Page images

clared for the king. At the restoration, next year, Broghill was made Eati of Orrery, Coote Earl of Mountrath, and the rest confirmed in their parliamentarian grants. Though the greater part of their spoils were also secured to them, the Dublin Puritans, in common with their English brethren, never 'relished the restoration. In 1665, under Colonel Blood, they attempted to seize the Castle of Dublin but the plot failed.

Twenty years later we find them active against James, and devoted to William. A leaven of the old spirit of Hugh Peters and Stephen Jerome has always lingered in the Irish capital, but its activity has been only an irritant to the more powerful and better disposed classes of that population. Presbyterian Derry submitted to the restoration with similar insincerity.

The Puritan and Presbyterian powers had Ireland, as we have seen, at their mercy for a dozen years. They succeeded in destroying many, in converting none. They fought bravely, giving no quarter to “ the uncircumcised." They rooted out the Irish gentry, and exiled or martyred the clergy. They had imported into Ireland the seeds of every kindred sect, but not one of them took root.* They had violated shrines, defaced tombs, defiled altars, and beheaded priests; but they had not made twenty Puritans in all broad Ireland! It is recorded with wonderment in the records of Galway that in that populous city they had a solitary convert, one Lynch Fitz-Thomas, who, it is added, died of remorse and a broken heart. They were less successful even than Browne and St. Leger, than Strafford and Usher. These first reformers could fill a pew, at a pinch, but as for the poor Puritans, all their Irish converts might have been stowed into Hugh Peters's pulpit.

Of the chief of the ferocious sect, Oliver Cromwell, we need say but little. The perverse spirit of a litera

* “Independents, Anabaptists, Seceders, Brownists, Socinians, Millenarians, and Dissenters of every description formed of this new colony."-Speech of Lord Chancellor Clare, on the Irish Union, 1800.

ture whose boast is to glorify success and worship mere strength, has striven to exalt him into a hero. It entirely depends on the standard, whether or not you find him to be a hero. If candor, bravery, gentleness, justice, generosity, and unostentatious devotion be heroic attributes, Oliver was none. If craft, courage, hypocrisy, and slaughter make a hero, he was selfmade.

Irish tradition has kept his memory in a proverb which makes his name synonymous with hunger and rapine. History, informed by the spirit of our holy religion, condemns him as one of the most wicked and detestable of the fallen children of Adam.

[ocr errors]


A. D. 1660 TO 1727.






[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »