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this, the better. But what object can Catholics have in uniting with the dissenters to despoil the establishment? We most cordially unite with them in our common endeavours to obtain the most perfect religious freedom; and we rely upon those common endeavours for success. The Church of England, “if more numerous than any single sect, is less so than the others united :"m) and does she expect still successfully to oppose the energies of such antagonists, bound together by a similarity of grievances, with justice to embolden them in their career, and with so noble and glorious an object in view? The thing is impossible.'") “The removal of civil disabilities can alone remove all cause of contention-can alone restore harmony between
(a) Vide Charge.
(a) Has the feeble opposition made by the Establishment, either in or out of Parliament, to the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, been calculated upon the Machiavelian maxim, Divide et impera? If it has, I am sure the calculation will be defeated by the strenuous assistance which the dissenters will continue to give to the great work of Emancipation. They were signally aided by the concurrence of the Catholics in the prayer of their petition, and they are too generous, too wise, and too just, not to desire that others may be released from a much more galling servitude than that which they themselves found so oppressive, and from which they are now so bappy as to have escaped.
the Church of England and other religious parties.” And all cause of contention being removed, the union which was cemented by their common grievances, is at once dissolved. When the passions are calmed, and the interests of every class are amalgamated by equal laws and equal rights, the present lamentable discord and animosity will cease, religious harmony will be restored throughout the land, and Christians of every denomination will be linked together by the bonds of charity and goodwill alone. In every country in Europe, in which Catholics and Protestants have been blended in a community of interests by an equality of rights, such has been the happy result. The Church of England might then enjoy her revenues and her privileges in peace and comfort, without the hatred or envy of her neighbours; exchanging the fierceness of the vulture for the meekness of the dove; being no longer a domineering mistress, or an insulting tyrant.--The only point of union between Catholics and dissenters, is the great cause of religious liberty. That being accomplished, no further alliance can either be required or expected. The dissenters have invariably departed infinitely further from the parent Church, than the members of the Establishment. What, therefore, should we gain by uniting with them to despoil that Establishment ? They, united, being infinitely the stronger party,
would, in case of success, take every thing for themselves. I speak not of Ireland : any spoliation of the Established Church there, must proceed either from a convulsion in the country, or from the will and power of the Protestant landholders. There are no sectaries of sufficient force and numbers in that portion of the empire; and, as I said before, ten Catholic representatives must be more than destroying angels, to accomplish such a work. The redress of the most grievous of the clerical exactions, and a moderate competency from the Government to the Catholic clergy, operating with the late amendments in the tything system, and equal laws and equal rights, would so far satisfy the people, as to remove every idea from their minds of despoiling the Establishment. To shew
(o) Upon the expediency and practicability of a state maintenance for the Catholic clergy of Ireland, I beg to refer the reader to Dr. Doyle's very able remonstrance with the Duke of Wellington, in APPENDIX, No VII. For myself, I never presumed to offer an opinion upon this question, otherwise than conceiving it to be wellcalculated to afford relief to the laity, especially to the labouring poor. For an admirable essay on the Tythe System, see APPENDIX, No. VIII., for an extract from Letters to a friend in England on the actual state of Ireland. (Letter 4th.) London, Ridgway, 1828; which, for depth of reasoning, strength and elegance of diction, together with an intimate and practical knowledge of the
the probable inexpediency of Catholics repossessing themselves of the Church property, even if they had the power to do so, we have only to look to the history of Europe to satisfy ourselves that every church which has yet fallen, has fallen under the weight of its own riches. Those riches first produced a laxity of morals among the clergy, before they became the envy, or excited the cupidity, of the laity. Suffice it to say, that they effected the downfall of the church which possessed them. As zealous members of our religion, we ought not, therefore, to desire to see her again exposed to similar hazards and temptations; and I am sure there is not a Catholic in the country who would not infinitely sooner see his religion with a decent competency, (such as we could give her ourselves, if the laws permitted it,) yet free and independent, than again breathing the air of courts and palaces, and luxuriating in all her former riches. The Catholic Church of Ireland, with all her poverty, is probably a purer and a better church (I mean as to morals and sanctity, for her faith has been always the same,) than she ever was in the days of her prosperity. For herself she desires nothing more than she enjoys at present, save the
subjects under discussion, demands the earnest attention of every man interested in relieving the miseries of Ireland, and in promoting the cause of civil and religious liberty.
cessation of calumny and persecution against her children : she has all the authority she could desire over her people, because she rules them with a paternal solicitude, and receives their affectionate attachment in return : she sees and knows that riches are not requisite for the establishment of the kingdom of God,—that rather covetousness is the root of all evils,--and seeing this, she cherishes her poverty as her best and surest support.
But the great security of the Protestant Establishment would consist in the alliance which it should be her inclination to form with her Catholic brethren. Though we differ from her on points of faith; those points are not many, and have, all of them, at one time or other, been warmly defended by some of her ablest Divines. Her ministers have frequently acknowledged that the Catholic religion contains nothing contrary to salvation-nothing that should prevent her from being considered as a true Christian Church,(")
(2) " I must accept,” says Thorndyke,“ the Church of Rome for a true church; as in the Church of England I have always known it accepted ; seeing that there be no question made but that it continueth the same visible body, by the succession of bishops and laws that were first founded by the apostles * There remaineth, there
* Dr. Fletcher, in a note to this extract, observes: “It is true, indeed, (but this is one of those contradictions which we so often meet with in the rolls of error)—it is true that the instrument