« PreviousContinue »
the next, absolution for a crime he intended to commit, namely, the murder of Buonaparte. The Abbé declined to interfere, and the plan was accordingly dropped. We have no doubt of the accuracy of this statement, which we pledge ourselves to have given as we received it. If such can possibly be the feelings of any persons of education, and this individual was a gentleman of elegant accomplishments and strict religious principles, what can we expect from the miserable peasantry for whose edification the students of Maynooth are fed and taught, under the patronage of this Protestant government?
The substance, then, of the doctrines taught at Maynooth seems to be this, that with regard to the infallibility of the pope they decide nothing; that his bulls ought or ought not to be received; and that he is either superior or inferior to general councils; that parts of the canon law are binding, and parts not, but which they cannot exactly say; that oaths may be dispensed with in many cases, but what those cases are it is not easy to define. The only point which is quite certain is, that they do not admit the Gallican liberties. With regard to the details, we must refer our readers to the preceding pages, and to the evidence itself. They may judge from thence whether the doctrines inculcated at Maynooth are likely to produce useful parish-priests, honourable neighbours, and loyal subjects. Anxious as the professors seem to be to gloss over such unpleasant matters, they feel it difficult to conceal the facts, that strong disapprobation at the amount of the revenues of the Protestant church is frequently expressed; that an ardent desire to see it overthrown is often manifested; and that the dissolution of the Union is a question much agitated and warmly supported among the students of Maynooth; and truly the fruit appears to be worthy of the tree.
We cannot close without adverting to two minor points: the Letters of Hierophilos, and a society existing in the college, called the Sodality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We should not have thought it necessary to distinguish the Letters of Hierophilos from other ephemeral productions of the same violent description, had they not been attended with very peculiar circumstances, which would almost induce us to devote a separate article to the subject. One of the statutes of Maynooth requires that no professor shall, while he remains in office, publish any letter, pamphlet, or book, without the sanction of the president. Dr. M'Hale, however, thought fit to disregard this injunction, and wrote, besides other political tracts, these letters of Hierophilos; under his especial direction they were circulated among the young men of the college, who were well aware of the real name of the author. Moreover, he thought fit to present to the President, Dr. Crotty, a copy of this 212 pamphlet,
pamphlet, as a special mark of his regard. Dr. Crotty, however, does not think he was bound to inquire into this transaction, which he allows to be a violation of the statutes, because he had no legal proof that the letters were the production of Dr. M'Hale. He appears totally to forget that the printer could easily have supplied the deficient link in the evidence. To us it is a novel doctrine, that the president of a college ought not to commence an investigation when he knows that an important statute has been broken, but is to wait till the offence is voluntarily confessed. Is it uncharitable to believe that Dr. Crotty chose to overlook this act, most unjustifiable as regards itself, and most injurious as regards example to the students, because he entered into Dr. M'Hale's views, and approved of the sentiments contained in his pamphlets ? Dr. M'Hale, by some strange argument, which we do not profess to understand, tries to prove that by affixing to them a fictitious name he avoided coming within the statute. The law, forsooth, applied only to the Reverend Dr. M'Hale-not at all to Hierophilos! We do not like to charge this Reverend Doctor with perjury, lest it should be considered libellous; but we know not how to use milder terms than to say that he was guilty of a wilful and deliberate violation of his oath, he having distinctly sworn 'carefully and faithfully to preserve all and every one of the statutes and regulations of this college.* There are but two lines which he can follow in his defence-either that he took this oath with a mental reservation; or, that imagining his keeping this oath might be disadvantageous to the church, he thought fit to grant himself a dispensation per tertiam et septimam causas excusantes.' We must also remark, as most curious coincidences, that the first of these letters was published the very year this Doctor was elected professor of dogmatic theology-the lectureship most connected with the points he discusses in his pamphlet; and that as soon as it was universally known that he was the author of these publications, the Irish Catholic clergy renewed their postulation to Rome to have him appointed to the rank which he at present holds-that of coadjutor-bishop of Killala, cum jure necessionis.
We have neither space nor patience to discuss at length the sentiments contained in these letters. In Dr. M'Hale's evidence he admits and justifies every word and every expression. The substance would seem briefly this: he considers crime to increase in proportion to the circulation of the scriptures by Bible Societies. Many, if not most, Protestants are attached to their religion solely from interested motives. All clergymen of that persuasion he
Of these the following is one :- Si quis omnium libros scriptave evulgaverit, edentibusve conscius fuerit, Præside et inscio et improbante, exigitor,'
would fain reckon as laymen; he gives no titles to our prelates, and styles them officers removable at pleasure.' The Protestant establishment he thinks most mischievous; their right to tithes is very questionable, to say the least of it, in England, much more so in Ireland; and the confiscation of their property would be an act most beneficial to the country. He says, that if the legislature were to adopt such a course as the abolition of the Protestant establishment, he and other Catholics would consider it very wise, from the respect they bear to the legislature. He subjoins an inquiry, what Protestants would have done had they been in the present situation of the Irish Catholics?-why rise in arms, he answers, to defend their rights; and he sums up the whole with a strong insinuation of Go thou, and do likewise.' He is asked whether these Letters contain the full extent of his opinions on the rights and stability of the Established church.' With some difficulty the commissioners drag from him this reluctant reply: Such a question regards interior sentiments-human tribunals only judge of external actions and opinions.' On this answer we need make no remark; it speaks for itself: nor need we ask what effects the eleven years' lectures of a man of considerable talents, actuated by such interior sentiments, must have been calculated to produce? It may be said such are the sentiments only of a single prelate, not of the Catholic clergy in Ireland; but when we find others, and especially Dr. Doyle, their ablest leader, uttering similar opinions; and when we find disapprobation of the conduct of the Doyles and the M'Hales expressed by none, collectively or individually, we must attribute to the Irish Roman Catholic bishops as a body full and entire concurrence with Hierophilos and J. K. L. Of their prudence, their justice, and their loyalty, the British nation may judge. What language some Catholics hold, what sentiments they avow, is now known. By many that conduct is justified, by all openly or tacitly commended.
The last topic we shall notice, is the Sodality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, established a few years ago by Dr. Murray. In itself it seems to be merely one of those fanatical and mystical societies so common in Italy, by means of which gross superstition is encouraged under the pretence of abstracted piety. This society is, however, remarkable for having been supported by the ex-Jesuits when their order was abolished, as a means of perpetuating their influence, and of paving the way for their reestablishment. The system of devotion practised in it is replete with absurdity, and the whole history of its origin only equalled by the rhapsodies of the Soeur Nativité. In Tuscany, Scipion de Ricci, Bishop of Pistoia, a distinguished prelate, warmly opposed it, for which he was severely condemned by Pius VI.
He persevered, however, in asserting that it was connected with the Jesuits, and was most pernicious in its effects on the minds of its members. In fact, in proportion as that order has regained power, so has the Sodality increased; and this much is known even to Lady Morgan; for in a strange farrago of ignorance, licentiousness, and jacobinism, lately published by her, called 'The O'Briens and the O'Flahertys,' in some of the very few intelligible sentences we could discover in the whole four volumes, she alludes to this fact as one which cannot be disputed. It must, therefore, be a matter of great suspicion, when we find this society suddenly introduced at Maynooth, soon after Mr. Kenny, an avowed Jesuit, had been elected vice-president, and immediately after Dr. Murray had visited Rome, where the general of that order resides. The connexion is strenuously denied by our witnesses; yet, strangely enough, they allow that several of the superiors, and two hundred students, are members of the Sodality. Nor is it less singular, that Dr. Crotty, and the other witnesses, betray a remarkable unwillingness to aliow that they knew that Mr. Kenny was a Jesuit. He did not know whether he doubted it or not he had never asked him-he had it only from public fame,' says Dr. Crotty; and Dr. Anglade
was not sure that there were any Jesuits in the country, because he had no legal proof of the fact.' Yet both doctors were at last forced to admit, that they were perfectly well aware that Mr. Kenny and his ten brother professors at Clongowes, a seminary only a few miles distant from Maynooth, all belonged to the order of Loyola.
With regard to the conclusion to be drawn from this mass of evidence, we shall say nothing. If the result of this system is thought likely to be beneficial; if experience has shown us that the effect is good-so be it, FLOREAT MAYNOOTH! Let the system under which one thousand two hundred, as we believe, of the Roman Catholic priests now officiating in Ireleand have been trained for their functions, be fostered and maintained.†
Dr. Crotty owned only to eighty students, and no superiors. The reverse was proved by the dean who kept the register. Why this uniform reluctance to speak the truth?
We think it right to say, that the above article was printed before we had an opportunity of perusing Dr. Philpotts' Letter to an English Layman, on the Coronation Oath,' &c. In that work-a work worthy of the better days of the church and the language the reader will find the affair of Hierophilos treated with the fulness which its heinousness merits.
ART. VIII.—A Letter to the Right Honourable the Earl of Aberdeen, K. T., President of the Society of Antiquaries, on the Expediency of attaching a Museum of Antiquities to that Institution. By James Heywood Markland, Esq., Director of the Society of Antiquaries, &c. London. 1828.
MR. MARKLAND, in this very able and well-written address, fully proves, that, according to the original scheme of the Antiquarian Society, it was intended to establish a museum, where the monuments of ancient days might be placed under the care of the learned body instituted for the purpose of expounding their meaning and elucidating their history.
'I deem it,' he then continues,' an idle task to dwell at length upon the benefits that would result from such a repository. "Officers of State," the class of persons first enumerated by Wanley, might not, as he supposed, derive much benefit from it, as we have abundant proof that the ministers of Queen Anne had more leisure than those of the present day but to how many other classes of persons might it not prove a most useful and interesting place of resort? Not only would it afford information and assistance to the professed antiquary, but to all who are attached to historical researches, or to whom the progress of art, and the habits and customs of past ages, are subjects of attention. England has displayed a becoming zeal in accumulating the treasures of her early literature; and the natural productions of her own and of other climates have been classified and arranged with all the skill that science could render to so laudable an undertaking. The foundation has also been recently laid for a national gallery of paintings. Why, then, should not some effort be made to collect in one spot specimens of the antiquities of this kingdom, than which no collection could, with greater propriety, be styled a national one; as, by its means, the habits, arts, customs, and manners, of our forefathers would be at once correctly and vividly illustrated? In certain classes of antiquities, individual exertions have done much: extensive and valuable collections of coins have been formed by noblemen and private gentlemen. The late Mr. Barrè Charles Roberts, aided by his father's liberality, acquired the principal part of his collection, at the cost of more than four thousand guineas, before he had attained the age of sixteen; and the splendid armoury formed by Dr. Meyrick is no less creditable to the liberality and perseverance, than to the discrimination of our learned associate. Where so much has been done by one, what might not be expected from the exertions of many congenial minds, each devoting itself to the promotion of one and the same object?
It may perhaps be said, that studies of a very opposite character to those of the antiquary, now occupy public attention; and that, amidst the more important inquiries of the present age, a museum of antiquities would not become an object of general interest, as not contributing to the advancement of those scientific pursuits which are