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in the Council of Trent declared that in the course of a few weeks three thousand religious had suffered death in France, * and on the ground of loyalty what can be said of men who gave up Havre to the English and were prepared to give up Normandy also ?+ About the year

? 1600 came the much-needed revival of religion, in which the well-known name of St. Francis de Sales comes to the front, followed by that of St. Vincent de Paul and others.

Protestantism in France might be checked by external repression, but to act in such a manner is even as if a doctor, on seeing a rash come out on his patient, were to throw him into cold water to check it ; doubtless it might be checked, but the fever of which it was an indication would shortly burst out with all the greater fury. The fermenting elements in Protestantism burst out in the great Revolution. As Schlegel has remarked, # that grand conflict must be looked on as a religious war, a war not intended to cause a separation from the Church, but from all Christianity. The Revolution was practically the death of religion in France among the workmen as among the upper and middle classes. It must be remembered that the Revolution of 1789 caused a whole generation to grow up without any religious teaching whatever.

The positive hatred to religion of the Jacobins was succeeded by total indifference such as is seen in men of the stamp of Volney. The writer has seen an anecdote which vividly bears out this statement. When the French marched into Syria with Buonaparte, one of the frequent questions asked by young men was, How in the world came Palestine to be called the Holy Land ?”

Napoleon saw that without religion the reign of order is impossible, hence he re-founded Christianity, but at the same time hampered the free action of the clergy, so that not only in the beginning of this century had they to missionarize the working classes, but they were checked by Erastianism. Then came the lesser revolution and the advent of Louis Napoleon.

We have now briefly looked at the loss of belief among the working classes of England, through the Reformation, which was a middle-class movement, and at the Huguenot

* Pallavicino, 1. 24, C. 3.

+ “The Huguenot leaders from the first made common cause with the enemies of France." Dr. Littledale on Christianity and Patriotism” in Contemporary Review.

I Philosophy of History. § Pall Mall Gazette, 19th April, 1876.


rising and rebellion in France, followed, as Protestantism invariably seems to be, by insurrection and anarchy, which came to a climax in the great Revolution.

. Having completed our survey of the past of English and French workmen and their religious belief, we turn to the concluding portion of our subject.

III. The Future Bearing of Religion on English and French




The workman requires a religion which affects his daily life and enters into all his actions ; if it does not do this, it will speedily cease to be an active force. The same may of course be said with respect to the upper classes, but the life of the labouring man being one of toil, and not generally over-blessed with this world's goods, especially requires the solace and support of religion. The Catholic Church supplied this in the past, and lest it be thought that we speak too favourably of the past we will quote a paragraph from Professor Bryce's Holy Roman Empire, 4th Ed., 1873, pp. 373-4:

“Some persons declare variety of opinion to be a positive good. The great mass have certainly no longing for an abstract unity of faith. They have no horror of schism. They do not, cannot understand the intense fascination which the idea of one all-pervading Church exercised upon their mediæval forefathers. A life in the Church, for the Church, through the Church ; a life which she blessed in Mass at morning and sent to peaceful rest by the vesper hymn; a life which she supported by the constantly recurring stimulus of the sacraments, relieving it by confession, purifying it by penance, admonishing it by the presentation of visible objects for contemplation and worship---this was the life which they of the middle ages conceived of as the rightful life for man; it was the actual life of many, the ideal of all. The unseen world was so unceasingly pointed to, and its dependence on the seen so intensely felt, that the barrier between the two seemed to disappear. In one sentence from a famous mediæval document may be found a key to much which seems strangest to us in the feelings of the middle ages. The Church is dearer to God than


heaven. For the Church does not exist for the sake of heaven, but conversely, heaven for the sake of the Church.”

Has the English workman in this nineteenth century anything at all corresponding to this vivid ideal of religion to keep him in the right way, to be a comfort to him, and at the same time to check him in his inclinations to go wrong? Nothing; or if there be such a creed it is powerless practically to influence him, whatever theoretically may be the

Dr. Newman has shown us the reason of this in his usual graphic manner. Speaking of Catholic populations he says: “To them, the Supreme Being, our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, Angels and Saints, Heaven and Hell are as present as if they were objects of sight; but such a faith does not suit the genius of modern England. There is in the literary world just now an affectation of calling religion a ‘sentiment, and it must be confessed that usually it is nothing more with our own people, educated or rude."*

