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The operations of the Roman Catholic Church extend far beyond the limits of her ancient domain, --the Roman world. Wherever British power or British enterprise have opened a path, there comes the missionary of Rome, to plant his spiritual and mental tyranny beneath the free flag of Britain. Let the reader glance over the table in the Appendix, exhibiting the stations of the Roman Church throughout the world, and he will see that she has fixed on points so numerous, and these so centrical, either already so or prospectively, that her aim, beyond all peradventure, is to become mistress of the globe. And the character of that Church affords an ample guarantee, that whatever organization, money, numbers of missionaries, and unflagging zeal can do, will be done to realize that aim. She has upwards of six thousand missionaries at this moment labouring in her service. They are spread over all lands, from the shores of Japan to the forests of the west. We need not speak of the countries of Europe, --the populous, and civilized, and wealthy regions of the globe. There we find her dignitaries in great splendour, and her orders in full force. But if we extend our view beyond, we find her agents planted thick along the line which divides the civilization of the world from its barbarism, --in the principalities of the Danube, where the barbarism of the east meets the refinement of the west, --in the plains of Mesopotamia and Syria, hanging on the skirts of Mahommedanism, --in India, where Hinduism comes in contact with British science and Christianity, --in China, where the stereotyped ideas and usages of the Celestial Empire are melting away before the encroachments of British commerce, --in Australia, in Oceanica, and over the New World, from Cape Horn to Canada. Her circle of operations encompasses the globe. Let us mark herein the policy of Rome. She takes care that the civilizing influences shall not outrun the Romanizing. It was much in this way that she founded her dominion at the first in Europe. She met the nations on their march from the north; and in their semi-barbarous state, without any instruction, she admitted them into the Church. In the same way is that Church now advancing to the semi-barbarous tribes of earth; and before they have been enlightened or Christianized in any degree, she procures their submission to her yoke.1 She communicates no Christian instruction; she exacts no confession of faith; they are still heathens in all save the name; but the nominal submission of the parents gives her access to the children, and these she trains in thorough subjection to her authority. It will not be the fault of Rome if there remains one individual in the most distant region of the earth who has not bowed the neck to her yoke. We see the Jesuits adopting all measures, and assuming every garb, to gain success in their work. Nor do they shrink from violence, when their object cannot otherwise be attained. In the latter years of Louis Philippe, the French ships of war were pressed into the service of the Propaganda. No one can yet have forgotten the massacre at Cochin-China in the spring of 1847, where the Jesuit missionaries, mounted upon the French ships of war, dealt out grape-shot to the inhabitants. Nor is the sad story of Tahiti forgotten, or ever will. The Jesuits found it a paradise physically and morally, with a Christianity blossoming there as pure and lovely perhaps as ever bloomed on earth. They dethroned its queen, and ravaged the isle with fire and sword, because the inhabitants refused to embrace an idolatry as foul as that from which they had been rescued. Popery is as much the wolf as ever. To see its real dispositions, we must not look at it in Europe; we must track it as it prowls along on the frontier of the heathen world.2 After centuries of massacre and persecution, its thirst for blood is still unslaked. Previous to the revolution of 1830, the funds of the French state were to a great degree at the command of the Jesuits; but since that event the French exchequer has been less accessible, and the missionary operations of the Romish Church have been supported mainly by the funds of the Propaganda, the head quarters of which are at Lyons, presided over by Archbishop Bonald. Latterly, by the help of the Propaganda, Pius has pushed his emissaries, --bishops, bishops in partibus, and vicars apostolic, --into parts of Hindustan, both within and without the Ganges, which have never heretofore been visited by such functionaries. Within the last eighteen months, parts of China, of Tibet, and of Chinese Tartary, have seen popish priests, with a breviary in one hand and a purse in the other, ready to preach, and to take tribute in behoof of Rome with both hands. The home supplies have much diminished of late, and foreign resources have been called into requisition. Belgium and Spain have been appealed to. The pauper Irish, both at home and in America, have given their alms; and Van Diemen's Land and Botany Bay have sent Pius many a crown, which his own subjects, who know him better and love him less, have heretically refused.
But not one of the schemes of the Jesuits, nor all of them put together, equals in magnitude and daring their present attempts on Britain. These have been concocted with a deeper policy, are being prosecuted with greater dissimulation and energy, and would, if realized, yield them a far greater return, than any other plan they have on hand. Britain is by much the paramount nation on the globe. In every region of the earth she is acquiring dominion and founding colonies. Her extension is the extension of Protestantism; at least it affords vast facilities for its extension. Since the beginning of the century, the Bible has been translated into one hundred and forty-three languages. Never before was the name of Christ proclaimed to so many nations. This has happened mainly through the instrumentality of Britain. It was impossible that the Pope or the Jesuits could be indifferent to this great fact, or fail to see to what it tended. Every consideration pointed to the conquest of Britain. Her political rank and vast moral and Christian influence made her their greatest barrier. It was plain that Rome must destroy Britain as a Protestant state, or be destroyed by her. Her conquest would give Rome the supremacy of the globe. The conversion of Britain to the Catholic faith is, and for some years past has been, the one grand object of the papal policy. Since the restoration of the Bourbons, at least since 1820, the Jesuits have been prosecuting this object with consummate craft, immense vigour, and very considerable success. They commenced operations in Ireland. Let us go back to the period preceding the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act. The first step was to mission Dr Kenry, who bad been brought up at the Jesuit College of Palermo, to Ireland, in the capacity of provincial head of the Jesuits. This man's task was to bring the educated laity, the men of influence in Ireland, under the Jesuit influence. For this purpose the College of Clongows was instituted. It was filled with Jesuit professors, and received the youth of the middle and upper classes. The next step was to reduce the priests of Ireland under the Jesuit influence. This could be done only by seizing upon the College of Maynooth, where the Irish priesthood was trained. The president of that institution became unable to fulfil his duties. He selected Dr. Kenry, the able head of all the Irish Jesuits, to supply his place. Although the thing had been pre-arranged (as doubtless it was) between General Roothan at Rome, Dr Kenry, and the president of Maynooth, it could not have happened better for the designs of the Jesuits. By and by Jesuit professors began to be transferred from Clongows to Maynooth; a Jesuit confraternity was established among the students, termed the Sodality of the Sacred Heart; a Jesuit commentary on the Scriptures was introduced, which all the students were enjoined to study; and in this way was the college, and through it the whole Irish priesthood, brought under the Jesuit dominion. The people were under the dominion of the priesthood, the priesthood under that of Dr. Kenry, the head of all Irish Jesuits, and Dr. Kenry under that of General Roothan, the head of Jesuitism throughout the world. The political agitation that arose, --the result that crowned it, and which gave free admission to Roman Catholics and Jesuits into the British senate, --we need not describe. The principal scene of operations was now transferred by the Jesuits to England.
