Page images
PDF
EPUB

and christian care, it was thought fit by the Archbishop [Laudy to change some phrases which were found in the Books of Prayer appointed for the Fifth of November. The first was this, · Root out the Babylonish and Antichristian sect, which

say of Jerusalem, Down with it,' &c. ; which he changed only unto this, Root out the Babylonish or Antichristian sect, of them) which say, &c. The second was, • Cut off those workers. who did seek by any means to draw in others, at such a distance from their principles as the Papists were, did never intend, by what they did for that end, to exclude any truly tender consciences from their communion. That which they laid as a bait for them, was never intended by them as a hook for those of their own profession.” STILLINGFLEET's Irenicum.

The following information on this subject occurs in the Preface to the Life of Bishop Jewell:

“ In the settlement under Queen Elizabeth, all the care imaginable was taken to unite the whole nation in one religion, if it were possible; and whatever was in the former liturgy that might exasperate or offend them, was taken out: By which compliances, and the expunging of the passages before remembered, the book was made so passable amongst the Papists, that for ten years they generally repaired to their parish churches, without doubt or scruple, as is affirmed not only by Sir Edward Coke in his speech against Garvet, and his charge given at the assizes held at Norwich, but also by the Queen herself in a letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, then being her resident or Leiger Ambassador in the Court of France: Aud there is a report recorded by Camden, that the Pope offered by his Envoy Parapalia to the Queen, That he would coufirm the English Liturgy hy his authority, and

grant the English the use of the Sacrament under both kinds, provided the • Queen would unite herself to the Church of Rome, and acknowledge the

primacy of the Roman See.' Smce that time nothing has been added, that might in the least offend them. Why then do they, act contrary to their ancestors ? Why do they pretend more conscience ihan either their forefathers or the Pope ? Ten years was a sufficient time for them to have found out the heresy in, if there had been any in the establishment. And we all know their separatiou was not upon any scruple of conscience they had, but in obedience to the Pope's Bull. 'The Pope, in the mean time, did what he did, purely out of worldly interest and policy, to advance bis own graudeur and wealth at their cost and trouble." If he could have secured this, the liturgy and doctrine of the Church of England should have been owned for Catholic, and have been confirmed by his Holiness's authority.-About the same time, another sort of men separated too upon direct contrary pretences. Why it is our antiquity, our decency, our too great resemblance to the Church of Rome that offends them. We are not sufficiently purged for these pure men to join with : We have too little of the Primitive Church, cries the one; too much, says the other; too few ceremonies, too much simplicity, say the Papists; too many of the first, too little of the latter, cry the Dissenters.”

On this topic I transcribe a valuable note from Dr. WORDSWORTH's Ecclesiastical Biography : “ The facts of the couformity of the generality of the Roman Catholics who then remained in England, till the æra of the publication of this Bull, [in 1569,] and that from thenceforth they began to cease to repair to their parish churches, are admitted on all hands. But, perhaps, there were other causes which coviributed to this unwelcome event, besides the thunders of the Vatican; the declension, for example, of that zeal among the Protestants which blazed out, on the re-establishment of their religion, at the accession of Elizabeth; the lamentable divisions amongst themselves occasioned by the Puritanical controversy, which now began to turn aside the heads and/hearts of so great a portion of ihe best men of the nation, from real and unfeigned religion, to the agitation of the merest trifles, in which the folly and the deceitfulness of man's heart ever led him to be zealously engaged; and the uncharitable and unreasonable intolerance in wbich the Puritans indulged themselves against every thing which bore any relation to the Romish religion.”

of iniquity whose religion is rebellion, and whose faith is fac* tion;' which he changed no otherwise than thus, Cut off those workers of iniquity who turn religion into rebellion, &c. The alterations were but small, but the clamour great which was raised about it ; the Puritans complaining, that the prayers so altered, were intended to reflect on them, seemed to be conscious to themselves of turning Religion into Rebellion, and saying of Jerusalem, (like the old Babylonish sect,) Down with it, down with it to the ground! But he had better reason for it, than they had against it: For if the first reformers were so careful of giving no offence to the Romish party, as to expunge a passage out of the public Liturgy when the Queen was a Protestant, much greater reason had the Archbishop to correct those passages in a formal prayer not confirmed by law, when the Queen was one of that [the Popish] Religion.*

* I have always viewed the inveterate Popish bigotry of Queen Henrietta, as one of the worst disasters which King Charles encountered. This gave a colourable pretext to all the reports of the Puritan party; while the Queen's imprudeut zeal iu affording public patronage to Popish priests, and the King's easy connivance at their bold and seducing practices, justly alarmed the best friends of the Protestant interest. In the words of Clarendon on another occasion, (p. 318,) “ the King's condescension in this particular abated the courage of too many, who had always opposed them and heartily detested their proceedings."