Religion in England among the working classes is most real in Cornwall, and Cornwall is, or was till recently, the land of dissent and little " Bethels." Since, however, the creed therein propounded lacks the vivid reality to which we have alluded, it does not appear at first sight why dissent should have gained a footing among genuine labourers. Furthermore, in some rural districts the preacher has a hold over his hearers. The explanation is, that oftentimes these pastors are of the same rank of life as those they teach, and not only so, but frequently are engaged during the week in the same occupation ; take the case of one to whom all right thinking Englishmen are much indebted, Mr. Arch, the agricultural labourers' friend. He could "speak home” to his brother men because he from personal experience knew their life and their wants, their trials and their joys; and when such a coincidence occurs the result must be the personal influence of the preacher over his brother workers. If this state of things had been, or was likely to be frequent, then workmen would have a vague Christianity in their midst. But it is not so; oftentimes must the preacher“ live on" the hearers, and hence esteem lessens and suspicion of hypocrisy steps in. A religion which is so entirely personal can never be permanent. Experience shows that dissenting ministers must tickle the fancies of their audience, or the hand will not be put in the pocket to support them.

* Grammar of Assent, Credence.


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In England there is another body of men who claim and to a certain extent in London have gained adherents from workmen. We mean the Ritualistic body. It is said that throughout the country some 30,000 genuine workmen have sided with the Clergy in their attempts to produce a Catholic Church without a Pope. The movement we hear is a good deal tied for want of funds, and not only so, but the extreme Anglicans themselves hold such a precarious position in the Church of England that for the present the movement does not require serious consideration. Did this section of the Church of England get itself disestablished and make a bid for the support of the lower orders it is possible it might win adherents, for men will live and die for a dogma when they will not for an opinion. A book was published a few years ago which was widely read and considered not overdrawn-Foshua Davidson. This workman had come across one of the High Church leaders, Father

and after some insight into their opinions, he says: “You have captivated my heart, you charm my tastes, you delight my imagination; but you have not mastered my reason. Fairly reasoned out I do not think your position is tenable. You are Roman Catholics under another name; irregulars claiming to be received on the footing of the acknowledged Body Guard; you are infallible yet eclectic, and I cannot concede infallibility to eclecticism."

We do not believe a working man ever actually used such phraseology, but the thought conveyed may be his nevertheless.

The Ritualistic movement is far the most active in the Church of England, but it does not seem able to carry the masses with it. It has got hold of the smaller shopkeeper and gentry, all praise to it for its activity; but it does not

, attract working men. As Leslie Stephens put it some time since:* “We have built real churches, and put in them real Priests in real vestments, instead of running up a few sham ruins like our respected grandfathers. The restoration, as we are pleased to call it, of a modern cathedral, provides some pleasant excitement for the surrounding nobility and gentry, and the only misfortune is that our toy is too big to put in a museum. And then, too, the expenditure on religious institutions is part of the insurance which we all have to pay against 'blazing principles. What with Communists and members of the International, we are too much

* Contemporary Review, March, 1873.

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in the position of people sitting on a powder magazine to be quite comfortable. It pays from a purely commercial point of view to support the Establishment.”

We now come to the consideration of the Roman Catholic Church in England, and will see if she has the power or likelihood of gaining those who seem thrown on the bleak shore of scepticism through want of a pilot to guide them and in whom they can trust.

In England and Wales there are about a million and a half of Catholics, but probably four-fifths or more are Irish, and hence the English workmen practically has no fellowcomrades in the Catholic Church. Has he anything which in the future will draw him to that haven to which his ancestors belonged, to that Faith which showed its love by the noble buildings which are still dotted over this once Catholic land of England ? From his Irish fellow-workmen we do not think he will derive much influence of a kind to draw him on. We do not mean to say a word against them as a race (the writer is of Irish extraction himself), but unfortunately in our large towns the curse of drink has made the name of "the Irish quarter” a word of evil omen-a place wherein wives get their eyes knocked out, their limbs broken by the brutality of their drunken husbands--a place where oaths of the most blasphemous description frequently resound. We say not that multitudes of English labourers are one atom better, but that is not the point; the point is, has the English labourer in our towns such a respect and esteem for his brother Irish

orker, has he before him such evidence of the influence of the Catholic Faith that he will turn round and say, “ Bill, look at the holiness and sobriety and chastity of these Irish ?"

Drink is the devil's own weapon, and not only does it ruin those who give way to it, but in the case we are considering it throws back those who otherwise might join the Catholic Church and thus become Christians.

But although a general survey of the Irish in London and our large towns is anything but what one could desire, yet there is a large minority who live lives of real holiness: there are women who are as virtuous as they always are in their own island, before they came across English vice and heathenism; and there is yet another magnet to draw workmen, and that is the self-denying lives of the Priests and Sisters of Charity who they see constantly in and out in fever-dens,

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