Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

DR PHILLPOTTS AND MR LANE ON THE CORONATION OATH.

Apart from all question of Politics, where, owing, far above all other and especially of what are called Party causes, to the direct influence of our Politics, all men who have kept their Reformed Religion, of its learned and eyes open in the light of the Reformas enlightened and laborious ministers tion, and enjoy and value the blessing and servants, and of the sacred instiof the Protestant Faith,—that is, true, tutions formed and endowed to uphold pure, and incorrupt Christianity, and foster its spirit, which they have

, must regard with aversion all senti- nobly and gloriously done, the People ments, opinions, and acts, the tendency have been saved on the one hand from of which, however remote, seems to be Superstition that enchains, and from encouragement and protection to Po- Atheism, (we use the word in its pery. With indignation and hatred far largest sense,) that lets loose human stronger than their fear, and swallow- nature to its own ruin and destruction. ing up their fear, must they regard This we owe to the Reformed Proteste all measures and all men employed as ant Church. instruments, either in ignorance, in- It is the duty, therefore, of every difference, or wickedness, to restore Christian, living in the open daythe reign of religious—that is, of in- light of the true Faith, to take heed tellectual and moral—“Chaos and old that it shall not be again darkened. night.” They desire to see the hu- How it was darkened of old we know man mind unclouded by superstition, -chiefly by the devices of ignorant, free from base apprehensions of the crafty, sinful, and most selfish men, divine government of the world-un- who saw that the very majesty and subjected to the tyranny of priestcraft mystery of the Most High might be that bows down the soul, even in the made subservient to their wicked deexercise of its highest feelings and signs upon the liberty of man's confaculties-liberated from most perni- science, till, by a perpetual appeal to cious practical opinions, under whose natural feelings, miserably perverted influence none of the affections and by the superstition in which their relations of social and domestic life growth had been overshadowed, Temcan exist in their natural strength and poral Power took, it may be said, the sanctity. In one word, they desire very place of Eternal the voice of that man should live in and by know the Vatican was terrible to all ears, ledge, human and divine. They see as that of old thundering from Sinai him so living, under many deplorable the curse of the creature felt to be and inevitable drawbacks on his feli- the curse of the Creator, and a worm city, in Britain, where Reason and crawling in slime to the grave--the Faith know each its own province; and Governor of the World ! Vol. XXIV.

A

а

But that day, we are angrily and con- ed into manufactories! Where the altemptuously ordered to know, is gone tar stood, now a steam-engine-and by, never to return. And by whom for the pealing anthem choral to the are such orders on our belief issued ? organ's deep diapason, the clanking For the most part, by men who dis- and creaking of machinery turning believe the Christian miracles as mere ten thousand spindles, all usefully at fables--and sneer and scoff at the work on the busy Sabbath-day! notion of what is called Revealed Reli- Such philosophers as these-and gion being anything else than perhaps they are all philosophers—and with at present a useful, and at all times a only a chance exception here and very powerful state engine. We take there-can lecture you on the long them, not perhaps at their own words, winds, in a discourse most suitable to for they will eat in their words, on the subject-and show you how by a being solemnly challenged in high difficult algebraical process you may places; and they will talk hollowly make discoveries in numbers, almost of respect of reverence for religion, as brilliant as that one is a third of and the ministers of religion; yea, even three, discoveries nearly unattainable, for the church ! But we take them on they maintain, by any ordinary ariththe general tenor of their talk at all metical process—such philosophers as times, and in all places, when and these, assure you that in this age, where they are not tongue-tied and which they, and the like of them, curbed by the presence of their supe. have enlightened, there is no danger riors—the tenor of their writings, to be apprehended from Popish, or when it chances they can write-of any other superstitions. All over the their measures and the men-infic world there is, or soon will be, an end dels all-whom they patronise and ap- of the power of the priests. What, prove, and, above all, the tenor of their they demand, have the Established own public and private life. It is thus Protestant Churches to fear? Iffound. visible to all who have any perspicacity ed on the Rock of ages, they will stand to discern, or any courage to declare fast for ever-if illumined by reason the truth, that such men long for the and revelation, they will be time, in whose not distant advent they through the night from afar-if they most undevoutly believe, when the who minister in them do their duty; Bible shall be no more the Book of they will be honoured ;—and after the Nations.

