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two ministers and twenty-one elders assembled at Antrim ;' and made arrangements, as well for the organization of new congregations, as for the better education of candidates for the sacred office. These proceedings indicated that the Presbyterian Church was determined, not only to maintain its position, but to extend its influence.
When King appeared in his diocese he found it in a wretched condition. The civil wars had left behind them most melancholy memorials; for most of the churches were in ruins. The state of the clergy was almost equally deplorable. Some of them were noted for their profligacy; and not a few were incompetent or non-resident. The new prelate addressed himself with much energy to the work of reformation. He diligently visited the various parishes under his ecclesiastical jurisdiction; administered discipline with vigour; endeavoured to provide more efficient pastors; and urged forward with zeal the repair of the dilapidated temples. But King could not confine himself to the prosecution of these laudable reforms. He had a taste for controversy : and he seems to have imagined that his great social influence, combined with his dialectic skill, would have enabled him to reduce the Presbyterian population in Derry and the neighbourhood to ecclesiastical conformity. He accordingly prepared a work designated A Discourse concerning the Inventions of Men in the Worship of God, which he circulated privately, in the end of the year 1693, among the Presbyterian ministers and people of his diocese. Without his sanction—as he subsequently alleged—this work was immediately reprinted in London : and it soon attracted general notice. But it did not remain long unanswered. Early in 1694 the Rev. Joseph Boyse-a learned Presbyterian minister resident in Dublinpublished so effective a reply that King felt it necessary to attempt to meet its arguments in An Admonition addressed "To the Dissenting inhabitants of the Diocese of Derry.” The Rev. Robert Craghead, the Presbyterian minister of Derry, and others, now took part in this literary warfare; and, for several years, the controversy continued to create much excitement among the Protestants of the district.
between 1690 and 1698 into different parts of Ireland, but chiefly into Ulster.” Journal of Kilkenny and S. E. of Ireland Archaological Society, vol. vi., new series, 1867, p. 50.
i Reid, ii. 416-18.
When attempting to win over the Presbyterians to prelacy, King did not pretend to say that he was prepared to throw much new light on the questions in dispute :1 but, if his mode of reasoning was without originality, it certainly did not want boldness. He tried to induce the non-conformists to believe that their whole system of worship was destitute of divine authority. Nor was he content with abstract discussion. He charged the Presbyterians with neglecting ordinances which, as they themselves admitted, they were bound to respect : and he singled out their rare celebration of the Lord's Supper for special animadversion. The objection came with a bad grace from such a quarter ; as an Act still in force, and introduced into the statute-book by episcopal influence, cxposed every Presbyterian pastor who dared to administer the Eucharist to a fine of one hundred pounds.? Notwithstanding this penalty, the non-conformists had not been deterred from its dispensation : and it was soon shown that the bishop was quite misinformed as to the frequency of its observance : but the exposure of this and other misrepresentations, as to matters of fact, did not tend to diminish the irritation which his attack had created.
King preached frequently when he passed through his diocese in the ordinary course of visitation. He tells us that on one of these occasions he prescribed penance to near an hundred people ;”3 so that even his vigour as a disciplinarian must have created a sensation at almost every stage of his progress. The sin of making sects was the great topic on
1 The bishop himself makes this admission. “Mr. Thorndike,” says he, "gave me the notions; and all that I can pretend to is the taking them out of his obscure style and method, and putting them into a more modern dress.” See Mant, ii. 70. Thorndike was a well-known High Church writer who flourished about the middle of the seventeenth century.
* See before, p. 138. Bishop Mant, who evidently had not given himself the trouble to examine the replies of the Presbyterians, repeats all King's charges as if they had never been contradicted.
Mant, ii. 105.
which he commonly expatiated. The see lands of Derry were very extensive : and, as he required all his tenants to attend his sermons,” it was not strange that his authority as a landlord, added to his reputation as a preacher, generally secured for him a considerable audience. Nor was he satisfied to contend against the Presbyterians merely with forensic weapons. He exerted all his political power to diminish their resources, and curtail their privileges. King William was anxious to place them under the protection of a legal toleration; and a bill for their relief was submitted to the Privy Council: but, so strenuous was the episcopal opposition, that Government found it hopeless to attempt to carry the measure through the Irish Parliament. The Regium Donum granted to the Presbyterian ministers was peculiarly odious to the lords spiritual. When King and his brother prelates found that they could not effect its withdrawal, they attempted to make it less valuable by suggesting a new and invidious mode of distribution. The unfriendly counsel was not adopted: but the bishops, notwithstanding, persevered in their course of annoyance. Though they never ceased to rail against dissent, they proposed to muzzle those whom they assailed, by enacting that they should not be at liberty, without incurring heavy penalties, “to preach against the Church in their meetings; and, on no other terms, were they willing to legalize their worship. The non-conformists objected to the Burial Service of the Book of Common Prayer; and yet the episcopal clergy insisted on reading it when Protestants, to whom it had always been offensive, were interred in the parish churchyard. In some cases Presbyterians were prevented from employing schoolmasters of their own communion; and efforts were made to deter their ministers from celebrating marriage, even when both parties belonged to their own congregations. In the reign of William a law was passed
| Mant, ii. 106.
