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passive but never yielding, was singularly remarkable.
The general sufferings of the non-conformists of every denomination were certainly very great: it has been asserted that eight thousand of them perished in the reign of Charles the second, merely for dissenting from the church *. This persecution of them was attended by one singular circumstance: In every other instance, where one denomination of christians has persecuted another, it has been on the ground, that the errors, which they professed to punish, were impious, and led the maintainers of them to eternal perdition; and therefore rendered these wholesome severities, as the persecutors termed them, salutary to the sufferers. But, when the protestant of the church of England acted in the manner which has been mentioned against the protestant non-conformist, he persecuted a christian, who agreed with him in all, which he himself deemed to be substantial articles of faith, and differed from him only in rites and ceremonies, which he himself allowed to be indifferent f.
A temporary relaxation of these severities was made by the declaration of indulgence which was issued by his majesty soon after his alliance with France against Holland I. By this, in virtue of an authority, which he asserted to be inherent in him, and to have been often recognized by the
* See the preface to De Laune's Plea for Non-conformists, by the editor of that work.
* This is Neale's just remark, vol. ii. c. vi. I 13 March 1672.
nation, he generally suspended the penal laws, both in respect to the protestant non-conformists and the roman-catholic recusants, and granted to the former a public, and to the latter a private exercise of their religion. But, in the following year, the commons having warmly remonstrated against this declaration, as an open and inexcusable violation of the constitution, with an intimation, that its principal, though concealed, object, was to favour the catholics, his majesty recalled it, and with his own hands broke the seals.
ADDRESSES OF THE ENGLISH CATHOLICS ON THE
ACCESSION OF CHARLES THE SECOND. FIRST
THE events in this reign, in which the catholics were deeply interested, are numerous.
We shall present the reader, I. With an account of the addresses presented by the English catholics on the restoration of Charles the second : II. Of the proceedings in parliament, which, upon that event, took place in their regard : III. Then mention the fire of London : IV. Then state some facts and offer some observations on Oates's plot: V. Then insert the apology addressed to the peers of England by lord Castlemain, in consequence of the new severities, with which the catholics were then threatened : VI. Then notice the act preventing
catholic peers and commoners from sitting in parliament: VII. And conclude the chapter with a summary review given by a protestant writer of the religious persecutions in England from the reformation till the end of the reign of Charles the second ;--and some general reflections upon them.
Addresses presented by the English Catholics on the
Restoration of Charles the second. On the restoration of Charles the second, the expectations of his catholic subjects were very great, and were certainly very reasonable. Inevery stage of the civil conflict, his father and himself had found the lives and fortunes of the catholics at their command: there was scarcely a catholic family, some members of which had not perished in the field; or from whom a large proportion of their property had not been confiscated, in consequence of their loyalty. They presented three addresses to his majesty.
The first was signed by the dean and chapter.“ We hold,” they say, “that the pope hath no “power, directly or indirectly, to lay commands “on the king's catholic subjects in any thing be
longing to civil and temporal matters ; and con
trarywise, that the aforesayd supreame dominion “ and power of majestie extends overall his subjects,
as well ecclesiasticke as layicke, and in all cases, “not only temporall but also spirituall, as far forth
as they may have respect to the civil and politick
government. And that therefore we hold our“selves bound never to suffer or permit, as far as
lyes in our power, that any person or persons, “ecclesiastick or layick, exercise at any time, any jurisdiction, power, or authoritie in this kingdom,
or in any other part of his majesty's dominions, , “ over his majesty's subjects, in thinges appertain
ing to or reflectinge upon his civill government, “ without the knowledge and leave of his sayd
majestie ; much less, without violence to the “sacred principle aforesaid, can or doe wee hold " that the pope either hath, by himselfe, or by any "authoritie derived from his see, any rightfull
power of deposinge kings, whether catholicke or “ not catholicke, disposinge of their dominions and “ kingdoms, or of authorizinge any externe prince, “ or other person or persons whatsoever, to invade “ or endammage either his majestie's sacred person, or any part of his dominions. “ But most of all wee detest from our harts that impious, damnable, and most unchristian position; “ that kings or absolute princes, of what belief
soever, who are excommunicated by the pope, may “ be deposed, killed, or murthered by their sub"jects, as clearly contrary to the word of God.”
A second address was presented by the English Benedictines and other regular clergy.-- They cite several sentences of foreign universities, condemning the claim of the pope to temporal power by divine right :--the principal of these are mentioned in the opinions of the foreign universities transcribed in the Appendix to these Memoirs. The addressers conclude their protestation in these words.
“ This protestation we make in the presence of “ God and his holy angels, without any equivoca"tion or mental reservation whatsoever. The which “ doctrine of mental reservation wee doe deteste " and abhorre as most unchristian and execrable: “ especially in professions of this nature ; as also in “all promises and contracts made with any, or " when wee are convened before any legall magis“strate, of what religion soever.
“And now,-our hope is, that this our profession will be esteemed sufficient to satisfy the state
and kingdome, that the catholick religion does not “deserve such imputations, as upon occasion of the “writings or crimes of a few unhappy persons, have “ been undeservedly cast upon it. As likewise to “ demonstrate, that both for an acknowledgment “ of his majestie's just supremacy in all temporall
power, as a civil governour, and likewise our rea“diness to perform all due allegiance to him and - his successours, according to the lawes of these
kingdomès, wee 'his distressed roman-catholick
subjects, are by our religion as much obliged, and “God willing, shall never come short of any other
subjects, of what persuasion in matters of religion “soever they be. However, in case that which is "here written and protested shall not be esteemed “sufficient for this purpose, our most humble suit “ is, that wee may be permitted further to explain “ ourselves, and against all 'exceptions to justify