THE CHARACTER OF A Popish Successour COMPLEAT: IN DEFENCE of the FIRST PART, AGAINST Two ANSWERS, One Written by Mr L'ESTRANGE, CALLED The Papist in Masquerade, &c. And another By an Unknown Hand.

LONDON: Printed for I. Graves, and are to be sold by most Booksellers. 1681.

THE PREFACE.

UPon perusal of a Pamphlet written by so ingenious an Author as Mr. L'Estrange, called, The Papist in Masquerade, in answer to the Character of a Popish Successour, my expectation was strangely frustrated, when I found the Book look more like a Poor Robin's Almanack than an Answer, the major part of the Pamphlet being a kind of Red-letter Kalendar in two Columes, with the Popish Worthies on one side, and the Republican ones on the other; as Ra­viliac on that hand and Oliver over against him; and so Mariana and Knox, Pius Quintus and Buchanan, Guido Faux and Hugh Peters, &c. I confess, had he design'd to publish the Villanies both of a Popish and a Republican Con­spiracy, and after a plain demonstration of the Government's being really undermined by both those threatning Enemies, had given his Country some light to steer in the golden Medium between both those fatal Extreams, his Intention had been honest, and he had writ like a Patriot: But alas! that's none of his Province; his Talent is otherwise employ'd: for the sole drift of his Book was not in the least to expose Popery any farther than to make the Fanatical and Jesuitical Principles agree; for take his Opinion abstracted from that Designe, and his whole Book has no other aim but to make all our dangers of Popery and a Popish Successour, and all the whole Plot against the King, Religion, and Government, (to use his own Phrase, p. 69.) but a painted Lion upon a Wall; and the Prosecutors of that Plot, and the Oppo­sers of those Dangers, a real Bed of Vipers. In fine, the main purpose he drives at, is to make an exact Parallel between this Age and that of 40 & 41, &c. And that he may so do, you must allow him this great Fundamental, That all the Sticklers against Popery and a Popish Successour, are Fanaticks; and that all Fanaticks hate both the King and Kingly Government, and are tooth & nail down-right Republicans. Vpon this Basis his whole Fabrick stands.

But to rectifie his Mistake in this great point: Have not four Parliaments successively been satisfied in the truth of a Popish Plot for the murder of the King, and subversion of the Government, and jealous of the dangers of Pope­ry, like honest Patriots muster'd all their strength to prevent it? If the Plot were onely a Bugbear, how comes it that the Wisdom of the Nation in four Parliaments together, has not discover'd the Cheat? or if they do know the Cheat and act themselves the Legerdemain, and so make the prosecution of the Plot but a Presbyterian Artifice to inflame a Kingdom, in order to playing the game of 41 ore again, as his impious detractions would insinuate, I would ask him, first, How comes it to pass that all the Plot-Evidence have all along so constantly adhered to their Attestations, and that too in so beggarly and starving a Cause, after such vast and tempting Proffers for retracting of their Evidence; and vaster Rewards, no doubt, they might have, upon the disco­very of such a Presbyterian Cheat, if it were one, not onely as a Ransom for [Page] so many Great mens lives, but likewise from the greatest hands of the Nation that would desire nothing more than such a Discovery? Secondly, I would ask him how it came about that the first of these four Parliaments grew so vehement against the Plot? they, I hope, he'll confess were a Protestant and a Church of England Parliament; they were elected Members just after the King's Restoration, in all the height of the Extasie of England, when Majesty and Monarchy were the Peoples Darlings even to Idolatry, at a time when the Horrours of the Civil Wars were fresh in their memories, when the very thought of Presbyterian or Independent Commonwealths, with Rumpers and Rumps, were as detestable as Hell! That Parliament, I hope, thus chosen and thus qualified, he'll allow had no Presbyterian Gall in their Veins, and no Canker of 41, being the very men that on the contrary made the Laws against all Dissenters, and in all their Acts throughout maintain'd the Dignity and Glory of the present Church of England; and yet this Parliament, as little Pres­byterian as it was, gave the first stroke against the Plot; as I remember, 'twas they that discovered those swarms of Papists that had infested the King's Guards, and his Court it self, and crept into almost all Offices of Trust, and by whom planted, I need not tell him: And as I remember, those were the very men that created the Test, and made the Reception of the Protestant Sacrament, and the Renunciation of the Idolatries of Rome, an Introdu­ction to all Employments, on purpose to sweep out those Locusts: Nay, those were the very men that removed our Popish Heir presumptive from his Ad­miralty, and all other his Preferments; and no doubt had they continued still, would have very little varied from the true and honourable English Genius of the last: So that without shamming this inveteracy onely upon Dissenters, there has been a Protestant People, a Protestant House of Com­mons, and Protestant Lords, (Protestant Lord Bishops onely excepted) that have struggled both against Popery and a Popish Succession. So that upon Mr. L'Estrange's Argument that the present Dangers of England lie onely in a Republican Conspiracy, and that the present state of 80 and 81, is but a kind of transmigration of the Spirit of 41 and 42, in order to the revival of the old Game of 48; it is not onely the Dissenters but the Protestants are in the Confederacy; and so the whole Nation is in a Spirit of Rebellion, (the innocent Papists onely excepted:) that is, There's a Plot lies at every door but the right. However, the Pamphleteers of this Age will not be so satisfied: for 'tis the great Maxime they all lay down, Every man that is for excluding a Popish Successour is a Fanatick, and every Fanatick (as I told you) a Republican. But to convince 'em, if they are not incorrigible, that 'tis not onely a Fanatical Exclusion, What if I pickt out even of the ve­ry protesting Lords themselves, several of them of famous and exemplary Loyalty, so far from the possibility either of Fanaticks or Republicans, that they have been Caviliers and Loyalists through all our late Troubles; one or two of them that have been Generals in the King's service; a third, whose Fa­ther lost his head for him; a fourth, that for asserting the King's Right in the Field, had no other Reprieve from a Gallows but his Majesties Return; a fifth, that beside the constant sums sent over to the King in his Exile, after a total sequestration of his Estate, pawn'd even his last Stake, his Plate, to serve him; with several other Sufferings that many others of 'em under­went: And yet the Scriblers of these times shall tell you there's never a Mo­thers son of them all that loves either the King or the Government, but is a rank Fanatick; for the very thought of an Exclusion turns ipso momento Fanaticism. So that it will be worth a mans while to give the world the [Page] true definition of a Fanatick, and a full interpretation of the word. For­merly in old times, a Fanatick so called, signified an Enthusiastick in Reli­gion, one that pretended to Inspiration and new Light, or had a picque a­gainst a Liturgie or Surplice, or the like: But a Fanatick of 79 and 80, is quite another thing, and the word of a quite different signification; for now, He that values the safety of himself and his Posterity, he that thinks he has an Estate and Liberty worth preserving, a Country worth saving, a Religion worth defending, and indeed a God worth serving, is a FA­NATICK.

But 'twill not be amiss to instance the validity of some of those Compari­sons he makes between the present Iealousies and those of the late times. Mr. L'Estrange, p. 21. says Earle before the Commons, Nov. 5. 1644. Saul's Sons are not spared, no nor may Agag or Benhadad, though themselves Kings: Zimri and Cosbi, though Princes of the people, must be pursued into their Tents. This is the way to consecrate your selves to God. Vp­on which he remarks, And what was the ground of all this Fierceness, but a Popish King, though the glory of the Reformation, for want of a Popish Successour?

So that here lies the Analogie betwixt our Fears and theirs. Then the groundless Fierceness lay against a pretended imaginary Popish King, though in truth the Glory of the Reformation; and now the fierceness lies against a real Popish Subject, that may be our King, the very Infamy of all Apostacy, when degenerated to such principles, and yet born of such a Father. And afterwards in the same page, he says, Mr. L'E. This is enough to convince the world that the very sound of Popery will do the business as well with­out a ground as with it; and whoever goes to alarm the people upon this desperate point, had need give good security for his Allegiance.

And what's all this, but to tell us, because a Bugbear frighted us once, therefore a real Fiend must not fright us now? So that his whole Discourse can be reduced to no other heads but these.

First. It makes the most uncharitable inferences that 'tis possible for Ma­lice or Ill-nature to invent. Because a Judas once kiss'd and betray'd, and a Joab embraced and stab'd, therefore no man must ever kiss or embrace without a treacherous and murderous intention. The hatching of the old Republican Conspiracy under the fictitious fears of approaching Popery, must now make the just fears of the true danger of Popery equally guilty of the same Treason and Combination.

Secondly, He cuts off the whole Right and Liberty of the Subject at one blow. Because a knot of Achitophels once pretended Grievances where none was, to accomplish their own wicked purposes; therefore no Subject shall or may petition or vote, though in a legal Parliamentary way, for the redress of the greatest Grievance in Nature, and that in the plainest and most im­minent Exigence of a Nation; but must be forced silently to sit down by his hard Fate, and be debarred the priviledge of Laws, nay even of his very Prayers for his Deliverance.

Now is it not a little hard, that after the goodness of our most gracious Soveraign that has made An Act of Oblivion, Mr. L'Estrange's Vengeance alone should be implacable, and set the Childrens teeth an edge for the sour Grapes their Grandfathers eat so long ago, by entailing a Curse upon their Posterity in secula seculorum? But how ridiculous and how false soever were the fears of Popery in the last Age, how treacherous the Serpent that lurkt under those fair but false pretences, and how fatal soever the sting that [Page] attended it, yet our endeavours sure may beboth legal and honest, against the plain and visible dangers of Popery under the threatning influence of a Popish Heir; manifested such a one, not onely by the long and indefatigable Ma­chinations of Hell in his behalf, the most horrid Iesuitish Confederacy a­gainst the life of a Protestant King, a Protestant Church and Government, animated and founded on their Assurance of establishing their own infernal Reign under the umbrage of his Scepter, a scepter design'd to be made out of that consecrated Ponyards hilt reserved to cut a passage for him to a Throne through the heart of a Protestant Majesty, a Scepter that both like Moses and Aaron's Rod, at once should bud and blossom for the Glory of Rome, but turn a devouring Snake for the Heretick Confusion and Destruction; ma­nifested such a one, I say, not onely from all this apparent Testimony, but even by a yet stronger demonstration, those printed recorded Pacquets of Letters which as littora scripta manet, flie in the face of all Dispute, and stop the very mouth of Flattery, Equivocation, and Artisice, by plainly ex­posing to all Eyes and all Vnderstandings a private Intrigue and Correspon­dence between the Heir of a Protestant Kingdom, and the Pope, the most im­placable Enemy both of Protestant Kings and Kingdoms; a Correspondence too subtly disguis'd in MYSTERIES and CHARACTERS, that usual Hocus pocus-Language where the World has so often been the Cully, whilst Treachery play'd the Iuggler: So that to match the present Genius of Eng­land with that of 41 and 42, as all the scribling canting Favourers of Po­pery would impudently sham upon the world, is to make even North and South meet together, to unite the most opposite Contradictions in Nature, to make a Plot and no Plot, shadows and substances, truth and falshood, dan­gers and no dangers, Protestants and no Protestants, nay Patriots and Tray­tors the very same thing, the designe of that Age being to reduce us to Sla­very, and this to free us from it.

But suppose (as they say) there were some turbulent malecontented Spi­rits in the Nation of Commonwealth principles, and that they herded a­mongst the honest and worthy Opposers of Popery, resolving to play the Spi­der and extract poyson from the same Flower from which the Bee sucks Ho­ney. Let us but consider two things, and then we shall find how impossible 'tis for them to attain their desires, and perfect so extravagant a projection. 1. The Grievance of the Nation is a Popish Successour; and that Grievance once removed by a Bill of Exclusion, we countermine all the Arts and Sub­tilties of Rome, that have or can be form'd against us, and raise an im­pregnable Bulwark against all our Enemies on that side, and at the same time they will not onely supply the King with money, which is one of the strongest Nerves of power, but also it will undoubtedly restore him the intire Affections of all or most of the Commonalty of England which have or can be alienated, or estranged by his unhappy and too vigorous defence of a Suc­cessour so universally odious: so that these Republican Matchivilians joyn in the very project that destroys them; for by this means what the Monarch wins, the Republican loses. 2. 'Tis an undeniable Truth, that the whole Populace in general abhor such a thought, and the Miseries of the late Ci­vil Wars are too lively in their memories, for them ever to be wrought up again into the same Frenzy.

Though the deluded Multitude were then put out of love with Kings, they found too soon by woful Experience, that the Protectorate was ten times worse, and whatever prejudice they had conceived against the old unhappy King, yet the grievous Oppressions, Taxes, and standing Armies under Grom­wel, [Page] quickly open'd their Eyes, and to their own sad cost, assured them they had not mended but marred their condition by rebelling: And that Oliver's policy in deposing a King to establish a Protector, was but an old Roman Iuggle revived; when as History tells us, after the Romans had been weary of Kings, as a power too Arbitrary for them, they were cunningly drawn in to a subjection to that of Imperator, which was ten times more Tyrannick of the two, and shelter'd the Cruelties of the worst of Monsters, a Nero and a Caligula: So that in our circumstances, 'tis almost impossible that English men should be twice gull'd with the same Cheat, or their Swords be ever drawn in our old unnatural Broyls; but if ever that day shall come that they are drawn again, it must be onely then when a Popish Successour's possessing the Throne shall represent to them a more terrible Scene of Misery than a Ci­vil War can bring: so that if ever they are inflamed into that desperation, it must be when they shall run headlong into a less Charybis to avoid a grea­ter Scylla. But whether one be greater or less than t'other, or they but think it so, yet this is most certain, Popery and Rebellion are both those dangerous Gulphs that will either of them swallow up the peace of England. And as 'tis unanswerably true, that the glory of God, the defence of our Lives and Liberties, and the support of our present Monarchy of England, are onely to be upheld by a Protestant Interest, and that Interest is never to be effe­ctually secured but by a Popish Exclusion: So that Exclusion likewise at the same time puts an end to all our dangers on the other side, viz. to all thoughts or possibility of a Rebellion.

But to give a truer account of the present State of England than Mr. L'Estrange has done in affinity to 41, I will confess this present Age has derived one thing from 41 and 42, and that is a Curse they left behind 'em, the Curse of the Shepherds Boy in the Fable; our crying out so often former­ly, Help, Master, help, the Wolf's in the Shepfold, when he was not there, has made us disbelieved at last now he is there; and like him too, be left most helpless when we most want it.

Postscript.

THE Author of The Character of a Popish Successour was so far from priding him­self upon that Piece, that his greatest Ambi­tion in writing it, was the serving his Coun­try; and he's very well pleased to see so ma­ny Scions since sprung from that Root. But one particular Acknowledgment he is bound to make for the unexpected Favours it has received, that the Authorship of a Book that has no other Merit than the Truths it relates should be so esteemed, that coming Father­less into the World, it has since had the ho­nour of so many kinde Friends, that like the Rival Cities of old for the Birth of Homer, have given it their Adoption.

THE CHARACTER OF A Popish Successour COMPLEAT.

THE first Allegation Mr. L'Estrange makes against the Cha­racterizer's Reasonings is, That his Master-piece is a Para­dox, by the supposal of a most excellent person, and yet making him the greater Devil for his Vertues; and so he sums up the Characterizer's opinion in short thus:

Ch. His Fortitude (says he) makes him the more daring in the Cause of Rome; his Iustice makes it a point of Conscience to deliver us up to the Pope; his Temperance in the government of his Passions, makes him more close and steady; and his Prudence crowns the work by the as­sistance it gives him in the management of his Policies and Conduct; and so he goes on. What boots it in a Popish Heir to say, he's the truest Friend, the greatest of Hero's, the best of Masters, the justest Judge, and the honestest of Men? All meer treacherous Quick-sands for a People to repose the least glimps of Safety in, or build the least Hopes upon.

Thus much the Character. To which he answers,

This is fairly push'd, I must consess; but 'tis onely a Cast of his Rhetorick: for every body knows that all Christian Princes thus qualified, and under Articles of Treaty and Agreement, keep touch even with Infidels, nay, and Infidels with Christians.

This is all he has in his whole Pamphlet in answer to this part of the Character: for he thinks he has made the Characterizer's whole Argu­ment so plain a contradiction in its self, that he needs no other Brand than his own words, to stigmatize him; and the very repetition of a Suppo­sition so monstrous, is its own confutation.

But this on our Answerers part is not so fairly push'd: for thus far here's neither Rhetorick nor Reason. For what Relation can Christian Princes keeping touch with Infidels, and Infidels with Christians, upon Articles of Treaty and Agreement, have to a Popish Successour's Tyranny and Injustice over his own Subjects? Does it follow, Because the French King upon Articles of Treaty and Agreement, has kept touch with the Swede, though the most inveterate Enemy of the Popish Religion perhaps of any Protestant Prince in Christendom, and consequently the most oppo­site to his own perswasion, that therefore he has not overleap'd all the [Page 2] due and lawful bounds of the French Government, and tyrannically en­slaved his People; nay, contrary to the solemn Covenant at Nants in be­half of the Hugonots, most inhumanely persecuted the poor Protestants? What if a Christian Prince keeps his Articles with Turks or Infidels, nay Villains and Robbers, the Pyrates of Argiers or Sally? Nay, what if Q. Mary her self had done as much, must it therefore follow that she would not break her Vows and Protestations with the Norfolk and Suffolk-inha­bitants, and burn the very men that mounted her into her Throne, when animated by the Withcrafts of Rome? But that the Fidelity betwixt Prince and Prince may more plainly appear to hold no proportion or af­finity with that betwixt Prince and People; or foreign Articles either for the enlargement or security of Empire, the promotion of Trade, or any other State-interest, with a Church-government or Church-persecution at home, we shall give this undeniable Reason.

A King for breach of Faith with his People, esteems himself onely ac­countable to God; but for breach of Faith with Foreign Princes, either Christian or Infidels, he is accountable to Man, and may draw down a just War upon his head for such a Violation; nay, perhaps wholly dispossess himself of the hopes of Foreign Assistance for the future in his greatest dangers and exigences, occasion'd by the stain such Infidelity may lay up­on him, when his more venial breach of Vows at home, shall be no blot in his Scutcheon. And whereas here he's onely answerable to God, what if his Priests, as in Queen Mary's Case, impose so far upon his blinded Zeal till they make him believe that the performance of Protestations in cases derogatory to the glory of Heaven, and against the propagation of Christianity, shall be more answerable to God than the breaking of them?

But Mr. L'Estrange resolves to play the State-Sophister, and gives us this tryal of his strength in his very first page, to let us know how great a Casuist and how potent an Antagonist we must expect to find him.

But here the other Answerer is a little more prolix upon this subject, and tells the Characterizer, That in a Roman Catholick he makes Virtues them­selves turn Vices, and equals if not outgoes Transubstantiation it self. And to justifie the four Cardinal Virtues from the Characterizer's making them an Instrument of our Destruction, he assignes 'em a quite contrary operation in a Popish Successour than that in the Character, viz.

If he has Fortitude, which is a Vertue equally distant from Temerity and Rashness, as from Fear and Cowardize, it will with-hold him from attem­pting things impossible; as setting up Arbitrary Power, or introducing Po­pery. If he be a man of Iustice, that should give us the greater assurance that his Courage shall be no otherwise exercised than for our Safety and Ho­nour, to whom all his endeavours by all the Laws both Humane and Divine are due, and to which he shall be by Oath obliged. But here by the way, I could have wish'd our Author had left out the word [Divine;] for those hearty endeavours the Divine Laws of a Popish Successour will in­struct him to exercise for the Safety and Honour of a Heretick Nation and Heretick Religion, we are better inform'd of. But to proceed, If he's a Master of Temperance, what is that but a Bridle upon all his Excesses, a perpetual Bosom-Monitor that will with-hold his Arm and allay his Heat, and curb all the motions of Cruelty and Revenge? And lastly, if he has Prudence, that will teach him not to exasperate a People of so stiff a Neck, nor lose the hearts of his Subjects for their difference of opinion, and there­by peradventure endanger the loss of his Crown, &c.

[Page 3] Now this Author I confess has push'd a little fairer than t'other; for he has given us an Argument that looks like Sence, though it be none: for what's all this to the conduct of an inflexible Papist? The Characterizer tells us, that in a Bigotted Prince, his Morals shall be Slaves to his Zeal; and accordingly instances how far they shall be instrumental to the Prote­stant subversion and destruction: But here the Answerer artfully leaves out the main point, and tells us what a meer moral man would do, in case of succeeding to the Crown of England. He mounts the poor Postilion into the Saddle, and tells us how his meer Morality would drive; but takes no notice of that Lordly Charioteer, Religion, that holds the Reins above him, whose nod he obeys, and at whose absolute command he turns either to the right or the left. So that as this Answerer has stated the case, I am thus far of his mind, That had we an Heir apparent of no more Religion than a Iulian or a Nero, and yet at the same time were compleat­ly Master of the moral Virtues, possibly he might steer as he proposes: but let him recollect himself, and put Popery and Morals together, and then he'll find his mistake. For my part, I am asham'd that any men that pretend to write Sence, should endeavour to perswade us that a Popish Bigot, and a man of courage and wisdom in a Successour, should not go farther towards the establishing of Popery, than a Coward and a Fool; so that not onely his Morals, but every other natural Gift or Perfection, shall be particularly assistant to the Ruine both of Protestant Religion and Liberty. But because Example is more powerful than Precept, I'll give you a taste of the Popish Morals in a very remarkable Story.

Soon after the selling of Dunkirk, from which time the poor Protestants in France date the AEra of their Calamities, it being about that time that the French King began to disturb their Peace, infringe their Liberties, and demolish their Churches, contrary to all the sacred Bonds of the solemn Engagement at Nants; the distress'd Hugonots groaning beneath a greater load of Misery than any of the rest of the French Subjects, their fellow-slaves, under the persecution of his new Ashtaroth Arbitrary power, thought fit privately to implore the intercession of a powerful Neighbour, a Pro­testant Monarch, to mediate in their behalf in mitigation of the French King's unchristian-like severity; and accordingly chose a very honest and wise man, by name Rohux, an Inhabitant of Nisme in Languedock, for this secret Embassie, as being a person formerly very fortunate in England be­fore on the like occasion, having obtain'd a lucky Favour from Cromwel in reconciliation of a difference betwixt the French Protestants and Car­dinal Mazarine. This Rohux thus commission'd, the approach to Majesty being difficult, to make his Access more easie, applies himself first to a visibly Protestant Heir apparent, hoping to strengthen the power of his own Supplications by the introduction and countenance of so great and so princely an Advocate. This Royal Heir or Masquerader, or by what other Title disguis'd or distinguish'd, with a seeming-cordial Friendship embraces the poor Hugonots Cause, and day after day receives his Address with many solemn but airy promises of speedy Assistance; but in the mean time, disgusted and gall'd to the Soul at so audacious and impious a Petition as the Protestant preservation, and abhorring so detestable an Employment, nay, the very name of the Hereticks Defender, instead of his promis'd Aid, he on the contrary most cunningly laid the Platform of a Revenge as exquisite as so heinous a Petition deserv'd. Immediately he goes to the French Embassadour, and tells him how one of the French [Page 4] Subjects had very arrogantly and scandalously calumniated his great Ma­ster with obprobrious names of Tyranny, Oppression, and breach of Faith; into which very Language he himself before had exasperated him, on pur­pose to make his Ruine secure, which the bare accusation of a Suit in be­half of his Religion, would not alone have effected. The Embassadour, as bound in duty, for the vindication of his King's Honour, desires a far­ther testimony of the Offence and Offender: Which the Royal Informer effectually gives him, by appointing another Conference with Rohux; where privately he plants this Kingly Representative as an Honourable Evesdropper, to over-hear a Repetition of the whole Discourse, and con­firm his Belief from his own Ears.

Now some people would start an Objection, and say, That this humble Office and low-spirited Snare against the life of a poor wretch, might de­rogate from the Glory of two such Illustrious Personages; the one for the greatness of his Employment, and the other the greatness of his Birth. But to remove their mistake, I assure 'em there is not that Deed so abject, when acted for the Cause of Rome, that cannot be transform'd into Prince­ly and Heroick, by the stupendious power of that infallible Church, where even Daggers and Ponyards admit of Consecration.

But to return to our History. This Conference contrived and managed as heart could with, the Embassadour posts over this Rohux Treachery to France, whilst he, poor unsuspecting Innocence, continues his dayly Pray­ers to his Great Advocate. But finding in time so many delatory De­murs, he luckily at last discovers he is betray'd: Upon which, dreading the Vengeance of the French King, not daring to return to France, he steals away into Switzerland for his protection; but the French King be­ing advertised of his Motions, gets him trepan'd by an Ambsuscade in the night, and being by surprize forced out from thence into France, he is bro­ken upon the Wheel.

Now who so blind as cannot but plainly see that each particular Cardi­nal Virtue in this Illustrious Heroe, were most signally exercised in this Triumphant Encounter? First, here was Courage even to admiration; he play'd the Romish Champion young, and early flush'd himself in He­retick Bloud, whilst like a second Alcides, who strangled Snakes even in his Cradle, he most victoriously tore up that Heart by the roots whose Tongue durst but hiss against the Papal Dignity, as the first bold Prologue of his more undaunted Atchievements, and more dazling Glories yet to come.

Then here was Iustice to the height; an impudent French Villain as he was, to cross the Seas on so infamous a Commission as the Rebuilding of the Hugonot-Temples, those Altars of Baal, which the God-like hand of France had so justly laid in Ruine? an Impiety so hainous as forfeited both Life and Soul, and deserved the severest Rods and Axes of Justice: He deserv'd 'em, and he had 'em.

Then here was Temperance even to astonishment; here was no laun­ching into Passion, no Thunder in his Tongue, nor Basilisks in his Eyes, at the surprize of so execrable a Petition as the imploring his Intercession for the loath'd Hereticks Deliverance: Alas, no, his Temperance, like a Bosom-Monster (as our Author has it) bridled all those Excesses, and treated this notorious Suppliant with those hearty professions of kindness, and promis'd services, till he betray'd his bones to the Wheel, with a Con­duct and Aspect so moderate and so serene, as the old Romans lead their Victims with Flowers and Garlands to their Execution.

[Page 5] Then here was Prudence beyond example; first, in inflaming the poor French-man into declamations and detractions against the Majesty of France, thereby to manage his Tragedy more artfully, by making him re­ceive the Blow from the hands of the Temporal not Ecclesiastical Justice, as dying more for a Traytor than a Heretick: for though, 'tis true, the last was Crime sufficient, yet lest the ill-judging world might mistake, and not think so, he was wisely noosed into one Crime, to pull down the Vengeance due to the other. But what's the greatest Prudence of all yet, this politick Heroe all this while was a visible Member of the Prote­stant Church, knelt at our Altars, joyn'd in our Prayers, and shared in our Sacrament and Communion.

But one thing I had almost forgotten; the unknown Answerer, to pre­pare us for the more firm security that a Popish Successour's Cardinal Vir­tues shall keep that Honourable and indeed Innocent Path that he has traced out for him, he makes a very long Harangue in praise of his adored Mecoenas. First, for his Courage, That his Royal Bloud (as often as his King or Countries Honour or Safety called upon him) was ever as dange­rously and as freely exposed, as that which fills the veins of the vilest Ple­beian, &c, And why not? since it is no such wondrous Novelty for e­ven crown'd heads themselves personally to fight their own Battels: I cannot think it any great condescention in a Prince (at that time not al­together so visible an Heir apparent) to accept of the Admiralty of an English Navy; an Employment, where the Glory of it does more than reward the Hazard. So that as I take it, his own Honour as well as his Countries, call'd upon him.

After this, he passes to another branch of Princely Endowments, viz. That his Friendships have ever been as firmly maintain'd, as they were ju­diciously chosen: That his Mouth and his Heart have always been so true to one another, that his Word has been as inviolate as the Oaths of others: And this noble Constancy has not been the effect so much of his Honour as his Conscience, &c. Without all doubt: Yet I have heard a very odde Story of one Mr. Coleman that tipt over the pearch about a year or two ago. I fancy I could draw a Picture with this Label in his mouth, There is no Faith in Man, so like him, you'd scarce know one from t'other: Nay, poor Iack Catch shall cry out shame of all such usage. There was not that poorest Rogue of all the Plot-Martyrs, that had not two or three Guinneys at least at his service, to bribe him to use a gentle hand with them and hang 'em out of pain, before he made minced Meat of them. But Coleman was so trepan'd into Pluto's Court, came so unprepared for the Elysian-shades, that he that had been Master of the Purses both of the French and English Monsieurs too, when he came to cross the Stygian Lake, had not so much as one poor Obelus to pay his Ferriman's Fare. Durum est post omnia perdere naulum. And methinks this was a little unkindly done; yet upon second thoughts, possibly it might be contrived for his good. Flesh and Bloud is frail, and who knows but he might have had humane thoughts about him, and so have fallen from the holy Cause; which careful Mother Church, for the salvation of his Soul, in her pious and Christian wisdom, thought fit to prevent, by making a Saint of him without his knowledge: And alas, he was shrewdly hurt, was he not? to be tript up into Heaven, and cheated into Immortality.

But here I cannot omit one remarkable Observation of Mr. L'Estrange's, pag. 38. speaking of this Princes former services to his Country; where he says,

[Page 6] Mr. L'E. I find some people of opinion, that this King in Reversion, is of the same Perswasion at this day, that he was when he acquired all those Glories.

Now if there be such a sort of people, and so strong a Faith in the world, I would willingly be instructed what They, or Mr. L'Estrange for them, mean by Perswasion. If the Popish perswasion, then they justifie the severest Reflections in the whole Character, and lay that unprincely and unchristian Disguise at his door of kneeling at our Altars, and partici­pating of our Sacraments with all the meanest and basest Hypocrisie ima­ginable; little less than dipping in the Dish, and drinking of the Cup, and kissing where he betray'd. But if they mean the Protestant perswasion, of which Communion he then visibly was▪ and they will be but so kind as to prove him a Protestant still, I assure them the Author shall burn his Character, and make a publick Recantation for his Mistake; but at the same time they must give him leave to write another tentimes bitterer than the first: For he that can suppose a Prince really and truly a Protestant, that shall for so many years together withdraw from his own Communion, and that too not onely so manifestly against his Interest, but against the very Dictates of his Conscience, the Duty of his Religion, and the Glory of his God; thereby to exasperate and embroil a whole Nation in Di­stractions, to inflame and widen all our Divisions, and in short, to put out both his own Eyes to put out one of his Brothers; and all this for just nothing, except a meer Humour, a letchery of doing Mischief for no other end or purpose but meer Mischiefs sake, is a character of that unpa­rallel'd Ingratitude, and indeed all that's ill together, that I hope Earth nere bore, nor Hell ere punisht: for I should be sorry to think it possible there could be such a Creature in nature; neither am I a little sorry to think there is a people in the world that can fancy there is such a one. I confess, the withdrawing from our Communion upon the change of Opi­nions, may admit of some Apology; and our ill circumstances under that Change, are not altogether so wonderful.

Now after this Answerer has sum'd up all his matchless Virtues, he tells you in short, How improbable a thing it would be, how contradictory to Reason and common Sence, that the difference of a mans opinion about some few disputable matters of Faith, and not very material Ceremonies of Divine Worship, should on a sudden efface all those good Characters of Magnanimity and Iustice, Generosity and Goodness, not slightly traced, but deeply engraved in his Breast.

Here the Reader may observe what a good Protestant the Author is, and how prettily he states the little disparity betwixt the Protestant and Popish Faith, differing onely in some few disputable matters of Faith, and not very material Ceremonies of Divine Worship. As for exam­ple: The Deifying of Wafers, the Idolizing of Images, the Invocation of Saints, and making the Milk of a Mary almost of as great vertue as the Bloud of a Iesus; with twenty other Trifles and inconsiderable Cere­monies. For my part, I would not be he that at Cadice or Salamanca should make no more difference betwixt the Divine Worship of Holy Church and that of Heretick Dogs, for fear the Lords of the Inquisition should make some material Ceremony with me, and treat me with a Cauldron of scalding Oyl for my Entertainment. But perhaps our An­swerer durst say twice as much, if he were there; for no doubt but they know him so well, that they'd pardon his Railery, and take it for but a [Page 7] copy of his Countenance. But whatever our Author's Religion is, his Memory is none of the best; for within three leaves after this, he quite forgets himself, and unluckily compares the difference between the two Religions in haec Verba.

This Idolatrous Superstition has been so long worn off the minds of the People, and the Reformation so deeply and so strongly rooted in the Reigns of four most religious and prudent Princes; the Church of England so firmly establisht, and that as much by the purity of its Doctrine, the decency of its Discipline, and the innocency of its Principles, as by the Authority of the Publick and the Laws of the Land. The Romish Church so detested both for the dangerous Innovations of its Doctrine, and the Idolatry of its Ceremonies; and so odious in the eyes of the People for its pernicious Principles express'd in the villanous practices of its Professors in Massa­cres and Plots, &c.

But our Answerer's Ingenuity can answer all this, and tell you, What though their Ceremonies are so idolatrous, their Innovations so dange­rous, their Principles so pernicious, their Plots so odious, their Massacres so barbarous, and their Professors so villanous? yet a Popish Heir presum­ptive professing the same Superstition, shall be a Lamb, a Dove, a Saint amongst us upon occasion, and that too for his Reasons above-said: For as he told you before, he is a person of Royal Bloud, loves his Friend, is a man of Courage, and a Prince, and has been an Admiral. A thunder­ing Demonstration of a peaceable Popish Innocence! Three more such unconfutable Arguments are enough to convert the Turk, and bring in the Jews.

But now from these infallible Morals in our Heir presumptive, the great Bulwark against all our Fears, this unknown Author concludes both our Protestant Religion and Laws secure under him; that the pre­sent Constitution of Government, and the present Church of England, must and shall, in spite of Fate, continue unshaken. If the Popish Priests are such Incendiaries (says he) and our most potent Enemies, have we not Laws against them? and then why are we in such fear? What is left to any Monarch that succeeds, but to execute the Laws be finds derived down to him to maintain and preserve together with his Crown and Dig­nity? And though the Characterizer seems to be in so much dread of those swarms of Roman Emissaries that will infest us under the conni­vance and indulgence of a Popish Successour, he tells you he is quite mistaken; The Reign of a Popish King will be so far from advantageous, that it will be rather destructive to all those Iesuitical Instruments; and that it shall be so, 'tis in the power of every Subject in the three Kingdoms to be a defender of the Protestant Religion, if it want it; there being no Information, no Conviction of Recusants, no Administration of Tests or Oaths, that shall be wanting, and no diligence that shall be spared, backt by the Laws of the Land, which then more than ever will be wakened against them, which can't be dispenc'd withal, but must be effectual to the utter ru­ine of the whole Party. Miracles and Prodiges! And that there shall be nothing wanting on the Kings part to do all this, this worthy Author is pleased to be his Guarrantee, assuring us in his Name, that he will take care to let the Laws have their due course; And whatever his private Opinion may be, whatever tenderness he may bear to the persons be shall punish, yet he shall remember his Obligation to the publick, so far as to give 'em up to the hands of Iustice with the same constancy of mind, with [Page 8] the same applauses of present and commendation of all succeeding Ages, that the immortal Brutus delivered up his darling Sons to the Rods and Axes of the Lictours, &c.

I, here's a stupendious Character of a Popish Successour indeed! What Iö Paeans might England sing, if Rome's long hope, their Churches Cham­pion and Restorer, their hopeful Hercules, would build his Columnes and write his Nil plus ultra here! But alas, we are deceived, his Labours are to come; there's a pestilent contagious Northern Heresie to be rooted out; that many headed Beast of Errors and Schisms, that like Cerberus and Hydra, are to be subdued, whilst in the defence of Religion and the Cause of God, he's to play a second Atlas, and even the weight of Hea­ven is to lie on his shoulders. But our Oratorical Scribler has promis'd Wonders in a Popish Successours Name, and elegantly pickt out a most excellent Brutus for his Comparison. I remember there was another Ro­man of that Name, though not of that Nature, whose Story is equally as famous and as pertinent to the matter in hand. A Brutus the Head and Leader of a Conspiracy against the life of the great Caesar; a Brutus that joyn'd his heart and hand with the Murderers, and blended his Dagger in the Assassination amongst the thirty mortal wounds that stab'd the Ma­jesty of the World; a Brutus to whom the dying Monarch with an Asto­nishment more surprizing than the death he received, in his last gasp could say, Et tu Brute? Is my Son, my Friend, my Darling, my Delight, the man I have rais'd, loved, honour'd, cherisht and defended, is Brutus a Traytor?

But to bring our Author to his right wits again, and to shew him how unlikely 'tis that the English Rods or Axes shall ever hurt a Son of Rome under a Romish Successour. If the Popish or Jesuitish party have found such Mercy under the Reigns of Protestant Kings, but shall now on the contrary stand the inevitable shock of Statutes, Jayls, and Gibbets, under a Popish King, the Jesuits have plotted fairly. If the Pope and his Con­clave have no deeper politicks than this comes to, the very Geese that kept thir Capitol before them, had more Brains than they. If this were the effect of their hopeful Royal Heirs Conversion, Heaven help 'em, for Hell has forsaken 'em.

No, Mr. Littleplot, once in thy life thou art mistaken; and to con­vince thee that the Protestant Laws will not, nay shall not be so hard-hearted under his Reign, nor his St. Omers Friends treated so coursly as thou imaginest, they have had a little taste of their kinder Entertainment before hand. For Example: Were there a Country where Commissions of Peace, day after day, and time out of mind, have been taken away for daring but to lift a hand against a Son of Rome; nay, at the same time when all other Recusants have been prosecuted, and that with encourage­ment and reward; and all by a Royal Heir's protection and interest. Would not any Reader reply, Will he that has been their Guardian-Angel whilst but their fellow-Subject, suffer a hair of their heads to perish when he's their King?

But yet our new Sir Positive will defend our Protestant Laws even in despight of Fate, and tell you, That Justice shall guide her hand so im­partially, and poise her scales so evenly, as shall be to the admiration of present and succeeding Ages. Now I fancy I have heard a Tryal, where a Criminal of Quality convicted of no less a Crime than the subornation and stifling of Evidence, and in no less a Case than where the life of the [Page 9] King, and the subversion both of Religion and Government were con­cern'd, has been mulkt in the inconsiderable sum of a hundred pound, payable perhaps at latter Lammas; a meer trifle, and scarce more than a Peter-peny for an Absolution: Whilst in the other extream there has been a poor Fellow condemn'd to the Pillory, Imprisonment, and five hundred pound fine, ten times more than he was worth in the world, for publish­ing a scandalous reflecting line in a Pamphlet; much less offensive in my simple opinion, than a Dagger to kill Kings and subvert States. And pray, where will our Protestant Laws be? and what even Ballan­ces is Justice like to have under the full-grown Scepter of a Popish Suc­cessour, if his influence is so potent in his Minority? No, a Rhadamanth for an Astraea must be the best of our expectations at that black day. A­las, the See of Rome is like the old Lake of Sodom, the lightest Feather that offends it, sinks in it; but to its darling Catholick Champions, 'tis a Lake of liquid Gold, where, incircled round in Wealth, Glory, and Preferments, the heaviest massiest bars of Iron, Swords, Daggers, Po­niards, float on the glittering surface of Honour, and swim securely. Nay, I would ask any reasonable man, That if the Jesuits hellish Machination against the Kings life had taken effect, whether 'tis likely that they feared smarting for't either in this world or the next, as dreading a Vengeance temporal or eternal? No doubt but they had fairer hopes than so; for had their execrable Blow succeeded, the blood of Majesty might in all probability have found the same inquisition as the firing of London: Or if at worst the world would not have been so satisfied, were not the Fa­natick shoulders broad enough to bear both the guilt and the punish­ment? Alas, 'twas but at worst reviving an old experienced shift, a known pia Fraus for a Recovery. Has not the Gunpowder-Treason (poor innocent Papists!) been a thousand times affirm'd a Plot of Ce­cils? Has not our late designe against both King, Religion, and Govern­ment, in contradiction of the unanimous Voice of the whole Nation in Parliament, been confidently retorted upon the Presbyterians; and that too without the least proof or shadow for't? And then how easily might the Papal policy have made a Popish Murder a Fanatick Stab? and so by the borrow'd face of Innocence, have most triumphantly play'd the second part of Amboyna, and have sheath'd the false Sword in the false Murderers heart, whilst the true Dagger had been consecrated, and the real Traytor canoniz'd. Thus wisely did the prudent Nero lay his burning of Rome at the poor innocent Christians doors, and then with all the most exqui­site studied Cruelties, made the Christian bones rue for what the Infidels hand had perpetrated.

But to return to our Author, I will refer him to some modern Re­cords, more applicable to our purpose than the History of his immortal Brutus. Have we not lately perus'd whole scrowls of Letters from our Saint Secretary Coleman to French Confessours, French Ministers, and all for French Interest; and as many Rome-wards bound to Jesuits, Car­dinals, and Pope himself, fraught with golden Mountains, and promis'd Miracles to be acted by the Royal—for Rome's Glory, Catholick Cause, and Mother Church: And will any person of common sense believe that our trusty and well-beloved Secretary promis'd more in the name of Al. than Al. would perform. And were all those sums of money to be re­turn'd from France to England to be laid out onely in Rosaries, Beades, and Crucifixes. Believe it who can; for for my part I am an Infidel. Alas [Page 10] no, our hopeful English Son of Mars, that modern Achilles, without whose Arm our Protestant Troy could never fall, was no doubt to have been brought over to Rome's Holy War, as once the old Achilles to the Grecian. The subtle France, like the cunning Vlysses, plays not the Pedler with such small Wares, such effeminate Toys and Trifles; but wise­ly hides a sparkling Sword amongst those guil'ded Bawbles, a Sword, a Temptation fit for a valiant Masquerader; an Instrument worthy Rome's Hero.

Besides, have we no Records but Coleman's? Have we not had whole Pacquets from Al. Al. Al. to that Priest, this Jesuit, and t'other Car­dinal; but more especially with Commendations to his Holiness, his A­dored Holiness; and all wisely and artificially coucht in CHARACTERS? And can any man, with half the brains of a Woodcock, believe that they were all but so many How do ye's; or some idle Compliment onely to beg a Chip of the Cross, or a Rag of the Virgins Petticoat?

If the designes of Al. were honourable, why an Intrigue betwixt the Heir of a Protestant Kingdom, and the profest and greatest Enemy of our Religion and Liberties? Or if that Commerce between 'em could by a­ny extorted supposition, or upon any pretence whatever, be imagined to be innocent, why was the whole Correspondence disguised in RIDDLES and in CHARACTERS? Why in such mystick Cloathing, those fraudulent Missives of Hell, and the usual notorious Masks of Villanies, Treasons, and Conspiracies.

Now from this Testimony, I would ask if it be reasonable to suppose that the Protestant Religion and Liberty, and the Laws of that wilde Boar Harry the Eighth, and his Daughter Bess that She-devil, will be defended by a Popish Successour, when in defending of them he must rob both the Church and God himself of their Right; and as much as in him lies, strike his Dagger into the sacred Gates of Rome, and dart a Ja­velin at the very heart of Christs own Vicar, and Gods undeniable Repre­sentative; and at the same minute be obliged to dayly Outrages, nay Butcheries too upon the very persons of Gods Elect, the Pillars of Reli­gion, and the very Successours of the Apostles themselves? A pretty kind of Law, that shall oblige him to commit at once both Murder and Sacriledge; and all this, forsooth, in defence of a Religion, as they'll swear for't, sprung from Harry the Eighth's Codpiece, maintain'd and preacht onely by a pack of Reprobate Rascals, a Bastard-sort of Priests ordain'd by the by at the Nagshead-Tavern.—I, but there lies his Ho­nour and Coronation Oath in the way to a Crown, that shall oblige him to do all this. And so if there lay a knot of Thieves in a mans way home, that should compel him to engage and promise 'em to meet 'em such a day with a good Horse under him, and a good pair of Pistols before him, to take the Rode with them, and rob and murder in their company. A pretty piece of Honour that, and a strange point of Conscience, that shall tye him to keep his word with them!

Let us but rightly consider; is it to be conceived that the Pope with all his wisdom and politicks, will ever be guilty of so much Ill-husbandry as to make no better Emprovement of such a pretty spot of Ground as England, when he has once retrieved it again into his own Hucksters hands, a Popish Successours possession, as to let it lie waste still, because it has lain so for so many Ages last past, with scarce any thing more upon it than a parcel of rank Weeds and Thistles that have been running up [Page 11] to Seed for above a hundred years together? Perswade him to it, if you can.

I will onely refer my Reader, for his diversion, but to one short passage in the above-named printed Pacquets of Letters, where his transported Holiness, at the receipt of a comfortable line or two from a very good Hand, and as 'tis to be imagined, a true and trusty Friend, is said to have Wept for Ioy. Now I would seriously ask my Reader, if he believes those precious Tears, that sanctified Brine, that, like Aaron's Ointment, trickled down the Beard of the Reverend Sire, dropt at the hearing of no better News, and at the prospect of no fairer hopes than this. My life for yours, there was no such meaning in it. No; for once I'll give you a bet­ter KEY for those CHARACTERS: Our Protestant Sun, 'twas hoped, was near setting when that Dew fell.

From this we come to the power of a Coronation-Oath with a Popish Successour; and there our Answerers are extraordinary vehement against the Character for averring, That if the Popish Religion will absolve Sub­jects from their Allegiance to an Heretical King, why may it not release a King from his Faith to an Heretical excommunicated People. Upon which, Mr. L'Estrange remarks,

Mr. L'E. Take it for granted, there's no trusting to the Oath of a Roman Catholick Prince, and ye cut the very Ligaments of Society and Commerce. There's an end of all Treaties and Alliances, amicable and mutual Offices betwixt Christian Princes and States. Nay, in one word, erect but this Maxime, you turn Europe into a Shambles, and put Christendom without any more ado into a state of War, &c. Though by the way, all this makes nothing to his purpose: for Treaties, Alliances, and Commerce betwixt Christian Princes and States, have no Affinity with a Princes keeping Faith with his People upon the account of Religion; as had been proved before.

But from this he goes on, and says,

Mr. L'E. I am not ignorant yet, either of the Doctrine, or of the practice of several profligate wretches of the Roman Communion, in this impious par­ticular: But they are such then that are wholly lost in Brutality and Blind­ness; and I neither do nor can believe all Papists to be equally susceptible of that unchristian Impression. It is a Position that may be made use of at a dead lift to serve a political turn: And the Trick will not pass nei­ther, but upon some enthusiastick sick-headed Zealot, that takes all his Dreams for Visions, and the vapours of his Distempers for Revelations. Now in my apprehension, never did any man so forget himself as Mr. L'Estrange has done here: He believes here, that that unchristian Impres­sion, as the Allowance of Perjury, is onely the Tenet of some profligate wretches wholly lost in Brutality and Blindness. But at the latter end of his Book, pag. 83. he down-right contradicts that belief, and says,

Mr. L'E. Pope Pius Quintus absolved the Subjects of Queen Elizabeth from all their Oaths of Allegiance to her for ever. So that now belike it was not onely the Maxime of the above-said profligate wretches, but e­ven of the Great Successour of Peter, and the Voice of Infallibility it self; and that too not the product of Blindness and Brutality upon Dreams and Vapours, but the deliberate Act and Decree of the Imperial See of Rome.

I could make several other instances in this kind, as the Popes absolving the Subjects from their Allegiance to K. Iohn, &c. but 'tis the common [Page 12] Theme of all Pens, and so much the known practice and principle of their Popes through all Ages, that I shall not think it worth my while. Besides, Mr. L'Estrange forgets himself a little further in this point, and says in the same 83 page, That the Romish Iesuit holds that Dominion is founded in Grace, and upon that principle deposes Protestant Princes, &c. Then adds, That the Pope may deprive a King of his Royal Dignity for Heresie, Schism, &c. (as in the Bishop of Lincoln's Popish Principles. p. 20.) and after Excommunication, says Mariana, in case of obstinacy, the people may take away his life.

After these Affirmations of Mr. L'Estrange, if these are the principles of the Pope and Jesuit, I hope we may safely conclude, That they that set such little value on the sacred Dignity and Persons of Kings themselves, when once attainted with Heresie, that not onely their Crowns are for­feited, but their very Lives lie exposed to the fury and hand of every vile Plebeian, should in all reason set less on the Rights, Priviledges, and Lives of Subjects under the same Attainder: for no doubt, if Heresie can make a forfeiture in the first, the Devil's in't if it does not in the last. So that by his leave, where's all the Oaths, Honour, and all the Mighty and Illustrious Attributes he gives our Popish Successour in vindica­tion of the Protestant Peace and security under him, whilst these are the principles not onely of the Jesuits that seduced him, but of the very Head of his Church, that Lord God the Pope? But according to his first belief, if this were really the opinion of some Doctors, but not all, he would do well to prove that Father Patrick, that curst Incendiary of all our Distractions, was not one of those Affirmative Doctors, and Ben­ningfield his successour another of them. No doubt the subtle Rome in converting our Heir presumptive, did not bound its ambition in the gai­ning one single Soul, but the recovery of a Kingdom was their designe. In his conversion they had brought their long Hopes to a perfection, they had found that second Moses, who under the God-like influence of Rome, like a Cloud by day, and a Pillar of fire by night, should guide and lead 'em through all opposition and all dangers to their beloved Canaan, a Land that flows with Milk and Honey, Rome's old Treasure-house, that dear Puteus Inexhaustus, England.

And is it to be imagined, if Fides non est tenenda cum Haereticis were ever in request, it should be wanting now, on so glorious an occasion; or so inconsiderable a Trifle as a Coronation Oath should blast so forward and so sacred a Designe. And if, as he confesses, that Tenet is onely made use of to serve a political turn, I would gladly be inform'd what greater or more political turn it could serve, than for the Conversion of England, that great Work which the unknown Answerer tells us, Has, like China, been a hundred years a ripening.

But here our Answerers continue, and assure us we need have no fear of any such prejudice in that case from our Popish Heir, considering, as Mr. L'Estrange says,

Mr. L'E. If he could so scandalously play the Hypocrite as to change his shape at that rate as the Character says, and act any part for his advantage, which Rome or Rome's Interest shall impose upon him, what should have hinder'd him from continuing a Protestant to the Eye of the World, though a Papist in his heart? since that was the onely means to have gain'd him his point. And as the other Answerer enlarges upon it, If out of the con­science of an Oath, and the Obligation he believ'd was in it, he has already [Page 13] parted with the places of the greatest Honour and Profit in the King­dom, is it likely he'll ever have a less veneration for that most religi­ous one he must take at his Coronation? Or is it likely if he had made no scruple of an Oath, he would have refused it at a time when he might have removed all suspicions and Iealousies of his Religion by it, and thereby have facilitated his way to a Throne?

Now I wonder to what Readers these Authors write, that at this time of day they would make us believe that his squeamishness against the Test and the Oath of Supremacy, made our consciencious Heir quit his honourable Employments! As we better remember▪ 'twas not so much the Test, as the Test-makers, that disgusted him, his na­tural antipathy to Parliaments, his continual little thoughts of that Great Council, (and less of them he will have, if ever he comes to the Crown) with his disdain that such insolent Earth and Ashes should dare to give Laws to his Divinity. So that in short, his Pride, not Conscience, got the Ascendant; and whatever advantages he might have gain'd by keeping his Employments and swallowing the Oaths, yet such is his perverse and stubborn Haughtiness, that he would rather cry, Sink Interest, perish Succession, and even Popedom it self, rather than truckle to what I scorn.

But Mr. L'Estrange, methinks, of all men should be farthest from supposing it a difficulty in a Papist to take an Oath he never intends to perform, when in the 4th page of his Book he grants the very Prote­stants themselves, nay the Church of England Protestants, upon occa­sion, may do the like: Where he says,

Mr. L'E. In the case of a Popish King, who is either kept out or dri­ven out from the Exercise of his Right by the tumultuary License of the Rabble, an Oath of Abjuration in case of any fair opportunity for him to assert his Claim with his Sword in his hand, will be so far from enga­ging any man against him, that yielded contrary to his Conscience to swallow it for the saving of his Stake, that he will find no firmer Friends to his Cause or Interest, than those men that are stimulated both by Ho­nour and Revenge to the execution of their Duties.

Now by those firm English Friends that may take this Abjuration-Oath against their Consciences, he cannot mean the Fanaticks; for they 'tis supposed are the Drivers out, that impose this Oath. Besides, Mr. L'Estrange is so far from believing that Party capable of coming under the denomination of a Popish Successour's Friends, that on the contrary it has been the drift of almost all his Pamphlets to prove them his onely implacable Enemies. Neither can those firm Friends here mentioned, be understood the Popish Party; for upon the supposition of this tumultuary driving out of the Popish Heir from his Right, 'tis likewise to be concluded that Party will most of them share in his Fate; that there will be very few of them left to be put to that Oath of Ab­juration: or if there were, and they would take such an Oath, it would be so far from doing their business; that lying under such a brand of Infidelity already (as they do) all the Oaths they could ever take would never be believed: so that the saving of their Stake that way would be impossible. So that 'tis plain (as I said before) by those Abjuring Oath-swallowing Friends, he can mean no other but the Church of Eng­land Protestants.

[Page 14] And yet methinks after Mr. L'Estrange has so long and so vigorously play'd the Church of England's Champion, so strenuously maintain'd the integrity and purity of that Belief and Communion, with the un­daunted courage of its Professours, continually copying and patter­ning their Perfections from a no-less sacred Original than the Fortitude, Patience, and Perseverance of the Primitive Christians; it is a little odd, as I may say, from a Protestant Defender, and indeed unlike him­self, after all this, to lay so wretched, so despicable, and so cowardly a Condescention at their doors; as the Abjuration of Gods Anointed and their native Soveraign to save a Stake, a Cow, a Farm, or a Cot­tage. Aye, but that Abjuration is but a Copy of their Countenance, he tells you. Fie, Mr. L'Estrange, this is worse and worse! What, the Members of the Church of England's Communion so notoriously break a Gospel-precept, as to come to a So help me God, with a Lye in their mouths, and a Reserve in their Hearts, to play the Hypocrite, and that too even with Oaths; and so do so impious an Ill that Good may come of it! Are these the true passive obedient Sons of the Church, those unshaken Professors of Christianity, the Martyrs that will be upon occasion under a Romish Tyrant? But cry you mercy: Now I think on't better, I find Mr. L'Estrange is onely making room for more Masqueraders; as he made the Fanaticks Papists in Masque­rade, so he intends to make the Protestants Abjurers in Masquerade.

But to return to our Coronation-Oath: If the Members (as he says) of a Religion that professes against breach of Oaths, shall yet swallow one against Conscience for the saving a Stake, and that so inconside­rable a Stake as the possession of a Subject; I suppose he will allow that a Member of a Religion that absolves Oaths, will not stand out at the swallowing one for the securing so great a Stake as that of three Kingdoms. So that without any other Evidence than his own, where's the obligation of an Oath, or indeed the least shadow of a Trust to be reposed in a Popish Successour?

But however, Mr. L'Estrange goes farther, and gives us an Example of the Innocence and Indulgence of a Popish King, in favour of Pro­testants, page 49. He acknowledges indeed, That Queen Mary did per­secute the Christians: And before, page 26. he yields with the Cha­racter, That she brake her promise with the Norfolk and Suffolk Inha­bitants, and with a mean ingratitude to the generous Loyalty of that people, persecuted and burnt those very men that gave her the first lift to the Crown. But though, as he grants, all this is true, yet he says, All Princes are not alike: Queen Mary persecuted the Protestants; Henry the fourth of France did not so: And it is as good an Inference from the instance of Henry the fourth, that a Popish Heir will not be a Persecutor, as from that of Queen Mary that he will. But where the Popes Authority intervenes, both King and People are bound to obey. And yet we see, for all the power of the Pope and the Covenant of Holy League to boot, the people of France, though Roman Catholicks, would not submit to the dispossessing of a Protestant Successour; neither did that generous Prince upon the reconciling of himself afterwards to the Church of Rome, exercise any one act of Tyranny over his Protestant Subjects: which is enough upon this point.

Enough indeed, unless there were more Truth or more Reason in't: [Page 15] For to pass by the Clemency and Moderation, he designes to prove from the Example of this Popish King, here's one of the most notorious falshoods averr'd that ever look'd Light i'th' face. The Roman Catho­lick people of France were so far from admitting this Protestant Suc­cessour to the Throne, that 'tis recorded, they shut their very Gates a­gainst him; and so little acknowledged him their King, that the Pope and the States of France were for setting up no less than three Compe­titors against him: nay, there were such insolent indignities and oppo­sitions offer'd him, that the onely cause of his changing his Religion was, that nothing less than his Reconciliation to the Romish Faith, could gain him his Birthright and his Crown. And all this is so plainly and so amply testified from the French History, that never was any Assertion more false than this of Mr. L'Estrange. And then his Inference of a Popish Successours Lenity to the Protestants, from the instance of this Popish King, is the weakest and shallowest that ever any man of sence could have thought on: For this King was at best but one of Mr. L'Estrange's Abjurers in Masquerade; for 'tis most apparent that the saving of his Stake, his Crown, not the dint of their Arguments or Per­swasion, the strength of the Romish power, not that of their Religion, made him a Convert. And if this King of all mankind had proved a Protestant persecutor, he had been a Monster indeed, and worse than a Nero; for he must have acted quite contrary to the Dictates of his Soul and Conscience.

Now more and above all this, the Reader is here to take notice, that out of all the Chronicles of all Ages, and of all the Popish Kings in Eu­rope, this is the onely Popish Prince he has found out for an Example of Good-nature, and a true and Favourer of the Protestants. Now I pro­fess, might I advise him, if either the Popish Records afforded no other instance in this kind, or his Reading could not finde it out, he should e'en throw up the Cudgels and answer no more Characters, but believe a Popish Successor's Cause either impossible to be defended, or himself uncapable of doing it.

But this breaking of Oaths still sticks in his Gizard, and he cannot forbear another fling at it.

Mr. L'E. Taking his position for granted, that a Popish Prince is bound by his Religion, to act contrary to his Oaths and Promises, Honour and Iustice, the Dictates of Nature, the Laws of Nations, and the Bonds of humane Society; contrary to all this (I say) and to his Interest too, be must be unman'd as well as unchristian'd; an Excommunicate to humane Nature, and excluded from all the Benefits and Offices of Mankind. It must be a strange digestion sure, that can put over all other Impieties, and turn the violation of all that is sacred in Nature into a meritorious Virtue.

Never did Mr. L'Estrange in all his Fardles of writing sum up so many Truths as in these few lines: For indeed (as he says) a Prince that's guilty of all this, must be both unman'd, unchristian'd, and an Excom­municate to humane Nature, &c. if the Gospel and Christianity be truth; for the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles will pronounce him such a one, But all this while the Reader is to observe, that this great Truth is urged by Mr. L'Estrange in favour of his great Mecaenas, designing it not so much to set this Brand upon a Popish Successour's perfidy in such a case, as to let us understand 'tis a picture of a Popish Successour so strangely deform'd, and so extravagantly monstrous, that 'tis not to be [Page 16] matcht or copy'd in Flesh and Bloud, and indeed has no being in Na­ture. But not to let him carry it off so, what does he think of Sigismond King of Sweden, crown'd in the year 1580. who in the very exact pa­rallel to our present state of England, being privately bred by his Mother a Roman Catholick, unknown to his Father, and afterwards being ele­cted King of Poland, openly profest the Romish Religion; but upon his Fathers death, return'd to his Hereditary Swedish Kingdom: where with much difficulty he was received; but under all the solemn condi­tions and engagements that could possibly be made between Prince and Subject, of his maintaining and upholding their Lutheran Religion. But on the contrary, no sooner were the Reins in his hand, but with all the fiercest Career of Infidelity, as if Hell drove him, he presently erects Po­pish Churches, places Popish Governours in all his Forts and Castles, encourages and countenances no other Perswasion, but striving by all Arts imaginary to bring in the Romish Religion. Upon this notorious Perjury his Subjects gave him the Reward which Mr. L'Estrange has ele­gantly allow'd such Perjury deserv'd; they excluded him from all the Offices and Benefits of mankind: for accusing him of breach of Faith and mischievous practices against the Government, they deposed him. And this was done by Lutheran Protestants, neither Presbyterian nor Independent Fanaticks; yet with offer of crowning his Infant-son Vdislaus, provided they might have the breeding of him in their own Belief; which he refusing after seven years Treaties and other Endea­vours for accommodation, all in vain, in the year 1607. they crown'd his Uncle Charles the third Son of his Grandfather Gustavus Errichson.

Now how many Bejesuited, Fanatical, Rebellious, Covenanting, Tray­terous, Holy-leaguing, Dissenting Psudoprotestants, would Mr. L'Estrange have call'd these Lutherans, were his Pen retain'd against them? and what Volumes would he publish in vindication of Iure Divino and un­alterable Succession, &c. with all the Curses of Bell, Book, and Candle, against them, as he has done against the Popish Character, for making so slight of that indispensable Duty, Passive Obedience; though as ill luck would have it, certainly the busie Spirit of Mr. L'Estrange was not then in the world: for there are no such vilruent Records against them either in any of the Historians of that Age, or indeed ever since. Now one Re­mark I would make upon this Sigismond, to continue the parallel to our Case: He was a Prince in his nature as Heroick as we have or can have a Popish Heir, worthy of all those praises that either of these two Answerers have given the last; and in short, to use one of their own words, A Prince for every thing else, bating his Perswasion, brave to ad­miration: Which one thing must more particularly witness for him, his being elected King of Poland, a Nation which we all know make their choice for a King out of the gallant, famous, and illustrious Worthies of all the Princes and Nobility through the whole Christian world. And yet we fee neither Magnanimity, Justice, all the Cardinal Vertues that a­dorn'd him, nor all the promising Perfections and Accomplishments of Nature, strengthen'd with all the Bonds of Protestations, Oaths, or Sa­craments, could hold the head-strong Violence of his Religion.

But to return to Mr. L'Estrange, in answer to the Character's proving how improbable, nay impossible 'tis to suppose we may have a Roman Catholick King, That shall discountenance Popery, cherish Protestantism, and effectually deter all those that shall endeavour to undermine or sup­plant it, he says.

[Page 17] As to the Influence, which a Popish Suceessor may have upon Ecclesiastick Matters (As in the Character), There needs no more to be said in't then this; that the King has been Gratiously pleased, to offer the passing of any Bill for securing the Protestant Religion, without Barring or diverting the Succession. And such expedients have been also framed to that effect, as have been by great Authority judged competent for the obviating of that difficulty.

The first part of this Assertion, all the world knows to be truth▪ but if such Competent Expedients have been framed, either the Framers of them have been the Unkindest Men in Christendom, or the three last Parliaments the Unluckyest: The first, in either never producing or publishing those ex­pedients for the Nations service, in this time of exigence, or the last in never having the good fortune to meet with them; for if the Parlia­ment at Oxford were not damnably mistaken, or very lewdly forgetful, they have declared (Nemine Contradicente) that neither they, nor their Predecessors have ever heard or seen one syllable of such a Frame of Expedi­ents offered them; so that with Mr. Lestranges Pardon, his above na­med Great Authority has been greatly unkind in this Matter, or else their expedients were like one of the Virtuosoe's Engines never design'd for use. But he goes on. As to the rest I will not deny, but that it is a hard thing for a Prince to teize and persecute a people of his own Religion, purely Eonomine for their being so. And it is very probable too, that he will connive as Men of that perswasion in many cases, where the Law directs a Punishment. And what is there more in this, than what has been done already more or less from the Date of the Statutes themselves to this very Day: And what is done by the Government it selftowards the Nonconformists at this Instant! Where is the great Crime now, (upon this Admittance) in not punishing the Papists, so long as the Protestants are not persecuted.

Here the Reader by the by may take notice, that these two Answe­rers did not confer Notes, for one says a Popish Successor will be a second part of the Immortal Brutus, and the other that he will be a quite con­trary manner of Man.

But here I would beg Mr. Lestrange to explain himself: if he means by a Popish Successors conniving at Men, of his own perswasion, to be no larger an extent of Royal favor, than what that party have received in the two last Kings Reigns, the priviledge perhaps of no more than a Queens or an Embassadors private Chapple, for the visible worship of the whole party throughout all England, then he contradicts the confessions of all the late Popish Martyrs, for amongst all their plot silence, they unani­mously confess they had a fair list for a Toleration. And in case of such a Toleration in the next Kings Reign, under a Popish Successor; wha'rs that less than Sigismunds erecting of Popish Churches, and with them no doubt placing Popish Governors in all Forts and Castles, Popish Ministers in all offices of trust, with Popish Generals, and Popish Admirals upon occasion, encouraging and countenancing no other perswasion, and striving by all Acts imaginary of setting up the Romish Religion, and all this dayly pusht forwards farther and farther, higher and higher by Degrees. Alas! the Character never design'd to sham such a ridiculous impossible supposition on the world, that the Persecuting fury of a Popish King shall falt down upon us like Fire from Heaven, all of a suddain, and no less miraculously, or that Popery or Arbitrary Power, should grow up like Ionas Goad, in a Night. Alas, Smith field Stakes, Lollards Towers, and Inquisition Houses [Page 18] are the work of time; and therefore where as yet, open Hostility cannot march, nor greater Conflagrations be attempted, they must have redress to less Games in the mean while, the use of smaller Fire-Brands, and Foxes Tailes to tye 'em to.

In the next page he continues very smart upon the Character, part of which to be better understood, I must be forced to repeat.

Char. Speaking of a Popish successor, executing the Laws.

A very pretty chimera? which is as much as to make this Popish King the greatest Barbarian of the Creation, a Barbarian, that shall cherish and main­tain the Dissenters from Truth, and punish and condemn the pillars of Chri­stianity and proselytes of Heaven: which is no other than to speak him the Basest of men, and little less then a Monster. Besides at the same time that we suppose that King that dares not uphold nor encourage his own Religion, we ren­der him the most deplorable of Cowards, a Coward so abject, that he dares not be a champion even for his God. And how consistent this is with the Glory of a Crown'd Head, and what hope England has of such a Successor, I leave all men of sense to Iudge.

Mr. Lestrange. Behold here's the upshot of his high flown paragraph

[A Popish Prince that puts the Laws in execution for the punishing of Papists and for the countenancing and protecting of Protestants, is little less then the basest of monsters.] How comes it then that the Crown of France has not trea­ted the Protestants there, as this Pictur-drawer pronounces, that a Popish Suc­cessor would treat his subjects here? The Protestants have now and then been severely handled, I know, in France, as the Papists upon some junctures have been in England: and now of late wors then usuall. All which hath been influenced as well by reasons of state, as by impulse of Religion. But shall we pronounce the most Christian King the greater monster for his better usage of us &c.

Now I dare defie the world to find me out that author, that ever wrackt his Brains to labour out such mormoes as this; a discourse soe in­tirely mal a Propos, and altogether soe little to his purpose; what can he intend, or what would he argue from this? is there any resem­blance between the State of England and France; is the French King, (as the character says) bound to condemn the pillars of christianity and pro­selytes of Heaven? or has he any Laws to put in execution against the Papists? doe his Laws uphold no other Religion but the Protestant, and in de­fence of that, declare Popery Treason, and oblige him to hang every Po­pish Priest in his Kingdom. Is there therefore the least compulsion up­on him to render him that Barbarian or Coward mentioned in the Cha­racter. Nay on the quite contrary is not Popery there the Establisht Lord of the soyl, and the Protestant Religion only an inmate by toleration. Is there any more Hugonot Churches to that Great City Paris, then one stragling one, like our Pancras, for all the Protestants in that Po­pulous Town.

And now what if Mr. L'estrange would bring no less then 20. precedents of good natured French Kings that have not molested the Hugonots un­der them. Has not their own Religion the ascendant of the Nation, does it not flourish and triumph in Pomp, State and Glory, whilst the poor Hugonot perswasion only humbly truckles beneath it, and what then, if their Royal mercy does not persecute the Protestants, is there any thing in that mercy so monstrous or so unnatural; or is their any Laws, Restricti­ons [Page 19] or Clogs upon the French King that can give such a shock to the soul of a Papist as the Protestant Laws of England.

I confess Mr. Lestrange in one clause before was much in the Right, where he affirm'd the continuing a Protestant to the Eye of the World had been a means of gaining the point: and 'tis no less a truth, that showing the Cards before the playing, has often endanger'd the Game. And indeed I have heard some smart sort of People a little Satyrical upon this Subject. I remember a passage of this kind I read to'ther day, being an invective a­gainst Machiavel for an unlucky Miscarriage in one of his great Designs, which translated into our own English runs thus.

Oh! that our shallow thoughtless Machiavel should have so much zeal, and so little Brains to manage it. Such a Bigot, such Principles, such Re­solution, such Infatuation: Impenetrable to all foolish effeminate thoughts of humanity; a temper as rough, and as brutal as a second Ajax, untaint­ed with remorse or pitty, that hates all thoughts of gratitude, friendship and fidelity, as much as Rome loves greatness, as deaf to a Kings interest and a Kingdoms Groans, as Romes own wish could form him. That excel­lent matchless engine for our work, had not this only wretched ill con­duct blasted all, and crack't the whole foundation. Had he but play'd the sly and wise Ulysses till under his disguise he had stoln their fatal Palla­dium, and left their ruind Troynovant guardianless and defenseless, our Glory had been compleat.

How might our great, our adorable Machine have succeeded, had not this unlucky Marr-al ruind it? How might the reaking Gore of Butcher'd Infidels have fatten'd the Land, and with the Steam perfumed the Skies, and smelt sweet in the Nostrils of the Saints. We had a time, we had a day, a favourable smiling Courting Hour, the morning Dawn to our great Iubile: But oh! that dear, that blest Minute's gon. A Curse of all unthinking greatness! How might this mighty Hunter have pursued the glorious Game, like the immortal Roman Tullia that drove her Chariot o­ver her murder'd Fathers heart, and Rod tryumphant o're the crackling Bones of Majesty, had he not so rashly pull'd off the Vizard too soon, thus senselesly turn'd up his Cask, and show'd the fatal Face within it. And by that only accurst unfortunate Act, waken'd a whole alarum'd Nation to snatch the Reins, from this bold Rider, and cry, stop Iehu.

Well, but Mr. Lestrange, through almost all his whole Pamphlet is still upon the impossibility of Popery, and Arbitrary Powers advance into England. Page 82. he says, take the matter as they suppose it, a King up­on a Throne that's principled for Arbitrary Government and Popery, but so clogg'd and shackled with Popular and Protestant Laws, that if he had never so great a mind to't, there's not one Subject in his Dominions, that would dare to serve him in his Design.

Now the King of France we see has made himself absolute▪ and that as I take it by the help of his Subjects; and why English Men should not dare to do any thing, that the French have done before them, I cannot understand. Neither do I find, but a Popish King might not only have good Irish Hands out of his Dominions, but good English ones too upon that occasion, for besides his Popish Friends, we have but too many of all Religions, but more of no Religion at all, whose desperate Fortunes would make their hearts leap at so pleasing a motion, and push for a change at any rate to fish in troubled Waters, and that too notwithstand­ing [Page 20] the hazard of their Necks, upon a Scheame of Law which he proposes Pag. 40, to be form'd for that purpose. Nay that Scheame of capital Laws should serve for an incentive to their Resolution, and make 'em wade the deeper, the more unsafe and dangerous it should be to retire.

In the foregoing Page he says,

Mr. Lest. that possibly there may be a Popish King that may not have the will to change the Government, in respest of the immorality of inclinin to such a violation of his trust and word, but most certainly not, in regard of so manifest an inability to bring it to pass.

Now 'tis evident the Plotters and Jesuites have not believed it such an impossible exploit, and why may not a Prince of their own Opinion, and their own Industry for Rome, upon the presumption of whose principles and for whose sake their whole Machine moved; with a Crown on his head, and a Sword in his hand believe as they do? So that were there a real inability in the case, yet if the blindness of zeal and the over-sight of Ambition shall not distinguish that inability to be manifest till the event & fatal success has proved it so, what shall that hinder his endeavors in at­tempting and prosecuting it, and then where's the certainty of his will a­gainst it. And these endeavors once prosecuted amidst all the violent In­rodes or subtle Attaques that shall be made for Popery and Slavery, no God ha' mercy to his Kindness for't, it is none of his fault that he lays his Bones by the seige, and does not live it out to put us to Storm.

And I need not insist how far the Peace, Prosperity and Freedom of this once flourishing Kingdom will suffer under such a seige and how far they will be dayly harass'd and gall'd with so potent and so pressing an Enemy. At best they must expect to have their Laws snapt asunder as often and as fast as Sampsons cords, and their City gates in the scuffle twing'd off, and if at last they play the Philistians, and live to pick out both his Eyes for't, the end of all must terminat in Sampsons fate, they'll have an old heavy roof pull'd down both upon his head and theirs together.

The next thing Mr. L'estrange falls foule upon, are the Acts of Par­liament recited in the character, and here he either tells the Reader they are nothing to the characters purpose, or if they are, he finds such flaws in the Law-makers that made them, that they are unreasonable, and con­sequently void in themselves, as you shall hear anon. And so he fairly trips up the heels of Kings, Lords and Commons at once, and makes their whole authority insignificant because their Laws are against Mr. L'estranges inclination.

First, he's very angry with the character, for advancing the Popish Suc­cesour first from the Possibility of a good man, then from bad to wars, and at last to a downright Traitor: and that from a statute of Queen Elizabeth, that declares every subject of England, that shall take absolution from Rome, or own the▪ Popes supremacy, or pay any Fealty to the See of Rome guilty of High Treason. And then he answers this by saying, there are two pro­visoes in the Act that makes the case somwhat different from what the Characteriser has Stated it. viz.

1 Provided alway, that for as much as the Queens Maiesty is otherwise suffi­ciently assured of the faith and loyalty of the temporal Lords of her high Court of Parliament: Therefore this Act, nor any thing therein contained, shall not ex­tend to compell any Temporal Person, of or above the degrée of a Baron of this Realm to take or pronounce the Dath abovesaid, (viz. of Supremacy) nor to in­cur [Page 21] any penalty, limited by this Act for not taking or refusing the same (&c.)

2. Provided also, that if any Péer of this Realm shall hereafter offend contrary to this Act, or any Branch or Article thereof, that, in that and all such case and cases, they shall be Tryed by their Péers, in such manner and form as in other ca­ses of Treasons they haue used to be tryed, and by no other means.

Now I would defie any impartial Reader to Judge if ever any thing was so weakly and so impertinently urged as these two Provisoes. The first tells you that the Queen was so assured of the Loyalty of her Nobi­lity, that she would not put them to the trouble of Swearing to con­firm it, as the Law required from her Inferior Subjects, but on the other side the second Proviso tells us that notwithstanding that, if any of them offended against the Law or any Branch or Article of it, they should find no more Mercy than the meanest Commoner in her Kingdom, but be equally Tryed for High Treason. Now what he drives at by this objection or what favor these Provisoes make for a Popish Heir, I de­clare I cannot Imagine, neither do I believe he knows himself.

Upon this he comes to a touch of Conscience, and says; It would be well if every man that presses with this unprecedented rigor upon the Per­son here in Question, would lay his hand upon his Heart, and say, if the King has Pardoned me Ten Thousand times more than this comes to, with what reason or Conscience can I Importune His Majesty thus bitterly against his Brother.

Ten Thousand times more than this comes to, is a very great dispro­portion. But thus much I am certain, for the Heir of a Protestant Kingdom, and the Son of a Protestant Martyr, to be perverted to the Religion and Interest of Rome, so notoriously destructive to the English Government, and thereby to be the cause of all those Distractions in the Nation, that tye up the Hearts and Hands of the Subject, from their Duty to the best of Princes, and weaken both his greatness at home, and his Alliance abroad; and not only this, but to be seduced to a per­swasion, in such a juncture of Affairs, on whose only score, have all the late Conspiracies against His Majesties Sacred Life been contrived and animated, This I say, is bad enough, but to find out a man Guilty of Ten Thousand times more than this comes to, and Pardoned for it too, is (to use his own word) to give us an Original of an unprecedented Cri­minal, and as unprecedented Mercy. But if he intends this as a lash against the Author of the Character, I'le venture to clear him, for to my knowledge, he is a Person so far from laying his hand on his Heart, and owing any Benefit to Royal Pardons or Acts of Oblivion, that I must say this truth for him. Ianuary 48 was past before he was Born.

In the next Page he confesses that the Strongest Argument he finds in the whole Character is this. Char. if ever a Papist mounts this Throne, then all their murmurs their petitions, protesting and Association Votes will be remembred to the purpose, upon which he makes this remark. Mr. L. Now what can be a greater Indignity to the Iustice and Resolution of that Illustrious Body (viz. the Parliament) then to imagine so narrow a thought could any way influence the Candor and Solemnity of their De­bates.

Yes, indeed, what greater indignity then to imagine it. For if as the Character says, and Mr. Lestrange grants, they will be remember'd to the purpose, and the Heretick Dogs, upon his mounting into the Throne may live to be hang'd for their Barking, what greater indigni­ty [Page 22] to the Courage and Resolution of those Illustrious Patriots then to imagine they'le slacken their Votes and Debates against a Popish Suc­cession for fear of his Revenge. So cowardly a thought indeed (as he says) would be too narrow for the Souls of English Men.

From this he comes to the main point the Characters proving the Suc­cession of the English Crown to be wholly subjected to the disposal De­terminations and Limitations of Parliament.

The Parliament (says the Character) 25 of Henry the 9th, setled the Crown upon the Heirs of that Kings Body by Queen Anne, and in the 28 repealed that Act, and intayl'd the Succession upon the Heirs of his Body by Queen Jane, Mary and Elizabeth being declared illegitimate. And in case they died without issue then the Parliament Empowr'd him by the same Act to dispose of the Suc­cession by his own Letters Patents or his last will. In the 35th. Year of his Reign the Parliament granted the Succession to Edward, and for want of the Heirs of his Body to the Lady Mary, and the Heirs of her Body, and for want of such Heirs to the Lady Elizabeth, under certain Limitations and Conditions contain'd in that Act.

But to prove all this nothing to his purpose he makes these six Ob­jections.

Mr. Lest. First, he says the Charasteriser infers that a Parliament may Or­der or Dispose the Succession. But whither they may or no, here's little or no­thing proved from these Citations. First under the ambiguity of the word Par­liament, he would have this thought to be the single Act of the Lords and Com­mons, when the Enacting authority of it was solely in the King. This first Objection has more quibble than reason in it, and deserves no serious Answer. For the Character is so far from starting up an Ordinance in­stead of an Act of Parliament, that no man of sense can extort any such meaning from him.

Secondly he says. These Statutes do not so properly transfer a Right, as declare and notify the Persons, for the prevention of disputes and competitions, as appears by the preamble to that of the 28th. Statute.

Wherefore we your most humble and obedient Subiects, in this present Parlia­ment Assembled, calling to our Remembrance the great Divisions which in times past have been in this Realm, by reason of several titles pretended to the Imperial Crown of this Realm. which sometimes and for the most part ensued, by occasion of ambiguity and doubts, then not so perfectly declared, but that Men might upon froward intents expound them to every Mans sinister Appetite and Affection, and Posterity of the lawful Kings and Emperors of this Realm; whereof hath ensued great Effusion and Destruction of Mans Blood, as well of the great Number of Nobles, as of other the Subiects, and especially Inheritors in the same, And the greatest Occasion thereof hath been, because no perfect and substantial Provision by Law hath béen made within this Realm it self: When doubts and questions have been moved and proponed of the certainty and Legality of the Succession, and Posterity of the Crown, &c.

Mr. L▪ Now so far is the intent of this Act from diverting the Successi­on, that the express end of it was the setting of it right, by the avoidance of a former settlement upon the nullity of the Marriage. And afterward 26th. of the same King. cap. 2. The Act here before mentioned is cal­led: The Act for the establishment of the Succession of the Heirs of the Kings Highness in the Imperial Crown of this Realm. Mr. L. Now there's a great deal of difference betwixt translating the Succession [Page 23] from the wrong to the right, and the diverting it from the right to the wrong.

Now certainly never had any objection less sense in it then this, for if this Act impowr'd the King upon the failure of Edward, Mary and Eliz­abeth, to give the Crown to whome he pleased, as really it did, and that must be expounded to give it only to the next right Heir. Now their could be but one right Heir in the case, and consequently if that right ought to possess, the empowring the King, to dispose of the Crown where he pleased, was downright nonsense and a palpable con­tradiction in the very words. So that for instance had Henry the 8th Upon presumption of this Act, out of some particular inclination, bequeath'd the Reversion of his Crown to a Tenth Cozen removed in­stead of a First, and this Law had been to have been read by Mr. L'e­stranges Spectacles, the very end they made it for, (viz.) to keep peace and quiet had been utterly destroy'd; for instead of Reconciling all dif­ferences between future pretenders, and fixing the succession, it had only given new occasions for fresh Feuds, and so the Parliament had only wisely made an Act to ruine the very intent of it's Creation.

Mr. L. Thirdly, this change and disposition of settlement though it pas­ed all the formalityes of Bill and Debate, yet the First spring of it was from their certain knowledge of the Kings Pleasure to have it so, without which they durst never have ventred on such a proposition.

Mr. L. Fourthly, matter of Fact is no proof of Right, and especially a Fact ac­companied with so many circumstances of cross Capers and contradictions, as the pronouncing of the same persons to be both Illegitimate, and legitimate, &c. And a Man cannot imagine, without a scandal to that Grave and Wise Assembly, that the levity of those Councels and that humor of Swear­ing and Counter-swearing could be any other than the caprice of their new Head and Governor.

Now pray observe the slyness of this slur he puts upon Majesty: He cunningly insinuates that Matter of Fact may not be Matter of Right, and that when the Humor, Caprice or Pleasure of a King influences the Votes of his Parliament to make it so.

Now upon concession of Mr. Lestranges opinion, here's a broad gate opened for a Rebellion; for by his Argument 'tis but disallowing the rightfulness of Hearth money, and indeed almost all the rest of the Kings Revenues because the King generally askt the Parliament money first, and so since the first spring of those grants were from the knowledge of the Kings pleasure to have it so, 'tis but Mr. L'estranges denying the matter of right in this case, and so he makes the King a Tyrant to de­mand his own, and thereupon encourages the Subject to the most im­pudent undutifulness and disloyalty in nature. Now those cross Capers and contradictions, as he calls them, in declaring the same Persons one while Illegitimate and afterwards legitimate is one of the greatest Ar­guments that the conservation of a Nations Peace, was held a greater piece of Conscience in that Age, then the maintaining the right of Blood, when Illegitimacy it self upon occasion could be restored to the power of Succession. Neither was there any such Swearing or Counter­swearing or any such levity (as he calls it) in that grave Assembly, for the Oath they enjoyn'd the People in fidelity to the Kings Heirs could have no other meaning than whilst they were Lawfully so, and in all Justice the Obligation of it expired in course, when the Law declared [Page 24] them no longer such. Nor was it indeed any more than the Tenure of our present Oath of Allegiance, in which we swear to be faithful to the King's lawful Heirs and Successors, which the Ignorance of some People has used as an Argument against the changing of Succession; as think­ing they have sworn fealty to the next of Blood, whereas in reality there's nothing in that Oath that binds them to the Person but the Thing, to no particular Man any further than as he is Heir and Successor, Lawfully so, and no Man truly is either Heir or Successor til he Inherits and Succeeds, and as 'tis most ridiculous to think the intent of an Oath of Allegiance is to make a Man Swear Loyalty to a fellow Subject, as as the greatest Heir apparent is no more whilst the King Lives, so the duty of that part of the Oath cannot necessarily be understood to com­mence or take effect till the present Kings death, and then if in the mean while the absolute Power of the Land, the King, Lords and Com­mons have constituted a new Heir and Successor, the obligation of that Oath of Allegiance can have no other Aspect, then to the Heir and Suc­cessor so constituted.

Mr. Lest, fithly, with Reverence to the utility and constitution of good and wholesome Laws, it is not presently to Cite a statute and say, there's a prece­dent, for those Laws that are repugnant to the Light of nature and Common Right are Nullities in themselves.

Now heres one of the boldest Master strokes of the pen that ever came in print. This point once gain'd, all the Protestant Laws since the reformation, and the whole fabrick of the present Government are total­ly subverted. 'Tis but a Popish Successors believing aud maintaining that all the Protestant Laws ever since Henry the 8ths. perversion are against the light of nature, and consequently Nullites in themselves: So down goes the Protestant Church, up start the old Statutes de Haeretico comburen­do, the old Smith field Fire-works, whilst Popery comes in in the open face of day most triumphantly introduced even by the awful Divinity of Law and Justice for its Supporters. So that after all Mr. Lestranges Vindica­tion of the Honor, Honesty, Veneration of Oathes, Performance of Laws, and Preservation of the Protestant Religion in a Popish Successor, he has very subtly sound him out an Evasion to be a greater Tyrant and Devil than the Author of the Character could paint him, and that too with all the Innocence in the World, and even without the least Blemish of Infidelity. But to come a little nearer to him, in the first Place these Acts for the settlement of the Crown were so far from being repugnant to the Light of nature, that on the contrary 'tis evidently manifest that the Law-Makers that made e'm mov'd by no other Guide or Light but that. For since self Preservation is the first and greatest thing that the light of nature teaches all Mankind, the very preamble to the Acts confirm us that the preservation of themselves and their Heirs in Peace and Tranquillity, and to avoid the future Effusion of English Blood, was the sole End and Design of those Acts.

Secondly these Acts have nothing repugnant or destructive of common right. For if by common right, he implies a right to any possession or pretension derived from human Power and the Laws of Man, then 'tis plain by the Constitution of our Government, where our Laws are not like these of the Medes and Persians, that the Law-makers that gave can take, and in that respect there's no right so firm, which the absolute Power of the Law lying in the three States in Parliament cannot shake. [Page 25] But if by common right he means a right derived from the Laws or Com­mands of God, and therefore those Acts of Parliament are nullities in themselves, because repugnant to the Rules and Duty of Christianity. Then he would do well to tell us when that Law of God was made or that Command given. But that there is no such Law nor any such Rules of Christianity is plainly to be demonstrated from the most eminent prece­dents of holy writ; where we find proximity of blood has been so far from challenging that unalterable Right of Empire that on the other side there have been several Changes of Kings made in that case even amongst Gods own People and that always by his Consent, and sometimes by his special Order. Besides if any such Law of God had been made, and left us in holy Scripture, 'tis certain that Law ought to have no more obligation over one Christian Kingdom than another, and then consequently Venice and Holland that have no Kings at all, and Poland that always elect their Kings, by Mr. Lestranges Inference live Age after Age in continual Vio­lation of Common Right, the Duty of Christians, and the Laws of God. I do confess I have heard of a Command of Christ that says, Let every Soule be subject unto the higher Powers; for there is no Power but of God; whosoever therefore resisteth the Power resisteth the Ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves Damnation; and therefore if the higher Powers of England the King, Lords and Commons are an Ordi­nance of God too, it is an Article of my Creed, That he that denies their Authority and Power, and not content with that only, endeavors to perswade and seduce the rest of his fellow subjects to the same denial is not only a Traitor to his Country, but from Christs own Sentence shall receive, if possibly, a double Portion of Damnation.

