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fering, inflicted with all the remorseless fury of paganism. Future times will startle when they read the miseries which one sect of christians inflicted on another; and they will repeat those names with indignation, who converted fidelity into crime, and sincere religion into superstitious fanaticism.
We shall find, in the reign which we are about to record, the calamitous effects of that wretched policy which would force a religion upon the people of any nation. Notwithstanding the blood that has been shed, and the tears which have flowed, what have been the fruits of persecution to the reformed religion of Ireland ? Where are its numbers, compared with the persecuted catholic ? Is not catholic Ireland more powerful at this moment than ever she was ? and have not the struggles to weaken her but increased her strength, and raised her character and importance in Europe ? We may learn from the past, that no religion can be propagated by the violence of the sword, or the statute book; that persecution covers the human mind with an impenetrable armour; that it multiplies its victims or impoverishes and destroys itself; and that there is no axiom better established by the page of history, than that to which pagan persecution gave birth,~" Sanguis martyrum est semen religionis.” The catholic religion has arisen in Ireland from the ashes of its professors, and now displays to the reason of mankind a sober and settled rule by which humanity can regulate its future hopes, or its present consistenc The folly of that zeal which would compel by privations and political disabilities and indignities, the profession of a particular speculative opinion, * is universally acknow
• The following observations coming from lord Clare, the excessive liberality of whose opinions cannot be complained of" by the partizans of bigotry, fully demonstrate that the most prejudiced mind cannot refuse assent to the instruction which history gives to mankind. In the year 1800, he thus spoke in the Irish house of lords. " It seems difficult," said his lordship, "to conceive any more unjust or impolitic act of go. vernment, than an attempt to force new modes of religious faich and
ledged; and the civilized world now seem to be anxfous
for the general establishment of that tolerant principle · which is best calculated to procure and perpetuate the peace and harmony of mankind.
On the accession of Elizabeth, the west and north of Ireland were desolated by the aspiring ambition of the two houses of Desmond and O'Nial. The latter claimed the sovereignty of all Ulster, and re-assumed the ancient grandeur of his house. O’Nial perceived that a great exertion should be made to save himself from a fate similar to that of the two powerful clans of Offaly and Leix; and he therefore, with becoming spirit, determined to put forth all his strength, consolidate his kingdom, unite the distracted chieftains who were subordinate to him in one common bond of union, and boldly assert his independence against the violence and fraud of his English enemies. He reduced the O'Reillys of Cavan, and Calvach O'Donnell of Donegall. The colony were alarmed at the rapidity of O’Nial's progress; and their deputy, the earl of Sussex, led all his forces against the Irish chieftain, Before a blow was struck, an accommodation was agreed to. O’Nial pleaded the justice of his resistance, and a treaty was concluded, in which he was acknowledged dynast of Tyrowen. The treaty being finally arranged, he attended the lord deputy to Dublin, swore allegiance, and promised to repair to the queen, and renew his dutiful submission at the foot of the throne. It is said that he appeared before Elizabeth with all the pomp and magnificence peculiar to his country. He was attended, on the day of audience by a guard of gallow-glasses, arrayed in the richest
worship, by severe penalties, upon a rude, superstitious, and unlettered people. Persecution, or attempts to force conscience, will never produce conviction; they are calculated only to make hypocrites and martyrs; and accordingly the violence committed by the regency of Edward, and continued by Elizabeth, to force the reformed religion on Ireland, had no other effect than to foment a general disaffection to the Eng. lish government; a disaffection so general as to induce Philip II. of Spain to attempt partial descents on the southern coasts of this island, pre. paratory to his meditated attack upon England.”
habiliments of their country, armed with the battle-axe, their heads bare, their hair flowing on their shoulders, their linen vests dyed with saffron, with long and open sleeves, and surcharged with their short military harness; a spectacle astonishing to the people, who imagined that they beheld the inhabitants of some distant quarter of the globe. Elizabeth received the Irish chieftain with the greatest courtesy, and patiently listened to his defence. The candour and magnanimity of O'Nial's deportment so gained upon the queen, that she dismissed him with assurances of her favor and protection. O’Nial did not disappoint the hopes of the queen when he returned to his native country. His fidelity to her interests was zealous and sincere. He led his forces against the Hebridean Scots, defeated and drove them from the castles they had occupied on the northern coast. Notwithstanding these strong demonstrations of attachment to the cause of Elizabeth, the deputy still entertained unworthy suspicions of the sincerity of O'Nial, and communicated those suspicions to his royal mistress. The answer of Elizabeth on this occasion displays at once her determination and her sagacity. “Be not dismayed,” said she; “tell my friends, if he arise, it will turn to their advantage; there will be estates for them who want;—from me he must expect no further favor.”
Sir Henry Sydney was now appointed to the viceregency of Ireland; which, at this period, required all the intelligence and activity which that enterprising Englishman was known to possess. Sir William St. Leger was ordered to co-operate with sir Henry Sidney; and special instructions were given to the privy council of the colony, to devise such measures, in concurrence with the deputy, as were calculated to enforce the queen's authority, * and
It has been often observed by the liberal readers of Irish history, that Ireland is distinguished from all other countries, not so much by the magnitude of her misfortunes, and the excess of her sufferings, as she is by the malignant calumnies of the hired traducer, and the abandoned
propagate the reformed religion. To intimidate the male-
testimony of her prostitute children. At the moment some of our Irish
expel from his territories the only obstacle which now presented itself to the completion of his ambitious views. He could no longer hold terms with a government which would not place the most complete confidence in his professions of loyalty; and he resolved rather to struggle for his independence,, than pass a precarious existence under a power which discredited his character.
The lord of Desmond had now surrendered to the arms
and Ireland, left to the direction of her own conscience, on questions of religion, promises as much strength to her rulers as she has been hitherto a source of weakness and torment. The measures adopted by the sh parliament to promote the success of the reformation in Ireland, were well calculated for the object they had in view. The parliament of the pale, at the accession of Elizabeth, was not composed of those malleable materials, that could, without a struggle, surrender the religion of their fathers; we find, however, that such were the threats of despotism, that in a session of a few weeks, the whole ecclesiastical system of the colony was changed. The act of supremacy, the act empowering the viceroy to nominate to sees, for the space of ten years, the act for erecting schools of reformation, the act enacting that all persons in office shall take the oath of supremacy, the act making it high treason to defend the ancient religion, either by word or by writing-the punishment death; the act making the Book of Common Prayer, composed by Elizabeth, the only book of prayer to be read by the clergy of the pale, who, on refusal, were subject to the penalty of confinement for life. These were some of the acts enacted by Elizabeth, for the propagation of her religion; but it is to be remarked, that she always reseļved to herself the power of prescribing other forms and ceremonies, as it might please her majesty. These were the acts which Irishmen resisted with their bloed, because they were taught to believe it was more religious, as well as more honorable, to die in defence of religious freedom, than embrace doctrines which they could not believe. For this fidelity, which should have raised Ireland in the estimation of a great statesman, the ministerial hypocrite and the plunderer laid waste her property, and deluged her fields with blood; and the experience of two centuries was necessary to develope the infatuated weakness of such a policy. Is it to be wondered that the Irish peasant should, after the lapse of such a period of horror, connect the name of protestant with persecutor ? And that the mild and merciful protestants of the present day should sometimes hear the murmurings of those men, whose ancestors have fallen victims in the defence of principles, which none prize more highly than the enlightened and benevolent reforma er of the present day. The reflecting mind will admit, that years of kindness can only obliterate the impression which two centuries of persecution has made on the trish heart; and that the greatest enemy that Ire, land has, will have the candor to acknowledge that no nation more promptly forgives an injury, nor more gratefully remembers a benefit. It is therefore the duty of the protestant to respect the man his ancestors would have persecuted; and it is the duty of thie catholic, wherever that feeling is acted upon, to forget and to forgive the vices and the follies of the ages that are past.