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proper allegiance which they own to their own king; so that the allegiance of a Roman Catholic, can be no other than a divided allegiance; and, 2. That the Pope has a dispensing power, which he may exercise at any time, to exonerate them from the obligations of an oath, from their allegiance to the government under which they live, &c.


Now, let us consider, as far as we can, the real connexion that subsists between the Pope and the Irish or English Catholics. They acknowledge the Pope as the supreme head of their church, and the ministers of religion take an oath of canonical obedience to him. Now it does not appear to me that this oath or obligation interferes in the least with the duties of civil allegiance; their obedience having respect exclusively to ecclesiastical discipline, regulations, and canons: and provided these canons, &c. do not themselves inculcate any thing contrary to due allegiance (which, I believe, is the fact) I cannot see that the case of a Roman Catholic differs much, if at all, from any other body of religionists, who, as such, are regulated by their own forms of discipline, and pay obedience to their own church-government, whatever it may be.

"The only other point of connection that I am aware of between the Pope and the Irish Catholics is, that the Pope appoints their titular Bishops: it appears, however, that for the last two hundred years he has always appointed those nominated to him by members of the Stuart family, whilst they were in existence; or, subsequently, by the clergy themselves, and out of their own body: whilst this latter practice is adhered to, even the question about the Veto on the part of the crown, seems to be of little importance. This, however, and other matters of a similar nature, might easily be settled by a concordat, on the part of government, with the Pope. * * * *

"In confirmation of this view of the case, I am not aware that any single instance has ever occurred where the connexion with Rome has weakened the allegiance due to the sovereign. Catholics, English as well as Irish, have taken their full share in defending the rights and fighting the battles of their country; and government have not been afraid (though the concession was long resisted) to commit to Roman Catholics important posts and commands in an army which has been drawn up against the common enemy.

"The adherence of the Catholics to James II. and his family was perfectly independent of any papal connection. Amongst these adherents were included, as you know, non-juring members of the Church of England, and Presbyterians as well as Catholics; and the same may be said of more recent rebellious movements in the sister kingdom, which appear to have been influenced, not by the court of Rome, but by the national convention, and the revolutionary governments of France.*

"When I consider the extreme jealousy of papal interference that has always existed in this country, (even so far back as Edward III., when the statute of provisors was enacted, and the parliament employed the strongest language against the usurpations of the Roman Pontiff, and that, at a time, when we were a nation of Catholics), I cannot for a inoment conceive that a shadow of fear can reasonably be entertained of papal influence and in

"The Rebellion in 1798."

terference amongst us, in any shape, or under any circumstances that can possibly be conceived.

"Before I quit this head, I might just remark that in Prussia, in the Netherlands, &c., where there is a mixed population of Protestants and Catholics, I have never heard of any deficiency of allegiance on the part of the Catholic subjects towards their Protestant sovereign, or of the slightest effort on the part of the pope to check the fullest manifestation of it.

"I must now advert to the other branch of papal influence, viz. the power to absolve from the obligation of an oath, whether of allegiance or of any other kind. With respect to oaths in general, I doubt whether, in the exercise of his plenary power in the most unenlightened ages of the church, the pope ever presumed, in any specific manner, to absolve from the moral guilt and turpitude of perjury; and whether the extent of the prerogative that he claimed went any further than to absolve from the temporal and ecclesiastical censures or punishment attached to that crime.

"With respect to the oath of allegiance in particular, instances certainly have occurred, in our own history, and in that of other Christian states, where the bishop of Rome has dared to dispense with the obligation of such an oath; but then it was under the extravagant and long-exploded notion, that sovereigns themselves were subjects of the pope, and that they held their kingdom by no other tenure than the fiefs of the church. If, upon this head, we refer to any particular periods of the English history, I think we may safely come to the conclusion, that there is no real ground of apprehension of the pope's interference in the matter of allegiance: for though in the dark ages, as has been already remarked, the pope did wantonly claim and exercise the power of deposing princes, and of absolving subjects from their civil oaths, yet, it is worthy of observation, that amongst the last times he ventured to exercise that power in this country, was in the famous bull of excommunication against Henry VIII.:-though the country had every reason to detest that merciless tyrant, who was rioting in the blood of both Protestants and Papists,-of Protestants because they would not conform to the six-article act, and his own popish tenets; and of Papists, (as the venerable Fisher and More), because they would not take the oath of supremacy to himself; and though the whole body of the nation were at that time Roman Catholics, yet were these last thunders of the Vatican a mere empty sound; they had so lost their terrors and their force in England, that they failed to produce the slightest commotion. The still feebler echo of these thunders in the succeeding reign of Elizabeth, and their total inefficacy, need hardly to be adverted to.

"If there ever could be any apprehensions of papal interference since the accession of the Stuarts, they might have been entertained in the strong case of a de facto king, in the person of William III., a Protestant; and a de jure king in James II., a Roman Catholic, and these in arms against each other; but even in this inviting posture of affairs, I have never understood that any overt act of authority was attempted on the part of the Pope. * * *

"Before this subject is dismissed, I might just allude to the prevalence of a notion, that a Roman Catholic does not feel himself bound to keep faith with an heretic even upon his oath. I myself deem it a sufficient answer to this imputation, that a Roman Catholic bishop, in his testimony before the

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House of Lords, said in the most solemn manner, that to consider an oath 'not binding, because it was made with a heretic, is too blasphemous to be 'contemplated.'"

