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Catholic religion, certain disabili position to the principles on ties to which other subjects of which the bill was founded excited this realm were not liable," &c. greater notice, than the maiden Now if any hon. member could oration of Mr. Sadler, who had show him that Protestants were recently taken his seat for Newnot precluded from assuming, un- ark. One of the members for less regularly elected, the title of that borough had vacated his seat; “bishops,"—if it could be proved Mr. Serjeant Wilde, who had to him that a Protestant was not once been a whig, and now propunishable for such an act, then fessed himself a friend of the he would admit that there was a Catholics, and an admirer of the repeal of the law. But here dis- duke of Wellington, had started as abilities, to which other subjects of a candidate; but Mr. Sadler, supthis realm were not liable, were ported by the interest of the duke clearly spoken of'; and the assump- of Newcastle, had carried the election, without right, of an ecclesi- tion; and he now seized and astical title, was no more allowed rivetted the attention of the House to a Protestant than to a Roman by a speech replete with argument Catholic; therefore he concluded and oratory. He rose, he said, to that the statute of 1781-2 was not add his humble vote to that faithrepealed. The enacting clause of ful band who had resigned the the act of 1793 only went to put countenance of those whom they Protestants and Papists on a cer- had hitherto respected so deeply, tain degree of equality, by allowing and to whom they had adhered so the latter to vote at elections; but faithfully—who had surrendered, it did not permit them to take the in the language of many, all pretitles of bishops and deans. The tensions to common sense or genepresent bill, therefore, only sub- ral information-who are branded stituted a less powerful for a more as intolerants and bigots, from efficacious security; and the price whom ministers had happily esto be paid for this miserable change caped_and, what was still more was, the sacrifice of the constitu- painful to generous minds, who tion.
were ranked among those that were Lord Tullamore, too, inveighed as devoid of true liberality and vehemently against the bill, and benevolence, as of reason and inthe desertion of all principle in the telligence. “All these things, how. ministers who introduced it. They ever, move us not. In a cause like had themselves given the tone on that of the Protestant constitution the other side at public meetings; of England, now placed, for the they had sat at the festive board, first time since its existence, in a hearing with approbation the situation of imminent peril, an avowal of sentiments which they humble part in its triumph would themselves had always avowed, indeed give me a share of that but now found it convenient to immeasurable joy which its rescue disclaim, completing the picture would diffuse throughout the nawhich the poet had drawn; tion ; but to be numbered as one Drunk at a borough, civil at a ball ;
of those who, faithful to the end, Friendly at Hackney, faithless at made a last, though ineffectual Whitehall.
struggle in its defence, will afford But no speech delivered in opa a melancholy satisfaction, which
I would not exchange for all the Protestant constitution : they had pride, and power, and honours, been as rise under her Catholic which may await a contrary government. Not long ago, the course."
manufacturing classes in this counAnd first of all, as to the state try wanted bread and employment: of Ireland, in which alone any they were told by demagogues that justification of this measure was both would be found in parliamensought, Mr. Sadler denied that the tary reform, and for parliamentary reason for the proposed remedy reform they clamoured. In Ireland was substantial, or that the pro- there was equal distress: and agiposed change itself was a remedy. tators told the people that what they If it meant any thing, it meant wanted was emancipation. Theonly that the Protestant ascendancy in difference was, that in the one case, Ireland was the source of the dise government had put the agitators asters which existed in Ireland - down: in the other, it had connived and that was not true. The very at, if not secretly supported them. evils now to be remedied, the tur. In the emancipation
proffered bulence and misery now prevalent, there was nothing proposed in had existed in a far greater degree, favour of the mass of the Irish and had produced far more lament- community.
On the contrary, a able consequences before the Re- proposition was unblushingly made, formation than at present, that is, to rob the cottage of its long exerwhen there was only one religion cised privilege, to add new splenin the country, and that one was po- dour to the Catholic coronet; and pery. The fact was too notorious this forsooth was to calm the counto admit of contradiction. If it was try at present, and insure its future said that the causes, however, of tranquillity. If it did, then would the turbulence and misery were it do irreparable mischief. That now changed, and were to be found country never ought to be calm and where they had not previously contented, till the blessings of civiexisted, in religious ascendancy, lization, and the rights of humanity, that, too, he denied. The causes were extended and secured to the were what they had ever been. lowest ranks of its society. To They lay not in Protestant ascen- the eternally repeated question,-if dancy, but in the fact that, while it we do not emancipate, what are we was the misfortune of Ireland to to do with Ireland,-he would anhave been a conquered country, it swer, develope, with the lights of was the crime of England to have wisdom and experience, her imcontinued treating her as such. mense internal resources, hitherto Her lands had been given away, unexplored, almost untouchedfrom time to time, to strangers, on introduce, in behalf of her suffercondition that they should reside ing population, a moderate system in the country, and support the of poor-laws,--diffuse, in spite of Protestant religion, but who had priestly domination, the benefits deserted both, thinking, as ab- of christian education-employ the sentees, to atone for their turpitude starving people, whose labours you by a few cheap votes in favour of lose, and whose characters you deEmancipation. The evils of Ire- stroy, by consigning them to inland had no connection with lier voluntary mendicancy, and finally,
while you legislate about and still more because the possession of against the poor, refuse not to property was deemed the most touch the heartless rich, the de- general, though not infallible, eviserters and enemies of their coun- dence of that information and try; and, if they are dead to other knowledge which were essential to and worthiermotives, compel the due discharge of important them, by pecuniary mulets, to re- public functions. With far greater pay, and that not in words, some certainty and scrupulosity did the of their duties to the society to constitution demand a moral qualiwhich they owe their all. These fication from all who were to make were the means, though ridiculed or administer, in the higher funcby theoretic folly, and rejected by tions of the state, the laws of inveterate selfishness, which would the realm. It had not only made regenerate Ireland, and repay the Christianity part and parcel of the wrongs of many generations. law of the land, but it had consti
“ Ireland, degraded, deserted, tuted its pure and reformed prooppressed, pillaged, is turbulent, fession an essential ingredient in and you listen to the selfish recom- the established government; and so mendations of her agitators. You long as it was true, that principles seek not to know, or knowing were the springs of practice, that you wilfully neglect, her real dis- Christianity was better than Iufitresses. If you can calm the agi- delity, and its purity better than tated surface of society, you heed its corruptions--the constitution not that fathomless depth of mi- had done so most wisely. If the sery, sorrow, and distress, whose profession of Christianity in its troubled waves may still heave un- purest form was the best guarantee seen and disregarded; and this, for- of the faithful discharge of the sooth, is patriotism. Ireland asks private and social duties, it was of you bread, and you proffer her much more so of those high and Catholic emancipation: and this, important functions, on which the I presume, is construed to be the character and happiness of millions taking into our consideration, as depended; and it was thus that our his Majesty recommended, the ancestors judged and acted in .es. whole situation of Ireland.” tablishing the
constitution. Popery In regard to the nature of they identified, as they had abunthe proposed measure, Mr. Sadler dant reason to do, with cruelty, maintained that it could be truly tyranny, and arbitrary power ; described only as an inroad on the they believed it to be injurious to constitution of the country, and a the morals and interest of the compreparatory movement towards its munity ; they knew its tendency finaldestruction. The constitution to weaken, if not withdraw, the demanded qualifications in,or, if the allegiance due to the sovereign phrase was better liked, it imposed power of a Protestant empire: and disabilities of a twofold nature on, they sought, therefore, to secure to persons called to exercise the legis- themselves the protection of Prolative or judicial functions. It testant principles, the best and demanded, first of all, a pecuniary most efficient form of Christianity qualification, that the authorities upon earth. This moral qualificaof the country might be identified tion was now called a disqualificawith its permanent interests, and tion, and was to be sacrificed. Pom litical radicals clamoured for the the doctrine that conscience ought abolition of the pecuniary qualifi- to be free and unrestrained that cation; religious radicals wished disabilities, like that sought to be to remove the moral one. The removed, inflict a wound upon the Romish faith, they said, had changed feelings of those whom they reach, its character, and become a fitting intolerable to good and generous companion for a Protestant king minds, worse than persecution, than and parliament. Had not the even death itself,--how do you same amelioration been asserted apply it? Why, you propose to far more truly of the unrepresented sear this brand high upon the foreportion of the community: yet head, and deep into the heart, of their agitators were never listened your very prince, while you render to: no; dispersion, apprehension, the scar more visible, and the insult trial, punishment, were their in- more poignant, by making him the stant rewards. But when popish solitary individual, whose hereagitators cultivated practices a ditary rank must be held and transthousand times more seditious, mitted by the disgraceful tenure they were tolerated ; nay, as very which you have stigmatized as the many thought, they were secretly badge of slavery. Freedom of connived at, that a case might be conscience to all subjects, but none made out for putting down the to your king! Throw open the constitution.
portals of legislation, that a duke And such, accordingly, was the of Norfolk may take his seat in case, on which this violation of the your senate, but hurl from his constitution was defended. Matters loftier seat there, the throne of had reached such a point of noisy the realm, a duke of Lancaster, if and dangerous discord between the he exercise the same privilege, and parties, that there must be an ade presume to have a conscience ! justment, forsooth, of the question. Hitherto the British constitution Adjustment generally terminated has been fair, uniform, equal, dein mutual concessions, and reciprocal manding from all the same moral advantages; but would the authors qualification. That qualification of this bill point out what it gave to has long been declared, by a certain the Protestant constitution in re- school of politicians, to be slavery. turn for that which it took away. Ministers have now adopted their The Protestant faith surrendered creed ; and yet they are content, every thing: it received nothing. nay they propose, that the king As a security, the office of viceroy, shall be the only proclaimed slave an office of pageantry, was to con
in his dominions.” tinue Protestant: but what Protest- But worse remained behind. ant cared an iota about it, when The proposed measure did more its holder was to be surrounded than hurt the feelings, and stain with Popish advisers, and to act by the honour of the king : it touched Popish instruments ? The king, his title. It was a bill to reverse too, it seems must still continue to the attainder which had been passed be a Protestant. This reservation upon popery ; and the natural conwas the worst of all, and heightened sequences of such a reversal were every objection to the measure into obvious. While the constitution abhorrence and disgust. “What! remained strictly Protestant, exafter establishing by a solemn act cluding from power the devoted
adherents of a cruel, tyrannous, stitution was therefore objectionand superstitious church, nothing able in itself, and doubly so on could be more clear, consistent, and account of its unavoidable conseindisputable than the royal title ; quences. The real liberties of the but if that exclusion were removed, people would be put in jeopardy ; nothing was less so. The privileges of and that the united Church of Protestantism were the title-deeds of England and Ireland would be the royal family to the throne—the placed in peril the moment the bill actual transfer of the estate which was passed, was certain. The real the king held in Parliament and in object of attack, as had been often the country.
It was Protestant asserted in that House, was the , ascendancy, now become a term of Establishment, or rather its privireproach, and Protestant ascendancy leges and immunities. The war alone, that introduced the royal line had commenced; the siege had that rules us; it was that which begun; the first parallel was nearly still formed the foundation of the completed; the very leaders of the throne, which combined its title garrison were summoning a bold with the very elements of the con- and numerous band of fresh assail. stitution, identified it with our li, ants to the attack; and the apberty, consecrated it with the sanc- proaches would be carried on, till a tities of our religion, and pro- final triumph was obtained over claimed our monarch king by the the most tolerant, the most learned, unanimous suffrages of all our in- and the most ffecient religious esstitutions. The Act of Settlement tablishment which any country had indeed was to remain; and, though ever yet been blessed with.-And, it had been passed with difficulty could any man flatter himself that by a parliament exclusively Protest- even when this was destroyed, a ant, it would of course be zealously long and uninterrupted reign of maintained by a parliament partly quietness and peace would ensue? Catholic ; but still this was to re- When this victim had been hunted move the royal title from the broad down, the same pack would scent foundation of national principle, fresh game, and the cry against supported by all the analogies of our remaining institutions would the constitution, and place it upon be renewed with redoubled vigour, a mere act of parliament, or rather till nothing remained worth either upon an exception from that act. attack or defence. An oath, indeed, Whatever became of the legal title, was to be taken, verbally forbidding the moral title of the king was Roman Catholics from harming the teuched. And what would be the establishment; but they must be true value even of his legal title, more or less than men, to be enabled after the House had declared, that to keep such an oath. Totally inthe solitary principle, on which it efficient as a security, it was imhad first been bestowed, and could moral to present it to them; it be maintained, was tyrannical, un- established a war between words just, an obsolete piece of disgusting and principles, oaths and conbigotry, which onght never to have science; and which of these would brought him there, although, now finally prevail, needed no explanathat he was there, we would con- tion. When a number of Roman descend to retain him,
Catholics were seated in that The intended change of the con- House, that they should not feel