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should have a conscience within him as cruel to himself; constraining him, as he constrained others, and ensnaring him in such ways and counsels as were certain to be his destruction.
"Other things though he could approve, yet in honour and policy he thought fit to deny, lest he should seem to dare deny nothing.' By this means he will be sure, what with reason, honour, policy, or punctilios, to be found never unfurnished of a denial; whether it were his envy not to be overbounteous, or that the submissness of our asking stirred up in him a certain pleasure of denying. Good princes have thought it their chief happiness to be always granting; if good things, for the things' sake; if things indifferent, for the people's sake; while this man sits calculating variety of excuses how he may grant least; as if his whole strength and royalty were placed in a mere negative.
Of one proposition especially he laments him much, that they would bind "to a general and implicit consent for whatever they desired." Which though I find not among the nineteen, yet undoubtedly the oath of his coronation binds him to no less; neither is he at all by his office to interpose against a parliament in the making or not making of any law; but to take that for just and good legally, which is there decreed, and to see it executed accordingly. Nor was he set over us to vie wisdom with his parliament, but to be guided by them; any of whom possibly may as far excel him in the gift of wisdom, as he them in place and dignity. But much nearer is it to impossibility, that any king alone should be wiser than all his council; sure enough it was not he, though no king ever before him so much contended to have it thought so. And if the parliament so thought not, but desired him to follow their advice and deliberation in things of public concernment, he accounts it the same proposition as if Samson had been moved "to the putting out his eyes, that the Philistines might abuse him." And thus out of an unwise or pretended fear, lest others should make a scorn of him for yielding to his parliament, he regards not to give cause of worse suspicion, that he made a scorn of his regal oath.
But "to exclude him from all power of denial seems an arrogance;" in the parliament he means: what in him then to deny against the parliament? None at all, by what he argues:
for "by petitioning, they confess their inferiority, and that obliges them to rest, if not satisfied, yet quieted with such an answer as the will and reason of their superior thinks fit to give." First, petitioning, in better English, is no more than requesting or requiring; and men require not favours only, but their due; and that not only from superiors, but from equals, and inferiors also. The noblest Romans, when they stood for that which was a kind of regal honour, the consulship, were wont in a submissive manner to go about, and beg that highest dignity of the meanest plebeians, naming them man by man; which in their tongue was called petitio consulatus. And the parliament of England petitioned the king, not because all of them were inferior to him, but because he was inferior to any one of them, which they did of civil custom, and for fashion's sake, more than of duty; for by plain law cited before, the parliament is his superior.
But what law in any trial or dispute enjoins a freeman to rest quieted, though not satisfied with the will and reason of his superior? It were a mad law that would subject reason to superiority of place. And if our highest consultations and purposed laws must be terminated by the king's will, then is the will of one man our law, and no subtlety of dispute can redeem the parliament and nation from being slaves: neither can any tyrant require more than that his will or reason, though not satisfying, should yet be rested in, and determine all things. We may conclude, therefore, that when the parliament petitioned the king, it was but merely form, let it be as "foolish and absurd" as he pleases. It cannot certainly be so absurd as what he requires, that the parliament should confine their own and all the kingdom's reason to the will of one man, because it was his hap to succeed his father. For neither God nor the laws have subjected us to his will, nor set his reason to be our sovereign above law, (which must needs be, if he can strangle it in the birth,) but set his person over us in the sovereign execution of such laws as the parliament establish. The parliament, therefore, without any usurpation, hath had it always in their power to limit and confine the exorbitancy of kings, whether they call it their will, their reason, or their conscience.
But this above all was never expected, nor is to be endured, that a king, who is bound by law and oath to follow the ad
vice of his parliament, should be permitted to except against them as 66 young statesmen," and proudly to suspend his following their advice, "until his seven years' experience had shewn him how well they could govern themselves." less the law never supposed so great an arrogance could be in one man; that he whose seventeen years' unexperience had almost ruined all, should sit another seven years schoolmaster to tutor those who were sent by the whole realm to be his counsellors and teachers. But with what modesty can he pretend to be a statesman himself, who with his father's king-craft* and his own, did never that of his own accord, which was not directly opposite to his professed interest both at home and abroad; discontenting and alienating his subjects at home, weakening and deserting his confederates abroad, and with them the common cause of religion; so that the whole course of his reign, by an example of his own furnishing, hath resembled Phaeton more than Phoebus, and forced the parliament to drive like Jehu; which omen taken from his own mouth, God hath not diverted?
And he on the other side might have remembered, that the parliament sit in that body, not as his subjects, but as his superiors, called, not by him, but by the law; not only twice every year, but as oft as great affairs require, to be his counsellors and dictators, though he stomach it; nor to be dissolved at his pleasure, but when all grievances be first removed, all petitions
With all his craft, however, James I. was always the dupe of some wiser head of the Duc de Guise first; and afterwards of Elizabeth and her ministers. He would not venture, while his first patron lived, to marry a protestant; and was too fearful of consequences to risk an union with a Roman Catholic. But Guise having fallen at Blois, and, soon after, Henri III., he no longer hesitated to take a protestant wife, and accordingly married a princess of Denmark. Like all half-witted princes, he was extravagantly addicted to hunting; and to a man recommended to him by similarity of taste, though actually the spy of Elizabeth, he communicated the most important secrets, which this honest individual transmitted to Walsinghame, who, according to Bishop Burnett, suspected James of an intention to turn papist, or to be of no religion. (Burnett's History of his Own Times, folio, i. 7.) Much light has been thrown on the secret history of the reign of this contemptible prince, by the publication of the "Loseley Manuscripts," where we find four letters written with the king's own hand to Sir George More, lieutenant of the Tower, "concerning my lord of Somerset, who being in the Tower, and hearing that he should come to his arraignment, began to speak big words touching on the king's reputation and honour."-ED.
heard and answered. law of the land.
This is not only reason, but the known
"When he heard that propositions would be sent him," he sat conjecturing what they would propound; and because they propounded what he expected not, he takes that to be a warrant for his denying them. But what did he expect? He expected that the parliament would reinforce some old laws." But if those laws were not a sufficient remedy to all grievances, nay, were found to be grievances themselves, when did we lose that other part of our freedom to establish new? "He thought some injuries done by himself and others to the commonwealth were to be repaired." But how could that be, while he, the chief offender, took upon him to be sole judge both of the injury and the reparation?
"He stayed till the advantages of his crown considered, might induce him to condescend to the people's good." Whenas the crown itself with all those advantages were therefore given him, that the people's good should be first considered; not bargained for, and bought by inches with the bribe of more offertures and advantages to his crown. He looked "for moderate desires of due reformation;" as if any such desires could be immoderate. He looked for such a reformation, "both in church and state, as might preserve" the roots of every grievance and abuse in both still growing, (which he calls "the foundation and essentials,") and would have only the excrescences of evil pruned away for the present, as was plotted before, that they might grow fast enough between triennial parliaments, to hinder them, by work enough besides, from ever striking at the root.
He alleges," They should have had regard to the laws in force, to the wisdom and piety of former parliaments, to the ancient and universal practice of Christian churches." As if they who come with full authority to redress public grievances, which ofttimes are laws themselves, were to have their hands bound by laws in force, or the supposition of more piety and wisdom in their ancestors, or the practice of churches heretofore; whose fathers, notwithstanding all these pretences, made as vast alterations to free themselves from ancient popery. For all antiquity that adds or varies from the scripture, is no more warranted to our safe imitation, than what was done the age before at Trent. Nor was there need to
have despaired of what could be established in lieu of what was to be annulled, having before his eyes the government of so many churches beyond the seas; whose pregnant and solid reasons wrought so with the parliament, as to desire a uniformity rather with all other Protestants, than to be a schism divided from them under a conclave of thirty bishops, and a crew of irreligious priests that gaped for the same prefer
And whereas he blames those propositions for not containing what they ought, what did they mention, but to vindicate and restore the rights of parliament invaded by cabin councils, the courts of justice obstructed, and the government of the church innovated and corrupted? All these things he might easily have observed in them, which he affirms he could not find; but found "those demanding" in parliament, who were "looked upon before as factious in the state, and schismatical in the church; and demanding not only toleration for themselves in their vanity, novelty, and confusion, but also an extirpation of that government, whose rights they had a mind to invade." Was this man ever likely to be advised, who with such a prejudice and disesteem sets himself against his chosen and appointed counsellors? likely ever to admit of reformation, who censures all the government of other Protestant churches, as bad as any papist could have censured them? And what king had ever his whole kingdom in such contempt, so to wrong and dishonour the free elections of his people, as to judge them, whom the nation thought worthiest to sit with him in parliament, few else but such as were" punishable by the laws?" yet knowing that time was, when to be a protestant, to be a Christian, was by law as punishable as to be a traitor; and that our Saviour himself, coming to reform his church, was accused of an intent to invade Cæsar's right, as good a right as the prelate bishops ever had: the one being got by force, the other by spiritual usurpation; and both by force upheld.
He admires and falls into an ecstasy, that the parliament should send him such a "horrid proposition," as the removal of episcopacy. But expect from him in an ecstasy no other reasons of his admiration than the dream and tautology of what he hath so often repeated, law, antiquity, ancestors, prosperity, and the like, which will be therefore not worth a