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war of extermination in the Low Countries, believing themselves sure of success; and, if they had succeeded, the same motive would have directed their efforts against England with additional force, because, with the Protestant government of that kingdom, the Protestant cause must then have been subdued.
There appeared too much reason for apprehending this, after the murder of the Prince of Orange, when the Spaniards, under a general of consummate talents in the art of war, were successful in all their undertakings, and, in the conquest of Antwerp, had accomplished the greatest military undertaking of modern warfare. Shortly afterwards, two English Papists betrayed their trust in the Netherlands; the one delivering to the Spaniards a fort which he commanded near Zutphen, the other the city of Deventer, of which he was governor, and taking over with him a regiment of 1300 men. The former of these traitors was a ruffian, whose profligate character ought to have disqualified him for any honourable employment; but Sir William Stanley, the latter, acted upon a principle of conscience; he believed, what the head of his church proclaimed, that his duty, as an English subject, was incompatible with his duty as a Papist; and, as must always be the case when such duties are supposed to be in opposition to each other, the weakest went to the wall. He was, in all other respects, an honourable man, who had served with singular fidelity and valour : on his part, therefore, this treason was not an act of individual baseness, but the direct consequence of his religious opinions; and as such it was publicly defended, extolled, and held up for a meritorious example, by Cardinal Allen, the person, of all others, whom the English Papists regarded with most respect. The Cardinal and the Pope wrote to Philip, soliciting his favour for Stanley's” regiment of deserters, and say. ing, that as he already encouraged a seminary of students to pray and write for the furtherance of the Catholic cause in England, so might this regiment, under the command of so worthy and Catholic a person as Sir William Stanley, be made a seminary of soldiers to fight for it. When the great attempt at invasion was made, Allen advised the King of Spain to let the management of the Armada be confided to’ English sailors, per
i Strada vol. ii. p. 461. (1618.)
9 Strype's Annals, iii. p. 428. 3 Strada, vol. ii. p. 576. (Ed. 1618.)
fectly acquainted with their own seas and coast; and when he spoke of this in after years, he used to weep for bitterness, remembering how fatally for the Romish cause his advice had been rejected. It has been said, upon his alleged authority, that if the invasion had succeeded, and Elizabeth had been taken prisoner, the intention was to send her to Rome, that the Pope might dispose of her as he thought best.
That danger, the greatest with which these kingdoms and the Protestant cause were ever threatened, was met with a spirit such as the emergency required; but it was averted less by any human means, than by the providential agency of the elements. Unable to wreak their vengeance upon Elizabeth in any more satisfactory manner, the Romanists gratified it by representing her as a monster of impiety and cruelty. An unnatural Englishman, who held the office of Professor of Divinity in a Popish university, asserted, that Heaven hated, and Earth persecuted, whatever bore the English name; and indeed had the accounts which these slanderers disseminated been true, England would have deserved this universal odium. A book was published at Rome, with prints representing the cruelties practised by the English upon the Papists, because of their religion ; one of the punishments being to sew them in bearskins and bait them with dogs. They affirmed that at the dissolution of the monasteries, the Religioners were left at the mercy of the mob, any person being allowed to put them to death in any manner, ... that some were torn to pieces by horses, some crucified, some murdered in prison by forcing hot iron into their eyes and ears ; that it was a common practice to expose virgins of noble family in the public stews, if they would not renounce the Romish religion, and that this was done by order of Elizabeth herself: that hymns in praise of Elizabeth were set forth by authority, in place of the praises of the Virgin Mary, and used in the service of the Church; and that the Queen had a law passed, by which her
Strype's Annals, vol. iii. p. 539. ?“ Can we," says South," forget the deliverance of eighty-eight, and those victorious mercies more invincible than the Armada designed to invade and enslave us; when the seas and winds had a command from Heaven to fight under the English colours, and to manifest the strength of God in our weakness ?” Vol. iv. p. 88. Oxford edition. 3 Strype's Annals, iii. p. 319. Turner was this man's name, and he was Professor at Ingoldstadt. * Ribadeneyra, Hist. Ecc, del Scisma de Inglaterra, t. i. 1. ii. c. 26. p. 170. Lisbon, 1588. It is worthy of notice in connexion with this impudent falsehood of the Jesuit historian, that in the preceding reign, one Stopes actually pub
bastard children were appointed to succeed her. The books' in which these execrable falsehoods were affirmed, were not only licensed, but approved and recommended by the censors of the press, as authentic expositions of the state of England, and the character of the English Queen, and of the English Church.
