Page images

authority in the first edition of it; and it was then so far stifled in its birth, that it has never since been reprinted.

Instead of taking pains to extol Mr. Lesley's character for veracity,' or to depreciate that of Dr. King for the want of it, I shall make use of no other argument, for either purpose, but such as will naturally arise from the plain and certain evidence of facts, alleged and vouched by the former, but never disprove ed, nor so much as contradicted, by the latter.

“ No man,” says Mr. Lesley,' “ was, or could be, an higher assertor of passive obedience, than Dr. King had been all his life-time. Even at the beginning of the revolution, he told a person of honour, from whose mouth I had it, “ that if the Prince of


• Answ. to King, p. 113.

a It will, probably, be objected to this writer's testimony, that he was a non-juror. But to this objection I shall only answer in the words of Bishop Burnet, on a similar occasion. I never,” says that prelate, “ think the worse of men for their different sentiments in such matters; I am fure I am bound to think much better of them for adhering strictly to the dictates of their consciences, when it is so much to their lofs, and when to sacred a thing as an oath is in the case. I wish all who had the same persuasions, had acted with the same strictness and tenderness." See Defence of the Bp. of Worcester's Vindic. of the Church of Engl. p. 63.

Dr. Swift's testimony of this writer's merits, in his preface to Bishop Burnet's Introduction to his History of the Reformation, is worthy of notice. “ Without doubt," says he, “ Mr. Lesley is unhappily milled in his politics; but he has given the world such a proof of his foundness in religion, as many a bishop ought to be proud of. I never saw the gentleman in my life: I know he is the son of a great and excellent prelate, who, upon several accounts, was one of the most extraordinary men of his age. I verily believe, that he acted from a mistaken conscience in refufing to swear allegiance to king William), and therefore I distinguish between the principles and the person. However, it is some mortification to me, when I see an avowed non-juror contribute more to the confounding of popery, than could ever be done by an hundred thousand such introductions." Swift's Works, Dubl. edit. vol. vi. p. 118-19.

Orange came over for the crown, he prayed God might blast his designs.” In a letter to a person of undoubted credit, in the year 1686, he said, “ the principle of non-resistance, was a steady principle of loyalty; that it was intolerable for the members of any state, to flee to foreign succours, on pretence that their own governors had made laws against reason, conscience, and justice ; yet this is one of his principal arguments, in the book above-mentioned, for juftifying the revolution.” " What I have above-written,” adds Lesley, “ I have from the person to whom he wrote it, and if he desires it, his letters shall be produced.” But it does not appear that he ever did desire it.

By such feigned assurances of loyalty, which he had often given to king James, after his arrival in Ireland, “ that king had once so good an opinion of him, that he had him frequently in private, and trusted him in his affairs ; until at last, he found he was holding correspondence with his enemies in England, and in the north of Ireland, and he, thereupon, imprisoned him. But his old friend, Chief Justice Herbert, was so far mistaken in him, that he vouched for him at the council-table, with so much zeal as to say, that he was as loyal a man (to king James) as any that fat at the board; which did retrieve the doctor from some inconveniences, and continued him for some time longer in king James's good opinion.”


C H A P.

? Lell. Anf. p. 106.

[blocks in formation]

The same subject continued in general. Such is Lesley's uncontroverted account of Dr. King, as a subject and a man. His judgment of him, as author of the book in question, is partly as follows.

“ I can't say," proceeds he,' “ that I have examined into every single matter of fact, which this author relates; I could not have the opportunity; but I am sure I have looked into the most material, and by these you will easily judge of his sincerity in the rest. But this I can say, that there is not one I have enquired into, but I have found it falfe in the whole, or in part; aggravated or misrepresented, so as to alter the whole face of the story, and give it perfectly, another air and turn; insomuch, that though many things he says are true, yet he has hardly spoken a true word, that is, told it truly and nakedly, without a warp. Mr. Lesley adds this particular caution, for those who peruse that book, “ that where Dr. King seems most exact, and fets his quotations in the margent, that the reader might suspect nothing, there he is to suspect most, and stand upon his guard."

