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ritual allegiance has nothing to do with civil policy, I do not accuse them of intentional cruelty and in. and does not, in the most distant manner, interfere justice; I am sure there are very many excellent men with their allegiance to the crown. What is meant by who would be shocked if they could conceive them. allegiance to the crown, is, ! presume, obedience to selves to be guilty of any thing like cruelty ; but they acts of Parliament, and a resistance to those who are innocently give a wrong name to the bad spirit which constitutionally proclaimed to be the enemies of the is within them, and think they are tolerant, because country. I have seen and heard of' no instance, for this they are not as intolerant as they could have been in century and a halt last past, where the spiritual sove other times, but cannot be now. The true spirit is to reign has presuned to meddle with the affairs of the search after God and for another life with lowliness temporal sovereign. The Catholics deny him such of heart; to fling down no man's altar, to punish no power by the most solemn oaths which the wit of man man's prayer ; to heap no penalties and no pains on can devise. In every war, the army and navy are full those solem supplications which, in divers tongues, of Catholic officers and soldiers ; and if their allegiance and in varied forins, and in temples of a thousand in temporal matters is unimpeachable and unimpeach- shapes, but with one deep sense of human dependence, ed, what matters to whom they choose to pay spiritu- men pour forth to God. al obedience, and to adopt as their guide in genuflexion It is completely untrue that the Catholic religion is and psalmody? Suppose these same Catholics were what it was three centuries ago, or that it is unchange. foolish enough to be governed by a set of Chinese mo- able and unchanged. These are mere words, without ralists in their diet, this would be a third allegiance; the shadow of truth to support them. It the pope and if they were regulated by Brahinins in their dress, were to address a bull to the kingdom of Ireland, ex: this would be a fourth ailegiance ; and if they received cominunicating the Duke of York, and cutting himn oti the directions of the Patriarch of the Greek Church in from the succession, for his Protestant effusion in the educating their children, here is another allegiance: House of Lords, he would be laughed at as a lunatic and as long as they fought, and paid taxes, and kept in all the Catholic chapels in Dublin. The Catholics clear of the quarter sessions and assizes, what matters would not now burn Protestants as heretics. In many how many fancitul supremacies and frivolous allegian. parts of Europe, Catholics and Protestants worship in ces they choose to inanuructure or accumulate for one church-Catholics at eleven, Protestants at one ; themselves?
they sit in the same Parliament, are elected to the A great deal of time would be spared, if gentlemen, same office, live together without hatred or friction, before they ordered their post-chaises for a no-Popery under equal laws. Who can see and know these meeting, would read the most elementary defence of things, and say that the Catholic religion is unchange. these people, and intorm themselves even of the rudi- able and unchanged? ments of the question. If the Catholics meditate the I have often endeavoured to reflect upon the causes resunption of the Catholic property, why do they which, from time to time, raised such a clamour purchase that which they know (it' the fondest object against the Catholics, and I think the following are of their political life succeed) must be taken away among the most conspicuous:-from them? Why is not an attempt made to purchase 1. Historical recollections of the cruelties inflicted a quietus from the rebel who is watching the blessed upon the Protestants. revolutionary moment for regaining his possessions, 2. Theological differences. and revelling in the unbounded sensuality of mealy 3. A belief that the Catholics are unfriendly to and waxy enjoyments? But after all, who are the liberty. descendants of the righttul possessors? The estate
4. Ýhat their morality is not good. belonged to the O'Rourkes, who w te hanged, drawn, 5. That they meditate the destruction of the Proand quartered in the time of Cromwell; true, but testant Church. before that, it belonged to the O'Connors, who were 6. An unpriucipled clamour by men who have no hanged, drawn, and quartered in the time of Henry VII. sort of belief in the danger of emancipation ; but who The O'Sullivans have a still earlier plea of suspension, make use of no Popery as a political engine. evisceration, and division. Who is the rightful posses;
7. A mean and selfish spirit of denying to others sor of the estate ? We forget that Catholic Ireland | the advantages we ourselves enjoy. has been inurdered three times over by its Protestant 8. A vindictive spirit or love of punishing others, masters.
who offend our self-love by presumíng, on important Mild and genteel people do not like the idea of per- points, to entertain opinions opposite to our own. secution, and are advocates for toleration ; l»ut then 9. Stupid compliance with the opinions of the mathey think it no act of intolerance to deprive Catholics jority. of political power. The history of all this is, that all 10. To these I must, in justice and candour add, as men secretly like to punish others for not being of the a tenth cause, a real apprehension on the part of honsame opinion with themselves, and that this sort of est and reasonable men, that it is dangerous to grant privation is the only species of persecution, ot' which l'arther concessions to the Catholics. The improved feeling and advanced cultivation of the To these various causes I shall make a short reply, age will admit. Fire and fagot, chains and stone in the order in which I have placed them. walls, have been clamoured away ; nothing remains 1. Mere historical recollections are very miserable but to mortify a man's pride, and to limit his resources, reasons for the continuation of penal and incapacital
. and to set a mark upon him, by cutting him off from ing laws, and one side has as much to recollect as the his fair share of political power. By this receipt, in other. solence is gratified, and humanity is not shocked. 2. The state has nothing to do with questions purely The gentlest Protestant can see, with dry eyes, Lord theological. Stourion excluded from Parliament, though he would 3. li is ill to say this in a country whose free insti. abominate the most distant idea of personal cruelty tutions were founded by Catholics, and it is often said to Mr. Petre. This is only to say that he lives in the by men wbo care nothing about free institutions. nineteenth, instead of the sixteenth century, and that
4. It is not true. he is as intolerant in religious matters as the state of 5. Make their situation so comfortable, that it will manners existing in his age will permit. Is it not the pot be worth their while to attempt an enterprise so same spirit which wounds the pride of a fellow-crea desperate. ture on account of his faith, or which casts his body 6. This is an unfair political trick, because it is 100 into the faines? Are they any thing else but de dangerous ; it is spoiling the table in order to win the grees and modifications of ihe same principle? The game. minds of these two men no more differ because they The 7th and 8th causes exercise a great share of in. differ in their degrees of punishment, than their bodies fluence in every act of intolerance. The 9th must, of differ, because one wore a doublet in the time of Mary, course, comprehend the greatest number. and the other wears a coat in the reign of George. I
10. Of the existence of such a clsss of no Poperists
as this, it would be the height of injustice to doubt, among French, Spanish, and Austrian catholics, is the but I confess it excites in me a very great degree of pope; the political head, the king or emperor.
59 204 25
Suppose after a severe struggle, you put the Irish | any thing that you have left to them, but that disgust, down, if they are mad and foolish' enough to recur to hatred and despair, which, breaking out into wild elo open violence ; yet are the retarded industry, and the quence, and acting upon a wild people, are preparing misapplied energies of so many millions of men to go every day a mass of treason and disaffection, which for noihing? Is it possible to forget all the wealth, may shake this empire to its very centre ? and you peace, and happiness which are to be sacrificed for may laugh at Daniel O'Connell, and treat him with iwenty years io come, to these pestilential and dis- contempt, and turn his metaphors into ridicule ; but gracelul squabbles? Is there no horror in looking Daniel has, after all, a great deal of real and powerful forward to a long period in which men, instead of eloquence; and a strange sort of misgiving sometimes ploughing and spinning, will curse and haie, and bum comes across me, that Daniel and the doctor are not and murder.
quite so great fools as many most respectable country There seems to me a sort of injustice and impro- clergymen believe them to be. priety in our deciding at all upon the Catholic ques.
You talk of their abuse of the Reformation, but is iion. It should be left to those Irish Protestants there any end to the obloquy and abuse with which whose shutters are bullet proof; whose dinner-table the Catholics are upon every point, and from every is regularly spread with knite, fork, and cocked pistol ; quarter, assailed? Is there any one foily, vice, or salt cellar and powder.flask. Let the opinion of those crime, which the blind fury of Protestants does not persons be
resorted to, who sleep in sheet-iron lavish upon them? and do you suppose all this is to night-caps ; who have fought so often and so nobly be heard in silence, and without retaliation ? Abuse before their scullery door, and defended the parlour as much as you please, if you are going to emancipate, passage as bravely as Leonidas detended the pass of but if you intend to do noihing for the Catholics but to Thermopylæ. The Irish Protestant members see and call them names, you must not be put out of temper if know the state of their own country. Let their votes you receive a few ugly appellations in return. decide the case. We are quiet and at peace; our
The great object of men who love party better than homes may be defended with a feather, and our doors truth, is to have it believed that the Catholics alone fastened with a pin ; and as ignorant of what armed have been persecutors; but what can be more flag. and insulted Popery is, as we are of the state of New rantiy unjust than to take our notions of history only Zealand, we pretend to regulate by our clamours the from the conquering and triumphant party? If you religious factions of Ireland.
think the Catholics
have not their Book of Martyrs as li is a very pleasant thing to trample upon Catho. well as the Protestants, take the following enumera. lics, and it is also a very pleasant thing to have an im- tion of some of their most learned and careful writers. mense number of pheasants running about your woods; The whole number of Catholics who have suffered death in but there come thirty or forty poachers in the night, England for the exercise of the Roman Catholic religion and fight with thirty or forty game preservers ; some
since the Reformation: are killed, some fractured, some scalped, some maimed Henry VIII. for life. Poachers are caught up and hanged ; a vast
Elizabeth body of hatred and revenge accumulates in the neigh.
Charles I. and bourhood of the great man; and he says the sport is
Commonwealth not worth the candle. The preservation of game is a very agreeable thing, but I will not sacrifice the happiness of my life to it. This amusement, like any
Total other, may be purchased too dearly.' So it is with
Henry VIII. with consummate impartiality, burnt the Irish Protestants; they are finding out that Catho, three Protestants and hanged four Catholics for differ. lic exclusion may be purchased too dearly. Maimed ent errors in religion on the same day and the same cattle, fired ricks, threatening letters, barricadoed place. Elizabeth burnt two Dutch Anabaptists for houses, to endure all this, is to purchase superiority at some theological tenets, July 22, 1575, Fox'the martoo dear a rate, and this is the inevitable state of two tyrologist vainly pleading with the queen in their parties, the one of whom are unwilling to relinquish favour. In 1579, the same Protestant queen cut off their ancient monopoly of power, while the other the hand of Stubbs, the author of a iracy against party bave, at length discovered their strength, and popish connection, of þingleton, the printer, and Page are determined to be free.
the disperser of the book. Camden saw it done. Gentlemen (with the best intentions, I am sure,) Warburton properly says it exceeds in cruelty any meet together in a country town, and enter into resothing done by Charles I. On the 4th of June, Mr. lutions that no farther concessions are to be made to Elias Thacker and Mr. John Capper, two ministers of the Catholics; but if you will not let them into Parlia. the Brownist persuasion, were hanged at St. Edmundsment, why not allow them to be king's counsel, or ser. bury, for dispersing books against the Common Prayer. geants at law? Why are they excluded by law from With respect to the great part of the Catholic victims, some corporations in Ireland, and admissible, though the law was fully and literally executed; after being not admitted, to others? I think, before such general hanged up, they were cut down alive, dismembered, resolutions of exclusion are adopted, and the rights ripped up, and iheir bowels burnt before their faces and happiness of so many millions of people disposed after which, they were beheaded and quartered. The of, it would be decent and proper to obtain some toler: time employed in this butchery, was very considerable information of what the present state of the Irish able, and, in one instance, lasted more than half an Catholics is, and of the vast number of insignificant hour. offices from which they are excluded. Keep them The uncandid excuse for all this is, that the greater from Parliament, if you think it right, but do not part of these men were put to death' for political, uot therefore, exclude them from any thing else, to which for religious crimes. That is, a law is first passed you think Catholics may be fairly admitted without making it high treason for a priest to exercise his funcdanger, and as to their content or discontent, there tion in England, and so, when he is caught and burnt, can be no sort of reason why discontent should not be this is not religious persecution, but an offence against lessened, though it cannot be removed.
the state. We are, You are shocked by the present violence and abuse answer to such childish uncandid reasoning as this.
hope, all too busy to need any used by the Irish Association ; by whom are they The total number of those who suffered capitally in driven to it? and whom are you to thank for it? Is
the reign of Elizabeth, is stated by Dodd, in his Church there a hope left to them? Is any term of endurance History, to be one hundred and ninety-nine ; further alluded to any scope or boundary to their patience ? Is the minister waiting for opportunities ? have they * The total number of sufferers in the reign of Queen reason to believe that they are wished well to by the Mary, varies, I believe, from 200 in the Catholic to 280 in greatest of the great? Have they brighter hopes in the Protestant accounts. I recommend all young men who another reign? Is there one clear spot in the horizon? wish to form some notion of what answer the Catholics
have to make, to read Milner's Letters to a Prebendary,'
and to follow the line of reading to which his references * A great majority of Irish members voted for Catholic lead. They will then learn the importance of that sacred emancipation.
maxim, Audi alteram partem.
inquiries made their number to be two hundred and they uniformly put to death, and in cold blood, all the four; fifteen of these were condemned for denying the priests and religious they could lay their hands on. queen's supremacy; one hundred aud twenty-six for The Protestant Servetus was put to death by the Prothe exercise of priestly functions; and the others for testants of Geneva, for denying the doctrine of the being reconciled to the Catholic faith, or for aiding Trinity, as the Protestant Gentilis was, on the same and assisting priests. In this list, no person is inclu- score, by those of Berne; add to these, Felix Mans, ded who was executed for any plot, real or imaginary, Rotman, and Barnevald. Of Servetus, Melancthon, except eleven, who suffered for the pretended plot of the mildest of men, declared that he deserved to have Rhesins; a plot, which Dr. Milner justly observes, his bowels pulled out, and his body tom to pieces. was so daring a forgery, that even Camden allows thé The last fires of persecution which were lighted in sufferers to have been political victims. Besides these, England, were by Protestants. Bartholomew Legate, mention is made in the same work of ninety Catholic an Arian, was burnt by order of King James in Smith. priests, or laymen, who died in prison in the same field, on the 18th of March, 1612 ; on the Ulth of reign.'' About the same time,' he says, 'I find fity April, in the same year, Edward Weightman was gentlemen lying prisoners in York Castle ; most of burnt at Litchfield, by order of the Protestant Bishop them perished there, of vermin, famine, hunger, thirst, of Litchfield and Coventry; and this man was, I bedirt, damp, fever, whipping, and broken hearts, the lieve, the last person who was burnt in England for inseparable circumstances of prisons in those days. heresy. There was another condemned to the fire for These were every week, for a twelve-month together, the same heresy, but as pity was excited by the con. dragged by main force to hear the established service stancy of these sufferers, it was thought beiter to al. performed in the castle chapel.” The Catholics were low him to linger on a miserable life in Newgate. frequently, during the reign of Elizabeth, tortured in Fuller, who wrote in the reign of Charles II., and was the most dreadful manner. In order to extort answers a zealous Church of England man, speaking of the from father Campion, he was laid on the rack, and burnings in question, says, ' It may appear that God his limbs stretched a little, to show him, as the exe was well pleased with them.' cutioner termed it, what the rack was. He persisted There are, however, grievous faults on both sides : in his refusal; then, for several days successively, the and as there are a set of men, who, not content with torture was increased, and on the last two occasions retaliating upon Protestants, deny the persecuting spihe was so cruelly rent and torn, that he expected to rit of the Catholics, I would ask them what they expire under the torment. While under the rack, he think of the following code, drawn up by the French called continually upon God. In the reign of the Pro. Catholics against the French
Protestants and carried testant Edward VI., Joan Knell was burnt to death, into execution for one hundred years, and as late as and the year after, George Parry was burnt also. In the year 1765, and not repealed iill 1782 ? 1575, two Protestants, Peterson and Turwort, (as be. Any Protestant clergyman remaining in France fore stated,) were burnt to death by Elizabeth. In three days, without coming to the Catholic worship, 1589, under the same queen, Lewes, a Protestant, was to be punished with death. If a Protestant sends his bumi to death at Norwich, where Francis Kett was son to a Protestant school-master for education, he is also burnt for religious opinions in 1589, under the to forfeit 250 livres a month, and the schoolmaster same great queen, who, in 1591, hanged the Protest. who receives him, 50 livres. If they sent their chil. ant Hacket for heresy, in Cheapside, and put to death dren to any seminary abroad, they were lo forfeit Greenwood, Barrow, and Penry, for being Brownists. 2000 livres, and the child so sent, became incapable of Southwell, a Catholic, was racred ten times during the possessing property in France. To celebrate 'Prores. reign of this sister of bloody Queen Mary. In 1592, iant worship, exposed the clergyman to a fine of 2800 Mrs. Ward was hanged, drawn, and quartered for as- livres. The fine to a Protestant for hearing it, was sisting a Catholic priest to escape in a box. Mrs. 1300 livres. If any Protestant denied the authority Lyne suffered the same punishment for harbouring a of the pope in France, his goods were seized for the priest ; and in 1586, Mrs. Clitheroe, who was accused first offence, and he was hanged for the second. If of relieving a priest, and refused to plead, was pressed any Common Prayer-book, or book of Protestant worto death in York Castle; a sharp stone being placed ship be found in the possession of any Protestant, he underneath her back.
shall forfeit 20 livres for the first offence, 40 livres for Have not Protestants persecuted both Catholics and the second, and shall be imprisoned at pleasure for their fellow Protestants in Germany, Switzerland, Ge- the third. Any person bringing from beyond sea, or neva, France, Holland, Sweden, and England ? Look selling Protestant books of worship, to forfeit 100 li. to the atrocious punishment of Leighton under Laud, vres. Any magistrate may search Protestant houses for writing against prelacy; first, his ear was cut off, for such articles. Any person, required by a magis. then his nose slit, then ihe other ear cut off, then trate to take an oath against the Protestant religion, whipped, then whipped again. Look to the horrible and refusing, to be committed to prison, and if he af
. crueliies exercised by the Protestant Episcopalians on terwards refuse again, to suffer forfeiture of goods. the Scottish Presbyterians, in the reign of Charles II., Any person, sending any money over sea to the supof whom 8000 are said to have perished in that persecu- port of a Protestant seminary, to forfeit his goods, tion. Persecutions of Protestants by Protestants, are and be imprisoned at the king's pleasure. Any per. amply detailed by Chandler, in his History of Perse. son going over sea, for Protestani education, to for. cution; by Neal, in his History of the Puritans; by t'eit goods and lands for life. The vessel to be forfeit. Laing, in his History of Scotland; by Penn, in his Life ed which conveyed any Protestant woman or child of Fox; and in Brandt's History of the Reformation over sea, without the king's license. Any person conin the Low Countries; which furnishes many very ter- verting another to the Protestant religion, to be put rible cases of the sufferings of the Anabaptists and to death. Death to any Protestant priest to come in. Remonstrants. In 1560, the Parliament of Scotland to France; death to the person who receives him; decreed, at one and the same time, the establishment forfeiture of goods and imprisonment to send money of Calvinism, and the punishment of death against the for the relief of any Protestant clergyman : large reancient religion: "With such indecent haste (says wards for discovering a Protestant parson. Every Robertson) did the very persons who had just escaped Protestant shall cause his child, within one month alecclesiastical tyranny, proceed to imitate their ex. ter birth, to be baptized by a Catholic priest, under a ample. Nothing can be so absurd as to suppose, penalty of 2000 livres. Protestants were fined 4000 that in barbarous ages, the excesses were all commit. livres a month for being absent from Catholic worted by one religious party, and none by the other. ship, were disabled from holding offices and employThe Huguenots of France burnt churches, and hung ments, from keeping arms in their houses, from main. priests wherever they found them. Froumenteau, one taining suits at law, from being guardians, from prac. of their own writers, confesses, that in the single prov. tising in law or physic, and from holding offices, civil ince of Dauphiny, they killed two hundred and twenty or military. They were forbidden (bravo, Louis priests, and one hundred and twelve friars. In the XIV.!) to travel more than five miles from home Low Countries, wherever Vandemerk and Sonsi, lieu. without license, under pain of forfeiting all their tenants of the Prince of Orange, carried their arms, 'goods, and they might not come to court under psia
of 2000 livres. A married Protestant woman when lieve there have been two Catholics put to death for convicted of being of that persuasion was liable to for. religious causes in Great Britain for one Protestant feit two-thirds of her jointure ; she could not be exe. who has suffered ; not that this proves much, because cutrix to her husband, nor have any part of his goods; the Catholics have enjoyed the sovereign power for so and during her marriage, she might be kept in prison, few years between this period and the Reformation, unless her husband redeemed her at the rate of 200 and certainly it must be allowed that they were not livres a month, or the third part of his lands.. Protes. inactive, during that period, in the great work of pious tants convicted of being such, were, within three combustion. months after their conviction, either to submit, and It is however, some extenuation of the Catholic ex. renounce their religion, or, if required by four magis. cesses, that their religion was the religion of the whole trates, to abjure the realm, and if they did not depart, of Europe, when the innovation began. They were or departing returned, were to suffer death. All Pro- the ancient lords and masters of faith, before men in. testants were required, under the most tremendous troduced the practice of thinking for themselves in penalties, to swear that they considered the pope as these matters. The Protestants have less excuse, the head of the church. If they refused to take this who claimed the right of innovation, and then turned oath, which might be tendered at pleasure by any two round upon other Protestants who acted upon the magistrates, they could not act as advocates, procu- same principle, or upon Catholics who remained as reurs, or notaries public. Any Protestant taking any they were, and visited them with all the cruelties office, civil or military, was compelled to abjure the from which they had themselves so recently escaped. Protestant religion; to declare his belief in the doc Both sides, as they acquired power, abused it ; and trine of transubstantiation, and to take the Roman both learnt from their sufferings, the great secret of Catholic sacrament within six months, under the pen. toleration and forbearance. li you wish to do good in alty of 10,000 livres. Any person professing the Pro- the times in which you live, contribute your efforts to testant religion, and educated in the same, was requir. perfect this grand work. I have not the most distant ed, in six months after the age of sixteen, to declare intention to interfere in local politics, but I advise you the pope to be the head of the church; to declare his never to give a vote to any man, whose only title for belief in transubstantiation, and that the invocation of asking it is, that he means to continue the punish. saints was according to the doctrine of the Christian ments, privations, and incapacities of any human be. religion ; failing this, he could not hold, possess, or ings, merely because they worship God in the way inherit landed property; his lands were given to the they think best : the man who asks for your vote upon nearest Catholic relation. Many taxes were doubled such a plea, is, probably, a very weak man, who be. upon Protestants. Protestants keeping schools were lieves in his own bad reasoning, or a very artful man, imprisoned for life, and all Protestants were forbidden who is laughing at you for your credulity: at all to come within ten miles of Paris or Versailles. If events, he is a man who, knowingly or unknowingly, any Protestant had a horse worth more than 100 livres, exposes his country to the greatest dangers, and hands any Catholic magistrate might take it away, and down to posterity all the foolish opinions and all the search the house of the said Protestant for arms. Is bad passions whích prevail in those times in which he not this a monstrous code of persecution? Is it any happens to live. Such a man is so far from being that wonder, after reading such a spirit of tyranny as here friend to the church which he pretends to be, that he exhibited, that the tendencies of the Catholic religion declares its safety cannot be reconciled with the fran. should be suspected, and that the cry of no Popery chises of the people ; for what worse can be said of should be a rallying sign to every Protestant nation the Church of England than this, that wherever it is m Europe?
Forgive, gentle reader, and judged necessary to give it a legal establishment, it gentle elector, the trifling deception I have practised becomes necessary to deprive the body of the people, upon you. This code is not a code made by French if they adhere to their old opinions, of their liberlies, Catholics against French Protestants, but by English and of all their free customs, and to reduce them to a and Irish Protestants against English and Irish Ca- state of civil servitude ? tholics; I have given it to you for the most part, as it
SIDNEY SMITH. is set forth in Burns' (Justice' of 1780: it was acted upon in the beginning of the late king's reign, and was notorious through the whole of Europe, as the most cruel and atrocious system of persecution ever
A SERMON instituted by one religious sect against another. Of this code, Mr. Burke says, that it is a truly barbar. On those Rules of Christian Charity by which our Opin. ous system; where all the parts are an outrage on the
ions of other Sects should be formed : Preached before laws of humanity and the rights of nature ; it is a the Mayor and Corporalion, in the Cathedral Church system of elaborate contrivance, as well fitted for the of Bristol, On Wednesday, November 5, 1828. oppression, imprisonment, and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as
I PUBLISH this sermon (or rather allow others to erer proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man. publish it), because many persons, who know the city It is in vain to say that these cruelties were laws of of Bristol better than I do, have earnestly solicited me political safety; such has always been the plea for all to do so ; and are convinced it will do good. It is not religious cruelties; by such arguments the Catholics without reluctance (as far as I myself am concerned) defended the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and the that I sent to the press such plain rudiments of comburnings of Mary.
mon charity and common sense.
SYDNEY SMITH. With such facts as these, the cry of persecution will not do ; it is unwise to make it, because it can be so
Nov. 8, 1828. very easily, and so very justly retorted. The business
COL. III. 12, 13. is, io forget and forgive, to kiss and be friends, and to PUT ON, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF say nothing of what has past, which is to the credit
MIND, MEEKNESS, LONG-SUFFERING, FORBEARING ONE ANof neither party. There have been atrocious cruelties,
OTHER, AND FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER.' and abominable acts of injustice on both sides. It is not worth while to contend who shed the most blood,
The Church of England, in its wisdom and piety, or whether (as Dr. Sturgess objects to Dr. Milner,) has very properly ordained that a day of thanksgiving death by fire is worse than hanging or starving in pri. should be set apart, in which we may return thanks to son. As far as Englund itself is concerned, the bal. Almighty God for the mercies vouchsafed to this na. ance may be better preserved. Cruelties exercised upon the Irish go for nothing in English reasoning : back he has done so; and desires to know whether his but if it were not uncandid and vexatious to consider highness would choose as many girls to be caught up; and Irish persecutions* as part of the case, I firmly be. he adds, doubtless it is a business, in which Go
pear. Suppose bloody Queen Mary had caught up and transThurloe writes to Henry Cromwell to catch up some ported three or four thousand Protestant boys and girls thousand Irish, boys, to send to the colonies. Henry writes from the three ridings of Yorkshire !!!!!!
tion in their escape from the dreadful plot planned for charity are general, and of universal application. the destruction of the sovereign and his Parliament, What you choose to do, and which way you incline the forerunner, no doubt, of such sanguinary scenes as upon any particular question, are, and can be, no were suited to the manners of that age, and must have concern of mine. It would be the height of arrogance proved the inevitable consequence of such enormous and presumption in me, or in any other minister of wickedness and cruelty. Such an escape is a fair and God's Word, to interfere on such points ; I only en. lawful foundation for national piety. And it is a come. deavour to teach that spirit of forbearance and charily and Christian sight to see the magistrates and high ty, which (though it cannot always prevent differen. authorities of the land obedient to the ordinances of ces upon religious points) will ensure that these dif. the church, and holding forth to their fellow subjects a ferences are carried on with Christian gentleness. I wise example of national gratitude and serious devo- have endeavoured to lay down these rules for differtion. This use of this day is deserving of every com- ence with care and moderation ; and, if you will atmendation. The idea that Almighty God does some. tend to them patiently, I think you will agree with me, times exercise a special providence for the preserva- that, however the practice of them may be forgotten, tion of a whole people is justified by Scripture, is not the propriety of them cannot be denied. repugnant to reason, and can produce nothing but It would always be easier to fall in with human pas. feelings and opinions favourable to virtue and religion. sions than to resist thein ; but the ministers of God
Another wise and lawful use of this day is an honest must do their duty through evil report, and through self-congratulation that we have burst through those good report; neither prevented nor excited by the in. bands which the Roman Catholic priesthood would terests of the present day. They must teach those impose upon human judgment; that the Protestant general truths which the Christian religion has comChurch not only permits, but exhorts, every man to mitted to their care, and upon which the happiness appeal from human authority to the Scriptures; that and peace of the world depend. it makes of the clergy guides and advisers, not masters In pressing upon you the great duty of religious and oracles ; that it discourages vain and idle ceremo- charity, the inutility of the opposite defect of religious nies, unmeaning observances, and hypocritical pomp; violence first offers itself to, and, indeed, obtrudes it. and encourages freedom in thinking upon religion, and self upon my notice. The evil of difference of opinion simplicity in religious forms. It is impossible
that any must exist ; it admits of no cure. The wildest vision. candid man should not observe the marked superiority ary does not now hope he can bring his fellow-crea. of the Protestant over the Catholic faith in these par. tures to one standard of taith. If history has taught ticulars; and difficult that any pious man should not us any one thing, it is that mankind, on such sort of feel grateful to Almighty Providence for escape from subjects, will form their own opinions. Therefore, to danger which would have plunged this country afresh want charity in religious matters is at Icast useless; into so many errors and so many absurdities.
it hardens error and provokes recrimination; but it I hope, in this condemnation of the Catholic religion does not enlighten those whom we wish to reclaim, (in which I most sincerely join its bitterest enemies), nor does it extend doctrines which to us appear su I shall not be so far mistaken as to have it supposed clear and indisputable. But to do wrong, and to gain that I would convey the slightest approbation of any nothing by it, are surely to add folly to fault, and to laws which disqualify or incapacitate any class of men proclaim an understanding not led by the rule of rea. from civil offices on account of religious opinions. Ison, as well as a disposition unregulated by the Chris. regard all such laws as fatal and lamentable mistakes tian faith. in legislation ; they are mistakes of troubled times, and Religious charity requires that we should not judge hall.barbarous ages. All Europe is gradually emerg- any sect of Christians by the representations of their ing from their influence. This country has lately, enemies alone, without hearing and reading what they with the entire consent of its prelates, made a noble have to say in their own defence ; it requires only, of and successful effort, by the abolition of some of the course, to state such a rule to procure for it general most obnoxious laws of this class. In proportion as admission. No man can pretend to say that such a such example is followed, the enemies of church and rule is not founded upon the plainest principles of jusstate will be diminished, and the foundation of peace, tice-upon those plain principles of justice which no order, and happiness be strengthened. These are my one thinks of violating in the ordinary concerns of opinions, which I mention, not to convert you, but to life; and yet I fear that rule is not always very strict. guard myself from misrepresentation. It is my duty, ly adhered to in religious animosities. Religious ha. —it is my wish, -it is the subject of this day to point tred is often founded on tradition, often on hearsay, out those evils of the Catholic religion from which we often on the misrepresentations of notorious enemies; have escaped; but I should be to the last degree con. without inquiry, without the slightest examination of cerned, if a condemnation of theological errors were to opposite reasons and authorities, or consideration of be construed into an approbation of laws which I can that which the accused party has to offer for detence or not but consider as deeply marked by a spirit of intol- explanation. It is impossible, I admit, to examine erance. Therefore, I beg you to remember that I rc. every thing; many have not talents, many have not cord these opinions not for the purpose of converting leisure, for such pursuits ; many must be contented any one to them, which would be an abuse of the priv. with the faith in which they have been brought up, ilege of addressing you from the pulpit ; not that I at. and must think it the best modification of the Christach the slightest degree of importance to them tian faith, because they are told it is so. But this imbecause they are mine ; but merely to guard myself perfect acquaintance with religious controversy, from misrepresentation upon a point on which all though not blameable when it proceeds from want of men's passions are, at this moment, so powerfully ex. power, and want of opportunity, can be no possible jus. cited.
tification of violent and acrimonious opinions. I would I have said that, at this moment, all men's passions say to the ignorant man,' It is not your ignorance I are powerfully excited on this subject. If this is true, blame; you have had no means, perhaps, of acquiring it points out to me my line of duty. I must use my knowledge: the circumstances of your life have not endeavours to guard against the abuse of the day ; to led to it—may have prevented it; but then I must tell take care that the principles of sound reason are not you, if you have not had leisure to inquire, you have lost sight of; and that such excitement, instead of riso no right to accuse. If you are unacquainted with the ing into dangerous vehemence, is calmed into active opposite arguments,-or, knowing, can balance them, and useful investigation of the subject.
it is not upon you the task devolves of exposing the I shall, therefore, on the present occasion, not inves. errors, and impugning the opinions of other sects. If tigate generally the duties of charity and forbear. charity is ever necessary, it is in those who know ac. ance, but of charity and forbearance in religious mat- curately neither the accusation nor the defence. If ters; of that Christian meekness and humility which invective,-if rooted antipathy, in religious opinions. is prevent the intrusion of bad passions into religious ever a breach of Christian rules, it is so in those who, concerns, and keep calm and pure the mind intent not being able to become wise, are not willing to beupon eternity. And remember, I beg of you, that the come charitable and modest. rūles I shall offer you for the observation of Christian Any candid man, acquainted with religious contro