Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

that these differences have not diminished his interest in us personally, or impaired his confidence in our Review, we are assured by the letter already spoken of, addressed to us without our solicitation, and it is with sincere gratitude to his Grace that we quote his encouraging words : “You are aware, my dear Doctor, that as regards yourself and the Review, no substantial change has come over my mind from the publication of its first number. My desire is that it should increase and prosper.

There has been, in consequence of a singular misapprehension of the position and tendencies of the Review in relation to Catholics of foreign birth, some clamor raised and some prejudice excited against it, but as far as our knowledge extends, the good feelings and wishes expressed by his Grace are those entertained by all our Archbishops and Bishops without exception. Differences of opinion on some points not of faith, and in regard to the expedience or policy of broaching certain discussions, have certainly existed, and very likely still exist; but no Prelate in the Union has signified to us, directly or indirectly, any loss of confidence in us or in our Review. The illustrious Bishop of Pittsburg, who has always been one of its best friends, and for whom we have the profoundest respect, requested us to withdraw his name from the cover of the Review, not because he disapproved it, not because he wished the Review to be discontinued, but because the secular press persisted in holding the Bishops who had kindly given us their names, by way of encouragement, responsible for all the opinions we advanced. This placed them in a false position, and was unjust, because while we enjoyed the freedom, they were made to share the responsibility. Unwilling to be the occasion of so gross an injustice to them, we, of our own accord, omitted at the beginning of the last year their names from the Review, so that nothing we might write should compromise them, so that the freedom and responsibility should go together, and while we took the liberty of writing what we thought proper, we alone should be held responsible. We write, as

, all the world knows, what we please, and we think it no more than just that we should bear the responsibility.

We have, as will be seen, commented at length on the topics preseuted by his Grace in so far as related to us personally or to our Review, and have made such remarks, disclaimers, and explanations as seemed to us alike due to him, to ourselves, and the Catholic public. We trust we have taken no improper liberty, and have said nothing that can be construed into an offence to any one. We certainly have intended nothing of the sort. As far as we ourselves are concerned, his Grace's publication has been kindly meant, and demands our respectful and even our grateful consideration. We thank him for the interest he has taken in our welfare, and the earnest appeal he has made in our behalf. The Review has at times its trials, its struggles, its ups and its downs, but we do not think the Catholic public are as yet disposed to suffer it to fail for the want of support. The feeling against it in certain quarters is not so deep as might be supposed, and is at worst only temporary.

There is in the Catholic community, in the laity as well as in the clergy, a deep sense of justice, and they will never fail to come to the aid of him who they see has been wronged. They have, what is more to our purpose, a deep and abiding love for every thing Catholic, and they will make almost any sacrifice to sustain a work that is sincerely Catholic and really useful to Catholic interests. As long as such is the case with our Review, they will sustain it, and we should regret to have them sustain it one moment longer. We look upon the crisis in our case as past. The opposition, which has been somewhat severe, and has, no doubt, at times irritated us, for we are human, is not likely to increase. The discussions which have occasioned it, have all been gone through with, and are not likely to come up again. Other topics will engage our attention, and though we shall neither try nor expect to avoid all collision of opinion, for we are and will be free spoken, we trust the current will run smoother for the future, and passion on all sides have time to subside, and mutual confidence have an opportunity to revive. With even renewed cheerfulness and hope we enter upon the fourteenth year of our Review, and send out the first number of its fourteenth volume, with the compliments of the season to all our friends, who we will not believe are not as numerous as ever.

Art. VI.-LITERARY NOTICES AND CRITICISMS. 1. The Catholic Church in the United States ; Pages from its History.

By HENRY DE COUROY. Translated and enlarged, by John Gilmary Shea. Second edition, revised. New-York: Danigan & Brother. 1857. 12mo. pp. 689.

We are not surprised that a second edition of this work has been so soon called for. With all its imperfections and errors it has some merits, and ineets a want, better than any other work of the sort we have, which is deeply felt, of knowing something of our Catholic history. The objections we feel to it, are not felt by all, and to some persons these objections are a recommendation even. What we have said against it will put people on their guard, and go far towards neutralizing the mischief it might seem fitted to do. Nobody will think of relying on it, where its statements are not corroborated, as an authority. We are sorry, however, that Mr. Shea, its translator, and Mr. De Courcy's fellow-laborer in its concoction, should have suffered himself to write such a paragraph as this in the preface: “The first edition was generally well received, and it was with no little amazement that I found one or two periodicals disposed to make it the ground for assailing the private character of the author, his motives, and his honesty. Those vague charges launched forth in the accents of passion and wrath, so evidently betray their source, that it would be folly to regard them.” We fear the translator's own “passion and wrath” have made him, for a moment, forget himself. "If it were folly to regard these charges, he should have passed them over in dignified silence; and he felt it necessary to refer to them at all, he should have named the periodicals intended, specified their charges, and, if false, contradicted them. He should remember that it is as wrong to assail the motives of an editor, and to bring vague charges against him, as it is to assail the motives of an author, and to make vague charges against his private character. If the learned gentleman alludes to us, we deny in toto his charge. We have never assailed Mr. De Courcy's private character, his motives, or his honesty, as a man. In what we said of his private character, we made no statement to his discredit. We merely said he was a Frenchman, who, ten or a dozen years ago, came to this country to make his fortune as an agent or partner of a French commercial house in this city, and expressed ourselves happy to learn that he had effected his purpose and returned to his native France. What is there in this to his discredit? All else we said was said of him as a writer, and as a correspondent of French journals, on American persons and affairs. He may have been, and no doubt was, a very estimable man in private life, and had we known him personally, we might ourselves have esteemed him in his private and social relations. As a writer and correspondent, especially of the Univers, we undoubtedly spoke of him in severe terms, but not in so severe terins as he seemed to us to deserve. Let his friends specify any particular in which they regard us as judging him too severely or unjustly, and show us that we really have done so, we will most cheerfully retract it, and make him all the amends possible in the case. But they must not forget that Mr. De Courcy while here, traduced us personally and our country in the Univers, and bad laid himself open to severe censure, not for doing wrong intentionally, for we doubt not his honesty of purpose, but for not taking the proper pains to inform himself, and for the blundering use he made of such information as he received. Our readers ought by this time to know that we seldom make statements against a writer, without having tolerable reasons for so doing. We have never yet written a word in this Review from passion, wrath, or revenge, or censured in it a living mortal from a sense of personal wrong, from personal motives, or from any other than public reasons. The manner in which a class of scribblers allow themselves to write of us and our Review, has never been adopted by us towards others, and never will be. Time will show that we have suffered wrong, but that as a Reviewer we have wronged no one, unless through a very pardonable error of judgment; and whenever we have discovered such error, we have always been prompt to acknowledge it, and to make all the amends in our power. We claim no credit for this; it was our duty.

