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HETEST imposed upon all

Members of Parliament, Okto-
T

ber 30. 1678. ought (I hum-
bly conceive) to be repeald for
these Reasons.

First, Because it doth not

only diminish, but utterly destroy the natural Rights of Peerage, and turns the Birth-right of the English Nobility into a precarious Title : So that what was in all former Ages only forfeited by Treason, is now at the mercy of every Faction or every Paffion in Parliament. And therefore how useful" soever the Test might have been in its season, it some

time

EH

time must prove a very ill Precedent against the Rights of Peerage ; for if it may be allow'd in any Case, there is no Cafe in which it may not be imposed.

And therefore I remember that in the First Transubstantiation-Test Anno Dom. 1673. the Rights of Peerage are [ indeed according to constant Custom | secur'd by Proviso. Provided always, Lhat neither this Art, no, anyThing therein contained, fhall ertend, be judgED, 02 interpreted any ways to hurt or prejudice the Prérage of any prír of this Realm, 02 to take away any right, power, privilege of profit, which any person [being a Per of this Realu] Hath of ought to enjoy by reason of his Précage, either in time of Parliament or otherwife.

And in the Year 1675. when this Test or Oath of Loyalty was brought into the House of Peers, That it is not lawful upon any soeder to take up Arms against the King, and by his Authority against his Person, it was vehemently protested against as a Breach of Privilege.

No body could except against the Matter of the Test it felf, much less the Nobility, who had generally taken it upon the Account of their several Trusts in the Militia. So that the only Debate was, Whether the very Proposal of it, as a Qualification for a Right to fit in Parliament,

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were not a Breach of the fundamental Right of Peerage? And after some Debates upon the point of Peerage it was, without ever entring into the Merits of the Cause it felf, thrown out by an unanimous Vote of the House, April 21. 1675. Before the putting of the Question, this PRO, TESTATION is entred.

A Bill to prevent the Dangers which may arise from Perfons disaffected to the Government.

The House refolu'd into a Committee to confider of " it, and being resumd; the Question was put, Whe Uther this Bill does so far intrench upon the Privi, "leges of this House, as it ought therefore to be cas

out ? It was at first resolved in the Negative with « this Memorandum, That before the putting the

abovefaid Question, these Lords following desired Leade to enter their Diflents, if the Question was 6C carried in the Negative, and accordingly did enter

their Dissents, as followeth.

“ We, whose Names are under-written, being < Peers of this Realm, do according to our Rights,

and the ancient usage of Parliaments, declare, That the Question having been put, Whether the

Bil, entituled, An Act to prevent the Dangers « which may arise from Persons disaffected to

the Government, does so far entrench upon the Privileges of this House, that it ought therefore to be cast out, it being resolved in the Negative, We do humbly conceive, That any Bill which im

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. poseth an Oath upon the Peers with a Penalty, as this
cdoth, That upon the refusal of that Oath, they shall
be made uncapable of sitting and voting in this
6. House ; as it is a thing unpresidented in former
« Times, so is it in our humble Opinion the highest In-
<< vasion of the Liberties and Privileges of the Peer-

age thai poffibly may be, and most destruktive of the
« Freedom which they ought to enjoy as Members of
CC Parliament.

Because the Privilege of Sitting and Voting in « Parliament is an Honour they have.ly Birth, and a «Right inherent in'em, and inseparable from 'em,

that nothing can take it way, but what by the Law <Cof the Land must withal take away their Lives, and es corrupt their Blood; upon which Ground, We do here

enter sur Diffent from the Vote, and our Prothe number C testation against it

, QUÆRE, How many of those Noble Lords in the Jour voted for the Test in 1678. and then, whether if ral Book. they have preferv'd their Rights of Pecrage, they

have preserv'd its Honour toa?

But the Debate was kept up many Days, till at laft, April 30. 1675. it came to this issue.

It was at last resolved, That no Oath shall by this Bill be impofed ; and pafs’d into a general Order by the whole House, Nemine Contradicente, as foks loweth.

« Ordered by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal 66 in Parliament assembled ;* That no Oath Shall

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