On Sermons 9 and 10

{317} SERMONS 9 and 10 were preached under circumstances which at this distance of time (1870) may require some notice, that the allusions made in them may be intelligible to the general reader. Accordingly the following extracts are here given from the public journals between Michælmas and Christmas, 1850.

1. "The New Romish Hierarchy

"The following is the Papal Bull, 'ad perpetuam rei memoriam.' 'The power of governing the Universal Church, entrusted by our Lord Jesus Christ to the Roman Pontiff, in the person of Peter, Prince of the Apostles, has maintained for centuries in the Apostolic See the admirable solicitude with which it watches over the welfare of the Catholic religion in all the earth, and provides with zeal for its progress. Thus has been accomplished the design of its Divine Founder, who, by establishing a head, has in His profound wisdom ensured the safety of the Church unto the uttermost time. The effect of this solicitude has been felt in most nations, and among those is the noble kingdom of England ...

"'Having before our eyes then the good example of our predecessors, and desirous, by imitating them, of fulfilling the duties of the supreme Apostolate, pressed besides to follow the movements of our hearts for that portion of our Lord's vineyard ... we have resolved, and do hereby decree, the re-establishment in the kingdom of England, and according to the common laws of the Church, of a hierarchy of Bishops deriving their titles from their own sees, which we constitute by the present letter in the various Apostolic districts. To commence with the district of London, it will form two sees: to wit, that of Westminster, which we hereby elevate to the metropolitan or Archiepiscopal dignity, and that of Southwark, &c., &c. ... The diocese of Westminster will include, &c., &c. ... Thus in the very flourishing {318} kingdom of England there will be one single ecclesiastical province, with one Archbishop and twelve suffragans, &c. …

"'The Archbishop and Bishops of England will thus have the integral power to regulate all that belongs to the execution of the common law, or what is left to the authority of Bishops by the general discipline of the Church. As for us, most assuredly they shall never have to complain that we do not sustain them by our apostolical authority, and we shall always be happy to second their demands in all which appears calculated to promote the glory of God and the good of souls …'"

2. Cardinal Wiseman's Pastoral

"Nicholas, by the divine mercy, of the Holy Roman Church, by the title of St. Pudentiana, Cardinal Priest, Archbishop of Westminster, &c., to our dearly-beloved, &c.

"… How can we for one moment indulge in selfish feelings, when, through that Loving Father's generous and wise counsels, the greatest of blessings has just been bestowed upon our country, by the restoration of its true Catholic hierarchical government, in communion with the See of Peter …

"The great work then is complete; what you have long desired and prayed for is granted. Your beloved country has received a place among the fair Churches, which, normally constituted, form the splendid aggregate of Catholic communion. Catholic England has been restored to its orbit in the ecclesiastical firmament, from which its light had long vanished, and begins now anew its course of regularly adjusted action round the centre of unity, the source of jurisdiction, of light, and of vigour …

"Then truly is this day to us a day of joy and exultation of spirit, the crowning day of long hopes, and the spring-day of brighter prospects ...

"Given out of the Flaminian Gate of Rome, this 7th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 1850," &c.

3. The Times, Oct. 14, 1850

"We are informed by the official gazette of Rome, that, his Holiness the Pope having recently been pleased to erect the city of Westminster into an Archbishopric, and to appoint Dr. Wiseman to that see, it was on this new-fangled Archbishop of Westminster that the rank of Cardinal has been conferred. We really do not wish to attach an undue importance to what we shall be told is a mere question of words. It may {319} be that the elevation of Dr. Wiseman to the imaginary Archbishopric of Westminster signifies no more than if the Pope had been pleased to confer on the editor of the Tablet the rank and the title of Duke of Smithfield. But if this appointment be not intended as a clumsy joke, we confess that we can only regard it as one of the grossest acts of folly and impertinence which the Court of Rome has ventured to commit, since the Crown and the people of England threw off its yoke. The selection of the city of Westminster, the very seat of the Court and the Parliament of England, and the appropriation by a foreign priest or potentate of the time-honoured name which is most identified with the glories of our history, and even with the tombs of our statesmen, our soldiers, and our kings, is a most ostentatious interference with those rights and associations to which we, as a nation, are most unanimously and devotedly attached …

"The absurdity of the selection of this title for this illegitimate prelate is equal to its arrogance. Everybody knows that Westminster never was in early Christian times a Bishop's see, but a monastery ... It is a mere figment of the Papal brain. As applied to the city and liberty of Westminster, or to the Abbey of St. Peter's, Westminster, it is a term devoid of meaning; but its meaning lies, we fear, in an unambiguous intention to insult the Church and the Crown of England ..."

4. The Times, Nov., 1850

"Let Dr. Ullathorne imagine, if he can, on the faith of history, which he dare not quote, that the foundations of his episcopal chair will only be consolidated by the interference of the State. We tell him that the days of his episcopate are numbered, and that it is not because his chair is built upon a rock, but merely because his appointment has been adroitly made during the recess of Parliament, that he is in the enjoyment of that seat, the foundations of which he dreams are eternal; and that, though it be not in the power of our Legislature to prevent him from having been the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham, it will most assuredly be their will, and completely in their power, to provide that he shall be the last ... We have felt it our duty to call public attention to the violent and incendiary language employed by the Rev. Dr. Ullathorne, under the pretence of issuing a pastoral letter to soothe the irritation and awaken the Christian charity of his people. The prospect is gloomy enough on this side of St. George's channel. It is melancholy to think that, to gratify the fire-new zeal of a few restless converts, and the inflated pride of a few ambitious ecclesiastics, this country, but two months ago so perfect and so united, should be the theatre of dissensions which have urged on one party even to the shedding {320} of blood. Heavy as the responsibility is on those who have done this thing, it is nothing when compared with the guilt which they have incurred toward Ireland … Every Papal aggression, successful or unsuccessful, must be equally pernicious to Ireland ..."

