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lic "Shepherd of the Valley," makes, that they have not the power, is weak and cowardly. Why not take their chances, for conscience' sake, as the Huguenots did, and put their own lives in peril for what they hold to be truth and duty? Why not face the dangers and sufferings which were endured with such martyr heroism by their Protestant victims?
We have always honored the "Shepherd of the Valley" for its courage in speaking out on this question. Heresy is a crime, and that is its definition in the Catholic vocabulary. And did the Pope tolerate it when he was in power? Was there one Protestant Church in Rome, or in all the estates of the Church? Not one. But look at the multitude of Roman Churches in all Protestant countries. But this is consistent in both cases, as was said lately in the French Senate by an Ultramontane to a Liberal when the subject was in discussion: "We demand religious liberty of you when you are in power, because this is in accord with your principles; and we refuse it to you when we are in power, because that is in accord with our principles." Honest again; and we honor the man who faces the logic of his creed ; and what the readers of these volumes of Prof. Baird, and what all Americans are to remember, is that this logic holds good in the United States as well as in France all that is wanting to enforce it is the
No law is allowed to stand in the way of its purposes. Look at the bishops and priests of Germany and Belgium to-day, who set themselves defiantly against the government. Abolish the law if it conflicts with the claims of the Church; or, if this cannot be done, disobey it. Look at the attitude of Archbishop Williams of Boston in regard to the public schools. He meets the issue squarely if the influence of our schools is deemed prejudicial to the interests of the Church, send your children to parochial Catholic schools; and if there are no parochial schools, withdraw them from the public schools at all events - and yet he knows that it is a law of the State that all children shall attend school! What is this but defying the law? What is this but a prophecy of the coming conflict of the Church with the State on other issues than this? Mr. Froude's warning in the North American comes none too soon, and in spite of the skepticism of our political optimists, it is significant of a real and threatening peril to our civil and religious institutions and this means danger every individual heretic at last.
NEW SERIES. VOL. XVII
That we do not, in saying this, go beyond the record of Catholics themselves, let the following citations from their priests and publications witness:
"Let the public-school system go to where it came from—the Devil!" Freeman's Journal.
"I would as soon administer the sacraments to a dog as to Catholics who send their children to the public schools." Priest Walker.
"What Father Walker says is only what has been said by the bishops all over the world, over and over again, in their pastorals, and we heartily endorse it." "We hold it to be a function of the Church, not of the State; and we do not accept the State as educator." New York Tablet.
Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect." Bishop O'Connor.
"God's tribunal and the Pope's tribunal are the same. All other powers are his subjects." Muscovius.
"We will take this country and build our institutions over the grave of Protestantism." "There is, ere long, to be a State religion in this country, and that State religion is to be Roman Catholic!" Priest Hecker, Editor of the Catholic World, which publication is approved and commended by the Pope.
"There can be no religion without the Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion of the true faith." Boston Pilot-in charge of Archbishop Williams.
And now let us hear the Pope himself:
"It is an error to hold that 'in the case of conflicting laws between the two powers the civil law ought to prevail." Syllabus of 1864, Proposition 42.
It is an error to hold that 'in the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other modes of worship.'
"It is an error to hold that it has been wisely provided by laws in some countries called Catholic that persons not Catholics who come to them should be allowed to enjoy the exercises of their own worship.'" Proposition 78.
These declarations are sufficiently bold and intelligible, and reveal plainly the animus and purpose of the Roman Church in this country. And they are not idle threats and boasts, but the language of men in dead earnest, who not only mean what they say, but believe in the fulfilment of their threats and prophecies. And they are not without reason for believing this, in spite of all the fine talk about the intelligence and patriotism of the American people. And should this ever come to pass we shall know what weight there is in the statement of
the Boston Pilot, that "there can be no religion without the Inquisition!" And what this may mean when a Pope of the right stamp, a Pope after the pattern of Pius V. is in power, may be seen in the following facts gathered from this History of the Huguenots
This Pius Pope, writing to Francis urges him to exterminate the Huguenots, and says that "heresy cannot be tolerated in the same kingdom with the worship of the Catholic religion." He wrote to the Duke of Alva, the papal butcher and remorseless savage in the service of Phillip II., congratulating him on his slaughter of Protestants as proof of his being a faithful soldier of God. After the battle of Jarnac he promptly wrote Charles of France, urging him to "pursue and destroy the remnants of the Huguenots, and wholly tear up not only the roots of an evil so great, but even the very fibres of the roots." And to Catharine, and the Duke of Anjou, and to the cardinals of Bourbon and Lorraine, he sent the same exhortations to pursue the heretics to the last. To Catharine he says, "Under no circumstances, and from no considerations ought the enemies of God to be spared foes of the Catholic religion openly and freely even to extermination until all shall have been destroyed." To Charles he says, after the victory of Montcour, "Do not allow yourself, by the empty name of pity, to be deceived so far as to seek by pardoning Divine injuries to obtain false praise for compassion; for nothing is more cruel than that pity and compassion which is extended to the impious (heretics) and those who deserve the worst of torments."
And these teachings are not exceptional, for as Prof. Baird says, "It must not be forgotten that, in holding these sentiments, Pius V. did not stand alone; his predecessors on the pontifical throne were of the same mind." Of course his predecessors and his successors must be of the same mind, if the Pope is God's vicegerent on earth, and infallible in all his religious teachings, as claimed for him. The only reason why these sentiments are not taught in our republic, in England, Germany and the France of to-day, is that it is inexpedient, unwise, imprudent, in-as-much as the Church has no power to put them in force.
For these reasons we bespeak a careful reading of this work of Prof. Baird. It is really the first complete narrative — as far as it goes, to be followed we trust to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and its consequences the first complete and perfectly authentic history of the great religious movement of the sixteenth century in
France, and of the barbarous wars and horrible atrocities of Catholic persecution attending it. He has enjoyed great advantages in new sources of information opened to him, and how thoroughly he has studied his subject, how conscientiously he has carried back every important statement of previous writers to the original documents in State archives and private collections, how many errors he has corrected, how many facts denied by Catholic authorities he has verified from these documents, can only be seen by an examination of his marginal notes and citations.
The first volume opens with a review of the religious and political condition of France at the time the Protestant movement commenced, which in its general features reminds us of the opening chapters of Gibbon's Rome and of Prescott's Conquest of Mexico. It is a photograph of the conditions out of which grew the Reform movement the ignorance and superstition of the masses, the number and revenues, the luxuries and vices of the clergy, the miserable drivel of the pulpits in the place of moral and religious instruction, the dissolute lives of the monks and priests, the insolent pretensions of the Roman hierarchy; including also the corruption of the count and nobles, the absolutism of the kings, the oppression of the people, the conflicts of Church and State, the inquisitorial authority of the Sorbonne, the barbarous punishments of crime and heresy, &c.
It will be impossible to follow events chapter by chapter in this brief review. The account of the Reformation in Meaux, of the good but not brave bishop Briconnet, of Jacques Lefevre, the scholar, and his translation of the New Testament; of Roussel, Calvin, Farel and Leclerc; and farther on of the noble Louis Berquin, his persecutions, imprisonments and final execution, and the cowardly advice and complaints of Erasmus, are full of tragic interest, and discover the consistent but savage policy of the Papal Church. Extermination of heretics was the business of church dignitaries and royal bigots; and the law required all who knew or suspected any one of favoring the Reformation to denounce him to the authorities, or be treated themselves as guilty. From time to time we have tumults and massacres of defenceless Huguenots, even when assembled for worship under the protection of law, incited by the priests, or by such professional butchers of the Church as the Guises. And some of these bloody carnivals, as, for example, those of the Vaudois and St. Bartholomew, put into the shade even the atrocities of Nero in his gardens on the
Vatican hill, during the first persecution of the Christians.1
Many readers will be surprised, we think, to find that the Protestant struggle in France involved seven or eight civil wars and many local conflicts before the supremacy of Romanism was finally settled by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685, by Louis XIV., the flight of three or four hundred thousands to England, Holland, Germany and Switzerland, and the destruction of as many more, according to Sismondi, by prison, the scaffold and the galleys.
In concluding we desire to invite the reader's special attention to 1. The devotion, faith and courage of the Huguenots, from the lowliest to the noblest of them, from Jean Leclerc, the poor wool-carder of Meaux, to Condé and Coligny; all animated by the same sentiment of loyalty to conscience and truth, inspired by the same courage to look torture and death in the face, under any conditions, rather than be false to their principles or compromise with the devil. Of course there were some exceptions, as there always are in great multitudes, but the mass of the French Protestants never hesitated in the hour of temptation and peril, never faltered in their allegiance to Christ and his gospel, whatever the cost. We glorify the early Christian martyrs, and we should, but the horrible cruelties and sufferings inflicted on the Christians in the imperial gardens at Rome, in the first century, were fully matched by those endured by the Huguenot martyrs of the sixteenth century, and endured with equal patience and heroism.
And often these executions were attended with insult as well as cruelty, the bishops and clergy taking a fiendish delight in heaping scorn and ridicule upon their victims. When, after waiting with the impatient hunger of a wild beast for its prey, the clergy finally got Jean Châtellain into their power, they worried him with all possible indignities and outrages, with all the petty devices of demon malice; and having exhausted their resources, at the last, though exulting in having made sure of his death, the Bishop handed him over to execu
1 Whoever would verify this let him carefully read chap. xviii. Vol. II. of the work in review, and learn with what a wild delirium of joy the news of the massacre was received in Rome - the Pope ordering salvos of artillery from the castle of St. Angelo, processions, Te-Deums, thanksgivings, illuminations, and congratulatory measages to all the Catholic world; and, not satisfied with these, ordering paintings representing some of the most revolting scenes of the tragedy, which are still to be seen in the anteroom to the Sistine chapel; and finally commanding a year of Jubilee, and directing a medal to be struck in commemoration of the butchery, bearing on one side "Gregorius XIII. Pont. Max. An. I.," and on the other side an angel with cross and sword pursuing the Huguenots, and the inscription, "Ugonottorum Strages, 1572."