Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

great obloquy had unquestionably been the population, but in Ireland the cathothrowo upon this cause of the catholics ; | Jics were the nation. The goveruneot in but he hoped that, in spite of that obloquy, | Ireland was representatives and if the the cause would stand fair before tbeir veto were adopted, the care of the cathoJordships, and meet with an impartial and lic church might devolve upon some one eandid consideration. With respect to the better acquaipted with making speeches in objections against going into a committee, / parliament thao with the catholic ecclesias, he would first notice one which was con- tical polity. The care of the catholic stantly repeated that their lordships ougbt church, he was very apprehensive, would. not even to go into a committee on these theo devolve upon some second or third petitions, until some securities should be clerk in the castle-yard in Dublio. He stated and settled for the safety of the pro- knew from experience that they were

vere the testant church. That mode of arguing was best magistrates the best conservators of not unparliamentary, although the proper the peace the best instruments for ensurplace for considering the securities was the ing the due administration of justice. He committee; and calling for a statement of was far from being desirous that, their them beforehand, was something like an minds should be turned away from the dis. aoticipation of what must be considered at charge of their most valuable and impare a subsequent stage of the proceeding. The tant duties, by the introduction of intrigues securities which had been mentioned with and cabals annong them. He objected, reference to this subject were threefold; then, to the veto, as adverse to the opi Ist, the veto; 2d, domestic nomipation; dions of the catholic body, and also as a third, the payment of the catholic priest- meinber of the legislature : and in this late hood by government--a security which heter capacity he would object to it,although had not heard of until the present session, the catholics had been willing to concede and which he had lately seen mentioned in that point. Then, with regard to the sethe public papers. The catholics objected curity of paying the catholic clergy, it was to the veto, and they had been condeinned a security for which he saw no aceasion. and maligned because they had objected to The catholic clergy wanted no other remu. it with warmth. As to domestic nomina- neration than the voluntary allowance tion, that was said to be an illusory secu- made to them, as their reward for the dis. rity; and why? The argument was ex-charge of their most important and laboritraordinary: domestic doinination was il- ous duties. He did not, therefore, mean to lusory, because it was no new security : I propose in the committee that the catholie the appointment of the catholic bishops clergy should be paid by the government, having, with one or two exceptione, been What then, it might be asked, did he mean made in this manner for a long time past; | to propose? In the first place, he meant hut was it not an answer to those who were to propose that the nomination of the ca: terrified at the bugbear called foreigo in- | tholie bishops should be purely national Aluence? It at least went to the root of land domestic: and his next step would be that obiection : and it was not illusory ip to connect the catholics with the protest: another view ; for though it might be no ant state, by admitting them to every sta new security, yet it would establish the tion under a protestant sovereign, except mode of domestic nomination io future, by such situations as were connected with the means of a concordat with the pope for administration, government, or patronage that purpose. No individual, nor body of of the established church. The protestant meo, public or private, however respecta- church being thus left to the sole maaage. ble, ougbt to insist on making a bargainment of protestants, he did not see why with the legislature: but the catholies bad | protestants should refuse to leave to the shean by this offer, that they wished to catholics the sole management of the caconciliate, and do away the fears of those tholic church. A great many objections who were alarmed at the bugbear. Now bad been made to the entering into the conhe thought it fitting to state to their lord- sideration of the catholic claims at this ships the course he intended to pursue in period, of which he had made extraets. the committee, in case their lordships The first of these objeeriods was one of a should agree to his motion, and go into a very singular nature. The petitions ought committee on these petitions. He certain not to be considered, it was argued, bely had no intention to propose to the com-cause they were the petitions of four milmittee the adoption of the security or re- lions of people. The legislature had been gulation of the veto. The catholies them- called upon to consider the present state of selves were adverse to it, and he would ob- Ireland, and the condition of its population. ject to it as a member of the legislature, The protestants constituted one million of though they had been willing to concede it. that population ; the members of other "I'he catholies in this country were a small reformed persuasions about half a million ; body of men compared with the mass of and all the rest were catholics. The ca

tholics then formed about 8-10ths of the pou general, who sometime ago sat as a judge on pulation of Ireland ; and, therefore, it was | the occasion of an acquittal of the abovecontended that their petitions ought not to mentioned descripton. Addressing him be attended. Now the great object of po | self to the jury, he said, “I thank God, liey ought to be to render a country as pro. gentlemen, it is your verdict, and not ductive as possible, and to secure the ato mine." The present state of Ireland was, tachment of the subjects to the government. in reality, one of the strongest arguments He should rather have conceived, there for entering upon the consideration of this fore, that the numbers and importance of subject, and setting the matter at rest. the petitioners were reasons for, and not Another argument against the catholics against, taking their petitions into cousi was a very curious one. The pope had deration. Then their lordships were told, restored the order of the jesuits, and there. that the catholic clergy managed the affairs fore the Irish catholics ought not to have of the college of Maynooth openly, and their franchises. The jesuits had certainly then applied themselves to other duties se been at one time proscribed ; and yet he cretly. This was made a serions ground of could not help saying, that as far as learncbarge against the catholics--that their ing was concerned, especially catholic clergy were remarkable for their attention learning, there was no body of men to to their duties. It was also made a ground | whom learning had been more indebted. of charge against them, that the clergy | And though formerly they might have been had an uncontrolled influence over the inconvenient to the continental sovereigns, minds and opinions of the catholic people. he was not aware that any great danger He most sincerely wished that this charge was apprehended from them now: at any bad been trite. It was not true, however, rate, he could not see how the restoration and he was sorry for it. The clergy, as he of the jesuits was of any consequence with had before observed, were the best ma reference to the catholics of the united gistrates, and the best support of the public | kingdom. Then it had been argued, that peace. Whatever influenee they had, was the claims of the catholics ought not to be employed for that purpose; and no duties allowed, because the pope had opposed the were performed in a better manner than | circulation of the scriptures without theirs. Another ground of ohjection 'was, that comment. No one could reverence the the minds of the catholic clergy were yo es objects of the societies for distributing the tranged from the people and government, scriptures more than he did, as far as he that they maust feel in the nature of things understood them : but it was well known a hatred against a protestant state. If that there was a great difference of opi. they had been as bad as their laws had nion, even in our own church, whether the been calculated to make them, Ireland | scriptures ought or ought not to be circirwould at this time have been so part of the lated without comment. The argoment uoited kingdom; bat, in point of fact, no I would, therefore, cut too deep, and would accusation ever was more completely on | reach some members of our own church, founded. It was a fool calumny against and even some members of their lordships ose of the most respectable bodies of men house; especially of that right reverend in the community, which the Irish catho. body which he saw in such force on the lic clergy certainly were : and though the present occasion. He gave no opinion on charge were as true as it was atterly un the subject one way or the other : but if founded, ought the great body of the ca authority were urged against him, he would tholics to suffer for the faults of their meet it with authority. There were two clergy? There was another argument used 1 of the right reverend prelates opposite against the consideration of the catholic who agreed with the pope, that the bible claims, which one could hardly listen to | ought not to be circulated without a comwith patience; it was founded on the out ment. One of these right reverend prerages of the orangemen agaiost the catho lates he saw in the house ; one, to the great lics; and this argument, he understood, honour of the prince regent, and the gobijd been well received, and the statement vernment, had been lately raised to that made the matter worse than it was in | bench. He would take the liberty of reality. The catholics attempted to seize reading an extract from a pamphlet pubthe arms of the orangeman; the orange | lished by the right reverend prelate. It man fired and the catholic was wounded. I was an odd way of defending the catholics, There were cross-indictments, and the but as they had been assailed with the grangeman, as the charge against him is pope, he wished to protect them with the capital, is of course acquitted by the jury, shield of a right reverend prelate of our his brother orangemen. This argument own church. The right reverend prelate rested on a justification of treason and had said, in his pamphlet, that the best of murder, and perjury, in the jury. With books might be perverted; that St. Peter reference to this, he could not help stating had said, that st. Paul himself had said, what had been said by the Irish solicitor- ! many things hard to be understood, and which the unlearned might wrest to their / so momentous a question, he should not destruction; and that if St. Peter had lived have ventured to rise upon the present ocat the present time, he would hardly have casion ; but as the same subject which they thought thai adınonition les necessary now were now discussing had been repeatedly than in the time of the apostles; that if the examined in that house, he conceived it common praver book were neglected in was not necessary that he should enter fully the systein of education, the bible might and minutely into it. He should not therebe made the means of seducing people from fore detain their lordships by following the the established church: such was the noble mover through all the variety of matapinion of a most respectable prelate of our ter introduced by him into the question, own church; and therefore he hoped that but briefly state to their lordships the rea. the catholics and the pope would stand ac sons and arguments on which the opinion quitted from any blame on account of their which he entertained was founded. If the potions that the bible ought not to be cir question before their lordships was the conculated without a comment. It was known cession of religious liberty to his majesty's that the catholics formed the great mass of Roman catholic subjects, be should have the population of Ireland; and yet they rejoiced to co-operate with the noble earl were according to the doctrines held, re for the attainment of such an end. But garded as a class of persons in whose most this impediment had long been already rexober declarations no faith was to be moved, and they could no longer speak of placed. They were called upon to take pains and penalties with reference to the maths; and when they offered to comply Roman catholics, when they were enabled and take any oath which was capable of by the law of the land to exercise their regiving satisfaction, or could reasonably | ligion with the very same freedom as the be required of them, then they were told members of the established church. This that their oaths were of no value, and were question had not, therefore, a reference not to be credited. A most extraordinars to religious liberty, for of that the cathoattempt had been made in another place to lics were already in possession; but regive an erroneos application of the opi. | lated solely to the extension of political nion of a person who had always been dis power; and therefore he surely might optinguished for his support of the catholic pose the extension of political power in claims. An extract read from that emi this case, without incurrring the charge Dent person's works had been received either of intolerance or inhumanity. If with applause, as if it had afforded an ar. the question was entirely political, why gument against that liberality of sentiment then, it might be asked, mix up subjects which he had on all occasious advocated. of a religious Aature with it. Let the docWhat the meaning of this proceeding could trines condemned in the 39 articles be true be, except that of making it appear that or false-let transubstantiation be true os Mr. Burke had spoken against the catho. false-let the efficacy of the invocation of Lics, he was at a loss to understand; but if. saints be true or false let the errors of the whole book had been gone over, it the charch of Rome be acknowledged-iet would have been found that the opinion of it be accused of enforcing a discipline such that great statesman was completely hos as no protestants can approve of let the tile to the principles of tho-e who opposed pope be blamed, as he deserves, for recatholic emancipation. It would have fusing to the laity the use of the bible : been found, that, speaking with reference however erroneous the doctrines, and how. to that great body of his inajesty's subjects, ever injudicious the discipline, yet if that he bad ob-erved, that our constitution was doctrine or discipline is not dangerous to not made for exclusion, and that either we the state, why exclude the professors from should destroy thein or they would destroy office, why refuse to them the enjoyment the constitution. He would not trouble of that which the professors of any other their lordship- farther on a subject to religion enjoy? Such an exclusion can which he felt it impossible to add any thing be justified alone by civil delinquency: to the powerful reasons that had already but if no civil delinquency can be laid to been allvanced in that and in another place. their charge-if, notwithstanding their erIf he had failed in producing an impres.rors, they are still willing and able to serve sion favourable to the claims of their ca state-let civil employment be determined tholic brethren, it was not for want of by the only true criterion, civil capacity anxiety to argue their cause more strongly. | and civil conduct-Here he was stating, as He should now conclude, with moving their strongly as it was possible to state, the lordships to resolve into a committee, to the arguments in favour of the present quesconsider of the petitions from the Romantion ; and, therefore, if these arguments catholics of Ireland

met with a satisfactory answer, he trusted The bishop of LANDAFP said, upae- | the question would be suficiently answered, customed to address their lordships, and and that their lordships would not think it conscious of his inability to do justice to 'necessary to go into a committee. He was ready to meet the argument most favour- | clared themselves against concession to the able to the petitioners,--that the admissi- / claims of the catholics were branded in the bility to civil employnient should be regu- present day as illiberal and narrow-mindlated by civil capacity and civil worth. ed, and as holding doctrines at variance But before hand it might be well to make with this enlightened age, and inconsistent themselves acquainted with all that consti. with true policy. The late example of tuted civil capacity and civil worth. There France had been held up to us for imitation, might be some ingredients which entered where all classes of subjects, protestants as into them, not of a civil but of a religious well as catholics were equally eligible to nature; and the religion of one man, there all councils, and all offices, civil and milifore might make him better qualified for tary. But there was a great difference effice, and consequently better entitled to between the admissibility of protestants to office, than another. It still, therefore, the councils of a goveroment where the remained to inquire what were the religious established religion was that of the church ingredients which entered into the compo of Rome, and the admissibility of Roman sition of civil capacity and civil worth. catholics to the councils of a government Let them apply these ingredients to the where the protestant religion was esta. case of the church of England, the pro blished. In France the protestants, though testant dissenters, and the members of the not professing the established religion, acchurch of Rome. The protestant esta knowledged no other superior than the blishment acknowledged the king as supe. Tawful government, no other authority rior in civil and ecclesiastical matters. The than that of the lawful king, into whose dissenters acknowledged the king only as councils they were called. It was not so supreme in civil matters; but the obedi with the catholic under a protestant esta. ence of the dissenter, though not like that blishment-he was subject to a foreign of the churchman, was subject to no draw. so yereign, who wielded the powerful scepback from ecclesiastical authority. But the tre of religion, and whose views must often case was vers' different, when, as in the be adverse to the views of the domestic case of the Roman catholics, the church prince. But it was said, if both acknownot only did not allow the supremacy of ledged the same king, as their lawful sovethe king, but was subject to, or rather reign, why then were not both alike ad. was dependent on, a foreign dominion, mitted into the councils of the nation : and which had not the same interests with the why might not all the privileges of the consovereign of this country. But it was said stitution, and admissibility to councils, be they had nothing to do with this anomaly granted with the same safety to the one as of government, they had nothing to do with to the other. But it was impossible there this confusion of foreign and domestic au- | could he the same civil capacity, allowing thority. They were told that the civil and an attachment to enter in the one case, ecclesiastical authorities were quite dis - by which the affections were divided and tinct that the authority of the pope was distracted. It followed, therefore, that not acknowledged in matters of state. But they could not be considered alike admissi, when subjects were so blended together as ble to offices of trust and power; and, there. they were in the present case, it became fore, the claims now advanced to such ad. important to inquire into what was reli. missibility, were such as ought not to be gious and what was civil anthority. It was listened to. He did not mean to say that important to examine into this part of the the catholics were not useful subjects, but question without taking religion into ac they were not such useful subjects as count. Supposing the temporal and the the members of the established religioni spiritual power were at variance, and that —they were not such useful subjects as the Roman catholic subject entertained a they would be themselves if they would but doubt whether he should obey the temporal | break the fetters which bound them to a or spiritual power-where, he would ask, foreign prince. He acknowledged the would such member of the church of Rome honour and integrity of the Roman catho. apply for a solution of his doubts? · He lic subjects, but still he would maintain would apply to that very power which was that their allegiance to a foreign prince at issue with the temporal. It was said distracted them, even when they were in. indeed that the allegiance to the pope did clined to be obedient to their lawful king. not interfere with the allegiance 10 the After this general view, it was unnecessary king. But he would answer, that the for him to enter into minute topics ; but so power which commanded the conscience much stress had been laid on domestic no. commanded the allegiance of men; and maination, that he could not well avoid he might be easily diverted by foreign in-going somewhat into it. It was well cal. trigne from the temporal government, and culated to remove the apprehension of fo. his efforts turned not only against it, but to reign influence. If the prelates, were the very subversion of the constitution it- | elected at home, whether by the chapter self. He was aware that all those who de- lor by a commission of papal bishops, such ORTHOD. Jour. Vol. y.

