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Roman catholick clergymen.* He certainly meant civility always call them hieromonachi. In conit well; but, coming from such a man as he is, it sequence of this disrespect, which I venture to is a strong instance of the danger of suffering any say, in such a church, must be the consequence of description of men to fall into entire contempt- a secular life, a very great degeneracy from repuThe charities intended for them are not peceived table christian manners has taken place throughto be fresh insults; and the true nature of their out almost the whole of that great member of the wants and necessities being unknown, remedies, Christian Church. wholly unsuitable to the nature of their complaint, It was so with the Latin church, before the reare provided for them. It is to feed a sick Gentoo straint on marriage. Even that restraint gave rise with beef broth, and to foment his wounds with to the greatest disorders before the council of brandy. If the other parts of the university were Trent, which, together with the emulation raised, open to them, as well on the foundation as other and the good examples given, by the reformed wise, the offering of sizerships would be a propor- churches, wherever they were in view of each tioned part of a general kindness. But when other, has brought on that happy amendment, every thing liberal is withheld, and only that which we see in the Latin communion, both at which is servile is permitted, it is easy to conceive home and abroad. upon what footing they must be in such a place. The council of Trent has wisely introduced the

Mr. Hutchinson must well know the regard and discipline of seminaries, by which priests are not honour I have for him; and he cannot think my trusted for a clerical institution, even to the severe dissenting from him in this particular arises from discipline of their colleges; but, after they pass a disregard of his opinion : it only shews that I through them, are frequently, if not for the greater think he has lived in Ireland. To have any re- part, obliged to pass through peculiar methods, spect for the character and person of a popish having their particular ritual function in view. It priest there—oh! 'tis an uphill work indeed. is in a great measure to this, and to similar meBut until we come to respect what stands in a thods used in foreign education, that the Roman respectable light with others, we are very deficient catholick clergy of Ireland, miserably provided in the temper which qualifies us to make any laws for, living among low and ill regulated people, and regulations about them. It even disqualifies without any discipline of sufficient force to secure us from being charitable to them with any effect good manners, have been prevented from becomor judgment.

ing an intolerable nuisance to the country, instead When we are to provide for the education of of being, as I conceive they generally are, a very any body of men, we ought seriously to consider great service to it. the particular functions they are to perform in The ministers of protestant churches require a life. A Roman catholick clergyman is the minis- different mode of education, more liberal, and more ter of a very ritual religion : and by his profes- fit for the ordinary intercourse of life. That resion subject to many restraints. His life is a life ligion having little hold on the minds of people by full of strict observances, and his duties are of a external ceremonies, and extraordinary observ. laborious nature towards himself, and of the high- ances, or separate habits of living, the clergy make est possible trust towards others. The duty of con

The duty of con- up the deficiency by cultivating their mind with fession alone is sufficient to set in the strongest all kinds of ornamental learning, which the liberal light the necessity of his having an appropriated provision made in England and Ireland for the mode of education. The theological opinions and parochial clergy, (to say nothing of the ample peculiar rights of one religion never can be pro- church preferments, with little or no duties anperly taught in universities, founded for the pur- nexed,) and the comparative lightness of parochial poses and on the principles of another, which in duties, enables the greater part of them in some many points are directly opposite. If a Roman considerable degree to accoinplish. catholick clergyman, intended for celibacy, and This learning, which I believe to be pretty gethe function of confession, is not strictly bred in a neral, together with a higher situation, and more seminary where these things are respected, incul- chastened by the opinion of mankind, forms a sufcated, and enforced, as sacred, and not made the ficient security for the morals of the established subject of derision and obloquy, he will be ill fitted clergy, and for their sustaining their clerical chafor the former, and the latter will be indeed in his racter with dignity. It is not necessary to observe, hands a terrible instrument.

that all these things are, however, collateral to their There is a great resemblance between the whole function, and that except in preaching, which may frame and constitution of the Greek and Latin be and is supplied, and often best supplied, out of churches. The secular clergy, in the former, by printed books, little else is necessary for a protestbeing married, living under little restraint, and ant minister, than to be able to read the English having no particular education suited to their language; I mean for the exercise of his function, function, are universally fallen into such contempt, not to the qualification of his admission to it. But that they are never permitted to aspire to the dig- a popish parson in Ireland may do very well withnities of their own church. It is not held respect-out any considerable classical erudition, or any ful to call them papas, their true and ancient ap- proficiency in pure or mixed mathematicks, or any pellation, but those who wish to address them with knowledge of civil history. Even if the catholick

* It appears that Mr. Hutchinson meant this only as one of the means for their relief in point of education.

