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IRELAND’S WRONGS., Issue 8007, 9 September 1889
TO THU KDITOB. Sir,—The Rev. P. W. Isitt’s lecture on the wrongs of Ireland at the Public Hall, Oamaru, was very ably delivered, detailing a mass of facts. His style is eloquent, fervid, and truthful. He is graceful In his movements, with a tall, commanding figure, long features, with a high forehead, which gives an intellectual expression to his face. delivery at times is inspiring, and the audience feels the electric fire of his oratory as he paints in burning language the crimes of centuries of oppression, committed by the English conquerors on their fallen foe the Irish. He carries us by leaps and bounds through the Acts of the Penal Laws passed by the English Parliament. These cruel laws, he pointed out, were known to only one other nation of antiquity—the Spartans. Similar laws were made by the Spartans to keep in subjection and degradation a people called ~the Helots, whom the Spartans had conquered and used as slaves to do their labor of all kinds. Plutarch, tbe Greek historian, tells us that the neighboring nations frequently prophesied that a judgment would surely fall on the Spartans for their cruel treatment of the Helots, which accordingly did come to pass. An earthquake that was felt throughout Sparta, reducing them to a state of helplessness, was taken advantage of by the Helots, who rose in arms and slew a number of their task-masters. The penal laws against the Irish Catholic were oven worse than what the Spartans enforced on the Helots. The reverend orator showed us how, link by link, these cruel laws were broken by the great and noble patriots who suffered death on the battlefield or on the scaffold, or in the cold and silent prison breathed their last for liberty and their country. But what state do the Irish people find themselves in when the last sad link has been removed ? Like the poor African slave, when driven by his master the Arab slave dealer across the burning desert, he drops down exhausted out of the shackled gang of fellow slaves, his chain is unfettered, he finds himself once more free; but. alas! all his strength and energy gone, he is unable to take advantage of his freedom, and dies a thousand deaths, far from his kin and beloved home. So with the unfortunate Irish peasantry. The last Penal Act that bound them to their oppressors and task-masters has been repealed, and the people find themselves in a helpless state, robbed of their wealth, their industries and arts, and left a legacy of poverty and ignorance, with all their attending curses, that blight the noblest and bravest peasantry in the world. That vampire English misrule has sucked in vain to drain the brains and soul out of their unwilling slaves, but still within the Irish soul lives hope. Hope, that flower of Heaven, that greenest, deepest-rooted plant of God, lias found a congenial soil in their hearts. It will grow there and cover their green isle with a verdure of its own, springing from rock to rock, across river, plain, and mountain ; it will meet the isle around, and fold in its embrace the men and women of Ireland, The seed of hope is charity and forgiveness, therefore the Irish people will treat with charity and forgiveness their oppressors. The English, in the course of years, may find themselves in want of aid, and in that dark hour of English sorrow the Irish will not debate as to whether they will put out their arm to assist their neighbors, but will give—as it is their inborn generous nature to do—their help freely, not holding back as tho English doled out their charity to the famine-stricken Irish of ’-IS.
The darkest night must have a morning. The clouds of superstition, hatred, and revenge, that have so long kept apart tho feelings of love between the two nations, are about to lift—to be dissolved, never more to rise over the first people of the earth. The parents and the babes may go to sleep in calm security. The goal between the English and Irish people is to assist one another in the grand policy of governing the world by the love of God, which passeth all things. God has left us for 500 years. We drove the Architect of ourselves away from us, saying “We know more than you.” Like children we were left without parents. Many parents arose in those years of darkness and strife between tho two islands, calling on them to bury the hatchet and heal the wounds that have been open for centuries. Now, in our day, we have another parent calling on us—the immortal Gladstone —sent by the Great Jehovah to bring his children together once more. Let us all pray that the end of strife has come at last, and that tho English people will treat in this nineteenth century the Irish people with the teachings of Christ, that govern all things by love and not bloodshed. Let the Irish he allowed to govern themselves, so as both may live in peace, and then we all may fondly hope that tbe three kingdoms may yet govern the world by the love of Christ. —I am, otc., An Andlo Irishman. Oamaru, September 3.
IRELAND’S WRONGS., Issue 8007, 9 September 1889
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