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pen; and it was apparent beyond contradiction, that the hearts of the people were alienated from the king; even the dissenters (says Eachard) shewed an unusual readiness to join the church against their common enemy; and whatever might be in the hearts of some, the church party continued to discover an equal willingness to coalesce with the dissenters. When Dr. Lloyde, bishop of St. Asaph, passed through Oswestry, in Shropshire, be sent for Mr. James Owen, the dissenting minister, and ventured to acquaint him with the secret of the prince of Orange's invi.. tation by some great persons, in which he had joined ; and added, He hoped the protestant dissenters would concur in promoting the common interest, for you and we are brethren (says he ;) we have indeed been angry brethren, but we have seen our folly, and are resolved, if ever we have it in our power, to shew that we will treat you as brethren.
Even archbishop Sancroft, in the circular letter which he sent to the clergy of his province, exhorted them to cultivate a good correspondence with the dissenters. The eleventh article of this letter,* dated July 16, bas these words, “ That they (viz. the clergy) should walk in wisdom towards them who are not of our communion : and if there be in their parishes any such, that they neglect not frequently to converse with them in the spirit of meekness, seeking by all good ways and means to gain and win them over to our communion ; more especially that they have a tender regard to our brethren the protestant dissenters ; that upon occasion offered they visit them at their houses, and receive them kindly at their own, and treat them fairly wherever they meet them, persuading them (if it may be) to a full compliance with our church; or at least, that whereunto we have already attained, we may all walk by
n Calamy's Abridgments, vol. i. p. 385. One of the articles of this letter enjoined the clergy, four times at Jeast in the year, to teaeh the people, in their sermons, “ that the king's power being in his dominions highest under God, all priests should, upon all occasions, persuade tbe people to loyalty and obedience to his majesty, in all things lawful, and to patient submission in the rest, promoting. as far as in them lies, the public peace and quiet of the world." This was a renewal of certain orders, issued out to the several bishops of their provinces, with the king's consent, by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Aug. 4th, 1622, and repeated in the reign of Charles II. "Higb Church Politics, p. 84. Ed.
the same rule, and mind the same things, and in order thereunto, that they take opportunities of assuring and convincing them, that the bishops of this church ure really and sincerely irreconcileable enemies to the errors, superstitions, idolatries, and tyrannies of the church of Rome ; and that the very unkind jealousies wbich some have had of us to the contrary were altogether groundless. And in the last place, that they warmly and affectionately join us in daily fervent prayer to the God of Peace, for an universal blessed union of all reformed churches at home and abroad against our common enemy." Such was the language of the church in distress!
It was often said, That if ever God should deliver them out of their present distress they would keep up their domestic quarrels no more ;* which were so visibly, and yet artfully managed by our adversaries, as to make us devour one another. Again, “ I do assure you, and I am certain I have the best grounds in the world for my assurance, (says one) that the bishops, when the happy opportunity shall offer itself, will let the protestant dissenters find that they will be better than their word given in their famous petition.”+ Remarkable are the words of another rever. end divine on the same occasion : “ The bishops have under their hands declared their dispositions to come to a temper in matters of conformity, and there seems to be no doubt of their sincerity. If ever God brings us into a settled state out of the storms into which our passions and folly, as well as the treachery of others, have led us, it cannot be imagined that the bishops will go off from those moderate resolutions which they have now declared ; and they continuing firm, the weak and indiscreet passions of any of those inferior clergy must needs vanish. And I will boldly say, that if the church of England, after she has got out of this storm, will return to hearken to the peevishness of some sour men, she will be abandoned both of God and man, and will set heaven and earth against her. The nation sees too clearly how dear the dispute about conformity bas cost us to stand upon such punctilios; and those in whom our deliverance is wrapt up judge too right, that ever they will be priest-ridden in this point. And if any argument
• Calamy's Abridg, vol. i. p. 426. † Ibid. p. 384, note,
was wanting to conclude the certainty of this point, the wise and generous behavior of the main body of the dissen. ters in this present juncture has given them so just a ti. tle to our friendship, that we must resolve to set all the world ngainst us if we can ever forget it ; and if we do not make them all the returns of ease and favor when it is in our power to do it."*
The reader has now seen the various and strong assurances of favor, given by the church party in distress, to the non-conformists, all which, in a few months, entirely evaporated. Nevertheless, I am fully of opinion, that the low church clergy meant honestly, and designed to be as good as their word; for which purpose a scheme was proposed to review and amend the liturgy by corrections and additions, and leaving some few ceremonies indifferent ; but there was another party which lay behind the curtain, and meant no more by their protestations and promises, than to deliver themselves out of trouble ; who, as they renounced the doctrine of non-resistance only to serve their turn, when that was effected, they seemed willing to forget what they had done, and were desirous of becoming as cruel persecutors as ever; they were enemies to revoIution principles; and when the prince of Orange had res, eued them, they would have sent him back from whence he came; these men were afterwards distinguished by the names of non-jurors, jacobites, and high-fliers, whose numbers were greater than the low church clergy imagined. They prevailed in convocation, intimidated the friends of liberty and moderation, and put an effectual stop to all further attempts of a general comprehension.t
While the bishops were in the Tower, and the princess Anne at Bath, the queen was declared to be delivered of a prince on Sunday, June 10, between the hours of nine and ten in the morning. This mysterious birth was conducted with great artifice or great imprudence; no care had been taken to satisfy the protestant part of the nation, that the queen was with child, though it was ridiculed in pamphlets dispersed about Whitehall. None of the protestant ladies were admitted to be with her when she changed her linen; nor to see the milk in her breasts, nor to feel the child
* Burnet, p. 142. + Calamy's Abridg, vol. i. p. 386.
