Mr. Gladstone's Object And Motives
( Originally Published 1875 )
NEAR the close of last session of Parliament, when the Public Worship Bill was before the House, Mr. Gladstone proposed a series of resolutions protective of the Ritualists that dropped dead on the instant. He subsequently relieved his mind in the well-known article defensive of Ritualism in the Contemporary Re-view. But there was one point which the accomplished political fencer had especially to guard, and that was the popular impression that Ritualism leads to the Catholic Church. Nor could Mr. Gladstone forget that he had himself been repeatedly and publicly charged with being a Catholic. Since Lord John Russell's Durham Letter it had become a habit in England to scourge the Ritualists on the backs of the Catholics ; so this unfair and dishonorable cruelty was no innovation, but a good Protestant tradition with a ritual of its own—that the Catholics be striped for the crimes of the Ritualists.
Mr. Gladstone struck out with his unjust blows in the following terms :
But there is a question which it is the special purpose of this paper to suggest for consideration by my fellow-Christians generally, which is more practical and of greater importance, as it seems to me, and has far stronger claims on the attention of the nation and of the rulers of the Church than the question whether a handful of the clergy are or are not engaged in an utterly hopeless and visionary effort to Romanise the Church and people of England. At no time since the bloody reign of Mary has such a scheme been possible.
But if it had been possible in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, it would still have become impossible in the nineteenth ; when Renie has substituted for the proud boast of scraper catkin a policy of violence and change of faith ; when she has refurbished and paraded anew every rusty tool she was fondly thought to have disused ; when no one can become her convert without renouncing his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil loyalty and duty at the mercy of another; and when she has equally repudiated modern thought and ancient history, I cannot persuade myself to feel alarm as to the final issue of her crusades in England, and this although I do not undervalue her great powers of mischief.'
In his Expostulation Mr. Gladstone confesses to the seeming roughness of some of these expressions,' and tells us that had he been addressing his Catholic fellow-countrymen he ` would have striven to avoid them. After this questionable apology, he does not hesitate at once to address them to his Catholic fellow-countrymen, and sets about defending them. To our great astonishment, he even declares that his assertions ` are not aggressive, but defensive. It is an old saying that history repeats itself. The Durham Letter of 1849 was not aggressive, but defensive ; the Titles Act was not aggressive, but defensive ; Prince Bismarck's ruthless persecution of the Church is not aggressive. but defensive ; whenever any unprovoked at-tack is made upon the Catholics, it is not aggressive, but defensive. In their original context in the Conlonporary Review, these offensive terms were simply offered as a comfort to the Anglican Establishment ; as consolation to her for the loss of the able men whom the Catholic Church has gained, or is gaining, from her ; as an assurance to her that conversions were drawing to an end ; and as an intimidation to us, lest that assurance might not prove true.
To the converts themselves, men as well educated and capable of forming a judgment as himself, some of them his old and intimate friends from youth onwards, Mr. Gladstone could not have addressed a more offensive or a less effective insult than, in this sort of stage-aside voice, to tell the world at large, then to half apologise for it, and next to tell the converts them-selves outright, that they have renounced their ' mental and moral freedom,' that they ` have placed their civil loyalty and duty at the mercy of another,' and that they have done this after their Church has ` equally repudiated modern thought and ancient history.' Mr. Gladstone has read the writings of the more distinguished converts, and must therefore know that they are far from thinking what he asserts of them. But these things he does not know ; he knows not the mind of the converts, nor the mind of the Catholic Church, nor does he seem to have ever deeply reflected on the nature and scope of mental and moral freedom. To these subjects we shall return in due time.
More than one convert, friends of Mr. Gladstone, he tells us, have expostulated with him on the passage in the Contemporary Review. Whereupon he lays down a doctrine as surprising in the mouth of a Christian as it is singular in its mode of statement. First he tells us that ` neither the abettors of the Papal Chair, nor any one who, however far from being an abettor of the Papal Chair, actually writes from a Papal point of view, has a right to remonstrate with the world at large.' What does this mean? Is it meant to say that men write from the Pope's point of view who do not take the Pope's point of view ? Are men Catholics and non-Catholics at one and the same time? Are they outwardly Catholics and inwardly Protestants ? We know of no such men. Half a dozen men of an opposite stamp we know, and Mr. Gladstone knows them, men who profess to be Catholics, whilst they attack the Catholic faith, and do their best to degrade the Papal Chair. Men who, some of them at least, although the Papal Chair be not the vine of Noah, endeavour to imitate the sin of Cham.
It is something new and strange in one who has read the Prophets, the Apostles, the Word of Christ, and something of the Christian Fathers, and who professes the Christian name, to maintain that the Church has no right to expostulate with the world at large, whilst the world at large has a right to expostulate with the Church. ` The world at large,' continues Mr. Gladstone, ` on the contrary, has the fullest right to remonstrate, first, with his Holiness ; secondly, with those who share his proceedings ; thirdly, even with such as passively allow and accept them.' * This necessarily includes, first, the Pope ; secondly, the Bishops ; thirdly, the clergy and laity—the whole Church. The sum of this doctrine is, that the Church has lost its right to teach the world, and the world at large has gained the right to teach the Church. When or how the world gained this new authority Mr. Gladstone does not say. What a descent from the Church Principles published by the same author in the year 1840 !
We have here a specimen of that singular style that runs throughout the Expostulation. First, ` the world at large ' has a right to remonstrate with the Church ; then the world at large is brought nearer our senses in ` the people of this country, who fully believe in their loyalty,' that is, in the loyalty of the English Catholics ; then the world and the English people are reduced to a rhetorical background for the one figure of Mr. Glad-stone, who comes forward as representative of the world at large and the people of this country. ` I therefore,' he says, ` as one of the world at large, propose to expostulate in my turn.' ` The people of this country are fully entitled, on purely civil grounds, to expect from them ' (the quiet-minded Catholics) ` some declaration or manifestation of opinion, to reply to that ecclesiastical party in their Church who have laid down in their name principles adverse to the purity of civil allegiance.'
The Church is here divided into ` quiet-minded Catholics ' and ` a certain ecclesiastical party,' and the first is called upon to disclaim the second. These quiet-minded Catholics have been previously described as `Catholics generally.' And ` of Roman Catholics generally, they ' (that is, his offensive remarks in the Contemporary) ` say nothing.' Only he now calls upon them in an expostulatory tone to deliver some declaration against a certain ecclesiastical party. Who form this party ? He has already described it as consisting of his Holiness, the abettors of the Papal Chair, with such as passively allow and accept them; and that there may be no mistake either as to the Catholics whom he invites to rebel or the authority against which he would have them to rebel, he puts it all in plain terms four-and-twenty pages later, where he says : ` The Pope's Infallibility, when he speaks ex cathedrâ on faith and morals, has been declared, with the assent of the Bishops of the Roman Church, to be an article of faith binding on the conscience of every Christian. His claim to the obedience of his spiritual subjects has been declared in like manner without any practical limit or reserve ; and his supremacy, without any reserve of civil rights, has been similarly affirmed to include everything which relates to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world. And these 'doctrines we know, on the highest authority, it is of necessity for salvation to believe.' here is the ecclesiastical party, and here their principles, ` adverse to purity and integrity of allegiance,' against which ` quiet-minded Catholics ' and ` Catholics at large ' are invited by Mr. Gladstone to give forth some opinion. At his beck the nave is to rise up against the sanctuary, the Church taught to correct the Church teaching, the laity to instruct the Bishops and the Pope.
What does the author of the above passage mean when he tells us that the supremacy, including whatever relates to the discipline and government of the Church, ` makes no reserve of civil rights ' ? Is it in-tended to imply that civil rights form an element in Church government ? If they do, why should they be reserved ? If they do not—and Catholics think they do not how reserve them where they are not? In such Churches as those of England, Russia, and Prussia, Church government and discipline are suspended on the civil power ; but Mr. Gladstone has himself shown in his Church Principles that the Church is a perfect society within itself, with all the means requisite for its own end and purpose. And the rights of an ecclesiastical society, as such, are in their nature exclusively ecclesiastical.
After travelling through a good deal of this kind of fog, we come to Mr. Gladstone's real object and precise intention. At page 22 he says : ` Far be it from me to make any Roman Catholic, except the great hierarchic power, and those who have egged it on, responsible for the portentous proceedings which we have witnessed. My conviction is that, even of those who may not shake off the yoke, multitudes will vindicate, at any rate, their loyalty at the expense of the consistency which, perhaps, in difficult matters of religion, few among us perfectly maintain.' The fog has parted, and Mr. Gladstone's mind comes out. He hopes to cause some Catholics to cast off the yoke of their faith, and multitudes of them to sacrifice their consistency. To encourage them, he gives them the comforting assurance that, in difficult matters of religion, few among us are perfectly consistent. Few are perfectly consistent in practice, but Mr. Gladstone invites us to be inconsistent with principle ; and there with Catholics he must utterly fail.
This reminds me of something I recently heard from a Protestant. gentleman in a railway carriage. He had been in want, he said, of a good and quiet under-servant. Three young women applied for the place: one a Protestant, another a Methodist, the third a Catholic. Not satisfied with the tone of either of the others, he was inclined to engage the Catholic. But she refused to engage unless she could go to Mass every Sunday. Fearing the girl would be unprotected, as he lived at some distance from her church, he wrote to the priest, and received a reply to this effect : ` Unless the girl be faithful to God and her Church, you cannot expect her to be faithful in your service.' ` This,' said my informant, ` decided me, and raised the priest in my respect. I engaged her on condition that an uncle of hers should every Sunday see her safely to and from church.' Mr. Gladstone may depend upon it that he will never succeed in making Catholics loyal to the Queen by making them disloyal to the Church. We know all about that much bet-ter than he can, and he may safely take our word upon it.
It is an exercise to track our tempter along the serpentine course through which here and there he winds his approach, as if to puzzle and confuse our brain with his mesmeric passes before he puts his temptation unmistakably before us. One pass he gives, assuring Catholics at large that, if they do become inconsistent, it is just what other people do, throwing himself encouragingly into the ` us ' by which he designates those people. He gives another soothing pass, commiserating the ` hardship brought upon them altogether by the conduct of the authorities of their own Church.'Then, drawing a longer pass, he offers his reason to the Catholics at large as a security for assailing the teachers of their faith. ` If,' he says, ` I am told that he who animadverts upon these assails or insults Roman Catholics at large, who do not choose their ecclesiastical rulers, and are not recognised as having any voice in the government of the Church, I cannot be bound by or accept a proposition which seems to me to be so little in accord with reason. And so because, like their Anglican neighbors of Mr. Gladstone's communion, Catholics neither choose their ecclesiastical rulers nor have a voice in Church government, they are to take the great Protestant statesman's reason as warrant for resisting the teachers of their Church—not any special reason, but reason in the abstract.
Severe upon ` the present degradation of the episcopal order' of the Latin Church, our expostulator is still more severe upon her `converts.' Whether this severity is directed to all converts, or to some of them, or is intended to deter others from becoming converts, or whether, leaving the main body of them among the inoffensive `Catholics at large,' it is the intention to direct this severity upon certain specific offenders, is left to our conjecture. Two converts are mentioned by name, and only two. Dr. Newman is mentioned with high commendation; Mr. Gladstone's old and intimate friend, the Archbishop of Westminster, is gravely reproved. To say the truth, the allegations of ` great breadth' and of ` broad and deep foundation ' with which the great orator begins to expostulate thin off as he proceeds, and terminate in two passages picked carefully out of the context of the Archbishop's numerous writings.