plenty more vulgar trash of the same From such miserable men -and sort, all delivered, or rather drivelled, miserable men they must be whate in the same sneer, with curled upperever may be the measure, great or lip and nostril, as if the supercilious small, of their much vaunted and ex- and ignorant blockheads were smella aggerated abilities and acquirements, ing at a rotten egg, they demand of who that has received a Christian you again, why you have any fears education, would not scorn himself, about the Church? were he to stoop to receive any kind of Our answer is, that we have no fear instruction whatever concerning the - not the slightest fear in the world, probable destinies of the human race that fools will ultimately prevail over

-whether Popery—perhaps the most wise men-that is, Folly over Wisfatal of all superstitions—because the dom-yet, nevertheless, we do not best thing becomes in corruption the suffer fools to open their mouths worst-be on the rise or the fall, the de- with impunity. if, on the one hand, cay, or the decline? Blind in their in- they will keep bawling, we, on the fidelity, still, like seers, they will keep other hand, must keep gagging ; if, on looking forwards into time-and back the one hand, they will keep resisting, wards into time from the has-been we must, on the other hand,

keep kick prophesying the will-be,-perplexed ing; and in the midst of all these neither by the past nor the future,—on proceedings of theirs and ours, can the petty Pisgah of their present, and they seriously ask with their eyes, why most monstrous Moses's indeed are we are so afraid of them? Afraid ! it they, eyeing a promised land, in which is an odd way of showing your fear of human beings will be lest free to the an individual person or opinion, by glory of their own inventions, and no kicking the extremities of both. In such sight to be seen as a church, like manner, with Vice as with Folly. bbey, minster, cathedral! all convert We are not afraid that Vice will tri

seen

a

[ocr errors]

umph over Virtue. But, hating, and der no disguise at all, we shall not loathing, and scorning, and despising say, an equal indifference to all creeds, it, we scourge it back into its hole in but an inveterate hostility to the Pro the wall, whenever we see its protru- testant. For who so weak as to beded snout. So, neither are we afraid lieve it possible that the same man of the fate of Christianity among hosts, can, with all his heart and all his in every nation, of Deists or Atheists mind, and all his soul, love and hogenerally cousins - german,

But nour the Gospel, and at the same when Deists and Atheists dare to time hate or despise the Protestant scoff and sneer insidiously at the Church ? Is he a Dissenter ? Then he Christian religion, which, merely be- loves and honours his own Church, cause it is part and parcel of the law and we love and honour him for so of the land, they do not openly in- doing; for his belief, though different sult; and from hatred to it, seize every from ours, originates in an enlighten. • opportunity of openly insulting its ed and liberated conscience. He is ministers, especially such as are most Protestant from the abuses and corpre-eminently distinguished by their ruptions of Christianity, but the others . zeal and their learning-and then ask are Protestants from Christianity itus, why we are afraid of the Church, self; and did they dare to profess their we tell the insolent ninnies, that no full faith-and they hope that the time fear of the Church is shown in clutch- when they may do so is not very far off ing hold, with a somewhat savage face, - they would say-of all creeds claimof a few of its enemies, and knocking ing to be of revealed religion- let us: their numskulls even against the break their bonds asunder, and cast porch. Everything good and great is their cords from us. For do they not given into our own holy keeping by set themselves either openly or coGod-his laws shall never be over- vertly against all Christianizing of thrown-but we see, feel, and know, heathen lands—and do they not ridithat every day and every hour they cule the progress of the pure light of are violated. Not then to

preserve

the Christianity among the corrupted and laws, which are eternal, but to pre- dark-and while they make a loud serve in men's souls the sanctity with outcry in favour of the march of ine which the laws ought to be regard- tellect and of mind, do they not, with ed, which is often too transitory, is a shocking inconsistency that shows it the duty of all men, who have power the hollowness of their hearts, preach and opportunity, to expose falsehood, liberty of religion to all men--that is, flog folly, chastise crime, and, on the liberty to remain for ever in the dark brazen forehead of audacious Vice, to ness of idolatry, and to deliver up all brand the letters “ infamous," that that is holiest and most sacred in liwhenever he shows front, he may be berty into the hands of others—the known by the scars. Now, no false- Bible, which alone can raise up a nahood, no folly, no crime, no vice, tion, when lying open throughout its which it is in the power of a man to leaves before every eye of all ranks, utter, exhibit, perpetrate, or indulge, all the while being hidden beneath the can be so hurtful to the soul of society mantle of the priests ? as hatred and hostility to the Christian Such persons as these howl for what Religion.

