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which, if it exist, is not less potent because concealed. By refusing them our confidence, we are doing all in our power to make them unworthy of it, and to ren. der them what we represent them to be:--and if the Catholics do not learn lessons of bigotry and intolerance from their opposers, they will be more than commonly exempt from the feelings of which they are accused.
3. If then the true tenets of the Catholics are in no wise hostile to the well-being of society, it is our duty as Christians, as Dissenters, and Patriots, to unite with them in obtaining the repeal of every test which yet disgraces our statute book and our nature.
As CHRISTIANS.—The spirit of forbearance, of concord and of forgiveness, is the grand characteristic of a Christian. Our faith is indebted to no other force than that of conviction, it knows no arms but those of the Spirit.
Strange is it then that we should consider it a duty to persecute men lest they should persecute us. Strange that the disciples of him who came not to condemn but to save-who rebuked his followers for asking the thunders of heaven to confound the erroneous—who healed the wound of the high-priest's servant-who dying implored the mercy of heaven on his murderers-should think it a duty to usurp the province of God, and display the lightnings of Almighty vengeance,
Our Catholic brethren are beginning to share the advantages of education and the scriptures; the last vestiges of their ancient hierarchy are crumbling in the dust-and it is alike unmanly and unchristian to insult the fallen. If the ancestors of the Romanists stained their hands with the blood of ours, we have a noble opportunity of evincing the spirit of our Redeemer by embracing them in bonds of affection. In the name of the God of universal love, in the name of the spirit of harmony, peace, and forgiveness, in the name of the Messiah, who came to restore us all to concord and felicity -- let us bind up the wounds of the distressed, and overcome the errors of the deluded by gentleness and compassion.
As DISSENTERS.-If I have shewn that our own security and honor rest on our exertions for the removal of those disqualifications under which we labor, it will easily appear that between our cause and that of the Catholics, a most intimate connexion exists. They must stand or fall together. Unconnected with any secular establishment we have no interest to stand in the way
of our duty; our path is unembarrassed and plain. To obtain the grand object of universal liberty of conscience, we who are persecuted for believing too little must join with those who suffer for believing too much-we must prove our superiority to every mean and party principle - every cowardly apprehension--every selfish feeling. We must show that we seek not private interest, but universal good—and if we cannot command success we shall have the delightful consciousness of having deserved it-we shall feel our charities enlarged, and our souls invigorated by the exercise, and infuse new strength into our increasing cause.
Let us dare to feel as Christians and to act as men. Let us revive the spirit of our illustrious ancestors, and acknowledging no spiritual authority but the scriptures, no master but Christ combat the idol of Bigotry in all its forms, and think nothing done till we have achieved all. If the Protestant Dissenter deserts the standard of religious freedom, his consistency is lost for ever. To stand trembling is to be destroyed; to unite is to conquer ; to ask is to receive; to attempt is to obtain.
As Patriots.-It is, indeed, universally true that injustice must be impolitic—but in the case which we have been considering, this truth is enforced by considerations the most momentous. What madness is it to deprive the cominunity, at this awful crisis, of the services of four millions of people, and to do all in our power to oppress them with conscious degradation--by passing a vote of eternal exclusion from the rights of Britons and of men! Shall we say to those generous minds who are exclaiming « Give us our liberties, and our lives are at your service"-to those who are willing to die in defence of our rights, that we will never grant them theirs-shall we proudly reject the consideration of the petitions of an empire, as if it were our strange policy to irritate her feelings, and quicken her resentments? This is a question involving the most momentous interests of our country. It is in our power to be safe and happy, and if we reject the opportunity, the sun of our glories is set for
Protestant Dissenter3! if you value the liberties of your country,
have any concern for your own honor, if any regard to the security of your children, if
you inherit a spark of the flame which your ancestors kindled, I call on you in the name of your country, in the nameof your children, in the name of your God, to unite with those who are attempting to hurl to the dust the towers of into
lerance and superstition. If you refuse, you annul the sacred charter of religious freedom which God has given you, you fix on yourselves an eternal stigma, you sign the instrument of your own degradation and slavery. If you accept the call, you have justice and heaven on your side, and in your certain success, the Kingdom will owe its salvation and its glory to you.