תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

should sit or vote therein, nor any | trous ? Is not this to insult the Ma-) person bear any office, civil or mili- jesty of Heaven, and blaspheme his tary, until he shall first have taken Holy Name ?

Is it really necessary the oaths of allegiance and supre- for the security of a PROTESTANT macy, and audibly repeated and sub- ASCENDENCY, that all who are quascribed a declaration against popery ; lified for office under the British which declaration consists of a so- crown must swear, in the presence lemn protestation, in the presence of God, without equivocation of reof God, that the protester believes servation, that all catholics at the there is not any transubstantiation present day, as well as the sembers of the bread and wine into the body of the Greek church, and other secand blood of Christ, in the sacrifice taries in the east, thus including the of the mass; and that the invocation greatest part of the christian world, or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or

and the most renowned monarchs of any other saint, and the mass, as they every age, are superstitious idolaare now used in the church of Rome, ters? Can any thing be more inare superstitijus and idolatrous.- sulting, more calumniating than this Now, sir, let me again inquire of disgraceful test? And yet it still you, if this proceeding, from the stands unrepealed in our statute beginning to its termination, does book, notwithstanding the shamepot savour of impiety, oppression, ful circumstances under which it infamy, cruelty, injustice, and blas- was enacted! Truly, sir, before phemy ? You have seen the ac- you reproach modern reformers counts given of it by Hume, which with the crimes of blasphemy and are confirmed by all contemporary impiety, you ought to call for the writers, and have been admitted by removal of the stain which your rethe late Mr. Fox; and is there not forming ancestors have left on their sufficient to make you blush for the proceedings, and endearóur to make credit of PROTESŤANT ASCENDENCY? restitution for the injury inflicted The test act is considered by many,

on the catholics and their posterity: at this day, as the great bulwark of By means such as I have described the British constitution, and the were the English catholics thrust Commons house which passed it out of the pale of the constitution, voted it to be a bill, upon which and despoiled of their civil privi. the safety of the king and kingdom, leges, without any one act on their and the protestant religion, depend part to justify so oppressive and ty! ed.” What, sir, does the safety of ravnical a measure.

We will now the constitution and the protestant take a view of the situation of the religion depend upon the taking an

Irish catholics. The reformation, impious test? Is it a necessary as it is called, of religion in the sixsaleguard to the PROTESTANT As-teenth century, according to news. CENDENCY, that every statesman, paper reporters, was lately stated by legislator, general or admiral, every the gallant general, the duke of mayor of a town, and every excise- Wellington, in his place in the man, should appear in the presence house of lords, to have been enof his God, and solemnly declare forced by the power of the sword, his belief that the doctrine which not by the maxims of the gospel; was taught by the apostles of Christ, consequently the blessings flowing conformably to his mandates, and from such an evangelical mode of was held for fifteen hundred years propagating civil and religious liby the universal church in all na berty among idolatrous and unciri. tions, is superstitious and idola- lized papists, you will imagine were ORTHOD. Jour. VOL. VIII.

C x nor do ..

66

[ocr errors]

on bag

the question

of the most felicitous nature. . Yet, , leges with their protestant fellow sir, impartial historians record, that countrymen. Notwithstanding this throughout the reigns of the virgin solemn compact on the part of an queen Elizabeth and the Stuarts, English protestant monarch and the Ireland groaned under a system of catholics of Ireland, nine days did tyranny, pillage, sacrilege, exac- not elapse before it was violated by tions, bigotry, persecution, and in the ministers of the former, without ternal warfare, revolting to huma- the shadow of an infraction on the nity. A slight perysal of Mr. Wm. part of the latter. But this was Parnell's Historical Apology for the not thought sufficient on the part of Irish Catholics will satisfy you, sir, protestant - ascendency-men; for, that I have not exaggerated the for- not content with breaking faith lorn and hopeless situation of that with the supposed idolatrous cathoill-fated and unfortunate country, lics, they followed up this violation 80 long doomed to feel the intole- of a sacred contract with a succesrànt and iron grasp of PROTESTANT sion of the most inhuman and griudASCENDENCY. During the rule of ing laws, under the pretence of sethese sovereigns, however, catholics curiog the protestant religion, and were not legally excluded from par preventing the growth of popery.--liament, nor from civil office, but But let me ask you, sir, if the estarecourse was had to other schemes, blished religion is more secure now Damely, that of corrupting the two than when these propping laws were houses, particularly the house of enacted ? Have not all the attempts commons, by the introduction of made to prevent the growth of po"a considerable number of clerks, pery proved fruitless and unavailsoldiers, serving-men, and others, ing? In Ireland the catholics are not legally or not chosen at all, and more numerous than at any stated having no manner of estate in the period since the reformation, so kingdom,” according to the remon-called, was first introduced there, strance of the catholics of Ireland, under military execution ; and as to agreed to at Trym on the 17th of your establishment, are you not in March, 1642, to be presented to greater danger for its safety from the Charles I. It was not till after the misconduct of its own clergy, and revolution of 1688 that the catholics the busy zeal of dissenters, than of Ireland were excluded the consti- from catholics? Have you not been tụtion, and then by the most perfi- obliged to have recourse to the dious act of treachery that ever strong arm of the law for protection blackened the apoals of a country against infidel protestants, in prolaying claim to civilization. When portion as you have remitted some James II abdicated the throne of of the penalties laid upon the cathoEngland, the catholics of Ireland | lics by your ancestors ? Look, sir, continued their allegiance to him, at Ireland, and look at your own and defended his claim with their country. In the former you will lives and fortunes. The tide of see the catholic clergy assiduous in war turning against that sovereign, performing the laborious duties of chiefly from his own folly, the ca- their sacred calling, and the people tholics entered into a treaty with not only peaceable, but free from the new monarch under the walls of the contamination of the irreligious Limerick, by the articles of which pamphlets which swarm from the the former stipulated for, and the English pręss. In this country, latter granted, the free and full en-such has been the spread of immoral joyment of the exercise of their and anti-christian works, that new religion, and equal rights and privi-' measures have been thought neces

šary to be enacted to suppress them. "By the treaty of Limerick, the ca. Thus, then, you have been endea- tholics could purchase, sell, bequeath, Jouring to destroy the catholic and inherit landed property. By the faith, which is proved to be an anti- penal laws they can neither purchase, dote in itself against deism and im

sell, bequeath, or inherit landed promorality; and attempting to secure

perty, take annuities for lives secured

on lands, or any longer lease of land your own religion, which cannot than for 31 years; nor could they lend make head against the inroads of money on mortgage, or vest it in public blasphemous enthusiasts and modern securities. infidel philosophers, by proscribing

“By the treaty of Limerick, the ca. that faith, which it is now evident

tholics were left in full enjoyment of can withstand both blasphemy and of holding offices under government,

every political franchise, except those persecution. But to leave this di- and of becoming members of corporagression, and return to the immedi- tions. By the penal laws, they cannot ate subject before us. The infringe- vote at vestries, serve on grand juries, ment of the treaty before alluded to act as constables, or as sheriffs or under. is so correctly contrasted with the sheriffs, be magistrates, vote at elec. effect produced by the sanguinary

tions, or sit in parliament. statutes raised on that act of perfidy were protected from being called upon

"By the treaty of Limerick, they by Mr. (now sir) Henry Parnell, in to take any other oaths besides the his History of the Penal Laws oath of allegiance of the 1st William against the Irish Catholics, pp. 32- and Mary. "By the penal laws they 33, that I cannot refrain from tran- are required to take the oaths of abju. scribing them for your information, declarations against the principal tenets

ration and supremacy, and to subscribe sir, and that of 'my readers. He of their religious faith. writes,

“By the treaty of Limerick, they * By the treaty of Limerick they were left at liberty to educate and to act as

were acknowledged as the free subjects

of a British king; by the penal laws guardians to their own children: by they are place in the double capacity the penal laws they neither can send of slaves and enemies of their protestant ale them to be educated abroad,

or have them educated at home, or be guard

countrymen," ians to their own, or the children of any I have now, sir, detailed the si

tuation in which the catholics of the “By the treaty of Limerick, the free two countries were placed by the inexercise of their religion was guaranteed tolerant spirit of PROTESTANT A - ada to them. By the penal laws their chapels are shut up, their priests are ban.

CENDENCY, and the means which pished, and hanged if they returned were pursued to reconcile the Eng. home.

lish people to this system of unjust "By the treaty of Limerick, their oppression. And yet, instead of noblemen and gentlemen were specially blushing, instead of feeling shame allowed the privilege of wearing arms, and remorse at the barbarous and and the whole body were equally en- uncalled for policy of your protest. titled to the same privilege, because, when it was executed, no law existed ant forefathers, you taunt us with to the contrary.

By the penal laws, saying, that emancipation from this no catholic is permitted to have the heretofore unheard of state of slause of arms, except a very few even of very, when first proposed, was those who were specially comprised in not ventured to be petitioned for to

tally and unqualifiedly. . Relief "By the treaty of Limerick, catholics from all disabilities' was demanded, might intermarry with protestants. By the peval laws this privilege is removed. but not without the promise of secu

"By the treaty of Limerick, the rities; and when, (you remark) in profession of the law was open to them; the progress of desire for political by these laws it is taken from them, power, eligibility to seats in parlia

66

[ocr errors]

other persons.

