Images de page

tion; inquiries are in progress, by my direction, with a view of bringing into harmony the tetsamentary jurisdiction of my several courts; and Bills will be submitted to you for effecting further improvements in the administration of the law.

"To these, and other measures affecting the social condition of the country, I am persuaded that you will give your earnest and zealous attention; and I pray that, by the blessing of Almighty God, your deliberations may be guided to the well-being and happiness of my people."



THE funeral procession is over. A grateful nation has paid its last tribute of public respect to the memory and the virtues of Arthur Duke of Wellington.

But though the gloomy splendour of funereal pomp has passed away, the memory of the hero and the statesman still survives; and whatever truth there may be in the adage of our great poet, that "the evil which men do lives after them," the present case cannot be cited as one of the many in which "the good is oft interred with their bones."

For nearly forty years Europe has reposed in the enjoyment of comparative peace and prosperity ;-blessings resulting from those victories, in the achievement of which the lamented hero was permitted to bear so conspicuous a part.

We desire to recognise the interposing providence of Almighty God, alike in what he gives, and in what he withholds, whether in affairs of individual or of national importance, cordially concurring with the sublime truths of revealed and sacred Writ, and in the language inscribed on a monument erected to the memory of departed greatness by the citizens of the Metropolis, that the way by which Providence is pleased to make nations great, is by raising up great men to guide the councils of state, to animate men, by right principles to right actions, and a right line of policy, whether as regards our foreign or domestic relations. When a standard-bearer faints, is stricken down in the midst of duty, or makes his departure in a good old age, like a shock of corn, ripe in its season, we cannot but lament the loss, whatever lessons of practical wisdom we may draw from the event.

The departed Duke was thoroughly attached to the cause of his Queen, of his country, and of the Reformation.

We say not that in act he never erred. To do so, were to ascribe to him infallibility or impeccability; but we believe that whatever was his policy in state affairs, his manly intellect and courage, commingled with a sense of what he felt due to humanity, led him to adopt that which he deemed right, honest, and

[ocr errors]

consistent with a strict and responsible discharge of duty. None doubted the purity of his motives, the patriotism of his soul, nor that he was acting from a heartfelt conviction that the course pursued by him was the most expedient to be adopted.

We have said he was attached to the cause of the Reformation. How then, it may be asked, could he do anything to impair it? Could he, knowing the full consequences of his policy, have acted as he did? No, it is said, certainly he could not. But this is to be considered, that none not gifted with a prophetic spirit can know the future, and that, politically speaking, it seems unfair, to judge conduct, pursued before the result was known by the result, which could not have been known till the course had been taken, till the experiment had been made.

Statesmen, too, often act by what a temporary expediency prompts; and military commanders of the highest order have felt oftentimes compelled to do so; and too many of our theologians, alas! act, we fear, too often upon similar grounds, are prompted, rather by a delusive expediency, than by a sound principle. While we yield not our assent to the results, we must yet make allowance for the fallacies and frailties of the human mind. The illustrious Duke had done more for Romanists than any one who had preceded him; but what he did, (whilst it was received by them with but little gratitude,) was done by him more with the design of conciliating them, than of endangering the Protestant character of the British Constitution.

Many earnest Protestants differed from the view of affairs taken by the noble and justly lamented Duke at that crisis. We have said that the noble Duke was attached to the cause of the Reformation; we have no hesitation in repeating the


The purity, ardour, and sincerity of his attachment, were manifested on more than one trying occasion, indicating most clearly his own views that Protestantism had been a great blessing to this country, and that to recede from the principles of it, would rather be fraught with danger, than be likely to be attended with a blessing.

Portions of a speech delivered by him as below, are so practical, so weighty, so truthful, and so important, and so peculiarly interesting at this time,-partly because of the demise of the lamented Duke, and partly because of the revival of a machinery and policy for Church spoliation in Ireland, that we cannot withhold the same from our readers :--


"Earl Fitzwilliam having, on Monday, March 18, 1844, presented a petition from Glasgow to the House of Lords, stating that one principal evil of which Ireland complained was the Established Church, and that such an Establishment must, to obtain the pacification of

Ireland, be wholly abolished, and having then himself suggested that the Protestant rector and the Romish priest should be placed on the same footing,

"On the question being put that the petition do lie on the table,— “The Duke of Wellington rose, and, speaking in a very emphatic manner, said-My Lords, I must say that there can be nothing more inconvenient than the discussions of such large questions (hear, hear) as the Noble Lord has entered on in the speech which he has just delivered, upon the mere presentation of a petition. (Hear, hear.) My Lords, those questions related not merely to the topics contained in that petition, to the state of the Protestant religion in Ireland, or to the compacts that were entered into for the maintenance of that religion in Ireland, but they referred to the very foundation of the Reformation in this country (hear, hear), and the Noble Lord has propounded to your Lordships a something, neither the nature of which, nor the period at which it is to be carried into execution, is he himself exactly certain of. Something or other must be done; to that something this country must make up its mind. The Noble Lord does not state what it is to be (hear, hear); but it is, at all events, to involve the repeal of those laws upon which the Reformation in this country has been founded. My Lords, I have already taken opportunities of warning your Lordships against the assertion of such doctrines in this House, and I must again express a hope that you will observe and beware how they are introduced into it, because you may rely upon it that there is not an individual in this country, be his religious opinions what they may, be his position what it may, who is not interested in the maintenance of the Reformation. Not only our whole system of religion, but our whole system of religious toleration, in which so many people in this country are interested, depends upon the laws on which the Reformation was founded; and I therefore entreat your Lordships to give no encouragement to doctrines that might induce a belief that there existed in this House any difference of opinion upon the subject of those laws. With respect to the Church of Ireland, I beg of your Lordships to recollect that the Protestant Church of Ireland has existed in that country for a period of nearly 300 years; that it was maintained in that country during a century of contests, rebellions, and massacres; that during a contest for the possession of the Crown, the Protestants of the country encountered that contest and kept possession of their Church; that during another century it was maintained through much opposition, and under difficulties of all descriptions; and that at the period of the Union, the Parliament, who had the power either to consent to the Union, or to refuse consent, stipulated that the Protestant Church in Ireland should be maintained, and maintained on the same footing as the Protestant Church of England in this country. (Hear, hear.) My Lords, the Parliament of Ireland had, under the auspices of the King of this country, the power of either making or not making that compact. Your Lordships en tered into that compact with the Parliament of Ireland, and I entreayou never to lose sight of the fact. I entreat you not to suffer yourt selves to be prevailed on to make any alteration in, or to depart in thslightest degree from, the terms of that compact, so long as you intene to maintain the Union between this country and Ireland. (Hear, heard