Thus far we entirely ecincide in every sentiment of the writer: the case is fairly stated, at least so far as regards our question, and by one who cannot be suspected of glossing over objectionable tenets for political purposes. But in the course of the ensuing remarks he has, unwittingly perhaps, lavished this imputation upon ourselves. On the whole, we have seldom, if ever, seen a production of this kind so free from gratuitous insult; but the insinuation that we have been induced, by any circumstances, to gloss over our real tenets, is too important to pass quite unnoticed. We deny, in the most solemn manner, that this has ever been done; if the attempt had ever been made, as Catholics, we should have blushed for our religion-as journalists, we should have denounced it.

"Another argument adduced by the opponents to the Catholic claims is, that by this accession of power and influence to the Catholics, they would be better able to spread the Roman Catholic religion.

"It appears to me, as matters now stand, there is nothing to restrain the energies of the Roman Catholic from making proselytes to his faith, as far as it can be done through the medium of argument or persuasion; it is obvious that his will and desire must be to bring all within the pale of that church, out of which he is understood to believe there is no salvation:-as far as individual efforts can go, I conceive there will be no addition or diminution of zeal under whatever circumstances, in their civil capacities, the Roman Catholics may be placed. But has it never struck you that, in their present situation, with the strong aspersions, and I must say, in some cases, with the obloquy, that are continually launched out against them, and with what they consider, the unjust opposition to their claims, they are, as it were, put upon their defence: and, by the pens of some of the ablest members of their church, by the speeches of their leaders, by the distribution of tracts, &c. &c., they have been brought under the necessity of making the most conciliating expose of their particular tenets, and of glossing over what appear to us Protestants the most objectionable parts of them; at the same time, presenting themselves to the world as a degraded, persecuted people? Now, this very state of things is, in my mind, better calculated to produce a powerful effect than could possibly be achieved under any other circumstances."


ON All-Saints' Day next will be published, by Messrs. Hookham, Bond Street, "The Circle of the Seasons and Perpetual Companion to the Calendar and Almanack of the Holy Catholic Church." This work will contain short notices of the lives of the saints under each day of the year, for the use of children and young persons in general, to which will be appended, under each day, botanical notices of the flowering of plants, both wild and cultivated, with other useful popular observations on botany and natural history: also a Supplement, containing an account of the fasts and festivals of the Church, and the antiquities attached thereto. The botanical and natural historical information is supplied by Dr. Forster, of Chelmsford.

Original Poetry.

For the Catholic Miscellany.




WHEN Jove had encircled our planet with light,
And had roll'd the proud orb on its way,
And had given the moon to illume it by night
And the bright sun to rule it by day;
The reign of its surface he form'd to agree
With the wisdom that govern'd its plan,-
He divided the earth, and apportion'd the sea,
And he gave the dominion to Man.

The huntsman he sped to the forest and wood,
And the husbandman seized on the plain,
The fisherman launch'd his canoe on the flood,
And the merchant embark'd on the main.
The mighty partition was finished at last,
When a figure came listlessly on,

But fearful and wild were the looks that he cast
When he found that the labour was done.

The mien of disorder-the wreath which he wore,
And the frenzy that flash'd from his eye,
And the lyre of ivory and gold which he bore
Proclaim'd that the poet was nigh.

And he rush'd, all in tears, at the fatal decree
To the foot of the Thunderer's throne,

And complain'd that no spot on the earth or the sea
Had been given the bard as his own.

And the Thunderer smil❜d at his prayer and his mien,
Tho' he mourn'd the request was too late;

And he ask'd in what region the poet had been
When his lot was decided by Fate.

"O! pardon my error," he humbly replied,

"It sprung from a vision too bright,

My soul at that moment was close at thy side,
Entranc'd in these regions of light.

C. M.-VOL. VIII. NO. 70.


"It hung on thy visage, it bask'd in thy smile, And it rode on thy glances of fire,

Then forgive, if bewilder'd and dazzled the while, It forgot every earthly desire."

"The earth," said the godhead, " is portioned away, And I cannot reverse the decree;

But the heavens are mine, and the regions of day, And their portal is open to thee."


I LOVE to see thy shining brow,
My artless, thoughtless boy,
To mark thy many projects now
Of meditated joy.

Pure bliss is beaming in thine eyes
And swells thy little breast,
Though empires fall and nations rise-
What heed'st thou ?-Thou art blest!

I see thee strike the bounding ball,
Thy heart is bounding too,
And, viewing thee, my thoughts recall
The days when life was new.

When, so the sky was clear and fair,
And others join'd in mirth,

I thought not of the grief, the care-
Our heritage on earth.

Yet, e'en then, though gaily proud
To thoughtless pleasure prone,

I lov'd, at times, to leave the crowd
And wander all alone.

The wild-wood path, the trackless snow,
From human footstep free,
The hill, the dale, the river's flow,
Had countless charms for me.

But now those boyish dreams are o'er,
And sterner cares controul,

My eager heart is blest no more,
No pleasure fills my soul!

Yet let not this arrest thine ear,

My happy, happy boy!
Believe me, if I shed a tear,
It is a tear of joy ;

Of joy, to see thy little breast
From care and sorrow free,

May playful sport and peaceful rest
Long love to dwell with thee !

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