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remembrance of an early acquaintance has cemented our friendship anev. We are restored once more to our native isle, floating in an ocean of politics, and exhibiting as great a variety of religions, opinions, and sentiments, as you have seen curiosities at the fair of St. Ovid's in Paris.
What party shall we side? What plan shall We pursue? if we treat as enemies all those whose persuasion is different from ours, the number of our friends will be but small. Let us then be retainers to dean Swift's doctrine. Let the Christians agree in the points allowed on all fides, as much as they differ with regard to private opinions, and dissensions shall be soon at an end. They all agree, that the first of their laws, is a law of eternal love, expanding into sentiments of benevolence, and teaching its votaries to return affection for hatred, and good for evil} that it is a divine legacy bequeathed by their common Redeemer to liis followers; and that Christians, cemented together by the blood of a God, should be never divided.
This is a point of doctrine liable to no controversy. Oh! could it be enforced on the mind! factions would soon expire, and Charity ascend the throne, holding broils, dissensions,
slanders, slanders, calumnies at her feet, as so many captives in chains,
* Toleration in a popish priest!' If by toleration is meant indifference as to religion, God forbid! In this fense it implies an error; and though it makes a great figure in the disputes among divines, yet in two words we can ascertain its degrees and measures. Let us never tolerate error in ourselves: let us pity it in our neighbours. "Detest the error," fays St. /Vugustin, "but love the man." For in the conflict of different opinions that will divide the world to the end of time, Christian Charity still asserts her prerogatives. Her oily balsam heals the rankling ulcer caused by a religious inflammation, and attenuates the black and viscous humours whiph so. often degenerate into an evangelical spleen.
But, if by toleration we mean impunity, safety, and protection granted by the state, to every sect that does not maintain doctrines inconsistent with the public peace, the rights of sovereigns, and the safety of our neighbour, to such a toleration I give my patronacy ; and expect that the following proofs of the articles of .the test, will evince the justness of entitling the Roman Catholics to the lenity of government, and the confidence of their fellow-subjects.
r The OATH Of ALLEGIANCE.
"I, A. B. do take Almighty God to witness, "that I will be faithful and bear true allegi-. ** ance to our most gracious Sovereign Lord, *c King George the Third, and him will de"fend to the utmost of my power, against "all conspiracies and attempts, whatever, "that shall be made against his person, crown "and dignity."
Although I should never swear any allegiance in form, yet there is an original and natural allegiance from subject to king; a debt that forbids all conspiracies and treasonable practices * against his person, crown and dignity.' At my birth I was under his protection; and in a tender infancy,- when I could not protect myself, I was shielded by his name. His tribunals are still open to secure my life and liberty ;. and as there is an implied contract between king and subject, my oath does not change the nature of my obligations. It only strengthens the civil band by the tie of religion, and superadds to treason the guilt of perjury in the transgressors. . V This This obligation is corroborated by the positive injunctions of the scripture, enforcing obedience to the prince whose image is stamped on his' coin, and grounded on the laws of the nation, which, from the earliest periods, have transferred the subject's allegiance to the king, for the time being, and declared it high treason in a subject to attempt any thing even against an usurper, while he is in full possession of the sovereignty. This the laws have wisely ordained, in order to prevent anarchy and confusion; because the common people cannot judge of the king's title. But here I thrust my fickle into' the civilian's field, though in the end, oaths of allegiance should be determined by the laws and maxims of the realm, as well as by principles of divinity*. Further, let it be remarked, that the foundation of this decision has been laid in Catholic times; and that in applying it to the actual circumstances, I do not mean to distinguish between the right and fact in our most gracious sovereign. I only argue a minori admajus, to shew the guilt of attempting any thing against a lawful sovereign, whereas it is high treason to conspire against an usurper.
The famous distinction between " rex de "jure," and " rex de facto," how interesting soever in the times of the contending families
* Vide Blackstone's Commentaries, book I. chap. 10. Coke, 3 Inst. 7. Kel. rep. 15. .
of York and Lancaster, James IL and William III. is now of as much importance, as this great question so warmly debated among our grave moralists: "Who is happier, a king awake, "6i a cobler asleep, who dreams that he is a *! king?" I do not choose to disturb the rest of sleeping monarcbs, and whoever has a relish for dreams, has my consent, though I like more solid food.