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I might multiply instances where this to his brother: Come, let us descend false spirit of toleration has led the together into the fields of liberty—but community to assist the propagation of it is only treasonably to murder him doctrines destructive of its own exist- there." ence; but let those I have stated suf
A favorite argument in the mouth fice for the present occasion.
of those who would stretch toleration Macaulay asserts that “the experi- beyond its legitimate limits is that it is ence of many ages proves that men better for a government to endure the may be ready to fight to the death, and evils engendered by certain systems of to persecute without pity, for a religion, belief or unbelief than by interference whose creed they do not understand, with them to invest their followers with and whose precepts they habitually the dignity of “ martyrs.” A measure disobey.” That
That cannot be denied, of prudence which under some circumbut neither are we to forget that on the stances is worthy consideration, but other hand men are often lax in up- which has been too often insisted upon holding their beliefs, not because they in cases where it should have had no have any doubt as to being in the right weight. Whenever the operation of a but because they make of their own just law has resulted in creating an failings a miserable apology for shirk- undue sympathy for the offender, an ing the logical conclusions of their explanation will generally be found in principles. It is a piteous spectacle to the fact that it was only after an exhiobserve one who professes Christianity bition of weakness that the law was at holding his hands out to its bitterest last enforced. Had Napoleon been in foes and pluming himself upon a liber- Louis XVI's place on that memoraality which is nothing more than a ble day of the tenth of August, there mixture of cowardice and ignorance. would have been no Reign of Terror, With such a man principle is but a though the sans-culottes might have matter of politeness and convenience, had a host of “ martyrs” to mourn for. and I doubt if he is to be classed much One of the causes which lead a peohigher than the persecutor described ple to calmly contemplate the introducby Macaulay.
tion of dangerous influences among One thing must not be forgotten, and them is an unwarranted confidence in that is, that the unworthy claimants their own strength. And when the for toleration who so play upon our hour of peril comes, when the influences sympathy that we ignore our judg- they have weakly tolerated, gaining ment, will not tolerate us when through power, threaten social disorganization our good services they get the upper and anarchy, a great majority of lawhand. They cry out for the freedom abiding citizens find themselves at the of speech and the freedom of the press, mercy of a few desperate adventurers, but woe to us when they become the as was the case in Paris during the masters and we the suppliants. As Commune. And while the cause of Lacordaire puts it, “The combat be- order must assert its ascendency soontween truth and error is always that of er or later, a work of destruction can Cain and Abel. Cain constantly says be accomplished which may take years
to remedy but which might have been public places. We shall have none of prevented by a far-seeing and a firm, it
. As God knows our hearts we hate uncompromising enforcement of the error—not men. As God upholds us law. This policy of temporizing, of we shall battle to the last against a false toleration, has been responsible for toleration transformed into license many of the evils which have cursed which would open the doors of our mankind.
prisons and send forth their criminals The authority needed to prevent as the propagandists of a hideous abuses of toleration cannot be exerted revolution ! unless sustained by a healthy, vigorous Gentlemen, I am aware many will tone of public opinion. Our laws have refuse to recognize the importance I I already suffered in some degree from am disposed to attribute to the question injurious legislation—the disgraceful of toleration as affecting the future of divorce laws, for example—but there this country. It may also be objected
is still power in them to protect us that I have not developed the real issue I from the advances
advances of pernicious underlying all the popular delusions doctrines.
and fallacies of the age. As to the We need not wait till anarchy and first objection I have only to say that disorder proclaim to us the policy of looking about me, observing the drift those who are warring against Chris- of public opinion, and the ease with tian society. We know their plans and which infidel notions and schemes obtain must prepare accordingly. Rash a foothold, I cannot help thinking that action may precipitate a contest which history is repeating itself amongst us seems to be inevitable, and there is with startling rapidity. As to the too much at stake for that. But over- second objection that I have not gone zeal is not the weakness to be feared to the source from which this false It is this playing into the hands of the spirit of toleration proceeds—that I enemy—this miserable, counterfeit lib- cannot deny. It is true that men are erality, the product of our ignorance becoming tolerant of error because they and slothfulness—that we have to themselves are falling away from the struggle against or we shall be the truth. But it is also true that there agents of our own ruin. As citizens are vast nunbers of men with reverent of the republic we are pledged against minds and hearts who, while they tyranny, and that tyranny which, would shrink with horror from infidel under the insidious guise of progress and materialistic attempts to drive God overrides our law, which threatens our out of the world, are in reality aiding homes and our altars, which is under- and abetting these attempts. And mining the foundation of our liberty they are induced to do this not as sacand peace cannot, must not be toler-rificing their principles, but upon the ated. Let it slink into the caves and false plea of tolerating anything and dark places of the earth. We shall not everything that claims the right of free follow it there as they did of old, and speech and of a free press. It will be bring it to the rack and the axe. But remembered that I am addressing those it must not show its brazen face in our who, thank God, are safely sheltered
from the doubts and distractions of the its forms, but I have contented myself time in the bosom of the Catholic with calling their attention to a law of Church. They at least can stand upon society, the necessity for which comes firm ground and logically uphold a under their own experience and obsertoleration which shall not be contracted vation. If I have succeeded in unsetuntil it becomes persecution, for that is tling any careless notions they may an extreme to be avoided, as we love have entertained on this question of the truth—but they cannot, on the toleration, and if in studying out the other hand, consent to extend the limits true nature of liberty they are led to a of toleration until it degenerates into further examination of the great truths the merest license. I am aware that underlying all human government, then they will have to go farther and deep- indeed shall I have repaid in some little er than this in defending their princi- measure the attention with which I ples against modern liberalism in all have been honored.
THE THREE CHICKENS.
A CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY.
Three chickens went hopping on the ground,
Out on the ground when the sun rose high,
But men must work and women must eat,
Three roosters they set up a terrible squawk,
And they stretched out their necks as the fowls went down,
Three corpses all cut up went into dish,
The crust was put on and the edge scollop'd down,
For men must kill and women must eat,
All day long, by the mystic sea
All day long, by the mystic sea
My life would be as the tuneful lay
Answered she of the radiant hair,