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"Our fathers, who lived under the dread of Popery and arbitrary power, are most of them gone off
Printed for J. J. STOCK DALE, 41, Pall-Mall,
Bookseller to the Society for the Distribution of Tracts in Defence of the United Church
WE this day publish the Twelfth Number of the PROTESTANT ADVOCATE, which completes the First Volume.-We have passed an eventful twelvemonth.-The English political year may be thus divided into three portions;-the period preceding the meeting of Parliament ;-that which comprises the session ; and that which immediately follows it.
We commenced our labours during the first of these, in Octo ber 1812. The resolution of the House of Commons to discuss the Roman Catholic Question in the (then expected) succeeding Session, by turns alarmed our fears and 'excited our hopes. We saw, and deeply lamented, the apathy of the people at large ;—à torpor which very much resembled a total indifference about Religion, and the Constitution. The artifices of the Papists had lulled the suspicions of the generality, and had rendered any attempt to rouse them, an arduous and no very pleasant undertaking. The patrons of the Romanists had professed to conciliate all classes of his Majesty's subjects; and this specious assertion gave to the honest efforts of the PROTESTANT ADVOCATE, an appearance of hostility, and the semblance of a desire to prolong, if not to per petuate, disputes. "But none of these things moved", us; we had engaged to maintain the Protestant religion, and the Protestant ascendancy against all their enemies, and we were not to be shaken from our purpose.
The late Parliament was dissolved, and the new one assembled. Whether on the Hustings or in the Senate, we endeavoured to supply the maintainers of the Constitution with arguments, and to expose the fallacies of its assailants. We repeatedly pointed out the necessity of petitioning Parliament, and making the voice of the people of England to be heard by their representatives, hereditary or elective. We were desirous of doing good, in every good way. We endeavoured to give publicity to all such works as were calculated to serve the Protestant cause. We felt none of the pride of authorship, but wherever we met with matter adapted to general instruction, we made no scruple of giving it a place in our pages, where our readers will find copious extracts from many excellent fugitive publications, suited to the exigencies of the moments as they passed; and happy do we feel in the certain knowledge which we possess, that our quotations have drawn the attention of many, to various tracts of eminent worth. This has been a source of great satisfaction to us; yet at the same time our readers will see, that much as we have praised, and eagerly as we have recommended the literary productions of the friends to Protestantism, we have not suppressed that censure so justly merited by several of our opponents. We have chastised not a few, and we know that more than one coxcomb has winced under our flagellation.
The moment at last arrived when the portentous resolution of the late Parliament, was adopted by the present one. We are free to confess, that persuaded as we were of the justice and constitutional soundness of our cause, we flattered ourselves that the question would have been disposed of to our satisfaction, on the motion to go into a committee upon the sub-ject of the claims. We are thankful, however, that the promoters of the bill-the original framer, and the fabricator of the
additional clauses, together with the eloquent pleaders for Popery, and its mute partizans, and its blind adherents-suffered the discomfiture that befel them; and for this reason, above all others, that the designs of the Romanists are now evident to all who have eyes to see;-POWER is their object--for toleration they enjoy;—and since the legislature will not permit them to sit and vote in Parliament, they care not a straw for aught beside. -Our gratitude is for ever due to the SPEAKER of the House of Commons. He applied Ithuriel's spear to the disguised Genius of Popery, who had squatted close by his chair;-pretexts and pretences, assumed moderation and pseudo-liberality, dropped from off the monster,-instantly recognized by his insatiable ambition and lust of power. He retired, scowling, into the lobby. We have now reached the third portion of the year, the early part of the recess. We must not relax our labours ;-neither sball we. The foe will most assuredly repeat his daring attempts on the re-assembling of Parliament. "The fell Sergeant" is using every recruiting artifice. He attends fairs and markets, merry-meetings and wakes. He instructs his men in the use of arms. He has, as heretofore, his midnight-drills; but he places his chief reliance on the effects of conviviality and drinkingbouts;-there, stimulated by toasts and songs, claret and usquebaugh, his troops learn to fire without winking, and to stand in the presence of sober men without confusion of face. He hopes to shew an imposing front in the next campaign, and, like the French marshal beaten before Vittoria at Midsummer,-to wield a new baton by Christmas.
We now call upon all the friends of our glorious Constitution, to take a determined and an active part in its defence. The country feels happy that the Papists have suffered a defeat;-but we have no idea of laying down our arms, till they shall have