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are founded; the church must have a formulary, a liturgy, a book of doctrine to define and form that religion on. Where then is the wonder, if the legislature should select their ministers of the established religion exclusively from among those persons who are members of the church of England, and the commanders of their fleets and armies, and those who administer the government of the country, and fill the different offices of state, and constitute the parliament and magistracy of the country, exclusively from among those persons who profess the religion so established, and who are not divided in their duty and allegiance to their lawful sovereign, nor secretly subject to the control and power of any foreign potentate? Ireland reasons as if she were an independent state, and assuming that as a postulutum, she builds her argument of right on the physical majority of numbers in her Roman Catholic over the Protestant population. If it fell to the miserable lot of England to have as great a majority of Catholic population, then our revered church establishment would be overturned, and the pontiff at Rome with his Catholics would become rerum potiti, and the arbitrary masters of our destinies ! But before that catastrophe will ever take place, England will shed her best blood to maintain her ascendancy in church and state as long as she possesses the lawful power by means of the preponderance of numbers in her Protestant population; and preserve her Protestant establishment as the apple of an eye, from all encroachments on that legitimate sway and dominion. When the Roman Catholic religion prevails in Eng. land in the same ratio as it does in Ireland, we ihe Protestants must submit to its domination, although it is not (as Dean Swift says) quite clear that they will tolerate us when it comes to their turn. The great body of the people of every integral and independent state must in the end form their own constitution and laws by which they are governed ; and their own establishment in religion according to the tenets and doctrines which they hold in spiritual concerns. But there cannot be two supremes in power in any state : the lesser must give way to the greater. Ireland imperiously assumes the converse of this position : and if she says still that she is free of England, and independent altogether, she must draw the sword, and make it good. It ceases to be matter of argument, and we had better at once look to our feets and armies, and put ourselves into a posture of defence. But were it in the nature of Catholic Ireland to put on any thing like reason or gentleness in her demands, and contend for the ascendancy in her own country in matters of religion, and permit the members of the established church of England to enjoy the like privilege here, then truly we should have to feel the miseries of anarchy, and the anguish
* To know, when two authorities are up,
The one by t'other.' Ireland may say that her deference and obedience to the pope extends not to temporal, but merely to spiritual matters. What does the universal page of history disclose as to this point? The answer is comprised in one which I gave many years ago to the present pious, learned, and truly benevolent Bishop of Norwich, who observed to me that“ he never yet had heard in any place, or seen in any tract on the subject, the shadow of an argument against the Roman Catholic's claim of emancipation.” He then called on me to advance any argument I had to offer, and he would endeavor to answer it. I said, “ that from the Norman Conquest to the Revolution, the ecclesiastical tyranny of the pope towards the whole commonwealth, and an unabated persecution on the part of his church (usque ad ultimum supplicium) against Lollards, and every sect of heretics before the reformation was confirmed, and against the Protestants of the present church of England, together with every Protestant sect, since the reformation was established by law, have invariably formed and distinguished the charucter of the Roman Catholic dominion and ascendancy in the state.” After this, about twelve years since, I published a letter to the Bishop, in which I stated at large the great danger and peril to the church of England, by granting the Catholics any further concessions; and I gave therein a succinct history of the invariable tyranny and persecution of the court of Rome, whenever they had the power to exercise it. And have we not a right to say that the same causes will produce the same effects ? Nothing turns as to the RIGHT of the Roman Catholics of Ireland to a complete, unrestricted emancipation (as they call it), on the score of their overwhelming majority over the Protestants. And for this plain reason, they are not an integral independent state. They are a component part of the British empire, and their numbers are to be mingled and reckoned with the whole mass of the population of England and Scotland. It is not the creed of the Roman Catholics that we either state or feel as an insuperable objection to their being admissible into the higher offices of the state, nor yet to the doctrines of their church, nor to the rights and ceremonies of that church; nor is it a matter of concern to us whether they have two sacraments or seven in their church, or whether their doctrine of the Real Presence at the eucharist, or that of the church of England be the true construction of our Saviour's words at the last supper, , “Hoc est corpus meum.” The constitutional objection to the Roman Catholics forming a part of our government is, that the whole of their duty and allegiance is not given to our sovereign, as
we Protestants do willingly and faithfully give ours. And a divided allegiance cannot be equal in strength and efficiency to an entire concentrated allegiance. It is possible the Roman Catholics of Ireland may acknowlege our gracious sovereign to be king of England; and,“ as far as they may,”these are their own jesuitical words, “ promise to bear faith and allegiance to him ;" but the mischief is, that they have another king at Rome, who, they maintain, is the supreme head of their and our church, and would soon be of the kingdom itself, whenever the Roman Catholic religion shall prevail over our glorious Protestant establishment in church and state! We deny this supremacy of a foreign power; we have delivered ourselves from the intolerable burden of the papal yoke and tyranny; we have happily established a Protestant church and a Protestant crown in the British dominions; we purchased that blessed inheritance with our blood, and we will maintain it, if called on by imperious necessity, at the same great price!
