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then alive, were enabled to become members of parliament. The fanatical mob, that had rabbled the episcopal clergy, were armed, and made the guard of this meeting of the estates, and resolved to facrifice any who durst oppose their designs. They attacked the Archbishop of Glasgow in the streets of Edinburgh where the convention fate.” b
" On the 31st of May 1689, King William sent instructions to Duke Hamilton, commissioner, in these words: “ You are to pass an act, turning the meeting of the estates into a parliament, and the three estates are to consist of the noblemen, barons and burgesses.' Accordingly, the meeting, where the bishops formerly sate, was on the 5th of June, 1689, turned into a parliament, the bishops being first excluded. Two days after, that parliament passed an act settling presbyterian church-government, and on the 22d of July following abolished episcopacy. This was done in consequence of new instructions sent to Duke Hamilton in these words: "
you are to touch the act abolishing episcopacy, as soon as you can; and to rescind all acts inconfistent therewith.” These instructions were signed by the King, at Whitehall, July 17th, 1689, and the act was touched at Edinburgh, on the 22d of the same month; and thus fell episcopacy in Scotland, two months and eleven days after King William and Mary
her aged father from the murderers ; they even mangled the dead body; they at length left the torn carcase with every mark of indignity on the high way, Men were shocked at an enthusiasm that gave the name of a religious action to the worst of crimes. An universal joy followed the murder of Sharp among the adherents of the covenant, the pulpits thundered forth the applause of the assassins, and even some, who approved not of the manner of the deed, expressed their gladness at the removal of the arch enemy of their forms." Macphers. Hist. of Great Britain, vol. i. p. 272.
b " The blow (says Macpherson) which the royal prerogative received in Scotland, in the memorable 1688, established licenciousness, instead of freedom in that kingdom. The parliament was placed in a situation to make the most for themselves, at the hands of the king, while the people felt nothing from the alteration in government, but a change of tyrants." Hift. of Great Britain, vol. ii. p. 332.
took upon them the crown of that kingdom, which was the 11th of May, 1689.”.
The true cause of the decline of the protestant religion
in Ireland in the reign of king James II.
The decline of the protestant religion in Ireland, in the reign of king James, was not owing, as Dr. King supposes, either to the violence of his government, or the artifice, or industry of his priests; but to the * negligence at first, and afterwards to the selfinterestedness and tergiversation of its own clergy. Of their negligence,' Lord Clarendon himself" frequently
i State Lett. vol. i. p. 215.
“They were printed at London, by order of King William, ann. 1689; and the Scots acts of convention and parliament, above quoted, are collected and extracted from the registers and records of the meeting of estates and parliament there by the commissioner, then exercising the office of clerk-register, and printed Cum Privilegio at Edinburgh, ann. 1690.” Lelley, ib.
By an act made in Scotland in 1695, episcopal ministers were prohibited to baptize or solemnize matrimony, in pain of perpetual imprisonment, but repealed 1 oth of Queen Anne, and no person to incur any penalty for resorting to episcopal meetings, nor their pastors for preaching, administering the facraments or marrying." Summary of penal Laws, p. 79.
* «I did not find (says Marshal Schomberg, in a letter to King William, from Lisburn, December, 1689), that the ministers apply themselves enough to their duty; whilst the Romish priests are passionate to exhort the people to die for the church of Rome, and in putting themselves at their head." Dalrymp. Mem. vol. iii. p. 59. b In one of these letters, he tells his grace,
" that very few of the clergy refided in their cures ; but employed pitiful curates, which necessitated the people to look after a Romish priest, or a non-conformist preacher, of both which there was plenty. That he found it an ordinary thing in Ireland for a minister to have five or fix, or more cures, and to get them supplied by those
complained, in his letters to the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom, as I have already observed, the king had ordered him to consult, in all the religious affairs of that kingdom. And the effects of that negligence, together with the ensuing war (for which religion was the pretence) were such, that Mr. Lesley says, “ he was himself a witness, that atheism, contempt of all religion, debauchery, and violence, were more notorious and universal, in the protestant army in Ireland, from the year 1688 to 1692, and more publicly owned, than since he knew the world. That to his knowledge, several had turned papists, on account of the lewdness of
? Ubi supra, p. 36-7-8.
who will do it cheapest. When (adds he) I discourse with my lord's the bishops on these things, I confess, I have not satisfactory answers." Dalrymp. Memoirs, vol. i. p. 223. Even Marfhal Schomberg complained to King William in 1690, “that the (established) clergy of Ireland were people, that were little attached to their parishes." Ib. vol. ii. Append. p. 79.
