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Upon his going to the Scots. Tue king's coming in, whether to the Scots or English, deserved no thanks : for necessity was his counsellor; and that he hated them both alike, his expressions everywhere manifest. Some say his purpose was to have come to London, till hearing how strictly it was proclaimed, that no man should conceal him, he diverted his course. But that had been a frivolous excuse : and besides, he himself rehearsing the consultations had, before he took his journey, shews us clearly that he was determined to adventure loyalty who first began his troubles." And that the Scots had notice of it before, hath been long since brought to light. What prudence there could be in it, no man can imagine; malice there might be, by raising new jealousies to divide friends. For besides his diffidence of the English, it was no small dishonour that he put upon them, when, rather than yield himself to the parliament of England, he yielded to a hireling army of Scots in England, paid for their service here, not in Scotch coin, but in English silver; nay, who from the first beginning of these troubles, what with brotherly assistance, and what with monthly pay, have defended their own liberty and consciences at our charge. However, it was a hazardous and rash journey taken, “ to resolve riddles in men's loyalty,” who had more reason to mistrust the riddle of such a disguised yielding; and to put himself in their hands whose loyally was a riddle to him, was not the course to be resolved of it, but to tempt it. What Providence denied to force, he thought it might grant to fraud, which he styles prudence; but Providence was not cozened with disguises, neither outward nor inward.
To have known “his greatest danger in his supposed safety, and his greatest safety in his supposed danger," was to him a fatal riddle never yet resolved; wherein rather to have employed his main skill, had been much more to his preservation. Hau he“ known when the game was lost," it might have saved much contest; but the way to give over fairly, was not to slip out of open war into a new disguise. He lays down his arms, but not his wiles ; nor all his arms; for in obstinacy he comes no less armed than ever cap-à-pé. And what were
they but wiles, continually to move for treaties, and yet to persist the same man, and to fortify his mind beforehand, still purposing to grant no more than what seemed good to that violent and lawless triumvirate within him, under the falsified names of his reason, honour, and conscience, the old circulating dance of his shifts and evasions ?
The words of a king, as they are full of power, in the authority and strength of law, so, like Samson, without the strength of that Nazarite's lock, they have no more power in them than the words of another man.
He adores reason as Domitian did Minerva, and calls her the “divinest power,” thereby to intimate as if at reasoning, as at his own weapon, no man were so able as himself. Might we be so happy. as to know where these monuments of his reason may for in his actions and his writing they appear as thinly as could be expected from the meanest parts, bred up in the midst of so many ways extraordinary to know something. He who reads his talk, would think he had left Oxford not without mature deliberation : yet his prayer confesses, that “ he knew not what to do." Thus is verified that Psalm : "He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way.” Psal. cvii.
be seen ;
CHAPTER XXIII. Upon the Scols delivering the King to the English. That the Scots in England should " sell their king," as he himself here affirms, and for a "price so much above thať which the covetousness of Judas was contented with to sell our Saviour, is so foul an infamy and dishonour cast upon them, as befits none to vindicate but themselves. And it were but friendly counsel to wish them beware the
who comes among them with a firm belief, that they sold his father. The rest of this chapter he sacrifices to the echo of his conscience, out-babbling creeds and aves: glorying in his resolute obstinacy, and, as it were, triumphing how "evident it is now, not that evil counsellors,” but he himself, hath been the author of all our troubles. Herein only we shall disagree to the world's end; while he, who sought so manifestly to have annihilated all our laws and liberties, hath the
confidence to persuade us, that he hath fought and suffered all this while in their defence.
But he who neither by his own letters and commissions under hand and seal, nor by his own actions held as in a mirror
before his face, will be convinced to see his faults, can much less be won upon by any force of words, neither he,
that take after him ; who in that respect are no more to be disputed with, than they who deny principles. No question then but the parliament did wisely in their decree at last, to make no more addresses. For how unalterable his will was, that would have been our lord, how utterly averse from the parliament and reformation during his confinement, we may behold in this chapter. But to be ever answering fruitless repetitions, I should become liable to answer for the same myself. He borrows David's Psalms, as he charges the assembly of divines in his twentieth discourse, “ to have set forth old catechisms and confessions of faith! new dressed :" had he borrowed David's heart, it had been much the holier theft. For such kind of borrowing as this, if it be not bettered by the borrower, among good authors is accounted plagiary. However, this was more tolerable than Pamela's prayer stolen out of Sir Philip.
A CHAPLAIN is a thing so diminutive and inconsiderable, that how he should come here among matters of so great concernment, to take such room up in the discourses of a prince, if it be not wondered, is to be smiled at. Certainly by me, so mean an argument shall not be written; but í shall huddle him, as he does prayers. The scripture owns
* A curious example of the manner in which court-chaplains huddle over prayers and graces, is given by Mr. D’Israeli. “ The king and queen dining together in the presence, Mr. Hackett (chaplain to the Lord Keeper Wil. liams) being then to say grace, the confessor would have prevented him, but that Hackett shoved him away, whereupon the confessor went to the queen's side, and was about to say grace again, but that the king pulling the dishes unto him, and the carvers falling to their business, hindered. When dinner was done, the confessor thought, standing by the queen, to have been before Mr. Hackett, but Mr. Hackett again got the start. The confessor, never theless, begins his grace as loud as Mr. Hackett, with such a confusion, that
no such order, no such function in the church; and the
! church not owning them, they are left, for aught I know, to such a further examining as the sons of Sceva, the Jew, met with. Bishops or presbyters we know, and deacons we know: but what are chaplains ? In state perhaps they may be listed among the upper serving-men of some great household, and be admitted to some such place as may style them the sewers, or the yeomen-ushers of devotion, where the master is too resty or too rich to say his own prayers, or to bless his own table.
Wherefore should the parliament then take such implements of the court cupboard into their consideration? They knew them to have been the main corrupters at the king's elbow; they knew the king to have been always their most attentive scholar and imitator, and of a child to have sucked from them and their closet-work all his impotent principles of tyranny and superstition. While therefore they had any hope left of his reclaiming, these sowers of malignant tares they kept asunder from him, and sent to him such of the ministers and other zealous persons as they thought were best able to instruct him, and to convert him. What could religion herself have done inore, to the saving of a soul ? But when they found him past cure, and that he to himself was grown
the most evil counsellor of all, they denied him not his chaplains, as many as were fitting, and some of them attended him, or else were at his call, to the very
last. Yet here he makes more lamentation for the want of his chaplains, than superstitious Micah did to the Danites, who had taken away his household priest : “ Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest : and what have I more ?" And perhaps the whole story of Micah might square not unfitly to this argument : “ Now know I,” saith he,“ that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.” Micah had as great a care that his priest should be Mosaical, as the king had, that his should be apostolical ; yet both in an error touching their priests.
Household and private orisons were not to be officiated by priests ; for neither did public prayer appertain only to their the king in great passion instantly rose from the table, and, taking the queen by the hand, retired into the bed-chamber.” (Curiosities of Literature, iii. 402.)-ED.
office. Kings heretofore, David, Solomon, and Jehoshaphat, who might not touch the priesthood, yet might pray in public, yea, in the temple, while the priests themselves stood and heard. What ailed this king then, that he could not chew his own matins without the priest's Ore tenus? Yet is it like he could not pray at home, who can here publish a whole prayer-book of his own, and signifies in some part of this chapter, almost as good a mind to be a priest himself, as Micah had to let his son be? There was doubtless therefore some other matter in it, which made him so desirous to have his chaplains about him, who were not only the contrivers, but very oft the instruments also of his designs.
The ministers which were sent him, no marvel he endured not; for they preached repentance to him: the others gave him easy confession, easy absolution, nay, strengthened his hands, and hardened his heart, by applauding him in his
To them he was an Ahab, to these a Constantine: it must follow then, that they to him were as unwelcome as Elijah was to Ahab; these, as dear and pleasing as Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, was to Jeroboam. These had learned well the lesson that would please : “ Prophecy not against Bethel, for it is the king's chapel, the king's court;” and had taught the king to say of those ministers, which the parliament had sent, “ Amos hath conspired against me, the land is not able to bear all his words."
Returning to our first parallel, this king looked upon his prelates “ as orphans under the sacrilegious eyes of many rapacious reformers ;” and there was as great fear of sacrilege between Micah and his mother, till with their holy treasure, about the loss whereof there was such cursing, they made a graven and a molten image, and got a priest of their own. To let go his criticising about the sound of his prayers, imperious, rude, or passionate," modes of his own devising, we are in danger to fall again upon the flats and shallows of liturgy. Which, if I should repeat again would turn my answers into responsaries, and beget another liturgy, having too much of one already.
This only I shall add, that if the heart, as he alleges, cannot safely " join with another man's extemporal sufficiency,” because we know not so exactly what they mean to say; then those public prayers made in the temple by those forenamed