Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

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:England, Scotland,

Italy.
Writers on Law
Mathematicians
Physicians and Surgeons
Writers on Natural History
Historians ......
Dramatic Writers

and Ireland.

6

France.

51

52

17
13

72

9 15 21 11 22

6 21 19

[ocr errors]

33 ...... 139

66

6

we remain firm to the ancient faith, merely through a blind attachment to the prejudices of education

[blocks in formation]

“ 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

[ocr errors]

and parentage; that we are content to sacrifice our country's good to an obstinate perversity of

proceedings of 'Change Alley! Ah! in that case, I confess that he is right. On this scale Protestants do rank high indeed !"History of the Protestant Reformation,

p. 17.

As to the charge of the Catholic religion being opposed to “the natural movements of a just and ingenuous mind,” I will only reply through another and a very eminent auxiliary, that “ Catholicity has been the belief of the most illustrious characters that ever did honour to the name of man,” and leave the bishop to seek the solution of his problem where and how he may. I refer not to the long catalogue of saints, of martyrs, and of apostles ; to men who, at the risk of their lives, and with the sacrifice of every temporal comfort, have carried the light of the gospel to all the nations of the known world :- I refer not to a More, a Fisher, a Boromeo, a Turenne, a Fenelon:-I refer not to those hundreds of individuals, who, in erery Catholic province of the universe, devote every faculty with which God has blessed them, to the sublime occupation of doing deeds of charity to mankind:-I refer not to them; for I am too blunted to see, and the Bishop is too enlightened to believe, that all these were, or are Roman Catholics.

With the Bishop's permission, however, I will say one word more in my own person. This is not the place, neither is it my province, to follow the right reverend prelate into the arena of polemic history. Mr. Butler's reply being entirely out of print, I have been unable to procure a copy of it, and therefore know not whether that gentleman

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

mind, and are only resolute in maintaining ourselves to be right, because it might appear degrad

[ocr errors]

has triumphantly refuted the Bishop's historical assertions, as I am sure he is so capable of doing; but which it was not necessary that he should do, as they have long since been ably confuted by others. I will, however, observe in passing, that Dr. Blomfield's annotations upon the creed of Pius JV. would shame the meanest tyro in theology;

that his application of the decree of the Council of Constance relative to Huss, is wholly and entirely perverted ;-that he every where confounds discipline with doctrine, and doctrine with discipline ;-that he cites the opinions of councils without waiting to discuss their validity, or without distinguishing the unratified decisions of an unauthorized few, from the authenticated decrees of an ecumenical assembly of the pastors of the church. As long as the Bishop's historical facts rest only upon his ipse dixit, the ipse dixit of any other man is as good to refute them: but, satis superque.

My object has been to show that his Lordship can sometimes convert the sword of the spirit into a sword of steel; and that, neither the fire-brand nor the poisoned arrow are weapons so entirely disused by ministers of the establishment, as he would wish us to suppose. (The Bishop refers his readers to “A comparative view of the Churches of England and Rome.”-I beg to refer them to Dr. Lingard's convincing answer to that publication.)

How effectual is example! In a charge delivered last year, in the diocese of Chester, and published at the request of the Clergy present, we find the following extract from a bull of the present Pontiff :-“ We also, venerable

ing to acknowledge ourselves to be wrong. But I should wish it to appear that we have other

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

brethren, conformably to our apostolical duty, exhort you diligently to occupy yourselves by all means to turn away your flock from these deadly pastures ; [i. e. the Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue).” The Archdeacon of Richmond here proves himself a worthy subaltern of his diocesan commander. Nay, we are free to confess that the servant has outdone the master; if not in the boldness, at least in the impudence of his slander. What will be the astonishment of the reader, when, instead of these deadly pastures, referring to the Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue, he sees that these expressions relate to what shall be described in the Pontiff's own words:

" What shall I say more? The iniquity of our enemies has so increased, that, besides the deluge of pernicious books, contrary to the faith, it even goes so far as to convert to the detriment of religion the Holy Scriptures, which have been given us from above for the general edification. You are not ignorant, venerable brethren, that a society, commonly called the Bible Society, audaciously spreads itself over the whole earth; and that in contempt of the traditions of the holy fathers, and contrary to the

of the Council of Trent, it exerts all its efforts, and every means, to translate, or rather to corrupt the holy Scriptures into the vulgar tongue of nations, which gives just cause to fear that the same may happen in all the other translations, as in those already known-namely, that we sball find in them a bad interpretation ; instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of man, or rather the gospel of the devil. Behold, venerable brethren, whither

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »