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OF THE PROTESTANT ASSOCIATION.
blush, and say, “What have I been doing?” And therefore, for all that may be said on this subject, the clergy are not to be brow-beaten or driven back from the post of Protestant peril and Protestant conflict. They have weighed the matter and counted the cost; and as they desire not man's smiles, so they fear not man's frowns.
But, my lord, let me, for the sake of weaker friends, who are staggered at that outcry, just for a moment look it in the face, and ask what foundation is there for it. What foundation would there have been, when Ithuriel applied the heaven-tempered spear, and touched the venomous reptile, that was infusing its poison into the ear of the sleeping pair, our first parents in paradise, and at the touch of that spear, the seemingly harmless reptile sprang up“ the fiend disclosed”—what foundation would there have been, what consistency and propriety, in the fiend charging it upon the arch-angel that he had done the deed and had produced the explosion and the outbreak of his fury? Now, my lord, precisely in the same manner we had the toad of Rome squatting at the ear of Protestant England; and she was infusing her venomous breath into the very life-blood of the whole country, and it was spreading itself in high places and spreading itself in low places, far and wide; and the Protestant Association, and we poor “ incendiary clergy," have taken Ithuriel's spear, the spear of Divine truth, and we have attacked the venemous reptile, and it has sprung up“the fiend disclosed.” But is it our fault, my lord, that Rome has discovered her true face and features, and the country beginning to be startled and alarmed; there is a stir among Protestants, and there are indignation and bitter spleen among the Papists that their dark designs are detected, and they will not be allowed to poison us in the dark ?
My lord, to these few introductory remarks, I would add a single one more; and that is, that we pray devoutly to God, that He would put from our hearts all bitterness of feeling, all personal resentment, all that might savour of asperity to our poor Romish brethren. Who hath “ made us to differ?” and “what have we that we have not received?” Had we been brought up in trammels such as theirs, we too should have been fast tied and bound to the chariot wheels of a despotic superstition, peradventure, at this moment. And therefore our motto is “ Peace, peace to the poor oppressed Papist! but no peace with Popery !" If therefore there any of my Romish fellow-countrymen within these walls (and I doubt not that there are), I would say to them, with all sincerity and affection-From my heart I love you; and the worst thing I wish for you is to emancipate you from the dark dominion of an ambitious priesthood, who keep your consciences in their grasp, and your souls at their disposal. * I address myself now, my lord, having sufficiently cleared the way, to the immediate subject of the resolution which has been given to me to second. A resolution, the soberness of whose expression and the soundness of whose principles I greatly admire; a resolution which this meeting is prepared to receive-yea, to anticipate for as I passed through the lobbies of this vast building, I was glad to see petitions for the repeal of the Roman Catholic Relief Bill already lying there, and I rejoiced to see one after another of good honest-hearted English Protestants grasp the pen with a strength and a clutch, that told they were prepared to grasp the rack and the block too for the sake of Protestantism. It might almost seem, therefore, a gratuitous service to try to impress upon the minds of this vast auditory the necessity of the step we are taking. But when we recollect, that we trust that this meeting will exert an influence in the country at large, and perhaps in some degree, though feebly, tell on St. Stephen's itself, we cannot but feel that it is important the subject should be calmly and deliberately, though zealously and fervently argued. And therefore, inasmuch as we are going to propose to attempt a measure, which our soundest (as we thought) Conservative members have looked at and started at, as if it had been some "spirit from the vasty deep”-I beg pardon, there have been splendid exceptions; there is my Lord Winchelsea in the House of Lords, and there is the worthy member for East Kent in the House of Commons, and if every county in England will do its duty at the next election, every county will send a John Pemberton Plumptre to Parliament, and then, my lord, we shall see whether our temporizing Conservatives will smile and laugh at the Protestant spirit and the Protestant power that is working yet in the hearts of the people of this land.
