Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

1

e majority of the people againstvour of the Catholic claims came
e concession of the claims put for. from Dublin; but it ought to be re-
ird by the Roman Catholics. At collected, that the signatures to that
1 time since 1807 were the feelings document were those not only of the
'both kingdoms so loudly express- inbabitants of the city, but of gentle-
I against the grant of new privi- men from all parts of the country;
ges, or even the discussion of fore and after all, were not so numerous
er demands. The petitions from as those of the adverse petition. He
eland against the Catholic claims did not think, when these things
ere numerous, and respectably were taken into consideration, that
goed; and whatever had been said there could be any doubt as to the
i petitions with a different prayer, sentiments of the majority of Irish
e would still maintain, that the ma- Protestants on this momentous ques-
ority of the Irish Protestants were tion, and he need not inculcate how
gainst concession. The petitions materially their opposition affected
n favour of emancipation principally, the policy of concession. A second
ame from the south and west of objection, which he had to the mo-
reland, where the Roman Catholic tion of the right honourable gentle-
population greatly predominated, 'man, arose from the conduct and
where the Protestants were few, and feelings of the Catholics themselves.
in the power of the Catholics ; and Jt would be recollected, that the pe-
where their motives in petitioning, titions for concession were all silent
therefore, could be easily appre- on the subject of safeguards or se-
ciated. On the other hand, the pe- curities. With regard to these se-
titions against the Roman Catholics curities, there had been three very
were sent up from great bodies of different opinions maintained by
men in the north of the island. It those who agreed in the policy of
was to the north that we were to additional concession. Some thought
look for the feeling of the Irish Pro- that no securities were necessary for

testants, and for the most enlighten- the Protestants, and that no restric*ed opinion on the question before tions on the Catholics ought to be ; the House. That part of the island imposed; others, that some were

was colonized under James VI.; it necessary, and might be devised; and "I had ever since been advancing in others still agreed on the specific

every kind of improvement, and had terms which would satisfy their scru. :: made the greatest - progress in civili- ples. Nobody could feel greater re

zation, commerce, refinement, and spect than he (Mr Leslie Foster) for wealth. To this valuable and intelli- those who brought forward the bill gent portion of the population, he in 1813, granting the Catholic poliwould refer for the opinions of the tical privileges on certain conditions Irish Protestants; and he found on of security. They did all they could the table petitions from Monaghan, to protect us from anticipated dansigned by 20,000 individuals ; from ger; but he was free to say that Antrim, signed by 19,000: from their proposals gave no satisfaction Fermanagh, signed by 9,000 ; and to a single Protestant that he ever from other districts or counties, saw. Nay more, the measure was with numerous signatures, praying not satisfactory to the Roman Cathat the claims of the Roman Ca. tholic clergy themselves. They detholics might not be acceded to. clared, in a unanimous synod, that The most important petition in fa- they could not concur in the propo

[ocr errors]

now

sed arrangement without incurring inflict civil disabilities on account the guilt of schism, and that they religious opinions, particularly in e would sooner die than submit to it. far as these laws deprive his MajesWhat then would have been the ty's Roman Catholic subjects of the consequence of passing this bill, by exercise of their civil rights; and is which the Legislature would have how far it may be expedient to al alarmed the Protestants by conces- ter or modify the same. His Lord. sion, and inflicted martyrdom on ship had obviously been induced to the Irish Roman Catholic bishops, bring this matter so soon before the by demanding securities ? If the Upper House, by considering the right honourable gentleman could small majority (two,) by which Me

come forward with proposals Grattan's motion for the appoin:more satisfactory, let him declare ment of a committee had been lost them to the House ; but let him not in the Commons. It was not, hor. ask for a committee, in which he ever, more successful than its prede had no definite propositions to make, cessor. and which might agitate the country Our limits prevent us from tiwith vague hopes or alarms, without tempting any analysis or abridgment leading to any certain result. These of the discussion which followed a were the grounds on which he should the Noble Earl's motion, which, with oppose the motion.

the exception of one individual (the Lord Mount-Charles defended the Bishop of Norwich) was strenuous motion for going into a committee, opposed by the whole Bench of Bion the ground of the insufficiency shops, by the Lord Chancellor, and of the arguments by which it was by the Earl of Liverpool, and as viopposed ; Mr Brownlow maintained gorously defended by Earl Grey. Te that there was no modification in give our readers, however, as, fair the Roman Catholic religion, which view as our contracted limits will ad. could justify an extension of politi- mit, we shall lay before them an outcal privilege to its professors in this line of the speeches of the two great country; Mr W. Becher replied to champions on either side, the Lord Mr Brownlow: and, after a few Chancellor, and Earl Grey. words from Sir R. Wilson, the House The Lord Chancellor having left divided, when the motion of Mr the woolsack to address their Lord. Grattan was lost by a majority of 2, ships, proceeded to comment on the the numbers for it being 241; a- speech of the Earl of Donoughmore, gainst it 243.

remarking, at the same time, that if On the 5th of May, a great number the Noble Lord would tell them what of petitions, both for and against con- plan he intended to propose in the cession to the Catholics, were pre- committee, and what defences be in. sented to the House of Lords, and tended to erect for the security of ordered to lie on the table; and on the constitution, in the place of those the 17th, the Earl of Donoughmore which he was endeavouring to throw rose, pursuant to notice, to call their down, he for one should have no obLordships' attention to these peti. jection to grant the Noble Lord the tions. In furtherance of this object, committee which he required. But he submitted to their Lordships a re- speaking with the prejudice of an solution, to the effect that the House English lawyer, loving the constitu• should resolve itself into a committee tion upon principles of law, and yet to consider the state of the laws which at the same time being as warm a

friend to toleration as any man in the on the mind of the whole nation. House, he would ask, what security Under a conviction of the absolute by oath could the Catholics give, necessity of securing a Protestant eswhich could reconcile the King's su- tablishment to these kingdoms, in oro premacy in things temporal, with the der to render them free and happy, Pope's supremacy in things eccle. their Lordships' ancestors had ensiastical? He thought that they could acted that no King who was either give none; and, entertaining such himself a Catholic, or was married to thoughts, he felt it his duty to call a Catholic Princess, should ever sit upon their Lordships to consider, upon the British throne. The other what plan there was that Parliament disqualifying laws served only as a could adopt consistently with the part of the mechanism, if he might safety of the constitution, out of all be allowed to use such an expression, the plans which had been proposed of which the constitution was com. to their notice since the commence- posed; it was thought advisable to ment of these discussions. To him prevent Roman Catholic advisers it appeared that none of them were from surrounding the person of the practicable; because, if we were to King, lest they should iaint his mind believe the recorded history of the with their pernicious counsels ; it country, from the years 1660 to 1688, was thought advisable to deny them it would be seen how systematically seats in Parliament, and places in the the Roman Catholics pursued the ac- Privy Council, lest they should sow complishment of their own objects, dissension in the great assemblies of and the destruction of the national the nation; and in order to provide church, through every obstacle and for the fair and impartial administraevery difficulty. There might be tion of justice, it was thought advissome individuals who supposed that able that the laws should not be adthe tenets which the Catholics held ministered by Roman Catholic lawat that time are not the tenets which yers and judges. These regulations they held now, and who, under that were, in his opinion, rendered absosupposition, deem the continuance of lutely necessary by the temper which the disqualifications imposed upon the Roman Catholics had constantly them as one of the most scandalous evinced. Others, however, enterimpositions that ever was inflicted on tained a different opinion, and conman; but with those individuals he tended, that as Roman Catholics had could by no means agree, inasmuch sat in Parliament in the 32d year of as there was no proof, either direct Charles II., there existed no rational or indirect, of any change having oc- objection to their sitting there at precurred in the religious principles of sent. This was not a fair way of putthe Roman Catholics. Beisdes, if ting the question : the question was, the House looked to the sentiments whether the House, considering the which were avowed and expressed events which had preceded the Revoby the Catholic church during the lution, and those which occurred in whole reign of Charles II. ; if it look- effecting it; considering the princied to the hostile spirit in which it as- ples which had been asserted on the sailed the national church for some union with Scotland, and which had years previous to the revolution of been reasserted on the union with 1688, it would see the necessity of Ireland ; the question, he repeated the

present disqualifications, and how it, was, whether the House would <strongly that necessity was impressed stand by that constitution, which had VOL, XII. PART I.

N

[graphic]

