eat, an immortal deity, of ordinary bread ? How many princes have I poisoned in my sacrament; which my emissaries have transubstan. tiated into a devil, rather than a God ? How many kingdoms have I ruined ? How many common-wealths have I overturned ? How many cities have I rased? And how many millions of christians have I sacrificed to my vindictive power and greatness? And dare you cope with me? Remember what I did to John King of England, whom my holy monk Stephen poisoned in Lincolnshire. Come then to me in a humble manner, as to God's deputy, Christ's vicar, and St, Peter's successor, and restore all my church lands, which my ances. tors have (for several generations) purloined from kings and princes, for the sanctified use of the holy chair; and swear fealty to me, as to your supreme head, and holy father; and I will be reconciled to you and all Englishmen. Yea (though Peter, King of Arragon, willingly bought his salvation from Pope Innocent the Third, at the rate of his crown and kingdom) I will freely pardon you


your sins, past, present, and to come. And for your unruly rabble (that indigested lump of ignorance and precipitancy) I will have com. passion on them, and send them as many old useless merits, and works of supererogation, as would loaden a Spanish armado ; which will send them in a perpendicular line) to heaven, without touching at purgatory. And (to ingratiate myself further in the kingdom of England's favour) I will licentiate your ladies of pleasure in London, and all females in general there, to whore, pick pockets, for a Julio, or six-pence a week; which is no more than my own order of harlots pay at Rome, and all Italy over. And to all men within the walls of London, and Westminster, I will freely give liberty to be as intimate with their neighbours wires, as ever Pope Hildebrand was with Matilda, the Marquis of East's lady: or Pope Alexander the Sixth was with his own daughter Lucretia. And (in one word) I will let the inhabitants of the whole isle of Britain fulfil their heart's desire, in all kind of villainies and abominations, without sinning. For, as Bellarmine tells you, I can make that which is sin, no sin ; and that which is no sin, sin. But if you will not submit yourself, nor humble your highness to my holiness; then will I cloath myself with cursing, and take the thunderbolt of excommunication in my mouth; with the sword of supremacy, I will cut asunder the cords of unity, and with the breath of my mouth will I dissipate the peace of all nations. I will incense my rebellious first born, his most christian majesty of France, to invade your territories, bạrn your cities, put your males to the edge of the sword, and rip up your women with child, without pity or compassion; as he lately served your tribe* in his own kingdom ; and, as I'+ once served the Waldenses and Albigenses. I will privately contrive your overthrow, by my desperate jesuits, monks, and friars; whom I will, after death, canonise, for murder, mischief, and conspiracy. I I will found an order of Irish cut-throats (men mighty for mischief)

The Protestants of the principality of Orange.

Alluding to Father Garnet, and other Jesuits and priests, that have been executed for treason.

The Pope.


who will divide the wind-pipes of all Protestants, and subtract breath from their whole bodies. They shall dig as deep as purgatory, for the contrivance of a new gun.powder treason; and make a

1; covenant with hell, for your destruction. And (if I can bring my projects to a period) I will hold a spiritual court in Smithfield, and decide all controversies with fire and faggot; till I level the nation. with the dust, and make the isle of Great Britan acknowledge me for their superior. Finally, I cannot but resent your deportment towards my niece, your glorious queen, who left England without bidding farewel to her favourites ? only taking along with her the Prince of Wales, whom you term her supposed son. But it is an hyperbole, beyond the conception of humanity, that a king, pretend. ing to so much reason, religion, and piety, should praise (or rather mock) God for a child, whilst his queen had only conceived a pillow, and was brought to bed of a cushion, to cheat his subjects of their ancient and royal line, and his own posterity of their crowns, ą d kingdoms. This was the old contrivance of another Mary. Queen; but Philip was more a man than to own the brat of sophis, try, and father the impudence of so villainous a fact. But let the production be what it will, real or imaginary, my singing of Te Deum, in St. Mary's Church at Rome, is enough both to naturalise and legitimate it lawful Prince of Wales, and apparent heir to the crowns of three kingdoms. I have sent you this letter by Guido Faux, the younger; whose brains are big of a gun-powder plot; therefore (as you love your life and well-being) honour him, with all and as much respects as it were I myself. Father Peter saluteth you with my whole consistory of cardinals, and clergymen of my sacred conclave. I desire to be remembered to Titus Oats, andSamuel Johnson. If the tide turn, I will talk with them, and reward them, according to their fidelity. Thus, expecting a speedy answer, before I proceed any further in my great designs, I continue

Your hurtful

INNOCENT,* Written from my Court at Rome,

Prid. Calend. Jan. 1689.

[ocr errors]

The Church of England's Answer to the preceding Letter,

Grand Impostor, Whether you, with your clergy, be possessed with the spirit of error and delusion, and cast in a bed of sensuality, to wallow in your own filthiness, with your eyes darkened, and your ears deafened, we know not; but certainly there must be a great mystery in your obstinacy: for you shut your senses (which are the gates of your understanding) against the clearest evidences of truth, scripture, and reason. Our learned divines have, these several years,

confuted your opinions of ridiculous nonsense, by sound arguments, and uną deniable demonstrations; till (being wearied with your contradic,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

tions) grooms, pages, and porters began to discover your nakedness, in your ignorance and superstition; and by writing against you, to convince you of your fooleries, fopperies, and chimerical fancies. Yet, for all this, are you not ashamed of your abominations and filthiness? Thus (since you shut your ears against the word of manifest truth, and the kingdom of heaven, against the whole world, denying the principles of sure and unquestionable faith) we desire none of your converse; for there can be no fellowship betwixt light and darkness, nor between God and Belial; for they, that are wil. fully filthy, will be filthy still; neither can we send you any answer fitter than that the Grecian Church sent to Pope John the Twentythird, when he wrote to them to bow and submit to him as to their terrestrial God and infallible supreme: “ We do assuredly (said they) acknowledge your high power over your subjects, but we cannot abide your high pride, we cannot quench your greedy cove. tousness: the devil is with you, but God is with us.”. Thus (with the Eastern churches) we must leave you, and let alone: : yet, with the prophet will we wail over you, and cry out, We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed.' Remember what the Lord saith, Isaiah 1. 11. * Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks : walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand, ye

shall lie down in sorrow. Thus not fearing your power, curses, nor thunder-bolts of excommunication, nor all the train of your in. fernal court, whilst God is with us) we continue still stedfast in that faith, whereof Christ Jesus is both the foundation and chief corner stone; who is able to preserve and present us spotless before the throne of his grace, with exceeding great joy. To whom with the Father and Holy Ghost, be ascribed glory, honour, and praise; with dominion, majesty, and power; world without end, Amen.

London, Jan. 6th, 1689.





[From a Folio, containing eighteen pages, printed in the year



EN generally, at present, busy themselves in discoursing about the succession, and therefore cannot but be pleased to have a short history of it set before them: for, by seeing how the crown has

[ocr errors]

descended, and in what manner, and upon what grounds, the
natural course of the descent hath been changed, they will be ena.
bled to judge what has been the the opinion of all ages, in this so
controverted a point, and thereby may safely direct their own.

Nothing certain has come down to us, of the nature of the govern-
ment of this island, before the Romans came thither; only this we
learn from Cæsar *, and Strabo +, and Tacitus t, that the Britons
were subject to many Princes and States, not confederate, nor con.
sulting in common, but always suspecting, and frequently warring
with one another.

During the Heptarchy, whilst every kingdom was governed by different laws, we cannot think they agreed in one rule of succession. But, if that does not, I am sure, the reading the many changes and con. fusions of those times must convince any man, that their rule was un. certain, or else that they had no rule at all.

Those seven kingdoms were at last united under Egbert: but yet our historians, who lived nearest those times, expressed themselves so odly in this matter, and do so constantly mention the election of almost every king, before they tell us of his coronation, that some learned men have doubted, whether, before the conquest, the go. vernment of this island was ever grown up into a settled hereditary monarchy. Surely, if it were so, yet all must agree, that then the succession was not guided by the same rules, as some men believe, or pretend, it ought now to be. Egbert himself, the first English mo. narch, came to the crown, not by succession, but election, being no way related to Brissicus, the last of the West-Saxon kings; and, when he died, he gave the kingdoms of Kent and Essex to his second son. Ethelwolf divided the whole island between his two sons, Ethelbald and Ethelbert. Athelstan (though a bastard) succeeded his father, and was preferred to his legitimate brothers. Edred, the younger brother of king Edmund, was advanced to the throne, though the deceased prince had two sons, Edwin and Edgar, who did both of them reign afterward successively. Edgar left a son at his death; but yet there happened a mighty contest about his suc. cessor, some of the great men contending for the election of Ethelred, his brother. But,at last, the interest of Edward, the son, prevailed, and he was, in full assembly, elected, consecrated, and anointed king. That which Ailredus, Abbot of Rievallis, in his life of Ed. ward the Confessor, gives an account of, seems very remarkable to our purpose. King Ethelred (who was no tame and easy prince). desirous to establishi his successor in his life time, summoned a great council, expresly for that purpose, and proposes the thing to them. The council were divided, some of them appearing for Edmund, his eldest son, and some for Alfred, his second son, by Queen Emma. But, at last, upon some superstitious fancy, they agreed to pass by both of them, and elected the infant that was in the queen's womb. To which election, the king gave his royal assent, and the whole as.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

sembly swore fealty to the child, whilst yet unborn. Undoubtedly, this story makes it plain, that it was not enough at that time to intia tle one to the crown, that he was the king's eldest son: for then Ethelred would never have suffered a debate about the election of a successor, nor summoned a parliament expresly for that purpose, which you see he thought necessary to be done. And, notwithstanding all his care,


seems, upon the death of Ethelred, Canutus had sa great an interest, that by an unanimous consent, in a full council, he was elected king, and all the issue of the last prince rejected. It is true, the Londoners stood firm to Edmund Ironside (the ap, probation of that renowned city had then no little influence on the succession) and there were divers battles fought between them: buty at last, they came to an agreement, and Edmund dying, the Dane ruled the whole island peaceably whilst he lived.

Immediately, upon the death of Canutus, there was assembled, at Oxford, a great council

, to determine who ought to succeed; where, notwithstanding all the interest which Godwin, Earl of Kent, and the West-Saxon great men, could make on the behalf of Hardicanute, the legitimate son of the dead king, they were over voted, and Harold Harefoot (his bastard, begotten on Ailena, or Elgiva) was elected. Harold died in the fifth year of his reign, and then the people were content to accept of Hardicanute for their king, and, to that end, sent for him out of Flanders; but he dying issueless, it was ordained in a general council, that never any Dane should, for the future, be ad. mitted to reign in England. After which, they proceeded to elect Alfred, the son of Ethelred and, he being murdered by the treachery of Earl Godwin, they chose his brother Edward, commonly called Edward the Confessor. Nor were these elections of theirs made with any respect to nearness of blood, more than those whereof we have heard before; for Edmund Ironside, their elder brother, had a son then alive, whose name was Edward, and who was father to Edgar Atheling, living also at the same time. And though this Edward had an undoubted title to the crown, if proximity of blood could have given it, yet the Confessor was so far from suspecting any danger from such a title, as that he invited his nephew into England, and welcomed him, when he came, with the greatest expressions of joy, and entertained him with the greatest confidence. Nor had the people any regard to this royal blood upon the death of the Confessor, but elected Ilarold, the son of Earl Godwin, who had no pretence of kindred to the Saxon line.

These few, among many other instances which may be given, will shew plainly enough, how men entitled themselves to the crown in those days, and that then it was no strange thing to hear of a parlia. ment's meddling with the succession. Therefore, I suppose, the men, who seem astonished at the boldness of a parliament, in presuming to speak of it at this time *, will say, that they ought not to be troubled with precedents before the Norman Conquest; and that though the Saxons might be guilty of preferring a brave and deserving bastard,

+ Of the revolution,

« ElőzőTovább »