the treaty:

cause

were

was

ment was asked, those who sup- appears reasonable and expedient ported the catholic

to relax the same (the laws of pledged on their side to the conces. Anne): and it must tend not only sion of the veto.” Now, sir, this to the cultivation and improvement statement of yours is not only con- of this kingdom, (Ireland) but to fused, but is also incorrect, as the the prosperity and strength of all following facts will shew. The his majesty's dominions, that his first act of relief passed by the Irish subjects of all denominations should parliament in favour of catholics enjoy the blessings of a FREE CONwas unsolicited by them, and took STITUTION, and should be bound to place in 1774. It was an act to each other by mutual interest and enable his majesty's subjects, of mutual affection, &c. This act whatever persuasion, to testify their was also unasked for by the catho allegiance to him.” This was fol. lics, and the same year produced the lowed by a petition from the catho- first instance of legislative toleralics of Ireland to his majesty, from tion in England, by an act of trifling the

pen of the late Edmund Burke, relaxation in favour of the catholics in which they were made to say, of this country. In the year 1782, that “they neither wished nor de some further relaxation was granted sired to receive any thing, but as the by the Irish parliament; and for mere act of his majesty's clemency, these concessions they were not only and of the indulgence and equity of indebted to the exertions of their lic parliament." This address beral protestant friends, but likewise presented by lord Fingal, Mr. Pres- to the resistance which the Ameriton, and Mr. Dermot, to lord Buck- cans were then making against Enginghamshire, to be by him trans- land. For the British government mitted to the sovereign. Now, finding itself compelled to send the when we take into consideration the whole of the British army from Ireç miserable and enslaved state the ca- land to America, and thus leave it tholics had endured for a century exposed to the attacks of France, and more; when we reflect that the the only alternative left for Propetition was drawn up by a protest TESTANT ASCENDENCY to adopt was, ant, who could not feel as a catho- either to conciliate the catholics, lic the injustice inflicted upon him, and engage them in the common dethough, in honour to his memory fence of the island, or leave it to. be it said, Mr. Burke was always fall an easy prey to France. Selfthe honest declaimer against the sea preservation, therefore, and not na. verity of the penal code, the catho. tional justice, nor the demands of lics cannot be reproached for, nor the catholics, occasioned the first fairly charged with, the adoption of relaxations from a system of politilanguage so humble and resigned.- cal torture unexampled in the his. In 1778 another act passed, ex-tory of the world. I should notice tending still farther relief to the ca- also, that, besides the open resisttholics of Ireland, and conveyed a

ance of America to the power of recognition of the policy, it should Great Britain, the protestants of have been justice, of admitting them Ireland were engaged in obtaining to a full participation of the bles- a reform in her parliament, and the sings of the constitution, in the fol. catholics thus became an object of lowing words of the preamble:

-attention to the two contending par“ And whereas, from their (the ca- ties, for to which ever side they attache tholics) uniform peaceable beha-ed themselves, considerable strength viour for a long series of years, it would evidently accrue.

This was another motive with the government public mind was considerably, I for passing the acts of 1778 and may say violently, agitated with po1782. To shew that the catholics litical dissensions, occasioned by were then no insignificant body. I the explosion of the French revoluneed coly mention, that the Dun- tion, which found many admirers gannon convention, which met in among the leading protestants in February, 1782, and was composed Ireland. After enduring a long peof representatives of, or delegates riod of pains and penalties, without from, 143 protestant corps of volun- the least act of disloyalty being teers, having resolved, with only proved upon them as a body, the ten dissentient voices, “ that they catholics determined at length to held the right of private judgment, make an effort of themselves to obin matters of religion, to be equally tain a restoration of their constitusacred in others as themselves ; tional rights; and accordingly a therefore, that, as christians and committee was convened to carry protestants, they rejoiced in the re- the determination into effect. Á laxation of the penal laws against string of resolutions was transmitted their Roman catholic fellow-subjects, to the committee, who referred it to and that they conceived the measure a sub-committee, by whom a report to be fraught with the happiest con- was drawn up and agreed to by the sequences to the union and prospe- general committee, and a petition rity of Ireland ;' this liberal decla- was prepared in order to be laid beration on the part of the meeting, fore parliament. With this petition and the general conduct of the pro- a deputation waited upon the chief testants, obtained the concurrence secretary, to solicit the protection of the catholics and the British go- and countenance of government, but vernment found itself reluctantly their application was fruitless. A compelled 10 concede a favourite ob- second deputation was sent, with ject of the Irish people, namely, an the like success, and a member of independent parliament. Thus u- the committee was dispatched to nited, the protestants attempted to London, to lay the case before his carry the measure of parliamentary majesty's ministers, who, on his arreform; but a division of opinion rival here, opened a negociation with manifesting itself among some of the Mr. Pitt. Whilst this was going on, corps in the north, on the question the Irish administration endeavoured of catholic emancipation, the emis- to sow discord among the catholics, saries of government availed them- and counteract their views, by enterselves of this circumstance, and con- ing into an intercourse with the printrived to have a motion made for cipal nobility and gentry of their Combining the emancipation of the body, and succeeded so far as to incatholics with the question of par- duce them to submit a resolution, liamentary reform. This motion to be adopted by the committee, of was rejected by the convention, seeking no removal of the existing which, in consequence, lost the sup- disabilities, but in such manner and port of the catholic voice, and go-to such an extent as the wisdom of vernment succeeded in putting the the legislature deemed expedient.convention down. Things thus re- I cannot help remarking here how mained till the year 1791, when an similar the feelings of the Irish arisact was passed in the English par- tocracy then were to those which goliament, granting the free exercise vern the leaders of the self-named of their religion to the catholics of English board now, who, in their pethat country. About this time the titions, always express their readiness

« הקודםהמשך »