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derided in principle, and the denominational theory, which allows the State to supply the funds, but insists that the Church shall be sovereign over the instruction, was industriously inculcated.
At the Vatican Council, Paul Cullen made an agreeable return to Pius IX. for his advancement, by his advocacy of papal infallibility. The aged McHale, on the other hand, testified for the faith of Ireland more in accordance with declarations which had been put forth near the end of the eighteenth and in the early part of the nineteenth century.
The spread of Ultramontane tenets in Ireland, and their elevation to the rank of dogma by the Vatican Conncil, have naturally inclined Irish Protestants to look with grave doubts upon the project of Home Rule. With much unanimity, the General Assembly of the Presbyterians declared against the bill brought forward by Gladstone in 1886, which proposed a separate Parliament for Ireland.
Among the considerations which dictated this vote of the Presbyterian clergy, doubtless the relation of the Pope to Irish affairs was not the least influential. They had in mind such a picture as an able representative of their body had sketched some years before, in these words : “ The Pope appoints the bishops; the bishops appoint the priests; and the priests rule the people with absolute dominion. The Irish peasant may choose his medical attendant or his law adviser; he may vote for a coroner or a member of Parliament; but he has no more influence in the nomination of the spiritual guide to whom he is required to commit his deepest secrets, than has the sheep which he shears, or the donkey which he drives to market.
In matters of religion he must not dare even to think for himself. He must believe, without challenge, whatever his Church believes. Irishmen who talk loudly of the blessings of Home Rule patiently crouch under this unmitigated Italian slavery.” 1 More recently, also, tokens of decided hostility to the Home Rule scheme have been given by Irish Protestants.
Before the installation of Paul Cullen, Bishop Doyle, of the see of Kildare and Leighlin, was the most influential of the Romish prelates. He was distinguished at once by vigor in administration and by dexterity in controversy. Though it appears that he thought it necessary to put the reading of the Bible under bonds, he was in general a man of somewhat liberal sentiments.
In point of popular influence the most remarkable ecclesiastic of this era was the Capuchin friar, Theobald Mathew, the Apostle of Temperance. The reform had been started in 1829 by Professor Edgar of Belfast. In 1838 Father Mathew, who had much endeared himself to the people by his self-denying benevolence, was incited by the Quaker, William Martin, to place himself at the head of the new movement. The results forthwith
i Killen, Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, ii. 550, 551.
2 In opposition to Bible distribution he wrote : “I deem the reading of the Scriptures by the weak and ignorant, such as children are, whether with or without comments, an abuse always to be deprecated ; but such reading of them in this country, at this time and in the present circumstances, I consider an abuse filled with danger, — not only an evil, but an evil of great magnitude.” (Killen, ii. 422.) As a proper antithesis to this we may quote the following words of a contemporary writer : “Would I then with. hold the Bible from the cottager and the artisan ? Heaven forefend! The fairest flower that ever clomh up a cottage window is not so fair a sight to my eyes as the Bible gleaming through the lower panes." (Coleridge, Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit.)
mounted beyond the most sanguine expectations. In a few years Father Mathew gave the temperance pledge, it is supposed, to about two millions, mostly Roman Catholics. Between 1839 and 1843, the consumption of whiskey descended below half of the preceding rate, and there was a corresponding decrease in the statistics of crime, as also a great increase in the deposits of savings banks. Had the transformation been as permanent as it was extensive, it would have been an inestimable boon to Ireland. As it was, no inconsiderable amount of good was accomplished.
There has been an absolute decline since the early part of the nineteenth century in the number both of Romanists and Protestants in Ireland, but a moderate relative gain on the part of the latter. In 1834 the Romanists numbered 6,427,712, the Protestants 1,516,228. In 1871, the former numbered 4,141,933, the latter 1,260,568. Between these dates came the great famine of 1846, in consequence of which Ireland lost by death or emigration, in the course of four or five years, about one third of her population.
The disestablishment of the Episcopal Church, which went into effect the first day of 1871, was not due to any special failure on its part in the preceding years. On the contrary, it had presented an improved record since the early part of the century. The disestablishment was due rather to a wide-spread sense of the unfitness of discriminating in favor of a Church which included only a small minority of the people.
In religious tone the Episcopal Church of Ireland has been largely evangelical in recent times. It seems to have received the leaven of Tractarianism very slowly. A representative, writing about 1872, has given this description of its status: “The Church in Ireland is marvellously homogeneous in doctrine and sentiment, and free from the extremes of party feeling and opinion which exist within the pale of the English Church. This may be in part the consequence of the power of Romanism in Ireland. In England, where it is comparatively little known, men of high intellect and refined taste have been attracted to the Roman Church, or rather to an ideal Church of their own imagination which they identified with it. In Ireland, though there have been a few such cases, the majority have been influenced by a violent repulsion from the Roman Catholic Church. Of course there are in Ireland High Churchmen and Low Churchmen; and it is a great mistake to imagine the Irish Church to be that low level swamp of Puritanism which some in England imagine it to be. But all sections of the Church are united in a steady opposition to the claims and power of the Church of Rome. They have the union of men who feel that they are face to face with a common danger, and an enemy who is ever ready to profit by their divisions and mistakes. Ritualism (properly so called) has no sympathizing party in Ireland ; and though the majority of the Irish clergy and laity belong distinctly to the Evangelical School, it may be doubted whether a meeting could be got together anywhere in Ireland in which the speakers would harp upon the merits of a black gown.”1
The doctrinal phase upon which the English Presbyterians had started adrift made its appearance among the Presbyterians of Ireland a century later. About the close of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the Synod of Ulster discovered that some of its members were infected with Arianism. This discovery incited to a movement in favor of more rigid tests of the orthodoxy of candidates for the ministry. The result, as no doubt was desired by the leaders in the movement, among whom Dr. Henry Cooke was the most prominent, was the separation of the Arians. Seventeen ministers withdrew in 1829, and assumed the name of Remonstrants. A few years later, the Synod decided to insist strictly upon subscription to the Westminster Confession. This action prepared for a union with the Synod of the Secession Church, which emigrants from Scotland had planted in Ireland near the middle of the preceding century. The union was consummated in 1840. The composite body assumed the name of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. At that date it had 433 congregations. In 1871 it numbered 553 congregations, and had under its care about half a million of people.
1 J. C. Macdonnel, in The Church and the Age, 2d Series, edited by Weir and Maclagan.
One of the most notable events in the later history of the Irish Presbyterians was the great revival of 1859. It was a profound awakening, in which, as in the Wesleyan revival in England, strange physical phenomena were often incidental to genuine conviction and conversion.
PHASES OF SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY IN BRITAIN.
The scientific induction having the most far-reaching effect of any in the century is doubtless that which is expressed in the doctrine of evolution. This doctrine