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Among the extracts from Bellarmine given above, there is this distinct approval of the inquisition : “We DaiLY SEE THE SAME RESULTS (viz. the good done in putting an end to heresy) IN PLACES WHERE THE INQUISITION FLOURISHES.” You are not a stranger, I suppose, to Joannes Devotus. His INSTITUTIONS have the highest sanctions of your Church at Rome itself, as containing nothing contrary to faith or good morals. Of course, his authority will not be question ed; and as his writings are of comparatively recent date, (1793) they give us glances at the Roman Church in our own times. I omit the original, because so much has been already introduced. But it is open to your inspection, if you have it not in your possession, vol. 4th, tit. 8th, page 101–118, under the head, “ Inquisitors of Heretical pravity," he gives the following statements. “ The cause of instituting the tribunal, called the Inquisition, was this. At first every Bishop in his own diocese, or a number of Bishops assembled in a Provincial Council, made inquisition of those errors which arose in the diocese or Province ; but the more weighty matters were always referred to the Apostolical seat (Rome ;) and thus every Bishop or Provincial Council took care to bring to its proper issue whatever was decreed by the Apostolical See. But in process of time, when greater evils pressed, it became necessary for the Pope to send legates into those regions in which heresy had long and widely spread, that they might assist the Bishops in restraining the audacity of abandoned men, and in deterring Christians írom foreign and depraved doctrines. But when new errors daily sprung up, and the number of heretics was greatly increased-seeing that the legates could not always be at hand, nor apply the proper remedy, it was determined to INSTITUTE A STANDING TRIBUNAL, that should always be present, and at all times, and in every country, should devote their minds to preserving the soundness of the faith, and to restraining and expelling heresies as they arose. Thus it was, that the Inquisitors were first appointed to perform the office of Vicars to the Holy See. But as in a matter so weighty as the preservation of the purity of the faith the Inquisitors needed that close union of mind, and sentiment, which is proper to the Apostolical See, as the centre of unity, there was instituted, at Rome by the Popes an assembly or congregation of Cardinals in which the Pope presides. This congregation is the head of all Inquisitors, over the whole world ; to it they all refer their more difficult matters ; and its authority and judgment are final. It is rightly and wisely ordered that the Pope's office and power should sustain this institution. For he is the centre of unity and head of the church : and to him Christ has committed plenary power to feed, teach, rule, and govern all Christians.” Now from this it appears, 1. That according to the government adopted at Rome, the Inquisition is a constituent part of their system ;-and that it is established wherever they have such a foot-hold as to make it possible. Buchanan found one even at Goa, in the East Indies. Whether there be one in this country, is a matter of opinion. But it is sound doctrine to have it if possible. 2. The Pope is the head of the Inquisition over the whole world—and the congregation of the cardinals at Rome is the supreme court of the Inquisition ; of course
it is to the Pope, and his cardinals, we are to look as the authors, originally, of the unparalleled enormities which have characterized this bloodiest institution in the history of the world.
Let me here give another word of history.
A critical History of the Spanish Inquisition, by D. J. A. Llorente, formerly Secretary of the Inquisition, &c. &c., translated from the Spanish manuscript in the presence of the author, by Alexis Pellier. 2d edit. (Paris 1818.)
It is the Inquisition which has ruled in Spain from the year 1481 to the present day, of which I undertake to write the history, Tom. 1. p. 140. Recapitulation of all the victims condemned and burnt, 31,912 Burned in effigy,
17,695 Placed in a state of penance with rigorous punishments 291,450
Total, 341,057 Tom. 4. p. 271.
When the French obtained possession of Spain, under Joseph Bonaparte, Llorente obtained permission to examine all the archives of the Inquisition. His work, therefore, is the most authentic that is extant. When we come to speak of these subjects as principal, and not illustrative topics, we design, Providence permitting, to make such disclosures of its history as truth demands. But now let it suffice to say that this is the institution which Bellarmine praises, as a fine method of settling disputes ! On this plan we grant you that it is easy to “determine disputes" by putting an end to all the disputants on one side of the question. And now Sir, having at some length stated the methods used by the church of Rome, I ask if the inference is not irresistible, that yours is a rule of fraud, and of force; abhorrent to right reason, mercy and truth; and as such, that it is an insult to our holy religion to say it was instituted by Jesus Christ, or that yours is an infallible rule?
