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those 'ghosts' still shriek from the Bridge of Portnadown,1 if not now for just vengeance on their murderers, yet for pity on them, for horror at them: and no just man, whatever his new feelings may be, but will share more or less the Lord Lieutenant Cromwell's old feelings on that matter. It must not be denied, it requires to be admitted! As an act of blind hysterical fury, very blind and very mad and weak, it remains on the face of Irish History; and will have to remain till Ireland cease, much more generally than it has yet done, to mistake loud bluster for inspired wisdom, and spasmodics and hysteric frenzy for strength;till, let us say, Ireland do an equal act of magnanimous Forbearance, and of Valour in the silent kind! Of which also we have by no means lost hope. No :-and if among the true hearts of Ireland there chanced to be found one who, across the opaque angry whirlwind in which all Cromwell matters are enveloped for him, could recognise, in this thunderclad figure of a Lord Lieutenant now about to speak to him, the veritable Heaven's Messenger clad in thunder; and accept the stern true message he brings-! Who knows? That too, we believe, is coming; and with it many hopeful things. But to our Declaration, however that may be.
A Declaration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, For the Undeceiving of Deluded and Seduced People: which may be satisfactory to all that do not willfully shut their eyes against the light. In answer to certain late Declarations and Acts, framed by the Irish Popish Prelates and Clergy, in a Conventicle at Clonmacnoise.
HAVING lately perused a Book printed at Kilkenny in the year 1649, containing divers Declarations and Acts of the Popish Prelates and Clergy, framed in a late Conventicle at Clonmacnoise, the 4th day of December in the year
'Affidavits, taken in 1641-44: in Sir John Temple's History of the Irish Massacre and Rebellion (Maseres's edition, London, 1812), pp. 85-123; May's History of the Long Parliament, and the contemporary Books passim.
aforesaid, I thought fit to give a brief Answer unto the
And first to the first;-which is a Declaration, wherein (having premised the reconciliation of some differences among themselves, and the hearty "Union" they have now attained to') they come to state the reasons of' their War, grounding it' upon "the interest of their Church, of his Majesty and the Nation," and their resolution to prosecute the same with unity. All which will deserve a particular survey.
The Meeting of the Archbishops, Bishops and other Prelates at Clonmacnoise is by them said to be proprio motu. By which term they would have the world believe that the Secular Power hath nothing to do to appoint, or superintend, their Spiritual Conventions, as they call them ; —although in the said meetings they take upon them to intermeddle in all Secular Affairs; as by the sequel appears.-But first for their "Union" they so much boast of. If any wise man shall seriously consider what they pretend the grounds of their "differences" to have been, and the way and course they have taken to reconcile the same; and their expressions thereabout, and the ends for which, and their resolutions how to carry-on their great Design declared for; he must needs think slightly of their said "union.” And also for this, That they resolve all other men's consent and reconciliation' into their own; without consulting them at all!
The subject of this reconciliation was, as they say, "the Clergy and Laity." The discontent and division itself was grounded on the late difference of opinion happening amongst the "Prelates and Laity."-I wonder not at
1'it' in orig.
differences in opinion, at discontents and divisions, where so Antichristian and dividing a term as "Clergy and Laity" is given and received. A term unknown to any save the Antichristian Church, and such as derive themselves from her: ab initio non fuit sic. The most pure and primitive Times, as they best know what true union was, so in all addresses to the several Churches they wrote unto, not one word of this. The members of the Churches are styled Brethren, and Saints of the same household of Faith:" ' and' although they had orders and distinctions amongst them for administration of ordinances,—of a far different use and character from yours, yet it nowhere occasioned them to say, contemptim, and by way of lessening in contradistinguishing, "Laity and Clergy." It was your pride that begat this expression. And it is for filthy lucre's sake that you keep it up: that by making the People believe that they are not so holy as yourselves, they might for their penny purchase some sanctity from you; and that you might bridle, saddle and ride them at your pleasure; and do (as is most true of you) as the Scribes and Pharisees of old did by their "Laity,"-keep the knowledge of the Law from them, and then be able in their pride to say, "This people, that know not the Law, are cursed."
And no wonder,-to speak more nearly to your ferences" and "union,”—if it lie in the Prelates' power to make the Clergy and the Laity go together by the ears when they please, but that they may as easily make a simple and senseless reconciliation! Which will last until the next Nuncio comes from Rome with supermandatory advices; and then this Gordian knot must be cut, and the poor "Laity" forced to dance to a new tune.
I say not this as being troubled at your "union." By the grace of God, we fear not, we care not for it. Your
covenant, if you understood it,' is with Death and Hell! Your union is like that of Simeon and Levi: "Associate yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; take counsel "together, and it shall come to nought!"- For though it becomes us to be humble in respect of ourselves, yet we can say to you: God is not with you. You say, Your union is "against a common enemy:" and to this if you will be talking of "union," I will give you some wormwood to bite on; by which it will appear God is not with
Who is it that created this "common enemy" (I suppose you mean Englishmen)? The English? Remember, ye hypocrites, Ireland was once united to England. That was the original "union." Englishmen had good inheritances which many of them purchased with their money; they and their ancestors, from you and your ancestors. They had good Leases from Irishmen, for long times to come; great stocks thereupon; houses and plantations erected at their own cost and charge. They lived peaceably and honestly amongst you. You had generally equal benefit of the protection of England with them; and equal justice from the Laws,-saving what was necessary for the State, out of reasons of State, to put upon some few people, apt to rebel upon the instigation of such as you. You broke this "union!" You, unprovoked, put the English to the most unheard-of and most barbarous Massacre (without respect of sex or age) that ever the Sun beheld. And at a time when Ireland was in perfect Peace. And when, through the example of English Industry, through commerce and traffic, that which was in the Natives' hands was better to them than if all Ireland had been in their possession, and not an Englishman in it. And yet then, I say, was this unheard-of villany perpetrated, by your instigation, who boast of "peace-making" and "union
against this common enemy." What think you by this time, is not my assertion true? Is God, will God be, with you?
I am confident He will not! And though you would comprehend Old English, New English, Scotch, or whom else you will, in the bosom of your catholic charity, yet shall not this save you from breaking. I tell you and them, You will fare the worse for their sakes. Because I cannot but believe some of them go against, some stifle, their consciences. And it is not the fig-leaf of pretence "that they fight for their King," will serve their turn; when really they fight in protection of men of so much prodigious guiltiness of' blood; and with men who have declared the ground of their "union" and fighting, as you have stated it in this your Declaration, to be Bellum Pralaticum et Religiosum, in the first and primary intention of it. Especially when they shall consider your principles: 'and' that except what fear makes you comply with,—viz. that alone without their concurrence you are not able to carry on your work of War,-you are ready, whenever you shall get get the power into your hands, to kick them off too, as some late experiences have sufficiently manifested! -And thus we come to the Design, you being thus wholesomely" united," which is intended to be prosecuted by you.
Your words are these: "That all and every of us the "above Archbishops, Bishops and Prelates, are now, by "the blessing of God, as one body united. And that we "will, as becometh charity and our pastoral charge, stand "all of us as one entire body, for the interests and immuni"ties of the Church, and of every the Bishops and Pre"lates thereof; and for the honour, dignity, estate, right "and possessions of all and every of the said Archbishops,