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priest on the fourth Sunday in Advent, 1601, by his uncle, Henry Archbishop of Armagh. The first sermon

he preached before the State after his ordination was on the 24th of December, which was set apart by special command to pray for the success of the army against the Spaniards, and happened to be the very day of the victory at Kinsale. His text was, "Thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead."

The enforcement of the Act of Uniformity in Ireland had been dormant for many years. The policy of Elizabeth's reign is clearly expressed in the instructions which were sent to Lord Mountjoy, with respect to the demand made for a free toleration of religion by the northern rebels: "Ford Sir Arthur O'Neal's demands," say the Lords of the English Council to the Lord Deputy, "in the first point concerning religion, her Majesty bore with it, because she took it to proceed of his ignorance, not of presumption, only wishing the Lord Deputy to let him see that her Majesty pursued none in those parts for religion, and so to satisfy him, but in no wise by any contract or condition." The attempt to enforce rigidly attendance upon the reformed worship would have been as useless as impolitic. The counsellors of Elizabeth had induced her to sacrifice the very principles of the English Reformation to the scheme of extirpating the Irish language, by enacting that, where a sufficient number did not understand English, Divine service should be performed in Latin, but by no means in Irish. Even in those days of spiritual severity it would have appeared absurdly arbitrary to insist upon attendance where the people could not understand, where there were few teachers to instruct, and where, even of those few, the greater part were scandalously unfit for their sacred office. It appears, then, that the High Commission Court in Ireland did not, as it professed, inspect and reform all offences committed against the Acts of the 2nd of Eliz. It was content with the ordinary instructions to the provincial governors of Ireland: "In all times and in all places where

Moryson, B. i., chap. ii., p. 67, Ed. 1617.

any great assembly should be made before them, to persuade the people, by all good means and ways, to their seeming good, and especially by their own examples, to observe all orders for Divine Service; and to embrace, and devoutly to observe, the order and services of the Church Established in the realm by Parliament or otherwise." However, after the battle of Kinsale, the hopes of the Roman Catholics were destroyed, and they appear to have submitted themselves to the laws by attending, in great numbers, the different churches. To provide instruction for these numerous congregations, the Lord Deputy and Council directed the different clergymen to distribute themselves among the churches of Dublin, and preach a sermon in the afternoon of every Lord's day. For this purpose James Ussher was appointed to preach in the Church of St. Catherine, where he arranged the heads of each discourse into questions and answers for the following Sunday, on which day many persons of mature age voluntarily presented themselves to repeat the answers before the whole congregation, and thus raised the attention, and contributed to the instruction, of the Roman Catholics present. It is said that the effect of these regulations was such, that not only in Dublin, but in different parts of the kingdom, the Roman Catholics were so diligent in attending divine service, that if on any day they were prevented from being present, they made an apology to the churchwardens. This state of affairs did not continue long. The English government were anxious to prove that they did not persecute for religion, and sent to put a stop to what they deemed an unwarrantable exercise of authority. Lord Mountjoy, the Lord Deputy, in a letter, dated February 26th, 1602-3, thus expresses his satisfaction at the instructions: "Ande whereas it pleased your Lordships in your last letters to command us to deal moderately in the great matter of religion, I had, before the receipt of your Lordships letters, presumed to advise such as dealt in it, for a time to hold a more restrained hand therein, and we were both thinking

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ourselves, what course to take in the revocation of what was already done, with least encouragement to them and others, since the fear that this course begun in Dublin would fall upon the rest, was apprehended over all the kingdom, so that I think your Lordships direction was to great purpose, and the other course might have overthrown the means to our own end of reformation of religion. Not that I think too great preciseness can be used in the reforming of ourselves, the abuses of our own clergy, Church livings, or discipline, nor that the truth of the Gospel can with too great vehemence or industry be set forward in all places, and by all ordinary means most proper unto itself, that was set forth and spread in meekness, nor that I think any corporal prosecution or punishment can be too severe for such as shall be found seditious instruments of foreign or inward practices, nor that I think it fit, that any principal magistrates should be chosen without taking the oath of obedience, nor tolerated in absenting themselves from publick divine service, but that we may be advised how we do punish in their bodies or goods any such only for religion, as do profess to be faithful subjects to her Majesty, and against whom the contrary cannot be proved'."


