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It is remarked by most of trie authors of the NetherlanJ history, that their Lordships predecessors upon a time, being more moved by the impositions of the Duke of Alva, of the ten and one-hundred penny respective, than for the violence offered to religion, and therefore compared to the Gargasenes, who preferred their swine before their Saviour, were the more severely punished by God.
And shall the high and mighty States now hazard their religious and high esteem in the favour of those, who, in regard of commerce, enlarging of their limits, and usurped power, are big with such monstrous mysteries? And of whom it was said long before their troubles:
Gens tacitis prcegnans arcanis ardua tentans.
Who derive their power and authority merely from themselves,as formerly hath been said, in the dominion of the Chaldeans over the Jews, and of Cinnaand Carboamongst the Romans, who, in the time of Sylla, made themselves consuls without any court election: Violent imperia, saith one to Caesar, sunt magis acerba quam diuturna. The rather, because no nation under the sun is so subject to a change as England, even while they lived under their lawful sovereigns. The Earl of Warwick, called the Titular King, in eleven days, Edward the Fourth in twenty, Henry the Seventh in one day, as a Caesar vent, vidi, vici, brought the English.successively to their obedience.
Commerce and traffick are plausible pretences, but often accompanied with great jealousies, especially betwixt neighbouring republicks; the which, like twins struggling for the primogeniture, are in a continual emulation for profit and preheminence. And, therefore, compared to an alluvia, where the increase of one is the decrease of the other. Insomuch, that grave and judicious statesmen have judged it would be more safe and profitable to these States, that England continued a monarchy, than to be tumbled into a commonwealth, confirmed by a prognostication of a person of credit with them, living at London, given out the sixteenth of October last, alledging and applying with much confidence, against the United Provinces^ Jerem. li. 13.
III. Concerning the pretended conformity in religion, in the third place, which, under the blessed and glorious government of Kings, as a palladium and lamp, did out-shine all other nations, it is, alas! now become a Pandora, out of which, tanquam ex equo Trojano, do issue so many monstrous sects, heresies, and blasphemies, and is consequently so deformed, as being utterly destitute of discipline, and differing in most points of doctrine, that it is nothing like the religion here professed, nor indeed religion itself.
A good religion, asan upright and lively faith, issues forth into good works; insomuch that, in the primitive church, the Christians were discerned from the infidels only by their holy life, according to the proverb, Christiani non suntCasiiani; but alas! how many not only Cassii,bxiXa.\soAlbii, and Nigri, are now-a-days to be seen? Witness, besides the treatises intitled, Defensio pro Carolo rege, Vindicicepro capite regis Anglice, Elenchus motuum, Mr. Pryrme's memento, Theatrum tragicum, Vox veritatis, and others, two declarations also of the eighteenth of January, l648,long before that lamentable catastrophe, by divers preachers, and learned divines, in and about London; subscribed by one-hundred and twenty-six of them mourningover, and complaining of horrible and scandalous abuses, as in the church, so in the civil, or rather military government, and strongly refuting their flattering of themselves in their continued success, which may next be considered of.
IV. For as Solomon saith, 'That there be just men, to whom it happrneth, sometimes, according to the work of the wicked So again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous.
Successes often are a punishment, as sometimes given for a blessing, where only those are to be valued, whose principal aim appears to be the true advancement of God's revealed will in his word; which, as it strictly commandeth obedience to Kings, and those in authority under them, so it doth severely punish sedition and rebellion against them, not sparing the curse of condemnation to those, who comply with, and adhere unto them. Neither hath the great Turk come far short of (that undoubted blessing) good success, the now prevailing party justify their cause, and measure its righteousness by, though they may seem to disavow him.
Finally, the resemblance made for the manner of the recovered liberty of both states, to use the expression of a great personage, is not more different than milk and ink, both in regard of the ancient condition of the people on both sides, and the way of attaining toit.
The Low-Country men, especially the Batavi, have been reputed by all ancient writers, for a free people, neither subject to the Romans, whom they did acknowledge only Civilli, as Tacitus saith, nor to any directors, counts and governors, which were constituted by themselves.
The English have more than a thousand years been governed by Kings, all sprung from the same royal stock, to whom they have successively sworn obedience and loyalty.
