[ocr errors]

in this particular. In the former, the larger portion of the treatise is invariably devoted to the objections of adversaries; in the latter, these objections are either suppressed altogether, or, more commonly, unfairly represented.

It appears from a comparison of the number of students, who leave the College at the expiration of each year, with the annual deficit of clergy throughout the kingdom, that the College is not by any means adequate to supply the exigencies of the mission. Hence, there has always been an anxiety to increase the number of students, and, consequently, to extend the accommodations which the building affords. With the single exception of the Duke of Bedford's administration, no encouragement has been held out to enable the trustees to carry into effect this very just and reasonable design. The surplus funds, which “ the occasional cheapness of provisions,” or unceasing economy in the management of the Collegiate revenues, placed in the hands of the Bursar, supplied the only means for its accomplishment. The consequence is obvious. From a well-meant, and perhaps necessary, but certainly unfortunate, economy, many things have found their way into the system, injurious to the real interest, no less than to the respectability, of the Establishment. Instead of improving, or perfecting what had been already done, the sole object seems to have been to enlarge and extend the building. Thus, the general appearance of the house, although free, perhaps, from any substantial defect, is tasteless and inelegant : while the library, though very well provided in ecclesiastical workš, is not as well supplied with modern books of literature and science, as might be desired in such an Institution. Thus the students are, to a great extent, debarred from the means of consulting the modern works, in the several departments of their study; and a tax is imposed upon the Professors, to meet which their paltry salaries are altogether inadequate. Under any circumstances, indeed, they are quite out of proportion with the importance and responsibility of the offices which they hold.*

* The following are the salaries of the Superiors and Professors of Maynooth College ;President,

£326 Vice-President,

150 Prefect of Dunboyne Establishment and Librarian,

140 Senior Dean, Bursar, Professors of Theology, Professor of Scripture, each

122 Junior Dean and remaining Professors, each

112 Thus the revenue of one Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, is nineteen or twenty times as great as that of the Divinity Professors at Maynooth, and exceeds in amount the united salaries of all the Professors, of Divinity, Philosophy, and Languages!

There is another, however, and a more substantial evil, which, though it cannot be charged upon the institution, yet tends, more than all the rest, to paralyze its energies; we mean the imperfect system of education, in reference to general subjects, pursued in the public schools in many parts of Ireland. This is a defect, which the professional education may remedy, but cannot absolutely remove, and which must be a great obstacle to the full developement of the system. The leading feature of the plan of national education, proposed by the Catholics, on the passing of the relief-bill in 1793, was, the establishment of a grammar school in each diocese, for the purposes of preparatory education.

The plan was suspended by the Government measure for the foundation of a Catholic College: but, although part of the provisions were realized in the establishment of one general Seminary, the equally, if not more, important care of early education was still left to the precarious resources of an impoverished people. The motive of the Government measure, even at the time, was a matter of dispute. While some were content to acknowledge with gratitude the bounty, which, poor as it was, was scarcely expected; others, and, in fact, the greater number, regarded it, as the cold concession of policy, rather than the free gift of benevolence; and certainly, long experience has since proved, that it was neither sufficiently extended in its application, nor sufficiently comprehensive in its plan, to meet the object for which it was professedly intended. To develope fully all its advantages, by preparing all the students to profit equally by the extensive course of Philosophy and Divinity, which it comprises, the plan should have embraced, as did that which it superseded, the establishment of Diocesan Schools, wherein all the necessary preparatory studies might have been gone through. Sensible, indeed, of this fact, and seeking, as far as their limited resources would permit, to supply the deficiency, many of the Catholic Bishops have established elementary schools in their dioceses. But, without looking to the injustice of leaving to the unaided exertions of private individuals, already sufficiently burdened, a matter of such difficulty as the early instruction of so large a community, it is obvious, that, in the present struggling and impoverished condition of Ireland, Catholic education, upon such a footing, must necessarily be precarious. We cannot leave the subject, therefore, without saying, that it is a matter which demands immediate and decided interference. It is an injustice to which the eyes of the people are already opened ; and which is thrown out into stronger and more striking relief, by the exposure, becoming every day more public, of the enormous revenues devoted to the support of Protestantism. We cannot believe, that an enlightened public will longer sanction the anomalous state of things, in which, as we have shown, SEVEN MILLIONS OF THE IRISH PEOPLE RECEIVE FOR THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CLERGY, AND THE SUPPORT OF THEIR RELIGION, JUST THE ONE-HUNDRED-AND-EIGHTH PART OF THE SUM APPROPRIATED TO THE RELIGIOUS USES OF THE REMAINING MILLION.

In the details which we have given, the reader will find, we are sure, sufficient grounds to justify him in “reconsidering the case of Maynooth College,” and forming, we doubt not, a decision, very different from that to which the insidious writer before us would lead him. If the Institution were still untried, if it were unable to refer to facts, in confirmation of the principles on which its defence is grounded, the enemies of religion might hope to crush it, by filling the public mind with prejudice, and withdrawing all opportunity for the display of its real character. But “ the trial of forty years” gives the lie to their impotent calumnies; and experience, the surest test of merit, has established, in the hearts and affections of the people, a character which is beyond their power. A Hierarchy, above the reach of slander, a learned, zealous and devoted Clergy, who, in joy and in sorrow, in good and evil repute, have stood by the side of their people, ministering to their wants, and solacing their miseries, while they preserved their faith from corruption, and “guided their souls unto justice”—these are living monuments of the public services of Maynooth College—undeniable testimonies to its capacity for good. These are its surest foundations—the well-tried virtue of the Clergy it has produced, the enduring and affectionate reverence of the people to whom their lives are devoted. He, who would assail its good name with any prospect of ultimate success, must turn his thoughts to an indispensable preliminary step-he must annihilate the one, or revolutionize the other.

