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of pulpit services. Thus the leaven of their principles was gradually diffused. The Irish Presbyterian Church had been hitherto distinguished for its earnest assertion of the theology of the Reformation; and, in point of zeal, intelligence, and piety, it still could bear a very favourable comparison with the Episcopal Establishment; but, for many years after the period before us, it appeared as if smitten by a spiritual paralysis. A heterodox Professor of Divinity in one of the Scottish Colleges, to which its students were in the habit of repairing for professional instruction, had only too successfully infused his errors; and thus the Church was contaminated. Some of the non-subscribing ministers were possessed of high intellectual gifts, as well as of superior scholarship; and not a few, who could not entirely adopt their views, admired their character and talents, and were bewildered by their argumentation. The controversy which they originated in the Northern province was the most disastrous visitation which the Irish Presbyterian Church had yet experienced. The “New Light," as it was called, destroyed the peace of the Presbyterian community; impaired its energy; and lowered its reputation as the conservator of "the faith once delivered to the saints."

Though all the penal laws against Romanists still remained on the Statute Book, and though some fresh disabilities were now imposed, it is generally admitted that the reign of George I.

1 Professor Simpson, of Glasgow. He was set aside in 1729. Hist. of Presb. Church in Ireland, iii. 114, 293.

· The Rev. John Abernethy, the author of several well-known volumes of sermons, was their leader. He was the grandfather of the celebrated Surgeon Abernethy, of London. Dr. Watkinson, in his Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland (Dublin, 1778 : p. 419), states that the leader of the New Light party in the Synod of Ulster was “endowed with great powers of speech. His admirers say that he united the precision of Clarke, the abundance of Barrow, and the perspicuity of Tillotson. He was deputed by the Dissenters of Ulster to address the Duke of Ormonde (in the reign of Queen Anne) in a tour he made when Lord Lieutenant; and his Grace was afterwards heard to say, that of all the men who ever approached him on like occasions, he was most pleased with the young man of Antrim.'" Mr. Abernethy was minister of Antrim from 1703 to 1730. He was then removed to Dublin.

3 The 12th of George I., chap. iii. enacted that a Popish priest celebrating a marriage between Protestants, or between a Protestant and a Papist, was to be

is the commencement of an era of increasing laxity in the enforcement of this odious legislation. Popish bishops and priests—from France and elsewhere—found their way into the country; and, notwithstanding the fines which could be levied for neglecting the provisions of the Acts of Parliament, magistrates in various places winked at the arrival of these strangers. The conduct of the justices of the peace was brought under the notice of the Legislature; and in consequence, in 1717, two new laws were placed on the Statute Book with a view to the more vigorous administration of the penal code in Galway and Kilkenny ;? but these enactments did not greatly quicken magisterial vigilance. The Government itself is said to have connived at the presence of a Romish archbishop in Dublin. About the beginning of this reign some Hibernian dignitary is reported to have ordained twelve priests for the Jansenists of Holland ;; and the rumour —which was probably correct—seems to have awakened the anxiety of the court of Rome in regard to the fidelity of the Irish hierarchy. It is certain that in 1719 Pope Clement XI. addressed to them an admonitory letter,4 in which he required them formally to express their approval of the Bull Unigenitus, in which the peculiar views of the Jansenists are condemned."

Though such strict laws existed against the settlement of the regular clergy in Ireland, they were now to be found in considerable numbers in the country. In 1717 the Rev. Hugh O'Calanan collected a small community of Dominican nuns in Fisher's Lane, Dublin. In 1721 the Rev. Stephen MacEgan was chosen their Provincial; and this was the first election of the kind which took place since the order was expelled from Ireland in 1698.2 In 1725 MacÉgan was consecrated Bishop of Clonmacnois by Pope Benedict XIII.3 From this date friars of various orders began to re-appear here and there throughout the island.

deemed guilty of felony without benefit of clergy ; but meanwhile the marriage thus celebrated was not declared null and void. See p. 253, note (6).

1 The 4th of George I., chap. xv. and xvi.
? Froude's English in Ireland, i. 379.
3 Cogan's Diocese of Meath, ii. 154.
4 Burke's Hibernia Dominicana. Supplement, p. 818.

5 " The marrow of the Jansenist doctrines is very elegantly and ingeniously wrought into" the notes on the New Testament by Paschasius Quesnel. Jesuits induced Lewis XIV., King of France, to solicit a public condemnation of the book from the Roman Pontiff, Clement XI. The Pontiff complied with the wishes of the King, or rather of the Jesuits, and issued, in the year 1713, the celebrated Bull or decree, which from its first word is called Unigenitus, and in which one hundred and one propositions taken from that book are proscribed.”MURDOCK's Mosheim, by Soames, iv. 389.90.

