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THE SECOND PARLIAMENT OF 1847. PARLIAMENT has again assembled. It rarely happens that the close of the year witnesses the opening of a Parliamentary session. And what has caused this exception? Why, with Parliament so lately prorogued—dissolved-has the Legislature been so hastily summoned to resume its duties? The cause, or causes, afford no satisfactory reply to these questions. Whether to relieve the almost unprecedented mercantile embarrassinents; or to devise plans for the tranquillity of Ireland; or to render life in that more than half Romish country safe from the mark of the assassin,-is cause, not for congratulation, but for condolence.
If space in our closing number allowed, we would comment upon the Papal rescript lately received in Ireland, in condemnation of the godless colleges”-a rescript which directly brings into collision the laws of Great Britain with the laws of the Papacy,—and raises the question, whether Queen Victoria, with the Cabinet of St. James's; or the Pope, with his Conclave at the Vatican, shall virtually rule in Ireland, and sway the interests of the United Empire.
Never, we believe, since the Reformation and the Revolution, has a Parliament been assembled in England at so critical a juncture, with such mighty interests at stake, and so little apparent controlling or administrative talent.
We speak not of a few individuals, who in their isolated positions are still what they long have been, but of men united, or capable of union, upon principle, or even upon expediency, to suggest and carry out a policy worthy of this still great Christian and Protestant country.
What were deemed the great parties, are now broken up, and their disjecta membra, like wrecks upon the surface of the deep, when the tempestuous storm is past, serve but to tell of the. mighty powers which have been
Oh, that they had been based upon the Scripture! Oh, that they had been guided by the eternal principles of truth and rectitude! instead of veering by the gales of a fluctuating expediency. Then the long recognised leader of what was termed the great Conservative party had never lent his aid to
Vol. IX.-December, 1847. : BB New Series, No. 24.
dismantle and destroy our constitution; and the known leader of the Liberal party, as it was called, had not been the ally of those who, themselves the slaves of the worst of despotism, are striving to enslave our own land; but forgetful of minor differences, might have met, not to oppose one another on party grounds—but Popery as a common enemy, alike of religion, common sense, policy, morality, and their country's best interests.
As it is, we present comparatively scattered forces, without a leader-against powers the most disciplined, united, and best directed.
But shall we therefore be discouraged ? By no means. We wish to have the full amount of danger before us, to incite to effort.
The quiet Roman Catholics, who sought-not toleration, for that they have ever had in England-possessed of power, are denying to us Protestants the right of free discussion; of deliberating and acting for the nation's good; and seeking by intrigue in foreign diplomacy, and barbarisms and murder in Ireland, to intimidate, or allure the Protestant Government of Great Britain into an entire compliance with the demands of Papal Rome.
The Pope's myrmidons seem as much to have taken possession of Great Britain as the armies of the Allied Powers ever had occupation of Paris.
Is there not to be a Romish Archbishop of Westminster ? Are we not to have the Romish Episcopate widely extended amongst us? Do not the Romish priesthood in Ireland contend for the investment in their own body of all the property upon which the schools are to be built? Do we not see their own organs contending for an endowment, with manse, and glebe, provided they can have it entirely free from State control, and governed only by the canon law?
Is there not too much reason to believe that measures are on foot to renew diplomatic relations with Rome? and thus to forge the one link which yet happily seems wanting to unite us to the apostasy, and entail upon us a portion of her plagues and punishments!
We would strongly urge upon our friends and readers to be up and doing, for evil is at the door. While they sleep, the enemy is awake, and busily employed in working his own advancement and their destruction.
Protestants ! “ awake, arise, or be for ever fallen !"
THE POPE.-LORD ARUNDEL AND SURREY. POPERY is becoming the absorbing question of the day.
Whether we regard the colleges in Ireland, diplomatic relations with Rome, glebe-houses for the priests in Ireland, endowment of the Romish hierarchy, the education question, foreign or domestic
policy—in each and all of these Popery has more or less a share. Monarchs, Parliaments, peasants, princes, are all made more or less to feel the weight and influence of a system whose power they have pampered into magnitude, and before which they are now quailing. The cloven foot has at length peeped out from beneath the ecclesiastical drapery of the scarlet lady of the Seven Hills; and many champions in honest sincerity, no less than many as “ artificers of fraud,” have come forth to help her in her time of need.
Foremost amongst the former, is Lord Arundel and Surrey-a distinguished member of a noble house, whose attachment to the cause of the Papacy is a matter of history. The Noble Lord referred to has recently addressed the following letter to the editor of the Times, on the subject of the Papal rescript with reference to the “godless colleges” in Ireland.
It contains much that is plausible, much that is fallacious, much assertion, too, we fear, which will pass for fact with those ignorant of the devices of the evil one, and the way in which Popery would represent herself as an angel of light, sent to irradiate with her sainted presence the darkness of this lower world. Yet of the sophistries thus employed to reconcile Protestantism with Popery, and England to Rome, we may exclaim,
“Vain reasoning all, and false philosophy." The following is the letter:
“ TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES. 6. Sir,-- The public papers are at this moment teeming with indignant articles against his Holiness the Pope, on account of a rescript lately addressed to the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, in which he advises them to have nothing to do with the colleges now building in that country. Every description of invective is indulged in against the beloved head of the Catholic Church, and we are told that English frigates at the mouth of the Tiber would be a far more effectual and spirited assertion of the rights of the British Government than any attempt at negotiation through an accredited Minister at the Court of Rome, · “Whether it be advisable or not that this country should be represented, as every other European Power (Protestant as well as Catholic) is, at the Roman Court, is not the point to which I wish now to advert; but I would ask any dispassionate man to look at the simple question of the Pope's rescript, and to say whether that document is such as to merit the grave censures which so many of the English papers think proper to bestow upon it. The Pope is the spiritual father of the Catholic Church. He is bound by his sacred office to protect the religion of all his flock-to encourage the weak, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the strong. If he neglects this important duty, his own salvation is at risk. Such being the fact, he receives from the spiritual leaders of a portion of his flock (that is to say, from the Catholic Bishops of Ireland) an intimation that certain colleges are about to be erected in Ireland by the British Government. He is further informed of the system to be followed in those colleges; and he is asked by the Catholic Bishops, whether, in his opinion, such colleges, so conducted, are likely to form institutions in which the Catholic youth of Ireland can be educated without danger to that faith, the corruption or loss of which is fatal to their salvation.
