Obrazy na stronie

num! In these very days, when Romanism is truth, that “ Jesuitry," which the mob may dread said to be rapidly developing itself in Germany as a subtle poison, but which the philosopher and in England, whence comes its art? From considers as the deepest and surest symptom of Protestant converts, Pugin, Overbeck, &c. What moribund weakness ? And yet these men are is its philosophy ? Mere eclectic sciolism, as far to convert England ! as we can see or hear, picked up from the great But the priest is a subtle man of the world. Protestant philosophers of Germany. The whole How? Is a monkish education, a celibate lite, Neo-German movement of Romanism owes its likely to make men of the world? How much life absolutely to the scraps which it has bor- of the world young men must see at Stoneleigh ! rowed from its “ heretic” enemy. Among its But their instructers bave mixed in courts and converts it cannot name a single first-rate man. camps — they know the hearts of Roman marcheA poor brain-sick, self-disgusted Weiner; a sas and Vienna diplomates. Really! The hushallow, brilliant Schlegel, perpetually mistaking man heart must in this case be a shallower thing fine words for deep thoughts; an ascetic enthu-than prophets and poets, the much-loving and siast like Overbeck, who had no higher rever the many-sided of the earth, have fancied. No! ence for truth, no deeper insight into the history If opera-worship and cicisbeism, foppery and of art, than to say, that “ he took the faith for the profligacy, are the world — if Italy and Spain sake of the art which it had created." These now, if France under Louis Quinze, are speciare their trophies ! But conceive Goethe turn mens of the European world — in that society ing Romanist, or Kant perhaps, or Fichte, or the priest may be strong. But can he cope with Herder, or any one, in fact, of the original think- the earnest French democrat? And how will ers of the Teutonic nations! As soon expect he cope with the English freeman — the EngLuther's ghost to revive and make his solemn lish husband and father? Knowing only the recantation !

darker side of men from the confessional, the So it is with their own late conversions. Have casuists, and the merely vulpine and Machiavelwe lost a single second-rate man even? One, lian anthropology of his order; cut off from all indeed, we have lost, first-rate in talents, at least; human sympathies and ambitions, even from that but has not he by his later writings given the lowest of all -- money-making; looking at all very strongest proof, that to become a Romish the world through his narrow, pedantic, monkpriest is to lose, ipso facto, whatever moral or spectacles (not untinged with green, poor soul!); intellectual life he might previously have had ? asking all human things but one question, “ Ul. Besides, who but fanatics attribute the move tramontane, or not ultramontane ?” who shall ment to the Romish priesthood? They them- fear him? Be sure that, whenever he begins selves talk of it as a miracle of Divine grace plotting, it will not require the practical sagacity they stare in honest astonishment (well knowing and wide eye-range of the English layman to their own inabilities) at the sight of English outwit him; he will outwit himself. Just when gentlemen and ladies converting themselves, and his cobweb seems most cunningly spun and coming over to them by an entirely ab intra stretched, some unexpected outburst of that movement, ready persuaded to their hands; and strange, fathomless human nature, of which he they extol duly the enormous addition to their knows so little, will sweep his web away, and effete and threadbare order, of Protestant learn- leave him, where he has been periodically left ing, Protestant vigor, Protestant experience, for the last three centuries, expediency-mongerProtestant taste.

ing about the spinning of a new thread; upholdThis is a literary age, too, and a conquering ing the old practice by truckling to the new party must be expected to show its strength in principle; confusing himself into worse and its books. What literature was ever at a lower worse imbecility, as the nations who need him ebb than the Romish at this moment? We owe no longer go on their way rejoicing. It was no an infinite debt to Michelet for having exposed false vision of Giant Pope, which John Bunyan boldly the miserable weakness, the vapid life-in saw in his Pilgrim's Progress. Nor was that a death of the Jesuit writings, with all their pruri- false vision either (and no offence to the author ent prudery, their effeminate sentimentality, of Hawkestone) which Goethe saw in his Faust, their ghastly conventional raptures. Even in of a worthy fanatic hunting Jesuits in the WalMoobler himself what have we but the seven purgis-dance itself, among the witches of the times exploded facts brought out again as if vir- Brocken. gin and fire-new, the old sophism set up with Look, again, at the conduct of the Romish a new gilding, as if, perhaps, the world would priesthood in Ireland in these very days. What swallow it this time at last? Above all, in all is its distinguishing mark but intense foolishness ? their authors, converts or indigenous, is there The folly of dreaming, as they do, of recovering not the same fearful want of straightforward | their confiscated lands and tithes; the folly (not

to say wickedness) of keeping alive the old ha- | national lay spirit, which asserts the rights of the tred against the Saxon, who, it exasperated, has, citizen, the husband, the individual conscience. after all, only to crush them, or, worse still , leave This battle has to be fought in every

Christian them to themselves,- the folly of keeping alive, country; the married laymen and the celibate as they do, in the minds of the laity, old tradi- priest may make truce for a time, but they are tions about land, knowing all the while that it focs in grain. the Utopian absurdity came to pass, and Ireland Now the English policy toward the Romish were once more parcelled out among its original laity for centuries overlooked all this. It identiowners, “faithful sons of the Church,” nothing fied them most wrongly with their own priestwould be left for her, swept clean of her only hood. It restrained them by similar penal laws, capital — the Saxon's money and the Saxon's and so forced the two to make common cause. energy, but the miseries of a mock-feudal barba- It coerced the priesthood just enough to enlist all risna and hopeless poverty. Ay, but “ the Catho- the chivalrous feeling of the laity in their delic system” would be in the ascendant; and for fence, while it had not the heart to carry out that fixed idea the fanatic will sacrifice his coun- persecution any practical result. By debartry, his conscience, and, to do him justice, his ring the Romanist from his rights as a citizen, it own life itself.

crushed in him that very national lay spirit which Enylishmen should really read the sayings, and it ought most to have fostered; it forced him watch the doings, of these men, and not be de into contact with Ultramontane influence by terred froin speaking out their conclusions by forbidding him any other; into loyalty to the any superstitious dread, either of “ bigotry” or of Pope, by giving him no other centre of attrac* latitudinarianisın,” but say boldly, “These priests tion for his natural and honorable desire for corare a foolish generation; tlrat is about the best porate life. If the Ronish laity be really, as and the worst we can say of them.” We have some say, inferior in intellectual development to nothing to fear from them — but we have every the average of Protestants of the same rank, it is thing to fear from our own fear of them. We because they have been shut out from political have made our bugbear, and now we tremble at life

, a field absolutely necessary for the full deit. We have told the priest that he was strong velopment of a British mind. Those crushing and cunning — what wonder if he has believed influences happily are past, and we may hope us? We have told him that he was conquering better things for the future. The extravagances Protestantism — what wonder if he has redoubled of certain Irish politicians on their first emancibis attack? We have given him what he sought, pation must not dishearten us.

Another generanot generously and spontaneously, but piecemeal, tion, and Romish members of parliament will and in proportion to the bullying which he has have sobered down; the speaking their minds in employed — what wonder if he has grown confi- the noblest assembly on earth will have lost the dent and insolent? We have rewarded bis se excitement of novelty. We may fairly hope, dition and calumny with illegal titles of nobility, from the analogy of history, that in half a cenillegal episcopal rank in dioceses already Protest- tury more the Romish layman will have discorant — what wonder if he mistakes our apathy for ered a citizen's vocation to be nobler than that cowardice, and fancies, not that England de- of a fanatic; that when he has once felt the genspises him, but that she fears him? We have ial and fruitful liberty of civic life, he will spurn been teaching the young that the Jesuit is strong the yoke of his confessor; that the same antagoand wise, at the same time that we have been nism will arise between our Romish laity and monstrously magnifying his evil purpose — what their priesthood which existed among their forewonder if some get disgusted at the exaggeration fathers from the Conquest to the Reformation; of his sin, and yet retain the fancy of his power; which now obtains in every state of Romisli and so begin to listen with the same awe with Christendom, except those in which all individwhich we used to hear our nurse speak of Num- ual thought and conscience are crushed by the ber Nip, or Raw Head and Bloody Bones ? tyranny of an absolute government. Teach

your children to pity the Jesuit for a silly Viewed in this light, the late conversions to pedant, and there will be no fear of their here- Rome will do their share of good, in bringing the after accepting him as a mysterious philosopher. Romish laity more and more in contact with the

The truth is, the only people who need defend. Protestant; which of the two will mould and abing against the Romish priesthood in England sorb the other by its superior vitality and strength are the Romish laity. The real history of Eng- it is not difficult to foresee. But in fact such a land, from Ethelbert to the Reformation, is the revulsion of feeling seems to be already taking history of a struggle, issuing in the complete place. The manly and upright victory of the laity, the anti-national and hie- of Lord Shrewsbury and Lord Arundel to the rarchic spirit being gradually absorbed by the Irish bishops shew that they at least have no

thought of exalting the hierarchy above the de- of the pope in civil matters !” Confess England mands of national law and order; and the treat- unable to rule herself! Are we come to this, ment which they have received in consequence then ? What with expediency-mongering and proves better than all arguments the contradic- government from hand to mouth, Romanists may tion between the feelings and duties of a citizen in future spare themselves such useless petitions. and the demands of a priesthood. Those who Our Protestant Government assist them against are best acquainted with the subject assert pos- the Pope ? Our Protestant Government itself itively that the power of the priests, even in Ire- requires the Pope's assistance ! land, has been considerably shaken by the con Surely this is not the belief of the English trast between their conduct and that of the Prot- nation ; but let not the Romanist petition, nor estant clergy during the late famine, and that Mr. Gladstone's advice, be forgotten. It is time the better class of laity boldly express their wish that men should have true and historic views on to be protected from their own priesthood; but these subjects. The power of the hierachy in independently of these facts (and facts they are,) England, if not in Ireland, and in Rome itselt, a certain most significant petition, inserted in The is blazing up, it seems, only to expire like a Times of the 9th of February, sufficiently proves candle burnt down to its socket. that a struggle is not impossible. This petition, The


of the Roman Catholic laity in Engwhich is said to represent the feelings of a nu- land have begun to be opened to the real charmerous and influential body of Romanists, many acter of a large proportion of their priesthood in of whose names are appended to it, was laid be- Ireland, and they have boldly remonstrated ; fore Parliament in 1846, and“ bumbly prays the and they have been answered, as was to be honorable House” for “protection for Roman expected, first by quibbling, then by mere ribalCatholic congregations, incumbents, lay patrons, dry and insult. As long as Lord Shrewsbury possessors of schools, chapels, and other objects confined himself to accounts of Estatica and of charitable donations and bequests;” and pro- Addolorata sham-miracles, he was the very pillar tection against whom? Against Protestant big- of the church; no language could express his otry, against secular tyranny? No. Against piety and excellence! But only let bim speak “ Rome and its agents;" against “ the Pope's vic-out, as a loyal Englishman and humane Chrisars-apostolic ;” against "gross invasions of their tian, and Romish prelates, and their organ the temporal rights by power derived from the Pope Tablet, inform him repeatedly, in the grossest and held at his pleasure;” against “uncanonical language, that he has " not raised his character, and illegal oaths imposed on the secular clergy, either as a Catholic or a gentleman!" — in their such as are not even known in Ireland, and sus eyes at least. And all this while what are the pension of priests who dare to accept incumben. Romish clergy of England doing? What formal cics from lay-nominations;" against á being forced protest have they issued against the blackguardto seek redress in these temporal matters from ism (there is no other word for it) of M•Hale Rome, which is contrary to their oaths as Brit- and O'Higgins, or the atrocious denunciations ish subjects;

praying,” finally, that “ the pat- of M·Dermott and others ? Not a word. On ronage and trusteeships of Romish chapels may the contrary, the priests of the northern district be lodged, not in the Pope's vicars, but in one or of England have formally, by their vicar-genermore of the laity, under the protection of English al, expressed their extreme disapprobation of Lord law," .

so as to secure to the Roman Shrewsbury's conduct, “more especially in the Catholic ecclesiastical body, through the influ- instance of the very Rev. Mr. M. Dermott,” the ence of persons of rank and responsibility, an denouncer of the murdered Major Mahon!!! antidote to disloyalty and disaffection towards the The Pope's clear and manly, but cautious, government and constitution of these realms.” rescript, has fallen like a shell among the Irish So speak true Englishmen, Romish as well as hierarchy; and a monk is on his way from Lord Protestant, and have done for centuries. This Shrewsbury to Rome, charged with those ugly petition transports us back into the middle age. things, fucts, in evidence of the justice of his Here are the descendants of those who refused, lordship’s attack, and of the infamous misconduct in the sixteenth century, to share in our victory of the priests. But what are Papal rescripts to over the Italian monks, finding that they have us? The Irish altar-denunciators have offendnow, after a lapse of three centuries, to fight the ed against the spirit, if not against the letter, of battle for themselves; let us hope and trust, English law — against the letter, as well as the with the same success and the same unexpected spirit, of the laws of every other European nairradiation of spiritual truth which our fore tion. To law they are amenable; and if the fathers gained for us. And yet in the face of existing statutes are insufficient to control them, this petition, Mr. Gladstone, in the House of it is the right and the duty of Englishmen to Commons, is not ashamed to talk of “ asking aid demand such new statutes as shall protect the