5. Lord John Russell to the Bishop of Durham

"Downing Street, Nov. 4, 1850.
"I agree with you in considering 'the late aggression of the Pope upon our Protestantism' as 'insolent and insidious'; and I therefore feel as indignant as you can do upon the subject ... There is an assumption of power in all the documents which have come from Rome,—a pretension to supremacy over the realm of England, and a claim to sole and undivided sway, which is inconsistent with the Queen's supremacy, with the rights of our Bishops and Clergy, and with the spiritual independence of the nation, as asserted even in Roman Catholic times ... There is a danger, however, which alarms me much more than an aggression of a foreign sovereign. Clergymen of our own Church, who have subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles, have been the most forward in leading their flocks, 'step by step, to the very verge of the precipice …'"

6. The Lord Chancellor at the Lord Mayor's Banquet

"Protestant England is informed that she has now come under a Roman Catholic Hierarchy. Considering the language of the document to which I refer, and considering the truly Romish construction which some attempt to put upon the oath of supremacy, it would seem as if some were acting in anticipation of the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy, which presents a Cardinal's cap as equal to the crown of the Queen of England. If such be anticipated, I answer them in the language of Gloster:—

"'Under our feet we'll stamp thy Cardinal's hat,
In spite of Pope, or dignities of Church.'" [Note 1]

7. The Anglican Clergy of Westminster to the Bishop of London

"For the first time since the Reformation, a Romish ecclesiastic, {321} nominated by the Bishop of Rome, has assumed the title of Archbishop of an English city; and the English city, whose name he has usurped, is that in which the Sovereigns of England are crowned, the Parliaments of England sit, and the laws of England are administered—the city of Westminster. We have reason to believe that this step is only a preliminary one.

"We lament also the fact, that, among British subjects, especially among Christian ecclesiastics, any should be found to assume a title taken from a metropolitan city in the realm of England, and thus be guilty of invading her Majesty's constitutional prerogative, which is to be the sole fountain of honour and dispenser of titles in that realm, and so be justly chargeable with an outrage against the British Constitution and with indignity to the British Crown …"

8. The Archdeacon of London to the Clergy in the Archdeaconry

"Great as were the usurpations of the Popes of Rome upon the rights and liberties of England in the times prior to the Reformation, it may be doubted whether any act of the Popes ever surpassed in violence that of which the present Pope has been guilty in annihilating two most ancient provinces of the Western Church, those of Canterbury, York, &c. … If these evils are to be avoided, it must be, under God's blessing, by a combination scarcely less powerful and united than that which in 1688 prevented James II. from carrying into effect his wishes for the conversion of England to Popery ... That our bishops will, both in and out of Parliament, do their duty in endeavouring to deliver our Protestant country from Papal aggression, we cannot doubt ... The voice of the country will be with them in every resistance which they shall offer to the establishment of the Pope's jurisdiction in England, and to the recognition, either secret or avowed, of any of the emissaries of the Church and Court of Rome, who may be sent to this country by virtue of the recent Bull for the establishment of a Papal hierarchy 'in this flourishing kingdom of England.'"

9. The Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex

"We, &c., &c., consider it our duty to make a public declaration of our sentiments in an emergency without a precedent in the annals of this reformed Church. The Bishop of Rome, in pursuance of an aggressive policy, not attempted in this country since the Reformation by the boldest of his predecessors, has presumed to nominate a Romish ecclesiastic, Archbishop of Westminster, &c. … We therefore feel it our bounden {322} duty, at this unprecedented crisis, to protest against this usurpation of authority by a foreign prelate, and to invite the co-operation of our lay brethren in prevailing on her Majesty's Government, and, if necessary on the legislature, to adopt such measures as shall cause this schismatical and intrusive step to be retraced, and to prevent those evil consequences to our national institutions which it must otherwise produce."

10. The Anglican Bishops (except two) to the Queen

"We ... approach your Majesty with sentiments of veneration and loyalty, at a time when an unwarrantable insult has been offered to the Church and to your Majesty, &c. ... We consider it our duty to record our united protest against this attempt to subject our people to a spiritual tyranny from which they were freed at the Reformation; and we make our humble petition to your Majesty to discountenance by all constitutional means the claims and usurpations of the Church of Rome, by which religious divisions are fostered, and the labour of our clergy impeded in their endeavours to diffuse the light of true religion amongst the people committed to their charge."

11. One of the two Dissentient Bishops to the Queen

"Looking at the recent act of the Pope ... as the act of a foreign Sovereign, it presents indeed most weighty subjects of consideration to jurists and statesmen, no less than whether the parcelling out of your Majesty's realm of England into dioceses, and the placing over them by a foreign potentate bishops selected by himself, be or be not an infraction of the law of nations. If it be, he cannot doubt that your Majesty has been advised, or will soon be advised by your ministers, to demand the revocation of an act so grossly insulting to your royal dignity …"

12. The other Bishop to his Clergy

" ... How far the power assumed by the Pope of establishing a new hierarchy of bishops, deriving their titles from our cities and towns, and of parcelling the land into new dioceses, affects the prerogative of the Crown, and whether such titles may be lawfully assumed, under the authority of a foreigner by English subjects—these are questions which deserve, and, I doubt not, will receive, the greatest consideration from those who are better qualified to pronounce upon them. I will only observe that the language employed in the Bull seems as if it were {323} studiously framed to convey the idea of an absolute sovereignty claimed by the Pope over the kingdom of England, and would have suited the time of King John as well as the reign of Queen Victoria ..."

13. A Noble Lord, a Member of the Lower House of Parliament

"We deny synodical action to our own Church, shall we allow it to a rival and hostile body? Hitherto we have been free from this moral pestilence; and if we resist this hierarchy we shall continue to be free; admit it, and you admit the introduction of a code which denounces not only those who are now without the pale, but all who may be persuaded to withdraw from it. But let us not be misunderstood; we do not stand here to ask for penal enactment," &c.

14. Her Majesty on occasion of various Addresses to her

(1.) "I heartily concur with you in your grateful acknowledgments of the many blessings conferred upon this highly favoured nation, and in your attachment to the Protestant faith and to the great principles of civil and religious liberty, in the defence of which the city of London has ever been conspicuous. That faith and those principles are so justly dear to the people of this country, that I confidently rely on their cordial support in upholding and maintaining them against any danger with which they may be threatened, from whatever quarter it may proceed."

(2.) "Your tried and consistent advocacy of the equal enjoyment of civil rights by all classes of your fellow subjects entitles the expression of your sentiments on the present occasion to peculiar consideration. You may be assured of my earnest desire and firm determination, under God's blessing, to maintain unimpaired the religious liberty, &c. … and to uphold, as its surest safeguard, the pure and scriptural worship of the Protestant faith," &c., &c.

(3.) "It will continue to be, as it ever has been, my utmost endeavour in the exercise of the power and authority entrusted to me, as the Supreme Governor of this realm, to maintain the independence and to uphold the constitutional liberties of my people against all aggression and encroachment."

(4.) "You may rely on my determination to uphold alike the rights of my Crown and the independence of my people against all aggressions and encroachments of any foreign power. Your earnest endeavour, in the charge of your important duties, to train up the youth entrusted to your care," &c., &c.

(5.) "I fully participate in your expressions of gratitude, &c. ... and {324} I rejoice in the proofs which have been given of the zealous and undiminished attachment of the English people to the principles asserted at the Reformation."

15. Reports circulated and believed of the Queen's sentiments about the Pope's Bull

"The Queen herself had been the first to resent the recent audacious usurpation of the Pope. She sent speedily for the Home Secretary, who found her in her drawing-room in a state of great excitement, and her Majesty exclaimed, 'Sir George, I am Queen of England, and I shall not hear this.' The other report, as it circulates in the Courts, is, that 'her Majesty had read the Pope's Bull, and was fully alive to her own position. On the day that it was received she sent for Lord John Russell, and, with the document in her hand, said, "Am I the Queen of England, my lord?" To which Lord John replied, "Who dare doubt it, your Majesty?" Upon that her Majesty said, "Look at this, and act upon it." '"

16. A Member of the Upper House of Parliament

"Fellow-countrymen and Brother-Protestants, ... Had I been her Minister when the Popish Bull which conveyed it arrived, not one day should have elapsed ere a right trusty messenger had left England's shores with this short and decisive communication:—

"'Victoria, by the grace of God, &c., &c. To the Pope, greeting: If the Bull recently issued by your Holiness, claiming dominion within my realms and placing both myself and my Protestant subjects out of the pale of Christianity, is not, within one hour after this letter is delivered to you, withdrawn, and an ample apology made for the insult which you have offered to me and to my people, in the name of Protestant England, I declare war against you, and there shall be no peace with Rome till I have received due satisfaction at your hands.'"

17. A Weekly Paper

"'The eye of childhood fears a painted devil.' The Dutch saved the expense of soldiers by painted sentinels in sentry boxes. The Pope's titular bishops are substantially no more formidable, but they are signs of offence not to be stuck up without provoking resentment ... Our fear, we confess, is more for the mock bishops than of them. We are not without our apprehensions on behalf of Dr Wiseman, in whose see are Haynau's doughty draymen, who have so awkward a way of handling {325} unwelcome visitors. The offence comes of Austrian instigation; and it would be curious enough, if Southwark again, with its shovels and besoms, played the rash part of an avenger. Men who presume to ignore our laws could have no right to complain if our laws ignored them and refused them protection; but Protestant zeal is bound to a scrupulous observance of Christian principles which forbid retaliation. We therefore trust that Dr. Wiseman and his brethren will encounter no personal indignities, nothing beyond cold regards and a dignified defiance. This is not an age for the revival of Lord George Gordon's riots; our populace is not now made of the stuff for burning and destroying under fanatical pretences."

18. An Anglican Clergyman in the Pulpit

"I would make it a capital offence to administer the Confession in this country. Transportation would not satisfy me, for that would merely transfer the evil from one part of the world to the other. Capital punishment alone would satisfy me. Death alone would prevent the evil. That is my sober conviction." [Note 2]

19. Another Anglican Clergyman

"In speaking of the Confessional he described the priest sitting as God in his chair, and hearing the darkest secrets, which he did not reveal to any mortal man, for they were entrusted to him as God. Even if a murder was confessed, the priest would refuse to make it known. The Scripture says, 'Thou shalt do no murder,' and he (the speaker) unhesitatingly declared that the man who should listen to the confession and not make it known, was an accessory after the fact, and he did not think his dear brother went too far when he declared his opinion that such a man ought to be hanged. He then went on to speak of the Pope, &c. ... Arrogance ought to be put down and punished … The introduction of the Canon law was the real object of the establishment of the Romish Episcopacy here, and it was not to be allowed to be introduced here among freemen. The speaker then stated the nature of the Protestant measure that should be demanded. They must have one to deprive the Popish Bishops of their titles, and to give them a place, {326} not in a palace, but in a prison, if they resumed them. They must have an Act to send Dr. Wiseman away and to suppress this aggression ... The reverend gentleman was frequently interrupted by enthusiastic peals of applause from an audience worked up to a high pitch of excitement."

20. An Alderman of the City of London

"He said, that, in his opinion, any person convicted under the 13th of Elizabeth would be liable to imprisonment; but that to institute such proceedings would be unwise and impolitic ... but if the rumours he had just heard were true, that Dr. Wiseman had received notice to quit the kingdom within forty-eight hours, it would render all other proceedings unnecessary."

21. Proceedings of Vestries, Parishes, &c.

(1.) Exeter.—"At a recent vestry meeting at Exeter last week the following extraordinary resolution was adopted:—'That the meeting defies the Pope and the devil; and that they also repudiate all bishops, deans, canons, priests, or deacons who have the least tendency towards Puseyism.'"

(2.) Salisbury.—"On Wednesday the effigies of his Holiness the Pope, Cardinal Wiseman, and the twelve Bishops were completed. Friday evening, about 5 p.m., Castle Street was so densely crowded that no one could pass to the upper part of it. Shortly after some hundreds of torches were lighted, which then exhibited a forest of heads. About half-past six his Holiness was brought out amid the cheering of the populace. The procession, being formed, proceeded in the following order:—Torch-bearers, brass band, torch-bearers, his Holiness in full pontificals, seated in a huge chair; torch-hearers, bishops, three abreast; torch-bearers, Cardinal Wiseman, &c., &c. Within the precincts of the close the National Anthem was played amid deafening cheers. At this time the scene was very imposing. The procession having paraded the city, the effigies were taken to the Green Croft, where, over a large number of faggots and barrels of tar, a huge platform was erected of timber; the effigies were placed thereon, and a volley of rockets sent up. The band played the Doxology, and deafening cheers followed. A light being applied to the combustibles below, the flames rose to the platform; hundreds of fireworks were then hurled at the effigies. Then followed the Morning Hymn, and the National Anthem, in which thousands joined."

(3.) Ware.—"On Tuesday-week his Holiness Pio Nono was burnt in effigy on an eminence overlooking the town. The figure was dressed in {327} full pontificals, with the triple crown on its head, and the addition of a large pair of ram's horns. In the waggon was a donkey, to represent his Excellency the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. After solemnly parading the streets, the effigy was escorted by a large concourse of people to Musley Hill, where it was solemnly suspended by the neck on a gallows erected over a huge pile of faggot-wood and tar-barrels, and then burned amid the roars and execrations of the multitude."

(4.) Peckham.—"The Pope was burned in effigy on Peckham Common. A van drawn by four horses drew up fronting a house on the Green, from which emerged some dozen men, armed with various weapons, each leading a man attired in the surplice of a Romish clergyman, the latter being tumbled into the vehicle amid the shouts of several thousand persons. The next brought out were two athletic fellows, one attired as a Cardinal and the other as his chaplain. A few yards in advance stood an Herculean fellow bearing a burlesque effigy of the Pope, and having in his hand what purported to be the late memorable Bull, &c., &c. The procession proceeded towards Camberwell, followed by at least 10,000 persons. It was hailed in its progress through the various streets with the loudest acclamations, and cries of 'No Popery!' 'Hurrah for the Queen!' 'No foreign priesthood!'" &c., &c.

(5.) Bradninch.—"The Haynau and anti-tractarian demonstration came off in good style on Thursday last. A very large procession formed adjoining the Guildhall about eight o'clock in the evening, in which figured the effigies of Haynau and Cardinal Wiseman, excellently got up. The church bells rang, the band played the 'Rogue's March,' and the procession, lighted by numerous torches, paraded the town. Placards were carried, inscribed, 'The brutal Haynau,' 'Down with tyranny,' 'Down with Popery,' 'No Puseyites,' 'No Tractarianism,' &c. There were several masked characters, and all made up such a sight as was never witnessed in this ancient borough before. After perambulating the town," &c., &c. {328}

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On Sermon 13

In a note on p. 255 above I have spoken of the infirmity to which Dr. Weedall was for so many years subjected. An account of it is introduced into Dr. Husenbeth's carefully written Life of him, in the most interesting narrative he gives us of Dr. Weedall's nomination to the Vicariate of a northern district. This narrative is too long for insertion here, but passages from it will form so important an addition to my own mere outline of Dr. Weedall's career, written immediately after his death, that I think it right to avail myself of it.

Dr. Husenbeth, his contemporary and early friend, writes as follows:—

"The New College of St. Mary (Oscott) was now opened and entered. In every part of the establishment offices and duties were extended, and cares and responsibilities seriously augmented. But Dr. Weedall's spirits were buoyant, and his courage equal to the weightier charge; and, though a martyr to his chronic maladies, he held on with energy and perseverance marvellous and indomitable ...

"The New College filled rapidly, so that at this time, February, 1839, there were 185 students, exclusive of divines. This was almost double the average number which used to be reckoned in the Old College. Bishop Walsh had purchased at Rome the valuable Marini Library, and on the 28th of October he formally made a present of it to the New College.

"The New College was receiving presents from various quarters, and becoming rapidly a repository of valuable and curious works of art, and specimens of antique carvings and furniture of mediæval patterns. The munificent John, Earl of Shrewsbury, presented a large and valuable collection of 200 pictures, besides various articles of Gothic furniture, and carved figures of saints and sacred subjects.

"Thus then were realized the best hopes of the sons of St. Mary's, and of her many friends and admirers scattered over the kingdom. Thus had Dr.Weedall accomplished a work which had long been also the ardent object of his aspirations and exertions. For to him was the merit of the successful erection and establishment of the New College pre-eminently due. It was the wonder of all who knew him, and knew how much he suffered from constitutional maladies, how he could have carried through, and splendidly completed, a work so vast in extent, so complicated in detail, and so difficult of execution ... Dr. Weedall might well hope to repose after his labours, and enjoy their fruits. He might well congratulate himself on the prospect of watching the growth and promoting the prosperity of this colony, which, under the Divine guidance {329} and protection, he had so prosperously established in this new and enviable locality ... Under his mild judicious government, the New House prospered and flourished; it was already nearly as full of students as it had the means of accommodating, and one heard on every side, and from every reporter, that all went well at the New College.

"The beloved and respected President had built himself an airy nest, and was tranquilly reposing in it; but, alas! it was doomed to be in his regard only another verification of the well-known line, Sic vos, non vobis, nidificatis aves! How truly did Dr. Newman say in his Funeral Oration, 'His was an unselfish spirit, which laboured, and then let others enter into his labours'!

" … So far from never suffering, the subject of this biography had been all his life familiar with it. He had never been entirely free from torture in his head and eyes; and there had been long periods in his life when he laboured under acute pain and misery from those affections, and also from another chronic malady, which was a source of continued suffering, more or less severe, and which proved fatal in the end … But he was to be sanctified still; the gold was yet to be cast again into the crucible, that it might come forth still more purified and refined ...

"On a sudden, then, when he beheld his grand work accomplished, and had begun to enjoy some rest from his labours, he was obliged to part from his beloved Oscott, and bid a long farewell to the spot where he had lived and laboured for six-and-thirty years. A greater trial could hardly be imagined. At the age of fifty-two, with all his habits formed and rooted by long experience in a college life, after all he had done for Oscott, after all his labours and sufferings for its welfare, when he had long toiled to nurture it and foster its growth, when he had seen it gradually advance with alternate joy and anxiety, when he had been its child first, and then its father and protector, and had at last brought it triumphantly to completion and stability, and begun to enjoy that satisfaction and repose in it which he so eminently desired, he was required to part at once from the home of his heart, his own beloved creation and long-cherished abode. He suddenly received notice from the Holy See of his nomination as Bishop of Abydos in partibus, and Vicar Apostolic of the New Northern District of England ... At the same time, the Vice-President of the College, the Rev. William Wareing, was named Bishop of Ariopolis and Vicar Apostolic of the New Eastern District.

"This announcement came on poor Dr. Weedall like a thunder-clap; he had never had the least idea or intimation of it. As a station of honour, he had no ambition for it; as a charge of responsibility, he shrank from it; as a post of difficulty and anxiety, he felt quite unequal to it ...

"It was a mystery to Dr. Weedall how it could have been brought about; for not the least rumour had preceded it, nor did even the Bishop, {330} Dr. Walsh, know that any such appointment was contemplated. The other three [existing Bishops] knew as little; for one of them, writing to another, said, 'I hope these appointments may not be correct … I should have been very sorry to have been suspected of having any hand in them' ... These are Bishop Walsh's own words:—'You could not have been more astounded than I was at the appointment of my much-valued friend, Dr. Weedall, which quite overwhelmed him. I had not the least expectation of it, as I had expressly written to propaganda, when his name among others was sent to me and to the other Vicars Apostolic for our respective opinions on the qualifications, &c., of the individuals proposed, that, although in other respects I considered him worthy of the episcopate, I was decidedly of opinion that his delicate state of health would quite unfit him for the responsibility of the sacred office.'

"The following letter from Dr. Weedall himself to the present writer will best express his own feelings. It is dated June 1, 1840:—'Your letter has renewed all my affliction, which for the last few days has been most intense. I assure you I had not the slightest suspicion of any such event, or of the merest possibility of it. This announcement has been to me like the stroke of death. Even Dr. Walsh did not know of it. But it is announced under such circumstances, that my friends here will not suffer me to think that any protest ought to be made, or would be accepted. I know not what to say, or what to do. I send you the only letters I have yet received. I fear it is too late to do anything ...'

