Lex Talionis.

LEX TALIONIS: OR, AN ENQUIRY INTO The most Proper Ways to Prevent THE PERSECUTION OF THE Protestants in France.

Matth. vii. 2. With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

LONDON, Printed in the Year M DC XCVIII.

Lex Talionis.

EVROPE has now for Nine Years past been afflicted with a Bloody, a cruel and a De­structive War, carried on with a vast Effu­sion of Blood and Treasure; and in all Parts of it manag'd with more Eagerness and Fury, than any War among the Europoean Princes ever was in the Memory of Man.

The French, who are Masters of Address, used all the Skill and Cunning with the Roman Catholick Princes, especially those of Italy, to have made it pass for a War of Religion, thinking by that fineness, to have drawn them off from the Confederacy. But Innocent XI. who, 'twas likely, knew as much of Religion, and the Interest of the Church, as the Statesmen of France, saw through that Artifice, and readily agreed with the Emperor, and the King of Spain, That the Growing Greatness of France, and the Measures laid for the Subjecting Europe to her Government, were really more dangerous Things, and of more immediate Consequence to the Publick Liberty, than the Matter of Religion could be: And therefore, though the Court of Rome made some seeming Difficulties at first; yet the French having thrown off the Mask, and fallen upon his Catholick [Page 2] Confederate the Duke of Savoy, the most Bigotted Romanist, made no scruple to entertain Heretick Sol­diers, to recall the banish'd Vaudois, to fight under the Command of Protestant Generals, to accept of the Subsidial Supplies of Protestant Money, and the Protection of Protestant Armies; thereby evi­dently declaring to all the World, that this was a War of State, not of Religion; and that the real In­terest of Princes, is to preserve themselves, and their Subjects, against a too Powerful Invader, by Leagues and Assistances, let their Religious Interests be what they will.

Nor have the Protestant Princes, though their Forces in this Confederacy have been much supe­riour, been backward to push on the Common In­terest with their utmost Vigour, but have with extraordinary chearfulness assisted the Roman Ca­tholick Confederates, with their Armies, Fleets, and Moneys; witness the Subsidies paid to the Duke of Savoy, by the English and Dutch; the Army main­tain'd, under the Command of Duke Schombergh in English Pay in Piedmont; the Forces Ship'd from England to Catalonia, to aid the Spaniard, which sav'd the City of Barcelona a whole Year; witness also the English Fleet Wintering at Cadiz, under Ad­miral Russel; the Squadron sent to the West-Indies, to Relieve Cartagena: And indeed the whole Series of the War has been one continual Instance of the Safety and Protection the Roman Catholick Coun­tries have enjoy'd, by the Sword and Power of the Protestant Interest.

So that it has been apparent, beyond the power of Contradiction, that this has been a War of State, [Page 3] not a War of Religion: Nor can I imagine, generally speaking that it can ever be the Interest of the Powers of Europe, take them together, to Commence a War of Religion: For though 'tis true, That the Pope always Exalted both his Power and Credit, in the blind Ages of bigotted Devotion, by his Crusa­does and Holy Expeditions; yet since, the World has more Years over its Head, and the Cheat has been discovered, Int'rest has prevail'd too much upon De­votion to be Deceiv'd any more at that rate: And the Reformed Kingdoms of Europe, are too Potent to be us'd so any more.

'Tis true, the Protestant Religion has lost Ground in France; and that Kingdom where once the Pro­testants were Strong enough to Contend with their Governours for their Liberty, is now wholly Roman, at least seems to be so. But notwithstanding that, I believe the Protestant Interest in Europe, very well able to stand a shock with the Popish, when ever the Pope thinks fit to Publish another Bloody Jubilee, and display the Standard of St. Peter against St. Paul. And not to descend to Particulars, I shall only Draw up the several Kingdoms, on each Side, who would form this Great Division in Case of such a War.

On the Roman Catholick Side,
  • There would be the Emperor, the Pope, the King of France, the King of Spain, the King of Portugal, the King of Poland, the Princes of Italy, Five Ele­ctoral Princes of Germany, and the Catholick Cantons of Swisserland.
On the Protestant Side,
  • [Page 4]The King of England, King of Denmark, King of Sweden, the Czar of Moscovy, States of Holland, Three Electoral Princes of Germany, but those by far the Strongest; the Protestant Cantons of Swisserland, the Grisons, Hungarians, Transilvanians, and Mol­davians.

In the first place, I think it wou'd easily be granted, That the English, Dutch, Dane, and Swede, United; wou'd be able to Maintain so absolute a Dominion of the Seas, as would entirely Ruine the Negotia-tion of the Catholick Party, Beggar their Merchants, Starve their Islands, and Destroy all their Trade; They should never be able to Build a Ship, with­out Leave; Their Ports should be Bombarded and Destroy'd, their Open Country be Ruin'd by De­scents, and all their Coasts continually Harrass'd and Alarm'd by Fleets, and Volant Parties.

What the Armies at Land could do, I referr to the History of the Present War, and of Gustavus Adolphus King of Sweden; who, barely on a War of Religion, and with only his Own single Force, and the Protestant Princes of Germany, who were then much Weaker than they are now, in Two Years and a half pass'd the Rhine and the Danube, and shook the Imperial Crown on the Head of Fer­dinand the Second.

It would take up too much room in this short Treatise, to Consider the Proportion of the Force of these Nations in general; 'tis true that the weight [Page 5] of the Force of the Catholick Party, lies in the Power of the French; who must, in such a Case, be the Bul­wark and Support of their Cause.

As to the Spaniard, he wou'd as he has in all Cases, have Work enough to Secure his Own; the Empire separated from the Protestant Party, with the Swede, Dane, Brandenburghers, Saxons, and all the Princes of the Augustane Confession on its Front, with the Protestants of Upper Hungary and Transyl­vania in the Rear, with the Switz and Grisons in Flank, wou'd be very hard bestead, having no Power but the Bavarian, and the small Electorates of Ments, Triers and Cologne, which are of no Consideration to uphold it. Some Support might be drawn from Italy indeed; but the French must give a powerful Assistance, or the Emperor would be Devoured in two Campagns; the English, Dutch, and Eastern Germans, as the Lunenburghers, of Hanouer and Bruns­wick, would be the Opposites to the French on this side, and there the Contention would be strongest.

I believe no Wise Man wishes for so Universal a Distraction as such a War would make in Europe, but 'tis needful to suppose such a Thing, in order to Examine whether we ought to apprehend any Dan­ger from it, in case such an Attempt shou'd ever be made in Europe; for 'tis apparent, some Princes of the Roman Catholick Party, have Will enough to such an Enterprize, and the Pope would be forward enough to set it on Foot, if he were but sure of the Success.

The glorious Peace of Reswick, in which all the World must acknowledge the French have been very much reduc'd, has but One Clause that any way [Page 6] Eclipses the Honour of its Conclusion on the Pro­testant side, and that is, that it left the Poor Protestant Subjects of the King of France, without any shelter from the Violences of their Persecu­tors; as if the Protestant Princes had so much excluded the Int'rests of Religion from the Articles, that they had not one Compassionate Thought for their Distressed persecuted Brethren. 'Tis true, the War was wholly a War of State, as is before noted, and the Invasion of Property was the Occasion of it; and therefore the Surrender of Luxemburgh to the Spaniard, who is a Roman Catholick, nay, a few Villages in the Chattelany of Aeth, made more Bustle in the Treaty, than the Restoration of Three Hun­dred Thousand banish'd Christians to their Country and Estates.

Some have presum'd to say, That had the Resto­ration of the Edict of Nants been insisted on with the same Vigour as the Dutchy of Lorrain, it wou'd as easily have been Obtain'd; and these Peo­ple, among whom some of the French Refugees are of that Mind, think the Protestant Int'rest was not so much Considered in that Treaty as it ought to have been. I cou'd easily Answer such Objectors, by telling them, That the Ground of this War be­ing only Matter of Right, to reduce the Power of France to a Balance, and to oblige her to restore what she had by Force and Injustice taken from her Neighbours; this being obtain'd, the End was answer'd, and the Confederate Princes had no fur­ther Pretence for a War: As to the Protestant Refu­gees, they were the Subjects of the King of France, and strictly speaking with respect of Princes, no body had [Page 7] any thing to do with it, let him use them how he would.

Besides, to have made it an Article of the Peace, it could not be expected that the Catholick Bran­ches of the Confederacy would have insisted on it, or, indeed, have desired it, and the Treaty being Manag'd in one Body, by the Resolutions and Measures of several Princes and States in Congress, the Catholick Princes would have immediately Pro­tested against it, and the Union must have been Dissolved.

So that there was no room to Espouse the In­terests of the Protestant Subjects of France in the General Treaty, any other Way than by Inter­cession with their King to use them Mercifully: And this has been done by all Parties, though hi­therto without Success.

It remains now to examine what Methods are further to be used, in order to oblige the King of France to use his Protestant Subjects with more Humanity, and if possible, either to preserve them that Peace and Enjoyment of their Properties and Estates, which is their Natural Right; or to pro­cure them some other Equivalent which may give them some kind of Satisfaction and Repose.

To Commence a War against the King of France, for the Prosecution of His Protestant Subjects, seems to be very Unjust; because Speaking of Right and Wrong, we are not Interested in the Quarrel. I make no Question but the Protestants of France themselves have, by the Laws of Nature and Rea­son, a right to Defend their own Possessions and Inheritances, and to Maintain themselves in them by [Page 8] Force, if they had a Power; and by the same Rule might by Strength of Hand recover and take Pos­session of their own Estates if they were Able: But it does not seem so clear that a Neighbour Nation or State can justifie the making War on the King of France, to oblige him to do Justice to his Prote­stant Subjects.

Nor will I attempt to Determine how far it would be Lawful to assist such a People in such a forcible Return, or in Maintaining themselves in the Pos­session and Enjoyment of their own Rights, be they never so Just. Only thus far 'tis plain, That by the particular Article of the Peace of Riswick, respecting the Kings of England and France; Eng­land is fore-closed from such an Attempt both Sides having expresly Stipulated not to Assist the Subjects of either against their Sovereign. The Fourth Article of the said Treaty, providing as fol­lows, (viz.)

And since the most Christian King was never more desirous of any thing, than that the Peace be Firm and Inviolable, the said King Promises and Agrees for Himself and His Successors, That he will on no Account whatsoever disturb the said King of Great Britain in the free Possession of the Kingdoms, Coun­tries, Lands or Dominions which He now Enjoys, and therefore Engages His Honour, upon the Faith, and Word of a King, that He will not give or Afford any Assistance, directly or indirectly, to any Enemy or Enemies of the said King of Great Bri­tain; And that He will in no manner whatsoever favour the Conspiracies or Plots which any Re­bels, [Page 9] or ill-disposed Persons, may in any Place Ex­cite or Contrive against the said King; And for that End Promises and Engages, That He will not Assist with Arms, Ammunition, Provisions, Ships or Money, or in any other way, by Sea or Land, any Person or Persons, who shall hereafter, un­der any Pretence whatsoever, Disturb or Molest the said King of Great Britain in the free and full Possession of His Kingdoms, Countries, Lands and Dominions. The King of Great Britain likewise Promises and Engages for Himself and Successors, Kings of Great Britain, That He will Inviolably Do and Perform the same towards the said most Christian King, His Kingdoms, Countries, Lands and Dominions.

There seems to be but One Way left, either to make any Amends to these poor desolate People, or to bring to pass their Re-admission; I do not say, that the Princes of Europe will find it their Int'rest to put it in practice any more than I believe it is really the Int'rest of the King of France, to Ruine so many Thousand Families of his Peaceable Sub­jects; I mean, the Old Standard Law of Retaliation. But if it might be a Means to re-establish those poor People in Peace and Liberty, the Sacrificing Ten Thousand Families of other persons, as Innocent as them, seems to be a Justice their present Case calls for.

Lex Talionis seems to me to be the Foundation-Law of Right and Wrong; the Scripture is full of Instances of this Nature: Adoni-bezek, Agag, and a multitude of other Relations therein, de­clare [Page 10] it to be agreeable to the Divine Method of Executive Justice; the reason of Rewards and Pu­nishments, seems to be wholly measured by it: And if exactly administred, it carries so Convictive a Force, that no Person who ever fell under the severest part of it, could object against the Execu­tion of it. Adoni-bezek, above-mention'd, made a Confession of the Justice of his Punishment, when Judg. i. 7. his Thumbs and Great Toes were cut off, as a Re­taliation of his Barbarities. And Samuel's Return upon Agag, That as his sword had made women child­less, so should his Mother be childless among women; declares both the Reason and the Justice of God's De­cree against him, 1 Sam. XV. 33.

'Tis true, this Retaliation is strictly Personal; and all Retaliation ought to be so, if possible: But in some Cases it differs; and where a Personal Retalia­tion is not practicable, then People are considered in Collective Bodies, Nations, Families, and States. Thus, in a War, the Subjects of either Party ac­count it very justifiable, to make themselves Satis­faction for Injuries received, on any of the Subjects of the contrary Party, though the Wrong particu­larly suffered, is not chargeable on those particular Persons who suffer for it.

