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Concerning the Congregation of Ieſuits held at London April 24. 1678. which Mr. Oates calls à Conſult.

AS no one thing ſeemes to have given more colour to the calumnyes of Mr. Oates againſt Catholicks, & allarmed the nation, then à Congregation of Ieſuits held in London, Apr. 24. 1678. where in he ſweares Treaſonable things were treated; ſoe no one thing can more conduce to the Clearing of thoſe Iealouſyes rayſed by theſe Calumnyes, then à tru account of the intent of that Congregation: for this being the foundation of a greate part of his Accuſations, if it falls to the ground, the reſt can ſcarce ſubſiſt.

Provinciall Congregations all over the Society are called in each Province by their reſpective Provincialls every three yeares. Ad eli­gendos tertio quoque anno Procuratores. Say their Conſtitutions, Formula Congreg. Prov. c. 1. p. 51. And the laſt yeare 1678. was of courſe aſſigned for them. Hence about that ſame time, the Flemiſh Ieſuits held a like Congregation at Antwerpe, the Walloones at Lile, the French at Paris, the Gaſcons at Bourdeaux, the Languedocians at Touloſe, thoſe of Champagne at Rhemes, thoſe of Provence & Dauphine at Lyons, & thoſe of Spayne, Italy, & Germany, in their re­ſpective cheife townes, & Colledges. Soe that this Congregation was nothing particular to Ingland, but common to all Europe. And a like Aſſembly had beene held by Ingliſh Ieſuits every three yeares, ever ſince they were made à Province by themſelves, under à Pro­vinciall of their onne Nation.

The intent of theſe Congregations is ſpecifyed in the Conſtitu­tions above cited, viz, to chooſe as Procurator, one of them to goe to Rome, to2 informe the Generall of their particular, & private affayres. Which Conſtitu­tions are in the hands of Severall Proteſtants in Ingland.

The Perſons capable of entring into it, are firſt, Actual Superiors. Secondly the Procurator of the Province. Thirdly ſoe many of the an­cienteſt Profeſt Fathers, as with thoſe others may make vp the num­ber of forty perſons. That number is preſcribed by the Conſtitutions: to which, for the Confirmation of all this I appeale.

M. Titus Oates was not preſent at that held an. 1678. firſt becauſe he was all that time at S. Omers, as appeares, by the Oathes of Seve­rall perſons, who dwelt with him all that time there. Secondly be­cauſe he never wore a Ieſuits habit one houre, he never was ſoe much as Novice amongſt the Ieſuits: And by conſequence was not capable of aſſiſting in ſuch an Aſſembly. He pretends to have beene capacitated to it by a Particular Patent from the General of the Ieſuits: but this pretence is ridiculous to underſtanding men, how plauſible ſoe euer it ſeemes to ſome in Ingland: for firſt it is not in the power of the Generall to act ſo much contrary to the Conſtitutions, & ſe­condly if his Power had reached to that, yet certainly he would never make uſe of it in favour of a perſon, who for his miſdemea­nours had beene turned out of one Colledge by the Ieſuits, & had carryed him ſelf ſoe ill in the other, that uppon greate complaints, the Superiors were then actually reſolved to turne him out of a no­ther, where he then reſided.

The Place for the Congregation was London, rather then any place beyond ſeas: becauſe only the ancienteſt men of their body being to meete, (beſides the actuall Superiors, & Procurator) & the greateſt part of theſe being in Ingland, it could not without very greate difficulty, & danger, be held beyond ſeas. The preſent calme, they then enjoyed, through the Indulgence of the Government, ſeemed to permit it: yet ſeing all their Perſons were obnoxious to the Law, Secrecy was enioyned, as neceſſary for their ſecurity.

M. Tonſtall by his Antiquity of his Profeſſion having Ius Suffragii, ryght to à voice in the Congregation, Mr Edward Peters his neygh bour had order from the Provinciall to ſummon him to it. And this was the occaſion of that Letter dated 23. Feb. 1677. But Mr. Oates3 very falſly makes Mr. Peters ſay, that he had writ to the Ieſuits in Warwicks hire, and Worceſter shire: for with theſe he had as little to doe, as with the Ieſuits in France, Spaine, or Flanders.

This is enough to uncypher that Letter of Mr. Edward Peters, to Mr. Tonſtall, which was thought ſoe myſterious, & ſoe greate à Conviction of the pretended Plot. I will adde à word to expli­cate the Latin, Leaſt thoſe wiſe & learned men, who turned it into Barbarous Language should hereafter uſe it as another Evidence of à more Barbarous Conſpiracy. The tru import of the words are: Tria pro Domino N. N. (the Perſon's name) benefactore Provinciae N. Which is the ordinary forme of Commanding Prayers for ſuch perſons, who by their Charity to any part of the Society, deſerve ſuch à returne of gratitude from the whole body.

Sir Samuel Baldwin, in the try all of Mr. Irlande pag. 54. thought it à Confirmation of Mr. Oates his Evidence, that he hit on the day of the Congregation, before that letter was found. Yet at S. Omers where Mr. Oates all that time was, without any revelation, it myght be knowne to all, as ſoone as the thing was over: for thoſe who returned that way, made no difficulty to ſpeake of it, Little ap­prehending, that ſoe Innocent an Aſſembly, as to its end, & the things handled in it, could be ſoe maliciouſly repreſented, as they have ſince experienced, to their aſtonishment & the wonder of all men, who know the Ieſuits, & their Government: or that ſuch malicious calumnyes, could find ſuch credit in à civilized nation.

The place of their meeting was not at the white horſe Taverne, nor in the Strand. I have enquired of Severall, who were preſent: & moſt ſayd, they knew not ſoe much, as that there was à White horſe Ta­verne in all that ſtreete: all unanimouſly aſſured, they never met there.

The Congregation was ended at the ſecond meeting, on the 26. April. (The firſt was on the 24.) & ſeverall of thoſe, who met, that ſame day, the 26. April, returned towards their Severall Reſidences. The Rector of Liege, who had the longeſt Iourney yet was at Liege on the 16. May Stilo vet: altho he had à ſlow paſſage by ſea, ſtayd one whole day at Roterdam, another at Antwerpe & athird at Bruſ­ſelles,4 on his way. Now after the ending of the Congregation, that is after the 26. April, nothing Could be don in the name of it, all ſuch attempts being illegall, invalid, & never attempted by Ieſuits any where.

Hence all that M. Oates Says, of the Ieſuits dividing into ſeverall Clubs, Treaſonable things propoſed in them, Reſolutions taken uppon thoſe Propoſitions, Rewards promiſt to the Attempters, the Execution commended to, & undertaken by ſeverall perſons, &c. all theſe things, I ſay, are ab­ſolutely falſe, & improbable: as appeares by what is ſayd already, & shall be further evidenced by undeniable Proofes, both of Au­thenticall Atteſtations, & Oathes of honeſt men, when it shall be required, & à free hearing permitted, with ſecurity to the witneſſes.


About this transcription

TextConcerning the congregation of Iesuits held at London April 24. 1678. which Mr. Oates calls à consult
Extent Approx. 8 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 3 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A80299)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 136979)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2477:2)

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Bibliographic informationConcerning the congregation of Iesuits held at London April 24. 1678. which Mr. Oates calls à consult 4 p. s.n.,[Douai? :1679]. (Imprint from Wing (CD-ROM edition).) (Reproduction of original in the Folger Shakespeare Library.)
  • Oates, Titus, 1649-1705 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Jesuits -- Apologetic works -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A80299
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  • STC ESTC R231315
  • EEBO-CITATION 99897275
  • PROQUEST 99897275
  • VID 136979

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