« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Subsequent History of the English Catholics down to the present time.
of Cecil, earl of Salisbury, to wean James I. from his attach-
Dr. S.'s attempt to disunite the Catholics.Defence of both the
late contending parties in that body from his misrepresenta-
To the Second Edition.
As I am not accountable for the commencement, fo neither am I for the continuance of the controversy, of which the following letters form part. I wrote the history of the city in which I reside, as connected with the general history of England, in order to supply an acknowledged literary deficiency, and to disabuse the public of the most egregious errors and fables that had been palmed upon it in all the preceding publications on the same subject.(1) This work was admitted eren by its professed enemies to have answered its intended design, and to have brought to light a fund of hidden information relative to former times; but they complained that it presented details too favourable to the religion of our ancestors, and that it exhibited the alterations which took place in this refpect between two and three centuries ago, in disagreeable colours. If this were the case it was no fault of mine. I was an historian, not an orator, as such it was my duty to represent facts in their true light. For this purpose I drew my narrative from the most authentic and uncontroverted sources, and these I every where distinctly pointed out, for the conviction of those readers who might be disposed to question its veracity.
(1) See Preface to vol. i, of THE HISTORY CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL AND SURVEY OF THE ANTI. QUITIES OF WINCHESTER.
After an interval of some months from the publication of the said work, a professed Answer to it, from the most celebrated pen in this vicinity, was announced to the public. Upon examination, however, it was found to be just as much an answer to the Annals of Baronius or to Bossuet's Universal History, as to my HISTORY AND SURVEY OF WINCHESTER. Scarce a dozen articles in the two quarto volumes of which it consists, and those comparatively of small importance, are so much as mentioned by my opponent. The substance of his work is made up of a general misrepresentation of the doctrine and conduct of the Catholics, and this for the avowed purpose, as appears by the very title page, of proving that the religion of the Alfreds and the Wykehams is inimical to “civil society and government, especially to that of this kingdom.” Thus was the foundation of a real and serious controversy laid down, and, what is most extraordinary, by a person who professed“ the greatest dislike to such contests and the most ardent defire of uniting all Christians in the defence of their common cause;"(1) for it was impossible that the Catholics should sit down quietly under charges of this nature, especially when brought by so respectable an adverfary as Dr. S.; they owed it to the state and to their fellow fubjects, no less than to themselves, to repel them ; and it was natural for me who had been the innocent cause of their being brought, to stand forward for this purpose.(2)
In the execution of this task I have pursued a very different plan from that of my adversary. I have not amused my reader or myself with fanciful theory, vague declamation, or desultory invective ; but I have made it my businefs to follow him, ftep by step, wherever he has been pleased
(1) See REFLECTIONS ON POPERY, 2d. ed. pp. 4, 6.
See the account of Dr. S.'s work in the Anti-Jacabin Review, in which it is candidly confessed that the History of Winchester furnished no just ground for the Reflections on Popery.