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is the ecclesiastical establishment (they therefore advocate and support more secure, the political constitu- proscriptive and despotio laws, such tion less defiled, or the people in a as no other country, however arbistate of greater happiness at this trary, ever decreed, under pretext period, than when catholics and pro- of securing what they never possesstestants composed the senate, or the ed in reality, civil freedom, contentformer constituted the entire na-ing themslves with its shadow. So tion ? Every candid man must ad. pure in their mode of worship, and mit that the present times bear a so charitable and liberal in their great analogy to the days of the opinions, they condemn their cathoStuarts, as to political discontent lic neighbours for holding the docand religious frenzy; and if we trine of exclusive salvation; yet look to the reasonings of our parlia- scruple not to call the Eternal Wismentary reformers, the enviable state dom to witness their own upchrisof the constitution under our ca- tian feelings in consigning the greattholic ancestors ought to raise a blush est part of christendom to the burnof shame at its present vitiated condi. ing torments of hell as idolaters, in tion in the cheeks of those who have order to qualify themselves for a now the exclusive care of it. Not- seat in parliament, or an office under withstanding the sacramental test, the crown. So exact in principle, and abjaration of and declaration and so correct in conduct, they reagainst popery, still continue to be proach catholics with holding the thought the pillars of the constitu- impious tenets of granting indulgtion and the bulwark of the esta- ences and pardons for leave to comblished church, we see the latter mit sin, and follow the practice of it surrounded with a muliitude of sec- themselves. Thus, but few years taries, all setting the doctrine of her had transpired after the passing of thirty-nine articles at nought, and the test act, before it was found that her existence threatened by the mad many persons had got into office extension of bible-societies; we be without qualifying themselves under hold the most important privileges it, and unless some method was de of the former suspended, under the vised to screen them from the pedalafleged ground of preserving it entire ties of the crime committed, their from the innovations of seditious services must be dispensed with, and and restless demagogues; and we the places given up. As the violaexperience, in common with our fel-tors of the law iv this instance, howe low-subjects, the heavy pressure of ever, were not catholics, an act was an overwhelming system of taxation, passed in the year 1700, (about a an increase of pauperism, and a de- twelvemonth before the death of crease of national happiness and do William III. who held the crową mestic comforts. Yet, amidst all under the bill of rights, which dethese evils, brought upon us by pro- clared against the dispensing power, testant administration, the cry but which it appears had been against popery is not the least abat- privately exercised) indemnifying, ed, and the press is as actively em- or absolving from all penalties, such ployed in the propagation of calum- persons holding places as had refus. nies and falsehoods, as in the most ed or neglected to take the test, and. bigotted and furious days of puri- allowing tbem a further time to do tanism and evangelical intolerance. it. To the year following, a similar So tenacious of liberty themselves, absolution or indulgence bill passed, the bigots are continually alarmed at allowing all defaulters to continue to the slavish doctrines of popery, and transgress against the law of the
land until the month of August, | ASTONISHING INSTANCE OF PROTEST1703. Soon after, two other bills ANT LIBERALITY AND VIISDOM. passed, the first allowing three The extreme length of the foregomonths, and the second six months, ing articles I am fearful has tired to persons appointed to offices before the patience of the reader, but the they are required to take the test. detail is essentially necessary, for Since this these acts of indulgence the purpose of elucidating one of were frequently passed, and during the most profounded acts of legisla. the last half century not a single tion upon record, which lately passsession has beer held, without a law ed the two houses of parliament, and being enacted to absolve all such received the royal assent without a transgressors, at the same time apo single observation. But if it glided pointing a period within which they through all its stages in the womb of were to comply with this essential wisdom in' secrecy and silence, the duty; but care has always been birth of this grand production of taken, before the period expires to ministerial sagacity created no small renew the indulgences, so that a per- degree of exultation among the wri. son may remain his whole life in ters of the protestant press, it having an open violation of the statute law received the united praises of the in of the land, by this annual grant of and out faction, as â laudable meaparliamentary absolutions. Thus we sure of conciliation and liberality. see a regular system of indulgences The instrument itself is entitled " An established by protestant legisla- act to regulate the administration tors, under which, transgressions of oaths, in certain cases, to officers against the statute law are tolerated, in his majesty's land and sea forces." and bills of absolution or indemnity Before, however, I enter into its passed to protect the offender from claim for public approbation, I shall the punishment denounced against lay before the reader the sentiments
and shall the catholic be of our protestant scribblers on this still reproached with the danger great subject, which precedency is and impiety of papal indulgences, due to their superior abilities over which he knows full well can- the ignorant and unenlightened panot authorize him to commit sin, pist. The first notice, and I am or grant him licence to break the apprehensive a very portentous one laws of God, his church, or' his too, of the passing of this act, was country? What gross inconsisten given in The Globe, or British Press, cy and injustice must it be to revile of the 9th July, in the following and accuse individuals wrongfully words :of that which we commit ourselves; “In reporting sir J. C. Hippisley's yet such is the condact of those who speech, we omitted to state, that in speaks bring this charge against catholics. ing of concessions to Roman catholies, he
noticed a bill which ought to be accepted as Let the candid reader compare the no inconsiderable boon, and which had pass. moral conduct of the accused with ed the two houses of pariiament this ses. that of the accuser, and however sion. By this bill catholics are released, dangerous his religious or political any disqualifying oaths on receiving com
both in the army and navy, from taking principles may represented, I am missions, and the annual act of indemnity confident the rigid catholic will be exempts them from the penalties of omitfound as much attached to the ge- ting them after being commissioned.”. puine spirit of the British constitu- On the following day, the 10th) tion and civil freedom as any the The Morning Chronicle contained most enlightened protestant in the the subjoined observations. kiugdom.
“ We have no doubt but that the libera
part of the community will be surprized, gazette of the progent cabinet, who passed both houses of parliament, which accordingly replied, in his paper of completely does away and removes the the såme evening, in the following most obnoxious incapacities that stood in terms: the way of our Roman catholic fellow
“ The Morning Chronicle of this day subjects. A bill, similar in substance and
makes some observations on a bill which effect to that, on the pretence of which the
has lately passed, and a copy of wbich it administration of lord Greuville and lord professes to give : our readers will howGrey was put an end to, has passed through
ever see, by a subjoined literal copy, in both houses almost sub silentio; and what which we have printed in italics a pararenders the circumstance more singular is, graph which The Chronicle has thought fit that it was first introduced into the house
to amit, that it has misrepresented the of lords by one of the regent's ministers,
measure itself. and that it went through all its stages in the ! It is entitled-An act to regulate Hearing of a ful! bench of bishops! It is the administration of baths in certain entitled-[Here follows a copy of the bill, to officers in his majesty's land which see below.] By the provisions of and sea forces. Whereas by certain acts this bill the great obstacle to the entry of passed in the reigns of his majesty's Roman eatholics into the army and navy, royal predecessors, it was provided, that and to their advancement to the highest officers in his majesty's rayal navy, and rank in the service, is completely and wise officers in his majesty's army shall take ly withdrawn. They are not to be called
certain oaths, and make and subscribe cer.' on to take the oaths before entering the
tain declarations, before they shall enter army or navy; and we need not tell our
upon the offices or places of trust to which constitutional readers, that after they have they may be appointed; and whereas entered the service, all further obligations doubts have been entertained whether the of taking the oaths, or the sacrament, is provisions of the said acts are still in force done away by the annual act of indemnity in that behalf :---And whereas the practice
. which is passed at the beginning of each
of taking the said oaths, and making and session. All religious distinction, therefore, is removed as to the military and
naval subscribing the said declarations, by officers service ;-and there can be in future ne ob- | previous to their receiving commissions in stacle to a 'Roman catholic rising to the
his majesty's army, hath been long disus.
ed :-Änd whereas it is expedient to remove command of an army, ar to be lord high such doubts, and to assimilate the practice of admiral of England, if that office should
the two services :- Be it therefore enacted cease to be in commission.' We highly ap. by the king's most excellent majesty, by plaud the wisdom and liberality of this act
and wish the advice and consent of the of grace, but we cannot help remarking lords spiritual and temporal and commoni, as a curiosity, that the measure should in this present parliament assembled, and originate with the very ministers who owe their places to the endeavour made by their
by the authority of the same, that from predecessors to obtain the same boon for and may be lawful to and for his majesty's
and after the passing of this act, it shall their fellow-subjects. That all the bishops principal secretaries of state, the lord high should have countenanced the hill is also
admiral of the united kingdom of Great truly creditable to their sense of justice, Britain and Ireland, or the commissioners though, after the misrepresentation of the for executing the office of lord high admi language of the truly liberal-minded bishopral aforesaid, the commander in chief of of Norwich (a misrepresentation, by the bye, which we shall feel it to be our dutyral of the ordinance, and the secretary at
his majesty's land forces, the master-geneto correct,) we own we were not prepared
war for the time being, respectively, or any to look for. - The bill will have the further good effect of doing away one topic of di- deliver commissions or warrants to any
persons thereunto lawfully authorized, to vision among us ; for, after this, at no ge
officer or officers in his majesty's royal neral election, and in no county, can the
navy, land forces, or royal marines, with present ministers presume to revive the cry of No-Popery !'".
