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of the English nation, and the preservation of their religion, a king of England ought to be ; or it would never have come into his head to marry a Popish princess.” Millar says, “The first fifteen years of the reign of Charles I. presented nearly the same view of political parties, which had occurred in the reign of the father. In the history of the world,” continues he, “we shall perhaps discover few instances of pure and genuine patriotism equal to that which during the reign of James, and during the first fifteen years of the reign of Charles, was displayed by those leading members of Parliament, who persevered, with no less temper than steadiness in opposing the violent measures of the court. To the illustrious patriots who remained unshaken during this period,” he adds, “we are indebted, in a good measure, for the preservation of that freedom which was banished from most of the other countries of Europe.” “ Favourable, like his father, to the Catholics,” says Willers, “ and by consequence more partial to the Episcopalians than the Presbyterians, he endeavoured to accomplish, in Scotland, the work of James I. by establishing in it episcopacy. By this proceeding, he drove the inhabitants of that kingdom into open rebellion, and made war upon his Scottish subjects with an army of English almost equally disaffected to him; leaving behind him in London a Parliament not much less the object of his fear than the Scottish Convention. From this fermentation, political and religious, arose a powerful sect of Independents, who obtained the ascendancy in the House of Commons, drove the Lords from the upper house, and began by obliging the unfortunate Charles, already at bay, to deliver up to the executioner his faithful minister, Strafford.” A most inhuman and bloody persecution took place in Ireland, in the reign of Charles I. when, according to the Irish accounts, above one hundred and fifty thousand. Protestants were butchered in cold blood: but others say, double that number then fell, by the barbarous hands of the Papists. And, indeed, the confusions and distractions which accompanied nearly the whole of that reign, gave the Papists great advantage against the Protestants. History informs us, that “the Papists of Ireland fancied they found a convenient opportunity of throwing off the English yoke, and accordingly resolved to cut off all the Protestants of the kingdom at a stroke; so that neither age, sex, or condition, received any pity. In such indiscriminate slaughter, neither former benefits, nor alliances, nor authority, were any protection; numberless were the instances of friends murdering their intimates, relations their kinsmen, and servants their masters. In vain did flight save from the first assault; destruction, that had an extensive spread, met the haunted victims at every turn.” "
* Baron Masere’s Preface to his edition of Ludlow's Three Letters from the Hague.
* “In the reign of King Charles I. after Ireland had been reduced to a state of peace and obedience to the authority of the Crown of England, by the suppression of two successive very formidable rebellions, by the victorious arms of Queen Elizabeth ; in consequence of those successes, a numerous colony of Protestants from Scotland had, in the first part of King James's reign, received grants of land from the king, in the province of Ulster, in Ireland, (which is the northern province of that island, and the nearest to Scotland ;) and had settled themselves on the said lands, and cultivated them with great industry and success; in like manner, many Protestants from England had, about the same time, gone to different parts of Ireland, and settled themselves upon several tracts of land which they obtained there, and had, like the aforesaid Scottish colonists, cultivated the said lands with industry and success. Both these sets of
In this reign, the impolitic favours shown the Papists by the court, and the bold invasion of civil rights, inflamed the nation, threw it into a state of convulsive disorder, and led on to a civil war and general confusion; which awful state of things ended not, but with the beheading of the sovereign Besides which, the severities exercised towards the Puritans, drove many of them to seek a settlement in the deserts of America. These emigrations, by an over-ruling Providence, have proved a means of spreading the gospel of Christ in that part of the world.
The restoration of Charles II. to the throne, introduced a general corruption of manners. This was followed with severe judgments. A plague broke out in London, in the year 1665, which destructive scourge swept off a prodigious number of inhabitants; and the year following, a fire destroyed a great part of that city. The king favoured Popery in secret, and professed his attachment to Episcopacy in public: while violent measures were pursued against Protestant Dissenters, who had largely contributed to place him on the throne. He married the Catholic Princess of Portugal, who drew a multitude of foreigners of that profession into the kingdom. He made war upon Protestant Holland, the ancient ally of England. During his exile he had been privately reconciled to Rome, though he thought it not fit fully to declare his sentiments. Though he had abandoned the worship of the Church of England, it was accounted a heinous offence to assert he was a Roman Catholic; and some persons were fined in large sums of money for having published it, when every one knew it to be a fact. Huddleston, the priest, stated his conversion to Popery to be real. If he entertained any design of introducing this religion into this country, he knew the temper of the nation too well to imagine it could be accomplished in a short time, or by open and prominent methods. The truth seems to be, that Charles II. was neither bigot enough to any religion, nor loved his ease and pleasure so little, as to embark in any enterprise that would have disturbed his personal quiet, if not hazarded his crown. The Romish emissaries knowing this, and the king having no prospect of issue by the queen, they were resolved to secure one of the family, and fixed on his brother, the Duke of York, to whom they offered their early devotions. At the restoration, he returned to England, and married secretly Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, by whom he had two daughters, Mary, and Anne. On the death of his first wife, he married the Princess of Modena. He had, during his banishment, and after his restoration, acquired the reputation of being brave and skilful in the art of war; having commanded the Spanish horse in Flanders, and the English fleet on the ocean. From a prince possessed of these qualifications, and firmly attached to the See of Rome, it could excite no surprise that the Roman Catholics expected, and the Protestants feared a change in the affairs of England, if ever he should wear the crown. And, therefore, as it was the interest of the Catholics to have him seated on the throne, so it was equally the wish of the Protestants to have him excluded from it. In a word, this led to the Bill of Eaclusion," which, it is supposed, the king sanctioned, or seemed to do; however, he dissolved both that and the next Parliament at Oxford, merely to ward off the blow that threatened his brother. There is one circumstance of prime importance concerning the king, and which entwines the mead of praise round his brow. His brother advised him, and solicitations were made to him from abroad, to
colonists had, by their success in the cultivation of their respective tracts of land in Ireland, during a space of more than thirty years, greatly increased the riches and civilization of that country, and had, during all the said time, lived upon terms of friendship and familiarity with the native Irish in their several neighbourhoods, (who were, for the most part, Roman Catholics, or Papists,) and had intermarried with them, and let lands to them upon leases, and taken leases of land from them, and had done, and exchanged all sorts of offices of good neighbourhood with them; yet after all this peaceable and happy intercourse between these Scottish and English Protestant colonists, and their Popish neighbours, for so many years, the Popish inhabitants of Ireland paid such an implicit obedience to the wicked suggestions of their priests, as to enter into a general conspiracy, that extended over almost all the island, to massacre, on a certain appointed day, namely, the 23rd day of October, in the year 1641, all their Protestant neighbours, both Scotch and English, without sparing women and children. And this most abominable resolution they did, in a great degree, execute on the appointed day, and for many weeks, and even months afterwards, till the Parliament of England sent an army to resist them.”—Baron Masere's Preface to his recent edition of Sir John Temple's History of the Irish Rebellion.
* LoRD WILLIAM RUSSELL, who carried up the Bill from the Commons to the Lords, the object of which was to exclude the Duke from the crown, as a Papist, but was lost in the Upper House, afterwards fell a sacrifice for his attachment to the Protestant religion. In the paper which Lord Russell delivered to the sheriffs, he says, “For Pop ERY, I look on it as an idolatrous and bloody religion, and therefore thought myself bound in my station, to do all I could against it; and by that, I foresaw I should procure such great enemies to myself, and so powerful ones, (alluding to the duke,) that I have been now for some time expecting the worse; and blessed be God, I fall by the axe, and not by the fiery trial. I did believe, and do still, that Popery is breaking in upon this nation, and that those who advance it, will stop at nothing to carry on their design. I am heartily sorry that so many PRot Est ANTs give their helping hand to it, but I hope God will preserve the Protestant religion, and this nation, though I am afraid it will fall under very great trials, and very sharp sufferings.”—Lady Russell's Letters.
LoRD RUssBLL's colleague, SIDNEY, who suffered in the same cause, entertained more encouraging hopes: “God will not suffer this land, where the Gospel has of late so much flourished, more than any other part of the world, to become a slave of the world. He will not suffer it to be made a land of graven images.”