Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Fox said, that admitting, what he did not believe, t a Catholic would lie more likely to present an improper p son than any other lay patron, the Bishop of the diocese 1 the complete power of rejecting the person so presented- 1 had the power of enquiring into his moral character; of 4 amining him both as to his learning and his faith, and of! quiring the strongest possible test of his sincerity. W"he then, could be the danger to the church? All other disli ters, capable of acquiring landed property, Jews, and if it happen, Mahometans, were allowed to exercise this rig! of property, for, a right of property it was. Upon wfj principle, then, either of security, or of justice, weret'athi lies excluded? On all subjects of general toleration, it singularly fortunate for his argument, that in this kingdoi two religions were by law established. The act of Unic wisely provided for the security of the kirk of Scotland,: well as for that of the church of England, and thus gave triumphant example of toleration. Now, it so happenei that the King, who was by-law obliged to be of the churc of England, often presented a minister to a Scots kirk, with out any danger apprehended from the presentation of an im proper person. It might, perhaps, be said, that the two Uni veriities, in whose gift were the livings to which Catholic were not allowed to present, would object against the clause but, with all his great respect for them, he did not, in thi particular instance, conceive that their objections ought li be considered as valid. Mr. Pitt. Mr. Chancellor Pitt declared, that he felt no difficulty or account of any interest which the Universities might be supposed to have in the clause. He should entertain a mucl humbler sense of the honour of being the representative ol one of them, were he not persuaded that his constituent; would have no objection to it on that account. Lut tht clause in itself was not proper, and would obstruct the progress of the bill, which they were all so anxious to fee passed. The object of the bill was to relieve those for whose benefit it was intended, from the severity of penal statutes, and exclusion from civil trust, and stood totally unconnected with any ecclesiastical trust. Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox observed, that the experiment had been already tried with respect to all other dissenters, and no inconsequence found to result from it. Mr. W. Mr. IV. Smith said, that the Dissenters, in arguing for the Smith repeal of the Test act, had d-^clared to the church of England, "We are allowed to exercise an ecclesiastical trust, and nc "danger ensues; why do you then withhold from us th« "exercise of a civil trust?" The answer was, "We have "the means in our own hands of preventing the abuse ot

2 "you: "nourecclesiastical trust." If this were true, with respect tou&nters in general, it must also be true with respect to CatMic Diflenters, and an irrefragable argument ih favour of rk clause.

Jfr. Povjjs conceived that the experiment might be tried Mr. *-Jioat any danger to the established church. The oath Powys. ra upon that footing which those who were most interested fcj dictated, and perhaps might not in general be objection

able.

Ifae Spiaker (aid, that this was the stage of the bill in The ■iich amendments ought to be proposed, if gentlemen had Speaker, to offer.

Mr. Smith, Mr. Fox, Mr. Pitt, Sir Wm. Young, Col. Mdeod, Mr. Harrison, and Sir Wm. Dolben, spoke; when Mr Fox stating that he had no wish to divide the House 3pon it, the clause was negatived.

On the next clause, that Papists should deny the infallifckycf the Pope, and absolution by Priests,

Mr.Smith thought that certain words, expressing that de- Mr. ckration, might be left out, because he believed that very Smith.

Papists did consider that as any particular part of 1 heir rreed; neither were they so blind or ignorant as to trust the '^ivenessof sins to the absolution of their priests.

Mr. Chancellor Pitt answered, that perhaps other words Mr. Pitt.
n»n those introduced in the bill, might be adopted; but still,
^thought, there should be some clause in the bill, which
•Mtthe length of exacting from the Papists an avowal
!Hno priest, or human person whatever, could absolve sins
Emitted.

Mr. Smith proposed that the clause might be altered to
E:"er the purpose, by inserting the words "except original

in*'

Mr. Fox thought, that in this cafe the Roman Catholics, Mr. Fox. "Papists, as they were called, Were not altogether treated fc'Hf. The question had been argued, as if the Papists had :"-bo»ledged and avowed all the ridiculous and absurd doc!r'oa which were laid to their charge, without ever consult,;1 them upon their confession; and this confession had lie's been made on their part. In this light, he must con;H that calumnies were thrown out against them, which !lt?hadnot deserved, and which, if the clause remained in :ti present state, they must still lie under. When an honourJ,< gentleman had mentioned original sin, the observation «d been treated lightly; and more so, in his opinion, than

• ought to have been. In our own established church, there '^td to be some acknowledgement, and preventive against ""ginal sin, as well as amongst the Roman Catholics; one

•I'Jncehe would mention, which was the idea of baptism.

He

He might not be so orthodox, or so well informed in tl matters, as some other gentlemen; but on that point of solution and forgiveness of (in, he considered an Eng clergyman to bejust the same as a Cardinal of Rome, oath he wished to be as simple and explicit as possible, thereby the least in danger of being evaded, or misundersto but, as including in it a religious or a political test, he co not approve of it, having often expressed his opinion to directly against all tests, either political or religious. Mr. Pitt. Mr. Chancellor Pitt replied, that all for which he ma to contend was, that some words ought to be in the oa which obliged the person taking it as a qualification toll an office, to fay, that he did not believe it was in the pow at the pleasure or desire of any human being whatever, grant forgiveness of sins, or absolution for any oiFences co mitted.

Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox observed, that however some gentlemen mig chuse to entertain an idea that it was all one to Roman C tholics what oath was prescribed, because they supposed mental reservation, he indulged no such supposition of ar sect whatever; and many great countries must have luster from such a consequence, had it existed, long before tl; time. He certainly had a mental reservation upon this bil and was not ashamed to own it, because he knew it wou not go as far as it ought to do; and until another bill w. brought in to go much farther, he could not be fatishe that justice was done either to the Roman Catholics, or man other dissenters from the established church, whom h thought, deserving, from their conduct, of the countenanc of the Legislature. To this bill he agreed, in hopes that better and more extensive one, upon the principle of tolera tion, would soon be brought forward; if it was not, b should attempt something of that kind, though he sincere^ wished it might come from a quarter of the liouse wheno greater success might be expected to attend it. It hid beer laid, that this bill included every person in its provisions; bu he denied that it included, him. or any other Member o Parliament, if they did not take certain oaths, when perhaps they were not inclined to take any oaths at all.

Diff rent amendments were made in the clauses, whicr, were all gone through, and the bill was ordered to be reported upon the ensuing Wednesday

1 he House adjourned.

The

Tbe Mowing Papers were laid on the Table, for the penile/" tie Members:

Extracts of Letters, &c. and Accounts, relative to the Settlements in New South Wales.

'•Extracts of a Letter from Governor Phillip to the Right Honourable Lord Sydney, dated Sydney Cove, 12th February, 1790.

"WHEN the Supply left Norfolk Island, the people were all very healthy, and they had vegetables in the greatest ."Wince; they get fish when the weather permits the x>« to go without the reef, and, at times, in such quantity, that fish is served to the people in lieu of salt provisions. They make their lines from the flax plant, but unfortunately *fhave not any person who understands how to dress it.

"Half a pod of cotton being found on the island, supposed to be brought there by a bird, and a cocoa nut, which was perfectly found, and appeared to have been but a short time n the water, being thrown upon the beach, have given some raibn to suppose that both these articles will be found in '.:ne island at no great distance.

"Lord Howe Island has been examined, but no fresh wa''A or good anchorage, being found, it can be of no other ^vantage to this settlement, than occasionally supply ing a kv turtle.

"1 had the honour of informing your Lordship, that A '■•'\tment was intended to be made at a place I named Rose Wiil. At the head of this harbour there is a creek, which ^ balf flood has water for large boats to go three miles up; fcl one mile higher the water is fresh, and the soil good. A very industrious man, whom 1 brought from England, is aoloytd there at present, and has under his direction one hondred convicts, who are employed in clearing and culti''<tingthe ground. A bam, granary, and other necessary Gildings, are erected, and twenty-seven acres in corn progood crop. The foil is good, and the country, for t*mty miles to the westward, which is as far as I have exaaw<l, lays well for cultivation; but even there, the labour "clearing the ground is very great; and I have seen none 'tatcan be cultivated without cutting down the timber, excrpt some few particular spots, which, from their situation, (hying at a distance from either of the harbours) can be of 110advantage to us at present; and I presume the meadows petitioned in Captain Cook's Voyage, were seen from the? '^grounds about Botany Bay, and from whence they apf^r well to the eye, but when examined, are found to b« ^ouXXIX. M marshes, marshes, the draining of which would be a work of tir

and not to be attempted by the first settlers.

"The Captain's guard, which until lately did duty Rose Hill, is now reduced to a Lieutenant and twelve f vates, and intended merely as a guard to the store wh contains the provisions, and which is in the redoubt, so am now sensible there is nothing to be apprehended from 1 natives; and the little attention which had been desired the officers, more than what was immediately garrison dui when at Rose Hill, Is now no longer required.

"At Sydney Co*e, all the officers are in good huts, a the men in barracks; and, although many unforeseen dii culties have been met with, 1 believe there is not an indii dual, from the Governor to the private soldier, whose sit ation is not more eligible at this lime than he had any reafe to expect it could be in the course of the three years statio And it is the fame with the convicts; and those who Jia' been any ways industrious, have vegetables in plentv. Tl buildings now carrying on are of brick and stone. Tl house intended for mylelf was to consist of only three room but having a good foundation, has been enlarged, contaii six rooms, and is so well built, that I presume it will stan for a great number os years.

"The stores have been- lately over-run with rats, an they are equally numerous in the gardens, where they d considerable damage; and as the loss in the stores could onl] be known by removing all the provisions, that was orderei to be done, and many casks of flour and rice were found tc be damaged or totally destroyed. The loss in those two articles by the rats, since landing, has been more than tweJw thousand weight.

"Vegetables and provisions having been frequently stolen in the night from convicts and others, twelve convicts were chosen as a night watch; and they have actually answer-d the end propoled, no robbery having b en committed for several months, and ihe convicts in general have lately behaved better than I ever expected. Only two convicts have furfl-red death in the last year. Four were executed the first year.

"As near two years have now passed since we first landed m this ciuntrv, some judgement imy be formed of the climate, and I believe a finer or more healthy climate is not to be found in any part of the world. Of one thousand and thirty people who were landed, many of whom were worn out by old age, .the scurvy, and various disorders, only leventy-two have died in one-and-twenty months; and by the Surgeon's returns, it appears that twenty-six of those died Jrom d►sordtrs of long standing, and which it is more than

« PreviousContinue »