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I am happy to be able, at length, to offer to the friends of Dr. ENGLAND, of Reli. gion and of Literature, the Works of that distinguished Prelate. In a Circular Letter, addressed to the Rt. Rev. and Rev. Clergy, in March, 1847, I stated that, “I have not undertaken this publication, as a tribute to the memory of a great and good man, an eloquent and learned Prelate of our Church-admired in life and lamented in death, by all who knew him; though a sense of what is due to the memory of such a man has animated my efforts. My chief motive has been, to preserve for this and future ages the labors of a writer, well acquainted with the important subjects which he treated, and singularly gifted with the powers of close and exact logic, and with the happy talent of communicating his thoughts, in a style remarkable for perspicuity and strength, -always easy and natural,--otien charming by its beauty, or warming by its tervor,—and sometimes elevating us by its sublimity. Dr. Exgland possessed in an eminent degree the talent of perceiving, and presenting clearly and prominently to view the principal facts, or most important points in every subject. He had, besides, the admirable tact, if so it may be called, -of always marshalling his arguments to the greatest advantage, and of accommodating himself to the circumstances, and spirit of the age, in which we live; thus making every thing available for the great and holy cause, to which he had con. secrated his life. The truths of our divine Religion, and the arguments in their proof-always substantially the same, seemed to possess a new beauty and power,—to be a sudden and certain intuition of the mind,--the vision, as it were, of an inspired man, when announced by the eloquent lips, or laid down and explained by the ready and vigorous pen of the late Bishop of Charleston. Hence, to those, whose duty it is to inculcate the truths of Religion, his writings may serve as an excellent model
, and a motive to increased zeal and industry; while they are a rich repository of matter, generally presented in the manner most fit to produce the de. sired effect. They are, moreover, among the first in time,--as in merit,—of the contributions of the Catholic Church in these States, to Literature, Science and Theology ;--are a proof to all of the learning and zeal of our clergy in this, as well as in every other age and country, and contain much that will aid the future historian of the American Church.
“One other consideration has influenced me in preparing this edition of Dr. England's Works; it is, that they cost the author much time and labor, and that for their publication in the ephemeral journals and pamphlets of the day, he thought it right to spend a large portion of the means, which he might have used to promote the interests of Religion in other ways, or to alleviate some of the inconveniences and privations, to which his poverty subjected him. It seems to me that works, which are so valuable under so many points of view, and which cost the author, whose name we are proud to see on the catalogue of American Bishops,
--so much of time and labor, and of the scanty means of poverty itself
, should be preserved ; and the omission of an effort at least for this end, might justly be imputed to some want of judgment, or of zeal, in those who are charged with the interests of Reli. gion.” In the same Circular I remarked :—“I do not flatter myself
, that the selec. tion and arrangement of the matter will meet the approbation of all; nor do I pre. sume to think, that the work might not have been better executed under the direction
of one having more time and ability for the task; yet, I am conscious of having spared no exertion to collect all the most valuable writings of my lamented predecessor, and put them in the form and order, which seemed to me best suited to convenience and usefulness."
My first care was to procure complete volumes of the United States Catholic Miscellany,” from its commencement by Dr. England, in June, 1822, to the time of his death; and also to collect the various pamphlets and books written by him. This was not an easy task, especially as regards the Miscellany; for, unfortunately, there was no complete file of that paper in our Library, or Printing Office. By perseverance, a perfect set of the Miscellany was found, and was purchased by a pious lady, to whose liberality and zeal, on various occasions, the Church of Charleston is much indebted. There remained still the more difficult task of ascertaining what pieces were from the pen of Dr. Exgland, and of selecting those most fit and useful for the present collection. This was entrusted to a Com. mittee of Clergymen of the Diocess.* Their accurate memory, intimate acquaintance with Dr. ENGLAND, and knowledge of his style, are the best
, and, in fact, the only guaranty for the authenticity of the few pieces in this collection, not otherwise certainly known to have been written by that Prelate. The arrangement and preparation of the whole matter for the press, were
committed to the Rev. J. A. Corcoran, D. D., and the Rev. N. A. F. Hewit. They cheerfully accepted this labor; and have performed it with a perseverance and ability that require of me a public acknowledgment.
By the kind co-operation of the Committee above-mentioned, and especially of the two Rev. gentlemen last named. and, most of all, by the persevering industry and zeal of the Rev. Mr. Hewitt I am enabled to send forth the present volumes, which will, I hope, perpetuate, better than a monument of marble or brass, the memory of their gifted author.
I offer no apology for any portion of the articles here presented to the public. Had Divine Providence prolonged his life, Dr. ENGLAND would certainly have revised his writings with rigorous criticism, before suffering their re-publication, especially, as they were at first prepared under the continual pressure of the many cares and labors of his Episcopate, increased by the embarrassments of poverty. Indeed, when urged by his friends to publish a complete collection of his works, he pleaded the necessity of a strict revision, and the time required for the same, as reasons for postponing the task. He was called away in the prime of life, and in the midst of his usefulness, before reaching that period when, as he had hoped, he might have retired from the active duties of the ministry, and devoted his latter years to a more intimate communion with his Creator, as well as to this, and similar labors. But, though there may be some faults in the style, or deficiency in the matter and arrangement of his compositions, nevertheless, I believe that every thing which Dr. ENGLAND published, however hastily, or-in the severe judgment of his own mind—imperfectly written, is worthy of being preserved and read by posterity.
I wished very much to have the quotations and historical references verified, as errors in these matters are easily committed, even by well-informed and honest writers; and this verification was partially made : but our imperfect library, and the many duties of the gentlemen entrusted with the preparation of the work, prevented its being carried through. I am satisfied, however, from the examinations that have been made, and from a knowledge of the accurate mind of Dr. ENGLAND, that his quotations may be generally relied on.
* The Committee was aided in its labor by a Catalogue of Dr. England's Writings, kindly furnished, at my request, by the very intelligent and accomplished ladies of the Ursuline Convent,—then in Charleston.
+ This gentleman is more truly than any one else, the Editor of these volumes, having sustained the principal labor of preparing them, and the more irksome task of superintending their impression.
A few notes have been appended to portions of the work ;-more would have needlessly increased the size and expense of the publication.
To each volume a Table of Contents has been prefixed, and to the last, a General Index has been appended, sufficiently copious and exact to be of great convenience and service to the reader.
I cannot conclude these remarks, without expressing my regret, that I could find no one, among the numerous friends and admirers of Dr. ENGLAND, who would undertake to write his biography. Being imperfectly acquainted with his early life, and wholly occupied in the duties of my station, I could not myself prepare one, and I can only offer two hiographical notices, remarkably well written, indeed, but entirely too brief for the importance of the subject.
I hope it will not be considered improper for me here to say, that it is not without feelings of anxiety I have committed the present volumes to the press. My expectations of a large subscription list, and of advance payment, in part, or in full, by many, have not been realized; and it may be, that a more embarrassing disappointment awaits me, in respect to the sale of the work. Yet, as I can scarcely believe that such will be the result, I have, after a long and anxious delay, contracted a heavy debt by the present publication, relying entirely, for the means of payment, on the patronage of the public, and especially on the benevolent exertions and active zeal of my Clerical Brethren in this country. To them, the Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests of the Holy Catholic Church in these States, I respectfully offer and dedicate the present volumes, humbly invoking the blessing of God on this work, which has been undertaken solely for his honor and glory.
† IGNATIUS ALOYSIUS REYNOLDS,
Bishop OF CHARLESTON
CHARLESTON, S. C. Feast of S. Francis Xavier, 1848.
On the Vicious Circle supposed to be contained in the Argument from Scripture for
General and Alphabetical Indices will accompany the last volume.
Editorial Notes, etc., are included between brackets.
Page 29, col. 1, 5th line from the top, “ political” should probably be - polemical.”
36, Poem, by J. A. Shea, 2d line of lst verse, for “ its” read' " is.”
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND OBITUARY NOTICES
EXTRACT FROM A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF to embrace the ecclesiastical state a wish
THE Right Rev. John ENGLAND, LATE which he stated to be the result of nearly BISHOP OF CHARLESTON.
two years of silent reflection; and on the
| fulfilment of which, he declared his heart to (From the Dublin Catholic Directory.)
be firmly and unalterably fixed. Upon beThe distinguished subject of this memoir, ing convinced that his choice sprung from the Right Rev. John England, late Bishop no hasty or ill-considered determination, or of Charleston, United States of America, was what from his filial aflection he dreaded born in the city of Cork, on the 23d of more, no sacrifice of his own feelirgs to September, 1786. A modesty the most those which le might have conjectured io be sensitive, a kindness of heart the most de. their's, Mr. England's parents gladly secondvoted, distinguished him even in boyhood, ed his views, which indeed had long been and endeared him to all within his sphere, the object of their anxious though unexlong before the developnent of ihose great pressed wishes. intellectual powers which have ranked him From this time to his entrance at college, with the ablest and most eminent men of a space of two years, dir. Erglard cccupied his time. It were indeed easy, did the space himself in more assiduous application to his afforded to this hurried sketeh permit us, to studies, having, at the desire of his Li: hop, furnish instances from his earl est age, of that the Right Rev. Francis Nioylan, placed himfervor of devotion-1hat greatness of soul- self under the par: icular care of the Very that lofty spirit of self-sacrifice, that ennobled Rev. Robert M Carily, the Dean of the Diohim living, and embalm his memory dead. cess, a man of eximplary virtue, whose On such matters, however, we cannot afford esteem and afliction he rapidly won, and to dwell, but must leare to others to trace whose lessons of religion and self-devotedfrom its intant source that tide of deep phi- ness, he proved by his afier career to have lanthropy and apostolic devotion, which, made an inddible impression upon his checked and bufeied as it was, pursued its mind. course in defiarce of the obstacles that beset
On the 31st of August, 1803, Mr. Eng. it, and bore the blessings of charity and faith land left Cork for the College of Carlow; to thousands on its way.
and, in the secord year af er his entrance, Having providentially recovered from a commenced delivering catechetical instrucgerere fever, that attacked him in the seventh tions in the parish chapel, which not only year of his age, acconipanied by an ulcerous the children, but the adults of the town and afftction of the throat, which rendered the neighbourhood thronged to hear. He likeremoval of one of the tonsils necessary, wise devoted much of his leisure time to the Mr. England received all the advantages of religious instruction of the Roman Catholic education that the schools of his native city portion of the Cork Militia, then stationed afforded, until he reached his fifteenth year. in Carlow, under the cominand of Colonel Having at this period made considerable Longfield. This officer was persuaded, by progress in his studies, his father became the representations of some bigoted fanatics, desirous that he would turn his attention to to bring to court martial the men who atsome pursuit, in which he could forward tended his instructions; but to the mortifibim in life; but, when on the eve of doing cation of their persccutors, the inquiry ended 80, he was agreeably surprised by his son's in his sanction and approval of the young unexpectedly communicating to him his wish apostle's proceedings, who frequently after