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in the blackest colours, and the submission of the people vilified, in order to throw odium upon the nation for their unjust rebellion to a sovereign, whose only fault consisted in acting mildly upon the principles to which he had equally succeeded with the throne ; while the popular leaders would have been reproached as artful demagogues, who inflamed the people with chimerical notions of freedom to which their ancestors never pretended, as austere fanatics, who were content to plunge the kingdom into convulsions for an object altogether mean and contemptible. All the benefits accruing from their virtuous struggle would have been for. gotten, while the calamities, the vices, arising naturally out of a period of convulsion, would have been incalculably exaggerated, as a warning to after ages never to assert their rights against the will of the chief magistrate. To the spirit of our an. cestors, therefore, we owe all our most invaluable privileges; and it would be ungrateful not to acknowledge the obligation *
* In the above I have endeavoured to embrace the sum and substance of Mr. Hume's defence of the Stuart family. But the following singular note deserves a remark : “ Lord Clarendon, vol. i. p. 233, says, that the parliamentary party were not agreed about the ens tire abolition of episcopacy. They were only the root and branch men, as they were called, who insisted on that measure. But those who were willing to retain bishops, insisted on reducing their authority to a low ebb, as well as on abolishing the ceremonies of worship and vestments of the clergy. The controversy, therefore, between the parties was almost wholly theological, and that of the most frivolous and ridiculous kind.” Really it is distressing to find an author of Mr. Hume's powers writing in this style; and it is scarcely possible to conceive a more complete non sequitur than that, because the people desired an abolition of ceremonies, which were intended to substi
Strafforde Strafforde, who had long ago foretold, that if ordered to
and the the king were forced to call a parliament, he, as a king against chief minister, would be sacrificed to the public his own wish; but resentment, and whose injustice and unrelenting assurance of barbarity had made him personal enemies, who protection. were resolved to pursue him to the scaffold, now
solicited leave to retire to his government of Ireland, or to remain with the army at York, that, removed from the eye of parliament, he might elude its vengeance; but Charles, who depended much upon his advice, insisted on his being near his person, assuring him that not a hair of his head should be touched *. The event proved that, though in
tute a religion of the imagination for that of the heart, in order to prepare the public inind for the doctrine of passive obedience in the state, ceremonies which were not so inhumanly enforced as altogether insignificant, but which implied points of faith universally abhorred that because they desired to reduce the power of a body, or even to abolish the order that had so monstrously abused their function against the civil and religious privileges of the nation, -" Therefore, that the controversy between the parties was almost wholly theologia cal, and that of the most frivolous and ridiculous kind.” Did it realIs follow that, because this was one branch of grievance, there was no other? With such logic, we should not wonder at his conclusions, even independently of his statements. But was this author so unphilosophical and uncharitable as to conclude, that because all points of faith were, in the abstract, viewed with indifference by himself, the people might justly be compelled, by bloody persecution, to embrace any religious innovations at the will of the prince ? Did he not perceive the political consequences of these innovations ? and infer that, as they were imposed out of political motives, so they were justly resisted on the same principle? It is strange, too, that great part of his argument goes to establish that new ideas of government had sprung up during the dynasty of the Stuarts, and yet that elsewhere he ascribes all to religion.
* Whitelocke, p. 37. This writer tells us that, as the Parliament was to meet on the 3d of November, “ some persuaded the archbishop to
despite of experience, the king continued obsti. nately blind in regard to the posture of affairs, his minister had discernment to perceive that the royal power which had raised him, and countenanced him in injustice, was unable to protect him in the hour of retribution.
The king, who depended much upon the dexte- Parliament rity of the speaker of the lower house for managing dessor. the Commons, had predetermined to have Sir Tho. 1640. mas Gardner, recorder of London, appointed to chosen
speaker of that situation ; but, notwithstanding all the efforts the Com. of government, the people, who knew the character mons. of the man, (he was afterwards impeached for recommending ship-money,) declined to return him as one of their representatives *; and Mr. Lent
get it adjourned for two or three days, because that the third of November was an ominous day; the Parliament called on that day, 20 H. VIII. beginning with the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, and ending in the dissolution of Abbeys; but the archbishop took little heed of any such things.” But Laud does not allude to the caution in his diary, while he faithfully records other omens which alarmed him. On January 24th, 1640, his father appeared in a dream, and asked, What he did there? Laud, after some speech, inquired, how long he would stay. “ He answered,” (we give Laud's own words) “ he would stay till he had me away with him. I am not moved with dreams; yet I thought fit to remember this.” On October 27th, he found, on entering his study, that his picture, which was hung there, had fallen upon its face, on the floor. “ I am almost every day threatened with my ruin in Parliament,” says he, “ God grant this be no omen.”
* Clarendon's Hist. vol. i. p. 170. Of course, this writer attributes his non-election to the strength of the faction ; yet himself joined the faction at the outset. No character has been more misconceived than Clarendon's. Burnet, who liked him for his bigoted attachment to episcopacy, says, that when, on the restoration, the tide of loyalty would have made the monarch independent of parliamentary supplies, Clarendon would not avail himself of it, and thus laid the foundation of his own ruin. But whatever apology Burnet might have for this
hall, a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and a lawyer of great practice, was nominated by the commons at the desire of the crown. It was not without
difficulty that he accepted of the office. Grievances The commons assembled in great numbers, and detailed by Pym and the court-party soon discovered that, as the na
tional grievances had been aggravated by the dissolution of the late parliament and the subsequent proceedings, so the popular spirit assumed a far more decided tone. Committees for grievances were nominated, and the deplorable state of the kingdom was depicted by Pym, followed by many others, in a style as just as pathetic; and, since we have just adverted to Mr. Hume's statements, we may here remark, that it is inconceivable how, with these speeches before him, in which the various forms assumed by arbitrary power against all law and the rights of person and property, are detailed in language, which, while it does credit to the speakers, appals the reader, he should have ascribed the fervour which pervaded all classes against such multiform abuses, solely to disgust at a few trifling ceremonies. The court faction, who could not deny the extent of the evil, did not even attempt to oppose the general complaint ; and Charles, after having dissolved the last parliament like the three preceding, because it preferred the consideration of grievances to his demand for im
statement in the reports of the times, and he candidly tells us that he had no other authority,) subsequent historians have none. For the publication of Clarendon's life, written by himself, completely disproves it.
mediate supply, discovered now the truth which had been predicted; that the next would take up the ground of its predecessor, and with a bolder spirit. Such, indeed, was the unanimity of the house, that as every abuse was proposed for censure, it was immediately voted to be a grievance, without a dissenting voice *. Amongst the first acts of the commons, was one an order of
the comof strict justice that of issuing an order for the mons for appearance of Prynn, Bastwick, and Burton, who ane after losing their ears, and suffering other detest-Prynn;
La Bastwick, able punishments, were sent to languish out theirand Burton,
&c. existence in solitary confinement, each transported to a separate island; while the access of friends and kindred was strictly interdicted, and themselves denied the use of books, pen, ink, and paper. Laud, with his coadjutors, had thence fondly flattered himself, that the voice of these wretched victims of oppression would never molest him more ; and that, at all events, his own elevation was too strongly fenced with power ever to dread that retributive justice which ought to have alarmed his conscience. But he was miserably mistaken; Prynn survived to pursue him to the scaffold.—By thus sending for those individuals, the commons did not reverse their sentences. These did not warrant their being sent out of England ; and therefore the lower house merely took under its protection men whose inhuman
* Whitelocke, p. 38. Clar. p. 171. Cobbet's Parl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 630, et seq. Old Do. vol. ix. p. 17, et seq. Rush. vol. iii. p. 1364. See p. 1336, et seq. vol. iii. p. 1, et seq.