Eikon Basilike The Pourtracture of His Sacred Majestie, in His Solitudes and Sufferings by Charles I, King of England

[Greek: Eikôn Basilikê]

THE

=POURTRACTURE=

OF

=HIS SACRED=

=MAJESTIE=,

IN

=HIS SOLITUDES=

AND

=SUFFERINGS=.

With a perfect Copy of Prayers used by his Majesty in the time of his sufferings.

Delivered to Dr. JUXON Bishop of _London_, immediately before his Death.

ROM. 8.

_More then Conquerour, &c._

_Bona agere, & mala pati, Regium est._

Printed at _London_, 1649.

The Explanation of the Embleme.

=PONDERIBUS= _genuus omne mali, probriq; gravatus, Vixq; ferenda ferens_, =Palma= _ut_ =depressa=, _resurgo. Ac, velut undarum_ =Fuctûs Ventìque=, _furorem Irati Populi_ =Rupes immotta= _repello_. =Clarioré tenebris=, _c[oe]lestis stella, corusco. Victor æternum f[oe]lici pace_ =triumpho=. _Auro_ =fulgentem= _rutilo gemmisque micantem, At curis_ =Gravidam= _spernendo_ =calco Coronam=. =Spinosam=, _at_ =ferri facilem=, _quo_ =spes mea=, _Christi Auxilio, Nobis non est_ =tractare= _molestum_. =Æternam=, _fixis fidei, semperque_ =beatam= _In C[oe]los occulis_ =specto=, _Mobìsque-paratam. Quod_ =vanum= _est, sperno; quod Christi_ =Gratia= _præbet Amplecti studium est: Virtutis_ =Gloria= _merces._

THOUGH clogg'd with _weights_ of miseries, _Palm_-like _depress'd_, I higher rise. And as th' _unmoved Rock_ out-braves The boyst'rous _winds_, and raging _waves_; So _triumph I_. And _shine more bright_ In sad Affliction's darksom night. That _splendid_, but yet _toilsome Crown_, Regardlesly _I trample_ down. With joy I take this _Crown_ of _Thorn_, Though _sharp_, yet _easie to be born_. That _heav'nly Crown_, already mine, I _view_ with _eyes_ of faith divine. I slight _vain_ things; and do embrace _Glory_, the just reward of _Grace_.

[Greek: To Chi ouden êdikêse tên polin, oude to Kappa.]

[Illustration]

[Greek: Eikôn Basilikê.]

THE

POURTRACTURE

OF HIS SACRED

MAJESTIE,

IN

HIS SOLITUDES

AND

SUFFERINGS.

With a perfect Copy of Prayers used by his Majesty in the time of his sufferings.

Delivered to Dr. JUXON Bishop of _London_, immediately before his death.

ROM. 8.

_More then Conquerour, &c.

Bona agere, & mala pati, Regium est._

Printed at _London_, 1649.

THE CONTENTS.

1 _Vpon His Majesties calling this last Parliament._

2 _Upon the Earl of_ Strafford's _death._

3 _Upon His Majesties going to the House of Commons._

4 _Upon the Insolency of the Tumults._

5 _Upon His Majesties passing the Bill for the Trienniall Parliaments: and after setling this, during the pleasure of the two Houses._

6 _Upon His Majesties retirement from_ Westminster.

7 _Upon the Queens departure, and absence out of_ England.

8 _Upon His Majesties repulse at_ Hull, _and the fates of the_ Hothams.

9 _Upon the listing and raising Armies against the King._

10 _Upon their seizing the Kings Magazines, Forts, Navie, and Militia._

11 _Upon the 19 Propositions first sent to the King; and more afterwards._

12 _Upon the Rebellion, and troubles in_ Ireland.

13 _Upon the Calling in of the_ Scots, _and their Coming._

14 _Upon the Covenant._

15 _Upon the many Jealousies raised, and Scandals cast upon the King, to stirre up the people against Him._

16 _Upon the Ordinance against the Common prayer-Book._

17 _Of the differences between the King, and the two Houses, in point of Church-government._

18 _Upon_ Uxbridge-_Treaty, and others Offers made by the King._

19 _Upon the various events of the War; Victories, and Defeats._

20 _Upon the Reformations of the Times._

21 _Upon His Majesties Letters taken and divulged._

22 _Upon His Majesties leaving_ Oxford, and going to the_ Scots._

23 _Upon the_ Scots _delivering the King to the_ English; _and His Captivity at_ Holmbie.

24 _Upon their denying His Majestie the Attendance of His Chaplains._

25 Penitentiall Meditations and Vowes in the King's solitude at _Holmbie_.

26 _Upon the Armies surprisall of the King at_ Holmbie, _and the ensuing distractions in the two Houses, the Army, and the Citie._

27 _To the Prince of_ Wales.

28 _Meditations upon Death, after the Votes of Non-Addresses, and His Majesties closer Imprisonment in_ Carisbrook-Castle.

29 _Divers prayers used by his Majesty in time of His sufferings._

30 _His Speeches to the Lady_ Elisabeth _and Duke of_ Glocester: _And His_ Reasons _against the jurisdiction of the high Court of Justice._

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[Greek: EIKÔN BASILIKÊ]

1. _Upon His Majesties calling this last Parliament._

This last Parliament I called, not more by others advice, and necessity of My affairs, then by my own choice and inclination; who have always thought the right way of Parliaments most safe for My Crown, and best pleasing to my People: And although I was not forgetfull of those sparks, which some mens distempers formerly studied to kindle in Parliaments, (which by forbearing to convene for some years, I hoped to have extinguished) yet resolving with My self to give all just satisfaction to modest and sober desires, and to redress all publick grievances in Church and State; I hoped (by My freedom and their moderation) to prevent all mis-understandings and miscarriages in this: In which as I feared, affairs would meet with some passion and prejudice in other men, so I resolved they should finde least of them in my self; not doubting, but by the weight of Reason I should counterpoiz the over-ballancing of any Factions.

I was, indeed, sorry to hear with what partiality and popular heat, Elections were carried in many places; yet hoping that the gravity and discretion of other Gentlemen would allay and fix the Commons to a due temperament (guiding some mens well-meaning zeal by such rules of moderation as are best both to preserve and restore the health of all States and Kingdoms:) No man was better pleased with the convening of this Parliament then My self; who knowing best the largenesse of my own Heart toward my Peoples good and just contentment, pleased my self most in that good and firm understanding, which would hence grow between me and my people.

All jealousies being laid aside, my own and my Childrens Interests gave me many obligations to seek and preserve the love and welfare of my Subjects; The only temporal blessing that is left to the ambition of just Monarchs, as their greatest honour and safety, next Gods protection. I cared not to lessen my self in some things of my wonted Prerogative; since I knew I could be no loser, if I might gain but a recompence in my Subjects affections.

I intended not only to oblige my friends, but mine enemies also: exceeding even the desires of those that were factiously discontented, if they did but pretend to any modest and sober sense.

The _odium_ and offences which some mens rigor or remissnesse in Church and State had contracted upon my Government, I resolved to have expiated by such Laws and regulations for the future, as might not only rectifie what was amiss in practice, but supply what was defective in the constitution: No man having a greater zeal to see Religion setled, and preserved in Truth, Unitie, and Order then my self; whom it most concerns both in pietie and policie; as knowing, that, No flames of civil dissentions are more dangerous then those which make Religious pretensions the grounds of Factions.

I resolved to reform, what I should by free and full advice in Parliament be convinced to be amiss; and to grant whatever my Reason and Conscience told me was fit to be desired; I wish I had kept my self within those bounds, and not suffered my own Judgement to have been over-born in some things, more by others Importunities, then their Arguments; my confidence had less betrayed my self, and my Kingdoms, to those advantages, which some men sought for, who wanted nothing but power and occasion to do mischief.

But our sins being ripe, there was no preventing of Gods Justice, from reaping that glory in our Calamities, which we robbed him of in our prosperitie.

_For thou (O Lord) hast made us see, That Resolutions of future Reforming, doe not alwayes satisfie thy justice, nor prevent thy Vengeance for former miscarriages._

_Our sins have over-laid our hopes: Thou hast taught us to depend on thy mercies to forgive, not on our purpose to amend._

_When thou hast vindicated thy glory by thy judgments, and hast shewed us how unsafe it is to offend thee, upon presumptions afterwards to please thee, Then I trust thy mercy will restore those blessings to us, which we have so much abused, as to force thee to deprive us of them._

_For want of timely repentance of our sins, Thou givest us cause to Repent of those Remedies we too late apply._

_Yet I doe not repent of my calling the last Parliament, because O Lord, I did it with an upright intention to thy glory, and My Peoples good._

_The miseries which have ensued upon me and my Kingdoms, are the just effects of thy displeasure upon us; and may be yet, through thy mercy, preparatives of us to future blessings and better hearts to enjoy them._

_O Lord, though thou hast deprived us of many former comforts; yet grant me and my People the benefit of our afflictions, and thy chastisements; that thy Rod as well as thy Staff may comfort us: Then shall we dare to account them the strokes not of an enemy, but a Father: when thou givest us those humble affections, that measure of patience in repentance which becomes thy Children; I shall have no cause to repent the miseries this Parliament hath occasioned, when by them thou hast brought me and my people unfeignedly to repent of the sins we have committed._

_Thy grace is infinitely better with our sufferings, then our Peace could be with our sins._

_O thou soveraign goodness and wisdom, who over-rulest all our Counsels; over-rule also all our hearts; That the worse things we suffer by thy Justice, the better we may be by thy mercie._

_As our sins have turned our Antidotes into Poison, so let thy Grace turn our Poison into Antidotes._

_As the sins of our Peace disposed us to this unhappy Warre, so let this War prepare us for thy blessed Peace._

_That although I have but troublesom Kingdoms here, yet I may attain to that Kingdom of Peace in my Heart, and in thy Heaven, which Christ hath purchased, & thou wilt give to thy servant (though a sinner) for my Saviours sake._ Amen.

* * * * *

2. _Upon the Earl of Straffords death_.

I looked upon my Lord of _Strafford_, as a Gentleman, whose great abilities might make a Prince rather afraid, then ashamed to employ him in the greatest affairs of State.

For those were prone to create in him great confidence of undertakings, and this was like enough to betray him to great errors, and many enemies; whereof he could not but contract good store, while moving in so high a sphear, and with so vigorous a lustre, he must needs (as the Sun) raise many envious exhalations, which condensed by a popular _odium_, were capable to cast a cloud before the brightest merit and integrity.

Though I cannot in my judgement approve all he did, driven (it may be) by the necessities of times, and the Temper of that people, more then led by his own disposition to any height and rigour of actions: yet I could never be convinced of any such criminousness in him as willingly to expose his life to the stroke of Justice, and malice of his enemies. I never met with a more unhappy conjuncture of affairs, then in the businesse of that unfortunate Earl: when between my own unsatisfiedness in Conscience, and a necessity (as some told me) of satisfying the importunities of some people, I was perswaded by those that I think wished Me well, to chuse rather what was safe, then what seemed just; preferring the outward peace of My Kingdoms with men, before that inward exactness of Conscience before God.

And indeed I am so far from excusing or denying that compliance on My part (for plenary consent it was not) to his destruction, whom in My judgment I thought not, by any clear law, guilty of death: That I never bare any touch of Conscience with greater regret: which as a sign of my repentance, I have often with sorrow confessed both to God and men, as an act of so sinfull frailty, that it discovered more a fear of man, then of God, whose name and place on earth no man is worthy to bear, who will avoid inconveniencies of State, by acts of so high injustice, as no publick convenience can expiate or compensate.

I see it a bad exchange to wound a mans own Conscience, thereby to salve State-sores; to calm the storms of popular discontents, by stirring up a tempest in a mans own bosome.

Nor hath Gods Justice failed in the event and sad consequences, to shew the world the fallacy of that Maxime, _Better one man perish, (though unjustly) then the people be displeased or destroyed._

For, In all likelihood I could never have suffered, with My people, greater calamities, (yet with greater comfort) had I vindicated _Straffords_ innocency, at least by denying to Sign that destructive _Bill_, according to that Justice, which My conscience suggested to Me, then I have done since I gratified some mens unthankful importunities with so cruel a favour. And I have observed, that those, who counselled Me to sign that Bill, have been so far from receiving the rewards of such ingratiatings with the People, that no men have been harassed & crushed more then they: He onely hath been least vexed by them, who counselled Me, not to consent against the vote of My own Conscience: I hope God hath forgiven Me and them, the sinful rashness of that business.

To which being in My soul so fully conscious, those Judgements God hath pleased to send upon Me, are so much the more welcom, as a means (I hope) which his mercy hath sanctified so to Me, as to make Me repent of that unjust Act, (for so it was to Me) and for the future to teach Me, That the best rule of policie is, to prefer the doing of Justice, before all enjoyments, and the peace of my Conscience before the preservation of My Kingdoms.

Nor hath any thing more fortified My resolutions against all those violent importunities, which since have sought to gain a like consent from Me, to Acts, wherein my Conscience is unsatisfied, then the sharp touches I have had for what passed Me, in My Lord of _Straffords_ business.

Not that I resolved to have imployed him in My affairs, against the advise of my Parliament, but I would not have had any hand in his Death, of whose Guiltlesness I was better assured, then any man living could be.

Nor were the crimes objected against him so clear, as after a long and fair hearing to give convincing satisfaction to the Major part of both Houses; especially that of the Lords, of whom scarce a third part were present, when the bill passed that House: And for the House of Commons, many Gentlemen, disposed enough to diminish My Lord of _Straffords_ greatness and power, yet unsatisfied of his guilt in Law, durst not condemn him to die: who for their integrity in their Votes, were by Posting their Names, exposed to the popular calumny, hatred and fury; which grew then so exorbitant in their clamours _for Justice_, (that is, to have both my self and the two Houses' Vote, and doe as they would have us) that many ('tis thought) were rather terrified to concur with the condemning party, then satisfied that of right they ought so to doe.

And that after-Act vacating the Authority of the precedent, for future imitation sufficiently tels the world, that some remorse touched even his most implacable enimies, as knowing he had very hard measure, and such as they would be very loath should be repeated to themselves.

This tendernesse and regret I find in my soul, for having any hand (and that very unwillingly God knows) in shedding one mans bloud unjustly, (though under the colour and formalities of Justice, and pretences of avoiding publick mischiefs) which may (I hope) be some evidence before God and man, to all posterity, that I am far from bearing justly the vast load and guilt of all that blood which hath been shed in this unhappy War; which some men will needs charge on me, to ease their own souls, who am, and ever shall be, more affraid to take away any mans life unjustly then to lose my own.

_But then, O God, of thy infinit mercies forgive me that act of sinfull compliance, which hath greater aggravations upon me then any man, Since I had not the least temptation of envy, or malice against him, and by my place should, at least so farre, have been a preserver of him, as to have denied my consent to his destruction._

_O Lord, I acknowledge my transgression, and my sin is ever before me._

_Deliver me from blood-guiltiness O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness._

_Against thee have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, for thou sawest the contradiction between my heart and my hand._

_Yet cast me not away from thy presence, purge me with the blood of my Redeemer, and I shall be clear; wash me with that pretious effusion, and I shall be whiter then snow._

_Teach me to learn Righteousnesse by thy Iudgements, and to see my frailtie in thy Iustice: while I was perswaded by shedding one mans bloud to prevent after-troubles, thou hast for that, among other sins, brought upon mee, and upon my Kingdoms, great, long, and heavy troubles._

_Make me to prefer Iustice, which is thy Will, before all contrary clamours, which are but the discoveries of mans injurious will._

_It is too much that they have once overcome me, to please them by displeasing thee: O never suffer me for any reason of State, to go against my Reason of Conscience, Which is highly to sin against thee, the God of Reason, and Iudge of our Consciences._

_Whatever, O Lord, thou seest fit to deprive me of, yet restore unto me the joy of thy Salvation, and ever uphold me with thy free Spirit; which subjects my will to non: but the light of Reason, Justice, and Religion, which shines in my Soul; for thou desirest Truth in the inward parts, and Integritie in the outward expressions._

_Lord, hear the voice of thy Sons, and my Saviours bloud, which speaks better things; O make me, and my People, to hear the voice of Joy and Gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice in thy salvation_.

* * * * *

3. _Vpon His Majesties going to the House of Commons._

My going to the House of Commons to demand Justice upon the five Members, was an act which my Enemies loaded with all the obloquies and exasperations they could.

It filled indifferent men with great jealousies and fears; yea, and many of my Friends resented it, as a motion rising rather from Passion then Reason, and not guided with such discretion as the touchiness of those times required.

But these men knew not the just motives, and pregnant grounds, with which I thought myself so furnished, that there needed nothing to such evidence, as I could have produced against those I charged, save onely a free and legall Trial, which was all I desired.

Nor had I any temptation of displeasure or revenge against those mens persons, further then I had discovered those (as I thought) unlawfull correspondencies they had used, and engagements they had made to embroyl my Kingdoms: of all which I missed but little to have produced Writings under some mens own hands, who were the chief contrivers of the following Innovations.

Providence would not have it so; yet I wanted not such probabilities as were sufficient to raise jealousies in any Kings heart, who is not wholly stupid and neglective of the publick Peace; which to preserve, my calling in question half a dozen men, in a fair and legall way (which God knows, was all my design) could have amounted to no worse effect, had it succeeded, then either to do Me and my Kingdom right, in case they had been found guilty; or else to have cleared their innocency, and removed my suspicion: which, as they were not raised out of any malice, so neither were they in reason to be smothered.

What flames of discontent this spark (though I sought by all speedy and possible means to quench it) soon kindled, all the world is witnesse: The aspersion which some men cast upon that action, as if I had designed by force to assault the House of Commons, and invade their Priviledge, is so false, that, as God best knows, I had no such intent; so none that attended Me could justly gather from any thing I then said or did, the least intimation of any such thoughts.

That I went attended with some Gentlemen, as it was no unwonted thing for the Majesty and safety of a King so to be attended, especially in discontented times; so were my Followers at that time short of my ordinary Guard, and no way proportionable to hazard a tumultuary conflict. Nor were they more scared at my coming, then I was unassured of not having some affronts cast upon me, if I had none to be with Me to preserve a reverence to Me: for many people had (at that time) learned to think those hard thoughts, which they have since abundantly vented against Me, both by words and deeds.

The sum of that businesse was this,

Those men and their adherents were then look'd upon by the affrighted vulgar, as greater Protectors of their Laws and Liberties then my Self, and so worthier of their protection. I leave them to God and their own Consciences, who, if guilty of evill machinations, no present impunity, or popular vindications of them will be subterfuge sufficient to rescue them from those exact Tribunals.

To which, in the obstructions of Justice among men, we must religiously appeal, as being an argument to us Christians of that after unavoidable Judgement, which shall re-judge what among men is but corruptly decided, or not at all.

I endeavoured to have prevented, if God had seen fit, those future commotions which I foresaw, would in all likelyhood follow some mens activity (if not restrained) and so now hath done to the undoing of many thousands; the more is the pity.

But to over-awe the freedom of the Houses, or to weaken their just Authority by any violent impressions upon them, was not at all my design: I thought I had so much Justice and Reason on my side, as should not have needed so rough assistance: and I was resolved rather to bear the repulse with patience, then to use such hazardous extremities.

_But thou, O Lord art my witnesse in heaven, and in my Heart: If I have purposed any violence or oppression against the Innocent: or if there were any such wickednes in my thoughts._

_Then let the enemy persecute my soul, and tread my life to the ground, and lay mine Honour in the dust._

_Thou that seest not as man seeth, but lookest beyond all popular appearances, searching the heart, and trying the reins, and bringing to light the hidden things of darknesse, shew thy self._

_Let not my afflictions be esteemed (as with wise and godly men they cannot be) any argument as my sin, in that matter: more then their Impunity among good men is any sure token of their Innocency._

_But forgive them wherin they have done amiss, though they are not punished for it in this world._

_Save thy servant from the privy conspiracies, and open violence of bloody and unreasonable men, according to the uprightness of my heart, and the innocency of my hands in this matter._

_Plead my cause and maintain my right, O thou that sittest in the Throne, judging rightly, that thy servant may ever rejoyce in thy salvation._

* * * * *

4. _Upon the Insolency of the Tumults._

I Never thought any thing (except our sins) more ominously presaging all these mischiefs, which have followed, then those Tumults in _London_ and _Westminster_, soon after the convening of this Parliament; which were not like a storm at Sea, (which yet wants not its terrour) but like an Earth-quake, shaking the very foundations of all; then which nothing in the world hath more of horror.

As it is one of the most convincing Arguments that there is a God, while his power sets bounds to the raging of the Sea: so 'tis no less, that he restrains the madness of the People. Nor doth any thing portend more Gods displeasure against a Nation, then when he suffers the confluence and clamours of the Vulgar to passe all boundaries of Laws and reverence to Authority.

Which those Tumults did to so high degrees of Insolence, that they spared not to invade the Honour and Freedom of the two Houses, menacing, reproaching, shaking, yea, and assaulting some Members of both Houses, as they fancied, or disliked them: Nor did they forbear most rude and unseemly deportments, both in contemptuous words and actions, to my Self and my Court.

Nor was this a short fit or two of shaking, as an ague, but a quotidian fever, always encreasing to higher inflammations, impatient of any mitigation, restraint, or remission.

First, They must be a guard against those fears which some men scared themselves and others withall; when indeed nothing was more to be feared, and lesse to be used by wise men, then those tumultuary confluxes of mean and rude people, who are taught first to petition, then to protect, then to dictate, at last to command and over-aw the Parliament.

All obstructions in Parliament (that is, all freedom of differing in Votes, and debating matters with reason and candor) must be taken away with these Tumults; By these must the Houses be purged, and all rotten Members (as they pleased to count them) cast out: By these the obstinacie of men resolved to discharge their Consciences, must be subdued; by these all factious, seditious, and schismaticall Proposals against Government Ecclesiastical or Civil, must be backed and abetted, till they prevailed.

Generally, who-ever had most mind to bring forth confusion and ruine upon Church and State, used the midwifery of those Tumults: whose riot and impatience was such, that they would not stay the ripening and season of Counsels, or fair production of Acts, in the order, gravity, and deliberatenesse befitting a Parliament; but ripped up with barbarous cruelty, and forcibly cut out abortive Votes, such as their Inviters and Encouragers most fancied.

Yea, so enormous and detestable were their outrages, that no sober man could be without an infinite shame and sorrow to see them so tolerated and connived at by some; countenanced, encouraged, and applauded by others.

What good man had not rather want any thing he most desired, for the publick good, then obtain it by such unlawfull and irreligious means? But mens passions and Gods directions seldom agree; violent designes and motions must have sutable engines: such as too much attend their own ends, seldom confine themselves to Gods means. Force must crowd in what Reason will not lead.

Who were the chief Demagogues and Patrons of Tumults, to send for them, to flatter and embolden them, to direct and tune their clamorous importunities, some men yet living are too conscious to pretend ignorance: God in his due time will let these see, That those were no fit means to be used for attaining his ends.

But as it is no strange thing for the Sea to rage, when strong winds blow upon it; so neither for Multitudes to become insolent, when they have Men of some reputation for parts and piety to set them on.

That which made their rudenesse most formidable, was, that many Complaints being made, and Messages sent by my Self, and, some of both Houses; yet no Order for redress could be obtained with any vigour and efficacie, proportionable to the malignity of that now far-spread disease, and predominant mischief.

Such was some mens stupidity, that they feared no inconvenience; Others petulancie, that they joyed to see their betters shamefully outraged and abused, while they knew their onely security consisted in vulgar flattery: so insensible were they of Mine, or the two Houses common Safety and Honours.

Nor could ever any Order be obtained, impartially to examine, censure, and punish the known Boutefeus, and impudent Incendiaries, who boasted of the influence they had and used, to convoke those Tumults as their advantages served.

Yea, some (who should have been wiser States-men) owned them as friends, commending their Courage, Zeal, and Industry; which to sober men could seem no better then that of the Divel, who _goes about seeking whom he may_ deceive and _devour._

I confesse, when I found such a deafness, that no Declaration from the Bishops, who were first fouly insolenced and assaulted; nor yet from other Lords and Gentlemen of Honor; nor yet from my self could take place for the due repression of these Tumults; and securing not only Our freedom in Parliament, but Our very persons in the Streets; I thought My self not bound by my presence to provoke them to higher boldness and contempts; I hoped by my with-drawing to give time, both for the ebbing of their tumultuous furie, and others regaining some degrees of modesty and sober sense.

Some may interpret it as an effect of Pusillanimitie in any man for popular terrors to desert his publick station. But I think it a hardiness, beyond true valor, for a wise man to set himself against the breaking in of a Sea; which to resist, at present, threatens imminent danger; but to withdraw, gives it space to spend its fury, and gains a fitter time to repair the breach. Certainly a gallant man had rather fight to great disadvantages for number and place in the field, in an orderly way, then skuffle with an undisciplined rabble.

Some suspected and affirmed that I meditated a war (when I went from _Whitehal_ only to redeem my Person & Conscience from violence) God knows I did not think of a war. Nor will any prudent man conceive that I would by so many former and some after-acts, have so much weakned My self, if I had purposed to engage in a war, which to decline by all means, I denyed my self in so many particulars: 'Tis evident I had then no Army to fly unto, for protection or vindication.

Who can blame me, or any other for a withdrawing our selves from the daily baitings of the Tumults, not knowing whether their fury and discontent might not fly so high, as to worry and tear those in pieces, whom as yet they but played with in their paws? God, who is my sole Judg, is my Witness in Heaven, that I never had any thoughts of going from My house at _Whitehall_, if I could have had but any reasonable fair Quarter; I was resolved to bear much, and did so, but I did not think my self bound to prostitute the Majesty of my place and Person, the safety of my Wife and children, to those who are prone to insult most, when they have objects and opportunity, most capable of their rudeness and petulancy.

But this business of the Tumults (whereof some have given already an account to God, others yet living, know themselves desperatly guilty) time and the guilt of many hath so smothered up and buried, that I think it best to leave it as it is: Only I beleeve the just Avenger of all disorders, will in time make those men, and that City, see their sin in the glass of their Punishment. 'Tis more then an even lay, they may one day see themselves punished by that way they offended.

Had this Parliament, as it was in its first Election and Constitution, sate full and free, the Members of both Houses being left to their freedom of Voting, as in all reason, honor, and Religion, they should have been; I doubt not but things would have been so carried, as would have given no less content to all good men, then they wished or expected.

For, I was resolved to hear reason in all things, and to consent to it so far as I could comprehend it: but as Swine are to Gardens and orderly Plantations, so are Tumults to Parliaments, and Plebeian concourses to publick Councels, turning all into disorders and sordid confusions.

I am prone sometimes to think, That had I called this Parliament to any other place in _England_, (as I might opportunely enough have done) the sad consequences, in all likelihood, with Gods blessing, might have been prevented. A Parliament would have been welcom in any place; no place afforded such confluence of various and vitious humors, as that where it was unhappily convened. But we must leave all to God, who orders our disorders, and magnifies his wisdom most, when our follies and miseries are most discovered.

_But thou O Lord art My refuge and defence_: _to thee I may safely flie, who rulest the raging of the Sea, and the madnesse of the People._

_The flouds, O Lord, the flouds are come in upon Me, and are ready to overwhelm Me._

_I look upon My sinnes and the sinnes of My people, (which are the tumults of our Souls against thee O Lord) as the just cause of these popular inundations which thou permittest to overbear all the banks of Loyalty, Modesty, Laws, Justice, and Religion._

_But thou that gatheredst the Waters into one place, and madest the dry land to appear, and after did'st asswage the floud which drowned the world, by the word of thy power; Rebuke those beasts of the people, and deliver Me from the rudenesse and strivings of the multitude._

_Restore, We beseech thee, unto Us, the freedoms of Our Councels and Parliaments, make Us unpassionately to see the light of Reason, and Religion, and with all order and gravity to follow it, as becomes Men and Christians; so shall We praise thy Name, who art the God of order and counsel._

_What man cannot, or will not represse, thy Omnipotent Justice can and will._

_O Lord, give them that are yet living, a timely sense and sorrow for their great sinne, whom thou knowest guilty of raising or not suppressing those disorders: Let shame here and not suffering hereafter be their punishment._

_Set bounds to our passions by Reason, to our errors by Truth, to our seditions by Laws duely executed, to our schismes by Charitie, that we may be, as thy_ Jerusalem, _a Citie at unity in it self._

_This grant, O My God, in thy good time, for Jesus Christs sake._ Amen.

* * * * *

5. _Upon His Majesties passing the_ BILL _for the Trienniall Parliaments: And after, setling this, during the pleasure of the two Houses_.

That the world might be fully confirmed in my purposes at first, to contribute what in Justice, Reason, Honour and Conscience I could, to the happy success of this Parliament, (which had in Me no other Designe, but the generall good of My Kingdoms) I willingly passed the BILL for Trienniall Parliaments: which, as gentle and seasonable Physick, might (if well applied) prevent any distempers from getting any head, or prevailing; especially, if the remedy proved not a remedy beyond all remedy.

I conceived, this Parliament would finde work with convenient Recesses for the first three years: But I did not imagine, that some men would thereby have occasioned more work then they found to do, by undoing so much as they found well done to their hands. Such is some mens activity, that they will needs make work rather then want it; and chuse to be doing amiss, rather then do nothing.

When that first Act seemed too scanty to satisfie some mens fears, and compass publick Affairs; I was perswaded to grant that BILL of sitting during the pleasure of the Houses; which amounted, in some mens sense, to as much as the perpetuating of this Parliament. By this Act of highest confidence, I hoped for ever to shut out, and lock the door upon all present jealousies, and future mistakes: I confess, I did not thereby intend to shut my Self out of doors, as some men have now requited me.

True, it was an Act unparallell'd by any of my Predecessors; yet cannot in reason admit of any worse interpretation then this, of an extreme confidence I had, That my Subjects would not make ill use of an Act, by which I declared so much to trust them, as to deny my Self in so high a point of my Prerogative.

For good Subjects will never think it just or fit, that my Condition should be worse, by my bettering theirs; Nor indeed would it have been so in the events, if some men had known as well with moderation to use, as with earnestness to desire advantages of doing good or evill.

A continuall Parliament (I thought) would but keep the Common-weale in tune, by preserving Laws in their due execution and vigour: wherein My interest lies more then any mans, since by those Laws My Rights as a KING, would be preserved no less then My Subjects; which is all I desired. More then the Law gives Me I would not have, and less the meanest Subject should not.

Some (as _I_ have heard) gave it out, that I soon repented me of that setling Act: and many would needs perswade Me, _I_ had cause so to do: But I could not easily nor suddenly suspect such ingratitude in men of Honour, That the more I granted them, the less _I_ should have and enjoy with them. _I_ still counted my self undiminished by my largest Concessions, if by them _I_ might gain and confirm the love of My people.

Of which I do not yet despair, but that God will still bless Me with increase of it, when men shall have more leisure and less prejudice; that so with unpassionate representations they may reflect upon those (as I think) not more Princely then friendly contributions, which I granted toward the perpetuating of their happiness: who are now only miserable in this, That some mens ambition will not give them leave to enjoy what I intended for their good.

Nor do I doubt, but that in Gods due time, the Loyal and cleared affections of My people will strive to return such retributions of Honour and love to Me or My Posteritie, as may fully compensate both the Acts of my confidence, and my Sufferings for them; which (God knows) have been neither few; nor small, nor short; occasioned chiefly by a perswasion I had, that I could not grant too much, or distrust too little, to men, that being professedly my Subjects, pretended singular piety, and religious strictness.

The injurie of all Injuries is, That which some men will needs load Me withall; as if I were a wilfull and resolved Occasioner of my Own, and my Subjects Miseries; while (as they confidently, but (God knows) falsly divulge) I repining at the establishment of this Parliament, endeavoured by force and open hostility, to undoe what by my Royall Assent I had done. Sure, it had argued a very short sight of things, and extreme fatuity of minde in Me, so far to binde my Own hands at their request, if I had shortly meant to have used a sword against them. God knows, though I had then a sense of Injuries; yet not such as to think them worth vindicating by a War: I was not then compelled, as since, to injure my Self by their not using favours with the same candour wherewith they were conferred. The Tumults indeed threatned to abuse all Acts of Grace, and turne them into wantonnesse; but I thought at length their own fears, whose black arts first raised up those turbulent spirits, would force them to conjure them down again.

Nor if I had justly resented any indignities put upon me, or others, was I then in any capacitie to have taken just revenge in an hostile and warlike way, upon those, whom I knew so well fortified in the love of the meaner sort of the people, that I could not have given my Enemies greater and more desired advantages against Me, then by so unprincely inconstancie, to have assaulted them with Armies, thereby to scatter them, whom but lately I had solemnly setled by an Act of Parliament.

God knows, I longed for nothing more, then that my Self, and my Subjects might quietly enjoy the fruits of my many Condescendings.

It had been a Course full of sin, as well as of Hazard and Dishonor; for Me to go about the cutting up of that by the Sword, which I had so lately planted, so much (as I thought) to my Subjects content, and mine Own too, in all probability, if some men had not feared where no fear was, whose security consisted in fearing others.

I thank God, I know so well the sincerity and uprightness of my own Heart in passing that great BILL, which exceeded the very thoughts of former times; That although I may seem less a Polititian to men, yet I need no secret distinctions or evasions before God, nor had I any reservations in my own Soul when I passed it: nor repenting after, till I saw that my letting some men go up to the pinnacle of the Temple, was a temptation to them to cast me down headlong.

Concluding, That without a miracle, Monarchie it self, together with Me, could not but be dashed in pieces by such a precipitous fall as they intended: whom God in mercy forgive, and make them see at length, That as many Kingdoms as the Divell shewed our Saviour, and the Glory of them (if they could be at once enjoyed by them) are not worth the gaining, by ways of sinfull ingratitude and dishonour, which hazards a soul, worth more Worlds then this hath Kingdoms.

But God hath hitherto preserved Me, and made Me to see, That it is no strange thing for men, left to their own passions, either to do much evill themselves, or abuse the overmuch goodness of others, whereof an ungratefull surfet is the most desperate and incurable disease.

I cannot say properly that I repent of that Act, since _I_ have no reflections upon it as a sin of my Wil, though an errour of too charitable a judgment: Only I am sorry other mens eys should be evill, because mine were good.

_To Thee (O my God) do I still appeale, whose All-discerning Justice sees through all the disguises of mens pretensions, and deceitfull darknesse of their hearts._

_Thou gavest Me a heart to grant much to My Subjects; and now I need a Heart fitter to suffer much for some of them._

_They will be done, though never so much to the crossing of ours, even when we hope to doe what might be most comfortable to thine and theirs too; who pretended they aymed at nothing else._

_Let thy grace teach me wisely to enjoy as well the frustratings, as the fulfilling of My best hopes, and most specious desires._

_I see while I thought to allay others fears, I have raised My owne; and by setling them, have unsetled My self._

_Thus have they requited Me evill for good, and hatred for My good will towards them._

_O Lord be thou My Pilot in this darke and dangerous storme, which never admits My returne to the Port whence I set out, nor My making any other, with that safety and honour which I designed._

_Tis easie for Thee to keep Me safe in the love and confidence of My people; nor is it hard for Thee to preserve Me amidst the unjust hatred and jealousies of too many, which thou hast suffered so far to prevaile upon Me, as to be able to pervert and abuse my acts of greatest Indulgence to them, and assurance of them._

_But no favours from Me can make others more guiltie then My self may be of misusing those many and great ones, which Thou, O Lord, hast conferred on Me._

_I beseech thee, give Me and them such Repentance as thou wilt accept, and such Grace as we may not abuse._

_Make me so far happy, as to make right use of others abuses; and by their failings of Me, to reflect with a reforming displeasure upon My offences against Thee._

_So, although for My sins I am by other mens sins deprived of thy temporall blessings, yet I may be happie to enjoy the comfort of thy Mercies, which often raise the greatest Sufferers to be the most glorious Saints._

* * * * *

6. _Upon His Majesties retirement from_ Westminster.

