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should answer him in the affirmative. It is possible to have a short nose, and yet be so shortsighted as not to see to the end of it. All things are in change,' said a member of one of Elizabeth's parliaments, and nothing so suppressed, but by God's grace the same may, in time, by policy be raised up.' He who said this was a papist. The policy which he required for raising up that suppressed superstition in these kingdoms will not be wanting: once it was already so raised as to struggle for the ascendancy, and by God's grace it was again suppressed; but woe be to us if, in reliance upon that grace, we neglect our human securities, and suffer our defences to be betrayed!"
That all Securities would prove unavailing, from the Pope's acknowledged power to dispense with the obligation of an oath.Instances given.
"LORD ELDON has said truly, that during the many years which have elapsed since this question has been contemplated, no man has yet found out what securities he could propose on the part of the Protestants, which the Roman
Catholics would give as the price of what they were to receive.'
"In fact," says the Quarterly Reviewer, “any securities that might be proposed or accepted would not be worth a rush. To say that the Roman Catholics, as a body, are not to be trusted upon their declaration and their oaths, would in these days expose the person who should assert it to a full-mouthed cry of Hear! hear!' in Parliament, and to a charge of bigotry, intolerance, calumny, and ungentlemanliness, from the Roman Catholic press, and that part of the press which, without being Roman Catholic, is decidedly antiProtestant. The assertion, nevertheless, is true. They are not to be bound in their dealings with a Protestant state, by any declarations or oaths, however solemn; and this is no secret part of their system, for it has been decreed and pronounced by popes, canons, and councils, that no such oaths and declarations are binding. It is upon the religious sincerity of other men that you have your surest reliance; but in exact proportion as the Roman Catholics are sincere in their religion, must they upon any point in which the interests of their church are concerned, be distrusted. Corruptio optimi pessima. The better, the sincerer, the more religious they are, the more effectually are they disqualified by their creed. They are told in their decretals,* that Non est observandum juramentum quo malum
* P. 2, Caus. 22, Quest. 4.
incautè permittitur: that Non omnia promissa solvenda sunt: that Non observentur juramenta quæ fiunt contra divina mandata: and that Aliquando non expedit promissum servare sacramentum. To these authorities their creed binds them; and of the application of such maxims history affords abundant examples. In the bull* whereby Pope Innocent III. excommunicated Count Ramon of Thoulouse, and absolved his subjects from their allegiance, the maxim that faith is not to be kept with heretics is there distinctly stated as canonical-Juxta Sanctorum Patrum Canonicas sanctiones ei qui fidem Deo non servat, fides servanda non sit.' It was part of the Coronation oath in Arragon, that the king 'should, upon no pretence whatever, expel the Moriscoes, nor force them against their wills to be baptized; and that he should neither directly nor indirectly ever desire to be dispensed with as to the said oath; or in case a dispensation should be offered to him, that he should not accept of it; and that if he did, whatsoever should be done by him thereupon should be null and void.' This oath was taken by Charles V.; and Pope Clement VII., in these words absolved him from the solemn engagement: And we do further release your Majesty from the obligation of the oath, which, we are informed, was taken by you in the general estates of the said kingdom and principalities, never to expel the said infi
* Catel. Hist. des Comtes de Toulouse, p. 242.
dels; absolving you from all censures and penalties of the guilt of perjury, which you might incur thereby; and dispensing with you, as to that promise, so far as it is necessary. And we do further grant free and full power to the Inquisitors, to compel all that shall contradict the same or prove refractory, by ecclesiastical censures, and other proper and lawful methods, requiring the assistance of the secular arm if it shall be judged necessary: all apostolical constitutions, and all ordinances, statutes, and privileges of the said kingdoms and principality, to the contrary notwithstanding, though confirmed by an oath, and by an apostolical confirmation, or by whatsoever other authority; and notwithstanding it should be provided, that a relaxation from the said oath should not be desired nor ever be made use of, if granted, and that the said privileges should never be by any means abrogated; and that whatsoever shall be done to the prejudice of the same, shall be held as null and void.' This dispensation, as is properly remarked by Dr. Michael Geddes, may 'plainly discover to the world how little all laws, statutes, and oaths, though confirmed by the See of Rome, do signify to the security of the lives, liberties, and property of subjects that are not Papists under a Popish king; it being impossible for the wit of man to frame an oath fuller to all those purposes than this was that is here dispensed with:-for, besides that it contained a promise never to desire a
dispensation, or, if a dispensation should be of fered, not to accept or make use of it, it contained a declaration likewise that whatsoever should by virtue of any dispensation be done to the prejudice thereof, should be null and void to all intents and purposes: an oath never to desire a dispensation, or to accept or make use of one, if offered, being a matter which the plenitude of the Papal power (as we see by this) can dispense with, whenever it is for its advantage to do it.'
"Will it be said that these maxims are old and obsolete? Old as they are, the Roman Catholics are still bound to them by that creed of Pope Pius IV., which is at this day the authentic exposition of the faith of the Roman Catholic church, and to which all their proselytes must publicly assent, without restriction or qualification. Let us also examine of what value their late declarations have proved, and how they reason at this time upon the words of an oath. When in the year 1792 the Irish Roman Catholics petitioned for the restoration of the elective franchise, their committee drew up and published a declaration concluding with these words:-"If we shall be admitted into any share of the constitution, by being restored to the right of elective franchise, we are ready in the most solemn manner to declare, that we will not exercise that privilege to disturb or weaken the establishment of the Protestant religion, or Protestant government of this country.' Bear witness, Mr.