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the subject, represent tithes as dimi. only imagine what they themselves nishing by one-tenth the fertility of would think of individuals who might land. Now, it is certain, that land is have received from some great man of various degrees of fertility ; that a favour, similar to that for which one quality of land is by much more they must feel themselves indebted than one-tenth more fertile than to the great Creator, and yet who re. another. But has it ever yet been fused to acknowledge it, by making contended that this disadvantage un some small returns for his service; der which the inferior land lies, is a appropriating greedily, and without tax upon industry? No. Simply be thanks; and giving grudgingly, and cause there was no Church Establish- of necessity; in a word, cramming, ment to be subverted by such a mis- while they blasphemed the feeder: representation. The land which is they would have some faint idea of thus comparatively unproductive will what may be justly thought of their not be cultivated, until prices rise to own language when they complain a height that will remunerate the of tithe as a tax upon industry / farmer. It is the same with land But we well know, that a considerasubject to tithe. Both causes may tion such as this will only provoke the retard cultivation; and so far, leare sneers of the utilitarians. Upon them industry unemployed. But neither we urge it not. Against such ancan be truly said to tax industry. tagonists we rest satisfied with haIndustry is not exerted upon the ving proved that tithe is no tax upon land, until its exertion may put it be- industry; a position which they may yond the tax. The industry that is deny, and they may mystify; but thus called into action is amply re- which they will find it difficult to munerated. The farmer cannot com- disturb, unless they can shew that plain when he is enabled to pay the there is a tax upon industry where wages of labour, and to realize the there is no industry to be taxed; or profits of stock. And the public can, where the growers are renumerated by not complain when they get what existing prices where any industry is they want, at the price for which exerted. they are willing to procure it.
It has been said that tithes are an When men talk of tithe as a tax obstacle to improvement; and, in upon industry, it would be very well some few instances, they may be so if they remembered that the produc- considered. We are, therefore, de tions of the earth are a bounty upon sirous to see adopted any reasonable industry ; that although they may and practicable modification of the plant and water, it is God that gives system by which the objection might the increase. If this truth was more be removed. We are sure that, ul. strongly imprinted upon their minds, timately, it must be for the benefit we should hear less of an objection of the clergy as well as of the laity, that savours so much of impiety and that the country should be improved; ingratitude. A tax upon industry! that two blades of grass should be Why it is just such language as we made to grow where but one grew might expect to hear, if they were before ; and we are satisfied, that themselves the creators of the pro. no serious objection would be made ductions of the earth, and were in- to any proposal for abating or modebted for nothing to the goodness derating the imposition of tithes, in of Providence! A seed is deposited any cases where it could be clearly in the ground; it is returned fifty shewn, or for any length of time durfold; and those upon whom the be. ing which it could be clearly proved, neficence of God thus overflows, that they would be an obstacle to think it a hard thing to be asked to improvement. The cases, however, contribute a tithe of what he has are but few in which a relief from himself given them to his service! tithe would encourage enterprise ; Truly may it be said, “ the ox know- and, therefore, the cases can be but est bis owner, and the ass his mas few in which the burden of them ter's crib ; but Israel doth not know; discourages cultivation. But, be this my people do not consider.” We as it may, we meet the objection shall not at present stop to indite a fairly, by proposing a remedy. Thus homily upon this; but, if the objec. we test the sincerity of our oppotors to whom we have alluded would nents; to whom, indeed, we do less than justice, if they are not more be exacted. The landlord has no tender of their objection than we are right, to appropriate any portion of even of tithe, or if they would wish the residuum above the profits of to see the grievance which they com- stock and the wages of labour to his plain of redressed,when it may, here- own purposes, until he satisfies those after, operate as a lever for the over- who have previous claims; and as throw of an offensive system. When such, the law recognises the claims an objection is a pretext, and not a of the individuals who may be decause, it must be something very dif- nominated ecclesiastical landlords : ferent from truth and reason, that whose rights were secured to them, can prevail against it.
at the time when the lay proprietors When it is said that taxes are paid came into possession of the fee, and by the landlord, it must not be sup which cannot be violated, without a posed, that they fall upon the indi. fatal departure from the principle, vidual commonly so called, but only by the maintenance of which can that they are taken from a fund which property of every other description is denominated rent, in contradis- alone be protected. The lay landtinction to the funds which supply lords, therefore, in paying tithes, pay the profits of stock, and the wages nothing that may be called their own, of labour. The landlord has no more and, therefore, as far as they are conright to the tenth, which be merely cerned, tithes are no grievance. hands over to the party, whether lay But, Irish tithes, who can stand up or clerical, for whose benefit it has for them, are they not altogether inbeen reserved, than he has to any defensible? There, a people proother property of which he might be fessing one religion, are compelled the trustee; or than his tenants have to support the ministers of those who to the sums which they have stipu- profess another ! A little patience, lated to pay him, as considerations gentle reader. We are no advocates for their respective farms. And yet, of what is indefensible; but, we have, even by a respectable writer in the we confess, as yet to learn, that such Quarterly Review, the matter has an epithet is fairly applicable to the been thus misrepresented. Tithes Church of Ireland. have been represented as a grievance Let us take the supposition most upon the landlord, from wbich he favourable to our opponents, and for ought to be relieved ! (vol. xliv, page which Mr O'Connell, the bitterest 37), as if he had received a grant of enemy of the Church of Ireland, the land tithe-free; or took no care most loudly contends, namely, that to be indemnified for its amount tithes are paid by the consumer; and, when he made the purchase! For if we ask, who are the consumers of he gave for nine-tenths the price of Irish produce? The answer must the whole, he was a fool. And if he be, the people of England. They are claims a dominion over the whole, the consumers of Irish produce; and, having purchased but nine-tenths, therefore, according to the statehe is a knave. In neither case can ments of the Irish anti-tithe conhe call for the protection of the le- spirators themselves, they are the gislature, which should not counte- payers of the Irish tithes. So that, nance his knavery, and cannot pre- adinitting their own principle, the vent his infatuation. No. It is every Irish are not burdened with that obwhit as false, to maintain that tithe noxious impost; and, so far from its is paid by the landlord, as that it is being true, that the Popish people of paid by the consumer. It constituted Ireland are supporting a Protestant a lien upon the land before the pro- clergy, it is much more consonant to prietor came into possession, the truth, to affirm that the Protestant liquidation of which should precede people of England are supporting a rent, which ought to commence only Popish clergy in Ireland. when that lien had been satisfied. And this, in point of fact, is the So that nothing could be more equi- real state of the case, as would very table, than to make the owners of all soon be felt if the export trade were lands which paid a rent, accountable discontinued. The prices which the for the tithe; for the tithe ought to Irish farmers are enabled to obtain be considered as in their hands, from for raw produce in England, deterthe very moment that rent began to mine the price for which it sells in
Ireland. There is a monopoly esta Indeed, if there be any party who blished in their favour, to the exclu- have a right to complain, they are sion of Poland and Prussia, and other the English clergy and land propriecountries by which they might be tors, whose property is diminished undersold; and this has caused de both in value and amount by the mand so far to gain upon supply as, same cause which increases the tithe to increase, very considerably in- and the rental of Ireland. deed, that surplus above the expenses The grievance, therefore, of which of cultivation, out of which both rent the agitators complain is, that a sum and tithes are ultimately paid. It derived from English capital is receia is, therefore, as false as it is mis- ved and spent amongst themselves ! chievous to allege, that the sum paid It is curious that they do not make to the Established clergy in Ireland, is the increase of rent, which has also wrung from the bard pittance of the been the consequence of the trade Roman Catholic labourer. That with England, a ground of complaint. labourer would not find his comforts Perhaps it is because it would be one whit increased (whatever they less palpably unreasonable so to do. might be diminished) if tithes were For rent is often spent out of the henceforth abolished. And the country; tithe seldom or never. farmers or the landed proprietors, Rent contributes to the encouragemerely hand over to the clergyman ment of absentees; tithes to that of a sum upon which they can, by pos- a resident gentry. The landlord is sibility, have no claim, and which often felt as an oppressor; the clerthey never would have received had gyman generally as a benefactor to not the prices of their produce been his neighbourhood. Indeed, we have raised by English capital and English reason to believe that the poor peoconsumers.
ple themselves are at length beginNor can it be said that the people ning to be sensible of this. It has of England are sufferers by being been reported to us, upon authority thus burdened with the support of by which we have never been dethe Church of Ireland. In whatever ceived, that the peasantry in the degree the export trade has a ten- county of Kilkenny, where the hosdency to raise the price of corn in tility against tithe raged fiercest, are Ireland, it must have a similar ten- at length fully sensible of the folly dency to lower it in England. If of banishing the clergy from their new lands are called into cultivation homes. The labourers feel, that, in the one case, old lands must be whatever the farmers and landownthrown out of cultivation in the ers may have gained by withholding other. So that while the surplus the tithe, they have been no gainers fund for the payment of rent and by the loss of employment, or the tithe in the one country is increased, absence of that kindliness and those in the other it either does not in- courtesies which they always expecrease, or diminishes; and, conse- rienced from the clergy of the Estaquently, the people have less to pay blished Church. Let any unprejuin one direction, the more they have diced man go into the neighbourto pay in the other. The value of hood of Dr Hamilton, or Dr Butler, their own produce is diminished in and witness the keen regret with proportion as that of Irish produce which the majority of even their Rois increased; and by how much the man Catholic parishioners regard amount of the whole falls short of their absence, let him witness the what it would be if they were the charities which have been suspend. sole cultivators, by so much must ed, the good works which have been they be considered gainers. The interrupted, the civilizing influences English only purchase Irish produce which have been withdrawn, and he because it is cheaper than their own; will be able to form some estimate and while they have the benefit of of the mischief which has been done this cheapness, they should not by that malignant system of combigrudge those to whom they are in nation which has driven these redebted for it, the benefit of their spected gentlemen, and numbers like custom. Neither do they. They are them, from their several spheres of wise enough to know what, in this activity and benevolence. We verily respect at least, is their true interest. believe that this system could not be
maintained, were it not that the poor vent or retard the performance of a people have now no adequate protection bounden duty ? And if such be the against it. ITS SANCTIONS HAVE NOW case with those whose inclinations BECOME MORE TERRIBLE TIIAN THOSE may be said to be favourable, what OF THE LAWS OF THE LAND ! And Cap may not be apprehended from those tain Rock is feared and obeyed, whose dispositions are decidedly ad. while the enactments of the nominal verse ? To place a Church upon such legislature are regarded as little a footing, would resemble the folly more than so much waste paper ! of building, a house upon sand.
In the preceding paragraphs we When the winds rose, and the rains have admitted, for argument sake, fell, and the floods came, they would that it is unjust to call upon people, beat upon that church, and it would professing one form of religion, to fall, and great would be the fall of it. contribute to the maintenance of the It may be allowed that it certainly religious teachers of those of another; would be impracticable thus to proand we have been satisfied with cure a sufficient support for any sysshewing, that, in point of fact, such tem of national religion; but that an objection is unfounded-that no no such system ought to be establishsuch demand is, in reality, made. ed; that religion, like every thing But even if we were unable to shew, else, should be left to find its own as we trust we have shewn, upon level, and depend, altogether, for its their own principles, that the com countenance or its rejection, upon plaints of the Agitators are without the common sense and the natural any basis in truth, we could not for honesty of mankind. This is the view a moment admit that it is unjust to of the subject which we know is taexpect of dissenters of every deno- ken by the great majority of those mination to contribute to the main, who are loudest in their denunciatenance of that Church which is by tions against tithes, and who, in oblaw established; because, to admit jecting against them, may be consi. such a principle would be to strike dered as only carrying into effect one at the very foundation of an Esta- of their engines of hostility against blished Church.
