[Page] A LETTER FROM A JESUIT at PARIS, TO HIS CORRESPONDENT in LONDON, Shewing the most Effectual way to ruine the GOVERNMENT AND Protestant Religion.

Reprinted M. DC. LXXIX.

A LETTER from a Jesuit at Paris, to his Cor­respondent in LONDON, &c.

Honoured Dear Sir,

‘POST varios casus, post tot discrimina’—After many fears and frights, I thank our Blessed Lady, I am safe got out of the mouth of the Lion, and have got the Sea between me and danger. It would be trou­blesome to repeat to you the Hazards I have run; how often I was upon the brink of being discovered and taken by the Hereticks, who had laid all the Sea-ports, to arrest all such as should attempt to pass over the Seas; but in regard I have something of more moment and concern for the Catholick Cause to impart to you, I will not stuff out this Pacquet with those relations, with the remembrance of which, I hope hereafter to laugh away some pleasant hours with you.

I give you thanks for the Account of Affairs which I have now before me; and you are desired still to continue it in, regard you may do it with great se­curity, both by reason of the Way by which it comes, and the Character to which it is committed, which I think no person living besides your self has a Key of: and how ingenious soever some in Haereticopolis may be in expoun­ding Cyphers, this will cost them some time to understand.

I understand by the Enclosed Proclamation, that the immortal Parliament, as 'twas believed, is at last dissolved; and immediately upon the receipt of yours, I communicated it to their Reverences, the Fathers, L. C. D. F, and P. The next day they summoned together such as we put confidence in, to enter upon an immediate Consult upon this traverse of our Affairs. Their Reveren­ces were under as great disappointments, and as many disturbances as you can well imagine; this short turn having utterly broken all the measures they had so wisely taken: and for sometime they were unresolved what Course to steer, being uncertain of what complexion, and temper a new Parliament might prove.

True it is, the late Parliament were in reality, as we had reason to believe, mostly in their Judgment enemies enough to Catholicks; but we had so well managed our Affairs, as to possess some of the most active and hot-spirited among them, the Bellweathers of the House, who lead the whole [...]ock. That there was an absolute necessity, First to run down some Great Ones, who in­terposed, as we perswaded the World, in favour of us; and that unless they were taken out of the way, there could be nothing done to purpose, either [Page 4] to discover the bottom of the Design, or to punish the Persons principal­ly accused for the Plot, as they call it. This was a Method which it was judged would take them off from the violent Chase and pursuit of poor Catholicks, who were now upon the dreadful brink of a most terrible Persecu­tion; and to divert the Storm, nothing could be more conducive, than to dash these black clouds one against another, and discharge their Thunders mutually upon themselves: for if we could this or any other way engage the Hereticks deep enough in a Quarrel among themselves, by the industry of our Party among them, we could not tell how far these discords and opposi­tions might transport them, nor what would be the consequences or events of a Fire-ball in the H. C. We have had no contemptible success with such Engines in other occasions; and it was hoped it might at last put the Nation, and especially the City, into a general Mutiny upon the disappointment of their expectations; there being nothing so unanimously desired, or so passi­onately longed for, as to see all private heats laid aside, to prosecute the main business of the Plot. And should it have come to a Popular Tumult, we should not have been wanting to have made considerable advantages of it; and un­der the colour of being Popishly affected, and obstructing the prosecution of the Plot, few of our enemies should have survived the fury of the Tumult; and it may be we might have made the Hereticks themselves help to reduce their new Babylon to Cinders a second time, and in that confusion have done some executions which I will not name. However, if that should not happen, we were hereby assured, that we should for some time divert the imminent danger which threatned Catholicks in general, and those Noble Lords in par­ticular; and no man knows what the very gaining a little time may produce in favour of us; Multa cadunt inter poculum, supremaque labra.

This course we knew was very pleasing to many, who, as our worthy Friend, the much lamented Mr. C. had judiciously observed, to revenge their private Piques, had of a long time set themselves to oppose the Ministers of State, and to whom such a promising opportunity was Muscadine and Eggs, and besides, it was infinitely taking and popular to all the Discontented and Factious, who, I am perswaded, would joyn with the Catholicks, the French, or the Great Turk, rather than lose the pleasure of seeing some great Persons take the Som­merset from the Battlements of Honour, especially such as they are made be­lieve are Enemies to their Liberties and Religion, which are but one thing with two names.

