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the seventeenth century), persecuted the adherents of the church of England with bitter animošity; and toleration did not properly exist in this country before the reign of king William III., who, while he studiously discountenanced the violent spirit and malignity of the catholics, admitted the protestants of every denomination to the free exercise of their religion. The catholics were not then entitled to such indulgence, because 'time had not then shown the increase of their humanity, or the melioration of their social feelings; and even now, when there is no reason to suppose that they would break out into the brutal fury of rireligious murder, even if they had the opportunity of authoritative exertion, we still say that they ought not to be trusted with power. They still cherish the zeal of conversion; they still brand us with the stigma of heresy; they still think that no one can be saved out of the pale of their church. They may say that we have no right to pensure them for entertaining such an opinion; yet we have abright to exclude them from that establishment which they would wish to overturn, and from those emoluments in which, if they should ever gain their grand object, they would not allow us to participate. They, and also their puritánical opponents, refused to tolerate when they ought to have been so inclined, and would still, we apprehend, bes equally bigoted; but the members of the church of England have derived lenity from the softening progress of time, and now make every concession that their adversaries can reasonably demand. They allow full protection ando constitutional security, while they with-hold the grant of that power which may be abused and misapplied. yn This is the point which is still disputed between the advocates of the establishment on one hand, and the catholies and protestant dissenters on the other. The only ground of refusal, on the part of the former, is the danger that may be apprehended from that hostility which their vopponents cannot fully disguise. Notwithstanding thisą ground of alarm, the leaders of the cabinet, in the year (1807, wéré advocates for the claims of the catholics. Atsa time i when the rancorous hostility of a powerful jenemyisthreateneds the kingdom with serious danger, it
became highly expedient to concentrate all the energy of the nation, and call forth the animated exertions of every class and of every sect. It was therefore proposed by the ministry, that the permission which had been granted to the Irish catholics to hold any rank in the army except the highest stations, should be extended to their brethren in Ġreat-Britain, and that persons of all religious persitat sions should likewise be allowed to serve in the navy? When the scheme was communicated to the king, he reluctantly gave his assent to the introduction of a bill on the subject. Its provisions, on more deliberate considerat tion, were in some degree extended; and his majesty then not only made strong objections to it, but insisted on a written assurance from the ministers, that they would never again bring it forward. They properly refused to agree to a demand which they deemed (and which und questionably was) irregular and unconstitutional, land retired from the public service. The dread of danger from too great concessions to a sect avowedly hostile to the protestant ascendency, spread from the throne among the people, and the cry of ‘no popery' again prevailed, not merely because it was artfully raised by the partisans of the new ministry, but from the general unwillingness of the nation to favor an intolerant sect.
Cather As it was supposed that the prince regent was not hostile to the claims of the catholics, their advocates brought forward the question, in 1813, at a time when the zeal of the British nation against them seemed to be dormant. Mr. Grattan denied that they contended for power; they only desired (he said) the same civil rights and official qualifications which other citizens' enjoyed. He adduced the instances of France and Hungary' to prove, that even the bigotry of catholic governments allowed them to give more than mere toleration to the protestants; and this was an example which our parlia ment ought readily to follow with regard to the present claimants. In the bill which he introduced, it was pro posed that they should be eligible to a seat in parliament, and might be appointed to any civil' office whatever, except two or three of the highest employments; on taking
a new oath against the pope's temporal power and pretended infallibility, and disavowing any intention of subverting or disturbing the protestant establishment, either in the church or the state. When the question was put on the parliamentary clause, it was rejected by a majority of four votes; and the bill, having thus lost its leading feature, was indignantly relinquished by those who had exerted their whole strength in its support. Even the eatholics were not united in its favor; for the prelates of their sect, in Ireland, alleged that it would encroach on the dae exercise of their functions, and on the spiritual jurisdiction of their supreme pastor, although this result was not contemplated by the framers of the bill. h For many years the inferior catholics seemed to treat with indifference the question of their emancipation (as the claim was styled by their leaders); but they at length loudly called, more particularly those of Ireland, for the restoration of their rights, and it was resolved that every effort should be made to interest the parliament in their behalf. Sir Francis Burdet, in the year 1825, readily undertook the enforcement of what he conceived to be their just pretensions, and introduced a bill which obtained the support of the house of commons; but the peers, impressed with a sense of constitutional policy, rejected the bill by a majority of 48 votes. This disappointment did not discourage the bold sectaries. Although an association which they had formed for the more effectual prosecution of their grand object was suppressed by a specific statute, they declared that no obstacles which might be thrown in their way by the illiberality and malice of their adversaries should deter them from a renewal of their demands. at Among the protestant sects in Great-Britain, the Preshyterians are considered as the most numerous class ; the Independents are said to be the next in point of number; and the Baptists, or Anabaptists, are supposed to take the third place. The Methodists are rapidly increasing; and, indeed, their ministers in general are more earnest and zealous than the preachers among the other sects, and thus make a more powerful and permanent
inapression. A Methodist, taking notice of the idqetrine of that sect in 1814, says,l. Our principles want to berinter vised, to be more accurately defined, and more steadily fixed. Sometimes we acknowlege that we lean too much toward Calvinism ; and then, to avoid the rocks of Antit nonjianism, we vibrate to the extreme of Arminianismodt the borders of Pelagianism; and every thing that bears)ą resemblance to Calvinism is now scouted with detestation, äs bordering on heresy; and, in these alternate nacillations, we drop some of the precious jewels of the Gospel, which our intemperate zeal has identified with the drossed heresy and corruption; nor do we discover our loss until we see the noxious weeds of Pharisaism springing up in every corner of the Lord's vineyard.' These lamentations are evidently those of a Calvinist, whose judgement was 80 Warped by prejudice, as to lead him into opinions which he could not support by reason or argument, and when he says, in another place, that the principles of Methode ism have assumed that rigid Arminian aspect, whichi hiqa often covered their face, as with a shield of brass, iandi (as they are sometimes delineated in our pulpits) has rendered them almost impervious to the heavenly rays.
of mercy and grace,' he mistakes the nature of that doctrine iwhich he condemns, and transfers to it that censure which is much more applicable to the gloomy tenets of Calvinism.
Amidst the multiplication of the votaries of gráce, the followers of the spirit (we mean the Quakers) do not augment their number; we may rather say, that for many years past, this has been a declining section Thein more extensive concerns in trade, and the consequent ind crease of their connexions with worldly-minded men, and with the mass of the community, may have partly con tributed to this effect; and, amidst the fondness for iplead sure that pervades the nation, many of them may davie imbibed a spirit of dissipation, which the grave feldersiob the fraternity' have been unwilling to çintenanceilda philosophic reader may be induced to add, that the more enlightened reflexion of modern times must have bald site
He ostensibly examines only the state of the Methodist societies in Ireland, but seems in effect to extend his remarks to Great-Britain.
porntipál effect in accelerating the decline of Quakerism. Whatever may be the causes of it, the fact is admitted by ther Friends themselves. · They still form, however, a respectable sect, and are more attentive than the Method ists to the dictates of morality; and a summary view of the principles which they at the present time profess, may perhaps gratify the curious observer of sectarian varieties. Phey are of opinion, that God has imparted to all human læeings, i though in different degrees, a portion of his own spiritwithout which it would be impossible for them to discernbspiritual things, or even to understand the Scriptures.cz.It is, they say, a primary and infallible guide ; andy as those who encourage it are in their progress to salvation or redemption, it becomes also a redeemer. They oonsider redemption in two points of view ; either as it is promoted by outward or inward means, or as it relates to past or future sins.. Jesus Christ, by offering himself as a victim, effected the former redemption ; but it is the spirit, or Christ within, which tends to produce the latter, by leading to regeneration and to the perfection of piety and virtues Christ, they add, was man, because he became incarnate, and he was divinity, because he was the word. A résurrection, they think, will take place, though not of the body as it is. In the regulations of future punishment, guilt will not be imputed to any one on the ground of original sin, or the delinquency of Adam and Eve, but daly for the actual commission of sin. Baptism and the eucharist are not essentials of Christianity as outward ardinances, but only as they are administered by the spirit. By this internal guide, persons of both sexes are qualified førs the ministerial functions; and, like the primitive Christians, they ought to preach the Gospel gratuitously. Holdifference of religious opinion can be a just ground of atukoguy or persecution. Evil ought not to be returned for @sik; and not only all private violence, but all wars and publieohostilities, ought to be avoided. The loss of life is not a proper púnisliment for any crime ; the reformation ofia delinquentcought to be the great object of jurisprudeugera the laws ought not in any case to be forcibly nisid-6971) 01 7.4!52*