The resolution asserts that the passing of the mis-called “ Catholic Relief Bill” was an infringement upon the integrity of our Protestant constitution, because Protestantism was an essential part of the constitution. My lord, I had almost said, Protestantism was the constitution; as that constitution was founded and framed and
built in the times of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queen Elizabeth, that truly Protestant queen of immortal memory-as that constitution was afterwards repaired and perfected at the glorious revolution—then, then, my lord, that constitution was throughout pervaded by Protestant principle and Protestant spirit. Its one grand object was to keep Old England from ever being again degraded into a mere feoff of Rome, and the king of England from being a mere deputy of the old man of Rome. We, my lord, in these days of comparative laxity and latitudinarianism, when the days of the Reformation and alas! the truths of the Reformation, and the spirit of the Reformation-have sorely faded away-we can little appreciate the horror, the righteous horror, the blood-bought horror of Popery, that swelled and burnt in the bosom of every true hearted Englishman; and actuated by this righteous horror of Popery it was, that they took every measure that human skill could devise and every step that human effort could accomplish, to make the ramparts of our constitution so deep, so broad, so strong, so sure, that Popery should never again be able either to climb over their top, to sap their base, or to ruin their walls. But, my lord, I need not appeal to you and such as you, who, as statesmen, have made yourselves acquainted with what the glorious constitution was, and though mangled, still is. You are well aware, that throughout, the one grand principle-I might say, the leading feature-I might say the distinguishing characteristic of our constitution was-its Protestant principle; Protestant ascendancy, Protestant integrity, Protestant Christianity. No queen, but a Protestant; no ministers, but Protestants; no members of Parliament, but Protestants. Every law savoured of Protestantism; every office was entered on by a solemn abjuration of the idolatry of Rome, and the usurpation of the Pope of Rome; every act of the legislature, every law of the land, every office in church and state guarded against the subtle encroachments or the ravening power of that wily and mighty enemy, whom our forefathers knew how well to appreciate-how sorely to dread. Now, my lord, I conceive in the face of all this, it was a most direct and a most monstrous infraction of our beautiful constitution to clear away these oaths as though they were unnecessary, to break down these righteous barriers as though they were obsolete, and to admit our enemies into the camp; to allow them to come into the chambers of monarchy to whisper their dark councils there-(Two or three persons here hissed the speaker). My lord, I understand what that expression of disapprobation is meant to convey; I suppose, something about as veracious, as that my brother Mr. M'Neile compared our queen to Jezebel; but I think O'Connell repents that he gave him such a text, on which he preached one of the best sermons that O'Connell and his clan ever heard. But if it was intended to convey any insinuation against the loyalty that beats in this heart, I can afford to cast it from me. We only love our dear little queen so dearly, that we cannot bear the thought of her ear getting poisoned by Popery, or her heart either. What right, my lord, have the Papists to prefer their loyalty to ours, when they can give to our queen at the best a divided-I might say a subordinate-loyalty? The centre of their loyalty is at Rome - not in England. The Lord of their consciences, and therefore of their allegiance, is the Pope - that greatest usurper the world was ever cursed with, sitting on the seven hilled city. And therefore they will only be loyal to their queen, while their queen is made to seem subservient to them. So long as it answers their purpose, O'Connell and such as he will make the welkin ring with “ Long live the queen! and down with those vile, truculent Tories, that if they could would destroy her because she has some mercy for the Papists !” But, my lord, I say in reply to all such bombast and rhodomontade, let us look to facts, not to words; and let us go to Ireland, and see and listen to the language of this new apostle of loyalty. Why, we find him threatening the kingdom with his millions of wild Irishmen, if we do not bow to king O'Connell, and almost dethrone Queen Victoria. My lord, it may seem strong and startling language, but it is not stronger than truth will warrant; for is he not, with his fiery tail, at this very moment governing her majesty's ministers ? and are not her majesty's ministers governing the country? and therefore, in the back ground, who holds the string that moves the puppets ? Why, I will tell you, my lord; I will tell you the secret of the whole. O'Connell holds the string--and the priests hold O'Connell—and Rome holds the priests. This, my lord, is the secret of the thing; and if I have seemed to diverge a little from the path of argument I was pursuing, those gentlemen who were so sibilant, must thank themselves; because I had no intention of making any such remarks as those that have fallen from my lips, but when they hissed my expressions about my OF THE PROTESTANT ASSOCIATION.
queen, I am too loyal an Englishman to take it quietly-(Mr. Stowell had been perpetually interrupted by applause; but this remark drew down more enthusiastic cheering, repeatedly renewed).- Will you pardon me, my Christian friends, if whilst I rejoice in your expression of Protestant loyalty and spirit, I may ask you without presumption from one so unworthy to address you at all, that you would be a little moderate, for the present at least, in your enthusiasm; because we shall never get on, if we are to have nothing but clapping of hands and applause.
