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to be the most important regarding the religious discipline of the colleges, and he does this after having sworn that no foreign prelate, prince, potentate, or power hath or ought to have any control, religious or otherwise, in these realms. Is it, then, by the Roman Catholic priesthood that the condition of the Irish people is to be advanced ?
Emphatically we say, it is not. Ignorance is one great blight that rests upon our land—what department of knowledge will be encouraged by the Church of Rome? Ireland has, for ages, been the stronghold of the Ro man Catholic faith, and what is her present position, even in the simplest and elementary branches of learning? What parish-priest has established a school, or in any other way promoted the learning of his flock? When the go vernment offered national education to the people, the Roman Catholic priesthood, indeed, eagerly grasped at the National Schools, but the motive was obvious-it was in order to forestall the ministers of the Established Church, and they succeeded in doing so. This necessity, however, was forced upon them. With a people so eminently in telligent and acute as the Irish, the smallest acquirement, the mere art of reading, must ever be formidable to a system so palpably erroneous and indefensible as that of Romanism-it is only by the most incessant watchful. ness, the most painful solicitude, that It can be kept comparatively innoxious. The Roman Catholic priesthood know this well; even already the increased intelligence of the country, limited though it be, is beginning to shake their authority, and most eagerly would they avail themselves of any increase of power to crush that enlightenment which is so formidable to them, and to perpetuate the ignorance on which their authority depends. As to industrial education, it is, of course, out of their power-no department of know. ledge can possibly be promoted through the Roman Catholic clergy.
The want of industry and self-reliance-the habit of referring every evil to the political institutions of the country, and crying out to government for every improvement in their condition is another vice peculiar to Ireland. Is this likely to be abated by increasing the power of the priesthood? We are
entirely convinced that at no time, and under no circumstances, will a Romish ecclesiastic be a well-affected subject of a Protestant state ; and while the clergy of that Church has political influence with its people, it will be directed, in every conceivable way, to engender distrust and disaffection towards the institutions and the social order of the Protestant country in which they live ; and the lesson which teaches that the evils, both physical and moral, to which the country is exposed, is to be referred to the rule of the heretic and the Sassenach, will be the one which will be most sedulously and perseveringly inculcated. Nothing is more common with writers upon Ireland than to reject the influence of the Romish Church, as conducing to the degradation of the country; and to do so upon the grounds, that in Lombardy, Flanders, and other states where the Roman Catholic faith is professed, the highest industry and prosperity is to be found. But without pausing here to examine into the peculiar cir. cumstances of such countries, or to inquire how far the spiritual independence and right of private judgment, which Protestantism asserts must necessarily give a vigour and self-reliance which will extend to every action of life, it must at once strike our read. ers that there is one broad distinction between Ireland and those other countries, which is this-that in the latter, the most injurious of the political influences of Romanism is entirely undeveloped. That antagonism which sets one portion of the country-and that the most ignorant and dependent -in bitter enmity to the rest of their fellow-subjects and to their rulers, is unknown in those countries, where all, both rulers and subjects, are of the same faith-this spirit can there find no place. It is only in Ireland that the Romish ecclesiastics are called upon to evoke it; and Ireland alone attests the ruin which its malignity has occasioned.
Respect for the laws, and submission to them, is hardly less essential to the prosperity of a people, than industry and knowledge—and here again the operation of the same principle which we have just noticed, will for ever disqualify the Romish clergy of Ireland from inculcating these precepts. Not to go back to the past history of the country, which we noticed at some length in our last number, who was it that fostered and kept alive the rankling spirit of rebel. lion for the last twenty years ?—the Roman Catholic priesthood. They it was who supported the late Mr. O'Connell throughout his entire ca. reer; they who collected his repeal rent from their impoverished flocks, amount. ing as it did, occasionally, to three thousand pounds a-week; they who annually held the begging-box in their chapels for the O'Connell tribute, and in this form of exaction drained upwards of two hundred thousand pounds more for the mendicant patriot; they who were, to a man, enrolled in the seditious confederacy of Conciliation Hall; they who encouraged the circu. lation of treasonable and inflammatory publications among their ignorant and excitable people; they who, by their speeches, by their acts, and even by their altar denunciations, created that seditious material which wicked demagogues have ever had thus ready to their hand, to direct to whatever purposes of evil their interest or their bad passions might suggest; they who al. lowed the misguided people to be brought to the very verge of insurrection; they whose chapel-bells rung the alarum ; they who never interposed until the bayonet of the British soldier was fixed, and the artilleryman stood by his gun, and, more formidable still, until the loyalty of Protestant Ireland was aroused, and her Saxon people, with the spirit which descend. ed to them from three races of conquerors, declared that they would maintain to the last the institutions of the country: then, indeed, and not until then, it was that the Roman Catholic priesthood, despairing of suc. cess, and fearing the consequences of defeat, interposed their influence to keep the people from the destruction which awaited their mad attempt at insurrection. Are these the men to whose direction the people of Ireland should be consigned? Never at any time will the Roman Catholic priesthood teach their flocks submission to the laws of England; their hostility to it is founded on the nature of things, and is unquenchable.
