« ZurückWeiter »
Documents. The Parliament of 1761 only followed the example of the Clergy of Paris, who also published Extracts from the then existing writings of the Jesuits, a full Century before; and both these Bodies had the highest authority for such a step: "OUT OF THINE OWN MOUTH Will I judge thee, "thou wicked Servant."-Luke, xix. 22.
The Jesuits and their advocates find it easier to deal with general statements, than with specific facts; and it is therefore no matter of surprise, that, when they are pressed by such arguments as these, they should lose all patience, and substitute invective for reasoning.
The next Historian whose testimony is sought to be invalidated is PRYNNE.
It would have been strange indeed if He had been spared, since it was principally owing to his exertions that the designs of the Jesuits and their adherents of the Catholic religion in the end of the reign of James I. and throughout that of Charles I. were detected and defeated. The character of such a writer can no more escape the aspersions of those who defend the Jesuits and their friends at this time, than PRYNNE himself could escape the resentment of the Jesuits and their friends when he lived. The offence of PRYNNE is too deep to be forgiven, and too recent to be forgotten; since the body of Evidence collected and brought forward by him against the Jesuits and Papists, is one of the most important links in the chain of the History of Popery in England.
When the unjust and tyrannical Court of the Star Chamber had determined to silence, by whatever means, the loud and general remonstrances which were heard throughout the nation against the revival of Popery, and its inseparable attendant, Arbitrary Power, they began by inflicting the most cruel and odious punishments upon those who had been instrumental in apprizing the people of the measures which were in agitation. The persons who were principally singled out, were DR. BURTON, a Clergyman of the Church of England, Dr. BASTWICK, a Physician, and MR. PRYNNE, a Barrister; who
were all subjected to the heaviest fines, and the most severe and ignominious punishments, the effect of which steps, on the part of the Court, was directly contrary to what was intended: the Protestants of England, so far from being awed into submission by the terrors of this example, espoused the cause of the accused, and went the length of honouring them by a public triumph-From this moment, PRYNNE enjoyed the confidence of the chief opponents of the Jesuits and Roman Catholics; and it must be confessed, that if considerable depth and vigour of intellect, an unabated ardour in the pursuit of his object, and a large share of legal and juridical knowledge, entitled any one to take a prominent part in a question of the deepest national concern, PRYNNE was eminently that man. The portion of personal feeling which may be supposed to have operated with PRYNNE after the punishment inflicted on him, ought undoubtedly to be taken into the account in judging of the degree of credit to be attached to his testimony; but not, as MR. Dallas would insinuate, to discredit that testimony, even if it stood singly. Fortunately, however, for the interests of truth, his writings do not rest upon his own statements alone, but are amply sustained by the facts he adduces, as well as by much other concurrent testimony of that particular period.
MR. DALLAS refers us for an account of PRYNNE to HUME, the well-known advocate of arbitrary power; who, with his characteristic levity and contempt for religion, notices one of PRYNNE'S works, from which he takes occasion, as usual, to sneer at Piety under the name of Puritanism. PRYNNE, how ever, published several others, which it did not perhaps answer the purpose of HUME and MR. DALLAS to mention: one was 66 THE TREACHERY AND DISLOYALTY OF PAPISTS TO THEIR "SOVEREIGNS IN DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE, AND THE POWER "OF PARLIAMENTS." This work had two objects-first, to shew that the Papists and Jesuits, both in England and elsewhere, had been invariably the advocates of Popery as well as the assertors of arbitrary power, either to be exercised by them
selves, or by Princes under their influence, to the exclusion of all lawful sovereigns who might oppose them; and, ses condly, that the Parliament of England, as composed of the three Estates of the realm, was the only legitimate form of Government for England, as also that under which alone she could really prosper, and he refers the principal errors of the reign of Charles I. as well as that King's subsequent misfortunes, to his affection for Popery, and his desire to reign without Parliaments. Another work from his pen was, "ROME'S MASTER-PIECE, OR THE GRAND CONSPIRACY OF "THE POPE AND HIS JESUITICAL INSTRUMENTS TO EXTIR"PATE THE PROTESTANT RELIGION AND RE-ESTABLISH PO"PERY;" the chief object of which was, to develope the designs of the Jesuits against the life of Charles I. as also against the then existing Government: which designs he establishes from some very important documents discovered by him at Lambeth among the papers of Archbishop Laud, which were laid by him before the King, and afterwards proved on oath before the Parliament. We have also his Account of THE TRIAL OF THAT ARCHBISHOP; including the evidence adduced on the trial, which shews that the Popish Secretary of State WINDEBANK (who afterwards fled the Kingdom), Cardinal BARBERINI (the nephew of Pope Urban VIII.), the Pope's Nuncio CUNEUS, THE ENGLISH JESUITS, and THE CATHOLIC PRIESTS, were all engaged in a league throughout the first years of the reign of King Charles I. (in which they were abetted by his Popish Queen*), to establish their own religion
