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On the sixth item, some remarks are imperiously called for. The 5 censures of the church” to which those were subject, who did not
son so convicted, shall for the same offence suffer imprisonment, by the space of six monthes without bayle or mainprise; and if any such person once convicted of any offence concerning the premises, shall after his first conviction eftsoones offend, and be thereof in forme aforesaid lawfully convict, that then the same person shall for his second offence suffer imprisonment by the space of one whole year, and after shall therefore be deprived, ( ipso facto,) of all his spiritual promo, tions; and that it shall be lawfull to all patrons or donours of all and singular the same spirituall promotions, or any of them, to presentor collate unto the same, as though the person or persons so oftending were dead, and that if any such person or persons, after he shall be twice convicted in the forme aforesaid, shall offend against any of the premisses in the third time, and shall be thereof in forme aforesaid, lawfully convicted, that then the person so offending and convicted the third time, shall be deprived, (ipso facto,) of all his spirituall promotions, and also shall suffer imprisonment during his life, and if the person that shall offend and be convict in forme aforesaid, concerning apy of the premisses, shall not be beneficed, nor have any spirituall promotion, that the same person so offending and convict, shall for the first offence suffer imprisonment during one whole year next after his said conviction without bayle or mainprise: and if any such person, not having any spirituall promotion, after his first conviction shall eftsoones offend in any thing concerning the premisses, and shall, in forme aforesaid, be thereof lawfully convicted, that then the same person shall for his second offence suffer imprisonment during his life. And it is ordeyned and enacted by the authority abovesaid that if any person or persons whatsoever after the feast of Saint John Baptist, shall in any enterludes, playes, songs, rimes, or by other open words, declare or speake any thing in derogation, deprav., ing or despising of the same book, or of any thing therein contained, or any part thereof, or shall by open fact, deed, or by open threatenings compell, or cause, or otherwise procure or maintaine any per. son, vicar, or other minister in any cathedral or parish church, or in chappel or in any other place, to sing or say any common open prayer, or to minister any sacrament otherwise or in any other maner and forme than is mentioned in the said book, or that by any of the said meanes shall unlawfully interrupt, or let any person, vicar, or other minister, in any cathedral or paroch church, chappell, or any other place, to sing or say, common and open prayer, or to minister the sacraments or any of them in such manner and forme as is mentioned in the said book, that then every such person being thereof lawfully convicted in forine abovesaid, shall forfeit to the queen our sovereign lady her heyres and successors for the first offence an hundred markes. And if any person or persons being once convict of any such offence eftsoones offend against any of the said recited offences, and shall in forme aforesaid be thereof lawfully convict, that then the same person so offending and convict shall for the second offence. forfeit to the queen our sovereign lady, her heyres and successours four
attend a church where the common prayer was used, were a tremendous instrument of tyranny and rapine. According to bishop Be
0000000 hundred marks, and if any person after he in forme aforesaid shall have been twice convict of any offence concerning any of the last recited offences, shall offend the third time, and be thereof in forme aforesaid lawfully convict, that then every person so offending and convict, shall for his third offence, forfeit to our sovereign lady the queen, all his goods and chattels, and shall suffer imprisonment during his life.
* All and every person and persons inhabiting within this realm, shall diligently and faithfully, having no lawfull or reasonable excuse to be absent, endeavour themselves to resort to their paroch chutch or chappel accostumed, or upon reasonable let thereof, to some usuall place where common prayer and such service of God shall be used in such time of let upon every Sunday and other dayes ordeyned and used to be kept as holy daies; and then and there to abide orderly and soberly, during the time of the common prayer, preachings, or other service of God, there to be used and ministred upon pain of punishment by the censures of the church, and also upon pain that everie person so offending, shall forfeit for every such offence twelve pence, to be levied by the church-wardens of the paroch where such offence shall be done, to the use of the poore of the same paroch, of the goods, lands, and tenements of such offendour by way of distresse.
“ The queen's majestie by the like advise of the said commissioners, or the lord deputie, or other governor or governors of this realm for the time being, may, with the advise of the counsaile of this realm, ordeine and publish such further ceremonies or rites as inay be most for the advancement of God's glorie, the edifying of this church and the due reverence of Christ's holy mysteries and sacraments !!
“And forasmuch as in most places of this realm, there cannot be found English ministers to serve in the churches or places appointed for common prayer or to minister the sacraments to the people, and that if some good men were provided that they might use the prayer, service and administration of sacraments set out and established by this act, in such language as they mought best understand'; the due honour of God should be thereby much advanced, and for that also that the same may not be in their native language, as well for difficulty to get it printed, as that few in the whole realm can read the Irish letters: we doe therefore most humbly beseech your majesty that with your highness favour and royall assent, it may be enacted, ardegned, established, and provided, by the authority of this present parliament, that in every such church or place, where the common minister or priest hath not the use or knowledg of the English tongue, it shall be lawfull for the same common minister or priest to say and use the mattens, evensong, celebration of the Lord's Supper, and administration of each of the sacraments, and all their common and open prayer in the Latin tongue, in such order and form as they be mentioned and set forth in the said book established by this act, and according to the tenour of this act, and none otherwise. Hor in other
334 Statutes, 201.
dell, as already quoted, “ the officers of the court thought they had a sort of right to oppress the natives, and that all was well got, that was wrung from them."-335. The good bishop's account of this formidable court, at full length, may be seen supra page 47.
The history of persecution presents no case more antichristian than this. In every other country where the demoniac spirit of persecution raged, the ruling party and the persecuted used the same language. Thus, when the Roman Catholics of France repealed the edict of Nantes, and commenced that barbarous persecution of the Hugonots, which, for its impolicy as well as its wickedness, has consigned the memory of Louis XIV, and his bigoted counsellors, to the execration of posterity, the Roman Catholic pastor could impart instruction to the Hugonot, if the latter were compelled to attend service in one of the established churches, and the Hugonot could as perfectly understand him as he could a pastor of his own denomination. The Roinan Catholic in England, and the presbyterian in Scotland, when subject to penalties for not attending worship in the protestant episcopalian churches, could not plead ignorance of the language of their instructors. But in Ireland the Roman Catholics were subject to penalties for not attending the sermons and exhortations of clergymen - whose language not one in five hundred of them understood, and who were equally ignorant of the language of their flock.
'The transcendent folly and wickedness of this system must strike the most superficial observer at a glance. Spenser placed its futility in so clear a light, that nothing but the blind bigotry and the intolerant spirit of that age could have overlooked it.” “What good,” he emphatically asks,“ should any English minister do amongst them, by teaching or preaching to them, which either cannot understand him, or will not heare him 237336
To cap the climax of folly, this very act stated the important fact, that “in most places of this realm, there cannot be found English ministers to serve in the churches, or places, appointed for common prayer, or to minister the sacraments to the people:" it therefore directed that “ some good men should be provided to use the prayer, service and administration of sacraments, in such language as they mought best understand.” And further, that where the minister did not understand English, he might " say and use the mattens, evensong, celebration of the Lord's supper, and administration of each of the sacraments, and all their open and common prayer in the Latin
It would be endless to point out all the absurdities of this system. The law was ordered to be put in force on the festival of John Baptist next ensuing its enaction, that is, in three or four months, without any adequate provision of ministers or books for the purpose, which it was impossible to supply in so short a space.
It has been said that this act was not enforced, and that it was a mere dead letter. This is a very great error. It was as rigorously enforced, as it was unjustly enacted.* The fines for non-attendance
>800000ooos ** 1578. The lord deputy bound several citizens by recognisance of
335 Life of Bedell, 89.
336 Spenser, 142.
at church, were rigidly exacted. The people, believing that attendance once a day, would be a compliance with the law, went in the evening to church, to hear the common prayer, and in the morning to their own places of worship. This partial evasion of the law attracted the attention of their tyrannical governors, who, to prevent it, had the roll called morning and evening. This arbitrary and vexatious system was adopted so early as 1563, only three years after the enaction of the law.
forty pounds to come to church to hear divine service every Sun. day, pursuant to the queen's injunctions."337
*"A tax was laid on every house-keeper, who omitted coming to church on Sundays, and it was collected exactly, so that many came to church, rather than they wou'd pay that tax: at first they went to mass in the morning, and to church in the afternoon; but to prevent that, a roul of the house-keepers names was called over by the church. wardens in every parish.”
Sacrilegious robbery of the Catholic churches. Gross abuses in the es
tablished church. Bishops utterly negligent of their duties. Churches either unsupplied with pastors, or supplied with those of scandalous insufficiency in point of acquirements, and of most dissolute morals.
“Let holy rage, let persecution cease-
" Ne'er yet did persécution's offspring thrive,
IN the preceding chapter, I have detailed the antichristian spirit of persecution by which Elizabeth and her ministers were actuated in the attempt to abolish at once the exercise of the ancient religion of the country by heavy pains and penalties. It now remains to show what success attended the attempt-what were the merits and virtues of the new clergy–what zeal and disinterestedness they displayed in overcoming the attachment of the people to the old forms of worship, and winning them over to the new. And here, I regret to find, that there is nothing to be seen but what excites disgust at the folly and wickedness of the government, in tearing down, and, as far as in their power, destroying an old system, without any adequate effort to provide a suitable substitute.
The reformation, whatever may have been its operation in other countries, produced the most deleterious consequences in Ireland. One of the first fruits of it was to expel the old clergy froin the churches, without supplying their
places with successors. Another was a sacrilegious robbery of the Catholic churches, which were generally despoiled of their furniture and ornaments, by persons appointed to reinove crucifixes, mass books, and other articles from them. The spoils were publicly sold by the plunderers for their benefit.t To this rapine they were encouraged by the hostility so
ooo *“ The clergy, who refused to conform, abandoned their cures. No reformed ministers could be found to supply their places. The churches fell to ruins. The people were left without any religious worship or instruction."389
+“ The prejudices conceived against the reformation, by the Irish natives more especially, were still further encreased by the conduct of those who were commissioned to remove the objects and instruments of popular superstition. Under pretence of obeying the orders
330 Leland, II. 274,