There is, moreover, as was well observed by Lord Stanley, on a recent occasion, in the House of Lords, "a jea,
lousy of conflicting authority,” which, even when the Roman Catholic priests do interfere in the cause of order, leads them to do so in a manner which can best impair the authority of the law. “ There is," said that noble lord, " among the great portion of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, a sort of jealousy of conflicting au. thorities, which leads them to be more backward than other classes of the community to exercise their influence to the preservation of the public peace by means of the law. He believed then, and he believed now, that the prevalent feeling among them was, that it was for their interest that the preservation of the public peace should be attributed to their own influence and exertions, rather than to the operation of law; and, consequently, they were backward in give ing their assistance to those whose business it was to put the law in force."
We have said enough to show that in no respect whatsoever can the people of Ireland be benefited by the exaltation of the Roman Catholic clergy. To speak of it as a concession, which is to allay the malignity of the priests against the Saxon and the heretic, is worse than idle. By the evidence of the Roman Catholic prelates and leaders, in 1825, Ireland was to have been tranquillised by the grant of Emancipation. We then had heard nothing of “taking justice by instalments," of which Mr. O'Connell afterwards taught us so much. Well, Emancipation was granted, and how was the concession followed up, and the pledge of tranquillity redeemed? By the tithe war of the succeeding years, and by the persecution and murder of Protestant clergy, and their proctors and bailiffs. Tithes were then conceded_ten bishoprics were conceded--the corporations were conceded - Ireland has been conceded into insurrection; but the Romish priesthood have not abated one tittle of their disloyalty, while, by every concession, they have been gaining force and daring, to make it more manifest and more formidable.
If the attention of the government be directed to the aggrandisement of this class to increasing their power and influence, as we fear it is-it grossly misapprehends the position of the Irish people, and the means by
which their condition may be raised. which he is invested, leads them to reAny course more unworthy of a great gard him as a person altogether of a statesman, it is impossible to imagine. superior order to themselves, and To reward those men, and to increase totally removed from their sphere, their power, who have persevered to while it inflates him with the vulgar rebellion, and will continue to perse arrogance which completes the esvere, in the agitation of a measure, trangement. Who is their arbiter in which this very minister has declared, their disputes ? Their landlord, an that while life is in him he never will intelligent neighbour, but never the concede-men, who have for their priest. To whom do they apply for maxim, for their golden rule, “ Eng. relief in times of famine or of sickland's weakness is Ireland's oppor ness? To the Protestant clergyman, tunity," are to be clothed with power to the neighbouring gentry or farmers, by the prime minister of England to the more fortunate of their own We would say that such fatuity was class, but in no case to the priest. without a precedent, but that we re. The very beggars let his reverence collect that the patronage of Ireland pass by unimportuned. The Protestant was handed over to the late Mr. clergyman, with his large family, his O'Connell by those very ministers, heavy charges, his double poor-rates in consideration of his support, and this (an iniquity which it appears by the while his denunciation of them, as circular which Messrs. Hamilton and “ base, bloody, and brutal," was still Napier have just addressed to their ringing in their ears; and that he constituents, the present government continued to gather in the rent-toare determined to uphold), has his souppocket the tribute, to agitate repeal, kitchen, and such other measures of to foment sedition, and to distribute relief as his benevolence suggests, and the patronage of the crown at one his resources, by the utmost strain to and the same time, under the present which he can subject them, admits of; Whig ministers.
and he is loved by the people, and, if Nor even if the Roman Catholic left to their own guidance, they would priests were as much devoted to the unvaryingly manifest their attachment. cause of education, order, and social The parish priest attends at public advancement, as we believe them to meetings, browbeats an obnoxious be the opposite, would we say that magistrate or public officer, but the they were the class through whom the people are shrewd enough to see that regeneration of Ireland was to be he never subjects himself to the slightaccomplished, or the men by whom est inconvenience or pecuniary sacrifice these objects could be most effectually to relieve the most urgent of their promoted. The influence of the wants. They dare not disclose to him Romish priesthood is not of that cha. any improvement in their condition, racter which, if ever so well directed, for fear it would increase his exaction can best conduce to the advancement of his dues. The priest and the of a people. It is founded, not upon farmer live in this respect in a conlove, not upon sympathy, not upon stant state of mutual suspicion and reverence, but simply upon fear. It watchfulness. From the altar, the is idle to speak of any sympathy be pulpit, and the confessional, the paytween the Irish priest and the Irish ment of their dues is dunned into the peasant, founded on the circumstance people with much more earnest imporof the priests being taken from the tunity than any other article of faith; ranks of the people. From the mo. there is no sympathy whatsoever bement that he is set apart for the tween them. No, it is by the terror of priesthood in his father's cabin, he the priest's power, by the dread of arrogates to himself a diversity of in. the priest's curse, that his influence is terest, of object, and of motive, from maintained_it is by the mystic dread the rest of his fellows, and it is con of falling under the ban of the church ceded to him. The monastic disci- by the superstitious fear of being denied pline of his education completely es. its last rites, that his tyranny is upheld. tranges him from all ties of family I t is idle to suppose that if otherand kindred. The learning which he wise estranged from them, as he is, acquires, wholly inappreciable as it is the priest is endeared to the people by the people, and the power with as a minister of their religion. We
entertain very strong doubts as to the attachment of the Irish people to their religious faith, as such, however they may be wedded to it for its poli. tical associations. We are not about to enter into this subject now; but we would say, that in the formal, heartless manner in which the Roman Catholic priest celebrates the services of his church-services which the people do not understand, and the very language of which is unintelligible to them; and in the unfeeling way in which money is demanded for the administering its rites, ay, even the last rite of extreme unction, there is nothing, there can be nothing, to engage the affections of the people. Let but intelligence and independence prevail in the land, and the priestly power is overthrown. There is no affection, no sympathy, beyond the fellowship in sedition, to support it. But through the very nien who are themselves in terested in keeping the people igno, rant and disaffected, enlightenment and prosperity never can be diffused. It would be the most hollow clap-trap that ever minister descended to, to affect to promote the interests of Ire, land by the advancement of its priests; it would hold him up to the contempt and scorn of all men of sense or worth, and to the just indignation of the loyal Protestants of Ireland, the main stay of order and of the English authority, but whose affection and allegiance it would go far to es. trange.
No; there must be no tampering with treason ; it is by agency and in fluences very different from that of the priests that the country is to be advanced. We are entirely convinced that the destiny of Ireland rests with the proprietors of the soil. Govern ment can do much, by vigorously upholding the laws, and sternly suppres. sing sedition, but otherwise it can do little, except by a few-a very fewwholesale enactments. Emigration is impracticable. A forced system of manufactures, if it were possible, would be most injurious, so long as the great manufacture of all the manufacture of the land-is not developed to one-twentieth of its productive power. Public works are but a temporary expedient, and necessarily limited in their extentthe state never can take on itself the of. fice of employing the whole disengaged
labor of the country. No; it is on the right adjustment of the relations of landlord and tenant, putting both parties in a position to discharge their respective duties, and giving them an incentive to do so, and restoring confidence and harmony to this most delicate relation, that the hope of Ireland now rests. We believe it is perfectly possible to bring about so desirable a change, but it cannot be accomplished at once—the evils of centuries cannot be remedied in a day.
As we stated in our last number, a great amount of the soil of Ireland is vested in proprietors whose estates are deeply involved in such a host of mortgages, annuities, judgment-debts, and other incumbrances, that it is perfectly impossible they can discharge the duties which they owe to themselves, their tenantry, or the country. The owner has no interest in the landits income goes to these incumbrancers, who have no concern for its improvement. It must always be borne in mind, when dealing with this subject, that the ownership of land is of a very peculiar character-it is not a natural, it is a social right. The state confers it upon certain proprietors for the benefit of all, and is perfectly entitled to impose the conditions on which it shall be enjoyed. This right is practically exercised in all countries by the several laws which everywhere prevail, as to the mode of descent of landed property, and by the limitations which are imposed on the devising power of its owners. It is given to its possessors to use, and not to destroy; and the reason is obvious; for while « limited in extent, all must ultimately derive their support from it." We proposed, then, that such heavily-encumbered estates should be sold that some properly-constituted authority should be appointed to determine upon, and conduct such sales under the court of chancery, that the purchasers, on de positing their purchase-money, should have a perfectly clear title, as at present under the railway acts-that the purchase-money should be invested in the public securities, and the several incumbrancers draw their interest, according to their respective prior ities, from the government fund 10stead of from the land, and that if any of the incumbrancers objected to this security, it should be open to such persons to institute a suit to realise his demand from this fund, as he may at present institute a suit to realise his demand, by the sale of the estate on which he is an incumbrancer. We also advocated, to the best of our ability, the principle of the bill which was then before parliament, for bringing encumbered estates, in all cases where suits affecting such estates should be instituted, at once to a sale; without waiting to determine on the conflicting rights of hosts of claimants in all the protracted delay of a cause in chancery, leaving these parties to assert their rights to the purchase-money—the produce of such sale ; but letting the land itself at once go free into the hands of the purchaser, thereby avoiding the heavy expense, and unavoidable mismanage. ment of receivers under courts ofequity.
The arguments by which we en deavoured to sustain these measures, we will not here weary our readers by repeating. But we may observe, that our attention has been called, by the evidence of Dr. Longfield before Lord Devon's commission, to a peculiar dis advantage under which the encumbered lands of Ireland labour, and which, in our judgment, increases the necessity for the measure we propose for the compulsory sale of such estates. It arises from the practice, which has long prerailed in Ireland, of borrow ing money on judgments, which override the entire property of which the borrower is possessed at the time of the loan, or which he may, at any time subsequently, acquire, instead of bor rowing, as in England, on the security of a mortgage of a sufficient portion of the estate, by which practice that portion of property included in the mort. gage is alone liable to the debt. By the English practice, if the lender wishes to raise his money, he files his bill for the foreclosure merely of the mortgaged property ; whereas in Ireland, the judgment-creditor must file his bill for the sale of all the estate of his debtor, no matter how great its extent, or how numerous the incumbrancers, all of whom must be parties to the suit. To encounter all the risk and expense of such a suit, for the purpose of realising a demand of, perhaps, some few hundred pounds, would, of course, be the extreme of folly. Few creditors would be ill-advised enough to attempt it and thus the Irish sys
tem of raising money is an effectual bar to land being brought freely into commerce ; it contravenes the policy of all the law against tying up estates for perpetuity, and it ties them up in the most destructive manner, clogged with a number of incumbrancers, who have no immediate interest in their improvement, or no control over their management. Dr. Longfield proposes, as a remedy for this particular evil, that judgments should not be a lien on estates in the hands of a purchaser ; and that consequently a person in want of money would be obliged to sell or mortgage a portion of his property commensurate to his wants, without encumbering his whole estate. Dr. Longfield's suggestion would unques. tionably meet this particular evil ; his proposal, however, it occurs to us, would need some modification ; for we hardly suppose that the learned gentleman would include “judgments in case" in his proposal that is, judgments obtained in actions at law for the recovery of debt. If he were to do so, he would, as it appears to us, materially interfere with the rights of creditors. The evil, however, which he notices, taken with the other evils which we have mentioned in connexion with heavily encumbered estates, presses on us the conviction that some carefully considered measure must be at once devised for bringing to sale all such estates in which the legal owner has no beneficial interest, or none in comparison to the magnitude of the property.
And here we may mention the very great injustice that is done by allow, ing mortgagees and other incumbrancers upon property to receive the full amount of their interest, without contributing anything to the very heavy public charges, the whole bur. den of which is now thrown upon the proprietor. If a man with £5,000 to invest, chooses to purchase an estate, he must bear its proportion of poorrates, county cess, and other taxes ; but if he prefers lending his £5,000 on an adjacent property, he escapes all these burdens entirely, and throws the whole of them on the embarrassed bor. rower. A landlord with an estate worth £5,000 a year, and not, perhaps, £500 a-year nett surplus for his own support, is obliged, by the present system, out of this miserable rem.