Irish gentleman from obloquy and murder. It | Christian ministers justify to their own conis not by peddling back:tairs influence with the sciences for a moment such means and such a Pope - it is not by indicting the denunciators spirit as actuates M.Hale and Co. ? only when murder has followed, that the nui There is a plain answer, an old one, and fallen sance is be suppressed ; the offence is equally into very bad repute, from the bad hands who an overt act, and therefore the subject of law, have meddled with it. But a thing is not a whit whether the evil suggestion be followed up or less true for having been abused ; and whatever not. It may be a difficult matter to legislate nonsense may have been talked on this point, against words, but when lives are at stake it is there is sense enough now, grave, temperate, and a duty absolute, however delicate. Again, let circumstantial, brought to bear on it by the us have no backstairs influence with the Pope. National Club. This body has lately formally If the object of Lord Lansdowne's new bill be renewed the Exeter-IIall assertion, that the Bull to establish with his holiness the diplomatic rela- "Cænæ Donini,” “ excommunicating and anathtions usual with other temporal sovereigns, so far ematizing” all Protestant sovereigns and magwell. But let them be the usual relations ; let istrates, and all who refer to them in ecclesiastithem be secular and international, and not ec cal matters of any sort; and the comments on clesiastical and anti-national, setting at nought this Bull, and on others similar to it; tend to nulliself-government, the very root and principle, not fy the authority of the Crown over the Romish only of the Reforination, but of national life it clergy, and to hold up to their execration all self, by calling in a foreign authority to keep Eng- loyal Protestants; and that these Bulls, as found lish subjects in order. Thus limitation of an in Dens, Reiffenstuel, and other Maynooth classambassador's powers at Rome, Englishmen have books, are now secretly in force in Ireland. surely a right to demand; and it his lordship’s This is their charge, made in a very different bill is viewed with suspicion, who will have been spirit from that in which it was made of old in the cause of it but its noble author himself, when, Exeter Hall, and from what one might have in the House of Lords, he alleged the “peculiar expected from certain Orange names on their authority of the Pope" as the reason for institu committee list, some of which are happily disapting “the usual diplomatic relations with him ?" pearing. The Club certainly has no mind 10 In merely ecclesiastic and spiritual matters the take it for granted that every Romish priest is a Pope is welcome, in heaven's name, to whatever villain, heap upon him wanton insult and impuwholesome authority he can exercise over the tations of the basest motives, and then prore

unruly wills and affections of sinful men.” | their case anyhow or nobow; they never rail, But such an authority of his is not a subject of they are gentlemanlike and businesslike; their diplomatic relations. It would be just as ab- fault, if they have one, is being too mild; and surd to have sent an ambassador to Joe Smith one who is not a member of the Club, and differs the Mormonite leader, because a colony of his deeply from them on many points, will not be sect had been misconducting themselves in Eng- suspected of puffery when he says that their land.

matter-of-fact tone is one of the most hopeful But how to explain the conduct of the Irish symptoms of the Protestant cause. “political priests," and their approving brethren In the case of the Bull “ Cænæ," they have of the “northern district of England ?” Even gone far towards proving it to be at the root of folly and fanaticism must have a fancied ground much Irish fanaticism, — they have proved, at of right. It may be a mere frantic hope of a least, that the whole charge of the Bull's being general scramble, in which they might regain in force requires a searching investigation, and their lost lands and tithes. Absurd as is the a documentary and diplomatic denial not merely dream, it is the daily increasing hope of many from worthy English laymen like Lord Arundel, Romanists; and Dr. Wordsworth's Diary in but from the authority whence it originally France, p. 183, asserts, that, “ In the principal's emanated, - viz. from the Pope himself, who is room at the College des Irlandais, Rue des Postes, bound thus to prove an ordinary national reläat Paris, is a map of the estates of Ireland, as tion to us before we can adu:it him to an ordithey were in olden time before they were confis- nary diplomatic one. cated. He pointed out to me the estates which The dangerous tendency of the Bull may

be had belonged to his own family.” Significant, judged of' from Romanist testimony. Dr. Doyle, truly! It is notorious, again, that holders of when before a select committee of the Lords in confiscated land in Ireland are especially liable 1828, denied that the Bull was in force in Ireto denunciation and murder. There may be, lan«, said that, “ if it were, there is scarcely any not unlikely, a plot to frighten away all Protest thing which would be at rest among the Cathoant landlords, and leave the Brian Boru aris- lic states of Europe; and that they have been as tocracy triumplant and alone. But how dosolein and earnest in protesting against it as


