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Such is a specimen of Mr. Knight's workman-once a journeyman, afterwards a master-tailor, and now, as the Memoirs intimate, a literary adventurer in London, serving, it seems, the great patron of all the worshippers of unirersal useful knowledge. We grieve for his fate; and though we have travelled with much interest in his company, as he has narrated, in his own pleasant style, the various turns of his eventful history, we regret to say that we leave him where we had rather never have found him, and will only add, “ Alas, my brother ! ”
We feel sure that the readers to whom we address ourselves will not exchange " the puerilities of the Tract Societies ” for all the sentimental “ Varieties” which Mr. Knight has ever penned-nor will they build their millennium-hopes on any such foundation as the elasticity of the human mind, or the constant progress to improvement, which Mr. Knight and his school fondly dream must
make the ultimate amelioration of the human race quite certain.” Their's is a surer hope, and the means they employ, the means which God himself has sanctified and blessed. Let them not be weary in well-doing, though the Babel-builders may mock and taunt—for the promise is their's, “ Ye shall reap if ye faint not.” And while they labour on, let them still pray, “ Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Then, in due time, shall “ the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.” “ The knowledge of the LORD shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea." “ The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.”
A WORD TO CHRISTIAN DISSENTERS on the Present Advance of Popery. London: Ward. 1815.
. THE ROMANISM OF ITALY; preceded by a Correspondence
with the Catholic Institute. By Sir CưLLING E. Smiti, Bart. London: Snow. 1845.
Sir Culling Syith has been for some months absent from England, during which period he has been an eye-witness of the Ronish system in its strongholds. His absence from England, zi his personal insight into the religion (80-called) of Italy, have both been beneficial to him. He has been withdrawn for a time from the petty feuds which alienate Protestant from Protestant at home; and has had leisure to compare and reflect upon the evils of dominant Romanism, so evidently surpassing, a thousand-fold, the worst faults attributed to our National Church by her most resolute opponents. And thus Sir Culling returns home with bis mind in a comparatively healthy state; and far more ready to join in a general effort of all Protestants to keep out Popery, than in an indefensible alliance with Papists and Repealers, against Churehmen and Conservatives. If he could quickly diffuse his spirit throughout the whole body to which he belongs, the union of sincere and earnest Protestants of all denominations would prove too strong for any Administration, and the Maynooth Endorement Bill would be sent to its tomb almost before it saw the light.
For, in sober truth and certainty, we can unhesitatingly assert, that the only chance Sir Robert Peel can have, in his new advance towards Rome, arises from the doubt and hesitation manifested among the Dissenters. Could this hesitation and apathy be banished, the rejection of the Maynooth Bill would be inevitable. Por thus stands the case :
In the second session of the present Parliament, -members being therefore safe in their seats for some four years to come, such was the effect of the opposition shown by the Dissenters and Methodists to the educational clauses of the Factory Bill, that the government, strong in its majority of 100 on all other questions, found itself obliged to withdraw the whole measure.
But now, we are in the fifth session of the same Parliament, and the members can easily count the months of their public existence, which will hardly be prolonged beyond June in 1816. Every man, therefore, who purposes again to offer himself, must be already revolving his prospects and looking after his friends. On the educational clauses of the Factory Bill, the Church, so far
as it interfered at all, was on the side of the government. Now the Church must join with the Dissenters and Methodists in opposition. The question, therefore, may be thus stated :
If two religious bodies prevailed against the government, by public agitation, when a dissolution was at least at four years' distance,---ought not three religious bodies to prevail, when the dissolution is scarcely further from us than one year ?
Hence we argue, that if the same energy could be now put forth which was manifested in 1843, the opponents could scarcely, with the added aid of the Church, fail to effect their end.
Let us, however, from considering the means of efficient operation, turn to the justice of our cause.
And here we must revert to that lamentable delusion which seems to have possessed so many of our public men,--that they are precluded from opposing the existing grant, whatever they may do with the proposed augmentation, by some supposed national engagement, entered into, no one knows where or when.
