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of a complicated wrong, it is not easy calmly to analyse its several parts, and decide on the precise degree of pain and suffering which each element of injustice produces in him. It is, indeed, one of the arts of the tormentor so to agitate and bewilder his victim, as to neutralise his power of resistance by making him waste his strength in indiscriminate blows and unreflecting struggles. The tyrant thus manages at once to cover his own weak points, and to enfeeble the remaining energies of his victim. Yet there is perhaps no situation in human affairs which more urgently demands selfpossession and calmness in calculation than that of a man who is striving to rid himself of a cruel wrong. Every mistake he makes is so much gain to his oppressor ; who in the mean time husbands his means and watches his time, and never exerts his strength except to rivet the sufferer's chains anew.
It is not difficult to see in what way these truths are applicable to our own proceedings with regard to the Established Church in Great Britain and Ireland. Here we have a state of things which to us Catholics is both a wrong and an evil of the first magnitude. With all the advantages that we derive from living under the British Constitution, as contrasted with the despotism of the Continent, here is a combination of special injustice and practical mischief which is not to be found exactly paralleled in any other European state. We suffer from a double usurpation almost peculiar to the British isles. Elsewhere the same original crimes have been perpetrated with fully as unsparing a hand; elsewhere the State has openly attacked the Church, seized her revenues, destroyed or appropriated her cathedrals, churches, and monasteries; banished and executed her clergy, and made the very practice of Catholicism as a private religion penal. But nowhere else has Protestantism succeeded so fully in usurping the title to all moral, intellectual, and material greatness, and in branding the true faith with just that stigma which makes it specially odious in the eyes of the most influential portion of the people. Doubtless the same game of misrepresentation is played every where. It is the common cant of Protestantism to allege that Popery is identical with intellectual feebleness; that the dignity of man is lowered by his believing in miracles and going to confession to a priest. Still, it is here only that the imposition has succeeded with all that is wisest and best in the non-Catholic portion of the nation. Men of sense and honour abroad, when not Catholics, are often to some extent superior to the anti-Catholic prejudices of the vulgar Protestant mind. But here it is the reverse. The belief in the degrading influences of Catholicism is wrought into the very texture of the English Protestant brain. The Englishman has imbibed it, often insensibly, with every morsel of intellectual and moral food which has been presented to him. He actually cannot think differently. It shocks all he holds dear and sacred; it seems to militate against the first truths of reason and all the experience of humanity to look on Popery as any thing but an enslaving, senseless, and debasing superstition. When
force the facts of the past on his notice, he stares like a man who, for the first time, is told that his father was a scoundrel, and his mother no better than she should be. In all sincerity he looks down on Catholics as Pariahs; as another race of beings; as men who, by the laws of morals, must be treated in a different way from the adherents of every other religion on earth. Such is the force of that double usurpation which Protestantism has accomplished in this land of liberty, equality, common sense, and legal justice.
Stung to the quick, however, as we have been, by robbery, spoliation, murder, and outlawry, and witnessing as we do the splendours of our own former possessions now in the hands of our enemies, we are sometimes apt to confuse past wrongs and present evils, and to overlook the working of the most fertile sources of injury to our religion in the present day. The memory recurs again and again to the state of things under which the gigantic crime was originally perpetrated; and we forget to study the entirely new.condition of society under which we are living. Could the old wrong be redressed, we say to ourselves, all would go well with us. And so we bend our energies towards denouncing the crimes of the dead, and flatter ourselves that could we tear from our oppressor those particular possessions which he stole from our fathers; could we eject him from the position which once was ours,—the real problem of the day would be solved; and not only Catholics, but the Catholic religion-its faith and its morals--would once more flourish in the land.
Led aside by these pardonable misconceptions, we too often waste ourselves in efforts which are practically worthless, because they can come to no result; and worse than worthless, because they distract our attention from that course which alone will actually cure the evils we plain of. A sort of unreality stamps itself on our antiProtestant proceedings, and gives to many of our most serious efforts the appearance of mere party animosity. When we are busied in the cause of Almighty God and of immortal souls, people take us to mean no more than is meant by
an election cry, or the noisy clamourings of selfishness and greediness of gain. We have too often suffered ourselves to be led away, and to be represented to the world, by men who are mere politicians; who carry " the Catholic cause " into the parliamentary market as so much stock-in-trade, and whose object is their own personal advancement, and not the well-being of the whole body of English and Irish Catholics, as a portion of the English and Irish nation. With these men, of course, the natural plan is, to make the most of those grievances which tell on the hustings, or in Parliament, or at a dinner, or on a platform, or in a letter to a newspaper. That silent and laborious work which tends to raise the Catholic character and to disabuse the better class of Protestants has little charms for them. They want some tangible object for themselves to strike at, while the crowd stands by and applauds their blows. Thus they attain their own ends-notoriety, place, position, pay, or whatever it may be—at little cost of labour to themselves; while we too credulously accredit them with the character of defenders of the faith, of men of dauntless courage, and patriotic citizens of the great Catholic commonwealth.
