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knowlege which now happily prevails? Will not the same causes always produce the same effects? Give men instruction, and knowlege will follow. And so it ought to be. Why should the great monopolise all the good things of life? If that were intended, “why did Heaven bestow reason and speech, the spirit of activity and of enterprise, in as great perfection on the lowest of the people as on those who, by no merit of their own, inherit wealth and high station ? Heaven has declared its will by its acts : man contravenes it; but time and the progressive improvement of the understanding will reduce the anomaly to its natural rectitude. And if a few irregularities should sometimes arise in the process, they are of no importance when weighed with the happy result, the return of distorted systems to truth, to reason, and to God."
Moreover, the classical learning on which the nominally great pride themselves so much, however befitting it may be to idle gentlemen and men of taste, is of very little practical value. “ It consists more of ancient sound than modern sense.” It would be strange indeed, if, with the light of Science and of Christianity and the increasing experience of centuries, we did not far excel in true practical wisdom all that classic lore can boast. The true question is, when the great length of time consumed and the vast sums of money spent in acquiring classical learning, the trammels in which it holds the mind with respect to taste, &c., (for it dare not go beyond its Attic precedents) together with its little practical use in the affairs of life, are considered, whether on the whole it be not a dear purchase to all but to strictly professional men. Be this as it may, it can redound but little to the credit of those, however accomplished in the higher walks of life, who are disposed to speak contemptuously of and to look down on the humbler, but, in many respects, more useful classes below them. The people can form a judgment, and a just judgment too, on a broad question respecting the merits or demerits of any administration. And their opinion, morally speaking, may be more valuable than that of persons of higher rank and station: “For the general body of the people have not that bias hung on their judgment with which the great are too frequently shackled by the prevalence of personal and particular interest in those things which relate to State matters. It is of no particular and personal consequence to the general body of a people what men are employed, provided the general welfare be accomplished ; because nothing but the general welfare can be an object of desire to the general body. But it is of much particular and personal consequence to the great what men are employed--because, through their connexion's and alliances, they must generally find their friends or enemies in poroer. Their own private interests, therefore, naturally throw a bias on their judgments, and destroy the impartiality which the general body of an uncorrupt people doth naturally possess."..
Let the distempered mind administer to itself. That the seçe, ders and their friends should feel sore and mortified, need surprise no one. Their disappointment must be great indeed; the loss of those great emoluments, of that patronage and power, which, by long possession, they almost considered as their own, will naturally enough account for their loud and angry declamations against Reformers and Democrats, the repeal of the Test Acts and Catholic Emancipation : the thing is well understood : the people see it, and they know the cause. The cries, therefore, of “No Popery" of « Monstrous coalitions”. - Unnatural union"
66 Radical measures,” &c., meet with no corresponding echo amongst the people, and consequently fail of producing their intended effect. The people are too happy at the change in His Majesty's councils, and with what they have got rid of, to entertain any fear as to what is to come. They have too much confidence in the phalanx of talents and the known liberal principles of the present Ministry to expect any thing but the best results. Let them not be defamed and cried down by spiteful clamor and disappointed ambition. Let them not be prejudged. Let them have fair play. Let them have time to develope their policy, and to form and to mature their plans for the good of the country.
If you, Sir, encourage and foster genius; if you countenance the liberal and the wise ; if you associate around you men distinguished for talents, for integrity and patriotism, men who by their public spirit have long been the hope of their country; if you introduce economy and retrenchment, and as speedily as possible lessen the public burdens; if by a firm course of enlightened policy you protect liberty at home and the nation's honour abroad, if this be your determination, no Minister ever had a finer opportunity of doing 'extensive good, of being justly popular ; nor will any
Minister ever earn a brighter immortality than will adorn your name in the page of history.
Before, Sir, I approach the Catholic question, I am anxious to discharge an obligation, by confessing my admiration of the superior public institutions of our Protestant country ; in which the faculties and dignity of the human mind have a stronger stimulus and a wider sphere of expansion ; in which the rights of nature are more respected and better guarded ; in which learning and learned professors' are objects of juster admiration than in any other coun
The University of Cambridge, to which I have the honor to belong, has long been famed for her comparative liberality. Nor have I the least doubt that whatever intelleciual progress may be made, and I trust it will be more and more rapid, she will still keep her liberal aud advanced station. She has produced very many learned and patriulic men in the different walks of life, who, by the exertion of their transcendent talents, have raised themselves and the character of the country to her most proud and commanding station. A happier illustration, perhaps, cannot be given than
* And I must add, that our venerable Church, to which I am considered as the most 'liberal, learned and enlightened established Church in the world. Whatever may be her faults, I will yield to no one in firm and grateful attachment to her, or in zeal for her prosperity. And it is on this very ground that I challenge comparison, and think that I am best' consulting the honor and stability of the Church,—not by defending the error, prejudice or injustice of former times, but by giving up the untenable outworks, the better to secure the citadel itself,—by conceding to others what in my conscience I'think they have a just right to claim.
