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were so frequent, and the “fate of Europe" was so often on the point of being "changed.” We can hardly think that Sir Archibald reads over his compositions ; certainly if he does so, we should wish him to be our own critic, could he be as sparing of our faults as he is tender to his own.
The volume before us contains an account of the monetary changes of 1825; in which our historian has a grand field-day, and marshals his numerous and well-known crotchets upon this subject, opening a furiously, if not a well-directed fire upon a contracted currency. It is not our purpose to follow him here; nor yet, in his sad mood, when, in the twenty-third chapter, he records the passing of the Reform Bill; which, as might have been anticipated, we are assured changed for the worse the destinies of England. We almost regret,-for we are all so anti-Russian now,--that we cannot say something of the ablest part of the volume, that which is devoted to the Polish Revolution of 1830. Sir Archibald lays it down that the restoration of Poland would be a conservative, not a revolutionary measure; but we must leave Russia and Poland, and give what room we have to the pages
upon Catholic emancipation.
Sir Archibald's history of the struggles which issued in the passing of the Relief Bill remind us of the story of the keeper in the German tower, who died, leaving a widow for many years wedged in between the walls of the stairs. So great was her size, that it was impossible to remove her. Death, that solves many a difficulty, would not come to the rescue; so each succeeding keeper had to marry her. So it seems with prejudice. It is the old widow that wont" die ; and each succeeding keeper in the tower of history must make up his mind to wed her before he can enter on the functions of his office.
But from this union is born inconsistency. Our historian cannot fly in the face of the age, and assert openly, as we suspect he longs to do, that Catholic emancipation ought never to have been granted. He concedes,-nay, he repeats it, as is his wont, four or five times, that it was a wise" and "just"
Yet he is of opinion that it is the cause of all national evils; it is the bane of Ireland, the spring of reform, of the repeal of the corn-laws, and of all those measures which he either denounces or sorrows over. Will he explain this? And when he has done this, will he vouchsafe us a reconciliation of the two following sentences, actually one immediately succeeding the other (p. 185):
“ Catholic emancipation, the first change in the Protestant con
stitution of the empire, and the first great triumph of the democratic over the aristocratic powers in the empire, was brought about, so far as Great Britain is concerned, in a very peculiar way. It was a victory gained by a large portion of the aristocratic and the greater part of the highly-educated classes over the sincere conviction and honest resistance of the vast majority of the people.”
Sir Archibald's notions of reasoning are on a par with his ideas on democratic and aristocratic influence. One of the causes, he tells us, “which has aggravated the miseries of Ireland, and hitherto rendered abortive all attempts to ameliorate the condition of its inhabitants," is, that the majority of them being Catholics, and the ininority Protestants, on these latter all the forfeited estates have been conferred, and on the former the exaction (we use the historian's own word) of being obliged to support two ecclesiastical establishments. So far we have no difficulty in agreeing. But how, in the face of this, after pointedly declaring that “ Catholic emancipation was not the remedy" for Ireland's evils,-how can he upbraid the Irish with being ungrateful for this so-called false remedy, and for agitating for the real one? Is this logical invective? Is it not complete blindness to justice? It is idle to attempt to atone for two wrongs by the concession of one right. You cannot be grateful for the latter : you must still agitate against the former. But of all the charges here adduced against Catholics, this one of ingratitude is at once the most monstrous and the most amusing. Let us, however, be patient, and examine it from our accuser's own book.
We have extracts made by Sir Archibald from Sir Robert Peel's speech, acknowledging that Catholic emancipation was introduced by ministers because it was impossible to refuse it. We have also extracted the words of the Duke of Wellington, praying the Lords to pass the bill in order to avert
We have the speech of Sir R. Inglis, to the effect that “the apology for this strange course is expediency." This is the Alpha and Omega of the modern school-expediency as to the future character of our religious institutions. We are told that the country was opposed to it; that 957 petitions were presented against it, while only 357 were for it; and that the bill received the royal assent by commission, to show that it was not in accordance with the wishes of the king. We are actually told by Sir Archibald Alison limself that “England at the eleventh hour did the just act; but she did it, not from the influence of equitable or tolerant feelings, but in obedience to the fierce demands of the agitators, and to avert the dreaded evils of civil war." And yet, with all these admissions, he has the effrontery to accuse Catholics of ingrati
tude! What shall we think of the historian who in one sentence tells us that "the concession was against the wishes, and adverse to the sincere and disinterested, and therefore respectable, opinions of the great majority of the inhabitants of the empire ;” and in the very same breath, that was such, it should have been received in a grateful and worthy spirit by the Catholics of Ireland,
We thank our accuser, we need no defence; he is himself our apologist, and formally acquits us.
We can only add, that had the nation passed the Emancipation Act unanimously, we cannot see how the Catholics need have been grateful; for emancipation was our right. But when we are told that it was granted to soothe the excited tone of Ireland, to avert anticipated bloodshed, to prevent the horrors of civil war; when we are assured that the whole country thought itself betrayed by ministers; and when we are informed in angry sentences that the reformed house would never have consented to the measure, far more indignant than grateful, and are far more disgusted than gratified.
For ourselves, we do not believe that the country was of the mood here represented. We know how easy it is to get up any number of petitions upon any possible subject. We know, too, that the House of Commons may be more narrowminded than the country in general: witness the crowd who now profess to “ represent the people.”
