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cluded from want of room. They kneel even outside the Chapel doors, so that the Chapel yards are commonly filled with a crowd of worshippers, who learn by the tinkling of a bell inside the progress of the service, and are thus instructed as to the prayers which they should
Contrasted with this, they see a few dozen stragglers going to attend the service at the Church, which, small as it generally is, is scarce ever anything like filled. Now the man that is even in a small degree acquainted with the workings of the human mind, may conceive what is the feeling towards Protestantism which grows up in the breast of Roman Catholics from this experience. Their Priests diligently inform them that Protestantism is every where, as to these circumstances, just what they see it to bein their own neighbourhood—the religion, in fact, of a mere fraction of the people. They tell them that England is rent to pieces by contending sects, of which they enumerate unheard of varieties. Muggletonians, Shakers, Jumpers, Southcotians, &c. &c. and that the consequence is complete demoralization. I set down the state of public opinion among the mass of the Roman Catholics of the decidedly Popish parts of Ireland from my own particular knowledge.
When Irish Roman Catholics come to England, they almost always flock together. In every great town perhaps, there will be found an Irish quarter. There the Roman Catholics live together; and they form their ideas of England from what they see around them. They are now living in England. What presents itself to their view, is, in their apprehension, the result of English Protestantism. Perhaps, the only English into whose society they are at all likely to fall, are those who are totally indifferent to any religion. They spend their Sabbaths even more irreligiously in general than they do in Ireland, going more rarely to their religious services, and seeing nothing at all of the practical workings of Protestantism. Their ears and their eyes are open to all the exhibitions of individual eccentricity that they may see or hear. They hear of Dissenters and Methodists, New Connexion, Old Connexion, Primitive, Ranters, &c. They occasionally see a few of those amazingly wise persons, the bearded Southcotians, and they unhesitatingly conclude, from all this, that what that they heard in Ireland of English_sectarianism is true. They do not see any thing in England analagous to that overflowing attendance on divine worship, which they have witnessed among
themselves in Ireland ; on the contrary, they see, alas ! even among the decent and well-conducted, too general a disregard of Sabbath duties. In effect, there is to the
eye of the unobservant, to the eye of those who do not care to observe, and much more to the eye of those who are instructed not to observe, as Roman Catholics are, there is, to such, a prevalent irreligion apparent in England.
But is such in reality the case ? Does irreligion indeed prevail here ? Are its practical results unfavourable to Protestantism ? Most certainly, and decidedly not. Blessed be God there is an abounding piety in this country. Notwithstanding a good deal that is unfavourable, most triumphantly does the real state of England prove that Protestantism-pure Christianity, is the true source of national blessings.
There is, perhaps, no such thing to be found in English society as a private circle in which the Spirit of God has not touched the heart of some one or more, who exist as witnesses for God to those that know them. Speaking generally, I think I may truly say, that except the few who have altogether apostatized into infidelity, or some kindred error, there is not one who does not know the right standard of duty, who is not conscious to himself, if he abandons it, and who does not carry about with him a conscience that is tenderly alive to his own deviations, and, consequently, ever open to the wordo, admonition, and always through grace as far as we can know, likely to attend to it. Such a state of mind, generally abounding, is the true sedative of popular disturbance, the true ground of general peace and tranquillity, at least among the unconverted. “ Bitter is not called sweet, and sweet bitter,” as it is by those who go by a wrong standard, among Roman Catholics for instance, but things have their true moral appellations. In a word, the abounding of truth, and the general shining forth of light, bless the community in general, and elevate the moral standard. The mind is open to reason. It forms true notions of things. The trammels of priestcraft are not worn. The mind of man is free—and political liberty is the consequence. This is the effect of Protestantism, even upon that part of the community that is not directly under the influence of the power of religion.
But let us enter into the religious community of England, and then it is that we shall be compelled to lift up our voice in the language of praise to the Author and Giver of the blessed Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. What individuals have I met among the lowest orders of English Protestants,—and when I speak of the lowest orders, I use the words comparatively- the lowest orders of English Protestants are low among the high-they stand high,-on an eminence, considered as members of the human family,-I say, what individuals have I found
-how highly distinguished by the attributes that do truly dignify the human character, among the lowest orders of English Protestants ! What gravity, what sincerity, what steadiness, what wisdom, what true respectability ! and whence derived ? From the blessed Bible, and the holy influences arising therefrom. Look at the Sunday Schools overflowing in their numbers, in which the children of poorer brethren learn through the Christian kindness of the devoted servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, through their unwearied self-denial, truths that are able to make them wise unto salvation, through faith in the same Lord, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Look at the National Schools, not supported by taxation, but through the outgoings of Christian sympathy, in which we may truly say, that all that is essentially valuable in education is imparted. Look at the tens of thousands of social assemblies that take place, I may say, nightly in cottages and school-houses, for the purpose of rendering to God the humble sacrifice of prayer and praise. And see as the result of all, good order, cleanliness, industry, filial love, parental affection, integrity in private; and as to the general weal, a genuine public spirit and patriotism that place England on the very pinnacle of national glory.
Now what I grieve is, that Papists are not made to see this. Of a truth England puts its light under a bushel. When I find myself in the midst of a congregation of Protestant worshippers in England, when I hear the swellings of the hymn of praise, or when occasionally at those Social Meetings, which are so accordant with the spirit of Christianity, I witness the godly order, and the blessed practical results of pure religion, exhibited in the exercise of mutual good will, and the interchange of Christian courtesies, I sometimes say within myself, O that such a sight as this could be presented to the eyes of poor benighted Papists, the miserableand wretched Papists of poor Ireland. Now, why might not something of this be? Make the light shine. Bear witness for God. Cry aloud and spare not. I do believe that the greatest work that has been accomplished since the time of the Reformation is at this moment in the power of the Clergy of England. What I have said already may be a clue to what I would propose as the true mode of dealing with Papists. What is that ?
1. I would organize some hundreds of individuals if possible, in every place where Popery abounds--I would instruct them as to the true views that they should take of Popery—I would impress upon their minds the truths that God has in these latter days through the instrumentality of the venerable Mede and his followers, the Rev. Mr. Faber, and such like wise and Holy men, led the Church to take of Popery,I would bring them to see that theoretically Popery is a damnable APOSTASY-I would point out to them the ruin that hangs over it, and lead them to feel for the spiritual misery of its victims
I would point out to them the nations of the earth in which it abounds as the truest specimens of its practical, temporal effects- I would dwell upon the fact that the Lord's intention with respect to the APOSTATE world is, that it shall be destroyed with the brightness of his coming—and I would urge them to feel that it is their imperative duty to be faithful witnesses for God to those that are the victims of Babylon. And having done this
2. Should I think of challenging the blind leaders, the Apostate Priests to a verbose controversy ? Not I. No such thing, our business is rather with the victims. What I would do is, surrounded by those faithful witnesses, I would go into the dark places of the land, into those wretched purlieus where the Spirit of Babylon hath gathered together her victims, and there I would preach among them the everlasting gospel—there I would lift up
the song of praise, and tell them the marvellous story of Salvation by Jesus full and free, and of the APOSTASY of the Roman Catholic Church. I would make them hear and know the truth. We should not go to fight or to resist, but calmly, patiently, and Christianly to endure whatsoever insults the wicked one might tempt his votaries to inflict. Such visitations we should make arrangements for, as often as it was possible : perhaps on the Sabbath, perhaps on week days, morning or evening, no matter which. In the morning, saith the Lord, sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for who can tell which shall prosper, this or that, or whether they shall be both alike. May the Lord in his infinite mercy open
the hearts of the BISHOPS OF OUR CHURCH, that they may put their hand to this good work. What an army have they at their command! Talk of armies bristling with bayonets and pikes, armed with breastplates of fire, and discharging out of the mouths of the instruments of destruction, fire, smoke, and brimstone. (Rev. is. 17.) Our Holy Bishops have at their disposal an army ten thousand times more potent than the murderous brigades of the children of men. They have an army of