« PreviousContinue »
and no such Crime appearing as the Lords would take upon them to judge him to be worthy of Death; they resorted to their legislative Power, and by Ordinance of Parliament, as they call'd it, that is, by a Determination of those Members who fate in the Houses (whereof in the House of Peers there were not above twelve) they ap
pointed him to be put to Death; as guilty of - High Treason : The first time the two Houses of
Parliament had ever aflum'd that Jurisdi&tion, or that ever Ordinance had been made to fuch a Purpose; nor could any Rebellion be more against Law, than that murderous Ac. Clar. Vol. II. 572.
When his Tryal was over; and the Ordinance pass'd for his Execution, and it was demanded of him, according to Custom, what he could say why he should not suffer Death : He said he had the King's Pardon, which he pleaded and tender'd to them, and desir'd it might be allow'd. Whereupon he was sent to the Tower, and the Pardon read in both Houses; where, without any long Debate; it was declar'd to be of no Effect, and tiat the King could not pardon a Judgment of Parliament. And so without troubling themselves further, they gave Order for his beheading, which he underwent with all Christian Courage and Magnanimity, to the Admiration of the Beholders, and Confusion of his Enemies. Much hath been said of the Person of this great Prelate before, of his great Endowments and natural Infirmities, to which shall be added no more in this place (his Memory deserving a particular Celebration) than that his Learning, Piety and Virtue, have been atrain'd by very few, and the greatest of his Infirmities are common to all, even to the best of Men. Vol. II. 573.
ve the pointed litory of Cly, and
The EXÉCUTION of King CHARLES I. the
,,: 30th of January, 1648. THIS Day the Bishop of London read Di
vine Service before his Majesty, and the 27th of St. Matthews the History of our Saviour's Paffion, being appointed by the Church for that Day, he gave the Bishop Thanks for his seasonable Choice of the Lesson; but the Bifhop acquainting him that it was the Service of the Day, it comforted him exceedingly; then he proceeded to receive the Holy Sacrament. His Devotions being ended, he was brought from St. James's to WhiteMall, by a Regiment of Foot, besides his private Guard of Partisans; the Bishop of London on the one Hand, and Colonel Tomlinson, who had the Charge of him on the other, bareheaded. The Guards marching a how Pace, the King bid them go faster, faying, that he now went before them to strive for an heavenly Crown. Being come to the End of the Park, he went up the Stairs leading to the Long-Gallery in White-hal, where formerly he used to lodge, and there finding an unexpected Delay, the Scaffold being not ready, he past moft of the Time in Prayer. "About twelve a-clock, (his Majesty having eat a bit of Bread, and drank a Glass of Claret) Colonel Hacker, with other Of ficers and Soldiers, brought the King, with the Bihop, and Colonel Tomlinfon, thro' the Banqueting-house, to the Scaffold. . A strong Guard of several Regiinents of Horse and Foot were planted on all Sides, which hinder'd the near Approach of the People, and the King from being heard, and therefore he chiefly directed his Speech to the Bishop and Colonel Tomlinson.
His Majesty's SPEECH upon the Scaffold. T Shall be very little heard of any Body else i 1 I shall therefore speak a Word to you here's Indeed, I could hold my Peace very well, if I did not think that holding my Peace would make
fome Men think that I did fubmit to the Guilt, E as well as the Punishment. But I'think it is my
Duty to God and my country, to clear myself, both as an honest Man a good-King; and á
good Chriftian. I'fhall begin first with my Innoscency; in Ttoch, I think it not very needful to
infift long upon this; for all the World knows that I did never begin a War with the two Houses of Parliament';' and I call God to Witness; to whom I must Thortly make an Account', that I did never intend to incroach upon their Privileges ; they began 'upón me. It'is the Mi
litia they began upon ;' they confefs'd the Militia I was mine, but they thought fit to have it from - me: And, to be thort, if any Body will look to - the Dates of Commissions of their Commillions and
mitte, and likewife to the Declarationis, he will see clearly that they began these Troubles, nor I. Sở that as for the Guilt of thefe enormous Crimes thårare laid agdinft me, I hope in God'that God will clear me of., I will not, I am in Charity, and God forbid 1 Tould lay it upoil the two Houses of Parliament, there is no neceflity of either: I hope they are free of this Quilt ;' for I believe, that ill Inftruments between them arid me have been the Caufe of all this Bloodthed; fo thar as I find myfelf' clear of this, I liope, and pray God that they may too : Yet, for all this; God forbid I fhould be po in a Christiánt, as not to lay God's Judgments' ate Jalt upon the. Mady times the doth pay Justice Sy an ut just sentences K 2
that is ordinary. I will only say this, that ati anjit Sentence that I suffer'd to take Effect, is punished now by an unjust Sentence upon me : So far I have said to shew you that I am an Innocent Man. ...
Now, to shew that I am a good Christian, I hope there is a good Man (Pointing to Bishop Juxon, that will bear me Witness, that I have forgiven all the World, and even those in particular
that have been the chief Causes of my Death; · who they are God knows; I do not desire to
know si I pray God forgive them. But this is not all, my Charity must go farther; I with that they may repent. For, indeed, they have committed a great Sin in that Particular. I pray God, with St. Stephen, that it be not laid to their Charge; nay, not only fo, but that they may take the right Way to the Peace of the Kingdom; for my Charity commands me not only to forgive particular Men, but to endeavour, to the last Gasp, the Peace of the Kingdom. . So, Sirs, I do wila „ with all my Soul (I hope there are some here that will carry it farther) and endeavour the Peace of the Kingdom.. Now, Sirs, I must Thew you both
how you are out of the Way, and will put you : in the Way. First, you are out of the Way;
for certainly all the ways you ever had yet, as I could find by any thing, is in the way of Con
guest;.certainly this is an ill Way; for Conquest, : Sirs, in my Opinion, is never just, except there be a good and just Canse, either for Matter of Wrong, or a just Title; and then, if you go beyond the first Quarrel, that makes that unjust at the End that was just at first; if there be only Matter of Conquest, then it is a great Robbery, as a Pirate said to Alexander, that he was a great Robber, he was but a petty Robber. And so, Sirs, I think the way you are in is much
chend the firit "Ou Title; and ither for Mat there
out.of the Way. Now, Sirs, to put you in the Way, believe it, you shall never go right, nor God will never prosper you, until you give God his Due, the King his Due (that is, my Succefsor) and the People their Due: I am as much for
them as any of you. You must give God his - Due, by regulating rightly his Church -(accor..ding to the Scripture) which is now out of
Order; to set you in a way particularly now, I cannot; but only this, À National Synod freely
called, freely debated among themselves, muft sertle - this, when every Opinion is freely heard. For - the King [Then turning to a Gentleman that touch'd
the Ax, he said, Hurt not the Ax, that may hurt me.. Indeed, I will not-----the Laws of the Land will clearly instruct you for that, therefore, because it concerns my own Particular, I shall only give you a touch of it. For the People, truly I desire their Liberty and Freedom as much as any Body whosoever ; but I must tell you, that their Liberty and Freedom consist in having Government, those Laws by which their Lives and their Goods may be most their own. It is not their having a Share in the Government, that is nothing appertaining to them: A Subject and a Sovereign are clean different Things; and therefore until you do that, I mean, that you put the People in that Liberty, as I say, certainly they will never enjoy themselves.
Sirs, it was for this that now. I am come here, if I would have given way to an Arbitrary Way, to have all Laws changed according to the Power of the Sword, I needed not to have come here; and therefore I tell you and I pray God it be not laid to your Charge) that I am the Martyr of the People. In. Troth, Sirs, I fall not hold you much longer : I will only say this to you, That I could have desir'd a little time longer, because I K 3
to haveald have given that now I a