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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, nor any 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.
CHAPTER XXIV, Upon the Denying him the Attendance of his Chaplains.
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 I shall huddle him, as he does prayers.* The scripture owns 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 hless his own table.
* 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 Williams) 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, nevertheless, begins his grace as loud as Mr. Hackett, with such a confusion, that
Wherefore should the parliament then take such impleInents 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
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
kings, and by the apostles in the congregation, and by the ancient Christians for above three hundred years before liturgies came in, were with the people made in vain.
After he hath acknowledged that kings heretofore prayed without chaplains, even publicly in the temple itself, and that every“ private believer is invested with a royal priesthood ;" yet like one that relished not what he “ tasted of the heavenly gift, and the good word of God," whose name he so confidently takes into his mouth, he frames to himself impertinent and vain reasons, why he should rather pray by the officiating mouth of a closet chaplain. “ Their prayers,” saith he, more prevalent, they flow from minds more enlightened, from affections less distracted.” Admit this true, which is not, this might be something said as to their prayers for him, but what avails it to their praying with him? If his own mind “ be encumbered with secular affairs,” what helps it his particular prayer, though the mind of his chaplain be not wandering, either after new preferment, or his dinner? The fervency of one man in prayer cannot supererogate for the coldness of another; neither can his spiritual defects in that duty be made out, in the acceptance of God, by another man's abilities. Let him endeavour to have more light in himself, and not to walk by another man's lamp, but to get oil into his own. Let him cast from him, as in a Christian warfare, that secular encumbrance, which either distracts or overloads him ; his load else will never be the less heavy, because another man's is light. Thus these pious flourishes and colours, examined thoroughly, are like the apples of Asphaltis,* appearing goodly to the sudden eye; but look well upon them, or at least but touch them, and they turn into cinders.
In his prayer he remembers what“ voices of joy and gladness” there were in his chapel,“ God's house,” in his opinion, between the singing men and the organs; and this was a unity
* Commonly denominated the “ apples of Sodom.” What those apples were I have endeavoured to explain in my “ Travels in the Valley of the Nile;” where, describing the voyage upward from Dandoor, I observe, in speaking of the Asheyr,—“ Nothing can be more beautiful than the fruit of this tree: in size greatly exceeding an orange, and of a soft green colour, tinged on the sunny side with a ruddy blush, covered with a hoary down, and a bloom resembling that of the peach, it hangs, tempting the eye, among the pale foliage. Yet frequently, while all its external loveliness remains, it is found, when broken, to contain nothing but dust and ashes.”—ED.
of spirit in the bond of peace;" the vanity, superstition, and misdevotion of which place was a scandal far and near: wherein so many things were sung and prayed in those songs, which were not understood; and yet he who makes a diffi. culty how the people can join their hearts to extemporal prayers, though distinctly heard and understood, makes no question how they should join their hearts in unity to songs not understood.
I believe that God is no more moved with a prayer elaborately penned, than men truly charitable are moved with the penned speech of a beggar. Finally, 0 ye ministers, ye pluralists, whose lips preserve not knowledge, but the way ever open to your bellies, read here what work he makes among your wares, your gallipots, your balms and cordials, in print; and not only your sweet sippets in widows' houses, but the huge gobbets wherewith he charges you to have devoured houses and all; the “houses of your brethren, your king, and your God.” Cry him up for a saint in your pulpits, while he cries you down for atheists into hell.
CHAPTER XXV. Upon his Penitential Meditations and Vows at Holmby.
It is not hard for any man who hath a Bible in his hands, to borrow good words and holy sayings in abundance; but tó make them his own, is a work of grace, only from above. He borrows here many penitential verses out of David's psalms. So did many among those Israelites, who had revolted from the true worship of God,“ invent to themselves instruments of music, like David,” and probably psalms also like his: and yet the prophet Amos complains heavily against them. But to prove how short this is of true repentance, I will recite the penitence of others, who have repented in words not borrowed, but their own, and yet, by the doom of scripture itself, are judged reprobates.
“ Cain said unto the Lord: My iniquity is greater than I can bear: behold thou hast driven me this day from the face of the earth, and from thy face shall I be hid.”
“ And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding bitter cry and said, Bless me, even me