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of becoming common soldiers, mayor's serjeants, or coal-measurers, and the valiant youth of serving his king, and reaping laurels in defence of his country ;--these laws are still in being. It is true, to the honour of the Irish senate, they have staunched the blood flowing this long time past from one of the most tender Veins of the human heart, by putting it out of the power of the profligate son to betray and rob his tender and hoary father. But, still the insidious neighbour can seize his neighbour's horse; the unfaithful husband can banish the chaste and virtuous wife, after the oath pledged in presence of God, at the nuptial solemnity; the designing villain can set fire to his house, and build a new one, at the expence of his Catholic neighbours, who were asleep whilst he himself was lighting the fagot *.
Thus like a running evil, in-a succeffive gradation, they ulcerate every part of the body: and, though the lenity of the magistrate is a kind of mollifying application, that may as
* Mr. O'Leary was present when the case was tried in the county court-house of Cork. He has likewise seen the venerable matron. after twenty-four years marriage, banished from the perjured husband's house, though it was proved in open court, that for six months before his marriage, he went to mass. But the law requires that he should
be a year and a day of the same religion. suage
suage the sore for a certain time; yet whilst the noxious humour lurks within the recess of the law, we can never expect a radical cure.
** It is needless to comment upon the spirit *- of such laws. The very ree.tal chills " with horror 2" ' So remarks my learned and worthy acquaintance, Doctor Campbell. ** Let a it not be argued, that there laws are seldom " put in execution. Is property to depend " upon the courtesy of an avaricious, malig" nant neighbour ?-Damocles was, perhaps, " safe enough under the suspended sword of " Dionysius; but the apprehension of danger " scared away those visions of happiness which a he had seen in the envied pomp of tyran" ny *." " Laws," says the president Montesquieu, V which do all the mirchief that can be a done, in cold blood ;" and to which Lucres tius might allude in his famous Epiphonema: Tantum religio porm't suadcre malorum! Could religion he producti've of such mzsrhz'cf! That philosopher, who in reading the epitaph of a voluptuous monarch, cried out that it was bet
vter suited to an ox than to a king : Bow quam
rage dzgm'us, in reading the penal code, could form another antithefis: " The seal that gave U a sanction to such laws, should rather beat T? Philosophical survey of the South of Ireland, P. 251-2.
if the " the impreffion of vthe claws of a lion, than V the head of a queen."*
Such are the laws to whose unrelenting rigour we are every day exposed, The disposrtion of man, so averse to restraint, would soon suggest a method of dissolving the odious chains, which like those used by the Tuscan princes, who fastened living men to dead bodies, punish for an entire century, the living
for the dead. The dispo'sition of man, so_
averse to restraint, would soon shake off the oppressrve burden, if the importunate voice of conscience did not silence the cries of nature, and intimate to the Catholic, that, " death is
" preferable to perjury." The remedy is in.
our own hands, and we daily refuse to apply it, though a small bandage could soon close up
the bleeding veins of oppression, and a slight
palliative remove the temporal grievances of V are light as air," yet one oath taken against the conviction of our consciences, would level the fences, and " sweep " away all the penai laws " as so many spider's webs," to use his delicate: expression. This is an argument which sþeaks to the seelin-gs of man, and which no sophistry can ever refute. The priefls themselves are interested in the profanation : for, by entering into a collusion with their flocks, and using their magic powers to forgive all' fins, past, present, and to come, they could permit' them to graze on the commons of legal indulgenre, and by turning them into a richer pasture, expect 'more milk and wool. Avarice has ever been the reproach of the sanctuary: it is recorded. in Scripture, that the priests of 'the old law used to take the best part of the victim to themselves, before_ it was offered to the God, of Israel, and that Judas sold our Saviour for thirty pieces of silver._ Mr._ Wesley then must cbaritahly presume, that no pricst will forego his personal interest in compliment to his suc'cessor ;' and as it is his interest to im-. pose upon his votaries, to slacken the reigns, and shelter himself under the shade of the laws; either perjuryis. no part of his belief, or he must be too scrupulous; which in_ Mr. Wesley's opinion is hercsy to believe. In ethics, as in mathematics, there are selfvevi-v dent demonstrations; no propolition in Euclid
which we complain. The churches are open, and though Mr. Wefley says, that " our oaths_.
95 Queen Anne, the last sovereign of the Stuart line, who after combining against her father,. and violating the articles of Limerick, under pretence of strengthening the Protestant religion, gave a sanction to those laws 3 though her chief aim was to secure herself against the claims of her brother. Thus, religion often becomes an engine of policy, in the hands of sovereigns. (Liere to Civilians; Should not oppreffive laws cease, when the motives that gave rise to them subsist no more?
is; is more clear than the following: U A person *F who does not think perjury a crime, would *'* not forfeit a guinea from reluctance to an *'' oath." The Roman Catholics forfeit every privilege rather than take an oath against their conscience.
Are not they Adam's children ? Have they not the same sensations of pain and pleasure as other men? Their vices and virtues, do they not run in the same channels with those of their Protestant neighbours? Are they not animated with the same desires of glory, allured by the blandishments of pleasure, courted by the charms of riches, as eager for the enjoyment of ease and opulence? If perjury be their creed, if their clergy be endued with the magic power of forgiving not only pra/lent but futuresins, why do not they glide gently down the stream of legal liberty, instead of stem-v ming the torrent of oppreffion ? Why do not they qualify themselves for sitting in'the senate, and giving laws to the land in concert with their countrymen, instead of being the continual objects of penal sanctions ? It is, that they are diametrically the reverse of what they are represented. Their religion forbids them to sport with the awful name of the Divinity. They do not choose to impose upon their neighbours, or themselves, by perjury;