is true, can pass no law establishing a religion, or touching the subject of religion ; but the States can, whenever they choose, and just such laws as they choose. If religious liberty is, to a considerable extent, guarantied to us, it is not owing to the liberality of any Protestant sect, but to the multiplicity of sects, which imposes on each the necessity of tolerating the others as the condition of being itself tolerated, and to the prevalence, among the leading and distinguished statesmen and politicians, of infidelity and religious indifference. There was, at the epoch of the Revolution, no Protestant denomination that had sufficient vitality to be intolerant. Religion was not then the dominant passion. Men's minds were absorbed in the contest for national independence, and were more intent on winning earth than heaven. Since then, the energy of the nation has taken an industrial, not a religious direction, and men have been more concerned about the conditions of making money than of serving God. The religious liberty we enjoy we do not owe to Protestantism, and if the Protestant sects could but unite and act in concert, we, as Catholics, would, before the year came round, have no longer a political or civil existence in the land of our birth. What absurdity, then, for Protestants to pretend that they are the friends and champions of religious liberty !

Every year we "hear our Puritan fathers eulogized as friends of religious liberty, as having been animated with a profound conviction of the rights of conscience, and as having abandoned all, country, home, friends, and made themselves pilgrims, crossed the boisterous ocean, braved the dangers, perils, hardships, privations of a savage world, that they might found a free state, and secure to man the freedom of conscience. All very fine, and sounds admirably on u Forefathers' Day," or in a fulsome Fourth of July oration from some Yankee schoolmaster, pettifogger, or demagogue, but without even a shadow of truth. Toleration, much more religious liberty, save for their own form of faith and worship, they detested. They united church and state, and one could not be a freeman unless orthodox in his faith and a church communicant. The severest laws were enacted against what these self-styled orthodox called heresy. Heavy penalties were enacted against any one who should harbour or give a meal of victuals to a Quaker, Adamite, or a priest (Roman Catholic) ; and a governor of Massachusetts actually set a price upon the head of Father Rasles, a Catholic missionary to the Indians, and men were found to murder him near Norridgewock, in what is now the State of Maine.

Nor was this intolerance the result of popular ebullition. It was openly avowed, was defended, adopted, and acted on with design, as a settled and incontrovertible principle. One of the old governors of the Plymouth Colony actually grows poetic on its beauties, and puts it into rhyme :

" Let men of God in court and churches watch O'er such as do a toleration hatch, Lest that ill bird bring forth a cockatrice, To poison all.the land with heresy and vice."

Old John Cotton, the first minister of the First Church in Boston, denounced toleration as an invention of the devil," and the learned Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia, shows manifestly enough that he was of John Cotton's way of thinking ; and if any proof were necessary of a fact so notorious as the inveterate hostility of our Puritan fathers to religious liberty, we may find it in the little work the title of which stands at the head of this article,  a work written by a Puritan clergyman in New England, in 1645, twenty-five years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The work is quite a curiosity in its way, and the author appears to have been a leading man during his residence in the Colony. We copy the short notice of him prefixed by Mr. Pulsifer to the edition before us.

" The Reverend Nathaniel Ward, the writer of the following work, was born at Haverhill, England, in 1570. Of this town his father was a clergyman.    He was educated at Cambridge, studied and practised law, travelled on the Continent, afterwards commenced the study of divinity, became a preacher of the Gospel, and was settled at Standon, in Hertfordshire. He was a strong friend of the early settlers of New England before the elder Win-throp's coming over. At a General Court of the Massachusetts Company, held in London,on Wednesday the 25th of November, 1629, Mr. Whyte did recomend Mr. Nathaniel Ward of Standon ' to be admitted to the freedom of the Company. He was ordered before the Bishop, Dec. 12, 1631, to answer for his non-conformity. Being forbidden to preach, he embarked, in April, 1634, for this country. He arrived here in June, and was settled as pastor of the church at Ipswich, or Aggawam, the same year. By reason of indisposition, he was, at his own request, in 1636, released from his engagement with the church there. However thus disengaged, he preached often during the time he remained in the Colony. The necessities of the infant commonwealth called for his time, talents, and acquirements. Nor did he refuse. Willing to do the good which he might, he lent a ready and efficient hand to the formation of our Legal Code. He was appointed by the General Court, March 12, 1638, on a committee to draw up a system of laws, for the consideration of the freemen. The same legislative authority, May 13, 1640, granted him six hundred acres of land for his service, at Pentucket, afterwards called Haverhill. He preached the election sermon, 1641, in which he advanced several things that savored more of liberty, than some of the magistrates were prepared to approve. The same year, Oct. 7, ' The Govern" and mr Hauthorne were Desired to speake to mr Ward, for a coppey of the liberties, and of the Capitall lawes to bee transcribed, and sent to the severall townes.' He wrote The Simple Cobler in 1645. In this year, May 25, he was on a committee to draw up a Body of Liberties, which were published in 1648, being the first printed volume of the kind in this Colony. Though greatly assisted by Joseph Hills and others in the composition and arrangement of so important a work, yet he appears to have been a principal agent in its accomplishment. He sold his interest at Haverhill, Nov. 25, 1646, to John Eaton, for ,£1,200. Between this date and the 6th of January following, he returned to England. On June 30th, 1647, he preached before the House of Commons, and the same year published The Simple Cobler. He was afterwards settled in the ministry at Shenfield, near Brentwood, where he died in 1653, in his eighty-third year.

" Fuller, in his Worthies of England, speaking of him, says, that he, ' following the counsel of the poet,

" Ridentem dicere verum
 Quis velat ?"

' What doth forbid but one may smile, And also tell the truth the while ? "
hath in a jesting way, in some of his books, delivered much smart truth of the present times.' Dr. Mather, in his Mogilalia, remarks of him,  He was the author of many composures full of wit and sense; among which, that entitled The Simple Cobler (which demonstrated him to be a svbtil statesman) was most considered.' The same author adds, that  some famous persons of old thought it a greater glory to have it enquired, why such a one had not a statue erected for him ? than to have it enquired, tohy he had ? If it be enquired, why this our St. Hilary hath among our Lives no statue erected for him? let that enquiry go for part of one.' And in the liemar/cables of Increase Mather, he observes, « An hundred witty Speeches of our Celebrated Ward, who called himself The Simple Cobler of Agawam, [and over whose Mantel-piece in his House, by the way, I have seen those three Words Engraved, SOBRIE, JUSTE, PIE, and a Fourth added, which was LjETE:] have been reported; but he had one Godly Speech, that was worth 'em all; which was, I have only Two Comforts to Live upon; The one is in the Perfections of CHRIST; The other is in the Imperfections of all CHRISTIANS.'"  pp. iii. - vi.

As a specimen of the views of Puritans generally on the subject of religious toleration, we quote at some length. After some remarks on the general confusion of the times, especially as regarded England, then in a state of rebellion against the crown, and the jarring of sects and parties, the Simple Cobler proceeds :

"The next perplexed Question, with pious and ponderous men, will be: What should bee done for the healing of these comfort-lesse exulcerations. I am the unablest adviser of a thousand, the unworthiest of ten thousand; yet I hope I may presume to assert what follows without just offence.

" First, such as have given or taken any unfriendly reports of us Neio-English, should do well to recollect themselves. We have beene reputed a Colleauge of wild Opinionists, swarmed into a remote wildernes to find elbow-roome for our phanatick Doctrines and practises : I trust our diligence past, and constant sedulity against such persons and courses, will plead better things for us. J dare take upon me, to bee the Herauld of New-England so farre, as to proclaime to the world, in the name of our Colony, that all Familists, Antinomians, Anabaptists, and other Enthusiasts, shall have free Liberty to keep away from us, and such as will come to be gone as fast as they can, the sooner the better.

" Secondly, I dare averre, that God doth no where in his word tolerate Christian States, to give Tolerations to such adversaries of his Truth, if they have potocr in their hands to suppressc them.

