Obrazy na stronie

oitn to the meeting of the Metropolitan and of which the proceedings should Conservative Society, we have to be reported. This meeting was fixed notice several other inost gratifying for the 16th of November, and its proand cheering demonstrations of Pro- ceedings furnish us with the text for testant feeling in Ireland, singularly these observations. It is the intention enough embracing within their com- of the society to reprint the proceedpass the entire extent of the island. ings in the shape of a pamphlet. We Literally from Cork to Carrickfergus have not, however, as yet been able to the voice of Protestantism has been procure a copy, and we are obliged to raised. Cork, Dublin, Enniskillen, take our extracts from the newspaper Banbridge, and Ballymena,, have all reports. had their meetings with signal spirit To the character, the objects, and the and success. A few days more will proceedings of the Association, inadd to the list the most splendid of cluding in these last their general them all—we mean, of course, the meeting, we have no hesitation in sayanniversary dinner of the Belfasting that we give an entire and unSociety-and we trust that the spirit qualified approval. Our readers may thus excited will not svou or easily perhaps recollect that some time since subside, but that Protestants will unite we stated our views on the occasion of wherever there is the pressure upon the dissolution of the Orange Lodges.* Protestantism, and in their union as- We then recommended the formation suredly there will be strength.

of Protestant Associations, and the adA brief sketch of the history of the vice which we thought it our duty to Metropolitan Conservative Association offer, met, we believe, with the conmay, perhaps, be neither uninstructive currence of most persons whose opior inappropriate. There may be soine- nions were entitled to respect. The thing in its progress to cheer the ex

very same principles which then inertions of those who attempt, under Anenced us in offering that advice, now discouragements, to carry out the great determine us in expressing our approval principle of Protestant union—the prin- of the Metropolitan Association, and ciple upon the practical development it only needs ihat its example should of which, we cannot diszuisc from our- be generally followed to ensure for selves, the very existence of Irish Pro- every part of Ireland an unobjectiontestantism depends. It was

able system of Protestant Union, of a menced, we believe, by eleven indie character at once temperate and firm, viduals, who felt the necessity of some meeting the wishes of the most ardent bond of union between Protestants, of our friends, and presenting no and who acted on what they felt. Re- ground for the cavils of the most membering the old and universally captious of our opponents. adopted proverb, “ Dimidium facti qui The objects of the Association have cæpit habet,” they determined that been fearlessly and honestly put forthey would at least begin. They ward-they are such as none but the went straightforward to work, and enemies of Protestantism can take ex, formed themselves into a Protestant ception to. From the report of the Association; and this is the nucleus from Committee we take the following, wbich originated that great and influ- which is the original declaration of the ential body, the Metropolitan Society objects of the society, and presents the a society including in its members up- great principles which constitute, if wards of a thousand persons of re- we may so speak, the charter of its spectability and influence in their re- incorporation. Their objects as here spective stations, and including in put forward areits members much of the rank and the

• To maintain by every means in our talent of the country. The society had been for some time power the Protestant interests in Ireland.

“ To unite together all who are willmaturing their plans and carrying ing to make common cause in upholding on their operations in silence, when it the religion of the Reformation, and the was proposed by some of their mem- principles of civil and religious liberty, bers that it would be desirable to hold of which, under God, it has been the a general meeting of the Association, foundation. to which persons not members might, “ And for that purpose to employ such under certain restrictions, be admitted, means as may seem advisable and consti


* See Dublin University Magazine for June 1836, vol. 7.

tutional to facilitate and promote the' of Mr. George Alexander Hamilton. registration of Protestant voters, and the At first we were disposed to regard dissemination of sound political and reli- the appearance of this letter with regious information amongst our Protestant gret. We still think it would have brethren throughout the empire.

been better that it should not have * And to yive, in every way, by the been published ; but its publication establishment of Loan Funds, and all may have its good. The sentisuch other means as may be practicable, ments of this letter are sentiments protection and assistance to the humbler entertained by a section of the Conclasses of Protestants."

servative party; and it is well that

they should find expression in a tanIn this simple, brief, and yet com; gibie shape in which they may be prehensive statement of the objects of lrought to the test of discussion. the society, there is included every There are often prejudices vaguely thing that ought to be the object of a floating through the mind which asProtestaut association ; and there is

sume the appearance of unanswerincluded nothing more. This state- rble arguments, until their baselessment of their objects is just in charac- . ness is detected in the attempt to ter with the entire spirit of the shape them into words : and this is proceedings of the society-marked by just the case with the vague prejudices temperance, calmness, and moderation, to which Mr. Hamilton's letter gives a and yet, at the same time, presenting a shape. He embodies idle and intangifull, and a steady, and an uncompro- ble speculations in a form in which they inising declaration of principle : and in may be refuted. So far, we trust, he this union of firmness and mildness, does service. We know that in dealthere is a lesson, which we do not hesi, ing with his letter we are dealing tate to say, the Protestants of Ireland with feelings which are predisposneeded to be taught. Some men have ing many to listen to the siren sebeen too apt to confound integrity of ductious of indolence and pleasure ; principle with violence of expression, and Aatter themselves into the belief, and to imagine that a furious partizan, that in yielding to the seduction they ship is the most unequivocal proof of are acting a prudent part. It is always attachinent to the cau-e of truth-while pleasant to find in our own minds an others, again, still rore foolishly ina

excuse for yielding to inclination-still gined that the way to exhibit molers

more pleasant when the excuse is of tion was to compromise and give up such a nature as to enable us to find some portion of principle. But it is fault with the exertions of those whose cheering and gratifying to observe, stion adherence to the path of duty that the Protestants of Ireland, are

puts our reinissness to the blush. It is learning the truili, that, indeed to be

ile evil of Mr. Hamilton's letter that consistent, it is not necessary to be in it furnishes, under the sanction of temperate, and that true moderation is

a respected name, such excuse's something very far different iudeed those who ever are ready to stand from a suppression or abandonment of aloof from every novement of their principle. They have seen that it is Protestaut brethren. It is the euihe duty of the advocate of the cause biodying of these excuses--and, as such of truth to declare the truth, and the it is worth the trouble of a calm and whole truth ; but it is equally his duty deliberate examination-- to which pernever to encumber that declaration hapis otherwise it might got be enwith a single occasion of unnecessary trileri; for while we entertain an offence. It is the double stamp of firin udiminished respect for Mr. Hamiladherence to principle, and of ino lera- ton's integrity and honesty of purtion in asserting it, which is impressed po*, candour obliges us to ackliowe upon all their proceedings, that makes ledge that his conduct on this occasion us regard this society as likely to prove has not been marked by the strength of a powerful auxiliary to the Protestant mind or soundness of judgment which cause.

It is time, however, that we we woulil have expected from the should come to the consideration of the

writer. We trust that Mr. Hamilton meeting itself.

will believe us, that nothing but a In the very front of the proceed. sense of duty could induce us ings we are met by a feature perhaps speak thus. But the publication of his the most striking in the entire. We letter has thrown on us the painful mean the singular, and, we cannot duty of exposing calmly and gently, help thinking, the unfortunate letter but, at the sainctime, fully, the



mon cause.

Before we

weakness of his positions, and the mis- shall have no other alternative than again chievous character of their results. to resort to Protestant agitation and

The following is Mr. Hamilton's organization, I confess I shall prefer the letter :

re-construction of the Orange Institution, “ Hampton Hall, Nov, 14, 1830.

with certain modifications, to any other “ MY DEAR PLUNKETT—The absence of general political association. one of the Conservative members of the “ I beg of you to assure the meeting nietropolis from a meeting of the Metro- that while I think it necessary to explain politan Protestant Association, may pos- my reasons, as an individual, for declining sibly create a remark-certainly it requires to join the Protestant Association at this an explanation.

present time, I am far from intending to “ Will you, therefore, be so kind as lo discourage, still less to find fault with, the state for me, that having been recently exertions you are using, in conjunction consulted by several gentlemen who were

with them, for the promotion of our commembers of the late Orange Institution, with regard to the expediency of re-estab

“ Believe me, my dear Plunkett, lishing that Institution under existing always, sincerely yours, circumstances—having expressed myself

«Geo. A. HAMILTON, very strongly against its re-organization “ The Hon. R. E. Plunkett, M.P." at this present time, and the intention

Our object in this artiele is to urge having been, I believe, abandoned, partly, perhaps , in deference to my advice and upon Irish Protestants the necessity of

exertion ; opinion, I feel that I should be acting

and perhaps all that we have unfairly towards them, and inconsistently

to say upon the subject may most conwith that advice, if I was

now to become veniently be thrown into the shape of a member of another general political

a reply to Ms. Haniilton. association of similar principles and baving proceed to a lask, in the discharge of similar objects in view.

which we are sure that he would not By the voluntary dissolution of that wish us to soften down a single sentidearly-cherished institution, in submission ment of what we feel, we beg distinctly to the wishes of our King, and on an to repeat, that our respect for Mr. understanding, or engagement, as I am

Hamilton's principles and character is informed, that all adverse political associ- undiminished by a step which we inust itions should be discouraged by govern- fairly tell him has had a different effect ment, the real character of that much- upon the minds of others. In acting calumniated body, and of the Protestants as he did, we are confident that he acted of Ireland generally, has been already, I from a conviction that the course he trust, set right in the eyes of the English was pursuing was the best for the intepeople, and their feelings awakened on rests of Protestantism ; aud while we our behali.

think his letter altogether a niistaken • But, however it may injure us in one, we readily acknowledge that it some respects, I cannot help thinking bas emanated from an honest and an that the cessation of all general political honourable mind. agitation on our side, for some time

This letter does not appear written longer, till Government and Parliament with the clearness of one who undershall have been unsuccessfully appealed stood distinctly the grounds of his to, wil renıler more essential service to

conviction. The general tenor of the our cause, than any other measures we

sentiments is unquestionably to discould now adopt.

“ Moderation, such as that on our part, courage as impolitic the efforts of the while agitation has been carried on with its close Mr. Hamilton, as if conscious

Metropolitan Association; and yet at redoubled violence on the part of our opponents, and while it has been pro- in discouraging Protestant exertion, at

that he was strangely out of his element moted, instrad of discouraged by the conduct of Government, will enable the tempts as it were to neutralize the effect people of England to appreciate more

of all that he had previously written, by fully the faith that has been kept on both saying that while he thinks it necessides, and will excite their sympathiessary as an individual to explain his reamore strongly in our favour, while it will sous for declining to join the Protestant also prove to them that Protestant ayi- Association at the present time, he is tation and organization are defensive and far from intending to discourage, still uut aggressive.

less to find fault with the exertions " When Protestant forbearance shall they are making." bave been further abused, and Parliament Now, begging Mr. Hamilton's paran dGovernment shall bave been appealed don, we must say that if this sentence to in vain, and whes, consequently, we has any meaning at all, it simply is uus -that the rest of his letter has none. similar principles, and having similar obThe entire drift of the letter was to dis-jects in view.” courage any exertion on the part of

There is in this sentence a mistake, Protestants, and even beyond this, to which it is important to correct discourage the particular exertions of the Association as not those at all of the Orange societies and the

regarding the respective characters events that ought to be adopted. The reasons that he puts forward do not apply ciples are unquestionably similar, but

Metropolitan Association: their printo him as an individual with one bit more their character is different; and their force than to every other Protestant in objects, if they are parallel, for that very the community. If it be prudent for Protestants to remain quiet until their in full existence tomorrow, we say that

reason are distinct. Were Orangeism forbearance is further abused,” this pru. it would not in the slightest degree dence is equally obligatory upon all. interfere with the operations of the If the revival of Orangeism be the best Metropolitan Society, or supersede the and the only mode of uniting Protestants together, this is a considera necessity of its existence. The Orange tion wbich should influence every Pro- tion of physical force; the Metropolitan

lodges were adapted for the concentratestant equally for the preferences or predilections of an

Society aims at the attainment of moral individual-ex

influence. It was the boast of the cept as they rest upon reasons calculated to convince the public mind Orange Institution that it was essen

tially a defensive society, in which the are not matters of the slightest public right hearted and the loyal combined concern. The truth is, that throughout to resist outrage and violence, and to his letter Mr. Hamilton dealt with the matter on public grounds, and he exhibition of strength the menaces of

overcome by their calm but resolute should never have hesitated one in- force by which Protestantism is asstant in openly appealing to the com

sailed. We do not hesitate to say that mon sense and judgment of the Pro- the character of the Metropolitan testant public to discourage exertions which he believed injudicious. He Society is in one sense an aggressive

one: it endeavours to gain political seems, from an unacknowledged con

influence for right principles--it aims sciousness of the weakness of his ar

at convincing our opponents by means guments, afraid to make that ap- of appeals to that reason which 1:0 peal: we know well what would be its party spirit can altogether silence in result. It would require a great deal the human soul-it aims at gaining of argument to pluck from the

power for our friends by securing the hearts of Irish Protestants the conviction which a stern necessity has registration of the franchise of true

These are objects never coninplanted—that they can no longer templated by the Orange organization, with safety or consistency with the and objects which ought not to be neobligations of duty remain inactive. There is indeed one sentence of his beside the position which Orangeism

glected ; and this ground, altogether letter in which he gives something like occupied, the Metropolitan Society has a personal reason for declining to join taken. Upon this point we cannot do the Metropolitan Society, and this sen

better than employ the admirable lantence we cannot help lamenting as the most unfortunate of the entire guage of the report of the committeeletter ; it is that in which he says

