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ism, as well as against all Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics. Whereas the title of protestants assumed by the whole herd of dissenters (except ourselves) depends entirely upon their protesting against archbishops, bishops, deans, and chapters, with their revenues, and the whole hierarchy ; which are the very expressions used in the solemn league and covenant,* where the word popery is only mentioned ad invidiam; because the catholics agree with the episcopal church in those fundamentals.

Although the catholics cannot deny, that in the great rebellion against king Charles I. more sol. diers of their religion were in the parliament army than in his majesty's troops ; and that many jesuits and friars went about, in the disguise of preso byterian and independent ministers, to preach up rebellion, as the best historians of those times in. form us; yet the bulk of catholics in both kingdoms preserved their loyalty entire.

The catholics have some reason to think it a little hard, when their enemies will not please to distinguish between the rebellious riot committed by that brutal ruffian sir Phelim O'Neal, with his tumultuous crew of rabble, and the forces raised afterward by the catholic lords and gentlemen of the English pale, in defence of the king, after the English rebellion began. It is well known that his majesty's affairs were in great distraction some time before, by an invasion of the covenanting

* The solemn league and covenant, in the rebellion against king Charles I. 1643; of which it was a principal object “ to endea. vour the extirpation of prelacy, that is, church government by archbishops, bishops, deans, archdeacons, and all other episcopal officers depending on that hierarchy."

Scottish kirk rebels, and by the base terms the king was forced to accept, that they might be kept in quiet, at a juncture when he was every hour threatened at home by that fanatic party, which soon after set all in a flame. And if the catholic army in Ireland fought for their king, against the forces sent over by the parliament, then in actual rebellion against him, what person of loyal principles can be so partial as to deny that they did their duty, by joining with the marquis of Ormond and other commanders, who bore their commissions from the king? For which great numbers of them lost their lives and forfeited their estates ; a great part of the latter being now possessed by many descendants from those very men, who had drawn their swords in the service of that rebellious parliament, which cut off his head and destroyed monarchy. And what is more amazing, although the same persons, when the Irish were entirely subdued, continued in power under the rump, were chief confidants and faithful subjects to Cromwell, yet, being wise enough to foresee a restoration, they seized the forts and castles here out of the hands of their brethren in rebellion, for the service of the king ; just saving the tide, and putting in a stock of merit sufficient not only to preserve the land which the catholics lost by their loyalty, but likewise to preserve their civil and military employments, or be higher advanced.

Those insurrections wherewith the catholics are charged, from the beginning of the seventeenth century to the great English rebellion, were occasioned by many oppressions they lay under.They had no intention to introduce a new religion, but to enjoy the liberty of preserving the old; the very same which their ancestors professed from the time that Christianity was first introduced into this island, which was by catholics; but whether mingled with corruptions, as some pretend, does not belong to the question. They had no design to change the government; they never attempted to fight against, to imprison, to betray, to sell, to bring to a trial, or to murder their king. The schismatics acted by a spirit directly contrary; they united in a solemn league and covenant to alter the whole system of spiritual government, established in all Christian nations, and of apostolic institution; concluding the tragedy with the murder of the king, in cold blood, and upon mature deliberation; at the same time changing the monarchy into a commonwealth.

The catholics of Ireland, in the great rebellion, lost their estates for fighting in defence of their king. The schismatics, who cut off the father's head, forced the son to fly for his life, and overturned the whole ancient frame of government, religious and civil; obtained grants of those very estates which the catholics lost in defence of the ancient constitution, many of which estates are at this day possessed by the posterity of those schismatics : and thus they gained by their rebellion, what the catholics lost by their loyalty.

We allow the catholics to be brethren of the dissenters; some people indeed (which we cannot allow) would have them to be our children, because we both dissent from the church established, and both agree in abolishing this persecuting sacramental test: by which negative discouragement, we are both rendered incapable of civil and military employments. However, we cannot but wonder at the bold familiarity of these schismatics, in calling the members of the national church their brethren and fellow protestants. It is true that all these sects (except the catholics) are prethren to each other in faction, ignorance, iniquity, perverseness, pride, and (if we except the quakers) in rebellion. But how the churchmen can be styled their fellow protestants, we cannot comprehend: because, when the whole Babel of sectaries joined against the church, the king, and the nobility, for twenty years, in a match at football, where the proverb expressly tells us that all are fellows; while the three kingdoms were tossed to and fro, the churches and cities and royal pa. laces shattered to pieces by their balls, their buf. fets, and their kicks; the victors would allow no more fellows at football; but murdered, sequestered, plundered, deprived, banished to the plantations, or enslaved all their opposers, who had lost the game.

It is said the world is governed by opinion; and politicians assure us that all power is founded thereupon. Wherefore, as all human creatures are fond to distraction of their own opinions, and so much the more as those opinions are absurd, ridiculous, or of little moment, it must follow, that they are equally fond of power. But no opinions are maintained with so much obstinacy as those in religion, especially by such zealots who never bore the least regard to religion, conscience, honour, justice, truth, mercy, or common morality, farther than in outward appearance, under the mask of hypocrisy, to promote their diabolical designs. And therefore bishop Burnet, one of their oracles, tells us honestly, that the saints of those fanatic times pronounced themselves above morality; which they reckoned among beggarly elements; but the meaning of these two last words, thus applied, we confess to be above our understanding

Among those kingdoms and states which first

embraced the reformation, England appears to have received it in the most regular way: where it was introduced in a peaceable manner, by the supreme power of a king * and the three estates in parliament; to which, as the highest legislative authority, all subjects are bound passively to submit. Neither was there much blood shed on so great a change of religion. But a considerable number of lords, and other persons of quality through the kingdom, still continued in their old faith, and were, notwithstanding their difference in religion, employed in offices civil as well as military, more or less in every reign, until the test act in the time of king Charles II. However, from the time of the reformation, the number of catholics gradually and considerably lessened. So that in the reign of king Charles I. England became in a great degree a protestant kingdom, without taking the sectaries into the number; the legality whereof, with respect to human laws, the catholics never disputed; but the puritans, and other schismatics, without the least pretence to any such authority, by an open rebellion destroyed that legal reformation, as we observed before, murdered their king, and changed the monarchy into a republic. It is therefore not to be wondered at, if the catholics, in such a Babel of religions, chose to adhere to their own faith left them by their ancestors, rather than seek for a better among a rabble of hypocritical, rebellious, deluding knaves, or deluded enthusiasts.

We repeat once more, that if a national religion be changed by the supreme legislative power, we cannot dispute the human legality of such a

Henry VIU

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