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conducting the flock committed by the church to their careThe Gallican church neither acknowledges nor receives from Rome any rescripts, bulls, or briefs, until it has been ascertained that these arc authentic acts, and do not contain anything repugnant to the holy canons, to the liberties of the church, or to the laws of the state. This church condemns and justly abhors all pretensions contrary to the rights of the hierarchy; nor will it allow that France should be considered as1" a country for missions, or that the lawful authority of bishops should be superseded by the usurpation of apostolical vicars, whose existence was unknown to the primitive church, and is an intolerable scandal to every church properly constituted. This church detests the inquisition, arjd every species of violence exercised under the name or the pretext of religion. Œcumenical councils hold their power immediately from Jesus Christ: all catholics, the pope not excepted, arc bound to obey them. The assembly for electing a bishop is composed of the clergy, and the faithful in the parish. Every citizen who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and who is an acknowledged member of the catholic church, is permitted to vote. When any one has all or two-thirds of the votes, the president declares him bishop of the diocese. If the person elected is not a priest, the bishops of the province are to examine him, and to determine the interval within which he (hall take orders. To approach as much as possible to the customs of the primitive church, seven persons of acknowledged probity, full of prudence and the spirit of God, shall be elected at a general meeting of the parish, for the management of its temporal affairs. This committee can have no concern with the ceremonies of the church or with its spiritual government.'
Our limits do not permit us to offer farther extracts, or tQ give the reasons for each of the positions which we have quoted. They ave drawn up with judgement; and the most affectionate appeals are made as well to the people in general as to those clergymen who, having emigrated, would stigmatise such as remain with the name of schismatics. It is evident, from a perusal of the whole, that a great body of the catholics are firmly attached to the unity of the church, and the pre-eminence of the pope; but his power is so restricted, that it cannot be injurious to the newly established church. The refusal' of admitting apostolical vicars, and the confinement of the discipline of the church to bishops and priests elected by the people, must produce some extraordinary changes; and it is natural to expect, that in a sliorr time the weak tie which connects the Gallican church with the fee of Rome will bo broken, that the scriptures will.be better studied, tradition reV jected, and the Latin ritual abrogated,
Canons et Decrcts du Concilc National dc Francs, tenu a Paris', en Fan ae I'Err Chreticnnc 1797, commence le 15 Aont (28 Thermidor an 5 dc la Rejmblique Francaise) el termini le 12 ■Novembre (22 Biumaire an 6J.' Mis en Or die par les Evequet reunis a Paris.
Canons and Decrees of the National Council of France, ft olden lit Paris in the Year 1797 (which "was opened on the 1$th tf August, and terminated on the 121/1 of November); digejledhj 'the Bis tops reunited at Paris.
In consequence of the circular letters, and the evident willies of a great body of catholics, a national council met at Paris ji] the year 1797; and in this volume an account is given ot j:s proceedings. It was attended by thirty-three bishops, five representatives of vacant fees, and titty thre-j priests deputed to represent the inferior clergy of different dioceses. The council was holden in the metropolitan church; and as it was opened on the day of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, to whom that church is dedicated, the first act was for the renewal of the solemn vow by which catholic France had long been under her particular protection. It was then decreed that letters should be addressed to the clergy, inviting them, in the most affectionate terms, to an union, and also one to die pope, to acquaint him with the meeting, and to request his assistance in restoring peace and harmony to the church. These acts were followed by a profeflion of faith in the form ordained by Pius the lVth. Eleven congregations or committees were formed, to prepare the business on which the council was to deliberate. The fust was to digest the proper means for icstoring peace lo the church; the second, to vindicate the rights of the present pastors; the third, to engage itself entirely in matters ot faith; the fourth, in those os morality; the fifth was to defend the common rights of all churches; the sixth had the sacraments referred to it; the seventh took in charge the organisation of dioceses; the eighth, the examination ot works intended for publication; the ninth, religious ceremouics; the tenth, the fundamental principles of the liturgy ; and the eleventh, the temporal administration of diocesan and parochial churches. By these committees every thing seems to have been well arranged for the final decision of the councils ; and the respectful manner in which the priests acknowledged the superiority os the bishops, when the latter were deprived of exterior marks of ancient pre-eminence, . seemed to announce that the decrees of the council woukl be received with joyful approbation by the whole of the GaUican church.
In the new plan, the first thing required is submission tJ die laws of the jepublic; the second, the maintenance of the principles and rights of the church; the third, coi- — formity to the new code of discipline, agreeing with the ancient canons, ami adapted to the present stare of the church, in which a fundamental principle is the election of the bishop by the clergy and people. That the emigrant and refractory clergy may be the more easily reconciled to the new regulations, the members of the council * protest an inviolable at" tachment to the catholic, apostolic, Roman church, and acknowledge that the pope is by divine right its visible hejd, and has the pre-eminence of honour and jurisdiction. We believe and teach (they say) that the church has received from Jesus Christ the power of self-government, a power essential to every society; but its authority is merely spiritual, and its object is the salvation of fouls. We condemn the error of Anus •and the presbyterians, as destructive of the hierarchy, and rending to annihilate episcopacy: we believe that epilcopacy is essential to the government of the church, and that billions are by divine right superior in jurisdiction to priests.' — They add some sentiments, which will not rind universal reception with the catholic clergy—' that bishops and priests are not created for themselves, but solely for the people, and that their ministry is a ministry of confidence, not of domination.'icn in matters of religion, has made some amends for its wickedness on the day of St. Bartholomew, and in the revocation of the edićt of Nantes. If the church should act up to the principles of this council, the triumph of infidelity will be very short-lived in the republic of France.
In.the decree on faith is an article which ought to be inculcated in every church. 'We condemn all maxims and propositions tending to encourage acts of violence under the pretence of defending the catholic faith. We condemn such measures as antichristian aud subversive of the piinciples of our holy religion, which establishes itself by meekness and love, aud knows no other arms than prayer and the word of God.'
Among the directions given to the bilhops and pastors, one is to • instruct the people, that religion considers it as a sacred duty to love one's country, and that it is an essential breach of that duty to refuse to take up arms in its defence when the law requiics it; but that it is an enormous crime to take op arms against one's country under any pretext whatsoever.' Very great attention is paid by the council to the education of children; and the schools arc put under the joint care of the bishop, the rector, and the parishioners. The primary objects of Christian schools are to teach children the elements of religion, and to explain to them the principal points of gospel morality- They are to learn the morning and evening prayers, the commandments of God and the church, the epistles and gospels, and the catechism of the diocese.' They arc also to receive instructions in reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as in good manners.
As the political oath of hatred to royalty required some explanation, great pains are taken to reconcile it to tender coa
Compte rendu par le Citoyen Grégoire, au Concile National, des Travaux des Evêques réunis a Paris; imprimé par Ordre du Concile National. Paris. 1797. Account laid before the national Council, by Citizen Gregory, of the Labours of the Bishops re-united at Paris; printed by Order of the National Council. In this work an interesting account is given of the state of the church previous to the meeting of the council, and of the efforts of the bishops for the restoration of religion. Among the means used by these prelates, the circulation of religious books may be mentioned as not the least important. Hm the list we were pleased to see Dr. Watson's ‘Apology for the Bible.” Missions also were established; and a regular correspondence took place between them and the holy see. We fuspect that the reporter had not exact intelligence, when he says that Socinianism is the prevalent doćtrine in Denmark, and in most protestant countries; for Socinianism is a word with catholics to express a variety of opinions, in which the protestant churches confiderably differ from the doćtrines of Socinus. Nor can we allow that the hospitality shown in this country to the emigrant clergy arose merely ‘ from the fear, in our own clerical body, of the loss of its tithes, and its political existence, by a revolution similar to that of France.” We cannot add some farther reflections on our own country, though we were sorry to find the treatment of the catholics in Ireland adduced as an argument, that the treatment of the French clergy was merely the parade of humanity.
Lettre Pastorale des Evêques réunis d Paris aux Pafteurs er aux Fidéles des Colonies Françaises. Pasioral Letter of the Bishops re-united at Paris to the Pastors and the Faithful in the French Colonies. This is an affectionate letter from the bishops, exhorting the . colonists to unite with the Gallican church, and giving an account of the procedings of its council.