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and anti-religious party, it was degraded from this position, and, for a short time, were added certain regulations affecting costume and ceremonies, which were felt by the clergy to be insulting. This weakening of the union between the Roman Catholic Church and the Government had the worst effects. The Gallican Church, renouncing its liberties, seems disposed to throw itself into the arms of the Pope, more especially since the last Revolution, and may, perhaps, at no distant time become as effectual an organ of anarchy as the Romish Church of Ireland itself. It has been remarked by ingenious modern writers that there is no necessary connexion between popery and monarchy, and that the Roman Proteus can accommodate himself with equal readiness to the caprices of any sovereign, whether many-headed or single. Certain it is that the Jesuits, at the close of the sixteenth century, professed the lowest democratic doctrines, and appealed from the thrones to the people of Europe. The thrones of Europe were at that time the great barrier to papal progress, and therefore their first point of attack; but we believe that the modern opinion is true only under certain restrictions. The spirit of democracy can be swayed only by apparent subserviency. If by power is meant inerely the power of inflaming men's passions, of shutting out knowledge, and of subverting order, the Roman Catholic Church may for a time seem to rule despotically even in a social republic; but if by power are meant the sweets of power, such as rank, wealth, ease—these she can find only under the conditions of a well-ordered State ; and the attempt to maintain the pride and pomp of her dominion in an anarchical republic would produce only wilder anarchy-if wilder can be--and deeper infidelity, if a deeper can be feared than that inseparable from Rome's worst superstitions, received by an ignorant people and disseminated by an interested priesthood.
But, among not a few causes for suspicion and alarm, that which most strikes us is the sudden giving way of the barrier which the progress of mind seemed to have raised against the arrogance of papal pretensions, and which our immediate predecessors proclaimed to be insurmountable. They forgot that a time of zeal is also a time of extravagance, and they mistook their own lukewarmness for the calm of wisdom. With what incredulity would they have heard that the countrymen of Voltaire should, within half a century, advocate the uncontrolled despotism of Rome, and that English converts of education should rush headlong into superstitions derided even by Romanists themselves. If Dr. Newman's work on Development had been shown to one of our old divines, with what triumph would be have exclaimed, “ a house divided against itself cannot stand'—and how
VOL. LXXXIX. NO. CLXXVIII,
impossible would he have deemed it that such a work should make proselytes, and (though the Vatican has dexterously avoided giving a formal decision) be approved by the highest authorities of the Romish Church? Yet all this and much more has actually taken place-(let the thought bring with it a salutary mortification)-in an age which boasts of its enlightenment. In plain truth, these boasts are founded on fallacies, and savour of the pride that goes before a fall. It is a fallacy to assume that individual minds are advanced in anything like exact proportion to the aggregate progress of society, or that moral and intellectual progress bears any certain ratio to the advance of science and material civilization. The advantages of education are in some cases equivocal. If a man's imagination or his passions determine him to be deceived, his education only supplies him with more ingenious and surer means of deception. We doubt whether any work to be compared, for abject ultramontane servility or for dreamy and enervating superstition, with the Littlemore Lives of the English Saints,' had been issued from any foreign cloister even in the darkest period of monkery.
Moreover, there is a certain degree of actual strength which the Papacy derives from its past weakness. Men have lost their terrors of the idol they are endeavouring to raise—we might almost say their sense of its reality-and they are ready to bow down before the creature of their imagination. We cannot otherwise account for the appearance of such a theory of ecclesiastical supremacy--and that by a layman and a Frenchman-as Count de Maistre's volume sets forth. If we attempt to expose his sophisms, or protest against the perpetual begging the question which runs through all his arguments, we shall only incur the contempt of his admirers. The best, perhaps the only refutation of these theories is practical. Let the admirers of unlimited power feel the weight of the Colossus they have restored—let the Pope's infallibility come into collision with the infallibility of its advocates—and then we do not doubt the conversion will be effected. But if there is much of selfishness and insincerity in the support which the See of Rome at present receives, so there was also, it must be remembered, in more ancient and more zealous days; nor had Rome ever disdained to profit by any resources, however tainted, that circumstances placed at her disposal.
We reach the latest chapter of the history of Papal supremacy. -The re-erection of a hierarchy in England had long been desired by the ambitious among the Roman Catholic clergy here. It had long been agitated at Rome also (Vide Moroni, Art.' Inghilterra '); but successive Popes, to whom the proposal was made, well knew
the meaning and the nature of such an act. Even Gregory XVI., who was the author of the encyclical letter condemning the absurdity (deliramentum) of Toleration, and who did not scruple to shake society to its centre in Germany, by re-opening the question of mixed marriages, settled since the thirty-years war - Gregory himself, when urged to make this aggression on England, drew back and refused. This hesitation alone is a coinplete answer to the frivolous and Jesuitical evasions and excuses put forth in Mr. Bowyer's pamphlets. But an answer to these is no longer needed. Mr. Bowyer and his apologies are disclaimed by his clients, and he may stand aside till softness and civility are again in request. In truth, Dr. Wiseman's first policy was more worthy of the Vatican than that which has been forced
him by his Irish allies. The embarrassment of ministers, who were in fact hardly sincere in their hostility, was extreme. Perplexed by the false position in which their own antecedents had placed them, they could not act with vigour. By their Bill they meant little more than a protest; and though they could not formally exclude Ireland, they purposed practically to exempt it from the operation of their law ;- but providentially, as we trust it will turn out for this country, the selfish violence of Irish agitation soon disconcerted the plan of the campaign.
We have no time to waste in replying to Lord Shrewsbury's defence of the manner of the aggression. Why the Pope should choose to be insolent is a question that we are not bound to answer (though we think many motives of triumph and resentment might be assigned). The insolence, designed or not, we can afford to overlook or forgive, but it is important to observe that the insolence of the language conveys a real meaning; it could not be abated without diminishing the assumption of authority, and without limiting the sweeping effects of the bull. The Pope declares that
‘All regulations, constitutions, privileges, or customs in the ancient system of the Anglican churches are, by the plenitude of apostolical power, repealed and abrogated ; and that all power whatsoever of imposing obligation or conferring right in those regulations, privileges, or customs, by whomsoever and at whatsoever most ancient and immemorial times brought in, shall be altogether void and of none effect for the future.'- Greenwood, p. 124.
The two chief objects of this clause are to cut away, as far as a Papal bull can do so, the apostolical succession of the English Church-a point on which Rome had always shown much sensitiveness. The next is to abrogate the ancient canon law and usages of the Roman Catholic Church in this country, which must be cleared off before the pure ideal of popery can 2 1 2
be established. In truth, however, these words in their vague magniloquence will reach whatever it may hereafter be found convenient to apply them to; and thus, in a vacuum made by the plenitude of apostolical authority,' England begins her regularly adjusted action round the centre of unity. But that action is adjusted as no revolving action, even in the Papal system, ever was adjusted before — the centrifugal force is wanting : and if our Roman Catholic countrymen do not take heed, their luckless planet will soon be engulfed in the 'centre of unity
Meantime, among the difficulties of our position must be numbered a certain degree of inconsistency and confusion of thought in the public mind, as to several subjects connected with the new audacity. The real strength of Rome consists in our weakness. The public temper, though it has shown itself able to resent, is utterly unfit to deal with aggression. Though the indignation of the country was roused to a degree which, in its unanimity, strength, and calmness, we have never seen equalled, and though its common sense could not be baffled by the flimsy sophistry with which it was at first thought fit to palliate the outrage; yet, from want of recent experience of Rome and her ways, there was much ignorance as to the nature of the weapons by which we had been assailed, and still more as to the fit mode of opposing them :-a determination to repel aggression was combined with a desire for unlimited toleration ;—there was a strong wish to make laws-the greatest reluctance to enforce them. the midst of this perplexity it is not a little surprising that a party, consisting of some of the ablest men in both Houses of Parliament, employed their abilities to magnify every obstacle, and to aggravate every difficulty ; they took no side-they de fended no opinion ; or, rather, they took every side and defended every opinion in turn; and as the composition of antagonist forces produces rest, so from their conflicting arguments they drew the moral of absolute inaction. The disappointment of the country, which proves how highly its expectations had been raised, may be highly complimentary to these statesmen,- but it was deeply felt. We own we share largely in this feeling. We cannot think that it required any great perspicacity to perceive that the volcano believed to be extinct, on the sides of which men had built and planted, is in a state of fearful activity ; nor can we reconcile it with the character of a statesman to advise that a real peril should be met with contempt. Philosophy, when it insists on believing in spite of experience that the masses of mankind are actuated by its own motives and intelligence, turns its wisdom into foolishness. The case is far too serious to be disposed of
by parliamentary phrases and rhetorical incredulity. It may call forth a cheer when a distinguished Privy-Councillor, heretofore member of a Conservative Government, professes that
he would not do the people of England and Ireland, in this nineteenth century, the injustice to suppose that they believed in the possibility of anything so fatal to their liberties as that any prelate could bless or curse them on account of temporal affairs, whether he bore the title of Archbishop of Dublin or of Timbuctoo.' - Speech of the Right Hon. S. Herbert.-(Times, Tuesday, 18th March.)but is this the way to deal with facts ? Is it not notorious that in Ireland the parish priest is believed to hold the keys of heaven as certainly as he carries the key of his own house? Is it really an injustice to believe that the Roman Catholics of Great Britain have not all and each of them the knowledge, firmness, and sense of Bossuet ? Would it not, a year or two ago,
have seemed a much greater injustice to doubt, that if the bighminded and highly educated Roman Catholic gentry of England were to be insulted by the introduction of the Roman Canon law, they would rise as a body to resist the ultramontane popery thus fraudulently substituted for their ancient system? and yet, with a few noble exceptions, have they as yet done so ?-The advocates of inaction must, however, shut their eyes not merely to what is passing before them, but to the whole testimony of history--that testimony which we have adduced to prove—not ihat the Pope's aggression is unjustifiable because in former days it would not have been permitted, but—that in former times it would not have been permitted because at all times it is incompatible with the free action of government.
To discredit this testimony, no doubt, is pleaded the difference between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries—and resistance to the Pope has been called in Parliament a 'pure anachronism' (Debate, Friday, March 21st). This objection, we beg to say, might apply to the aggression, but hardly to the resistance. If a modern legislator were to ride about his estates in a steel jacket, maltreating and plundering his tenants, surely the blame of anachronism' would apply to him, and not to the magistrate who sent him to the assizes to improve his chronology. The advocates for inaction, under whatever pretence, have to show that a Protestant government can safely permit a dictation and interference which to a Roman Catholic government would be fatal. If they fail in this, the Protestants of the present day have, by the laws of self-defence, the same right (without violating the principles of toleration) to limit the exercise of papal authority, which their Roman Catholic ancestors exerted, But the great stumblingblock to our legislation, and the chief