But now for his Sixth Observation on this Statute.

Mr. L. Lastly he brings instance here to prove that a Parliament may di­vert the succession, but he shows withal, that there can be no security even in that Exclusion, showing that what one Parliament does another may undo, so that now we are upon equall Tearms of security or hazard, either in the exclu­sion of the successor or in restraining him, for if he be tyed up by one Parlia­ment, another may set him at Liberty; and if he be excluded by one Par­liament, another may take him in again.

Now certainly this is the most comical humor I ever met with, to advise a Parliament to have a care of excluding a Papist for fear another Parlia­ment restore him. Perswade e'm to fear that once, and make e'm Jea­lous of fancyes and Chimeras indeed. But to dissipate all shadows of any such dangers, there are some heads as wise as Mr. L'estranges (no dis­paragment) that are of opinion if one English Parliament once exclude a Popish successor we may safely defy Five Hundred Parliaments after­wards to restore him. The disinheriting of a Popish successor being a kind of Limbus, that if we have once got him into it, 'tis damnable odds that all the intrest of Rome with Ten Millions of Masses never get him out of it. I must confess if we could have a Parliament of Mr. L'estranges particular choosing, the Consistory of Cardinals for the House of Lords, and St Omers Colledge for the House of Commons much might be; but till then we are pretty safe in that point.

But amongst all Mr. L'estranges despicable thoughts of the Decrees and power of Parliaments in Henry the Eight's days, he clearly forgets to answer that Act of Parliament of Queen Elizabeths mentioned in the Character, in which 'twas made Treason for any man to affirm that the [Page 26] disposal of the Imperial Crown of England lay not in the Queen and Par­liament, and indeed that Act comes so near the present face of the af­fairs in England, that it was made upon the selfe same occasion, that the Bill of Exclusion was endeavour'd by the late Parliaments, (viz.) with an intention of putting by Mary Queen of Scots the then next Po­pish Heir from the Succession, had not her Conspiracy against the Life of the Queen, put an end to all farther care, by the forefeiture of her head. But these Six Objections with the help of Common Right and the Light of Nature may serve to answer both; and truly Mr. L'estrange has given us the top of his Politicks, and the utmost strength of his Rea­son for the defence of a Popish Successor, in opposition even to the Supreme Authority of the Nation, and against all the precedents of Laws and History. But alas! what signifies Supreme Authority, Pre­sidents, Laws, &c. There's nothing so sacred which stands in their way, that the Champions of Rome must not endeavor to overthrow, and when the Popish Interest cries Halloo, they must Bark at least though they cannot Bite. Now 'tis plainly to be discovered at what Foundation he strikes, by lessening and enfeebling the Legislative Power of the Nation, and though he wisely lays the Scene at such distance as the remoter Age of Henry the 8th, yet we understand where he aims the lash he gives, and what Gall his Ink's made of. But truly in his Remarks and Reflections upon the Capriches (as he calls them) of Henry the 8th, with the weakness of his great Council, the shallowness of their Debates, and the invalidity of their decrees, he chooses the safer Subject. The Majesty he reviles, and the Authori­ty he ridicules, being so long since inoffensive Dust and Ashes, that he has this Reason for his Boldness, and this shield for his Defence.

Nulli gravis est percussus Achilles.

But to answer those strait-laced Consciences that so vehemently main­tain and assert Succession to be Iure Divino, and cannot be alter'd by a­ny human Laws, I will put this instance.

Suppose a King has two Sons, the eldest of which, ambitious of a Crown, and mislead by the ill Counsel of his Priests, favourites or the like, conspires to depose his Father, and in Order thereunto, confede­rates with some neighbouring Monarch; who upon assurance given him, by this Aspirer of resigning of some part of his Dominions to him, or be­coming tributary to him, furnishes him with Money and Men, by which assistance he flies out into an open Rebellion against his Father, upon wch the Father commissions his younger Son to fight this Rebel Prince, who beats him, and makes him fly out of his fathers Dominions to that confe­derate neighbours Protection, upon which the King with the unanimous consent of his loyal Subjects passes an Act for a total Exclusion of the El­der son from the Crown, and to place the Succession in the younger. Now will any Man say that this is not warrantable and just both by the Laws of God and Man. For if it be unwarantable, and that this Rebel Prince must still suceeed, then consider what follows.

Frst, here's a manifest obstructing of the distribution of the greatest Justice both human and divine. For whilst this Prince continues safe by his Flight, and his forreign Protection, from any personal Sufferance for his Crimes, and at the same time 'tis granted he cannot suffer in his [Page 27] Birthright, then this indispensable continuation of succession confers the greatest Earthly felicity and reward viz. a Diadem on the greatest of Criminals, one Doubly a Traitor not only against the Lords anointed, but even to the Fountain of his own Royal Blood, and the Author of his be­ing, a Father.

Secondly; it makes crown'd Heads the most miserable State of all man kind; nay they are below the meanest Peasant in their Kingdoms: For the vengeance of a Subject, having the Power to disinherit, shall persue a Rebel son even to the East Indies, whilst a King, who they say, has, or should have long hands shall notwith all his thunder reach the worst of rebels cross the next Sea, or perhaps the next County. So that where's their boasting themselves to be Gods Vicegerents, when they alone of all Men are most debarred that greatest Prerogative of a Diety, REVENGE.

3d, By this means Majesty that should be most sacred, and the person of it most religiously guarded, and defended, lies more exposed than all Man­kind besides, for if it be true that.

Filius ante diem patrios inquirit in annos.

And the lust of Inheritance makes the Blood of the Impatient Heir boil high for possession, then 'tis most true, where the Inheritance is Greatest, and the Temptation Strongest, as in the case of a Crown, that there the Blood boiles highest. And if so, and Birth-right be still unforfitable, then to the strongest Temptation here's the least dan­ger, and the greatest Encouragement for gratifying that lust, and ac­complishing all such tempting desires. So that upon this position, who so arm'd for a Traitor as he that's Born to a Crown, and who so unsafe as he that wears it. But surely 'tis inconsistant with that particular care, that God takes for the Preservation of Kings, to en­tail that Ius Divinum upon them, that places them infra statum Hu­manum.

However to give a little clearer light into this great point of Suc­cession I shall trouble my Reader with one instance more.

It cannot be disputed but that either Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth did succeed to the Imperial Crown of England not by Divine Right of Succession, since Queen Elizabeth was Born whilst Queen Katha­rine the Mother of Queen Mary was living, but one of them must undoubtedly enjoy the Crown Iure Parliamentario: if the latter, (as cannot be denyed) and that Succession is Iure Divino, then she was an Usurpess upon the Right of the House of Scotland: and what then is the consequence of all this!

First, it shakes, and strikes at the Foundation of the Church of England, which derives all its Power and Authority from the Crown which began in King Henry the 8ths, and were more fully confirmd by Queen Elizabeth, and therefore the Church of England was set­led by a Princess de facto and not de jure, insomuch that it under­mines the very basis of the Hierarchy and Ecclesiastick power, and the order of the whole Clergy, who derive their Distinctions and Ordi­nations from that Queen.

2ly. It may call in Question all the Grants of that Queen, which have not been confirmed by the Scottish Line, and destroy the many and great Priviledges conferr'd on both the Universities.

[Page 28] 3ly. According to the Rule of Ius Divinum it may raise a Question hereafter of what validity those Honors are which that Queen was plea­sed to confer upon several great and eminent Families.

Lastly it would well become many worthy and learned Men seriously to consider whether they do not labor to do the Work and Drudgery of the Church of Rome, who assert so fatal a Principle, whereby they make Queen Elizabeth an Usurpress, and build the superstructure of the Protestant Religion, the right of the Church, and the Legality of the whole Clergy of England, upon such a sandy and ruinous Foun­dation as the High and Mighty Ius Divinum. But if we will allow that Princess our lawful Queen, which I hope no Man will have the Impudence to deny, then the disposal of the Crown by Parliament is just.

But if Ius Divinum that lay buried 44 Years together must make a Resurrection in our present Distractions of England, and both Honor and Conscience render an exclusion Bill unlawful, how came the proposi­tion of making a Popish Successor but a Nominal Prince, and setling the Administration in Protestant hands: If that may be, then here's Ius Divinum quite laid aside: for Divine Right of Birth entitles a Prince to the power as well as the name of a King, and if that right be sacred and inviolable, no one part of it more than another ought or can lawfully be alienated. But if the greatest part of it be by the greatest Authority allow'd justly Alienable by Act of Parliament, there's an end of all Divine Right, and a concession of the Iurisdiction of Par­liaments, insomuch that if they may legally take away the Kernel, and leave only the Husk of Succession, by the same Authority they may as well take away both: and a total Exclusion is no more repugnant to Honor or Conscience then an Exclusion in part.

But if any Man has a curiosity to examine the Effects of Exclusi­ons in part, viz. Limitations and Restrictions that have been put upon the English Crown, I will only advise him cursorly to run over the contests between King Iohn and the Barons; Henry the 3d, Edward the 2d, and Richard the 2d and their Barons, and the troubles of Henry the 6th, and the several Agreements made between him and the D. of York, and he'le easily satisfie himself that notwithstanding the several Agreements Restraints and Limitations put upon the Crown, and those confirm'd not only by Acts of Parliament but solemnly ratify­ed in the Face of Heaven by many Oaths and dreadful Excommunica­tions by the Church, yet none ever held: but so soon as those Parli­aments were dissolved, or the first opportunity or advantage happen'd, those Kings by the ill advice of their Favourites and Minions broke all, whereupon both parties flying to Arms, the King accusing them of Treason, and they Him of Perjury, the rise of all those long and bloody Civil Wars had no other ground but this.

But to back his last six Arguments in defence of the Succession we find him for the next three or four Pages together corroborating his Opinion with the practice of the primitive Christians. First he tells you 'tis a Gos­pel precept not to do ill that good may come of it, such as the unwarrantable devesting of a Prince of his Birthright though for any safety or preservation whatever. So that in the case of England supposing it would come at last to a down-right persecution under a Popish Successor, yet to stand upon our Guards to prevent it would be more than ever the primitive Christians did under the [Page 29] ten Persecutions; and we have not only their Example but their express Doctrine against it. And therefore (as he says in another place) 'tis our Duty to bless God for the Peace and Happiness we now enjoy, and rather wait his far­ther pleasure with thankfulness and resignation, then with murmuring and a [...]trust to Anticipate future Evils and Prejudge Providences to come.

Now never was any thing more plausibly managed to so little purpose, for the Correspondence between ours and the primitive Christians case is here so incoherently Ballanced, that never were Arguments more So­phistical. The primitive Christians preacht Obedience to Nero, yes, and they had forfeited their Christianity if they had done otherwise, but what was that Nero, an absolute Monarch: and what those primitive Bishops? not such as ours, they were not a part of the Legislative Power of the Nation, as our Prelates are. If Nero invented Wracks, Tortures and Gibbets for persecuting or murdering the poor Christians, he did it by his own uncontroulable Authority, nor were those primitive Bishops call'd to make Laws, and therefore had not the lawful power of the least Vote in Moderation of Neroes Cruelty, or in Redress of the Christians Torments. I am sure if they had had any such voting or law-making Power, and yet out of a base principle of cowardly Fear on one side, and like fordid Sycophants out of a servile Flattery of Neroes barbarous Incli­nations on the other side, had neglected the means, (as much as in them lay) of preventing those Persecutions, they had been rather Wolves then Shep­herds over the flock of Christ, and Accessaries to all those Butcheries that Nero committed against them. For not to oppose where opposition is lawful, is to permit, and to permit is to Act. So that there would not have been that Engine made to rend the Tortured Christians Bones, that they them selves in so doing had not lent a helping hand to the wind­ing of it up. Nor is it to be doubted but that if those Primitive Prelates had had those Sacred Recorded Statutes, those Royal decrees, Presidents and Laws before 'em, wherin the disposal of the Crown under which they lived had lain in the Absolute Power of the Nation, it being de­clared no less then Treason to deny it, and that the Kingdoms safety in despight of Birth-right had sometimes Authorized the change of the Sucession; had these Prelates, I say, lived under such a Government, and at the same time sat at the Helm like ours, it is to be presumed upon the certain prospect of a next Successor of known Principles of Barbarity and persecution, with the Innate implacable inveteracy against Chri­stians and Christianity; they would boldly and unanimously have endeavored and Voted for his Removal, and whatever Obedience they Preacht to a Nero upon a Throne, they would have thought it neither an Obligation of Conscience or Christianity to have lent their Assistance to the mounting a Nero into a Throne. So that 'tis more than likely under such a Power and such Circumstances they would have stood upon their Guards, (as the Character says) against so dangerous and so fatal a Suc­cession; not stood upon their Guards, as Mr. Lestrange interprets it, with their Swords in their hands, but as the Author meant it, with their Eyes and Tongues in their heads and resolution in their Soules, to see the real dangers themselves and their Religion are in, and to propose and provide all lawful and necessary means to prevent them.

Nor would they upon second thoughts with Mr. Lestranges tender [Page 30] Conscience have judged this legal & manly Resolution in defence of their Religion to fall under the Premunire mention'd in the 3d. P. of his Book, a Prostituting of their Soules to save their Skins and Fortunes. This I am sure, they could never with Reason or Religion have judged it any such Prostitution, but if they had made Religion and Conscience the Pretence to judge it so, and thereupon had directed and managed all their Studies, Labors, Endeavors, Votings, Preachings, Insinuations and Encouragements for the Establishment of such a Successor, they might very seasonably fall under as severe a scandal, and I am sure as justly deserved, as what Mr. Lestrange has given the Fanaticks under the Name of Papists in Mas­querade; for in this case the wiser part of the World would have shrewd­ly suspected they had been more Heathens in Masquerade, than Christians.

Neither is there (by Mr. Lestranges Permission) that incumbent Duty upon Christianity, to be so wholly employ'd in blessing God for our pre­sent Peace and Prosperity, as to wait his farther Pleasure and Providences to come with so intire a Resignation, till we neglect a lawful Preservation when approaching Ruine threatens us; he that by the Blessing of God stands upon the firm Shore and sees that terrible and unusual Torrent come rowling on, which in Probability may break the banks and drown him, is so far from being oblidged to an idle standing still, and a resig­nation to the will of Providence, whether the Innundation shall break in, and he sink or swim: That if he miscarries by that idle neglect of himself, it will not at all clear him from being accessary to his own de­struction, (and therefore answerable for it) by excusing himself to God, and saying, Lord, I submitted to thy pleasure.

From this we come to the Characters Doctrin of Passive Obedience, which the Character avows may be laid aside under the Tyranny of a Popish Succession; in answer to which we have Mr. L'estrange very se­vere against him, for so bold and so dangerous a position, and per­haps if there be any glimpse of Reason throughout his whole answer 'tis there; but however that the Authors Opinion may not appear so strangely enormous, nor his position so wholly destructive to Govern­ment, and so opposite to Christianity, as his answer would render it; let us venture to make a little explanation of the Character. First then to distinguish what that Tyranny is which he justifies we may lawfully oppose, and what Invasion that, we may justly repel, I must refer the Reader to the Character page 22d.

‘Char. What does this Popish King by admitting the Popes Su­premacy, but divest himself of half his Royalty, whilst like the Ju­nior King of Brentford in the play he resigns and alienates the Right hand power of Majesty to an Invader and Usurper; and thus we are enslaved by a medley Government betwixt Tyranny and Usurpa­tion. and again. page 6.

‘Char. If he be a Man of Justice that still makes for Rome, for whilst he believes the Pope to be Christs lawful Vicar, and that Office includes the Ecclesiastick Supremacy, no doubt but he'le think it as much the duty of his Christianity to give the Pope his right as to take his own. So that upon this supposition of the Popes Supremacy restored, the Author has stated both our Tyrants and our Slavery. But to return to Mr. L'estrange. page 73.

Mr. L. In our Oath of Supremacy we swear that the King is the ON­LY [Page 31] SUPREME, Governor SUPREME, so none, (not the Pope) above him, and ON­LY SUPREME, so none coordinate or equal with him.

If so, and the King is Supreme Governor Ecclesiastick and Civil, and a Popish King notwithstanding shall alienate half his Supremacy to the Pope, then the Pope is co-King with him; and that it may not be objected that Supream Ecclesiastick Power is not Kingly Power, where the Highest and last Appeal lyes, there lyes Royal Power, and therefore whilst the highest and last appeal in all causes Ecclesiastick, in such a Government is lodged in the Pope his Power is Royal. For it would be very absurd to say that a Supreme Moderator in causes betwixt Man and Man should be a Kingly Governor, and a Supreme Mode­rator in causes between God and Man should be none. That were to place a Majesty in that Authority that says Thou shalt not steal, and none in that that says Thou shalt have no other Gods but me. 'Tis true the Pope to mince the matter, and to Sham upon those Romish Kings that Admit of his Church Supremacy, very cunningly usurps the Prerogative without the Name, and therefore wherever he is Supream Iudge, he lets the Temporal Soveraignty be still the Supream Sheriff, for whereever his Tribunal condemns, the Popish King is Hang­man Generalissimo to execute. Yet still in reality his Power is never the less Kingly, when we see that this Popish Executioner under him, is so far from the Exercise of any Regal Authority in his Sheriffalty, that he's but a substitute of the Popes, and accountable to the Pope for the least neglect or misdemeanor in his office of that kind, so that the reestablishment of the Popes Supremacy here, is setting up a new Kingly Power. But by what Title? None. For granting his Su­premacy of old was his right whilst he possest it, yet considering that right has been lost above a Hundred years together, by the Laws of Conquest 'tis now wholly expired, and he can lay no more claim or pretence to't after so long an alienation, then the Christians to Constantinople, or the Danes or Saxons to England. Now 'tis a known Maxim in England that a King of himself cannot give, sell, or alie­nate all, or part of his hereditary Soveraign Power, neither can he any more restore the Pope (out of a freak of conscience) to his Supre­macy, or his Abby Lubbers to their old fat pastures, then he can say to the Duke of Saxony, Sir, lay claim to half England and 'tis yours, and therefore land a colony in the West of England, and Crown your self King there, whilst I content my self with the So­veraignty of York-shire, and two or three more Northern Counties about it. Nay suppose a King should say so, and this Saxon Prince upon that presumption should come, and make a Seisure, there's ne­ver a Subject in England, notwithstanding their Lawful Soveraigns special Gommand to them to yeeld Obedience to this usurping in­vading Saxon, that may not justly and with a safe Conscience op­pose this Invader, and shoot him though the heart at the very first step he makes into England. For whatever passive Obedience is due to our Native Prince we have none due to a Forreign Invader. So likewise 'tis a plain case that the Popes Supremacy entring into Eng­land is an Invading and Usurping Royalty. For though we are bound to pay fealty, to what ever Deputies, Viceroys, or Subministers the King shall Ordain or Institute under him, yet the Popes Supremacy can­not come under that name, for it ceases to be Supream if there be [Page 32] a Power above it. So that whenever the King shall say to the Pope assume your Prerogative, there's never a Subject of England, that may not by violence rescue an Heretick from a Stake that's condemn'd by that Prerogative, or any delegated Authority from the Usurped Supre­macy of the Pope, nay if they burn the very Tribunal about those Je­suitish Judges eares that pronounced that Hereticks Condemnation, they may Iustify the Fact both to their King and their God.

The Papist in Masquerade draws now near to a Conclusion, and gives the Characteriser a dead doing blow at last stroke, by the Argument rais­ed against the Characters position, that Kings were made for the People, and not the People for the Kings. Though by the way the Characterisers asserti­on is not only one Drs. opinion; for if he will allow King Iames to have as much sense as himself, we shall find him, (if we may take his Royal word for't) a little leaning towards the Characters side, witness this clause in one of his Speeches in Parliament. Anno 1603.

As I am a Head and Governor of all the People in my Dominions, who are my natural Vassals and Subjects considering them in number and distinct Ranks; so if we take the People as one Body and Mass, then as the Head is ordeind for the Body, and not the Body for the Head, so must a righteous King know himself to be ordain'd for his People, and not his People for him; for though a King and his People be Relata, yet can he be no King if he want Peo­ple and Subjects; but there be many People in the World that lack a Head, &c

But no matter for all this, Kings are but Men, and this human Error of King Iames, must not dare to oppose the more sacred Authority of Mr. Lestrange. For to bafflle this gross Mistake of them both, he continues,

But after all these Words, to shew that Government originally was not popu­lar, I shall add a few more to prove the Institution of it to be purely Divine; which Opinion, in truth, needs not any other support then the Authority of the holy Scriptures. By me Kings reighn &c. I have made the Earth, the Man, and the Beasts that are upon the Ground by my great Power, and my Out-stretch'd Arm, and have given it to whom it seem'd meet unto me Ier. 27th. 5.

Now I cannot find by this Text: By me Kings raighn &c. But that by me Subjects possess their lawful Inheritances might claim the same right. For an Empire to a Monarch and a Lordship to a Subject, a Naboths Vineyard, or an Ahabs Kingdom are equally the Gift of God, and by our Authors reasons may equally pretend to a Divine Iustitution. Neither is there so much Support as he calls it in this holy Authority, but I can match it with another as holy and as much to his purpose, which tells us, not a Sparrow falls to the Ground without the will of my Father, &c. Now if no King reighns without him, and no Sparrow falls without him; a Manmight ask him why the holy Authority of this last Text might not make the falling of a Sparrow have as much of divine Institution in it as the Enthroning of a Monarch. Nor can I perceive that there lies so much stress in Gods giving the Government of the Earth, Man, and Beasts to whom it seem'd Meet to him, as to Nebuchadnezar in the Text, but that a MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARZIN, written by the Almighties own hand against his impious Heir, the sacrilegious Ido­latrous Balshazar was as much the Word of God, and had as much divine Institution in it as by me Kings raign. But to proceed in our Authors argument.

Mr. L. That which we now call Kingly Government was at First called [Page 33] Paternal, and after Patriarchal &c. And we sind by the powers they excer­cised &c. And so he advances in a Florid Descant upon this Subject till he lodges the first Paternal Kingly Government in Adam.

Here you may perceive he's harping at the old Iure Divino, but I shall wave that point of dispute, and even with granting his supposi­tion true, out of his own opinion invalidate the chief argument of all his discourse, and the Fundamental Design of his whole pamphlet, (viz:) Unalterable Right of Succession. If then (as he says) the Patri­archall power was Kingly, how comes it to pass that Esau forfeited his Royal Inheritance? and Iacob his younger Brother got it from him; nay the alienation of his Birthright (as Regal and as Divine as our Mas­querader would have it,) was transferd to the younger Brother even by God himself, and that too (as we read in Gods promis to the Mother) before they were born. Nay though the Father Isaac had no prejudice against Esau, but resolved to make him his Heir, and accordingly sent him for venison to cherish his heart, that he might receive his Blessing and with it the Assurance of his Inheritance; yet when Iacob by Arti­fice, and his Brothers borrowed Name had deceived the Father, and ex­torted the Blessing, we find the grant of his Inheritance, though fraudu­lently obtain'd was so far from being retracted, that the Fathers promise and word even to the Counterfeit Esau was more sacred, then all the formidable ties of Blood, and the inviolable Right of Succession. Now I hope, our wise Author will not quarrel with Isaacs Injustice and appeal to the Light of Nature and Common Right for the Redress of Esaus wrongs. Perhaps it may be objected rhat Esau sold his Birth­right foolishly for a Mess of Pottage, though that we find had no influence on Isaacs Determination, yet if a Royal Birth-right could be sold or forfeited either by the Folly or Fault of the Heir, where's SUCCESSION? and if in our present State of England we have an Heir of those corrupted Principles, and that depraved Infatuati­on, till he has prodigally forfeited his Fathers and his Grand-Fathers Blessings, the one having sealed the Protestant Faith with his Blood, and the other having particularly entayl'd a curse upon all his Pro­geny that should ever Apostatise from the Protestant Truth to the Popish Superstition, if we have an Heir so bewitcht by the Charms of Rome, which like the Syrens songs can convert Reason into Mad­ness, or rather like Circes Bowles transform Men into Swine, why not the Prodigals fare the husks, a more proper Reward from him, than a Coronation Festival. This I am certain, if he had Esaus Fate, the Blessing and Inheritance should go together.

I shall only instance one particular more out of holy Writt, I hope his &c. in the last Paragraph will allow the Iudges of Israel were a Kingly Power as well as the Patriarchal, and that they may indeed appear so, we find their Government the most agreeing with the present Monarchy of England, for they had the Power of Life and Death, Peace and War in their Prerogative, but then as a Restriction against Absolute and Arbitrary power, (like our Common and Ecclesiastick Laws) their Constitution of Government was limited and confined withing the establisht and recor­ded Mosaick Law which was the ultimate Verge of their Jurisdiction both Civil and Spiritual. Now here in the case of Samuel Judge of Isreal we find him parting with his Royalty and conferring it upon his two Sons e­ven in his own Life time: after that we find the Israelites disgusted against [Page 34] their ill Government and asking for a King, that is such a King as those of the Nations round about e'm, viz. an Absolute Monarch. And upon this Saul stept up into the Throne. Now here we may observe there was so little Regard had to the Right of Succession that their law­ful Judges even after possession were divested of their Royal Dignity, and that too (mark it) not only upon the Peoples Request, but even by a Command from the immediate Voice of God, without the lest Re­flection of the Duty of passive Obedience to Samuels Sons those cor­rupted Judges of Isreal. And though it may be objected that God was angry with the Children of Israel for their desires of Change, in that they had follow'd other Gods, and that this asking for a King as we read) look'd like rejecting of him that had brought e'm out of E­gypt, and deliver'd them from the Hands of their Enemies, yet since God complyed with that desire, no Man must say, this Change was unlawful or the removal of their Royal Judges unjust. But in An­swer to all this, our Masquerader will not want a Justification for the unalterable Right of Succession, nay rather than stand out at a dead Lift hee'll start you up a common Right and a Light of Na­ture that upon occasion shall supersede even the Records of Scripture and the very immediate Acts of God. Nay we find, after the Constitu­tion of that more absolute Iewish Monarchy which began in Saul, that his very next Successor was a Stranger to his Blood, a Man of a quite different Family; in so much that David the Man after Gods own heart, a man so eminently beloved of the Almighty, that from his Loyns the promis'd Messias should procceed, was a Prince so far from owing his Crown to the Right of Birth and Blood, that he was anointed King even in his Predecessors life in spight of the Greater sons of Saul those nearer and juster pretenders to the Crown had Birth-right given e'm title to it. But so Early a sea-mark did God set up against that fatal Rock, unalterable Succession; and so timely a care did the great Founder of Empires, the Divine Omnipotence take, to show that the Dispensations of Majesty for his Peoples good and his own Glory, were to be preferr'd before the Soveraignty of Birth, that blinder gift of Chance. But to come a little down to our own age, even in all our latest Modern constitutions of Monarchy, and that not only in England but all the Christian Kingdoms in Europe, we find there is not altogether that infal­libility in Birth right, but that Fools and Mad-men notwithstanding their proximity of descent are excluded from Empire, so that by Mr. Lestranges permission a Shallow Perecranium or an Addled one upon occasion shall put very good Royal veins out of play. So that to make Monarchy go a little hand in hand with our new natural Philosophy, some Criticks will tell you, that the Life of it lyes more in the Head than the Heart, that is, in the Brain than the Blood.

And that I need not stray far for an Instance, have we not had a late King of Portugal deposed as Delirious and Frantick and consequently ren­der'd by Law uncapable of reighning, and all this done by his own Sub­jects and those of his own Religion, without the least Reflection of Trea­son or Rebellion or the Aspersion of lifting a hand against the Lords a­nointed.

Nay if truth might make bold in England there be those that dare honestly venture to say there must go so strong a Dose of Folly and Mad­ness or indeed both together to make up the composition of a Popish Heir [Page 35] to the Protestant Crown of England, especially an Heir that can be fond of the Gugaws, Bawbles and Trumpery of the Romish Superstition as to hazard three Crowns for them, and that too by an Apostacy from a native Hereditary Protestant Faith, not only derived down to him, but more signally sealed by a Royal Fathers Martyrdom, a light which cer­tainly would shine through all the mists and fogs the Iesuitish Magick has or can cast about him, though thicker if possible then the Egyptian Darkness it self, a Darkness to be felt; were there not a Skull in the case more than strangely impenetrable, and a Cerebellum if possibly more than supernaturally impedimented: so that if in Truth he but fairly stood the Test of an old Statute we have already, the Begging of his Reversion would be so feasible that it would be cross we won, and pile he lost.

But to come yet a little nearer to the mark, as it is most undoubt­edly true that Soules are never Generate, and consequently not always derived from the Father that Begets, it sometimes so falls out by the Ca­price of some ill natured planet, or to come to a more Christian notion, by the indisputable Will of Omnipotence that moulds the Clay as he pleases, to make such infinite disproportions in the unequal distributing of those sparks of his own Celestial fires call'd soules, that so much over rule the inferior Mass of Flesh and Blood, and sometimes so far Estrange and alienated a Son from the Nature, Temper, and indeed almost every thing of the Father, till it does worse then Bastardize even Legitimacy it self.

FINIS

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.