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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Speech of Lord Viscount Bernard, M.P

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Speech of Lord Viscount Bernard, M.P.

Lord Bernard said, that after the length at which Irish subjects had been discussed in this House, during the last three weeks, and indeed during the whole past portion of the session, it was with no ordinary degree of reluctance he felt himself bound to address to the House a few observations. But on the present occasion, considering the object and aim of the Motion introduced by the Hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Ward) it was a duty which he (Lord Bernard) owed to those whom he had the high honour to represent—a duty which he owed to his brethren, the loyal and faithful Protestants of Ireland, not to remain silent—above all, he should be wanting in his duty to that revered Church of which he was a member, and to which he was most sincerely attached, if he did not firmly but calmly state the grounds on which he should give to the Motion of the Hon. Member his most decided opposition. And he must say that he, for one, felt that he had reason to complain that a Motion of such great importance should have been brought forward at this late period of a laborious and extended session, at a time when not only many who agreed with him in general opposition to the political views of the Hon. Member for Sheffield, were in the ordinary course absent, but very many also were now also absent, who, though in general adopting the same views with that Hon. Member, were at least, he firmly believed and fondly hoped, not prepared to support any measure or Motion for the destruction of the Protestant Established Church in Ireland. He said the destruction of the Church, for that, at which the Motion of the Hon. Member for Sheffield aimed, was no more nor less than (as a similar suggestion had been properly designated in another place by the greatest of living men) an attempt to repeal the laws on which the glorious Reformation and the Reformed No. 8., with all its blessings and advantages, were based. It was, he (Lord Bernard) fearlessly repeated, no less than that. And here let him ask this House, let him ask the reasoning men of all parties—let him ask the Roman Catholics of this House and of the country, if the existence in Ireland of the Protestant page 4 Established Church was deemed to be an offence and a grievance to that country, how long was it probable that a Protestant Government would be borne—how long was it likely that the Protestant succession to the Throne would be quiescently endured. He spoke now, as he always spoke, with the greatest respect for his Roman Catholic fellow-countrymen, with respect for their feelings and sincere regard for themselves. He felt it a pleasure to acknowledge that he had lived among them and mixed familiarly with many of them, and if a word of his was in the remotest degree susceptible of being interpreted into an offence, he meant it not—he should deeply regret it. But he would ask of the Protestant portion of this House, of those who in England adhered to and upheld the Protestant Church, whether they could really hope to conciliate, to win the respect, the estimation, and regard, and confidence of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, if they, the members of the Established Church, came forward to sacrifice the interests—to abandon, to destroy the Church of Ireland. When they (the Roman Catholic people), whom it was thus vainly essayed to conciliate and win, saw gentlemen thus faithless to their own Church, could they place much confidence in those Hon. Gentlemen as guardians of the temporal interests of themselves and of the community? And, on the other hand, could it be supposed that those conciliatory movements would be regarded as sincere, as anything better than temporary expedients and illusory promises? Had the Irish people so soon forgotten, or did the Hon. Gentlemen opposite indulge the fond imagination that the Irish people had so soon forgotten, the fate of a similar Motion to the present, and introduced by the same Hon. Gentleman (the Member for Sheffield)? Had that people forgotten that a former Government had based on it claims to confidence and to support, had introduced measures in the spirit of that Motion, declaring their determination by the fate of those measures to abide, yet had abandoned those measures and still retained their offices? But in immediate reference to the present Motion, and to similar suggestions, there was one argument reiterated so constantly, and urged so confidently, as to demand particular attention and particular refutation. That argument was—that the Protestant Church of Ireland was an intrusive Church, and that the dignities and revenues of the Protestant Church in Ireland ought to belong, and in justice did belong, to the Roman Catholic Church. Now he contended that the facts of the case were directly the reverse, and some of the facts he would take the liberty of submitting to the House, to show that the Church as at this day established in Ireland was the ancient Church of that country, and therefore the legal, rightful, undoubted inheritor of all the privileges and revenues of that ancient Church. The first authority which he would adduce was that of Dr. Carew, not a Protestant authority, but a famous professor in the College of Maynooth. He wrote thus in his Ecclesiastical History:—

"The light of the Gospel appeared at a very early period in her horizon, before St. Patrick engaged in the conversion of the Irish people."

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Hume,* the historian, speaking of the early independence of the Irish Church, says:—

"The Irish Church followed the doctrines of her first teachers, and never acknowledged any subjection to the see of Rome."

Bede tells us that when the celebrated St. Colman, an Irishman, was Bishop of Lindisferne; a council was called upon to dispute the point of the celebration of Easter. St. Colman argues thus:—

"This Easter, which I used to observe, I received from my elders, who sent me bishop hither, which all our fathers, men beloved of God, are known to have celebrated after the same manner, which, that it may not seem unto any to be contemned and rejected, is the same which the blessed Evangelist St. John, the disciple especially beloved by our Lord, with all the Churches that he did oversee, is said to have celebrated. I marvel (he exclaimed) how such men call that absurd in which we follow the example of so great an apostle, one who was thought worthy of reposing upon the bosom of his Lord; and can it be believed that such men as our venerable father Columbkill and his successors would have thought or acted things contrary to the precepts of the sacred pages!"

A writer of the life of Wilfred, who defended the Church of Rome, while St. Colman defended the Church of Ireland, Fridogenus, a Roman Catholic, informs us that St. Colman still further added thus:—

"We abide by the custom of our fathers, which was given to us by Polycarp, the disciple of St. John."

Dr. Moore, the eminent writer, who in every case was favourable to the Roman Catholic Church, in his history stated—about the year 553 a question arose about the three chapters, which, Moore expresses it, "awakened the alarm of the see of Rome." The Irish took a part opposed to Rome. Cardinal Baronius, in his Tom. VII., Annal ad Annum 566, No. 21, says:—

"All the bishops that were in Ireland with most earnest study rose up conjointly for the defence of the three chapters, and when they perceived that the Church of Rome did both revive the condemnation of the three chapters, and strengthened the fifth Synod with her consent, they departed from her, and clave to the rest of the schismatics, animated with that vain confidence that they did stand for the Catholic faith, while they defended those things that were concluded in the Council of Chalcedon."§

* Vol. i. chap. ix-. p. 466. a.d. 1172.

Bede, lib. iii. 25. Usher's "Religion of the Ancient Irish," p. 103

Here we may observe the apostolic succession of the Irish Church clearly pointed out. St. John the Evangelist; Ignatius, the immediate disciple of St. John; Polycarp, the disciple of Ignatius; Pothinus, Iræneus, and others, the disciples of Polycarp, who preached the Gospel with great success in Gaul, through whose means flourishing Churches were established in Lyons and Vienne, of which Pothinus was the first Bishop. From thence the Gospel sounded forth throughout all that country. Bishops Lupas and German, the descendants of these holy men, ordained St. Patrick and made him chief Bishop of their school among the Irish, and from St. Patrick to the present day we have a regular succession of bishops, not from Rome or through Rome, but through the successors of the Apostle John, the patron of the Irish Church.—Dean of Ardagh's "History," p. 29.

§ See Harles's "Ecclesiastical Records," &c., p. 25.

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And it was a most remarkable fact in history, that the doctrines of that Council of Chalcedon were distinctly recognised by the Act of the 2d Elizabeth, cap. 1,* To pass to another part of the history

* The following occurs in St. Patrick's Letter, called the 'Confession':—"Ubique pergebam causâ vestrâ, etiam ad extremas partes, ubi nunquam aliquis prævenerat qui baptizaret aut clericos ordinaret aut populos cousummarit." "I went everywhere on your account, even to the remotest places where never before had any one come who could baptize, ordain, or complete (perhaps confirm) the people."

Moore's "History of Ireland," vol. i. p. 221. "It is supposed that to these western regions of Ireland the saint alludes in his 'Confession,' when he stated that he had visited remote districts where no missionary had been before, an assertion important, as plainly implying that in the more accessible parts of the country Christianity had been before his time preached and practised."

The result of the Council of Cashel was, that the Irish Church should be assimilated in its rites and discipline to that of England, but we are informed by the decisive testimony of Dr. Lanacan, that, wherever the natives maintained their independence, "Clergy and people followed their own ecclesiastical rules as if the Synod of Cashel had never been held."—Dean of Ardagh, p. 78.

O'Driscoll (Roman Catholic historian) "View of Ireland," vol. ii. p. 210:—says, "There is something very singular in the ecclesiastical history of Ireland. The Christian Church of that country, as founded by St. Patrick and His Predecessors, existed for many ages free and unshackled. For about seven hundred years this Church maintained its independence. It had no connexion with England, and differed on points of importance from Rome. The first work of Henry II. was to reduce the Church of Ireland into obedience to the Roman Pontiff; accordingly, he procured a council of the Irish clergy to be held at Cashel in 1172, and the combined influence and intrigues of Henry and the Pope prevailed. The Council put an end to the ancient Church of Ireland and submitted it to the yoke of Rome. That ominous apostasy has been followed by a series of calamities hardly to be equalled in the world. From the days of Patrick to the Council of Cashel was a bright and glorious career for Ireland. From the sitting of this Council to our time the lot of Ireland has been one of unmixed evil, and all her history a tale of woe."

Columbanus "Ad Ilibernos," letter ii. p.64, says:—"Ireland had been for ages industriously represented as a fief of the Church of Rome. In virtue of this imaginary right, the Irish clergy of the twelfth century, harassed by the feuds of their own chiefs, acquiesced in the donation of Pope Adrian IV. to Henry II., and also in the consequent confirmation of Alexander III."

Ibid., p.9:—"Are we to forget that during this horrible period both nations were Catholic, and that England was even more Popish than Ireland? For England not only received the doctrines of the Catholic Church in common with Ireland, but she did more, she obeyed the mandates of the Roman Church, which the Irish did not. I appeal to the history of King John laying his crown and bags of money at the feet of the imperious Randolf on the one side, and the Irish remonstrance of a.d. 1315 on the other." Showing that even after the submission to Adrian IV. and Alexander III., no friendly feeling existed in Ireland towards Rome.

O'Halloran, Roman Catholic historian, vol. ii., p. 280:—A chapter among other subjects is headed, "The Pretences of Rome to the commanding of Ireland inquired into and refuted."

Lord Lyttleton's "History of Henry II.," book iv., vol. v., p. 53.—In the above-mentioned year, 1139, while Innocent II. was Pontiff, Malachy, who had obtained the Archbishopric of Armagh, while his country was agitated with civil dissensions, went to Rome for a pall, which (to use the words of St. Bernard, "De Vitâ Malachiæ," c. xvi.) "had been from the beginning, and was still wanting to the Metropolitan See" Innocent, pleased with this homage from a Prelate whose predecessors had so long been independent, received him with great honours, taking off his own mitre and placing it on the head of his respected guest; but desiring to render the request of a pall rather the act of the Irish nation than their Primate alone, he exhorted him to assemble a National Council, and persuade them to sue for that favour. He did not, however, dismiss him, after such an application, without granting him what he knew would please him as well—the character of Legate in Ireland; availing himself of the plea that the Bishop of Lismore, to whom it had before been given, was grown old and infirm. Malachy, therefore, returned with the dignity into Ireland, and endeavoured to execute his new master's injunctions. But it seems that the Irish people did not readily admit the propriety of making the unprecedented petition to which they were urged, for several years passed away without its having been made; and when the Primate had brought his countrymen to apply to Pope Eugenius III., in the year 1138, for this gift, which Bernard calls the plenitude of honour, he died before he had time to convey to that Pontiff the request of the Council. Yet on the foundation he had laid, Eugenius, in the year 1151, sent Cardinal Pessero, Legate a latere, into Ireland with four palls for the Archbishops of Armagh, of Tuam, of Cashel, and of Dublin, the last of which cities was then first erected into an Archbishoprick. Thus the badge of subjection to the Roman Pontificate was at last received by the Irish Metropolitan Prelates.

Again: Ibid., "We are told by St. Bernard ("In vita S. M.," p. 1937) that before the election of Ceallach (or Celene) to the see of Armagh, it had been held by eight successive prelates, who were all married men."

Henry II., soon after he came to the crown, proposed to undertake the conquest of Ireland, but having no title on which he could possibly found a legal claim to that Isle, nor any reasonable cause of war with the nation, he took the only method of supplying these defects by colouring his ambition with a pretext of religion. Nicholas Breakspear, an Englishman, was the Bishop of Rome, under the title of Adrian IV. To him Henry sent John of Salisbury with letters, wherein he desired the sanction of the Papal authority to justify his intention of subduing the Irish in order to reform them. A request of this nature, which supposed in the Pope a power which he wished to assume, could not fail to be favourably received at Rome. Henry's Minister brought from thence a ring of gold to his master, sent by the Pope as a sign of his investing that Prince with the kingdom of Ireland, and then delivered to him the following Bull, &c., &c.—See, Lord Lyttleton, vol. v., p. 56; G. Carbrensis, "Hiberniâ Expugnatâ," c. 6, 1. 11. For this Bull, see Rymer's "Fædera," tom, i., p. 15.

