« PreviousContinue »
abjure as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminency, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm.—So help me, God.”
This was not effectual in guarding against the intrigues of the Church of Rome; and in order to exclude Roman Catholics from Parliament, 30 Car. II. required that the declaration against Transubstantiation should be taken by Peers and Commoners before sitting in Parliament. That declaration was as follows:
30 Chas. 2, st. 2. “1, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever ; And that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope, or any other authority, or person whatsoever, or without any hope of any such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null or void from the beginning."
The oath of Abjuration was introduced in the reign of King William III., and bound those taking it to support the King to the utmost of their power,—to disclaim all traitorous conspiracies against him, and especially denying any right to the Crown on the part of the Pretender or his descendants. The form was as follows:
OATH OF ABJTRATION. “ I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify, and declare in my conscience before God and the world, that our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria is lawful and rightful Queen of this realm, and all other Her Majesty's dominions and countries thereunto belonging.
“ And I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that I do believe in my conscience that not any of the descendants of the person who pretended to be Prince of Wales during the life of the late King James the Second, and since his decease pretended to be, and took upon, himself the style and title of King of England by the name of James the Third, or of Scotland by the name of James the Eighth, or the style or title of the King of Great Britain, hath any right or title: whatsoever to the crown of this realm, or any other the dominions thereunto belonging : and I do renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to any of them.
“And I do swear, that I will bear faith and true allegiance to Her. Majesty Queen Victoria, and her will defend to the utmost of my power against all traitorous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever which shall be made against her person, crown, or dignity.
" And I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to Her Majesty and her successors, all treason and traitorous conspiracies which I shall know to be against her, or any of them.
“ And I do faithfully promise, to the utmost of my power, to support, maintain, and defend the succession of the crown against, the descendants of the said James, and against all other persons whatsoever, which succession, by an Act intituled, An Act for the further limitation of the Crown and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject,' is and stands limited to the Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body being Protestant.
“ And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear according to these express words by 'me spoken, and according to the plain, common sense, and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this recognition, acknowledgment, abjuration, renunciation, and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian.-So help me, God.”
We now come to what is called the Roman Catholic Relief Act.
The 10 Geo. IV., c. 7, sec. 1, repeals all such parts of preceding Acts as required the declaration against transubstantiation, and the invocation of saints, and the sacrifice of the mass, to be made or subscribed by any of his Majesty's subjects as a qualification for sitting and voting in Parliament.
It also enacted, by sec. 2, that it should be lawful for Roman Catholic peers, and persons returned to sit as Members in the House of Commons, to sit and vote in either House of Parliament respectively, being in all other respects duly qualified to sit and vote therein, upon taking and subscribing the following oath instead of the oath of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration :
“I, A. B., do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King George the Fourth, and will defend him to the utmost of my power against all conspiracies and attempts whatever, which shall be made against his person, crown, or dignity; and I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies which may be formed against him or them: And I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and defend, to the utmost of my power, the succession of the crown, which succession, by an Act intituled, “An Act for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject,' is and stands limited to the Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and the heirs of her body being Protestant; hereby utterly renouncing and abjuring any obedience or allegiance unto any other person claiming or pretending a right to the crown of this realm : And I do further declare, that it is not an article of my faith, and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion, that Princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope, or any other authority of the See of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or by any person whatsoever : And I do declare, that I do not believe that the Pope of Rome, or any other foreign Prince, Prelate, Person, State, or Potentate, hath, or ought to have, any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm. I do swear, that I will defend, to the utmost of my power, the settlement of property within this realm, as established by the laws: And I do hereby disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure any intention to subvert the present Church Establishment, as settled by law within this realm: And I do solemnly swear, that I never will exercise any privilege, to which I am or may become entitled, to disturb or weaken the Protestant religion, or Protestant Government in the United Kingdom: And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever.—So help me, God.”
In order to satisfy the inquiries which have been made of me, and through your columns, I have gone at length into the subject. From this, it appears, that in addition to the oath of qualification, as regards property, taken by each Member of the House of Commons, Roman Catholics take only the oath substituted by 10 Geo. IV., cap. 7, and Protestants the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration.
I remain yours, JAMES LORD. 3, Elm-court, Temple, Nov. 12, 1846.
MONTMORENCY.-A ROMAN CATHOLIC TALE.
(Continued from p. 486, Vol. VIII.) We left Hubert and his friend Willoughby concluding their discussion by a friendly walk ; these conversations were frequently renewed, and Ernest fondly hoped he was acquiring considerable influence over the mind of his friend, when one morning Hubert, with considerable embarrassment, requested him to avoid in future all conversation on the subject of religion. “To our own master, dear Ernest, we must stand or fall. May he enable us both to discover the right way.”
