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so small a degree, part, or be seduced, from our strong holds. It fact, too, almost all the acquiescence (such as it is) which has taken place in the claims of the Romanists, has arisen from sluggishness and indolence, and a disposition, but too common, to yield to those who make the most noise, and put on the most imposing appearance. In all such cases, what is required is not so much instruction or information, as that men should be warned and reminded, and even (for we are not disposed to suppress the word) alarmed.
Under these impressions, we shall proceed to make further and more particular observations on Mr. Grattan's Bill, and do our best to enable our readers to judge of its provisions; because, though the bill be for the present defunct, yet it is not improbable but it may rise again in a shape but little different. This is probable, because it is the same person who is again to bring forward the measure ; and the more so, because a bill cannot be devised more favourable to the Romanists, to satisfy whom, seems to be almost the only object in the contemplation of Mr. Grattao.
First, however, we must recall to the minds of our readers that with which our last number concluded. We there requested of them to obserre that the rejection of the bill was owing simply to the House having, in a committee, refused to accede to the clause, by which it was proposed to adınit Roman Catholics to seats in both Houses of Parliament.
It was upon that, declared by their advocates, that without this they considered the Bill as of no use, and should not pursue it any further. It is now therefore, put beyond all doubt that it is POLITICAL POWER, and that only, the withholding of which is complained of. We may hope, therefore, in future, to hear somewhat less of persecution. It is now declared plainly, that nothing short of being admitted to a share in the government will satisfy them. They must be in office, or they will not be loyal subjects. This is the only step that can quiet them. The Protestants are distioctly told, that if they will have peace they must concede all that is asked. This indeed has been the grand argument used by the advocates of Popery. We have been repeatedly told, that unless we do this, we can neither contend with Buonaparte, nor keep Ireland in order. Such is the boasted loyalty of this class of our fellow subjects; and this forms the only clew to the preamble of Mr. Grattan's Bill; which, in any other view, is quite unintelligible and even contradictory. It sets forth, that,
“ Whereas the Protestant Succession to the Crown, is by the act for the further limitation of the Crown and the better securing the liberties of the people, established permanently and inviolably :
" And whereas the Protestant Episcopal Church of England aod Ireland, and the Doctrine, Discipline and Government thereof, and likewise the
Protestant Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the DOCTRINE, Dis. cipline and Government thereof are established permanently and inviolably :
“And whereas it would tend to promote the interest of the same, and strengthen our free Constitution, of which they are an essential part, il the civil and military disqualifications, under which bis Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects now labour, were removed :
“ And whereas after due consideralion of the Petitions of the Roman Catholics it appears bighly advisable to communicate 10 them the blessings of our free form of government ; and with a view to put an end to all religious jealousies between his Majesty's subjects, and to bury in oblivioni all animosities between Great Britain and Ireland, so that the inhabitants of the respective countries may be bound together in all times to come, by the same privileges, and by the same common interest, in defence of their common liberties and government, against all the enemies of the British Empire. May it please," &c.
Now we must say, that, potwithstanding this preamble, we did, and do still, consider thit the Roman Catholics enjoyed as much as any other of his Majesty's subjects, “ the blessings of our free form of government ;" which enjoyment, or partaking of, consists, not in making speeches or voting in either House of Parliament, or in filling public offices; but, in being protected in our lives and properties, and having justice duly administered at home, and the nation successfully defended against its foreign enemies. We have been used to be told by those who are the most clamorous advocates for the Romanists, that the members of the House of Commons are the servants of their constituents, and that the ministers and persons in office are the servants of the public; and certainly to be in such situations, is not, in the language of reason or of strict propriety, any part of " the blessings of our free Constitution;" and yet this is all that the bill professes to give. Beside this, it also founds itself on the consideration of the petitions of the Roman Catholics only, though it is notorious that the table of the House of Commons was covered with petitions from other persons upon the subject; the preamble, therefore, plainly avows, that regard was had to the sentiments of the Roman Catholics only. For, indeed, what is said of the Protestants, seems put in, only by way of deriding them. In the first place, whatever "animosities" the Irish Papists have against the Protestants, whether English or Irish, certainly we have no “animosities " against them ; nor can we (not disposed to look through Mr. Grattan's eyes) see, how religious jealousies will be renoved by regulations purely civil. But, the most curious part of all, is the grave assertion (what command of face must he have had who
Vol. I. (Prot. Adv. July, 1913.] 3 X
made it!) that the permanency and inviolableness of the English Protestant Establishment will be maintained, nay, that the interest of the united Churches of England and Ireland and of the Kirk of Scotland, with their respective doctrine, discipline and government, will be promoted by entrustipg the administration of that constitution by which those churches are protected, and “ of which they form an essential part," to men who believe that DOCTRINE to be abominably and damnably heretical ; and that discipline and government to be in no less degree schismatical, and therefore abominable before God; who therefore are bound, and are taught by their Church to consider themselves as bound, by every motive that can animate a man sincerely pious, nay, by every obligation which divine or human institutions can impose, to destroy that doctrine, and to change that discipline and goveroment! Looking upon this simply as it is stated, and considering who is the father of this monstrous proposition, one would be apt at first sight to suppose that the right honourable gentleman, whose acknowledged talents are mixed up with no small degree of peculiarity, bad an intention of trying how far the credulity of a House of Commons might be carried; perhaps, too, by the solemn introduction of so extraordinary a paradox into a bill of the United Parliament, he aimed at removing from his countrymen the imputation of dealing exclusively in that commodity emphatically called Irish (to distinguish them, it may be, from Romish) Bulls. The fact is, however, with this, as with almost all the Irish Bulls, that, however contradictory or confused the expressions may appear, ihere is a meaning sufficiently clear in the mind of the person who utters them ; and that meaning can be no other than that which we have stated, and, by this instrument is here solemnly recorded, that the loyally of the Roman Catholics must be purchased, and that the price can be no other than the surrender (as we contend) of our constitution, or undoubtedly the placing it in extreme bazard. We repeat it, and shal always most deliberately maintain it, that the passing of such a bill as that introduced by Mr. Grattan, would give a deep wound, if not a mortal stab to our Protestant Constitution. “No matter," (Mr. Grattan and Mr. Keagh tell us,) “ without this, we cannot get the better of Buonaparte." Are we then in the situation of our ancestors the Britons, when they called in the Saxons to defend them against the Scots and the Picts ? If we are indeed, nothing more is to be said :
“ Oremus pacem, et dextras tendamus inerles ;" but we are not in that situation. At any rate let us not be deceived ; and let it be understood what must be the state to wbich we shall be reduced, and the advantage which we shall gain by this famous “ binding" of us, " by the
same privileges and the same interest,"* in defence of our country: we must prepare ourselves for fresh sacrifices : we may by this means, indeed, purchase peace, but it will be such a peace as the conquered enjoy; such as was obtained by the Britons after calling in the Saxons; and even that not unless we tamely and implicitly submit. If, after having added to the power which the Romanists now have of disturbing the State, and even, as their advocates say, of overthrowing it, we will, in order to avoid forther disturbances, give up our Church Establishment; if, after that, we will give up our Faith, and consent that the Pope shall be our Spiritual Head, and the director of our conscience; it may be our fault if, after all this shall come upon us, there be any internal commotions or discontents in the empire. Only we must prepare ourselves for a different sort of liberality from that which is now professed among us. Particularly, we must not think of keeping such naughty books as Fox's Martyrs, or Wake's Exposition of the Doctrines of (what will then be) the (late) Church of England ! Nay, even Locke must be removed from our shelves, for such is the decree of the congregation of the index; and for the authorised translation of the Bible, we must substitute the Popish perverted rendering. But then we shall have peace and quiet; and very possibly we shall not be subdued by Buonaparte ;----perhaps we sball only live under his prolection, and that of Cardinal Fesch, then become Sixtus VIII. ; if, indeed, Sixtus VII. will not do (as he seems to do) well enough. With the Irish Protestants indeed there may be a further account to be settled ; and those great lords and gentlemen who possess estates anciently forfeited by the Papists, may have certain other sacrifices to make; in which case we will do the servants of our Lord the Pope the justice to believe that they will proceed with perfect impartiality, that they will adopt general measures, and that they will not at all consider on which side any holder of such lands has voted either in or out of Parliament. We know indeed of no instance where any set of men, who, from servility or timidity, or factious motives, having betrayed their country, bave ultimately fared any better than those whom they delivered up to the adversary ;-nay, they have commonly fared much worse ; and for our parts we verily believe that the Roman Catholics have more real respect for us, who stand firm in our principles, than for many who call themselves their friends. Every one kpows how those gentlemen have been repeatedly created by the Irish Romanists. At this moment Mr. Plunkett is in Ireland, vainly endeavouring to conciliate
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Which we may be sure the Roman Catholics will by-and-by, in their good time, tell us cannot be, while we enjoy exclusively the honours and emuluments of an Ecclesiastical Establishment. Another fallacy of this preamble.
them; he has been cul by Mr. Scully, and treated not much better by Mr. O'Connell. In the mean time he has had to digest the pointed and direct judgment of the Romish Bisliops of that country condemning the bill. In favour of Mr. Grattan's efforts we have only the soi-disant “ Catholic" Board in England; a set of noblemen and gentlemen, very respectable in themselves, and certainly disclaiming most pointedly those doctrines of Popery which are more immediately dangerous to the State, but of no influence with the body at large, and comparatively very few in number, (perhaps not a bundred out of the half million, which Sir John Coxe Hippisley considers as the amount of the Romisb population in this part of the United Kingdom ;) and who will probably conclude their labours by submitting, (as they did in 1791,) with a good or ill grace, to the censures of their Vicars Apostolical ; and some of them perhaps by making, as Mr. Berington has done, a formal recantation.
We have dwelt thus long on this preamble of Mr. Grattan's Bill, because it may be considered as intended for an authorised exposition of the grounds on which the bill was to pass. We shall now proceed to the bill itself ; and it will there be seen, how exactly the principle has been followed which the right honourable mover appears to bave set before him, how entirely all its clauses are drawn up with a view of conceding all that was possible to be conceded at this moment, and preparing the way, as he himself openly declared, for further and unlimited concession.
We ad verted to this in our last number. Indeed, only a slight, very slight reserve was even now to be made. While we were told that the Protestant suc. cession to the Crown was to be permanently and inviolally preserved, it would have been too gross a mockery to have given to our Prolestant 50vereign a Popish keeper of his conscience, or a Popish representative in Ireland ; or to have suffered our permanent and inviolable Protestant Church Establishment to be administered by Popish officers. So much therefore it was necessary in common decency to reserve.
But all else is given up ; corporations, ofices of State, the highest military and even naval commands, the legislature, -all is thrown open. But we are, it seems, to have full security. The Papists shall swear. Now, considering the objections which have been commonly received as current among Protestants, to allowing the oath of a Papist to be any security, is this a security, likely to be taken as sufficient by Protestants? And yet the Protestants, we have been assured, tisfied as well as the others; which, in truth, considering that they are such a preponderating majority, is no more than we might reasonably expect. This however, we shall probably be told, is all a mistake, it is bigotry, it is folly; it must not be listened to. There is no reason to doubt the oath of a papist. We shåll, however, just venture
are to be sa