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error, but a return to the allegiance against which they had rebelled. That allegiance is the tenure by which they, and the whole body of the realm by them represented,' hold honour and dignity, property and privilege; by which they enjoy exemption from infamy, and a title to the benefits of civil society. What then, it may be asked, do the monarch and the nation possess in their own right? The act answers as follows: "We, your majesties humble and obedient subjects, the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, neither by the making or delivering of any the supplications aforesaid, nor by any clause, article, or sentence thereof, by any manner of interpretation, construction, implication, or otherwise, intended to derogate, impair, or dimi. nish, any of the prerogatives, liberties, franchises, pre-eminences, or jurisdictions, of your crown imperial of the realms of England and Ireland.' Such is the device of this Roman Catholic parliament, for maintaining the independence of the civil

government. The prerogatives of the monarch are acknowledged, in the vague obscurity of general language: what seems the head, is allowed the idle privilege of wearing the shadowy likeness of a crown; while certain specific powers, constituting a mass of authority, such as no other despotism has ever aspired to, are right reverently' surrendered to a foreign prelate. - If those declarations of undivided allegiance, which have been recently made by Roman Catholic ecclesias

tics, are to be similarly understood, little has been gained for the cause of public tranquillity.*

* Much has been said, of the forbearance of the Irish hierarchy, in abstaining from persecution, during this reign; and, if it were even probable, that they had the power to injure, one would be inclined to relieve himself from the clamour, by giving the order full credit, for a single instance of moderation. But it is certain, that the Irish Protestants did not owe much to the lenity, either of the queen, or of the bishops. In the third year of her reign, the lord deputy St. Leger was removed from his office, because it was suggested by his enemies at court, that he had formerly made some verses in ridicule of transubstantiation. It was the first article of the instructions to the new lord deputy and his council, that they should, by all good means possible, advance the honour of God and of the Catholic church ; that they should set forth the honour and dignity of the pope's holiness, and the see apostolic of Rome ; and, from time to time, be ready with their aid and secular force, at the request of all spiritual ministers and ordinaries, to punish and repress all heretics and Lollards, and their damnable sects, opinions, and errors.' The better to carry these instructions into effect, an act was passed, in the following year, reviving three statutes for the punishment of heresy; the preamble runs as follows: — For the eschuyng and avoiding of errours and heresies, which of late have risen, growen, and mouche increased, within this realme ; for that the ordinaries have wanted authoritie to procede against those that were infected therewith ; be it, therefore, ordayned and enacted, by the authoritie of this present parliament, that the statute made,' &c. It appears, therefore, that the queen was too impartial a fanatic to make a distinction of places or persons; and that the prelates looked, with the same eagerness as their brethren in England, for the aid of the secular arm: but the local executive could not second these charitable intentions, without disregarding common sense, and the ordinary maxims of English policy. The great contest in Ireland, was still between the races, not the churches; the usual animosities raged between the government and the natives; so that O'Sullivan, over-catholic as he is justly,

[1558.] Elizabeth had conducted herself with much quiet circumspection during the reign of her sister; and, although decided in her views of religion, showed the same moderation, upon her coming to the throne. She invited the English bishops to assist at her coronation ; all except one refused, and she suffered their insolence to pass unpunished. In the same conciliating spirit, she caused her accession to be notified at Rome, in the form usually observed between friendly courts ; and in this instance also her condescension was rudely repulsed. The pope, Paul the Fourth, reminded her ambassador *, that the British dominions were fiefs of the holy see;' he said that, • it was a great boldness in her to assume the government, without his permission; that she could not succeed, being illegitimate; that she deserved not to be heard in any thing, yet, as he was desirous to show a fatherly affection, he would do whatsoever might be done, with the honour of the apostolic see, if she renounced her pretensions, and referred herself wholly to his free favour.' But the queen, says Father Paul, understanding the pope's answer, and wondering at the man's hasty disposition, thought it not profitable, either for herself, or for her kingdom, to treat any more with him. * His successor, more subtle and less precipitate, endeavoured to repair the mischief, by soothing overtures: he proposed a plan of reconciliation, founded on mutual concessions; the queen was invited to send an ambassador and some bishops, to the approaching council of Trent; the delicate question of her legitimacy should be settled, he said, to her satisfaction; the reformed liturgy should be sanctioned; the cup allowed to the laity, and the priesthood permitted to marry. All this, and more, the complying pontiff was willing to grant, if Elizabeth would return to the unity of the church: power and revenue were his objects; and, could these be attained, theological differences would have created little difficulty. But the queen understood him as well as his predecessor; • she resolved,' says a papal bishop * with unintentional felicity, - to shake off the yoke of the Roman see,' and proceeded to arrange the establishment of a national church.

but somewhat ominously, called by an existing poetical his. torian, is obliged to give this character of Mary's reign: 'that, though she endeavoured to extend the Catholic reign, yet her governors and counsellors did not cease to injure and insult the Irish.' The Protestants then in Ireland were English, many

of them by birth, and nearly all by descent: in allowing the bishops to burn them, the crown would deprive itself of some of its best subjects; would alarm and mortify the nobles, by furnishing their old rivals with such tremendous powers; and would offend the English generally, while it encouraged the Irish. Thus, the flames that consumed the heretics might have kindled a civil war, in which the old enemies of English connection would have been aided by some, who had hitherto been its most zealous supporters. But it would seem, that, as the queen's bigotry grew with the decline of her health and understanding, even this danger ceased to be regarded in any other light, than as enhancing the merit of her orthodox zeal. A commission was actually signed for commencing the persecution of the Protestants in Ireland; but it miscarried on the way, and, before another could be issued, the queen was summoned to her great account. Ware's Reign of Mary.

I have adopted here, with very little change, Brent's translation of Father Paul.

* * If,' says a truly respectable Roman Catholic bishop, in high and indignant resentment, she then made her choice, and if that choice proved subversive of a religion, the professors of which could suffer their first pastor to think or speak thus, I may be sorry, but I cannot be surprized.' Berrington, Memoirs of Gregorio Panzani, Introduction.

For eleven years, her measures were unmolested by the papal government, and received without opposition by the great body of the Roman Catholics. The laity every where frequented the churches

: ; multitudes of the priests adopted the prescribed changes, and continued to officiate in their former cures †; and the majority of the prelates, leading, or following, the popular opinion, retained their sees, and exercised their functions according to the reformed ritual. I

At length [1568], the patience of Rome was exhausted, and

* Romanæ Ecclesiæ jugum excutere, is the apposite phrase of Dr. Burke in his Hibernia Dominicana.

† It appears, from the report of the lord deputy Sydney to the queen, (in Leland, ii.) that, in the diocese of Meath, the best peopled and best governed country of the realm,' upon one hundred and five impropriate benefices, there were only eighteen curates who could speak English, all the rest were Irish priests. The number of conforming priests in the other districts, may, perhaps, be inferred from this instance. Mr. Butler, following Dodd's Church History, says of the English priests,' that many of them conformed for a while, in hopes the queen would relent, and things come round again.'- (Memoirs, ii. p. 280.) He may be right, in complimenting their orthodoxy, at the expense of their truth; yet, it is a curious circumstance, that their hypocrisy, while it deceived a vigilant, and justly suspicious Protestant government, should be disclosed by the tardy candour of their own historians.

| Cox, 314. Ware's Irish Bishops, 27. 5.9. 128.

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