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massacred a great number of Hugonots, and the Hugonots in their turn have murdered a great number of Catholics, therefore there is no God: that certain bad men have made use of confeffion, the holy communion, and all the other facraments, as a means for perpetrating the most atrocious crimes, and therefore there is no God. For my part, I, on the contrary, fhould conclude from hence, that there is a God, who after this tranfitory life, in which we have wandered so far from the true knowledge of him, and have seen so many crimes committed under the sanction of his holy name, will at length deign to comfort us for the many dreadful calamities we have suffered in this life; for if we consider the many religious wars, and the forty papal schisms, which have almost all of them been bloody ; if we reflect upon the multitude of impoftures, which have almost all proved fatal ; the irreconcileable animofities excited by differences in opinions, and the numberless evils occasioned by false zeal; I cannot but believe that men have for a long time had their hell in this world.


The ill Consequences of NON-TOLERATION.


HAT then, it may be demanded, shall

every one be allowed to believe only his own reason, and to think that that reason, whether true or false, should be the guide of his actions? Yes, certainly, provided he does not disturb the peace of community ; for man has it not in his power to believe or dilbelieve *; but he has it in his power to pay a proper respect to the established customs of his country; and if we say that it is a crime not to believe in the established religion, we ourselves condemn the primitive Christians our forefathers, and justify those whom we accuse of having put them to death.

It may

be replied, that the difference here is very great, because all other religions are of men, whereas the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman church is of God alone.

But let me leriously ask, Whether the divine origin of our religion is a reason for establishing it by hatred, rage, banishment, confiscation of goods, imprisonment, tortures, and murder, and by solemn acts of thanksgiving to the Deity for such outrages ? The more assured we are of the divine authority of the Christian religion, the less does it become weak man to enforce the observance of it: if it is truly of God, God will support it without his affistance. Persecution never makes

* See Mr. Lock's excellent letter

upon toleration. ecrable

any but hypocrites or rebels; a shocking alternative! Besides, ought we to endeavour to establish, by the bloody hand of the executioner, the religion of that God who fell by such hands, and who, while on earth, taught only mercy and for bearance?

And here let us consider a while the dread. ful consequences of the right of non-toleration; if it was permitted us to strip of his poffeffions, to throw into prison, or to take away the life of a fellow-creature, who, born under a certain degree of latitude, did not profess the generally received religion of that latitude, what is there would exempt the principal persons of the state from falling under the like punishments ? Religion equally binds the monarch and the beggar. Accordingly, we know that upwards of fifty doctors or monks have inaintained this execrable doctrine, That it was lawful to depose, or even to kill, such princes who did not agree with the established church; and we also know, that the several parliaments of the kingdom have on every occasion condemned thefe abominable decisions of ftill more abominable di

vines t.


+ The jesuit Busemhaum, and his commentator the Jesuit La Croix, tells us, that it " is lawful to “ kill any prince excommunicated by the pope, of “ whatsoever country, because the whole world

belongs to the pope ; and that whoever accepts of, or executes such commission does a meritori

and charitable act." It is this maxim which seems to have been invented in the inad-houses of hell, that has almoft ftirred up all France against the Jesuits, who are now more than ever reproached for this doctrine, which they have so often. preached up, and as often disavowed. They have endeavoured to justify themselves by producing nearly the same maxims in the writings of St. Thomas D'Acquinas and several Dominicans I. It is true indeed, that this St. Thomas, the angelic Doctor and Interpreter of the Divine Will, advan

| Peruse, if you can get it, the letter of a layman to a divine on the subject of St. Thomas, a jesuitical phamphlet published in 1762,


The blood of Henry the Great was still reeking on the sword of his murderer, when the

ces, that an apostate prince loses his right to the crown, and forfeits the obedience due to him from his subjects + : that the church may condemn hinn to death : that the emperor Julian was permitted to reign only, because he was too powerful to be refifted: that we ought to kill every

heretick I: that those who deliver a people from the government of a tyrannical prince, &c. &c. We have, doubtless, a great respect for the angel of the fchools ; but if he had preached up such maxims in France at the time of his brother James Clement, and the mendicant Ravaillac, his angelical doctorthip would have met with but a scurvy reception.

It must be confessed, that.John Gerson, chancellor of the university, carried the matter yet farther than St. Thomas; and John Pettit, the Franciscan, ftill farther than Gerson. Several of the order openly maintained the detestable maxims of their brocher Pettit. It must be acknowledged, that this hellifh doctrine of king-killing proceeds wholly from the ridiculous notion which has so long

* Lib. ii. partii. question 12.

1 Ibid. Quest. 13 and 12.


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