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that it was either the Effect of a Petition which 1687 the lately deceas'd Dutchess of Modena had put up in Heaven to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or of a Vow the Queen had made to our Lady of Loretto, with a Present of a Golden Image enrich'd with Precious Stones.

The most discerning among the Protestants began at first to suspect the Queen's Bigness to be only a publick Report rais'd by the Jesuits and Priests then in England to ripen their Sinister Delignis; and were contirm'd in their suspicion by reflecting, that 'twas not the first Impofture those fort of People had made use of to alter the Lineal Succellion of Kingdoms, in order to serve the Church. They call'd to mind, that upon the like Occasion the Romih Priests gave it out that Queen Mary was with Child, that they might procure her a Succeffor that would advance their Interest, and the Papists began to Triumph at Rome, when God was pleas'd to disappoint their Designs in England That a set of Priests were the wicked Instruments of the cruel and unnatural usurpation of Richard IV. by preaching at St. Paul's Cross, that Edward IV. his Brother was born in unlawful Wedlock; that by the Inventions and crafty Intrigues of a Priest, Lambert Simnel, a Baker's Son supposed Ilsue of the Earl of Warwick rose up against Henry VII. and was Proclaim'd King in Ireland and lastly, that by the Advice of the fame Priest, another supposed 'Person was set up against the said Henry VII. by Margaret Dutchess of Burgundy, who was prevaild with to affirm that he was Richard, one of the Sons of Edward IV. And this pretended Son of Edward form'd lo considerable a party in Ireland and was so well receiv'd in Scotland, that he put in fair for the Crown of those two King. doms. The Remembrance of these and the like Impostures, joind with the fabulous Stories relating to the Cause of the Queen's Conception, after she had been Childless several Years'; the great Care the fee Suits took, openly to inlinuate chat the would certainly be deliver'd of a Prince, and several other concurring Accidents, gave the Protestants' reason

to

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1687. to look upon the Queen's Big-Bully as a meer

fuppofition. However, it could not but keep'ern in perpetual Alarms ; for suppoting it, as they did, to be a pious Fraud, the Dilcovery of it would have been so much the more difficult, as it was the interest of the Popish Party to conceal it with extraordinary Care.

One may well imagine that the Papists did not fail to improve the Queen's Bigness, to the Advancement of their Deligns. The Court Party gathered visible Strength upon it, and taking advantage of the Alarms and Confternation of the Protestants, they procured Addresses from feveral Countics, wherein His Majesty's Dutiful Sub

jects, not only Congratulated him upon so joy* The Ad. fulan Occasion,but aflured him allo of * Their ready dress of Compliance in the Electing such Members as mould the County concur with His Majesty's Gracious intentions for the of Glou- Abrogation of the Penal Laws and Tests, , equally refter,

pernicious to His Majesties Prerogative, and his SubMarch 17. jecis Liberty. The Addresses of the Counties of 168; Stafford, Monmouth, and York, the Cities of Canterbu.

ry, and Carlisle, the Towns of Northampton, Borough of Totness, &c. were to the fame Effect;

but none was so artfully penn'd as that of the * Scarbo. Corporation of * Scarborough, which therefore L sough Ad- shall set down here at length. dress,

May it please, your Majesty, the Vaior of York April 28. and Lancaster, made the Inheritance of this Empire 1688.

the Conjunction of England and Scotland, made two Kingdoms one ; but your Majesty's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, has made our Interest one ; thus our Blessings have risen by degrees to their last Perfedtion ; every Happiness

, was sueceeded by a greater, and every succeeding Age Strove, as it were, to outvy the former. 'Tis true, our Civil Wars have been renewed in tbe time of our Farbers, England and Scotland have again been disunited by an unnatural Rebellion ; but Liberty of Conscience is so strong * Cement that no Age shall be able to Diffolve it its firmness will increase by its Duration for all Men will endeavour to propagate that Blessing which brings a visible Rewards along with it. And if the

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1683
lar Experience of our Profit ; Men will not be more
jłudious of transmitting a clear Title of their Pobeli-
ons to their Children, than they will be of leaving an
undonbted Inheritance of Trade, Society and brother-
ly Affection.

In the First Place therefore, on our knees we thank
the God of Heaven for your Majesty; and in the next,
with all Humility we thank your Majesty, who as a
true Father of your people, have provided for them
so rich a Patrimony of immortal Happiness: 'Tis a
Portion put out to use for Posterity, which in every
Seven Years will double and redouble the Principal,
God Almighty, as we Hope and Pray, will grant
you, an Heir Masculine of your Body; but
you have already given us one of your Mind in yorer
Gracious Declaration ; 'tis to your self alone, O Sa-
cred Majesty! that we stand oblig'd for it: We oron
it not to be the Council or Procurement of any other
none but a wife and gracious King could have found
it out ; none but a Catholick King has been able to
effect it. We hope a Parliament will concur and ra-
tife this Blefling, for this Blessing has, in a manner,
ratified it self by its own Success. "Íis an AE al-
ready past in the Hearts of all your Loyal People, and
what it wants in formality of Law, is fupply'd in
the concurring Votes of all uninterested Men. It will
Spread like the Tree in the Vision of Holy Daniel, till
it overshadow the Three Nations; and the Birds
of the Air Anall not only build in' it, but also the
Beasts of the Forest shall be secure beneath it. May
your Majesty long enjoy the Fruits of so happy a Plan-
tation ; may it be fenc'd about by the Care of the pre-
sent Áge ; and made Sacred to all future Time, as
set by your anspicious Hands : And as it is in oper
Power, so we folemnly engage our felves to return
your Majesty two such Members to serve in Parlia-
ment, as Shall Vote for Repealing, the Teft and all
Penal Laws in matters of Religion ; Laws which
were begot under a doubtful Title, were bred up in
Persecution, and would subvert the fundamental Free
dom of the Conscience, which is God's Magna Char-
ta to all his reasonable Creatures.

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168.

Besides the foremention'd Methods to introduce Popery, the Jesuits publish'd every Day some Book or other to bring their Religion into Efteem; such as I he first and second Vindication of the Bishop of Condom's Exposition of the Catholick Church; A Christian Doctrine compos'd by Bellarmine; The Mass triumphing; The Mass vindicated; The Catechism of Penance ; Íhe Catechism for the Curates, compos'd by à Decree of the Council of Trent; An Agreement between the Church of England, and the Church of Rome; Vane's lojt Sheep return'd bome; Veron's Kule of Faith ; The Guide in Controverfies, &c. A Defence of the Doctrine and Rule of the Roman Catholick Church, &c. This obliging the English Di. vines to draw their Pens likewife in the Defence of the Protestant Religion, the Jesuits were soon overmatch'd ; for the famous Stilling fteet, Sherlock, Tillotson, Terinifon, Wake, &c. besides a deeper Stock of Learning, and a greater Force of found Reasoning, had also a far better Cause to maintain; whereas the Errors of the Church of Rome, being only palliated by frivolous Arguments, false Quotations, and trifling Equivocations, were the more easily expos’d, and their Assertors shamefully defeated. The People, who are generally fond of Controversies, read greedily all those polemical Writings, so that the Church of Rome was so far from getting Ground, that the Protestants were daily convincd of her Idolatry, and look'd upon it with Horror. If the Englilh Millionaries, and those who were fent over from France, had been wise, they would not have follow'd a Course in which they have always miscarry'd ; for nothing less forcible than arined Troops is able to per: {wade fo monttruous Tenets as those of the Worhip of Images, the Invocation of Saints, and the Transubftantiation. But the Jesuits were so dazing and presuming, that they must needs try this Method, which however they foon abandon’d, when they found it prejudicial to their Designs. Yet, left the Proteftants should take Advantage of their Superiority, His Majefty was prevail'd with to regulate the Press, and under Pretence that

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the several Parties in the Kingdom maintain’d a 168.3
feditious Paper-War, a Proclamation was issued
out t, grounded upon a Statute made in the t Procla-
14th Year of King Charles II. prohibiting the mation to
Printing, and exposing to Sale of all unlicens'd and regulate the
treasonable Books and Pamphlets, under the Pains Press, Feb.
and Penalties provided by the faid Act. By this 13. 1683.
Means the Protestants were cunningly debarr'd
the Freedom of confuting the Errors of the
Church of Rome, which soon after appear'd to be the
main Design of the restraining of the Press: For
the King caus'd some Books to be suppress’d,
which contain'd nothing but a Defence of the
Reformed Religion, and Disputes concerning Con-
troverted Tenets.

While the Popith Project was going on to abro. The Prince gate the Test and Penal Laws, and the Prote- of Orange's Itants were in amaze wliat to expect, an Accident Opinion confell out that contributed to buoy up the finking cerning the Spirit of the Nation. King James meeting eve

the Teft, ry Day with Difficulties, which he plainly law he

doc.
could never surmount without having Recourse to
violent Methods; the tutetar Genius of England,
and his own ill Fite, fet him on to make a trial
of the Inclinations of the Prince and Princess of
Orange ; not doubting but if he could engage them
to fide with hin in his Delign, it would find
less Oppotition in the ensuing Parliament : But
becaule His Majesty did not think proper to address
himself directly to their Highnelles, he employ'd
Mr. James Stuart, a Lawyer, whom he had par-
don'd and receiv'd into Favour after a long Banith-
ment, and who pretended an intimate Acquain-
tance with Mr. Fagel, Pensioner to the States of
Holland, a wife Minister, in whom the Prince re-
pos’d an intire Confidence, and for whom he had
a particular Efteem and Afection. To himn Mr.
Stuart writes a Letter upon this Subject; but so
averse were the Prince and Princess of Orange to
meddle in so nice an Affair, and so unwilling to
allow Myn Heer Fagel to return an Answer, which
they knew would not be pleasing, that Mr. Stuart
was oblig'd to repeat several times his pressing

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