" Here is lately brought us an extract of a Magna Charta, so called, compiled between the Sub-planters of a West-Indian island; whereof the first Article of constipulation, firmly provides free stable-room and litter for all kinds of consciences, be they
never so dirty or jadish; making it actionable, yeah, treasonable, to disturbe any man in his Religion, or to discommend it, whatever it be.  Wee are very sorry to see such professed profanenesse in English Professors, as industriously to lay their Religious Foundations on the ruine of true Religion; which strictly binds every conscience to contend earnestly for the Truth : to preserve unity of spirit, faith and Ordinances, to be all like-minded, of one accord-every man to take his brother into his Christian care: to stand fast with one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the laitn or the Gospel: and by no meatus to permit Heresies or erroneousopinions: But God abhorring such loathsome beverages, hath in his righteous judgement blasted that enterprize, which might otherwise have prospered well, for ought I know; I presume their case is generally knowne ere this.

"If the devil might have his free option, I believe he would ask nothing else, but liberty to enfranchize all false Religions, and to embondage the true ; nor should he need : It is much to bee feared, that laxe Tolerations upon State pretences and planting necessities, will be the next subtle Stratagem he will spread, to distate the Truth of God and supplant the peace of the Churches. Tolerations in things tolerable, exquisitely drawn out by the lines of the Scripture, and pensill of the Spirit, are the sacred favours of Truth the due latitudes of Love, the faire Compartiments of Christian fraternity: but irregular dispensations, dealt forth by the facilities of men, are the frontiers of errour, the redoubts of Schisme the penllous irritaments of carnall and spirituall enmity.

" My heart hath naturally detested foure things : The standing of the Apocrypha in the Bible; Forrainers dwelling in my Countrey to crowd our native Subjects into the corners of the Earth; Alchymized coines ; Tolerations of divers Religions, or of one Religion m segregant shapes : He that willingly assents to the last if he examines his heart by day-light, his conscience will tell him/he is either an Atheist, or an Heretique, or an Hypocrite, or at best a captive to some lust: Poly-piety is the greatest impiety in the world. True Religion is Ignis probations, which doth congregare homoaenea & segregare hcterogenea.                                                     

" Not to tolerate things meerly indifferent to weak consciences
argues a conscience too strong: ressed uniformity in these, causes much disunity : To tolerate more than indifferents, is not to deale indifferently with God ; He that doth it, takes his Scepter out of his hand   and bids him stand by.    Who hath to doe to institute
Religion but God. The power of all Religion and Ordinaces, lies in their purity: their purity in their simplicity : then are mixtures pernicious. I lived in a City, where a Papist preached in one Church, a Lutheran in another, a Calvinist in a third ; a Lutheran one part of the day, a Calvinist the other, in the same Pulpit : the Religion of that place was but motly and meagre, their affections Leopardlike.

" If the whole Creature should conspire to doe the Creator a mis-chiefe, or offer him an insolency, it would be in nothing more, than in erecting untruths against his Truth, or by sophisticating his Truths with humane medleyes; the removing of some one iota in Scripture, may draw out all the life, and traverse all the Truth of the whole Bible: but to authorize an untruth, by a Toleration of State, is to build a Sconce against the walls of heaven, to batter God out of his Chaire : To tell a practicall lye, is a great sin, but yet transient; but to set up a Theoricall untruth, is to warrant every lye that lies from its root to the top of every branch it hath, which are not a few.

" That State is wise, that will improve all paines and patience rather to compose, then tolerate differences in Religion. There is no divine Truth, but hath much Celestial fire in it from the Spirit of Truth : nor no irreligious untruth, without its proportion of An-tifire from the Spirit of Error to contradict it: the zeale of the one, the virulency of the other, must necessarily kindle Combustions. Fiery diseases seated in the spirit, embroile the whole frame of the body : others more externall and coole, are lesse dangerous. They which divide in Religion divide in God ; they who divide in him, divide beyond Genus Gcneralissimum, where there is no reconciliation, without atonement; that is, without uniting in him, who is One, and in his Truth, which is also one.

" Wise are those men who will be perswaded rather to live within the pale of Truth where they may bee quiet, than in the perliev's, where they are sure to be hunted ever and anon, doe Authority what it can. Every singular Opinion, hath a singular opinion of it self; and he that holds it a singular opinion of himself, and a simple opinion of all contra-sentients : he that confutes them, must confute all three at once, or else he does nothing ; which will not be done without more stir than the peace of the State or Church can indure.