"To understand this it must be observed, that in the letters announcing the appointment to Bishop Walsh, his lordship was ordered to make no opposition, and to enjoin obedience to the elect; and it was declared that no excuse on account of health, or of any other supposed obstacle whatever, would be admitted. But what was still more extraordinary was, that in one of the two letters sent for perusal to the present writer by Dr. Weedall, as intimated in the above letter, and which came to him as a private and friendly communication from an English Monsignor at Rome, not connected with the English College, he was told that this letter was written by the express command of his Holiness to signify to Dr. Weedall that he required him, in virtue of holy obedience, to accept the mitre, and that he would admit of no excuse. At the same time the Prelate himself strongly exhorted him to offer no opposition to what was manifestly the holy will of God ...

"No wonder that, with all this solemn warning and threatening, poor Dr. Weedall should have been bewildered and frightened, and at a loss what course to pursue. He was, as a distinguished ecclesiastic wrote, 'quite broken-hearted at his appointment. They will hear no excuse at Rome; he must leave his beloved Oscott ... alas! never to return ... Both President and Vice-President of Oscott are elected.'

"To add to his perplexity, it soon reached him that the clergy of his {331} proposed district were exerting themselves to get his appointment changed, feeling aggrieved that a stranger and an invalid should be placed over them ... They even signified to him in substance that they considered his appointment injudicious, though they did not blame him for it; and that if it were persisted in, they should indeed endeavour to behave to him with due respect, but that he would have a troublesome life among them.

"Fortunately, he determined to set off without delay for Rome, and learn on the spot the true state of the matter ... Whatever might be the result of his journey to Rome, one thing was certainly intended, and he, poor man, must have understood it; he was no more to be President of St. Mary's College ... He announced his departure in an affectionate letter to the present writer two days before he left Oscott, in which he said he hoped, by putting himself into closer communication with certain influential persons at Rome, he might still avert the heavy calamity from falling upon him …

"In the meantime he found a most kind and valuable friend at Rome to plead his cause at the fountain-head. The Right Rev. Dr. Baines was then at Rome, and was invited in the latter part of July to go out to Castel Gandolfo, where the Pope was staying by the advice of his physicians, on a special visit to his Holiness. He went accordingly on Sunday, the 19th of July ... They were alone, and, after dinner ... the Pope observed that, as he had been some days away from Rome, he should like to know what arrivals there had been in his absence. Dr. Baines replied that he had not heard of any particular, but that Dr. Weedall was expected to arrive soon. 'Dr. Weedall!' said the Pope, 'who is Dr. Weedall?' ... Dr. Baines gladly seized the opportunity of explaining to his Holiness that he was coming to petition to be relieved from his appointment. The Pope asked on what grounds ... and the Bishop told his Holiness that it was on account of the very delicate state of his health … 'He has been given to understand that your Holiness has laid a special command upon him to accept the charge, and that you will listen to no excuse.' 'Oh, no,' said the Pope, 'nothing more has been sent to him than is sent usually to Bishops when appointed.' … The reader ... will perhaps be tempted to doubt the accuracy of the above relation; but he may fully rely upon its truth, as the writer received it word for word from the lips of Dr. Baines himself; and ... Dr. Baines wrote the same to Dr. Weedall.

"Thus relieved and encouraged, he hastened on [from Lucca] to the Eternal City, and wrote thus to his biographer from Rome [October 7]:—'It is not the least part of my solicitude during my long and tedious illness, that I was putting your patience and friendship to so severe a test ... His Holiness had neither authorized, much less enjoined, the strong language which had tongue-tied Dr. Walsh. I met {332} at Propaganda with the greatest kindness, but at the same time with the greatest reluctance ... to relieve me from an appointment on which they had set their hearts, which had actually been gazetted in the new Roman Directory, and from which my improved appearance, owing to the air and baths of Lucca, offered no very obvious grounds for exemption ... I begged permission of his Eminence ... to be allowed to state my reasons in a memorial ... All this I fortunately did a few days before I fell ill. The matter rested here for a considerable time, as the intervals here are very long between the various stages of public or private business. Meanwhile I got one tolerably good fever and a terrific dysentery ... As soon as I recovered a little ... I was unwilling to do anything that might seem to be irregular, and not quite in accordance with that profound respect which I felt for, and the most complete deference which I wished to pay to the holy and venerable man, the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda … I found his Eminence quite as unwilling as ever to release me from the appointment, kind in the extreme, pious, saintly, and his wishes and prayers all seeming to concentrate in one object, the conversion of England. I entered respectfully into all his wishes, but ventured to ask, "Has your Eminence read the memorial which I took the liberty of presenting some time ago?" "Why, no," said the Cardinal; "it is among my papers," and turned the conversation to something else. But I was not surprised; he is too old to pay much attention to public business. But I knew others had read it. I knew that the Pope had read it ... I have some reason to think that they took a medical opinion on the case, which I rather invited, in order that there might be ground for their receding without any compromise of either the dignity or authority of Propaganda. Here, however, was a second or third stage, and another interval, of which, of course, I took advantage to get through another stout fever at Mr. Englefield's beautiful villa, near Frascati. This was of much longer duration. I was to have gone with Dr. Baines to be introduced to the Pope at Castel Gandolfo, but was confined to my bed. His Holiness, however, sent me a most fatherly message, bade me not to be uneasy, but to get well as fast as I could. In a few days I received an official release from Propaganda ... Here the matter is at an end ... It would have been madness in me to have accepted the mitre. You know in part what the state of my health has been for some years. But no one but myself could know how fearfully all the symptoms had increased of late years, but particularly for the last two years of my residence at Oscott. During those last two years the wear and tear of mind has been immense. I have sacrificed time, health, studies, everything to the successful establishment and management of Oscott. My late illness has shown the dreadful state of derangement in which my whole system has been ... and but for this respite, I must have been in my grave.' {333}

"[Dr. Baines wrote]:—'One thing I have accomplished. I have procured the liberation of Dr. Weedall ... Notwithstanding the declared consent of the Pope for his being released, the Propaganda hung back, and wanted not to give their sanction. They still professed hopes of subduing his opposition ...'

