THE RELIGION OF THE Church of England, The Surest ESTABLISHMENT OF THE Royal Throne; WITH The Unreasonable Latitude which the Romanists allow in point of Obedience to Princes. In a LETTER occasioned by some late Discourse with a Person of Quality.

ROM. 13. 5.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for Conscience sake.

LONDON: Printed for Randal Taylor and John Williams, junior, at the Crown and in Cross-Keys Court in Little Britain. 1673.

THE RELIGION OF THE Church of England, The Surest ESTABLISHMENT OF THE Royal Throne.

In a LETTER occasioned by some late Discourse with a Person of Quality.

Honoured Sir,

I Cannot charge you with Ʋnkindness, or say you have put me upon an unpleasing Task by commanding my Thoughts about the matter of our last Discourse, (though thousands of my Brethren might have done it to better purpose;) since you have ren­dred me capable of expressing the Service I owe to my Prince, and the Duty to my Mother the Church of Eng­land. [Page 2] She (like her Saviour) hath met with a great many Reproaches, and by some either Ignorants or Adversaries, been particularly mis­represented to you; and that Excellency wherein she hath just occasion to glory, above all the Churches in the world, so mise­rably sullied by unrighteous Aspersions, that she appears not half so amiable to your eye as formerly she hath done. Give me leave then to wipe off the Dirt which hath so maliciously been cast upon her, to wash off the Spots spirted on her Face, and her own Beauty will sufficiently commend her. I cannot believe your Judgment so unsteady as really to be captivated with those false Insinuations; nor wonder enough at the Impudence of some persons who dare insinuate such palpable untruths as you seem in danger to be perverted with. In plain terms, That any man should have so hard a forehead as to question the Church of England's Loyalty to her Prince, or maintain that she affords the least Encouragement to any Rebellious Attempt either against his Person or Dignity; to shake the Crown upon his Head, or make a Finger of his Hand to bleed; would put me into a strange fit of Admiration, did we not li [...]e in so prodigious an Age, that mens tongues are their own, and they will say what they please. For my part, I look upon these charges to be so grosly slanderous, that for your Satisfaction, and possibly the Conviction of others, I shall confidently assert,

That no King sits so securely upon his Throne as the King of England, by virtue of the Religion esta­blished among us.

It is not to be imagined that the bare propounding this Truth should presently gain it a favourable Rece­ption, especially where the Judgment seems already [Page 3] fore-stalled with no mean Prejudices against it: But still a Truth it is, and to prove it one, I shall only proceed upon these two Grounds,

I. That the Church of England obligeth all her Chil­dren to the most Dutiful Carriage imaginable to­wards All Princes.

II. (To take off your Mis-prision;) That the Church of Rome allows those of her Communion an unrea­sonable Latitude in this very point of Obedience and Duty.

I. That the Church of England obligeth all her Chil­dren to the most Dutiful Carriage imaginable to­wards All Princes.

It is but Reasonable we should clear our own Inno­cency before we quarrel with anothers Guilt, least our selves fall under the charge of that Crime which is so justly condemned in those of the Romish Party. Now certainly the most Rational Account we can have of any Churches Principles, must be taken from the Infallible Rule to which in all cases she submits; the Doctrin she professeth; the Worship which she owns; the Eccle­siastical Constitutions she hath framed for outward Order; and the constant Practice of all her Obedient Children. Her Rule are the Holy Scriptures Commen­ted upon and Interpreted by the Sentiments of the Pri­mitive Fathers; Her Doctrin is conteined in the Articles and Homilies; Her Worship in the Public Liturgy; Her Constitutions in the Book of Canons; to which the Carriage of all those who have not only in pretence but reality been her sons, hath exactly corresponded. Nor is there any one of these which furnisheth us not with an abundant Confirmation of that Truth on behalf whereof it is alledged.

No Church ever professed a greater Reverence to the Proved I. From the Scriptures. Holy Scriptures, nor charged her children more strictly to make them the Rule both of Faith and Life. We be­lieve nothing but what is therein revealed, and are obli­ged to observe all the Commands therein conteined, whatsoever sort of Duties they have respect unto. Now it is beyond dispute that the Word of God calls for O­bedience to Princes, and forbids all Opposition to, and Rebellion against them. Solomon in the old Testa­ment speaks of a King against whom there is no rising Prov. 30. 31. up, which King is every King; for by virtue of his Su­preme Authority, he is beyond the reach of his Subjects Power and above the attempts of all their Force. Nor is this only true of such who, like David, are men after Gods own heart, or like Hezekiah and Josiah, not to be equalled, scarce parallel'd by those that either preceded or succeeded them; but of a wicked Saul, a loose Ama­ziah, an Idolatrous Manasseh; These also being Gods Anointed; and wickedness in the Heart wipes not off the sacred Oil from the Head. If we look into the Go­spels, our Blessed Saviour commands the Rendring unto Matth. 22. 21. Caesar the things that are Caesars, with the same care that he requires the rendring unto God the things that are Gods; which Caesar was Tiberius, of whom the Roman Historians give no very good Character. And rather than any Offence should be taken, he works a Miracle for paying his Tribute-Money, sending S. Peter to take it Matth. 17. 27. out of a Fishes mouth. To him succeeded the two great Apostles S. Paul and S. Peter, the one with his charge, Let every soul be subject to the higher Powers. Subject, Rom. 13. 1. not only for Convenience, but upon the account of Duty; not only as a piece of Policy to prevent any Se­cular Punishment, but a point of Conscience to please [Page 5] our Heavenly Father. Ye must needs be subject not 5. only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. The other with his command, Submit your selves to every 1 P [...]. 2. 13 14. Ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as Supreme, or unto them that are sent by him,—Fear God, Honor the King. And it is plain 17. when these Apostles wrote, Nero that Portentum ho­minis, (as Suetonius calls him) that Monster of men Suet in vitâ N [...]ro [...]s. was then Emperor; as wicked a tyrannical Prince, and as great an Enemy to the Christians as ever lived. Whence we may rationally conclude, Though a King be of another Religion, though his Life be extremely de­bauched, and his Government severe and cruel, yet None of these singly, not All of them together will discharge the Subject from his obedience. And to convince the World what particular care this Church of ours takes that these Principles of Loyalty may be imbibed by all her children, she hath not only appointed those Chapters (Rom. 13. and 1 Pet. 2.) to be read in the constant course for daily Service, nor designed those Passages in them only for the more especial Solemni­ties of the Fifth of November, and Twenty nineth of May; but hath selected them likewise for her Sun­dayes Epistles; the one on the fourth Sunday after Epiphany, the other on the third Sunday after Easter.

