« PredošláPokračovať »
parating parents and children for life, from a principle of proselytism! If the theological dictates of the divines at Maynooth are inspected, it will be found that they condemn the practice of barely baptizing the children of Jews and Mahommedans, contrary to the will of their parents. In common decency, Sir, do not reproach us in future with bigotry and proselytism, at least till the charter schools are suppressed.
I have the honour to remain, &c.
Maynooth, June 30, 1807.
I HAVE yet another subject to write to you upon from this place, and that I have preferred doing in a separate letter rather than swelling my former to a disproportionable size. You have heard that, besides the ecclesiastical seminary at Maynooth, there is also a lay college for catholic young gentlemen intended for the world, which is now under the direction of a worthy friend of mine. The latter establishment, however, has no other communication with the former, except that its members
frequent the same church, and attend the same lectures in philosophy with the ecclesiastical students.
It has been asked both in parliament and out of it, "What need there is of a lay catholic college, "in addition to the ecclesiastical one?" and Why at least those young men who are destined " for the various walks of life are not sent to the One answer to these public universities ?" questions is, that parents will judge for themselves in these matters, and that the school in question being supported at their expense, they are not obliged to give an account to any one of the motives for their choice. However, Sir, there is no reason why I should conceal from you what these motives are.-To speak the plain truth then-we wish our youth in general to be educated apart, precisely for the opposite reason to that which makes you wish them to be educated at the universities. You desire them to be sent to these in hopes that by associating with other youths, whom you call more liberal, we more lax, they may loose their religion, we wish to keep them at a distance from such society, for fear of the same consequence. We have proof, indeed, that this consequence does not always follow, but we have also proof that it frequently does follow. In fact, the catholic religion being much more strict and rigorous, both as to belief and practice, than that of the establishment, it is of course ridiculed by the members of the latter,
as being superstitious. Now the imputation of this blind and grovelling vice is what few young men of spirit can submit to. Hence they are under a continual temptation, when intimately and habitually mixed with protestant companions, of deserting their faith. Again, it is required of students in the universities to frequent the established service: now our church not permitting this, nor even winking at occasional conformity, it is clearly seen that these are not proper places of education for Catholics.
But, Sir, we are full as anxious about the morals as the faith of the rising generation. Now we have been taught by those writers of the day who have the best means of gaining accurate information concerning the state of morality in the universities, to form a very unfavourable opinion of it. Certain it is, that many things which would be attended with expulsion in our catholic places of education, appear as slight faults at the public colleges, judging of them from the conversation of very venerable members of them. Indeed I have received authentic information on this head which I do not choose to mention, but which confirms me in the opinion that a university education is by no means fit for a strict Catholic. The fact is, all large assemblies of mankind, without strong religious feelings, frequent religious exercises, and rigid discipline, are detrimental to the cause of morality, though, with these advantages, they may be highly beneficial
to it. In a word, Sir, a comparison between the best regulated protestant college, and any welldisciplined catholic seminary, will demonstrate the very great advantages which the latter has over the former in all the above-mentioned means of maintaining strict morality.
I have the honour, &c.
Dublin, July 6, 1807.
BEING returned to Dublin, I
have had an opportunity of viewing the public buildings which adorn it, the Custom-House, the Parliament-House, the four Courts, the Exchange, the Lying-in-Hospital, the Bridges, the Quays, Trinity College, and the Castle. The chief objection I have to these buildings in general, with the exception of the Castle and Trinity College, is that their magnificence is disproportioned to the appearance of the city in other respects, and to the circumstances of the people at whose expense they have been erected; in the same manner as the statue of commerce, at the top of the first mentioned of these erections. is too colossal even for the elevated situation which it E
holds, and appears, at that distance from the eye, to represent a Brobdinaggian female. Nothing could exceed my grief and indignation at seeing the demolition, now going on in parts of the new and inimitably beautiful Parliament House, under the direction of the Bank of Ireland, which has now got possession of it. Methinks the Irish Parliament, before it was guilty of the act of felo de se, might have provided for the unimpaired preservation of its sumptuous house, as a monument of its own existence, and as some consolation to the citizens of Dublin for their irreparable loss by the legislative union.
I have had opportunities, during the days I have spent here, of conversing and forming an acquaintance with several personages who are generally esteemed for their learning, talents, virtues, and public services. Amongst these I cannot but particularize, for their merit in all the above-mentioned points, the four catholic metropolitans, and the other catholic bishops, to the number of five or six, who happen to be in the city, or very near to it, at the present season. The public services of certain of these prelates are recorded in the official dispatches of Government, and in the rolls of the corporate bodies which have honoured them with letters of freedom, and the merits of them all are conspicuous in those Pastoral Letters and Remonstrances which they addressed to their respective flocks during the dreadful rebellion of 1798, by which