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CON TEN TS.
Rob. Grissold, layman, do.
Forty-seven priests banished,
George Nappier, pr. Oxford, 27 Ed. Morgan, pr. Tyburn,
John Thulis, pr. Lancaster,
55 N. Price, of Washingly, gent. killed in
Thos. Maxfield, pr. Tyburn, 57 John Duckett, pr. Tyburn,
ib. John Gavan, or Gawan, pr. S. J. do. ib.
Anth. Turner, pr. S.J. do. ib.
T. Whitaker, pr. do.
171 John Loyd, pr.
Thos. Vaughan, pr. confessor, ib. John Wall
, alias, Francis Johnson,
Thos. Blount, pr. confessor, 175 J. Kemble, pr. Hereford,
Thos. Thwing, pr. York,
Law. Hill, layman, Tyburn,
205 Additions to the account of Mr.
Ꮲ Ꭱ E F A C E.
The continuation of the executions of catholics on religious accounts, from the death of queen Elizabeth till the end of the reign of king Charles the second, is laid before the reader in this second volume of our memoirs, in which we have endeavoured to follow the same method as in the first. Our intention herein is not to meddle any way with religious controversies, or to make apologies for the principles of those whose sufferings we represent, or to discuss the merits of the cause for which they suffered; but barely to give an impartial account of the characters of these sufferers, as far as we could learn of them, the most remarkable particulars of their lives and deaths, and their behaviour at their execution.
If any one apprehend that the cruelties here represented, may reflect an odium upon the memories of those who were the authors or executors of the sanguinary laws, by which so much christian blood has been shed for more than a whole century, in a nation which of all others is naturally most averse from shedding of blood; we can only assure him that it was not our design to reflect on the memory of any one, but barely to represent matters of fact, which we hoped might furnish a useful and agreeable scene of history to the English reader. However, we must at the same time declare, how much we are convinced, that the more mild proceedings of the present government, with regard to catholics, are far more agreeable both to reason and religion, more honourable to the nation, and more suitable to that claim of liberty and property, which every true Englishman challenges as his birth-right.
In effect, is it not most agreeable to right reason, for a people that disclaims all pretensions to infallibility, to give a moderate liberty to the tender consciences of their fellow subjects, of thinking for themselves in matters of religion, without being constrained therein by penal laws ?
And can any thing be more highly unreasonable, than to impose upon them a necessity of conforming, in matters where their souls are concerned, to the judgment of others, acknowledged by themselves to be liable to error,
and contrary in many points to their own judgment, and to that of the greatest and wisest men upon earth? Is not this even irreconcileable with the great principle of morality, of not doing to others what one would not bear should be done to oneself?
Again, is it not most agreeable to religion, to practice mildness and charity towards our fellow christians, and if we suppose them to be in an error, to win them over rather by good treatment and good example, and to convince their judgment by proper arguments and evidences of the truth, than to compel them by penal laws to play the hypocrites, and profess what they do not believe? And how much more ought this to be observed, if we speak of people, who, if they are in the wrong, it is visibly their misfortune and not their fault, having no worldly motives of honour, interest, or pleasure, to bias their judgment, which is plainly the case of English catholics? And certainly nothing can be more disagreeable to the very first principles of protestant religion, which would have all christians to steer by the word of God, than to oblige men to renounce those tenets which they sincerely believe to be conformable to the word of God, as catholics do with regard to the doctrine of transubstantiation, &c.
As to the honour of the English nation, our neighbours abroad certainly think better of us now, than when they were continually hearing of our putting priests to death, which in their notions was an unparalleled piece of cruelty.
And as to that liberty and property which is the birth-right of a Briton, nothing can be more opposite to it, than persecution for religion, which visibly tends to enslave the conscience, and to invade the life or property of an Englishman, merely because he has not the same way of thinking as his neighbours.
But the advocates of persecution will here object, that Roman catholics have been notoriously guilty of rebellions and treasons, under pretence of religion ; and therefore must be kept under by penal laws. But supposing the guilt to have been even greater than it really was, are there not laws enough against rebellions and treasons, to restrain all sorts of people from such wicked attempts, without constraining their