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length, the sentiments embodied in the Remonstrance. But his arguments were addressed to a hostile auditory. Edmund O'Reilly, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh who had been obliged to leave the country at the Restoration—now reappeared ; and presented to the Synod various official communications from the Nuncio and others, all condemnatory of the paper which had created so much controversy. O'Reilly was an adept in the chicanery of the Jesuits : he had induced the Lord Lieutenant to believe that, if suffered to come to Ireland, he would support the views of Peter Walsh ; 2 and, deceived by his fair professions, Ormonde had given him permission to return : but, when he presented himself before the Synod, he threw off his disguise, and most energetically denounced the Remonstrance. The document was, in consequence, condemned, and another formula of allegiance adopted; but, though this new protestation seemed to be very satisfactory, some of the proceedings of the Synod were fitted to awaken the suspicion that; after all, implicit confidence could not be placed in the loyalty of Romanists. When it was moved that such of the clergy as had rendered themselves obnoxious to the laws during the civil war should

1 O'Reilly was R.C. Primate of Armagh from 1654 to 1669. If we may believe Peter Walsh, he was one of the most contemptible of mortals. Hist. of the Remonstranci, pp. 608-9. See also an account of him in O'Conor's Hist. Address, part ii. 172-192. The following letter to Ormonde, in which he supplicates for leave to visit Ireland, is a specimen of his servility and low cunning :“ MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY :

“I am the Publican standing afar off, not daring to lift up mine eyes to the heavens and your Grace ; but knocking my breast, humbly pray your Excellency be pleased to be favourable to me, and make me partaker of his Majesty's unparalleled mercies : promising in the sight of God and his angels that I will endeavour to comply in all points with his Sovereign Majesty's most gracious will, ard your Excellency's commands, as far as shall become a modest, faithful and thankful subject. If otherwise, who am I ? but a worm, the reproach of mankind, the vilitie of the people, a dead dog, a flea.

“And yet, my gracious Lord,
“Your Excellency's most humble servant,

“EDMUND ARMAGH.” Paris, August 31, 1665.—Walsh's Hist, of the Remonstrance, p. 611, ? Leland, iii. 461. 3 See a copy of this document in Brenan, appendix v., 676-7. VOL. II.



In these troubled times the Presbyterians occupied a peculiar and, often, not very comfortable position. Ever since the arrival of the Scottish army in the Northern Province after the breaking out of the Rebellion, they had been busily organizing congregations in Ulster; their ministers had preached in the parish churches; and, where settled, had been recognized as the established clergy; but now they came into collision with the ruling powers in England. Regarding the execution of Charles I. as a proceeding in every way unjustifiable, the Irish Presbytery, assembled at Belfast 1 in February, 1649, proclaimed their detestation of it in a document which obtained extensive circulation. They had the boldness to

. denounce the regicides as guilty of "overturning the laws and liberties of the kingdom,” of “rooting out all lawful and supreme magistracy,” and of “introducing a fearful confusion and lawless anarchy.” “With cruel hands," said they, these

” men have “put the King to death-an act so horrible as no history, divine or human, ever had a precedent to the like." This paper was forthwith laid before the remnant of a Parliament then in London; and was deemed of so much consequence that the Council of State employed no less distinguished a writer than John Milton to prepare a reply. The great poet could soar high on the wings of fancy; but, when he took up the polemic pen, he often seemed to be inspired rather by the Furies than the Muses. Some of his controversial publications are among the most scurrilous in our literature. The Presbytery of Belfast, when giving vent to their abhorrence, had described the execution of the King as an act of unprecedented atrocity. They here certainly expressed themselves incautiously—as the broad page of history may afford a parallel to almost any deed of enormity; and Milton knew well how to take advantage of such an unguarded statement. His reply is otherwise most sophistical. Knox, the apostle of the Scottish Reformation, had inculcated the constitutional principle that, in a case of extremity,

1 In his reply Milton speaks of Belfast as a barbarous nook of Ireland." It was then an inconsiderable place.

* The paper now published by the Presbytery may be found in Reid's Hist. of Presb. Church in Ireland, ii. 88-95. See also Milton's Works, pp. 260-2.

a nation may put a tyrant to death. But the execution of Charles was the work of a faction who had usurped the government, and not the act of the people of England. Instead of meeting their approval, it sent a thrill of horror throughout the country. Milton ignored this fact; and, in a style of the coarsest vituperation, accused the Presbytery of ignorance and folly. “Had their knowledge,” said he, “ been equal to the knowledge of any stupid monk or abbot, they would have known at least, though ignorant of all things else, the life and acts of him who first instituted their order; 1 but these blockish presbyters of Claneboy know not that John Knox, who was the first founder of Presbytery in Scotland, taught professedly the doctrine of deposing and of killing kings. But wherefore spend we two such precious things as tine and reason upon priests, the most prodigal mis-spenders of time, and the scarcest owners of reason ?”2 It is painful to find one of the intellectual nobility of the seventeenth century descending to such vulgar ribaldry.

