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" Let no
there is nothing but a good force of well-disciplined troops, in constant pay, that can defend us from such as either at home or abroad are disposed to disturb us." His concern for the peace and quiet of his subjects, he said, made it necessary to increase the number to the proportion he had done; and to support the charge of keeping such a body of men on foot, he asked for a supply. man take exception,” he added, “that there some officers in the army not qualified, according to the late tests, for their employments. The gentlemen, I must tell you, are most of them well known to me; and having formerly served with me on several occasions, and always approved the loyalty of their principles by their practice, I think them now fit to be employed under me; and I will deal plainly with you, that, after having had the benefit of their service in such a time of need and danger, I will neither expose them to disgrace, nor myself to the want of them, if there should be another rebellion to make them necessary to me."
The proposal for a standing army, and for a violation of the test acts, changed the obsequiousness of the Parliament, and roused an opposition partaking of the spirit of former parliaments. The court party carried a resolution for a supply, but with the addition that a bill be brought in to render the militia more useful, equivalent to a declaration against a standing army; and the Commons afterwards voted an address, in which they represented to the king that “the officers in the army, who had not complied with the tests, could not by law be capable of their employments, and that their incapacities could not be taken away but by act of Parliament.” They said they would pass an act to indemnify them from the penalties on this occasion, and they besought the king to give such directions as that no apprehensions or jealousies might remain in the hearts of his subjects. Disapprobation of the king's proceedings spread to the House of Lords, extending even to the bench of bishops; and James, perceiving that resolutions would be passed disapproving of his proceedings, prorogued the Parliament, sacrificing even the vote for the supply, which had not been perfected by an act. Parliament was kept in existence by repeated prorogations for about a year and a half, but without holding a session, and no Parliament assembled again during this reign.
The High Commission Court established by Elizabeth had been abolished by a statute of the Long Paliament, and its abolition had been confirmed by a statute of Charles II., which also declared that no similar court should be constituted. Yet in contempt of those laws a court was erected called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, to which, without any other authority than his own, James gave summary and arbitrary jurisdiction over all ecclesiastics, and of which he made his infamous Lord Chancellor, Jeffreys, perpetual president. The Bishop of London, who had offended the king by the part he had taken in Parliament, was the first person summoned before the new court, by which he was suspended from his office.
In exercise of his assumed prerogative to dispense with the statute law, James published a declaration of indulgence, of the most daring character. He declared " that the execution of all, and all manner of penal laws in matters ecclesiastical, should be immediately suspended ; and he gave free leave to all his subjects to serve God their own way, either in public or private, provided they took special care that nothing was preached or thought tending to alienate the people from his government." He declared that the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, as also the several tests and declarations of 25 and 30 Charles II., should not for the future be required to be taken by any person who was or should be employed in any place of trust; and that it was his pleasure and intention to grant his royal dispensations under the great seal to all persons so employed, who should not take the said oaths. He gave free pardon to all non-conformists, recusants, and other his loving subjects, for all crimes and things committed against the penal laws.
Under the authority of this declaration (whicb, however much we may now admire its principles, was clearly in derogation of law, and opposed to the feelings of his people) James took Jesuits into his service, and appointed Roman Catholics to the highest offices of the state, and to commands in the army and navy. He went so far as to appoint Roman Catholic priests to ecclesiastical offices in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge ; and when his nominees were refused, he deprived the head of the universities of their dignities. He sent an extraordinary ambassador to the Pope ; al
though intercourse with the Roman pontiff was, by the laws of England, high treason. He also gave audience to a nuncio from the Pope. Four Roman bishops were publicly consecrated in the royal chapel, and the popish regular clergy attended his palace in the habits of their order. He appointed a Roman Catholic to be of his privy council, and altered the privy counsellors' oath by expunging the declaration against foreign prelates. 3. In April, 1688, James renewed his declaration for liberty of conscience, and issued an order in council, requiring the bishops to send copies of it to all their clergy, and to order the clergy to read it on two several Sundays in time of divine service. The archbishop and six bishops petitioned the king to lay before him the reasons that determined them not to obey the order in council. They were admitted to his presence. James threateningly insisted upon being obeyed, and they retired with the words, “ The will of God be done." They were immediately committed to the Tower, and an information presented against them for a misdemeanor, on which they were afterwards brought to trial.
The trial of the seven bishops is a memorable instance of the bigotry, injustice, and cruelty of James, and of the corrupt subser. vience of his judges. But this wicked scheme failed of success. The bishops were triumphiantly acquitted. Universal joy spread throughout the nation. James was informed of the acquittal when he was reviewing at Hounslow the standing army that he unconstitutionally maintained. Whilst partaking of refreshments in the commander's tent, he heard the shouts of the soldiers, and he inquired the cause. “Nothing," was the reply,“ but the joy of the soldiers that the bishops are acquitted.” “Do you call that nothing ? " said the king; so much the worse for them."
Time was not allowed to James for the fulfilment of the vengeance these words implied. The nation's
of endurance was at an end; the most conscientious believers in the doctrine of the indefeasible right of kings, felt unable to justify the king's conduct, and many of the Tory aristocracy joined the Whigs to remove James from the throne, and to place there, in his room, William, Prince of Orange, and his consort the Lady Mary, daughter of James—both Protestants, and the prince the head of the Protestant interest in
Christendom. An invitation was sent to them by a large number of the peers, both spiritual and temporal, and of the leading men amongst the commons; and William published a declaration, accepting the invitation, with the view, as he stated, " to get a free Parliament assembled, which might secure the national religion and liberty under a just and legal government for the future.” James prepared to defend his throne, but when William arrived, supported by an army, James, with his queen and infant son (born at this important juncture), fled to France.
The throne being vacant by the flight of James, the lords spiritual and temporal assembled in their house, to about the number of ninety, and William desired that all persons who had been members of the House of Commons in the reign of Charles II. (for the assembling of James's Parliament might be considered as a recognition of his continued authority), with the lord mayor and aldermen of London, and fifty of the common councilmen, would meet at St. James's, on the 26th of September, 1687.
One hundred and sixty members, with the mayor and corporation, met accordingly, and they adopted an address to the prince, which the Lords had previously voted (and which was subscribed by about ninety peers), humbly desiring him to take upon him the administration of public affairs, and the disposal of the revenue, until the meeting of a convention to be called. They further humbly desired him to cause letters to be written, subscribed by himself, to the lords spiritual and temporal, being Protestants, and to the several counties, universities, cities, boroughs, and Cinque Ports—the letters to the counties to be directed to the coroners or clerks of the peace; of the universities, to the chancellors; and of the cities and boroughs, to the chief magistrates—directing them to choose, within ten days, such a number of persons to represent them, as were of right to be sent to Parliament. They were required to meet at Westminster, on the 22d of January, 1688. The convention met accordingly, and both houses agreed to an address, that the prince should take upon himself the government, which by a message he consented to do. The Commons next proceeded to settle the basis of the future monarchy.
The converse theory to that of the divine right of kings is, that kings reign by virtue of a contract, theoretically assumed to have been made between them and the people at the origin of the government-a theory which implies responsibility on the part of the king, and a remedy in the people if the king violate the assumed contract. The first step of the House of Commons, in which the Whig party was predominant, was to assert that principle in the following resolution :
“ That King James II., having endeavored to subvert the constitution of the kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people, and having, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked
persons, violated the fundamental laws, and withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant.”
The resolution was the work of only one day, and it passed without a division of the house. It was carried to the Lords, for their concurrence, on the 28th of January, by Mr. Hampden, the grandson of him of the same name who first shook the prerogative of the Stuart kings.
The Lords took the resolution into consideration in a committee of the whole house, and afterwards communicated to the Commons that they concurred in it, with two amendments. Instead of “abdicated ” they would have a deserted "put in, and they would have the words " and that the throne is thereby vacant," left out. Conferences followed, the second being a free conference, in which the resolution was debated, orally, by the managers of the respective houses. The Lords, on the 7th of February, signified to the Commons that they had agreed to the vote without any alterations.
The crown was settled, by both houses, on William and Mary, jointly during their lives, and on the survivor; the administration of the government being committed to William alone during his life. The principles of the futnre government were embodied in the celebrated DECLARATION OF Riguts, which was presented to William and Mary, seated on the throne, at Whitehall, in the presence of both houses of Parliament, by the speaker of the House of Lords, on the 13th of February, 1688. On that day they became, and were proclaimed, king and queen of England, deriving their authority from the joint declaration of the lords and commons, and holding the