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they are, and in all likelihood will long in their carefully enveloped meaning remain, practically unknown. Of that small minority, who have spoken or fitted themselves to speak, a portion reject them. Another portion receive them with an express reserve, to me perfectly satisfactory, against all their civil consequences. Another portion seem to suspend their judgment until it is determined what is a free Council, what is moral unanimity, what are declarations ex cathedrâ, whether there has been a decisive and binding promulgation so as to create a law, and whether the claim for an undue obedience need be considered until some act of undue obedience is asked. A very large class, as it seems to me, think they receive these Decrees, and do not. They are involved in inconsistency, and that inconsistency is dangerous. So I presume they would tell me that when I recite in the Creed the words, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church," I am involved in inconsistency, and my inconsistency is dangerous. To treat this as a "heavy charge" is surely inaccurate; to call it an insult is (forgive the word) preposterous.

Not even against men who voted under pressure, against their better mind, for these deplorable Decrees, nay, not even against those who resisted them and now enforce them, is it for me to utter a word of censure. The just appreciation of their difficulties, the judgment of their conduct, lies in a region far too high for me. To assail the system is the Alpha and Omega of my desire; and it is to me matter of regret that I am not able to handle it as it deserves without reflecting upon the persons, be they who they may, that have brought it into the world; have sedulously fed it in its weakness; have reared it up to its baleful maturity; have forced it upon those, who now