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LOYALTY ASSERT'E'DE OR, THE NEW
TEST OATH VINDICATED;
N o T WI t H s TANDl NG news-paper de
'clamations, and the heavy charges brought
against vPopery, you are candid enough to tell me, that " you do not look on my profeflion as " an imputation so dangerous that it entirely " destroys all correspondence." You are not mistaken in your conjectures. However we may differ in belief, you have nothing to apprehend ; as speculative tenets do' not interfere
'' with the duties of civil life, and that my practi
cal doctrine tends more to improve, than Corrupt the heart.
B We' We have been school-fellows, and well united. We have met in foreign kingdoms, and the remembrance of an early acquaintance has cemented our friendship anew. We are restored once more to our native isle, floating in an ocean of politics, and exhibiting as great a varietY of religious, opinions, and sentiments, as you have seen curiofities at the fair of St. Ovid's in Paris.
' What party shall we side ? What plan shall we pursue? If we treat as enemies all those whose persuasion is different from ours, the number of our friends will be but smalLfflLet us then be retainers to clean Swift's doctrine. Let the Christians agree in the points allowed on all sides, as much as they differ with regard to private opinions, and dissensions shall be soon at an end. They all agree, that the first of their laws, is a law of eternal love, expanding into sentiments of benevolence, and teaching its vo
taries to return affection for hatred, and good
for 'evil ; that it is a divine legaey bequeathed by their common Redeemer to. his followers ; and that Christians, cemented together by the blood of a God, should be never divided.
This is a_point of doctrine liable to no con; troversy. Oh! could it be enforced on the mind ! factions would soon expire, and Charity ascend the throne, holding broils, dissentions,
standers, flanders, calumnies at her feet, as so many capctives in chains.
* Toleration in a Popish priest !' If by toleration is meant indifference as to religion, God forbid ! In this sense it implies an error; and though it makes a great figure in the disputes among divines, yet in two words we can ascertain its degrees and measures. Let a: never talerate error in ourselves: let us pity it in our neighhours. " Detest the error," says St. Augustin, " but love the man." For in the conflict of different opinions that will divide the world to the end of time, Christian Charity still asserts her perogatives. Her oily balsam heals the rankling ulcer caused by a religious inflammatian, and attenuates the black and viscous humours which so often degenerate into an wangelhal
But, if by toler'ation we mean imp'unity, safety, and protection granted by the state, to every sect that does not maintain doctrines inconsistent with t.he public peace, the rights of sovereigns, and the safety of our neighbour, to such a toleration I give my patronacy ; and expect that the following proofs of the articles of the test, will evinee the justness of entitling the Roman Catholics to the lenity of government, and the confidence of their fellow-subjects.
THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.
F* I, A. B. do take Almighty God to witness, ** that I will be faithful and bear true alle" giance' to our most gracious Sovereign " Lord, King George the Third, and him " will defend to the utmost of my power, " against all conspiracies andattempts, what" ever, that shall be made against his' person," crown and dignity."
Although I should never swear any alrlegiance in form, yet there is an original and natural' allegiance from subject to king ; a debt that forbids all conspiracies and treasonable practices *' against his person, crown, and dignity) At my birth I was under his protectionv ; and in a ten_ der infancy, when I could not protect mysels, I was shielded by his name. His tribunals are still open to secure my life and liberty ; and 'as there is an implied contract between king and subject, my oath does not change the nature of my obligations. It only strengthens the civil' band by the tie of religion, and superadds to treason the guilt of perjury in the transgressors.
This obligation is corroborated by the positive injunctions of the scripture, enforcing obedience to the prince whose image is stamped on his coin, and grounded on the laws of the nation, which, from the earliest periods, have transferred the subject's allegiance to the king, for the time being, and declared it high treason in a subject to attempt any thing even against an usurper, while 'he is in full posseffion of the sovereignty. This the laws have wifely ordained, in order to prevent anarchy and confusion; because the common people cannot judge of the king's title. But here I thrust my 'fickle into the civilian7s field 5 though in the end, oaths of allegiance should be determined 'by the laws and maxims of the realm, as well as by principles of divinity *. Further, let it be remarked, that the foundation of this decision has been laid in Catholic times ; and that in applying it to the actual circumstances, I do not mean to distinguish between right and fact in our most gracious sovereign. I only argue a mzizori ad majus, to shew the guilt of attempting any thing against a lawful sovereign, whereas it is high treason to conspire against an usurper.
The famous distinction between a rex de Mjure," and " rex de facto," how interesting soever in the times of the contending families
* Vide Blackstone's Comnientaries, book I. chap. lo, .*,Ccl;e, 3 Inst. 7. Kel. rep. is. . of