The Jesuits have a sort of intuitive sagacity in comprehending in what lies the strength of an enemy, and of course the point to attack. The Church of England, they saw, was the main barrier between them and political ascendancy. Provided they could Romanize it, the battle would be half won; and to carry this point all their efforts were put forth. But previous to beginning operations on the Anglican Establishment, there was a preliminary point to be gained, --the reduction of the old popish families to the Jesuit dominion. To effect this, the college at Stoneyhurst was erected. This institution is flourishing, and nearly all the first Catholic families in England are educated within its walls; and there they receive such a polish as is fitted to make them influential in English society. But the main battle was directed against the Church of England. They strove to quicken the dormant principles of a popish origin which had been suffered to remain in her ever since the Reformation; they availed themselves of her forms, some of which savour of superstition, to revive within her a love for Popery. Of course we have no direct proof that Jesuits3 took orders in that Church, and officiated as pastors, to expedite the movement; but few will be disposed to doubt the fact, who now consider the whole career of Messrs Wiseman, Pusey, Ward, Newman, and who consider the history and character of the "Tracts for the Times." Tract No. 90, where the doctrine of reserves is broached, bears strong marks of a Jesuit origin. Could we know all the secret instructions given to the leaders in the Puseyite movement, --the mental reservations prescribed to them, --we might well be astonished. "Go gently," we think we hear the great Roothan say to them. "Remember the motto of our dear son the cidevant Bishop of Autun, --'Surtout, pas trop de zèle.'4 Bring into view, little by little, the authority of the Church. If you can succeed in rendering it equal to that of the Bible, you have done much. Change the table of the Lord into an altar; elevate that altar a few inches above the level of the floor; gradually turn round to it when you read the Liturgy; place lighted tapers upon it; teach the people the virtues of stained glass, and cause them to feel the majesty of Gothic basilisques.5 Introduce first the dogmas, beginning with that of baptismal regeneration; next the ceremonies and sacraments, as penance and the confessional; and, lastly, the images of the Virgin and the saints. Especially show the nobility the elegant position which Roman Catholicism reserves for them, and cause them to comprehend that the Church of Rome alone is in a position to resist democracy." Such is the course which has been followed. And behold the result! The last published list of Anglican ministers who had seceded to Rome,6--certified as correct so far as regarded the individuals named, but incomplete as to numbers, --amounted to sixty-six; and the Anglican Establishment appears in not a little danger of being split in two, or broken in pieces, on the subject of baptismal regeneration. The extent and variety of machinery which Romanism has set up in England, as given below, is truly formidable and alarming.7
Nor has the land of Knox been overlooked by the popish Propaganda. Scotland has been divided into three dioceses; and strong efforts are at present making to plant it with popish congregations, colleges, convents, and schools. Advantage has been taken of the relics of Popery in the Highlands, and the influx of Irish hordes in the Lowlands, to form centres whence to propagate popish influences. Fully one half of the funds that support these operations are sent from the Propaganda at Lyons. Many of the priests stationed in Scotland received their education in Jesuit colleges on the Continent, and are themselves most probably Jesuits. Their headquarters is in Brown Square, Edinburgh; and it were interesting to know the intrigues of which that house, with its perpetually darkened windows, is the centre. Popery is not making great progress among the lower classes of Scotland: the chief scene of its operations are the drawing-rooms of the New Town of Edinburgh; and there the unrivalled finesse and deeply-veiled craft of Popery have not gone without their reward. High-bred and thoroughly educated Jesuits are employed in this work. An evening is set, the party assembles, and those instructed beforehand so guide the conversation, that the popish dignitary who happens to be present is led, unwillingly as he would fain have it thought, to descant on the comparative merits of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Or, from some piece of statuary or painting that chances to be in the room, he contrives to drop a word in praise of the Virgin, and another in reprobation of that stern iconoclast John Knox. These sapping and mining operations are being prosecuted with great vigour: not a few perverts, chiefly ladies, have been made, who are employed, in their turn, in ensuring others. It is not long since the Protestant community was startled by the official announcement in the Catholic Directory, that seventy converts from Protestantism had been confirmed during the year 1848 in Edinburgh alone.8
Of the agency devised for operating on the masses, we may point to the numerous nunneries and monasteries rising up in our cities, where provision is made for the instruction of Protestant children, for whose benefit these seminaries are mainly intended. We might point also to the popish ragged schools, and other institutions, in some of which provision has been made for the celebration of popish rites, as in the school in New Market Street, Edinburgh, which is marked by a gilt cross and where, as the Catholic Directory informs us, "at the upper end is a neat altar, concealed, except when required, by a screen.9
Two societies have lately been formed in Scotland to aid in reducing the masses under the dominion of Romanism. The first we mention is called the "Holy Guild of St. Joseph," instituted in 1844: it unites the character of a "benefit club" with that of a "Christian sodality or pious confraternity, having reference only to the spiritual improvement of its members."10 Its real object is the advancement of Popery, veiled under the pretext of charity. Its ordinary members must be Catholics, and they bind themselves to the performance of certain religious duties. Its honorary members, which may be "Christians of any denomination,"11 are less strongly bound: they are admitted with a sole view to the benefit of the funds, being presumed to be more wealthy than the ordinary members. They are, however, required to participate in certain parts of the Romish worship, and are allowed, in return, to share in the benefits of the society, among which are the prayers of the brotherhood for them after their death.
