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ERRATA.–Page. 385, column l, lipes 3 and 4, for “ theoretical, not practical,”
CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY NOT that practised it with honest intenOBTAINED BY THE REFORMATION. tion and sincerity. -- Is it not then a
subject of disgrace to the character JAMES A FRIEND TO TOLERATION, of our country, that a writer of such HIS PARLIAMENTS PERSECUTORS. political eminence as Mr. Cobbett,
EATH having put an end to the as well as some of our most indeD
cruel oppressionis and tyranny pendent senators and patriots, should, of the " virgin Queen,” she was suc- at this day, re-echo all the foul asceeded in the throne of these realms persions so industriously heaped upby James I. the son of Mary queen on catholic principles by their phren. of Scotland, who suffered for her zied and bigoted fathers, and con. inflexible adherence to the catholic tinue to impute the present grievfaith under a warrant of the merci- ances of the nation, and they are less Elizabeth.-James was not only certainly no very light ones, to the the first of 'the royal race of Stuart Pope and the Jesuits. In an adthat swayed the sceptre of England, dress to the clergy, Mr. Cobbett has but the first also that reigned over talked most impudently and most the three kingdoms, and took the ignorantly of the noble struggles title of king of Great Britain. -The made by his fathers in the cause of rule of this family has given great religious liberty;" and he is conscope to our blustering demagogues stantly reminding his readers of the and hireling writers to rail about tyrannical acts of the naughty Stuarts. Popery and Slavery, and to repre- The whig oracle, The Morning Chrosent each succeeding sovereign of this nicle, in its unprincipled attempts dynasty as tyrants and oppressors; to persuade the people of England but a cool and candid examination that the late unfortunate political of the events which took place du. outrages at Nismes were the work ring the period of their sway, even of a religious persecution of the as detailed by the hugonot Rapin, French Protestants by the Bourbons, the archdeacon of Stowe, Mr. Ech- also took repeated occasions to boast ard, or the infidel Hume, will be suf- of the sacred love of civil and relificient to convince the reader that gious liberty which inflamed the the charge brought agaiust the Stuarts breasts of the ancient members of ought rather to be affixed to the tur. his faction, and to extol the enlightbulent members of the senate during ened system of toleration which formtheir dominion, a set of malignant and ed' the distinguished features of the mercenary bigots, constantly crying parliamentary contests that took place out for liberty of conscience, yet de- under the rule of this maligned family. manding the blood and lives of those - It is not my design to yindicate
ORTIOD. JOUR. VOL. y.
the unconstitutional actsoftheStuarts, byterians flattered themselves that nor to defend the many errors com James, from being educated in their mitted by them, but I am prepared religion, would promote the reformto prove, that throughout the whole ing of the church of England, upperiod of the struggles of parlia on the plan of that of Scotland, and ment during the rule of these mon- the catholics hoped to meet under archs, including the commonwealth, his government, with gentler treatnot one single faet can be brought ment, and more indulgence, than forward to establish a claim in they had experienced beneath the favour of the patriots, so called, of yoke of Elizabeth--- In this state of those days, to a real attachment to public anxiety, each party alternateconstitutional freedom; but, on the ly biassed between hope and fear, contrary, the whole of their pro- came the famous conference at Hampceedings were distinguished by an in-ton-court, which put a damper upon veteratg batred towards the profes-the puritans, who experienced a sors of popery, and an oppressive further disappointment by the openand tyrannicalascendancy over every ing speech of James to his first parother sect, but that of the ruling liament. —Previous to this, it should faction. In a word that the strug- be observed, that the new monarch gles, which are denominated by the issued a proclamation commanding present race of reformers as the all jesuits and other priests having struggles of liberty against Slavery orders from any foreign power, to and Popery, were, in truth and real- depart the kingdom; but Rapin says, ity, the struggles of religious fana- he took care to shew that he did not tics for political power of conspir- publish this proclamation in hatred ing anarchs for uncontrolled do to the catholic religion in general, minion.