" And prudent are those Christians, that will rather give what may be given, then hazzard all by yeelding nothing. To sell all peace of Country, to buy some peace of Conscience unseasonably, is more avarice than thrift, imprudence than patience: they deale not equally, that set any truth of God at such a rate; but they deale wisely that will stay till the Market is fallen.

" My prognosticks deceive me not a little, if once within three seven years, peace prove not such a penny-worth at most Marts in Christendome, that hee that would not lay down his money, his lust, his opinion, his will, I had almost said the best flower of his Crown for it, while he might have had it; will tell his own heart he plaid the very ill husband.

" Concerning Tolerations I may further assert.

" That persecution of True Religion, and Toleration of false, are the Jannes and Jambrcs to the Kingdome of Christ, whereof the last is farre the worst. Augustines tongue had not owed his mouth one penny-rent though it had never spake one word more in it, but this, Nullum malum pejus libertate errandi.
li Frederick Duke of Saxon, spake not one foote beyond the mark when he said. He.had rather the Earth should swallow him up quick, then he should give a toleration to any opinion against any truth of God.                                                                   

"He that is willing to tolerate any Religion, or discrepant way of Religion, besides his own, unlesse it be in matters meerly indifferent, either doubts of his own, or is not sincere in it.

" He that is willing to tolerate any unsound Opinion, that his own may also be tolerated, though never so sound, will for a need hang Gods Bible at the Devils girdle.

" Every Toleration of false Religions, or Opinions hath as many Errours and sins in it, as all the false Religions and Opinions it tolerates, and one sound one more.

"That State that to ill give Liberty of Conscience in matters of Religion, must give Liberty of Conscience and Conversation in their Morall Laws, or else the Fiddle will be out of tune, and some of the strings cracke.

" He that will rather make an irreligious quarrell with other Religions, then try the truth of his own by valuable Arguments, and peaceable Sufferings; either his Religion or himselfe is irreligious.

" Experience will teach Churches and Christians, that it is farre better to live in a State united, though a little Corrupt, then in a State, whereof some Part is incorrupt, and all the rest divided.

" I am not altogether ignorant of the eight Rules given by Orthodox Divines about giving Tolerations, yet with their favour I dare affirme,

" That there is no Rule given by God for any State to give an Affirmative Toleration to any false Religion, or Opinion whatsoever ; they must connive in some cases, but may not concede in any.

" That the State of England (so farre as my Intelligence serves) might in time have prevented with ease, and may yet without any great difficulty deny both Toleration, and irregular Connivences, salva Republica.

" That if the State of England shall either willingly Tolerate, or weakly connive at such Courses, the Church of that Kingdom will sooner become the Devills Dancing-Schoole, then Gods-Temple; The Civill State a Beare-garden, then an Exchange : The whole Realme a Pais base, then an England. And what pity it is, that that Country which hath been the Staple of Truth to all Christendome, should now become  the Aviary of Errors to the whole World, let every fearing heart judge.

" I take Liberty of Conscience to bee nothing but a freedome from sinne, and error. Conscientia in tantum libera, in quantum ab errorc liberata. And liberty of Error nothing but a Prison for Conscience. Then small will bee the kindnesse of a State to build such Prisons for their Subjects.
"The Scripture saith, there is nothing makes free but Truth, and Truth saith, there is no Truth but One: If the States of the World would make it their sumoperous Care to preserve this One Truth in its purity and Authority it would ease them from all other Politicall cares. I am sure Satan makes it his grand, if not onely taske, to adulterate Truth; Falsehood is his sole Scepter, whereby he first ruffled, and ever since ruined the World.

" If truth be but One, me thinks all the Opinionists in England should not be all in that One Truth, some of them I doubt are out. He that can extract an unity out of such a disparity, or contract such a disparity into an unity ; had need be a better Artist, then ever was Drebell.

" If two Centers (as we may suppose) be in one Circle, and lines drawn from both to all the points of the Compasse, they will certainly crosse one another, and probably cut through the Centers themselves.

