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rests and fortune, which are often interwoven with those of your neighbours? Would not all those, who have debts or money, or other effects in the hands of protestants, be fellow-sufferers with them? Would not all those, who hold under the acts of settlement, be as liable as protestants themselves to be dispossessed by the old proprietors? Or, can even those, who are styled proprietors, flatter themselves with hopes of possessing the estates which they claim, which, in all likelihood, would be given to favourites (perhaps to foreigners), who are near the person, or who fought the battles, of their master.
Under protestant governments, those of your communion have formerly enjoyed a greater share of the lands of this kingdom, and more ample privileges. You bore your part in the magistracy and the legislature, and could complain of no hardships on the score of your religion. If these advantages have been since impaired or lost, was it not by the wrong measures yourselves took to enlarge them, in several successive attempts, each of which left you weaker and in a worse condition than you were before? And this, notwithstanding the vaunted succours of France and Spain, whose vain efforts in conjunction with yours constantly recoiled on your own heads, even when your numbers and circumstances were far more considerable than they now are?
You all know these things to be true. I appeal to your own breasts. Dear-bought experience hath taught you, and past times instruct the present. But perhaps follow conscience rather than interest. Will any you men amongst you pretend to plead conscience against being quiet, or against paying allegiance and peaceable submission to a protestant prince, which the first Christians paid even to heathen, and which those of your communion, at this day, pay to Mahometan and to idolatrous princes in Turkey and China, and which you yourselves have so often professed to pay to our
present gracious sovereign? Conscience is quite out of the case. And what man in his senses would engage in a dangerous course, to which neither interest doth invite, nor conscience oblige him?
I heartily wish, that this advice may be as well taken as it is meant, and that you may maturely consider your true interest, rather than rashly repeat the same errors which you have so often repented of. So recommending you to the merciful guidance of Almighty God, I subscribe myself,
Your real well-wisher,