In 1704 the Irish establishment excluded Presbyterians from public life in Ireland.
They did this simply by requiring public servants to accept the sacrament from a priest acting as a government agent, something which believing Presbyterians could not do in good conscience.
For 124 years this abuse continued, more or less, until at last emancipation was granted by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1828, one year before it granted Roman Catholic emancipation.
I have been reminded of this as Tim Farron and Theresa May have been required by the establishment press to reject the Christian abhorrence of sex outside marriage – one man, one woman for one lifetime.
It seems that there is a new ‘sacramental’ test set by the establishment to exclude and disadvantage orthodox, mainstream Christians.
I want to encourage my fellow Christians, of all denominations, who are disheartened by our third-class citizenship: we have been here before!
In the past there certainly were ‘traditors’ – those who conformed for the sake of their possessions or positions but many were faithful.
At length, the children of their children’s children’s children were set free.
What, as the Bible teaches, shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, yet lose his own soul.
Mark Wilson, Minister of Cremore, Fourtowns and Poyntzpass