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while at the same time the universality of the Gospel is exhibited as equally needful and equally belonging to all; and the true position of its ministers towards society maintained, as confined to no social class, but with the same sympathy and reverence feeding all the Church of God which He hath purchased with His blood.
The Church which is to lead the nation's leaders in the ways of truth and righteousness, and strengthen the nation's unity by joining high and low in Christian fellowship, should be assisted in the execution of its national office by possessing the traditional influence of the old National Church. No aid should be withheld which might strengthen the action on the country of the Church which is to guide its Christianity and diffuse the highest principles of duty and purity through all its classes; and whatever influence of social standing, and whatever traditional dignity of national clergy might be connected with the old establishment of the National Church should belong to it and help it to guide the faith and form the life of the nation. Thus established, that Church may, under the Divine blessing, keep the high hopes and pure motives of the Gospel mingled with the spirit and energy of the nation, urging it through all its religious denominations to do the good, and strive after the better.
27. It is scarcely necessary to notice the application of these principles to the case of Ireland. It follows from them that the Irish Church should be maintained as the Established Church of Ireland, not because the civil power agrees with its doctrines, nor because it is one with the Church of England, but because the highest interests of Ireland require that the Church which ministers to its leading classes should be the Established Church of the country, maintained on the basis of the National Church, with its ministrations placed within reach of all, and supported not on a congregational, but on a territorial system.
28. This territorial establishment of the Irish Church is indeed accompanied with many anomalies of disproportion between the incomes of the clergy and the numbers of those who accept their ministrations. Such anomalies are not necessarily connected with the principle of the Establishment, and might be corrected without interfering with that principle, if power were given for the purpose. If such changes should be attempted, it must be remembered that population is not the only measure of clerical duty. The duties connected with public worship vary with the number of the services, not with the number of those who attend them. Parochial visiting is more laborious the greater the distance at which the people live; and the inspection of schools requires more attention the more numerous they are. The number of schools as well as of public services depends on terri. torial extent, for they must both be brought within convenient distance of those who attend them; and pastoral duty cannot be performed beyond certain territorial limits. Similar observations may be made with regard to episcopal duty; but after all such considerations have had their full weight, there still remain many changes which might be made with advantage in the Irish Church. Let them be made without delay, and let no reform be withheld which may make her work more real, and her ministers more efficient in the discharge of their duty to their own people, to the nation, and to God.
Historical Sketch of the Church of Ireland.
1. Three distinct periods in Irish Church History: the Primitive, the Mediæval, and the Modern.—2. Early but uncertain origin of Christianity in Ireland.-3. Abortive Mission of Palladius.—4. St. Patrick: his Autobiography.-5. Not sent from Rome.—6. His labours, success, and death.—7. His doctrine.-8. Missionary policy,—and 9. Ecclesiastical system.-10. Peculiarities in the Constitution of the Ancient Irish Church. -ll. Ancient Monasteries : their nature and government.–12. Tenure and management of Church lands: Co-arbs and Erenachs.—13. Celebrity of the Ancient Church of Ireland : its Independence. The Paschal controversy.-14. Danish invasion.—15. Its fatal effects on the social and moral condition of Ireland.-16. Its ecclesiastical consequences, Danish schism, Romish aggression.-17. Gillebert and Malachi: their efforts to bring about submission to Rome; Recognition of the Papal Supremacy.
