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268 Books of the Quarter suitable for Reading-Societies. Collected Papers. By Mrs. Grote. Murray.

[The most interesting of these is an account of a village quarrel with a

Lady of the Manor.] Journal of a Mission to Affghanistan in 1857. By H. W. Bellew. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[Amusing and very faithful.] Lost among the Affghans. Edited by H. 0. Fry. Smith, Elder, and Co.

[The romantic and incredible adventures of a boy, said to have been

saved from the English army in Affghanistan, and evidently the work

of one who has been in the East.] Modern Pantheism. Translated from M. Emile Saisset. Williams and Norgate.

[A lucid review of different systems of philosophy.] A Lenten Journey in Umbria. By T. A. Trollope. Chapman and Hall.

[Reviewed in the Short Notices, No. VI.] Roads and Rails. By W. B. Adams. Chapman and Hall. Eugénie de Guérin, Journal et Lettres. Didier.

[Reviewed in the Short Notices, No. I.] No Name. By Wilkie Collins. Sampson Low. Orley Farm. By A. Trollope. Chapman and Hall.

[Reviewed in Article II.] Lady Audley's Secret. Tinsley Brothers.

[One of the best “sensation" novels.]" Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles. By Mrs. H. Wood. Bentley.

[Inferior to former works by the same author.] Footsteps behind him. Sampson Low.

[Better sketched than written.] The World in the Church. By F. G. Trafford. Skeet.

[Not equal in interest to the author's earlier works.] Normanton. By A. J. Barrowcliffe. Smith, Elder, and Co.

THE NATIONAL REVIEW. .

APRIL 1863.

ART. I.-THE IRISH CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT.

Constitutional History of England. 1760-1810. By Thomas Er

skine May. Vol. II. Longman. The Liberal Party in Ireland; its present Condition and Prospects.

By a Roman Catholic. 1862. Kelly, Dublin. The Irish Church. Speech of Edward Miall, M.P., in the House of

Commons, May 27, 1856. Effingham Wilson. THERE is some reason to hope that the question of the Irish Church Establishment may soon be again brought practically before Parliament and the nation. A movement to redress this colossal wrong would, from its palpable justice, be likely to unite sincere liberals of all shades; and it would most appropriately signalise the revival of the independent liberal party, after its depression under the reactionary domination of Lord Palmerston; a revival which, we trust, will date from the end of the last session.

The Irish Church Establishment was just touched by the languishing waves of the great tide of social and ecclesiastical change which began to flow after the end of the French war, and of which the most memorable result was the Reform Bill. But just as thorough-going reformers had begun to grapple in earnest with this subject, the reaction set in, and the question was postponed for a future time, which, if we are not mistaken, has now arrived. On the 27th of May 1834, Mr. Ward, in a speech which Mr. Erskine May justly terms one of singular ability, called upon the House of Commons to affirm a resolution, that the Church Establishment in Ireland exceeded the spiritual wants of the Protestant population; and that, it being the right of the State to regulate the distribution of Church property, the temporal possessions of the Church in

No. XXXII. APRIL 1863.

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Ireland ought to be reduced. This resolution, as Mr. May observes, not only asserted the principle of appropriation, but disturbed the recent settlement of the ecclesiastical establishment in Ireland. Mr. May adds, with truth, that it was fraught with political difficulties. The announcement of it had, in fact, brought to a head the schism in the Government, between those Ministers whose hearts were still with Reform, and those whose sympathies as aristocrats and great landowners had for some time been passing from the side of Reform to that of reaction. The Cabinet was in convulsions. When Mr. Grote, who seconded Mr. Ward's motion, had sat down, Lord Althorp rose and said, that since the seconder commenced his speech circumstances had come to his knowledge which induced him to move, that the further debate on the subject should be adjourned to the Monday following. He excused himself at the time from stating what those circumstances were. They proved to be the resignation of Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, the Duke of Richmond, and the Earl of Ripon. The embarrassment of Ministers was immediately increased by a personal declaration of the King against innovations in the Church, in reply to an address of the Irish bishops and clergy.

But Mr. Ward's motion, though it was lost, was not ineffectual. It was got rid of only at the price of appointing a commission to inquire into the revenues and duties of the Church, and general state of religious instruction in Ireland; points on which there had previously been no certain information, and therefore no solid standing-ground for the reformers in debate. The inquiries of this commission place the facts beyond doubt.* Out of a population of 7,943,940 persons, there were 852,064 members of the Establishment, 6,427,712 Roman Catholics, 642,356 Presbyterians, and 21,808 Protestant Dissenters of other denominations. The State Church embraced little more than a tenth of the people. Her revenues amounted to 865,5251. In 151 parishes there was not a single Protestant; in 194 there were less than ten; in 198 less than twenty; and in 800 parishes there were less than fifty.