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clergy should possess those acquisitions, as at first the first time that the presentation to other people's many of them do, they soon lose them in the pain- alms has been desired in any country. If the ful course of professional and parochial duties; but state provides a suitable maintenance and tempothey must have all the knowledge, and, what is to rality for the governing members of the Irish Rothem more important than the knowledge, the man catholick church, and for the clergy under discipline, necessary to those duties. All modes of them, I should think the project, however imeducation, conducted by those whose minds are proper in other respects, to be by no means unjust. cast in another inould, as I may say, and whose But to deprive a poor people, who maintain a original ways of thinking are formed upon the second set of clergy, out of the miserable remains reverse pattern, must be to them not only useless, of what is left after taxing and tything—to debut mischievous. Just as I should suppose the edu- prive them of the disposition of their own charities cation in a popish ecclesiastical seminary would be among their own communion, would, in my ill fitted for a protestant clergyman. To educate opinion, be an intolerable hardship. Never were a catholick priest in a protestant seminary would the members of one religious sect fit to appoint the be much worse. The protestant educated amongst pastors to another. Those who have no regard for catholicks has only something to reject : what he their welfare, reputation, or internal quiet, will not keeps may be useful. But a catholick parish priest appoint such as are proper. The seraglio of Conlearns little for his peculiar purpose and duty in a stantinople is as equitable as we are, whether caprotestant college.

tholicks or protestants : and where their own sect All this, my lord, I know very well, will pass is concerned, full as religious. But the sport which for nothing with those who wish that the popish they make of the miserable dignities of the Greek clergy should be illiterate, and in a situation to church, the little factions of the haram, to which produce contempt and detestation. Their minds they make them subservient, the continual sale to are wholly taken up with party squabbles, and I which they expose and re-expose the same dignity, have neither leisure nor inclination to apply any and by which they squeeze all the inferiour orders part of what I have to say, to those who never of the clergy, is (for I have had particular means think of religion, or of the commonwealth, in any of being acquainted with it) nearly equal to all other light, than as they tend to the prevalence of the other oppressions together, exercised by mussome faction in either. I speak on a supposition, sulmen over the unhappy members of the Oriental that there is a disposition to take the state in the church. It is a great deal to suppose that even condition in which it is found, and to improve it in the present Castle would nominate bishops for the that state to the best advantage. Hitherto the Roman church of Ireland, with a religious regard plan for the government of Ireland has been, to for its welfare. Perhaps they cannot, perhaps sacrifice the civil prosperity of the nation to its they dare not, do it. religious improvement. But if people in power

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them to be as well inclined as I at length come to entertain other know that I am, to do the catholicks all kind of ideas, they will consider the good order, decorum, justice, I declare I would not, if it were in my virtue, and morality of every description of men power, take that patronage on myself.—I know I among them, as of infinitely greater importance ought not to do it. I belong to another commuthan the struggle (for it is nothing better) to nity, and it would be intolerable usurpation for me change those descriptions by means, which put to affect such authority, where I conferred no beto hazard objects, which, in my poor opinion, are nefit, or even if I did confer (as in some degree of more importance to religion and to the state, the seraglio does) temporal advantages. But, althan all the polemical matter which has been agi- lowing that the present Castle finds itself fit to tated among men from the beginning of the world | administer the government of a church which they to this hour.

solemnly forswear, and forswear with very hard On this idea, an education fitted to each order words and many evil epithets, and that as often as and division of men, such as they are found, will they qualify themselves for the power which is to be thought an affair rather to be encouraged than give this very patronage, or to give any thing else discountenanced : and until institutions at home, that they desire; yet they cannot ensure themsuitable to the occasions and necessities of the selves that a man like the late Lord Chesterfield people, are established, and which are armed, as will not succeed to them. This man, while he was they are abroad, with authority to coerce the duping the credulity of papists with fine words in young men to be formed in them, by a strict and private, and commending their good behaviour severe discipline,-the means they have, at pre- during a rebellion in Great Britain, (as it well desent, of a cheap and effectual education in other served to be commended and rewarded,) was cacountries, should not continue to be prohibited by pable of urging penal laws against them in a speech penalties and modes of inquisition, not fit to be from the throne, and of stimulating with provocamentioned to ears that are organized to the chaste tives the wearied and half-exhausted bigotry of sounds of equity and justice.