` Archbishop Manning,' it is said, ` who is the head of the Papal Church in England, and whose ecclesiastical tone is supposed to be in closest accordance with that of his head-quarters, has not thought it too much to say that the civil order of all Christendom is the off-spring of the Temporal Power, and has the Temporal Power for its keystone.'" Precisely so when there was a Christendom composed of Catholic States ; and Guizot, the Protestant historian, as well as Haller and Hurter, show us how the Catholic Bishops, with the Popes at their head, formed the Catholic States of Europe and the civilization of Christendom. The ablest historians have likewise shown how, by general consent, the Popes became the moderators of that Christendom which, through the action of private judgment and free thinking in religion, has long ceased to exist. Then it was Christian light and law ; now it is human ambition and contempt of covenants that settle, or more truly unsettle, the affairs of the world. That state of things, however, has long since passed away, and Pius IX. has said as much. As Mr. Gladstone has given but a portion of what his Holiness said on that subject, it will be fair to give the whole of it. 1 take it as published in the pastoral of the Swiss Bishops, commended by the Pope.
The words were addressed by his Holines to a deputation of the Roman Academia, not on the 21 :t of July 1873, as Mr. Gladstone states,* but on the loth of that month 1871. The Pontiff exhorted that learned Society to refute with all possible care many falsifications of the sense of the Papal Infallibility. ` There are many errors regarding the Infallibility,' said the Pope, but the most malicious of all is that which includes in that dogma the right of deposing sovereigns, and declaring the people no longer bound by the obligation of fidelity. This right was, in fact, exercised by the Pope in extreme cases, but it has absolutely nothing in common with Papal Infallibility. It was a consequence of the public right then in force with the consent of Christian nations, who recognised in the Pope the supreme judge of Christendom, and constituted him judge of princes and peoples, even in temporal matters. But the present situation is altogether different. Bad faith alone could confound objects so different and times so unlike each other, as if an infallible judgment on revealed truth had any analogy with a right that Popes solicited by the desires of the people have exercised when the general good demanded it. Statements like these are but a pretext for stirring up princes against the Church.'
To thoroughly understand a declaration like this, or the similar one addressed by Pius VI. to the Irish Bishops, that has recently been quoted by a Catholic divine, it must be kept in mind that, according to the traditional teaching of Catholic divines from the days of St. Thomas Aquinas, the temporal power has its immediate derivation from the people. It was through Gladstone's Exfiostula lion Unravelled the consent of the people and the princes of Christendom that this supreme principle of international law prevailed, and the Coronation Oath, made to the Church, was based upon it. It is historically true that the Papal Power was in those times the keystone of Christendom.
The Archbishop again, says Mr. Gladstone, has affirmed that the spiritual power is supreme within its own limits, and can thereby fix the limits of all other jurisdictions.* But then the Archbishop expressly states that this supremacy is ` in matters of religion and con-science.' It is not for me to interpose between these two distinguished persons ; but I should have thought that it was impossible for one power supreme in itself to fix its boundaries without fixing as a consequence the boundaries of whatever power came in contact with it. just as the fixing the boundaries of your own field fixes the boundaries of the field adjoining it ; and that the kingdom of conscience, that kingdom of God within the man, settles the question as to how far any other power shall come, and where its powers must cease in its right to act. Mr. Gladstone has said this very thing, observing that ` there are millions upon millions of the Protestants of this country who would agree with Arch-bishop Manning if he were simply telling us that divine truth is not to be sought from the lips of the State, nor to be sacrificed at its command.'
On a small scale we may exemplify what we mean from this Expostulation. Its author would seem to say to his Catholic fellow-countrymen : ` I am a man of position, eloquence, and influence. Senates and nations listen to me: a powerful party obey my voice. The majority of our countrymen foster prejudices against you, both old and new, and my skilful words can heat them into a flame ; your fortunes have been in my hands, and may be again. Either protest against your spiritual teachers, or abide my indignation.' Here is a civil power which, though not the royalty of England, nor at this moment its representative, is yet not lightly to be undervalued. The Catholics say : ` You have no right either to question or command our consciences. Must we obey you against our conscience, or God with our conscience ? You confess that we are loyal, that loyalty is a part of our religion. Were we to denounce our spiritual teachers that would be disloyalty indeed ; and whoever is disloyal to his conscience will be disloyal on temptation to his sovereign. Our fathers, rather than abandon their pastors, suffered much greater things than you can inflict. Your insidious advances we reject ; the indignation with which, at the close of your Expostulation, you threaten us we can endure.' Here the spiritual power of conscience, in defining its own extent, defines the limits of Mr. Gladstone's power, and fears it not.