We discussed this matter at some length last month, and shewed, we trust, satisfactorily, that neither the letter of the Acts of Parliament legalizing Maynooth, or of the Act of Union,-nor any existing record of the intentions of the framers of those Aets, gave countenance to such a notion. Since we penned those observations, some further light has been thrown upon the subject. At the meeting recently held at Exeter Hall on the subject, Mr. James Cook Evans, the barrister, produced these further details of the original history of the grant :
“ I will now refer you to the Act itself, the 35th of Geo. III. cap. 21. It is entitled, “Ar Act for the better Education of Persons professing the Popish, or Roman Catholic, Religion. The preamble runs thus :- Whereas by the laws now in force in this kingdom, it is not lawful to endow any college or seminary for the education exclusively of persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic religion; and it is now become expedient that a seminary should be established for that purpose. It goes on to appoint twenty-one trustees, and then to define their duties : 'that they shall be trustees for the purpose of establishing and endowing and maintaining an academy for the education of persons professing the Roman Catholic religion; and that the said trustees shall have fall power and authority to receive subscriptions and donations to enable them to establish and endow an academy for the education of persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion.' That is the power which was given to the trustees; and the Act goes on to say that they may ‘purchase and acquire lands not exceeding the annual value of £1,000; and that they shall erect and maintain
all such buildings as may be by the said trustees deemed necessary for the lodging and accommodation of the president, masters, professors, fellows, and students, who shall from time to time be admitted into, or reside in such academy. And when this Act was introduced into the House of Commons, it contained not a syllable with respect to any grant of the public money; but a clause was afterwards introduced, by which his majesty was "authorized to advance £8,000 towards establishing the said academy.' As this is the Act for establishing Maynooth, one would suppose that if the legislature had intended to pledge the nation to the continuance of that grant to the institution, it would have done so by some provision in this act. But I assure you that there is no word in the whole Act that can bear any such construction. The next year after the institution was established, a petition was presented by the trustees appointed under this Act to the Irish House of Commons, and they obtained a further grant. The grant in 1796 was £7,000; in 1797 there was a further grant of £10,000; in 1798 a further grant of £10,302 5s. 10d.; and in 1798 certain measures took place in the Irish House of Commons, which I think it is worth while to bring before you, because it shows what was the mind of the legislature at that time. I find in the journals of the House of Commons in 1799 that a petition was presented to that house from the trustees of Maynooth College. It is exceedingly important that the public mind should be correctly informed on this subject ; and, probably, by confining myself to facts, and abstaining from comments, I shall best serve the object we all have in view. The following is the entry in the journals of the house : -'On the 16th of February, 1799, a petition from the trustees appointed to carry into execution the act of parliament intituled An Act for the better education of persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic religion, presented to the house and read, setting forth, that petitioners with profound gratitude acknowledged the munificent support which had been granted to them, and by which they had been able to carry into effect the wise and liberal views of parliament in providing the necessary accommodations, and in every respect accomplishing the full establishment of the seminary agreeably to the statement submitted to the house; that petitioners expressed their firm reliance on the benevolence of the house, and their strong hope that the institution intrusted to them, now become efficient, will be found to contribute to the general prosperity of the kingdom in diffusing the blessings of morality and religion throughout a large portion of its inhabitants, among whom a more faithful attachment to the government, a more dutiful submission to the laws, must naturally be looked for from the zealous exertions of the instructors who, in the inculcation of these important duties, must feel themselves urged by a strong impulse of gratitude to enforce and to illustrate the general principles on which these duties are founded ; that petitioners have prepared an estimate of the annual expense of the full establishment of the seminary, amounting to the sum of £8,000, and therefore praying the house to enable them to provide the said sum of £8,000, in order to defray the expense of the full establishment from the 25th March, 1799, to 25th March, 1800.' This petition was referred to a committee of the house, who reported thus :— Resolved—First, that it appears to this committee that the sum of £1,383 15s. 100. remains in the hands of the trustees unexpended of the grant of the last session. Secondly, Resolved, that it appears to this committee that the sum of £6,616 4s. 2d., together with the said sum of £1,383 158. 10d., amounting in the whole to the sum of £8,000, is necessary to defray the expenses of the said seminary for the new year to the 25th March, 1800. Thirdly, Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee that petitioners deserve the aid of parliament.' Accordingly, the bill passed the House of Commons, granting to the Roman Catholics the sum they required to make up the £8,000. It passed the House of Commons on the 5th of April
, 1799, and was sent up to the Lords. I have followed its course through the llouse of Lords; and I at last have discovered that the consideration of this bill was adjourned, as the index of the journal says, to a day when the house did not meet; the fact being that that bill was thrown out by a majority of 25 to 1! If that bill had passed, there might have been some pretence for saying that the national faith was pledged in some sense to the continuance of the grant."
This last discovery is deeply important. It entirely and for ever disposes of the question, as to the intention of the original Act. All that took place in 1795, 6, 7, and 8, clearly had reference merely to the establishment of the college; since, in February, 1799, the trustees had to petition Parliament that they would then for the first time grant to them an annual maintenance; a petition which was at last REJECTED. Thus it is clear that our English support of the college, since the Union, has been a mere mistake. The Act of Union stipulated that a like annual sum should be granted to charitable and benevolent purposes, for twenty years after the Union, to that which had been customarily so appropriated in the Irish parliament. The English Chancellor of the Exchequer found Maynooth down in the list of grants made by the Irish House of Commons, for 1796, 7, 8, and 9, and at once