« PredošláPokračovať »
and their other exertions (seconded as they were by the general aid of the catholic priesthood) they prevented that sudden conflagration from spreading far and wide, and thereby probably saved the lives of thousands of his majesty's troops, and tens of thousands of his subjects. Their talents, natural and acquired, together with their christian and social virtues, have gained them general respect and regard, not only amongst their own people, but also amongst other religious denominations. The virtues which I most admired in them, and in others of their order whom I have occasionally conversed with, are their fraternal union and cordial co-operation in the discharge of their several duties, particularly in providing to the utmost of their power for the instruction, and the corporal as well as spiritual benefit of their numerous flocks, as well as for their perfect disinterestedness, to the eye of which their own advantages appear as nothing when compared with those of their people. You and your friends in England suppose, that nothing more is necessary to buy over the catholic bishops and clergy of Ireland than for parliament to vote a certain sum of money for this purpose; but I have reason to believe that they never will consent to be bought to make a separate interest from that of their poor flocks, and that they would rather starve with them than appear to league against them, Indeed, were they to act this latter part, they would lose the confidence of the people, in which
case they would be rendered incapable of performing the task that would be exacted from them. In a word, Sir, I am persuaded that the catholic bishops and clergy will do their duty in promoting peace, patience, and loyalty amongst their people as they have hitherto done, without fee or reward, unless their proposed salaries should make part of an enlarged and liberal system for the relief of their countrymen, and particularly of the poorest class of them.
I am aware, Sir, that the very mention of catholic metropolitans and bishops in Ireland is enough to make some Protestants lose their temper and others their reason; the most distinguished amongst these is a noble and learned Lord, lately highly exalted in that part of the united kingdom, who by his speeches in parliament, and his writings addressed to the public †, has most zealously and indefatigably laboured to prepare the way for the destruction of the catholic hierarchy there. For this purpose he bedaubs it over with the most hideous, colours, representing it as "an open defiance "of the law a corporation with all the forms " and gradations of a distinct and firm govern"ment §,-a rivalship of the established clergy. "and an attempt to seize upon their dignities,
revenues, tithes," &c. . Not content with sti
See Substance of a Speech of Lord Redesdale in the House of Lords, May 1805, by authority.
+ See Thoughts on the Condition of Ireland, lately published, and which is universally attributed to the aforesaid nobleman.
Speech, p. 19. § P. 14. Pp. 16. 45.
mulating a protestant legislature to abolish our ancient forms of ecclesiastical government, he calls upon the catholic laity to co-operate in the undertaking; assuring them that "this form is "not essential to their religion*,"-that many of the second order of the clergy "wish to get rid "of it †,”—and that, this being got rid of, they may confidently hope for the redress of their grievances, &c. f.
It is plain that this learned personage has thought a great deal upon the subject, and I have good reason to think that he has not confined himself to thoughts upon it, and yet it is equally plain that he is extremely ill-informed concerning it.-Have then the catholic clergy desired a form of ecclesiastical government in the spirit of rivalship, and in defiance of the established clergy? Which clergy is the more ancient? Do they withhold any honour, title, possession, or revenue which the law has attributed to the latter? Do they require, or even receive tithes from their own people? Do they exhort them not to pay, or rather do not they exhort them to pay these (ill, as they can af ford to pay them) to the tithe-proctor? Do even our catholic bishops object to pay their own tithes to the person whom the law has appointed to receive them. But our "hierarchy
is a distinct and firm government, &c." What, Sir, because the legislature has thought proper
Speech, p. 25. P. 27. P. 34. ;
to imitate the wisdom of our hierarchy in its ecclesiastical government, must we lay it aside? Because you choose to be episcopalians, must we become presbyterians? It was the great St. Patrick who established this apostolical form of government throughout his spiritual conquest of Ireland 1400 years ago, and above 1100 before protestancy existed; and it is the glory of the Irish Catholics that it has continued without the interruption of a day the same and unaltered from that remote period down to the present time. Afflicted, as they have been beyond all other christian nations, the virginal purity of their first faith has never been sullied, nor has the succession of their pastors ever been lost; notwithstanding the furious ravages of the Danes, the oppressive tyranny of the Plantagenets, and the long unrelenting, but little known persecutions of Elizabeth and the Stuarts *. When
* Every writer has recorded, and every man, woman, and child is informed of the persecution exercised by Queen Mary upon the Protestants of England (for those of Ireland remaining quiet were never molested by her). In the mean time few persons have heard of the more severe, extensive, and lengthened persecution exercised by Elizabeth and her successors on the English Catholics, and still fewer have heard of that which the Irish Catholics had to suffer during the reigns in question. The names and history of about 200 of the former who were put to death by Elizabeth, for the profession or exercise of their religion, are upon record. But though it is certain that many more Irish Catholics suffered death during her reign on the same account, I have not yet been able to recover the names of more than between forty and fifty of them. Amongst these were six prelates: Patrick O'Kelly, Bishop of Mayo, Dermit O'Hurle, Archbishop of Cashel, Richard Creagh, Archbishop of Armagh
that vain and sacrilegious female required, upon pain of death, to be acknowledged as "the Supreme Governess of the Church of Christ "throughout all her dominions."* The conscientious Irish prelates acted the same part with their brethren in England †. They gave back to
and Edmund Magauran his successor, Cornelius O'Duane, Bishop of Down, and Edmund O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry. The two first of these suffered horrible tortures previously to their execution; the former having his legs broken with hammers, and needles thrust under his finger nails, the other being obliged to wear, for several days, jack boots containing a quantity of quick lime and oil. The common stretching rack was very frequently employed against the catholic prisoners, and it was not unusual to tear the nails from their fingers, or to batter the shaven crowns of the clergy with sticks, and stones till their brains appeared. The year before Elizabeth's death a number of monks and clergy, amounting in all to 51 persons, obtained permission, in conse quence of a petition to her which they got presented, to retire to -the continent, and a Queen' ship was appointed to convey them. They embarked, as they were ordered, at Slattery, but they had not sailed far when they were all thrown into the sea and drowned. The Queen pretended to be greatly incensed at the proceeding, andcommanded the Captain and officers of the ship to be confined. This however was only an artifice of this hypocritical and remorseless princess, as the tragedy had been performed by her orders. Accordingly the officers were afterwards rewarded with lands which had belonged to the aforesaid monks, some of whom left descendants in the possession of them when my author wrote this account. It will easily be conceived that a much greater number of Irish -Catholics, chiefly clergy, were put to death for their religion under the first Stuarts and the Usurpation, when it is known that I have collected the names of forty-two priests of the Dominican order alone, besides four bishops and two nuns, who lost their lives on this account between the years 1608 and 1657.
* See the Act of Supremacy, 1 Eliz. cap. 1. The celebrated. Lutheran Doctor Chemnitius complains of Elizabeth: "quod "fæmineo fastu Papissam et Caput Ecclesiæ Christi ce fecisset."
All the English bishops were deprived of their sees, and com、