in rising to bring forward the motion of which he had given notice relative to the College of Maynooth, confessed that he approached the question with great anxiety, and some degree of pain, not because the subject was undeserving the consideration of the House, but because he had observed that in the debates which had previously taken place on this subject a good deal of conflicting religious feeling was mixed up; and hon. Members on the other side had conceived that an attack was levelled against their conscientious 1223 feelings as Roman Catholics by hon. Members at his side of the House. He hoped that the question would be so treated upon this occasion as to be entirely divested of all such feelings, and that they might approach it, if with a strong difference of opinion, at least without any of those asperities which had hitherto unfortunately characterised their proceedings. He frankly confessed, that he had never yet, however strongly interested in the question of the grant to Maynooth College, been able to give his vote against it, and for these reasons:—First, because he found that the grant to that college had been continued for a long series of years under certain very important acts of Parliament to which he would presently allude, and it would be by no means becoming in that House to withdraw a grant from a college so situated without instituting a careful inquiry, and stating the strongest grounds. Secondly, because the acts of Parliament on this subject precluded them from entering fairly on the question of withholding such grant until the entire subject was maturely and solemnly considered. The acts of the Irish Parliament by which the College of Maynooth was founded were two—the 35th George 3rd., c. 21, and the 40th George 3rd., c. 85. Without entering unnecessarily into details, he would briefly state the substance of these acts. By the first act there were appointed twenty-one trustees, the majority laymen, there being eleven laymen and ten ecclesiastics. These laymen comprised several Protestants of the highest eminence. By the act which followed this there were constituted visitors of the college, consisting of the highest functionaries of the realm. The chancellor and judges of Ireland were appointed to visit the college at stated periods, and report as to its state. The Lord-lieutenant, the representative of the Sovereign, was directed to receive this report, together with a record of the rules, and the approval of those rules, together with the appointment of the president, was vested in him. It must be obvious, from what he had stated, that Parliament had, by these two acts, given its most direct and authoritative sanction to the College of Maynooth. If any one said that the system pursued there was not so sanctioned, he would put this plain case. Suppose a dispute arising in London between the London University 1224 and King's College. Suppose that one of these colleges could say—" Here is an act of Parliament constituting us as a recognised public body, the Sovereign is our patron, receives our report, and sanctions the appointment of our president; the judges of the land are our visitors." Would any one for a moment say, that this was not a clear sanction on the part of Parliament? When, therefore, year after year the question was raised of withdrawing the grant from Maynooth College, he had always held that, finding these statutes throwing around this college the most decisive sanction, the first step to be taken was to alter and amend these acts, in order as a preliminary reason to remove this sanction. In moving for leave to bring in a bill to effect this alteration, he did not mean at all to interfere with any grants which the College of Maynooth might enjoy from private endowment or public liberality. All that he meant to speak of was the sanction extended to that college by the state; and he put it to those hon. Gentlemen who thought these grants unwise, whether they did not think it important to alter and amend these measures. Some hon. Members, however, might ask him what reason there was for altering them? He found it in the acts themselves. These acts evidently contemplated two things—first a control (such was the intention of Mr. Pitt) on the part of the laity over the College of Maynooth; secondly, a control over it on the part of the Government. This intention was professed and palpable. By the first act, to which he turned the rather because hon. Gentlemen opposite dwelt on Mr. Pitt's authority, a majority of the trustees was composed of laymen. There were 10 ecclesiastical trustees, and eleven laymen, four of these Protestants, and seven Roman Catholics. The trustees thus constituted had a most effective control over the college. They appointed the professors, and drew up the rules; but unfortunately a change was made in the next act, which very much frustrated the views of Mr. Pitt, and of the Roman Catholic laity. By this new act, the trustees were divided into two portions; one part was constituted visitors, the other trustees. The visitors were composed of five Protestants, and three Roman Catholics, two only of them being ecclesiastics. A majority of these visitors was composed of laymen, but they had. no 1225 power. All the authority in drawing up rules, in appointing professors, &c, was transferred to the trustees, and these were altogether Roman Catholics. This was in itself no objection; but four-fifths of them were Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, with the power of filling up their number as any vacancy arose; so that instead of the object which Mr Pitt had in view being realised, by securing to the government a large ascendancy in the management of Maynooth, the act of 1800 reversed the whole arrangement, deprived the government of all control, turned the visitation into a complete farce, and handed over to the trustees an unlimited power. If Mr. Pitt's original principle was held to be sound, then the act of 1800 should not be suffered to stand, because it reversed the whole system. The only mode of making the visitation stringent was, to place a majority of laymen amongst the trustees. While the act remained as it stood at present, not the slightest step could be made towards modifying, in the slightest particular, any one of the existing arrangements. Whether hon. Gentlemen were desirous of withdrawing the grant, or of going back to the former system of government control, in any case, they must support his motion for leave to introduce a bill. It would be said, that by disconnecting Maynooth from the Lord Lieutenant and the judges, they would be placing it on the same footing with the Belfast Academy, to which, however, a grant of the public money was annually made. True, but they would thus deprive Maynooth of a very important sanction which it at present derived from its connection with the Crown, and with the judges of the land. If this bill were to pass into a law, Maynooth would be left naked and isolated to the annual consideration of Parliament, when any money grant might be proposed. He thought, however, that the time had arrived, and the petitions which had been poured in from various quarters, indicated the state of public feeling, when the sentiments expressed out of doors, with reference to the College of Maynooth, should find an echo within those walls, and when the sanction which had been hitherto given by the Legislature to that college should be finally withdrawn. The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Tipperary, had alluded on a former occasion, to a compact entered into when the College of Maynooth was 1226 first established; but of that compact he entertained quite a different view from the right hon. Gentleman. He believed that compact to have been formed between three parties—first the Roman Catholic laity, next the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and thirdly, Mr. Pitt and the Government, all of whom were desirous to see this colic ire established. The views of the Roman Catholic laity had been expressed by Mr. Keogh, the agent of the body in 1795, and also by Messrs. Emmett, M'Nevin, and Plowden. Mr. Emmett said, that "their view was, that the plan of the college should include Catholics, yet should not exclude those of any other religious persuasion, and that it should depend on the people for its support"—this was well worthy the attention of the House—"that it should be subject to the general control of the clergy and laity." Now, this was the view expressed by the Roman Catholic committee. The view of the hierarchy was somewhat different; but the view of Mr. Pitt was perfectly unequivocal. The bill which he introduced on the 23d of April, 1795, was entitled,A Bill for establishing a College for the better education of persons professing the Roman Catholic Religion, and intended for the Clerical Ministry thereof.It was thus clearly intended, that both laymen and clergymen should be educated there; and it was further manifest from the bill, that the intention was to place the college under the control of laymen as well as ecclesiastics. In point of fact, as he had already observed, there was a majority of laymen in the first body of trustees. But the whole of the system had been changed by the subsequent enactment. The college no longer existed as Mr. Pitt and the Roman Catholic laity desired; but at this moment it was a college under the exclusive superintendence of seventeen ecclesiastical trustees, who had all the power of making by-laws, appointing professors, and even excluding the visitation, for none was tolerated in reference to the Roman Catholic discipline, and the doctrine inculcated at Maynooth, which was manifestly a most important point. When, therefore, hon. Gentlemen referred to a compact, they should recollect, that the compact, whatever it was, had been broken, not by the British Parliament, but by the parties who altered the college of Maynooth so as to establish there an ecclesiastical to the 1227 exclusion of a lay education, and to vest the entire control of it in ecclesiastics. Whilst this was the compact made by Mr. Pitt, he was bound to say, as the matter now stood, the position of Maynooth was one of very serious alarm, and of well-founded dissatisfaction to the people of this country. Without alluding to the differences which existed between the Roman Catholic and Protestant faiths, he would observe, that there was a clear distinction in the Roman Catholic Church, which was most material to the present question. Between two systems and two sets of opinions among the followers of that church, those attached to the one being characterised as ultra-montanists, and those attached to the other being characterised as Gallic ans. [Mr. O'Connell: Hear!] The hon. and learned Gentleman cheered that statement as if he deemed it a matter of no consideration. But he should be able to show to the House, if not to convince the hon. and learned Gentleman, that it was matter which was considered by the Slates of Europe of very grave concern. There was a committee of this House appointed in 1816, to investigate the position which the Catholic Church occupied in Europe. That committee found, that a vast confederacy of those who were denominated ultra-Montanists existed throughout Europe, a confederacy possessing laws and canons by which bishops were bound to a central conference—canons, by which bishops were bound to enforce the observation of certain laws within the country of which they were citizens—a confederacy possessing such power seemed so formidable to all the States of Europe, that they took great precautions against the consequences likely to result from it. They would not allow any rescript from Rome without its being seen by the Secretary of State for that country into which it was to be introduced. They would not allow any communication to pass between the central conference and the bishops of that country without its having been seen by the Secretary of State. They would not allow the appointment of the bishops to be vested in any hands but their own. They, in fact, resolved, and executed that resolution, that there should not exist in their own dominions a church which did not own a close connection with the State, and which had a close and direct connection with a foreign power. Such 1228 were the Gallican liberties for which, in France, the French wisely contended. Such was the law in Austria, such the law in Russia, and such the law in Prussia. In no one of the countries of Europe was it tolerated, that the appointment of bishops of the church should be vested with the see of Rome. But the rescript of the Pope passed into that country without being seen by the Secretary of State. [Mr. O'Conneil: Hear !] He must say, that notwithstanding the cheers of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, those Slates had adopted a wise course. When bishops were bound to obey a foreign conference, whether sitting at Rome or Vienna—when the heads of the church got all appointments from that conference—when the oaths by which they were bound were of such a nature as to make them the tools and instruments of such a power, he asked whether these things did not appear highly formidable, and whether it was wise to tolerate a system which owed an allegiance to a foreign power greater than that which they owed to their own Government? He should show, from the words of one of the most distinguished statesmen whoever appeared in this country, Lord Castlereagh. He might remind the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. O'Connell), that Lord Castlereagh was one of the most ardent supporters of the Catholic claims—that nobleman told them in a speech delivered in 1810, what was the opinion of Mr. Pitt on this subject, for Mr. Pitt was the great authority on the other side. He (Mr. Pitt) said that:—The Catholic hierarchy of Ireland was acknowledged to be at this day in complete and unqualified dependence on a foreign authority—that there was no other Catholic Church in Europe in the same position, and that he regretted, that the policy of Britain had been the cause of this anomalous position.He then went on to express his wish, that they should not cease to be Roman Catholics; that they should continue to be sincere but liberal Roman Catholics, connecting themselves with their own Government for the purpose of mutual benefit, and to the exclusion of all foreign interference. Now, with regard to the laws recognised, enforced, and sworn to, by the ultra-montane party referred to by Lord Castlereagh as not being liberal Roman Catholics, hear the account which Dr. Doyle gave of one of them. He said, 1229 if that law were enforced, there could scarcely be any rest among the Catholic States of Europe. Dr. M'Hale, speaking of another of these laws, said it was impossible it could be received amongst us, as its reception would destroy all our laws. Dr. Doyle said of the same bull, writing to Lord Liverpool:—Such a law, in place of being necessary or useful, would overturn the foundations of society, and instead of benefitting the entire community would entrench on all its dearest rights and liberties.In illustration of the mode in which these laws were treated by foreign powers, he would refer to what took place in France in 1716, towards the end of the reign of Louis 14th. In that year, the Parliament of Paris, coinciding with the general feeling of the nation, passed an arrêt against these laws, and prohibited their reception as inconsistent with the right of the people and the monarchy of France. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side would probably say, that these were dead and obsolete laws, that they were matters of past days, and that there could be no use in referring to them now. But so late as the year 1828, a very intelligent French Catholic, a man of great distinction, the Count de Montlosier presented a petition respecting them to this effect. He said, there were then growing up in France confraternities in close association with the ultra-montane party, acting on their principles, recognising their laws; he showed how dangerous these were to the peace of society—that these confraternities were called the Sodalities of the Heart—that in 1740 their principles had penetrated so widely among the soldiery, that their fidelity could scarce be depended on, and so widely among the people, that the Government saw, that their allegiance was rotten to the centre, and was withdrawn from the Crown to this clerical confederacy, and that these sodalities had become so numerous in 1816 as to excite serious alarm. Now the same system of power, independent of the state, was existing at the same moment, or a year or two afterwards, in Belgium, and was described by an eminent writer as hostile to all Government, and especially to that of the reigning sovereign. The Belgian prelates in the year 1815, had found themselves called upon to address a formal protest to the King of Holland, in these terms:— 1230We do not hesitate to declare to your Majesty that the canonical laws which are sanctioned by the ancient constitution of the country are incompatible with the projected constitution, which would give in Belgium equal favour and protection to all religions. The council of Trent, all whose resolutions were published in these provinces, and have thence the effect of ecclesiastical law, commanded the bishops to see to the execution of them, The canonical laws always rejected schism and heresy from the bosom of the Church; we are bound incessantly to preserve the people intrusted to our care from the doctrines which are in opposition to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. If your Majesty, by virtue of a fundamental law, protected in these provinces the public profession and spreading of these doctrines, the progress of which we are bound to oppose with all the care and energy which the Catholic Church expects from our office, we should be in formal opposition to the laws of the State, to the measures which your Majesty might adopt to maintain them among us, and, in spite of all our endeavours to maintain union and peace, the public tranquillity might still be disturbed.Such was the protest put forth by the Belgian prelates. Every one knew what took place in Belgium. A revolution took place; but, nevertheless, the character and influence of the system remained unchanged. Now, what he wished to ask was this, was there any Catholic country in Europe that would submit to the interference of a foreign influence? What view was taken by other European powers of this foreign influence? Let the conduct of Prussia and Austria answer that question. As to the principles upon which Maynooth had been founded, and as to the results which had been expected from its foundation, he was sure there was no man in the country who would for a moment say, that Mr. Pitt and Lord Castlereagh would have lent themselves to the establishment of such system if there had appeared to them grounds for supposing that it could have led to such results as the present generation had witnessed. No man could suppose them capable of abetting an establishment framed to dissemimate dogmas so intolerant as those which issued from Maynooth. He would not then trouble the House with extracts from all the works with which he was provided, and which concurred in confirming the principles for which he contended; but this he would say, that the masters whose works were the class-books at Maynooth taught doctrines the most opposed to loyalty towards the Crown, to the peace of a 1231 state, or to freedom of conscience in matters of religion. The following names were returned as amongst the authors whose works were deemed necessary to be read by the students at Maynooth, and as necessary for all the students of divinity in the Romish church:—" Manochius, a Jesuit, Bailly, an Ultramontane—authorities used by the professors; Antoine, a Jesuit; Devoti, on canon law, a Jesuit; Dr. Murray says he held rather strong doctrines; Aquinas's Secunda Secundœ, a great book of moral philosopy, held the worst doctrines; Maldonatus and Reifenstuel." The object in founding the college at Maynooth was to liberalise the education of the Irish priesthood. But what were the doctrines which that school taught on the subject of loyalty? The House should judge for themselves by the aid of the following extract;—Does an apostate prince lose dominion over his subjects?—We must not obey apostate princes. We absolve those who are bound to excommunicated persons by fealty and the sacrament of an oath. Apostates from the faith are excommunicated, as also heretics.—Maldonatus. Who hath not known the Calvinist and Lutherans, who does not see that they are heretics, who have revived almost every ancient heresy?—Truly there never can be a heretic, if they are not heretics. Oaths must always be taken salvo juris superioris. They are dissolved if the thing becomes unlawful on account of the superior's prohibition.The next extract to which he should direct their attention was from the Decretals, as quoted by Dr. Slevin. That was another class-book, in which the students were taught that—He who owes anything to a heretic by means of purchase, promise, exchange, pledge, deposit, loan, or any other contract, is, ipso facto, free from the obligation, and is not bound to keep his promise, bargain, or contract, or his plighted faith, even though sworn to a heretic.—Decretals,This was from the 5th book of the Decretals, title 7. [Mr. O'Connell: What page?] The hon. and learned Gentleman could easily find it. [Mr. O'Connell: why not point it out?] If the hon. and learned Gentleman were not satisfied with this, he would refer him to another part of Dr. Slevin's evidence in p. 226, and another part in p. 270. He would beg the attention of the hon. and learned Gentleman to the argument used there by Pr. Slevin. In p. 220, he said, that all 1232 who separated from the body of the Church were excommunicated; that the Roman Catholic Church had over Protestants the same spiritual authority as over Catholics, and that in countries where the ecclesiastical was supported by the civil power, the Church censures had temporal effects, as they had laws to compel heretics to return to the bosom of the Church, and the confiscation of property consequent on excommunication depended on the civil authority, which did not so protect their doctrines here. Though Dr. Slevin did not express a wish that confiscation should be one of the temporal results of excommunication, yet the authorities he referred to supported this monstrous and intolerable doctrine. If such doctrines were inculcated in this college, was the object of Mr. Pitt attained? And if they were not inculcated, why were these books made the standard authorities? Why were the Secunda Secundœ of Thomas Aquinas, which of all works was the most opposed to the civil allegiance of the subject, quoted as the highest and most valuable standard in that college? What would be said if books containing absolute doctrines, such as he had described, were promulgated in the colleges and halls of Oxford or Cambridge, and if it were said,We don't inculcate these doctrines, we merely make the study of the books containing them a part of the education of the students?It might be true, that the doctrines which were contained in the works he had alluded to were not inculcated at Maynooth, but then those works were full of them. If it were said, that the heads of the halls and colleges of this country had determined that these books of Baily, Thomas Aquinas and others, which went to dissolve all allegiance to the sovereign, and a severence of all social bonds, should be read, would such a system be tolerated? There could be no doubt that the priesthood who were educated at the college of Maynooth, imbibed the doctrines which these books contained, and he should be able to prove this assertion by the evidence of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin. In his evidence before the committee of 1835, the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated,The priests who were educated in France, were old men when I became a man, and I found that they entertained a natural abhor, 1233 rence of the French revolutionary principles. They were strong anti-Jacobins, and there was amongst them a great deal of what is called ultra-royalty; but this is not the case with regard to those educated at Maynooth, the anti-Jacobin feeling has gone by, and the priests are now more intimately identified with the people; and as to what was usually called loyalty, the priests educated at Maynooth do not come within the description of it to such an extent as those who were educated in France.The House would know what the hon. and learned Member meant by the identification of the priest with the people, by what had taken place in Ireland since. Mr. Dennis Brown had also said;—I can say nothing as to the priesthood of Ireland—I am not acquainted with them—but they do not appear to me to be the same description of persons as they formerly were.He added, that he would give no evidence concerning them, and then he went on to refer to a sermon that he had heard preached by one of them, which he had thought it his duty to bring under the consideration of the magistrates. Here was, also, the testimony of another witness, Mr. Inglis, who had gone to Ireland with no prepossession on his mind unfavourable to the Roman Catholic priesthood. He stated,—That in the journey I subsequently took, I had full opportunity to form a comparison between the priests of the olden time and those educated at Maynooth, and with every disposition to deal fairly by them. I am convinced of the justice of the opinion I formerly expressed. I found the old foreign-educated priest a gentleman in deportment, and a man of high and generous feelings, but not what might be termed so good a Catholic as the priest educated at Maynooth. In the latter I found a vulgar-minded man, learned, perhaps, in theological matters, but a hot zealot, impregnated with a strong idea of his self-importance and his influence; and I have no doubt that the disorders that prevailed in Ireland have been increased by the Maynooth education of the Catholic priesthood. It is the Maynooth priest who is the agitating priest, and if a foreign-educated priest, who is a more liberal-minded man, less a zealot, and less a hater of Protestantism than the other, held a Roman Catholic cure, it is generally the case that an assistant is appointed, red hot from Maynooth, and the old priest is virtually superseded. In no country in Europe, not even in Spain, is the spirit of Popery so Anti-Protestant as in Ireland.And he added,—I think it essential that a better order of Catholic priests should be constituted.1234 This was the evidence of Mr. Inglis, and he asked the House, in considering this question, to turn to the evidence they had n the Table of the House, but more especially to the evidence taken before the committee of 1835, which clearly showed the extent to which the system of intimidation that was exercised by the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland was carried, and the interference and coercion to which the people of Ireland were subject in political matters. It was well known that, if a person ventured to vote against the wishes of the priest, he was denounced from the altar; and it was proved on the most unexceptionable testimony. Dr. Singleton, in his evidence, stated that—If any person should vote contrary to the wishes of the priest, if he attended any fair or market, strangers would fall upon him and give him a most unmerciful beating. Cases of this kind have occurred in Queen's County, Kerry, Carlow, Kildare, Tipperary, and Galway.—Fitzgerald. No man could vote contrary to the priest without danger to his person and property.—Messrs. Wilcox, Despard, and Finn. Such was the state of tyranny, that no Roman Catholic dare act independently.—Lord Kenmare. System of intimidation.—Messrs. Muller and Lalor. Those who voted against the Catholic party were denounced as traitors. The people would not deal with that man, nor associate with him. Freeholders in Carlow feared to be murdered, or have their houses burnt.This was the sort of authority exercised by the priests in Ireland; standing up at the altar as a minister of religion, he excommunicated the man who ventured to vote according to his conscience, and denounced him as an enemy to his religion, his country, and his GOD. These were the principles inculcated by the books he (Mr. Colquhoun) had referred to, and this was following out into practical operation the doctrines they taught. He asked the House and the people of this country was this a system they were prepared to tolerate and continue? No Gentleman present could wish that persons of the Roman Catholic persuasion should, after the act of 1829, be placed in a worse position than Protestants worshipping in their own Protestant Church. Every Roman Catholic inhabitant of these realms was in the eye of the law, and properly so, in the same position as the man who knelt in the Protestant church. A Roman Catholic might now enter that House—he might rise to high office in the State, and attain the highest position to which a 1235 Protestant could aspire. But what he complained of was, the encouragement given to the dissemination of this pestilent doctrine, which in a free country like this was intolerable, that a priest should be permitted to rise at the altar of his religion and denounce and excommunicate a man for voting as he pleased, for worshipping as he pleased, or for going to the chapel or abstaining from it as he pleased. No one could defend the continuance of such a system, much less that it should be fostered and maintained by the State. Other Roman Catholic states had dealt differently in this matter. Excommunication with temporal consequences was not permitted either in Austria, Prussia, or France. No priest in either of those countries would be allowed to denounce a man from the altar, and hold him up to public execration. But the priests of Maynooth, as had been evinced in the election of 1835, and in almost every other election, used the altars of their church for purposes foreign to their religion, and made them the instrument of a system inconsistent with the liberties of free subjects. He repeated that that system was the result of the doctrines inculcated in those standard works of divinity which were to be found in the college of Maynooth, and the effect might very well be conceived upon young men at that period of life when the mind was mostusceptible of impression. The doctrines promulgated in those works were most obnoxious both to the liberty of the subject and to the allegiance due to the Crown. Such a system as that he complained of, the Parliament of this country ought not to sanction; but he contended that the House did sanction and encourage it so long as the Act of Parliament remained upon the statute book, which gave the sanction of the Lord Lieutenant and of the judges of Ireland to a college in which such obnoxious doctrines were inculcated. When that Act should be repealed, it would be in the power of the House to withhold from that system all legislative countenance. It would be for the House then to say whether it would continue to vote the public money for the support of such a college. That would be a question for future consideration, and. was not necessarily involved in the motion before the House; all he asked was for leave to bring in a bill to dissever the college of Maynooth from all connec 1236 tion with the State, and thus to abolish that system of frequent visitation which, in itself did nothing, but had a tendency to mislead the public as to the extent of the powers of superintendence that could be exercised, and it would be open for the country or future Parliaments to continue or withold the grant as they might see fit. The words of his motion, which he now begged to submit to the House were, for leave to bring in a bill to alter and amend the Acts of 35 George 3d, c. 21, and 40 George 3d, c. 85, of the Irish Parliament, relating to the college of Maynooth.
