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deemed both foolish and criminal for adhering to our religion in opposition to more modern and
able eulogium !-But increasing in rage as he advances in the conflict, he exclaims, “ which contains the germ of intolerance and persecution :"—if the aggressor were here met with “ the cruel arms of retaliation,” he would be instantly beaten from the field.—Let him, however, proceed in his attack: “ Which poisons the fountain of truth !!!” Whatever truth there be in Protestantism, whence does it come? The Catholic Church most assuredly had the keeping of the fountain of truth for 1500 years before Protestantism was heard of; and supposing the poison to have been thrown in only a thousand years before, the stream must have been so woefully impregnated, that it is no presumption to surmise that the God of purity and holiness would have employed more able and less dishonest workmen in it's purification than a Luther or a Cranmer, a Henry or an Elizabeth ; who were sure more thoroughly to pollute and embitter, instead of restoring, its sweetness and transparency. Like unhandy workmen on a masterpiece of art, they only deformed where they pretended to embellish; like unskilful alchymists, they only tainted what they undertook to purify. They encountered the certain punishment of presumption; and what in their vanity, their folly, and their impiety, they chose to designate as blemished and contaminated, was only proved to the world to be more beautiful in it's form, and more excellent in it's quality. That all-consummate work which the hand of God himself had fashioned, was not to be improved by the presumptuous labours of created man.
more convenient opinions; no credit is given to us for our motives; and we are accused of a dere
But, supposing the fountain to have been poisoned, can the Bishop of Chester tell us who or what effected the miracle of its purification! If it were not the wonderworking sceptre of an immaculate Henry? — was it the fury and impiety of Luther? If it were not the supremacy of Henry, was it the repeated doctrinal amendments of the child Edward? If it were not the amendments of Edward was it the worldly-wise and more deliberate improvements of Elizabeth ? If it were not the forty-two, why should it be the thirty-nine articles? Is there such magic in numbers ? Is there such virtue in fitful and evanescent doctrine ?-But, the spleen of the Bishop not being yet exhausted, he thus completes the climax of his slander: “ which obscures and blunts the most sagacious intellect, and represses the natural movements of a just and ingenuous mind !!!” We benighted Catholics being all too blunted to be capable of any reply to this specimen of Protestant acumen, the Bishop surely will not object to our taking an auxiliary into pay, from his own ranks, to fight this intellectual battle for us; to do so, would be to oppose the natural movements of a just and ingenuous mind. “But I must here confine myself (says our auxiliary) to this charge against the Catholic religion, of being unfavourable to genius, talent, and in short to the powers of the mind. Those who put forward this piece of rare impudence, do not favour us with reasons for believing that the Catholic religion has any such tendency. They content themselves with the bare assertion, not supposing that it admits of any thing like disproof. They look upon it as
liction of our duty in seceding from the service of our country, because we will not conform to Pro
assertion against assertion; and, in a question which depends on mere hardness of mouth, they know that their triumph is secure. But this is a question that does admit of proof, and a very good proof too. The “Reformation,” in England, was pretty nearly completed by the year 1600. By that time, all the “ monkish ignorance and superstition” were swept away. The monasteries were all pretty nearly knocked down; young Saint Edward's people had robbed all the altars; and the 'virgin' queen had put the finishing hand to the pillage. So that all was, in 1600, become as Protestant as heart could wish. Very well: the kingdom of France remained buried in “monkish ignorance and saperstition" until the year 1787 : that is to say, 187 years after happy England had stood in a blaze of Protestant light! Now then, if we carefully examine into the number of men remarkable for great powers of mind, men famed for their knowledge or genius; if we carefully examine into the number of such men produced by France in these 187 years, and the number of such men produced by England, Scotland, and Ireland, during the same period; if we do this, we shall get at a pretty good foundation for judging of the effects of the two religions with regard to their influence on knowledge, genius, and what is generally called learning.
“ But how are we to ascertain these numbers ? Very well. I shall refer to a work which has a place in every good library in the kingdom; I mean, the “ UNIVERSAL HISTORICAL, CRITICAL, AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.” This work, which is every where received as
testantism. Though the presumption is both uncharitable and unjust, yet too many imagine that
authority as to facts, contains lists of persons of all nations celebrated for their published works. But, then, to have a place in these lists, the person must have been really distinguished; his or her works must have been considered as worthy of universal notice. From these lists I shall take my numbers, as before proposed. It will not be necessary to go into all the arts and sciences : eight or nine will be sufficient. It may be as well, perhaps, to take the ITALIANS as well as the French; for we all know that they were living in most shocking “ monkish ignorance and superstition;" and that they, poor, unfortunate and unplundered souls, are so living unto this very day!
“Here, then, is the statement; and you have only to observe, that the figures represent the number of persons who were famous for the art or science opposite the name of which the figures are placed. The period is, from the year 1600 to 1787, during which period France was under what young GEORGE RosE calls the “ dark despotism of the Catholic Church," and what BLACKSTONE calls “ monkish ignorance and superstition ;" and, during the same period, these Islands were in a blaze of light, sent forth by LUTHER, CRANMER, Knox, and their followers. Here, then, is the statement :
we remain firm to the ancient faith, merely through a blind attachment to the prejudices of education
“ Here is that very “ SCALE,” which a modest Scotch writer spoke of the other day, when he told the public, that,“ Throughout Europe Protestants rank higher in the scale of intellect than Catholics, and that Catholics in the neighbourhood of Protestants are more intellectual than those at a distance from them.” This is a fine specimen of upstart Protestant impudence. The above "scale" is, however, a complete answer to it. Allow one third more to the French on account of their superior populousness, and then there will remain to them 451 to our 132!
So that they had, man for man, three and a half times as much intellect as we, though they were buried all the while in “monkish ignorance and superstition,” and though they had no Protestant neighbours to catch the intellect from! Even the Italians surpass us in this rivalship for intellect ; for, their population is not equal to that of which we boast, and their number of men of mind considerably exceeds that of ours. But, do I not, all this while, misunderstand this matter? And, by intellect, does not the Scotchman mean the capacity to make, not books and pictures, but checks, bills, bonds, exchequerbills, inimitable notes, and the like? Does he not mean loan-jobbing and stock-jobbing, insurance-booking, annuities at ten per cent., kite-flying, and all the “ intellectual”