page 7 of the Church. The Hon. Member for Sheffield had used, for the purposes of his Motion, the argument, that in the time of Henry VIII., only two out of all the Irish prelates had conformed, and that all, save those two, had been banished from their sees, and stripped of their dignities and revenues, to make way for men appointed by the sovereign.* But the Hon. Gentleman had either overlooked, or had

* The very same Act, 28th Henry VIII., which enacted the Oath of Supremacy, alienated the whole of the temporalities of the Irish Church: alienated in fact, the temporalities of all who refused to conform. Here only two bishops refused to take the oath. In Ireland only two took it. Twenty-six out of twenty-eight bishops, and the whole of the parochial clergy, gave up their livings rather than hold them on such a condition. They all abandoned Church preferments. They acted as the Free Church of Scotland is doing at the present time.—Mr. Ward's Speech, Hansard, vol. lxi. p. 122.

When we endeavour to trace the Reformation in the reign of Henry VIII., we discover this vestige alone of its establishment, that it was nominally introduced into that country nine years before his death. The great antiquary Ware confesses, that he could find thus early no traces of Protestantism as an established religion. The piety and heavenly fortitude of Archbishop Browne beamed forth as a momentary gleam of sunshine amidst the Egyptian darkness that covered the land. The revenues of the Church continued in possession of the hierarchy, which the reformed ministers had ostensibly, but not historically displaced. In some instances the bishoprics were bestowed on Roman Catholics, and by the pope; in others, they who were in possession of them, pretending to conform, continued to enjoy them.—Newland's Apology, page 35.

King Henry, therefore, having succeeded in causing his supremacy in the Church of England to be recognised by the clergy, and authorized by Parliament, was desirous of establishing the like supremacy in the Church of Ireland. This, however, he found to be a matter of considerable difficulty, chiefly in consequence of his opposition to the measure, arising from George Cromer, Archbishop of Armagh, who was a zealous promoter of the Pope's supremacy in despite of the pretensions of the King, and whose influence induced many others to join him in his opposition. But a vacancy having occurred in the archbishopric of Dublin, in July 1534, an opportunity was afforded to the King in filling it up, of introducing into the Irish Church a prelate more likely to advance his wishes there, and whose personal character and abilities, combined with the influence derived from the exalted station which he was to fill, might serve as a counteracting force to resist the opposition of primate Cromer, and effect the acknowledgement of the King's supremacy in all the Church of Ireland. Accordingly the King's choice fell upon George Browne.—King's Primer of the Church of Ireland, p. 145.

Again, Ibid. In the following March, (Browne) being advanced by King Henry VIII., to the archbishopric of Dublin, he was consecrated with all the customary forms by Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Shaxton, Bishop of Salisbury. Everything being transacted according to the Romish ritual, and the only deviation from the ordinary mode of consecration being, that instead of being indebted for the pall and other marks of his archiepiscopal rank to the Bishop of Rome, he received these symbols of his new dignity from the legitimate authorities of the Church of his own nation, and thus entered on his office unshackled by submission to the usurped authority of the Bishop of Rome. p. 147.

Newland, in his Apology says:—"It is no unusual argument with those who extol the omnipotence of Parliament, (meaning by thus praising its authority every vile revolutionary principle which disregards the sacredness of property,) to urge the example of Henry VIII., in defence of the power of the legislature to allocate the patrimony of the Church to the relief of the fiscal exigences of the State. But, however unprincipled or depraved, Henry VIII. does not afford the example required. . . . . . For let the two Acts of Parliament be referred to which embody the whole proceedings connected with the dissolution of the monastic institutions, and the appropriation of their revenues to the King, and our Anti-church reformers will not find even a trace to justify the system their thirsting souls desire to see accomplished."—p. 220.

In the first statutes by which Henry became possessed of the monasteries, it is expressly stated, "that all and singular such monasteries and religious houses as have been given to his Majesty by any abbot, &c."—28th Henry VIII., c. 16.

But more particularly is this transference of the estates of the abbots marked in the 33d Henry VIII., c. 5., it states unequivocally, that the relinquishment of their patrimony "is of their own free will and voluntary minds and assents, without restraint, coercion, or compulsion of any manner of persons." In another place, these properties are spoken of as surrendered by them to the King,—Newland, p. 222.

Again: Mr. King,—Primer of Church of Ireland, p. 153, says: "He (Henry VIII.) also did much harm to the Church of Ireland, and that in more ways than one, for when Primate Cromer died in 1543, he appointed as his successor, George Dowdall, a man strongly attached to the interests of the Romish See, and firmly opposed to the alterations then in progress: so much so, that although he was willing to receive his appointment from the King, he afterwards endeavoured, but ineffectually, to have it confirmed by the Pope."

page 8 neglected to state, the whole facts of the case; he had forgotten to remind the House that the whole of the chieftains or kings of Ireland had conformed, and had elected Henry King, with all the privileges attached to that office—that they (the chieftains of Ireland), who possessed the nomination of bishops, had altogether abolished the inferior title of "Lord,"—previously the Irish title of the sovereigns of page 9 England,—and had formally elected Henry King, yielding to him all—their theretofore enjoyed and undoubted rights of sovereignty.

"The lords of English descent, irritated by a too successful rivalry—the Irish still brooding over the original treachery of the Church, and its bitter consequences to themselves, and both turbulent, eager for ascendancy, and accustomed to refer everything to the arbitration of the sword, would naturally rejoice in the downfall of this arrogant order. Accordingly, when Henry VIII. asserted his claim to the complete sovereignty of the island, all the nobles arrayed themselves on the side of the Crown. They abolished the subordinate title of Lord, the only one which the Pope had permitted to be assumed, and proclaimed him King of Ireland and supreme head of the Church."—(Phelan, p. 130.)

Again, what said the indenture between the chiefs and Henry VIII.?

"Indentured the 26th of September, 34 Henry VIII., between the Irish chiefs and Henry VIII.:—They will accept and hold his said Majesty, and the Kings his successors, as the supreme head on earth, immediately under Christ, of the Church of England and Ireland."

Again, they found, in Elizabeth's time, at the Parliament held in Dublin by the Earl of Sussex, in 1560, out of nineteen Irish prelates who were present, only two refused to conform, those two being Walsh, the Bishop of Meath, and Leverus, Bishop of Kildare.* Dr. Phelan, in his Policy of the Church of Rome in Ireland, p. 166, a.d. 1568, says—

"For eleven years, her (Elizabeth's) measures were unmolested by the Papal Government, and received without opposition by the great body of the Roman Catholics. The laity everywhere frequented the churches. Multitudes of the priests adopted the prescribed changes, and continued to officiate in their former cures; and the majority of the prelates, leading or following the popular opinion, retained their sees, and exercised their functions according to the Reformed ritual."

So far, then, whatever value may be contended for, as applying

* It is a remarkable fact that these two bishops had been irregularly intruded into their sees, during the reign of Queen Mary, a.d. 1554, June 29. The former, in place of Bishop Staples; the latter, of Bishop Lancaster.—See Bishop Mailt, vol. i., 275. Cox's History of Ireland, p. 299.

It is observed by Archbishop Brambell, that no Papists ever did or could make the least objection against the ordination of the Protestant bishops in Ireland. For besides that, Archbishop Browne (the first Protestant bishop in Ireland) was ordained by the bishops of Canterbury, Rochester, and Salisbury, and many of the Irish bishops were ordained by Browne. The very Popish bishops did assist at the consecration of the Protestant bishops, and complied with the Government, and kept their sees till they had sacrilegiously betrayed the Church and alienated most of its possessions, one bishopric being left so poor that it had but forty shillings per annum, and another but five marks. Thus Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh, was consecrated by the Popish Archbishop Curwen. Thomas Lancaster, the first Protestant Bishop of Kildare, was consecrated by Archbishop Browne. John Merriman, the first Protestant bishop of Down and Connor, was consecrated by Lancaster when Primate. Bale, Bishop of Ossory, by the Popish bishops of Armagh, Kildare, and Down. Casey, Bishop of Limerick, was consecrated by Archbishop Browne, assisted by the Popish bishops of Kildare, Leighlin, and Ferns. (See Brambal, 438. Ware de Præsulibus, 27; ibid. 128 and '59; ibid. 148, 188.)—Cox's History of Ireland, p. 315.

page 10 or ascribable to the line of succession in the prelacy, that value, unquestionably attached to the bishops of the Church established in Ireland at the present day. In that Church the true line of Episcopal succession had continued unbroken. But another argument had been brought forward—an argument of a very different character to that to which he had been soliciting attention, and an argument on which much reliance was now placed—that the Established Church of a country ought to be the Church of the majority. Let him ask those who used that argument, and those who either lent a ready support, or seemed to yield an assent to that doctrine—whether they were prepared to carry it to its full extent—were they prepared to apply that doctrine to England? were they indeed prepared to hold forth to the Dissenting community of this country, that, if at any time the numerical majority of the English people should be found to be Dissenters from the Church, that then the Established Church should fall? He supported the Protestant Church in Ireland on other and still higher grounds. He supported it, not only because it was the Church of the majority of the people of this United Empire—not only because its establishment and security were solemnly guaranteed by the terms of the Union, and because it was essential to the maintenance of the Union itself; but, above all, because he conscientiously believed that it was an Institution absolutely necessary for the maintenance of true religion, and for the upholding of the civil and religious rights and liberties of all—Roman Catholic, as well as Protestant subjects of the British throne. It was asserted that the revenues of the Protestant Church were exorbitant—enormous. Now, he believed that a greater fallacy than this had never existed—yet, had it been long continued, and though again and again exposed, it had been again and again perseveringly repeated.
In 1787? the Bishop of Cloyne (Bishop Woodward) wrote a pamphlet* to refute the false impressions on the subject of that day. More lately, Lord Althorp, when he brought forward the subject of Church Temporalities, had stated that he had, before close inquiry, laboured under great misapprehension on the subject. He (Lord Bernard) would not refer to the statement of the Hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield, with regard to the amount of their revenues, which had been so ably refuted by the Noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, but he trusted that the House would pardon him for trespassing

* "The Present State of the Church of Ireland." By Richard, Bishop of Cloyne, p. 82.

"If the publication could have been postponed without defeating the purpose of it, viz., that of undeceiving the public with regard to the extent of the revenues of the parochial clergy, before the meeting of Parliament, accounts might have been returned from every diocese similar to those which follow. But as the list subjoined comprehends a number of the best-endowed dioceses, it will appear, I believe, to every candid inquirer that the average income of the clergy throughout the kingdom cannot be greater than that stated below." After making the calculation, he goes on to say, "which would leave the net sum of 133l. 6s for each clergyman, if the national allotment were distributed in equal portions."

He (Lord Eliot) would read a Return which he had procured from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of the actual Revenues of the Irish Church. The total income of the Protestant Church of Ireland was 432,023l. 4s. 5d. This sum consisted of these items: rents of lands, houses, &c., duties, fees, reserved by lease, 62,945l. 9s. 7d. Value of demesne and glebe lands, &c., not reserved by lease, 28,128l. 13s. 3d. Fines or renewals, 83,556l. 13s. 11d. Rent charges, 239,047l. 18s. 6d. Ministers' money, 11,249l. 16s. 8d Dividends on Government stock, 926l. 15s. 2d. From other sources, 6,168l. 7s. 4d. The following statement would place the question in a clear view:—

Total income of the Irish Church was £432,023
Deduct revenue of bishoprics £80,553
And of suppressed bishoprics 38,076
The gross property of deans and chapters subject to heavy necessary deductions, is. 57,800
Parochial clergy, rent-charge, and ministers' money 248,500
Interest on stocks and other funds. 7,094
Total £432,023

"Funds applicable to purposes of vestry cess and first fruits, (besides the tax of 7 per cent.) is 7,094 + 38,076=45,170l. There are 1,376 parochial clergy, and 744 curates. Their average income, including deans and chapters who have property exclusive of parochial benefices, is 306,300l., say 2,150 is 142l. each subject moreover to numerous charges."—See Hansard, vol. 71, p. 168.

