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wards in every other corporation, substituted in thei" CHAP. place. Not content with this violent and dangerous LXX. innovation, the King appointed certain regulators So
1687. to examine the qualifications of electors; and directions were given them to exclude all such as adhered to the test and penal statutes'. Queries to this purpose were openly proposed in all places, in order to try the sentiments of men, and enable the King to judge of the proceedings of the future parliament. The power of the crown was at this time so great ; and the revenue, managed by James's frugality, so considerable and independent; that, if he had embraced any national party, he had been ensured of success, and might have carried his authority to what length he pleased. But the catholics to whom he had entirely devoted himself, were scarcely the hundredth part of the people. Even the protestant non-conformists, whom he so much courted, were little more than the twentieth ; and what was worse, reposed no confidence in the unnatural alliance contracted with the catholics, and in the principles of toleration, which, contrary to their usual practice in all ages, seemed at present to be adopted by that sect. The King, therefore, finding little hopes of success, delayed the summoning of a parliament, and proceeded still in the exercise of his illegal and arbitrary authority.
The whole power in Ireland had been committed to catholics. In Scotland, all the ministers whom the King chiefly trusted, were converts to that reli. gion. Every great office in England, civil and military, was gradually transferred from the pro
1 The elections in some places, particularly in York, were transferred from the people to the magistrates, who, by the new charter, were all named by the crown. Sir John 'Reresby's Me. moirs, p. 272. This was in reality nothing different from the King's naming the members. The same act of authority had been employed in all the boroughs of Scotland,
Rochester and Clarendon, the King's bro. LXX. thers-in-law, though they had ever been faithful to
his interests, could not, by all their services, atone 1637. for their adherence to the national religion; and had
been dismissed from their employments. The violent
was recommended by the King's mandate to the university of Cambridge for the degree of master of arts; and as it was usual for the university to confer that degree on persons eminent for learning, without regard to their religion; and as they had even admitted lately the secretary to the ambassador of Morocco; the King on that account thought himself the better entitled to compliance. But the university considered, that there was a great difference between a compliment bestowed on foreigners, and degrees which gave a title to vote in all the elections and statutes of the university, and which, if conferred on the catholics, would infallibly in time render that sect entirely superior. They therefore refused to obey the King's mandatę, and were cited to appear before the court of ecclesiastical commission. The vice-chancellor was suspended by that court ; but as the university chose a man of spirit to succeed him, the King thought proper for the present to drop his pre
Tue attempt upon the university of Oxford was Magda- prosecuted with more inflexible obstinacy, and was len Col.
attended with more important consequences. This CHAP. university had lately, in their famous decree, made LXX. a solemn profession of passive obedience; and the
1687. court probably expected that they would shew their sincerity, when their turn came to practise that doctrine : Which, though, if carried to the utmost ex, tent, it be contrary both to reason and to nature, is apt to meet with the more effectual opposition from the latter principle. The president of Mag. dalen college, one of the richest foundations in Europe, dying about this time, a mandate was sent in favour of Farmer, a new convert, but one who, besides his being a catholic, had not, in other respects, the qualifications required by the statutes for enjoying that office. The fellows of the college made submissive applications to the King for recalling his mandate; but before they received an answer, the day came, on which, by their statutes, they were obliged to proceed to an election. They chose Dr. Hough, a man of virtue, as well as of the firmness and vigour requisite for maintaining his own rights and those of the university. In order to punish the college for this contumacy, as it was called, an inferior ecclesiastical commission was sent down, and the new president and the fellows were cited before it. So little regard had been paid to any consideration besides religion, that Farmer, on inquiry, was found guilty of the lowest and most scandalous vices; insomuch that even the ecclesiasti. cal commissioners were ashamed to insist on his election. A new mandate, therefore, was issued in favour of Parker, lately created Bishop of Oxford, a man of a prostitute character, but who, like Farmer, atoned for all his vices by his avowed willingness to embrace the catholic religion. The college represented, that all presidents had ever been appointed by election, and there were few instances of the King's interposing by his recommendation in favour of any candidate ; that having already made a
CHAP. regular election of a president, they could not deLXX. prive him of his office, and, during his life-time, substitute
any other in his place ; that, even if there were a vacancy, Parker, by the statutes of their founder, could not be chosen ; that they had all of them bound themselves by oath to observe these statutes, and never on any account to accept of a dispensation; and that the college had at all times so much distinguished itself by its loyalty, that nothing but the most invincible necessity could now oblige them to oppose His Majesty's inclinations. All these reasons availed them nothing. The president and all the fellows, except two who complied, were expelled the college; and Parker was put in possession of the office. This act of violence, of all those which were committed during the reign of James, is perhaps the most illegal and arbitrary. When the dispensing power was the most strenuously insisted on by court lawyers, it had still been allowed, that the statutes which regard private property, could not legally be infringed by that prerogative. Yet in this instance it appeared, that even these were not now secure from invasion. The privileges of a college are attacked : Men are illegally dispossessed of their property, for adhering to their duty, to their oaths, and to their religion : The fountains of the church are attempted to be poi. soned ; nor would it be long, it was concluded, ere all ecclesiastical, as well as civil preferments, would be bestowed on such as, negligent of honour, virtue, and sincerity, basely sacrificed their faith to the reigning superstition. Such were the general sentiments; and as the universities have an intimate connexion with the ecclesiastical establishments, and mightily interest all those who have there received their education, this arbitrary proceeding begat an universal discontent against the King's administration.
The next measure of the court was an insult CHAP. still more open on the ecclesiastics, and rendered LXX. the breach between the King and that powerful body
16872 fatal, as well as incurable. It is strange that James, when he felt, from the sentiments of his own heart, what a mighty influence religious zeal had over him, should yet be so infatuated as never once to suspect that it might possibly have a proportionate authority over his subjects: Could he have profited by repeated experience, he had seen instances enow of their strong aversion to that communion, which, from a violent imperious temper, he was determined, by every possible expedient, to introduce into his kingdoms.
The King published a second declaration of in- 1688. dulgence, almost in the same terms with the former; and he subjoined an order, that, immediately after divine service, it should be read by the clergy in all the churches. As they were known universally to disapprove of the usé made of the suspending power, this clause, they thought, could be meant only as an insult upon them; and they were sensible, that, by their compliance, they should expose themselves, both to public contempt, on account of their tame behaviour, and to public hatred, by their indirectly patronizing so obnoxious a prerogative". They were determined therefore, almost universally, to preserve the regard of the people ; their only protection, while the laws were become of so little validity, and while the court was so deeply engaged in opposite interests. In order to encourage them in this resolution, six prelates, namely, Lloyde, Bishop of St. Asaph, Ken of Bath and Wells, Turner of Ely, Lake of Chichester,
m When Charles dissolved his last parliament, he set forth a de. claration giving his reasons for that measure, and this declaration the clergy_had been ordered to read to the people after divine service. These orders were agreeable to their party prejudices, and they willingly submitted to them. The contrary was now the case.