§ Viscount Morpeth
said, if the question before the House could possibly be whether leave should be given to bring in the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down, instead of the bill, abounding as that speech did in criminatory matter, and being, as it was, highly vituperative against the clergy and the religious opinions and tenets of the people, who formed a large majority of the third part of these kingdoms, he, for one, should not have any scruple in calling upon the House not to receive it. The hon. Member was candid in his declaration of the intentions with which he had brought forward this motion. He proposed to open the field, and leave it free for those Members who had hitherto felt themselves shackled by the existing Acts of Parliament, in giving their votes against the grant proposed to the House, from time to time, for the support of the College of Maynooth. The hon. Member had said, that he had felt himself precluded from voting against that annual grant, in consequence of the existence of these acts; and in this he had cast some reproach on those less tender consciences who had not felt themselves so shackled by those acts that were still on the statute books, and by the important sanction so given to that grant. He did not see the exact distinction the hon. Member wished to draw between the act of 1800 and that of 1795; for the hon. Member had referred to the act of 1800, as if it broke in and trenched upon the compact that had been created and entered upon between the Roman Catholic body in Ireland and the State. Mr. Pitt, no doubt, was a party to the introduction and construction of the act of 1795; but he had yet to learn, that he was not in office in the year 1800, and that he did not cordially accept the amended act for 1237 the regulation of the Catholic College of Maynooth, that was passed by the Irish Parliament in 1800, and was adopted by him as a part of the compact entered into at the union, from which time the vote had been transferred to the Imperial Legislature. He did not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman into the disquisition he had indulged in as to the distinction of the Roman Catholic community, between the ultramontane and cisalpine parties. He thought it was one of the benefits that had resulted from the passing of the Emancipation Act, that there were now many Members in the House, who were more competent to enter into such a discussion as the present, and supply any knowledge they possessed, or rectify any mistake that might be fallen into, than he, or, if he might assume so much, even the hon. Member for Kilmarnock could possibly be. There were now in the House many hon. Members of the Roman Catholic persuasion, who, if they heard anything advanced contrary to the truth in respect of their religion, would be enabled to meet the charge, if capable of being so met. The hon. Member had complained, and brought it forward as a proof of the disadvantageous contrast which this country presented to other countries of continental Europe, that there was no country in Europe, either France, Austria, or Prussia, the hon. Member had instanced, in which the conduct of the Roman Catholic clergy, did not come under the cognizance of the state. Was not the hon. Member aware, that if the Secretary of State of this country ventured to correspond with the see of Rome, he would incur the penalty of the act of præmunire? And before the hon. Member ventured to make so disadvantageous a contrast, he ought, instead of asking the House to repeal the statutes on which Maynooth was founded, to repeal the act which imposed the penalty of the act of præmunire? The hon. Member had stated, that in the other countries of continental Europe, the state uniformly imposed conditions on the Catholic clergy and required them to renounce certain doctrines. But in those countries where the state regulated and controlled the Catholic clergy, it also paid them their salaries. If the state, then, controlled and regulated, it also supported, maintained, and encouraged the Catholic clergy, and he (Lord Morpeth) would say then, that instead of calling on the House to pass an act to prevent' the payment of 1238 the miserable stipend which was all that was allowed out of the wealth of this great country to that clergy that administered to the spiritual wants of the majority of the Irish people—if the hon. Member thought they could prescribe conditions, and call on the Irish Catholic clergy to abstain from certain practices, and to follow a certain line of conduct—he ought to to have proposed a vote to provide some more adequate means for maintaining them. When the state did nothing but discourage, when it did not maintain a single Catholic clergyman, he thought hon. Members could not with propriety come forward and reproach it for its want of power in restraining practices which they considered obnoxious. The hon. Member had read extracts from books said to be in use in Maynooth. He had referred to the works of Baily, Manochius, Maldonatus, Thomas Aquinas, and others, and had said, that the doctrines set forth by those writers formed a part of the system of education at Maynooth. He had no personal knowledge, but he should think those writers were not new in the Catholic church, and that their works were read in the College of Maynooth during the life-time of Mr. Pitt—at all events, they were so in the life-time of Mr. Percival, when he supported the grant. But there might be many things read there, that might not meet the approbation of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, or of which he himself might not approve, but that would prove nothing for the hon. Member's case. What was the object for which the Catholic College of Maynooth was instituted? The hon. Member had said, that it was intended, that a portion of the Roman Catholic laity should be there educated as well as the clergy, but it was well known to have been the object of Mr. Pitt, and those who concurred with him in founding the college, to withdraw the clergy of Ireland as far as possible from the influence of revolutionary and Jacobinical France, and to rear those who should become the future ministers of the Catholic church in that country. The hon. Member was not correct in his version of what he (Lord Morpeth) had said on a former occasion, that it was of no importance what books were read or studies pursued in the College of Maynooth. All he said was, that this being the object for which the establishment was founded, unless it were proved, that books were read, or doctrines inculcated, or abuses 1239 practised therein, which were in contradiction to the known and recognised principles and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, the hon. Member had established no case for the interference of Parliament. Let him say one thing as a mere matter of illustration. Suppose that the College of Maynooth was not a Catholic, but an avowedly Protestant establishment—suppose it had been founded for the purpose of educating persons as ministers not of the Roman Catholic church, but of the Church established in these realms—and then, if it was alleged and could be proved by actual evidence, that some of the professors and lecturers in such an establishment, so far from pursuing its professed and its avowed objects, were constantly disclaiming the distinctive Protestant character of the church, and denouncing what they were pleased to term the crimes of the reformation, and that it was notorious, that some of the pupils educated there were actually deserting the pale of the Established Church, and embracing the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church—then it might be successfully contended, that such an institution did not answer the purposes for which it had been originally established, and that there was much in its management, much in the course of tuition pursued there, which might call for, and justify the interference of Parliament. He did not wish to confine himself to his own representation on this subject, because it might be said, that he was conveying unfounded imputations; but he would refer to what was stated some time ago in the Church of England Quarterly Review. Talking of the tracts which had been published at Oxford, the reviewer said:—The objections to Romanism in these tracts are, on the one hand, so mild, and the passages which prominently notice the imposing nature of its services are so bold and unqualified on the other, that it is impossible to divest our minds of the suspicion, that the writers are covertly advocating the introduction of Popery into the Church. The proselytising attempts of this confederacy, which is increasing all over the kingdom, and subverting every fundamental principle of the Reformation-—which insolently arrogates to itself a power that belongs to no private individuals, and appeals to writers whose weak judgment and easy credence show them to be no authorities for the innovations daringly proposed to be made upon our liturgical system, have been tolerated by the head of our church in a manner as surprising as it is culpable; and would, doubtless, be permitted to 1240 be carried into more open practice, if the terror of the public press were not a salutary check on the treason. The question is scarcely whether the fathers of the ancient church, correctly or incorrectly, have handed down to us primitive forms of worship—it is, whether a church, such as the Church of England has a right to institute her own forms and ceremonies—it is, whether those who have sworn to maintain those forms and ceremonies can innovate on them, or suggest innovations on them without positive perjury. And when we trace these insidious attacks on all that we have accounted holy and venerable to one of our universities—to principal men (some of them professors in that university)—the spirit that is thus directed against our religious customs, the spirit that has selected the time for sapping the foundations within, whilst the Popish and non-conforming foe is undermining them without, assumes a more frightful character, and increases the culpability of those who, having the power to stop the evil, apathetically, indolently, and unworthily treat it as an inconsequential circumstance.No such charges had been brought against the College of Maynooth, and whatever might be the faults of the system and the charges against its management, certainly laxity in maintaining the opinions, and doctrine, and discipline, which it 'professed to uphold, were not among the charges which had hitherto been urged against the College of Maynooth. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock, in the course of his speech, had touched upon the conduct of the priesthood. He (Lord Morpeth) must say there was one point in the observations of the hon. Member in which he was disposed very much to concur, and that was his reprobation of the practice of descanting from the altar upon matters of any party or political or purely secular nature. He (Lord Morpeth) thought the introduction of such topics, especially when they became exciting, irritating, and calumnious, must necessarily desecrate the temple of the Most High, in whatever faith, or under whatever denomination the worship was conducted. It was, as far as it went, taking from Caesar the things which are Caesar's. But with respect to the general conduct of the Catholic clergy, as evidenced by their influence upon their flocks, he did not mean to flatter the Irish people, he thought the people of that country had their disadvantageous as well as their advantageous points of contrast with the people of this or other countries. But, he must say, that the male portion of that people exhibited at the present time more 1241 of sobriety—the female portion of that people exhibited more of chastity—and both portions exhibited more of patience and endurance under sufferings and calamities the most trying and aggravated, than could be said of the people of either of the sister islands. When he thought of the people of Ireland, and of the large influence which the priesthood exercised over them, and when he saw such results, he could not join in the general and indiscriminate censures with respect to the influence which the teaching and conduct of a priesthood exerted upon a people who exhibited such fruits of what they heard and were taught, as the Irish people. Having said thus much—having given his opinion as to the unfair mode in which the hon. Gentleman had dealt with the subject—most distinctly guarding himself against any intention of rescinding the practice which Parliament had pursued, and which had been pursued by every Government since the union, of voting (and he wished it could be still more commensurate with the objects to which it was appropriated) the annual and miserable sum of 8,000l. for the only institution supported by the State which professed to educate and rear a priesthood who were to officiate, who were to provide spiritual consolation, who were to provide instruction in life, and to administer comfort in death, to the whole of that immense population—guarding himself against any notion of that kind, but as he perceived every day, both in speeches in the House and in publications out of it, that the occupants of the opposite benches, that the leaders of the party opposed to the present Government in politics, professed to be ready to assume the reins of power, and represented, that those reins were likely to fall within their grasp in a very short time—he thought it desirable for this country, and for the people of Ireland, that the House should have fully explained and developed the measures and policy which the Gentlemen opposite proposed to adopt with respect to the Government of Ireland. And as the hon. Member was one of those who uniformly assisted, supported, and helped to keep together, that powerful party to which he had alluded—as the hon. Member had brought forward the bill, and supported it by a very lengthened statement and great variety of detail; and as it had been apparently well-received by the hon. Members around him, he thought it desirable, that the House should have 1242 an opportunity of judging of the details of the bill, which the hon. Member proposed to introduce. On these grounds, he should offer no opposition to the present motion, and recommended the House to assent to the introduction of the bill, and to let them see what it contained.
§ Sir R. Inglis
said, that though the noble Lord had abstained from a direct allusion to the University which he represented, yet the noble Lord had referred to it indirectly, and had grossly and grievously misrepresented it. The noble Lord had attacked the University of Oxford, not on the authority of any work published by the University, but on the authority of a periodical work, avowedly (according to his own statement) the work of an opponent. The noble Lord had quoted the Church of England Quarterly Magazine as containing a critique on certain tracts published not by the University of Oxford, but in the University. Cheers.] The acuteness of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sheil), could not mean to insinuate or assert that the two propositions were the same, and that the University of Oxford was responsible for all that was published within it. He could not deny that the freedom of the press existed in Oxford as well as in London; it was therefore childish (to use a word which had been recently introduced into the House), to say that the University of Oxford was responsible for every book published in it. Whether, therefore, the works were good or bad, on which point he would at present give no opinion—(hear, hear, from Mr. O'Connell). Did the hon. and learned Member suppose that he would shrink from giving an opinion in a proper time and place, which this was not? The only question now, as to these tracts, was, were they class-books at Oxford? This was the real point of comparison as to the books used at Maynooth. Did any member of the University of Oxford lecture upon these tracts? Did any professor put them into the hands of any pupil?
§ Viscount Morpeth
said, he did not quote the book as if it implied that it referred to the opinions of the University of Oxford, but as showing the tendency of the opinions of men intrusted with the duties of education at Oxford.
§ Sir R. Inglis
replied, that, whatever was the character of the works in question, it ought to be taken from themselves, direct, and not second-hand. The hon. and learned Member for Dublin, was in the habit of complaining that the tenets and opinions 1243 of his church were taken, not from friends, but from enemies; and he repeated that this was the case, he believed with the work referred to by the noble Lord: which, however, he (Sir R. Inglis) had never seen. He did not concur in everything that had been stated by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, on this subject; and when he had opposed the grant to Maynooth on former occasions, it had been on different grounds from those put forward by his hon. Friend. He would not enter into the theological branch of the question, on which so much had been said already; for it was sufficient for him to take any one single doctrine most admitted, recognised, or cherished by hon. Gentlemen opposite belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, and he did not mean to speak of it with the slightest irreverence, but it was sufficient for him that it was a doctrine which, as a Protestant, he used the word deliberately, he had been taught to regard as unscriptural, and no consideration on earth would ever induce him to aid in any course of instruction for his fellow-creatures therein. As this motion was not to be opposed, and as the subject would, in course of a short time, again come before the House, he would only say, he had seen no reason to change any opinion which he had ever expressed on this question; and that he thought they were bound by every consideration of Christian duty, and of political expediency, to refuse to continue their support to the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth. On that ground he should give his support to the motion of his him. Friend.
§ Mr. Morgan J. O'Connell
did not wish to introduce any topics of a personal nature into the discussion, but he would remind the House that, after all that had been said on the subject, and after all the petitions which had been presented, and the discussions which had been got up out of doors, there was little for any one to respond to, as Gentlemen opposite had not dwelt upon general principles. The hon. Gentleman who brought forward the motion, took care to avoid dealing with the provisions of the bill which he proposed to introduce, and all that he could gather from his speech was, that he wished to take away the royal patronage from the College of Maynooth, and to prevent the Lord Chancellor Plunkett, the Lord Chief Justice Bushe, the Chief Justice Doherty, and the Lord Chief Baron, from acting in any way as 1244 visitors. It had been stated by Gentlemen opposite, that they did not support the bill on the grounds on which it was introduced; but whatever compact might exist amonst the supporters of the bill, if some of the grounds on which they alleged they approved of it had been urged by that side of the House, they would have been called Jesuitical, and other harsh terms would have been applied to such conduct; but it appeared that this was a privilege extended to one side of the House, and not to the other. He was perfectly indifferent, and he also believed that this was the case with the great body of the Catholics of Ireland, as to the continuance of the grant of 8,000l. a year to the College of Maynooth, as he Was satisfied that, if it were stopped, a much larger sum would be raised by the voluntary subscription of the people. But if this was to be done, he hoped that it would not be in any indirect manner, but on the broad and intelligible principle laid down by the hon. Member for the University of Oxford, namely, that they were not to pay for teaching that which they did not believe to be the truth, and let this opinion be applied by the people of Ireland. Of course the hon. Baronet was prepared to be responsible for the full and extensive application of his doctrine. The noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, said, very truly, that it was evident that the hon. Gentleman wanted much more to make his speech on the subject, than to bring in his bill, as it no doubt was intended to produce certain results out of doors. He (Mr. M. O'Connell) was told, that in Liverpool, where, formerly, there was a great deal of agitation on this subject, got up by Mr. M'Neil and others, the attacks on the Catholics on this ground had almost ceased, and that a great controversy now existed between high and low church, or between the Puseyites and the Evangelical party. It might be deemed a matter of convenience for Gentlemen opposite to agitate this matter on the hustings, and to encourage an outcry against the Catholics, on the ground that certain doctrines were inculcated at Maynooth by some theological writers, who engaged in the controversies between the Gallican and the ultra-Montane church, on certain doctrines. He chose to go back to the time of Thomas Aquinas, and other ancient writers of the church, and had proceeded to censure certain doctrines, 1245 which he imputed to Bellarmine, Dens, and others. Now he would ask the hon. Gentleman whether he had never heard of other colleges besides that of Maynooth, in which the writings of Thomas Aquinas were used? If he took the trouble to inquire, he would find that they were daily consulted in those learned French colleges which had been so much praised, and by other Catholic bodies for hundreds of years. What, however, he complained of in these attacks was, the attempt made to excite prejudices in the minds of the people of this country against their Catholic fellow-subjects. There was an organ of the High Church party in this country, namely, the Quarterly Review, which constantly indulged in these attacks; and there was a striking instance of this in the number for December, in an article entitled "Romanism in Ireland," In this paper an attempt was made to shadow out something extremely mysterious, and to allude to something most objectionable and revolting as connected with the state of Ireland. He could not help reading a passage in this article. It said—No people were ever more formed than the Irish for religion, for obedience, for respect to the ministers of God, for belief in mysteries; and therefore none more fit to be duped and ruled over by Popery. It would be desirable to know what communications are now kept up between Ireland, Rome, Palermo, St. Acheul, and other important stations of Popery, and especially of Jesuitism; what visits are paid to Rome by the Irish bishops, and members of Jesuit establishments; what sums of money transmitted either backwards or forwards. We see a move now made for the establishment of an exclusive Roman Catholic Bank, for the avowed purpose of facilitating these transactions. It is certain that some sums enter into Ireland from abroad; and there is also a remarkable mystery attending the disappearance of money in the hands of the priests. Some few have been known to hoard; but latterly hardly any discoveries have been made of this kind, or of property-left to their families. When the large amount of their incomes is ascertained, the immense revenues raised by the Temperance and other similar movements, and the economical mode in which they live as single men, it will, we think, be a matter of no little wonder where their accumulations disappear. We should also beg leave to ask, what changes have recently taken place in the Romish priesthood in the Colonies—Newfoundland, for instance, Australia, Van Diemen's Land, the Cape of Cood Hope, Demerara, the West Indies, and especially India? Will the directors of the 1246 East India Company take the trouble to inquire whether recently a colony of priests from Maynooth has been transplanted thither—what steps are now pending in certain law-courts in consequence of their proceedings—how many priests in Ireland are Repealers of the union with heretical England—whether the destruction of the English Empire is not a fundamental axiom, the ' Delenda est Carthago' of Maynooth—and whether a repeal agitation in India, fomented by Jesuits, would be an agreeable announcement? Is Ireland the centre from which Rome supplies her colonies? Is 'Maynooth beginning to be felt' even in America? Are Irish priests of weight even in the election of a President, and by the same engines of illegal votes, perjuries, and intimidation, which may be found perhaps in Ireland? Is there, in fact, a closer sympathy between Ireland and America than mere political opinions; a sympathy which may not be without its results in the case of a war? Is some secret hand now working over North America precisely the same change as it has already worked in Ireland by substituting a class of busy vulgar demagogues for a quiet body of clergy? Were they French priests who 'knew something about the rebellion in Canada,' or priests from a quarter nearer home? Was Dr. Hussey, one of the earliest Irish episcopal agitators, brought from America and made first president of Maynooth for his quiet and loyal principles? And who is Dr. England, who has lately been transmitted to America in return? And what did he carry with him? We do assure the Colonial Secretary that these questions well deserve his attention.Now, he had thought that if there was one point in which all parties agreed, it was as to the exertions of the Catholic priests in Canada during the late disturbances, to preserve peace and order, which had often succeeded in preventing their flocks from engaging in rebellion, although they had grounds of complaint themselves, and were not well satisfied with the state of things. With respect to Dr. Hussey, he had never heard that he had been brought from America, but he knew that that gentleman had been appointed first president of Maynooth at the instigation of Mr. Pitt, and was made Bishop of Waterford through the same influence, which gave rise to some dissatisfaction at the time on the part of some of the Catholic clergy. The writer also asked "who is Dr. England, who has lately been transmitted to America in return?" It would appear from this as if Dr. England had recently proceeded to America, whereas he had been out there upwards of sixteen years. He (Mr. M. O'Connell) was sorry 1247 that the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, was not present, as probably he might have given some explanation to Gentlemen opposite on this subject; but as the heads of the party opposite felt themselves justified in stopping away on the discussion of this matter, the noble Lord probably thought that he might without inconvenience follow their example. He should like to hear some explanation as to what Dr. England carried with him. He (Mr. M. J. O'Connell) did not know, and he supposed many of his friends around him were equally well informed. He protested, however, against thus shadowing forth something to frighten the weak-minded; it was like exciting the fears children against going out in the dark by some idle story of raw heads and bloody bones. It was then asked, "Are any persons, either avowedly or secretly, Jesuits, intrusted with high offices under the Irish government?" The same question should extend to the Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, and other bodies of the kind. Did the noble Lord know of any Jesuits who held high offices under the Government? If he did not, Gentlemen opposite probably would say that it was part of his duty to make inquiries of them on the subject, or perhaps it was intended to be insinuated that the noble Lord himself was a Jesuit. He had thought that all the objections that had been raised to the Temperance Societies in Ireland were at an end, and that however much some persons might have disapproved of them, at first, that now all parties agreed in admitting that they had been attended with great benefit, and had been one of the best things that had been adopted for the improvement of the physical and moral condition of the people of Ireland. The writer of this article, however, says—It was soon found that the Temperance Association was capable of being turned into a powerful engine. It enabled agitators to parade the people in vast masses. It gave a bond of union, and a badge quite as efficacious as an oath, in the temperance medal, which, it is now understood, will be a security not only against the torment of another world, but in the coming massacre, to distinguish Papists from Protestants.Again, after dwelling on Ribbonism, at some length, it concludes—One way there seems to be of explaining this, and only one. Might not the archives of the Propaganda possibly supply the key.1248 Was this only carrying out the principles entertained by hon. Gentlemen opposite? He hoped that the bill would be laid on the Table with as little delay as possible, and that they would shortly be called upon to read it a second time. [Mr. Cumming Bruce: After the 23rd of April.] He hoped, at any rate, that it would be discussed in a full House, and that it would be printed and circulated, so as to afford time for the expression of opinion on the subject; and while, on the one hand, there would be no attempt to steal a march, that, on the other, there would be no delay in bringing in the bill. He was sorry that prejudices were often too easily raised by the propagation of such assertions as he had just quoted, and how far hon. Gentlemen were justified in avowing and publishing such topics he would leave the House to determine. He would not trespass further on the time of the House than to request that it would not lightly, from what it had heard that night, pass a censure on the priesthood of Ireland. He felt satisfied that the noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, had not overdrawn the beneficial influence exercised by this body over the minds of their countrymen; and he would willingly challenge a comparison for disinterested piety and devotion to their ministerial duties between them and the clergy of any Church, whether supported by the State or by the free contributions of their flocks, which he trusted would always be the case with the clergy of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
§ Mr. Cumming Bruce
did not for a moment doubt that many of the Catholic priests in Ireland were upright men, and discharged their duties conscientiously; but this was not the topic then under discussion. As the noble Lord did not intend to oppose the introduction of the bill, it was unnecessary for him to make many observations; but he must observe that neither the noble Lord nor the hon. Gentleman who spoke last had replied to the greater portion of the eloquent speech of his hon. Friend. They had been satisfied with quoting many extracts from books which had nothing to do with the subject under debate. The hon. Member for Kerry said he was anxious for the introduction of this bill, that he might examine it. He also wished for its introduction, but after they had been told the other evening by the noble Lord the Secretary for the Colonies 1249 that, in consequence of the pressure of public business, he should not be able to proceed with the measure on which he stated, that the future welfare of Ireland depended, until after Easter, it would be only following a proper course to postpone the discussion of his hon. Friend's bill until after the other was disposed of. He trusted, therefore, that his hon. Friend would not be so uncourteous to the other side as to proceed with his bill until after the 24th of April.
§ Mr. Langdale
observed, that there were two expressions in the speech of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, with respect to which he was anxious to make a few observations. The hon. Member alluded to the double interpretation which he asserted Catholics put upon the term "allegiance." Now any Catholic felt that his allegiance to his Sovereign was totally different to what was called the spiritual allegiance to the Church. The latter only referred to the spiritual authority of the Church, and had nothing whatever to do with temporal matters. The difference and distinction between the temporal allegiance and spiritual allegiance, as it had been termed, was as complete as possible. The Catholics had repudiated over and over again, as fully as the Legislature required it, the notion that theirs was a divided allegiance on their part, and that they did not acknowledge their allegiance to the Sovereign of this realm as their Protestant fellow-subjects. The hon. Member might refer to a number of old orders, for the purpose of supporting his allegation, but he had thought that the question had been set at rest to the satisfaction of all reasonable minds. When the subject was alluded to some years ago, Mr. Pitt referred a number of questions, involving the point, to several of the most learned Universities and other bodies in various parts of Europe, and they one and all repudiated the doctrines of not keeping faith with Heretics, or that they could bear a divided allegiance to their Sovereign. He had thought that such prejudices against their fellow-countrymen had been buried in oblivion; but as the hon. Gentleman had thought proper to bring forward these topics, he had felt called upon to repudiate and disown them. The hon. Gentleman also stated that the Catholics reproached and denounced those who differed with them as heretics and schismatics. He should 1250 like to know what difference there was between the doctrines of the Catholic Church and the Church of England on this point. Had not the Church of England denounced those who dissented from her doctrines in as strong language as had ever been used by the Church of Rome? He did not see the hon. Member for Newark in his place, who had written a clever book on this question. Could hon. Members opposite deny, that every doctrine laid down on this subject in that work was asserted by the Catholic Church? Dr. Stebbing, another writer of that party, said, that under the pure Catholic Church they embraced all the members of the Christian faith; and when distinctions were drawn on particular points, the Church of England did the same as the Church of Rome. The hon. Member for Oxford and himself agreed also on some points; but he was sure that neither the hon. Gentleman nor himself could point his finger at another and say such and Such a man is a heretic, for each knew that heresy implied a wilful and knowing resistance to the truth. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock stated there was a strong Anti-Protestant feeling existing in Ireland; but he would remind the hon. Gentleman that it was not very long since, that there was a strong Anti-Catholic feeling" manifested in Ireland by those who held the reins of power; and after the proceedings which had taken place in that country, was it unnatural that there should be some feeling of reaction against the ascendency party? When the hon. Gentleman adverted to the strong language which he stated had been used from the Catholic pulpits in Ireland, could he be a stranger to the new reformation sermons, as they were called, which had been preached in this country by Mr. M'Neil and others, in which the Sovereign of this realm was compared to Jezebel? When such language and conduct were supported and countenanced by some of the highest Members of the aristocracy who attended the meetings in Exeter-hall, he thought that the existence of some sort of Anti-Protestant feeling in the minds of some of the less educated portion of Catholics might be expected. How, he would ask, was it to be expected otherwise, when persons heard their religious faith denounced and misrepresented in the strongest terms, and all kinds of charges brought against their clergy? He entertained 1251 strong feelings of gratitude towards the great men who were authors of the Catholic Relief Bill—for he should ever feel that the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel had acted as distinguished Statesmen, and were entitled to gratitude for bringing forward and carrying a measure which they had previously objected to; but he was convinced, if that measure had been carried out fully and fairly in Ireland, immediately after it passed, it would have been attended with a very different result. In the county with which he was connected it had been acted on more fairly, and the result had been very satisfactory. In the East Riding of Yorkshire nearly all the Catholic gentlemen who were entitled from their station to the office, had been placed on the bench of magistrates, to the perfect satisfaction of all persons, including the whole body of the magistracy, a large portion of whom were Protestant clergymen. If the same feeling had been manifested in Ireland, the prophecies which had been made as to the failure of the Catholic Relief Bill would have turned out to have been utterly false, as there would have been an entire and satisfactory settlement of the question.
§ Mr. Litton
would state why he should have voted for the motion if it had been opposed, and why he thought the bill should be brought in. He had no doubt, that the hon. Gentleman who last spoke, had spoken most truly, so far as regarded himself and a very large body of the Roman Catholics of this country, no less than of a large body of Irish Catholics. Upon this account, the hon. Gentleman and those who agreed with him, should feel with those on that side of the House, if they were not more anxious that the statements which had been made in the House that night and out of it during the last five or six years should be investigated—for if the alleged facts were not true, the friends of the college of Maynooth and of the Roman Catholic clergy should be the first to challenge inquiry, and refute the accusations which had been made, not by innuendo, but in the most open and direct manner. He should be most happy if these charges should be refuted. There were none so interested in having those facts cleared up as the respectable and loyal priesthood of Ireland, and those respectable and loyal men who felt like the hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House. These charges, how- 1252 ever, should not be met by reading scraps, as the hon. Member for Kerry had done, but by thoroughly taking up the whole question, and meeting facts with facts: He would not enter into any lengthened inquiry respecting the class books as now taught to the students of Maynooth—that he would reserve for a future occasion, for he thought the hon. and learned Member for Kilmarnock had stated enough for the present. But when the bill came on for discussion, he (Mr. Litton) meant to prove that no man, taking up those class books, and, indeed, almost any of the other books used in Maynooth—although the hon. Member for Knaresborough said he knew nothing of them, which, no doubt, was the fact, but then it was his duty to know them—would fail to find, that their principles tended to the intolerance and disloyalty complained of by his hon. and learned Friend. For the sake, therefore, of the hon. Member for Knaresborough and his Friends, and the respectable and enlightened Catholic clergy and laity of Ireland, it was most important that this case should be speedily cleared up. He expected that the hon. Member for Kerry, as a respectable gentleman, as professing the Catholic faith, as one conversant with the politics of the day, and one who knew much of Ireland, would have taken up, and at least have attempted to refute some of those charges; particularly as the noble Lord had very properly and delicately thrown the task upon those whose priesthood and religion had been attacked. He expected that the hon. Member for Kerry would deny the allegations and challenge proof, but he had done nothing of the kind. Neither he nor the hon. Member for Knaresborough had an excuse for omitting to meet the facts, for the motion did not take them by surprise. For five or six years similar attacks had been made at public meetings, and in the last three or four years some divisions had been taken in that House on the question, so that some step like the present ought to have been expected, notwithstanding the complaint of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tipperary. This bill was, in fact, brought in to enable hon. Gentlemen to oppose the grant given to Maynooth. He made those observations without the least feeling of unkindness towards his Roman Catholic brethren; he believed there was not a man in that House or out of it who had had less difference with any class of his fellow-subjects, but he thought, it his duty now to 1253 give notice, that when the debate on the second reading of the bill took place, he would call upon the Gentlemen opposite either to deny positively the charges that had been made, or to explain them away. They must then be prepared to give a distinct and palpable meaning to those expressions referred to by his hon. and learned Friend, and also to many others which were to be found in the works from which he quoted. When he first came into Parliament, and heard heavy charges made against the education taught in Maynooth, and against the language of the books studied there, he perused those authorities for himself, as a matter of duty. He would not now refer to them in detail, but would generally say, that no candid man, reading those books, could say that their plain meaning, especially to youth and unlearned persons, was other than to inculcate the absence of allegiance to the Crown; and that oaths need not be kept with heretics, particularly when the breaking of them would be beneficial to the interests of the Roman Catholic religion. Upon the second reading of the bill, he should call upon hon. Gentlemen opposite to explain or deny those passages; for it was the duty and interest of every Gentleman in that House, no matter what his politics, especially those who professed liberal politics, and who sincerely respected the Catholic religion, to say whether those allegations were to be unanswered or not—allegations which had not yet been answered in public discussions, or in writings, or in that House.
§ Mr. O'Connell
would commence what he had to say, by stating, in the most distinct and emphatic manner, that he implicitly believed in all that was taught at Maynooth; he would not for a moment shrink from making this avowal, in its completest extent, and he was only checked by his respect for the Mouse from expressing most emphatically his contempt for those aspersions upon that college which had been so shamelessly uttered by several hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. It was said, that the charges brought that night against Maynooth had already been frequently made in that House; he had been longer in the House than the hon. Gentleman who made this statement, and he could tell the hon. Gentleman, that at least never had any charge against Maynooth been brought forward in so indecent a manner. Never had any charge against Maynooth assumed 1254 a character so reckless, so malevolent, so utterly calumnious. It was said, that such charges had been made elsewhere; they had, in places and by orators exactly in unison with the disgraceful and disgusting slanders poured forth. But it was said, that these charges had never been refuted; they had, as often as they had been advanced. The hon. Gentleman said, that allegiance to the Crown was frittered away at Maynooth; he would fix the hon. Gentleman to this daring assertion, and he would prove to him, whenever he would, that never was there a more groundless assertion; never did bigotry instigate a calumny, or utter anything more grossly devoid of foundation. The hon. Member, speaking to Gentlemen his equals, at least, presumed to talk of Roman Catholics disregarding their oaths. He hardly knew in what terms to answer this assertion in the House. Were it said out of the House, the answer that would best fit the statement would be that the assertion was false as hell. The hon. Member quoted passages and phrases, but he had carefully abstained from quoting either book, chapter, or verse, or it would have been easy to have sent for the book, and at once to have confuted him. The only two passages for which the hon. Member had given the precise authority, consisted of expressions which no Christian need be ashamed to utter or avow, which were perfectly consistent with the charity which belonged or ought to belong to every church. The hon. Member quoted Dr. Slevin, but he had not cited the particular pages, and the reason was, that the hon. Member knew very well, that if he had done so, he would have been contradicted and confuted in a moment. The hon. Baronet, the Member for the University of Oxford, had expressed himself on the subject with his habitual good-humour, candour, and straightforwardness, but he was not satisfied with the answer which the hon. Member bad given. The noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland, when he talked of Puseyite doctrines, had not imputed them to the University of Oxford, but to persons, clergymen, and among these, a Bishop, who had been connected with the University. For his part, he confessed, he greatly rejoiced to see the advance of those doctrines. It must be admitted, that, those were acting contrary to their oaths in teaching Popery, while they were 1255 paid by the Protestant Church. The hem. Gentleman did not deny that, for he could not, but, blessed be Heaven, the swearing to the Thirty-nine Articles, and afterwards evading them, was not Catholic. This was a fellowship he did not desire, though the movement was, he was glad to perceive, in the direction of the true church, and would tend to the triumph of the true religion. There was not a single feeling of heartfelt religion to redeem the malevolent tirade and the abandoned calumny which characterized the speech of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock. If the suspicion of thorough hypocrisy could be laid aside, the vituperation of the hon. and learned Gentleman would have been amusing. He could not help wishing, that a few Catholic theologians had been present, as they would have been delighted with his dissertation on the cisalpine quarrel, and his running commentary on it. This was a case in which the State wanted to invade the rights of the Church, and France supported that design. The French parliament was opposed to the liberties of the church. What was the consequence? The infidelity which led to the revolution and the trampling on all church institutions. There was, however, no agreement in religious principles between the Gentleman who made the motion, and him who seconded it. No ultra-montanist and cisalpinist could have differed more than the hon. Member for Kilmarnock and the hon. Member for Elgin. One was an intrusionist, the other a non-intrusionist. He saw the other day a speech in which the hon. and learned Member for Kilmarnock spoke with indignation of the attempt of the State to interfere with the Church of Scotland; but his colleague in attacking the Catholics was a zealous intrusionist—in fact, there was not a single point on which the two hon. Members were agreed, except in hatred to the old religion. The one relied upon the authority of John Knox, the other contended for the supremacy of the State over the Chinch, but they agreed to hunt in couple against Popery. He was sorry for the Church of Scotland. The present quarrel would not be soon over, and really he must say, it was as pretty a quarrel as he could desire to see. But the ultra-montanist question was now at an end. All Catholics, now, in every State, acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the Pope to its 1256 just extent. You could not show a State in Europe, or in the world, where the Catholic religion was not extending itself, or one where Protestantism was on the increase. He (Mr. O'Connell) was sorry to dwell on these subjects, but a polemical discussion had been forced on them, and he should be ashamed if he did not maintain a reason for the hope that was within him. The hon. and learned Gentleman talked of getting published the bulls that had been addressed to the Catholic bishops. He might do so. The Catholics struggled for emancipation in Ireland. It was offered to them if they would give the State the power of appointing their bishops; but the Catholics would sooner lose their rights than permit an adulterous connection between their church and a temporal party. But the hon. and learned Gentleman talked of a difference between Irish priests educated in France and at Maynooth, and he quoted Inglis to prove his contrast. This reference proved the discrimination of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock. Now, Inglis was in Ireland in 1831 and 1832, talking, as he said, familiarly with priests who had been educated in France. But the education of Catholic priests in France ended in 1792. No one could go from Ireland to France unless he were first ordained, and he must be then 24 years of age. He could not return until he was 30, but they must all have returned before 1792; and yet Inglis stated, that he had been talking familiarly with those priests 38 years after the time when they must have attained the age of 30. Now, considering the laborious mission of the Irish priests, he (Mr. O'Connell) would put it to the House, how many of those rev. gentlemen could be alive when Inglis was in Ireland? He had been a great deal amongst the Irish priesthood, and he knew, that when Inglis's book came out, there were only four of those gentlemen living, not one of whom that writer had seen, and of the four there was but one now living. But there seemed to be no discriminating facility in the hon. and learned Member, and he could not discern truth from falsehood, and error from fact. The hon. Member next told them, that the late Lord Castlereagh was an exceedingly great theologian, a faculty which he (Mr. O'Connell) had never before heard attributed to that nobleman; but he was quite willing to make the hon. Member 1257 for Kilmarnock a present of all the benefit of that authority. Then the hon. Member came to Emmett, and his evidence before a Committee of the House of Lords, after he had acknowledged himself to be a traitor. He (Mr. O'Connell) did not mean to speak, slightingly of Thomas Addis Emmett, whom he remembered as an accomplished gentleman, a man of talent, adorned with all the virtues of private life, who was rising fast in his profession, and full of the gifts of science. Emmett embarked in the fury of the French revolution, but he was no authority on Catholic opinions. Scarcely a Catholic gentleman took part in the rebellion. All those who were executed were Protestants or Presbyterians. So the quotation from Emmett was another instance of the facility of delusion which seemed to distinguish the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock next went into a long dissertation on the intimidation of Catholic priests, which he ventured to say, he had proved to a demonstration that would admit of no denial. Another instance of his facility at delusion and assertion ! But more astonishing still, the hon. Member seemed determined to quote anything, except only what was true. Now, there had been no less than thirteen committees before whom cases of alleged intimidation at elections were tried. Six of these were tried by Tory committees, and the popular candidates were unseated, but not a single attempt was made to prove misconduct on the part of the priests. The charge had been made out of doors it was true; the committee furnished an opportunity to prove it; and he implored the House to attend to him, while he stated that those opportunities of sifting the alleged misconduct, upon oath, were neglected and flinched from by those who had raised the calumny, and who continued to propagate it. To be sure the Catholic priests took a part in elections, and why should they not? They spoke from the altars against perjury and bribery; but he defied the hon. Member to show by evidence that they went further. The hon. and learned Member quoted Singleton; but was Singleton ever in a Catholic chapel, or before an altar? All his evidence was mere hearsay, picked up from those who stated that they were present at what they described. But he turned with contempt from those calumnies on the Catholic priests. Did 1258 they imagine that Exeter Hall was the only place where all that was low, filthy, grovelling, and false against the Catholic religion was spoken? It was not. The meanness, virulence, and calumny, which had been so long considered as exclusively congenial to Exeter Hall, were now transplanted into that House. He repudiated those doctrines; every one of them had been already repudiated, and confuted over and over again. His eternal salvation depended upon the sincerity of his belief, and, standing as he did, in the presence of that God who was to judge him, he there asserted that he never would abandon one particle of his creed; and he now told the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, that a more calumnious, and a more false assertion was never made against any church, than had that night been alleged against the Roman Catholic Church, by that hon. Member. Of what church did the hon. Member elect to call himself? the idol whom he appeared to set up and glorify being John Knox; the hon. Member for Newark, had he remained in his place, would hardly allow that the hon. Member belonged to any church at all, and he would say to the hon. Member, "Have you ordination in your church? and who was John Knox?" Had the hon. Member read Mr. Tytler's work? That Protestant Presbyterian historian proved that John Knox was accessory before the fact to two murders—a notable idol for the hon. Gentleman. And to talk about the Roman Catholic doctrine inculcating the violation of faith even to Protestants ! The hon. Gentleman's idol, John Knox, indeed, said that no faith was to be kept with Catholics; but to assert that Roman Catholic doctrines, in any place, or in any manner or degree, inculcated the abominable principle, that faith was not to be kept with Protestants, was a preposterous and utterly unfounded calumny. It was the doctrine of the Roman Catholics, that faith was to be kept with every body; and that he violated the faith of God, whatever he called himself, who violated his faith with man. And what was John Knox's first net when he got into power? He procured an act of Parliament to put Roman Catholics to death as idolaters. Yet hon. Gentlemen opposite, who glorified John Knox, assailed the Roman Catholic priests, because, said those hon. Gentlemen, they were intolerant. They were assailed, too, 1259 because it was said they inculcated the violating the allegiance to the Grown; but who was so open a teacher of rebellion as John Knox? The disciples of such a man were to be regarded with a feeling of pity, guarded by a large share of distrust. He had been unwillingly forced into this polemical discussion. His religion had been attacked, and it was his pride and duty to defend it. It is the ancient religion of this land—it is the religion of Allied and of Edward, of Fenelon, and of Sir Thomas More. It is a religion, as had been eloquently said, which existed during the persecution of the early Christians, and has survived the flumes and wild beasts of the Roman amphitheatre, and it will exist when some traveller from New Zealand shall take his stand in the midst of a vast, solitude, on the broken arches of London Bridge, to sketch the ruins of St. Pauls, he did not provoke this discussion, but he was not sorry it had arisen. Could anything exceed the bigotry of the petitions which had been presented? Did they not breathe all the rancour of the early Reformation, as it was called? And was not that rancour exhibited by the Gentleman who gloated over the bigotry of those petitions? "It was time," said the hon. Member, "that the House should respond to the sentiments that had so long existed abroad. He knew there were millions in this country who scorned such sentiments. The hon. Member talked of a response in this House, and the hon. Gentleman on the other side cheered the most malignant and unfounded of his assertions. Blessed be God, the people of Ireland knew that bigotry so foaming and boiling over, never polluted that House before. He wished he could prophesy it never would again. It should not with impunity. He would ask them to judge of the priesthood of Ireland by the people, and the people by their priesthood. Nothing could be more just than the tribute which the noble Lord near him had that evening paid to the Irish nation. Most true was it, that of the people of these realms, the women of Ireland were among the purest, her men among the most temperate, the most religious; none were more regular communicants with their church, none more zealous for their religion, nor of more practical piety. The hon. Gentleman said he had been in Ireland? His visit was not one of mercy and charity, but to discover what he could 1260 blame. In his own evidence there was no mark of candour, or he would read it for him. He had been there; and did he know any people on the face of the earth so many of whom are communicants every Sunday in the year? The altar rails were thronged with them, and let hon. Gentlemen remember how they regard the solemn mystery there consummated, and where, on the face of the earth, was there a people with so much zeal for their religion, with so much practical piety as the poor people of Ireland. True, they had their errors—revenge was perpetrated among them, and under its influence many were scattered abroad and met with untimely deaths; vengeance had broken through the restraints of religion and the feelings of humanity; but he could with pride, in comparing his country with either England or Scotland, affirm that in Ireland crime was infinitely less in aggregate amount, and infinitely less in individual atrocity, than in either of the other portions of Great Britain. Never was she dishonoured by those horrible pecuniary murders—those assassinations, committed merely out of a thirst for gold, which were of such dreadful frequency, that cast a foul blot upon the people both of England and of Scotland. The Irish were a religious and a moral people, and true religion and morals were still spreading through the land. He held in his hand a document, from which he would read what the state of the population is. You talk of Protestant Ulster. There are 976,088 Protestants of every description in Ulster, but there are 1,092,828 Catholics, giving a majority of 116,740. In Leinster the majority was 1,334,014. In Munster it was 1,975,964, and in Con naught 1,166,280, deducting only 57,750 Protestants. Was it then in that House that the cry of bigotry was raised and propagated against that country? It was not wise—it was not prudent—above all, it was not Christian. Would to God an end were put to these polemical discussions; and they would be put an end to, if the hon. Member would mind his own religion more, and that of others less. Let him study Presbyterianism, let him study the principles of the English Church—it was said he communicates with it. I hope it is a calumny as he is a Presbyterian. He conjured the hon. Member, therefore, to look at his own religion, and not at the religion of others—of others who were no 1261 more than himself tainted with any one doctrine inconsistent with the purest morality or the precepts of the divine law, either expressed or implied, and whose ancestors had the courage to sacrifice the last drop of their blood rather than abandon by deed, or word, or insinuation, one particle of their faith. He begged leave to support the hon. Member in asking leave to bring in his bill, but he believed the hon. Member would never bring it in.
