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this question first. But, in point of fact, democracy is a mischievous dream, wherever the Catholic Church does not predominate, to inspire the people with reverence, and to teach and accustom them to obedience to authority. The first lesson for all to learn, the last that should be forgotten, is, TO OBEY. have no government, where there is no obedience; and obedience to law, as it is called, will not long be enforced, where the fallibility of law is clearly seen and freely admitted, and especially where the law changes with every year, or is every year in need of amendment. Reverence for law is in our country already down to the freezing-point, and threatens to fall to zero, and lower. Very few of our countrymen look upon obedience to law as a moral duty. While such is our moral state, it is idle to talk of civil freedom. We have already the germs of anarchy, which events may not be slow to develope and mature. If we love freedom (since freedom is impossible without a well ordered government, without the supremacy of law), we cannot but seek the predominance of the Catholic Church, for no other can teach and produce due reverence and obedience. Under the supremacy of the Catholic Church, through its moral and spiritual influences, liberty may be a reality, and democracy not a delusive dream.
But “ It is the intention of the Pope to possess this country.” Undoubtedly. “In this intention he is aided by the Jesuits, and all the Catholic prelates and priests." Undoubtedly, if they are faithful to their religion. “ If the Catholic Church becomes predominant here, Protestants will all be exterminated.” We hope so, if exterminated as Protestants by being converted to the Catholic faith ; not otherwise. We would exterminate error everywhere, by converting its subjects to the truth, — by moral, not by physical force. This kind of extermination our Protestant brethren are to dread, but no other. The Church never uses physical force ; her weapons are spiritual, not carnal. Yet Protestantism will find them none the less powerful on that account. Before the state, so far as the action of civil government is concerned, the Church permits all men, whatever the form of their faith or worship, to have equal rights; but before herself, before the spiritual tribunal, she knows and can know no toleration of error. She therefore does, and must, labor incessantly — and the Pope, as head of the Church - to root out all error, and to bring all to the belief and profession of the true faith. That to do this, by all spiritual and moral means, is the settled policy of the Church, is unquestionably true. That this policy is dreaded and opposed, and must be dreaded and opposed, by all Protestants, infidels, demagogues, tyrants, and oppressors, is also unquestionably true. Save, then, in the discharge of our civil duties, and in the ordinary business of life, there is, and can be, no harmony between Catholics and Protestants. The two parties stand opposed,
VOL. II. NO. II.
separated, not by a mere paper wall, as some of the sects are, but by a great gulf. In civil and domestic peace, Catholics and Protestants may dwell together; in other respects, there is, and can be, no union among them. The people of Christ are peculiar people; they stand out from the world, distinct, separate, – and must, if they will be the people of Christ. They can have no fellowship with Belial, nor live in peace and harmony with his children. They must be meek, gentle, forbearing, returning always good for evil, blessing for cursing ; but they are to stand on true Catholic ground, and never yield even one hair's breadth.
No matter what taunts may be uttered, what falsehoods propagated, about foreign allegiance, and all that. Let these false hoods go; they are not worth contradicting. Above all, in their eagerness to contradict them, Catholics must not suffer themselves to be betrayed into statements which would restrict the ecclesiastical authority — nay, the Papal authority — further than the Divine constitution of the Church, and its free, unimpeded action will admit. The Papal authority, all know, does not extend to civil matters, save by ordinance and consent of civil governments themselves; but all matters are so mixed up in this life, and all here is so subordinated to the great ends of our existence hereafter, that it is not in all cases easy to draw the line, nor prudent to be over-particular in saying where the spiritual authority begins or ends. Submission in doubtful cases is better than resistance, and individuals in their haste are full as likely to encroach on authority, as the Pope is to encroach on liberty. The calamities which have afflicted the Church have all come from the effort to destroy its independence, to curtail its rightful authority, and to subject it to the civil power. The complete independence of the spiritual authority, its perfect freedom from all dependence on the civil authority, is the motto of every enlightened friend of religion and of religious liberty.
But we are exceeding our limits, and straying from the work before us. They who wish to see the Primacy of the Apostolic See ably and triumphantly vindicated, and the action of the Papal authority over modern civilization clearly set forth and dispassionately considered, will find this volume the very one they need. We commend it to the serious study of our Protestant brethren. Its study may teach them some things they are slow to learn, still slower to believe.
2. — Historical Sketch of O'Connell and his Friends, with a Glance
at the Future Destiny of Ireland. By Thomas D. McGee. Boston : Donahue & Rohan. 1845. 12mo. pp. 208.
