« ZurückWeiter »
have had two State Officers in the same station of different Parties it's reasonable to luppose that all Persons that have business will apply themselves to the one or the other according to the Interest they are of, if then it shall fall out that he who espouses the true Interest of his Country has three times the business of the other, I conceive it no mean Argument where the weight of England is.
Much more I could lay upon this Subject, and I fear I have already exceeded the bounds of a Letter : Yet if what I have said is worth your pains of reading, there is no Body to whom I can with so much fatisfaction communicate my Thoughts, nor will better improve any advantage
that may be made by it than your felf: Buc if I have not faid much to the purpose, I hope the honesty of my Inclination will obtain your pardon, and continue me the honour of, oʻc.
A Discourse Shewing who were
tbe true incouragers of Popery: Written on the occafion of King James bis Declaration of Indulgence
Pon the late Declara:ion of indulgence, ma
ny having absented themselves froin the Church, our high Church-men have from hence raken occasion to lay it down as a Maxime, That if Popery be Establisht here in England, the Disserters are the only cause and occasion of it, and by the Thunder and Noise that they make in their Pulpits, and all other places, a great many others are perswaded to be of their opinion ; yer I cannot assent to it, though I am far from turning Advocate, either for the Declaration, or those that make use of it, yet asa moderate and just Man I would set the Saddle on the right Horse, and I am perswaded that any impartial considering Man will when he thinks on it seriously, find, That it is by the help not so much of the Dissenters as the high Church, that Popery has put foot into the Stirrup, and is ready to mount into the Saddle : But yet i hope that on which of them foever Popery shall most depend, when it is raising it self to the pitch that it designs, that they will llip away irs hold, and thereby make that the occasion of its ruine, thar was deligned for its establishment.
It must be confest that the Dissenters when they had the upper hand, did not behave themselves with the utmost moderation towards others that differed from them, but yet our high Church men can never answer either as Protestanis or Politicians, the procuring of such severe Laws as were made as the late Kings Restauration, and the pushing of them too with so much violence upon the Diffenters, if many times those Laws were nor stretcht and extended beyond their true meaning and natural construction : And with such fạry did they carry on their Revenge, that had they been told, they knew not of what Spirit they were, they would not have borne fo gentle a Reproof with any sort of patience; whilst in the mean time, they treated the Papists rather as Friends than otherwise; neither did they slack their furious prosecution, till they found the House was ready to fall about their Ears, and so were necessitated to adjourne their Proceedings till they could be at better leisure. And as this was very pleasing 10 the Papists, so it was no less an acceptable piece of Service, to make the terms of Communion so strict and strait-laced, and to set the Church upon so narrow a foundation, that it was impossible for it to stand uprighe very long, but must in a short time incline to one hand or another, if not fall flat to the ground. Not to mention every thing, but only to give a few Instances, and those not the greatest nor most material neither ; First then the lo frequent varying and altering the posture of Worship, which must unavoidably diAtract people, and cool their fervency in devotion; Next the turning to the East when the Creed is said, and reading the Scripture and Prayers in several parts of the Church, or place of Worship, as is now practised in our Cathedrals, which is to fuppote that God is not equally present in all parts of the place, where people are met together to worsnip him, or that he will hear and accept this Prayer in that place, or that Prayer in another; Then farther the Tautologies, Repetitions, and saying the same thing over and over in the Common Prayer, which is that our Saviour reproved in the De.. votion of the Pharisees; and besides the requiring us to fit when the Second Lesson is read, and to stand up at the Gospel, though they happen to be the felf-fame part of Scripture ; which is nothing less than to injoyn a contradiction. These things and many others, though they pretended they are indifferent, and required only for order and decency, yet did they exact the observance of them much more than other things that are requisite to make a Man a good Christian : So that though these things may not be superstitious in themselves, yet to require such an exact observance of them must be introductive of Superstition; And they had laid such a Foundation, as on which the pas pisi o did propose to build surely and substantially, especially when the high Church men were raising a Superstructure upon it by the arbitrary Doctrines which they gave out in the Pulpits, and in all other Discourses; in which they asserted the Divinity of Kings, setting him no other bounds to his Power but what his Will should prescribe ; together with the Doctrine of Non-resistance, and to extend it even to our thoughts; and whoever would not tuhorse their affent and consent to these things,
portion, no less than if they had denied the Articles of the Christian Faith; but besides, when they declared that they would rather be Papists than Presbyterians; the Papists did hope that they should have little more to do, in bringing their work to perfection, than to fit by, and direct what they would have done : especially when they saw the high Church-men contend fo furiously for the Succellion as if their All had depended upon it, as well as it was the only hopes the Papifts had left them ; who were further confirmed in their expeEtations, when upon the discovery of the Popish Plot by Oats, these Church-men became Advo. cates for it, and with so much Zeal and Industry endeavour d to lessen and take off the credit of the Discovery ; and yet no sooner was an Accusation of that forc brought against the Protestants, but they undertook to demonstrate the clearness of it, though most other people looke upon it as a sham, and peice of Forgery of the Papists contrivance, to take off the Odium of their own Plot that was a true one; but however these Churchmen, as if they hoped hereby to make their fortunes, had nothing in their Mouchs but blood and slaughter, bawling out for full and speedy Justice against all those whose Names were mentioned in that Plot,scarcely allowing them that play for their lives which the Law gives to every Subject; and condemning in their Judgments every one before he had received his Trial, and being out of patience if any one was acquitted: And many of these Men lookt upon the Habeas Corpus Act as an un. righteous Law, because it helped several to their liberty who were clapt up, though nothing could be charged upon them. Thus did they proceed