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avowed; and, till they are so disavowed by authority, every good Catholic is bound to obey them.
"It is true, that they have been renounced by the Petitioners from Ireland: but they can renounce them only for themselves; they cannot renounce them for the whole body of Catholics in that country; and this renunciation besides comes unaccompanied by any competent authority. It is neither authorized by the pope, by a general council, by their bishops or by their clergy. On the contrary, it is very remarkable, that not one of the latter signed the petition; and one cannot therefore help fearing that the same thing may happen in this case that happened in 1793, when the Lords Petre, Stourton, and many other Roman Catholic gentlemen, on applying to Parliar ment for further indulgence, made the
same same renunciation of the same obnoxious doctrines that appears in the Irish Petition. The Church of Rome immediately took the alarm, and announced their entire disapprobation of that measure by her Apostolical Vicar in England, who wrote an energetic letter to those gentlemen, condemning what they had done; and that condemnation was sanctioned by the pope, and by all the Catholic bishops in this country and in Scotland. "But, laying these doctrines out of the question, there is one certainly, which the petitioners havenot renounced, and indeed cannot renounce, namely, the supremacy of the pope—the acknowledgment of a foreign jurisdiction. It is contended, indeed, that this jurisdiction is only a spiritual one: but the jurisdiction of a foreign Catholic potentate of any kind whatsoever must always be a dangerous thing in a
Protestant country; and at this time it is particularly so, considering the present abject state of the Roman Pontiff, and his absolute vassalage to the Emperor of France. This argument has, I know, been considered of little moment, and treated with little respect: but in my apprehension it is a most important and alarming circumstance. A spiritual authority can never be wholly separated from a temporal one. An unbounded influence over the hearts and consciences of men in spiritual matters, must [necessarily be attended with great influence in civil and political concerns: and when we consider, that the Romish clergy of Ireland have an almost absolute command over their flocks; that the clergy are appointed by the bishops ; that the bishops are nominated by the pope; and that the pope is now a mere tool in the hands of
the the French Emperor; it is easy to see what power this must give him over the people of Ireland, and in how formidable a manner, at the present perilous and awful crisis, that power may be exerted.
"But, besides this, it appears from the history of this kingdom, that in fact Roman Catholics and Protestants have never yet agreed together in administering the powers of government; and that England never enjoyed peace and security, till the ascendency of one party was established by the downfall of the other. Where the power of the Catholics and Protestants was nearly equal, it was a constant struggle for superiority. The Corporation and Test Acts put a final period to that struggle. Since those Acts passed, the Church of England has enjoyed perfect security and tranquillity. Let us
not, not, then, part with these bulwarks of our Constitution civil and ecclesiastical, which we must do, if we grant to the Catholics of Ireland (and of course to those of England) all that they demand. Let us preserve with care that admirable Constitution, which our Ancestors have bequeathed to us; namely, the Established Church under the protection of the State, with a toleration to all other religious sects and denominations whatever, but at the same time an exclusion of them by proper tests from all places of trust, authority and power. This is the only system, that can give stability and peace to any kingdom, where there are different sorts of religion. It has given stability and peace to this kingdom. It has been found by experience, which is better than a thousand theories, to be the soundest policy. It has left us quiet for above an