It is the foundation upon which the Union rests-it is a compact which you entered into with the Parliament of Ireland, and from which you cannot depart without being guilty of a breach of faith worse than those which have been referred to in other countries (hear, hear), worse than those pecuniary breaches of faith which have been alluded to in the course of the discussion which took place in your Lordships' House this evening upon another subject. I entreat you to listen to none of these petitions or speeches (hear) which tend to the injury or the destruction of the Church in Ireland. Do what may be necessary -do what it may be proper to do, in order to render that Church more beneficial to the people of that country—but I entreat you to adhere strictly, in spirit and according to the letter, to the compact you have made, and not permit it to be supposed in any quarter whatever that you entertain the most distant intention of departing, in the slightest degree, from that arrangement. The Noble Lord says that the feeling of this country at the present moment is in favour of that arrangement. I sincerely hope that it is so, and that as long as there is a spark of honour in the country, the same feeling will continue to be evinced in every part of it. The Noble Lord has also stated, and truly, that before the mind of the country can change so far as to induce it to depart from that compact, it must first be made up to undermine the foundation of the Reformation in this country. While waiting for the scheme which, according to the Noble Lord, is to be carried out-God knows when I must again entreat your Lordships not to think of violating the compact into which you have entered for the preservation of the Church in Ireland. (Hear, hear.)"-Hansard's Parliamentary Debates.


WE announced the above-named work in our preceding number. Indeed, it is high time that the subject of it occupied the notice of Protestants in general. We learn from the table of contents that the work contains notices of proceedings in the following places, viz. :-Armagh, Athlone, Belfast, Carlow County, Carlow Borough, Clare, Clonmel, Cork City, Cork County, Down, Dublin County, Dundalk, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, King's County, Leitrim County, Limerick, Londonderry, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Sligo, Tipperary, Tralee, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Youghal.

To comprise much of any one Election in so small a space is evidently out of the question, and it seems to have been thought the better course to exhibit the extent, as well as the intensity, of the evil, than to dwell at too great length upon the intensity

*Popery at the Hustings: Foreign or Domestic Legislation. By James Lord, of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law; Author of "The Theory and Practice of Conveyancing;' ""The Law affecting the Grant to Maynooth College;" "The Vatican and St. James's, or, England independent of Rome," &c. &c. London: Seeleys, Fleet-street and Hanover-street. John F. Shaw, Southampton-row; Office of the Protestant Association, 6, Sergeants' Inn, Fleet-street. Crown 8vo. Pp. 128. Cloth, 1s.


of it as manifested in a few individual instances. Never before has such a combined effort, on the part of Popery, been exhibited at the hustings; and all who wish well to their country must hope that it never may be exhibited again. Many, we are well aware, deem these topics as of too earthly a character to occupy their Divine minds. They will not, indeed, retire to the solitude of the cloister, nor seclude themselves from the ordinary duties of life, but yet they seem fondly to imagine that they are by some means or another placed in a position to render needless any great degree of care, labour, anxiety, or responsibility on their part in such matters.

In their ignorance of the past, they are unable wisely to consider as to the present, or wisely to act and prepare for the future. They would suffer Popery, almost unmolested, to have its course, overlooking this, that Popery, if successful at the Hustings, will be Popery in legislation; that Popery in legislation may soon be Popery in power-Popery in the ascendant; and that Popery in power will do its utmost for the extirpation of Scriptural Christianity, and the suppression of the liberties of Europe.

Having observed that the influence exercised by the Papacy, in the return of Members to Parliament, seemed greater than anything which was possessed by any of the old "Boroughmongers," of whom such complaints were at one time made, Mr. Lord observes, p. vii,

"The influence of the Papal party in Ireland, and through Ireland, in the House of Commons, and through the House of Commons, in the Government, and thereby on the Cabinet, and the policy of the nation, is confessedly great-greater far than is consistent with the peace, the glory, the independence, and safety of the empire. It is a growing evil. The source from which it emanates is plain, and a remedy might at least in part be applied."

After giving an illustration of priestly eloquence, of a most extraordinary kind, many more of which are referred to in the work now under review, Mr. Lord remarks, referring to electoral struggles in Ireland, that

"From the most alarming, and sometimes tragical, proceedings in one part of the country, we pass to what in another partakes more of the comic, or possibly a kind of combination of the two. Yet, whatever merriment the perusal of accounts of some election proceedings may have excited in the minds of some-to the terror-stricken victims such proceedings were no joking matter.

"The fear of death was upon them. The dark spirit of the Papacy had diffused its subtle and mysterious agency; and its spell-bound victims seemed to know no higher duty than to obey implicitly the behests of their spiritual masters, to secure the votes of electors for the priestly candidate or nominee.”

Too successful have these efforts been.

« PrécédentContinuer »