Strengthened by this disclosure, the Whigs ventured to insist on the principle of appropriation as a part of all measures for the commutation of tithes. The government of Sir Robert Peel was thrown out upon the appropriation question in 1835. But when the Whigs attempted to give effect to their own principle, they found that the resistance had grown too powerful ; and the Lords felt their hands sufficiently strengthened by the numbers of their party in the House of Commons, and the growing ascendency of the conservative spirit in the country,

* Erskine May, vol. ii. p. 486.

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to stand firmly in the breach, and save the venerable establishment of Ireland from spoliation. The Whigs at last were compelled to pass a measure for the commutation of tithes in Ireland, without introducing the principle which they had declared, in terms rather indiscreetly dogmatic, to be inseparable from all such measures. At a later period the question was taken up by Mr. Elward

a Miall, from the voluntary point of view. Mr. Miall, in 1856, moved three resolutions in the House of Commons in favour of the impartial disendowment of all sects in Ireland. His arguments against the continuance of the Irish Church Establishment were put with great force, and were perfectly conclusive. But his opponents had a better answer than arguments at their command:

: on a division the ayes were 95, the noes were 165. It is highly creditable to Mr. Miall's powers as an advocate, and a remarkable proof of the undeniable justice of his cause, that he should have been beaten by less than two to one; for this was but a few years after the Papal Aggression, and about the time when Mr. Chambers was moving his Nunneries Bill in overflowing houses, in the midst of enthusiastic applause. It was about the time when one who knew the temper of the House of Commons well said that, if Catholic emancipation were then to be proposed to the House, it would be rejected by a majority of one hundred.

The speech of Mr. Ward deserves a higher praise than that which is conveyed by Mr. Erskine May's phrase, “ singular ability.” It was really a very memorable pleading for a great cause. To the argument which always presents itself, though under various rhetorical disguises, that the religion of the majority of the Irish people is not the true religion, and that therefore principle requires us to treat it and its professors with injustice, Mr. Ward replied in these fine words:

“If I am told that this religion is not the true religion, and that we ought not to sacrifice to political expediency the sacred interests of truth, I again deny the fact. I say that with truth, as legislators, we have nothing to do. We have to look to civil utility alone, as the basis of connexion between the Church and the State; and if we once wander from this strong ground, there is no predicting the consequences which must ensue. Who is to be judge of the truth, except One to whom in this world there can be no appeal? Where is the source of truth, except in that sacred volume from which in all times—ay, even down to the present day-- the most opposite conclusions have been drawn, upon points of doctrine at least, by the wisest, the most virtuous, and the most conscientious of mankind ? Look at the consequences, again, of adopting this principle. If we maintain the established religion to be the only true religion, the State must follow up this doctrine. It must enact test-laws for its protection. It must put down all who reject it. Sir, it was in the name of truth that the Spanish Inquisition was established; and Louis XIV. was never more intimately convinced of the truth of his religion than when he desolated the fairest provinces of France, in its name, by the revocation of the edict of Nantes. These were the effects of maintaining the established religion to be the true religion in Catholic countries. But let us not forget, Protestants as we are, that it was in the name of truth that Ireland was cursed with the penal laws. Sir, I have no wish to dwell upon this hateful topic; but when I see—and I do not use the term irreverently-how, in this case at least, the sins of the fathers have been visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation; when I see what a plentiful crop of strife, of disorganisation, and of blood, has been borne by the seed sown in 1704, when the attempt was made to degrade and brutalise the whole Catholic population by a series of legislative enactments, -I feel that there cannot be a man in the assembly which I am now addressing who would ever again consent to sully the pages of our statute-book by unjust and partial laws, enacted in the name of truth."*

There is another argument equally familiar in reference to other questions as well as this, founded on the insuperable prejudice which the representatives of practical wisdom are pleased to say the English people entertain against any large measure of reason and justice, and on the consequent inutility of attempting to pass any

such measure. To this also Mr. Ward made a fine reply.

“If I am told that the people of England are not prepared for the adoption of such principles as these, and that, at all events, it is useless to moot them here, because they will never receive the sanction of another branch of the legislature, I once more deny the fact. The people of England are prepared for the adoption of the principles of justice, and of religious toleration, to the fullest extent of the terms; and as to the other branch of the legislature, we have nothing to do with it. We ought neither to court nor to fear its opposition. Let this House but discharge its own duties honestly; let it place itself in the van of public opinion, instead of lagging tardily behind ; let it, above all, redeem the pledge which it has so recently and so solemnly given, 'to remove all just cause of complaint in Ireland, and to promote all well-considered measures of improvement,'—and I will venture to predict that its influence will be irresistible. Sir, the path of duty-I had almost said the path * Ward's speech on the Church of Ireland, 1834,–Hansard, vol. xxiii, p. 1395.

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