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late Law, but that Law is to be abrogated, indeed subverted; and perhaps wish to bring in the Judaical Law.—
Latest Commentator loquitur: 'This, as we observed, was the cry that Westminster raised when the Little Parliament set about reforming Chancery. What countenance this of the Mosaic Law might have had from Harrison and his minority, one does not know. Probably they did find the Mosaic Law, in some of its enactments, more cognate to Eternal Justice and "the mind of' God" than Westminster-Hall- Law was; and so might reproachfully or admonitorily appeal to it on occasion, as they had the clearest title and call to do: but the clamor itself, as significant of any practical intention, on the part of that Parliament, or of any considerable Sect in England, to bring in the Mosaic Law, is very clearly a long-wigged one, rising from the Chancery regions, and is descriptive of nothing but of the humor that prevailed there. His Highness alludes to it in passing; and from • him it was hardly worth even that allusion.']
—Judaical Law: instead of our known laws settled among us: this is worthy of every Magistrate's consideration. Especially where every stone is turned to bring in confusion. I think, I say, this will be worthy of the Magistrate's consideration. [Shall he step beyond his province, then, your Highness? And interfere with freedom of opinion? •' "I think, 1 say, it will be worth his while to consider about it.'"]
Whilst these things were in the midst of us; and whilst the Nation was rent and torn in spirit and principle from one end to the other, after this sort and manner I have now told you ; family against family, husband against wife, parents against children; and nothing in the hearts and minds of men but "Overturn, overturn, overturn !" (a Scripture phrase very much abused, and applied to justify unpeaceable practices by all men of discontented spirits),—the common Enemy sleeps not; our adversaries in civil and religious respects did take advantage of these distractions and divisions, and did practise accordingly in the three Nations of England, Scotland, and Ireland. We know very well that Emissaries of the Jesuits never came in such swarms as they have done since those things* were set on foot. And I tell you that divers Gentlemen here can bear witness with me How that they,'the
* Speculations of the Levellers, Fifth-Monarchists, &c., &c.
Jesuits,' have had a Consistory abroad which rules all the affairs of things [" Affairs of things;" rough and ready.'] in England, from an Archbishop 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 own!], with Archdeacons, &c. And had persons authorized to exercise and distribute those things [I begin to love that rough and ready 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 affairs, to do all they could to ferment the War in both these places. To add yet to our misery, whilst we were in thjs 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 LOO.OOOZ. a-month; besides the contingencies, which would make it 120,0007. 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 :—Mazarin, 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 sayy«at the same time we had a War 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 groat
• ' Middleton-Glencairn Revolts, and what not.
t Who protected Rupert in his quasi-piracies, and did require chastisement from us.
VOl. II. 6
staple commodity of this Nation. [And has continued to be!] Such wai our condition: spoiled in our Trade, and we at this vast expense; thus 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.'] 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 one is used to hear.] Only let me say this,—because I 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 [With animation.'], I shall be bold to Say again, Let it speak for itself. Truly, I may,—I hope, humbly before God, and modestly before you,—say somewhat on the behalf of the Government. [Recite a little what it " speaks for itself," after 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 stale of things, and what proceedings have been entered into byf this Government, and what the state of our affairs is. This is the main end of my putting you to this (rouble.
The Government hath had some things in desire; and it hath done some things actually. It hath desired to reform the Laws. I say to reform them. [Hear.'] :—and for that end it hath called together Persons, without offence be it spoken, of as great ability and a3 great interest as are in these Nations,! 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.
t 'been upon' in orig.
X Ordinance fordthe Reform of Chancery : supra, p. 76.
ministration of the Laws into the hands of just men [Matthew Hale, for instaTice.]; men of the most known integrity and ability. The Chancerv hath been reformed—
[from The Moderns: '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 accumulation 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?'"]
—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 indeed I 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 nwn 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, too.] of all those who may be judged any way unfit for this work; who are scandalous, and th« common scorn and contempt of that function.
* The Government
One thing more this Government hath done: it hath been instrumen« tal 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. [Verily ?]—
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 ibout. 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. O Higginbotham, there is a Selbstddtung, a killing of Self, as my friend Novalis calls it, which is, was, and for ever will be, 'the beginning of all morality,' 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 honorriffle Peace.
You have a peace with the Danes,—a State that lay contiguous to that part of this island [ Your Montroses, Middletons came always, with their Mosstroopers 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 Paice there, and an honorable one. Satisfaction to your Merchant*