The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)-Great Britain and Ireland IV

The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)-Great Britain and Ireland IV

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Excerpt: ...violated, that opinions should have been allowed to be free, and the reform of religion have been left to be accomplished by reason. Yet, however cruel was the Six Articles bill, the governing classes even among the laity were unanimous in its favor. The King was not converted by a sudden miracle; he believed the traditions in which he had been trained; his eyes, like the eyes of others, opened but slowly; and unquestionably, had he conquered for himself in their fulness the modern principles 134 of toleration, he could not have governed by them a nation which was itself intolerant. Perhaps, of all living Englishmen who shared Henry's faith, there was not one so little desirous as himself of enforcing it by violence. His personal exertions were ever to mitigate the action of the law, while its letter was sustained; and England at its worst was a harbor of refuge to the Protestants, compared to the Netherlands, to France, to Spain, or even to Scotland. That the Romanists should have regarded him as a tyrant is natural; and were it true that English subjects owed fealty to the Pope, their feeling was just. But however desirable it may be to leave religious opinions unfettered, it is certain that if England was legitimately free, she could tolerate no difference of opinion on a question of allegiance, so long as Europe was conspiring to bring her back into slavery. So long as the English Romanists refused to admit without mental reservation that, if foreign enemies invaded this country in the Pope's name, their place must be at the side of their own sovereign, "religion" might palliate the moral guilt of their treason, but it could not exempt them from its punishment. But these matters have been discust in the details of this history, where alone they can be understood. Beyond and besides the Reformation, the constitution of these islands now rests in large measure on foundations laid in this reign. Henry brought Ireland within the reach of English...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 68 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 141g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236712447
  • 9781236712448