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A poet who like Mr. Montgomery enters deeply into the hidden life of the inner man, and into the spirit of that love which binds together in Christ all the members of His body mystical, is not likely to confine his sympathies to the existence of the Church visible on earth. His thoughts and musings follow the Church invisible into the mysterious mansions of the spirit-world. On this subject there is a passage of exceeding beauty and originality of conception, in the poem entitled "The first Soul in Heaven :"In hush'd eternity alone,
Before all creatures were,
Jehovah held His awful throne
"There was no space, nor scene, nor time,
But, center'd in Himself sublime
"But through eternity there ran
"Radiant with rapture, pure as bright
And glow and glisten in the light
"In volumed waves of golden sound
Those swelling chants, that peal around
"But, hark! amid the shining throng
“Alone he seems, and chants apart
A music, where the grateful heart
"A beauteous Soul! whose seraph brow
Lo! angels pause to hear him now
"Their choral rapture swell'd as deep
But they, who have not learn'd to weep,
"With such a burst of whelming love
"Angelic harps their key-note found
But Abel's heart did beat and bound
666 'Worthy the Lamb! who shall be slain ;
Ye seraphim! your notes retain,
But these to me belong."
With this extract we must bring our anthology from this interesting and attractive volume to a close. We had noted. much more that we would gladly have transferred to our pages; -and many are the topics on which the rich materials before us might have tempted us to dilate. But we felt that we must curb the current of our thoughts, and that in justice both to our readers and to the author himself, we ought rather to furnish the former with illustrations of the tone and character of the present collection of poems, than occupy our space with dissertations of our own. In conclusion, we desire to tender to Mr. Montgomery our sincere thanks for the enjoyment and edification which the rich stores of spiritual truth and poetic beauty contained in his volume have afforded us, and to express our fervent hope, not only that the holy thoughts and devout meditations so eloquently breathed forth by him, may prove instinct with life to others as they have been to us; but that the benevolent object aimed at by the author in devoting one-half of the emoluments arising from the sale of these poems to the funds of that admirable institution, the Consumption Hospital, may meet at the hands of the public with all the support which its intrinsic excellence, no less than the constant and powerful advocacy of its interests by Mr. Montgomery, both as a preacher and as a poet, so abundantly deserves.
ART. V.-I. The First Annual Report of the Catholic Poor School Committee, established in the year of Grace 1847, by the Right Reverend the Vicars Apostolic in England and Wales. London: Printed for the Catholic Poor-School Committee; sold by Burns, Dolman, &c. &c., and by all Catholic Booksellers. 1848.
2. The Catholic School.
London: Published by the Catholic Poor-School Committee; sold by Burns, Dolman, &c. &c., and by all Catholic Booksellers. Nos. I.-VI. August, October, November, 1848. January, April, May, 1849.
THE Government scheme for supporting popish education in England, by aid from the parliamentary education grant, was briefly noticed, as far as it appeared on the face of the Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education, in the review which we gave in our last number of the history and proceedings of that body. Since then evidence of the most authentic kind has reached our hands, respecting the plans of the Roman Catholics, and the use which they propose to make of the concessions obtained by them at the hands of a secular education board, alike insensible to the claims of truth and careless of the advances of error. A digest of that evidence we now proceed to lay before our readers, in the hope that the further development of a scheme fraught with mischief and danger to the cause of truth and to the best interests of the country, may yet be arrested by the veto of the legislature, under the influence of such a decided expression of public opinion as the exposure of the movements and designs of the popish party cannot fail to provoke.
"The First Annual Report of the Catholic Poor-School Committee," just published, enlightens us upon three essential points : the internal arrangements of the Roman Catholic body for promoting and directing popular education; the character intended to be given to the schools established under those arrangements; and, lastly, the facilities given to the Roman Catholic body by the Government, through the Committee of Council on Education.
As regards the first point, the internal arrangements of the Roman Catholic body for promoting and directing popular education, it is impossible to peruse that Report, and the different papers in the periodical devoted to the subject, to which we have referred at the head of this article, without being forcibly struck
by the entire and absolute control exercised over the whole movement by the popish hierarchy in this country. The "Catholic Poor-School Committee" owes its very existence entirely to their mandate; its members are the nominees of the Bishops acting in concert with each other.
