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[443] the revocation of the edict of Nantz, and sought to
Chap. XVII.}
intrust civil and military power to the hands of Roman Catholics.

The bishops had unanimously voted against his exclusion; and, as the badge of the Church of England was obedience, he for a season courted the alliance of ‘the fairest of the spotted kind,’ the only tolerable Protestant sect. To win her favor for Roman Catholics, he was willing to persecute Protestant dissenters. This is the period of the influence of Rochester.

The Church of England refused the alliance. The

1687 1688
king would now put no confidence in any zealous Protestant; he applauded the bigotry of Louis XIV., from whom he solicited money. ‘I hope,’ said he, ‘the king of France will aid me, and that we together shall do great things for religion;’ and the established church became the object of his implacable hatred. ‘Her day of grace was past.’ The royal favor was withheld, that it might silently waste and dissolve like snows in spring. To diminish its numbers, and apparently from no other motive, he granted—what Sunderland might have done from indifference, and Penn from love of justice—equal franchises to every sect; to the powerful Calvinist and to the ‘puny’ Quaker, to Anabaptists and Independents, and ‘all the wild increase’ which unsatisfied inquiry could generate. The declaration of indulgence was esteemed a deathblow to the church, and a forerunner of the reconciliation of England to Rome. The established franchises of Oxford were invaded, that its rich endowments might be shared among the Catholics; the bishops were imprisoned, because they would not publish in their churches the declaration, of which the purpose was

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