page 11 for a few moments on their attention while he read a few statements with reference to the diocese in which he resided. In the diocese of Cork, during Bishop St. Lawrence's incumbency—10 unions had been broken into 22 benefices; 28 curates had been promoted; 25 new places of worship had been erected; 81 scriptural schools had been established; additional resident clergymen—20 rectors, and 23 curates, had been provided. Since 1831—in Cork, Cloyne, and Ross—new churches, 12; churches building, 2; licensed places of worship, from want of churches, 45; glebe-houses built by clergymen, 3, the Commissioners being unable to build them, which fact proved the fallacy of a surplus revenue;—in Ireland in 1726 there were but 141 glebe-houses; in 1800, after nearly a century, but 295; in 1820 there were 768 glebe-houses, an increase of 473 in twenty years; in 1806, resident beneficed clergy, 693; curates, 560; in 1830 the number was nearly doubled, amounting to 1,200, with about 750 curates, about a total of 2,000; in 1843 the number of officiating clergy exceeded 2,000, with Church property reduced 70,000l. per annum, and a quarter from the remainder. The reduction of clerical income since 1833, amounting to 40l. per cent., has prevented the dissolution of unions and employment of additional curates. On the other hand, in his evidence before the Lords, Dr. Doyle stated the average income of the Roman Catholic clergy of Kildare and Leighlin amounted to 300l. per annum; the income of the Scottish clergy averaged 200l. per annum, exclusive of house and glebe. The building of glebe-houses, except from private sources, has ceased since 1833. But as one of the most stringent arguments to show that not only were those revenues not exorbitant, but really insufficient for the demands which existed in Ireland, he need only refer to the fact, that an Institution existed,*

* The additional Curates' Fund Society for Ireland, received for the year ending December 31, 1842, in subscriptions and donations, 1,858l. 17s. 5d. But this sum is wholly inadequate to meet the demands made upon the Association for additional parochial assistance.

page 12 supported by voluntary contributions, for supplying additional curates in that country, of which Institution he was himself a member; and he could assure the House that, had that Society the means at their disposal, they would be called on to supply ten times the number of curates which their present funds permitted. Let Hon. Gentlemen remember that the Protestants of Ireland, that this House and the country had, in 1829, received the strongest assurance, as far as solemn and oft-repeated pledge could go—as far as any solemn pledge could bind any party—that the Roman Catholics would be content if they got the civil privileges they then sought, and that there existed neither intention nor wish to injure or meddle with the rights and property of the Established Church in that country. But on that subject he would not now dwell. The Hon. Member for Sheffield had spoken with severity of the errors committed in past times. He (Lord Bernard) had very little wish that the Established Church of Ireland should be judged by the times of Archbishop Boulter, and the unhappy defects that then existed. He deprecated such judgment—he regretted as strongly as any man could the unwise, and indeed ruinous policy that had been in those distant days adopted. He regretted that means had not been taken to instruct the Irish people in and through the Irish language; and he felt assured that if in the reign of Henry VIII.,* instead of the statute forbidding teaching and preaching in that language, the very contrary course had been pursued, far happier would have been the results. But, in speaking of distant times, they must not forget the labours of such men as Ussher and Bedel. If the exertions of those great, learned, and pious men had been followed out by the Government of the country at that time, his firm belief was, that in the condition of Ireland there would have been no trouble at the present day. He came gladly forward to bear his humble testimony to the excellence and great worth of the clergy of the Established Church in Ireland. He had known much of learning and worth in England, but never, until he went to reside among the clergy of Ireland, did he know what the true spirit of devotion could do. And as to the way in which the merits of those men were appreciated, he might be permitted to refer to an exalted authority—to the

* 28th Henry VIII., chap. 15, sec. 3; 2 Eliz., chap. 2, sec. 15. Leland, speaking of this section, says, book iv., chap. 1, There is a remarkable clause in this Act, which from the style appears to have been inserted by Parliament after the first transmiss of the Bill, and possibly was procured by those who opposed it."

As a proof of the inadequacy of the funds of the Church of Ireland to provide church accommondation, the following may be quoted from the Report Irish Eccl. Commis., August 15, 1842. "The state of the several churches throughout Ireland has continued to engage the anxious attention of the Commissioners, and such sums have ben granted for repairs and other works as the funds of the Board would allow. The sums granted amounted to 30,635l. 7s. 10d., of which, 23,188l. 16s. 9d. were set a part of repairs, and 7,446l. for rebuilding and enlarging; but the latter sum has been expended for the most part in completing works of this nature, which had been undertaken in the preceding year, the Commissioners being obliged to postpone, by reason of the limited state of their funds, to provide for some cases of rebuilding and enlargement of a very urgent nature."

