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Tam afraid, Gentlemen, that you mind your own souls and bodies more than you mind those of others. To rouse you from your spiritual lethargy, and inflame you with some sparks of love for your neighbour, I send you a piece of a sermon taken from the "Appeal of the Associations.'
After deploring the loss of millions of common people, "who are prohibited from reading the scriptures,' (though it were charity to teach then first how to spell,) and who have • souls as infinite, in value and duration, as the proudest pre. • lates, or highest monarchs upon earth,'—they go on : 'to
tolerate Popery, is to be instrumental to the perdition of * immortal souls now existing, and of millions of spirits that
at present have no existence but in the prescience of God; 6 and is the direct way to provoke the vengeance of an holy
and jealous God, to bring down destruction on our feets ' and armies."* I really imagined that the Protestant associations were not so cruel as to refuse me mercy, and exclude ine from the kingdom of heaven, if I lead an honest, sober, and virtuous life. I am convinced, that several of Admiral Rodney's sailors are Roman Catholics, and that the bullets which told so well, in mauling poor Langara, were fired by hands that crossed a Popish forehead. Oliver Cromweli, seeking the Lord, and preaching upon the Sabbath-day, in a leather breeches and buff waistcoat, with his trusty sabre by his side,t did not scruple to enter into a confederacy with Cardinal Mazarini, against the Spaniards: it was equal to England which of the two was foremost in the breach, the French Dragoon with his whiskers, after saying Hail Mary, or the Round-head with his leather cap, after groaning in the spirit. Spain lost Dunkirk, and England triumphed.
King William, who, to' his honour, could never be prevailed on to violate the articles of Limerick, had six thousand Roman Catholics in his army, when he fought the battle of the Boyne; and the Catholics and Protestants of Switzerland maintain their independence against all the powers of the Continent, in consequence of their union. But the Protestant Association, like Ezekiel, have swallowed a book
* See the “ Appeal from the Protestant Associations,” page 18, and cry out Obone ! ebone! obone !
+ See Gregorio Leti, in his Life of Cromwell.
in which are written verses, and lamentations, and woe! Already their luminous souls, enlightened by the prophetic spirit, see future times unlocking their distant gates, and pouring forth millions of monsters; and from a desire to procure the salvation of Adam's children, it is to be dreaded, that, at long run, they will imitate the holy fanatics of Denmark, who, in order to procure heaven for young infants, after being bap. tized, used to slaughter them in their cradles.
GENTLEMEN, As a colour to your disorderly and unwarrantable pro. ceedings, you impose on the ignorant by your cant words of violation of faith with heretics. Like Boileau's heroes, you are ransacking old books, canvassing legends of exaggerated massacres,* and like scholars, who, after repeating their lesson, Aling about the bones and skulls piled up in charnel houses, you haunt the living with the images of the dead. Modern philosophy proves the existence of colours in the eye, but not in exterior objects; what is true in the physical world, is more so in your system of ethics--the purple hue and black dye in which you would fain misrepresent us to our king and the public, are the result of your organs; and
* In their Appeal they relate that a hundred thousand Protestants were massacred in 1641; at that time there were thirty Catholics for every Protestant, and a huudred es. caped for every single Protestant that perished. Let now a balance be struck, and the numbers of inhabitants calculated, and Ireland must have been but one large city, as crowded as the streets of Rome, in the times of Marius and Sylla. This massacre, which should be effaced froin the records of the nation, as well as froin the menory of man, was begun by a fanatical soldiery, who intended to extirpate the Papists and malignants. Whoever has a wind to be informed about this massacre, may read Doctor Warner, Mr. Brooke's Trial of the Roman Catholics, and Doctor Curry's Historical Mc. moirs, aud his History of the Civil Wars of Ireland. But whoever has a wind to be led astray, let him read Sir Johu Teinple's (Secretary to Ireton) stupid legend. The Appeal of the Protestant Associations and Hume's theatrical Description, who, bevertheJess, reduces greatly the number, which could never amount to five or six thousand. He relates, that in latred to the English, the Irish used to WOUND THEIR COWS, and in this torturing situation turn them into the woods to prolong their sufferings. In ay opinion, under such a government as was then, they wanted more to eat them. And I am sorry that the gravity of the Historian has permitted Mr. Hume to rank cows ainungst the MARTYRS OF RELIGION.
