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(5) The reasons advanced to recommend the projected measure having been of this character; the vindication of him who deemed it expedient to withold his concurrence in it, may be briefly effected. In the hearing with which I was indulged, in giving it my most determined opposition; I took leave to state four reasons, which seemed in my judgment, to render any address at that conjuncture, “ to the two Houses of Parliament,” not merely inexpedient, but highly unadvisable.
1. An express pledge had been given by the ministry, that the question would not be agitated by them, in the present Session.
2. It had been asserted, upon credible authority, that the cabinet was constituted, with an explicit exclusion of the measure.
3. Assurance had been given, from the highest sources, that scruples existed to its receiving the Royal assent, if it passed the two Houses of Parliament.
4. Notice of a motion was already before the Upper House which we met to petition ; before which it was brought, with the avowed object of embarrassing those to whom the King had committed the administration of his Government.
On this last point, my main stand was taken, in invoking the assembly, to preserve a strict neutrality;—to abstain from setting their signatures to an instrument, in subscribing which, they could bear no other appearance, but that of interposing in a political and party question ;-in imploring them to pause, before they exposed themselves to the charge of entering into a cabal, against an administration, which the King deemed not undeserving of his confidence. *
* I mean not to conceal, that some distrust was expressed in
This appeal, though without an answer, was notwithstanding without the desired effect. When the momentary irritation produced by the adoption of the term cabal, had subsided, which I had however, cautiously applied, but to the appearanee which the convention assumed; the question in favor of the project was put and carried, with a few dissentient voices. And after an interval of a day it was my mishap further to learn, at the visitation of the Arch-deacon, who had occupied the chair at the late meeting, that the number of my reverend brethren with whom I stood committed, was even more formidable; the several Archdeaconries of the Diocese, having simultanenously agreed to petition against further concession to Roman Catholics. As to the reasons, which were then delivered ex cathedra to recommend the measure, while I admit that they embraced the whole strength of the question ; it is unnecessary to comment upon them in this place, as they are disposed of in the course of the subjoined observations. It will be sufficient to state here, that nothing was then advanced of sufficient weight, to induce me to retrace my steps, or repent of the hostile position which I had occupied. As precluded from making any observation or reply, by the circumstances in which I now found myself placed;
the principles of the ministry, and the occasion was accord. ingly seized, not merely of repelling the imputation, but of doing justce to the taste and logic of a rival statesman, who, in substantiating his “ unanswerable” charge of inconsistency, fastened on a figure of speech, and made it the basis of his ratiocination; and accordingly selected for his animadversions, the image of a new world, called into existence. On that happy confusion of intellect, which discovered a contradictiom, between the disavowal of having any part in the deliverance, and the boast of taking the first part in recognising the independence of the S. American states, it was inexpedient to enlarge.
in being reduced, from the rank of a debater, to the humble state of a receiver of instruction; I am thus unavoidably drawn into the vindication of opinions which were delivered solely in the former character, and in a discussion, on which I only entered, upon an express requisition to canvas its merits.
Though I cannot but presume, that some very grave cause, must have impelled the reverend heads of the several Archdeaconries to this simultaneous movement ; while I cannot but think, it would have comported more with their known prudence and wisdom, to have rested on their oars before they adventured in so troublous an element: yet, as it must remain perfectly apocryphal to one who can discover no reason that should not have induced them to rest in a silent neutrality, it cannot have any weight in influencing my determinations, to bring the question to a different issue, to prove
“ That what I once durst do, I dare to justify.” If we are to take the strange coincidence in their movement, as an evidence of identity in their sentiments, on the great question of state, in which they intermeddle; and to judge of their weight by the specimen which led the Archdea, conry of Essex to the close of their deliberations : I shall not, I believe, require a very labored defence, to effect my vindication from the charge of pertinacious singularity, in declining to make a common cause with the petitioners, had their numbers been multiplied beyond calculation.
In handling the subject, it shall be my object to detach it, as far as I find it possible, from mere political considerations; and to regard it exclusively in its ecclesiastical bearing. With the importance of the contest in which I embark, the learned body with whom I find myself implicated,
great and to
seem fully impressed ; and as the truth is best elicited by the collision of contrary opinions, to to the opponent of those which I now avow, I have only to declare:
Tantane tam patiens nullo certamine tolli
PRITTLEWELL, MAY; 23. 1827.
CONSEQUENCES APPREHENDED FROM CONCESSION
TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS. .
The advocates for the repeal of the degrading and sanguinary code, by which the great body of R. Catholic subjects stand proscribed, are regarded by the opponents of their prayers for emancipation, as secret conspirators against the constitution. They in their turn are disposed to impute to the vague and vulgar errors which are maintained on the nature of their claims upon the legislature, the inveteracy of the feeling with which they are resisted.
In the different representations of the subject, to which apprehension and fancy give birth, it is amusing to behold the variegated hues in which it presents itself, according to the light in which it is viewed, and the medium through which it is regarded. At one time, the intolerant spirit of the Romish Church, and her proscription of the Reformed Church is chosen as the theme of invective. To the phantasy of some of these sage prophets of evil, it presents itself in the shape of a monster, ravening for blood and slaughter; the very apocalyptic beast' at which the world wondereth.” In the visions of others, the fires of persecution are seen rekindled, and myriads of our saints devoted to the horrors of death in torments.
As it seems unreasonable to expect, that the claims of our church, to primitive and apostolical