Abbildungen der Seite

wherever its will is sufficiently ascendent, to every form of civil and religious liberty; while intelligence, industry, wealth, and freedom-all things constituting the proper health and manhood of the world, have gone over to the side of Protestantism :--and is it nothing, that, with such facts before us, we see this religious and social pestilence stealing its way along through all the veins of the body politic, and threatening to inflict upon it the full force of its evil? We think we see enough in the temper of our own hierarchy to account for the servile politics of its priesthood, and of the majority adhering to it; but we should not seem to forget that there is at least one hierarchy beside which is still more adapted to mould the heart of man both to the servitude and to the exercise of tyranny. Be sure of it, the system best adapted to make tyrants, would make them after the most finished model, if placed at full liberty to adorn itself with the good works of its own choosing.

Dissenters have been so much and so justly disgusted by the hypocrisy which they know to be connected with the no · Popery' cry in many quarters, that we suspect they are, for the most part, little aware of the extent to which Romanism has revived among us, or of the hold it retains, and is daily extending, over great part of Europe, and in almost every country where European enterprise has made it possible for its adherents to obtain a footing We all know that in Ireland the Roman Catholic population amounts to nearly seven millions. Over these millions there are four archbishops, twenty-three bishops, and nearly two thousand five hundred priests. They have seven colleges, besides that of Maynooth, and a number of monasteries and nunneries. In Scotland they have made visible and rapid progress. In Glasgow alone they number 30,000. In 1792, there were not, in the whole of Great Britain, thirty Roman Catholic chapels; there are now five hundred and thirteen, of which four hundred and forty are in England, six in Wales, and sixty-seven in Scotland; and there are six hundred and ten priests, of whom five hundred and thirty-one are in England, five in Wales, and seventy-four in Scotland. They are governed by seventeen vicars apostolic, nine of whom are bishops. In the year above mentioned, there was not one Roman Catholic college; there are now ten, besides seventeen convents, sixty seminaries for education, and many chapel schools. The Roman Catholic population of Great Britain is now very little short of two millions.

The following account of Catholicism in Europe, and in the other quarters of the globe, is taken from an article in Blackwood's Magazine, a suspicious source we admit. Its general accuracy, however, has been attested by the conductors of the Catholic Magazine ; and, subject to a little alteration, Mr. Cramp has deemed it worthy of a place in his Appendix. Of its substantial truth there is not the least room to doubt.

• In the colonies, the Roman Catholics have, under various names, (as for instance, the Bishop of Trinidad is called Bishop of Olympus,) bishops at the following places ; Quebec, (with a coadjutor,) Montreal, (with a coadjutor,) Hudson's Bay, Kingston, Upper Canada, (with a coadjutor,) Newfoundland, St. John's, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Trinidad, Ceylon, Jamaica, Mauritius, Madras, Calcutta, Australasia, Cape of Good Hope. In all these places they have extensive establishments. In Ceylon, they boast of having 100,000 persons attached to their church. In India, they pretend to 600,000, and though that number is questionable, still it is not denied that their converts consti. tute no inconsiderable portion of the southern population. In Trini. dad, nearly the whole people are Roman Catholics, and sixteen new missionaries have lately sailed to complete the Popish victory. From New South Wales, Bishop Broughton wrote to the Christian Knowledge Society in January, 1836, to the following effect : ' Protestantism is much endangered in this colony ; the efforts of Rome in this country are almost incredible. It is traversed by the agents of Rome. I earnestly desire means of counteracting their machinations.' In Canada, Popery is the established religion of one province, and is liberally assisted in the other. In Cape of Good Hope much has already been done in Graham's Town, and elsewhere; particularly in the new parts of the colony. In Newfoundland, the Roman Catholics form a majority of the House of Assembly, and have gained otherwise a complete ascendancy.

