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RESULTS OF THE 'EXPOSTULATION.'
§ 1. INTRODUCTORY.
As the excitement attendant on the publication of the
Expostulation' (a name henceforth as historical as that of the · Lettres Provinciales,' • Janus,' or “The Syllabus ) passes away, all parties, Roman Catholics included, will be prepared to appreciate more justly the arguments of the far-famed writer; and the consequences resulting from his work will obtain the attention which their intrinsic importance deserves.
The Roman Catholics, it must be confessed, have not become excited on this occasion without good reason. Principles which if erroneously, are at least generally (and even by many Roman Catholics) considered to be offensive, extravagant, and untenable ; principles tending in the opinion of many to treason and revolution as regards civil governments, and to a prostrate slavery as regards the Papacy; principles held to be as subversive of existing society as those of the Socialist, the Fenian, the Communist, the Democrat, each in pursuit of his favourite idea ; such principles have for years been preached as the essential doctrines of the Church of Rome. The body thus compromised by its own teachers, remained passive and silent when these principles were announced in its name. Can it be a matter of surprise if this reticence caused apprehension even in the minds of friends :if the impression grew that tenets essentially anarchical, and dangerous to society, were rapidly spreading ? Could it in reason be considered otherwise than as a benefit to Roman Catholics themselves, when they were invited to reassure the public mind as to their real principles and purposes, and to clear themselves from the imputation of holding doctrines (not unnaturally attributed to them) which would, in the opinion of most, tend to civil convulsion.
That opportunity, so desirable for the Roman Catholics, however painful in itself, was afforded by the · Expostulation' of one, whose position was so remarkable, that neither Pope nor Emperor could "command a wider and more attentive European audience. The words of a power like this it was impossible to ignore: they required a prompt and a satisfactory reply; but that reply was not so readily to be produced. It was a case involving the most delicate considerations, and full of danger in all directions. There was, on the one hand, the risk of avowing and supporting principles which civil governments and society in