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termination not to be convinced is but too manifest: present ease is courted; every sound of alarm is resented: an anxiety to find Rome, not what she was, and what she has sworn to remain, but what the progress of light and liberality ought to make her, is greedily indulged; an impression that it is impossible to go back to restrictive laws, and equally impossible to stand still, urges forward the infatuated movement. Statesmen of all parties are caught in the whirlpool, mistaking the blandishments of the syren for the charms of genuine liberty. What the prophet said of Tyre, is now true of England
Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters,' and there is too much reason to fear the application of what follows—Thy riches and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners and thy pilots, thy calkers and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall in the midst of the seas, in the day of thy ruin.
" Looking at the operation of second causes, and speaking after the manner of men, the most feasible hope now left to us, and it is rather forlorn, seems to be, that Rome, with all her wisdom, and all her skill, may miscalculate; and attempt coercion before she has full power to secure final success. One Inquisition squeeze would go further to rouse the nation from its present apathy upon this subject, than ten thousand eloquent lectures on canons and decretals which are supposed to be dead and buried. But the squeeze must be at home. In Tahiti, or Madeira, or even in Ireland, it will not produce the desired effect.
"My Lord, we are clearly hastening towards a tremendous struggle; and it is every way worthy of the sagacity of a great statesman to inquire, what must the end be. I do not mean which party shall be victorious in the field, but what must be the result politically, whichever party triumphs ? Must it not be that hated thing exclusion? Should Protestant England come triumphant out of the conflict, will she peril her liberties again by opening her offices of trust and power to sworn subjects of a foreign potentate; or, will she not rather, and justly, plead past perfidy in full justification of future indispensable exclusion ? And should Romanism prevail, will she forget or neglect her high commission to take possession of the whole earth, and clear the inheritance of St. Peter from every lingering taint of heresy? Exclusion is inevitable, in the long run; though on which side, or of what kind, it may not be easy to predict-whether exclusion from political power of all who will not be Protestants, or exclusion from earthly existence of all who will not be Romanists.
“ If the conviction that our present course, long continued, must lead to such a sequel as this, could become practical in men's minds, now, in time; the intervening tragedy, frightful to contemplate, and otherwise apparently inevitable, might be avoided. English Protestants have still the power to reach one alternative of the sequel without bloodshed; but they are daily allowing that power to be wrenched or coaxed, or both, out of their hands; and, in their horror at the notion of being uncivil or illiberal, they are laying up in store for themselves the dire necessity of either shedding men's blood, or having their own blood shed by the hands of men.
" I will not weary your Lordship by reciting details of Rome's progress in England. Our newspapers, teem with them, week after week. Activity and united energy are proverbially the characteristics of assailants; while to keep defenders to their posts is difficult, and if they be incredulous, or otherwise insensible to the impending danger, it is impossible. Such is our position: and the lines are closing upon us on every side. From the court to the cottage, from the university to the charity school, the emissaries of Rome, in greater or lesser degrees of disguise, are multiplying their skilfully adjusted labours. Freed from all legal restraint, and stimulated by incipient successes into the animating hope of final triumph, they are becoming bolder and more determined. In the various departments of practical life, Pro1846.
testants cannot compete with them on equal terms; because no Protestant, in the exercise of delegated authority, will exclude a Romanist from employment on account of his creed; while on the contrary, Romanists, so situated, contrive, without committing themselves against the letter of the law, to establish, by petty vexations, a system of practical persecution against Protestants to their effectual exclusion. This is not fancy; but fact. My Lord, I know it, and some of its terrible consequences. This sore is becoming more and more irritated, and bad blood' is more and more engendered in the community.
My Lord, proofs accumulate, proofs painfully convincing, that the only mode of preventing an atrocious civil war, in the course of a few years, is the re-enactment of such wise and moderate political restrictions on Roman Catholics as would deprive them of all hope of subjugating England to the Papal yoke. This may be done without the slightest interference with the true rights of conscience, or the true enjoyment of liberty and safety for person and property. Our object should be, not in anywise to injure them, but simply to prevent them from injuring us.
“And now, my Lord, why should not this signal service be rendered to the country by your Lordship! What! the great leader of all the Liberals turn thorough Protestant! That would be a change! Yes, doubtless, it would be a great and noble change. And why not? Must all great changes in public men be for the worse? And is it impossible to have any change for the better? Look, my Lord, afresh into the word of God, and into the his. tory of England. Let the great principles of revealed truth, and the eloquent lessons of experience have their due weight, and their fair application. Contrast the miserable, crest-fallen, creedless Whig of 1846—of course I mean in his public character-with the high, the noble, the patriotic, the Christian and Protestant Whig of 1688: and after your wanderings, for a few comparatively inexperienced years, amongst the mists and fogs of liberalism, we shall have the happiness, and your country the safety, of seeing your Lord. ship on the rock and in the daylight of England's Scriptural Church, and of finding in your Lordship’s veins a portion of that noble blood which fowed from your renowned ancestor in defence of England's Protest against Rome's usurpation.
My Lord, the unfading chaplet of true Christian patriotism is set before you. Stand forth and grasp it. Instead of going down to posterity
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung,' as one of the mediocrity oi nomol who were beguiled by the plausible sophistries of an infidel philosophy to betray the best interests of their country into the hands of a deceitful foe ; inscribe on the page of history a nobler record- of a statesman who, in times of general declension, in the face of an exasperated party turned into forınidable opposition, at the risk of place and power, and in an honest acknowledgment of past errors, arose in the hour of need, gave clear notice of the impending danger, and in the majesty of God's truth,-the only sure foundation of political righteousness, -appealed to England, free, reformed, and as yet Protestant England, to give him a Protestant House of Commons, to carry on with vigour and efficiency the Protestant government of a sworn Protestant sovereign. Proclaim your convictions upon evidence at last attended to, and experience at last become practical; not only that the Church of Rome should not be endowed, either in her hierarchy or her colleges; but also, that no subject of the court of Rome can with safety be entrusted with political power under a free Protestant government. Announce your determination to act on this conviction in the next Parliament, stake your political existence on the recovery of our national Protestantism; and then, APPEAL TO THE NATION !
“ If you succeed !-0, my Lord, let the bare thought of such a thing, extravagant as it may seem to ordinary vulgar minds, kindle your patrician
soul to a high and noble daring in the righteous cause. More honourable far to fail in the attempt, than lose the golden opportunity of inaking it. But make it well and wisely, i, e. honestly and boldly, and there is no risk of failure. Bishop Ridley's candle, though dim and flickering, is not extinguished. It shines upon the pages of inspiration in ten thousand times ten thousand secret closets. The slumbering Protestantism of Britain, in despite of cold indifferentism, factious voluntaryisin, and treacherous tractarianism, is only waiting for a national leader of acknowledged competence and honesty, to blaze forth in undiminished brilliancy and power. It is oppressed at present under a weight of disappointment. Its kindly intended, but grievously mistaken, generosity in 1829 has produced these disheartening results, and thousands who were favourable to that fatal measure are now bitterly repenting of their mistake. Only let a fair prospect dawn, of deliverance from the disastrous defile, and throughout the British lines despondency will give place to a revived and triumphant enthusiasm. “And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'
“Your Lordship will excuse my earnestness, when I assure you, that I sincerely believe all I have written. And more, much more. I have confined my observations (perhaps too exclusively) to what is anti-Social in the Romish system, as more iminediately demanding your Lordship's official attention. My own mind and heart are much more deeply exercised by what is anti-Christian in that system : because this involves not England's welfare as a nation only, but the everlasting salvation of Englishmen, and in one sense I may add of all men in all nations; for if Romanism become dominant in England, there remains no barrier against her universal domination. Shrink not, my Lord, from the voice of the preacher. Everlasting salvation is indeed involved, though the scoffers of these last days may attempt to laugh it to scorn ; and the one only way of salvation is involved, though latitudinarian philosophers, in the plenitude of a charity which costs them nothing, may pronounce it monstrous bigotry:
“However it may suit the present convenience of ungodly men, to plead impartial dealing among their fellows, in excuse for wilful disobedience to the plain commandments of God; or to deify indifferentism in the senate and the council chamber, on pretence of confining religion to the closet; the solemn hour of retribution is at hand. God will not be mocked. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap.' There is immortality in man, and veracity in God; and threescore years and ten bear slight comparison with eternity.
“ I need not add to your Lordship, that there is no name given under heaven among men available for a happy eternity, but the name of Jesus Christ-the one and only Mediator always, with the one and once offered sacrifice, and only once--and that if any man be in Him, he is a new creature. Unseen things are to such a man real things. God is not an abstraction to the mind of such a man, but a living present Person; and the politics of this world, though an arena for such a man's duty, supply no home to his heart.
“I must conclude. And now, my Lord, whatever reception this publication may meet with, from your Lordship or others, I shall have in my own bosom the satisfying and tranquillizing assurance that I have made an honest effort in the service of my country and my God, in what I believe to be the right direction : and if I thereby incur any personal unkindness, or worse than unkindness, from the enemies of our church and nation, I shall have the further satisfaction of cordially forgiving all such attacks, and sincerely praying for God's best blessing, his converting grace, upon all my assailants.
“I have the honour to be, my Lord,
“ Your obedient Servant,
“ Hugu M'NEILE."
Now all this is good and eloquent;—from Mr. M`Neile, how could it be otherwise. Yet, besides the fault already alluded to, of not being à propos to the present state of the controversy; there is one other questionable point which ought to be adverted to.
Both the anonymous letter-writer, and Mr. M'Neile himself, speak of an approaching time,' when stakes and dungeons will be again prepared for the English Protestants, and when the Inquisition itself may coerce the people of this country. Now, can we wonder that worldly politicians should smile in utter disbelief and scorn, when we must admit the existence of a sort of incredulity in our own minds.