The King of Spain, after a war of almost eighty years, hath in two solemn treaties, the one before the twelve years truce, and the other in the laie concluded peace, acknowledged the United Provinces to be a free state, and that privative. Whereupon his Catholick Majesty, for himself and his successors, hath disclaimed all pretences of sovereignty here.
Whereas Charles the First, that blessed martyr, whose innocent blood, like that of Abel, cries loud to the highest heaven for vengeance against those who now sit upon his throne, not only was, but was ever by them acknowledged for their lawful sovereign; instead of disclaiming his royalty over them, as must be, if the resemblance stand compleat, was both divested of his power, and deprived of his life; and his princely successor, so far as in them lieth, kept back and disabled from the exercise of his undeniable power over them; whereof let them find an absolute parallel from the creation until now.
In Israel King Ahab did tyrannise, and, as a man sold unto sin, above others provoked God's wrath against him. In Rome there was Nero,
more like a monster than a man. Amongst the Christians, Christiernu* in Denmark, Wenceslaus in Bohemia, who was likewise emperor, behaved themselves so wickedly, that it was said of them, That they had cast offhuman nature. Nor much unlike to them was Richard the Third, called, The tyrant of England, yet none of all these was ever condemned to die by the sentence of their subjects. Insomuch that it is observed, that the Israelites, after they had deserted their King Rehoboam, although an oppressor, never enjoyed a happy hour, but were infested with continual wars, both civil and foreign, till at last they were utterly destroyed, and carried captives into Babylon.
Of Nero it was said, Primum damnati principis exemplum; I add, Postremum, non mactati tamen, as in this case. The confederate provinces were first forced in their religion, their persons and goods seized, and one hundred-thousand of them killed. The prevailing party in England, after those insolent and high affronts done to his Majesty, before his constrained removal from his court at Whitehall, took up arms, gave out commissions, levied men, according to his Majesty's last true and undeniable words, and seized upon the regalia, before he once put himself into a posture of defence.
In the Low-Countries their liberty was, more majorum, fully restored to them, without prejudice to any man.
In England, religion and liberty are shamefully trampled under foot, and the House of Commons so dismembered, and its privileges violated, that the eighth part often were beyond all parallel cast out, as the declaration and protestation of the secluded members, Feb. 13» 1648, doth testify.
The proceedings of the high and mighty States are approved and justified by all the world; on the contrary, those of the English condemned and abhorred, and by themselves confessed as irregular and unwarrantable; and a most pregnant proof and probatio probata, of their wrong, as is contained in thesaid declaration of the ministers.
The which premisses the high and mighty States being pleased to take into serious consideration, according to their accustomed wisdom and justice, and calling to mind those divers treaties betwixt the King's royal predecessors, and their lordships, in his Majesty's person, yet firmly standing. And seeing likewise divers of their lordships resolved for a punctual observation of a neutrality, since the year 1642, between the late King, his Majesty's father, of blessed memory, and his parliament, the which, by the partial confederacy with the one party, now laboured for, will, in all appearance, be violatedand'infringed.
Tnerefore their lordships are earnestly intreated not to hearken to the said propositions, as being prejudicial to the King my gracious master's interests, and dangerous to this state; likewise that the acknowledging them fora free republick, which possibly the condition of the times, and benefit of trade, hath occasioned, be not drawn into a farther consequence, much less an occasion given thereby, forgetting Joseph's sufferings, that the afflicted be yet more afflicted, their liberty retarded, and their calamity lengthened.
His Majesty's affairs, God be praised, are yet in a very good and hopeful condition, far butter than some of his royal predecessors, who have, notwithstanding, run through all difficulties, and became considerable to their friends, as well as formidable to their enemies.
King Robert Bruce, about three hundred years ago, being likewise by the rebellion of his subjects, and the disloyalty of Baliol and Cumming, and their adherents, fiercely assailed by King Edward of England, who, at once, was possessed of most of the towns and strengths in Scotland, kept a parliament in St. Andrew's, took his queen prisoner, killed four of his brethren, amongst whom were those duo fuhnina belli, defaced or removed all the monuments and registers of that kingdom, was constrained, with one or two servants, to hide himself among the hills; yet, notwithstanding all this, in a short time after, recovered his whole kingdom, wascrowned with honour and glory, and forced his insolent enemy, in confusion, to fly from Sterling to Dumbar, and thence in a fisher-boat, Xerxes like, escaped narrowly with his life. I say Sterling,
Invictum, etfatale Scotorum propugnaculum:Of which it is said,
Hie Latium remorata est Scotia cursum.
