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at the time the question was under discussion, fails, becanse those declarations were not put forth by the highest Catholic authority, and because, if they were pnt forth by any authority, it was by an anthority which the government knew was subordinate to another, which might at any moment reverse its decisions.
But passing over this we meet the Quarterly Review on its own ground. Even supposing the Catholics of England and Ireland are not acting now in accordance with the conditions on which the relief bill was granted, they cannot be censured. Suppose they are nsing the political power accorded them by that bill to disturb the Protestant establishment, the government has not a word to say against them; because, since that establishment is only a creature of the civil government, they are only exercising their rights as freemen and British snbjects in disturbing it, and because the government has been the first to violate its engagements towards them. The conditions on which the relief bill was granted contained reciprocal engagements, and bound the government to Catholics, as well as Catholics to the government. It promised them the free profession and exercise of their religion, and they in turn promised it, by oath if you will, in consideration of this freedom, to use no political power which they might acquire by emancipation to disturb either the Protestant settlement or the Protestant establishment. We need not tell the reviewer, that the breach of a contract by the one party releases the other ; for he assumes it throughout his argument, and on the strength of it seeks to justify the government in reënacting the civil disabilities of Catholics. Now the government has been the first to break its faith, and in its ecclesiastical titles bill it has violated its promise of freedom to Catholics ; for that act is incompatible with the free exercise of their religion. The act of Catholics which called forth that bill was no violation of their engagements, declarations, or oaths; for it was authorized by the act of 1829, which granted them religious freedom, and it was in contravention of no law of the realm, as is evident from the fact, that it was necessary to pass a new law to meet the case. The government, having by this act broken the compact, by its own act released Catholics from their obligation to keep it, and threw them back on their rights as freemen and British subjects, and left them necessarily the same right to use their political power against the establishment, that others have to use theirs in its favor. No party can stand on its own wrong. The wrong of the government released the Catholics froin all their special obligations, and however they may use their power against the establishment, it cannot complain.
The truth of the case, however, is, that Catholics are not doing what they are accused of doing, or any thing really incompatible with their declarations and oathis. The government in the ecclesiastical titles bill has declared the profession and exercise of their religion illegal in the United Kingdom, and they have merely combined, in their own de fence, to use what political power they have, in a legal way, to get that bill repealed, and the freedom of their religion acknowledged. That is, they seek by legal means to defend and secure the freedom understood to be conceded by the relief bill of 1829. This is the simple fact in the case, and we should like to know what there is in this which conflicts with any engagement they have entered into. No Catholic in the realm dreams of disturbing the Protestant settlement, or disputing the right of the present reigning family to the crown; and no one, as far as we have seen, proposes by any political or legislative action to destroy the Anglican Church, if church it can be called. The oath taken by Catholic electors and senators binds them to be loyal subjects of the queen, but it does not bind them to use their political power to uphold the church establishment, or forbid them to withdraw from it the patronage of the state. Catholics as members of parliament have the same rights as any other members have; they sit there on terms of perfect equality with the rest, and nobody can pretend that it is not coinpetent for parliament, if it sees fit, to withdraw all support from the establishment, and sever all connection between it and the state. There is a difference between nut using a power to disturb, and using it to sustain, the Anglican Church. To the former a Catholic might, perhaps, under peculiar circumstances, lawfully pledge himself; to the latter he could not, for he can never pledge himself to sustain a false church without forswearing his own.
In any light, therefore, that we choose to consider it, the complaints brought against English or Irish Catholics are unfounded, and they are made only for the purpose or uiverting attention from the just coinplaints which Catholico themselves make. The Quarterly only renews the vid Protestant trick, that of wronging Catholics, and then be tending that it is Catholics who have wronged Protestants; of provoking Catholics by gross injustice to acts of selfdefence, and then turning round and accusing them of breaking the peace. The trick has been repeated too often, and has become rather stale. As far as we can see, our English and Irish brethren are only using their political power in their own defence, and we are right thankful that they have the spirit and the energy to do it. They and we are one body; their lot is our lot, and their victory or defeat is victory or defeat for us. One of the members cannot suffer but the whole body suffers with it. They have their “Irish Brigade” in parliament, and we trust it will lack neither courage nor firmness, neither ardor nor unanimity, and that it will steadily and unitedly oppose every ministry that refuses to repeal the ecclesiastical titles bill, and to guaranty to Catholics full and unrestricted freedom to profess and practise their religion, in all fidelity and submission to their spiritual chief. We expect this from the “Irish Brigade,” for their sakes and our own.
This much they owe to the Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland and of the world. We hope they will make the Catholic question their first object, to be postponed or subordinated to no other, for the rights and interests of the church, though politicians are apt to forget it, are paramount to all others, and in securing them all others are virtually secured. These secured, it will be easy to carry such measures of temporal relief as may be necessary; for the merit of securing these will secure the blessing of God, and his assistance. The children of this world are wiser in their day and generation than the children of light; but this need not discourage is, for the folly of the children of light is wiser than the wisdom of the world. God has a voice in human affairs, and takes care that it shall always be seen that his cause does not stand in human wisdom or in human virtue. Whoever would wish to prosper in that cause must rely on him, and not on himself.' Prayer is better than numbers or strength. We presume our friends of the “ Brigade” know this, and therefore we count on their success.
The prospect for England is not bright, but what is to be her fate we know not. We
e owe her no personal enmity, and we wish her well. But she has sinned greatly, and has a long account to settle. There are many in heaven and on earth that cry out, “ How long, O Lord, how long ?” Her ages of misrule in Ireland, and the multiplied wrongs which she has inflicted upon the warm-hearted Irish people, her long-continued persecution of Catholics, and the blood of the saints red yet on her hand, all are registered against her, and demand vengeance, and, if there be justice in heaven, will obtain it. She did a noblo deed in receiving and cherishing the exiled French clergy, and in reward she has had the offer of returning to the bosom of Catholic unity. Many of her choicest children have heard the offer, and have returned. The Catholic world is praying for her conversion. If she listens to the offer, and returns to her old faith, once her glory, and to which she is indebted for all that is noble or useful in her institutions, she may hope for pardon; but if she remains obstinate and deaf, if she continues to be puffed up with pride, trusting in her own wisdom and strength, in the multitude of her ships, her merchandise, and her riches, let her reflect on the fate of Tyre, the hanghty Island Queen of antiquity, or at least of the once brilliant spouse of the Adriatic, now the humble slave of the Austrian kaiser.
THE TURKISH WAR.*
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1854.]
We have no intention of reviewing these works, each of which in its way is worthy of more than ordinary attention; we have merely cited their titles as a convenient introduction to some remarks which we cannot very well avoid making on the interminable Eastern Question, and the war between the western powers and Russia, which cannot fail to affect, if continued, the interests of the whole world.
The eastern question is now the eastern war, and nothing is more natural than that impartial spectators like ourselves should ask, What are the parties fighting for? The western powers, France and England, tell us that they are fighting to sustain the independence and integrity of the Ottoman empire, and to maintain the balance of power threatened by Russian aggression. But as to this there is evidently some mistake, for the fact of Russian aggression is not inade out; and as to the policy of sustaining Turkey in her independence and integrity, and maintaining the present territorial adjustinent of Enrope, there is no difference between them and Russia. She tells them that she has no designs against the independence of Turkey, that she is as much interested in sustaining the Ottoman empire as they are, and that she believes that the peace and interest of Europe require it to be sustained in its independence and integrity as long as it can be. There is as to this no dispute, no difference of opinion, no conflict of claims, and therefore neither cause nor occasion of war. What then are the parties fighting for?
*1. Russia as it is. By COUNT A. DE GUROWSKI. New York: 1854.
2. Turkey and the Turks. By ADOLPHUS SLADE, Admiral of the Turkish Fleet. New York: 1854.
Are they fighting for the holy places in Palestine, to settle whether they shall be restored to the Latins, to whom in right of property they belong, or be held by the Greek schismatics, who have usurped a part of them? Not at all, for the question raised with regard to them by the French embassy at Constantinople in 1851 has been settled to the satisfaction of Russia by the “moderation” of France. The conduct of France with regard to the holy places has disappointed all her friends, and has done more than any other one thing to weaken confidence in the religious character of the present government. It was dastardly, and proves that, when the interests of religion are supposed to conflict with those of politics, they weigh not a feather with imperial France. She yielded every thing Russia demanded, even after having obtained a decision from the porte in her favor, and she is very careful to have it understood that religious interests enter for nothing into the present contest. That Catholic interests can count for nothing is evident from the fact that she and Great Britain, the anti-Catholic power par excellence, are acting in perfect concert. Certain it is, then, that the original question as to the holy places, in which England takes no interest, or,
any, an interest on the side of Russia, is not the matter in dispute, and therefore not about that are the parties fighting. What then, once more, are they fighting for?
It is certain that the pretended answer of the western powers to this question is not the real answer. The secret of the war is not to be found in their manifestoes. Prior to the proffers of assistance to the porte by France and England, against Russia, in case of need, no act of Russia had