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by so flimsy an argument, and they could not forget that the sentiments of parliament in these important instances were regulated by the patriotism and firmness of the volunteer army.

It was remarked that the parliamentary constitution of 1782 had, with all its merits, the same radical vices as that of James I. that it did not embrace the body of the people; and that its effects were to render the government of the nation impracticable to the executive minister, unless carried on by a plan of corrup tion, commensurate to the extent and power of the aristocracy, whose views and wishes were hostile to those of the great mass of population.

In 1798 the vigour, firmness, and impartiality of Marquis Cornwallis, had succeeded in checking the attempts of faction, however powerful, and in repressing the spirit of mutual aggression; but there was no security that the flames of civil discord would not revive even with increased fury, while the same principles and the same state of things continued, unless they were completely extinguished by an union, which might remove the cause and objects of contention.

It will not be thought too much to say, that the great body of the Roman Catholics did not look upon the measure of legislative incorporation with an unfavourable eye, and that they expected from the wisdom of an united legislature the removal of grievances, to which they knew their own parliament would not consent. In the discussion of the question, it was, no doubt, a satisfactory reflection to those who possessed the elective franchise, that in the exercise of that power, they would not commit their interests solely to a body of men whom they had been too apt to regard as hereditary enemies, adverse to their religion and connections; but that those whom they should elect would be mixed with a vast majority of men, uninfluenced by local politics, and unbiassed by the prejudices imputed by them in general to the protestants and parliament of Ireland.

The auspicious moment at length arrived for the legislative incorporation of both countries, and the Lord Lieutenant candidly announced the intention of the Sovereign to submit the question to the wisdom of parliament.

The public mind was thus called upon to declare itself, for some time before the union was formally proposed by the executive power, and the proceedings of the different bodies and assemblies of men upon the occasion, which either belonged to the city of Dublin, or met there, naturally become the subject of peculiar notice. Among these bodies the gentlemen of the Irish bar took the lead in point of talents, fortune, family, connections, and political influence; and it cannot be denied, that they were justly entitled, by their patriotic and splendid exertions for the independence and prosperity of the country, during a long series of years, to hold a more distinguished rank in the public esteem than any other class of men. They were decidedly hostile to the incorporative system; but that their opposition to it was not alto


gether uninfluenced by partial and interested motives, will, perhaps, appear from the following observations of that acute reasoner the Dean of Glocester:

"The chief opposition to the measure must be expected from the bar, who are supposed to be more personally interested against it than any class in society. It is a general habit in the gentlemen of Ireland to educate their sons at the temple, and the number of barristers is much greater in proportion here than in England. And as the profession will not support, by any means, the numbers which pursue it, lawyers in Ireland extend their circle to politics, and are very numerous in parliament, and extremely active in the business of it In England there are few lawyers in the House of Commons; whereas in Ireland they are a formidable phalanx. Were a legislative union to take place, Irish lawyers would be deprived of the parliamentary market for their abilities and ambition; they could not attend the British parliament without renouncing business; they would be entirely confined to professional prospects, and mere political emoluments and situations would be taken from their grasp."

Having stated in the words of Dean Tucker the opposition which was to be expected from the gentlemen of the Irish bar, it cannot be deemed uninteresting to observe the ability with which he proves, that the very reasons which would induce them to resist the union, ought to be considered as arguments in favour of the measure:—

First; "It is obviously the interest of the nation, that the law should be accurately and deeply studied; and it will be more probable that students will pay attention to their profession when their hopes of advancement are conferred to knowledge and ability in the line of it. In proportion as you have abler lawyers you will have abler judges, especially when the temptation of placing them upon the bench, from political reasons, is removed.

2dly; "It is obvious that it would be prudent to exclude from the legislature young adventurers, who have but little stake in the country, who have acquired by habit a facility of speaking upon every subject, and upon every side of a subject, and who only consider a seat in parliament as the means of bringing their abilities to market.

"It does not, however, appear that the prospects of the bar would be materially injured by an union; the offices to which lawyers are usually appointed would remain the same; and if the road to them was more through professional merit, than parliamentary services, it does not appear that either the bar or the public would be injured."

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SCEVALA, grand Pontiff, and Varro, one of their great thenlogians, said it was necessary the people should be ignorant of many things that were true, and believe many that were false. St. Augustine asserts, that Varro has in this disclosed the whole secret of the politicians and the ministers of state.

The same Seevala, according to St. Augustine,* divided the gods into three classes; those established by the poets, those established by the philosophers, and those established by the magistrates,a principibus civitatis.

Those who read the Roman history with discernment, will, in every part, find traces of the policy we are speaking of. Thus we see Cicero, who, particularly amongst his friends, is every moment making a confession of his incredulity, + declaim in public, with extraordinary zeal, against the impiety of Verres. Thus we see a Claudius, who had insolently profaned the mysteries of the goddess, and whose impiety was marked by twenty decrees of the senate, make himself, in the presence of that very senate which fulminated these decrees, a harangue replete with zealous indignation against the contempt of the ancient usages, and of religion.

Although the magistrates did not give into the religion of the people, it is not to be inferred that they had no religion. M. Cudworth has amply proved that those who were of enlightened understanding amongst the Pagans, adored a supreme divinity, of which the popular divinities were but a participation. The Pagans, not over scrupulous in their worship, thought it a matter of indifference to adore the divinity itself, or the manifestations of it: to adore, for example, in Venus, the passive power of nature, or the supreme divinity in as much as it is susceptible of all generation; to pay worship to the sun, or the supreme divinity, in as much as it animates the plants, and renders the earth fruitful by its heat. Thus Cicero makes the stoic Balbus say, "That God participates, by his nature, with all things here below; that on the earth he is Ceres, and is Neptune on the seas." We should be better informed on this subject, were we in possession of the book composed by Asclepiades, entitled "The Harmony of all the Theologies."

