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is succeeded as a matter of course by assassinations extending over the whole length and breadth of the country. In the parallel case, we are convinced that Englishmen would account the assassination of Frenchmen a positive merit, as a legitimate act of war. The Irish, being Catholics, would be steadily taught, that even under their existing circumstances assassination is a mortal sin. But then there never has been and never will be a religious communion, which does not contain very many members, who are by no means habitual observers of God's Law; and a large proportion of these would be engaged in assassination. But now further, it will be wholly impossible for the English to detect the assassins. Even those very numerous Catholic Irishmen, who would rather die than commit mortal sin, are most certainly not bound, under pain of mortal sin or of any sin, to co-operate actively with the law of an alien enemy; whether or no it be thought that they are bound to abstain from positive resistance. Will the English in desperation call the priests to their assistance? Why in the first place, if there is one thing more earnestly denounced than another by such writers as Mr. Greg, it is governing Ireland by help of the priests; but in the second place, the priests would not be willing to come to the rescue; while in the third place (if they were willing) they could do nothing. The Eng. lish then must either acquiesce in the numerous and repeated assassinations, or govern the country by military law, shooting men on mere suspicion. If English opinion before very long interferes and compels the Legislature to retract its steps,—then all the evils now existing (for which a remedy has been sought in the disfranchisement of Catholics) would return, not merely in full force but with greatly increased intensity. On the other hand, if Englishmen chose the continuance of this pandemonium and the constant increase of its horrors, the indignation of other countries would in due time be aroused, and in one way or another Ireland would be rescued from her oppressor's grasp. But the loss of Ireland (as Englishmen are fond of insisting to defend themselves for denying autonomy to the Irish) would be a death-blow to the British Empire.
It will be objected perhaps to this picture, that Catholic disfranchisement did exist in Ireland for a whole century, and was only brought to an end at the good pleasure of the English. But the reply is obvious, or rather the objection strengthens our argument. This disfranchisement was able to continue, because Catholic Ireland was kept firmly down by the appalling penal code; and it would be as impossible in the present day that England should re-enact the penal code, as that a Catholic king should inflict capital punishment for heresy.
No. The disfranchisement of all Irish Catholic voters is a measure, which cannot be so much as thought of by any sober person, who will take pains to estimate its consequences.
, And since, as Mr. Greg very truly observes, an Irish Catholic elector (if he votes sincerely and honestly) will always be to a very large extent under the influence of his priests, some different way must be excogitated, for dealing with this troublesome part of the community.
It has often been said, that the true solution of the Irish difficulty would be to govern Ireland according to Irish ideas. The more common answer to this is, that such an expression has no definite meaning. It is our own conviction however, not only that the phrase has a very definite meaning, but that that meaning is a sound and important one; and in our number for last April (pp. 439–40) we were led to say a few words on the subject. On the present occasion however we shall content ourselves, with a far more rudimental and indubitable statement. We say this then. Englishmen, who undertake to govern a nation widely different from their own in religion, in race, in national character,-incur a grave guilt before God and man, if they do not take special pains rightly to understand the circumstances and needs of that nation.
Considered from this point of view, the debate on Mr. Butt's proposed censure of Judge Keogh ranks fairly among the most disgraceful scenes which ever degraded the British Legislature. Here was a judgment, which, alike from its matter and its manner, had convulsed Catholic Ireland to the very centre. The English rulers of the conquered race assembled, in counsel with a small array of Irish members, to discuss it. Of what character was the discussion ? Why the conservative and the liberal opponents of Mr. Butt's motion vied with each other, in their ignorance of the most obvious and easily-known Irish phenomena. The opinion sincerely* held and assumed by them throughout was, that the Catholic electors of Galway, in Cheir genuine unbiassed judgment, preferred the son of Lord Clancarty † to the author of the Portacarron award; and that they were only prevented, by the organization of a ruthless and
." We cannot say " honestly." See the introductory remarks of our article.
+ We are far from intending any implication personally disrespectful to the late Lord Clancarty, of whom we know absolutely nothing. But it was universally believed, that he was in act a thorough-going anti-Catholic ; that he refused ground e.g. for a Catholic chapel, and opposed the admission of nuns into a workhouse. It was also universally believed, that in so acting he did but conform to the hereditary habits of his family. Is it probable that his son was an acceptable candidate to Catholics who thus believed ?
overbearing sacerdotal conspiracy, from sending to Parliament the landlords' nominee, the son of their hereditary foe. We do not mean, that those who opposed Mr. Butt formulized this opinion and looked it in the face; because then it would have been seen as too extravagantly absurd to be credited. But we do say, that their argument alike and their invective were utterly unmeaning, unless this opinion were assumed as true. Who can be surprised that the Irish are disaffected, when we see that such a notion as this is sanctioned by an enormous majority of those, to whose tender mercies the political welfare of Ireland is intrusted ?* If all other records of English misgovernment were swept away, the mere report of that debate would go far to justify the odiousness among Irishmen of English rule ; because of the contemptuous indifference towards Ireland, which is manifested by such scandalous ignorance.
We say that contemptuous indifference towards Ireland was the necessary condition, the “sine quâ non,” for such ignorance as was displayed in the debate. But let us next inquire how such ignorance was positively caused; for this also is a consideration of much importance. The positive cause was this: that the ordinary Protestant Englishman lashes himself into blind fury at the very sound of the word "priest,” like a bull at the sight of a red rag. And we say that a very long step indeed would be taken towards solving the Irish difficulty, if English Protestants of influence would but study the Irish national religion, instead of persistently shutting their eyes to its true character under the influence of unreasoning and violent prejudice. We would express our full meaning as follows:
The division into conservatives” and “ liberals” is a most unsatisfactory classification of British politicians. By the term “liberals” are meant (we suppose) those, who on the whole support Mr. Gladstone's government; and these certainly differ from each other very far more profoundly, than many of them differ from Mr. Gladstone's opponents. The truly significant division of public men—that which really fixes attention on the most vital difference between them — would be into
* This dense English ignorance of the most notorious Irish facts is by no means confined to legislators. “It is seldom,” says Prof. Beesly (Fortnightly Review for July) “that any utterance of a public man is received with such unanimous and hearty approval, as has greeted the Judgment of Mr. Justice Keogh in England. Liberals and conservatives are for once of one mind. The language in which it was couched, though such as would have been generally pronounced coarse and outrageous if it had been uttered in Trafalgar Square or on Clerkenwell Green, has been decidedly enjoyed.” The “ theory of its admirers, adds the Professor, “ does indeed in one sense offer matter for serious reflection ; for it throws some additional light on the capacity of the English people for Governing Ireland."
supporters and opponents of that movement, which Catholic writers call the Revolution. The purpose of that movement, we need hardly say, is to remove political institutions entirely from off that religious basis, on which they still partially rest.
In Great Britain the Revolution has as yet made far less way than on the continent of Europe, while in Ireland it is (one may say) utterly unknown. And though for our own part we cannot be sanguine on the remote future of the United Kingdom under its present democratic constitution,-at all events, if opponents of the Revolution would heartily combine with each other, that movement might be kept at bay for an indefinite period. Here it is that we have to lament that deplorable English ignorance and misapprehension of Irislı Catholicity, on which we have been descanting. No more effective opponents of the Revolution can be found, than the Catholic priesthood; and yet piously-intentioned Protestants,—who dread above all other things the separation of politics from religion,-dread, even above that, any exercise of sacerdotal influence. same men, who in the last Session assailed Mr. Gladstone for not giving Scotch Presbyterianism more exclusive privileges, would have voted (it was understood) to a man for Mr. Fawcett's motion in favour of Irish anti-denominationalism. And why was this? Because they practically regard “Popery" as worse than no religion at all. Indeed Professor Huxley (who is generally in practical matters a clear-sighted longheaded man) sets at an incredibly high point the anti-Catholic prejudices of good English Protestants. He does not conceal the character of his own (ir) religious creed; for we were able in our last number (p. 12) to give from his writings a full account of it. Here are eight of its fundamental articles :
1. Physical science is the only fountain at which spiritual thirst can be quenched.
II. Sadness is of the essence of religion.
IV. He looks with favour on the learned Dives, not on the poor and ignorant Lazarus.
V. Physical welfare and happiness are the summum bonum.
VI. Security, wealth, culture, and sympathy are the only rational objects of pursuit.
VII. All aspirations or efforts after divine things—the love of God or beatitude in a future life-are simple waste of time if not worse, and fit only for lunatics.
VIII. Knowledge of all such subjects is impossible to us.
Yet holding even such views as these, the Professor hopes to prevail on the Englislı public to follow him in an anti-Catholic
crusade. So far as he personally is concerned, he is perfectly right in thinking that his purposes would be best promoted, were it possible (which however it is not) to put down Catholicity with a strong hand. With him po compromise is possible; and we must carry on an internecine war against him to the bitter end. But as to those who believe in a Personal God, and who desire to retain political affairs in subjection to that God, we trust they will see through the Professor's transparent artifice, The ends which they desire are the very opposite to his; and they have his express testimony before them, that the best means of extirpating national religion is the oppression of Catholicity. Let them only bring themselves to look carefully at the phenomena of Irish Catholicity, and they will find abundant grounds for his opinion.
Nothing is more obvious on the surface, than the hearty zeal with which Irish priests support the intimate connection of politics with religion. How keen they are e. g. in favour of denominational education! Then how zealously they laboured to put down the Fenian spirit, though every national and political prejudice would have induced them to regard it with favour! Again, in the very excitement of the Galway election, amidst all the provocation caused by landlords, they went out of their way to protest against“ revolution and communism."* In truth (as we have already said) there is no country in the civilised world so unanimously hostile as Ireland to that detestable movement, which would divorce politics from religion; and yet pious English Protestants, who themselves abhor the same movement, regard the national priesthood of that country with blind and reckless aversion. If ever there were a machination of Satan, it is here to be found.
They will reply perhaps, that their conscience revolts against the characteristic dogmata of “ Popery"; its idolatry, formalism, and the like. Of course we do not expect that they will in general become Catholics ; though we heartily wish so great a blessing were in store for them. But we say (1) that if they
* This was in the “Sellars circular," so constantly cited both in the trial and the Butt debate. We have already printed the first part of the circular; it continues thus : " His Lordship” the Bishop of Clonfert, acting in concert with a meeting of his clergy, “expects that in this crisis, where the intention is explicitly avowed to crush“ priestly dictation?—the parrot cry of the advocates of revolution and communism-no clergyman will be found apathetic or indifferent." (Evidence, p. 139.) Captain Trench's counsel seemed quite perplexed at this sentence, and understood the Bishop as accusing the landlords of revolution and communism. Yet his meaning is surely clear enough. There is no class, the Bishop would say, who declaim more loudly than the landlords against revolution and communism ; and yet they have taken up “ the parrot cry of the advocates of” those evil principles. VOL. XIX, NO. XXXVIII. [New Series.]