We do not forget that Rome is despotic, cruel, and persecuting. She never was, and never will be, otherwise. Nor do we think lightly of our national perils. But we think that they are of a different class, and that a Popish ascendancy, with Protestants as victims, is not yet a probable thing.
The Romanists in England at the present moment, are, after all, a mere handful. Any one of the leading Dissenting sects, would numerically far exceed them. We believe that the Wesleyan Me thodists of England could actually confine every Romanist in the realm, if necessary, in the vaults of their chapels.
We cannot, therefore, look for a Popish persecution in England, at the present day. Before that day arrives, there will have been some desperate struggles.
The first of these, it appears to us, must be that of Religious Equality—or, the Endowment of Popery or Dis-endowment of Protestantism. This great controversy is now opening; it must, apparently, last many years; and we should delight to see Mr. M'Neile's great powers devoted to the elucidation of this great question : "Is it not the duty of the State to endow and propagate Truth? Is it not the duty of the State to discourage and discountenance Error ?”
The second tract, the title-page of which we have copied, is newly arrived from Scotland. It is an earnest letter to the Protestants of Great Britain ; and our chief disappointment arises from the inflation and turgidity of its style. The following is the first paragraph:
“Brethren,-you are on the brink of a great crisis!-the crisis of your national Christian existence !-whether shall you continue a Christian Lmpire or become an Infidel Power ? The movements of a giant party are seen in the near horizon? The captains of a fearful host are busied in prepara tions for the coming struggle !-and, Christians, what are they doing? Do they sleep!--nay, would-yes, Brethren,-would to God, you slept, -unconscious of your danger !-rather than that one, and another, among you, should rise up here and there, in the confusion of an half-awakened slumber, to blow such blasts, as now twice-aye, thrice,-have sounded in the midst
of our, as yet, but, our God favouring us, not long to be,-divided ranks." -(p. 3.)
Yet most true and important are the exhortations of this writer. Being apparently, himself a Presbyterian, he yet thus addresses the “ Anti-State-Churchmen” of England and Scotland.
"I care not a jot, if every finger in the land be pointed against me, on the one hand for endeavouring now to raise the cry of " No Popery!” in Great Britain,- which, God helping me, I will yet more and more endeavour to do -and on the other, for what may convey to your minds, Brethren, the appearance of an endeavour to turn the attention of certain-and believe me, esteemed and honoured Brethren among you—from your meditated attack on what you will call my favorite section of Protestantism, by pointing to Popery; but, as I care not for the first, so would I indignantly repel the second; and yet, for the truth's sake, I will rather beseech you-yes, I implore you, my Brethren, not so to judge me. Shut your eyes, I entreat you, no longer to the fact-much as some of our beloved Christian Brethren of various Dissenting denominations in England, ridicule the impression, that the danger with which we are now immediately threatened-the quarter from which the fiercest onset is about to be made on the whole body of Protestants in Great Britain-is through the instrumentality of Popery!--will some of you immediately rise up and say, 'It is for this we are determined to oppose existing Establishments. You deceive yourselves—nay, the arch-enemy of the Protestant Church deceives you—if by any means he may divert your attention from the real danger. True it is—and' Oh! that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people,' -- by means of the very evils, which weigh with you to fight against Establishments !—evils, truly, which I see as strongly and as keenly as the must enthusiastic among you—nor mourn less-nor strive less against-than the most eager of your number!—but not in the way that must involve brother slaying brother!
Brethren, I conceal it not, -nay, I would be behind none of you in proclaiming it—that'wolves in sheeps clothing' have got within the fold of the English Establishment. But will any among you be so forgetful of the principles of justice and of righteousness, as to slay the innocent with the guilty ? Oh ! let this be far from you, as it ever has been from your Father which is in heaven. And yet, if you will not hear me, Brethren, then stay not at Establishments, for there is work enough to keep your blood-stained hands employed, down to the moment of your Lord's return !-I say, stay not until you have made a full end of every denomination of vital Protestantism in the land !-saving, of course, and by all means (at least until you have made an end of the rest,) all those sects who may conspire with you in this noble deed! For where, Brethren, will you find a fold into which ' wolves in sheeps' clothing ' have not crept? Is the Free Church of Scotland -the last formed fold among us,— Free' in this respect? I trow not! See, then, oh! see, where the principle of a war of extermination against existing Establishments will hurry you!-into what, if consistently followed out-and you surely mean to be consistent!-into what enorınities it would lead you ! - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God'! And yet hear me, for when I admit that wolves' have got within the pale of existing Establishments, I would have you to remember, that the very formation of those Establishments is such, as virtually neutralizes the power of the wolf's ferocity-yes, despite the smiles of party with which such an announcement will be received-I reiterate the expression-nay, further, I would have you to weigh well, and seriously, and candidly, the assertionand not receive it with derision and contempt-when I add, that there is no bulwark, no barrier, which the united Protestantism of Great Britain at this moment presents—and which may be turned to such powerful account-as an instrument for stemming the on-rushing tide of Popery,---as that very