Obrázky na stránke

now, as a measure of high state policy, is beyond all reason and understanding. How the faithful and honourable discharge of the duties of Parliament can be affected more by a belief in Transubstantiation, than by a belief in Consubstantiation, or by a disbelief in the real presence altogether;

[ocr errors]

individuals, and which Mr. Fox thus characterizes: “The proceedings on the Popish Plot must always be considered as an indelible disgrace upon the English nation, in which king, parliament, judges, juries, witnesses, have all their respective, though certainly not equal, shares

Witnesses of such a character as not to deserve credit in the most trifling cause, upon the most immaterial facts, gave evidence so incredible, or to speak more properly, so impossible to be true, that it ought not to have been believed if it had come from the mouth of Cato; and upon such evidence from such witnesses, were innocent men condemned to death and executed.” We have only to look around us to be satisfied that the same delusion still exists in the minds of many ;-that even those master-spirits who are the enemies of emancipation, are haunted with the same imaginary horrors of Popery; and that both our doctrine as Christians, and our reputation as subjects, are, to this very day, condemned upon evidence equally incredible and impossible.

When this Test was passing the House of Lords, “Gunning, bishop of Ely, maintained that the Church of Rome was not idolatrous. The lords did not much mind Gunning's arguments, but passed the bill. And though Gunning had said he could not take that test with a good conscience, yet as soon as the bill was passed, he took it in the crowd with the rest."-Burnet.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

howaman is less fitted to serve his country, because he acknowledges a spiritual authority in the Bishop of Rome, as the visible head of the Christian Church, than if he believed that authority to belong to the King of England, are paradoxes which no reflecting mind can for an instant entertain. That they who preach, (in conformity with the Doctrine of Christ,) that the kingdom of God is not of this world, and that men are bound to honour and obey their king, and to be subject to the civil power, under pain of damnation ; that they should hold a divided allegiance, between the spiritual head of their Church, and the lawful authorities of their country, it is preposterous and absurd to imagine.“ No: it cannot

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

( Vindicating his church and country from similar accusations, that admirable patriot and exemplary pastor, Dr. Doyle, in his most powerful and most eloquent reply to Dr. Magee, says:

“The Catholic Church is also loyal-but she is loyal through a sense of duty, and because such is the line of conduct prescribed to her by Almighty God. She is devoted to the prince established by divine Providence, not through fear or necessity, but freely and cheerfully; in every country, and under whatsoever circumstances, she offers up, as is prescribed by St. Paul, prayers and petitions for the king, and for all that are in high station, that all men may lead a quiet and holy life. To impugn the sincerity of her children in this country in praying for the monarch, and bearing towards him the most sincere devotedness of

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

be, that we merit our exclusion, because we continue our submission, in doctrinal points, to the

mind and will, is one of the most unworthy deeds of which any person, lay or ecclesiastic, could be guilty.

“ The insinuations in the Charge respecting a division of allegiance, and the insecurity of that which we owe and pay to the sovereign of these realms, are SLANDEROUS and MALIGNANT. They are founded on no facts, supported by no proof; they are contradicted by every page of our history, by the preambles of divers acts of Parliament, by the statements of our friends, the confessions of our enemies, by the senate and the ministers of the king. I omit our own oaths of allegiance, which are incompatible with a division of allegiance, because I cannot submit to vindicate myself or my fellow-countrymen from the imputation of perjury. It is the grossest insult which men were ever condemned to endure."

But, says the Bishop of St. David's, “they [Roman Catholics) are incapable of the allegiance, which is due from subjects to their sovereign. My Lords, they are incapable of that allegiance, because they are bound by a contrary allegiance to a foreign sovereign.”—Speech of the Dr. Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St. David's, delivered on the 9th July, 1823, and published by the Right Reverend prelate himself!!)

My only reply to Dr. Burgess is, that his assertion is false, calumnious, and insulting. But to what a condition are we reduced! we not only swear a true and perfect allegiance, but we swear it in much stronger terms than any Protestant in the kingdom, than the Bishop of St. David's himself. That oath is framed by the legislature, is ac

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


authority of the ancient Church of Christendom, instead of transferring it to one of more modern

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

cepted by the sovereign, and qualifies us for the service of the state. Yet, a peer of parliament is suffered with impunity, and in the face of the whole world, to impeach other peers of parliament, of bearing no true allegiance to their sovereign, though the sovereign himself has ratified that allegiance by his acceptance of it,--to accuse them of having called the Almighty to witness, that they would do that which they were incapable of doing,-in truth, to arraign them both of perjury and of treason,-of the highest crimes before God and man. Was ever outrage like this? But this, and much more than this, are we compelled to endure. This same Bishop of St. David's (since translated to the bishopric of Salisbury, doubtless for the merit of having composed the Catechism from which the following dogma is taken) emphatically avows, that, in his infallible judgment, no man can be a Protestant, whatever he may profess to be, who does not KNOW it to be TRUE that the worship of the Church of Rome is idolatrous. That the Bishop of St. David's should know that to be true of us, which we know to BE FALSE of ourselves—that he should swear that to be true of us, which we would swear to be false of ourselves, is not so much to be wondered at, because....but even against the Bishop of St. David's I will not condescend to employ the weapon of retaliation which he has thrust into my hand. But if his Protestantism depend upon his knowledge of the truth of that WHICH IS POSITIVELY, AND ABSOLUTELY, AND NOTORIOUSLY FALSE; and if the sincerity of his allegiance can only be ascertained by his abjuration of the spiritual authority of the head of the Christian Church; I envy

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

date (for she also demands our submission); nor, because in a country in which a hundred different

[ocr errors]

him neither his principles as a Protestant, nor his profession of fidelity as a subject. But let us hear his own words:

Q. “ What is Protestantism?"

A. “ The abjuration of Popery, and the exclusion of Papists from all power, ecclesiastical or civil.”

Q. “Is it any hardship on Protestants to make the declaration against Transubstantiation and the invocation of Saints ?”

A. “No: Because if they are really Protestants, they are so, on this very principle, that the worship of the Church of Rome is unscriptural, superstitious, and idolatrous.”

Q. “Is it any objection to the declaration, that many Protestants, who are called upon to make it, do not know enough of the subject to be satisfied of the truth of the declaration ?"

A. “ No: Because no one can be a Protestant on prin. ciple, who is not satisfied of the truth of the declaration; and if he is a Protestant on principle, there can be no hardship in making a declaration, which he knows to be true, and, as an avowed Protestant, he professes to believe.”

Q. “Is it any objection to the declaration, that many Protestants, who are called upon to make it, do not consider the worship of the Church of Rome to be idolatrous, and may therefore think the declaration an unfounded the calumny?"

A. “ If they think the declaration an unfounded calumny, and hold the worship of the Church of Rome not to be idolatrous, they are not Protestants, whatever they may profess to be; and the objection does not apply to them.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »