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also, O my father; yet found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Heb. xii.)
“ And Pharaoh said to Moses, The Lord is righteous, I and my people are wicked; I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you."
“And Balaam said, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let
last end be like his." “And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord; yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people.”
, " And when Ahab heard the words of Elijah, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly."
“ Jehoram also rent his clothes, and the people looked, and behold he had sackcloth upon his flesh;" yet in the very
of his humiliation he could say, “ God do so, and more also to me, if the head of Elisha shall stand on him this day.”
“ Therefore, saith the Lord, They have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds. They return, but not to the Most High.” (Hosea vii.)
“ And Judas said, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“And Simon Magus said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things come upon me.”
All these took the pains both to confess and to repent in their own words, and many of them in their own tears, not in David's. But transported with the vain ostentation of imitating David's language, not his life,* observe how he brings a curse upon himself and his father's house (God so disposing it) by his usurped and ill-imitated prayer :
I beseech thee, be against me and my father's house; as for
* Gibbon, in his account of Andronicus Comnenus, describes that consummate tyrant as most adroitly imitating the style of St. Paul, but making no attempt to imitate his life. Our own tyrant must certainly have been an adept in all the subtle arts of autocracy, since he not only imposed upon his contemporaries, but has obtained from posterity, in a protestant country, the honours of a popish saint and martyr. But in this transaction our countrymen somewhat resemble the crocodile-worshippers of Egypt, who, when their god grew large, and threatened to become dangerous, killed, and then adored him. Numbers of gods that had undergone this pious kind of martyrdom, are, in fact, still found closely and carefully packed up in the caverns of the Said. (Egypt and Mohammed Ali, ii. 174.)-ED.
· Let thy anger,
these sheep, what have they done?" For if David indeed sinned in numbering the people, of which fault he in earnest made that confession, and acquitted the whole people from the guilt of that sin; then doth this king, using the same words, bear witness against himself to be the guilty person; and either in his soul and conscience here acquits the parliament and the people, or else abuses the words of David, and dissembles grossly to the very face of God; which is apparent in the next line; wherein he accuses even the church itself to God, as if she were the church's enemy, for having overcome his tyranny by the powerful and miraculous might of God's manifest arm : fur to other strength, in the midst of our divisions and disorders, who can attribute our victories? Thus had this miserable man no worse enemies to solicit and mature his own destruction, from the hastened sentence of divine justice, than the obdurate curses which proceeded against himself out of his own mouth.
Hitherto his meditations, now his vows; which, as the vows of hypocrites use to be, are most commonly absurd, and some wicked. Jacob vowed that God should be his God, if he granted him but what was necessary to perform that vow, life and subsistence : but the obedience proffered here is nothing so cheap. He, who took so heinously to be offered nineteen propositions from the parliament, capitulates here with God almost in as many articles.
“ If he will continue that light,” or rather that darkness of the gospel, which is among his prelates, settle their luxuries, and make them gorgeous bishops;
If he will “ restore” the grievances and mischiefs of those obsolete and popish laws, which the parliament without his consent had abrogated, and will suffer justice to be executed according to his sense;
“ If he will suppress the many schisms in church," to contradict himself that which he had foretold must and shall come to pass, and will remove reformation as the greatest schism of all, and factions in state, by which he means in every leaf, the parliament;
If he will “ restore him” to his negative voice and the militia, as much as to say, to arbitrary power, which he wrongfully avers to be the right of his predecessors ;"
“ If he will turn the hearts of his people" to their old
cathedral and parochial service in the liturgy, and their passive obedience to the king ;
“ If he will quench” the army, and withdraw our forces from withstanding the piracy of Rupert,* and the plotted Irish invasion ;
“ If he will bless him with the freedom” of bishops again in the house of peers, and of fugitive delinquents in the house of commons, and deliver the honour of parliament into his hands, from the most natural and due protection of the people that entrusted them with the dangerous enterprise of being faithful to their country against the rage and malice of his tyrannous opposition;
“If he will keep him from that great offence," of following the counsel of his parliament, and enacting what they advise him to: which in all reason, and by the known law, and oath of his coronation, he ought to do, and not to call that sacrilege, which necessity, through the continuance of his own civil war, hath compelled him to; necessity, which made David eat the shewbread, made Ezekiah take all the silver which was found in God's house, and cut off the gold which overlaid those doors and pillars, and gave it to Sennacherib; necessity, which ofttimes made the primitive church to sell her sacred utensils, even to the communion-chalice;
“If he will restore him to a capacity of glorifying him by
* Prince Rupert's insolent behaviour to Newcastle on the eve of the battle of Marston Moor, and the total want of foresight and ability on that celebrated field, expose him to our contempt. Alluding to the treacherous advance upon Brentford during treaty with the parliament, Warburton observes :-" He seems to have done it for no other reason than to break off the treaty. He was a soldier of fortune, and loved the service, and his whole conduct was conformable to that character. In a word, the king was ruined by his ministers in peace, and by his officers in war. But he who certainly most contributed to the ill-success of his arms was Prince Rupert; and this was one of the most mischievous as well as burbarous of his exploits. In this affair, if the king's sole purpose was to disengage Prince Rupert's horse on Hounslow Heath, why did he advance to Hounslow (a mistake for Brentford) with his foot, and force the barricades of the town, defended by the parliament's foot ? I doubt he was not so clear in his purpose as his historian represents him.” (History, &c. vii. 564.) Clarendon, who has always something civil to say of a tyrant, or a tyrant's instruments, calls Rupert and Newcastle «
two great generals;" upon which Warburton remarks: -" These two great generals ought both to have been hanged, and where any discipline or law prevailed would have been so.” (Notes on Clarendon's History, vii. 597.)-Ed.
doing” that both in church and state, which must needs dishonour and pollute his name;
“If he will bring him again with peace, honour, and safety to his chief city,” without repenting, without satisfying for the blood spilt, only for a few politic concessions, which are as good as nothing;
« If he will put again the sword into his hand, to punish" those that have delivered us, and to protect delinquents against the justice of parliament;
Then, if it be possible to reconcile contradictions, he will praise him by displeasing him, and serve him by disserving him.
“ His glory,” in the gaudy copes and painted windows, mitres, rochets, altars, and the chanted service-book, “shall be dearer to him,” than the establishing his crown in righteousness, and the spiritual power of religion. “He will pardon those that have offended him in particular;” but there shall want no subtle ways to be even with them upon another score of their supposed offences against the commonwealth ; whereby he may at once affect the glory of a seeming justice, and destroy them pleasantly, while he feigns to forgive them as to his own particular, and outwardly bewails them.
These are the conditions of his treating with God, to whom he bates nothing of what he stood upon with the parliament : as if commissions of array could deal with him also. But of all these conditions, as it is now evident in our eyes, God accepted none, but that final petition, which he so oft, no doubt but by the secret judgment of God, importunes against his own head; praying God, “That his mercies might be so toward him, as his resolutions of truth and peace were toward his people.” It follows then, God having cut him off without granting any of these mercies, that his resolution were as feigned as his vows were frustrate.
Upon the Army's Surprisal of the King at Holmby. To give account to royalists what was done with their vanquished king, yielded up into our hands, is not expected from them whom God hath made his conquerors. And for brethren to debate and rip up their falling out in the ear of a common enemy, thereby making him the judge, or at least the well-pleased auditor of their disagreement, is neither wise nor comely. To the king therefore, were he living, or to his party yet remaining, as to this action, there belongs no answer. Emulations, all men know, are incident among military men; and
are, if they exceed not, pardonable. But some of the former army, eminent enough for their own martial deeds, and prevalent in the house of commons, touched with envy to be so far outdone by a new model,* which they contemned, took advantage of presbyterian and independent names, and the virulence of some ministers, to raise disturbance. And the war being ended, thought slightly to have discarded them who had faithfully done the work, without their due
and the reward of their invincible valour.
But they who had the sword yet in their own hands, disdaining to be made the first objects of ingratitude and oppression, after all that expense of their blood for justice, and the common liberty, seized upon the king, their prisoner, whom nothing but their matchless deeds had brought so low
as to surrender up his person : though he, to stir up new dis• cord, chose rather to give up himself a captive to his own
countrymen, who less had won him. This in likelihood might have grown to some height of mischief, partly through the strife which was kindling between our elder and our younger warriors, but chiefly through the seditious tongues of some false ministers, more zealous against schisms than against their own simony and pluralities or watchful of the common enemy, whose subtle insinuations had got so far in among them, as with all diligence to blow the coals. But it pleased God not to embroil and put to confusion his whole people for the perverseness of a few. The growth of our dissension was either prevented, or soon quieted : the enemy soon deceived of his rejoicing, and the king especially disappointed of not the meanest morsel that his hope presented him, to ruin us by our division. And being now so nigh the end, we
* Cromwell, of whom in his “ Defensio Secundo Pro Populo Anglicano,” he has drawn a character never surpassed by that of any commander celebrated in history. His sonnet, too, addressed to the Lord General Cromwell must here present itself to the reader's mind; Cromwell, our chief of men, &c.”—ED.