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have a greater weight, and operate more strongly, than in the present case ?
That as to the sale of bishops' lands, when the bishoprics are dissolved, their estates revert to the crown of course, and by consequence the disposing of such estates by act of parliament, they humbly conceive cannot come under the imputation of sacrilege'. That such alienations of church revenues were frequently made in the reigns of his majesty's predecessors : and that, even under the ceremonial law, consecrated things, in cases of necessity, were lawfully transferred to secular
And whereas his majesty was pleased to say, he could not communicate in Divine service, where it is uncertain“ what the minister will offer to God Almighty :” they humbly desire his majesty to consider, that the Directory prescribes the matter of the minister's prayer, and only leaves expression and enlargement at liberty. And thus his majesty may be preacquainted with the substance of the worship.
After this, they return to the business of episcopacy, and suggest that the suspension of this government for three years is too feeble a remedy: and that great inconveniences must follow upon the return of this order, and the revival of the authority reserved for it. For in case the points of Church government remain unsettled between the king and parliament, the bishops return of course at three years' end ; and then their power will stretch to a nuisance as formerly: for instance, they will have a negative voice in ordinations ; which claim, they humbly conceive, is more than the Scripture supports. As for the offer of encumbering their revenues with leases of ninety-nine years, this concession comes short of satisfaction to the two houses : for since the property is to
remain in the Church, the old grievances will be brought back Nov, 20. upon the kingdom ; so that it is impossible to discharge the
people's fears, and the consequent distractions, without a larger and more effectual provision. Besides, since the Presbyterian government has so short and precarious an establish
ment, a general compliance must be impracticable : neither is Id. p. 350., it likely to go on in the mean time with much countenance or Hist. Coll. comfort. And whereas his majesty hoped the houses would not press him to act counter to his persuasion; they desire he
1 This argument is shrewdly stated.
part 4. p. 1335.
would be pleased to remove this obstacle himself, and get his CHARLES conscience better informed.
The next day the king returned them his last answer touching the abolition of episcopacy. His majesty observed, he had consented to the lopping all that additional jurisdiction his predecessors had bestowed upon that order; that nothing was left but what was plainly instituted by the Apostles ; and that his majesty believed he had proved this point in his paper
to their divines.
That though circumstances changed the nature of moral actions, yet if the things now in question are neither fit, nor lawful, his majesty conceives the consideration of circumstances, and the regards of public peace, ought rather to prevail with the two houses to make a cession, and relax in their demands. That precedents for secularising bishops' lands, are topics short of conviction: they prove things were done, but not that it was lawful to do them. Now that the total alienation of Church revenues amounts to sacrilege, has been ever agreed by divines, though otherwise of different persuasions. That by retrenching the forementioned powers and appendages belonging to the bishops, the return of the greivances objected will be effectually barred. As for the bishops negative voice in ordination, his majesty wonders this privilege should be contested: and that it should be denied being a branch of authority, practised by the apostolical bishops : and that it is evident, from the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, that this part of government was sometimes under the
I Tim. v. 22. sole management of the bishops. Lastly, his majesty having Tit. i. 5: declared, in his reply of the 4th instant, that he intended to 859. use a set form of Divine service, distinct from the Common Prayer, having now considered the latitude of the Directory, Nov. 21. he retracts that expression. But, as to all other particulars, adheres to his former answer.
Bibl. Reg. When the treaty broke up, the commissioners made their : 355. report at Westminster; and his majesty's concessions with proves in
effectual. respect to the Church and other things, are voted unsatisfactory. However, being menaced by the army Independents, Whitlock's they resume the debate, and after a long struggle, resolve the king's compliance a ground to proceed on for the settlement of the nation. But they were in no condition to go on with an accommodation : for now the army make a loud remonstrance,
march up to London, menace the parliament, seize several members of the lower house, and overawe the rest of the Presbyterian party. Thus the Independents being strengthened to a majority; the commons retract their former vote, and come to a contrary resolution: and soon after, their votes of non-addresses are repeated. In short, the king is removed from Carisbrook to Hurst castle ; from hence conveyed by the army to Windsor, and from thence to London. And now they began to lay aside the mask more fully, and discover the barbarity of their intentions: the king was treated without ceremony, the marks of sovereign respect forbidden, and a committee appointed by the commons to draw up a charge of high treason against him. This insolent impeachment was unanimously rejected by the peers, who then adjourned. Upon this the commons declare themselves the supreme
power, clap a padlock on the house of lords, and go on withLord Cla- out them. Their next step was the erecting a high court of rendon, vol. 3.
justice in Westminster hall: when the king was brought The king
hither, he denied the authority of their court, argued against brought before the their impudence, and behaved himself with that greatness and high court dignity which became a prince. Upon his refusing to plead, of justice.
they condemned him to be beheaded : and the sentence was pronounced by their president Bradshaw.
This unparalleled outrage on majesty, and the constitution, struck the Presbyterian ministry with horror: these men, though they had been zealous in the revolt, and preached up the war against the king, had no intention of going this hideous length. They were for rebelling within a rule, sinking the crown to a doge of Venice; and as Hobbs speaks, making
the English government "a commonwealth, with a king under Behemoth. them.” Therefore when they found the king's trial resolved
by the rump, they made a remonstrance against it. It is an address to general Fairfax and his council of war, and entitled “A Serious and Faithful Representation of the Judgments of
the Ministers of the Gospel within the Province of London." the general In this address the Presbyterian ministers justify the war by some of
carried on by the parliament, but disclaim the authority of the Jan. 18,
army. And to bring them off from the extremity of their (proceedings, they suggest the several oaths and covenants generally taken throughout the kingdom : particularly the protestation of May 5, 1641, in which, pursuant to the duty
The Presbyterian ministers remonstrate
of their allegiance, they engage in the presence of Almighty CHARLES God to maintain and defend his majesty's person, honour, and estate with their lives and fortunes. After this they mention the solemn league and covenant, by virtue of which they own themselves tied to the same duty.
against try“And here they insist very honestly upon the sacred and ing the king. inviolable obligation of oaths : which though some, as they continue, may esteem no more than an almanac out of date; yet they look upon such religious solemnities as the oath of God. They put the general in mind, how severely God revenged the breach of his covenant made by Zedekiah to the king of Babylon : though this engagement was extorted and prejudicial to the king of Judah. After this they cite the Ezek. xvii
14, 15, 18, text which stands thus: Shall he prosper, says God, shall he 19. escape that doth such things? Or shall he break the covenant and be delivered ? As I live, saith the Lord, seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, (when, lo ! he had given his hand) he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, as I live, surely mine oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, even it will I recompense upon
his “From hence they proceed to put the army upon recollection to remember from whence they are fallen, and repent and do their first works :' that now they had eclipsed their glory, and tarnished their merit, and therefore they could not assist them with their character, and bless them in the name of the Lord, and bid them God speed, lest they should be par- Psal. cxxix. takers of their evil deeds.' That instead of preserving the 8. purity of religion in belief and worship, these ministers were afraid the army and their abettors were opening a door to damnable heresies, and licentious practice: that by this misbehaviour their religion was in danger of being the jest and diversion of the world : that they had laid the honour and authority of magistracy in the dust. That they could not but know how strictly obedience to government is enjoined in holy Scripture, and that St. Jude denounces a woe against those that despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. They Jude 8. 11. proceed to awaken them with reciting the vengeance executed upon Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, for their mutiny against Moses and Aaron. They press the concurrence of Protestant divines, both at home and abroad, asserting the unlawfulness of
2 John ll.
1 Sam. xxiv. 4. 6. 7. 13.
opposing the civil magistrate by private persons, and that they all detest the murdering of kings upon any specious pretences
whatever. The Pres- “ They desire them not to infer the justice of their probyterian
ceedings from success: that they ought to distinguish between
God's permission, and approbation; and that God suffering fulse prin
prosper in wicked courses is one of the severest judgciple, that parliaments ments. That their customary argument from providence is no and the mac safe rule, especially when practice and revelation clash with guardians of each other: that by this logic David might have made use of liberties, and the opportunity and killed Saul. But no favourable juncture, to fight their no former provocations could justify such an attempt, 'for princes in who, as himself speaks, can stretch forth his hand against the cuses of encroachment. Lord's anointed, and be guiltless
“And to disarm them farther, they argue that the pretence 1 Sam, xxvi. of extraordinary impulses or supernatural impressions, is no 8, 9.
warrantable direction ; especially when such impulses are contrary to moral precepts, and the inspired writings. That
unless we try this inward call by the written word, the temp860.
tations of the devil may pass undiscovered. The test, in this case, is to have recourse to the law and the testimony, if they
speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light Isa, xxviii. in them.'
“In the next place, they confute the Independents' plea from necessity: to this they answer, that no necessity can oblige a man to sin: that God stands in no need of our wickedness to govern the world, and to execute his pleasure : that this plea of necessity is of less weight in the present case, because it is feared the ends aimed at are no more justifiable, than the means; and farther, that the necessity insisted on, is no better than pretended, and the consequence of their own miscarriage. Farther, they remind them once again how they stood engaged by their oaths to preserve his majesty's person, and therefore it is most evident that no necessity can justify perjury, or
dispense with lawful oaths: that dreadful flying roll being Zech. v. 4. ready to seize those who “swear falsely by the name of God:'
and here they mention the judgments which fell upon the country for Saul's breaking his oath to the Gibeonites, though
these people had surreptitiously gained the protection they 2 Sam. xxi, lived under. 1, 2. 6. “ They conclude with exhorting them to recover themselves,