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fensive to the other; and that the man who makes up his mind to be a Catholic must make it up to be not a Protestant, and to take his stand in the Catholic world alone, for life and for death,
With these views of the present condition of the Catholic population in this country, of the influences to which we are necessarily exposed, the sort of literature we are able to produce, and of that which we need, or which alone could do us any good, we confess that any direct efforts to call forth a domestic literature, a popular literature, we mean, strike us as premature, and not at all desirable. When our colleges have got fairly into operation, and become colleges chiefly, if not exclusively, for Catholics, and have sent out one or two generations of scholars, trained from childhood under strict Catholic discipline, then we may do something; but till then, the most we can do to advantage will be to guard ourselves and others against fatal tendencies, to set forth and defend our faith, and prepare the way for the complete triumph of the Church. Other nations will supply us with books, and better books than we can write for ourselves.
But we have forgotten the little book before us. It is, we have said, a reprint of a recent English work. When we had read only a few pages, we thought it must belong to the category of books we have been censuring, and be written by some Puseyite, who, through mistake, had got into the Church without stopping to doff his Puseyism at the door; but as we read on, we became interested, and finally laid the book down with an impression much in its fa. vor. In fact, though it reminded us, now and then, of Father Dominick's rhapsody in the London Tablet, on Littlemore, in which he exhorts the English Catholics to aspire to the sanctity of that heterodox establishment, or, at best, parody on a Catholic monastery, we were forced to like it, and we cheerfully commend it to our readers. It has one or two literary faults, common to most productions of the kind, such as efforts at fine writing, and wearisome descriptions of natural scenery and external objects, which are uncalled for, and only interrupt the narrative, and one or two opinions incidentally expressed, which are very questionable, and which might have been left unexpressed ; yet it is one of the best little works, treating important matters in a popular manner, we have recently met. It is written with fair artistic skill, the characters are well sustained, and the controversy is managed with adroitness, delicacy, and success. The tone of the book is mild, gentle, but firm and uncompromising. The author writes without any fear of the English Establishment before his eyes. He does not allow it the merit even of being schismatic ; for he does not allow it any church character at all. It has no orders, no altar, no sacrifice, no sacraments, but that of baptism, which may be validly administered even by a pagan. It is an empty form, and has no worth, no vitality, no connection with the Church of God. We like this ; and, after Charles Butler and Dr. Lingard's History of England, it is refreshing, and proves that the spirit of good Bishop Milner is not all extinct. It is such language as this in the mouth of English Catholics that leads us in very deed to hope for England's conversion. English Catholics have been proverbially timid and compromising, and, in more instances than one, have shown that they preferred their king or their queen to their God. If they had had a little of the old uncompromising Catholic spirit of their Irish brethren, England would have been converted long ago, nay, would have never ceased to be Catholic. But, God be praised, a better spirit is beginning to manifest itself among them ; they are beginning to rise from the dust in which they have so long slumbered, to assume a bolder and a more truly Catholic tone, and there is clear evidence that Almighty God is visiting them in mercy. It does one's heart good to hear them tell the Establishment to her face that she is no church, no reality, - that she is, as Carlyle would say, a mere sham; for it is the truth, and the sooner the Anglicans are told it, and told it in tones that ring through their very souls, the better will it be for them, and for all who speak the English tongue. There is joy in heaven when our good old Anglo-Saxon is made once more the language of Christians, and lends its rough energy to give force to truth and holy religion. Shame is it that so noble a tongue should ever have been spoken by the enemies of God and his Church !
The work before us is controversial, but it confines itself to the few, yet all-important, points of difference between us and the Anglo-Catholics, as they call themselves. It treats these deluded individuals with great tenderness, handles them softly, as though it felt they were made of frail materials ; but, while recog. nizing frankly their Catholic tendencies, tells them plainly that they are less consistent than their Evangelical brethren, and place them. selves in the most untenable of all conceivable positions. They are condemned by their own communion, while professing to love and obey it; they are condemned by the Church, because they refuse to enter her fold ; are, indeed, condemned by all parties, can find support nowhere, and must balance themselves on nothing. Yet they are to be compassionated, not upbraided. They really see that there should be, somewhere, a reality ; feel that sham will suffice neither for soul nor for body; and regret, deeply regret, that their fathers cast away the reality for the sham. This is something, and with the stronger of them it is not without result, as the large number of converts from their ranks who have so gladdened our hearts fully proves. But, having inherited the sham from their fathers, although they see and admit it to be a sham, they fancy that by one means or another it may be made a reality. Alas! their task is more hopeless than that which St. Anthony im. posed upon his disciple, Paul. Sooner shall one plant dry sticks,
and, by watering, make them sprout and grow, than Anglicanism ever be made any thing but a miserable sham.
After all, we do not think the controversy with the Oxford party very important. Anglicanism itself is hardly worth opposing. Those of its members who awake to the importance of living a religious life soon discover that it is an empty form, and enter the Church or seek refuge with the Evangelicals. The real enemy, the only enemy in a religious guise, worth fighting, is Calvinism. It has, in some of its forms, a hold on the people, and sustains itself by the adhesive power of hatred. We should like to see our controversialists turning their attention more generally to this enemy of truth and justice, and attempting to rescue its followers from their fatal delusion. We know they are far gone ; we know they are bound in terrible thraldom by their ministers ; but we do not believe that they are wholly beyond the reach of truth. Calvinism demolished, Anglicanism is no more.
The author of the work before us, we have said, confines his controversy to the differences between us and the recent Oxford divines. He has the appearance of regarding the concessions made by these divines as concessions made by Protestants generally; but we cannot so regard them. They abridge the controversy between Catholics and Protestants only in the case of those who make them. Protestants are not one body bound together by common principles, which all feel themselves alike under obligation to maintain. Each fights on his own hook, like the tall Yankee at the battle of Yorktown, and will acknowledge no concessions which he does not personally make. Tell him other Protestants have conceded the point, and he replies, “ What then? I have not conceded it; and you must defeat me personally before I yield you the victory.” Protestants are a heterogeneous mass of individuals, without any common principles or bond of unity. The refutation of one amounts to little, so long as there remains one who has not been personally refuted. The refutation of Jonathan will not be taken as the refutation of Obadiah, though both adopt precisely the same views. There is not a point in Protestantism which some eminent Protestant has not conceded, nor an article of the Church which some eminent Protestant has not defended; and yet the controversy goes on as ever, and over the same ground. If we drive Protestants from one principle, they fly to another; and if we drive them from that, they return without shame to the first. Refutation does not silence them,
“For e'en though vanquished they can argue still.” They are not fair and honorable opponents, and it were to be generous at the expense of justice to treat them as such. They disdain all the ordinary rules of controversy, and to adopt them in our controversy with them would be like the European generals
employing their science and tactics in a warfare with North American Indians. Their method of warfare is their own. It consists in making false charges, and in ignoring their refutation. They have no principles of their own at stake. They are not obliged to stop and inquire what principles their charges involve, and they are free to make charges which imply contradictory principles. if we show them their charges refute one another, it is to no purpose ; they pay no attention to us, but go right on and reaffirm the same charges, as if nothing had been said. They know their charges are false, but by throwing them out they hope to create prejudice against us, and to screen themselves. Surely Catholics must be horrible creatures, or so much would not and could not be said against them; and by keeping Catholics employed in repelling these charges, they can keep them from exploring and exposing the weakness and wickedness of Protestantism. They can keep us on the defensive, and thus escape our attacks.
Now we do not think Catholics are bound to treat Protestantism with any indulgence, or to give it any advantage. It is, as all Catholics know, the enemy of God and men, the contemner of God's Church and the reviler of his saints, and charity, even common huinanity, forbids us to show it any favor. We have no right to stand merely on the defensive. We cannot consent to let our neighbour rush into the flames without making an effort to hold him back, merely because he does not try to drag us in with him. We are bound to love our neighbour as ourselves, and to be ready at any moment to die to save him. All who persist in adhering to Protestantism are out of the way of salvation. Can we see them destroy themselves without doing all in our power to save them ? These millions of obstinate Protestants are our brethren ; Christ died for them as well as for us ; they are our neighbours, — many of them our near and dear friends,- and must not their perilous state touch our hearts and compel us to do all in our power to overthrow this Protestantism which deludes them, and is leading them down to everlasting perdition? We are bound, then, to attack Protestantism with all the ardor of Christian zeal, and with all the weapons to be found in the armory of the Gospel.
We have no occasion to stop to defend ourselves or our Church. She is immaculate, lives a divine life, is under divine protection, and has Almighty God for her defender. Whatever she teaches is the infallible word of God, and whatever discipline she approves must be pure, holy, and salutary. Neither her doctrines nor her discipline stand in any need of human defence. Let the world rage, she is proof against all the wrath of man and the malice of hell. The false charges against Catholics can do us no harm, unless we suffer them to frighten us and induce us to stop and repel them. “ Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, because great is your reward in heaven." We may turn a deaf ear to all these revilings, or rather rejoice in them and be exceeding glad. They should pass us by as the idle wind, and never engage a moment of our time or attention. The enemy only seeks to divert us, by their means, from exposing his own weakness and wickedness. We must not suffer ourselves to be caught in his snare. We must leave the defensive to God and his saints, think not of ourselves, but of the precious souls Protestantism is destroying. We must attack the enemy's camp, and arraign Protestantism herself. She, not the Church, is in question ; she, not the Church, must be put on the defensive. We must demand of her by what right she pretends to be a religion, by what right she as. sumes the name of Christ to take away her reproach, and by what right she dares to seduce souls from their allegiance to God, and peril their salvation. She must be made to stand forth and show cause why judgment shall not be executed against her. We must drag her from her covert, force her into the light, and compel her to stand and make her defence. Strip her of her disguises, tear off her meretricious ornaments, and show her to her deluded followers for what she is. What is she ? What has she? What can she give these millions of famishing souls, trying in vain to draw nourishment from her dry and withered breasts? Answer, thou who art no mother. O the cry, the shriek, of the souls thou hast damn. ed! We have thy answer; that we hear, and with that ringing in our ears and rending our hearts, we care not for thy revilings, thy calumnies; we have but one thought, one wish, one firm resolve, which is to do what man may do with the help of God to save the precious souls for whom our God has died from thy delusions.
Protestantism has been treated too tenderly; she has been allowed advantages to which she had no claim, and the world suffers from the indulgence. Protestants are dear to us; we love them as we do ourselves, and we cannot, in common humanity to them, forbear to do all we can to deliver them from the destroyer. We cannot stop to ward off attacks. Our duty calls us to act on the offensive, to expose the sorceress, to show what it is that has bewitched our brethren and holds them spellbound. Protestantism is strong only when she is suffered to attack and keep Catholics on their defence. Attacked herself, she is as tow at the touch of fire. What we ask of our controversialists is that they carry the war into her camp, and employ against her every spiritual weapon Almighty God has furnished us. Heed not her clamors, heed not her revil. ings, heed not her calumnies, — they are harmless, home upon her with the sword of truth, and her days are soon over, and the places which have known her shall know her no more for ever.
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