Crusade against the Albigenses
I will now show that the spirit of Cyril had not died with him. During the reign of Pope Innocent III., that holy pontiff discovered that there was, in the province of Narbonne and in several other provinces of the south of France, a religious sect, called the Albigenses, who presumed to differ from the Romish church, and had the audacity to believe that the Bible was the only rule of faith. They rejected the external rites of the Romish church, except baptism and the Lord’s supper.
They had no faith in images, indulgences, and other such semi-pagan mummeries. Auricular confession and the forgiveness of sins by man they rejected as impious. They looked upon nunneries as places of sin, instituted by priests, as a sort of substitute for the marriage of the clergy. They demolished such of them as were in existence among them, and declared the marriage of the clergy as lawful and honorable. They scouted at the idea of the temporal jurisdiction of the Pope over the nations of the earth, and looked upon him as emphatically the Man of Sin.
These crimes, of course, were not long overlooked by the infallible church! They were heresies. These people were heretics, and the holy mother, in the plenitude of her affection for her strayed children, determined that they should be exterminated. But how was this to be done? The holy father, Pope Innocent III., was not long in determining. He sent two spies amongst them, of the names of Guy and Regnier. These were Monks, whose hands were already stained with blood. They were empowered by the Pope, to use their own discretion in checking the heresy of the Albigenses by fire, sword, faggot, or the inquisition, which employed all those means upon such occasions.
The Albigenses however, were so numerous their lives so pure, so chaste and correct, that this was not easily accomplished; and his holiness had to preach a crusade against them, and published a bull addressed to all the authorities of southern France, declaring them accursed and excommunicated, and giving absolution to all who should murder them and take possession of their property. Here are the words of the bull, “According to the canonical sanctions of the holy fathers, no faith ought to be kept with those who do not keep faith with God, or are separated from the communion of the faithful”—Papists. “We release, by our apostolical authority, all those who deem themselves bound to them by any oath, either of alliance or fealty; we permit every Catholic man to seize their persons, to take their lands, and keep them for the purpose of extirpating heresy.”
Here, Americans, is a specimen of true, genuine Popery, as Innocent Expresses it, “sanctioned by the canons and holy fathers of the Romish church.” People of New England, what think you of it? Bear in mind that this is not the act of a few fanatics; it is not the belief of a few zealots. If it were, it would be wrong to charge it to the Romish church. All denominations have had among them fanatics; but the extravagances of a few individuals are not chargeable to the body to which they might have belonged. Even our New England Presbyterian forefathers had among them persecutors; but who, in his sound mind, could charge this to the Presbyterian church? There is nothing in their creed or doctrines which sanctions the persecution of those who differ from them and there the Romish church differs from all others. The persecution and destruction of heretics, and the confiscation of their property, is an integral part of the Roman Catholic faith, and the watchword of Papists.
The crusade against these unfortunate Albigen-ses commenced its march about the year 1209. Indulgences were offered to all who would unite in the war, and history informs as that the Pope and his vassals in the church raised an army of between three and five thousand men, who were to serve for forty days; at the termination of which, the Pope, in one of his heavenly transports, saw that “every one of the sect of the Albigerises should be massacred.” To this army his holiness caused to be added, by an offer of indulgences, multitudes of peasants, with scythes and clubs, who were to be under the command of monks, and whose peculiar duty it was, to slaughter the wives and children of these heretics, while their husbands and fathers were engaged in the field with their adversaries. Horrible! Yet this is a true picture of what has been, and what will be in this country, at some future day, should Popery gain the ascendancy.
It is much to be lamented that the Christian League, as it is termed, had not looked to this, in place of going abroad in search of objects worthy of their philanthropy. They seem to me to have acted like a man who, while his own house is in a blaze, runs out to see if there be any of his neighbors’ houses on fire, and leaves his own to smoulder into ruins. Assuredly, such a man would not be deemed prudent, nor should he even be considered sane.
Far be it from me to think or speak disrespectfully of the pious and reverend gentlemen who compose that league; but their solicitude for the welfare of a foreign country and a foreign people appears to me strange, when all their charities are much more needed at home. They desire the suppression of Popery, especially in Italy, where it is kept alive by Austrian bayonets and Popish bulls, and where it will live until those bayonets are broken and those bulls are burned. They can no more suppress Popery in Italy, than they could confine a fire with a flaxen band.
The continuance of Popery depends upon this country alone. Extinguish it in the United States, and it dies every where. The old world is sick of it; it has cursed it long enough. It is for us alone to say whether it shall live or die. Americans alone can sound the death knell of Popery; and, if this Christian League will unite their energies and bring them all to bear, in excluding Popery from the United States, they will be conferring a blessing, not only upon this, but upon the old world.
But to return to our subject. Cruel, beyond measure, were the sufferings of the Albigenses, a few instances of which I beg to lay before my readers, as specimens of Popish charity and their mode of fulfilling that holy commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” When the Pope’s army arrived at a place called Beziers, the citizens were, of course, alarmed. The Pope’s legate sent many messengers among them, advising them to give up such heretics, with their wives and children, as continued obstinate among them. They replied in the following words—”Rather than be base enough to do what is required of us, and abandon our religious principles, we will eat our children first, and our wives will die with us.” On receiving this answer, the Pope’s army, or rather incarnate devils, rushed upon them so suddenly, and in such numbers, that they had to surrender, after little or no resistance.
There were many among them who were not heretics, but, seeing the injustice done to their fellow-citizens, and knowing the purity of their lives, united with them in resisting oppression. Some of the most merciful of the Pope’s army, entertaining scruples as to what should be done to those who were not heretics and happened to fall into their hands, deemed it a duty which they owed to holy mother, to consult the Pope’s legate upon this occasion; and what, Christian reader, think you was the reply of this representative of the Roman Catholic church? What was the answer of this imbodiment of Popery? It was what it would be this day, under similar circumstances.—”Kill them all; the Lord will know his own!” At this answer, the bells rung, by order of this legate. and never ceased to toll, until fifteen thousand were butchered upon the spot, according to the account given by the legate himself; although a contemporary historian, named Bernard Itier, and much better authority than this blood-thirsty legate, informs us that thirty-eight thousand were slaughtered in cold blood.
