Obrázky na stránke

nacular tongues of the northern races refused to sanction the revived imposture, a heathen nomenclature was imported along with it, to ob-, tain a reception for it in the bewildered minds of the hearers. Thus, as Mr. Urquhart has remarked, the introduction into modern languages of the ambiguous Greek word “politics,” is contemporaneous with the adoption of the ensnaring position that “churchmen have nothing to do with them.” At the same time, the sense attached to it was the very reverse of the true value of the word in its original Greek. The error, at its commencement, sought and found a foreign term to misapply it, and upon that misapplication it has continued hitherto to live. If by "politician" be meant citizen, and by “politics” the knowledge of public affairs, the position is heretical and untrue. But, if we are to understand the words in their received interpretation, as importing the sin of factiousness, then the position becomes a most ludicrous truism ! “We thus give to ourselves a common term for right and wrong,—for duty and for sin,--and thereby extinguish sense."* This indeed has been the generic vice of the Reformation from first to last.

Would England unravel the meshes of her entanglements ? Let her undo that Reformation! Let her put away from her the delusion which she calls her Church, and once more entrust herself to the guides in whom the emperor Henry has been heard to place his confidence, God in heaven, and His chief pontiff here below. So long as she denies the competence of either tribunal to adjudicate against her, it were idle for her to expect their interference in her favour. So long as she remains without the circle of Christendom, forcing by her example, or by the force of gravitation, so many other powers of lesser magnitude and note to do the same, she cannot, with any semblance of justice, demand participation in the sweet influences which Christendom has to bestow. She cannot make outlaws of our religious at one moment, and ask a blessing from them at the next. If she would purchase Rome's protection, she must begin by recognising in Rome the right to protect. Let her unthread the rude eye of her long rebellion, if she would entitle herself to the renewal of that maternal care, with which the Holy See once blessed her infancy. Let her welcome home again her holy faith, too long, alas ! discarded ; and, with it, peace and happiness will hasten to her in company, to share that salutation. Let her, in the fervour of her contrition, seek out the Church she has so long persecuted, and fall before her feet, and restore her to the throne, whence heresy and tyranny combined to chase her. And, when that is

[blocks in formation]

done,—when that wholesome though tardy atonement is made for wrongs, of which the whole nation alike is now culpable before God and man,—the darkness which besets. her destinies will have passed away for ever. Whatever the perils that await her, the restored Church of England, unlike the poor usurper of her greatness, that dares to assume her once glorious name, will not “stand by at the altar, at once spectator and sacrifice; without an eye to penetrate the mystery of events, and to dispel the gloom of coming night.” As she was in the beginning, and will be evermore, such is the Church Catholic today. When England has the ears to hear, she has “the tongue to utter truths which shall breathe life again into this perishing empire.” (p. 26.)


To the Editor of the Catholic Magazine. SIR, It may be remembered by some of your readers, that I inserted, two or three years ago, a series of letters in this Magazine, on the subject of prayers for England. I went on for some time furnishing information of what had come to my knowledge, on the spirit of prayer for the conversion of England, existing in many parts of the world. My materials being for the time exhausted, I discontinued my letters, which I have not again since taken up, partly from a feeling that it was not becoming in me to put myself too constantly forward in a cause, which obviously was not peculiarly my cause, but that of all Catholics in England, though circumstances had led me to think more than some others on the subject. My employments at home, since that time, have prevented my doing much, either in the way of travelling or correspondence, to advance this interesting object, or even knowing much of what was doing by others. Yet the work has not lain dormant; and this it is important should be known by all, that all may be encouraged to take the occasions which may come in their way of assisting in its promotion. I will, as a proof of this, communicate one fact, which has lately come before me. About a month ago, a Brother of the Cistercian Monastery of Mount St. Bernard returned from a journey which he had been making in France, during the last two years, by order of



