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man religion predominates, are lending their assistance to the signs of the pope, not merely from religious, but more particula from political considerations. Extensive collections have alrei been made, and are now making under the patronage and with encouragement of the government itself, by an organized and ficient association throughout the whole empire of Austria. Th contributions, in addition to large sums received from other sourc are placed in the hands of Roman Catholic bishops in our la for the express purpose of extending the principles of pope now and ever hostile to civil liberty, among our population. F years this work has been cautiously and silently, yet rapidly goi forward, until at length suddenly awakened to the extent of the ambitious designs, we have been surprised, and with good reas alarmed, at the progress which has been made towards their a complishment. With the sublety, energy, and constancy, whi is characteristic of the disciples of Loyola, and aided by all u pecuniary and political resources at the disposal of the Vatica a center of influence and action has been established in almo every principal city in the eastern States; strong holds selecte and fortified in each of the middle and southern States; and th control gained to some extent of the southwestern States the Union ; while the recent establishment of their missions : Detroit, Mackinaw, and Green Bay, is the opening process for th extension of a similar influence over the rapidly increasing State and territories of the northwest. It is doubtful whether at an period in the history of Romanism, its spirit was ever more vigi lant, active, and so far as its reaches, effective, than it now is, in the very bosom of our own country. Wherever it gains a footing it controls, with unerring certainty, the education, politics, morals and religion of the community, turning all to the single purpose ol securing its despotic and boasted infallible supremacy. Dreaming indolence may encourage its own slumbers, and attempt to excuse its torpid indifference by clinging to the vague opinion that light is extending; that intelligence, refinement, and freedom, are spreading abroad their influence, and that the nineteenth century is not a period favorable to the propagation of the exploded dogmas of the dark ages. False friends who love to flatter, and easy credulity which loves to be flattered, may talk much of the march of mind,” and “the age of improvement, and thus strive to justify the hasty, and if persisted in, fatal conclusion, that all the anxiety and fears of the awakened are causeless and puerile; but most assuredly should our nation thus slumber in the lap of the sorceress, it would soon be shorn of its locks, and, blind and bound, be made to grind in the prison-house.
This is just the spirit which Rome would rejoice to see cherished in this country, under the reckless stupidity of which she
would find it easy to go on uninterruptedly in her work, forging and binding new fetters upon her increasing victims. Already is there more than half a million of members in her communion in this land, and many thousands more are annually augmenting this number by emigration, besides the large additions by the natural increase of population and proselytism. All this force is combined, completely organized,' and entirely under the control of a single mind; and can be thrown, undivided and unweakened by a single hand, into any scale political or civil, which the changing vicissitudes of our country's history shall present.
In this view of facts, patriotism, humanity and piety, cannot but feel a deep solicitude. What the result will be, if this power is left to its own unchecked operation, is by no means problematical. The light of three centuries, disclosing the untold blessings of the Reformation, has been shining upon the thick darkness of papal Spain, once the proudest nation in christendom; but the hand of Roman domination has so covered as with a veil of sackcloth the public mind, that like Egypt of old, Spain has become " the basest of kingdoms,” and with a few recent exceptions, that people has worn its fetters passive and quiet at the feet of its master. With this warning before our eyes, shall we adopt the delusive opinion, that the influence of surrounding light and unaided example will of itself hold back the power of this despotism from the coming generations of our children? Let it be remembered that it is a power which has long since manifested its dexterity in putting “ darkness for light,” as well as ** bitter for sweet,” and “ evil for good.” A vigorous and determined hand is necessary to take hold of every medium of light and moral influence, and bring them to bear upon every point of danger or attack from the enemy; or the dear-bought privilege of " worshiping God according to the dictates of our own consciences," will be forever buried with the memory of our pilgrim fathers.
It was doubtless with some such views of the importance of counteracting the spread of Romanism in our country, that the American edition of the work we have placed at the head of this anicle, was given to the public; and that the venerable Princeton Professor was induced to add the influence of his name in an introductory essay. An English translation of the work appeared some time since in Europe, which was received with great approbation, and circulated extensively, from which we beljeve a reprint was formerly made in this country. A new edition however was needed, and is at this time very seasonable. On the general subject of popery and the Reformation, it is to our countrymen at least of peculiar interest and importance. The extent of investigation, and clearness of description by which it is characterized, and the unequivocal marks of honesty and impartiality
very face of the work itself, must gain for it a comma ing influence over every reflecting mind that can be induced give it attention. The name of the distinguished national soci which approved and rewarded the labor, must constitute anot) passport to its popularity and influence. The reader will find hi self abundantly repaid for the purchase and perusal of the volun
Our present notice of this work will be confined to a part analysis of its contents, connected with some extracts from essay itself, and concluding with a few reflections.
The introductory essay by Dr. Miller, considered as separa from the work to which it is appended, is valuable and high appropriate. We copy the following extract from the close this introduction, both for the short notice of the author which contains, and for the opinion which is expressed respecting th merits of the work itself:
• It will be perceived that this work was a prize essay, to which th award was adjudged by the National Institute of France. The auth was Charles FRANCIS DOMINIC DE VILLERS, a native of France He was born at Belchen, in Lorraine, in the year 1764. He became lieutenant of artillery at the age of eighteen : but in the revolution h joined the prince of Conde, at Triers, in consequence of which, on thi failure of the royal cause, he was obliged to seek an asylum in Germany After repeated removals he settled at Lubec, where he wrote serera valuable and popular works, particularly this “ Essay on the Influence oi the Reformation by Luther." He was afterwards professor of philosophy in the University of Gottingen, but was deprived of the office on the restoration of peace. He obtained, however, a pension from the Hanoverian government, and was made a knight of the polar star, by the king of Sweden. He died in 1815.