But ` the converts' ! Their fellow-Catholics may be let off more easily; no stigma can be too ignominious for them. They renounce their 'mental and moral freedom ; ' they ` place their civil loyalty and duty at the mercy of another ; ' they have ` repudiated modern thought and ancient history.' Vague are these accusations ; and, though not very generous, yet quite safe from their generality. It would never have done to give examples and proofs. However, there is a decided disagreement between the converts and Mr. Gladstone ; for they say—and I have heard many of them—that they have gained a mental and moral freedom that they never knew before, have obtained a firmer footing for their loyalty, have a keener appreciation to distinguish between what is good and bad in modern thought, and a higher comprehension of the movement of God through ancient history. Whether their testimony or that of Mr. Gladstone should prevail must be left to the reader. I can only say that that of the converts is conscientiously given, and that not a few of them have distinguished themselves in the philosophic investigation of modern thought, in the cultivation of science and art, or in exploring ancient history. It would go hard with facts if they could be destroyed by declamation.
I have ventured to say already that Mr. Gladstone seems never to have thought deeply of the nature of mental and moral freedom. It is easy for a politician to confound civil with mental, political with moral, freedom ; but they are in character very different. Political and civil freedom arc of an external more than of an internal nature. They are concerned in removing limits and restraints from speech and action, in diffusing political power and civil influence through the people, and in controlling as well as directing the civil government. By the very nature of mind and will, mental and moral liberty are of a different order. The object of the mind, what sets it free from its narrow egotism of thought, is truth. The object of the will, what sets it free, is moral good. Man is not made for himself, but for a truth, and for a good of which truth is the bright reflection, and to which there is no limit. ` If the truth set you free,' says Truth in person, ` then are you truly free.' Put a man into a solitary cell ; leave him in his isolation ; let him be one of those who hold no converse with the spiritual world, and the question will he, how long must it be before his mind break down ? Unless he turn to God, he has lost all freedom, civil, political, bodily, mental, and moral. In losing the two last he suffers from mental and moral inanition. Put a holy, enlightened Christian solitary in the same position. In his privation of bodily, social, and political liberty, which were all things to that first solitary, his mental and moral freedom still remain to him, his mind will soar in freedom unto unmeasured regions of truth, his heart will go forth in love unto unspeakable depths of good. The Catholic, even the convert, who makes his annual eight days of spiritual retirement, understands these things.
A man is bodily free in proportion to the extent of territory over which he can freely move. Had he the bird's privilege as well, to take to the air, he would be doubly free. So is it with the mind. It is free in pro-portion to the extent of certain and assured truth into which it can freely enter, over which it can freely move. The will, again, is morally free according to the extent and height and greatness of moral good that through a loving heart the will can securely embrace. In the very root and basis of the soul moves the appetite for truth, and the moral good that truth reflects and brightens. Only when raven forth by this truth and moral good, which God presents, can he get out of the contracted cell of his subjective nature, and advance towards this truth, especially that of God's magnificent revelation, and enter into the foretaste of that good which this revelation has made known. This movement, lower in the natural order, immeasurably higher in the supernatural order, constitutes the mental and moral freedom of man. ` If the truth shall set you free, then are you truly free.'
Whilst still moving hesitatingly through the shallows of doubt and of uncertain opinion no man is free. He is struggling through conjectures or following half lights towards that certainty of truth and peace in good which he hopes in time will make him free ; or he gives up the search and sinks back into indifference. The man who, intent on other thoughts, has lost his way and got benighted, is so far from mental freedom that he hesitates, doubts, conjectures, and frets; but on regaining his path he recovers his freedom, and makes progress towards the good before him.
But against freedom of will, as of mind, stand the allied powers of sense ; their indulgence, and the passions they awaken, absorb and degrade both the moral and mental forces ; make the mind's light servile to the imagination, which, however God designed it to be the servant of truth and its illustrator, grows sordid from sensuality and inflammable from passion ; and thus evilly stimulated, it perverts from the truth and absorbs into error and evil the action of the will. Another condition of mental and moral freedom, there-fore, is to keep the senses, their appetites, and the in-flammable imagination down in order and subjection. Nor is this all ; deeper within the man is the pride that exalts the subjective self over the truth and good for which the man was made. This false and deceptive self-exaltation draws the mind from truth, the will from law, and needs the curb of humility and obedience to the One True Good, whose authority, that it may be ever at hand for the exercise of these virtues, is set before our very senses in the human depositaries of H is truth and law.
Wherefore, obedience to truth is mental freedom ; resistance to truth is the loss of liberty. Obedience to the authority through which God brings us the truth, and to the supreme law that marks the way towards truth, is moral liberty ; disobedience to that authority and law is the loss of moral freedom. In what lies the secret strength of obedience? In that a more authoritative and stronger will than our own brings ours into action ; in that two wills combine to bring up the one that is oppressed with its egotism, authority and law being its security for right direction. Thus, by obedient habits, is the child trained to strength of will ; and thus, in the things of God, where man is yet a child, does the authority of the Church draw him up to the unchangeable regions of truth and divine good. This being so, and God having in His Church wonder-fully provided the channels of light and grace in her Sacraments, of safety in her infallible teaching, and of self-denial, humility, and obedience, in her ministerial authority, it is obvious to any one who comprehends these principles that the Church is the true home of mental and moral freedom ; but far more obvious is it to those who hold practical possession of them within the Church herself.
And if the field of the mind hath received the whole compass of truth made known by God to man in its marvellous unity, then in contemplating that truth, article by article, doctrine by doctrine, each illuminating all, and all illuminating each, new beauties of truth incessantly spring upon the mind, to the de-light, solace, and freedom of the contemplating spirit. But the Catholic religion bolds possession of all the revealed truth,—added to all the natural truth that God has given to man,—whilst elsewhere it is broken into fragments and scattered in parts through numerous sects and divisions.
In like manner the supreme law shapes out with authority the boundaries between good and evil, and leads us in the direction of moral good ; and the obedient following of that law is the condition of moral freedom. But that man might not lose his way, be perplexed with doubts, or left to the hesitating and uncertain lights of his own judgment and opinion, where there should be certain faith and belief, Christ our Lord appointed an authority, to whom both the truth and the law were committed, to teach them with divine authority to the end of time ; and to hear and obey that authority in a spirit loyal to God's inward movements is to gain mental and moral freedom. That these are gained, and in a way contrasting wonderfully with their previous states of mind, all earnest converts bear witness.
To the Catholic Church, in his earlier days, Mr. Gladstone gave a magnificent testimony, a complete justification to her converts. In his Church Principles he carps, indeed, at many details, not so much of what the Church really is and does, but of what he erroneously supposes her to be and to do. At last, however, he comes to the comparison of what is the strength of the Protestant and what of the Catholic Church.
`Simple Protestantism,' he says, ` has a legitimate strength of its own ; it is this, that it makes the access to the Holy Scriptures free for all the people, and it derives immense advantage in the controversy with Rome from the evident fairness of exposing to the general eye the authority for the truths to which the general assent of men is asked. We may estimate the amount of this advantage from the anxiety which has been shown by the advocates of Romanism, ever since it has been obliged to appeal to public discussion and opinion, to show that the Papal system is not opposed to the free circulation of the Scriptures among the people. . . . The free circulation of the Holy Bible, while it is one occasion of the difficulties of the Church, is likewise a chief cause of her strength.' I have marked the passage in italics for further consideration.
Romanism, on the other hand,' continues Mr. Glad-stone, ` has also a strength of its own ; it is this, that it unflinchingly asserts the oneness, the supremacy, the permanency of the faith, and its independence of private opinion; and that it offers the ordinances of grace from hands to which the power of administering them lias been committed, if there be truth in history, by the Apostles of our Lord, and asserts an authority and power of guidance which they transmitted. Thus, of th 'se two hostile principles, the one triumphs by tendering the word which God inspired, the other by asserting the Church which the Redeemer established.'
It is singular that in the next paragraph Mr. Glad-stone should affirm of these ' two hostile principles,' that ' they must be essentially at all times harmonious, while their antagonism is supposition, and has no ground but in the depraved fancies of mankind.'
Whilst the author of Church Principles allows that the free circulation of the Scriptures is' one occasion of the difficulties of the (Protestant) Church,' he contends for uniting it with the principle of Church authority which he correctly portrays as the strength of the Catholic Church. There is but one way of uniting and harmonizing these two principles, and avoiding the ' difficulties,' and that is to keep the Scriptures under the Church's authority, and deliver that divine sense of them which the Church holds in her perpetual tradition Then may she deliver the Holy Scriptures, as she habitually does, together with their sense, to all men of good-will.
Mr. Gladstone will perhaps allow me to exhibit this combination as it was understood by a probable ancestress of that New Zealander who is one day to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's. My old friend Bishop Pompallier, the first Catholic Bishop of New Zealand, made a convert of the daughter of a chieftain, and her name was Hoke. Having previously been a disciple of certain Protestant missionaries, they went to remonstrate with her, just as Mr. Gladstone expostulates with the English converts. Arrived in her presence, she sat in silence whilst they spoke, and said: ' Well, Hoke, we are surprised that you should join the Picopos (Catholics), who will not give you the Holy Book.' On this theme they descanted ; and when they had concluded, Hoke called for her books, and rising to speak, according to New Zealand etiquette, the missionaries in their turn sat down in silence. ` You missioners,' she began, ` should speak truth. Here are the Holy Books. They teach me the creed—what I am to believe ; they teach me the Sacraments—what I am to receive ; they teach me the commandments. what I am to do. If I was blind, of what use would be the Holy Book ? The Bishop came and spoke—his word went through my ear to my heart. He baptised me—my heart received the light of God. After he had baptised me, he gave me the Holy Book—with the light in my heart and the Bishop's words, I saw the meaning of the Holy Book. It was the light of Catholic faith that enabled this daughter of a cannibal race to harmonise the Church's authority with the use of the Scriptures.
To come back to Mr. Gladstone's sentiments in his Church Principles, could their author have given a sounder justification to the converts from his communion? He may say that since he described her strength the Church has changed. And it is not improbably among the motives of the Expostulation to free him-self by this charge from what in that book he has writ-ten in commendation of the Church. But whether she has changed or not, not her accuser, but the Church herself, is the judge. She maintains that she has acted in the Vatican Council on her old principles, has drawn from her old deposit, and proclaimed her immemorial tradition, doctrine, and practice. And even the expostulator, with whatever consistency, whenever it seems to support his accusations, endeavours to show that her recent decrees are the outcome of her earlier history.
At the end of last session of Parliament the Times suggested that two parties were in want of a cry ; and the old anti-Catholic cry was suggested. Mr. Gladstone has seized upon it, and has dressed up the old figure called Popery, that grotesque invention of the Protest-ant minci, in a new garb taken from the well-stored magazine of the Dollingerites. But this figure of Popery is no more like the Catholic religion than the idols recently brought to light at Troy are like Minerva. The Protestant people of this country, its new editor might think, were fond of the dear old romance, the property of their imagination from the nursery, and would welcome a little improvement of it. Iii this, however, there may have been some misconception ; the great political name explains its wide circulation.