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and il se, every act ånd every decision that proceedis upon those antiquated errors, is at once a folly and a erime; shewing only how far the evil that men do, lives after them." But to make a decision now which would be beyond all precedent, even in the worst of times, would be what I cannot give a name to.
What have our courts to do with these cases, or how do they apply to our condition ? Unless it be to speculate upon such frightful histories, as the contemplative traveller ascends the vantage ground, and seating himself upon the border of some extinguished volcano, above the regions of mist or vapour, surveys above him the unclouded firmament, and below, the ravages of a convulsed world, the yawning crater, the sulphurous abyss, the scattered fragments of disjointed nature, the conjealed torrents of once streaming fire, under which lie buried and incrusted the treasures of civilization, wealth and arts; and moralizing on "such awful objects, compares the benign laws of the creator with the efforts of the destroying spirit. To contrast these histories and barbarous codes with our happy constitution, and our enviable state, is to draw from them a moral, deep and wise. But though we use them, let us not be familiar with them. Let us apply all due precaution against their venomous contagion. I would hardly touch the volumes that contain them, till I had drawn on my gloves and said God bless me from all grammery." I would relegate them to some lonely desart, such as the barren Island. And there I would keep them fathoms under ground. Some wretch from the state prisons, who had ran the round of vice, and could not be innoculated with any new infection, should be their guar..
dian. Once in the period of a lustre or olympiad, when the wind blew off our coast, they should be dug up; fasting, ablutions, and exorcisms, first performed; and if telegraphic signs, could be devised to communicate their terrible contents, it would be safest. But, bring such things into a court of justice? 0! never, never.Fie ! fie ! they are too rank. I think I could smell out that volume that treats of the dead Lord's will, and the inquisition held upon him, after death, for “ relap : sing into popery." Yes here it is! The whole system is already rotting above ground, let us hasten to inter its miserable remains. And now having done with Irish, let us turn to the English history. It is good to learn, even from an enemy. Mr. Pitt, who for years governed England by dint of ingenuity, was a good or a bad genius, I care not which. He was once a friend of parliamentry reform, but abandoned that ; he was more than once desirous of reforming the penal code, and in that I believe he was more sincere, for he was sagacious enough to see the impolicy and gross absurdity of maintaining it any longer. In 1788, when a bill was proposed for the relief of the Roman catholics, a committee of the English catholics, waited upon him. He desired from them some authentic evidence of the catholic elergy, and universities abroad, that certain dangerous tenets imputed to them, were not avowed by the catho. lic church.
The three following queries were drawn up under his auspices.
1. Has the pope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the church of Rome, any civil aų.
† thority, power, jurisdiction or pre-eminence whatever within the realm of England ?
2. Can the pope or cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the church of Rome, absolve or dispense with his Majesty's subjects, from their oath of allegiance, on any pretence whatever ?
3. Is there any principle in the tenets of the catholie faith, by which catholics are justified in not keeping faith with heretics or other persons, differing with them in religious opinions, in any transaction either of a public or a private nature ?*
This was done no doubt, with a view to soften the King's conscience, which at that time was buckram against catholics. For his majesty had not then formed an alliance with the pope, nor sent his dragoons to guard his person, nor had England then spent as much blood and treasure, to put up the pope and the Bourbons as she had before expended to pull them down. These things fell out afterwards.
All great leaders of men have been addicted to oracles. In old times, they sent to Jupiter Amonon in Africa, or else to Diana at Ephesus, or else to the Delphic priestess, or to the old sybil. Mr. Pitt sent to none of these, nor did he consult the rioters of Moorfields, nor the priestly mob, nor the Orangemen. He did more wisely; he did very wisely. Let us do him justice. He sent his queries to six of the principal catholic universi. ties of Europe. The Sorbonne at Paris, to Douay, to Louvain, to Alcala, to Salamanca, and to Valladolid.
* See the answers of the six universities at length in the appendix.
As politicians, mostly know the answer, before they ask x the question, so I need not say that these universities all concurred in disclaiming, and firmly disavowing all these imputations, which no catholic ever thought of; y unless it were in ancient times of war and contentions for kings and kingdoms, when the corruptions not of the church of Rome, but of some corrupt ministers of that church, had by forming leagues of wicked priests and princes” dishonored that church. None but foolish ministers could have thought of visiting all those crimes of past ages upon the catholic church, because there had been weak or wicked priests, no more than of destroying all kings because there had been weak and wicked princes.
I should have venerated Mr. Pitt for this judicious step, if I could be quite sure that he was sincere. It would cover a multitude of his sins. And it is only to be lamented, that some minister, as sagacious, had not sent these queries to those six universities three centuries before. How much burning and ripping, would have been spared. I wish that Mr. Pitt had not, for his good name's sake, so soon after receiving this authentic testimony, tolerated that ferocious rabble of no popery, Orangemen, king's conscience men, and peep of day boys, whose atrocities are now as much history as his life and death, It is true, I will say it for him, he never loved them, he hated and despised them; but he knew them well, that they were always for evil, neve er for good, and having done all the mischief required, the sooner they were extinguished the safer and better it would be. But still he used them to carry his point, and overthrow the parliament of Ireland ; which he had
before corrupted to his ends. Having gained his point, he tried to put them down, but it is easier to excite wickedness than it is to subdue it. The hounds once uncoupled and set upon the tract of blood, ran riot on the hot scent, and the huntsman himself could not call them off. When he would have whipped them again into their kennel, they were savage and bayed him.
Having the authentic evidence of the six universities, that it was no tenet of catholics to break faith with heri. tics, he resigned his office, as he said, because he could not keep faith with the catholics. He resumed his place ånd did not keep faith with them. He was crossed in this by the peep of day boys, and by his other enemies, in his other projects, and he died, in what faith I know pot, lamenting his incapacity to do justice, and exclaiming, Oh my poor country!
The Mayor. From what book do you take those queries of Mr. Pitt.
Counsel. I read them if it please the court, as genéral history, from Mr. Plowden's historical survey of the state of Ireland. They are I presume, upon the jour. nals of the parliament.
Recorder. They are so, I have seen them.
Counsel. It is time now to take leave of foreign his. tory. And as to those precedents of foreign law, the only weight they can have, is that of so much
and calf's skin, for our own constitution is so explicit upon