By the same Rule, it seems justifiable, if we cast the whole Body of Europe into Two sorts, Popish and Protestant, that while the one part commit Ho­stilities and Depredations on the other, the injur'd Party should have a Right of Retaliation on any Member of the same Body, of what Nation or Government soever they shall be, where the Power is properly put into their Hands: for Power, in such a case, may [Page 11] pass for a sufficient Right of Directing the said Punish­ment, since nothing but want of Power interrupts its being Personal.

The French King has given a Challenge to all the Protestant Princes of Europe, in his present Usage of the Reformed Churches of France: He has carry'd on, though not with much Success, a War for above Eight Years, against the whole United Power of Europe; at last he has made a Peace, not at all to his Advantage, nor much for his Honour: And now the War of State is at an end, he seems to be be­ginning a War of Religion; and that he may lay the Foundation of it safely, he has began it upon his own Subjects.

I cannot imagine why all the Protestant Princes of Europe should not think themselves concern'd in this Invasion of their Religion, since nothing is more certain than that they are all strook at, though more remotely: And by all the Rules of Humane Policy, Prevention ought to extend as far as the Evil is design'd.

If the weakening the Protestant Interest in general, were only the Design; the strengthening that Interest ought to be the care of the other: Besides, the Papists are the Aggressors, as they always have been, and the Injustice of their Cause so great, that they have hardly ever attempted to make any other Pretences for all their Barbarities, than the Absolute Will and Pleasure of their Omnipotent Monarch, who will have but one Religion within his Dominions.

I confess, to me it seems very proper, for the Ease of all Parties, That Religion should really divide the whole Body of Europe, and that all the Roman Catho­licks, [Page 12] and all the Protestants, if they could but agree it among themselves, should live by themselves; That if the French King will have no Protestants in his Dominion, the Protestants should suffer no Roman Catholicks in theirs; and when all Parties are with­drawn to their own sort, and the Division com­pleated, let the Roman Catholicks begin a War of Religion as soon as they please.

It is, in my opinion, the unjustest thing in the World, that since the Spaniards and Italians suffer no Protestants to live amongst them, but the bloody Inquisition destroys them; and the French have Dra­goon'd Three Hundred Thousand of their Protestant Subjects to Mass, and hurry'd Three Hundred Thou­sand more out of their Country, to seek Comfort from the Charity of Neighbour States. The Duke of Savoy has Exiled all his Protestant Vaudois: And hardly any Popish Country admit the Protestants among them, some few Parts of Germany excepted; yet the Protestant Governments, at the same time, suffer Three Millions of Papists to live among them, and enjoy their Liberties and Estates unmolested.

Nor is this all, the Protestants of France, Savoy, and Hungary, have been Persecuted, under the Assu­rances of the most solemn Treaties, the most sacred Edicts, and the firmest Peace that could be made; they have never, their Enemies themselves being Judges, been guilty of the Breach of their Faith or Loyalty. Henry III. of France, acknowledged it, when he had recourse to them for Protection against his own mu­tinous Catholick Subjects. The Duke of Savoy ac­knowledged it, in his Speech to those Vaudois whom he had releas'd out of the Citadel of Turin. We never [Page 13] read of any War begun by the Protestants, they were always Defendants; we have not one Instance of a Massacre committed, or of a King Assassinated, or of Nobles Undermined, in order to to be blown up by them; they have always been Men of Peace, till Self-Defence has oblig'd them to be Men of War. On the contrary, the Roman-Catholicks have been always uneasie to the Govern­ments they have lived under. Our Histories are full of their Treasons. Ireland has twice been Deluged in Blood by their Rebellions and Cruelties. Two Kings of France have been Murthered by their Assassi­nations; and innumerable Protestants Massacred and Butcher'd in Cold Blood, under the pretences of Friendship, and assurance of a Treaty.

The Reigns of all our Kings and Queens in England, since Henry VIII. have been strangely disturb'd by the Plots, the Treasons and Rebellions of the Papists; they have often forfeited their Estates and Liberties to the Publick Justice of the Nation, had they been dealt with by the Rules of strict Retaliation. England, Scotland and Ireland have such Reasons for Entire removing them out of their Dominions, as no Nation in the World can have greater; and yet here they live in Peace, under the Protection of those very Princes they refuse to swear Allegiance to, and under the shelter of those Laws they refuse to be bound by. 'Tis no Plea in Bar of any Right, that the Plaintiff is a Papist; our Courts of Justice are as open to them, as to any of the Kings most faithful Subjects: Of which more hereafter.

