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to take him sainted at the canonizing, I shall suspect their calendar more than the Gregorian. In one thing I must commend his
the title to this book, Eικών Baoihin, that is to say, The King's Image; and by the shrine he dresses out for him, certainly would
have the people come and worship him. For which reason this answer also is entitled, Eikonoklastes, the famous surname of many Greek emperors, who, in their zeal to the command of God, after long tradition of idolatry in the church, took courage and broke all superstitious images to pieces.
But the people, exorbitant and excessive in all their motions, are prone ofttimes not to a religious only, but to a civil kind of idolatry, in idolizing their kings: though never more mistaken in the object of their worship; heretofore being wont to repute for saints those faithful and courageous barons, who lost their lives in the field, making glorious war against tyrants for the common liberty; as Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, against Henry III.; Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, against Edward II. But now, with a besotted and degenerate baseness of spirit, except some few who yet retain in them the old English fortitude and love of freedom, and have testified it by their matchless deeds, the rest, imbastardized from the ancient nobleness of their ancestors, are ready to fall flat, and give adoration to the image and memory of this man, who hath offered at more cunning fetches to undermine our liberties, and put tyranny into an art, than any British king before him. Which low dejection and debasement of mind in the people, I must confess, I cannot willingly ascribe to the natural disposition of an Englishman, but rather to two other causes; first, to the prelates and their fellowteachers, though of another name and sect, whose pulpit-stuff, both first and last, hath been the doctrine and perpetual infusion of servility and wretchedness to all their hearers, and whose lives the type of worldliness and hypocrisy, without the least true pattern of virtue, righteousness, or self-denial in their whole practice. I attribute it, next to the factious inclination of most men divided from the public by several ends and humours of their own.*
* Undoubtedly they who have interests different from those of the public must always be factious breeders of mischief. And this is the case with all privileged classes, all hereditary legislators, who naturally and necessarily
At first no man less beloved, no man more generally condemned, than was the king; from the time that it became his custom to break parliaments at home, and either wilfully or weakly to betray protestants abroad, to the beginning of these combustions. All men inveighed against him; all men, except court-vassals, opposed him and his tyrannical proceedings; the cry was universal; and this full parliament was at first unanimous in their dislike and protestation against his evil government. But when they, who sought themselves and not the public, began to doubt, that all of them could not by one and the same way attain to their ambitious purposes, then was the king, or his name at least, as a fit property, first made use of, his doings made the best of, and by degrees justified; which begot him such a party, as, after
wiles and strugglings with his inward' fears, emboldened him at length to set up his standard against the parliament: whenas before that time, all his adherents, consisting most of dissolute swordsmen and suburb-roysterers, hardly amounted to the making up of one ragged regiment strong enough to assault the unarmed house of commons. After which attempt seconded by a tedious and bloody war on his subjects, wherein he hath so far exceeded those his arbitrary violences in time of peace, they who before hated him for his high misgovernment, nay, fought against him with displayed banners in the field, now applaud him and extol him for the wisest and most religious prince that lived. By so strange a method amongst the mad multitude is a sudden reputation won, of wisdom by wilfulness and subtle shifts, of goodness by multiplying evil, of piety by endeavouring to root out true religion.
But it is evident that the chief of his adherents never loved him, never honoured either him or his cause, but as they took him to set a face upon their own malignant designs, nor bemoan his loss at all, but the loss of their own aspiring hopes : * like those captive women, whom the poet notes in Iliad, to
oppose reform, knowing their own privileges to be the greatest of abuses, which, to be complete, reform must sweep away.-ED.
* From characters such as those described in the preceding note, no higher views could be expected. Even Clarendon, as the late Lord Dover has abundantly proved, was himself a man of venal and interested character. -ED.
have bewailed the death of Patroclus in outward show, but indeed their own condition. Πάτροκλος πρόφασιν, σφων δ' αυτών κήδε' εκάτη.
Hom. Iliad. 7. 302. And it needs must be ridiculous to any judgment unenthralled, that they, who in other matters express so little fear either of God or man, should in this one particular outstrip all precisianism with their scruples and cases, and fill men's ears continually with the noise of their conscientious loyalty and allegiance to the king, rebels in the meanwhile to God in all their actions besides : much less that they, whose professed loyalty and allegiance led them to direct arms against the king's person, and thought him nothing violated by the sword of hostility drawn by them against him, should now in earnest think him violated by the unsparing sword of justice, which undoubtedly so much the less in vain she bears among men, by how much greater and in highest place the offender. Else justice, whether moral or political, were not justice, but a false counterfeit of that impartial and godlike virtue. The only grief is, that the head was not struck off to he best advantage and commodity of them that held it by the hair: an ingrateful and perverse generation, who having first cried to God to be delivered from their king, now murmur against God that heard their prayers, and cry as loud for their king against those that delivered them.