These are heavy accusations, of which, and several others, Mr. Lesley has exhibited many convincing proofs; and more shall be added in the sequel, from VOL. II.



[ocr errors]

· Answ. to King, p. 105.

2 Ib. p. 175.

a Wrote and published his Answer in England in 1692.

It was, probably, from a conviction that this charge against himself was just, that his grace in the year 1708, wrote to Dr. Swift on a similar occasion, with respect to a pamphlet he had then published against the difsenters, in the following words : “I with some facts had been well considered, before vouched ; if any one matter in it prove false, what do you think will come of the paper? In short, it will not be in the power of man to binder it from a warm entertainment." Swift's Let.

undeniable authority. His grace's continued filence under them for more than thirty years, that he survived the publication of this answer, is the more wortderful, on account of his solemn attestation of the sacred name of God, in the conclusion of his book, “ that he had not misrepresented or aggravated any thing therein, in prejudice to any body, or out of favour or affection to a party; or insisted on such particulars as might seem to serve no other purpose, but to make his adversaries odious."

[merged small][ocr errors]

Particular facts related in Archbishop King's book

proved false, concerning popish judges and juries.

BUT. to come now to the test of this folemn attesta. tion ; I mean his relation of particular facts. Dr. King tells us,' that no sooner had the papists of Ire. land got judges and juries, that would believe them, but they began a trade of swearing and ripping up, what they pretended their protestant neighbours had faid of king James, whilft Duke of York, in the time of the popish plot; and that of these protestants, many were found guilty, and excessively fined ; and some of them imprisoned for their fines, not being able to fatisfy the king, who seized both their body and eftates."

The doctor likewise informs us, “ that these popish judges and juries connived at a wicked contrivance, which was discovered to the very bottom, in the county of Meath, to carry on this trade of swearing against all the protestant gentlemen in the country.”

But unfortunately for Dr. King's credit, as an historian, that eminent and zealous protestant nobleman,


· State of the Protestants, &c. p. 75.

? Ib. p. 76.

Henry Earl of Clarendono lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1685, has left us a very different account of the behaviour of these popish judges and juries; on that occasion. He tells us, “ that when these popish judges went to the aflizes in the county of Down and Londonderry, where many considerable persons were to be tried for words formerly

. spoken against king James, they took as much pains as it was possible, to quiet the minds of the people, wherever they went; and that they took care to have all the juries mingled half English half Irish.” And particularly with respect to the county of Meath, where Dr. King tells us they principally connived at this wicked trade of swearing, his lordship adds, “ that Judge Daly (one of these


L 2

3 State Let. Dub. ed. vol. i. 'p: 326.

4 Ib.

a'« All the Irish protestants,” says Mr. Lesley, “ speak exceeding good things of Lord Clarendon. They never parted with any chief governor with so much regret; and, as I have been told, none courted him more than Dr. King, who was admitted one of his chaplains." Anfw.p. 132.

His lordship himself suspected, that he was recalled from the government of Ireland, on account of his religion. “ If," says he," my being a protestant be the cause of my ill usage, I am so far from being troubled, that. I look upon it as a great honour to be found worthy to suffer for my religion.” State Lét. vol. ii. p. 158.

Harris informs us, “ that he was so much depended upon by the protestants of Ireland, that after the Prince of Orange's arrival in England, they made all their applications to him, through his lordship.” Life of K. William, f. 187.

That the Roman catholics of Ireland did not think him partial in their favour, appears from one of his excellency's letters from Waterford, September 12th, 1686, wherein he says, “ Lord Tyrone came to see him there, and had continued with him all the time of his being there ; but that not one of the other Roman catholic gentlemen had been with him. And that none of the Roman catholic inhabitants of that city (though there were there some pretty considerable merchants) had taken notice of him." State Let. vol. i. p. 402.

• Lord Clarendon, in a letter to Lord Sunderland, has the following passage: “ It is thought fit I should recommend men to fome towns (where it is doubted the election may not be


« PreviousContinue »