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king of England can do no wrong, fo neither can he do right but in his courts and by his courts; and what is legally done in them, fhall be deemed the king's affent, though he as a feveral perfon fhall judge or endeavour the contrary; fo that indeed without his courts, or against them, he is no king. If therefore he obtrude upon us any public mifchief, or withhold from us any general good, which is wrong in the higheft degree, he must do it as a tyrant, not as a king of England, by the known maxims of our law. Neither can he, as one greater, give aught to the parliament which is not in their own power, but he must be greater alfo than the kingdom which they reprefent: fo that to honour him with the giving part was a mere civility, and may be well termed the courtesy of England, not the king's due.
But the "incommunicable jewel of his confcience" he will not give," but referve to himself." It feems that his confcience was none of the crown-jewels; for those we know were in Holland, not incommunicable, to buy arins againft his fubjects. Being therefore but a private jewel, he could not have done a greater pleature to the kingdom, than by referving it to himfelf. But he, contrary to what is here profefled, would have his confcience not an incommunicable, but a univerfal confcience, the whole kingdom's confcience. Thus what he feems to fear left we fhould ravifh from him, is our chief complaint that he obtruded upon us; we never forced him to part with his confcience, but it was he that would have forced us to part with ours.
Some things he taxes them to have offered him, "which, while he had the maftery of his reafon, he would never confent to." Very likely; but had his reafon mastered him as it ought, and not been mastered long ago by his fenfe and humour (as the breeding of molt kings hath been ever fenfual and moft humoured), perhaps he would have made no difficulty. Meanwhile at what a fine pafs is the kingdom, that muft depend in greatest exigencies upon the fantafy of a king's reason, be he wife or fool, who arrogantly fhall anfwer all the wifdom of the land, that what they offer feems to him unreasonable?
He prefers his "love of truth" before his love of the people. His love of truth would have led him to the fearch of truth, and have taught him not to lean fo much upon his own understanding. He met at firft with doctrines of unaccountable prerogative; in them he rested, because they pleafed him; they therefore pleased him because they gave him all; and this he calls his love of truth, and prefers it before the love of his people's peace.
Some things they propofed, "which would have wounded the inward peace of his confcience." The more our evil hap, that three kingdoms fhould be thus pestered with one confcience; who chiefly fcrupled to grant us that, which the parliament advised him to, as the chief means of our public welfare and reformation. Thefe fcruples to many perhaps will feem pretended; to others, upon as good grounds, may feem real; and that it was the juft judgment of God, that he who was fo cruel and fo remorfelefs to other men's confciences, fhould have a confcience within him as cruel to himfelf; conftraining him, as he conftrained others, and enfmaring him in fuch ways and counfels as were certain to be his deftruction.
"Other things though he could approve, yet in honour and policy he thought fit to deny, left he should feem to dare deny nothing." By this means he will be fure, what with reafon, honour, policy, or punctilios, to be found never unfurnished of a denial; whether it were his envy not to be overbounteous, or that the fubmiffnefs of our afking ftirred up in him a certain pleasure of denying. Good princes have thought it their chief happinefs to be always granting; if good things, for the things fake; if things indifferent, for the people's fake; while this man fits calculating variety of excufes how he may grant leaft; as if his whole ftrength and royalty were placed in a mere negative.
Of one propofition efpecially he laments him much, that they would bind him "to a general and implicit confent for whatever they defired." Which though I find not among the nineteen, yet undoubtedly the oath of his coronation binds him to no lefs; neither is he at all by his office to interpofe against a parliament in the
making or not making of any law; but to take that for juft and good legally, which is there decreed, and to fee it executed accordingly. Nor was he fet over us to vie wifdom with his parliament, but to be guided by them; any of whom poffibly may as far excel him in the gift of wisdom, as he them in place and dignity. But much nearer is it to impoffibility, that any king alone fhould be wifer than all his council; fure enough it was not he, though no king ever before him fo much contended to have it thought fo. And if the parliament fo thought not, but defired him to follow their advice and deliberation in things of public concernment, he accounts it the fame propofition, as if Sampfon had been moved "to the putting out his eyes, that the Philiftines might abufe him." And thus out of an unwife or pretended fear, left others thould make a fcorn of him for yielding to his parliament, he regards not to give caufe of worfe fufpicion, that he made a fcorn of his regal oath.
But "to exclude him from all power of denial feems an arrogance;" in the parliament he means: what in him then to deny against the parliament? None at all, by what he argues: for "by petitioning, they confefs their inferiority, and that obliges them to reft, if not fatisfied, yet quieted with fuch an answer as the will and reafon of their fuperior thinks fit to give." First, petitioning, in better English, is no more than requesting or requiring; and men require not favours only, but their due; and that not only from fuperiors, but from equals, and inferiors alfo. The nobleft Romans, when they ftood for that which was a kind of regal honour, the confulthip, were wont in a fubmiffive manner to go about, and beg that higheft dignity of the meaneft plebeians, naming them man by man; which in their tongue was called petitio confulatus. And the parliament of England petitioned the king, not because all of them were inferior to him, but because he was inferior to any one of them, which they did of civil cuftom, and for fashion's fake, more than of duty; for by plain law cited before, the parliament is his fuperior.
But what law in any trial or difpute enjoins a freeman to reft quieted, though not fatisfied with the will and
reafon of his fuperior? It were a mad law that would fubject reafon to fuperiority of place. And if our higheft confultations and purpoted laws must be terminated by the king's will, then is the will of one man our law, and no fubtlety of difpute can redeem the parliament and nation from being flaves: neither can any tyrant require more than that his will or reason, though not fatisfying, fhould yet be refted in, and determine all things. We may conclude therefore, that when the parliament petitioned the king, it was but merely form, fet it be as "foolish and abfurd" as he pleafes. It cannot certainly be fo abfurd as what he requires, that the parliament fhould confine their own and all the kingdom's reafon to the will of one man, because it was his hap to fucceed his father. For neither God nor the laws have fubjected us to his will, nor fet his reason to be our fovereign above law (which muft needs be, if he can ftrangle it in the birth) but fet his perfon over us in the fovereign execution of fuch laws as the parliament eftablish. The parliament therefore, without any ufurpation, hath had it always in their power to limit and confine the exorbitancy of kings, whether they call it their will, their reafon, or their confcience.
But this above all was never expected, nor is to be endured, that a king, who is bound by law and oath to follow the advice of his parliament, fhould be permitted to except against them as "young ftatefmen," and proudly to fufpend his following their advice, "until his feven years experience had thown him how well they could govern themfelves." Doubtlefs the law never fuppofed fo great an arrogance could be in one man; that he whofe feventeen years unexperience had almoft ruined all, fhould fit another feven years schoolmafier to tutor those who were fent by the whole realm to be his counsellors and teachers. And with what modesty can he pretend to be a statefiman himself, who with his father's king-craft and his own, did never that of his own accord, which was not directly oppofite to his profeffed intereft both at home and abroad; difcontenting and alienating his fubjects at home, weakening and deterting his confederates abroad, and with them the common caufe
cause of religion; fo that the whole courfe of his reign, by an example of his own furnishing, hath refembled Phaeton more than Phoebus, and forced the parliament to drive like Jehu; which omen taken from his own mouth, God hath not diverted?
And he on the other fide might have remembered, that the parliament fit in that body, not as his fubjects, but as his fuperiors, called, not by him, but by the law; not only twice every year, but as oft as great affairs require, to be his counsellors and dictators, though he ftomach it; nor to be diffolved at his pleafure, but when all grievances be firft removed, all petitions heard and anfwered. This is not only reafon, but the known law of the land.
"When he heard that propofitions would be sent him," he fat conjecturing what they would propound; and because they propounded what he expected not, he takes that to be a warrant for his denying them. But what did he expect? He expected that the parliament would reinforce "fome old laws." But if those laws were not a fufficient remedy to all grievances, nay were found to be grievances themfelves, when did we lofe that other part of our freedom to establish new? He thought "fome injuries done by himfelf and others to the commonwealth were to be repaired." But how could that be, while he the chief offender took upon him to be fole judge both of the injury and the reparation? "He staid till the advantages of his crown confidered, might induce him to condefcend to the people's good." When as the crown itfelf with all thofe advantages were therefore given him, that the people's good fhould be first confidered; not bargained for, and bought by inches with the bribe of more offertures and advantages to his crown. He looked "for moderate defires of due reformation;" as if any fuch defires could be immoderate. He looked for fuch a reformation "both in church and state, as might preferve" the roots of every grievance and abuse in both ftill growing (which he calls "the foundation and effentials") and would have only the excrefcences of evil pruned away for the prefent, as was plotted before, that they might grow faft enough between triennial parliaments, to hinder them by work enough befides from