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174 DE FOE'S REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION.

the next Protestant heir in succession, and entailed it on her present majesty in default of heirs, without any regard to the other issue of King James, then alive or to be born: by which celebrated action, I humbly conceive, the convention did the several things following; whether immediately, or consequentially, or both, is not material. 1. They effectually secured the crown in the hands of Protestants, having passed that never-to-be-forgotten vote, which was sent up to the Lords, Jan. 22, 1688, That it is inconsistent with the constitution of this Protestant nation to be governed by a Popish prince;' upon which claim our religion is now established, and our religious rights are all founded and secured. 2. They asserted the rights of the people of England, assembled either in parliament or convention, to dispose of the crown, even in bar of hereditary right, that is, in parliament style, to limit the succession of the crown ; by which last article, as I humbly suggest, all the pretence of our princes to an inherent divine right of blood, and to an absolute, unconditioned obedience in their subjects, together with that modern delusion of the unlawfulness of resistance or self-defence, in cases of tyranny and oppression, were entirely suppressed, declared against, and disowned. These things, as the Journals of the House abundantly testify, received at divers times, and in various manners, all possible sanction, both in the same assembled convention, when afterwards turned into a parliament, and in the several subsequent parliaments to this day, in the several acts passed in both kingdoms for recognition of King William and Queen Mary, for taking the association for security of the persons of the king and queen, for further limitation of the crown, for settling the succession, and at last for uniting the two kingdoms; every one of them either expressly mentioning, or necessarily implying the right of the parliament to limit the succession of their princes, and to declare and establish conditions of the people's obedience: and by all which

DE FOE ANNUALLY COMMEMORATES THE EVENT.

175

acts, the absurd doctrines of passive-obedience and nonresistance, are, by undeniable consequences, exploded or rejected as inconsistent with the constitution of Britain."*

As an ardent friend of the Revolution, and no less an admirer of the hero who achieved it, De Foe annually commemorated the 4th of November in token of our deliverance: "A day," says he, "famous on various accounts, and every one of them dear to Britons who love their country, value the Protestant interest, or have an aversion to tyranny and oppression. On this day he was born; on this day he married the daughter of England; and, on this day he rescued the nation from a bondage worse than that of Egypt, a bondage of soul, as well as bodily servitude; a slavery to the ambition and raging lust of a generation set on fire by pride, avarice, cruelty, and blood."+

When the Revolution took place, and probably for some little time before, De Foe was a resident at Tooting in Surry, where he was the first person who attempted to form the Dissenters in the neighbourhood into a regular congregation. The Reverend and learned Dr. Joshua Oldfield, author of a valuable treatise on "The Improvement of Human Reason," was their first pastor. It appears from a passage in his "Tour through Great Britain," that De Foe was several years a resident in this part of Surrey. Perhaps he had a country-house there during the time that he carried on his hose-agency business in Cornhill.

* Review, vi. 470.

+ Ibid, iv. 453. Josiah Thompson's MSS. in Red Cross Street Library,

CHAPTER XI. '

Accession of Willium and Mary.-Formation of a Ministry.-The Convention turned into a Parliament.—Bill enforcing the Oaths.- Remarks upon the Measure.-Tuken by the Clergy, with mentul Reservations.—Rise of the Non-jurors.- Burnet's Pastoral Letter.-Burnt by order of Parliament. -Another Pamphlet condemned at the same Time.-The King's enlightened Sentiments upon Religious Liberty.—His Designs in Favour of the Dissenters. -Defeated by the Parliament.-Act of Toleration.-Commemorated by De Foe.-Reflections upon the Act.-The high Clergy dissatisfied with it. --Bill for a Comprehension.-Defeated in the Commons.-The King's Ecclesiastical Commission.-Rendered abortive by the Convocation.- Remarks upon its Failure.-Bigotry of South.-De Foe's Remarks upon Preachers of his stamp.-Illustration of South's Politics.—Bill of Rights.-De Foe's Remarks upon it--King and Queen Dine with the Lord Mayor.-Attended by De Foe.-Oldmixon's Account of the Procession.