* See, in Ludlow's Three Letters from the Hague," a Letter from "Pope Gregory the Fifteenth to King Charles the First, in the year «1623, when he was Prince of Wales, and was gone to Spain in the ❝hope of marrying Donna Maria, the daughter of Philip the Third, "King of Spain; who was the son of Philip the Second, the cruellest ❝ and most tyrannical King in Europe; who had invaded England with
a powerful Fleet and Army in the year 1588, with a view of tho❝roughly reducing it under his dominion, and re-establishing in it the "Papal religion, with its usual appendage, the persecution of Protest
in England, and to destroy the then order of things: and it may be observed, that these facts, so far from resting on the testimony of PRYNNE alone, are amply confirmed by MAY in his "History of the Long Parliament;" a work strongly recommended by Warburton (in his Correspondence with Hurd which has lately appeared), and by Lord Chatham (in his Letters to a noble Relative recently published), as the most faithful and elegant History of those times. The same view of the subject is also taken by the following writers, and it appears to be fully proved by their works: viz. May's Breviary; The Memoirs of Denzil Lord Holles; Collection of State Papers, by Husbands; Lilly's History of that period; "ants or Heretics. Into this most bigoted, Popish, royal family was "this Prince, at that time, ambitious of entering: though the match "was afterwards broke off by some accident or other, and then he ❤ married another Popish Princess, named Henrietta Maria, the sister " of Louis the Thirteenth, King of France, who was very much bi"goted to the Popish Religion, and very desirous of introducing it "into England; and who, by her pernicious advice to her husband "in matters of Religion and Government (in which he was weak "enough to let himself be guided by her), led him into many of the "bad measures that gave rise to the misfortunes of his reign. There 66 was, therefore, good reason for the suspicions that many of his sub"jects entertained of his being himself a Papist, though he always "declared himself a Protestant, and even at the approach of death. "But at least, it is certain that (if he were a Protestant) he was not "such a sort of Protestant as (for the good of the English nation, and "the preservation of their religion) a King of England ought to be; it would never have come into his head to marry a Popish Prin"cess. And whoever reads the Letter of Pope Gregory XV. to him, "when he was in Spain (which is inserted in the third Letter of Gene"ral Ludlow), and then reads the Prince's answer to it (which is also "there inserted), will be disposed to think, that the Protestant Gentle. " men of England in that time (who were real believers in their religion, "and not persons who thought little about the matter, and complied with "the religion of the Kingdom merely because they found it established) were
very excusable for entertaining some suspicions that the King was "secretly inclined to Popery, notwithstanding his declarations to the contrary."-Preface by MR. BARON MASERES to his Edition of "Ludlow's Three Letters from the Hague."
Sir John Temple's History of the Massacre of the Protestants in Ireland; Baxter's Life and Times; Whitlock's Memorials; Sir John Berkley's Memoirs; Clement Walker's History of Independency; Ludlow's Memoirs, and particularly his Three Letters from the Hague; Fairfax's Memorial; and a variety of contemporary works; some of which have been lately republished by MR. BARON MASERES, who is well known to have paid particular attention to this interesting period of English History, and who, on the subject of the quarrel of King Charles with his Parliament, and the importance of the Protestant Succession, expresses himself as follows in his Preface to the Select Tracts relating to the Civil Wars in England: "This part of the History of Eng"land is generally considered as more interesting than that of <6 any other preceding period of it, because it contains an "account of the grand struggle between King Charles I. and "the people of England (acting under the direction of the "famous Long Parliament, that met on the 3rd of November, "1640), to determine whether he should be permitted to
govern them by his sole will and pleasure, as an absolute "Monarch, and without the assistance of a Parliament (as "he had done very lately for ten years together, before the "Civil War begun), or whether he should be compelled to "consent to admit the two Houses of Parliament to a participation of the Legislative authority with him,-so that no new Law could be made, nor any old one be repealed or "altered, nor any new tax be imposed upon the people, "without their joint consent; to which participation of the 66 Legislative Power with the two Houses of Parliament, all "the Kings of England, his predecessors, ever since the "creation of the House of Commons by King Edward I. "in the twenty-third year of his reign, A. D. 1295, had uniformly consented, as to a known and established maxim "of Government.'
... "This was the real subject of the dispute between King "Charles and his Parliament: for, as to the Executive