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we believe, in which, from the Word of God, we know, they will be involved, --for an earnest yearning of heart for the spiritual and eternal welfare of the Papists! God grant to us more and more the spirit of learning! I rejoice to hear that there are many young persons-a school of boys-with us this morning, those who are just commencing their career of life. Oh, that it may please God so to bless what may be said this day, that they may be as a fresh reserve, to rise up a triumph in this battle, that they may be enabled, by the strength of God, to gain that triumph of truth which we know must ultimately come! (Applause.)
The Earl of Winchilsea seconded the Resolution. He felt the highest gratification at being present at this Meeting, which he had been apprehensive a bad state of health would have prevented him from attending. He could for himself say, that he looked upon the great Protestant principles which this Association was formed to support as the foundation of English greatness and prosperity, not that he estimated her prosperity by mere wealth and power, but by that which was the gem in her national character,her knowledge of the truth. He was happy to see that the warning voice of the Association was raised in a time of national danger, for he believed England had reached a day when her power would totter, unless she retraced her steps. The history of the world, and of what God had done to his own special people, the Jews, might lead them to fear what would fall upon them, if, after all their national blessings, they now cast the truth aside, and placed in its stead that false religion, by casting off which, at the Reformation, the English people became, as he was prepared to prove, God's favoured people. Looking at past proceedings, could any one doubt that the majority of the Members of our Legislature in both Houses were suffering from judicial blindness ? (Cheers.). This country had attained great glory under the reign of that great monarch Queen Elizabeth, the founder of sound Protestant principles in England. God was pre-eminently with that Sovereign, on account of the faith she supported and established in the land, while they found in the reigns of the Stuarts, who succeeded her, a very different state of matters. In consequence of Charles I. allying himself with one who was a zealous adherent of the Roman Catholic faith, the unhappy James II. was led to adopt that religion which brought about his expulsion from his throne and country. (Hear.) The house of Brunswick eventually came to the throne, and what was the title by which they occupied that throne ? Protestantism. (Cheers.) This he would ever avow and maintain ; and he called upon the people of England to rouse themselves at the next election, and to assert those great principles for themselves, seeing that they had been deserted by their leaders, who had apostatized from the defence of the faith. (Cheers.) A strong effort would be made by the Catholic Church again to obtain pre-eminence, and recover its lost power. For himself he would declare, though the result to him should be the scaffold, that, if the members of the house of Brunswick abjured and deserted Protestantism, he would, in the name of God, declare the throne to be vacant. (Cheers.) The maintenance of the true scriptural faith had brought down on this country great national blessings, and a departure from that faith would lead to the withdrawal of those blessings. (Hear.) He believed the character of Popery was little known in England; he had seen it in its true colours on the Continent; and in Ireland, he believed, there was such an under-current going on that, if they had an honest and firm Government to give security to persons and property, a great body of the people would abandon that faith and become Protestants. (Cheers.) Could any one doubt that the Catholic Emancipation Act and the Maynooth grant had brought down the judgments of God on the land ? They could not suppose that the deplorable state of Ireland would be confined to that country. It was fast approaching our own shores, not merely in the high price of provisions, but in the fever which was spreading among all grades of the people. (Hear. It was the duty, therefore, of every individual to remove the causes of those sad calamities. Much would depend on the next election. (Cheers.) They had a strong body arrayed against them, for it was not only the powers of Popery they had to resist, but the forces of Infidelity, and Socinianism, and Unitarianism, all banded together for one object,—the destruction of true Protestantism. (Cheers.) He thanked the Noble Lord, the descendant of one of the most ancient Roman Catholic families in this country, for the open, manly, and plain declaration he had made as to the object of his Church. (Cheers.) Could any one doubt who knew Popery, that if it once possessed the power, it would do its utmost to effect the total destruction of Protestantism ? (Cheers.) He took a most gloomy view of the present aspect of the situation of the country, and he looked not for any human help; but he knew that God was merciful, and if they turned to him, even at the very last hour of hope, they would receive that assistance of which they stood so much in need. (Cheers.)
The Resolution was then put, and unanimously agreed to.
