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“ Our fathers, who lived under the dread of Popery and arbitrary power, are most of them gone of
of England and Ireland, as by Law established.
ON the completion of the Second Volume of THE PROTESTANT ADVOCATE, custom demands, and not without reason, that we should add a few words by way of Preface.
Following the division of the year after the manner observed in the preface to the first volume, we have to remark that the period immediately prior to the meeting of Parliament, was passed, as far as relates to the Roman Catholic Question, in me. ditating an attack on the Speaker of the House of Commons, by one class of senators, and in the anticipation of a victory by another, superior not in number only, but in argument.-When we remember the small majority which, in the preceding session, determined, on the Speaker's motion, against admitting Papists to sit in Parliament; when we witnessed the eagerness of many to make an alarming alteration in the constitution, and the surprising indifference with which others listened to their specious harangues, and voted according to their wishes; when we know that the Papists looked upon that small majority, as affording most flattering hopes of complete success on the next attempt,we must confess that we deemed the result attending Lord Morpeth's motion, as nothing less than a triumph over the Popish faction that besieged the House of Commons, and over the apologists for Popery within its walls.
During the session, the principal patrons of the Roman Catholics made several fourishes, and as often deferred taking any
decisive steps until some future opportunity,--still preserving to themselves an opening, in case they should at any time think it advisable to commence proceedings. That time never arrived. The decided majority which rallied round the Speaker's chair, very probably kept them in check. We have ever regarded the inculpation of that right honourable gentleman as a trial of strength; and we entertain not the shadow of a doubt, but that if the affair had terminated differently, the hour had soon arrived when the demonstrations and manæuvring to which we have alluded would have been converted into a real attack, and those mischiefs might have taken place on which, though not irremediable, for many reasons, we do not like to dwell. .
However well or ill founded our opinion may be, the Protestant cause has been prodigiously strengthened by the conduct of the Papists themselves ;-particularly by the violence of the Irish Catholic Board. Dr. Dromgole's speech, and Mr. O'Connell's scheme of finance; the insults offered to the Established Church of this United Kingdom by the former, and the levying of money on the King's subjects, without the authority of Parliament, proposed by the latter, could hardly fail to disgust and to alarm all those to whom pure unsophisticated religion 'is dear, and by whom the legislature is respected. —We are free to avow, that we can discern very little difference, as to the point of legality, between raising of ship-money by the advice of Attorney-General Noy in the seventeenth century, and the levying a tax on the Roman Catholics of Ireland, at the instance of Counsellor O'Connell, in the year 1814 : and we cannot but wonder at the silence of those gentlemen who. profess to hold Mr. Hampden in high esteem for resisting the payment of twenty shillings assessed on him, and have no sympathy for the poor distressed peasantry of Ireland, who are obliged to submit to what they must feel, comparatively speaking, as a
much heavier contribution, under an alternative of being denounced as delinquents, on the suggestion of an individual bar. rister, " who has a head to contrive, and a hand to execute any" daring absurdity, and was countenanced by a Board which “the spirit of superstition actuates as the spirit of a party.”
That Board, thank heaven! is suppressed. The only good thing by which it can be remembered, is the having exhibited in true colours the character and complexion of Popery. By the fury of its debates and the audacity of its measures, we may form some judgment how the Papists would conduct themselves if uncontrolled ; if there existed no power to overturn their Boards --the tables of their tumultuous committees, and the seats of their Haming orators. The time is yet far distant when conciliation may propitiate them, or concessions may be made to them withiout danger. The rescript of the Propaganda ostensibly invests the King with the prerogative of a veto in the nomination of Roman Catholic bishops; though we have pointed out, in several instances, the hollowness of the recommendations contained in that instrument,-clogged, however, as it is, with reservations, and claiming exclusive salvation for the members of the Romisha church, it is not, after all, calculated for the meridian of Ireland; the emphatical people spurn at the moderation which it affects; they have voted that it is not mandatory, and it remains to be proved whether the Pope, firm in his purposes as he has shewn himself to be, will hazard a sanction which may be rejected with contempt.
The Papacy is beginning to recover from the injury that it received during the late convulsions which, like an earthquake, shook Europe to its centre. The Pope has reached Rome, and, it is presumed, will attend in person the momentous Congress about to assemble at Vienna.-Popery in Spain is once more