That Church, and the Queen, its re-founder, are clear of persecution, as regards the Romanists. No Church, no sect, no individual, even, had yet professed the principle of toleration ; insomuch that when the English Bishops proposed that certain incorrigible Arians and Pelagians should be confined in some castle in? North Wales, where they were to be secluded from all intercourse with others, and to live by their own labour, till they should be found to repent their errors, this was an approach to it which the age was not prepared to bear. Some Anabaptists from Holland were apprehended; their wild opinions, and still more their history, had placed this unhappy sect, as it were, under the ban of society, wherever they appeared; they were condemned as heretics; one submitted to an acknowledgement of error, eight were sent out of the country, but two, who were deemed pre-eminently impious, were delivered to the flames. The good old martyrologist, whom Elizabeth, with becoming reverence, used always to call Father Fox, interceded for these poor wretches, and addressed to the Queen’ a Latin letter in their behalf. He did not ask that such fanatical sects should be tolerated ; nothing, he said, could be more absurd than their foul and portentous errors; they were by no means to be endured, but to be repressed by fit correction. But that the living bodies of these miserable creatures should be destroyed by fire and flame, raging with the strength of pitch and sulphur, ... this, said he, is more conformable to the cruelty of the Romanists, than to the Gospel. My nature is such, (and this I say of myself, foolishly, perhaps, but truly,) that I can hardly pass by lished " An Ave Maria, in commendation of our most virtuous Queen” Mary Ritson's Bibliographia Poetica, p. 353.
" I allude more particularly to the Historia Ecclesiastica del Scisma del Reyno de Inglaterra, by the Jesuit Pedro de Ribadeneyra, who, having been in this country during Mary's reig must have known that the calumny which he propagated concerning Elizabeth's incestuous origin was utterly false;--and to the Noticias Historicas de las Tres Florentissimas Prorincias del Celeste Orden de la Santissima Trinidad, en Inglaterra, Escocia, y Hibernia, by El. M. R. P. M. Fr. Domingo Lopez. 2 Strype's Annals, i. p. 214. : Fuller, b. ix. p. 104.
the shambles where cattle are slaughtered, without an inward sense of pain and repugnance. And with my whole heart I admire and venerate the mercy of God for this, that, concerning those brute and humble creatures, who were formerly offered in sacrifice, he provided that they should not be burnt, until their blood had been poured out at the foot of the altar. Whence, in exacting just punishment, we may learn that every thing must not be permitted to severity; but that the asperity of rigour should be tempered with clemency. Wherefore, if I may venture so far, I entreat your excellent Majesty, for Christ's sake, that the life of these miserable creatures may be spared, if that be possible, (and what is there which is not possible, in such cases, to your Majesty ?)... at least that this horror may be prevented, and changed into some other kind of punishment. There is imprisonment, there are chains, there is perpetual exile, there are branding and stripes, and even the gibbet; this alone I earnestly deprecate, that you would not suffer the fires of Smithfield, which, under your most happy auspices, have slept so long, to be again rekindled.” He concluded by praying, if he could obtain no more, that a month or two might at least be granted him, during which it might be tried whether God would give
grace to recover from their perilous errors, lest, with the loss of their bodies, their souls also should be in danger of everlasting destruction. Alas, the latter petition was all that he obtained! A month's reprieve was granted : and the poor creatures, remaining firm in their notions, then suffered the cruel death to which they had been condemned. The excuse which has been offered is, “ that Elizabeth was necessitated to this severity, who having formerly executed some traitors, if now sparing these blasphemers, the world would condemn her, as
more earnest in asserting her own safety, than God's honour.” A miserable excuse; but it shows how entirely the execution of the Seminarists was regarded as the punishment of treason. Against this crime Father Fox appears to have been the only person who raised his voice. But against the conciliatory system, which the Church and State pursued, a fiercer opposition was made by fanatical Protestants, than by the Papists themselves.
The founders of the English Church were not hasty reformers
who did their work in the heat of enthusiasm ; they were men of mature judgement and consummate prudence, as well as of sound learning and sincere piety; their aim was in the form and constitution of the Church never to depart unnecessarily from what had been long established; that thus the great body of the Romanists might more easily be reconciled to the transition ; and in their articles to use such comprehensive words, as might leave a latitude for different opinions upon disputable points. There had been a dispute among the emigrants at Frankfort, during Mary's reign; it had been mischievously begun, and unwarrantably prosecuted, and its consequences were lamentably felt in England; whither some of the parties brought back with them a predilection for the discipline of the Calvinists, and a rooted aversion for whatever Catholic forms were retained in the English Church. In this, indeed, they went beyond Calvin himself; refusing to tolerate what he had pronounced to be “ tolerable' fooleries.” The objects of their abhorrence were the square cap, the tippet, and the surplice, which they called conjuring garments of popery.
Great forbearance was shown toward the first generation of men, who were disquieted with these pitiful scruples. Regard was had to their otherwise exemplary lives, to their former sufferings, and to the signal services which some of them had rendered to the Protestant cause, for Coverdale, Lever, and Father Fox, were among them. These, who neither sought to disturb the order, nor insult the practice of the Church, were connived at for inobservancies, which in them were harmless, because they did not proceed from a principle of insubordination. It was not till several years had elapsed, and strong provocation had repeatedly been given, that any person was silenced for nonconformity. Bishop Grindal entreated Sampson, the Dean of Christ Church, even with tears, that he would only so far conform, as sometimes to wear the cap at public meetings in the University; and the Dean refused as determinately as if he had been called upon to bow the knee to Baal. He was encouraged in this by Leicester's protection. That unprincipled minion favoured the Puritans,
I “ Tolerabiles ineptias. Englished by some, says Fuller, tolerable fooleries ; more mildly by others, tolerable un fitnesses. In requital whereof Bishop Williams was wont to say that master Calvin had his tolerabiles morositates." – Church History, b. vii. p. 375.