Superstition Unveiled by Charles Southwell


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Page 2

Daniel O'Connell boasted about Irish morale and Irish intellect--the
handsome women, and stalwart men of his 'beloved country,' but no
sensible persons paid the least attention to him. It is, at all events,
too late in the day for we 'Saxons' to be either cajoled or amused by
such nonsense. An overwhelming majority of the Irish people have been
proved indolent beyond all parallel, and not much more provident than
those unhappy savages who sell their beds in the morning, not being able
to foresee they shall again require them at night. A want of forethought
so remarkable and indolence so abominable, are results of superstitious
education. Does any one suppose the religion of the Irish has little, if
anything, to do with their political condition? Or can it be believed
they will be fit for, much less achieve, political emancipation, while
priests and priests alone, are their instructors? We may rely upon it
that intellectual freedom is the natural and necessary precursor of
political freedom. _Education_, said Lord Brougham, _makes men easy to
lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave_.
The Irish peasantry clamoured for 'Repeal,' never considering that did
they get it, no essential change would be made in their social, moral,
or, to say all in one word, _political_ condition. They would still be
the tool of unprincipled political mountebanks--themselves the tool of

Great was the outcry raised against the 'godless colleges' that Sir
Robert Peel had the courageous good sense to _inflict_ on Ireland.
Protestant, as well as Romanist priests, were terribly alarmed lest
these colleges should spoil the craft by which they live. Sagacious
enough to perceive that whatever influence they possess must vanish with
the ignorance on which it rests, they moved heaven and earth to disgust
the Irish people with an educational measure of which superstition
formed no part. Their fury, like 'empty space,' is boundless. They
cannot endure the thought that our minister should so far play the game
of 'infidelity' as to take from them the delightful task of teaching
Ireland's young idea 'how to shoot.' Sir Robert Inglis _christened_ this
odious measure, a 'gigantic scheme of godless education,' and a large
majority of Irish Roman Catholic Prelates have solemnly pronounced it
'dangerous to faith and morals.' Neither ministerial allurements, nor
ministerial threats can subdue the cantankerous spirit of these bigots.
They are all but frantic and certainly not without reason, for the Irish
Colleges' Bill is the fine point of that wedge which, driven home, will
shiver to pieces their 'wicked political system.' Whatever improves
Irish intellect will play the mischief with its 'faith,' though not at
all likely to deteriorate its 'morals.' Let the people of Ireland be
well employed as a preliminary to being well educated, and speedily they
may _deserve_ to be singled out as 'the most moral people on the face of
the earth.'

An educated nation will never tamely submit to be priest-ridden, and
well do Ireland's enslavers know it. The most stupid of her priests,
equally with the shrewdest of her 'patriots,' are quite alive to the
expediency of teaching as fact the fraudulent fables of the 'dark ages.'
To keep the people ignorant, or what is worse, to teach them only what
is false, is the great end of _their_ training; and if a British
ministry propose anything better than the merest mockery of education,
they call it 'dangerous to faith and morals.'

Superstition is the curse of Ireland. To the rival churches of that
country may be traced ALL the oppressions suffered by its people who
never can be materially improved till purged of their faith in priests.
When that salutary work shall be accomplished, Ireland will indeed be 'a
nation' in the secure enjoyment of political liberty. The priest-ridden
may talk of freedom, but can never secure it.

What then can be thought of the first-rate reformers, before alluded to,
who are going to emancipate every body without the least offence to any
body's superstition? It should be borne in memory that other people are
superstitious as well as the Irish, and that the churches of all
countries are as much parts of 'a wicked political system' as are the
churches of Ireland.

The judges of _our_ country frequently remind us that its laws have a
religious sanction; nay, they assure us Christianity is part and parcel
of those laws. Do we not know that orthodox Christianity means
Christianity as by law established? And can any one fail to perceive
that such a religion must needs be political? The cunning few, who
esteem nothing apart from their own aggrandisement, are quite aware that
the civil and criminal law of England is intimately associated with
Christianity--they publicly proclaim their separation impossible, except
at the cost of destruction to both. They are sagacious enough to
perceive that a people totally untrammelled by the fears, the
prejudices, and the wickedness of superstition would never consent to
remain in bondage.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 15th Dec 2019, 21:55