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the state all they held from it; their possessions, their mansions, their honours, their churches, and their tithes. But with respect to their orders and their spiritual jurisdiction, as these did not descend from the civil power, so neither could they possibly be surrendered to it.
To place this matter in another point of view, I presume that even Lord Redesdale will admit the maxim (which was universally allowed a few years ago when Mr. Horne Tooke endeavoured to be admitted into the House of Commons), namely, that once a priest or bishop and always a priest or bishop. Indeed he must absolutely allow the validity of our orders, or he will be forced to confess that his own clergy are not rightly ordained. In a word, the law does explicitly admit of our orders, since it allows our bishops or priests upon merely taking the oaths to hold the temporalities of any bishopric or benefice to which he may be named, without further ceremony. It being then indisputable that his Lordship's acquaintance, Dr. Coppinger, for example, is a true bishop, both in law and in fact, and that he has been consecrated to exercise episcopal functions for the Catholics of Cloyne, I should be glad to know upon what principle of common sense it can be denied that he is the catholic Bishop of Cloyne. Not long since his Lordship maintained with
mitted to prison during their lives for refusing the oath, except Kitchen of Llandaff, whom all allow to have been a most worthless prelate.
equal positiveness, that the law did not acknowledge the existence of a catholic parish priest, until the above-mentioned bishop convinced him of his mistake, by referring to the Act of Parliament in which this character is recognized. But to make an end of this matter, it is clear that the law has admitted the profession and practice of the catholic religion, which religion is universally known to be episcopalian; that it has recognized the existence of our clergy, who can only be proved to be such by the certificate of their bishops; and that it has even founded an ecclesiastical seminary to prepare students for ordination at the hands of catholic bishops within the realm, and constituted these bishops, in conjunction with the crown officers, superiors of this seminary: can any thing be more inconsistent than to represent the catholic episcopacy as standing in defiance of the law!
I say nothing of the advantages to the state from the episcopal form of government amongst its catholic subjects in preference to every other, nor of the gross misrepresentations of it in its actual condition, which occur in the aforesaid speech, as these have been already so ably exposed by two catholic prelates, the ornaments of their order*. I shall therefore conclude with
See the Appendix No. IV. and V. to the Substance of Additional Observations intended to have been delivered in the House of Commons, &c. by Sir J. C. Hippisley, Bart. &c.
observing, that if the noble and learned Lord alluded to should ever succeed in his favourite object of getting a law passed for destroying the catholic prelacy in Ireland, he will not stand in need of a single file of soldiers to enforce it: all that will be necessary for him to provide will be a sufficient store of halters or guillotines; as it is certain that all the catholic bishops are prepared to shed their blood (but not till they have imposed their hands upon successors who may perpetuate the hierarchy) rather than renounce their order and spiritual jurisdiction. I will add, that the catholic clergy and pious laity in general are equally well disposed to surrender their lives in the same cause.
I have the happiness, Sir, of being well acquainted with the venerable and amiable successor of St. Patrick's spiritual jurisdiction in the see of Armagh, and it is not irrelevant to the subject I have been treating of, to take notice of the only material property which he appears to have derived from his predecessors it is the head of one of them, a saint by the tenor of his life, and a martyr in the cause of his death *. His name was Dr. Oliver Plunket, and he was put to death in consequence of that sanguinary conspiracy against the religion and loyalty of the Catholics which was hatched by the crafty
* Even Bishop Burnet, who, amongst all his lies, never told one in favour of a Catholic, gives Dr. Plunket an excellent character, both as a subject and a man. Hist. of his own Times.
and sanguinary Ahitophel*, Lord Shaftsbury, and his associates the Rev. Dr. Tongue and Rev. Dr. Oates, the last-mentioned of whom has given his name to the infamous plot. It is needless to say, that the pious archbishop might have saved ! his life by renouncing his religion, and giving a colour to the plot; but, as he had lived, so he died an innocent and pious catholic bishop, and a faithful and affectionate subject of his king and country. Not so the inveterate enemy of the catholic name, the arch-traitor Shaftsbury. He was soon after detected in the very crime which he had, with diabolical falseness and cruelty, imputed to the Catholics, a real plot to assassinate his sovereign and destroy the constitution. He escaped with his life to Holland ; but the divine justice overtook him, and he speedily died there a wretched and unlamented death, leaving Sydney and Russel, and many others, comparatively innocent, to expiate his crimes on the scaffold.
My venerable friend recollects an acquaintance of his in his younger days, who was with a former successor of Archbishop Plunket at his house, when an emaciated old man, with a tottering gait, and looks bespeaking horror, entered the room where they were sitting, and exclaimed: "Am I "never to have peace? Is there no mercy for me?"It was Duffy, a censured priest, and
*This is the character which he bears in Dryden's admired poem of Absolom and Ahitophel.
one of Lord Shaftsbury's suborned witnesses against the venerable archbishop. The living prélate made no direct answer, but moving from his chair and opening a glass case, repeated in a deep toné: "Look here, you unfortunate "wretch" when instantly the old man fell to the ground in a swoon. The object which he then exhibited to the perjured wretch, was that head of his holy primate which he had caused to be struck off. I learn, however, that Duffy appearing to be truly contrite, was at length admitted to the reconciliation with the Church which he so earnestly petitioned for. The head of Archbishop Plunket is entire, and preserves those features which are so well known from the pictures and prints of him, now so common.
I have the honour, &c.
Dublin, July 8, 1807.
I Have now surveyed the places most worthy of notice in the environs of this