The eight Vicars Apostolic, in a document addressed on the 27th of September, 1847, (three months, be it observed, before the date of the Minute of the Committee of Council on the subject of Roman Catholic Schools), to the Chairman and the Acting Committee of the Catholic Institution, announce to them the formation of this new body, and "respectfully recommend" to them that they will," without any unnecessary delay, cause to be passed over to the credit of the gentlemen of the subjoined List whatever sum of money may be standing in their books exclusively for the purpose of education; it being the unanimous intention of the bishops to carry on henceforward the great work of the Religious Education of the Children of the Poor by the assistance, and through the instrumentality, of this new subjoined Committee1." The List in question contains twenty-four names, subdivided into eight sub-committees, one for each district. Each sub-committee consists of an ecclesiastic, and two laymen, who are designated in the same document as "the gentlemen, lay and clerical, who, from each of our respective districts, have kindly consented to assist us in this great work of education." In a letter of the bishops to the chairman of the "Catholic Poor-School Committee," it is said that "they have at our (the bishops') request engaged" in the work'. Dr. Wiseman, in his Pastoral, exhorts the "faithful of the London district," to contribute towards the funds of "that committee to which all the Vicars Apostolic of England have agreed to entrust the interests of our Poor Schools,' and expatiates on the merits of "this excellent institution, composed of distinguished ecclesiastics and lay gentlemen, selected from each district." The Pastoral of the Vicar Apostolic of the central district, in speaking of the Committee, says, " At the head of the society stand the whole of the episcopal body in these two realms." The Address of the Committee itself in March, 1848, in accounting for its origin, asserts that "the interest of the bishops in Catholic' education led to the appointment of the Catholic Poor-School Committee." Lastly, the Circular of the Committee to the "Catholic Clergy" of England and Wales describes it totidem verbis as "The Catholic Poor-School Committee, NOMINATED BY THE VICARS APOSTOLIC of England and Wales "."
1 Report, pp. 29, 30.
* Report, p. 33. 4 Report, p. 36. Report, p. 56.
It is almost needless to say that this constitution of the Committee by the nomination of the bishops is not an accidental circumstance, adopted for convenience sake, but that it is a matter of principle, and is of the very essence of the whole movement. The account given of its origin in the first number of The Catholic School is conclusive on this point :--
"We have dwelt at some length upon this head because it is fundamental. The Committee is no self-elected body, discharging in a meddling spirit a variety of duties self-imposed; on the contrary, it has been called into existence by the legitimate powers. The unanimous authority of the English episcopate has invited it to the performance of labours no less arduous than honourable. Incalculable are the advantages conferred upon the Committee and the Catholic clergy and laity of England-its supporters-by the regularity of its origin. Through it the Committee enjoy an indisputable right to the sphere in which they operate; and its benefactors, while they possess the privilege of combining in good works with the entire body of their ecclesiastical rulers, gain also a valuable opportunity of giving the weight of their sanction to the great principle, that education belongs of right to the Church and to her appointed servants"."
The principle enunciated in the concluding sentence of this extract is carried out with the utmost strictness and consistency through the whole organization of the educational movement which the Romish hierarchy have so vigorously taken in hand. Not only is the Poor-School Committee a purely ministerial board, appointed to carry out the directions of the Romish bishops, but the local school managers are, by the rules of action which the bishops have laid down for their guidance, placed in a state of the most entire dependence upon priestly and episcopal control. It is assumed throughout that the priest will be the mainspring in the establishment, and the chief authority in the management, of the school; and all the regulations are calculated to ensure that object. Even exceptional cases, in which Roman Catholic laymen might take the initiative in an attempt to set up a school, are immediately brought back into the ecclesiastical channel, by à provision which makes the clerical nominee of the district the organ of communication between local applicants for aid and the Poor-School Committee. Of a similar tendency is the regulation which compels applicants for aid from the funds of the PoorSchool Committee, to make application to the Committee of Council for aid from the parliamentary grant, and at the same time prohibits all communication between local managers and the
Catholic School, No. I. p. 5. 9 Report, p. 15. Reg. 6.
8 Report, p. 16. Reg. 9.