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The other publication, which our subject now leads us to mention, was attributed to father Per
It is intituled, “A Conference about the “ next Succession to the Crown of England, had " in the year 1593, by R. Doleman.” It turns on these positions ;—that the claim of succession to any government, by nearness of blood, is not established by the law of nature, or by the divine law, but only by the human and positive laws of every particular commonwealth ; and consequently may, upon just causes, be varied ;—that this is clear from history :—that the want of the true religion is a just cause for excluding the heir apparent ;—and that, under all circumstances, the infanta of Spain had the fairest pretensions to succeed queen Elizabeth in the throne of England. Every true whig must admire Doleman's discussions of the first point;—every man of learning, and every antiquáry, must be pleased with his discussion of the second : the king of Spain could not have rewarded, too munificently, his discussions of the third and fourth.
This work has been attributed to cardinal Allen, “ not hear advice ; that while he lived, he would keep them “ all down, but that, after he was dead, we should see the “scholars and they at woeful dissentions; that the cardinal, “(who had by father Persons and other jesuits been drawn “ to some odious attempts against his sovereign and country,
by withdrawing himself from those attempts), incurred the “ hatred of the jesuits to that degree, that they spoke with
contempt of him ever after.”—But Watson's testimony must always be heard with distrust. The same, however, is said by Dr. Champney, (Dialogue 65, 66, 78, 79).
sir Francis Englefield, and father Persons: the fact seems to be, that all had some hand in it, but that Persons almost always held the pen* : he was so
* See the “ Answer to Memoirs of Panzani," p. 152 :-and Persons's.“ Manifestation of the great folly and bad spirit of “ certain persons in England calling themselves Secular " Priests," ch.v. It mentions Doleman's work with affection. Persons exultingly proclaims, (Brief Apology, p. 187), that his envious brethren could not turn their hands to any one thing contained in it; and in the “ Manifestation,” (p. 63, 64), he gives an abridgment of it. He says, that the name of Doleman was taken by the author in the title-page, as being the work of a man of dole, that is, of sorrow, (p. 5.) The Manifestation is written with too much bitterness; contains many hazarded accusations; and is particularly unjust to the secular clergy, in charging upon the whole body the “ Important Considerations and Quodlibets of Watson;" which we have noticed before, and shall notice again. Persons himself afterwards did justice to the secular clergy. In his “ Doleful Knell of Thomas Bell, 8vo. 1627, (p. 35)," he says, " that not three or two names of the secular clergy can be
produced, that ever let forward, yea or ever liked that most “ detestable proceeding, viz. of publishing the Quodlibets, “ Important Considerations, and other things of Watson."
It is observable, that, in this publication, father Persons avows, in its fullest extent, the doctrine that sovereigns forfeit their right to the allegiance of their subjects, and that subjects forfeit their right of inheritance by heresy. He cites (ch. iv.) a work in which he was charged with having said, that '“ difference in religion or matters of faith neither ought
nor could by the law of God, of nature, of nations, or custom “ ever heard of, in any nation, deprive any inferior subject, " (much less any sovereign), from the right of inheritance or “ lawful succession by birth or blood to any thing they had a
right to otherwise,"_This, he says, is-a vile calumny. He declares that, “ he never said such a thing, that the doctrine " ascribed to him, he detests as fond, absurd, and tasting both
partial to it, that he proposed it to be read in the refectory of the English at Rome instead of the ordinary lecture *
Another curious work of father Persons,-not published in his life-time,-was committed by him to paper about this time. It is intituled, “ A Me“morial for Reformation, &c. containing certain ► notes and advertisements, &c. gathered and set “ down by R. P. 1596.”—In his “ Manifestation,” he mentions that, “ having had occasion, above “ others, for more than twenty years, not only to “ know the state of matters in England, but also of
many foreign nations and catholic kingdoms " abroad, he had used like diligence from time to 1:06 time to observe and note to himself certain ex“ cellent things found in other places, which were “ not so much in use among those in England, “ nor when it was catholic: which observations, he “having imparted some time with certain confident
friends, they seemed to them of so great import“ ance, that from time to time, they entreated him
earnestly to put them, at least in writing for him“ self and others after him, to public good, when " time might serve to use them, if then he would “ of heresy and atheism; (though allowed here as it seemeth “ by our people) ;-he being not ignorant that both civil laws " and church canons do deprive heretics of inheritance as
our men ought to know also.”-We shall transcribe his sentiments more at large in another part of this chapter ;-but it is observable, that what he inserts in a parenthesis, seems to intimate that his opinion, far from being universal, was not ever general among the English catholics.
* More, 161.
“ not make them common, as he signified in no ( wise he would.
“ This, he accordingly did ; but it was never “ set out or published, but was kept in secret to " the author and his nearest friends only.”
The existence of it, however, was generally known : and there was great misconception of its general nature and tendency. On this account, Persons inserted a summary of the work in his “ Manifestation.”
Some time after the accession of James the second, a copy of it was presented to that monarch. After the revolution it fell into the hands of the bishop of St. Asaph ; and great curiosity to see it, was raised by a mention which the bishop made of it in a sermon. It was accordingly published by Dr. Gee, a chaplain of their majesties, under the title of “ The Jesuits' Memorial for the intended - Reformation of England, under the first popish “ Prince, published from the copy that was pre“sented to the late king James. 1690, 8vo." It is the work of a vigorous and reflecting mind; but certainly contains exceptionable passages : the contents of it accord with the outline, which, in his “ Manifestation,” Persons himself had given of it.
The circumstances and publications, which we have noticed, excited no small alarm in the
queen and her government: it was considerably increased by a report, that great preparations were again making by Philip for the invasion of England or Ireland. In this state of ferment, the queen issued a proclamation, which was immediately followed by commissions of inquiry very hostile to the catholics.
The proclamation begins by expressing “the surprise of her majesty, that-at so advanced a period “ of her reign as its thirty-third year, its peace “should be disturbed by the king of Spain, he “ too in the decline of life,-an age meetest, as she
says, for measures of peace. He had caused a “ Milanese, a vassal of his own, to be elected
pope, and the duke of Parma, a nephew of the pope, to be sent with an army to invade France. “-He had also practised with certain seditious « heads to collect a multitude of young men, fugi" tives, rebels, and traitors, to be secretly conveyed “into her dominions, with ample authority from “ Rome, to persuade as many of her subjects as “they dared deal with, to renounce their natural
allegiance; and to entertain hopes of being en“ riched with the possessions and dignities of her “subjects, by the means of a Spanish invasion: for “ which purpose, they allured the subjects of her
majesty, by oaths and even by sacraments, to “ forswear their allegiance to her, and yield alle
giance with all their power to Spain.
“ These seedsmen of treason,” as they are termed in the proclamation," bring bulls from the pope, ** full of promises and threats: but these proceed*ings have been punished and restrained by the