No man could have behaved with more courtesy and prudence, than Archbishop Laud did, under such difficult circumstances. (Page 502.) Yet, with all due respect to the Queen's Popish prejudices, the Primate could neither be deterred nor flattered from his just concern for the Protestant Church of England; as will be apparent, by the subjoined extract from Dr. Heylin, the commencement of which receives sume explanation from the note in page 647 : “ It is not to be thought that the Papists were all this while asleep, and that neither the disquiets in England, nor the tumults in Scotland, were husbanded to the best advantage of the Catholic cause. Panzani had laid the foundation of an agency or constant correspondence between the Queen's Court and the Pope's, and having so done, left the pursuit of the design to Con, a Scot by birth, but of a very busy and pragmatical head. Arriving in England about the middle of summer, 1636, he brought with him many pretended relicks of saints, medals, and pieces of gold with the Pope's picture stamped on them, to be distributed amongst those of that party, but principally amongst the ladies of the Court and country, to whom he made the greatest part of his applications. He found the King and Queen at Holdenby House, and by the Queen was very graciously entertained, and took up bis chief lodgings in a house near the new Exchange. As soon as the Court was returned to Whitehall, he applied himself diligently to his work, practising upon some of the principal Lords, and making himself very plausible with the King himself, who hoped he might make some use of him in the Court of Rome for facilitating the restitution of the Prince Elector : And finding that the King's Councils were much directed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, he used his best endeavours to be brought into his acquaintance. But Canterbury neither liked the man, nor the message which he came about, and therefore kept himself at a distance, neither admitting him to complimeat pur communication. Howsoever, by the King's connivauce and the Queen's indulgence, the Popish faction gathered not only strength but confidence; multiplying in some numbers about the Court, and resorting in more open manner to the masses at Somerset-house, where the Capuchins had obtained both a chapel and convent. Of this none bears the blame but Laud, who is traduced,' in libels and common talk, for the principal archi

“ Nothing in this, or any of the rest before, which tends to the bringing in of Popery, the prejudice of the true Protestant religion, or the suppressing of the gospel. Had his designs

tect in the plot, and the contriver of the mischief. On this account, and the proceedings of the Star-Chamber, ope libel is dropped at the south gate of St. Paul's, on August 23, [1637,] declaring that the devil had left that • house to him for the saying of mass, and other abominations of the Church

of Rome ;' another, two days after, fastened to the north gate of it, signifying that the Church of England was like a candle in a snuff, going out in

a stench.' His speech in the Star-Chamber put into a kind of pillory, and hanged up at the Standard in Cheapside; and another short libel made against him in verse, four days after i hat. Awakened by so many alarms, he had good cause to look about him; but more at the great noise, not long after raised, about the seducing of the Countess of Newport, a kinswoman of the late Duke of Buckingham's, to the Church of Rome; effected by the practices of Walter Mountague, a younger son of the Earl of Manchester, and the importunities of Toby Matthews, an uudeserving son of a worthy father,) Con interposing in it as he found occasion. The Archbishop, had long stomacked at the insolence of Matthews and Mountague, and had for. borne the taking of any public notice of them, till be had almost lost himself in the sight of the people. But laying hold on this opportunity, be passionately declares himself at the Council-table, on October 22, in a full and free speech to the King, concerning the increase of the Roman party, the frequent resort of Papists to Somersec house, the unsufferable misdemeapors of Matthews and Mountague in practising upon his subjects, and chiefly upon those which lived within the verge of the Court and were nearest to him, humbly beseeching him to put some strong restraint upou them, whereby they either might be barred from coming into the Court at all, or to give no offence and scandal by their misbebaviours. Of this the Queen had notice that very night, who seemed much displeased at the matter, and let him see it in her countenance whensoever he had any cause of coming where she was. But the pill was given in a very good hour, and wrought so effectually with the King, that Mountague and Matthews were purged out of the Court; the oue betaking himself to his country practice, the other for a time to bis former travels in France and Italy: Which the Queen finding to be past remedy, and knowing how necessary, a servant the Archbishop was to his great master, and how useful he might be to her in her own affairs, she admitted him to her speech again ira December following; and after some expostulations concerning Mountague, she began to clear her countenance, and to part fair with him.-But that which did most generally vindicate his reputation, was the enlarging and reprinting of his Conference with Fisher the Jesuit'; to which he bad heen moved by some of his private friends, (none of them knowing that any other but himself had made the motion,) when the libellers were most fierce against him, and afterwards advised to it by the King himself at the Council table. The former propositions had dispused him to it, and this desire of the King's served for a command to confirm him in it: But multiplicity of business gave him so little leisure to attend bis studies, that the year was almost ended before the book could be made ready for the public view. But at the last it came from the press, and was presented to his Majesty on Sunday, the 10th of February, and the next day exposed unto open sale. A piece so solidly compacted, that one of our historians (who shews himself to be none of his greatest frieuds,) gives it the commendation of being the exactest masterpiece of polemic divinity of any • extant at that time;' further affirming, that he declared himself therein 6 to be so little theirs,' (he means the Papists,) as he had for ever disabled • them from being so much their own as before they were.' And Dering, his most professed adversary, in the preface to his book of Speeches, could not but cousess, that, in his book, especially the last half of it, he had muzzled • the Jesuit, and should strike the Papists under the fifth rib when he was

