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there, and to be imposed upon the Catholics, as it contained doctrinal matters, of which the bishops alone were, by divine institution, to judge.
• Now, what will our profound parliamentary casuists say wo this au. thentic document ? Here we find what are the doctrinal matters, pro. posed and maintained by the church of Rome to this day, and with which its bishops forbid all good Catholics to interfere. Will these ca. fuifts fay, that the propofirions contained in the proteitation, and to be ineluded in the oath, do not contain the identical opinions and tenets, on the profeffion of which the principle of exclusion, at the periods of the revolution, and of the accession of the House of Hanover, was grounded? Will they fay that there are not the principles which ori. ginally created the political :neceflity of excluding all who professed them from all political power under a Protestant Kate? Yet they are the principles which the Catholic bifhops declare to be doctrinal, and to contain religious opinions, on which none but the guardians of religion are to decide.
* But this is not all. This proteftation was signed by fix bifhops, and 218 of the inferior clergy, and almost the whole laity of that pera suasion in England, disclaiming the doctrines, again ft which it proteítaed, as “ dangerous to society, and totally repugnant to political and civil liberty.” It was presented to both Houses of Parliament as “ the pledge of the honour of English Catholics, and the public mo. nument of their uprightness." Yit a year had not clapred before this intrument, thus declared to have been consecrated on the altar of Cro tholic honour and uprightness, was, on a coramunication wich the court of Rome, and, in consequence of its injunctions, officially condemned, when proposed to be changed into the form of an oath, by four of the bishops who had signed it. With the very fame pen that had set their names to the proteftation, thus folemnly and deliberater laid before Parliament, they declared the oath, which was to follow as a thing of course, to be unlawíul; and, as unlawful, they interdict it to all good Catholice,
It is by such disingenuous statements as these, that the credulous and indolent are misled into prejudices against the Catholic body in Great Britain and Ireland. Would any man doubt, from reading the extract which we have laid before him, that the English clergy of that persuasion had actually refused to renounce the deposing power of the Pope, and the doctrine of keeping no faith with heretics? Yet it is certain that the act for the relief of Roman Catholics, which passed in 1791, 31, Geo. III. c. 32, contains an oath, conceived in as full terms as can well be framed, expressly renouncing those tenets,' on the profession of which, according to this writer, the principle of exclusion, at the period of the revolution, and of the accession of the House of Hanover, was grounded.' Habemus confitentem reum. If they were excluded on no other principle, let the gates be thrown wide open to receive them; for the oath imposed in 1791, has
Geen taken by every priest and layman of any eminence throughout Great Britain. The infallibility of the Pope is not indeed disclaimed by the existing oath, whatever may have been the case with that to which objections were made ; and certainly it seems inconsistent with the spirit of the act, to make any theological point a condition of toleration. What were the actual grounds of objection to the proposed oath, made by the English bishops in 1790, we do not know; probably they would have appeared to us, as they did to Lord Petre and Sir John Throckmorton, very unwarrantable. But be they what they might, they were recognized by the Legislature, and the oath was actually modified in conformity to their wishes. Upon this point, we shall take the liberty of quot ing a passage from an unpublished tract of Sir John Coxe Hippisley, on the Catholic Petition.
If any blame attaches to the apostolic vicars in England, from the objections raised by them, as he obferves, in 1791, they must bear it in common with the Legislature, which sanctioned their scruples, by ad. opting the amendments proposed by them. A right reverend prelate (the Bishop of St Asaph) of the Established Church, must also submit to bear his share of the learned gentleman's cenfure, as that prelate has fo recently said in his place, “ That it was very true that the apoftolic vicars forbade the taking the oath, not that they were unwilling that their people should swear to maintain the Protestant succession, but that the oath, as framed in the Lower House, contained some theological dogmata which they deemed, and in my judgment” (obferves his Lord. fhip) “ rightly deened, as impious and heretical.” The dogmata I allude to, is an abjuration of the legitimate authority of the priesthood ; abjurations which l, as a Proteftant bifhop, could rot make ; and I Thould impute great blame to any priest of mine who should condescend to make them. It was on account of these abjurations that the apoftolic vicars reprobated the oath as it stood in the first bill; and when it was amended in that part, as it was in this House (House of Lords), they made no further objection. On the contrary, when the bill had passed, they exhorted their people, clergy as well as laity, to take the oath as it now ftands; and they have, as I believe, themselves taken it." p. 19.
The tract of Sir John Hippesley, from which we have made the above extract, hardly falls within our province as reviewers, as it has not hitherto been exposed to public sale; yet we cannot refrain from giving another passage, illustrating the nature of that papal supremacy, of which such terrific notions are entertained by the vulgar class of thinkers; and have too often been studiously inculcated by men, whose rank and reputed talents have given curtency to the assertion.
• In forming a judgment on this material question of ecclefiaftical supremacy, we find the case too frequently tried by rules which do not
apply to it,—by a fancied analogy which has no relation to it. The powers exercised by our clergy, though denominated ecclefiaftical, in. volve principally civil and temporal rights. Of this description are tithes, glebes, &c. of material churches. Excommunication itself, in the established church, is inflicted as a mere civil punishment.
• The supremacy of Rome, the exercise of which may be regulated by the modes I have on other occasions suggested, and to which I shall again presently advert, as sanctioned by the institutions of other states, can militate against no civil or temporal rights, and cannot trench on the duties of civil allegiance; in fact it is confined to a subordination pure. ly spiritual ; a supremacy which is considered inherent in other churches as well as that of Rome. If the power be purely fpiritual, it little imports the state, as far as its temporal interests are concerned, where that power is lodged, whether with the Patriarch of Moscow, or the Pope of Rome,-provided the state is satisfied with such pledges as Catholics are called upon to give, in the oaths of 1791 and 1793, in which they declare, “ that they do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, state or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, fuperiority or preeminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm.” It is contended, therefore, that the independency of this purely spiritual supremacy, admitted in the person of a foreign prelate, or rather in the church of which he is considered as the chief organ, can, in no manner whatever, interfere with the duties of allegiance to a temporal sovereign. The Kirk of Scotland maintains a supremacy equally independent of the temporal ju. risdiction of the Crown. The General Assembly cousiders itself para. mount in its definitions of doctrine and decrees of discipline, and con, vokes and dissolves itself. The King's commission is not allowed to pol. fess any authority or controul over the acts of the Assembly. This power claimed by the Church of Rome, as distinct and independent of all temporal authority, we have seen admitted by the most jealous legislatures ; and not inconsistently with this acknowledgement, we know that Catholic princes have waged war against the Pope himself, and reduced him to the fate of a prisoner in his capital. * * * * * But in admitting the existence of this spiritual supremacy of the fee of Rome, Catholics do not even admit that the Pope shall himself elect and nomi. .nate all bishops, as in some ages pontiffs have assumed a right to do, in the same manner as they exercised other powers which have not even by human authorities been considered as legitimately inherent in them.” p. 19.
The candid and well-informed author of this tract, which we consider as highly deserving of actual publication, is much disposed even to controvert the heinous imputations which have been thrown upon the Church of Rome, in the darker ages of modern history. Yet charges of ambition and intolerance have been so invariably brought against her by all Protestant writers, and even by many of her own communion, that we cannot avoid
a suspicion that he has sometimes strained this a little too far. The tyrannical domination of papal Rome, forms one of the leading features of civil history during several centuries, and certainly one of the most interesting and curious phenomena which the philosophical reflector upon past times can contemplate. We certainly would not chuse, therefore, to rest the cause upon this ground ; let us pare the claws of the panther, ' without vouching for the milk-white purity of the hind.' It is fair, however, to observe, that the canon of the fourth council of Lateran, which seems to sanction the deposition of princes, is suspected of spuriousness by many learned men, and, at all events, involves no matter of faith, to which the Catholics of the present day can hold themselves bound to subscribe. Thus the argument, which has been sometimes brought forward in the guise of a syllogism,The Catholic church once maintained the deposing power ; but, according to the Catholics themselves, what their church once maintained, it maintains still; therefore, it still maintains the deposing power,-is easily repelled. The major proposition is universally denied by the Catholics at this day; but if any Protestant think that there are historical proofs of that, he may securely deny the minor of the premises; since it is clear, that at present no such tenet is held by that church, either in Great Britain or on the Continent. The oath of 1791 refutes the charge as to the former ; the answer of six eminent universities in 1788, to certain queries proposed at desire of Mr Pitt, is satisfactory, as to the principal repositories of Catholic theology in Europe. These answers are printed in the Appendix to Sir John Coxe Hippisley's tract, and they may be found in Mr Plowden's history of Ireland.
We have only to add, that in discussing this most important question, either now, or at any other time, no considerations of party shall ever enter into our views. If this great national improvement is brought to pass, it matters little to us by what hand it shall be carried into execution. Although recent changes in government have revived the public feeling upon this theme, the abstract merits of the question have no reference to any political connexions. Among those who regret the late administration, there are many who would have refused their aid in breaking down the restrictive laws against the Catholics; among those who are most engaged in the present, there are many whose assent to the justice of the cause which we have espoused has never been withheld or concealed. But if it seem a solecism to write on political matters, without appertaining to some political sect,-if we are to chuse the divinities of our own idolatry, we must declare ourselves to belong, upon this subject, to the party of Mr Burke, Mr Fox, and Mr Pitte
Art. X. Notice de la Vie et des Ecrits de George Louis Le Sage de
Geneve, Membre de l'Academie et de l'Institut de Bologne, &c. &c.
Redigée après ses Notes, par Pierre Prevost. A Geneve, chez · Paschoud, 1805.
T'he biographical sketch here announced, has more than an or
I dinary claim to the attention of the reader. The subject of it is a philosopher, who, beside the peculiarities incident to genius, had several that belonged exclusively to himself. These he was careful to study and explain ; and the notes which he has left behind him, seem to entitle him to the rare eulogy, of having given an accurate and candid delineation of his own character. His biographer, too, had the advantage of being intimately acquainted with the person whom he has undertaken to describe, and has been attentive to mark whatever appeared singular in the constitution or progress of his mind.
George Lewis Le Sage was born at Geneva in 1724, to which city his father, a native of France, had for some time retired, and lived by giving private lessons in mathematics and natural philosophy. The son was early initiated in these studies; receiving, at the same time, in all the branches of literature, as liberal a course of education as his father's limited income would allow. A marked opposition, however, in their tastes and intellectual propensities, prevented the son from reaping from his father's instructions all the advantage that might have been expected. The old man was well informed; but his knowledge was very much confined, to facts, and was accompan nied with little tendency to reason, or to generalize. His son, again, even when a boy, delighted in connecting his ideas by general and abstract principles, and was not more inquisia tive about facts, than about the relations in which they stood to one another. This propensity arose, in some measure at least, from the weakness of his memory, which forced him to study the most just and constant connexions among things, in order to prevent both words and ideas from escaping his recollection entirely. "It was thus,' says M. Prevost, that we saw him, in his maturer years, and particularly in his old age, avoiding, with the greatest care, whatever could trouble the order of his thoughts, and substituting, with much art, a logical series of mental operations to the effort which the recollection of a single unconnected · fact would necessarily have cost him.'
The history of Le Sage does indeed illustrate, in the clearest manner, the relation between the faculties of memory and abe straction, and the power which each has to supply the deficiencies