Page images

present. The thunder and lightening of the Romish Church were put in requisition; the whole scheme was blasted ;and, in the list of the protesting Roman Catholics of 1789, our readers will be shocked to find several of those who urge the Papistical Claims in 1812.---Now come forward, Mr. Canning, and tell us, in the teeth of this lamentable fact, whether the “ power and influence of the Pope, has become feeble, ridi. culous, and despicable ?" But we forbear. Could we condescend to declaim, like an iuperant parliamentary orator, bere were a fruitful theme-but we have long since " put away from us childish things.” The editor of the work before us has our best thanks and shall himself supply what further we think necessary to add. ' In his “ Appeal,” noticed in the preceding article, he says, p. 11,

We must not suffer ourselves to be blinded with the change which is pretended to have taken place in modern Roinanists~" The Declaration and Protestation" of 1789 and 1791, most unequivocally contradict the assertion; as well as the more recent publications of the Popish Bishops, Clergy and Laity. Popish Legislators will coact Popish Laws,Popisy Counsellors will give Popish Advice and a Popish King would replonge the empire into the borrors of Popish persecutions, from which we have emerged for more than a century.

I still assert, that " Papists keep no faith with Protestants"-Mr. Can, ning's denunciation of this assertion, at the end of “ An Awful Warning," will not make me retract it. The fact is so. Nay, I am convinced that many Catholics, when they pledge their faith to Protestants, or to Infidels, perfectly resolve to adhere to such pledge: but even the stoutest and most honorable among them, especially if they are what are denominated good Catholics, DARE' NOT resist the fulmination of their spiritual guides. It is impossible to have a stronger proof of this, than we find in “ the Declaration and Protestation of the Roman Catholics of England: with the names of the Bishops, above 200 Clergy, and almost every respectable Catholic in England, who signed it and the proceedings and correspondence of their Committees and Bishops."-I have ever maintained that the Protestant Church required no better arguments to support it, as opposed Lo the Church of Rome, than what the case of its adversaries will furnish, and never was this more decidedly exemplified, than in the above-named document, which I trust will now be widely diffused. Although it appears that "the Declaration and Protestation" was the result of years of deliberation, cvery word and sentence having been scrutinized in the most wary manner, and even the advice of the most eminent Romish Universities abroad, solicited and obtained :-that the objections of certain of their Apostolical Vicars were discussed, over-ruled and finally rejected in the most decided, forcible and argumentative language-yet, notwithstanding their firm conviction of the propriety of their resolution, and I honestly think that they intended to adhere to what they signed, they could not, solemn and voluntary as the act bad been, adhere to it against the order of the Bishops; in compliance with whose mandate, the greater part withdrew their names.* This document is now republished by Stockdale. It shews how completely even the most conscientious acts of the Roman Catholics are subject to the caprice or self interest of the heads of the Church. Would not the same power which could, in the face of Parliament, of their country, of the world, compel men of rank and education, to recant pledges (the circumstances attending which considered) were of almost unparalleled solemnity and deliberation, thereby reducing them to the abject state of mere automatons, in like manner enforce submission to any other decree, however vile and hostile to the Church and State as by law established.? Away then with this idle tinsel of LIBERALITY, which is prostituted to cover treason to the Constitution, if to subvert the Constitution be treasonable. We are told that the Protestants have no objection to accede to the demands of the Roman Catholics. Such an assertion ought to excite one general contradiction from every class of Protestants, whether belonging to or dissenting from the Established Church. It ought to be contradicted from the pulpit of every Protestant Church, Chapel and Meeting-House in the United Kingdom. The Clergyman who silently submits to such an assertion, is a partaker in it, and unworthy of the sacred garb which covers such criminal indifference - and the Layman, who, against his better judgment, even passively assents to the libel, is a traitor to his country and possibly to his own soul! We must no longer plead ignorance. The record of History belies the plea. The trumpet of alarm has been sounded by good and distinguished characters in and out of the Church-the Dissenters are no longer blind to their spiritual and temporal interests being at stake in our present decision.

• "Here the fact transpires, that an appeal was made by the Roman Catholic Clergy of England, to the Pope (in despite of the Statutes of Præmunire), and that his Holiness did interfere in a temporal concern in this kingdom, by sanctioning the opposition, which his suffragans, the vicars apostolic, made to an oath, which the English Lay Catholics had framed, as a test of the political principles of a body of his Majesty's subjects !"—Sce " Catholic Emancipation, and the only Means by which is ean be effected, pointed out.” Price 3s. It is unanswered, because unanswerable, Vol. I. [Prot. Ado. Dec. 1812.]



1812. (Review, continued from Page 79.) HATING shown the futility of the three Principles on 'which Mr. Camning grounded his Speecir, we conceive that we have substantially refuted the Speech itself; 'unless, Indeed, these three principles, with which the right hon. gentleman paraděd,'be utterly unconnected with the arguments'tliat follow, (and we suppose he would not like to be told so);-if, therefore, his argumcnts, as lie professes, 'rest upon his principles, they must 'fall to the ground, and the entire edifice which his invention reared must crumble into rubbish. Indeed the case is nearly so ; -- or if 'the pile which he raised by the magic of his.genius (always plastic, always poetic), may be deemed yet to stand ; its materials are of a nature so friable, and so flimsy, that they will hardly bear handling, and therefore it will cost us small pains to demolish them entirely.--He now proceeds (leaving his three principles to their short-lived-fate) to lay down what he calls 66.two general considerations," which " clash very much with each other,” and yet it should seem that they kinaturally present themselves to every reflecting mind;" and he adds that actin'réconciling these opposite and conficting principles, Sand in assigning to each its 'due weight in human affairs, consists 'altnost'the whole art of practical policy.". With but making any retnark's on these expressions, which really signify very little='we hasten to the two formidable, clashing and conflicting considerations'! '1. *76 The dread of innovation.” 2. & The expediency of timely reformation or concession."*_The riglit honorable gentleman shews us, with much unnecessary verbiage, (of which we hail him the greatest of masters, omnium facile princeps), that the Popery ~ Code existed in perfection only fourteen years ;” and that “from the beginning of his present Majesty's reign, to the year 1774, 'when the 'first relaxing Statuto was enacted, is the short period during which it was at once

In'a speech "Manchester tlfe öffler tay, Mr. C.dmitted the folly or hoplig for peace from making concessions' respecting Untorica ; "does he Bot me that the time argument holds good nespácting the rapists

complete and stationary." " Every step since taken," says Mr. Canning, “ has been in the spirit of irreverent innovation.” Now if it is wrong to innovate, the friends of the papists, occasioned the innovation.—Bụt the childish fallacy of the argument lies here; the ingenious Senator himself introduces the term innovation, only for the purpose of running it down. He himself claps it into his parliamentary pillory, on purpose to pelt it. What man of sense, of what writer of authority ever complaired of innova.. tion in altering the laws enacted against Roman Catholics ? Thę true term should have been unnecessary and dangerous alteratione Mr. Canning's eloquence has been wasted upon an antagonist which no man could dread. He has fought with a fabrication of his own fancy. This part of his Speech is mere declamation. It is what he was accustomed to at school and the university. It is 4 mere hastiludium, ą skiomachia, a running at the quintain, banging a man of straw, or a bag of sand. We must here ang swer a wise man according to his wisdom; and if he expects to fob us off with a trick of lagic, we must recollect what we learnt when we studied that art, and we must protest against a petitio principii, which Dr. Watts defines ą supposition of that which is not granted. We do not allow a departure from the system restrain, ing the Papists, to have been an innovation. Mr. Ç. would have served bis clients materially, could he have proved that it was not a dangerous alteration for the worse. That was the beginning of sorrows. Hibernia pacata in 1774, was rendered Hibernia agitata by the concessions then made, furįata by those of 1793, and she has been insana ever since ; except during the lucid in: terval in which the Union took place. The right hon. gentleman in this division of his Speech, quotes Mr. Justice Blackstone, who himself cites the opinion of Montesquieu, respecting the genius and spirit of the laws against Papists ; but Mr. Canning omits a part of what Blackstone says in answer to the President * Montesquieu, passing it over under the denomination of “ some historical allusions." This is a common artifice with crafty plead,


• Did Montesquieu ever give an opinion on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz ? by which, at one stroke, without any civil crime, the French Protestants were driven trom their homes and their native land, purely because they professed the reformed Ieligion. This terrible blow was struck in 1685.- Montesquicy was born in 1984

ers of desperate causes ; but it is nothing less than an act of disin.' gcnuousness in Mr. Canning ;-we shall here print what the right hon. gentleman suppressed. “ The restless machinations of the Jesuits, during the reign of Elizabeth, the turbulence and uneasiness of the Papists under the new religious establishment, and the boldness of their hopes and wishes for the succession of the Queen of Scots, OBLIGED the parliament to counteract so dangerous a spirit by laws of a great and then perhaps (perhaps, Mr. Justice Blackstone ?) necessary severity: 'The Powder-Treason, in the succeeding reign, struck a panic into James I., which operated in different ways : it occasioned the enacting of new laws against the Papists; but deterred him from putting them in execution. The intrigues of Queen Henrietta in the reign of Charles I., the prospect of a Popish Successor in that of Charles II., the Assas. sination-Plot in the reign of King William, and the avowed claim of a Popish Pretender to the crown in that and subsequent reigns, will account for the extension of these penalties at those several periods of time.”—This is the passage omitted by Mr. Canning—who subjoins (because he supposes that it will answer his purpose), the remainder of Blackstone's Remarks. " But if a time should ever arrive, and perhaps it is not very distant, when all fears of a Pretender shall have vanished, and the power and influence of the Pope shall become feeble, ridiculous and despicable" (who but must think, [says Mr. Canning,] that the learned Judge anticipated the moment in which I am now speaking ?) “not only in England, but in every kingdom in Europe, it probably would not then be amiss to review and soften these rigorous edicts, at least till the civil principles of the Roman Catholics called again upon the Legislature to renew them;" &c. And does Mr. Canning think that the civil principles of the Roman Catholics have been such as to justify a repeal of the Popery Code, or even any further concessions? Is rebellion no longer a civil crime ?_We are persuaded that had Mr. Justice Blackstone lived to see the Rebellion of 1798, or to read Sir Richard Musgrave's account of it, founded on forensic evidence; and had that yenerable lawyer's life been prolonged to this day, had be been enjoying otium cum dignitate, relieved from the toils of business, and spending the remnant of a long life in the bosom of his family ; the use which

« PreviousContinue »