Milton House Archives, Box 3, Folder 13, Georgetown University Library

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Milton House Archives

Box 3, Folder 13

Georgetown University Library

Booth Center for Special Collections, Washington D.C.

 

Transcription:
[Page 1]
Wher as I have bin ever from my Infancy bred up in ye Englih prodes[paper damaged] Religion & have had very able persons to instruct mee in ye grounds ther of I dout not but I am exposed to ye censure of an infinite number of Persons y[t] are astonished at my quitting of it to imbrace y[e] Religion of y[e] Roman Catholicks ffrom w[ch] I have ever professed a great auertion & ther-fore I have thought fit to give som satisfaction to my ffriends by decla-ring to them ye reasons upon w[ch] I have beene bin moved to dout without ingaging my [paper damaged] in tedious unprofitable disputes toutching y[t] matter.
    I protest [paper damaged] before God that since my coming into England no person ether man or woman have at any time persuaded mee to alter my Religion or hath used any discours to mee upon that subiect. it hath beene bin only a perticular ffavor ffrom God who hath bin gratiously pleased to hear y[e] prayers y[t] dayly made unto him both in ffrraunce & fflaunders whilst I was ther y[t] he would vouchsafe to bring mee into y[e] true Church before I died incase I was not my right & it was y[e] devotion I observed in y[e] Catholicks there w[ch] induced mee to make that prayer although my owne devotion during all y[t] time was very slender I did not-withstanding during all y[t] time I was in thos countries beleeve I was in y[t] true Re-ligion neither had I y[e] least scruple of it until nouember least at w[ch] time, reading y[e] History of y[e] reformation written by Dr Heylin w[ch] had bin highly comen-ded to mee I was so far ffrom meeting y[e] satisfaction I expected there that I found nothing but sacralidges & looking over y[e] reasons therin set downe w[ch] had caused y[e] separation of y[e] Church of England from y[t] of Rome I red three w[ch] to mee seemed great impieties y[e] ffirst was y[t] King Henry y[e] 8th had cast of y[e] Popes authority because he would not permit him to quit his wife & marry an other, y[e] second y[t] during y[e] minorety of Edward y[e] 6th his Uncle y[e] Duke of sommerset who then governd all & was y[e] principal agent in y[t] alteration did greatly enrich him self wit y[e] goods as y[e] Church w[ch] hee ingrossed and y[e] third consisted in [paper damaged] this y[t] Queen Elisabeth not being rightfull Heire to y[e] Crown could not keep it but by renouncing a Church w[ch] would never have allowed of such impiety iniustice I could ^not^ be persuaded y[e] Holy Ghost would ever have made use of such motives as these are to chainge Religion and was astonished y[t] y[e] Bishopps if they had no other intention but to reestablish y[e] Doctrin of y[e] primetive Church had not attempted it before y[e] schisme of Henry y[e] 8th w[ch] was grounded upon such uniustifiable pretences
    Beeing trobled w[th] these scruples I began to make som reflections upon those points of doctrine wherin wee differd ffrom y[e] Catholikes & to y[t] purpose had recours unto y[e] holy Scripture & [ink blot] tho I pretend not to be able perfectly to understand it I found not withstanding several points w[ch] to mee seemed very plaine & I cannot bu[paper damaged] wonder y[t] I remained so long time without taking notice of them among[paper damaged] those were y[e] reall presence of our saviour in y[e] Sacrament the infallability of y[e] Church Confession & y[e] praiers for y[e] Dead I treated of those perticulars and severally with two of y[e] most larned Bisshops of England & discoursing of  ^upon^ those subjects they both told mee y[t] it were to be wished y[e] Church of England had retained severall things it hath [observed?] as for example Confession w[ch] without doubt is of Divine institution they told me also y[t] praier for y[e] Dead had bin used in y[e] primitive Church during y[e] first Centuries [ink blot] & y[t] them selves did dayly observe those things the they desiered not publikly to owne those Doctrins & having pressed one of them something earnestly tou-tching those things he ffrankly told mee y[t] if he had bin brod up in the Catholik Religion he should not have left it but being now a member of y[t] Church w[ch] beleeved all y[e] articles necessary to salvation he thaught hee should do il to quit it because he was beholding to y[t] Church for his Baptisme

[Page 2]

and he should ther by give occasion of great scandal unto others all these discourses were a means to increase y[e] desine I had to imbrace y[e] Roman Catholike Religion and aided much to y[e] inward troubles of my mind but ffear I had to be over hasty in a matter of y[t] importance made mee act warely with all precautions requesit in such a case I praied incessantly to God he would be plesed to inform mee in y[e] truth touching these points wherof I douted: upon Christmas day going to receve [paper damaged] y[e] Kings Chapple I ffound my self in a greater trouble then I had [paper damaged] neither was it possible for mee to bee at quaiet until I had d[paper damaged]ered myself unto a certain Catholick who presently brought me a preist it twas y[e] first of them with whom I ever conversed & y[e] more I discoursed with him y[e] more I ffound my self to bee confirmed in y[e] resolu-tion y[t] I had taken it was I thaught impossible to doubt of those words this is my body & I am verely persuaded our saviour who is truth it self & hath promised to conti{...} with his church to y[e] worlds end would never suffer those holy mysteries to be comunicated to y[e] layety only under one kind if it were inconsistant with his institution of y[e] sacrament I am not able to dispute touching those things with anybody and if I were I would not go about to do it but I con[paper damaged]t my self to have writ this to justify y[e] Change I have made of my Religion & call God to witness I had not don it had I beleeved I could have beene saved in y[t] church wher of til then I was a member
    I protest seriously I have not been bin induced to this change by any wordly interest or motives neather can y[e] truth of this my protestation be rationally doubted by any person [paper damaged] is evident y[t] there by I loose all my ffriends & very much preiudice my reputation but having seriously considered with my self whether I aught to renounce my portion in y[e] other world to enioy y[e] advantages of my present beeing hear I assure you I found no difficulty at all to resolue y[e] contrary ffor w[ch] I render humble thanks to God who is y[e] author of all goodness: my only praier to him is y[t] y[e] poore Catholikes of this Kingdom may not bee persecuted upon my account  And I beseech God to grant me patience in my owne afflictions & that what tribulations so ever his goodness hath apointed for mee I may so go through them as y[t] I may hearafter enioy A happines ffor all Eternity
            
            At St James this 20th of August 1670

 

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