Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

highly reflecting on the Legislature, and on the episcopal order.” 1

The Convocation followed up the attack of the House of Lords. In the form of another address to the Queen, they prepared a paper on the state of religion, in which they discussed the four subjects of infidelity, heresy, impiety, and Popery. Under the head of heresy, the Quakers and Presbyterians received special notice. The proceedings of the Society of Friends had, it seems, disturbed the equanimity of the petitioners; and they accordingly call for “ some effectual methods of restraining them, and stopping their progress :"? but the members of the Synod of Ulster evidently inspired them with still greater uneasiness. They repeat, with additional acerbity, the complaints preferred against them by the Upper House of Parliament; and dwell particularly on the mischief occasioned by the grant of the Regium Donum. This bounty, they assert, has been “applied to the considerable increase of the number of fanatical and dissenting teachers, and to the support and promoting of faction and schism;" and they significantly remind the Queen that the House of Commons had long since voted it an unnecessary expenditure of the public money. The bishops soon afterwards caused this paper to be printed for distribution under the title of A Representation of the present State of Religion, with regard to Infidelity, Heresy, Impiety, and Popery, drawn up and agreed to by both Houses of Convocation in Ireland, pursuant to Her Majesty's command in her Royal license.4

Though the Presbyterians throughout this reign encountered

[ocr errors]

i Reid, iii. 18-19.

? Archbishop King, writing in 1725, says that, early in this century, "the County of Wicklow was full of Quakers and Dissenters ; but, having got seven new churches in it, and filled them with good men, there is hardly a meeting left in that part.”—MAN'T, ii. 349.

3 See before, p. 198, note (3) of this volume.

4 Second edition. London, 1712. Svo, pp. 23. This meeting of the Convo. cation in 1711 was the last ever held in Ireland. The proceedings had been conducted in a most acrimonious spirit, and the Crown would not permit another to assemble. A proposal was made for the revival of the Convocation shortly before the disestablishment of the Irish Episcopal Church in 1871 ; but the Royal consent was not obtained, and, in consequence, no meeting was held.

such persistent persecution from the Irish Parliament, as well as from the Convocation, their Church continued steadily to extend its borders. In 1709, the Synod of Ulster could reckon upwards of one hundred and thirty congregations, and nearly the same number of ministers. There were, besides, a few Presbyterian ministers and congregations in Leinster and Munster. About the same time, six hundred ministers were deemed sufficient for all the livings of the Establishment. Though the dignified Churchmen had generally an ample maintenance, many of the parochial clergy were miserably supported. Not one in ten had either glebe or glebe-house ;4 and five, six, or even ten parishes were often joined to make up a revenue of £50 per annum for the incumbent. Many of the beneficed clergy had not nearly so large a revenue. In this reign their circumstances were somewhat improved by a remission of a percentage on their incomes hitherto payable to the Crown. They were also assisted by the appropriation of the first fruits 8—which the

i Reid, iii. 2.

? Archbishop King, writing in December, 1714, says : "In all Ireland there are not 600 beneficed clergymen.” See Mant, ii. 289. The same prelate in 1706 says that “all the livings in Ireland will not employ 600" clergymen. Mant, ii. 201.

3 Thus the Archdeacon of Raphoe had benefices worth £600 per annum ; and the Dean of Derry was worth £900 per annum. Mant, ii. 286-7. One pound was then equal to three pounds of our money. In the diocese of Killaloe, ten parishes, held by one individual, yielded between £200 and £300 per annum. Mant, ii. 288.

4 Ibid. ii. 238, 290, 351, 388.

5 Ibid. 238, 289. Archbishop King, writing to a correspondent in October, 1713, says : You may guess what condition the Church is in from Wicklow to Arklow"; the one has ten and the other eleven parishes to make a competency, and 'lis generally so through the diocese ; each of these ministers has two churches to serve, and at a considerable distance."--Mant, ii. 205. He adds, in another letter :-" There are, in the diocese of Ferns, 131 parishes : of these seventy-one are impropriate in lay hands; twenty-eight are appropriated to the bishop, dignitaries and prebendaries of the Cathedral ; and thirty-two are in the hands of the clergy that serve the cure, and generally these are the worst."--MANT, ii. 206. He says again :-“To my knowledge sixteen parishes in the diocese of Ferus yield the incumbent hardly £60 per annuin.”—MANT, ii. 373.

