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Disappointed of that satisfaction, I am happy that another is left me in the similarity of our views, as to what is called the Catholic Question. From the friendly intercourse with which you have honoured me, I know that you hold it wrong to put down religious error by force, or to propagate religious truth by degrading and branding those who do not think with us.—I have suffered too much from religious despotism, not fully and cordially to hold the same doctrine. The fetters which, by God's mercy, I have been enabled to break, I would rather die than help to rivet upon a fellow-Christian: but the Power which made me groan in protracted bondage, is striving to obtain a direct influence in this
Government; and I cannot regard such efforts with apathy. For myself—thanks to the generous country which has adopted me—I have nothing to fear; but I deem it a debt of gratitude to volunteer my testimony in the great pending cause, that it may be weighed against the studied and coloured evidence of such writers, as would disguise the true character of the spiritual tyranny, whose fierce grasp I have eluded. Indeed I would never have shown myself in the field of controversy, but for the appearance of a book evidently intended to divert the public from the important, and, to me, indubitable fact, that sincere Roman Catholics cannot conscientiously be tolerant. How far, my dear Sir, you are convinced of this, I cannot take upon myself to say; but
the real character of Catholicism, the only
of Parliament. Let this, however, be as it
may, still I humbly hope that, whether the Roman Catholics are admitted into Parliament, or allowed to continue under the disabilities which their honest opponents lament, my labour will not have been thrown away. For as the danger which may threaten this country in the admission of Roman Catholic legislators, depends entirely upon their religious sincerity; I shall not have troubled the public in vain if, either I can convince the conscientious of the papal communion, that a Roman Catholic cannot honestly do his duty as a member of the British Parliament without moral guilt; or, what I ardently wish, my arguments should open their eyes
to the errors of their church.