During this time, Pope Innocent and the infallible church were not idle in other parts of France. Wherever heresy existed, or heretical blood was to be shed, there were to be found the representatives of the holy church, until not a vestige of the Protestant doctrines of the Albigenses was to be seen. Nearly all its ministers and its followers suffered the most cruel deaths, and their church was drowned in the blood of its defenders. But the man of sin being still apprehensive that some vestige of Protestantism might remain, or that the life of some unfortunate member of the Albigenses might have escaped, the Popish murderers established, in those countries, that accursed tribunal, the Inquisition; some of whose members appeared in the guise and occupation of farmers, to act as spies among that class of people; others as merchants, others as mechanics, &c. To these were added female Jesuits, some of whom were shop-keepers, milliners, servant-maids, &c.; and, suitably educated, whenever necessary, were ready to act their parts well.
Thus no man was safe. No family, no lady, was safe. They dreaded the very air they breathed. They knew not when the officers of the inquisition would call them from their homes, their children, their husbands, and their wives, to be cast into the dungeon of the inquisition, without knowing their offence, or who accused them.
This was Popery in the twelfth century; this was Popery in the fourth century; and this is Popery in the nineteenth century. Americans, are-you aware that there are Jesuit nuns now in this country? Are you aware of the reasons why they are so anxious to get Protestant rather than Catholic scholars into their schools? The reason is this; they are in this country spies upon your actions. Your thoughts, your designs, your influence, the probable amount of your wealth, and your political opinions, are known to your children. These Jesuit nuns worm themselves into your confidence; the young hearts of their pupils are soon laid bare to these artful hypocrites; and before you scarcely notice the absence of your children, your domestic secrets are known to some Popish agent, who makes such use of them as the holy church may direct. This is done daily. I make this statement of my own knowledge, and I warn you, if you value your domestic happiness, or the peace and harmony of your children, never permit one of them, male or female, to enter a school kept by nuns or Jesuits.
From these observations, the reader must have seen that Popery, in its teachings and actions, is, and has been, the same always. What, then, becomes of the assertions, so frequently made by Roman Catholic priests and bishops, that the doctrines of the church, in relation to heretics, have been relaxed? Certain it is, at all events, that there has been no mitigation in the treatment of heretics down to the thirteenth century. Let us come down a little farther, and see if any had taken place during the thirteenth century. We discover none whatever.
It was during this century, that the “Greater Excommunication,” as it is called, was pronounced by the Pope, and the whole church, against all who should interfere with the clergy in the exercise of their temporal or spiritual rights. The curse was pronounced, by every parish priest, throughout the Papal world, four times a year,—-Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and All-Hallows day. The curse is in the following words, and is now repeated on the same days, by the Pope and all the priests and bishops of the Romish church, not publicly,—that they dare not do,—but in private. “Let them be accursed, eating and drinking, walking and sitting, speaking, and holding their peace, waking and sleeping, rowing and riding, laughing and weeping, in house and in field, in water and on land, in all places; cursed be their heads and their thoughts, their eyes and their ears, their tongues and their lips, their teeth and their throats, their shoulders and their breasts, their feet and their legs their thighs and their inward parts; let them remain accursed, from the sole of their foot to the crown of their heads; and just as this candle (the curser has a lighted candle in his hand, which he extinguishes) is deprived of us present light, so let them be deprived of their souls in hell.”
Such is the curse which the Pope pronounced against all heretics in the thirteenth century! and however surprised you may be, a similar one is pronounced once a year against all Protestants. There are many Americans who cannot believe that such a curse as the above, has ever been pronounced against a fellow-being. I have conversed with some intelligent Protestants in this city, who doubted whether such an anathema was ever uttered, and seemed struck with horror, as well as surprise, when I informed them that it was pronounced against myself in Philadelphia in presence of, at least, three thousand people. The reader must know, by this, that I am a heretic, and look upon the introduction of Popery into the United States, as the greatest evil which Providence has permitted to fall upon us. Arise, fellow-citizens, in the fulness of your power,—every Protestant in this country is a heretic, as well as myself. We are all annually cursed and damned by a set of Popish agents, bishops, and priests; men who, from my own personal acquaintance with them, I know to be unworthy of your friendship or your support; who walk your streets with apparent sanctimoniousness, but whose lives in private are such as delicacy forbids me to mention.
These men, under pretence of being democrats are attacking your liberties with the club of Hercules. They are acquiring gigantic force. You have recently witnessed the truth of this assertion; they fancied they had strength enough to cut you down as the legate of Pope Innocent did the Albigenses in the twelfth century. They bid defiance to reason, argument, and the lew of your land; and it grieves me to see every thing yielding to their power, as chaff before the wind. But Providence interposed, and these miserable dupes of Romish priests received a check, which, if followed up, will have a salutary effect in future. But, I pray you, be on your guard; watch the movements of Papists among you: have no confidence in them; have as little as possible to do with them. Trust them in nothing which may either directly or indirectly involve their religion. I most solemnly appeal to our national and state legislatures, to exclude them from every office of honor, profit, or trust, while they have any connection whatever, spiritual or temporal, with the Pope of Rome. Believe them not, when they tell you that their allegiance to the Pope is only spiritual. I understand what they mean by spiritual allegiance.
From what has been stated, it is clear that no modification had taken place in Popish pretensions during the thirteenth century, neither had the church relaxed one iota in her persecutions of heretics. On the contrary, her cruelties increased-the declarations of Popish priests to the contrary notwithstanding.
Let us now see what has been the conduct of the Popish church towards heretics, from the latter end of the thirteenth century to the conclusion of the fourteenth.
