« VorigeDoorgaan »
standing, but, to appearance, without adequate effect. We almost begin to fear, that the
tribus Anticyris caput insanibile is past remedy; unless a diligent perusal of Euclid's Elements, a persevering course of dialectic study, and copious draughts from the fountain of divine truth, should restore it to the sound use of its faculties. We will not predict what may be the consequence of such an auspicious event. But our hopes are considerably abated by the announcement of another pamphlet, by Mr. Husenbeth. We trust that Mr. Faber will not be diverted from any valuable pursuit, by attending to it. All we can say is, that, if he does, he will be performing an act of supererogation.*
It gives us great pleasure to see, by a New York newspaper, that an edition of the Difficulties of Romanism has been reprinted in America, at a cheap rate. The New World is now, as it has been for some time past, visited by an inundation of popery.
in its worst form. The lowest and most mischievous of its subjects—the fæces Romuli Papistici—are pouring in upon its shores in incredible numbers. They have every advantage of organization and resources; while the voluntary but dispersed efforts of Protestantism, having to contend at the same time with the unnatural indifference and discouragements of those who assume to belong to the same camp, seem almost at the mercy of a foe, whoin force and fraud render nearly omnipotent. The band of Protestant Christians, however, is acting vigorously, and truth is mighty; but its might will not be exerted without means used. We rejoice that so powerful a weapon as the book we have mentioned, which may be considered as a complete manual, is, with many others of the same character, in their hands; and we will heartily assist them by our good wishes and our prayers, if with nothing more. It is no time for halfmeasures, either in America or England. An assault is begun and on the increase, with which piety and sincerity, united to
* We blush for Mr. Husenbeth, when we advert to his low and pointless pun upon the name of the object of his attack. He must have been hard driven to think, that any reader, above the meanest, could see either wit or applicability in the word Faberism. It reminds us strongly of the manner in which Serenus Cressy attempted to vent the resentment, which Stillingfleet's exposure of the Fanaticism of the Church of Rome had excited, by a work entitled Fanaticism fanatically imputed to the Church of Rome. It is remarkable, that this work of Serenus (the adopted name) is, of all his works, that in which he most lost both temper and decency. Serenus was in a passion. And if discomfiture has produced the same effect in Mr. H., who can wonder ?
learning and zeal, can alone hope to contend with success. It is in vain to expect that the times will spontaneously help themselves: Providence favours the diligent; and if we hope to enjoy its blessing, we must not only encourage those who are fighting in our ranks, but fight ourselves. There will be no quarter if our enemies succeed: conversion or the stake will be our choice : Rome cannot, will not, alter. The Acts and Monuments of Foxe will tell us what she once was in this country.
Art. III. Ireland: its Evils traced to their Source. By the
Rev. James R. Page, A. B. Seeley and Burnside. London:
1836. The Claims of the Protestant Association to Public Support.
Rivingtons and Hatchard. London: 1836. The Rev. Dr. M Hale's Letter to the Bishop of Exeter; dis
sected in seven Letters. By the Rev. EDWARD NANGLE, A. B.
White. Dublin : 1833. Correspondence between the Rev. James Hughes, P. P., and the
Rev. W. B. Stoney, Rector of Newport. White. Dublin: 1834. OPPOSITE as light and darkness are the opinions of two of the writers, whose names appear above. Each attempts to trace the evils of Ireland to their source; each professes himself to be a minister of Christ's holy religion, and each is sincerely, anxious to promote what he considers the spiritual welfare of his native isle. One styles himself “ John, Bishop of Maronia," dating his letter “ Ballina, feast of St. Peter ad Vincula," words and ciphers of strange and ominous import to the uninitiated Englishman. The Protestant church, he says, has inflicted, and still continues to inflict, evils on this ill-fated country. “It is the prolific womb from which all the misfor“ tunes of Ireland teemed in fearful succession.” Not a hundred miles from the residence of him of Maronia, once dwelt a humble curate, in the diocese of that venerable man of God, the Archbishop of Tuam. He tells a tale of similar wretchedness : “ Whither can we go where we shall not hear Ireland's com
plaint—that with all her advantages, she is but a blot on the " earth; her burden for ever, like the prophet's roll--full of “ lamentation, and mourning, and woe?” His reasons are widely different from the popish doctor's. The galling tyranny of the church of Rome, he strenuously argues to be the well-spring of every evil. Now we happen to know something about “Ireland “ and its evils,” and while we join issue with one party as an avowed antagonist, we espouse the cause of the other, with all the ardour of partizanship.
It is very well known, that the adherents of the Romish
church have for ages been more numerous in Ireland than Protestants; the proportion now being about six to one; that the united church of England and Ireland is established by law in this province of the British empire; and that there is an inveterate hostility between the religious, the political, and the social principles of these two parties. Wherever zealous Protestantism and bigoted Romanism come closely and sharply into contact, the collision will most certainly cause a few sparks, and these may light up the fires of martyrdom. This must be laid down as an axiom in church history. It ever has been, it is, and it ever will be so. The great grievance with the Irish Romanist is the Protestant Establishment in his native land. Let us consider the matter a little, and argue the case point by point.
First of all, what are the facts ? That a certain portion of the rental of the landed property (which belongs to the Protestants in the proportion of ninety-nine to one), is appropriated to the payment of the stipends of the clergy of the Protestant church; that the law of the land sanctions, and “ establishes," and enforces such payments from all tenants of such property; that this portion of the rental so appropriated, (technically called " tithe,") is very unequally divided among those entitled to it, but that in no case it amounts to more than the rental of a country gentleman; that this property never did belong to the Romish peasants, and, if wrested from the clergy, never would belong to them, but would return into the hands of the original granters of the tithe: viz., the Protestant landlords.
