Page images
PDF
EPUB

enlightened cosmopolitans, who are bonfires made, to let all Europe see desirous of seeing “religious liberty” the king countenanced him." - This extended all over the world. Such was excellent advice from a minister

liberty” I presume as we have en- of peace, and the primate of the joyed in this country for the last first protestant kingdom in the world, three centuries. Well, in the time and demonstrates in the clearest of James, the nation experienced an light imaginable what steps were interval of peace for seventeen years, deemed necessary to propagate true and then the good protestant people religion by the disciples of the rewere discontented because he did not formation, who preferred the very go to war with his neighbours; yet still oposite maxims adopted by the aposthe ground of their uneasiness was the tles of Christ and the missionaries same as that of their descendants, of the catholic church, in their lawho complain of having had too ! bours to convert infidel nations to much of it, namely, the power of the christianity. The latter relied on Pope, and the Jesuits, and the In the providence of God, and, armed quisition.- The patriots then thought only with the powers of reason and that war was no less, necessary than an ardent desire to extend the glory peace, for the welfare of the nation. of their divine and crucified Redeema There are those who think the same er, they encountered the greatest difBow, but they get abused by the pa-ficulties and perils, sometimes ex. triots of these days, as well as the posed to the risk of perishing by f' venerable justitutions of popery. hunger and want, and at others of The state of the continent at this being sacrificed to the infuriate pasperiod of James's reign presented a sions of prejudiced barbarians. The scene of bloodshed and religious former depended on blackening the contention between the catholic and character of their adversaries, by protestant princes of the empire, misrepresenting their morals and among the latter of whom was the practices, and calling to their assistson-in-law of James, the elector ance reviling, forgery, slander, sedipalantine, who had accepted the distion, rebellion, fire and the sword. puted crown of Bohemia, and craved James, though he professed himself the assistance of the British mon- warmly attached to the protestant arch. A council was called on this religion, was averse to having reimportant subject, and we are in- course to harsh of warlike measures formed by Echard, that the arch for the cause of religion, and therebishop of Canterbury, Abbott, a fore he did not approve of the advice puritan prelate, being unable to at given by archbishop Abbott. tend personally, sent a zealous, and it reasonable,” said he, " I should fervent letter to the secretary of state, suffer myself to be drawn by a sonto urge the king's utmost assistance in-law's ambition and humour, into at this critical juncture, which might a war against the house of Austria, turn highly to the advancement of who have done me no wrong?" the protestant religion all over Eu- Consistent with these sentiments, the rope."--Rapio also states, that the monarch thought it most advisable archbishop further observed, “that to see what negociation would do in it was his opinion the elector should preference to a hasty war. --This accept the crown, and England however did not please his besotted openly support him. And therefore people, who complained that the as soon as there should be certain king had deserted the cause of the news of his coronation, the bells protestant religion at a time when ought to be rung, guos fired, and France, the emperor, the king of

66 Is

Spain, and the pope were using their soften the rigour of catholic states endeavours to destroy it.- How simi- in behalf of their protestant subjects, lar is the spirit of our modern lead is most forcibly illustrated in the ers to those of their ancestors! The following extract from an order ise heaviest charge which Mr. Cobbett sued by him to the lord keeper of and his compeers bring against the the great seal, in favour of the ca. success of the last war, is the res tholics, a copy of which is to be seen toration of the Bourbons, and the in Dodd's Church History, vol. ii. Pope, and the Inquisition, occasion. p. 439.-" Whereas a marriage is

ed by the downfall of the tyrant Na- intended to be shortly had and 80poleon, who is called by them an lemnized between our dear son encourager of the protestant re- Charles, prince of Wales, and the ligion. Is it possible for a greater most excellent priucess the lady resemblance to exist between the Mary of Spain; and the said priababes of evangelical liberty and the cess being a romish catholic, we babes of French philosophism? - hold it fit, that such of our subjects, James further incurred the displea. as are of the same religion, containsure of his people, according to Ra-ing themselves otherwise within those pin, by being desirous of marrying bounds of loyalty and duty, as is bis son Charles to a French or Spa- | fitting for obedient and loving subnish princess. He would liave jects, should be treated and used with thought it," says this historian, “a all mildness and clemency. And disparagement to the prince his son therefore, and because we will give to marry the daughter of any Ger- example to other princes, to extend man prince. He chose rather, con- the like grace and favour to such of trary to all the rules of good policy, their subjects, as are of the religion to seek him a wife in a house sworn which we ourselves profess; we have eneny to the protestant religion, resolved to mitigate the severity of than to marry him to one of his owo those laws, which do inflict on them religion, who was not royally de any penalties in respect of their relia scended. This infatuation, if I may i gion; hoping, as we do herein enbe allowed the expression, is to be large our grace and bounty to them, considered as the source of the rest so they wiil be incited and stirred up of the occurrences of this reign, and to shew the fruits and effects of their of all the vexations James had to dury and sincere affection towards us, endure, as well from foreigners as and our mild and merciful governhis own subjects."

ment, as may become good and faith• Acting under this “ infatuation,"ful subjects; and may encourage us James entered into a negociation to continue that favour and benigwith the court of Spain, and made nity towards them, which we have an overture of marriage between the begun. These are therefore to siginfanta Maria and prince Charles. nify unto you, that for the better ef.

-From some cause or other the fecting this our pleasure, our intenthe treaty was never completed, al- tion is to grant pardons and dispenthough it was near seven years in agi- sations to such of our subjects, and tation; but the equitable disposition roman catholics, as within the space of the British monarch towards his or term of five years, next ensuing *catholic subjects, his desire to clear the date hereof, shall desire the same, the kingdom from the charge of in- according to the tenour and form of tolerance and cruelty, which the pro-a pardon and dispensation here und ceedings of the perfidious Elizabeth written.” The king also agreed by had affixed on it, and his wish to the articles of the treaty to allow the

free exercise of her religion to the they were not desirous of extending infanta and her household, with a this blessing beyond their own dear proviso that the children should be selves. Accordingly, the commons committed to her care, till they at-house of parliamentas, scarcely tained the age of ten years. One met, when the leading members began might suppose that the justness of to assail the throne with alarming acJames's conduct in this instance counts of the increase of popery, and would have obtained for him the ap. the dangers likely to ensue therefrom. probation of his loving subjects, who These were followed up by a violent are represented by their descendants memorial, complaining of the king's as being strenuous advocates for "li-indulgence to the catholics, which, berty of conscience.”—The monarch they said, added to the hopes enterfound a great part of his people were

tained from the Spanish match, enunjustly oppressed by penal statutes couraged their insolence and temerity, for conscience sake, and therefore as and induced them to expect the comhead of a church, which Sir John plete toleration, if not the final reJackson told the British and Foreign establishment of their religion.School society,

was mainly indebt. These papists were sad saucy and ared for its existence to the principle rogant fellows, to be sure, and vastly of universal toleration," he gave alpar- presumptuous in their expectations of tial toleration to them for a limited being permitted to enjoy unmolested time; and wishing to form a matrimoibeir undoubted right to liberty of nialalliance with a neighbouring state, conscience, contrary to the benevohe agreed to allow his intended lent wishes of their protestayt bredaughter-in-law the free exercise of thren !- The memorial concluded, by her religion, together with her ser-entreating that his majesty would vants.-In this policy he was sup- cause all the children of popish re. ported by the conduct of one of our cusants to be taken from their paPAGAN ancestors, Ethelbert, who rents, and committed to the care of married a catholic princess, Berta, protestant teachers ; and that the the daughter of Charibert king of penalties to which the catholics were Paris ; as, by the marriage treaty, by law subjected might be levied the princess had the free exercise of with the utmost severity !! Oh, what her religion guaranteed to her, with kind hearted beings were our discithe care of the education of her ples of liberty in those days! The children. · Ethelbert also, after em- king however would not listen to, bracing christianity, gave every one

these tender and compassionate sugof his people the freedom of congestions of our liberty-of-conscience science, and would not suffer his pa- champions, but he told them in regan subjects to be persecuteri. --Well, ply "you may rest secure, that we then, since the condact of James was will never be weary to do all we cao, thus countenanced by the example of for the propagation of our religion, a pagan but afterwards christian king, and the repressing of popery. But we might imagine that it was hailed the manner and form you must remit with rapture by those who preached to our care and providence; who can up evangelical liberty, and were 10- best consider of times and seasons, bly struggling in the cause of religious not by undertaking a public war of re. freedom. But no suci thing. Al-ligion through all the world at once : though the parents of our swaggering which, how hard and dangerous a task orators, were, as before observed, con- it may prove, you may judge. But this tending for 6 the cause of religious puts us in mind, bow all the world liberty, like their hopeful children, / complained, the last year, of plenty...

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of corn; and God has sent is a exercise the sword of persecution, cooling card, this year, for that heat; for the purpose of indulging their and so we pray God that this desire own insaturable cruelty and oppresamong you, of kindling wars,(shew. sive dispositions. ing your weariness of peace and plen- This inhuman tendency to harass ty) may not make God permit is to and distress their catholic brethren fall into the miseries of both. But, was visible on every meeting of para as we already said, our care of reli- liament. The last was dissolved in gion must be such, as on the one 1641, and at the expiration of two part we must not, by the hot perse- years the king found it necessary to cution of our recusants at home, irri- call another, but no suoner was it astate foreign princes of contrary reli- sembled than a petition was pregion, and teach them the way to sented to the monarch by both houses, plague the protestants in their domi- containing the following proposinions, with whom we daily intercede tions :—That all jesuits and semiand at this time principally, for ease nary priests may be commanded to them of our profession, that live forthwith to depart out of the realın, under them: yet on the other part, and not to relurn.or come bither awe never mean to spare, from due gain, upon peril of the severest peand severe punishment, any papist nalty of the laws now in force against that will grow insolent, for living them. That his majesty would be under so mild a government.”—This pleased to give charge to the jusfair declaration of James did not sa- tices of the peace, that they take tisfy the commons; they therefore from all popish recusants all such presented a fresh remonstrance as- armour, gunpowder, and munition serting their right to give advice in of any kind, as any of them have. all matters of goveroment. The That all popish recusants be comking, in a spirited reply denied their manded foril with to retire themclaim to interfere with his preroga- selves from London, to their dwell-

this the commons protested ings, or places by law appointed, against; the king in his turn ordered and there io reniain confined within the protestation to be torn from their five miles of their dwelling places : journals, terminated the sitting of And for that purpose to discharge the parliament, and in six days after all by-past licences granted unto dissolve1 it.- On this occasion, he them; and that they presume not committed Coke, Seldon, Pym, and any time thereafter to repair to Lon-other leading members of the com- don, or within ten miles of London, mons to prison. Thus we see, it or to the king's court, or to the was not a desire to assert the liberty prince's court, wheresoever...That of conscience to every individual, of his majesty would forbid and restrain whatever sect or party he might be the great resort of his own subjects, long, for which Napoleon and the for the hearing of mass, to the ancient Englisli reformers have been houses of foreign ambassadors. so much extolled by Mr. Cobbett, That his majesty would be pleased that animated the popular leaders of to discharge - popish recusants from this reign to oppose the designs of those places of trust (as lord lieutheir sovereign, but a groundless and tenants, justices of the peace &c.) sánguinary prejudice towards their by which they have that power in own fellow subjects, who merely differ. the couutry where they live as is not ed from them on speculatixe points of fit to put into the bands of persons doctrine, and against whom they were so affected.—That his majesty would constantly urging the executive to be pleased generally to put tbe laws

tives ;

in due execution against popish re-size than four hundred and seventycusayts, and that all his judges, jus- three pages, containing various dotices, &c. may be commanded to do cuments from all the countries on the their duty therein.-With this choice continent, &c. both catholic and prospecimen of the noble struggles made testant, where any could be obtainby the fathers of our modern pa- ed, respecting “ the leading points triots in the cause of religious LIB- of contention between the ecclesiasERTY, I shall close my remarks on tical and secular powers, in the ex, the reign of James; that of his suc- ternal government of the church.” cessor, which must be postponed till For this multifarious mass of curious the succeeding month, will afford papers, we are indebted to our “old stronger and more convining proofs, friend,” sir John Hippisley, who apif any are necessary, that faction and pears to have acted on this occasion, revenge, not patriotism and justice, as the minister “ de culte," under were the stimulating motives which the sanction of the foreign secretary prompted the democratic leaders of of state, Lord Castlereagh, and his the parliamentarians to overthrow locum tenens, during his attendance the constitution, under the banners at congress, Lord Baihurst. A let. of “ No-Popery."- I must, however, ter from the first noble lord, to the notice, in conclusion, that in spite of foreign ministers, dated 12th Authe mild dispositiup of James, and gust, 1812, requests them to pay his declared aversion to spill the every possible aitention to the points, blood of his subjects for religion upon which Sir John Hippisley asks sake, he found himself compelled to for information, on the subject of sign the death warrants of twenty- the exact state of the roman cathofive priests and laymen, hesides send. lic religion in which they reside, and ing above one hundred into bamish- to transmit the sult of their inquiment. Reader, with these facts be- ries to hin through the foreign office. fore you, do

you not blush at the un- The letter of Lord Bathurst is.dated feeling and shameless turpitude of Sept. 5tb, 1815, and informs the

those men, who accuse catholics of foreign ministers that “ Sir John I cruelty and, bloodthirstiness when Cox Hippisley being engaged in ab

the deeds of their own ancestors ex. taining information respecting the hibit one continued scene of bar- laws of foreign countries, as they efbarous outrages on the rights of bu- fect the roman catholics, with the manity, unparalleled in the history hnowledge and approbation of his of the world?

majesty's government, he desires

that they will shew every possible atPARLIAMENTARY REPORT ON tention to the communications they CATHOLIC AFFAIRS.-The report may receive from that gentlemanfrom the select committee appointed upon this important subject, and that

report the nature and substance they will transmit to the foreigu of the laws and ordinances existing in office the result of their inquiries foreign states, respecting the regula- upon the different points submitted tion of their roman catholic subjects, to their investigation by Sir John Cox, in ecclesiastical matters, and their Hippisley."-Such is the authority intercourse with the see of Rome, under which the hon. baronet conor any other foreign ecclesiastical meuced his present labours, and when jurisdiction," has at length made its we couple the same with the declared appearance. The report itself oc- intentious of Castlereagh aod Cancupies fifty-four pages, but an ap- ning, there can be little doubt but pendix is attached to it of no less an attempt will be made to pass anu.

to

« PreviousContinue »