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diocese of Clogher, on this subject, wherein the expression,“on which the national system of education has been tolerated by the Holy See,” occurs, the article in the same journal of September 19, thus proceeds:
“Some of our English liberal friends cannot endure the word tolerated in this passage. We confess we think it the very best word in the sentence. The notion of the Pope tolerating anything in this country, in England—that is, of course, in Ireland-is to them very shocking, but to us very consoling and delightful. England looks down, no doubt, with amazing condescension on the Pope, and is prepared to patronize him in the most amiable manner. She is prepared indeed to tolerate him, and to stretch herself to the utmost verge of her competence in the matter of liberality to accomplish this pleasurable task. But that he should think of tolerating her; that he should venture to ride roughshod over an omnipotent Act of Parliament, and treat it as if it were so much waste paper-mere dust and rottenness; that he should venture to extend his sceptre over the sacred soil of Britain,' in which our liberal friends imagined they had seen long since the Altar and the God sink together in the dust;' that he should dare to assign conditions to the execution of a statute; and affect to teach grown men their duty in these islands, and in this nineteenth century-all this appears to them so monstrous, so impudent a pretence, as well as so dreadfully unphilosophical, that it almost takes their breath away, and deprives them of the power of speech.
“Calm your perturbation, ye excellent individuals, and submit with decent dignity to the inevitable. It is even so. It must be so. It will be so yet more and more. You are only at the beginning of your perplexity. The Pope will speak more loudly than ever, and, what is more, he will be listened to. He will turn over your musty Acts of Parliament with finger and thumb, scrutinizing them with a most irreverent audacity; examining those which concern him; and when he has found these, rejecting some and 'tolerating' others with as much freedom as you use when you handle oranges in a shop, selecting the soft and sweet, contemptuously rejecting the sour and the rotten. And then-oh! dreadful thought-he will insist upon being obeyed. The very slates of Exeter Hall must erect themselves in horror at the bare thought of such a thing. What! The Bill was read three times in each House of Parliament; it was twice passed; engrossed on parchment; garnished with a waxen appendage by way of seal ; and has had over it pronounced by Royal lips the mysterious and creative fiat, La Reine veut. The Queen wills it; the Lords will it; the Commons will it. What does it want to complete the perfect fashion of a law? Nothing of solemnity, nothing of force, which the Imperial sceptre of this kingdom could give, is wanting to it. But, truly, it may want the sanction of religion ; the Pope snuffs disdainfully at it; an Italian priest will have none of it; it trenches upon his rights, or rather upon his duties; it violates the integrity of those interests which he is set to guard ; and therefore Commons, Lords, Queen, wax, parchment, and all, avail it very little. You may call it law if you please. You may enter it on your roll. You may print it in the yearly volume of your statutes. But before long you will have to repeal or alter it, in order to procure the sanction of a foreign potentate, without which it has not, in the end, the value of a tenpenny nail. : “We are ourselves shocked at the high treason of this language, and have a due dread of the vengeance of the British Lion ; but, on the whole, we are pretty sure our words represent the fact of the case, and therefore we cannot but again record our satisfaction at the expression which has so potently excited the bile of a Liberal contemporary, and then pass on to the main subject before us, from which we have digressed.”
We have not here taken notice of the fault found with the measures, because we are approvers of the Act referred to. We
condemn that measure. We doubt not but that our condemnation of it would be equally severe as that of the “ Tablet” is.
The Society of which our periodical is the organ has the following as two of its fundamental Resolutions :
“I. That the influence of true religion over a people forms the best security for their individual rights, and the surest basis of national prosperity.
“II. That the British Constitution acknowledges in its principle and laws the Sovereignty of Almighty God, and the Supreme Authority of His Holy Word, and has provided for the Scriptural Instruction of the people by its religious Establishments.
We contend that no education should be provided by a Christian State, but one based on the truth.
If asked, What is the truth-where is it to be found ? In what quarter of the world ? In what documents, amidst the various conflicting modes of worship, not only throughout the extent of the globe, but even in the dominions of the British empire? the answer is obvious.
We reply, it is to be found in the Bible, the written word of God, and that no Christian man, or nation, should support a system of religious instruction, which, on the one hand, rejects that word as not being a Divine revelation, or, on the other hand, denies its sufficiency as a rule of faith. We reply, in the language of the Sixth Article of our Church, "that holy Scripture* containeth all things necessary to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought necessary or requisite to salvation.”
But it is to mark this instance of alleged foreign interference, to point out the way in which Romanists would rejoice to see our State crippled, our laws no longer emanating from ourselves, and obeyed, because sanctioned with the authority of Parliament, and the Royal assent of the Queen ; but emanating from the Vatican, and requiring the approval of the Italian bishop, before they are to be received by Her Majesty's subjects, as possessing any authority.
The restless ambition of Popery, and the altered tone which her organs now assume, are startling enough, one might think, to arouse the most careless. Will not these things tend to open the
of our fellow countrymen ? Will they not have the effect of disabusing their minds of all ideas such as that Popery is changed, and no more likely to interfere with the institutions of our country?
The mask worn by the Church of Rome, is being cast off. She thinks there is no need to wear it. To such an extent has her audacity proceeded—so have we shrunk before her, not
* In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.--Art. vi.
wishing needlessly for conflict, that she interprets our too passive forbearance into acquiescence with her proceedings, to a cowardly timidity-or conscious weakness on our part. Such, however, is not in reality the case. Fear forms as little the . portion of our Protestant fellow-countrymen, as it does of any. Their honesty may be taken advantage of their confidence may be betrayed—and undue advantages be thereby gained, by the low and intriguing artifices to which designing persons may resort. But that honest confidence betrayed, will prove, when the truth and falsehood is discovered, the means of bringing upon her system the unmitigated scorn and anger of the people.
Rome may overshoot the mark, as before she has done. A recoil will take place. Persons see that concessions do not conciliate—that endowment of Popery will not procure her friendship. Politicians are doubting the expediency of their own favourite measures. Men of faith and of prayer are now more actively on the move.
The religious of the land are becoming awakened to the importance of the matters at issue. What shall we do at the next election ? they are beginning to ask. Shall we elect those who betray us? Shall we send men to Parliament who will support Popery? Have we no other candidates ? Is every interest of such vast importance that it must be represented, and are Protestant institutions so valueless, that we need not that should be taken for them? · But it is frequently asked, “What can I do? Gladly would I exert myself, if any course appeared open me,
but I None, perhaps, which seems adequate to arouse your exertions, or likely to reward your labours with immediate success. But be not neglectful of each small occasion—in due season you shall reap, if you faint not. Every one may do something, and if each one did what he ought, then the result would be far better than it is. Victory is not gained by the exertion of one man alone, but by the united action of the whole army. Let not small things be despised by those who have not the power to perform great things. Let them impart to others the information which they themselves possess. Let them circulate the papers and periodicals published by our Association: opinions lead to action. Contemptible as the grains of sand appear, trampled as they are, and disregarded, beneath the feet; tossed about by the winds, and wafted by the waves, they have yet been used by the Divine Architect to form an irresistible barrier to the encroachments of the ocean, and to check the incursion of those waves which beat upon their surface.
Thus may each one present a barrier against Popery. By prayer, by effort, by union, much may be done. They may repel the Romish invasion, drive back the calumniators of our religion, and make our beloved Church and country to be more than ever yet they have been, blessings to the nations of the earth.
THE PRESENT WANTS OF THE CHURCH.
A LETTER TO HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY,
BY HENRY KINGSCOTE, ESQ.
London: Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley. pp. 32. This pamphlet has acquired great notoriety from the name of its author, the nature of its subject, and the eminent personage to whom it is addressed.
We have not for a long time read any publication with such deep interest. The past history of the Church, its present position, and its future prospects, seem to have been present to the mind of the writer with unusual vividness. He has written as a patriot—as a Christian desirous of promoting the glory of God—the temporal and spiritual happiness of his fellow-creatures. The letter takes its rise from the following circumstances.
In the course of last year, an Address was presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury, signed by many noble, influential, and respectable persons, praying that some means might be adopted towards removing the growing evils of a Church inadequate to the wants of a rapidly-increasing population. That Address pointed out that the efficiency and usefulness of the National Church might be very greatly increased by arrangements, which, without introducing any organic changes, should bring into active operation the powers and capacities now lying dormant in her existing institutions.
It proposed chiefly two things :- 1st. The expediency of increasing largely the members of the third order of our clergy, the deacons,—which it was suggested might be effected by admitting, on such conditions as would maintain the order and discipline of the Church, persons who had not the means or opportunity of proceeding to a University degree, but who were found competently trained for the service of the Sanctuary, their advancement to the higher order of the ministry being made contingent upon a faithful discharge, during a lengthened period, of the office of a deacon, or upon such other circumstance as his Grace the Archbishop and the other members of the Episcopal Bench might think fit.
2. The propriety of sanctioning and encouraging the employment of a class of laymen, who, without altogether abandoning their worldly callings, might be set apart under episcopal authority to act as visitors of the sick, Scripture-readers, catechists, and the like, in parishes where their introduction should be approved of by the parochial clergy.
Upon the reply given to this Address, Mr. Kingscote observes, p. 5, “ Your answer was courteous ; coming from your Grace, it could not be otherwise; but anything less encouraging to the hopes of the petitioners-anything less indicative of a desire on your part to act with boldness and decision, such as the times demand, it would be difficult to imagine."
“ Under these circumstances,” Mr. Kingscote proceeds, “I feel that I should be acting with insincerity if I approached you with the language of compliment. The business is too serious and urgent for anything but plain speaking. I look around me and see a scene too nearly resembling that described by the prophet in such affecting language, Ezek. xxxiv. 2, &c."
“The responsibility of such a state of things must rest somewhere. It rests, in a measure, on all who can do something. It presses heavily on those who can do most. My Lord, I do but give utterance to the thoughts of ten thousand bosoms when I tell you, looking at the place you fill, the resources within your reach, and the present temper of our public men, that immensely more might be done in this direction by the Heads of the Church, if they had the heart to do it.
“Let us look the evil in the face. We cannot conceal it, if we would. Enemies to the Church, for the sake of exposing its defects—friends, to enlist the public sympathies in favour of their several schemes of improvement, economists, for the sake of building up some favourite theory with an array of figures and calculations—have exhibited the principal facts till they have become familiar to us all. Let me give a few as a specimen of a hundred more, showing how completely inadequate is our existing machinery for the spiritual education of the people.
“ The population, gathered within eight miles of St. Paul's, is computed at 2,250,000. "For the instruction of this vast multitude there are about 500 clergymen, or one for 4,500 souls. But the instances are not few in which 10,000 and more are allotted to a single man as his flock.
" It has lately been ascertained that in Lambeth, and the five adjoining parishes, there are no less than 20,000 children without the means of educa-. tion; and as this is no new evil, the parents, in a vast number of cases, are as untaught as the children. The population of the metropolis, and the suburban parishes, increases at the rate of 30,000 a year. To keep pace with this growth, fifteen Churches should be built annually, and two ministers appointed to each. I need not say, with all the efforts of the last ten years, since the Bishop of London's scheme was made public, how short the supply falls of this demand. Probably not half the increase has been provided for, and the other half is added to the previously existing mass of some million and a half who are living without any public acknowledgment of the Almighty:
“Deplorable as this case is, when the whole metropolitan population come to be divided amongst the metropolitan Churches and Clergy, it is far worse when particular instances are selected. Many of the city parishes are abundantly supplied. Some of the most populous districts, thanks to the recent żeal for church-building among the laity, and to the unwearied labours of many admirable incumbents and curates, who ply their daily task in courts and alleys, are thoroughly explored and faithfully overlooked. But there are others near them absolutely waste and desert as regards spiritual cultivation, wh the people are so many, and the teachers so few, that the spiritual provision made from public resources becomes a perfect mockery.
“I here beg to refer you to the annexed table, which I believe to be correct, and the following facts taken from the Reports of two Societies.
No. of Clergy
Population. with cure of Proportion. St. George's, Southwark
50,000 5 1 in 10,000 St. George's, East.
42,000 4 1 — 10,500 Poplar
21,000 2 1 10,500 Limehouse
22,000 2 1 11,000 Shadwell.
10,000 1 1 — 10,000 Spitalfields
21,000 2 1 10,500 Shoreditch, St. Leonard
35,000 3 1 - 11,666 Hoxton
24,000 2 1 — 12,000 Haggerstone
19,000 2 1- 9,500 Clerkenwell, St. James .
1 — 15,000