Art. VII.-Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte des neunzehnten

Jahrhunderts in Deutschland. Materials for the Ecclesiastical History of Germany in the Nineteenth century. 8vo.

Augsburg. 1835. IT T is high time to call the attention of the world to the system

of slow and silent persecution which has been long wasting the strength, and exhausting the patience, of our continental brethren, the subjects of Protestant princes. It is a solemn duty of those, who have the means, to expose to the just indignation of our country the artful and heartless plan, which prevails in several states, and particularly in Prussia, of making the most sacred rights of Catholics, whether based upon natural or constitutional law, matter either of police regulation, or of annoying domiciliary legislation; and this for the avowed purpose of undermining their religion. We have used two epithets confessedly severe, but we retract, nay we modify, them not. That this system of persecution is heartless, that it is unfeeling to the last degree, will be readily acknowledged by all, who are aware of its form and character. For if the constant, the unwearied, the unrelaxing enmity of a legal adversary, who pursues his victim in malice through one tribunal after another, deserve that appellation ; if the untiring spy who tracks an unwary being by day and by night, at home and abroad, to entangle him within the meshes of the law, unmoved by pity, unchecked by resistance-if such a one can be called heartless in his conduct, then have we not adopted too strong an epithet to characterize the system which we are about to describe. And as to its being most artful, it is so to such an extent as to deceive, if possible, “ even the elect.

Von Raumer himself, with all his sagacity and information, appears to believe that the utmost impartiality is observed by the Prussian government in its dealings with Catholics. Nay, he repeats one of his own replies to a person that condemned the conduct of Prussia towards her Catholic subjects; and assures us that it was distinguished only " by justice, charity, confidence, and a scrupulous equality in the treatment of them and of the Protestants."*

The reader will shortly see some amiable specimens of this impartiality, charity and justice. If, however, the professor of history in Berlin could be thus deceived, what wonder, that in England, Prussia should have been often pointed out, in our periodical works, as a fair model for imitation in the practical application of tolerant principles? And yet, God forbid that it should ever be adopted, even in poor Ireland! Better the titheproctor than the spy; more tolerable the open assaults of an adverse religion, than the smothering protection of a hostile government.

If hitherto the covert and scattered workings of the system have enabled it to escape the notice of the public, the little work before us has left it no chance of lying any longer concealed. We need not say that every thing was done to prevent its obtaining circulation ; even though printed in the Bavarian territory, the influence of the Prussian cabinet was employed to procure an order from Munich for its suppression. The order came, and was executed; but the book had already flown across the length and breadth of Germany, it had already awakened the sympathies and the indignation of the people; and five copies, if we are rightly informed, were all that remained to be seized. It is our intention to lay before our readers the substance of this work, which is a collection of materials for future history, rather than a continued narrative. We shall not, however, follow the order observed by the author, nor even refer to his page for all that we shall draw from him. They, who wish to see the painful topic treated in all its harassing details, must peruse the work itself; they, who are anxious to know how deeply and how practically the grievances, which it exposes, are felt through the country, must converse with those whom they affect. We will gladly abide by the result of either investigation.

* England in 1835, Vol. I. p. 14, Austin's Trans.

The Catholic subjects of Prussia are nearly, if not quite, equal in number to those who profess the Protestant religion. In 1827, the Protestants of all communions amounted to 6,370,380, while the Catholics were reckoned at 4,023,513, or considerably more than the members of either the Lutheran or Reformed Church. Hassel had, however, previously estimated the Protestants at 5,187,900, and the Catholics at, 4,352,000, thus bringing them much nearer to an equality with the united force of the other two religions.

It is important to remind our readers, in this place, that the Catholic worship is as fully tolerated and recognized by law as either of the others, and that the professor of one faith stands before the eye of his country on a perfect equality with the professor of another. Again, in some provinces, as in the Rhenish district, the population is essentially and entirely Catholic, as much so, at least, as in Brandenburg or Western Prussia it is Protestant; that is to say, in the former the Protestants, in the latter the Catholics, are the exception. Impartiality of treatment, therefore, may easily be tested. Whatever religious rights the Protestants of the eastern provinces may possess, the Catholics of the western ought surely to enjoy; whatever consideration is had of the spiritual concerns of the small congregations, or few isolated Protestants, who happen to live scattered amidst the Catholic population, should not certainly be refused to the no less numerous Catholics, who are mingled with the great body of Protestants in the original dominions of Prussia. Now then, let us see how the case stands.

Whenever a small congregation of Protestants is formed, a Church, or public hall, a clergyman and a school are immediately granted for the benefit of their religion ; whenever a large con

« ForrigeFortsett »