" There is talke of an universall Toleration, I would talke as loud as I could against it, did J know what more apt and reasonable Sacrifice England could offer to God for his late performing all his heavenly Truths, then an universall Toleration of all hellish Errors, or how they shall make an universall Reformation, but by making Christs Academy the Devills University, where any man may commence Heretique per saltum ; where he that isflius Diabolicus, or simplicittr pessimus, may have his grace to goe to hell cum Publico Prhilegio; and carry as many after him, as he can.

" Religio docenda est, non coercenda is a pretty piece of album Lutinum for some kinde of throats that are willingly sore, but Harvests dedocenda est non permiitenda, will be found a farre better Diamoron for the Gargarismes this Age wants, if timely and thoroughly applyed."  pp. 3 -11.

This is very much to the purpose. But our Cobler continues :
" It is said, Though a man have light enough himselfe to see the Truth, yet if he hath not enough to enlighten others, he is bound to tolerate them, I will engage my self, that all the devills in Britanie shall sell themselves to their shirts, to purchase a Lease of this Position for three of their Lives, under the Seale of the Parliament.

" It is said, That Men ought to have Liberty of their Conscience, and that it is Persecution to debarre them of it: I can rather stand amazed then reply to this: it is an astonishment to think that the braines of men should be parboyld in such impious ignorance; Let all the wits under the Heavens lay their heads together and finde an Assertion worse than this (one excepted) I will Petition to be chosen the universal Ideot of the world.
" It is said, That Civill Magistrates ought not to meddle with Ecclesiasticall matters.

" I would answer to this so well as I could, did I not know that some Papers lately brought out of New-England, are going to the Presse, wherein the Opinions of the Elders there in a late°Synod, concerning this point are manifested, which I suppose will give clearer satisfaction then I can.

" The true English of all this their false Latine, is nothing but a generall Toleration of all Opinions; which motion if it be like to take, it were very requisite, that the City would repaire Pauls with all the speed they can, for an English Pantheon, and bestow it upon the Sectaries, freely to assemble in, then there may be some hope that London will be quiet in time.

"Thirdly, That all Christian States, ought to disavow and decry all such
Errours, by some peremptory Statutory Act, and that in time, that Subjects knowing fully the minde of the State, might not delude themselves with vaine hopes of unsufferable Liberties. It is lesse to say Statuatur Veritas, mat Regnum, than Fiatjusti-tia, ruat Cazlum ; but there is no such danger in either of them. Feare nothing Gentlemen, Rubiconem transiistisjacta est alea, ye have turned the Devill out of doores; fling all his old parrell after him out at the windows, lest he makes an errand for it againe. Qua relinquuntur in morbis post indicationem, recidivas facere consuevere. Christ would have his Church without spot or wrinckle ; They that help make it so, shall lose neither honour nor labour: If yee be wise, suffer no more thorns in his sides or your owne. When God kindles such fires as these, hee doth not usually quench them, till the very scum on the pot sides be boyled cleane away, Ezek. 24. 10, 11. Yee were better to doe it your selves, then leave it to him : the Arme of the Lord is mighty, his hand very heavy; who can dwell with his devouring fire, and long lasting burnings'?                                                                         

"Fourthly, to make speedy provision against Obstinates and dis-seminaries: where under favor, two things will be found requisite. First, variety of penaltyes, I meane certaine, not indefinite: I am a Crabbat against Arbitrary Government. Experience hath taught us here, that politicall, domesticall, and personall respects, will not admit one and the same remedy for all, without sad inconveniences. Secondly, just severity : persecution hath ever spread Truth, prosecution scattered Err our: Ten of the most Christian Emperors, found that way best; Schollars know whom J meane : Five of the ancient Fathers perswaded to it, of whom Augustine was one, who for a time argued hard for indigency : but upon conference with other prudent Bishops, altered his judgment, as appears in three of his Epistles, to Marccllinus, Douatus, and Boniface. J would be understood, not onely an Allower, but an humble Petitioner, that ignorant and tender conscienced Anabaptists may have due time and means of conviction.

" Sixthly, That Authority ought to see their Subjects children baptized, though their Parents judgements be against it, if there be no other Evangelicall barre in the way.

