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gine, that Sir George, of all men, was to drink from the spring of Catholic consolation ? yet so it happened. Two men of that communion had the hardihood and the servility to frame an address to him, reflecting upon the pastor, who was its pride and its ornament. This address, with the most obnoxious commentaries, was instantly published by the Derry Journalist, who from that hour, down to the period of his ruin, has never ceased to persecute my client, with all that the most deliberate falsehood could invent, and all that the most infuriate bigotry could perpetrate. This journal, I may as well now describe to you: it is one of the numerous publications which the misfortunes of this unhappy land have generated, and which has grown into considerable affluence by the sad contributions of the public calamity. There is not a provincial village in Ireland which some such official fiend does not infest, fabricating a gazette of fraud and falsehood, upon all who presume to advocate her interests, or uphold the ancient religion of her people ;—the worst foes of government, under pretence of giving it assistance; the deadliest enemies to the Irish name, under the mockery of supporting its character; the most licentious, irreligious, illiterate banditti that ever polluted the fair fields of literature, under the spoliated banner of the press. Bloated with the public spoil, and blooded in the chase of character, no abilities can arrest, no piety can awe; no misfortune affect, no benevolence conciliate them; the reputation of the living, and the memory of the dead, are equally plundered in their desolating progress; even the awful sepulchre affords not an asylum to their selected victim. Human Hyenas! they will rush into the sacred receptacle of death, gorging their ravenous and brutal rapine amid the memorials of our last infirmity! Such is a too true picture of what, I hope unauthorisedly, misnames itself the ministerial press of Ireland. Amid that polluted press, it is for you to say, whether The Londonderry Journal stands on an infamous elevation. When this address was published in the name of the Catholics, that calumniated body, as was naturally to be expected, became universally indigrant.
You may remember, Gentlemen, amongst the many expedients resorted to by Ireland, for the recovery of her rights, after she had knelt session after session at the bar of the legislature, covered with the wounds of glory, and praying redemption from the chains that rewarded them ;-you may remember, I say, amongst many vain expedients of supplication and remonstrance, her Ca. tholic population delegated a board to consult on their affairs, and forward their petition. Of that body, fashionable as the topic has now become, far be it from me to speak with disrespect. It contained much talent, much integrity; and it exhibited what must ever be to me an interesting spectaclema great body of my fellow men, and fellow christians, claiming admission into that constitution which their ancestors had achieved by their valour, and to which they were entitled as their inheritance. This is no time, this is no place for the discussion of that question ; but since it does force itself incidentally upon me, I will say, that as on the one hand, I cannot fancy a despotism more impious, or more inhuman, than the political abasement here, on account of that faith by which men hope to win a happy eternity hereafter; so on the other, I CANNOT FANCY A VISION IN ITS ASPECT MORE DIVINE THAN THE ETERNAL CROSS, RED WITH THE MARTYR'S BLOOD, AND RADIANT WITH THE PILGRIM'S HOPE, REARED BY THE PATRIOT AND THE CHRISTIAN HAND HIGH IN THE VAN OF UNIVERSAL LIBERTY. of this board the two volunteer framers of the address happened to be members. The body who deputed them, instantly assembled and declared their delegation void. You would suppose, Gentlemen, that after this decisive public brand of reprobation, those officious meddlers would have avoided its recurrence, by retiring from scenes for which nature and education had totally unfitted them. Far, however, from acting under any sense of shame, those excluded outcasts even summoned a meeting to ap
a peal from the sentence the public opinion had pronounced on them. The meeting assembled, and after almost the day's deliberation on their conduct, the former sentence was unanimously confirmed. The men did not deem it prudent to attend themselves; but at a late hour, when the business was concluded, when the resolutions had passed, when the chair was vacated, when the multitude was dispersing, they attempted, with some Orange followers, to obtrude into the chapel, which in large cities, such as Derry, is the usual place of meeting. An angry spirit arose among the people. Mr. O'Mullan, as was his duty, locked the doors to preserve the house of God from profanation, and addressed the crowd in such terms as induced them to repair peaceably to their respective habitations. I need not paint to you the bitter emotions with which these deservedly disappointed men were agitated. All hell was at work within them, and a conspiracy was hatched against the peace of my client, the vilest, the foulest, the most infernal that ever vice devised, or demons executed. Restrained from exciting a riot by his interference, they actually swore a riot against him, prosecuted him to conviction, worked on the decaying intellect of his bishop to desert him, and amid the savage war-whoop of this slanderous Journal, all along inflaming the public mind by libels the most atrocious, finally flung this poor, religious, unoffending priest, into a damp and desolate dungeon, where the very iron that bound, had more of humanity than the despots that surrounded him. I am told, they triumph much in this conviction. I seek not to impugn the verdict of that jury; I have no doubt they acted conscientiously. It weighs not with me that every member of my client's creed was carefully excluded from that jury-no doubt they acted conscientiously. It weighs not with me that every man impannelled on the trial of the priest, was exclusively Protestant, and that, too, in a city so prejudiced, that not long ago, by their Corporation law, no Catholic dare breathe the air of heaven within its walls no doubt they acted conscientiously. It weighs not with me, that not three days previously, one of that jury was heard publicly to declare, he wished he could persecute the Papist to his death—no doubt they acted conscientiously. It weighs not with me, that the public mind had been so inflamed by the exasperation of this libeller, that an impartial trial was utterly impossible. Let them enjoy their triumph.
But for myself, knowing him as I do, here in the teeth of that conviction, I declare it, I would rather be that man, so aspersed, so imprisoned, so persecuted, and have his consciousness, than stand the highest of the courtliest rabble that ever crouched before the foot of power, or fed upon the people-plundered alms of despotism. Oh, of short duration is such demoníac triumph. Oh, blind and groundless is the hope of vice, imagining its victory can be more than for the moment. This very day I hope will prove, that if virtue suffers, it is but for a season; and that sooner or later, their patience tried, and their purity testified, prosperity will crown the interests of probity and worth.
Perhaps you imagine, Gentlemen, that his person imprisoned, his profession gone, his prospects ruíned, ard what he held dearer than all, his character defamed; the malíce of his enemies might
have rested from persecution. “Thus bad begins, but worse remains behind.” Attend, I beseech you, to what now follows, because I have come, in order, to the particular libel, which we have selected from the innumerable calumnies of this Journal, and to which we call your peculiar consideration. Business of moment, to the nature of which I shall feel it my duty presently to advert, called Mr. O'Mullan to the metropolis. Through the libels of the Defendant, he was at this time in disfavour with his bishop, and a rumour had gone abroad, that he was never again to revisit his ancient congregation. The Bishop in the interim returned to Derry, and on the Sunday following, went to officiate at the parish chapel. All ranks crowded tremulously round him; the widow sought her guardian; the orphan his protector; the poor their patron; the rich their guide ; the ignorant their pastor; all, all, with one voice, demanded his recal, by whose absence the graces, the charities, the virtues of life, were left orphans in their communion. Can you imagine a more interesting spectacle? The human mind never conceived—the human hand never depicted a more instructive or delightful picture. Yet, will you believe it! out of this very circumstance the Defendant fabricated the most audacious, and, if possible, the most cruel of his libels. Hear his words ;—“ O'Mullan,” says he, "was convicted and degraded, for assaulting his own Bishop, and the Recorder of Derry, in the parish chapel!” Observe the disgusting malignity of the libel-observe the crowded damnation which it accumulates on my client-observe all the aggravated crime which it embraces. First, he assaults his venerable Bishop—the great ecclesiastical patron, to whom he was sworn to be obedient, and against whom he never conceived or articulated irreverence. Next, he assaults the Recorder of Derry-a privy counsellor, the supreme municipal authority of the city. And where does he do so? Gracious God, in the very temple of thy worship! That is, says the inhuman libeller-he a citizen—he a clergyman insulted not only the civil but the ecclesiastical authorities, in the face of man and in the house of prayer; trampling contumeliously upon all human law, amid the sacred altars, where he believed the Almighty witnessed the profanation! I am so horror-struck at this blasphemous and abominable turpitude, I can scarcely proceed. What will you say, Gentlemen, when I inform you, that at the very time this atrocity was imputed to him, he was in the city of Dublin, at a distance of one hundred and twenty miles from the venue of its commission! But, oh! when calumny once begins its work, how vain are the impediments of time and distance! Before the sirocco of its breath all nature withers, and age, and sex, and innocence, and station, perish in the unseen, but certain desolation of its progress! Do you wonder O'Mullan sunk before these accumulated calumnies? do you wonder the feeble were intimidated, the wavering decided, the prejudiced confirmed ? He was forsaken by his bishop; he was denounced by his enemies—his very friends fed in consternation from the “ stricken deer;" he was banished from the scenes of his childhood, from the endearments of his youth, from the field of his fair and honourable ambition. In vain did he resort to strangers for subsistence; on the very wings of the wind, the calumny preceded him; and from that hour to this, a too true apostle, he has been “a man of sorrows,” “not knowing where to lay his head.” I will not appeal to your passions; alas ! how inadequate am I to depict his sufferings; you must take them from the evidence. I have told you, that at the time of those infernally fabricated libels, the Plaintiff was in Dublin, and I promised to advert to the cause by which his absence was occasioned.
Observing in the course of his parochial duties, the deplorable, I had almost said, the organized ignorance of the Irish peasantryan ignorance whence all their crimes, and most of their sufferings originale : observing also, that there was no publicly established literary institution to relieve them, save only the charter schools, which tendered learning to the shivering child, as a bounty upon apostacy to the faith of his fathers; he determined, if possible, to give them the lore of this world, without offering it as a mortgage upon the inheritance of the next. He framed the prospectus of a school, for the education of five hundred children, and went to the metropolis to obtain subscriptions for the purpose. I need not descant upon the great general advantage, or to this country the peculiarly patriotic consequences, which the success of such a plan must have produced. No doubt, you have all personally considered—no doubt, you have all personally experienced, that of all the blessings which it has pleased Providence to allow us to cultivate, there is not one which breathes a purer fragrance, or bears a heavenlier aspect than education. It is a companion which no misfortunes can depress, no clime destroy, no enemy