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Acts of Parliament under which the Recom
mendations have been carried into Effect, or other Results which have attended these Reports.
8. Adapting the ma- June 3rd, 1846 .. Considered in detail by the Conveyancing chinery of the public
and Registration Commissioners, but funds to the transfer
not for the present adopted. 1st Reof real property.
port, ut supra. 9. Insurance of titles. Dec. 2nd, 1846 Considered by the Conveyancing and
Registration Commissioners, but not for the present adopted. 1st Report, ut supra. This plan has been attempted to be carried out by several private companies, none of which, however, has had the sanction of the Society, or of any of its members.
10. General map of the April 28th, 1847.. The adoption of a map, in connection lands of England and
with a register of deeds, has been Wales.
recommended by the Conveyancing and Registration Commissioners. Ist Report, ut supra.
11. First part of Report Feb. 2nd, 1848 The recommendations contained in these on the law of land
Reports have been adopted by the lord and tenant.
committee of the House of Commons
on Agricultural Customs (Report 2nd part of ditto. March 22nd, 1848 printed 3rd July, 1848,) and a bill
founded on this Report has twice passed the House of Commons.
This appears to us fully to warrant the praise we have awarded to this painstaking and useful Society, and on which alone they may safely base their appeal to “the public for a larger measure of co-operation and support.”
As some inaccuracy as to the time at which the Society was founded has occurred, it may be proper to mention that its first meeting was held on the 4th of January, 1844.
It appears to be peculiarly important that all lawyers and statesmen, who feel that they can add any kind of aid to the objects of the Society, should at once join its ranks. Whatever may be meritorious in their views and suggestions will derive form and strength from its collective power of modelling and making known. Whatever is crude and impracticable will, after due consideration, be extinguished, with perhaps as much benefit to the author as to the public.
We shall in another article complete our summary of the actual results of the Society's labours, and also offer some additional comments on the probabilities and capacities of its future and still more extended utility.
Art. X.-The PAPAL AGGRESSION.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the new Hierarchy. By George
Bowyer, Esq., D. C. L. Fourth Edition. London; Ridgway. An Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling of the English People on the Subject
of the Catholic Hierarchy. By Cardinal Wiseman. London: Richardson. The Queen or the Pope ? By Samuel Warren, Esq., F. R. S. Third Edition.
Edinburgh and London : Wm. Blackwood and Sons. The Roman Documents relating to the new Hierarchy, with an Argument. By Authority. By George Bowyer, Esq., D. C. L. London: Ridgway. 1851. EITHER the calm and dignified tone of Cardinal Wise- ,
man's masterly Appeal, nor the philosophic temper and legal acumen which Dr. Bowyer brings to the rescue, in this great struggle, must divert us from the paramount duty of upholding Protestantism against a movement as malevolent to its interests and perilous to its ascendancy as ever assailed it since the Reformation. And although we are bound to treat first of the fragment in the question which affects the legality of the Papal Letter, we must guard ourselves from the possible inference that we attach primary moment to that most secondary issue. The great consideration for England is, how it can best grapple with an openly avowed and craftily organised scheme for restoring the minds of the people to the yoke of Rome, and for overthrowing the freedom which was reared on its downfal; and how we may best defeat this new Propagandism of a creed obnoxious to the reason and feeling of a vast majority of the people of these realms. We need scarcely say, that into the respective merits of the two creeds we enter not. Suffice it for our argument that we have still a Protestant people and a Protestant constitution.
It is comparatively a small matter, that Rome should usurp at least the semblance of a territorial jurisdiction to which it has no tittle of right,-or even that it should encompass the country with an ecclesiastical net work of mimic Hierarchies,—were it not for the doctrinal teaching and spiritual power of which these things are the medium, and which, if we err not, they will prove most powerful means of furthering. In the first place, the new system supplies that prestige which the Roman Catholic faith has not hitherto possessed in England. Cardinal Wiseman and Dr. Bowyer affirm its position to have been legally that of Dissent. To a great extent it has. It had long ceased to be the religion of the chief magistrate, nor had it retained the temporalities which belong to its natural character
and systematic assumption ; bereft of which the one ceases to be imposing, and the other becomes ridiculous. For a Churchman in the ranks of the gentry to turn Dissenter is to lose caste, and forfeit in great measure his position sociale : and it is probably no scandal to say that to this fact is very greatly owing that practical latitudinarianism which has so successfully accommodated the widest diversities of faith within the pale of the established religion. No other has been comme il faut. The State Church-doctrinally as well as canonically constituted, and designed as a compromise between Rome and Geneva in the sixteenth century-not unnaturally presents, in the nineteenth, a standard less of common faith in its members, than of conventional orthodoxy and social status : and it has owed no small portion of this distinctiveness to the prestige of Episcopacy, and the éclat of its lordly prelates.
This recommendation has been wanting to the success of Rome among a body never inconsiderable, and of late largely augmented among the higher classes in this country. To its languid religion and indolent reason, that Church offers the enticement of the sufficiency of forms and a ready-made faith : to its refined and pampered taste for the luxuries of art and ornament, she supplies all that the highest order of architecture, music, painting and pageantry can contribute to gratify the eye and indulge the ear. To the troublesome misgivings of conscience, her priests offer the mandragoric balm of mediation divinely committed to their hands: to patrician love of high descent, the successors of St. Peter display the pretensions of their apostolical succession and the antiquity of their priestly lineage. Nothing was wanting to the complement of these potent allurements but the existence of an hierarchy invested with its gorgeous attributes and restoring to the ancient Church of England the full measure of her pristine pomp and pontifical éclat. That hierarchy is now supplied. Its personnel consists of urbane gentlemen signally gifted, as we understand and believe, with every quality of mind, manner and accomplishment which can empower proselytism and render their priestly offices formidable to that Protestant faith which their own binds them to assail ; for it is impossible to approach this subject on any side without bearing in mind that the Roman Catholic religion is ESSENTIALLY AGGRESSIVE.
This fact suggests the spirit, if it does not form the purview, of nearly every Act of Parliament in the statute-book limiting the privileges or extending the rights of Roman Catholics in this kingdom; and most of all does it enter into that most important onethe Catholic Emancipation Act.
We regard the oath therein prescribed to those who avail themselves of its privileges, not merely in the light of an individual agreement, but as the formal expression and embodiment of a solemn compact between the Romanists on the one hand, and the Protestant realm and people on the other : whereby and in virtue whereof the one sought and the other gave emancipation. Perhaps no Act of Parliament was ever consummated after a more mature and extended discussion
all ranks and orders of the people. The grant and the acceptance were as little a compact between the leaders of a party and the ministers of the crown, and as much the act of the two great bodies of the people themselves, as any measure which has passed into a law since the sealing of Magna Charta. We believe it therefore to be past dispute, that the oath prescribed by that act declares not only the condition on which the three Protestant estates adunitted the Roman Catholics to a full share in civil privileges, but that it also expresses the solemn ratification on their part of the condition imposed upon them, and in reliance on whose good faith in observing it, the boon was granted and the compact made.
The oath runs as follows, after the abjuration of the opinion that princes excommunicated may be deposed or murdered : “ And I do declare that I do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, person, state or potentate, hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm." And there presently follows this notable passage : “ And I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure any intention to subvert the present church establishment as settled by law within this realm; and I do solemnly swear that I never will exercise any privilege to which I am or may become entitled, to DISTURB OF WEAKEN the PROTESTANT RELIGION or Protestant Government in the United Kingdom.” These latter words constitute the most vital part of the oath. They are utterly irreconcilable with an appointment of new bishoprics, and a measure of which one of the avowed objects is to procure converts from the Protestant religion, and therefore in the most direct way to “ weaken” it. It cannot be said that this new hierarchy is a necessary ingredient in the free exercise of Roman Catholic faith and worship, or that the form of government by Vicars Apostolic instead of Bishops is, as Dr. Bowyer contends, merely a temporary and provisional one,” and such only as the Church of Rome uses " in countries where she is barely tolerated,” for she has done without them in this country for three centuries, during the early part of which she was not only
barely tolerated,” but so powerful and considerable that her re-establishment was more than once well nigh achieved ; whilst her perfect freedom from every species of disability has been consummated for the last one-and-twenty years. These facts then demonstrate that the new measure is not the mere natural fulfilment of the Catholic system of worship within itself, but that it is designed as a means of aggression upon those without-a means for which we have endeavoured to show it is admirably adapted and most skilfully devised. Now if this be so, it is not only an act of aggression against Protestantism, but it is a direct breach of faith within the terms of the compact embodied in the Emancipation Act.
Dr. Bowyer significantly omits all notice of the latter part of the oath in his first pamphlet, whilst he puts forth and answers only the first part; from which he ingeniously infers that—"the legal effect of this statute is, by distinguishing between the supposed temporal and spiritual jurisdiction of the See of Rome within this realm, and excluding the former only,—to permit by the most manifest implication the Roman Catholic subjects of the crown, to hold that the See of Rome has spiritual jurisdiction in the dominions of the British crown over themselves.” But had Dr. Bowyer given the sequel it would as clearly have appeared, not merely by implication, but by express declaration, that such jurisdiction, whether spiritual or temporal, embraced in the all-comprehensive term “privilege,” was not to be so used as to DISTURB OR WEAKEN the Protestant religion. And this is the very head and front of the moral offence charged upon the late aggressive measure: and we have been thus careful to detail the grounds on which we conceive it to be not only fraught with vast and vital peril to Protestant interests, but in itself a treacherous and faithless act, because were it less than this we should have refrained from the duty which devolves upon us of disclosing the actual illegality of the Papal Letter-of unveiling the error, as we believe it to be, on which the new Cardinal and his advisers are reposing in fancied security against the penalties of a law which they imagine they have successfully evaded.
As regards the statute of 10 Geo. IV. c. 7, we perfectly agree with the able reasoning of Dr. Bowyer, that “it is clear that the act forbids the assumption and use not of the style and title of archbishop, bishop, or dean of any place whatever, in England or Ireland, but only of any archbishopric, bishopric, or deanery belonging to the Established Church. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. And we may infer that the assumption and
VOL. XIV. NO. XXVI.