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siastes (55) hath a right name for such kind of sacrifices.
131. Going on he prays thus : “ Let not thy justice prevent the objects and opportunities of my mercy.” To folly, or to blasphemy, or to both, shall we impute this? Shall the justice of God give place, and serve to glorify the mercies of a man ? All other men, who know what they ask, desire of God, that their doings may tend to his glory; but in this prayer God is required, that his justice would forbear to prevent, and as good have said to intrench upon the glory of a man's mercy. If God forbear his justice, it must be, sure, to the magnifying of his own mercy : how then can any mortal man, without presumption little less than impious, take the boldness to ask that glory out of his hand ? It may be doubted now by them who understand religion, whether the king were more unfortunate in this his prayer, or Hotham in those his sufferings.
(55) Milton alludes, perhaps, in this place, to Ecclesiastes, chap. x. v. 13 :-“ The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.”
Upon the listing and raising Armies, 8c.
132. IT were an endless work, to walk side by side with the verbosity of this chapter; only to what already hath not been spoken, convenient answer shall be given. He begins again with tumults : all demonstration of the people's love and loyalty to the parliament was tumult; their petitioning tumult; their defensive armies were but listed tu mults'; and will take no notice that those about him, those in a time of peace listed into his own house, were the beginners of all these tumults; abusing and assaulting not only such as came peaceably to the parliament at London, but those that came petitioning to the king himself at York. Neither did they abstain from doing violence and outrage to the messengers sent from parliament; he himself either countenancing or conniving at them.
133. He supposes, that “ his recess gave us confidence, that he might be conquered.” Other men suppose both that and all things else, who knew him neither by nature warlike, nor experienced, nor fortunate; so far was any man, that discerned aught, from esteeming him unconquerable; yet such are readiest to embroil others. “But he had a soul invincible.” What praise is that? The sto
mach of a child is ofttimes invincible to all correction. The unteachable man hath a soul to all reason and good advice invincible; and he who is intractable, he whom nothing can persuade, may boast himself invincible; whenas in some things to be overcome, is more honest and laudable than to conquer.
134. He labours to have it thought, “ that his fearing God more than man” was the ground of his sufferings; but he should have known, that a good principle not rightly understood may prove as hurtful as a bad; and his fear of God may be as faulty as a blind zeal. He pretended to fear God more than the parliament, who never urged him to do otherwise; he should also have feared God more than he did his courtiers, and the bishops, who drew him, as they pleased, to things inconsistent with the fear of God. Thus boasted Saul to have “performed the commandment of God," and stood in it against Samuel; but it was found at length, that he had feared the people more than God, in saving those fat oxen for the worship of God, which were : appointed for destruction. Not much unlike, if not much worse, was that fact of his, who, for fear to displease his court and mongrel clergy, with the dissolutest of the people, upheld in the church of God, while his power lasted, those beasts of Amalec, the prelates, (50) against the advice of his parliament and the example of all reformation; in this
(56) It is customary with the ignorant and narrow-souled to confound the cause of religion with the cause of the bishops and
more inexcusable than Saul, that Saul was at length convinced, he to the hour of death fixed in his false persuasion; and soothes himself in the flattering peace of an erroneous and obdurate conscience; singing to his soul vain psalms of exultation, as if the parliament had assailed his reason with the force of arms, and not he on the contrary their reason with his arms ; which hath been proved already, and shall be more hereafter.
135. He twits them with “ his acts of grace;" proud, and unselfknowing words in the mouth of any king, who affects not to be a god, and such as ought to be as odious in the ears of a free nation. For if they were unjust acts, why did he grant them as of grace? If just, it was not of his grace, but of his duty and his oath to grant them. “A glorious king he would be, though by his sufferings:" but that can never be to him, whose sufferings are his own doings. He feigns “a hard choice” put upon him, “either to kill his subjects, or be killed.” Yet never was king less in danger of any violence from his subjects, till he unsheathed his sword against them; nay long after that time, when he had spilt the blood of thousands, they had still his person in a foolish veneration.
the clergy ; though we have here a proof that the most holy and saintly of men may hold episcopacy in abhorrence, as a mere political engine for perpetuating bad government. Hooker had long ago proved, as Warburton observes, that episcopacy is of human institution; and with much liberality the bishop treats contemptuously, as a silly superstition, the reverence of Charles I. for the Church of England.
136. He complains, “ that civil war must be the fruits of his seventeen years reigning with such a measure of justice, peace, plenty, and religion, as all nations either admired or envied.” For the justice we had, let the council-table, star-chamber, high-commission speak the praise of it; not forgetting the unprincely usage, and as far as might be, the abolishing of parliaments, the displacing of honest judges, the sale of offices, bribery, and exaction, not found out to be punished, but to be shared in with impunity for the time to come. Who can number the extortions, the oppressions, the public robberies and rapines committed on the subject both by sea and land, under various' pretences ? their possessions also taken from them, one while as forest-land, another while as crown-land; nor were their goods exempted, no not the bullion in the mint; piracy was become a project owned and authorised against the subject.
137. For the peace we had, what peace was that which drew out the English to a needless and dishonourable voyage against the Spaniard at Cales ? (57) Or that which lent our shipping to a treacherous and antichristian war against the poor
(57) Mr. D’Israeli, in his article on the Duke of Buckingham, has a curious pasquinade on this inglorious event, which he introduces by the following remarks :-" The war with Spain was clamoured for; and an expedition to Cadiz, in which the duke was reproached by the people, for not taking the command, as they supposed from deficient spirit, only ended in our undisciplined soldiers, under bad commanders, getting drunk in the Spanish cellars, insomuch that not all had the power to run away. On this expedition, some verses were handed about, which probably are now