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Civil Disqualifications



By a Magistrate of the County of Montgomery-

learnu All Toyd.

The very

« Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri,
“ Quo me cunque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.”


Printed and Sold by W. EDDOWES, Corn-Market; sold also by

LONGMAN, HURST, and Co. Paternoster Row, London; D.
Wrexham ; J. POOLE, Chester;. R. PARKER, Whitchurch; G.
GITTON, Bridgnorth; W.BAUGH, Ellesmere; HALL, Worcester;
ALLEN, Hereford; Cox, Aberystwith, &c. &c.

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AT a crisis when that Question is about to be decided, which itivolves the vital Interests of the Empire; and whert sacli contradictory and irrelevant Représentationis of it are in general circulation; I conceived I might render some assistance to such of my country, men who are not much acquainted with the discussion, in forming a rational opinion upon it, by presenting them with a plain unsophisticated summary of those reasons which have induced me to form my own. Unknown to those in power, as well as to their principal political rivals; uninfluenced and unawed by any other cotisideration than a desire that the inhabitants of my native county should all have an opportunity of exercising their own

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honest judgment on this momentous Question; the only apology I have to offer for presuming to obtrude my sentiments on their attention, is the same regard for the general welfare, and for the respectability of the public opinion of the COUNTY OF MONTGOMERY, wbich has induced me to dedicate niy life, gratuitously, and almost exclusively, to its service.

I shall not occupy their time, or insult their understandings, with animadversions on those absurd cries, that degrading invective, or party intrigue, which have so much obstructed the unprejudiced consideration of this great national Question, with the exception of one impropriety, which meets us in the very threshold of the argument; and that is, the phrase of “ CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION.”The assumption of the imposing appellation of “Catholic,” by any particular church, I shall pass over; but must protest against the use of the term “ Emancipation, in this stage of the argument, as being the cor-relative of Slavery; and, connected with the epithet Caiholic, as implying the most detestable species of slavery,--that of the Conscience; it not only assumes the point to be proved, but places the opponents of that measure in the most unfair and invidious light : I have,


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therefore, rejected a tiile founded on so palpable a violation of the rules of liberal discussion, and substituted the more legitimate one of “The Civil Disqualification of Papists.”

I now proceed to state those fundamental principles in which these disqualifications originated, and on which their justification must depend.

Let us suppose the Representatives of a People invested with full powers to form a Constitution for the common good; some restraints on individuals and classes of indie viduals must necessarily arise, without any infraction of civil liberty ; " which is no other " than natural liberty, so far restrained by « human laws (and no farther) as is necessary « and expedient for the general advantage of “ society.” Conceive the civil government to be formed; what class of religionists could now step forward and demand admission to office as a matter of Right? It is obvious that none could support such a claim, “for the

disposal of offices is a matter of favour and « discretion." Let us next suppose that the Legislature should be convinced, that the excellent precepts and awful sanctions of Christ's religion are pre-eminently calculated to promote social peace and order; that they A 3


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