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by it. But if one only views the matter as a bargain between two parties, was it not a compact required by the Protestants as the price of emancipation, which was granted on the faith that those who would thereby receive such great benefit would keep to their engagements in spirit and in letter? In the transactions of life it sometimes happens that an arrangement is entered into, where those on one side discover afterwards that there are means of evading certain onerous terms contained in the compact; but if these have been stipulated for by the other parties to the contract, as the conditions for which certain benefits are granted by them, would it be just for those who receive and retain the advantages, to avail themselves of a mode to get rid of the conditions to which they had agreed when the spirit of the bargain demanded that they should faithfully fulfil them? Those by whom the oath was framed, at least, intended that it should shield the Church against the power of attack which emancipation laid it open to, and the Roman Catholics received it as if it were either so understood by them, or as if we should, at least, suppose that it was accepted by them in this light. The Protestants could, and would, have successfully opposed the passing of that measure, had not the Roman Catholics stated, that granting it would take away any wish on their parts to assault our Church. It will be for the country to judge whether they have acted up to their engagements in this matter. Although I have remarked, there are two opinions as to the obligations imposed by the oath taken by the Roman Catholic members of Parliament, yet one can hardly see how it can in any way be made to sanction the support of a measure which the minister himself, in
introducing, avows to be “ a heavy blow and great discouragement to Protestantism.” It is as follows:
" ], A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will “ be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King “ George the Fourth, and will defend him to the utmost “of my power against all conspiracies and attempts what“ever, which shall be made against his person, crown, or “ dignity: And I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose “ and make known to his Majesty, his heirs and succes. “sors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which may “ be formed against him or them: And I do faithfully pro“mise to maintain, support, and defend, to the utmost of “my power, the succession of the crown, which succession, “ by an act intituled 'An Act for the further Limitation “ of the Crown, and better securing the Rights and "Liberties of the Subject,' is and stands limited to the “ Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and the heirs of “ her body, being Protestants; hereby utterly renouncing “and abjuring any obedience or allegiance unto any other “person claiming or pretending a right to the crown of “ this realm : And I do further declare, that it is not “ an article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, “and abjure the opinion, that princes excommunicated or “ deprived by the Pope, or any other authority of the see “of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, “or by any person whatsoever: And I do declare, that I “ do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other “ foreign prince, prelate, person, state, or potentate, “ hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, “ power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indi“ rectly, within this realm. I do swear, that I will defend
“ to the utmost of my power the settlement of property “ within this realm, as established by the laws: And I do “ hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure any “ intention to subvert the present Church establishment as “ settled by law within this realm: And I do solemnly “swear, that I never will exercise any privilege to which “I am or may become entitled, to disturb or weaken the “ Protestant religion or Protestant government in the “ United Kingdom: And I do solemnly, in the presence “ of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this “ declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and “ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any “evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever.
“So help me GOD." I believe that the Roman Catholics disclaim any desire to obtain the tithe or property of the Protestant establishment, yet, in their Remonstrance, the twenty-nine gentlemen “INSIST" upon both Churches being placed upon the most“ perfect equality,” without telling us how this is to be brought about. I presume, by abolishing the payment of tithes, and appropriating Church lands to other uses: would this, however, accomplish the object? And have these parties a right to make the demand? Is it not perfectly just to tell those amongst them who are Roman Catholics, that they have received the price for which they engaged to leave the Church unmolested? And to those Protestants who enjoy the unenviable notoriety of joining them in helping to pull it down, that if they or their party advocated the Roman Catholic claims, they tacitly guaranteed the promises and engagements made in their name, which induced Parliament to pass the Emancipation Bill; and are therefore equally barred as regards such a demand? But it could not be carried into effect, as I shall shew, without making such changes in the constitution as may possibly not have been contemplated. The Roman Catholic bishops repudiate the idea on the part of their Church of receiving any provision whatever from the state, should such a project be thought of, or to submit to be controlled by it in any way. The Romish Bishop of Meath, on the subject of a stipend, is reported to have spoken at Sarn as follows :-“As to the intention of making a state provision for the Catholic clergy, it was a thing to which they would never submit; and he would take upon himself to declare, on the part of all the bishops in Ireland, that they would receive such a proposition with horror and indignation.” How then would it be proposed to pay the Protestant clergy, who hare not the means of obtaining a revenue like the priests of the church of Rome, from masses, indulgences, confessions, candles, &c.? They must depend upon a stipend from the country; but this at once interferes with the perfect equality insisted on as so necessary: and, as to the Roman Catholic hierarchy, it could hardly be expected that the bishops could be admitted to the House of Peers, their nomination not depending on the sovereign of the country, but on the will of the pope. How, then, is this difficulty to be got over? Deprive the Irish bishops of their seats in Parliament? But the Act of Union would, I take it, be thereby infringed, as those who in right of it sit as peers, have the same claim to do so as any English bishop: therefore there seems to be no way of managing this perfect equality demanded by the parties to the Remonstrance, except by the removal of the English bishops also, so that there may be in future no spiritual peers, unless those whom the pope shall naine have also an equal voice in framing our laws; and this is the point to which I am desirous of drawing attention, as one proof of the impossibility of interfering with the Church of Ireland, without not only endangering the rights of the establishment in England, but the union with Ireland also. O'Connell is not one who overlooks the accession of strength which his party would obtain, by any concession as regards the Irish Church, which might tend to estrange its followers from their alliance with us; therefore it is that nothing is left untried by those who work for him to accomplish this point: and amongst these some calling themselves Protestants are to be found, upon the plea that the Church of Ireland as at present established is unjust. Let us examine this charge a little, and see to what it amounts. Most people know that formerly the religion of this country was, like that of the majority in Ireland, Roman Catholic.
Henry VIII. having determined to reform the Church, and having the power to do so, decided that the state religion should be the same in all parts of his dominions; it therefore became a law for the Irish as well as for us: no harsher measure was meted out to Ireland than was inflicted upon England. The English were perhaps less inclined to resist the change, from having had more opportunity of getting glimpses of the new light handed down to them from the time of the preaching of the Lollards ; if the reformation made less progress in Ireland than in England, it was probably owing to this, and also that