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AN ALIEN CHURCH.
this-public economy-to sustain the revenues and rank of the empire to maintain the pomp and splendor of the nation," which, par excellence, claims to be file-leader of civilization! God send the world as little more such civilization as He possibly can! If such be Christian civilization, better, in Heaven's name, to have none.
But no man who professes to be a Christian, not to say a meek and lowly follower of the Man of Nazareth-no man who recognizes the revealed Religion of Jesus Christ as the standard of morality and virtue among men and nations, will pretend to say, that the teachers of the gospel, the "successors of the Apostles," have any right to eat the bread of famine and tears, much less to roll voluptuously along their golden track of this world's splendor, at such terrible cost to so many millions of quivering human hearts.
THIS brings us to the a
HIS brings us to the Established Church of England in Ire
land, for which we have space only for a few glances. The outrage of forcing an ALIEN CHURCH on an unwilling people!* This has always been denounced by enlightened men, and particularly by British statesmen, as one of the grossest acts of oppression of which government can be guilty. In an Article on the Irish Church Establishment, published a year ago—January, 1865—we find an array of facts, the authenticity of which will not be disputed. Sir Robert Peel said, that Catholic Emancipation was granted, "neither as an act of jus
* "All persecution directed against the persons or property of men, is on our principle obviously indefensible. For the protection of the persons and property of men being the primary end of government, and religious instruction only a secondary end, to secure the people from heresy, by making their lives, their limbs, or their estates insecure, would be to sacrifice the primary end. . . All civil disabilities on account of religious opinions, are indefensible. For all such disabilities make government less efficient for its main end.”—Macaulay's Review of Gladstone.
SIR ROBERT PEEL'S OPINIONS.
tice, nor as an act of favor; but because it could not any longer, on account of the numbers and power of the Catholics in this kingdom, be safely refused!" Sir Robert said, "It was imperatively necessary to avert from the Church, and from the interests of institutions connected with the Church, an imminent and increasing danger."-Instead therefore of being a free concession, it was the unwilling sacrifice of a part of what had been unjustly withheld, in order, if possible, to make safe the unjust withholding of the remainder. When Catholics were told, in the time of Charles James Fox, to be content with the sop thrown to them, his reply was: "I am told that the Catholics have got so much that they ought not to ask for more. My principle is directly the reverse of this. Until men obtain all they have a right to ask for, they have comparatively obtained nothing." "The question, in fact, simply is, whether Irishmen are to be admitted to an equality with Englishmen and ScotchIf so, the Irish Established Church cannot remain as it is."-Much of Ireland's trouble has arisen from "the insane attempt to establish and maintain a Protestant church in the midst of a Catholic people."—It is "an abiding social grievance." "Nobody pretends that this Protestantizes Irish Catholics." "The sword and the Protestant Church entered Ireland together. . . . Ireland was persecuted, impoverished and embittered for the sake of the Established Church."
An alien Church has been forced on Ireland. "If the fact be at this moment, that the Irish element in America tends in any degree to intensify the animosity of Americans against England, any unpleasant results accruing from this antipathy may well be regarded as in some measure retributive for the wrongs heretofore inflicted by England on her Irish subjects." "Let England deal with Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom, as it does with Australia, with Canada, with the Mauritius, even with Malta, or with India. Why should Ireland be treated worse than the inhabitants of any of these colonies or possessions-worse even than Mahometans or Pagans ?"
BROUGHAM'S AND DISRAELI'S OPINIONS.
Mr. Burke exclaimed (of the Irish Establishment), "Don't talk to me of its being a Church! It is a wholesale robbery."
ORD BROUGHAM, in 1838, called it "an anomaly of so gross a kind, that it outrages every principle of common sense. Such an establishment kept up for such a purpose, kept up by such means, and upheld by such a system, is a thing wholly peculiar to Ireland, and could be tolerated nowhere else. That such a system should go on in the 19th century— that such a thing should go on while all the arts, are in a forward and onward course-while all the sciences are progressing-while all morals and religion too-for there was more religion and morality than is now pretended in all parts of the country that this gross abuse-the most outrageous of all, should be allowed to continue, is really astonishing. It cannot be upheld unless the tide of knowledge should turn back."