2. The Life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. By M. DE MOERLÈS.

From the French. With an Appendix, containing fifteen of Mary's Letters, and additional Notes. By M. L. Ryan. Boston: Donahoe. 1857. 12mo. pp. 391.

An interesting work, which deserved to be done into English, as well as out of French. It is a vindication, and a successful vindication of Mary, and as such, we highly esteem it.

3. Fundamental Philosophy. By Rev. JAMES BALMES. Translated

from the Spanish, by Henry F. Brownson, M. A. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. 1856. 2 vols. 12mo.

We think the reader will find these volumes well translated, into good English, and reading as well in English as in the original Spanish. Of the merits of the work, we have spoken in the Introduction. The book has been translated by one of our sons, at our suggestion, and we need not say that we commend it to the public as decidedly the best work on the grounds of philosophy, to be found in our language, original or translated.

4. Histoire de l'Eglise de Rome sous les Pontificats de St. Victor, de

St. Zephirin, et de St. Calliste, de l'An 192 à l'An 224. Un siècle avant le Concile de Nicée. Par l'Abbé M. P. CRUICE. Paris : Firmin Didot Frères, Fils et Ce. 1856. 8vo. pp. 424.

This is a work of solid learning, on a most interesting period of Ecclesiastical History, hitherto but imperfectly studied. We will not say that the Abbé Oruice's book leaves no gaps to be filled up, no further information to be desired, but it throws new light on the period of which it traces the history, and proves that the Church of Rome, or the Catholic Church, was as completely organized at the end of the second century as she is now, and that the Papacy was as fully developed, and her doctrines as distinctly taught, and as fully believed. It is impossible for Protestants to read this work and honestly deny that Catholicity as taught and believed to-day, dates from the Apostolic Age. We shall have more to say of this volume hereafter. 5. The Genius of Christianity, or The Spirit and Beauty of the Chris

[graphic]

tian Religion. By Viscount CHATEAUBRIAND. A new and complete Translation from the French, with a Preface, Biographical Notice of the Author, and Critical and Explanatory Notes. By Charles I. White, D. D. Baltimore: Murphy & Co. 1856. 8vo.

pp. 763.

This is a celebrated work, and was the earliest of the works written to defend Christianity on simply human grounds,—the only grounds on which, in our times, it is seriously attacked. Something of the aroma of the original seems to us to have escaped in the tran-lation, but it is honestly and faithfully rendered, and Dr. White deserves our thanks for his labor. Of the original work we cannot speak in terms of unqualified praise. Its argument is not absolutely conclusive, but its effect on the mind and heart of the reader is favorable. The work has certainly done good, and we owe, personally, a debt of gratitude to the author; for this very work many years ago, falling into our hands while we were an avowed unbeliever, had the etfect to remove the hostility we felt to the Christian religion, and to make us able to study its evidences without prejudice. We are, therefore, glad that it is now placed within the reach of every English reader.

6. Pauline Seward. A Tale of Real Life. By J. D. Bryant, M. D.

Fifth Edition. Baltimore: Murphy & Co. 1856. 2 vols. 12mo.

We had a squabble with the author of this book when it was first published, and were obliged, in self-defence, to criticise it with some severity. We presume neither party has any disposition to renew the squabble. We never supposed that our criticism would injure the sale of the book, and are not sorry to learn that it has reached a fifth edition.

7. Grantley Manor. A Tale. By Lady GEORGIANA FULLERTON.

Baltimore: Murphy & Co. 1856. 12mo. pp. 320.

A new edition of a work heretofore reviewed by us, and, in a literary point of view, deserving high praise.

8. Life of Mrs. Eliza A. Seton, Foundress and first Superior of the Sis

ters or Daughters of Charity in the United States of America. By CHARLES I. WHITE, D.D. Second revised edition. Baltimore : Murphy & Co. 1856. 12mo. pp. 462. This work has already received two elaborate reviews in our pages, and we need only commend it anew to the Catholic public.

9. Principles of Government; or, Meditations in Exile. By WILLIAM

Smith O'BRIEN. With notes to the American Edition. Boston:
Donahoe. 1856. 12mo. pp. 460.

We have no great admiration for Mr. Smith O'Brien; but his book, though not very original or profound, is one that we shall be glad to see circulate among his and our countrymen. We hope to be able to return to it, and speak of it at length.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »