Imatges de pÓgina

hibit, it tolerates; if it tolerates the conversion of the natives, the suspicion may be easily formed that it encourages that conversion. If the Brahmins do not believe this themselves, they may easily persuade the common people that such is the fact; nor are there wanting. besides the activity of these new missionaries, many other circumstances to corroborate such a rumour. Under the auspices of the College at Fort William, the Scriptures are in a course of translation into the languages of almost the whole continent of Oriental India, and we perceive, that in aid of this object the Bible Society has voted a very magnificent subscription. The three principal chaplains of our Indian settlement are (as might be expected) of principles exactly corresponding with the enthusiasm of their employers at home; and their zeal upon the subject of religion has shone and burnt with the most exemplary fury. These circumstances, if they do not really impose upon the minds of the leading natives, may give them a very powerful handle for misrepresenting the intentions of government to the lower orders.

empire is governed by men who, we are very much afraid, would feel proud to lose it in such a cause.

Can it be credited that this is an extract from a pamphlet generally supposed to be written by a noble Lord at the Board of Control, from whose official interference the public might have expected a correc. tive to the pious temerity of others?

The other leaders of the party, indeed, make at present great professions of toleration, and express the strongest abhorrence of using violence to the natives. This does very well for a beginning, but we We be.

We see from the massacre of Vellore, what a pow-have little confidence in such declarations. erful engine attachment to religion may be rendered lieve their fingers itch to be at the stone and clay in Hindostan. The rumours might all have been false; gods of the Hindoos; and that, in common with the but that event shows they were tremendously power- noble Controller, they attribute a great part of our ful when excited. The object, therefore, is not only national calamities to these ugly images of deities on not to do anything violent and unjust upon subjects of the other side of the world. We again repeat, that religion, but not to give any stronger colour to jealous upon such subjects, the best and ablest men, if once and disaffected natives for misrepresenting your inten-tinged by fanaticism, are not to be trusted for a single


All these observations have tenfold force when applied to an empire which rests so entirely upon opinion. If physical force could be called in to stop the progress of error, we could afford to be misrepresent. ed for a season; but 30,000 white men, living in the midst of 70 million sable subjects, must be always in the right, or at least never represented as grossly in the wrong. Attention to the prejudices of the subject is wise in all governments, but quite indispensable in a government constituted as our empire in India is constituted; where an uninterrupted series of dexterous conduct is not only necessary to our prosperity,

but to our existence.

who still retain the fear of God, and who admit that reli'But I think it my duty to make a solemn appeal to all gion and the course of conduct which it prescribes are not to be banished from the affairs of nations--now when the political sky, so long overcast, has become more lowering and black than ever-whether this is a period for augmenting the weight of our national sins and provocations, by an exclusive TOLERATION of idolatry; a crime which, unless est denunciations of vengeance, and the most fearful inthe Bible be a forgery, has actually drawn forth the heaviflictions of Divine displeasure.'-Considerations, &c. p. 98.


2dly, Another reason for giving up the task of con version, is the want of success. In India, religion extends its empire over the minutest actions of life. It is not merely a law for moral conduct, and for occasional worship, but it dictates to a man his trade, his dress, his food, and his whole behaviour. His religion also punishes a violation of its exactions, not by eternal and future punishments, but by present infamy. If an Hindoo is irreligious, or, in other words, if he loses his caste, he is deserted by father, mother, wife, child, and kindred, and becomes in him, to receive him, to eat with him, is a pollution stantly a solitary wanderer upon the earth: to touch These reasonings are entitled to a little more consi- producing a similar loss of caste; and the state of deration, at a period when the French threaten our such a degraded man is worse than death itself. To existence in India by open force, and by every species becomes a Christian; and this difficulty must a misthese evils an Hindoo must expose himself before he of intrigue with the native powers. In all governments everything takes its tone from the head; fana- sionary overcome before he can expect the smallest ticism has got into the government at home; fanati-success-a difficulty which, it is quite clear, they cism will lead to promotion abroad. The civil servant themselves, after a short residence in India, consider in India will not only dare to exercise his own judg. to be insuperable. ment in checking the indiscretions of ignorant missionaries, but he will strive to recommend himself to his holy masters in Leadenhall-street, by imitating Brother Cran and Brother Ringletaube, and by every species of fanatical excess. Methodism at home is no unprofitable game to play. In the East it will soon be the infallible road to promotion. This is the great evil: if the management was in the hands of men who were as discreet and wise in their devotion as they are in matters of temporal welfare, the desire of putting an end to missions might be premature and indecorous. But the misfortune is, the men who wield the instru-government; the principal men among them met once at ment, ought not, in common sense and propriety, to Kishnagur, and once at Calcutta; but after consultations, be trusted with for a single instant. Upon this sub- and an examination of their most ancient records, they de ject they are quite insane and ungovernable; they clared to Lord Clive, that as there was no precedent to would deliberately, piously, and conscientiously ex-justify the act, they found it impossible to restore the unfor pose our whole Eastern empire to destruction, for the tunate man to his caste, and he died soon after of a broken sake of converting half a dozen Brahmins, who, after heart.'-Scott Waring's Preface, p. lvi. stuffing themselves with rum and rice, and borrowing money from the missionaries, would run away, and cover the gospel and its professors with every species of ridicule and abuse.

As a proof of the tenacious manner in which the Hindoos cling to their religious prejudices, we shall state two or three very short anecdotes, to which any person who has resided in India might produce many parallels.

In the year 1766, the late Lord Clive and Mr. Verelst employed the whole influence of Government to restore a Hindoo to his caste, who had forfeited it, not by any neglect of his own, but by having been compelled, by a most unpardonable act of violence, to swallow a drop of cow the case, were very anxious to comply with the wishes of broth. The Brahmins, from the peculiar circumstances of

Upon the whole, it appears to us hardly possible to push the business of proselytism in India to any length without incurring the utmost risk of losing our empire. The danger is more tremendous, because it may be so sudden; religious fears are very probable causes of disaffection in the troops; if the troops are generally disaffected, our Indian empire may be lost to us as suddenly as a frigate or a fort; and that

It is the custom of the Hindoos to expose dying people upon the banks of the Ganges. There is some thing peculiarly holy in that river; and it soothes the agonies of death to look upon its waters in the last moments. A party of English were coming down in a boat, and perceived upon the bank a pious Hindoc, in a state of the last imbecility-about to be drowned by the rising tide, after the most approved and orthodox manner of their religion. They had the curiosity to land; and as they perceived some more signs of life than were at first apparent, a young Englishman poured down his throat the greatest part of a bottle of la

vender water, which he happened to have in his pocket. | any other: and even if the religion of Brama is the The effects of such a stimulus, applied to a stomach most ancient of the two, it is still to be proved, that accustomed to nothing stronger than water, were in the Ceylonese professed that religion before they stantaneous and powerful. The Hindoo revived suffi- changed it for their present faith. In point of fact, ciently to admit of his being conveyed to the boat, was however, the boasted Christianity of the Ceylonese is carried to Calcutta, and perfectly recovered. He had proved by the testimony of the missionaries themdrunk, however, in the company of Europeans-no selves, to be little better than nominal. The followmatter whether voluntary or involuntary--the offence ing extract from one of their own communications, was committed: he lost caste, was turned away from dated Columbo, 1805, will set this matter in its true his home, and avoided, of course, by every relation light :and friend. The poor man came before the police, making the bitterest complaints upon being restored to lite; and for three years the burden of supporting him fell upon the mistaken Samaritan who had rescued him from death. During that period, scarcely a day elapsed in which the degraded resurgent did not appear before the European, and curse him with the bit terest curses-as the cause of all his misery and deso. lation. At the end of that period he fell ill, and of course was not again thwarted in his passion for dying. The writer of this article vouches for the truth of this anecdote; and many persons who were at Calcutta at the time must have a distinct recollection of the fact, which excited a great deal of conversation and amusement, mingled with compassion.

It is this institution of castes which has preserved India in the same state in which it existed in the days of Alexander; and which would leave it without the slightest change in habits and manners, if we were to abandon the country to-morrow. We are astonished to observe the late resident in Bengal speaking of the fifteen millions of Mahomedans in India as converts from the Hindoos; an opinion, in support of which he does not offer the shadow of an argument, except by asking, whether the Mahomedans have the Tartar face? and if not, how they can be the descendants of the first conquerors of India? Probably not altogether. But does this writer imagine, that the Mahomedan empire could exist in Hindostan for 700 years without the intrusion of Persians, Arabians, and every species of Mussulman adventurers from every part of the East, which had embraced the religion of Mahomed? And let them come from what quarter they would, could they ally themselves to Hindoo women without producing in their descendants an approximation to the Hindoo features? Dr. Robertson, who has investigated this subject with the greatest care, and looked into all the authorities, is expressly of an opposite opinion; and considers the Mussulman inhabitants of Hindostan to be merely the descendants of Mahomedan adventurers, and not converts from the Hindoo faith.

Dutch congregation, came to see us, and we paid them a
"The elders, deacons, and some of the members of the
visit in return, and made a little inquiry concerning the
state of the church on this island, which is, in one word.
miserable! One hundred thousand of those who are called
Christians, (because they are baptized) need not go back
to heatuenism, for they never have been any thing else but
heathens, worshippers of Budda: they have been induced,
for worldly reasons, to be baptized. O Lord, have mercy
Miss. Soc. II. 265.
on the poor inhabitants of this populous island!'-Truns.

What success the Syrian Christians had in making converts; in what degree they have gained their numbers by victories over the native superstition, or lost their original numbers by the idolatrous examples to which for so many centuries they have been exposed, are points wrapt up in so much obscurity, that no kind of inference as to the facility of converting the natives, can be drawn from them. Their present num. ber is supposed to be about 150,000.

It would be of no use to quote the example of Japan and China, even if the progress of the faith in these empires had been much greater than it is. We do not say it is difficult to convert the Japanese, or the Chinese; but the Hindoos. We are not saying it is difficult to convert human creatures; but difficult to convert human creatures with such institutions. To mention the example of other nations who have them not, is to pass over the material objection, and to answer others which are merely imaginary, and have never been made.

3dly, The duty of conversion is less plain, and less imperious, when conversion exposes the convert to great present misery. An African or an Otaheite proselyte might not perhaps be less honoured by his countrymen if he became a Christian; an Hindoo is instantly subjected to the most perfect degradation. A change of faith might increase the imminediate happiness of any other individual; it annihilates for ever all the human comforts which an Hindoo enjoys. The eternal happiness which you proffer him, is therefore less attractive to him than to any other heathen, from the life of misery by which he purchases it.

Nothing is more precarious than our empire in India. Suppose we were to be driven out of it to-morrow, and to leave behind us twenty thousand converted Hindoos, it is most probable they would relapse into heathenism; but their original station in society could not be regained. The duty of making converts, there.. fore, among such a people, as it arises from the general duty of benevolence, is less strong than it would be in many other cases; because, situated as we are, it is quite certain we shall expose them to a great deal of misery, and not quite certain we shall do them any future good.

"The armies,' (says Orme) which made the first conquests for the heads of the respective dynasties, or for other invaders, left behind them numbers of Mahomedans, who, seduced by a finer climate, and a richer country, forgot their own.

'The Mahomedan princes of India naturally gave a preference to the service of men of their own religion, who, from whatever country they came, were of a more vigorous constitution than the stoutest of the subjected nation. This preference has continually encouraged adventurers from Tartary, Persia, and Arabia, to seek their fortunes under a government from which they were sure of receiving greater encouragement than they could expect at home. From these origins, time has formed in India a mighty nation of near ten millions of Mahomedans.'-Orme's Indostan, I. p. 24.

Precisely similar to this is the opinion of Dr. Robertson, Note xl.-Indian Disquisition.

4thly, Conversion is no duty at all, if it merely destroys the old religion, without really and effectually teaching the new one. Brother Ringletaube may write home that he makes a Christian, when in reality he ought only to state that he has destroyed an Hindoo. Foolish and imperfect as the religion of an HinAs to the religion of the Ceylonese, from which the doo is, it is at least some restraint upon the intempeBengal resident would infer the facility of making con- rance of human passions. It is better a Brahmin verts of the Hindoos, it is to be observed that the re- should be respected than that nobody should be religion of Boudhou, in ancient times, extended from the spected. An Hindoo had better believe that a deity north of Tartary to Ceylon, from the Indus to Siam, with an hundred legs and arms, will reward and pu and (if Foe and Boudhou are the same persons) over nish him hereafter, than that he is not to be punished China. That of the two religions of Boudhou and at all. Now, when you have destroyed the faith of an Brama, the one was the parent of the other, there Hindoo, are you quite sure that you will graft upon can be very little doubt; but the comparative anti- his mind fresh principles of action, and make him any quity of the two is so very disputed a point, that it is thing more than a nominal Christian? quite unfair to state the case of the Ceylonese as an nstance of conversion from the Hindoo religion to

You have 30,000 Europeans in India, and sixty miil. ions of other subjects. If proselytism were to go on as


repents of his resolution of running hooks into his flesh.


The duties of conversion appear to be of less importance, when it is impossible to procure proper persons to undertake them, and when such religious embassies, in consequence, devolve upon the lowest of the people. Who wishes to see scrofula and atheism cured by a single sermon in Bengal? who wishes to see the religious hoy riding at anchor in the Hoogley river? or shoals of jumpers exhibiting their nimble piety before the learned Brahmins of Benares? This n:adness is disgusting and dangerous enough at home. Why are we to send out little detachments of maniacs to spread over the fiue regions of the world the most unjust and contemptible opinion of the gospel? The wise and rational part of the Christian ministry find they have

rapidly as the most visionary Anabaptist could dream or desire, in what manner are these people to be taught the genuine truths and practices of Christianity? Where are the clergy to come from? Who is to defray the expense of the establishment? and who can foresee the immense and perilous difficulties of bending the laws, manners, and institutions of a country to the dictates of a new religion? If it were easy to persuade the Hindoos that their own religion was folly, it would be infinitely difficult effectually to teach them any other. They would tumble their own idols into the river, and you would build them no churches; you would destroy all their present motives for doing right, and avoiding wrong, without being able to fix upon their minds the more sublime motives by which you profess to be actuated. What a missionary will do hereafter with the heart of a convert, is a matter enough to do at home to combat with passions un faof doubt and speculation. He is quite certain, how-vourable to human happiness, and to make inen aet ever, that he must accustom the man to see himself up to their professions. But if a tinker is a devout as infamous; and good principles can hardly be ex-man, he infallibly sets off for the East. Let any man posed to a ruder shock. Whoever has seen much of read the Anabaptist missions-can he do so without Hindoo Christians must have perceived, that the man deeming such men pernicious and extravagant in their who bears that name is very commonly nothing more own country-and without feeling that they are bene. than a drunken reprobate, who conceives himself at fiting us much more by their absence, than the Hinliberty to eat and drink any thing he pleases, and an-doos by their advice? nexes hardly any other meaning to the name of Christianity. Such sort of converts may swell the list of names, and gratify the puerile pride of a missionary; but what real, discreet Christian can wish to see such Christianity prevail? But it will be urged, if the pre. sent converts should become worse Hindoos, and very indifferent Christians, still the next generation will do better; and by degrees, and at the expiration of half a century, or a century, true Christianty may prevail. We may apply to such sort of Jacobin converters what Mr. Burke said of the Jacobin politicians in his time: To such men a whole generation of human beings are of no more consequence than a frog in an air pump.' For the distant prospect of doing what, most probably after all, they will never be able to effect, there is no degree of present misery and horror to which they will not expose the subjects of their experiment.

It is somewhat strange, in a duty which is stated And if no other instruments remam but by one party to be so clear and so indispensable, that no man of moderation and good sense can be found to perform it. visionary enthusiasts, some doubt may be honestly raised whether it is not better to drop the scheme entirely.

As the duty of making proselytes springs from the duty of benevolence, there is a priority of choice in conversion. The greatest zeal should plainly be directed to the most desperate misery and ignorance. Now, in comparison to many other nations who are equally ignorant of the truths of Christianity, the Hindoos are a civilized and a moral people. That they have remained in the same state for so many centu. ries, is at once a proof that the institutions which esta blished that state could not be highly unfavourable to human happiness. After all that has been said of the vices of the Hindoos, we believe that an Hindoo is more mild and sober than most Europeans, and as honest and chaste. In astronomy the Hindoos have certainly made very high advances-some, and not an unimportant progress in many sciences. As manufacturers, they are extremely ingenious-and as agricul. turists, industrious. Christianity would improve them, (whom would it not improve?) but if Christianity cannot be extended to all, there are many other nations who want it more.*

Shortly stated, then, our argument is this :-We see not the slightest prospect of success-we see much danger in making the attempt;—and we doubt if the conversion of the Hindoos would ever be more than nominal. If it is a duty of general benevolence to convert the Heathen, it is less a duty to convert the Hindoos than any other people, because they are already highly civilized, and because you must infalliThe instruments employed for these purposes are bly subject them to infamy and present degradation. calculated to bring ridicule and disgrace upon the gospel; and in the discretion of those at home, whom we consider as their patrons, we have not the smallest reliance; but, on the contrary, we are convinced they would behold the loss of our Indian empire, not with the humility of men convinced of erroneous views and projects, but with the pride, the exultation, and the alacrity of martyrs.

Of the books which have handled this subject on either side, we have little to say. Major Scott Waring's book is the best against the Missions; but he wants arrangement and prudence. The late resident writes well; but is miserably fanatical towards the conclusion. Mr. Cunningham has been diligent in looking into books upon the subject: and though an evangelical gentleman, is not uncharitable to those who differ from him in opinion. There is a passage in the publication of his reverend brother, Mr. Owen, which, had we been less accustomed than we have be quite incredible. been of late to this kind of writing, would appear to

I have not pointed out the comparative indifference, The Hindoos have some very savage customs, which it would be desirable to abolish. Some swing on hooks, upon Mr. Twining's principles, between one religion and some run knives through their hands, and widows another, to the welfare of a people: nor the impossibility, burn themselves to death: but these follies (even the on those principles, of India being Christianized by any bulast) are quite voluntary on the part of the sufferers. man means, so long as it shall remain under the dominion We dislike all misery, voluntary or involuntary; but of the Company; nor the alternative to which Providence the difference between the torments which a man is by consequence reduced, of either giving up that country chooses, and those which he endures from the choice to everlasting superstition, or of working some miracle in This is really beyond any thing we ever remember of others, is very great. It is a considerable wretch order to accomplish its conversion.'—Owen's Address, p. 39. edness that men and women should be shut up in religious houses; but it is only an object of legislative to have read. The hoy, the cock-fight, and the re interference, when such incarceration is compulsory.ligious newspaper, are pure reason when compared to Monasteries and nunneries with us would be harmless it. The idea of reducing Providence to an alternative!! institutions, because the moment a devotee found he and, by a motion at the India House, carried by bal had acted like a fool, he might avail himself of the lot! We would not insinuate, in the most distant sincere piety; but the misfortune is, all extra superdiscovery and run away; and so may an Hindoo, if he manner, that Mr. Owen is not a gentleman of the most fine persons accustom themselves to a familiar phra

*We are here, of course, arguing the question only in a worldly point of view. This is one point of view in which

shocking to the common and inferior orders of Chrisit must be placed, though certainly the lowest and least im-seology upon the most sacred subjects, which is quite


tians. Providence reduced to an alternative!!!!! Let | abandon the only instrument by which the few are it be remembered, this phrase comes from a member ever prevented from ruining the many.

of a religious party, who are loud in their complaints It is folly to talk of any other ultimatum in governof being confounded with enthusiasts and fanatics. ment than perfect justice to the fair claims of the subWe cannot conclude without the most pointed repro-ject. The concessions to the Irish Catholics in 1792 bation of the low mischief of the Christian Observer; were to be the ne plus ultra. Every engine was set a publication which appears to have no other method on foot to induce the grand juries in Ireland to petiof discussing a question fairly open to discussion, than tion against further concessions; and, in six months that of accusing their antagonists of infidelity. No afterwards, government were compelled to introduce, art can be more unmanly, or, if its consequences are themselves, those further relaxations of the penal code, foreseen, more wicked. If this publication had been of which they had just before assured the Catholics the work of a single individual, we might have passed they must abandon all hope. Such is the absurdity it over in silent disgust; but as it is looked upon as of supposing that a few interested and ignorant indithe organ of a great political religious party in this viduals can postpone, at their pleasure and caprice, country, we think it right to notice the very unworthy the happiness of millions. manner in which they are attempting to extend their influence. For ourselves, if there were a fair prospect of carrying the gospel into regions where it was before unknown,-if such a project did not expose the best possessions of the country to extreme danger, and if it was in the hands of men who were discreet, as well of the Irish were unavailing,-that argument was as devout, we should consider it to be a scheme of hopeless,-that their case was prejudged with a sullen true piety, benevolence, and wisdom: but the base-inflexibility which circumstances could not influence, ness and malignity of fanaticism shall never prevent pity soften, or reason subdue. us from attacking its arrogance, its ignorance, and its We are by no means convinced, that the decorous activity. For what vice can be more tremendous than silence recommended upon the Catholic question would that which, while it wears the outward appearance of be rewarded by those future concessions, of which religion, destroys the happiness of man, and dishon-many persons appear to be so certain. We have a ours the name of God? strange incredulity where persecution is to be abolish. ed, and any class of men restored to their indisputa. ble rights. When we see it done, we will believe it. Till it is done, we shall always consider it to be high. ly improbable-much too improbable-to justify the smallest relaxation in the Catholics themselves, or in those who are well-wishers to their cause. When the

As to the feeling of irritation with which such continued discussion may inspire the Irish Catholics, we are convinced that no opinion could be so prejudicial to the cordial union which we hope may always subsist between the two countries, as that all the efforts


History of the Penal Laws against the Irish Catholics, fanciful period at present assigned for the emancipafrom the Treaty of Limerick to the Union. By Henry Parnell, Esq. M. P.

tion arr es, new scruples may arise-fresh forbearance be called for-and the operations of common THE various publications which have issued from sense be deferred for another generation. Toleration the press in favour of religious liberty, have now near-never had a present tense, nor taxation a future one. ly silenced the arguments of their opponents; and, The answer which Paul received from Felix, he owed teaching sense to some, and inspiring others with to the subject on which he spoke. When justice and shame, have left those only on the field who can righteousness were his theme, Felix told him to go away, and he would hear him some other time. men who have spoken to courts upon such disagree.

neither learn nor blush.



But, though the argument is given up, and the justice of the Catholic cause admitted, it seems to be gener-able topics, have received the same answer. Felix, ally conceived, that their case, at present, is utterly however, trembled when he gave it; but his fear was hopeless; and that, to advocate it any longer, will ill-directed. He trembled at the subject-he ought to only irritate the oppressed, without producing any have trembled at the delay. change of opinion in those by whose influence and authority that oppression is continued. To this opinion, unfortunately too prevalent, we have many reasons for not subscribing.

Little or nothing is to be expected from the shame of deferring what is so wicked and perilous to defer. Profligacy in taking office is so extreme, that we have no doubt public men may be found, who, for half a century, would postpone all remedies for a pestilence, if the preservation of their places depended upon the propagation of the virus. To us, such kind of conduct conveys no other action than that of sordid, avaricious impudence: it puts to sale the best interests of the country for some improvement in the wines and meats and carriages which a man uses-and encourages a new political morality which may always postpone any other great measure-and every other great measure as well as the emancipation of the Catholics.

We terminate this apologetical preamble with expressing the most eamest hope that the Catholics will not, from any notion that their cause is effectually carried, relax in any one constitutional effort necessary

We do not understand what is meant in this country by the notion, that a measure, of consummate wisdom and imperious necessity, is to be deferred for any time, or to depend upon any contingency. Whenever it can be made clear to the understanding of the great mass of enlightened people, that any system of political conduct is necessary to the public welfare, every obstacle (as it ought) will be swept away before it; and as we conceive it to be by no means improbable, that the country may, ere long, be placed in a situation where its safety or ruin will depend upon its conduct towards the Catholics, we sincerely believe we are doing our duty in throwing every possible light on this momentous question. Neither do we understand where this passive submission to ignorance and error to their purpose. Their cause is the cause of common is to end. Is it confined to religion.? or does it ex-sense and justice; the safety of England and of the tend to war and peace, as well as religion? Would it world may depend upon it. It rests upon the soundest be tolerated, if any man were to say, Abstain from principles; leads to the most important consequences; all arguments in favour of peace; the court have re- and therefore cannot be too frequently brought before solved upon eternal war; and, as you cannot have the notice of the public. peace, to what purpose urge the necessity of it? We answer, that courts must be presumed to be open to the influence of reason; or, if they were not, to the influence of prudence and discretion, when they perceive the public opinion to be loudly and clearly against them. To lie by in timid and indolent silence, -to suppose an inflexibility, in which no court ever could, under pressing circumstances, persevere-and to neglect a regular and vigorous appeal to public opinion, is to give up all chance of doing good, and to

The book before us is written by Mr. Henry Parnell, the brother of Mr. William Parnell, author of the Historical Apology, reviewed in one of our late Numbers; and it contains a very well written history of the penal laws enacted against the Irish Catholics, from the peace of Limerick, in the reign of King Wil liam, to the late Union. Of these we shall present a very short, and, we hope even to loungers, a readable abstract.

The war carried on in Ireland against King William



cannot deserve the name of a rebellion:-it was a struggle for their lawful Prince, whom they had sworn to maintain; and whose zeal for the Catholic religion, whatever effect it might have produced in England, could not by them be considered as a crime. This war terminated by the surrender of Limerick, upon conditions by which the Catholics hoped, and very rationally hoped, to secure to themselves the free enjoyment of their religion in future, and an exemption from all those civil penalties and incapacities which the reigning creed is so fond of heaping upon its subjugated


By the various articles of this treaty, they are to enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as they did enjoy in the time of Charles II: and the King promises upon the meeting of Parliament, to endeavour to procure for them such further security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance on account of their said religion.' They are to be restored to their estates, privileges, and immunities, as they enjoyed them in the time of Charles II. The gentlemen are to be allowed to carry arms; and no other oath is to be tendered to the Catholics who submit to King William than the oath of allegiance. These and other articles, King William ratifies for himself, his heirs and successors, as far as in him lies; and confirms the same and every other clause and matter therein contained.

of the Popish clergy: 501. for discovering a Popish
bishop; 201. for a common Popish clergyman; 107.
for a Popish usher! Two justices of the peace can
compel any Papist over eighteen years of age to dis
close every particular which has come to his know-
ledge respecting Popish priests, celebration of mass,
or Papist schools. Imprisonment for a year if he
refuses to answer. Nobody can hold property in trust
for a Catholic. Juries, in all trials growing out of
these statutes, to be Protestants. No Papist to take
All the Catholic clergy to give in their names and
more than two apprentices, except in the linen trade.
places of abode at the quarter-sessions, and to keep
no curates. Catholics not to serve on grand juries.
In any trial upon statutes for strengthening the Pro-
testant interest, a Papist juror may be peremptorily

In the next reign Popish horses were attached, and
allowed to be seized for the militia. Papists cannot
be either high or petty constables. No Papists to
vote at elections. Papists in towns to provide Pro-
testant watchmen; and not to vote at vestries.

In the reign of George II. Papists were prohibited from being barristers. Barristers and solicitors mar rying Papists, considered to be Papists, and subjected to all penalties as such. Persons robbed by privateers by grand jury presentinents, and the money to be during a war with a Popish prince, to be indemnified levied on the Catholics only. No Papist to marry a Protestant; any priest celebrating such a marriage to be hanged.

During all this time there was not the slightest rebellion in Ireland.

These articles were signed by the English general on the 3d of October, 1691; and diffused comfort, confidence, and tranquillity among the Catholics. On the 22d of October, the English Parliament excluded Catholics from the Irish Houses of Lords and Cominons, by compelling them to take the oaths of supremacy before admission.

