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the real character of Catholicism, the only security of Toleration must be a certain degree of intolerance, in regard to its enemies; as prisons in the freest governments are necessary for the preservation of freedom.
I have thus far thought it necessary to touch upon the political question with which my work is indirectly connected. I say indirectly, because the parliamentary question about the claims of the Roman Catholics is by no means the object which I have had in view while writing. I will not deny that I should be glad if ray humble performance could throw any light on a question in which the welfare of this country is so deeply concerned; but it is probable that it will not appear till after the decision 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.
A work written with these views cannot, I trust, however imperfect in the execution, be an unworthy testimony of the great respect with which I am,
My dear sir,
JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE.
Chelsea, April 30, 1825.