the then parliament of Ireland. They set to work, Before I had written thus far, I heard of a but they were at a loss what to do; for they had scheme of giving to the Castle the patronage of already almost gone through every contrivance the presiding members of the catholick clergy. At which could waste the vigour of their country: but first I could scarcely credit it: for I believe it is after much struggle, they produced a child of their

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old age, the shocking and unnatural act about ments, from which, as they stand, they experience marriages, which tended to finish the scheme for no material inconvenience to the repose of the making the people not only two distinct parties country,-quieta non movere.--I could say a great for ever, but keeping them as two distinct species deal more ; but I am tired; and am afraid your in the same land.

Mr. Gardiner's humanity was lordship is tired too. I have not sat to this letter shocked at it, as one of the worst parts of that a single quarter of an hour without interruption, truly barbarous system, if one could well settle It has grown long, and probably contains many the preference, where almost all the parts were repetitions, from my total want of leisure to digest outrages on the rights of humanity, and the laws and consolidate my thoughts; and as to my exof nature.

pressions, I could wish to be able perhaps to meaSuppose an atheist, playing the part of a bigot, sure them more exactly. But my intentions are should be in power again in that country, do you fair, and I certainly mean to offend nobody. believe that he would faithfully and religiously administer the trust of appointing pastors to a church, which, wanting every other support, stands in tenfold need of ministers who will be dear to the Thinking over this matter more maturely, I see people committed to their charge, and who will ex- no reason for altering my opinion in any part. ercise a really paternal authority amongst them? The act, as far as it goes, is good undoubtedly. But if the superiour power was always in a dispo- It amounts, I think, very nearly to a toleration, sition to dispense conscientiously, and like an up- with respect to religious ceremonies; but it puts right trustee and guardian of these rights which a new bolt on civil rights, and rivets it to the old he holds for those with whom he is at variance, one, in such a manner, that neither, I fear, will be has he the capacity and means of doing it? How easily loosened. What I could have wished would can the lord lieutenant form the least judgment of be, to see the civil advantages take the lead ; the their merits, so as to discern which of the popish other, of a religious toleration, I conceive, would priests is fit to be made a bishop? It cannot be : follow in a manner) of course. From what I the idea is ridiculous.—He will hand them over to have observed, it is pride, arrogance, and a spirit lords lieutenants of counties, justices of the peace, of domination, and not a bigotted spirit of reliand other persons, who for the purpose of vexing gion, that has caused and kept up those oppressive and turning to derision this miserable people, will statutes. I am sure I have known those who have pick out the worst and most obnoxious they can oppressed papists in their civil rights, exceedingly find amongst the clergy to set over the rest. Who- indulgent to them in their religious ceremonies, ever is complained against by his brother will be and who really wished them to continue cathoconsidered as persecuted : whoever is censured by licks, in order to furnish pretences for oppression. his superiour will be looked upon as oppressed: These persons never saw a man (by converting) whoever is careless in his opinions, and loose in escape out of their power, but with grudging and his morals, will be called a liberal man, and will regret. I have known men, to whom I am not be supposed to have incurred hatred, because he uncharitable in saying, (though they are dead,) was not a bigot. Informers, tale-bearers, perverse that they would have become papists in order to and obstinate men, flatterers, who turn their back oppress protestants ; if, being protestants, it was upon their flock, and court the protestant gentle- not in their power to oppress papists. It is injusmen of the country, will be the objects of prefer- tice, and not a mistaken conscience, that has been ment. And then I run no risk in foretelling, that the principle of persecution, at least as far as it has whatever order, quiet, and morality you have in fallen under my observation. However, as I bethe country, will be lost. A popish clergy, who gan, so I end. I do not know the map of the are not restrained by the most austere subordina- country. Mr. Gardiner, who conducts this great tion, will become a nuisance, a real publick and difficult work, and those who support him, grievance of the heaviest kind, in any country that are better judges of the business than I can preentertains them : and instead of the great benefit tend to be, who have not set my foot in Ireland these which Ireland does and has long derived from sixteen years. I have been given to understand, them, if they are educated without any idea of that I am not considered as a friend to that coundiscipline and obedience, and then put under try: and I know that pains have been taken to bishops, who do not owe their station to their lessen the credit that I might have had there. good opinion, and whom they cannot respect, that nation will see disorders, of which, bad as I am so convinced of the weakness of interfering things are, it has yet no idea. I do not say this, in any business, without the opinion of the people as thinking the leading men in Ireland would in whose business I interfere, that I do not know exercise this trust worse than others. Not at all. how to acquit myself of what I have now done.No man, no set of men living are fit to administer I have the honour to be, with high regard and the affairs, or regulate the interiour economy, of a esteem, church to which they are enemies.