“ Amen,” replied Willoughby, fervently, “even Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life! But why thus unexpectedly put an end to our debates, do they make our friendship less interesting ?”
“ They may make it less safe, at least for one of us; but I intreat you to press me no more. In the few weeks we hope to spend together in visiting the classic shores of Greece and the sunny plains of Italy, we shall find an ample field for conversation, without theological discussions."
“ Are you then content to enjoy my friendship only in this world, believing we shall be parted through eternity ?” asked Ernest, in a half-reproachful tone of voice.
“ No, dear Willoughby; but I despair of convincing you, and can only intreat a higher power to effect what I am unable to accomplish. Will you accept of my friendship on these conditions—religion to be in future a forbidden topic ?”
“I would not have cultivated friendship even with you on these terms; but having formed one so strong as mine, I cannot now dissolve it, though I frankly own you take from me the sweet and long-cherished hope that led me so earnestly to desire your friendship.”
Deeply disappointed as Ernest felt, he yet acquiesced, conjecturing, and truly so, that the Priest to whom Hubert confessed had warned him against Protestant influence. The mother and sister of Willoughby were both in Italy, on account of the delicate health of the latter. It was settled that the two friends should join them there, after they had visited Athens and other scenes in Greece, so dear to the heart of the poet and historian. Previous to their tour Hubert was to return home, and remain some weeks with his father and sister, whom he had not seen for many months.
When Hubert bade his friend a short farewell, the latter pressed his hand with more than usual affection, and in a saddened tone of voice wished him every blessing.
“ You are not well, Ernest, why have you not told me this?” said Hubert, as he noticed the flushed cheeks and felt the burning hand of his friend.
“You are too kindly anxious, dear Hubert,” replied he ; “ a little relaxation will undo the effects of much study and mental excitement. You will find me quite well on your return, so pray do not mar the pleasure of your relations by grave looks on account of your Protestant friend.”
Thus they parted; and Hubert, when he reached the abode of childhood, so well obeyed Ernest's last injunction that Clara almost envied her brother's cheerfulness, while for the first time in her life she felt unable to affect a composure which the thoughts of the dreaded though long desired explanation completely banished. In the course of the evening, with something of her native playfulness, she thus addressed her brother :
“Why did you not bring your English friend with you, Hubert, as he seems so superior, in your estimation, to all you have ever known; how is it that we have never been favoured with his acquaintance ?”
“ Because, dear Clara, there is a reason that would render him a most unwelcome visitor here, and I often' fear he is far too dear a friend of mine; for (as Father Joachim would not hesitate to call him, although I cannot bear to apply the epithet to him) he is a heretic." : “A Protestant! do you indeed' mean it? Oh, I am glad; indeed, 'I rejoice to hear it.” - “Glad, my sister! what can you mean?-glad of that which gives me the deepest pain ?” . “ Yes, I am indeed glad that you have had an opportunity of judging the religion he professes, and thus may be more disposed patiently to listen to and advise me. I have to relate a painfül history, but first you must promise secrecy.” . “I promise all the secrecy I can consistently with the duty of confession."
“ You must promise me more than that, or the secret shall ever lie buried in my bosom ; for I would sooner incur the anathemas of the Church, than betray another innocent victim to the dungeons of the Inquisition.”
What can you mean?” said Hubert, looking with astonishment at her flushed brow and agitated countenance.
“ Mean!” returned Clara, throwing herself on her knees before him; “to implore my only brother to grant me that promise of secrecy which only will enable me to acquaint you with the cause that makes 'my cheek turn pale and my gaiety depart.” .“ Rise, my sister, compose yourself, and believe that, if unable to make you this promise, your brother burns with impatience to share your grief and obtain your confidence.”
A silence of some moments followed, when Clara again so earnestly renewed her solicitations that, overcome by her pleading, Hubert gave the promise she required, on condition that she would follow his advice and not keep unconfessed what duty led her to reveal.
Calmly and collectedly she then gave an account of her conversation with Sir Hubert, of her walk to the cottage of Annette, her meeting with Pierre, his melancholy tale, her receiving from him the Word of God, the effect it had produced on her mind, and her subsequent conversation with Father Joachim Hubert listened with deep attention, but expressed neither sympathy for the betrayed nor indignation at the betrayers, though more than once during the recital he pressed his hand to his temples, which throbbed with rapidity.
“Have you the Bible still ?” he inquired, when Clara ceased speaking
“I have,” replied she, “and not even your persuasion shall induce 'me to resign it.”
“Need I remind you of the dying admonitions of our once dear mother, and ask if you have forgotten them ?”
“No, no, I have neither forgotten them, nor my father's anger; no, dear Hubert, nor your anticipated anger or silent looks of sorrow; but they vanish like the clouds of night before the approach of day, when the bright smile of my Heavenly Father cheers my heart as I strive to discover the right path, and cost what it may, to walk therein."