" Seventhly, That prudent men, especially young, should doe well not to ingage themselves in conference with Errorists, without a good calling and great caution ; their breath is contagious, their leprey spreading: receive not him that is weak, saith the Apostle,to doubtfull disputations; much lesse may they run themselves into dangerous Sophistications. He usually hears best in their meetings, that stops his eares closest; he opens his mouth to best purpose, that keeps it shut, and he doeth best of all, that declines their company as wisely as he may.

" Brethren, have an extraordinary care also of the late Theoso-phers, that teach men to climbe to Heaven upon a ladder of lying figments. Rather than the Devill will lose his game, he will out-shoot Christ in his owne bow; he will out-law the Law, quite out of the word and world : over-Gospell the Gospell, and quidanye Christ, with Sugar and Rats-bane. Hee was Professour not long since at Schclstat in Alsatia, where he learned that no poyson is so deadly as the poyson of Grace."  pp. 12- 18.

We commend this to our New England Puritans, who are just now such wonderful sticklers for religious liberty. It may remind them of old times, and serve the purpose John Rogers had in his Mdress to his Children :

" I leave you here a little book, For you to look upon, That you may see your father's face, When he is dead and gone."

But our Cobler is also a poet, and now and then sets his doctrine to music. We take our leave of him by quoting the following, which proves that he is a genuine Protestant, and no Romaniste."

" 1. There, lives cannot be good, There, faith cannot be sure, Where Truth cannot be quiet, Nor Ordinances pure.

" 2. No King can King it right, Nor rightly sway his God ;
Who truly loves not Christ, And truly fears not God.
" 3. He cannot rule a Land,
As Lands should ruled been, That lets himself be ruVd By a ruling liomane Queen. u 4. JVb earthly man can be
True Subject to this State ; Who makes the Pope his Christ, An Heretique his Mate."  p. 85.

If these extracts do not satisfy our Puritan readers that our Puritan fathers were the inveterate enemies of religious liberty, we will treat them hereafter to additional extracts from the writings of other New England worthies, together with certain scraps of Protestant history we have picked up in the course of our reading. We have no fondness for raking among the tombs, no disposition to say a word that shall diminish respect for the dead ; but if we Catholics are to be denounced as the enemies of liberty, whether civil or religious,  if we are to be branded as traitors to our country, because we have seen proper to embrace the Catholic faith,  if the country is to be inflamed against us and our brethren, because we choose to exercise our natural and legal rights,  we will retort the argument, and read our Protestant traducers certain passages from their own history, which may possibly teach them, according to the old proverb, that they who live in glass houses must not throw stones. It is not with us as with them. We desire the truth to be told, and nothing but the truth ; but, alas for them truth is the very thing they would not have told,  cannot bear to have told.

We wish to see the great question between the sects fairly and honestly discussed ; for we have no fondness for the Protestant method of discussion, for the appeal to ignorance, to vulgar prejudice, the resort to falsehood and misrepresentation. We wish the debate to be conducted without acrimony, without passion ; for we want no converts not converts through the free action of their own minds, aided by divine grace. But if Protestants choose to conduct the debate as they have hitherto done, if they seek to maintain themselves by circulating the grossest and most ridiculous falsehoods about Catholicity, we assure them we will avenge ourselves by telling the truth about them.

We shall not stop to reply to the charges of hostility to liberty which are ringing against the Church. We know they are false, and we know for what purpose they are made. The blasphemous Jews accused our blessed Saviour of having a devil, and of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. These charges do not move us. We are free citizens, and we know that we love liberty. We may not love all that passes under the name of liberty, but we know there is no true son of the Church not at any moment prepared to die for the defence of freedom, whether civil or religious. The Church wars against all tyranny and oppression, by seeking to crucify, in the human heart, the passions that would tyrannize and oppress ; and hence tyrants, and all who hate true liberty, and crave the license to wrong their fellow-men, and to go " un-whipt of justice," war against her. There is war between her and the proud, corrupt, and rebellious heart, we admit; and the liberty the proud, the corrupt, and rebellious seek she does oppose, we own ; but no other liberty. For ourselves, we love our country. For its honor, its freedom, its real prosperity, we are ready to struggle, side by side with true patriots, whatever their name, and to know no other rivalry, but that of who shall be first to rush in where blows fall thickest and fall heaviest ; and we know no Catholic not prepared to say as much.