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which, I confess, I was one of the greatest enemies it ever had ;* that I rather choose to satisfy my friends by reading this paper, than to have the trouble to answer all the questions that may be daily asked me. And first, I do protest, in the presence of Almighty God, that no person, man or woman, directly or indirectly, ever said any thing to me since I came into England, or used the least endeavour to make me change my religion: it is a blessing I wholly owe to Almighty God, and, I hope, the hearing of a prayer I daily made him ever since I was in France and Flanders; where, seeing much of the devotion of the Catholics, (though I had very little myself,) I made it my continual request to Almighty God, that, if I were not, I might, before I died, be in the true religion. I did not in the least doubt but that I was so, and never had any scruple till November last; when, reading a book called “ The History of the Reformatiou," by Dr Heylin, † which I had heard very much commended, and have been told, if ever I had any doubt of my religion, that would settle me; instead of which, I found it the description of the horridest sacrileges in the world; and

Morley says, that he continued to be the duchess's spiritual director “ until after her father's banishment; and all that time I must bear her witness, that she was not only a zealous Protestant herself, according as it is by law established in the church of England, but zealous to make proselytes."--- Preface as above,

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+ Dr Peter Heylin was born at Burford, in Oxfordshire, in 1600, and rose high in the church, being one of the chaplains in ordinary to Charles I. During the great civil war, he was reduced to distress, but survived the Restoration, and died in 1662. In 1661, he published his history of the Reformation, under the title of “ Ecclesia Restaurata.

could find no reason why we left the church, but for three, the most abominable ones that were ever heard of among Christians. First, Henry VIII. renounces the Pope's authority, because he would not give him leave to part with his wife, and marry another in her lifetime; secondly, Edward VI. was a child, and governed by his uncle, who made his estate out of church-lands; and then Queen Elizabeth, who, being no lawful heiress to the crown, could have no way to keep it but by renouncing a church that could never suffer so unJawful a thing to be done by one of her children. I confess I cannot think the Holy Ghost could ever be in such counsels; and it is very strange, that if the bishops had no design but (as they say) the restoring us to the doctrine of the primitive church, they could never think upon it, till Henry VIII. made the breach upon so unlawful a pretence. These scruples being raised, I began to consider of the difference between the Catholics and us, and examined them as well as I could by Holy Scripture, which though I do not pretend to be able to understand, yet there are some things I found so easy, that I cannot but wonder I had been so long without finding them out; as--the real presence in the blessed sacrament, the infallibility of the church, confession, and praying for the dead. After this I spoke severally to two of the bishops * we have in England, who both told me, there were many things in the Romish church which were very much to be wished we had kept: as confession, which was no doubt commanded by God; that praying for the dead was one of the ancient things in Christianity; that, for their parts, they did it daily, though they would not own it. And afterwards, pressing one of them very much upon the other points, he told me,- that if he had been bred a Catholic, he would not change his religion; but that being of another church, (wherein he was sure were all things necessary to salvation) he thought it very ill to give that scandal, as to leave that church wherein he received his baptism.

* These were Sheldon and Morley. Sheldon was bishop of London, and was promoted to the see of Canterbury on the death of the venerable Juxon. Burnet describes him as generous and charitable, and extremely dexterous in politics; but adds, that he only spoke of religion as an engine of government, and thus gained with the king the character of a wise and honest clergyman. He was much blamed by the Low Church divines, for the rigour with which he followed up the parliamentary deprivation, by which two thousand divines, as was alleged, were ejected for non-conformity.

All these discourses did but add more to the desire I had to be a Catholic, and gave me the most terrible agonies in the world within myself: for all this, fearing to be rash in a matter of that weight, I did all I could to satisfy myself; made it my daily prayer to God, to settle me in the right; and so went on Christmas-day to receive in the king's chapel: after which, I was more troubled than ever, and could never be at quiet till I had told my design to a Catholic, who brought a priest to me; and that was the first I ever did converse with, upon my word. The more I spoke to him, the more I was confirmed in my design; and as it is impossible for me to doubt the words of our blessed Saviour, who says,—the holy sacrament is his body and blood; so cannot believe, that he, who is the Author of all truth, and has promised to be “ with his church to the end of the world,” would permit them to give that holy mystery to the laity but in one kind, if it were not lawful so to do.

Blandford, successively bishop of Oxford and Worcester, was an able and excellent divine, modest and humble, says Burnet, even to a fault. Morley, bishop of Winchester, had recommended him to the duchess to be her spiritual director in his stead, when he himself retired from court in 1667 : “And I made choice of him," says that prelate, “ not only because, in regard of his learning, piety, gravity, and modesty, together with the gentleness and sweetness of his address and conversation, he was at least as fit as any I could think of for that employment, but in regard of his former relation of chaplain to her father, to whom he owed bis pise in the church."--- Preface to Bishop Morley'sTreatise, p. xiv.

I am not able, or if I were, would I enter into disputes with any body; I only, in short, say this for the changing of my religion, which I take God to witness I would never have done, if I had thought it possible to save my soul otherwise. I think I need not say, it is not any interest in this world leads me to it. Itjwill be plainenough to every body, that I must lose all the friends and credit I have here by it; and have very well weighed which I could best part with,—my share in this world, or the next: I thank God, I found no difficulty in the choice.

My only prayer is, “ That the poor Catholics of this nation inay not suffer for my being of their religion; that God would but give me patience to bear them, and then send me any afflictions in this world, so I may enjoy a blessed eternity hereafter."

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AN

ANSWER

TO

THE DUCHESS'S PAPER.

BY THE REVEREND EDWARD STILLINGFLEET.

The third paper is said to be written by a great lady, for the satisfaction of her friends, as to the reasons of her leaving the communion of the church of England, and making herself a member of the Roman Catholic church. If she had written nothing concerning it, none could have been a competent judge of those reasons or motives she had

Stillingfeet, being at this time dean of St Paul's, stood in the van of the controversy with the Papists. He had learning, penetration, some power of language, without much nicety of expression, and, above all, that intrepidity and undaunted resolution which the times required. After the Revolution, he reaped the harvest of his labours in the bishopric of Worcester. This eminent divine was born in 1635, and died in 1699. The tract which follows, is the third part of his Answer to the Papers published by James, respecting the conversion of his brother and wife to the Roman Catholic faith.

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