Page images
PDF

Further. King James the Second's quitting England, without even appointing a regent, and his subsequent behaviour at the Boyne, is an abdication of the throne, or else there never has been a resignation of royalty. Fear! He was intrepid enough before his son-inelaw became his competitor; and tho' prince William wanted neither courage nor wisdom, yet his vprowess was not so famed in the history of the times, as to strike terror into a tolerable genev ral, much less into the heart of a king, whom an exalted rank, the love of his subjects, and paternal authority, should have animated with courage and resolution. Old captain O'Regan was not afraid when he desired king W'illiam's officers " to change generals, and fight the " battle over agairffl' '

In times of invasion thrones cannot be se

cured without bloodshed. If the fear of a ball i

cannot dispense subjects with fighting for their Prince,_the prince is bound to share the danger, or at least to remain in some part of the kingdom to watch and direct their operations. if the sat'ety of the people be the supreme law,

' saz*us popuh' supt-eme: c/io, and that kings are ap

pointed guardians of the property and lives of

. their lhbjects, who in the' beginning couldhave

inflituted a rectpublican as well as a re'gal goa

i' of Eng. in a lseries of' letters, &c

vernment,

vernment, the king who prefers his personal safety to that of hisvsubjects, flies into a soreign country, and abandons them a prey to the first occupant, forfeits all right to their allegiance. 'The law forbids the use of two weight: and two measures, and there is no justice without equality.

To the Irish, then, king XVilliamsswith propriety might have applied. Curio's speech to Domitius's soldiers. U But did you desert Do-. " mitius, or Domitius his soldiers ? * Were you V not ready 'to endure' the last extremities, r" whilst he privately endeavoured to escape? " And how can the oath any longer, oblige a you, when he to whom you swore, having ** thrown aside all marks of consular dignity, V became a private person, and a captive to " another ?"* ' '

Several generations have decayed and succeeded since James the second has abdicated the throne. Time expung'es the impreffions of the nearest and dearest connections. We cheat; fully converse in walking over the 'greves of friends, for whom we formerly cried. Had then our attachrnent to the Stuarts been formed of links of steel, it could not endure to the present generation.

But after having expatiated so long on the claims of a family, commencing in our mis

'JF Casar de Bell. Civ. l. z. c. 13, f . ortune

fortune and concluding in our ruin, let us at*

'tribute to a superior cause the revolutions of * kingdoms, and in the very sport of human

Passions trace the footsteps of divine Provis denee. " That long concatenation of partiU cular' caufes, which make and unmake em" pires, depends upon the secret orders of di" vine Providence," says the bishop of Meaux. " God from the highest Heavens holds the U reigns of all the kingdoms of the earth : he " hath all hearts in his hands: sometimes he " gives a loose to them; and thereby moveth " all mankind. He it is who prepares effects " in their remotest causes, and he it is who " strikes those great strokes, the counter-stroke " whereof is of such extensive consequence. " Let us talk no more of chance, or of fortune. " _What is chance in regard to our uncertain U oounsels, is a concerted design in a higher U counfel. Thereby is verified the saying: of U the apost-le, that God is the blelsed and only

" Potentate, the King of kings, and Lordof '

U lords, who causes all revolutions by an imU mutable'counsel : who gives and takes away " power, who transfers it from one. man to " another, from one house to another, from U one people to another, to shew, that they all U have it only borrowed, and that it is he alone _-U in whom it naturally resides.* " Let us then

'* Bofl'uet, Hifioite Univcrselle, Vol. 2.' p. 403.' ' ' talk

: my;

talk no more of the Stuarts, but bid them an eternal farewel. *

_ART. IV.

'" And I do swear that I do reject and detest as " unchristian and impious to believe, that it " is lawful to murder or destroy any person " or persons whatsoever, for or under pre

" tence of their being heretics, and also that '

" unchristian and impious principle, that no

" kept with heretics."

[graphic]

5'

Any attempt to prove this article would be an idle tall-t, whereas we are sure never to convince, when w'e attempt to prove things too clear. In a word to buy a piece of cloth, and instead of paying to murder the draper, " for " or under pretence of his being an heretic," is a doctrine unknown 'to the 'most relaxed of our casuists. We appeal tothe gentlemen of different persuasions, to whom restitutions are daily made,' through the hands of the Catholic clergy, and to such of them as have been stopt on the high road, whether the robber has en'quired into their religion? Murder is against the fifth commandmente injustice andv fraud' against the seventh. To suppose then that'it is a. 'principle of Roman Catholics to murder or

cheat

cheat " any person or persons whatsoever, for " or under the pretence of their being heretics," is to suppose them ignorant of the commandments of God.

Since the time of the emperor Theodosius, laws have been enacted concerning heresy. Lawyers and divines of both communions have been divided in their opinions: Geneva and London, Calvinist magistrates, and Protestant kings, have concurred with the Spanish inquifitots in blazing the fagot, and forcstalling the rigour of eternal justice. The writ De Hearetico Comhurcndo (of committing heretics to the flames) was in force down to the reign of Charles the Second, and has met with a learned apologist in Calvin. By the statute and common laws of England, some punishments are still in force against heretics ; but how far

\ these and severer punishments inflicted by the

civil and imperial laws, are impious and unchris-z tjan, kings, not subjects, are interelted to determine.

In every Christian country, the Christian 'religion is a part of the national laws; on the other hand, heresy, in its loosest latitude, cornprehends errors subversive n'ot only os revealed religion, but moreover of morality, and justice; such as the error of the Priscillianists,

authorizing false oaths; and the error of those'

who

« PreviousContinue »