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disowned and disbelieved by many, yet cannot, I think, reasonably be (pp) doubted of. Every body knows, that in consequence


and virtue. Insidelity will fail; schism and heresy, those ecclesiastical scarecrows (/), be no more heard of (/) See among us, but peace, unity, and love flourish and pre- **»les °f vail among all those who prosess the religion of the meek and holy Jesus.

; (pp) The powder plot cannot, I think, reasonably be doubted of.] The history of this is so well known, that 'tis needless to relate it in this place. I will only observe, that the writers of the narratives of this affair, pay a compliment to James's understanding at the expence of truth; for it was not he that guessed from the expression in the letter to lord Monteagky "that they should receive a terrible blow this parlia"ment, and yet they should not see who hurts them." I fay, it was not he who guessed that it should be some sudden danger by blowing up of powder, but the earl of Suffolk, lord chamberlain, and the earl of Salijbury, as the latter himself relates in a letter to Sir Charles Cornwallis, dated Nov. 9, 1605. (a) However, the wri- M JTM" ters on this subject are excufable, having authority to 11,0/171/ rely on. For such was the flattery of James's courtiers, that they got it inserted into the preamble of the aSifor a public thanksgiving to almighty God, every year on the fifth of November, that " the conspiracy would have *' turned to the utter ruin of this whole kingdom, had "it not pleased almighty God, by inspiring the king's "most excellent majesty with a divine spirit, to inter*' pret some dark phrases of a letter shewed to his ma"jesty, above and beyond all ordinary construction, V thereby miraculously discovering this hidden treason." This appears to be gross flattery, and 'tis amazing how any man, who knew it to be such, could thus publicly receive it, much more the most great, learned, and religious king that ever reigned in this kingdom, as in


of the discovery, several of the chief conspirators were executed, and an annual thanksgiving ordained. And in order the


the faid preamble James is Ailed. But the drawers of this act, I dare fay, knew his taste, and were willing ,to gratify it, though thereby they exposed him to the laughter of those who were in the secret, as great numbers must have been. However, by the way, it ought never to be permitted to recite falshoods for truths in statutes j for these being enacted by the highest authority, the facts in them declared should be strictly true j otherwise whatever obedience may be yielded, the enactors will have little esteem or regard from the people, to whom the dealers in untruths seldom appear in an amiable light.- 'Tis well known, that many of the

papists then and now have denied the fact, and imputed the whole of the affair to the artifice of Salijbury j and we are told, that others of opposite principles have confidently asserted, " that there never was any such thing *' really as the gunpowder plot, but that it was a plot tc of king James's contriving, to endear himself unto (i)CasauboB" the people (b)." But whether this is not all idle talk of credulity wlil appear, if we consider a sew consessions of Roman Jut,l Vol. 1* catholics themselves. That worthy good-natured man, p.-i'tn.8vo. Dr. Tillotfon, speaking of this horrid affair, fays, "Sir ^ond. 1668. '( Everard Digby, whose very original papers and let"ters are how in my hands, after he was in prison, '' and knew he must suffer, calls it the best cause; and '' was extreamly troubled to hear it censured by catho"lies and priests, contrary to his expectation, for a "great sin. Let me tell you (fays he) what a grief it "is, to hear that so much condemned which I did be*' lieve would have been otherwise thought of by caf* tholics. And yet he concludes that letter in these "words : in how full of joy should I die, if I could f{ do any thing for the cause which I love more than '* my lise. And in another letter he fays, he could *( have faid something to have mitigated the odium of

"this ^better to secure the obedience of the catholics, the oath of allegiance (a), by authority (a)St,.t.*nor parliament, was enacted, whereby the cob.regis.c,

power4' e ,s*

"this business, as to that point of involving those of.

'* his own religion in the cpmmon ruin. I dare not,

"fays he, take that course that I could, to make it ap«

*' pear less odious; for divers were to have been brought

"out of danger, who now would rather hurt them

"than otherwise. I do not think that there would

"have been three worth the faving, that should have

"been lost. And as to the rest that were to have been

"swallowed up in that destruction, he seems not to

"have the least relenting in his mind about them (c)." (c)Tiiiot

Dr. Burnet tells us, he had the fame papers in his pos- £°"f^%mTM

session, and gives the like account from them (d). ±ou(e °f

But to put the matter beyond all dispute, I will give commons, part of a speech of lord Stafford, at the bar of the ^""j * house of lords, Dec. i, 1680. which, as far as I know, ^ Burnet, has never been quoted by any writer. Every body al-Vol. I. most knows that this unfortunate nobleman was strong- P'10* ly attached to the Romish religiorr; and that upon the evidence of those times he was convicted and executed for the popish plot. It may well enough therefore be supposed, that he would not blacken his own side on this occasion, or endeavour, to render his prosecutors more apprehensive of the enterprizing spirit of the catholics, than the truth compelled him to do. His evidence therefore being unexceptionable, let us attend unto it. "My lords, faid he, I have heard very much of a thing that was named by these gentlemen of the "house of commons, and that very properly too, to "wit, of the gunpowder treason. My lords, I was "not born then, but some years after heard very much "discourse of if, and very various reports; and I '* made a particular enquiry, perhaps more than any one "person did else, both of my father, who was alive "then, and my uncle, and others; and I am fatissied, "and do clearly believe, by the evidence I have receiv


power of the pope to depose the king, or dispose of any of his majesty's dominions, was to be disowned, and true faith and allegiance

"ed, that that thing called the gunpowder treason, "was a wicked and horrid design (among the rest) of *' some of the Jesuits, and I think the malice of the "Jesuits, or the wit of man, cannot offer an excuse "for it, it was so execrable a thing. Besides, my "lords, I was acquainted with one of them that was "concerned in it, who had his pardon, and lived many "years after: I discoursed with him about it, and "he consessed it, and faid, he was sorry for it then; "and I here declare to your lordships, that I never "heard any one of the church of Rome speak a good "word of it: it was so horrid a thing it cannot be ex"pressed nor excused. And God almighty shewed his "judgments upon them for their wickedness; for "hardly any of the persons or their posterity are left "that were concerned in it; and even a very great fa"mily too [Peircy, earl of Northumberland, I suppose] "that had collaterally something to do in it, is in the ** male line extinct totally; and I do think God al"mighty always shews his judgments upon such vile (S) Lord "actions (e)." What will any one fay to this? needs Stafford's there any surther witnesses, when a popish lord declares Lond.P"S3' the thing to be fact, and that he himself was acquainted 1680.1. with one concerned in it, who consessed it? must not Fol' those be past conviction who will still dispute it, or ob

stinately deny it? I will add, that it appears from Dr. Birch's view of the negotiations between England, France, and Brussels, that many catholics abroad were acquainted with it, and that the English regiment in the arch-duke's service, was designed to be transported upon (/)See the execution ofit(/). Indeed»faysSirThomasÆ^/nas^, Birch s ne- ambassador with the arch-duke, in a letter to Sir Charles iV^i^e'J1' Cornwallisy dated Dec. 27, 1605, O. S. " It was long "ere I could persuade them here to believe the truth "of the faid conspiracy, because the catholiques were

*' interested

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legiance to him promised, notwithstanding any excommunication or deprivation made by the pope. This oath the catholics, for the most part, complied with, as thinking it lawful, and among the rest the arch-priest


u interested therein; but sometimes they would have it "to be an artifice of the puritans against those fancti"fled persons, and then a design of the Hollanders "(which are enemies to monarchy) to have reduced "our estate to the fame condition as theirs is of a com"monwealth. But now lastly, when they see they can *' no longer dispute the doubtsulness and incertaintie "thereof, they report to this consideration, that it is a "work of the devil's, expressly to banish and extirpate '' the catholique religion out of England. For my own "part, adds he, I will freely consess, that I do effectu*' ally desire (whatsoever judgment they make thereof). "that we make that use of it, as we have just cause so "to do (g)." These things considered, I believe the (^Winreader will think with Dr. Birch, "that the papists of J^'T0*' *' later times afford an instance of amazing scepticism, 'p* ** "and equal assurance, who affect, without the least "shadow of probability, to represent so complicated "and deep laid a conspiracy, as a meer ministerial and "political contrivance, formed by the earl of Salijbury, "for the disgrace and ruin of the Roman catholic re"ligion in England (h)." However though their seep- p) Negoti

ticism ations, p.


* Calendarium Catholicum, for the year 1686. Among the memorable observations is the following.

Since the horrid powder-plot, suspected to be politickly contrived "I by Cecilt but known to be acted by a few desperadoes of a religion C years that detests such treasons, though ambition and discontent made \ 0081 them traytors. .*

Consult bishop Barlow's genuine remains, p. 38S. Lond, 1693. 8vo, where is a censure of a passage of a like nature in the Calendarium Catholicum, or Universal Almanack for the year 1662, which the bishop says, was writ by a man of some parts and quality.

.- i

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