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pected politics, was sought in the professed creed. It was necessary to discover the papist who was ready to restore the exiled family to the throne. It was devised to detect him by the oath of transubstantiation. Was his creed his guilt? No. But his creed designated the man, and his guilt consisted in his foreign attachment. Would any man pretend to assert that that attachment existed at present ? No, it was gone—the object of his attachment was no more. But he who maintained the doctrine of transubstantiation was still to be made the subject of penal laws! This was to mistake a rule for a reason. It was as if a magistrate, having received information that a murder had been committed by a man who wore spectacles and a wig, and having apprehended an individual distinguished by those appendages, should, upon its being afterwards ascertained that no murder had been committed at all, still refuse to relinquish his man, persisting that the spectacles and wig were conclusive evidence of the murder. The Roman Catholic believing in transubstantiation, had been formerly the object of penal laws, because, attached to an exiled family, that family no longer existing, he was now punished for believing in transubstantiation.

The earliest dawn of the Reformation, to which mankind, and this country above all, were indebted for so many invaluable blessings, would be found, like all great mutations in the affairs of the world, to have been tainted with many acts of violence, injustice, and mutual persecution. Out of that conflict, the Reformed Church of England had happily come triumphant; but was it now to be assumed that criminality attached, not only to all who resisted, but to all who professed the creed of those who had resisted its establishment ? No man would contend for so unjust a proposition. He thanked God that the Church of England had come prosperously out of that arduous struggle; but he could not bring himself to say that those who had adhered to the old religion, as the mild Melancthon had advised his aged mother to adhere, rather than distract herself with controversy, were, on that account, fit objects of punishment. Restrict them if they connected their religion with politics hostile to the peace of their native country; but, happy as was the consummation which had rendered this a Protestant state, he could not consent to judge harshly of those who had opposed the change, when he considered under .what circumstances, and by what instruments it had been brought about. Look to the character of the first royal promoter of Protestantism in England, and to the mixed motives by which he was actuated; and whether you attribute his conduct to policy or to passion, to avarice or to vanity; whether you agree with the historian who describes him as a tyrant, by whose arbitrary laws whoever was for the Pope was hanged, and whoever was against him was burned; or with the poet, who attributes his conversion to a softer passion--

o6 When love could teach a monarch to be wise,
And gospel-light first dawn'd from Boleyn's eyes.”

In any case, surely it was not a substantive crime, and worthy an inheritable punishment, to have opposed , an innovation, in which, whatever might be the governing motive, it was at least pretty clear that simple piety had no considerable share. The reign of Queen Elizabeth was glorious, both in its foreign and domestic policy; but it was, undoubtedly, not the reign either of civil or religious l'berty. In that reign was laid the foundation of the

" penal code against the Catholics ; but laid expressly on the ground of political disaffection, not of religious differences.

Then, indeed, were papists excluded from the House of Commons, but they were expressly allowed to continue to sit in the House of Lords. And why? because a popish lord was less a papist than a popish commoner? No-but because of the fidelity-the political fidelity of her peers, the Queen said she had other means of assuring herself. During the reign of James I. the Roman Catholic was stripped of his privileges as a citizen, denuded of his rights as a social man, deprived of the common connections of country, rendered liable to a præmunire if he stepped five miles from his own threshold, and to the penalties of treason, if he so transgressed a second time; but was it necessary to remind the House of Fawkes's plot, as a proof that treason, not faith, was the cause and the object of these terrible enactments ? Terrible as those enactments were, it' must be allowed that there was some justification for them, while the safety of the state, and the succession to the throne were threatened by the conflict of the hostile religions. But with the reign of James I. that apology seemed to end. In the reigns subsequent to that of James I. was there any thing in the conduct of the Roman Catholics to induce the belief that their religion was hostile to the security of the state? In the reign of Charles I. was it the old religion that overturned the monarchy ? Did the Roman Catholics bring that monarch to the block ? Was it a papist who struck the fatal blow?

It had been asserted, indeed, in that debate that it was impossible for a Roman Catholic to enter into full enjoyment of political rights, without feeling it to be his bounden duty to employ them in an attempt to overturn the Protestant ecclesiastical establishments of the country, and it had even been said that no harm was intended in imputing this doctrine to the Catholics—that it charged them with nothing which they who made the charge would be ashamed of doing, had it been their fortune to live under an adverse ecclesiastical establishment. Now, he thought this was taking an unfair advantage. Any man who chose to throw away his own character, was not master of that of another; and honourable gentlemen were mistaken in thinking that by thus impartially accusing themselves, they acquired the right of inculpating the Catholics. He was, therefore, obliged to vindicate his right honourable friend from his own admission, in order to protect the Catholic from the inference deduced from it. He entirely disbelieved his right honourable friend's self-accusation ; he was sure that if the lot of his right honourable friend (Mr. Peel) had been cast in another country, of which the established religion was different from his own—and if he had there been allowed, nevertheless, to take his seat in the senate, and to exhibit himself, as he did at present, to the admiration of all who heard him, he was sure that no suggestion of priestcraft, that no motive of conscience, would ever lead him to attempt the overturn of the establishment of that country which had placed him in so distinguished a situation.

But in what manner did the history of England bear out the theory of his right honourable friend? What, as he had already observed, was the conduct of the Catholics of England, throughout the trying struggle of the reign of Charles I. ? A continual tenor of adherence to the Government amidst domestic faction, and civil war, and at the risk of their property and their lives. Had they no temptation to shrink from a faithful discharge of their duty ? and yet in what instance had they failed?

He had said that Catholics, though excluded by law from the House of Commons, still retained their seats in the House of Peers. What was their conduct in that House ? and how was it requited ? In 1641, a bill was brought in to exclude the bishops from sitting in Parlia


ment. In the House of Lords it was lost upon a division, and in the majority were to be found many Catholic peers. Thirty years after, a bill was sent up to the Lords, for the exclusion of Catholic peers from seats in Parliament. It was passed by a great majority; and in that majority were included the Protestant bishops. He meant nothing disparaging to the bishops of that day. Undoubtedly, they thought that they were doing their duty.' But he should like to know-supposing the Catholics to have voted for the expulsion of the bishops, as the bishops did for theirs-what would now have been said of the conduct of the Catholics? Would not the House have rung with the triumphant inference that now, as in 1641, the admission of the Catholics into Parliament, must be the destruction of the Protestant hierarchy? The only inference he would draw was, that as one good turn deserved another, the passing of this bill would afford to the bishops of the present day an opportunity of returning the obligation of 1641.

But some gentlemen had a still more ingenious theory. For two centuries, it was urged, had the Catholics been brooding patiently over their wrongs, and, like the Brutus of history, disguising, under the appearance of insensibility, the deep sense which they entertained of themthey were only waiting for the passing of this bill to wreak the vengeance which had so long been smothered in their breasts. Indeed! and had this and former debates so far exhausted all reasonable objections, and all rational fears, that we were now to be daunted from doing what was right, by the apprehension that the present race of Catholics would throw off a mask worn by successive generations of their ancestors, and revenge themselves in the first delirium of new-gotten freedom for ages of suppressed feeling and hypocritical fidelity ? Surely to believe in

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