Page images

Jesuits,’ have had a Consistory abroad which rules all the aflfairs of things [“Aflairs 1y“ things ;” rough and ready I] in England, from an \ Archbisher down to the other dependents upon him. And they had fixed in England,—-of which we are able to produce the' particular Instruments in most of the limits of their Cathedrals ‘ or pretended Dioceses,’ ——an Episcopal power [Regular Episcopacy of their 010111], with Archdcacons. &0. And had persons authorized to exercise and distribute those things [I begin to love that rough and Teddy method, in comparison with some others !] ; who pervert and deceive the people. And all this, while we were in that sad, and as I said deplorable condition.

And in the mean time all endeavors possible were used to hinder the work of ‘ God ’ in Ireland, and the progress of the Work of God in Scotland : by continual intelligences and correspondences, both at home and abroad, from hence into Ireland, and from hence into Scotland.* Persons were stirred up, from our divisions and discomposure of afiairs, to do all they could to ferment the War in both these places. To add yet to our misery, whilst we were in this condition, we were in a ‘ foreign ’ War. Deeply engaged in War with the Portuguese ;f whereby our Trade ceased: the evil consequences by that War were manifest and very considerable. And not only this, but we had a War with Holland; consuming our treasure; occasioning a vast burden upon the people. A War that cost this Nation full as much as the ‘ whole ’ Taxes came unto ; the Navy being a Hundred-and-sixty Ships, which cost this Nation above 100,0001. a-month; besides the contingencies, which would make it 120,0001. That very one War (sic) .did engage us to so great a charge._-At the same time also we were in‘a War with France. [A Bickering and Skirmishing, and Liability to War :—]lIazarin, as yet, thinking our side the weaker.] The advantages that were taken of the discontents and divisions among ourselves did also ferment that War, and at least hinder us of an honorable peace; every man being confident we could not hold out long. And surely they did not calculate amiss, if the Lord had not been exceedingly gracious to us! I say, at the same time we had a \Var with France. _ [Yes, your Highness said so,—and we admit it!] And besides the sufferings in respect to the Trade of the Nation, it’s most evident that the Purse of the Nation could not have been able much longer to bear it,—by reason of the advantages taken by other States to improve their own, and spoil our Manufacture of Cloth, and hinder the vent thereof; which is the great

' Middleton-Glencairn Revolts, and what not. 1 Who protected Rupert in his quasi-piracies, and did require chastiselnent from us. ,

VOL. 11. 6 .


staple commodity of this Nation. [And has continued to be 1] Such was our condition : spoiled in our Trade, and we at this vast expense; thuz dissettled at home, and having these engagements abroad.

Things being so,—and I am persuaded it is not hard to convince every person here they were so,--what a heap of confusions were upon these poor Nations ! And either things must have been left to sink into the miseries these premises would suppose, or else a remedy must be applied. [Apparently I] A remedy hath been applied: that hath been this Government ;* a thing I shall say little unto. The thing is open and visible to be seen and read by all men : and therefore let it speak for itself. [Even so, your Highness : there is a silence prouder and nobler than any speech (me is used to hear.] Only let me say this,—because 1 can speak it with comfort and confidence before a Greater than you all: That in the intention of it, as to the approving of our hearts to God, let men judge as they please, it was calculated ‘ with our best wisdom’ for the interest of the People. For the interest of the People alone, and for their good, without respect had to any other interest. And if that be not true [Wilh animationl], I shall be bold to say again, Let it speak for itself. Truly, I may,—I hope, humbly before God, and modestly before youy—say somewhat on the behalf of the Government. [Recite a little what it “ speaks for itself,” afler all !] Not that I would discourse of the particular heads of it, but acquaint you a little with the effects it has had : and this not for ostentation’s sake, but to the end I may at this time deal faithfully with you: and acquaint you with the state of things, and what proceedings have been entered into by'l' this Government, and what the state of our affairs is. This is the main end of my putting you to this trouble.

The Government hath had some things in desire; and it hath done some things actually. [t hath desired to reform the Laws. I say to reform them. [Hear I] :--and for that end it hath called together Persons, without offence be it spoken, of as great ability and as great interest as are in these Nations,1 to consider how the .Laws might be made plain and short, and less chargeable to the People; how to lessen expense, for the good of the Nation. And those things are in preparation, and Bills prepared ; which in due time, I make no question, will be tendered to you. ‘In the meanwhile ’ there hath been care taken to put the ad

' He means, and his hearers understand him to mean, ‘ Form of Government’ mainly; but he diverges now and then into our modern acceptation of the word ‘ Government,’——Administration or Supreme Authority.

1' ' been upon’ in orig. ‘

1 Ordinance for the Reform of Chancery : supra, p. ’76.


ministration of the Laws into the hands of just men [Matthew Hale, for instance] ; men of the most known integrity and ability. The Chancerv hath been reformed—

[FROM THE Monarms : ‘ Only to a very small extent and in a very temporary manner, your Highness ! His Highness returns upon the Law, on subsequent occasions, and finds the reform of it still a very pressing matter. Difficult to sweep the intricate foul chimneys of Law his Highness found it,-—as we after two centuries of new soot and accumulatioh now acknowledge on all hands, with a sort of' silent despair, a silent wonder each one of us to himself; “What, in God’s name, is to become of all that 2” ’]

—hath been reformed ; I hope, to the satisfaction of all good men : and as for the things, ‘ or causes,’ depending there, which made the burden and work of the honorable Persons intrusted in those services too heavy for their ability, it* hath referred many of them to those places where Englishmen love to have their rights tried, the Courts of Law at Westminster.

