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PailIP BENNETT, Esq., M.P., West The Honourable Captain King Suffolk,
Angley, Cranbrook, Kent. WILLIAM BERESFORD, Esq., M.P., T. KINNERSLEY, Esq., Clough Hal Harwich.
Newcastle, Staffordshire. Robert Bevan, Esq., Bury St. Ed- Henry LYSTER, Esq., 9, Springmund's.
terrace, Wandsworth-road. Robert C. L. Bevan, Esq., Trent W. LONG, Esq., Hurts Hall, SaxPark, Middlesex.
mundham. W. S. Blackstone, Esq., M.P., Wal- Sir Digby MACKWORTH, Bart., Glen lingford.
Uske, Monmouth. Sir BROOKE W. Bridges, Bart., Donald Maclean, Esq., M.P.,
Goodnestone, Park, Wingham, Kent. Oxford. Andrew CLARKE, Esq., Comrie Castle, Thomas G. MONYPENNY, Esq., The Culross, Perthshire.
Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent. Admiral Sir Josiah Coghill Coghill, Colonel Sir R. MOUBRAY, Cockairney
Bart., Lansdown Villa, Cheltenham. House, Fifeshire. J. C. COLQUHOUN, Esq., M.P., New- Sir J. M. NasmyTH, Bart., Posso, castle-under-Lyme.
Peebleshire. E. J. Cooper, Esq., Markree Castle, RICHARD Nugent, Esq., Farren Collooney.
Connell House, Mount Nugent. William Davis, Esq., Leytonstone, John Dean Paul, Esq., Fulham, Essex.
Middlesex. James Dearden, Esq., The Orchard, Sir John Dean Paul, Bart, RodRochdale, Lancashire.
borough, Stroud, Gloucestershire. Quintin Dick, Esq., M.P., Maldon. DUDLEY M. PERCEVAL, Esq., WiltonAdmiral Duff, Drunmuir by Keith. crescent. JOHN FFOLLIOTT, Esq., M.P., County J.P. PLUMPTRE, Esq., M.P., East Kent. Sligo.
R. B. Seeley, Esq., Fleet-street. SackvilLE LANE Fox, Esq., M.P., R. Spooner, Esq., M.P., Birmingham. Ipswich.
Andrew SPOTTISWOODE, Esq., Broome G. W. FRANKLYN, Esq., Clifton Hall, Surrey. House, Bristol.
The Honourable Colonel WinGFIELD Thomas FREWEN, Esq., Brickwall STRATFORD, Addington, Maidstone, House, Northiam, Sussex.
Kent. CHARLES HAY FREwen, Esq., Cold EDWARD TAYLOR, Esq., M.P., County Overton Hall, Leicestershire.
Dublin. EDWARD Grogan, Esq., M.P., Dublin J. TOLLEMACHE, Esq., M.P., South City.
Cheshire. J. H. Hamilton, Esq., M.P., Dublin CHRISTOPHER Turnor, Esq., M.P., County.
M.P., County. Hill, M.P., County Down.
Armagh. Henry Julius Jones, Esq., County- Thomas West, Esq., Lewes-crescent, terrace, Camberwell.
Kemp-town, Brighton. The annual subscription to the Club shall be five guireas, except in the case of clergymen, who shall pay one guinea.
Any gentleman recommended by the Committee of a Lical Association organized with a view to the same objects as he National Club, shall be eligible as a member upon such terns as shall be arranged between the respective Committees.
Any gentleman desirous of becoming a member of the Club may apply to a member of the Committee, or to the Secretary, 13, Cockspur-street, Charing-cross, where also the General Statement issued by the Club may be had.
Subscriptions will be received on account of the Treasurer of the National Club, at Messrs. Herries, Farquhar, and Co.'s, 16, St. James's-street, and Messrs. Strahan, Pauls, and Co.'s, 217, Strand.
First GENERAL STATEMENT, ISSUED Nov. 22, 1845. The National Club have no desire to enter into party cabals, but to seek in concert the objects which have led to their union. These are the maintenance and diffusion of those great principles of the British Constitution on which they believe the national welfare to depend.
I. They hold it as a fundamental principle of the British Constitution that there ought to be no connexion between the State of England and the Church of Rome, that such connexion is opposed to our civil polity, and to our religious principles. At the Reformation, the State and Church of England renounced their alliance with the Church of Rome. The English people recorded then, their deliberate protest against its errors and encroachments. It was a protest made calmly,-it was meant to be final. To grant, therefore, endowments to the Church of Rome, to make the Romish priesthood pensioners of the English State, to recognise their influence as an instrument of our civil Government, to tax the people of England for their payment, are all contrary to our great national protest.
II. The National Club hold it to be the duty of the State to provide for National Education; the practical question is, to what parties the charge of the popular education is to be intrusted? There may be various views on the subject of National Education, but one system of education has been long in practice in England, and has for the last twelve years obtained the sanction of Parliament; that namely, by which it is provided that the children of the people of England should be taught scriptural truths along with secular knowledge under the superintendence of the religious guides of their parents. Now, whatever objections may be raised to this system, it is at least greatly preferable to that by which it is proposed to displace it; a system which would withdraw the conduct of schools from the ministers of religion, and commit them to the ministers of State. This plan is of all the most to be dreaded as fatal to our popular chancter and subversive of the national faith. It should be resisted by all who cherish moral habits among the people and relgious truth, by the Churchman as well as by the Dissenter. Tle duty of all such is to rally against it, to declare that the taining of the hearts and consciences of our children ought not o be regarded as a civil function, nor intrusted to official servants; that Parliament should adhere to the present system, which in practice works fairly, and which only requires greater liberality from the Legislature in order to ensure that education should be general. Under this system, we may justly claim for the Church of England her due share of Parliamentary grants, and her full influence in the charge of the education of the children who enter her schools.
On the like grounds the National Club feel bound to maintain the Universities of England and Ireland; they, in fact, form an integral part of the great scheme of National Education. That scheme does not exclude the Dissenter from the fullest opportunity of establishing colleges where his own system of religion is taught, but it reserves to the great majority of the English people, members of the Church of England, a like advantage, in the possession of the ancient seminaries where their national religion is taught along with useful learning. Any attempt to overthrow or undermine this system the National Club would stedfastly withstand. Colleges without religion are destitute of the power which impresses truth and forms character. Colleges, in which different religious bodies are united in the conduct of education, can never prosper. The result of neutrality on a question, which is the basis of discipline and the foundation of truth, is to produce laxity in morals, and opinions either openly sceptical or characterized by indifference to religion.
III. The members of the National Club feel it to be their duty to uphold the United Church of England and Ireland in her integrity and her Protestant character. They cannot concur with those who assail the Establishment of the Church of England as hostile to the interests of religion. They regard her as most effective for the teaching of truth, and as the great guarantee of our social welfare. For this has been the marked characteristic of the English Constitution, that in the midst of great political changes, it has kept firm the balance of our liberties, and has joined popular rights with social order. This is due to the character of the English people, formed in a great degree, as we believe, by the influence of a scriptural Church, a Church which blends the lessons of truth with the interests of the world, and restrains the passions of men by the words and warnings of God. This system it is at once our interest and our duty to maintain.
IV. On the principles which should regulate the Irish Government, the National Club hold these opinions. They regard it as the duty of the State to extend equal justice to all her subjects, to impose no penalties on the Romanists, to inflict no injustice on the Protestants, to look to the first with deep interest, as a people sorely wronged by those who have long misled them; to look to the last with cordial sympathy, as placed in circumstances of peculiar trial, yet the firm friends of British connexion. They conceive that every one in Ireland should Vol. VIII.-January, 1846.
New Series, No. 1.
enjoy the full rights of freedom, and that over all, without distinction, should be asserted the supremacy of the law. In these views they confidently expect the concurrence of Irish Protestants, and as they turn to them for examples of loyalty, so they regard the Church of Ireland with firm attachment, as the best bond of union, and the most effective instrument for accomplishing the peace of Ireland.
These are the principles which the National Club regard as all important, not speculative, but practical, the foundation of our public fortunes. For if we suffer the faith of the country to fail, and her morals to become corrupt, we prepare, by an unerring law, the national decline. For, where national religion decays, the public morals become disordered ; reckless morals cause restless politics, and by the shocks of frequent change the confidence of capitalists is disturbed, and the returns of industry are deranged. All therefore have a deep personal interest in maintaining these public principles.
