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BE NOT CONCEITED; BEWARE OF HUMBUGS; HATE CANT ;
RESTRAIN YOUR TONGUES ; AMEND YOUR WAYS ;
WITH SUNDRY OTHER ODDS AND ENDS OF COUNSEL,
LOOSELY APPENDED TO
THE SECOND EDITION OF
“MY DOG BR A C E;"
IN MANY RESPECTS
A VERY IRREGULAR POEM;
BY THE REVEREND CALAMUS KURRENS,
A LITTLE COUNTRY PARSON,
“ Vexatus TOTIES—facit indignatio versum.”—JUVENAL.
TO THOSE, IN ENGLAND, WHO LIVE BY THE DAILY
LABOUR OF THEIR HANDS.
ENGLISHMEN! DEAN Tucker-no fool!-has said, that there are times when nations suffer from mental derangement *. Other sensible men have said this before him, and since.
About forty-five years ago an old apothecary in a small country town said to me, “I wish you to remember what I am going to say.
“ The effects of misgovernment have plainly shown themselves in France. “ They will show themselves in other countries. The greater part of Europe “ is in a state of high irritation. The present war is unlike most other wars. “ This is not a war, merely, between nation and nation. Men look for its “ results. Great evil has long been felt, and they, who think at all, ask “ themselves— Will the principles that are now afloat produce a better “ state of things ? The feelings are excited, as in a matter of purely per“sonal interest. Whatever the end may be, Europe will long remain in a “ very anxious state. I, myself, foresee no other probable termination to a “ general struggle of nations, than the lassitude and exhaustion of all the “ parties. I cannot live to see this. You may. Considering, also, the “ changes that must take place in the commercial world-and other changes “ too-irritability will not only increase to a fearful extent, but will be pro“ pagated, at least, in another generation. Anxiety will become a part of a “ man's nature. Now mark my words! If my opinion should turn out to “ be a correct one, disease of the stomach will be a general complaint; and “ mania will become much more common than it is."
My countrymen! Was he a fool ?
Considering what human nature is, it is not very surprising that Joanna Southcote should have had followers: nor much more so, that Irving should. But I have never met with a sensible, sober-minded man of any religion, or of no religion whatever, who did not think that the spread of Puseyism was a more marked sign of a great bewilderment of the human mind than he had conceived to be possible.
* The figures within brackets refer to the Notes in Illustration, and to those in the Appendix.
I will not speak now of silly men and silly women having itching ears; nor of those who cling to the world's work, in spite of a sense that they are approaching, and not slowly, to another world; and who, when conscience vainly speaks to them, wish to believe, or to hope, that a Puseyite priest may do that for them which they do not like to do for themselves; but of those, upon whom the moral sense, all argument, and the teaching of history, seem to be without effect, though their minds have had all the advantages of education.
My countrymen! Is this like madness, or is it not ?
There are those who wish to bring us back to the Church of Rome, which they call THE CHURCH—which, as a body, in the fulness of its power, was not a Christian Church. I say, AS A BODY; for there were, I doubt not, at all times, Christians in it, as regards essential doctrine and real Christian feeling. There were always, I believe firmly, more than “ forty thousand” of them who, in heart, had never bowed to Baal. But these were not Roman Catholics.
The author of “Father Clement” may think, if it pleases him, that the church was confined to the Valley of the Vaudois for hundreds of years. The Friend of Brace cannot think so; nor that to ask a man“ where his face “ was before it was washed,” is a very clever joke.
If you have a frank and honourable friend who calls himself a Roman Catholic—and I have had the honour and happiness to know many suchask him the four following questions, and I will tell you his answers :
1. Can a man be a Catholic who does not believe the doctrines of the Catholic Church?
2. Can the Catholic Church err, in point of doctrine ?
3. Is it, or has it ever been, a doctrine of the Catholic Church, that all will be damned who do not belong to it?
4. Do you believe this?
To the third he may hesitate to reply immediately; but will say, “ It has been.”
To the fourth he will answer, decidedly, “ I do not.”
Put out from what is called The Church all those who “believe they know “not what," and, therefore can be of no religion-put out every man who “is “worse than an infidel”—put out all those who do not believe all the doctrines of the Church, and then how many would remain to be counted ?
Are we to be brought back to a Church that can hardly be said to exist ?
Or are we to call that à Church which for ages was not Christian, and which now—if it will not confess it--differs from its former self, though keeping its name and policy .
“ It is well known that, although the public policy of Rome has long dis“played the pacific temper of weakness, the ecclesiastical sentiment in that “ city stands very nearly as high as in the thirteenth century.”—Hallam's State of Europe, v. i. p. 370. The decisions of the Council of Trent prove that the Romish church differed from its former self. It became, in fact, a new church, and a new religion, if Luther's is a new religion; and it has been practically changing ever since. No Roman Catholic will now say that every Protestant must be damned. The worthy bishop of Bayeux, when he
said, about twenty-five years ago, that“ conscientious Protestants would be “ saved by their ignorance,” spoke like a Christian; yet his words were not silly only; but they contradicted the old doctrine, and an essential one, of his never-erring church. The Pusey-ite-Protestant-Papists may now receive, from Old Mother Church, permission not to worship the Virgin Mary, if they will go the hog, though not the whole hog. They cannot swallow the gnat; and that is not insisted on, if they bolt the camel.
Englishmen! Desire, above all things, sober-mindedness, both in religion and in politics. Mistake not irritability for energy, in either. Mistake not noise for power.
Discard your systems: they are fanciful, impracticable. Do not irritate yourselves by much talk. Dispute not. Keep yourselves cool. Feel for each other, and live together as brothers should; and then you will be as united as brothers ought to be.
At the age of nearly threescore years and ten, this is my first attempt at authorship.
The little book is the offspring of an accident—the Death of my Dog
Towards the end of a long illness, my eyes too weak to read much, with a head too weak to think seriously, I sent, to the friend who gave me Brace, the latter lines of my second canto. They were added to from day to day, during the listlessness of confinement; and then the notes followed.
Do not suppose that I make any pretension to learning; I have none. The scraps of Latin were old school-boy recollections, and it pleased me to remember them; and to write them down; and some of them were convenient to me when I was at a loss for a rhyme.
There are many expressions in this little work which should have been amended, but I am languid; and my meaning will not, I think, be mistaken by you.
You will show your good sense and good feeling, in believing that I feel with you, and feel for you: in believing that I am
C. KURRENS. May 14, 1844.