move within her; but all about her were Italian women, The place where her majesty was to lie in, was unknown till a few days before ber delivery; and it was oddly cireumstanced as to time, most of the protestant ladies being out of the way, and preparing for churcb; the Dutch ambassador, theu in town, was not called to be a witness, on behalf of the princess of Orange, the presumptive heir; all being finished in about two hours. T'he birth was attended with great rejoicings of the popish party ; a day of public thanksgiving was appointed, on which occasion a form of thanksgiving was prepared by the bishop of Rochester; and a new set of congratulations sent up from all parts of the kingdom.
Bishop Burnet, Mr. Eachard, and others, have examined into the legitimacy of this birth with all possible exactness, but they have left the matter under great uncertainties. Some have pronounced it supposititious, and na better than the last desperate effort of the popish party to perpetuate their religion. Others, who credited the birth, have assigned very plausible reasons to suspect, that the present pretender was not the queen's child, but another's clandestinely substituted. Bishop Burnet is of opinion, that the proofs of its legitimacy were defective. However, all the hopes of a protestant successor seemed now at an end, and the joys of the papists consummated, the English reformation was expiring, and nothing short of a total subversion of the civil and ecclesiastical establishment to be expected.
The princess of Orange being thus cut off from the succession, his highness gave greater attention to the advices he received from England of the queen's having miscarried some months before, and that therefore the present child must be supposititious. The church party, being driven by distress from their favorite doctrine of non-resistance, led with others to the prince of Orange as their last refuge, and prayed him to come over to their rescue; with - this view admiral Russel, and several eminent persons, re. paired to the Hague on various plausible pretences, but in reality to invite the prince, and concert measures with him for his expedition to England; who received them favorably, and discovered a good disposition to espouse their
cause, considering that his own right to the crown was now lost, and that if popery was established in England, Holland and the rest of the reformed interest must be exposed to the utmost hazard. Little persuasion was wanting to prevail with the states-general to assist the English protestants; but all the difficulty was to keep it secret, while they were preparing for so critical an undertaking. The States made use of the differences abont the election of an archbishop of Cologn as a reason to form an army for the security of their own borders; and the prince, who had the administration in his hands, set himself under this cover to prepare all necessaries for his intended embarkation, while Mr. Zuylestein brought him from time to time the strongest assurances of the disposition of the body of the English protestants to appear for him at bis landing, which fully fixed him in his purpose.
But the French ambassador at the Hague kept a watchful eye upon the prince's motions, and gave timely notice of the extraordinary preparations for war that were making in Holland, to his master Louis XIV. from whom king James bad the first intelligence. Mr. Skelton, the English envoy at Paris, also wrote five or six letters to court on the same head, but king James gave little heed to his advices, because the prince of Orange carried it in a most courteous and respectful manner, complimenting his majesty on the birth of the prince of Wales, and causing his name to be added to the rest of the princes of the royal family to be prayed for in his chapel. However, the French king continued to alarm the court of England with the intended invasion, and offered to send over fifteen thousand men, or as many more as shonld be wanted to his assistance; but the earl of Sunderland, who bad lately complimented the king with his religion, prevailed with bis majesty not to transport an army of French papists into his dominions, lest it should confirm the suspicions of the protestants, that he designed the overthrow of their reli. gion and liberties. *
The king, being at length convinced of the prince of Orange's desigo, ordered the fleet to be fitted out, and the army to be augmented ; and dispatched orders to Tyrcon
* Barnet, p. 217