An Answer to a Paper, Intitled, Reflections on the Prince of Orange's Declaration.

IT seems a strange piece of Arrogance that any man should reflect on a Declaration, because it does not begin as he would have it; that is, with a Manifestation of our Clandestine League with France, where­by and Army of Frenchmen, together with our Papists, Irish, and other Mercenaries, might establish Popery in England. The Reflector ought to have considered, that a Clandestine League, tho' it may be very notorious to its Existence and Effects, may likewise be very difficult to prove, according to the meaning of the Word Clandestine. But that there is such a one, we have the Testimony of the King of France, in a Memorial delivered to the States of Holland; and though it has been since disowned by our Court, and Mr. Skelton upon it committed to the Tower; his short Confinement, and sudden Advancement to a Regiment, shews that his Disgrace was but a trick of State: It is also an inconsequential way of Ar­guing, that because the Prince does not begin his Declaration with it, therefore there is no such League, things of that high consequence being easier and better carried on by secret Messages than Writing under Hand and Seal.

2. In his second Reflection, he tells us the Prince had needed less Apolo­gy, if he had pretended only to have come to deliver the King from Evil Counsellours, and to ingage him further in the interest of Europe; forget­ting the Prince does declare to us he comes for that end, tho' not singly, and brought over his Army to secure him from the Rage and Fury of those Evil Counsellours. His next Quarrel is, that the Prince uses the Stile, Of We and Us within His Majesties Dominions; a thing, I believe, ordinary enough in Great Princes, when they speak, or write, to their Inferiours. The Prince of Orange is General of a great numerous Army, Admiral of a vast Fleet, State-holder to a High and Mighty Commonwealth, and con­sequently, too great to speak in the Stile of a Private Person; so that Re­warding, Punishing, Commanding, Advancing, may very naturally fall within his Power. Nor is it any Crime to indeavour the calling of a Free Parliament, and settling the Nation, tho' by ways and methods unu­sual in our days, nothing being more frequent, in our Histories, than for our Barons, with Arms in their Hands, to compel their Kings to call and heark­en to their Parliaments: But now there being a standing Army of forty thousand Mercenaries in the Land, it was grown a Crime to Petition for a Parliament, and a Folly to expect a free one, new Charters and Corpo­rations, and a general nomination of incompetent Magistrates, having ta­ken the Election of Members for Parliament out of those Hands, the Laws of the Land, and Memorial Custom, had intrusted with them. According [Page 2]to the new Scheme designed by those Upstart and Popish Counsellours, no man was to Elect, or be Elected for Parliament, that would not ingage, as far as in him lay, to take away the Penal Laws and Test; nay, those Wicked Counsellours prevailed yet farther upon His Majesty; and he that pardoned so many of his Enemies, was not suffered to forgive his best Friends, and most Loyal Subjects a refusal or excuse in that particular.

That the Prince will send back his Army, seems to some a strong pre­sumption that he will not stay behind, since even our own lawful King thinks himself not safe without an Army of Mercenaries, in his own King­dom. From a strain'd phrase or two, Of We and Us, Require and Command, sometimes used in his Declaration, to infer, That the Prince of Orange in­tends to make himself King of England, seems to all Rational Men a ve­ry Captions and Unsatisfactory way of arguing, and a very Unjust Calum­ny cast upon so great a Prince, since more than once, in express terms, he Declares he has no design upon His Majesties Crown or Person, so that all that Reproach falls to the Ground.

3. In his third Reflection, he tells us the Prince wants a clear Call, and that a Son against a Father, a Nephew against an Unkle, a Neighbour against a Neighbour, cannot be such: That he is Son-in-Law, and Ne­phew to His Present Majesty, gives the Prince a fair and just pretence to interpose in our Affairs; had he been a Foreigner as our Reflector terms him, it might have look'd like an intended Conquest; had he not been a Neighbour, it had been impossible for him to have afforded us this seaso­nable Assistance. But some think, that where attempts are made to intro­duce the Catholick Religion, by a Conspiracy, against the Laws that secure and establish the Protenstant Religion and the Test, that only can keep the Papists out of the Government: And to carry on this Conspiracy the better, the old Charters are taken away under pretence of forfeiture, and surren­der; new ones granted, such as might bring Elections within the power of those Evil Counsellours; Papists upon the Bench, a Jesuite in the Coun­cil; and whole Troops of them in the Army: 'Twas high time for a Protestant Prince, that had so near relation to the Crown of England, to look about him, and choose rather to be Censur'd by our Reflector, and such as he, for entering upon the Stage a little before his time, than be justly Reproach'd and Curs'd, to the end of the World, by all such as love the Protestant Religion, and Ancient Government of England, for appear­ing too late in their Defence. The Example of Henry the Fourth, of France, may teach us how hard it is for a Protestant Prince to obtain his Right, where the Catholick Religion is Predominant; nor was the new Armour of Popery he put on, at last, sufficient to defend the old Protestant against the Stab of a Jesuited novitiate.

4. His fourth Reflection acquaints us, the Protestant Religion is at once expos'd and hazarded, for if the King prevail what can the Prince of Oran­ges sort of Protestants expect at his hands; which are indeed, all sorts of Frotestants that I know of, for the Presbyterians, Independants, Phanaticks, [Page 3]Church of England men, are in his Army: 'Tis fair warning, and I hope God will give the Protestants Grace to make the right use of it: As for their changing Masters, 'tis a Chimera of his own, and utterly Foreign to the Declaration he pretends to reflect upon. Lest we should forget, he reminds us with that admirable Demonstration of, Isay, that the whole Pro­testant Religion is at stake; for which I heartily thank our Worthy Reflector, for tho' it be very true, we had not seen it in Print but for him.

5. In his fifth reflection, he tells us that some Laws are better broken than kept, which will not be easily granted; tis indeed true, that some Laws were better be repealed than continued: But then they must be Nulld bu the same power they were constituted, and not by any part of it in contradiction to the whole.

His instance is, that Christianity could not have been introduc'd, had the Pagan Laws been Executed; by which Parallel he would warrant Popery to be the true Christianity, and the Protestant the Healthen Perse­cutors; Laws for Idolatry cannot bind, therefore Laws against it cannot; a very strange inference, and I allow that a Lawful Authority by exceed­ing their just Bounds, may act unlawfully, but the Legislative power cannot, since all over the World the Supream power ever was absolute, be it in one or more. He says no Man is obliged to maintain a Religion that is not true, be it never so Legally Established: So that is but saying the Protestant Religion is not true, and His Majesty, notwithstanding His re­peated ingagement, is no longer bound to protect it. For in the words of our Reflector 'tis an absurdity and impiety to do so.

6. The sixth thing considerable in our Reflector is, his defence of the Dispensing Power, and the use His Majesty, seduc'd by his Evil Councel­ors, makes of it; which is no other than the setting aside of all our Laws made for the security of the Protestant Religion; But sure such a Preroga­tive can never be Legally vested in the Crown, which if admitted, were the destruction of all Law.

Had those Evil Counsellors only prevailed with His Majesty, to have Dispensed with the Penalties inflicted on Catholicks and other Dissenters, for serving God according to their Particular Consciences, tho' perhaps contrary to Law, the matter had never been Complained of: But to put them into places of Highest trust, to make one Lieutenant of Ireland, another President of the Council, a third Lieutenant General of the Tow­er, a fourth a Judge; imploying numbers of them in the Army, Court, &c. is a transgression of the Law, which is certainly very dangerous, if not immediately, yet in its inevitable Consequences, to the Protestant Re­ligion and Government, and therefore a mischief remote only (as an Egg is from a Chicken) from the worthy reflectors Malum in se, which he ac­knowledges this Dispensing Power extends not to. And the particular Catholicks breaking the Law in these points, are without excuse: For no Man is obliged in Conscience to be a Judge, a Priest, a Minister, a Privy Councellor, a Courtier, or a Souldier in time of Peace; contrary to the [Page 4]Laws of the Land. Nor do those Laws deprive the King of the service of any of his Subjects absolutely; since all men if they please may Capaci­tate themselves for imployment. If the High Commission Court be at an End, Magdalem Colledge and the Bishop of London restored, we may in all appearance thank the honesty and Caution of some of its worthy Mem­bers, and the Noise of what our Reflector calls the Prince of Orange's In­vasion; though some will say, a discent upon England made by a Prince of the Blood, Married to the Eldest Daughter of the present King, upon the invitation of many Lords both Spiritual and Temporal, and of the con­siderable Gentry Commonalty of all Counties, might here deserved a fairer Name. Nor ought any man to complain if his honest Neighbour break violently into his house at a time when his Family cry out Fire or Mur­ther; the Common obligation of humanity, and a due care of their own preservation, exact no less of them. But this Paper is not intended for a vindication of the Prince, I will therefore return to my Reflector again, who undertakes for all good Protestants that they only refus'd to repeal the Test, by reason of the security it affords their Religion. As if they had cast off all care of their Civil concerns, and were only intent upon Religi­ous affairs, so as to consent to give his Majesty a Majority of Papists in the House of Lords; by which he might have two Negative Voices upon all Laws to be offer'd: and an House of Pears ready to repeal the Habeas Corpus Bill, and such Statutes as any ways seem to incumber what Papists think his Majesties Prerogative, of which they maintain the Dispensing Power to be an Essential part; and well they may, since it is the very power, by which he maintains them in their places and imployments: So that by leave of my worthy Reflector, the consideration of Religion, tho' they are the principal, are not the only reasons, that have determined all good Protestants to a Non-concurrence with His Majesty in the repeal of the Test.

8. In his eighth Reflection he tells us, that Chappels are places of Devo­tion; so are the Turks Mosques, and the Jews Synagogues, yet no good Christian but would be offended to see them multiply'd and encouraged, either in his own, or his Neighbours Country.

9. In his ninth he tells us, the King was content the Test should re­main: I answer, these Evil Counsellours were not content the Test should remain, but sent their Regulators and other Agents, to threaten, promise, remove and change the Magistrates in all Corporations, in order to the procuring Members of Parliament, such as were to enter the House under solemn promises, and firm resolutions, to take off the Penal Laws and Test, notwithstanding all the weighty, nay, convincing Arguments they might meet with there to the contrary: A desperate sort of Senators, and fitter for Catalines Conspiracies than an English Parliament. Nor did these Evil Counsellours cease to sollicit even Knights of the Shire, till the general in­dignation their proposals met with, together with the noise of the Prince of Orange's preparations, frighted them from a further prosecution of their [Page 5]enormous attempt. He ingeniously confesses the seizing of Charters to have been a fault, so there is no contest between us on that point; but he adds, That the Prince of Orange has nothing to do with it; now others think him highly concern'd in it, for if according to Sir Thomas Moore, Rex Potest Juriper Parta mentum & potest & destrui; or according to the Opini­on of later times, a Parliament may make a Bill of Exclusion; a Prince that has so near a Relation to the Crown of England, ought not to suffer any foul play in the calling together such an Assembly as may null his Title, or preclude him of his Right to the Crown, in time to come. 'Tis true, the Council of seizing Charters was given in the last Kings Reign, and most of them then seized, but no man can deny but some have been condemned and seized in the Reign of his present Majesty, and restored not till the universal apprehension of the aforesaid Invasion; so that we are promised a Free Parliament, only because they cannot put one of their own framing upon us.

10. His tenth Paragraph needs no answer.

11. In his eleventh, he tells us there were but two Papist Judges, as if the Laws were not broken unless Judges were all Papists; or that Judges sitting contrary to Law could give a Legal Sentence. Both these defects he supposes supplyed by the Dispencing Power, a power sufficiently baffled by those Gentlemen of the lorg Robe of Councel for the Bishops, and not defended by either Judges or Councel, on the other side; for which two of the Judges, Jones and Holloway, lost their places on the Bench.

12, 13. His twelfth and thirteenth concern Ireland and Scotland and there­fore I will leave them untouch'd, to the Gentlemen of those Nations, who best understand, and are most sensible of the Oppressions they are under.

14. In his fourteenth, he pleads the Validity of the Kings Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, tho' that pretended Prerogative has been dis­cuss'd and baffled in Parliament, within these few years, and deserted as such by His late Majesty; he affirms, that the King, as Head of the Church, might oblige the Bishops to cause the Declaration to be read in the Churches, which if they had complyed with, in the Opinion of many good Protestants, they had precluded themselves of their Votes in parlia­ment against it; for with what forehead could they Vote against the De­claration, when they had caused it to be read in their Churches? An Act amounting to no less than maintaining; or owning, the Dispencing Power.

15. In his fifteenth, he allows the Prince and Princess of Orange, have in terms full of respect signified to the King their deep re­gret which all these things have given them, and their thoughts about Re­pealing the Test and Penal Laws as an expedient of Peace, but blames him, it seems, for doing all this so respectfully and privately, and would rather had it done by a Manifesto, that some of the Princes, Friends might be Im­prisoned for delivering it, as Captain Lenham is for bringing over the De­claration. He tells us next, the King has come up almost to Fagel's Let­ter, which was the Declaration of their Minds, viz. The Church of [Page 6] England Test, and Laws of Supremacy to remain; then urging the Kings Concessions, which may be observ'd to bear date only from the re­port of the Princes preparations for England.

16. He tells us in his sixteenth, that the Prince thinks a free Parliament to be the last and great Remedy for these Evils, but complaints these Wicked Counsellours are against it, for fear of being called to account, that they had preingaged Voices to take off the Penal Laws and the Test, and regu­lated Corporations and Burroughs, that so they might assure themselves of the Members of Parliament; he allows the charge, but says what has all this to do with the King? No man say it has, and the Prince only requires the removal and punishment of those Evil Counsellours in a Free Parlia­ment.

17. Next our Reflector tells, that there never was a Parliament abso­lutely Free, but that Drink, Money, and other evil Arts, have had a great sway in Elections: This is true, but no reason that we should consent to a General or Fundamental Corruption of our Elections, because we cannot avoid some few and casual ones. Then he would have had the Prince have desired the King to have laid aside those Evil Counsellours, as if it were not Notorious, that the Princes dislike of some men has been their ready way to preferment in our Court; and Embassadors for Holland have been, of late, chosen out of those he has most aversion for, as if these Wicked Counsel­lours feared nothing so much as a good understanding between His Ma­jesty and the Prince of Orange.

19. In the Nineteenth he tells the Prince and Princess of Orange's que­stion concerning the Birth of the Prince of Wales, saying, That during the Queens pretended Bigness, and in the manner in which the Birth was managed, there have appear'd so many just and visible ground of suspicion, that not only the Prince himself, but all good Subjects in England do vehemently suspect that the Pretended Prince of Wales was not born of the Queen.

20. Next our Reflector tells us, That the Prince ought to have writ to the King for a private satisfaction in his Matter, which the King would no doubt have given in the manner that all reasonable men do when they are examined against themselves. All men allow the imputation of such an imposture, to be a gret reflection on their present Majesties: But some think they have in a great measure drawn it upon themselves, by omitting to have those witnesses by, and those Methods observed, that our Laws require to prove the Birth of a Legitimate Prince of Wales: 'Tis not perhaps enough to say, that there were as many Witnesses, and as good proof of it, as the Law exacts, still the question returns, why not the same persons? a Le­gal proof admits of no Equivolent.

Our reflector will not deny, but there has been common same all over Europe, that this Prince of Wales was not Born of the Body of her Ma­jesty; and common belief of it amongst protestants; this of it self were e­nough to make the next Heir to the Crown look about, and move every stone that the matter might be examined by impartial methods in a free [Page 7]parliament, which is all that the Prince and Princess of Orange aims at: for their proofs to the contrary, 'tis not to be expected they should acquaint the World with them before the Tryal.

22. In his two and twentieth Reflection on the eighteenth Paragraph, where the Prince says, He was invited to this Expedition by many Lords, both Spiritual and Temporal, and many Gentlemen, and Subjects of all Ranks; Our Reflector is pleased to tell him he is mistaken as Monmouth was. Not­withstanding those eminent Peers, Gentry and Commonalty of all sorts that are already in his Camp, and such as are going daily, as well Soul­diers as others; nor considering the great number of the Nobility that are in the Country and have not been examin'd, and that such as were exa­min'd here in Town, did no more than answer Not Guilty to the Charge of High Treason: So that there are more Nobility and Gentry with him than with his Majesty.

In his three and twentieth Reflection on the 19th and 20th Paragraph, where the Prince refers all to a free Parliament; our Reflector says it be­longs not to him, to refer other mens business; as if the Prince had no relation to the Crown: Then tells us we are already in possession of what the Prince promises us, as if the Catholicks were all out of imployment, the Dispencing power given up, no standing Army, no apprehensions of Popery and Arbitrary Power, and a Free Parliament for redressing of Grie­vances of all kinds in being.

24. In the twenty fourth Reflection on the three last Paragraphs of the Princes Declaration, he tells us, The Prince has a manifest design upon the Crown, because he summons the Nobility, Gentry and People of England to his Standard: And if so, who must stay with the King? To that may be an­swered, All such as believe the Prince of Orange has brought this Army, and intends to make War upon England to subdue it to his meer will and plea­sure, trample all Laws, both Divine and Humane, under his Feet, de­throne his present Majesty, and make himself King; they will stay and fight for him, or at least to the best of their power, in some other manner assist and help him: On the contrary part, such as believe the Prince means nothing of all this, but brought over his Army only the better to assist the Nobility, Gentry, and people of England, upon their earnest de­sires, and frequent solliciations, and reiterated complaints, in the reco­vering of the old Legal way of choosing Members for Parliament, which by Illegal new Charters, on pretended forfeitures, was in a ready way to be for ever lost, in rescuing all the Laws of England from the devouring laws of a Dispencing Power, in reducing Popery within those bounds the Law has prescribed it, which, like an Inundation, had so over-flowed its Banks, that our Religion and Government were in peril to be swallowed up by it; and finally, to redress these and all other grievances, if for these and no other ends or concerns, men think the Prince have landed here, such men will take his part, espouse his quarrel, and contribute to his success: and in these cases every man will judge for himself, as they did in our late Civil Wars.

Again, he charges the Prince with a design of Conquest; which not on­ly the Prince himself disclaims throughout his Declaration, and will here­after disown in all his Manifesto's; but the States of Holland, who have so vigorously assisted, and engaged themselves with all their power and credit, to maintain him in this attempt, have assur'd us he left Holland under high and solemn protestations to the contrary. All this is, I hope, sufficient to dash the strain'd inferences of an inconsiderable Reflector.

As for that impudent Calumny of Perjury he indeavours to six upon the Prince, it needs no other refutation than a serious consideration of the Charge it self; his Words are, The Prince of Orange swore to the States of Holland never to be their State-holder, tho' it were offered him, and yet is now that very State-holder he swore never to be on any terms. Now let any reasonable man consider, whether it be possible a Wise State should by an Oath given him, disable the Prince of Orange from being their State-holder, tho' Cir­cumstances and times should so change, that their immediate preservation and very existence of their State should require him to accept, and exe­cute that Office. For his personal Reflections towards the latter end I think very Impertinent, and only fit to be buried in Contempt.

Thus having followed my tedious Reflector through his twenty four Reflections, I take my leave of him, reserving the Princes farther Vindica­tion to some time when I shall be more at leisure to write, and people willinger to read, than they can be under the present surprize, hourly ex­pectation, and continual anxiety, for the event of this Heroick Enterprise.


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