However, we were sure of this advantage, that by degrees we should per­swade People, that there never was any such thing as any Design among the Catholicks against the King and Government, there being no more evident [Page 5] Demonstration, that the H. C. did not believe there was any real Plot, than both, their violent proceeding upon disbanding the Army, even when 'twas said and sworn before them, that there were 20000. men in a readiness to at­tend the fatal blow; and that the King of France with his whole Power was ready to strike in with the Catholicks; as also their running so furiously up­on the Ministers of State, in stead of the Catholick Lords, as being the more dangerous Conspirators. And, it may be, we have lost no ground by this Arti­fice, and thereby confirming what we did at first, and have all along given out and spread abroad, That it was in reality a Plot of the Presbyterians against his Majesty and the Government; and that under the pretence of a Plot of the Papists, all such as were friends to the Church or Crown should be accused to be Popishly affected; and thus by ruining the Supporters, the Crown must fall of course; this was the way in which they, by our assistance, so successfully proceeded in 41. and nothing could make it more plain, than that the same Party was playing their old Lessons over again. And as we did then in a great measure happily effect our Designs, and manage the Heats, till they burnt down all, so we were not without hopes to do the same, and like flints, by striking them one against another, to dash them in pieces, and fire the se­veral Factions; and when they were of all sides sufficiently weaken'd, under pretence of supporting the weaker Party, to bring in the power of the most Christian King, to make them Friends by subduing both; which was an ad­vantage we might reasonably hope for now, but could not expect in the for­mer Revolutions, while his most Christian Majesty was a Minor, and France it self engaged in Domestick troubles.

But this Parliament and our hopes of it being both at an end, we are to con­sider, how we may manage the next, and succeeding Parliaments, so as nothing may be done to our prejudice, and by consequence, that they may become ad­vantageous to our pious Design of extirpating Heresie, and propagating the Catholick Faith in England again. Upon our serious Consult, it has been here, after mature deliberation, agreed upon, to send you these following Resoluti­ons of their Reverences, who have done me the honour to assign me the Pro­vince, of taking care to transmit their Resolves to you, and receive your An­swers, and an account of the movement of our Affairs. You are therefore with all speed and secresie, to take care of the dispatch of these Instructions to all such Persons as we may confide in, and you shall judge qualifi'd for an Employ of so great Trust and Concern, that I may say, the whole Catholick Interest and Hopes in England depend upon the success of this Negotiation.

And first, as a thing previous to the Elections which shall be made, let the Emissaries in all Counties and Corporations, especially such as have Burgesses, be [Page 6] vigilant to enquire who are to be the Candidates for the succeeding Electi­ons.

Secondly, Use all endeavours among the Dissenters, according to your in­terest, to get in as many of the late Members as you can; especially P. C. B. M. &c. Our excellent Friend M. has assured his Illustriousness the N. that he will not fail to be in again, nor to do us the best service he can, now, as well as in the last.

Thirdly, If that cannot be done, but that new ones are set up, if they be Persons firm in their Loyalty, and such as have any the remotest dependence or expectance upon the Court or Army; then give out among the people, though en passent only, as you bait at your Inns, that to your certain know­ledge such Gentlemen are great Courtiers, and are of that party who design to reduce the Nation to the Model of Framce, by the arbitrary power of a stand­ing Army, thereby to Introduce and Establish Popery among us; which you must be sure to make most vehement and bitter Declamations against. If they are persons strongly inclined to the Church of England, then give out con­fidently that they are Papists in heart, and that you know where they have declared themselves such, and that it is most visible by their being so much for Ceremonis. This all the Dissenters will not only easily credit, but will be very helpful to us in spreading and justifying the Reports; these things spoken with confidence, and a pretence of some intimate knowledge of them, and that you now divulge these secrets out of sincere affection to the Nation, rea­dy to to be betray'd to Popery and Arbitrary Government, will fly like Wild­fire among the ordinary People, who will snowball it from hand to hand, and father it upon persons of Repute, not knowing the Original hand from whence it first came; and the repeated Eccho of their fears will both redouble and confirm it. By this means you shall, with the Assistance of the Dissenters, who greedily lay hold of this occasion which they have so long wish't for and expected, be sure to promote the election of such Burgesses, as are disaffected both to the King and Church; and though possibly in many Counties the Loy­alty and Interest of the Gentry will carry it against us in the Knights; yet the greatest number consisting of the Corporation Representatives, there we shall be too hard for them. And then mark what will follow upon this, they will meet with an invincible prejudice against the King and Establisht Govern­ment, both Civil and Ecclesiastical; they will fall violently upon the Church as well as the Papist; they will be so taken up with their own Affairs and the Embroilments our friends will engage them in, that ours will sleep; and being so hot and disorderly, they will in probability oblige the King to send them home again, and seek for another.

By this means the City and Country will be under the greatest disappoint­ment [Page 7] and dissatisfaction imaginable, the Army which is undisbanded will be thought necessary to be kept up, but there being no money to pay them, they will be burdensom and exasperate the Country, and augment the jea­lousie of a standing Army; A Fleet must also be put to Sea, because of the A­larms of the French, and when they come home, the Seamen must be turned adrift for their pay too; it may be a new Parliament may not be called in some time, but such ways may be taken to raise money for the Publick ne­cessity as may render the Government odious, and dispose People to a Gene­ral Insurrection, and then the day's our own, then my Noble Lords, will save their heads, for they must be tried by a Parliament, and if our affairs jump luckily, they shall out-live Methusalem, if they live to see a Parliament so Loyal as to give the King money or indeavour to settle the Peace of the Nation.

But in the second place, if the Parliament shall sit, and there appears any danger to us by there being unanimous, and so like to continue, and to bring the Lords to their Trial: all indeavours must be used by such as can be got to be of our party, First to run them again upon the Ministers of State, as being Popishly affected, and designing to Subvert Parliaments, and introduce Ar­bitrary Government. I need not speak much of this, you are sufficiently in­structed how to mange it, and cannot want a Crie to set it up.

Secondly, Obstruct as much as possible the raising of money, and yet cry out of the imminent danger and fears of the French; it may be you will have reason and truth in that particular; however delay the money by asking such unreasonable things in recompence of it, that the mony Bill upon such terms may be rejected, and be sure it may not be near enough for the present ne­cessity; urge the mispending of the great Revenue of the Crown, but lay all the blame upon the Ministers, you cannot miss the King if you hit the other. This will put the King out of all hopes of this Parliament, and may possibly occasion either a long Prorogation, or a Dissolution, and we shall be better provided against a new Parliament than we could be now, being so much sur­prized in the dissolution of the last. And besides of this Parliament upon which the Factious have built such hopes, be either Prorogued or Dissolved, it will still exasperate the Nation, and they will be apt to receive the impressions of their own fears and jealousies, as well as those we must now sow thick among the discontented; if it continues, we must still play the same Game, and with grievances, smart Votes, and ingrateful Addresses keep up and increase the misunderstandings, and widen the differences between the K. and the H. C.

Thirdly, asperse all that are not of our Party, as Court-Pensioners or Po­pishly affected, this will secure ours from being discovered, and will render [Page 8] the other Odious to the People; and hinder their being elected into a future Par­liament, if this should happen to be hastily dissolved.

Fourthly, Let our Party bring in a Bill for Comprehension or Toleration, if it does no other Good, it will occasion great heats and altercations, long de­bates and will be an excellent Remora to all other affairs, it will make them high­ly the favourites of the Separatists who will be most active against the Crown and Government, and if that can be passed, it is no matter how severely it ex­cludes all Catholicks from the benefit of indulgence; it will certainly ruin the Church, and we shall be well enough able to do our business, and to prepare the People for a Rebellion under the shelter of the several Sects who hate both the King and Church sufficiently already, and will in a little time become so nu­merous and confident, that by their help we may be able to effect our Design. This politick Janus of a Toleration has also another face, for it will alienate the affections of those who are zealous for the Church, from the Crown, when they see that give them up as a prey to their Enemies; and if it does not yet, it will disable them from doing it the service they would in case of necessity; so that if it comes to a Rebellion, the K. will be destitute of assistance of all sides, and must seek for aid among the Catholicks and from foreign Power, and which way soever the Game goes, we shall be sure not only to save our Stakes, but to win by the hand.

Dear Sir, be diligent and vigorous in the prosecution of these Instructions, and be assured that nothing shall be wanting on the part of their Reverences to forward the Design, neither Mony for the present, nor Power for the future if occasion offers. His Most Christian Majestie is now at intire liberty in Case of necessity, either to interpose for us, or assist us with his invincible Arms, and to promote so pious and Religious a cause. Doubt nothiug, but be of Good Courage in the discharge of this high trust reposed in you, and assure your self of Success and proportionate Rewards on Earth, Eternal Fame, and Eternal Glory in the Heavenly Paradise. The Fathers send you theirs and the Apo­stolical Benediction; have me Recommended to all our Friends. Our Blessed Lady and all Saints pray for you, and succed your indeavours. Fail not to ad­vertise us, how the wheel of affairs moves, that so we may be able to advise and direct accordingly, Farwell.

D. P.

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