« VorigeDoorgaan »
CHAPTER civil wars, perhaps there are few more revolting to
a good mind, than the wicked calumnies with which, in the heat of contention, men, otherwise men of honour, have in all ages and countries permitted themselves to load their adversaries. It is remarkable that there is no trace of the Divines who attended this unfortunate man, having exhorted him to a particular repentance of his Manifesto, or having called for a retraction or disavowal of the accusations contained in it. They were so intent upon points more immediately connected with orthodoxy of faith, that they omitted pressing their penitent to the only declaration, by which he could make any satisfactory atonement to those whom he had injured.
The following detached Paragraphs were probably intended for the
Fourth Chapter. They are here printed in the incomplete and unfinished state in which they were found.
While the Whigs considered all religious opinions with a view to politicks, the Tories, on the other hand, referred all political maxims to religion. Thus the former, even in their hatred to Popery, did not so much regard the superstition, or imputed idolatry of that unpopular sect, as its tendency to establish arbitrary power in the state, while the latter revered absolute monarchy as a divine institution, and cherished the doctrines of passive obedience and nonresistance, as articles of religious faith.
To mark the importance of the late events, his Majesty caused two medals to be struck; one of himself, with the usual inscription, and the motto, Aras et sceptra tuemur; the other of Monmouth, without any inscription. On the reverse of the former, were represented the two headless trunks of his lately vanquished enemies, with other circumstances in the same taste and spirit, the motto, Ambitio malesuada ruit: on that of the latter appeared a young man
falling in the attempt to climb a rock with three crowns on it, under which was the insulting motto, Superi risere.
With the lives of Monmouth and Argyle ended, or at least seemed to end, all prospect of resistance to James's absolute power; and that class of patriots who feel the pride of submission, and the dignity of obedience, might be completely satisfied that the Crown was in its full lustre.
James was sufficiently conscious of the increased strength of his situation, and it is probable that the security he now felt in his power, inspired him with the design of taking more decided steps in favour of the Popish religion and its professors, than his connection with the Church of England party had before allowed him to entertain. That he from this time attached less importance to the support and affection of the Tories, is evident from Lord Rochester's observations, communicated afterwards to Burnet. This nobleman's abilities and experience in business, his hereditary merit, as son of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and his uniform oppo: sition to the Exclusion Bill, had raised him high in the esteem of the Church party. This circumstance, perhaps, as much, or more than the King's personal
kindness to a brother-in-law, had contributed to his advancement to the first office in the state. As long therefore as James stood in need of the support of the party, as long as he meant to make them the instruments of his power, and the channels of his favour, Rochester was, in every respect, the fittest person in whom to confide; and accordingly, as that nobleman related to Burnet, his Majesty honoured him with daily confidential communications
all his most secret schemes and projects. But
the defeat of the rebellion, an immediate change took place, and from the day of Monmouth's execution, the King confined his conversations with the Treasurer to the mere business of his office.