*Totum consilium prodidit sapientum per quod civitates et populi regerentur.- -DE CIVITATE DEI. Book IV. chap.31.

+Adeone me delirare censes ut ita credam?

Deus perlinens per naturum cujusque rei, per terras Ceres, per Maria Neptunus, alii per alia, poterunt intelligi: qui qualesque sint, quoquo eos nomine consuetudo nuncu paverit, hos deos et venerari et colere debemus.


As the dogma of the soul of the world was almost universally received, and as every part of the universe was considered as a living member, through which that soul was diffused, it seems as if it was permitted to endure all these parts indifferently, and as if the worship was equally arbitrary as the system.

This it was that gave birth to that spirit of mildness and toleration which reigned in the Pagan world; they possessed no zeal to persecute and destroy each other; all religions, all theologies, were equally good amongst them; heresies, religious wars and disputes, were to them unknown; provided they went to pay their adorations, every citizen was grand Pontiff in his own family.

The Romans were much more tolerant than the Greeks; for every one knows the melancholy end of Socrates. It is true that the Egyptian religion was always proscribed at Rome; but it was because that religion was itself intolerant, wished to stand alone, and establish its empire on the ruins of all others: so that the spirit of mildness and peace which prevailed in the religion of the Romans, was the true reason of the incessant war they made upon the former. The senate ordered the temples of the Egyptian divinities to be pulled down; and Valerius Maximus, in treating on that subject, relates that Emilius Probus gave the first blow, in order, by his example, to encourage the workmen struck with a superstitious fear."

But the priests of Serapis and of Isis were still more zealous for the establishment of their ceremonies than the Romans were for their proscription. Although Augustus forbad the exercise of them at Rome, yet Agrippa, who commanded the city in his absence, was under the necessity of prohibiting them a second time. Tacitus and Suetonius inform us of the frequent decrees which the senate was obliged to pass for banishing that worship from Rome.

It is to be remarked, that the Romans confounded the Jews with the Egyptians, in the same manner as we know they confounded the Christians with the Jews. These two religions were a long time considered as branches of the first, and shared with it the hatred, the contempt, and the persecution of the Romans. The same decrees which abolished the Egyptian ceremonies at Rome, included those of the latter, as appears from Tacitus* and Suetonius, in their lives of the Emperors Tiberius and Claudius. It is still more evident, that the historians never distinguished the worship of the Christians from the others. That error was not corrected even in the time of Adrian, as appears by a letter written by that Emperor from Egypt to the Consul Servianus: "All those in Egypt, who adore Serapis, are Christians; and those who *History. Book XI.

+Illi qui serapim colunt, Christiani sunt; et devoti sunt serapi, qui se christi episcopos dicunt. Nemo illic archi-synagogus judeorum, nemo Samarites, nemo Christianorum presbyter, non mathematicus, non aruspex, non aliptes, qui non serapim eolat. Ipse ille Patriarchus (Juderorum scilicet), cum Egyptum venerit, ab aliis serapim Adorare, ab aliis cogitur Christum: hunc judæi, hunc Christiani, hunc omnes venerantur et gentes. Flavius Vospicus, in vita Saturnini. Vide Historte Augustæ Scriptores. In fol. 1620, p. 245; and in 8vo. 1661, p. 959.


are called bishops are also attached to his worship. There is no Jew, no chief of the synagogue, no samaritan, no priest of the Christians, no soothsayers, no anointer, that does not adore Serapis. The jewish patriarch himself adores indifferently Serapis and Christ. These people have no other god but Serapis; he is the god of the Christians, of the Jews, and of all the people." Is it possible to have more confused ideas of these three religions, or more grossly to confound them?

Amongst the Egyptians the priests composed a separate body, and were supported at the public expence; and thence arose many inconveniences: all the riches of the state were swallowed up amongst a society of persons, who, always receiving and never paying back, insensibly absorbed every thing within themselves. The Egyptian priests, thus hired to do nothing, lived in a state of idleness and languor, from which they emerged with all the vices it engenders: they were turbulent, restless, enterprising ; and these qualities rendered them extremely dangerous. In fine, a body, with interests so extravagantly separate from those of the state, was a monster; and those who established it, sowed in society the seed of discord and of civil wars. It was not so at Rome. The priesthood there was made a civil department: the dignities of Augur and of grand Pontiff were magistracies: those who were invested with them were members of the senate, and consequently had no interests different from those of that body. Far from making superstition subservient to the oppression of the Republic, they usefully employed it for its support. "In our city," says Cicero," the kings and the magistrates who succeeded them were always invested with a double character, and governed the state under the auspices of religion."

The Duumvirs had the direction of sacred things: the Quindecimvirs had charge of the religious ceremonies, and guarded the sibylline books, as the Dumvirs and Duumvirs had done before. They consulted the oracles, when so decreed by the senate, and, in making their report, added also their opinions and advice: they were likewise to execute whatever was prescribed by the books of the sibyls, and to cause the secular games to be performed. In this manner all the religious ceremonies passed through the hands of the magistrates.

* Apud veteres, qui rerum potiebantur, èidem augurla tenebant, ut testis est nostrá civitas, qua et reges, lugures et postea privati eodem sacerdotio præditi, Rempublicam religionum auctoritate texerunt.DE DIVINATIONE. Book I.

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