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EMANCIPATION is no longer a question between two parties in the state:) it is a question between two nations;-one struggling for its liberties,—the other endeavouring to rivet the chains of slavery and oppression. This is a contest going on, and which will go on, in the very heart of the British empire, and between two people not very unequally balanced, in either physical or moral force; and is it to be supposed that this struggle is never to pro
(n)“ This question had, within the last twenty years, risen from a state of comparative insignificance to one of paramount importance. It was now the question of the empire; the question which divided the people as well as the Parliament; a question which had not only divided, but had broken up, and would break up, Cabinets and Administrations. Look at the effects of the Penal Laws in this country; they had destroyed that friendly intercourse and those social habits which were, perhaps, not less essential to private and domestic comfort, than to the well-being of the community at large. They kept up a perpetual excitation and ferment in the public mind—they rendered property insecure—they prevented the introduction of capital sufficient to develope the great and hitherto dormant resources of this fine and fertile country. And to their operation alone could be attributed those occasional bursts of public commotion, which are produced by rapacity and oppression on the one hand, and by poverty and despair on the other.”
(Extract from Lord Killeen's excellent speech at the public dinner, lately so deservedly given to that patriotic nobleman, by the friends of civil and religious liberty.)
duce any thing but angry murmurs, and irritated feelings?)
(*) Nothing can be finer than the present dispositions of the whole Irish people. Mankind never exhibited a more noble instance of zeal tempered with discretion; and of suffering sanctified by patience. God grant that such dispositions may last as long as the occasion which produces them! But their own history, and the history of the whole world tells us, and warns us while it tells us, that there are circumstances beyond which patience will not endure, and tyranny will goad on to desperation. May heaven avert so dreadful a calamity! The following prayer, proffered by a whole nation smarting under a cruel and unjust infliction, is a noble and decisive answer to the calumnies of our enemies, and a sublime panegyric upon the religion of the people who offer it:
“O Almighty and most merciful God, in whose hands are the hearts and designs of men; prostrate before thy altar, we humbly and earnestly beseech thee to look down with an eye of pity upon the long continued sufferings, the unmerited privations, and severe legal enactments, under which the Catholic population of these realms are still nnrelentingly doomed to complain. Our own individual transgressions against thy law, have, doubtless, justly drawn down upon us those heavy inflictions. Against the state, however, we have not transgressed. An inviolable attachment to the faith once delivered to the saints, is the only state crime we can be charged with—that unchangeable faith, professed at this day by the great majority of thy Christian people; but such fidelity to thy sacred deposit, instead of being criminal in thy sight, O Lord,
When every other nation in Europe, in which a difference of religion exists, has cemented its power, and concentrated the affections of its people, by the most enlarged system of religious toleration, it is certainly most extraordinary that we, who pretend to be the wisest and the most liberal of all, should alone continue a policy, which divides instead of uniting, which irritates instead of con
furnishes us on the contrary, we firmly hope, with a stronger claim upon thy mercies. Thou hast declared those blessed who shall suffer persecution for justice sake. We are now suffering for it. We are suffering, and alas! have long suffered, with patience, under the influence of religion, as our ancestors have suffered.--They have generously preferred thy law, O Lord, to every earthly consideration, their example, we trust, has not been unavailing; and with thy divine assistance we are fully determined never, upon any account, or under any penal pressure whatsoever, to relinquish any one article of our holy religion. Graciously hear us, then, O merciful God; vouchsafe, in thy infinite goodness, to enlighten our Sovereign, his Ministers, and the British Legislature; that they may at length more justly appreciate our ill-requited fidelity, and adopt such prudent and wholesome councils as will unite every denomination of our fellow-subjects in one général bond of mutual charity, unshaken loyalty, and universal peace'; thus securing the stability of the throne, and effectually promoting the happiness' of the people:"through Jesus Christ thy beloved Son, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen."
ciliating, and which weakens where it ought to strengthen. That, in England alone," that farfamed garden of liberty, the baneful weed of intolerance should flourish in such rank luxuriance ;in England, where a hundred different religions have found their way, and where there is no limit to the intrusion of new ones,---that one religion alone should be proscribed, and that the mother of the religion of the state, the foundress of all her institutions, and the nurse of all her liberties, is an enigma which no ingenuity can solve, unless we put it down as the effect of consummate bigotry. Our intolerant legislators of England, like the former noblesse of France, are endeavouring to continue their monopoly of privileges, at the risk of subverting the social institutions of the country, and of dismembering the empire.im) And this is
(1) Even Italy and Spain are no exceptions to the present happy diffusion of religious freedom throughout the world; for, in those countries, there are no Protestants. If there were, there can be no doubt but they would be treated with the same liberality, justice, and equality, which they now experience in every other Catholic state; whereas a British subject, being a native of these Islands, is the only individual upon earth, upon whom the profession of Catholicity is a penalty and a reproach.
(m) Another and striking instance of such a disposition is to be found in the obstinate refusal of the House of Peers to make any efficient amendment in the present
the end to which the enemies of Great Britain are so anxiously looking.-In France it was said, (however absurd the idea,) that the defeat of the bills for our relief, in 1825, was owing to a combined scheme of the Jacobins of both countries, who, foreseeing that the settlement of this great question would for ever consolidate the power of England, were therefore determined to exert themselves for its discomfiture.-To attach credit to this idea, a report was circulated, and which was actually used as an argument against the measure, by at least one member of the House of Commons, that the main object of the Catholics was the restoration of the forfeited property, now in the hands of both clergy and laity. This opinion was much strengthened by the indemnity granted to a class of men, somewhat similarly circumstanced with the dispossessed Irish. Others attributed the defeat of the
disgraceful state of the game laws; laws which are rapidly converting the whole country into one great arena of crime, and producing consequences at which every mind must shudder. The fate of the last bill on this subject was a complete burlesque on legislation. After the question had been vehemently agitated for many years--after repeated attempts and repeated failures-after fighting its way with extreme difficulty to a certain point, its ephemeral success was suddenly arrested by the magic power of seven noble lords; the division being, content six, non-content, seven !!!