"Dr. Weedall's Memorial to Propaganda.—'The disorder under which I have laboured for so many years is one of no ordinary character; not a headache, but a mischievous affection of the nerves of the head ... It began when I was ten years old ... I found a difficulty in going through my humanity studies; and when I came to philosophy and divinity, it had increased to an alarming height. I could not read even for five minutes in the day; I could not even at times bear the light. I was obliged to give up entirely my course of philosophy; and the whole of my theological studies, such as they were, were learned by listening to a fellow divine who would read over the lesson ... I was obliged to have a dispensation from my Office, by commutation for the Rosary, for three or four years after I was ordained priest ... Afterwards … my head and eyes grew rather better, the eyes more serviceable; but I never have been able to make use of them without great inconvenience for a whole day together, and never much by candlelight ... Latterly, my head and eyes have been getting worse. Owing to the fatigue and anxieties of a large establishment, and all the wear and tear of mind arising from a large building superadded, I have been reduced to such a state of weakness of head and constitution, that I thought I should have been obliged to give up everything. The nerves of the head are so bad, that I fall at times into a helpless lethargy. Even now, though I am better, I cannot kneel down at night to say my last devotions, &c., &c.'

"Meanwhile his many friends in England were looking for his return with most uneasy feelings on his account. 'What is to be done about him, with him, of him?' wrote one of his intimate friends. 'I am much afraid of the poor Doctor's feelings when he returns and finds things all going on and done, and planned without the least reference to him.' A Catholic nobleman in England, ... whose sons had all been educated at Oscott, under Dr. Weedall, made him a proposal to become his domestic chaplain. To this he replied, that, with a grateful sense of his Lordship's kindness, as he had received no such proposal from his Bishop, he was unwilling to assume, without official notification, that he was to be removed from a place where he thought he had formed a home ... Early in the following year, 1841, ... it was conjectured that he might go to Prior Park ... Mr. Foley, who ... was at the same time serving the mission at Old Oscott, and conducting a small preparatory school there, felt deeply for Dr. Weedall, who seemed so lost and neglected; and generously offered to give up his place to him … This {334} offer Dr. Weedall accepted ... Bishop Wareing, one of his earliest and most attached friends, proposed to him to come and preside over an ecclesiastical seminary which he was about to commence at Gifford's Hall in Suffolk. He did not at once decline the offer; there were many reasons which might have led him to accept it ... He had some wish to go to Nottingham and assist in carrying out the new Cathedral there of St. Barnabas ... He was quite resolved to leave [Old] Oscott, where he now saw plainly that his absence was even desired. He was now disposed to supply for a time for Mr. Foley at Hampton-on-the-hill ... In June, 1843, he removed to Leamington ... succeeding the Rev. William Cunningham in the charge of the mission.

"In the month of August, 1848, the Right Rev. Dr. Ullathorne was appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Central District ... Bishop Ullathorne well knew and properly appreciated the talents and merits of his intimate friend Dr. Weedall, and he lost no time in availing himself of his valuable counsels. In a pastoral letter his Lordship made the following announcement respecting him:—'Desirous to have near us a prudent ecclesiastic to share our counsels, we have appointed the Very Rev. Dr. Weedall to reside with us as our Vicar General, both in temporals and spirituals, whom we have also appointed Dean of our Episcopal Church.' ... He signified in the same Pastoral his appointment of Dr.Weedall to preside over three important councils, of the temporalities of the district, of Oscott College, and of the School at Sedgley Park ... In June, 1852, again the Bishop of Birmingham paid a just tribute to the merits of Dr. Weedall by appointing him the first Provost of his Cathedral Chapter ...

"Dr. Weedall had now been separated from his beloved Oscott for thirteen years ... His kind Bishop seized the earliest opportunity to honour him as he so well merited, and to restore him to his deserved and dignified position at St. Mary's College [Oscott]. He returned thither, and resumed the presidentship on the 2nd of July, 1853."

In another part of this volume Dr. Husenbeth says, "It has always been a subject of astonishment to all who knew Dr. Weedall, how he managed, with the continued drawback of that severe affection of his head and eyes, to acquire so much knowledge on almost every subject. If he could lay hold of any one to read to him, he was always eager to avail himself of the opportunity; if he could economize a little eyesight, he would read as long as he could endure it by daylight; he was always seen with some book under his arm or in his hand. He contrived to keep pace with the literature of the day. Besides reading for his school of theology, he managed to acquire a good knowledge of other books in various departments of science and literature. If he took a walk with a {335} companion, he was sure to bring forth some useful and interesting paper in a review, or a newspaper, which he would propose to have read as they walked along. Many an article in the Edinburgh or Quarterly Reviews, &c., &c. ... has the present writer read to him as they went to bathe, &c. …"