With what unwillingness I withdrew from _Westminster_, let them judg, who, unprovided of tackling and victual, are forced to Sea by a Storm; yet better do so, then venture splitting or sinking on a Lee-shore.

I stayed at _Whitehall_, till I was driven away by shame, more then fear, to see the barbarous rudeness of those Tumults, who resolved they would take the boldness to demand any thing, and not leave either my Self, or the Members of Parliament the liberty of our Reason and Conscience to deny them any thing.

Nor was this intolerable oppression my case alone, (though chiefly Mine;) For the Lords and Commons might be content to be over-voted by the _major_ part of their Houses, when they had used each their own freedom.

Whose agreeing Votes were not by any Law or reason conclusive to my Judgment; nor can they include, or carry with them my consent, whom they represent not in any kinde; Nor am I further bound to agree with the Votes of both Houses, then I see them agree with the will of God, with my just Rights, as a King, and the generall good of my people. I see that, as many men, they are seldom of one minde; and I may oft see, that the major part of them are not in the right.

I had formerly declared to sober and moderate minds, how desirous I was to give all just content, when I agreed to so many Bils, which had been enough to secure and satisfie all; if some mens Hydropick unsatiableness had not learned to thirst the more, by how much more they drank; whom no fountain of Royall bounty was able to overcome: so resolved they seemed, either utterly to exhaust it, or barbarously to obstruct it.

Sure, it ceases to be Counsell, when not Reason is used, as to men, to perswade; but force and terrour, as to beasts, to drive and compel men to assent to what-ever tumultuary Patrons shall project. He deserves to be a slave without pity or redemption, that is content to have the rationall soveraignty of his Soul, and liberty of his Will and words so captivated.

Nor do I think my Kingdoms so considerable, as to preserve them with the forfeiture of that freedom which cannot be denied me as a King, because it belongs to me as a man, and a Christian, owning the dictates of none, but God to be above me, as obliging me to consent. Better for Me to die enjoying this Empire of my Soul, which Subjects me only to God, so farr as by Reason or Religion he directs me, then live with the Title of a King, if it should carry such a vassalage with it, as not to suffer me to use my Reason and Conscience, in which I declare as a King, to like or dislike.

So farr am I from thinking the majesty of the Crown of _England_ to be bound by any Coronation Oath in a blinde and brutish formalitie, to consent to whatever its subjects in Parliament shall require; as some men will needs inferr; while denying me any power of a Negative voice as King, they are not ashamed to seek to deprive me of the libertie of using my Reason with a good Conscience, which themselves, and all the Commons of _England_ enjoy proportionable to their influence on the publique; who would take it very ill to be urged, not to deny, what ever my self, as King, or the House of Peers with me should, not so much desire as enjoyn them to pass. I think my Oath fully discharged in that point, by my Governing only by such Laws, as my People with the House of Peers have Chosen, and my self have consented to. I shall never think my self conscientiously tied to go as oft against my conscience, as I should consent to such new Proposals, which my Reason, in Justice, Honor and Religion bids Me deny.

Yet so tender I see some men are of their being subject to Arbitrary Government, (that is, the Law of anothers will, to which themselves give no consent) that they care not with how much dishonour and absurdity they make their King the only man, that must be subject to the will of others, without having power left Him to use His own Reason, either in Person, or by any other Representation.

And if My dissentings at any time were (as som have suspected, and uncharitably avowed) out of error, opinion, activeness, weakness, or wilfulness, and what they call Obstinacy in Me (which not true Judgment of things, but some vehement prejudice or passion hath fixed on My minde;) yet can no man think it other then the Badge and method of Slavery, by savage rudeness, and importunate obtrusions of violence, to have the mist of his Errour and Passion dispelled, which is a shadow of Reason, and must serve those that are destitute of the substance. Sure that man cannot be blameable to God or man, who seriously endeavours to see the best reason of things, and faithfully followes what he takes for Reason: The uprightnesse of his intentions will excuse the possible failings of his understanding; If a Pilot at Sea cannot see the Pole-star, it can be no fault in him to steer his course by such Stars as do best appear to him. It argues rather, those men to be conscious of their defects of Reason, and convincing Arguments, who call in the assistance of meer force to carry on the weakness of their Counsels and Proposals. I may, in the truth and uprightness of my heart, protest before God and men, That I never wilfully opposed, or denied any thing that was in a fair way, after full and free debates propounded to me by the two Houses, further then I thought in good reason I might, and was bound to do.

Nor did any thing ever please me more, then when my Judgment so concurred with theirs, that I might with a good Conscience consent to them: Yea, in many things, where not absolute and morall necessity of Reason, but temporary convenience in point of Honour was to be considered, I chose rather to deny my Self, then Them; as preferring that which they thought necessary for my peoples good, before what I saw but convenient for my Self.

For I can be content to recede much from my Own Interests, and Personall Rights, of which I conceive my Self to be master: but in what concerns Truth, Justice, the Right of the Church, and my Crown, together with the generall good of my Kingdoms: (all which I am bound to preserve as much as morally lies in me;) here I am, and ever shall be fixt and resolute, nor shall any man gain my consent to that, wherein my heart gives my hand or tongue the Lie; nor will I be brought to affirm that to men, which in my Conscience I denied before God. I will rather chuse to wear a Crown of Thorns with my Saviour, then to exchange that of Gold (which is due to Me) for one of Lead, whose embased flexibleness shall be forced to bend, and comply to the various, and oft contrary dictates of any Factions: when in stead of Reason, and Publick concernments, they obtrude nothing but what makes for the interest of parties, and flows from the particularities of private wils and passions.

I know no resolutions more worthy a Christian King, then to prefer His Conscience before His Kingdoms.

_O my God preserve thy servant in this Native, Rationall and Religious freedome; For this I beleeve is thy will, that we should maintain: who, though thou dost justly require us to submit our understandings and wils to thine; whose wisdom and goodnesse can neither erre, nor misguide us, and so far to deny our carnall reason, in order to thy sacred Mysteries and Commands, that we should beleeve and obey, rather then dispute them; yet dost thou expect from us, only such a reasonable service of thee, as not to do any thing for thee, against our consciences: and as to the desires of men, enjoinest us to try all things by the touch-ston of reason and Lawes, which are the rules of Civill Justice; and to declare our consents to that only which our Judgments approve._

_Thou knowest, ô Lord, how unwilling I was to desert that place, in which thou hast set Me, and whereto the affairs of My Kingdoms at present did call me._

_My People can witness how far I have been content for their good, to deny My self, in what thou hast subjected to My disposall._

_O let not the unthankfull importunities, and tumultuary violence of some mens Immoderat demands, ever betray Me to that degenerous and unmanly slavery, which should make Me strengthen them by My consent in those things which I think in My conscience to be against thy glory, the good of My subjects, and the discharge of My own duty to Reason and Justice._

_Make me willing to suffer the greatest indignities and injuries they press upon Me, rather then commit the least sin against My Conscience._

_Let the just Liberties of My people be (as well they may) preserved in fair and equall waies, without the slavery of My soul._

_Thou that hast invested Me by thy favours, in the power of a Christian King, suffer Me not to subject My Reason to other mens passions, and designes, which to Me seem unreasonable, unjust and irreligious: So shall I serve thee in the truth and uprightness of My heart, though I cannot satisfie these men._

_Though I be driven from among them, yet give Me grace to walk, alwaies uprightly before thee._

_Lead Me in the way of Truth and Justice, for these, I know, will bring Me at last to peace and happiness with thee; though for these I have much trouble among men._

_This I beg of thee for my Saviours sake._

* * * * *

7. _Upon the Queenes departure and absence out of_ England.

Although I have much cause to be troubled at My Wifes departure from Me, and out of My Dominions; yet not Her absence, so much, as the scandall of that necessity which drives her away, doth afflict Me. That She should be compelled by my own Subjects, and those pretending to be Protestants, to withdraw for Her safety: This being the first example of any Protestant Subjects, that have taken up Arms against their King, a Protestant: For I look upon this now done in England, as another Act of the same Tragedie which was lately begun in Scotland; the brands of that fire being ill quenched, have kindled the like flames here. I fear such motions (so little to the adorning of the Protestant profession) may occasion a further alienation of mind, and divorce of affections in Her from that Religion, which is the onely thing wherein we differ.

Which yet God can (and I pray he would) in time take away; and not suffer these practices to be any obstruction to Her judgment, since it is the motion of those men (for the most part) who are yet to seek and settle their Religion for Doctrine, Government and good manners, and so not to be imputed to the true English Protestants, who continue firm to their former setled Principles and Laws.

I am sorry my relation to so deserving a Ladie, should be any occasion of her danger and affliction; whose merits would have served her for a protection among the savage Indians: while their rudeness and barbaritie knows not so perfectly to hate all Vertues, as some mens subtiltie doth: among whom I yet think few are so malicious as to hate Her for her Self: The fault it, that She is my Wife.

All Justice then, as well as Affection, commands me to studie her Securitie, who is only in danger for my sake; I am content to be tossed, weather-beaten, and shipwrack'd, so as she may be in safe Harbour.

This comfort I shall injoy by her safety in the midst of my Personall dangers, that I can perish but half, if she be preserved: in whose memory and hopefull Posterity, I may yet survive the malice of my Enemies, although they should be satiated with my bloud.

I must leave her and them to the Love and Loyaltie of my good Subjects; and to his protection, who is able to punish the faults of Princes, and no less able to revenge the injuries done to them, by those who in all dutie and Allegiance ought to have made good that safetie, which the Laws chiefly provide for Princes.

But common civilitie is in vain expected from those that dispute their Loyaltie: Nor can it be safe (for any relation) to a King, to tarry among them that are shaking hands with their Allegiance, under pretence of laying faster hold on their Religion.

'Tis pitie so noble and peaceful a Soul should see, much more suffer the rudeness of those, who must make up their want of Justice, with inhumanity and impudence.

Her sympathie with Me in my afflictions, will make her vertue shine with greater lustre, as starrs in the darkest nights; and assure the envious world, that she loves me, not my fortunes.

Neither of us but can easily forgive, since We do not much blame the unkindness of the Generality and Vulgar: for we see God is pleased to try both our patience, by the most self-punishing sin, the Ingratitude of those, who having eaten of Our bread, and being enriched with Our bounty, have Scornfully lift up themselves against Us; and those of Our own Houshold are become Our enemies. I pray God lay not their sinne to their charge: who think to satisfie all obligations to duty, by their Corban of Religion: and can less endure to see, then to sin against their benefactors as well as their Soveraign.

But even that policy of my enemies is so farr veniall, as it was necessary to their designs, by scandalous articles, and all irreverent demeanour, to seek to drive her out of my Kingdoms; left by the influence of her example, eminent for love as a Wife, and loyaltie as a Subject, she should have converted to, or retained in their love and loyaltie, all those whom they had a purpose to pervert.

The less I may be blest with her company, the more I will retire to God and my own Heart, whence no malice can banish Her. My enemies may envie, but they can never deprive me of the enjoyment of her vertues, while I enjoy my self.

_Thou, O Lord, whose Justice at present sees fit to scatter us, let thy mercie, in thy due time, reunite us on earth, if it be thy will; however bring us both at last to thy heavenly Kingdom._

_Preserve us from the hands of our despitefull and deadly enemies; and prepare us by our sufferings for thy presence._

_Though we differ in some things, as to Religion, (which is my greatest temporall infelicitie) yet Lord give and accept the sinceritie of our affections, which desire to seek, to finde, to embrace every Truth of thine._

_Let both our hearts agree in the love of thy self, and Christ crucified for us._

_Teach us both what thou wouldst have us to know, in order to thy glory, our publique relations, and our souls eternal good, and make us carefull to do what good we know._

_Let neither Ignorance of what is necessary to be known, nor unbelief, or disobedience to what we know, be our miserie, or our wilfull default._

_Let not this great Scandall of those my Subjects, which profess the same Religion with me, be any hindrance to her love of any Truth thou wouldst have her to learn, nor any hardning of her in any error thou wouldst have cleared to her._

_Let Mine and other mens constancie be an Antidote against the poyson of their example._

_Let the truth of that Religion I professe be represented to her judgment, with all the beauties of humilitie, loyaltie, charitie, and peaceablenesse; which are the proper fruits and ornaments of it: Not in the odious disguise of Levitie, Schism, Heresie, Noveltie, Crueltie and Disloyaltie, which some mens practices have put upon it._

_Let her see thy sacred and saving Truths as Thine; that she may believe, love and obey them as Thine, cleared from all rust and drosse of humane mixtures._

_That in the glasse of thy Truth Shee may see thee in those Mercies which thou hast offered to us in thy Son Jesus Christ, our onely Saviour, and serve thee in all those holy Duties, which most agree with his holy Doctrine, and most imitable example._

_The experience we have of the vanitie and uncertaintie of all humane Glorie and Greatnesse in our scatterings and eclypses, let it make us both so much the more ambitious to be invested in those durable Honours and perfections which are onely to be found in thy self, and obtained throuqh Jesus Christ._

* * * * *

8. _Upon His Majesties repulse at_ Hull, _and the fates of the_ Hothams.

My repulse at _Hull_ seemed at the first view an act of so rude disloyalty, that my greatest Enemies had scarce confidence enough to abett or own it: It was the first overt Essay to be made, how patiently I could bear the losse of my Kingdoms.

God knows, it affected me more with shame and sorrow for others, then with anger for my Self; nor did the affront done to me, trouble me so much as their sin, which admitted no colour or excuse.

I was resolved how to bear this, and much more with patience: But I foresaw they could hardly contain themselves within the compass of this one unworthy act, who had effrontery enough to commit or countenance it. This was but the hand of that cloud, which was soon after to overspread the whole Kingdom, and cast all into disorder and darkness.

For 'tis among the wicked Maximes of bold and disloyall undertakers: That bad actions must always be seconded with worse, and rather not begun, then not carried on; for they think the retreat more dangerous then the assault, and hate repentance more then perseverance in a fault.

This gave me to see clearly thorow all the pious disguises, and soft palliations of some men; whose words were sometime smoother then oil, but now I saw they would prove very swords.

Against which I having (as yet) no defence, but that of a good Conscience, thought it My best policie (with patience) to bear what I could not remedie: And in this (I thank God) I had the better of _Hotham_, that no disdain, or emotion of passion transported Me, by the indignitie of his carriage, to do or say any thing unbeseeming My self, or unsuitable to that temper, which, in greatest injuries, I think, best becomes a Christian, as coming nearest to the great example of Christ.

And indeed, I desire alwaies more to remember I am a Christian, then a King; for what the Majesty of one might justly abhor, the Charity of the other is willing to bear; what the height of a King tempteth to revenge, the humilitie of a Christian teacheth to forgive, keeping in compass all those impotent passions, whose excess injures a man more then his greatest enemies can; for these give their malice a full impression on our souls, which otherwise cannot reach very far, nor do us much hurt.

I cannot but observe how God not long after so pleaded and avenged my cause, in the eye of the world, that the most wilfully blind cannot avoid the displeasure to see it, and with some remorse and fears to own it as a notable stroke, and prediction of divine vengeance.

First, Sir _John Hotham_ unreproched, unthreatned, uncursed by any language or secret imprecation of mine, onely blasted with the conscience of his own wickednesse, and falling from one inconstancy to another, not long after paies his own and his eldest Sons heads, as forfeiture of their disloyalty, to those men, from whom surely he might have expected an other reward, then thus to divide their heads from their bodies, whose hearts with them were divided from their KING.

Nor is it strange that they who employed them at first in so high a service, and so successfull to them, should not finde mercy enough to forgive Him, who had so much premerited of them: For, Apostacy unto Loyalty some men account the most unpardonable sin.

Nor did a solitary vengeance serve the turn, the cutting off one head in a Family is not enough to expiate the affront done to the head of the Common-weal. The eldest Son must be involved in the punishment, as he was infected with the sin of the Father, against the Father of his Country: Root and branch God cuts off in one day.

These Observations are obvious to every fancie: God knows, I was so far from rejoycing in the _Hothams_ ruine, (though it were such as was able to give the greatest thirst for revenge a full draught, being executed by them who first employed him against Me) that I so far pitied him, as I thought he at first acted more against the light of his Conscience, then I hope many other men do in the same Cause.

For, he was never thought to be of that superstitious sowrenesse which some men pretend to in matters of Religion, which so darkens their judgment, that they cannot see any thing of Sin and Rebellion in those means they use, with intents to reform to their Models, of what they call Religion, who think all is gold of Piety, which doth but glister with a shew of Zeal and Fervencie.

Sir _John Hotham_ was (I think) a man of another temper, and so most liable to those downright temptations of Ambition, which have no cloak or cheat of Religion to impose upon themselves or others.

That which makes me more pitie him, is, that after he began to have some inclinations towards a repentance for his sin, and reparation of his duty to Me, he should be so unhappie as to fall into the hands of their Justice, and not my mercie, who could as willingly have forgiven him, as he could have asked that favor of Me.

For I think clemency a debt which we ought to pay to those that crave it, when we have cause to believe they would not after abuse it, since God himself suffers us not to pray any thing for his mercie, but only praiers and praises.

Poor Gentleman, he is now become a noteable monument of unprosperous disloialtie, teaching the world by so bad and unfortunate a spectacle, that the rude carriage of a Subject towards his Soveraign carries alwaies its own vengeance, & an unseparable shadow with it, and those oft prove the most fatall, and implacable Executioners of it, who were the first Imployers in the service.

After-times will dispute it, whether _Hotham_ were more infamous at _Hull_, or at _Tower-hill_; though 'tis certain that no punishment so stains a mans Honour, as wilfull expectations of unworthy actions; which besides the conscience of the sin, brands with most indeliable characters of infamy, the name and memory to posterity, who not engaged in the Faction of the times, have the most impartiall reflections on their actions.

_But thou, O Lord, who hast in so remarkable a way avenged thy Servant, suffer me not to take any secret pleasure in it, for as his death hath satisfied the injury he did to me, so let me not by it gratifie any passion in me, lest I make thy vengeance to be mine, and consider the affront against me, more than the sin against thee._

_Thou indeed, without any desire or endevor of mine, hast made his mischief to return on his own head, and his violent dealing to come down on his own pate._

_Thou hast pleaded my cause, even before the sons of men, and taken the matter into thine own hands; that men may know it was thy work and see that thou, Lord, hast done it._

_I do not, I dare not say, so let mine enemies perish._

_O Lord! yea Lord, rather give them repentance pardon and impunity, if it be thy blessed will._

_Let not thy justice prevent the objects and opportunities of my mercy; yea, let them live and amend who have most offended me in so high a nature; that I may have those to forgive; who bear most proportion in their offences to those trespasses against thy majesty, which I hope thy mercy hath forgiven me._

_Lord lay not their sinns (who yet live) to their charge for condemnation, but to their consciences for amendment: Let the Lightning of this thunderbolt, which hath been so severe a punishment to one, be a terrour to all._

_Discover to them their sinn, who know not they have done amiss, and scare them from their sin, that sin of malicious wickednss._

_That preventing thy judgments by their true repentance, they may escape the stroaks of thine eternal vengeance._

_And do Thou, O Lord, establish the Throne of thy Servant in mercie and truth meeting together; let my Crown ever flourish in righteousness and peace kissing each other._

_Hear my prayer, O Lord, who hast taught us to pray for, to doe good to, and to love our Enemies for thy sake; who hast prevented us with offertures of thy love, even when we were thine enemies, and hast sent thy Son Jesus Christ to die for us, when we were disposed to crucifie Him._

* * * * *

9. _Upon the lifting, and raising Armies against the_ KING.

I find that I am at the same point and posture I was, when they forced me to leave _White-hall_: what tumults could not do, an Army must; which is but Tumults lifted, and enrolled to a better order, but as bad an end: My recesse have given them confidence that I may be conquered.

And so I easily may as to any outward strength, which, God knows, is little or none at all: But I have a Soul invinciable through Gods Grace enabling Me; here I am sure to be Conquerour, if God will give me such a measure of Constancy, as to fear him more then man: and to love the inward peace of my Conscience, before any outward tranquillity.

And must I be opposed with force, because they have not reason whereby to convince me? O my Soule! be of good courage, they confesse their known weaknesse, as to truth, and Justice, who chose rather to contend by Armies, then by Arguments.

Is this the reward and thanks that I am to receive for those many acts of Grace I have lately passed, and for those many Indignities I have endured? Is there no way left to make Me a glorious KING, but by my sufferings?

It is a hard and disputable choice for a King that loves his People, and desires their love, either to kill his own Subjects, or to be killed by them.

Are the hazards and miseries of Civil War in the bowels of my most flourishing Kingdom, the fruits I must now reap after 17 yeers living and reigning among them with such a measure of Justice, Peace, Plenty, and Religion, as all Nations about either admired, or envied? notwithstanding some miscarriages in Government, which might escape, rather through ill counsell of some men driving on their private ends, or the peevishness of others envying the Publick should be managed without them, or the hidden and insuperable necessities of State, then any propensity, I hope, of my Self either to injuriousnesse or oppression.

Whose innocent bloud, during my Reign, have I shed, to satisfie my lust, anger, or covetousness? what Widows or Orphans tears can witnesse against me; the just cry of which must now be avenged with my Own bloud? For the hazards of War are equall, nor doth the Canon know any respect of persons.

In vain is my Person excepted by a Parenthesis of words, when so many hands are armed against me with Swords.

God knowes how much I have studied to see what Ground of Justice is alledged for this Warr against Me; that so I might (by giving just satisfaction) either prevent, or soon end so unnaturall a motion; which (to many men) seems rather the productions of a surfeit of peace and wantonness of mindes, or of private discontents, Ambition and Faction (which easily finde, or make causes of quarrell) then any reall obstructions of publique Justice, or Parliamentary Priviledg.

But this is pretended, and this I must be able to avoid and answer before God in My owne Conscience, however some men are not willing to beleeve Me, lest they should condemn themselves.

When I first with-drew from _White-hall_, to see if I could allay the insolency of the Tumults (for the not suppressing of which, no account in Reason can be given, (where an orderly Guard was granted) but only to oppress both Mine and the Two Houses freedome of declaring and voting according to every mans Conscience) what obstructions of Justice were there further then this, that what seemed just to one man, might not seem so to another?

Whom did I by power protect against the Justice of Parliament?

That some men with-drew, who feared the partiality of their tryall, (warned by my Lord of _Straffords_ death) while the vulgar threatned to be their Oppressors, and Judgers of their Judges, was from that instinct which is in all creatures to preserve themselves. If any others refused to appear, where they evidently saw the current of Justice and Freedom so stopped and troubled by the Rabble, that their lawfull Judges either durst not come to the House, or not declare their sense with liberty and safety; it cannot seem strange to any reasonable man, when the sole exposing them to publick _odium_ was enough to ruine them before their Cause could be heard or tryed.

Had not factious Tumults over-born the Freedom and Honour of the two Houses, had they asserted their Justice against them, and made the way open for all the Members quietly to come and declare their Consciences: I know no man so deer to Me, whom I had the least inclination to advise, either to withdraw himself, or deny appearing upon their Summons, to whose Sentence according to Law, I think every Subject bound to stand.

Distempers (indeed) were risen to so great a height for want of timely suppressing the vulgar insolencies, that the greatest guilt of those which were Voted and demanded as Delinquents, was this, That they would not suffer themselves to be over-awed by the Tumults, and their Patrons; nor compelled to abet by their suffrages, or presence; the designes of those men who agitated innovations and ruine both in Church and State.

In this point I could not but approve their generous constancie and cautiousness; further then this I did never allow any mans refractoriness against the Priviledges and Orders of the Houses; to whom I wished nothing more then Safetie, Fulness and Freedom.

But the truth is, some men and those not many, despairing in fair and Parliamentary waies by free Deliberations and Votes to gain the concurrence of the major part of Lords and Commons, betook themselves (by the desperate activitie of factious Tumults) to sift and terrifie away all those Members whom they saw to be of contrary minds to their purposes.

How oft was the businesse of the Bishops enjoying their ancient places, and undoubted Priviledges in the House of Peers, carried for them by far the Major part of Lords? Yet after five repulses, contrary to all Order and Custome, it was by Tumultuary instigations obtruded again, and by a few carried, when most of the Peers were forced to absent themselves.

In like manner as the Bill against Root and Branch, brought on by tumultuary Clamours, and schismaticall Terrours, which could never passe til both Houses were sufficiently thinned and over-awed.

To which partialitie, while in all Reason, Justice, and Religion, my Conscience forbids me, by consenting, to make up their Votes to Acts of Parliament, I must now be urged with an Armie, and constrained either to hazard my Own, and my Kingdoms ruine, by my Defence, or prostrate my Conscience to the blinde obedience of those men, whose zealous superstition thinks, or pretends, they cannot do God and the Church a greater service, then utterly to destroy that Primitive, Apostolicall, and anciently Universall Government of the Church by Bishops.

Which, if other mens judgments bind them to maintain, or forbids them to consent to the abolishing of it, mine much more; who, besides the grounds I have in my judgement, have also a most strict and indispensable Oath upon my Conscience, to preserve that Order, and the Rights of the Church; to which most Sacrilegious and abhorred Perjurie, most un-beseeming a Christian King, should I ever, by giving my consent, be betrayed, I should account it infinitely greater miserie, then any hath, or can befall me; in as much as the least sin hath more evill in it then the greatest affliction. Had I gratified their Anti-Episcopall Faction at first in this point with my Consent, and sacrificed the Ecclesiasticall Government and Revenues to the fury of their covetousness, ambition, and revenge, I beleeve they would then have found no colourable necessity of raising an Army to fetch in and punish Delinquents.

That I consented to the Bil of putting the Bishops out of the House of Peers, was done with a firm perswasion of their contentedness to suffer a present diminution in their Rights and Honour for my sake, and the Commonweals, which I was confident they would readily yeeld unto, rather then occasion (by the least obstruction on their part) any dangers to Me, or to my Kingdom. That I cannot add my consent for the totall extirpation of that Government (which I have often offered to all fit regulations) hath so much further tie upon My Conscience, as what I think Religious and Apostolicall, and so very sacred and Divine, is not to be dispensed with, or destroyed, when what is onely of civill Favour, and priviledge of Honour granted to men of that Order, may with their consent who are concerned in it, be annulled.

This is the true state of those obstructions pretended to be in point of Justice and Authority of Parliament; when I call God to witness, I know none of such consequence as was worth speaking of a War, being onely such as Justice, Reason and Religion had made in my own and other mens Consciences.

Afterwards indeed a great shew of Delinquents was made, which were but consequences necessarily following upon Mine, or others withdrawing from, or defence against violence: but those could not be the first occasion of raising an Army against Me. Wherein I was so far from preventing them, (as they have declared often, that they might seem to have the advantage and Justice of the defensive part, and load Me with all the envie and injuries of first assaulting them) that (God knows) I had not so much as any hopes of an Army in My thoughts. Had the Tumults been honourably and effectually repressed by exemplary justice, and the Liberty of the Houses so vindicated, that all Members of either House might with Honour and Freedom, becoming such a Senate, have come and discharged their Consciences, I had obtained all that I designed by My withdrawing, and had much more willingly and speedily returned, then I retired; this being My necessity driving, the other my choice desiring.

But some men knew, I was like to bring the same Judgment and Constancy which I carryed with Me, which would never fit their designes; and so while they invited Me to come, and grievously complained of My absence, yet they could not but be pleased with it: especially, when they had found out that plausible and popular pretexts of raising an Army to fetch in Delinquents: when all that while they never punished the greatest and most intolerable delinquencie of the Tumults, and their Exciters, which drave my Self, and so many of both Houses from their places, by most barbarous indignities; which yet in all Reason and Honour, they were as loath to have deserted, as those others were willing they should, that so they might have occasion to persecute them with the injuries of an Army, for not suffering more tamely the injuries of Tumults.

That this is the true state, and first drift and designe in raising an Army against me, is by the sequel so evident, that all other pretences vanish. For when they declared by Propositions, or Treaties, what they would have to appease them; there was nothing of consequence offered to Mee, or demanded of Mee, as any originall difference in any point of Law, or order of Justice. But among other lesser Innovations, this chiefly was urged, The Abolition of Episcopall, and the Establishment of Presbyterian Government.

All other things at any time propounded were either impertinent as to any ground of a War, or easily granted by me, and onely to make up a number; or else they were meerly consequentiall, and accessarie, after the War was by them unjustly began.

I cannot hinder other mens thoughts, whom the noise and shew of piety, and heat of Reformation and Religion, might easily so fill with prejudice, that all equality and clearness of judgement might be obstructed. But this was, and is, as to my best observation, the true state of affairs between Us, when they first raised an Armie, with this designe, either to stop my mouth, or to force my consent: and in this truth, as to my conscience, (who was God knowes, as far from meditating a War, as I was in the eye of the world, from having any preparation for one) I finde that comfort, that in the midst of all the unfortunate Successes of this War, on my side, I do not think my Innocency any whit prejudiced or darkned; Nor am I without that Integrity and Peace before God, as with humble confidence to address my Prayer to Him.

_For thou, O Lord, seest cleerly thorow all the cloudings of humane affairs: Thou judgest without prejudice: Thy Omniscience eternally guides thy unerrable Judgment._

_O my God, the proud are risen against Me, and the Assemblies of violent men have sought after my Soul, and have not set Thee before their eyes._

_Consider mine Enemies, O Lord, for they are many, and they hate me with a deadly hatred, without a cause._

_For thou knowest, I had no passion, design, or preparation to embroil My Kingdoms in a Civil War; whereto I had least temptation; as knowing I must adventure more then any, and could gain least of any by it._

_Thou, O Lord, art my witness, how oft I have deplored and studied to divert the necessity thereof, wherin I cannot well be thought so prodigally thirstie of my Subjects blood, as to venture my own life, which I have bin oft compelled to do in this unhappie War; and which were better spent to save then to destroy my people._

_O Lord, I need much of thy grace, with patience to bear the many afflictions thou hast suffered some men to bring upon me; but much more to bear the unjust reproaches of those, who not content that I suffer most by the War, will needs perswade the world that I have raised first, or given just cause to raise it._

_The confidence of some mens false tongues is such, that they would almost make me suspect my own innocencie: Yea, I could be content (at least by my silence) to take upon me so great a guilt before men, If by that I might allay the malice of mine enemies, and redeem my people from this miserable War; since thou, O Lord, knowest my innocencie in this thing._

_Thou wilt find out bloodie and deceitful men; many of whom have not lived out half their daies, in which they promised themselvs the enjoyment of the fruits of their violent and wicked Counsels._

_Save, O Lord, thy servant, as hitherto thou hast, and in thy due time scatter the people that delight in War._

_Arise, O Lord, lift up thy Self, because of the rage of mine enemies, which increaseth more and more. Behold them that have conceived mischief, travelled with iniquitie, and brought forth falshood._

_Thou knowest the chief designe of this War is, either to destroy my Person, or force my Judgement, and to make me renege my Conscience, and thy Truth._

_I am driven to crosse_ DAVIDS _choice, and desire rather to fall into the hands of men by denying them (though their mercie be cruell) then into thy hands by sinning against My Conscience, and in that against thee, who art a consuming fire: Better they destroy Me, then thou shouldest damn Me._

_Be thou the defence of My soul, who wilt save the upright in heart._

_If nothing but My blood will satisfie My Enemies, or quench the flames of My Kingdoms, or thy temporall Justice, I am content, if it be thy will, that it be shed by mine own Subjects hands._

_But O let the bloud of Me, though their King, yet a sinner, be washed with the blood of my Innocent cent and peace-making Redeemer, for in that thy Justice will finde not only a temporary expiation, but an eternall plenary satisfaction, both for my sins, and the sins of my People; whom I beseech thee still own for thine, and when thy wrath is appeased by my Death, O Remember thy great mercies towards them, and forgive them! O my Father, for they know not what they doe._

* * * * *

10. _Upon their seizing the Kings Magazines, Forts, Navy, and Militia._

How untruly I am charged with the first raising of an Army, and beginning this Civill Warre, the eyes that onely pitty Me, and the Loyall hearts that durst only pray for me, at first, might witnesse, which yet appear not so many on my side, as there were men in Armes lifted against me; my unpreparednesse for a War may well dis-hearten those that would help Me; while it argues (truly) my willingnes to fight; yet it testifies for me, that I am set on the defensive part; having so little hopes or power to defend others, that I have none to defend my self, or to preserve what is mine own from their proreption.

No man can doubt but they prevented me in their purposes, as well as their injuries, who are so much before-hand in their preparations against me, and surprisals of my Strength. Such as are not for Them, yet dare not be for Me; so over-aw'd is their Loyalty by the others numbers and terrours. I believe my innocency and unpreparedness to assert my Rights and Honour, makes me the more guilty in their esteems; who would not so easily have declared a War against me, if I had first assaulted them.

They knew, my chiefest Arms left me, were those only which the Ancient Christians were wont to use against their Persecutors, Prayers and Tears. These may serve a good mans turn, if not to conquer as a Souldier, yet to suffer as a Martyr.

Their preventing of me, and surprising my Castles, Forts, Arms and Navy, with the Militia, is so far best for me, That it may drive me from putting any trust in the arm of flesh, and wholly to cast my self into the protection of the living God, who can save by few or none, as well as by many.

He that made the greedy Ravens to be Elias Caterers, and bring him food, may also make their surprisall of outward force and defence, an opportunity to shew me the special support of his power and protection.

I thank God, I reckon not now the want of the _Militia_ so much in reference to my own protection, as my Peoples.

Their many and sore oppressions grieve me, I am above mine own: What I want in the hands of Force and Power, I have in the wings of Faith and Prayer.

But this is the strange method these men will needs take to resolve their riddle of Making Me a glorious King, by taking away my Kingly power: Thus I shall become a Support to my Friends, and a Terrour to my Enemies, by being unable to succour the one, or suppress the other.

For thus have they designed and proposed to me the new modeling of Soveraignty and Kingship, as without any reality of power, so without any necessity of subjection and obedience: That the Majesty of the Kings of England might hereafter hang like Mahomet's Tomb, by a magnetique Charm, between the Power and Priviledges of the two Houses, in an airy imagination of Regality.

But I beleeve the surfet of too much power, which some men have greedily seized on, and now seek wholly to devour, will ere long make the Common-wealth sick both of it and them, since they cannot well digest it; Soveraign Power in Subjects seldom agreeing with the stomacks of fellow-subjects.

Yet I have even in this point of the constant Militia, sought, by satisfying their fears and importunities, both to secure my Friends, and overcome mine Enemies, to gain the peace of all, by depriving my self of a sole power to help, or hurt any: yeelding the Militia, (which is my undoubted Right no less then the Crown) to be disposed of as the two Houses shall think fit, during my time.

So willing am I to bury all jealousies in them of me, and to live above all jealousies of them, as to my self; I desire not to be safer then I wish them and my People: If I had the sole actuall disposing of the Militia, I could not protect my People, further then they protected Me and Themselves: so that the use of the Militia is mutuall. I would but defend my self so far, as to be able to defend my good Subjects from those mens violence and fraud, who conscious to their own evill merits and designes, will needs perswade the world, that none but Wolves are fit to be trusted with the custody of the Shepherd and his Flock. Miserable experience hath taught my Subjects, since power hath been wrested from Me, and imployed against Me and Them, that neither can be safe, if both be not in such a way as the Law hath intrusted the publike safety and welfare.

Yet even this Concession of mine, as to the exercise of the Militia, so vast and large, is not satisfactory to some men; which seem to be Enemies not to me only, but to all Monarchy; and are resolved to transmit to posterity such Jealousies of the Crown, as they should never permit it to enjoy its just and necessary Rights in point of power; to which (at last) all Law is resolved, while thereby it is best protected.

But here Honour and Justice due to my Successors, forbid me to yeeld to such total alienation of that power from them, which civility and duty, no less then Justice and Honour should have forbad them to have asked of me.