" The

At a time when the Romanists were politically so depressed, it is somewhat strange to find the Popish Archbishop of Armagh engaged in a keen dispute with his brother Archbishop of Dublin relative to ecclesiastical precedence. The question had been discussed from time to time for upwards of five hundred years ;4 and, since the Reformation, had led to contentions between the two chiefs of the Irish Protestant hierarchy. A disagreement respecting the division of parishes in the metropolis produced an appeal from Byrne, the Romish Primate of Dublin, to McMahon, the Romish Primate of all Ireland ; 6 and the matter was finally referred to the decision of the Propaganda in Italy.? In 1728 McMahon published a most erudite treatise, entitled us Primatiale Armacanum, in defence of the claims of his archbishopric. At this period neither dignitary could, under the sanction of the law, walk at midday along the streets; and the work now completed —which may be said fairly to exhaust the subject-is a singular evidence of what ecclesiastical ambition can accomplish in the face of surrounding discouragements.

1 Hardiman's Galway, p. 277.
2 Cogan's Diocese of Meath, ii. 160.

3 Ibid. ii. 161. In the Bull appointing MacEgan to Clonmacnois there is a clause to the effect that, should the consecrating prelate be unable to obtain the co-operation of two or three bishops, he should employ as many Presbyters. In the Bull appointing Peter Killikelly to Kilmacduagh in 1744, there is a clause of the same kind. Burke's Hibernia Dominicana, pp. 502, 503, 509, 510.

The Pope thus recognised the right of Presbyters to join in the consecration or ordina. tion of bishops.

4 See vol. i., Book ii., chap. ii., p. 235.
5 See Elrington's Life of Ussher, p. 160, and appendix vi.

Hugh McMahon was R.C. Primate of Armagh from 1708 or 1709 to 1737. 7 D’Alton's Archbishops of Dublin, p. 464.

8 The Rev. John Hennessy, a Jesuit of Clonmel, published anonymously, in English, a reply to this treatise : and, appended to later issues of McMahon's


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Though the accession of George I. to the throne had completely established the ascendency of the Whigs, it did not extinguish political jealousies which threatened to disturb the peace of the country. A new party, known by the designation of " Patriots,” now appeared. They professed to contend for the rights of Ireland. The Irish Parliament did not always act in harmony with the views of English statesmen; and the British Senate claimed the power of making laws for the regulation of the sister island. This claim was resented in Ireland as offensive to the national dignity; many were disposed to denounce it as unconstitutional; and a case which now occurred Lin which there was an appeal from the Irish to the British law authorities, and in which the House of Lords in England reversed a decision of the House of Lords in Ireland led to a most awkward collision between the statesmen of the two countries. The Patriots ” maintained that Ireland should not be bound by Acts of Parliament made in Great Britain; that its own tribunals were the highest courts of judicature which it ought to recognize ; and that all official proceedings which had not the sanction of its own legislature-consisting of king, lords, and commons-involved an infringement of the national independence. Among the leaders of the Patriots was Swift, Dean of St. Patrick'sa divine whose zeal in proclaiming public grievances was certainly not above suspicion. This restless politician had now lost all hope of a bishopric. Swift was as proud as he was vindictive; and he was determined that the Government should feel the weight of his vengeance. He had already signalized himself as a demagogue; and an incident of little consequence in itself gave him another opportunity of mortifying those by whom he deemed himself overlooked. There had long been complaints in Ireland of a want of copper currency; and an individual, named Wood, had secured a patent from the Crown for issuing a large amount of halfpence and farthings. These coins were tested at the English mint

work, is his rejoinder entitled Prosecutio ejusdem argumenti pro Primatu Armacano contra Anonymum.See Renehan's Collections, p. 98.

The case of Sherlock v. Annesley. See Gordon's Hist. of Ireland, ii. 207.

by the great Sir Isaac Newton : it is well known that they contained a sufficient quantity of standard metal; and it does not appear that the contractor had in any way abused his privilege. But reports soon gained circulation to the effect that Wood had procured his licence by means of a corrupt bargain with a lady of the court ; that he was an atrocious swindler; and that his halfpence and farthings were worthless. The patent had been passed without consulting the Parliament or the Privy Council of Ireland—though the proceeding could be abundantly justified by precedents; the evil rumours were readily believed ; and there was a disposition, on all hands, to find fault with the transaction. The patent seems to have been procured by corruption, and the issue of copper coins was unquestionably quite too large : but the detriment was absurdly magnified. The patriots were indignant: complaints from both Houses of the Irish Parliament were addressed to the King; and similar remonstrances were forwarded from the Privy Council, and from various public bodies. The question touched all interests; for the banker, the farmer, the merchant, the small trader, the servant, and the very pauper, all recoiled from the idea of being obliged to receive base money. The wretched trash which James II. had circulated at the time of the Revolution was not yet forgotten :and there was an impression that the country was about to experience a repetition of the misery which that currency had produced. Society throughout all its borders was alarmed; and Swift, by a series of anonymous publications--signed A Drapier, and hence known as The Drapier's Letters-added immensely to the excitement. He was quite incompetent to pronounce any opinion as to the value of the coinage: but he spoke with the utmost confidence of its gross adulteration : he recklessly indulged in the most extravagant exaggeration : and his misrepresentations were received as oracular. He affirmed that twenty-four of Wood's halfpence were scarcely worth penny; that the price of commodities would be raised as the


1 See Lord Mahon's History of England, vol. ii. 90-95. London, 1839 : Smollett. Reign of George I., chap. iii. ; Pictorial History of England, iv. 364.

? See before, p. 168.

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