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that the Romish Priests have less power over their flocks than they former. ly had, or that they are disposed to use that power more moderately; I would appeal to the bloody apnals of the Irish Rebellion for evidence, that the contrary is the fact, that the mass of the Roman Catholics are still blindly devoted to the will of their hierarchy, and that the same unrelenting hatred of Protestants, the same furious desire of exterminating them, the same bigotted and blood-thirsty zeal animates them now, which formerly lighted the fires of Smithfield under the direction of a Bonner and a Gardiner.
Nor is this influence felt by the lower orders of the Papists only. You Sir, in the history of the famous Declaration of the English Roman Catholics given in your third number, have shewn, that neither rank, Dor talent, nor wealth, nor situation, can exempt the Papists from this domineering tyranny. In vain, Sir, is it attempted to be denied, that the breaking of faith with Herctics is still a doctrine of the Romish Church : here we have a proof, a damning proof, of the fact. We have seen the first, the noblest, and the best of the English Romanists not only allowed, but eren compelled by their spiritual guides, to disown their own signatures, and to disavow opinions and declarations which they had solemnly recorded as the deliberate and unbiassed conviction of their consciences.
With these strong facts before me, I hesitate not to affirm, that the present securities of our establishment and the Protestant faith, once removed, human wisdom could not devise a bulwark for the Church, or even a safeguard for the properties and the lives of its members.
Political power once placed in the hands of Romanists, would soon become the engine of religious tyranny. The Roman Catholic laity would not dare, even if they cuisbed, to disobey the mandates of their Ecclesias sical directors. The oath to " impugn and persecute Heretics " would be seligiously kept by every Romish Priest, and the injunctions of the Priests would be implicitly obeyed by every laic of that persuasion.
But it may be said, ibat ihe lines are not prepared for such a change as. this; that Protestantism l:as a firm hold of the hearts of the people, and that the Clergy would be supported by the whole country against encroachments so formidable and a tyranny so crushing. Even this, it is to be feared, may adait of a question. A cursory observer must have pere ceived that many powerful engines have long been at work to separate the fold from its appointed shepberds, and to diminish that affectionate reve rence with which the clergy ought to be regarded by thoso who are their children in the faith.--How far they might depend, even at present, upon that unanimous support of the country which alone could defend them against ihe attacks of Popish authority, may well be questioned. But be it so-give them what from their profession they ought, and I may be
bold to add, from their characters they deserve to have, the unanimous and affectionate support of a Protestant nation.
Still, if the necessary, or even the probable consequence of further concessions to the Romanists be an appeal to such support against their hostile aggressions, surely it is better to prevent the evil of such hostility now, while it is in our power, that to apply what will, at best, be a doubtful remedy to it when it has overtaken us. The very misery and confusion attendant upon the struggle which would ihen be unayoidable, must be worse than any thing we can expect to result from an instant denial of these unreasonable demands, these insolent claime. But, Sir, by conceding the probability that such a struggle will ever be made, we are, I fear, granting too much. The mischief will come upon us gradually and unawares, and the blow will not be struck until the hour of resistance has passed away. What must be anticipated as the effect of clothing the abominable superstitions of a corrupted Church in the garb of influence and authority? who shall defend the ignorant and credulous multitude against the wiles and delusions of a horde of Priests
" Black, white, and grey, with all their trumpery," once more let loose among us ? Who shall say how soon, or how fatally the splendid ceremonies, the imposing mummeries, and pretended miracles of Romish Priestcraft may steal away the hearts of an unsuspecting people and then, when this is done, wbere will be the boasted defence of the Church of England ? Nay, rather let me ask, where is now the defence of the Sister Church of Ireland? Let our brethren there speak for themselves, and they will tell you, that to concede farther to the Roman Catholics is critically to sign the death-warrant of every Protestant in the country.
I beg pardon, Sir, for so long intruding upon your patience. Once more let me congratulate the Church and the country upon the spirit that is at length stirring among us.
I trust that the tables of both Houses of Parliament will soon be heaped high with proofs, that the Clergy of this land are fully aware of their sacred obligation to defend the faith committed to their keeping. They will at least lift up their warning voice against a measure pregnant with ruin to the constitution and the faith of their country. If their remonstrances and petitions, respectfully urged, avail, under the blessing of Providence, to avert the threatened danger, to him bo the praise who has put it into their hearts to rise up and speak their minds. But if not, they will at least have the consolation of having done their duty; and whatever may be the consequences of failure in this !as. attempt to preserve the Protestant Establishment, as far as respects their
temporal welfare, these they will bear with the resignation becoming their sacred character, rejoicing in the testimony of a good conscience, and looking forward with humble confidence to a reward hereafter,
I am, Sir,
ADDENDA TO THE ACCOUNT OF THE KILKENNY
DINNER. We beg leave to present to our readers two Addenda to the very curious paper on the Dinner given at Kilkenny to the Friends of religioos Liberty; (see page 235). The first records a singular document of the year 1616; and the second a inore recent transaction which disgraced that townia November last.---We thank our Hibernian correspondent ; who has sent us some remarks on a similar Dinner at Waterford, on tbe 20th day of last October. This communication shall appear, if possible, in our next.id 1 Appendix I. que
a to 1. Tảe following censure, under the hand of the titular Bishop of Ferns, against Francis Lalbat, who died a Protestant at Kilkenny, is in Borlase, page 224.-" The body of Francis Talbat; who died an'obstinate Heretic, and finally therein impenitent, is to be baried in poenam hereseos, et finalis impenitentiæ, nec non in terrorem aliorum, with only one candle at the grave, at pine of the clock at night, without a bell in the church or street, without priest, cross, book or prayer ; the place of his 'burial is to be in the Abbey of St. Mary's church-yard, near to the garden of the
parsonage, all which, concerning said burial, we have ordered to be done, -- with the advice of men learned in divinity ;' and who shall exceed this manner of the said Francis's burial, is to incur church censures ; 'no wax 1. taper, or candle, or torch is to be used.
“ NicHoLAUS Episcopus Fernensis." 66. Given at the Friars Monastery, “ 31st of December 1646."
Appendix II. “ The following incident will shew the reader, how far the principles of the Kilkenny Papists correspond with the ardent desire which they protess, to vindicate civil and religious liberty, and to impare it to all'ranks and orders. On the 30th of November, the Protestant nobility, gentry, clergy and freeholders, of that county assembled at Kilkenny, pursuant to public potice, to take into consideration the Ronian Catholic claims. "A Popish mob, headed by some Papists of wealth and education, rushed into the room wbere they met, and behaved in a most outrageous and riotous manner. Whenever any person attempted to speak, his voice was drowned by groans, bisses, and shrieks. At last they were driven to the necessity of retiring to another place to discuss the object for which they assembled.
To the Editor of the Protestant Advocate. SIR ;-Much as I have ever been surprized at the sentiments and conduct of a Right Rev. Prelate on the subject of the Catholic claims, I confess I was still more surprised, and concerned likewise, on reading a speech delivered by his Lordship in the House of Peers on the 3d instant. According to the report in the newspapers (I quote from the St. James's Chronicle) on Lord Nelson's presenting a petition from some of the clergy of the archdeaconries of Norwich and Norfolk against the Roman Catholic claims, the Right Rev. Prelate, after expressing his regret that he should have had the misfortune to differ in opinion on this question from so many of the clergy of his own diocese, is stated to have observed, " that he thought this a matter in which it would have better become the clergy pot to have interfered at all; but to have left it, like other great state questions, to the wisdom of the legislature."
So strong a censure on the petitioning clergy in general, and on those of his own diocese in particular, ought not to be passed over in silence; more especially, when it is to be presumed that those clergy humbly conceive that they are acting within the strict line of their profession, and that they are called upon by the imperious voice of duty to come forward on the present occasion. Had the question been merely one of state policy, involving no matters of vital importance, affecting not the foundations of the Protestant religion and church established in these realms, nor trenching upon the great barriers of the constitution erected by those wise statesmen, who planned and conducted what the Whigs have, with one voice, till lutely, denominated the glorious Revolution ; had no such vital interests been affected by the proposed measure, I, for one, might have been disposed to agree with the Right Rev. Prelate, that the clergy should not have interfered in it; and I think I may even venture to assure his Lordship, that they would not have done so, but would have left it to the wisdom of the legislature. But, Şir, when I am convinced that every one of these great and vital interests are deeply concerned in the measure ; when every information that I possess, or can obtain, on the subject, leads me unavoidably to the conclusion, that the Fery existence of the present happy establishment is involved in it; I am
Vou. I. [Prot. Adv. Mar. 1813.] *T
not to be persuaded to join in the opinion, that it were better and more becoming in the clergy to remain in the back ground, and be silent on the occasion; I am not to be persuaded to leave it to the wisdom of the legislature, without entering my protest against it; because it is possible that the wisdom of the legislature may be overborne by the pertinacity or yiolence of those, who, in the plenitude of their wisdom, think these claims ought to be conceded without any limit or restriction; and because it is probable, that if no counter-petitions are presented, the legislature may unwarily be led to the conclusion, that the Protestant community acquiesce in the proposed concession. We know that, in the case of Lord Sidmouth's bill, the wisdom of the legislature was so far over-borne by mul. titudinous petitions against it, as to be nearly precluded from a free and full discussión of its merits. Did the Right Rev. Prelate brand the petitioners on that occasion with the mark of his censure? Why then should he so invidiously note the conduct of the clergy of his own church, and of his own diocese, on the present?
In opposition therefore to his Lordship's opinion, I hesitate not to say, that I think it was perfectly right and becoming in the clergy to present their petitions, at this time. I repeat it, at this time, more particularly. It will be remembered, that the late House of Commons passed a resolu. tion, " that they would, early in the next session of parliament, take into their most serious consideration the state of the laws affecting His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Great Britain and Ireland, with a view to such final and conciliatory adjustment as may be conducive to the peace and strength of the United Kingdom, to the stability of the Protes. tant Establishment, and to the general satisfaction and concord of all classes of His Majesty's subjects." The consideration then, tbat this was to be, or was to lead to the final adjustment of the business, and that the upreserved concession of the Roman Catholic claims might probably be sanctioned by the legislature, if they were noi timely resisted by the general voice of the nation must, to every unprejudiced mind, prove a sufficient yindication of the conduct of the clergy, and of the laity likewise, in thus stating their sentiments on the subject previous to its intended final settlement, lest another opportunity might not be afforded them; and also in thus expressing their opinions, that the unreserved concession of those claims would not conduce to the stability and security of the Protestant Establishment, but would prove the means of certain danger, and probable destruction to it. From the petitions already presented to the legislature, I think it will be found, that the signatures of the laity of these kingdoms, assembled in county and corporation meetings, are not less putnerous, probably much ‘more so, than those of the clergy. Has the Right Rev. Prelate then taxed the laity with unbecoming copdact on