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same manner as the words son of Belial; to figo nify a wicked person. The carnal Jews had no idea of the facred mystery of the son of God, God bimself, coming upon earth.
Jesus answered the high-priest, “ thou hast " said ; nevertheless, I say unto you, hereafter “ shall ye see the son of man sitting on the right “ hand of the power of God, and coming in " the clouds of heaven t."
This answer was looked upon by the whole asienibly as a blasphemy. But the Sanhedrim having no longer the power of life and death, they falfely accused Jesus before the Roman governor of the province, of being a disturber of the public peace, and one who said they should
have clearly understood that our Saviour called himself the son of God in the proper sense of that word; and if they looked upon this as a blafphencus expression, it is an additional proof of their ignorance of the incarnation, and of God, the son of God, being sent upon earth for the redemption of mankind,
† Matthew, chap. xxvi. ver. 61-64.
not pay tribute to Cæsar; and moreover, called himself king of the Jews. It is therefore inconteftibly evident, that he was accused of a crime against the state.
Pilate being informed that he was a Gallilean, sent him immediately to Herod, the tetrarch of Gallilee. This latter thinking it imposible that a person of Jesus's appearance should pretend to be the head of a party, or aspire to royal y, (rea.ed him with great contempt, and sent him back again to Pilate, who had the infainous weakness to condemn hiin to death, as the only means to appease the tumult raised against himfelf; more especially as he had lately experienced the revolt of the Jews, as we are told by Josephus. On this occasion Pilate did not allow the same generosity which the governor Festus did afterwards.
I now desire to know, whether toleration or non toleration appears to be of divine prescription? Let those who would relemble Christ, be martyrs, and not exccutioners.
CH A P. XV.
TESTIMONIES against PERSECUTION.
T is an impious act to deprive men of lic
berty in matters of religion, or prevent them from making choice of a God. No God nor man would be pleased with a forced service. (Apologetic chap. xxiv.)
Was violence to be used in defence of the faith, the bishops would oppose it. (St. Hilarius, lib. i.)
Religion when forced ceases to be religion ; we should persuade and not compel. Religion cannot be commanded. (Lactantius, lib. iii.)
It is detestable heresy to endeavour to bring over by violence, bodily punishments, or imprifonments, those whom we cannot convince by reasoning. (St. Athanafius, lib. i.)
Nothing is more contradictory to true religion than constraint. (St. Justin, Martyr, lib. v.)
Is it for us to persecute those whom God tolerates ? fid St. Augustine, before his dispute with the Donatifts had foured his difpofition.
Let no violence be done to the Jews. (The 56th Canon of the 4th Council of Toledo.)
(St. Barnard's Let.
Advise but compel not. ters.)
We do not pretend to overcome error by violence. (Speech of the Clergy of France to Lewis XIV.
We have always disapproved of rigorous measures. (Asembly of the Clergy, Auguft il, 1560.)
We know that faith may yield to persuasion, but it never will be controuled. (Flechier bishop of Nime's, Letter, 19.)
We ought to abstain even from reproachful speeches. (Bishop of Balley's Pastoral Letters.)
Remember that the diseases of the soul are not to be cured by restraint and violence, Cardinal Camus' Pastoral Instructions for the Year 3688.)
Indulge everyone with civil toleration. (Archbishop Fenelon to the Duke of Burgundy.),
Compulsion in religion proves the spirit, whicb dictates it to be an enemy to truth. (Dirois, a Doctor of the Sorbonne, b. vi. chap. iv)
Compulsion may make hypocrites, but never can perfuade. (Tellement's Hift. Ecclef. tom. vi.)
We have thought it conformable to equity and right reason, to walk in the paths of the ancient church, which never used violence to establish or extend religion. (Remonftrance of the Parliament of Paris to Henry II.)
Experience teaches us, that violence is more likely to irritate, than to cure a distemper which is seated in the mind. (De Thou's Epistle Dedicatory to Hinry IV.)