dead and gone. And being dead, that wheresoever his grave should be, • Paul's would be his perpetual monument, and his own book his epitaph.""

tended to the advancing of Popery, he neither would have taken such pains to confute their doctrines, nor they have entertained such secret practices to destroy his person. Had he

Queen Henrietta was a descendant from the family of De Medicis, the stains of whose infamy can never be obliterated from the records of European history, after all the misplaced eulogies which have been lately bestowed on some of its accomplished but dissolute braoches. Her mother, Mary De Medicis, was the daughter of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and became the royal bride of Henry the Fourth of France, after the death of his first Queen, Margaret. That pragmatical woman, who inherited all the ambition of her family and their dreadful antipathy to Protestantism, was, after the murder of her husband, appointed regent of France, duriug the long minority of Louis the Thirteeuth. The embroiled state of the contending political and religious parties in France, under her rule, can be compared to no preceding period in the history of that nation, except it be to the minority of Charles the Ninth, when her royal and unprincipled relative, Catherine De Medicis, held the reins of empire, and with equal presumption and fatuity, by the aid of the villainous House of Guise, involved the country in all the horrors of a civil war, the conclusion of which she crowned, in Paris aud the provinces, with the horrid massacre of above seventy thousand Protestants, that commenced on the eve of St. Bartholomew's day, in tbe year 1572. The Duke of Sully says,

“ Catherine De Medicis imputed to the French Protesta uts “ the death of her husband, which she could no more pardon than their " having treated the members of the House of Medicis as ANTICHRIST." This Antichristian complaint had been rankling in the breasts of all that ambitions House nearly a whole century, and had manifested itself at every fit opportunity, by the horrid symptoms of domestic warfare, rapine, murder, and desolation. It cannot therefore excite the least surprize if Queen Henrietta was infected with the Antichristian distemper which was common to the rest of her Popish kindred, and wished to resort to strong measures for preventing or removing the stigma of ANTICHRIST, which attached to the Head of her Church, and which had likewise become hers by family inheritance. Neither can any one wonder at the violent antipathy which the English Calvinists manifested against the yonthful Queen, when the great intimacy which subsisted between them and the Rochelle Calvinists is considered: Her mother had waged a bloody war against them, and her royal brother had been their conqueror. (Page 266.) This feeling of detestation was not diminished by the genealogy of King Charles the First; for his Popish extraction, however remote, was remembered to his injury, when he married into a family to which bis royal ancestors had beep nearly allied. His grandmother, the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, was early united in marriage to Francis the Second of France; and her royal mother, the Queen of James the Fifth of Scotland, was Mary of Lorraine, a member of the bloody House of Guise !

