Page images

from the mercenary orangemen, and such marriages by catholic clergy are not government rewards offered men, and only legalizes them when to those who are disposed to re. performed by protestant, ministers. nounce the catholic, faith? But the This being the case, is it likely that most curious circumstance which the catholic priesthood should en strikęs terror into this protestant, courage such intermarriages, when and alarms him for the safety of his the gallows is their doom if they pert creed, is “the wide-spreading sys- form the ceremony. Or is it protein of intermarriage of protestants bable that protestant clergymea and catholics, above all things en- would sanction such a system when couraged by their priesthood, end they perceived these contracts caus: ing very generally in the conversioned a diminution of their flocks. of ihe husband or wife, and securing by the conversion of the parties to almost universally the catholicism of catholicism? The idea is top ab. the children." A few words will surd to be entertained for a momeus suffice to shew the futility of these by an unprejudiced mind, and the apprehensions, and the contempt statement only evinces the power of which the speaker evinces for the ac- religious intolerance, in influencing a curacy of bis statements. Mr. Fos. | member of the Irish bar and the imter is a lawyer, and therefore he perial senate to hazard so groundless must either have wilfully misrepre- a charge. So far from encouragesented the case, or displayed a want ment being given to these intermarof knowledge in his profession by riages, the catholic church disno means creditable to him. If this courages them, as far as she'can, as scriptural limb of the law, before he I likely to lessen that happiness and started this tremendous danger of affection so necessary to promote the proselytism and reduction of protesto end of matrimony, which she holds antism, had examined the Irish sta- to be a sacrament of divine institutute book, he would have found tion, since religious discordance opetherein'a law passed in 1708, still rates more to create 'misery than feunrepealed, by which it is enacted, licity to the married state. Neverthat if any popish priest shall celetheless, that there are intermarbrate matrimony between any two riages in the higher classes between persons, knowing that they or either catholics and protestants cannot be of them is of the protestant religion, denied, but that they are common he shall sutfer the punishment of a among the catholic peasantry of popish regular ; which punishment, Ireland is an assertion which stands according to a law of William III. contradicted by the strong aversion was transportation, and to be con- | they have to": entering a' prodemned for high treason, if the pas-testant church, an antipathy so ty returned to Ireland. Another great, that were an act passed to statute was passed in 1750, one compel them to repair thither to clause of which declares, that any celebrate their marriages, it would priest who shall celebrate such marexcite a general alarm and commoriage, shall, on conviction, be deem- tion throughout the whole island. ed guilty of felony, without benefit The dangers being thus separately of clergy, and shall suffer death acu stated, the whole are combined in cordingly. These cruel laws are in one terrific view, and which ever full force at this time ; for, although way he turns himself the protestant the act of. 1792, permits jnter, is represented as beholding the dimimarriages between catholics, and nution of protestant numbers, the inprotestants, the statute of 1793, ex-creasing insecurity of protestant pressly excepts the celebration of property, the steady career, the unbending intolerance of catholic ag- | creasing insecurity of protestant prograndizement. And what is still perty? The catholics enjoy not a worse, while he sees this frightful vestige of power at the present day; picture before him, while he con the ascendency of authority is at templates, if his scared imagination present completely in the hands of will permit him so to do, the dread. the protestants. For two centuries ful perils which surround him, he is the knife and the halter were eme mocked by some of his brethren, who ployed to stem the growth of popehave less fear and more charity, ry in Ireland, and eradicate its perand is told to be of good cheer, for nicious poison, but all without that a security is now found, which effect. The light of protestantising is, that the influencing and direct according to Mr. Foster's accounts ing spirit which has ever baunted his made but little progress there. And bigotted and contracted mind, is to why? Because, says, the learned be secured from the intrigues of the gentleman, those who were sent to Roman court, and the cabinet of St. spread the gospel of evangelical li. James's, and continue, as he de- | berty, cared little for the conversion scribes it, a moral and religious im- of the Irish, so as they got possesperium in imperio. This, he con- şion of their property. More libe. tends, is adding horror to the evil, ral times have succeeded-a partial as it will contribute to give energy release from the penal code has ta. and power to the catholic body, and ken place within the last forty years, sharpen and strengthen the weapons but uot of conciliation, as the speech that it wields, and thus endanger, would make us believe. The same pot secure, the stability of protest- imperious and self-interested spirit of antism. What a frightful spectacle ascendency is predominant in Irefor an ultra-protestant to behold! land. The catholic sees himself How alarming, and how despond- treated with contempt and impunity ing! Three centuries of hard la, by his protestant neighbour; and, bour to prevent the growth of pope- as Mr. Parnell, in his Historical ry, and now to see the protestant Apology, very feelingly states, “the Dumbers diminish is truly appalling, child of his affection blushes for him, But what an admission does Mr. and mourns for himself, when he Foster make here. Can any thing learns, that he necessarily inherits mark more strongly that the opposi- | from his father a blot and a reproach, tion' of this gentleman and his which no private virtues or mental friends is grounded expressly on endowments can obliterate or contbeir hatred of the catholic religion, ceal. The very peasantry (continues and their conviction that protestant. Mr.P.) acutely feel the stigma cast ism cannot make head against it, if by government upon their sect and its ministers are left to the free ex. their religion. The lowest order ercise of their functions. Thus, even suffer most. The wealthy cawhile they bawl against the into tholics acquire a degree of consideraJerance of the catholic clergy, they tion and legal security from their acknowledge the intolerant spirit of property, but the peasantry are left their own principles; and while they naked to the pelting of the storm, contend for the religious freedom of to all the jibes and jobs of protestprotestantsi in foreign countries, ant ascendency. Not only a próihey proclaim slavery to the catho: testant lord looks down upon a calic inhabitants of their own. But tholic lord, and a protestant gentlefrom whence arises this diminution man on a catholic gentleman, but a of