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[The right honourable gentleman here read some extracts from the book in question. They stated that Christ had not granted to St. Peter direct or indirect power over the temporal concerns of kingdoms; that by the kings and emperors of states alone, the supreme temporal establishment of them ought to be held. That the declarations of pontiffs were not to be considered as infallible, or as points of faith, which it was necessary to salvation to believe.]
Here then, Sir, said Mr. Grattan, is a book which has been traduced as a concentration of evils; and it appears that it enjoins principles directly the reverse of those which have been ascribed to it. When such are the misrepresentations that are circulated, the result is not surprising. But there is another work of higher authority to which I wish to refer. I mean the Common Prayer Book of the Catholics.
[The right honourable gentleman here quoted several passages from the Catholic Prayer Book, the tenor of which was, to declare that no general council, much less a papal consistory, had the power of deposing sovereigns, or absolving subjects from their allegiance; that the Pope had no authority, direct or indirect, over temporal affairs; that, notwithstanding any papal interference, all Catholic subjects were bound to defend their king and country at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, even against the Pope himself, should he invade their country; and, that the alleged duty of Catholic subjects to murder their princes, if excommunicated for heresy, was impious and execrable, being contrary to all the known laws of God and nature.] ,
I have another instance with which I shall beg leave to trouble the House, and which would go to complete the chain of proofs that show the Catholics are not without principles of allegiance, and which would acquit them of every charge and imputation on their loyalty. It is the oath taken by the Catholics, according to the 33d of the King, in Ireland, after the oath of allegiance.
“ I, A. B., do hereby declare, that I do profess the Roman Catholic religion. .
6 I, A. B., do swear, that I do abjure, contemn, and detest, as unchristian and impious, the principle that it is lawful to murder, destroy, or any ways injure any persons whatsoever, for or under pretence of being a heretic; and I do declare solemnly before God, that I believe, that no act, in itself unjust, immoral, or wicked, can ever be justified or excused by or under pretence or colour, that it was done either for the good of the church, or in obedience to any ecclesiastical power whatsoever: I also declare, that it is not an article of the Catholic faith, neither am I hereby required to believe or profess, that the Pope is infallible, or that I am bound to obey any order, in its own nature immoral, though the Pope, or any ecclesiastical power, should issue or direct such order, but, on the contrary, I hold, that it would be sinful in me to pay any respect or obedience thereto: I further declare, that I do not believe that any sin whatever committed by me can be forgiven, at the mere will of any Pope, or any person or persons whatsoever; but that sincere sorrow for past sins, a firm and sincere resolution to avoid future guilt, and to atone to God, are previous and indispensable requisites to establish a well-founded expectation of forgiveness; and that any person who receives absolution without those previous requisites, so far from obtaining thereby any remission of his sins, incurs the additional guilt of violating a sacrament: and I do swear, that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the settlement and arrangement of property in this country, as established by the laws now in being: I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure, any, intention to subvert the present church establishment, for the purpose of substituting a Catholic establishment in its stead; and I do hereby solemnly swear, that I will not exercise any privilege to which I am or may become entitled, to disturb and weaken the Protestant religion and Protestant government in this kingdom. — So help me God.”
" I, A. B. do hereby declare, that I do profess the Roman Catholic religion. : « 1, A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to His Majesty, King George the Third, and him will defend to the utmost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatsoever that 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 successors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which may be formed against him or them: and I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and defend, to the utmost of my power, the succession of the Crown; which succession, by an act, entitled, "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 and Duchess Dowager 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 these realms : And I do swear, that I do reject, and detest as an unchristian and impious position, that it is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for, or under pretence of, their being heretics or infidels; and also that unchristian and impious principle, that faith is not to be kept with heretics or infidels : And I further declare, that it is not an article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion, that princes, excommunicated by the Pope and council, or any authority of the See of Rome, or by any authority whatsover, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any person whatsover: And I do promise, that I will not hold, maintain, or abet any such opinion, or any other opinions contrary to what is expressed in this declaration: And I do declare, that I do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, prelate, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm : 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 whatever, and without any dispensation already granted by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, or any person whatever, and without thinking that I am, or can be, acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other person or authority whatsover, shall dispense with, or annul the same, or declare that it was null or void. - So help me God.”
Now, I ask, what further answer you require to the charges urged against the Catholics? There is a further - an indictment or information; a criminal proceeding is the only, answer. The petitioners against the Roman Catholics may say what they choose as to their good intentions; but, with respect to the paniphlets which charge them with murder and treason as their creed, they must charge them with perjury also. If such a pamphlet was written against my Lord Fingall or Sir Edward Bellew, the printer would say in vain that he did not mean such an imputation. Suppose Lord Fingall should indict the author, would he be suffered to produce the canons in his defence? Would my Lord Ellenborough, or my Lord Kenyon, suffer him to extenuate the offence, by citing the decrees of the council of Constance, or the council of Trent? No. But the author might urge in bis defence, that he had no particular meaning injurious to Lord Fingall, or Sir Edward Bellew, but only to four millions of His Majesty's Catholic subjects. But there is another refutation of such a charge against the Catholics the impossibility of its truth. It amounts to such a pitch of moral turpitude, as would burst asunder the bonds of civil and social intercourse; it would be a dissolution of the elements of society; and of the elastic principle which binds man to man. It is not merely unfounded, but monstrous; it is not in the nature of man, but in the nature of sects, which, when they contend for power, charge each other with what they know to be false. But there is another argument which I hope the learned divines will excuse me for adverting to. It is, that the Christian religion, or its clergy, are such as to be so described. I will see the tenets of the petitioners against the Catholics; I will first examine them when they pray, and then when they petition. When they pray, they address the Deity as a God of mercy and beneficence, who sent his Son on earth to spread religion, and peace, and love, amongst mankind. When they petition, they suppose that the Deity has abandoned his own reve. lations; that the human species are sunk in barbarism; that Christians are become monsters; and that the Deity, driven from other nations in Europe, is only preserved by the English divines, the colleges, and corporations. This doctrine goes to establish an exclusive right to power and profit, and, when eviscerated, is nothing more than a contest for those objects. I beg to be understood, as speaking with the utmost respect for those divines who have petitioned against the Catholics, but I must take some liberty with their arguments. I do not dispute the purity of their motives, I only quarrel with the nature of their opinions; and I hope that the time is not far distant, when I shall see the division of sects lost in the union of principles, and behold every denomination acting as one people in one common cause. For what is it, that you would exclude a great portion of your fellow-subjects from the participation of civil rights ? They are traitors and murderers according to the tenets, which they profess. Here, then, is a proposition by which you would exclude one-fifth of your population from the benefits of the constitution, in order to drive them into those crimes with which you charge them. If you go on, you will scold yourselves out of your connection. I hope, however, that Parliament will consider, whether the elements of concord may not be found amidst this apparent discord. You say, on the one part, that there are legitimate objections; and you enumerate the evils that may arise from the removal of the disqualification of the Catholics. But a great portion of the Protestants of Ireland have not seen those evils. They have petitioned in favour of the Catholics. I have a book, filled with their names, in my pocket. I know that it will be said again, that the Catholics insist on conditions. I will not take this argument. You, the Parliament, are to frame your bill, and to propose your conditions. The Catholics do not see what security they ought to give. They say, that they have already given every security, though a synod of their bishops has declared that they have no indisposition to every mode of conciliation. “ We seek for nothing,” say they, “but the integrity of the Roman Catholic church;" but every thing which does not trench on the security of their church, or which is necessary for you, they are ready to grant you. They are against making their liberty a conditional boon; they do not see the necessity of what you demand, but they will give you every sécurity you think necessary, provided it does not derogate from the rights of their church. Then, I say, the privileges of the Catholics, and the rights of the Protestant church, are perfectly consistent, and Parliament should find the means of reconciling them.
: Give me leave to say, as to the Anti-catholic petitioners, that many of them do not profess themselves hostile to the principle, but anxious about the mode of extending those rights claimed by the Catholics. They do not say, “ Exclude the Catholics, but do not admit the Catholics, unless you take care of our religion.” I do not say, that I am obliged to agree that the church of England is an enemy to the liberty of the Catholics; still less that the people of England are enemies to their liberty; so far from it, that I would little fear to repose the question on their good sense and sober integrity. I do believe, that if they believed their religion was safe, they would be among the warmest friends of the Catholics. The only point, then, is the security of the Protestant church, and for that they have pointed out the means — they have no right to say, that they are the only judges of the conditions to be imposed, or to tell you that you can only save the church of England, by denying their prayers to the Catholics of Ireland. You shall have declared, in the strong, est manner, all the securities you can ask; you shall have the Crown and its succession confirmed, as fundamental, unalienable, and sacred; you shall have the episcopal church of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as established by law. Some of the petitioners against the Catholics, desire the separation to be eternal ; I would secure the church and state, by identification; they would do it by patronage; I by union. I would effect every object by bringing in a bill, which should contain such provisions as would guard the rights of the church, and the colleges, and the corporations; and I would