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To which last a word or two.1 I wonder how this relation was brought about! If they be "Flocks," and you ambitious of the relative term? Yes,' you are Pastors: but it is by an antiphrasis,-a minime pascendo! You either teach the People not at all; or else you do it, as some of you came to this Conventicle who were sent by others, tanquam Procuratores,' teach them,' as your manner is, by sending a company of silly ignorant Priests, who can but say the Mass, and scarcely that intelligibly; or with such stuff as these your senseless Declarations and Edicts! But how dare you assume to call these men your Flocks," whom you have plunged into so horrid a Rebellion, by which you have made them and the Country almost a ruinous heap? And whom you have fleeced and polled and peeled hitherto, and make it your business to do so still. You cannot feed them! You poison them with your false, abominable and Antichristian doctrine and practices. You keep the Word of God from them; and instead thereof give them your senseless Orders and Traditions. You teach them "implicit belief:”—he that goes amongst them may find many that do not understand anything in the matters of your Religion. I have had few better answers from any since I came into Ireland that are of your Flocks than this, "That indeed they did not trouble themselves about matters of Religion, but left that to the Church." Thus are your "Flocks" fed; and such credit have you of them. But they must take heed of "losing their Religion." Alas, poor creatures, what
have they to "lose?"
Concerning this, 'of losing their Religion,' is your grand caveat, however.' And to back this, you tell them of "Resolutions and Covenants to extirpate the Catholic Religion out of all his Majesty's Dominions." And you
The Lord Lieutenant is very impatient with this last;' flies at it first.
instance in "Cromwell's Letter of the 19th October, 1649, to the then Governor of Ross," repeating his words, which are as follows, viz. "For that which you mention concerning liberty of conscience, I meddle not with any man's "conscience. But if by liberty of conscience, you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and to let you know, Where the Parliament of "England have power, that will not be allowed of." And this you call a tyrannical Resolution;" which you say hath been put in execution in Wexford, Ross and Tredah.
Now let us consider. First, you say, The design is, to extirpate the Catholic Religion. Let us see your honesty herein. Your word "extirpate" is as ill collected from these grounds, and as senseless as the word "Catholic," ordinarily used by you when you mention Catholic Roman Church. The word "extirpate" means 'ruin of' a thing already rooted and established: which word 'is' made good by the proof of " Covenants," by that Letter expressing the non-toleration of the Mass (wherein, it seems, you place all the "Catholic Religion," and there you shew some ingenuity1), and by' your instance of what was practised in the three Towns aforementioned: do these prove, either considered apart or all together, the "extirpation" of the Catholic Religion?
By what Law was the Mass ever rooted, or' exercised in these places, or in any the Dominions of England or Ireland, or Kingdom of Scotland? You were intruders herein ; you were open violators of the known Laws! And yet you call the "Covenant," and that 'refusal' in the Letter, and these practices 'at Wexford, Ross and Tredah,' extirpation" of the Catholic Religion,—' which had' thus again been' set on foot by you, by the advantage of your
1 Antea, p. 86.
2 Means 'ingenuousness,' as usual.
Rebellion, and shaking-off the just Authority of the State of England over you! Whereas, I dare be confident to say, You durst not own the saying of one Mass,' for' above these eighty years in Ireland. And 'only' through the troubles you made, and through the miseries you brought on this Nation and the poor People thereof,-your numbers, which is very ominous, increasing with the 'numbers of the' wolves, through the desolations you made in the Country;-only by all this' did you recover again the public exercise of your Mass! And for the maintenance of this, thus gained, you would make the poor People believe that it is ghostly counsel, and given in love to them as your "Flocks," That they should run into Wars, and venture lives, and all upon such a ground as this! But if God be pleased to unveil you of your sheeps-clothing, that they, 'the People,' may see how they have been deluded, and by whom, I shall exceedingly rejoice; and indeed for their sakes only have I given you these competent characters,― for their good, if God shall so bless it.
And now for them, the People of Ireland,' I do particularly declare what they may expect at my hands in this point. Wherein you will easily perceive that, as I neither have 'flattered' nor shall flatter you, so neither shall I about to delude them with specious pretences, as you have ever done.
First, therefore: I shall not, where I have power, and the Lord is pleased to bless me, suffer the exercise of the Mass, where I can take notice of it. No,' nor in any way' suffer you that are Papists, where I can find you seducing the People, or by any overt act violating the Laws established; but if you come into my hands, I shall cause to be inflicted the punishments appointed by the Laws, to use your own term, secundum gravitatem de
licti,—upon you; and 'shall try' to reduce things to their former state on this behalf.2 As for the People, what thoughts they have in matters of Religion in their own. breasts I cannot reach; but shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, Not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same. And shall endeavour to walk patiently and in love towards them, to see if at any time it shall please God to give them another or a better mind. And all men under the power of England, within this Dominion, are hereby required and enjoined strictly and religiously to do the same.
To the second danger threatened;' which is "the destruction of the Lives of the Inhabitants of this Nation:"to make it good that this is designed, they3 give not one reason. Which is either because they have none to give; or else for that they believe the People will receive everything for truth they say,-which they have too well taught them, and God knows the People are too apt, to do. But I will a little help them. They speak indeed of "rooting out the Common-People ;" and also, by way of consequent, that the extirpating the Catholic Religion is not to be effected without the "massacring, destroying or banishing the Catholic Inhabitants." Which how analogical an argument this is, I shall easily make appear by and by.
Alas, the generality of "the Inhabitants" are poor 'Laity," as you call them, and ignorant of the grounds of the "Catholic Religion."4 Are they then so interwoven with your Church Interest as that the absence of them makes your "Catholic Religion" fall to the ground? We know you think not so. You reckon yourselves, and yourselves only, the pillars and supporters thereof; and the 2 No cozening here! 3 Is now addressing the People; has unconsciously turned away from the Priests, and put them into the third person.
A phrase in their Pamphlet.
Unimportant they, to the vigour or decline of it.
Common-People useful' as far as they have the exercise of club-law, and, like the ass you ride on, obey your commands. But concerning these relations of your Religion, ' and your right to practise it,' enough has been spoken in another place ;-only you love to mix things for your advantage.
But now' to your logic. Here is your argument: The design is to extirpate the Catholic Religion; but this is not to be done but by the massacring, banishing or otherwise destroying the. Catholic Inhabitants: ergo it is designed to massacre, banish and destroy the Catholic Inhabitants. To try this no-concluding argument, 'nothing-concluding,' but yet well enough agreeing with your learning, I give you this dilemma; by which it will appear That, whether your Religion be true or false, this will not follow:
If your Religion be the true Religion, yet if a Nation may degenerate from the true Religion, and apostatise, as too many have 'evidently' done,-(through the seducements of your Roman Church, 'think we'),—then it will not follow that men must be "massacred, banished or otherwise destroyed," necessarily; no, not as to the change of the true Religion in a Nation or Country! Only, this argument doth wonderfully well agree with your principles and practice; you having chiefly made use of fire and sword, in all the changes in Religion that you have made in the world. But I say,' if it be change of your Catholic Religion so-called, it will not follow because there may be found out another means than "massacring, destruction
1 A subtle dilemma,' and very Oliverian; seems to eat itself like a Serpent-of-eternity, and be very circular reasoning; yet grounds itself, if examined, upon sharp just insight, and has real logical validity. 'Call V your Religion true, men have changed from it without being massacred: ́ admit it to be false, will you say they need massacring? Whatever Reli'gion you may have, I think you have not much Logic to spare !'