[Editor: This is a chapter from The Eureka Stockade by Raffaello Carboni. A glossary has been provided to explain various words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to modern readers.]
Public meeting, held at the Catholic Chapel, Bakery-hill, Wednesday, October 25th.
After a good deal of pretty intelligible talk about the “helpless Armenian,” the trooper Lord, and our respected priest; Thomas Kennedy, pouncing on the thing of the day proposed:—
“That it is the opinion of this meeting that the conduct of Mr. Commissioner Johnson towards the Rev. Mr. Smyth has been calculated to awaken the highest feeling of indignation on the part of his devoted flock: and to call upon the government to institute an inquiry into his (gold-lace) character, and to desire to have him at once removed from Ballaarat.”
The priest was requested to address the meeting.
Father Patricius Smyth, a native of Mayo, looks some thirty-five years old, and belongs to the unadulterated Irish caste — half-curled hair, not abundant, anxious semicircular forehead, keen and fiery eyes, altogether a lively interesting head. He is a Latin and Celtic scholar; and that excuses him for his moderate proficiency in modern languages. He was educated at Maynooth, the eye-sore of Sabbatarians, and therefore believes it incontestable that the authority conferred on him by the Bishop must needs be derived from God; because the Bishop had been consecrated by the Pope, who — inasmuch as a second branch of the Prince of the Apostles never was heard of at the time of St. Augustin — is the successor of St. Peter, the corner stone on which OUR LORD did build the Christian church, and our Lord’s warrant is written in St. John, chapter xiv, 24: “Sermo quem auditis non est meus, sed ejus qui misit me, nempe Patris.” And so Father Smyth feels himself entitled to adopt what was said of the Divine Master, “Docebat enim eos ut habens auctoritatem, non autem ut scribae.” St. Matthew, chap. vii, 29. Hence his preaching, though not remarkable for much eloquence, does not lull to sleep. There is no cant, and strange as it may appear, there is little argument in his short-framed sentences, because they are the decided opinion of his mind and the warm expression of his heart, anxious for the salvation of his flock, as he believes he will be called to account if any be lost. He, out of civility, may not object to hear what Paley or Butler has to say, but he scorns any conversation with Voltaire, and would see the fellow burnt, as in the times of old. His character was never impeached, because his conduct is an example to all of the strength of his faith. Either at the altar or at the table he forgets not that he belongs to the priesthood of Ireland, the “proved gold” of the Catholic church. His song is, “Erin, my country,” and “I love thy green bowers,” is the end of his story, which is a hint to me that this is not the place to say more for the peace of John Bull. Hence Ireland produced a Daniel O’Connell, but has not yet got the repeal.
Father Smyth, in addressing the meeting, spoke with coolness and forbearance, yet commendatory of the constitutional manner in which his congregation sought redress from the government, for the insult offered them, through his person, in the abuse of his servant by the trooper Lord. On concluding his address, he was warmly cheered, when the reverend gentleman and his friends adjourned to the parsonage, to partake of some refreshments.
Raffaello Carboni. The Eureka Stockade: The Consequence of Some Pirates Wanting on Quarter-Deck a Rebellion, Public Library of South Australia, Adelaide, 1962 [facsimile of the 1855 edition], pages 29-30
docebat enim eos ut habens auctoritatem, non autem ut scribae = (Latin) “for he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes”, or “for he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes”; from Matthew 7:29 in the Latin Bible
sermo quem auditis non est meus, sed ejus qui misit me, nempe Patris = (Latin) “the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father’s who sent me”; from John 14:24 in the Latin Bible
docebat enim eos ut habens auctoritatem, non autem ut scribae:
[translated by Théodore de Bèze]. Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi [The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ], D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1863, page 8
“Matthew 7”, New Advent (accessed 3 January 2013)
“Matthew 7:29”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 3 January 2013)
sermo quem auditis non est meus, sed ejus qui misit me, nempe Patris:
[translated by Théodore de Bèze]. Novum Testamentum Latine [The New Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ], D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1863, page 123
“John 14”, New Advent (accessed 3 January 2013)
“ John 14:24”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 3 January 2013)
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