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God and a man's self by the light of reason and revelation,' Distributions of temporal justice, indeed, are not needed to confirm the well founded belief of those who look beyond the grave for that general and perfect retribution which they know to be impossible here. But when justice vails to triumphant wickedness, and the greatest criminals secure for themselves impunity by the very magnitude of their crimes, the faith of the weak is shaken, and reprobates are strengthened in impiety.
In no other age of English history had so many causes combined to injure the national character. The very misery of their condition had tended to deprave those royalists who (in Clarendon's words)' had been born and bred in those times when there was no king in Israel.' They contracted habits of drinking to excess, from the mere ' uneasiness of their fortunes, or the necessity of frequent meetings together, for which taverns were the most secure places.' The consequences of riotous intemperance were disre* garded by men who were ready to set their lives upon the hazard in any desperate attempt, and it was even politic in those who were
fdanning such attempts, to affect a dissolute and careless course of ife; thereby to shelter themselves from suspicion. Cleaveland confirms this in one of his Cavalier-songs.
Come fill my cup until it swim
With foam that overlooks the brim.
Who drinks the deepest? Here's to him.
Sobriety and study breeds
Suspicion in our acts and deeds;
The downright drunkard no man heeds.
But the vices into which the Cavaliers, according to their own confession, were l^d by ' pride, poverty and passion,' were imitated when their day of triumph arrived, by the vilest of their former enemies; hypocrites, who 'formerly would as soon cut a Cavalier's throat as swear an oath, and esteemed it a less sin,' became sinners as ostentatiously as they had enacted the part of saints before,' terming us,' says Captain Hammond,1 fools, that we did not turn knaves as they did, and then face about with them.' Knavery had long reigned paramount: the ragged and thread-bare cloak of hypocrisy was now thrown off-, and men attained that last degree of depravity in which they feel and avow self-gratification to be the main spring and sole principle of their conduct. One set of men were debauched by undeserved prosperity'; others were ruined in mind as well as fortune, by the miseries to which not their own misconduct, but the deplorable circumstances of the kingdom had reduced them. For it is worthy of consideration, that the afflictions which come in the order of nature, and those which are induced by the course of society, differ as much in their effect as in their cause.
Sickness Sickness arid pam bring with them patience and resignation, and the sorrows which wean us from this life, prepare and chasten us for the next: but the wounds which are inflicted by fortune, fester. Evils brought upon us by the constitution of society are naturally resented as, wrongs; they who feel that
The world is not their friend, nor the world's law, are tempted to consider themselves in a state of moral outlawry, unless they are withheld by the restraints of religion; and the worst effect of misery is the moral evil which it produces.
The temporal condition of the English people had never been so good as it was before the commencement of the civil wars. The increase of trade had been so great, owing to the disturbed state of other countries, that the revenues arising from the customs had nearly doubled; and the effect of this prosperity was felt by all ranks. 'I think,' says Sir Philip Warwick, ' I may truly say, that there were few good coblers in London but had a silver beaker, so rife were silver vessels among all conditions.' Twenty years of civil war, usurpation, and anarchy had produced a woeful change. Pauperism had increased beyond all former example; and at the time of the Restoration it was computed that there were not less than, ten thousand persons imprisoned for debt; a far greater number hiding themselves and living in continual fear of arrest. This evil past away with the generation, and the nation soon appeared to prosper; for the wish of Erasmus, that the English were as industrious as they wen; ingenious, had been fulfilled. But the vices which those miserable times had generated, continued to pollute the land. Anarchy had introduced wickedness of every kind. The rebellion had set parent against child and child against parent; policy in some cases producing an apparent passion, in more, a real disunion. The old forms of filial piety, which the heart cannot with impunity throw off, had been discountenanced, as so many vestiges of superstition; and the sectarian who could sow disunion m a family and teach the children to despise the controul of their parents and act in defiance of them, rejoiced in the service which he had rendered to the good cause. Education had been grievously disregarded. The young royalists were in the camp, who otherwise would have been pursuing their academic studies; when the struggle ceased, the ruined fortunes of their party rendered them unable to support the expense of training up their sons according to their birth; and by their triumphant enemies profane learning was regarded either with abhorrence or contempt. This continued after the Restoration. 'What an unfashionable fellow art thou,' says one of Shadwell's ' gentlemen of wit and sense,'—' that in this age art given to understand Latin!' ''Tis true,' is the reply, 'lam a bold fellow to pretend to it,
M 21 when when it's accounted pedantry for a gentleman to spell, and where .the race of gentlemen is more degenerated than that of horses.— If they go on as they begin, the gentlemen of the next age will scarce have learning enough to claim the benefit of the clergy for manslaughter.' Thirty years later, one of the questions proposed to John Dunton's Athenian Society, was ' Why is the learning of the tongues in so little repute, and persons so difficultly persuaded to it?'
The king, who was called to rule over a nation thus deteriorated, had been trained in the school of adversity; and they who looked only at the surface of things, supposed that he and his followers had profited in it. Plenty and prosperity,' says Count Hamilton, ' which are thought to lead only to corrupt manners, found nothing to spoil in an indigent and wandering court. Necessity, on the contrary, which produces a thousand advantages whether we will or no, served them for education; and nothing was to be seen among them but an emulation in glory, politeness, and virtue.' Charles had in reality, during the latter years of his long exile, composed his mind to his fortune; but he had succeeded in so doing less by the aid of virtuous principles, than of an easy and cheerful temper. That temper enabled him to retain in an extraordinary degree the affections of his subjects, through the Whole course of bis reign; it led him also into those personal vices and political crimes for which he stands deservedly condemned by posterity. . .,; . .
Him, Virtue's nurse, Adversity, in Vain . .
Received, and fostered in her iron breast;
For all she taught of hardiest and of best,
Or would have taught, by discipline of pain .'" • .And long privation, now dissolves amain,
Or is remembered only to give zest; .':' . : . To wantonness. - •
It must however be admitted, that in some things, and those of great importance, he was unfortunate as well as culpable.
Defoe wrote his Religious Courtship to exhibit in a familiar manner the unhappy consequences of marriage between persons of opposite persuasions in religion. It is composed with his characteristic talent, and continued till within these few years to be one of those books which were printed on coarse paper for popular sale, and to be found at fairs and country shops with Pomfret's Poems, Harvey's Meditations, and the Death of Abel. Had it been Defoe's purpose to show the political evils arising from a similar cause, Jie would have found them fully exemplified in the ill-omened marriage of Charles I. That marriage produced no domestic infelicity, because Charles was the most affectionate of husbands, not because bis queen was the most deserving of wives: but it unquestionably contributed to the misfortunes of his reign, and drew on the ruin of bis family. When Henrietta past through Amiens* on her way to England, a girl who stood in the niche of a triumphal arch to personate Bertha, Queen of Kent, addressed her in these lines: . . J'estoisJille de France, Espouse dun grand Roy,
A quij'ay faict cognoistre vn sail Dieu qu'on adore. Je nay que commence, faisant comnic L'Aurore, Qui vous ay attire, xray Soleil de Li Toy. If Henrietta did not at that time entertain the hope of performing the ambitious part which was thus assigned her, the priests of her religion believed that by her means a way was opened for the conversion of England, and presuming on their absolute authority over her conscience, they exercised it with an insolence that defeated its own views. They were mad enough to enjoin her, in penance, to wait upon her domestic servants at their ordinary meals; to walk through the dirt on a rainy morning from Somerset House to St. James's, the confessor going at the same time in his coach; and even to walk barefoot to Tjburn, and offer her prayers in honour of the Romanists who had suffered there as a traitors! They attempted also to baptize her first born child as soon as it was born, and would have done it if the king had not been apprized in time of their intention. Henrietta believed herself bound to obey her spiritual directors rather than her husband; all other duties were to be disregarded, all other ties broken, if the interests of her religion could be advanced. The wildest enthusiasts have never proclaimed these intolerable doctrines more audaciously in defiance of divine and human laws, than the Romish Church. She was in many respects*)- unworthy of her husband; but in this the fault was not personal; it proceeded from sincere devotion to a church whose principles and practices are incompatible with the welfare of this nation, and with the good of mankind. The language of its defenders was then what it is now: 'Out of that church there is no salvation, as there was none out of Noah's Ark which is its type :'—these are the words of M. Gregoire, the liberal ex-bishop, who, while he maintains that men have a right to civil toleration, declares that religious toleration is an outrage against God, a point of religion upon which he agrees as heartily with gangrened Edwards and ' Scotch Rutherford,' as he differs
;. • The poets of Amjens exerted all their strength upon this occasion, in proof of which they exhibited this distich upon a representation of Mount Parnassus: Cttte Reyitt qui passe, Fnit suer it Parnasse.
t Lord Dartmouth, in one of his notes (Vol. I. p. 64.) casts a stain upon her character. The anecdote may be merely scandalous; but it derives some probability from the positive assertion of Sir John Keresby that she was married to the Earl of St. Albans after the. King's death, and from the manner ill which that unworthy person is known to have behaved towards her.
M 3 from from diem in all others. How easy were it to demonstrate that wherever this principle is firmly believed, it becomes a duty, and of all duties the least equivocal and the most important, to save men from everlasting misery by any means however violent—-per faset nefas! And that the Romanists have felt it to be so is shown throughout the whole course of their history. It is seen in the exploits of the Inquisition, in the Marian persecution, and in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's day. Some of those transactions may have been inexpedient, but in their intent, and end and aim, they were lawful, and laudable, and meritorious, if the Romish Church be infallible, and there be no salvation out of it!
Nothing but this belief could so have hardened Henrietta's heart as to make her act, after her husband's death, in direct opposition to his will, and that too in a matter so infinitely important as the religion of his children. 'If you never see my face again, (this was the affecting charge of the imprisoned king to his son Charles, in the last writing which he addressed to him,) 'if you never see my face again, and God will have me buried in such a barbarous imprisonment and obscurity (which the perfecting some men's designs requires) wherein few hearts that love me are permitted to exchange a word or a look with me; I do require and entreat you as your father and your king, that you never suffer your heart to receive the least check against, or disaffection from the true religion established in the church of England. I tell you I have tried it, and after much search and many disputes have concluded it to be the best in the world; not only in the community as Christian, but also in the special notion as reformed ; keeping the middle way between the pomp of superstitious tyranny, and the meanness of fanatic anarchy.' And again, 'In this I cliarge you to persevere, as coming nearest to God's word for doctrine, and to the primitive examples for government.' The least excusable thing in the conduct of his sons (inexcusable in many things as they were) is that they should have had so little reverence for such a father! Light-minded as Henrietta was, nothing but the paramount authority of her religion could have made her sin against her husband's memory by seeking to draw his children from the communion of that church to which he had died a martyr. J ames is known to have said that his mother's injunction to him upon her last blessing, to remain stedfast in the Roman Catholic faith, was his main reason for adhering to it. She had not the same ascendancy over Charles. He indeed expressed his displeasure to her at the means which were taken for proselyting the Duke of Gloucester; and when he heard that the youth had been placed in the hands of the Jesuits, he could neither eat nor drink that day for vexation, and he exerted himself to prevent the perversion