§ The Duke of Wellington
My Lords, it now becomes my duty to solicit your Lordships' attention for a short time, while I state to your Lordships the principles of this measure, and the nature of the provisions which are submitted for your Lordships' consideration in this Bill, in order to carry into execution its object—namely, the maintenance of this institution of Maynooth. My Lords, this institution was founded fifty years ago by the Irish Parliament, and this Bill contains a recital of the provisions of the Act by which it was originally founded, and by which it was afterwards regulated, first in the year 1800, and subsequently in the year 1808. My Lords, it cannot be denied, and I do not stand here to deny it, that those Acts are inconsistent with the enactments of the code of laws by which the Reformation was established in this country and in Ireland; but, my Lords, though they are inconsistent with the enactments 1161 of that code of laws, I deny that there is, and I think I shall be able to show to your Lordships that there is not, anything inconsistent in those Acts with the religious principles established at the Reformation: that it was never so considered at any time, at the period of the enactment of those laws fifty years ago, or at any subsequent period, either in the year 1800 or in the year 1808, and that it cannot be so considered at the present moment. My Lords, in order clearly to understand the principle on which these laws were founded, it is necessary that I should call your attention to the state of affairs at that period at which they were enacted, and your Lordships will then perceive that the necessity for this institution was occasioned by the failure of the laws enacted for establishing the Reformation in Ireland. My Lords, those laws, the enactments of those laws, had been resisted in Ireland from the period when the Legislature had first passed them and they had become the law of the land. Plot had succeeded plot—rebellion had succeded rebellion—and the forfeiture of property had succeeded the forfeiture of property, until at length the country had become the seat of the operations of a foreign and civil war in a contest for the possession of the Throne. Then the penal laws—
The Duke of Newcastle
My Lords, I rise to order. I beg to apologize to the noble Duke and to the House for interrupting him, but as a preliminary to this discussion I think it right to put this question to the noble Duke, whether he has the Queen's permission to make this proposition to the House? [Cries of "Hear," and "Order."]
That is not to order. The noble Duke is not speaking to order, but, on the contrary, this is one of the most disorderly proceedings I ever witnessed in the whole course of my experience. The question of the noble Duke is one that should have been put, not as an interruption to, but after the noble Duke's speech.
The Duke of Newcastle
I wish to put the question, as it affects the Act of Succession, as it affects the nation, and as it affects individuals. ["Order, order!"]
My Lords, I rise to order. I will not sit here and allow any man to deny that we have a right to enter into—to continue and to close any discussion of 1162 any nature. The leave of the Crown is required in one case only, but may be given at any period of the discussion, and that is on a measure affecting the revenues or the patrimonial interests of the Crown.
The Duke of Newcastle
was understood to say that he had previously asked the question, and had not received an answer, and he had now interrupted what he must say he thought a most improper discussion.
§ The Duke of Wellington
It must have been my infirmity that prevented my observing the noble Duke's question. If I had heard him, I should not have objected to answer any question he might think proper to put to me, though put in a disorderly manner, in respect to the course of proceeding in this House; but I did not hear the question, and whether it was that the noble Duke did not express himself clearly, or my infirmity prevented my hearing him, I do not know; but if it be your Lordships' wish that I should do so, I will now proceed. My Lords, I was stating to your Lordships, when the interruption took place, the causes of the measure of which recital is made in the Bill before you—I mean the Act of the Irish Parliament of 1795, which was occasioned, as I stated, by the failure of the laws that had been passed for establishing the Reformation in Ireland; and that after a long period of successive plots, rebellion, and forfeiture of property, a contest had ensued, and a civil contest, assisted by foreign forces, had been carried on in Ireland for the possession of the Crown. That contest had been succeeded by those Acts of Parliament usually known as the Penal Code; but which, my Lords, were enacted for the purpose of supporting the Sovereign on the throne, and supporting and protecting the reformed religion of the Church of England, as introduced into Ireland by the code of laws to which I have adverted. My Lords, from the period of the introduction of that code down to the year 1795, during which, as I have said, the Reformation could not be carried into effect in Ireland, the ecclesiastics for the service of the Roman Catholic mission had been educated—whether natives of the dominions of the Sovereign of this country or foreigners—had been always educated in seminaries in foreign countries. But, although this was the case, there were never wanting ecclesiastics for the performance 1163 of the duties of the Roman Catholic mission in that country. In the meantime, during the reign of the late King George the Third, the Penal Laws had been repealed, the last of them in the year 1793, two years before the subject of the establishment of this institution was taken into consideration. My Lords, at that period the war with the French republic had already commenced: the arms of that republic had already conquered the Low Countries, and spread into the Catholic countries on the left bank of the Rhine, had overrun parts of Germany and Italy, and were established on the frontiers of the Pyrenees. In the several provinces of France which had taken part in the Revolution, the religious establishments had been put down; but still I believe it would have been possible to have found the means of obtaining education for ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic persuasion, for the purpose of serving the Roman Catholic mission in the kingdom of Ireland. But, my Lords, the Ministers of that day, and those whom they consulted in Ireland, did not think it expedient, considering the state in which the Continent was—considering also another circumstance, that within the last fifteen years the power of the Parliament of Ireland had been increased so far that it had become almost an imperial and independent Parliament—considering also the extent of popular power which had been introduced into the constituence of that Parliament, by the repeal of the Acts to which I have adverted, and in the year 1793 the last Act of the Penal Code—considering how much the power of the native population had been augmented over that Parliament in consequence of that repeal—I say the Government of that day on both sides of the water, in England as well as in Ireland, considered it their duty to endeavour to discover the means of establishing a native education for Roman Catholic ecclesiastics in Ireland, rather than trust any longer to the foreign education which they had received up to that period of time, and which there is no doubt they might have continued to receive after the period to which I have referred, viz., the year 1795. But, my Lords, they wisely, as I conceive, considered it desirable to keep foreign influence at a distance from the domestic concerns of that country, and accordingly they made the arrangement which is recited in 1164 this Bill, being the Act of 1795. My Lords, that arrangement was suggested by two successive Lords Lieutenant, each of them of political opinions differing from the other. The late Earl Fitzwilliam was one. He it was who first suggested the measure, and the late Marquess of Camden was the other; and it appears that the measure was suggested to the Marquess of Camden in Ireland by men whose names will, I think, when I mention them to your Lordships, and you recollect the character they bore when alive, be an assurance to you that there could be, in their opinions, nothing in the institution thus proposed detrimental to the religious establishments of the country. They were the Lord Chancellor Fitzgibbon, the Archbishop of Cashel, the Earl of Shannon, Lord Cathcart, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Chief Baron Yelverton, Mr. Speaker Foster, Mr. Wolf, the Attorney General, who was afterwards Chief Justice of the King's Bench, and Lord Kilwarden, who was afterwards murdered in the streets of Dublin, in 1803, during the insurrection that occurred then. The measure was recommended to Lord Camden by all these influential and distinguished individuals. It was by him sent over to England, and referred to the consideration of a most respectable and highly respected nobleman, the late Duke of Portland, who was then Secretary of State; and he, it appears, consulted the opinions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Moore, before he took the pleasure of his Sovereign upon it, and then returned it to Ireland with the approbation of his late Majesty George III. New, my Lords, I say there never was a measure of which the history affords such strong security that it could not have been considered at all injurious to the religious opinions or establishments of this country. My Lords, the measure went back to Ireland with the approbation of the Government of this country, Mr. Pitt being at that time at its head; and it was then carried in a Parliament elected exclusively, as I must beg your Lordships to observe, by Protestants; and it was at that time never supposed that it could be deemed—it was never hinted even that it could be deemed—a measure dangerous in any degree to the religious establishments, or the religious opinions of this country. My Lords, I have stated who were the men by whom this measure was carried, and I may here add to their number 1165 the name of the late Lord Chichester, then Lord Pelham, who was at that period Chief Secretary of the Government for Ireland; and I must say, that in the list of men whose names I have given, there is sufficient security that, at least in their opinion, and in that of the public at that time, it was a measure of which no suspicion could be entertained. My Lords, I have thought it necessary, before going further, to call your Lordships' attention to this part of the subject; because I consider, from the petitions which have been laid on the Table, and from what I hear passing in public, that the principal objection to this Bill is the danger which is likely to result from it to the Protestant Church Establishment. My Lords, if that is the objection, I say the danger is altogether delusory; and your Lordships may pass the measure with perfect confidence. But, my Lords, there is one circumstance to which I must beg your Lordships' attention, because I think it is most important that this measure should be correctly understood; and that circumstance is, that this measure came to be taken into consideration, both in this and in the other House of Parliament, before the period of the Union; at the moment, in fact, when the Articles of that Union were under consideration. And I will here offer a few words upon the 7th of those Articles, which shows clearly to your Lordships that this and the other House of Parliament had entire confidence in the measure previous to the Union. These are the words of the 7th Article—That a sum not less than the sum which has been granted by the Parliament of Ireland, on the average of six years immediately preceding the 1st day of January, in the year 1800, in premiums for the internal encouragement of agriculture or manufactures, or for the maintaining institutions for pious and charitable purposes, shall be applied, for the period of twenty years after the Union, to such local purposes in Ireland, in such manner as the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall direct.Did any one ever hear a word in this or the other House of Parliament against this measure at the time? No, my Lords, No; not one word. This measure was, my Lords, discussed in Parliament after the Union. It was discussed in the year 1808. There was, then, a difference of opinion between parties as to the amount of the grant which ought to be made for 1166 the support of this institution—that was the subject of discussion during different succeeding Sessions; but then, my Lords, the objection was made to the increase of the grant, and there was not one word on the religious principle; there was not one word of danger to our religious establishments resulting from this grant. It was thought that the grant was a large grant—that it was too much; and the large grant was objected to; but never was the grant objected to on the score of religious principle. Therefore, I do say, that the religious principle was considered safe at the time. It has, my Lords, been safe ever since, and it is safe at this moment. I come, then, my Lords, to call upon you to consider the expediency of continuing this institution. There can be no doubt of the absolute necessity of finding some means of educating the Roman Catholic priests for the service of the Roman Catholic mission in Ireland. It was stated at the time this institution was founded, that the population of Ireland was 3,000,000. It has advanced to the amount of 8,175,000—it was so in the year 1841, and probably it is now 8,500,000; and of that number, about the seven-eights are to be considered as Roman Catholics; and there can be no doubt whatsoever, whatever the numbers may be, that a very large proportion of the people in Ireland are Roman Catholics — that we cannot avoid their being Roman Catholics—and that we must find the means of providing them with ecclesiastics capable of administering to them the rites of the Roman Catholic Church—that we must have these ecclesiastics educated at home, or we must consent to and encourage the sending them abroad. It is very true, my Lords, that this country is not now in the situation in which it was in the year 1795, and in which it continued to befor a very considerable period of time; but I do say, that I do not believe, notwithstanding we are at peace with the whole world, and I trust we shall so continue—yet, my Lords, I do not believe that it is desirable that we should establish such a communication between those countries and that part of Her Majesty's dominions, as to send to foreign countries to be educated priests who are to administer the rites of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. I beg to recall your Lordships' recollection to the events of the last few years. You have, my Lords, seen disturbances 1167 in Ireland which created considerable danger and alarm—you have seen disturbances having for their object the obtainment, by tumult and threats, of the Repeal of the Union between this country and Ireland. You have seen the interest which these transactions excited in foreign countries. You have seen foreigners flocking to Ireland, in order that they might attend at those tumultuous meetings. You have seen and heard, too, of subscriptions for promoting the object of these tumultuous assemblies. You have seen publications in foreign countries, and the interest felt in general in the transactions in Ireland relative to those supporting the question of a Repeal of the Union. Can you, my Lords, then think, under these circumstances, that it is desirable that you should depend for the education of ecclesiastics who are to administer the rites of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland—can you think it desirable that they should resort for their education to these foreign countries? I do not, my Lords, say that the Governments of any of these foreign countries had any relation with any of the persons who manifested an interest in these illegal transactions. No, my Lords, I do not imagine any such thing—I insinuate no such thing. I am convinced, my Lords, of the contrary; but I know the facility with which any Government can take up and employ instruments, when once they commence to implicate themselves in such transactions. I warn you, my Lords, against the possibility of its being supposed safe, that you should leave the education of ecclesiastics for Ireland to foreign countries, under the existing circumstances of the country. But is there only this objection as to sending them abroad who are to be educated as ecclesiastics? I beg of your Lordships to look to the state of religion in all those foreign countries—in all those countries in which education must be sought for these ecclesiastics. Look at it, my Lords, in Germany; look at it in the Netherlands; look at it in France—look where you will, you can see the state of differences existing on the subject: and then I will ask you whether you think it would be desirable that we should receive ecclesiastics in Ireland from those countries, in order to give, in addition to the religious differences now existing, the differences which are to be found established in those countries? No, my Lords; 1168 and we now come forward to recommend to you to continue this institution, to continue a domestic education in this country of those ecclesiastics, whose services are necessary in order to administer the rites of the Roman Catholic religion to so many of Her Majesty's subjects as profess that religion. In bringing, then, this subject under your Lordships' consideration, and having shown you that there was nothing in this institution inconsistent with principle, and that it is at present as necessary as it was in 1795, I now beg leave to submit to you the proposition, that it is absolutely impossible to maintain it as it is. I laid Papers upon your Lordships' Table three days ago, representing the state of this institution, and which were submitted to Her Majesty's Government in the month of September last. I quite agree with what a noble Viscount said a few nights ago, that the institution as it is is not sufficient for the demand of educating the persons who are in it. The Paper I hold in my hand represents the ruinous state in which the buildings are: it states it is absolutely impossible that it can accommodate its inmates with what is due to common decency of manners and habits—that it can do this for the number of persons who must inhabit it — that it can afford facilities for study, or instruction, or space for carrying on the common business of such an institution—that the professors and others employed in the instruction of the students have most inadequate accommodation, and are rewarded in a very inadequate manner—that, in fact, the professors of science, of literature, and theology, are not paid higher salaries than are given to a common clerk. It states also, that in order to economise, to render it possible to continue the institution at all upon the sum granted by Parliament, it was necessary to send, not only the students but the very servants of the institution, those whose presence was necessary for the maintenance of order and cleanliness, to send them away during the vacation; and after all this, that the whole establishment has fallen into the most ruinous state. My Lords, however necessary it may be that this institution should be maintained for the purpose of affording education to the ecclesiastics, to the number necessary for performing the duties of religion in Ireland—for in fact, we know there are Roman Catholics there, and that they must have ecclesiastics to 1169 perform the duties of the mission—however necessary these may be to this institution, still it is not equal to that purpose in its present state; and therefore it is that Her Majesty's Government have thought it proper, considering the nature of this institution, and the necessity of continuing it—considering, my Lords, that it is an institution formed by this great country, that it ought to be established on the same principles and on the same footing with other institutions, and that it should, on that account, be provided with the means of attaining the object for which it was instituted—that is, the proper education of ecclesiastics to perform the duties of the Roman Catholic mission in Ireland. It is desirable—and in that I agree with what I have often heard from a noble Friend behind me—it is desirable to elevate the character of those ecclesiastics. We all know that they must, and that they do, exercise great spiritual influence over the minds of those to whom they act as spiritual guardians; and we know also, that they possess great social influence. We should, then, seek to give them the means of being educated in such a manner that they can exercise a social influence most likely to lead to the public benefit and happiness of the country. These young men ought to have, as others have, as soon as they are capable of enjoying them, the common comforts and decencies and conveniences of life; instead of being packed up, three or four in one room, without the conveniences or comforts of life about them. We ought, my Lords, to endeavour to raise them a little, and to give them the comforts that belong to men of their class, and fitted for that situation in life in which they are to be placed. They ought to be instructed in literature and science, as well as in theology. They ought to have the apparatus; they ought to have the books; they ought to have professors to instruct them in all the branches of science necessary for the performance of their important duties, when placed in the situation of ecclesiastics in different districts throughout the country. I am aware, my Lords, of the prejudices against this institution, and against the persons there educated. I have, my Lords, nothing to say on that subject, excepting this, that an institution so low as it is represented to be by this paper, cannot have answered all the purposes the Irish Parliament intended it to have answered. The object, my 1170 Lords, of this measure, which Her Majesty's Government now proposes, is to raise the character of this institution; and that the character of those educated in it should be elevated, with a view to furnish ecclesiastics of the same character and station as those who administer the rites of the Roman Catholic religion in foreign countries, and for whom all must entertain the highest respect; and that they should be men educated in manners and habits to enable them to exercise a fitting influence over the social habits of the people, to which they ought to be entitled by their fortunes, by their situation, by their education, and by their acquirements. If this measure, then, has the effect of producing such men for the ministry, I say, we shall have rendered a service to the public, by introducing and recommending this Bill to your Lordships' attention. It is with this view we have introduced the present Bill; and I hope the measure will not be found inconsistent with principle, or likely to injure any religious establishment. I have now to call your Lordships' attention to the details of this Bill, and to show you how much of it is consistent with the enactment that exists, and where it diverges from it, and the reason why it does so. My Lords, I will first touch upon that which, I am aware has made some impression, namely, the clause which incorporates the institution. I beg of your Lordships to observe, that in point of fact the original institution was incorporated. By the original Act of Parliament, the Lord Chancellor, the Chief Justice, and others were appointed trustees and visitors of the institution, and were authorized to establish and endow a seminary for the education of the Roman Catholics. The original Bill gave them the power of purchasing land to a certain amount, and gave them the power of making by-laws for the government of the establishment. A subsequent Act, after altering the visitatorial establishment, and the establishment of trustees, gave to the trustees established by that Act, additional powers belonging to a corporation—that is, enabling the trustees to sue and be sued by their secretary; which, I believe, is a power given solely to corporations. It was found in a very few years that the institution was not technically a corporation, and was, as such, incapable of managing its affairs. A third Act was then passed, giving it additional powers, and enabling 1171 it to purchase property. It was still, however, found that the power given by that Act was not sufficient to enable the trustees to manage their affairs. The further powers to be given to them are in the Bill upon your Lordships' Table, and under your consideration; and by this Bill the trustees are to be incorporated, and the property now held transferred to this corporation, and it is to have all the powers of other corporations; and further, a power is to be given to it of purchasing land or property to the amount of 3,000l. a year; and considering, my Lords, the greater extent of this institution, and the larger number of persons for whose instruction provision must be made, it does not appear an unreasonable proposition. The next provision is as to the salaries of the President and Professors. I have already stated to your Lordships that the salaries given to those persons is really not sufficient for them to perform the duties necessary in the service of the institution. There is not paid to those professors a sum higher than what is paid to clerks—they do not receive more than 112l. or 120l. a year. That which we now propose is not to bring constantly before Parliament the details of the wants of these persons; but to leave this to the institution itself—to grant it a particular sum, and leave to the institution itself the distribution of it, taking care that each individual should receive the sum allotted to him, and to have that account verified before auditors. It is then proposed to continue to the students of the senior class, the exhibitions, which are stated in the Schedule, amounting to 40l. a year each, in addition to what is received from the Dunboyne grant, in order to enable them to fit themselves out as they ought to be, to proceed on the ministry to which they are soon likely to be removed. They have already had 700l. distributed amongst them — we are now giving them 800l. for the same purpose—but we propose to make it 40l. each, an even sum. Then, it is proposed, with the same view, to give certain exhibitions to 250 students in the three senior classes of the institution. The object of this is to enable those who might be brought into the institution in their youth, and who are not exactly provided with the means of fitting themselves out, when they come to the higher classes, to procure for themselves the comforts and decencies suitable for those who have been 1172 educated for, and are about to be employed on the mission. There is but one other item to which I wish to draw your Lordships' attention, and that is the general expense of the commons of the establishment. Your Lordships will see that the whole expense is 28l. for each student; for the whole year it comes to 1s. 6d. a day. I am sure your Lordships will not think that 1s. 6d. a day, being all the expenditure of a youth on the establishment, can be more than is absolutely necessary. It is true it has been done before for 23l. instead of 28l., but in such a manner as to be quite a disgrace to the institution. I do not think, my Lords, you will consider it an extravagant proposition. The next point, then, to which I have to call your Lordships' attention, is as to the payment of the expenses attending the institution from the Consolidated Fund, instead of by an annual Vote by Parliament. It is a larger grant, and undoubtedly on a more expensive scale than the former one; but I think I have shown your Lordships why it cannot be otherwise, if it is to be of any use. Well, then, I beg your Lordships to consider that the education to be afforded at this institution is one which is to last five years—at least five years—that the professors and all concerned in the instruction there must be engaged, and permanently, in the performance of these duties. Surely, then, it cannot be expected from them that you should engage men of ability, of science, of education, of literature, and that they should devote themselves permanently to perform their duties upon the promise of an annual Vote of Parliament, which is liable to be disputed and withheld every year. I confess, my Lords, that I listened with great pleasure to some remarks made a few weeks ago by a noble Marquess, whose attention had been drawn to the subject by the petitions presented to the House in favour of making the grant a permanent one, stating, at the same time, that he highly approved of making it permanent, with a view to put an end to perpetually recurring annual discussions on this question. I confess that these remarks of the noble Marquess made a deep impression upon my mind; and I consider nothing more wise and politic than that you should make the grant perpetual—if it were only to put an end to those discussions which are annually recurring on a grant in the maintenance of which the convictions of so many persons are implicated in the one country, and in reference 1173 to which there is so much feeling, and perhaps prejudice, manifested in the other. I think it, therefore, most desirable, that your Lordships should pass this Bill, for this, if for no other object—that, by thus making this institution so far permanent, by making the grant chargeable upon the Consolidated Fund, you will thereby avoid the discussions which perpetually arise, upon the demand made for the annual grant. I have already said to your Lordships that the grant conferred upon this institution involves no religious principle. It never did involve any such principle, and cannot do so now. I beg leave to remind your Lordships, that you have now maintained this institution for fifty years, during twenty years of which time you were engaged in war. You have maintained it since through long periods of agitation, and during the discussion of many mighty questions affecting the interests of Ireland—during a period when you have had the Roman Catholic Association, and other bodies, against whom you have had to make enactments, and during which you have had coercion Bills and other measures of that description. Many of these discussions were put an end to in 1829; but I cannot say that Ireland has since been in a tranquil state. On the very morrow of the day on which the Bill of that year was passed, measures were taken for the purpose of exciting discussion and agitation on the question of a Repeal of the Union. We have had a good deal of tumult and a good deal of difficulty upon that question; and particularly during the three years, up to 1843, have events occurred there which have excited a good deal of anxiety in the minds of some, and a good deal of terror in the minds of others. I have drawn your Lordships' attention to these circumstances, and stated the effects which they produced in foreign countries. Many doubted whether it would be possible to resist the attempt made to carry, by tumult and violence, a Repeal of the Union. My Lords, whatever may be the opinion entertained of the legal effects of the decision of your Lordships' House on the writ of error, delivered in the month of September last, I believe that there is no man in his senses who now doubts that it is absolutely impossible—utterly hopeless—impossible, I say, to carry any measure by violence and tumult in Ireland — to carry any measure, against the wishes of the Government and Parliament of this country. I believe no man in his senses now 1174 doubts that fact, and that that is the situation in which, on this day, and at this period of time, your Lordships stand in taking this question into consideration. And I now entreat your Lordships to observe, standing as you do at this moment in strength, and without any danger whatever pressing upon you, and knowing, as you do, that the great body, at least the principal part of the persons concerned in these tumults and acts of violence were of the Roman Catholic religion (although there are many exceptions, for I believe that there are many Roman Catholics who are as much attached to the Union as any of your Lordships)—I beseech your Lordships to take into consideration that you are in this position of strength at the present moment, and to consider whether, having maintained this institution, as you have done for fifty years, it would not look a little like persecution if you were now to turn round and withdraw your support from it, if you were now to turn round and say, "We are aware of the necessity of its continuance, but we cannot go on longer affording it the meagre support which we have hitherto given it." I have already told your Lordships that there is no religious principle involved in this question; but there is a great Christian principle involved in it—the principle of abstaining from persecution; and if you are strong, I say it is your duty not to persecute the weak. It is your duty not even to appear to persecute the weak; and I entreat your Lordships to stand by me in enforcing that principle, and to give your unanimous assent to the Bill, the second reading of which I have now the honour of proposing to your Lordships.
§ The Duke of Cambridge
My Lords, I am not often in the habit of troubling your Lordships, but I feel that on such an important question as this it is my duty not to give a silent vote. Attached as I feel, and have always felt, to my own religion—the established religion of the country—I am sure that if I could convince myself that any the least danger of injury could accrue to that religion by the passing of this measure, I should be the very last man to give it my support. I have well weighed the subject in my own mind, and I am fully prepared to confess that to 1175 my mind it appears that such is not the case. I look at the question, my Lords, as a political question, and not as a religious one. I look upon this Bill as most important, being one of the most conciliatory measures proposed for a long period. From the statement which has been made by the noble Duke as to the state in which the College of Maynooth now is, it is perfectly clear that with the grant originally conferred upon it, and continued on the same scale down to the present day—it is impossible that we can procure proper and competent teachers to educate the pupils. I was never in Ireland myself, but the description which I have heard of the state of ignorance which pervades that country, and which is, in a great degree, attributed to the state in which the priesthood are found, has convinced me that it is surely the first thing for us to wish and to effect, to establish a better state of teaching in that country, and thus produce a better state of things. Without proper teaching and training, we cannot expect to secure good schoolmasters or schoolmistresses, much less can we expect, without good teaching and discipline, to have good priests. I really believe that this is the most conciliatory measure that has for many years been brought before your Lordships. I hope and trust that in its effects it may turn out so, and I have every reason to believe that it will do so, and I think that the Government deserves great credit for maturing and introducing it. I beg pardon for detaining your Lordships, but I could not refrain from briefly stating my determination to support the Bill.
The Earl of Roden
said, it grieved him at all times to differ from the noble Duke who had introduced this measure; but particularly to differ from him on a question involving the vital interests of this country. He should, however, be guilty of a great dereliction of duty, as a Member of their Lordships' House, and standing in the position which he did with his Protestant fellow countrymen, were he not to take the earliest opportunity of endeavouring to stop the progress of this Bill; concluding, as he would, with an Amendment that before they proceeded any further with this measure, they should appoint a Select Committee up stairs to inquire into the nature of the instruction which was given in that seminary which Parliament was now for the first 1176 time called upon permanently to endow There were circumstances connected with that subject which made it both painful and difficult for him to speak freely upon it; for he was aware that he must trench upon the religious opinions of some of their Lordships; and he could assure the House that he had no sympathy with the man, be he who he might, who had no feeling, no respect, for the religious sensibilities of others, or who would, without compunction, even in the path of duty, utter one word which might inflict pain on any individual whatsoever. But, as in the course of the discharge of his duty upon the present occasion, he should be obliged to make use of expressions, and to refer to documents which might not be agreeable to some of their Lordships, all he could say was, that he should do it with pain, and that he would not do it at all, if it were not necessary so to do for the furtherance of the object which he had in view. He had now for a long series of years been a Member either of that or the other House of Parliament. During that time, both as a Member of that and of the other House, he had always thought it inconsistent with the duty of a Protestant Government to vote even an annual grant to the support of a Roman Catholic institution—that of the College of Maynooth; and he had not hesitated, whenever the opportunity offered, to express his opposition to such a grant. He would then ask their Lordships to consider how much more he must be opposed to such a measure as that which was now before them, differing not only in degree from their former course, but differing from that course also in principle. He would have their Lordships consider for a moment this important point—that, by continuing the annual grant as before, instead of voting a permanent one for Maynooth, there was an opportunity afforded to Parliament, at all events, of taking an annual retrospect, if Parliament so wished, of the proceedings of the institution to which the grant was made. So long as the annual grant continued, the College was a Roman Catholic institution, supported, it was true, and tolerated by the State; but the moment that they admitted and acted upon the principle of endowment, that moment the College of Maynooth became a State institution, for which the State was responsible; and he defied any noble Lord to show him in this Bill any one line, any one word, which enabled the State to discharge itself of its responsibilities 1177 as regarded this College. He could not regard this question as his noble Friend the noble Duke regarded it, as a mere question of pounds, shillings, and pence, nor could he look upon it merely as a measure of a political tendency. He could not but look upon it as a measure which involved the conscientious and the religious feelings of the great majority of the Protestants of this Empire. If he wanted any proof of what he now said, he had only to refer their Lordships to the petitions which had been laid upon their Lordships' Table; and he was sure that they must agree with him, that he was not expressing himself too strongly, when he said that at no former period, certainly none within the bounds of his recollection, were there ever so many petitions poured into that House, was there ever so much anxiety shown on any subject, as was now poured into the House, or as was now shown with reference to this Bill. These petitions, they would give him leave to say, had emanated from men, many of them in the middle classes of society, many of them belonging to the higher orders, and many of them treading the humble walks of life. And, if they read these petitions, they would see that what he said was the fact, that they emanated from individuals who were well acquainted with the subject to which they referred — ay, and their Lordships would forgive him for saying so — as well acquainted with the subject as were their Lordships themselves. They proceeded from men, expressing themselves, not under the bias of political party—not to gain a political object — but who, expressing the dictates of their consciences, could not agree to do that which they conceived to be contrary to their duties and consciences as Protestants. He begged also that they would consider another point—that these petitioners consisted of persons of all classes, of all denominations of religion in this country, and of all shades of political party. They had petitions from the members of the Church of England, from the Wesleyans, the Independents, the Baptists, from the Free Church of Scotland, and from other denominations of Protestants, all of whom had laid aside their partial differences, those peculiar feelings and views which they had on many subjects, and had united in what he must call this holy union, to resist what they believed to be contrary to that word of truth, whence they derived their opinions, and resting on which they felt that they stood on firm 1178 and immoveable ground. In some of these petitions, and he himself had presented many of them, and read many, he found that the petitioners drew the distinction to which he had already referred between toleration and endowment; and in doing so he found that they followed the opinions of many men—great men—men who had lived in this country, and who adorned its history, and some of whom, if he were to name them, would, he was sure, be acknowledged at once by their Lordships to be worthy of being quoted as authorities. One of them spoke in the House of Commons some years since in a debate upon this very College of Maynooth, and he would take the liberty of reading a brief quotation from what he had said on that occasion. He was an individual who stood high in the estimation of all who knew him. He (Lord Roden) had the happiness and the honour of knowing him most intimately—he loved him while he lived, and honoured his memory now that he was gone. He had only to mention the name of Wilberforce, to secure for his opinion that attention which it deserved, and from none more so than from his noble and learned Friend opposite (Lord Brougham); for the noble and learned Lord loved him well and valued him much; and he (Lord Roden) thought that he was acting but right in quoting him upon a subject of this importance, when the quotation was apposite to the subject. In the year 1808 there was a question before the House of Commons on the subject of Maynooth. Mr. Wilberforce, then speaking of toleration, said—Toleration, as explained both by Mr. Locke and Rousseau, was to leave to others the right of professing and teaching their own religious principles in their own way, as far as was compatible with the peace and security of society. This degree of toleration was denied to Ireland some years ago, but it was now extended to that country; and, as far as an establishment was supported at the public expense for the purpose of instructing a particular class differing in sentiment from the established religion of the country, we went beyond the bounds of toleration, and, instead of acting upon the principles of bigotry and intolerance, we exercised a degree of liberality unknown in any other country. When he recollected the history of past times, it was impossible for him not to be jealous of the Roman Catholic religion. We could not judge of the nature and tendency of this religion from its influence on certain individuals of high rank, whose minds were liberalized by intercourse with the most refined classes of society; the only way to judge of it was to see 1179 its effects upon the great bulk of the people. No man was a greater enemy to persecution or a greater friend to toleration than he was; but he hoped to be forgiven for entertaining some solicitude that the Protestant religion should at least have fair play."