My Lord, As to government, if I might recommend a pru

Your Lordship’s most obedient, dent caution to them,-it would be, to innovate

And humble servant, &c. as little as possible, upon speculation, in establish

EDMUND BURKE.

A LETTER

TO

SIR H. LANGRISHE, BART. M. P.

ON THE SUBJECT OF THE

ROMAN CATHOLICKS OF IRELAND,

AND

THE PROPRIETY OF ADMITTING THEM TO THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE,

CONSISTENTLY WITII THE

PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION AS ESTABLISHED AT THE REVOLUTION.

1792.

My Dear Sir, Your remembrance of me, with sentiments I should be still more pleased if they had been more of so much kindness, has given me the most sin- your own. What you hint, I believe, to be the cere satisfaction. It perfectly agrees with the case; that if you had not deferred to the judgfriendly and hospitable reception which my son ment of others, our opinions would not differ and I received from you, some time since, when, more materially at this day, than they did when after an absence of twenty-two years, I had the we used to confer on the same subject, so many happiness of embracing you, among my few sur- years ago. If I still persevere in my old opinions, viving friends.

it is no small comfort to me, that it is not with I really imagined that I should not again inte regard to doctrines properly yours that I discover rest myself in any publick business. I had, to the my indocility. best of my moderate faculties, paid my club to the The case, upon which your letter of the 10th of society, which I was born in some way or other December turns, is hardly before me with precision to serve; and I thought I had a right to put on enough, to enable me to form any very certain judgmy night-gown and slippers, and wish a cheerful ment upon it. It seems to be some plan of further evening to the good company I must leave behind. indulgence proposed for the catholicks of Ireland. But if our resolutions of vigour and exertion are You observe, that your general principles are so often broken or procrastinated in the execution, not changed, but that times and circumstances I think we may be excused, if we are not very are altered.I perfectly agree with

you,

that punctual in fulfilling our engagements to indo- times and circumstances, considered with reference lence and inactivity. I have indeed no power of to the publick, ought very much to govern our action; and am almost a cripple, even with regard conduct ; though I am far from slighting, when to thinking : but you descend with force into the applied with discretion to those circumstances, stagnant pool; and you cause such a fermentation, general principles, and maxims of policy. I cannot as to cure at least one impotent creature of his help observing, however, that you have said rather lameness, though it cannot enable him either to run less upon the inapplicability of your own old or to wrestle.

principles to the circumstances that are likely to You see by the paper * I take that I am likely to influence your conduct against these principles, be long, with malice prepense. You have brought than of the general maxims of state, which I can under my view a subject, always difficult, at present very readily believe not to have great weight with critical. It has filled my thoughts, which I wish you personally. to lay open to you with the clearness and simpli- In my present state of imperfect information, city which your friendship demands from me. I you will pardon the errours into which I may easily thank you for the communication of your ideas. fall. The principles you lay down are," that the

* This letter is written on folio sheets.

