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present, the most inconsiderable sect of Protestant dissenters would strenuously resist any attempt on the part of government to interfere with its religious concerns; and it seems, indeed, to be admitted by the government, that every sect which is deprived of the advantages of an establishment, is fairly entitled to the liberty of managing its own concerns in its own way. Even the measure of the Veto, as it is called, is merely urged as a preservative against foreign influence, which Lord Clarendon supposes to be extinguished in a more direct and effectual manner. In all probability, the noble author believed that society could not exist under the system of ecclesiastical police which has prevailed in England for an hundred and twenty years. Under the present government of France, the ecclesiastical administration of every sect is so organized, as to make its ministers the mere tools and creatures of the Crown.
When Lord Clarendon invites the Catholic subjects of Protestant princes to break off their connexion with the See of Rome, it will naturally be expected, that some advantage will be proposed to them as the price of their compliance. A paragraph to that effect occurs (p. 708, 709), the marginal abstract of which is as follows: When foreign jurisdiction is excluded, those who differ from the established religion of the State may be safely admitted to the common privileges of subjects. What these privileges were, in the opinion of the author, may admit of some doubt. Unfortunately the text of his work is still more obscure than the margin.
• If the authority of sovereign princes were thus vindicated within their several dominions,-princes would then easily agree what indulgence they would allow to such other subjects, who are of a contrary religion to what is established by their laws, when they might grant such an indulgence without any danger to the peace of their dominions.'
Such language is very vague and general. Even at present, fierce verbal disputes frequently take place, whether, by the common privileges of subjects, we ought to understand any thing more than that political situation which Jews occupy in England, and Christians in Turkey.
It has long been our opinion, that the condition of Catholics in Protestant countries has very seldom been materially affected by the mere apprehension of their attachment to the Church of Rome. The contrary opinion, indeed, is frequently inculcated, particularly in books written since the ancient doctrine of religious persecution has become too odious to be openly taught or avowed. The severities which Protestants formerly exercised towards Catholics, appear to us to have arisen from the same motives as the severities which Catholics exercised towards Prom
testants ; that is to say, from religious bigotry and political animosity. The supremacy of the Pope is a convenient locus in the hands of Protestants, because the Catholics cannot retort to it. It is, however, of little consequence to Catholics, whether Protestants have a decent pretext for treating them with rigour, provided they are certain that the removal of the pretext would not ameliorate their condition. Till within the last hundred years, there were very few Protestant countries in which the exercise of any religion was permitted, except the established religion. In Scotland, for instance, in the year 1703, a bill was introduced into Parliament for the toleration of all Protestants ; against which a strong remonstrance was made by the General Assembly of the Church, concluding with these words:
• That they were persuaded that, to enact a toleration for • those of the Episcopal way, (zehich God of his infinite mercy • avert !) would be to establish iniquity by a law, and would
bring upon the promoters thereof, and their families, the • dreadful guilt of all those sins and pernicious effects that might
The bill was accordingly lost; and the toleration did not take place till after the Union, when the voice of the General Assembly was disregarded by the British Parliament. Long since that time, an avowed Socinian would have been prosecuted with the utmost rigour in almost every Protestant country. We mention these things merely to show, that if Protestants
will See A Reply to the Rev. Di Campbel's Jindlication, &c., by Joseph Stock, D.D. (afterwards Bishop of Killalla) p. 62.
The same author says (p. 53): • Let any man show me where Presbyte
rians had the power to persecute, and I will undertake to show " him that they wanted not the will.' It must be remembered, that the French Protestant Church, by far the most illustrious of all the Protestant Churches, except the Church of England, was Presbyterian. if the French Presbşterians were only restrained by the want of power from persecuting the Catholics, why is the persecuition of those Presbyterians by the Catholics imputed as a particular fault to the Roman Catholic religion ? And here we beg leave to observe, that one instance of moderation and gentleness in the Curduct of those who have power in their hands, weighs much more with us than fifty violent and acrimonious declamations against intolerance, proceeding from persons who either are actualiy suffering persecution, or, at least, have no power 10 persecute others. In the writings of our friend Mr le Mesurier, for exemple, we observa an intolerant love of toleration, which reminds us of a letter in Swisi's Exaininer, in wliich the Examiner is told, that he deserves - to have his throat cuit, ' as all such enemies to moderation shouli Derved.' N.
will not tolerate each other, it is idle to assign the supremacy of the Pope as the reason of their not tolerating Catholics. In tolerant countries, Catholics have, upon the whole, fared nearly as well as dissenting Protestants. Where any considerable difference has been made, it may be attributed to many other causes with greater probability ihan to fear of the Pope. We may name, for instance, the great and fundamental diversity of religious opinion ; the resentment excited by past injuries; the jealousy caused by the power of the Catholics, either in the country or in the general affairs of Europe; anú, above all, the apprehensions arising from the consciousness of possessing something, to which the Catholics believe themselves io have a better title. The last consideration alone will account for the whole of the penal code of Ireland.
The event which Lord Clarendon so earnestly desired, actually took place in the Uhid Netherlands some years after his death. The majority of the Catholics of that country, who were Jansenists, quarrelled with the Pope, and erected an independent hierarchy of their own, under a titular Archbishop of Utrecht. We are not aware that the Government took any pains to perpetuate the schism, by extending privileges to the Jansenist party, which were withheld from those Catholics who adhered to the authority of the Pope.
In England, it has been customary, ever since the beginning of the Reformation, to vindicate the severe laws which have been made against the Catholics, by attributing them to the apprehensions entertained of the machinations of the Pope. Ilere we beg leave to inquire, whether, if the Catholies had renounced their connexion with the See of Rome, they woull have been permitted, in the reign of Elizabeth, to exercise their religion in peace? We believe that no person, who is acquainted with the principles of that age in general, and of that reign in particular, * will answer our question in the af
firmative. life of Lord Burghley, in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, p. 33, ed. 1779. • He held, there cold be no government where there was • Civision. And that state cold never be in safety, where there was • toll ration of two religions. For there is no enmytie so great as • that for religion. And they that differ in the service of God, can
never agr. e in the service of their contrie.' In the same manner, Bacon, in Certain Observations madle upon a Libel published this present year, 1592, writton principally for the purpose of vindicating the sanguinary proceedings against the Catholics, treats the permissing of the exercise of two religions as ' a dangerous indulgence
and iubestion,' In his opinion, the greatest indulgence which the government can stely show, is to be satisfied with enforcing exfirmative. The example of the Puritans proves how little the Catholics would have gained by any concession, short of complete conformity to the established religion. Whatever tranquillity they enjoyed under Elizabeth, is to be attributed, not to the tolerant spirit of the government, but to the flexibility of their own religious principles, which permitted them to join in that mode of worship which was established by law.
In the two following reigns, the severities which the Catholics endured, were occasioned partly by the misconduct of some of their own body, 'in which the Court of Rome had no share, and principally, by the relentless bigotry of the Puritans, who persecuted the Catholics, not as bad subjects, but as bad Christians. When it is considered that the Puritans entertained notions respecting the subjection of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, which had hardly been heard! of in Europe since the twelfth century, it will not be supposed that they were very solicitous that the King should not be deprived of the better moiety of his sovereignty.' After the Hall of the monarchy, the Catholics were protected from the fury of the Presbyterians by Cromwell, the tatlier of toleration in England. The condnet of the Catholics on that occasion is attributed to them as a crime by Lord Clarendon, in the following parenthesis.
terior conformity to the established religion, without entering in
to, and sifting into mens' consciences, whinn no overt scandal is s given.' That is to say, if men will go regularly to church, and will abstain from writing or speaking against the religion of the State, the government need not be very strict in inquiring into their private thoughts. More than this, Bacon thought, could not be granted with safety to the State. Such were the opinions oi' latitudinarian stateemea and philosophers. It will not be supposed that theologians were more tolerant. See, for instance, in Leland's llistory of Ireland (II. p. 482), a paper drawn up by Archbishop Usher, in the year 1626, anci entitled, The Judgment of diverse oj the Archbishops and Bishops of Irelund conecrning toleration of Religion. In this paper, thi toleration of Popery is called a grievous
sin, by which we render ourselves accessory to all iheir supersti
tions, idolatries, and heresies.' It is amusing to compare this kind of language with that which may be found in the books of the present day.
· The Church of England,' according to Mr Le Mesurier (Serious Examination, &c. p. 12), “ being equally averse
to persecuting, as to being persecuted, his ałwys been glad to grant to all sect', that toleration which she could never obtain
from Romish priests, or Romish governors.' Our respect for Mr Le Mesurier's private character prevents us fronı suspecting that lie was not in earnost in making the preceding ortio.
During which time (the exile of Charles Il.] his Roman Cathofic subjects, two or three persons of honour only excepted, shewed very little affection to him, but applied themselves to Cromwell and those in power, that they might lise quietly under that government, which they were willing to submit to, and to give any security for their obedience.'
From the Restoration to the Revolution, the remains of Puritanism, and the manifest leaning of the Court towards Popery, are suficient to account for the animosity of the people against the Catholics. After the Revolution, which was secretly promoted by the Pope hiniself, the Catholics were considered by the government in no other light than as an inconsiderable branch of the Jacobite party, the great strength of which lay within the pale of the Established Church. As the new government was convinced, that the dread of Popery was the great obstacle to the restoration of the exiled family, we must not wonder that the Whig statesmen did not neglect the proper means of keeping alive that dread in the minds of the people. It is with great truth of painting that Switt, in his Essay on the lates of Clergymen, among the thriving arts of an unprincipled Lowchurch divine, enumerates his dreadful apprehensions of Po• pery? As far, however, as was consistent with the necessity of keeping up this spirit, the Whigs were sufficiently willing to comprehend the Catholics within the effects of their principle of general toleration. Upon the whole, since the Revolution, the Catholics have had more reason to complain of the Tories than of the Whigs.
Since the extinction of the hopes and pretensions of the House of Stuart, a considerable progress has been made, with the full concurrence of government, towards the assimilation of zhe political condition of the Catholics with that of the Protestant Dissenters. The Catholics, indeed, are still excluded from Parliament, which is open to Protestant Dissenters. The English Catholics are also liable to be deprived, by any one of the candidates, of the privilege of voting at elections. These, however, and several other disabilities under which the Catholics still labour, and from which the Protestant Dissenters are
released, • See, for instance, in Burnet's History of his Oun Time, (III. p. 316, ed. 1753, the manner in which King William was compelled to give way to the Act Il. and 12. Will. III. cap. 4., in order to satisfy the Tories that he was not a Papist, or, at least, a favourer • of Popery.' Swift, in several parts of his writings, reproaches the Whigs for their lenicy towards the Catholics, and exults in comparing the different conduct of his own party, while they were in pow.
Passages to that effect may be seen in The Presbyterian's Pica * Verit, and in the Road Clic's llocs for Boring this to