out previously requiring such officer or
officers to take the said oaths, or make This allusion of the whig organ and subscribe the said declarations ; to the unsuccessful attempt of the any thing in any act or acts contained to Grenville administration to amelio
the contrary thereof in any wise notwith
standing Provided always, That nothing rate the situation of the catholics, herein contained shall extend, or be conproved highly offensive to the editor strued to extend, to any oaths required by of the Courier, the demi-official any act or acts now in force to be takeo,
or to any declarations thereby required to
made and subscribed, by such officer, or “The matter is now, however, cleared officers as aforesaid, after he or they shall up, and put on a footing which ought to be have accepted and received such cominis. satisfactory to all parties. We shall not sions or warrants as aforesaid.'
hear again of the grievance of excluding “ From this it is evident (continues The the catholic from the military and naval Courier) that the object of the act is not a services of the country, and we shall be, new measure, 'it is only to remove legal therefore, the better able and the more doubts which exist as to the law as it be- firmly resolved to make our stand in resiste fore stood, and to place the naval service ing their endeavours to obtain political on the same footing as the army: and the power. We know several staubch friends bill was therefore introduced into the to the protestant ascendency who were, house of lords by viscount Melville, and disposed to indulge the catholics in the into the commons by Mr. Croker, It is point which is now declared to be the law, very true that this bill is nearly the same and we therefore hope that this event will in practical effect, as that brought in in only serve to unite and consolidate the 1806, by lords Grenville and Grey, and opinions and efforts of the friends of the the defeat of which was one of the grounds protestant constitution in church and state.” of their retirement froin office; but the
This article called forth a rejoinevent only shows how crude and undigested their measure was, and how little they der from the Chronicle of the sucunderstood of the case, since it is clear ceeding day (the 11th), which is here that the army was at that time in practice, annexed. open to the catholics, and that it is doubtful whether in law both army and navy paragraph in our paper respecting the
“ The Courier, in animadverting on the were not so.
“ We. however, must observe, that the bill which removes the great disability effect of the law, as now declared, is only suffered by the Roman catholics
, says, that added several hundred millions to the na- 1 day, which the Chronicle did oot tional debt, and to which we are so pecu- think proper to rebut :liarly indebted for the burthens under which we labour. The curiosity of the vations on the officers' Oaths Bill,' and,
we omitted á sentence in the bill, by which to place the catholics on the same footing
the measure is misrepresented. We stated with other dissenters, and that the tenare
in few words the substance of this sentence, of commissions by them depends upon the
viz. that there were doubts whether the propassing of the annual indemnity bill, which, visions of the ancient acts were still in force : in case of danger, it will always be in the the words being, Whereas the practice of power of parliament to suspend.
taking the said oaths, and making and “ We are very glad (quite as glad as súbscribing the said declarations by offiThe Chronicle can be) that an invidious cers, previous to their receiving commisand (as it now turns out to be) useless dis- sions in his majesty's army, had long been tinction between the catholics and the other disused; and whereas it is expedient to redissenters is done away; but we must ob- move such doubts, and to assimilate the serve that the explanation which this bill practice of the two services,' "Be it theregives of the law and the practice, shews fore enacted, &c.' that one of the chief arguments which the « Now we submit to the consideration advocates of catholic emancipation have of our readers whether we did not state, pressed upon us, was founded either in de- this curious concession of ministers fairly lusion or fraud--that they were ignorant and candidly. In regard to the army, our themselves of the state of their own case, Roman catholic brethren lived upon sufferor that they insidiously attempted to de
The existing law was dispensed ceive others. Our readers will be at no loss with. In the navy it was rigorously ento remember the thousand appeals made to forced. In the first it hung over them in the house by sir J. Newport, general Ma.
