« PreviousContinue »
adopt them? These are grave ques- changed, is not a merit of that kind, tions-we begin by answering the se- for which a wise or honourable man cond. It is true the Whig government would take credit. The legislator for of Lord Grey succeeded in arresting whom a nation would offer up thanksthe progress of repeal agitation. It givings in whom it would place such succeeded by a combination of encou- trust as may be reposed in man, is one ragements and restraints-of bribes who will explore into far distance the and penalties. It prohibited the tu
consequences of his most successful multuary meetings by which good sub- measures. Such a counsellor will say, jects would have been awed into a what is to follow after I have thus far desertion of their duties to their sove- prevailed ? what is my antagonist likely reign's crown and law—and it grati- to do? by what devices will disaffecfied the evil passions of the parties tion disguise or exert itself? how will thus restrained, by inflicting wrongs, rivals avail themselves of opportunities or at least, unmerited hardships, on or pretexts which severity may afford, that class of society least capable of in order to embarrass the cause of good defending their civil rights, and most government ? how will the peaceable obnoxious to the hostility of the re- and just stand affected ? must there be pealers. It prohibited public meet- for ever strife between the government ings, and it inflicted sore wrongs on and a discontented party ? is it posthe church. It gave over ten bishop- sible, by means honest and safe, to rics, and nearly (or, taking into terminate such a strife ? if it be not account the tax on clerical income, possible, what will be the issue to the perhaps more than) a fourth of the harassed and wounded country? rightful possessions of the clergy. But Questions like these will present themwith all this, did they really succeed ? selves to the mind of the man who Did their bribes satiate the cupidity, or may be entrusted with the custody of satisfy the malignant passions, to which the public weal. He will remember they thought it expedient to minister ? that, in a contest with an able adver. Did their severity and rigour discourage sary, all things do not proceed accordthe lawlessness they would
subdue by ing to his wish, and he must provide restraint and intimidation? The scheme against the activities by which his bestto appropriate church revenues to se- considered schemes may be crossed and cular uses the withdrawal of the Duke thwarted. of Richmond, of Lords Ripon and Let these considerations be kept in Stanley, of Sir James Graham and view, while we discuss some of the Earl Grey, from the cabinet-in which measures by which it has been thought the last-named nobleman was circum- that the present repeal movement could vented-give the answer. Lord Grey's be arrested. Pronounce the discussion policy had not succeeded against the of repeal high treason. Would such party who laboured for repeal. The a law correct the evil ? Suppose the accession of Lord Melbourne to the movement turned against the church highest office in the state, gave the or against rents. Suppose the hunanswer in a form more unequivocal dreds of thousands who now assemble and emphatic—and that formidable to petition for a domestic parliament, increase of power with which repeal were congregated under the banner of now affronts and threatens the friends “ half rents, and no established church,” of England, makes it too manifest, to would the meetings be less formidable ? be for a moment denied or misunder- Assuredly, no. Whatever the end stood, that the measures of the Whig may be, which is to be attained by government had no permanent influence demonstrations of physical force, the of a sanative kind upon the evil dispo. demonstrations are evil and alarming. sition it was designed to correct and Prohibit these tumultuary assemblages. reform.
How hard it is to frame laws-hom No wise statesman will be satisfied hard to carry laws in parliament--which with obtaining a partial or transitory shall do good by such prohibitions! success, when it was in his power to how very difficult (if possible) to guard achieve a permanent and general ad- against the contrivances by which they vantage. To prevent outward mani. may be defeated or eluded !! festations of a disaffected people, and But are we therefore of opinion that to leave them their disaffection un assemblages such as have recently alarmed all thinking men in this coun- to believe in a relation between these try should be permitted or connived two ideas, that we cannot, without an at? No: they are not only symptoms effort, separate them. Why will Great which indicate unsoundness, but they Britain tear them asunder—why will constitute in themselves a distinct and she expose Irish Protestants to the a very grave subject of alarm. They perilous temptation of thinking that exasperate and embelden the disaf- she atfords all facilities to their adverfected—they irritate and alarm Pro- saries and hers to marshal their strength testants, encompassing their minds and mature their plans, while they, her with menacing presages of the times long tried friends, are neglected and for which they are reserved, and mak- discouraged ? It is a very sore trial ing them acquainted with feelings of for men whose remembrances are such disappointment, if not indignation to- as those of the loyal Protestants of wards the government, which they are Ireland, to be exposed to the influence led to think has forsaken them. . As- of such agencies as are now permitted semblages which have effects like these to act upon them. Great Britain has ought not to be tolerated. And their put their adversaries in possession of effects are worse still. They become those strongholds, the corporations, occasions for sowing seeds of discon- which were originally erected for their tent in the hearts of all who feel the protection. She has required of them pressure of distress against laws inca- to dissolve confederations by which pable of affording them relief. They they rendered her signal service, and diffuse complaints which embitter the were strong to defend themselves. relations between landlord and tenant, Great Britain has disembodied the and are thus organizing a state of hos- yeomapry, to whose merits, it is not tility between the different orders in forgotten, Lord Stanley, when in office, the community, from which it is im- under Earl Grey, offered a grateful possible that, whoever suffers, the re- acknowledgment, and to whom he peal cause must not greatly profit. returned thanks for the benefit they They give tenfold effect to the efforts had recently conferred upon their insidiously made for the detaching country. Great Britain has withdrawn Protestants from their old principles from the Protestants of Ireland her of loyalty and love of British connec- support and countenance in maintain tion, and alluring them into engage- ing a system of scriptural education, ments in which old principles are to and taxes them to endow a system of be bartered for some present advan- secular education, conducted on, or tage, or for a promise of future safety. rather actuated by, the Roman Catho
Let no man think that the appre- lic principle, that Scripture must be hension of Protestants becoming in- excluded. Such are among the confluenced to embrace the side of repeal cessions of which Protestants complain, is à chimera ; nor let the loyal men which Great Britain has made, at their who may be thus allured sink low cost, to conciliate a party unfriendly to in the judgments of those who are British connection. And what do they more prosperous than themselves,
find has been gained for England or or who are set in circumstances of for them by such sacrifices—sacrifices less peril. Let it be remembered which, so far as the British govern. that the maintenance of British con- ment is concerned, would deprive their nection, through the medium of a children of knowledge, and would leave legislative union, presents itself as a their homes defenceless ? For the matter of interest and expediency- corporations wrested from them--the not as a point of principle. It is Orange society broken up-the yeoclearly the interest of Irish Protestants, manry disbanded—the church impoof all, indeed, who are of English race, verished, the Bible despised—the nato guard the legislative union. Security tional education rendered popishfor Protestantism in Ireland is not se- what return have they? They see that parable from British connection. At hostility to England has become more least we have been so long accustomed malignant and more formidable in the
* We do not argue this truth. According to the rules of the National Board, it is indisputable. The system concerns itself with Scripture only in the prohibition of it.
party so highly favoured- they see confronts and menaces Great Britain that the power of that party has fear- and its government, at a time, when, fully increased ; and that when, at the all circumstances considered, the power desire of the British government, they of the government and the country is discontinued those public celebrations mightier than it ever was before within to which they were so naturally and the memory of the men of this genefondly attached, celebrations which ration. all who reflect will discover attended All this is true, and the lesson it by many great advantages, and which inculcates is of no mean importance. a most searching inquiry proved to So long as the seat and source of dis. have been alloyed by no commensu- ease are neglected, it is lost labour to rate evils, they only left a vacancy for be busied about the removal of sympthose immense and well-organized toms. To forbid public demonstrations gatherings which openly threaten a may be evil, or may be good, according dismemberment of the empire, and to the character of the policy from which were never held without peril to which the prohibition emanates. To the lives and properties of all who do prohibit the display of a feeling which not feel or affect to feel a friendly in- is flattered or left unregarded is not terest in them. Is it wonderful if, wise. To prohibit the display, and at under such circumstances, many a poor the same time take measures to extin. man may think that Great Britain guish or amend the passion which has abandoned him, and in his despe- prompts it, is the part of true wisdom. ration, may purchase protection for his To forbid meetings of hundreds of household from repealers even on the thousands, and to take no account of ruinous terms upon which it is offered. the agencies through which such mul
It may be said that the experience titudes are brought together, would of recent as well as of former periods savour more of petulance than of sound attests the uselessness of preventing policy. No public man, not wilfully public displays, unattended by outrage, blind, can long remain ignorant of of whatsoever description they may be, what these agencies are.
No meaunless the feeling in which they have sures to stem repeal agitation, which their origin and their life can be do not contemplate them, can be changed or subdued. The force of effectual. a strong national feeling often becomes In our last number we offered some increased by the restraints which cir- remarks on the advantage which Mr. cumscribe it, and when the pressure O'Connell has acquired for the cause is removed, it is often found that of repeal in the concession to him of passions which would have vented “ the normal schools of agitation." themselves and escaped in public dis- While the pages containing our obplay, have become concentrated and servations were
at press, another inveterate by being denied the oppor- source of the agitator's power was tunity of open demonstrations. Wit- disclosed on an announcement which, ness, it may be argued, the issue of
we should imagine, will never be forthe struggle between the Whig mi- gotten in Ireland—the announcement nistry and Mr. O'Connell. The Irish namely, that the whole hierarchy of government, under the advice and con- the Church of Rome in the country trol of Earl Grey, succeeded in pre- have declared themselves repealers. venting repeal meetings, but succeeded This announcement was made at « at the cost of its own overthrow; teetotal banquet," in the town of Mulsucceeded at the cost of placing a lingar on Sunday, May 14th, by Dr. small minority of Irish members in Higgins, Roman Catholic Bishop in authority over the councils of Great Ardagh. The testimony of this right Britain; succeeded at the cost of reverend witness was corroborated (we showing that there was a party in use the word deliberately) by the Most England which would consent to wear Rev. Dr. Murray, in a letter addressed the semblance of authority on condi- to the public press, bearing date May tion that it was to be used in con- 22nd, and it was subsequently reiteformity with the directions of the rated and commented on.
It may be repeal party in Ireland ; succeeded at
now regarded as an admitted fact, the cost eventually of so strengthening that the whole Roman Catholic hierthat daring party, that it now boldly archy in Ireland are, at heart, earnestly
desirous to effect a rep.al of the legis. doubt, contradicted. In a fortnight latire union.
after it was uttered, its right reverend The circumstances under which this author had an opportunity of noticing important truth has been ascertained the invectives he had provoked, and of are of too much moment not to have reiterating his portentous assertion. a place assigned to them among re- At a repeal dinner given to Mr. cords more permanent and inore readily O'Connell in Longford, on Sunday, accessible than those of the daily press. May 28th, Dr. Higgins, Roman Ca. They are likely to become, they cer- tholic bishop in Ardagh, took the tainly ought to become, matter of chair, and in the speech by which he history; and our readers will, there- prefaced his first toast, reiterated the fore, not be surprised to find a place statement he had made at the former assigned them here.
dinner :At a dinner given to Mr. O'Connell on Sunday, May 14th, the Roman “ There is,” said he, “ a second lord Catholic Bishop of Meath acting as
who has assailed me. But I should beg chairman, and nearly fifty Rornan
your pardon for introducing a subject Catholic ecclesiastics in the company,
calculated to create so much disgust in the Right Rev. Dr. Higgins, returning
your minds--(hear, hear.) The second
is the Earl of Wicklow ; but mind that thanks for an honour done him and
I only speak of the persons that I find his brother bishops, spoke to the fol
in the newspapers-(loud laughter.) He lowing effect:
is reported to have said, if what I stated
in Mullingar were really the fact, namely, “My lords and gentlemen, any claims that the bishops of Ireland are all reto notice or respect which that body, of pealers--that such a man as the Most who I stand here a very humble and Rev. Dr. Murray, that sainted being, very unworthy representative, may pos- had declared his opinions on the repea), sess, has been so emphatically and so he would not have chosen so obscure an clearly, and to my own humiliation so individual as I am to convey them to the partially dwelt upon by the Liberator public; but what will he say when I of Ireland, and other speakers who have declare_and I hope the press will bring addressed you, that I feel I may totally my words to his ears-that I have one di pense with any portion of their merits. of the most respectable clergymen in Yet there is one point which I believe, the kingdom ready to verify that he in delicacy to some members of our body, heard the Most Rev. Dr. Murray declare has been omitted, but which I feel it my himself to be a repealer before a large duty to mention—the connection of the company of priests; and who has ever hierarchy with the repeal question. I heard that be retracted it ?-(hear, and wish to state that I have every reason cheers.) This is my answer to Lord to believe, I may add, that I know that Wicklow"_(renewed cheers.) – The erery Catholic bishop in Ireland, with. Nation, Saturday, June 3. OUT AN EXCEPTION, is an ardent repealer"-(enthusiastic cheers, which lasted for several minutes, and in
Before Dr. Higgins had thus rewhich Mr. O'Connell heartily joined.)
peated his original statement, it had " Mr. O'Connell – Let Bobby Peel
been confirmed by Dr. Murray-conhear that"-(cheers.)
firmed in a letter which some in Eng
land held to be a contradiction of it. His lordship proceeded
The letter is too characteristic to be
omitted. It will not alarm the reader " I know that virtually you all have by its length:reason to believe that the bishops of Ireland were repealers; but I have now “ To the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese again formally to announce to you that
of Dublin. they have all declared themselves as
“ Beloved brethren- You must have such, and that from shore to shore we
read with extreme surprise a statement are now all repealers"_(great cheers.) " Mr. O'Connell_This is the best
lately published in the newspapers, innews I ever heard"-(cheers.)– The
timating that all the Catholic bishops of Nation, Saturday, May 20th.
