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most extensive temporal influence, within the British territories. The question is not, let the house recollect, as to the danger, or the degree of danger, which may attend the concession of these claims: the question is, whether it is fit that equal rights should be enjoyed by Catholics and Protestants? Immediate danger I apprehend none; but it is not always in the brightest or the calmest weather that the storm is farthest distant. When could the Established Church appear more secure than it seemed at the restoration of Charles II.? Yet, within twenty years, it was threatened with total destruction by the machinations of a Popish prince. Seeing where the appointment of the heads of the Roman Catholic Church lies in Ireland, it is impossible not to advert to the powerthe temporal, the practical power, exercised throughout that country by the priesthood. The system of confession-the right of demanding it, for the act is not left to the will of the individual confessing-renders the clergy masters of all the secrets of the community. The priest receiving confession, is bound to secrecy not only as to crimes committed, but he is equally bound to secrecy as to crimes intended to be committed. Thus, a Catholic clergyman, discovering in confession, that there is a conspiracy on foot to blow up both houses of Parliament, would not be justified in making known the fact.-Differences such as these must of necessity prevent the Catholic and the Protestant from amalgamating. With respect to education, there is scarcely any possible mode by which Catholics and Protestants can unite in one system. There are none of these difficulties with other Dissenters; for, whatever are their shades of difference, they have the same foundation to build upon. In the same way, it is allowed by Dr. Murray, that marriages between Catholics and Protestants are altogether discouraged; that they are not permitted at all, except upon an undertaking that the children should be all brought up in the Catholic faith. Then, if there can neither be intermarriage, education in common, or any other description of domestic bond between the Protestants and the Catholics, how is it
possible that kind feelings between the followers of the two persuasions can exist? The fault is not the fault of the Established Church; it is in the bigotry and intolerant spirit of the Roman Catholic religion. As a proof of the intolerance of that Church, I will allude to the sentence of excommunication. To give a crust of bread, or a cup of cold water, to the proscribed party, though he be perishing for want, is a punishable crime. Many, no doubt, there are, among the Catholic priesthood, most virtuous and deserving men; but among so large a body, there cannot fail to be some of a very different character; and yet these men generally, it is stated in the evidence before the House, have more authority over the peasantry than their landlords. Now what guaranty can be given in such a case for Protestant security? I hold your Lordships hold—all the bills hold, that a Protestant succession is the foundation of our constitutional system. If these measures should pass, the Protestant succession would not be worth a farthing. Much has been said of rights-indefeasible and natural rights. Now, speaking of a King's rights in the same sense, and no other, as that in which I will argue for the rights of a peasant, would it not be hard upon the King and the heir to the throne that they must be bound to the Protestant faith, while the Chief-Justice, the Ministers and Secretaries of State, may be Roman Catholics? Why is this? Where is the danger in having a Popish King or a Popish Chancellor, if all the other executive officers might acknowledge the Pope. I think there is less danger in a Popish Chancellor, who may be removed at pleasure, than in a Popish Chief-Justice, who holds the administration of the criminal law in his own control, and can only be removed by a peculiar process of law, in case of his dereliction.
IN the first Philippic, after describing the sort of conduct which usually leads to success, the Orator goes on:-"If then, O men of Athens! you also choose to be thus resolved now, since you would not before, and every one of you, where it is required, and so far as he is able to make himself useful to the country, laying aside all pretences, shall be willing to act,the rich by contributing,-those within military age, by serving;-to speak plainly, in one word, if you are willing to be yourselves, and each man shall cease to hope that he may do nothing himself, and that his neighbour will do every thing for him, you may, by God's permission, obtain your own, and recover what your indolence has thrown away, and avenge yourselves upon Philip. For never let it be supposed that his affairs are eternally fixed in their present position, as if he were a god: One hates him, another fears him, a third envies him, O men of Athens! even amongst those, who appear to be most intimately connected with him; and all those feelings which are common to men in such situations, we must suppose to belong to those who are now associated with him; but, as it is, they are all kept down by fear, having nowhere to turn to, through your sluggishness and indolence, which, I say, you must lay aside now. For look only, O men of Athens! at the state of the case,-at what a pitch of effrontery the man has arrived,-not to give you any longer a choice, whether you will act, or whether you will forbear; but he threatens you, and uses lofty language, as we are told, and cannot be content to remain in peaceable possession of the conquests he has made, but is continually encroaching upon you in all directions, and drawing a net completely round you, who sit still and look on.
When, O men of Athens! when will you do what you ought? When something shall happen! When some necessity shall arise! Why, in what light do view your present situation? For I think the most
pressing necessity to free men is the disgrace attached to failure. Are you content, tell me, to walk about the market-place, and inquire of each other what news? Why, can any thing be more new, than for a man of Macedon to vanquish the Athenians, and rule the affairs of Greece? Is Philip dead? No, by Heavens! but he is sick. And what is it to you? For were this Philip to die, you will soon raise up for yourselves another, if such be your way of attending to your affairs. For he has not been thus aggrandized so much by his own power, as by your neglect. Moreover, be assured of this, that if any thing should happen to him, and Fortune should favour us, which always provides for us so much better than we ourselves and may her efforts for us be complete !—by being upon the spot, and taking advantage of the confusion, into which all things would be thrown, you might dispose of them at your pleasure. But in your present state, not even when an opportunity puts into your hands Amphipolis, can you take it, lagging behind, as your do, both in your preparations, and your resolutions.
Mr. Sheridan on the Begum Charge.
HAD a stranger, at this time, gone into the province of Oude, ignorant of what had happened since the death of Sujah Dowla, that man, who, with a savage heart, had still great lines of character, and who, with all his ferocity in war, had still, with a cultivating hand, preserved to his country the riches which it derived from benignant skies and a prolific soil—if this stranger, ignorant of all that had happened in the short interval, and observing the wide and general devastation, and all the horrors of the scene of plains unclothed and brown-of vegetables burned up and extinguished-of villages depopulated and in ruins -of temples unroofed and perishing-of reservoirs broken down and dry,-he would naturally inquire,
what war has thus laid waste the fertile fields of this once beautiful.and opulent country-what civil dissensions have happened, thus to tear asunder and separate the happy societies that once possessed those villages -what disputed succession-what religious rage has, with unholy violence, demolished those temples, and disturbed fervent, but unobtruding piety, in the exercise of its duties ?-What merciless enemy has thus spread the horrors of fire and sword-what severe visitation of providence has dried up the fountain, and taken from the face of the earth every vestige of verdure ?-Or, rather, what monsters have stalked over the country, tainting and poisoning, with pestiferous breath, what the voracious appetite could not devour? To such questions, what must be the answer? No wars have ravaged these lands, and depopulated these villages-no civil discords have been felt-no disputed succession-no religious rage—no merciless enemy-no affliction of providence, which, while it scourged for the moment, cut off the sources of resuscitation-no voracious and poisoning monsters -no, all this has been accomplished by the friendship, generosity, and kindness of the English nation. They have embraced us with their protecting arms, and, lo! those are the fruits of their alliance. What, then, shall we be told, that under such circumstances, the exasperated feelings of a whole people thus goaded and spurred on to clamour and resistance, were excited by the poor and feeble influence of the Begums! When we hear the description of the paroxysm, fever, and delirium, into which despair had thrown the natives, when on the banks of the polluted Ganges, panting for death, they tore more widely open the lips of their gaping wounds, to accelerate their dissolution, and while their blood was issuing, presented their ghastly eyes to Heaven, breathing their last and fervent prayer, that the dry earth might not be suffered to drink their blood, but that it might rise up to the throne of God, and rouse the eternal Providence to avenge the wrongs of their country; will it be said that this was brought about by the incanta