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sisf 'any one please to answer this, and to set
his: name, I shall probably reply : but the productions of anonyrnous writers' I do not promise to take any notice of.
1 . . .
* I' am," Sir, ' ' ' ' Your humble Servant,
"I" ROAD' 'IANUAM' 12, '780. ,
BY FJ. w. if
VA R I'O U S pieces, under different 'signetures, having*'appeared in. the public-prime, casting *unjust reflectio'n's on the Protestant Asso-* ciation, and tending to quiet 'the minds of the Protestants, at the presenFaIarm'ing c'rifis, by insinuating that there is nodanger; arising' frbm the toleration of Popery, 'and that 'si1cli'allctocia3tions are. unnecessary; I think it a piece of '-jus-' tice, which I owe to, my countrymen', "to give them a plain and true account of the' views of this assembly, and lay before them the reasons which induced them to iform this Association, anddetermined them: to continue it.
Whether the gentlemen, who have'favoured the public with their'- remarks on this' occasion, are
are really Protestants, or Protestant Dissenters, as they style themselves; or whether they are Papists in disguise, who assume the name of Protestants, that they may be able to undermine the Protestant cause with the greater success, is neither easy nor necessary to determine; but it is easy to see that they are either totally ignorant of the subject on which they write, or else they wilfully disguise it.
The pieces I refer to are written with ditl ferent degrees of temper. One gentleman in particular appears to be very angry, and loads the Association, and their friends, with the most illiberal and unmanly abuse. If this gentleman had clearly stated the cause of his refisntment, he might have been answered; but as he appears to be angry at he knows not what, he can only be pitied. Others have written with more candour and moderation, and would. have been worthy regard, had they not been deficient in point of argument. , If these are sincerely desirous of being informed, they are requested to attend to the following
However unconcemed the present generation may be, and unapprehenstve of danger from the amazing growth of Popery; how 'e'almly soever they may behold the erection of liopish ehapels, hear of Popish schools being * , ' ' opened, opened, and see Popish books Fpiibliely advertised, they are to be informed that our ancestors, whose wisdom and firmness ' have transmitted to' us those religious and civil liberties which we now enjoy, had very different conceptions of this matter; and had they acted with that coldness, indifference, and stupidity, which seems to have seized the present age, we had now been sunk into the most abject state of misery and flavery, under an arbitrary prince and Popish government.
It was the opinion of our brave, wise, circumspect, and cautious ancestors, that an open toleration of the Popish religion is inconsistent with the sasety of a_ _ free people, and a Protestant Government. ' Iit was thought by them, _that every convert to Popery, was by principle an enemy to the constitution of this country; and as it was supposed that the Roman 'Catholic religion promoted rebellion against the state, there was a very severe law made to prevent the propagation of it.' Such was the state of things in the reign of, the great Elizabeth; and Popery having, notwithstanding such reflriction, gained ground in the reign of James the second, though the encouragement it then received from the staw, was not equal to what it has now ob
tained, the nation was alarmed ; and the noble and
and resolute stand which the Protestants then made against the advances of Popery, produced the Revolution.
ln the reign of William the Third, the state was thought to be in danger from the encroachments of Rome, to prevent which, the act of parliament was made, which is now, in the most material parts, repealed, and several Protestants being of opinion, that this repeal will, in its consequences, act as an open tole. ration of the Popish religion, they are filled with the most painful apprehensions: they think, that liberty, which they value more than their lives, and which they would pioufly transmit to their children, to be in danger:
they 'are full of the most alarming fears, that '
chains are forging at the anvil of Rome for the rising generation: they fear, that the Papists are undermining our happy constitution : they see the purple power of Rome advancing, by hasty strides, to overspread this oncehappy na; tion: they shudder at the thought of darkness and ignorance, misery and stavery, spreading' their sable 'wings over this highly favoured isle: their souls are pained for their rights and liberties as men; and their hearts tremble for the ark of God. '