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such terms for them, in the marriage articles
Let us hear an indisputable writer on this matter* even James himself. "Not only, fays he, the papists them"selves grew to that hight of pride, in considence of "my mildness, as they did directly expect, and *' assuredly promise to themselves libertie of conscience, "and equalitie with other of my subjects in all things; "but even a number of the best and faithfulliest of my "faid subjects, were cast in great sear and amazement "of my course and proceedings, ever prognosticating "and justly suspecting that sowre fruit to come of it, '' which shewed itself early in the powder-treason. "How many did i honor with knighthood, of known, "and open recufants? how indifferently did I give au*' dience, and accesse to both fides, bellowing equally "all favours and honors on both prosessions? How free "arid continual accefle had all ranks and degrees of pa"pists in my court and company? and above all, how "frankly and freely did I free recusants of their ordi"nary paiments? Besides, it is evident what strait or"der was given out of my own mouth to the judges, to "spare the execution of all priests (notwithstanding ** their conviction) joining thereunto a gracious procla'* mation, whereby all priests thac were at liberty, and "not taken, might goe out of the country by iuch a ** day: my general pardon having been extended to all K convicted priests in prison: whereupon they were set ** at libertie as good subjects: and all priests that were *' taken after, sent over, and set at libertie there. But "time and paper will fail me, to make enumeration of "all the benefits and favours that I bestowed in general,
*' and particular upon papists." (g) There is &(s)K\ne
great deal of truth in these lines. The Howards, mofl^0TMs! * of them catholics, were advanced to honors a/id power 153. by him; the families of Petre, and Arundel, of the feme persuasion, were admitted into the peerage; and in the latter part of his reign, we find Villiers his mother made a countess, and Cahcrty secretary of state,,
with Spain and: France, Sa but ve¥y sew of
of some worthy proceedings in the honourable, wife, and faithful bouse of commons, in the late parliament, p. 19. pi inted in l6H.
created lord Baltimore, though they were openly of the Romish communion. In the year ibio, we find the commons complaining of the " non execution of the "laws against the priests, who, fay tfiey, are the cor"rupters of the people in religion and loyalty and, continue they, in a petition to James, " many recuV fants have already compounded, and (as it is to .be "feared) more and'more (except your majesty, in your *' great wisdom, prevent the fame) will compound with "those that beg their penalties, which maketh the laws "altogether fruitless, or of little or none effect, and *' the offenders to become bold, obdurate, and uncon"formable. Wherefore they entreat his majestie to lay "his royal commands upon all his ministers'of justice "both ecclesiastical and civil, to fee the laws made *' against Jesuits, feminarie priests and recufants (of "what kind and sect soever) to be duly and exactly exe*' cuted, without dread or delay. And that his ma*' jestie would be pleased likewise to take into his own "hands the penalties due for recufancie, and that the *' fame be not converted to the private gain of some, to "his majesties insinite loss, the emboldening of the pa"pists, and decay of true religion." [h) But notwithstanding these complaints of the parliament; notwithstanding James's own heart bled, when he heard of the increase of fopery, by the marriage articles with Spain and France, many things were granted in their favour, and consequently the papists were mightily encouraged. The Infanta was to be allowed a chapel in the palace, and a public church in London; all her lervants were to be catholics, under the authority of a bishop, or his vicar; they were not to be liabTeto the laws of England with regard to religion; though the children begot on her body should be catholics, they might not lose the right of succeeding to the kingdom and dominions of Great Britain; and they were ro be brought up by her till the age of un years. Besides these articles, 2 with
his protestant subjects, who were indepen
with many other made public, there were private ones, by which great liberty was given to those of the Romish church. For by these James promised that the laws in being against them, should not be commanded to be put in execution; that no new laws for the future should be enacted to their hurt, that there should be a perpetual toleration of the Roman catholic religion, within private houses, throughout all his dominions; and that he would do his endeavour, that the parliament should ratine all-and singular articles, in favour of the Roman, catholics: (/) About the fame time a declaration was (i) See signed by lord Conway, and others in his majesty's worth,' name, dated Aug. 7, 1623, touching pardons, suspen- £e_sg.P" sions, and dispenfations for the Roman catholics, which, Frankimd's in the opinion of the earl of Bristol, the great negotia- a'g^g^p' tor of the Spanish match* in effect was little less than a? toleration, (k) And " the king directed the lord keeper^) Ruu,.