But as to the author of these soliloquies, whether it were undoubtedly the late king, as is vulgarly believed, or any secret coadjutor, and some stick not to name him;* it can add nothing, nor shall take froni the weight, if any be, of reason which he brings. But allegations, not reasons, are the main contents of this book, and need no more than other contrary allegations to lay the question before all men in an even balance; though it were supposed, that the testimony of one man, in his own cause affirming, could be of any moment to bring in doubt the authority of a parliament denying. But if these his fair-spoken words shall be here fairly confronted, and laid parallel to his own far differing deeds, manifest and visible to the whole nation, then surely we may look on them who, notwithstanding, shall persist to give to bare words more credit than to open deeds, as men whose judgment was not rationally evinced and persuaded, but fatally stupified and bewitched into such a blind and obstinate belief: for whose cure it may be doubted, not whether any charm, though never so wisely murmured, but whether any prayer can be available.
* Who was then suspected of being the author of the “ Eikon Basilikè” does not appear ; but the researches of succeeding ages have determined almost beyond a doubt, that Dr. Gauden, Bishop of Exeter, was the man. -Ed.
This however would be remembered and well noted, that while the king, instead of that repentance which was in reason and in conscience to be expected from him, without which we could not lawfully readmit him, persists here to maintain and justify the most apparent of his evil doings, and washes over with a court-fucus the worst and foulest of his actions, disables and uncreates the parliament itself, with all our laws and native liberties that ask not his leave, dishonours and attaints all protestant churches not prelatical* and what they piously reformed, with the slander of rebellion, sacrilege, and hypocrisy; they, who seemed of late to stand up hottest for the
covenant, can now sit mute and much pleased to hear all these opprobrious things uttered against their faith, their freedon, and thernselves in their own doings made traitors to boot. The divines, also, their wizards, can be so brazen as to cry Hosanna to this his book, which cries louder against them for no disciples of Christ, but of Iscariot; and to seem now convinced with these withered arguments and reasons here, the same which in some other writings of that party, and in his own former declarations and expresses, they have so often heretofore endeavoured to confute and to explode; none appearing all this while to vindicate church or state from these calumnies and reproaches but a small handful of men, whom they defame and spit at with all the odious names of schism and sectarism. I never knew that time in England, when men of truest religion were not counted sectaries :ť but wisdom now, valour, justice, constancy, prudence united and embodied
* Warburton, himself a bishop, speaks with contempt of Charles I.'s superstitious reverence for episcopacy, which Hooker, as he observes, had forty years before proved to be of human origin, and which Charles I. ought to have abandoned, in compliance with the wishes of the people.—ED.
+ Wickliffe was a sectarian; the Reformers, when they appeared, were all sectarians ; Milton, Newton, Locke, were the same ; so were Owen, Baxter, Leighton, &c., and some of the noblest ornaments of Christianity, in all ages, have been insulted with this name.-ED.
to defend religion and our liberties, both by word and deed, against tyranny, is counted schism and faction.
Thus in a graceless age things of highest praise and imitation under a right name, to make them infamous and hateful to the people, are miscalled. Certainly, if ignorance and perverseness will needs be national and universal, then they who adhere to wisdom and to truth, are not therefore to be blamed, for being so few as to seem a sect or faction. But in my opinion it goes not ill with that people where these virtues grow so numerous and well joined together, as to resist and make head against the rage and torrent of that boisterous folly and superstition, that possesses and hurries on the vulgar
This therefore we may conclude to be a high honour done us from God, and a special mark of his favour, whom he hath selected as the sole remainder, after all these changes and commotions, to stand upright and stead fast in his cause ; dignified with the defence of truth and public liberty ; while others, who aspired to be the top of zealots, and had almost brought religion to a kind of trading monopoly, have not only by their late silence and neutrality belied their profession, but foundered themselves and their consciences, to comply with enemies in that wicked cause and interest, which they have too often cursed in others, to prosper now in the same themselves.
CHAPTER I. Upon the King's calling this last Parliament. That which the king lays down here as his first foundation, and as it were the head-stone of his whole structure, that “he called this parliament, not more by others' advice, and the necessity of his affairs, than by his own choice and inclination,” is to all knowing men so apparently not true,* that a morc unlucky and inauspicious sentence, and more betokening the downfall of his whole fabric, hardly could have come into his mind. For who knows not, that the inclination of a prince is best known either by those next about him, and most in favour with him, or by the current of his own actions ? Those
* The falsehood and hypocrisy of this assertion is made abundantly apparent by Clarendon.-See note p. 311.-ED.