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The pamphlet may be considered as having materially contributed to the loss of the bill for repeal of the Test Act, during the earl of Pembroke's viceroyalty.

The dissenters renewed their struggles, upon many occasions; and Swift, while he retained his life and faculties, was always ready to oppose them. The several Tracts which he wrote upon this subject, though remote in order of time, are here printed together, as reflecting light upon each other.

A LETTER

FROM

A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

IN IRELAND,

TO

A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

IN ENGLAND,

CONCERNING THE

SACRAMENTAL TEST.

WRITTEN IN 1708.

Dublin, Dec. 4, 1708. SIR, I RECEIVED your letter, wherein you tell me of the strange representations made of us on your side of the water. The instance you are pleased to mention is that of the prebyterian missionary, who, according to your phrase, has been lately persecuted at Drogheda for his religion : but it is easy to observe, how mighty industrious some people have been for three or four years past, to hand about stories of the hardships, the merits, the number, and the power of the presbyterians in Ireland; to raise formidable ideas of the dangers of popery there, and to transmit all for England, improved by great additions, and with special care to have them inserted, with comments, in those

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infamous weekly papers, that infest your coffeehouses. So when the clause enacting a sacramental test was put in execution, it was given out in England, that half the justices of peace, through this kingdom, had laid down their commissions : whereas, upon examination, the whole number was found to amount only to a dozen or thirteen, and those generally of the lowest rate in fortune and understanding, and some of them superannuated. So when the earl of Pembroke was in Ireland, and the parliament sitting, a formal story was very gravely carried to his excellency, by some zealous members, of a priest newly arrived from abroad to the north-west parts of Ireland, who had publicly preached to his people, to fall a murdering the protestants; which, though invented to serve an end they were then upon, and are still driving at, was presently handed over, and printed with shrewd remarks by your worthy scribblers. In like manner, the account of that person, who was lately expelled our university for reflecting on the memory of king William : what a dust it raised, and how foully it was related, is fresh enough in memory. Neither would people be convinced, till the university was'at the pains of publishing a

a Latin paper to justify themselves.

And to mention no more, this story of the persecution at Drogheda, how it has been spread and aggravated, what consequences have been drawn from it, and what reproaches fixed on those who have least deserved them, we are already informed. Now if the end of all this proceeding were a secret and

* The provost and fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, had lately expelled Edward Forbes, for the cause mentioned in the text,

mystery, I should not pretend to give it an interpretation; but sufficient care has been taken to explain it, first, by addresses artificially (if not illegally) procured, to show the miserable state of the dissenters in Ireland by reason of the sacramental test, and to desire the queen's intercession that it might be repealed. Then it is manifest, that our Speaker, * when he was last year in England, solicited in person several members of both houses to have it repealed by an act there; though it be a matter purely national, that cannot possibly interfere with the trade and interest of England; and though he himself appeared formerly the most zealous of all men, against the injustice of binding a nation by laws, to which they do not consent. And, lastly, those weekly libellers, whenever they get a tale by the end relating to Ireland, without once troubling their thoughts about the truth, always end it with an application against the sacramental test, and the absolute necessity there is of repealing it in both kingdoms. I know it may be reckoned a weakness to say any thing of such trifles, as are below a serious man's notice; much less would I disparage the understanding of any party, to think they would choose the vilest and most ignorant among mankind, to employ them for the assertors of a cause. I shall only say, that the scandalous liberty those wretches take would hardly be allowed, if it were not mingled with opinions that some men would be glad to advance. Besides, how insipid soever those papers are, they seem to be levelled to the understandings of a great number; they are grown

* Allan Broderick, Esq. formerly solicitor-general of Ireland. He was afterwards created Baron Broderick, and died in 1715.

a necessary part in coffeehouse furniture, and sume time or other may happen to be read by customers of all ranks, for curiosity and amusement, because they lie always in the way One of these authors (the fellow that was pilloried, I have forgot his name) * is indeed so grave, sententious, dogmatical a rogue, that there is no enduring him ; the Observator † is much the brisker of the two, and I think farther gone of late in lies and impudence, than his presbyterian brother. The reason why I mention him, is, to have an occasion of letting you know, that you have not dealt so gallantly with us, as we did with you in a parallel case : last year a paper was brought here from England, called “ A Dialogue between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mr Higgins," which we ordered to be burnt by the common hangman, as it well deserved, though we have no more to do with his grace of Canterbury, † than you have with the archbishop of Dublin ; s nor can you love and reverence your prelate, more than we do ours. whom you tamely suffer to be abused openly, and by name, by that paltry rascal of an Observator; and lately upon an affair wherein he had no coucern; I mean the business of the missionary of Droghedi, wherein our excellent primate was engaged, and did nothing but according to law and discretion But because the lord archbishop of Dublin has been upon several occasions of late years, misrepresented in England, I would willingly set you right in his character || For his

# Danie: Defoe.

Dr Thomas Tenison. + Mr Jobn Tutchin.

§ Dr William King. U This character of archbishop King is retained in the Miscellany of 1727. edited by Poml', bui erased in the Dublin edition of the Dean's Works, iu 1735, published under his own inspection.

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