Page images

the consequence. Now we shall the service of our country? But, not be suspected of being hostile to says the Courier, “Was not the the cause of protestant ascendency protestant constitution, in church

-Esto perpetua! But, as it was so and state, one of those principles ?'' desirable to have had the presence of That the maintenance of the relia such distinguished admirers and ad-gious establishment of the church of herents of Mr. Pitt and his princi- England is one of the principles on ples, it would have been as well which the sovereign accepts the perhaps to have omitted this toast, crown is incontrovertible; and it is particularly as there was another equally incontestible, tbat the catoast—"The house of Brunswick, and tholics are so far from wishing ta may they never forget the principles make any alteration in this fundawhich seated them on the throne of mental law of the realm, that their these realms.' Was not the pro- bishops have offered to bind themtestant constitution, in church and selves by oath, not to attempt, by state, one of these principles? But, open force or secret fraud, to subvert indeed, we cannot conceive why a or destroy the constitution in church favourer of the catholic claims might or state. What greater security can not drink the toast of Protestant the catholic give, or the inost timid Ascendency,' unless he is prepared protestant require?' That the conto say that there should not be the stitution is exclusively protestant ia least distinction between the two civil matters is an axiom quite uns religions; that the catholic should teoable. It is not to be found in Mágbe as eligible to the office of lord na Charta, and in the Bill of Rights, chancellor, the keeper of the king's on which so great a stress is laid by conscience, as a protestant; and the opponents of our claims, there is that the king himself ought not to not a single word on which to esta be excluded from the liberty of con-blish an ascendency of one part of the science granted to every person of people over the other. On the con. the realm.” With the justice or in- trary, the spirit and even the letter justice of the exclusion of the sove- of that celebrated declaration are reign from exercising the liberty of friendly to the cause of the catholics. conscience under forfeiture of the In the conclusion of this instrument crown, we catholics have nothing to it is said, that ALL the liberties as. do. The majority of the people of serted in this declaration, are the an• the united empire are protestants, cient and indubitable rights of THE it was judged proper to enact those PEOPLE of this kingdom. Here, terms, the sovereign have accepted then, we have an explicit avował them, and we do not desire to disrurb) that the civil liberties demanded by them. All we ask is, to be released the nation were not meant exclusivefrom the operation of penal statutes, ly for the members of the establishwhich stigmatize our religious and ed church, but were the indubitable civil characters, and hold us out to rights of the WHOLE, which had the rest of the community as men of been enjoyed by them equally in antreacherous and unchristian habits. cient times, but of which the people To the principles which seated the had been deprived in part, under house of Brunswick on the throne of some of the preceding monarchs. these realms we do not object, and That William understood the declawe have sworn to bear true allegi- ration in this sense is evident by his ance to this illustrious family ; why offering the Irish catholics before the then should we not be allowed to battle of Aughrim, the free exercise of devote our talents and abilities to their religion, half the churches of the kingdom, half the employments their sovereign with the same ardour, civil and military too if they pleased, and fight with as great a courage as and even a moiety of their ancient the most zealous protestant in the properties. This offer the Irish re- realm? Why then should they be jected; but they afterwards obtain- debarred from assisting to make ed greater privileges by the treaty of those laws by which they are governLimerick, than those which they ed, or to assent to the taxes which pow seek to obtain. The violation they are called upon to contribute of the articles of this treaty still re- for the maintenance of the state? mains a blot on the character of Eng. Why? says Mr. Oliver Hatch and land; it is, however, but justice to the committee of management-Why say, that William and his able mi. proscribed ? Because “ according to nister, lord Somers, used every effort their (the anti-popery Pittites) conwhich the bigotry of those times ception of the British constitution would permit them to prevent the the protestant ascendency' is essen- • disgrace attached to the violation of tial to its very existence; that they a solemn treaty. From these cir- consider it not only as a question of cumstances it must be inferred, that great political importance, but as a the promoters of the revolution of question of vital importance to the 1688, had more in contemplation the established religion of the country, inviolate preservation of the consti- which is so interwoven, as it were, tution of the country, and the secu- with its government, that the de. ring parliament from the invasion of struction of the one must produce the prerogative, than the establishing the destruction of the other; a con. & religious ascendency. And it is sequence which, in their apprehentherefore necessary for the disci- sion, has long ceased to be a subject ples of Mr. Pitt and the advocates of for speculation, by becoming a matorangeism, before they lay any just ter of historical fact.Thank ye, claim to a civil “ascendency' over kind gentlemen; thank ye, for this the catholics of this country, to

We now

what duce sulystantial proof that the pro- grounds you build your faith upon, fessors of protestantism are endowed and I am sorry it is on so sandy a with superior physical and mental soil. This Mr. Oliver Hatch is a powers than the rest of their fellow true “ ascendency”-man, and by creatures; and that they are conse- the report of the evidence of the quently gifted by nature to lord it committee on educating the poor, is over the stupid, ignorant, priest. not very scrupulous in supporting it. ridden papists. But if we look In his evidence he states himself to around us, where shall we discover be treasurer to the National School this superiority of intellectual abili. Society, one of the principles of ties? Are our ministers more able, which is to make all the children in búr senators less corrupt, our judges their schools, although their parents more impartial, now they are exclu, are known to be catholics or dissensively protestant, than in catholic ters, learn the catechism and attend times? Are protestant subjects more the service of the established church, loyal, or protestant -soldiers and as will be seen by referring to my sailors more brave, than those who Journal for August last, p. 318; a believe in transubstantiation or the conduct not very honourable nor sacrifice of the mass. Do not the liberal in those who pursue it. But catholics pay taxes with equal ala. if the position which these gentle. erity as their protestant neighbours ? men have laid down in support of Do they not join the standard of their intolerance and arrogance be


matter of fact, what becomes of the ascendency,” and not by the particiboasted pre-eminence of the protest-pation of catholics in the civil ant over the catholic doctrine? privileges of the state. At the pe. If the vitality of the established re- riod alluded to, the catholic peers ligion is so interwoven with its civil enjoyed their seats in parliament, government, that the fall of the one and Rapin says, that during the must accelerate the other; what is struggles in 1641, the popular para this but admitting that its basis is not ty were far from carrying their ends, of divine but of human origin? In by reason of the obstacles they met my former remarks, before alluded with in the house of lords, where the to, I asked if the protestant church bishops and popish peers broke all is that church which our Saviour their measures, and it was necessary founded on a rock, and promised to raise a tumult of the people to the gates of hell should not prevail frighten them from attending in their against it, who can destroy her?


places. This being done, the same This is a serious question to those historian adds, that the king soon who are desirous of ascertaining the found that the upper house, which truth of the Gospel, and discovering had hitherto been favourable to his that church which the scripture says cause, was no longer in the same we are all compelled to hear, or else disposition, after the bishops and be considered as heathens or publi- popish lords were compelled to abcans in the eyes of her divine foun- sent themselves. The consequences der. The catholic religion has ex- which epsued are too well known to isted in all ages from the time of the need relating here, and ought to apostles to the present day, not operate with a different effect, than withstanding states have been over they appear to do at this present turned, and every civilized country day, on the minds of those who affect experienced in

its turn the to be the supporters of the throne changeable vicissitudes of human and the altar. No, reader, it is not fallibility. But Mr. Oliver Hatch a protestant ascendency which is and the managing committee tell essential to the existence of the conas, that it has long ceased to be stitution either in church or state, subject for speculation, by becom- as the above strong and conclusive ing a matter of historical fact, that fact bear testimony, but a veneration the destruction of the civil governs for the laws, and an equal particiment must produce the destruction pation in their administration. The of the established religion. Well, existence of the constitution was then, if such is the case, would it never threatened nor attempted to Dot be more consistent in these gen- be invaded by any catholic senator tlemen, if they really love their reli- since the reformation in his legisla. gion and the constitution, to accept tive capacity; but it has been overthe assistance and support of five thrown by a protestant faction, and millions of their fellow-subjects to the establishment subverted, to give support the latter, by which they place to a pretended purer system of will ensure the existence of the for- gospel-preaching mivistry.' Nay, at mer.

For let them recollect, that this very moment, the ministers of by the details of the historical fact the crown, who are all the admirers to which they allude, it is demon- of Mr. Pitt and his principles, are strated that the destruction of the occupied in detecting and preventing constitution and the ecclesiastical an extensive conspiracy, which they establishment was occasioned by the 'say exists in this country, to subvert existence of a puritan - protestant not only the throne but likewise the