his superiors, to collect alms for the support of that house, or rather for the building of its church, of which the foundations are about to be laid. Knowing that the success of the work on which he was sent, depended on God alone, and that God had promised that to those who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, all things besides, which they need, shall be added, this good lay brother determined, when he left England, that he would make it his principal object and care to procure spiritual, rather than earthly aid, for his native land, and employed himself in every place to which he went, in asking prayers for England. He was not disappointed in his calculation. The interest with which he was animated in the pursuit of the more noble object, supported his spirits, and gave him vigour for the prosecution of his more painful task of asking for money; and God blessed him in this, which, in order to ensure his success in it, he thus wisely made his secondary object. But it is the result of his quiet persevering exertions in the nobler work, which I am anxious to communicate, through you, to our brother Catholics, that others may be prompted to follow his example, which, they may be assured, on the assurance of God's own word, will in all cases be profitable to their own personal happiness and advantage, as it was found to be in the instance before us. He carried on his quest for spiritual alms, chiefly by visits to the houses of religious, both men and women, throughout France, and as is usual with collectors of money for charitable objects, he carried a book, in which he desired the superiors of these houses to put in writing what they promised to do for us. I saw this blessed book, in which are the written pledges of as many as five hundred of these holy communities, which bind themselves, through their respective superiors, to pray constantly for England's conversion, and in most cases add, that they will obtain prayers likewise from others. He received the same promise from the superiors of about three hundred other communities, who did not put it in writing; among these documents, of which the sight was so consoling, I found the signature of the Abbé Des Genettes, the venerable Curé of Notre Dame des Victoires at Paris, founder of the arch-confraternity of the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has of late years had so extraordinary an extension throughout the world, and of which the prayers have been manifestly blessed by Almighty God, in the conversion of so many souls. He declares that already prayers for the conversion of England were established, as an invariable custom, in every one of the twelve hundred confraternities, which had been formed in union with the arch-confraternity, and pro



mises yet to promote them perseveringly. Supposing the religious houses, of which we speak, to contain on an average twenty members each, which I think is not too high a calculation, as one was mentioned, containing by itself four hundred, we have sixteen thousand souls pledged to pray for us--of those souls who have renounced all earthly possessions for God, who live in the practice of holy poverty, and therefore, by the testimony of God Himself, are the souls which He has chosen, His own special friends among men. How to calculate the numbers which the signature of L'Abbé Des Genettes assures us to be engaged to pray for us, of souls, whether living in religious houses or in the world, specially devoted to the honour of our Blessed Lady, I know not. This document, at any rate, will be comforting to those who love to say to Mary, with the great St. Bernard, “No one ever sought thy mediation, or implored thy aid, without certain relief."

Oh! that all our English Catholics, who travel the world in pursuit of pleasure or of gain, would seek in the same way as this good, humble religious, to sweeten their pleasures, to ensure the success of their trade, to gain protection for themselves, in the toils and dangers of their road. I count that book, in which these promises of prayer are registered, to be for him a register of so many successful transactions in the most glorious of all traffics, by which he has been making himself rich in heaven ; rich in those treasures, “ which neither rust nor moth doth consume, and which thieves cannot break through nor steal." What most successful merchant's books, recording the accumulation of thousands on thousands of gold and silver, can afford consolation such as he will draw from this little book? And among the journals which our youthful English travellers are fond of writing, to record the places they have visited, the persons they have seen, the adventures they have met with in their journeys, and which, I may say from experience, as I was once such a young English traveller myself, give in after years, a sort of pleasure, equal, perhaps, to any pleasure of the world : among all such journals, I ask, which will give a sweeter retrospect, than will this little book, to the interesting traveller whose tour I am describing, if he lives long in his holy solitude-long enough to see the great harvest brought to its maturity, for which he now sows the seed of his prayers in tears, and happens one day to cast his eyes on this record of his younger days, will it not make his aged heart exult? I would that all would thus provide for future days. I am, Sir, your faithful servant in Christ, St. Mary's College,

GEORGE SPENCER. 2nd day in the octave of Corpus Christi, June 16, 1843.



“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”—Matthew xvi. 18.

We know that hell is powerless to assail,
Since truth assures us it can ne'er prevail !
What various aids hath it not brought to bear
On God's most holy Church—her to ensnare
Within its toils !--yet still she testifies
His wondrous potency, and hell defies !
Immovable and steadfastly she stands,-
Not raised upon the ever-shifting sands
Of human error: her foundations rest
On Peter's saving rock, by God's all-wise behest.

Go! search the page of history! and see
This truth confirm'd of ancient prophecy;
The Church-throughout all time immutable,
And aye beheld in union visible.

What mighty kingdoms have not been destroy'd !
What nations, tongues, and peoples, render'd void !
What chaos and confusion have ensued!
What awful conflicts, both by field and flood !
What heights hath not ambition leapt, to win
Riches and worldly honors !-and the din
Of battle hath not ceased for many an age,
Its thirst for blood and plunder to assuage!
Yet God's own Church, as in her earliest youth,
Existeth still—the pillar of the truth!

Though human states in ruin bave been hurl'd,
And desolation hath despoild the world,
Yet hath the Church withstood each desperate shock,
Secure upon her everlasting rock;

aye will stand, whatever ill betide,-
For Christ hath sent his spirit, to abide
With her for ever : proof that she can fall
Into no error, but shall be to all
A beacon visible, to light the way
Where lies the passage to eternal day.

« PredošláPokračovať »