is called Catholic Emancipation, in We speak now to persons calling hatred of the Church of England, themselves Protestants-not to Pa- which is the great bulwark of Christe pists. If they are what they call ianity. Strip it of all dignity-all themselves, they must abhor Popery, wealth-all power-and then the Biand pray that its reign may be con- ble, they believe, will become like any stantly contracted, till it finally cease. other book in a library-be read in the It is not enough now and then, in same spirit as the history of any other some public vehicle or other, such as realor alleged transactions,-nay,read, a fine flaming speech, or a coarse they hope, as a most wonderful and flameless book, to allow and lament instructive history of fiction and suthe evils that haunt, like so many de perstition ! mons, the darkness of that benighted That a very great number of those Creed, while in all their measures, in who clamour about the Catholic all their active conduct, they show, claims belong to this class, you may under a thin disguise indeed, or una

know by listening to a languid speech in the House of Peers from my Lord neither the Pope nor the devil is so bad King, or a lively one in the House of as has been represented, and that both Pots from my Jack Straw. His Lord will contrive to do their duty, even ship's slang against Parsons and Bi- after the removal of all restrictions shops is not the twentieth part as en- from seven millions of the finest peow tertaining as that of the Ostler ; but it ple on earth, without any danger eiis spurted and spluttered out with ther to Church or State. equal good-will to, and nearly equal Then there are hundreds of thougreat knowledge of, the Church Esta- sands, we are sick and sorry to say it, blishment. Yet the effect produced, of silly people of some slight educaowing to his Lordship's inferiority in tion, but no talents, who, incapable liveliness, a quality of great avail both of forming an opinion, or indeed even in a public and a private speaker, is of collecting data on which one might very different indeed the eloquence be formed, on any subject of the least of the one setting and keeping the doubt or difficulty, deliver themselves House of Peers asleep or ayawn, that up,-one following the other, or all of the other setting and keeping the leaping and bounding over one ano. House of Pots broad awake and on the ther's heads, like so many sheep dogguffaw. Both are alike earnest and driven into a pen,-into the charge of anxious for unbridled liberty of reli- the great big blustering leading Whig gion -as indeed they both are, though of the place, who, with the assistance we hope, on different theoretical and of a few yelping Radical curs, tums practical grounds, against all protec- the flock, like that woolly people, into tion to corn. In all political clubs, the hurdles of Liberalism, which, afintermediate between the House of ter all, is a very wet, miry, uncomPeers and the House of Pots, such fortable, and by no means roomy in. characters are to be heard haranguing closure, and all dotted over with cloin pretty much the same tone and ven feet. There are they all crowded temper, every day and every night; together, rams, wedders, ewes, and and as the House of Pots generally lambs, staring at you or at one anosits later than the House of Peers, the ther with unmeaning faces, and ever question being put from the woolsack, and anon bleating baa-baa-baaCatholic Emancipation has been, many maa--maa-maa ! This absurd noise a midnight, after a stormy debate forms, forsooth, part of the voice of the clerk and the grave-digger consti- the people crying aloud for Catholic tuting the minority

and the school- Emancipation ! master declining to hold up his hand- In a class very superior to these are carried by acclamation.

to be found, no doubt, many able and Others, again, there are who are to- conscientious men, who, true memtally and entirely indifferent about the bers of the Protestant Church, have whole matter. They go to church, convinced themselves, either that little and seeing, perhaps, a good fat, stout, or no danger could attend or arise jolly, rosy-faced pastor, in a roomy out of the granting the Catholic and strong-built pulpit, preaching claims, or that it is better even to run away in perfect security, within the some risk of danger, or of evil at four thick walls of a building, with a least, than, by withholding the boon roof covered on the outside with lead, so long silently desired, or loudly dem and in the inside with rafters, and sup- manded, to keep in operation what they ported on prodigious pillars running conceive to be the chief, or one of the all the way round and round,--they chief causes, of the unhappy condition no more think of danger to the Church of the Irish people. Many of these Establishment than danger to the Solar most respectable persons are decidedly System. They look up to the ceiling of of opinion that the Catholic claims the parish church on the Sundays, and should be granted, and many of them to the ceiling of the universal sky on have only a leaning, more or less week days, without ever dreaming strong, to that side of the question. about what it is that supports either But all of them agree in this, that the one or the other--and as it is the some plan of securities must be des eustom or fashion of the times to be vised--and they all allow that there liberal in religion, why then they are great difficulties to be encountered ebeerfully and carelessly acquiesce in in the settlement of the kind and sort Catholic Emancipation, hoping that of those securities. With such oppo

« PreviousContinue »