altar. This conspiracy is at present his administration the catholics er. confined to Great Britain, the bulk perienced the greatest amelioration of whose inhabitants consists of pro. from those grinding laws which testants. ('atholico Ireland is not bowed them to the earth. This yet implicated in the traitorous con: statesman viewed the dreadful evils federacy, nor does it appear that any issuing from the volcano of the of the individuals who have been French revolution, which threaten. arrested are of that religion. Would ed the existence of every civilized it not be well, then, for these Pitt- state in Europe, and, according to clubbers to reflect a little before the doctrine of Mr. Oliver Hatch they venture again to exhibit their and the managing committee, the prejudices at the expence of their established religion of this country, reason. Mr. Pitt was evidently in in their true light, and he therefore favour of the claims of his catholic wisely determined to call in the aid countrymev; the fact is too notori- of auxiliaries, who had been found ous to be contradicted. How then faithful in a former period of revoean they consistently maintain an lutionary commotion. But he was opinion diametrically opposed to the not ignorant of the prejudices of his known principles and intentions of misguided countrymen. He knew the statesman, whose deeds and me- the great work of emancipation was mory they meet to commemorate ? not to be done in a moment; but This inconsistency appeared so glar- that his comprehensive plan could ing to Mr. Canning, that, to his ho- be completed only by bringing it nour be it spoken, he refused to forward in detached parts. That sanction it by his presence, and to Mr. Pitt meditated the final emancipreserve a sort of decency, iu conse- pation of his catholic countrymen is quence of the spirited conduct of Mr. indubitably established by his resige Canning, it was not given by the nation of otfice in 1801, when he chairman, Mr. secretary Peel, of found himself unable to carry hisio. poopopery notoriety, until the de- tentions on that point into execution; parture of all the cabinet ministers, and the following reasons which he which took place at an early hour. gave to the Irish catholics, through If these gentlemen are wise, they the late marquis Cornwallis, then will profit by “ experience and the lord lieutenant of Ireland, for his evidence of facts.” Mr. Pitt, in the abandonment of the premiership, is latter part of his life-time, was per. a proof of his favourable views tofectly satisfied of the innocuous te- wards their complaints:nets to popery, and the attachment “The leading part of his majesty's of its professors to the throne and ministers finding unsurmountable obconstitution of these realms. He stacles to the bringing forward mea, was therefore desirous of securing sures of concession io the catholic body, stability of the constitution in both whilst in office, have felt it impossible

to continue in administration under the cburch and state, by obtaining ad- inability to propose it with the circummission for the catholics to the stances necessary to carrying the mea: civil offices of the latter on certain sure with all its advantages, aud they conditions. Unseen obstacles, how- have retired froin his majesty's service, eter, occurred, which have hitherto considering this line of conduct as most retarded the accomplishment of his likely to contribute to its ultimate success. wishes and those whom he has left how much their future hopes must de

The catholic body will, therefore, see behind, who coincided with him on

pend upon strengthening their cause the subject. Let these admirers of by good conduct in the mean time; they Mr. Pitt recollect, that it was under I will prudently consider their prospecis

25 arising from the persons who now their heads, which threaten them espouse their interests, and compare with destruction. « Protestant asthem with those which they could look cendency," let Mr. Oliver Hatch and to from any other quarter; they may his compeers say what they please, with confidence rely on the zealous support of all those who retire, and of means nothing more or less, from the

ca many who remain in offte, when it can quarter it was proposed, than a be given with a prospect of success.

tholic exclusion,' which has been They may be a sured, that Mr. PITT proved to be contrary to the arowed will do his uimost to establish their cause declarations of Mr. Pitt. - That in the public javour, and PREPARE THE protestants, and especially those of WAY for finally attaining their object.” | the established church, must be deThese sentiments

, although Mr. sirous of maintaining a predominanPitt soon after returned to office, and opposed the consideration of the cy in the state we may naturally in.

fer; and that such was the desire of catholic claims as inconvenient and Mr. Pitt, and is now the wish of ill-timed, he never retracted; but those senators who support the always lamented that obstacles not claims of the catholics, there cannot likely to be soon removed prevented be a doubt. But then, do not their the fulólment of his wishes, to re- numbers ensure them this superioris store the catholics to the full enjoyty? --And if the enlightened system ment of the constitution. The line of the protestant creed is so far beof conduct imposed on the body, to yond that professed by the catholic, secure the support and aid of Mr. in purity and excellence, as the adPitt and his friends, as laid down by herents to the former would have us the marquis Cornwallis, was, “not believe, is it likely that protestants to proceed to violence, or entertain would be induced to change this any ideas of gaining their object by evangelical faith for the idolatrous convulsive measures, or forming associations with men of jacobipical of catholics being admitted to their

superstitions of Rome, in the event principles.” These stipulatious have civic rights? If our ascendencybeen strictly adhered to on the part of the catholics, and therefore they betray an empty reliance on the

men answer in the affirmative, they have not forfeited their claim to the countenance and

assistance of those pre-eminence of their religious docwho admire and revere the princi- themselves to be men of intolerant

trines; if in the negative, they shew ples of that statesman. Would it not then be better, I again ask, in principles, and the supporters of an

exclusive system from self-interest these times of disaffection and dis

and bigotry, content, when it is found necessary to suspend the Habeas Corpus act in this protestant country, in order CATHOLIC ALLEGIANCE AND THE to preserve the constitution and the BISHOP OF LANDAFF. It was my existence of the established religion intention to have noticed the -would it not be much better for speeches of Mr. John Leslie Foster, the Pittites to adopt the sentiments Mr. Secretary Peel, and the lord biof their titulary deity, and secure shop of Ossory, which have appear. themselves against the dangers of ed in separate pamphlets, and will, infidel emissaries, by conciliating when bound up together, form a and granting freedom to those whose pretty specimen of “No-popery" religious priociples are opposed to ingenuity; but the extraordinary innovating and dangerous doctrines, declamation against our claims atinstead of belching obnoxious toasts, tributed by the daily papers to the while the cloud is gathering over I right reverend Dr. Marsh, who has


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »