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wish “ he had not known letters.” Certainly for a king himself to charge his subjects with high treason, and so vehemently to prosecute them in bis own cause, as to do the office of a searcher, argued in him no great aversation from shedding blood, were it but to “ satisfy his anger," and that revenge was no unpleasing morsel to him, whereof he himself thought not much to be so diligently his own caterer. But we insist rather upon what was actual, than what was probable.
142. He now falls to examine the causes of this war, as a difficulty which he had long “studied” to find out. “It was not,” saith he, “my withdrawing from Whitehall; for no account in reason could be given of those tumults, where an orderly guard was granted.” But if it be a most certain truth, that the parliament could never yet obtain of him any guard fit to be confided in, then by his own confession some account of those pretended tumults “may in reason be given;" and both concerning them and the guards enough hath been said already.
143. “ Whom did he protect against the justice of parliament ?” Whom did he not to his utmost power ? Endeavouring to have rescued Strafford from their justice, though with the destruction of them and the city; to that end expressly commanding the admittance of new soldiers into the Tower, raised by Suckling and other conspirators under pretence for the Portugal; though that ambassador being sent to, utterly denied to know of any such commission from his master. And yet, that listing continued : not to repeat his other plot of bringing up the two armies. But what can be disputed with such a king, in whose mouth and opinion the parliament itself was never but a faction, and their justice no justice, but “ the dictates and overswaying insolence of tumults and rabbles ?” and under that excuse avouches himself openly the general patron of most notorious delinquents, and approves their flight out of the land, whose crimes were such, as that the justest and the fairest trial would have soonest condemned them to death.
. 144. But did not Catiline plead in like manner against the Roman senate, and the injustice of their trial, and the justice of his flight from Rome? Cæsar also, then hatching tyranny, injected the same scrupulous demurs, to stop the sentence of death in full and free senate decreed on Lentulus and Cethegus, two of Catiline's accomplices, which were renewed and urged for Strafford. He vouchsafes to the reformation, by both kingdoms intended, no better name than “innovation and ruin both in church and state.” And what we would have learned so gladly of him in other passages before, to know wherein, he tells us now of his own accord. The expelling bishops out of the house of peers, that was “ruin to the state;" the “ removing” them “root and branch,” this was “ ruin to the church.” How happy could this nation be in such a governor, who counted that their ruin, which they thought their deliverance; the ruin both of church and state, which was the recovery and the saving of them both ?
145. To the passing of those bills against bishops how is it likely that the House of Peers gave so hardly their consent, which they gave so easily before to the attaching them of high treason, twelve at once, only for protesting that the parliament could not act without them ? Surely if their rights and privileges were thought so undoubted in that house, as here maintained; then was that protestation, being meant and intended in the name of their whole spiritual order, no treason; and so that house itself will become liable to a just construction either of injustice to appeach them for so consenting, or of usurpation, representing none but themselves, to expect that their voting or not voting should obstruct the commons: who not for“ five repulses of the lords," no not for fifty, were to desist from what in the name of the whole kingdom they demanded, so long as those lords were none of our lords. And for the bill against root and branch, though it passed not in both houses till many of the lords and some few of the commons, either enticed away by the king, or overawed by the sense of their own malignancy not prevailing, deserted the parliament, and made a fair riddance of themselves; that was no warrant for them who remained faithful, being far the greater number, to lay aside that bill of root and branch, till the return of their fugitives ; a bill so necessary and so much desired by themselves as well as by the people.
146. This was the partiality, this degrading of the bishops, a thing so wholesome in the state, and so orthodoxal in the church both ancient and reformed ; which the king rather than assent to “ will either hazard both his own and the kingdom's ruin,” by our just defence against his force of arms; or prostrate our consciences in a blind obedience to himself, and those men, whose superstition, zealous or unzealous, would enforce upon us an antichristian tyranny in the church, neither primitive, apostolical, nor more anciently universal than some other manifest corruptions.
147. But “ he was bound besides bis judgment, by a most strict and indispensable oath, to preserve the order and the rights of the church.” If he mean that oath of his coronation, and that the letter of that oath admit not to be interpreted either by equity, reformation, or better knowledge, then was the king bound by that oath, to grant the clergy all those customs, franchises, and canonical privileges granted to them by Edward the Confessor; and so might one day, under pretence of that oath and his conscience, have brought us all again to popery. But had he so well remembered as he ought, the words to which he swore, he might have found himself no otherwise obliged there, than “ according to the laws of God, and true profession of the gospel.” For if those following words, “established in this kingdom,” be set there to limit and lay prescription on the laws of God and truth of the gospel by man's establishment, nothing can be more absurd or more injurious to religion. So that however the German emperors or other kings have levied all those wars on their Protestant subjects under the colour
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of a blind and literal observance to an oath, yet this king had least pretence of all; both sworn to the laws of God and evangelic truth, and disclaiming, as we heard him before, “ to be bound by any coronation oath, in a blind and brutish formality.” Nor is it to be imagined, if what shall be established come in question, but that the parliament should oversway the king, and not he the parliament. And by all law and reason that which the parliament will not is no more established in this kingdom, neither is the king bound by oath to uphold it as a thing established. And that the king (who of his princely grace, as he professes, hath so oft abolished things that stood firm by law, as the star-chamber and high commission) ever thought himself bound by oath to keep them up, because established; he who will believe, must at the same time condemn him of as many perjuries, as he is well known to have abolished both laws and jurisdictions that wanted no establishment.
148. “ Had he gratified,” he thinks, “ their antiepiscopal faction with his consent, and sacrificed the church-government and revenues to the fury of their covetousness,” &c. an army had not been raised. Whereas it was the fury of his own hatred to the professors of true religion, which first incited him to prosecute them with the sword of war, when whips, pillories, exiles, and imprisonments were not thought sufficient. To colour which he cannot find wherewithal, but that stale pretence of Charles V., and other popish kings,