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comments, in those infamous weekly papers that infest your coffeehouses. So when the clause enacting a Sacramental Test was put in execution, it was given out in England, that half the justices of peace through this kingdom had laid down their commissions ; whereas, upon examination, the whole number was found to amount only to a dozen or thirteen, and these generally of the lowest rate in fortune and understanding, and some of them superannuated. So when the earl of Pembroke was in Ireland, and the parliament sitting, a formal story was very gravely carried to his excellency by some zealous members, of a priest newly arrived from abroad to the north-west parts of Ireland, who had publicly preached to his people, to fall a murdering the Protestants; which, though invented to serve an end they were then upon, and are still driving at, was presently handed over, and printed with shrewd remarks by your worthy scribblers. In like manner the account of that person, who was lately expelled our university for reflecting on the memory of king William; what a dust it raised, and how foully it was related, is fresh enough in memory. Neither would people be convinced, till the university was at the pains of publishing a Latin paper to justify themselves And to mention no more, this story of the persecution at Drogheda, how it has been spread and aggravated, what consequences have been drawn from it, and what reproaches fixed on those who have least deserved them, we are already informed. Now, if the end of all this proceeding were a secret and mystery, I should not pretend to give it an interpretation; but sufficient care has been

! taken to explain it, first by addresses artificially (if not illegally) procured to show the miserable state of the dissenters in Ireland, by reason of the Sacramental Test, and to desire the queen’s intercession that it might be repealed. Then, it is manifest that our Speaker, when he was last year in England, solicited in person several members of both houses to have it repealed by an act there; though it be a matter purely national, that cannot possibly interfere with the trade and interest of England; and though he himself appeared formerly the most zealous of all men, against the injustice of binding a nation by laws to which they do not consent. And, lastly, those weekly libellers, whenever they get a tale by the end relating to Ireland, without once troubling their thoughts about the truth, always end it with an application against the Sacramental


The provost and fellows of Trinity College expelled Edward Forbes for the cause mentioned.

2 Allan Broderick, esq., formerly solicitor-general of Ireland.

Test, and the absolute necessity there is of repealing it in both kingdoms. I know it may be reckoned a weakness to say anything of such trifles as are below a serious man’s notice ; much less would I disparage the understanding of any party, to think they would choose the vilest and most ignorant among mankind to employ them for the assertors of a cause. I shall only say, that the scandalous liberty those wretches take would hardly be allowed, if it were not mingled with opinions that some men would be glad to advance. Besides, how insipid soever those papers are, they seem to be levelled to the understandings of a great number; they are grown a necessary part in coffee-house furniture, and some time or other may happen to be read by customers of all ranks, for curiosity and amusement, because they lie always in the way. One of these authors (the fellow that was pilloried, I have forgot his name) [Daniel Defoe) is indeed so grave, sententious, dogmatical a rogue, that there is no enduring him; the Observator [Mr. John Tutchin) is much the brisker of the two, and I think further gone of late in lies and impudence, than his Presbyterian brother. The reason why I mention him is, to have an occasion of letting you know, that you have not dealt so gallantly with us as we did with you in a parallel case. a paper was brought here from England, called “A Dialogue between the archbishop of Canterbury and Mr. Higgins,” which we ordered to be burnt by the common hangman, as it well deserved, though we have no more to do with his grace of Canterbury [Dr. Thomas Tenison) than you have with the archbishop of Dublin [Dr. William King]; nor can you love and reverence your prelate more than


whom you tamely suffer to be abused openly, and by name, by that paltry rascal of an Observator; and lately upon an affair wherein he had no concern, I mean the business of the missionary of Drogheda, wherein our excellent primate was engaged, and did nothing but according to law and discretion. But because the lord archbishop of Dublin has been upon several occasions of late years misrepresented in England, I would willingly set you right in his character. For his great sufferings and eminent services he was, by the late king, promoted to the see of Derry. About the same time he wrote a book to justify the Revolution, wherein was an account of king James's proceedings in Ireland; and the late archbishop Tillotson recommended it to the king, as the most ser

Last year

we do


* This character of archbishop King is retained in the “ Miscellany” of 1727, edited by Pope, but erased in the Dublin edition.

viceable treatise that could have been published at such a juncture. And as his grace set out upon those principles, he has proceeded so ever since, as a loyal subject to the queen, entirely for the succession in the Protestant line, and for ever excluding the pretender; and though a firm friend to the church, yet with indulgence toward dissenters, as appears from his conduct at Derry, where he was settled for many years among the most virulent of the sect; yet, upon his removal to Dublin, they parted from him with tears in their eyes, and universal acknowledgments of his wisdom and goodness. For the rest it must be owned, he does not busy himself by entering deeply into any party, but rather spends his time in acts of hospitality and charity, in building of churches, repairing his palace, in introducing and preferring the worthiest persons he can find, without other regards, in short, in the practice of all virtues that can become a public or private life. This and more, if possible, is due to so excellent a person, who may be justly reckoned among the greatest and most learned prelates of this age, however his character may be defiled by such mean and dirty hands as those of the Observator, or such as employ him.

I now come to answer the other part of your letter, and shall give you my opinion freely about repealing the Sacramental Test; only, whereas


desire my thoughts as a friend, and not as I am a member of parliament, I must assure you they are exactly the same in both capacities.

I must begin by telling you we are generally surprised at your wonderful kindness to us on this occasion, it being so very industrious to teach us to see our interest in a point where we are so unable to see it ourselves. This has given us some suspicion ;

and though in my own particular I am hugely bent to believe that whenever you concern yourselves in our affairs it is certainly for our good, yet I have the misfortune to be something singular in this belief; and therefore I never attempt to justify it, but content myself to possess my own opinion in private, for fear of encountering men of more wit or words than I have to spare.

We at this distance, who see nothing of the spring of actions, are forced, by mere conjecture, to assign two reasons for your desiring us to repeal the Sacramental Test. One is, because you are said to imagine it will be a step toward the like good work in England; the other more immediate, that it will open a way for rewarding several

Dr. King was twice imprisoned in the castle of Dnblin after the landing of king James in Ireland, in 1689, and narrowly escaped assassination.

persons who have well deserved upon a great occasion, but who are now unqualified through that impediment.

I do not frequently quote poets, especially English; but I remember there is in some of Mr. Cowley's love verses a strain that I thought extraordinary at fifteen, and have often since imagined it to be spoken by Ireland :

“Forbid it, heaven, my life should be

Weigh'd with her least conveniency." In short, whatever advantage you propose to yourselves by repealing the Sacramental Test, speak it out plainly; it is the best argument you can use, for we value your interest much more than our own; if your little finger be sore, and you think a poultice made of our vitals will give it any ease, speak the word and it shall be done: the interest of our whole kingdom is at any time ready to strike to that of your poorest fishing towns; it is hard you will not accept our services, unless we believe at the same time that you are only consulting our profit and giving us marks of your love. If there be a fire at some distance, and I immediately blow up my house before there be occasion, because you are a man of quality and apprehend some danger to a corner of your stable, yet why should you require me to attend next morning at your levee with my humble thanks for the favor


have done me? If we might be allowed to judge for ourselves, we had abundance of benefit by the Sacramental Test, and foresee a number of mischiefs would be the consequence of repealing it; and we conceive the objections made against it by the dissenters are of no manner of force. They tell us of their merits in the late war in Ireland, and how cheerfully they engaged for the safety of the nation; that if they had thought they had been fighting only other people's quarrels, perhaps it might have cooled their zeal, and that for the future they shall sit down quietly and let us do our work ourselves ; nay, that it is necessary they should do so, since they cannot take up arms under the penalty of high treason.

Now supposing them to have done their duty, as I believe they did (and not to trouble them about the fly on the wheel), I thought liberty, property, and religion had been the three subjects of the quarrel; and have not all thoso been amply secured to them ? had they not at that time a mental reservation for power

and employments ? and must these two articles be added henceforward in our national quarrels? It is grown a mighty conceit among some men to melt down the phrase of a church established by law into that of


the religion of the magistrate; of which appellation it is easier to find the reason than the sense : if by the magistrate they mean the prince, the expression includes a falsehood; for when king James was prince, the established church was the same as it is now. If by the same word they mean the legislature, we desire no more. Be that as it will, we of this kingdom believe the church of Ireland to be the national church, and the only one established by law, and are willing by the same law to give a toleration to Dissenters; but if once we repeal our Sacramental Test and grant a toleration, or suspend the execution of the penal laws, I do not see how we can be said to have any established church remaining; or rather, why there will not be as many established churches as there are sects of dissenters. No, say they, yours will still be the national church, because your bishops and clergy are maintained by the public; but that I suppose will be of no long duration, and it would be very unjust it should, because, to speak in Tindal's phrase, it is not reasonable that revenues should be annexed to one opinion more than another when all are equally lawful; and it is the same author's maxim, that no free-born subject ought to pay for maintaining speculations he does not believe. But why should any man, upon account of opinions he cannot help, be deprived of the opportunity of serving his queen and country? Their zeal is commendable, and when employments go a-begging for want of hands, they shall be sure to have the refusal, only upon condition they will not pretend to them upon maxims which equally include atheists, Turks, Jews, infidels, and heretics; or, wbich is still more dangerous, even Papists themselves : the former you allow, the other you deny ; because these last own a foreign power, and therefore must be shut out. But there is no great weight in this ; for their religion can suit with free states, with limited or absolute monarchies, as well as a better; and the pope's power in France is but a shadow; so that, upon this foot, there need be no great danger to the constitution by admitting Papists to employments. I will help you to enough of them who shall be ready to allow the pope as little power here as you please : and the bare opinion of his being vicar of Christ is but a speculative point, for which no man it seems ought to be deprived of the capacity of serving his country.

But, if you please, I will tell you the great objection we have against repealing this same Sacramental Test. It is that we are verily persuaded the consequence will be an entire alteration of religion among us in no great compass of years. And pray observe how we reason here in Ireland upon this matter.

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