How was the illustrious John Wickliffe, professor of divinity in Oxford, treated by the church of Rome, during the reign of Boniface IX. But let us first see what the crimes of Wickliffe were, for which he had been so severely punished by the holy Roman church. The illustrious and good Wickliffe, the founder of the Reformation, whose very name every Christian venerates, maintained, 1st, That the Scriptures contain all truths necessary to salvation; 2d, That in the Scriptures only, is to be found, a perfect rule of Christian practice; 3d, He denied the authority of the Pope in temporal matters; 4th, He maintained that the Pope was the Man of Sin, the son of perdition, to which St. Paul alluded, “sitting as God in the temple of God.” As soon as the opinions of Wickliffe were ascertained, Gregory XL, the ruling Pope, addressed a Bull to the primate of England, ordering him to have Wickliffe arrested and imprisoned, until he received further instructions.
The popularity of Wickliffe was such, that this step was considered dangerous; and we find that nothing further was done to this eminently pious man, than banishing him from the university of Oxford into private life, where he died in peace, and went to his grave with the blessings of the good and the virtuous. But this did not satisfy the Pope, nor the infallible church. O, no. The holy mother never forgives a heretic, dead or alive. As soon as Wickliffe departed this life, in the sixty-first year of his age, the church and Papists exhibited the wildest symptoms of joy. One of their writers, in giving an account of his death, uses the following language: “On the day of St. Thomas, the martyr, that limb of the devil, enemy of the church, deceiver of the people, idol of heretics, mirror of hypocrites, author of schism, sower of hatred, and inventor of lies, John Wickliffe, was, by the immediate judgment of God, suddenly struck with a palsy, which seized all the members of his body, when he was ready to vomit forth his blasphemies against the blessed St. Thomas, in a sermon which he had prepared to preach that day!”
But holy mother was not yet satisfied. She had not the felicity of hanging Wickliffe; her ears were not delighted with his groans upon the rack; she did not hear his flesh hissing amid the flames of the faggot, nor his bones breaking upon the wheel; she must, however, have all the revenge left to satiate her malice. Thirty years after the death of Wickliffe, the infallible council of Constance, at which the Pope presided, passed an order that the body and bones of John Wickliffe, if they might be known and discerned from the bodies of faithful people—Papists—should be taken from the ground and thrown far away from the burial of any church, according to the canon laws and decrees.
This decree was not put in execution for thirteen years afterwards. His grave was then opened and his body disinterred with great solemnity, and in the presence of the Catholic bishop of Lincoln, it was publicly burned, and the ashes thrown into a neighboring rivulet. But the indignities offered to Wickliffe, while living, and after his death, were not sufficient to appease the malice of Papists. Blood, and blood alone, could satiate their thirst for revenge. His followers were hunted up and mercilessly put to death. Among the first of his followers, who suffered, was Lord Cobham, a nobleman, distinguished for his valor, devotion to his country, and true piety. His character was without blemish, and his morals and patriotism undoubted; but he was a heretic; he was among the followers of Wickliffe; he believed in the Holy Scriptures. This was crime enough, and for this he was excommunicated. Cobham appealed to the Pope, but the appeal was refused: he was cited again; he was offered absolution, if he would sue for it, and submit to the Popish church. This he refused; the consequence was, he was thrown into prison, from which he escaped and was not retaken for nearly four years, he was, however, finally captured after a most heroic resistance.
He might have escaped again, being an overmatch for his captor, had not a pious Roman Catholic woman, while he was nobly defending himself, taken up a stool, and with a desperate blow, broken both his legs. In this condition he was recommitted to prison until he was sentenced to death for his heresy. The sentence was, “that he should be drawn from his place of confinement through the city of London, to Temple Bar, there to be hanged, and burned hanging.” The historian Bale gives a most affecting account of his execution.
“On the day appointed,” says Bale, “he was brought out of the Tower with his arms bound behind him, having a very cheerful countenance. Then he was laid upon a hurdle as though he had been a most heinous traitor to the crown, and so drawn forth into St. Giles’s field, where they had set up a new gallows. When he arrived at the place of execution, and taken from the hurdle, he fell down devoutly on his knees, and prayed God to forgive his enemies. Then he stood up and beheld the multitude, exhorting them, in the most godly manner, to follow the laws of God, written in the Scriptures, and to beware of such teachers as they see contrary to Christ, in their conversation and living, with many other special councils. Then was he hanged up there, by the middle, in chains of iron, and so consumed alive in the fire, praising the name of the Lord, so long as life lasted. In the end he commended his soul into the hands of God, and so, most Christianly, departed home, his body being resolved to ashes.”
Thus was a nobleman, and a noble Christian, most barbarously put to death for believing that the Bible contained God’s truth; and therein differing from the Roman church, which teaches that the traditions of the fathers, and dreams of monks, are of equal authority.
Followers of Wickliffe,—and there are many of you in this country, who are an honor to his name,—have you ever reflected that there are nearly two millions of Papists in these United States, who entertain the same belief that the murderers of Cobham did; who believe that you are all excommunicated, as he was, and who, if they had the power, would consign yourselves, your wives, and children, to the same fate? and who are taught by their church, that, in so doing, they would be serving God? Romish priests may deny this. They do well. Otherwise, an indignant populace would tear them to pieces, or at least banish them from this land of freedom.
But I tell the priest or bishop, who dares deny it, that they are liars,—wilful and deliberate liars. I too have been a priest, and I solemnly declare to the world, and to my fellow-citizens of the United States in particular, that to keep no faith with heretics, but to destroy them, is one of the most solemn duties of a Catholic; and I go further, and state to you, that if a bishop or priest denies this, upon oath, you are not to believe him; his church requires from him to keep no faith with heretics, but to destroy and extirpate them. It allows him also to deny, under oath, the existence of such an obligation.
Do you, followers of Wickliffe, require any proof of this? It is a serious charge, and should not be lightly made. I therefore refer you to the letters of Martin II., who was Pope in the-year 1417, and considered one of the best Popes the Romish church ever had. This Pope, in one of his letters to the Duke of Lithuania, makes use of the following strong and emphatic language. “Be assured, thou sinnest mortally, if thou keep thy faith with heretics.” St. Thomas Aquinas teaches the same doctrine. Innocent VIII., who was Pope in 1484, declares “that all persons who are bound by any con-tract whatever to heretics are at liberty to break it, even though they had sworn an oath to fulfil it.” You here see, that I have done no injustice to Roman Catholics, in putting you on your guard against them, and charging them with a willingness to destroy yourselves, your wives and children, as heretics, had they power and opportunity of doing so. I am supported by the authority of Pope Martin V., and Pope Innocent VIII.; and though in your estimation, those blood-thirsty vagabonds may give no weight to my testimony, still it cannot fail to be highly satisfactory to Papists. Some of the Catholics may tell you, that the followers of Wickliffe were a seditious people; that they threatened to overthrow the civil institutions of the country; that all law and order were set at defiance by them; and that this was the cause of their persecution. This is false in fact—it is historically false.
If the followers of Wickliffe, or Lollards, as they were called, were disturbers of the peace; if their lives were seditious, disorderly, and rebellious, why were they not indicted, under some statute of the realm, made and provided to take cognizance of such crimes? Why were they not even accused of such crimes? Was the meek, mild, and learned John Wickliffe, accused or indicted for disturbing the peace? Was it for disturbing the peace, that his venerable bones were disinterred thirty years after being deposited in the cold grave? Was it for disturbing the peace, and for riotous proceedings, his bones were subsequently burned, and their ashes thrown into the next river? Was it for disturbing the peace, the learned and brave Cobham was hung in iron chains, by the middle.
No such accusation has ever been brought against these great and good men, or against thousands who suffered with them. They were accused only of heresy. Papists were their accusers; Papists were their judges; and Papists were their executioners.
But the malice of those blood-thirsty Catholics was not even then satiated. It is as fresh now, as it was then. Papists are not content, that hundreds of years ago, Wickliffe and his followers should be persecuted, and the greater portion of them massacred and burned. Their memories, also, are objects of Popish hatred, even to this day on which I write. They represent them as enemies of the human race. As despisers of chastity and morality. You will probably see these charges advanced against them in the Popish presses throughout the United States. But recollect, Americans, that age does not improve the piety of Papists. The older holy mother gets, the harder becomes her heart, and the more bitter her virulence. I might satisfy you, if necessary, on the testimony of the most respectable Protestant writers, that there lived not in the world, a people more simple, more pious, or virtuous than the Waldenses, or Wickliffites. It may be said of them, with truth, “qualis pater tales filii.” But I will not refer to Protestant authority; knavish, lying, Popish priests may question it! I refer you, for the character of this persecuted people, to an early Popish historian, Florimond—. History of Heresy, book vii. ch. 7.
“They”—the Waldenses—says this writer, “have nothing in their mouths but Christ the Saviour—they know nothing else than Jesus Christ. These people read the Bible continually, in such a manner that they know all the books of it by heart.” Horrid people these Wickliffites must be, to read the Bible until they know it by heart! And as these Bible-reading and Bible-loving people now constitute a vast majority of our citizens, I call upon them to rise in the full force of their moral power, and ward off from themselves and their children, the curse of Popery, or the fate of Wickliffe and his followers will assuredly be theirs. Many of you, Americans, are followers of Wickliffe. You believe as he believed! You live as he lived! You love peace as he loved it. Do you wish to continue as you are now? Or will you permit a flood of vile priests, monks, and nuns, to overrun your country, and seduce your children from the paths of virtue, in which your own example and the perusal of their Bibles have taught them to walk?
I now call your attention to the belief and practice of the Romish church in the fifteenth century, and you will find that heresy and heretics were still persecuted by her. Witness the conduct of Pope Innocent VIII. toward the Vaudois. He sent one of his Jesuit legates amongst them, with instructions to prevail on Louis XII. to extirpate them from his dominions, without even hearing any deputies which they might send him. The answer of Louis did him much credit—”Though I were at war with a Turk or the devil, I would hear what he had to say for himself.” They accordingly made their defence; and, upon this, the good King Louis sent commissioners to examine the state of things among them. The following was their report, as history informs us: “Having made a strict inquiry into their mode of living, we cannot discover the least shadow of the crimes imputed to them. On the contrary, it appears that they piously observe the Sabbath, baptize their children after the manner of the primitive church, and are thoroughly instructed in the doctrine of the apostles’ creed, and in the law of God.” On hearing this report, the king exclaimed, in a passion, addressing himself to the Pope’s legate—”By the holy mother of God, these heretics, whom you and the Pope urge me to destroy, are better men than you or myself.” He, however, soon departed this life, and every man acquainted with history knows what their sufferings were from the time of his death down to the days of Cromwell, who, whatever his faults may have been, fired with indignation at the barbarities committed by the Romish church, interposed in behalf of those persecuted people, and called upon Protestant princes and sovereigns to aid him in protecting them.
I will not burden the reader with a history of the sufferings of these people. It is familiar even to our schoolboys. I must, however, repeat the fact, that they were persecuted for no other reason than because they believed the Bible contained all the truths necessary to salvation, and because they did not believe in all the mummeries of Popery. Will Catholic bishops and priests still continue to assert that their church does not teach them to persecute heretics, and to hold no faith with them? Will they continue to assert, that the Pope of Rome does not claim temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction over the kingdoms of the earth? or if they do, are we compelled to listen to them?
There is scarcely any one who does not recollect the conduct of the holy see, as it is nicknamed, towards Queen Elizabeth, on her ascension to the throne of England. The queen sent a messenger to the court of Rome, to inform the Pope of the event. This was an act of state courtesy; but his holiness had the insolence to reply to the messenger who represented his sovereign: “Tell your mistress that England was held in fief of the apostolic see; that she could not succeed, being illegitimate; nor could she contradict the declarations made in that matter by his predecessors, Clement VII. and Paul III. Tell your mistress,” said this insolent ecclesiastic, “that it was great boldness in her to assume the crown without my consent, for which, in reason, she deserves no favor at my hands; yet if she will renounce her pretensions and refer herself wholly to me, I would show a fatherly affection to her, and do every thing for her that could consist with the dignity of the Roman see.”