My love of liberty and of mankind, but more especially my principles as a Christian, would impel me “ to do to others as I would wish others to do to me.” Now, according to this rule, so much applauded in theory, but violated in practice—if I have the misfortune to differ from others in religion, what, I would ask, is the conduct which I should wish them to pursue towards me? Not, surely, to speak evil of me, to nourish hatred and ill-will, to misrepresent both my principles and conduct! Not, surely, to cry me down as a dangerous member of society, and finally to persecute me, and to fix a lasting stigma on me by imposing pains and penalties for worshipping God according to the dictates of my conscience. I speak to Christians of all denominations, and I ask them in the sacred name of God, if this be doing as they would be done by? I am well aware of the pleas that are set up in justification of this iniquity, viz. that Catholic Emancipation is not so much a religious as a political question. Let it be so: why not, then, act consistently and treat it as such ? Throw aside all pains and penalties. Give to all equal political rights. Let there be no distinctions on the score of religion. If any party should attempt to disturb the peace of society on any ground whatsoever appertaining to religion, lec the offending persons, no matter what plea of conscience or religion be set up, be punished as evil-doers. When the overt act is committed, let it be visited by the penalties of the law. This all men will allow to be just: all would cheerfully submit to it, because all would be on an equality. If it is purely a political question, this would be to treat it practically as such, and then no sect, by what. ever name distinguished, could domineer over another in either civil or religious matters. But I regrét to say, that this is not viewed as a question of reason or of justice, or it must long since have been
that of Lord Lyndhurst, the present eloquent, learned, and enlightened Lord Chancellor. . May the spirit and motto of my Alma Mater ever be, as giveti in a late Charge by the learned and pious Bishop of Worcester, my venerable diocesan, and whom to name is but lo praise : “In necessariis sit Unitas ; in non necessariis Libertas; in omnibus Caritas."
set at rest. It is to be feared that many who may be interested in things as they are, do not speak of this question with perfect impara tiality. Impure motives may influence them, though unconsciously to themselves : selfishness and prejudice, often conjure up fears where there is no good ground for fear, until the mind gets bewil dered and alarmed without knowing distinctly why it is so. The Roman Catholics of the present day are loaded with all the errors and crimes of former times, and are then held up as persons who are not entitled to the benefits of the Constitution. If all the errors and crimes of former Protestant times were collected together and charged on us, how should we look; and how should we like it? The Catholic solemnly abjures every thing that may or can interfere with the peace and safety of society. He is ready to take every oath that any other subject is required to take, which does not in terfere with his religion ; to be subject to the laws, and to obey the government. We say, Accept of this; and if he offend against the laws and the oaths which he has taken, and should attempt to set up any religious plea in justification of his conduct, let it be disregard, ed, and himself be punished as an evil-doer: but do not prejudge him. Give him liberty before you condemn him for abusing it; and by his own conduct let him be fairly judged, and not for imaginary violations of his privileges. We have never yet seen this question fairly stated and considered by its opponents. For exam, ple: take the statements and the inferences deduced from them as made both in and out of Parliament,— The Roman Catholic re. ligion is the same that it ever was,-a cruel, debasing, persecuting religion. Would you by emancipating the Catholics give them the power of again lighting up the fires of Smithfield, and of renewing all the horrors of former times?” This is a specimen of the reasoning now commonly used by the enemies of Emancipation. , It tells. well, and is exceedingly plausible. By the unreflecting multitude the fallacy of the argument is not perceived. Those who use it neither point out the fallacy nor wish it to be seen by them. But what is the fact? Suppose the Catholics were emancipated tomorrow-how could that give them the power to kill, burn, and destroy at pleasure? Men pretending to be divines, politicians, and philosophers, ought to be ashamed of such wretched sophistrye With a Protestant government it is well known that the Catholics, were they even so disposed, could harm no one. The fear of their doing so is perfectly groundless. Allow me to illustrate great things by small: the Protestant Dissenters are doing what does them great credit--they are petitioning Parliament for a repeal of the odious Corporation and Test Acts. Supposing the repeal
Odious, because the commemoration of the Lord's Supper, the most holy institution of the Gospel, and which was intended as a symbol of peace, as
sought for were granted-would that give the Dissenters, as some pretend, the power of overturning the National Church? Does the free Presbyterian religion of Scotland upset or injure the Church of England, or vice versa? Nothing can be more fallacious. Besides, the Dissenters rank too high, being, perhaps, the most moral and peaceable persons in the nation, to make it neces sary to'refute the implied imputation. Sound reason would infer just the reverse. The repeal, in the opinion of many, would have quite an opposite effect. It would, they argue, strengthen and enlarge the Church, and reduce the number of Dissenters. It is persecution and a sense of wrong endured which keep up men's zeal and party feeling, and unite them together. Remove the cause, and the effect will cease. Churchmen and Dissenters, no longer so in the same sense, would blend together; and such would be their mutual interest and intercourse in society, all stigmas being removed, that in many cases the Dissenter would merge into the Churchman. And I have heard that some of the Dissenters are so alive to this consequence, that they are averse to any repeal of the obnoxious statutes.
Apply this principle and this reasoning to the Roman Catholics. Would not the probable effect be, not only a greater blending of feelings and courtesy of manners, but a reduction of their numbers? Human nature is the same in us all. The Catholics are men like ourselves; we are all creatures of circumstances. Will not educa: tion enlighten them? Will not kindness and fair dealing soften their asperity and conciliate their esteem? Are any human beings insensible to the law of kindness and love? With respect to the Catholics, coercion and severity have long been tried in vain ; let the voice of reason and religion be now heard; forget the deeds of former times, for all parties when in power have erred in judgment, and been prone to persecute. The world is now more enlightened. Let us no longer imagine that we are doing God service by “beating another man's servants.". Let all men enjoy, what is their inalienable birthright, religious liberty in its fullest extent. Who has the right to step between a man's conscience and his God? And if any assume that they have it, where did they get it? Who gave it to them? It is daring impiety to God and the height of injustice to men to pretend to possess it. Who shall dictate to the Deity in what strains and in what manner he shall receive the adoration and homage of his penitent creatures? Let all men, as they have an undoubted right to do, " judge for themselves,” and “be fully persuaded in their own minds." They a sacred badge of Christian faith and charity, is by them scandalously prostituted to the basest selfish and party purposes, to the utter disgrace of all religion.