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to make them perceive a ray of hope, directing their eyes to a distant victim, the effusion of whose blood was to quench, one day, more active flames, and to change this scene of carnage and misery, into means of expiation; not indeed by the virtue and efficacy of the sacrifices in themselves, but inasmuch as they typified the immolation of the Lamb that • is slain from the foundations of the world,' in the observance of whose law, and in the love and knowledge of whose person, consists eternal life. Age, a variety of accidents, and the uncertainty of death, press our return to a merciful Redeemer. It is too late to dispute with Jesus Christ his divinity, or with the soul its immortality, when the spirit is arraigned at the awful tribunal of the Judge of the living and the dead.
I have the honour to be,
Your affectionate servant,
NEW TEST OATH VINDICATED,
And proved by the Principles of the Canon and Civil Laws, and
the Authority of the most eminent Writers...With an o
Stuarts, &c. &c. &c.
IN A LETTER TO A PROTESTANT GENTLEMAN.
"Duo sunt, Imperator Auguste, auctoritas sacra
Gelasius, in epist. ad Anastasium.
NOTWITHSTANDING newspaper declamations, and the very heavy charges brought against popery, you are candid enough to tell me, that you do not look on my profession 6 as an imputation so dangerous that it entirely destroys all 6 correspondence. You are not mistaken in your conjectures. However we may differ in belief, you have nothing to apprehend; as speculative tenets do not interfere with the duties of civil life, and that my practical doctrine tends more to improve, than corrupt the heart.
We have been school-fellows, and well united. We have met in foreign kingdoms, and the remembrance of an early acquaintance has cemented our friendship anew. · 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 sides, as much as they differ with regard to private opinions, and dissentions 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 his followers; and that Christians, cemented together by the blood of a God, should never be 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, dissentions, 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 sense 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,' says St. Augustine, 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 ranking ulcer caused by a religious inflammation, and attenuates the black and viscous humours, which 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.
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE.
ART. I. * I, A. B. do take Almighty God to witness, that I will be
• faithful and bear true allegiance to our most gracious So• vereign Lord, King George the Third, and hin will de• fend to the utmost of my power, against all conspiracies 6 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. 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 sickle 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
* Vide Blackstone's Commentaries, book I. chap. 10. Cooke, 3 Inst. 7. rep. 15.
Kela 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 right and fact in our most gracious Sovereign. I only argue a minori ad majus, 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 brex de jure, and rex de facto,' how interesting soever in the times of the contending families of York and Lancaster, James II. and William III. is now of as much importance as this great question, so warmiy debated among our grave moralists : Who is hap*pier, a king awake, or a cobler asleep, who dreams that he
is a king?" I do not choose to disturb the rest of sleeping monarchs, and whoever has a relish for dreans, has my consent, though I like more solid food.
AND I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and de• fend, to the utmost of my power, the succession of the 6 throne, in his Majesty's family, against any person or
persons whatsoever.' : Any thing that does not clash with the laws of God, whatever is conducive to the public good, and has for its immediate object, the peace of society, and avoidance of bloodshed, civil wars, and public calamities, can be safely sworn to, and the object of a lawful oath; but such is the nature of the second article of the test, which, according to the wise laws of a nation wherein the crown is hereditary in the wearer, equally guards against revolutions so frequent in despotic states, and elective kingdoms. In the first, the prince names his successor; and, as others may think themselves injured by such a partial preference, the throne is as tottering as the succession is arbitrary. Witness the history of the oriental nations.
In elective kingdoms, corruption, violence, and bribery precede the coronation : bloodshed and misery are the consequences. Poland is no more, because there have been many candidates, but no heir to the throne. Her liberum