On the contrary, the Protestants of France, tho' charg'd with no Disloyalty, nor guilty of no Crimes, [Page 14] are Dispossess'd of their Estates, Banish'd their Native Country, Dragoon'd, Shipt to the Gallies, and many of them Hang'd, their Children torn from them by Vio­lence, and buried alive in Monasteries and Nunneries, and all the Cruelties an unbridled Soldiery can in­flict, acted upon them, without any manner of Crime alledg'd but their Religion, and this when that very Religion was secur'd to them by the solemnest Leagues and Treaties in the World, Declared in the famous Edict of Nantes, Entred, Receiv'd and Registred in all the Parliaments of the Kingdom.

The King of France, in Persecuting his Protestant Subjects, acts not only the part of a Tyrant over them, as they are his Subjects, but is guilty of the Breach of the Faith and Honour of a King, oppressing those People who had their Religion tolerated and allow'd to them by his Ancestors, in the most sacred manner possible; and he is guilty also of the greatest Unkindness to those very People who were the In­struments and Agents of the Glory of his Family, and of his Person.

To make good which Reflection, that I may not seem to be guilty of Disrespect to the Majesty of the King of France, 'tis needful to examine a little the Ground on which the Protestant Interest in France stood for the last Century of Years, and the History of the present Royal Family of France, and how they came to the Crown.

In the Year 1571. on the 24th. Day of August, Charles IX. being King of France, the Third War with the Hugonots having been lately ended, and a Peace made with the Protestants, the Cities of Rochell, Montauban, Coignac, and la Charitie, being [Page 15] put into their Hands for Security, and the Chief of the Protestants wholly resting on the Faith and Ho­nour of the King, in full Satisfaction of his sincere Intentions, being come to Court, was acted the Massacre of Paris; at which, in the space of Five Days, above Thirty Thousand Protestants were barbarously Surprized and Butcher'd in Cold Blood.

Upon which follow'd the Fourth and Fifth Ci­vil War; during which, King Charles IX. died; and the Crown fell to Henry III. the last of the House of Valois, and then newly Elected King of Poland. The Beginning of his Reign being en­tangled with Civil Broils, the Protestant Interest grew very strong; and though the League forced the King to make Three several Wars with them, yet they still maintain'd their Liberty and Re­ligion.

At length the Faction of the Guises, known by the Name of the Catholick League, Declar'd them­selves so absolutely against the King, and grew so powerful, especially after the Death of the Duke and Cardinal of Guise, whom the King had caused to be kill'd, that they had almost driven him out of the Kingdom. In this Exigence, the Protestants, a­gainst whom he had carry'd on Four Persecutions and Wars, and therein destroyed many thousands of their Brethren, undertook his Defence, and joining all their Forces, in order to Restore him, marched with him to the very Gates of Paris; where, while he was preparing for a general Attack of the City, he was barbarously Assassinated by Jacques Clement, a Jacobin Monk, sent out of the City on [Page 16] purpose, being stabb'd in the Belly with a Poynard, of which he died the Day after.

Henry IV. the present King's Grand-father, was then King of Navarre, and a Protestant; and being Lawful Heir to the Crown, as also recommended to the Nobility by the deceased King, at his death, took upon him the Stile and Title of King of France. The League, back'd by the Power of the King of Spain, oppos'd him with all the vigour imaginable; and many of the Catholick Nobility deserted him, on the account of his being an Heretick.

The Protestants serv'd him with all the Glory and Loyalty that ever was shown, perhaps, in any War in the World; and, as is computed, during the Years War he maintain'd against the League, and the Spanish Power, above an Hundred and Sixty Thousand Protestant Soldiers lost their Lives in his Service. At length, to put an end to the War, and assure himself of the Kingdom, he deserted his Religion, and turn'd Roman-Catholick; by which means he obtain'd a full Possession of the Crown, ruin'd the League, the Chief Heads of it making their Peace with him, one by one; and at last concluded the War with the Spaniard, at the Peace of Vervin.

The Protestants, however, never withdrew their Loyalty nor their Services from him: The famous Mareschal de Biron, the Dukes de Bouillon, du Plessis, and de la Tremouille, continuing to do him the most faithful and important Services against the Spaniards to the last.

Having setled himself in the Kingdom, and made Peace with all the World, the Protestants, who had serv'd him so faithfully, and who expected no other [Page 17] Reward than the Security of their Religion and Estates, obtain'd from him the famous Edict of Nantes; in which is particularly stated and stipula­ted, the Terms of their Liberty, in what Places they should erect their Temples, how they should hold their Synods and Assemblies: Money was allotted out of the Publick Revenues, to maintain their Mi­nisters; Cities were allotted to them, for their Se­curity, the Garrisons whereof were to be paid by the King: And the Edict was made Perpetual and Irrevocable, by being Entred and Registred in the Parliaments, and Courts of Justice all over the Kingdom.

But all the Services of the Protestants to this Great King, by which he was brought to the Crown of France, nor the solemn Engagement of this Edict, could not preserve them, but that in the Ministry of Cardinal Richlieu, under the very next Reign, they were again attack'd, and driven to the necessity of taking Arms in their own Defence: Which Cardinal, after three times making Peace, and breaking it again at his pleasure, compleated the Conquest of them, in the Taking of Rochelle; the Protestants being miserably deserted by the English, and Thirteen Thousand People starv'd to death in the Town.

Since this, in the Infancy of the present King, while the Contests between the Prince of Conde and the Queen-Mother were so hot as to break out into a War, the Protestants, as Subjects only, were not a little instrumental to the maintaining him in that very Power, which now he makes use of to their Destruction.

[Page 18] I think this History fully makes good the Asser­tion that the present Usage of the Protestants is both Perfidious and Ungrateful. Perfidious, as being acted while under the Protection of a Sacred League and Solemn Treaty, and Ungrateful as it is exercised on those very People, who with their Lives and Estates, raised the present Fortune of the House of Bourbon, to the Greatness it now enjoys.

I have been the more particular in this Account, because from hence it will appear that the Protestants of France stand on a different foot from other Sub­jects of that Monarchy, and that his right of Deal­ing with them, differs from his Power over the rest of his Subjects, for they are his Subjects by express Stipulations and Agreements, whose Obedience to him has been always allow'd to be Conditional; they have made Peace and War with their Kings, not as Rebels, but as Persons having a Lawful Right to Plead and to Defend, their Kings have given them Cautionary Towns for the Performance of the Trea­ties made with them; a Thing which in its own Na­ture implies that they might hold those Towns against him, if he did not perform the Postulata of those Treaties, without the Scandal of Rebellion.

So that their Right to the Liberty of their Religion, had an Authority sufficient to justifie them in taking Arms; nor does any of the French Histories, that ever I saw, though wrote with the greatest Partiality, ever call it a Rebellion, but a War with the Hugonots, and the Conclusions were always call'd, A Peace with the Hugonots, as is Evident through D' Avila's whole History of the Civil Wars of France.

[Page 19] The History of the Protestants of the Upper Hun­gary and of Bohemia, might in many respects bear a Parallel with this, the Persecutions and ill Usage of them, having been after the solemnest Agreement and Treaties with them that could be made; inso­much as that poor Unhappy People being so abso­lutely separated from any Relief of their Brethren of Germany, have been forced to fly for Protection to the Enemies of Christianity, the Turk, with whom however they have this Satisfaction, that whatever Bargain they make for their Religion, they are sure they will keep it. And I remember very well a Banished Hungarian Minister told me, Discoursing of this very Case, he was sorry to say it, That the Turks, though they made them pay Dear for it, were Juster and Truer to their Leagues and Treaties than the Imperialists, who call'd themselves Christians.

It may possibly be objected here, That while we Exclaim against the French and Germans for their Violence to their Subjects, if we should do the same thing to the Papists, it would be practising what we Condemn, and doing Evil that Good may come.

The Answer to this is Included in what goes be­fore, (viz.) taking the whole Roman Catholick and Protestant Party in Europe asunder, and considering them as two Collective Bodies divided in Interest and Religion, it seems to me to be just that a Retaliation of the Injuries done upon the Members of one Party in one place, may be made upon the Members of the same Party in another place, by the same Rule that Depredations of Subjects of one Prince in War, may be paid by Reprizal upon any of the Subjects of the same Prince.

[Page 20] But this may be more fully answer'd thus, That if the Popish Subjects of some Protestant Governments have so behaved themselves to their Governors, as to make their Extirpation just, that Justice however suspen­ded in Mercy to them hitherto, will absolutely justifie removing them from those Governments, and by that means Lex Talionis be Executed by the Hands of Publick Justice, and one Banishment be at the same time both a Punishment of their several Crimes, and a Retaliation of the Oppressions of their Party. This is a Method God Almighty often takes himself, while he suffers a Punishment for a publick Crime of less Guilt to be the Executor of his Vengeance for some Crime of a higher Nature not known.

To go no farther than Ireland for an Instance of this, the present Inhabitants, I mean the Popish Irish by a Bloody Massacre of 200. Thousand Protestants in 1641. by little less intended, and as much as they were able executed, this late War, have deserved no doubt to have been used at the Discretion of the English; and Oliver Cromwell was more than once consulting to Transplant the whole Nation from that Island. If he had done it, or if it had now been done, I am of the Opinion, no Nation in the World wou'd have tax'd us with Injustice, and I do verily think Oliver acted with more Generosity than Dis­cretion in omitting it; for this is certain, that if he had done it, this last War and the Expence of so much Treasure as it cost this Nation, and the Ruine of so many Thousand Protestant Families, who were Driven from thence by King James, all the Destruction at London-Derry, the Sickness at Dundalk, and the Blood of 150000 people, who at [Page 21] least one way or other, on both sides, perish'd in it, had been prevented.

It may be enquired whether Oliver design'd to Transplant them, I could answer directly to that also; but 'tis sufficient to my purpose to say, had he clear'd the Island of them, it had been no matter at all to us whither they had gone, and the King of France has set a Rule for such as Banish their Subjects to let them go where they please, and then they certainly separate; whereas had he sent the Protestants to any particular place, they wou'd have been so many and so United, they might possibly have come back again with Swords in their Hands, and ha' bidden fair for another Hugonot War.

I have also seen among the Letters of State written by Mr. Milton, who was his Secretary for the Foreign Dispatches, a Letter written to the States of Holland, wherein by way of Ar­gument to prevail, for some Ease to the Prote­stants of Piedmont, he proposes a Confederacy with the Dutch, and all their Reform'd Friends, to reduce the Duke of Savoy to a Necessity of giving better Conditions to the Vaudois; and seems to Threaten to Expel all the Roman Catho­licks in England, Scotland and Ireland, out of his Dominions. I remember upon Discoursing of this Passage in some Company, one asked, What if he had? and another by way of Repartee, made Answer, Then there wou'd have been none left. I repeat it not for any great Wit in the Answer; but to Introduce the Question,

What if he had?

[Page 22] 1. If he had, possibly we had not been trou­bled with any Popish Plot in 1678. nor none of the bloody Consequences of it; we had had no Sham-Plot upon that, no Russel, Sidney, nor Armstrong Murthered; No Blood lost in an In­vasion by the Duke of Monmouth, nor Cruel Exe­cutions in the West; we had had no Popish Suc­cessor, no Standing Army, no Bishops sent to the Tower, no Invasion of Charters nor Privilege of Universities; No Ecclesiastical Commission, &c.

2. We had had no Nuncio from Rome, to take his Progress over the Kingdom, no Fire-Works for a Sham-Prince of Wales, nor no Mass Sung in Windsor Chapel, no Seminaries of Priests, nor Nunneries of Whores, at Chelsea, Lincolns-Inn Fields, or Hammersmith.

3. In short, we had had no War of Nine Years to restore a Popish King, the Nation had not spent 60 Millions Sterling, nor lost 200000 of the Stoutest of her Inhabitants to Maintain her Liberty; King William had been King in Right of his Wife, and a Peaceable Admission had been given him.

In all probability this had been the Conse­quence, if Oliver Cromwell had sent them all out of the Kingdom. I beshrew his Heart he did not.

I do not pretend to lead my Reader to any Political Reasons why this shou'd be done now; our Governours are best Judges of the Publick [Page 23] Interest. But thus far, I think, may be assumed without Danger of Reflection.

If the Nation shou'd think fit in Compassion to the Miseries of our poor Distressed Brethren of France to retaliate their Usage upon the Ro­man Catholicks of England and Ireland, the fol­lowing Consequences would in all probability en­sue, which whether it wou'd be Just in the whole, or Beneficial to England and Ireland in particular, I leave to the Judgment of Impartial Readers to Consider,

1. It might be a means, by the Intercession of Parties, to procure some reasonable Conditions for the Poor Protestants of France, as the Stopping the Mareschal Boufflers at the Surrender of Na­mur procur'd Justice to the Imprisoned Garrisons of Deinse, and Dixmuide. This is a Practice too well known in the War to need any Con­tention, where the putting a Prisoner of War to Death, or any other Breach of Articles has been requited by putting some other Prisoner of War to Death on the contrary Side; and though the latter be an innocent Person, Lex Talionis is the Word, the Justice of it is not disputed.

