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the progress of concession. The appearance of vigour, however, which the monarch was compelled to assume, did not accord, either with the easiness of his temper, or with the respect which he felt and acknowledged for the mother church' of Christendom. The papists soon learned to despise his timid moderation ; and to the puritans, while he laboured to mitigate their asperities, he became himself an object of suspicion and disgust.
[1605.] It is remarkable, that, though the hierarchy thus affected to rely on his entire devotedness to their cause, they would not suffer their followers to take an oath of allegiance. — The discovery of the gunpowder treason had been so far from ruflling the benevolence of the king, or thwarting his schemes of conciliation, that his naturally undignified character rose with the emergency, into a clemency and magnanimity truly royal. In his speech to the parliament, he observed, that though religion had engaged the conspirators in so criminal an attempt, yet ought we not to include all the Romanists in the same guilt, or suppose them equally disposed to commit such enormous barbarities. The wrath of heaven is denounced against crimes, but innocent error may obtain its favour; and many holy men, our ancestors among the rest, had concurred with the church of Rome in her scholastic doctrines, who yet had never admitted her seditious principles concerning the pope's power of dethroning kings. For his part, the conspiracy, however atrocious, should never alter in the least his plan of government: while, with one hand, he punished guilt, with the other, he would support and protect innocence.'* To discriminate those whose loyalty was thus to recommend them to his favour, the acute, but somewhat pedantic monarch, bestowed much pains upon the preparation of a test-oath. As, notwithstanding the explanations of the church and legislature, the spiritual supremacy' of Elizabeth continued to be misinterpreted, he considerately relinquished the invidious claim: on the other hand, the skill with which he insisted on civil fidelity, was calculated to secure a fair equivalent. His oath differs from the present one, in some curious particulars : it opens with a declaration that James was rightful king ; it says, 'notwithstanding any excommunication, passed or to be passed, I will bear true allegiance ;' above all, it pronounces the deposing doctrine heretical,
* The particulars mentioned in this paragraph are detailed by Carte, Life of Ormond, Introduction; by Leland, vol. ii. 416.; by Burke, Hibernia Dominicana, 610.; and by Cox, Hibernia Anglicana, vol. ii. 10.
Upon the first publication of this celebrated formulary, it alınost had the effect which was intended by the royal framer. · Various were the opinions concerning it,' says a titular bishop of the last century, and much dissension arose among the lay leaders of the Catholics, the priesthood, and
the professors of scholastic theology. Some opposed it strenuously; others took it without hesitation, pleading the necessity of relieving themselves from the penal laws, and their intention of promising only civil obedience. But the controversy was ended by the Pontiff Paul V., who in a brief, addressed to the Catholics of England and Ireland, pronounced the oath unlawful.' * The following is a copy of this memorable edict :
• To the Catholics of England and Ireland :
• Beloved children, health and apostolical
benediction. • The tribulations which you have borne for the Catholic faith, have always deeply afflicted us; but now that we have heard of the increase of your sufferings, our grief has been imbittered to a most painful degree. For we have learned that you are compelled, under severe penalties, to frequent the temples of the heretics and listen to their preachings. Truly we believe, that those who have hitherto so firmly endured the most atrocious persecutions, that they might walk without spot in the law of the Lord, will not now permit themselves to be contaminated by any communion with apostates. Nevertheless, being impelled by the zeal of our pastoral office, and by that paternal solicitude which we feel for the safety of your souls, we are moved to warn and adjure you, that you, on no account, enter the temples of the heretics, or participate in their religious rites, lest you incur the wrath of God. Furthermore, you cannot, without the most grievous injury to the divine honour, bind yourselves by an oath, which, with much sorrow of heart, we understand to be proposed to you.' – The oath is recited here, then the pontiff proceeds: – It must be clear to you from the very words, that this oath cannot be taken with safety to the Catholic faith, and your own souls. We adınonish you, therefore, that you abstain from this, and all such oaths; and we require this the more urgently, because that, having experienced the constancy of your faith, which has been tried by persecution, as gold in the furnace, we hold it as certain, that you will cheerfully submit to all tortures, even to death itself, rather than offend in any wise against the majesty of God. And our assurance is strengthened, by those actions which shine forth now in your martyrs, with no less splendour than the achieve. ments of the first ages of the church. - Stand, therefore, having your loins girded with truth, and putting on the breast-plate of righteousness, and taking the shield of faith : be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, and let nothing restrain you. He who beholds your content from the heavens, and is ready to crown you with glory, will himself accomplish the good work in you: he has promised never to leave you as orphans, and you know that his promises are sure. Adhere, therefore, to his discipline, being rooted and grounded in love, for by this shall all men know that you are bis disciples, if you love one another. . Which love, as it is much to be desired by all faithful Christians, so, my beloved children, is it especially necessary for you.
* Dr. Burke, Hibernia Dominicana.
For thus will be broken that power of the devil, which now rises against you, and which is chiefly supported by the mutual discord of
children.' The authenticity of this decree having been questioned by the loyal party, it was confirmed the year following, in a second brief of the same pontiff. Some time after, it was again enforced by the succeeding pope, Urban, who pronounced, • that the Catholics ought to lose their lives, rather than take the condemned oath.' It was,' he said,
pernicious and unlawful, designed, not only to maintain the fidelity due to the king, but to wrest the sceptre of the universal church from the vicar of Almighty God.
By these means, the controversy was soon terminated in Ireland ; but, in the other island, where the Roman Catholics bore a greater proportion to the faction of the pope, the spirit of loyalty was not subdued so easily. A very interesting account of the origin, progress, and final rejection of the oath in England, has been given by a Roman Catholic bishop of that country. The following are extracts :
· Had the Catholics, in a body, upon the acces