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stuff tattled here of Timothy and Titus, and I know not whom their successors, far beyond court-element, and as far beneath true edification. These are his “fair grounds both from scripture canons and ecclesiastical examples;" how undivinelike written, and how like a worldly gospeller that understands nothing of these matters, posterity no doubt will be able to judge; and will but little regard what he calls apostolical, who in his letter to the pope calls apostolical the Roman religion.
Nor let him think to plead, that therefore “it was not policy of state," or obstinacy in him which upheld episcopacy, because the injuries and losses which he sustained by so doing were to him “more considerable than episcopacy itself;" for all this might Pharaoh have had to say in his excuse of detaining the Israelites, that his own and his kingdom's safety, so much endangered by his denial, was to him more dear than all their building labours could be worth to Egypt. But whom God hardens, them also he blinds.
He endeavours to make good episcopacy not only in “ religion, but from the nature of all civil government, where parity breeds confusion and faction.” But of faction and confusion, to take no other than his own testimony, where hath more been ever bred than under the imparity of his own monarchical government? of which to make at this time longer dispute, and from civil constitutions and human conceits to debate and question the convenience of divine ordinations, is neither wisdom nor sobriety. And to confound Mosaic priesthood with evangelic presbytery against express institution, is as far from warrantable. As little to the purpose is it, that we should stand polling the reformed churches, whether they equalize in number" those of his three kingdoms;" of whom so lately the far greater part,—what they have long desired to do, --have now quite thrown off episcopacy.
Neither may we count it the language or religion of a protestant, so to vilify the best reformed churches (for none of them but Lutherans retain bishops) as to fear more the scandalizing of papists, because more numerous, than of our protestant brethren, because a handful. It will not be worth the while to say what “schismatics or heretics” have had no bishops : yet, lest he should be taken for a great reader, he who prompted him, if he were a doctor, might have remembered the forementioned place in Sozomenus; which affirms,
that besides the Cyprians and Arabians, who were counted orthodoxal, the Novatians also, and Montanists in Phrygia, had no other bishops than such as were in every village. And what presbyter hath a narrower diocess ? As for the
Aërians, we know of no heretical opinion justly fathered upon them, but that they held bishops and presbyters to be the same. Which he in this place not obscurely seems to hold a heresy in all the reformed churches; with whom why the church of England desired conformity, he can find no reason, with all his “charity, but the coming in of the Scots' army;" such a high esteem he had of the English!
He tempts the clergy to return back again to bishops, for the fear of “ tenuity and contempt,” and the assurance of better “ thriving under the favour of princes;" against which temptations if the clergy cannot arm themselves with their own spiritual armour, they are indeed as poor a carcass” as he terms them. Of secular honours and great revenues added to the dignity of prelates, since the subject of that question is now removed, we need not spend time: but this perhaps will never be unseasonable to bear in mind out of Chrysostom, that when ministers came to have lands, houses, farms, coaches, horses, and the like lumber, then religion brought forth riches in the church, and the daughter devonred the mother.
But if his judgment in episcopacy may be judged by the goodly choice he made of bishops, we need not much amuse ourselves with the consideration of those evils, which by his foretelling, will “necessarily follow" their pulling down, until he prove that the apostles, having no certain diocess or appointed place of residence, were properly “bishops over those presbyters whom they ordained, or churches they planted;" wherein ofttimes their labours were both joint and promiscuous; or that the apostolic power must “necessarily descend to bishops, the use and end” of either function being so different And how the church hath flourished under episcopacy,
let the multitude of their ancient and gross errors testify, and the words of some learnedest and most zealous bishops among them; Nazianzen in a devout passion, wishing prelacy had never been: Bazil terming them the slaves of slaves : Saint Martin, the enemies of saints; and confessing that after he was made a bishop, he found much of that grace decay in him which he had before.
Concerning his “coronation oath,” what it was, and how far it bound him, already hath been spoken. This we may take for certain, that he was never sworn to his own particular conscience and reason, but to our conditions as a free people, which required him to give us such laws as ourselves should choose. This the Scots could bring him to, and would not be baffled with the pretence of a coronation oath, after that episcopacy had for many years been settled there. Which concession of his to them, and not to us, he seeks here to put off with evasions that are ridiculous. And, to omit no shifts, he alleges that the presbyterian manners gave him no encouragement to like their modes of government. If that were so, yet certainly those men are in most likelihood nearer to amendment, who seek a stricter church-discipline than that of episcopacy, under which the most of them learned their man
If estimation were to be made of God's law by their manners, who, leaving Egypt, received it in the wilderness, it could reap from such an inference as this nothing but rejection and disesteem. For the prayer wherewith he closes, it had been good some safe liturgy, which he so commends, had rather been in his way; it would perhaps in some measure have performed the end for which they say liturgy was first invented ; and have hindered him both here, and at other times, from turning his notorious errors into his prayers.
Upon the Uxbridge Treaty, fc. “ If the way of treaties be looked upon retiring" from bestial force to human reason, his first aphorism here is in part deceived. For men may treat like beasts as well as fight. If some fighting were not manlike, then either fortitude were no virtue, or no fortitude in fighting. And as politicians ofttimes through dilatory purposes and emulations handle the matter, there hath been nowhere found more bestiality than in treating; which hath no more commendations in it, than from fighting to come to undermining, from violence to craft; and when they can no longer do as lions, to do as foxes.
The sincerest end of treating after war once proclaimed is,
either to part with more, or to demand less, than was at first fought for, rather than to hazard more lives, or worse mischiefs. What the parliament in that point were willing to have done, when first after the war begun, they petitioned him at Colnbrook to vouchsafe a treaty, is not unknown.* For after he had taken God to witness of his continual readiness to treat, or to offer treaties to the avoiding of bloodshed, had named Windsor the place of treaty, and passed his royal word not to advance further, till commissioners by such a time were speeded towards him; taking the advantage of a thick mist, which fell that evening-weather that soon invited him to a design no less treacherous and obscure—he follows at the heels of those
with a train of covert * The whole history of this transaction, so highly dishonourable to the king's character both as a prince and as a man, is given, though in very cautious language, by Clarendon. On receiving the petition of the parliament, worded in the most respectful and conciliating terms, he put on his hypocritical mask of piety, the common resource of all tyrants, and replied, “We take God to witness, how deeply we are affected with the miseries of this kingdom, which heretofore we have striven as much as in us lay to prevent,” &c. ; and finally agrees to treat of peace. Clarendon appears to admit that, had the king acted honourably on this occasion, the parliament would have withdrawn their garrison from Windsor, and negotiations would have ensued that might probably have ended in peace. 6 And sure the king resolved to have done so,” he says,—that is, to have retired to Reading,—“or at least to have stayed at Colnbrook till he heard again from the parliament. But Prince Rupert, exalted with the terror he heard his name gave to the enemy, trusting too much to the vulgar intelligence every man received from his friends at London, who, according to their own passions and the affections of those with whom they corresponded, concluded that the king had so great a party in London, that if his army drew near, no resistance would be made, without any direction from the king, the very next morning after the committee returned to London, advanced with the horse and dragoons to Hounslow, and then sent to the king to desire him that the army might advance after ; which was, in that case, of absolute necessity ; for the Earl of Essex had a part of his army at Brentford, and the rest at Acton and Kingston.” But they were treating of peace, and there could be no danger. However, while the parliament were deliberating upon peace, Charles, protesting before God that he had the welfare of the people at heart, advanced through the “treacherous mist,” against Brentford, where, being opposed by the Earl of Essex's troops, “ the king's forces entered the town after a very warm service, the chief officers and many soldiers of the other side being killed ; and they took there above five hundred prisoners, eleven colours, and fifteen pieces of cannon, and good store of ammunition. But this victory (for considering the place, it might well be called so) proved not at all fortunate to his majesty.” (History, &c. jib 325–328.)-ED.
war; and with a bloody surprise falls on our secure forces, which lay quartering at Brentford, in the thoughts and expectation of a treaty. And although in them who make a trade of war, and against a natural enemy, such an onset might in the rigour of martial law have been excused, while arms were not yet by agreement suspended ; yet by a king, who seemed so heartily to accept of treating with his subjects, and professes here," he never wanted either desire or disposition to it," professes to have“ greater confidence in his reason than in his sword, and as a Christian to seek peace and ensue it,” such bloody and deceitful advantages would have been forborne one day at least, if not much longer; in whom there had not been a thirst rather than a detestation of civil war and blood, and a desire to subdue rather than to treat.
In the midst of a second treaty, not long after sought by the parliament, and after much ado obtained with him at Oxford, what subtle and unpeaceable designs he then had in chase, his own letters discovered; what attempts of treacherous hostility, successful and unsuccessful, he made against Bristol, Scarborough, and other places, the proceedings of that treaty will soon put us in mind ; and how he was so far from granting more of reason after so much of blood, that he denied then to grant what before he had offered ; making no other use of treaties pretending peace, than to gain advantages that might enable him to continue war. What marvel then if“ he thought it no diminution of himself,” as oft as he saw his time, to be “importunate for treaties," when he sought them only, as by the upshot appeared,“ to get opportunities?” And once to a most cruel purpose, if we remember, May 1643. And that messenger
froin Oxford, whose secret message and commission, had it been effected, would have drowned the innocence of our treating, in the blood of a designed massacre. Nay, when treaties from the parliament sought out him no less than seven times, (oft enough to testify the willingness of their obedience, and too oft for the majesty of a parliament to court their subjection,) he, in the confidence of his own strength, or of our divisions, returned us nothing back but denials, or delays, to their most necessary demands; and being at lowest, kept up still and sustained his almost famished hopes with the hourly expectation of raising