we have been in any period in England." And XIV., and canons of the fourth Lateran CounDr. M'Hale asserted that “his objection against cil, &c., when they know that these have been receiving the Bull was, the collision which would for centuries the bitterest causes of contention be supposed to result from tke publication of that and mistrust between Protestants and themBull with the established authorities of the coun selves ? If they are obsolete, in the name of try.Again, the mere publication of the Bull, peace let them be formally and in a written with its history, and the assertion that it was document repealed. If the competent authornow in force in Ireland, was sufficient to elicit a ities refuse to repeal them, who is to be blamed letter from Lord Arundel, most creditable to his if he believes that they are retained in the loyalty and kindly tolerance, in which he does Romish canon law for the purpose of reviving not attempt to deny either the existence or the them at the first convenient opportunity ? Who pernicious character of the Bull, but grounds is to be blamed if he imputes to their teaching his whole defence of the Romanists on arguments the disorders of Dr. M.Hale and his party, who to prove that the Bull is obsolete. Now no one have long since thrown to the winds their only dreams that the Bull is anything but utterly original objection to the Bull, — namely, the obsolete in practice as far as regards the English “ fear of a collision with the constituted authoriRoman Catholic laity; but with regard to its ties?" If valid, this Bull and its compeers are obsoleteness in the abstract these facts are at least treasonable; if invalid, they are scandals, at once worth considering:

useless and ruinous, to the reputation of the 1. That the Bull (and this Lord Arundel | priesthood. And, finally, (to return to the keydoes not attempt to deny) is unrepealed, re- note of this article,) what a pitiable exhibition mains part and parcel of the canon law, and of the weakness of the Romish Church, that has been published as such, with all possible wbile Reiffenstuel, their most famous and authorauthority and imprimatur in the Bullarium, itative canonist, writing about 1745, describes, Rome, 1835–44; Reiffenstuel's Canon Law, and rightly, the Bull “ Cænæ ” as “almost the 1831-4; the notorious Dens, 1832; and in an only remaining pillar and defence of the faith,” edition of Bailly printed at Dublin expressly for Romanists are nowadays using all their endeavo use of Maynooth, 1828.

ours to prove that remaining pillar to be obso2. That the Bull itself and its commentators lete! just mentioned, formally and at great length, take Three things, then, must be done. A formal pains to assert its perpetual obligation, indepen- repeal of the obnoxious Bulls ought to be dedent of its non-republication, or any customs, manded and obtained. The Romish laity must &c., to the contrary, which may be temporarily be taught that we, too, believe them as much as connived at by Rome,” and quote it in various Lord Arundel believes us to be “ brethren, parts of their works as now in force. To this children of a common Father," our perfect equals Lord Arundel answers, and, no doubt, with in civil rights. Lastly, the Irish laity, both complete honesty of intention, that these canon Romish and Protestant, must be defended from ists themselves are more or less obsolete, – that the denunciations of the priesthood, and from the priesthood who publish and recommend their excommunications also, wherever those them do not thereby swear to all that they may excommunications are accompanied or followed choose to say. We must judge of that by their by threats and curses, or injury in person, propconduct, - M*Hales and O'Higginses par exem- erty, or trade. ple.

Toleration is a fine thing, but it is no god, as Again, Lord Arundel says that the Bull some people seem inclined to make it, in their ceased to be published annually about 1745, and truly superstitious cant about “liberality," perthen became a dead letter. But, how, then, fect“ religious freedom,” &c. It has its limit, was it that Dr. Doyle confessed that the Bull had because no opinions can be tolerated which issue been declared to be in force in Ireland in the in violations of the universal human laws of year of the Rebellion, 1793, - i.e. the very first morality, and in a disregard to human life. time that there was any chance of practically Lord Shrewsbury has implicitly acknowledged enforcing it? How was it (and this fact is a this same limit, and says that he wrote his first new and important one) that at the Jubilee in remonstrance from fears (evidently excited by 1800 the Pope in a rescript mentioned the Bull, the addresses of the National Club) that GovCænæ by name as then in force, and gave direc- ernment would think it necessary to interfere. tions in regard to its censures ? But, be it The Romish and the Protestant laity, then, are practically in force or not, what shall we say of now openly combined against the Irish priests. the suicidal folly and pedantry of those who re If a timid and truckling Government refuse to tain in their class-books this very Bull, and the listen to their demands for justice, and continue still more obnoxious constitutions of Benedict to allow that order a license unknown in any

« PoprzedniaDalej »