but only on account of his dislike James was in the 36th year of his to the jesuits and their doctrine. age when he ascended the throne of James was very willing, observes England, but he had exercised the the same historrian, to allow the royal power over Scotland from his catholics to believe what they pleased coming of age, having succeeded to provided they renounced the belief the latter throne when only a year of the pope's superiority over kings. old, on the deposition of his mother -If this account of the writer be by her rebellious subjects.-James true, we may here see the effects of a was baptised a catholic, educated a prejudiced education, because the calvinist, and became pope or head very history of the country over of the church of England, on bis which he was called to preside, and accession to its crown.-At this the conduct of all his predecessors this time the nation was divided in on the throne of England, with the to three parties, nainely the establish exception of the weak and pusiliaed religion, the puritans, and the nimous John, gave a flat contradiccatholics, which latter was then very tion to such being the priociples of considerable, not less than twenty roman catholics. This proclamacatholic peers having seats in the up- tion against the jesuits and priests, per house. According to Rapin, each was followed by another, enjoining party entertained hopes favourable the puritans to conform to the worto themselves from the disposition ship of the established church. of the new monarch ; the church of Thus stood matters with respect to England-men expected that he would religion, till the opening of the first conform to their religion, since it parliament, on the 19th day of Mareh, was established by law; the pres. | 1604, when the king made a loog speech to both houses, in which he catholics, some of whom he called professed his intention to govern his to his councils, raised a jealousy in subjects of all religious persuasions the whole protestant interest, and it with mildness and lenity, declaring was found necessary to devise meaat the same time his aversion to harsh sures to wean the affections of the or cruel measures. He stated it as monarch from them. But how this his belief that more danger was to was to be done, became a question be apprehended from the politics of of some moment since the general the puritans, than from the tenets of conduct of the catholics under Elitheir faith ; and as for the catholics, zabeth could afford no hopes that he acknowleged that theirs was the any imprudent step on their part mother church, though not, he con- would take place to forfeit the good ceived, without blemishes. That the opinion James entertained of their judges had pressed the laws farther civil allegiance to him. A device how. than was intended against recusants; ever was not long wanted. Cecil, the and that he hoped parliament would son of the insidious Lord Burghley, consider of some milder expedients the contriver of Babington's plot for the future. In conclusion, he and of queen Mary's murder, was signified a desire of seeing all Eu- then at the head of the royal counrope united in religion, which he cils, and possesed all the inventive thought was not an impracticable genius of his perfidous father in formprospect, provided all parties would ing plots and conspiracies. He had abandon excesses. This speech gave betrayed his former mistress in the considerable umbrage to the puri- decline of her life to his present tans, nor was it by any means relish- master, her hated rival, and he was ed by the members of the established now resolved that James should sacrichurch, or any of the protestant fice his mother's and his own genuine sects.-A system of religious tolera- friends to his inborn hatred of them. tion did not enter the views of any - Accordingly a plot was resolved of these parties, all of whom cordi- on, which Cecil undertook to bring ally hated the catholics, and wish to maturity. - The father of James, ed to see them crushed, lest some of king Henry Darnley, had been acthe former should be obliged to re- tually blown up by a protestant gunstore the ill-gotten estates they then powder plot, and he himself had very possessed by the confiscations and narrowly escaped a similar danger seizures of the preceding reign.- during his dominion in Scotland; it The puritans in particular were en- was therefore suggested that as the raged at the king's charging them king must naturally have an averwith being "ever discontented with sion to a gunpowder conspiracy, the present government, and impa- such an one should be attempted, and tient of any superiority, which made laid at the door of the Catholics. their sect insufferable in a well go- Forgery,” says the Rev. Mr.Whitverned common wealth. --James, aker, in his Vindication of Mary however, had received too many tes. queen
Forgery; I blush timonies of the correctness of his for the honour of protestantism opinion of that sect during his reign while I write it, seems to have in Scotland, not to be jealous of their been peculiar to the reformed .....I power here; and his son and suc- look in vain for one of those accursed cessors afterwards' experienced the outrages of imposition amongst the fatality of their deposing principles disciples of popery."- It is not my -On the other hand, the known intention to enter into a minute departiality of the king towards the tail of this diabolical transaction,
the reader will do better to consult | normous barbarities. The wrath of Dr. Milner's Letters to a Preben- Heaven (he continued) is denounced dary, or Mr. Reeve's History of the against crimes, but inn cent error Christian Church, where he will find may obtain its favour; and nothing the infamous iotrigues of the crafty can be more hateful than the un. Cecil exposed, and the catholics, as charitableness of the puritans who a body, completely cleared of being condemn alike to eternal torments concerned in it. I shall only observe, even the most inoffensive partizans the first session of that parliament of popery. This mild and tolerant passed over without any very impor- spirit evinced by the nionarch did tant occurence, and its sitting was not accord with the heated and reprorogued until the seventh of Fe- vengeful disposition of the puritan bruary, 1605; this prorogation was faction in both houses. The strong
bias October following, and then again ples of catholics in contradistinction to the fifth of November; but on the to his dislike of the turbulent and night previous to the last mentioned restless spirit of the calvinists, workday, search was made under the par-ed the adherents of the latter docliament-house, and some barrels of trine into a pitch of fury, which gun-powder concealed among faggots could not be satiated but by the total was, as intended, discovered, toge- ruin and extirpation of the former.ther with Mr. Guy Fawkes, a soldier James having ended his speech, the of fortune and a professed catholic, parliament was immediately prowho, on being taken into custody, rogued, without entering on any implicated eight more individuals business, until the 21st day of Janequally as desperate and unprinci- uary ia the succeeding year. - Dupled as himself, one of whom, Fran- ring this session, the people were cis Tresham, it should be observed, again put into a consternation by a was upon such terms with the prime sudden rumour and outcry at court, minister, Cecil, that he had access that the king was stabbed with an to him at all hours not only of the envenomed knife about twenty miles day but also of the night.-A strong from London. This rumour, howpresumptive proof that he was Cecil's ever, was nothing more than a poli. agent in managing the conspirators. tical manæuvre of ministers to draw -The discovery being made, the money from parliament, and keep the most industrious means were taken people in alarm for the safety of their to spread the news through the king- sovereign, in which they well sucdom, and great care was used to in- ceeded. The commons granted the flame the minds of the people against supplies very liberally, and both papists and popish plots. That the houses united in adding fresh pains king himself did not believe it to be and penalties to those already ena catholic conspiracy is evident from acted by Elizabeth to suppress the the tenor of his speech to both houses growth of popery.
And to complete which met on the 9th, four days af- all, says. Èchard, “With hearts full ter the discovery, when James, with of affection for God's great delivermuch candour informed the mem- ance of the whole kingdom from bers, " that though religion had en- ruin and desolation, they made a spegaged the conspirators in so crimi- cial act to have the fifth day of No. nal an attempt, yet ought we not vember for ever solemnized with pubto involve all the roman catholics lic thanksgivings : imputing the disin the same guilt, or suppose them covery of the treason to God, in inequally disposed to commit such e. ) spiring the king with a divine spirit