« PrejšnjaNaprej »
During that reign certain oaths in the peculiar situation of being were prescribed to be taken by per- the church of the minority of the sons of the Church of England- people; and if violence against it namely, those of the 13th and 14th were apprehended, he would ask, years of his reign; and, in the 25th whether that church was more and 30th years, oaths were framed likely to be defended against vioto exclude Catholics from Parlia- lence by an unanimous government, ment. At the Revolution king and a parliament united with goWilliam thought it would be proper vernment, and with itself, or by a to extend the basis of his govern- divided government, and a parliament by the admission of Protest- ment of which the parts were opant dissenters; and, therefore, re- posed to each other ? commended, that that part of the could look with patience and attenOath of Supremacy prescribed by tion at the present state of this the 13th and 14th Charles 2nd., question without being convinced, which the dissenters could not take, that the real interests of all classes should be repealed—for the great in this country, and particularly principle of the Revolution was, to the church itself, required the connarrow as much as possible the ex- sideration and settlement clusory laws, and that principle proposed. This settlement would had been embodied in the Bill of give security to the church, strength Rights. Here, then, was just the to every department of the governdifference between what were in- ment, and general tranquillity to tended to form permanent, unalter- the country at large. able parts of the constitution, and His grace then explained the what was intended to be variable, reasons which had induced him, in though adopted, or retained, at the framing his measure, to concede time, to guard against peculiar every thing, and to ask nothing. dangers. If the act cxcluding He had done the first, he said, Catholics from parliament was
because he had observed that any meant to be permanent, there was restrictions on former partial acts another, of the 8th of William and of concession, instead of doing good Mary, requiring officers of the navy had only increased the demands, and army to take these very oaths, and strengthened the power of before they could act under their those who were the subjects of the commissions. How could the for- restriction. So long as you gave mer have been meant to be more something which added to the permanent than the latter? and
power of asking with effect, and yet lord Eldon himself had con- lest something which could not fail sented to the repeal of the 8th of to be asked for, you could do- only William and Mary. On what mischief. He had provided no ground, then, could he now oppose securities ; because he did not the repeal of the former as being think that any were necessary, or contrary to the permanency of the could be useful. He did not see constitution.
how the admission of Catholics to The next obstacle was the safety seats in parliament could do the of the Protestant church. Now, church
any harm. They had been that part of the united church of excluded only in the 30th of Charles England and Ireland, which was end; and when they were now replaced in the latter kingdom, was admitted, the church would be no
worse off, than she had been, before that it would bring peace to Irethat statute was enacted. Any con- land. When he considered the use trol over the appointment of the Ca- which had been made of the contholic bishops seemed to be out of cession of the elective franchise, to the question. It could be acquired produce consequences which, it was only by a concordat with the said, had rendered the present pope. That, again, implied that measure necessary, he could see no the pope had some authority within return of gratitude in the conduct the country to which the concordat of the Roman Catholics. When was to extend, and that was a point he considered the liberality of the which we could never yield. "We public, which had established a must keep our sovereign free from college for educating the Roman all such transactions. “On the Catholic youth,—when he looked whole,” said his grace, “I entertain at the liberality of parliament no doubt that, after this measure granting supplies for its support,— shall have passed, the Roman Ca- when he saw those very men, who tholics will cease to exist as a sepa- had been bred up at the public exrate interest in the state as they at pense, becoming members of an aspresent do. I have no doubt that sociation which had existed in conthey will cease to excite disunion tempt of the government, and in in this or the other House of parlia- defiance of the laws, lending themment. Parliament will then, I selves to the exaction of a tax levied hope, bc disposed to look at their on the people, and converting their conduct, and every thing which places of worship into meetings for respects that country, as they would factious purposes, when he looked at look upon the people and the affairs all the circumstances, he saw little of England and Scotland. · I will encouragement for any sanguine say, however, that, if I am disap- expectation that the measure propointed in my hopes of tranquillity, posed would produce either tranafter a trial has been given of the quillity in Ireland or safety to the measure, I shall have no scruple in church. In his eyes it was irreconcoming down to parliament and cilable with the Protestant essence laying before it the state of the of the constitution. The laws now case, and calling for the necessary to be repcaled were treated with powers to enable the government contempt, as having been passed to take the steps suited to the oc- during a season of agitation and casion. I shall do this in the same alarm ; but it mattered not what confidence that parliament will circumstances produced them, for support me that I feel in the present they had been adopted and recase."
established at the Revolution, as a The Archbishop of Canterbury, necessary security of the constituon the other hand, expressed his tion. By the Coronation oath, as surprise, that any man, who remem- then arranged, the king swore to bered what the conduct of the Ca- maintain the true profession of the tholies had always been, and who gospel, and the Protestant reformed knew, as every man must know, religion established by law. How that even what was now proposed was the king to do this? By fell far short of their ultimate ob- attending churches in person? No. jects, should attempt to justify so The king could act only by respondangerous a measure on the ground sible advisers; and therefore, when such a clause was inserted in the say, that a former Secretary of oath, it was thought that the king State for Foreign Affairs, with would always have about him whom he had had frequent comproper servants, who would enable munications, told him, that his inhim to discharge the obligations terference, as Foreign Secretary, imposed on him by the oath. Sup- had often been successful in behalt pose, what was an extreme case, of oppressed bodies of Protestants certainly, but sufficient for the on the Continent. Could the oppurpose of illustration,-suppose pressed Protestants settled in a Cathe king to be surrounded by minis- tholic country trust the Secretary ters who were all Roman Catholics. of State for Foreign Affairs, if that It was clear he could do nothing Secretary were a Roman Catholic, towards fulfilling those obligations; as they trusted him now,-or apply for, whatever measures he might to him with that confidence with contemplate for that purpose, which they made their applications there would be no person to now? Again, it was a matter of carry them into effect. He said, far greaterimportance than he knew therefore, that no adviser or minis- to describe, that the Secretary for ter of the Crown, who could not the Colonies should be well affected enter into the views of the king for to the Protestant interest. In rethe maintenance of the true profes- spect to the church, the power of sion of the gospel, and of the Pro- the Secretary for the Colonies was testant reformed religion, could almost absolute. The church paassist the king to fulfil those obli- tronage of the colonies was princigations which were imposed upon pally at his disposal ; the clergy him by the Coronation oath. Only were almost absolutely under his look how the change would tell control. In dissensions among the practically in different departments clergy, and for the protection of of the state. He apprehended one their interests, he was the person of the great causes of the import- appealed to. If there was not a ance of this country on the Conti- strong Protestant spirit in the Senent to be its support of Protestant cretary for the Colonies, it would states in every part of Europe, and be in his power to discourage, to not only of Protestant states, but the most alarming degree, and even (which was of equal importance, almost to extinguish, the Church of both as maintaining the true pro- England, in many of the colonies. fession of the gospel, and as indica- It was possible that a person of tive of the power of England) of religious mind, looking at the those little bodies of Protestants position which England occupied which were found in large states, -at the extensive colonies she posand of which the members, sur- sessed in the east, the west, the rounded by the jealous disciples of north, and the south,-might bethe Church of Rome, naturally lieve, that she was ordained to be looked to this country for protection, instrumental in the hands of Proand in time of danger sought refuge vidence to extend true religion to in the influence, the intercession, the remotest quarters of the globe. or the power of the Secretary of The missionaries of England were State for Foreign Affairs in this to be found in all parts of the world; country. He would not mention but would these zealous men connames; but he must be allowed to tinue their arduous pursuit if a
Catholic Secretary for the Colonies by the consideration of the division were added to the difficulties, of opinion in both Houses of parliaalready numerous enough, which ment, but still more by the turn they had to encounter? The king which talent and education had was not fairly represented in the taken in this kingdom, with refercolonies
, unless he was represented ence to the question; upon that fact by a Protestant. As to the duties the right rev. bishop said he would of the Secretary of State for the stand. The
who opposed Home Department, he had much concession, were men advanced in
say upon that subject, but he years; but the individuals who did not feel himself justified in de- were rising, in the natural protaining their lordships. Much gress of things, to fil the high there was to be said with respect offices of the state, were, with to the church patronage at his dis- scarcely an exception, in favour posal, and with respect to the of this measure. This fact, he many institutions connected with would contend, must of itself renthe Church of England, which were der the continuation of exclusion under his control. The dangers, impossible, when the talents, into which the Church of Ireland telligence, and education of the would be exposed, if this bill passed country, were marshalled in favour into a law, furnished an ample of concession, and taking a course field for discussion : and he put it decidedly hostile to the system to their lordships to consider in which had so long been followed : what a condition a Protestant Lord it was time to alter that system. Lieutenant of Ireland would find It was impossible to deny the fact, himself with a Roman Catholic that intelligence and education had Secretary of State for the Home been diverted into another chanDepartment, and with a Roman nel, and now ran in a stream over Catholic Secretary for Ireland. which human power could have The archbishop concluded by no control. The House could not, moving as an amendment, that the therefore, do other than surrender bill should be read a second time to that which they could not help that day six months.
or avoid ; and in taking this step The debate which followed was he would throw himself on the continued during three days, the protection of that gracious Provi2nd, 3rd, and 4th of April. The dence, which could bring good spiritual lords who spoke, in addi- out of evil; which could produce tion to the mover of the amend- light out of darkness. Independment, were the archbishops of ently of this, however, there were York and Armagh, the bishops of abundant reasons why he should London, Salisbury, Durham, and vote for the bill. He would vote Oxford. They all opposed the for it because it came recommended bill
, with the exception of the last, by his majesty's speech from the who contended that concession was throne, seconded by the declaration called for, not merely by the situ- of the heir presumptive to the ation of Ireland, by the considera- Crown, supported by all the memtion of the immense military force bers of the royal family, except found necessary for the mainte- the duke of Cumberland, carried nance of the public peace, which, through the other House by an after all, was not maintained, and overwhelming majority, supported
by very many members of the tholies from holding lands, or from House of Lords, with the venera- exercising their religion in this ble Chancellor of the University country. That was the constituof Oxford at their head, supported, tion of 1688; that constitution was too, for many years, by that great fortified by acts of parliament, and eloquent statesman whom which gave strength and security. Providence had recently snatched But when those securities were away from the service of his coun- removed, they were no longer try, and specially brought forward bound to that constitution. He by those ministers, who had been would not feel himself bound to hitherto truly considered as the stand by a city which had once champions of the Protestant inter- been well fortified, when he saw est. These were extraordinary its works dismantled, and its forticircumstances, which had never fications thrown down. Popish been combined before ; and he priests were no longer forbidden, thought that a bill, introduced in as formerly, to enter into, or to these circumstances, would, in a abide in, these kingdoms--they few years, produce a very different were allowed the free and unrestate of things in Ireland. The stricted exercise of their religion bishop of Oxford further main- here. Popish school-masters were tained, that not only had the con- no longer forbidden to keep schools stitution of 1688 been already the only restriction place on stripped of many of the securities them by the present law was, that which were then thought neces- they should not take Protestant sary to its safety, but that the pupils—a law which was every very fact of its having been so day evaded. When, therefore, dismantled absolved all men from we were deprived of these secuany obligation to defend what of ritics--when these bulwarks, as its fortifications remained. It they were considered, of the Prowas not a constitution, fenced in testant constitution of the country, upon a principle of exclusion, were thus thrown down-he bethat the House was now called lieved that that constitution had to support; for that principle had been long since broken down, and long ago been given up. It that the constitution, which existed was not a city well fortified, which at the present day, was very differthey were now called upon to ent from that which had been defend, but a city without its established at the Revolution. If fortifications; they were called the constitution had been originally upon to uphold, not a constitution founded upon the principle of Cawhich prevented the ingress of tholic exclusion, that principle had Popish priests and Jesuits into been long since done away with ; this kingdom, but a constitution the Catholics had been admitted which, while it certainly would to a participation in the rights and not admit them to scats in either privileges of the state, and to the House of parliament, did not pro- possession of substantial power ; hibit them from coming to the and it was one thing to hold out Horsc-Guards or to Westminstere against an enemy in a well-fortified hall. They were not now called town, and another thing to make upon to stand up in defence of a a defence in a town completely constitution which prohibited Cas stripped of its fortifications. It