« ZurückWeiter »
to the mischievous document by their signatures, will duly weigh the evil consequences of their conduct, and honestly and publicly retract their error. I can assure them it will be a great pleasure to me, to have the opportunity of sparing them a space in my journal for that purpose. I know that some of them will excuse them. selves upor the ground, that they do not see or apprehend that the petition will be attended with the evils which are dreaded by the guardians of the Church.-But let thein reflect that Judas probably did not anticipate the intention of the Jews to put our Sa. viour to death, or he likely would not have betrayed him; else why did he feel remorse for the deed, when he found the deluded and carnal-minded Israelites bent upon spilling his Divine Master's blood? - What happened to our Saviour's sacred person under the Jews, is certainly desired by the Gentiles in regard to his mystical body; if a doubt arises on this subject, that doubt must be imme. diately removed by the disgraceful scene which occurred at Skib. bereen, in the county of Cork, on last St. Patrick's day. There the Vetoists attempted to gain signatures under the most deceitful and plausible pretensions, through the influence of a Mr. Alexander O'Driscoll, who professes to be a Catholic, but were that really the case, he would probably not have been recently raised to the rank of a magistrate In consequence of the deceptions practised upon his flock, the Rev. Dr. Collins, the parish priest. addressed them on the above day from the pulpit, and explained to them the nature and tendency of the two petitions, that from the Catholic Association being, at the same time, before them. In the performance of this duty, he was indecently and illegally interrupted by the newly-made magistrate, and the chapel became a scene of confusion.-- After divine service was over, and the people had retired to the chapel yard, Mr. O'Driscoll mounted a tomb, and there harangued the multitude telling them that he knew as much of religion as any priest; that if the Veto petition succeeded, the people would be served by it, inasmuch as they would no longer be burthened with the payment of marriage money, christening money, and other dues, with which the priests overcharged or deceived them. Such were the outrageous deceptions practised by the Vetoists at the before-mentioned place, to obtain signatures to their inischievous document; and can any clergyman sanction a measure which stands in need of such supporters and such arguments to assist its cause? It is impossible. Those who have lent their signatures in this country, to the abettors of the irreligious system, have been equally deceived-let them then avow the deception which has been exercised on them.
I have now lying before me an advertisement containing the names of upwards of forty individuals of Skibbereen, &c. who therein declare that in putting their signatures to a paper, commonly called Lord Trimleston's Veto petition,' they were taken by surprise, and did not consider or perceive its insidious tendency to corrupt their clergy and undermine their religion; that they there.
fore fore feel it their duty to retract their signatures and express regret for their error.' These rames were succeeded by several others, who followed their countrymen in this praiseworthy repentance. Happy shall I be to announce a similar determination on the part of those individuals here, who have incautiously become the victims of a misplaced confidence, and more particularly of those clergy. men who have been made the dupes of a wils policy. If they have inadvertently followed the unhappy steps of Judas, in betraying the mystical body of their heavenly Redeemer, let them dread the despair which seized the traitor on perceiving his error, and imitate the blessed example of St. Peter, in his contrition, before it be too late.” P. 137.
Of the general spirit which animates the whole Catholic body of Ireland, we cannot have a better proof, than in the following resolutions, which were passed in aggregate meetings of the Catholics in Limerick, Waterford, and Cork. These are selected also from the same Catholic Magazine.
" LIMERICK RESOLUTIONS. “ That we renew our Petition to the Legislature for the extinction of those grievances, from which we have so often prayed relief.
“ That we cannot deem such concession to be emancipation or liberality, which, while it professes to remove civil and political restrictions, inflicts religious ones.
“ Therefore, that we view with regret, any document emanating from any portion, however small, of our fellow sufferers, which may purport to be construed into, or mistaken for, an acquiescence in those invidious and injurious accompaniments.
