Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

"PACEM APPELLANT.”

['Union,' August 30, 1861.]

HE extracts from the letter of an English clergyman at Naples which the Rev. F. G. Lee has made public, horrible as are the de

tails, will not take the world by surprise. Men are so conversant with the immutable laws which regulate the consequences of certain events that they come to regard them merely as natural results. Anarchy and confusion inevitably follow rebellion: every one knows it, but rebellion is not one whit the less fostered and cherished by evil minded men and their dupes. A year ago rebellion was all the fashion in England there was a perfect rage for it; the newspapers took it up like any other nine days' wonder, and all kinds of absurd stories were invented to gratify the public appetite, and afford some slight pretext or excuse for that dethronement of a King which had already been determined upon.* Englishmen were told that a King ought to be deposed if the people so * Francis II, King of Naples.

:

willed it, and the governing powers who owe allegiance to Queen Victoria assented to this awkward and embarrassing dogma. It was accounted a noble thing to go and succour a persecuted people, for there is no cause so bad that it cannot find a name; and numbers went, as we believe, in a Quixotic spirit, merely to gratify a wanton yearning after excitement, and got (as it turned out) more kicks than half-pence for their pains, besides having, as might have been expected, conducted themselves so as to bring the very name of Englishman into odium and contempt.

And what is the result of all this turmoil, which has cost so many lives and dethroned a European Sovereign? Just what everyone might have expected. There is no tyrant like a newly fledged usurper. Fear is the only motive by which he is actuated, and, of fear, cruelty is the natural result. We read concerning the wretched Neapolitans-"They are harassed in a manner which English people can hardly comprehend, and a system of tyranny is established which positively exceeds all that can be imagined. Many members of families of the highest classes-including women are walked off to prison upon no charge whatever, without any examination, and with no prospect of being released. Some few weeks ago, six Neapolitan clergymen, men of position and ability, greatly beloved by their people, were actually shot in cold blood at Caserta by a detachment of Piedmontese soldiers; and, when some of the populace exclaimed

against such a step, the commanding officer directed them to fire upon the followers of Francis.' This was done and a woman with a child at her breast was killed, and three other persons seriously wounded.” No wonder that the Piedmontese officials suppress the truth when this is a specimen of the good order and government which was promised. It is yet early days for England to take the part of the injured and despoiled Neapolitans against the new made idol; but surely, soon or late, the scales must fall from the eyes of the most deluded. Was it to enthrone a tyranny like this that our fellow countrymen have bartered their honour, and been seduced into a following of rebels by a mere Protestant device for the annihilation of religion?

The case of Mr. Miller, mentioned in the daily papers, who has been imprisoned for forty-seven years, is a useful commentary on this kind of English policy. We go more than out of our way to redress imaginary wrongs, and here is a flagrant instance in point of the very same species enacted at home. Miller has undergone a punishment such as the law hardly ever inflicts upon the worst malefactor. His only crime was that he would not acknowledge a debt he had never contracted indeed, the debt was on the other side, as the pretended creditor was a man who had wronged poor Miller's sister: so for forty-seven years, he has suffered this grievous wrong in the land of boasted freedom and justice, while England has been engaged

We

in every quarter of the globe searching out robbery and injustice, but forgetting all the while the injustice exercised upon "a man and a brother" at home. do not suppose that Miller's is by any means a solitary instance of gross injustice perpetrated in this country : it would be easy to multiply cases. Surely it would be well to examine for ourselves, before others do it for us, a system which permits such violation of justice, and redress our grievances at home before we meddle with affairs abroad which we will not and cannot see in all their bearings. Such blind interference can only result in lasting and unmitigated evil. It is a poor excuse that no direct or armed intervention of the English Government has assisted the piratical Sardinian. There is such a thing in diplomacy as moral alliance, and there is such an offence in criminal law as being an accessory after the fact.

ECCLESIASTICAL DILAPIDATIONS BILL..

['Church Review,' November, 1861.]

T is somewhat unfortunate for this Bill, that it has been introduced by the Bishop of London. His lordship's ill treatment of certain curates, and his evident desire to. acquire greater power over incumbents are so well known, that any measure emanating from him will naturally be regarded by the clergy with suspicion. And certainly, in this particular instance, their suspicions will not be unfounded. The Bill is a decided attempt to get more power over the beneficed clergy ;. and there is no pretence of disguising the fact it is plain and outspoken enough. The Bishop appoints Archdeacons and Rural Deans, and these, with his sanction, are to appoint a surveyor, who is to be under the influence of the Bishop. It is to be the business of the surveyor to visit every benefice once in five years, and to report what works are to be done, and to fix a time for their completion. If an incumbent should venture to appeal against this report, the Bis

« AnteriorContinuar »