His Majesty's royal grandfather, Henry the Fourth, King of France and Navarre, yet of fresh memory, was in a lower condition, and had less power to resist those of the league and the powerful King of Spain; yet at last became victorious, in the overthrow of his enemies, to the great advantage and very considerable succour of the Netherlands.
The distressed condition of the predecessors of the high and mighty States-general, whom, after so many changes, the Almighty God hath, to the admiration of the whole world, brought into a safe haven, however Sirius, a Spanish writer,jesting with those of Holland and their confederates, did say, What can the Hollanders doagainst theKingof Spain? As now, some scoffingly ask, How can the Scots stand against the powerful English? Is an eminent and visible example, that it is all one, with the Lord, to help with few or with many, and that, when all strength and human hopes do fail, he will arise gloriously, for the deliverance of the righteous, crowning them, in the end, with honour and good success.
I. Shall we then look upon the present successes, and prosperity of that party, as alone unchangeable, for the which such strange grounds are by them pretended, as are no where found, being so diametrically opposite, according to the declaration of the said divines in and about London. To
1. God's holy word.
2. The instinct of nature.
3. Natural reason.
4. The laws of all nations.
5. The constitutions, particularly of the kingdom of England, who, above all other people, most obsequiously and affectionately regard and reverence their Kings, as in those maxims of their law, Rex nan moritur, Rex nullifacit injuriam, &c.
6. The judgment of all casuists.
7. Their oaths of fealty, supremacy, and allegiance, repeated particularly at the admission of every member into the House of Commons; their protestation, their covenant, their solemn league and covenant, and an hundred declarations, besides the publick faith of the kingdom of England, solemnly given to the commissioners of the kingdom of Scotland, upon their receiving his Majesty at Neweastle, in all which, they professed to the world, that they would maintain and preserve, with their lives and estates, the King's person, honour, rights, and royal posterity.
II. Or, shall we rest satisfied in the sophistry of those sectaries, who, out of Christ's answer to the subtle questions of the Herodians and Pharisees, if it were lawful to give tribute to Csesar, answered, Ostendite tnihi numisma, aijus habet imaginemf infer that, fide implicita, the party now in England, is to be acknowledged, without any further enquiry or examination, since our Saviour's answer speaks nothing for their advantage. But, on the contrary, his commanding tribute to be given to Caesar, whom the Jews formerly acknowledged to be their King, confirmeth and establisheth lawful power, and consequently condemneth sedition and rebellion; else David should have submitted unto and acquiesced in the usurped power of Absalom, who was possessed of all the land,even unto Jordan, and carripd away all Israel after him; and Solomon in the power of Adonijah, Jehoiada in Athaliah's, and the Maccabees in the power of Antiochus Epiphanes, the grand enemy of the Jews; yea, the estates of the United Provinces should have then obeyed the forceof the Duke of Alva, who, by the emblem of his statue formerly set up in Antwerp, did signify that he had invested himself with the absolute power. It is well said by one of the ancients, Omnis potestas est d Deo; sed acquisitio potrstatis, furlo, rapina, incendio, out perduellione, non est & Deo, sed ab hominum affectibus et Satance mar litia. •
III. Or, may we suffer ourselves to be abused by the examples and precedents, which the said sectaries alledge of the Kings, Edward the Second, and Richard the Second, who, by reason of their incapacity, were forced to resign their crowns, the one to his son, the other to his competitor King Henry the Fourth, but neither of them to an inconsiderable, small remainder of an House of Commons, or the people? Only, in a full parliament, both their resignations were confirmed, and neither executed, but were always afterwards honourably entertained; yea, one Roger Mortimer, which is worth the observing, the chief author and actor in deposing of Edward the Second, and crowning his son Edward the Third in his father's place, according to which precedent his Majesty Charles the Second, ought by these to have been crowned, was by a parliament four years after, together with his fellow-murderers, condemned as a traitor and enemy to the King and kingdom, because h,e killed the said deposed King in Berkely Castle.'