Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

THE IRISH CHURCH.

News
Cite
Share

THE IRISH CHURCH. In the course of the debate In the House of Lords on Friday, on the Established Church (Ireland) Bill, the Archbishop of Armagh made the following interesting observations on the conation of the Irish Church:— Perhaps I ought to mention the subject of tithes, They were never easily collected in Ireland, and Bishop Doyle, before a committee of the House of Commons, said that they Were never "regularly collected till the time of Henry VIII. For a long time they were of small im. portance, and added \ery little to the incomes of the clergy, As the 'prosperity of the country increased the tithes increased in value. In 1753, the Irish House of Commons passtd a resolution, not a Bill, setting forth that tithes of pasture land ought to be resisted, and they made a coimnon purse, deterraming that they would oppose every -clergyman who went to law to enforce those tithe?. The clergy were m'se'k and submitted, and thus the Church lost half of its property. Tithes were taken off the rich graziers and kept on the poor tillers of the EOil; and perhaps the Irish Church never received a beavier blow than this. After this another quarter was taken ofhanilin 1831 Sir P., Griilith proved before a Select Committee of the House ot Commons that, tithes were only 1.60thpart of the pcotfuee. The Church now has ex- actly I-Sth of the original tithe granted by Henry II. at theCouncitof Caste). 'When, therefore, it is said that we are a minority, we reply, 'True, but we have only J -8th of the Church 'possessions.' It, is certain that if: there had been fewt one religion in Ireland, this dmri-'l nation of the Church property would never baveUfren* place. No Irish Parliament would have dared to free themselves frcwa tithes (for that is practically what they did) and imp-ase it uasn their constituents. Ifthe<n<our num ers are hy comparison small, remember that the tithes and ■atber'possessions of the Church have from time to time been pared down. until we now haws only that proportion of Church property which woutdbetoftg to us if it vesre apportioned according to numbers. After the Reformation there were very troublous times in Ireland, not until the Revolution that the Church had peace, and could repair its wasted haiidings, What it had t-bcn principally to depend w-sre lU,DOO actes ofl-»nd>gi«en by James 1. for the purpose or sup- porting Otae^Protestant religion in Ireland are, whatever may coroe, t bspH that these lands, which were liven for this special.purpose long after the Reformation, win be left to btJdantted to the objects for which they wero originally intended. At that time the poverty of the clergy was so great that efforts were made en all sides to relieve rhlmJ. Bishop Bramhail came over here, and with the -assistance of Archbishop Laud, subscriptions were raised *nd a great quantity ot lay tithes were bought up. In t&is way the Protestants of the time were enabled to recover possessions of the Church to the amount of £ 40,000-p. year. Primate Boulter left in the middle of the last century for the purpose of aug- menting small benefices. The interest of that money lias been absorbed in those benefices, a great number of which have bean by it augmented. Primate Robinson and others also lett property tor Church purposes. iaitite, Lindsay Jeft an estate in the county of Down which produces S900 n year. In this way since tbe Reformation the property of the Church has been gradually created arid now it. is proposed to us that, for the bake of securing religious equality in Ireland, we should begin again. Who can tell what have been the benefactions sinre the Reformation ? Since I have been in Armagh one bene- -voknt. nobleman gitve £ 6,000 to increase tbeumall bene- fices in the diocese. The benefices of Ireland have thus grown up from poverty to comparative comfort; that is they now average £ 250 a year each. Another objection is made to us, and that is that we are the Church of the rich and are supported by the poor. Now, neiiher of these assertions is true. The first is true only to a certain senee. We are not. supported by the Roman Catholics No man pays the tithe rent-charge; it is the land itself which pays that. As to our being the Church of the "'oil, it is true that nine-tenths of the land is held by Prciestant proprietors; but where are they? In Eng- land, in Prance, in Italy, all over the world, anywhere but in Ireland. From my own observation I should say iliat there is on an average not more than about one resident landed proprietor in each parish in Ireland. In some parishes there may be more, but one wtll be about the average. It the Church were disestablished, it would then be upon this one proprietor that the support of the Church would fall tor I know very well what answer- absentees give to applications lor money. I have been toe long a beggar not to know bow much is to be got by such applications. My dear Sir,' is the answer voii receive, 1 do not. reside in Ireland, and my rents are badly paid. I have schools and other charities to sub- scribe to here, and you must allow me very respectfully ;o decline to give anything.' I will say that some years this was a more co:nn;on form of reply than is given now for there has been a most splendid and liberal response from the laity on the surj-ct of church buiiding. Within ten years, I think £HH,OOD have been subscribed by the laity tor this purpose, and churches have grown IIp rapidly within the last century. In 1.730, in all Ire- land there were only 400 churches in lSùô there were V-29, and in 1864 there wiere 1,579. These, then are our own churches, built with our own money. The'laity have liberally subscribed a large proportion of the money they cost, and the grant in aid which we get is from the money of the Church in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Besides this the glebe lands have been greatly improved by tbe clergy, who have built houses hedged, ditched, drained, plauted, and made the lands douole their former vaiue. I could mention the name of a cJergyman-1 know the circumstance well—who on 200 acres of glebe, valued perhaps at £ 2,500, spent ^OOO upon his glelJe house, 01 course with the idea that, it would remain permanently in the hands of the Church If he thought it would have been taken-away from the Church, depend upon it he would have been loth to ex- pend that money. The case I have mentioned is one out of many and in the parishes, of the better classes there will be very likeiy only the clergyman and the squire. A noble lord asked how the clergyman could be so charitable if he were so poor. but a gr-eat many men go iuto the Church in Ireland, having some means of their own, and with a wish to do good. If those men had not been in the Church they would never have re- mained in Ireland, but would have gone to some place more agreeable to them. But they hved and worked in poor, and soma of them in desolate parishes, supporting their charities, and, in fact doing everything that a good iaitulul, and devoted Christian minister ought to do If you destroy the Established Church you will drive away from the country a great number of most valuable resi- den tsof that kind. As the Established Church of Ire- land sinks or recedes you may depend upon it there is another Church there which will advance and ri-e The other ;Church is a powerful Church. It is one which does not acknowledge the supremacy of the Q,lleen, but acknowledges the supremacy of a foreign poteutate, who at one time was very dangerous to the liberties of this country. If you overthrow the Protestant Church of Ireland you will establish the supremacy or the Pope, and substitute for the 'supremacy of the Queen that of a foreign ruier. Those who foolishly think that by sub- verting the Protestant Establishment-in Ireland they will strike A deadly blow at the union of Church and State, remember that, instead of doing that they will only change a Church with the Queen as its head for one with a foreign potentate as its head and that in Ireland you wilLhave an imperium in imperio. Then the power and authority of the Queen wi I, as was said in old times in Ireland, be held only at the Pope's discretion. You may flatter yourselves that you will have got rid of the Iribb difficulty when you have abolished the Irish Church but you will find that that difficulty has then only begun. « THE RETURN* SIR R. NAPIER -—The inhabitants of North Wales have determined to give Sir R. Napier a public reception on his return from Abyssinia. The gallant officer will, shortly after his return to England, pay a visit to his father-in-law, General Scott, who re- sides near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, and at a public meeting of the principal inhabitants of that locality, it was resolved to give hunapublic reception, present him with a congratulatory address on his arrival, and Invite him to a public dinner. A committee, contistingofthe Mayor and corporation of VVelshpoo1, with other gentle- men, were appointed to carry out the details. THE CATTIK PLAGUE.—A supplement to the London Gazette oi Friday, states that at the Council Chamber, Whitebal), the 27th day of June, 1368, by the Lords of her Majesty's most honourable Privy Counci', preFentLord President and Lord Robert Montagu, the lords of her Majesty's inost bonourable Privy Council, by virtue and in cxerciso of the powers in them vested under the Coo- tagious Diseases (Animals) Aots, and of every other power enabling them in this behalf, do order, and it is hereby ordered as follows:—The "Consolidated Cattle Plague order of August, 1867, shall be read and have effect as iJ, throughout Article 45 thereof, the word 'cattte were substituted for the word 'cows.' And the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly.

ARRIVAL OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH.

--- ......... OUTRAGE UPON…

ROYAL NAVY IN COMMISSION

SOUTH WALES RAILWAY TIME TABLE.…

MILFORD BRANCH LINE OF RAlL^*'

PEMBROKE AND TENBY RAILWA^,