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{348} February 26, 1875. Mr. Gladstones new Pamphlet, which has just appeared, is only partially directed against the foregoing Letter, and, when he remarks on what I have written, he does so with a gentleness which may be thought to be unfair to his argument. Moreover he commences with some pages about me personally of so special a character, that, did I dare dwell upon them in their direct import, they would of course gratify me exceedingly. But I cannot do so, because I believe that, with that seriousness which is characteristic of him, he has wished to say what he felt to be true, not what was complimentary; and because, looking on beyond his words to what they imply, I see in them, though he did not mean it so himself, a grave, or almost severe question addressed to me, which effectually keeps me from taking pleasure in them, however great is the honour they do me.

It is indeed a stern question which his words suggest, whether, now that I have come to the end of my days, I have used aright whatever talents God has given me, and as He would have had me use them, in building up religious truth, and not in pulling down, breaking up, and scattering abroad. All I can say in answer to it, is, that from the day I became a Catholic to this day, now close upon thirty years, I have never had a moments {349} misgiving that the communion of Rome is that Church which the Apostles set up at Pentecost, which alone has the adoption of sons, and the glory, and the covenants, and the revealed law, and the service of God, and the promises, and in which the Anglican communion, whatever its merits and demerits, whatever the great excellence of individuals in it, has, as such, no part. Nor have I ever, since 1845, for a moment hesitated in my conviction that it was my clear duty to join, as I did then join, that Catholic Church, which in my own conscience I felt to be divine. Persons and places, incidents and circumstances of life, which belong to my first forty-four years, are deeply lodged in my memory and my affections; moreover, I have had more to try and afflict me in various ways as a Catholic than as an Anglican; but never for a moment have I wished myself back; never have I ceased to thank my Maker for His mercy in enabling me to make the great change, and never has He let me feel forsaken by Him, or in distress, or any kind of religious trouble. I do not know how to avoid thus meeting Mr. Gladstones language about me: but I can say no more. The judgment must be left to a day to come.

In the remarks that follow I shall take the order of my Sections.








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