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not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger, neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction, neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity : yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands upon their substance."'*
Independently of any appeal which
be made to their justice, let us ask where is the policy of that hostility which would prostrate a friend and a defender, only that they may be themselves more directly exposed to the assault of an enemy? If through the blessing of God upon the exertions of our predecessors, we have no longer the Bible to translate, we have still the Bible to defend ; and this also requires a store of learning which even yet is not to be found except in the schools and universities connected with the Church of England. No reflecting man, whether churchman or dissenter, can shut his eyes to the reality of the danger which has been pointed out from the revived exertions of Romanism, and from the influence of that spirit of sceptical indifference, nearly allied to materialism, which is stealing over the land. It is
It is consequently with a view to support Christianity itself, that all are interested in maintaining an establishment, to which, after all, the task of encountering these adversaries must principally be confided.
Obad. 12, 13.
This I say, upon the supposition that the Church is to be allowed to retain the exclusive direction of its schools and seminaries of education ; and is thereby secured in possession of those means of defence, which in the cause of divine truth she
continue to exercise, as she has heretofore exercised, for the common good of mankind. But if, because it may be said to her, “Thou hast a little strength" advantage be taken to invade her rights and to break up
her constitution, what will the consequence be ? Every contraction of her resources, and consequently of her efficacy, will be felt first and more immediately indeed by her own members; but in due season and successively by all who, though not included in the establishment, yet holding the same leading doctrines will be but little less obnoxious to the same attacks, and far less qualified to withstand them.
May the Church of England be prepared for whatever appointments God in his unsearchable Providence may be pleased to make for her. May she fearlessly pursue the path of duty through that open door which is set before her. If the arm of the flesh be withdrawn, may she “lean only upon the hope of heavenly grace ;” and find support in that assurance of her Divine Lord “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Blessed and happy will she be, if when the end of the world shall come, she may
be entitled to share in that commendation from him “ Thou hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
The present condition of the Romish Church in this kingdom is not the growth of yesterday, but appears to have arisen from causes which, though little known or noticed, have been many years in operation. This history, it is hoped, may be hereafter written more in detail from materials which have been collected for that purpose. Here an outline only can be given.
About the year 1795, a small fraternity of Jesuits, described in the Laity's Directory for that year as “ the gentlemen of the English Academy at Liege,” were driven by the fury of the French revolution to seek an asylum in this country. They established themselves at Stonyhurst, near Clithero in Lancashire; of which house and estate a long and advantageous lease was granted to them by the owner, Mr. Weld, a gentleman of an ancient and wealthy Roman Catholic family. They consisted at this time, according to the description given by their apologist, Mr. Dallas, of “a few ancient men," whose settlement in the country excited no suspicion or alarm; but was rather greeted with a share of that public sympathy which was so honorably and charitably displayed towards all the victims of revolutionary violence. The professed design of these fugitives went at first no further than to undertake, as a means of providing for their own subsistence, the education of youth. The title assumed in the prospectus of the infant establishment, is that of “ The College of Stonyhurst;" which was described as conveniently prepared for the accommodation of 150 scholars. In addition to the pupils whose circumstances enabled them to pay the regulated charges for boarding and tuition, it was generally understood that a certain number of the children of poorer parents were received, for gratuitous education, upon the foundation of the college ; who might be afterwards adopted into the Society and employed in forwarding its designs, as they should be found to unite a suitable inclination for the service, with promising talents and the requisite degree of flexiblity. Thus without one dissenting voice was a foundation laid for the re-establishment of an order which had been finally expelled from England, A.D. 1604. An instance was now to be given of the pertinacity with which it adheres to the design of its institution; and of the expansive vigour with which its growth advances wherever any germe is suffered to make a lodgment. The design proceeded prosperously. The proposed number of pupils was speedily obtained; and with the funds thus placed at their disposal, the directors proceeded to prepare for far more extended operations. Continued improvements of the estate were accomplished. The mansion, which when first occupied by the society, had become much dilapidated by time and neglect, was gradually put into a state of complete repair : and, at a very great expense, a large and handsome building was added to the original fabric. Means were thus obtained for a great extension of the original scheme; insomuch that the number of students for several years past may not have been short of 300. As their resources thus increased, more extended plans occupied the thoughts of the fathers; and while, by means of the influence which their large expenditure secured to them, the work of proselytism continued to extend in the neighbourhood of Stonyhurst, and to make some progress in other parts of the kingdom, through the exertions of those judiciously planted agents who were issuing yearly from the college, the immediate successors of that feeble band which had professed to seek no more than a refuge from overwhelming misfortune, found themselves in a situation to extend their exertions beyond the limits of England.
The Parliamentary foundation of the College of Maynooth had given in Ireland the first promise of a revival of Roman Catholic influence. Yet there were still some circumstances which diminished the satisfaction with which the institution was regarded by such of the titular hierarchy as held what are termed ultra-montane sentiments. The heads of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland had generally sided with the Jesuits. They are believed to have unanimously accepted the Bull Unigenitus ; and to have acquiesced in other edicts which had a like tendency to exalt the papal power. They appear, therefore, to have viewed with displeasure and alarm the disposition towards Jansenism manifested at Maynooth, and even threatening to obtain there a positive ascendency. As an instance of its prevalence may be mentioned that Dr. Ferris, one of the Professors, a man of learning, and highly esteemed among the pupils, had in lecturing his class ventured so near the borders of heresy as to affirm that “the merits of the saints, compared with the merits of Christ,