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may fairly be said that, though in a sense attributable to the religious system of those nations, their despotic policy is nothing more than a homogeneous part of the oriental economy. This intolerance is Asiatic, rather than Mohammedan. What but rigour and a tyrannous dogmatism can be imagined to find a place among nations whose theory of government springs from the relation of lord, and slave ?" Whether this theory belongs to the climate, or to the physical conformation of the race, or to what else, we will not say; but come whence it may, it is much older than the age of Mohammed; nayas old as history.
That measure of liberty of opinion (we may remark in passing) or of liberality of sentiment and of sceptical indifference, which of late has worked its way through the widening fissures of the Persian and Turkish governments, is not merely inconsistent with the abstract idea of those political structures, but incompatible with their continuance. If already the dyke of despotism had not bulged and gaped, the insidious element of freedom could not so have penetrated its substance : — the fact of its having
" The reader may perhaps think that the southern states of the American Union, where no other marked distinction exists between man and man, except that of lord and slave-or of sallow skin and black, present an instance directly at variance with the position advanced above.--We assume this very instance, on the contrary, as the most pertinent that could be adduced in confirmation of the general truth.
penetrated is at once a proof of decay, and a prognostic of that coming rush of waters that must, within a century, lay waste (lay waste to fertilize) the eastern world, from the deserts of the Indus to the mouths of the Danube :shall we add—to the shores of the Baltic, and the banks of the Elbe?
But the elements of the social system, and the principles of its construction have ever been, even from the remotest times, altogether of another sort in the west. Notwithstanding all oppressions and degradations, the love of liberty, through a long course of ages, yes, during the lapse of three thousand years, has clung to the European race. If some of these families, anciently as free as others, have, in modern times, quite sunk to the dust under the foot of despotism, it has only been by the presence and aid of the spiritual Power—by the Incubus of the Church, that the people have fallen. Popery apart-every nation west of the Euxine had long ago been free ;—nay, had never been enslaved. The papal usurpation (thinking of it now only as a system of polity) has resided in Europe, not as a form of things in harmony with the spirit and temper of the region; but malgre the aboriginal character with which it has always had to contend." Popery is not to
12 Everyone knows that the several eras in which the papal despotism consolidated and extended its power were those in which the civil polities of Europe were in the feeblest or most distracted
Europe what Mohammedism is to Asia, but rather a long invasion of a soil which nature had said should bear nothing that was not generous. When shall the European families drive the exotic tyranny for ever from their shores !
There is little difficulty then in finding a sufficient reason, though not the sole reason, for the incomparable cruelties of popery ; its restless jealousies, its exterminations, its inexorable revenge, have all been proper to it as a precarious and alien despotism. The consciousness of an inherent hostility between itself and the temper of the nations it has seduced and subdued, has made it a tyranny more merciless than any other mankind has tolerated. Even Popery, we may fairly believe, might have been less sanguinary had it from the first seated itself in some congenial torrid climate - native to abjectness and slavery.
Were it true that this ancient, and now decrepit Mother of corruption had actually disappeared from the real world ; or even could we believe, without a doubt, that she was very speedily to vanish, time might be better spent than in searching any deeper for the secrets of her power. But alas, it is not so; and moreover it is true that a portion at least of the bad qualities whence this power arises, attaches to other systems beside the Romish Church, and may be discovered in dogmas not covered by her scarlet mantle. On all accounts then we must advance in our scrutiny, and expose, if it be possible, the hidden impulses of that malign fanaticism which popery has so largely engendered.
condition. The termagant watched the moment always when the virile power of the nations was spent or fallen.
With this purpose in view, something must be said, 1st, of the doctrine of the Romish Church ; 2dly, of its constitution as a polity; and something, 3dly, of its sacerdotal institute.
I, We are, of course, to speak of the Romish doctrine only in the single point of its tendency to generate, or of its fitness to sustain, à sanguinary fanaticism.
The prominent article of the New Testament, and that which distinguishes Christianity from all other religious systems, is a doctrine of Mercy incomparably full, free, and available. And yet this happy announcement of forgiveness of sins takes its stand upon a much more distinct and alarming assertion of the rigour of Divine Justice, and of the extent of its penal consequences, than hitherto had been heard of, or than the natural fears of conscious guilt would suggest, or readily admit. This ample promise of Grace, and this appalling declaration of Wrath, may fairly be assumed as the prime elements of true religion, working always, and intended to work, one upon another, for the production of those vivid emotions, that are becoming to man in his actual relation to God.
What less than the most serious evils can then accrue from disjoining in any manner these two essential and correlative principles, or from any sort of tampering with the efficacy which the one should exert upon the other ? If, for example, the doctrine of immutable justice and future wrath be brought in question, or abated of its force and meaning, then instantly the doctrine of mercy loses its significance, its moment, and its attractions; and fades into the vague idea of an indolent clemency on the part of the Supreme Ruler-an idea which at once relaxes the motives both of piety and morality. Such (we appeal to facts) has been the invariable result of every attempt to reduce the plain import of certain passages in the Gospels. Or, on the other hand, if the rule and method of forgiveness, as declared in the Scriptures, be in any way abused, then will the threatened wrath take a wrong direction, and not fail (from its own intrinsic quality) to produce the most dire effects. The tremendous doctrine of eternal perdition, loosened from its proper hold of the conscience, will remain at large, and be at the disposal of the spiritual despot, to be drawn on this side or that, as may best subserve the purposes of intimidation and tyranny. Nor is this all, for the same appalling doctrine, so perverted by the despot, will take effect upon