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composed, for the use of grammar schools, are William I. Viglius Zuichemus ab Aytta, John Van der Does, or Dousa, John the son of Simon de Ryk, D. Erasmus, Michael de Ruyter, John de Witt, and Hugh de Groot, or Grotius. There is much propriety in offering memoirs of distinguished compatriots to the attention of youth, as affording them more practical lessons of virtue and public spirit, than the splendid memoirs of Greeks or Romans. But such lessons should always be conveyed in the vernacular dialect, the only one which produces in general an effect on the mind and character: There is, indeed, something ludicrously absurd in making a Dutchman assume the air and sentiments of a Roman, which the author appears not to have perceived.
MISCELLANIES. Roman Catholic Question, and Dr. Milner. Lelter from Bishop Milner to an Irish Parish Priest. “Reverend Sir,--How strange does it appear to me that I, who, but the other day, was overwhelmed with the thanks and praises 'of my brethren, and particularly of my clerical brethren in Ireland, should now have become the subject of their obloquy and odium ! How still more strange does it seem that this change should have taken place on the supposition of my betraying the cause of the Catholic Church and its prelacy; that cause which I have been labouring with all my might to support during these twenty years, and never more zealously or more vigorously than within the last three months ! But, sir, it is hardly less strange that all this should have happened on the mere credit of newspapers, and that none of my former friends should have expressed a wish, so much as to receive accurate information from me, on the subject of these accusations ; 'nay, that some of them should have forbidden me to furnish them with any! Such are the effects, upon. common candour and common sense,' among Catholics, no less than among Protestants, of that maddening cry, 'the Church is in danger, My only comfort under this extraordinary, persecution is, that it proceeds from a principle of orthodoxy, which I cannot but approve of and love. The hearts of my former friends are quite right, though their heads are not a little wrong.
“ In the first place, sir, it is notorious that, ever since the year 1789, I have been in a state of hostility, by the pen and by ever other means in my power, with the spiritual supremacy of the crown, and the prevailing encroachments of the civil upon the ecclesiastical power; look in particular at the Preface to the Meditations of St. Teresa; the Letters upon the Appointments of Bishops; the Divine Right of the Episcopacy ; Ecclesiastical Democracy Detected: the Appendix No. 5, to Sir John C. Hippesly's Substance of Additional Observations, and the Supplement to ditto, in Four Letters lately printed; look also at various passages in the Antiqui-. ties of Winchester; the Letters to a Prebendary, and the Letters
from Ireland; and then say, however weak an advocate I have been for the Church, liberty, and independence, whether I have not been at least, a zealous and indefatigable one. In the course of this long continued controversy, there have not been wanting, as it is natural to suppose, and as I can prove to have been the case, both promises to allure me, and menaces to frighten me from the straight line of my duty to the Catholic Church. I have, nevertheless, during all that period, preserved my reputation untainted.
How unlikely, then, is it that I should at the present moment yield to be “tampered with,” as the newspapers assert, by persons who have nothing to give me ! and that I should aim a mortal blow at that mystical spouse of Christ, (as I have been accused in private letters,) to whose preservation and service I have devoted the whole of and for the least of whose rights I am always ready, with God's grace, to shed the last drop of my blood.
In the next place, sir, you will observe that it is not I who have wantonly or imprudently brought forward this delicate question, concerning the interference of the crown, in the appointment of Catholic bishops; it has been for some years past before the public; and many writers, as well Catholics as Protestants, have, to my grief and astonishment, declared themselves for it in its most objectionable form, and without any qualification whatsoever. See in particular Sir John Throckmorton's Considerations arising out of the Debates, &c. on the Catholic Petition, in 1805 ; Thoughts on the Civil Condition of the Catholic Clergy, by T. M'Kenna, Esq.; as also the celebrated Letters of Peter Plymley, so called, in which the writer asserts, that he is “ authorised” to assert that the Catholics have no objection whatever to the measure. You will recollect that something to the same effect is contained in the late Petition to Parliament of the inhabitants of Newry, and it is notorious that a great number of the most respectable Catholics, as well as the generality of our Protestant friends, ceased not to proclaim that “ the present mode of appointing our prelates, was the chief, and almost only obstacle to the so much wished for emancipation, and that the situation of public affairs, and the safety of the common empire, absolutely require that this power should be lodged in the crown. - The population of Ireland, they ceased not to exclaim, “ is at the beck of the Catholic bishops; these bishops are chosen by others, who are the creatures of the Pope, and are instituted by the Pope, who himself is the slave and toolof the public enemy." I mention thesecircumstances, not by way of intimating any acquiescence in a measure, which, taken as it was proposed, I know to be unlawful and schismatical. So far, indeed, from acquiesciug in it, I wrote most pressingly during the last spring to two of your venerable metropolitans, in order to consult with them on the best mode of defeating it; and it is a fact which I declare upon my conscience, that my chief motive for going up to London about ten weeks ago, was to oppose the measure, had it been brought forward in parliament, as I feared would be the case; being deeply conscious that it was my duty to do so, even at the
expence of my life. Amongst other arguments with which I had provided myself for this purpose, was the well-known declaration of Mr. Burke, signifying that “ the members of one Church are never fit persons to appoint the ministers of another." This declaration I carried about with me for a long time in my pocket-book.–But to return from this disgression : my motive for stating the abovementioned circumstances is to shew that it was not I who created the present embarrassment, but that it existed long ago, and to convince you that it is likely to continue from the joint attack upon you on both Catholics and Protestants, should your prelates at the present critical juncture recede from their solemn resolution of 1799! which resolution declares: “That in the appointment of prelates of the Roman Catholic religion to vacant sees within the kingdom, such interference of government, as may enable it to be satisfied of the loyalty of the person to be appointed, is just, and ought to be agreed to.”
“ It was from a recollection of the tenor of these resolutions, and of the conversations which I had held last summer with different prelates, that I gave the answers that I did give to several of our illustrious and generous parlimentary advocates, when they demanded of me, in London, a very few days before the first debate took place, how far the Catholic prelates were disposed to give satisfaction to the legislature and the nation in the important article of nomivation to their vacant prelacieş? My answer, on the different occasions alluded to, was uniformly to the following effect:_That I had no instruction from the Irish prelates on the subject proposed, and that the shortness of the time, previous to the day appointed for the debate, did not permit me to receive any instruction; and that therefore I could give no absolute pledge on their behalf: I said, however, that I had good reason to believe that they never would consent to attribute any positive power to the crown, not even so far as to its selecting one candidate out of three of the prelates own proposing : nevertheless, that in case there were to be a friendly Ministry, and that the emancipation were to take place, I thought they would not be averse to consult his Majesty's Ministers, after they themselves had chosen, in the usual way, the person fittest to be presented to the Pontiff, in order to ascertain whether these Ministers entertained any suspicion of the purity of this person's civil and political conduct and.principles; which in fact is to ascribe to the crownanegative power and interference in this transaction. I added, however, that they would not, according to my notions, allow the crown an unrestrained negative power, as this inight be made to operate like a positive power, and open a door to intrigue and ambition, but that they would wish to restrain the negative power, or reto, to a reasonable number of times. I must observe, that by the term a reasonable number of times, I did not understand, as it has been objected to me, an indefinite number of times, to be left open for contention between Ministry and the prelates, as the case should occur, but a definite number, whether twice, thrice, or four-times, to be settled by the latter whenever the proposed treaty should be actually concluded.
Such, sir, were the guarded terms in which I proposed to our legis. lators my opinion of what the Irish prelates would agree to; for I always professed to have no authority or instructions from them on the subject. If, then, in the warmth of debate, any of the illustrious personages who advocated our cause, should have forgotten my statement, or should have indulged their imagination in the flowery fields of rhetoric, I hope I am not more accountable for this than I'am for the stupid, blundering report of many other parts of the debates which have appeared in the newspapers. It would be indelicate and ungenerous to enter into certain particulars which I have alluded to on the present occasion' ; but thus much I may be allowed to state, that one Right Honourable Gentleman, who is represented in the newspapers as professing to make a certain proposal from authority, basely said, that he made it almost from authority; and that another Right Hon. Gent. the bold flights of whose eloquence, with the help of newspaper fabrication, have chiefly contributed to raise the present outcry in Ireland, did, in his explanation, confine himself pretty nearly to the account which I have given above of my conversation to him.
“ I now proceed to shew upon what grounds I rested my opinion that the frish prelates, in the event of a friendly Ministry succeeding to power, and of the emancipation being granted, would not hesitate (under the presumed sanction of his Holiness) to admit of a limited power of exclusions in the executive government. The first of these grounds is the actual consent which they (that is to say, the four metropolitans, and six of the most ancient bishops, speaking in the name of the whole episcopal body!) have actually given to the proposed measure, in their solemn deliberations held at Dublin on the 17th, 18th, and 19th of January, 1799. In these deliberations, having premised *** the justice and propriety of the interference of government in the appointment of Catholic bishops, as far as is necessary to ascertain their loyalty," they resolve as follows :
“ Art. 4. · The candidate so elected (that is, according to the usual forms) to be presented by the President of the election to government, which, within one month after such presentation, will transmit the name of said candidatę (if no objection be against him) for appointment to the holy see : or return said name to the President of the election, for such transmission as shall be agreed upon.
“ Art. 5. ' If government have any proper objection against such candidate, the President of the election will be informed thereof within one month after presentation, who in that case will convene the electors, and proceed to the election of another candidate.' Signed,
R. O'Reilly, I, T. Troy, Edward Dillon, Thomas Bray, P. J. Plunkett, F. Moylan, Dan. Delany, Edm. French, James Caulfield, John Cruise.' With respect to these resolutions, I have to observe, First, that they are in the hands, as I have reason to believe, both of Ministry and of the Opposition, and are considered by both as binding upon the episcopal body. Secondly, that the exclusive power itself, or the right of the veto, is not less explicitly offered in them than it is mentioned in my negotiations. Thirdly, that the necessary checks upon
this veto are not so distinctly expressed in the former, as they are in the latter. This I think I can shew in several instances.
"My second ground for the opinion which I have stated, is the implied consent of the “ sacred congregation of the propaganda" to the proposed veto, with respect to the Catholic prelates of England, on the supposition of this measure appearing requisite, and in case proper restrictions should be devised for preventing the , exclusive power of the crown from becoming an absolute power ; which restrictions, I think, are provided in the above-stated proposals. I shall take care that the original note of the " sacred congregation" here alluded to, and which was addressed to me, in answer to my enquiries, be laid before your assembled prelates.
“In the third place. I have to observe, that the exercise of ecclesiastical
power being of so much consequence to the welfare of the state, there is, perhaps, no civilized christian country in which the government does not interfere in the appointment of the prelates, who are to exercise this power; and it is judged that there is no country in which this interference is so necessary as in Ireland!!! In Catholic countries, the prince nominates without any controul, and the Pope gives jurisdiction as a matter of course. In almost every uncatholic country means are provided, and care is taken, both by those who have a right to present, and by the Holy See herself, that 10 person obnoxious to the sovereign, shall be raised to the prelacy within her dominions. The sovereigus of Russia and of Prussia will be found to have exercised a power in this respect, which far exceeds that which the Irish prelates have offered to his Majesty, and accordingly these sovereigns had each of them an accredited agent at Rome, chiefly for the exercise of this power. The King himself enjoys it, with the consent of Rome, in the province of Canada : the Bishop of Quebec not being allowed so much as to choose his coadjutor, until the latter has been approved by the civil Governor.
Fourthly, whatever outcries of the “ Church in danger" may have been raised by ignorant, or violent Catholics in Ireland, I challenge any learned divine, or other writer to shew, that the allowance to government of an exclusive power, in presenting to Catholic prelacies, if confined to three times, and accompanied, each time, with the avowal of a well-grounded suspicion of the candidate's loyalty, contains any thing either unlawful in itself, or dangerous to the church. For it is to be observed, that it is the Pape, (whose rights are not touched in the present proposal, and who can refuse jurisdiction, and the permission for consecration, when every other party is agreed,) it is the Pope, I say, who makes the Catholic bishop. The other prelates do no more than present a fit subject to his holiness; and what they are supposed to agree to, or rather what they have agreed to in their resolutions, may le explained by them in the following terms: “ It is an invariable rule with us, never to present any priest for episcopal jurisdiction, whose civil or political principles we judge to be suspected by government. For it is of so much consequence, that the bishop of a district should stand well with the civil