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the intricacy of the subject, but because assailed, and the members of that Esta-
justice, and to do under another name he saw no reason to alter the system of
:: Intelligence.- Irish Church Establishment.
confined to Ireland. There was no argu- the statement of the Honourable Gentlement which could apply to the Church man (Mr. Hume) in voting with him, he Establishment of that country, to the certainly should feel much greater difti. subversion of its property, to the dimi- culty to vote with the Right Honourable nution of its dignity, that would not ap- Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn) upon any ply with equal force to the Establishment grounds stated by him. He could by no in this country. On the question of non- meaus concur with that Right Honourresidents he concurred with that Honour. able Gentleman in the unqualified way in able Genrieman; he felt with him, he which he spoke of the Establishment. should feel strongly with any man, that The Church of Ireland appeared to him resident clergy was most necessary in (Mr. Fitzgerald) to stand in need of in. Ireland—a resident Protestant : clergy quiry aud of reformation—its large-he was most esseutial to the welfare of that might say, its enormous revenue, so dis. country, as affording the very best means proportioned to its duties, disqualified its of introducing tranquillity, and promoting members from discharging those duties public advantage of the most valuable with that humility that seriousness and kind; and he could declare, from his perseverance which were so necessary to own experience, that as far as the power be exerted by the members of the Proof the Bishops, Archbishops, and the testant Church in Ireland. In Ireland Lord Lieutenant had been exerted, it had there was an incessant competition with to bis own knowledge been exerted to the Established Church ; it had to consecure a resident clergy; the consequence tend with an enlightened, active, learved, was that clergy had lately been intro- and zealous clergy, whose learning and duced into several parishes in Ireland, whose poverty recommended them to the where before they were unknown. The respect and confidence of their flocks; it Honourable Gentleman, in his observa- had to contend with the clergy of the tions on Church patronage, had said that Catholic and Presbyterian religions, and that patronage was exerted with a view if it were to be kept up as an instrument to promote family and parliamentary in- of parliamentary influence, it could not fluence-to promote those objects of po- stand. It was the duty of the Ministers, litical corruption, which so familiarly sug- whilst they professed a great regard for gested themselves to the mind of the the Establishment, to bear in mind the Honourable Gentleman. He (Mr. Goul- fact, that the humbler members of the burn) did not mean to say ihat there Protestant community were gradually dewere not individuals in the Church of parting from that religion, and attaching Ireland connected with the first families themselves to rival sects. Judging from -connected with men who held seats in the past, and from the very nature of the that House, but that was no imputation case, he did not hesitate to say, that it against the propriety of their appoint- the Establishment uncorrected were to go ment, unless it could be shewn they were on for a few years more in the accusdisqualified on account of their conduct tomed track, there would nothing remain and character, or their inability to dis- of the Protestant Church but its expense, charge their duties. He (Mr. Goulburn) its enormous establishment, its large poswould say, that the individuals who sat sessions, and its unemployed dignitaries. on the Irish Bench possessed talents as The high families who sent their memhigh, and character as virtuous as anybers to take possession of its wealth, clergy that adorned any Church in the would vaturally adhere to the Church, world. The Honourable Gentleman, with but the middle and the humble orders the usual parliamentary tactic, had moved would depart from it. It would be well for a Coinmittee of Inquiry; but no one if these observations of his were merely could doubt the real object of that mo- speculative ; but it was a fact, withiu his tion; and feeling, as he did, that if owu knowledge, that in many parishes in adopted by that House it would be fatal the southern parts of Ireland, in which to the interests of the Church and to the some years ago a number of Protestants rights of property, he would strougly op- resided, in which Protestant colonists pose it. On those principles he called were settled, that those persons gradually for the support of the House.
departed from the Church, aud went over Mr. STEWART defended the late Arch- to those professions where they found a bishop of Armagh from some charges of more active, zealous and popular clergy. Mr. Hume. He said it was unfounded These circumstances, su strongly indicathat the Prelate granted long leases of tive of the decline of the Church of Ire. Church property for the benefit of indi. land, led to the union of livings. To viduals of his family, or for the benefit such an esteut was that practice carried, of any persons whatever.
that, in some instances, 4, 5, 7, and even Mr. M. FITZGERALD (Knight of Kerry) to his kuowledge Il parishes were handed said, that if he had felt any difficulty from over to one individual; and even that
minister, often an absentee, neglected his to defend themselves. The Honourable duty. In such a state of things, it was Gentleman had asked them, what was the not to be woudered at that the members Church of England ?. He had told them of the Protestant religion disappeared that there were various opinions, not as from a Church which was known more to its constitution, but as to the very by the splendour of its establishment and mcaning of the term. If, as the Honour the wealth of its ministers, than by the able Mover had supposed, they were on zeal or the success of their labours. If the ere of voting that Quakerism should Gentlemen were really zealous to promote be established by law, he did not know the solid interests of the Protestant Esta- what his notions might be as to the blishment, how could they shut their eyes Church of England ; but so long as the to the diminution of its numbers to the Protestant Reformed Religion was the consequent decay of its power with a religion of this country, he should be at clergy better paid than any clergy in no loss to say what the Church of England Europe? Was not that a subject for in- was. The definition of the Church of quiry? The Church of Ireland was in England was not to be sought in any danger; it was in danger not from the obscure productions ; but in the most hostility of rival sects, but from the su. solemn acts in which Parliament had pineness of its owu inembers, and the provided for the maintenanee of the abuses of its own system ; from the dise liberties of the people, they had not position which prevailed in certain quar- thought it unsuitable to provide for the ters to defend every possible abuse, and liberties of the Church. In the first to refuse every species of reform. It was volume of the Statute Book, in the first his most anxious wish to see that most page, and the first chapter, in the confirnecessary reform take place; to see that mation of the liberties of the people of Church purged of those abuses which England, the Barons required, “ Quod were the seeds of its weakness : he felt Anglicana Ecclesia libera sit, et habeat a high regard for the Church ; without jura sua integra libertate, et suas illæsas.". the affectation of a peculiar interest for At the Coronation of the King, it was religion, he would wish to see the Esta- not deemed unworthy of the attention of blishment flourish in strength and purity. Parliament to require from the King an He despised affectation of any kind, but oath established at the Revolution, that cant and affectation upon the solemn and he would inaintain to the Protestant awful subject of religion, he abhorred. Reformed Religion established by law, Anxious as he was for the interests, for and that he would preserve “ unto the the glory of the Church, he would yet be Bishops and Clergy of this realm, and te a dishonest man if he did not augur its the churches committed to their charge, fall before long.
all such rights and privileges as by law Mr. Peel said, that the Right Honour- do or shall appertain unto them or any able Gentleman (Mr. Fitzgerald) admitted of them.” He denied, therefore, altogethat there was a disposition upon the ther that the Church was to be considered part of Ministers to select those who as a congregation of Quakers, or indiviwere most qualified to discharge the du- duals of any other sect
. Before Parlia ties of the calling. Would he not then ment went into an inquiry on the condigive credit to the same Ministers for a tion of the Church, they were to affirm disposition to reform error, and to cor. that the property of the Church was rect abuse? He would call upon the applicable to any other purposes than the House not to consent to a measure maintenance of religiou. it was a vain founded on principles unjust, and likely and useless discussion to inquire into the to prove injurious. If the proposition competence of Parliament, nor should he were adopted, it would affect pot merely be inclined to deny it; but of this he was the Irish Church, but the Established sure, that on any principles on which Church also ; it was au attack upon Parliament could wisely act, they could both; and what was the situation of the not interfere with the property of the Church with respect to that House ? He Church-that they could not touch it should beg the House to recollect, that without weakening the confidence in priby Act of Parliament (with the poliey of rate property. He should not look to which he did not find fault), the clergy the origin or antiquity of the Church of were prevented from having a voice in Ireland; but when the Honourable Mem. that House, that the ancient assemblies ber talked of the stipulations of the Act through which they were accustomed to of Union as the reason why he did not deliver their opinions (the Convocation) abolish episcopacy altogether, he would had fallen into disuse, and that it there ask whether the Honourable Member fore, was but just that peculiar caution could prove it consistent with the Act of should be used in attacking the rights of Union to reduce them to four Bishops men who had not organs through which and one Archbishop ? The Church of
Intelligence.- Irish Church Establishment.
Ireland was a part of the United Church the question was, whether the property of England and Ireland, and in the Act of the Church might not be better admi. of Union (the 8th article he believed) nistered for the benefit of the Church ? every Bishop and Archbishop was enu. In recent Acts of Parliament the princimerated, and the rotation in which they ple now contended for had been recogwere to take their places in Parliament nized ; as for instance, in the Curates' settled.
Bill, which went back to first principles, Mr. DENMAN could not consent that and took from the beneficed a share of the House of Commons should be disqua- their property to give to the laborious lified, by the general assertions of the clergy. Right Honourable Secretary, from enter- Mr. Peel explained, that he had never taining any proposition which might be made the Coronation Oath an argument laid before them with a view to the bene. against the claims of the Catholics. fit of the community. As to the argu- Mr. PLUNKETT could uot suffer the ment deduced by the Right Honourable first resolution of the Honourable Mover Secretary (Mr. Peel) from the Act of to pass, without expressing, in terms as Union, if that Act was to preserve the strong as the English language would Establishment from any change, it would supply, and as the decencies of Parliaafford a reason against any change which mentary discussion would allow, his sense should originate with the Ġorernment, as of the desperation and utter folly of the well as against any which should originate principles it contained. If it was true with the House. If on the other hand as to the Church of Ireland, it was true the Act of Union was not to stand in the as to the Church of England; and if it way of Reform, there was no reason why was adopted, they would sanction the they should not look into the subject, and proposition that the property of the hierafford the Government the aid of their archy was public property, and liable to inquiries. The Right Honourable Secre- be disposed of at the will of Parliament. tary had spoken of the delicacy which Such a proposition was preparatory to they should feel in making any attacks the downfal of the hierarchy of the emon the clergy, on account of their pecu. pire, and the downfal of the Hierarchy learly helpless condition ; as if the clergy was preparatory to the downfal of the of Ireland had no union with the govern- Throne. He was no advocate for the ment; as if the mode of distributing the divine right or the sacredness of Church patronage of the Church did not interest more than any other kind of property. the most powerful persons in their behalf; But he was an advocate for the sacredas if they had not Archbishops and Bishops ness of all property. He spoke language in Parliament to advocate their cause; as which came home to the breast of every if they were not great freeholders, and Englishman, when he said that the Church had no representatives in that House. of England was an integral part of the The Right Honourable Secretary had re- Constitution. The Honourable Mover, ferred to the Coronation Oath and Magna however, would make arrangement as to Charta. He (Mr. D.) owned the refer- the Church property without the consent ence to the Coronation Oath was alarm- of the Church ; without the consent even ing, and not the less so on account of the of those who had the life interests in its quarter from whence it came. It was revenues. What was the course he took ? the absurd construction of that Corona. On the ground of the misconduct of the tion Oath that had stood long in the way individuals, he would confiscate the proof a great measure of Reform, approved perty. And how would he give compenby all enlightened men--the emancipation sation? Why, to the individuals, while of the Catholics without which they he took away the fee simple from the could never hope for the peace of Ireland. Church. This was “the equitable adjust. The Right Honourabbe Secretary went ment" of the Honourable Member, as it back also to Magna Charta, where he
was the castom to call every plan of found the liberties of the Church of spoliation and injustice. If he deprecated England were secured. The Church, the this as applied to the Protestant EstablishRight Honourable Secretary would do ment of England, he deprecated it the well to recollect, was a Papist Church; more as applied to the Establishment of and the liberties spoken of, liberties from Irelaud. "The Church Establishment in the controul of the Pope, with no sepa. Ireland, as in England, was an integral ration from its doctrines. The liberties part of the Constitution, but in Ireland it of the Church were at that time secured, was also the bond of connexion with this because, as forming an independent body country. To his Honourable and Learned in the State, it bad been active in opposing Friend (Mr. Deoman) he felt nothing but the encroachments of the Crown. It was gratitude for his distinguished and zealous not now intended to bring those liberties support of the cause of the Roman Cainto the slightest degree of jeopardy, as tholics; but he would put it to him whe
ther it could be serviceable to that cause rather all the three Right Honourable to mix it up with the subject now before Gentlemen, as to the desperation of my the House? As for himself he would say, Resolution, when they find it has the much as he regarded the Roman Catholics, support of a Bishop, and a very learned devoted as he was to their cause, incor- Bishop? Bishop Watson, in a letter to porated as it was with his very nature, the Duke of Rutland, dated January, impossible as it was that he should slacken 1797, states, “ There would be no inin it while life remained, if he thought justice in altering the value of a benefice, that its success would shake the Protestant when it reverts to the State on the death Establishment in Ireland, he would fling of an incumbent." This is what my it to the winds. But one of the strongest Resolution states ; it has the sanctiou of grounds on which he advocated that cause a Bishop, who was not only a very learnwas, that he helieved on his conscience, ed, but a very honest man, which seems that he was satisfied on the most mature to be the reason why he never rose very consideration, that no one object was so high in the Church. He would ask (the calculated to strengthen that establishment Hon. Member continued) the Right Hon. as the restoration of the great body of the Gentlemen, who accused him of ,spoliapeople to their rights.
tion, why did he set his seal to the Act Mr. Monck approved of the motion, relative to the tithe of agistment? Did He would ask whether it was decent that he not know that a court of justice had the Irish Church should come year after decided in favour of the clergy; and did year to Parliament to demand 30 or he not know that a Resolution of Par40,0001. for glebe houses and churches, liament declared that man au enemy to before it was seen whether a part of the his country who should levy a process on income of its own hierarchy might be ap- account of this tithe? The Right Hon. plied to the supply of those wants ? Gent. might not then be Attorney-General,
Mr. GRATTAN said he should vote for but he took a conspicuous part in the going into the Committee. They should management of affairs. And how can he see how the Church worked. They had charge me with spoliation, when he about 4 or 500,000 Protestants in Ireland, set his seal to an Act which despoiled Ireland had become, in fact, entirely a the clergy of Irelaud of 39-40ths of their Catholic country.
property? Archbishop Boulter had deMr. Hume, in rising to reply, put it to clared, that the arable land of Irelaud the Right Honourable Gentleman opposite consisted only of one-fortieth of the whole, if his language, or if any thing which he and the tithe from the remainder was had said, deserved the warmth which the taken from the clergy. With what assurRight Honourable Gentleman had dis ance then could the Right Honourable played. An attempt had been made to Gentleman talk of putting me down with misrepresent his expressions, and he owed the strongest language ? But it was the it to the House-he owed it 10 himself- first resolution to which the Right Hohe owed it to the cause he was advocating, nourable Gentleman so particularly obto meet that attempt as it deserved to be jected. He (Mr. Hume) was quite aware met. The Right Honourable Secretary that there was a difference of opinion as for Ireland had grossly misrepresented his to his first Resolution, which he was at Resolutions, by comparing them to the present disposed to withdraw ; but on Act of 1640, which went to sweep away the subject of the second Resolution he the whole property of the Church, except should divide the House. The Church a poor 1001. He would not only say this Establishment, it was said, was to be kept was grossly misrepresenting him, but it up for the sake of morality. We must was wilfully niisrepresenting him, for his hare Archbishops to keep men honest ! Resolutions say, that no injury shall be But how did it happen that Scotland done to the vested interests of any existing was so much superior in many of these individual. The Right Honourable Gen- points to other countries, when Scotland tleman (Mr. Plunkett) seemed to suppose had no Hierarchy, no Archbishops? But, that this was the first time the question in truth, the clergy. of Ireland were paid of Church Property had come before the to promote the morality of some other House. But last session the question people, for they were not to be found in had been discussed, and he was happy to Ireland. If they were paid, ought they see discussion had already done good. not to work ? But in Ireland there was Last session Members had talked of in some places a congregation destitute commutation of tithes as a profanation; of ministers, and there was a well-paid but now this measure was to be brought Church without a people!! The Right forward by the Secretary for Ireland. Honourable Secretary had quoted Magna Some progress, therefore, had been made, Charla, to prove that the Church should and he hoped to see more.
What does not be despoiled, but this applied to the the Right Honourable Gentleman say, or Catholic Church, which, according to the