This is an interesting and eloquently written work, by the talented editor of the Boston Pilot, and dedicated especially to the citizens of this country who are of Irish descent. It evinces more than ordinary literary ability on the part of its author, as well as a heart tenderly alive to the political interests of Ireland. We might take some exceptions to the work, were we disposed to be very critical. The praise bestowed is laid on rather too thick to suit our taste, and the censures upon those the author does not chance to like are quite too bitter. When the author shall have lived some years longer, he will learn that no man is so good as he is represented to be, and no man so bad. His praise of O'Connell is unbounded, and yet, we are obliged to confess, his work has not tended to exalt O'Connell in our estimation. If an enemy had told us that Daniel O'Connell could ever have so far compromised his principles, as, for any purpose whatever, to have drunk “ The pious and immortal memory of William of Orange, we should have pronounced it a slander. Mr. McGee must allow us also to say, that, considering he is a resident, if not a citizen, of this country, as this is his home, and the sphere of his labors, the whole tone and sentiment of his work are too foreign, especially as intended for American citizens. We find no fault with him for his devotion to Ireland. Nay, we honor him for this devotion. We ask not that our Irish fellow-citizens should forget their fatherland; we are willing, nay, we wish that they should retain for it the warmest affections of the heart ; but we do ask them to remember that they have not brought Ireland with them to the land of their adoption. In these times, when so violent hostility is excited against foreigners, and against Catholic Irishmen in particular, those who write books or conduct newspapers should be careful not to write or say aught gratuitously that may tend to increase this hostility. No small portion of this hostility itself is produced by the forgetfulness of those who conduct the Irish press in this country, that native Americans have sensibilities as well as Irishmen. We speak plainly, but not unkindly. Attached to Ireland by our religion, by our own Irish blood, and by our sympathy with her wrongs and sufferings, which have been so great that we have never been able to read the full history of them, we are not afraid of being misconstrued, or of giving the tenderest Irish sensibility the least offence. Irishmen in this country have a double duty, a duty to the country they have left, and a duty to the country they have adopted. We say not that they are wanting in their duty to the country of their adoption; but we do say, some of their
writers and we cannot except our young friend, the author of the work before us, conducting one of the leading Irish journals in this country manifest an unnecessary forgetfulness of the fact that they are writing for American citizens, and show occasionally an offensive want of respect for American feelings. The Irish Americans constitute a large and an important portion of our population. We welcome them, and we wish them to find here a home, a home which they may enjoy in peace and quietness. We wish no distinction to be made between the native-born and the foreign-born, between the descendants of Irish parents and the descendants of English, Scotch, French, or German parents; and we are confident no distinction would be made, if our Irish fellow-citizens did not themselves make it. But enough of this.
In the effort of O'Connell and his friends to emancipate Ireland, we need not say we take the deepest interest. Ireland has suffered more than any other people. The history of her wrongs is the blackest chapter in the history of the human race, and terrible vengeance will one day be wreaked on England and England's Church; for there is a God in heaven, who will avenge the wronged. So far as the work before us shall tend to excite sympathy with the great movement at the head of which stands Daniel O'Connell, and which owes not less to the Catholic bishops and clergy of Ireland than to him, and so far as it shall tend to enlist the exertions of all the friends of suffering humanity everywhere, we hail it with pleasure, and cordially thank the author for his Jabors, and the present he has made us and the public. We are dently desire to see Ireland's wrongs redressed, and Ireland a free, independent, and prosperous nation; and, if we do not shout “Repeal" as loudly as some of our friends, it is because we have done taking any very active part in political movements, whether at home or abroad. To us, the emancipation of the soul is a greater object than the emancipation of the state ; and to secure the blessings of the world to come is much more important than merely to secure the blessings of political and social liberty here. We honor the Irish for their spirited efforts to regain their national existence and rank; we honor them still more for having for these three hundred years suffered every indignity, privation, and distress, rather than abandon the faith transmitted to them from their fathers. We sympathize with all who struggle to secure to the people their rights; we wish them success; but the remainder of our life must be spent in the effort to promote the welfare of the people by doing what we can to recall them to the true Catholic faith, and to persuade them to seek first the kingdom of God and his justice. The author of the book under consideration claims to be a Catholic. He must pardon us for saying that we have detected in his book several trains of thought and expressions, which we were familiar with before we became a Catholic, but which we
have not been accustomed to find in Catholic writers. We for ourselves can hardly consent to call the Revolt of Islam one of “the literary works which have illuminated the nineteenth century,” the light of which is the darkness of infidelity. But enough of fault-finding. We, notwithstanding the exceptions we have taken, prize Mr. McGee's book very highly. It has interested and instructed us. We assure the author that we shall always hail his literary success with pleasure, and that, if true to his country, his Church, and his faith, his continued success is certain, and an honorable fame awaits him.
3. — The Written Word and the Living Witness: or Bible Ques
tion fairly tested. New-York : Casserly & Sons. 1844. 16mo.
This little volume consists of three tracts. The first, on the use of the Bible, by Fenelon, with illustrations by Rev. John Fletcher, D. D. The second is the celebrated pastoral charge of the Archbishop of Tours on the authority of the Church to interpret the Scriptures: the third is an article from the Dublin Review, on Protestant evidences of Catholicity, by Dr. Julius V. Höninghaus. The three together make a very interesting and valuable volume, which we commend to the serious attention of those who feel interested in the “ Bible question,” and have so much to say about keeping “ the word of God from the people.” As Fenelon is a great favorite with many Protestants, they may perhaps pay some attention to his statements. The article from the Dublin Review will afford them a lucid commentary on their doctrine of the sufficiency of private reason as the interpreter of the word of God.
We intended to discuss the Bible question at length in this number of our Review, but we have filled up our space with discussions which we considered more immediately interesting. Those who regret this are referred to the little volume before us.
4.- Saint Ignatius and his First Companions. By the Rev.
CHARLES CONSTANTINE Pise, D. D. New York : Edward Dunnigan. 1845. 12mo. pp. 361.
A work finely printed and neatly done up, written in a style of great elegance and classical purity, on a subject that must make the coldest heart beat quick, and the dullest tongue grow eloquent.