“The opinion of the Holy Father is, that colleges under such a system cannot be frequented by the Catholic youth with a prudent regard to the purity and integrity of their faith. That is the opinion of his Holiness; and he is bound, as he values his own salvation, to express it. It is not in his power to prevent the Government from building the colleges ; neither can he absolutely prevent parents from sending their sons to them ; but it is in his power, and it is his bounden duty, to warn them of what he considers their dangerous tendency. And now, I ask, what Christian father is there who does not, more or less, follow the same course, as the one taken by the Irish Bishops ? Who is there amongst the many religiously-minded fathers in England that does not inquire of some clergy man in whose character be places firm reliance as to the relative merits of Eton and Westminster, of Cambridge and Oxford ? How is it possible, with any regard for the common principles of justice and fair dealing, to blame men who act in their public capacity, a part precisely similar to that which every father who feels as a father should feel for the eternal welfare of his child must follow in the choice of the manner of his son's education ?
" To treat the subject as it deserves, and to answer all the arguments which have been unreasonably brought forward, would require a pamphlet rather than the small space which I can venture to hope for in your columus.
“I have the honour to be your obedient servant, “ Nov. 10."
“ ARUNDEL AND SURREY. The Noble Lord contends that the Pope's rescript, in which he condems the colleges in Ireland, is not such as to merit the grave censure bestowed upon it by many of the English papers.
The reasons alleged are, that the Pope, as spiritual father, is bound to interfere, and deserts his duty if he neglects to do so.
Now, if the Pope's power is a legitimate one, then by virtue of the same power which authorizes him to speak; nations, cabinets, people, and princes, are bound to obey.
There cannot be two supreme authorities at the same time. Divide and conquer, is the old maxim, and no less true than old. But to give to any foreign power, whether called civil or ecclesiastical, a control over the domestic policy of a state, is to make that state a province, and appendage to such power.
Britons struggled even when Popish against the foreign interference of the Pope, called spiritual but directed upon temporal objects.
Should Protestants, then, not fear? shall they succumb? shall they welcome the foe their ancestors drove from the shores of England ? We trust they never will, but will demonstrate by their votes, their prayers, and petitions,—their attachment to the cause of truth and freedom;--their opposition to that of false. hood and slavery.
MONTMORENCY.—A ROMAN CATHOLIC TALE.*
( Continued from p. 337.)
Chapter VI. It was late one morning in the month of January when an aged domestic entered Sir Hubert's lonely breakfast-parlour, in which the untasted meal remained, and informed him that a young woman dressed like a peasant most earnestly requested to see him.
“I can see no one,” was the laconic reply
“Do see her, Sir," said the man in an imploring voice; “though meanly dressed she has not a common air, and has also come from a distance on most urgent business.”
“Let her come in then," said the aged knight; and as the servant bowed and retired, Sir Hubert added, speaking to himself, “Why should I selfishly refuse to take one drop from another's cup of misery, because my own is filled to overflowing ?”
The peasantess entered, and waited only for the door to be closed ere she fell on her knees before Sir Hubert, whom she thus addressed :
“I kneel to you to implore your pity—to implore your aid, yet not for myself. I plead the cause of injured innocence—the cause of one ready to perish. Sir Hubert, I plead for your lovely, your hapless daughter.”
“Who art thou ? Where is she? What have they done to her ? What can I do ?” asked the agitated father, with rapidity.
The peasant replied, “I am the cousin of Clara." “ Frances !” exclaimed her uncle, starting, as though from a viper.
" Oh, no; Frances will never plead the cause of her whom she has basely betrayed. I am Clarice, the friend as well as the cousin of Clara ; to rescue her I have exposed myself to danger—to danger so great that I shudder at the thought of discovery."
• What intelligence do you bring of my daughter?"
“ Sir Hubert, may I converse with you as with an honourable man, who will not reveal at the confessional all he knows? will you solemnly promise never to betray me?”
“I will,” was the unhesitating reply. “I have been deceived, cruelly deceived by one who has already broken his solemn promise respecting my daughter; the time is past, and he still deludes me with fair and unmeaning words. Trust me then, my niece, and let me behold my child again, reclaimed or unreclaimed."
“ A week since,” said Clarice, in a low tone of voice, “ Father Joachim came to Ardennes, and at midnight was admitted by a private entrance into the closet of Father Adrian. I have long watched their every movement, but need not now detail particulars. From childhood acquainted with the recesses of the house, I concealed myself, and learnt to my horror that Clara, who has already been a month in the convent dungeons, is next week to be sent to Rome. Much of the conversation passed in a whisper, but this I too plainly gathered. Father Adrian, it is true, seemed most reluctant; pleaded his solemn
* The above Tale is now in course of publication by Messrs. Seeley, as a separate volume,