2. It wou'd put these Kingdoms in a Condition to Entertain and Relieve that great Multitude of Distressed Christians, with the very Substance of their Adversaries, and the King of France might, if he pleas'd, make the Roman Catholicks Amends, by giving them the Estates of the Hugonots, or what other Way he thought fit.

[Page 24] This is most certain, that the Roman Catho­licks of England, wou'd not have half the Rea­son to Complain of hard Usage that the Prote­stants of France have, they have no Leagues or Capitulations to show for their Permission the Laws of the Kingdom are expresly against them, and they have in all the Reigns for 150 Years past, been the Disturbers of the Peace of it; they resuse now to Swear Allegiance to the Govern­ment, and if they do not Disturb it, it is Owing to their want of Power, not their want of Will.

But if they had all those Defences to make, which have been hinted, on behalf of the Pro­testants of France, they wou'd have no body to thank for such Usage, but their own Friends. And the Pope, if he ow'd them so much Care, might use his Interest with the King of France, to let the Protestants enjoy their Liberty, in order to save them from the same Fate.

Some, indeed, object against the receiving such vast Numbers of Foreigners among us, as Pre­judicial to the Interest of Trade, and to our own Manufacturers and Inhabitants, by Eating the Bread out of our Mouths, and Starving our own Poor.

This is an Argument would require a lit­tle Volume to Answer; but in General, I presume to Affirm, That no Number of Fo­reigners can be Prejudicial to England, let it be never so great. Number of Inhabitants, is the Wealth and Strength of a Kingdom; and if we had a Million of People in England, more than we have, let them be of what Nation they [Page 25] would, it would be far from being a Damage to us.

'Tis true, if these Million of People were all Artisans, Manufacturers, it would be some detri­ment to our Poor who are employ'd in those par­ticular Manufactures: but allow one third to be Artisans, one third Labourers, Husbandmen or Sailors, and one third Merchants, Shop-keepers or Gentlemen; and if the greatest Number that can be supposed came to settle in England, it could be no Injury, but a vast Advantage to the King­dom in general: And it will appear by this One particular, well examin'd.

An Addition of a Million of People, suppose that were the Number, would devour a propor­tion'd quantity of Corn and Flesh for Food and Drink, and a proportioned quantity of Manu­factures for Cloth and Housholdstuff; the one employs more Land, and the other more People. Now 'tis apparent, we have in England more Land lies unimprov'd, common, and waste, than would feed a vast many People more than we have; and we have a Staple of Wooll, never to be exhausted. In Manufactures, the more Lands we improve, the greater the Rents will be, and the greater the general Stock of the Nation will be; and the more Manufactures are made, the better the Poor are employ'd, and the richer the Manufacturer is made.

Many other Arguments might be used, to prove, That the Coming Over of Foreigners can be no general Prejudice to the Nation, as to Trade. But that is not the main thing here. If the Roman-Catholick [Page 26] Princes pursue their Protestant Subjects with such Cruelty, and drive them into Banishment and Exile, to seek Relief in Foreign Countries, the Case seems to speak for it self, the Protestants can have no readier way, either to prevent the Miseries of those poor persecuted People, or to relieve them in their Exile, than by dealing with the Papists in their Dominions in the same manner, and Inviting the said persecuted French to come and live in the Estates and in the Places of their Adversaries. This is Lex Talionis: And this is a way that would soon tire the Papists out. For I think I may be allowed to suppose there are much the greater number of Papists among the Pro­testants, than there are of Protestants among the Papists; and the Exile of the Parties would also differ, as to Places. For, generally speaking, the Protestant Countries are the best for Strangers to live in, the Protestant People are the Trading People of the World: therefore the Exile of the Protestants of France and Hungary would be less to their disadvantage, than the Papists of England, Ireland and Holland, who must apply themselves to Countries where there are few Manufactures, small Trade, and but very indifferent Means for a Stranger to live. So that the Popish Exiles would be in much the worse Circumstances: And there is no question, but whenever the Protestant Princes of Europe shall find it needful to use this Remedy, the Roman-Catholick Powers will find it for their Interest to make some Cartel, or Condition, upon which all their Subjects, though they are Protestants, may enjoy some sort of [Page 27] Liberty in their own Native Countries; and so Persecution, as well as War, might end in an Uni­versal Happy Peace to Europe, both in Matters of Religion, as well as Civil Affairs, which has so often been attempted by other Methods, to so little purpose.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.