§ Mr. Sergeant Jackson
said, that, as it was not intended to resist the motion of his hon. Friend for leave to bring in his bill, he would not have troubled the House with any observations, had it not been for the extraordinary address of the hon. and learned Member who had just sat down. The hon. and learned Gentleman had shifted the ground from the question before the House by an unwarrantable personal attack upon his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock. He would only say, his hon. Friend's character was well known to the Members of that House, and stood not in need of his humble testimony. There was no man in the country whose moral and religious character would bear a stricter scrutiny. His hon. Friend had confirmed his statements by quotations from certain books used in the course of education at Maynooth. The facts were as his hon. Friend had stated, and he would prove them to be so before he sat down, and give the hon. and learned Member for Dublin page and chapter. The hon. and learned Member had attributed to his hon. Friend what had never been said by him. His hon. Friend did not state that Mr. Emmett had been examined before the House of Lords, nor did he make any quotation from any evidence given by that individual before their Lordships' House; but he would repeat and i prove what his hon. Friend had said. Mr. Emmett's statement was to be found in a work published by him in New York, in 1807; for Mr. Emmett, being a rebel, found it convenient to leave Ireland. He bad been a member of the Roman Catholic committee, a convention which, in 1793, sat in Dublin. What Mr. T. A. Emmett stated in his book, was, "that the Education Committee (which had been appointed by the Roman Catholic committee or convention) had formed a plan for the united education of Roman Catholics and Protestants, to be dependent on the people for support, and to be under 1262 the joint control of clergy and laity. But that the Roman Catholic hierarchy privately stated this plan to the Government, and proposed a system, to be under their exclusive control, and purchased the assent of Government to their proposition, by presenting an address to the Crown against Defenderism." This will be found in page 61 to 63 of the book entitled "Pieces of Irish History," printed by M'Nevin, at New York, in 1807.—This M'Neviu had, himself, previously been one of the accomplices in rebellion of Mr. Emmett. Defenderism was a species of treason, at that time prevalent in Ireland, and as the Roman Catholic bishops in their address to the Crown stated, was, they regretted, chiefly confined to persons of their communion. The Government were, naturally, most desirous to put down this treason, and the Roman Catholic bishops, it would appear, agreed to strengthen their hands by means of that address, and the historian adds, "After this, all confidence between the prelates and the laity was destroyed." This, the House will see, fully confirms the statement made by his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock. But he would proceed to the important matters more immediately before the House. From the turn which the debate had taken, the real questions at issue were two: first, are the books referred to by his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock, used in the College of Maynooth? Are they the class-books required to be in the hands of the students, or the standards recommended for their guidance and referred to by the professors in their course of instruction? And secondly, do these books contain the pernicious and revolting matters stated by his hon. Friend? Now, he asserted that both those questions must be answered in the affirmative, and he was prepared, as he had already said, to prove, by documentary and indisputable evidence, the truth and accuracy of what had been stated by his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock, in both particulars. The question was not whether Roman Catholic Gentlemen in that House, and educated Roman Catholics out of it, believed the doctrines inculcated by such works; indeed he was sure that, if the Roman Catholic laity were aware of the books used in the college, they would be as loud as any Gentlemen on his side of the House, in their denunciations of them. He con- 1263 curred in the eulogy bestowed on the religious character of the Irish people; but he thought it monstrous to allow the teachers of such a people to be instructed from books like those he alluded to. The poor people of Ireland, he verily believed, were as truly pious and devoted to their religion (which no doubt they believed to be true) as any people in the world. They were also greatly attached to their clergy, and almost absolutely at their disposal. But he would ask, did not this consideration make it a matter of the most vital importance what moral principles were to be instilled into the minds of those who were to be the religious instructors of such a people. Then, as to the first question—namely, are the books referred to by his hon. Friend read at Maynooth?—he begged to refer the House to the eighth report of the Commissioners of Education in Ireland for 1827, No. 11, appendix, p. 447. There they would find a return made by Dr. Crotty, then the principal of Maynooth College, to the commissioners, containing "a list of the books used in the different classes, and which the students are obliged to purchase." Amongst these will be found, "The Commentaries of Menochius," "Delahogue's Dogmatic Tracts, 5 vols." and "Bailly's Moral Tracts, 5 vols." They will likewise find "a list of the works recommended by the professors for the perusal of the students, or referred to by them in the course of the lectures." Amongst these are the following:—"Bailly," "Collett," "Deux Conferences d'Angers," "Devoti," "Reiffen-steuil," "La Morale d'Antoine," "Cornelius a lapide, Maldonatus," "Bellarmine and St. Thomas Aquinas." Did not these lists contain every one of the books referred to by his hon. Friend, the Member for Kilmarnock, and several other most objectionable works besides? But he would now proceed to the second question, having, as he trusted, satisfactorily established the first; he had been challenged to quote, and he would do so. In Bailly's Moral Theology, c. 7, p. 232, the doctrine was laid down with respect to theft, that the sin depended on the amount of the property of the person plundered. [A cry of "the mortal sin."] He would quote the passage, and let the House judge of the soundness of the morals inculcated.—How great must be the quantity of the thing stolen, in order to constitute the theft a 1264 mortal sin? It cannot easily be determined, since nothing has been decided on this point, either in natural, divine, or human law; hence, theologians are accustomed to distinguish men into four ranks.—In the first rank were the illustrious who lived in splendour; in the second those who lived on their estates, but not in such splendour; in the third, the artificers; and in the fourth, the poor, who lived by begging. It was there laid down that to constitute a mortal sin the theft from persons of the first rank must amount to 60d. or 50d.; from persons of the second rank, to 40d.; from the third, 20d., and so on.That then was a scale showing the different degrees of moral delinquency in thefts of different amounts. It was likewise stated, that it was no crime for a wife to rob her husband, if she did so for the support of her own family. On the subject of oaths, he found in Bailly, volume 2, page 117, that an oath must be considered as binding, unless there should exist some legitimate excuse—such as the prohibition of a superior. There were five cases in which the obligation of an oath was annulled, one of which was, when the thing sworn to be done was impossible or unlawful, on account of the prohibition of a superior. Now, he would have hon. Gentlemen consider this. All the monastic orders had their superior in Rome. That had been given in evidence before the Education Commission in Ireland. Dr. Anglade, professor of divinity at Maynooth, was asked by the commissioners, (see their Report, Appendix, No. 24, p. 170.)Where does the general of the Franciscans live?—I think at Rome. Where does the general of the Dominicans live?—At Home, I believe. Where does the general of the Augustinians live?—I think at Rome. Where does the general of the Jesuits live?—I think at Rome?If, then, an oath taken by a Member of any of those orders (and we have multitudes of them in Ireland) were not binding if the superior forbade it, there was an end at once to the obligation of the oath. ["No, no," from the Ministerial Benches.] All he could say was, that if such were not the case, he did not understand the English language. Referring to other authorities, he found it stated, that in every oath there were certain tacit conditions understood, one of which was Salvo jure superioris, and another that vassals and servants were freed from the obligation of any oath made to heretics. See 1265 Reiffensteuil, in the 5th book, tit. 7. De Hæreticis:Are vassals and servants and others freed from any private obligation due to a heretic, and from keeping faith with him?—Yes; all are so by the clear disposal of the law.He would not occupy the time of the House by endless quotations, but there were whole pages of matter to the same effect—that is, laying down rules to show when an oath was to be considered binding, and when it might be dispensed with. He would be prepared to state many more, when the proper occasion presented itself. He had been astonished to hear the noble Lord state, that inasmuch as the books used at Maynooth taught the doctrines of the Catholic religion, we had no cause to quarrel with them. Was not that a most extraordinary position? These very doctrines, he would venture to say, were held in utter aversion by the religious portion of the Roman Catholics. Yet, notwithstanding this, all these atrocious doctrines were referred to in the books read by those students who were to become the teachers of the Roman Catholic population. He had said, that he would not fatigue the House by unnecessarily multiplying quotations; but as the truth of what had been stated by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock had been utterly denied by the learned Member for Dublin, and as he had been challenged by the hon. Gentlemen at the other side of the House to sustain the statement of his hon. Friend, he trusted he should be permitted to lay before the House a very few more passages from some of the authors named by the Member for Kilmarnock, and which were to be found in the lists delivered to the Commissioners of Education in Ireland, as already mentioned, and which are in the hands of the students at Maynooth. In BAILLY'S Moral Theology, page 140, it is said,There exists in the Church a power of dispensing with oaths.And at page 145 this question is put,What may be just cause of dispensation from vows?—Several causes are set forth in answer: amongst others, the utility of the Church, the spiritual utility of the person who vows or swears, any doubt of the validity of an oath; and any other sort of case which may be generally reduced to piety, spiritual utility, or necessity.Professor Anglade, in his examination 1266 before the Commissioners of Education, deposes that Thomas Aquinas's Secunda Secunda is one of the treatises on ethics. Thomas Aquinas (Quest. 89, Art. 9.) says, "Sometimes things are promised by an oath of which it is doubtful whether they be lawful or unlawful, profitable or injurious, either simply or in any particular case, and in this case any Bishop may grant a dispensation." "But sometimes a thing is promised under an oath, which is manifestly lawful and useful, and in such an oath there seems to be no place for dispensation or commutation, unless something better occurs to be done for the common utility, which seems chiefly to belong to the power of the Pope, who has the care of the universal Church." Antoine says (vol. 3, p. 79,) quoting from the third Lateran council, 16th canon, "Those are not to be called oaths, but perjuries rather, which are taken contrary to the ecclesiastical utility and the institutions of the fathers." In Reifensteuil's work already quoted, (book 2, tit. 24, de jure jurando) it is laid down, "in every promissory oath however absolutely made, certain tacit conditions are understood—one of these is, salvo jure et auctoritate superioris." Delahogue, in his Treatise, "De Ecclesia," p. 104, lays down this doctrine, "The Church retains her jurisdiction over all apostates, heretics, and schismatics, though they do not now belong to her body, as the leader of an army has a right to punish a deserter though his name be not on the roll." Antoine says, in his treatise, "De Virtutibus," "It is certain that baptized infidels, whether heretics or apostates, can be compelled to return to the faith." My hon. Friend has cited passages to show what punishments may be inflicted on heretics. They will be found enumerated from confiscation of goods to death itself, in "Collett on the Decalogue," vol. V. p. 396. He trusted he had thus redeemed his pledge of proving the truth and accuracy of the statement laid before the House by his hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock by the references he had made; and he trusted, also, he had satisfied the demand of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin, by giving him the pages of the works in which they were contained. He had heard, with extreme surprise, the proposition laid down by the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland, to the effect that if the 1267 College of Maynooth taught the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, the House of Commons had no right to find fault with the principles which it inculcated. He could scarcely believe it possible that the noble Lord could seriously maintain such a position. Surely, if the principles quoted from the works he had referred to were the doctrines of the Church of Rome, there could be no reason more conclusive for withdrawing all public aid from that seminary. But the hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Knares-borough, indignantly, and no doubt, with the most perfect sincerity, repudiated these obnoxious principles. So did all persons of the Roman Catholic persuasion who, previous to the passing of the Relief Bill in 1829, had been examined by Parliamentary Committees on the subject. But did not the College of Maynooth, notwithstanding these disclaimers, still persevere in teaching these doctrines? Was it not the solemn and incumbent duty of Parliament to put an end to such grievous abuse? Should they not see that books inculcating such mischievous tenets should be given up by the professors or else that, if retained, they should be expurgated? He (Mr. Sergeant Jackson) entirely subscribed to the opinion expressed by his hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford. He objected to the grant made to the College of Maynooth, on the highest ground, namely, upon the ground of sound religious principle. He conceived that it was the duty of the State to provide religious instruction for the people in that form of doctrine which the State maintained and professed as being the true religion of the Gospel. It was not justified in teaching or in providing instruction in that which it held to involve dangerous error. He, in common with his hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, did not feel at liberty himself to teach doctrines which he believed to be erroneous, and therefore he must object to paying others for teaching such doctrines. Hence he (Mr. Sergeant Jackson) felt great difficulty as to the course he should pursue in reference to the annual votes in the miscellaneous estimates for the College of Maynooth. He did not feel at liberty to vote a grant, for a purpose of which he could not conscientiously approve, and, on the other hand, he felt that it would be unjust to stop the grant, perhaps in the middle of a year, and after 1268 engagements had been entered into, and liabilities incurred upon the faith of the continuance of a grant which had been made by Parliament for so many successive years. He had, therefore considered it his duty to abstain from voting upon this question, and to leave the House whenever that vote was proposed. He thought that they owed a heavy debt of gratitude to his hon. Friend who had been so stigmatised, and stigmatised for what?