BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Vanity Fair

William Thackery


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


Behemoth

by Thomas Hobbes

Excerpt:

A. After the Parliament had made the people believe that the exacting of ship-money was unlawful, and the people thereby inclined to think it tyrannical; in the next place, to increase their disaffection to his Majesty, they accused him of a purpose to introduce and authorize the Roman religion in this kingdom: than which nothing was more hateful to the people; not because it was erroneous (which they had neither learning nor judgment enough to examine), but because they had been used to hear it inveighed against in the sermons and discourses of the preachers whom they trusted to. And this was indeed the most effectual calumny, to alienate the people's affections from him, that could be possibly invented. The colour they had for this slander was, first, that there was one Rosetti, Resident (at and a little before that time) from the Pope, with the Queen; and one Mr. George Con, Secretary to the Cardinal Francisco Barberini, nephew to Pope Urban VIII., sent over, under favour and protection of the Queen (as was conceived) to draw as many persons of quality about the court, as he should be able, to reconcile themselves to the Church of Rome: with what success I cannot tell; but it is likely he gained some, especially of the weaker sex; if I may say, they were gained by him, when not his arguments, but hope of favour from the Queen, in all probability prevailed upon them.

B. In such a conjuncture as that was, it had perhaps been better they had not been sent. A. There was exception taken also at a convent of friarscapucins in Somerset-House, though allowed by the articles of marriage: and it was reported, that the Jesuits also were shortly after to be allowed a convent in ClerkenwelL And in the mean time, the principal secretary, Sir Francis Windebank, was accused for having by his warrant set at liberty some English Jesuits, that had been taken and imprisoned for returning into England after banishment, contrary to the statute which had made it capital. Also the resort of English Catholics to the Queen's Chapel, gave them colour to blame the Queen herself, not only for that, but also for all the favours that had been shown to the Catholics; in so much that some of them did not stick to say openly, that the King was governed by her.

B. Strange injustice! The Queen was a Catholic by profession, and therefore could not but endeavour to do the Catholics all the good she could: she had not else been truly that which she professed to be. But it seems they meant to force her to hypocrisy, being hypocrites themselves. Can any man think it a crime in a devout lady, of what sect soever, to seek the favour and benediction of that Church whereof she is a member?

A. To give the Parliament another colour for their accusation on foot, of the King as to introducing of Popery, there was a great controversy between the Episcopal and Presbyterian clergy about free-will. The dispute began first in the Low Countries, between Gomar and Arminius, in the time of King James, who foreseeing it might trouble the Church of England, did what he could to compose the difference. And an assembly of divines was thereupon got together at Dort, to which also King James sent a divine or two, but it came to nothing; the question was left undecided, and became a subject to be disputed of in the universities here. All the Presbyterians were of the same mind with Gomar: but a very great many others not; and those were called here Arminians, who, because the doctrine of free-will had been exploded as a Papistical doctrine, and because the Presbyterians were far the

greater number, and already in favour with the people, were generally hated. It was easy, therefore, for the Parliament to make that calumny pass currently with the people, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Laud, was for Arminius, and had a little before, by his power ecclesiastical, forbidden all ministers to preach to the people of predestination; and when all ministers that were gracious with him, and hoped for any Church preferment, fell to preaching and writing for free-will, to the uttermost of their power, as a proof of their ability and merit Besides, they gave out, some of them, that the Archbishop was in heart a Papist; and in case he could effect a toleration here of the Roman religion, was to have a cardinal's hat: which was not only false, but also without any ground at all for a suspicion.

B. It is a strange thing, that scholars, obscure men, and such as could' receive no clarity but from the flame of the state, should be suffered to bring their unnecessary disputes, and together with them their quarrels, out of the universities into the commonwealth; and more strange, that the state should engage in their parties, and not rather put them both to silence.

A. A state can constrain obedience, but convince no error, nor alter the minds of them that believe they have the better reason. Suppression of doctrine does but unite and exasperate, that is, increase both the malice and power of them that have already believed them.


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