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exploits, and the making so remarkable an example of a most potent king, to desire to return again into a condition of bondage and slavery, will not only be scandalous and disgraceful, but an impious and wicked thing; and equal to that of the Israelites, who for desiring to return to the Egyptian slavery were so severely punished for that sordid, slavish temper of mind, and so many of them destroyed by that God who had been their deliverer..
And now I think, through God's assistance, I have finished the work I undertook, to wit, the defence of the noble actions of my countrymen at home and abroad, against the raging and envious madness of this distracted sophister; and the asserting of the common rights of the people against the unjust domination of kings, not out of any hatred to kings, but tyrants: nor have I purposely left unanswered any one argument alleged by my adversary, nor any one example or authority quoted by him, that seemed to have any force in it, or the least color of an argument. Perhaps I have been guilty rather of the other extreme, of replying to some of his fooleries and trifles, as if they were solid arguments, and thereby may seem to have attributed more to them than they deserved. One thing yet remains to be done, which perhaps is of the greatest concern of all, and that is, that you, my countrymen, refute this adversary of yours yourselves, which I do not see any other means of
your affecting, than by a constant endeavor to outdo all men's bad words by your own good deeds. When you labored under more sorts of oppression than one, you betook yourselves to God for refuge, and he was graciously pleased to hear your most earnest prayer and desires. He has gloriously delivered you, the first of nations, from the two greatest mischiefs of this life, and most pernicious to virtue, tyranny and superstition; he has endued you with greatness of mind to be the first of mankind, who after having conquered their own king, and having had him delivered into their hands, have not scrupled to condemn him judicially, and, pursuant to that sentence of condemnation, to put him to death. After the performing so glorious an action as this, you ought to do nothing that is mean and little, not so much as to think of, much less to do, anything but what is great and sublime. Which to attain to, this is your only way: as you have subdued your enemies in the field, so to make appear, that unarmed, and in the highest outward peace and tranquillity, you of all mankind are best able to subdue ambition, avarice, the love of riches, and can best avoid the corruptions that prosperity is apt to introduce, (which generally subdue and triumph over other nations,) to show as great justice, temperance, and moderation in the maintaining your liberty, as you have shown courage in freeing yourselves from slavery. These are the only arguments by which you will be able to
evince that you are not such persons as this fellow represents you, Traitors, Robbers, Murderers, Parricides, Madmen; that you did not put your king to death out of any ambitious design, or a desire of invading the rights of others; not out of any seditious principles or sinister ends; that it was not an act of fury or madness; but that it was wholly out of love to your liberty, your religion, to justice, virtue, and your country, that you punished a tyrant. But if it should fall out otherwise, (which God forbid,) if as you have been valiant in war, you should grow debauched in peace, you that have had such visible demonstrations of the goodness of God to yourselves, and his wrath against your enemies; and that you should not have learned by so eminent, so remarkable an example before your eyes, to fear God, and work righteousness; for my part, I shall easily grant and confess (for I cannot deny it) whatever ill men may speak or think of you, to be very true. And you will find in a little time, that God's displeasure against you will be greater than it has been against your adversaries, greater than his grace and favor has been to yourselves, which you have had larger experience of than any other nation under heaven.
GRATEFUL recollection of the divine goodness is the first of human obligations; and extraordinary favors demand more solemn and devout acknowledgments: with such acknowledgments I feel it my duty to begin this work. First, because I was born at a time when the virtue of my fellow-citizens, far exceeding that of their progenitors in greatness of soul and vigor of enterprise, having invoked Heaven to witness the justice of their cause, and been clearly governed by its directions, has succeeded in delivering the commonwealth from the most grievous tyranny, and religion from the most ignominious degradation. And next, because when there suddenly arose many who, as is usual with the vulgar, basely calumniated the most illustrious achievements, and when one, eminent above the rest, inflated with literary pride, and the zealous applauses of his partisans, had in a scandalous publication, which was particularly levelled
against me, nefariously undertaken to plead the cause of despotism, I, who was neither deemed unequal to so renowned an adversary, nor to so great a subject, was particularly selected by the deliverers of our country, and by the general suffrage of the public, openly to vindicate the rights of the English nation, and consequently of liberty itself. Lastly, because in a matter of so much moment, and which excited such ardent expectations, I did not disappoint the hopes nor the opinions of my fellow-citizens; while men of learning and eminence abroad honored me with unmingled approbation; while I obtained such a victory over my opponent, that, notwithstanding his unparalleled assurance, he was obliged to quit the field with his courage broken and his reputation lost; and for the three years which he lived afterwards, much as he menaced and furiously as he raved, he gave me no further trouble, except that he procured the paltry aid of some despicable hirelings, and suborned some of his silly and extravagant admirers, to support him under the weight of the unexpected and recent disgrace which he had experienced. This will immediately appear. Such are the signal favors which I ascribe to the divine beneficence, and which I thought it right devoutly to commemorate, not only that I might discharge a debt of gratitude, but particularly because they seem auspicious to the success of my present undertaking. For who is there who does not identify the honor