:

“ Roman catholicks should enjoy every thing un- of all sort of influence or authority over the rest. der the state, but should not be the state it- They divided the nation into two distinct bodies,

self.And you add,“ that when you exclude without common interest, sympathy, or connexion. “ them from being a part of the state, you rather One of these bodies was to possess all the franconform to the spirit of the age, than to any ab-chises, all the property, all the education : the “ stract doctrine;" but you consider the constitu- other was to be composed of drawers of water and tion as already established -- that our state is cutters of turf for them. Are we to be astonished, protestant. “ It was declared so at the Revolu- when, by the efforts of so much violence in con“ tion. It was so provided in the acts for settling quest, and so much policy in regulation, continued “ the succession of the crown ;—the king's coro- without intermission for near an hundred years, “ nation oath was enjoined, in order to keep it so. we had reduced them to a mob; that, whenever “ The king, as first magistrate of the state, is they came to act at all, many of them would act “ obliged to take the oath of abjuration,* and to exactly like a mob, without temper, measure, or “ subscribe the declaration; and, by laws subse- foresight? Surely it might be just now a matter

quent, every other magistrate and member of the of temperate discussion, whether you ought not to “ state, legislative and executive, are bound un- apply a remedy to the real cause of the evil. If “ der the same obligation.”

the disorder you speak of be real and considerable, As to the plan to which these maxims are ap- you ought to raise an aristocratick interest ; that plied, I cannot speak, as I told you, positively about is, an interest of property and education amongst it. Because, neither from your letter, nor from them: and to strengthen, by every prudent means, any information I have been able to collect, do I the authority and influence of men of that defind any thing settled, either on the part of the scription. It will deserve your best thoughts, to Roman catholicks themselves, or on that of any examine whether this can be done without giving persons who may wish to conduct their affairs in such persons the means of demonstrating to the parliament. But if I have leave to conjecture, rest, that something more is to be got by their something is in agitation towards admitting them, temperate conduct, than can be expected from the under certain qualifications, to have some share wild and senseless projects of those who do not in the election of members of parliament. This I belong to their body, who have no interest in their understand is the scheme of those who are entitled well being, and only wish to make them the dupes to come within your description of persons of of their turbulent ambition. consideration, property, and character; and firmly If the absurd persons you mention find no way attached to the king and constitution, as by “ law of providing for liberty, but by overturning this “ established, with a grateful sense of your former happy constitution, and introducing a frantick de

concessions, and a patient reliance on the benig-mocracy, let us take care how we prevent better " nity of parliament, for the further mitigation of people from any rational expectations of partak“ the laws that still affect them.”—As to the low, ing in the benefit of that constitution as it stands. thoughtless, wild, and profligate, who have joined the maxims you establish cut the matter short. themselves with those of other professions, but of They have no sort of connexion with the good or the same character; you are not to imagine, that, the ill behaviour of the persons who seek relief, or for a moment, I can suppose them to be met with with the proper or improper means by which they any thing else than the manly and enlightened seek it. They form'a perpetual bar to all pleas, energy of a firm government, supported by the and to all expectations. united efforts of all virtuous men, if ever their You begin by asserting, that “ the catholicks proceedings should become so considerable as to “ ought to enjoy all things under the state, but demand its notice. I really think that such asso- “ that they ought not to be the state." A position ciations should be crushed in their very com- which, I believe, in the latter part of it, and in the mencement.

latitude there expressed, no man of common sense Setting, therefore, this case out of the question, has ever thought proper to dispute: because the it becomes an object of very serious consideration, contrary implies, that the state ought to be in them whether, because wicked men of various descrip- exclusively. But before you have finished the line, tions are engaged in seditious courses, the rational, you express yourself as if the other member of sober, and valuable part of one description should your proposition, namely, that “they ought not not be indulged in their sober and rational expec- to be a part of the state,” were necessarily mtations? You, who have looked deeply into the cluded in the first-Whereas I conceive it to be as spirit of the popery laws, must be perfectly sensi- different as a part is from the whole; that is, just ble, that a great part of the present mischief, as different as possible. I know, indeed, that it is which we abhor in common (if it at all exists) has common with those who talk very differently from arisen from them. Their declared object was to you, that is, with heat and animosity, to confound reduce the catholicks of Ireland to a miserable those things, and to argue the admission of the populace, without property, without estimation, catholicks into any, however minute and subordiwithout education. The professed object was to nate, parts of the state, as a surrender into their deprive the few men who, in spite of those laws, hands of the whole government of the kingdom. might hold or obtain any property amongst them, To them I have nothing at all to say.

• A small errour of fact as to the abjuration oath ; but of no importance in the argument.

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