The readiest object for political attack is naturally the Established Church of England and Ireland. When a speaker or writer has nothing else to say or scribble, he falls foul of this monstrous institution, bespatters it with the facts and figures of parliamentary blue-books, and winds up with a grand denunciation of its especial iniquity in Ireland, on the ground that the Catholics there are a more numerous portion of the whole people than they are in England. Now of course we have not the smallest objection to any exposure whatever that can be made of the wealth, the absurdities, the inconsistencies of the Protestant Establishment, and especially of the concentrated absurdity of the establishment of a Protestant ministry where there is no flock at all for the hireling to look after. By all means let us lose no opportunity for refreshing the Protestant mind with these interesting facts, and suffer none of the misdoings of established Protestantism to be overlooked or undervalued. We only object to this kind of “ Catholic tactics" when it makes us forget the only practicable means for actually upsetting the whole tyranny of Protestantism, and deludes us into assuming principles which we are far from wishing to see carried out.
Here, however, we must pause, to explain what we ourselves hold to be the principles on which our plans for the future should be based in the matter of Establishments and church-property; for to those who differ from us, all we can
say on mere matters of tactics will be so much waste of words. Until we are agreed in our aims, we cannot agree in our actions. In one word, then, we do not want the revenues of the Established Church, either in England or Ireland. Whether we want their buildings, either all or some of them, is another thing. At any rate, we do not want their tithes, their glebes, their comfortable parsonages, or their episcopal palaces; still less do we want to see our prelates, like their prelates, in the House of Lords. We prefer our poverty to their wealth ; our independence to any sort of servitude to the State, however thickly gilt. We want no exclusive privileges. We want to stand on precisely the same level with the professors of all other religions or no-religions. We want equality of rights as citizens, and nothing more; for every thing else we wish to depend on our own capacities, our zeal, our learning, our honesty, and on the protection of God, and on nothing
more. With any scheme, therefore, or agitation, which has for its object the making the Established Protestant clergy change places with our own, we have no sympathy whatever, but the
Whatever might have been said in favour of the State-Establishment of the true religion in past days, we believe that now the balance of argument is entirely against every thing of the kind, at least in countries where Catholicism and the State are not already bound up together. Of these cases we say nothing, as they are not our own, except that, on the whole, we imagine that wherever the separation can be quietly carried out, the better for the cause of true religion, and of good government into the bargain.
It will be concluded at once, then, that we take no interest in those attacks which are made on the Irish Establishment, as distinguished from the English, on the ground that in Ireland Catholicism is the religion of the majority; and which imply that there is comparatively no great harm done by the establishment of Protestantism in England, where Catholics are so few. If these especial assaults are made on the Irish Establishment with any ultimate plan for transferring its revenues to the Catholic clergy, as being the clergy of the majority, for ourselves, we say, rather than hang the incubus of vast and territorial wealth and of State connection on the neck of Irish Catholicism, let the Establishment stand as it is. The harm it does now is most serious; but the harm its riches and position would do, if they were ours, would be tenfold. A well-filled purse may be a powerful enemy, but it is a fatal friend. Modern society is such, and the relations of various religious sects to one another also such, that the Catholic Church cannot now flourish if placed in the same position which she enjoyed in the middle ages. And how men of good sense and devout intentions, with the knowledge of what medieval wealth brought upon the Church, can sigh for high temporal places for the Catholic priesthood and hierarchy, is a marvel only to be accounted for by the fact that it is hard to believe any difficulties to be so trying as those which beset ourselves. Does any man believe that if the Church had remained comparatively poor and unconnected with the State, the "Reformation would have taken place? People talk as if this same - Reformation" was the work of Protestants; and forget that it was the work of Catholic prelates, Catholic priests, Catholic monks, Catholic sovereigns, Catholic nobles, and Catholic gentlemen, corrupted to their heart's core by gold. Who, then, with all our present disasters, shortcomings, dissensions, and difficulties, can desire to see the palaces of Lambeth, York, Dublin, or Armagh inhabited by the rightful owners, rightful though they be? As to the greater mischiefs supposed to be done to religion by the Irish Establishment than by the English, the notion is very questionable. Undoubtedly it is peculiarly monstrous that all the machinery of a well-endowed parish should be kept up for the benefit of “dearly-beloved Roger," as Swift called his “congregation.” And, at first sight, it seems less hard for an English Catholic. to see the old Catholic buildings and the old Catholic tithes in anti-Catholic hands, when these anti-Catholics outnumber the resident Catholics as ten or twenty to one. But really the positive wrong is just the same in both cases. Whether I am kicked out of my own house in company with one-tenth or with nine-tenths of my neighbours similarly served, the injustice and suffering is the same to me; I suffer just the same; I have to pay my full share of the expenses necessary for building and keeping up a new church, and for supporting my own clergy, whether I am one of ten Catholics in a parish, or one of ten hundred; nay, if there is any difference, I who am one of a few am worse off than he is who is one of many; for many people together can carry on any work, whether ecclesiastical or otherwise, at a less cost per head, supposing each individual gains the same benefit in both cases, than can be managed by only a few people acting in concert. We have an illustration in the comparative temporal conditions of the English and Irish Catholic clergy. The English Catholic aristocracy and gentry, as a class, are, at the very least, as liberal in their gifts to the Church as are Catholics of equal rank and wealth in Ireland ; but nevertheless, as a body, the Irish priesthood are in