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power. It was the policy of that church to consolidate, by every possible means, its usurpation over the minds of men; and for this purpose were idols introduced, sounding titles conferred, gorgeous apparel assumed, and imposing and most sumptuous rites instituted.* It exhibited also a striking example of unity, which is in itself power; every member of it, from the supreme pontiff to the lowest of the priesthood, identifying themselves with its pride, its glory, and its stability.

“Teaching for doctrines," as the Romish religion did, "the commandments of men,” the Bible was no longer requisite; nay, it was held dangerous, and was therefore kept, a sealed book, from the multitude. A blind obedience to the Church and its priesthood being the doctrine enforced, as alone necessary for their salvation; and that blind obedience soon became a substitute for every Christian virtue.

That beings thus misled, and spiritually and intellectually degraded, should partake largely in

* Its simplicity was a distinguishing feature of the primitive Christian Church, as it was of the doctrine taught by our Saviour himself. The human heart, purified from sin, was declared to be the holiest of temples; the prayer of the humble and contrite, the most acceptable of sacrifices. Every deviation, then, from simplicity, must be regarded as a falling away from the true faith. Those who would revive in this country, in however modified a degree, the pompous but hollow rites of the Church of Rome, would do well to consider, that whenever external forms and ceremonies are made primary objects of attention, the vital spirit of religion must, in a proportionate degree, decline, until at length religion becomes an ordinance of man's fashioning, visible to the eye, palpable to the touch; the sceptre of temporal power, it is true, but not a revelation from God.



the pride and intolerance of their church, was a natural consequence; and that they should also partake in its hatred of heretics (so all were styled who dissented) was no less so; and giving way to the ferocity of their unregenerated hearts, they became ready and active agents in the work of extermination which ensued-deeming, perhaps in their ignorance, that by exterminating the enemies of the church, they swept from the face of the earth the enemies of God. Of the fruits of this bloodthirsty intolerance we have on record the horrors of the Inquisition, the persecution of the Protestants, of whatever denomination, in France, England, and Germany; in short, of that most unchristian strife for opinion sake which during so long a period disgraced Europe.

We must not fail to observe, that these religious wars were all waged on account of certain tenets fabricated by men: in no one instance were they carried on in support of revealed truth itself. So divine a religion as that taught by Christ could not, as I before remarked, be made subservient, either to pride and ambition, or oppression and cruelty. Let us also bear in mind, that although the external acts of the bigot may be modified by the temper of the times, and the degree of power attainable, the animus remains the same. It is still the desire of subjugating the wills and opinions of others to his own.

Toleration is the blessed fruit of true religion, whose interests, by a grateful and benignant re

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action, it tends to promote. Oh! that all whose privilege and province it is to teach, would remember this, and not suffer party or sectarian zeal to mingle with purer and higher motives! servant of the Lord must not strive," says the eloquent apostle of the Gentiles; “but be gentle unto all men; apt to teach, patient in meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if peradventure God will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”


TOLERATION, as it displays itself in the concerns of every day life, may be said, in some respects, to bear the same interpretation as charity, according to the apostle's noble definition of that greatest of Christian virtues. Upon the practice or non-practice of it depends in no slight degree the happiness or wretchedness of a social state of existence. Where it is not, there can be no charm, no good in man's intercourse with his fellow.

The young are perhaps the most deficient in regard to this essential quality. Want of experience causes them in their early intercourse with the world to magnify the defects and failings of others. A degree of abhorrence and disgust is often excited in them by opinions and actions, which would only draw forth a sigh of regret, or a slight expression of disapproval, from those



whose riper years and more extensive knowledge of human nature had taught them toleration.

Goethe, the venerable German poet, has said, “It is only necessary to grow old in order to become more indulgent. I see no fault committed that I have not committed myself.” But not all, crowned with the years, are endued with the wisdom and candour of Goethe. Ignorant old age is often pre-eminently intolerant. Persons especially who have moved in a narrow and obscure sphere during a long course of years, are inclined to be illiberal, and to regard every infraction of their own rules, every departure from their own notions of wisdom and propriety, as a positive crime; making no allowance whatever for difference of position in life, the feelings of youth, or the gradual changes wrought by time in the habits and customs of society.

“I have lived long enough to remember," observes a lady distinguished in literature, “when in a small circle the good ladies who ventured to shew their gentility by protracting the hour of drinking tea to six o'clock, afforded matter of censure and reprobation to those who still continued to assemble at the hour of five.”

Old persons, given to this species of petty intolerance, are very exacting; they are, in fact, despots as far as their little dominion extends. It is only by a strict conformity with their peculiar ways and modes of thinking, that their good will can be obtained. The tenure is necessarily very

doubtful, and those who through heedlessness or accident infringe the established rules, often find, to their sorrow,

that the offence has been remembered in the testamentary dispositions of their arbitrary relatives.

To induce individuals of this stamp and standing to cultivate a more tolerant spirit, would, I apprehend, be exceedingly difficult. But the

young, it is to be hoped, taking a hint from these pages, will prove more practicable; and as they, in all probability, will be old some time, more liberality and forbearance, in a word, more toleration may be looked for from them.

Intolerance must be regarded as an emanation of ignorance, arrogance, self-esteem, and ill nature combined. That it should exist in contracted and obscure societies, whose members have enjoyed few opportunities of enlarging their minds, and divesting themselves of prejudices, is not wonderful; but it is by no means confined to these. It flourishes in a loftier sphere; in the fastidious circles of high life; ay, and with a rank luxuriance too.

At the present day, and in this enlightened land, so proud of its intellectuality, there exists a set of individuals, or, as they would express it, a clique, fine ladies and fine gentlemen, who rejoice in the name of Exclusives. Why not call themselves Intolerants ? Are not the terms synonymous ? Among these illustrious personages, equally as among the humbler coteries of which I have made mention above, every custom, every opinion which

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