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long as there is such a successor, and the hope of a popish king. And now, that by the watchful providence of God, these things have been made so plain to us, is it not strange, that any man should go about to persuade us to be so neglectful and inconsiderate, as to sit still and look on, while the papists are putting their chains about our arms, and ropes about our necks? which must be the consequence of permitting a popish king to ascend the throne, against which there can be no law to secure us but this. In Edward the Sixth's, and queen Mary's and queen Elizabeth's days, was not the religion of the prince, the religion of the nation ? Did not most of the privy counsellors, and great ministers of state, and some bishops too, change with the times? Is it not customary for great men to insinuate and flatter their princes, by being of their religion ? On what must we ground our hopes of security in such a case ? on nothing, sir, but on a civil war; which such a prince must certainly occasion : but I do not fear it from this bill, but rather think it the only way to prevent it; not doubting but that there will be people enough that will give obedience to it, sufficient to execute the law on such as may be refractory, if any, which can only be papists, and such as may be popishly affected. The objection as to a civil war, and disobedience to this law, may as well be made against any other severe law that we may attempt to make against papists; and must we, therefore, let them all alone ? I hope we shall not be so inconsiderate ; but as we have discovered that their weapons are near our throats, so we shall not acquiesce in any thing less than what may secure us; that so, if possible, we may not fall into the hands of such a bloody, merciless people, which must infallibly be the consequence of having a popish king.
And, sir, as we have much to say for the having of this bill, so we have as much, for not having our time lost by going into a committee at this time about it. When the bill is brought in, there will be time enough to hear
of other expedients, if any member will then offer any, of which they will now have time to consider; that so they may be offered particularly, and not only in general: for it doth not consist with the gravity of the house, that they should be put out of the method they are most inclined to, without good cause. I am afraid there can be no expedient offered in this case, that can be sufficient, unless such as may shake the throne as to all future kings: and I hope we shall be cautious how we enter into any such debate : for if you should, you may be sure your enemies will take advantage thereof, and therefore I am rather for the bill.
SIR LEOLINE JENKINS,
( An eminent Civilian and Statesman,) Was born in Glamorganshire, in 1623, and died 1685. He was one
of the representatives of the University of Oxford, and principal of Jesus College.
Sir Leoline Jenkins's Speech, on the same.
I HAVE spent much of my time in studying the laws of this land ; and I pretend to know something of the laws of foreign countries, as well as of our own; and I have, upon this occasion, well considered of them, but cannot find how we can justify the passing of this bill, though much against it.
First, I think it is contrary to natural justice, that we should proceed to condemnation, not only before conviction, but before we have heard the party, or examined any witnesses about him; I am sure, none in his defence; and to do this, by making a new law on purpose when you have old laws in being, that have
appointed a punishment to his crime, I humbly conceive is very severe, and contrary to the usual proceedings of this house, and the birth-right of every Englishman.
Secondly, I think it is contrary to the principles of our religion, that we should dispossess a man of his right, because he differs in point of faith ; for it is not agreed by all, that dominion is founded in grace. For my part, I think there is more of popery in this bill than there can possibly be in the nation without it; for none but papists and fifth monarchy men, did ever go about to disinherit men for their religion.
Thirdly, I am of opinion, that the kings of England have their right from God alone, and that no power on earth can deprive them of it; and I hope this house will not attempt to do any thing which is so precisely contrary, not only to the law of God, but the law of the land too. For if this bill should pass, it would change the essence of the monarchy, and make the crown elective: for by the same reason that this parliament may disinherit this prince for his religion, other parliaments may disinherit another, upon some other pretence which they may suggest ; and so consequently, by such exclusions, elect whom they please.
Fourthly, it is against the oath of allegiance, taken in its own sense, without jesuitical evasions : for by bind. ing all persons to the king, his heirs and successors, the duke, as presumptive heir, must be understood; and I am of opinion it cannot be dispensed withal. Sir, I will be very cautious how I dispute the power of parliaments. I know the legislative power is very great, and it ought to be so: but yet I am of opinion that parliaments cannot disinherit the heir of the crown, and that if such an act should pass, it would be invalid in itself; and therefore I hope it will not seem strange, that I should offer ny judgment against this bill, while it is in debate, in which I think I do that which is my duty, as a member of this house,
Henry IV. of France, was a protestant; his people most papists, who used some endeavours to prevent his coming to the crown; but when they found they were not like to perfect their design, without occasioning a civil war, they desisted, concluding that a civil war would probably bring on them more misery than a king of a different religion; and therefore submitted. Sir, I hope we shall not permit our passion to guide us instead of reason, and therefore I humbly move you to throw out the bill.
The author of the following speech was, I believe, the son of the
Mr. Hampden's Speech in Reply. Mr. Speaker, Sır, I do not understand how it can be construed, because we go about to disinherit the duke, that there. fore it must be for his religion. For my part, I do approve of the bill ; but it is because the opinions and principles of the papists tend to the alteration of the government and religion of this nation; and the introducing instead thereof, superstition and idolatry, and a foreign arbitrary power. If it were not for that, I am apt to think, the duke's being a papist would not be thought a sufficient cause for this house to spend time about this bill. And I cannot see the danger of reducing the
government to be elective by it ; for why should we presume that any thing but the like cause should have the like effect? Though the succession of the crown hath been formerly often changed by acts of parliament; yet Vol. I.
hitherto it hath not made the crown elective. And why must we fear it now? Neither do I apprehend that the passing of this bill is contrary to natural justice, because we have not heard what the duke hath to say for him. self. The precedents that might be offered to make out, that the parliaments have, when they thought good, condemned persons by bill, are numerous, and without any hearing too. But if there were none, to doubt the power of the legislative authority of the nation in that or any other case, is to suppose such a weakness in our government, so inconsistent with the prudence of our ancestors, and common reason, as cannot well be imagined. And I do not think we are going to do any such strange thing neither, but what would be done in other countries upon the like occasion ; but do believe, that if the dauphin of France, or the infant of Spain were protestants, and had, for near twenty years together, endeavoured the setting up of another interest and religion, contrary to the interest of those kings and the catholic religion ; especially if such endeavours had been accompanied with such success as here, and those na. tions had been so often by such means reduced so near to ruin as we have been by divisions, tolerations, burnings, plots, and sham-plots at home, and by wars and foreign alliances, over-ruled in their favour, abroad; but that they would have been more impatient than we have been for this remedy. And, for my own part,
I cannot but admire more at the long delay there hath been, in seeking out a remedy against this great evil, than at our offering at this bill. For, notwithstanding what hath becn said, I cannot think our danger so remote or uncertain as some would suppose it. Can the king be safe, so long as the papists know that there is nothing but his life stands in their way, of having a king to their mind? which is the only thing they want, to go on with their designs, and to accomplish their expectations. Will it then be an easy thing to withstand such an enraged, barbarous people? The more false and un