This Government hath, ‘farther,’ endeavored to put a stop to that heady way (likewise touched of ‘in our Sermon’ this day) of every man making himself a Minister and Preacher. [Commission of Triers; Yea !] It hath endeavored to settle a method for the approving and sanctioning of men of piety and ability to discharge that work. And I think I may say it hath committed the business to the trust of Persons both of the Presbyterian and Independent judgments, of as known ability, piety and integrity, as any, I believe, this Nation hath. And I believe also that, in that care they have taken, they have labored to approve themselves to Christ, to the Nation and to their own consciences. And indeedI think, if there be anything of quarrel against them,—though I am not here to justify the proceedings of any —it is that they, ‘in fact,’ go upon such a character as the Scripture warrants: To put men into that great Employment, and to approve men for it, who are men that have “received gifts from Him that ascended up on high, and gave gifts” for the work of the Ministry, and for the edifying of the Body of Christ. The Government hath also taken care, we hope, for the expulsion [Commission of Expurgation, 2100.] of all those who may be judged any way unfit for this work; who are scandalous, and the common scorn and contempt of that function.

’ The Government. '


One thing more this Government hath done 2 it hath been instrumental to call a free Parliament ;—which, blessed be God, we see here this day! I say a free Parliament. [Mark the iteration !] And that it may continue so, I hope is in the heart and spirit of every good man in England,--save such discontented persons as I have formerly mentioned. It’s that which as I have desired above my life, so I shall desire to keep it above my life. [Verin .1]—

I did before mention to you the plunges we were in with respect to Foreign States ; by the War with Portugal, France, the Dutch, the Danes, and the little assurance we had from any of our neighbors round Itbout. I perhaps forgot, but indeed it was a caution upon my mind, and

desire now it may be so understood, That if any good hath been done, t was the Lord, not we His poor instruments.—

[Pity if this pass entirely for ‘cant,’ my esteemed modern friends ! It is not cant, nor ought to be. 0 Higginbotham, there is a Selbstédtung, a killing of Self, as my friend Novalis calls it, which is, was, and for ever will be, ‘the beginning of all moral

\ ity,’ of all real work and worth for man under this Sun.]

-I did instance the Wars ; which did exhaust your treasures ; and put you into such a condition that you must have sunk therein, if it had continued but a few months longer: this I can affirm, if strong probability may be a fit ground. And now you have, though it be not the first in time,—-Peace with Swedeland ; an honorable peace ; through the endeavors of an honorable Person here present as the instrument. [Whitlocke seen blushing !] I say you have an honorable peace with a Kingdom which, not many years since, was much a friend to France, and lately perhaps inclinable enough to the Spaniard. And I believe you expect not much good from any of your Catholic neighbors [No; we are not exactly their darlings !] ; nor yet that they would be very willing you should have a good understanding with your Protestant friends. Yet, thanks be to God, that Peace is concluded ; and as I said before, it is an honorable Peace. '

You- have a peace with the Danes,-a State that lay contiguous to that part of this island [Your Itlonlroses, Middletons came always, with their MOSSIroopers and Harpy hosts, out of the Danish quarter.] which hath given us the most trouble. And certainly if your enemies abroad be able to annoy you, it is likely they will take their advantage (where it best lies) to give you trouble from that country. But you have a Peace there, and an honorable one. Satisfaction to your Merchants’ ships; not only to their content, but to their rejoicing.* I believe you will easily know it is so,-—‘ an honorable peace.’ You have the Sound open; which used to be obstructed. That which was and is the strength of this Nation, the shipping, will now be supplied thence. And, whereas you were glad to have anything of that kindi- at secondhand, you have now all manner of commerce there, and at as much freedom as the Dutch themselves, ‘ who used to be the carriers and vendors of it to us ;’ and at the same rates and tolls ;-—and I think, by that Peace, the said rates now fixed upon cannot be raised to you ‘in future.’


You have a Peace with the Dutch : a Peace unto which I shall say .ittle, seeing it is so well known in the benefit and consequences thereof. And I think it was as desirable, and as acceptable to the spirit of this Nation, as any one thing that lay before us. And, as I believe nothing so much gratified our enemies as to see us at odds ‘ with that Commonwealth ;’ so I persuade myself nothing is of more terror or trouble to them than to see us thus reconciled. ‘Truly’ as a Peace with the Protestant States hath much security in it, so it hath as much of honor and of assurance to the Protestant Interest abroad; without which no assistance can be given thereunto." I wish it may be written upon our hearts to be zealous for that Interest! For if ever it were like to come under a condition of suffering, it is now. In all t'.e Emperor’s Patrimonial Territories, the endeavor is to drive the Protestant part of the people out, as fast as is possible ; and they are necessitated to run to Protestant States to seek their bread. And by this conjunction of Interests, I hope, you will be in a more fit capacityto help them. And it begets some reviving of their spirits, that you will help them as opportunity shall serve. [We will !]

You have a Peace likewise with the Crown of Portugal ; which Peace, though it hung long in hand, yet is lately concluded. It is a Peace which, your Merghants make us believe, is of good concernmeni to their trade'; the rate of insurance to that Country having been high :r, and so the profit which could bear such rate,1 than to other places.

' ‘ Danish claims settled,’ as was already said_somewhere, ‘ on the 31st of July :’ Dutch and English Commissioners did it, in Goldsmiths' Hall; met on the 27th of June ; if the business were not done when August he. gan, they were then to be ‘ shut up without fire, candle, meat or drink,’ — and to do it out very speedily ! They allowed our Merchants 98,0001. tor damages against the Danes. (Godwin, iv., 49,—who cites Dumont, Trad! 24

1)' Baltic Produce, namely. <‘

1‘ their assurance being greater, and so their profit in trade thither,’ m

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »