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that treaty," his appeal is to God's decision; believing to be very excusable at that tribunal. But if ever man gloried in an inflexible stiffness, he came not behind any; and that grand maxim, always to put something into his treaties which might give colour to refuse all that was in other things granted, and to make them signify nothing, was his own principal maxim and particular instructions to his commissioners. Yet all, by his own verdict, must be construed reason in the king, and depraved temper in the parliament.
That the "highest tide of success," with these principles and designs," set him not above a treaty," no great wonder. And yet if that be spoken to his praise, the parliament therein surpassed him; who, when he was their vanquished and their captive, his forces utterly broken and disbanded, yet offered him three several times no worse proposals or demands, than when he stood fair to be their conqueror. But that impru
dent surmise that his lowest ebb could not set him "below a fight," was a presumption that ruined him.
He presaged the future "unsuccessfulness of treaties by the unwillingness of some men to treat;" and could not see what was present, that their unwillingness had good cause to proceed from the continual experience of his own obstinacy and breach of word. His prayer, therefore, of forgiveness to the guilty of that treaty's breaking, he had good reason to say heartily over, as including no man in that guilt sooner than himself. As for that protestation following in his prayer, "How oft have I entreated for peace, but when I speak thereof they make them ready to war;" unless he thought himself still in that perfidious mist between Colnbrook and Hounslow, and thought that mist could hide him from the eye of Heaven as well as of man, after such a bloody recompence given to our first offers of peace, how could this in the sight of heaven without horrors of conscience be uttered?
Upon the various Events of the War.
IT is no new or unwonted thing, for bad men to claim as much part in God as his best servants; to usurp and imitate their words, and appropriate to themselves those properties
which belong only to the good and righteous. This not only ir. scripture is familiarly to be found, but here also in this chapter of Apocrypha. He tells us much why" it pleased God" to send him victory or loss, (although what in so doing was the intent of God, he might be much mistaken as to his own particular,) but we are yet to learn what real good use he made thereof in his practice.
Those numbers, which he grew to "from small beginnings," were not such as out of love came to protect him, for none approved his actions as a king, except courtiers and prelates, but were such as fled to be protected by him from the fear of that reformation which the pravity of their lives would not bear. Such a snowball he might easily gather by rolling through those cold and dark provinces of ignorance and lewdness, where on a sudden he became so numerous. putes that to God's "protection" which, to them who persist in a bad cause, is either his long-suffering or his hardening; and that to wholesome "chastisement" which were the gradual beginnings of a severe punishment. For if neither God nor nature put civil power in the hands of any whomsoever, but to a lawful end, and commands our obedience to the authority of law only, not to the tyrannical force of any person; and if the laws of our land have placed the sword in no man's single hand, so much as to unsheath against a foreign enemy, much less upon the native people; but have placed it in that elective body of the parliament, to whom the making, repealing, judging, and interpreting of law itself was also committed, as was fittest, so long as we intended to be a free nation, and not the slaves of one man's will; then was the king himself disobedient and rebellious to that law by which he reigned and by authority of parliament to raise arms against him in defence of law and liberty, we do not only think, but believe and know, was justifiable both " by the word of God, the laws of the land, and all lawful oaths;" and they who sided with him, fought against all these.
The same allegations which he uses for himself and his party, may as well fit any tyrant in the world; for let the parliament be called a faction when the king pleases, and that no law must be made or changed, either civil or reli gious, because no law will content all sides, then must be made or changed no law at all, but what a tyrant, be he
protestant or papist, thinks fit. Which tyrannous assertion forced upon us by the sword, he who fights against, and dies fighting, if his other sins outweigh not, dies a martyr undoubtedly both of the faith and of the commonwealth; and I hold it not as the opinion, but as the full belief and persuasion, of far holier and wiser men than parasitic preachers; who, without their dinner-doctrine, know that neither king, law, civil oaths, nor religion, was ever established without the parliament. And their power is the same to abrogate as to establish; neither is anything to be thought established, which that house declares to be abolished. Where the parliament sits, there inseparably sits the king, there the laws, there our oaths, and whatsoever can be civil in religion. They who fought for the parliament, in the truest sense, fought for all these; who fought for the king divided from his parliament, fought for the shadow of a king against all these; and for things that were not, as if they were established. It were a thing monstrously absurd and contradictory, to give the parliament a legislative power, and then to upbraid them for transgressing old establishments.
But the king and his party having lost in this quarrel their heaven upon earth, begin to make great reckoning of eternal life, and at an easy rate in forma pauperis canonize one another into heaven; he them in his book, they him in the portraiture before his book. But, as was said before, stage-work will not do it, much less the "justness of their cause," wherein most frequently they died in a brutish fierceness, with oaths and other damning words in their mouths; as if such had been all "the only oaths" they fought for; which undoubtedly sent them full sail on another voyage than to heaven. In the meanwhile they to whom God gave victory never brought to the king at Oxford the state of their consciences, that he should presume without confession, more than a pope presumes, to tell abroad what "conflicts and accusations" men whom he never spoke with have "in their own thoughts." We never read of any English king but one that was a confessor, and his name was Edward; yet sure it passed his skill to know thoughts, as this king takes upon him. But they who will not stick to slander men's inward consciences, which they can neither see nor know, much less will care to slander outward actions,
which they pretend to see, though with senses never so vitiated.
To judge of "his condition conquered," and the manner of "dying" on that side, by the sober men that chose it, would be his small advantage: it being most notorious, that they who were hottest in his cause, the most of them were men oftener drunk, than by their good-will sober, and very many of them so fought and so died. And that the conscience of any man should grow suspicious, or be now convicted by any pretensions in the parliament, which are now proved false and unintended, there can be no just cause. For neither did they ever pretend to establish his throne without our liberty and religion, nor religion without the word of God, nor to judge of laws by their being established, but to establish them by their being good and necessary.
He tells the world" he often prayed, that all on his side might be as faithful to God and their own souls, as to him." But kings, above all other men, have in their hands not to pray only, but to do. To make that prayer effectual, he should have governed as well as prayed. To pray and not to govern, is for a monk, and not a king. Till then he might be well assured, they were more faithful to their lust and rapine than to him. In the wonted predication of his own virtues he goes on to tell us, that to conquer he never desired, but only to restore the laws and liberties of his people." It had been happy then he had known at last, that by force to restore laws abrogated by the legislative parliament, is to conquer absolutely both them and law itself. And for our liberties none ever oppressed them more, both in peace and war: first, like a master by his arbitrary power; next, as an enemy by hostile invasion.
And if his best friends feared him,* and "he himself, in the temptation of an absolute conquest," it was not only pious but friendly in the parliament, both to fear him and resist him; since their not yielding was the only means to keep him out of that temptation wherein he doubted his his own strength. He takes himself to be "guilty in this war of nothing else, but of confirming the power of some
* "The king's best friends," says Bishop Warburton, "dreaded his ending the war by conquest, as knowing his despotic disposition." (Notes to Clarendon, vii. 563.)—ED.
." Thus all along he signifies the parliament, whom to have settled by an act he counts to be his only guiltiness. So well he knew that to continue a parliament, was to raise a war against himself; what were his actions then, and his government the while? For never was it heard in all our story, that parliaments made war on their kings, but on their tyrants; whose modesty and gratitude was more wanting to the parliament than theirs to any such kings.
What he yielded was his fear; what he denied was his obstinacy. Had he yielded more, fear might perchance have saved him; had he granted less, his obstinacy had perhaps the sooner delivered us. "To review the occasions of this war," will be to them never too late, who would be warned by his example from the like evils: but to wish only a happy conclusion, will never expiate the fault of his unhappy beginnings. It is true, on our side the sins of our lives not seldom fought against us: but on their side, besides those, the grand sin of their cause. How can it be otherwise, when he desires here most unreasonably, and indeed sacrilegiously, that we should be subject to him, though not further, yet as far as all of us may be subject to God; to whom this expression leaves no precedency? He who desires from men as much obedience and subjection as we may all pay to God, desires not less than to be a God: a sacrilege far worse than meddling with the bishops' lands, as he
His prayer is a good prayer and a glorious; but glorying is not good, if it know not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. It should have purged out the leaven of untruth, in telling God that the blood of his subjects by him shed was in his just and necessary defence. Yet this is remarkable; God hath here so ordered his prayer, that as his own lips acquitted the parliament, not long before his death, of all the blood spilt in this war, so now his prayer unwittingly draws it upon himself. For God imputes not to any man the blood he spills in a just cause; and no man ever begged his not imputing of that, which he in his justice could not impute so that now, whether purposely or unaware, he hath confessed both to God and man the blood-guiltiness of all this war to lie upon his own head.