Learn of him, friends, the hardest lesson we ever have set us,--that of toleration.
The foremost Catholic of his age, the most stalwart champion of the Church
, he was also broadly and sincerely tolerant of every faith.
His toleration had no limit and no qualification.
I scorn and scout the word “toleration;” it is an insolent term.
No man, properly speaking, tolerates
I do not tolerate a Catholic, neither does he tolerate me. We are equal, and acknowledge each other's right; that is the correct statement.
That every man should be allowed freely to worship God according to his conscience, that no man's civil rights should be affected by his religious creed, were both cardinal principles of O'Connell
He had no fear that any doctrine of his faith could be endangered by the freest possible discussion.
Learn of him, also, sympathy with every race and every form of oppression.
No matter who was the sufferer, or what the form of the injustice,--starving Yorkshire
peasant, imprisoned Chartist, persecuted Protestant, or negro slave; no matter of what right, personal or civil, the victim had been robbed; no matter what religious pretext or political juggle alleged “necessity” as an excuse for his oppression; no matter with what solemnities he had been devoted on the altar of slavery, -the moment O'Connell
saw him, the altar and the god sank together in the dust, the victim was acknowledged a man and a brother, equal in all rights, and entitled to all the aid the great Irishman
could give him.
I have no time to speak of his marvellous success at the bar; of that profound skill in the law which enabled him to conduct such an agitation, always on the verge of illegality and violence, without once subjecting himself or his followers to legal penalty,--an agitation under a code of which Brougham
said, “No Catholic could lift ”