In another place (p. 108 of his Life) Dr. Husenbeth states more exactly than above (p. 261) the circumstances of the devotion of the Sacred Heart in the Chapel of Old Oscott. "The devotions of the Sacred Heart had already been in practice for many years in England; but Bishop Milner ... when he obtained the approbation of the Holy See for an association of Missionary Priests in the midland district, which he called the Institutio Societatis Liberæ, in the year 1814, procured also, that certain indulgences, already granted to the Sodality of the Sacred Heart in Rome, should be extended to the members of this Societas Libera, and also, on certain conditions, to all the faithful of his district. One condition being, that the prayers should be recited before an image or picture of the Sacred Heart; when the Old Chapel in the House was discontinued, he had a picture, &c., &c., painted on glass in the window over the altar of the New Chapel, &c. ... Neither the Chapel nor the altar was actually dedicated in honour of the Sacred Heart." {336}

Sermon 13

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On Sermon 15

(p. 298.) St. Bernard was led to say this to the Pope in consequence of the troubles created in Rome by Arnald of Brescia. "Ab obitu Cælestini hoc anno invalescere cœpit istiusmodi rebellio Romanorum adversus Pontificem, eodemque hæresis dicta Politicorum, sive Arnaldistarum. Ea erant tempora infelicissima, cùm Romani ipsi, quorum fides in universo orbe jam à tempore Apostolorum annunciata semper fuit, resilientes modo à Pontifice, dominandi cupidine, ex filiis Petri et discipulis Christi, fiunt soboles et alumni pestilentissimi Arnaldi de Brixiâ. Verùm, cùm tu Romanos audis, ne putes omnes eâdem insaniâ percitos, nam complures ex nobilium Romanorum familiis, iis relictis, pro Pontifice rem agebant, &c." Baron, Annal. in ann. 1144, 4.

Sermon 15

(p. 307.) The following Telegram in the Times of September 13, 1860, containing Victor Emmanuel's formal justification of his invasion and occupation of Umbria and the Marches in a time of peace, is a document for after times:—

Turin, Sept. 11, evening.
The King received today a deputation from the inhabitants of Umbria and the Marches.

His Majesty granted the protection which the deputation solicited, and orders have been given to the Sardinian troops to enter those provinces by the following Proclamation:—

"Soldiers! You are about to enter the Marches and Umbria in order to establish civil order in the towns now desolated by misrule, and to give to the people the liberty of expressing their own wishes. You will not fight against the armies of any of the Powers, but will free those unhappy Italian provinces from the bands of foreign adventurers which infest them. You do not go to revenge injuries done to me and Italy, but to prevent the popular hatred from unloosing itself against the oppressors of the country.

"By your example you will teach the people forgiveness of offences, and Christian tolerance to the man who compared the love of the Italian fatherland to Islamism.

"At peace with all the great Powers, and holding myself aloof from any provocation, I intend to rid Central Italy of one continual cause of trouble and discord. I intend to respect the seat of the Chief of the {337} Church, to whom I am ever ready to give, in accordance with the allied and friendly Powers, all the guarantees of independence and security, which his misguided advisers have in vain hoped to obtain for him from the fanaticism of the wicked sect which conspires against my authority and against the liberties of the nation.

"Soldiers! I am accused of ambition. Yes; I have one ambition, and it is to re-establish the principles of moral order in Italy, and to preserve Europe from the continual dangers of revolution and war."

The next day the Times, in a leading article, thus commented on the above:—

"Victor Emmanuel has in Garibaldi a most formidable competitor ... [Piedmont] must therefore, at whatever cost or risk, make herself once more mistress of the revolution. She must revolutionize the Papal States, in order that she may put herself in a position to arrest a dangerous revolutionary movement against Venetia ... These motives are amply sufficient to account for the decisive movement of Victor Emmanuel. He lives in revolutionary times, when self-preservation has superseded all other considerations, and it would be childish to apply to his situation the maxims of international law which are applicable to periods of tranquillity.

"These being the motives which have impelled Piedmont to draw the sword, we have next to see what are the grounds on which she justifies the step. These grounds are two,—the extraordinary misrule and oppression of the Papal government, and the presence of large bands of foreign mercenaries, by which the country is oppressed and terrorized. The object is said to be to give the people an opportunity of expressing their own wishes and the re-establishment of civil order. The King promises to respect the seat of the Chief of the Church,—Rome, we suppose, and its immediate environs; but, while holding out this assurance, the manifesto speaks of the Pope and his advisers in terms of bitterness and acrimony unusual in the present age, even in a declaration of war. He will teach the people forgiveness of offences, and Christian tolerance to the Pope and his general. He denounces the misguided advisers of the Pontiff, and the fanaticism of the wicked sect which conspires against his authority and the liberties of the nation. This is harsh language, and is not inconsistently seconded by the advance into the States of the Church of an army of 50,000 men."

It was the old Fable of the Wolf and the Lamb.

Sermon 15

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1. The Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords. "His speech in allusion to the Cardinal's hat had been much adverted to; he had made this allusion for the reason that he had been supposed to be guilty of disrespect to the Cardinal, and he had no wish to offer an affront to a person in his situation."
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2. In a letter to the papers this clergyman observes, "Under ordinary circumstances I would have taken no further notice of the affair in public, but the circumstances [of the town] at the time were peculiar ... I determined therefore to disarm hostility, as far as I could, by candidly expressing in the evening the regret which I sincerely felt, at having used a phrase in the pulpit so liable to misconception."
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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