“ That hoping Great Britain, whicks ought to be the first to afford an enlightened and just example, shall not, at least, be the last to imitate it, on the adoption of those liberal and judicious views, which pervade the civilized world on this head, we now confidently renew our appeal for the cordial and unqualified restoration of our rights.
« WATERFORD RESOLUTIONS. " That we are this day assembled for the purpose of explaining to all classes of our fellow subjects, the motives which govern our conduct in still persisting humbly to petition the Legislature for the total abolition of those galling and painful laws, which so long and so unjustly exclude us from the blessings of the British Constitution, on account of our conscientious adherence to the religion of our forefathers.
“ 'Ihat we adopt the Petition and Address approved by the Age gregate Meeting of the Catholics in Dublin, on the 5th day of March, as the Petition and Address of the Catholics of the county and city of Waterford.
« That we behold with the deepest regret, and most heartfelt sorrow, the melancholy and mischievous disunion which distracts
the Catholics of Ireland, and which is so much calculated to prolong our degradation. We therefore earnestly implore those of our communion, who, with honourable and honest views, have differed from the bulk of their fellow-sufferers, or who, inconsiderately, or from misconception, have signed a Veto Petition, to which signatures are now solicited through the kingdom, to reconsider and retract a measure so injurious to the object which we all wish to attain.
" That to yield the Veto to the crown, would be in effect to surrender to the ministers of the day an insidious influence over the Catholic Clergy, which, warned by history, we fear might result in rendering them the corrupt and most dangerous tools of despotic power ; a result, considering the present unspotted purity of that venerable body, that could never be sufficiently deplored, and which therefore we ought to use every endeavour to avert.
“ That it would therefore be equally hazardous to the political liberties of all classes of Britons, and to the religious liberties of the Catholics, to place so dangerous a weapon in the hands of ministers.
" That since the solemn declaration of our bishops, that the Veto would be essentially injurious, and even eventually subversive of the Catholic Religion in Ireland, and after the foregoing full exposition of our constitutional objections thereto, we deem it fur. ther due to those of our own communion to declare, that in our conviction it would betray the grossest dereliction of religious principle, were we now to accede to that baneful interference." P. 153.
The resolutions of the aggregate meeting of Cork are to the same purpose, but rather more violent in point of expression. Thev formally proscribe all those who would adınit any interference whatsoever of the crown in the regulation of ecclesias. tical matters.
“ That we have therefore seen with surprise and regret, a document lately sent forth in this and other parts of Ireland, purporting to be the Petition of persons calling themselves Roman Catholics, and professing to be in search of civil liberty, yet expressing a willingness to conform to ecclesiastical regulations to be made by the temporal power of these realms, and which regulations would increase the undue influence of the crown.
“That we feel ourselves called upon to disclaim all communion of feeling or sentiment with the mistaken persons who have distinctly offered religious concessions, the more dangerous as they are vague and undefined, in barler for political privileges, to which every British subject is justly and constitutionally entitled ; and who could so far forget the great principle of civil and religious liberty, as to suffer a particular encroachment upon a general right, in expectation that some individuals may reap advantage from the possession of place, or the enjoyment of court favour.
" That " That we are convinced that any law, founded upon the pridciple of that document, would not conciliate, but would irritate and enrage a people, whose disunion and dissatisfaction having been considerably increased, and whose feelings have been sorely wounded by the extraordinary and arrogant attempt to force upon them, and to present to the legislature, in the name of their communion, a series of declarations which they condemn and abhor.” P. 154.
We have seen what are the regulations of states wholly Catholic, upon these points; we now see the spirit in which they are rejected with abhorrence by the whole mass of the Irish Catho. lics. It will be for the emancipatjonists rather than for ourselves, to conceive any measure which can reconcile these two discordant points, the teinper of the Irish Catholics, and the security, not of the Church only, but of the Constitution and of the crown. Let us again remind our readers of the celebrated speech of Dr. Drumgoole, a speech which was cheered from every part of a crowded assembly.
“ No! if the Church of England trembles for its safety, it must seek it elsewhere, we have no securities to give! That she stands in great need of securities who can doubt, when he sees division in the camp, and observes the determined war that is carried on against her-muros pugnatur intra et extra--that her articles of association are despised by those that pretend to be governed by them-tha the Romans, and mea of strange faith, are amongst those in command; whilst, from without, she is incessantly assailed by the thousand bands and associations of tribes, who neither give nor take quarter. Why are not means taken to coerce them? Why are they riot bound over to keep the peace? Why are they not put upon their securities? Furious tribes, religious warriors, who nei. ther take nor give quarter. Why are they not put upon their secu.
rities? Why are not they bound over to keep the peace? To pass · over others-- Observe the Methodists, a sort of Cossack infantry, religiously irregular, who, possessing themselves of the fields, and fighting from ruined houses and church-yards, are carrying on a desultory but destructive warfare against her. In the mean time, the strong and republican phalanxes of Presbyterianism occupy an imposing position ; and the columns of Catholicity are collecting, who challenge the possession of the ark, and, unfurling the oriflamo, display its glorious motto, E, TOUTW Noxa.
* But the established church will stand, it will survive the storms with which it is assailed, if it be built upon a ROCK,--but if its foundation be on sand, no human power can support it. In vain shall statesmen put their heads together,-in vain shall parliaments, in mockery of Omnipotence, declare that it is permanent and inviolate,-in vain shall the lazy churchman cry from the sanctuary to the watchman on the tower that danger is at hand, it shall fall, for it is human, and liable to force, to accident, and to decay,
IT SHALL FALL, AND NOTHING BUT THE MEMORY OF THE MIS. CHIEFS IT HAS CREATED SHALL SURVIVE. Already the marks of approaching ruin are upon it; it has had its time upon the earth a date nearly as long as any other novelty; and, when the time arrives, shall Catholics be called, by the sacred bond of an oath, to uphold a system which they believe will be one day REJECTED BY THE WHOLE EARTH? Can they be induced to swear that they would oppose even the present Protestants of England, if, ceasing to be truants, they thought fit to return to their ancient worship, and to have a Catholic King, and a Catholic Parliament " Vide Report of the Speech of Dr. Drumgoole.
It is ever to be borne in mind, that this is not the language of an individual, but of a party, and that party by far the larger portion of the Catholic population of Ireland; and as such, let it be indelibly engraved on the memories of our readers.
Most wisely therefore do we conceive, that Sir J. C. Hippesley calls for enquiry, that he deprecates the precipitate sur. render of our constitution into the hands of those, who term such a surrender an injury and an insult. We have lately indeed heard a rumour, to which, we conceive, no credit is to be at, tached, that it was the intention of government to carry these measures with a high hand; and, by way of quieting the Cathos lics, to force down their throats the very conciliation which they abhor. Now we do conceive, that if we wanted a receipt for rebellion, we should look for it in such a measure. The most superficial knowledge of human nature will inform us, that every bad feeling of pride, of insult, and of revenge, is much more effectually excited by a forced favour, thau by a forced injury. If the adage, rolenti non fit injuria, be founded in truth, not less is its converse, nolenti non fit veneficium.
The more we enter into the nature of the securities demanded, the more we shall stand astonished at the virulent and intempe. rate spirit of the Irish Catholics, who would reject with indige nation those restrictions, which, so far from being arbitrary or novel exactions, emanate from the immediate and inherent rights of the Crown. To what extent the supreme secular power of the State bas been accustomed to interfere in the affairs of the Church, is a question therefore of considerable importance, and we are happy to find it discussed in a most able and impartial inanner, in the volume which stands second in the title of the present article. Mr. Brow'u has commenced bis investigation as high as the reign of Constantine the Great, and proposes to continue it down to the Reformation. The present volume com. prizes an account first of the Donatist schisin, and of the ecclesiastical powers which the emperor exercised upon this memorable occasion: and, secondly, of the Ariay heresy, and the pro