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distress closing the scene, and filling up the measure of calamities! Such are the missortunes inseparable from war,—misfortunes which induced the great St. Paul to exhort the Christians in the following manner: "I exhort, there*' fore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, "intercessions be made for all men, for kings, "and all that are in authority; that we may "lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness "and honesty." * And such should be the constant prayer of a Christian.
But what, my brethren, if the enemy's sword glittered in our streets, and that to the licentiousness of a foreign foe we added domestic dissensions! If the sound of the enemy's trumpet would be drowned in the cries and shrieks of the injured neighbour whom we ourselves would be the first to oppress! Would not war itself lose its terrors, when compared to such outrages? And the calamities we would bring on ourselves, would not they surpass those which would pour in upon us from foreign nations? Such, nevertheless, are the fears that hauqt us. Both Protestants and Catholics declare, that in cafe of an invasion, the common people are the greatest cause of their alarms -, not from dread of your superior power, but from the sad necessity they would be under, of punishing those
whom • i Tim. chap, a.
whom they are willing to protect, and the general confusion that would disturb the peace and tranquillity of the rich, and draw down inevitable destruction on the poor. For in such an unfortunate juncture, every Catholic possessed of a feather bed, and commodious habitation, would Join his protestant neighbour in their mutual defence. The aggregate body of them would not be a match for regular forces, yet' they would be an over-match for you. They would unite in one common cause; you would be divided amongst yourselves, .exposed to each other's encroachments, and overpowered by all parties.
Such, my brethren, would be your situation, (hould you be unhappy enough to strike from the path of a peaceable and Christian conduct. Forbid it Heaven, that it should be ever your case! I conceive better hopes of you. Your unshaken loyalty under the most trying circumstances—the calm and quietness that reigned in your peaceful huts scattered up and down the extensive counties of Cork and Kerry, where the Catholics are poor and numerous, whilst other parts of the kingdom were infested with Uoughers, White Boys, Hearts of Oak and Steel, and alarmed at the continual sight of judges, chains and gibbets—the quiet and peaceable manner in which you behaved on a late occasion, sion, when you imagined the enemy at your doors; all these circumstances are pledges of your loyalty and good conduct, and happy omens of your steady perseverance in the same line.
Your bishops and clergy 'have enforced the doctrine of peace, subordination, and loyalty from the sacred altars, where the least lie would be a sacrilege, and crime of the first magnitude. The Catholic gentlemen have set forth the example to you. Both have bound themselves to king and government, by the most sacred ties. They have fouls to be saved, and would be sorry to lose them by wilful perjury: they who would be on a level with their Protestant neighbours, if they took but the qualification-oath against the conviction of their consciences.
But the doctrine and example of the learned, prudent, and better fort of your profession, should be the only rule of your conduct: for in all countries, the generality of the common people are ill qualified to judge or determine for themselves. They are easily governed by the fenses; hurried by their passions; and milled by a wild and extravagant fancy that intrudes itself into the province of Reason.
Far be it from me to suspect you for any design to avail yourselves of the calamities of your
nation, or to commit, in time of war, a robbery which you would detest in time of peace. Is the crime less heinous, because it is committed against a neighbour, who is doubly miserable from the terrors of a foreign foe, and the outrageous assaults of a treacherous fellow-subject?
. When the soldiers asked St. John the Baptist, what they should do? He desired them, "to "do violence to no man; not to accuse any "one falsely; and to be content wish their "wages."* Hence all divines are agreed, that the empire of justice is so extensive, that war itself must acknowledge its authority. Kings, in declaring war, make a solemn appeal to the tribunal of Heaven, for the justice of their cause. The soldier cannot, in consequence, plunder or oppress the merchant or husbandman in his enemy's country : he must strictly abide by the orders of his commander. If justice, then, in certain circumstances, must sheath the enemy's sword, how much more forcibly must it not restrain the citizen's hand from invading what he cannot enjoy without guilt here, and punishment hereafter ?—A punishment the more to be dreaded, as perhaps there would be no time for restitution and repentance!—Indispensibie obligations, to which every robber is liable, and without which he has no mercy to expect. But if a robbery committed on a private man, deserve * St. Luke, chap. Tiii.