-18. Its abettors in Ireland to be excused.-19. The Church of Ireland under the ecclesiastical dominion of Rome.-20. Submission of the Church followed by subjection of the State; Pope Adrian's Bull.21. Invasion of Ireland by Henry II. ; Council of Cashel.-22. The Church of Ireland looked on by Anglo-Romans as barbarous and schismatical.— 23. Results of subjection to Rome as regards piety,—24. Learning, and, -25. Concord.—26. Rejection of the Papal Supremacy under Henry VIII. -27. Mode of proceeding in this matter objected to by some writers, but without reason.—28. An essential, though undesigned, preliminary to any farther Reformation.—29. Alienation of Monastic property : its detrimental effect on the Church.-30. The Church of Ireland again national and independent of Rome.-31. Progress of the Reformation under Edward VI.–32. Its reversal under Mary, and, 33. Resumption under Elizabeth; Sanctioned by Parliament and by an Ecclesiastical Synod.-34. The first Irish book of Articles.—35. The Reformation canonically effected in Ireland, and the Episcopal succession duly maintained.—36. Progress of the Reformed System among the people in general, checked by the want of qualified native Ministers, and of vernacular Scriptures and Liturgy.-37. Hindered by the political condition of the country, by the general disaffection and aversion towards England, and,—38. Above all, by the intrigues of the Court of Rome, fomenting rebellion and civil war, and,—39. Filling the country with foreign emissaries at once ecclesiastical and political.-40. Foundation
of Trinity College, Dublin.—41. Rebellion and attainder of Tyrone and. other Northern chieftains; Forfeiture of their lands; Plantation of Ulster : its social benefits, its ecclesiastical disadvantages; Rise of Presbyterianism in Ireland.—42. Simultaneous organization of new Romish Communion derived from foreign sources.—43. Convocation on the English model; Unfortunate result of the first experiment, remedied in the second.—44. Social changes introduced by James I., premature and therefore unappreciated; Discontent; Conspiracy; Great Rebellion of 1641.–45. Primarily anti-English, only consequentially anti-Protestant ; Sufferings and slaughter of the Colonists; Retaliation of Cromwell.46. The Church oppressed alike by both parties.--47. The Restoration ; Relief and incipient revival of the Church.-48. Renewal of persecution under James II.; Shutting up of the churches.—49. William III. once more restores the Church.—50. The Penal laws : their severity, their grounds, their unhappy effects.-51. Progress of the Church in the early part of the eighteenth century; Revival of Convocation ; Its final suspension.52. Queen Anne's Bounty.–53. Accession of Hanoverian dynasty unfavourable to the progress of the Church; “The English interest ;" English monopoly of Irish preferments ; Jealousies and general apathy ; Anglicizing policy.—54. Emigration, a new source of weakness to the Church ; Confined at first to Protestants, and why.—55. Farther spoliation; Tithe of Agistment.—56. Rebellion of 1798; Slaughter of Protestants; Retaliation; Increase of mutual hostility.--57. The Legislative Union ; A union of the Churches one of its fundamental Articles. — 58. Nature of this Union political, as between the Establishments; The Churches ecclesiastically united for many centuries.—59. Roman Catholic Emancipation ; Past disclaimers and present demands.-60. Anti-Tithe war; Sufferings of the Clergy; Transmutations and surrender of Church property.–61. Farther concessions; Church Temporalities Act; Suppression of Bishoprics ; Taxation of the Clergy, and complete exemption of the Laity.–62. Doubtful policy of the measures adopted.63. The Potato famine; Privations and exertions of the Clergy.–64. The Education question ; Protracted controversy ; Agreement to differ; The principle still at issue both in England and Ireland.—65. Internal History of the Church during the present century; Progress and existing state of Religious opinion.—66. Question as to the Church's real advance or retrogression; Difficulties and successes; Missionary exertion a recognised, but not the primary, duty of the Church ; Her pastoral work of still greater importance.—67. Summary.
1. THREE remarkable epochs indicate the commencement of as many distinct and definite periods in the history of the Church of Ireland. These epochs are :—The arrival of St. Patrick in the fifth century
—the recognition of the papal supremacy in the twelfth—and the renunciation of that supremacy in the sixteenth; and the periods thus defined may be termed respectively the Primitive or Independent, the Mediæval or Romish, and the Modern or Reformed.
2. The existence of Christianity in Ireland previous to the fifth century seems to admit of no doubt, though whence it was derived, or to what extent it prevailed, is altogether uncertain. Tertullian in the third century, Eusebius and Chrysostom in the fourth, all speak of the British Isles (using the plural number) as among the regions into which the religion of Christ had penetrated; and when, in the fifth century, Palladius was sent as a missionary to Ireland, he is said in the Chronicles of Prosper-a contemporary writer-to have been ordained by Pope Celestine "as first bishop of the Scots a believing in Christ," a statement which is repeated by Bede in nearly the same words, and which appears plainly to intimate that those among whom Palladius was sent to labour were already professedly Christians, however defective their Christianity or its organization might be. The most general as well as most probable opinion refers the first introduction of the Gospel to some of those who from time to time, and in considerable numbers, visited the island for commercial or other purposes ', and among whom, in the second and third centuries, many Christians,
a This designation was applied to the Irish exclusively till the twelfth century; the modern Scotland being generally known during that period as Alba or Albania.
b Tacitus (Agricola, cap. 24) mentions that the ports of Ireland were better known than those of Britain to commercial enterprize.