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you on one hand, and none can expect that they will part with their rights on the other. And as for your parts, you cannot be judges in your own cause. The supreme power of the state alone is competent to determine the mode of redress, which is too intricate a matter for me to determine. It is doubtless the interest of your landlords not to have a wretched and beggarly tenantry. It is in like manner their interest to support amongst their tenants a due subordination to their respective Pastors. For the generality of mankind, can have no other rule, but their instruction, whereby to regulate their moral conduct. The impressions of religion, and the dread of an invisible Judge, the conscious witness of our actions, are stronger than the terror of human laws, which are often eluded by privacy and several other ways; and when once we shake off the authority of religion, when opportunity offers, we are ready to shake off the authority of our masters. Present a memorial of whatever grievances you suffer to your respective landlords, who, I should hope, will trausmit it to their friends in Parliament: if Parliament cannot strike out a plan, you have no remedy whatever but that patience, which I before recommended to yon, and which softens the afflictions of sufferers. In a word, without the interposition of the supreme power of the state, you must either bear with patience the grievances of which you complain, or suffer an ignominious death, or seek for a better situation in remote countries, where there is more encouragement, and where thousands of your Protestant fellow-subjects, less oppressed than you are, have taken shelter.
As to the regulations you have made with regard to the dues of your own clergy, it is a standing maxim with all States where there are several religions, and but one established by law, not to grant any legal redress for non-payment of dues but to the clergy of the established religion, such as the clergy of the church of England here and in England, the Lutheran clergy in Sweden, and the Presbyterian clergy in Holland, Geneva, and elsewhere. Free toleration of religion, and the voluntary contributions of those of their own profession, are the only resources of the clergy who are not of the religion of the state: I consider it your duty, nay your interest, to support them in a decent manner according to your abilities; and this support should appear to you the less burthensome, as there is no compulsion, which in general makes the receiver disagreeable to those who give . when compelled, and deprive the giver of the merit of what he contributes, when he contributes more from compulsion than from duty and charity. On this head then, we can literally apply to the words of St. Paul, in his second Epistle to the Corinthians, chap.9. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Christ himself, who in every page of the Scriptures preached up the renunciation of ourselves, still declares that the labourer is worthy of his hire. And St. Paul, the patron of disinterestedness and mortification, declares, that those who serve the altar, should live by it, and that such as feed the flock, are entitled to a share of the milk. It is your own interest that your Pastors be maintained with decency; that in a country where Gentlemen of a different religion esteem the Catholic Clergy more for their outward appearance and conduct, than for their profession, your Pastors should appear with xlecency; and that in country parishes where even in the dead of the night, they are obliged to go seven or eight miles, and perhaps more, to relieve a dying person, they should have a horse, in order to be able to give you every assistance with the utmost expedition in these pressing moments, when (if ever) delays are the most dangerous. .
Nor, my brethren, should you disregard my remarks on this subject, because I am a Clergyman: you know that for the space of fifteen years since my arrival in this country, weddings and baptisms are quite out of my line, yet 1 never ceased to exhort and instruct you to the utmost of my abilities.
My brethren, I earnestly entreat you to follow the advice of those who wish you well, who have your interest at heart, who foresee the danger that threatens you, and of which you are not sufficiently aware: you will find the advantage of peace and tranquillity ; none can wish it with more sincerity, than your affectionate servant, * A. O'LEARY*
.Cork, Feb. 18,1786. , 4. ^<w*f»
Rev. Mr. O'Leary's Second Address to the Common People of Ireland, particularly to such of them as are called Whilehoys.
Brethren And Countrymen,
Far be it from me to oppose (were it in my power) the redress of your grievances; but, I repeat it, by your manner of redressing them, the remedy is w orse than the disorder. 1 would rather pay my tithes, let them be ever so oppressive, than put my neck in the halter by disturbing the peace of society, and violating the laws of the realm, let them be ever so severe. No rulers on earth will permit any order of men to overturn established laws, by private authority. They will listen to the grievances of the subject, but they will reserve to themselves the mode of redress. They can neve make the people happy but by keeping them subject to authority, and by making this subjection as easy and reconcileable to them as the exigencies of the state will permit. The multitude is too fickle and inconstant for governing itself. It cannot be happy without subordination toorder and authority; if it once strikes out of the path of obedience to the laws, there is an end of Government. Troubles, dissensions, civil wars, and impunity for the most atrocious crimes, must be the result. And in this state of convulsion, the man who complained of grievances before, under the ruling powers, will feel heavier grievances from his neighbour, who, unrestrained by law, will become his murderer or oppressor. If we were prisoners of war in an enemy's country, we are bound by the laws of God and nations to behave in a peaceable manner, much more so when we form members of the same society, governed by the same Sovereign and the same laws,
But what surprises me most with regard to the notice you have posted up, whereby you caution each Parishioner not to give but so much for Tithes, and so much to the Roman Catholic Clergy, is, that you bind yourselves by oath to abide by this regulation. Had you en requires moreover that the oath be attended with judgment, that is to say, that the object of it be not rash; there must be necessity and prudence. There must be also justice, otherwise the name of God is profaned, and the oath is not binding. When Herod swore that he would give his daughter whatever she would ask him, he was guilty of murder in giving her the head of John the Baptist, and of profanation in calling on God as the witness and sanction of his cruelty. You swear that you will pay but four shillings fo*-an acre of potatos, &c.
When St. Augustine lays down as a maxim that the laws of every state regulate the property of the subject, and that whatever we possess must be in consequence of the determination of the law; when St. Paul commands us to pay honour to whom honour, and tribute to whom tribute is due, can the most learned Casuist determine that you are bound to pay no more than the precise sum of four shillings for an acre? Your oath then is the same thing as if you swore in the following manner: I swear by this book that I will do such a thing, whether it be right or wrong. Is such an oath just? In like manner let mesuppose that after this oath, you may be sued at law for the tithes, and for non-payment be cast into prison, or have your little property distrained. What will be the consequence? You must either break your oath, or remain in prison, or have your poor families ruined. Thus your oath is the same as if it were as follows: I swear by this book, that I will either break this oath, or rot in prison, or ruin my family. Is there judgment, is there prudence in this? Add to this, that such persons as tender such oaths are in the power of the law, and will be treated with the utmost rigour. And on this occasion, I conjure the Gentlemen of this country who may read this letter, and be next Assizes on your Jury, to distinguish the wanton compellers of such oaths, and the persons who take or administer them from fear or compulsion. I say, take or administer them; for, take and administer in the sense I allude to, are synooimous in the eyes of humanity and justice, when the motive, I mean for fear of grievous outrage to their persons or property, compels them to take the oath, or administer to others. And