There labours in the same work another society, termed "Brotherhood of St. Vincent of Paul." The native country of this fraternity is France. A branch of this society was established at Rome in 1836; another in London in 1844, and another in Edinburgh in 1845.12 Its ostensible object, like that of the former, is charity, --fuel and clothing to the poor; but "these temporal succours are only the covering which conceals the spiritual good it does to souls." The Old Town of Edinburgh is divided into six districts, each under the care of two or more brothers. The hopes cherished by the Jesuits, from the operations of this and similar societies, may be gathered from the following passage: --"Wonderful things seem to be in store for our conferences in England," says the Rapport Générale for 1844; "and it will be a sweet and pious consolation for us to think, that in the movement which is drawing the people of Great Britain back again into the bosom of unity, our dear society will perhaps have assisted by its prayers and by its works in the religious regeneration of that mighty nation."13 There is scarce a Roman Catholic in Edinburgh whom these societies have not pressed into their service, and who do not ply the work of proselytism with the weapons of perverted texts and stale slanders.
There is not a colony under the British crown which is not the scene of popish stratagem and tactics. In Canada, a considerable portion of the lands have fallen into their hands. A glance over the American register, in Battersby's Registry for the whole World, shows how fast new cathedrals, convents, and schools are rising up in many parts of the United States. This body had in 1850, 4 archbishops, 30 bishops, 1073 churches, 1081 priests, and a population of one and a half million, according to the Roman Catholic Almanac.14 In British America they foment divisions, to obtain concessions and grants from government. Their grand maxim, both in Ireland and in Canada, is, agitate! agitate! and such will be their practice wherever and whenever they become sufficiently numerous. They have sisters of mercy, who offer their services to emigrants, and thus enlist them in the support of Popery the moment they arrive on the shores of the New World. Some of their priests have small salaries from the state, under pretext of doing certain official duties, as the Rev. M. Duguesney in Jamaica, who attests the Catholic soldiers in the camp barracks.15 In Gibraltar the Romanists have five hundred pounds annually from government. The chief increase of Papists in America is owing to hordes of Irish continually pouring into Canada and the States. Ireland, in fact, is a vast popish propaganda for both the western and southern hemispheres. The Romanists are vigorously working the press in America. In the United States they have one Quarterly Review, one Monthly Review, and twelve weekly newspapers, almost all of which are edited by priests.16
To return to the old world. An attempt was made in March 1850, in Malta, by the popish governor, Mr. More O'Ferral, to make the Romish Church in that important colony nominally what it is in fact, the dominant Church. According to one article of the Amended Code, the Roman Catholic Church in Malta was styled the "Dominant Church." According to other articles, it was enacted that, whoever should violate, by word or gesture, any article of the Roman Catholic Church, should be punished with imprisonment of from four to six months.17 A refusal to uncover when the host passed, or a word spoken against the Virgin and the saints, would have subjected the person to the penalties of the code. Here was a grievous encroachment on the principle of British toleration, and a jesuitical attempt to obtain legal recognition of the worship of the host and the dogma of transubstantiation. A few days after the appearance of this edict, mixed marriages were prohibited in Malta and its dependencies, unless on the solemn promise of the parties that the children of these marriages should be brought up in the Romish faith. This affords a fine sample of the intriguing and encroaching spirit of Jesuitism in all the British colonies. But on no field is Rome prosecuting her proselytising system so vigorously as in Australia and Oceanica.. She anticipates the future eminence of this young empire, which assuredly it will never reach if she succeed in imposing her yoke upon it. She will stereotype its condition, as she has done that of Lower Canada. Meanwhile she is sending to it shiploads of priests, sisters of mercy, and Irish Catholics. It has been felt for many years, that the emigration from this country is so conducted as to favour the spread of Popery in Australia. The vast proportion of those carried out thither at the public expense are Roman Catholics, particularly orphan girls from Irish workhouses. The object evidently is, to supply Roman Catholic wives for the English and Scotch Protestants of the humbler classes in Australia, and thereby to Romanize the Australian colonies through the artful and thoroughly jesuitical device of mixed marriages.
The rapid and portentous rise of the Romish Church in Australia is fraught with immense danger to both the colony and the mother country. This has happened mainly through the working of the Bounty Emigration Scheme. The waste lands of the colony are sold by auction, and the annual proceeds, now amounting to four hundred thousand pounds, are devoted to the importation of emigrants from the united kingdom. The scheme is farmed to speculators, who receive so much a head for their cargo of emigrants. Hordes of Irish paupers, Papist to a man, are collected in the south and west of Ireland, and, being shipped at Plymouth or Cork, are carried across the globe, and thrown upon Australia. In this way an Irish land-flood has been flowing steadily, during several years, upon this colony; and a new Ireland is rising in the Pacific. In 1822, two priests, one in New South Wales and the other in Van Dieman's Land, sufficed for the entire of Australia. But mark the strength of Romanism in the southern hemisphere now. Oceanica has been divided into eleven dioceses, which are under the management of one archbishop, ten bishops, and two hundred priests. These are supplemented by a numerous staff of sisters of charity, ecclesiastical students, and Christian brothers or schoolmasters, under a vow of celibacy and devotion to the Papacy. In all the towns there is a priest, and one, and sometimes several congregations; the membership ranging from four hundred to two thousand five hundred. At the head of the establishment is Dr. Polding, a native of England and created by the Pope in 1840, Archbishop and Count of the Papal States. Liberal grants are made from the colonial treasury to aid the erection of cathedrals and chapels. A model trust-deed is lodged in the Secretary's Office; the building is inspected by the government architect; and the sum required is ordered. As the mass-house is built in part, so the priest is salaried in part, by government. A list of seat-holders, with the amount of annual or quarterly rent paid by each, is transmitted to the governor, and an order is straightway issued for the payment of the stipend. Schools and schoolmasters are also aided from the treasury, and that in no stinted measure. In 1849 the sum voted was eighteen hundred pounds, and the sum placed on the estimates for the following year was upwards of twenty-six hundred. What makes this the more extraordinary and the more unjustifiable is, that there is a government system of education in operation in the colony.18 We thus see what a web Rome has spread over this fine portion of our colonial empire, and how much her boast is justified, that Australia is already all her own.
Australia, in point of geographical position, is the very citadel of the southern hemisphere: it is destined to give population and language, and, we fondly hope, freedom and religion, to all this region of the globe. But let Popery seize upon it, and she will convert what otherwise were a career of unbounded progress, into one of premature decay. Instead of growing into a great empire, Australia will sink down into the decrepitude of Ireland. And not only so; Rome will close the gates of the Pacific against the entrance of the gospel, and create here a dense mass of darkness and heathenism, which it may require ages to dispel. Nor will this be all; she will erect her batteries on this strong redoubt, and play with prodigious effect upon our missions in the east, and upon our Christianity at home.
1 "More than forty independent societies are centralized in the two institutes of the propaganda at Rome (founded in 1622, and extended by Urban VIII.) and the foreign missions in Paris. These missionary societies, --those in France at least, --are sustained entirely by voluntary contributions. Besides these, there has been formed, within the last two years, an Oceanic Society, founded by M. Marzion, and designed to operate in the Australian islands by combining commerce with proselytism. The society's first vessel, named L'Arche d'Alliance (as if in defiance of the Evangelical Alliance, while in evident imitation of our missionary ships, and of the late Sir F. Buxton's scheme for African civilization), some time since took its departure for the South Seas; and the institution already boasts of the possession of four vessels. This society has a branch in Italy, comprising three auxiliary committees, at Genoa, Turin, and Rome. This branch, which was established in 1845, and was formed for a period of thirty years, has issued shares of five hundred francs each, on which it guarantees five per cent. interest. The dividends are added to the capital. The Genoa Committee have bought a vessel, which was to sail about the beginning of last month (September 1847), with a rich cargo, and as many as forty missionaries on board. Her route is Valparaiso, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Macao, Hong-Kong, and the north of China. From these, and other facts, it is quite evident that Tahiti is but the beginning of sorrows." ("Christian Record," October 1847.)
2 "There exists a papal coin in their [the Jesuits] honour, as 'domini canes,' --the noble hounds of heretics. The device is, a dog with a lighted torch in his mouth, traversing a globe; the motto, --"What will I, if it be already kindled?'" (The Jesuits as they were and are, by Duller; Introduction.)
3 When the Jesuits went to India, they stained their bodies, and swore that they were Brahmins, who could trace their pedigree to the god Brahma. In China they taught that the doctrine of Confucius differed little or nothing from their own. In the times of the Reformation the Jesuits entered the Church of England, and preached from her pulpits against the mass and set forms, to induce the people to fight against their Church. Why may they not have had recourse to the same tactics on the present occasion?
4 The counsel of Talleyrand to the foreign ambassadors.
5 A clergyman, when asked the meaning of stained windows in a church, replied with equal quaintness and shrewdness, --"Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum, tendimus in Latium."
6 Published in the "London Patriot" in March 1850; since much augmented.
7 From the English Roman Catholic Directory for this year (1850) it appears that there are now in England 674 chapels, 880 priests, 13 monasteries, 41 convents, 11 colleges, and 250 schools. After a space of three hundred years, nuns are again stationed in the university town of Cambridge. On the 11th of February l850, the schools of the Roman Catholic mission were opened under the superintendence of two nuns of the order of the Infant Jesus from the convent of Northampton. A few days thereafter, mass was celebrated by a priest for the Special invocation of the Holy Ghost on the labours of the sisters.
8 Catholic Directory for 1849, p. 102.
9 Ibid. p. 64.
10 Rules of the Holy Guild of St. Joseph, p. 5.
11 "Christians of any denomination" [quoted from the rules], --an instance of the hypocrisy and cunning employed to trepan Protestants. We have already proved that all beyond the pale of the Roman Catholic Church (with a few miserable exceptions), are branded as heretics, and doomed to eternal flames.
12 The Sodality of the Sacred Heart extends throughout the world, and makes every Roman Catholic so far a missionary.
13 Brotherhood of St. Vincent of Paul, Report of first General Meeting, April 1846, p. 5.
14 Evangelical Alliance, 1851; American Statistics, by Dr. Baird.
15 Battersby's Registry for the whole World (1850), p. 422.
16 The writer has seen it stated in the "New York Evangelist," and other American journals, that Popish emigrants, located in the manufacturing districts of the United States, seldom continue Papists beyond the third generation.
17 The history of this code finely illustrates the legislative genius of Rome, and the manner in which she would govern the world, were she its lawgiver. The Maltese code was originally drafted in 1831. It was sent home by the government to be revised by Mr. Sherrif Jameson of the Scottish bar. Mr. Jameson weeded it of its despotic principles, and made it thoroughly British in its genius and tolerant in its spirit. On its arrival in Malta, the Roman bishop condemned the code "as an attempt to introduce equal protection of different creeds, as lately practised in new colonies." The Jesuits set to work, and soon made it fit to rank among the codes of the fourteenth century. The Romanists in Malta have given up the graduated scale, but retain the title "Dominant."
18 See Battersby's Registry for the whole [Catholic] World for 1850; Government Blue Book [Colonial], 1849; Dr. Lang's Popery in Australia; Edin.