protestant numbers, and the in- protestant peasant 'op a catholic peas sant; and in proportion as the de, his growing progenyhe still finds grading scale descends, the expres, his paths continually obstructed by sion of contempt becomes more this penal code, its temper, its chain marked and gross". As an example of influence, its partizans and its inof the latter case, it need only be ob- struments. It frowns upon his ap. served, that although the occupyiog proach, repels his touch, and frustenantry of Ireland consist almost trates his dearest and most rational wholly of catholics, yet such is their wishes. . Thus, the law, to others an degraded and humiliating situation, object of attachment, gratitude and that they are excluded from all ves- pride, is to the catholic only a dark try-meetings, and in the protestant and gloomy barrier in life; exciting parishioners alone are vested the full new struggles, new defeats; proand discretionary powers of impos. ducing heavy injury, and loud com, ing rates, on themselves and their plaints. The law, in fine, bids him more pumerous catholic neighbours, despond, and sink, hopeless of free, In fine, says Mr. Scylly, in his un, dom, unrespected, in mute unavail. answerable Statement of the Penal ing regret and chagrin. Hence his Laws, “the penal code against the natural and incessant eagerness, for catholics of Ireland is far from being relief. Hence the throbbing agita in a relaxed or languishing state. - tation in the bosom of every catholic, No clause is permitted to slumber; and of every class, whenever a ray of no merciful connivance is tolerated: hope gleams upon his benighted con even obsolete enactments are now dition. This hope, this eagerness of (1811-12) forced into fresh vigour. relief, paralyzes his industry, and Phe system works incessantly to the consumes the best energies of his prejudice of every catholic ; and, soul. It distracts, his studies, and though sometimes unobservedly, yet beaumbs his love of country and of eventually with sure and grievous laws. All his faculties are absorb efficacy. Even when it bears a ed in the fond, but fruitless contemmasked appearance, it is not, less plation of this sole and favourite obmalignant, than when raging in the jęct.” From this condition the ea. most furious aspect of persecution. tholics of Ireland seek to be disen. No catholic is so exalted by rank, barrassed ; and they seek it upon fortune, or talent, or so depressed the great principle of RELIGIOUS by poverty or ignorance, as to elude LIBERTY. They are willing to its baneful influence, to remain in concede the same blessing which they sensible of its contumelious and ex- covet to their neighbours; they asperating operation, or to suppress seek not the possession of office, but his murmurs against its long continu- | mere eligibility of it, in common ance. Which ever way he turps, with their fellow-subjects. They this monstrous system meets his eye, petition for relief, and how are their to dishearten and dismay him: to complaints received ? Not by the blast his best and fairest hopes for spirit of justice and conciliation, but himself and his offspring. Whatever by the dark-bodings of prejudiced he utters or does, or meditales, whe minds. By jealous apprehensions of ther in the intercourse of public life, the zeal and influence of the spia or in the bosom of his family : whe, ritual guides of the complainants, ther he struggles for the general and the most rancorous preposses, good or for his personal welfare : sions against their moral principles. whether he seeks the comforts of But, if the situation of the catholics harmless recreation, the rewards of under “Protestant, Ascendency,” active merit, or the advancement of be truly described by the protestant and catholic writers I have quoted; power. Let reason and justice des if, notwithstanding their low and cide the question. . prostrate condition, their pumbers keep augmenting from the ranks of AN AWKWARD ACKNOWLEDGEthe more favoured, enlightened, and MENT. Since the foregoing article predominant class, is it not evident on the state of the press was written, that the opposer's of the catholic à Times paper of the 20th instant claims are conscious of their ownin. fell into my hands, in which I find feriority, and self-convinced that the my work has been attacked in a consystem which they espouse cannot troversy which appears to have been be maintained without exclusive and carried on in that publication beproscriptive laws ?.Would they not tween a catholic writer, under the act then with much more honesty name of “ VERITAS," and a protesto and candour,' by openly avowing ant, who designates himself " AMID their opinions, than by speciously cus CURIÆ," assisted by a host of proclaiming their veneration for re auxiliaries. In'. replying to the ligious freedom, and at the same . Friend of the Court,” the reprétime defending the continuance of senter of Truth" says, "Whilst the most intolerant code of laws ever the liberty of the press exists, it is framed for the purpose of restrain-not in our power to prevent any ing the right of conscience. But publications which individuals may the faction know too well the utility think proper to support. Catholic's of this profession of liberality to will differ on political subjects as deceive the credulous people of Engi. well as their neighbours; and we, land; and hence their frequent use as a religious body, are no more acof it. They know their incompe-| countable for the language and sen: tency to meet the weapons wielded timents of the Orthodox Journal, by the energy and power of their'ad than the protestants of England are versaries, and therefore they refuse answerable for the Monthly Magato remove the barriers and embat- | zine,' or those of Scotland for the tlements' behind which they have Edinburgh Review. Perhaps it entrenched themselves, unless' wey may be some satisfaction, however, consent to pile oúrarms, and hand for my opponent to learn, that the 'cuff our leaders. But I must quit more respectable part of our commuthis subject for the present. The nity, especially the clergy, refuse to teader has before him Mr. Foster's patronize it, and that scarcely description of the dangers of " Do-bookseller amongst us can be found mestic Nomination," and a delinea- to sell it?" "I heartily thank Mr. tion of “Protestant Ascendency,” | Veritas for this expression, as it coniby Mr. Parnell and Mr. Scully. L pletely confirths my statement, that The one contains the imaginary feat's a cowardly conspiracy exists against of protestant bigotry at the progress this work, which the confederates of popery, and the supposed in secu- have not the manliness openly to rity and dangers which attend the encounter ; and I further feel myprotestant from catholic intolerance self obliged to him for coupling my and aggrandizement. The ‘öther Journal with publications of such exhibits a true picture of the real estëėmed political celebrity as the grievances which oppress the Irish Monthly Magazine and Edinburgh catholic people, in consequence of Review. And who are the more the partial and intolérable opera respectable part of our community, rion of the penal laws, and the and especially the clergy, whô rel overbearing influence of exclusive fuse to patronize the Orthodox Jour