page 13 statements of one of the bright succession to the Protestant Episcopal Bench in Ireland, and one than whom none in that bright succession was more illustrious for learning and piety—the late Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Jebb. That eminent man stated, in his place in the House of Lords, that petitions had been presented from the Roman Catholic population of the county of Limerick and that neighbourhood, praying that more, and many more Protestant clergymen should be sent to reside among them. He (Lord Bernard) had known the Protestant clergy, and had seen their conduct in days of sore trial and affliction, when they were assailed by distress, and when they were deserted by that Government, whose duty it was, and whose inclination it ought to have been, to have protected them when they were, from want of means, compelled to withdraw their children from their ordinary schools, when their families were denied not only the comforts to which their station entitled them,—but even the necessaries of life were with difficulty obtained. Yet had he never known them to murmur. They had endured without complaining, and were willing to undergo all for the sake of their religion. If the hand of charity was to be extended among the people, either Catholic or Protestant, they were the first to contribute, in more than full proportion to their means. At the bed of sickness, in the house of want, in the maintenance and management of fever hospitals, dispensaries, and every other Institution that sought the alleviation of human suffering, there the Protestant clergy were ever found ready and faithful ministers of aid. And if (which he believed was the real charge) their fault was that they had done their duty, and by the discharge of that duty, had produced a great effect on the minds of the Roman Catholic population, and that from the feelings so excited had sprung up a deep and spreading agitation of thought, surely this House could not—surely the country would not blame men, because they had faithfully acquitted themselves of solemn duties—because they had fulfilled the solemn vows they had undertaken. Let him read a few words from the observations of that eminent divine before alluded to (the late Bishop Jebb), in his speech in 1824, in the House of Lords:—

"The great desideratum towards the internal improvement of Ireland is instrumentality,—a link between the Government, between the Legislature, between the great landed proprietor, and the people. It were folly, however, to speak of instruments in a mere mechanical sense. A moral instrumentality alone will cement together the frame of society, and in a country, from unhappy circumstances much demoralized, moral instruments are infinitely needful. Such instruments we have in the Irish clergy, to say the least of her as a body (with rare individual exceptions), an educated, liberalized, and well-conducted body of men, stationed at proper intervals throughout the country, regimented, so to speak, under the authority of superiors. Now, in what manner could we supply the place occupied by these men? Parliaments cannot create—Parliaments are not competent to create materials, such as we possess at this moment. Let Parliaments beware how they destroy. They will be altogether powerless to fill up the chasm. Take away the fabric of our Established Church, and page 14 you take away one teachers of our national improvement. A resident gentry we have not. A substantial yeomanry we have not. A body of capitalist manufacturers we have not. Humanly speaking, I do not see what it is, in the least improved parts of Ireland we have to rest on except the clergy. Here is the only provision extant for disseminating through all quarters of the land—the wildest and most remote equally with the most cultivated and peopled—an educated, enlightened, and morally influential class."

But not alone on Protestant testimony, however exalted and above suspicion, did the character of the Irish Protestant clergy rest. Dr. Doyle, an eminent Prelate, and famous champion of the Roman Catholic Church, had, in reply to questions put to him on this subject, stated that they, the Protestant clergy, were characterized by the greatest benevolence to all persons of all creeds—that their wives and children were most beneficent and charitable; but, he added, their means were too small. He (Lord Bernard) felt that he should be acting wrong to trespass longer on the attention of the House at present. Perhaps he might be pardoned for slightly alluding to the testimony borne by a clergyman of the Established Church in Canada, who stated that those emigrants who had received the benefit of instruction from the Protestant clergy of Ireland, were far superior to any emigrants from any other country. He (Lord Bernard) asked Hon. Gentlemen in England to bear in mind what would be the consequences, if such a Motion as this were successful—they may be assured the Churches of both countries must stand or fall together. They may talk of separating the Churches, and acting with regard to Ireland on principles differing from that of England, but they would find in this as in other matters of policy—

"Cœlum, non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt."

A small channel may divide the countries, but principle was the same in both. If they wished to maintain the Established Church in England, it was their policy as well as their duty to uphold the Church in Ireland. They had of late seen how easy it was to bring forward for England principles which had been applied to Ireland, particularly when the principle was false and bad. Let him now implore the House to come forward and reject this Motion. He had confidence in Her Majesty's Government; he had confidence in the decision which this House would come to; he had confidence in the Protestants of England. That those Protestant principles which had raised the country to a pinnacle of unexampled greatness, were not extinct; that they (the people of England) would feel that those principles for which their brethren in Ireland contended were those upon which their dearest liberties were based, the charter of their dearest right. But he had this higher and more abiding confidence—he had the confidence that if the Church of Ireland, true to her sacred trust, preserved within her bosom the undying flame of scriptural truth, that more than human arm, which had shielded her in the hour of trial and protected her in the time of sorrow, would preserve her amidst the fiery furnace of affliction.