In regard to “ the reference,” I shall be prepared to meet you, Providence permitting, on Friday the 10th of May. On Monday the 6th, and until the evening of the 9th, I expect to be absent from the city.
Your call for the name of my informant is not candid. I am authorized to give it (as I have already informed you,) whenever the Bishop shall ask it. I now inquire, does he or does he not demand it?
Your attempt to pervert my statements on this subject, is unworthy of the character you profess to bear. From first to last, it was stated by me in the form of a question ; and the confidence expressed in the truth of the testimony was not mine, but that of my worthy informant.
It is my purpose, in the next letter, to meet your call for a definition of the Protestant religion, and to proceed to the discussion of other topics connected with the controversy; holding myself in readiness at the same time, to meet with promptness whatever you may say in addition, on the rule of faith. Yours, &c.
JOHN BRECKINRIDGE. P. S. I owe an apology to the Editor of the paper for the length of the present number, it will be apparent however, to the reader, that a large amount of space is occupied by the Latin extracts which have been introduced.
CONTROVERSY. No. X V.
RULE OF FAITH.
Philadelphia, May 10, 1833. 'To The Rev. JOHN BRECKINRIDGE.
Rev. Sir,-If there was any thing wanting to show the weakness of the Protestant principle in reference to the rule of faith, it is found in your attempt to supply the absence of argument, by the introduction of reproach. I wished to spare the feelings of our readers, in regard to the crimes which history has ascribed to Catholics and to Protestants on the subject of religious persecution. Men of education, on both sides, have long since come to the conclusion, that although persecution forms no part of the religion of Jesus Christ, yet, unhappily, there are few denominations that have not persecuted when they had the power. But all are agreed, that this charge comes with a peculiarly bad grace from either John Calvin or any of his disciples. There is blood upon his memory; and it looks doubly dark and deep when associated with the recollections that he set up to be A MAN OF GOD, and a REFORMER of the church of Christ. Bellarmine, indeed, sanctioned the right of Catholic princes to wield the sword of civil power against persons condemned by the church of heresy ;-but so far as he is coneerned, the fact exhibits only the theory of persecution and the sanction of his pen. Calvin's was the sanction of the pen and faggot, the theory and the practice. The example of the master has been faithfully imitated by his followers. And, appealing to the decision of impartial history, I defy you to show a single state in Europe or America, in which Calvinists or Presbyterians conceded free toleration from the moment they possessed civil power, whether derived by grant from the crown, as in New England, or acquired, as in Europe, by rebellion and usurpation!
If then, history does not contain one single exception, on this head, I would leave it to the good sense of our readers, whether it is wise, whether it is modest in you to charge Catholics with persecution, and that too, in the name of a sect which has stained the soil of every country in which it ruled, with the blood of the Protestant, as well as Catholic, victims of its igotry and intolerance! It would seem that it is a crime for any other denomination to do what Presbyterians have never failed of doing when they had the power. I do not perceive by what divine right Presbyterians claim the MONOPOLY of persecution. If it be a privilege at all, which I deny, Calholics possessed the priority of title. They did not spring up in the 16th century of the Christian church, lo dispute the faith of Protestants. But on the contrary, the Protestants then came into existence to dispute with them, for something more than “ the kingdom which is not of this world ;"-viz. for their churches, their castles, their towns, and their kingdoms. It is a fact, that at the rise of the Reformation so called, Catholics possessed every thing; and that Protestants as such possessed nothing, save their private individual estates. · How came they then to possess themselves of public power and property which did not belong to them? Did they give any equivalent? They had none to give. Did the Catholics resign them voluntarily? No,
certainly if they had, they would have escaped the charge of persecution. They were in possession-defence was their natural privilege. Kingdoms were tranquil and united in the profession of the same religion, whenever the heresy began, and the question was, whether it was the right of nations to extinguish the spark, or allow their institutions, civil and religious, to be consumed in the political conflagration which it never failed to excite. It was to illustrate this question, that Bellarmine embarked on the sea of political casuistry. He contended that the civil magistrates were, in the language of your standard of 1821, “ nursing fathers of the church"-and it is a remarkable coincidence that he attempts to prove his position by reference to the same texts of Scripture by which the WESTMINSTER DIVINES, and the “ adopting act of 1729,” made it a sin for Presbyterians to “ tolerate a false religion."
