Page images
PDF
EPUB

larmine to G. Blackwell the arch-priest.

Though

** to draw him to a penitency for so soul a lapse, His ft majestv, like as became a prudent arid religious prince, ** thought, it not meet, that these things should pass for current, but that it was expedient his people should "know, that the taking this oath was so far from en"dangering their souls, as that it intended nothing but f* civil obedience, and without touching any point or f* their conscience, made trie state secure of their alle"giance. To perform this work, his majesty thought *c the bishop of Winchester * [Dr. Bilsony if I rightly "remember] that then was, a very sit man, both for his "singular learning, as for that he had long laboured in an argument, not much of a diverse nature frorh this; whereupon his majesty calling for pen and ink, to give my lord of Winchester directions how and in "what manner to proceed in this argument, I know *' not how it came to pass, but it fell gut true that the "poet fa/ith,

** -m-Amphora ccepit

** Infiitui, currente rcta, pojl urceus exit,

"for the king's pen ran so fast, that in the compass of "six days, his majesty had accomplished that which "he now calleth his apology ; which when my lord of "Canterbury [Bancroft'] that then was, and my lord of ** Ely [Andrews] had perused, bejng indeed delivered by "h,is majesty but as brief notes, and in the nature of a H 3 *' minute

* This bisliop was Dr. T, Bilfcn, who was advanced to that fee in 1597, and died in 1616. The book of his referred 10 by bishop Montague, wag probably rhat printed at Oxfotd 1585. in 4to, and intitled, The true difference betiveene christian subjection and antichr'stian rebellion; ivherein tbt f>'inces lalvfull power and command for tructh, and indcpriuable right to heart the sword are defended against the pope's censures, and the Jesuiis sophisiries uttered in their apologie and defence of English catholikcs ivith a demonstration, that the things refourmed in the church of England by the laiues of this realmt etre truly catholike, norwiihstanding the vaineshew made to ihe contrary in their late Rhemi/h Testament, by Thomas Bilfon, niarien of IVincbiJUr. P*, rosed and allowed by publike authoriiie.

Though James had not set his name to this

piece,

-"- minute to be explicated by the bishops in a larger vo"lume; yet they thought it so sufficient an answer "both to the pope and cardinal, as there needed no "other. Whereupon his majesty was persuaded to give "way to the coming of it fortlj, but was pleased to . . "conceal his name; and so have we the apology beta)V'&ce it yond his majesty's own purpose or determination (a)." Iamcs'8f The reader is welcome to believe as much or as little of works. alP'this as he pleases. For my own part, I doubt not, 1 but 'James was well enough pleased to engage in a controversy in which he was almost sure of success. For the pope, with all his infallibility, had urged nothing material against the oath of allegiance, and the cardinal had quite mistook the sense of it; as every one upou comparing the briefs of the one, and the letter of the other with the oath, will plainly see, as James in this piece has sully shewn. Indeed all objections of the latter are pointed against the oath of supremacy, whiert 'is a very different thing from the oath of allegiance. In this piece James, after mentioning the powder plot, takes notice of the intention of the oath, which he fays, "was specially to make a separation between so "many of his subjects, who although popishly affect*c ed, yet retained in their hearts the prints of their "natural duty to their sovereign ; and those who being *' carried away with the like fanatical zeal that the* "powder-traytors were, could not contain themselves "within the bounds of their natural allegiance, but "thought diversity of religion a fase pretext for all "kinds of treasons and rebellions against their sove\h K!n V reign (b)." He then mentions the good effects the James's oath had produced; the mischiefs of the pope's briefs; •work», p. the incivility of the pope in Condemning him unheard; ** and after that proceeds to a formal examination of them.

In this part of his work he sets forth his great favour to the catholics, in admitting them to his presence, dubbing many of them knights, freeing recufants from

their piece, no one doubted but he was the author of it. , It remained not long without replies (tt), containing such things as high

their ordinary payments, and bestowing favours and honours equally on them with the protestants. He then formally enters into the discussion of the pope's briefs, and by scripture, fathers, and councils, attempts to confute them. He proceeds to attack Bellarmine; and shews that he had mistook the oath of supremacy for the oath of allegiance, and on this mistake had proceeded in his letter to Blackwell. He asserts the oath of allegiance to be consirmed by the authority of antient councils; shews that no decision of any point of religion is contained in it; that Bellarmine had contradicted his former writings; and that his authorities from the fathers were insufficient. This is the substance of this apology, in which, though there is nothing in it of great merit, we may justly ivy James came off conqueror. However, we may remark, that though his favours to the catholics might manifest them guilty of ingratitude towards him, yet could they be no great recommendation of him to his protestant subjects. They (hewed an indifferency with respect to the two religions, which, I suppose, was not so well digested by them. But James was not one of those who forefaw consequences. What made for his present purpose he catched hold of, without reflecting that one day or other it might be made to serve against himself. An imprudence which controvertists frequently are guilty of. The least shadow of an argument they make use ofj weaken, or endeivour to invalidate the most important doctrines which at any time stand in their way; and blab out those things which it is most their interest to conceal, and which hereafter they bitterly repent of, when they sind the uses made of them by able or artful opponents.

(tt) It remained not long without replies, containing such things as highly displeased him.] Tho' James's H 4 name

ly displeased him. Whereupon he writ his

pre

name was not prefixed to the first edition of his apology, yet he made presents of it to the foreign ambasfadors in his own'name, and his arms were put in the (') Works, frontispiece thereof, as himself tells us (a). This was f' *9o' sufficient to put the author out of donbt. But notwithstanding his adverfaries treated him without ceremony. The famous Robert Parsons began the attack, in a book called the Judgment of a Catholic Gentleman, concerning king James's apology for the oath of allegiance.

(J) Wood's Qu- S. Omers, I6q8. (b) Bellarmine cbntinued it,

AthenæOx- under the seigned name of Mattheus Tortus, and gave y's "j"J his majesty the lye in express terms, and seven times 362.' charged him with falstiood, which was thought by him (<0King equivalent to a lye (c). The king is here told, thai;' works's P°Pe Clement thought him to be inclined to their reli194-' 2-'on » tnat ne was a pufitan in Scotland^ and a persecutor of the protestan;s; that he was a heretic and no christian. His majesty was also let know, " that some "of his officers of estate put the pope and cardinals in "hope that he would prosess himself a catholic, wheni •* he came to the crown of England ; yea, that^ he hira"self had written letters sull of courtesie to the two "cardinals Aldo-braniino and Bellarmine, wherein he / ITM " craved, that one of the Scottish nation might be creSee the let- " ated cardinal; that by him, as an agent, he might ter itself in <c the more easily and fasely do his business with the

writeTM. "PoPe [W -This must have vexed James pretty

427. it is much, I suppose, as the reader, by comparing what is addressed to contained in notes (h) and (n), will be apt to think but shire are there was some truth in it. A third answerer of this instructions apology was Francis Suarez, well known in the learners afterwards world.' Sir Henry Savi/le, Whose, edition of St. Chry'pplyrngto fiftam nas perpetuated his fame, being prevailed on, I the cardi- know not by what motive, to help tranflate James's book nals. See also int0 Latin ; it'soon got to Rome; from thence Suarez Voi.T.°p' ' was commanded to answer it, who performing his task, i6a. ft was published, and as soon as the copies came into

England,

premonition (uu) to all most mighty mo/ . narchs,

England, one of them was burnt (*). Nicolaus(*) Wood,

Cœffeteau, bishop of Dardanie, preacher to Henry IV. Vo1, «• of France, answered James, as "his faid, very moderate- 4 ]y and modestly. "But the king was nothing pleased "with his fawning, .nor took it in better part than if "(as he faid) he should haye bid a t—d in his teeth, "and then cry Sir reverences /)." Let us observe here (/) w;"by the way, a mistake of Mr. Perrault, in speaking of TM' Cceffiteau, fays he, " the king (Henry the Great) com- '7* '* mitted to him, ass the solicitation of Perron, the an"swering of the king of England's book on the eu*' charist, which he did with a great deal of cogency." (g) Now James never writ on the eucharist. The book (g) ChancCœffeteau answered, was his apology; consequently Per- ^ej8 hlst°"fault is mistaken. Nor can I persuade myself he speaks MVjx\^\ 'i truly, when he fays, the then French king committed Vol. ll.p. to him the answering James's book. The doctrine con- "'*m' tained in it could not be displeasing to Henry, and I be- "' 17°*' lieve he would have been sorry it should have been subverted. I know of no more answers to Jamts's apology; and whether I am as exact as I should be in my account of these, I cannot well determine; being far removed from libraries, from which help might be expected (b)." (i)Vid.i4p.

pendix.

(uu) Whereupon he writ his premonition to all most mighty monarchs,&c.J '* After the apology w as out, "fays Dr. Mountague, his majesty divers times would *' be pleased to utter a resolution of his, that if the "pope and cardinal would not rest in his answer, and "sit down by it, take the oath as it was intended for a "point of allegiance and civil obedience, hs would ** publish the apology in his own name, with a preface "to all the princes in Christendom; wherein he would

publish such a conscffion of his faith, persuade the "princes io to vindicate their own power, discover so \\ much of the mystery of iniquity unto them, as the

pope^s

« PreviousContinue »