« ÖncekiDevam »
said his majesty, “ laws enough are made already. “ It stands on two points, persuasion and compul“sion : men may persuade, but God must give the “ blessing. Jesuits, priests, puritans and sectaries
erring both on the right hand, and on the left “ hand, are forward to persuade unto their own “ ends; and so ought you, the bishops, in your
example and preaching : but compulsion to obey “ is to bind the conscience. There is a talk of a “ match with Spain ; but, if it shall prove a fur“ therance to (her) religion, I am not worthy to “ be your king. I will never proceed, but to the glory of God, and content of my subjects *.
This was conciliating language; but it produced no effect. “ The protestants,
says Fullert, grieved at the match, fearing that the mar
riage would be the funeral of their religion ; “ and their jealousies so descanted thereon, that “ they suspected, if taking effect, more water of " the Tyber than of the Thames would run down “ London bridge.” With these feelings the commons presented an address to his majesty, representing the alarming growth of the Austrian
power, the confederacy of the catholic princes on the continent, the increase of catholics in England and their expectations of advantage from the Spanish match : they urged his majesty to make war with Austria, to execute with severity the laws against the catholics, and to marry his son to a protestant princess. The king answered by a letter to the
* Rushworth, vol. i. p. 21. Dodd, vol. ii. p. 444. + Church History, l. x. p. 100.
speaker, expressed in terms, which increased the flame *
The account of the journey of prince Charles to Spain belongs to the general history of England ; some particulars of it, however, may properly find a place in these pages. The king was aware of the jealousy, which his subjects entertained of the match : “ The matter of religion,” he observed in one of his despatches to lord Digby, his ambassador at Madrid, “ is to us, of most principal considera“ tion: for nothing can be to us dearer than the “ honour and safety of the religion, which we pro“ fess. And therefore, seeing that this marriage, “ if it shall take place, is to be with a lady of a “ different religion from us, it becomes us to be “ tender, as on the one part, to give them all satis“ faction convenient, so, on the other, to admit “ nothing that may blemish our conscience, or de
tract from the religion here established t." He recommended to the chaplains of the prince not to engage unnecessarily in religious controversy; and, in case of a challenge, to act on the defensive. He directed them to appropriate an apartment for the celebration of the divine service; to have it respectably fitted up, that prayers should be said twice a day; that, “ in the sermons, there should be no
polemical preachings; that they should only
apply themselves to preach, in moral lessons, “ Christ crucified ;” and that they should take with them many copies of the thirty-nine articles,
* Rushworth, p. 40, 43. Dodd, vol. ii. p. 446, 448. + Collier's Ecc. Hist. vol.ii. p. 726.
the books of common prayer in many languages,and,--the king's own works in English and Latin.
To recommend his son to the Spanish court, he issued an order to the lord keeper*, in which he signified it to be his intention to grant pardons to all roman-catholics, who should sue for them, within five years. By his directions, Williams, the bishop of Lincoln and lord privy seal, published an apologetical address t; excusing this measure on the ground that the king had been making applications to all foreign princes for some indulgence to the distressed protestants in their dominions, and that he was still answered by objections derived from the severity of the English laws against catholics. “Be“ sides,” says the lord keeper,. “ the papists are “ no otherwise out of prison, than with their “ shackles about their heels, and good recogni
zances to present them at the next assizes.”. After all, to copy one of the many excellent remarks of Hume I, “ it might occur to James, that, if the
extremity of religious zeal were ever to abate
among christian sects, one of them must begin ; “ and that nothing would be more honourable to “ England, than to have led the way in sentiments so wise and moderate.
The manner, in which the prince was treated both by the Spanish court and the Spanish nation, did them the highest honour. Sensible of the confidence, which he had reposed in them, they never availed themselves of his situation to importune him on the subject of religion, or to require more than decent terms, upon that or any other account. The pope addressed to the prince a letter in terms of affection and respect: his holiness expresses in it, with elegance and delicacy, his sense of the personal merit of the prince; he commends his predecessors for their piety and regard to the apostolic see, invites him to follow their example, and concludes with a wish, couched in paternal language, for his glory and prosperity. The prince answered his holiness, in kind though general terms, expressing regard and promising moderation in all his conduct towards that portion of his subjects, who were in communion with the holy see *.
* Dodd, vol. ii. p. 439. + Rushworth, vol. i. p. 63. Dodd, vol. ii. p. 448.
* Chap. xlix.
On account of the difference in religion, a dispensation for the marriage between the prince and the infanta was necessary. To dispose the pope towards it, James relaxed the execution of the penal laws against the catholics. Several jesuits and secular priests were discharged from imprisonment, the prosecutions against recusants were stopped, and a general spirit of religious indulgence was discovered. Much offence was taken at these symptoms of moderation: a letter to James, attributed by some to Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, by others, to Matthews, archbishop of York t, was extensively circulated; it reproached the king in coarse terms, with his intended toleration, of the
* Rushworth, vol. i. p. 78. Dodd, vol. ii. p. 441, 442, 444. + Cabbala, p. 108. Dodd, vol. ii. p. 463.
roman-catholic religion, and dissuaded him from marrying his son to the infanta, or any catholic princess.
The match, however, proceeded : the articles were agreed to: the free exercise of the catholic religion was secured to the infanta and her attendants: the arrangements were not on a larger plan, than her rank evidently required : but the king agreed by secret articles to procure a free and liberal toleration of the catholic religion: the dispensation from the pope arrived, and all obstacles seemed to be finally removed, when the duke of Buckingham, in an evil hour, prevailed on the king and the prince to break off the treaty for the marriage. It was accordingly dissolved, and in the most unhandsome manner. Both the monarch and his son acted in this shameful business with a total disregard of truth and honour : the advocates of the prince defended him by attributing his conduct to the fatal ascendancy, which the impetuous and domineering character of Buckingham had obtained over him : still they could not but feel that, if this apology was received, the gentleness of Charles must be admitted to approach nearly to pusillanimity.
It is observable that, very soon after the treaty for the marriage with the infanta was thus disposed of, James, in answer to an address of the commons urging a severe execution of the laws against the catholics, affirmed, with the solemn asseveration of an oath, that he never had any thought of granting