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no virtue fit to be rewarded by a prince, who would make his will superior to all laws.
And, if the merit of the non-swearers is likely to vanish into nothing, especially when there is no occasion any longer to court and flatter them; and priests and jesuits have free liberty to comment on their merits, what merit will those men have to plead, who were forward and zealous in the revolution, have sworn allegiance to their present majesties, have served them in their armies and navies, at home and abroad? There is no doubt, but they shall have fair promises and good words at present, and shall be remembered hereafter, when there is occasion.
But, suppose the merits of the non-swearing, or for-swearing clergy and laity, who will help forwards another revolution, should be acknowledged to be very great, what probability is there, that the church of England should fare ever the better for it, when popery and arbitrary power stand in the way? Past experience gives no great encouragement to hope this. King Lewis was as much obliged to his protestant subjects of France, as it is possible for any king to be; for they set the crown upon his head; and, how he has rewarded them, all the world rings of it. The late king was not much less beholden to the church of England, when they so vigorously opposed the bill of exclusion; and, how he also rewarded them, we all lately saw and felt : and shall protestants, after this, think of obliging such princes by their merits? They understand better, that merit is no protestant doctrine, and that there can be none out of the church of Rome: and why should any body expect that which cannot be? Nay, should the late king return again, and be as much at the devotion of his non-swearing friends, as they promise themselves he will be, I very much doubt what the church of England will gain by this. If we may guess at the spirit of the party by the bitter zeal which inspires all their writings, I can expect nothing from them, but as fierce a perseeution of the church of England, as ever it suffered from papists or fanaticks, excepting Smithfield fires, which possibly may be ex, changed for Tyburn: All, who live in the communion of the church of England, as now established, are, in their account and constant language, no better than hereticks and schismaticks, and perjured apostates; much greater crimes than the Traditores were guilty of, which was the only pretence for the Donatist schism and persecution. They seem to comfort themselves, under their present sufferings, more with the sweet hopes of revenge, than any great expectations of future rewards; that they shall live to see the swearing bishops and priests the contempt of princes and people* ; for, if the Archbishop of York, who is particularly named, cannot escape them, I doubt they will make but very few exception's. And is not this a great encouragement to any, who have complied with the present government, to help these men to power again? Must not the nobility and gentry expect their share of vengeauce, as well as the clergy? And is not the church of England,
• Apol. for the new Separat.
then, in a hopeful state? which must be purged and reformed into jacobite principles, and by a jacobite spirit.
These are all very sensible proofs (as far as we can reason about such matters) how little good is to be expected from the return of the late king with a French power : he must return the same man be went, and then popery and arbitrary power must return with him; nay, he must return much worse than he went, because he must return more a vassal to France; which, I suppose, will not mund the condition of English subjects, during his reign.'
These things ought to be well considered ; 'for, if his government was so uneasy before, and gave us such a frightful prospect, as made the nation very willing to part with him, when he thought fit to leave them, it would seem very strange to by-standers, should they now grow fond of his return, when it is certain, if he does return, and returns by the methods now intended, popery and arbitrary power must be more triumphant than ever.
He wanted nothing but power to make himself absolute, and to make us all papists, or martyrs, or refugees; and that he will now have: for, if a French power can conquer us, it will make him as absolute as the French king will let him be; or, to speak properly, it will make him, though not an absolute prince, yet an absolute viceroy, and minister of France: he will administer an absolute power and government, under the influence and direction of French counsels; and then we know not what will become of the liberties and religion of England. And have we so long disdained the thoughts of subjection to France ? has a French league been thought such a national grievance! has the pretence of a war with France been found such an excellent expedient to get money of English parliaments? has the expectation of it fired English spirits, and, upon occasion, filled our armies' and navies, without need of pressing, or beat of drum? have we so detested the French cruelties to protestants? and shall we now so willingly stoop to the yoke, and think it a great favour that they will vouchsafe to conquer us? let'us never complain hereafter, that our chains pinch and gall us, when we ourselves are ready with so much joy and thankfulness to put them on. And, whatever some fancy, they will find it a very easy and natural thing for the late king, if he return by force and power, to make himself absolute by law : princes always gain uew powers by the ineffectual opposition of subjects: if they lose their crowns and recover them again, they receive them with an addition of some brighter jewels, and turn disputed prerogatives into legal and undoubted rights. Thus we know it was when King Charles the Second returned from a long exile, all the new acts and declarations were made in favour of the crown, and subjects bound to their good behaviour, as fast as laws could bind them; for, in all such revolutions, those who suffered, with or for their prince, return with zeal and resentment; and take care, in the first place, to establish all such prerogatives of the crown, as were disputed before, and to grant such new powers as they think are wanting. And others there are always forward to make their fortunes by
complimenting the returning prince; and to expiate their former crimes by a forward and flagsing loyalty; and the rest are over-awed and frighted into a compliance; and thus it is commonly seen, that between zeal and flattery, and fear, the king increases in power, and the people forfeit their liberties; and we must not expect that it should be otherwise now, should the late king return.
The first compliment that must be made to him is a jacobite parliament, and God knows what such a parliament will do! Will they deny him a toleration for papists, the repeal of the test, the forfeitures, or surrenders of charters, and a new regulation of corporations Will they dispute, nay, will they not declare bis dispensing power, and approve his ecclesiastical commissions ? Will they make any scruple to declare the legitimacy of the Prince of Wales, or to leave the manner of his education to those who will certainly breed him up in popery? Will they not take care for new jacobite tests to renounce and abhor all the several hypotheses and principles of government, which have been urged to justify our submission and allegiance to their present majesties? And, when they have done this, how easy will it be for a downright popish parliament, which will be the next step that will be made, to do all the rest ?
It is very evident what advantages the priests and jesuits will have, in such a juncture, to make proselytes, wbile the people are in a fright, and grown giddy with such frequent revolutions; and those, who, in the late reign, were the great advocates of the protestant cause, are disgraced at court, threatened into silence, their authority weakened, and their persons reproached both by papists and jacobites. Numbers of converts was their great want before, and the press and the pulpit their great hinderance; but jacobites will, by natural instinct, learn more loyalty, and others will be taught it, as Gideon once taught the men of Succoth, with briars and thorns. And there never was such an opportunity since the reformation for a plentiful harvest of converts, as this would be like to prove. And who can bear the thoughts of this, wbo has any compassion for the souls of men, any zeal for the church of England, or any concern to preserve and propagate the true faith and wor. ship of Christ to posterity ?
All this is, upon a supposition of the late king's return, which I declare to you I am not afraid of, though it is fit to mind those men who are so fond of it, what they may reasonably expect, if he should return; which possibly may abate their zeal in this cause, and that may prevent the mischiefs of an attempt; for, without a hopeful conspiracy in England, the French king is too wary to make such an attempt.
But, if they have any love to their country, any pity left in them for the lives and fortunes of English protestants, I beseech them to con sider, what the calamities and desolations of civil war will be; for that it must end in, if there be an invasion from abruad, strengthened with a powerful conspiracy at home. King William, as I said before, will not desert or abdicate ; for I never heard of a prince who had ventured so much to rescue a kingdom out of so great a
danger, that would so easily expose it again to the same, or a greater danger. And surely the late king does not expect he should, for he knows him too well: so that, if they look for such another revolution, to turn King William out, as brought him in, they will, in all prubability, be mistaken. There are too many persons of honour and fortune engaged in this cause, who know the late king too well to lake his word ; and, were it possible to wheedle men of fortune and sense, the genius and spirit of the nation is against them : and that, which could make the late revolution, will probably be able to prevent this.
It must then come to blows, if an attempt be made ; and the fortune of one battle may not decide it; and those who are too young to remember the desolations which the late civil wars in England made, let them look into Ireland, and see to what a heap of rubbish a flourishing and fruitful country is reduced by being the scene of a three years war.
It is made a popular pretence to raise discontents, and to make people disaffected to the present government, that the taxes for maintaining this war are grown so intolerable, and there is no prospect of an end of them. Now, I must confess, that the taxes fall very heavy upon some, and I am sorry that the present posture of our affairs does require it, and that there can be no easier ways found to supply the plain and pressing necessities of the state : but we ought to consider, that still all this is infinitely easier than popery and French slavery, if we regard only our estates. The annual exactions of the church of Rome (besides all the cheating ways their priests had to get money) while popery was the religion of England, used to be complained of as a national grievance, and a heavier tax upon the subject, than all the king's revenues : and, if those who complain of our taxes, were but one month in France, to see the poverty and misery which the French government has brought upon them, they would come home very well contented to pay taxes, and to fight against the French too. We are free subjects, not slaves; we are taxed by our own representatives, who tax themselves as well as us; and this not by the arbitrary will of the prince. We pay for our own defence and preservation as all people ought to do; and, while we do not pay near so much as our religion, and lives, and liberties are worth, and have left where-withal to maintain ourselves, we have no such great reason to complain.
But how heavy soever taxes are, are they like a civil war? Like the dread and terrors of an enemy's army, or of our own? Are they like having our houses filled with soldiers; or, which is worse, burnt or plundered? Are they like losing our friends, our fathers, husbands, or children, by whose kindness or labours we subsisted In a word, are they like the spoils of harvest, or the desolation of a whole country?
And can we he contented to see England again the seat of war? It is certain, in our present circumstances, it cannot be made so, unless we ourselves please. France has too many enemies, to think of conquering England without factions at home; and, were it not for them, we need not fear its united force; and I hope considering
men, of what persuasion soever they be, will not think it worth the while to ruin their country by a civil war, to purchase a French slavery and popery; two very dear things, could we purchase thern never so cheap.
What I have said, hitherto, concerns only England; but it becomes us to look a little abroad, and consider, what a fatal influence a French conquest of England will have upon the affairs of all Europe. That it is not mere justice and honour that makes the French king espouse the cause of the late King James, his incroachments and usurpations on his neighbours will witness.
He has no scruples of conscience about the rights of other princes; all be can get is his own. But England was formerly a friend and confederate, at least, not an enemy; and now the power of England (which the French have never had reason to despise) is in the hands of a king who owes the French king a good turn, and will not, I hope, die in his debt. This checks his ambitious designs; gives life and spirit to the confederacy; threatens to make him restore what he has taken, and what he keeps by mere force and violence, and to reduce him within his ancient bounds, and to the ancient constitution of the French government; and he knows, while King William possesses the English throne, and keeps up the confederacy, he must not expect to get much more, and may be in constant danger of losing what he has gotten.
This makes the French king so concerned to restore the late King James to the throne of England, to get rid of a formidable enemy, and to strengthen himself with the alliance of a powerful friend; for England will probably turn the scales, on which side soever it happens to be: and there is no doubt, but the arms of England must be devoted to the service of France, if a French power should place the late king in his throne again ; and let any English protestant, who can think coolly of things, consider what a malignant aspect this would have upon the liberties of Europe, and on the whole protestant interest.
The arms, or the money of France, has, hitherto, been an equal match, at least, for all the confederates ; while he has found other employment for the imperial and English forces ; but, thanks be to God, the king of England, and the English forces, are now at leisure to attend his motions; those forces which beat him at the Boyne, at Athlone, at Agrim, at Limerick; in a word, which beat him out of Ireland, and have now got a habit of beating the French: and it is no wonder that he is not fond of such company in Flanders, but endeavours to find some new work for them at home. And, if he can but send them home again, and embroil us in a civil war, that is one great point gained; but, if he proves successful in his attempt, he makes England his own, and will turn their arms upon the confederates: and what can then stand in his way? What should hinder him from being the sole and absolute monarch of the west? and then it is easy to read the fate of protestants.
Thus, sir, I have freely told you, what I apprehend will be the pecessary and unavoidable effects of a French conquest. I pretend