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clergy preached against the errors of Popery, there were numerous conversions. One hundred persons read their recantation at Ballinlough in the diocese of Tuam. In December, 1825, in the district of King's Court, a series of resolutions appeared to which the signatures of 375 personsall adherents of the Papacy-were affixed. In this remarkable document the subscribers declared, on behalf of themselves and upwards of five thousand of their adult brethren, that they considered the reading of the Scriptures their right as men, their duty as Christians, and their privilege as Roman Catholics. Lord and Lady Farnham took the deepest interest in these proceedings and contributed much to their encouragement. In one month, nearly fifty Roman Catholics renounced the errors of Popery in the parish church of Cavan. The movement spread; and was soon commonly known as the second Reformation.” On the 12th of April, 1827, the Archbishop of Tuam confirmed forty-three converts from Romanism in the church of Ballymachugh.* About this period, in the course of a few months, upwards of thirteen hundred conversions were reported. At the time, shrewd observers suspected that some of the recantations were not genuine ;6 and a number of those who now conformed to Protestantism subsequently relapsed into Popery; but others attested, by their consistency and steadfastness, that they were the subjects of a spiritual renovation.
The din of theological controversy was now to be heard in
1 Memoir of last Archbishop of Tuam, p. 206.
2 Memorials of the Rev. Gideon Ouseley, pp. 268.9. The authenticity of these resolutions was unblushingly denied ; but they were produced and relied on as undoubtedly genuine, at an inquiry into education in Ireland before a Committee of the House of Lords. Dr. Monck Mason's Life of Bedell, p. 320, note. Another document of the same kind, signed by 3,221 R. C. masters and scholars of the Trish Society, was presented at the Society's annual meeting on the 17th of March, 1832. Ibid. pp. 320, 321. In 1840 a similar memorial, with 6,026 signatures, was presented. Ibid.
3 Memorials of Ouseley, p. 271.
6 Thus Gideon Ouseley, who now visited Cavan and who was very kindly received by Lord and Lady Farnham, speaks of the “crude elements still to be wrought upon.” Memorial, p. 270.
almost every part of Ireland. Discourses on the errors of Popery-often attended by immense crowds-were delivered week after week in the Protestant churches ;' whilst the Roman Catholic chapels resounded with attacks on the faith and practice of the adherents of the Reformation. Challenges were given and accepted; the priests and their antagonists appeared on polemic platforms; and discussed at great length their points of disagreement. The reports of these conferences—immediately committed to the press—were perused
1 During these discussions, public attention was drawn to the fact that the second commandment is suppressed in the R. C. catechisms. In the Old Testament the commandments are said to be ten in number (Ex. xxxiv. 28; Deut. iv. 13); but they are not distinguished as first, second, third, and so on. The intelligent reader may, notwithstanding, see plainly how they are divided. The first relates to the object of worship-Jehovah ; the second, to the mode of worship—there must be no use made of images; the third relates to the spirit of worship-we must beware of frivolity and formalism ; and the fourth, to the time of worship-we must set apart for it one day in seven. In the authorized R. C. catechisms no notice is taken of the second commandment; and the number ten is made up by dividing the tenth into two. The late Sir Robert Peel, in a speech made in the House of Commons in 1827, created a considerable sensation by animadverting on this suppression of the second commandment. Archbishop Murray, in a letter published at the time (see Meagher's Notices of his Life and Character, pp. 66-99), made a sophistical attempt to explain the omission. He alleged that in the Romish catechisms “the commandments are given in an abridged form ”-a statement which is only partially correct—and he urged that Clement of Alexandria and Augustine support that arrangement of the decalogue adopted by his church. His appeal to Clement is quite fallacious; as that writer, in the very place he cites (the book sixth of his Stromata), does not divide the tenth into two ; and says that the second teaches men not to transfer God's title “ to things created and vain which human artificers have made." The reference to the authority of Augustine is almost as little to the purpose. The great African divine-misled, as it would seem, by a desire to make out a shadowy argument in favour of the doctrine of the Trinity-divided the first table of the law into three parts (71 Quæst. on Exod.); but, at the same time, he recognizes the fact that what he calls the first command. ment consists of two distinct sections, of which the second-prohibiting the use of images in worship-is a more perfect explanation of the first. Romanists--as if conscious that this second part plainly testifies against their idolatry-leave it out altogether in their books of elementary religious instruction. Their division of the commandment relating to covetousness into two, is opposed to the authority of the Apostle Paul. See Rom. vii. 7; and xiii. 9.
It is absurd to say that the omission of the prohibition relating to the use of images in worship is an “abridgment" of the divine law. It is a wilful attempt to obliterate an important precept. The numeration of the commandments, as adopted by Protestants, was generally recognized in the Latin, as well as in the Greek Church, until the time of Augustine.
