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The Parliament gained the control over its own elections, and security that its members should not be arbitrarily excluded. For the complicated scheme of nomination to the Council, which was now to be called by the old name of the Privy Council, was to be substituted nomination by the Protector, with the consent of the Council, and the subsequent consent of Parliament. The members were only to be removable with the consent of Parliament. The principle of a permanent revenue sufficient to support the government in times of peace was accepted, but the mode in which it was to be raised was to be settled by Parliament and not by the Council.
In the matter of religious liberty, the general lines of the Instrument of Government were followed ; but certain opinions were named which must be held by all whose worship was to be tolerated (§ 11).
In accordance with the Additional Petition and Advice, the Protector summoned certain persons to sit in the other House' (Nos. 8, 93, p. 350). A quarrel between the two Houses broke out, and the Protector dissolved the Parliament in anger. After a period of disorder Charles II was restored to the Crown. Before he arrived he issued from Breda a Declaration of the principles on which he intended to govern (No. 94, p. 351). Those principles were set forth in four articles :-1. There was to be a general amnesty, except so far as Parliament might except certain persons. 2. There was to be a liberty for tender consciences according to such laws as Parliament should propose. 3. There was to be security given for property acquired during the late troublous times, in such a way as Parliament might determine. 4. Finally, full arrears were to be paid to the soldiers according to an Act of Parliament.
The Government of the Restoration accepted as its legal basis the Acts passed by Charles I up to the end of August, 1641. Its principle however is to be found in the answer suggested to the King by the Parliamentary Presbyterians on January 29, 1647 (see p. xlvii). It was the policy of trusting to free discussion and the pressure of national opinion expressed in Parliament to decide disputed questions which then got the upper hand, as far as the Parliamentary Presbyterians were concerned, over the policy of imposing fixed conditions on the exercise of the Royal power. Such a policy necessarily brought the Cavaliers and the Parliamentary Presbyterians together, and it was to this union of the Cavaliers and the Parliamentary Presbyterians that the Restoration was due. The Cavaliers obtained the restoration of Monarchy and Episcopacy with the Book of Common Prayer. The Parliamentary Presbyterians obtained the dependence of the King and Bishops on Parliamentary action. Charles II was not what Charles I had been, nor were Juxon and Sheldon what Laud had been.
Charles II dated the Declaration of Breda in the twelfth year of his reign. In this there was, no doubt, much of the usual pretensions of dethroned Kings to regard all that passes in their absence as having no existence which demands recognition. Yet it was not with Charles II as it was with Louis XVIII, in the days of the Directory, the Consulate, and the Empire. Very few in France thought in those times that Louis XVIII ought to reign ; whereas there is every reason to believe that the majority of political Englishmen during the Commonwealth and Protectorate thought that Charles II ought to be their King.
If then the Restoration was founded on the abandonment of the principles which were to be found alike in the Grand Remonstrance and in the Heads of the Proposals, are we to say, as has been said, that the whole Civil War was a mistake and that the nation ought to have been guided in the autumn of 1641 by Hyde and Falkland, as it was to those principles that the Presbyterians returned in 1647, and the whole nation except a small majority returned in 1660. If constitutional forms were everything, it would hardly be possible to avoid this conclusion. As a matter of fact, however, great as is the importance of constitutional
forms, the character of the governor and the governed is of far greater importance. The action of the Long Parliament up to August, 1641, effected necessary changes in the Constitution, but could not effect a change in the character of Charles I. Hence to the demand for the alteration of the Constitution was added, in addition to a call for ecclesiastical changes, a demand less universally felt, but felt by men of sufficient ability and strength of will to give effect to their resolutions, that Charles I must either bend or break. It was this part of the Revolution which was not accomplished till the deposition of Charles I, which unhappily took the form of his execution. After that there was nothing more to be done which could possibly have any permanent effect. Commonwealth and Protectorate were alike the creation of the army: and force, whilst it is able to remove obstacles from the natural development of a nation, is powerless permanently to block the way against it. The army could take care that a man like Charles I should not rule England, but the Agreement of the People, the Instrument of Government, and the Humble Petition and Advice were but academical studies, interesting as anticipating in many respects the constitutional and political development of England and of the United States of America, but utterly incapable of commending themselves to the conscience of contemporaries.