Published in the late Rebellion, A. D. MDCIXLV.
My Countrymen and Fellow Subjects,
Not withstanding the Differences of our religious Opinions, I should be sorry to be wanting in any Instance of Humanity, or good Neighbourhood to any of you. For which Reason I find myself strongly inclined, at this critical Juncture, to put you in mind, that you have been treated with a truly Christian Lenity under the present Government, that your Persons have been protected, and your Properties secured by equal Laws, and that it would be highly imprudent as well as ungrateful to forfeit these Advantages, by making yourselves Tools to the Ambition of foreign Princes, who fancy it expedient to raise Disturbances among us at present, but as soon as their own Ends are served, will not fail to abandon you, as they have always done.
Is it not evident that your true Interest consists in lying still, and waiting the Event, since Ireland must necessarily follow the Fate of England; and that therefore Prudence and Policy prescribe Quiet to the Roman Catholics of this Kingdom, who, in case a Change of Hands should not succeed, after your attempting to bring it about, must then expect to be on a worse Foot than ever?
But we will suppose it succeeds to your Wish. What then? Would not this undermine even your own Interests and Fortune, which are often interwoven with those of your Neighbours? Would not all those, who have Debts or Money, or other Effects in the Hands of Protestants, be fellow Sufferers with them? Would not all those who hold under the Acts of Settlement, be as liable as Protestants themselves to be dispossessed by the old Proprietors? Or, can even those who are stiled Proprietors, flatter themselves with Hopes of possessing the Estates which they claim, which, in all likelihood, would be given to Favourites, (perhaps to Foreigners) who are near the Person, or who fought the Battles, of their Master.
Under Protestant Governments, those of your Communion, have formerly enjoyed a greater Share of the Lands of this Kingdom, and more ample Privileges. You bore your Part in the Magistracy and the Legislature, and could complain of no Hardships on the Score of your Religion. If these Advantages have been since impaired or lost, was it not by the wrong Measures yourselves took to enlarge them, in several successive Attempts, each of which left you weaker and in a worse Condition than you were before. And this, notwithstanding the vaunted Succours of France and Spain, whose vain Efforts in Conjunction with yours constantly recoiled on your own Heads, even when your Numbers and Circumstances were far more considerable than they now are.
You all know these Things to be true. I appeal to your own Breasts. Dear bought Experience hath taught you, and past Times instruct the present. But perhaps you follow Conscience rather than Interest. Will any Men amongst you pretend to plead Conscience against being quiet, or against paying Allegiance and peaceable Submission to a Protestant Prince, which the first Christians paid even to Heathen, and which those of your Communion, at this Day, pay to Mahometan and to Idolatrous Princes in Turky and China, and which you yourselves have so often professed to pay to our present gracious Sovereign? Conscience is quite out of the Case. And what Man in his Senses would engage in a dangerous Course, to which neither Interest doth invite, nor Conscience oblige him?
I heartily wish, that this Advice may be as well taken, as it is meant, and that you may maturely consider your true Interest, rather than rashly repeat the same Errors which you have so often repented of. So recommending you to the merciful Guidance of Almighty God, I subscribe myself,