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they were kept in alarm even when the penal laws were not rigorously carried into execution. For years they did not venture to engage publicly in the act of ordination—as that proceeding would certainly have brought down on them the vengeance of the prelates. Young pastors were set apart to their office, “ by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery,” in circumstances of great privacy. But their Church, notwithstanding, continued to flourish, and attained a degree of expansion which it had not reached before.
The treatment experienced by the Romanists under the Protectorate was certainly not fitted to win them over to Protestantism. A catechism had been translated into Irish for their use ;' and they were invited and urged to attend on the services of the preachers paid out of the public treasury ; but men driven from their homes, stripped of their property, and smarting under a sense of wrong, were not likely to listen with much patience to the instructions of ministers patronized by Cromwell. With a view to their enlightenment, Jeremy Taylor, shortly after the Restoration, published, at the request of his episcopal brethren, a work entitled, A Dissuasive from Popcry. This production was ill adapted to instruct those for whose benefit it was designed-as it was too large and too pretentious; and less likely to convince than to exasperate. The Bishop of Down and Connor had a rich imagination, a graceful style, and a large amount of various learning; but as he was himself deeply infected with the errors of Pelagianism, he was indifferently qualified to deal with the subtleties of Romanism. Like his early patron, Archbishop Laud, he had no great aversion to some of the peculiarities of the system he attacked; and as his book wanted the pithy earnestness which such a controversy required, it seems to have produced little impression.
Though the adherents of the Catholic Confederation had been long in collision with the Irish Lord Lieutenant, they professed to be attached to the royal cause; and they were certainly bound by their oath of association to render allegiance to the English sovereign. It was no easy matter allowed the use of one chapel in Dublin as soon as their dominion extended over the whole of the kingdom. It is therefore obvious that they aimed, not merely at Roman Catholic ascendency, but at the extinction of Protestantism.
i See besore, p. 122, nole (2).
Ministers of religion, as well as other men, are members of the commonwealth, and as such may exercise their share of political influence; but they are not properly entitled, by virtue of their office, to claim any civil authority. The history of the Catholic Confederation illustrates the folly and the danger of permitting them to interfere unduly in matters of statesmanship. The policy of Rinuccini would have been fraught with disasters to any community. Had he been suffered to carry out his views, Ireland, with the exception of the States of the Church, would have been the most priestridden country in Europe. The Pope would have been its sovereign; and the clergy would have regulated all its affairs. They would have framed its laws : guided its administration: and commanded its soldiers. The Church would have soon engrossed almost all the landed property of the kingdom ; and there would have been no freedom, either civil or religious. But the mission of this Italian Nuncio was, from first to last, a most inglorious failure. He ruined the Confederacy, and contributed largely to bring down upon Ireland the more appalling misery with which it was soon afterwards oppressed.
1 Leland, iii. 310. During the war the Romanists exhibited their intolerance by resusing to permit the bodies of Protestants to be buried in the churchyards. See Borlase, p. 171. The Rev. John Yorke, Protestant Dea of Kilmacduagh (see Cotton's Fasti, iv. 203), was forced to bury the Protestants in his own garden. See answer of the Earl of Orrery to Peter Walsh's letter, dated October, 1660.
2 Since the overthrow of the Pope's temporal power, Rome and the parts adjacent have experienced the advantages of deliverance from sacerdotal government.
FROM THE DEATH OF CHARLES I. TO THE RESTORATION,
A.D. 1649 TO A.D. 1660.
DURING the earlier portion of the interval between the death of Charles I. and the Restoration, Ireland presented a spectacle of almost unparalleled wretchedness. At the commencement of this period it had already suffered, for seven years, from a desolating civil war. Famine and pestilence now supervened, and intensified its misery. The pestilence appeared first in Connaught; and soon spread over Leinster and Munster.1 At a time when the population of Dublin did not probably exceed fifty thousand, thirteen hundred persons died there weekly of the plague. In the eleven years which immediately succeeded the breaking out of the rebellion, the kingdom is said to have lost fully two-fifths of its inhabitants.
If we believe that God is the moral governor of the world, we cannot peruse the history of these times without seeing His hand in the awful calamities poured out on unhappy Ireland. “The Lord is known by the judgment which He
1 Peter Walsh states that "the great plague, which began in the year 1649, continued above three years, running over all parts and corners of the island, except only the North.”-Hist. of Remon., p. 585.
Sir Wm. Petty reckons the population of Dublin in 1681 at 58,045. Political Arithmetic, p. 129. Tracts. Dublin, 1769.
3 Petty, Political Anatomy, p. 314. Tracts.
4 Sir Wm. Petty, the highest authority in Irish statistics, computes that in 1641 Ireland had population of 1,466,000 souls ; and in 1652, of only 850,000. Political Anatomy, p. 312. Tracts. Hardiman states that in two years, during this interval, upwards of the one-third of the population of Connaught was swept away. History of Galway, p. 134. Prendergast asserts most absurdly that “fivesixths" of the people now perished. Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, p. 307. London, 1870.
executeth;”1 and in His dealings with nations we may often trace a remarkable correspondence between misconduct and its providential punishment. Protestantism had been the established religion of the island for well-nigh a century; and yet it had done very little for the spiritual benefit of the people. Instead of labouring to win their confidence by treating them with forbearance and with kindness, by addressing itself in right earnest to the task of their instruction, and by diffusing among them a knowledge of the Gospel through the agency of faithful and able preachers, it had set up a costly hierarchy closely resembling that of Romne; it had compelled all its ministers to use a Liturgy, with which many of them were dissatisfied; it had tried to sustain itself by leaning on the royal authority; and it had aimed to promote its advancement by bribing the unprincipled, and coercing the conscientious. When a good man, such as Bedell, endeavoured to make the natives acquainted with the Word of God through the medium of their own language, his efforts were opposed and thwarted by his own brethren. Now, the hierarchy was prostrated : the King had fallen by the hand of the executioner: and the Liturgy was proscribed. The Episcopal Church, recently so rampant, now found itself utterly helpless. Popery all the while had been engaged in a determined struggle to recover its ascendency. But it had used the most unwarrantable means for the attainment of its object. Its priests and bishops had ever and anon been concocting treason, applying to foreigners for aid, and prompting them to invade the country. They had a large share in fomenting the rebellion which had led to such distress and bloodshed. And terrible was the retribution. They had sown to the wind, and they reaped the whirlwind. They were compelled to drink deeply of the reservoirs of sorrow which they had themselves filled. As we proceed to review the history of the various religious parties in the country during the period before us, the truth of these remarks will be fully confirmed.
In the interval between the death of Charles I. and the Restoration, the public celebration of the service of the Epis
1 Ps. ix. 16.
copal Church ceased throughout almost all Ireland. We have seen that in 1644 a considerable number of the episcopal clergy in Ulster became covenanters; and for many years afterwards they seem to have at least partially adopted the Presbyterian form of worship. Some more resolute spirits may have persisted in adhering to their old ritual ; but such cases were rare. Martin, Bishop of Meath, is reported to have used the Liturgy in the chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, till his death in the summer of 1650. Edward Synge, who had a benefice in the county of Donegal, continued to reside there throughout all this period ; and, with the connivance of persons in authority, still employed the Book of Common Prayer “in all the public offices of his ministry:"2 Jeremy Taylor-who lived at Portmore, near Lisburn, for some time before the Restoration-often preached, according to tradition, to a small congregation of Royalists in a half-ruined church in his neighbourhood : 3 but it is somewhat doubtful whether even he, on such occasions, ventured to use the obnoxious service-book. 4
The Protestant prelates suffered heavily by the fall of their establishment. Their revenues were sequestered: they were driven from their palaces : and, wherever the power of the Confederacy prevailed, the Popish bishops immediately took possession of the deserted mansions. Hardships and vexa
. tion shortened the lives of the fallen dignitaries; and twelve of them died during the eleven years immediately preceding the Restoration. The pious and erudite Ussher had special
1 After the Rebellion of 1641, Martin was chosen Provost of the College. Ile died of the plague in Dublin in July 1650. Cotton's Fasti, iii. 118.
Mant, i. 592. At the restoration, Synge was made Bishop of Limerick, and subsequently advanced to the united sees of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. He died in December, 1678. The original name of the family was Millington ; but it had been changed to Synge (Sing) on account of the remarkable sweetness of voice and skill in vocal music exhibited by some of its members. Cotton's Fasti, i. 228.
3 Mant, i. 600.
4 When at Portmore he was, on one occasion, reported to the Irish Privy Council as having used the sign of the cross in private baptism. Mant, i. 599. Such a complaint would not have been preferred had he publicly used the whole Liturgy.
6 Two of these, the Bishop of Limerick and the Bishop of Cork and Ross, died