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the murder of that prince, and have not yet shown the world that their opinions are changed. It is alleged, that the observation of this day hath served to continue and increase the animosity and enmity among our countrymen, and to disunite protestants; that a law was made, upon the restoration of the martyr's son, for a general pardon and oblivion, forbidding all reproaches upon that occasion; and since none are now alive who were actors or instruments in that tragedy, it is thought hard and uncharitable to keep up the memory of it for all generations.
Now, because I conceive most of you to be ignorant in many particulars concerning that horrid murder, and the rebellion which preceded it; I will,
First, relate to you so much of the story as may
be sufficient for your information : Secondly, I will teil
you the consequences which this bloody deed had upon these kingdoms : And, lastly, I will shew you to what good uses
this solemn day of humiliation may be applied.
As to the first; in the reign of this prince, Charles the martyr, the power and prerogative of the king were much greater than they are in our times, and so had been for at least seven hundred years before; and the best princes we ever had, carried their power much farther than the blessed martyr offered to do, in the most blameable part of his reign. But, the lands of the crown having been prodigally bestowed to favourites in the preceding reigns, the succeeding kings could not support themselves without taxes raised by parliament; which put them under a necessity of frequently calling those assemblies;
and the crown lands being gotten into the hands of the nobility and gentry, beside the possessions of which the church had been robbed by king Henry the Eighth, power, which always follows property, grew to lean to the side of the people, by whom even the just rights of the crown were often dis. puted.
But farther: Upon the cruel persecution raised against the protestants, under Queen Mary, among great numbers who fled the kingdom to seek for shelter, several went and resided at Geneva, which is a commonwealth governed without a king, and where the religion, contrived by Calvin, is without the order of bishops. When the protestant faith was restored by Queen Elizabeth, those who fled to Geneva returned among the rest home to England, and were grown so fond of the government and religion of the place they had left, that they used all possible endeavours to introduce both into their own country; at the same time continually preaching and railing against ceremonies and distinct habits of the clergy ; taxing whatever they disliked as a remnant of popery; and continued extremely troublesome to the church and state, under that great queen, as well as her successor king James I.
These people called themselves puritans, as pretending to a purer
faith than those of the church established. And these were the founders of our dissenters. They did not think it sufficient to leave all the errors of popery ; but threw off many laudable and edifying institutions of the primitive church, and, at last, even the government of bishops; which, having been ordained by the apostles themselves, had continued without interruption, in all Christian churches, for above fifteen hundred years. And all this they did, not because
those things were evil, but because they were kept by the papists. From thence they proceeded, by degrees, to quarrel with the kingly government; because, as I have already said, the city of Geneva, to which their fathers had flown for refuge, was a commonwealth, or government of the people.
These puritans, about the middle of the martyr's reign, were grown to a considerable faction in the kingdom, and in the lower house of parliament. They filled the public with the most false and bitterlibels against the bishops and the clergy, accusing chiefly the very best among them of popery; and at the same time, the house of commons grew so insolent and uneasy to the king, that they refused to furnish him with necessary supplies for the support of his family, unless upon such conditions as he could not submit to without forfeiting his conscience and honour, and even his coronation oath. And in such an extremity, he was forced upon a practice, no way justifiable, of raising money; for which, however, he had the opinion of the judges on his side; for wicked judges there were in those times as well as in ours. There were likewise many complaints, and sometimes justly, made against the proceedings of a certain court, called the starchamber, a judicature of great antiquity : but it had suffered some corruptions, for which, however, the king was nowise answerable. I cannot recollect any more subjects of complaint with the least ground of reason; nor is it needful to recollect them, because this gracious king did, upon the first application, redress all grievances by an act of parliament, and put it out of his power to do any hardships for the future. But that wicked faction in the house of commons, not content
with all those marks of his justice and condescension, urged still for more; and joining with a factious party from Scotland, who had the same fancies in religion, forced him to pass an act for cutting off the head of his best and chief minister; and at the same time compelled him, by tumults and threatenings of a packed rabble, poisoned with the same doctrines, to pass another law, by which it should not be in his power to dissolve that parliament, without their own consent.Thus, by the greatest weakness and infatuation that ever possessed any man's spirit, this prince did in effect sign his own destruction. For the house of commons, having the reins in their own hands, drove on furiously ; sent him every day some unreasonable demand; and when he refused to grant it, made use of their own power, and declared that an ordinance of both houses, without the king's consent, should be obeyed as a law, contrary to all reason and equity, as well as to the fundamental constitution of the kingdom.
About this time the rebellion in Ireland broke out, wherein his parliament refused to assist him; nor would accept his offer to come hither in person to subdue those rebels. These, and a thousand other barbarities, forced the king to summon his loyal subjects to his standard in his own defence. Meanwhile the English parliament, instead of helping the poor protestants here, seized on the very army that his majesty was sending over for our relief, and turned them against their own sovereign. The rebellion in England continued for four or five years : at last the king was forced to fly in disguise to the Scots, who sold him to the rebels. And these puritans had the impudent cruelty to try his sacred person in a mock court of justice, and cut off his head; which he
might have saved, if he would have yielded to betray the constitution in church and state.
In this whole proceeding, Simeon and Levi were brethren; the wicked insinuations of those fanatical preachers stirring up the cruelty of the soldiers, who, by force of arms, excluded from the house every member of parliament whom they apprehended to bear the least inclination toward an agreement with the king, suffering only those to enter who thirsted chiefly for his blood; and this is the very account given by their own writers. Whence it is clear that this prince was, in all respects, a real martyr for the true religion and the liberty of the people. That odious
parliament had first turned the bishops out of the house of lords ; in a few years after, they murdered their king; then immediately abolished the whole house of lords; and so, at last, obtained their wishes, of having a government of the people, and a new religion, both after the manner of Geneva, without a king, a bishop, or a nobleman; and this they blasphemously called, dom of Christ and his saints.”
This is enough for your information on the first head: I shall therefore proceed to the second, wherein I will show you the miserable consequences which that abominable rebellion and murder produced in these nations.
First, The Irish rebellion was wholly owing to that wicked English parliament. For the leaders in the Irish popish massacre would never have dared to stir a finger, if they had not been encouraged by that rebellious spirit in the English house of commons, which they very well knew must disable the king from sending any supplies to his protestant subjects here; and therefore we may truly say that the English parliament held the
“ The king