Графични страници
PDF файл

which his language exhibits. He is, like all his brethren, no doubt, desirous of what they call emancipation. This is a boon which the more moderate Papists profess to ask from their Protestant brethren; and it must appear to every thinking person a little strange, that those who are asking the favour, should at the same time be busy publishing letters in which these said brethren are compared to wolves and sergents. But such is the fact; and the leading men among the Irish Papists do not hesitate to speak and publish much worse than this against their Protestant neighbours, and their Protestant government, at the very time that they are preparing their humble petitions for what they call emancipation. Now, I think there is a want of wisdom, or rather a want of cunning, in this, which shows that Dr. Kelly and his friends have not been long enough under the tuition of the Jesuits. Our Glasgow Papists understand the subject better; for they speak of Protestants as their Christian brethren, which, however hypocritical, is language more becoming men who are asking the favour of being put upon a footing of civil equality with them. But the language of Dr. Kelly, and that of the pope whose mandate he obeys, suggests the idea of persons asking a favour, and in the same breath reviling, by every opprobrious epithet, the men of whom they ask it :-“ Ye heretics, ye schismatics, ye wolves in sheep's clothing, ye serpents, creeping and giving death under flowers, we humbly pray that you will remove all the restraints which you have imposed upon us, and admit us to a free and unfettered participation of all the good things which ye enjoy!" Surely this would be reckoned an odd way of asking a favour; but it is in the true style of the Irish petitions for emancipation, when taken in connexion with the representations which the petitioners are ever making of their Protestant neighbours, and even their Protestant rulers.

To show that I am not speaking without book, I refer the reader 10 another pamphlet by the reverend Mr. Thorpe, of Dublin, entitled, “ An Address to the Protestants of Great Britain and Ireland, on the subject of Catholic emancipation.—Third edition, 1815.". This author gives a number of extracts from the published speeches and other documents of the popish orators in Dublin, full of the most scurrilous abuse of all persons connected with the government or legislature, from the king downwards, who have shown the least hesitation about granting the Papists all that they are demanding. Thus, the long continued affliction of our late venerable sovereign, and the violent death of his prime minister, Mr. Perceval, are both represented as judgments of God upon them for being enemies of " Catholic emancipation.” This is indeed the substance of a speech made by a gentleman who passes for a Protestant, but who attends public meetings of the Papists; makes speeches for them, and is best known as their advocate. But the following is from a speech of a real Papist—a barrister, and a leading member of the " Catholic board :"

"The principle of Mr. Pitt's administration," says Mr. O'Connell, "was despotism: the principle of Mr. Perceval's administration was peculating bigotry-bigoted peculation. In the name of the Lord, he plundered the people. Pious and enlightened statesman! he would take their money only for the good of their souls! The principle of the present administration is still more obvious. It has unequivocally disclosed itself in all their movements. It is simple and single-it

consists in falsehood! Falsehood is the bond and link which connects this ministry in office. Some of them pretend to be our friends: you know it is not true. They are only our worse enemies for their hypocrisy.page 7.

It is not consistent with my plan to discuss the character of the present or any former ministry; but I have made the above extract to show the inconsistency of the popish leaders, or rather the absurdity of their conduct, in professing to come from year to year to parliament with a humble petition for emancipation, while they are doing every thing in their power to irritate the leading members of parliament against them; for, let it be observed, they are not ministers of the crown alone who are objects of their abuse, nor opposers of emancipation alone who suffer their reviling. These demagogues speak of both friends and foes with equal contempt. Thus one member who stands high in the esteem of every virtuous man in the empire, and who is an advocate of “ Catholic emancipation," is described by them as "the place-procuring, pray-mumbling Wilberforce." This, with a number of like things, adduced by Mr. Thorpe, excites a suspicion, or rather establishes the fact, that it is not emancipation which our Irish Papists want, but the power of the state in their own hands; and they think it a most likely means to accomplish their object, to represent every man in the government or in the legislature in a most odious light, except a few who are willing to go all lengths with them; and if they, and the pope, and Dr. Kelly, can but convince the people that all the Protestants, from the highest to the lowest, are “wolves” and “serpents," ready to bite and devour them, they will not be far from having accomplished their purpose.

Our Protestant advocates of " Catholic emancipation," speak with great simplicity and good nature, of both sects living together as one family, if all distinctions were done away, and if both were alike eligible to all places of power and trust. I once entertained some such romantic notions, and therefore I cannot be surprised that some persons still entertain them. But Papists themselves have taught me better. The pope of Rome calls us wolves, and the popish archbishop of Tuam compares us to serpents, for no other reason than that we are teaching the poor to read the Bible. Now, supposing the archbishop and such as he to have power in their hands, they would find it their bounden duty, and it would be their first care, to extirpate the serpents and the wolves. It is not possible that these can live peaceably as one family with the sheep, that is, the faithful, as Papists call themselves; and therefore the shepherds must of necessity destroy them.

" Every possible exertion," says his holiness,“ must be made to keep the youth away from these destructive schools." But if the youth could not be kept away by any exertion while the schools exist, as in some places they cannot, would not the extirpation of the teachers come within the sphere of possible exertions, if Papists had the power, and if nothing else would do?

“Unless," says Dr. Kelly, “we establish and support schools for the education of distressed children of our persuasion, the triumph will be eventually complete; the mystery of iniquity will have absorbed the mystery of holiness; and what the cruelty of tyrants would not have completed in this island of saints will be speedily accomplished by softer

means." The "mystery of iniquity," is nothing less than the art of reading the word of God. It is not so easy to express in half a sentence what Dr. Kelly means by the “mystery of holiness;" but no doubt it is something which proceeds from him who by way of emi. nence is called His Holiness; and from what history records of the “ man and his communications, and of those of his predecessors for a thousand years, we may guess what sort of thing ihe holiness is by which his children are distinguished in the “island of saints;" that is, the island of holy persons. The holiness of the children did indeed correspond with that of the father. Of this Dr. Kelly bears the most ample and unequivocal testimony. He declares, in words which I gave in my last number but one, that they were abandoned to all manner of wickedness, particularly drunkenness, sabbath-breaking, and perjury. This witness is true, as every traveller in Ireland knows; but the mystery of iniquity, that is, the reading of the Bible, has got in among them, and the mystery of holiness is in danger of being absorbed, because the people are not now so much given to the things for which they were formerly notorious. Dr. Kelly will say that I pervert his meaning; but I say that he perverts the meaning of words, when he applies the term iniquity to the teaching of the Bible, and holiness to the system that opposes it; and it is not the least of the abominations of popery, that it calls good evil, and evil good.

There is such a thing mentioned in the Bible as “the mystery of iniquity;" that is, the secret working of Satan, by the means of human agents, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, in order to ruin the souls of men. (See 2 Thess. ii. 3—10.) No Protestant needs to be told that this mystery of iniquity has its seat in the church of Rome. But I do not recollect finding in the Bible, or any where else, except in Dr. Kelly's letter, such a phrase as the mystery of holiness.” If he had said the mystery of His Holiness, or even of his Reverence, I might guess what he means; but I can attach no rational meaning to his expression as it stands. The word mystery signifies either something unknown, and which being made known, is a mystery no longer, that is simply a secret; or it signifies something, which, though made known as to its existence, is incomprehensible as to its nature. Take it either


I do not see what it has to do with holiness, which is neither a secret nor an incomprehensible thing. Christ says, (John iii. 20, 21.) “ Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." This is "the mystery of iniquity.” “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light; that his deeds may

be made manifest that they are wrought in God." This is holiness, but there is no mystery in it. That which is manifest is not mysterious in the sense of a secret; and that which every one can understand (good works for instance) is not incomprehensible.

Be “the mystery of holiness" what it may, we have an explicit admission by the archbishop, that the cause of popery in Ireland is in danger from the schools and the Bible : What the cruelty of tyrants would not have completed in this island of saints, will be speedily effected by softer means.” I hope all the societies, and all the teachers engaged in the good work, will take courage from this plain declaration of an enemy. The soft means of education and persuasion are the only means which can lawfully be used for promoting the knowledge


of the true religion, and turning men from error. Dr. Kelly admits that these means are likely to be effectual, and that "speedily,” for absorbing, that is, I suppose, subverting, what he calls the." mystery of holiness," but which we know to be the mystery of iniquity.

It is, however, a little surprising that Father Kelly should not recom mend to his clergy the soft means which he believes to be so effectual in the hands of Protestants. It is surprising that he should make use of such hard words, and recommend, or rather command, such vigorous measures, as are enjoined in the following extract, which he knows to be very different from the means which Protestants use. Why does he not recommend mere persuasion and instruction, since he finds these " softer means" likely to accomplish speedily "what the cruelty of tyrants” could never effect? "As pastors of the Roman Catholic Church," says you must have viewed with indignation and disgust certain puerile and ignoble efforts that have lately been made to diminish our influence, and mar our interference in the religious and moral education and instruction of the youth of our communion ;' and though we deprecate, as sincerely as any other body of men, any attempt to excite dissension, or to make odious distinctions on account of religion, and have contributed most effectually to preserve the peace of the country, yet it is a duty incumbent on us, and from which we will never shrink, to oppose, collectively and individually, every attempt, however insidious, or from whatever source it may emanate, to tamper with the religious principles of the faithful committed to our care.” Again, * Impressed with the sacredness and importance of this obligation, it is incumbent on us, to be vigilant and attentive to the religious and moral education of the people; the attention of the Roman Catholic clergy is to be particularly directed to the schools established in their respective parishes, and they are to exercise their spiritual authority in its full ectent, in order to prevent Roman Catholic children from frequenting the schools where the Catholic catechism is not taught, where Protestant tracts are introduced, or where the moral conduct or religious principles of the master are exceptionable.”

Here is the cruelty of tyrants with a witness! And does Dr. Kelly expect, by such rigorous measures as he enjoins upon his clergy, to counteract what Protestants are likely to effect speedily by their softer means? If so, the cruelty of popish' tyrants must be more powerful than that of Protestant ones, as no doubt it is. The spiritual authority of the priests is directed to be exercised in its full extent to prevent the children of Papists from frequenting the Protestant schools. Now we know that this spiritual authority is infinitely greater than that of the most absolute monarch on the face of the earth; and in the full extent of it, it reaches to what Dr. Kelly calls (from the Douay version of the New Testament) the day of eternity. We never heard of our Protestant governors inflicting corporal punishment upon those who refused to read the Bible, or who refused to learn to read; but though they had ordered every such obstinate Papist to be hanged, the tyranny of the thing would have fallen infinitely short of that of the priest who exercises the full extent of his spiritual authority to prevent children from going to school, to learn to read the Bible. It is universally admitted that civil governors can only kill the body; but the popish priests profess to have the power of casting both body and soul into hell.

VOL. I.-75

Now it is a fact that schools have been established in many parts of Ireland, and particularly in that district over which Father Kelly professes to have spiritual jurisdiction. It is a fact that children bave flocked to those schools with great eagerness, and that parents have encouraged their children to do so, from a conviction that education is the most likely means of promoting their happiness; and Dr. Kelly calls upon his priests to prevent this, by exercising their spiritual authority to its full extent; that is, by excommunicating, and, of course, consigning to everlasting perdition, not the children only, but also the parents who suffer their children to attend the schools in which the popish catechism is not taught, and whose teachers they do not approve. Besides, it is well known, that great as the extent of priestly spiritual authority is, by which souls are consigned to perdition, this is not all; for they exercise also a temporal authority, by which one who is excommunicated is deprived of every earthly comfort; his brethren are forbidden to have any intercourse with him; he becomes an outlaw and a vagabond on the earth; and would be left to perish, surrounded by his fellow creatures, if there were not some of them, who, in spite of the threatenings of their hard hearted priests, still retain so much of humanity about them as to bestow a morsel of bread to save a fellow creature alive, even at the risk of being excommunicated for the offence, and being reduced to the state of misery which they were guilty of relieving

In short, the spiritual authority of the Popish priests, exercised in its full extent, subjects those who fall under their displeasure to all the miseries of this lise, and to the pains of hell for ever. This is what Dr. Kelly commands his priests to inflict upon all who shall attend, or suffer their children to attend, the schools in which the reading of the Bible is taught. The tyranny and the cruelty are so monstrous that the reader will scarcely believe what he reads; but let any one consider the power which the priests claim over the world to come, the misery which, even in this world, their excommunication inflicts, and the authoritative command of the archbishop, requiring his clergy to exercise this power to its full extent, and he will be convinced that there is nothing of exaggeration in what I have written.

I have been speaking of the power which the priests profess to have over the world to come, and which their blind followers believe them to have. We know that they have no such power; and we know that they cannot hurt the soul of any man who reads his Bible, and who dies in the belief of what it reveals; but since they profess to have the power, and since they make the people believe them, their cruelty and tyranny is as great as if they actually possessed it, and as if they actually exercised it, by casting into hell every Bible reader, and every parent who suffers his child to go to school that he may learn to read it; and to their fiend-like cruelty they add the wickedness of imposing upon the people, by professing to have powers which they never had, and which the Almighty never intrusted to any creature.

Dr. Kelly makes a parade of what he and his brethren have done in preserving the peace of the country, though it might be insinuated that the less they said on that subject the better. It is very well known, that the more ostensible men among them make great professions of loyalty, while their subalterns are doing every thing in their power to

« ПредишнаНапред »