*Such was the language of Mr. Wilberforce; and he must say, that amongst their Lordships there could not be many, if any, who would not say that the Protestant religion should have fair play. He would show them, that as this Bill would act in Ireland, the Protestant religion would not have fair play. He would show them this by referring to other documents and authorities before he sat down. He could not help agreeing with Mr. Wilber force when he remembered the history of past times; he could not help agreeing with him, and being jealous of the Roman Catholic religion, and particularly so when he remembered that one of the principles of that faith was, that it could not change—a principle which was fully and honourably admitted the other night, by a noble Lord, whom he then saw in his place. The Protestants of Ireland were feelingly alive to the fact, that—as respected these institutions, established in that country for the purpose of upholding the Protestant religion—they had not fair play. During the last few years all public grants had been withdrawn from most of the institutions in Ireland, which were in connexion with the Protestant Established Church. He could name to them many of these institutions:—There was the Incorporated Society—there was the Society for Discountenancing Vice—and, above all, there Was the Kildare-place Society. As to the last which he had named, the public grant was withdrawn at the very period when it was in such active operation, and when it was so beneficial to the country, in its endeavours for the promotion of a united education in Ireland, that he would venture to say there had been no society or institution since which had equalled it in that respect. The Government of the day, on the ruins of that society, established the National School Society, contrary to the tenets and opinions of the great majority of the Protestant hierarchy of that country, and contrary to the feelings of the Protestant laity. Whatever good that society might be doing, all he could say respecting it was—as he knew to be the* Hansard (Old Series), xi. p. 124.1180 case in his own part of the country—that it had completely failed as a system of united education. There was another circumstance connected with this very measure, which, he thought, was a proof that fair play was not given to the Protestant Church in Ireland. The Church established the Church Education Society, under the control and under the direction of the majority of the hierarchy of the Church, for the purpose of educating the children belonging to the Church in the tenets and doctrines of the Church; and yet the Government refused, and still refuse, to give any aid to that institution, whilst they called on their Lordships to adopt this Bill, to pay and to endow an institution for the education of the Catholic priesthood, for the purpose of extending throughout Ireland the Roman Catholic faith—a religion not only different from, but hostile to the religion professed and maintained by the Established religion in that country. Whatever persons might say upon the subject, he could not think that any fair or candid man could acknowledge that such a course towards the Established Church was in the spirit of what Mr. Wilberforce designated fair play. He had listened with great anxiety to hear from the noble Duke that night what were the principal arguments which he had to advance for the introduction of this measure, and to see whether they would agree with those which had been advanced in another place. What was generally said there, and on which the argument in favour of the Bill was principally based, was this:—Two grounds were urged; one of which was, that this was a measure which was to give peace to Ireland, that it was a measure which was to produce conciliation, and to pacify the Roman Catholic party in that country. To the other his noble Friend the noble Duke referred, when he said, that it was to promote a better system of education amongst the clergy of the Roman Catholic faith. Now, he thought he should be able to show their Lordships that neither of these objects were likely to be attained. With respect to the first argument, that this measure was to produce conciliation in Ireland, that it was a measure which would be received there by the Roman Catholics with gratitude, and that it would be the means of producing a great and beneficial change in the state of affairs in that country; there was no man more anxious than he was himself to do anything that 1181 Would conciliate his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen, provided he was not called upon to act contrary to what he conscientiously believed to be his most sacred duty, or to compromise his principles. To any measure which was contrary to his principles he never would consent—believing, as he did, that in public as in private life it was always bad policy to do evil that good might come of it. With regard to this Bill, he could not conceive that that which he believed to be evil in itself, could ever produce that benefit which it was thought by some it would produce. In Ireland had it not been received as a measure extorted from the Government by fear? Instead of being received as an act intended to conciliate, it had been received by the Roman Catholic bishops—by some of them at least—by the Roman Catholic priests—by many of them at least—as a measure extorted by fear. If it were so received they must make up their minds to forego all the benefits which they expected in the way of conciliation. In proof of what he now said he would take the liberty of reading to the House extracts from two documents, one from a Roman Catholic bishop, and another from a priest, living in different parts of Ireland, respecting the measure in question. The first was an extract from a letter written by the Roman Catholic bishop of Ardagh, Dr. Higgins. The rev. Gentleman thus wrote:—Much has been said about the gratitude we owe for the grant to Maynooth, but I confess that I for one, and I am joined in the sentiment by the priests and people of this diocese, feel no gratitude whatever. In the first place, our own energies and determination wrung that paltry sum from a bigoted and Anti-Irish Cabinet. Nor shall we ever thank the rich glutton when he disdainfully flings us the crumbs from his table. Secondly, the grant is so miserable in amount, that it can only be looked upon as a sheer mockery. There are about eight million Catholics, and the grant would be about three farthings yearly to each. Does the childish Minister imagine that the Catholics of Ireland would not give annually three farthings each for the education of their revered clergy? Or does he so far deceive himself as to believe that any one Irishman would sell his birthright for that miserable sum? It would appear, however, that he does actually indulge in this extravagant delusion, and expects that we shall sit down contented with a mock representation, bad laws, bad partisan magistrates, a domineering and robbing corporation called a Church Establishment; in short, that we will patiently endure every misrule, misrepresentation and oppression, and all this for the 1182 yearly sum of three farthings a head. It is creditable to the Irish Catholics that not one of them could be found mean enough to ask or petition for this ridiculous pittance. It is really a shame to see a man at the head of any Government who is capable of entertaining such monstrous reveries as those exhibited by our Premier. We want and demand a repeal of this iniquitous Union. There is no other remedy for the wrongs of our country. It would make us happy, and England secure. If the latter country refuse that repeal, for the present we will peaceably and constitutionally bide our time, and with the most devoted loyalty to the Monarch of these realms, we will commit our cause to a merciful Providence, and to the sympathies of the civilized world.This was the gratitude of a Roman Catholic bishop, and, according to his own account, of his diocese also, for this Bill. The other was from a letter written by a Roman Catholic priest in Clones, in the county of Monaghan, and was written in excuse for his non-attendance at the great meeting in Dundalk. In this letter he said, that—It has become fashionable of late to compliment the Prime Minister on his sudden and very unexpected conversion to an enlarged and very liberal system, a conciliatory and liberal policy, towards Ireland. An infirmity so amiable and so congenial to the quick and forgiving temper of Irishmen, is certainly entitled to toleration; but, whoever recollects his threats of force, which we defied, his armies, which we scattered, his quirks of law, which we defeated, and his atrocious Bequests Act, which we all anathematize, will maintain an incredulous silence until the curtain has fallen on the last act of his political drama. The little Sir Robert Peel has done, and the extended concessions of right he promises, fall far short of the wants and wishes of the Irish people. Our want, our wish, our fixed determination, is one and single, and unsuppliable by any other boon, or any other extension of justice, into which his fears may cause him to stray—we want Repeal! Let us take whatever is offered as an instalment. Every concession, however small, is a step higher on the steep ascent to freedom. It was not the justice of the British Cabinet, nor the fawning sycophancy of its abettors on this side of the Channel, that effected the singular change in Downing-street which amuses the reflecting mind of inquiry. It was the sacred influence of fear. It was the cataract voice of the people. It was the prophetic spirit of O'Connell viewing the future through the light of past history; calculating the circumstances, combining the force, edging the sharpness, and directing the aim of public opinion through Europe and the world, that wrought this miracle of benevolence, this distant approach to justice. The same power is still in 1183 the hands of the people. The same tried leader at their head—the same hated foes before them. 'Go where glory waits you.' I may not mix in the ranks of combat, but I will bless your arms, and may victory crown your exertions!" [Laughter.]Their Lordships might laugh at the language he had quoted, but it had its effect in Ireland, and was received there with very different feelings from those which it excited in that House. Let it not be supposed that he coincided in the opinion that this measure was granted through fear. Far from it. He believed that so popular was it expected to be, that it was believed that after it should have passed, Her Most Gracious Majesty could visit her Irish capital in perfect safety. On the other hand, he believed the promoters of the measure little thought what feelings it would excite in the breasts of the Protestant people of England and Ireland. What had been the effect in Ireland? No sooner had a voice gone forth from St. Stephen's declaring the satisfaction felt by the Government that this measure of conciliation had been despatched, before a dark cloud appeared in the western horizon, accompanied as that declaration was by an avowal that it was impossible for the Government to put down agitation by force—no sooner had these sounds reached Conciliation Hall, than immediately agitation burst forth anew—programmes were issued of monster meetings, one of which had been already held at Dundalk, and another at Navan—one was to be held in Cork. He had also seen in the newspapers that a fourth meeting was fixed to be held on the 1st of July, on the banks of the Boyne. Now, he asked, was this affront to the Protestants of Ireland to be suffered by Her Majesty's Government? was it to be permitted that one of these monster meetings should be held on the 1st of July on the banks of the Boyne—on the very spot and on the very day that William III., of glorious and immortal memory [A laugh], yes, of glorious and immortal memory!—on the very spot where he fought and bled and gained for England those liberties which she had ever since enjoyed;—was it possible that the Ministry would allow the feelings of the Protestants of Ireland to be so outraged? Did not the Government owe something to those brave men who, at their request, gave up their loyal meetings on that day when it had for years been their custom to celebrate the principles and victories gained on the 1st of July on the 1184 banks of the Boyne? Contrast that expression—that it was impossible to put down the agitation for Repeal by force of arms—contrast it with what was done by the Government in 1843. That year was called the great repeal year. Great excitement and alarm prevailed in consequence of the events that were passing. Persons living in the country parts of Ireland, not knowing what might happen in consequence of the monster meetings which were spreading over the country, betook themselves with their families to Dublin. Some who had the means came over to this country, and others sought in foreign lands that peace and safety which they could not obtain at home. Was this fear groundless? The Government at least did not seem to think so. Why, they fortified barracks, and sent to the coasts of Ireland armed ships to take off those loyal subjects who might be exposed to danger. That was a proper precaution, and one which reflected the highest credit on the Government; but it showed that the fears which were entertained were not groundless. At length the Government met and fronted the evil at Clontarf, and the immediate result of that one exhibition of energy and courage was that the Repeal funds fell below par—the members of the Repeal Society sunk their diminished heads—and their leaders, although they were not silenced, used very different language from what they had done before. This was followed by an interval of prosperity and happiness, such as the people of Ireland had scarcely ever before known. Excitement ceased, and railroads, commerce, and improvements occupied the minds of all. Now, however, this unhappy and uncalled for measure was made by the agitators a means of disturbing that peace and interrupting that prosperity, and was producing monster meetings again, which, he said in the presence of the Government, if suffered to continue must end in the destruction of the prosperity, the happiness, and the peace of the country. The second reason alleged by the noble Duke in support of this Bill was, that it would give the Irish priesthood a better education. Now, he did not find a single clause or a single line which tended to secure a better education for the Irish priesthood. It would indeed allow a great extension of their numbers; but there was nothing to prevent the same system of education from being continued. And here he might ask, what had Maynooth done to call for this increased and permanent endowment? 1185 If the character of the institution was to be judged of by the conduct of the priests who had been educated there, he believed their Lordships would not be enabled to form any high opinion of it. His attention had been called to an account published by Mr. Inglis of a tour made by him in Ireland in 1833, and in it he found the following passage:—I entertain no doubt that the disorders which originate in hatred of Protestantism have been increased by the Maynooth education of the Roman Catholic priesthood. It is the Maynooth priest who is the agitating priest; and if the foreign educated priest be a more liberal minded man, less a zealot, and less a hater of Protestantism than is consistent with the present spirit of Catholicism in Ireland, straightway an assistant red hot from Maynooth is appointed to the parish. In no country in Europe, not even in Spain, is the spirit of Popery so intensely anti-Protestant as it is in Ireland.Many events which occurred in Ireland proved the truth of these observations of Mr. Inglis. He could refer to one circumstance within his own knowledge. At Dingle, in the county of Kerry, within the last few years, the Scriptures, in the Irish language, had been disseminated amongst the people, and the consequence was, that many of them—to the number, he believed, of 800 souls—left the Roman Catholic Church, and joined the Protestant. Nor did these consist merely of the lower classes; for among them was one Roman Catholic priest, and several persons of the higher classes in life, one, he believed, being a magistrate. On this account the converts were subjected to the most violent persecution, and he could not better explain that treatment which they experienced than in their own language in a memorial to the Lord Lieutenant:—Memorial from the inhabitants of Dingle dated 9th of January, 1845:—That memorialists and their families were formerly in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. That memorialists, from what they believe and profess to be conscientious motives, have withdrawn from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church, and joined that of the Protestant Establishment. That memorialists have suffered reproach and persecution, more or less, from time to time; but, for the last four months, memorialists have been and still are suffering grievous persecution and loss as converts from the Church of Rome. That, when memorialists pass through the town of Dingle and the surrounding district, they are insulted and provoked to a breach of the peace by many persons shouting at them, using opprobrious 1186 and threatening language, and sometimes throwing stones. That memorialists have had frequent convictions before the magistrates and assistant barrister, against persons for waylaying, assaulting, or threatening, in cases where they knew, or could discover, the parties so offending. That memorialists themselves have not been charged with any such crime. That memorialists cannot purchase the necessaries of life in the markets and shops, the people refusing to sell to them, or have any dealings with them as converts from the Church of Rome. That memorialists have reason to know and believe, that this state of things is entirely owing to the preaching of the priests of the Roman Catholic Church, from their altars. That memorialists are constantly exhorted by their respective ministers, in public and private, to peace and good will to all men, even their persecutors and slanderers. That memorialists desire to testify that their Roman Catholic neighbours are well disposed towards them, and that they are at peace and good will with each other, when the Roman Catholic priests do not excite them against memorialists. That memorialists do not feel themselves, and their families, in the enjoyment of that safety and liberty which is the right of every subject of Her Gracious Majesty; that sad consequences are apprehended if such a state of things be allowed to continue. That memorialists are prepared to prove their statements, and appeal to a humane Government on behalf of themselves and their families, who altogether amount to above 800 souls.Answer:—Dublin Castle, January 14, 1845.Sir—I am desired by the Lord Lieutenant to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant, enclosing a memorial from certain converts from the Roman Catholic Church, and to acquaint you, that while his Excellency must deeply regret that any person should be exposed to personal inconvenience or insult, on the score of religion, they can scarcely fail to be aware that it is not in his power to afford any remedy for the inconveniences they describe themselves as suffering, and that the ordinary course of law can alone be resorted to by them for relief.—I am, Sir, yours, &c.,E. LUCAS.To the Rev. Charles Gayer, Dingle.Whether this answer could have been satisfactory to these poor persecuted people, he would leave it to their Lordships to say; but in a court of law a subsequent trial did take place, in which every circumstance stated by the memorialists was proved. He, therefore, thought that Mr. Inglis was justified in saying that not even in Spain was the spirit of Popery so anti-Protestant as in Ireland. But the case of Dingle was not an isolated 1187 one. Poor Protestants were subjected to similar persecutions in different parts of Ireland. He had been very anxious to state to the House what was the degree of loyalty prevalent in the College of Maynooth. For information on that point he had turned to the evidence taken before the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the state of Ireland in 1825; and there he found the examination of Mr. O'Connell on this subject; he said:—The priests who were educated in France were very strong anti-Jacobins … by that means there was among them a great deal of what is called 'ultra-Royalism;' but with the priests educated at Maynooth the anti-Jacobin feeling is gone by, and they are more identified with the people; and therefore, in the phrase that is usually called loyalty, they do not come within the description of it so much as the priests educated in France.From this he inferred, that there must be something in the education given at Maynooth which did not tend to promote loyalty among the students; and in this he was confirmed by a statement made by a gentleman who had himself been educated at that College. It was necessary to state how he (Lord Roden) became acquainted with these circumstances. As with the Roman Catholic so with the Protestant Church, there were cases of persons going over from each of them to the other. But there was a great difference in the effect of that change upon the Catholic adopting the Protestant faith, compared with the Protestant changing to the Roman Catholic persuasion. There were some cases of Protestant clergymen having gone over to the Catholic Church, and become priests in it; but by doing so, they incurred no risk, no blame, no shame; the Church they left did not persecute them—the Church they joined received them with open arms. It was not so with the Roman Catholic priest. When he felt in his conscience he could no longer remain in the pale of the Catholic Church, and entered the pale of the Church of England, the effect on him was a very different one. He (the Earl of Roden) had received several letters from Catholic priests in Ireland, telling him that their consciences would not allow them to continue clergymen of the Church of Rome, and asking him what they were to do? He knew that these unfortunate men would be persecuted by the Church they left, and suspected by that which they joined, and he was not able to give them an answer. But some humane men had 1188 formed a society in Dublin, for the purpose of receiving these poor men; it was called the Priests' Protection Society, and received none but priests who were of unblemished character. There had been a meeting of this society recently held for the purpose of petitioning against this Bill; he having been asked to take the chair, attended it. There was a gentleman present who had been educated at Maynooth, and he was asked to state what he knew as to the loyalty of the College. He said, that with respect to anything connected with the confessional, his lips were sealed; but he had no objection to state what he knew and had seen within the College. He said—The first Session held at Maynooth subsequent to the entrance of fresh men into that seminary, it is supposed that all will take the oath of allegiance in open court, as prescribed by law to be taken by Roman Catholics. The evening previous to the opening of the court in the year 1825, the senior dean announced to us that it was required of us to take the oath of allegiance. Had a bomb-shell burst amongst us it could not have caused us, fresh men of that year, greater dismay and consternation. To swear allegiance to a Protestant King and Constitution were things that never entered into the heads of any previous to his going to that seminary; but in order to calm our minds and induce us to swallow the disagreeable draught, the dean left with us two or three copies of Friar O'Leary's treatise on the Roman Catholic oath. This work was read with attention. The nicely drawn distinction of a double allegiance was discussed and argued. The arguments of O'Leary made no impression on the greater part of the students, so deep was the leaven of disloyalty fermented in their souls. Some feigned sickness in order to evade the awful calamity of loyalty, others openly declared they would prefer leaving the College to their swearing allegiance to a Protestant crowned head. The awful morning arrived. The dean called over the muster roll; some were absent under the plea of sickness, but such as mustered sufficient courage to undergo this ordeal were ordered to bring Testaments with them. Ten or twelve Testaments were the most that could be mustered amongst 100 candidates for the priesthood. On our entering the court all business was suspended. The officer produced the roll with the oath inscribed thereon. The oath was audibly read by the officer, and we were ordered to repeat the words after him. Some told me they had repeated different words to those of the oath, and one in particular told me he had not touched the book, nor repeated a word of the oath. A diocesan of mine told me he always contrived to get sick at the approach of the quarter sessions, and thus evaded during five or six years' residence 1189 at Maynooth taking the oath of allegiance. On Christmas and Patrick's nights the students are supplied with wine, the best singers are called on to sing in the dining hall, whilst the others are drinking their wine; a certain gentleman, now a priest in the county of Kerry, was selected to show off his vocal powers on one of those nights; he chose from among his collection of songs one composed by a Roman Catholic bishop of America; of the loyalty or disloyalty of this poetic effusion I leave the meeting to judge. I shall repeat a few lines of it from memory;—'Columbia's banner floats on high,Her eagle seizes on its prey;Then Erin wipe thy tearful eye,And cheer your hopes on Patrick's day.The toast we'll drink is Albion's fall,And Erin's joy on Patrick's day.'In a College supported by a Royal grant, and in the presence of above 600 loyal men, you would expect that such treason was instantly scouted; no, it was cheered and encouraged. This song was sung in all directions through the College, and I never heard that the professors, or acting superiors, censured or rebuked those who sung this disloyal production.The gentleman who stated these facts told him afterwards that he was ready, if a committee of inquiry were appointed, to swear to the truth of every word he said. These statements, he thought, were sufficient to show that the principles of loyalty inculcated at Maynooth were more than equivocal. But what did all this disloyalty and violence on the part of the priesthood arise from? The cause must be found in the system of education followed in that institution. The noble Duke had never touched on the manner in which a better education to the priesthood was to be secured. If it was the Ultramontane doctrines which were taught in Maynooth, he thought there were Roman Catholic authorities to prove that they were doctrines contrary to the right of kings, and interfering between subjects and their allegiance to their sovereign; and this Bill was not worth a farthing if it did not do something to remove them: it was to ascertain whether these doctrines were taught or not that he was anxious to obtain this Committee. The Protestants of Ireland would not be satisfied unless such an inquiry were instituted. He knew he should be told there had been an investigation already. In 1825, the state of education at Maynooth and other places in Ireland was inquired into; but, from what cause he knew not, certainly the result of that investigation was most 1190 unsatisfactory. The Commission separated without agreeing to any Report with respect to the College of Maynooth; they laid the evidence on the Table, but they made no Report. If an inquiry was thought necessary in 1825, when the College was supported by an annual grant, now they were introducing a new and more objectionable principle, they ought to have another investigation, and one better than a Commission—an inquiry before a Select Committee of their Lordships' House. He thought that he had an authority for the proposition with which he was about to conclude, which the noble Lords behind him would not be able to resist. It was an extract from a speech made in 1840 by Sir R. Peel on this very subject. Sir R. Peel then said—He could not agree in the opinion that the system of instruction pursued at Maynooth ought to be a matter of indifference to the House. He had not heard that observation made by the noble Lord; but he had heard it imputed to him, and he had not seen, on the part of the noble Lord, any sign of an energetic denial. Now, the system of education was a legitimate matter for the consideration of Parliament; and the House would abandon its duty if it were to avow the doctrine, that because the grant had been continued for thirty years, it was, therefore, pledged to say to Maynooth, 'You may inculcate what doctrine you please, however injurious to the supremacy of the law, and destructive to the established Government and Monarchy of the Empire.' If an opinion of that kind were put forward, he, for one, would never concur in it; and he thought it should be repudiated by every Member of the House. A misappropriation of the grant would form a very proper subject of inquiry; and if it were proved, the question might be submitted to the House, whether on that ground the vote ought not to be discontinued. If accusations of this sort were made, all he could say was, that the recipients of the grant were the persons who should show most interest in challenging inquiry, for the purpose of conciliating the good will of the public, by showing, if such was the fact, that the charges were groundless. Under such circumstances, so far from inquiry being injurious, they should, as he said, be the first to challenge it. But, at the same time, he should say, that nothing but full proof of abuse would render it wise in the House of Commons to enter into a pledge as to the future with respect to this grant. To him, however, it would be much more satisfactory to have the ground of accusation cut away; and, having established that, he should be able to give the vote which he was about to give with greater satisfaction.** Hansard (Third Series), lv. p. 57.1191 He thought that the extract which he had read, showing the opinion of Sir R. Peel on the subject in 1840, ought to be sufficient in itself to convince their Lordships of the great necessity which existed for an inquiry such as that which he intended to propose before he sat down. It was not because he was desirous of an inquiry that their Lordships ought to agree to it. He was nothing; and deserved no consideration with reference to that subject. They ought to grant the inquiry, because the Protestants of England, of Ireland, and of Scotland demanded it; and it was in their name that he asked their Lordships to agree to his Amendment. In reference to the instruction now given at Maynooth, he was anxious to refer their Lordships to one or two books used there, in order to prove that the Ultramontane doctrines were taught at the College. Fortunately, they were not left in doubt on this point; for the Appendix to the Eighth Report enumerated them, on the authority of Dr. Crotty, the then president of the College of Maynooth. Among the books which the students were required to provide at their own expense, he found the Commentary on the Scriptures by Menochius, Delahogue's Dogmatic Theology, and other works. Thomas Aquinas was also used. Notwithstanding this fact, a difference of opinion still prevailed, whether the Ultramontane or Gallican doctrines were taught at the College; but this difference of opinion only imposed a greater necessity on their Lordships to appoint a Committee of Inquiry. In the examination before the Commissioners of Education Inquiry in 1826, they found Dr. Crotty saying that it was the Gallican doctrine which was taught at the College of Maynooth; but soon after they found Dr. M'Hale denying this, and stating that neither the Gallican nor Ultramontane doctrine was taught there. Dr. M'Hale said in 1826—I can state that the Ultramontane opinions are not taught in the College of Maynooth. These opinions would be quite, in our conception, destructive to that allegiance which we owe to our gracious Sovereign; but, at the same time that I state that the Ultramontane opinions were not taught in the College of Maynooth, I wish distinctly to declare that we did not adopt what are generally called the Gallican doctrines. The opinions of the Ultramontanes would seem to us to be destructive of the authority of kings; and the other opinions, if pressed to the consequences of which they seem to be susceptible, would appear also to be subversive of the due independence of the Church.1192 These answers were of themselves a very strong testimony of the necessity for some inquiry into the doctrines taught at Maynooth; but he would show by the books which were recommended to the students at that College, how objectionable those doctrines were. In 1790, the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda at Rome, wrote a letter in answer to a question from the Ecclesiastical Trustees of Maynooth, with reference to the books which should be used at that College; and the letter contained this passage:—But since some questions still remain which are agitated in the disputations of the schools on either side preserving faith and peace, it is of great importance to determine what guides and masters should principally be used in the explanation of them; in which selection we are saved from any protracted hesitation by the immediate presentation to our eyes of those most splendid luminaries of the Church, Augustine and Thomas, on whose excellent doctrine, which embraces almost the entire of our theological discipline, any one may rely the more confidently for this reason, that the most ample approvals, full of praise and commendation, have been given them with the consent of all wise men, and the well-known decrees of the Pope.The rejoinder of the Trustees was as follows:—In doubtful cases about which they dispute in the schools, preserving faith and peace, since we have ascertained with how many and how extraordinary encomiums the Pontiff and the entire Church, in every age, have celebrated the doctrine of St. Augustine and St. Thomas, his most faithful interpreter, we shall take care to follow them, as our guides and masters, in questions of this kind.Thus their Lordships saw that the Ecclesiastical Trustees of the College of Maynooth were in their answer pledged to take Thomas Aquinas as their master and guide on the points specified in the Cardinal Prefect's letter. In the list of books given in by the President of the College of Maynooth was St. Thomas Aquinas's Secunda Secundæ; and according to the letter to the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda at Rome, their Lordships found that that book was taken as a guide there. No one among their Lordships would deny, he thought, that Thomas Aquinas was one of the strongest supporters of the Ultramontane doctrine. This went to prove what he suspected—for he asserted nothing—that it was the Ultramontane doctrine which was taught at Maynooth, and which Dr. M'Hale said was impossible to be 1193 taught, because it interfered with the allegiance due from the subject to the Sovereign. If, however, it was taught, and if Dr. M'Hale were right in his opinion, that, he thought, would go far to account for the disloyalty which they had heard of as existing in some quarters. He was, therefore, anxious for inquiry, for he thought that their Lordships ought not to give this large sum of money permanently to the College of Maynooth for the purpose of propagating doctrines which led to disloyalty. He would read a short extract from Thomas Aquinas, in order to show the bearing of his doctrines, and the effect which they must have on the minds of those who were impressed with them. What was the statement of Thomas Aquinas as to heretics? The question is, Question 11, Art. 3—Whether heretics are to be tolerated? On this head, Thomas Aquinas says—About heretics, two things are to be considered: one thing on the part of themselves, the other thing on the part of the Church. On the part of themselves, is the sin by which they deserve to be not only separated from the Church, but even to be shut out of the world by death; for it is much more grievous to corrupt the faith by which the life of the soul is saved, than to forge money by which temporal life is supported. Wherefore, as the forgers of money, and other malefactors, are immediately delivered by secular princes to death; much more heretics, from the time they are convicted of the heresy, cannot only be excommunicated, but justly slain.That was the opinion contained in Thomas Aquinas, whose works, students were not only encouraged to read, but obliged to obtain at their own expense. There was another book which was described by Dr. Crotty as being in use at Maynooth, namely, the Commentaries of Menochius on the Scriptures—it was one of the class books at Maynooth, and it was also one of the books which students were obliged to provide at their own expense in that College. In commenting on the 13th chapter of Matthew, which contained the important parable of the wheat growing with the tares until the harvest time, Menochius says—'Lest while we gather the tares,' lest you injure the good while you endeavour to eradicate the bad; and that those that are tares and bad, sometimes become good, Christ does not forbid heretics to be taken away and put to death, on which subject Maldonatus is to be consulted in this place.And the Commentary referred to by the class book, viz., Maldonatus, thus comments 1194 on the same chapter—13th Matthew:—There are some who abuse this place by trying to prove that heretics are not to be punished or put to death, which they who do seem to me to be anxious about themselves..… They who deny that heretics ought to be put to death, ought much rather deny thieves, much rather that murderers ought to be put to death, for heretics are so much the more pernicious than thieves and murderers, as it is a greater crime to steal and slay the souls of men than their bodies. Almost all the ancient authors, as Chrysostom, Jerome and Augustine, interpret thus of heretics. When, therefore, there is no danger that the wheat be rooted out with the tares, what need is there to wait for the harvest? They are quickly to be plucked up, they are quickly to be burned. Who hath not known the Calvinists and Lutherans? who does not see that they are heretics who have revived every ancient heresy? Truly there never was a heretic, there never can be a heretic, if they are not heretics. I warn princes, or (because princes are not likely to read these things) I warn those who ought to admonish princes, that it is not lawful for them to grant to heretics those liberties which they call of conscience, and which are too much used in our day, unless first the Church, or he who is the head of the Church, the Roman Pontiff, the person of Christ, and as it were, the father of the family, shall have judged that the tares cannot be rooted out unless the wheat be plucked up along with them, and that it is for the interest of the Church that both be permitted to grow together till the harvest; for the judgment of this matter does not belong to princes, who are the servants of the father of the family, but the father of the family himself, that is, the governor of the Church.After reading these extracts for the House, was it too much for him to say that it was a dangerous system of instruction which was pursued at Maynooth—a system well calculated to subject to those evils of persecution, which he had described, those poor Roman Catholics who might differ in their opinions from the majority, or the poorer, and consequently less protected, portion of the Protestants in many parts of Ireland? It appeared to him that nothing could be more reasonable than to demand that before they agreed to a measure which was not only to increase the grant to this College, but to make it permanent, there should be a strict investigation into the nature and character of the instruction given there. He believed it impossible that the people of England could agree to such a measure, if they were aware of the character of the doctrines professed and inculcated by those 1195 writers whose works were recommended to the students at Maynooth; and they ought, in justice to them, to remove all doubt as to the character of the instruction which was so afforded. There was one other authority to which he felt bound to refer before he concluded, as it was an authority which was deserving of great weight, namely, a description of the College by Mr. Alexander Knox—well known as the correspondent of Bishop Jebb—who was private secretary to the late Lord Castlereagh, and appointed by him to the office of treasurer of the College of Maynooth, which he held till the day of his death. Mr. Knox, who was eminently capable, both from his experience and his discrimination, to form a judgment, said of Maynooth—The views which originated the College, were marked by much wisdom. The working of the institution during its first years was happy; and had the intelligent spirit that gave birth to it continued to watch over and to foster its growth, Ireland might to-day have been a Protestant country, or nearly so. The first professors were French refugee clergymen, Gallican in their principles; but, lately escaped from the rope and the lamp post of the French revolution, disgusted with everything in the shape of popular movement, and grateful to England for the shelter afforded to them. Under their presidency, the principles dominant in the College were those of the Gallican Church, the most independent and enlightened member of the Papacy. Nay, from the combined influences of their new position, they were themselves strongly attracted toward sour Establishment, which some of them, men of respectability and learning, entered as ministers. Those who were not thus far in outward profession, yet continued to teach a very mitigated Romanism, which eventually would have merged into a purer Church. These tendencies and that probability were, however, extinguished by that body of men which, under Elizabeth, had prevented England from becoming wholly Protestant. But a few years prior to the establishment of Maynooth, some members of the Jesuit body, described by themselves or their friends, as a few poor ancient men seeking in England a resting place, denied them by their co-religionists on the Continent of Europe, had been allowed to settle at Stonyhurst, in Lancashire. They soon hung out at their doors their customary ensign, professing to aim at nothing but the educating the higher classes of their own communion. But, whilst other Romanists seemed paralysed by the misfortunes which had prostrated their Church in Europe generally, these men were even now keenly intent on its revival. The tendency of what was going on in Maynooth being at once perceived, they contrived to buy the property of Castle Brown in its neighbourhood, 1196 ostensibly as a school for the sons of the Irish Roman Catholic gentry, but with the main object of obtaining access into, and influence over, the Maynooth Institution. Their efforts were, at no long interval of time, successful; and from that period the whole tone and bearing of the College were effectually changed. Gallican principles were replaced by the severest Ultramontane and anti-Protestant doctrines; and the spring, whose waters appeared destined to fertilise this poor country, has ever since been pouring over it streams the most baleful.He thought that the able description which he had just read, and which was written by so experienced a gentleman, was a pretty strong proof that the Ultramontane doctrines were taught at Maynooth. He had shown to their Lordships, from the statement of the books which were used at Maynooth, and from the extract of the letter, written in 1796, by the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda at Rome to the ecclesiastical trustees at Maynooth, that the doctrines which were taught to the priesthood at that College were of a dangerous nature, and such as the people of England would not willingly grant money to assist in teaching, if they were aware of their tendency. He felt it his duty to draw their attention, on this stage of the Bill, to that important question which so vitally affected the permanence, peace, and tranquillity of the country. Now, he would ask their Lordships how this Bill was calculated to improve the system of education at Maynooth? Was there anything in the Bill which would offer a guarantee that the Ultramontane doctrine would give way to the Gallican?—anything that could annul the contract made between the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda at Rome, and the ecclesiastical trustees at Maynooth? He saw nothing in the Bill in any degree providing for the improvement of the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood in Ireland. But there was a still more powerful reason which rendered it impossible for him to give his consent to this Bill. He had been taught, as a Protestant, to believe that Roman Catholic opinions and doctrines were most dangerous, and that their extension ought to be resisted. He had sworn, in common with some of their Lordships, that he believed some of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church to be idolatrous and superstitious. Believing this to be the case, he could not, and he ought not, to lend any aid in propagating doctrines he believed to be dangerous. He was aware 1197 that he and those who concurred with him in these opinions, had been charged with violent and illiberal feeling towards their Roman Catholic brethren, and that they had been branded as bigots. He (Lord Roden) had lived for many years among his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen; he had taken a strong and decided part—because he considered it his duty to do so—in Protestant movements. In 1829, he used every means in his power to prevent the admission of persons professing the Roman Catholic faith into this and the other House of Parliament, because he believed it would be injurious to the country to permit Roman Catholics to legislate for a Protestant Church; but he defied any man to prove that he ever entertained any unkindly feeling, or used any harsh language, towards the humblest of his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen on account of their religion. He knew his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen well—he had lived a long life amongst them; and it was his opinion, that if they could be divested of priestly influence, he could have no hesitation in trusting in their hands his property or his life. He had troubled their Lordships at considerable length; but he felt it his duty to do so, and before he sat down he would again impress on them the importance of the duty which they had to perform: the eyes of the country were directed towards their proceedings, and he believed they never were directed towards them on any former occasion with such anxiety as at present, and he believed that they were about now by their votes to adopt a permanent system either of good or of misery for the country. This Bill was spoken of by some as a measure of peace to the Irish nation, just as if the Irish people were all exclusively Roman Catholics; whereas they were, to speak in round numbers, only in the proportion of about 7,000,000 of Roman Catholics to 2,000,000 of Protestants; and it ought never to be forgotten, that those 2,000,000 were linked to this country by loyalty and affection for British interests and British rule, and resolved permanently to resist all attempts at obtaining a Repeal of the Legislative Union between the two countries. They had long tried the fidelity and patient endurance of the poorer classes of his Protestant fellow countrymen, who had often to suffer more than their Lordships could form any idea of. Were they, then, to sacrifice the interests of religion, and to neglect all the loyalty and attachment to 1198 British connexion, which the Protestants of Ireland had so long displayed? The Protestants of Ireland considered that they had been betrayed by those from whom they had a right to look for support: they had sacrificed many of their best interests to bring the present Government into power; they were in hopes they would have acted on sound principle, but they had been miserably deceived. They beheld the Government permitting those sacred principles which were dearest to them to be trampled upon. The Government had ceased to show them that there were principles on which the Church, the Throne, and the Constitution were founded, which they considered immutable; for the Government had declared they were unable to execute those laws which gave expression to those principles. He warned their Lordships against the course they were pursuing. They were rejecting their best, their warmest friends—those brave men who had stood by England in all her Irish difficulties—whose ancestors had maintained English supremacy in that part of the Empire—and who had bled and died in her dcfence. The Irish Protestants were disgusted at the policy of the Government. The time was at hand when they would feel their folly—when they would see their mistake — when they would again want the co-operation of those whom they had now cast off. But the Protestants of Ireland would be always found true to their principles; and when the time of danger arrived, he should not envy them the remorse with which their minds would be distracted, by the folly and ingratitude of their policy. He (Lord Roden) had now expressed his opinions honestly and openly. He thanked their Lordships for their attention during the long time he had occupied them; and he would conclude by moving as an Amendment—That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the Class Books and Standards and General Instructions used in the College of Maynooth, and that the Bill be referred to the said Committee.
The Bishop of London
said, he was labouring under an indisposition which of itself would prevent him troubling their Lordships at any great length; but he trusted that their Lordships would grant him their indulgence while he briefly expressed his sentiments as to this measure. He considered that the noble Earl had established a case which would justify the House in granting the Committee sought 1199 for, even with those who might not regard it as absolutely necessitating that inquiry. In giving his own reasons for supporting the Amendment, he should very briefly state his objections to the measure itself, in order that he might not have to trespass upon their attention a second time. After long, most anxious, most careful consideration of the Bill now before them, he found himself under the painful necessity of withholding his assent from it, under an entire conviction that, while it involved an utter violation of one of the most fundamental principles of the Constitution, it held out no valid prospect of such results as might be deemed to justify it on the ground of expediency. In stating as briefly as possible his objections to the plan, he would endeavour to avoid all such arguments as might be calculated to increase and exasperate those feelings of irritation which naturally arose out of deliberations on a question of this nature, and would abstain altogether from those of a purely polemical character. He need scarcely mention his reasons for such a course beyond saying this—that having always considered the floor of that House a most unsuitable arena for theological discussion, he thought, especially after the change in the Constitution which had admitted many persons of ancient and noble families to the privilege of seats in that House, from whom, as a Protestant, he entertained widely different opinions on religious questions, but whose feelings he would be most unwilling to shock, that such discussions were most undesirable. He would not, therefore, touch upon his objections to the dogmas of their Church, further than was absolutely necessary to maintain the position he had taken. He considered that the present measure involved a direct departure from that fundamental principle which justified a State in the adoption and endowment of a particular form of religious worship; while on the other hand, it held out no prospect of the attainment of that object which, if accomplished, might be regarded as some compensation for the evils of the measure. That object was the better education of the Roman Catholic priesthood, and the diffusion, by their means, of right principles, of a spirit of peace, loyalty, and obedience to the laws, through the great bulk of the Roman Catholic population—an object the importance of which it was scarcely possible to overstate; if he had any reason to hope that such a result would be effected 1200 by this measure, he should feel great hesitation and reluctance in withholding his assent from it. The education of a body of clergy, armed with such powers as those possessed by the Roman Catholic priesthood in Ireland, must be an object of supreme importance; and if he believed that by an increased grant of the public money they would provide those individuals with an education which might imbue them with somewhat of the spirit which actuated a Fenelon, he should feel much greater doubt than he did at present as to his vote on this occasion. But he could not perceive any such prospect. He clearly saw, indeed, that an increased number of young men intended for the ecclesiastical profession would be educated at Maynooth, under circumstances of greater personal comfort, and under more able instructors in literature and science; but there was no promise—not even an insinuation—from those who were alone competent to give such a promise, that there would be any alteration of importance in the system of instruction. The noble Earl (Earl Roden) had described some of the principal features of the course of instruction pursued at Maynooth. It was possible, however, that some of their Lordships might not be acquainted with the nature of that system. He saw before him many who had occupied seats in that House long enough to have taken part in the inquiries instituted by a Select Committee of that House on the state of Ireland. The evidence taken before that Committee had been most ably and carefully digested by two very eminent clergymen of the sister island, and that valuable document ought to be perused by every noble Lord who was desirous of giving a conscientious vote on this question. Since that inquiry twenty years had elapsed; and probably many of the younger Members of that House had not taken the trouble to make themselves acquainted with the subject by a careful inspection and perusal of the evidence to which he referred. Surely a knowledge of the system of instruction and discipline pursued at Maynooth was absolutely necessary to enable their Lordships to give a conscientious vote, or at least to form a correct judgment on this measure. If it should turn out, on inquiry, that the system of instruction pursued was such as had been delineated by the noble Earl (Earl Roden), it surely would be unwise and unreasonable—to use no stronger terms—to extend, endow, and perpetuate 1201 a system of education for a class whose employment was the most influential for good or for evil, without fully understanding what the system of education so to be extended, endowed, and rendered permanent, was; and he, therefore, held that the demand for an inquiry into the system pursued at Maynooth, was most just and proper to be complied with, ere such a measure as that before them was further proceeded with. At all events, whether or no their Lordships were disposed to negative the noble Earl's proposition, they would not deny that it was as well at least to have presented to them all that was known on the subject at present; and he (the Bishop of London) would, therefore, take the liberty, for his part, of reading to them some extracts from the Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of Irish Education in 1824 — a document which threw great light on the nature of the doctrines taught at Maynooth. But before he quoted this document, he would say a few words as to the description of persons who were generally sent to Maynooth—a point of considerable importance in considering the question. Almost all the students at that establishment were taken from the decidedly inferior classes of society, consisting of youths who had been first taught at country schools at an expense of some 4l. or 5l. a year, and were then selected by the priests as likely to suit their purposes, and sent to Maynooth, where their education cost but a small additional sum. Formerly young men intended for the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood were sent to Paris, or Salamanca, or Rome; and the expense of their education being there far more considerable, they were taken, in most cases, from a higher class of society; and to this circumstance might be ascribed, as well as to the more refined and liberal education they received, their more highly cultivated taste at that period, and their superior acquaintance with the habits of society of the better kind, that they were what the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics in Ireland then were generally noted as being, friends of peace, promoters of charity, good subjects, tolerant Christians — frequently assisting the Protestant clergymen in acts of benevolence, their opponents only in doctrine. He did not mean to say, that this race of ecclesiastics was extinct in Ireland; but that a very great change had taken place in 1202 the main body of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics in Ireland, was a fact too notorious to be denied. There could be no doubt, especially after the statements of the noble Earl, that this was in a great degree attributable to the system of education pursued at Maynooth; the minds of Roman Catholics educated in that institution were imbued with principles which were certainly likely to make them less charitable and less indulgent towards their Protestant neighbours, and less obedient to the law. He might be allowed to read a few sentences from the evidence of the late Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Magee, before the Committee of 1824. That prelate said—The education at Maynooth has been considered even by sensible men among the Roman Catholics themselves to be of a description much inferior to the former continental education of their clergy—inferior as to learning and manners and professional utility, as well as to liberal sentiments and adaptation to society. The education which they receive in that place is, as I understand, of a species much inferior to what might be received in the foreign universities; and their learning, being of a nature proportioned to their professional objects, is principally conversant about that very system which seems to present the chief obstacles to the safe admission of Roman Catholics to civil power in a Protestant State. Besides, from the exclusive and predominant study of that system in itself much injury arises to the mind of the student. The pride of giving perpetuity to what has acquired command over mankind by the authority of Councils and Popes through a long series of ages, and this sustained on the high ground of infallibility, cannot fail to cause impressions on the young mind, which, when not counteracted by the liberalizing effects of a more general education, tend to elevate extravagantly in his own estimation the individual who finds himself connected with such a system, and whose duty it will become still further to extend and maintain it. But still more injuriously do they tend to elevate him in his comparison of himself with the professors of every other Christian denomination whom he is taught by this system to consider but as the growth of yesterday, as having no share in the privileges of what he calls the Church, and who in not acknowledging the authority of that Church are to be viewed as rebels and deserters from its jurisdiction.He then contrasted the liberal effect of what might be called the university education with that exclusive, that exceedingly ascetic and morose system of education, which was one of the vices that had not yet been touched upon adopted at 1203 Maynooth, showing how those evils had not applied to the youths who were sent to foreign universities. But he would take the liberty of reading a passage from one of the excellent and able individuals to whom he had before alluded as having drawn up the Digest of the Evidence that had been taken before both Houses of Parliament:—There is very little reason to applaud the loyalty or the prudence which caused offers of foreign instruction to be declined, if the system of education adopted at home be so constructed as to form a character in the Roman Catholic priests in Ireland the most inimical to national peace and improvement; to make them democrats in the State, and in the Church intolerable bigots.There could be no doubt that the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland were taught to regard the English Government as foreigners, and that they looked upon the extirpation of heresy as an object to be aimed at at all hazards; and by a great variety of associations, by fraternities of education, by sodalities of Christian doctrine, and others of similar names, those doctrines were carried into the hearts of families in Ireland. The Roman Catholic child had books put into his hands in which the English were spoken of as spoilers of his Church, and usurpers; and those principles were disseminated through the breadth and length of the land by the education societies. Now, if the parish priests had not aided in that dissemination, how had they exerted themselves in preventing it? It was not his intention to enter into the doctrines taught; but this he would say, that the principles inculcated in the class books at Maynooth were of such a description that, if carried out into practice, they would disqualify men from the faithful discharge of their duty as subjects of the State, and would be utterly incompatible with the maintenance of peace and the order of the social community. Of the nature of those doctrines their Lordships would find abundant proof in the documents to which the noble Earl alluded, and he would only briefly enumerate them, to show the extreme importance of those which were brought to bear upon the minds of the Roman