3?o DISTINGUISHED CHURCHMEN
in England, and this the nation as a whole was determined to prevent. The Roman Catholics with great plausibility want to know why this declaration should be imposed on the Crown, and why the most solemn doctrines of their Church alone of all others should be singled out for condemnation by the Sovereign, and why it should be imposed on the King by the Constitution ? Others denounce it as blasphemous, and violent and indecent in fact, a stain on the Statute Book. Well, the answer is very simple, the reason is fully and plainly set forth in the famous Bill of Rights. We have only to read sections nine and ten, and we shall find the answer to the question so innocently and indignantly asked. Section nine reads :
" Whereas it hath been found by experience that it is in consistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist, the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and Commons do further pray that it may be enacted that all and every person or persons that is or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the C. or Church of Rome, or shall profess the Popish religion, or shall marry a Papist, shall be excluded, and be for ever incapable to inherit, possess or enjoy the Crown and Government of this Realm and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging, and in all and every such case the said Crown and Government shall from time to time descend to, and be enjoyed by such person or persons being Protestants as should have inherited the same in case the said person so reconciled, etc., etc., as aforesaid, were naturally dead, and the subjects are in that case ipso facto released from their allegiance to him.
" Section ten reads : " That every King and Queen of this Realm shall, on the first