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constitution, because they contribute to the church, lest on obtaining those franchises they should pass laws withholding that contribution, as if you had any right to make that supposition, or any right to insist on that perilous monopoly, which should exclude them at once from church and state, that they might pay for both without compensation ? The great preachers of our capital have not said so; Mr. Dunn, that meek spirit of the gospel, he has not said so; Mr. Douglass, in his strain of piety, morals, and eloquence, he has not said so; nor the great luminary himself; he who has wrung from his own breast, as it were, near 60,000l., by preaching for public charities, and has stopped the mouth of hunger with its own bread, he has not said so. I ask not what politicians may instil and may whisper, but what have the laborious clergymen preached and practised ?
But the Revolution, it seems, is an eternal bar: they find the principles of slavery in the Revolution, as they have found those of darkness in the Revelation. If they mean to measure the privileges of the empire by the model existing at the Revolution, they must impose on Ireland eternal proscription; for at that time she was deprived of the rights of trade and constitution, and the Catholics of all rights whatsoever; and they must impose on the empire two opposite principles of action, the free system for England, and the proscriptive principle for the rest; they are then to make Ireland fight for British liberty and Irish exclusion; their argument is therefore not only a wicked wish, but a vain one; nor is this the practice of other countries — those countries do not require the religion of the public officer to be the religion of the state; their practice has been notoriously otherwise: they who said the contrary, labour under a glaring error; nor will you be able to encounter France, and the other nations of Europe, if they shall avail themselves of the talents of all their people, and you will oppose them by only a part of yours. It follows, then, whether you look to the principles of liberty or empire, that you cannot make the proscriptive system of the Revolution the measure of empire; you must then make the principles of the Revolution that nieasure: what are those principles ? Civil and religious liberty: they existed at that time in full force for you; they existed as seminal principles for us; they were extended to the Protestant part of Ireland a century after; they remain now to be extended to the Catholics; then will your revolution be completed, not overthrown; then will you extend the principles of your empire on those of your constitution, and have secured an uniformity of action, by creating an identity of interest; thus will you have simplified the imperial and constitutional motions to one and the same principle of action, moving you in your home and in your imperial orbit, informing the body of your laws, and vivifying the mass of your empire. The petition of the county of Oxford states, the Catholics have ever been enemies to freedom, just as the controversialists have said the Catholics must be enemies to the King; yet the Revolution, from whose benefits you are to exclude the Catholics, was founded on a model formed and moulded by Catholics; the declaration of right being almost entirely declaratory of rights and privileges secured by your Catholic ancestors : one of your great merits at the Revolution was not to have exceeded that model; but on the contrary, you restrained popular victory, and restored establishments, and kindled a modest spirit, which has outlasted the French conflagration; a vital heat which then cheered you, which now should cheer the Catholic, and giving light and life to both, I hope will be eternal. The great objects, church, state, and property, I adopt with the controversialist, and beg to rescue them from his wisdom, to give them, for their support, the physical force of the Catholic body, inasmuch as our danger does not arise from the possible abuse of his constitutional power, but from the possible abuse of his physical force to obtain that constitutional power: in all this debate, you will observe, we argue as if we had but one enemy, the Catholic, and we forget the French; and here, what I said to the Irish Parliament, on the Catholic question, I will repeat to you: I said to them, “ The post you take is injudicious — independency of the British Parliament, exclusion of the Irish Catholics, a post to be kept against the power of one country and the freedom of the other."
I now say to you, the post you would take is injudicious ; a position that would keep France in check, and Ireland in thraldom; to be held against the power of one country, and the freedom of the other. There are three systems for Ireland; one, such as Primate Boulter has disclosed, a system to set the people at variance, on account of religion, that the government might be strong, and the country weak; a system, (such a one as prevailed when I broke her chain,) which made the minister too strong for the constitution, and the country too weak for the enemy; a system, which one of its advocates had described, when he said the Protestants of Ireland were a garrison in an enemy's country; and which another gentleman has described, when he considered Ireland as a caput mortuum : this system has failed; it ought to have failed; it was a party government, and a party god.
There is another extermination, that will not do; the exterinination of three millions of men would be no easy task in execution, no very charitable measure in conception; the justices of 1641 had dreamed of it, Cromwell had attempted, Harrington had talked of it. I hold the extermination of the people, and even of their hierarchy, to be such an experiment as will not be proposed by any gentleman who is perfectly in his senses; extermination then will not do; what is left ? the partial adoption of the Catholics has failed; the eradication of the Catholics cannot be attempted; the absolute incorporation remains alone; their is no other; or did you think it necessary to unite with the Irish Parliament, and do you hesitate to identify with the people: see whether you can conduct your empire on any other principle; the better to illustrate this, and in order to ascertain the principles of your empire, survey its comprehension; computing your West Indies and your eastern dominions, England has now, with all deference to her moderation, a very great proportion of the globe. . On what principle will she govern that portion ? On the principles on which Providence governs the remainder: when
dominions commensurate with a great portion of her works, you should make your laws analogous to her dispensations; and as there is no such thing as an exclusive Providence, so neither, considering the extent of your empire, should there be such a thing as an exclusive empire, but such a one as accommodates to peculiar habite, religious prejudices, prepossessions, &c. &c. You do not, in your dispatches to your generals, send the Thirty-nine Articles; you know the bigot and conqueror are incompatible : Lewis XIV. found it so. You know that no nation is long indulged in the exercise of the two qualities, bigotry to proscribe at home, ambition to disturb abroad : such was your opinion when you established popery in Canada — I do not speak of Corsica : such your opinion when you recruited for the foot in Ireland. It was in the American war this practice began; then
you found that the principle of exclusive empire would not answer, and that her test was not who should
her prayers, but who should fight her battles: on the same principle, the Irish militia, which must be, in a great proportion, Catholic, stands, and on the same principle the Irish yeomanry, who must be in a far more considerable proportion Catholic, stand; and on the same principle, you have recruited for the navy in Ireland, and have committed your sea thunder-bolt to Catholic hands. Suppose, in Egypt, the General had ordered the Catholics to go out of the ranks; or if in one of your sea-fights, the admiral had ordered all the - Catholics on shore, what had been the consequence? It is an argument against the proscriptive system, that if adopted practically in navy or army, the navy and army, and empire, would evaporate; and shall we now proclaim these men, or hold such language as the member; language, which if he held on the day of battle, he must be shot; language for which, if a Catholic, he must be hanged; such as you despised in the case of Corsica and of Canada, in the choice of your allies, in the recruiting your army and your navy, whenever your convenience, whenever your ambition, whenever your interest required: or let us turn from the magnitude of your empire to the magnitude of its danger, and you will observe, that whereas Europe was heretofore divided in many small nations of various religions, making part of their civil policy, and with alliances, influenced in some degree, and directed by those religious distinctions, where civil and religious freedom were supposed to be drawn up on one side, and on the other, popery and arbitrary power; so now the globe has been divided anew-England and France. You have taken a first situation among mankind, you are of course precluded from a second. Austria may have a second situation, Prussia may have a second, but England seems to have linked her post and being to her glory, and when she ceases to be the first, she is nothing: According to this supposition, and it is a supposition which I do not frame, but find in your country, the day may not be very remote, when you will have to fight for being, and for what you value more than being, the ancient renown of your island: you have said it yourselves, and you have added, that Ireland is your vulnerable part: why vulnerable ? Vulnerable, because you have misgoverned her; it may then happen, that on Irish ground, and by an Irish hand, the destinies of that ancient monarchy, called Britain, may be decided. Accordingly you have voted your army, but you have forgot to vote your people; you must vote their passions likewise. Horrors at the French proceedings will do much, but it is miserable to rely on the crimes of your enemies always, on your own wisdom never ; besides, those horrors did not prevent Prussia from leaving your alliance, 'nor Austria from making peace, nor the United Irishmen from making war. Loyalty will do much ; but you require more-patience under taxes and loans, such as are increased far beyond what we have been accustomed to, from one million and a half to nine millions, nor patience only, but ardour. The strong qualities, not such as the scolding dialect of certain gentlemen would excite; a fire, that in the case of an invasion will not sit as a spy on the doubt of the day and calculate, but though the first battle should be unsuccessful, would, with a desperate
fidelity, come on and embody with the destinies of England. It is a wretched thing to ask how would they act in such a
What, after a connection of six hundred years, 'to thank your admiral for your safety, or the wind, or any thing but your own wisdom; and therefore the question is not whether the Catholics shall get so many seats, but whether you shall get so, many millions; in such a case, you would have all people. What is it that constitutes the strength and health of England, but this sort of vitality, that her privileges, like her money, circulate every where, and centre no where; this it was which equality would have given, but did not give l'rance; this it was which the plain sense of your ancestors, without equality, did give the English ; à something, which limited her kings, drove her enemies, and made a handful of men fill the world with their name. in your union with Ireland, withhold the regimen which has made
you strong, and continue the regimen which has made her feeble? You will further recollect, that you have invited hier to your patrimony, and hitherto you have given her taxes, and an additional debt; I believe it is an addition of twentysix millions :: the other part of your patrimony, I should be glad to see it; talk plainly and honestly to the Irish ; “ It is true your taxes are increased, and your debts multiplied; but here are our privileges, great burthens, and great privileges ; this is tine patrimony of England, and with this does she assess, recruit, inspire, consolidate." But the Protestant ascendancy, it is said, alone can keep the country; namely, the gentry, clergy, and nobility, against the French, and without the people: it may be so; but in 1641, . above ten thousand troops were sent from England to assist that party; in 1689, twenty-three regiments were raised in England to assist that party; in 1798, the English militia were sent over to assist that party : what can be done by spirit will be done by them; but would the city of London, on such assurances, risk. a guinea ? The Parliament of Ireland did risk every thing, and are now nothing; and in their extinction left this instruction, not to their posterity, for they have none; but to you, who come in the place of their posterity, not to depend on a sect of religion, nor trust the final issue of your fortunes to any thing less than the whole of your people.
The Parliament of Ireland - of that assembly I have a parental recollection. I sate by her cradle, I followed her hearse. In fourteen years she acquired for Ireland what you did not acquire for England in a century — freedom of trade, independency of the legislature, independency of the judges, restoration of the final judicature, repeal of a perpetual mu