—for stating matters of fact of the greatest public importance, and which, as a Member of that House, he was bound to bring under the notice of Parliament, and the form of his religious faith was held up to odium, because he had done what he rightly conceived to be his duty. The noble Lord had stated that the governments of other countries gave support to institutions of this nature; but he would remind the noble Lord that these were Roman Catholic countries. He did not see why hon. Gentlemen should be precluded from making any inquiry into the conduct, state, and circumstances of a college which since 1795 had received annual grants. The noble Lord (Morpeth) had also thought proper to make an attack on the University of Oxford—with that he would not meddle, as he thought that his hon. Friend the Member for that University had most triumphantly answered him; but he must be allowed to say that anything more inapplicable to the arguments of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock he had never head. There was one thing, however, which he had been delighted to hear from the lips of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Morpeth), and that was his abhorrence of the system which prevailed in Ireland of denouncing persons from the altar. It was perfectly well known that this had taken place—that these persons so denounced had been put in jeopardy of their lives—Catholics as well as Protestants. The noble Lord must be acquainted with the fact—he believed the noble Lord was in possession of information respecting it. It had been put on record before the committee on bribery and intimidation at elections in Ireland. A question had been asked—"how many priests were repealers?" to which the answer had been "almost the whole body." Now he could not think any man a good subject who was a repealer. He had the authority of her Majesty's Ministers for saying that the object of the repealers was 1269 the dismemberment of the empire, the withdrawing of Ireland from beneath the sceptre of our gracious sovereign; therefore no truly loyal subject could be a repealer. He held in his hand an account of a repeal meeting which had taken place at the Corn Exchange, Dublin, on the 1st of February, 1841, at which a Mr. Davis, a Roman Catholic priest, mentioned that he had received a letter from Ardagh, which carried some weight with it. This weight was the sum of 74l., being the subscriptions of seventy-four Roman Catholic clergymen. The announcement was received with cheers. Mr. Davis went on to state, he would undertake to say, that before that day week there would not be a single Roman Catholic clergyman in Ardagh who would not be a repealer. If this were the true expression of feeling on the part of the clergy, very little doubt could be entertained as to what would be the sentiments of those whom they governed. These were the natural fruits of the education given at Maynooth. He felt sure that it was not the wish of her Majesty's Government to assist in making the poor passive people of Ireland repealers and revolutionists. The original object of the grant to Maynooth was to enable those interested in the institution to purchase land to the amount of 1000l. a year, and to receive donations and bequests for the purpose of constructing a college where priests might receive a domestic education free from the taint of republican and revolutionary principles. And what had been the effect of that education? He held in his hand a book written by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. Wyse) giving an account of the Catholic Association, noticing also the Maynooth priests—the effect which Maynooth had produced on them, and what they had done for the country. He said, that the clergy, from time to time, had sent in their adhesion to the Roman Catholic Association. His expression was, "Maynooth began to be felt." He (Mr. Wyse) stated, "that although in some instances the propriety and decency of the ecclesiastical state had lost ground by reason of the conduct of the priests, yet that was more than compensated for by the infusion of vigour amongst the body generally." He (Mr. Wyse) stated, "that the system pursued at Maynooth was calculated to inculcate democratic principles and that its pupils, the priests, must by 1270 the course of events become more powerful." Agitators had harangued the people in the chapels from the altars for election purposes. He trusted that in what he had advanced he had said nothing which could hurt the feelings of any one. It was certainly his most anxious wish to avoid giving any offence, but he must, in conclusion, state his conviction that if the doctrines to which he had adverted were to be found in the books read at Maynooth, beyond all doubt it was a circumstance deserving their most serious attention. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by thanking the House for the indulgence which they had accorded to his address, the rather as unavoidably it had been somewhat of a discursive and uninteresting character.
§ Mr. W. Barron
felt it to be his duty as a Roman Catholic, and the representative of a Roman Catholic constituency, to deny in the most solemn manner that his church professed or entertained the abominable and atrocious doctrines attributed to her by hon. Gentlemen opposite—such as not feeling it necessary to keep faith with heretics, or taking oaths from which they might be absolved by other means than those acknowledged by persons of a different persuasion. But those doctrines had been over and over again denied by eminent Catholic divines, in defending their church from the various calumnies which were heaped upon her. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, must, therefore, have known that they were falsely accusing that church, or, if they did not, they ought to have made themselves acquainted with the real facts of the case before they had the audacity to attribute such doctrines to men who were in every respect their equals He was convinced, that such speeches as that of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock would do more to repeal the union than could be effected by the exertions of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin; for they would convince the people of Ireland that there still existed, even amongst the enlightened portion of this country, a spirit of religious bigotry and intolerance so strong as to have made its way into the House of Commons, and which he had hoped had been laid at rest by the bill of 1829. The speech of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, was, in fact, nothing more than a réchauffée of the most bigotted portions of those harangues against the Catholic religion which had 1271 been delivered by various opponents of the Catholic claims previous to their settlement, and, had a stranger heard it, he might readily have supposed that those claims were still under consideration. He bad been listening to the exhortations of the Catholic clergy for twenty-five years, and he could assert, that he never heard them utter a single sentiment that would not do honour to the clergy of any Christian assembly; and, more than that, he believed, that but for their exertions Ireland at various epochs would have been driven into a state of desperate rebellion. They had, too, the testimony of the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland to show that by their exertions, and under their guidance, Ireland could boast of a moral and a virtuous people. He deeply regretted, that such a discussion as the present should have been raised in an enlightened assembly, and he believed there was none other in Europe than the British Parliament where it would have been tolerated for a moment. Within the last twenty-five years Protestant Prussia had instituted eight colleges for the education of her Roman Catholic population; and likewise a university expressly for the education of Roman Catholic clergymen. Nay, more, in every one of the seven universities of Prussia Roman Catholics were eligible to every office of honour or emolument in those institutions. In Holland, another Protestant state, the same liberal and enlightened policy was pursued; and yet he believed that there was not a more moral or religious people on the face of the globe than the Dutch. Having mentioned two Protestant, he would also mention two Catholic countries, whose example he thought England would do well to follow. In France the universities were open alike to Protestants and Catholics; and Protestant clergymen were actually paid by the state whenever they collected a sufficient number of persons to form a congregation; while in Austria, so total an absence was there of religious distinction, that Protestant professors were appointed to the Roman Catholic college of Vienna, and Protestant clergymen were, as in France, supported by the state. And yet the Legislature of wealthy, enlightened, and civilised England was called upon to discontinue the paltry grant of 8,000l. a year for the education of the clergymen of 7,000,000 of her Majesty's British subjects ! He granted that the Roman Ca- 1272 tholic clergy of Ireland were not properly educated. But what they wanted was more money to enable them to pay eminent professors according to their talents and acquirements, and to enable the students to remain a longer time in the college, and thereby pass through a more enlightened and liberal scale of study. Until they increased the grant to Maynooth College they would not have a class of clergymen so qualified as he should wish, and as hon. Gentlemen opposite ought to wish, for the country. Let hon. Gentlemen who called for the discontinuance of the present grant, and who entertained such bigotted sentiments upon this subject, recollect, that in Canada, where much discontent prevailed, a large portion of the people were Roman Catholics, as well as in several other of our colonial settlements; and, recollecting that fact, let them ask themselves whether the allegiance of that class of our fellow-subjects was likely to be strengthened by the expression of such sentiments in that House. He, at least, felt that it was not. The hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford had said a great deal upon the subject of conscience; but did he pretend to be the keeper of the consciences of the country; or would he refuse to John Thorogood the liberty of refusing to pay church-rates, because he conscientiously objected to support a Church from whose doctrines he dissented? In his (Mr. Barron's) opinion, that House had no right, according to the spirit of the British constitution, to bind down the consciences of the people, while it was their duty to act for the good of the people generally without reference to religious distinctions, and to confer the same advantages upon all. Hon. Members should not forget, either, that the Universities of this country were founded originally by Roman Catholics, out of their private fortunes and resources, and that to have deprived them of all participation in the benefits arising out of those establishments was nothing else than an act of spoliation and robbery on the part of the ancestors of those who now cried out against the miserable pittance extended by the State for the support of the Roman Catholic College of Maynooth.
§ Sir R. Bateson
said, that the College of Maynooth was originally instituted for the purpose of affording a liberal education to Roman Catholics, but it had sig- 1273 nally failed in effecting this object, and, therefore, he, feeling this to be the case, should support the bill of the hon. Member for Kilmarnock; he hoped the hon. Member would follow his motion up by proposing the appointment of a committee to inquire into the nature of the education bestowed at Maynooth College. He should be sorry to say anything calculated to give offence to the Roman Catholic priesthood, but he could not help saying that, on all public occasions, that body of men did pursue a line of conduct characterised by the most unjustifiable violence; and as to the political views of the Roman Catholic priests, he could only say, that it appeared to him they were all, without exception, repealers. The education obtained at Maynooth College kept the Roman Catholic clergymen in a base, bigoted, and degraded state of mind, and he could wish to see that system rectified. He had voted against this grant, miserable as the noble Lord (Morpeth) had described it to be, not because it was destined for the use of Roman Catholics, but because it was misapplied. What Ireland wanted at present was a firm, impartial Government, a Government which would enforce the laws, but in doing so would act with mercy—a Government which would show impartiality in its political appointments, and which would not bestow office according to a man's religion or politics. If there had been partiality shown before the present Government came into office by the Tories, that partiality had increased ten-fold of late, and it was to that evil he attributed a great portion of the evils which now surrounded the Government of that country.
§ Leave given to bring in the bill.