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REFERRED TO IN THE PRECEDING SPEECH,
DRAWN BY MR. PHILLIPS,
AT THE REQUEST OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS OF IRELAND
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled :
The humble Petition of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, whose Names are undersigned on behalf of themselves, and others, professing the Roman Catholic Religion,-SHOWETH,
That we, the Roman Catholic people of Ireland, again approach the legislature with a statement of the grievances under which we labour, and of which we most respectfully, but at the same time most firmly solicit the effectual redress. Our wrongs are so notorious, and so numerous, that their minute detail is quite unnecessary, and would indeed be impossible, were it deemed expedient. Ages of persecution on the one hand, and of patience on the other, sufficiently attest our sufferings and our submission. Privations have been answered only by petition, indignities by remonstrance, injuries by forgiveness. It has been a misfortune to have suffered for the sake of our religion ; but it has also been a pride to have borne the best testimony to the purity of our doctrine, by the meekness of our endurance.
We have sustained the power which spurned us; we have nerved the arm which smote us; we have lavished our strength, our talent, and our treasures, and buoyed up, on the prodigal effusion of our young blood, the triumphant Ark of British LIBERTY.
We approach, then, with confidence, an enlightened legislature: in the name of Nature, we ask our rights as men; in the name of the Constitution, we ask our privileges as subjects; in
the name of Gon, we ask the sacred protection of unpersecuted piety as Christians.
Are securities required of us? We offer them the best se. curities a throne can have—the affections of a people. We offer faith that was never violated, hearts that were never corrupted, valour that never crouched. Every hour of peril has proved our allegiance, and every field of Europe exhibits its example.
We abjure all temporal authority, except that of our Sovereign ; we acknowledge no civil pre-eminence, save that of our constitution; and, for our lavish and voluntary expenditure, we
h only ask a reciprocity of benefits.
Separating, as we do, our civil rights from our spiritual duties, we humbly desire that they may not be confounded. We“render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's," but we must also "render unto God the things that are God's.” Our church could not descend to claim a state-authority, nor do we ask for it a state-aggrandizement its hopes, its powers, and its pretensions, are of another world ; and, when we raise our hands most humbly to the state, our prayer is not, that the fetters may be transferred to the hands which are raised for us to Heaven. We would not erect a splendid shrine, even to Liberty, on the ruins of the Temple.
In behalf, then, of five millions of a brave and loyal people, we call upon the legislature to annihilate the odious bondage which bows down the mental, physical, and moral energies of Ireland ; and, in the name of that Gospel which breathes charity towards all, we seek freedom of conscience for all the inhabitants of the British empire.
May it therefore please this honourable House to abolish all penal and disabling laws, which in any manner infringe religious liberty, or restrict the free enjoyment of the sacred rights of conscience, within these realms.
And your petitioners will ever pray.
TO H. R. H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES:
DRAWN BY MR. PHILLIPS, AT THE REQUEST OF THE ROMAN
CATHOLICS OF IRELAND.
May it please Your Royal Highness,
We, the Roman Catholic people of Ireland, beg leave to offer our unfeigned congratulations on your providential escape from the conspiracy which so lately endangered both your life and honour--a conspiracy, unmanly in its motives, unnatural in its object, and unworthy in its means—a conspiracy, combining so monstrous an union of turpitude and treason, that it is difficult to say, whether royalty would have suffered more from its success, than human nature has from its conception. Our allegiance is not less shocked at the infernal spirit which would sully the diadem, by breathing on its most precious ornament, the virtue of its wearer, than our best feelings are at the inhospitable baseness, which would betray the innocence of a female in a land of strangers !
Deem it not disrespectful, illustrious Lady, that, from a people proverbially ardent in the cause of the defenceless, the shout of virtuous congratulation should receive a feeble echo. Our harp has long been unused to tones of gladness, and our hills but faintly answer the unusual accent. Your heart, however, can appreciate the silence inflicted by suffering; and ours, alas, feels but too acutely that the commiseration is sincere which flows from sympathy.
Let us hope that, when congratulating virtue in your royal person, on her signal triumph over the perjured, the profligate, and the corrupt, we may also rejoice in the completion of its consequences. Let us hope that the society of your only child again solaces your dignified retirement; and that, to the misfor.
tune of being a widowed wife, is not added the pang of being a childless mother!
But if, Madam, our hopes are not fulfilled ; if, indeed, the cry of an indignant and unanimous people is disregarded ; console yourself with the reflection, that, though your exiled daughter may not hear the precepts of virtue from your lips, she may at least study the practice of it in your example.
DELIVERED BY MR. PHILLIPS,
AT A PUBLIC DINNER GIVEN TO HIM BY THE FRIENDS OF CIVIL AND
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN LIVERPOOL
BELIEVE me, Mr. Chairman, I feel too sensibly the high and unmerited compliment you have paid me, to attempt any other return than the simple expression of my gratitude; to be just, I must be silent; but though the tongue is mute, my heart is much more than eloquent. The kindness of friendship, the testimony of any class, however humble, carries with it no trifling gratification : but, stranger as I am, to be so distinguished in this great city, whose wealth is its least recommendation; the emporium of commerce, liberality, and public spirit; the birth-place of talent; the residence of integrity; the field where freedom seems to have rallied the last allies of her cause, as if, with the noble consciousness that, though patriotism could not wreathe the laurel round her brow, genius should at least raise it over her ashes; to be so distinguished, Sir, and in such a place, does, I confess, inspire me with a vanity which even a sense of my unimportance cannot entirely silence. Indeed, sir, the ministerial critics of Liverpool were right. I have no claim to this enthusiastic welcome. But I cannot look upon this testimonial so much as a tribute to myself, as an omen to that country with whose fortunes the dearest sympathies of my soul are intertwined. Oh yes, I do foresee when she shall hear with what courtsey her most pretentionless advocate has been treated-how the same wind that wafts her the intelligence, will revive that flame within her, which the blood of ages has not been able to extinguish. It may be a delusive hope, but I am glad to grasp at any phantom that flits across the solitude of that country's desolation. On this subject you can scarcely be ignorant, for you have an Irishman resident amongst you, whom I am proud to call my friend ; whose fidelity to Ireland no absence can diminish ; who has at once the