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ing of intrusion suggests itself in the mind of either. Their churches are God's houses, open alike to all rational creatures, without distinction of high or low, rich or poor. All who have a soul to be saved come freely to worship.
In the Catholic Church the clergyman is more of a sacred character than it is possible to invest him with in our Protestant Church, and more cut off from all worldly affairs. It is very up-hill work in the Church of England, and still more so in the Church of Scotland, for the clergyman to impress his flock with the persuasion that he is a better man, and more able to instruct them, than any other equally pious and equally well educated man in the parish, whose worldly circumstances have given him equal opportunity and leisure to cultivate his mind; and in every parish, owing to the diffusion of knowledge, good education, and religious feeling among our upper and middle classes, there are now such men. The Scotch coun
. try clergyman in this generation does not, as in the last, stand in the position of being the only regularly educated, enlightened, religious man perhaps in his whole congregation. He has also the cares of a family, of a housekeeping, of a glebe in Scotland, of tithe in England, and, in short, the business and toils, the motives of action, and objects of interest that other men have. It is difficult, or in truth impossible, in our state of society, to impress on his flock that he is in any way removed from their condition, from their failings or feelings; and it would be but a delusion if he succeeded, for he is a human being in the same position with themselves, under the influences of the same motives and objects with themselves in his daily life.
In the Roman Catholic Church it is altogether different, and produces a totally different result. The clergyman is entirely separated from individual interests, or worldly objects of ordinary life, by his celibacy. This separates him from all other men. Be their knowledge, their education, their piety, what it will, they belong to the rest of mankind in feelings, in interests, and motives of action, -he to a peculiar class. The Catholics, who receive the elements as transubstantiated by the consecration, require very naturally and properly that the priest should be of a sanctified class, removed from human impurity, contamination, or sensual lust, as well as from all worldly affairs, as far as human nature can be.
But our Scotch clergy, placed by the Reformation in such a totally different religious position as to the nature of their functions, are wrong in
expecting a peculiar veneration, and in challenging a peculiar sanctity for their order. As a sacred order, or class, they ceased to exist, or to have influence founded upon any sound religious grounds, when the distinction which made them a peculiar class in the eyes and feelings of mankind, the distinction in their sacramental function, and consequent separation in all worldly affairs between their class and other men, ceased and was removed. They have an elevated, and if they will so apply the word, a sacred duty to perform along with the ordinary duties of life; but they form no distinct sacred class, or corporation, like the tribe of Levi among the Israelites, or like the Catholic clergy among the Catholics, having religious duties or functions which none can perform but its members, and to which they are essential.
Our clergy, especially in Scotland, have a very erroneous impression of the state of the Catholic clergy. In our country churches we often hear them prayed for as men wallowing in luxury, and sunk in gross ignorance. This is somewhat injudicious, as well as uncharitable; for when the youth of their congregations, who, in this travelling age, must often come in contact abroad with the Catholic clergy so described, find them, in learning, liberal views, and genuine piety, so very different from the description and describers, there will unavoidably arise comparisons by no means edifying or flattering to their clerical teachers at home.
The education of the regular clergy of the Catholic Church is, perhaps, positively higher, and, beyond doubt, comparatively higher than the education of the Scotch clergy. Education is in reality not only not repressed, but is encouraged by the Catholic Church, and is a mighty instrument in its hands, and ably used. In every street in Rome, for instance, there are, at short distances, public primary schools for the education of the children of the lower and middle classes in the neighborhood. Rome, with a population of 158,678 souls, has 372 public primary schools, with 482 teachers, and 14,099 children attending them. Has Edinburgh so many public schools for the education of these classes? I doubt it. Berlin, with a population about double that of Rome, has only 264 schools. Rome has also her university, with an average attendance of 660 students; and the Papal States, with a population of two and one-half millions, contain seven universities. Prussia, with a population of fourteen millions, has but seven. These are amusing statistical facts-and instructive as well as amusing—when we remember the boasting and glorying carried on a few years back, and even to this day, about the Prussian educational system for the people,and the establishment of governmental schools, and enforcing by police regulation the school attendance of the children of the lower classes. The statistical fact, that Rome has above a hundred schools more than Berlin, for a population little more than half that of Berlin, puts to flight a world of humbug about systems of national education carried on by governments, and their moral effects on society.