But the Absolute Subjection she owns to the Holy 2. From the Writings of the Fathers. Scriptures doth not in the least lessen her Honor to the Primitive Fathers; from whose Writings (as the best Expositors of the Sacred Text) she would satis­fie her Children in this point of Duty. It may well be presumed that in those early dayes of Christianity Religion was in its greatest vigour, and men did not only best Know, but Practice what they were obliged [Page 6] to, both with respect to God and their Superiors. She doth not indeed allow us jurare in verba, to pawn our Faith upon any man's credit, but to be Followers of Them so far as They have been Followers of Christ; and to take directions from them where those directions agree with the written Word. So that whensoever any of the Romanists would asperse us as slenderly regarding the Authority of the Ancients, we boldly plead in our own justification the venerable esteem we entertain of the Authors, and their genuine Writings for the first four Centuries. And truly the higher we trace the better we like them. God in his infinite wisdom resolved the seed of the Gospel should no sooner be sown than watered with blood. A great while did his faithful servants bear a very heavy Cross. The Roman Emperors were Heathens, and some par­ticular piques most of them had taken against Chri­stianity, insomuch that the Professors of it met with a great deal of misery during their life, and many with a great deal of cruelty were put to death. Yet whe­ther Martyrs or not Martyrs, this was still the Doctrin they taught, and from them we learn it, That nothing can dispense with the Subjects Obedience to his Prince. Pardon me Sir, if I spend a little paper in presenting you with remarkable passages taken out of some whose heads are the grayest among them. I begin with Ignatius, Scholar to St. John, and twelve years old at our Saviours Crucifixion. Thus he instructs the An­tiochians: ( [...] Ignat. Epist. ad Antioch.) Be obedient to Caesar in those things wherein you may obey without dan­ger (which is in all that are not sinful) pro­voke not your Governors to anger, that you may not give occasion to them who seek it against [Page 7] you. But because the Authority of this Epistle is mat­ter of some dispute, pass from him to Justin Martyr not much behind him in years: ( [...], Just. Mart. Apol. 2. pro Christi­anis) We wor­ship (saith he speaking to the Magistrates) God alone, but in all things else we cheerfully serve you. A third among the Greek Fathers is The­ophilus Patriarch of Antioch, who delivered this good Rule; ( [...]. Theoph. Antyoch. lib. 1. ad Autolycum.) Honor the King; honor him by being kindly affected to him, by obeying him, by pray­ing for him; for thus doing thou doest the will of God. From those of the Greek come we to them of the Latine Church, and cer­tainly She preached the same Doctrine. The Kings Supremacy, and the Subjects Obedience was ne­ver better taught by any man in the world than Ter­tullian (a thousand pities he turn'd Montanist at last) (In cujus (Dei) potestate sunt; a quo primi, post quem secundi, ante omnes & super omnes Deos Ter­tul. Apolog. cap. 30.) They (i. e. Kings) are only under the coercive power of God, to whom they are subor­dinate, under whom Chief; before and above all that are called Gods. (Christianus nullius est hostis nedum Imperatoris; quem sci [...]n [...] à Deo suo con­stitutus, necesse est ut ip­sum dilig [...]t, ho [...]o [...], rev [...] ­atur, & salvum [...]. Idem lib. ad Scapulam cap. 2.) A Christian (saith he) is no mans Enemy, not the Emperors; (the great crime objected against them) for knowing Him to be a Person of His Gods own appointment, it is necessary he should love, ho­nour, reverence, and wish him all the prosperity imaginable. And upon a large discourse in his most excellent Apology (a book that deserves the greatest commendation) he declares plainly it was not want of Power but Will that hindred them from being rebellious; not fear of Punishment, but sence of Duty; not Restraint, but Conscience that awed them into obedience. They were gotten most numerous both in the Court, Senate, City, and Camp: and it [Page 8] was the Heathens security to have them so: for (Nunc paucio­res hostes ha­ [...]tis p [...]ae mul­titudine Chri­sti mo [...]um Idem Apolog. cap. 50.) the more Christians alwayes the fewer Enemies: I have made the bolder with Tertullian, both because of his Antiquity, and the Pertinent Quotations where­with his Writings supply me. To him let me add Lactantius, who instructs all Christians in Passive as the rest have done in Active Obedience. For put case the Old Plea for Disobedience should be renewed, a Reformation of Religion, yet will not that plausible pre­tense justifie the failure in our Allegeance, since a Christian must learn Patience as well as Courage, and prepare to be a Martyr, rather than a Rebel. (Defen [...]nda est R [...]l [...]gio non occid [...]ndo; sed mori [...]n [...]o non s [...]vi [...] á sed pa­tientiá; ne [...] sce­le [...]e sed fi [...]e. Il [...] enim ma­lo [...]um sunt, [...]aec ho [...]orum. La [...]ant. lib 5. cap 30.) Re­ligion is to be defended not by Killing, but by Dying; not by Cruelty, but by Patience; not by Wickedness, but by Fidelity. Those are the practices of Wicked, but these of men truly good.

To these might be added many others, which (for brevity sake) I omit, because this Pamphlet would swell beyond what is intended, and create you more trouble than is necessary in so plain a case.

Let me now fall upon what more peculiarly belongs to our Church. The Papists keep the Scriptures from their people, which (God be thanked) we may have free recourse unto: but they mightily brag of an Ad­herence to the Fathers. Had the Writings of those Holy men as great an influence upon them as they pre­tend, Princes Thrones and Lives would be much more secure than they are, and the Church Censures not be thundred out against them as they be upon every tri­vial occasion. (But of this hereafter) Now Sir give me leave to assure you that what you have already read from the Scriptures and Fathers is but the same our Church maintains in Her Avouched Doctrine, Her [Page 9] Publick Liturgy, and Her Ecclesiastical Constituti­ons.

Her Avouched Doctrine is declared in the 39 Arti­cles From the Do­ctrine of the Church in the Articles and Homilies. and the Book of Homilies set forth by Authority exactly consonant to them. These she acknowledgeth (next to the Scriptures) as the Measure of her Faith, and the Rule for her Practice. And because they are no Novel Inventions, nor the Products of any par­ticular brain; but the first agreed upon by the whole Convocation (the Clergies Representative) and the Other compiled by able Persons appointed to that employment; we see they are of age, and shall speak A [...]t. 37. for themselves. The Queens Majesty (so it was 1562. now the Kings) hath the chief Power in this Realm of England and other Her (His) Majesties Dominions, unto whom the Government of All Estates in this Realm, whe­ther they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in All Causes doth ap­pertain; and is not, nor ought to be subject to any for­reign Jurisdiction. Thus much declared in general terms, the Explanation follows presently after. Where we attribute to the Queens (Kings) Majesty the Chief Government—we understand that only Prerogative which we see to have been given alwayes to all godly Princes in Holy Scripture by God himself; i. e. that they should rule all Estates and Degrees committed to their charge, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal; and restrain with the Civil Sword the stubborn and evil doers. Then is there particularly added The Bishop of Rome hath no Jurisdiction in this Realm of England. Upon which passage a motion was made in the Hamp­ton-Court Conference for inserting Nor ought to have; but King James in his wisdom rejected it with this answer, habemus jure quod habemus; intimating that [Page 10] the Actual asserting that Priviledge argued a legal title to it. And it may be worth your observation that the Title-page of the Articles tells you they were agreed upon for avoiding diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true Religion. What these speak more concisely the Homilies teach more fully. I refer you to the six Sermons against Rebel­lion, proving the greatness of that sin from Scripture, and the remarkable Examples of Gods vengeance upon persons guilty of it: and proceeding in a me­thod of close and strong arguing, so that the perusal of them will be a good improvement of your time and pains. Onely towards the latter end of one, there is this Exhortation (which I could not well o­mit.) Let us as the Children of Obedience fear the dread­ful [...]. 3. Execution of God, and live in quiet obedience to be the Children of Everlasting Salvation. For as Heaven is the place of good obedient Subjects, and Hell the Prison and Dungeon of Rebels against God and their Prince; so is that Realm happy where most obedience of Subjects doth appear, being the very figure of Heaven, and con­trariwise where most Rebellions and Rebels be, there is the express similitude of Hell: and the Rebels them­selves are the very sigures of Fiends and Devils, and their Captain the ungrateful Pattern of Lucifer and Satan the Prince of darkness.

With an exact agreement to this Doctrine is her From [...]he Li­turgy. Liturgy composed. And because (according to the Apostles Exhortation) first of all (as a duty never to be neglected) supplications and prayers, and interces­sions, 1 Tim 2. 12. and giving of thanks are to be made for all men, for Kings and for all that are in authority: there are none of Her Services of daily or weekly use wherein [Page 11] her Prince is not particularly remembred, and the Al­mighty Protection of Heaven earnestly desired to be his continual defence: Nay, all the blessings in the world, but especially what concern his Place and Sta­tion are the matter of his Subjects prayers. (Second Pray­er before the Communi [...]n, and the Pray­er for the Church M [...]li­tan [...].) That He may be instructed for Government; (Versicle af­ter the C [...]ed.) Preser­ved in His Person; (D [...]i [...]y Prayer) Replenished with Hea­venly Graces; (Li [...]any Ser­vice.) Prove victorious over his Enemies: And as Two of these fall within the compass of Her constant Morning and Evening Devotions, so a Third is added three times in the week, and all of them used every Sunday and Holiday. A piece of duty which with some instead of a just applause hath met with severe censures, and been cavelled at like Maries Box of oyntment by Judas, To what purpose was this Matt. 26. 8. waste? a thing whereof our blessed Martyr took e­special notice, as a reason why so many Zealots of the times were eagerly bent against the Publick Service. One of the greatest faults, some men found with the [...] Common Prayer Book I believe was This, that it taught them to pray so oft for me, to which Petitions they had not loyalty enough to say Amen. Not doth the Church onely teach us to pray for the King, but to do it with an acknowledgment of His Soveraign Authority, and subjection to none but God himself: whom therefore she stiles The only Ruler of Princes. To all this may be added, that in some of those Prayers made for Him we are also enjoyned to implore Gods mercy for the keeping his People in their Allegeance, that they may obey him as the Almighties Vicegerent. (First Prayer before the Commu [...]ion.) That we and all his subjects duly considering whose authori­ty he hath, may faithfully serve, honour, and humbly obey him in Thee and for Thee. In a word, our Pray­ers [Page 12] for their fulness & loyalty seem excellently framed after the Pattern of the Primitive Church, as owned by Tertullian: (Precati sumus semper pro omnibus Imperatoribus, vitam illis prolixam, impe­rium securum, domum tu­tam exercitus for [...]es, sena­tum fidelem, orbem quie­cu [...]: & quaecunque homi­nis & Caesaris vota sunt. Tertul. Apolog. cap, 30) We pray at all times for all Emperors, that they may have Long Life, a Secure Empire, a Safe Palace, Valiant Armies, a Faithful Senate, an Honest People, a Quiet World: and whatsoever each of them can desire either as a Man or a Prince.

Pass we now from her Liturgy to her Ecclesiastical From the Ca­nons of the Church. Constitutions agreed upon in a full Convocation 1603, and then ratified by Royal Authority; where the first thing determined is this very Particular. All Eccle­siastical Can. 1 persons having cure of Souls, shall to the utter­most of their Wit, Knowledge, and Learning, purely and sincerely, Teach, Manifest, Open and Declare four times a year (at the least) in their Sermons—That the Kings Power within his Realms—is the highest Power under God; to whom all men do by Gods Law owe most Loyalty and Obedience Afore and Above all other Power and Potentates in the Earth. Now certainly if the In­cumbents are obliged thus to Preach, it is an argu­ment this is the received Doctrine of the Church; and the design of this Duty imposed upon them is that the People committed to their charge may be in­structed therein for the conviction of their Judgments, and the regulation of their Practice. Nay lest such Teaching should not produce an effect answerable to the desires of these good men, but people should still take a liberty of Believing and Asserting what they list; there is a severe Censure to be inflicted upon such ir­regular Can. 2 persons for their punishment. Whosoever shall affirm that the Kings Majesty hath not the same [Page 13] Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical (for in Temporal our Adversaries will grant it more than what they can hook in by In ordine ad spiritualia) that the godly Kings had among the Jews and Christian Emperors in the Primitive Church (which is the same we plead for) or impeach in any part his Regal Supremacy let him be Excommu­nicated. So little do any of our Church Constituti­ons derogate from the Kings Power, that they establish it, both by their positive Command to have it preach­ed and received as true Christian Doctrine, and the Op­posers of it thrown out of the Churches Bosom, as not fit for the Society of Christian men.

And now, Sir, I cannot imagine there wants any From the P [...]a­ctice of her Children. thing for your further satisfaction, unless it be to con­sider how the Practice of the Children of this Church hath agreed with the excellent Rules delivered unto them. For although their Miscarriages could not justly be charged upon her, yet we shall find that these Rules have had so great an Influence upon them, as they have never dared to engage in any concern against their Prince, nor ever been wanting in the manifesta­tion of a due Obedience unto him. Be not therefore (I beseech you) deceived with the vain Pretences of the Romish Party, who tell you openly in some of their Books; There have been more seditious Insurre­ctions since the Reformation of Religion, than were in some hundreds of years before; For as there is no rea­son to take their bare word for it, so no more are we en­gaged to vindicate any but those of our own Church. I dare not undertake to justifie all the Proceedings of the Hugonots in France, much less of the Kirk-party in Scotland; but for the Sons of our Holy Mother of Eng­land, let them (if they can) produce any Accusation [Page 14] against us, and we are ready to submit to a fair Trial. The ordinary things pleaded are the late Rebellion, and the Death of our Royal Martyr; neither of which touch us any further than as our sins added to the rest filled up the Number, and provoked God to make use of such Instruments for the executing his wrath, as startled not at the most excerable Villanies in the world. It is noto­riously known how many Persons of Honour and Qua­lity (out of mere conscience) attended that poor injured Prince from place to place, during the unnatural War; and paid their Service to his Son (our now Gracious Sovereign) throughout the many years of his calami­tous Exile. What Numbers spent their Estates, and sacrific'd their Lives with all the generous Alacrity in the world to maintein the Distressed Kings Cause, had Hea­ven given success to their loyal Endeavours? How many Thousands might we reckon up, who fought valiantly, fell gallantly and spent their dearest bloud in the asserting his Majesties just Rights against all the Abettors of Re­bellion? Whereas those who either fomented the War or were afterwards active in the carrying it on, had receded from true Protestant Principles, and sucked in those pernicious Doctrins from Scotland, which she had infectiously drawn either from Rome or Geneva. It is not barely upon my own credit that this Truth begs your Belief, take it from King Charles his incomparable Pen; (who being the Sufferer might best distinguish between his Friends and Foes.) The Scandal of the late Troubles which some may object and urge to you (wri­ting to the then Prince of Wales) against the Protestant Religion established in England, is easily answered to them or your own thoughts in this, that scarce any one who hath been a Beginner or an active Prosecutor of this [Page 15] late War against the Church, the Laws and Me, either was or is a true Lover, Embracer or Practiser of the Protestant Religion; which neither gives such Rules, nor ever before set such Examples. And for the Death of that Royal Martyr (the remembrance whereof we so much detest as to keep an Anniversary Humilia­tion upon that day) Malice itself dares not lay it at our Door. But if you would indeed be satisfied what mischievous Wretches carried on this bloudy Design, brought Majesty to bleed on the Scaffold, and openly acted such a piece of Villany, as the Sun never beheld since Christs Crucifixion: They were in plain terms the Papists and the Sectaries: who (like Sampson's Foxes) have their Tails tied together, though their Heads seem far asunder. For the Papists I shall satisfie you in their Activity afterward. For the Sectaries, the Proof against them is but too evident; and for those of the more re­fined sort, who have confidence enough (with Pilate) to call for water and wash their hands, and say they are innocent from his bloud; yet their own Actions testifie against them both before and after that dreadful Blow was given. And what horrid Encouragements to and Justifications of that abominable Act fell from the Mouths of those who were then the Godly Preachers of the Gospel, remain upon Record. Not to surfeit you with such coarse Diet, take but a Tast in two or three passages of some eminently esteemed Persons; though their Names shall be spared. When Meroz had been cursed from one Fast-Day to another, and thereby men seduced to take Arms against their Prince, called (in their sacred Dialect) Agoing to the help of the Lord a­gainst the Mighty: Then were the people of this King­dom possessed with strange Apprehensions of the King [Page 16] and his Party; some telling us it was their Design to root out all Religion. I know (saith one among them) how unsatisfied many are concerning the unlawfulness of the War which hath been managed,—As I cannot yet per­ceive by any thing they object, but that we undertook our Defence upon warrantable Grounds, so am I most certain that God hath wonderfully appeared through the whole. And as I am certain by sight and sense, That the Extir­pation of Piety was the then great Design,—So am I most certain that this was the Work which we took up Arms to resist.—The fault was that we would not die quietly, nor lay down our Necks more gently up­on the Block, nor more willingly change the Gospel for Ignorance, nor our Religion for a Fardle of Ceremonies: with several things to the same purpose. Others de­clared their Fears of a Tyrannical and Arbitrary Go­vernment, but the greatest Number like the unruly As­sembly at Ephesus, knew not wherefore they were ga­thered Acts 19. 32. together. When the Sword had for some years been glutted with Bloud, mens minds (at least) ap­peared a little more composed, Offers of Peace were made and a Treaty managed, where Another (whom afterwards his Masters rewarded but unkindly) uttered these bitter Expressions in his Sermon: Whilst our Ene­mies go on in their wicked Practices, and whilst we keep our Principles, we may as soon make Fire and Water to agree, and (I had almost said) reconcile Heaven and Earth, as their spirits and ours: Either they must grow better, or we must grow worse, before it is possible for us to agree. Where I cannot omit the Observation of an [...]. l. 3, c. 2. p [...]g 1 [...]6. Ingenious Gentleman that our Dear Prince was behead­ed just the day four years aften this Sermon was preach­ed. This and such like Stuff struck at length the Kings [Page 17] Head from his Shoulders, and (though some upon sight of their Errors repented, yet) when a disorderly Go­vernment had for several years appear'd among us in monstrous shapes, still the doings of those Usurpers were commended by others, and large Harangues made upon solemn occasions to express the Nations Happiness un­der them. One more particularly I have taken notice of, and not a little wondred at. Worthy Patriots (saith the Preacher, Anno 1656.) you that are Rulers in this Parliament, 'tis often said we live in times wherein we may be as good as we please; wherein we enjoy in purity and plenty the Ordinances of Jesus Christ. Praised be God for this, even that God who hath delivered us from the Imposition of Prelatical Innovations, Altar-Genufle­xions, and Cringings with Crossings, and all that Popish Trash and Trumpery. And truly (I speak no more than what I have often thought and said) the removal of these unsupportable Burdens countervails for the Bloud and Treasure shed and spent in these late Distractions. Did the Gentleman (think you) remember that the King was murthered almost eight years before this Pulpit-Caress? And did the Removal of those Burdens countervail for his Bloud too?) Nor did I as yet ever hear of any godly men that desired (were it possible) to purchase their Friends (sure that blessed King had a great many good men that were his Friends) or Money again at so Dear a Rate as with the Return of these, to have those soul-burdening Antichristian Yokes imposed upon us. (So that though the King was barbarously taken from us, yet better lose him, than have a Resettlement of the antient Church-Service and Discipline; for any other Thoughts would argue the wickedness of our Hearts) If any such there be, I am sure that Desire is no part of their Godliness, and [Page 18] I profess my self in that to be none of the Number. By these three Testimonies from the Pens of three great Persons, you may judge how far that Party was concer­ned in the bloudy and dreadful Tragedy. And now, I suppose you will favourably allow the first of my As­sertions proved: The strict Obedience charged by the Church of England upon all her Children.

The second will as evidently appear, That the Church Prop. II. of Rome allows those of her Communion an unreasonable Latitude in the same point of Obedience and Duty; free­ing them from the Obligations which God hath laid upon the Conscience: for it is plain, that she exempts her Ecclesiastics from the Jurisdiction of the Civil Magi­strate, referring them altogether to the Popes Censure upon the Commission of any fault. She maintains those pernitious Doctrins of Excommunicating, Deposing and murdering Kings for promoting the Cause of Religion. She allows the Pope a Power of absolving all Subjects from their Allegiance, and gives him a Right to dispose of the Kingdoms of Heretical Princes. And if we look upon the Practices of the Romanists we shall find them ex­actly fitted to these Maxims; that they have been, are, and in all probability will be a Turbulent sort of people; despising Dominions and speaking evil of Dignities. [...]u [...]e 8.

For the Exemption of Ecclesiastical Persons from the Proved [...]. By the Ex­e [...]ption of Eccl [...]astics from [...]. civil [...]ower. Civil Magistrates Jurisdiction, it is a received Doctrin among them. In their so much famed Council of Trent, when the Fathers there fell upon the Reformation of Princes, several things were upon the Wheel. Like careful men of themselves they propounded largely in favour of Ecclesiastical Immunities. That such Persons might not be judged in a Secular Court, though [Page 19] there should be some doubt of their Clerkship, or though History of the Council of Trent l. 8 p. 769 770. themselves consent, notwithstanding it were under pre­tence of Public Ʋtility or Service of the King. That neither the Emperour, Kings, nor any Prince whatsoever should make Edicts or Constitutions in what manner so­ever concerning Ecclesiastical Causes or Persons, nor meddle with their Persons, Causes, Jurisdictions or Tribunals (no not in the Inquisition) but shall be bound to afford the Secular Arm to Ecclesiastical Judges. That the Temporal Jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastics (though with mere and mixt power) shall not be disturbed, nor their Subjects drawn to the Secular Tribunal in Causes Temporal. All that excellent Device concluding with a Command under the pain of Anathema, That No Prince should either directly or indirectly under any Pretence whatsoever, suffer any thing to be Enacted against the Persons or Goods of the Clergy or against their Liberty, any Priviledges or Exemptions (though Immemorial) notwithstanding. It is true this was opposed, and so in some measure quashed by the brisk­ness of the Emperours and French Kings Embassadors, and thereby proceeded not to the height they designed; however it argued the daring Confidence of the At­tempters, the assurance they had of favourable Rece­ption at Rome, and the Priviledges they either ought or would willingly have enjoyed. And whatsoever passed, they gained a great deal more than either they deserved or could challenge. But to omit what can be gathered from this Flourish, and not insist upon things dubious; we refer the Cause to Bellarmin, and o [...]fer to stand to his Arbitrement: The No [...] possunt Cleric [...] [...] [...] S [...]cul [...]ri judica [...]i, e [...]iam si l [...] ­ges Civiles no [...] se [...]v [...]nt [...]. l. de Cle [...]icis, l. [...]. c. 2 [...], p. [...]p 3. Clergy (saith he) cannot be judged before a Secular Magistrate, though they observe not [Page 20] the Laws in Civil Affairs, for that I suppose he means by Leges Civiles. And when upon further discoursing the Point, he mentions the Apostles indispensable Charge, Let every soul be subject to the higher Powers, Rom 13. 1. I must confess his Answer to it is as much below himself, (had not his Interest been concerned) as can possibly be imagined. He will have that way of ar­guing to conclude nothing, because sometimes one Pow­er Nihil e [...]ra [...]ioci­natio [...]e. o [...]li. d [...]. is higher, sometimes another.—But be it as it will, the Pope never loseth his Power therefore he in­fers, Because the Bishop of Rome hath ex­empted Quo [...]iam summus Pontifex Clericos o [...]n [...]s exemit à sub­jectione Principum Secula­rium, sequitur ut respectu Cleric. rum, Principes non su [...]t potestat [...]s superiores: ac [...]roinde non teneantur Cle­rici Pri [...]cipi [...]us p [...]rere ne (que) jure humano nec Divino. Idem ibid. p. 327. Edit. Celon. Agripp n. all Ecclesiastics from Subjection to the Secular Princes, it follows that in re­spect of those Church-men they are not the higher Powers, and consequently the Church­men are not obliged to obey them by any Law either Divine or Humane: except only in some trivial matters (which he there calls Leges Directivae) such as a mans not stirring out of doors after a particular hour without his Sword by his side, and a Light in his hand, &c. In these petty Trifles they will out of good nature obey the King, but for any things of greater concern, therein they beg excuse to be out of his reach. So that in plain terms at this rate all the Clergy in every Kingdom are left at Liberty whether they will be Loyal or no, and the Prince shall wholly lose his Coercive Power over a considerable part of his Subjects. So that some­times it may happen there shall not only be a Refusal of Obedience to, but a downright Resistance of his Commands. Instances hereof are numerous. How saucily did Anselm carry to King Rufus, and Thomas Becket to Henry the Second, till the one died abroad, [Page 21] and the other was killed at home? And upon every occasion it would happen so still: The Clergy be­lieving themselves freed from any Punishment their Prince could inflict, and knowing full well that upon an Appeal to Rome, the Sentence would surely pass in favour of the Church. Or let it but once come to a Contest, that the Pope enjoyns one thing, the King another; the Pope passeth such a Decree, the King gainsays it; who shall prevail? Shall not the Pope? because the Church-men are under his Lash, but ex­empted from the Kings; nor will they in reason be easily drawn to provoke him who both can and will, for another mans sake who neither must nor dare cor­rect them. So that in effect they are but titularly Subjects, and will so far be dutiful to the King, as their own good Inclinations shall prompt them. Now how can he expect to be secured in his Throne by those persons, who are not under his Jurisdiction? In case their Holy Father for some particular pique at him, or to gratifie a beloved Nephew, declare him an Heretic, that he may dispose of his Kingdom, these good Children must needs tread in his Steps, and do as he bids them; they being according to their own Principles, as much obliged to take part against, as our Religion would teach us to take part with our Prince notwithstanding all opposition in the world. Besides, these Ecclesiastical Immunities drain a great deal of wealth out of each Kingdom, which might better be laid up in the Kings Exchequer. All the Profit of Collations to Benefi­ces, First-Fruits, Tenths and several other Duties of that kind, these the Pope hoords up in his own Cof­fers; a Grievance whereof this particular Nation was so sensible, that open Complaint was made against it Temp. Hen. III [Page 22] in Parliament: for such vast Sums were sent away out of this little Kingdom from one time to another, that the People were much impoverished to make it what he called it, Puteus inexhaustus, a Well not to be drawn dry: So that it is strangely wonderful how the Princes abroad to this very day, bear so great an Imposition upon them, and submit to such a Diminu­tion of their Authority; so contrary to the Rule of Scripture, so without all Precedent from Antiquity (un­less one spurious Passage palpably foisted into Ignatius his Epistles) so Dangerous to the peaceable state of their several Countreys, and so Inconsistent with the Obedience owing to their own persons.

But it were something tolerable if this might prove II. By teaching the lawfulness to excommunicate [...] & mur­ther Kings for Religion. the worst; so far is the Romish Religion from enjoyn­ing Obedience to Princes, that it teacheth those perni­cious Doctrins of the Lawfulness to excommunicate, de­pose and murther Kings, if their Religion may thereby be promoted. So that not only the Clergy but the Princes too lie at the Popes mercy. His Fingers indeed have long itched to be medling with Crowns, and therefore he employs his Agents abroad to whisper these Devi­lish Maxims into peoples Ears. Now when the grave Fathers of the Church teach and their seduced Children admit them for Truths, no marvel if the King sits uneasie in his Throne, and his Scepter be ready to fall out of his Hand. For satisfaction herein I refer you to Bellarmine again (for no mans Credit is better in that Church) Three Chapters he spends very eagerly in one Book upon this Subject, fending and proving (according to our Proverb) with might and main. The D [...]t [...]ontifex R [...]g [...]bus juber [...] [...] h [...]c faci [...], [...] nisi f [...]cer [...]nt etiam cogere per excommunicati [...]nem al [...]as (que) commodas rationes. Bellarm. de R [...]m. Pont. l. 5. c. 7. p 505. Pope, saith he, must command Kings to do these things, [Page 23] (things relating to the Service of God) and if they do them not, to compel them by Excommunication and other commodious ways. This is pretty smart, but all the while sure there is no fear of altering his Property or taking that Dominion from him which God had given? Yes there may be Reason for that too, if the Cause of Religion require the doing it. The Pope may Papa potest mutare Regn [...] & uni a [...]ferre at que alters conferre (tanquam summus princ [...]ps spiritu [...]lis) si id necessarium sit ad animarum salutem. Idem c. 6. p 901. make an Alteration in Kingdoms dethroning one man and exalting another (as being the greatest spiritual Prince) if it be necessary for the good of souls. And this unlimited Power he en­deavours to defend by a great many Authorities. Nor may he only exercise this strange kind of Prero­gative, but the good Subjects also must be so much concerned for the Catholic Cause, as to set themselves against their Heretical Ruler. Christians are Non tenentur Christiant in [...] non debeat cum evidente pe­riculo Religionis tolerare re­gem infidelem. Idem p 94. not bound, indeed they ought not to tolerate unbelieving King (and all of our Principles are with them no better than Infidels) if Religi­on be in any apparent danger. They must not tolerate him, but how shall it be helped? There is scarce any Remedy left but the deposing him; and then to make sure work they must either put him into a safe Prison or send him into a cold Grave. Now lest this Position of his should be decried as strange and novel, being so contrary to the practice of the Primitive Chri­stians, who (without question) were the best Subjects in the world; he presently answers, that they were not either to be thanked for or imitated in their Obe­dience; since it was matter of Constraint rather than Choice; And if they deposed not Nero the Cruel, Quod si Christi­ani olim non de­posuerunt Neronem & Dioclesianum & Julianum Apostatam & Valentem Arrianum, &c. [...]d fuerit quia deerant vires temporales Christianis. Idem c 7. p. 904. [Page 24] or Dioclesian the Persecutor, or Julian the Apostate, or Valens the Arrian, their Weakness, not their Will was to be blamed; their Inclinations were for it, but their want of Power persuaded them against it; which methinks is strangely contrary to the account the Fa­thers of those Ages give us, whose Religion had taught them rather to suffer than rebel. This is the sum of Hac nostrae Ch [...]istianitatis summ [...] est ut amantibus vi­cissi [...]udinem, [...]ae­dentibus patien­tiam repend [...] ­mus. Ambros. serm. 10. our Christianity (saith he whom Bellarmine himself mentions as a stickler in these cases) that we return love again to those who love us, and exercise patience towards those who injure us. Let me then seriously ask, Can any Prince in the world be safe whose fears and jealousies are thus strong to distract him? who hears such doctrine buzzed into his Peoples heads as may quickly strike the Crown from his head, and open a passage to fetch the breath from his body? that shall give his People such an head against him, as they may disobey his Commands, resist his Authority, and shake off all Allegeance, as if they were no more con­cerned in him than a stranger? yet the Pope can with the same ease disburden the Peoples Conscience, that he can destroy the Kings Authority. Certainly these Tenets must make Princes very weak, and the Mul­titude very strong, who are unruly at best, but much more troublesome when they can pretend a plausible ex­cuse to be so, Every thing they like not shall present­ly be a grievance; and if they can but fasten the least seeming challenge against their King, they will quickly employ the liberty given them of starting back in their Obedience; or perhaps they may not only prove guil­ty of denying their known duty, but of practicing se­ditiously against, and (if that will not serve turn) of assassinating him at last. Whether these late Ages [Page 25] have not afforded such examples let those who are conversant in history determine.

