they possess is subject to the tithe: the cow is seized in the hovel, the potato in the barrel, the coat even on the poor man's back.1
The revenues of five of the dignitaries of the Irish Church
Establishment are as follows: the Primacy £ 140,000; Derry
£ 120,000; Kilmore £ 100,000; Clogher £ 100,000; Waterford
£ 70,000. Compare these enormous sums with that paid by Scotland
for the maintenance of the Church
, namely: £ 270,000. Yet that Church has 2,000,000 souls under its care, while that of Ireland
has not above 500,000.
Nor are these princely livings expended in Ireland
by their possessors.
The bishoprics of Cloyne and Meath have been long held by absentees,—by men who know no more of their flocks than the non-resident owner of a West India
plantation did of the miserable negroes, the fruits of whose thankless labor were annually transmitted to him. Out of 1289 beneficed clergymen in Ireland
, between five and six hundred are nonresi-dents, spending in Bath
, or in making the fashionable tour of the Continent, the wealth forced from the Catholic
peasant and the Protestant dissenter by the bayonets of the military.
Scorching and terrible was the sarcasm of Grattan
applied to these locusts of the Church
: ‘A beastly and pompous priesthood, political potentates and Christian pastors, full of false zeal, full of worldly pride, and full of gluttony, empty of the true religion, to their flocks oppressive, to their inferior clergy brutal, to their king abject, and to their God impudent and familiar,—they stand on the ’