Ireland had, without exception, thrown
themselves, as ardent repealers, into the An announcement like this was not
great political movement which is now
agitating the country. I owe it to you likely to remain unnoticed. Had it
to declare (and I avail myself of the first been untrue, it would have been, no moment after my arrival in Dublin so VOL. XXII.-No. 127.
to do,) that I have taken no part what- Dr. Higgins' advertisemnent as if it ever in that movement, and that in no
disclosed any thing really secret or instance did I give to any human being Protestants had previously and the slightest reason to suppose that I have.
repeatedly affirmed the same momen. “ In January, 1834, I concurred in
tous truth, but had not procured gethe resolution unanimously passed at
neral credence to it. The evidence our general episcopal meeting, recom
for it is now, if not more conclusive, mending our clergy to abstain in future more undeniable. A Roman Catholic from taking any prominent part in pro- bishop has spoken, with authority, in ceedings of a merely political character. his own name, and as the organ of To the spirit of that resolution I strictly his right reverend and most reverend adhere; and I have not, by any act or brethren, his and their political sentiword of mine, set an example at variance
ments. He has proncunced all ardent with it. “ May the God of peace, who has
repealers, and his assertion remains uncalled you to be the dispensers of his
impeached, unimpugned. It has aroused awful mysteries, guide you in the saintly
the attention of all who can reflectexercise of your peaceful ministry, for
has become a subject of discussion in the promotion of His greater glory, and the imperial parliament
and has not the sanctification of those who are com- been reclaimed against by the parties mitted to your care.
most intimately concerned. It has “I remain, brethren, your humble thus become an acknowledged truth, and affectionate servant in Christ,
and is to be classed among the princi“D. MURRAY. ** Mountjay.square, 22d May, 1843."
ples from which we reason. The Nation, Saturday, May 27.
The frankness with which Dr.
Higgins declared the sentiments of If this letter is to be received as his episcopal brethren and himself did testimony, we learn from it, in not forsake him when he described conjunction with evidence previously
the nature of the activities through adduced, that there were two state- which they could give their political ments respecting the Roman Catho- opinions effect. lic bishops in Ireland-one, that of Dr. Higgins, who confined himself to “I cannot sit down," said be, "witha representation of their political opi- out adverting also to the means which nions; the other, that of the news
that body (the Roman Catholic bisbops)
would have, and would be determined paper press, which professed to de.
to exert, in case that foolish minister scribe their political conduct. According to the right reverend divine, they
who presides over the fatal destinies of
our country would bave dared to put were all, at heart, ardent repealers. his threat into execution—(hear, hear, According to that statement of the and cheers.) I, for one, defy all the newspaper press which Dr. Murray ministers of England to put down agifound it convenient to notice, “ they tation in the diocese of Ardagh-(Mr. had all thrown themselves into the O'Connell-Hurrah now for repeal.) political movement,” &c. One of If they attempt, my friends, to rob us them, Dr. Murray, has denied the
of the daylight, which is, I believe, truth of this latter statement. They
common to us all, and prevent us from all, by their silence, acquiesce_in
assembling in the open fields, we will
retire to our chapels, and we will suspend the correctness of the former_“ The
all other instruction, in order to devote all Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ire
our time to teaching the people to be reland
all ardent repealers.' pealers in spite of them—(cheers.) If they Mark, Doctor Higgins did not say beset our temples, and mix our people that Doctor Murray“ had thrown with spies, we will prepare our people himself into the movement” at pre- for the circumstances ; and if they bring sent agitating forrepeal. And this is us from that to the scaffold, in dying all that is contradicted.
for the cause of our country we will impliedly, that Doctor Murray was, at
bequeath our wrongs to our successors. heart, a repealer, and this is not denied.
(The entire assembly here arose and “ The Roman Catholic hierarchy
continued cheering for several minutes.)
Let them try that experiment if they in Ireland are all ardent repealers !!"
will—(cheers.) They are too keen, they In this announcement the hidden
are too determined to go on with their source of all Ireland's disorders is insidiousness, to give us even fair play made known. We do not speak of at dying for our country-cheers.) No,
He did say,