* Ibid. ii. 204. See before, p. 196, note (1) of this volume.
7 Called the twentieths, or a shilling in the pound. Mant, ii. 239.
& Paid to the Crown by incumbents on their promotion. Mant, ii. 239.

sovereign had before claimed-to the purchase of glebes, the erection of glebe-houses, and the increase of ministerial stipends. King, now Archbishop of Dublin, exerted himself much in promoting the building of churches in and around the Irish metropolis ;3 but very few of his brethren exhibited the same zeal. A large number of the bishops were still non-resident : 4 and, for the greater part of this reign, only one of these spiritual overseers could have been found at any time in all Ulster. Though so many laws were framed against Papists and Dissenters, the Established Church made little progress.

The apathy and inefficiency of its clergy created general murmuring; and one of themselves testifies that “the world began to look on them as a parcel of men that had invented a trade for their easy and convenient living.” We are told, on the highest authority, that during the last four years of the reign of Queen Anne, the Episcopal Church “lost more hearts and ground” in Ireland than it did since King James came to the crown.”?

Political feeling was now in a state of strong excitement; and its violence contributed to sharpen the edge of theological

1 King encountered many difficulties in carrying out these arrangements. Land. lords, in some cases, afraid of the increase of tithes, were not prepared to encourage the residence of the clergy. Mant, ii. 352-3.

2 King was removed from Derry to Dublin in 1703. He died in 1729.

3 Mant, ii. 152, 204, 205, 348. King tells the following remarkable story :Mr. Joseph Dawson purchased a piece of ground, which cost but a small sum of money, by St. Stephen's Green : began with laying the foundation of a church, and erecting, by Act of Parliament, the parish of St. Anne's. The consequence was that he set his ground for above £ 500 per annum ; and has now Dawson St. -one of the best in Dublin-built upon it.”-MANT, ii. 350.

4 See Mant, ii. 366. Many of the clergy were also non-resident. King says :The diocese (of Clonsert) is pretty large; yet has but ten beneficed clergymen, and about half these non-resident.—MANT, ii. 380.

6 Ibid. 156. Pooley, who was Bishop of Raphoe from 1702 to 1712, resided, during all that time, barely eighteen months. Mant, ii, 282, 284. Ashe, who was Bishop of Clogher from 1697 to 1716, seems to have been generally nonresident. Ibid. ii. 282-3. This gross neglect did not prevent his removal to Derry.

6 Letter from Archbishop King, dated August 17th, 1704. Mant, ii. 155. ? Letter of King, dated November 20th, 1714. Mant, ii. 269.

King ascribes this to the offence given to the gentry by the manner in which the Tory and Jacobite clergy intermeddled in politics. Mant, ii. 293. But the gentry still remained nominally connected with the establishment. Ibid. 294.

1

3

controversy. Towards the close of this reign the Tories were scheming to bring in the Pretender; whilst the Whigs were most anxious to secure the Hanoverian succession.2 As the Tories had completely established their ascendency at Court, they used all their influence to promote the interests of the dethroned dynasty. Thomas Lindsay, who was made Primate of Armagh shortly before the death of the Queen, is said to have been mainly indebted for his promotion to his Jacobite principles. The Whigs had for years been accustomed to drink “to the glorious, pious, and immortal memory of the great and good King William ;" but the toast now became specially offensive 5 to the high-flying Episcopalians; and one of the Irish prelates broached rather a novel argument against the unseasonable sentiment. In 1713 Peter Brown, Bishop of Cork and Ross, published an elaborate

[ocr errors]

According to some, the motto of this party was We hope in God;" and their designation was derived from the initial letters of the four words. The name originated before the Restoration. According to others, whig is a Scotch name for sour milk ; and the title was given originally to certain Scotch Covenanters. See Masson's Life of Milton, iii. 623, note. London, 1873.

3 The Irish Presbyterians, very shortly before Anne's death, employed a French Protestant minister as their agent to assure the Elector of Hanover that they were prepared to take up arnis in support of his title to the crown. His Highness "received the proposal with many thanks, and was very fond to hear that there were so many staunch friends to him in Ireland.”—REID, iii. 54.

3 He was a native of Blandford, in Dorsetshire. In 1695, he was advanced to the bishopric of Killaloe ; in 1713, he was translated to Raphoe ; and in January, 1714, he was promoted to the Primacy. Cotton's Fasti, iii. 23.

4 Plowden's Hist. Rev., i. 232, note. He succeeded Narcissus Marsh in Armagh. He died in 1724. He expended upwards of £4,000 for the maintenance of a choir at Armagh. Mant, ii. 408.

6 The Convocation, in their address to the Queen, complain that " wicked and blasphemous healths are frequently used by persons disaffected to our constitution, insomuch that the words of our Litany, wherein we pray to be delivered from plague, pestilence and famine, battle, murder and sudden death, have been turned into a bitter curse upon all archbishops, bishops, priests and deacons, and all congregations committed to their charge who refused to drink to the glorious and immortal memory of the dead.—CAMPBEL.L's Examination, &c., &c., in reply to Stock and the Bishop of Cloyne, p. 200.

• He was advanced to the bishopric of Cork and Ross in 1710. He died in 1735. He had been a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and Provost from 1699 to his appointment as Bishop of Cork and Ross. “He was an austere, retired and mortified man ; but a prelate of the first rank for learning anong his brethren. 1 This discourse was originally delivered to his clergy. See Mant, ii. 195. He followed it up by four other publications on the same subject. See Brady's Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, iii. 74, 75. In the days of the Commonwealth, those who drank healths were excluded from sitting in the Cromwellian Parliament. Stoughton's Eccl. Hist. of England, vol. ii. 99. London, 1867. This was levelled against the Cavaliers. But times were now changed."

[ocr errors][merged small]

A.D. 1702–1714. DR. TISDALL AND HIS PAMPHLETS.

217

discourse Of Drinking in Remembrance of the Dead-in which he endeavoured to prove that the custom is profane and heathenish. The author of this strange performancewho had, at one time, been Provost of Trinity College, Dublin-appears to have been somewhat of an oddity; and his learned reasoning against the popular Whig toast seems to have contributed far more to the merriment than to the edification of his contemporaries.2

Another writer of this reign, who signalized himself on the side of the High Church party, was the Rev. Dr. Tisdall, vicar of Belfast. In the spring of 1709 he produced a pamphlet entitled ironically A Sample of True Blue Presbyterian Loyalty in all changes and turns of Government, taken chiefly out of their most authentic records. Tisdall resided in the midst of non-conformists; and he had doubtless often heard them say that they had been but poorly requited for their support of Charles II. at the Restoration, and for their attachment to the cause of King William. He therefore laboured to prove that they had little reason to complain ; that they belonged to a race of rebels ; and that their efforts to procure the repeal of the Sacramental Test should be strenuously resisted. Nor was he content with this performance; for, in a series of publications, issued in succeeding years and written in the same irritating style, he renewed his attacks. He was not eventually permitted to remain unanswered. Early in 1713 the Rev. John Mc Bride, one of the Presbyterian ministers of Belfast, produced A Sample of Jet

He studied and was master of the most exact and just pronunciation, heightened by the sweetest and most solemn tone of voice, and set off by a serious air and venerable person.”—BRADY's Records of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, iii. 69.

2 Brown's publication of the discourse on drinking healths led to a controversy. He was no favourite with Swift. Crawford (Hist. of Ireland, ii, 261) says of him that “ of all the Tories of the time, none was more violent.” He wrote against Toland, the deist. Toland was a native of County Donegal.

« ForrigeFortsæt »