Lord Clarendon complained in 1685-6, “ that several of the clergy were absent in England;
and among these the Archbishop of Tuam, and the Bishop of Down and Connor: that the former, after three years absence, was resolved to come home ; but that the latter, who had been absent from his charge fix years, desired to have his licence of absence renewed; and that
yet, it was really a shame to think how his diocess lay.” State Lett. vol. i. p. 215.
“ Some (clergymen) says his lordship, hold five, fix or nine hundred pounds per annum in ecclesiastical preferments, and get
them all served for one hundred and fifty pounds a year, and do not preach once a year themselves. Several of the clergy, who have been in England, sent to renew their licences of absence, but I have refused most of them, which has brought some of them home, and the rest must follow." Ib. p. 215.
In the journals of the house of commons, October 1695, there is a petition of Peter Aris, Thomas Baker, Richard Adams, and other inhabitants of the parish of Newcastle in the county of Wicklow, complaining that they have had no fervice in their parish-church since the troubles (1688) though their church be in good repair, and at least three hundred protestants in the said parish; under colour of an union to the parish of Delgany, though in truth there was no such union; presented to the house and read.” Vol. ii. f. 728.
the army, and the apostacy of the clergy. And that, however it might seem a paradox, it was nevertheless true, that there had been more converts to popery in England also, and from the same causes, within the four years above-mentioned, than in four years before that period.” That is to say, more in the four years after King James's abdication, when he could make use of neither force nor allurements to gain converts to his religion, than in all the time that he had it fo amply in his power, to employ both these means of conversion for that purpose.
Bihop Burnet has accounted for this sudden growth of irreligion and immorality, at that juncture, in the same manner. " A disbelief,” says he, “ of revealed religion, a profane mockery of the christian faith, and the mysteries of it, became scandalous and avowed; and it must be confessed, that the behaviour of many clergymen gave atheists no small advantage. They had taken the oaths to, and read the prayers for the present government; they, observed the orders for public . fasts and thanksgivings; and yet they shewed in many places, their aversion to our establishment too visibly. This made many conclude that the clergy were a fort of men, that would fwear and pray, even against their consciences rather than lose their benefices; and by consequence, that they were governed by interest, not by principle. Upon the whole matter, the nation was falling into a general corruption, both as to morals and principles ; and that was so much spread among all forts of people, that it gave us great apprehensions of heavy judgments from Heaven.”
3 Hift. of his own Times, vol. ii.
A late ingenious writer obferves, “ that the number of Roman catholics did not increase when they had the particular favour of the court. From the diffolution of the Oxford parliament to the end of the reign of James II, none embraced their doctrine but a very few persons, who were called court catholics, and they after the revolution all returned to the profession of the protestant religion, except Mr. Dryden (the great poet).” Confideration on the Penal Laws against Roman Catholics, p. 66.
Queen Mary, in a letter to King William, July 1690, has these remarkable words, “ I must put you in mind of one thing, believing it now the season (the king was then in Ireland), which is, that you would take care of the church in Ireland. Every body agrees, that it is the worst in Christendom." +
The perplexity of the established clergy of Ireland after
the coronation of King William. The strange versatility, and trimming behaviour of the Irish established clergy on this occasion, is thus freely described by Mr. Lesley. “ Before the association in the north, they prayed for King James ; in the beginning of March following, they proclaimed the Prince of Orange king, and prayed for him. On the 14th of that month, King James's army broke their forces at Dromore, in the north of Ireland ; then they prayed again for King James, that God might strengthen him to vanquish and overcome all his enemies; in August following, Schomberg came over with an English army; then, as far as his quarters reached, they returned to pray the same prayer for King William, the rest of the protestants still praying for victory to King James. And yet they say, that, all that while, they all meant the same thing ; four times in one year, praying backward and forward, point blank contradictory to one another. The bishop of Meath in his speech at the head and in name of the protestant clergy of Dublin, took pains to clear himself and them to king William, from having been so much as trimmers to king James, while he was among them; that is, they were his inveterate enemies. Yet his lordship was one of the lords spiritual mentioned in the address of the parliament of Ireland to that king, on the 10th of May, 1689; in