the abortives you lay at our doors, derive their existence from yourselves. You would fain deprive us of the rights of mankind, for crimes we never committed ; for thoughts which wé disclaim, and whereof the Scrutinizer and Searcher of hearts is the only competent judge. Thus you imitate the tyrant, who put an inoffensive citizen to death, because in his uneasy slumbers, disturbed by the guilt of injuries offered to others, he dreamt that he was cutting his throat. Our actions are the best exponents of our sentiments : our conduct is peaceable ; but, as for you, your actions and conduct betray you, as the roaring, and impression of his claws, betray the lion. And woe to the game that is unprotected by the keeper! in an enlightened age, when the cheerful eyes of philosophy and religion cannot bear the sight of frantic fanaticism, banished from all quarters of Europe, it found shelter among you, with its distorted features, and nu. merous train of calamities and evils. Generous hosts ! and worthy of such a guest, you sheltered, you warmed, you gave new life, to a refugee entitled to your patronage. And as, a prodigal child, thrivivgill in foreign countries, you received with the arms of a tender parent, you clad him in his first robes, you killed a fat calf, which the burning rafters of your neighbours' houses lave roasted, and at his reception the symphony of pious raptures was heard in your streets. , - Whilst, in Ireland, the ministers of religion, in conformity to the Gospel rule, were preaching love and benevolence; whilst in Ireland sixty thousand armed Protestants, without any controul, but the great principles of honour and valour, enemy to degenerate cruelty, were protecting the peaceable citizen and defenceless cottager, without any distinction of sects or parties; whilst the Irish Volunteers were setting to the world the rare example of armed legions, without the se. vere subordination of military discipline, behaving with that noble decorum which precludes complaints, and attracts ad. miration, your pulpits resounded with the harsh language of the savage leader haranguing his warriors, and throwing down the hatchet as a signal of destruction to the neighbouring tribes. Some of your women, divested of tenderness and pity, so peculiar to the fair and delicate sex, reviving in their persons the savage sternness of the Spartan matrons urging on their sons to battle, rejoiced in the open day on seeing their neighbours' houses in a blaze, and blessed God that they lived to see the day when Popish abominations were purified with fire. One should imagine, that such of you as petitioned the king and parliament against granting a free trade to Ireland, should rest satisfied, without petitioning against your inoffensive neighbours. If you glory in the purity of your religion, and in treading in the steps of its Author, treat us as Christ himself would treat us, if he were on earth. He deprived no man of his property, nor of the indulgence and protection of the laws. If you glory in the purity of the Christian religion, call to mind that it suggests humility, and deference to people of superior power and judgment. Your king, your peers, and your commons, are deemed the first in dignity and wisdom; but I forget that you are well versed in the bible, which says, he that is first
amongst you, let him be the last.' The Scripture must be fulfilled : take then the lead, and force them to trample on their own laws, and to banish their subjects.
Mention no longer violation of faith with heretics. You violate all the laws of civil society; in dissolving the ties of friendship, and pointing out your fellow-subjects as the victims of legal severity, you split and rend the nation: you weaken its - power, and trespass upon the respect due to your rulers, whom, instead of being the fathers of their people you would fain force to become the heads of factions.
You violate the sacred rights of nature; her bountiful Author declares, that he makes his sun shine on the good and bad.' The light of the sun, the brilliancy of the stars, the sweetness of the fruit, the balsamic effluvia of flowers, are dispensed with a liberal hand to the Heathen and Idolater. Must you deprive your neighbours of gifts common to all Adam's children, because they stick to a religion which all your forefathers professed, and which, if wrong, can hurt no man but themselves?
In vain do you attempt to impose upon the public, with extracts and spurious canons, obsolete decrees, patches of councils, and legends of massacres, in order to fix a creed on