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the ecclesiastical commission, deprived of their fel. BOOK lowships, and declared incapable of ecclesiastical preferment. It is dangerous to violate the privi. 1688. leges of a corporation, much more of an university, whose interest, supported by the union of its members, and espoused with warmth by its former disciples, is diffused through the church and through the community at large. The fellows were dispossessed of their freeholds, and the most unalienable property was no longer safe from the dispensing powers. The church was exposed to the same usurpation; its dignities were equally open, and its benefices would be soon transferred by the same dispensation, to Romish priests : but if the seats of learning, by the expulsion of its present members, were once filled with papists, the national religion would be poisoned in its source. From the ungrateful bigotry of James, the attachment of the church of England, the last support of the Stuarts, was thus dissolved, and in the hour of danger, its numerous adherents, who had prevented his exclusion, resorted to those principles of liberty and of resistance which they had so loudly disclaimed.

The imprisonment and the trial of the seven Trial of the bishops, were the last measures of infatuation that shops. remained. When a second indulgence was issued, and ordained to be read in church, the bishops petitioned against an order which was calculated . to reduce the clergy, on their compliance, to the


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June 9.



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BOOK çontempt and reproach of becoming accessary to in their own destruction; or to subject the disobe.

dient to the penalties recently inflicted by the high commission. The whole nation was agitated at the imprisonment of the fathers of the church. Tears and groans, and the prayers of an immense.

concourse of people, attended them to prison. June 15. The same violent agitation was excited by their

trial; but their acquittal resounded through the capital, and was received with tumultuous joy by the whole kingdom, as a religious and even a national triumph over the sovereign. From the public ferment, which was not likely to subside, that dangerous crisis, to which despotism and bi.

gotry conducted James, had at length arrived. Expecta- The eyes and the expectations of men had been the prince long fixed on his nephew, the prince of Orange,

whose marriage with his eldest daughter, the prin. cess Mary, had opened a near prospect of obtaining the crown. Religion, as well as interest, had connected William with the popular party, as alike adverse to the ambition of France, and desirous of a protestant successor to the English throne25. The discontented of both nations found

a secure asylum in Holland, and an honourable 'or a secret reception at his court; and his con

nexion with every party was preserved and enlarged by their correspondence with their friends.

tions from

of Orange.

15 D'Avaux, 1681. Macpherson's Orig. Pap. i. 116.


His interposition had been early solicited 26, to pre- BOOK serve the liberties and religion of England, but on while his succession continued open, he was averse from a public interference, for which, as yet, there was no pretext. His ambassadors, Dykevelt and Zuliestein, were employed successively in the most secret and extensive intrigues. They negociated with the church party, the dissenters, the whigs; established a correspondence with the principal nobility, and returned with the warmest assurances of their attachment and support. A pretext for his interference was soon obtained. Stewart, whom James had been induced to pardon and recall, was employed in a correspondence with the pensionary Fagel, to solicit the assent of the princess and prince of Orange, to the repeal of the penal laws and the test. The pensionary's answer was dispersed through England; that from the principles of universal toleration, they would concur in the removal of the penal laws, but could never consent to the repeal of the tests, the only secure bulwark which the nation had provided for the protestant faith 27. It was received as a public

26 Burnet, iii. 119.

27 James, and his historian Macpherson, would persuade us that nothing more than a toleration was intended for papists. Why then did he not acquiesce in a repeal of the penal laws, to which the prince would have assented? The repeal of the tests, in which he was inflexible, could have no object but to throw the government into the hands of the papists, to effect a change of religion.

BOOK declaration, confirming their private assurances of IX.

toleration to the dissenters, and protection to the 1688.

established church; and the protestants, animated by this discovery of their sentiments, were in. spired with an unbounded confidence in the

prince. An exten- While the chance of a protestant succession resive confederacy, mained, the prince was averse from a premature in England.

rupture, and the nation was desirous to await the
natural course of events. But the birth of a son,
during the ferment excited by the imprisonment
of the bishops, consoled James himself with the
prospect of a catholic heir, and at the same time
accelerated every preparation for his ruin. The
most injurious surmises had been entertained of
the queen's conception; and from some myste.'
rious circumstances, the report of a supposititious
child, however improbable at present, was eagerly
propagated and implicitly believed. Under the
alarm excited by the prospect of an hereditary,
religious despotism, the invitation of the prince of
Orange was no longer deferred. The whigs, who
had urged the exclusion, were indifferent to the
hereditary line of succession, from which the
tories, who had no view beyond a parliament,
were unwilling to deviate. But as every political
and religious party had laid aside their animosities
during the common danger, a secret conspiracy
was formed by their coalition; the most extensive
perhaps, and the best concerted which history has

preserved. Many noblemen and gentlemen of BOOK distinction resorted to Holland, whither immense sums were transmitted to the prince 28; but the greater number remained dispersed through Eng. land, to diffuse the conspiracy; and in consequence. of the league of Augsburgh, to circumscribe the aggrandizement of France, almost all the conti. nental princes were concerned in its success. The secret, though entrusted to many thousands 29, transpired only from the preparations of the prince: of Orange, which were far advanced before James was apprized of his hostile designs. Although his declaration announced that he was invited over by divers of the temporal and spiritual lords, the king was unable to discover the lines of conspiracy with which he was surrounded at home. The declaration, issued on the embarkation of the prince, enumerated the grievances of the three kingdoms; the suspicious birth of the prince of Wales; and the necessity of interposing to establish the religion and liberties of the people on a secure foundation 30. Terrified at the approaching



28 D'Avaux. 29 Burnet, iii. 217. Dalrymple's Mem.

30 The declaration for England was drawn by Fagel, and translated and abridged by Burnet. Tradition has ascribed it to Stewart, to whom, according to Dalrymple, Dykevelt applied in London. Dykevelt was there in March and May 1687, but the declaration was evidently not drawn till autumn 1688. Instead of being penned, it was probably answered in a series of animadversions by Stewart. Ralph, i. 1033. So uncertain is tradition.

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