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Supremacy, Allegiance, and Abjuration ; and repeated and subscribed the Declaration against Transubftantiation, Invocation of Saints, and Sacrifice of the Mass. (See English Statutes, and ift Blackstone's Commentaries, p. 158, odtavo edition.) By the 22nd article of the Union of England and Scotland, all Scotch Members are obliged to take the same Qaths, and subscribe the same Declaration : and in the Act ratifying the Treaty of Union of England and Scotland two Acts of the respective Parliaments of the two nations are recited, the one providing for the perpetual establishment and maintenance of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, the other for the perpetual establifhment and maintenance of the Church of England, in England, Wales, Ireland, and the town of Berwick upon Tweed; and these two Acts are therein declared to be fundamental and effential conditions of that Union. (See Defoe's History of the Union of England and Scotland, from page 557 to 562, and the English Statutes:) How then can his Lordship maintain that the exclusion of Irish Romanists from Parliament, and the aforesaid offices, which he, adopting the phraseology of his Gamaliel, Mr. Edmund Burke, is pleased to style Protestant Sovereignty, Ascendancy, and Monopoly, is a wrong; and its continuance a continuance of wrong? He must mean, that it is a restriction of the natural rights of man, which is not required by that first of political objects, the fafety and preservation of the State ; or that it is not conformable to the opinions of the majority of the members of the community, and therefore unjuft. As to the firft, I have already proved, that Romanifts, from their religious doctrines, ought pot to be admitted to the enjoyment of any portion of the Sovereignty of a Protestant State; and that they
fhould be excluded from the Houses of Lords and Commons, both in Great Britain and Ireland, because it would be highly injurious, and perhaps, in Ireland, destructive to the State to admit them; and consequently that it is no wrong to exclude them. If their exclusion is a wrong in Ireland, it must be a wrong in Great Britain ; for the principles of natural justice are immutable, and not variable by the circumstance of their being more numerous in Ireland than in Great Britain. . What is right or wrong in this particular in the one country, muft be right or wrong in the other. Their exclusion in Ireland is more requisite than in Great Britain, on account of their greater numbers in the former country, and their claims to'all the landed property in the hands of Pro, testants, the poffeffion of which, his Lordship states, they consider as usurpation: and Dr. Troy, as before mentioned, ftates, that they consider the Protestant Establishment an ufurpation. These circumstances render their elevation in Ireland more dangerous than in
Great Britain, and their exclusion in the former country · more just and reasonable,
If his Lordship thinks the exclusion of Romanists from Parliament and the great offices of the State a wrong, he must think that all the great statesmen in Britain and Ireland, since the commencement of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, were workers of iniquity and all the Statutes enacted since, respecting Romanists, public wrongs; he must think King James the Second was perfectly justifiable in endeavouring to remedy this wrong; the glorious King William the Third an usurper; and all who assisted in the Revolution of 1688 Rebels. His Lordship declares it to be his warmest
willi wish to establish Irish Romanists in an equality of civil right with Irish Protestants; King James the Second profeffed nothing more. He professed similar designs in England. His attempts to carry these designs into execution, both in England and Ireland, cost him his crown, and consigned him and his luckless progeny to perpetual exile.
His Lordship cannot arraign the aforesaid Statutes of injustice in excluding Romanists, on the principle that they are not conformable to the opinion of the majority of the Irish nation : for, waving the argument of the superior number by the poll of the Protestants in Great Britain and Ireland, taken together, over the Romanists, and considering Ireland a distinct and independent nation (which it is not), let his Lordship's principle be examined by the principles of the Constitution: by that constitution, the Representatives of the people are elected by the People, reckoned, not by their numbers by the poll, but by their property: thirty-nine parts out of forty of Irish property are in the hands of Irish Protestants, consequently the constitutional power of election is poffeffed by the Irish Protestants, though Romanists now enjoy the elective franchise, as well as Protestants: the House of Commons, so elected, together with the Lords and the Monarch, have enacted these Statutes, by the operation of which Romanists are excluded; that is, they were enacted by the true legitimate Sovereign Power of the State. The very capacity of fitting in Parliament and enjoying public offices is a political right, merely arising from the institutions of civil society, and may justly, be withheld or abridged by the supreme constitutional power of that fociety, when it
deems the exertion of its authority in such particulars conducive to the well-being of the State. With what propriety or truth can his Lordship then maintain, that the exclusion of Romanists from certain political fitu&ations, effected by the operation of Statutes enacted by Parliament, aflembled pursuant to the principles of the Constitution, is a wrong, and an unjust invasion of their natural rights? It is a polition not to be supported by reason or argument !
I trust I have fairly lopped off the first horn of his Lordship’s dilemma, to wit, that exclusion of Irish Romanists cannot be supported, and consequent Proteftant ascendancy maintained, without violation of the natural rights of the Irish Romanists, and continuation of the injustice. I have reduced his two-lorned bugbear to an unicorn; and I will preserve the remaining horn, to wit, that the exclusion of Irish Romanists cannot be repealed,and their claims acceded to, without detriment to the Protestant Establishment in Ireland, to gore and lacerate (to use his own words) the remainder of his
Lordship’s argument with: nay more, I will sharpen 'this horn, and prove, that the admillion of Irish Roman
ists into Parliament and the great offices of the State, - would, in the event of an Incorporating Union of Great Britain and Ireland taking place, be subversive of the Constitution of the Empire in general; and that the publication and support of such a project by great Ministers of State are very likely to disincline the real friends of the Constitution in Church and Statė, as. .well in Great Britain as Ireland, to the measure of an Union.
However, before I begin to use the horn, it is not improper to take notice, that his Lordship has insinuated that Irish Protestants hold their estates under the titles of Conquest or Prescription. Conquest is in general a title founded on wrong ; and the title by prescription his Lordship endeavours to discredit. I am extremely forry to be obliged to observe, that his Lordship here manifests much want of knowledge of the real situation and circumstances of Ireland, and that his Gamaliel has led him again into a gross error. If any estates in Ireland can at this day be said to be enjoyed under the title of Conquest, they must be such as were acquired by the first British adventurers in Ireland in the reign of Henry the Second. His acquisition of Ireland cannot properly be called a Conquest ; for thoughh he arrived in Ireland at the head of an army, the whole Irish nation, as I before observed, submitted, and swore fealty to him, aud chofe him for their Monarch, without putting him to the necessity of striking a blow. Of the great estates acquired by his followers, some were gained, not by force, but by lawful conveyance and succession : such was that of Richard de Clare, Earl of Chepstow, fur. named Strongbow, who married the only daughter and child of the King of Leinster, and became in her right entitled to a vast territory in that province, in which he fettled a great number of his vaffals ; and which always, till the reign of Elizabeth, was the most considerable seat of the English Colony in Ireland, and great part of it was called the Pale, or the Territory governed by English Laws. However, whether the first English adventurers gained their estates by the sword, or otherwise, I apprehend to be at this day of little consequence, for there is scarce remaining a single estate in this king