(Williams) and other'commissioners, to draw up a werth, Vbu
pardon for all offences past, with a dispenfation forF,P,a83' "' those to come, to bergranted to all Roman catholics, "obnoxious to any laws against recufants; and then to **' issue forth two general commands under the great "seal of England : the one to all judges and justices of "the peace; aud the other to all bishops, chancellors,
and commissaries, not to execute any statute against
"them." (/) The Spanish match took not place ;(0M.pJ
butpiince Charles was married to Henrietta Maria, of'0'' France j and James, before his death, signed articles equally as favourable to the English catholics, as conditions to that match, (w) This cardinal Ricblieu boasts ("0 Id. of.' *4 The Spanish match, fays he, was broken off,p',6** **' and soon after it, that of France was treated of, con- j Political *** eluded and accomplished, with conditions three times testament.
more advantageous for religion, than those which p-7. "were designed to be proposed in the laie king's^"e*'/°voi "(Henry the fourth) time." (») This was the man who 1. p, ,. 2.65! never intended to grant a toleration to papists, who8v°- Loud.
dant of the court, approved, and many
would spend the last drop of his blood before he would doit, and whose heart bled when he heard of the encrease of popery. Vile hypocrisy ! mean dissimulation ! which could answer no other purpose than to expose himself to" the scorn and contempt of those, who knew him. What the favour which was shewn the catholics when the Spanish match was thought near a conclusion, was, will best appear from the following paragraph in a letter written, if I am not greatly mistaken, by Buckingham
to count Gondomar, then in Spain "As for news
'' from hence, I can assure you, that they are, in all *' points, as your heart could wish: for here is a king, *' a prince, and a faithful friend and servant unto you, *' besides a number of your other good friends, that *' long so much for the happy accomplishment of this •' match, as every day seems a year unto us; and I can "assure you, in the word of your honest friend, that *' we have a prince here, that is so sharp set upon the *' business, as it would much comfort you to see it, and "her there to hear it. Here are all things prepared "upon our parts; piiests and recufants all at liberty; "all the Romam catholics well fatisfied; and, which *' will seem a wonder unto you, our prisons are emptied "of priests and recufants, and filled with zealous mini*' flers, for preaching against the match; for no mart "can sooner, now, mutter a word in the pulpit, tho' *' indirectly against it, but he is presently catehed, and *' set in streight prison. We have also published orders, "both for the universities, and the pulpits, that no "man hereafter shall meddle, but to preach Christ cru. " cisied ; nay, it shall not be lawsul hereafter for them "to rail against the pope, or the doctrine of the church '* of Rome, surther than for edification of ours: and "for proof hereof, you (hall herewith receive the or
(o) Cabala, " ders set down and published." (o) This great li
P.24L berty given to the catholics was highly offensive to the protestants, as we may learn from what follows,, which
greatly murmured at. The church of England, under James, was in a happy state,
was written by archbishop Æiot, to James on occasion of it. —" Your majesty hath propounded a tole
"ration of religion: 1 beseech you, to take into your "consideration, what your act is, and what the con"sequence may be. By your act you labour to set up *' that most damnable and heretical doctrine of the '* church of Rome, the whore of Babylon, how hate"ful will it be to God, and grievous to your subjects, "(the true prosessors of the gospel) that your majesty "who hath often desended, and learnedly written '' against those wicked heresies, should now inew your*' self a patron of those doctrines, which your pen hath "told the world, and your conscience tells yourself, *' are superstitious, idolatrous, and detestable.—Be*' sides, this toleration you endeavour to set up by youf ** proclamation, it cannot be done without a parlia*' merit, unless your majesty will let your subjects see, '* that you now take unto yourself a liberty to throw 'e down the laws of the land at your pleasure. What *' dreadsul consequences these things may draw after, I '* beseech your majesty to consider. And above all, "lest by this toleration, and discountenance of the true *' prosession of the gospel (wherewith God hath blessed "us, and under which this kingdom hath flourished ** these many years) your majesty doth draw upon the "kingdom in general, and yourself in particular, God's "heavie wrath and indignation. Thus, in discharge "of my duty to your majesty, and the place of my "calling, I have taken the humble boldness to deliver "my conscience. And now, Sir, do with me what *' you please." (p) I will not here enter into the ques- (p) Calais, tion whether the intolerant principles of the Roman ca- £' "*. , thohcs do not render them unnc to be tolerated axongit Vol. h protestants. All I shall fay, is, that it has been the p. 85. opinion of some of the best friends to liberty, that they are to be excluded from it, for the preseivationof liberty Q^" itself*