Catholic peasantry of Ireland. Those doctrines were, the Church's infallibility and the authority of the Pope—his deposing power—that faith need not be kept with heretics—the condemnation of the right of private 1204 judgment—the assertion of universal dominion on the part of the Church of Rome over the conscience—the right of the Pope to insist on the resumption of Church property—and, lastly, the seven causæ excusantes and the five causæ totientes which were held to justify the violation of oaths, the Pope being judge in each case. It was true that these doctrines, in their general form, might be held by Roman Catholics consistently with their duty to the State, but they must be held with certain modifications; for, as they were taught in the class books of Maynooth, and in those quoted by the noble Earl, it was not possible they could be held by the subjects of any State consistently with their duty to that State. The modifications to which he alluded were briefly laid down in the Four Articles drawn up by the French clergy in 1682, and called "the Liberties of the Gallican Church." But if those doctrines were not taught at Maynooth, the reason must be, because they were considered objectionable; and if so, the proposition against which they were directed must be approved. Add to all these considerations the most important fact, that the institution of Maynooth was, by means of an institution called the Sodality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, brought under the influence of the Jesuits, and was practically almost, if not quite, as much of a Jesuit College as that at Clongowes. With respect to endowing a College calculated to carry out such a system, without at least exacting from those who were to be invested with the working of it some distinct pledge that the system itself should be improved, and its worst features removed, or at least modified, he must say he entertained the gravest objections. It had been stated that the system would ultimately tend to the advancement of truth—that by conferring a superior education on the youth at Maynooth, they were enlightening their minds and opening their eyes, by degrees, to truth. He need not dwell upon that argument, because it had been disdainfully rejected by the supporters of the measure, as wholly inconsistent with that singleness of purpose by which they were actuated in proposing it. He certainly did at first look at the question with some doubt whether it was not likely, if adopted, to serve the cause of truth by enlightening the minds of the Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland. He had, however, no such hope, unless the system of Maynooth was altered; 1205 and now it was declared by the supporters of the Bill that they had no such intention. But, as he said, that question, if not irrelevant, was unimportant, compared with what they held to be a much more serious objection to the measure—he meant, the violation of a principle by the endowment of a Church differing not merely from our own in some points of doctrine and discipline, but irreconcilably opposed to it in some of its articles. The endowment of two antagonist Churches—for antagonist Churches they were in the strongest sense of the term—in the same country, seemed to him to go a great way to the rejection and abandonment of the principle which alone justified the endowment of any; and he believed that their Lordships were in great danger, by passing this measure, of sanctioning a principle that would rivet upon the Church the first link in a chain of evil, from which they would not be able hereafter to set it free. The consequence of this measure would be, a severance of all connexion between the Church and State in Ireland, and, he feared, at no distant period, in this country also. That was very clearly perceived by those in other countries who saw the strife that was now waging here between principle and expediency. They were not blinded by those personal interests which were so apt to lead to error; they could take a calm survey of the consequences of this measure, and perceive them without looking to any great depth. As a proof of that, their Lordships would permit him to read a passage from a paper published at Lausanne, in Switzerland, within the last fortnight, the editor of which was hostile to the principle of all religious establishments, and who therefore exulted at our recognising a principle which might lead to that result here. This was the language which that writer held in the Anti-Jesuite of the 19th of May:—We do not hesitate to regard the Bill which is about to pass into a law as one of the most important events in the history of England. Some few have said, but everybody has perceived, that this endowment is only a preliminary measure. The endowment of a seminary will soon be followed by the endowment of the Catholic clergy. From that moment, England may be considered as having adopted the principle of paying different forms of worship. But is the meaning of that principle understood? To salary more than one religion is, in fact, to recognise none. To pay a Catholic clergy while maintaining a Protestant 1206 Church, is to make a profession of indifferentism. It is to acknowledge indirectly the incompetence of the State to judge of religious truth; in a word, it is to renounce in every way the principle of a National Church. We need not wonder that the members of the Anglican Church should be alarmed, and have covered the Table of the House with their petitions. They comprehended instinctively that it was a question of life or death for the Establishment. The Bill will pass. The last hour has struck for that ancient system which connects itself with all the recollections of the country. It is fallen. We, who have no great sympathy for State Churches, see reason to rejoice at what is happening in England. When the State pays several modes of worship, it will soon come to pay none.That was the great difference between the present measure and the former annual Vote by Parliament. He did not mean to say that he should ever have brought himself to vote for the grant for the College of Maynooth. He hardly could, consistently with the principles he held. But that was a very different thing from a perpetual endowment, and investing it with such a character as to make it an integral part—he was almost going to say, of the Church—but, certainly, of the Constitution. It was the first link forged to tie together the State and the Roman Catholic Church. The grants to Maynooth were but instances of liberality to those who appeared to be in want of them; but he could not help reminding their Lordships, that the original purpose of the foundation of Maynooth was not that it should receive any help from the State, but for the mere purpose of holding in perpetuity what was given to it by pious Roman Catholics. For that he had the authority of the noble Duke himself, who, when he was Sir Arthur Wellesley, said:—The fact was, that when Maynooth was first established, it was not intended that it should be maintained by the public purse. The memorial presented previously to the foundation of that establishment prayed for a charter, in order that their funds might be better secured.And here, perhaps, he might be allowed to advert to a mistake that pervaded the latter part of the noble Duke's speech. The noble Duke stated, that when this subject was before the House in 1808, there was no apprehension of its consequences in a religious point of view. That was far from the case, and the proposition 1207 that was made for increasing the grant to Maynooth was resisted by Mr. Perceval, chiefly on a religious ground; and he said, that if it were res integra, nothing should have induced him to support it. But there was one individual whom he had the pleasure of knowing, and with whom many of their Lordships were acquainted—a very pious, learned, and able man, who had rendered distinguished service in the cause of the abolition of slavery—the late Mr. Stephen—who said, that upon that ground he should have objected to the original grant. His words so precisely expressed his (the Bishop of London's) own sentiments, that, as they were but few, he would read them. He said, in the debate of 1808—That we could not, as members of a Protestant communion, consistently or conscientiously educate clergymen for the Catholic Church—a ground on which he would have opposed that particular mode of assisting the Catholics of Ireland, if the question of founding the Maynooth College were then before the House; and on the same principle he felt himself bound to oppose the further and, as he conceived, needless extension of that establishment. He was sure that the feelings of sincere and pious Papists would revolt at the idea of educating at their own charge clergymen for the Church of England—to propagate what they deemed heretical doctrines; and sincere Protestants, who regarded the distinguishing tenets and rites of the Church of Rome as corruptions of Christianity, were bound on the same principle not to be directly instrumental in teaching what, in a religious view, they deemed to be dangerous errors, by educating men for the Roman Catholic priesthood."*The same feeling prevented him from giving his vote in favour of the Bill on this occasion. How could he consent to endow an establishment for educating pastors to disseminate doctrines which he considered to be dangerous, if not deadly? ["Hear!"] He spoke only of himself—he judged not of the consciences of others; but, pledged as he was by the most solemn promise to drive away all erroneous doctrines, and both privately and openly to call upon others to do the same, how could he consistently consent to endow and render permanent an establishment the object of which was to qualify men to disseminate doctrines which he considered most fatal heresies? He knew he might be answered by some noble Lords by the instances of Canada,* Hansard (Old Series), xi. 126.1208 Malta, and the Regium Donum. Now, with regard to the Regium Donum, many of their Lordships were not, perhaps, aware that the original donation was a matter of comity on the part of the Crown, and that it only became a State payment when the property of the Crown was given up to the Civil List; but, supposing it were otherwise, it might be said that it conduced to Arian doctrines, which were as mischievous as Roman Catholic. But there was this distinction—that if the doctrines taught at Belfast were Arian, they were so by accident, whereas they were now going to endow a college avowedly and exclusively Roman Catholic. With regard to Canada and Malta, it might be sufficient, in order to take them out of the category of instances where different religions were endowed by the State, to remark that they were conquered countries, and that certain stipulations were agreed to between the conquerors and the conquered. The Roman Catholic religion was established, and it was stipulated that it should be permitted to continue. In fact, all that was done in Canada was, that the Roman Catholic clergy were left in possession of the property they enjoyed before the war. The same thing was stipulated in Malta; and he was not prepared to say that in the case of a conquest it might not be necessary to consent to the continuance of the Roman Catholic Church. That being the case, he might perhaps be asked, "If you will not do this for the Roman Catholics of Ireland, what will you do?" He did not feel that he was called upon to attempt an answer to that question. He gave the fullest credit to the pure and honourable intentions of the Government in bringing forward this question. He had not the least doubt that they were fully convinced that this measure would tend in some degree to heal those wounds that so long have prevented the peace and prosperity of that country; and that in their hearts they did not believe it would be productive of any serious injury to the Established Church. But he could not get over the difficulty of principle. He could not convince himself that it was right to violate such a principle as he had stated, under any circumstances, especially under circumstances which seem to hold out no corresponding advantages which might be regarded in the light of compensation. He could easily conceive the embarrassment which attended the 1209 Government when they turned to the map of Ireland. How that country was to be governed, he confessed himself ignorant. He confessed himself ignorant as to what was the right method of governing that country; but he had no scruple, no hesitation in declaring what was the right principle on which it should be governed. It was briefly—and with this statement he would conclude the observations he had offered to their Lordships—that in governing that, or any other country, never for any consideration do that which is clearly wrong in principle. Do your best to discover what is right; follow it out honestly and fearlessly, and trust for the issue to the Supreme Disposer of events, who would, he was persuaded in his conscience, and he was justified in that by his own written word, deal favourably with that nation which upheld his truth, or at least did nothing to impede its progress.
§ The Earl of St. Germans
said, he had listened with great attention to the speech of the noble Earl; and, knowing and respecting as he did the deep and sincere convictions which actuated him in resisting the further progress of this Bill, he earnestly hoped that in the observations he was about to make, he might give him no just cause of offence. He confessed he had heard with some surprise, the declaration of the right rev. Prelate, who, as it appeared to him, laid down that he should discuss this question with reference only to those opinions which influenced men as members of a State; but a great part of the speech of the right rev. Prelate consisted of a repetition of what had been stated by the noble Earl respecting exclusively the religious doctrines taught at Maynooth. He (Lord St. Germans) thought the right rev. Prelate could not have heard the speech of the noble Earl, for the noble Earl did not say that it was his object to stop the grant to Maynooth. Now, he (Lord St. Germans) thought that the more manly course in that case would have been to put a stop to this Bill altogether. After the declaration of the right rev. Prelate and the noble Earl, that they could not be parties to the propagation of what they deemed error, he thought it was idle to call on the House to inquire what were the doctrines taught there. The noble Earl and the right rev. Prelate said, that Parliament was now, for the first time, about to "endow" a Roman Catholic College, or, in the right rev. Prelate's 1210 figurative language, they were now forging the first link of the chain that was to bind the Roman Catholic Church to the State. Now, he believed that neither the noble Earl nor the right rev. Prelate could have read the former Acts of Parliament with respect to Maynooth; for if they had, they would have found it expressly stated in them that the object was to establish a College for the education of the Catholic clergy in Ireland, and that by the first Act it was intended to form a corporation for that purpose; and it was only by a technical error that this was not done, and the very word "endow" was used in the Act for the establishment of such institutions for the education of Catholic priests. And who were the parties called upon to be the heads of this corporation? The Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Lord Chief Justice, and the Lord Chief Baron; and this had been done by an exclusively Protestant Parliament. After the Irish Parliament had expressed its intention to form a College for the education of Roman Catholic youths intended for the priesthood, and when it found that the funds likely to be contributed for this purpose would not be sufficient to carry the object into effect, Parliament would have been justly open to the charge of a breach of honour, if it had not found funds for this purpose, for it claimed the right of directing the kind of inspection, and yet would not contribute to its maintenance. That breach of faith the Ministry of the day would not incur; and it had been maintained by every Ministry that had ever governed the country, and by every Parliament, Protestant and mixed, that had ever sat since that period; it had been maintained by Lord Liverpool and Mr. Perceval, men who had uniformly opposed Catholic Emancipation, and who were the firmest friends of the Established Church. This being the case, what was the difference in principle between agreeing to a grant which was successively voted by successive Parliaments, and a grant which was to be paid annually from the Consolidated Fund? To say that there was any material distinction between them was a miserable quibble. One of the most able and strenuous opponents of the measure in the other House of Parliament had said, that so long as those Statutes remained on the Statute Book, so long were they bound to continue the grant. Now, he would ask, was there not 1211 sufficient evidence of this in the former Acts respecting Maynooth? But it had been asked by the noble Earl and by the right rev. Prelate, what security there was for the establishment of an improved system of education at Maynooth. Surely the noble Earl and the right rev. Prelate could not have read the Bill when they asked this question; for it specifically provided that the visitation of the College for the future should not be nominal, as now, but was to be actual; and, instead of the visitors being the three great officers of the law in Ireland, who went, as a matter of form, once in three years, to visit the institution, and to ask the students whether they had any cause of complaint against the masters, and to inquire of the masters whether they had any cause of complaint against the students, it was now proposed, as a remedy, that instead of the three Judges acting as formal visitors, that there should be constituted a mixed board of Protestants and Catholics, who would be present at all the examinations, and would make an annual Report to Her Majesty respecting this College. He asked then, under these circumstances, whether there was not greater security for an improved system of education under the proposed plan of visitation, than under the present, which, in point of form, was worth nothing? Such a change would tend to prevent abuses arising, such as had been complained of; and if they did, the authorities of the College would, on their being pointed out, at once remove them. It had been said that there was a want of loyalty among the students of Maynooth; but the noble Earl had not, he thought, treated this part of the subject in a way that was likely to be altogether satisfactory to their Lordships. The noble Earl said that a gentleman whose name he did not mention to the House, at a meeting of a certain society, had described what happened at Maynooth twenty years ago. Now, he thought the noble Earl was not justified in fastening the charge of general disloyalty on the students and professors of that institution on the credit of an individual whose name was not given, and who might have been—as was not unfrequently the case of parties who made statements of this kind—one who had been discarded in his youth from the College. If he had looked into that, he would have found that two gentlemen, then clergymen of the Established Church 1212 of this country, both of whom had been students at Maynooth, and one of them a professor there, had been called before this Commission that sat in 1836, and examined as to the nature of the education at Maynooth, and they both of them distinctly and unequivocally denied the fact that anything like a divided allegiance was taught there. If anything of this kind had happened there, these gentlemen must have known of it. They both stated that it was taught that the power of the Pope was distinctly confined to spiritual matters, and did not extend to temporal affairs, and that nothing of an opposite nature had ever been taught at the College of Maynooth. He thought that the noble Earl had completely failed in endeavouring to show that anything favourable to his views could be drawn from the proceedings of the Commission. The Commission was composed of men of the highest character, five of whom were Protestants, and one was a Roman Catholic. The latter gentleman was a man of the highest character, both personal and professional; and he (the Earl of St. Germans) was sure that every man who knew him would bear similar testimony; but as this Gentleman was a Roman Catholic, he would not make any further allusion to him. He would, then, look to the other Commissioners, and he found that they were such men as Mr. Frankland Lewis, Mr. Grant, Mr. Leslie Foster, and Mr. Glassford. These gentlemen did not agree in their Reports; but did any one of them say anything injurious to the education at Maynooth? They might be sure, therefore, that no such doctrines as those alleged were taught at Maynooth, for if they were, they might depend upon it that such men as Mr. Frankland Lewis, or Mr. Leslie Foster would not have been silent on the subject. If there had been a difference of opinion on this point, as on others, between these gentlemen, one of them would have reported in one way on the subject, and the other in an opposite respect. It was most extravagant to say that such men would subscribe their names to a Report which contained gross misrepresentations, for there was nothing in the Report against Maynooth. But they had been told that the priests educated at Maynooth were disloyal. He regretted that there was truth in the charge to this extent — that many of them were violent and turbulent agitators. 1213 This, however, he attributed to other causes than those assigned by the noble Earl, namely, that they received a hasty and contracted education there. He had himself been at Maynooth, and he was sure, that if noble Lords would visit that place they would blush, as he did, at the niggardly treatment of that College. The students there were destitute, not merely of the comforts, but of even the decencies of life: and how could they expect to raise accomplished and polished men there, and that they should regard with feelings of gratitude the conduct of the Parliament at Maynooth? He believed that the students from this College went forth with a good theological education; but, in consequence of there only being accommodation for an insufficient number of students, the candidates for the priesthood were obliged to leave at the end of three or four years, instead of seven years, which ought to be the period of their education; they, therefore, went forth to discharge their important functions imperfectly educated. They should recollect that this was a class of men who were called upon to administer to the wants of the large and poor population of that country; and, as was described in the Report of his noble Friend at the head of the Land Commission, they saw the people suffering the greatest privations, badly housed and clothed, and that they had to endure hardships heavier than those that were borne by any other people in Europe. If they found the people placed under their spiritual superintendence so circumstanced, and that they were in the midst of a starving population, was it matter of astonishment that these men should attribute this state of things to misgovernment, and that they were led away by the arts of agitators, and were induced to believe that the remedy for such a state of things, and all these evils, was to be found in a domestic Legislature? He was not justifying the adoption of such an opinion; but still it must be observed that they could find something like a plausible excuse for the adoption of such a notion. He did not wish for a single moment to say anything in toleration of the cry for Repeal, because he believed that its adoption would not only prove most injurious to this country, but it would be far more extensively so to Ireland. He could not, however, feel surprised that men who had been imperfectly 1214 educated, should, on looking about them, say that if after what passed before the Union, they had a Parliament exclusively Irish, it could not possibly allow Maynooth to remain in its present condition; but would sympathize with them, and this state of things rendered them so subject to the proceedings of agitators. It was to these facts that they should look—to the susceptibility of the priests, to the arts of agitators, not to the doctrines taught at Maynooth, that they should attribute the conduct of the Catholic clergy. The noble Earl had somewhat amused, if not astonished him, with part of his speech. The noble Earl had read an extract from a speech of Bishop Higgins, as an illustration of the conduct of persons educated at Maynooth. Now, it so happened that Bishop Higgins was not educated at Maynooth, but at Paris and Rome. The noble Earl had taken some pains to select the most violent language that he could find that been used by a Roman Catholic bishop, and who, he supposed, had been educated at Maynooth: whereas this was not the case. Then the noble Earl was mistaken as to the Catholic priests in Ireland, before the establishment of the College of Maynooth. That institution was established when it was thought important to withdraw the priests who had previously been educated abroad, from the contagion of Jacobinical principles then spreading over Europe; and it was deemed desirable to withdraw those intended for Catholic priests in Ireland from the operation of these opinions; and although the priests brought up abroad previous to that time might have manifested a more polite demeanour, and have possessed more elegant manners, still it was well known that they were not in sufficient numbers for the wants of Ireland; and he believed that at the time there were a great many priests in Ireland inferior both in rank and education to the present race educated at Maynooth, and who were then known by the appellation of "hedge priests." Therefore, taking the whole body of the Irish priests, he believed a greater number of men in the present day were as well educated as those who had formerly to perform the religious functions of the great body of the Irish people. But that was no reason why they should not raise the character of the education, as well as the condition of those destined for the Irish priesthood, and put 1215 them on an equality as regarded their social condition with those intended to give religious instruction in connexion with other religious communities. Let noble Lords recollect that the Irish Catholic priests enjoyed the unbounded confidence of the people under their superintendence; and that they were ever ready to wipe away the anguish from the brow of the poor peasantry; that they never shrunk from watching contagion and disease in its worst forms; and such conduct was sure to ensure to them the affections of those to whom they administered the rites of religion. He hoped that he should not be supposed to have drawn an invidious distinction between the Roman Catholic clergy and the clergy of the Established Church, for whom he entertained feelings of the most unbounded respect. A few nights ago a right rev. Prelate took the trouble to vindicate the Irish clergy belonging to the Establishment from charges never made against them in that House; but surely the right rev. Prelate must admit that the sphere of action of the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland was much more limited, and that the number of those under their care was much more limited, and they were for the most part in more affluent circumstances, than the Roman Catholic population of Ireland. The noble Earl and the right rev. Prelate had failed in showing that any injury had been inflicted on the Established Church. They might talk of the errors of the Catholic Church, but as long as seven-eighths of the people of Ireland were attached to that Church, it was impossible to act upon the opinions of the noble Ear! and the right rev. Prelate. He, therefore, called upon the House to place the students at Maynooth on a more respectable footing, looking to the whole of the Catholic population of Ireland, and without incurring those evils which the noble Earl so much deplored, and which he should also do if he could believe that they would possibly exist. The right rev. Prelate said that he was not bound to suggest a remedy to a state of things which he had described in such glowing colours; but at any rate he was bound to show that the evils which he alluded to would be incurred by the measure before the House. He hoped that the House would excuse him, then, from going into the education question on that occasion, as so many other opportunities 1216 would be afforded him of doing so, or to compare the relative merits of the Kildare Place Society and the National system. The noble Earl had referred in strong language to what he called the absence of fair play to the Church. Now, no one was more anxious than himself to maintain the Protestant Church; but he confessed that he was astonished to hear the noble Earl talk as he did of the injury and injustice inflicted on the Established Church in Ireland. Look to the numbers of that Church in Ireland. They did not exceed between 700,000 and 800,000 persons, and the revenue belonging to it amounted to upwards of 600,000l. He thought, therefore, they could hardly have a just cause of complaint, as regarded its income. He therefore was astonished at hearing the noble Earl denounce the Government, for neglecting the interests of the Established Church. The noble Earl did not show a single instance of neglect, or betrayal, or deceit on the part of the Government toward the Irish Church. As for the distinction between the annual Vote and that from the Consolidated Fund, and as for their increasing the grant from 9,000l. to 26,000l., he must say that it was a very inadequate ground for the clamour which had been made. The noble Earl alluded to certain proceedings which had taken place at Dingle. The noble Earl said that the conduct of the people of that place was to be attributed to the Catholic priests, and the proceedings of the priests was owing to the nature of the education they received at Maynooth. Now, the noble Earl did not propose to reject this Bill at once, and to repeal all the other Acts relating to Maynooth; but he said that he was willing that things should remain as they were. The noble Earl, to be consistent as a lover of his country, if he believed such evils to arise from the existence of the College of Maynooth, would not have allowed this state of things, productive of so much mischief, to have remained so many years in its present condition. The noble Earl, he thought, had stated that the noble Duke had rested the measure on conciliation. Now, he (Lord St. Germans) had listened attentively to the speech of the noble Duke, and certainly he did not hear the word "conciliation." The noble Duke did express his hope that gratitude would be felt for the benefit intended; but the noble Duke did not say that this measure was caused by 1217 any extortion. He believed that this measure would elevate the institution, and improve not only the condition, but the habits and manners of the Roman Catholic priests; and with those feelings he called on their Lordships not to mar the effect of this measure, not to mar the effect of the speeches by which the Government had introduced the measure, but, by affirming it with an overwhelming majority, to show that they were determined to do an act of justice to the people of Ireland.
§ The Duke of Manchester
said, he was afraid that the original establishment of Maynooth, like a great deal of English legislation for Ireland, was a union of the English Government with the Roman Catholic hierarchy, to keep in slavery the Roman Catholic gentry and people of that country. In conformity with the wishes expressed by many of their Lordships, he would treat the question before them as a political one. Viewing it in that light, he could not but object to the power which was vested in the Roman Catholic prelates. It was on that ground, he conceived, highly objectionable. Dr. Higgins, formerly Professor of Dogmatic Theology, at Maynooth, said that every Catholic bishop and priest in Ireland, without exception, was an ardent Repealer—that from shore to shore they were now all Repealers. Her Majesty's Government objected to the Repeal of the Union, and the attempts made to obtain it had even been referred to in a Speech from the Throne; yet they were going to place patronage in the hands of men, all of whom they were told were "ardent Repealers." So important did these persons consider Repeal, that they declared that they would suspend all other instruction in order to teach the people to be Repealers, in spite of Her Majesty's Government. What was the moral conduct of the Irish nation after the experiment of Maynooth had been tried for half a century? The noble Duke then referred to the last charge of Mr. Baron Lefroy, delivered on the 17th of March, 1845, in which it was stated that the calendars abounded with crimes of the most distressing character, and that, while the number of offences within the previous six months in one riding of one county in Ireland amounted to 653, only 164 of the offenders had been made amenable. He (the Duke of Manchester) supposed their Lordships intended education to be a 1218 means to an end. They did not wish, he apprehended, merely to inculcate abstract principles, but to make the people better subjects and more amenable to the laws. Had they succeeded in this object? So far from educating the people so as to prevent crime, he would declare it as his opinion that the Roman Catholic priesthood connived at and concealed crime. The noble Duke referred to the opinion of Mr. Justice Fletcher in support of this statement. He would go a step further; he believed that the Roman Catholic prelates by their conduct actually encouraged crime. The noble Duke then referred to evidence given before a Committee of the House of Lords, to show that persons had been denounced by the priests from the altar for giving information and evidence against criminals; he also quoted the opinion of Mr. O'Connell as to the prevalence of crime. What was the state of things after the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, when the Roman Catholics were full of protestations of gratitude? Why, in the Committee on the state of Ireland, in 1832, Mr. Miles O'Riley stated that in the year 1830, about the month of August, a strong objection to tithes, emanating from some invisible authority, suddenly arose, and the people became persuaded that they would be able in two or three years to procure their abolition; and the consequence was, that Whiteboy offences and crime and disorder became prevalent throughout the country. It could not be denied that this agitation and these combinations had existed with the knowledge of the priests. One ecclesiastical authority had gone so far as to denounce as damnable the judges and juries who executed the laws of temporal princes against Roman Catholics. He contended that the doctrines taught at Maynooth, and the system of discipline which there prevailed, rendered the priests who were educated at that College willing and ready instruments to carry out, at whatever cost, the political movements of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The books read at Maynooth were the works of Jesuits and Thomas Aquinas, who, though not a Jesuit, still concurred in the doctrine of implicit obedience to the will of the ecclesiastical superior of the Romish Church, whose head was at Rome, in all things temporal as well as spiritual. He held that their Lordships were not justified in 1219 sanctioning a measure for endowing permanently an establishment which inculcated doctrines so dangerous to the peace and safety of this country. There was something in the Romish religion, as it existed in Ireland, inimical to free institutions. Romanism was perhaps more impracticable, consistent with free government in Ireland, than in any other country. It must either be dominant or it must be kept under control; no middle course was practicable in regard to a religion the professors of which were absolved by their spiritual superiors from all allegiance to temporal Sovereigns. Did their Lordships suppose if they granted this measure, if they abrogated the property of the Established Church in Ireland—if they restored the forfeited estates—did they suppose while one thing was kept back that the Roman Catholics would be satisfied? or did they suppose they would rest in their demands while a Protestant Sovereign was upon the Throne? He contended that while the Papal bulls were in force in Ireland, they would not. He should give his most strenuous opposition to the Bill.
§ Lord Beaumont
said, the debate had now taken a turn which compelled him to address their Lordships at a much earlier period than he had intended. He should have been satisfied to have expressed, at the close of the discussion, the deep gratitude he felt to those whose talent, energy, and perseverance, had enabled Ministers to produce the present measure of justice to Ireland. But the debate had, by the speeches of the noble Earl (Earl Roden), the right rev. Prelate, and the noble Duke, placed him in such a situation, that he should not do justice to his co-religionists were he not to rise up at once and give the most positive and unqualified denial to many of the statements which had been made. If those statements were true, if the arguments which had been used against this Bill were well founded, and if the noble Earl (Earl Roden) really believed in what he had read and what he had spoken, he had only half fulfilled his task. It was not enough to say, in that case, refuse this grant to Maynooth. If he believed such to be the doctrines of the Catholic Church—if such were, in his opinion, the doctrines taught by their priests—why did he not come forward in defence of his country, in defence of all that was holy, 1220 all that was sacred, and all that was right, and demand of their Lordships to take immediate measures for sweeping such poison and such venom from the land? Toleration would in that case be a crime; because such a system of doctrine as he had led them to suppose, partly by insinuation and partly by his statements, to be in connexion with the Catholic religion, could not remain inactive; but, if tolerated, must insinuate itself throughout the whole Empire, and lead to that national ruin which it should be the duty of every legislator to ward off. He had listened with some astonishment to the authorities the noble Earl had quoted, and to the cross readings of the noble Duke; and when he considered the books from which one had drawn, and the stories that the other had retailed, he told both that they knew but little of the plan on which the Catholics were educated—nor even of that which was taught at Rome—although the noble Duke referred to the conferences of the bishops as if he knew the opinions that had been expressed at them. The noble Duke found questions put down for discussion. He found these questions to be upon a variety of subjects regarding which different authors had expressed different opinions; and the merits or demerits of those conflicting opinions were to form the matter for argumentation at the annual conference of the bishops. Be it so; allow that those dangerous doctrines were the subject of discussion—that those extraordinary questions were taken into consideration at the conference: these questions are not authorities; a discussion being raised upon them does not imply an adoption of the doctrine they allude to. You must have the answers to the questions—the results of the conferences. But the noble Duke did not read any answers to the questions—did not state any opinion as the result of the debate. But what did he do? He found questions put down to be debated in the same way as at a debating club—ingenious questions which formerly agitated Europe; but as he did not find, he had not read the answers; he drew conclusions in some cases from events that had happened, and in others from the opinions persons treating those questions had thought proper to quote, but which were in no way whatever binding upon the Church. These questions were put forth in a speculative age of the Church, when 1221 there was a great liberty of discussion, when men were allowed to put foward the wildest opinions on one side and the other, and from these the noble Earl drew his conclusion, that the doctrines of the Church were in accordance with them. Many of these subjects had nothing to do with Roman theology, and were not admitted or taught by Roman theologists. The noble Earl might just as well have quoted any lay authority. He seemed to think that what he called the Ultramontane doctrine of supremacy must be taught here, because the Gallican doctrine was not taught; but was there nothing between the Gallican and the extreme Transalpine doctrine? Did not the majority of the Church take the medium course? If the noble Earl went to Rome, where would he find in the teaching of the Propaganda this doctrine of allegiance? He would not hear the word allegiance mentioned by the teachers of divinity or theology, because the question of allegiance was not a theological question, but one which arose out of the Droit Commun de l'Europe. During the contests which formerly raged between rival families in various States of Europe, the questions of allegiance and the power to suspend the duty of the subject were mooted, and Rome as a sovereign power took part in these questions of policy; but these questions were neither then nor are now looked on as questions of theology, but merely matters of State policy, rising out of the Droit Commun de l'Europe. If the noble Earl or the noble Duke went to Rome, they would find taught in the Propaganda other doctrines than those they mentioned; and that as to the doctrine upon allegiance, on which so many comments had been made, it was not taught, and the book from which the noble Earl quoted was one in which there were many opinions that had been condemned. The noble Earl knew well—right well—that the doctrines he referred to were not acted upon. How, then, could the noble Earl quote opinions out of a book which was not an authority, and say that these were the doctrines of the Catholic Church? He complained of this as not fair. He was not able to enter into a polemical dispute; but if he had been prepared for anything like such a discussion, he could have brought down to that House authorities — recognised authorities—which gave the lie, if he might use the word, to 1222 the doctrines which the noble Earl had quoted.
The Earl of Roden
said, the books he had quoted were those returned to Parliament as the books used in the College of Maynooth.
§ Lord Beaumont
said, had the noble Earl remained silent, he would have found that this was the next circumstance of which he was going to complain. A thelogical student, at a certain period of his career, was bound to enter into these disputed questions, and to examine both sides. He was bound to read these books; but the very Report the noble Earl quoted, declared, when the question was put with regard to these doctrines, that it was positively denied they were ever inculcated. Would it be fair to accuse Dr. Lingard of holding a certain doctrine, because, in the margin of his work, he might have quoted an extract from some dishonest writer? He complained that the noble Earl had avoided the main question at issue. He said he would tolerate the existence of the Catholics in Ireland. But there they were: they might refuse this grant to Maynooth, but they could not make them fewer in number. There they were, the subjects of the realm; they had tried every means but one, with them: let them read the history of Ireland, and then ask themselves what means had they not tried, except kindness and conciliation? And what had been the result? There they remained, a living monument of injustice, increasing in spite of all their miseries, increasing in proportion to their poverty, in proportion to all the inflictions they had endured. And with these facts before them, the noble Earl took it as a merit to himself, that he would tolerate their existence! He considered that an act of kindness to wards his fellow countrymen! But no statesman could blink the question; they could not remain where they were; they could not merely tolerate, and do nothing more. Whatever question might arise as to the merits of the two religions, no man who put himself in the place of a Government could quietly sit down and say, we will leave these things as they are. They must take some course or other they must advance in one direction, or pursue the contrary. If they were not prepared to put an end to the Catholic religion, and remove the influence of the priesthood, they must take the other course, and improve that influence by ameliorating 1223 the condition of the people and the priests by educating them. They might thus put an end to the hostility that would prevail as long as one Church was predominant, and the other absolutely crushed under foot. If they were not prepared to pull down one Church to the level of the other, they must elevate that other by improving its condition. He knew there was an antagonism between them; it was increased by the relative circumstances in which they stood, one elevated and the other depressed. But as they approached one another in position, so in proportion that antagonism would cease. In foreign countries the two religions existed together in perfect cordiality; he had seen mass celebrated in the morning, and service performed in the evening according to the Protestant rites, within the walls of the same Church. With such instances before them, he believed it possible, by fair treatment of the depressed clergy, to arrive at a similar good understanding. He did not look on this Bill as an isolated measure, but as the index and beginning of another system. He thought other measures would be required before the full effect of that policy would be realized; he declared his opinion on this point, even at the risk of furnishing an argument to those who opposed it. He thought their consideration might be extended to the working clergy of Ireland; if they intended to conciliate that body they must not be contented with assisting the student who intended to enter divine orders, but must give some support to the minister of religion while fulfilling the arduous duties of his mission. He who visits the cabin of the miserable, braves infection while affording religious comfort to the sick, and whispers hope into the ear of the dying man, surely has as great claims on their bounty as the young scholar who is pursuing at Maynooth his course of divinity. There might be a question as to whether the books studied at Maynooth were the best that might be selected; but there could be no doubt as to the advantages which result from the proper fulfilment of the ministrations he had just alluded to. The present measure was not directly connected with the endowment of the Catholic clergy in Ireland, but must indirectly lead to the consideration of it; and even after that, they would be compelled to do something for the laity. He spoke with more freedom on this point, because 1224 there was then a measure before the other House of Parliament—a measure which, if properly carried out, would prove a great boon to all classes above the lowest class; for at present there were no means for the sons of merchants, shopkeepers, and other persons in easy but not affluent positions, of obtaining a useful and liberal education. He was aware that he was treading on dangerous ground—he felt he was placed in this dilemma—namely, that he must either look on this question as an isolated measure, in which case he should be obliged to confess his opinion of its inefficiency and insignificance, and thereby appear ungrateful to the Minister who proposed it; or he must look on it as part of a general system of policy for the amelioration of the condition of the Catholic population in Ireland, which opinion expressed by him, would be used as a further ground of alarm by the opponents of the measure. But, although he felt this difficulty in speaking to the general question, he would fearlessly assert that other measures must follow this, or this would be of little or no avail. If the intention of Government with regard to lay Colleges were carried out, young men of the middle classes might first obtain in them a general education, and subsequently, in case of their feeling a vocation for the priesthood, they might pursue their theological studies at Maynooth, and thus, after a course of divinity proceed to their parishes accomplished scholars, good divines, and men of the world. No one could deny the good effect that even a few such men would produce in the general tone of the body of the priesthood in Ireland. Their influence might not be increased by an improvement in their condition; for they knew from experience that the poorer the priest the greater his influence with the people; but it was at the same time impossible that the clergy should acquire more liberal and enlightened opinions without the consequence of such improvement in their education being accompanied by a diminution of the religious animosity and sectarian violence of the laity over whom they had charge. The noble Earl had alluded to the events at Dingle; but he (Lord Beaumont) would not enter into the subject further than to say, the persecution of which the noble Earl justly complained, arose from the ignorance and bad habits of the people, and not in consequence of any doctrine 1225 now professed by the Catholic Church. The practice of the members of a Church and its doctrines were distinct things; and though instances of persecution might be justly charged in times gone by to Catholics, he (Lord Beaumont) denied that persecution of heretics was a doctrine of the Church. It might be the policy of certain Catholic rulers, but not the principle of their creed. After alluding to some other portions of the noble Earl's speech, the noble Lord concluded by expressing his gratitude to Government for the spirit in which they brought forward the measure; but reminding them, at the same time, how much they were indebted to their predecessors in office for having prepared the way for this liberal line of policy—a line of policy which involved no abandonment of principle, but was merely the effectual carrying out of a principle which had been recognised by the present, and long acted on by the former Government; to the combined efforts of both he felt indebted.
§ The adjournment of the debate was here moved, but not pressed.
The Bishop of Cashel
promised that he would speak much more shortly to-night than he might do, were he to defer his speech until to-morrow. He thought that the question before the House was one of very grave importance. With respect to the system of education pursued at Maynooth, it was clear that where there was a doubt there should be inquiry. He might call on the noble Lord who had last addressed the House to join in voting for an inquiry; for, if there was any doubt as to whether the doctrines taught at Maynooth were not disgraceful to the Roman Catholic religion, and contrary to its principles, the noble Lord himself must be anxious to have that point settled. For his part, he did not want a Committee of Inquiry, for his mind was made up upon the question from other considerations. There were, however, many who desired inquiry; and it certainly was an important question whether that exclusive kind of education adopted at Maynooth, merely for the priesthood, was calculated to be useful to the country. He thought that kind of education was full of evil; and he believed it to be an advantageous circumstance that the clergy of the Established Church had not an exclusive education of that kind, and that they were not from the beginning trained up as ecclesiastics, 1226 but as gentlemen and scholars, and that afterwards, when the fit time came, they turned their attention to the particular profession which they meant to follow. There was another subject deserving inquiry. They read in the Eighth Report that there certainly had been an intrusion of Jesuits into the College of Maynooth. Now, he could bring authorities from the Roman Catholic Church to show that it was opposed to the interference of the Jesuits, and therefore even Roman Catholic Peers might fairly vote for an inquiry to ascertain whether the doctrines of the Jesuits, who at different times had been expelled from every Roman Catholic country in Europe, were taught at Maynooth. The Abbé Marcet de la Roche Arnauld, a Roman Catholic, said—"Do you wish to excite troubles, to provoke revolutions, to produce the total ruin of your country? Call in the Jesuits, raise up again the monks, open academies, and build magnificent colleges for these hot-headed religionists," &c. But he objected to being a party to the endowment of Maynooth College, on the ground that he could not conscientiously be a party to teach what he considered to be erroneous. He felt assured that he could state the reasons which actuated, him in language not offensive to the Roman Catholics, unless they should be offended with the circumstance of his being a Protestant by conviction, and the bishop of a Protestant Church. He would first remark, that the formulas of our Church, and the legal enactments of our State and Church, all spoke of the Church and State as a Protestant Church and State. The fifth Article of the Act of Union declared that the Church was one united Protestant Church. He therefore trusted that he should not be considered offensive if he still continued to maintain true Protestanism; that was, if he held out his protest against that which all members of the Established Church considered to be erroneous in the Church of Rome. Three hundred years ago the question was tried between our Church and the Church of Rome, and the verdict was given against the latter; and the Sovereign could not sit on the Throne without making a most solemn oath, asserting that that Sovereign did believe and hold that the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were superstitious and idolatrous. A noble Lord had referred to him, as having stated that the Church of Rome and the Church of England were antagonist. He could not retract that declaration. 1227 The Church of England came out from the Church of Rome, because of the corruptions existing in the latter Church. Therefore, the Church of England was called a Protestant Church; and he had yet to learn that there was any morality, Christian kindness, or charity, in teaching to others what they believed to be erroneous, and what, he blessed God, had not been taught to him. He would state a few points on which the Established Church and the Church of Rome could fairly be stated to be antagonist. He would not go to any dubious authority, but would contrast together four Articles of the Church of England with certain Articles of the Council of Trent. The right rev. Prelate then read the following:—6th Article of the Church of England—Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an Article of the Faith, or to be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.The Council of Trent—The holy and general Synod of Trent doth receive and regard with the like affection of piety and reverence all the Books of the Old and New Testament, as also those unwritten traditions, pertaining to faith and manners, dictated by Christ as it were by word of mouth, &c.; and if any one shall not receive those whole books with all their parts, or shall knowingly and wittingly contemn the aforesaid traditions, let him be accursed.11th Article of the Church of England—We are accounted righteous before God only for the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works and deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.Council of Trent—If any one shall say that the wicked is justified by faith alone, so that he understands nothing else to be required which may co-operate to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not at all necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the Motion of his own will, let him be accursed.22nd Article of the Church of England—The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, &c., is a fond thing, vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God.Council of Trent—Seeing it hath been lately taught in this 1228 universal synod from Scripture,&c, that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, &c., the Holy Synod doth command the bishops that they take diligent care that the sound doctrine concerning purgatory be believed, taught, &c. If any one shall say that the fault is so remitted to every penitent sinner that there remains no guilt to be paid for in purgatory before there be an entrance granted into the kingdom of heaven, let him be accursed.31st Article of the Church of England—The sacrifices of masses in which it is commonly said that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.Council of Trent—If any one shall say that there is not offered to God in the mass a true and proper sacrifice, let him be accursed. If any one shall say the sacrifice of the mass is not propitiatory, and that it profits him that takes it only, and that it ought not to be offered for the living and dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be accursed. If any one shall say that by the sacrifice of the mass there is blasphemy offered to the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, or that thereby anything is derogated from him, let him be accursed,These were the reasons why he called the Church of England and the Church of Rome antagonist Churches; and no one who believed the one to be true, but must believe the other to be false. Some people said that the Church of Rome, in these days of light and of the march of intellect, had changed; but he was perfectly sure that the noble Lord opposite (Lord Beaumont) would not admit that this had brought any change on the Church of Rome. The noble Lord would be ready to say that, like his great Master, it was the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. The question arose, could they, as members of a Protestant State, teach what they believed to be errors? He confessed that he dared not; and he felt that on this point the State was in the same situation as individuals. The State took upon itself to assert those great truths antagonist to the Roman Catholic doctrines; and the State therefore could not, any more than an individual, honestly teach what it had asserted to be wrong. He maintained that, before the State could consistently or honestly endow, and make a part of its own very being, an institution for teaching the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, 1229 it must first un-Protestantize itself, and relieve the Crown from that awful asseveration with respect to the superstition and idolatry of the Roman Catholic Church. Where would the statesman now be found to un-Protestantize the country? That had been tried at the end of the 17th century, and a verdict was given with heavy costs—the costs of a monarch's crown. He was sure that no statesman would now rise up to un-Protestantize the country; and even if that fertile mother of children of various forms and various colours — political expediency — should ever produce such a Minister, the united determination of the country would impede and hinder his ungodly act. Some men of dim views of honesty maintained that they could hold the doctrines of the Church of Rome, and yet subscribe to the Articles of the Church of England. They might support this measure, but he trusted they were few, and that the immense majority of the people would adhere to Protestantism. There were some few among the Dissenters who might support the present measure. If there were, they were the Unitarians, who would un-Protestantize and un-Christianize our country. The other Dissenters would always join, he hoped, with the Church of England in resisting any attempt to un-Protestantize the country. Supposing that the present Bill were passed, he could not understand how the Ministry could ask the Queen, after the solemn declaration she had made, to sign a Bill which promoted the teaching of un-Protestant doctrines. He believed the present measure to be the first step to something further. This policy must end in the endowment and establishment of the Roman Catholic clergy, and then they would have the unsightly spectacle of the State endowing two antagonist principles. Now, he would much rather join in the spirit of our countrymen of old, who, when they could not enjoy that toleration which in these days they would have received, went across the Atlantic voluntarily to support their religion—he would, he repeated, far prefer a universal voluntary principle, and the putting away of all establishments, to that which was the child, not of the pious Puritans of old, but of infidels of later times—viz., the endowing of two or three religions, because they believed in none. Against that infidel spirit he protested. He could not but oppose this Bill, in order to maintain his character 1230 as an honest man, who would not tell truth to one party, and a lie to another. He could not do otherwise than oppose this Bill, as a bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland, who had promised to be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and false doctrines contrary to the word of God. He believed nothing could be more dangerous to the safety of our Established Church, or to the principles of any establishment, than for her clergy to evince indifference to the institution of seminaries for teaching Popery; and he trusted that none of the Bishops of the Protestant establishment would, while receiving its revenues, hold out the hand of fellowship to those who branded their doctrines as accursed. He could not but oppose this Bill also, because he was unwilling to aid in bringing upon this nation those evils which must result from the establishment of a false religion in the land of his nativity. He might be allowed to quote the words of a martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, in whose sentiments, though not in his precise language, he fully concurred. [The right rev. Prelate quoted several passages from the writings of Archbishop Cranmer on the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, warning persons, in the name of God, to flee from Babylon, if they would save their souls, and to beware of that great harlot, that she made them not drunk with her best wine.] With these sentiments, and with the earnest prayer that they might partake largely of the spirit of Cranmer, and be ready, if the necessity should arise, to follow him to the stake, he gave his support to the Amendment.
§ Lord Clifford of Chudleigh
wished to ask the right rev. Prelate if he was acquainted with the Eighth Report of the Commissioners of Education? [The Bishop of Cashel said he was.] He considered, then, that the conduct of the right rev. Prelate was very unfair. The examination of the Rev. Peter Kenry, with whom he was personally acquainted, occupied twenty-three pages of that Report, and afforded all possible information relative to the principles of the Jesuits, and their connexion with Maynooth; and he considered that it was most unfair to endeavour to stop the progress of this Bill, in order to enter into an investigation of a subject upon which any noble Lord could receive the fullest information in the library of the 1231 House. It was in the power of every Peer to obtain the information given to the Committee, which was most ample. He must say, that he did not think a more important Bill than the present, with reference to England and Ireland, had ever been brought before that House; and he wished it might pass in such a manner as to show the people that the Conservative part of the constitution of England had stamped the measure with the seal of their approbation, in compliance with the wishes of the people. He might be permitted to say, that the Rev. P. Kenry, when under examination on the subject of oaths, said that, "Allegiance is a duty which a subject owes to his Sovereign before any other obligation is contracted, whether to bishop or superior, and he is therefore already bound by that superior duty." He did not see that any possible benefit could result from the inquiry proposed by the noble Earl, when ample information on this subject was within their reach in the library.
§ Debate adjourned.
§ House adjourned.