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NOTE I. referred to in page 70. On the Tract intituled, “ Roman Catholic Principles in reference to God and the King”
NOTE II. referred to in page 192. The Symbol of Pius the Fourth
CHA P. LXIV.
CHARLES THE SECOND.
COMMENCEMENT OF HIS REIGN.-DECLARATION
AT BREDA.PERSECUTION OF THE PROTEST
1660. THE events which led to the restoration of THI
Charles, or the means, by which it was accomplished, are foreign to the subject of these pages : it is sufficient to obserye, that the nation was divided, at that time, into three religious parties, the roman-catholics, the members of the established church, and the dissenters: the last comprised the presbyterians, the independents, and the anabaptists. In the progress of this history, we shall have
occasion to show, that the three last came by degrees to differ from each other, in little more than in name; but, at the time of which we are now speaking, the differences, which we have noticed both in their doctrine and discipline, were real and substantial *. All parties were reconciled to the king, and vied in demonstrations of affection towards him: but no party was reconciled to any other.
His majesty's declaration at Breda, was just, wise, and conciliating. The promise, which it contained, of oblivion of past offences, would, perhaps, have been more judicious, if it had been without any qualification. It is obvious, that no qualification, however carefully expressed, would hinder the application of it from being arbitrary in many instances, or prevent the unavoidable generality of its terms from occasioning alarm in a multitude of persons, whom it was not intended to affect, and from thus keeping alive, for a length of time, those jealousies, which it was so much the interest and wish of government to compose. Still the declaration was free from substantial objection : the religious toleration, which it held out, was complete, and the terms, in which it was expressed, were unequivocal.
“We do declare,” said his majesty t, " a liberty “ to tender consciences; and that no man shall be
disquieted, or called in question for differences
* The Rights of Protestant Dissenters to a complete Toleration, asserted, 8vo. 1787, p. 1.
+ 25 October 166o.