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ourselves thus towards our separated brethren, doubtless, as the Bishop of Hippo said to St. Monica, “it is impossible that a son of such tears can perish;" if we persevere; if in charity we bear and forbear; if we are continual in our suffrages, and yet the while lift up clean hands, with our intercessional requests ;-ah! when we think not the haze of heresy shall pass away before the sun of truth, and goodly, and fresh, and smiling, the dew of heaven shall fall from above on our dearly loved island, and its womb shall teem once more with the riches of the Catholic faith.
Before we leave this subject, we would fain impress on all the necessity of co-operating in this glad and better spirit of controversy, with the examples which are set before us. Learned and devout prelates, learned and devout priests, not a few, but many, have, in the year
that is passed, shown how we should walk: let all follow in their footsteps, and let it no more be said that laymen, by intemperate language and misguided zeal, cast fuel on the fire of heresy, and by unauthorised waywardness, retard rather than forward the cause we should all have at heart. Let laymen, then, by unassuming virtue, by their influence in domestic life, by the beauty of good example,-above all, by meek submission to the Church and her life-giving doctrines, and further, by carefully abstaining from all unguarded or intemperate language, or any act, word, or deed, that might scandalize and bring into disrepute, the holiness which, as members of God's Church, they are called on to acquire. It is by such conduct alone, that we may anticipate a further increase. In the silent and unobtrusive fulfilment of every domestic duty ; by good example; let the layman's lamp cast its pure light around, and thus shall every really Catholic family become, as it were, a taper to enlighten others, who, lured by their good odour, shall strive to acquire the means which they see produce such worthy fruits in them. Thus shall the whole circle of the Catholic polity reflect light on one another; and hierarchy, priesthood, and laity, each derive lustre from the other, and in the bond of unity prevail in widening the sphere of virtue and faith among our benighted but still-loved brethren.
In the temples which we have in the course of the past year seen rise in goodly splendour over the land, there is another source of rejoicinganother cause for much thankfulness and cheer to our hearts; though in a measure they are but one and the same, and ought rather to be looked on as material symbols of the good spirit that is glowing within. Let any one look around him in the goodly pile of St. Chad's, and ask his heart whether or not everything which he surveys breathes only of
peace and forgiveness. Who can lift his eyes on those beautiful and gorgeous altars, that noble height of roof, the wondrous coronæ of lights, the gorgeous tracery of the sanctuary, the storied windows, the bright enrichments, and, above all, the statue of our Blessed Mother, dressed in her golden cope-who, we say, can look on that sweet and divine countenance, breathing only peace and love to all, and not feel that all that elevates our hearts in this temple, is but a pleading for peace, a forgetfulness of wrongs, a pledge of our sincerity, a visible and palpable witness of that loving spirit of Catholicity which inspired the hearts of those that gave it birth. We recur to St. Chad's as an instance :—but how many other splendid temples prove that, not in one place alone, but in many, such material symbols of the faith have arisen in comely beauty over the land, and as many more, thank God, are
progress of erection. Truly, if these were as yet but few, when we consider the centralization of so many of our minds, which are spell-bound before the genins of one, whom we may truly say has been raised up by our merciful God to be His instrument in drawing more close and true the bonds of Catholic unity among so many, well might we own His hand, and feel within ourselves that the spirit of our most holy faith is widely spread and deeply rooted, seeing that all who have witnessed the efforts of the Catholic architect's genius, feel from that moment, as it were, a new impulse and energy to bring still more into the light, that interior beauty of holiness, which may
be outwardly expressed in a way that they were, till then, ignorant of. It is not a visionary or idle pride to rejoice in these material temples, for they could not have arisen had not the invisible temples of the soul been fairer than these and more beautiful; and most cheering it is, that circumstanced as we are, these noble fanes are not the single offerings of the rich and good, but the collective oblations both of rich and poor -proving that, though many hands have helped the good work, the purpose, object, and aim of all was one, and that one end the greater honour and glory of God.
But there is yet one circumstance connected with our increased purity in architecture which is equally cheering, and this the more so as it will give us new strength to persevere with more earnest and continual zeal. In no kingdom in the world, has the piety of our Catholic ancestors been surpassed, in enriching the whole country with minsters, parochial churches, chancels, colleges, &c., so beautiful in their proportions, rich in their details, pure and chaste in taste. Moreover, the people of England—the rural population--are still, notwithstanding the
loss of faith and long inroads of heresy that strikes at the root of faith, strongly (it may be superstitiously) attached to the old and venerable churches. They have been accustomed to the venerable piles and stately forms of Catholic buildings, and in the simplicity of ignorance, attach a traditional importance (God knows, perhaps with justice !) to the ancient edifice. In ignorance of the use of all to which those buildings were applied, we look for much good from their being witnesses of such edifices restored amongst them precisely as they were before the inroad of persecution compelled them into schism, and finally into heresy; and we are not visionary in our hopes of seeing the rural population of England lured back from the cold formality of a weekly form of prayer, that falls on the ear, but leaves the heart dry and hollow; when they see before them comely temples like what they have been wont to look on as their own,—when they learn that their most devout prayers and loved litany is taken, (garbled, indeed) from the liturgy of the Universal Church; and when they behold the solemn rites offered up in restored splendour, and learn, the while, that herein is in very deed a pure and clean oblation, an offering of praise, thanksgiving, and impetration, sent up to the throne of God, -oh ! they will turn away from their own cold rites, and, in the silence of their hearts, confess that they have hitherto been more meagrely fed than were those who lived under the law of Moses-for in their offerings there was the sacrifice of a redeemer foreshown,—but in the Anglican communion they have hitherto been fed with shadowy words alone.
