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while they lament the diffusion of doctrines which they cannot but deem erroneous, presume not to fathom the secrets of the human heart, and tax those who profess them with obstinacy.

To strengthen this observation with an authority, which you have in other works quoted with respect, give me leave to cite St. Augustine, who thus addresses his friend Honoratus, in the beginning of his short but excellent treatise De Utilitate Credendi :-“Si mihi, Honorate, unum atque idem videretur esse hæreticus, et credens hareticis humo, tam lingua quam stylo in hac causa conquiescendum mihi esse arbitrarer. Nunc vero cum inter duo plurimum intersit : quandoquidem hareticus est, ut mea fert opinio, qui alicujus temporalis commodi et maxime gloriæ principatusque sui gratia, falsas ac novas opiniones vel gignit vel sequitur: ille autem, qui hujusmodi hominibus credit, homo est imaginatione quadam veritatis ac pietatis illusus."

To this benevolent opinion every Catholic will, I am sure, most readily subscribe, and if I be not much mistaken, with your Lordship's approbation. But if you reject the opinion of St. Augustine and the definition of our catechism, in order to repel your indirect charge of uncharitableness, I must have recourse to retaliation, a Weapon which I handle with regret, but to which the assailant can have no objection. Catholics, my Lord, believe that your doctrines are heretical; you swear that Catholic doctrines are idolatrous; I leave your Lordship to decide which of the two qualifications is the most polite and flattering ; or which is most exposed to the censure passed in the Gospel upon the hypocrite ; “ First cast the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.” (Matt. vii. 5.)

In your conclusion, my Lord, you have, according to the rule laid down by rhetoricians, risen both in boldness of assertion, in vehemence of language, and I am sorry to be obliged to add, in virulence of sentiment. I will not attempt to rival your Lordship or pursue your flight as you soar through this region of darkness and of thunder

Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
That feels unusual weight :

I will merely presume to make a few observations-Whether Roman Catholics enjoy full and complete toleration ? and


whether every concession of a civil nature consistent with public security, has been made to them, &c. is the subject in debate between us. Your Lordship warmly maintains the affirmative. I humbly suggest that toleration cannot be perfect as long as the Catholic Peer is deprived of his birth-right; the opulent commoner of honorable distinction; the man of talents of the reward of useful exertion; and the sailor and the soldier of the meed of valor, and of the crown of victory.

Your Lordship loudly asserts that the grant of the Catholic claims would endanger the Protestant establishment: I have presumed to assure your Lordship and the public, that it would strengthen it, by removing the causes of hatred, and joining every heart and hand in its cordial support. I have gone farther and ventured to show that it is not the interest, and therefore that it cannot be the wish, of the Catholics to overturn the Established Church. No, my Lord; they consider the Church of England as less inimical to them than any 'sect of Dissidents, as likely to make a more moderate use of the influence which she possesses, and at the same time as a check upon all religious parties, that prevents them from falling foul upon each other, and engaging in mutual hostilities! I have moreover endeavoured to show that the Catholics have no ambitious projects in view, and seek not for power as a body, but merely pray that the career of honor and of influence, open to the rest of their countrymen, should not be closed against them only; in fine, I have been so bold as to point out some slight mistakes, and to correct some misnomers, which have escaped unnoticed from your Lordship, and which, if not rectified, might, contrary to your intention, have produced mischievous prejudices. How far I have succeeded, 1 leave to the public to determine, and trust the decision with the utmost confidence to the candor, the good sense, and above all, to the independent spirit, of the nation.

A few more short remarks, my Lord, and I will close with pleasure a task which I took up with reluctance. You deprecate warmth and party zeal in disputes merely political, as highly unbecoming the office of a clergyman, from whence we may infer that, in religious debates, you conceive such feelings allowable. For my part, 1 deprecate warmth and party real in all discussions, as contrary not merely to clerical decorum, but to the cause of truth, and to the spirit of Christianity. To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men, (Tit. iii. 2.) is the acknowledged duty of every Christian, though seldom practised in polemic contests, particularly when an attack upon Catholics is the object. They are turned loose as beasts of prey to every scribbler, and to every declaimer ; towards them there is no law of nations ; every stratagem is allowable in the contest; every poisoned weapon is employed without remorse. Their tenets are misrepresented; their conduct is vilified; their very oaths are rejected, though never did any society make so many and so great sacrifices to the sanctity of an oath, as the long-endured persecutions, privations, and, what is still more repugnant to a generous mind, the disgrace and mockery, of near three centuries amply testify.

Yet, my Lord, it might be recollected, that the Catholic Religion was, for nine long centuries, the religion of England; that to it you owe the stateliest edifices that grace the land, and in particular that venerable Cathedral in which you sometimes sit enthroned; the two Universities, with all their noble furniture, and all their orderly regulations; and the far greater part of the parochial churches, colleges, and charitable establishments, that meet the eye in every direction, and inspire sentiments of piety and benevolence. Nay, more; to it the Church of England owes the creeds that fix her faith, and raise her above sectarian versatility, the dignified forms that distinguish her congregations from the mobs of conventicles, and the very prayers and liturgy which she glories in as a perfect model of adoration. Believe me, my Lord, it would contribute much more to the propagation of truth, if you were to call the attention of your clergy to these features of resemblance, to these debts of gratitude, than to explain and to defend the grounds of separation from the Church of Rome.

I have abstained from controversial topics as much as the nature of the discussion would permit, and I mean not to enter that field at present : but you will allow me to observe, that the Reformation was an era of irritation and of frenzy, and consequently of exaggeration, and therefore, that statements made by persons so deeply engaged in the contest, and so strongly influrenced by the passions of the times as were the Reformers, ought to be perused with caution and with diffidence. To close, not widen, the breach, is the endeavour of the wise, the fond wish of the benevolent, and the duty of the charitable, and one step towards that most desirable event is to consider rather the many articles in which we agree, than the few in which we differ, and in the discussion of the latter, to be guided by a spirit of candor, of impartiality, and even of indulgence. After all, my Lord, Faith, with all its high prerogatives, is yet subservient to Charity; and we transgress instead of fulfilling the duties of a Christian, if, in defending the interests of the former, we violate the more important duties of the latter. Your Lordship represents genuine christian charity as a mark of the true church; I willingly admit it to be so, and leave it to the public to determine which party seems to feel its influence most in the present contest.

I conclude, by sincerely wishing that your Lordship may long enjoy in health and tranquillity the honorable situation in which you were placed by your illustrious pupil, the friend of the Catholic cause and of toleration.

I have the honor, &c. &c.

JOHN CHETWODE EUSTACE. South Audley-Street, London.







Church of Rome :






Concession of the Catholic Claims.




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