Page images
PDF
EPUB

ing out so many parties from Dublin | lowing extract from Carte's life of and the other garrisons to destroy the the duke of Ormonde :-“Sir W. rebels, in which expeditions care was Petty computes the British (includseldom taken to discriminate, and ing therein both English and Scotch) men, women, and children, were to be, before the rebellion, in proporpromiscuously slain; bui, above all, tion to the Irish (in Ireland) as two the martial-law, executed by sir to eleven ; at which rate, there were Charles Coote, and the burning of about two hundred and twenty thouthe pale for seventeen miles in length, sand in the whole kingdoni, Now and twenty-five in breadth, by the it is certain, that the great body of earl of Ormonde. These measures the English was settled in Munster pot only exasperated the rebels, and and Leinster, where very few murinduced them to commit the like or ders were committed ; and that in greater cruelties, but they terrified Ulster, which was the dismal scene the nobility and gentry out of all of the massacre, there were above thoughts of submission, and con- one hundred thousand Scots, who, vinced them that there was no room before the general plantation of it, to hope for pardon; nor no means had settled in great numbers in the of safety left them but in the sword.” county of Down and Antrim, and Thus the nation found itself compel. new shoals of them had come over led to arm; and yet this rising is upon the plantation of six escheated called by English historians an un- counties, and they were so very natural and odious insurrection, powerful therein, that the Irish, while the rebellion of the English either out of fear of their numbers, or and Scotch covenanters, fomented by from some other political reason, imaginary discontent and religious spared those of that nation (making delasion, is still looked upon as a proclamation, on pain of death, that meritorious struggle for civil and re- no Scotchman should be molested in ligious freedom!!! What deluded body, goods, or lands, &c.) It cangulls are the present enlightened race not, therefore be presumed, that of this most thinking nation! there were, at most, above twenty

Having thus established the fact, thousand English souls of all ages that the Irish massacre was begun by and sexes in Ulster, at this time; protestants, whose cruelties instigat- and of these, as appears by the lords ed the catholics to deeds of retalia- justices letter, March 4th, 1641-2, tion, unjustified by the principles of there were several thousands got

eir religion, I shall now proceed safe to Dublin, &c. besides six thouto shew that the extent of the out- sand women and children, whom rages said to have been committed captain Mervyn saved in Fermanagh; by the latter, rests upon no better and others that got safe to Derry, foundation than the falsehoods I have Colerain, Carrickfergus, &c." By already detected. Rapin and Echard this extract it will appear, that not both concur in stating the number of more than one-hundredth part of the protestants actually massacred at lesser number stated to be slain in forty or fifty thousand, and the con- cold-blood, could have met with an tinuator of Baker reckons them at untimely fate, and those who suffer, two hundred thousand.—How far ed, it must be observed, fell by the the assertion of either of these histo- hands of a rabble, as the first thing rians, and they confine themselves which Owen O'Neile did, after beto mere affirmation, is consistent ing appointed to command the nawith truth, I shall leave the reader to tive forces, was to express his abdetermine, when he has read the fol- horrence of the cruelties that had

So ac

been committed upon the English, / are industriously disseminated by inand to send the few remaining pri- fatuated members of biblical, evansoners that were left of them safe togelical, and methodistical societies, Dundalk. Thus then there were The latter is employed in fostering the some prisoners made; and this fact delusion by declaiming against the does away the other statement of despotisni of catholic states, and the Rapin, that the Irish formed the wear alliance of the doctrines of the project " of cutting the throats of catholic religion to slavery and tyall the English in the kingdom!"-- ranny; forgetting, poor souls, that Reader, what are we now to think British liberty was more pure, and of the unauthorized assertions of the constitution more free froni corthese protestant historians, and the rupt abuse, when the nation was cablind stupidity of those men, who tholic, than it bas been since the era arrogantly claim so large a share of of the blessed reformation. religious and political pre-eminence tive, indeed, have the enemies of over their catholic neighbours, yet our religious principles been in their give implicit credit to such grossly endeavours tu poison the public mind partial and overcharged tales. against us, that a catholic can scarce

ly associate with those who differ THE GRIEVANCES AND CONDUCT OF

from bim in religious opinions withiTHE PURITANS AND CATHOLICS out being subject to the scoffings and COMPARED.