As yet, but little has been done among our rural population: the demands are many, and our supplies are few, but we have only to look to where the attempt has been made, to be assured of its truth, and of the glad welcome which is given by them to the doctrines and discipline of the Church of ages. Let us, then, not overlook this branch, if need be ; let the example of our many colleges be followed, and may the year on which we have entered not pass away without our seeing monasteries, with missions attached, like the Dominican convent of Atherston, raise their religious edifices in our villages and rural districts.
It would be an oversight not to chronicle here the good that has been done, and is now doing, by the holy Gilds. We confess we trembled for them on their first institution, but our over-anxiety has been shown to have been a want of faith. Thanks be to God, under the fostering hands of our revered and venerable prelates, these useful and holy institutions are now settled on a solid basis. Looking on all as
tending towards the reconversion of our beloved country, we hail the revival of holy gilds amongst us as a happy prognostic of better times. The practical good and spiritual bond which, as it were, sanctifies the temporal prospects of our poorer brethren, will doubtless have its effect on our population, and teach the thoughtless and profane that true religion is intimately knit with the well-being and consolation of those who profess it. It is a goodly proof of the wondrous capability of the Catholic faith, when we see our poor brethren laying up a provision against the day of sickness and death, and yet all the while improving in virtue and devotion, and that far better provision, which the world can neither give nor take away, making friends of the mammon of iniquity, and while in hale health, smoothing the pillow of their own or their family's sickness, and laying up the treasure of a devout life, against the day of death.
As we intend, in our next number, to enter into some statistical de. tails, regarding our past progress and future prospects, it is unnecessary to do so here : it is enough to say that they are most gratifying and most worthy of raising up in our hearts pious gratitude to our good God, who so plentifully has showered down his blessings upon us; but we cannot turn away from our own island, without making a passing allusion to the progress that the Catholic Institute continues to make. The sensation that the last general meeting made, has not passed away in idle enthusiasm. The number of branch associations have steadily increased, and with these the distribution of its authorised and sterling tracts. We reserve, to the conclusion of its year, our further observations; but it would be ungracious, amid so many causes of thankfulness, not to allude to this as one of no small weight.
Though we embrace Scotland in the foregoing observations, it would be equally ungracious not to state that the progress of religion there, is advancing not only steadily but fast. The unity and stability of the Catholic doctrine and discipline, in contradistinction to the wild and untenable propositions and practice of the Estab ished Kirk, already have taken possession of the judgment of the sons of Scotia. Tired of the wild theory and unreasonable bigotry of the disciples of Calvin, and unwilling to plunge into the void of scepticism—they feel that they have no medium between the two, unless it is to be found in the Ca. tholic Church. Glory be to God, many have found rest there ; and how many would follow, were the labourers but equal to the heavy waving crops ? Let our recourse, then, be to the Lord of the harvest, and He will send labourers to gather in the grain !
We shall return to this subject shortly, and lift up a veil froin Catholic eyes, showing what is really the practical worship—we had almost said infidelity—that has, for so long a weird of penance, overwhelmed the land of St. Ninian, St. Colm, and St. Margaret. We have but to state the simple truth, and doubtless every Catholic heart will respond to the necessity of coming forward to aid the poor and muchneeded missions of Scotland. The charity of the Propagation of the Faith, thank God, has this last year been directed towards this poor vicariate. May others arise, and do the like : for, however small, a cup of cold water shall in no wise lose its reward.
In Ireland, the reign of temperance, and with it comfort, still continues advancing. Though unsettled and fearful, lest her long-lookedfor hopes be lost,---yet so long as the people look to their priesthood, the priesthood to the hierarchy, and all to God, we fear for them no evil. If the days of her penance have been many, still she has been true; if her mourning has been prolonged, yet her faith has been strengthened, Education is rapidly extending, and her resources have been on the increase, and it requires but little of the gift of prophecy to foresee, that the day of triumph awaits her. . Much of the increase of our faith is owing to her; but England has as much yet to receive as she has to give: therefore, do we hail her advance in the holy science of the saints, and knowing what she has done, rejoice that her increase and purity are synonymous with our own advancement.
We fear that we have, in the cheering prospects which our own country affords, in the buoyancy of fresh hope, allowed our private, perhaps our selfish, feelings to dwell too long on that section of the Church which is more immediately within our sphere, and while we have fondly dwelt on the one sweet note, have overlooked the rich full chord of cheer, that the state of the Universal Church abroad awakens. Though this, in some places, is mingled with pain, and we have yet to mourn in sympathy with our holy father the Pope, over the errors of some, and the oppression of other portions of his ample fold, -yet there are other brighter and greener spots, where his pastoral heart is made glad by seeing his comely flocks brousing on rich pasturage. If he mourns over the infidel faction, that grinds the Church in unhappy Spain; if still the once virgin Church of Portugal be rent by the licentiousness of faithless men ; still, over the Atlantic, in the vast domains of the United States, his vision is refreshed by seeing a healthy and a growing fold, every-day making fresh conquests and extending around it the holy reign of grace. If tyranny oppress the Catholic Greeks,