1689.

WILLIAM and MARY having been voted into the vacant throne, proceeded to the banqueting-house, upon the 13th of February, 1689, and received a tender of the crown from the Marquis of Halifax. At the same time, a declaration agreed upon by the Lords and Commons, containing the reasons of King James's forfeiture, and asserting the rights and liberties of the subject, was recited to the new king and queen, who accepted it as the rule of their government. They were proclaimed the same day; and upon the 11th of April, they were crowned by Compton, Bishop of London; Dr. Burnet, lately promoted to the See of Salisbury, being chosen to preach the sermon.

After the choice of ministry and a privy council, in the

THE CONVENTION TURNED INTO A PARLIAMENT. 177 selection of which the king gave general satisfaction.(N) The next step was to turn the convention into a parliament, as had been done at the Restoration; and a bill was passed to legalize its proceedings.

Some of the bishops and others having absented themselves from parliament upon account of the oaths, a bill was brought in and passed, requiring all persons to take them within a limited period, under various penalties and forfeitures. The propriety of such a measure can only be argued in reference to the period when it was enacted. In all revolutions, especially when there exists a strong feeling opposed to the new order of things, it may be necessary to draw a marked line of distinction between its friends and its enemies; at the same time, every object of government may be secured by equitable laws, without compromising the consciences of the scrupulous: these it may be impolitic to trust; but so long as they give no disturbance to the state, they may be allowed the unmolested exercise of their judgment. It was urged by the non-jurors, with a greater semblance to truth than consistency, that the exaction of oaths is an illegal and tyrannical imposition upon the conscience of the subject, and in that point of view a badge of conquest and slavery. But those who had justified the slavish principles imposed in the corporation oath, had no room to open their mouths upon this occasion. better plan would have been to administer the oaths to those only who took office under the new government, leaving the rest of the nation to the operation of the laws, and executing

Perhaps the

(N) In order to reward the greatest possible number, the Treasury, the Admiralty, and the Chancery, were placed in commission; Lord Mordaunt, Admiral Herbert, and Sir John Maynard being at the head of these departments: the Privy Seal was committed to the Marquis of Halifax; the Earls of Shrewsbury and Nottingham were made Secretaries of State; and the Earl of Danby, President of the Council. The Lords Godolphin and Delamere were in the Commission of the Treasury; Mr. Hampden, Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Sir John Holt was placed at the head of the Judges.

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BILL ENFORCING THE OATHS.

them with strict justice upon all disturbers of the public peace.

It deserves to be noticed as illustrating the character of the times, that the king would have dispensed with the oaths in the clergy, if they had been equally well-disposed to admit other Protestants within the pale of the constitution: but notwithstanding their late lesson, they had still to learn the value of liberality, as well as the path to justice. "The clergy generally," says Burnet, "took the oaths, though with too many reservations and distinctions, which laid them open to severe censure, as if they had taken them against their consciences."* The different senses in which they were taken, are explained at some length in the Life of Kettlewell,† and present a juggle between interest and conscience that redounds but little to the credit of the parties. There were others who acted a more consistent part, declining them altogether. From this time may be dated the rise of the Non-jurors, who rejecting the convenient distinction of a king de jure, and a king de facto, started and acted upon by Dr. Sherlock, adhered to their former principle of the Divine right of kings and all its absurd consequences.

As

In order to encourage the clergy to take the oaths, Burnet published in 1689, his celebrated "Pastoral Letter." many of the clergy were now deserting their churches, the bishop thought it a seasonable opportunity for reminding those of his diocese of the various arguments that were to be urged in their defence. Amongst others, he brought forward the title of conquest, and says, "King James having so far sunk in the war, that he both abandoned his people, and deserted the government, all his right and title did accrue to the king in the right of a conquest over him; so that if he had then assumed the crown; the opinion of all lawyers must have been on his side; but he chose rather to leave the matter to the

* Burnet's Own Time iii. 38.

+ Pages 217 and 337.

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