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R E A S O N S
HUMBLY OFFERED TO THE
PARLIAMENT of IRELAND,
FOR REPEALING THE
SACRAMENTAL TEST, &c.
T is well known, that the first Conquerors
Subjects to English Catholick Kings, from whom, by their Valour and Success, they obtained large Portions of Land given them, as a Reward for their many Victories over the Irish : To which Merit our Brethren the Diffenters of any Denomination whatever, have not the least Pretensions.
It is confessed, that the Pofterity of those first victorious Catholicks, were often forced to rise in their own Defence, against new Colonies from England, who treated them like mere native Irish, with innumerable Opprefsions ; depriving them of their Lands, driving
them, by Force of Arms, into the most defolate Parts of the Kingdom ; until, in the next Generation, the Children of these Tyrants were used in the fame Manner by the new English Adventurers; which Practice continued for many Centuries. But it is agreed on all Hands, that no Insurrections were ever made, except after great Oppressions by fresh Invaders : Whereas, all the Rebellions of Puritans, Presbyterians, Independents, and other Sectaries, constantly began before any. Provocations were given, except, that they were not suffered to change the Government in Church and State, and seize both into their own Hands; which, however, at last they did, with the Murder of their King, and of many
thousands of his best Subjects.
The Catholicks were always Defenders of Monarchy, as constituted in these Kingdoms; whereas our Brethren the Dissenters were always Republicans both in Principle and Practice.
It is well known, that all the Catholicks of these Kingdoms, both Priests and Laity, are true Whigs in the best and most
Sense of the Word ; bearing as well in their Hearts, as in their outward Profession, an entire Loyalty to the Royal House of Hanover, in the Person and Posterity of George II. against the Pretender, and all his Adherents : To which they think themselves bound, in Gratitude, as well as Conscience, by the Lenity wherewith they have been treated since the Death of Queen
Anne, so different from what they suffered in the four last Years of that Princess, during the Administration of that wicked Minister, the Earl of Oxford.
The Catholicks of this Kingdom, humbly hope, that they have, at least, as fair a Title as any of their Brother Diffenters, to the Appellation of Protestants. They have always protested against the selling, dethroning, or murdering their Kings ; against the Usurpations and Avarice of the Court of Rome; against Deism, Atheism, Socinianism, Quakerism, Muggletonianism, Fanaticism, Brownism, as well as against all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks. Whereas the Title of Protestants, assumed by the whole Herd of Dissenters, (except ourselves) dependeth entirely upon their protesting against Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, and Chapters, with their Revenues; and the whole Hierarchy; which are the very Expressions used in The Solemn League and Covenant, where the Word Popery is only mentioned ad invidiam, because the Catholicks agree with the episcopal Church in those Fundamentals.
Although the Catholicks cannot deny, that in the great Rebellion against King Charles I. more Soldiers of their Religion were in the Parliament Army, than in his Majesty's Troops; and that many Jesuits and Friars went about, in the Disguise of Presbyterian and Independent Ministers, to preach up Rebellion, as the best Historians of those Times inform us ; yet the
Bulk of Catholicks, in both Kingdoms, preserved their Loyalty entire.
The Catholicks have some Reason to think it a little hard, when their Enemies will noť please to distinguish between the rebellious Riot committed by that brutal Ruffian, Sir Pbelim O Neal, with his tumultuous Crew of Rabble ; and the Forces raised afterwards, by the Catholick Lords and Gentlemen of the English Pale, in Defence of the King, after the English Rebellion began. It is well known, that his Majesty's Affairs were in great Distraction some Time before, by an Invafion of the Covenanting, Scottish, Kirk Rebels, and by the base Terms the King was forced to accept, that they might be kept in Quiet, at a Juncture when he was every Hour threatened at Home by that Fanatick Party, which foon after set all in a Flame. And, if the Catholick Army, in Ireland, fought for their King, against the Forces sent out by the Parliament, then in actual Rebellion against him, What Person, of loyal Principles, can be fo partial to deny, that they did their Duty, by joining with the Marquis of Ormond, and other Commanders, who bore their Commissions from the King ? For which, great Numbers of them lost their Lives, and forfeited their Eftates ; a great Part of the latter being now possessed, by many Descendants, from those very Men who had drawn their Swords in the Service of that rebellious Parliament, which cut off his Head, and de
stroyed Monarchy. And what is more amazing, although the same Persons, when the Iris were intirely subdued, continued in Power under the Rump, were chief Confidents, and faithful Subjects to Cromwell, yet being wise enough to foresee a Restoration, they seized the Forts and Castles here, out of the Hands of their old Brethren in Rebellion, for the Service of the King ; just saving the Tide, and putting in a Stock of Merit, fufficient not only to preferve the Lands which the Catholicks loft by their Loyalty, but likewise to preserve their Civil and Military Employments, or be higher advanced
Those Insurrections wherewith the Catholicks are charged, from the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century to the great English Rebellion, were occafioned by many Oppressions they lay under. They had no Intention to introduce a new Religion, but to enjoy the Liberty of preserving the old; the very same which their Ancestors professed from the Time that Christianity was first introduced into this Island, which was by the Catholicks; but whether mingled with Corruptions, as some pretend, doth not belong to the Question. They had no Design to change the Government; they never attempted to fight against, to imprison, to betray, to sell, to bring to a Trial, or to murder their King. The Schismaticks acted by a Spirit directly contrary'; they united in a Solemn League and Covenant, to alter the Vol. VIII.