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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.




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.

LXV. 1.

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, whoare 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 magisstrate, of what religion soever.

“ And now,-our hope is, that this our profes“sion 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

kingdomes, 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

--(which was knowne to be but weake, Marie's “ mother being alive two yeares after she was

borne),-against the true and lawful title of • Mary queen of Scots, your great-grandmother, “ of blessed memory, of whom she alwaies had

much jealousie, as well by reason of her alliance “ with France, and right declared by the sentence “ of the church against the devorce of her father “ from his lawfull wife, as also by reason of her own

illegitimation declared by her father in parlia“ment, and the excommunications denounced

against her. These were the reasons of her penall statutes, which can be no reasons to your

majestie to continue, but rather to annull and re“ peal them, seeing the causes of her feares are just “ confirmation of your confidence in us, as plainly

giving testimony to your rightfull succession and “ most legitimate possession of the crowne, which “wee have all endeavoured to defend during those “ late commotions, not onely to a sale and seques“ tration of our estates, but deprivation also of our “ lives.

“ The penall statutes of king James your royall grandfather, of happy memory, were occasioned by that horrid and blackest of plotts,—(wee ex

cept none but this of fresher memory against your “ royall father and yourselfe),—thegunpowderplot, " —which was construed and carried on by a few « wretched men of broken and desperate fortunes,“ the generalitie of roman-catholiques knowing “ nothing of it, and all protesting against it even “ to this day, as a most damnable designe, con

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