“ The charge that you are but a revival “ Having been recently consulted by of Orangeism is to be received in two several gentlemen who were members of lights. The enemies of the Protestant the late Orange Institution with regard religion did not certainly attack the to the expediency of reestablishing that Orange Institution, from any belief that institution, under existing circumstances; it was injurious to the country; nor having expressed myself very strongly did they place the slightest faith in the against its reorganization at the present charges which themselves brought against time, and the intention having been, I it. The truth of this assertion is suffibelieve, abandoned partly in deference to ciently manifest from the very ingenious my advice and opinion, I FEEL THAT I but dishonourable artifice which they emWOULD BE ACTING ONFAIRLY. TOWARDS ployed to prevent that body from entering THEM, and inconsistently with that ad- into its justification-au artifire too well vice, if I were now to become a member known to make it necessary for your comof another general political association of mittee to refer to it. It is probable, how

ever, that these persons had some hopes tion and the Metropolitan Society are that if they could succeed in putting down so distinct, that the propriety of reOrangeism, they would be able to pro- viving the one and establishing the duce schism and disunion among the Pro. other rests upon grounds perfectly testants, and before they would rally again separate. That their principles are might effect a considerable portion of their similar it is true; but each has taken a wicked designs. They, therefore, are separate position in the maintenance fully determined to pretend that every of their principles. “ The Metropolitan form in which Protestants may unite, Society was never intended either as a and every system which they employ for substitute for or revival of Orangethe preservation of their properties and ism.” The question as to the prudence lives, is but a revival of Orangeism; and of encouraging either body is hardly if they will certainly affect to imagine that

at all affected by the existence of the inconsenting to dissolve the grand Orange lodge of Ireland there was an implied other, except so far as this—that unpromise that all the Protestants should questionably in the present state of abstain from any further opposition to

Irish society some form of Protesttheir nefarious designs.

antism is necessary to give heart to “ The two objections we have referred the friends of Protestantism-this is to, as arising from the supposition that the only point in which the two can you are either a revival of Orangeism or

meet, and in which they can never ina substitute for Orangeism may be thus tertere with each other. The metaphor answered : had the grand Orange lodge of may not perhaps be a good one, but it Ireland never been dissolved, or were it to will convey what we mean if we say

that be revived with the fullest sanction of the the wishes of their respective operalegislature, in neither case would the ne- tions touched each other in this one cessity for your Society be in the least point-and of course they coine in degree altered, or its objects either dimi- contact in no other. We are bound to nished or enlarged.

hope that all our male readers have at “ The charge is merely one of dates; least enough of mathematical science to for from no other circumstance, except perceive what we have attempted to the appearance of your Society imme- indicate by the analogy. diately after the event referred to, could

We regret much that Mr. Hamilton it have arisen. Your objects, and your should have fallen into this misconcepmode of attaining them, as well as your tion on a point on which it is essential whole constitution, are essentially different that our notions should be distinct. We from those of the Orange Institution;

are inclined to believe that he incauand the sole effect which that dissolution tiously expressed his opinions without produced upon it was to increase the ac

taking sufficient pains to inform himself tivity of your members, who are anxious to prove to the world that to make Pro- of the character or constitution of the

Association. His whole letter. bears testants lay down their arms and desert the defence of their religion and liberties mistaken in Mr. Hamilton, a moment's

the marks of haste. Unless we are far was a vain expectation."

reflection would have made him This point, too, was put clearly, suppress a half-expressed sentiment, and with sound discrimination, by Mr. which in the letter of a person less Plunket, in moving the adoption of devoted to Protestantism we would the report:

consider deserving of severe animad“ This Association is neither an offshoot. version, and which even in hin we of nor a substitute for Orangeism. It is cannot pass without reproof. not the former, because it evidently wants He speaks of unfairness towards those the flowers, if not the fruit, of the main to whom he had previously given an trunk—it has no secret signs or symbols, advice not to revive the Orange Insticolours, badges, or similar organization ; tution! Surely when he thus expressed and, secondly, it is not a substitute for himself he did not perceive that there is Orangeism, for a reason that all here but one inference to be drawn from present may not be sufliciently able to ap- this language, and it is this that those preciate, viz.—that many of us, and I,

persons, whoever they may be, to whom for one, think that there liever can be an

this advice was given were men who adequate substitute for much maligned, " like nothing but what is hammered much misunderstood, and purposely mis

upon their own anvil,” and who will represented Orangeism."

regard with jealousy any attempt to Thus the oljects, the character, and serve the cause of Protestantisni tbat the constitution of the Orange institu- is not fashioned by themscives. And

« PoprzedniaDalej »