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system has been exemplified in England. Every reign which attempted to bring back Popery, or even to give it that share of power which could in any degree prejudice Protestantism, has been marked by signal misfortune. It is a striking circumstance that almost every reign of this Popish tendency has been followed by. one purely, Protestant; and, as if to make the source of the national peril plain to all eyes, those alternate reigns have not offered a stronger contrast in their principles than in their public fortunes. Let the rank of England be what it might under the Protestant Sovereign, it always sank under the Popish; let its loss of honour or of power be what it might under the Popish Sovereign, it always recovered under the Protestant, and more than recovered; was distinguished by sudden success, public renovation, and increased stability to the freedom and fortunes of the empire.
Protestantism was first thoroughly established in England in the reign of Elizabeth.
Mary had left a dilapidated kingdom; the nation worn out with disaster and debt; the national arms disgraced; nothing in vigour but Popery. Elizabeth, at twenty-five, found her first steps surrounded with the most extraordinary embarrassments; at home, the whole strength of a party, including the chief names of the kingdom, hostile to her succession and religion; in Scotland, a rival title, supported by France; in Ireland, a perpetual rebellion, inflamed by Rome; on the Continent, the force of Spain roused against her by the double stimulant of ambition and bigotry, at a time when Spain commanded almost the whole strength of Europe.
But the cause of Elizabeth was PROTESTANTISM? and in that sign she conquered. She shivered the Spanish sword; she paralyzed the power of Rome; she gave freedom to the Dutch; she fought the battle of the French Protestants; every eye of religious suffering through Europe was fixed on this magnanimous woman. At home, she elevated the habits and the heart of her people. She even drained off the bitter waters of religious feud and sowed in the vigorous soil, which they had so long made.unwholesome, the seeds of every principle and institution that has since grown up into the strength of the empire. But her great work was the establishment of Protestantism. Like the Jewish King, she found the Ark of God without a shelter; and she built for it the noblest temple in the world; she consecrated her country into its temple.
She died in the fulness of years and honour; the great Queen of Protestantism throughout the nations; in the memory of England her name and her reign alike immortal.
Charles I. ascended a prosperous throne; England in peace, faction feeble or extinct; the nation prospering in the full spirit of commerce and manly adventure. No reign of an English king ever opened out a longer or more undisturbed view of prosperity. But Charles betrayed the sacred trust of Protestantism. He had formed a Popish alliance, with the full knowledge that it established a Popish dynasty. He had lent himself to the intrigues of the French Minister stained with Protestant blood; for his first armament
was a fleet against the Huguenots. If not a friend to Popery, he was madly regardless of its hazards to the constitution.
Ill fortune suddenly gathered upon him. Distracted councils, popular feuds met by alternate weakness and violence, the loss of the national respect, finally. deepening into civil bloodshed, were the punishments of his betrayal of Protestantism. The sorrows and late repentance of his prison hours painfully redeemed his memory.
Cromwell's was the sceptre of a broken kingdom. He found the reputation and influence of England crushed; utter humiliation abroad; at home, the exhaustion of the civil war; and furious partizanship still tearing the public strength in sunder.
Cromwell was a murderer; but, in the high designs of Providence, the personal purity of the instrument is not always regarded. The Jews were punished for their idolatry by idolaters, and restored
By the marriage contract with the Infanta, the royal children were to be educated by their mother until they were ten years' old. But France, determined on running no risk of their being Protestants, raised the term to thirteen years. Even this was not enough; for Popery was afraid of Protestant milk; and a clause was inserted that the children should not be suckled by Protestant nurses. The object of those stipulations was so apparent, that Charles must have looked to a Popish succession; and the stipulations were so perfectly sufficient for their purpose, that all his sons, even to the fragment of their line, were Roman Catholics. Even the king's Protestantism was doubtful. Olivarez, the Spanish minis- ~ ter, openly declared that Charles, on the treaty of marriage with the Infanta, had pledged himself to turn Roman Catholic.
by idolaters. Whatever was in the heart of the Protector, the policy of his government was Protestantism. His treasures and his arms were openly devoted to the Protestant cause in France, in Italy, throughout the world. He was the first who raised a public fund for the support of the Vaudois churches. He sternly repelled the advances which Popery made to seduce him into the path of the late king.
England was instantly lifted on her feet as by the power of miracle. All her battles were victories; France and Spain bowed before her. All her adventures were conquests; she laid the foundation of her colonial empire, and of that still more illustrious commercial empire to which the only limits in either space or time may be those of mankind. She was the most conspicuous power of Europe; growing year by year in opulence, public knowledge, and foreign renown; until Cromwell could almost realize the splendid improbability, that, "Before he died, he would make the name of an Englishman as much feared and honoured as ever was that of an ancient Roman."
Charles the IId came to an eminently prosperous throne. Abroad it held the foremost rank, the fruit of the vigour of the Protectorate. At home all faction had been forgotten in the general joy of the re
But Charles was a concealed Roman Catholic.* He attempted to introduce his religion; the star of Eng
* He had solemnly professed Popery on the eve of the restor
land was instantly darkened; the country and the king alike became the scorn of the foreign courts; the national honour was scandalized by mercenary subserviency to France; the national arms were humiliated by a disastrous war with Holland; the capital was swept by the memorable inflictions of pestilence and conflagration.
James the IId still more openly violated the national trust. He publicly became a Roman Catholic. This filled the cup. The Stuarts were cast out, they and their dynasty for ever; that proud line of kings was sentenced to wither down into a monk, and that monk living on the alms of England, a stipendiary and an exile.
William was called to the throne. He found it, as it was always found at the close of a Popish reign, surrounded by a host of difficulties; at home, the kingdom in a ferment; Popery, and its ally Jacobitism, girding themselves for battle; fierce disturbance in Scotland; open war in Ireland, with the late king at its head; abroad the French king domineering over Europe, and threatening invasion. In the scale of nations England nothing!
But the principle of William's government was Protestantism; he fought and legislated for it through life; and it was to him, as it had been to all before him, strength and victory. He silenced English faction; he crushed the Irish war; he then attacked the colossal strength of France on its own shore. This was the direct collision, not so much of the two kingdoms as of the two faiths; the Protestant champion