For, although I can be content to Eclypse my own beams, to satisfie their fears; who think they must needs be scorched or blinded, if I should shine in the full lustre of Kingly power wherewith God and the Laws have invested me: Yet I will never consent to put out the Sun of Soveraignty to all posterity, and succeeding Kings; whose just recovery of their Rights from unjust Usurpations and Extortions, shall never be prejudiced or obstructed by any Act of mine; which indeed, would not be more injurious to succeeding Kings, then to my Subjects; whom I desire to leave in a condition not wholly desperate for the future; so as by a Law to be ever subjected to those many factious distractions, which must needs follow the many-headed _Hydra_ of Government: which as it makes a shew to the people to have more eyes to foresee; so they will find it hath more mouths too, which must be satisfied: and (at best) it hath rather a monstrosity, then any thing of perfection, beyond that of right Monarchy; where counsell may be in many as the senses, but the Supreme Power can be but in One as the Head.

Happily where men have tried the horrours and malignant influence which will certainly follow my enforced darkness and Eclypse, (occasioned by the interposition and shadow of that body, which as the Moon receiveth its chiefest lights from me) which will at length more esteem and welcome the restored glory and blessing of the Suns light.

And if at present I may seem by My receding so much from the use of my Right in the Power of the _Militia_, to come short of the discharge of that trust to which I am sworn for my peoples protection; I conceive those men are guilty of the inforced perjury; (if so it may seem) who compell me to take this new and strange way of discharging my trust, by seeming to desert it; of protecting my Subjects, by exposing my self to danger or dishonour, for their safety and quiet.

Which in the conflicts of Civill War and advantages of power, cannot be effected but by some side yeilding; to which the greatest love of the publique peace, and the firmest assurance of Gods protection (arising from a good Conscience) doth more invite me, then can be expected from other mens fears; which arising from the injustice of their actions (though never so successfull) yet dare not adventure their Authours upon any other way of safety then that of the Sword and Militia; which yet are but weak defences against the stroaks of divine Vengeance, which will overtake; or of mens own Consciences, which alwayes attend injurious perpetrations.

For my self, I do not think that I can want any thing which providential necessity is pleased to take from me, in order to my Peoples tranquillity and Gods glory, whose protection is sufficient for me; and he is able by his being with me, abundantly to compensate to me, as he did to Job, what-ever Honour, Power, or Liberty the Chaldeans, the Sabeans, or the Divel himself can deprive me of.

Although they take from me all defence of Arms and Militia, all refuge by Land of Forts and Castles, all flight by Sea in my Ships and Navie; yea, though they study to rob me of the Hearts of my Subjects, the greatest Treasure and best Ammunition of a King; yet cannot they deprive me of my own innocencie, or Gods mercie, nor obstruct my way to heaven.

_Therefore, O my God, to thee I fly for help; if thou wilt be on my side, I shall have more with me then can be against me._

_There is none in Heaven, or in Earth that I desire in comparison of thee: In the losse of all, be thou more then all to me: Make haste to succour me, thou that never failest them that put their trust in thee._

_Thou seest I have no power to oppose them that come against me, who are encouraged to fight under pretence of fighting for me: But my eies are towards thee._

_Thou needest no help, nor shall I, if I may have thine; if not to conquer, yet at least to suffer._

_If thou delightest not in my safety, and prosperity, behold here I am willing to be reduced to what thou wilt have me; whose Judgements oft begin with thy own Children._

_I am content to be nothing that thou maiest be all._

_Thou hast taught me, that no King can be saved by the multitude of an host; but yet Thou canst save me by the multitude of Thy mercies, who art the Lord of Hosts, and the Father of mercies._

_Help me, O Lord, who am sore distressed on every side, yet be thou on my side, and I shall not fear what man can do unto me._

_I will give thy Justice the glorie of my distress._

_I let thy mercie have the glorie of my deliverance from them that persecute my soul:_

_By my sins have I fought against Thee, and robbed thee of thy glory, who am thy subject; and justly maist thou by my own Subjects, strip me of my strength, and eclipse my glory._

_But shew thy self, O my hope and only refuge! Let not mine enemies say, There is no help for him in his God._

_Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not._

_Keep me as the apple of thine eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings._

_Shew thy marvelous loving kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them that put their trust in thee, from those that rise up against them;_

_From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies that compass me about._

_Shew me the path of life. In thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore._

* * * * *

11. _Upon the 19 Propositions first sent to the_ KING; _and more afterwards._

Although there be many things, they demand, yet if these be all, I am glad to see at what price they set my own safety, and my peoples peace; which I cannot think I buy at too dear a rate, save only the parting with my Conscience and Honor. If nothing else will satisfie, I must chuse rather to be as miserable and inglorious, as My enemies can make or wish me.

Some things here propounded to me have been offered by me; others are easily granted; The rest (I think) ought not to be obtruded upon me, with the point of the sword; nor urged with the injuries of a Warr; when I have already declared that I cannot yeeld to them, without violating my Conscience: 'tis strange, there can be no method of peace, but by making war upon my soul.

Here are many things required of me, but I see nothing offer'd to me, by the way of gratefull Exchange of Honour; or any requitall or those favours, I have, or can yet grant them.

This Honour they do me, to put Me on the giving part, which is more princely and divine. They cannot ask more then I can give, may I but reserve to my Self the incommunicable Jewell of my Conscience; and not be forced to part with that, whose loss nothing can repair or requite.

Some things (which they are pleased to propound) seem unreasonable to Me; and while I have any mastery of my Reason, how can they think I can consent to them; who know they are such as are inconsistent with being either a King, or a good Christian? My yeilding so much (as I have already) makes some men confident I will deny nothing.

The love I have of my peoples peace, hath (indeed) great influence upon Me; but the love of truth and inward peace hath more.

Should I grant some things they require, I should not so much weaken my outward state of a King, as wound that inward quiet of my Conscience; which ought to be, is, and ever shall be (by Gods Grace) dearer to Me then my Kingdoms.

Some things which a King might approve, yet in Honour and Policy are at some time to be denied, to some men, lest he should seem not to dare to deny any thing; and give too much incouragement to unreasonable demands or importunities.

But to bind my Self to a generall and implicite consent to what-ever they shall desire or propound, (for such is one of their Propositions) were such a latitude of blind obedience, as never was expected from any Free-men, nor fit to be required of any man, much less of a King by his own Subjects; any of whom he may possibly exceed as much in wisdom, as he doth in place and power.

This were, as if _Samson_ should have consented, not only to bind his own hands, and cut off his hair, but to put out his own eys, that the Philistins might with the more safety mock and abuse him; which they chose rather to do, then quite destroy him, when he was become so tame an object, and fit occasion for their sport and scorn.

Certainly, to exclude all power of denyall, seems an arrogancy least of all becoming those who pretend to make their Addresses in an humble and loyall way of petitioning; who by that, sufficiently confess their own inferiority, which obligeth them to rest, if not satisfied, yet quieted, with such an Answer as the Will and Reason of their Superiour thinks fit to give; who is acknowledged to have a freedom and power of Reason, to Consent or Dissent, else it were very foolish and absurd to ask, what another having not liberty to deny, neither hath power to grant.

But if this be my Right belonging to Me, in Reason as a Man, and in Honour as a Soveraign King (as undoubtedly it doth) how can it be other then extreme injury to confine my Reason to a necessity of granting all they have a mind to ask, whose minds may be as differing from mine, both in reason and honour, as their aims may be, and their qualities are? which last God and the Laws have sufficiently distinguisht, making me their Soveraign, and them my Subjects: whose Propositions may soon prove violent oppositions, if once they gain to be necessary impositions upon the Regall Authority; Since no man seeks to limit and confine his King in Reason, who hath not a secret aim to share with him, or usurp upon him in Power and Dominion.

But they would have me trust to their moderation, and abandon mine own discretion; that so I might verifie what representations some have made of me to the world, that I am fitter to be their Pupil then their Prince. Truly, I am not so confident of my own sufficiency, as not willingly to admit the Counsel of others: But yet I am not so diffident of my self, as brutishly to submit to any mans dictates, and at once to betray the Soveraignty of Reason in my soul, and the Majesty of my own Crown to any of my Subjects.

Least of all have I any ground of credulity, to induce me fully to submit to all the desires of those men, who will not admit, or do refuse, and neglect to vindicate the freedom of their own and others Sitting and Voting in Parliament.

Besides, all men that knew them, knew this, how young States-men the most part of these propounders are; so that till experience of one seven years have shewed me how well they can govern themselves, and so much power as is wrested from me, I should be very foolish indeed, and unfaithful in my Trust, to put the reins of both Reason and Government wholly out of my Own, into their hands, whose driving is already too much like _Jehues_; and whose forwardnesse to ascend the throne of Supremacie pretends more of _Phaeton_ then of _Phebus_; God divert the Omen of his will.

They may remember that at best they sit in Parliament, as my Subjects, not my Superiours: called to be My Counsellours, not Dictatours: Their Summons extends to recommend their Advice, not to command my Dutie.

When I first heard of Propositions to be sent me, I expected either some good Laws which had been antiquated by the course of time, or overlaid by the corruption of manners, had been desired to a restauration of their vigour and due execution; or some evil Customs preterlegall, and abuses personall had been to be removed: or some injuries done by my Self, and others, to the Common-weal, were to be repaired: or some equable offertures were to be tendred to Me, wherein the advantages of my Crown being considered by them, might fairly induce me to condescend to what tended to my Subjects good, without any great diminution of my Self, whom Nature, Law, Reason and Religion binde Me (in the first place) to preserve; without which 'tis impossible to preserve my people according to my place.

Or (at least) I looked for such moderate desires of due Reformation of what was (indeed) amisse in Church and State, as might still preserve the foundation and essentials of Government in both; not shake and quite overthrow either of them, without any regard to the Laws in force, the wisdom and piety of former Parliaments, the ancient, and universall practice of Christian Churches; the Rights and Priviledges of particular men: Nor yet any thing offered in lieu, or in the room of what must be destroyed, which might at once reach the good end of the others Institution, and also supply its pretended defects, reform its abuses, and satisfie sober and wise men, not with soft and specious words, pretending zeal, and special piety, but with pregnant and solid Reasons, both divine and humane, which might justifie the abruptnesse and necessity of such vast Alterations.

But in all their Propositions I can observe little of these kindes, or to these ends: Nothing of any Laws dis-jointed, which are to be restored; of any right invaded; of any justice to be unobstructed; of any compensations to be made; of any impartiall Reformation to be granted: to all or any of which Reason, Religion, true Policy, or any other humane motives might induce Me.

But as to the main matters propounded by them at any time, in which is either great novelty or difficulty, I perceive, that what were formerly look'd upon as Factions in the State, and Schisms in the Church, and so punishable by the Laws, have now the confidence, by vulgar clamours, and assistance (chiefly) to demand not onely Tolerations of themselves, in their vanity, novelty, and confusion; but also Abolition of the Laws against them, and a totall extirpation of that Government, whose Rights they have a mind to invade.

This as to the main: Other Propositions are (for the most part) but as waste paper in which those are wrapped up, to present them somewhat more handsomly.

Nor do I so much wonder at the variety, and horrible noveltie of some Propositions, (there being nothing so monstrous, which some fancies are not prone to long for).

This casts me into, not an admiration, but an extasie, how such things should have the fortune to be propounded in the name of the two Houses of the Parliament of England, among whom, I am very confident, there was not a fourth part of the Members of either House, whose Judgements free, single and apart did approve or desire such destructive changes in the Government of the Church.

I am perswaded there remains in far the Major part of both Houses (if free and full) so much Learning, Reason, Religion, and just Moderation, as to know how to sever between the use and the abuse of things, the institution and the corruption, the Government and the mis-government, the Primitive Patterns and the aberrations or blottings of after-Copies.

Sure they could not at all, upon so little, or no Reason (as yet produced to the contrary) so soon renounce all regard to the Laws in force, to antiquity, to the piety of their Reforming progenitors, to the prosperity of former times in this Church and State, under the present Government of the Church.

Yet, by a strange fatality, these men suffer, either by their absence, or silence, or negligence, or supine credulity (beleeving that all is good, which is guilded with shewes of Zeal and Reformation) their private dissenting in Judgement to be drawn into the common sewer or streame of the present vogue and humour; which hath its chief rise and abetment from those popular clamors and tumults: which served to give life and strength to the infinite activity of those men, who studied with all diligence, and policy, to improve to their innovating designes, the present distractions.

Such Armies of Propositions having so little, in my judgment, of Reason, Justice, and Religion on their side, as they had Tumult and Faction for their rise, must not go alone, but ever be backt and seconded, with Armies of Souldiers; Though the second should prevaile against my Person, yet that first shall never overcome me further then I see cause; for, I look not at their number and power, so much as I weigh their Reason and Justice.

Had the two Houses first sued out their Livery, and once effectually redeemed themselves from the Wardship of the Tumults, (which can be no other then the Hounds that attend the cry and hollow of those men, who hunt after factions and private Designes, to the ruine of Church and State.)

Did my Judgement tell Me, that the propositions sent to Me were the Results of the major part of their Votes, who exercise their freedom, as well as they have a right to sit in Parliament: I should then suspect my Own judgment, for not speedily and fully concurring with every one of them.

For, I have charity enough to think there are wise men among them: and humility to think, that, as in some things I may want, so 'tis fit I should use their advice, which is the end for which I called them to a Parliament. But yet I cannot allow their wisdom such a compleatness and inerrability as to exclude my Self; since none of them hath that part to act, that Trust to discharge, nor that Estate and Honour to preserve, as my Self; without whose Reason concurrent with theirs (as the Suns influence is necessary in all Natures, productions) they cannot beget, or bring forth any one compleat and authoritative Act of publick wisdom, which makes the Laws.

But the unreasonableness of some Propositions is not more evident to me then this is, That they are not the joynt and free desires of those in their Major number, who are of right to Sit and Vote in Parliament.

For, many of them favour very strong of that old leaven of Innovations, masked under the name of Reformation; (which in my Two last famous Predecessours days heaved, at, and sometime threatned both Prince and Parliaments:) But, I am sure, was never wont so far to infect the whole masse of the Nobility and Gentry of this Kingdom; how-ever it dispersed among the Vulgar: Nor was it likely so suddenly to taint the Major part of both Houses, as that they should unanimously desire, and effect so enormous and dangerous innovations in Church and State, contrary to their former education, practice, and judgment.

Not that I am ignorant, how the choice of many Members was carried by much Faction in the Countries; some thirsting after nothing more then a passionate revenge of what-ever displeasure they had conceived against Me, my Court, or the Clergy.

But all Reason bids me impute these sudden and vast desires of change to those few, who armed themselves with the many-headed, and many-handed Tumults.

No less doth Reason, Honour, and Safety both of Church and State command me to chew such morsels before I let them down; If the straitness of my Conscience will not give me leave to swallow down such Camels, as others do, of Sacriledge, and injustice both to God and man, they have no more cause to quarrell with me, then for this, that my throat is not so wide as theirs. Yet, by Gods help, I am resolved, That nothing of passion or peevishnesse, or list to contradict, or vanity to shew my negative power, shall have any byas upon my judgment, to make me gratifie my will, by denying any thing which my Reason and Conscience commands me not.

Nor on the other side, will I consent to more then Reason, Justice, Honor and Religion perswade me to be, for Gods glory, the Churches good, my Peoples welfare, and my own peace.

I will study to satisfie my Parliament, and my People; but I will never for fear, or flatterie gratifie any Faction, how potent soever; for this were to nourish the disease, and oppresse the body.

Although many mens loyalty and prudence are terrified from giving me, that free and faithfull counsel, which they are able and willing to impart, and I may want; yet none can hinder me from craving of the councell of that mighty Counsellor who can both suggest what is best, and incline my heart stedfastly to follow it.

_O thou first and eternal Reason; whose wisdom is fortified with omnipotencie, furnish thy servant, first with clear discoveries of Truth, Reason and Justice in My understanding; then so confirm my will and resolution to adhere to them, that no terrors, injuries or oppressions of mine enemies may ever inforce me against those rules, which thou by them hast planted in My Conscience._

_Thou never madest me a King, that I should be less then a Man; and not dare to say, Yea, or Nay, as I see cause; which freedom is not denied to the meanest creature that hath the use of Reason, and liberty of speech._

_Shall that be blameable in me, which is commendable veracity and constancy in others?_

_Thou seest, O Lord, with what partiallity, and injustice, they deny that freedom to me their_ KING, _which Thou hast given to all men; and which Themselves pertinaciously challenge to themselves, while they are so tender of the least breach of their priviledges._

_To thee I make my supplication, who canst guide us by an unerring rule, through the perplexed Labyrinths of our own thoughts, and other mens Proposals; which I have some cause to suspect, are purposely cast as snares, that by My granting or denying them, I might be more entangled in those difficulties, wherewith they lie in wait to afflict me._

_O Lord, make thy way plain before Me._

_Let not my own sinful passions cloud, or divert thy sacred suggestions._

_Let thy Glory be my end, thy Word my rule, and then thy will be done._

_I cannot please all, I care not to please some men; if I may be happie to please thee, I need not fear whom I displease._

_Thou that makest the wisdome of the world foolishnesse, and takest in their own devices, such as are wise in their own conceits, make Me wise by thy Truth, for thy honor, my Kingdoms generall good, and my own souls salvation, and I shall not much regard the worlds opinion or diminution of Me._

_The lesse of wisdome they are willing to impute to Me, the more they shall be convinced of thy Wisdom directing Me, while I deny nothing fit to be granted, out of crosnesse or humour; nor grant any thing which is to be denied, out of any fear or flatterie of men._

_Suffer me not to be guiltie or unhappie, by willing or inconsiderate advancing any mens designes, which are injurious to the publique good, while I confirm them by My consent._

_Nor let Me be any occasion to hinder or defraud the Publick of what is best, by any morose or perverse dissentings._

_Make Me so humbly charitable, as to follow their advice, when it appears to be for the publick good; of whose affections to me, I have yet but few evidencies to assure Me._

_Thou canst as well blesse honest errours, as blast fraudulent counsels._

_Since we must give an account of every evill and idle word in private, at thy Tribunall; Lord make me carefull of those solemne Declarations of mine which are like to have the greatest influence upon the Publique, either for woe, or weale._

_The lesse others consider what they aske, make me the more solicitous what I answer._

_Though Mine own, and My Peoples pressures are grievous, and peace would be very pleasing; yet Lord, never suffer Me to avoid the one, or purchase the other, with the least expense or wast of my Conscience; whereof thou, O Lord, onely art deservedly more Master then my self._

* * * * *

12. _Upon the Rebellion, and troubles in_ Ireland.

The Commotions in _Ireland_ were so sudden, and so violent, that it was hard at first either to discern the rise, or apply a remedie to that precipitant Rebellion.

Indeed that Sea of blood, which hath there bin cruelly & barbarously shed, is enough to drown any man in eternall both infamy and misery, whom God shall find the malicious Author or Instigator of its effusion.

It fell out, as a most unhappy advantage to some mens malice against me; that when they had impudence enough to lay any thing to my charge, this bloody oppertunity should be offered them, with which I must be aspersed. Although there was nothing which could be more abhorred to me, being so ful of sin against God, disloyalty to myself, and destructive to my Subjects.

Some men took it very ill not to be beleeved, when they affirmed, that what the Irish Rebels did, was done with my privitie (at least) if not by my Commission: But these knew too well, that it is no news for som of my Subjects to fight not only without my Commission, but against my Command, and Person too, yet all the while to pretend, they fight by my Authoritie, and for my safety.

I would to God the _Irish_ had nothing to alledge for their imitation against those whose blame must needs be the greater, by how much Protestant Principles are more against all Rebellion against Princes, then those of Papists. Nor wil the goodnes of mens intentions excuse the scandall, and contagion of their examples.

But who ever fail of their Dutie toward me, I must bear the blame; this honour my enemies have alwayes done me, to think moderate injuries not proportionate to me, nor competent trials, either of my patience under them, or my pardon of them.

Therefore with exquisite malice they have mixed the gall and vinegar of falsity and contempt, with the cup of my Affliction; charging Me not only with untruths, but such, as wherin I have the greatest share of loss & dishonor by what is comitted; wherby, (in all policy, reason and Religion, having least cause to give the least consent, and most grounds of utter detestation) I might be represented by them to the world, the more inhumane and barbarous: Like some Cyclopick monster, whom nothing will serve to eat and drink, but the flesh and bloud of my own Subjects; in whose common welfare my interest lies, as much as some mens doth in their perturbations: who think they cannot do wel but in evil times; nor so cunningly, as in laying the _odium_ of those sad events on others, wherewith themselves are most pleased, and whereof they have been not the least occasion.

And certainly, 'tis thought by many wise men, that the preposterous rigour and unreasonable severity, which some men carried before them in _England_, was not the least incentive, that kindled, and blew up into those horrid flames, the sparks of discontent, which wanted not pre-disposed fewel for Rebellion in _Ireland_; where dispair being added to their former discontents, and the fear of utter extirpation to their wonted oppressions, it was easie to provoke to an open Rebellion a people prone enough to break out into all exorbitant violence, both by some principles of their Religion, and the naturall desires of liberty; both to exempt themselves from their present restraints, and to prevent those after rigours, wherewith they saw themselves apparantly threatned by the covetous zeal and uncharitable fury of some men, who think it a great Argument of the truth of their Religion, to endure no other but their own.

God knows, as I can with truth wash my hands in innocency, as to any guilt in that Rebellion; so I might wash them in my tears, as to the sad apprehensions I had to see it spread so far, and make such waste: and this in a time when distractions and jealousies here in _England_ made most men rather intent to their own safety, or designes they were driving, then to the relief of those who were every day inhumanely butchered in Ireland: Whose tears and bloud might, if nothing else, have quenched, or at least for a time, repressed and smothered those sparks of Civill Dissentions and Jealousies which in England some men most industriously scattered.

I would to God no man had been less affected with Irelands' sad estate then my self; I offered to go my Self in person upon that Expedition: But some men were either affraid I should have any one Kingdom quieted; or loth they were to shoot at any mark here less then my Self; or that any should have the glory of my destruction but themselves. Had my many offers been accepted, I am confident, neither the ruin had been so great, nor the calamity so long, nor the remedy so desperate.

So that, next to the sin of those who began that Rebellion, theirs must needs be, who either hindred the speedy suppressing of it by Domestick Dissentions, or diverted the Aids, or exasperated the Rebels to the most desperate resolutions and actions, by threatning all extremities, not onely to the known Heads and chiefe incendiaries, but even to the whole Community of that Nation; resolving to destroy Root and Branch, men, women, and children; without any regard to those usuall pleas for mercy which Conquerours, not wholly barbarous, are wont to bear from their own brests, in behalf of those, whose oppressive faces, rather then their malice, engaged them; or whose imbecility for Sex and Age was such, as they could neither lift up a hand against them, nor distinguish between their right hand and their left: Which preposterous (and I think) un-Evangelicall zeal is too like that of the rebuked Disciples, who would go no lower in their revenge, then to call for fire from Heaven upon whole Cities, for the repulse and neglect of a few; or like that of _Jacob_'s sons, which the Father both blamed and cursed: chusing rather to use all extreamities, which might drive men to desperate obstinacy, then to apply moderate remedies; such as might punish some with exemplary Justice, yet disarm others, with tenders of mercy upon their submission, & our protection of them, from the fury of those, who would soon drown them, if they refused to swim down the popular stream with them.

But som kind of Zeal counts all merciful moderation, luke-warmness; and had rather be cruel then counted cold, and is not seldom more greedy to kill the Bear for his skin, then for any harm he hath done. The confiscation of mens estates being more beneficiall, then the charity of saving their lives, or reforming their Errors.

When all proportionable succors of the poor Protestants in _Ireland_ (who were daily massacred and over-born with numbers of now desperate Enemies) was diverted and obstructed here; I was earnestly entreated, & generally advised by the chief of the Protestant party there, to get them some respite and breathing by a cessation, without which they saw no probability (unless by miracle) to preserve the remnant that had yet escaped: God knows with how much commiseration and solicitous caution I carried on that business, by persons of Honor and Integrity, that so I might neither incourage the Rebels Insolence, nor discourage the Protestants Loyaltie and Patience.

Yet when this was effected in the best sort, that the necessity and difficulty of affairs would then permit, I was then to suffer again in my Reputation and Honor; because I suffered not the Rebels utterly to devour the remaining handfuls of the Protestants there.

I thought that in all reason, the gaining of that respite could not be so much to the Rebels advantages (which some have highly calumniated against me) as it might have been for the Protestants future, as well as present safety: If during the time of that Cessation, some men had the grace to have laid _Ireland_'s sad condition more to heart; & laid aside those violent motions, which were here carried on by those, that had better skill to let blood then to stanch it.

But in all the misconstructions of my actions, (which are prone to find more credulity in men to what is false, and evil, then love or charity to what is true and good) as I have no Judge but God above me, so I can have comfort to appeal to his omniscience, who doth not therefore deny my Innocence, because he is pleased so far to try my patience, as he did his servant _Job_'s.

I have enough to do to look to my own Conscience, and the faithfull discharge of my Trust as a King: I have scarce leisure to consider those swarms of reproches, which issue out of some mens mouths & hearts, as easily as smoke, or sparks do out of a furnace: Much lesse to make such prolix Apologies, as might give those men satisfaction: who conscious to their own depth of wickednesse are loth to beleeve any man not to be as bad as themselves.

'Tis Kingly to do well, and hear ill: If I can but act the one, I shall not much regard to bear the other.

I thank God, I can hear with patience as bad as my worst enemies can safly say. And I hope I shall still do better then they desire, or deserve I should.

I beleeve it will at last appear, that they who first began to embroil my other Kingdoms, are in great part guilty, if not of the first letting out, yet of the not timely stopping those horrid effusions of bloud in _Ireland_.

Which (whatever my Enemies please to say, or think) I look upon, as that of my other kingdoms, exhausted out of my own veins: no man being so much weakened by it as my Self: And I hope, though mens unsatiable cruelties never wil, yet the Mercy of God will at length say to his Justice, _It is enough_; and command the sword of Civil Wars to sheath it self: his mercifull Justice intending, I trust, not our utter confusion, but our cure: the abatement of our sins, not the desolation of these Nations.

_O my God, let those infinite mercies prevent us once again, which I and my Kingdoms have formerly abused, and can never deserve, should be restored._

_Thou seest how much cruelty among Christians is acted under the colour of Religion; as if we could not be Christians, unless we crucifie one another._

_Because we have no more loved thy truth, and practised in charitie, thou hast suffered a Spirit of Errour and bitterness, of mutuall and mortall hatred to rise among us._

_O Lord, forgive wherein we have sinned, and sanctifie what we have suffered._

_Let our repentance be our recovery, as our great sins have been our ruine._

_Let not the miseries I and my Kingdoms have hitherto suffered seem small to thee: but make our sins appear to our consciences, as they are represented in the glass of thy Judgements; for thou never punishest small failings, with so severe afflictions._

_O therefore, according to the multitude of thy great mercies, pardon our sinnes, and remove thy judgments, which are very many, and very heavy._

_Yet let our sins be ever more grievous to us, then thy judgments; and make us more willing to repent, then to be relieved; first give us the grace of penitent consciences, and then the tranquillitie of united Kingdomes._

_In the Sea of our Saviours Blood drown our sins, and through this red sea of our own Blood bring us at last to a state of Piety, Peace and Plenty._

_As my publick relations to all, make me share in all my Subjects suffering; so give me such a pious sense of them, as becoms a Christian King, and a loving father of my people._

_Let the scandalous and unjust reproaches cast upon me, be as a breath, more to kindle my compassion; Give me grace to heap charitable coales of fire upon their heads to melt them, whose malice or cruel zeal hath kindled, or hindred the quenching of those flames, which hath so much wasted my three Kingdoms._

_O rescue and assist those poor Protestants in IRELAND, whom thou hast hitherto preserved._

_And lead those in the ways of thy saving Truths, whose Ignorance or Errors have filled them with rebellious and destructive Principles, which they act under an opinion, That they do thee good service._

_Let the hand of thy justice be against those, who malitiously and despightfully have raised or fomented these cruel and desperate Wars._

_Thou that art far from destroying the innocent with the guilty, & the erroneous with the malicious; thou that hadst pitty on_ Niniveh _for the many children that were therein, give not over the whole stock of that populous and seduced Nation, to the wrath of those, whose covetousness makes them cruel; nor to their anger, which is too fierce, and therefore justly cursed._

_Preserve, if it be thy will, in the midst of the furnace of thy severe justice, a Posterity which may praise thee for thy mercie._

_And deal with me, not according to mans unjust reproaches, but according to the innocency of my Hands in thy sight._

_If I have desired or delighted in the wofull day of my Kingdoms calamities, If I have not earnestly studied, and faithfully endeavoured the preventing and composing of these bloody Distractions; then let thy hand be against me and my Fathers House. O Lord thou seest I have enemies enough of men; as I need not, so should I not dare thus to imprecate thy curse on me and mine, if my Conscience did not witnesse my integrity, which thou, O Lord, knowest right well. But I trust not to my own merit, but thy mercies; spare us, O Lord, and be not angry with us for ever._

* * * * *

_13. Upon the calling in of the_ SCOTS, _and their Comming._

The _Scots_ are a Nation, upon whom I have not onely common ties of Nature, Soveraignty, and Bounty, with My Father of blessed memory; but also speciall and late obligations of favours, having gratified the active Spirits among them so far, that I seemed to many to prefer the desires of that party, before My own interest and honor. But, I see, Royall bountie emboldens some men to ask, and act beyond all bounds of modesty and gratitude.

My charity, and Act of Pacification, forbids Me to reflect on former passages, wherin I shal ever be far from letting any mans ingratitude, or inconstancy, make me repent of what I granted them for the publique good: I pray God it may so prove.

The coming again of that Party into _England_, with an Army only to conforme this Church to their late New model, cannot but seem as unreasonable, as they would have thought the same measure offered from hence to themselves.

Other errand I could never understand, they had, (besides those common and vulgar flourishes for Religion and Liberty) save only to confirme the Presbyterian Copy they had set, by making this Church to write after them, though it were in bloudy Characters.

Which design and end, whether it will justifie the use of such violent means, before the divine Justice, I leave to their Consciences to judge, who have already felt the misery of the means, but not reaped the benefit of the end, either in this Kingdom, or that.

Such knots and crosseness of grain being objected here, as will hardly suffer that form which they cry up, as the only just reformation, and settling of Government and Discipline in Churches to go on so smoothly here, as it might do in _Scotland_; and was by them imagined would have done in _England_, when so many of the _English_ Clergy, through levity, or discontent, if no worse passion, suddenly quitted their former engagements to Episcopacy, and faced about to their Presbytery.

It cannot but seem either passion, or some self-seeking, more then true Zeal, and pious discretion, for any forraign State or Church to prescribe such medicins only for others, which themselves have used, rather successefully then commendably; not considering that the same Physick on different constitutions, will have different operations: That may kill one, which doth but cure another.

Nor do I know any such tough and malignant humours in the constitution of the _English_ Church, which gentler applications then those of an Army, might not easily have removed: Nor is it so proper to hew out Religious Reformations by the sword, as to polish them by fair & equal disputations among those that are most concerned in the differences, whom not force, but reason ought to convince.

But their design now seemed rather to cut off all disputation here, then to procure a fair and equal one: For it was concluded there, That the _English_ Clergy must conform to the _Scots_ pattern before ever they could be heard, what they could say for themselves, or against the others way.

I could have wished fairer proceedings both for their credits, who urge things with such violence; and for other mens Consciences too; who can receive litle satisfaction in these points which are maintained rather by Souldiers fighting in the Field, then Scholars disputing in free and learned Synods.

Sure in matters of Religion those truths gain most on mens Judgments and Consciences, which are least urged with secular violence, which weakens truth with prejudices; and is unreasonable to be used, till such means of rational conviction hath been applied, as leaving no excuse for ignorance, condemns mens obstinacy to deserved penalties.

Which no charity will easily suspect of so many learned and pious Church-men in _England_; who being alwaies bred up, and conformable to the Government of Episcopacy, cannot so soon renounce both their former opinion & practice, only because that Party of the _Scots_ will needs, by force assist a like Party here, either to drive all Ministers as sheep, into the common fold of Presbyterie, or destroy them; at least fleece them, by depriving them of the benefit of their Flocks. If the _Scotch_ sole Presbyterie were approved to be the only Institution of Jesus Christ, for all Churches Government; yet I beleeve it would be hard to prove that Christ had given those _Scots_, or any other of my Subjects, Comission by the Sword, to set it up in any of my Kingdomes, without my consent.

What respect and obedience Christ and his Apostles payd to the chief governors of States, where they lived, is very cleer in the Gospel: but that he, or they ever commanded to set up such a parity of Presbyters, and in such a way as those _Scots_ endeavour, I think is not very disputable.

If Presbyterie in such a Supremacy be an institution of Christ, sure it differs from all others: and is the first and only point of Christianity, that was to be planted and watered with so much Christian bloud; whose effusions run in a stream so contrary to that of the Primitive planters, both of Christianity and Episcopacy, which was with patient shedding of their own bloud, not violently drawing other mens: sure there is too much of Man in it, to have much of Christ; none of whose institutions were carried on, or begun with the temptations of Covetousness or Ambition, of both which this is vehemently suspected.

Yet was there never any thing upon the point which those _Scots_ had by an Army or Commissioners to move Me with, by their many Solemn obtestations, and pious threatnings, but only this, to represent to me the wonderful necessity of setting up their Presbytery in _England_, to avoid the further miseries of a War, which some men chiefly on this design at first had begun, & now further engaged themselves to continue.

What hinders that any Sects, Schisms, or Heresies, if they can get but numbers, strength and opportunity, may not, according to this opinion and pattern, set up their wayes by the like methods of violence? all which Presbitery seeks to suppresse, & render odious under those names: when wise & learned men think, that nothing hath more marks of Schism, and Sectarism, then this Presbyterian way, both as to the Ancient, and still most Universal way of the Church-government, and especially as to the particular Laws and Constitutions of this _English_ Church, which are not yet repealed, nor are like to be for me, till I see more Rational and Religious motives, then Souldiers use to carry in their Knapsacks.

But we must leave the successe of all to God, who hath many wayes (having first taken us off from the folly of our opinions, and fury of our passion) to teach us those rules of true Reason, and peaceable Wisdom, which is from above, tending most to Gods glory, and his Churches good: which I think my self so much the more bound in Conscience to attend, with the most judicious zeal and care, by how much I esteem the Church above the State, the glory of Christ above mine Own: and the Salvation of mens Souls above the preservation of their Bodies and Estates.

Nor may any men, I think, without sin and presumption, forcibly endeavour to cast the Churches under my care and tuition, into the moulds they have fancied, & fashioned to their designs, till they have first gained my consent, and resolved, both mine own and other mens Consciences by the strength of their Reasons.

Other violent motions, w^{ch} are neither Manly, Christian, nor Loyal, shall never either shake or settle my Religion, nor any mans else who knows what Religion means: And how far it is removed from all Faction, whose proper engine is force, the arbitrator of beasts, not of reasonable men, much lesse of humble Christians, and loyal Subjects, in matters of Religion.

But men are prone to have such high conceits of themselves, that they care not what cost they lay out upon their opinions: especially those that have some temptation of gain, to recompence their losses and hazards.

Yet I was not more scandalized at the _Scots_ Armies coming in against my will, and their forfeiture of so many obligations of duty, and gratitude to me: then I wondred how those here, could so much distrust Gods assistance, who so much pretended Gods cause to the people, as if they had the certainty of some divine Revelation; considering they were more then competently furnished with my Subjects Arms and Ammunition, my Navie by Sea, my Forts, Castles and Cities by Land.

But I finde that men jealous of the Justificableness of their doings, and designs before God, never thinke they have humane strength enough to carry their work on, seem it never so plausible to the people; what cannot be justified in Law and Religion, had need to be fortified with power.

And yet such is the inconstancy that attends all minds engaged in violent motion, that whom some of them one while earnestly invite to come in to their assistance; others of them soon after are weary of, and with nauseating cast them out: what one party thought to rivet to a setlednes by the strength and influence of the _Scots_, that the other rejects and contemns; at once, despising the Kirk-government, & discipline of the _Scots_, and frustrating the successe of so chargeable, more then charitable assistance: For, sure the Church of _England_ might have purchased at a far cheaper rate, the Truth & happines of Reformed Government and Discipline (if it had been wanting) though it had entertained the best Divines of Christendom for their advice in a ful & free Synod; which, I was ever willing to, and desirous of, that matters being impartially setled, might be more satisfactory to all, and more durable.

But much of Gods justice, & mans folly will at length be discovered, through all the filmes and pretentions of Religion, in which Polititians wrap up their designes: in vaine do men hope to build their Piety on the Ruines of loyalty. Nor can those considerations or designes be durable, when Subjects make bankrupt of their Allegiance, under pretence of setting up a quicker trade for Religion.

But, as my best Subjects of _Scotland_ never deserted me, so I cannot think that the most are gone so far from me, in a prodigality of their love and respects towards me, as to make me to despair of their return; when besides the bonds of Nature and Conscience which they have to me, all Reason and true Policy will teach them, That their chiefest interest consists in their fidelity to the Crown, not in their serviceableness to any Party of the People, to a neglect and betraying of my Safety and Honor for their own advantages: However the lesse cause I have to trust to men, the more I shall apply my Self to God.

_The Troubles of my Soul are enlarged, O Lord, bring thou me out of my distresse._

_Lord direct thy Servant in the ways of that pious simplicity, which is the best policie._

_Deliver me from the combined strength of those, who have so much of the Serpents subtilty, that they forget the Doves Innocency._

_Though hand joyn in hand, yet let them not prevail against my Soul, to the betraying of my Conscience and Honour._

_Thou, O Lord, canst turn the hearts of those Parties in both Nations, as thou didst the men of_ Judah _and ISRAEL, to restore_ David _with as much loyal zeal, as they did with inconstancy and eagernesse pursue him._

_Preserve the love of thy truth and uprightness in me, and I shall not despair of My Subjects affections returning towards me._

_Thou canst soon cause the overflowing Seas to ebbe, and retire back again to the bounds which thou hast appointed for them._

_O My God, I trust in thee; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me._

_Let them be ashamed who transgress without a cause; let them be turned back that persecute my soul._

_Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on thee O Lord._

_Redeem thy Church, O God, out of all its Troubles._

* * * * *

_14. Upon the Covenant._

The _Presbyterian Scots_ are not to be hired at the ordinary rate of Auxiliaries; nothing will induce them to engage, till those that call them in, have pawned their Souls to them, by a Solemn League and Covenant.

Where many engines of religious and fair pretensions are brought chiefly to batter or rase Episcopacy: This they make the grand evil Spirit, which with other Imps purposely added, to make it more odious, & terrible to the Vulgar, must by so solemn a charm & exorcism be cast out of this Church, after more then a thousand years possession here, from the first plantation of Christianity in this Island, and an universal prescription of time and practice in all other Churches since the Apostles times till this last Century.

But no Antiquity must plead for it; Presbytery like a young Heir, thinks the Father hath lived long enough, & impatient not to be in the Bishops chair and authority (though Lay-men go away with the Revenus) all art is used to sink Episcopacy, and lanch Presbytery in _England_; which was lately boyed up in _Scotland_ by the late artifice of a Covenant.

Although I am unsatisfied with many passages in that Covenant some referring to my self with very dubious and dangerous limitations (yet I chiefly wonder at the design and drift touching the Discipline and Government of the Church); and such a manner of carrying them on to new ways, by Oaths and Covenants, where it is hard for men to be engaged by no less, then swearing for, or against those things, which are of no clear morall necessity, but very disputable, and controverted among learned and godly men: whereto the application of Oaths can hardly be made and enjoyned with that judgment and certainty in ones self, or that charity or candour to others of different opinion, as I think religion requires, which never refuses fair and equable deliberations; yea, and dissentings too, in matters only probable.

The enjoyning of Oaths upon People must needs in things doubtfull be dangerous, as in things unlawfull, damnable; and no lesse superfluous, where former Religious and Legal Engagements, bound men sufficiently, to all necessary duties. Nor can I see how they will reconcile such an Innovating Oath and Covenant, with their former Protestation which was so lately taken, to maintain the Religion established in the Church of _England_; since they count Discipline so great a part of Religion.

But ambitious minds never think they have laid snares and ginnes enough to catch and hold the vulgar credulity: for by such politicke and seemingly pious stratagems, they think to keep the popularity fast to their Parties under the terrour of perjury: Whereas certainly all honest and wise men ever thought themselves sufficiently bound by former ties of Religion, Allegiance, and lawes, to God and man.

Nor can such after-contracts, devised and imposed by a few men in a declared Party, without my consent, and without any like power or president from Gods or mans laws, be ever thought by judicious men sufficient either to obsolve or slacked those moral and eternall bonds of duty which lie upon all My Subjects consciences both to God and me.

Yet as things now stand, good men shall least offend God or Me, by keeping their Covenant in honest and lawfull wayes; since I have the charity to think, that the chief end of the Covenant in such mens intentions, was, to preserve Religion in purity, and the Kingdoms in peace: To other then such ends and meanes they cannot think themselves engaged; nor will those, that have any true touches of Conscience endeavour to carry on the best designes, (much lesse such as are, and will be daily more apparently factious and ambitious) by any unlawfull means, under that title of the Covenant: unlesse they dare preferre ambiguous, dangerous and un-authorized novelties, before their known and sworn duties, which are indespensable, both to God and my self.

I am prone to beleeve and hope, That many who took the Covenant, are yet firme to this judgment, That such latter Vowes, Oaths, or Leagues, can never blot out those former gravings, and characters, which by just and lawfull Oaths were made upon their Souls.

That which makes such Confederations by way of Solemn Leagues and Covenants more to be suspected, is, That they are the common road, used in all factious and powerfull perturbations of State or Church: when formalities of extraordinary zeal and piety are never more studied and elaborate, then, when Polititians most agitate desperate designes against all that is setled, or sacred in Religion, and Laws, which by such scrues are cunningly, yet forcibly wrested by secret steps, and lesse sencible degrees, from their known rule and wonted practise, and comply with the humours of those men, who ayme to subdue all to their own will and power, under the disguises of Holy Combinations.

Which cords and wythes will hold mens Consciences no longer, then force attends and twists them: for every man soon grows his own Pope, and easily absolves himself of those ties, which, not the commands of Gods Word, or the Laws of the Land, but only the subtilty and terrour of a Party casts upon him; either superfluous and vain, when they were sufficiently tied before; or fraudulent and injurious, if by such afterligaments they find the Imposers really ayming to dissolve, or suspend their former just and necessary obligations.

Indeed such illegall ways seldom or never intend the engaging men more to duties, but only to Parties; therefore it is not regarded how they keep their Covenants in point of piety pretended, provided they adhere firmly to the Party and Design intended.

I see the Imposers of it are content to make their Covenant like Manna (not that it came from Heaven, as this did) agreeable to every mans palate and rellish, who will but swallow it: They admit any mens senses of it, the divers or contrary; with any salvoes, cautions and reservations, so as they cross not their chief Design, which is laid against the Church and me.

It is enough if they get but the reputation of a seeming encrease to their Party; so little do men remember that God is not mocked.

In such latitudes of sense, _I_ beleive many that love Me, and the Church well, may have taken the Covenant, who yet are not so fondly and superstitiously taken by it, as now to act cleerly against both all piety & loyalty: who first yeelded to it, more to prevent that imminent violence and ruine, which hung over their heads in case they wholly refused it, then for any value of it, or devotion to it.

Wherein, the latitude of some generall Clauses may (perhaps) serve somewhat to relieve them, as of _Doing and endeavouring what lawfully they may, in their Places and Callings_, and _according to the Word of God_: for these (indeed) carry no man beyond those bounds of good Conscience, which are certain & fixed either in Gods Laws, as to the Generall; or the Laws of the State and Kingdom, as to the particular regulation and exercise of mens duties.

I would to God such as glory most in the name of _Covenanters_, would keep themselves within those lawfull bounds, to which God hath called them: surely it were the best way to expiate the rashnesse of taking it; which must needs then appear, when besides the want of a full and lawfull Authority at first to enjoyn it, it shall actually be carried on beyond and against those ends which were in it specified and pretended. I willingly forgive such mens taking the Covenant, who keep it within such bounds of Piety, Law, and Loyaltie, as can never hurt either the Church, My self, or the Publick Peace: Against which, no mans lawfull Calling can engage him.

As for that Reformation of the Church which the Covenant pretends, I cannot think it just or comely, that by the partiall advice of a few Divines, (of so soft and servile tempers, as disposed them to so sudden acting and compliance, contrary to their former judgements, profession, and practise) such foule scandalls and suspitions should be cast upon the Doctrine and Government of the Church of _England_, as was never done (that I have heard) by any that deserved the name of _Reformed Churches_ abroad, nor by any men of learning and candour at home: all whose judgments _I_ cannot but prefer before any mens now factiously engaged.

No man can be more forward then My self to carry on all due Reformations, which mature judgment, and a good Conscience, in what things I shall (after impartiall advise) be, by Gods Word, and right reason, convinced to be amiss, I have offered more than ever the fullest, freest, and wisest Parliaments did desire.

But the sequele of some mens actions makes it evident, that the maine information intended, is the abasing of Episcopacy into Presbytery, and the robbing of the Church of its Lands and Revenues: For, no men have been more injuriously used, as to their legall Rights then the Bishops, and Church-men. These, as the fattest Dear, must be destroyed; the other Rascal herd of Schismes, Heresies, &c. being leane, may enjoy the benefit of a Toleration: Thus _Naboth_'s Vine-yard made him the onely Blasphemer of his City, and fit to die. Still I see: while the breath of Religion fills the Sailes, Profit is the compasse, by which Factious men steer their course in all seditious Commotions.

I thank God, as no man lay more open to the sacrilegious temptation of usurping the Churches Lands, and Revenues, (which issuing chiefly from the Crown, are held of it, and legally can revert onely to the Crowne with my Consent) so I have alwayes had such a perfect abhorrence of it in my Soule, that I never found the least inclination to such sacrilegious Reformings: yet no man hath a greater desire to have Bishops and all Church-men, so reformed, that they may best deserve and use, not onely what the pious munificence of My Predecessours hath given to God and the Church, but all other additions of Christian bounty.

But no necessity shall ever, I hope, drive me or Mine to invade or sell the Priests Lands, which both _Pharaoh's_ divinity, and _Joseph's_ true piety abhorred to do: So unjust I think it both in the eye of Reason and Religion, to deprive the most sacred employment of all due incouragements; and like that other hard-hearted _Pharaoh_, to withdraw the Straw, and encrease the Task; so pursuing the oppressed Church as some have done, to the red Sea of a Civill War, where nothing but a miracle can save either it, or him, who esteems it his greatest Title to be called, and his chiefest glory to be _The defender of the Church, both in its true faith, and its just fruitions; equally abhoring Sacriledge and Apostacy_.

I had rather live as my Predecessour _Henry_ the 3. sometime did, on the Churches alms, then violently to take the bread out of Bishops and Ministers mouths.

The next work will be _Jeroboam's_ reformation, consecrating the meanest of the people to be Priests in _Israel_, to serve those Golden _Calves_ who have enrich'd themselves with the Churches Patrimony and Dowry; which how it thrived both with Prince, Priests and people, is well enough known: And so it will be here, when from the tuition of Kings and Queens, which have been nursing fathers and mothers of this Church, it will be at their allowance, who have already discovered, what hard fathers and step-mothers they will be.

If the poverty of _Scotland_ might, yet the plenty of _England_ cannot excuse the envy and rapine of the Churches Rights and Revenues.

I cannot so much as pray God to prevent those sad consequences, which will inevitably follow the parity and poverty of Ministers, both in Church and State; since I think it no lesse then a mocking and tempting of God, to desire him to hinder those mischiefs whose occasions and remedies are in our own power; it being every mans sin not to avoid the one, and not to use the other.

There are ways enough to repair the breaches of the State without the ruins of the Church; as I would be a restorer of the one, so I would not be an oppressor of the other under the pretence of publick Debts: The occasions contracting them were bad enough, but such a discharging of them would be much worse; I pray God neither I, nor mine, may be accessary to either.

_To thee, O Lord, do I addresse my Prayer, beseeching thee to pardon the rashness of my Subjects Swearings, and to quicken their sense and observation of those just, morall and indispensable bonds, which thy word and the Laws of this Kingdom have laid upon their Consciences; From which no pretensions of Piety & reformation are sufficient to absolve them; or to engage them to any contrary practises._

_Make them at length seriously to consider that nothing violent and injurious can be religious._

_Thou allowest no mans committing Sacriledge under the zeal of abhorring Idols._

_Suffer not sacrilegious designs to have the countenance of religious ties._

_Thou hast taught us by the wisest of Kings, that it is a snare to take things that are holy, and Vows to mak enquiry._

_Ever keep thy Servant from consenting to perjurious and sacraligeous rapinei, that I may not have the brand and curse to all posterity of robing Thee and thy Church, of what thy bounty hath given us, and thy clemencie hath accepted from us, wherewith to encourage Learning and Religion._

_Though My Treasures are Exhausted, My Revenues Diminished, and My Debts Encreased, yet never suffer Me to be tempted to use such profane Reparation; lest a coal from thine Altar set such a fire on My Throne and Conscience as will hardly be quenched._

_Let not the Debts and Engagements of the Publique, which some mens folly and prodigalitie hath contracted, be an occasion to impoverish thy Church._

_The State may soon recover, by thy blessing of peace upon us; The Church is never likely, in times, where the Charity of most men is grown so cold, and their Religion so illiberall._

_Continue to those that serve Thee and thy Church all those encouragements, which by the will of the pious Donours, and the justice of the Laws are due unto them; and give them grace to deserve and use them aright to thy glory, & the relief of the poor: That shy Priests may be cloathed with righteousnesse, and the poor may be satisfed with bread._

_Let not holy things be given to Swine; nor the Churches bread to Dogs; rather let them go about the City, grin like a Dog, and grudge that they are not satisfied._

_Let those sacred morsels, which some men have already by violence devoured, never digest with them, nor theirs; Let them be as_ Naboth's _Vineyard to_ Ahab, _gall in their mouths, rottennesse to their names, a moth to their families, and a sting to their Consciences._

_Break in sunder O Lord, all violent and sacrilegious Confederations to do wickedly and injuriously._

_Divide their hearts and tongues who have bandyed together against the Church and State, that the folly of such may be manifest to all men, and proceed no further._

_But so savour My righteous dealing, O Lord, that in the mercies of thee, the most High, I may never miscarry._

* * * * *

15. _Vpon the many Jealousies raised, and Scandals cast upon the_ KING, _to stirre up the People against him._

If _I_ had not My own Innocency, and Gods protection, it were hard for Me to stand out against those stratagems and conflicts of malice, which by falsities seek to oppresse the Truth; and by Jealousies to supply the defect of reall causes, which might seem to justifie so unjust ingagements against Me.

And indeed, the worst effects of open hostility come short of these designes: For, _I_ can more willingly lose My Crownes, then My credit; nor are My Kingdomes so dear to Me, as My Reputation and Honor.

Those must have a period with my life; but these may survive to a glorious kind of Immortality, when I am dead and gone: A good name being the imbalming of Princes, and a sweet consecrating of them to an Eternity of love and gratitude among Posterity.

Those foul and false aspersions were secret engines at first employed against My peoples love to Me: that undermining their opinion and value of Me, My enemies, and theirs too might at one blow up their affections, and batter down their loyalty.

Wherein yet, I thank God, the detriment of My Honor is not so afflictive to Me, as the sin and danger of My peoples souls, whose eyes once blinded with such mists of suspicions, they are soon misled into the most desperate precipices of actions: wherein they do not only, not consider their sin and danger, but glory in their zealous adventures; while I am rendred to them so fit to be destroyed, that many are ambitious to merit the name of My Destroyers; Imagining they then fear God most, when they least honor their King.

I thank God, I never found but My pity was above My anger; nor have My passions ever so prevailed against me, as to exclude My most compassionate prayers for them, whom devout errours more then their own malice have betrayed to a most religious Rebellion.

I had the Charity to interpret, that most part of My Subjects fought against My supposed Errours, not My person; and intended to mend Me, not to end Me: And _I_ hope that God pardoning their Errours, hath so farre accepted and answered their good intentions, as he hath yet preserved Me, so he hath by these afflictions prepared me, both to do him better service, and My people more good then hitherto I have done.

I do not more willingly forgive their seductions, which occasioned their loyall injuries, then I am ambitious by all Princely merits to redeem them from their unjust suspicions, and reward them for their good intentions.

I am too conscious to My own affections toward the generality of my people to suspect theirs to Me; nor shall the malice of My Enemies ever be able to deprive Me of the comfort which that confidence gives Me; I shall never gratifie the spightfulnesse of a few with any sinister thoughts of all their Allegiance, whom pious frauds have seduced.

The worst some mens ambition can do, shall never perswade Me, to make so bad interpretations of most of My Subjects actions; who possibly may be erroneous, but not Hereticall in point of Loyalty.

The sence of the injuries done to My Subjects is as sharp, as those done to My Self; our welfares being inseparable; in this only they suffer more then My self, that they are animated by some seducers to injure at once both themselves and Me.

For this it is not enough to the malice of My Enemies, that I be afflicted; but it must be done by such instruments, that My afflictions grieve Me not more, then this doth, that I am afflicted by those, whose prosperity I earnestly desire, and whose seduction I heartily deplore.

If they had been my open and forraign Enemies, I could have born it; but they must be My own Subjects, who are next to My Children dear to me: And for the restoring of some tranquillity, I could willingly be the _Jonah_, if I did not evidently fore-see, that by the divided interests of their and Mine Enemies, as by contrary winds, the storm of their miseries would be rather increased then allayed.

I had rather prevent my peoples ruin then rule over them; nor am I so ambitious of that Dominion which is but My Right, as of their happiness; If it could expiate or countervail such a way of obtaining it, by the highest injuries of subjects committed against their Soveraign.

Yet I had rather suffer all the miseries of life, and die many deaths, then shamefully to desert, or dishonourable to betray My own just Rights and Soveraignty; thereby to gratifie the ambition, or justifie the malice of my enemies; between whose malice, and other mens mistakes, I put as great a difference, as between an ordinary Ague and the Plague; or the Itch of Novelty, and the Leprosie of Disloyalty.

As Liars need have good memories, so malicious persons need good inventions; that their calumnies may fit every mans fancy; and what their reproaches want of truth, they may make up with numbers and shew.

My patience (I thank God) wil better serve Me to bear, and My charity to forgive, then My leisure to answer the many false Aspersions which some men have cast upon Me.

Did I not more consider My Subjects Satisfaction, then my owne Vindication, I should never have given the malice of some men that pleasure, as to see me take notice of, or remember what they say, or object.

I would leave the Authors to be punished by their own evill manners, and seared Consciences, which will, I believe, in a shorter time then they be aware of, both confute and revenge all those black and false Scandals which they have cast on me; And make the world see, there is as little truth in them, as there was little worth in the broaching of them, or Civility, (I need not say Loyalty) in the not suppressing of them; whose credit and reputation, even with the people, shall ere long be quite blasted by the breath of that same fornace of popular obloquy, and detraction, which they have studied to heat and inflame to the highest degree of infamy, and wherein they have sought to cast and consume My Name and Honor.

First, nothing gave me more cause to suspect, and search mine own innocencie, then when I observed so many forward to engage against me, who had made great professions of singular piety; For this gave to Vulgar minds so bad a reflection upon me and my Cause, as if it had been impossible to adhere to me, and not withall part from God; to think or speak well of me, and not to blaspheme him; so many were perswaded that these two were utterly inconsistent, to be at once Loyall to Me, and truly Religious toward God.

Not but that I had (I thank God) many with me, which were both learned and Religious, (much above that ordinary size, and that Vulgar proportion wherein some men glory so much) who were so well satisfied in the cause of my sufferings, that they chose rather to suffer with me, then forsake me.

Nor is it strange, that so religious Pretensions as were used against me, should be to many well-minded men a great temptation to oppose me; especially, being urged by such popular Preachers as think it no sin to lie for God, and what they please to call Gods Cause, cursing all that will not curse with them; looking so much at, and crying up the goodnesse of the end propounded, that they consider not the lawfulness of the means used nor the depth of the mischief, chiefly plotted and intended.

The weakness of these mens judgments must be made up by their clamours and activity.

It was a great part of some mens Religion to scandalize me and mine; they thought theirs could not be true, if they cried not down Mine as false.

I thank God, I have had more triall of his grace, as to the constancy of my Religion in the Protestant profession of the Church of _England_, both abroad, and at home, then ever they are like to have.

Nor do _I_ know any exception I am so liable to, in their opinion, as too great a fixedness in that Religion, whose judicious and solid grounds, both from Scripture, and Antiquity, will not give my conscience leave to approve or consent to those many dangerous and divided innovations, which the bold ignorance of some men would needs obtrude upon me, and my people.

Contrary to those well tried foundations both of Truth, and Order, which men of far greater Learning, and clearer Zeal, have settled in the Confession and Constitution of this Church in _England_, which many former Parliaments in the most calm, and unpassionate times, have oft confirmed; In which I shall ever, by Gods help, persevere, as beleeving it hath most of primitive Truth and Order.

Nor did my using the assistance of some Papists, which were my Subjects, any way fight against my Religion, some men would needs interpret it: especially those who least of all men cared whom they imployed, or what they said and did, so they might prevail.

'Tis strange that so wise men, as they would be esteemed, should not conceive, That differences of perswasion in matters of Religion may easily fall out, where there is the samenesse of duty, Allegeance and subjection: The first they owe as men and Christians to God; the second they owe to me in common, as their KING: different professions in point of Religion cannot (any more then in civill Trades) take away the community of relations either to Parents, or to Princes. And where is there such an _Oglio_ or medly of various Religions in the world again, as those men entertain in their service (who finde most fault with me) without any scruple, as to the diversity of their Sects and Opinions!

It was, indeed, a foul and indeleable shame, for such as would be counted Protestants, to inforce Me, a declared Protestant, their Lord and King, to a necessary use of Papists, or any other, who did but their duty to help Me to defend my self.

Nor did I more then is lawful for any King, in such exigents to use the aid of any his Subjects.

I am sorry the Papists should have a greater sense of their Allegeance then many Protestant Professors; who seem to have learned, and to practise the worst Principles of the worst Papists.

Indeed, it had been a very impertinent and unseasonable scruple in me, (and very pleading, no doubt to my Enemies) to have been then disputing the points of different beliefs in my Subjects, when I was disputed with by Swords points: and when I needed the help of my Subjects as men, no lesse then their prayers as Christians.

The noise of my evill Counsellours was another usefull device for those, who were impatient any mens counsels but their own should be followed in Church or State; who were so eager in giving me better counsel, that they would not give me leave to take it with freedom, as a Man; or honour, as a King; making their Counsels more like a drench, that must be powred down, then a draught, which might be fairly and leisurely drank, if I liked it.

I will not justifie beyond humane errour and frailties my Self, or my Counsellours: They might be subject to some miscarriages, yet such as were far more reparable by second and better thoughts, then those enormous extravagances wherewith some men have now even wildred, and almost quite lost both Church and State.

The event of things at last will make it evident to my Subjects, that had I followed the worst Counsels that my worst Counsellours ever had the boldnesse to offer to me, or my Self any inclination to use; I could not so soon have brought both Church and State in three flourishing Kingdoms, to such a _Chaos_ of confusion, and hell of miseries as some have done; out of which they cannot, or will not, in the midst of their many great advantages, redeem either Me, or my Subjects.

No men were more willing to complain, then I was to redresse what I saw in reason was either done or advised amisse: and this I thought I had done, even beyond the expectation of moderate men: who were sorry to see me prone even to injure my Self, out of a zeal to relieve my Subjects.

But other mens insatiable desire of revenge upon Me, my Court, and my Clergie, hath wholly beguiled both Church and State of the benefit of all my either Retractations or Concessions; and withall, hath deprived all those (now so zealous Persecutors) both of the comfort and reward of their former pretended Persecutions, wherein they so much gloryed among the Vulgar; and which, indeed a truly humbly Christian will so highly prize, as rather not be relieved, then be revenged, so as to be bereaved of that Crown of Christian patience, which attends humble and injured sufferers.

Another artifice used to withdraw my peoples affections from me to their designes, was, the noise and ostentation of Liberty, which men are not more prone to desire, then unapt to bear in the popular sense; which is to doe what every man liketh best.

If the divinest Liberty be to will what men should, and to do what they so will, according to Reason, Laws and Religion; I envie not my Subjects that liberty, which is all I desire to enjoy my self; So far am I from the desire of oppressing theirs. Now were those Lords and Gentlemen which assisted me, so prodigal of their Liberties, as with their Lives and Fortunes to help on the enslaving of themselves and their Posterities?

As to Civil Immunities, none but such as desire to drive on their ambitious and covetous Designes over the ruines of Church and State, Prince, Peers, and People, will ever desire greater Freedoms than the Laws allow; whose bounds good men count their Ornament and Protection; others their Manacles and Oppression.

Nor is it just any man should expect the reward and benefit of the Law, who despiseth his rule and direction, losing justly his Safety, while he seeks an unreasonable Libertie.

Time will best inform my Subjects, that those are the best preservers of their true Liberties, who allow themselves the least licentiousnesse against or beyond the Laws.

They will feel it at last to their cost, that it is impossible those men should be really tender of their fellow-subjects liberties, who have the hardinesse to use their King with so severe restraints, against all Laws, both Divine and Humane; under which yet I wil rather perish, then complain to those, who want nothing to compleat their mirth and triumph, but such musick.

In point of true conscientious tendernesse (attended with humility and meeknesse, not with proud and arrogant activity, which seeks to hatch every egg of different opinion to a Faction or Schism) I have oft declared, how little I desire my Laws and Scepter should intrench on Gods Soveraignty, which is the onely King of mens Consciences; and yet he hath laid such restraints upon men, as commands them to be subject for conscience sake, giving no men liberty to break the Law established, further then with meeknesse and patience they are content to suffer the penalty annexed, rather then perturb the publick Peace.

The truth is, some mens thirst after Novelties, others despair to relieve the necessities of their Fortunes, or satisfie their Ambition in peaceable times, (distrusting Gods providence, as well as their own merits) were the secret (but principal) impulsives to these popular Commotions, by which Subjects have been perswaded to expend much of those plentifull Estates they got, and enjoyed under my Government in peaceable times; which yet must now be blasted with all the odious reproaches which impotent malice can invent; and my Self exposed to all those contempts, which may most diminish the Majesty of a King, and increase the ingratefull insolencies of my People.

For mine Honour, I am well assured, that as mine Innocency is clear before God, in point of any calumnies they object; so my Reputation shall like the Sun (after Owls and Bats have had their freedom in the night and darker times) rise and recover it self to such a degree of splendour, as those ferall Birds shall be grieved to behold, and unable to bear. For never were any Princes more glorious, then those whom God hath suffered to be tried in the fournace of afflictions, by their injurious Subjects.

And who knows but the just and mercifull God will do me good, for some mens hard, false, and evill speeches against Me; wherein they speak rather what they wish, then what they beleeve, or know.

Nor can I suffer so much in point of Honour, by those rude and scandalous Pamphlets (which like fire in great conflagrations, fly up and down to set all places on like flames) as those men do, who pretending to so much piety, are so forgetfull of their duty to God and Me: By no way ever vindicating the Majesty of their KING against any of those, who contrary to the precept of God, and precedent of Angels, _speak evil of dignities, and bring railing accusations against those_ who are honoured with the name of _Gods_.

But 'tis no wonder if men not fearing God, should not honour their KING.

They will easily contemn such shadows of God, who reverence not that Supreme and adorable Majestie, in comparison of whom all the glory of Men and Angels is but obscurity; yet hath he graven such Characters of divine Authority, and sacred Power upon Kings, as none may without sin seek to blot them out. Nor shall their black veils be able to hide the shining of my face, while God gives me an heart frequently and humbly to converse with him, from whom alone are all the traditions of true glory and majestie.

_Thou, O Lord, knowest my reproach, and my dishonour; my adversaries are all before thee._

_My soul is among Lions, among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men; whose teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword._

_Mine enemies reproach me all the day long, and those that are mad against me, are sworn together._

_O my God, how long shall the sons of men turn my glory into shame? how long shall they love vanity, and seek after lies?_

_Thou hast heard the reproaches of wicked men on every side. Hold not thy peace, lest my Enemies prevail against me, and lay mine honour in the dust._

_Thou, O Lord, shalt destroy them that speak lies; the Lord will abhor both the blood-thirsty and deceitfull men._

_Make my righteousnesse to appear as the light, and mine innocencie to shine forth as the Sun at noon-day._

_Suffer not my silence to betray mine innocence, nor my displeasure, my patience; That after my Saviours example, being reviled, I may not revile again; and being cursed by them, I may bless them._

_Thou that wouldst not suffer_ Shimei's _tongue to go unpunished; when by thy judgements on_ David _he might seem to justifie his disdainfull reproaches, give me grace to intercede with thy mercy for these my enemies, that the reward of false and lying tongues, even hot burning coales of eternall fire, may not be brought upon them._

_Let my prayers, and patience, be as water to coole and quench their tongues, who are already set on fire with the fire of Hell, and tormented with those malitious flames._

_Let me be happy to refute, and put to silence their evill speaking by well-doing; and let them enjoy not the fruit of their lips, but of my prayer for their repentance, and thy pardon._

_Teach me_ Davids _patience and_ Hezekiah's _devotion, that I may look to thy mercy through mans malice and see thy justice in their sin._

_Let_ Sheba's _seditious speeches_, Rabshekah's _railing, and_ Shimei's _cursing, provoke, as my humble prayer to thee, so thy renued blessing towards me._

_Though they curse, do thou bless, and I shall be blessed; and made a blessing to my people._

_That the stone, which some builders refuse, may become the head-stone of the corner._

_Look down from heaven, and save me, from the reproach of them that would swallow me up._

_Hide me in the secret of thy presence, from the pride of man, and keep me from the strife of tongues._

* * * * *

16. _Upon the Ordinance against the Common-Prayer Book._

It is no newes to have all Innovations ushered in with the name of Reformations in Church and State, by those, who seeking to gain reputation with the Vulgar for their extraordinary parts, and piety, must needs undoe what ever was formerly setled never so well and wisely.

So hardly can the pride of those that study Novelties, allow former times any share or degree of wisedom or godliness.

And because matter of prayer and devotion to God justly bears a great part in Religion, (being the soules more immediate converse with the divine Majesty) nothing could be more plausible to the people then to tell them, they served God amiss in that point.

Hence our publike Liturgy, or Forms of constant Prayers must be (not amended, in what upon free and publick advice might seem to sober men inconvenient for matter or manner, to which I should easily consent, but) wholly cashiered, and abolished, and after many popular contempts offered to the Booke, and those that used it according to their consciences, and the Lawes in force, it must be crucified by an Ordinance the better to please either those men, who gloried in their extemporary veine and fluency: or others, who conscious to their own formality in the use of it, thought they fully expiated their sin of not using it aright, by laying all the blame upon it, and a totall rejection of it as a dead letter, thereby to excuse the deadness of their hearts.

As for the matter contained in the Book, sober and learned men have sufficiently vindicated it against the cavils and exceptions of those who thought it a part of piety to make what profane objections they could against it; especially for Popery and Superstition; whereas no doubt the Liturgy was exactly conformed to the doctrine of the Church of _England_; & this by all Reformed Churches is confessed to be most sound and Orthodox.

For the manner of using set and prescribed Forms, there is no doubt but that wholsome words being known and fitted to mens understandings, are soonest received into their hearts, and aptest to excite and carry along with them judicious and fervent affections.

Nor doe I see any reason why Christians should be weary of a well-composed Liturgie (as I hold this to be) more then of all other things, wherein the constancy abates nothing of the excellency and usefulness.

I could never see any Reason, why any Christian should abhor, or be forbidden to use the same Forms of prayer, since he prayes to the same God, believes in the same Saviour, professeth the same Truths, reads the same Scriptures, hath the same duties upon him, and feels the same daily wants for the most part, both inward and outward, which are common to the whole Church.

Sure we may as well beforehand know what we pray, as to whom we pray; and in what word, as to what sense; when we desire the same things, what hinders we may not use the same words? our appetite and digestion too may be good, when we use, as we pray for, _our daily bread_.

Some men, I hear, are so impatient not to use in all their devotions their own invention and gifts, that they not only disuse (as too many) but wholly cast away and contemn the _Lords Prayer_: whose great guilt is, that it is the warrant and originall patern of all set Liturgies in the Christian Church.

I ever thought that the proud ostentation of mens abilities for invention, and the vain affectation of variety for expressions, in publike prayer, or any sacred administrations, merits a greater brand of sin, then that which they call coldness and Barrenness: Nor are men in those novelties less subject to formall and superficiall tempers, (as to their hearts) then in the use of constant Forms, where not the words, but mens hearts are to blame.

I make no doubt but a man may be very formall in the most extemporary variety; & very fervently devout in the most wonted expressions: Nor is God more a God of variety, than of constancy: Nor are constant Forms of prayers more likely to flat, and hinder the Spirit of Prayer and Devotion, than an unpremeditated and confused variety, to distract and lose it.

Though I am not against a grave, modest, discreet, and humble use of Ministers gifts, even in publique, the better to fit, and excite their owne, and the peoples affections to the present occasions: yet I know no necessity why private and single abilities should quite justle out, & deprive the Church of the joynt abilities and concurrent gifts of many learned and godly men; such as the Composers of the Service-Book were; who may in all reason be thought to have more of gifts & graces enabling them to compose with serious deliberation & concurrent advice, such Forms of prayers, as may best fit the Churches common wants, inform the Hearers understanding, and stir up that fiduciary and fervent application of their spirits (wherein consists the very life and soul of prayer, and that so much pretended Spirit of prayer) then any private man by his solitary abilities, can be presumed to have; which, what they are many times (even there, where they make a great noise and shew) the affectations, emptinesse, impertinency, rudenesse, confusions, flatnesse, levity, obscurity, vain and ridiculous repetitions, the senslesse, and oft-times blasphemous expressions; all these burthened with a most tedious and intolerable length, do sufficiently convince all men, but those who glory in that Pharisaick way.

Wherein men must be strangely impudent, and flatterers of themselves, not to have an infinite shame of what they do and say, in things of so sacred a nature, before God and the Church, after so ridiculous, and indeed, profane a manner.

Nor can it be expected, but that in duties of frequent performance, as Sacramentall administrations, and the like, which are still the same; Ministers must either come to use their own Forms constantly, which are not like to be so sound, or comprehensive of the nature of the duty, as forms of publike composure; or else they must every time affect new expressions when the subject is the same; which can hardly be presumed in any mans greatest sufficiencies not to want (many times) much of that compleatnesse, order, and gravity, becoming those duties; which by this meanes are exposed at every celebration to every Ministers private infirmities, indispositions, errours, disorders, and defects, both for judgement and expression.

A serious sense of which inconvenience in the Church unavoidably following every mans severall manner of officiating, no doubt, first occasioned the wisdome and piety of the Ancient Churches, to remedy those mischiefs, by the use of constant Liturgies of publike composure.

The want of which I believe this Church will sufficiently feel, when the unhappy fruits of many mens ungoverned ignorance, and confident defects, shall be discovered in more errours, schismes, disorders, and uncharitable distractions in Religion, which are already but too many, and the more is the pitie.

However, if violence must needs bring in and abet those innovations, (that men may not seem to have nothing to do) which Law, Reason, and Religion forbids, at least to be so obtruded, as wholly to justle out the publike Liturgy;

Yet nothing can excuse that most unjust and partiall severity of those men, who either lately had subscribed to, used and maintained the Service-book; or refused to use it, cried out of the rigour of Laws and Bishops, which suffered them not to use the Liberty of their Consciences in not using it.

That these men, (I say) should so suddenly change the Liturgy into a Directory, as if the Spirit needed help for invention, though not for expressions; or as if matter prescribed did not as much stint and obstruct the Spirit, as if it were cloathed in, and confined to fit words (so slight & easie is that Legerdemain which will serve to delude the vulgar.)

That further, they should use such severity as not to suffer without penalty, any to use the Common-Prayer-Book publikely, although their consciences bind them to it, as a duty of Piety to God, and Obedience to the Laws.

Thus I see, no men are prone to be greater Tyrants, and more rigorous exactors upon others to conform to their illegall novelties, then such, whose pride was formerly least disposed to the obedience of lawfull Constitutions; and whose licentious humours most pretended consciencious liberties, which freedome, with much regret, they now allow to Me, and My Chaplains, when they may have leave to serve Me, whose abilities, even in their extemporary way comes not short of the others, but their modesty and learning far exceeds the most of them.

But this matter is of so popular a nature, as some men knew it would not bear learned and sober debates, lest being convinced by the evidence of Reason, as well as Laws, they should have been driven either to sin more against their knowledge, by taking away the Liturgie; or to displease some faction of the people, by continuing the use of it.

Though, I beleeve, they have offended more considerable men, not onely for their numbers and estates, but for their weighty and judicious piety, then those are, whose weaknesse or giddinesse they sought to gratifie by taking it away.

One of the greatest faults some men found with the Common-Prayer-Book, I beleeve, was this, That it taught them to pray so oft for Me; to which Petitions they had not Loyaltie enough to say _Amen_, nor yet Charitie enough to forbear Reproaches, and even Cursings of Me in their own Forms, in stead of praying for Me.

I wish their repentance may be their onely punishment; that seeing the mischiefs, which the disuse of publick Liturgies hath already produced, they may restore that credit, use and reverence to them, which by the ancient Churches were given to set Forms of sound and wholsom words.

_And thou, O Lord, which art the same God, blessed for ever, whose Mercies are full of varietie, and yet of constancie; Thou deniest us not a new and fresh sense of our old and daily wants nor despisest renewed affections joyned to constant expressions._

_Let us not want the benefit of thy Churches united and well advised Devotions._

_Let the matters of our praiers be agreeable to thy will which is always the same, and the fervency of our spirits to the motions of thy holy Spirit in us._

_And then we doubt not, but thy spirituall perfections are such as thou art neither to be pleased with affected Novelties for matter or manner, nor offended with the pious constancy of our petitions in them both._

_Whose varietie or constancie thou hast no where either forbidden or commanded but left them to the piety and prudence of thy Church, that both may be used, neither despised._

_Keep men in that pious moderation of their judgements in matters of Religion; that their ignorance may not offend others, nor their opinion of their own abilities tempt them to deprive others of what they may lawfully and devoutly use, to help their infirmities._

_And since the advantage of Error consists in novelty & variety, as truths in unity and constancy: Suffer not thy Church to be pestered with errours, and deformed with undecencies in thy service, under the pretence of variety and noveltie. Nor to be deprived of truth, unitie, and order under this fallacy, That constancie is the cause of formality._

_Lord, keepe us from formall Hypocrisie in our own Hearts, and then we know that praying to thee, or praising of thee (with_ David, _and other Holy men) in the same formes cannot hurt us._

_Give us wisdom to amend what is amiss within us, and there will be less to mend without us._

_Evermore defend and deliver thy Church from the effects of blind zeale and over-bold devotion._

* * * * *

17. _Of the differences between the_ KING _and the two Houses, in Point of Church-Government._

Touching the Government of the Church by Bishops, the common Jealousie hath been, that I am earnest and resolute to maintain it, not so much out of pietie, as policie, and reason of State.

Wherein so far indeed reason of State doth induce me to approve that Government above any other, as I find it impossible for a Prince to preserve the State in quiet, unlesse he hath such an influence upon Church-men, and they such a dependance on Him, as may best restraine the seditious exorbitancies of Ministers tongues; who with the Keyes of Heaven have so far the Keyes of the Peoples hearts, as they prevail much by their Oratory to let in, or shut out, both Peace and Loyalty.

So that I being (as King) intrusted by God, and the Lawes, with the good both of Church and State; I see no Reason I should give up, or weaken by any change, that power and influence which in right and reason I ought to have over both.

The moving Bishops out of the House of Peers (of which I have elswhere given an account) was sufficient to take off any suspicion, that I inclined to them for any use to be made of their Votes in State affaires: Though indeed I never thought any Bishop worthy to sit in that House, who would not Vote according to his Conscience.

I must now in Charity be thought desirous to preserve that Government in its Right constitution, as a matter of Religion; wherein both my judgement is fully satisfied, that it hath of all other the fullest Scripture grounds, and also the constant practise of all Christian Churches; till of late years, the tumultuarinesse of People, or the factiousnesse and pride of Presbyters, or the covetousnesse of some States and Princes, gave occasion to some mens wits to invent new models, and propose them under suspicious titles of _Christs government, Scepter, and Kingdom_; the better to serve their turns, to whom the change was beneficiall.

They must give me leave, having none of their temptations to invite me to alter the Government of Bishops, (that I may have a title to their Estates) not to beleeve their pretended grounds to any new waies: contrary to the full, and constant testimony of all Histories sufficiently convincing unbiased men; that as the Primitive Churches were undoubtedly governed by the Apostles and their immediate Successours the first & best Bishops: so it cannot in reason or charity be supposed, that all Churches in the world should either be ignorant of the rule by them prescribed, or so soon deviate from their divine & holy pattern: That since the first Age, for 1500 years not one Example can be produced of any setled Church, wherein were many Ministers and Congregations, which had not some Bishop above them, under whose jurisdiction and government they were.

Whose constant and universall practise agreeing with so large and evident Scripture-directions, and examples, are set down in the Epistles to _Timothy_ and _Titus_, for the setling of that Government not in the persons onely _Timothy_ and _Titus_, but in the succession; (the want of Government being that, which the Church can no more dispence with, in point of wel-being, then the want of the word and Sacrament in point of being.)

I wonder how men came to looke with so envious an eye upon Bishops power and authority, as to over-see both the Ecclesiasticall use of them, and Apostolicall constitution: which to me seems no lesse evidently set forth, as to the maine scope and designe of those Epistles, for the setling of a peculiar Office, Power, and Authority in them as President-Bishops above others, in point of Ordination, Censures, and other acts of Ecclesiasticall discipline; then those shorter characters of the qualities and duties of Presbyter-Bishops, and Deacons are described in some parts of the same Epistles; who in the latitude & community of the name were then, and may now not improperly be called Bishops; as to the oversight and care of single Congregations, committed to them by the Apostles, or those Apostolicall Bishops, who (as _Timothy_ and _Titus_) succeeded them, in that ordinary power, there assigned over larger divisions in which were many presbyters.

The humility of those first Bishops avoiding the eminent title of Apostles as a name in the Churches stile appropriated from its common notion (_of a Messenger, or one sent_) to that speciall dignity, which had extraordinary call, mission, gifts and power immediately from Christ: they contented themselves with the ordinary titles of Bishops and Presbyters, until Use (the great Arbitrator of words, and Master of language) finding reason to distinguish by a peculiar name those persons, whose Power and Office were indeed distinct from, and above all other in the Church, as succeeding the Apostles in the ordinary and constant power of governing the Churches, (the honour of whose name they moderately, yet commendably declined) all Christian Churches (submitting to that special Authority) appropriated also the name of Bishop, without any suspicion or reproach of arrogancie, to those who were by Apostolicall propagation rightly descended and invested into that highest and largest power of governing even the most pure and Primitive Churches: which, without all doubt, had many such holy Bishops, after the pattern of _Timothy_ and _Titus_; whose special power is not more clearly set down in those Epistles (the chief grounds and limits of all Episcopall claim, as from divine Right) then are the characters of these perilous times and those men that make them such; who not enduring sound Doctrine, and clear testimonies of all Churches practice, are most perverse Disputers, and proud Usurpers, against true Episcopacy: who if they be not Traytours and Boasters, yet they seem to be very covetous, heady, high-minded; inordinate and fierce, lovers of themselves, having much of the form, little of the power of godlinesse.

Who, by popular heaps of weak, light, and unlearned Teachers, seek to over-lay and smother the pregnancy & authority of that power of Episcopall Government, which, beyond all equivocation and vulgar fallacy of names, is most convincingly set forth, both by Scripture, and all after Histories of the Church.

This I write rather like a Divine, then a Prince, that Posterity may see (if ever these papers be publique) that I had faire grounds both from Scripture-Canons, and Ecclesiasticall examples whereon my judgement was stated for Episcopall Government.

Nor was it any pollicy of State or obstinacy of will, or partiallity of affection, either to the men, or their Function which fixed me; who cannot in point of worldly respects be so considerable to me as to recompence the injuries and losses I and my dearest relations with my Kingdomes have sustained, and hazarded, chiefly at first upon this quarrell.

And not only in Religion, of which, Scripture is the best rule, and the Churches Universall practise the best commentary, but also in right reason, and the true nature of Government, it cannot be thought, that an orderly Subordination among Presbyters, or Ministers, should be any more against Christianity, then it is in all secular and civill Governments, where Parity breeds confusion and faction.

I can no more beleeve, that such Order is inconsistent with true Religion, then good features are with beautie, or numbers with harmonie.

Nor is it likely that God, who appointed several Orders, and a Prelacy, in the Government of his Church among the Jewish Priests, should abhor or forbid them amongst Christian Ministers; who have as much of the principles of Schism and division as other men; for preventing and suppressing of which, the Apostolical wisdom (which was Divine) after that Christians were multiplied to many Congregations, and Presbyters with them appointed this way of Government, which might best preserve Order and Union with Authority.

So that, I conceive, it was not the favour of Princes, or ambition of Presbyters; but the wisdom and piety of the Apostles, that first settled Bishops in the Church; which Authority they constantly used and enjoyned in those times, which were purest for Religion, though sharpest for Persecution.

Not that I am against the managing of this Presidency and Authority in one man, by the joynt Councell and consent of many Presbyters: I have offered to restore that, as a fit meanes to avoid those Errours, Corruptions, and Partialities, which are incident to any one man: Also to avoid Tyranny, which becoms no Christians, least of all Church-men; besides, it will be a means to take away that burden, and _odium_ of affairs, which may lie too heavy on one mans shoulders, as indeed I think it formerly did on the Bishops here.

Nor can I see what can be more agreeable both to Reason and Religion, then such a frame or Government which is paternall, not Magistericall; and wherein not onely the necessity of avoiding Faction and Confusion, Emulations and Contempts, which are prone to arise among equals in power and function; but also the differences of some Ministers gifts, and aptitudes for Government above others, doth invite to imploy them, in reference to those Abilities wherin they are Eminent.

Nor is this judgement of mine touching Episcopacy, any re-occupation of opinion, which will not admit any oppositions against it: It is well known I have endeavoured to satisfie my self in what the chief Patrons for other wayes can say against this, or for theirs: And I find they have, as far lesse of Scripture grounds, and of Reason; so for examples, and practice of the Church, or testimonies of Histories, they are wholly destitute; wherein the whole stream runs so for Episcopacy, that there is not the least rivulet for any others.

As for those obtruded examples of some late reformed Churches (for many retain Bishops still) whom necessity of Times and Affairs rather excuseth, then commendeth for their inconformity to all Antiquity; I could never see any reason why Churches orderly reformed, and governed by Bishops, should be forced to conform to those few, rather then to the catholick Example of all ancient Churches, which needed no Reformation: And to those Churches at this day, who governed by Bishops in all the Christian world, are many more then Presbyterians or Independents can pretend to be; All whom the Churches in my three Kingdoms, lately Governed by Bishops, would equalize (I think) if not exceed.

Nor is it any point of wisdom or charitie, where Christians differ (as many do in some points) there to widen the differences, and at once to give all the Christian world (except an handfull of some Protestants) so great a scandall in point of Church-Government; whom, though you may convince of their Errours in some points of Doctrine; yet you shall never perswade them, that to compleat their Reformation, they must necessarily desert, and wholly cast off that Government, which they, and all before them have ever owned as Catholick, Primitive, and Apostolical, so far, that never Schismaticks nor Hereticks (except those Arrians) have strayed from the Unitie and Conformitie of the Church in that point; ever having Bishops above Presbyters.

Besides, the late generall approbation and submission to this Government of Bishops, by the Clergy, as well as the Laitie of these Kingdomes, is a great confirmation of my Judgment; and their inconstancie is a great prejudice against their noveltie: I cannot in charity so far doubt of their Learning or Integrity, as if they understood not what heretofore they did; or that they did conform contrary to their Consciences: So that their facility and levity is never to be excused, who, before ever the point of Church-government had any free & impartiall Debate, contrary to their former Oathes and Practice, against their obedience to the Lawes in force, and against my Consent, have not onely quite cryed down the Government by Bishops; but have approved and incouraged the violent and most illegall stripping all the Bishops, and many other Church-men, of all their due Authority and Revenues, even to the selling away, and utter alienation of those Church-lands from any Ecclesiastical uses: So great a power hath the stream of times, and the prevalency of parties over some mens judgments; of whose so sudden and so total change, little reason can be given, besides the _Scots_ Armie coming into _England_.

But the folly of these men will at last punish it self, and the Desertors of Episcopacy will appear the greatest Enemies to, and Betrayers of their own Interest: For Presbytery is never so considerable or effectuall, as when it is joyned to, and crowned with Episcopacy. All Ministers wil find as great a difference in point of thriving, between the favour of the people, and of Princes, as plants do between being watered by hand, or by the sweet and liberall dews of Heaven.

The tenuity and contempt of Clergy-men will soon let them see, what a poor carcasse they are, when parted from the influence of that Head, to whose Supremacy they have been sworn.

A little moderation might have prevented great mischiefs. I am firm to primitive Episcopacie, not to have it extirpated (if I can hinder it.) Discretion without passion might easily reform what-ever the rust of Times, or indulgence of Laws, or corruption of Manners have brought upon it. It being a grosse vulgar errour, to impute to, or revenge upon the Function, the faults of Times or Persons; which seditious and popular principle and practice all wise men abhor.

For these secular Additaments and Ornaments of Authority, Civil Honour and Estate, which my Predecessours and Christian Princes in all Countries have annexed to Bishops and Church-men; I look upon them but as just rewards of their learning and piety, who are fit to be in any degree of Church-Government: also enablements to works of Charitie and Hospitality, meet strengthnings of their Authoritie in point of respect and observance; which in peacefull Times is hardly paid to any Governours by the measure of their Vertues, so much, as by that of their Estates; Povertie and meanness exposing them and their Authority to the contempt of licentious mindes and manners, which persecuting Times much restrained.

I would have such men Bishops, as are most worthy of those encouragements, and best able to use them: if at any time my judgment of men failed, my good intention made my errour veniall: And some Bishops, I am sure, I had, whose learning, gravitie, and pietie, no men of any worth or forehead can deny: But, of all men, I would have Church-men, especially the Governours, to be redeemed from that vulgar neglect; (which besides an innate principle of vitious opposition, which is in all men against those that seem to reprove, or restrain them) will necessarily follow both the Presbyterian parity, which makes all Ministers equall; and the Independent inferiority, which sets their Pastor below the People.

This for My judgment touching Episcopacy, wherein (Gods knows) I doe not gratifie any design or passion with the least perverting of Truth.

And now I appeal to God above, and all the Christian world, whether it be just for Subjects, or pious for Christians, by violence, and infinite indignities, with servile restraints to seek to force Me their KING and Soveraign, as some men have endevoured to doe, against all these grounds of my Judgment, to consent to their weak and divided novelties.

The greatest Pretender of them desires not more than I doe, That the Church should be governed, as Christ hath appointed, in true Reason, and in Scripture; of which, I could never see any probable shew for any other waies: who either content themselves with the examples of some Churches in their infancy and solitude; when one Presbyter might serve one Congregation, in a City or Countrey; or else they deny these most evident Truths, That the Apostles were Bishops over Those Presbyters they ordained, as well as over the Churches they planted; and that Government being necessary for the Churches wel-being when multiplied and sociated, must also necessarily descend from the Apostles to others, after the example of that power and Superiority they had above others: which could not end with their Persons, since the use and ends of such Government still continue.

It is most sure, that the purest Primitive and best Churches flourished under Episcopacy; and may so still, if ignorance, superstition, avarice, revenge, and other disorderly and disloyal passions had not so blown up some mens minds against it, that what they want of Reasons or primitive Patterns, they supply with violence and oppressions; wherein some mens zeal for Bishops Lands, Houses and Revenues hath set them on work to eat up Episcopacy: which (however other men esteem) to Me is no lesse sin then Sacriledge, or a robbery of God (the giver of all we have) of that portion which devout minds have thankfully given again to him, in giving it to his Church and Prophets; through whose hands he graciously accepts even a cup of cold water, as a libation offered to himself.

Furthermore, as to my particular Engagement above other men, by an Oath agreeable to my judgement, I am solemnly obliged to preserve that Government, and the rights of the Church.

Were I convinced of the unlawfullnesse of the Function, as Antichristian, (which some men boldly, but weakly calumniate) I could soone, with Judgement, breake that Oath, which erroneously was taken by me.

But being daily by the best disquisition of truth, more confirmed in the reason and Religion of that, to which I am sworn; How can any man that wisheth not my damnation, perswade me at once to so notorious and combined sins, of Sacriledge & Perjury? besides the many personall Injustices I must doe to many worthy men, who are as legally invested in their Estates, as any, who seeke to deprive them; and they have by no Law, been convicted of those crimes, which might forfeit their Estates and Lively-hoods.

I have often wondred how men pretending to tendernesse of Conscience and Reformation, can at once tell me, that my Coronation Oath binds me to Consent to whatsoever they shall propound to Me (which they urge with such violence) though contrary to all that Rationall and Religious freedom which every man ought to preserve, & of which they seem so tender in their own Votes: yet at the same time these men will needs perswade Me. That I must, and ought to dispense with, and roundly break that part of my Oath, which binds Me (agreeable to the best light of Reason and Religion I have) to maintain the Government, and legall Rights of the Church. 'Tis strange, my lot should be valid in that part, which both my Self, and all men in their own case, esteem injurious and unreasonable, as being against the very naturall and essentiall libertie of our Souls; yet it should be invalid, and to be broken in another clause, wherein I think my Self justly obliged both to God and Man.

Yet upon this Rack chiefly have I been held so long, by some mens ambitious Covetousnesse, and sacrilegious Cruelty; torturing (with Me) both Church and State in Civill Dissentions, til I shall be forced to consent, and declare that I do approve, what (God knows) I utterly dislike, and in my Soul abhor, as many wayes highly against Reason, Justice, and Religion: and whereto, if I should shamefully and dishonorably give my consent; yet should I not by so doing, satisfie the divided Interests and Opinions of those Parties, which contend with each other, as well as both against Me and Episcopacy.

Nor can my late condescending to the _Scots_ in point of Church-Government, be rightly objected against me, as an inducement for me, to consent to the like in my other Kingdoms; For it should be considered, That Episcopacie was not so rooted and setled there, as 'tis here; nor I (in that respect) so strictly bound to continue it in that Kingdom, as in this; for what I think in my judgment best, I may not think so absolutely necessary for all places, and at all times.

If any shall impute my yeelding to them as my failing and sin, I can easily acknowledge it; but that is no argument to do so again, or much worse; I being now more convinced in that point: nor indeed, hath my yeelding to them been so happy and successfull, as to encourage me to grant the like to others.

Did I see any thing more of Christ, as to Meeknesse, Justice, Order, Charity, and Loyaltie in those that pretended to other modes of Government, I might suspect my Judgment to be biassed, or fore-stalled with some prejudice and wontednesse of opinion: but I have hitherto so much cause to suspect the contrary in the manners of many of those men, that I cannot from them gain the least reputation for their new ways of Government.

Nor can I find, that in any Reformed Churches (whose patterns are so cried up, and obtruded upon the Churches under my Dominion) that either Learning, or Religion, works of Piety or Charity, have so flourished beyond what they have done in my Kingdoms (by Gods blessing) which might make me believe either Presbytery or Independency have a more benigne influence upon the Church and mens hearts and lives, then Episcopacy in its right constitution.

The abuses of which, deserve to be extirpated, as much as the use retained; for I think it farre better to hold to primitive and uniforme Antiquity, then to comply with divided novelty.

A right Episcopacy would at once satisfie all just desires and interests of good Bishops, humble presbyters, and sober People; so as Church affaires should be managed neither with tyrannie, paritie nor popularitie; neither Bishops ejected, nor presbyters dispised, nor People oppressed,

And in this integrity both of my Judgement and Conscience, I hope God will preserve me.

_For thou, O Lord, knowest my uprightnesse, and tendernesse, as thou hast set me to be a Defender of the Faith, and a Protectour of thy Church, so suffer me not by any violence, to be overborne against my Conscience._

_Arise O Lord, maintain thine own Cause, let not thy Church be deformed, as to that Government, which derived from thy Apostles, hath been retained in purest and primitive times, till the Revenues of the Church became the object of secular envie; Which seeks to rob it of all the incouragements of Learning and Religion._

_Make me as the good Samaritan, compassionate and helpfull to thy afflicted Church; which some men have wounded and robb'd; others pass by without regard, either to pitie or relieve._

_As my power was from thee, so give me grace to use it for thee._

_And though I am not suffered to be Master of my other Rights as a_ KING; _yet preserve me in that libertie of Reason, love of Religion, and thy Churches welfare which are fixed in my Conscience as a Christian._

_Preserve from sacrilegious Invasions, those temporall blessings, which thy Providence hath bestowed on thy Church for thy glorie._

_Forgive their sins and errours, who have deserved thy just permission, thus to let in the wilde Boar and subtil Foxes, to waste and deform thy Vineyard, which thy right hand hath planted, and the dew of heaven so long watered to a happy and flourishing estate._

_O let me not bear the infamous brand to all Posteritie, of being the first Christian_ KING, _in this Kingdom, who should consent to the oppression of thy Church, and the Fathers of it; whose errours I would rather, with_ Constantine, _cover with silence, and reform with meeknesse, then expose their persons, and sacred Functions to vulgar contempt._

_Thou, O Lord, seest how much I have suffered with, and for thy Church; make no long tarrying O my God to deliver both me and it, from unreasonable men whose counsels have brought forth, and continue such violent confusions, by a precipitant destroying the ancient boundaries of the Churches peace; thereby letting in all manner of errours, scismes and disorders._

_O thou God of order, and of truth, in thy good time abate the malice, asswage the rage, and confound all the mischievous devises of thine, mine, and thy Churches enemies._

_That I, and all that love thy Church, may sing prayses to thee, and ever magnifie thy salvation, even before the sons of men._

* * * * *

18. _Upon_ Uxbridge _Treaty, and other Offers made by the_ KING.

I looke upon the way of Treaties, as a retiring from fighting like beasts, to arguing like men; whose strength should be more in their understandings, then in their limbs.

And though I could seldom get opportunities to Treat, yet I never wanted either desire or disposition to it; having greater confidence of my Reason, then my Sword. I was so wholy resolved to yeild to the first, that I thought neither my self, not others, should need to use the second, if once we rightly understood each other.

Nor did I ever think it a diminution of me, to prevent them with expresses of my desires, and even importunities to Treat: It being an office not only of humanity, rather to use Reason then Force; but also of Christianitie to _seek peace and ensue it_.

As I am very unwillingly compelled to defend my self with Armes, so I very willingly embraced any thing tending to Peace.

The events of all War by the Sword being very dubious, and of a Civill war uncomfortable; the end hardly recompencing, and late repairing the mischiefe of the means.

Nor did any successe I had ever enhaunce with me the price of Peace, as earnestly desired by me as any man; though I was like to pay dearer for it then any man: All that I sought to reserve, was, mine Honour and my Conscience; the one I could not part with as a King, the other as a Christian.

The Treaty at _Uxbridg_ gave the fairest hopes of an happy composure; had others applied themselves to it with the same moderation, as I did, I am confident the war had then ended.

I was willing to condescend, as far as Reason, Honour, and Conscience, would give me leave: nor were the remaining differences so essentiall to my peoples happinesse, or of such consequence, as in the least kind to have hindred my Subjects either security or prosperity; for they better enjoyed both many yeers, before ever those demands were made; some of which to deny, I think the greatest Justice to my Self, and favour to my Subjects.

I see Jealousies are not so easily allayed, as they are raised: Some men are more afraid to retreat from violent Engagements, then to Engage: what is wanting in Equity, must be made up in Pertinacie. Such as had little to enjoy in Peace, or to lose in War, studied to render the very name of _Peace_ odious and suspected.

In Church-affairs, where I had least libertie of prudence, having so many strict ties of Conscience upon me, yet I was willing to condescend so farr to the setling of them, as might have given fair satisfaction to all men, whom Faction, Covetousness, or Superstition had not engaged, more then any true zeal, charity, or love of Reformation.

I was content to yeeld to all that might seem to advance true piety; I onely sought to continue what was necessary in point of Order, Maintenance, and Authority to the Churches Government; and what I am perswaded (as I have else-where set down my thoughts more fully) is most agreeable to the true principles of all Government, raised to its full stature and perfection, as also to the primitive Apostolicall patterne, and the practice of the Universall Church conform therunto.

From which wholly to recede, without any probable reason urged or answered, only to satisfie some mens wills and fantasies (which yet agree not among themselves in any point, but that of extirpating Episcopacy, and fighting against Me) must needs argue such a softnesse, and infirmity of mind in Me, as will rather part with Gods Truth, then mans Peace, and rather lose the Churches honour, then crosse some mens factious humours.

God knows, and time will discover, who were most to blame for the un-successfulnesse of that Treaty, and who must bear the guilt of after-calamities. I beleeve, I am very excusable both before God, and all unpassionate men, who have seriously weighed those transactions, wherein I endeavoured no lesse the restauration of peace to my people, then the preservation of my own Crowns to my posterity.

Some men have that height, as to interpret all faire condescendings as arguments of feeblenesse, and glory most in an unflexible stifnesse, when they see others most supple and inclinable to them.

A grand Maxime with them was alwayes to ask something, which in Reason and Honour must be denied, that they might have some colour to refuse all that was in other things granted; setting Peace at as high a rate, as the worst effects of Warr; endevouring first to make Me destroy My self by dishonourable Concessions, that so they might have the less to do.

This was all which that Treaty, or any other produced, to let the world see how little I would deny, or they grant, in order to the publick Peace.

That it gave occasion to some mens further restivenesse, is imputable to their own depraved tempers, not to any Concessions or negations of Mine: I have alwayes the content of what I offered, and they the regret and blame, for what they refused.

The highest tide of success set me not above a Treaty, nor the lowest ebbe below a Fight: Though I never thought it any sign of true valour, to be prodigal of mens lives, rather then be drawne to produce our own Reasons, or subscribe to other mens.

That which made me for the most part presage the unsuccesfulnesse of any Treaty, was, some mens unwillingnesse to Treat: which implied some things were to be gained by the Sword, whose unseasonableness they were loth to have fairly scanned, being more proper to be acted by Souldiers, then by Counsellours.

I pray God forgive them that were guilty of that Treaties breaking: and give them grace to make their advantages gotten by the Sword a better opportunity to use such moderation as was then wanting; that so though Peace were for our sins justly deferred, yet at last it might be happily obtained; what we could not get by our Treaties, we may gaine by our prayers.

_O thou, that art the God of Reason, and of Peace, who disdainest not to treat with Sinners, preventing them with offers of attonement, and beseeching them to be reconciled with thy selfe: who wantest not Power, or Iustice, to destroy them; yet aboundest in mercy to save: soften our hearts by the bloud of our Redeemer, and perswade us to accept of Peace with thy self, and both to procure and preserve Peace among our selves, as Men and Christians. How oft have I entreated for Peace? but when I speak thereof, they make them ready to War._

_Condemn us not to our passions, which are destructive both of our selves, and of others._

_Cleer up our understandings to see thy Truth, both in reason, as Men; and in Religion, as Christians: and incline all our hearts to hold the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Take from us that enmity which is now in our hearts against thee: and give us that charity which should be among our selves._

_Remove the evils of war we have deserved, & bestow upon us that peace which only Christ our great Peace-maker can merit._

* * * * *

19. _Upon the various events of the warre, victories, and defeats._

The various successes of this unhappy war, have at least, afforded me variety of good meditations: sometimes God was pleased to try me with victory, by worsting my enemies, that I might know how with moderation and thanks to own, and use his power, who is the onely true Lord of Hosts, able when he pleases to represse the confidence of those who fought against mee with so great advantage for power and number.

From small beginnings on my part, hee let me see, that I was not wholly for saken by my peoples love, or his protection.

Other times God was pleased to exercise my patience, and teach me not to trust in the arm of Flesh, but in the living God.

My sins sometimes prevailed against the justice of my cause, and those that were with me wanted not matter and occasion for his just chastisement both of them and Mee: Nor were My Enemies lesse punished by that prosperity which hardened them to continue that injustice by open hostilitie, which was begun by most riotous and un-Parliamentary Tumults.

There is no doubt but personall and private sins may oft-times over-balance the Justice of publick Engagements; nor doth God account every gallant man (in the worlds esteem) a fit instrument to assert in the way of War a righteous Cause: The more men are prone to arrogate to their own skill, valour, and strength, the lesse doth God ordinarily work by them for his own glory.

I am sure the event or successe can never state the Justice of any Cause, nor the peace of mens Consciences, nor the eternall fate of their Souls.

Those with Me had (I think) clearly and undoubtedly, for their justification, the Word of God, and the Lawes of the Land, together with their own Oathes; all requiring obedience to my just Commands; but to none other under Heaven without me, or against me in the point of raising Arms.

Those on the other side are forced to flie to the shifts of some pretended Fears, and wilde Fundamentals of State (as they call them) which actually overthrow the present fabrick both of Church and State; being such imaginary Reasons for self-defence as are most impertinent for those men to alledge, who being my Subjects, were manifestly the first assaulters of Me and the Laws: first, by unsuppressing the Tumults, after by listed Forces: The same Allegations they use, will fit any Faction that hath but power and confidence enough to second with the Sword all their Demands against the present Laws and Governours; which can never be such as some side or other will not find fault with, so as to urge what they call a Reformation of them to a Rebellion against them: some parasitick Preachers have dared to call those Martyrs, who died fighting against Me, the Laws, their Oaths, and the Religion established.

But sober Christians know, That glorious Title can with truth be applied onely to those, who sincerely preferred Gods Truth and their duty in all these particulars before their lives, and all that was dear to them in this world; who having no advantageous Designes by any Innovasion, were Religiously sensible of those ties to God, the Church, and my Self, which lay upon their souls, both for obedience, and just assistance.

God could, and I doubt not but hee did through his mercy, crown many of them with eternall life, whose lives were lost in so just a Cause; the destruction of their bodies being sanctified as a means to save their souls.

Their Wounds and temporal Ruine serving as a gracious opportunity for their eternall Health and Happinesse; while the evident approach of death, through Gods grace, effectually dispose their hearts to such Humilitie, Faith, and Repentance, which together with the Rectitude of their present Engagement, would fully prepare them for a better life then that which their enemies brutish and disloyall fiercenesse could deprive them of; or without repentance hope to enjoy.

They have often, indeed, had the better against my side in the Field, but never, I beleeve at the Bar of Gods Tribunal, or their own Consciences; where they are more afraid to encounter those many pregnant Reasons, both for Law, Allegiance, and all true Christian grounds, which conflicts _with_, and accuse them _in_ their own thoughts, then they oft were in a desperate bravery to fight against those Forces which sometimes God gave me.

Whose condition conquered, and dying, I make no question, but is infinitely more to be chosen by a sober man (that duly values his duty, his soul and eternity, beyond the enjoyment of this present life) then the most triumphant glory, wherein their and mine Enemies supervive; who can hardly avoid to be daily tormented by that horrid guilt, wherewith their suspicious, or now convicted Consciences do pursue them, especially since they and all the world have seen, how false and unintended those pretensions were, which they first set forth, as the onely plausible (though not justifiable) grounds of raising a War, and continuing it thus long against Me, and the Laws established; in whose safety and preservation all honest men think the welfare of their Country doth consist.

For, and with all which, it is far more honourable and comfortable to suffer, then to prosper in their ruine and subversion.

I have often prayed, that all on my side might join true pietie with the sense of their Loyalty; and be as faithfull to God and their own souls, as they were to Me; That the defects of the one might not blast the endeavours of the other.

Yet I cannot think, that any shews of truth of piety on the other side were sufficient to dispence with, or expiate the defects of their dutie and Loyaltie to Me, which have so pregnant convictions on mens consciences, that even profaner men are moved by the sense of them to venture their lives for Me.

I never had any Victory which was without My sorrow, because it was on Mine own Subjects, who, like _Absolom_, died many of them in their sin: And yet I never suffered any Defeat which made Me despair of Gods mercy and defence.

I never desired such victories, as might serve to conquer, but only restore the Laws and Liberties of My people; which I saw were extremly oppressed, together with my rights, by those men, who were impatient of any just restraint.

When Providence gave Me, or denied Me Victory, my desire was never to boast of my power nor to charge God foolishly; who I believed at last would make all things to work together for my good.

I wished no greater advantages by the War, then to bring my Enemies to moderation, and my Friends to peace.

I was afraid of the temptation of an absolute conquest, and never prayed more for Victory over others, then over my self. When the first was denied, the second was granted me, which God saw best for me.

The different events were but the methods of divine justice, by contrary winds to winow us: That, by punishing our sins, he might purge them from us; and by deferring peace, he might prepare us more to prize, and better to use so great a blessing.

My often Messages for Peace shewed, that I delighted not in Warre; as my former Concessions sufficiently testified, how willingly I would have prevented it; and My totall unpreparedness for it, how little _I_ intended it.

The Conscience of my Innocence forbad Me to fear a Warr; but the love of my Kingdoms commanded me (if possible) to avoid it.

I am guilty in this War of nothing but this, That I gave such advantages to some men, by confirming their power, which they knew not to use with that modesty and gratitude, which became their loyalty and My confidence.

Had I yeelded lesse, I had been opposed lesse; had I denied more, I had been more obeyed.

'Tis now too late to review the occasions of the War; I wish only a happy conclusion of so unhappy beginnings: The inevitable fate of our sins was (no doubt) such, as would no longer suffer the divine Justice to be quiet: we having conquered this patience, are condemned by mutuall conquerings, to destroy one another: for, the most prosperous successes on either side, impair the welfare of the whole.

Those Victories are still miserable, that leave our sins unsubdued; flushing our pride, and animating to continue injuries.

Peace is not it self desirable, till repentance hath prepared us for it.

When we fight more against our selves, and lesse against God, we shall cease fighting against one another; I pray God these may all meet in our hearts, and so dispose us to an happy conclusion of these Civil-Wars; that I may know better to obey God, and govern my people, and they may learn better to obey both God and me.

Nor do _I_ desire any man should be further subject to me, then all of us may be subject to God.

_O my God, make me content to be overcome, when thou wilt have it so._

_Teach me the noblest victory over my self and my enemies by patience, which was Christs conquest, and may well become a Christian King._

_Between both thy hands, the right sometimes supporting, and the left afflicting, fashion us to that frame of Piety thou likest best._

_Forgive the pride that attends our prosperous, and the repinings which follow our disastrous events; when going forth in our own strength thou withdrawest thine, and goest not forth with our Armies._

_Be thou all, when we are something, and when we are nothing; that thou mayest have the glory, when we are in a Victorious, or inglorious condition._

_Thou O Lord knowest, how hard it is for me to suffer so much evill from my Subjects, to whom I intend nothing but good; and I cannot but suffer in those evils which they compel me to inflect upon them; punishing my self in their punishments._

_Since therefore both in conquering, and being conquered, I am still a Sufferer: I beseech thee to give me a double portion of thy Spirit, and that measure of grace, which only can be sufficient for me._

_As I am most afflicted, so make me most reformed: that I may not be only happy to see an end of those civill distractions, but a chief Instrument to restore and establish a firm, and blessed Peace to my Kingdoms._

_Scirre up all Parties pious ambitions to overcome each other with reason, moderation, and such self-deniall, as becomes those, who consider that our mutuall divisions are our common distractions, and the Union of all is every good mans chiefest interest._

_If O Lord, as for the sins of our peace, thou hast brought upon us the miseries of War: so for the sins of War thou shouldst see fit still to deny us the blessing of peace, and so to keep us in a circulation of miseries: yet give me thy Servant, and all Loyall, though afflicted Subjects, to enjoy that peace which, the world can nether give to us, nor take from us._

_Impute not to me the blood of my Subjects, which with infinite unwillingness and griefe, hath been shed by me, in my just & necessary defence: but wash me with that precious blood, which hath been shed for me, by my great Peacemaker, Jesus Christ; Who will, I trust, redeem me shortly out of all my troubles: for, I know the triumphing of the Wicked is but short, and the joy of Hypocrites is but for a moment._

* * * * *

20. _Upon the Reformation of the Times._

No Glory is more to be envied then that of due reforming either Church or State, when deformities are such, that the perturbation and noveltie are not like to exceed the benefit of Reforming.

Although God should not honour me so far, as to make me an Instrument of so good a work, yet _I_ should be glad to see it done.

As I was well pleased with this Parliaments first intentions to reform what the indulgence of Times, and corruption of manners might have depraved; so I am sorry to see after the freedom of Parliament was by factious Tumults oppressed, how little regard was had to the good Laws established, and the Religion setled; which ought to be the first rule and standard of Reforming: with how much partiality and popular compliance the passions and opinions of men have been gratified, to the detriment of the Publick, and the infinite scandall of the reformed Religion?

What dissolutions of all Order and Government in the Church? what novelties of Schism, and corrupt opinions? what undecencies and confusions in sacred Administrations? what sacrilegious Invasions upon the Rights and Revenues of the Church? what contempt and oppressions of the Clergie? what injurious diminutions and persecutings of Me have followed (as showers do warm gleams) the talk of Reformation, all sober men are Witnesses, and with my self, sad Spectators hitherto.

The great miscarriage (I think) is, that popular clamours and fury have been allowed the reputation of zeal, and the Publick sense; so that the studies to please some Parties, hath indeed injured all.

Freedom, Moderation and Impartiality are sure the best tempers of reforming Counsels and endeavours; what is acted by Factions, cannot but offend more then it pleaseth.

I have offered to put all differences in Church affairs and Religion to the free consultation of a Synod or Convocation rightly chosen; the results of whose Councels, as they would have included the Votes of all, so its like they would have given most satisfaction to all.

The Assembly of Divines, whom the two Houses have applied (in an unwonted way) to advise of Church affairs, I dislike not farther, then that they are not legally convened and chosen; nor act in the name of all the Clergy of _England_; nor with freedom and impartiality can do any thing, being limited and confined, if not overawed, to do and declare what they do.

For I cannot think so many men cried up for learning and piety, who formerly allowed the Liturgy and Government of the Church of _England_, as to the main, would have so suddenly agreed quite to abolish both of them, (the last of which, they know to be of Apostolicall institution, at least; as of Primitive and Universall practice) if they had been left to the liberty of their own suffrages, and if the influence of contrary factions had not by secret encroachments of hopes and fears, prevailed upon them, to comply with so great and dangerous Innovations in the Church; without any regard to their own former judgment and practice, or to the common interest and honour of all the Clergy, and in them of Order, learning, and Religion against examples of all Ancient Churches; the Lawes in force and my consent; which is never to be gained, against so pregnant light, as in that point shines on my understanding.

For I conceive, that where the Scripture is not so clear and punctuall in precepts, there the constant and Universall practice of the Church, in things not contrary to Reason, Faith, good Manners, or any positive Command, is the best rule that Christians can follow.

I was willing to grant, or restore to Presbytery, what with Reason or Discretion it can pretend to, in a conjuncture with Episcopacy; but for that wholy to invade the Power, and by the Sword to arrogate, and quite abrogate the Authority of that Ancient Order, I thinke neither just, as to episcopacy, nor safe for Presbytery; nor yet any way convenient for this Church or State.

A due reformation had easily followed moderate Counsels: and such (I beleeve) as would have given more content, even to the most of those Divines, who have been led on with much Gravity and formality, to carry on other mens designes which no doubt many of them by this time discover, though they dare not but smother their frustrations and discontents.

The specious and popular Titles of Christs Government, Throne, Scepter, and Kingdom, (which certainly is not divided, nor hath two faces, as their parties now have at least) also the noise of a thorow-Reformation, these may as easily be fined on new models, as fair colours may be put to ill-favoured Figures.

The breaking of Church-windows, which time had sufficiently defaced; pulling down of Crosses, which were but Civill, not Religious marks; defacing of Monuments, and Inscriptions of the dead, which served but to put Posterity in minde, to thank God for that clearer light wherein they live: The leaving of Ministers to their liberties, and private abilities in the publick service of God, where no Christian can tell to what hee may say _Amen_; nor what adventure he may make of seeming, at least, to consent to the Errours, Blasphemies, and ridiculous Undecencies which bold and ignorant men list to vent in their Prayers, Preaching, and other Offices; Their setting forth also of old Catechisms, and Confessions of Faith new drest, importing as much, as if there had been no sound or cleer Doctrine of Faith in this Church, before some four or five yeers consultation had matured their thoughts touching their first principles of Religion.

All these and the like are the effects of popular, specious, and deceitfull Reformations, (that they might not seem to have nothing to do) and may give some short flashes of content to the Vulgar, (who are taken with novelties, as children with babies, very much, but not very long) but all this amounts not to, nor can in justice merit the glory of the Churches thorow-Reformation; since they leave all things more deformed, disorderly, and discontented then when they began, in point of Piety, Morality, Charity, and good Order.

Nor can they easily recompence or remedie the inconveniences and mischiefs which they have purchased so dearly, and which have, and will ever necessarily ensue, till due remedies be applied.

I wish they would at last make it their unanimous work to do Gods work, and not their own: Had Religion been first considered (as it merited) much trouble might have been prevented.

But some men thought, that the Government of this Church and State, fixed by so many Lawes, and long Customes, would not run into their new moulds, till they had first melted it in the fire of a Civil Warr; by the advantages of which they resolved, if they prevailed, to make my Self and all my Subjects fall down and worship the Images they should form and set up. If there had been as much of Christs Spirit, for meeknesse, wisdom and charitie in mens hearts, as there was of his name used in the pretensions to reform all to Christs Rule, it would certainly have obtained more of Gods blessing, and produced more of Christs Glory, the Churches good, the honour of Religion, and the unity of Christians.

Publick Reformers had need first act in private, and practice that on their own hearts, which they purpose to try on others; for Deformities within will soon betray the pretenders of publick Reformations to such private designs, as must needs hinder the publick good.

I am sure, the right Methods of Reforming the Church, cannot subsist with that of perturbing the Civil State; nor can Religion be justly advanced by depressing Loyaltie, which is one of the chiefest Ingredients, and Ornaments of true Religion: for next to _Fear God_, is, _Honour the King_.

I doubt not but Christs Kingdom may be set up without pulling down mine; nor will any men in impartiall times appear good Christians, that approve not them selves good Subjects.

Christs Government will confirm Mine, not overthrow it, since as I own Mine from Him, so I desire to rule for his Glory, and his Churches good.

Had some men truly intended Christs Government, or knew what it meant in their hearts, they could never have been so ill governed in their words and actions, both against Me, and one another.

As good ends cannot justifie evill means; so nor will evill beginnings ever bring forth good conclusions: unless God by a miracle of Mercie create Light out of Darknesse, Order out of our Confusions, and peace out of our passions.

_Thou, O Lord, who onely canst give us beauty for ashes, and Truth for Hypocrisie; suffer us not to be miserably deluded with Pharisaicall washings, in stead of Christian reformings._

_Our greatest diformities are within; make us the severest Censurers, and first Reformers of our own souls._

_That we may in clearnesse of judgment, and uprightnesse of heart be means to reform what is indeed amisse in Church and State._

_Create in us clean hearts, O Lord, and renew right spirits within us; that we may do all by thy directions, to thy glory, and with thy blessing. Pity the deformities, which some rash & cruel Reformers have brought upon this Church and State: Quench the fires which factions have kindled, under the pretence of Reforming._

_As thou hast shewed the world by their divisions, and confusions, what is the pravity of some mens intentions, and weaknesse of their judgements; so bring us at last more refined out of these fires, by the methods of Christian and charitable reformations; wherein nothing of ambition, revenge, coveteousnes, or sacriledge, may have any influence upon their counsels, whom thy providence in just and lawfull wayes shall entrust with so great, good, and now most necessary a work: That I and my people may be so blest with inward piety, as may best teach us how to use the blessings of outward peace._

* * * * *

21. _Upon his Majesties Letters taken and divulged._

The taking of My Letters was an opportunity, which, as the malice of Mine ENEMIES could hardly have expected; so they know not how with honour and civility to use it: Nor do I thinke with sober and worthy minds any thing in them, could tend so much to my reproach, as the odious divulging of them did to the infamy of the Divulgers: The greatest experiments of Vertue and Noblenesse being discovered in the greatest advantages against an enemy, and the greatest obligations being those, which are put upon us by them, from whom we could least have expected them.

And such I should have esteemed the concealing of my Papers; the freedom and secresie of which, commands a civility from all men, not wholly barbarous; nor is there any thing more inhumane then to expose them to publick view.

Yet since Providence will have it so, I am content so much of My heart (which I study to approve to Gods omniscience) should be discovered to the world without any of those dresses or popular captations which some men use in their Speeches and Expresses; I wish My Subjects had a cleerer sight into My most retired Thoughts.

Where they might discover, how they are divided between the love and care I have, not more to preserve My own Rights, then to procure their Peace and Happinesse, and that extreme grief to see them both deceiv'd and destroyed.

Nor can any mens malice be gratified further by My Letters, than to see my constancy to my Wife, the Laws, and Religion. Bees will gather honey where the Spider sucks Poyson.

That I endeavour to avoid the pressures of my Enemies, by all fair and just correspondences; no man can blame, who loves Me, or the Common-wealth, since my Subjects can hardly be happy if I be miserable, or enjoy their Peace and Liberties while I am oppressed.

The world may see how soon mens designe, like _Absoloms_, is by enormous actions to widen differences, and exasperate all sides to such distances, as may make all Reconciliation desperate.

Yet I thank God, I can not only with patience bear this, as other indignities, but with charity forgive them.

The integrity of my intentions is not jealous of any injury my expressions can do them, for although the confidence of privacy may admit of greater freedome in writing such letters, which may be liable to envious exceptions; yet the innocency of my chief purposes cannot be so obtained, or mis-interpreted by them, as not to let all men see, that I wish nothing more then a happy composure of differences with Justice & Honor, nor more to My own, then My peoples content, who have any sparks of Love or Loyalty left in them: who, by those my Letters may be convinced that I can both mind and act My own, and My Kingdomes Affaires, so as becomes a Prince; which Mine Enemies have alwayes been very loth should be beleeved of me, as if I were wholly confined to the Dictates and Directions of others; whom they please to brand with the names of Evil Counsellours.

Its probable some men will now look upon me as my own Counsellour, and having none else to quarrell with under that notion, they will hereafter confine their anger to my self: Although I know they are very unwilling I should enjoy the liberty of my own thoughts, or follow the light of my own Conscience, which they labour to bring into an absolute captivitie to themselves; not allowing me to think their Counsels to be other then good for me, which have so long maintained a War against Me.

The Victory they obtained that day, when my Letters became their prize, had been enough to have satiated the most ambitious thirst of popular glory among the Vulgar; with whom prosperity gaines the greatest esteem and applause as adversity exposeth to their greatest sleighting and dis-respect: As if good fortune were alwayes the shadow of Vertue and Justice, and did not oftner attend vitious and injurious actions, as to this world.

But I see no secular advantages seem sufficient to that cause, which began with Tumults, and depends chiefly upon the reputation with the vulgar.

They think no Victories so effectual to their designs, as those that most rout and waste My Credit with My People; in whose hearts they seek by all means to smother and extinguish all sparks of Love, Respect and Loyaltie to Me, that they may never kindle again, so as to recover Mine, the Laws & the Kingdoms Liberties, which some men seek to overthrow: The taking away of my Credit, is but a necessary preparation to the taking away of my Life and my Kingdoms; first I must seem neither fit to Live, nor worthy to Reign: By exquisite methods of cunning & crueltie, I must be compelled, first to follow the Funerals of my Honor, and then be destroyed: But I know Gods un-erring and impartial justice can & will over rule the most perverse wils and designs of men; he is able, and (I hope) will turn even the worst of mine Enemies thoughts and actions to my good.

Nor do I think, that by the surprize of my Letters, I have lost any more then so many papers: how much they have lost of that reputation, for Civility and Humanity (which ought to be paid to all men, and most becomes such as pretend to Religion) besides that of Respect and Honor, which they owe to their KING, present, and after-times will judge. And I cannot think that their own consciences are so stupid, as not to inflict upon them some secret impressions of that shame & dishonor which attends all unworthy actions have they never so much of publick flattery and popular countenance.

I am sure they can never expect the divine approbation of such indecent actions, if they do but remember how God blest the modest respect & filial tenderness which _Noah's_ Sons bare to their Father; nor did his open infirmity justifie _Cham's_ impudency, or exempt him from that curse of being _Servant of Servants_; which curse must needs be on them who seek by dishonorable actions to please the Vulgar, and confirm by ignoble acts, their dependance upon the People.

Nor can their malitious intentions be ever either excusable or prosperous, who thought to expose me to the highest reproach & contempt of my People, forgetting that duty of modest concealment which they owed to the Father of their Country, in case they had discovered any real uncomliness, which, I thank God they did not; who can, and I believe hath made Me more respected in the hearts of many (as he did _David_) to whom they thought, by publishing my private Letters, to have rendred me as a vile Person, not fit to be trusted or considered, under any Notion of Majesty.

_But thou, O Lord, whose wise and all disposing Providence ordereth the greatest contingences of humane affairs, make me to see the constancie of thy mercies to me, in the greatest advantages thou seemest to give the malice of my Enemies against me._

_As thou didst blast the council of_ Achitophel _turning it to_ Davids _good and his own ruine: so canst thou defeat their Designe, who intended by publishing my private Letters, nothing else but to render me more odious and contemptible to my People._

_I must first appeal to thy Omniscience, who canst witnesse my integritie, how unjust and false those scandalous misconstructions are, which my Enemies endevour by those papers of mine to represent unto the world._

_Make the evil they imagined, and displeasure they intended thereby against me, so to return on their own heads, that they may be ashamed, and covered with their own confusion as with a cloak._

_Thou seest how mine Enemies use all means to cloud mine Honour, to pervert my purposes, and to slander the footsteps of thine Annointed._

_But give me an heart content to be dishonoured for thy sake, and thy Churches good._

_Fix in me a purpose to honour thee, and then I know thou wilt honour me, either by restoring to me the enjoyment of that Power and Majesty, which thou hast suffered some men to seek to deprive me of; or by bestowing on me that Crown of Christian patience, which knows how to serve thee in honour or dishonour, in good report or evil._

_Thou, O Lord, art the fountain of goodness and honour; thou art cloathed with excellent Majesty; make me to partake of thy excellency for wisdom, justice and mercy, and I shall not want that degree of Honour and Majestie which becomes the Place in which thou hast set me; who art the lifter up of my head, and my Salvation._

_Lord, by thy Grace, lead me to thy Glory, which is both true and eternall._

* * * * *

22. _Upon His Majesties Leaving_ Oxford, _and going to the_ Scots.

Although God hath given me three Kingdoms, yet in these He hath not now left me any place where I may with safety & Honor rest my head: shewing me that himself is the safest Refuge, and the strongest Tower of defence, in which I may put my trust.

In these extremities, I look not to man so much as to God: He will have it thus, that I may cast my self, and my now distressed Affairs upon his mercy, who hath both hearts and hands of all men in his dispose.

What Providence denies to Force, it may grant to Prudence; Necessity is now my Counsellor, and commands Me to study My safety by a disguised withdrawing from my chiefest strength, and adventuring upon their Loyalty, who first began my troubles. Happily, God may make them a means honorable to compose them.

This my confidence of them, may dis-arm & overcom them; my rendring my person to them, may engage their affection to me, who have oft professed, _They fought not against me, but for me_.

I must now resolve the riddle of their Loyalty: and give them opportunity to let the world see, they mean not what they do, but what they say.

Yet must God be my chiefest Guard; and my Conscience both my Counsellor and my Comforter: Though I put my body into their hands, yet I shall reserve my soul to God and my self; nor shall any necessities compell me, to desert mine honour, or swerve from my Judgement.

What they fought to take by force, shall now be given them in such a way of unusuall confidence of them, as may make them ashamed not to be really such as they ought, and professed to be.

God sees it not enough to desert me of all Military power to defend my Self, but to put me upon using their power, who seem to fight against me, yet ought in duty to defend me.

So various are all humane affairs, & so necessitous may the state of Princes be, that their greatest danger may be in their supposed safety, and their safety in their supposed danger.

I must now leave those that have Adhered to me, and apply to those that have Opposed me; this method of Peace may be more prosperous then that of War, both to stop the effusion of bloud, & to close those wounds already made: and in it I am no less solicitous for my Friends safety, then mine own; chusing to venture my Self upon further hazards, rather then expose their resolute Loyaltie to all extremities.

It is some skil in play to know when a game is lost; better fairly to give over, then to contest in vain.

I must now study to re-inforce my Judgment, and fortifie my mind with Reason and Religion, that I may not seem to offer up my Souls libertie, or make my Conscience their Captive; who ought at first to have used Arguments, not Arms, to have perswaded my consent to their demands.

I thank God, no success darkens or disguises Truth to me; and I shall no less conform my words to my inward dictates now, then if they had been as the words of a KING ought to be among loyal Subjects, _full of power_.

Reason is the divinest power. I shall never think my Self weakned, while I may make full and free use of that. No ecclipse of outward Fortune shall rob me of that light: what God hath denied of outward strength, his grace, I hope, will supply with inward resolutions; not morositie to deny, what is fit to be granted; but not to grant any thing which Reason and Religion bids me denie.

I shall never think my Self less then my Self, while I am able thus to preserve the integrity of my Conscience, the only Jewel now left me, which is worth keeping.

_O thou Soveraign of our Souls, the onely Commander of our Consciences; though I know not what to do, yet mine eyes are toward thee: To the protection of thy mercy I still commend my self._

_As thou hast preserved me in the day of Battell, so thou canst still shew me thy strength in my weaknesse._

_Be thou unto me in my darkest night a pillar of fire, to enlighten and direct me; in the day of my hottest affliction, be also a pillar of cloud to over-shadow and protect me; be to me both a Sun and a Shield._

_Thou knowest, that it is not any perverseness of will, but just perswasions of Honour, Reason, and Religion, which have made me thus far to hazard my Person, Peace, and Safetie, against those that by force have sought to wrest them from me._

_Suffer not my just resolutions to abate with my outward Forces; let a good Conscience alwaies accompany me in my solitude and desertions._

_Suffer me not to betray the powers of Reason, and that fortresse of my Soul which I am entrusted to keep for thee._

_Lead me in the paths of thy righteousnesse, and shew me thy salvation._

_Make my waies to please thee, and then thou wilt make mine enemies to be at peace with me._

* * * * *

23. _Upon the_ Scots _delivering the_ KING _to the_ English, _and His Captivity at_ Holmeby.

Yet may I justifie those _Scots_ to all the world in this. That they have not deceived me; for I never trusted to them further then to men: if I am sold by them, I am only sorry they should do it: and that My price should be so much above My Saviors.

These are but further Essays which God will have Me make of mans uncertainty, the more to fix Me on himself, who never faileth them that trust in him; though the Reeds of _Ægypt_ break under the hand of him that leans on them, yet the Rock of _Israel_ will be an everlasting stay and defence.

Gods Providence commands Me to retire from all to himself, that in him I may enjoy My Self, which I lose, while I let out My hopes to others.

The solitude & captivity to which I am now reduced, gives Me leisure enough to study the worlds vanity and inconstancie.

God sees 'tis fit to deprive Me of Wife, Children, Armie, Friends, and Freedom, that I may be wholly his, who alone is all.

I care not much to be reckoned among the Unfortunate, if I be not in the black List of irreligious and sacrilegious Princes.

No Restraint shall ensnare my Soul in sin; nor gain that of me which may make my Enemies more insolent, my Friends ashamed, or my Name accursed.

They have no great cause to triumph, that they have got my Person into their power; since my Soul is still my own: nor shall they ever gain my Consent against my Conscience.

What they call obstinacie, I know God accounts honest constancie, from which Reason and Religion, as well as Honor, forbid Me to recede.

'Tis evident now, that it was not Evil Counsellors with Me, but a good Conscience in Me, which hath been fought against; nor did they ever intend to bring Me to my Parliament, till they had brought My mind to their obedience.

Should I grant what some men desire, I should be such as they with Me, not more a King, and far less both Man and Christian.

What Tumults and Armies could not obtain, neither shall Restraint; which though it have a little of safety to a Prince, yet it hath not more of danger.

The fear of men shall never be my snare; nor shal the love of any liberty entangle my soul: Better others betray me, then my self: and that the price of my liberty should be my conscience; the greatest injuries my Enemies seek to inflict upon me, cannot be without my own consent.

While I can deny with Reason, I shall defeat the greatest impressions of their malice, who neither know how to use worthily what I have already granted; nor what to require more of me but this, That I would seem willing to help them to destroy my self and mine.

Although they should destroy me, yet they shall have no cause to despise me.

Neither liberty nor life are so dear to me, as the peace of my Conscience, the Honor of my Crowns, and the welfare of my People; which my word may injure more then any War can do; while I gratifie a few to oppresse all.

The Laws wil by Gods blessing, revive, with the love and Loyaltie of my Subjects; if I bury them not by my Consent, and cover them in that grave of dishonor and injustice, which some mens violence hath digged for them.

If my Captivity or Death must be the price of their redemption, I grudge not to pay it.

No condition can make a King miserable, which carries not with it, his Souls, his Peoples, and Posterities thraldom.

After-times may see, what the blindnesse of this Age will not; and God may at length shew my Subjects, that I chuse rather to suffer for them, then with them; happily I might redeem my self to some shew of liberty, if I would consent to enslave them: I had rather hazard the ruine of one King, then to confirm many Tyrants over them, from whom I pray God deliver them, what ever becomes of me, whose solitude hath not left me alone.

_For thou, O God, infinitely Good, and Great, art with me, whose presence is better then life, and whose service is perfect freedom._

_Own me for thy Servant, and I shall never have cause to complain for want of that liberty which becomes a Man, a Christian, and a King._

_Blesse me still with Reason, as a Man; with Religion, as a Christian; and with constancie in Justice, as a King._

_Though thou sufferest me to be stript of all outward ornaments, yet preserve me ever in those enjoyments wherein I may enjoy thy self; and which cannot be taken from me against my will._

_Let no fire of affliction boile over my passion to any impatience or sordid fears._

_There be many that say of me, There is no help for me: do thou lift up the light of thy Countenance upon me, and I shall want neither Safetie, Libertie, nor Majestie._

_Give me that measure of patience and constancie which my condition now requires._

_My strength is scattered, my expectation from Men defeated, my Person restrained: O be not thou far from me, lest my enemies prevail too much against me._

_I am become a wonder, and a scorn to many: O be thou my helper and defender._

_Shew some token upon me for good, that they that hate me may be ashamed, because thou Lord, hast holpen and comforted me; for establish me with thy free Spirit, that I may do and suffer thy will, as thou wouldst have me._

_Be mercifull to me, O Lord, for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, and in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, untill these calamities be over-past._

_Arise to deliver me, make no long tarrying, O my God. Though thou killest me, yet will I trust in thy mercy, and my Saviours merit._

_I know that my Redeemer liveth; though thou leadest me through the vail and shadow of death, yet shall I fear none ill._

* * * * *

24. _Upon their denying His Majestie the Attendance of His Chaplains._

When providence was pleased to deprive Me of all other civil comforts and secular attendants, I thought the absence of them all might best be supplied by the attendance of some of my Chaplains, whom for their Function I reverence, and for their Fidelitie I have cause to love. By their Learning, Pietie, and Praiers, I hoped to be either better enabled to sustain the want of all other enjoyments, or better fitted for the recovery and use of them in Gods good time; so reaping by their pious help a spiritual harvest of grace amidst the thorns, and after the plowings of temporal crosses.

The truth is, I never needed or desired more the service and assistance of men judiciously pious, and soberly devout.

The solitude they have confined me unto, adds the wildernesse to my temptations: For the company they obtrude upon me, is more sad then any solitude can be.

If I had asked my Revenues, my power of the _Militia_, or any one of my Kingdoms, it had bin no wonder to have been denied in those things, where the evil policy of men forbids all just restitution, lest they should confess an injurious usurpation: But to deny me the ghostly comfort of my Chaplains seems a greater rigor & barbarity, then is ever used by christians to the meanest prisoners, & greatest malefactors, whom though the justice of the law deprive of worldly comforts, yet the mercy of religion allows them the benefit of their Clergy, as not aiming at once to destroy their Bodies, and to damn their Souls.

But my agony must not be relieved with the presence of any one good Angel; for such I account a learned, godly, and discreet Divine: and such I would have all mine to be.

They that envie my being a King, are loth I should be a Christian: while they seek to deprive me of all things else, they are afraid I should save my Soul.

Other sense, Charity it self can hardly pick out of those many harsh repulses I received, as to that request so often made for the attendance of some of my Chaplains.

I have sometime thought the Unchristiannes of those denials might arise from a displeasure some men had to see me prefer my own Divines before their Ministers: whom, though I respect for that worth and piety w^{ch} may be in them, yet I cannot think them so proper for any present comforters or Physitians, Who have (some of them at least) had so great an influence in occasioning these calamities, and inflicting these wounds upon Me.

Nor are the soberest of them so apt for that devotional compliance, and juncture of hearts, which I desire to bear in those holy Offices to be performed with me, and for me; since their judgments standing at a distance from me, or in jealousie of me, or in opposition against me, their Spirits cannot so harmoniously accord with mine, or mine with theirs, either in Prayer or other holy duties, as is meet, and most comfortable; whose golden rule, and bond of Perfection consists in that of mutual Love and Charitie.

Some remedies are worse then the disease, and some comforters more miserable then misery it self; when like _Job's_ friends, they seek not to fortifie ones minde with patience; but perswade a man by betraying his own Innocency, to despair of Gods mercy; and by justifying their injuries, to strengthen the hands, and harden the heart of insolent Enemies.

I am so much a friend to all Church-men, that have any thing in them beseeming that sacred Function, that I have hazarded my own interests, chiefly upon Conscience and Constancie, to maintain their Rights; whom the more I looked upon as Orphans, and under the sacrilegious eyes of many cruell and rapacious Reformers; so I thought it my dutie the more to appear as a Father, and a Patron for them and the Church. Although I am very unhandsomly requited by some of them; who may live to repent no lesse for My sufferings, then their own ungrateful errours, and that injurious contempt and meannesse, which they have brought upon their Calling and Persons.

I pity al of them, I despise none: only I thought I might have leave to make choice of some for My special Attendance, who were best approved in My Judgment & most sutable to My affection: For, I held it better to seem undevout, and to hear no mans Praiers, then to be forced, or seem to comply with those Petitions to which the heart cannot consent, nor the tongue say _Amen_, without contradicting a mans own understanding, or belying his own Soul.

In Devotions, I love neither profane boldnesse, nor pious non-sence; but such an humble and judicious gravitie as shews the Speaker to be at once considerate both of Gods Majestie, the Churches Honour, and his own vilenesse; both knowing what things God allows him to ask, and in what manner it becomes a sinner to supplicate the divine mercie for himself, and others.

I am equally scandalised with all Praiers, that sound either imperiously, or rudely, and passionately; as either wanting humilitie to God, or charitie to men, or respect to the dutie.

I confess I am better pleased as with studied and premeditated Sermons, so with such publick Forms of Praier, as are fitted to the Churches and every Christians daily and common necessities; because I am by them better assured, what I may join my heart unto, then I can be of any mans extemporary sufficiencie: which as I do not wholly exclude from publick occasions; so I allow its just libertie and use in private and devout retirements; where neither the solemnities of the dutie, nor the modest regards to others, do require so great exactness as to the outward manner of performance; Though the light of understanding, and the fervencie of affections I hold the main and most necessarie requisites both in constant, and occasionall, solitairie, and sociall Devotions.

So that I must needs seem to all equal minds with as much reason to prefer the service of my own Chaplains before that of their Ministers, as I do the Liturgie before their Directorie.

In the one I have been alwaies educated and exercised; In the other, I am not yet Catechized, nor acquainted: And if I were, yet should I not by that, as by any certain rule and Canon of Devotion, be able to follow or find out the indirect extravagancies of most of those men, who highly cry up that as a piece of rare composure and use, which is already as much despised and disused by many of them, as the Common-Prayer sometimes was by those men; a great part of whose Pietie hung upon that popular pin of railing against, and contemning the Government, and Liturgie of this Church. But, I had rather be condemned to the wo of _Væ soli_, then to that of _Væ vobis Hypocritæ_, by seeming to pray what I do not approve.

It may be, I am esteemed by my Denyers sufficient of my Self to discharge my dutie to GOD as a Priest, though not to Men as a Prince.

Indeed, I think both Offices, Regal & Sacerdotal, might well become the same Person; as anciently they were under one name, and the united rights of primogeniture: nor could I follow better presidents, if I were able, then those two eminent Kings, _David_ and _Solomon_; not more famous for their Scepters and Crowns, then one was for devout Psalms and Praiers; the other for his divine Parables and Preaching: whence the one merited and assumed the name of a Prophet, the other of a Preacher. Titles indeed of greater honour, where rightly placed, then any of those the Roman Emperors affected from the Nations they subdued: it being infinitely more glorious to convert Souls to Gods Church by the Word, then to conquer men to a subjection by the Sword.

Yet since the order of Gods wisdom and providence hath, for the most part, alwaies distinguished the gifts and offices of Kings, of Priests, of Princes and Preachers; both in the Jewish and Christian Churches: I am sorry to find My self reduced to the necessity of being both, or enjoying neither.

For such as seek to deprive Me of Kingly Power and Soveraigntie; would no lesse enforce Me to live many Moneths without all Praiers, Sacraments, and Sermons, unlesse I become My own Chaplain.

As I owe the Clergy the protection of a Christian KING, so I desire to enjoy from them the benefit of their gifts and prayers; which I look upon as more prevalent then My own, or other mens; by how much they flow from minds more enlightned, and affections lesse distracted, then those which are encombered with secular affairs: besides, I think a greater blessing and acceptablenes attends those duties, which are rightly performed, as proper to, and within the limits of that calling, to which God and the Church have specially designed and consecrated some men: And however, as to that Spirituall government, by which the devout Soul is subject to Christ, and through his merits daily offers it self and its services to God, every private believer is a King and a Priest, invested with the honour of a Royall Priest hood; yet as to Ecclesiastical order, and the outward policy of the Church, I think confusion in Religion will as certainly follow every mans turning Priest or Preacher, as it will in the State, where every one affects to rule as King.

I was always bred to more modest, and I think to more pious Principles: the consciousness to my spirituall defects makes Me more prize and desire those pious assistances, which holy and good Ministers, either Bishops or Presbyters, may afford Me; especially in these extremities, to which God hath been pleased to suffer some of my Subjects to reduce me; so as to leave them nothing more, but my life to take from Me: and to leave me nothing to desire, which I thought might less provoke their jealousie and offence to deny Me, then this of having some means afforded Me for my Souls comfort and support.

To which end I made choice of men, as no way (that I know) scandalous, so every way eminent for their learning and piety, no less then for their Loyalty: nor can I imagine any exceptions to be made against them, but onely this, that they may seem too able, and too well affected toward Me and My Service.

But this is not the first service (as I count it the best) in which they have forced Me to serve my self; though I must confess I bear with more grief and impatience the want of My Chaplains, then of My other Servants; and next (if not beyond in some things) to the being sequestred from My Wife and Children; since from these indeed more of humane and temporary affections, but from those more of heavenly and eternall improvements may be expected.

My comfort is, that in the enforced (not neglected) want of ordinary means, God is wont to afford extraordinary supplies of his Gifts and Graces.

If his Spirit will teach me, and help my infirmities in prayer, reading and meditation (as I hope he will) I shall need no other, either Orator, or Instructer.

_To thee therefore, O my God, do I direct my now solitary Prayers; what I want of others help, supply with the more immediate assistance of thy Spirit, which alone can both enlighten my darknesse, and quicken my dulnesse._

_O thou Sun of righteousness, thou sacred Fountain of heavenly light and heat, at once cleer and warm my heart, both by instructing of me, and interceding for me; In thee is all fulness, From thee all sufficiency, By thee is all acceptance. Thou art companie enough, and comfort enough; Thou art my King, be also my Prophet and my Priest. Rule me, teach me, pray in me, for me; and be thou ever with me._

_The single wrestlings of_ Jacob _prevailed with thee in that sacred Duel, when he had none to second him but thy selfe; who didst assist him with power to overcome thee, and by a welcome violence to wrest a blessing from thee._

_O look on me thy servant, in infinite mercy, whom thou didst once blesse with the joynt and sociated Devotion of others, whose servency might inflame the coldnesse of my affections towards thee: when wee went to meet in thy House with the voice of joy and gladnesse, worshipping thee in the unity of spirits, and with the bond of peace._

_O forgive the neglect, and not improving of those happy opportunities._

_It is now thy pleasure that I should be as a Pelican in the wildernesse, as a Sparrow on the house top, and as a coale scattered from all those pious glowings and devout reflections, which might best kindle, preserve, and increase the holy fire of thy Graces on the Altar of my heart, whence the sacrifices of prayers and incense of praises might be duly offered up to thee._

_Yet, O thou that breakest not the bruised reed nor quenchest the smoaking flax, do not despise the weakness of my prayers, nor the smotherings of my soul in this uncomfortable loannesse to which I am constrained by some mens uncharitable denials of those helps, which I much want, and no lesse desire._

_O let the hardness of their hearts occasion the softnings of mine to thee, and for them. Let their hatred kindle my love, let their unreasonable denials of my religious desires the more excite my prayers to thee: Let their inexorable deafnesse incline thine ear to me, who art a God easie to be intreated; thine ear is not heavie, that it cannot, nor thy heart hard, that it will not hear, nor thy hand shortned, that it cannot help me thy desolate Suppliant._

_Thou permittest men to deprive me of those outward means which thou hast appointed in thy Church; but they cannot debarre me from the communion of that inward grace, which thou alone breathest into humble hearts._

_O make me such, and thou wilt teach me, thou wilt hear me, thou wilt help me: The broken and contrite heart I know thou wilt not despise: Thou, O Lord canst at once make me thy temple thy Priest, thy Sacrifice, and thine Altar; while from an humble heart I (alone) daily offer up in Holy Meditations, fervent Prayers, and unfeigned Tears, my Self to thee; who preparest me for thee, dwellest in me and acceptest of me._

_Thou, O Lord, didst cause by secret supplies and miraculous infusions, that the handful of meal in the vessel should not spend, nor the little oyl in the cruise fail the widow, during the time of drought and dearth._

_O look on my soul, which as a widow, is now desolate and forsaken: Let not those saving truths I have formerly learned now fail my memory; nor the sweet effusions of thy Spirit, which I have sometime felt, now be wanting to my heart in this famine of ordinary and wholsom food for the refreshing of my soul._

_Which yet I had rather chuse then to feed from those hands who mingle my bread with ashes, and my wine with gall, rather tormenting, then teaching me; whose mouths are proner to bitter reproaches of me, then to hearty prayers for me._

_Thou knowest, O Lord of truth, how oft they wrest thy holy Scriptures to my destruction, (which are clear for their subjection, and my preservation) O let it not be to their damnation._

_Thou knowest how some men (under colour of long prayers) have sought to devour the houses of their Brethren, their King, and their God. O let not those mens balms break my head, nor their Cordials oppress my heart, I will evermore pray against their wickedness._

_From the poyson under their tongues, from the snares of their lips, from the fire, and the swords of their words ever deliver me, O Lord, and all those loyal and religious hearts, who desire and delight in the prosperity of my soul, and who seek by their prayers to relieve this sadness and solitude of thy servant, O my King and my God._

* * * * *

25. Penitential Meditations and Vows in the Kings solitude at _Holmby_.

_Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my Meditation, and hearken to the voyce of my cry, my King and my God, for unto thee will I pray._

_I said in my haste, I am cast out of the sight of thine eyes; nevertheless, thou hearest the voyce of my supplication, when I cry unto thee._

_If thou, Lord, shouldst be extream to mark what is done amiss, who can abide it? But there is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared; therefore shall sinners flie unto thee._

_I acknowledg my sins before thee, which have the aggravation of my condition; the eminencie of my place, adding weight to my offences._

_Forgive, I beseech thee, my personal, and my peoples sins; which are so far mine, as I have not improved the power thou gavest me, to thy glorie, and my Subjects good: Thou hast now brought me from the glorie and freedom of a King, to be a Prisoner to my own Subjects. Justlie, O Lord, as to thy over-ruling hand, because in many things I have rebelled against thee._

_Though thou hast restrained my person, yet enlarg my heart to thee, & thy grace towards me._

_I come far short of_ Davids __pietie; yet since I may equal Davids _afflictions, give me also the comforts, and the sure mercies of_ David.

_Let the penitent sense I have of my sins, be an evidence to me, that thou hast pardoned them._

_Let not the evils, which I and my Kingdoms have suffered seem little unto thee, though thou hast not punished us according to our sins._

_Turn thee (O Lord) unto me; have mercy upon me, for I am desolate and afflicted._

_The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my troubles._

_Hast thou forgotten to be gracious, and shut up thy loving kindness in displeasure?_

_O remember thy compassions of old, and thy loving kindesses, which have been for many generations._

_I had utterly fainted, if I had not believed to see thy goodnesse in the land of the living._

_Let not the sins of our prosperitie deprive us of the benefit of thy afflictions._

_Let this fiery triall consume the drosse which in long peace and plentie we had contracted._

_Though thou continuest miseries, yet withdraw not thy grace; what is wanting of prosperitie, make up in patience and repentance._

_And if thy anger be not to be yet turned away, but thy hand of Justice must be stretched out still: Let it, I beseech thee, be against me, and my Fathers house; as for these sheep, what have they done?_

_Let my sufferings satiate the malice of mine, and thy Churches enemies._

_But let their crueltie never exceed the measure of my charitie._

_Banish from me all thoughts of Revenge, that I may not lose the reward, nor thou the glorie of my patience._

_As thou givest me an heart to forgive them, so I beseech thee, do thou forgive what they have done against thee and me._

_And now, O Lord, as thou hast given me an heart to pray unto thee; so hear and accept this Vow which I make before thee._

_If thou wilt in mercie remember Me, and my Kingdoms; In continuing the light of thy Gospel, and settling thy true Religion among us:_

_In restoring to us the benefits of the Laws, and the due execution of Justice:_

_In suppressing the many schismes in Church, and Factions in State:_

_If thou wilt restore me and mine to the Ancient rights and glory of my Predecessors:_

_If thou wilt turn the hearts of my people to thy self in Pietie, to me in Loyaltie, and to one another in Charitie:_

_If thou wilt quench the flames, and withdraw the fewell of these Civill Wars:_

_If thou wilt bless us with the freedom of Publike Counsels, and deliver the Honour of Parliaments from the insolency of the vulgar:_

_If thou wilt keep me from the great offence of enacting any thing against my Conscience: and especially for consenting to sacrilegious rapines, and spoilings of thy Church:_

_If thou wilt restore me to a capacity to glorifie thee in doing good, both to the Church and State:_

_Then shall my soul praise thee, and Magnifie thy name before my people._

_Then shall thy glorie be dearer to me then my Crown; and the advancement of true Religion both in puritie and power be my chiefest care._

_Then will I rule my People with justice, and my Kingdoms with equity:_

_To thy more immediate hand shal I ever own as the rightfull succession, so the mercifull restauration of my Kingdoms, and the glorie of them._

_If thou wilt bring me again with Peace safetie and honour, to my chiefest City and my Parliament:_

_If thou wilt again put the Sword of Justice into my hand to punish and protect:_

_Then will I make all the world to see, and my very Enemies to enjoy the benefit of this Vow and resolution of Christian charitie, which I now make unto thee O Lord._

_As I do freely pardon for Christ's sake those that have offended me in any kind; so my hand shall never be against any man to revenge what is past, in regard of any particular injurie done to me._

_We have been mutually punished in our unnaturall divisions, for thy sake O Lord, and for the love of my Redeemer have I purposed this in my heart, That I will use all means in the waies of amnesty, and indempnitie; which may most fullie remove all feares, and burie all jealousies in forgetfulnesse._

_Let thy mercies be towards me and mine, as my resolutions of Truth and Peace are towards my people._

_Hear my praier O Lord, which goeth not out of feigned lips._

_Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer, or taken his mercy from me._

_O my soul commit thy way to the Lord, trust in him and he shall bring it to pass_.

_But if thou wilt not restore me and mine, what am I that I should charge thee foolishly?_

_Thou, ô Lord hast given, and thou hast taken, Blessed be thy name._

_May my people and thy Church be happie if not by me, yet without me._

* * * * *

26. _Upon the Armies surprisall of the King at_ Holmby, _and the ensuing distractions in the two Houses, the Army, and the City._

What part God will have me now to act or suffer in this new and strange scene of affaires, I am not much solicitous; some little practise will serve that man, who only seeks to represent a part of honesty and honour.

This surprize of me tels the world, that a KING cannot be so low, but he is considerable, adding weight to that party where he appears.

This motion, like others of the Times, seems excentrique and irregular, yet not well to be resisted or quieted: Better swim down such a stream, then in vain to strive against it.

These are but the struglings of those twins, which lately one womb enclosed, the younger striving to prevail against the elder; what the Presbyterians have hunted after, the Independents now seek to catch for themselves.

So impossible it is for lines to be drawn from the center, and not to divide from each other, so much the wider, by how much they go farther from the point of union.

That the Builders of Babel should from division fall to confusion, is no wonder; but for those that pretend to build Jerusalem, to divide their tongues and hands, is but an ill Omen; and sounds too like the fury of those Zealots, whose intestine bitterness and divisions were the greatest occasion of the last fatall destruction of that Citie.

Well may I change my Keepers and Prison, but not my captive condition, onely with this hope of bettering, that those who are so much professed Patrons for the Peoples Liberties, cannot be utterly against the Liberty of their KING; what they demand for their own Consciences, they cannot in Reason deny to mine.

In this they seem more ingenuous, then the Presbyterian rigour, who sometimes complaining of exacting their conformity to laws, are become the greatest Exactours of other mens submission to their novel injunctions, before they are stamped with the Authority of Laws, which they cannot well have without my Consent.

'Tis a great argument, that the Independents think themselves manumitted from their Rivals service, in that they carry on a businesse of such consequence, as the assuming my Person into the Armies custody, without any commission, but that of their own will and power. Such as will thus adventure on a KING, must not be thought over-modest, or timerous to carry on any designe they have a mind to.

Their next motion menaces, and scares both the two Houses and the City: which soon after acting over again that former part of Tumultuary motions, (never questioned, punished or repented) must now suffer for both; and see their former sin in the glasse of the present terrours and distractions.

No man is so blinde as not to see herein the hand of divine Justice; They that by Tumults first occasioned the raising of Armies, must now be chastned by their own Army for new Tumults.

So hardly can men be content with one sin, but add sin to sin, till the later punish the former; such as were content to see Me and many Members of both Houses driven away by the first unsuppressed Tumults, are now forced to flie to an Armie or defend themselves against them.

But who can unfold the riddle of some mens justice? The Members of both Houses who at first withdrew (as my Self was forced to do) from the rudeness of the Tumults, were counted Deserters, and outed of their places in Parliament.

Such as stayed then, and enjoyed the benefit of the Tumults, were asserted for the onely Parliament-men: now the Fliers from, and Forsakers of their Places, carry the Parliamentary power along with them; complain highly against the Tumults, and vindicate themselves by an Armie: such as remained and kept their stations, are looked upon as Abettors of Tumultuary Insolencies, and Betrayers of the Freedom and Honour of Parliament.

Thus is Power above all Rule, Order, and Law; where men look more to present Advantages then their Consciences, and the unchangeable rules of Justice; while they are Judges of others, they are forced to condemn themselves.

Now the plea against Tumults holds good, the Authours and Abettors of them are guiltie of prodigious insolencies; when as before they were counted as Friends, and necessary Assistants.

I see Vengeance pursues and overtakes (as the Mice and Rats are said to have done the Bishop in _Germanie_) them that thought to have escaped, and fortified themselves most impregnably against it, both by their multitude and compliance.

Whom the Laws cannot, God will punish by their own crimes and hands.

I cannot but observe this divine Justice, yet with sorrow and pity; for, I always wished so well to Parliament and Citie, that I was sorry to see them do or suffer any thing unworthy such great and considerable Bodies in this Kingdom.

I was glad to see them onely scared and humbled, not broken by that shaking: I never had so ill a thought of those Cities, as to despair of their Loyaltie to Me; which mistakes might eclipse, but I never beleeved malice had quite put out.

I pray God the storm be yet wholly passed over them, upon whom I look as Christ did sometime over _Jerusalem_, as objects of my prayers and tears, with compassionate grief, foreseeing those severer scatterings which will certainly befall such as wantonly refuse to be gathered to their duty: fatall blindnesse frequently attending and punishing wilfulnesse, so that men shall not be able at last to prevent their sorrows, who would not timely repent of their sins; nor shall they be suffered to enjoy the comforts, who securely neglect the counsels belonging to their peace. They will finde that brethren in iniquitie are not far from becoming insolent Enemies, there being nothing harder then to keep ill men long in one minde.

Nor is it possible to gain a fair period for those notions which go rather in a round and circle of fansie, then in a right line of reason tending to the Law, the onely center of publike consistency; whither I pray God at last bring all sides.

Which will easily be done, when we shall fully see how much more happie we are, to be subject to the known Laws, then to the various wils of any men, seem they never so plausible at first.

Vulgar compliance with any illegal and extravagant wayes, like violent motions in nature, soon grows weary of itself, and ends in a refractory sullennesse: Peoples rebounds are oft in their faces, who first put them upon those violent strokes.

For the Army (which is so far excusable, as they act according to Souldiers principles, and interests, demanding pay and indemnity) I think it necessary, in order to the publike peace, that they should be satisfied, as far as is just; no man being more prone to consider them then my Self: though they have fought against Me, yet I cannot but so far esteem that valour and gallantry they have sometime shewed, as to wish I may never want such men to maintain my Self, my Laws, and my Kingdoms, in such a peace, as wherein they may enjoy their share and proportion, as much as any men.

_But thou, O Lord, who art perfect Unity in a sacred Trinity, in mercy behold those whom thy Justice hath divided._

_Deliver me from the strivings of my People, and make Me to see how much they need my prayers and pity, who agreed to fight against me, and yet are now ready to fight against one another, to the continuance of my Kingdoms distractions._

_Discover to all sides the ways of peace from which they have swerved: which consists not in the divided wils of Parties, but in the point and due observation of the Laws._

_Make me willing to go whither thou wilt lead me by thy providence; and be thou ever with me, that I may see thy constancy in the worlds varieti and changes._

_Make me even such as thou wouldst have Me, that I may at last enjoy that safetie and tranquillity which thou alone canst give Me._

_Divert, I pray thee, O Lord, thy heavie wrath justly hanging over those populous Cities, whose plenty is prone to add fewel to their luxurie, their wealth to make them wanton, their multitudes tempting them to securitie, and their securitie exposing them to unexpected miseries._

_Give them eys to see, hearts to consider, wils to embrace, and courage to act those things which belong to thy glorie, and the publique Peace, lest their calamitie come upon them as an armed man._

_Teach them that they cannot want Enemies who abound in sin; nor shall they be long un-disarmed and un-destroyed, who with an high hand persisting to fight against Thee, and the cleer convictions of their own Consciences, fight more against themselves, then ever they did against Me._

_Their sins exposing them to thy Justice, their riches to others injuries, their number to Tumults, and Tumults to confusion._

_Though they have with much forwardnesse helped to destroy Me; yet let not my fall be their ruine._

_Let Me not so much consider, hither what they have done, or I have suffered [chiefly at first, by them] as to forget to imitate my crucified Redeemer, to plead their ignorance for their pardon; and in my dying extremities to pray to Thee, O Father, to forgive them, for they know not what they did._

_The tears they have denied me in my saddest condition, give them grace to bestow upon themselves; who the lesse they were for me, the more cause they have to weep for themselves._

_O let not my blood be upon them and their Children, whom the fraud and faction of some, not the malice of all, have excited to crucifie me._

_But thou, O Lord, canst and wilt (as thou didst my Redeemer) both exalt and perfect me by my sufferings, which have more in them of thy Mercie, then of mans Crueltie, or thy own Justice._

* * * * *

27. _To the Prince of_ Wales.

Son, If these Papers with some others, wherein I have set down the private reflections of my Conscience, and my most impartiall thoughts touching the chief passages, which have been most remarkable or disputed in my late troubles, come to your hands, to whom they are chiefly designed; they may be so far usefull to you, as to state your judgement aright in what hath passed; whereof a pious is the best use can be made; and they may also give you some directions, how to remedy the present distempers, and prevent (if God will) the like for time to come.

It is some kind of deceiving and lessening the injury of my long restraint, when I find my leisure and solitude have produced something worthy of my self, and usefull to you; That neither You nor any other may hereafter measure my Cause by the Successe, nor my judgment of things by my Misfortunes, which I count the greater by far, because they have so far lighted upon you and some others whom I have most cause to love as well as my self, and of whose unmerited sufferings I have a greater sense then of Mine own.

[Illustration: Natus May 29 An^o 1630 Ætatis suæ]

But this advantage of wisdom You have above most Princes, that You have begun, and now spent some years of discretion, in the experience of troubles, and exercise of patience, wherein Piety, and all Vertues, both Morall and Politicall, are commonly better planted to a thriving (as trees set in winter) then in the warmth, and serenity of times, or amidst those delights, which usually attend Princes Courts in times of peace and plenty, which are prone, either to root up all plants of true Vertue and Honour, or to be contented only with some leaves, and withering formalities of them, without any reall fruits, such as tend to the publique good, for which Princes should alwaies remember they are born, and by providence designed.

The evidence of which different education the holy Writ affords us in the contemplation of _David_ and _Rehoboam_: The one prepared by many afflictions for a flourishing Kingdom, the other softned by the unparaleld prosperity of Solomons Court, and so corrupted to the great diminution, both for Peace, Honor, and Kingdom, by those flatteries, which are as unseparable from prosperous Princes, as Flies are from fruit in summer; whom adversitie, like cold weather, drives away.

I had rather you should be _Charles le Bon_, then _le Grand_, good then great. I hope God hath designed you to be both, having so early put you into that exercise of his Graces, and gifts bestowed upon you, which may best weed out all vitious inclinations, and dispose you to those Princely endowments, and employments, which will most gain the love, and intend the welfare of those, over whom God shall place you.

With God I would have you begin and end, who is King of Kings; the Soveraign disposer of the Kingdomes of the world, who pulleth down one, and setteth up another.

The best Government, and highest Soveraignty you can attain to, is, to be subject to him, that the Scepter of his Word and Spirit, may rule in your heart.

The true glory of Princes consists in advancing Gods Glory in the maintenance of true Religion, and the Churches good; Also in the dispensation of civil Power, with Justice and Honour to the publique peace.

Pietie will make you prosperous; at least it will keep you from being miserable; nor is he much a loser, that loseth all, yet saveth his own soul at last.

To which Center of true happiness, God, I trust, hath and will graciously direct all these black lines of affliction, which he hath been pleased to draw on me, and by which he hath [I hope] drawn me nearer to himself. You have already tasted of that Cup whereof I have liberally drank, which I look upon as Gods Physick, having that in healthfulness which it wants in pleasure.

Above all, I would have you, as I hope you are already, wel-grounded and setled in your Religion: The best profession of which, I have ever esteemed that of the church of England, in which you have been educated; yet I would have your own Judgment and Reason now seal to that sacred bond which education hath written, that it may be judiciously your owne Religion, and not other mens custome or tradition, which you profess.

In this I charge you to persevere, as comming nearest to Gods Word for Doctrine, and to the primitive examples for Government, with some little amendment, which I have otherwhere expressed and often offered, though in vain. Your fixation in matters of Religion will not be more necessary for your soul's then your Kingdoms peace, when God shall bring you to them.

For I have observed, that the Devill of Rebellion, doth commonly turn himself into an Angel of Reformation; and the old Serpent can pretend new Lights; when some mens Consciences accuse them for Sedition and Faction, they stop its mouth with the name and noise of Religion; when Pietie pleads for peace and patience, they cry out Zeal.

So that, unless in this point You be well setled, you shall never want temptations to destroy you and yours, under pretensions of reforming matters of Religion; for that seems even to worst men, as the best and most auspicious beginning of their worst designs.

Where, besides the Noveltie which is taking enough with the Vulgar, every one hath an affectation, by seeming forward to an outward Reformation of Religion, to be thought zealous, hoping to cover those irreligious deformities, wherto they are conscious, by a severity of censuring other mens opinions or actions.

Take heed of abetting any Factions, or applying to any publick Discriminations in matters of Religion, contrary to what is in your Judgement and the Church well setled: your partiall adhering, as head, to any one side gaines you not so great advantages in some mens hearts (who are prone to be of their kings Religion) as it loseth you in others, who think themselves, and their profession first despised, then persecuted by you. Take such a course as may either with calmness & charity quite remove the seeming differences and offences, by impartiality, or so order affairs in point of power that you shal not need to fear or flatter any faction; for if ever you stand in need of them, or must stand to their curtesie, you are undon: The Serpent will devour the Dove: you may never expect less of Loyaltie, Justice or humanity, then from those who engage into religious Rebellion: Their interest is always made Gods; under the colours of piety, ambitious policies march, not onely with greatest security, but applause, as to the Populacy; you may hear from them _Jacob's_ voice, but you shall feel they have _Esau_'s hands.

Nothing seemed less considerable then the Presbyterian Faction in _England_, for many yeers; so complyant they were to publique order: nor indeed was their Party great, either in Church or State, as to mens judgements: But as soon as discontents drave men into Sidings (as ill humors fall to the disaffected part, which causes inflammations) so did all, at first, who affected any novelties, adhere to that side, as the most remarkable and specious note of difference (then) in point of Religion.

All the lesser Factions at first were officious servants to Presbytery their great Master: till time and military success discovering to each their peculiar advantages, invited them to part stakes, and leaving the joynt stock of uniform Religion, pretended each to drive for their Party, the trade of profits and preferments, to the breaking and undoing not onely of the Church and State, but even of Presbytery it self, which seemed and hoped at first to have engrossed all.

Let nothing seem little or despicable to you, in matters which concern Religion, and the Churches peace, so as to neglect a speedy reforming and effectual suppressing Errors, and Schisms, which seem at first but as a hand-bredth, but by seditious Spirits as by strong winds are soon made to cover and darken the whole Heaven.

When you have done justice to God, your own soul and his Church, in the profession and preservation both of truth and unitie in Religion. The next main hinge on which your prosperitie will depend, and move, is, That of civil Justice, wherein the setled Laws of these Kingdoms, to which you are rightly heir, are the most excellent rules you can govern by; which by an admirable temperament give very much to Subjects industry, libertie, and happiness; and yet reserve enough to the Majestie and Prerogative of any King, who owns his people as Subjects, not as slaves; whose subjection, as it preserves their propertie, peace, and safetie; so it will never diminish your Rights, nor their ingenuous Liberties; which consists in the enjoyment of the fruits of their industry, and the benefit of those Laws to which themselves have consented.

Never charge your Head with such a Crown, as shall by its heaviness oppress the whole body, the weakness of whose parts cannot return any thing of strength, honor, or safety, to the Head, but a necessary debilitation and ruine.

Your Prerogative is best shewed, and exercised in remitting, rather then exacting the rigor of the Laws, there being nothing worse, then legal tyrannie.

In these two points, the preservation of established Religion and Laws, I may (without vanity) turn the reproach of my sufferings, as to the worlds censure, into the honor of a kinde of Martyrdom, as to the testimony of my own Conscience. The troublers of my Kingdoms having nothing else to object against me but this, That I prefer Religion, and Laws established, before those alterations they propounded.

And so indeed I do, and ever shall, till I am convinced by better Arguments, then what hitherto have been chiefly used towards me, Tumults, Armies, and Prisons.

I cannot yet learn that lesson, nor I hope ever will you, That it is safe for a King to gratifie any Faction with the perturbation of the Laws, in which is wrapt up the publike Interest, and the good of the communitie.

How God will deal with me, as to the removal of these pressures, and indignities, which his justice by the very unjust hands of some of my Subjects, hath been pleased to lay upon me, I cannot tell: nor am I much solicitous what wrong I suffer from men, while I retain in my soul, what I believe is right before God.

I have offered all for Reformation and Safety, that in Reason, Honor and Conscience, I can; reserving onely what I cannot consent unto, without an irreparable injury to my own soul, the Church, and my people, and to you also; as the next and undoubted Heir of my Kingdoms.

To which, if the divine Providence, to whom no difficulties are insuperable, shall in his due time after my decease bring you, as I hope he will: My Counsel and Charge to you, is, That you seriously consider the former real or objected miscarriages, which might occasion my troubles, that you may avoyd them.

Never repose so much upon any mans single counsel, fidelity, and discretion, in managing affairs of the first magnitude, (that is, matters of Religion and Justice) as to create in your self, or others, a diffidence of your own judgment, which is likely to be always more constant and impartial to the interest of your Crown and Kingdom then any mans.

Next, beware of exasperating any Factions by the crossness, and asperity of some mens passions, humors, or private opinions, imployed by you, grounded onely upon the differences in lesser matters, which are but the skirts and suburbs of Religion.

Wherein a charitable connivence and Christian toleration often dissipates their strength, whom rougher opposition fortifies; and puts the despised and oppressed party, into such Combinations, as may most enable them to get a full revenge on those they count their Persecutors, who are commonly assisted by that vulgar commiseration, which attends all, that are said to suffer under the notion of Religion.

Provided the differences amount not to an insolent opposition of Laws, and Government, or Religion established, as to the essentials of them, such motions and minings are intolerable.

Alwaies keep up solid piety, and those fundamental Truths (which mend both hearts and lives of men) with impartial Favour and Justice.

Take heed that outward circumstances and formalities of Religion devoure not all, or the best incouragements of learning, industry, and piety; but with an equal eye and impartial hand, distribute Favours and Rewards to all men, as you find them for their real goodnesse both in abilities and fidilitie worthy and capable of them.

This will be sure to gain you the hearts of the best and the most too: who though they be not good themselves, yet are glad to see the severer ways of vertue at any time sweetned by temporall rewards.

I have, You see, conflicted with different and opposite Factions (for so I must needs call and count all those that act not in any conformity to the Laws established in Church and State;) no sooner have they by force subdued what they counted their common Enemy (that is, all those that adhered to the Laws, and to Me) and are secured from that fear, but they are divided to so high a rivalry, as sets them more at defiance against each other, then against their first Antagonists.

Time will dissipate all Factions, when once the rough horns of private mens covetous and ambitious designes shall discover themselves; which were at first wrapt up and hidden under the soft and smooth pretensions of Religion, Reformation and Liberty. As the Wolf is not less cruell, so he wil be more justly hated, when he shall appear no better then a Wolf under Sheeps cloathing.

But as for the seduced Train of the Vulgar, who in their simplicity follow those disguises; My Charge and Counsell to You, is, That as you need no palliations for any Designes, (as other men) so that you study really to exceed [in true and constant demonstrations of goodness, piety, and vertue towards the people] even all those men that make the greatest noise and ostentations of Religion; so you shall neither fear any detection (as they do who have but the face and mask of goodness) nor shall you frustrate the just expectations of your people; who cannot in Reason promise themselves so much good from any Subjects novelties, as from the vertuous constancy of their King.

When these mountains of congealed Factions shall by the Sun-shine of Gods Mercy, and the splendor of your Vertues, be thawed and dissipated; and the abused Vulgar shall have learned, that none are greater Oppressours of their Estates, Liberties, and Consciences, then those men that intitle themselves The Patrons and Vindicators of them, only to usurp power over them: Let then no passion betray You to any study of revenge upon those, whose own sin and folly will sufficiently punish them in due time.

But as soon as the forked arrow of factious emulations is drawn out, use all Princely arts and clemency to heal the wounds; that the smart of the cure may not equall the anguish of the hurt.

I have offered Acts of Indemnity and Oblivion to so great a latitude, as may include all, that can but suspect themselves to be any way obnoxious to the Laws; and which might serve to exclude al future jealousies and insecurities.

I would have You alwaies propense to the same way, when ever it shall be desired and accepted, let it be granted, not only as an Act of State-policie and necessitie, but of Christian charitie and choice.

It is all I have now left Me, a power to forgive those that have deprived Me of all; and I thank God, I have a heart to do it, and joy as much in this grace, which God hath given Me, as in all My former enjoyments; for this is a greater argument of Gods love to Me, then any prosperitie can be.

Be confident (as I am) that the most of all sides, who have done amiss, have done so, not out of malice, but mis-information, or mis-apprehension of things.

None will be more loyal and faithful to Me and You, then those Subjects, who sensible of their Errors, and our Injuries, will feel in their own Souls most vehement motives to repentance, and earnest desires to make some reparations for their former defects.

As Your qualitie sets You beyond any Duel with any Subject, so the Nobleness of Your mind must raise You above the meditating any revenge, or executing Your anger upon the many.

The more conscious You shall be to Your Own Merits upon Your people, the more prone You will be to expect all love and loyalty from them, and to inflict no punishment upon them for former miscarriages: You will have more inward complacency in pardoning one, then in punishing a thousand.

This I write to You, not despairing of Gods Mercy, and My Subjects Affections towards You, both which, I hope You will study to deserve, yet We cannot merit of God, but by his own mercy.

If God shall see fit to restore Me, and You after Me, to those enjoyments, which the Laws have assigned to Us, and no Subjects without an high degree of guilt and sin can devest Us of, then may I have better opportunity, when I shall be so happy to see You in peace, to let You more fully understand the things that belong to Gods glory, Your own honor, and the Kingdoms peace.

But if You never see My face again, and God will have me buried in such a barbarous Imprisonment & obscurity, [which the perfecting some mens designs requires] wherin 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 speciall notion, as Reformed, keeping the middle way between the pomp of superstitious Tyranny, and the meanness of fantastique Anarchy.

Not but that (the draught being excellent as to the main, both for Doctrine and Government, in the Church of _England_) some lines, as in very good figures, may happily need some sweetning, or polishing, which might here have easily been done by a safe and gentle hand: if some mens precipitancy had not violently demanded such rude alterations, as would have quite destroyed all the beauty and proportions of the whole.

The scandall of the late Troubles, which some may object, and urge to you against the Protestant Religion established in _England_, is easily answered to them, or your own thoughts in this; That scarce any one who hath been a Beginner, or an active Prosecutor of this late Warr against the Church, the Laws, and me, either was, or is a true Lover, Embracer or practiser of the Protestant Religion established in _England_ which neither gives such rules, nor ever before set such examples.

'Tis true, some heretofore had the boldness to present threatning Petitions to their Princes and Parliaments, which others of the same Faction (but of worse Spirits) have now put in execution: but let not counterfeit and disorderly Zeal abate your value and esteem of true piety; both of them are to be known by their fruits; the sweetness of the Vine and Fig-tree is not be despised, though the brambles and thorns should pretend to bear figs and grapes, thereby to rule over the trees.

Nor would I have you to entertain any aversation or dislike of Parliaments, which in their right constitution with freedom and honour will never injure or diminish your greatnesse; but will rather be as interchangings of love, loyaltie and confidence betwen a Prince and his People.

Nor would the events of this black Parliament have been other then such (however much biassed by Factions in the Elections) if it had been preserved from the insolencies of popular dictates, and tumultuary impressions: The sad effects of which will no doubt make all Parliaments after this, more cautious to preserve that Freedom and Honour which belong to such Assemblies (when once they have fully shaken off this yoak of Vulgar encroachment) since the publick interest consists in the mutual and common good both of Prince and People.

Nothing can be more happie for all, then in fair, grave, and honourable waies to contribute their Councels in Common, enacting all things by publick consent, without Tyrannie or Tumults. We must not starve our selves, because some men have surfeited of wholesome food.

And if neither I, nor you, be ever restored to our Rights, but God in his severest justice, will punish My Subjects with continuance in their sin, and suffer them to be deluded with the prosperity of their wickednesse; I hope God will give Me and You, that grace, which will teach and enable Us, to want, as well as to wear a Crown, which is not worth taking up, or enjoying upon sordid, dishonourable, and irreligious terms.

Keep you to true Principles of Piety, vertue, and honour, You shall never want a Kingdom.

A principal Point of Your honour will consist in Your referring all respect, love, and protection to Your Mother, My Wife; who hath many waies deserved well of Me, and chiefly in this, That having been a means to bless me with so many hopeful Children; (all which, with their Mother, _I_ recommend to Your love and care) Shee hath been content with incomparable magnanimity and patience to suffer both for, and with Me, and You.

My Prayer to God almightie is, (whatever becomes of me, who am _I_ thank God, wrapt up and fortified in my own innocency, and his Grace) that he would be pleased to make You an Anchor, or Harbour rather, to these tossed and weather-beaten Kingdoms; a Repairer by Your wisdom, justice, piety, and valour, of what the folly and wickednesse of some men have so far ruined, as to leave nothing intire in Church or State, to the Crown, the Nobility, the Clergie, or the Commons, either as to Laws, Liberties, Estates, Order, Honour, Conscience or lives.

When they have destroyed me, (for I know not how far God may permit the malice and crueltie of my Enemies to proceed, and such apprehensions some mens words and actions have already given me) as _I_ doubt not but my bloud will cry aloud for vengeance to Heaven: so I beseech God not to pour out his wrath upon the generality of the people, who have either deserted me, or engaged against me, through the artifice and hypocrisie of their Leaders, whose inward horrour will be their first Tormentor, nor will they escape exemplary judgements.

For those that loved me, I pray God, they may have no miss of me, when I am gone; so much I wish and hope, that all good Subjects may be satisfied with the blessings of your presence and vertues.

For those that repent of any defects in their duty toward me, as I freely forgive them in the word of a Christian KING, so I beleeve you will find them truly Zealous, to repay with interest that loyalty and love to you, which was due to me.

In summe, what good I intended, do you perform, when God shall give you power; much good I have offered, more I purposed to Church and State, if times had been capable of it.

The deception will soon vanish, and the Vizards will fall off apace; This mask of Religion on the face of Rebellion (for so it now plainly appears, since my Restraint and cruell usage, that they fought not for me, as was pretended) wil not long serve to hide some mens deformities.

Happy times I hope, attend you, wherein your Subjects [by their miseries] will have learned, That Religion to their God, and Loyalty to their King, cannot be parted without both their sin and their infelicity. I pray God bless you and establish your Kingdoms in righteousness, your Soul in true Religion, and your honour in the love of God and your people.

And if God will have disloyalty perfected by my destruction; let my Memory ever, with my Name, live in you; as of your Father, that loves you, and once a KING of three flourishing Kingdoms; whom God thought fit to honour, not only with the Scepter and Government of them, but also with the suffering many indignities and an untimely death for them; while I studied to preserve the Rights of the Church, the Power of the Laws, the Honour of my Crown, the Priviledge of Parliaments, the Liberties of my People, and my own Conscience, which, I thank God, is dearer to me then a thousand Kingdoms.

I know God can, I hope he yet will restore me to my Rights. I cannot despair either of his mercy, or of my peoples love and pitie.

At worst, I trust I shall but go before you to a better Kingdom, which God hath prepared for me, and me for it, through my Saviour Jesus Christ, to whose mercies I commend You and all mine.

Farewell, till we meet, if not on Earth, yet in Heaven.

* * * * *

28. _Meditations upon Death, after the Votes of Non-Addresses, and His_ Majesties _closer Imprisonment in_ Carisbrook-Castle.

As I have leisure enough, so I have cause more then enough, to meditate upon, and prepare for My Death: for I know, there are but, few steps between the Prisons and Graves of Princes.

It is Gods indulgence which gives me the space, but Mans cruelty that gives Me the sad occasions for these thoughts.

For, besides the common burthen of mortalitie, which lies upon Me, as a Man; I now bear the heavy load of other mens ambitions, fears, jealousies, and cruel passions, whose envie or enmity against Me, makes their own lives seem deadly to them, while I enjoy any part of Mine.

I thank God, My prosperitie made Me not wholly a stranger to the contemplations of mortalitie.

Those are never unseasonable, since this is alwaies uncertain: Death being an eclipse, which oft happeneth as well in cleer as cloudy dayes.

But My now long and sharp adversity hath so reconciled in Me those natural Antipathies between Life and Death, which are in all men, that I thank God, the common terrors of it are dispelled; and the special horrour of it, as to My particular, much allayed: for although My Death at present may justly be represented to Me with all those terrible aggravations, which the policy of cruel and implacable enemies can put upon it (affaires being drawn to the very dregs of malice) yet I bless God, I can look upon all those stings, as unpoysonous, though sharp; since My Redeemer hath either pulled them out, or given Me the Antidote of his Death against them, which as to the immaturity, injustice, shame, scorn, and cruelty of it, exceeded what ever I can fear.

Indeed, I never did find so much, the life of Religion, the feast of a good Conscience, and the brazen wall of a judicious integrity and constancy, as since I came to these closer conflicts with the thoughts of Death.

I am not so old, as to be wearie of life; nor (I hope) so bad, as to be either afraid to die, or ashamed to live: true, I am so afflicted, as might make Me sometime even desire to die, if I did not consider, That it is the greatest glory of a Christians life to _die daily_, in conquering by a lively faith, and patient hopes of a better life, those partiall and quotidian deaths, which kill us (as it were) by piece-meales, and make us overlive our own fates: while we are deprived of health, honour, liberty, power, credit, safety, or estate; and those other comforts of dearest relations, which are as the life of our lives.

Though, as a KING, I think My self to live in nothing temporall so much, as in the love and good-will of my People; for which, as I have suffered many deaths, so I hope I am not in that point as yet wholly dead: notwithstanding; My Enemies have used all the poyson of falsity and violence of hostility to destroy, first the love and Loyalty, which is in my Subjects; and then all that content of life in me, which from these I chiefly enjoyed.

Indeed, they have left me but little of life, and only the husk and shell (as it were) which their further malice and cruelty can take from me; having bereaved me of all those worldly comforts, for which life it self seems desirable to men.

But, O my Soul! think not that life too long, or tedious, wherein God gives thee any opportunities, if not to do, yet to suffer with such Christian patience and magnanimity, in a good Cause, as are the greatest honour of our lives, and the best improvement of our deaths.

_I_ know that in point of true Christian valor, it argues pusillanimity to desire to dye out of weariness of life, and a want of that heroick greatness of Spirit which becoms a Christian in the patient and generous sustaining those afflictions, which as shadows necessarily attend us, while we are in this body: and which are lessned or enlarged as the Sun of our prosperity moves higher, or lower: whose totall absence is best recompensed with the Dew of Heaven.

