« PreviousContinue »
together."-And is it possible, that so much reluctance to punith, and so much tenderness, as is every where expressed through the facred volume towards our once happy nation, thould on a 'fudden, and for no apparent cause, entirely defert us? and we should be thus cast off from his favour, as we now are, and subjected to such unspeakable ruin, as hath befallen the whole nation, from the days of Vefpafian and Titus ? such as never any other nation under the sun has undergone : and fuffered, in our sieges and battles, by feditions, and famines, and pestilence, and captivity, and massacres, and dispersion? Is it possible, that all our hopes in his indulgent care and love fhould thus at once be blasted, for no cause? and all his promises to our fathers fail us; and the bright and glorious profpect, the birthright of our nation, that in the feed of Abrao bam all the families of the earth should be blessed, thus end in eternal darkness and oblivion ? Surely, if some amazing act of wickedness has not been perpetrated by our whole nation beyond what other nations have committed ; our present state and condition, for so many ages, is unaccountable ; and our fcriptures incredible. And, what is the most melancholy of all reflections, as we are ignorant of the cause of these afli&tions, so we fee no end of them ; nor any means how to avert them.
• In this dejected and forlorn state, fifted into all nations and become the scorn of all mankind, there yet remains one hope, and but one, that can support and relieve us; and this we have been blindly endeavouring, for many ages, to invali. date and overturn : I mean, the authenticity and truth of the Christian scriptures. If Jesus is indeed the visible Jehovab, and Angel of the Covenant, whom our fathers have flain; we want no farther explanation, how we have offended him; or in what manner we may expect deliverance from our evils. For he, whose mercy and loving kindness hath so often pardoned the fins of our fathers; delivering them from the distresses, with which he visited and chastised them ; who could pray for his enemies, in the midst of his sufferings, apologizing for their wilful ignorance; and use that power, which he gained by his patient resignation under afflictions, for the salvation of thofe by whom he was distressed and flain: he will without doubt return to us also, in mercy and loving-kindness, and will fave us, according to his promise, even in the latter days; if we turn to him with sorrow and repentance, as to the Angel of the Covenant whom we delight in ; and be obedient to his voice. For that such a time will come, when we fhall be again received into his favour, we are well assured both by the prophecies of Jews and Christians.'
The three laft letters are advertised to be published with all convenient speed,
ART. II. Defiderata Curiosa Hibernica : or, a feleet Collection of State Papers ; confifting of Royal Instructions, Directions, Dil patches, and Letters. To which are added, some historical Tracts. The Whole illustrating and opening the political System of the chief Governors and Government of Ireland, during the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, James the First, and Charles the First. 2 Vols.
12 s. bound. Dublin printed, 1772 ; and fold by Robinson, &c. in London. TATE-PAPERS,' says a late Historian t, who was more
conversant with memorials of that fort, than any other writer of this country, are the very chart and compass of
history. While we sail by their direction, we fail with cera • tainty, as well as safety; and when those lights fail us, we « are forced, in a great degree, to grope and guess our way, 6 and to content ourselves with probability only.'- This is undoubtedly true ; and yet, as the same author hath farther observed, the bulk of readers, in all ages, require no more than • a smooth, even, flowery tale ; and are never more disgusted
than when their course is interrupted by a labyrinth of thwarting facts and arguments, which it equally puzzles them either
to investigate or pass over.'-Men, however, who have experience of the world, and who do not chufe to become the dupes of credulity, have a different way of thinking, and love to tread on surer ground. With them declamation and reprefentatioil, will pass for no more than they are intrinsically worth; and a few important facts, well ascertained and established, will outweigh all the fine writing that ever dazzled the eye, or delighted the imagination, of fuperficial readers.
With respect to the papers before us, although the Editor hath not thought it proper to give us the satisfaction of knowing to whom we are obliged for their publication, or even to inform us from what repository of records, or literary storehouse, these materials * have been drawn, we, nevertheless, entertain very little doubt of their authenticity.
As to the importance of the several papers inserted in this collection, which, in the title, is stiled selecl, we think there is great inequality among them, in this respect. Some of them are, undoubtedly, curious and valuable; while others will, by most readers, be regarded as frivolous. Several of the principal tracts are written by persons of the Roman Catholic party; or by moderate men, such as the poet describes,
Papift or Protestant, or both between,
Faithfally transcribed from their originals, or authentic copies, is the whole of the Editor's declaration, on this head.
The papers here alluded to, will afford confiderable infor: mation to those who have only been conversant with the Proteftant writers on the affairs of Ireland ; and all men, we know, will lie for their party. Here, then, the impartial byeftander will, in some measure, be enabled to judge of the merits of either side, and to strike the balance between truth and fallehood, in this account of religious and political claims and encroachments, bigotry and craft, fubterfuge and violence. In a word, we, in this heretical country, know so little of the Catholic side of the question, in regard to the troubles of Ireland, during the period to which these volumes relate, that any authentic accounts, from that quarter, muft, we presume, be acceptable to the curious inquirer.
The principal papers in this collection appear to be the following: 1. Royal Instructions, Dispatches, &c. to the Lords Deputies
of Ireland, &c. in the reign of Elizabeth. II. A brief Declaration of the Government of Ireland, open,
ing many Corruptions in the same, &c. wrote in the Government of Sir William Fitzwilliams, who was Lord De-, puty from 1588 to 1594. In this ample detail of grievances, are many curious particulars relating to the celebrated Tyrone, through which great light is thrown upon the Earl's character and conduct, with respect to the famous rebellion, in
which he made so distinguished a figure. III. - A Chronicle of Lord Chichefter's Government of Ireland,
collected and gathered by William Farmer, Chirurgion.' IV. A Discourse of the present State of Ireland, 1614. V. Seventeen Letters from James I. and the Council of Enge
land, to the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland.
The above, with a variety of other articles, including a cu• rious account of the parliamentary dissentions in Ireland, in 1614, are to be found in the first volume of this collection. In the second volume we have, 1. Instructions, Remonftrances, Apologies, &c. &c. relating
to the Discontents and Disturbances in Ireland, from 1615
to 1641. II. A Letter from a Protestant in Ireland, to a Member of
the House of Commons in England, 1643.' This is a very sensible paper, written with great candour, and, as far as we can judge, at this distance of time, with an intention per
fe&tly honest, conciliatory, and patriotic. III. Fragmentum Historicum: or, the Second and Third Books
of the War in Ireland ; containing the Transactions in that Kingdom, from 1642 to 3647. By Richard Bellings, Efq; Secretary to the Supreme Council of the Confederate Catho lics. Faithfully transcribed from the Original, in the Polo
feffion of John Currey, M. D.'—This abounds with matter of information relating to the views and proceedings of that party with which the writer (admitting the authenticity of
the tract) was so deeply engaged. IV. A Journal of the most memorable Transactions of General
Owen o Niell, and his party, from 1641 to 1650. Faithfully related by Col. Henry M Tully o Niell *, who served under him. The information contained in this paper will also gratify the curiosity of those who wish to be made acquainted with the most inaterial particulars of the Irish history, during the unhappy period here referred to.
The volume closes with a survey of the half barony of Rathdown, in the county of Dublin by order of Charles Fleetwood, Lord Deputy-1654. The importance of this paper must, we suppose, be merely local.
The obvious tendency of this publication, is 'to soften the prejudices of the Protestants against the Roman Catholics of Ireland; but the most complete vindication of the latter with respect to the horrid story of the Malacre, in 1641, is to be found in Brooke's Trial of the Roman Catholics : fee Review, vol. xxvii, p. 508.
This Journal is said to have been sent, by way of letter, to Col. Charles Kelly, of Agharahan.
ÅRT. IV. Confiderations on the Propriety of requiring a Subscription te
Articles of Faith, 8vo. is. Cadell, &c. 1774.
tions to a very worthy Prelate, of diftinguished abilities; and every impartial reader, will, we doubt not, after an attentive perusal of them, readily acknowledge that they do his Lordship credit. It is matter of great satisfaction to us, and will give pleasure, we hope, to every sincere Protestant, to fee a person of his Lordship's character appear publicly in defence of religious liberty, and support the glorious cause with so much, ability, at a time when most of his brethren on the bench Thew so great an indifference (to speak in the foftest terms) toward every scheme for promoting a farther reformation of our ecclefiaftical conftitution. If their Lordships seriously consider, and reflect upon their late conduct, both with regard to the Petitioning Clergy and the Diflenters, they cannot possibly think, one fbould imagine, that the part they have acted does them honour, in the opinion of any judicious, unprejudiced person, Great allowances are undoubtedly to be made for the prejudices of their education, their political views and connections, the difficulties attending every scheme of reformation, &c. It is
impossible, however, by the utmost Atretch of candour and charity, to account for their conduct upon any principles that are consistent with their having a supreme and prevailing regard to the honour of Christianity and the interests of truth. This will, no doubt, be looked upon, by a certain class of men, as very injurious to their Lordships characters; we are neither afraid nor alhamed, however, of declaring our sentiments publicly on this head, with the utmost freedom, as we know that many of the wifeft and beft men that this or any other country can boaft of are of the fame opinion; and we may venture to challenge, nay' we do challenge, the boldest and warmest of their advocates, to thew the consistency of their conduct with what ought to be the distinguishing character of every truly Protestant Bishop-We now proceed to the work before
It is introduced in the following manner :- On a calm, and, as I trust, impartial view of the Controversy about Subscriptions, which has subsifted so long, and been supported with so much zeal; it appeared to me that several able writers, who had engaged in this cause, were even yet hardly got in fight of the main Question, concerning the true grounds of civil and ecclefiaftical Polity; and that. a few particulars required ftill farther explanation, in order to set the whole in a proper light.
And though I am very sensible that what is here offered, having most of them been drawn up some time ago, muft in a great measure be superseded by several late publications ; yet considering the small effect these appear to have produced, I was tempted to imagine that it might not prove altogether useless, or out of season, to enforce them; by reviving some of those original maxims which ought to direct all such enquiries, but which in my apprehenfion have long been, and are still either too little understood, or too much difregarded.
• I have no design of entering into the subject matter of our Articles; but only beg leave to propose some general Observations, concerning the rise and progress of a custom, which Seems to place certain explications of supposed Scripture Doce trines on the same foot with the Scripture themselves ;-to enquire how far this practice may be juft and expedient in the present times, or in itself defenfible at any time ;-to see upon what principles it is founded ; --what pleas are offered to support it ;-and lastly, point out some of its effects.'
His Lordship's observations on these several points are judicious, liberal, and manly; the following extract may serve as a specimen :
! We are willing to allow those who have the misfortune of diflenting from us, to think freely for themselves ; and difown