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"Should you come to this determination, I have no hesitation in saying, that you will add greatly to that respect, which is so justly due to your high rank and station; you will do a most essential service to the holy religion we profess; and you will store up a reflection in your own mind, which will afford you the most substantial comfort and support, at a moment, when all the splendour and gaiety of the world will fade before your eyes and vanish into nothing."
Upon this admirable letter it would be superfluous to make a single comment. So much rational, yet fervent piety; so much earnestness in the cause of virtue; so much anxiety to promote the best interests of man, could hardly plead in vain; and it did not He received assurances, that the practice, of which he complained, should, if not immediately, diately, at all events the following year, be discontinued: and I feel persuaded that a promise thus solemnly made and hitherto observed, will not be forgotten. "Though dead, he yet speaketh:" and it is in the hope, that the sentiments he expressed on this occasion, may still operate as a powerful check on the licentiousness of public manners, and be the means of fixing, on the minds of many, serious and religious impressions, that I have thought it my duty to leave his letter on record.
In the interesting and important discussions, which took place in Parliament in 1805, on the great question of Catholic Emancipation, when it was rejected by a large majority, he abstained from any public expression of his sentiments; but, though he contented himself with giving
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only a silent vote, he gave it, as the following statement in his own words will shew, after much deliberation, and with a perfect conviction of its being a right one. "If," he observes, "the Petition from the Catholics of Ireland had been for a more complete toleration in matters of religion, though it can hardly, I think, be more complete than it is, there was not an individual in the House that would have given a more hearty and cordial assent to the prayer of the petition than myself. I am and ever have been a decided friend to liberty of conscience, and a full and free toleration of all who differ in religious opinions from the Established Church. It is a sentiment perfectly consonant with the spirit of the Gospel, the principles of the Church of England, and every dictate of justice and humanity. It is a sentiment deeply engraven on my
heart, by which I have ever regulated, and hope I ever shall regulate my conduct. But this was not an application for liberty of conscience, arid freedom of religious opinion and religious worship. The truth is, it is an application for political power; and that power I, for one, am not disposed to grant them: because, I believe that it would be difficult to produce a single instance, where they have possessed political power in a Protestant country, without using it cruelly and tyrannically. And this indeed follows necessarily from die very doctrines of their church, several of which are well known to be hostile not only to the Protestant Religion, but to a Protestant Government. It has been said, indeed, that these are not now the tenets of the Church of Rome; that they may be found perhaps 'in some old musty records,' but that they are now
grown grown obsolete and invalid, and are held in utter detestation by the whole body of Roman Catholics both in England and Ireland. But those ' musty records,' in which these doctrines appear, are nothing less than the decrees of general councils confirmed by the pope; and Dr. Troy, Titular Archbishop of Dublin, in his pastoral instructions to the Roman Catholics of his diocese, published in 1793, tells his flock that 'they must adhere implicitly to decrees and canons of the church assembled in general councils and confirmed by the pope;' and the celebrated lay Roman Catholic writer, Mr. Plowden, in his 'Case stated/ pubr lished in ,1791, maintains the same doc* trine, and the infallibity of general councils. These therefore are unquestionably at this day the tenets of their church; they have never been renounced or dis- avowed;