We next come to the results of the Emancipation Act. And these, we are sagely informed, prove that it has been fatal to Catholicity! We are not told how, save by the bold and novel statistical fact, that in Ireland the Catholics and Protestants are equal in number; followed by the consolatory prophecy, that if they are not, they assuredly will be at the next census! The first statement it is unnecessary to contradict, since the prophecy does so; and as for divination, we leave that to historians.
Sir Archibald is pleased to record the triumphs of Catholicity in England; and finds that "it has been embraced by several ladies of rank, who sighed for an ecclesiastical opera, and many of fashion, who desired the sway of confession, and by some inexperienced men of genius, who dreamt (sic) of the amiable illusion of unity of belief.” We always thought that the strength of any force might be estimated by the amount of any force necessary to oppose it. But if giddy ladies, silly devotees, and dreaming gentlemen are the only converts to the Church, why is Exeter Hall so busy, so blatant? Why do we notice, almost as we write, what is familiarly called a perambulating sandwich, announcing on either side that Alessandro Gavazzi is about to lecture on The Suicidal Race of England to Popery?” Is not the alleged fact of the disappearance of this Popery in America somewhat in disagreement with the frantic organisation against it amongst the “Know-nothings?” The Apostolic Church was not persecuted by the Roman government while it was restricted to Jerusalem. Are the destinies of England, after all, in the hands of old women, young ladies, and sentimental versifiers ? If, as we repeatedly are told by Protestants in general, Popery is a folly, whose foolishness is manifest to the meanest capacity; if its strength lies in music, dresses, hollow pretence, and empty vision,--surely the sensible, sober, practical, shopkeeping, agricultural people of England need not fear the fascinations of a siren so very unattractive to the English nature.
Opinion," Sir Archibald further informs us, in his usual lucid style, “is not the fit ground either of exclusion, penalty, or punishment; it is acts only which are so.”
" So great have been the evils which have arisen from persecution for differences of religious opinion, that they have gone far to neutralise the whole blessings of Christianity, and led some sceptical observers to hesitate whether it has brought most happiness or misery to mankind. It is the disgrace of Catholicism that it first began this atrocious system, and forced retaliation upon its opponents, as a matter, at the time, of necessity. It is the glory of Protestantism that it first inscribed toleration on its banners, and practised it
upon the most inveterate and unrelenting of its opponents."
To a man who not only pretends to know history, but even presumes to write it, we can hardly reply upon this subject. Perhaps we shall best answer by a quotation from another Protestant historian, whom Sir Archibald might consult with advantage. “Persecution," says Hallam, "is the original deadly sin of the Protestant Church; and cools every honest man's ardour in her cause in proportion as his reading and learning increase.”
The poet Cowper represents History, at the birth of Time, leaning upon her hand, watching his growth, ready to record his deeds when manhood should have rendered him worthy of her record. Where is that dignified Muse now? Who knows but that she may be watching Sir Archibald, running by the side of Time, spattered with the dirt and blinded by the dust he raises, as he dashes heedlessly on? We suspect that Clio
will not grant him any thing more than a note in her appendix, recording his speed, his pretentiousness, and his self-contradictions.
THEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, &c. Moral Theology of the Church of Rome : No. 1. S. Alfonso di Liguori's Theory of Truthfulness. Reprinted from the Christian Re. membrancer; with a Reply to the Rambler and the Dublin Review. (J. and C. Mozley.) The author of this pamphlet clearly thinks that he has “finished” St. Alphonsus Liguori; and, of course, having demolished the Saint, the reviewers give him mighty little trouble. Our readers will remember, that above a year ago there appeared in our pages some remarks on the article here reprinted from the Christian Remembrancer. Another reply has also appeared in the Dublin Review. The writer of the attack on St. Alphonsus has read both of these papers, and says that he found the article in the Rambler to be “short, readable, irascible, and abusive;" and that in the Dublin “long, unreadable, temperate, and dreary.” This is consolatory to the Rambler at least, The worst misfortune that can happen to a writer, is, that his productions cannot be read ; so we willingly pardon the Remembrancer's imputations on our temper, in consideration of his having found our remarks, at any rate,“ readable.”
As for his own counter-remarks, we will concede to him the twofold praise,-- they are sufficiently good-humoured, and they are readable; but that is all we can say for them. They convey the impression that the reviewer does not care a fig for the truth about St. Alphonsus. In fact, he misrepresents the Rambler as coolly as he does St. Alphonsus. Here is a specimen. We said, “ Of all the writers in the world, Pascal is selected (by the Remembrancer) as the expositor of the Catholic doctrine. We might as reasonably fasten upon the Record newspaper as the expositor of the views of Dr. Pusey.” Now for our votary of “ truthfulness.” He has the—what shall we call it, without being « irascible and abusive” ?—we really can think of no better word than brass, to represent us as here admitting that “there is as great a divergence between schools of theologians within the Church of Rome as between the Record newspaper and Dr. Pusey.”
Again,- we gave a brief statement of what is called the doctrine of Probable Opinions, commencing thus: “Briefly stated, and divested of technicalities, it amounts to this,” &c. Here is our truthful Remembrancer's reply: “We presume, here, that by the word technicalities the Rambler means (by help of one of the modes of equivocation, or of mental reservation) the substantial characteristics of the system. For only so are his words true.” Really it is futile to reason with a person who can write thus. However, we trust that he is better than he seems; and that his onslaughts on St. Alphonsus result from the ordinary Protestant inability to look at theology as a science, quickened by the distress that he must feel at finding that, notwithstanding all these repeated demolitions of Rome, Anglicanism still supplies its devoted converts to