My lord, I was about remarking, that I conceived that the passing of that unhappy act inflicted a complete infraction upon our Protestant constitution. If it were not so, why did they guard the introduction of Papists with an oath that they were not to subvert Protestantism as established by law in the land ? Why did they preserve three columns intact and erect, that only told alas! how they were dismantled and shorn of their beautiful pillars, that ought in symmetry still to have supported and cemented the fabric? and why have we the throne, the Lord Lieutenancy, and the Lord Chancellorship, standing out the memorial of what we should be, and never ought to have ceased to be ? Yes, my lord, the simple reservation to Protestantism of the Throne, the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland and the Lord Chancellorship, evince and prove that those who passed that measure did it more from a compliance with a bad and miserable expediency, than from a conviction of conscience or a conversion of the understanding-—(The same persons again hissed). My lord, I am again hissed for that sentiment. Allow me to appeal to the language that Sir Robert Peel himself used when he came and moved the passing of that bill. If Mr. Plumptre was in Parliament at the time he will bear me out-or the Parliamentary records of the time will bear me out-that Sir Robert Peel most distinctly avowed that his conviction of the evil of the measure remained unabated, and his belief of its injurious tendency unchanged, but there were circumstances that compelled him to pass the bill in the face of his conviction, in the face of the belief of his understanding. Oh! that that great man should have so fearfully fallen, when he was at the zenith of his Protestant splendour! I fear he will never rise to it again (The persons before alluded to ironically cheered). My lord, I speak in all respect and value for Sir Robert Peel; he has been a friend in many things to the country. But if Sir Robert Peel is to get up in his place in Parliament, and as it is reported in papers favourable to his political measures, say that he considers the passing of that bill the most virtuous act of his life, it involves such a moral obliquity, my lord, that I almost tremble to think where he is to stop.
My lord, I know neither party men nor party measures. I am a Christian minister, bound to speak the truth; whether a man is a Conservative, a Whig, or a Radical, I would tell him the truth, even at the expence of my life, if it were necessary. I am not speaking as an enemy of Sir Robert Peel, I am not speaking of him in unkind feeling; I am speaking as his best friend, for if he knew the true interest of his party and of his country, he would come round and adopt the motto of this Association—"No peace with Popery!" It furnishes only another proof, my lord, that the most inexpedient thing in the world is to sacrifice principle to expediency, and the most expedient thing in the world is to sacrifice expediency to principle. It only proves, that if a man once gets into a bad boat, he does not know how the leak may increase, and gradually sink him deeper and deeper, till at last perhaps he becomes swamped altogether. And I hesitate not to say, that there is not a greater barrier in the way of the return of the Conservative party to power and the seat of government at this moment, than the low, pitiful, tergiversating, conceding, compromising, expediency-hunting conduct, which they pursued in passing that bill. My lord, we want to Protestantise our statesmen over again. We want them no longer to march under a party-coloured standard ; but we want them to elevate the pure blue standard of PROTESTANTISM again. We want them no more to go now half way to meet the Liberals, and now to stand up against them, but boldly to stand on the brink of Protestant truth and press ONWARD.
