« PreviousContinue »
answered by him. Still heavier articles ber of armed vessels : and the lord lieuagainst Buckingham were exhibited in an tenants of the counties were ordered to impeachment from the Commons, charging summon the people to be trained to him with corruption, and other crimes. arms. But an attempt was unsuccessful, The king vainly attempted to prevent which aimed to induce the people at this, by strong assertions of his preroga- large to pay the subsidies voted by the tive, which the Commons met by declara- Commons, though the act had not passed. tions of ancient, constant, and undoubted Another financial measure was called rights to question and complain of all for by the success of the Romanist party, persons dangerous to the commonwealth. in Germany, against the elector Palatine, Sir John Elliot was among the most ac
whose affairs were now in a very despertive in this affair ; he was committed to ate state. Charles thought that the nethe Tower, the king's wrath being ex- cessity for an effort, in behalf of the cited by a reflection upon him in relation Protestant cause, would induce the nation to the last illness of his royal father, which to furnish money with less reluctance ; there is every reason to consider un- and a large amount was required as a founded. These proceedings induced the loan, to be repaid from future parliaking to dissolve the parliament in great mentary grants. Commissioners were aphaste, to prevent another petition against pointed, who were directed to proceed with the favourite, and an answer to his reply inquisitorial powers in case of opposition. to the charges; the king declaring, “Not | Persons in middle and humble life, who for a minute," when the lords urged a few resisted, were forced to serve in the army days' delay of this proceeding.
or navy, while several of higher rank One charge which excited the popular were sent to distant prisons. Some of the indignation was, that the duke had caus- latter continued their opposition, and ed the French king to be supplied with sought to be set free by the legal process English ships, to act against the Protest- of habeas corpus, as they were imprisonants in France, then in arms against ed only by mandate from the king and their king. In answer to this, Bucking- council, without being charged with any ham said, that he had been deceived, and offence. The right of the government to thought it was the intention of the French imprison at pleasure was largely disto employ these ships against Genoa. cussed. Magna Charta, and subsequent But this was not the case : the particu- laws founded thereon, were cited; inlars have been already related; and when stances, even in the last century, of perwriting from Paris, while there for the sons thus imprisoned, being released on king's marriage, Buckingham had ex- claiming the protection of this writ were pressly stated, that the success of Louis quoted, but the judges decided in favour against his Protestant subjects, would de- of the power of the crown, and refused pend on the ships furnished by England the liberation of those who would not pay and Holland.
the loan. Further proceedings followed; The dissolution of this parliament was the soldiers, lately returned from Cadiz, followed by the imprisonment of the were quartered upon many who were earls of Arundel and Bristol ; it left in- reluctant to advance the money, and encreased irritation between the king and couraged to commit even brutal outrages. his subjects, and prevented the removal All this increased the unpopularity of of his pecuniary difficulties, which now the court party. Partly to remove that, pressed the king so severely, that he re- and partly from the violent, though feesorted to decisive and active measures on ble conduct of Buckingham, a war with account of them. The duties of tonnage France was determined on, under preand poundage were still levied. Com- tence of aiding the Protestants in that missioners were appointed to increase kingdom. The latter were unwilling to the revenue from the crown lands, and to engage in hostilities; but Buckingham raise money by fines for long leases. The led a fleet and army into France, and penalties on recusants, and religious de- again induced the inhabitants of Rolinquents, were enforced. Persons of chelle to take up arms. He landed in property were obliged to lend sums of the island of Rhé, but, after an unsucmoney; and the large amount of 120,0001. cessful siege of the principal fortress, was required from the City of London. he was compelled to embark and leave The sea ports were required to provide the coast : being the last man to enter and maintain, for a time, a certain num- the boats, he preserved his reputation
for personal courage, though his want of he holds himself as well obliged as of his abilities in every other respect was ap- prerogative.' parent.
This equivocal consent excited much Another expedition was needful to re- | indignation among the popular party; move this disgrace, and relieve the Pro- severe resolutions against Buckingham testants thus brought into collision with would have been passed; but, by the their monarch. This required a meeting king's order, the speaker adjourned the of parliament, in preparation for which House. The next day, a request for a some popular measures were resorted to. more explicit answer was agreed upon. Archbishop Abbot was reinstated, and The king, fearing for his favourite, took several who had been imprisoned were his seat upon the throne, ordered his forreleased. The primate had been sus- mer answer to be cut off, and the more pended from the exercise of his office for usual form of “ Let right be done as is derefusing to license a sermon in which the sired,” to be written on the petition. He preacher taught that the loans required then declared that he had done his part; by the king were lawful. But, without the fault would not be his if the parliawaiting for the parliament, another effort ment had not a happy conclusion. His was made to raise contributions; how- consent was received with acclamations, ever, the opposition was so general, that and the bill for the mone grant was it was relinquished. The contests at the passed. elections were unusually severe; the It might have been expected that, after general result was unfavourable to the obtaining these important concessions, court, and when the parliament was the leaders of the popular party would opened, it was found to contain a large have rested content with what they had proportion of individuals of property and gained, at least for a time, and apparently independence.
they would have been wise to have done The king, in his opening speech, used so: but, encouraged by the king's comstrong and doubtful expressions, but pliance, they determined to proceed still these were not resented : a large supply further. In a few days, they presented a rewas voted, but the Commons determined monstrance, complaining of the evils that not finally to sanction the grant till they threatened religion, and the welfare of had procured redress of the evils most the nation; and urging the disgraces that complained of. With this view, an im- had been incurred, attributing these results portant document, called “the Petition principally to the undue power exercised of Right,” was brought forward, ground-by the duke of Buckingham. The popular ed on resolutions stating, that no free- party thought to enforce this remonstrance, man ought to be imprisoned, unless a by withholding the duties on customs, and lawful cause was expressed ; that the prepared another petition to remind the writ of habeas corpus ought, in no case, king, that, by the petition of right, he to be withheld ; that if the return to that was prevented from levying them; but writ showed no cause sufficient to justify before it was presented, they were rerestraint, the party ought to be bailed, quired to attend in the House of Lords, or set at liberty; that no sums of money when the king asserted that the tonnage could be demanded by the king, without and poundage were not dependent upon consent by act of parliament. The right their will, but that he was accountable to of imprisonment, at the will of the sove- God only for his actions; then, declaring reign, was too important for Charles, and his assent to the tonnage and poundage, too agreeable to him, to be relinquished he prorogued the parliament. In this without a struggle; but he did not ven- address he referred to the petition of ture upon decided or open opposition. right; but stated, that to the judges When the petition was presented, and in-alone, under him, belonged the interstead of the usual form, " Let it be law pretation of the laws, and they had alas is desired;" he directed the following ready told the king there would be cases answer to be written under the petition: of exception to it. This eventful session "The king willeth that right be done, showed an important series of popular according to the laws and customs of the rights recognized by the crown; but it also realm ; and that the statutes be put in showed that the procurers of this great due execution, that his subjects may have boon were disposed to go much further. no cause to complain of any wrong, or Here, then, was increased irritation beoppression, contrary to their just rights tween the king and his subjects. Another and liberties, to the preservation whereof new feature was exhibited.
gained over two of his warm opponents, | tance the stately garden, and glorying
on, seeking sweeter and fairer flowers, and
The sunflower is less a favourite than to the warring winds, bearing and bendmost others, because it is deficient in that ing with a stubborn and dignified resistshrinking, delicate kind of beauty so ance, and looking still bright and uninteresting in flowers generally. It is conquered, when broken, and drenched, considered coarse and harsh ; and the and ruined, and reft from its place. eye that beams with love and admiration Have you some difficulty to overcome; on the rose and the lily, often changes to some hard task to perform? Stoop you a cool and negligent expression while under some burden your faintheartedness glancing at the head of the sunflower. makes heavy and fearful? Go and look
But shall the strength and majesty of full in the bold bright face of the sunthe lion be overlooked because he has flower. It will speak to you of strength, not the meekness of the lamb? Shall and courage, and steady determination; the high-soaring eagle be despised, be- and, through the goodness of its Almighty cause he is not soft and gentle, like the Maker, it may impart new vigour, and dove? You shall not find tenderness awaken fresh good resolutions and deterand timidity in the sunflower, but you minations, in a moment of fancied inought not to look for them; the sun- ability, Power is the giant, the champion of the garden; coming up with a strong and
MY AUNT PRISCILLA.-No. V. iesolute growth, and having a bold and (laring look, that will not blink or change for shine or shade, day or night.
MANKIND may be fairly divided into It is a noble and determined flower, three classes : those who act on bad princarrying itself loftily, having at all times ciples, those who act on good principles, a resolved and fearless expression. Whe- and those who act on no principles at all, ther turning up to look at the skies, or but are the mere creatures of impulse. bending down towards the ground, you The last is by far the most numerous, and shall find the same firm countenance, certainly not the least mischievous. Those bright and unsubdued.
who habitually and openly adopt and act You need not love the sunflower. It on bad principles are, in general, pretty is proud and high, asking no smile, no well understood both by themselves and sympathy, indifferent to all things, loving by others. They do not deceive themselves best to look stedfastly in the face of the by the semblance of good; and their open king of day, with a fixed, unwearied gaze, display of evil, as it renders them more as if delighting in the golden beam that odious, renders them proportionally less makes its own-self more sunlike.
dangerous to others. But the impetuous, You have doubtless seen some rueful unstable, double-minded man, who acts spot, far from the tulip beds and the moss just as the inpulse of the moment guides roses, where the earth was coarse and him, satisfies himself that he “means no barren, but for trees and weeds, and harm,” forgetting both that he is guilty rambling plants, and where a broken and condemned for doing no good, and crumbling wall inclosed a rude, but sunny that, whether or not he mean it, in corner ; did you not see there how the reality he does much harm, by his ocsunflower came up, viewing at a dis- casional outbreaks of actual folly; by the
PRINCIPLES AND MAXIMS.
influence of his example ; and by the im- these : “ How will it appear ?"
" Will pediments which his erratic movements it be safe ?" “ Will it be politic?" are perpetually throwing in the way of I have heard my dear aunt remark, others. Those alone can be justly esteemed that in so many instances duty is found good, exempláry, and useful, who form to congenial with inclination and interest, themselves right principles, and then that those who desire to do the will of conscientiously and habitually regulate God from the heart, had need look closely their conduct by them.
into the motives of their conduct, lest It is a great thing to know whereabouts they should take credit for obedience, to find such people; and we cannot fail when, in reality, they only seek to please to reverence the person of whom we can themselves. “Oh,” she would say, “how say with confidence, in reference to any exceeding broad is the command to love improper action or course of conduct, “I the Lord our God with all our hearts, am sure he will not do that,” or “I am and to do every thing from a principle of positive he did not do so." Why not?” | love and obedience to him. I am afraid 5. Because he would not think it right.” lest conformity to what God has com
My aunt was one of this sturdy sort. manded should be, in reality, nothing She habitually acted on principle, and, better than acting in accordance with making every due allowance for human natural inclinations, or as impelled by fallibility and human imperfection, her the influence of circumstances. Without principles were sound and judicious, and this all-pervading principle, our activity, her practice uniform and consistent. and kindness, and decorum, though they From her example, I am led to conclude, may look well in the eyes of our fellowthat the plan she adopted is the only way creatures, and be useful to them, have of really “living” all the days of one's no more claim to be regarded as acts of life, and leaving behind some valuable rational obedience to the will of God, evidence that we have not lived in vain. than the ravens flying to feed Elijah.” Oh, the dreamy, useless, uninteresting Happy is it for individuals and for soexistence of a large portion of the human ciety when natural inclinations and surrace! They seem to live as if they were rounding circumstances are favourable to created for nothing higher than self-grati- such things as are lovely and of good fication, either in its more refined or report; but the genuine Christian will its grosser form; and as if all around be deeply solicitous, not only to do such them had no higher employment for their things, but to do them “after a godly time and their powers, than to minister to sort. My dear aunt, who had been their gratifications. Such frivolity would singularly privileged in treading a long excite only the smile of pity or contempt, and honourable course, in which duty if we could divest ourselves of the idea and inclination alike led the way, was that awakens the sigh of heartfelt an- afterwards no stranger to the trial of guish, that these triflers must give an ac- principle involved in their separation. count of the time they fritter away, of The steadiness with which she was enthe evil they have done, and the good abled to pursue the course of duty, when they have omitted to while in the it ran counter to that of inclination, must strictest, most degrading, and most guilty have been a source of solid satisfaction sense, they were living to themselves. to herself, as corroborating the testimony
But to return to my aunt, and to the of conscience to her previous sincerity. recollection of some of her fixed prin- To her friends, it presented a delightful ciples.
and instructive example of genuine and The first, undoubtedly, was obedience. consistent piety, characterized by single“I am the servant of God, and my first ness of aim and simplicity of dependence, concern in everything must be, to know She considered nothing with which she and do his will.” How striking and en- had to do so trifling as to be beneath couraging is the promise, “ If thine eye the inquiry, “ Is it right? Is it agreebe single, thy whole body shall be full of able to the will of God ?” She considered light," Matt. vi. 22; and how is it fulfilled no step so obviously easy and safe, as in the experience of those who set the that she could venture to take it on her Lord always before them. The one ques- own judgment, or in her own strength. tion,“ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'' | Such a measure, she knew, would be sure generally admits of an easy solution when to issue in a slide or a stumble. On the it is not perplexed and hampered by the other hand, she never hesitated to take a admixture of foreign solicitudes, such as step at the evident call of duty, and in
reliance on Divine aid and strength. | time, and the relative value of the inteHoweverarduous it might be, she expected rests of time and eternity. This was the to be sustained; howeverdangerous, she ex- influential principle which so well regupected to be preserved, for she knew whom lated the views and conduct of the early she had trusted, and she not only repeated Christians, in reference both to their the declaration, but realized its vital effica- duties and their trials, and which proved cy, “I can do all things through Christ to them an unfailing source of consolawhich strengtheneth me,” Phil. iv. 13. tion and happiness. Rom. viii. 18; 2 Cor.
As obedience was her first principle, iv. 16—18. (the obedience not of constraint, but of The same principle exerted a happy gratitude and love,) so self-renunciation practical influence on her whose characwas her second." She renounced the ter I am now endeavouring to trace. It idolatry of righteous self, as well as that seemed always to connect itself with of sinful self, and looked out of herself her worldly projects, plans, and expectafor acceptance and strength. She deeply tions. No one more thoroughly enjoyed felt, and often expressed, (when she per- the bounties of Providence, the delights mitted herself to speak freely to a beloved of social endearment, or any of the adfriend) her entire dependence on the vantages that met in her lot. No one Saviour “for light to direct, and dis- was more distinguished by intelligent position to choose, and strength to pur- forethought and promptitude in suggestsue, and submission to suffer, and pa- ing and improving circumstances and optience to wait.”
portunities in common things : but then, it Nothing possesses a stronger tendency was always under the holy and chastening to make men of" quick understanding in influence of piety; .“ If the Lord will, we the fear of the Lord,” than simplicity of shall live, and do this, or that,” Jas. iv. 15. aim and entireness of consecration. This She knew how to possess as though she
poswas pre-eminently displayed in the Chris- sessed not, and to “use this world, as not tian's great Exemplar; and, in a humble abusing it,” constantly remembering that measure, it characterizes all his disciples. “ the fashion of this world passeth away, I have not, in the course of my own ob- 1 Cor. vii. 31. When she was favoured with servation, met with a more striking in- worldly success and satisfaction, still her stance of this, than in the character of my highest enjoyment was in the conviction aunt Priscilla ; and I have sometimes that these were not her all, nor her best been painfully compelled to contrast her things; that she had a better portion in simple, straightforward course of holi- reserve. When visited with trials and ness, with the evasions, the subterfuges, disappointments, she would say, the contrivances to explain away the re- how light and transient! Only for a moquirements and meaning of Scripture, by ment! A few years hence, and all this which some professing Christians strive will indeed appear 'less than nothing and to keep up a decent appearance, and to vanity! Let me realize the fact, that it maintain tolerably good terms with con- is so now, and then my heart and mind science, while they live in the neglect or will be kept steady in the midst of violation of precepts so plain, that "he changing scenes.” that runs may read," and that the way- The same principle influenced her faring man, though a fool, should not err wishes as to her views of the education therein. Scripture was, indeed, a light of her children, in all arrangements to her feet, and a lamp to her paths. for placing them out in life, and in When it dictated, “ This is the way,” she the views she entertained of their forming unhesitatingly walked therein, and found acquaintances and connexions. "Such rest to her soul, and scattered blessings a pursuit,” she would say, "might in in her path.
itself be agreeable; but is it worth the Of those whose privilege it was to trace time required for its acquisition? Several out her lovely and consistent course, some hours a-day, for several years, is no inhave far more closely imbibed her spirit considerable portion of the little period and followed her example; while others, allotted for purposes of real utility, and with myself, have often, in the bitterness for preparation for eternity.” “Such a siof self-reproach, exclaimed, “Oh, how tuation, or such a connexion, might be addifferent has my conduct been from that vantageous in a worldly point of view; but of aunt Priscilla !"
how is it likely to operate on the discharge My aunt habitually cherished and acted of the great duties of life, or the interests under correct views of the shortness of of the soul and eternity ?" To the solemn