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judge, who peruses the original, will admire its purity and perspicuity. Its ultramontane principles, all will now blame; but it should not be forgotten, that Persons spoke,-not the language of the eatholic body,--but the language of his own party. The asperity, with which the work is written, must have given general offence, and prejudiced his readers against his arguments. In this, and in general effect, it yielded greatly to cardinal Allen's 9. Defence of the English Catholics,” noticed in a former part of this work. This, while it possesses equal power of argument, with the work of father Persons, is written in a tone of christian moderation and singleness of heart, which must steal on every reader, and propitiate the very sternest adversary both in favour of the writer and in favour of his cause. w It should be added, that though the pope's claim, by divine right, to the deposing power, was, at this time,- very generally maintained, very few went, with Persons, the length of asserting that it was an article of faith : we shall soon see that Bellarmine stopped short of that extravagance.
Penal Acts of the thirty-fifth year of queen Elizabeth
against the Catholics. To the invective of father Persons, the queen published a royal reply. By the first act of the thirty-fifth year of her reign, persons obstinately refusing to attend the service of the church, or im
pugning the authority of the queen in ecclesiastical causes, or persuading others to do so, or assisting at unlawful assemblies or conventions of religion, were to be committed to prison, and to remain there, till their conformity to the established church, or till they made the submission and declaration contained in the act. By this they were to acknowledge their offence to God, in contemning her majesty's authority; to declare that no person had any power or authority over her; and to promise to obey in future all her laws, those in particular which prescribed attendance at the service of the church. Offenders not conforming were ordered to abjure the realm, and depart from it, as in cases of abjuration for felony; if they refused to abjure the realm, or afterwards returned to it, they were to be adjudged guilty of felony without benefit of clergy; and to forfeit to her majesty all their goods and chattels absolutely; and the income of their real estate during their lives.
Even these penalties were not thought sufficiently severe by the second act of the same year, popish recusant convicts were ordered not to remove five miles from their place of abode, and if they removed to a greater distance, they were subjected to a similar penalty; a jesuit, seminary, or other massing priest, who, on his examinations before a magistrate, should refuse to answer directly, whether he were a jesuít, a seminary, or a massing priest, was to be committed to prison, to remain there, till answer, without bail or mainprize.
The threatened attempt of the Spanish on the
English coast, did not take place till 1598 : a small body of them then landed near Penzance, in Cornwall, set fire to a church, and, on the appearance of a few English troops, retired in a hurry. “ These,” says
Camden*, “were the only Spaniards that ever “ set foot in England, as enemies.”
ASSERTION THAT THE PRIESTS WERE EXECUTED,
NOT FOR THEIR RELIGION, BUT FOR THEIR
THE second of the two last statutes, which have been mentioned, closed the penal code of Elizabeth against her English catholic subjects. A defence
A of it was made, by asserting, that the priests, who suffered under them, were convicted, not for their priestly character, or exercising their priestly functions, but for treason. This conveys an idea that the treason, for which they suffered, was some act that was treasonable by the ancient law of the land, or the statute of treasons—the 25th of Edward the third.
This is a great mistake. It was not even pretended that the priests were convicted of any act that was treasonable by the ancient law, or the statute of Edward : the only treasons for which they suffered were acts, which the statutes of Elizabeth had made treasonable--denying her spiritual
• Ad annum 1598.
supremacy--not quitting, or returning to, England or exercising sacerdotal functions.
But, continue the advocates for the justice of these laws, it was competent to the state to make these acts treasonable ; and, having enacted that they should be treasonable, those, who committed such acts, were legally guilty of treason; and were punished, not for their religion, but for being traitors.
This was the ground on which, by a state-paper, published by lord Burleigh, these sanguinary laws, and the executions which took place under them, were principally defended. It was published in 1583, and is intituled, “ The execution of Justice “ for maintenance of public and christian peace
against certain stirrers of sedition, and adherents “ to the traitors and enemies of this realm, with“.out any persecution of them, as falsely reported “and published by the traitors and fosterers of the
treasons." To this cardinal Allen replied, by,—"A true, sincere, and modest Defence of Christian Catholics, “ that suffered for their faith at home and abroad,
against a false, seditious, and slanderous libel, * intituled, “The execution of Justice in England ;' “ wherein is declared how unjustly the protestants “ do charge the catholics with treason; how un“ truly they deny their persecution for religion, ....and how deceitfully about the cause, greatness, “ and manner of their sufferings, with diverse other
matters pertaining to this purpose.” It was universally read and admired. The authors of the
Biographia Britannica mention, that " as much is "said in it, for his cause, and as great learning "shown, in defending it, as it would admit." The learned Edmund Bolton called it "a princely, grave, and flourishing piece of natural and exqui-site English." An elegant version of it into the Latin language is published in Dr. Bridgewater's Concertatio.
The whole of Lord Burleigh's work is founded on an argument 'so brittle, that it falls into pieces the moment it is touched. It was not, says his lordship, for their catholic religion, or for their sacerdotal character, that the priests underwent the sentence of the law; but for their remaining in or returning to England;-acts, which the law had made high treason.
Now, unless their priests remained in or returned to England, the English catholics would have been without instruction, and without the sacraments or rites of their religion. To remain in England, or to return to it, was therefore an act of the religious duty of the catholic priesthood; and for this act of religious duty the priests were executed.
In defence of the edicts against the Huguenots, who assembled in bodies for the exercise of their religious worship, might not Louvois have urged, with equal justice, that the offenders were punished, not for their religious principles, but for their illegal practices-a previous law having made their assembling for religious worship a legal offence?
In fact, if lord Burleigh's argument justified the executions of the catholic priests, in the reign