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find “ as guides to their eycs and lan- struction of their order, the subverterns to their feet;" but they also sion of government, the ruin of procontain a system of divine philosophy perty, the rapine, the anarchy, and which may afford its highest exercise the bloodshed which afflicted unhapto the sagacity and intelligence of the py France, they returned to their own deepest and most enlightened thinkers. country but little disposed to co-ope
They have been truly described as rate with the disturbers of the public containing “ fords where the lamb tranquillity, in disseminating the pes. may wade, and depths where the ele- tilent principles, the consequences of phant must swim ;" and, surely, when which they had observed." We berude and undisciplined minds are en- lieve that numerous instances of uncouraged to roam at large over a com- swerving allegiance, in the very worst monage such as this, without pastoral of times, are upon record, to the crea care or guidance, it is not to be ex- dit of that respectable, and, we are pected that they will confine them. sorry to add, rapidly expiring body of selves to the consumption of just so men; that they contrived, (no easy much as is good for them; and it matter,) with a perfect fidelity, to rewould, indeed, be greatly to be admi. concile the duty of the faithful pastor red if they did not tread down and with that of the loyal subject; and disfigure more than they can appro
that their flocks were, on many occa. priate with advantage.
sions, indebted to them for excellent In the Eighth Report of the educa. advice, and the government for timely tion commissioners, our readers will information. find full details respecting the College But now the case is sadly changed; at Maynooth. Its existence, we con- the Roman Catholic priesthood of the ceive, is not very conducive to the present day are taken from a different peace of society, and is adverse to the class, and actuated by different feel. progress of reason; and we cannot but ings. They are, with few exceptions, lament the endowment of it, as afford the children of small farmers, who ing a direct and positive encourage would, in the natural course of things, ment to the profession of Popery, in be plying the shuttle or following the its worst form, in Ireland. It was plough, but who, from the facility of founded at a time when that inter- procuring, what is called in Ireland a course with the continent, to which classical education, and the provision candidates for holy orders in the church made by government for students in of Rome were obliged to have re- Roman Catholic theology, are induced course, was considered, in a political and enabled to enter into holy ore point of view, objectionable and dann dersgerous. We have not been able to discover that the dangers thus appre
“ Olim truncus eram ficulnus, inutile lige hended in theory were ever experien.
Cum fabər, incertus scamnum faceretno ced in practice; on the contrary, the
Priapum, enquiries respecting the state of Ire
Maluit esse Deum : Deus inde ". land before select committees of both Houses of Parliament, furnish strong would that we could add “ furum ground* for believing that the “old maxima formido !” but we differ widepriests,” those who were educated ly from those who regard these gentle abroad, were by far the safest and men as the pacificators of Ireland. most manageable of the Roman Ca. They are demagogues in canonicals ; tholic clergy. They, certainly, were they unite the intemperance of the men of gentler blood, milder manners, agitator with the bitterest polemical and kindlier dispositions, than the race bigotry. The “ Catholic Association" by whom they have been succeeded. now claims them as its own ; and, in. They had been, many of them, eye- fusing into that body a portion of the witnesses of, and some of them actual“ odium theologicum" which belongg partakers in the miseries of the French to themselves, they have received in Revolution. Having witnessed the de, return a large supply of the political
See the Evidence given before the Select Committee, by Major (now sir Richard) Wilcox,
ransour which so well qualified them much upon the antiquity of their reli. to be firebrands. It has been chiefly gion, and may, we should suppose, through their instrumentality that the with great propriety, be addressed in “ Catholic rent” has been collected. the same spirit with which St Paul
How far it would be either wise or addressed the Athenians, when he prudent, at present, to withhold the would fain recommend the gospel to annual grant by which Maynooth is their notice by representing it, in one supported, may be doubtful; although important particular, as identical with little doubt, we apprehend, can exist