The Roman Catholic religion is the same it ever was, and it is only the want of power that induces the want of exhibiting the same identical appalling face it ever displayed to affrighted Christendom. If our fears were fanciful and unfounded, of the ever persecuting and tyrannical spirit of the court of Rome, when in power, would the unceasing dread of the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic religion have never subsided, which has, ever since the reformation was established in this country, dwelt on the mind of the whole Protestant world, and have filled them with anxious thoughts and apprehensions, if it were not considered as the greatest evil that could befal any nation or people? Would such piles of books have been written against the Roman Catholic religion and against the all-encroaching power of the court of Rome (which would more than fill Westminster Abbey) if it were a inere party question, or if these pious laborers in the vineyard of Christ's church did not feel that they were in truth writing for their lives ? Would these anxious fears have descended, undiminished in solicitude, from faiher to son for ages, if it were a mere phantasy of the mind, or as the passing dream of an idiot, or the self-created phautom of a distracted person? It was purely the shaking off the intolerable Roman Catholic yoke, that composed the whole res gesta of the revolution of 1688: nothing else was accomplished, and I should be glad to know, what family has the inheritance of the crown of England vested in them, if it is not to continue to be a Protestant crown!
Our late pious sovereign, whose memory is so dear to us, and who will ever live in the hearts of all that remember his exalted virtues, he would liave cheerfully resigned up his life sooner than he would have put the Protestant crown in jeopardy by consenting
to give the Roman Catholics an unrestricted emancipation, or to admit them into power and office. And who that knows our present revered sovereign, doubts of his firmness, and unshaken fidelity to his people, to follow the footsteps of a father he so truly and so fondly loved ? But, Ireland says boldly, that she will still be free, and unrestraived by either laws or constitution; and she tells us in plain round terms, and stricto ense supplicat, that if England will not peaceably grant her all she claims, she will accomplish her desires by physical force. She must then fulfil her rebellious threats; but I do not think that the English parliament, or the English people are to be frightened out of their established religion, or their constitution, or their laws, by a few hot-headed Roman Catholic barristers and their confederates, who hold seditious, and, as I think, treasonable meetings, and pass violent resolutions, uttering dark threats in their rebellious harangues, against the government which protects them, and against the law of the land, which may overtake them in the dangerous race they are thus heedlessly running sooner than they seem to be aware of. These are not, as some weak persons imagine, the innocent undesigning ebullitions of mere young and ardent minds, impatient of novelty and change, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. There is too much method in their madness to be either harmless or guiltless. Pastorini's prophecy, that in this year, 1825, being the period of the 300 years of Luther's heresy, Ireland is to be delivered from her state of thraldom by a complete, unrestricted emancipation, appears to absorb the united attention of the whole Catholic population; and the means by which this deliverance out of the hands of her oppressors, to occupy all their thoughts.
The whole Catholic body in Ireland are looking up to some great political change that is about to be accomplished, through the wary councils of “ The Catholic Association,” the mighty engine of “The Rent," and to these is added, in idea, the mightier aid of the physical force of the country. I am firmly persuaded myself, that a rising is intended this year, that the prophecy of Pastorini, so well according with their own rebellious desires, may be fulfilled. It is then, Sir, the full time for our Protestant government of England to arm itself in the defence of our establishment in church and state, for but one fortune and destiny awaits them both. I am not surprised at the result of the late proposed prosecution for seditious expressions made by a popular Catholic leader of the great malcontent party in Ireland. I should have thought it a wiser and more prudential course to have taken, to have passed it over in a personal point of view, as a particular sedition of the orator, and have considered the language used, as the recognised sentiments of the Catholic body in general, which in truth they are, if not repudiated by this
fearful and tremendous “i Association.” It is idle prosecuting for sedition on the eve of a rebellion. Let it also be considered, what a vast moral difference in the excitement of the mind there exists, in the instance of a sedition in Ireland and in England. In the latter, a sedition is local, and it may be purely personal, extending no further than the heated head and heart of the speaker: in Ireland, the mildest sedition is nothing less than an inchoate treason: it is an act of union of the whole malcontent body politic, who have but one head, one heart, and one united arm in all their political thoughts and movements.
"Idem sentire, dicere, agere,” is their motto, and the main spring of all their thoughts and actions.
There are “ compassings” and “imaginings" enough, and there is nothing wanted but the “overt act,” to complete and accomplish the treason. There is, indeed, one vital subject of prosecution, which the law-officers of the crown in Ireland seem strangely to have slumbered on : I mean “ The Catholic Rent.” I think no crown lawyer can for a moment doubt that the bare gathering together of so vast a power, ayowedly for political purposes, and to produce political results on the state and government they are subject to, no matter whether their “ intents be wicked or charitable," is against the common law of the land. All good government mainly consists in the superintending and controlling the exercise of power, and its great use and benefit to the community is to prevent the undue exercise of it, or to punish when that evil has occurred. The very existence of such a dangerous, unknown power, confessedly amassed into one heap for the purpose of effecting some great political change, must needs call on the watchfulness of the executive government to prevent, by any means, such power from being brought into action of hostility against the state. Money in the hands of conspirators against the state may constitute the sinews of treason and rebellion, equally, as of legitimate war; and in such hands, may be considered to be as much “ ammunition," as gunpowder and shot, or pikes and fire-arms, and lawfully to be treated as such, on the part of a wise and vigilant government. · Concession to the Catholics has always, (especially on the part of the Roman Catholics of Ireland) only led the way to fresh claims, and those urged with an increased insolence of demand ; so that both the parliament and government, who are disposed to grant them every indulgence consistent with the safety of our Protestant establishment in church and state, now find themselves in a difficulty how to treat them, and in what tone to address the Catholics. They must either concede, in fear and apprehension of the consequences of denying their further demands, or they must