The Rev. C. Prest moved the following Resolution :-" That the members and friends of this Association have felt that Popery, being opposed to the written Word of God, must also be opposed to the best interests of men, whether as nations or individuals. That in the present calamitous condition of Ireland, when her people are enduring a degree of misery almost unparalleled in the history of nations, this Meeting desires to express its deepest sympathy for their suffering brethren, and feels itself under a solemn obligation to declare its conviction that the frightful misery now desolating that country may be traced in part to the principles and policy which the Court and Church of Rome have adopted and acted upon since the Reformation, with the view of making Ireland the means of coercing and enslaving the British empire, and that it should be also regarded as a manifestation of the Divine displeasure for the guilt of the land, and the sinfulness of the nation in endowing the idolatries of the Church of Rome.”
He was not inclined to take such a gloomy view of the aspect of affairs as the Noble Earl who preceded him ; at the same time he would be very sorry to underrate the difficulties which beset them. There was a wild Liberalism in the present day which was a serious obstacle to the growth of true Protestant principles. True liberality bowed in homage to the Bible, whilst a false liberalism got
rid of the Bible altogether, and corrupted some men of noble minds but of little experience. (Hear, hear.) There were many specious advocates of Popery in our day, many very clever men, who were well adapted to discharge the task which they had imposed upon themselves. They had been told that all that was said on the part of the Protestant Association, concerning the danger to which they were exposed, was needless,—that they were altogether fighting with a shadow. They were told that the force of public opinion was now such that Popery would be utterly unable to exhibit itself in the character of a persecutor again in this country as in the olden times. He would ask, if this were true, to whom were they indebted for such a state of public feeling ? Was it Protestantism or Popery that had wrought this change? (Hear, hear.) If it were Protestantism, ought they not to love her with greater affection and strengthen themselves for her support? (Hear, hear.) Mr. Bickersteth had spoken of the liberal character of the Pope. It was true that his Holiness was doing a little in his own dominions that might entitle him to that expression ; but whenever he spoke and acted as Pope, he was as strong an instance of bigotry as any of his prede
A liberal Pope was a contradiction in terms; a liberal Pope was, in fact, an impossibility. No liberal man could be a good Pope: his very liberality would disqualify him for the office. (Cheers.) The fact was, Popery knew nothing of liberality, though she had made a great pretence of it since it came into fashion; and if any other thing were to get into fashion that could aid her in her purposes, she would adopt it too. It had been very much the fashion to call sincere Protestants bigots. Well, he was a bigot too, and he wanted no more liberality in his constitution as a public man than the liberality of an unflinching adherence to the truth,--no more liberality than that of Luther and the Reformers, and other excellent men like them. (Cheers.) They were not to be frightened at the difficulties which appeared to surround them, for there were many who aggravated the danger in their eyes to prevent their action and deter them from the battle ; and those who did that were, for the most part, men who had apostatized from Protestantism, and some other men, not the main actors, but the instruments employed by hidden agents, who would paralyze Protestants in order to carry on their own nefarious schemes. (“ Hear, hear," and cheers.) Heavy assaults had been made upon the citadel of Protestantism in this country, but that citadel was not yet decayed. The constitution of the country was yet Protestant, though there were unfaithful men within the citadel. (Cheers.)
(Cheers.) There were traitors within the walls, and shame rest upon them for their cowardice and dishonesty! (Cheers.) He respected the Noble Earl who spoke so openly in the House of Commons; he respected those who had left the Church and gone to Rome. (Cheers.) He respected their conduct, as having something gentlemanly in it; but he utterly despised the men who, whilst eating the bread of the Protestant Church of the country, and remaining in it, brought by their doctrines and practices, alien to it, reproach on that which was honourable, and introduced weakness into that which ought to be a tower of strength. (Great cheering.) He would say,
let such men go. (Cheers.) There were some such left, but they were the minority, and they were better understood than they were some time ago, and the laity were against them. The Rev. Gentleman, after referring with satisfaction to the education movement at Cheltenhan, and the strong energetic Evangelism which characterized the true members and ministers of the Church of England, observed, that in other denominations of Christians there was much sound Protestantism, and they would find among them, as, for example, among the Wesleyans, to which body he belonged, strong and powerful opposition, to the inroads of Popery. (Cheers.) Не wondered if any one in Parliament thought Protestantism would be tamely surrendered. Such views as those he knew would be called intolerant, but if he had not a spark of religion about him, he would, as a Britou and a politician, oppose Popery. (Cheers.) They would not surrender their Protestantism, and of this they would give earnest proof at the next election. (Cheers.) He knew that it was no easy matter to get right-minded candidates. There were many men who did not like Parliamentary life, though well fitted to discharge its duties, and who were averse to being placed in a situation where they might be subjected to scoffings of such wits as Mr. Macaulay and his fraternity. (Hear.) But he did not doubt many good men would be found to undertake the duty. Their Chairman had taken up his cross there, and had been able to bear it. (Cheers.) What they wanted were other men to take up their cross and to bear it as heroically as he had done. (Cheers.) For several years the Protestantism of this country had not been represented in Parliament (hear); and if they sent back the same men to another Parliament, let them not come forward next year to complain of it. (Cheers.)
ADMIRAL DufF.-But a few hours arrived in town, and called upon to second the Resolution, I do so with great satisfaction, unwilling to allow any opportunity to escape of witnessing to the truth. I view with much pleasure the great assemblage present on this occasion, and am happy to learn that similar Meetings have taken place in several of our large towns. I would beg to advert to a circumstance already noticed by two previous speakers,—the honest declaration made by my Lord Arundel, a Romanist, in his place in Parliament, that his Church and party would never be satisfied until they once more had gained the ascendancy in this realm, which, on being noticed by a Protestant Member, his Lordship (it is supposed schooled by a whisper from an Hon. Member) endeavoured to explain away, by saying that it was only by fair argument he meant Romanism should prevail. This, however, was not allowed to pass, for an Hon. Member (Mr. Spooner) immediately remarked that Popish priests did not permit their flocks the privilege of thinking or speaking on the subject of religion. I look upon this declaration of Lord Arundel's as one of the utmost importance, proceeding from such a quarter at such a crisis as the present, indeed, as a providential exposition of the sentiments of the Pope and his priests, one which has never yet escaped any of our opponents. His Lordship has torn the painted mask off the face of Popery, and exposed the horrid features hid behind. I trust that his Lordship will have the effect of opening the eyes of many to
the real nature and aims of the Popish party. One of the most marvellous circumstances in these marvellous times, is the disbelief of many of our senators, as well as others, in the machinations of Papists, and their unceasing attempts to destroy the Protestantism of the country, and with it, our civil and religious liberties. Such, opinions can only be entertained by those who are ignorant of history, who build their opinions on the artful professions of priests and Jesuits incessantly and industriously circulated in every society and at every opportunity. The grand sentiment or opinion they wish to possess the public of is, that Popery, has changed its character, that it is no longer the persecuting religion of former times, but entertains a kindly feeling to all ; and, unfortunately, they find dupes in abundance to believe their falsehoods. Why, Sir, Popery cannot change; the Canons of Trent are the rule of the present as much as they were then, and the Popes in succession, from that period to the present, have, by their Encyclical Letters and other documentary evidence, authoritatively, declared this truth. The Pope cannot surrender his claim to iņfallibility. This is the corner-stone of the whole dupery. Those who entertain the opinion that Popery is changed, do so, then, not only without evidence, but contrary to all evidence. Have we not the evidence of history to prove the murderous extinction of Protestantism by Papists at the bidding of their chief in Italy, in Spain, in France, in Poland, in Germany,-in short, over the whole globe where they could exercise power; and, at the present, has not Popery shown the animus to be the same? The proceedings of the Pope's emissaries in Otaheite, in Madeira, and in Ireland, amply prove this. In short, my fellow, countrymen, let me persuade you to unite as one man in resisting Popery, and give your votes accordingly at the coming election, for, be assured, that the day of conflict is not far distant.
Rev, Hugh M.NEILE, D.D.-Sir, I have been requested to move, “ That at this crisis it is more especially the bounden duty of every elector to exercise the elective franchise as a solemn and sacred trust reposed in him, for the glory of God and the good of his country, That the more mature development of the designs of the Church of Rome renders it imperative upon Protestants to return those to Parliament who will oppose Popery, extend the cause of scriptural Christianity, and uphold the Protestant institutions of the country in Church and State."
This, Sir, is a practical Resolution, and I am glad of it; for I think the time for making speeches in this Hall upon this subject is past, and the time for action is fully come. Our adversaries laugh our speeches to scorn.
There liave been statements made in this Hall,* and elsewhere in this kingdom, corroborated by documentary evidence, which cannot be gainsayed, proving in the face of England what the Church of Rome is, according to her own showing, considered both religiously
* These fearful statements are given at length in the “ Letter Dedicatory to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty of the Laws of the Papacy, set up by the Romish Bishops in Ireland, in 1832, to Subvert the Authority of their Lawful Sovereign.” By the Rev. R. J. M'Ghee. "Just published by the Protestant Association, and earnestly recommended to the serious consideration of all classes of the community. Vol. IX.-June, 1847.
New Seriess No. 18.