It appears however, that this pecuniary mulet was not entirely given up, for, in a petition presented to the King, in the year 1613, against the Lord Deputy, it is stated, among other grievances, "that the Statute made the 2nd of Elizabeth, laying a penalty of 12d. every Sunday and holiday for not going to church, is put strictly in execution in many places; but the said money, being a matter of great value over the whole kingdom, is not employed upon the poor, according to the Statute, but brought into the hands of the clerks of those courts, but how they dispose it the parishioners or churchwardens know not." And the Lord Deputy, answering this charge, states, that the Statute of Recusants hath of late been put in execution in the county of Dublin more strictly than in any other county, in regard the eyes of all the kingdom are upon it, and attend what course the inhabitants of this county will take, to the end they may follow the same. Howbeit, there hath not been levied upon the recusants of this county within these twelve months last past above £14 or £15, or thereabouts; by reason that most of them that were prosecuted did choose rather to come to church than to pay the penalty of 12d. a Sunday; upon which conformity all arrears were remitted unto them; which course, if it be continued in the county as it is begun, and be

The sanction thus given to the violation of the Act of Uniformity excited considerable alarm in many, and in none more than in Ussher. He feared that the permission given by the Government for the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion would tend to the disturbance of the Government, both in Church and State, and still further would be offensive in the sight of God, as sanctioning idolatrous practices. Not deterred from his sense of duty by any fear of man, he determined to take the opportunity of a sermon which he was called upon to preach in Christ Church before the State, for declaring his opinion of the sinfulness of the measures recently adopted. He chose for his text the sixth verse of the fourth chapter of Ezekiel, "And thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days; I have appointed thee each day for a year." This prophecy had been interpreted as specifying the time of forty years to the destruction of Jerusalem for their idolatry, and the youthful preacher made a direct application of them to his own country, in these remarkable words, "From this year will I reckon the sin of Ireland, that those whom you now embrace shall be your ruin, and you shall bear their iniquity."

It is stated in all the Lives of Ussher that he made this prophetical denunciation in 1601, and that its fulfilment, in the rebellion and massacre of 1641, excited in the minds of many a conviction that the preacher was inspired. Dr. Bernard says that Ussher himself was strongly impressed with a conviction of its fulfilment: "What a continued expectation,' says he, he had of a judgment upon that his native country, I can witness from the year 1624, when I had the happiness first to be known to him, and the nearer the time.

prosecuted in like manner in other counties, will bring the most part of the kingdom to church, except some few of great estate of living, who are more obstinate than the rest. And touching the monies levied in the county of Dublin, it is, indeed, left in the hands of the Clerk of the Crown, by a special order from the Lord Deputy and Council, to be employed in repairing of churches and bridges, and like charitable uses, because the poor of the parishes, who are not yet indicted, are not fit to receive the same, being recusants, and ought to pay the like penalty."-Desiderata Cur. Hibern. vol. i., pp. 249, 274.

every year the more confident, to my after wonder and admiration, there being nothing visibly tending to the fear of it." But from the events just related, it is evident that the sermon could not have been preached in 1601, that it must have been preached in the end of 1602, or in the course of 1603. Ussher was not ordained till December, 1601, at which time the battle of Kinsale took place. Subsequent to this was the influx of Roman Catholics into the churches, and the appointment of the preachers to the different parishes, so that even if the sermon had been caused by the advice to which Lord Mountjoy alludes, as having been given by him, it must have been preached late in the year 1602, and as it was most probably not preached till after the official declaration made in consequence of the communications from England, we must fix the date of March, 1602-3, or 1603, so that all prophetical accuracy is removed from the sermon: it was a judicious conjecture, or more probably a mere application of the remarkable prophecy to Ireland, where the preacher fixed the commencement of the period from the sin of Ireland, but did not exactly limit it to forty years.

A circumstance to which military history affords few parallels occurred about this time in Ireland. The English army, after having suppressed the rebellion of the native Irish, and taken Kinsale from their allies the Spaniards, determined to testify their respect for learning, and subscribed the sum of £1800 for the use of the library in Trinity College, Dublin. This sum was intrusted to Dr. Chaloner and Mr. Ussher, who were sent to London, for the purpose of purchasing books. The anecdote related by Bernard, that Ussher visited Christopher Goodman, in Chester, on his death-bed, fixes the date of this mission to the year 1603, for Goodman died on the 4th of June, 1603o.

Dr. Bernard mentions that Ussher, on his journey "visited Mr. Christopher Goodman, who had been Professor of Divinity in Edward the Sixth's days, then lying on his death bed at Chester, and that he would be often repeating some grave wise speeches he heard from him." The biographer does not mention the cause of Ussher visiting Goodman. It most probably arose from some acquaintance formed by his father or

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