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with the same view of introducing Popery, he was holding correspondence with the Apostolic chair. But Innocent continued to disapprove of his wild measures, and only sent a nuncio into England, who appointed four Vicars Apostolical, and dispersed a few pastoral letters. Although to correspond with the Pope had been made treason by Act of Parliament, James gave this nuncio a public reception at Windsor. While he thus, in various ways, exposed the hollowness of his professed liberality, Baxter and others of the more sensible Nonconformists, desirous as they were of the free exercise of their religion, apprehended the consequences of admitting Papists to the same privilege; and agreed that the King had no right to dispense with penal statutes by his simple prerogative.
1688. VII. Exasperated by so many acts of tyranny and folly, and justly alarmed for the downfal of religion and liberty, the leading members of the Church concerted measures with the Prince of Orange, for the exertion of his influence in obstructing the advancement of Popery, and for preventing the Dissenters from
Personal attachment towards William Penn; who, though, from bis correspondence with Tillotson, he was certainly no Catholic in disguise, as some have reported, as certainly went to Holland to persuade the Prince of Orange, to fall in with the measures of James, in favour of that body.
coalescing with the court party. The King, ir, ritated by the success of this scheme, and by the failure of his own design for gaining over the Nonconformists, now became still more violent from opposition, and by thus persisting in his infatuated councils, accelerated the period of his ruin *
VIII. A new declaration in favour of liberty of conscience, promised larger indulgences to the Papists than the former had allowed: but when an order was issued for its being read in all parish churches, the leading clergy, and indeed the whole body, excepting 200, were determined to refuse compliance. It was promulgated in only seven of the London churches. A respectful petition, signed by the Primate and six Bishops, was presented to the King; professing no want of reverence for His Majesty's authority, or of inclination to favour the toleration of Dissenters, when determined on in Parliament and Convo
* James attempted to convert the Princess of Orange to the Catholic faith ; but she replied very sensibly, that it had never been fully settled where infallibility lay, whether in a Pope or in a Council ; that she would take her faith on evidence, and .not from dictation; and that St. Paul encouraged this resolution, by desiring those whom he addressed, to judge what he said." The Monarch likewise essayed to proselytize the Prince, his son-in-law. So vain is it to trust, that a Catholic, who is quite in earnest, deeming all creeds but his own to be out of the pale of salvation, can abide by his promise of not attempting the conversion of others.
cation; but signifying objections to the reading of the declaration, on the ground of the illegality of the dispensing power. On receiving this paper, the King exclaimed in rage, that they should feel what it was to disobey his mandates : and they retired from his presence, meekly, but resolutely, replying, “ The Lord's will be done.” These confessors, whose names it would be unpardonable to omit, were Sancroft, Kenn, Lake, Turner, Lloyd, White, and Trelawney. They were sent to the Tower annidst the mingled cheers and lamentations of all orders of the people, who covered the banks of the river as they were carried along, imploring their blessing, and congratulating them upon the triumph of principle. Soon after, to the inexpressible satisfaction of the nation at large, these resolute divines were acquitted on being brought to trial. But not even this award of the law, and expression of the public sentiment, could. bend the obstinacy, or dispel the infatuation of James. Too tyrannical in temper, too devoted to his Queen, too closely hemmed in by Jesuits, he altered not his conduct, nor would provide in time for his preservation.
IX. James earnestly wished to receive the sanction of the Prince of Orange, to his measures for suspending the test; but he could only obtain from that prudent expectant of the throne the following remarkable answer: the
more remarkable, since it controverts the notable doctrine of modern politics, that every man is persecuted who is excluded from public offices : “ The Prince and Princess give heartily their consent for repealing legally all the penal statutes; as well those which have been enacted against the Catholics, as against the Protestant Nonconformists: yet the Test ought not to be considered as a penalty inflicted on the professors of any religion, but as a security provided for the established worship; and it is no punishment on men to be excluded from offices, and to live peaceably on their own revenues or
industry * "
X. Forgetful of their differences, all parties, both civil and ecclesiastical, were now united in opposition to their Monarch. With the Wbigs, he was an object of hatred as an arbitrary sovereign ; with the Tories, as he had forgotten their services and loyalty; with the High-churchmen, as he was overthrowing the religion established in England; and with the Nonconformists, as Popery was au abomination in their eyes t.
Though apprised of this prevailing odium, James enjoyed his dream of infatuation, till certified that the Prince of Orange, invited by the general voice of the nation, was preparing
† Sancroft, indeed, in a pastoral letter, advised his clergy to correspond with the Dissenters.
to invade his dominions. His confidence now forsook him, and in the countenances of his few adherents, he observed only the gloomy image of his own dismay. It was hastily resolved, that the ecclesiastical commission and dispensing power should be annulled; the Bishop of London and the Fellows of Magdalene College restored ; licenses to Popish schoolmasters recalled; and the four Apostolical Vicars deprived of their authority : that the vacant sees should be filled; the city charter restored; and a free parliament summoned, which might settle the English church agreeably to the Act of Uniformity. These concessions, however, came too late. The Magdalene Fellows were, indeed, restored : but a report having reached London, that the invading fleet was dispersed, the act for their restoration was recalled. This insincerity secured the ruin of the King. William now arriving, published a declaration, enumerating the existing abuses, and promising protection to the constitution in church and state, with toleration to all dissenters from the established faith. This instrument was reinforced by a short paper, on the designs of the Prince's arrival, drawn up by Bishop Burnet.
XI. The reign of James the Second thus drew to a close. His counsellors, his army, his family, deserted him: and he withdrew into France, leaving a note upon his table, declaring,