the Church Establishment. But it Dissent is not a privilege, but an would, surely, be more manly, as indulgence. To say that those who well as more fair and rational, to disapprove of the religion adopted object to the Establishment in the by the state, are to be exempted first instance, and then, if the objecfrom any share of the expenses at- tions should be considered sound, tending its maintenance, is to pro- proceed to the abolition of tithe ; claim a bounty upon dissent, which than begin by seeking for such abomust render it impossible, in the lition, although tithe may be the only long run, to uphold any form of na. practicable mode of ensuring a suftional religion. Thus, a toleration ficient maintenance for such an Estaof error would proceed to the ex- blishment, should the allegations of tent of an intolerance of truth; and its defamers prove unfounded. In the only mode of faith for which no this latter case it might, perchance, sufficient provision could be made, be found that punishment rather which might at the same time secure hastily anticipated conviction ;-and its purity and its permanency, would thus, while the trial of the Establishbe that very one which might be ment only served to evince its truth judged most agreeable to the pre- and its purity, it would be attended, cepts and maxims of Holy Scripture. contemporaneously, with such a con
For, to what purpose is any form fiscation of its revenues as must enof divine worship established, if sure its downfall and its degradaevery individual is at the same time tion. told that he is at liberty to use his But, to advert for a moment (for own discretion in contributing or not we cannot afford space to discuss it at contributing his stipend for its sup- any length) to the notion that no port, just as he thinks proper ? Even particular mode of faith should be of those who approre of it, how many established, because men will be led, will contribute, when they may re- naturally, to approve of, and to adopt fuse? In how many will coldness, that which is the best, it may be indifference, caprice, operate to prea admitted, that if the assertion were
true, the advice were good; as, on bitation and a name.' Instead of the other hand, it cannot be denied, resembling “a voice crying in the that the advice is not good if the wilderness," its ministers taught as assertion be unfounded.”
those “having authority;" and a This maxim of the free traders in provision was made which secured Christianity would be just, if men adequate instruction, in all things were as much alive to their eternal, “pertaining to life and to godliness, as they are to their temporal, inte- to all classes included between the rests. When men are in want of corn, humblest and the most exalted. wine, oil, or any other necessaries or We are not here discussing the conveniencies, their wants are the comparative claims of different parents of skill and enterprise, which churches to the favour or the presoon enable them to procure what ference of the state. In that matter, they desire. But, the more they as in all others, the wisdom of the stand in need of religion, the less they community, as expressed by the leare conscious of that need ; and, con gislature, must decide. We are sequently, if the most important merely contending for the propriety, concern is not to be entirely ne- nay, the necessity, of giving a perglected, there is a necessity for taking, manent subsistence and an authoriin that respect, some better care of zed exposition to whatever mode of them than they are likely to take of religious belief may be supposed to themselves.
afford the most adequate represenThe very passions, prejudices, in- tation of Christianity. Respecting terests, and attachments, which cause this mode of belief there may be them to take excellent precaution various opinions; and it is the right for their well-being in the present of every individual to submit any world, are most adverse to their objections which he may entertain well-being in the world to come. against it to the judgment of the And, therefore, no wise legislators community; but, it is also his duty either ever have, or ever will act to be obedient to the laws by which upon the principle of leaving reli. it has been established, and neither gion to find its own level, by not to commit nor to countenance any establishing any particular church, violence by which its stability might or, by removing the muniments and be endangered. While he may do abolishing the privileges of one that any thing which, by influencing the has been established; even as the judgments of our senators, might tend Hollanders will not act upon the to its reform or alteration, he should principle of suffering the sea to find do nothing, which, by acting on the its natural level, by the removal of fears, the prejudices, or the cupidity those mounds and barriers by which of the multitude, might lead to its alone they have been hitherto pro- subversion. A wise and liberal gotected from its inundation.
vernment will equally avoid the dan. On the contrary, wise legislators gerous extremes of prescribing error, have always admitted that they never so that it may not be gainsaid, and could secure the social and political, proscribing truth, so that it dare not until they had done what in them be defended. lay to secure the moral and religious But, as surely as a knowledge of well-being of the people. Man must our duty towards God is necessary be regarded in his relation to God, to the performance of our duty tobefore the duties can be defined, or wards man, as surely as there is no the rules laid down, which should security that a community will condetermine his conduct in relation to tain good citizens, unless it also conman. In this country, the govern- tain good Christians, so surely is it ment have been so fully sensible of a duty incumbent upon princes and this, that the Church has been, from governors to provide the means of the very earliest period, incorporated religious instruction for those over with the state, and the leading truths of whom they are appointed to preside; our religious belief made, as it were, and whatever may be the varieties the corner-stones of our civil polity. Of opinion which it may be expe
Religion, which else had been an dient to permit amongst their sub“ airy nothing,” “ a rhapsody of jects, no one, unless by his own choice, words," thus obtained “a local ha- or through his own fault, should be