21

nomination was ascribed to that body. | declared good and loyal subjects, and th But it was well koowo, especially to those question of their admissibility irrevocably on his own bench, that a chapter might no-decided. It was no slight recommendation minate a bishop, without having the choice to the question before the house, that the of the bishop This would not exclude fo. | most able and distinguished persons of all reign influence. But he was told it was parties had supported the catholic clains. customary in Ireland to nomipate a coad. It had been ably said, that on their einanjutor before the death of the bishop, and cipation depended the question whether tbat on the death of the bishop the pope the union between Great Britain and Ireconfirms the coadjutor as a matter of land should prove a benefit or an injury to course. But a coadjutor could nomore exer- | the former; and whether a loyal and gecise his religious functions without the au- | nerous people should henceforth be rendered thority of the pope than the bishop could. a bulwark' for the empire. With regard (Here the earl of Dopoughinore rose to to the question of domestic nomination, the explain, and was called to order by lord catholics of Ireland had always been de• Kenyon. After endeavouring for some sirous to adopt sume mode of election which time ineffectually to obtain a hearing he | might be unobjectionable to the govergat last succeeded, but we could not hear ment, and at the same time be consistent distinctly the nature of the explanation). with their own religious opinions. In his

The coadjutor could not act till the nomi. opinion, what had been proposed to be nation had received the sanction of the done with this view, ought to be regarded pope. He thought few would think a ca- ! as perfectly satisfactory. As to the cathotholic bishop entitled to the confidence of lic clergy, he agreed to what had been so a protestaoi king, when they read the nath eloquently and justly said in their praise of allegiance which, at his comination, he by ihe noble earl. Ireland was much in. took to the pope. He entreated their lord-debted to them for the tranquillity it enships to pause before they broke down the joyed, and they were unwearied in the fences which our ancestors had raised in performance of their religious duties; ever defence of our constitution, and gave a ready to administer consolation to their baneful influence to foreign councils in the flocks by night, or by day, they encounconstitution of this nation,-a constitution, tered the greatest difficulties. Of these pie which when once destroyed, the wisdom of ous and indefatigable men it migbt be succeeding generations will attempt in justly said, that vain to restore.

“ With frames of adamant, and souls of fire, The bishop of Norwich was aware of “No dangers daunt them, and do labours the weight which was due to the opinions

tire." of the reverend prelate who had just sat Religious liberty forined one of the most down. He must however contend, that important principles of the British consti. the Roman catholics bad given the most tution ; and the exclusion of the catholics unequivocal proofs of their civil capacity. I could not be maintained on any just ground. Their claims, he thought, could only now On this great question the writings of Mr. be rejected because of their attachment to Locke, one of the greatest reasoners any the innocent religious opinions of their an- country ever produced, bad induced him to cestors. He called them innocent, though change his early sentiments. It was as imwith protestants they must be regarded as politic as it was uncharitable to foster a erroneous. These opinions had been held | spirit of jealousy with respect to the reli. by our ancestors, who laid the foundation gious opinions of uthers. A very eloquent of that political liberty we now enjoyed : speech, he understood, had been delivered they were the opinions of most of the in another place, on the supposed danger powers of Europe, with whom we were to be apprehended froin farther concessions happily in a state of alliances and they to the Roman catholics, but the opinion were the opinions of many respectable 00- said to have been given was not that of a blemen and gentlemen with whom he and statesinan. Those who talked of danger many who heard him were in the babits from popery in these times would cry out of intimacy or friendship. They all knew fire in the midst of a deluge. The Roinan that Roman catholics, in all the relations catholics of Ireland had manifested, amidst of life, proved themselves as worthy meme great sufferings, a patience and forbears bers of society, and as good subjects as pro- ance that would have done honour to the testants. With regard to their civil capa- primitive cbristians. They had endured a city, the different acts of parliament passed degree of oppression which might even during the present reigo saved him frono bave justified resistance as a means of esthe necessity of arguing in support of the caping from servile degradation. After all affirmative of that proposition. Certain they had suffered, it appeared to him that offices had already been laid open to them: there was very little christian charity or and thus they had been, by parliament, moderation in the reproaches wbich were

« ElőzőTovább »