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covering the ignominions and horrid purple robe of innocent blood, that sat so close about him, with the glorious purple of royalty and fupreme rule, the reward of highest excellence and virtue here on earth; were not only to swear and covenant the performance of an unjust vow, the strangest and most impious to the face of God, but were the most unwise and unprudential act as to civil government. For so long as a king shall find by experience, that, do the worst he can, his subjects, overawed by the religion of their own covenant, will only prosecute his evil instruments, not dare to touch his person; and that whatever hath been on his part offended or transgreffed, he shall come off at last with the same reverence to his person, and the fame honour as for well doing, he will not fail to find them work; seeking far and near, and inviting to his court all the concourse of evil counsellors, or agents, that may be found : who, tempted with preferments and his promise to uphold them, will hazard easily their own heads, and the chance of ten to one but they shall prevail at last, over men so quelled and fitted to be saves hy the false conceit of a religicus covenant. And they in that fuperftition neither wholly yielding, nor to the utmost refifting, at the upshot of all their foolish war and expense, will find to have done no more but fetched a compass only of their miseries, ending at the fame point of slavery, and in the fame distractions wherein they first begun. But when kings themselves are made as liable to punishment as their evil counsellors, it will be both as dangerous from the king himself as from his parliament, to those that evil counsel him : and they, who else would be his readiest agents in evil, will then not fear to diffuade or to disobey him, not only in respect of themselves and their own lives, which for his fake they would not seem to value, but in respect of that danger which the king himself may incur, whom they would seem to love and serve with greatest fidelity. On all these grounds therefore of the covenant itself, whether religious or political, it appears likeliest, that both the Englith parliament and the Scotch commissioners, thus interpreting the covenant, (as indeed at that time they were the best and most authentical interpreters joined
together) together) answered the king unanimously, in their letter dated January the 13th, 1645, that till security and satisfaction first given to both 'kingdoms for the blood spilled, for the Irish rebels brought over, and for the war in Ireland by him fomented, they could in nowise yield their consent to his return. Here was fatisfaction, full two years and upward after the covenant taken, dedemanded of the king by both nations in parliament for crimes at least capital, wherewith they charged him. And what fatisfaction could be given for so much blood, but justice upon him that spilled it? till which done, they neither took themselves bound to grant him the exercise of his regal office by any meaning of the covenant which they then declared (though other meanings have been fince contrived) nor so much regarded the safety of his person, as to admit of his return among them from the midft of those whom they declared to be his greatest enemies ; nay from himself as from an actual enemy, not as from a king, they demanded security. But if the covenant, all this notwithstanding, swore otherwise to preserve him than in the preservation of true religion and our liberties, against which he fought, if not in arms, yet in resolution, to his dying day, and now after death still fights again in this his book, the covenant was better broken, than he faved. And God hath testified by all propitious and the most evident sign, whereby in these latter times he is wont to testify what pleases him, that such a folemn and for many ages unexampled act of due punishment was no mockery of justice, but a most grateful and well-pleasing sacrifice. Neither was it to cover their perjury, as he accuses, but to uncover his perjury to the oath of his coronation.
The rest of his discourse quite forgets the title ; and turns his meditations upon death into obloquy and bitter vehemence against his “judges and accufers ;" imitating therein, not our Saviour, but his grandmother Mary
queen of Scots, as also in the most of his other fcruples, · exceptions and evasions; and from whom he seems to
have learnt, as it were by heart, or else by kind, that which is thought by his admirers to be the most virtuous, most manly, most christian, and most martyr like, both
of his words and speeches here, and of his answers and behaviour at his trial.
“ It is a fad fate,” he saith, “ to have his enemies both accusers, parties and judges.” Sad indeed, but no fufficient plea to acquit him from being so judged. For what malefactor, might not sometimes plead the like? If his own crimes have made all men his enemies, who else can judge him? They of the powder-plot against his father might as well have pleaded the lame. Nay, at the resurrection it may as well be pleaded, that the saints, who then shall judge the world, are “both enemies, judges, parties, and accusers.
So much he thinks to abound in his own defence, that he undertakes an unmeasurable task, to bespeak “ the fingular care and protection of God over all kings," as being the greatest patrons of law, justice, order, and religion on earth. But what patrons they be, God in the fcripture oft enough hath expressed; and the earth itself hath too long groaned under the burden of their injustice, disorder, and irreligion. Therefore “ to bind their kings in chains, and their nobles with links of iron,” is an honour belonging to his faints ; not to build Babel, (which was Nimrod's work, the first king, and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel,) but to destroy it, especially that fpiritual Babel : and firti to overcome those European kings, which receive their power, not from God, but from the beast; and are counted no better than his ten horns. “These shall hate the great whore," and yet “ shall give their kingdoms to the beast that carries her; they shall commit fornication with her,” and yet “fall burn her with fire," and yet "Thall lament the fall of Babylon,” where they fornicated with her. Revelations chap. 17 and 18.
Thus thall they be to and fro, doubtful and ambiguous in all their doings, until at last,“ joining their armies with the beast,” whose power first raised them, they Mall perish with him by the “King of kings," against whom they have rebelled; and “ the fowls shall eat their flesh.” This is their doom written, Revel. xix. and the utmoft that we find concerning them in these latter days; which we have much more cause to believe, than his unwarranted revelation here, prophesying what shall follow after his death, with the spirit of enmity, not of St. John.
He would fain bring us out of conceit with the good success, which God hath vouchsafed us. We measure not our caufe by our success, but our success by our cause. Yet certainly in a good caufe fuccess is a good confirmation; for God hath promised it to good men almost in every leaf of scripture. If it argue not for us, we are fure it argues not against us; but as much or more for us, than ill success argues for them ; for to the wicked God hath denounced ill success in all they take in hand.
He hopes much of those “ softer tempers," as he calls them, and "lets advantaged by his ruin, that their consciences do already” gripe them. It is true, there be a fort of moody, hotbrained, and always unedified consciences; apt to engage their leaders into great and dangerous affairs paft retirement, and then upon a sudden qualm and swimming of their conscience, to betray them basely in the midst of what was chiefly undertaken for their fakes*. Let such men never meet with
faithful parliament to hazard for them; never with any noble spirit to conduct and lead them out; but let them live , and die in fervile condition and their scrupulous queasi
ness, if no instruction will confirm them! Others there be, in whose consciences the loss of gain, and those advantages they hoped for, hath sprung a sudden leak. Thete are they that cry out, the covenant broken! and to keep it better slide back into neutrality, or join actually with incendiaries and malignants. But God hath eminently begun to punish thote, first, in Scotland, then in Ulfter, who have provoked him with the most hateful kind of mockery, to break his covenant under pretence of strictest keeping it; and hath subjected them to those malignants, with whom they scrupled not to be associates. In God therefore we shall not fear what their false fraternity can do against us.
He seeks again with cunning words to turn our success into our fin. But might call to mind, that the scripture
• A fevere rebuke this to the Presbyterians.
fpeaks speaks of those also, who “when God New them, then fought him ;" yet did but " flatter him with their mouth, and lyed to him with their tongues; for their heart was not right with him.” And there was one, who in the time of his affliction trespassed more against God. This was that king Ahaz.
He glories much in the foregiveness of his enemies; so did his grandmother at her death. Wife men would sooner have believed him, had he not so often told us fo. But he hopes to erect “the trophies of his charity over us. And trophies of charity no doubt will be as glorious as trumpets before the alms of hypocrites; and more efpecially the trophies of fuch an aspiring charity, as offers in his prayer to thare victory with God's compassion, which is over all his works. Such prayers as thete may haply catch the people, as was intended : but how they pleate God is to be much doubted, though prayed in secret, much less written to be divulged. Which perhaps may gain him after death a short, contemptible, and foon fading reward; not what he aims at, to stir the constancy and folid firmness of any wise man, or to unsettle the conscience of any knowing christian, (if he could ever aim at a thing to hopeless, and above the genius of his cleric elocution,) but to catch the worthless approbation of an inconstant, irrational, and image-doting rabble ; that like a credulous and hapless herd, begotten to servility, and enchanted' with thefe popular inftitutes of tyranny, subscribed with a new device of the king's pi&ture at his prayers, hold out both their ears with tuch delight and ravishment to be stigmatized and bored through, in witness of their own voluntary and beloved baseness. The rest, whom perhaps ignorance without malice, or some errour, less than fatal, hath for the time milled, on this fide forcery or obduration, may find the grace and good guidance, to bethink themselves and recover.