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CHAP. sterdam and other towns in Holland, which had be LXXI. fore fallen into a dependence on France, being terri
fied with the accounts which they every moment re1688.
ceived of the furious persecutions against the hugonots, had now dropped all domestic faction, and had entered into an entire confidence with the Prince of Orange The protestant Princes of the empire formed a separate league at Magdeburg for the defence of their religion. The English were anew enraged at the blind bigotry of their sovereign, and were disposed to embrace the most desperate resolutions against him. From a view of the state of Europe during this period, it appears, that Lewis, besides sullying an illustrious reign, had wantonly by this persecution raised invincible barriers to his arms, which otherwise it had been difficult, if not impossible, to resist.
The Prince of Orange knew how to avail himself of all these advantages. By his intrigues and influ. ence there was formed at Augsburg a league, in which the whole empire united for its defence against the French Monarch. Spain and Holland became parties in the alliance. The accession of Savoy was afterwards obtained. Sweden and Denmark seemed to favour the same cause. But though these numerous states composed the greater part of Europe, the league was still deemed imperfect and unequal to its end, so long as England maintained that neutrality, in which she had hithertu persevered.
JAMES, though more prone to bigotry, was more sensible to his own and to national honour than his brother; and had he not been restrained by the former motive, he would have maintained with more spirit the interests and independence of his kingdoms. When a prospect, therefore, appeared
9 D'Avaux, 24th of July 1681; 2oth of June, 15th of October, 11th of November, 1688 ; vol. iv. p. 30,
of effecting his religious schemes by opposing the pro- CHAP. gress of France, he was not averse to that measure;
LXXI. and he gave his son-in-law room to hope, that, by con
1688. curring with his views in England, he might prevail with him to second those projects which the Prince was so ambitious of promoting.
A MORE tempting offer could not be made to a Refuses person of his enterprising character : But the objec- to concur tions to that measure, upon deliberation, appeared with the to him insurmountable.
King The King, he observed, had incurred the hatred of his own subjects : Great apprehensions were entertained of his designs : The only resource which the nation saw, was in the future succession of the Prince and Princess : Should be concur in those dreaded measures, he would draw on himself all the odium under which the King laboured : The nation might even refuse to bear the expence of alliances, which would in that case become so suspicious : And he might himself incur the danger of losing a succession which was awaiting him, and which the egregious indiscretion of the King seemed even to give him hopes of reaping, before it should devolvę to him by the course of nature. The Prince, therefore, would go no farther than to promise his consent to the repeal of the penal statutes, by which the non-conformist as well as catholics were exposed to punishment: The test he deemed a security absolutely necessary for the established religion.
The King did not remain satisfied with a single trial. There was one Stuart, a Scotch lawyer, who had been banished for pretended treasonable praccices : but who had afterwards obtained a pardan, and had been recalled. By the King's directions, Stuart wrote several letters to pensionary Fagel, with whom he had contracted an acquaintance in Holland; and besides urging all the motives for an unlimited toleration, he desired that his reasons
CHAP. should, in the King's name, be communicated to LXXI. the Prince and Princess of Orange. Fagel during
a long time made no reply; but finding that his 1688.
silence was construed into an assent, he at last expressed his own sentiments and those of Their High
He said, that it was their fixed opinion, that no man, merely because he differed from the established faith, should ever, while he remained a peaceable subject, be exposed to any punishment or even vexation. That the Prince and Princess
gave heartily their consent for repealing legally all the penal statutes, as well those which had been enacted against the catholics as against the protestant nonconformists; and would concur with the King in any measure for that purpose. That the test was not to be considered as a penalty inflicted on the professors of any religion, but as a security provided for the established worship. That it was no punishment on men to be excluded from public offices, and to live peaceably on their own revenues or industry. That even in the United Provinces, which were so often cited as models of toleration, though all sects were admitted, yet civil offices were enjoyed by the professors of the established religion alone. That military commands, indeed, were sometimes bestowed on catholics ; but as they were conferred with great precaution, and still lay under the control of the magistrate, they could give no just reason for umbrage. And that Their Highnesses, however desirous of gratifying the King, and of endeavouring, by every means, to render his reign peaceable and happy, could not agree to any measure which would expose their religion to such imminent danger.
When this letter was published, as it soon was, it inspired great courage into the protestants of all denominations, and served to keep them united in their opposition to the encroachments of the catholics,
On the other hand, the King, who was not conteat CHAP. with a simple toleration for his own religion, but LXXI, was resolved that it should enjoy great credit, if
1688. not an absolute superiority, was extremely disgusted, and took every occasion to express his displeasure, as well against the Prince of Orange as the United Provinces. He gave the Algerine pirates, who preyed on the Dutch, a reception in his harbours, and liberty to dispose of their prizes. He revived some complaints of the East India company with regard to the affair of Bantam'. He required the six British regiments in the Dutch service to be
He began to put his navy in a formida. ble condition. And from all his movements, the Hollanders entertained apprehensions, that he sought only an occasion and pretence for making war upon them.
The Prince in his turn resolved to push affairs Resolves with more vigour, and to preserve all the English the King. protestants in his interests, as well as maintain them firm in their present union against the catholics. He knew that men of education in England were, many of them, retained in their religion more by honour than by principle'; and that, though every one was ashamed to be the first proselyte, yet if the example were once set by some eminent persons, interest would every day make considerable conversions to a communion which was so zealously encouraged by the sovereign. Dykvelt therefore was sent over as envoy to England; and the Prince gave him instructions, besides publicly remonstrating on the conduct of affairs both at home and abroad, to apply in his name, after a proper manner, to every sect and denomination. To the church party, he sent assurances of favour and regard, and protested, that his education in Holland had nowise D'Avaux, 21st of January 1687. < Burnet. 3
CHAP. prejudiced him against episcopal government. The LXXI. non-conformists were exhorted not to be deceived
by the fallacious caresses of a popish court, but to 1688.
wait patiently till, in the fulness of time, laws, enacted by the protestants, should give them that toleration which, with so much reason, they had long demanded. Dykvelt executed his commission with such dexterity, that all orders of men cast their eyes towards Holland, and expected thence a deliverance from those dangers with which their religion and liberty were so
nearly threatened. Is applied Many of the most considerable persons, both in to by the church and state, made secret applications to DykEnglish: velt, and through him to the Prince of Orange.
Admiral Herbert too, though a man of great expence, and seemingly of little religion, had thrown up his employments, and had retired to the Hague, where he assured the Prince of the disaffection of the seamen, by whom that admiral was extremely bę. loved. Admiral Russel, cousin-german to the unfortunate lord of that name, passed frequently be. tween England and Holland, and kept the com, munication open with all the great men of the protestant party: Henry Sidney, brother to Algernon, and uncle to the Earl of Sunderland, came over under pretence of drinking the waters at Spa, and conveyed still 'stronger assurances of an universal combination against the measures of the King, Lord Dumblaine, son of the Earl of Danby, being master of a frigate, made several voyages to Holland, and carried from many of the nobility tenders of duty, and even considerable sums of money', to the Prince of Orange.
THERE remained, however, some reasons, which . retained all parties in awe, and kept them from breaking out into immediate hostility. The Prince,
I D'Avaux, 14th and 24th of September, 8th and 15th of October, 1688.