For themselves the members of the National Club do not disguise the reluctance with which they make this statement public. It is contrary to many private feelings. But they have the strong conviction that great evils are at hand, and that there may yet be time by united exertion to avert them. They would call upon their countrymen to adhere to these guiding principles, and to act in concert in order to preserve them, putting forth their own efforts, and calmly committing the issue to him with whom alone are the destinies of nations.
PILGRIMAGE TO LOUGH DERG. Amidst the dark night of superstition that has long brooded over unhappy Ireland, there are gleams of sunshine breaking through the thickest dark; there is now and then a convert to the light of truth brought out from the moral gloom ; a captive of superstition rescued from its cruel thraldom, and made a free man of the truth. Yes! and as the word of unerring truth declares that the wrath of man shall praise God, so it sometimes happens that the very means employed to darken and degrade the mind of man are by God's provi. dence overruled and made the means of opening his eyes to the errors of that system of religion so directly opposed to the holy and peacegiving influences of the Gospel of peace. Doubtless all of our readers have heard of St. Patrick's Well, and the pilgrimages annually made to it by those deluded peasants who are taught that the pains of their bodies can expiate the sins of their souls; that heaven can thus be theirs, without faith, without holiness, without, love, without repentance.
We give the following account of it from an interesting book by an Irish clergyman, which contains an account of the change of sentiment produced on a poor Irish scholar, named Connor, from his pilgrimage to St. Patrick's well, and subsequent meeting with an Irish Scripture reader who showed him from the word of God the differences between the devotion commanded by his Church, and that which the Word of God required.
Arriving at a small hamlet Connor found some of the inhabitants preparing for their pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Purgatory in Lough Derg, a celebrated resort of Roman Catholics, where penance is performed by the numerous devotees, which is supposed to be so meritorious as to cancel all the sins they may have previously committed. The party whom Connor found about to set off to the island consisted of an old grey-headed man bent with years, his wife, equally aged, three or four younger neighbours of both sexes, and two lads the children of a woman, who was a widow. As soon as the group espied the scholar, who was known as such by his satchel, he was cheerfully saluted by all.
“ The blessings o'the mornin be on you,” cried the old woman, 6 and are ye going to the island wid us? It's glad we'll all be of your company, and I may say that too for every one here."
“Ay, right glad all of us,” exclaimed the rest of the group.
“ Ye'll read to us about the blessed Virgin and St. Patrick and all the saints, wont ye, avourneen," said the first speaker.
" And let me carry your books yer' honour," joined in one of the lads.
Connor stared with some surprise at the group, and knew not at first what answer to return to the inquiries. He had never seriously contemplated the pilgrimage, though he knew that the direction he was taking led to that far-famed place. However, he determined to join the party, and signifying their intention to do so after he had taken some refreshment they set out on their journey, carrying white bags behind them slung over the shoulders, containing provisions for the journey, and the scouns or oaten cakes which is the only food allowed to be eaten by the pilgrims on the island. As the party drew near to the island they found numbers going in that direction on the same errand as themselves, some of whom had travelled many weary miles, and appeared almost worn out with fatigue. There was a great variety of characters for the keen and observant eye of Connor to contemplate, and he was struck with the apparent indifference that was manifested by the majority of his fellow-travellers, some of whom had visited the island once or twice before, but whose evil courses had compelled their father confessor to send them to the purgatorial spot again. Some there were who externally indicated great sorrow for sin, and a few of whom seemed to be sincere, but often the laugh and the jest passed from one to another, as if the pilgrims had been holiday personages on the road to a fair. This conduct, however, by degrees subsided, and a look of awe and solemnity gradually occupied the place of the laugh and the merry smile as they came nigh to the lake. At the close of the fourth day's journey, Connor perceived by the accession to the number of pilgrims that he was in the immediate vicinity of the far-famed spot. Old and young of both sexes almost lined the road; some passing those whose age or weakness prevented their making any very rapid progress, but whose anxious look indi