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Justinian, quarrelled on account of the colour of their clothes; or, as the sectaries of Ali and Omar fight, to this very day, about the orthodox cut that should be given to a Mahometan's beard. And I consider such of the Protegtant and Catholics of Ireland full as great fanatics and fools as the former, if their creed be the cause of their quarrel; not that I am such a latitudinarian as to believe all religions alike. But true religion, instead of inspiring hatred and rancour, commands us to love and pity those who are in error.
The fleecy beard, and the glib or smooth lip, were both forgotten a few years after the Reformation, in the appellation of Protestant and Papist ; and thus the same sanguinary system has been continued, with few interruptions, for too long a time, to the destruction of a kingdom, which, from its happy situation, the commodiousness of its harbours, the temperature of its climate, the fertility of its soil, the manly and generous dispositions of its inhabitants, would realize whatever poets have feigned concerning Fortuoate Islands, and Hesperian Gardens. To do away the jealousy which may hereafter operate to the same destructive effect, by playing off the natives against each other, to their mutual provocation and obstruction to the happiness and prosperity of their common country, was the chief motive which influenced my mind in recommending the Union, as the only effectual preventive. · As to the happy effect of the Union, by making the residence of the clergy a check on the pernicious influence of the vagrant Catholic priest, who sells his absolution for all sorts of crimes; it is as fancifully imagined, as it is delicately expressed. The parson hereby assumes the office of an exciseman to seize the contraband absolutions of the priest, who becomes a smuggler-a well conceived plan for increasing the revenues of Ireland, and refining the manners of her inhabitants! The Protestant and Catholic clergy of Ireland have lived together, for years, in the habits of freedom and friendship; when, by the laws of the country, the latter were doomed to transportation for performing their religious functions, the clergy of the established church, never turned informers, nor applied to Members of Parliament, for the
purpose of swelling with new laws, the enormous penal code, on account of literary disputes. It is not from each other they have any thing to fear; but both have every thing to dread from the disciples of the New Philosophy, which has made a rapid progress amongst their respective flocks; at the root of this system, and not against any branch of the Christian religion, which professes obedience to the laws, the axe of power should be laid : and nothing cherishes the growth of infidelity more than publications which tend to expose the pastors to the derision and contempt of those who were accustomed, and whose duty it was, to respect them.
; .in . . . . It is needless to have recourse to France, where the priests' cassock began to be considered by the higher orders as an antiquated dress; and the lower classes, who afterwards burnt the castle, and shed the blood of these nobles, learned disrespect for their teachers from their example, Ireland has of late afforded but too melancholy an instance of the truth of this remark. The habit of respect and submission to their clergy, was in such a manner an earnest pledge of the obedience of the common people to the state, that amidst so many wars and rebellions, since the Revolution, until the destruction of monarchy in France, Ireland was not one single hour tainted with the spirit of rebellion. Lord Chesterfield, on his return from his Viceroyship, informed George II. that he had met in Ireland but two dangerous Papists of whom his Majesty should be aware-two ladies of the names of Devereux, who had danced at the Castle on the King's birth night. All the Viceroys of Ireland, from Lord Chesterfield to Earl Cam. den, could have made much a similar answer, if interrogated concerning what is called the danger of Popery.
If a number of the common people, in some countries, were seduced from the peaceable line of conduct, which they had hitherto pursued, the chief cause will, as it ought to be ascribed to their disobedience to their pastors; in consequence of the industrious propagation of Tom Paine's pernicious principles, and the artifices of people of power and consequence, of a religion, if any they had, different from the Catholic persuasion. Other collateral causes can be
assigned which it is the province of the impartial historian to detail, when he lays open the hidden springs of public transactions. But means were used to weaken the confidence of the people in their pastors, by representing them as so many impostors, leagued with Government for their oppression. *
In the American war, when the combiued fleets of France and Spain were riding triumphant in the British Channel, almost all the English forces engaged beyond the Atlantic, and Ireland destitute of any regular defence, except a few dismounted dragoons, the loyal and peace. able conduct of the common people, attentive to ihe instructions of their pastors, could be equalled only by the union and exertions of the higher orders for the protection of the kingdom.
Many instances could I adduce, in which the peaceful voice of the priest was more effectual to quell riots and disturbances, than the thunder of the cannon could have been. In proportion as this influence is weakened in a kingdom situated as Ireland is, the spirit of insubordination and infidelity will strengthen. Remove the restraints of religion, from men of strong passions, irritable dispositions, and desperate courage- let the influence of their priests be destroyed, they will become infidels. The kingdom will be then chiefly divided between the infidels of the South, who will have no religion, and the Dissenters of the North, whose religion breathes freedom and independence on hierarchial Government.
