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the protestant dissenters then received from the new government.
The Nonjurors. It has been the practice of most governments to bind their subjects to allegiance, by requiring them to profess it, in a solemn manner, by a certain form of words, accompanied by an oath. The English oath of allegiance, administered for upwards of six hundred years, contained a promise, “to be true “ and faithful to the king and his heirs, and truth “and faith to bear, of life, limb, and terrene honour, “ and not to know or hear of any ill or damage “ intended, without defending him therefrom.”— At the revolution, the oath was thought to savour too much of the notion of passive obedience ; the convention-parliament, therefore, prescribed a new form, by which the subject promised no more than that “he would be faithful and bear true allegiance “ to the king;” without mentioning “his heirs,” or specifying in what that allegiance consisted.
Some, however, both among the members of the established church, and the dissenting congregations, held it unlawful to take the oath of allegiance to the new king, from a persuasion that James the second, though banished from his dominions, remained their lawful sovereign, and consequently retained his right to their allegiance. This gave them the appellation of Nonjurors. Sancroft, the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Lloyd, bishop of
Norwich, Dr. Turner of Ely, Dr. Kenn of Bath and Wells, Dr. Frampton of Gloucester, Dr. Thomas of Worcester, Dr. Lake of Chicester, and Dr. White of Ely,--all distinguished by learning and virtue,-entertained this opinion ; and persisting in it, were deprived of their ecclesiastical dignities, and their sees were filled by men of acknowledged merit.-The nonjurors considered the deposed prelates as the lawful bishops of their respective sees, and the new prelates as intruders. They proceeded to form a new episcopal church, differing, in some religious tenets and rites, from that established by law. Several, as Hicks, Collier, and Dodwell, were eminent for profound and extensive erudition. For a time, the body attracted notice and esteem, both by the number and respectability of its members; but it gradually declined: in the middle of the last century, their congregations were extremely few, and not onė, perhaps, is, at this time, to be found.
Roman-catholics. It was impossible that the roman-catholics should not grieve at the revolution: it was the triumph of the protestant over the catholic establishment. The Stuart family had no claim on their gratitude or personal regard, yet their attachment to it was great: a similar and an equal attachment to it, was felt by the general body of the nonjurors, and by a considerable proportion, both of the established church and the dissenting congregations. It arose equally from principle and affection*.–The right, even in theory, of cashiering kings, was, at this time, advocated by few, and most of those, who disapproved of the proceedings of James, thought that the innovations meditated by him, and all the consequences of his catholicity in respect to the public, might have been effectually prevented, without disturbing the legal succession of the crown.
From circumstances, which cannot be divined, the Stuarts enjoyed the personal attachment, bordering on enthusiasm, of a large proportion of the nation, in a degree, and it should be added for a length of time, perhaps unknown in the annals of the world. For almost half a century after the revolution, this attachment continued ; their errors, and even their ingratitude, were forgotten ; but their names were mentioned and their healths drank, with a fervour, which however erroneous, evidently flowed from an amiable feeling.
It was easy, on the accession of William, to foresee that the new reign would be marked by additional severities against the catholics.--Immediately after the commencement of it, an actt was passed for removing all catholics ten miles from the cities of London and Westminster : another t; prohibited them from keeping arms; a third 9, vested the presentations of benefices, belonging to them, in the two universities.
See Johnson's Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745, recently published; and the excellent preface of the editor. † 1 W. & M. c. 9.
1 1 W. & M. c. 15. $1 W. & M. c. 26.
The act“ declaring the rights and liberties of the subject*,” enacted, that every person, who should be reconciled to, or hold communion with the see or church of Rome, or profess the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded from the crown.
By an act of the seventh and eighth year of the reign of Williamt, persons refusing to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, tendered by persons lawfully authorized to administer them, were made liable to suffer as popish recusants.
It is observable, that both during James's actual invasion of Ireland, and his meditated invasion of England, in which he was to have been assisted by the French, with a formidable fleet, the catholics remained quiet. Two plots were formed against William, one of which was for his assassination : it
any catholic, or at least, that any catholic of note, was engaged in either.
Still, in the eleventh year of his reign, the parliament passed an act of extreme severity against the catholic body. A reward of 100l. was offered forapprehending priests or jesuits;- any priest or jesuit convicted of exercising his functions, or keeping a school, was made liable to perpetual imprisonment; and persons not taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, within six months after their attaining the
age of eighteen years, were disabled from taking any estate or interest in any species of landed
* 1 W. & M. sess. 2, c. 2. + 7 & 8 W. c. 27.
does not appear
property: persons convicted of sending a child beyond seas, to be educated in the romish religion, were to forfeit 100l; and the chancellor was authorized to compel the catholic parent of a protestant child to allow him a competent maintenance.
The last clause was defensible :the other enactments were of unexampled severity. The causes of it are fully explained, in the account given by bishop Burnet, of the circumstances which attended the passing of this act.
of Ryswick,” says he, (two years before,) “a great swarm of priests came over “ to England; not only those, whom the revolu“ tion had frightened away, but many more new
men, who appeared in many places, with great “ insolence; and it was said, that they boasted of “the favour and protection, of which they were
assured. Some enemies of the government began
to give it out, that the favouring of that religion “ was a secret article of the peace; and so absurd “ is malice and calumny, that the jacobites began to
say, that the king was either of that religion, or at “ least a favourer of it. Complaints of the avowed “practices and insolence of the priests were brought “ from several places during the last session of par“ liament; and those were maliciously aggravated by some, who cast the blame of all on the king.
Upon this, some proposed a bill, that obliged “all persons, educated in that religion, or suspected
to be of it, who should succeed to any estate, be"fore they were of the age of eighteen, to take the “ oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and the test,