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Sovereign Arbiter of nations, as of individuals, and that wars are never accidents, never take place but by divine permission, and unless He who rules over all has some purpose of mercy or of vengeance to accomplish by them. Nations are but his instruments, and he uses them as he pleases. Nations may sin, as well as individuals ; and when they do, he punishes them here, for they have no hereafter. Mexico has offended God. She rebelled against her king, and, without any cause of complaint, from a mere love of change and novelty, threw off her legitimate sovereign. She has oppressed the pastors whom the Holy Ghost had placed over her to rule her, and to feed her with the bread of life ; she has forgotten her ancient faith, neglected her religion, and sought greatness and glory in infidelity and licentiousness, and Almighty God is angry with her, and uses us as his instruments for her chastisement, that he may one day remember her in mercy. Let us beware. Let us not boast, and say, “Mine own arm has gotten me the victory.” He knows well how to humble us, and when he has accomplished his purpose with us, when the cup of our iniquity is full, he will visit us with a sevenfold vengeance. It is no proof that he is satisfied with us, that he has thus far given success to our arms. In the hour of success is the time to humble ourselves, to remember non nobis, and to pray that we may have the grace to return to God, and to avert his displeas

Alas ! we, too, have forgotten God, and put our trust in ourselves, in our own stout hearts and strong right arms. We have prospered beyond all example, and we have ascribed our prosperity to ourselves, and forgotten to remember whose it is to give or withhold. For this wonderful prosperity of ours, we shall one day, as a nation, be called to render a strict account. May that be a day, not of vengeance, but of approbation and reward !


ART. V. - The Right Reverend Benedict Joseph Fenwick,

second Bishop of the Diocese of Boston.

Few who had the honor of personally knowing the late eminent Bishop of Boston but looked upon him as a great and good man, and upon themselves as highly privileged in being

permitted to love and revere him. Especially was this the case with those who were in habits of daily intercourse with him, who sat familiarly at his table, and shared his intimacy. To them he was a pleasant companion, a faithful and affectionate friend, a wise and prudent counsellor, a watchful and loving father. They have no words to say how much they loved and venerated him, or to express how deeply they feel their bereavement. They never met, and they have no hope of meeting, his equal in another; and their grief would be more than they could bear, did they not find consolation in reflecting that it has been theirs to know familiarly one who gave them, by his virtues, a higher conception of the capacities of our common nature, and of the power and riches of divine grace; that they have felt the influence, enjoyed the friendship, and received the paternal counsels and blessing of one whose labors and example were a precious gift from heaven to the community in which he lived; and that he is removed from them only to enter upon the rewards of his fidelity and life of self-sacrifice, and to be able to serve more effectually the children he so tenderly loved, by his more intimate union with the common Father of us all.

It would give us great pleasure to be able to write the life and portray the character of this eminent divine, and model of Christian prelates ; but that is an honor to which it is not ours to aspire. That honor is reserved for others, who are less recent members of the flock over which he was set by the Holy Ghost, who have known him longer and better, and can speak more worthily of the events of his active life and his invaluable services to religion in this country, and who are more entitled to the consolation of delineating, for the edification of the faithful, those traits of his character which so quickened their love of virtue, and so endeared him to their hearts. We can presume only to recall for our readers a few impressions we personally received in our short but frequent intercourse with him during the last two years of his life, — an intercourse, we need not say, we regard as one of the richest of the many blessings which a kind Providence has ever scattered with a liberal hand along our pathway in life.

We saw Bishop Fenwick for the first time in the spring of 1843. During the preceding winter our religious views had undergone several important modifications, and we began to suspect that the Catholic Church might prove to be less corrupt than we had supposed, — might, perhaps, after all, turn out to be the Church of God. Our attention was called more particularly to this point by seeing some of our essays copied with commendation into one or two Catholic journals. We had had, strictly speaking, no acquaintance with Catholics ; we had never read, hardly even seen, a single book written by a Catholic in exposition and defence of Catholic doctrines ; and we thought it singular that we should be able to write any thing acceptable to Catholics. Were we in very deed approaching the Church ? Had we unconsciously adopted principles which, if followed out, would require us to abandon our position in the Protestant world? The question was worth settling, and we knew not how to settle it without applying to some living Catholic teacher. Accordingly, with many misgivings, after much internal conflict, and summoning up all our courage, we sought an interview with Bishop Fenwick. A young friend, who had been introduced to him, called with us ; we were shown into his room, our friend told him our name, and in a moment we were perfectly at our ease. A lively conversation instantly ensued, on one subject and another, but with no direct reference to the point on which we wished to consult him. It was Holy Week; his time was much taken up, and we forbore to prolong our interview beyond fifteen or twenty minutes. Requesting permission to call and see him again, when he should be more at leisure, we took our leave.

