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what was injoined by it, before they knew what it contained.—The canons now published, besides that they had passed no approbation of the clergy, nor been communicated to the council, appeared to be so many new laws imposed upon the kingdom by the king's sole authority, and contrived by a few private men, of whom they had no good opinion, and who were strangers to the nation; so that it was thought no other than a subjection to England, by receiving laws from thence, of which they were inost jealous, and which they passionately abhorred. Then they were so far from being confined to the church and the matters of religion, that they believed there was no part of their civil government uninvaded by them; and no persons of what quality soever unconcerned, and, as they thought, unhurt by them.-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 105.
“ It was about July 1637 that the liturgy was published and appointed to be read in all the churches in Scotland. And in this particular there was the same affected and premeditated omission, as had been in the preparation and publication of the canons; the clergy not at all consulted in it, and which was more strange, not all the bishops acquainted with it.—The privy council had no other notice of it than all the kingdom had, the Sunday before, when it was declared, that the next Sunday the lilurgy should be read.—Yea, when it was desired that the publishing them might be suspended for one month, that the people might be the better prepared to submit to what they had not been before acquainted with, that delay could by no means be obtained; but it was ordered to be entered upon the next Sunday, against the advice of many of the bishops themselves; which put the people into such a fury,
that they could not be appeased.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. P. 108.--Vol. iv. p. 586.
And who now from this view of the oppression of the Scots, which Lord Clarendon himself gives, can either wonder at or blame their standing upon their defence; and resolving not to sacrifice their liberty and religion to the king's arbitrary will? The liturgy, thus violently and illegally introduced, was received in their several churches with hideous clamours and execrations, and with furious insurrections and tumults in the streets.
“ The Scots sent up diverse petitions to the king against the liturgy and canons, one in the name of men, women, children, and servants : others in the name of diverse noblemen, gentlemen, ministers, and burgesses, which were followed by protestations, and what they called the tables, which were distinct committees, one of the gentry, a third of the burroughs, and a fourth of the ministers." — Bennet's Mem. p. 247. “ And now they renew their SOLEMN LEAGUE and COVENANT, formerly subscribed by king James and his household in 1581, and by the whole Scots nation in 1590, with a general band for the maintenance of true religion and the king's person.” Neal, Vol. II. p. 318.
“The king resolved to levy an army in England to reduce the Scots to obedience. He thought not proper to call a parliament to enable him to raise the forces he stood in need of: he summoned the nobility to attend him at York, followed each with as many horses as he should be able to raise : which was another illegal and arbitrary measure. “ And obliged all the counties to find such a number of foot, horse, dragoons, artillery-horses and ammunition, as made his army above 25,000 strong.” — Rapin, Vol. x. p. 366, 368.
The Scots sent humble petitions and remonstrances to his majesty, but these were not disregarded only, but treated as criminal, “ and broad hints given that he would receive no more petitions. A committee of the parliament of Scotland sent the Earl of Dumferling and the Lord Lowdon to present a remonstrance to the king; but he refused to give the deputies audience. Upon the Earl of Traquair's report only, and without hearing what the Scots had to say in their defence, the council of England declared with one voice, that it was absolutely necessary to reduce the Scots to their duty by FORCE OF ARMS.
But as this resolution seemed a little too hasty, since it was not known what the Scots might plead in their own vindication, the king, perceiving how prejudicial this too great haste might be to him, gave the committee of Edinburgh leave to send their deputies : but this was only for decency's sake, and to amuse them, since the war with Scotland was already determined.”—Ibid, p. 338, 392, 441.
CH A P. XII. .
The King's ambiguous and evasive conduct,
and breaches of solemn Promises.
AS the king is the fountain of honour, so the THRONE should be ever sacred, and an oracle of TRUTH. The majesty of ROYALTY can never be supported, if the person who sustains it descends to the meanness of artful equivocations, mental reservations, insidious and evasive answers, and violations of solemn promises. This foolish and false policy, which in these days was called KINGGRĄFT, contributed not a little to the misfortunes of this reign : the king was not trusted : his parliament had often found a great deal of artifice and insincerity in his dealings with them; such as his most partial advocates are puzzled to extepuate ; no concessions could hold, nor promises bind him; and hence proceeded jealousies and fatal distrusts which opened a flood-gate to the miseries which followed." This king, like his
says Rapin, “was very artful in the choice of his expressions : in his proposals it was but too usual to find ambiguous expressions, restrictions and conditions expressed or implied, which made it impossible to build securely upon such foundations. There are seyeral instances of this in the king's papers. What he seemed to give with one hand, he immediately took away with the other."
-Rapin, Vol. XII. p. 435. “The king was fickle and unstable,” says Coke his apologist, “ easily put on things by his favourites; and as suddenly altering them, and doing quite contrary.”—Ibid. Vol. x. p. 178. Coke Det. p. 39.
“ His majesty gave his royal assent to the Petition of Right (a most important act, being a kind of second Magna CHARTA) whereby he bound himself, amongst other things, not to raise any money by way of loan, gift, benevolence, or tax, without consent of parliament, nor to imprison any person without certifying the cause : both which articles he violated immediately after the dissolution of this parliament, and continued to do so for twelve years together. This breach of his parliamentary word, the most solemn a king, can give, was afterwards used as a strong argument that he would break through all his concessions to the parliament of 1640, as soon as it should be in his power, and thereby proved one occasion of the civil wars.And when the parlia
ment met again, they found that the Petition of Right had been inrolled and printed by the king's order, not with the right answer and with some additions."
-Tindal's Cont. Introd. p. 3.-Tindal's Summary. p. 119.-Whitelock's Mem. p. 11.-A very mean and unking-like imposture upon the public, as well as indignity to the parliament.
“ Concerning the bill for depriving the bishops, Lord Clarendon insinuates, that in this and some other acts of no less moment, an opinion that the violence and force used in procuring them rendered them absolutely void, influenced the king to confirm them.
This insinuation seems to give strength to the suspicions of the leading men in the house of Commons, that the king, if not prevented, would revoke his concessions whenever it should be in his power.”—Clarend. Vol. 11. p. 430. -Tindal's Cont. Int. p. 8.-Upon the same principle, probably, his majesty proceeded, “ when he solemnly consents in parliament to the extirpation of the (episcopal) hierarchy in Scotland, and established presbytery there, as fully as the kirk could desire.”—Coke Det. p. 133.
The parliament could have no opinion of the king's veracity, “because they had been induced to advise a war with Spain by mere artifice and cunning; and by a narrative of the Duke of Buckingham; false in every particular, though attested by king Charles when prince.—The Earl of Bristol plainly shewed, before the house of Lords, how much Buckingham had imposed upon the parliament in his narrative of what passed in Spain.
This reflected on the king himself, who had not only attested the relation, but persisted still to attest it as true."--(Rapin, Vol. x. p. 29, 68.)— Though the earl had incontestably proved it to be false. “ He made frequent use of mental reserxations, couched in ambiguous terms and general