« PreviousContinue »
received such a defeat as will convince them that we are not to be overcome, and that all their endeavours to conquer us must end in mortification.-We feel ourselves under infinite obligation to our numerous friends, amongst whom we are proud to number some of the most estimable characters in the United Kingdom, some of the ablest men in Britain, both in point of learning and intellect. We are deeply indebted to our Correspondents, and we pledge ourselves to seize with avidity every opportunity that may present itself to find room for their letters. We throw ourselyes upon their kindness and their candour; and we are conviuced that, in estimating our attention to them, they will take into their consideration the contracted limits which we have at our disposal, and the necessity that exists for offering our numbers at a reasonable rate. We particularly solicit the patronage of the Clergy, whose approbation we shall ever study to deserve; and we hope to see the day when not a parish shall be found in the country, unsupplied with a competent number of copies of the PROTESTANT ADVOCATE- dedicated, as our publication is, to the maintenance of the PROTESTANT INTEREST.
Sept. 1, 1813.
AT a time when the exertions of the Roman Catholics are distinguished by a public activity, unexampled in the last century, and when a distlestness (more apparent, we trust, than real) seems to pervade the minds of the Protestants of these kingdoms ; when the Roman Catholic Body are making the most strenuous efforts, in every part of the United Kingdom, to impress on the Public the necessity of attending to their claims, and even confidently assert a general willingness that they should be granted, it will appear only a measure of self-defence that there should be a PROTESTANT ADVOCATE, to defend 'our Establishments in Church and State, and to maintain the general cause of civil and religious liberty against the intolerant principles of the Roman Catholics, and their ubceasing attempts to obtain possession of political power.
The objects which the PROTESTANT ADVocate will have more imme. diately in view, are, to unite the exertions of Protestants of all descriptions, in defence of the liberty, civil and religious, which is now enjoyed by the sabjects of these realms; to convey such general information as may lay open the designs of the Roman Catholics; to expose the mistatements, religious and political, of the advocates of their cause; to open the eyes of the Public to the tenets really professed by the Irish Roman Catholic Church ; to shew that it is not a slight, but a great and essential difference, which exists between Popery and Protestantism, and that the leadiog doctrines of the former religion are the same now as they were at the period of the blessed Reformation ; to scrutinize the pretensions of the Roman Catholics, and to prove the utrer hopelessness of conciliating their affections by any thing short of a surrender of the Constitution ; to point out the unfairness with which their claims are brought forward, to display their real extent and their unavoidable consequences, and to shew what the effect on the Constitution generally would be, and what especially on our invaluable privileges, as Protestants, and on the cause of religion, if those persons were again admitted to power in this Kingdom, whose exclusion from power was, at the time of the Revolution, made a permanent principle of the Constitution.
Vou, l: (Prof. Adv. Oct. 1812.)
The object, in short, of this publication, is one common to all Protestants; it is to guard the sacred cause of religious liberty ; it is to defend our Protestant Brethren, in Ireland, especially, against Roman Catholic ascendancy and eventual persecution—against the domination of a sect, which history has shewn to be invariably hostile to all religious freedom; it is to preserve, for the sake of peace and security, that Established Church, whose principle and practice it is to leave every man at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of bis own conscience ; it is, in a word, to secure and perpetuate that truly tolerant Establishment, under which, by God's blessing, this country has so eminently flourished, and to transmit it, unimpaired, to our children, and our children's children,
By pursuing such a course, the Conductors of the Protestant AdvoÇATB hope they shall open the eyes of the Public to the vital importance of the subject; and that, whether in PARLIAMENT or in ELECTIONS, whether in social intercourse or in publications, they shall contribute to excite a proper feeling for the maintenance of that Constitution, which has long been, and which, if we be true to it, will, we trust, long be the admiration and the safeguard of the political, moral, and religious world. It will be their endeavour to point out in every view and every instance, the DUTY and real INTEREST of PROTESTANTS : it will also be their earnest wish to draw the Roman Catholics to a sense of their duty and real interest,—the duty they owe to their King rather than to the Pope, to their Country rather than to Rome,—and to remind them of the many acts of indulgence granted them during the present reign. Whatever success may attend their endeavours, the Conductors of this work pledge themselves never to depart from the principles upon which it is undertaken. For their minds are indelibly impressed with the truth, that it is not by yielding principles, and surrendering institutions, to the difficulty of times, but only by maintaining them against all opposition, and clinging to them steadily, even through the severest persecutions, that we can hope to pass through the storm of infidelity and anarchy which is gathering around us, unperceived, while our eyes are dazzled by the glare of a spurious liberality.
The conduct of the PROTESTANT ADVOCATE will be in the hands of Members of the Established Church; but information and assistance will be most thankfully received from all persons who are friendly to the undertaking. Its Conductors will notice generally the publications on the Roman Catholic question ; and also the Parliamentary Debates, whenever Roman Catholic claims shall be brought under the consideration of the Legislature,