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breach of the peace, at the laft Quarter Seffions for the County of Cork, when it was at the fame time proved, that this infolent Prieft denounced from his altar the fifter-in-law of Donovan, and faid, that the fwore ro lefs than three-falfe oaths on the trial of the actions.
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
A FREEHOLDER OF THE COUNTY OF CORK.
We will now appeal to the British Public, whether the Irith Papitis are capable of appreciating or enjoying the bleflings of our glorious conflitytion, which they regard with blind veneration, and are in a state of bondage to, their priests, an ignorant fet of men, whofe education tends to debase the understanding, to infpire them with envenoined hoftility to our inftitutions, both civil and ecclefiaftical, and with implicit obedience to the Roman Pontiff, who has never failed, for nearly three centuries, to aid the enemies of the Proteftant Empire of England, and who, at this time, is the firm friend and ally of the Corfican Tyrant.
Though the Irish Roman Catholics are in a 'much better condition than their English fellow religionifts, as to civil liberty and political power, they infift upon what is called by the vulgar and ignorant emancipation, as if they were flaves; but any attempt of the legislature to give them a full and perfect enjoyment of freedom, will be vain, until they emancipate themfelves from an odious fyftem of tyranny, which impofes an illiberal reftraint on their thoughts and their actions. The Popish priests, in order to gain a complete afcendancy over their votafies, and to make them feel the terrific effects of excommunication, begin, when they are but feven years old, to infufe into their minds, fuch a degree of blind and fuperftitious credulity, as weakens and degrades their intellectual powers, deprives the Deity of the reverence due to him, and the King of his allegiance, which is transferred to a foreign Prince. We fhall now endeavour, briefly, to thew the reader the early practice and the dangerous effects of this fyftem of terror,, devised by the Popish ecclefiaftics, in an age of midnight darknels, to gain a complete afcendancy over the laity; and which, in its apsration on the human mind, is as much fuperior to every other fpring of action, as the power of the lever is to the arm. We fra find it oocafionally employed in rivetting the chains of flavery on the fubjects of defpotic princes, who were implicitly fubfervient to the Pope, and in exciting and promoting rebellion against fuch fovereigns as bad fortitude enough to refift the inordinate ambition of the Roman Pontiffs.
Pope Innocent III. excommunicated King John, because he oppofed his infolent claims; in confequence of which he was deferted and reüfted by his fubjects, who renounced their allegiance to him. He was at length obliged to submit, to refign his crown into the hands of that haughty prelate, and to become his feudatory. When the barons laid the foundation of our glorious conftitution, by obtaining Magna Charta, that odious tyrant, John, appealed to the fame Pope, who, to fecond his defpotic views, illued a bill, in which, "from the plenitude of his apoftolic power, and from the autho rity which God bad committed to him to build and d froy Kingdoms, to plant and to overthrow," he vocated and annulled the who e charter, and abfolved the king, and all his fubjects, from any oaths which they might have taken to obferve it, and he denounced a general fentence of excommunication against any one who should perfevere in maintaining futb treasonable and iniquutious pretenfions.
Gregory V, in the year 996, excommunicated Richard I, King of France for marrying his Coufin Bertha, without a difpenfation; tho' he was related to him, but in the 4th degree. He affected to difregard the ex.ommunication; but he was deferted by his people, and his Courtiers regarded him with fuch horror, that they refufed to any thing which he had contaminated by his touch, "till it was purified by paffing it thro' the fire.*
In the 11th Century, Pope Gregory VII, by denouncing a sentence of excommunication against the Emperor Henry IV, invoked his fubjects to rife in rebellion against him, and to join the party of the Pope who meant to deprive him of his crown; and it fo far extinguished all natural affection in his nearest relations, that the Empress Agnes his mother, the Dutchefs Beatrix his Aunt, and the Countess Matilda his Coufin german, joined the pope's faction to dethrone him, and even levied money, and raifed troops for that purpose. From the 11th to the 15th century, papal excommunication were a fruitful fource, of treasonable confpiracies and rebellions in Europe, against Sovereign princes; and in confequence of them, fome loft their lives their crowns, and both, in fome inftances. In the year 1533, Paul III. excommunicated Henry VIII. and abfolved his fubjects from their oaths of allegiance, because he declared himself, and not the Pope, to be the head of the English Church. Queen Mary promoted the burning of her Protestant fubjects, because they were excommunicated heriticks, and because it
was enjoyned as a religious duty by various general councils, particularly the 4th Lateran A. D. 1215, in which, as well as in the council of Toledo, it is laid down," that if the temporal Prince neglect to purge his territories of heretical pravity, noticet mutt be given to the Pope that he may thenceforth pronounce his fubjects abfolved from their allegince, and give his dominion to Catholics.
Charles IX. of France, ordered his Proteftant fubjects to be butchered in feaft of Bartholomew, for thefe reasons, and because they were excommuni cated heretics. Thuamus who was eye witnefs of it tells us in his excellent hiftory, that the Roman pontiff expreffed great joy in hearing of that religious butchering, and decreed, "that he andt he cardinal hould return thanks to the Almighty, for fo fignal an advantage obtained for the holy fees and that a Jubilee ould be published all over Chriftendom." Lib. 63. Sec. 4.
Because his fucceffors Henry III and Henry IV of France, gave peace and protection to their Proteftant fubjects, they were excommunicated by the Pope, who ordered their subjects to rife in arms against them; in confequence of which they were affaffinated. Pope Pius V, in the year 1570, levelled his fpiritual vengeance against Queen Elizabeth, having by a bull abfolved her fubjects from their oaths of allegiance, and denounced the ter rors of excommunication against fuch of them as thould obey her; which produced many treafonable confpiracies against her life and her govem
* Henaults Hiftory of France.
+ This notice was required to be given by the Bishops, who as the Popes fentinals were bound by oath to do so.
It is to be prefumed that Pius VII. granted the British ifles to his beloved Sen in Christ Buonaparte, a moft pious papift, as he headed a crufade in order to extirpate herely in them.
The Irish Papifts having long premeditated the Irish rebellion of 1641 I the better to promote its fuccefs, endeavoured to gain a majority in the Parliament, which was elected in 1639; and Lord Strafford tells us in his State Letters, that the Popish priefts denounced from the altar, the terrors of excommunication, against fuch perfons of their flock, as thould vote for a Proteftant. During the dreadful rebellion, which brake out in 1641, and continued many years to lay waste and depopulate Ireland, the Marquis of Ormond difplayed great wifdom and valour, as Viceroy, in defending the King's crown and dignity; but in the year 1650, the Popish prelates and prielts expelled him, by excommunicating fach perfons as fhould adhere to him, or afford him any fupport or affiftance;t in confequence of which, even his own relations, who were Papifts, renounced all connection or intercourfe with him, and he was obliged to fly to England. A friar, of the name of Ponce, boafted of the omnipotent power of his holy church, in af fecting this great atchievement.
We have now fhewn the dreadful effects of this dangerous engine of Popifh fuperftition, "excommunication;" and we are forry to learn, that its influence is as great at this period in Ireland, as it was in any part of Europe, during the dark middle ages. We are well informed, that it has been employed for fome years paft, for the purpose of extorting money from the multitude, to build large and fplendid chapels, which have been recently erected in moft parts of Ireland. But it fhould be recollected, that it was allo exerted, fo early as the year 1792, to levy money in order to promote that rebellion which exploded in 1798. It is ftated in the report of the Secret Committee of the Irith Houfe of Lords, framed and published upon oath, in the beginning of the year 1793, that fums of money to a confiderable amount have been levied, upon the Roman Catholics in all parts of the kingdom, by fubfcriptious and collections, at their chapels, and elsewhere, fome of which levies have been made, and ftill continue to be made, under the authority of a printed circular letter, which has been fent into all parts of the kingdom, a copy of which letter we think our duty to infert herein." It appears by the fame report that " ftands of arms and ammunitien to a confiderable amount, and much above the common confumption," were bought and fent to different parts of the country at fo early a period as the year 1792. It is univerfally well known, that, 'during the progrefs of that confpiracy, which terminated fo fatally in 1798, the French were frequently folicited to invade Ireland; and government are poffefed of undoubted proofs, that they have been invited to do so fince the commencement of the prefent war.
We have now fhewn the reader the terrific effects of excommunication in the Romish church, at different periods; and the unbounded influence which it gave the clergy, at all times, is enjoyed in the higheft, degree by the Irish Popish priefts at this time. If a Catholic priest adheres ftricly to the canonical oath, which he takes at his ordination, he must bear eternal and
Vol. I. P. 270, 274.
deep-rooted hatred to a Proteftant fiate; for he swears "to receive and profels the facred canons and general councils, particularly that of Trent" which recognizes and fanctions all the impious and blafphemous doctrines of the 4th Lateran Council. That they do faithfully adhere to this oath, we have the most unquestionable proofs, by their having acted as inftigators and incendiaries, in all the rebellions, which have agitated Ireland for above two centuries. While the mass of the Irish Roman Catholics yield implicit obedience to their (piritual pafiors, who profefs fuch principles, we appeal to the British Public, whether it will be fafe to trust them with political power, or to give them an opportunity of making laws for a Proteftant establishment, which they are bound to fubvert by the fundamental principles of their religion.
Dr. Croft on Mr. Overton and Co.
TO THE EDITOR.
beg leave to trespass upon your kindness in requesting the infertion of additional remarks on the conduct of Mr. Overton and Co. as well as all his advocates. Without either inclination or leifure to enter into the whole controversy, but abhorring the most distant idea of an arbitrary, irrespective, unconditional predeftination. I feel it my duty to exhort my hearers not to involve themselves in the dispute at all, to act upon Chriftian principles, and according to the admonition of the very 17th articles," to receive the promifes of God as they are fet forth in holy writ."
Refiding in a place full of fectaries, and where we labour under the additional misfortune of what is called an Evangelical Chapel. I feel myfelf called upon to warn my hearers against that variety of deception which is in duftrioully diffeminated. If it be true, that all the Clergy of the Church enforce regularly, and in due feafon, all the duties and motives of Chriftianity, it must of courfe follow, that for any individuals to appropriate to themselves the appellation of Evangelical Minifters, is a grofs, fcandalous, and malicious libel against every confcientious Divine who is not of their perfuafion. Yet, affert what we will, the accufation is continued from year to year by all the Writers on their fide of the queftion. Expectes eadem a fummonum imoque, from the Senators down to the meanest petty Scribbler. Opinions may differ, but facts admit of no refutation.
It has been infinuated, that I have heretofore treated the defcription of men in queftion with harfhnefs. If the ftatement of truth be uncharitable, I muft fubmit to the charge.
Mr. Milner is now before an awful tribunal. But can it be difproved that he embittered the life of the amiable Vicar in whofe Church he preached? Can it be denied that the fpecimen given was only one among the in
umerable inftances of the meanness of his diction, the vulgarity of his language, and though that paffage was never printed, yet will not the authority of a credible hearer be fufficient? I called not in question his moral or his religious conduét. I had a pleafure in hearing that time had abated the violence of his zeal, and that towards the conclufion of his life he was approximating towards, what we deem, fobriety of intellect. That his life is not well written, and that his fermons are not good compofitions, I have the concurring judgment of various individuals, whom it is my duty to refpect. I have, moreover, authority to fay, that a trifling anecdote of a
tranfaction in Mr. Sykes's family is not correctly related; and even had it been so, it was too infignificant for infertion. But, modern biography is infected with an inundation of fimilar trash. Being informed that Mr. M. was converted by Hooker's Sermon on Juftification, I have carefully pe ruled it, and cannot help wondering how it could poihbly have the described effect. Mr. Headlam, in an excellent fermon on the fame fubject, preached at Richmond, in Yorkshire, has quoted from it, to prove the very reverfe. But Dr. Lawrence, in his Bampton Lectures, has proved, that Luther and Melanchon had the principal thare in furnishing the fubftance of the articles in debate; and I frankly confefs, that if his fermons, and the notes appended to them, have not fatisfactorily terminated the controver y, it will be in vain to produce authentic documents and proofs.
If I think the incumbency of Dr. Coulthurit a calamity to the parish of Halifax; if he and his curate had exceeded the bounds of modefty, which is alfo a charge brought against Mr. Fofter, at Clerkenwell; if the chapels in the parish have been filled as vacancies happened, in the way which I foretold, of what injuftice have I been guilty? I can look back with heartfelt fatisfaction, and fay, that no one has difproved, or can difprove, one tittle of what I have written, either against fanaticks, or other diffenAnd how have I been treated by them? Mr. Overton is only the bell-wether of the former, as Dr. Prieftly was for many years of the latter. To my answers no reply can be made; but let thofe who have heard the accufations brought against me, as fubfcribing articles I do not believe, as perjured, as an advocate of lying and licentioufnefs, prove, if they can, that I have ever answered the fools according to their folly. If I fay that they have done, and continue to do incredible mifchief, I am fupported by facts, and the teftimony of all thinking men. If 1 fpeak of the tranfactions of Edmund I Hall, in the year 1768, with abhorrence; if I wish to brand the name of Dr. Dixon with indelible infamy; if I fufpect that he was under the guidance of a weak woman, for a conversion seldom happens fo very late in life, have I more than ventured to speak what others dare to think? Let your Readers fuppofe themselves prefent, as I was, in the morning of that curious examination-let them fuppofe themselves to hear two or three mifcreants trying in vain to conftrue the first fentence of the University Statutes, while a waggish bye-ftander oblerved, "It was old Bufby faid, a thousand pound for a nominative cafe"-let them learn, that these said mifcreants got by rote the first verses only of feveral chapters of Saint John and the 1ft Epiftle to Timothy, in which they forefaw it was poffible to be examined for orders-let them not forget the fubfequent conduct of Mr. Kay, who, being the only claffical fcholar of the fix, obtained a recommendation to the then Bishop of Lincoln by a palpable falfehood-let them allo enquire how Mr. Jones, after putting himself under the care of a clergyman, was admitted on the fuppofition of having recanted let them farther enquire into the conduct of Mr. Erafmus Middleton, Rector of Turvey, who fuffered his name to be prefixed to an illiterate edition of Archbishop Leighton's Works, and is now fuppofed to be dead-let them find, as I believe they will find, Mr. Grove acting as Diffenting Calvinillic Teacher at Walfal, and the groffiefs of the impofition upon the Univerfity will appear in its proper colours. I wish I could learn the hiftory of the other two; but Mr. Grove is now confiftent and irreproachable in his behaviour.
To the prefent Principal of Edmund Hall, I may recommend the example of the Matter of Magdalen College, in Cambridge. He has moft effectuAPPENDIX, VOL. XXII. LI