« AnteriorContinuar »
SUBSTANCE OF SIR ROBERT INGLIS's two SPEECHES ON THE
These are two admirable — two with to be brought into Parliamentmasterly speeches—and we shall lend for the immediate relief of our seven our aid to the promulgation of the million Catholic brethren, now all sentiments and opinions which they groaning—(under what, pray?)—and so eloquently-yet so gravely express they might add, apparently getting in-believing, as we do, that the mea- comparable fun-rollocking and roarsures they combat, if carried into ef- ing-all over Ireland. fect, would eventually undermine and So delighted are these gentry with overthrow the British constitution. the prospect of Catholic Emancipa
The time, it is supposed by many, tion-two words, by the by, of the is approaching—is close at hand meaning of which they have not the when something will be done to satisfy most distant suspicion—that they octhe Catholics. Reports are abroad, casionally get rather impertinent on precisely of the proper pitch of ab- your hands-wax witty against the surdity, for the greedy swallowing of wisdom of their ancestors-and, unathe great grey-goggle-eyed public, ware of the ludicrousness of the exa who may be seen standing with her hibition, show you how the awkward mouth wide open like a crocodile, with squad take up their ground, in the her hands in her breeches-pockets, at March of Intellect. They accuse you the crosses of cities on market-days, to your face of being behind the
Age, gluttonously devouring whatever ru- and go off in a mumble about Torymour flings into her maw-nor in the ism. Now, we put it to the candour least aware that she is all the time of the world are we behind the Age? eating wind.
People of smallish Quite the contrary. We are the fore. abilities begin to look wiser and wiser runners of the Age. The Age is behind every day-their nods seem more sig- us-toils after us in vain ;-often loses nificant-in the shaking of their heads sight of us, as we disappear in a flame there is more of Burleigh-and in of fire behind the horizon-and, in short sentences--that sound like apoph- the race which we are running for thegms—they are apt to impose them- the great stakes, is fairly distanced ! selves on their own credulous selves Without meaning to be rude to one as so many Solomons. The Duke single soul, we hope that we shall be they have reason to know—sees the pardoned for intimating our belief, necessity of the thing now-Mr Peel that your Pro-Popery-men are, for the has at last given in--and a bill—they most part, very considerable blockhave seen soine of its heads—is forth- heads. Nay, do not start, gentlemen,
Substance of Two Speeches delivered in the House of Commons, on May 10, 1825, and May 9, 1828. By Sir Robert Harry Inglis, Bart. London: J. Hatchard and Son. 1828. VOL. XXIV.
nor frown, for it is a melancholy truth. say, is a fatal superstition ; and a The nonsense you speak is so far Protestant State must not trust its vie beyond your own present conception tal interests—its existence—to Paof the case, that it might indeed prove pists. Call this bigotry, if you please dangerous to have your eyes opened all-if you please to be a fool. We love at once-all on a sudden—to the full light, rather than darkness-knowextent of your ignorance and stupidity, ledge rather than ignorance-freedom -the shock might prove fatal. But, rather than slavery—therefore, no unfortunately, you do not confine your- Catholic Emaucipation. We desire selves to mere nonsense,—which is ne- to see all our Christian brethren-the cessarily harmless ;-you allow design- very lowest-sitting in Heaven's suning people to mix up with your in- shine-in other words, reading the nocent nonsense, the poison of their Bible-therefore, no Catholic Emanown wickedness; and will you credit cipation. We desire to see all the us when we tell you, that you are do- people-down to the clay-hut or hoing all the little that lies in your vel-priest-taught, but not priest-ridpower to pollute and ruin the Christ- den, with their consciences in their ian religion?
own keeping, within the sanctuary of And here it behoves us to be serie the inner spirits, into which no felous.—Ninety-nine in a hundred of your low-creature is privileged at all times Pro-Popery-men are not Christians. to intrude-and, therefore, no CathoThey dare not say that they are not. lic Emancipation. We desire that Cowardice—that is, worldly prudence Christianity shall be the stability of -makes them cloak their infidelity the State-and, therefore, that Christunder liberalism. But try them by ianity may not change its divine chathe tone and temper of their sentie racter, from celestial sinking into terments and opinions, on all occasions rene-no Catholic Emancipation. This where the subject is the Protestant is our bigotry-with which we are Church, and you see that the dunces embued, both in blood and in brainare Deists.
in all our thoughts and in all our feelAs to their love of knowledge, it is ing,—and they, whose bigotry owns false and affected-a lie. Were it true no kindred with ours, either in its ori. and sincere, how could they endure gin, its means, or its ends, will think that Church which places Bible-read- us horrible monsters, and Maga a ers under her ban, and execrates the peerless paragon of iniquity, doomed poor man who would fain study the some day to be smothered under the Word of God? The Roman Catholic falling Heavens. superstition hangs, at its clearest, like Meanwhile, an occasional bigota day of dense fogs—at its darkest, like ourselves-arises to keep us in like a night of black cloudsover the countenance-such as Scott, and Soureason and the conscience. He who they, and Phillpotts, and—Sir Robert denies or doubts that, must regard the Harry Inglis, whose two admirable Reformation as a mockery and a dream. speeches we are now about to abridge Such dou or such denial, is incom- -or analyze. They deserve the wipatible with any attachment to Pro- dest circulation throughout these retestantism ; and if you are a Papist- alms-and in our pages they shall pardon us—but on this question you have it—they shall cheer the hearts of must not open your lips. We are Pro- hundreds of thousands of the leal and testants; and you must become one of loyal—and none else, it is to be hoped, Us before you can enjoy the blessings dare to look Maga in the face-or venbought by Protestant blood.
ture to meet her eye to eye, either It may be said, that it is not polite when the orbs are kindling with fancy, thus to abuse Papists. We are not aim- or clouded with thought-in grave ing at being polite. It is not a question mood or gay, alike the terror of trai. of courtesy,—if it were, we should be tors and slaves. the most courteous of the courteous. A large part of the debate which bad But it is a question of religion and taken place before Sir Robert address. of politics, involving the temporal and ed the House on this great question, eternal interests of the human race. had, on one side, proceeded on the asAt least we think so; and thinking so, sumption that there had been a conwe must not hear one word said about siderable change in the principles and Catholic Emancipation. Popery, we character of the Church of Rome ; a change so' considerable as to justify be met, not by old facts and old prethe removal of all those securities judices, but by new and contemporary against that Church, or at least of al- evidence, and fair reasoning. Sir Romost all those securities, with which bert denies the right (in an argument the wisdom of a former age had sur- ona question involving the probabilities rounded the Protestant constitution of of human conduct in future) to exthis country. Sir Robert contends, on punge from our consideration all that the contrary, that the Church of Rome is past, to deprive ourselves of all the is not merely unchanged, but une benefits which history might give us, changeable that the evidence on and to limit ourselves to the observawhich a change is, in the judgment of tions of our own ephemeral existence; some, sufficiently proved, is, in itself, yet he feels so confidently the strength and on other points, so little trust of his position, even on the ground worthy, as, at any rate, not to justify which his adversaries have chosen, a great experiment on the constitue that he is willing to meet them there, tion—that this experiment, the object and with their own weapons. He, so long and so clamorously sought un- therefore, pledges himself, in his ender the name of “ Catholic Emancic deavour to prove the unchanged chapation," is of little benefit to the great racter of the Church of Rome, to use mass of those, in whose name and be nothing but new and contemporary half it is urged—that those, the very evidence, and all without prejudice. few, to whom it would be beneficial, The evidence which he offers is as acit would still leave dissatisfied and disa cessible as that on the table of the contented—that the claim so urged is' House, and more authoritative, benot a right founded either in abstract cause, in great part, it is the evidence natural justice, or in specific conven- of the Papal See itself. tion-and, lastly, that under these This is the manly mode of meeting circumstances, it is wiser and safer, in an adversary. True, that Lord Plunthe choice of many ways full of diffi, ket (then Attorney-General for Ireculties, to keep to that path, which, land) particularly requested that no though not without its difficulties, is member would give the House any still the path by which the country thing, however small, of “ that old has advanced to her present greatness, almanack history;" and many other and the people to the largest aggregate persons, who had just sense enough to of individual happiness ever yet come be inspirited by such smartness, but bined.
were altogether incapable of a similar Such is a clear and concise state. effort so successful, sadly diluted its ment, almost in his own words, of the strength by the infusion of their own positions which this very able speaker milk and water; and forth with kept undertook to establish; and he has all prating away about that “old alestablished them in the face of a fire manack history,” or, as Mr Brownthat soon slackened, and seems now low chose to express himself, “old exhausted, all but the smoke. facts and old prejudices," at the same
It does one's heart good, in the time calling lustily for a new and conmidst of so much trimming and tere temporary evidence and fair reasongiversation and apostacy, to listen to ing: Now the truth is, that “reathe simple, strong, sincere reasonings soning” is not always to be had for of an independent, honest, and en- the calling,-either fair or foul; and, lightened man, on a question that has what is equally to be lamented, when not only confused the heads, but cowed those gentlemen who have been so the hearts, of so many Protestant states- loudly demanding “ fair reasoning" men, who, nevertheless, pretend that get it, they are sorely puzzled to know they understand and value the bless- what to do with it-keep looking at ings of the Reformation. Let us then it on all sides and wonder what
can follow him through his argument, and possibly be the meaning of the article. accompany him to his conclusion,-let This, at least, is certain, that not one the Catholics remain as they are, une of them all ever dreams of grappling less we wish to change the form and with the said “ fair reasoning," ---but kill the spirit of the constitution. they are all struck dumb by a single
The honourable member for the specimen-one paragraph furnished county of Armagh, that is, Mr Brown- according to order,-turn on their low, desired, it seems that he might heel, and walk off with whig faces,
which “ to be admired, need but to to see his challengers standing in the be seen,”-till by and by, in some co- lists absolutely stark-naked-without terie of their own, they again wax elo- a covering as ample as a short-tailed quent on the cause of liberty all over linen shirt, either of “old facts and old the world.
prejudices," or of “ new and contemNow, that Lord Plunket, or Mr porary evidence and fair reasoning." Brownlow, or any other man of great, After a few buffets, of course, they all small, or no abilities, should tell us to run off-scamper away—and in fushut our eyes to all past time, and to ture times, if asked to recount their forget all history, may be in beautiful achievements, they would desire us to consistency and keeping with the cha- say nothing of that “old almanack racter of a demi-semi-quaver of a Whig- history." Tory; but good men and trueare neither Sir Robert well says, that to meaafraid nor ashamed to look the past in sure the progress of public opinion, the face-the present, or the future; and the state of the human mind in
- they cannot for their lives see how any country, we should refer, not so without memory you can have judg- much to her laws, not so much to her ment; and knowing the difference be institutions, as to her literature to tween old facts and old women, they that which represents man in every love old facts—they hug old facts to condition of his social and private life, their bosoms—they would not give one which models his character, and is it steady, somewhat grey and grizzled, self modelled by it. Now, by that but still healthy, and robust, and test, let us try the Church of Rome. bouncing old fact, who has stood the
Let us inquire, not what her literawear and tear of a couple of centuries, ture is, but what it is not. Her tywithout the slightest symptoms of de- ranny over literature, her proscription cay-for a score of poor, puny, spin- at this day of all the great masters of dle-shanked, asthmatic, and consump- the human mind, can be paralleled tive young facts, which a good politi- only by the tyranny and the proscripcal skittle-player would bowl down tion which she exercised five centuries like nine-pins—but which, unlike ago, over minds and bodies alike. them, when once bowled down, can In the Index Librorum Prohibitonever be set on end again, and must rum, printed at Rome in 1819, is a forthwith be flung among the wooden list of books prohibited at this time, lumber that now encumbers the earth. under the penalties of the Inquisition.
As to old prejudices, they are a high- If any one reads the works of heretics ly respectable class, and hold their prohibited by the Church, he is subheads high, (as they are well entitled jected ipso facto, to the penalty of exto do, remembering the services they communication, and with respect to have done the state,) when they hape other works prohibited, the purchapen to meet, in society, with new- ser is not entitled to receive absolufangled notions—a most presumptu- tion without first surrendering them ous and upsetting class — of low to the priest. Whatever may be, upon birth toom" begotten, yet scarce law- others, the effect of this system, profully begotten" -and, what is very re- mulgated by a Church which claims to markable, in the case of such great, be infallible, and which, in the judgbig, hulking fellows, with a bold ment of its true members, is always bloom on their faces, they all die held to be infallible, who can help young-there scarcely being an in- agreeing with Sir Robert Inglis, that stance, within the bills, of one of them to the unhardened conscience of a Rohaving reached the maturity of man- man Catholic, the sweeping prohibihood.
tions of this Index must be a snare, After this expression of our regard but that the feeble and the good will for old facts and old prejudices, -we be caught and perish in it? And who eheerfully turn again to Sir Robert can help also agreeing with him that Inglis, who, at the express challenge the official republication of the Index of his opponents, meets them in a at this day at Rome, and its reprint at complete suit of defensive and offen- Paris, proves that the governing sive armour of “new and contempo- powers in that Church intend to act rary evidence, and fair reasoning." upon it as far as they can,--that in Thus armed cap-a-pie, he is a formi. the present state of the world, this act dable champion-while it is piteous itself is a test of the spirit of the Church
of Rome, and not merely of her un- rised formularies: but, surely, it is not changeable spirit but of her ceaseless inconsistent with fair argument, more vigilance, and of her scrutinizing jea- particularly in respect to the imperial lousy, exercised alike upon all subjects claims of the Church of Rome, to mainsacred and profane, in respect to which tain, that, whilst having the like jurisany freedom of inquiry has been or diction over those who extend and those can be indulged?
who narrow her powers, she has conFor what works appear in the list? demned every work in defence of the Bacon, De Augmentis Scientiarum liberties of the Gallican Church, she Locke on the Human Understanding ; must, by parity of reason and necessary Cudworth’s Intellectual System ; Mil- consequence, be held to sanction and ton's Paradise Lost ; Guiccardini, uphold all the works in support of her Thuanus, Robertson, and Sismondi. own ultramontane principles : I indeed too, Copernicus, both in his own work, the Council of Lateran as by the Council The Church of Rome has proscribed, would hold that in all other matters the
Church of Rome is as much bound by and in Kepler's Epitome, also-to make all things even-says Sir
Robert of Trent ; that a claim to depose kings, - Descartes, and more than one of his promulgated by one Pope and one Coun
cil, and not renounced and reprobated commentators. Nay, the sentence against Galileo, was renewed and re
by a subsequent Pope and a subsequent published in 1819! The work of Alga, Church, a claim which may sleep but is
Council, is, in the history of an infallible rotti on the Newtonian System, and not dead, and which the blast of war Fontenelle's Plurality of Worlds, suf- might any day rouse again." fer the same condemnation-so that every vindication of science, every Nothing is more common than to effort of free inquiry, every attempt to hear ignorant people panegyrizing the disengage the mind from the tram- wisdom and enlightened views, moral mels of authority, is alike and conve- and religious-nay, even political-of niently consigned to the Inquisition. Roman Catholic writers and then As tó Ecclesiastical History, the asking triumphantly-what danger can Church of Rome is of course singu- you dread from sentiments and opinions larly jealous, and here her prohibitions like these? What is the difference, they are austere and extreme.
would fain ask, or rather they do ask, “ There is one inference from these between Roman Catholic and Protesta prohibitions which I think is peculiarly ant ? For to this point they all drive worthy of the recollection of the House. -or rather many of them are drivenThe Church of Rome, which, with an just like unto silly sheep. eye so microscopic, and a hand so firm, Now, Sir Robert Inglis shews how and a voice so peremptory, has discover- uniformly the Church of Rome probied, seized, and prohibited so much, has bits, wherever she has power, the exthereby virtually sanctioned what she has ercise of any freedom of religious not condemned, in respect at any rate to thought and inquiry in literature; the works of her own Communion pub- and this sometimes even in the case of lished under her own immediate domina. writers whom generally she claims, tion. The writings, therefore, even of though often without much reason, as individuals, when so published in Roman her own. Thus the Homilies of St Catholic countries, and above all in the Chrysostom, the Epistles of St IgnaPapal States, become the standard of the tius, and all the works of Erasmus in Papal doctrine: they are no longer pri- which he treats of religion, are equally vate effusions, for which the authors only, and not the Papal See, ought to be proscribed with the works of Protestheld responsible; they are, and will re- and the Philoluetherus Lipsiensis of
ants. The Alciphron of our Berkeley, main, authentic expositions of the claims and principles of the Church of Rome, Bentley, are given up to the Inquisiuntil that Church, which has hitherto tion with the works which they re. thought nothing either too minute for fute. The Liturgy of the Church of her jealousy, or too vast for her grasp, England is, of course, excluded-Lashall formally denounce them. It would timer and Ridley, Jewell and Parker, be unjust to apply this principle to the the “Pseudo-Archbishop of Cantera publications of a free State and a free bury,” as he is called. These are fol. Church like our own ; and to take the lowed by almost every great name in doctrines of our own Establishment from the Church of England-Beveridge, any other standard than its own autho. Bull, Pearson, Boyle, Sherlock, and