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by idolaters. Whatever was in the heart of the Protector, the policy of his government was Protestantism. His treasures and his arms were openly devoud to the Protestant cause in France, in Italy, throughs. out the world. He was the first who raised a pobie fund for the support of the Vaudois churches. He sternly repelled the advances which Poppery race to seduce him into the path of the late ki z
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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 humilia ated 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 nation al 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 hím, 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
stood in the field against the Popish persecutor. Be. fore that war closed, the fame of Louis was undone. England rose to the highest military name. train of immortal victories, she defended Protestantism throughout Europe, drove the enemy to his palace gates, and before she sheathed the sword, broke the power of France for a hundred years.
The Brunswick line were called to the throne on the sole title of Protestantism. They were honourable men, and they kept their oaths to the religion of England. The country rose under each of those Protestant kings to a still higher rank; every trivial reverse compensated by some magnificent addition of honour and power, until the throne of England stands upon a height from which it may look down upon the world.
Yet in our immediate memory there was one re. markable interruption of that progress, which, if the most total contrast to the periods preceding and following can amount to proof, proves that every introduction of Popery into the legislature will be visited as a public crime.
During the war with the French Republic, Eng. land had gone on from triumph to triumph. The crimes of the Popish continent had delivered it over to be scourged by France; but the war of England was naval; and in 1805, she consummated that war by the greatest victory ever gained on the seas. At one blow she extinguished the navies of France and
Trafalgar, Oct. 1805.
Spain. The death of her great statesman at length opened the door to a new administration.* They were men of acknowledged ability, some, of the highest; and all accustomed to public affairs. But they came in under a pledge to the introduction of Popery soon or late into the legislature. They were emphatically “ The Roman Catholic Administration.”
There never was in the memory of man so sudden a change from triumph to disaster. Defeat came upon them in every shape in which it could assail a government; in war, finance, negociation. All their expeditions returned with disgrace. The British arms were tarnished in the four quarters of the globe.f And, as if to make defeat more conspicuous, they were baffled even in that service in which the national feeling was to be the most deeply hurt, and in which defeat seemed impossible. England saw with astonishment her fleet disgraced before a barbarian without a ship on the waters, and finally hunted out of his seas by the fire from batteries crumbling under the discharge of their own cannon.
But the fair fame of the British empire was not to bé thus cheaply wasted away. The ministry must perish; already condemned by the voice of the country, it was to be its own executioner.
It at length
February, 1806. † The retreat from Sweden, 1807.-Egypt invaded and evacu. ated, 1807.-Whitelock sent out to Buenos Ayres, 1807.-Duckworth's repulse at Constantinople, 1807. All those operations had originated in 1806, excepting Whitelock's, which was the final act of the ministry.
made its promised attempt upon the constitution. A harmless measure* was proposed, notoriously but a cover for the deeper insults that were to follow. It was met with stern repulse; and, in the midst of public indignation, perished the Popish Ministry of one month and one year. t
Their successors came in on the express title of resistance to Popery; they were emphatically “ The Protestant Administration.” They had scarcely entered office, when the whole scene of disaster brightened up, and the deliverance of Europe was begun with a vigour that never relaxed, a combination of unexpected means and circumstances, an effective and rapid success, that if a man had ventured to suppose but a month before, he would have been laughed at as a visionary. Of all countries, Spain, sluggish and accustomed to the yoke of France, with all its old. energies melted away in the vices of its government, was the last that Europe could have looked to for defiance of the universal conqueror.
But if ever the battle was fought by the shepherd's staff and sling against the armed giant, it was then. England was summoned to begin a new career of tri
* The granting of commissions in the army. Mr. Perceval op. posed this, as only a pretext; he said, “It was not so much the individual measure, to which he objected, as the system of which it formed a part, and which was growing every day. From the arguments that he had heard, a man might be almost led to suppose that one religion was considered as good as another, and that the Reformation was only a measure of political convenience.” † March, 1807.