Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Last Catholic King of England

James II was the last ruling Catholic monarch of Great Britain. Roman Christendom has some posts which include some prayers of the king and some details of his life. King James made some mistakes; he was not above reproach (few people are), but his faith was important to him. Here are some instructions he left to his son:
If it please God to restore me (which I trust in His goodness He will do) I may then hope to settle all things so as may make it easier for you to governne all my Dominions with safty to the Monarchy, and the satisfaction of all the Subjects. No King can be happy without his Subjects be at ease, and the people be secure of enjoying their own without the King be at his ease also, and in a condition to protect them and secure his own right; therefore preserve your prerogative, but disturbe not the Subjects in their property, nor conscience, remember the great precept, Do as you would be done to, for that is the law and the Prophets. Be very carefull that none under you oppresse the people, or torment them with vexations, suits, or projects: Remember a King ought to be a Father of his people, and must have a fatherly tendernesse for them... be content with what is your own. Endeavour to settle Liberty of Conscience by a Law.

...Be never without a considerable body of Catholick troops without which you cannot be safe, then will people thanke you for Liberty of Conscience. Be not persuaded by any to depart from that.

Our Blessed Saviour whipt people out of the Temple, but I never heard he commanded any should be forced into it; tis a particular grace and favour that God Almighty shews to any, who he enlightens so as to embrasse the true Religion, tis by gentleness, instruction, and good example, people are to be gained and not frightened into it, and I make no doubt if once Liberty of Conscience be well fixed, many conversions will ensue....


Alexandra said...

I've memed you. :)


Anonymous said...

There is always something fascinating to read here!

I've a vague recollection of several royal conversions in the last generation.