For a time the Presbyterians of Ulster could afford to despise the scurrility of Milton; but the progress of events soon rendered their condition most embarrassing. Cromwell, by the sword, had established the ascendency of his party in Ireland, the ministers were required to subscribe a bond called THE ENGAGEMENT, pledging all who signed it to disown the title of Charles II. to the crown, and to support a Government without a King and a House of Lords. Those who conscientiously adhered to the Solemn

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1 Milton expresses himself like a maniac, regardless of what he had before done and written. He had taken the Covenant ; and in 1642 he had declared that Presbyterianism was sustained by “the evident command of Scripture.“So little,” said he, “is it that I fear lest any crookedness, any wrinkle or spot, should be found in Presbyterial government that .... I dare assure myself that every True Protestant will admire the integrity, the uprightness, the divine and gracious purposes thereof." See Masson's Life of Milton, vol. ii., p. 381, and vol. iii., p. 12, 1871-73. But Milton's dangerous doctrine of divorce had meanwhile been condemined by the Westminster Assembly.

? Milton's Observations on the Representation, emitted by the Presbytery, may be found in his Works, and are surpassed in scurrility only by his Defence of the People of England, in reply to Salmasius. Such productions are exceedingly discreditable to the author of Paradise Lost. Milton at this time was identified

with the regicides.

Remonstrance were excommunicated. Deprived of the means of subsistence by the loss of their situations, they could not well avoid starvation, except by submitting to their spiritual dictators. Those of them who fled into foreign countries did not much better their position, as they were in danger of being denounced as heretics, and of falling into the hands of the Inquisition. The Lord Lieutenant had been ostensibly directed to support them; but when they appealed to him for protection they could obtain no redress. Even when the Protestant primate complained of the harsh treatment they experienced, the Viceroy turned a deaf ear to his remonstrances.?

It might be said that in matters of spiritual jurisdiction, Government had no right to interfere ; but, in this case, such an argument was scarcely relevant, as the question in dispute related to the encroachments of the Pope on the rights of temporal sovereignty. If any church, or its representative, claims prerogatives which are subversive of civil freedom, the State is clearly bound to interpose, and sustain those who uphold its independence. On this occasion, had Government been anxious to succour the Remonstrants, it might, without travelling beyond the bounds of its legitimate province, have found means to shelter them against oppression. But it had no desire to afford them aid. The Executive at this time gave grievous offence to the Irish Protestants by other proceedings which at the present day would be quite proper; but which, as the law then stood, involved its open violation. In various places Romanists were introduced into corporate towns, were permitted to become aldermen or common councillors, and were entrusted with the commission of the peace. The manner in which Peter Talbot, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, was suffered to deport himself, created still greater dissatisfaction. This ecclesiastic, who had so recently been appointed to his office by the Pope, was expected by his patron to employ all his authority in crushing those who had ventured to subscribe the Remonstrance. But he did not confine himself to the supervision of his own clergy. He announced that he had received special powers from the English sovereign : intermeddled in politics; and contrived in some cases even to overawe the Lord Lieutenant. The King, as afterwards appeared, had privately entered the Church of Rome prior to the Restoration; and Peter Talbot had been the officiating minister on the occasion of his admission. He had subsequently been well received at the English Court; he belonged to a highly respectable Irish family ; and, as he was distinguished by activity and tact, he possessed a large amount of social influence. His knowledge of the grand secret of the King's conversion inspired him with confidence : and led him to pursue a course on which he would not have otherwise adventured. On one occasion he had the assurance to appear before the council at Dublin in his archiepiscopal vestments—an act which involved a direct violation of the law—and yet the Lord Lieutenant overlooked this public defiance of authority. On another occasion he proposed to celebrate mass in the Irish metropolis with extraordinary splendour : and applied to Sir Ellis Leighton 3 for the use of some hangings and plate, which formed part of the furniture of the castle, that they might grace the solemnity. The obsequious secretary complied with the request-expressing, at the same time, his hope that

1 The R. C. prelates were aware that Walsh would experience no sympathy from Government. In June, 1669, the R.C. Bishop of Meath could boast that he was obliged leave Ireland ; in the preceding May it was affirmed in Rome that “if the new Viceroy found Peter Walsh in Ireland on his arrival he would send him to the scaffold.—Moran's Memoirs of Plunket, pp. 4, 25.

2 Mant, i. 654 ; Leland, iii. 463.

3 Sir Wm. Petty in his Political Anatomy of Ireland, written in 1672, states that “the number of sheriffs and sub-sheriffs, sheriffs' bailiffs, high and petty constables, are about three thousand persons, whereof not above one tenth are English or Protestants."Tracts, p. 379. We may infer from this that Romanists must have had far more than their fair share of public offices.

1 Leland, iii. 402-3. In April, 1762, we find the K.C. Bishop of Waterford, Dr. Brenan, stating that Peter Talbot and his brother, Colonel Talbot, were seeking to procure for Berkeley“ a continuation in his office of Viceroy.”— MORAN's Memoirs of Plunket, p. 223. 2 Carte, ii. 172 ; Re

Collections, p. 203. 3 He was brother of Archbishop Leighton, so well known in Scotland after the Restoration. Ellis became a convert to Popery. He died in 1684. Burnet describes him as a very immoral and worthless man. Hist. of his own Time, i. 189.

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