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testants ? Is aught farther necessary to prove that the inquisitorial laws are not a dead letter upon the code of papal Rome, and that they are only not enforced in these United States, because Rome lacks the power over the public conscience which is necessary to compel obedience to her laws ?

2. The property of heretics is justly confiscate.

This doctrine we find promulgated in Can. Cums ecundum de reticus in 6, where it is thus defended: “As the wife of a robber could not justly lay claim to the property stolen by her husband and his companions, so the property of herctics, who commit a much more heinous crime than robbery, is justly taken from them and their heirs and confiscated.” To prove that this law is still upon the code, and of force, we have the words of Pius VII., in his instructions to the nuncio at Vienna, in 1804: “ The Church has established, as a punishment for the crime of heresy, the consfication of all property possessed by heretics,” (la confisca e perdita dei beni dagli eretisi posseduti.)

3. To kill heretics through zeal for the Church is not murder.

This law, whose like is only to be found in the Koran, was promulgated by Pope Urban II., and is found, Caus. xxiii, qu. 6, Excommunicatorum, as follows: “We do not hold those for murderers who, animated by zeal for the Catholic Mother (Church) have killed several heretics.” It may be said that the Romish Church has not power to enforce this law--that the civil law does not recognize such enactments, or pay the slightest attention to them. True, but the law is there on the sacred law code of Rome, and as such exercises a controlling influence over the consciences of all true Roman Catholics, dissolving the bond of brotherhood which should exist between them and their fellow-citizens, and creating a spirit of bigotry which sets at defiance all the laws enacted in civilized nations for the preservation of life and property. Have we seen and felt no indications of the effect of such a law in our community?

4. Heretics may be converted to the Romish Church even against their own will.

What kind of conversion can take place against the will of the convertee, or what must be the merits of the doctrine which needs force to make proselytes, we leave to the intelligent reader to decide for himself. Enough here to say that this law is found in the holy canons, namely, at Caus. xxiii, qu. 6, Can. Displicet.

5. Protestants are accursed heretics.

Having placed before our readers a portion, and but a small portion, of the laws of the Church regarding heretics, we now proceed to show, by her own laws on the subject, what description of persons


come under the denomination of herelics. This we find very plainly set forth in several places. Aside from the bulls of Leo X. and Adrian VI., in which Lutherans are specifically mentioned as accursed heretics, we find in the notorious bull De cæna Domini, which, according to papal decree, is READ ANNUALLY in all the Roman Catholic Churches in the world, the following: “We place under ban, and pronounce accursed, on behalf of God the Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and by virtue of the authority delegated to the sainted apostles, Peter and Paul, as well as to ourselves, all Hussites, Wiclifites, Lutherans, Zwinglians, Calvinists, Huguenots, etc., as well as all other heretics.” This lays down the law sufficiently plainly, and annually at that, to that rather large class of our fellow-citizens who regard obedience to the pope as a conscientious duty, more important than obedience to the civil law.

6. The civil power has no authority over the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics.

This law, which makes the Roman Catholic priesthood entirely independent of the state or civil power, is found in Can. Ad reprimendos, de foro compet. in 7, where it is forbidden, under the most severe penalties, to either clergy or laity, to bring before the civil courts or powers the concerns of the ecclesiastics. A law of this kind is, of course, important only in so far as it has power over the Roman Catholic, and prevents a faithful Church-member from exposing, by means of the law, the actions of his priest, should these be contrary to the right. As the law is in the sacred code, its power over the Roman Catholic conscience seems indisputable; and if every conscientious layman must obey this law, there can be no two opinions as to its pernicious consequences, in giving a sanctity to the person of the priest which it should by no means possess. But if this law is found pernicious in its tendencies, how much worse is this:

7. Laymen must not bear witness against ecclesiastics. It is not sufficient that the code actually places the priesthood above and beyond the power or jurisdiction of the civil power by the preceding law, but to render them still more irresponsible to their congregation, (those over whom they desire to exercise the most unlimited authority.) the laity are forbid bearing witness against the priests. This we find in Can. De cætero x, De testibus, where it is said: “It is taught in the Holy Canons, that laymen must not be permitted to accuse or bear witness against an ecclesiastic, except in cases where they prosecute for wrongs done to themselves or their relations, and even in such cases they must not be admitted as witnesses, but only as accusers.'

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8. A marriage contracted between a Catholic and Protestant is a crime.

This law, which has called forth so much opposition within ten or twelve years in different parts of Europe, where the Roman Catholic priesthood have endeavored to enforce it, is found Caus. xxviii, qu. c. non oportet. It is there written : "The marriage contract must not be entered into with heretics, except they previously obligate themselves to become Christians and Catholics.” Up to the middle of the last century the principle here laid down was strictly enforced by the popes and their subordinates. Benedict XIV., in a bull of date November 4, 1741, designated the mixed marriages as “ a God-robbing tie, the worst of crimes, (gravissimum scelus,) which can only then be forgiven a Catholic when he or she converts the heretical partner to the Catholic faith.” And in a bull of June 29, 1748, the same pope decides concerning mixed marriages in Poland, that "before the marriage ceremony be pronounced the heretical partner must renounce his or her heresies." The arbitrary interference in family concerns, the tyrannous control endeavored to be exercised over the holiest rights and feelings of the private citizen by means of this law, are apparent at first view. That the law is, to a certain extent, enforced in our midst already, is an indisputable fact. For the Catholic priest aims to exercise so complete a control over the consciences of his parishioners, that in this matter he can rule them without difficulty.

We have now completed our survey of a portion of those obnoxious canons and laws which have never been stricken from the sacred code of the Church of Rome, but which the force of circumstances has brought her to ignore here while she enforces them elsewhere." The thunders of the Church only slumber," pertinently says an old theologian. The Romish priesthood in these United States lose no opportunity to proclaim aloud their love of liberty and liberal institutions. Ever attached to the political party that professes most democracy and practices the most lawless license, ever prepared to submit their vote to priestly dictation, ever wheedling the popular sentiment, so long as they possess not despotic power, they lose no opportunity to inculcate the belief in unsuspicious minds that they and their Church are persecuted, maligned, and innocent. Here Rome is liberal enough. But look at Rome itself. Here no one cries louder for freedom of the press than your Romish priest. But nowhere, not even in CatholicImperial France, is the censorship of the press so absolutely crushing as in Rome, the center of his holiness's dominions, where alone he has independent power. Here no one more zealously decries religious persecution of all kinds than the Romish priesthood. In Rome they steal the poor Jew Mortara's child to force it into their Church; they keep up the dread, because secretly exercised, powers and penalties of the Inquisition; they imprison innocent men and women for daring to read the Bible. Here they pretend to honesty and candor; there they proclaim the invalidity of oaths, the innocence of mental reservations, the justification of all villany to heretics and Jews. What trust can be placed in the adherents and propagandists of a Church holding such tenets? Which are we to believe: professions here or facts there? Shall we indeed be aught else than criminally heedless, if we cease to watch jealously the insidious approaches of a body so grasping, so restless, so unscrupulous ? Tolerance is one thing, carelessness is another. Let us not forget that “ Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."


PRESENT CONDITION, METHODISM has always possessed a notable spirit of self-encouragement, and, until within a few years, there has been some danger that its tendency to self-gratulation might become boastful, perhaps characteristic.

This disposition has not been altogether reprehensible, especially in our early history. For many years the real historical importance of the denomination was ignored by the religious world. John Wesley could not possibly be unrecognized in history, but Francis Asbury, the most important character in American ecclesiastical annals, is yet unmentioned by any historian of the New World. Treated not only with indifference, but with scarcely disguised contempt—without an educated ministry, and with few literary institutions---having, like original Christianity, its social position among the “lower classes,” where it was most needed, and where, to devout observers, it deserved especial honor,—the new denomination was keenly self-conscious under its undeserved disparagement; but meanwhile it was equally conscious of its grand mission, of the invincible energy of its theology and practical system, its demonstrative usefulness among the neglected masses, and its prospective triumph. Scorned, if not persecuted, it was excusable and even admirable that its suffering but successful people stood closely together around their contemned but victorious standard. They opened their " Annual Minutes," and read their advancements with undisguised

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thankfulness. They gave their sons by hundreds to the ministry. They built their humble chapels almost everywhere, filled them with their reclaimed neighbors, and had hardly got well into them before they began to rear new walls, ostensibly, face to face, with the churches of the older denominations. They put up seminaries and colleges; projected missions, foreign and domestic; and by their tireless zeal and the pittances of their poverty, soon presented before the world a great Church, devout, energetic, rich, national, and promising to become universal. If, meanwhile, they seemed too boastfully to "thank God for Methodism,” it must now be admitted that both their sacrifices and their successes were not incompatible with the grateful boast.

The time has come, however, for a change in this respect. Their social position is revolutionized, and in a quarter of a century more can hardly fail to equal if not surpass that of most of their sister denominations, throughout the New World at least; they are rapidly raising up an educated ministry; they have a large, perhaps too large a supply of literary institutions. Their prosperity now takes an aspect of grave, if not of fearful responsibility, and we open the “Annual Minutes," both English and American, with joyful but with anxious gratitude. Every allusion to their success should now be made with the admonitory lesson of their responsibility; for is it too much to say, that of all English and American Protestant bodies, Methodism, considered in its manifold relations, foreign and domestic, stands chief in responsibility for the fate of the apostolic faith in the world? Can any observer doubt that it has at least a vantage ground-in its prestige, its popular masses, its theology, its disciplinary system, its educational provisions, its missions dotting the outlines of the world—which can be made more available than that of any other Protestant community ? We hesitate not to assume the solemn fact in respect not only to England and America, but to the entire Protestant world. So far as the New World is concerned, no intelligent observer can hesitate to concede it; the numerical, not to say moral, precedence of the denomination being here unquestioned. In the mother country it has the same precedence among Dissenting bodies; and if, as Mackintosh and Buckle have predicted, the Anglican Establishment cannot survive the present century, Wesleyan Methodism, having the national liturgy and theology, and an incomparably superior practical system, can hardly have a doubtful destiny. In respect to the heathen world, the great mission field, it is sufficient to allude to the admitted statistical fact, that Methodism comprises more converts from paganism than all other Protestant missions combined.

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