Certainly, nothing remarkable occurred in this interview; nothing remarkable was said ; and yet we were strangely affected, and had a strong inclination, on taking our leave, to kneel and beg the Bishop's blessing. What affected us we could not have told, can hardly tell even now, and yet affected we were, and went out from his presence feeling that we were a different man from what we were on entering. We had remarked no extraordinary ability or acquirement, and what had been said on either side had been said in a lively and half-sportive strain. If one thing struck us more than another in the Bishop's character, it was his ease and agreeableness of manner, and his ready humor and pleasant wit. Yet there was, withal, so much tenderness, so much sweetness and simplicity of spirit, so much paternal sensibility, that he took instant possession of us, and we were never able afterwards to dismiss him from our mind or heart. Assuredly, on entering his room, we had no serious thought of becoming a Catholic ; but we left him with the full determination to return, as soon as he should be more at leisure, and solicit his instructions.

Certainly, we did not leave Bishop Fenwick with the impression that he was personally that remarkable man we subsequently found him. Indeed, while we were conversing with him, though he related an anecdote of himself, our thoughts were not fixed on him personally. He was not occupied with himself, and he did not permit you to be occupied with him. Persons were out of the question, and forgotten. He entered into no argument with us, and said nothing to flatter our vanity or self-love, and we went out humbled, not exalted, in our estimation. What, then, was the secret of his influence ? It was hard to say. But, in fact, the influence of the truly great man is always a puzzle, for you rarely see or suspect, at the moment, his real greatness. The men who strike us suddenly as great are, in general, men who are so only in this or that particular, and who, though calling forth our admiration, exert very little influence on our minds or hearts. They have certain prominences of character which arrest attention ; but on familiar acquaintance, they are almost always found to be wanting in many of the requisites of true greatness. The truly great man presents always, so to speak, an even surface, and fails, by his very greatness, to impress us at first sight with a sense of his superiority. One feels this in studying the character of Washington. His is a character of admirable proportions, remarkable for its completeness and integrity. Nothing projects from the rest, and it is only after long study and comparison that its real superiority begins to dawn upon us. It was so with Bishop Fenwick, in a remarkable degree. His character was admirably balanced ; the proportions were preserved throughout, and you were unconscious of its real superiority till you had measured the scale on which it was constructed. In company with him and others, you would often feel that he counted for the least present, till gradually you discovered that he was the life and soul of all that had been going on, and that, without intending it, without being conscious that he was doing it, he had moved each according to the operations of his own mind. Perfectly unassuming, void of all pretension, and anxious to make himself of no account, he was ever the master-spirit, and would have been, place him where or with whom you might. We have known intimately some of the most distinguished among those our countrymen delight to honor, but in this respect we have never seen him surpassed, or even equalled.

It was over a year before we saw Bishop Fenwick for the



second time. Immediately after Easter, he left Boston to attend the Provincial Council at Baltimore, and to spend some weeks on a visit to his friends in Maryland, his native State. Before he returned, we were engrossed with a new question. We could accept the Church, but hesitated to abjure Protestantism. We regretted that the Reformers, in the sixteenth century, had broken away from the Church, and set up rival and hostile communions of their own ; and we should have rejoiced, if it had been our lot to have been born and brought up in her communion. But when we came to reflect seriously on the matter, we found we could not join her communion, without saying, by our act, that we believed Protestantisın to be an unsafe way of salvation.

of salvation. If salvation was attainable out of the Church, there could be no solid reason for joining her; if not, what was to be said of the whole Protestant world, and of those eminent Protestants whom we had been accustomed to love and honor as the glory of their age and race? To assume that all these must be finally lost, if dying out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church, was altogether more than we were prepared for. Could not an alternative be found? Is there not some ground on which we may accept the Church, without abandoning our hope for our Protestant friends ? We spent a whole year in trying to discover some such ground; but without any satisfactory success. Meanwhile, the matter began to assume a serious aspect, - began to come home to our own conscience.

We had no lease of life ; we might, at any moment, be summoned to our last account ; and, if dying where we were, could we hope to see God? There was no blinking the question ; and why, after all, should we peril our own salvation in debating whether our Protestant friends could or could not safely remain where they were ? Perhaps the greatest charity to them would be for us to obey God in his Church.

Thus questioning with ourselves, but unable to come to any final decision, we thought we would once more call on Bishop Fenwick, propose to him the difficulty, and ascertain how he would meet it.

This time we called alone. He received us in a frank and cordial manner, said he read our Review with attention, perceived that we were making some progress towards the Church ; but he was surprised that we objected to the Pope. “ What can be your objections to the Pope ?” “I do not object to the Pope. Some time ago I was foolish enough to say, that the problem of the age is Catholicism without Pa

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