The maxim laid down by Doctor Law, a Protestant Bishop, equally eminent for learning and liberality, is by far more consistent with Christianity and sound policy, · By far to the greatest part of my diocesans,' said this illustrious prelate, are of the Roman Catholic persuasion. I cannot make
* This is so true, that the United Irishinen universally execrate the Catholic Clergy, as concurring both to disunite and prevent any accession of strength, by their sermons and pastoral instructions: and impute partly the frustration of their plans, to these very priests, so cruelly libelled by others, from whou more candour and justice might be expected. The clergy of both religions must stand or fall together. In all apo pearance, had the rebellion succeeded, there would be none but Consitutional Priests and Ministers, as iminoral as their Republican flocks,
• good Protestants of them, I wish to make good Catholics
of them; and with this intention I put into their hands the « Works of Doctor Gother, an eminent Catholic divine.'
If Doctor Law's maxim be followed--if, instead of having the people eternally harassed on the score of religion, every one rests in peace under his own vine and fig-tree, a Catholic priest, respected by his flock, will be a safer guard to a Protestant clergyman, than a regiment of the best disciplined soldiers.
. Let us uncatholicise France,' said Mirabeau, otherwise • we can never establish a Republican Government. It is then much safer for the state to continue the Catholic catechism in the hands of the common people, who are accustomed to it, than to expose them to the danger of having Tom Paine's Age of Reason substituted in its room. And his Majesty will be more secure on his throne, when a Catholic clergyman recommends him and the Royal Family to God, from the altar, than when a fifth monarchy man, after reading in his Bible, thou shalt bind their kings in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron, acknowledges no king but King Jesus; or, when Regicides inscribe on the muzzles of their guns, Lord, thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall sing forth thy praise. The History of England affords but too many melancholy proofs of it.
As to the blessings of civilization which are to be extended to Ireland by the Union, any insinuation, that the Irish stand in need of it more than their neighbours, must hurt their pride.
I suppose he means the lower orders of the people of Ireland. All philosophical and unprejudiced travellers, who have observed with attention their customs and manners, acknowledge that they surpass the lower orders of any other country, in generosity, wit, vivacity, manliness and activity. It is not at St. Giles, or Wapping, where their manners and morals are vitiated by the contagion of example, that the character of the lower orders of the Irish is to be known. It is in the inland and mountainous parts of Ireland, where bare-footed boys study the classics; and where the civility of the common people to strangers, and to each other, distinguishes them as much from Dutch boors, and
land. bserved with they surpass vivacity, mat
the rustics of other countries, as education distinguishes a well-bred man from a clown. It is not civilization, but bread and employment they stand in need of: and if it be true, that language and music were the first civilizers that softened the savage manners of unpolished man; it seems, from the inharmonious stile of the author of a publication, which identifies, by a grammatical apposition, a Catholic priest and a vagrant--that he has not such a stock of civilization to spare, as to be enabled to divide it with others without impoverishing himself. Though his rank in life, entitles him to range in those circles, one of whose first rules is that of good breeding, if the name which the editor has prefixed to the publication be not fictitious.
1307 The Catholic clergy of Ireland, my Lords, are not vagrants : they claim their descent from the most ancient and noble families in that kingdom; and, though pride of birth attaches no consequence either to their persons or profession, in the eyes of the patrons of liberty and equality, yet it must have weight with your Lordships. For in Monarchies, where, according to Montesquieu, there must be gradations of ranks, and nobles, like your Lordships, whose titles, and privileges are descendable to their postérity, a certain regard must be paid to lineage and pedigree; and if the day should ever happen (which heaven avert) when the gentleman should be confounded with the clown, and the priest with the vagrant, away with the coronet and the armorial bearings. My name is Equality, said the late Duke of Orleans: the unhappy man prophesied ! His head fell, with equal honour, from the edge of the guillotine into the same basket with the head of the sans-culotte. If then the author of the worse than illiberal publication, alluded to in this address, be that man of consequence, whose name the editor has prefixed to it, he forgets himself, and the regard due to dignity of rank, and the rules of common decency, when he treats gentlemen of family, and of a liberal education, such as the Catholic clergy of Ireland, with millions of times less ceremony than it would be in his power to treat a pilfering crew of strolling gipsies. The vagrant Catholie priest selling his absolutions for all sorts of crimes, felonies. &c. &c.
equal in the unhappy is Equality, coronet and the