nal? Men who have the least re. nor does it correspond with the perspect for the safety and integrity of cepts which their Divine Master has the religion they profess, and who, laid before them, for their rule of however 6 more respectable" they life. These parasitical divines, who may be in the opinion of Mr. Veri. Hatter, rather than reprove, the foltas, are not considered by the gene- lies of the great, I know are in the ral body of catholics as deserving of habit of spreading slanderous in. their regard, for the display they have sinuations against my principles in made both of their religious and po- their private correspondence, but litical conduct; the former of which they are not “che clergy;" and has betrayed a shameful inclination how they can reconcile their conto consign the spiritual independence duct with a conscientious discharge of their church into the harids of her of their duties, I am at a toss to enemies; and the latter has exhibit- comprehend; this much, however, I ed a slavish servility to the powers can say, that I would rather stand that be," very unbecoming the “more in my own shoes at the great acrespectable" part of British catho-counting day, than be placed in lic citizens. But what have the theirs. There is one thing, howe clergy to do with the political opi- ever, to be gathered from this declanions of the Journal, as clergymen? ration of Veritas, anil that is, how If I do not invade their ecclesiastical dangerous a body of vetoistical clerrights, why should they combine in gymen would be to the liberties of secret to suppress my political opi- the country, were the government nions, and thus violate one of the ever to get the patronage of the cadearest privileges of an Englishman | tholic church into their hands. With

the Liberty of the Press? If I respect to the veracity of the assertransgress the laws of my country, I tion, that “hardly a bookseller am amenable to those laws for the amongst us can be found to sell the offence; and, if I infringe on the Journal,” all I shall say is, that I tenets of my religion, or promul- will thank Mr. Veritas to point out gate principles contrary to the pre- one who does not sell it; and, though cepts and doctrines of the church, I it may not give satisfaction either to am subject to the censures of that the “ Friend of the Court," or the church. But if I do neither the one advocate of “Truth," I will just nor the other, why, I ask, should add, that the Journal continues to clergymen descend from their sacred be still held in estimation by those and dignified station, to become the l of the clergy who are zealous in the tools of a few titled and wealthymem performance of their sacred and imbers of our community, whose po- portant duties, and anxious for the litical sycophancy reflects indelible propagation of the true, faith. So disgrace upon the high rank they much for my friend Veritas, to whom are called to fill in society, and I offer my best thanks for the able who do not like the Journal be- manner in which he has vindicated cause it condemns their errors? But our religious principles, in which we let me correct the statement of this all agree, although, as he very justiy assumed representer of 6 Truth."- observes, we, like other individuals, It is not, sir, the clergy who refuse differ on points of polity. to patronize my work, but only a Struck with the above observafew members of that-venerated body, tion from Veritas, curiosity induced whose conduct is by no means suit-me to refer to the file of The Times, able to that character which it is to ascertain the charge which “ Amitheir duty to maintain unsullied;cus Curiæ had brought against my

ORTHOD. Jour. Vol. V. .

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »