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* Priests to succeed them in the discharge of those “ religious duties, when death, or any other event, “ shall have deprived the people of the services of those “ who were then in office. But in the manner of pro“ viding for this succession of new Romith Priests upon " the death of those now in Office, it is necessary for " the Government to be very cautious. For, if they

neglect to make some safe and prudent provision for " the regular supply of new Priests to succeed to the "s present set upon the vacancies that will arise by death " or any other cause, there is great reason to apprehend " that fresh Priests will come into the Province, from “ Old France, who will be attached to the interests of “ that Kingdom, and, perhaps, be employed by the “ French Ministers of State, as spies and emissaries, to “ keep-up a spirit of disaffection in the minds of the “ French, or Canadian, inhabitants of the Province

to the English Government, and a secret wish to be

again subject to the Crown of France. And, to “ avoid this danger, the easiest and most prudent way “ of proceeding seems to be to permit a Popish Bishop " of well-known Loyalty to the King of Great-Britain, - and who has resided for many years past in the “ Province, and who has few, or no, connections with “Old France, such as Monsieur Olivier Briand, to “ reside in the Province in a very humble and private “ manner, with a small revenue to support him; that “ he might be ready, upon the vacancy of any Parish“ Church in the Province, by the death of the incum“ bent, immediately to ordain a new Priest that had « been both born and bred in the Province, to be

presented to the said vacant benefice; for which " employments. there would, probably, be always a “ fufficient number of young Candidates, both born " and educated in the Province, because there is in " the Town of Quebeck a Seminary; or College, " of Roman Catholick Priests, of about five or fix “ in number, which has been long ago built and “ endowed fufficiently with landed estates for the “ maintenance of the Priests that belong to it, and “ whose duty it is to educate young men for the Ro"man-Catholick Priest-hood. And it was alledged “ that such an humble and private Bishop, who would « exercife no other of his Episcopal powers but that of

ordaining Priests, and that only at the requisition of “ the Governour of the Province, and who might “ therefore be considered as a mere manufa&turer of

Priests, or (according to a French expreffion which was at that time reported to have been used by Mr. « Oliver Briand himself upon the occasion,) un simple 'faiseur de prêtres, would be a very safe and conve“nient instrument in the hands of the Governour for “carrying into execution the promise made to the « inhabitants of the Province, of tolerating the worship “ of their Religion, without at the same time incurring “ the danger above-mentioned of admitting French

spies into the Province under the character of Ro“man-Catholic Priests."

This was the argument that I hear'd mentioned at the time, as that which had been employed by the advocates of this measure to prevail upon the King's Ministers of that time to consent to it, and which (enforced, probably, by the address and eloquence of Mr. Edmund Burke,) proved successful. It is, however, in my opinion, rather specious than solid and satisfactory. But, if it was perfectly just and conclusive in favour of the measure of permitting a Popish Bishop to reside in the Province of Quebeck, it must at least be allowed that such a measureought not to have been adopted without the authority of an Act of Parliament, to take it out of the operation of the important and fundamental Statute above-mentioned of the 1st of Queen-Elizabeth, which prohibits the exercise of any power derived from the Pope, not only in the Kingdom of England itself, and the dominions thereunto belonging at that time, but in all the dominions that shall belong to it at any future time. And therefore, for want of such an Act of Parliament to authorize it, the faid measure was illegal.


But, if it had been legal, it would not have been a prudent measure, notwitstanding the plausibility of lhe foregoing argument in it's favour. For it was almost certain, that any Roman-Catholick Priest who should be permitted to reside in the Province of Quebeck after having been consecrated Bishop of it, would (notwithstanding any declarations that he might have made to the English Government, in order to obtain such permission, “ that he should consider himself only as an Ordainer of New Priests when they should be wanted to supply the vacant benefices, and would never exert any of the other powers belonging to his Episcopal Office,)--I say, it was almost certain that he would (notwithstanding such declarations) exert many other powers of his office over the Roman-Catholick inhabitants of the Province, which might have very important effe&ts both on the Roman-Catholick Priests and the laiety of the same religion, and would probably greatly check and discourage both those descriptions of his Majesty's new, or Canadian, subjects from conversing freely and associating with the British inhabitants of the Province, and from reading the books of the New Testament, and inquiring into the nature


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of the Protestant Religion and it's difference from that of the Church of Rome; of which inquiries the natural consequence would have been that many of them would haye become converts to the Doctrine of thç Church of England. And accordingly it was found that, when Mr. Oliver Briand returned into the Province of Quebeck, he took upon himself the title of Olivier Briand, par la Grace de Dieu et du Saint Siége, Evesque de Québec, and, after having, upon his arrival in the Province in June, 1766, declined the compliments usually paid to his predecessors in that high office, and declared to his friends, “ that he did not as come into the Province to be a Bishop upon the “ same high footing as his predecessors in the time of " the French Government, and was not therefore “ intitled, and did not defire, to be treated with the “fame ceremony and respect as had been ufed towards

them, but that he was only un simple faiseur de prêtres,

a mere Ordainer of New Priests,” and having, for a month or two, worn only a common black gown,

like the other Roman Catholick Priests, he grew tired of this humble way of proceeding, and dressed himself in a purple robe, with a golden cross at his breast, which are the usual ensigns of the Episcopal dignity among the Roman Catholicks; and afterwards he very freely exercised the tremendous powers of suspending priests from the exercise of their clerical functions and depriving them of their benefices, and excommunicating and depriving persons of the Sacraments, and interdi&ing divine worship in Churches and Chapels. Amongst other exercises of these high powers belonging to him as Bishop of Quebeck, he published s circular Letter to the Roman Catholick inhabitants to exhort them to take arms for the Crown against the other Americans in the beginning of the American war, in which he promised indulgencies to those who should comply with his exhortations, and threatened those who should refuse to do so, with excommunication. And by this Letter as well as by several acts of haughtiness and violence, he very much disgusted the Canadians, as my readers may see by consulting the second volume of my Quebeck papers, in pages 111, 112, 113, 144. So different did his conduct in the Province, when in actual possession of the office appear to be from that of the mere occasional ordainer of new priests, le simple faiseur de prétres, which he had promised to be when he follicited the permisfion to return to the Province after having been made it's Bishop


As for the advantages that, it was pretended, would result to the Province of Quebeck, from the permission given to a Popish Bishop to reside there, by furnishing a means of fupplying the vacant benefices with fresh Priests without admitting any to come there from Old France, they might easily have been obtained without this dangerous and illegal measure, by pursuing the following plan. The Seminary, or College, of Quebeck, might have been preserved, with all its members and teachers of Popish divinity, and its revenues, (which are said to amount to fix or seven hundred pounds sterling a year,) for the education of

young Canadians to the profeffion of the Priest-hood : and, when they had attained the proper age for taking orders in that Church, these young men might have been sent-over to England at the King's expence with the Governour's recommendation to his Majesty's Secretary of State for America, as young men of good behaviour and principles, that were fit to be made


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