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church of St. Pancras, what this intended prophet used impudently to say in a figurative sense of our holy and venerable church in general, that it affords only“ a thimble-full of sound evangelical divinity.”
We will conclude these few remarks with expressing a fervent hope that the legislature, in return for the blessings bestowed on this favoured land, will make suitable provision for the honour and worship of God; that they will « set the feet” of us the children of the church“ in a large room.
.” And as we have heard of the royal wish that every poor man in this kingdom may be able to read his Bible, may we be permitted to add our humble prayer, that every poor man may be able to reud it comfortably within the walls of our national church. bila M
Art. XIV.-An Appeal to the Protestants of Great Britain
and Ireland on the Subject of the Roman Catholic Question, first published in the Papers of the Protestant Union, in Reply to a late Address by Charles Butler, Esq. London. 1813. We do most sincerely lament that the little room which is left us, makes it impossible for us to do justice to the anonymous pamphlet whose title we have above announced. Although there are some inadvertencies in the language, and evident marks of haste throughout the composition, we will venture to say there is scarcely a better and a fairer piece of controversial writing to be found.
If there be any thing in the internal evidence of a book which, like the lines of physiognomy, gives one a peep into the soul, we should be induced by the testimony which this publication affords, to say, that the writer must be a person highly deserving the confidence of the protestants of Great Britain and Ireland to whom he makes his vigorous appeal. But he must entitle himself to their attention on another account. As he undertakes to instruct his countrymen, he should be wise as well as good. If candid statement, sound argument, comprehensive views, and sober feelings, stamp a character of wisdom upon a literary production, then we think the pamphlet before us may be safely pronounced wise. b. With the address of Mr. Charles Butler on the subject of the catholic claims no general reader can well be unacquainted, such has been the assiduity with which it has been circulated. The object of this anonymous pamphlet is to state, in plain-latiguage, why the writer is not one of those whom Mr. Butler has convinced either of the policy or safety of admitting the Roman catholics to legislative or high official power in this protestant state. Nothing that Mr. Butler, or, indeed, any of the advocates of the catholic pretensions, have brought forward in their behalf, is here without a modest, full, and sensible reply.
The anxious efforts which have been used to confound the ideas of toleration and religious liberty with positive, political power, are slightly discussed. This distinction has been so frequently and so satisfactorily explained, and, we may say, is become now so generally felt and acknowledged, that it really calls for no further illustration. It seems, indeed, to have been the main object of this address to bring universally before the public some important facts which have been hitherto viewed only through distorting mediums, altogether misunderstood, or imperfectly known, and to deduce such plain inferences from them as cannot but come home to the intelligence of every educated man.
The pamphlet does ample justice to Mr. Butler's ingenuity in the management of his side of the argument, and gives due credit to “ the happy art with which he endeavours to press into his service both the church of England and dissenters."" To the latter," says our author," he talks in a phraseology very little in use in the church to which he belongs. He enters into all those shades and gradations of persecution and toleration which are so familiar to the dissenters who have so well studied them, just as if the church of Rome had lectured upon them in her colleges, and supported the rights of conscience by her councils and her bulls. This is flattering to the dissenters. To our venerable national church he turns round; and notwithstanding the lowering aspect which she has ever thrown upon the church of Rome, he coquets and caresses her with all the case and confidence of an old acquaintance; and would persuade her that a happy reunion would be a noble project; leaving her to guess how it would increase her means of fulfilling the great ends of her institution, and whether such an amalgamation would end in making the whole mass papal or protestant."
It is difficult to say what part of the argument is most ably executed by this anonymous writer. His cautions to dissenters against the gentle overtures of Mr. Butler are certainly not among the least powerful. He conjures them in dignified terms not to disgrace themselves by " attempting to obtain in an indirect manner what they might apprehend would not be conceded on an open and fair statement of their real situation, views, and claims." And cites a passage or two from the lectures at
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able to make good their vows to you, than men married before, and their wife alive, can confirm their contract with another. The continuance of their kindness would be a habit of sin, of which they are to repent, and their absolution is to be had upon no other terms than their promise to destroy you. You are therefore to be hugged now, only that you may be the better squeezed at another time. There must be something extraordinary when the church of Rome setteth up bills, and offereth plaisters for tender consciences; by all that hath hitherto appeared, her skill in chirurgery lieth chiefly in a quick hand, to cut off limbs : but she is the worst at healing of any that ever pretended to it. To come so quick from one extreme, is such an unnatural motion, that you ought to be upon your guard. The other day you were sons of Belial, now you are angels of This is a violent change, and it will be fit for you to pause upon
it before you believe it: if your features are not altered, neither is their opinion of you, whatever may be pretended. Popery now is the only friend to liberty, and the known enemy
to persecution: the men of Taunton and Tiverton are above all other eminent for loyalty. The quakers, from being declared by the papists not to be Christians, are now made favourites, and taken into their particular protection; they are on a sudden grown the most accomplished men of the kingdom in good breeding, and give thanks with the best grace in double refined language. So that I should not wonder, though a man of that persuasion, in spite of his hat, should be master of the ceremonies. Not to say harsher words, these are such very new things, that it is impossible not to suspend our belief; till
, by a little more experience, we may be informed whether they are realities or apparitions.' ** P. 36.
The observations contained in the following passage are equally worthy of the consideration of those who feel the value, and are capable of estimating the danger of the church of England:
« Now if the removal of the disability to purchase advowsons would essentially benefit the Roman catholics, how can Mr. Butler in
any fairness tell us, they seek not to interfere with the church of England ? or with her hierarchy? I will not say what Mr. Budler personally seeks; but till there be some such formal renunciation of the church in Ireland, as the pope and his clergy themselves think to be binding, I shall not be able to place implicit confidence in a private gentleman, whose authority to make any such declaration as Mr. Butler makes, the church of Rome can, in the most convenient manner, disavow. But Mr. Butler is quite in error respecting the views of the
church of Rome upon the national church in Ireland. The Rev. T. Le Mesurier says, in his Plain Statement lately published, Nor should it be considered as a trivial matter, that at this day, every archbishop and bishop of the established church, in that part of the united kingdom, has his regular double' (counterpart) of the Romish persuasion; and it is a fact very worthy of observation, that every one of these popish prelates, after his confirmar