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of reform by which the system can be amended, and the Bishop declares this to be his sentiment,-he in words rejects but in fact admits the first opinion.
We shall pass over the Bishop's remarks on the subjects of Liberty, Equality, and the Rights of Man.-- They are - stale topics; and we are weary of them. In disliking democracy, he thinks with the great majority of the people of this country. What its effects in France have been, we know; and we may be confident that it will falsify all romantic expectations from it. “I do not say (observes the R. R. writer) that when things are settled there, the present wretched condition of its inhabitants will be continued; I hope it will not; but I am sincerely of opinion that few of us will live to see such a system established in France, as will procure to its inhabitants half the blessings which our ancestors have enjoyed, which we enjoy, and which it is our interest to take care that our poste. rity enjoy, under the British Constitution.'
Bishop Watson is farther of opinion that the fabric of the French Republic cannot stand; and he wonders how any men can think of carrying on any government without the aid of religion. This brings him into his own appropriate province as a divine; in which he comments on the importance of the question concerning a future state, and endeavours to ascer. tain the antiquity of this belief. It was certainly an antient doctrine : but it does not appear that the Israelites were acquainted with it so early as he endeavours to prove ; and that, 1500 years before the birth of Christ, they entertained the opinion that the soul of man was a substance distinct from the body, and existed, after death, in the earth, in a state of separation from it. The text which the R.R. author adduces does not prove this ; and if it did, our Saviour, we conclude, would have quoted the fact in his discourse with the Sadducees, and not have deduced the doctrine of a future state as an in. ference. To us, however, it is clearly revealed ; and it should not be forgotten in Christian exhortations.
On the fall of the church of Rome, the Bishop offers a few observations. After an extract from Calvin, in which that author undertakes to expose the private opinions of the Popes, and the whole college of Cardinals,-viz. that there is no God;that all that is written, or taught, concerning Christ, is a lie and imposture ;- and that the doctrine of a future state and resurrection from the dead is a mere fable *;-the Bishop exclaims, Gracious Heaven! If this be a true picture of the Roman Hierarchy, can we regret its fall?' All this violence
* Instit. L. 4. c. vii. $ 27.
of Calvin, however, he tells us, he does not admit; and we think that few others will. • It better becomes us (he remarks) to examine ourselves, than to censure others; and there certainly is room for inquiry, whether all the Protestant churches are so pure in doctrine, so perfect in discipline, so truly Christian in practice, as to have nothing to fear for themselves from the fall of the church of Rome.'
This is indeed an important inquiry, and it cannot be insti. tuted too soon. All the reform in the church, to which the Bishop points, respects the maintenance of curates :—but we question whether this will reach the root of the evil. Will the church be established on a rock, by making every living in the kingdom of not less value than 1001. a-year?
This Charge is published at the request of the Court ter Sessions for the county of Monmouth.
Art. XII. Report from the Committee of Secrecy of the House of
Commons of Ireland, as reported by the Right Hon. Viscount Castlereagh, 21st August 1798. 8vo. pp. 267. 45. Debrett,
London. Art. XIII. Report from the Committee of Secrecy of the House of
Lords of Ireland, as reported by the Right Hon. Earl of Clare, • Lord High Chancellor, 30th August 1798. 8vo. pp. 53. Is. 6d. • Debrett, London.
The late rebellion in Ireland has been by different parties
1 attributed to opposite causes. By one party, it is said to have originated in an overbearing, corrupt, and persecuting system early adopted and unremittingly pursued by the Irish administration :-a system which, disregarding the reasonable wishes and earnest remonstrances of a loyal people, treated their claims with insolence, and their complaints with insult. To these original causes, they trace the first rise of discontent in Ireland ; which, by a succession of irritating and impolitic severity, they say, was ultimately forced into treason and re. bellion.-By another party, the calamities which Ireland has lately suffered, the progress of sedition, and all the succeeding horrors of the late rebellion, are attribụted in the first instance to the ambitious views and sinister opposition of a few leading demagogues; whose efforts to excite discontent in the people, against their governors, have been but too powerfully seconded by the introduction and growth of French principles among the Irish people, and by the co-operation of a republican faca tion; whose aim was self-aggrandisement; whose means were the separation of Ireland from Great Britain, and the substitu, tion of republican government for the present constitution.
206 Reports from the Committees of Lords and Commons in Ireland... • Whether or not there was sufficient ground for the former of these opinions; whether those who have, for some time past, managed the powers of government in Ireland, have or have not acted with honest intentions and sound policy; it cannot reasonably be expected that a publication such as that now bcfore us should determine:--but it is most abundantly clear from the report made by a committee of the Irish House of Commons, and from the copious documents which they here lay before the public, that the discontented party in Ireland, whatever might originally have been their object, have for some years past aimed not merely at redress of grievances, but at a dismemberment of the empire ; and that the prime object of the tremendous and unprecedented conspiracy, which had so long existed in that country under the name of UNITED IRISHMEN, was the overthrow of the Irish monarchy, and the erection of an Irish republic under French auspices.
Before the Committee of the Commons proceed to trace the 'extension and progress of the system of greason, since the last report was made on this subject, they advert to the prominent facts established by former inquiries. They briefly state that the society of United Irishmen was established in the year 1791; and that they held forth, as the ostensible objects of their union, Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform, while the real purpose (at least of the leaders of that body) was the separation of Ireland from Great Britain. For the first three years, their attention was entirely taken up in the circulation of seditious publications, particularly the works of Paine: but in the year 1795 the test of the society underwent a striking revision, by omitting, after the words “a full representation of all the people,” the words " in the Commons house of parliament." The reason of this omission was admitted by those of the Executive Directory of the union to be, the better to reconcile şeformers and republicans in a common exertion to overthrow the state. In the summer of 1796, the society had been greatly enlarged; and at that time was first opened a direct communication between the French and the heads of the party; the result of which was a promise of French assistance to aid the disaffected. About this time, also, the society formed itself secretly into military bodies; of which the numbers in Ulster alone were stated, in April 1797, to amount to 100,000, largely supplied with fire-arms and pikes, and bound by oath to obey their commanders. In addition to these measures, a system of terror was adopted by the society, in order to deter magistrates and witnesses from doing their duty: multitudes were compelled to take illegakoaths; and the robbery of arms from the well-affected became general.
To meet these evils, (the report of Lord Castlereagh proceeds to state,) the insurrection-act was passed; which gave to the magis. trates, in disturbed counties, a very enlarged power, of the extent or nature of which, however, the Committee gives no account. The operation of this act was found unequal to its object; for, as the report expresses it, “ treason was then too deeply rooted to yield to this remedy.” In October 1796, parliament suspended the Habeas Corpus act, and passed an act for arming the ycomanry: who, in the course of six months, amounted to 37,000 men, and in the late rebellion increased to 50,000. The next measure adopted by government was a proclamation to prevent those numerous assemblages of the people under pretence of saving corn, digging potatoes, &c. of which the dis. affected availed themselves to display their strength. The proclamation of Lieut. General Lake for disarming Ulster fol. lowed, on the i3th of March 1797. The disarming at first was performed, says the Committee, with all possible mildness: but in June following, when a general insurrection was on the point of breaking out, more vigorous measures of compelling a surrender of arms were adopted. Still, however, a general insurrection in Ulster was determined; and, notwithstanding the exertions of the army, a partial rising did take place in the county of Down : but the insurgents, finding themselves unsupported, dispersed. Tranquillity was now part, ly restored : but the leaders of the treason, fearing that the enemy should be deterred from invasion by this circumstance, began to propagate their system in the southern and western counties of Ireland. Their emissaries were successful; and the same enormities, which had visited the North, became appa. rent in Munster and Connaught. The great argument used here to excite the people was the oppressiveness of tithes; it succeeded ; and the antient abominable White-boy practices of burning corn and houghing cattle were very generally praca tised.
To arouse the resentment of the Catholics, they were in. formed that oaths had been taken by large bodies to exterminate them. A paper called “ THE UNION STAR," openly recommending insurrection and murder, was privately printed and circulated; and another entitled “THE PRESS," conveying periodical exhortations to outrage and insubordination, was published by Mr. Arthur O'Connor ; who admitted, before the Committee, that he was for more than a year a member of the Executive Directory of the Irish Union. Pikes were now fabricated in such numbers as to be co-extensive with the organization of the society itself; 129,000 in the whole have been surrendered to government, exclusively of those with which the P4
fish Directomet, and Mr.ped by their con
Patch Lord Ed. This mecassis
208 Reports from the Committees of the Lords and Commons in Ireland. insurgents were armed in the late rebellion. To seduce the soldiery from their allegiance was early made a part of their system; and latterly, in the hope of diminishing the resources of the state, instructions were given to the people to abstain from the consumption of excisable articles.
Having thus far proceeded to detail the domestic measures of the Union, the Committee advert to their connexion with the French ; which is developed by the evidence of Dr. M‘Nevin, Mr. Emmet, and Mr. A. O'Connor, three members of the Irish Directory. According to them, the party, despairing of carrying their plans into execution through the medium of a democratic reform, avowedly directed their efforts towards revolution ; and having learnt from Mr. T. Wolfe Tone at Paris that the state of Ireland had been represented in such a. manner to the government of France as to induce to them to resolve on sending a force to Ireland, to enable it to separate from Great Britain; a meeting of the Irish Executive was holden, to consider of this proposal. The result was that they agreed to accept the assistance thus offered by the French go. vernment. This meeting took place in the summer of 1796; and Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Mr. A. O'Connor were dispatched to France, in order to communicate the resolution to the Directory. Both of these gentlemen held a conference with General Hoche on the French frontier near Switzerland, and that officer had the command of the expedition which failed in its attempt against Ireland in the month of December following.
From the period of the failure of this expedition, the disaffected either did or pretended to expect the immediate return of the enemy : but in the spring of 1797, the Executive of the Union, thinking that the French were dilatory, dispatched a Mr. Lewins for assistance ; who still continues the accredited minister of the Irish Union to the French Directory. Dr. M‘Nevin was sent to France for the same purpose in the en. suing summer : but, not being able to reach Paris, he transmitted a memoir to the French minister, which is given in the Appendix, and which, after an exaggerated statement of the resources of the Union, prays earnestly for the promised succours. Those succours, it was proposed, should be limited to such a force' as might merely enable them to subvert the government : but the French, on the other hand, were disinclina ed to send any force to Ireland, unless one which would not only enable them to conquer but to retain the country. In consequence, however, of these and other urgent remonstrances from the leaders of the Irish Union, the French Directory did, during that summer, make preparations of an extensive nature