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than that he thought such extra tax a less evil than that of leaving the country, with all his possessions ; nor would he by thus continuing to live in his native land weaken in any degree his right to agitate for the repeal of the tax. Such a foolish and oppressive measure would offend against justice, not against religious convictions. But inasmuch as these latter feelings are very generally as deep-rooted in the human breast as the sense of justice, such an enactment as the one supposed would not be more oppressive than that which says to a whole people: None amongst you shall possess, nor even cultivate, any portion of the soil of your own country, except upon the condition of paying tithe in support of a religion which the great majority of your people deem wrong and schismatical. Yet such has been the treatment inflicted for 300 years by England upon Ireland. In the 16th century England became Protestant, Ireland remained Roman Catholic. Upon which England, being the stronger, compelled all Irish proprietors and occupiers of land to support, from that time forward, a Protestant State Church in Ireland.
There are some who fancy that they successfully apologise for this by asserting that the whole change (the cruel penal code of the last century included) was effected by the Irish parliament. Irish indeed; for although three-fourths of the Irish were Roman Catholics, no Roman Catholic was allowed to have a seat in Ireland's legislature, nor even to possess the suffrage. Have those who make use of this argument about the Irish parliament ever asked themselves what they would think of an English parliament in which no Protestant could sit, and in the election of whose members no Protestant could vote? Thus is it that men wedded by habit to a long-standing wrong, blindly endeavour to prop it
up by means of another and yet greater wrong. Those who thus argue are about as wise as persons who should seek to extinguish a conflagration by turning upon it an abundant supply of oil. Such arguments (and there are many of a similar character brought to bear) really tempt the writer, despite his English birth and Protestant faith, to wish that by some miracle Ireland would suddenly become far stronger than England, and then treat her for a year or two to a Roman Church establishment on this side of St George's Channel. It would then be seen how Eng·lishmen would deal with arguments in favour of a church establishment of the small Roman Catholic minority forced upon the unwilling majority of Protestant England. Eighteen months of such a régime would clear away many a sophism by which Anglican Churchmen seek now to justify such a system when applied to Ireland. It would be edifying to see the new light which would break upon their minds. Our public halls would ring with many an eloquent speech proclaiming the freedom of private judgment and defending the rights of conscience. The occasion would, no doubt, be further improved by reminding Roman Catholics that, as professed Christians, they were bound to do unto others as they would be done by. Many and powerful discourses would be preached setting forth the apostolic maxim, that the weapons of the Christian warfare are not carnal. Others would dwell with great force of argument upon the truth that the Christian kingdom is not one of temporal but of spiritual rule, even as Christ himself declared when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In vain would our Irish fellow-countrymen seek to improve their position by passing an Ecclesiastical Titles Bill forbidding our Protestant bishops to assume, for the future, territorial designations. Nor would content be increased by the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, although it might well be that such suspension was necessary to the peace of the country, thanks to the ecclesiastical régime thus imposed upon Protestant England by Roman Catholic Ireland. Indeed it would not be surprising if the head of the police had to call in the authorities of the Horse Guards to enable him to protect Archbishop Manning (by law transformed into His Grace Henry Edward, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, Primate of all England and Metropolitan), as he went to take his seat in England's House of Peers.
Under such circumstances, even those who are loudest in proclaiming that changes in our government are to be effected only by constitutional means, might be sorely tempted to fall away from that orthodox faith. Some might perchance give ear to evil-disposed persons who should whisper that our forefathers resisted oppression by other than merely moral force and constitutional opposition. Very fervid Protestants, perhaps even Church dignitaries, roused by what seemed to them a grievous wrong, and hopeless of any other remedy, might cry in their despair, “Repeal the Union.” One thing, at least, is certain; that no amount of oratory, no abundance of leading articles, would ever convince Englishmen that a Papal Church established by law in Protestant England was after all “only a sentimental grievance.” Now, let it further be supposed that such a Roman establishment were accompanied by a wide-spread system of confiscation, which handed over three-fourths of England's soil to Irish Roman Catholics and their dependents. What would Englishmen say if such a change, brought about by such means, were adduced as an argument to prove that a Roman State Church was no real hardship to England ? Would not her people condemn the whole proceeding as a monstrous iniquity, and denounce the argument as one which only added insult to injury? Such assuredly would be England's sentence in her own case, and such, if justice or manly honesty have any influence over her, must be the sentence she pronounces in the case of her neighbour. To judge otherwise is to run the risk of no slight peril, if, indeed, there be truth in those words: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Many defenders of the present Irish Church Establishment affirm that it is the real representative of the early Irish Church as it existed previous to the conquest of Ireland by Henry II. (1156-1171). They
say it was that sovereign who first brought the Church of the sister island to acknowledge the Papal supremacy. Elaborate arguments are adduced to prove, and not less elaborate ones to disprove, the alleged fact. The discipline, dogmas, rites, succession, condition, &c., of the early Irish Church are gone into with more or less of success, or want of success. An intricate mass of conflicting evidence is produced, revealing a most confused state of things, inextricably interwoven with ecclesiastical difficulties and theological subtleties, the general result resembling anything rather than the simplicity of truth. Let ordinary readers at least beware how they venture upon the bewildering entanglement of that theological maze.
“ Ahi quanto, a dir qual era, é cosa dura,
Questa selva selvaggia ed aspra e forte,
Che nel pensier rinnova la paura ! ”—DANTE.
That forest drear, rugged, and toilsome,
The very thought of which rekindles terror!” The writer, at any rate, prefers at once admitting that the existing State Church is the true successor of the early Irish Church, despite the earnest protest of Roman Catholic divines. Protestant Churchmen must, however, be reminded that tithes were unknown to the early Irish Church. They were first introduced, or at least enforced, by the secular arm-that is, made compulsory as a legal obligation-by Henry II. for the benefit of that Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholic priesthood which it is affirmed the monarch in question established for the first time in the sister island. The matter is thus stated by