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(AT WALKER, WISE, AND Co.'s BOOKSTORE,)
245, WASHINGTON STREET, BOSTON.
M HE Rev. J. H. ALLEN, who has been associated in the editorial
charge of the “ CHRISTIAN EXAMINER” since July, 1857, has become one of its Proprietors and responsible Managers.
THE UNDERSIGNED have made arrangements which will fully maintain the rank which the “Examiner” has long held as an independent Journal of Theology, Philosophy, and general Literature.
While faithful to its antecedents, they will endeavor to make it, still more distinctly and completely, a representative of the advance of liberal thought and Christian scholarship. The Review of Current Literature will continue to form a prominent feature of the “ Examiner;" and will contain, so far as possible, some account of every important publication or discussion or discovery, at home or abroad, which chronicles a distinct step of intellectual or scientific progress.
Whatever the immediate result of the controversies now going on in the political and religious world, it is plain that we are entering on a period in our national life in which questions of the profoundest interest - not speculative merely, but political and social — will be forced upon us. It will be a special province of the “ Examiner” to discuss such questions in a calm, independent, and impartial spirit ; to address the educated intelligence of the nation from the point of view of liberal Christianity and enlightened Conscience; and to devote the best ability at its command to the cause of free government, civilization, and social justice.
The “Christian Examiner” is the organ of no sect in religion, and of no party in politics. Nothing will be admitted in its pages inconsistent with the purposes above defined, — neither sectarian bigotry, nor party polemics, nor moral or religious scepticism. Its aim will be, to cherish a positive and vital faith ; and in all ways to promote the alliance of what is most generous and free in cultivated thought with what is purest and noblest in the Christian life.
With the conviction that the need of such a Journal was never greater than at present, and in view of the heavy cost attending its publication in its present style, the aid of its friends in extending its circulation is frankly and earnestly solicited.
THOS. B. FOX,
JOS. HENRY ALLEN. , Proprietors. MARCH 1st, 1863.
Art. I. — DR. DOYLE.
The Life, Times, and Correspondence of the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle,
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. By William John FitzPATRICK, J. P. From the Dublin Edition. Boston : Patrick Donahoe. 1862. Für illis,
This able work, ať once historical and biographical, has been excellently republished by Mr. Donahoe : the volumes are elegant, the type clear and readable, the price moderate.
The work will be our text in this article, and mainly our authority. We propose by its aid to sketch the life, character, genius, and times of an extraordinary man, – a man whose intellectual power, moral courage, and commanding social influence were made known by the great force which he wielded in the affairs of his country during one of those periods of conflict in the succession of which the national life of Ireland has principally consisted, and the record of which constitutes Irish history. This man was the Rt. Rev. Dr. Doyle, some thirty years ago Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. His public writings were all under the signature of J. K. L., the initials of “ James," “ Kildare," “ Leighlin,” — and thus indicative of his name and office. The Life of Dr. Doyle brings us into close communion with an interval second in importance and solemnity in the concerns of the British islands only to the days of Charles the First and of Cromwell. Those islands, particularly Ireland, became, while Dr. Doyle lived, the stage of an alarming drama, in which mighty tribunes,
VOL. LXXIV. — 5TH S. VOL. XII. NO. II.
statesmen, and orators were not alone the actors, but also maddened millions. The catastrophe seemed big with fate. The grumblings and popular discontent, not merely in Ireland, but likewise in Great Britain, arose from murmurs, which had been scorned or disregarded, to the portents of a stupendous tempest, that might suddenly burst from thick and outspread darkness, and cover the land with anarchy and ruin. There is, therefore, an interest in this book which is beyond that of the battles of churches or the strifes of parties. There is human interest in it, — interest that is political, historical, and moral. Although we shall have to dwell not a little on the battles of churches and on the strifes of parties, it is yet the relations which they bear to ideas and principles that we keep most in view.
JAMES WARREN DOYLE, the son of James Doyle, a respectable farmer near New Ross, in the county of Wexford, was born in the autumn of 1786. His father had died some weeks before his birth. His mother, Anne Warren, was a second wife. She was of Quaker descent, and a woman of determined moral firmness. A very characteristic anecdote is told of her. When she came near to the critical period, when she must have medical attendance, but could not afford to have a physician from a distance, she walked some miles into town, took a cheap lodging, and put herself under the care of Dr. James Doyle, a man of considerable local eminence in his profession. This is a singular instance of sturdy independence, since the doctor was her own step-son, and the little stranger whom he introduced into the world was, accordingly, his half-brother. When Dr. Doyle was eleven years old, he witnessed the most terrific doings of the Irish rebellion in 1798. In Ross and around it that rebellion raged with its utmost fury. Having on one occasion strolled into fields where fighting came on, he narrowly escaped from being shot. He very early felt a vocation for the priesthood, and began the preparation for it, The teaching of childhood he had from his mother; classical education he received in an Augustinian monastery, where he joined that order; his academical and clerical training he obtained in the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Dr. Doyle, when about eighteen years of age, lost his mother, to whom
he was infinitely indebted, to whom in return he was infinitely devoted. He seems even in youth to have had large intellectual tastes, and to have cultivated them by large and various reading. But he was not a mere bookworm; he was ready for action, when action was duty. On the invasion of Portugal by the French, young Doyle manfully shouldered his musket, and did such service faithfully as he was appointed to do. Sir Arthur Wellesley was cordial to him. “I was,” says Dr. Doyle," a sort of nondescript with the rank of captain, and an interpreter between the English and Portuguese armies. ..... I was present at the battles of Caldas, Rolica, and Vimiero; I was greatly exposed to the fire of the enemy, as I was obliged to keep going to and fro with orders and despatches to the Portuguese general. He brought up General Anstruther's division, then returning from Sweden, within a comparatively short distance of Vimiero. They were in time to take their position in the field, and contributed to the success of that great day.” But if young Doyle put on the soldier, he did not put off the saint. “Before and during the bloody engagements,” he says, at Rolica, where the French lost fifteen hundred men, “ I was intrenched behind a strong wind-mill, ball-proof, employed in giving spiritual assistance to a number of soldiers, who, knowing that I was in priest's orders, sought my aid.”
Dr. Doyle returned to Ireland in 1808, to enter on the offices of teacher and of priest. He did not found the Roman Catholic college of Carlow, but he inspired it with new life, and gave it much of the power of his own character. He was Professor of Rhetoric. Notwithstanding his foreign education, and such a ludicrous pronunciation of English as used at first to make the students laugh, he yet imbued them with a manly taste. He overcame his own difficulties of expression, and cultivated for himself a style of uncommon clearness, flexibility, purity, and power. Afterwards he became, for a time, Professor of Theology. The severe duties of his professorship he most successfully discharged in connection with his labors as a priest. From these humble yet exalted functions he was called, in 1819, to be a Bishop by the united voice of the clergy in the diocese, with the applauding consent of the Episcopacy in the kingdom, and with the unanimous approval of the authorities