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tuary to grasp the barbarian's sword wrapt up in the ephod. The code of temporal laws, teeming with sanctions against robbers and murderers, was swelled to the surprise and destruction of mankind, with additional decrees against heretics and papists. The inoffensive citizen, who from an apprehension of offending the deity, by acting against his conscience, was confined in the same dungeon, or doomed to the fagot or axe with the parricide, who laid aside every restraint of moral obligation. The scriptures were adduced in justification of the sanguinary'confusion. Out of every contested verse there issued a fury armed with a quibble and a poniard, who inspired mankind at once with folly and cruelty, and Europe became one wild altar, on which every religious sect offered up human victims to its creed. Such are the effects of ecclesiastical establishments in a long succession of ages. The effects ascribed to them by the right reverend author, as infusing morality as a collateral aid to the check of the law, would have been produced in a more heavenly manner, by religion uncontrouled %y the terror of penal sanctions; and its rays never shone brighter than when its ministers had no other sword to enforce it, but the two edged sword of the peaceful doctrine of its Author. It is not then to the lenity of ecclesiastical establishment, that men are indebted for the freedom they enjoy, but to the lenity of the state; and to the exalted souls and enlarged minds of the illustrious senators, who have cast off" the sable weeds of priestly bigotry, to put on the bright and radient livery of enlightened reason, which religion enlarges into an extensive asylum, instead of contracting into a narrow and favourite spot, which it is penal (but for a few) to look at. The gloom which the Lord Bishop of Cloyne's pamphlet has spread on every countenance, and the mutual distrust and jealousy which have succeeded the strictest sincerity and amity since the publication of his performance, are no mighty recommendations of ecclesiastical establishments: The blood of fifty millions of men, cut off by the sword of persecution, since the state unsheathed it in defence of ecclesiastical establishments: The oppression, banishment and imprisonment of many more! The Wood of the slain cries under the altar, to the powers of the earth,—Leave your subjects free.—Let the priests pray; but do not draw the sword in defence of their prayers; for they will never pray alike.
I should never have mentioned tithes, lest any of the established clergy should imagine I envied them what in former times belonged to the Catholic clergy, and which the laws now secure to the clergy of the established church; but when I saw in a pamphlet, of which the Lord Bishop of Cloyne becomes the eulogist, a heavy and infamous charge, that the Catholic clergy consider tithes due to themselves jure divino, and encourage the laity to plunder the Pretestant ministers for their own benefit, I gave a short account of their origin. In my addresses to the Whiteboys, the reader can see in what manner 1 enforced the payment of them. The Lord Bishop of Cloyne was unthankful to me; in return, I paid my complements to tithes and ecclesiastical establishments. I consider both as oppressive in Ireland, and elsewhere. If I do not speak with all that softness of churchmen, with which I certainly would have spoken upon another occasion; it is not certainly from any disrespect for the ecclesiastical profession. Severity regards such as have at different times abused their sacred characters from want of charity, or from want of disinterestedness, or both. The worthy are not to be confounded with the unworthy, no more than the chaff should be confounded with the pure and wholesome grain,
I wish the Lord Bishop of Cloyne had called me forth in more favourable circumstances, and in a general cause; but he calls me forth under the heaviest provocations, after hav-: ing declared himself the apologist of a Theophilus, who ex-? haust the glossary of Billingsgate in a personal abuse:—:
* Whoever reads his Lordship's pamphlet, must consider the 'Catholic prelates as perjurers; the laity as enemies to the
* constitution, from a view to the revenues of the church, 'with the assistance of foreign power: and Mr, O'Leary, 'seditious with a train of agitating Friars and Romish mis'sionaries.' If there be a plurality of worlds, I must have been born in the planet of baturn, if I did not feel a certain Warmth after such a provocation,
It cannot be expected that I will lose the little timet have to spare from my own important functions, in answering anonymous writers, or even authors who may prefix their names to pamphlets. The only person that I shall take the trouble of answering, is the Lord Bishop of Cloyne.
Reverend Mr. O'Learifs Address to the Common People
Brethren And Countrymen,
I Addressed you before in the time of open war, when the enemies of jour King and Country were within view of our coasts. Your prudent and peaceable conduct, at that critical time, answered the expectations of your instructors, and procured you the countenance and approbation of your rulers; the defenceless cottager was protected by the honesty of his neighbour; order and tranquillity reigned all over the land: each member of the community was secure in his respective rights and property: and whilst the plains of America were dyed with blood, and England was convulsed by the insurrections of the lower classes, who were either cut off by the army, or atoned on the gallows for the violation of the laws, you felt the happy effects of a quiet and orderly conduct.
Nature and religion, my brethren, recommend this peaceable and orderly conduct to man: to a peaceable and orderly conduct, nature annexes our happiness, and religion enjoins it as a duty. We are born with inclinations for order and peace, and we have the happiness to live under the wise laws of a Gospel, whose counsels and precepts, whose threats and promises, inspire the union of the hearts, and to do to others as we would wish to be done by.
Whence then those disturbances which of late have been occasioned by some of you in the diocese of Cloyne, and which now begin to reach to the diocese of Cork? You will tell me, that your grievances are the cause: I doubt it not my brethren; but still, under our grievances are we to forget that we are Christians? Under our grievances, are we to forget that the Providence of God has made an unequal distribution of the goods of this life, reserving a perfect equality for the next? Under our grievances, are we to forget that when our distresses are not the effects of our crimes, or imprudence, resignation to the will of heaven becomes an indispensable duty? Are we to forget that the way of the Cross is the road to the Crovyn; and that although religion does not condemn these distinctions of rank, fortunes, and authority established by Providence, for the subordination of subjects, and the tranquillity of States, yet there are more promises made in the Scriptures, in favour of those who suffer, than in favour of those who Jive in ease and opulence. And although the gates of salvation are open to the rich who make good use of their wealth, as they are to the poor who suffer with patience, yet the Scripture declares that they are narrower for the former than for the latter. In this life there must be grievances which no human wisdom can redress: the inconveniences arising from them are counterbalanced by the expectation of a better, promised by the Divine Author of our religion, who has set us the example of patience and suffering. The soldier, led on by his General, encounters death with intrepidity in hopes of victory, which soon after vanishes as smoke. And shall a Christian, called to an immortal crown, refuse to follow his king, who rears up the banners of the cross, and cries out, Take up your cross and follow me in the paths of eternal life? To a worldling plunged in the luxuries of life, such an address will appear insipid; but on you who are not lost to the feelings of religion, it will have a different effect. Perhaps when he comes to that part of it in which mention is made of crosses and sufferings, he will lay it aside, and say, Mr. O'Leary should write to those people in another style, and threaten them with curses, excommunications, halters, anH gibbets. No, my brethren, curses and excommunications lose their effect, when lavished with too much profusion: