« السابقةمتابعة »
"Having reduced him to this strait, they press him once again with their propositions; which being the very same which were sent to Newcastle, could not in probability receive any other answer. This made them keep a harder hand upon him, than they did before; presuming, that they might be able to extort those concessions from him by the severity and soli tude of his restraint, when their persuasions were too weak, and their arguments not strong enough to induce him to it, But, great God! how fallacious are the thoughts of men! How wretchedly do we betray ourselves to those sinful hopes which never shall be answerable to our expectation! The Presbyterians had battered down Episcopacy by the force of an Ordinance; outed the greatest part of the regular Clergy of their cures and benefices; advanced their new form of government, by the votes of the Houses; and got the King into their power, to make sure work of it. But when they thought themselves secure, they were most unsafe. For being in the height of all their glories and projectments, one Joice, a cornet of the army, comes thither with a party of horse, removes his guards, and takes him with them to their head-quarters, which were then at Woburn, a town upon the North-west Road in the County of Bedford:* followed, not long after, by such Lords and others as were commanded by the Houses to attend upon him; who, not being very acceptable to the principal officers, were within very few weeks discharged of that service. By means whereof, the Presbyterians lost all those great advantages which they had Army, and to speak against the Presbyterians more distastefully than before. When the Parliament offered the King's propositions for concord, (which Vane's faction made as high and unreasonable as they could, that they might come to nothing,) the Army forsooth offer him proposals of their own, which the King liked better: but which of them to treat with, he did not know. At last, on the sudden the judgment of the army changed, and they began to cry for justice against the King; and with vile hypocrisy, to publish their repentance, and to cry GOD MERCY for their kindness to the King, and confess that they were under a temptation: but in all this, Cromwell and Ireton, and the rest of the Council of War appeared not the instruments of all this work must be the common soldiers.' BAXTER'S Life and Times.
*The flimsy pretence has been already detailed, page 346, under which the Rev. Doctors Sheldon and Hammond were purposely prevented from attending his majesty on a former occasion. Bishop Fell thus relates the subsequent concession of the army:
"In the mean time his Sacred Majesty, sold by his Scottish into the hands of his English subjects, and brought a prisoner to Holdenby, where, stripped of all his royal attendants, and denied that common charity which is afforded the worst of malefactors, the assistance of divines, though he with importunity desired it, he being taken from the Parliament Commissioners into the possession of the army, at last obtained that kindness from them (who were to be cruel at another rate) which was withheld by the two Houses, and was permitted the service of some few of his chaplains, whom he by name had sent for, and among them of Dr. Hammond. Accordingly the good Doctor attended on his master in the several removes of Woburn, Cavesham, and Hampton Court, as also thence into the Isle of Wight, where he continued till Christmas 1647; at which time his Majesty's attendants were again put from him, and he amongst the rest."
fancied to themselves, and shall be better husbanded to the use of their adversaries, though it succeeded worse to his Majesty's person, than possibly it might have done, if they had suffered him to remain at Holdenby, where the Houses fixt him.*
* Baxter says: "The king's old adherents began to extol the army, and to speak against the Presbyterians more distastefully than before." This is very true: Hear how good old Judge JENKINS expressed himself on that occasion, in his pamphlet entitled An Apology for the Army:
The army, to their eternal honour, have freed the King from imprisonment at Holmby. It was high treason to imprison his Majesty : to free his Majesty from that imprisonment, was to deliver him out of traitorous hands, which was the army's bounden duty by the law of God and the land. That party refused to suffer his Majesty to have two of his Chaplains for the exercise of his conscience who had not taken the covenant; free access was not permitted. Doth the army use his Majesty so? All men see, that access to him is free; and such Chaplains as his Majesty desired are now attending on his grace. Who are the gu ty persons? the army, who, in this action of delivering the king, act according to law, or the said party who acted treasonably against the law? The two Houses are no more a Parliament, than a body without a head a man. The two Houses can make no court without the King; they are no body corporate without the King; they all, head and members, make one corporate body. Two HOUSES, and a PARLIAMENT, are several things. They are guarded by armed men, divide the public money among themselves, and that party endeavours to bring in a foreign power [the Scots] to invade this land again. If they be no Parliament, as clearly they are none without his Majesty, they have no privileges, but do exercise an arbitrary, tyrannical and treasonable power over the people. You say, The disobedience of the army is a sad public precedent, like to conjure up a spirit of universal disobedience. I pray object not that conjuring up to the army, whereof you and the prevailing party in the Houses are guilty, who conjured up the spirit of universal disobedience against his Majesty, your and our only supreme governour. For the covenant you mention, it is an oath against the laws of the land, against the petition of right devised in Scotland, wherein the first article is, to maintain the reformed religion in the church of Scotland: and certainly there is no subject of the English nation doth know what the Scottish religion is. I believe the army took not the covenant. No man by the law can give an oath in a new case without an act of Parliament; and therefore the imposers thereof are very blameable, and guilty of the highest crime.