“ All I want," says the infuriated demagogue, “ is the ex“ tinction of tithes. No terms are strong enough to express my “ abhorrence of them. Let us join heart and hand to abolish “ them at one fell swoop; and then we shall be for ever rid of “ that vile abomination, the Protestant church.” Be not so hasty, my enthusiastic friend, you are forgetting two thingsfirst, that the clergy are not the Church, and secondly, that the existence of the Church and of tithe is not identical. Here are your two fallacies. You may abolish tithe to-morrow, but you will not abolish the Protestant church; you may weaken and embarrass it for a season, but neither the robbery of its ministers nor the martyrdom of its members, ever has or ever will de
There cannot be a more delusive fallacy, than this which is so popular, viz. that the clergy are the Church. Were the emissaries of popery to rise upon them, and play the assassin with every individual, the Church would still exist, and it may be, flourish the more, and wax nobler and mightier, through being sprinkled with the blood of its martyrs. But suppose the Papist to be condescending enough to spare their lives, and only rob them of their property; we still assert, that the clergy of the Irish church are faithful men and true; that as a body, they would endure it in the spirit of holy fortitude; that their brethren of the laity would come forward and provide for their temporal necessities; and that, having been deprived of their treasure on earth, they would seek with more zeal that treasure laid up in heaven, which thief cannot steal, and rust cannot corrode. So that, supposing all law and all justice to be violently trampled on, the enemies of the Protestant church forget that there is within it an undying vigour, which is above and beyond all justice and injustice. There is in it an elastic spirit, of which they know nothing. They dream not of this. They fancy, that when once the barriers of the law are broken down, it will be easy to make havoc of the fold. They will find to their cost, that the protection of the law is but an accident to the Protestant faith. It is a useful defence and a valuable safeguard—and with it they have no right to interfere; but we thunder in their ears, that, persecute as they will, and rob as they will, the Protestant clergy, they shall never tire down the might and the vigour of the Protestant church. They may distress it for a little season, and scare away its lukewarm friends, and raise the triumph song among the hosts of its enemies; but this is all they can do. If we look at this controversy, as a question of law and of right, and of constitutional integrity, it is fearfully appalling; but if we suppose the plan of the Papist successful, to the utmost, what then? Weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, their achievements will amount to MIGHTY LITTLE.
We do not stop to argue the law of tithe,—this has been done over and over again. We have every possible evidence and judgment on our side. Our antagonists are, on their own confession, sure of a verdict against them on every count. When, therefore, O gentle reader, thy spirit doth stir thee to desire, as the ultimate boon for Ireland, the abolition of its tithe and the consequent distress of the Protestant clergy, bear in mind that the clergy are not the Church, and that tithe is not the only means which a zealous church has of supporting, consoling, and benefiting its suffering clergy. There are other and holier principles, far beyond thy feeble ken. Thou knowest nothing of the arm which supports them, or of the love which inflames them. Do thy worst-and we will show thee, that “ thy worst” shall be “ their best.” It may not appear so to short-sighted politicians at first-it will appear so to its astounded enemies afterwards.
Therefore we say, Do thy worst, and what thou doest, do quickly.
But there are other points on which we fear “ men’s wits “ diseased,” and that they will scarcely receive a 66 wholesome” answer.
“We cannot endure," says the pompous declaimer, “ that “ the Church of the paltry handful should be paid for by the " million who abhor it. This is monstrous, unnatural, and 6 unbearable.” There ever has been a contest between numbers and truth-ay, and there ever will be. Apply this to the Protestant “ enormity” in Ireland. We boldly, fearlessly, and solemnly assert, that PROTESTANTISM HAS TRUTH ON ITS SIDE; and that Popery, whereinsoever it differeth from Protestantism, is full of DAMNABLE ERROR. There can be no mistake here; to this opinion our readers know that we are pledged; and if we ever desert our principles, may our volumes be consigned to merited cremation. We are not about to argue the point with the Papist, for this would be “fighting all our battles over again." The battle of truth has been fought before kings, and princes, and nobles of the land. Old England hath been the glorious battle-field, and right nobly have her ancients worsted their foes. The nation hath looked on, and applauded, and cast off the filthy garment. Ireland's peasantry form, alas! a fearful exception; still the grand principle, of the necessity of spreading truth instead of soul-destroying error, must be brought into operation there as well as elsewhere; and woe be unto the interests of Britain, when her governors shall so lower down before a vanquished foe, as to enter into a wretched compromise between all that our fathers contended for and contended against; and thus render themselves a spectacle of ridicule and contempt to the sceptical advocates of no religion, and the heartless conformists to any.
He of Maronia is ever applying no very civil epithets to the Protestant Establishment. He makes free use of every opprobrious word which he found in his spelling-book when he first learned English. We speak advisedly when we say, that the Irish church establishment is not overgrown, when compared with the spiritual wants of even its own communion. Its revenues may not be so well distributed as its best friends would wish; but with this its avowed enemies have nothing to do. It is intended as a national provision for the spiritual wants of the whole island. If the many will not partake of this free provision, the Church is not to be charged with inefficiency on that account. It is open to all; in every parish a man of God is placed, who, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, is prepared to administer all the consolations of religion, in life and in death. And if the multitude will give themselves up to the delusions of a deceptive corruption of the faith, upon their own heads or those of their deceivers, be their sin. We not only defend the existence of the Establishment negatively, but are prepared to point out its practical advantages.
Hitherto we have sermonized-now let us read our friends a lecture in political economy. For the sake of convenience, let the word rental include both rent and tithe. Now the rent of land is paid to the man in the blue coat, the tithe to the man in the black. If the argument be, that the professors of one faith ought not to support that of their opponents, why pay rent? The