My lord, and what is wanting in order to do this? Just moral courage; just moral courage, I say. And if I had a voice that could reach every senator in St. Stephen's, I would thunder in his ears--MORAL COURAGE! MORAL COURAGE! The man that will go to the cannon's mouth, animated by natural and physical courage, will quail and cower beneath the sneer of a fool or the insult of a rascal. But mental, spiritual, heavenly courage is as far superior to that brute-beast courage, as the courage of Wellington in Waterloo to the fell tiger that revels in the blood of its victim. It is only the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of God, my lord, that can emancipate the soul from that almost worse than Popish spell -yea, that which is the secret of the Popish spell itself -" The fear of man, which bringeth a snare." And it is beautiful to see many a lowly humble-minded man, that is raised above it; and if I might without invidiousness, I would name two in your hearing—Sir Andrew Agnew and Mr. John Pemberton Plumptre. Do you think, my lord, if Sir Robert Peel had had manly, Christian MORAL COURAGE, he would ever have passed that bill? He would have said, “Pass it who will, I never will pass it: I will give up my place, I will never give up my principles ; let the Liberals do it if they will; let the Liberals have it, if they will; but I will never be the man to carry it.” And if the bill had then been carried, he would have had such a moral strength along with him, that his party, instead of being ever since beaten, and beaten, and beaten again, as if God would show them that perfidy would cause humiliation and defeat, would long since have restored to us our forfeited Protestant character, would long since have been seated in power.
And is it, my lord, in the face of all this, that Sir Robert Peel is still to tell us, that it is the most virtuous act of his life, that he passed the Roman Catholic Relief Act? May God teach him sounder wisdom, and lead him to repent of that sentiment before he dies. He tells us that the Act has not had a fair trial, that it has not been worked fairly, and that it only wants to be worked by the Conservatives for it to work well; but it will never be worked by him, I am persuaded, until he has renounced his low principles of expediency, and adopted high Protestant principles for the government and guidance of the country. Would he ever, too, have given support to the Corporations Bill for Ireland? Would he have taken part with those that would have crushed our worthy friends the sheriffs (one of whom I see there in their defence of the law ?
The time would fail me, my lord, to enter more largely into the proof, that our constitution was essentially and emphatically Protestant, and that therefore the passing of that hapless act was an infraction upon its Protestant integrity. But I must address myself briefly, in the next place, to the second branch of the resolution, which asserts that the oath, on the security of which the Papists were admitted into parliament, has been grossly and repeatedly violated by the Papists.
Now, my lord, either that oath was, or it was not, intended to protect our Protestant institutions, and the establishment in church and state. If it was not, then it was a cunning plan and trap to take in unwary Protestants. If it was, then why has it not accomplished its purpose? If it has proved unequal to accomplish the purpose, why has not Sir Robert Peel and those in whose face it has been broken, come forward and said 'The oath has been violated; we must try some other means to keep the Papists in proper check and control?'. If, however, that oath has been repeatedly broken, as an appeal to facts will abundantly show, then it is high time, if Sir Robert Peel or some other member of parliament will not do His duty, that the Protestant people of England should do it, and cry out “Perfidy and perjury!' till the parliament hears it.
Have they not broken that oath, my lord ? What! when they were the “ aiders, abettors, and comforters ” of the appropriation clause! What! when they were the “aiders, abettors, and comforters” of the bill that spoliated the Irish Church of more than one third of its bishops!· What! when we find the Popish bishops usurping the titles of those of the Protestant Church! What! when we find a near relative of one of the ministers, with a base and degrading pliancy that I deeply pity and deplore, has been signing his name under that of John M Hale, but signing himself " John Tuam"- when we find the sainted Archbishop gone to heaven, thus misrepresented by a Popish usurper, and the Bishop of Tuam signing his name as if recognising the authority of that Romish priest pretending to be the Archbishop of Tuam ? Surely it is not too much to say, that these are signs and symptoms, that Popery, in defiance of its oath, is trying to sap the Protestant constitution of this country. And not only in this, but in various other cases. Who are the most active agitators to abolish church-rates? The Papists. Who are the individuals that were first and foremost to push forward the endowment of Popish priests as chaplains to our jails? The Papists. Who are the most active in supporting the bill to deprive us of the clergy reserves in Canada ? The Papists. Who are the men most forward in every measure that is likely to bear hard upon the church? The Papists. Who are the men, that in the back-ground have begotten and nursed and fostered the monstrous misshapen scheme of National Education, aiming to stab the church to the very heart ? OF THE PROTESTANT ASSOCIATION. i
Jesuits and Papists in the back-ground. I believe, my lord, that many of the measures for Old England come down ready cut out and concocted from the Propaganda at Rome, and then are brought into St. Stephen's by some of our gullible, Liberal, boasted members of the church, that would not do half the harm if they declared themselves Infidels or Papists; but it is because they betray the Church of England with a kiss, and take hold of her mantle to stab her beneath, that they are most to be dreaded. Give me an honest, open-hearted enemy any day, before a sneaking, covert, cowardly, half-hearted friend. Give me any day the bold and bigoted Papist, that would lay down his life for his superstition, rather than the cold, calculating, dowhat-you-please latitudinarian Liberal of these times. I have ten thousand times more respect for the memory of that great man, Lord Eldon, obstinate though he might almost seem in his unchangeable principles, than I have for any of our modern statesmen, who are so charitable that they dare not assert their opinions, and so liberal that they dare not maintain their principles or defend their position.
My lord, it cannot be otherwise, than that the Papists should thus do. They cannot give to England an undivided patriotism ; they cannot give to the Queen of England an undivided allegiance. They owe to the Pope of Rome their pre-eminent allegiance; and the priests take very good care that that allegiance shall be secured, whatever else is not. They indoctrinate it in early life ; and we know that what children drink in as with their mother's milk, will imbue their very constitution and pervade their whole soul. But, my lord, I contend, that the Romanists, in doing all this, are doing no more than what is perfectly consistent and right in them. We are the inconsistent party ; they are the consistent. We are the gulled; they are the gullers. We are the betrayed; they are the betrayers. We are the poor, silly, simple sheep, that have allowed the “wolves in sheep's clothing” to get into our fold. But, my Protestant fellow-countrymen, if you will allow your clerical shepherds to sound the alarm, and cry aloud, we will detect these “wolves in sheep's clothing,” and we will turn them out of the fold.
My lord, Popery and Protestantism cannot co-exist in power. You might as well expect to make light and darkness commingle, or endeavour to make the sun and “ the dark pit” to become one, as Popery and Protestantism to become one. Either we must abandon our principles, or they must desert theirs. Either we must sacrifice Protestantism to Infidelity and Popery, or they must become traitors to Romeand therefore, in their belief, traitors to God.
And, my lord, allow me further to remark, that I conceive the Church of Rome has given us abundant evidence of this in times past. When did Rome ever get power, and not use it? When did she obtain political force, and not use it to gain further force? And all in order that she might extend herself triumphantly through the world. Our Conservative statesmen knew little of Popery-I would that our Reformers had been there to preach them a good sermon, as Latimer did before King Henry VIII.-or they never would have been such fools, as to believe that while the works of Peter Dens were an authority, or while the Creeds of Lateran and Trent were binding upon that church, any oaths would be more binding upon the conscience, than the ropes that became as flax and the green withs that were as tow, with which Sampson was to be bound. I say that all the security and safeguards that Popery can give to Protestantism will prove no barrier when brought into contact with the mighty and giant superstition, wielded by Popery over the minds of her enslaved children and emissaries.
Nor let it be forgotten, that in this conflict we have not to do simply with Popery at home; we have to do with Popery throughout the world. Whilst the Protestant bodies are split into many, the Popish body, though diversified by a thousand tints and forms, yet all concentrates its power in seeking to set forward Popery at large. And, therefore, it is not simply that we have the Jesuits in our country; it is not simply that we have Papists in place, in power, in our cabinet, in our senate; it is not simply that we have a mighty machinery and Association which the Roman Catholics have instituted to counteract our movements, and to spread the poison as fast as we spread the antidote. But as I had it from one, who was once a zealous priest and educated in the Propaganda at Rome, but who is now a devoted and conscientious clergyman of the Church of England, in Manchester-we are utterly mistaken if we conceive that all the measures of Papists are just the isolated acts of the individual or the party acting ; so far from it-it is the Propaganda at Rome that moves and regulates the whole machine. There we have a college of cardinals, men the most