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greater also than the kingdom which they represent: so that to honour him with the giving part, was a mere civility, and may be well termed the courtesy of England, not the king's due.
177. But the "incommunicable jewel of his conscience” he will not give,“ but reserve to himself.” It seems that his conscience was none of the crown jewels; for those we know were in Holland, not incommunicable, to buy arms against his subjects. Being therefore but a private jewel, he could not have done a greater pleasure to the kingdom, than by reserving it to himself. But he, contrary to what is here professed, would have his conscience not an incommunicable, but a universal conscience, the whole kingdom's conscience. Thus what he seems to fear lest we should ravish from him, is our chief complaint that he obtruded upon us; we never forced him to part with his conscience, but it was he that would have forced us to part with ours.
178. Some things he taxes them to have offered him,“ which, while he had the mastery of his reason, he would never consent to.” Very likely; but had his reason mastered him as it ought, and not been mastered long ago by his sense and humour, (as the breeding of most kings hath been ever sensual and most humoured,) perhaps he would have made no difficulty. Meanwhile at what a fine pass is the kingdom, that must depend in greatest exigencies upon the phantasy of a king's reason, be he wise or fool, who arrogantly shall answer all the wisdom of the land, that what they offer seems to him unreasonable!
179. He prefers his “ love of truth” before his love of the people. His love of truth would have led him to the search of truth, and have taught him not to lean so much upon his own understanding. He met at first with doctrines of unaccountable prerogative; in them herested, because they pleased him; they therefore pleased him because they gave him all; and this he calls his love of truth, and prefers it before the love of his people's peace.
180. Some things they proposed, “ which would have wounded the inward peace of his conscience.” The more our evil hap, that three kingdoms should be thus pestered with one conscience; who chiefly scrupled to grant us that, which the parliament advised him to, as the chief means of our public welfare and reformation. These scruples to many perhaps will seem pretended ; to others, upon as good grounds, may seem real; and that it was the just judgment of God, that he who was so cruel and so remorseless to other men's consciences, should have a conscience within him as cruel to himself; constraining him, as he constrained others, and ensnaring him in such ways and counsels as were certain to be bis destruction.
181. “ Other things though he could approve, yet in honour and policy he thought fit to deny, lest he should seem to dare deny nothing." By this means he will be sure, what with reason, honour, policy, or punctilios, to be found never unfurnished of a denial; whether it were his envy not to be overbounteous, or that the submissness of our asking stirred up in him a certain pleasure of denying. Good princes have thought it their chief happiness to be always granting; if good things, for the things' sake; if things indifferent, for the people's sake; while this man sits calculating variety of excuses how he may grant least; as if his whole strength and royalty were placed in a mere negative.
182. Of one proposition especially he laments him much, that they would bind him “ to a general and implicit consent for whatever they desired.” Which though I find not among the nineteen, yet undoubtedly the oath of his coronation binds him to no less; neither is he at all by his office to interpose against a parliament in the making or not making of any law; but to take that for just and good legally, which is there decreed, and to see it executed accordingly. Nor was he set over us to vie wisdom with his parliament, but to be guided by them; any of whom possibly may as far excel him in the gift of wisdom, as he them in place and dignity. But much nearer is it to impossibility, that any king alone should be wiser than all his council; sure enough it was not he, though no king ever before him so much contended to have it thought so. And if the parliament so thought not, but desired him to follow their advice and deliberation in things of public concernment, he accounts it the same proposition, as if Samson had been moved “ to the putting out his eyes, that the Philistines might abuse him.” And thus out of an unwise or pretended fear, lest others should make a scorn of him for yielding to his parliament, he regards not to
give cause of worse suspicion, that he made a scorn of his regal oath.
183. But “ to exclude him from all power of denial seems an arrogance;” in the parliament he means : what in him then to deny against the parliament ? None at all, by what he argues : for " by petitioning, they confess their inferiority, and that obliges them to rest, if not satisfied, yet quieted with such an answer as the will and reason of their superior thinks fit to give.” First, petitioning, in better English, is no more than requesting or requiring; and men require not favours only, but their due; and that not only from superiors, but from equals, and inferiors also. The noblest Romans, when they stood for that which was a kind of regal honour, the consulship, were wont in a submissive manner to go about, and beg that highest dignity of the meanest plebeians, naming them man by man; which in their tongue was called petitio consulatus. And the parliament of England petitioned the king, not because all of them were inferior to him, but because he was inferior to any one of them, which they did of civil custom, and for fashion's sake, more than of duty; for by plain law cited before, the parliament is bis superior.
184. But what law in any trial or dispute enjoins a freeman to rest quieted, though not satisfied with the will and reason of his superior ? It were a mad law that would subject reason to superiority of place. And if our highest consultations and purposed laws must be terminated by the king's will, then is the will of one man our law, and no
subtlety of dispute can redeem the parliament and nation from being slaves : neither can any tyrant require more than that his will or reason, though not satisfying, should yet be rested in, and determine all things. We may conclude, therefore, that when the parliament petitioned the king, it was but merely form, let it be as “ foolish and absurd” as he pleases. It cannot certainly be so absurd as what he requires, that the parliament should confine their own and all the kingdom's reason to the will of one man, because it was his hap to succeed his father. For neither God nor the laws have subjected us to his will, nor set his reason to be our sovereign above law, (which must needs be, if he can strangle it in the birth,) but set his person over us in the sovereign execution of such laws as the parliament establish. The parliament, therefore, without any usurpation, bath had it always in their power to limit and confine the exorbitancy of kings, whether they call it their will, their reason, or their conscience.
185. But this above all was never expected, nor is to be endured, that a king, who is bound by law and oath to follow the advice of his parliament, should be permitted to except against them as “ young statesmen,” and proudly to suspend his following their advice, “until his seven years' experience had shown him how well they could govern themselves.” Doubtless the law never supposed so great an arrogance could be in one man; that he whose seventeen years' unexperience had almost ruined all, should sit another seven