"The kingdom hath better assurance of reformation from the army than from the Houses, for that, in their military way, they have been just, faithful and honourable, they have kept their word: That party of the Houses have been constant to nothing but in dividing the public treasure among themselves, and in laying burthens upon the people; and in breaking all the oaths, vows and promises they ever made: As the army hath power, so now, adhering to the King, all the laws of God, nature, and man, are for them; their armies are just and blessed; and the King is bound in justice to reward his deliverers with honour, profit, and mere liberty of conscience. By the deliverance of the King and kingdom from the bondage of that party in the two Houses by the army, their renown will be everlasting; they secure themselves, they content and please the kingdom, city and country, as appears by their confluence to see his Majesty and the army, and their acclamations for his Majesty's safety and restitution; all which doth evidence to every one of the army, how acceptable the intentions of the army are to the people of this land, who have been so long inthralled. Sir Thomas Fairfax, let your worthiness remember your extraction and your lady's, by the grace and favour of the prince, to be in the rank of nobility. Remember what honour and glory the present age and all posterity will justly give to the restorer of the King to his throne, of the laws to their strength, and of the afflicted people of this land to peace: Let the colonels and commanders under you, and likewise our soldiery, rest assured, that
"This great turn happened on the fourth of June, Anno 1647, before he had remained but four months in the power of the Houses: Who having brought the war to the end desired, possest themselves of the King's person, and dismissed the Scots, resolved upon disbanding a great part of the army, that they might thereby ease the people of some part of their burthens. But some great officers of the army had their projects and designs apart, and did not think it consonant to common prudence, that they should either spend their blood, or consume their strength, in raising others to that power, which being acquired by themselves, might far more easily be retained, than it had been gotten.* Upon these grounds they are resolved against disbanding, stand on their guards, and draw together towards London, contrary to the will and express commandment of their former masters, by whom they were required to keep at a greater distance. The officers thereupon impeach some members of the lower House; and knowing of what great consequence it might be unto them to get the King into their power, a plot is laid to bring him into their head-quarters without noise and trouble; which was accordingly effected, as before is said. Thus have the Presbyterians of both nations, embroiled the kingdom first in tumults, and afterwards in a calamitous and destructive war, in which the sword was suffered to range at liberty, without distinction of age, sex, or quality. More goodly houses plundered and burnt down to the ground, more churches sacrilegiously profaned and spoiled, more blood poured out like water within four years' space, than had been done in the long course of civil wars between York and Lancaster. With all which spoil and public ruin, they purchased nothing to themselves but shame and infamy ;t as may be shewn by taking a they shall not only share in the renown of this action, but also shall have such remuneration as their haughty courage and so high a virtue doth deserve. This his Majesty can and will do, the Houses neither will nor can."
"The Presbyterians, now in the fulness of their power, with the Parliament, the city of London, and the Scots at their command, openly avowed their hostility to a general toleration; and the victorious army, composed of Independents, and of various classes of religionists, perceived that they had lavished their blood merely to substitute one tyranny for another, and had conquered only for their own ruin. In this exigence they preferred petitions and remonstrances to the Parliament, and on the failure of these legal weapons, under the impulse of resentment and despair, resorted to violence, and destroyed the Presbyterian power, the government, and themselves. They became indeed the instruments of their superior officers, and were ultimately made the engine of Cromwell, by whom they, with the nation at large, were despoiled of their great political object, constitutional liberty, but were nevertheless gratified with their favourite Toleration." JACKSON'S Goodwin. ተ "Peruse over all books, records and histories, and you shall find a principle in law, a rule in reason, and a trial in experience, that treason doth ever produce fatal and final destruction to the offender, and never attains to the desired end: (two incidents inseparably thereunto:) and therefore let all men abandon it, as the poisonous bait of the devil, and follow the precept in holy scripture, SERVE GOD, HONOUR THe King, and HAVE NO COMPANY WITH THE SEDITIOUS. COKE'S Institutes.
brief view of their true condition before and after they put the state into these confusions.
"And first, the Scots not long before their breaking out against their King, had in the court two Lords high stewards, and two grooms of the stole, successively one after another. And at their taking up of arms, they had a master of the horse, a captain of the guard, a keeper of the privy purse, seven grooms of eight in his Majesty's bed-chamber, and an equal number at the least of gentlemen-ushers, quarter-waiters, cup-bearers, carvers, sewers, and other officers, attending daily at the table.* I speak not here of those who had places in the stables, or below the stairs; or of the servants of those lords and gentlemen who either lived about the court, or had offices in it. All which together, make up so considerable a number, that the court might well be called an academy of the Scots nation; in which so many of all sorts had their breeding, maintenance, and preferment. Abroad, they had a Lieutenant of the Tower, a fortress of most consequence in all the Kingdom; and a mastergunner of the navy, an office of as great a trust as the other: and more of those monopolies, suits, and patents, which were conceived to be most grievous to the subjects, than all the English of the court. In the church they had two Deaneries, divers prebendaries, and so many ecclesiastical benefices, as equalled all the revenues of the Kirk of Scotland. All which they had lost, like Æsop's dog, catching after a shadow. And yet by catching at that shadow, they lost all those advantages which before they had both in court and country; and that not only for the present, but in all probability for the time to come. Such losers were the Scots by this brutish bargain; but whether out of pure zeal to the holy discipline, or their great love to filthy lucre, or the perverseness of their nature, or the rebellious humour of the nation, or of all together, let them judge that can.t
"In the Privy Chamber, besides the carvers and cup-bearers, such a disproportion of the gentlemen belonging to it, that once at a full table of waiters, each of them having a servant or two to attend upon him, I and my man were the only English in all the company." HEYLIN'S Life of Laud.
"The whole frame of the ancient government of Scotland had been so entirely confounded by Cromwell, and new-modelled by the laws and customs of England, that is, those laws and customs which the Commonwealth had established; that he had hardly left footsteps by which the old might be traced out again. The power of the nobility was so totally suppressed and extinguished, that their persons found no more respect or distinction from the common people, than the acceptation they found from Cromwell, and the credit he gave them by some particular trust, drew to them. Their beloved Presbytery was become a term of reproach, and ridiculous; the pride and activity of their preachers subdued and reduced to the lowest contempt; and the standard of their religion remitted to the sole order and direction of their commander-in-chief. All criminal cases (except where the General thought it more expedient to proceed by martial law,) were tried and punished before Judges sent from England and by the laws of England; and matters of civil interest before itinerant Judges, who went twice a year in circuits
"If then the Scots became such losers by the bargain, (as most sure they did,) as sure it is that their dear brethren in the cause of Presbytery, the Puritans or Presbyterians in the realm of England, got as little by it. The English Puritans laid their heads and hands together to embroil the realm, out of a confidence, that, having alienated the greatest part of the tribes from the house of David, they might advance the golden calves of their Presbyteries, in Dan and Bethel, and all other places whatsoever within the land. And for the maintenance thereof, they had devoured (in conceit) all chapter-lands, and parcelled them amongst themselves into augmentations.* But no sooner had they driven this bargain, but a vote passed for selling those lands towards the payment of the debts of the commonwealth. Nor have they lived to see their dear Presbytery settled, or their lay-elders entertained in any one parish of the kingdom. For the advancement whereof, the Scots were first encouraged to begin at home, and afterwards to pursue their work by invading England.
Nor fared it better with those great Achitophels of the popular party, who laboured in the raising of a new commonwealth, out of the ruins of a glorious and ancient monarchy. To which end they employed the Presbyterians, as the fittest instruments for drawing the people to their side, and preaching up the piety of their intentions; which plot they had been carrying on from the first coming of this King to the crown of England, till they had got his sacred person into their possession: Which made them a fit parallel to those husband-men in St. Matthew's gospel, (Matt. xxi. 38.) who said amongst themselves, This is the heir, come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.' A commonwealth which they had founded, and so modelled in their brains, that neither Sir Thomas More's Utopia, nor the Lord Verulam's new Atlantis, nor Plato's Platform, nor any of the old ideas, were equal to it: through the kingdom, and determined all matters of right by the rules and customs which were observed in England. They had liberty to send a particular number that was assigned to them, to sit in the Parliament of England, and to vote there with all liberty; which they had done. And in recompence thereof, all such monies were levied in Scotland, as were given by the Parliament of England, by which such contributions were raised, as were proportionable to the expense, which the army and garrisons which subdued them put the kingdom of England to. Nor was there any other authority to raise money in Scotland, but what was derived from the Parliament or General of England. And all this prodigious mutation and transformation had been submitted to with the same resignation and obedience, as if the same had been transmitted by an uninterrupted succession from King Fergus : And it might well be a question, whether the generality of the nation was not better contented with it, than to return into the old road of subjection. But the King would, not build according to Cromwell's models, and had many reasons to continue Scotland within its own limits and bounds and sole dependence upon himself, rather than unite it to England with so many hazards and dangers as would inevitably have accompanied it, under any government less tyrannical than that of Cromwell." CLARENDON'S Life. See a note from Baxter, page 331.