In the other it was a positive thew, sir H. Parnell, &c. &c. of the hard- exclusion. The liberal administration of ship, that the catholic who could bleed for lord Grenville and lord Grey exerted themhis country in the field could never attain selves to remove the obstacle to the fair the honour or profits of the military pro and honourable ambition of gallant men ; fession, and we coofess that this appeal and a cry was set up, that his majesty's had always great weight with us; but it coronation oath stood in the way. The now appears that there has been no barto whole bench of bishops, with one single the catholic's promotion in the army; no exception, stood up against the dreadful oath or test has ever been offered to him, attack on the conscience of the king. The at least, not for a great number of years ; whole phalanx of the present administraand in point of fact, we believe we may tion joined the cry-lord Grenville and truly say that there are many gallant lord Grey yielded their places to their officers in even the higher ranks of the principles. The cry of No-Popery was army who are catholics, and who have sounded all over the united kingdom, and a never been called opon to professa con- new parlianent was elected under the intrary persuasion.
duence of that clamour--a parliament that
* The Morning Chronicle renewsits obsermeasure therefore is, that it is identically of course, repeats its blunders, and gives the same as that introduced by lord Gren
It is ville and lord Grey, and this is acknow frequent proofs of its ignorance. ledged by The Courier. “It is very true," angry with us for stating that the measure says the writer in The Courier, that this proposed by lords Grey and Grenville was
crude and undigested; while, in fact, says bill is nearly the same in practical effect
The Chronicle, it would have had the same as that brought in in 1806, by lords Gren: practical effect with the bill which has just ville and Grey, and the defeat of which passed.' We admit again, that to a certain was one of the grounds of their retirement extent, the new bill will have the same from office, but the event only shews how practical effect, not by new enactments, crude and undigested their measure was, and
nor by altering the law of the land, but by how little they understood of the case, since declaring that all dissenters shall be placit is clear that the army was at that time in ed, as to commissions in the army and navy, practice open to the catholics, and that it is
on the same footing, and that this footing doubtful whether, in law, both army and shall be that which was established on bavy were not so.' It is not easy to con
what are called the good Whig times of ceive a train of reasoning more audacious George I. and George II. ; and it is bethan this, and it betrays the pen from
cause lord Grey's bill went about this busiwhich it came.. Mr. Croker brought this
Dess in a very different way; because it famous bill into the house of commons
did not refer to the actual state of the law after it had passed through the house of
on the case; because it abrogated the act lords, and this is the strain in which he sup- of George I. (which the present act reports it in The Courier. The measure is in
vives or declares); because it was ao ine effect practically the same as that of the bill
stance of briod innovation, when a recurof 1806, and yet the former was crude and
rence to the principles of our ancestors and vodigested. This bill is to settle doubts the existing laws would have sufficed; it is that existed on the interpretation of au. for all these reasous that we have presumed 'cient laws and so was the bill of 1806.
to call (and we think no one will say unjust. This is to open both services equally to the ly) that measure crude and undigested. catholics, and to protect them against the “ If, as The Chronicle informs us, the intolerance of any man who might, by ad
present measure has all the good effect of ministering the oaths and requiring the that proposed by lord Grey, why did not declarations, prevent them from entering lord Grey propose such a measure, which, into the military or paval service and so
we repeat it, innovates nothing, and is was the measure against which the whole only a declaration of the law as it bad dock of time-servers, lords of the back stood for these hundred years; though, in stairs, courtiers, bishops, and expectants, the practice of one administration, it has joiprd in full cry; and upon which the been misunderstood ? Why did his lord. present cabinet, in an evil hour, was
ship propose a bill absolutely new, and formed. So far, therefore, from the mea
unnecessary, and dangerous; the chief pro•. sure being crude and undigested, the con- visions of which we beg to call to our duct of the present ministers serves only to readers' recollection. prove its wisdom and liberality, siace, “ That bill proposed to abrogate the after ten years experience-after having oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and doomed the Roman catholic population to the declaration against transubstaotiation, ten years more of doubtful incapacity as to as by law established, and to enact in the the army, and of total exclusion as to the place of them a new oath and declaration, nary, they come forward, ackoowledge of its own, which new oath aod declaration, the injustice of the intolerant system, and instead of being taken in the courts at adopt the very measure for which their Westminster, or at the quarter sessions (as predecessors were excluded from office!
the law now requires) should be taken in 1807 they gave a secret responsible before any one magistrate, general, or adadvice to his majesty, that such a conces. miral. ision would be at variance with his corona- “ The bill of 1806 also contained some tion oath; and, in 1817, they give official
other provisions not relating to the poiat advice to the prince regent, as bis confi- now io discussion, and of which we shall dential servants, to go down to parliament say on more than tbat we think they would to give his royal a ssent to the bill.!"
have been inconvenient and miscbievous ; To this the Courier entered the and we are glad to find that there is nothing
like them in tbe bill wbicb has passed. following sur-rejoinder, on the same “ Have we said then too much, in call