“In Europe, miss,” said the priest, “we never introduce——”
“In Europe,” she said, interrupting Father Ugo, “there is nothing but tyranny, despotism, poverty, and superstition. We despise the customs of Europe, sir. I am told,” she added, after a glance at her notes, “that priests in general, and you in particular, forbid Catholics to attend the meetings, or join in the prayers or worship, of other denominations. Is this true, or how can you reconcile it with liberty or religion?”
“Certainly,” said the priest, “it is our duty to guard the Catholics from such immoral customs. We do not believe any of the sectarian denominations, into which I regret to learn your family is divided, derive their existence or institutions from God, or contain the ordinary means of salvation. And while under this belief, in which we are joined by millions upon millions of Christians, living and dead, how can we join your prayer or worship, when we know it to be spurious and illegitimate?”
“I shall, before I am done with you, sir,” she replied, “prove your church idolatrous, and all Papists idolaters; and this is one of the proofs, this horrid opinion of yours, sir.”
“It is not my opinion at all, miss,” said he, coolly; “it is my faith, and that of God’s church in all ages. Now, on the very plea that we all are idolaters, as you call us, for this very reason you should except your hired help from joining in your ‘long prayers.’ For if you have any faith in God, or believe you address him in prayer, why should you insult and mock him by taking an unenlightened, Papistical idolater to join your petitions? If you were to go to ask a favor of a king, or of the president, would you deem it prudent to take one to accompany you who was guilty of high treason? Would not this lead to your certain rejection from the presence of majesty or excellency with disgrace and punishment? Now, Catholics, if they be idolaters, are guilty of treason against Heaven. Do not, then, insult heaven and its divine Majesty, by asking them to join in your ‘holy prayers.’”
This “nonplussed” the self-confident and vain Amanda; all she could answer was, that “that was fine Jesuitism.”
“Meditate well on it,” said the priest, “and repent, if you have been guilty of violating the laws of God, the laws of your country, and the dictates of reason, by compelling Catholics to join in your, to them, repulsive and unlawful worship. Forgive me, miss; I must be off. Good by. God bless you,” said he, departing.
THE ENLIGHTENED CITIZENS.
“Any news this morning, squire?” said Mr. Wakely, the tavern keeper, to his honor Squire Wilson, as he entered the bar room with a cigar in his mouth.
“Wal, nothin’ except this report of the turning of old uncle Jacob Prying, if we can give credit to such a rumor.”