Bellarmine himself must be responsible for his opinions on this subject, which do not at all belong to the faith of the Catholic religion. He is a “ standard writer,” in treating of Catholic doctrines -of questions “ de fide.” But on points of political economy, or civil government, as they are not even “ fere de fide,” his pen was at liberty to ramble as well as that of any other individual. His reasoning on the question, appears to me as extravagant as it can be to you—and I am just as ready to reject it. For, you will observe that Catholics, as such, are responsible only for the doctrines of the CHURCH, and not for the private opinions of her members. Show me then the decree of any Council, or the bull of any Pope, proposing persecution as a part of our religion-and let that document be the proof of your charge.
Neither does the inquisition of Spain constitute any part of our religion. Of course you are at liberiy to make it the theme of declamation as long as you please. If, however, you were questioned as to what the inquisition really is, I doubt much whether your information would not be found very defective. It would probably correspond with your knowledge of indulgences" a bundle of licenses to commit sin.”
With regard to the “ Massacre of St. Bartholomew," I condemn it as much as you. It was a deed of blood and horror. But let the blame attach to its authors, Charles IX. and Catherine of Medicis, who favoured the Huguenots and Catholics, alternately, as their interests seemed to require. But to form a correct judgment of this sanguinary event, it is necessary to consider it in connexion with the events by which it was preceded. The Huguenots of France had committed many similar acts of barbarity. Davila relates that upon the death of Francis II. when liberty of conscience was granted them, besides burning churches and monasteries, they massacred people in the very streets of Paris. Heylin, a Protestant, relates that in time of a profound peace, they fell upon and MURDERED the whole clergy who composed the procession of Corpus Christi in the city of Pamiers; and afterwards committed similar outrages at Montauban, Rodez, Valence, &c. (Hist. Presb. I. ii.) It is known by the proclamation of Charles immediately after the massacre, that it was not on account
of their religion, but to anticipate the conspiracy of Coligni and his associates "non religionis odia, sed vine fariæ Coliniiet sociorum conjurationi obviam iret." (Thuan. lib. lii.)
The Huguenots constituted a kind of independent party in the heart of the nation. They had their own treasury to support themselves in their wars against their sovereigns. And Admiral Coligni went so far, as to propose furnishing ten ihousand Huguenots for the army Land declared that he and they would be obliged to take up arms against the king himself, if he declined this offer, and resused to aid the Protestants of Flanders !! (See Walsinghani's Despatches quoted by Digges. 226.) Was it from St. Paul, that this chieftain of the Protestant party in France, learned to hold this language towards his sovereignHere was a subject dictating to his king. Still, all this does not justify the horrible measure by which that king rid himself of that subject and his party. It furnishes, however, a different range of motives, besides those to which Protestants usually ascribe the massacre.
It is also certain that the king took infinite pains to make his subjects and foreign princes, especially the Pope, believe that in killing the Huguenots, he had only taken the necessary measures of selfdefence to preserve his own life, together with the constitution and religion of his kingdom. (Thuan. 1. ii. Maimb. I. vi.) And the Biographer of Gregory XIII. clearly shows that the deliverance of the French king from this pretended conspiracy, was the event for which public thanks were offered at Rome, and not for the massacre itself, as you have stated. (Pagi vol. vi. p. 729.) Again, in reference to the number of the slain, it is evident that your information has not kept pace with your zeal. Among the Huguenot writers, Perrifix reckons 100,000, Sully 70,000, Thuanus 30,000, La Popelirine 20,000, the Reformed Martyrologist 15,000, and you 40,000, "according to the report which prevailed.” But the Martyrologist, wishing to be more correctly informed, procured from the ministers in the different towns where massacres had taken place, the names of those who had perished or were supposed to have perished ;-he published the result in 1582: and in all France he could discover the names of no more than 786 persons. (Caveirac, Dissertation xxxviii.)
It would be well, also, for you to understand that the Catholic clergy were the most active in protecting the Huguenots from the vengeance of popular fury. And that among other instances, the Bishop of Lisieux, a Dominican Friar, opposed the execution of the orders given in the name of the king—declaring “it is the duty of the good shepherd to lay down his life for the sheep, not to let them be slaughtered before his face. These (the Huguenots of his dio cese) are my sheep, though they have gone astray, and I am resolved to run all hazards in protecting them.” (Maimb.) But, Rev. Sir, are you not driven to great straits, when you give a dissertation on the horrors of the inquisition, the massacre of St. Bartholomew, &c. instead of arguments on the rule of faith? These are stale topics. Your introduction of them was utterly uncalled for by the question, under discussion; and it can have no other effect; except to mislearl