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sad example of tyranny, but because it might, at no distant period, serve as a precedent for their own government to enact a series of penal statutes against the Protestants of France, under the plausible pretence of disaffection to the reigning dynasty. In this view of the question, they were supported by the sometimes misguided zeal of the present royal family, and by the well-known fact, that the Protestants were never sincerely attached to any government that has ever ruled in France, save that of Napoleon. Thus, in whatever point of view it was considered, it was looked upon as a policy fraught with evil of the blackest die.Napoleon is reported to have said; La famille des Bourbons est la plus intolérante de la terre : however this may have been, it is certainly not so now; the present king of France, (n) with all his
(N) If we compare the late speech of the King of France with that of the King of England, and do not blush at the contrast, the spirit of Englishmen is not in us.
Compare also the oath required of a legislator in France with the Test exacted amongst us.
While a Frenchman swears allegiance to his king, fidelity to the constitution, and a determination to do his duty to his country—an Englishman is thought better qualified for the functions of a senator, by swearing a libel on millions of his fellowsubjects, and proscription against an extinct and departed race. For the performance of his duty to his country, no pledge is required of him; but unless he knows and swears a Catholic to be an idolator, he can have no pretensions to legislative wisdom or integrity.
zeal for Catholicity, having given full security to his dissenting subjects, by swearing in his coronation oath, (and it presents rather an extraordinary contrast,) to give equal rights to his Protestant thousands, while the king of England, upon a similar occasion, is supposed by some to swear eternal proscription against his Catholic millions.) And what, in the event of the continuance of this system of proscription, is to be the ultimate fate of these millions? With the prospect of England before them, happy, prosperous, and tranquil, (that is, seen as it appears to them) because governed by equal laws, and in the possession of equal rights,—shall they be condemned to gaze for ever upon this blooming land of promise, and
(0) It is a very singular circumstance, and highly worthy of remark, that precisely at the same moment in which the government of Catholic France is driven from its post, because it is not liberal enough, the ministers of Irotestant England are removed from the councils of their sovereign, because they are too liberal for the age!! For this, after all, seems to be the truth.-Neither may it be unfair to observe, that, while the Catholic hierachy of France have lately displayed their wisdom and virtue, by refusing the political privileges with which their sovereign was desirous of investing them, there is no instance upon record, in which the Protestant hierarchy of England have ever evinced a distaste for the power and possessions which have fallen to their lot.
yet be always doomed to linger in the desert ? Are they to be eternally consigned to pauperism, and coerced by military law? Are they to be always told, that they are unworthy to be received as members of the state ; that to participate in the general prosperity of the commonwealth, is too great a blessing for them?—that they shall be for ever accounted as aliens and outcasts,—that their only inheritance shall be, from one generation to another, to be hewers of wood and drawers of water? -Oh! the shame and the disgrace of England, to allow her bigotry to place her in such a situation, that perhaps the best and only hope of one third of her people, is to look for the weakness and humiliation of their oppressors :—for the day of England's prosperity, has never yet been a day of grace or justice to Ireland. The hour of atonement, however, has not yet past.'”) In the name of heaven, let it not be neglected.—May the timely
Neither is the degrading system carried on in Ireland, under the name of Reformation, likely to mend the matter; a system of immoral, unprincipled, and corrupting persecution, practised upon a half-starved population,“ beginning with the child in the cradle, and only ending with the aged and forlorn, upon the bed of death.”—Good God! where have these lords and ladies, prelates and parsons, these Apostles of Ireland's reformation, where have they learned that charity consists in bribing a man to perjury
and happy settlement of this great question (in common with other important amendments in our sys
and apostacy—to sell his birth-right for a mess of pottage —to commit crimes that cry to heaven for vengeance, and lose his soul for the sake of saving a starving body for a few years of misery and infamy! We see that these, and these only, are the fruits of this fanaticism, since every day brings back these converts of the Reformation; not one in twenty remaining obstinate in his apostacy. But the people of England know little or nothing of all this. Almost all that the London papers ever tell us of Ireland, is, that a riot or a murder has been committed, and that numerous and notable conversions are daily made to Protestantism : but any, who will take the trouble to inform themselves, through the medium of the Irish papers, will see how false and exaggerated are the statements made in England. How much more good might Parliament do, by spending a few thousands a year in a liberal system of education in Ireland, than by lavishing the same sums in charter-house grants, on the principle of excluding the great body of the people from the benefits of education.
Do they think to achieve, by such means as these, what the long continued efforts of the most horrible system of destruction that ever disgraced the character of civilized man, were incapable of accomplishing? History," which is philosophy teaching by example," tells us, that the monsters whom regenerated England employed to govern Ireland, have mown down whole generations of Papists at a stroke, ravaging the field with fire and sword, in the hopeful expectation that a harvest of Protestants would arise: when lo and behold! in lieu of Protestantism,
tem of government) cement together every portion of the empire, in eternal union, and elevate us
Popery springs up again,--but only to be cut down once more, and to be cast again into the fire. Still the crop of Protestants never once grew up: the land was obstinate and intractable; and, in spite of every new system of experimental cultivation, has continued as barren of Protestantism, and as fertile of Popery, ever since. Practically convinced of the utter vanity of their attempt, let them at length rather endeavour to make them good and faithful subjects
, than bad and dangerous Christians. There is a passage in the very brilliant speech of Mr. Shiel
, upon occasion of a foul conspiracy against the character of a Catholic Priest, which was got up last year, I think in the county of Cavan, and which is so much to my purpose, that I will take leave to transcribe it. After observing, that in no other country but miserable and wretched Ireland, would any set of men have embarked in such an adventure, and after painting in strong and feeling terms the calamitous condition to which religious dissension had reduced the whole island, from which it has entirely banished that perfect amity in which Catholics and Protestants live together in foreign states, he proceeds to say: “Let calumny do its worst, it will not detach the people from their clergy. They are too closely bound by mutual sufferings ever to be rent asunder. Their piety, their simplicity, their meekness, and their very dependance upon their flocks, have endeared them beyond the power of our modern reformers to tear them from each other. And if the effort were successful, what would be gained ? In Heaven's name, where is the benefit to be obtained by