Fellow-citizens, do you want any other proof to satisfy you that the Pope of Rome claims universal jurisdiction over kings, queens, nations, kingdoms, and all mankind? It is only about three hundred years since this occurred; and is there evidence on record that the Pope has resigned the prerogative of universal dominion which he then claimed? You may laugh at the idea of his claiming it over this country; but, mark what I tell you, some successor of the present Pope will not only claim, but exercise it in less than half the time that has elapsed since the days of Elizabeth. Other objects may divert your attention from this subject; you may sleep on in fancied security, but your sleep may be fatal.
“America,” as a talented writer (Giustiniani) expresses it, “is the promised land, the land of the Jesuits’ operations. To obtain the ascendency, they have no need of a mercenary Swiss guard, or the assistance of the holy alliance, but a majority of votes, which can easily be obtained by an importation of Roman Catholics from Ireland, Bavaria, and Austria. Rome, viewed at a distance, is a colossus; near at hand, its grandeur diminishes, its charm is lost. But the Jesuits are every where the same—cunning, immoral, and sneaking intriguers, until they have obtained the ascendency. Rome feels her weakness at home; she knows herself to be a mere political institution, dressed in the garment of Christianity. She takes good care to uphold that holy militia, the Jesuits, in order to appear what she is not. It is a strife for existence. I am not a politician,” says this writer, “but knowing the active spirit of Jesuitism, and the indifference of the generality of Protestants, I have no doubt whatever, that in ten years the Jesuits will have a mighty influence over the ballot-box, and in twenty they will direct it according to their own pleasure. Now they fawn, in ten years they will menace, and in twenty command.”
In this city they not only “fawn,” but they have proceeded to “menace.” Some of the knowing ones among the Catholics now boast that they have the power to govern this city, and they intend to exercise it. This is no idle threat. Even now, though they are actually less in numerical strength in the aggregate, than the Protestants, and pay far less for the support of our free schools, they, nevertheless, have succeeded in depriving Protestant children of the privilege of using the Bible for a school-book, as they have been wont to do. Protestants may sleep on if they will, but they may be assured that they are sleeping on the sides of a burning volcano, and that ere long they will be awakened, but too late, we fear, by the angry thunders of the upheaving fires within, which shall scathe and desolate the fair heritage they now enjoy.
I entreat you, fellow-citizens, never to forget the solemn declaration of the father of your country: “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of a republican government.” This is the warning of the immortal Washington, and should not pass unheeded. To the same effect spoke other revolutionary patriots. Jefferson says, “I hope we may find some means in future of shielding ourselves from foreign influence, political, commercial, or in whatever form it may be attempted. I can scarcely withhold myself from joining in the wish of Silas Deane—that there were an ocean of fire between this and the old world.” And Madison said, “Foreign influence is truly a Grecian horse to the republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its entrance.”
The cruelty of Papists, the intrigue and craft of Popes, the hypocrisy of Jesuits, the dynasties which they have overthrown, the devastations and carnage which they had occasioned, for centuries back, were matters of historical notoriety, and were well known to our pure-minded and clear-headed forefathers. They dreaded similar occurrences in this happy republic, which they have bequeathed to us as their trustees, to be handed down to posterity; and hence arose their warnings to be on our guard against all foreign interference with our institutions or our country.
Ponder upon those warnings, and let each and every Protestant in the Union pledge himself to guard our liberties, as the apple of his eye. I speak from experience. I am myself a foreigner by birth, though a resident of this country for thirty years. My life has been a checkered one. Born a Roman Catholic in the south of Ireland, educated a Roman Catholic priest, officiating in that capacity for some years, here, as well as in my native country, and for many years a member of the bar in South Carolina and Georgia, I could not fail to acquire a correct knowledge of the doctrines and practices of the Romish church. The result of my experience is, that the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church are fatal to the morals of any people; at variance with sound national policy and pure religion. It is a rank and poisonous weed, which will flourish even in the soil of liberty. Would that I could eradicate it! Would that you would enable me to tear up this Upas, which is spreading its poison, from one end of our land to the other! Would that you could aid me in muzzling those Popish bloodhounds, who are freely coursing over our eastern mountains and western valleys! Already have they scented blood, and I warn you to be on your guard or they will scent more.
I am no sectarian; I am not the tool of any party, either in church or state. I have never asked the countenance or support of any religious denomination, nor has any ever been tendered to me. I have stood alone in my opposition to that hydra-headed monster, Popery. There is no abuse which I have not received; no calumny which has not been heaped upon me; no crime which they have not accused me of; no scurrilous epithet which they have not applied to me. All this I have met single-handed; but I would bear it again, rather than submit to the iniquitous doctrines of Popery. I would bear it again, rather than submit, as native Americans have done, and are doing, to be publicly denounced, as cowards and sons of cowards and pirates.
But, fellow-citizens, they do not consider you cowards and pirates alone; they will, by-and-by, apply to you a term, which you will better deserve. It is sweet, it is a euphonious name, and I trust you will bear it with as much Christian philanthropy, as you have that of cowards, and pirates—Fools. It is the only ignominious term, in the English language, which they have not applied to myself, and I assure my fellow-citizens, natives of this country, that if you are willing to be governed by the Pope of Rome, and his priests, and bishops, I shall never question your paramount claim to this preeminent distinction. Can you bear the following opprobrious language applied to you by the Jesuit, now the Boston Pilot, the organ of the bishop of that city. “How in the name of conscience,” says this Popish organ, “can a man have the impudence to find fault with honest emigrants, whose own fathers were emigrant pirates?” You are also complimented by the Literary and Catholic Sentinel, another Popish press, in Philadelphia. That blessed organ of Popery, the Sentinel, in its comments upon a sermon delivered by that eloquent Presbyterian divine, McCalla, thus eulogizes New England. He, Mr. McCalla, knew the character of his New England audience, that their minds were warped by fanaticism, darkened by bigotry, and vitiated by the abhorred, and atrocious principles inculcated by the vile and sanguinary wretches, called the Pilgrim Fathers. He well knew that the mental capacity of the generality of his hearers were chained down by ignorance.
Very flattering this, especially to Bostonians, and their puritan fathers. Their fathers were sanguinary wretches, if we believe Papists, and the people of Boston are an ignorant set of boobies. You, Americans, may bear all this; you know not the designs of Popery, but I do; and while I have liberty to write, I will write for liberty, and in opposition to Popery. Truth may be unpalatable to Papists, but it is my duty to record it.
Among the instructions which I received from my bishop in Ireland, when he sent me out to this country as a Catholic priest, was one to which I beg to call your attention. The same is given to every priest in the United States. “Let it be your first duty to extirpate heretics, but be cautious as to the manner of doing it. Do nothing without consulting the bishop of the diocese, in which you may be located; and if there be no bishop there, advise with the metropolitan bishop. He has his instructions from Rome, and he understands the character of the people. Be sure not to permit the members of our holy church, who may be under your charge, to read the Bible. It is the source of all heresies. Whenever you see an opportunity of building a church, make it known to your bishop. Let the land be purchased for the Pope, and his successors in office. Never yield or give up the divine right, which the head of the church has, by virtue of the Keys, to the government of North America, as well as every other country. The confessional will enable you to know the people by degrees; with the aid of that holy tribunal, and our bishops, who are guided by the spirit of God, we may expect, at no distant day, to bring over North America to the bosom of our holy church.”
This needs some explanation. By extirpating heresy, he meant the conversion of heretics to the Romish church, without violence, if possible, if not, by such means as the Romish church has adopted in all ages. You have already seen what these means were—I need not now repeat them; but you shall see them more plainly, when I lay before you, as I intend to do hereafter; the ways and means which the church has adopted, to bring over the Huguenots from the darkness of Protestant error, to the glorious light of Popish truth.
The Bible, as you are aware, is a forbidden book in the Romish church. I remember when acting as Popish priest, in Philadelphia, having ventured to suggest to the very Rev. Mr. De Barth, then acting as vicar-general of that diocese, the advantages of educating the poor, and circulating the Bible among them. He scouted at the idea, as heretical, and lodged a written complaint against me, before the archbishop of Baltimore, then Romish metropolitan. I was reprimanded verbally, through the aforesaid De Barth. He was too crafty to send it in writing; the Papists were not then strong enough to forbid, openly, the reading of the Bible. It was then too soon to seal up the fountain of eternal life in this free country. The most sympathizing Protestants could scarcely believe then, that in less than thirty years, Papists would not only dare forbid it to be read, by their own people, and in their own schools, but cast it out of Protestant schools, as they did the other day in New York. What are we coming to, Americans? Your ancestors have come to this country, with no recommendations but holy lives; with no fortune but their pious hearts and strong arms; with no treasure but the word of God.
Will you now permit Papists to cast those Bibles out of your schools, to burn them on the public streets, as they have done in the state of New York, under the inspection of Popish priests, as proved on the oath of several respectable witnesses? That priest, however, did no more than every priest and bishop would do, did he deem it expedient; and here, fellow-citizens, let me assure you, that same power which authorizes that priest, or any other priest, to burn your Bibles, also authorizes him to burn every heretic or Protestant in the country.
The same power which authorizes them to officiate as priests, empowers them to destroy heretics, whenever it is expedient; and is ready to absolve them from the commission of this foul deed. Saint Thomas Aquinas, in his second book, chapter the 3d, page 58, says: “Heretics, may justly be killed.” But you will answer, there is no danger of this. They can never acquire the power to enact any laws in this country which would sanction such a doctrine. How sadly mistaken you are! How lamentably unacquainted with the secret springs or machinery of Popery! I regret that circumstances oblige me so often to introduce my own name, but it cannot be well avoided, for the purpose of explaining certain Popish transactions in the United States. While I was a Romish priest in Philadelphia, and soon after my difference with the archbishop of Baltimore, in relation to the introduction of the Bible, a consultation was held between the Popish priests in the diocese of Philadelphia, and it was secretly resolved by them, that the best mode of checking Hogan’s heresy, as they were pleased to term my advocating the reading of the Bible, was to take possession of the church in which I officiated, in the name of the Pope. They accordingly wrote to his holiness, humbly praying this man-god to send them out a bishop, and to give him, and his successors in office, a lease of St. Mary’s church, in Philadelphia, and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging. Accordingly his royal holiness the Pope sent them a bishop with the aforesaid lease. I was immediately ordered out of the church; and having refused to depart, unless the trustees thought proper to remove me, this emissary of the Pope, only a few days or weeks in this country, had me indited and imprisoned for disturbing public worship, or in other words, officiating in St. Mary’s church, even with the full and undivided consent of the trustees.
But the bishop’s legal right was questioned; the case was brought before the supreme court of Pennsylvania, Chief Justice Tighlman presiding. I was discharged from bail and custody, and the rights of the trustees, under their charter from the state, sustained. But the priests and bishops were not content with this decision. They put their heads once more together, and fancied that they discovered another mode by which they could rob the people of their rights, and defeat the intentions of the donors of the property of St. Mary’s church; and what was their plan, think you, fellow-citizens?
The bishop called a meeting of all the priests and leading Catholics in the diocese. Every lay member was ordered to bring with him a hickory stick. The meeting was held in the church of St. Joseph; and at the hour of twelve at night, the Romish bishop of the diocese of Pennsylvania, an Irishman, not more than a few months in the country, attended in his pontificals, told the multitude who were there assembled to lay down their sticks in one pile, in order that he might bless them for their use. This was done as a matter of course.
The bishop said mass, sprinkled holy water upon the sticks, blessed them, and this done, the whole party bound themselves by a solemn vow never to cease until they elected a legislature in Pennsylvania that would annul the charter of St. Mary’s church; and, as an American citizen, I blush to state the fact, they succeeded. The charter was annulled by an act of the legislature, and property, worth over a million of dollars, would have passed into the hands of the Pope and his agents, were there not a provision in the constitution of that state empowering the supreme court to decide upon the constitutionality of the acts of the legislature.
We brought the question of the constitutionality of the act, which annulled the charter, before the court, Justice Tighlman still presiding. The court decided in the negative, otherwise the trustees and myself would have been defeated; I should have been fined and imprisoned, and they ousted out of their trust.
This, I believe, was the first attempt the Pope has made to establish his temporal power in this country; and it is a source of consolation to me, dearer almost than existence itself, to be the first to meet this holy bull. If I have not strangled him, and trampled him to death, I have, at least, the comfort of seeing his horn so blunted, that his bellowings have been, ever since, comparatively harmless. But there seems a recuperative power in the beast. He is again attempting to plant his foot upon our soil, and establish his temporal power amongst us; and how is he trying to accomplish this, fellow-citizens? The Papists have united themselves together as a body, headed by their priests, and resolved to carry, through the ballot box, what they cannot otherwise accomplish, at least for the present. Popish priests have all become politicians; they publicly preach peace, good order, and obedience to the “powers that be,” but they tell the people in the confessional, to disregard those instructions, and stop at nothing which may promote the interests of the church.
They have now, what they call “religious newspapers,” under the supervision of their bishops, but in which, not a word of pure religion, or Christian charity, is to be found. They are political presses, whose object is to overthrow our laws, our government, and introduce, in their stead, anarchy and confusion. These people—and here I allude to Irish Catholics and their priests in particular—have no regard for the obligations of an oath. Let the priest only tell them that it is for the good of the church, and they will stop at no crime; no, not even at murder; and they are daily becoming more audacious in consequence of the support which they receive from unprincipled politicians, and the morbid indifference of Protestants.
I have shown you, in a former page, that the increase of Catholics, in this country, will soon give them a majority of voters: and who, think you, will they vote for? A Protestant is it? Any man distinguished for virtue, and for love of republican principles? Assuredly not.
Will they select such a man as the virtuous and pious Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey? Will they choose such a man as the upright and honorable Archer, of Virginia? Will they cast their votes for such a man as the honest John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina; than whom, whatever may be his politics, there is not a greater or a better man of the age.
I might name hundreds, equally good and great men, who are disqualified, by their virtues, from receiving the votes of Popish vassals. None but mercenary demagogues, such as the Pope’s tool, Daniel O’Connell, who generously sacrifices five thousand pounds a year to obtain fifty-six thousand, the sum which he received last year in order to ameliorate the condition of the poor Irish. Give the power, and they will elect such a political desperado as this restless O’Connell, a Jesuit by education, an intriguer by nature, and as great a coward as ever drew breath. This is the champion, and his followers—the Irish—are the people, who call Americans cowards, and their “pilgrim fathers,” pirates and sanguinary wretches. These are the men, with Daniel O’Connell at their head, numbering nine millions of the “bravest men in the world,” who have been for centuries, and are now, on their knees, begging favors from the British government. Americans, too, once asked for favors, or rather their just rights, from that government, but not having obtained them, they drew their swords, threw away their scabbards, and, though the whole population of the United States did not, at that time, amount to two and a half millions, they fought for their rights, and they won them. Yet these Popish braggarts, but wretched slaves, call you cowards, and your fathers pirates. How long will you suffer this?
We know, from history, that Popery and liberty cannot coexist in the same country. A Popish government has never advanced human happiness. It never promotes any object truly great or philanthropic. How deplorable would it be, did this country fall a prey to those who are trying to establish it amongst us. The truth is, Popish glory, the trappings of its court, have been always the silly objects of the Roman church, while the mass of her people has ever been left in the recesses of want, obscurity, and ignorance.
Americans, at present, seem sunk in a sort of political lethargy; and this is taken advantage of, by foreign priests and Jesuits; but I would tell those disturbers of our peace, not to trust too much to this apparent sluggishness; a calm often precedes a storm: the continued insolence, abuses, and threats of Papists, may arouse our young lion, and, if I mistake not—although, appearances are at present against it—his holiness and his minions, who are trying to set up a power in this country unknown to our constitution, and not enumerated in our bill of rights, may have occasion to tremble.
To effect this, however, without the shedding of blood, it is necessary—indispensably necessary—that no Papist should hold office, or even vote, until he ceases to have any connection, or hold any alliance with the Pope, who is a foreign potentate, as well as head of the church. Let them come amongst us, if they will, but let it be with healing on their wings, and not to disturb our peace and tranquillity. Let them prove themselves the friends of liberty, religion, and mankind, and Americans will receive them with open arms, admit them to a full participation in all their own privileges, and extend to them the hand of friendship; but never let this be done, until they forswear expressly and without mental reservation, all allegiance, of whatever kind, and under whatever name, to the Pope of Rome, who is a foreign potentate, and acknowledged as such by the powers of Europe. When a Papist refuses to do this, trust him not. I repeat it, trust him not, Americans. He is a spy amongst you, a traitor to your country, and the sworn enemy of your religion and your liberties.
This, however, they do not. They come amongst you with different motives and far different characters. Though I know them well, it would be impossible for me to express to you the designs which mark their entrance into this country. They cross the Atlantic, under instructions from their priests, and bring nothing with them but their bigotry, intolerance, and ignorance. Their tastes, their passions, and their native hatred of Protestants are wafted over to us, and are already corrupting the morals of our people. In their native country they feel, or pretend to feel, oppressed by British laws and British government. They are taught by their priests to despise their government, at home; that its laws are all penal, and that there is no crime in evading them.
