An intrepid leader in the crusade against broken faith, aggression, cruelty, persecution
" He made an everlasting col,etrant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the nation: and made him blessed in glory." (Ecelesiasticus xlv, 8.) TO-DAY at the solemn obsequies
of His Eminence Arthur Cardinal Hinsley we mourn the passing of the Chief Pastor of the Catholic Church in this land. The God of Levites who gave to him the priesthood of the nation has perfected that everlasting covenant and translated His elect front the earthly house of this habitation to the life and immortality brought to light by the Gospel.
And whilst, buoyed up by Christian hope and anchored in the faith which gives it substance, wc conform in our bereavement to the inscrutable will of God, it is but natural that we to whom this high priest ministeied should grieve that he is taken from us: that in the shock of parting we should even exclaim in dismay with Eliseus, at the moment when he saw his revered master caught up to the rapture of Heaven; " My father, my father. the chariot of Israel and the driver thereof!"
In this hour of separation what wonder if the cry of desolation is wrung from our troubled hearts. But none the less our sorrow though keen is chastened and purified in that it is by grace elevated to the high plane of farreaching Christian charity. For ours is no narrow selfish sorrow. We grieve not for ourselves alone that we have lost a friend and father in Christ. We grieve also for the loss to others.
In mourning our beloved Cardinal we bewail not only a personal but an impersonal loss. a loss to the universal Church. to the nation. and indeed to humanity. Fur His Holiness the Pope has lost a wise and devoted councillor, His Majesty the King one of his most loyal subjects, the Catholic Hierarchy a great leader, the Catholic flock in the Archdiocese of Westminster a good shepherd. and the people of our land and far beyond, a valiant supporter of their rightful aims and ideals in the present world crisis. amply the golden promises of his youth. A compelling sense of duty and a con. tageous enthusiasm were the keynotes of his academic career as student and master at Ushaw College, in the Bradford Grammar School, at Vs'onersh seminary, and very strikingly at the English College in Rome.
There his rectorship was for the College a memorable period of regrowth and development; for the individual student who lived under his firm but kindly rule it was and it remains an inspiration to seek the things that are above. He quickly won and ever retained the great respect and deep affection of his students. He was rightly jealous of the good name and prestige of the historic college and in himself embodied its best traditions which his students soon learned to cherish and uphold. He loved learning and urged his students to a like love, but always his first concern was that the seminarists under his care should leave his hands moulded ill solid virtue; that all should strive to ewer in that school of piety where he himsell had learned with such aptitude and tenacity. Flom the deep, robust holiness of his life catne the wisdom and understanding. the justice and clemency that marked his rule. And many priests throughout England and Wales to-day thank God for having been blessed with the wise and humane guidance of this great lector.
Larger fields and wider horizons of apostolic labour opened out for him in Africa where he was sent as Apostolic Delegate. There he evinced a genius for practical organisation and administration, and proved himself a tactful negotiator and a sound educationist, so that both the ecclesiastical and civil authorities publicly recognised the worth and enduring quality of his work. His great heart went out to the natives whose just claims and legitimate aspirations he championed.
MAN FOR THE TIME Pope Pius Xl chose him for the archiepiscopal are of .Westminster in spite of this three score and ren years and the physical infirmities eontractetIon the African mission-field. It has proved to have been a providential appointment, for undoubtedly he has revealed himself as the man for the time and place. The cause of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His leaching had in the Cardinal a steadfast and fearless upholder. The mark " the county of the broad acres" rvhence he spralig Was deeply isopressed on his character. He was forthright, valiant and unconquerhie. He was the just man of the classics. tenacious of his purpose. whose rock-like soul cannot be shaken.
And grace perfected nature. for above all he was a faithful disciple of his Divine Master who took his stand against the forces of evil without equivocation or hesitation. Imperishably his name will be cherished as that of an intrepid leader in the crusade against broken faith, aggression, cruelty and persecution.
He was, too, an'ardent lover of his country, aflame with the Christian virtue of patriotism. To him that high virtue did not mean hatred of other lands, but love of his own and the abiding desire for its betterment. To him it meant an integral part of that noble attribute esteemed by pagan and Christian alike—piety in its original sense of loving devotion to God its Or Heavenly Father, and under Him to our earthly father and to our Eatherland, as the combined source of our being, and lot our rights and duties. He upheld the perfect law of liberty.
Oppression in any guise stirred his righteous anger and he failed not to raise his voice in denunciation. He scourged the oppressor and vindicated the rights of the human person, the family, the Christian school, and the nation, he it great or small. In our darkest hours his pronouncements were robust and heartening, unwavering in determination, and uncompromising in condemnation of wicked deeds or evil schemes. No hatred of men marred his uticiances, for he had learned one or the greatest lessons of charity—to love the sinner whilst hating the sill.
CHARITY OF CHRIST IMPELLED HIM
His public addresses were not mere ephemeral speeches hut statesmanlike declarations of permanent value couched in that simple lucid English of which the vilnant strength and telling force are so well known to you. Always the charity of Christ impelled him. There were in his words a ringing conviction, a complete sincerity, a burning passion for the right and an undisguised loathing for the sinister. His words came front a heart on lire with the love of God. Men listened and were quick to discern the accents of truth and reality. He wooed his fcyow-countrymen as his dearly beloved in Christ and won the nation's heart as only a lover can. Throughout the land, the people of this country took him to their own, and their confidence in hint never faltered. His name has become it hOtiSeholti weld. All men who love God and His Divine Son, all men of good will have drawn courage from his light and leading.
In his untiring efforts to unite the nation against the powers of darkness and to rally all men beneath the banner of the Living God, the Cardinal found support and inspiration ia the words of the Popes: " For God or against God. . . This," said Pius Xi. " is the alternative that shall decide the destinies of all maekind. Let all those who still believe in God and adore Him loyally and heartily concur in order to ward off from mankind the great danger that threatens all alike."* Whilst not yielding one jot or tittle in his theological beliefs His Eminence endeavoured to give effect to this invitation from the Head of Christendom by showing himself willing and anxious to co-operate with those of other icligious creeds who were likewise ready " to take energetic steps to prevent the enemies of religion from attaining the goal they have so brazenly proclaimed to the world."
This effort or the Cardinal was, in fact, warmly welcomed by the other religious leaders concerned, and as a result of the consequent collaboration it
is true to say that the nation as a nation has been rallied to the cause of God.
Eminent ecclesiastic, able adminstrator. sound educationist, outstanding churchman, Cardinal Hinsley was above all a man of God, one who laboured first and foremost at his own personal sanctification and who strove in all things to be worthy of his high vocation. He was deeply rooted in spirituality. He had ground at the grammar of the spiritual life till he had mastered it, till he envisaged all things temporal from the standpoint of the eternal.
GREATNESS FITTED HIM
Truly he admirably upheld the sublime dignity of the priesthood of the nation which the All-Holy in everlasting covenant bestowed upon him. He was not one of those who attained a high position only to demonstrate their incapacity for holding it. Greatness fitted him as a mantle and he discharged his exalted office as became a Prince of the Church, whilst endearing himself by his naturalness to all who collie in contact with him.
That he be made blessed in glory is our earnest supplication. To him who was our Father in God ever solicitous for our spiritual welfare, who loved us with a love that passeth all things transitory, who watched over and guarded us; Co him who was the shepherd of the flock we owe the filial duty of keeping him in our prayers that, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, he may enter into the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled. that fadeth not away. Whilst grief-stricken we follow. his lifeless body to the tomb let our intercessory prayers accompany his soul beyond the Judgment Seat. Let not the fond memory of him perish from our habitual memento of the dead. Now and at many Requiem Masses in the future, whilst not forgetting him in the privacy of personal prayer, let us join our suppliant voices in the touching petition of the liturgy of the Church: " Eternal rest give unto him, 0 Lord. and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen."
* Encyclical Caritate Christi conspulsi.