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Inspired with such sentiments, and under the influence of such reasonable and wellgrounded fears, they think it a duty which they owe to themselves, their Posterity, their religion, and their God, to unite as one man, and take every possible, loyal, and constitutional measure, to stop the progress of that soul-deceiving and all-enflaving superstition which threatens to overspread this land. It is 'to be hoped, that an attempt, so just and reasonable, will be crowned with success; but should it fail, through the su'pineness or groundless prejudices of those' who ought to fiand first in this cause, the members of this Association will enjoy the satisfaction of a self' approving mind, conscious of having done its duty; while those who meanly desert the Protestant cause, and tamely suffer the encroachments of Rome, may fee their error when it is too late, and be filled with bitterness and remorse at a conduct so mean and despicable, and so unworthy their prdfeffion.
Whatever such persons may think of them' selves and their conduct, and however . they may dress themselves up in the'splendid* robes of candour and moderation, they are to be informed that their conduct 'is highly criL-rnin'al,'\*arrd may, beattended with the 'most *deplorable*consequences; its,' by 3 their Je
glecting to appear on this great occasion,
_ .they give our rulers reason to conclude, that
it is the sense of the nation that Popery should be tolerated.
It is sincerely to be lamented that Protestant's in general, are not more apprehenfive of the danger. Have they forgot the reign of bloody queen Mary ? Have they forgot the fires in Smithfield, and can they behold the place without emotion where their fathers died ? Will it
ever be believed in future times, that persons '
of eminent and distinguished rank among the Protestants, and persons of high and exalted religious characters, refused to petition against Popery ; and let it overspread our nation without opposition ? Will it be believed that Englishmen were so far degenerated from the noble spirit ol their ancestors, as tamely to bow the neck to the yoke of Rome? " Tell it not in " Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon ; " lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice ; " lest the daughters of the uncircumcised ** triumph."
a It is not to be wondered at that the Papists, either openly or in disguise, take every method to prevent the just and reasonable view
of the Protestarit' alsociation, and therefore re- '
present them as factious, seditious, and ene-
mies to tolera'tion. These charges, and every other which the malice of our enemies, or the groundless fears and prejudices of our mistaken friends shall hereafter exhibit, will be separately and distinctly considered in the course of these letters; and such an account given of the views of the Protestant Association, and the line of conduct which they have pursued, and intend to pursue, in order to accomplish the great end for which they associate, as will, I hope, obviate
every objection, remove every scruple, and ex- '
cite the Protestants to join hand in hand, and unite as one man, in that cause, in which their
present and future welsare is so nearly concerned, by