In the South Seas, equal activity is displayed. Dr. Lang, the principal of the Church of Scotland College in New South Wales, writing home on the 6th of October, 1836, thus expresses himself :• The moral influence of the Christian church of New South Wales will extend eventually to the neighbouring island of New Zealand, containing a native population of half a million of souls, and comprising an extent of territory almost equal to that of the British Islands ; to the western islands of the Pacific, numberless, and teem. ing with inhabitants ; to the Indian Archipelago, the great nursery of nations; to China itself. That the Romish propaganda has already directed his vulture eye to this vast field of moral influence, and strewn it, in imagination, with the carcases of the slain, is unquestionable. Spanish monks and friars have within the last few years been sent from the recently formed republics of the South American continent, to the eastern islands of the Pacific. Other groups, still more distant from the American continent, have recently been surveyed and taken possession of by Romish missionaries direct from France; and the Roman Catholic Bishop of New South Wales is already taking his measures for co-operating with the missionaries from the westward, hy transforming the sons of Irish convicts in New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, into missionary priests, and dispersing them over the length and breadth of the vast Pacific.

In the United States, although it is not forty years since the first Roman Catholic see was created,

there is now a Catholic population of 600,000 souls, under the government of the Pope, an Archbishop of Baltimore, fourteen bishops, and four hundred and twenty-two priests. The number of churches or stations is five hundred and forty-seven ; colleges, fifteen ; ecclesiastical seminaries, eleven ; clerical students, one hundred and forty-eight ; female religious institutions, twentyseven ; female academies, thirty-eight; charitable institutions, thirtynine ; and seven Catholic newspapers.

* In the West Indies, unexampled efforts are now made among all classes, principally by the missionaries from Cuba, where Popery reigns in undisturbed supremacy and unrivalled splendour.

• In China, beyond the borders of which' Protestants have failed to penetrate, the Jesuits have been working with marvellous courage, and with a success which may well justify their boasting. By the Catholic Directory of 1838, it appears that the Papists have actually two bishoprics in China.

• There is no corner of the globe which their restless feet have not invaded ; there is no danger they have not braved ; there is no artifice they have scorned. The difficulties they encounter are not equal to those with which Protestants contend. It is not very difficult to make a Papist of a Pagan.'

- Text Book of Popery, Appendix, pp. 467, 468.

Then with regard to Europe

* In the Rhenish provinces, the Roman Catholic population amounts to 1,678,745 souls. In the whole Prussian dominions, inclusive of those provinces, the number is not less than 6,000,000. In Nassau, they form nearly three-fifths of the population ; and in both Baden and Bavaria, they are more than double the number of all the various Protestant sects, In Hanover, there are upwards of 20,000 Roman Catholics, and in Austria they constitute the mass of the community. Such also is the case in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Sicily, Sardinia, South America, Madeira, parts of Greece, the Azores, the Cape de Verd Islands, the Philippine Islands, Lower Canada, Martinique, Isle of France, &c. In Tyrol, hundreds have been banished from their native land, and expelled even beyond the extreme borders of the Austrian empire, for daring to worship the God of their fathers as those champions of truth were wont to do in ancient times.'-Ibid. pp. 469.

No doubt it would be easy to oppose to all this a truly refreshing picture of the progress of a purer Christianity within the last half century. But still the fact would remain, that the nineteenth century, the age of so much boasted intelligence and improvement, is distinguished by the revival, and not by any thing looking like an approaching extinction, of the Papal system. It has become common for Catholics to present themselves at our

religious meetings, for the purpose of dictating an absolute silence on the matters in dispute between us, or of insisting upon permission to enter there and then upon the full discussion of those matters. In the House of Commons there are forty Catholic members, six representing English constituencies; the Catholic peers are less numerous, but include some of the most wealthy, ancient, and influential noblemen of the kingdom; while among the baronets and gentry, and by means of intermarriages with Protestants, they are much more formidable in number, station, and influence, than their appearance in parliament would indicate. The influence of such facts as these has been to effect a marked change in the tone of Catholicism.

• It is high time,' say the writers in the Dublin Review, ' for us to shake off the dust of past ages, and to cease considering ourselves as a persecuted or an ill-treated class. Thank God, we are beyond the malice of man. It is time to claim our right to every spiritual advantage that members of the great universal church can possess.'

The same writers add :

* Few more pernicious sacrifices have been made to the false divini. ties worshipped by the age, than that of denying the spirit of proselytism to be inherent in Catholicity. Our faith, though it may remove mountains, is nought without it. Ever since these words were uttered, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write....come and see,' it has been the very essence of the apostolic, and, consequently of the Christian spirit. For our own parts, we have no disguise. We wish for no veil over our conduct. It is our desire, and shall be, to turn the attention of our Catholic brethren to the new forms of our controversy with Protestants, (alluding to certain hopeful appearances recently at Oxford,) in the anxious hope that they will devote their energies to its study, and push the spiritual warfare into the heart of our adversary's country. That in some directions this is begun we are able to assert. There are not wanting those who feel the insufficiency of our controversial endeavours in the past, to meet the exigencies of the present moment. And we are con. fident that all our excellent seminaries, at home and abroad, will use all diligence for repairing their defects. There is much that weighs heavily upon our breasts in reference to this subject. Time, and, we trust, still more, the Divine blessing, will enable us to develope our meaning, and to effect our design.'*

Dublin Review, April 1838, pp. 334, 335, 369. The same number contains the Catholic account of the attempt to effect a settlement for the Jesuit missionaries at Tahiti, and sets forth their spiritual conquests in the Gambier Islands, situate in its neighbourhood. •One of the missionaries from those islands,' it is said, 'M. Caret, is now in Europe. He has laid at

What this meaning' is, and what these designs' are, it is not hard to divine. Some of our readers may be curious to know what these elated personages think as to the nature and tendency of the present movement by the Oxford tract party. On this subject also they have spoken with the same freedom.

[ocr errors]

"The tracts,' they say, are the production of a well known knot of divines at or from Oxford, the determined foes of Dissent, the inconsistent adversaries of Catholicity, and the blind admirers of the Anglican church. In other words, they are written by staunch assertors of high church principles.

· Will they succeed in their work? We firmly believe they will : nay, strange to say, we hope so. As to patching up, by their prescriptions, the worn out constitution of the poor old English Church, it is beyond human power. Curavimus Babylonem et non est sanata' (Jer. li. 9) will be their discovery in the end. It is no longer a matter of rafters and partition walls; the foundations have given way, the main buttresses are rent ; and we are not sure but that one who has been for three centuries almost deprived of sight, and kept toiling in bondage, not at, but under the grinding wheel, has his hands upon the great pillars that support it, and having roused himself in his strength, may be about to give them a fearful shake. We speak only of moral power, but it is of the immense moral power of truth.

How, then, will they succeed ? Not by their attempts to heal, but by their blows to wound. Their spear may be like that in Grecian fable, which inflicted a gash, but let out an ulcer. They strike boldly and deeply into the very body of Dissent, and the morbid humours of Protestantism will be drained out. Let this be done, and Catholic vitality will circulate in their place. They show no mercy to those who venture to break unity in their church, and like all unmerciful judges, they must expect no mercy. Why did you separate from the Roman church? is a question which every reader of these volumes will ask twenty times. He will find, it is true, what is intended for an answer, given him as often : but he will be an easily satisfied inquirer if any of these answers prove sufficient for him.'*

Thus the expectation would seem to be, that the Oxford men, proceeding so far in their way towards Rome, will find no resting place until they take up their abode there; and that the effect of

the feet of his holiness one of the idols of the country, with a letter from King Gregory I., late Massuteo. His holiness sends back by him a magnificent present, a silver representation of the blessed Virgin, with the child Jesus, who is blessing the islands. A new costume, consisting of cloaks, designed by the celebrated artist Cammuccini, has been sent to all the chiefs. The population is entirely Catholic, with the exception of some yet under instruction, M, Caret returns with a reinforcement of labourers.'-Ibid. 373.

• Dublin Review, pp. 307, 308.

« ZurückWeiter »