reproaches of his neighbour. Let As this is a period of general him be ever so correct in his dealcomplaint and discontent, in which ings; let him be a good father, a the protestant reformer and the Eug-friendly neighbour, an upright tradeslish and Irish catholic each take a man, and a liberal benefactor to the share, though on different grounds, poor, still, should he be a catholic, I feel an irresistible impulse to offer he cannot be an honest citizen, nor a few further remarks on the occur- worthy to hold a civil office under rences of Charles's reign, and draw the state ; because the doctrines of a comparison between the respective his church being always the same, he grievances of the three kingdoms, must, of course, possess an unbendwhich led to the grand rebellious, ing conscience in matters of reliand ended in the subversion of the gion, and therefore be uncharitable constitution in church and state. and intolerant. Such are the sentiBy so doing, I Hatter myself I shall ments of many protestants, whose enable the reader to form a jusi estic character and ability place them high mate of the merit due in the strug- in the estimation of their country; gles of the forefathers of the present it therefore cannot be surprising that professed friends 10 civil and reli- a vast number of the illiterate mula gious liberty, and the ancestors of titude should entertain similar ideas, ihe catholic petitioners of this day. Yet, does the bistory of protestantThis is now become urgently neces- ism prove, and particularly that of sary, because, not only the press of the sister islands, that under no debigotry, but that which is under the nomination of christians bas INTOcontrol of those who pretend to be LERANCE been cherished to a grealthe friends of religious toleration, er extent than in those states where cordially uviie in maliguing the the protestant faith is predominant. principles of catholicity, Thus, If the rearler doubts ihe assertion, while the former is vomiting forth let him look into the late volumithe most absurd and infamous lies nous report of the house of comabout the cruelty of papists, which mons on catholic affairs, where be

re

will find that the lutheran and calvi- him to punish those who dared to benistic states of Germany adopted the lieve in such superstitious idolatry. most rigorous and arbitrary measures Did he repeat his application, he was 10 prevent their vassals from exer- answered by the presentation of bills cising that liberty of conscience for his assent, making the belief in which they contend is the inherent popery a capital crime, punishable right of mankind in general. Let with death; and enforcing other him examine the historic records of Tiarassing and oppressive penalties on the Stuarts, and he will find that the daring offenders. Did he again. from religious intolerance sprung all urge the necessities of the state, his the evils of those days. And what ear was assailed with fresh complaints is it but religious intolerance that against his tolerating disposition, and encourages the foul and filthy false- he was solicited by these benevolent loods of our own times against ca- legislators to put in execution the tholic institutions, and deprives five bloody laws which the merciless millions of subjects of their civil. Elizabeth bad passed in her reigir, rights for following the dictates of and they had subsequently enacted, conscience ? By the reformation, on the devoted heads of his catholic Englishmen became first the tools of subjects.--James evaded complying despots, they next submitted to the with their demands, and had iron rule of unprincipled dema- course at times to other means, not gogues, subsequently they divided authorised by the constitution, to themselves inte jarring factions, obtain money. But, whenever lie and they are now paying pretty well found himself under the compulsion for the folly of their conduct. of calling a parliament, he was sure Yet still they boast of the enlighten- to experience a repetition of the saine ed and tolerant maxims of protest. grievances, and so high did sonie of antism, and court the system which the leading members carry their arhas led to the evils they endure ; in- rogance in speaking of the designs of stead of reflecting on the causes the monarch, that James determined which have occasioned them, and to punish them, which he did by pursuing in future a more liberal and arrestation and imprisonment. In equitable disposition towards those these consisted the national grieva who happen to dissent from them. ances of this monarch's reign, and the Whoever has made the history of this reader will easily decide whether the country his study, must be perfectly king or the senators were the greataware that the sum and substance of est tyrants, --When Charles assumed the grievances of the struggling fore- the sceptre, he had to undergo simifathers of our modern reformers was lar vexations. Although attached the growth of popery ; this was the with conscientious integrity to the burthen of their song, and not a sin- doctrines of the established church, gle petition or remonstrance was Charles was not desirous of followsent up to the throne, in which this ing the bloody steps of Elizabeth; heavy calamity did not appear as

be did not want to become a persethe heaviest of their weighty afflic. cutor; he was desirous of ruling with tions. Did James apply to his faith justice and mercy. As he did not ful English commons for a supply of see the mere profession of catholicity money to carry on the affairs of the constituted a crime against the state, nation, he was answered by an ad. unaccompanied with any overt act of dress complaining of the partiality treason or sedition, he favoured shewn by him to persons who were

those of that profession by the supprofessed papists, and calling upon | posed power of his kingly prerogative from the effects of the penal | were the ancient champions of relicode, and some be employed in gious and civil liberty! How worstate affairs, availing himself of their thy of being imitated by their match. integrity and abilities. This was a less descendants and admirers! The sore grievance in the eyes of our dispocition of Charles did not accord tolerant strugglers for civil and re- with the sanguinary desires of these ligious liberty. Another cause of parliamentary religionists, and he discontent was his marrying a catho- hesitated 10 comply with the full exlic princess, which they said gave en- tent of their demand. This led to couragement to the followers of that further variance; from religious disreligion, and depressed the energies pates they proceeded to question bis of the professors of the true protest prerogative. The list of grievances ant faith. Contemptible as these increased as the dispute lengthened. grievances nust appear in the view Charles found himself under the neof every unprejudiced and candid cessityof using conciliatory measures; man, they were deemed not unworthy he conceded some essential privileges the notice of the legislators of those of the crown into their hands; this times, and each successive parlia- made then bolder in their demands, ment poured forth its complaints the refusal of which was the signal against them in the ear of tle mo- for open rebellion and civil war. The narch, whom they did not scruple to first parliament of Charles, accordaccuse of being popishly affected, ing to Rúsbworth, resolved, “That because he would not comply with religion should have the first place their mercenary and intolerant de- in their debates ; next, the king. sires. In all their petitions the pa- dom's safety; and then supplies.”pists were ever described as the oc- Thus religion became the stalking. casion of all public calamities, and horse of hare-brained demagogues, the spilling of their blood was con- the most violent disputes were occasidered a specific remedy for the sioned thereby, and the kingdom was national diseases. The petition of deluged with the blood of its bravest the commons in 1628, (says Guthrie) sous. In Scotland the same effects reduces all public misery to the in- arose from religious bigotry and encrease of idolatry and superstition, thusiasm. It had long been the de ór, in other words, of popery." To sire of James to introduce the form remove these grievances, it was pro- and discipline of the church of Euge posed by the most tolerant forefa- land into that of Scotland, and estathers of our tolerant “saints' and blish in the two countries an uvi"reformers," that the full vigour of formity of creed; but time and cirthe penal laws should be enforced cumstances prevented him from fully against the papists; that they should completing his object, although he be debarred from educating their made some advances towards it. In own offspring ; that the liberty of the 1606 he obtained an act of parlia-, press should be taken from them ; ment restoring the bishops to their and that tbey should be expelled former temporal dignities, prerogafrom every office of the state, banish- tives, and privileges, and annulling ed from the king's presence, and con- all acts made in prejudice to them; fined to their own dwellings, five and in 1612 he prevailed on a geue. miles from which they were not to ral assembly of the kirk, held in move without a licence from four Glasgow, to consent to the prelates justices of the peace and the bishop being restored to their spiritual of the diocese. Oh! how sweetly rights. The next thing done was benigo, how tolerant, how liberall the establishing a court of high com

was

mission, like that in lingland, which tent of the king's wishes.' But, no before was unknown in Scotland.- sooner had the dean opened the books As the Scots, (sass Rapin) had to commence reading the new forma never given their king the title of su- before all the public officers of state, preme head of the church, as was asseinbleil on the appointed day in done in England, there had been no the cathedral of that city, than a occasion to establish a high com- clamourous shout of rurses and immission in Scotland. to exercise precations were uttered by the rabthe supremacy in the king's name.” ble, which was the signal of disconNothing was now wanting to com- lent, and the forerunner of a general plete the measure but causing the rebellion throughout that kingdom. English liturgy 10 be received in An attentive perusal of this affair, as Scotland, and a general assembly recorded by the before mentioned was called at Aberdeen, to consider calvinistic writer, is sufficient to conon the subject. The king, however, vince the candid reader, that this ats finding his project not very palatable tempt to introduce the spiritual su. to the people, and fearful of rousing premacy of the king into Scotland them into action, thought proper to was the sole cause of the Scotch redefer the fulfilment of his designs bellion against. Charles.

It being until he had settled the affairs of the expressly stated by that historian, on palatinate, and the treaty of marri- the renewal of the war in 1640, after age with Spain, which occupieit bis several fruitless attempts at negociaatteption during the latter part of his tion, that is the whole' question of reign, and death overtook han be right betwzeu Charles and the Scots fore he could realize his wishes.

reduced to This. Whether His son Charles, who was no less James and Charles could alter the eager than bis father to unite the two government of the kirki of Scotland, kingdoms in one church, found bim- notwithstanding the opposition of the self unable to finish the affair com- kirk itself; and whether the Scots menced by his royal parent and pre- might demand the abolition of episdecessor, with that celerity he de- copacy, established on the ruins of sired. His wars with Spain and presbytery, on pretence of the pracy France, and his disputes with the

tices of the court to get acts for that English parliament on the question purpose passed. For this did the of his prerogatives, occupied princi- people of Scotland revolt against pally his solicitude during the first their sovereign, and bouad theniselves, part of his sovereignty. The clergy, by a solemn league and covenant to however, having composed a liturgy, enforce, by the power of the sword, the king sent it unto Scotland, and the same object which Charles had, ordered it to be read in all the in view, namely, uniformity of reli-, churches in Edinburgh on Easter gion. Sunday, 1637, but upou further consideration this order was revoked, GRIEVANCES OF IRELAND and the 23d of July in the same year,

STATED. was the day finally appointed, notice Different was the situation of the of which was given by the council, catholics in Irelaud to that of the that the public inight not be taken inembers of the church of England, by surprise. As bo symptoms of or the kirk vf Scotland. To the disapprobation appeared among the sufferings endured in the cause of people, according to Rapin's account, religion, they had a long list of nathe council entertained 110t the least rional grievances to complain of, and doubt of succeeding to the entire ex- it is not a little remarkable, that, ONTHOD. JOUR. Vol. V.

T

« PreviousContinue »