their ancient beliet: “ The God whom amongst well.judging persons as to the ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I impolicy of having at first conferred unto you." The occasion would justi. it. But these are topics upon which fy Protestant advocates in addresswe may take a more suitable opportu, ing Roman Catholics in a similar nity of dilating ; and we have adverte strain: “ the religion which ye profess, ed to them at present, merely that the that religion, defecated, purified, and reader may the better understand the spiritualized, is the same which we precise position occupied by the Ro- preach." And, doubtless, it would be man Catholics of Ireland. Under pre- easy to shew that the faith which present circumstances, it is impossible vailed in Ireland, before the conquest, that there must not be many of their or rather the purchase of that country more respectable members seeking for by Henry II., was as different from light;-many, who are not only gall, the creed now taught by the better ed by the disabilities under which educated part of the Romish clergy of they laboured, but disgusted by“ the Ireland, as that is from the rational priests," and offended by“ the associa and spiritual belief of the Church of tion.” How deplorable soever, it is, England. we believe, a melancholy truth, that There are, in Ireland, a variety of there are many in the open profession societies which have, for a number of of popery who are secret despisers of years, been silently making inroads revelation ; and who are actuated by upon popery. Of this kind are “ The a spirit of party to persevere in their Bible Society," the “ Hibernian School attachment to the sect with which they Society,” “The Baptist Missionary So, have been identified, long after they ciety, “ The Kildare Street Society," could have been influenced so to do by &c. &c. &c. These bear the same spiritual considerations. The spirit of relation to “The Reformation Society,” popery would seem to be cast out, only which sappers and miners do to a be. ihatoiher spirits worse than it“ should sieging army: their operations have take possession of them," and their been carried on in a quiet way ; but " lasi end" be rendered “ worse than have not, on that account, been the their first.” It is obvious that these less successful in detaching many from different cases require different modes the Church of Rome, and disturbing of treatment; and they are, we con others with doubts, which must, sooner ceive, peculiarly entitled to the consi- or later, end in their becoming conderation of enlightened members of verts. The Roman Catholic clergy, the Church of England.
who are unaccustomed to any sceptical Associations should be formed for the laxity of opinion on the part of their purpose of diffusing a knowledge of flocks, treat those who presume to the proofs by which revelation is estas question any of their received dogmas, blished, and for affyrding all the in. with a degree of harshness and insoformation that may be useful or neces. lence wbich completes the impression sary respecting the doctrine and disci- as yet only partially formed to the dise pline of the national church. And in advantage of their church; and thus, ihus seeking to inform the minds, and by their clumsy brutality, co-operate remove the prejudices, of those whose with the reformers. conversion is so desirable, care should Such are the moral causes that are, be taken not to wound their feelings, and have been for many years, thin. or inflame their passions. Many a dark ning the ranks of Popery, which, we and stubborn spirit has been won, by believe, depends chietly, if not wholly, love and kindness, to lend a willing for its continuance and increase, upon ear to arguments and discourses which the unfortunate circumstances of the have ended in the salvation of their country, where, unless strong and vigo. souls. The Irish are fond of resting rous measures indeed beresorted to, hu. man beings must continue to be produ- ousness, when they will be led to ced faster than they can be educated or adopt the genuine doctrines of the moralized, and improvement of all sorts gospel as something corresponding to to follow tardily in the rear of popula- ihe newly-awakened religious appetite tion. Much, however, has been done, which they experience, and by which and is doing, to weaken the hold they will be drawn, as it were, ine which the Roman Catholic religion stinctively, to the spiritual food most has had upon the minds of its votaries. healthful for their souls. Making every allowance for mis-state- It sometimes happens, that lan. ment and exaggeration, for false con guage of an offensive kind is used at verts and relapsed converts, the num- the “ Reformation Meetings,” in re. bers who have, within the last two probation of the religion of the Roman years, read their recantation, are very Catholics. This, assuredly, is not calgreat indeeil
, and afford the most en culated to bespeak their favourable atcouraging ground for believing, that tention. They are called “idolaters ;" tenperate and judicious measures their priests are called “ deceivers ;" would be still more decidedly and ex- their Church is denominated “ the tensively successful. The only draw- - of Babylon,” &c. &c. We mean back, and it is a considerable one, to not, at present, to dispute the abstract our perfect satisfaction at what has propriety of these imputations ; much, been done, consists in an apprehen- undoubtedly, may be said to prove sion, that the attack has been carried some of them, at least, well deserved ; on against the Church of Rome upon we only question the expediency of principles which may lead to the sube resorting to them in the first instance, version of the Church of England. and as preliminaries to a discussion,
Of what is called the “ aggressive" which can alone be productive of ada system, we have not seen many desie vantage when it proceeds in a spirit of rable results. The “Reformation the most affectionate candour, kindli. Meetings" are of this description. ness, and charity. They are promiscuous assemblages A different course would, we are convened by the members of the “ Ře persuaded, be more prevailing. The formation Society” in different parts Established Church takes a high stand of the country, where the objects of in the country; it claims and receives the society, are set forth, and the doc- large revenues and considerable imtrines of the Roman Catholics are at- munities; and is, therefore, bound by tacked and defended. In general, the the most solemn obligations to promote speakers on the Protestant side exhi. the moral well-being of every indivibit more zeal than either discretion or dual who is not excluded from the be. ability; and their adversaries, amidst nefits of the social compact. Nor is a profusion of vulgarity, ignorance, the Church disposed to shrink from and misrepresentation, sometimes dis- this arduous responsibility ; her clergy play an ingenuity worthy of a better are, we know, always ready to give a cause. But, as far as we have had an reason for the faith that is in them." opportunity of observing, these meet- They are more quiet, temperate, and ings are always more calculated to ex. unobtrusive, than their brethren of asperate the feelings than to win the other denominations, but not less disaffections, or inform the judgments, of posed to aid in the diffusion of religithose for whose edification they are ous knowledge, or to extend the inespecially got up; and who, when fuence of the Gospel. We beg leave, they do attend them, attend them therefore, with great earnestness, to more from an idle curiosity than any express a wish that, in the parochial real anxiety upon the subject of their churches,controversial sermonsshould, salvation. Before the sickle can be at stated periods, be more systematic thus employed with advantage, “ the cally preached than they have been fields must be” more " white for the hitherto. The preaching, on such ocharvest ;” and, until then, truly en casions, should be chiefly left to able lightened Protestants will be content men, selected by the ordinary, and with converting Roman Catholics ac- eminent for their piety, learning, and cording as it pleases Providence to orthodoxy; for whom it would be de. prepare them for conversion, by exci. sirable that some provision were made, ting within them yearnings after a which might relieve them from the more purc and perfect way of righte- ordinary cares of parochial duty, and
enable them to pursue their great ob« attend the “ Reformatiou Meetings ;": ject with an undivided attention. Sere and they should also be prepared to mons, we are aware, have been preach- encounter, occasionally, a stupid hoax, ed within the three last years, with or a disputant dogmatical and uncanVery considerable success. They were did. But the majority of those who the first and most remarkable indica. came to them for information would tion of the spring-tide of zeal which be of a different stamp, and their ef. set in with the commencement of forts, though silent and gradual, would « new reformation.” We have no yet be constant and uniform, and free doubt that many have received benefit from most of the disturbing influences from them, but they also gave offence which embarrass and perplex moral to many; partly, because they had investigations. After a few years the. more the appearance of a desultory results of such a system would asto. enthusiasm, than the regular perform- nish the most sanguine reformers. ance of an appointed duty; and, part- The employment of " Scripture ly, because they were not, in all in- readers,” men of the humbler class, stances, executed with the requisite who frequent the cottages of the poor temper or discretion.
But let it be for the purpose of instructing thein in weli un lerstood to be a part of the the “ word of God,” is said to have duty of the established clergy to ex- produced good effects; but how little plain, to all who may choose to listen qualified such persons, generally speakto them, the grounds upon which they ing, must be for conducting contro. reject the dogmas of Popery; and let versy upon enlightened principles, is this be done with calmness, clearness, but too apparent; and it is certain and ability, and it is morally impossi- that, in many instances, conversion ble, in the present state of men's minds, will, under their auspices, consist in that our churches should not, on such little more than changing one set of occasions, be filled with anxious and errors for another. We entertain the attentive hearers.
belief, however, that there are to be There are, however, many who found, amongst the lower orders, and would feel a reluctance to be seen at in considerable numbers, too, indivi. our places of Worship, but who, ne- duals who might, with proper trainvertheless, entertain doubts upon the ing, be made serviceable auxiliaries in subject of their religion, which, if it furtherance of the principles of the Were possible, it were no more than reformation. These we would have charitable to assist them in resolving; regularly taught and disciplined for for the benefit of such as these, it that purpose ; and we are anxious to would be desirable that committees see such an institute" established were appointed in every diocese, or, if for their instruction as would give it were judged expedient, in every pa. them a thorough knowledge of the rish, consisting of learned men, skille doctrine and discipline of the national ed in the controversy, and able to give church. They would thus be posi. a ready and an appropriate answer to tively as well as negatively qualified such questions as inight be submitted for this useful vocation, and enabled to thein by serious enquirers. Let it to build up as well as to pull down ; be publicly known, that such a body to plant in and to cherish, as well as exists for such a purpose, and we stake to root out and destroy. We would our credit upon it, numerous and in- desire to see them in close connexion teresting applications will be made with the church; and, to be truly They might be made either personally useful, they should not proceed on or by letter ; either anonymously, or their mission without a certificate of the applicants might subscribe their qualification from the superior of the names. We cannot contemplate such institute, and a written permission & process going on for a series of years from the ordinary of the diocese where without the most gratifying anticipa- they proposed to carry on their operations. It would be slow but sure ; it tions. · Such persons, so prepared, would be fishing with a line rather would be precisely the “ internuncii” than a net. The committee should best calculated for carrying on a count their cost; they should be con- friendly correspondence between the tent to labour modestly and in secret, upper and lower classes, and serving and without the glare or eclat which as a kind of cement between the or
ders of society, which but too many and corroborate those principles which circumstances are at present conspic are the firmest bond of their union. ring to divide.
We have now to choose between these; There is one part of the plan pro. -nor is it as yet too late to make a wise posed by the “ Reformation Society” election. Nor can we entertain the of which we most cordially approve, shadow of a doubt, that the converviz. the publishing, in a cheap form, sion, by which the interests of relia and diffusing through the country, gion would be best promoted, and useful controversial works. Thanks which would prove a blessing to the to the champions of our venerable empire at large, must be identical, church, little remains to be said in ad. both in spirit and principle, both in dition to what they have written; and kind and degree, with that which it the most strenuous opponent of Popery pleased Providence to produce in this will find their writings an armory country at the era of the reformation, where he may completely equip him- and which gave rise to what Mosheim self for the contest.
so truly describes as We need not apprehend that, in
CORRECTIO, thus laying themselves out for the QUÆ, BRITANNOS ÆQUE A PONTIFI. conversion of others, our clergy will
A CÆTERIS FAMILIIS QUÆ neglect their own. The time has, we DOMINATIONI PONTIFICIS RENUNCIAtrust, for ever gone by, when so cul. VERUNT, SEJUNGIT."* pable a neglect of their bounden duty Such are the opinions, and such the could be fairly charged upon them. It views, which we entertain on this imis truly gratifying to hear the testi- portant subject. They are at variance, monies which pour in from all sides, we are sorry to say, with those of that they never were more deserving great and good men, the prelates and of public confidence, gratitude, and the other eminent individuals of the respect. Under the greatest privations, Church of England, who patronise the and in the midst of calumny and mis- “ Reformation Society." It is impossi. representation, they have borne theme ble to hear the names of the Arch. selves with a meekness truly evange- bishops of York and Dublin, and the lical; they have requited insolence Bishop of Salisbury, without feelings with kindness, and returned blessings of the deepest respect and admiration. for curses; and more than justified In us they have been so strong as all will be their holy confidence—" that, but to overpower the conviction under by a patient perseverance in well- which we labour, and which we have doing, they will put to shame the ig- endeavoured to express, that the connorance of foolish men.”
federacy to which they are pledged is It were gratifying and auspicious to not well calculated for effecting the see them take a lead, a real and effi- moral regeneration of Ireland. We cient lead, in the great moral revolu- áre aware of the disadvantages under tion at present going on in their coun- which our opinions must go forth, try: Notwithstanding the boasts of when opposed to such high authority; “ the priests,” the Church of Rome but as they have been formed with is tottering to her fall. Let “ the deliberation, so we hope they have powers that be" look well to the species been express
been expressed with charity and calmof Protestantism by which she is sup- ness, and we must be content to let planted. Conversion may be carried them pass for what they are worth. on in two ways:-it may be carried By none, we are persuaded, will they on so as to infuse a spirit which would be received with more kind indulgence eventualiy lead to the subversion of than by the eminent individuals from government, and the separation of whoin we have, most reluctantly, disGreat Britain from Ireland ; or it sented. may be carried on so as to establish
Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, 16 cent., chap. ii. sect. 3. It is curious that the force of this strikirg sentence bas been sunk by bis Presbyterian translator.