The assaults of affliction may be terrible, like _Sampsons_ Lyon, but they yeild much sweetness to those that dare to encounter and overcome them; who know how to overlive the witherings of their Gourds without discontent or peevishness, while they may yet converse with God.

That _I_ must die as a man, is certain; that _I_ may die a King, by the hands of my own Subjects, a violent, sodain, barbarous death; in the strength of my years, in the midst of my Kingdoms; my Friends and loving Subjects being helpless Spectators; my Enemies insolent Revilers and Triumphers over me, living, dying, and dead, is so probable in humane reason, that God hath taught me not to hope otherwise as to mans crueltie; however, I despair not of Gods infinite mercy.

I know my life is the Object of the devils & wicked mens malice, but yet under Gods sole custodie and disposal: whom I do not think to flatter for longer life by seeming prepared to die; but I humbly desire to depend upon him, and to submit to his will both in life and death, in what order soever he is pleased to lay them out to me. I confess it is not easie for me to contend with those many horrours of Death, wherewith God suffers me to be tempted; which are equally horrid, either in the suddennesse of a barbarous Assasination or in those greater formalities, whereby my Enemies [being more solemnly cruel] will, it may be, seek to adde [as those did who Crucified Christ] the mockery of Justice, to the cruelty of malice: That I may be destroyed, as with greater pomp and artifice, so with less pity, will be but a necessary policie to make my Death appear as an Act of Justice, done by subjects upon their Soveraign, who know that no Law of God or Man invests them with any power of Judicature without me, much lesse against me: and who, being sworn, and bound by all that is sacred before God and man, to endeavour my preservation, must pretend Justice to cover their perjury.

It is, indeed, a sad fate for any man to have his Enemies to be Accusers, Parties, and Judges; but most desperate, when this is acted by the insolence of Subjects against their Soveraign; wherein those, who have had the cheifest hand, and are most guilty of contriving the publick Troubles, must by shedding my bloud, seem to wash their own hands of that innocent bloud whereof they are now most evidently guilty before God and Man; and I beleeve in their own Consciences too, while they carried on unreasonable Demands, First by Tumults, after by Armies. Nothing makes mean spirits more cowardly-cruel in managing their usurped power against their lawful Superiours then this, the _guilt of their unjust Usurpation_: notwithstanding those specious & popular pretentions of Justice against Delinquents applied only to disguise at first the monstrousnesse of their designs, who despaired, indeed, of possessing the power and profits of the Vineyard, till the heir whose right it is, be cast out and slain.

With them My greatest fault must be, that I would not either destroy My Self with the Church and State by My word, or not suffer them to do it un-resisted by the Sword; whose covetous ambition no Concessions of Mine could ever yet either satisfie, or abate.

Nor is it likely they will ever think, that Kingdom of brambles which some men seek to erect (at once weak, sharp, and fruitlesse, either to God or man) is like to thrive till watered with the Royal bloud of those, whose right the Kingdom is.

Well, Gods will be done, I doubt not but my Innocencie will finde him both my Protector and my Advocate, who is my only Judg; whom I own as King of Kings, not onely for the eminency of his Power and Majestie above them; but also for that singular care and protection which he hath over them; who knows them to be exposed to as many dangers (being the greatest patrons of Law, Justice, Order, and Religion on earth) as there be either Men or Devils, which love confusion.

Nor will he suffer those men long to prosper in their _Babel_, who build it with the bones, and cement it with the bloud of their Kings.

I am confident they will find Avengers of my death among themselves: the injuries I have sustained from them shall be first punished by them, who agreed in nothing so much as in opposing me.

Their impatience to bear the loud cry of my bloud, shall make them think no way better to expiate it, then by shedding theirs, who with them most thirsted after mine.

The sad confusions following my destruction, are already presaged and confirmed to me by those I have lived to see since my troubles; in which God alone (who only could) hath many ways pleaded my cause; not suffering them to go unpunished, whose confederacy in sin was their only security; who have cause to fear that God will both further divide and by mutuall vengeance, afterward destroy them.

My greatest conquest of death is from the power and love of Christ, who hath swallow'd up death in the Victory of his Resurection, and the Glory of his Ascention.

My next comfort is, that he gives me not only the honour to imitate his example in suffering for righteousness sake (though obscur'd by the foulest charges of Tyranny and Injustice,) but also, that charity, which is the noblest revenge upon, and victory over my Destroyers: By which, I thank God, I can both forgive them and pray for them, that God would not impute my blood to them, further then to convince them, what need they have of Christs bloud to wash their souls from the guilt of shedding mine.

At present, the will of mine Enemies seems to be their only rule, their power the measure, and their Successe the Exactor, of what they please to call Justice, while they flatter themselves with the fancy of their own safety by my danger, and the security of their lives designs by My Death: forgetting, That as the greatest temptations to sin are wrapped up in seeming prosperities, so the severest vengeances of God are then most accomplished, when men are suffered to compleat their wicked purposes.

I bless God, I Pray not so much, that this bitter Cup of violent Death may pass from Me, as that of his wrath may pass from al those, whose hands by deserting Me, are sprinkled, or by Acting and Consenting to My Death are embrued with My Bloud.

The will of God hath confined, and concluded Mine; I shall have the pleasure of Dying, without any pleasure of desired vengeance.

This I think becomes a Christian toward his Enemies, and a King toward His Subjects.

They cannot deprive Me of more then I am content to lose, when God sees fit by their hands to take it from Me; whose mercy I beleive, will more then infinitely recompence what ever by mans injustice, he is pleased to deprive Me of.

The glory attending My Death, will far surpass all I could enjoy, or conceive in life.

I shall not want the heavy and envyed Crowns of this world, when My God hath mercifully Crowned and Consummated his graces with Glory, and exchanged the shadows of My earthly Kingdoms among men, for the substance of that Heavenlie Kingdom with himself.

For the censures of the world; I know the sharp and necessarie tyrannie of My Destroyers will sufficiently confute the calumnies of tyrannie against Me; I am perswaded I am happie in the judicious love of the ablest and best of My Subjects, who do not only Pitie and Pray for Me, but would be content even to die with Me, or for Me.

These know how to excuse My failings, as a man, and yet to retain and pay their dutie to Me, as their King; there being no religious necessitie binding any Subjects by pretending to punish, infinitely to exceed the faults and errors of their Princes, especially there, where more then sufficient satisfaction hath been made to the Publick; the enjoyment of which, private ambitions have hitherto frustrated.

Others, I beleeve, of softer tempers, and less advantaged by My ruine, do alreadie feel sharp convictions, and some remorse in their Consciences: where they cannot but see the proportions of their evil dealings against Me in the measure of Gods retaliations upon them, who cannot hope long to enjoy their own thumbs and toes, having under pretence of paring others nails bin so cruel as to cut off their cheifest strength.

The punishment of the more insolent and obstinate, may be like that of _Korah_ and his complices (at once mutining against both Prince and Priest) in such a method of divine justice, as is not ordinary, the earth of the lowest and meanest people opening upon them, and swallowing them up in a just disdain of their ill-gotten, and worse used Authority: upon whose support and strength they chiefly depended for their building and establishing their designes against Me, the Church and State.

My chiefest comfort in death consists in my peace, which I trust, is made with GOD; before whose exact Tribunall I shall not fear to appear, as to the Cause so long disputed by the Sword, between me and my causelese Enemies, where I doubt not but his righteous Judgment will confute their fallacy, who from worldly success (rather like Sophisters, then sound Christians) draw those popular conclusions for Gods approbation of their actions; whose wise providence (we know) oft permits many events which his revealed word (the only clear, safe, and fixed rule of good actions and good consciences) in no sort approves.

I am confident, the justice of my Cause, and clearness of my Conscience before God, and toward my people, wil carry me as much above them in Gods decision, as their Successes have lifted them above me in the Vulgar opinion: who consider not, that many times those undertakings of men are lifted up to heaven in the prosperity and applause of the world, whose rise is from hell, as to the injuriousness and oppression of the design. The prosperous winds which oft fil the sails of Pirats, doth not justifie their piracy and rapine.

I look upon it with infinite more content and quiet of Soul, to have been worsted in my enforced contestation for, and vindication of the Laws of the Land, the Freedom and Honour of Parliaments, the Rights of my Crown, the just Liberty of my Subjects, and the true Christian Religion in its Doctrine, Government, and due Encouragements, then if I had, with the greatest advantages of success over-born them all; as some men have now evidently done, whatever designes they at first pretended.

The prayers and patience of my Friends and loving Subjects will contribute much to the sweetning of this bitter cup, which I doubt not but I shall more cheerfully take and drink, as from Gods hand (if it must be so) then they can give it to me, whose hands are unjustly and barbarously lifted up against Me.

And as to the last event, I may seem to owe more to my Enemies then my Friends; while those will put a period to the sins and sorrows attending this miserable life, wherewith these desire, I might still contend.

I shall be more then Conquerour through, Christ enabling me: for whom _I_ have hitherto suffered, as he is the Author of Truth, Order, and Peace; for all which _I_ have been forced to contend against Errour, Faction, and confusion.

If _I_ must suffer a violent death with my Saviour; it is but mortality crowned with martyrdom: where the debt of death, which I owe for sin to nature, shall be raised as a gift of faith and patience offered to God.

Which _I_ humbly beseech him mercifully to accept; and although death be the wages of my own sinne, as from God, and the effect of others sinnes, as men, both against God and me; yet as _I_ hope my own sinnes are so remitted, that they shall be no ingredients to imbitter the cup of my death, so _I_ desire God to pardon their sins, who are most guilty of my destruction.

The Trophees of my charitie will be more glorious and durable over them, then their ill managed victories over me.

Though their sin be prosperous, yet they had need to be penitent, that they may be pardoned: Both which, _I_ pray God they may obtain: that my temporal Death unjustly inflicted by them, may not be revenged by Gods just inflicting eternal death upon them: for _I_ look upon the temporall destruction of the greatest King, as far lesse deprecable then the eternall damnation of the meanest Subject.

Nor do I wish other then the safe bringing of the ship to shore, when they have cast me overboard; though it be very strange, that Mariners can finde no other means to appease the storms themselves have raised, but by drowning their Pilot.

I thank God, my Enemies cruelty cannot prevent my preparation; whose malice in this I shall defeat, that they shall not have the satisfaction to have destroyed my Soul with my Body; of whose salvation, while some of them have themselves seemed, and taught others to despair, they have onely discovered this, that they do not much desire it.

Whose uncharitable and cruell Restraints, denying me even the assistance of any of my Chaplains, hath rather enlarged, then any way obstructed my accesse to the Throne of Heaven,

_Where thou dwellest, O King of Kings, who fillest Heaven and Earth, who art the fountain of eternal life, in whom is no shadow of death._

_Thou, O God, art both the just Afflicter of death upon us, and the mercifull Saviour of us in it, and from it._

_Yea, it is better for us to be dead to our selves, and live in thee; then by living in our selves, to be deprived of thee._

_O make the many bitter aggravations of my death as a Man, and a King, the opportunities and advantages of thy speciall Graces and Comforts in my Soul as a Christian._

_If thou Lord wilt be with me, I shall neither fear nor feel any evill, though I walk thorow the valley of the shadow of death._

_To contend with death is the work of a weak and mortall man; to overcome it, is the grace of thee alone, who art the Almighty and immortall God._

_O my Saviour, who knowest what it is to die with me as a Man; make me know what it is to passe through death to life with thee my God._

_Though I die, yet I know that thou my Redeemer livest for ever: though thou slayest Me, yet thou hast encouraged me to trust in thee for eternal life._

_O withdraw not thy favour from me, which is better then life._

_O be not far from me, for I know not now neer a violent and cruel death is to me._

_As thy Omniscience, O God, discovers, so thy Omnipotence can defeat the designes of those who have, or shall conspire my destruction._

_O shew me the goodnesse of thy will, through the wickednesse of theirs._

_Thou givest me leave as a man to pray, that this cup may pass from me; but thou hast taught Me as a Christian by the example of Christ to add not my will, but thine be done._

_Yea Lord, let our wils be one, by wholly resolving mine into thine: let not the desire of life in me be so great, as that of doing or suffering thy wil in either life or death._

_As I believe thou hast forgiven all the errours of my life, so I hope thou wilt save me from the terrors of my death._

_Make me content to leave the worlds nothing, that I may come really to enjoy all in thee, who hast made Christ unto me in life, gain; and in death advantage._

_Though my destroyers forget their dutie to thee and me, yet do not thou, O Lord, forget to be mercifull to them._

_For, what profit is there in my bloud, or in their gaining my Kingdoms, if they lose their own Souls?_

_Such as have not onely resisted my just Power, but wholly usurped and turned it against my self, though they may deserve, yet let them not receive to themselves damnation._

_Thou madest thy Son a Saviour to many that crucified him, while at once he suffered violently by them, and yet willingly for them._

_O let the voice of his bloud be heard for my Murtherers, louder then the cry of mine against them._

_Prepare them for thy mercy by due convictions of their sin, and let them not at once deceive and damne their own souls by fallacious pretensions of Justice in destroying me, while the conscience of their unjust usurpation of power against me, chiefly tempts them to use all extremities against me._

_O Lord, thou knowest I have found their mercies to me as very false, so very cruell, who pretending to preserve me, have meditated nothing but my ruine._

_O deal not with them as bloud thirsty and deceitfull men; but overcome their cruelty with thy compassion and my charitie._

_And when thou makest inquisition for my blood, O sprinkle their polluted, yet penitent Souls with the bloud of thy Son, that thy destroying Angel may passe over them._

_Though they think my Kingdoms on earth too little to entertain at once both them and me; yet let the capacious Kingdom of thy infinite mercy at last receive both me and my enemies._

_When being reconciled to thee in the bloud of the same Redeemer, wee shall live far above these ambitious desires, which beget such mortall enmities._

_When their hands shall be heaviest and cruellest upon me, O let me fall into the arms of thy tender and eternall mercies._

_That what is cut off of my life in this miserable moment, may be repaied in thy ever blessed Eternity._

_Lord, let thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation._

Vota dabunt, quæ Bella negârunt.

_FINIS._

* * * * *

A PERFECT COPY OF PRAYERS, Used by His MAJESTIE in the time of His _SUFFERINGS_.

_Delivered to Dr._ Juxon _Bishop of_ London _immediately before his Death_.

And his Speeches to the Lady _Elizabeth_ and the Duke of _Glocester_.

With

His _Reasons_ against the pretended Jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice; intended to be delivered, Munday 22 of _Janu_. 1648.

Also

A Copy of a LETTER from the _PRINCE_.

[Illustration]

Printed _Anno Domini_ 1649.

* * * * *

[Illustration]

_A PRAYER in time of Captivitie._

O Powerfull and Eternall God! to whom nothing is so great, that it may resist; or so small, that it is contemned; look upon my miserie with thine eye of mercy, and let Thine infinite power vouchsafe to limit out some proportion of deliverance unto me, as to Thee shall seem most convenient; let not Injurie, O Lord, triumph over me; and let my faults by thy hand be corrected; and make not my unjust Enemies the ministers of thy Justice: But yet my God, if in thy Wisdom this be the aptest chastisement for my unexcusable transgressions; if this ingratefull bondage be fittest for my over-high deserts; if the pride of my (not enough humble) heart be thus to be broken, O Lord, I yeeld unto thy will, and cheerfully embrace what sorrow thou wilt have me suffer: Onely thus much let me crave of thee, (let my craving, O Lord, be accepted of, since it even proceeds from thee) That by thy Goodnesse, which is thy Self, thou wilt suffer some beam of thy Majestie so to shine in my minde, that I, who in my greatest Afflictions acknowledge it my noblest Title to be thy Creature, may still depend confidently on Thee. Let Calamity be the exercise, but not the overthrow of my Vertue. O let not their prevailing power be to my destruction. And if it be thy will that they more and more vex me with punishment; yet O Lord, never let their wickednesse have such a hand, but that I may still carry a pure mind, and stedfast resolution ever to serve thee without fear or presumption; yet with that humble Confidence which may best please thee; so that at the last I may come to thy eternall Kingdom through the merits of thy Son our alone Saviour, Jesus Christ. _Amen_.

* * * * *

_Another PRAYER._

Almightie and most merciful Father, look down upon me thy unworthy servant, who here prostrate my self at the Foot-stool of thy Throne of Grace; but look upon me, O Father, through the Mediation, and in the Merits of Jesus Christ, in whom thou art only wel pleased: for of my Self I am not worthy to stand before thee, or to speak with my unclean lips to thee, most holy and eternall God; for as in sin I was conceived and born, so likewise I have broken all thy Commandments by my sinful motions, unclean thoughts, evill words, and wicked works; omitting many duties I ought to do, and committing many vices thou hast forbidden under pain of thy heavie Displeasure: as for my sins, O Lord, they are innumerable: wherefore I stand here liable to all the miseries in this life, and everlasting Torments in that to come, if thou shouldst deal with me according to my deserts. I confesse, O Lord, that it is thy Mercie (which endureth for ever) and thy compassion (which never fails) which is the cause that I have not been long ago consumed: but with thee there is Mercie and plenteous Redemption; in the multitude therefore of thy mercies, and by the Merits of Jesus Christ, I intreat thy Divine Majestie, that thou wouldst not enter into judgment with thy servant, nor be extreme to mark what is done amisse, but be thou mercifull unto Me, and wash away all my sins with that precious bloud that my Saviour shed for me. And I beseech thee, O Lord, not onely to wash away all my sins; but also to purge my heart by thy holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption: And as thou dost add days to my life, so good Lord, I beseech thee to add repentance to my dayes, that when I have past this mortall life, I may be partaker of thy everlasting Kingdom, through the Merits of Jesus Christ our Lord, _Amen_.

* * * * *

_A_ PRAYER _and_ CONFESSION _made in and for the times of Affliction._

Almighty and most mercifull Father, as it is onely thy Goodnesse that admits of our imperfect Prayers, and the knowledge that thy mercies are infinite, which can give Us any hope of thy accepting or granting them: so it is our bounden and necessary duty to confesse our sins freely unto thee; And of all men living, I have most need, most reason so to do; no man having been so much obliged by thee, no man more grievously offending thee: that degree of knowledge which thou hast given me adding likewise to the guilt of my transgressions. For, was it through ignorance, that I suffered innocent bloud to be shed by a false pretended way of Justice? or that I permitted a wrong way of thy Worship to be set up in _Scotland?_ and injured the Bishops in _England?_ O no; but with shame and grief I confesse, that I therein followed the perswasions of worldly Wisdome, forsaking the Dictates of a right-informed Conscience: Wherefore, O Lord, I have no excuse to make, no hope left, but in the multitude of thy mercies; for I know my repentance weak, and my prayers faulty: Grant therefore, mercifull Father, so to strengthen my repentance, and amend my prayers, that thou maist clear the way for thine own mercies; to which, O let thy Justice at last give place, putting a speedy end to my deserved afflictions. In the mean time, give me patience to endure, Constancy against Temptations, and a discerning spirit, to chuse what is best for thy Church, and People which thou hast committed to my charge. Grant this, O most mercifull Father, for thy Son Jesus Christs sake, our onely Saviour, _Amen._

* * * * *

_A_ PRAYER _in time of imminent Danger._

O Most merciful Father, though my sins are so many and grievous, that I may rather expect the effects of thy anger, then so great a deliverance, as to free me from my present great danger; yet, O Lord, since thy mercies are over all thy works, and thou never failest to relieve all those who with humble and unfeigned repentance come to thee for succour, it were to multiply, not diminish my transgressions, to despair of thy heavenly favour: Wherefore I humbly desire thy divine Majestie, That thou wilt not onely pardon all my sins; but also free me out of the hands, and protect me from the malice of my cruel Enemies. But if Thy wrath against my hainous Offences will not otherwayes be satisfied, then by suffering Me to fall under my present afflictions, Thy will be done; yet with humble Importunity, I do and shall never leave to implore the assistance of thy heavenly Spirit, that my cause, as I am thy Vicegerent may not suffer through My weakness, or want of courage, O Lord, so strengthen and enlighten all the faculties of My mind, that with clearnesse I may shew forth Thy Truth, and manfully endure this bloody Tryal, that so my sufferings here may not onely glorifie Thee, but likewise be a furtherance to my salvation hereafter. Grant this, O mercifull Father, for his sake who suffered for me, even Jesus Christ the Righteous. _Amen._

[Illustration: Emblem]

* * * * *

A Copie of a Letter which was sent from the PRINCE to the KING; Dated from the HAGUE _Jan_. 23. 1648.

SIR, _Having no means to come to the knowledge of your Majesties present condition, but such as I receive from the Prints, or (which is as uncertain) Report, I have sent this Bearer_ Seamour _to wait upon your Majestie; and to bring me an account of it: that I may withall assure your Majestie, I doe not onely pray for your Majestie according to my Dutie, but shall alwayes be ready to doe all which shall be in my power, to deserve that blessing which I now humbly beg of your Majestie upon_

(SIR)

HAGUE _Jan_. 23. 1648.

_Your_ MAJESTIES _most humble and most obedient Son & servant CHARLS._

The Superscription was thus,

For the King.

* * * * *

[Illustraton]

Munday 29th January, 1648.

_A true Relation of the_ KINGS _Speech to the Lady_ ELISABETH, _and the Duke of_ GLOCESTER, _the day before His Death._

His children being come to meet him, he first gave his blessing to the Lady _Elisabeth_; and bad her remember to tell her Brother _James_, when ever she should see him, That it was his Fathers last desire, that he should no more look upon _Charles_ as his eldest Brother only, but be obedient unto him, as his Soveraign; and that they should love one another, and forgive their Fathers Enemies. Then said the King to her, Sweet-heart you'l forget this: No (said she) _I_ shall never forget it while I live: And pouring forth abundance of Tears, promised him to write down the Paticulars.

Then the King taking the Duke of _Glocester_ upon his knee, said, Sweet-heart, now they will cut off thy Fathers head; (upon which words the child looked very stedfastly on him.) Mark child, what I say, they will cut of my head, and perhaps make thee a King: But mark what I say, you must not be a King so long as your Brother _Charles_ and _James_ do live; For they will cut off your Brothers heads, (when they can catch them) and cut off thy head too at the last: and therefore, _I_ charge you, do not be made a King by them. At which the child, sighing, said, I will be torn in pieces first. Which falling so unexpectedly from one so young, it made the King rejoyce exceedingly.

* * * * *

_Another Relation from the Lady_ ELISABETHS _own Hand._

What the king said to me the nine and twentieth of _January_ 1648. being the last time I had the happiness to see him; he told me, he was glad I was come, and although he had not time to say much, yet somewhat he had to say to me, which he had not to another, or leave in writing, because he feared their cruelty was such, as that they would not have permitted him to write to me, he wished me not to grieve and torment my self for him; for that would be a glorious death that he should dye; it being for the Laws and Liberties of this Land, and for maintaining the true Protestant Religion. He bad me read Bishop _Andrews_ Sermons, _Hookers Ecclesiasticall Politie_, and Bishop _Lauds_ Book against _Fisher_, which would ground me against Popery. He told me, he had forgiven all his Enemies, and hoped God would forgive them also; and commanded us, and all the rest of my Brothers and Sisters to forgive them: he bid me tell my Mother, That his thoughts never had strayed from her, and that his love should be the same to the last. Withall he commanded me and my Brother to be obedient to her. And bid me send his blessing to the rest of my Brothers and Sisters, with Commendation to all His Friends: So after he had given me his blessing, I took my leave.

Further, he commanded us all to forgive those people, but never to trust them; for they had been most false to him, and to those that gave them power, and he feared also to their own souls; And desired me not to grieve for him, for he should die a Martyr, and that he doubted not but the Lord would settle his Throne upon his Son, and that we should be all happier, then we could have expected to have been, if he had lived: With many other things, which at present I cannot remember.

ELISABETH.

* * * * *

_Another Relation from the Lady_ Elisabeth.

The King said to the Duke of _Glocester_, that he would say nothing to him but what was for the good of his soul: he told him, that he heard that the Army intended to make him King; but it was a thing not for him to take upon him, if he regarded the welfare of his soul; for he had two Brothers before him: and therefore commanded him upon His blessing, never to accept of it, unless it redowned lawfully upon him: And commanded him to fear the Lord, and he would provide for him.

_Copia vera._

* * * * *

_An_ Epitaph _upon King_ CHARLS.

So falls that stately Cedar: while it stood That was the onely glory of the Wood: Great _Charles_, thou earthly God, celestial _M_an, Whose life, like others, though it were a span: Yet in that span, was comprehended more Then Earth hath waters or the Ocean shore; Thy heavenly vertues, Angels shou'd rehearse, It is a theam too high for humane Verse: He that would know thee right, then let him look Upon Thy rare incomparable Book, And read it or'e and o're; which if he do, Hee'l find thee _king_, _and Priest_, _and Prophet too_: And sadly see our losse, and though in vain, With fruitlesse wishes, call thee back again. Nor shall oblivion sit upon thy Herse, Though there were neither Monument, nor Verse. Thy Suff'rings & thy Death let no man name; It was thy Glorie, but the Kingdoms Shame.

_J. H._

* * * * *

[Illustration]

_His Majesties Reasons against the pretended Jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice, which he intended to deliver in writing on Munday_ January 22, 1648.

Faithfully transcribed out of the originall Copie under the Kings own hand.

Having already made my protestations not only against the illegality of this pretended Court, but also that no earthly power can justly call me (who am your King) in question as a Delinquent, _I_ would not any more open my mouth upon this occasion, more then to refer my selfe to what I have spoken, were I alone in this case concerned. But the duty I owe to God in the preservation of the true Liberty of my People, will not suffer me at this time to be silent: For, how can any free-born Subject of England call life or any thing he possesseth his own, if power without right daily make new, and abrogate the old fundamentall Law of the Land, which I now take to be the present case. Wherefore when I came hither, I expected that you would have indeavoured to have satisfied me concerning these grounds, which hinder me to Answer to your pretended Impeachment, but since I see that nothing I can say will move you to it (though Negatives are not so naturally proved as Affirmatives) yet I will shew you the Reason why I am confident you cannot judge me, nor indeed the meanest man in England; for I will not (like you) without shewing a reason, seek to impose a belief upon My Subjects.

[Sidenote: _Hereabout I was stopt, and not suffered to speake any more concerning Reasons._]

There is no proceeding just against any man, but what is warranted either by Gods Laws, or the municipall Lawes of the Country where he lives. Now I am most confident, that this daies proceeding cannot be warranted by Gods Law, for on the contrary the authority of obedience unto Kings is cleerly warranted and strictly commanded both in the Old and New Testament; which if denied, I am ready to prove: and for the question now in hand, there it is said, That _where the word of a King is, there is Power, and who may say unto him, what doest thou_? _Eccles._ 8. 4. Then for the Lawes of this land, I am no lesse confident, that no learned Lawyer will affirme that an impeachment can lie against the King, they all going in his name; and one of their Maximes is, _that the King can do no wrong_. Besides, the law upon which you ground your proceedings, must either be old or new; if old shew it; if new, tell what authority warranted by the fundamentall Laws of the land hath made it, and when. But how the House of Commons can erect a Court of Judicature, which was never one it self (as is well known to all Lawyers) I leave to God and the World to judge; And it were full as strange that they should pretend to make Laws without King or Lords-House, to any that have heard speak of the Lawes of England.

And admitting, but not granting, that the people of Englands Commission could grant your pretended Power, I see nothing you can shew for that; for certainly you never asked the question of the tenth man of the Kingdom, and in this way you manifestly wrong even the poorest Plough-man, if you demand not his free consent; nor can you pretend any colour for this your pretended Commission without the consent at least of the major part of every man in England, of whatsoever quality or condition, which I am sure, you never went about to seek; so far are you from having it. Thus you see that I speak not for my own right alone, as I am your King, but also for the true Liberty of all my Subjects, which consists not in sharing the power of Government, but in living under such Laws, such a Government as may give themselves the best assurance of their lives and propriety of their goods. Nor in this must or do I forget the priviledges of both Houses of Parliament, which this dayes proceedings doth not only violate, but likewise occasion the greatest breach of their Publike Faith that (I beleeve) ever was heard of, with which I am far from charging the two houses: for all the pretended crimes laid against me, bear date long before this late Treaty at Newport, in which I having concluded as much as in me lay, and hopefully expecting the two Houses agreement thereunto, I was suddenly surprized, and hurried from thence as a Prisoner, upon which accompt I am against my will brought hither, where since I am come, I cannot but to my power defend the ancient Laws and Liberties of this Kingdom, together with my own just Right; then for any thing I can see the higher house is totally excluded.

And for the House of Commons, it is too well known that the major part of them are detained or deterr'd from sitting, so as if I had no other, this were sufficient for me to protest against the lawfulnesse of your pretended Court. Besides all this, the peace of the Kingdom is not the least in my thoughts; and what hopes of settlement is there so long as power raignes without rule of Law, changing the whole frame of that government under which this Kingdom hath flourished for many hundred years, (nor will I say what will fall out in case this lawlesse unjust proceeding against me do go on) & beleeve it the Commons of England will not thanke you for this change, for they will remember how happy they have been of late years under the raign of Q. _Elizabeth_, the King my Father and my self, untill the beginning of these unhappy troubles, and wil have cause to doubt that they shall never be so happy under any new. And by this time it will be too sensibly evident, that the Armes I took up were only to defend the fundamentall Laws of this Kingdom, against those who have supposed my power hath totally changed the ancient Government.

Thus having shewed you briefly the Reasons, why I cannot submit to your pretended authority without violating the trust which I have from God, for the welfare and liberty of my people; I expect from you either clear Reasons to convince my Judgment, shewing me that I am in an error (and then truly I will readily answer) or that you will withdraw your proceedings.

_This I intended to speake in Westminster-Hall on Monday 22. January, but against reason was hindered to shew my Reasons._

* * * * *

FINIS.

* * * * *

Transcriber's note.

Inconsistencies in spelling, grammar, capitalisation and punctuation have generally been retained, unless the inconsistency is obviously an error.

e.g. Iustice and Justice (etc.) are both used; wickednss (page 53) may be a printer's error, or the author's contraction. There are a few instances of 'wickednesse', and only one of 'wickedness'; there are a few instances of 'yeild', and 'yeeld', but none of 'yield'; 'then' is used throughout the book as modern writers would use 'than'; and apostrophes are notable by their absence.

The prefix 'un' is used where a modern writer would use 'in'. Many other words have more than one spelling. Phonetic spellings have been retained.

'proreption' (p. 66) means 'slow advance' (Google Books).

The long 's', prevalent at the time, has been updated to the modern 's', which even in 1649 was used at the ends of words.

There are some instances of what seem to be genuine errata:--

Sundry missing, damaged or extraneous punctuation has been repaired.

Explanation of the Emblem: 'deprrss'd' corrected to 'depress'd': "_Palm_-like _depress'd_, I higher rise"

p. 15: 'agaist' corrected to 'against': "have purposed any violence or oppression against the Innocent"

p. 24: 'assawge' corrected to 'asswage': "and after did'st asswage the floud which drowned the world,"

p. 42: 'kinkled' corrected to 'kindled': "the brands of that fire being ill quenched, have kindled the like flames here."

p. 51: 'noreable' corrected to 'noteable'*: "he is now become a noteable monument of unprosperous disloialtie,"

p. 59: 'and' corrected to 'an': "I must now be urged with an Armie,"

p. 63: 'one' corrected to 'on': "unfortunate Successes of this War, on my side, I do not think my"

p. 73: 'no' corrected to 'to': "if not to conquer, yet at least to suffer."

p. 74: 'eclisp' corrected to 'eclipse': "strip me of my strength, and eclipse my glory."

p. 77: 'Popositions' corrected to 'Propositions': "propound, (for such is one of their Propositions)"

p. 82: removed extraneous 'in': "to the Laws in force,"

p. 87: 'suppplication' corrected to 'supplication': "To thee I make my supplication,"

p. 98: 'with' corrected to 'which': "destroying the innocent with the guilty, & the erroneous with the malicious;"

p. 106: 'ont' corrected to 'out': "they lay out upon their opinions"

p. 107: 'contemus' corrected to 'contemns': "that the other rejects and contemns;"

p. 120: 'clomencie' corrected to 'clemencie': "and thy clemencie hath accepted from us,"

p. 121: 'theia' corrected to 'their': "the Charity of most men is grown so cold, and their Religion so illiberall."

p. 121: 'net' corrected to 'not': "Let not holy things be given to Swine"

p. 137: 'migh' corrected to 'might': "he might seem to justifie his disdainfull reproaches,"

p. 141: 'too' corrected to 'to': "where not the words, but mens hearts are to blame."

p. 144: 'nse' corrected to 'use': "That further, they should use such severity as"

p. 154: 'Goverment' corrected to 'Government': "such a frame or Government which is paternall,"

p. 158: 'Hospitaliy' corrected to 'Hospitality': "also enablements to works of Charitie and Hospitality,"

p. 161: 'judement' corrected to 'judgement': "to my judgement, I am solemnly obliged to"

p. 172: 'bnt' corrected to 'but': "not to trust in the arm of Flesh, but in the living God."

p. 179: 'afficting' corrected to 'afflicting': "Between both thy hands, the right sometimes supporting, and the left afflicting, fashion us"

p. 180: 'punishmenes' corrected to 'punishments': "punishing my self in their punishments."

p. 184: 'abrogae' corrected to 'abrogate': "by the Sword to arrogate, and quite abrogate the Authority of"

p. 186: 'moudls' corrected to 'moulds': "would not run into their new moulds, till they had first melted"

p. 187: 'Christans' corrected to 'Christians': "appear good Christians, that approve not them selves good Subjects."

p. 192: 'thrist' corrected to 'thirst': "the most ambitious thirst of popular glory among the Vulgar"

p. 196: 'pnrpose' corrected to 'purpose': "Fix in me a purpose to honour thee, and then"

p. 201: 'wordls' corrected to 'worlds': "the worlds vanity and inconstancie."

p. 205: 'estabish' corrected to 'establish': "because thou Lord, hast holpen and comforted me; establish me with thy free Spirit,"

p. 207: 'christias' corrected to 'christians': "then is ever used by christians to the meanest prisoners,"

p. 215: 'Honse' corrected to 'House': "when wee went to meet in thy House with the voice of joy and gladnesse,"

p. 221: 'Sate' corrected to 'State': "In suppressing the many schismes in Church, and Factions in State."

p. 223: removed extraneous 'if': "May my people and thy Church be happie if not by me, yet without me."

p. 230: 'abonnd' corrected to 'abound': "they cannot want Enemies who abound in sin; nor shall they be"

p. 251: 'you' corrected to 'your': "Soul in true Religion, and your honour in the love of God and"

p. 251: 'you' corrected to 'your': "let my Memory ever, with my Name, live in you; as of your Father,"

p. 254: 'lttle' corrected to 'little': "Indeed, they have left me but little of life,"

p. 254: 'magnaminity' corrected to 'magnanimity': "yet to suffer with such Christian patience and magnanimity, in"

p. 255: 'afflicton' corrected to 'affliction': "The assaults of affliction may be terrible,"

p. 255: 'Freinds' corrected to 'Friends': "my Friends and loving Subjects being helpless Spectators"

p. 257: 'guitly' corrected to 'guilty': "the cheifest hand, and are most guilty of contriving"

p. 265: 'acceesse' corrected to 'accesse': "any way obstructed my accesse to the Throne of Heaven,"

p. 273: 'acknowlede' corrected to 'acknowledge': "who in my greatest Afflictions acknowledge it"

* The spelling, 'noteable', is also used in the title of a book published 1635:

"A direction for the English traviller by which he shal be inabled to coast about all England and Wales. And also to know how farre any market or noteable towne in any shire lyeth one from an other ... As also the distance betweene London and any other shire or great towne." ... J. van Langeren sculp.