Page images

rious piles, and by all the artists of Catholic ages and this object sanctifies their labour. But is this the case with the members of the Camden Society? Not in the least. They are most of them ministers of the « reformed Protestant Church as by law established; » pledged under oath to the thirtynine articles, which were drawn up on purpose to separate England from Catholic Christendom 1, and to protest against all the barbarous superstitions of the dark ages. By attempting to re-establish their churches, chalices, or vestments, in their original form, they are only setting under the most glaring light the contradiction which exists between their own faith, and that of the men who built Salisbury and York. Surely no man in his senses can pretend that Dr. Howley and Dr. Mant profess the same faith, or follow the same discipline, or acknowledge the same spiritual head, as William of Wykeham and Gundulph of Rochester: and no man in his senses can deny that Dr. Wiseman and Dr. M'Hale do at least profess to obey the same Holy See, to preach the same doctrines, and to practise the same spiritual rites and sacraments, as all the English episcopacy of the middle ages. Let, then, the Camden Society put itself under the authority of Dr. M'Hale and Dr. Wiseman, and then every thing will be right but as long as they do not, and remain under Dr. Howley and Dr. Mant and their fellows, they are

It is asserted by modern High-Church Anglicans, that the Church of England never rejected the communion of Catholic Christendom, but merely threw off the usurped supremacy of the Roman Pontiff. This assertion is overthrown by the history of the Reformation. It was the unanimous opinion of the British Reformers that the visible Church had apostatized, that her chief bishop was Antechrist, and that communion with her was unlawful. The Homilies of the Church of England assert this in the most decisive manner. (Vide Third part of the Sermon against peril of idolatry, p. 224, ed. Oxon. 1831.) For testimonies of individual reformers, and other Anglican divines, see Essays on the Church, p. 323, ed. 1838. See also the Archbishop of Canterbury's charge just delivered.

nothing but parodists, and inconsistent parodists. If St. Dunstan and St. Anselm, St. Lanfranc, St. Thomas of Canterbury or Archbishop Chichely, could be called out of their tombs to resume their crosiers in any English cathedral, their horror would be great at seeing married priests reading English prayers in those desecrated edifices. But assuredly their horror would be much greater still, if they were to find, beneath copes like their own, and at the foot of altars like theirs, and rood-lofts with crucifixes, and every other exterior identity, these same married priests carrying in their hearts the spirit of schism, glorying in the revolt of their forefathers, and pledged by insular pride to insult and deny that infallible see of St. Peter, from which all those great saints had humbly solicited the pallium, and for whose sacred rights they so nobly fought, and conquered the insular pride and prejudices of their time.

Catholic architecture and Catholic art in all its branches, are but a frame for the sacred picture of truth. This one holy truth is beautiful and pure, even amidst the worthless clergy and decayed discipline of Funchal, even, and still more so, amidst the missionary dioceses of Polynesia; although, both here and there, she is deprived of the frame which the humble genius of Catholic generations has worked out for her in western Europe. But without her,—or with her, defaced and adulterated by insular pride,—the most beautiful frame is fit for nought but for the antiquary's shop. Supposing the spirit of the Camden Society ultimately to prevail over its Anglican adversaries,-supposing you do one day get every old thing back again,—copes, letterns, rood-lofts, candlesticks, and the abbey lands into the bargain, what will it all be but an empty pageant, like the tournament of Eglinton Castle, separated from the reality of Catholic truth

and unity by the abyss of three hundred years of schism? The question, then, is—Have you, Church of England, got the picture for your frame? have you got the truth—the one truth-the same truth as the men of the middle ages? The Camden Society says, yes: but the whole Christian world, both Protestant and Catholic, says, no: and the Catholic world adds, that there is no truth but in unity, and this unity you most certainly have not.

Who is to judge between these conflicting assertions, on earth? Before what tribunal, before what assembly, is this most vital cause to be brought forward, to the satisfaction of those who have renounced the jurisdiction of the Holy See, and that of the last œcumenical council? I know of none; but one thing I know, that before whatever earthly tribunal it may be, as well as before the judgment-seat of God in heaven, against the Church of England and her so-called AngloCatholics, will appear in formidable array the seven millions of real Catholics, whom you call British and and Irish Romanists, and who will thus arraign the Anglicans on the behalf of ten generations of their ancestors, and on their own : « For the love of unity and obedience, we have endured from the hands of these pseudo-Catholics every extremity of cruelty, of robbery, and of insult. We have stood firm through every variety of military, legal, civil, and religious persecution. In the holes and corners where these persecutors have confined us, we have kept true to every traditional beauty which they would fain now recover. We have nothing to restore, because we have never destroyed anything. We want no erudite quibbles, like Tract No. 90; no dissertations on long-forgotten rubrics, to enable us to believe in justification by works, or in baptismal regeneration, to honour the blessed Virgin, to pray for our dear departed.

We have never doubted any article of Catholic faith, and never interrupted any practice of Catholic devotion. Here we are with our priests, our monks, and our bishops, and with the flame of Catholic unity, which we have fed with our substance, and with our blood. If these men, who after having robbed us of every temporal good, would fain now rob us of our name, are Catholics, then we are not; then we have been mistaken fools, and not we alone, but thirty-five popes, and all the Catholic bishops, and all the Catholic nations in the world, who have till now praised us, helped us, loved us, prayed for us and with us, as their brethren. If they are Catholics, then Catholicism is but a shadow and a name, and a paltry vestment, fit to be put on and off at the world's pleasure. »

To this language the Church has answered long ago, in the words of the Divine spouse: « Oves meæ vocem meam audiunt, ET EGO COGNOSCO EAS, et sequuntur me; ego vitam æternam do eis,...... et non rapiet eas quisquam de manu

mea. »

Does the Camden Society, that lays such a stress on history and tradition, think that these mines are closed to every body except itself, or that the world will not dig into them for any other purpose than for archæological or architectural curiosities? Do the Anglo-Catholics think that the world is blind to their own history? that the events of the Reformation in England are unknown abroad? that the word apostacy is erased from the dictionary of mankind?

If you had pushed on a little further your Spanish tour, you would have found at Granada, depicted by the pencil of a monk, the martyrdom of those holy Carthusians of London, who were hanged, disembowelled, and quartered, for having denied the supremacy of the author of Anglo-Catholic

Reformation. What! shall the tombs of unknown knights and burgesses be treated with the deepest reverence, and singled out for admiration and imitation, because they are in brass, or with a cross fleurie, or à dos d'âne? and shall the blood of our martyrs be silent, and their noble memory buried in darkness and oblivion? Believe it not. Such will not be the case; no, not even in this world of sin and error, and how much less before the justice of God? Believe not that we shall ever forget or betray the glory of Fisher, of More, of Garnett; of those abbots who were hanged before the gates of their suppressed monasteries; of so many hundreds of monks, of Jesuits, of laymen, who perished under the executioner's knife, from the reign of Henry VIII down to the palmy days of Anglican episcopacy, under the first Stuarts? Were they not all Romanists? Did they not all die for the defence of the supremacy of the see of Rome against the blood-thirsty tyranny of Anglican kings? Were they not the victims of the same glorious cause which St. Dunstan, St. Elphege, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas had struggled for? and were they ours or yours? I know that he modern Anglo-Catholics would attempt to throw back on the Puritans of 1640, most of the sacrilegious devastations that attended the Reformation; but I know also that Pugin, in that article of the Dublin Review which you were good enough to lend me, has completely demolished that false pretence, and irrefutably demonstrated, that every sacrilege committed by the Puritans had been inaugurated on a much larger scale by Cranmer and Elizabeth : and I have looked in vain through all the publications of the Camden Society for one word of answer to this most damning accusation. As for moral sacrilege, if I may so say, as for the surrender of spiritual independence and Christian freedom

« PreviousContinue »