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ON THE FORE GOING
LETTER AND DEFENCE.
: Addressed to the CONDUCTORS of the FREE-PRESS..
I KNOW that it is loss of time, and a loss to the public,-impatient for a paper' in which they reader first discovered the outlines of their country's rights, and from whence they daily expect new illustrations, on the most important subjects,- to take up the Freeman's Journal with idle controversy. Were controversy alone the subject, I should be the last to enter the list.
." In your paper, which has already made its way to the continent, on account of the late exertions of the Irish, and which should contain nothing unworthy the nervous eloquence and liberal principles of your numerous and learned
correspondents, Mr. Wesley, in a syllogistical method, and the jargon of the schools, has arraigned the Catholics all over the world, with their kings and subjects, their prelates and doctors, as liars, perjurers, patentees of guilt and perjury, authorized by their priests to violate the sacred rules of order and justice; and unworthy of being tolerated even by Turks and Pagans *. Such a charge carries with it, its own confutation. But are there not prejudiced i people still in the world? The nine skins of parchment, filled with the names of petitioners against the English Catholics, owe the variety of their signatures, to pulpit declamationsand inflammatory pamphlets, teeming with Mr. Wesley's false assertions: and, to the difgrace of the peerage, in this variety of signatures, is not the lord's hand-writing stretched near the scratch of the cobler's awl? For the parchment would be profaned, if the man who does not know how to write, made the sign of
I am a member of that communion which Mr. Wesey aspersed in fo cruel a manner. I disclaimed upon oath, in presence of judge Henn, the creed which Mr. Wesley attributes to me. I have been the firft to unravel the intricacies of that very oath of allegiance
proposed * See Mr. Wesley's letter, page 193. , .
WESLEY'S LETTER, ETC. 209 proposed to the Roman Catholics : as it is worded in a manner which, at first sight, seems abstruse. And, far from believing it lawful to “ violate faith with heretics,” I folemnly swear, without equivocation, or the danger of perjury, that, in a Catholic country, where I was chap-, lain of war, I thought it a crime to engage the king of England's soldiers or failors into the service of a Catholic' monarch, against their Protestant sovereign. I resisted the solicitations, and ran the risk of incurring the displeasure of a minister of state, and losing my pension : and my conduct was approved by all the divines in a monastery to which I then belonged, who all unanimously declared, that, in conscience, I could not have behaved otherwise.
- Mr. Wesley may consider me as a fictitious character : but should he follow his precursor, (I inean his letter, wafted to us over the British channel) and on his million from Dublin to Bandon, make Cork his way,--doctor Berkely, Parish minister, near Middleton,---captains Stanner, French, and others, who were prifoners of war, in the lame place, and at the same time,--can fully satisfy him as to the reality of my existence, in the line already described, and that in the beard which I then wore, and which, like that of fir Thomas More, never committed any tre2f011, I never con
P . . cealed cealed either poison or dagger to destroy my Proteftant neighbour; though it was long enough to set all Scotland in a blaze, and to deprive lord G***** G***** of his fenfes.
Should any of the Scotch missionaries attend Mr. Wesley into this kingdom, and bring with them any of the ftumps of the fagots with which Henry the eighth, his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, and the learned James the first, roasted the heretics of their times in Smithfield, or some of the fagots with which the Scotch faints, of whose proceedings Mr. Wesley is become the apologist, have burnt the houses of their inoffensive Catholic neighbours, we will convert them to their proper use. In Ireland the revolution of the great Platonic year is almoft completed. Things are re-instated in their primitive order. And the fagot, which, without any mission from Christ, preached the gospel by orders of Catholic and Protestant kings, is confined to the kitchen. Thus, what formerly roasted the man at the stake, now helps to feed him. And nothing but the severity of winter, and the coldness of the climate in Scotland, could juftify Mr. Wesley in urging the rabble to light it. This is a bad time to introduce it amongst us, when we begin to be formidable to our foes, and united amongst ourselves. And to the glory of Ireland be it