Disraeli said most eloquently, in 1844: "That dense population in extreme distress, inhabited an island, where there was an Established Church which was not their Church, and a territorial aristocracy, the richest of whom lived in distant capitals. Thus, they had a starving population and an alien Church, and in addition, the weakest executive in the world. That was the Irish Question. Well, what would honorable gentlemen say, if they were reading of a country in that position? They would say at once-the remedy is revolution. But the Irish could not have a revolution; and, why? Because Ireland was connected with another, and more powerful country. Then what was the consequence? The connection with England thus became the cause of the present state of Ireland. If the connection with England prevented a revolution, and a revolution were the only remedy, England, logically, was in the odious position of being the cause of all the misery of Ireland. What then was the duty of an English minister?
SIR ROBERT PEEL'S AUTHORITY.
To effect by his policy, all those changes which a revolution would do by force. That was the Irish Question, in its integrity. The moment they had a strong executive, a just administration, and ecclesiastical equality, they would have order in Ireland, and the improvement of the physical condition of the people would follow." Disraeli thus sums up my argumentand I could cite no higher authority on such a subject.
The present Sir Robert Peel, in a letter to the Times, April 15, 1862, says that his father distinctly stated, "that in passing Catholic Emancipation, he acted on a deep conviction that the measure was not only conducive to the general welfare, but imperatively necessary to avert from the Church, and from the interests of institutions connected with the Church, an imminent and increasing danger, so that in truth, emancipation was granted in order to save the Irish Church."
In 1782 and 1793, England did relax somewhat of its despotic rule over Ireland. The attitude of the Irish volunteers frightened England into the first alleviations of the penal laws; and in 1793, the elective franchise was granted to Irish Catholics —but under circumstances disgraceful to England, and insulting to Ireland-this will appear by consulting "Newenham's View"-a Protestant, and therefore, not a partial authority in this case. "There is not a fault or deficiency in cither the people or the country which may not, in a great measure, be traced to the misgovernment of England." The late noble Dr. Doyle said to his countrymen: "These are your vices-the faults of long and grinding oppression, which render many so base and vile, that the rights of man are denied to you, and less regard paid to your wants and wishes, than to the wants and wishes of any other people on the earth." Says Review: “If Irishmen are accused of idleness, what in the ordinary course of nature can be expected when industry and improvement have been systematically discouraged? Often have we, as an English traveler, asked the Irish peasant, why he neglects such and such an improvement, on his land? The answer uniformly has been," If I did it, my rent would be raised."
CRIME IN ENGLAND AND IRELAND COMPARED.
ET the Reviewer find the convincing commentary on his words, in the herculean achievements of Irish labor under the genial influences of free Institutions in the United States. No man ever saw an Irish workman in America, who was not ready for a job. To show that the policy of England has always been to discourage enterprise in Ireland, I could quote a score or more of discriminating writers. Davenant, long ago illustrated the truth on this point. He argued, that England ought to give "to the planters of Ireland, all encouragement that can possibly consist with the wellfare of England, for it is an outwork of the seat of empire, here."
Sir William Temple, certainly a very able political writer, says: "Had it not been for circumstances, prejudicial to the increase of trade and riches, in a country which seems natural, or at least, to have ever been incident to the Government of Ireland, the native fertility of the Irish soil and seas in so many rich commodities, improved by a multitude of people, and industry, with the advantage of so many excellent havens, and a situation so commanding for foreign trade, must needs have rendered this kingdom (Ireland) one of the richest in Europe, and made a mighty increase, both of strength and revenue, to the crown of England."
S it not strange then, that there should be less crime in Ireland, pro rata, than in England, while the crimes of dishonesty and fraud, I find in the Criminal Returns for 1854, to stand thus? Convictions for 1854