3 It is stated in Archbishop Marsh's Diary that “heads for a bill of toleration were brought into the House of Lords by the Earl of Drogheda : but by the bishops voting that they should not be read until three days after, who had a majority of votes, they were quite laid by.” See Mant, ii. 63. * Reid, ii. 436-7.
5 Mant, ii. 54.
6 Reid, ii. 469.
abolishing the burning of heretics :1 but the ecclesiastical courts still retained extensive jurisdiction, and continued to harass by fine and imprisonment.
For considerably upwards of a year after the battle of the Boyne, the adherents of James kept up the war in Ireland : but, on the surrender of Limerick early in October, 1691, the authority of the English Government was established all over the country. The terms of capitulation were much more favourable to the conquered than many of the partizans of William desired; for they had been reckoning on a rich harvest of confiscations; and they were no little disappointed to find that so many of the Irish recusants were secured in the full enjoyment of their property. According to the Articles of Limerick the Roman Catholics of the kingdom were to retain such privileges in the exercise of their religion as were consistent with the laws of Ireland, or as had been accorded to them in the reign of Charles II. :3 and not a few of the Protestants were exceedingly dissatisfied because they had obtained such large concessions. A disposition soon appeared to evade the obligations of the treaty: and, in a sermon preached on a public occasion before the Lords Justices, Dopping, the Protestant Bishop of Meath-a divine whose own career had been so very inconsistent—was so imprudent as to assert that "the peace ought not to be observed with a people so perfidious . . . and that those articles, which were intended for a security, would prove a snare.”+ It must be confessed that, in a short time, some of the most impor
1 Seventh of William III., chap. ii. Irish Statutes. The law for the burning of heretics had been revived in the late Irish Parliament of James II. See Strictures on Plowden's Hist. Review, p. 67, note. London, 1804. The reader may recollect that this law, revived in the reign of Mary, had been repealed in the time of Elizabeth. See vol. i., pp. 375-6.
2 These articles may be found appended to Leland's Hist. of Ireland, vol. iii. 619, 630. See also Plowden's Historical Review, i., appendix, 201•11.
3 This was a very ambiguous provision. During part of the reign of Charles II. Irish Romanists were treated harshly ; but, when Lord Berkeley was Lord Lieutenant, they had nearly full toleration. A generous interpretation would have given them any privileges accorded to them at any time in the reign of Charles II.
4 Harris's Life of William II1., p. 372. The King was so displeased with the conduct of Dopping on this occasion that he ordered him to be dismissed from the Privy Council. Ibid.
tant provisions of the treaty were not respected. Immediately after the Restoration, a considerable number of the Irish peers who sat in the Upper House of legislation belonged to the Church of Rome :1 and no law yet prevented persons connected with that communion from acting as members of the House of Commons. But, in open disregard of the Treaty of Limerick, an Act was placed on the English Statute Book towards the close of the year 16912 excluding Romanists from sitting in either the Upper or Lower House of Parlia. ment in Ireland. About the same time the defeated party were often treated by magistrates and other officials with the grossest injustice. When they were deprived of their goods, or ejected from their lands, they frequently failed to obtain redress :* and so great was the dissatisfaction created by these harsh and ungenerous proceedings, that many—who would otherwise have remained in the country-followed the fortunes of their co-religionists who enlisted in foreign armies; and who, under the provisions made at Limerick, were conveyed to the Continent in vessels furnished at the public expense. According to the treaty, those who submitted to the government of William were to be required to take no other oath save the oath of allegiance ;6 and yet, in a very few years afterwards, other oaths-directly involving a renunciation of their
i See before, p. 132, note (1). Romanists were permitted to sit in the Irish House of Commons till 1642, when they were excluded by being required to take the Oath of Supremacy. Leland, iii, 171. See also O'Conor's Hist. Address, ii. 432-3. The Act of Supremacy (2nd of Eliz., chap. i.) requires the oath to be taken by archbishops, bishops, and other ecclesiastical persons, judges, mayors, and other lay or temporal officer or minister having fee or wages" under Government; but makes no mention of members of Parliament.
: Third of William and Mary, chap. ii. Hallam's Constit. Ilist. of England, p. 869. ed. 1870. This Act was confirmed by the Irish Parliament in 1782.
3 Plowden's Hist. Rev. i. 196 ; Harris's William III., p. 357. Dublin, 1749. Even in the city of Limerick the Romanists were not permitted to have any regular place of worship for upwards of fifty years afterwards. History of Limerick, by Fitzgerald and McGregor, vol. ii. 463. Dublin, 1827.
* See Plowden, i. 196.
5 On this occasion 14,000 of the Irish bade adieu to their country for ever. Gordon's Hist. of Ireland, ii. 179. According to other accounts the exiles amounted 10 30,000. See Haverty, p. 671. 6 Art. 9 of the Civil Articles of the Treaty of Limerick. VOL. II.