Concerning the Congregation of Iesuits held at London April 24. 1678. which Mr. Oates calls à Consult.

AS no one thing seemes to have given more colour to the calumnyes of Mr. Oates against Catholicks, & allarmed the nation, then à Congregation of Iesuits held in London, Apr. 24. 1678. where in he sweares Treasonable things were treated; soe no one thing can more conduce to the Clearing of those Iealousyes raysed by these Calumnyes, then à tru account of the intent of that Congregation: for this being the foundation of a greate part of his Accusations, if it falls to the ground, the rest can scarce subsist.

Provinciall Congregations all over the Society are called in each Province by their respective Provincialls every three yeares. Ad eli­gendos tertio quoque anno Procuratores. Say their Constitutions, Formula Congreg. Prov. c. 1. p. 51. And the last yeare 1678. was of course assigned for them. Hence about that same time, the Flemish Iesuits held a like Congregation at Antwerpe, the Walloones at Lile, the French at Paris, the Gascons at Bourdeaux, the Languedocians at Toulose, those of Champagne at Rhemes, those of Provence & Dauphine at Lyons, & those of Spayne, Italy, & Germany, in their re­spective cheife townes, & Colledges. Soe that this Congregation was nothing particular to Ingland, but common to all Europe. And a like Assembly had beene held by Inglish Iesuits every three yeares, ever since they were made à Province by themselves, under à Pro­vinciall of their onne Nation.

The intent of these Congregations is specifyed in the Constitu­tions above cited, viz, to choose as Procurator, one of them to goe to Rome, to [Page 2] informe the Generall of their particular, & private affayres. Which Constitu­tions are in the hands of Severall Protestants in Ingland.

The Persons capable of entring into it, are first, Actual Superiors. Secondly the Procurator of the Province. Thirdly soe many of the an­cientest Profest Fathers, as with those others may make vp the num­ber of forty persons. That number is prescribed by the Constitutions: to which, for the Confirmation of all this I appeale.

M. Titus Oates was not present at that held an. 1678. first because he was all that time at S. Omers, as appeares, by the Oathes of Seve­rall persons, who dwelt with him all that time there. Secondly be­cause he never wore a Iesuits habit one houre, he never was soe much as Novice amongst the Iesuits: And by consequence was not capable of assisting in such an Assembly. He pretends to have beene capacitated to it by a Particular Patent from the General of the Iesuits: but this pretence is ridiculous to understanding men, how plausible soe euer it seemes to some in Ingland: for first it is not in the power of the Generall to act so much contrary to the Constitutions, & se­condly if his Power had reached to that, yet certainly he would never make use of it in favour of a person, who for his misdemea­nours had beene turned out of one Colledge by the Iesuits, & had carryed him self soe ill in the other, that uppon greate complaints, the Superiors were then actually resolved to turne him out of a no­ther, where he then resided.

The Place for the Congregation was London, rather then any place beyond seas: because only the ancientest men of their body being to meete, (besides the actuall Superiors, & Procurator) & the greatest part of these being in Ingland, it could not without very greate difficulty, & danger, be held beyond seas. The present calme, they then enjoyed, through the Indulgence of the Government, seemed to permit it: yet seing all their Persons were obnoxious to the Law, Secrecy was enioyned, as necessary for their security.

M. Tonstall by his Antiquity of his Profession having Ius Suffragii, ryght to à voice in the Congregation, Mr Edward Peters his neygh bour had order from the Provinciall to summon him to it. And this was the occasion of that Letter dated 23. Feb. 1677. But Mr. Oates [Page 3] very falsly makes Mr. Peters say, that he had writ to the Iesuits in Warwicks hire, and Worcester shire: for with these he had as little to doe, as with the Iesuits in France, Spaine, or Flanders.

This is enough to uncypher that Letter of Mr. Edward Peters, to Mr. Tonstall, which was thought soe mysterious, & soe greate à Conviction of the pretended Plot. I will adde à word to expli­cate the Latin, Least those wise & learned men, who turned it into Barbarous Language should hereafter use it as another Evidence of à more Barbarous Conspiracy. The tru import of the words are: Tria pro Domino N. N. (the Person's name) benefactore Provinciae N. Which is the ordinary forme of Commanding Prayers for such persons, who by their Charity to any part of the Society, deserve such à returne of gratitude from the whole body.

Sir Samuel Baldwin, in the try all of Mr. Irlande pag. 54. thought it à Confirmation of Mr. Oates his Evidence, that he hit on the day of the Congregation, before that letter was found. Yet at S. Omers where Mr. Oates all that time was, without any revelation, it myght be knowne to all, as soone as the thing was over: for those who returned that way, made no difficulty to speake of it, Little ap­prehending, that soe Innocent an Assembly, as to its end, & the things handled in it, could be soe maliciously represented, as they have since experienced, to their astonishment & the wonder of all men, who know the Iesuits, & their Government: or that such malicious calumnyes, could find such credit in à civilized nation.

The place of their meeting was not at the white horse Taverne, nor in the Strand. I have enquired of Severall, who were present: & most sayd, they knew not soe much, as that there was à White horse Ta­verne in all that streete: all unanimously assured, they never met there.

The Congregation was ended at the second meeting, on the 26. April. (The first was on the 24.) & severall of those, who met, that same day, the 26. April, returned towards their Severall Residences. The Rector of Liege, who had the longest Iourney yet was at Liege on the 16. May Stilo vet: altho he had à slow passage by sea, stayd one whole day at Roterdam, another at Antwerpe & athird at Brus­selles, [Page 4] on his way. Now after the ending of the Congregation, that is after the 26. April, nothing Could be don in the name of it, all such attempts being illegall, invalid, & never attempted by Iesuits any where.

Hence all that M. Oates Says, of the Iesuits dividing into severall Clubs, Treasonable things proposed in them, Resolutions taken uppon those Propositions, Rewards promist to the Attempters, the Execution commended to, & undertaken by severall persons, &c. all these things, I say, are ab­solutely false, & improbable: as appeares by what is sayd already, & shall be further evidenced by undeniable Proofes, both of Au­thenticall Attestations, & Oathes of honest men, when it shall be required, & à free hearing permitted, with security to the witnesses.

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