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rank, their learning, their talents, their piety, and their patriotism to this sublime deliberation, they will consult the dignity of that venerable fabric which has stood for ages, splendid and immutable; which time could not crumble, nor persecutions shake, nor revolutions change ; which has stood amongst us like some stupendous and majestic Appenine, the earth rocking at its feet, and the heavens roaring round its head, firmly balanced on the base of its eternity; the relic of what was; the $olemn and sublime memento of WHAT MUST BE !

Is this my opinion as a professed member of the church of England ? Undoubtedly it is. As an Irishman, I feel my liberties interwoven, and the best affections of my heart as it were enfibred with those of my Catholic countrymen; and as a ProTESTANT, convinced of the purity of my own faith, would I not debase it by postponing the reason to the suspicious instrumentality of this world's conversion ? No; surrendering as I do, with a proud contempt, all the degrading advantages with which an ecclesiastical usurpation would invest me; so I will not interfere with a blasphemous intrusion between any man and his Maker. I hold it a criminal and accursed sacrilege, to rob even a beggar of a single motive for his devotion ?" and I hold it an equal insult to my own faith, to offer me any boon for its profession. This pretended emancipation-bill passing into a law, would, in my mind, strike a blow not at this sect or that sect, hut at the very vitality of Christianity itself. I am

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thoroughly convinced that the anti-Christian connexion between church and state, which it was suited to increase, has done more mischief to the Gospel interests, than all the ravings of infidelity since the crucifixion. The sublime Creator of our blessed creed never meant it to be the channel of a courtly influence, or the source of a corrupt ascendancy. He sent it amongst us to heal, not to irritate; to associate, not to seclude; to collect together, like the baptismal dove, every creed and clime and colour in the universe, beneath the spotless wing of its protection. The union of church and state only converts good Christians into bad statesmen, and political knaves into pretended Christians. It is at best but a foul and adulterous connexion, polluting the purity of heaven with the abomination of earth, and hanging the tatters of a political piety upon the cross of an insulted Saviour. Religion, Holy RELIGION, ought not, in the words of its Founder, to be “led into temptation." The hand that holds her chalice should be

pure, and the priests of her temple should be spotless as the vestments of their ministry. Rank only degrades, wealth only impoverishes, ornaments but disfigure her. I would have her pure, unpensioned, unstipendiary; she should rob the earth of nothing but its sorrows: a divine arch of promise, her extremities should rest on the horizon, and her span embrace the universe; but her only sustenance should be the tears that were exhaled and embellished by the sun-beam. Such is my idea of what religion ought to be. What

would this bill make it? A mendicant of the Castle, a menial at the levee, its manual the redbook, its liturgy the pension-list, its gospel the will of the minister! Methinks I see the stalled and fatted victim of its creation, cringing with a brute suppliancy through the venal mob of ministerial flatterers, crouching to the ephemeral idol of the day, and, like the devoted sacrifice of ancient heathenism, glorying in the garland that only decorates him for death! I will read to you the opinions of a celebrated Irishman, on the suggestion in his day of a bill similar to that now proposed for our oppression. He was a man who added to the pride not merely of his country but of his species--a man who robed the very soul of inspiration in the splendours of a pure and overpowering eloquence. I allude to Mr. Burke-an authority at least to which the sticklers for establishments can offer no objection. 6 Before I had written thus far," says he, in his letter on the penal laws, " I heard of a scheme for giving to the Castle the patronage of the presiding members of the Catholic clergy. At first I could scarcely credit it, for I believe it is the first time that the presentation to other people's alms has been desired in any country. Never were the members of one religious sect fit to appoint the pastors to another. It is a great deal to suppose that the present Castle would nominate bishops for the Roman church in Ireland with a religious regard for its welfare. Perhaps they cannot, perhaps they dare not do it. But suppose them to be as well inclined, as I know

that I am, to do the Catholics all kinds of justice, I declare I would not, if it were in my power, take that patronage on myself

. I know I ought not to do it. I belong to another community; and it would be an intolerable usurpation in me, where I conferred no benefit, or even if I did confer temporal advantages. How can the Lord Lieutenant form the least judgment on their merits so as to decide which of the popish priests is fit to be a bishop? It cannot be. The idea is ridiculous. He will hand them over to Lords-Lieutenant of counties, justices of the peace, and others, who, for the purpose of vexing and turning into derision this miserable people, will pick out the worst and most obnoxious they can find amongst the clergy to govern the rest. Whoever is complained against by his brother, 'will be considered as persecuted; whoever is censured by his superior, will be looked upon as oppressed; whoever is careless in his opinions, loose in his morals, will be called a liberal man, and will be supposed to have incurred hatred because he was not a bigot. Informers, tale-bearers, perverse and obstinate men, flatterers, who turn their back upon their flock and court the Protestant gentlemen of their county, will be the objects of preferment, and then I run no risk in foretelling, that whatever order, quiet, and morality you have in the country will be lost.” Now, let me ask you, is it to such characters as those described by Burke, that you would delegate the influence imputed to your priesthood ? Believe me, you would soon see them

transferring their devotion from the Cross to the Castle; wearing their sacred vestments but as a masquerade-appendage, and under the degraded passport of the Almighty's name, sharing the pleasures of the court, and the spoils of the people. When I say this, I am bound to add, and I do so from many proud and pleasing recollections, that I think the impression on the Catholic clergy of the present day would be late, and would be delible. But it is human nature. Rare are the instances in which a contact with the court has not been the beginning of corruption. The man of God is peculiarly disconnected with it. It directly violates his special mandate, who took his birth from the manger, and his disciples from the fishing-boat. Judas was the first who received the money

of power, and it ended in the disgrace of his creed, and the death of his master. If I was a Catholic, I would peculiarly deprecate any interference with my priesthood. Indeed, I do not think, in any one respect in which we should wish to view the delegates of the Almighty, that, making fair allowances for human infirmity, they could be amended. The Catholic clergy of Ireland are rare examples of the doctrines they inculcate. Pious in their habits, almost primitive in their manners, they have no care but their flock-no study, but their Gospel. It is not in the gaudy ring of courtly dissipation that you

will find the MURRAYS, the COPPINGERs, and the MorLANS of the present day-not at the levee, or the lounge, or the election-riot. No; you will find

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