There is not an Irish Catholic, who leaves that country, but feels it his duty to resist the laws of Protestant England, and evade, by perjury or otherwise, their execution. “In no country in the world,” says a modern writer, “are the rights of property so recklessly violated: amongst no people on the face of the earth are the obligations of an oath, or the discharge of the moral duties, so utterly disregarded. Any man, the greatest culprit, can find persons to prove an alibi; the most atrocious assassin has but to seek protection, to obtain it. And why is this so? Because the religious instruction of the people has been totally neglected; because their priests have become politicians; because their bishops, pitchforked from the potatoe-basket to the palace, have become drunk with the incense offered to their vanity; and the patronage granted in return for their unprincipled support, instead of checking the misconduct of the subordinates, stimulate them to still further violence, and stop at nothing which can forward their objects. Because the opinions of the people are formed on the statements and advice of mendicant agitators, who have but one object in view—their own aggrandizement. Because a rabid and revolutionary press, concealing its ultimate designs under the motive of affording protection to the weak, seeks to overthrow all law and order, pandering to the worst passions of an ignorant and ferocious populace.”
Irish priests and Irish bishops complain of poverty and grievances at home. They complain that men of property leave their homes and spend their incomes abroad; but as this writer, to whom I have alluded expresses it, “What encouragement do they give to such as return from their residences abroad?” Allow me, fellow-citizens, to give you an instance of the treatment which Protestants of fortune receive from Irish Roman priests, when they do return to reside upon their estates in Ireland. I quote from the same author:!!!!!
“The Marquis of Waterford, a sportsman boundless in his charities, frank and cordial in his manners, not obnoxious on account of his politics, and admitted on all hands to be one of the best landlords in Ireland, comes to reside, and spend his eighty thousand sterling per annum, in the country. He gets up a splendid establishment in the county of Tipperary; and how is he treated? His hounds and horses were twice poisoned. There are scarcely any Protestants in the county of Tipperary. His offices were fired, and his servants, with difficulty, saved their lives. Compelled to abandon Tipperary—that sink of Popish iniquity, every nook and corner of which I am acquainted with—this generous and fine-hearted young nobleman retires to his family mansion, in Waterford; and how is he received there? I will not tell you; let his parish priest tell the story. ‘Men of Portlan,’ says this holy Romish priest, addressing the tenants and neighbors of the Marquis of Waterford, ‘you were the leading men who put down Beresford, in ’26 (the marquis’s father); I call on you now, having put down one set of tyrants, to put down another set of tyrants, the marquis himself.'”
Many of the Romish priests, which we have in this country, are from that very county of Tipperary, and thousands of the poor Irish amongst us have had their education, such as it is, from such worthy apostolic successors as the parish priest of the Marquis of Waterford.
Such are the people to whom you are yielding the destinies of this happy republic, by allowing them to vote at your elections, or to hold any office of honor or trust, while they have any connection with the head of their church, the Pope of Rome. Let the reader pass on from Popish Tipperary to Protestant Ulster, and he will see that the crimes of the Irish, and the miseries which many of them suffer, are to be attributed almost solely to their religion and their priests.
Mr. Kohl, a fair and very impartial writer, at least, upon Ireland, and who is often quoted by the great agitator, O’Connell, says,—in passing from that part of the country, where the majority of the inhabitants profess the Roman Catholic religion to that in which the great bulk of the population are Protestants or Presbyterians,—”On the other side of these miserable hills, whose inhabitants are years before they can afford to get the holes mended in their potatoe kettles, (the most important article of furniture in an Irish cabin,) the territory of Leinster and that of Munster begins. The coach rattled over the boundary line, and all at once we seemed to have entered a new world. I am not in the slightest degree exaggerating when I say, that everything was as suddenly changed as if by an enchanter’s wand. The dirty cabins by the road side were succeeded by neat, pretty cottages; well cultivated fields and shady trees met the eye on every side. At first I could scarcely believe my own eyes, and thought the change must be merely local, caused by particular management of that particular state, but the improvement lasted, and continued to show me that I was among a totally different people, the Scottish settlers, and the industrious Presbyterians.”
We see, in this country, the same difference of character and habits, between the Irish Protestants and the Irish Catholics. The Irish Protestant, wherever you find him, laboring on his loom in the north of Ireland, working in a factory in New England, keeping a shop in New York, or cultivating a plantation in Carolina, values his home and integrity, as pearls of great price. He is generally temperate, frugal, and industrious. We seldom, or never, hear him accused of disturbing the peace, or fraudulently voting at elections; on the whole, he arrives amongst us a worthy man, and, in time, becomes a useful citizen; and to what is this owing? It is owing to his education. He has been taught the Bible in his youth; from this he learned to love his God, above all things, and his neighbor as himself.
But how is it with the Roman Catholic, who comes amongst you? Scarce does he land on your shores, when he becomes more turbulent, more noisy, and more presumptuous, than when he left his native bogs. As soon as he confesses to his priest, he hurrahs for democracy, by which he means anarchy, confusion, and the downfall of heretics. He must vote; if he cannot do so fairly, his priest tells him how to evade the obligations of an oath. He will swear to support a constitution, which he never read, and never was read to him; he goes again to the confessional, and leaves that sacred tribunal with an oath upon his lips, that “Americans shall not rule him.” He soon hears the words, “Pilgrim Fathers;” he goes to his priest, and asks what these words mean; he is told that they were vile wretches, pirates, who came to this country many years ago, and whose sons were all cowards, and thus we see that, as far as it is in their power, they are trying to reduce this country, and its native inhabitants, to a level with that in which their vile religion—Popery—-has placed themselves. If we could cast our eyes over the history of the world, we should be struck with horror at the fatal consequences of Popery.
Wherever its followers have had an ascendency, or wherever they have it now, they appear to be conspirators against the happiness of the human race. What were the means by which Popish kings, emperors, and princes, conducted their governments—with the advice and consent, of the Pope of Rome, the vicegerent of heaven? Craft, extortion, fire, and sword. What are the means by which those governments, which at this day are under the Pope and his priests, are conducted?
- SYNOPSIS OF POPERY, AS IT WAS AND AS IT IS.
- ORIGIN OF THE TEMPORAL POWER OF THE POPE.
- POPISH BISHOPS AND PRIESTS ABSOLVE ALLEGIANCE TO PROTESTANT GOVERNMENTS.
- Life in Roman Catholic Countries
- Crusade against the Albigenses
- The Pope apes the very thunders of heaven
- MASSACRE OF THE HUGUENOTS.
- The folly of uniting with the Catholic Church