secured the most ample personal li. profess them. For his own part, le berty to every individual who lived maintained that all men who did not under it, or whether they would profess sentiments hostile to the Prorecur to that constitution under testant establishment ought to enjoy which their ancestors had lived pre- the utmost latitude of toleration vious to these disqualifications being which is consistent with the safety of enacted. Several writers upon law the State; he therefore perfectly conhad said, that when the Roman Ca- curred with the distinguished writer tholic religion was the religion of the who had said, that so long as the country, the country had contained Roman Catholics deny the supremen, whose valour had been the ad- macy of the King, so long ought the miration of the world, whose talents country to refuse them emancipation had rendered us glorious in the eyes He then alluded to a similar opinion of other nations, and whose virtues expressed by Lord Hardwicke, and would have made them an orna- said he should wish to impress upon ment to the proudest era of either the minds of their Lordships, that it Greek or Roman story. He should was an instructive lesson to preserve, be the last man in the world to con- not only the name, but the substance tradict the truth of this statement; of the Protestant religion. Indiffebut he could not help asking after herence to religion generally led to had made it, whether these illustri- great temporal evils, and, if for ne ous characters, with all their prowess, other reason, at least for this, ought virtues, and talents, did or could re- the Protestant religion to be supscue their countrymen from the slao ported, that it will be always a barvery in which Catholicism had im- rier against oppression, and a nursing mersed them? The only answer which mother to liberty and freedom. Ed could be made to this question was, clesiastical usurpation generally terthat they did not, that they could not. minated in civil tyranny. It had been Lord Hale had said, that as the oath said, that by the act of union with of allegiance, the act of homage, and Scotland, a church had been recog. the oath of fealty, which were all nised and established which did not then in existence, were not sufficient acknowledge the King as its head: to remind men of their duty to their he wished to know how this arguSovereign, which they forgot in their ment applied to the case before them: obedience to a religion which esta- the Church of Scotland, it was true, blished another superior to him, it did not acknowledge the King as its was found requisite, by exacting that superior, but then, it did not, as the paramount oath, the oath of supre. Catholics do, acknowledge another macy, to bring back and restore to potentate, and that potentate a fothe Crown that power which had reigner, its superior in his stead. always belonged to it, by calling up- Supposing, however, that their Lordon every subject to disclaim all obe ships had, on the union with Ireland, dience to the power of the Pope. planted the Roman Catholic religion Locke, whose work upon this subject there as the dominant religion, they was and ought to be always looked would only have to consider for a moup to, exempted the Roman Catho- ment, how far they would, in so dolics from his system of toleration, ing, have acted consistently with the though, in so doing, he imputed opi- interests of this Protestant country, nions to them which, it had been and the policy on which it had usualsaid, were so absurd that no man in ly acted. When the concessions on his senses ever could be found to the propriety or impropriety of which

they were then debating, were first his decided vote against the Noble thought of, no man ever dreamt of Lord's motion, and resist any congranting them without the consent cession to the Roman Catholics, of the Protestant part of the com. while the Church of Rome had not munity, and without consulting what renounced the principles which ocwas due to their peace, and happi. casioned the laws of which they now ness, and tranquillity. All that was complained. great and illustrious in the country, The noble and learned Lord was all the venerable names on both sides followed by Earl Grey, who, after disof the House, had been engaged in avowing that he had used the sweepdevising securities for the Catholics ing expression about lawyers being to give, not to injure the establish- bad politicians, remarked, that the ment; and yet was there any one of noble and learned Lord liad now, as these securities that was at all satis- on former occasions, made use of an factory? The privileges which the argument, which, if true, put an country had won by the Revolution end at once to the question. The of 1688 were not gained with ease, argument was this :-The constituwere not the result of a slight strug- tion, as established in 1688, is esgle, but were long and arduously sentially and fundamentally Protescontested. Now that they were ac- tant; the concession of the claims of quired, and that the value of the ac- the Roman Catholics is inconsistent quisition was perfectly recognised, it with this constitution: therefore behoved their Lordships carefully to such a concession would be not onabstain from any step which could ly inexpedient, but injurious. Upon bring them into the slightest danger. , this point he differed, with all due The constitution, which ensured respect, from the noble and learned these privileges to us all, when it ac. Lord, and he would attempt to prove knowledged the right of every man that the principles of the constituwho acknowledged it to places of tion admitted not of this constructrust, power, and emolument, did not tion. What laws were fundamental, acknowledge the right of any man to or were not, was a question upon them who did not acknowledge its which he would not enter : but when full authority: He had looked upon any alteration of the law was prothis subject with all the anxiety which posed, it was right to inquire how it demanded; and in his investiga- far such an alteration would militions had found that though certain tate against the principles of the canons, as adverse to the spirit of re. constitution; and if it had any tenligion as they were to the temper of dency to destroy the securities which the times, had been renounced by in- guarded the constitution, it became dividuals, they had not been renoun- a duty to resist it. The constituced by the Church of Rome. Our tion, as established at the Revolution, ancestors had always connected to. was essentially and fundamentally gether the idea of popery and slavery, Protestant. But what were the esa and he could not look upon them sential and fundamental principles without_viewing them in a similar of that constitution ? At the Relight. Entertaining, therefore, the volution, when a Sovereign of the sentiments which he most conscienti. Roman Catholic religion had been ously did on this subject, he should dethroned, it was provided, that the be guilty of abandoning his duty to non rch should be of the commuthe constitution, if he did not give nion of the Church of England, which

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »