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VOL. VII. New Series.
THE IRISH CHURCH ESTABLISHMENT.
CAN WE UPSET IT? It requires a great deal of skill to make the most of a good grievance. The very best of grievances may be spoiled by want of judicious management. It may be over-worked, or under-worked, or at unfitting times and in unfitting company; or it may be perverted by the aggrieved into a means for blinding themselves, instead of an instrument for confounding their adversaries. And so, instead of being a very valuable gift for the furtherance of political or social strategy, it may turn out not merely a grievance, real or imaginary, but a very serious evil.
We have sometimes thought that we Catholics have not altogether attained perfection in the management of our grievances. This, no doubt, is partly to be accounted for by the fact that so many of them have been not only grievances, but matters of life and death, if not physically, yet politically, socially, and religiously. A man must have acquired some sort of recognised equality with his adversary in order to allow him to employ his grievances to any advantage at all. It is of no use to call out, “Strike, but hear me !" to a villain who does not even say, “ Your money or your life," but knocks one down senseless before he proceeds to rifle one's pockets. And as this prostrate condition has been a fair type of the state of Catholics for the greater part of the last three centuries, it is not to be wondered at that we still sometimes mistake the nature of the evils that yet oppress us, and mismanage them to our serious loss.
There is also another way in which those who suffer from a grievance may themselves add to its evils instead of diminishing them; we mean by over-estimating the importance of one injury, and underrating that of another. When a man is galled and stung, almost past endurance, by the pressure
VOL. VII.NEW SERIES,