with intense avidity. In July, 1827, the Rev. Robert Stewart, a distinguished Presbyterian minister, and the Rev. Bernard McAuley, the parish priest, met in a public hall at Ballymena, County Antrim ; and, in presence of a deeply interested audience, discussed, for three successive days, the subject of the Pope's Supremacy. In Downpatrick, Londonderry, and
. various other towns, three or more ministers of the Episcopal Church confronted an equal number of the Roman Catholic clergy in the arena of debate. But the discussion which created the largest amount of general interest was held in Dublin in April, 1827, between the Rev. T. P. Pope-a Protestant minister of great piety and eloquence-and the Rev. Thomas Maguire—previously better known as a sporting priest than as a devout theologian. The result was sufficient to convince all earnest inquirers that a careful perusal of the Word of God, is a much more satisfactory way of attaining a clear knowledge of divine Truth, than attendance on any such disputation. Father Thom-as he was popularly designatedfought with weapons which his grave opponent could not handle. He was very unscrupulous; and among his boon companions he had often tested his capacity for “setting the table in a roar.” He now called into requisition his great powers of wit, sarcasm, and declamation. His rich Irish brogue added to the fascinations of his waggery. He was quite impervious to argument-for Mr. Pope might just as well have entered into controversy with a windmill; but his drollery and dexterity, his recklessness of assertion and his boundless effrontery, sustained him throughout the six days' disputation. At its close his partisans did not scruple to proclaim that he had gained the victory. Politics were now mingled with theology; and the Catholic Association forthwith proposed to celebrate his triumph, by presenting him with a service of plate of the value of £1,000.
The sequel of this story is somewhat melancholy. The promised gist—which was splendid and costly—was awkwardly delayed; and Father Thom, as is supposed, at length became impatient. About six months after the discussion it was still not forthcoming. At a public meeting meanwhile held in the town of Roscommon, to petition for emancipation,
the Reverend Controversialist was present; and was invited, as the hero of the day, to make a speech. To stimulate, as was thought, the zeal of his admirers, he affirmed in the course of his address, according to the newspaper reports, that “within the last fortnight, a Protestant rector had waited on him, bearing a letter from an archbishop, making an offer of one thousand pounds in hand, and a living of eight hundred pounds a year, if he would abjure the Catholic religion and become a Protestant parson." This speech was immediately printed off as a hand-bill, and posted up throughout the country. A few days afterwards, an Irish correspondent of a London morning journal supplied a piece of additional information. “Who do you think,” said he, “was the archbishop who promised Maguire, the priest of the mountains, £1,000 in cash, and a living of £800 a year? Why, no less a personage than the Archbishop of Tuam. This statement I received this day from Mr. Maguire himself. The archbishop wrote to a Protestant clergyman, desiring him to make the offer, and to show the letter ; but, not to surrender it into his possession, unless Maguire were disposed to accede—and the induction into the living was to take place within eight days.”2 Mr. Maguire permitted these statements to pass without any contradiction; and they were widely circulated; but the Archbishop of Tuam was not the man to tolerate such an imputation on his integrity. He knew something of Father Thom; and he would not willingly have admitted him to a curacy in any parish over which he had control. He therefore deemed it his duty to take legal steps to call the publishers of the libel to account ; and, after much shuffling and equivocation on their part, it was proved that the whole story from beginning to end was a barefaced fabrication.3
The progress of events had been gradually removing the objections to emancipation; and there was a growing conviction among statesmen that it was unsafe much longer to defer
Memoir of last Archbishop of Tuam, p. 508. ? Ibid. pp. 509-510. 3 The facts may be found detailed in the Life of the Archbishop of Tuam, pp.
the concession. The tenantry had been long accustomed to vote at parliamentary elections very much according to the dictation of their landlords; but of late, under the influence of the Roman Catholic Association, they had evinced a dis. position to mutiny ; and at Waterford, in 1826, they completely threw off the yoke of the territorial aristocracy. The association continued to gather strength; and at length it could boast that it consisted of 14,000 members, including four Roman Catholic archbishops, twenty bishops, and 2,600 clergy. It collected large funds-known as the Catholic rent; held frequent public meetings; subsidized newspapers; employed agents of various kinds; and kept up a perpetual agitation. The excitement reached a climax in 1828 when, despite the combined opposition of the local magnates, Mr. O'Connell, though disqualified as a Roman Catholic, was returned as member of Parliament for Clare by a triumphant majority. It was now feared that the country was on the very verge of a rebellion ;4 and statesmen who had hitherto been
1 It was always supported by influential Presbyterians. In 1826, at the opening of the annnal meeting of the General Synod of Ulster, the Moderator, the Rev. James Carlile, of Dublin (afterwards D.D.) preached a sermon in which he strongly advocated the propriety of granting R. C. emancipation. The discourse gave great satisfaction, and was published at the request of many who heard it. In the year preceding, Mr. Cooke, the then Moderator, stated, before the Parliamentary Com. mittee, that he also was favourable to R. C. emancipation. When asked on that occasion, “Do you think the admission of Catholics to equal rights would diminish or increase certain animosities ?” he answe
swered, “I think in the North (of Ireland) it would diminish them. By the admission of the Catholics to the honours of the state their chief source of prejudice and alienation would be done away. The admission of Catholics to equal privileges would, in the South of Ireland, be productive of great good.”—Life and Times of Dr. Cooke, by Dr. Porter, p. 77. London, 1871.
2 Wyse's History of the Catholic Association, vol. ii. p. 83. There were at this time upwards of 3,000 of the R. C. clergy in Ireland. In Digest of Evidence before the Parliamentary Committees (1824-5) they are stated to have amountal to 3,500. Digest, by Phelan and O'Sullivan, part i., p. 460. London, 1826.
3 In 1826 the Catholic rent amounted to 619,228 35. 4d. Wyse, vol. iii., appendix cclxxi.
4 “ The late Stephen Coppinger, of the Catholic Association informed [Wm. T. Fitzpatrick, J.P., author of the Life, Times, and Correspondence of Dr. Dorle] the writer of these pages, that he had been himself assured by Dr. England (R. C.) Bishop of Charlestown, No:th Carolina, that he, Dr. England, almost personally organized in 1828 a force of 40,000, which, headed by General Montgomery, the