Their Doctrine of Excommunicating, Deposing, and III. By giving the Pope power to dispose of Kingdoms, and absolve S [...]b­jects f [...]om their Allege­ance. Murdering Kings doth bravely make way for setting up the Pope as a Dominus fac totum, to give him a pow­er to dispose of the Kingdoms of Heretical Princes, and absolve Subjects from their Allegeance. For being (as Bellarmine calls him) the chief Spiritual Prince, all the Kings of Christendom must be his Vassals, and a Ple­nitude of Ecclesiastical power is put into his hands; so that if any of those Kings carry himself untowardly to the Church, or chance to fail in his duty, presently a Bull from the Holy Chair proves as fatal to him as the hand-writing to Belshazzar, his Kingdom is num­bred and finished; it is taken from him, and given to another. Becanus hath shewed himself a fast friend in Pontifex potest mandare et dis­cernere ut sub­diti non tenean­tur praestare fi­dem Regibus, quando Reges non servant ipsis fi [...]em Be [...]a [...]. Controv. Suarez de fide Cath. lib. 6 c. 2. determining this matter: The Pope can command and decree that the Subjects shall not be engaged to keep faith with their Prince, when the Prince doth not keep faith with them: (a fine piece of Conditional Obedience). Yet doth Suarez so magnify this Doctrine, that he confi­dently asserts, whosoever maintains the contrary doth not only oppose the Customs of the Church, the Approba­tion of General Councils, and the Consent of the Catholick Doctors, but he forfeits his very reason also. Answer­able to these Positions in the year 1558. Paul the Fourth declared, that All Prelates and Princes even Kings and Emperors fallen into Heresie, should be, and should be understood to be deprived of all their Benefices, States, Kingdoms, and Empires without further declaration, and uncapable to be restored, even by the Apostolique sea; History of the Council of [...]rent, Book 5. pag. 109. and their Goods, States, Kingdoms and Empires should be understood to be common, and belong to the Catholicks [Page 26] who could get them, which (saith my Author) did minister much talk, and if it had not been presently disesteemed by the world would have kindled a fire in all Christendom. But of all the Romish Writers well­fare Tho. Bozius, who makes the Papal power so un­limited, that let the Prince be never so harmless, yet if the Pope hath a mind to take the Scepter out of his hand, it is but reasonable he should do so; nor is he in any fault for exercising his Authority. (I give you his words upon the credit of an ingenious Gentle­man.) Let a King be never so lawfully settled Sit a [...] quis Rex ju [...]e sol [...]rs, i [...]ust [...]us, potens, Ca [...]o l [...]c [...]s, pius; tamen Pontif [...]x, ( [...]piscopiq [...]e Pontifi­ce approb [...]i [...]te) valent huic auferre Regni; alteriq [...]e nullum [...]us alioqum habenti, ad jud [...]c [...]re, ubi jud [...]c [...]ve [...] no [...] modo nec [...]ssari­ [...]m esse sed conven [...]ens. [...]zius. in his Throne, careful, Industrious, Powerful, Catholick, Pious; yet the Pope (and the Bishops by his approbation) may take from him his Kingdoms, and conferre them upon another, who can lay no other claim at all to them, when such an act shall not only be judged neces­sary, but Convenient. So that upon this score a Prince shall not so much as have the priviledge of standing upon his good behaviour, or be Vi [...]. [...]lius Hi­story of Popish U [...]pations. li [...]. 2 c [...]p 1 p [...]g. 42. cherished in case he favour the Catholick Religion, with enjoying what he hath securely; but still if it ap­pear for the Romish Interest, the Pope may discard him, and place a meer stranger in his Throne: and all people are bound to believe it proceeds from very good reason, and great justice. I conclude what hath been said con­cerning these Papal Ʋsurpations, and the strange slavery whereinto Kings are brought by them, with the words of that learned and pious Prelate, the incomparable Bishop Andrews.—This Doctrine (the same whereof D [...]ct [...]i [...]â hac [...] no [...] multa p [...]st [...]cept [...]a credo [...]h [...]isto su [...]ci [...]ntur. Quid enim? Rex Eth­ [...]cus [...] no [...] po [...]est a Pa [...]â, Chr [...]st [...]anus pr [...]est: meliore erg [...] [...] regn [...]tur apud Eth­n [...]s Qu [...]s n [...]n [...] [...]m (s [...]cut est) ma [...]bi. Eth [...]cus? [...] q [...]i E [...]h [...]icis [...]nt officio su [...] in R [...]g [...]s lax [...]ri [...] at Christia [...] qu [...]u [...]. Quis no [...] su [...]d [...]os suos m [...]l [...] E [...]hnicos q [...]m Ch [...]istia [...]? Quis Christ [...]a [...]u [...] Rex esse velit ubi paretur, [...] pa [...]e [...]u [...] ad nu [...]um Pont [...]ficis. [...] 1 [...]. 11 pag. [...]6. [Page 27] we have been discoursing) once divulged and made com­mon, there will scarce be many Scepters henceforward subjected unto Christ. And why? because an Heathen King cannot be deposed by the Pope, a Christian King may, doth not then the Heathen reign more securely? who will not hereafter (as the case stands) continue in his Heathenism? The Heathen Subjects cannot be di­spensed with in their obedience, the Christians may: who then would not rather chuse to have his Subjects Heathens than Christians? What King would be a Chri­stian where his People shall obey or not obey, accord­ing to the Popes Beck and Command.

And now according to our former Method, let us IV. From the pra­ctices of the Romanists. pass from their Principles to their Practices, which have in all both Places and Ages been exceedingly troublesome, tending to the disturbance of each King­doms Tranquility, and the injury of so many Kings, as either they could or had occasion to deal with. Not to stir out of our own Nation, nor run so far back as King John, who was miserably vexed with an Imperious Legate, proudly keeping the Crown in his possession four dayes after it was tendred him by laying it at his feet: and (as many Authors report) afterwards poisoned by Simon a Monk of Swinsted Abbey: I would only desire you to reflect upon what hath happened since the Reformation. When that incom­parable Queen Elizabeth began to reign, Pius the Fourth sent a gentle admonitory Letter to perswade her into an Agreement with the Romish Church, and an invitation to send her Clerks to the Council of Trent; (an Assembly so packed, and the Affairs of it so managed, that no good issue could ever be expected from it) but these not working the effects he desired, [Page 28] that holy Father proceeds to his severities. Out comes a Bull of Excommunication long threatned, wherein by the Papal Authority she is deprived of all her Do­minion and Dignity: Her Nobles, Subjects and People throughout the Kingdom are absolved from whatsoever Oath of fidelity they had taken, so as it should not lay any Obligation upon them. But to make all sure. The Subjects of her Kingdom are severely interdicted from paying Any Obedience to Her, Her Lawes, or Commands, and whosoever should fail in the due observance of these Injunctions, must look to be fet­tered in the same Dreadful Anathema with her self. This was no sooner come out, (and no sooner did it come, then Felton an audacious fellow fastned it upon the Bishop of London's Palace Gates) but one after another fell busily to work, creating the Queen a great deal of vexatious trouble. Abroad, the Pope and King of Spain were very busie, the former desirous to make England a Portion for his Nephew the Marquis Vincolo: the latter to make it an Addittament to his own large Dominions: At home Parsons and Cam­pian talked loudly, and wrote seditiously: Somervile threatens to kill the Queen with his own hand: Parry undertakes as much, being encouraged with the Pro­mise of a Plenary Indulgence from the Pope. Savage (with whom Babington joyned) was drawn into a Treason by Giffords Doctrin, who taught it was a me­ritorious work to destroy Her, being a Prince already ex­communicated. By these means used to some, and the promise of Gratuities to others, were Lopez, and York, and Williams all of them cajoled; and Squire after­wards, who practised more cunningly to kill the Queen by poisoning the pommel of her Saddle. How [Page 29] active the men of this perswasion were in the Spanish Invasion every Chronicle will tell you. But lest they should pretend That Business was only managed by Foreigners or Renegadoes, it is certain they cannot so easily acquit themselves of that horrible Gun-powder Plot, for the utter destroying King, Lords, and Com­mons in Parliament, the Alteration of Religion, and Sub­version of the Government; a piece of wickedness so detestable, as nothing before that time could ever match it: and which when once effected (as no doubt was made but the design would take) the whole blame should be laid upon the Puritans. The particulars are to be found almost every where. Now when upon such disloyal practices the Parliament did more strictly urge the Oath of Allegeance, Pope Paul the Fifth sent his Admonitory into England, advising all his dutiful Children that they should diligently be­ware of that, and all such kind of Oaths; that they were not at all to be regarded; concluding with this phrase, Haec est mera, pura, integraque voluntas nostra; This is our plain and direct will and pleasure. Herein also he was followed by his Successor Ʋrban VIII. (at the beginning of King Charles his Reign) Adhaereat fauci­bus vestris lingua vestra priusquam Authoritatem Beati Petri ea jurisjurandi formula imminutam detis: Let your tongues cleave to the roof of your mouths before you dimi­nish the Authority of the Apostolick Sea by submitting to such an Oath. Hence you may follow these good Subjects to the Irish Rebellion, and there behold their so much boasted loyalty in the slaughter of many thousands, and turning that Kingdom into an Aceldama; Men, Women and Children murdered with an unparallell'd cruelty in a months time, to a prodigious number: the same fate [Page 30] awaiting all the Protestants and English who should refuse to joyn with them. A sad beginner of our unhappy Troubles at home.

Well, but notwithstanding all that hath been said, The Papists Plea of loyalty in the late times. the Papists have one Plea for themselves; and all ob­jections against them are presently answered with their Loyalty to King Charles the First in his distresses, and the hazards they run both of life and fortune to de­fend his Interest.

This I confess Sir seems very plausible at first sight, Answered. and I really believe hath had a greater influence upon you than all the Arguments they have mustered up to gain you their Proselyte. It is possible you will think me strangely disposed, whilest with one breath I both Acquit and Accuse, Commend and Condemn them in this particular. That there were a great many noble, brave, loyal spirits of the Romish Perswasion, who did with the greatest integrity, and without any other designs than the satisfying conscience, adventure their lives in the War, and leave their bodies in the field for the Kings service, is a Truth beyond all que­stion: and that several (if not All) of these were men of such generous souls, that the greatest temptations in the world could not have perverted, or made them desert their King in the height of his miseries: but we know there is no arguing from Particulars; nor did their Religion (as Romish) oblige them to this du­ty, since it hath in part, and will every day more ap­pear to the world, that the Grandees of that Church had the greatest hand in our intestine broils, were the main Contrivers of the Kings death; and after his Head was cut off, did caress that Piece of a Parlia­ment which then had usurped the supreme power, [Page 31] with all the flatteries which a Jesuitical Cunning could possibly invent. Heavy charges indeed, but soon prov'd: the Truth of them is but too evi­dent, and then, Sir, be your own Judge, whe­ther these Persons were the Kings Friends or no. That they had the greatest hand in our intestine Broils, and were mainly instrumental to cherish the Ʋnnatu­ral Rebellion which broke forth among us, appears by their constant endeavours to create Jealousies in the Peoples minds against the King and his Ministers of State; Scores of active persons being at that time and upon that very Errand sent from Rome into England under several Disguises, some pretending to be Gentle­men, some Merchants, &c. And so extremely incen­sed they were at the King, for not granting them A To­leration of Religion, which they verily expected, and by declaring that expectation made the ordinary peo­ple of this Kingdom fear it, and by their fearing it to express their Discontents at the Apprehensions of it: (the greatest occasion of so much Bloudshed for many years after) so incensed (I say) they were that in the Cabal at Rome it was resolved, since the King of Eng­land would not favour their Profession, they would disturb his Peace, and endeavour the Ruine both of him­self and his Kingdoms: And however for the more effectual managing their business, they did in outward appearance side with the Royal Interest, yet when their Ends were obteined, they openly acknowledged how All Affairs had passed through their hands, and were carried on by their Contrivance. That grave Seignior delivered it ex Cathedrâ, when News of his Majesties Death reached Roan. ‘The King of England (saith Dr. Moulin's Vindication of the Protesta [...]t Religion. p 58. he) at his Marriage had promised us the Re-esta­blishing [Page 32] the Catholic Religion; (No wonder that a Lie drops from a Jesuites mouth) and when he de­layed to fulfil his Promise, we summoned him from time to time to perform it: We came so far as to tell him, that if he would not do it, we should be forced to take those Courses which would bring him to his Destruction: We have given him lawful warn­ing, and when no warning would serve, we have kept our word to him, since he would not keep his word to us.’ Another Piece of Service wherein they were mainly employed was the Ʋnhinging our Govern­ment not only in the State but in the Church; bringing the Episcopal Order into Contempt, and raising a Scan­dal upon the Public Liturgy. For they were so well read in Politics as without much study to divine that when a Multitude is once left at Liberty without any Coercive Power to keep Order; when the ordinary sort have no prescribed Rules for their Devotions, nor the Articles of their Christian Faith by frequent Repetitions riveted in their memory; they mey easily be perverted by the crafty Insinuations of cunning Seducers; and ha­ving no Platform of Religion that is good, be quickly drawn to embrace one that is bad. To this purpose, let me give you the following Story from a very Re­verend Prelate lately deceased, ‘of a Gentleman who Bishop Nicol­son's Apology, &. Part 3. Sect. 2. p. 154 being reconciled to Rome by one Meredith, an an­tient and learned Jesuite, (though afterwards turn­ing Protestant, and proffering to avouch the Truth of this Relation upon Oath.) This Meredith told him that in England they had been long and indu­strious about their work of Conversion but it went on slowly, and so would till they took a wiser course. [Page 33] Two things there were must be done, before they should bring their business to a full effect. They must first find a way to remove the Bishops and Mi­nisters, in whose room they must bring it so about, All should have Liberty to Preach. Then secondly, they must get down the Common-Prayer Book, and suffer every man to use what Prayer he list. Now if these were not the main things stickled about in the beginning of the Troubles, All the Books of that time besides some of our own Observations, do very much deceive us. So that the Presbyterian was but the Je­suites Agent, and did that work for him, which he could not do for himself. Well, when the War had continued some time, and the Independent Faction be­gan Dr. Moulin's Vindic. p. 60. to prevail, then the Romish Emissaries crept into that Part of the Army: about thirty of them being met by a Protestant Gentleman between Roan and Diep, who professed their Design was to be Agitators. There they struck in with those bloudy Villains in that unpa­rallel'd piece of Wickedness, The Murder of King Charles. ‘A Reverend Person still alive, hath proffered to justi­fie, D. Moulin p. 59. whensoever Authority shall require it, that the year before the Death of our Royal Martyr a select Number of English Jesuites were sent from their whole Party in England; first to Paris to consult with the Faculty of Sorbonne; to whom they put this Question in Writing, That seeing the State of England was in a likely posture to change Government, whether it was lawful for the Catholics to work that Change for the Advancing and Securing the Catholic Cause in England, by making away the King, whom there was no hope to turn from his Heresie? And it was answered Affirmatively. This very Question [Page 34] was afterwards debated at Rome, where both Pope and Council declared it not only Lawful but Expe­dient for the Men of their Religion to promote that Alteration of State. And though when all people cried out of that Hellish Act, whereupon a Command was given for all the Papers concerning that Subject to be gathered together and burnt, yet one Gentle­man in Paris kept his, shewed it to a Protestant Friend, and with a great Abhorrency related the whole Carriage of that Negotiation. If you be not yet satisfied in the Loyalty of the Papists, you shall have a few more Discoveries. Was it not a fair Ar­gument of great Affection to the King, to be present at his Murder with a great many Demonstrations of Joy? Yet there are several Persons who could name you the Priest and whose Confessor he was, who when he saw that Royal Head struck off, Flourished with his Sword, (for he mounted the Scaffold in the Habit of a Soldier) with words to this purpose, This Blow hath dispatched the greatest Enemy we had in the world, (Mr Prynne (I think) was the first Publisher of this Story, and if there be occasion, it will quickly be verified.) In the mean while do but reflect upon the sad condition of that Blessed Prince, The Sectaries branded and rebel­led against him for Endeavours to introduce Popery: and the Romanists brought him to the Block as the greatest Opposer of Popery in the World. There are some more Stories of this nature which you may read (and worth the reading they be) in that excellent Book of Dr. Moulin's. Two parts of my charge are by this time plainly proved, the Third will not re­quire much Trouble. How finely did they afterwards wheadle the Rump-Parliament, promising what duti­ful [Page 35] Subjects they would be to that usurped Power, in case they might but enjoy their Liberty; bitterly in­veighing against the Severities exercised upon them in the Kings time. If the Rigour of the Laws were qua­lified Christian Mo­derator. part 1. pag. 16. to a Temper of Mercy, that the Catholics might enjoy but half the Liberties to which they were born, they would be the most quiet and useful Subjects of England; since their Reconcile this with the former Relati­ons. Religion obligeth them to obey the lawful Commands of their Superiors, not only for Fear but Con­science. Nor did ever the very worst of them stir in any Sedition, when they were admitted but to half the Rights of English-men: Nor were they many that ever attempted their own Relief by Endangering their Coun­tries Peace, all the rest sitting Quietly and Patiently un­der the Burdens which the heavy Hand of those Times continually heaped upon them. When Cromwel had engrossed all into his own hands, then comes out a Book called The Grounds of Obedience and Government, full fraught with the most pernicious Principles that can be devised against the Interest of our Sovereign then in Exile, and for the Encouragement of that Tyranny the rebellious Party had introduced (much like another Entituled, The Holy Common-wealth, (though writ­ten by a Person of a different Persuasion from the for­mer) And had both those Books been burnt by the common Hangman, the Kingdom had susteined no great Loss) Then who but Oliver! because he was in pos­session, and it was for the Common Good to submit unto him: Nay, the very dispossessed Prince was obliged to renounce all Claim to his Government, else he would make himself worse than an Infidel. Here was excel­lent Doctrin for Loyal Subjects to disperse among the infatuated Rabble; and what could the Design of it [Page 36] be, but to make them stark mad, who were but too mad before? It will perhaps be pretended, that these were onely the Miscarriages of some particular per­sons: but why then were not those persons discou­raged by the rest of their own Party? why were not their Writings protested against? and Themselves Censured by their Superiors? Had this course been been taken the Church of Rome had proceeded fair­ly to her vindication, and we neither should, nor in reason could have blamed her. But there is not the least ground to believe such a thing was ever attem­pted, considering how serviceable those destructive Po­sitions were in that juncture of time to their grand Interest.

And now to dismiss you from your trouble, for a The Conclu­si [...]n. conclusion of the whole, I appeal to your own seri­ous thoughts, whether it be not the Honor and Hap­piness of all the People of England, that they profess so excellent a Religion, which secures the King in his Throne, and teacheth his People a consciencious Obedi­ence to his Commands: Which instructs them so clear­ly in their Allegeance, and renders them inexcusable if at any time they deviate from it: Which in the grea­test extremities allows them no other weapons against their Sovereign, but those of the Primitive Church, Prayers and Tears: Which discourageth Rebellion though upon never such plausible pretences; and in case of miscarriages by Him who sits upon the Throne, looks upon him as unaccountable to any Earthly Power, and leaves him to the Judgment of that God, who alone hath an absolute Authority over Him. Nor will it only appear the Subjects Happiness to be Educated in it, [Page 37] but the Princes Concern to Defend this Religion, and encourage all the faithful Adherers to it. We obey out of a Principle of Piety, not out of any particular Interest; and discharge all our Duties to the King in compliance with his Command, By whom Kings reign. Which makes me very confident, that though we are now fallen to a low Ebb, he will bring us to High-water again, and This Church thus firmly established upon the Principles of Religion and Loyalty, will be so far The Object of Gods particular Care, that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it: that our Lord the King, who is wise according to the wisedom of an Angel of God, will be a Nursing-Father to the true Protestant Pro­fession among us, as the surest support of his Honour and Dignity. Let thine Hand therefore, O God, be upon that Psal. 80. 18. Man of thy right hand, and that Son of Man (of that Blessed Prince, that Royal Martyr, that Prodigious Ex­ample of Piety and Patience) whom (maugre the spite of his Enemies) thou hast now made strong for thy self. You see, Sir, how freely I have discovered my Thoughts concerning our last Discourse. What Satis­faction you may reap from them depends upon the Almighties Blessing. Only I assure you with all faith­fulness, they convince me of the Reasonableness, Good­ness and Divinity of my Religion, and furnish me with Grounds of unexpressible Gratitude to God for my Birth and Education in the Church of England: out of whose Arms I hope the Cunning Devices of Jesuitical Impostors shall never be able to snatch you, to the endangering your Souls Eternal Happiness, or the robbing your Sovereign of so good a Subject, as your [Page 38] Quality and Faculties capacitate you to be. And if these Papers may be in the least Instrumental to keep you stedfast in our Holy Communion, I shall in­finitely rejoyce at so fair an Occasion of manifesting my self,

Your very faithful Servant.

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