The extent of this general feeling of detestation against the family of De Medicis, among all ranks of Britons, may be readily estimated by an extract from the Life of Archbishop Laud by Dr. Herlin, from whose pen few of the Puritans would expect such a vituperative passage as this to proceed. But the Doctor had a heart as truly Protestant as the best of them, and could not greet with feigned congratulations any bird of ill omen. Speaking of the King's preparations for war, he says: “ These preparations were sufficient to give notice of a war approaching, without any further denouncing of it by a public berald ; and yet there was another accident which seemed as much to fore-signify it as those preparations. Mary De Medicis, the widow of King Henry IV. of France, and mother to the Queens of England and Spain, arrived at Harwich on October 19th, [1638,) and on the last of the same month, was with great state conducted through the streets of London to his Majesty's Palace of St. James : A lady, which for many years had not lived out of the smell of powder, and a guard of muskets at her door; embroiled in wars and troubles when she lived in France, she drew them after her into Flanders, where they have ever since continued. So that must men were

directed his endeavours to suppress the Protestants, he wouldnot have given so much countenance to Dury a Scot, who entertained him with some hopes of working an accord betwixt the

able to presage a

empest; as mariners, by the appear of some fish or the flying of some birds about their ships, can foresee a storm. His Majesty had takeo great care to prevent her coming, knowing full well how chargeable a guest she would prove to him, and how unwelcome to the subject. To which erd Boswel was commanded to use all his wits for persuading her to stay in Holland, whither she had retired from Flanders in the year precedent. But she was wedded to her will, and possibly had received such invitations from her daughter here, that nothing but everlasting foul weather at sea and a perpetual cross-wiod could have kept her there."

In the very important correspondence embodied in BRAY's Memoirs of Evelyn, is a letter addressed to King Charles, on the 28th of August, 1641, by Secretary Nicholas, in which he thus alludes to the departure of the Queen : “. The Queen Mother remains still at Dover, expecting, as my Lord Marshall writes to me this morning, the return of a messenger from Flanders, so as Tuesday next will be the soonest that her Majesty will embark.”—To this extract Mr. Bray has appended the following interesting note: “ The depar; ture of the Queen Mother from England, where she had arrived in 1638, was palatable to the Parliament party, whose scribes at that period vomited forth the harshest vituperatives against her. In a curious astrological reprint of Grebner's book, accompanied by observations on the life and death of Charles, it is said, that on her coming, all men were against her; for it ' was observed, that wherever or unto whatever country this miserable old • Queen came, there followed immediately after her either the plague, war, famine, or one misfortune or another.'-Yet the same writer, when speaking of her departure, says, 'A sad spectacle it was, and produced tears from mine eyes and many other beholders, to see an aged, lean, decrepit, poor • Queen, ready for her grave, necessitated to depart hence ; having no place

of residence in this world left her, but where the courtesy of her hard' for• tune assigned it. She had been the only stately and magnificent woman in • Europe. She had, whilst in England, an allowance of £100 per day; and the Parliament gave her £10,000 for travelling expences when going away".

In Evelyn's Diary, under the date of “ 10 Sep. 1641," the following brief account is given of the Queen Mother's subsequent reception in Holland :“I took waggon for Dort, to be present at the reception of the Queen Mother, Mary De Medicis, Dowager of France, widow of Henry the Great, and mother to the French King Louis the Thirteenth and the Queen of England, whence she newly arrived, tossed to and fro' by the various fortunes of her life. From this city she designed for Cologne, conducted by the Earl of Arundel and the Heer Van Brederode. There was little remarkable in this reception befitting the greatness of her person, but an UNIVERSAL DISCONTENT which accompanied that unlucky woman wherever she went."

The plotting disposition of Mary De Medicis was inherited by her royal daughter Henrietta; and their consanguinity to the Queen of Spain and to the King of France afforded both of them an opportunity of practising their devices upon the unfortunate King Charles, by keeping him in a state of oscillation between the Courts of France and Spain, or, rather, in a state of amity with Spain, quite contrary to the Protestant interests of Europe as well as to those of his own dominions, (page 613,) till neither of those rival states had any confidence in his overtures; and, without a struggle in his favour, both of them suffered him at length to fall a prey to the rage of bis rebellious subjects. Grotius laments this crooked policy in several of his letters; and he says, (page 611,) “ I doubt whether the King of France be willing to do any thing for the King of England, before he has fully withdrawn him from the Emperor and the King of Spain.” In a letter to his brother, dated “ Paris, the 8th of March, 1642," Grotius says : “ I do not clearly perceive what I can say about the affairs of England and Ireland. All things are in a state of confusion : So that one can scarcely form any judgment about the termination which may be expected. I am decidedly

« PreviousContinue »