In 1695, the Catholics were deprived of all means of educating their children, at home or abroad, and of the privilege of being guardians to their own or to other person's children. Then all the Catholics were disarmed-and then all the priests banished. After this (probably by way of joke), an act was passed to confirm the treaty of Limerick-the great and glorious King William totally forgetting the contract he had entered into of recommending the religious liberties of the Catholics to the attention of Parliament.

In 1715 and 1745, while Scotland and the north of
England were up in arms, not a man stirred in Ireland;
yet the spirit of persecution against the Catholics
continued till the 18th of his present Majesty; and
then gradually gave way to the increase of knowledge,
the humanity of our Sovereign, the abilities of Mr.
Grattan, the weakness of England struggling in Ame
rica, and the dread inspired by the French revolution.

Such is the rapid outline of a code of laws which
reflects indelible disgrace upon the English character,
in which the English name has been so long held in
and explains but too clearly the cause of that hatred
Ireland. It would require centuries to efface such an
impression; and yet, when we find it fresh, and ope-
rating at the end of a few years, we explain the fact
by every cause which can degrade the Irish, and by
none which can remind us of our own scandalous
policy. With the folly and horror of such a code
before our eyes, with the conviction of recent and
domestic history, that mankind are not to be lashed
and chained out of their faith-we are striving to teaze
and worry them into a better theology. Heavy op.
And this is the
pression is removed; light insuits and provocations
are retained; the scourge does not fall upon their
shoulders, but it sounds in their ears.
conduct we are pursuing, when it is still a great doubt
whether this country alone may not be opposed to the
united efforts of the whole of Europe. It is really
difficult to ascertain which is the most utterly destitute
of common sense-the capricious and arbitrary stop
we have made in our concessions to the Catholics, or
the precise period we have chosen for this grand effort
of obstinate folly.

On the 4th of March, 1804, it was enacted, that any son of a Catholic who would turn Protestant, should succeed to the family estate, which from that moment could no longer be sold, or charged with debt and legacy. On the same day, Popish fathers were debarred, by a penalty of 5001., from being guardians to their own children. If the child, however young, declared himself a Protestant, he was to be delivered immediately to some Protestant relation. No ProNo Papist to purchase testant to marry a Papist. laud, or take a lease of land for more than thirty-one years. If the profits of the lands so leased by the Catholics amounted to above a certain rate settled by the act--farm to belong to the first Protestant who made the discovery. No Papist to be in a line of entail; but the estate to pass on to the next Protestant heir, as if the Papist were dead. If a Papist dies intestate, and no Protestant heir can be found, property to be equally divided among all the sons; or, if he has none, among all the daughters. By the 16th clause of this bill, no Papist to hold any office, civil or military. Not to dwell in Limerick or Galway, except on certain con ditions. Not to vote at elections. Not to hold advow.


In 1709, Papists were prevented from holding an
annuity for life. If any son of a Papist chose to turn
Protestant, and enrol the certificate of his conversion
in the Court of Chancery, that Court is empowered to
compel his father to state the value of his property
upon oath, and to make out of that property a compe-
tent allowance to the son, at their own discretion, not
only for his present maintenance, but for his future
portion after the death of his father. An increase of
jointure to be enjoyed by Papist wives upon their con-
version. Papists keeping schools to be prosecuted as
convicts. Popish priests who are converted, to receive
301. per annum.
Rewards are given by the same act for the discovery

In whatsoever manner the contest now in agitation emancipation of the Catholics will be very striking. on the Continent may terminate, its relation to the If the Spaniards succeed in establishing their own lib. erties, and in rescuing Europe from the tyranny under which it at present labours, it will still be contended, within the walls of our own Parliament, that the Cath olics cannot fulfil the duties of social life. Venal pol iticians will still argue that the time is not yet come. Sacred and lay sycophants will still lavish upon the Catholic faith their well-paid abuse, and England still passively submit to such a disgraceful spectacle of in gratitude and injustice. If, on the contrary (as may probably be the case), the Spaniards fall before the left alone in the world, without another ray of hope, numbers and military skill of the French, then are we and compelled to employ against internal disaffection

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