As Mons. Villers was not an ecclesiastic; as the National Institute when the prize was adjudged to his essay was very far from being under any ecclesiastical thraldom, and as the award was made in the midst of a predominant Roman Catholic population, we cannot imagine that there was any temptation to indulge in gratuitous bitterness respecting the subject of it, or to venture on any misstatement of facts
. It has generally received, from competent judges, high commendation, and will reward an attentive perusal. In regard to the opinions expressed by the writer in the various parts of his work, I cannot be supposed to vouch for them all. But it strikes me as an important work, ably executed, the general tendency of which is highly salutary.' p. 12.
The first part of Prof. Villers' essay is occupied in a judicious reconnoissance of the field of inquiry, and in a very able view of some important preliminary matters, under the title of “General Considerations."
He first combats the opinion, that an inquiry concerning religious reformations should extend only to matters of religion, by
howing that at the Reformation by Luther, the political, philosostical and social state of the nations of Europe was so blended sith their religion, that the latter could not be touched without afBeting to an equal extent all the former. He next remarks treat the inquiry, “What has been the influence of the Reformakan?" etc., supposes er vi termini, that the more recent events of estury, though combined in the broad results of the Refomation, should, notwithstanding, rather be considered in the bght of new causes, than as effects which are to be traced up to so remote an origin. The Reformation itself might with propriety be considered as an effect of events which preceded it. Yet, as it forms so distinct and important an era in the history of man, it is appropriate to begin with it, and trace consequences as the legitimate effects of its causation. From a somewhat extended and interesting examination of “the essence of reformations in general," Mons. V. would derive the hope, not to say belief, that be ultimate tendencies of them all are towards a better and baopier condition of the human family.
When we look at the events preceding the Reformation by Luther, it is manifest that the natural desire of preserving their social rights, and freedom of religious opinion, was secretly struggling in the bosoms of men, at the commencement of the sixteenth century, in almost every portion of Europe. The bondage which oppressed them, whether exercised by the emperors, as the pretended successors of the Cæsars, or by the pope, as the boasted successor of St. Peter, had found its source, in both instances, at Rome. The mutual contests of these powers, (the civil and the ecclesiastical,) which had continued for so long a period, affected the people ; and whichever was victor, the people were sure to be slaves. Both claimed the right of complete despotism over their subjects. The state of the argument between each of them and the people, is thus humorously described in the essay; and the means by which the pope finally gained the ascendency over the emperors graphically delineated :
· Rome had long been the capital of the world, and therefore it followed that it must always remain so. At first no one thought of debring this consequence, or of leaving the mastery of Rome to itself. The pretended right of filiation which the princes who had succeeded Charlemagne thought they had over Rome, and over the empire, is well known. They called themselves Casars, because the ancient Casars had been emperors in Rome, and Rome was mistress of the
part of Europe. The prince therefore who was called Cæsar, cught incontestibly to reign over Rome, and over Europe, in his quality
emperor. This was long thought an undeniable argument. The right of the popes was not quite so clear, but it was not the less Fevered. Since Rome was the natural mistress of all the universe, and
the prince who had resided so long at Rome was the head of the pire, it was evident that the bishop of Rome must also be the hea the church. By degrees, through the medium of machinations measures skillfully commenced and obstinately followed, this primac the Roman pontiff was established, though not without difficulties troubles. When Rome was afterwards without an emperor, the nity of the pontiff naturally increased; from the second rank which had till then held, he found himself in the first. And when the Frank Roman princes adopted the singular ambition of being crowned empei in the city of the Cæsars, the popes did the honors of the empire, and crowning its new heads, appeared to bestow them. From the time pope acquired the privilege of crowning the emperor, infatuated Eun would acknowledge no other but him who had received the crown fr the hands of the pope. Hence the flatteries, the submissions, the a cessions of the princes claiming the empire, to obtain the good-will the pontiff. Disposing of the principal crown, he concluded that t others were also in his gift. Sovereign of an innumerable clergy, ri active, and dispersed through every nation ; reigning by this mea over all consciences, it was easy for him to establish the opinion that was charged with the power of God on earth, the vicar of Jesus Chri the ruler of kings. If a prince attempted to withdraw from this a thority received from heaven, the pontiff anathematized him, expell him from the communion of the faithful, and his deluded subjects ave ded him like a pestilence. In general he went and solicited the pardı of the irritated vice-god, appeased him by the most abject submission and the acknowledgment of all the rights which the arrogant ponti demanded ; after which the repentant sovereign was re-established in h charges and honors. And at each similar attempt, the power of th popes, sanctioned and increased, became still more strengthened
. pp. 29, 30.
Such are the means and influences, by which the politica condition of the nations of Europe was formed. They were portions of the wreck of the vast Roman empire in the west constantly changing their masters, their form, and their mutual relations to each other; their frequent collisions, excited by conflicting interests, alternately weakening and strengthening them, as the varying results of their wars were adverse or prosper, ous. Centuries thus passed away without any very material changes in the general state of Europe. But for a short time preceding the Reformation, several causes were simultaneously at work preparatory to this great convulsion. Standing armies, the invention of gun-powder, and the use of artillery, introducing entirely new principles into the science of war, had tended to increase rapidly the power of the larger, and diminish that of the smaller states, whose resources were inadequate to the support of these expensive establishments. A passage to India by the way of the Cape of Good Hope, and a new world in the west, had been discovered. The human mind seemed bursting from the narrow