Chapter 1 – Upon His Majesties calling this last Parliament
This last Parliament I called, not more by others advice, and necessity of My affaires, then by My owne choice and inclination; who have always thought the right way of Parliaments most safe for My Crowne, and best pleasing to My People . . .
. . . I hoped by My (freedome and their moderation) to prevent all misunderstandings, and miscarriages in this: In which as I feared affaires would meet with some passion and prejudice in other men, so I resolved they should find least of them in My selfe; not doubting, but by the weight of Reason I should counterpoise the over-ballancings of any factions.
. . . hoping that the gravity and discretion of other Gentlemen would allay and fix the Commons to a due temperament . . . no man was better pleased with the convening of this Parliament, then My self . . .
. . . I cared not to lesson My selfe in some things of My wonted Perogative; since I knew I could be no loser, if I might gaine but a recompence in My Subject affections.
I intended not onely to oblige My friends, but Mine enemies also . . .
. . . No man having a greater zeale to see Religion settled, and preserved in Truth, Unity, and Order, the My selfe . . .
. . . No flames of civil dissentions are more dangerous then those which make Religious pretensions the grounds of Factions.
I resolved to reforme, what I should by free and full advice in Parliament be convinced to be amisse; and to grant whatever My Reason & Conscience told Me, was fit to be desired; I wish I had kept My self within those bounds, and not suffered My owne Judgement to have been over-borne In some things, more by others Importunities, than their Arguments . . .
. . . which some men sought for, who wanted nothing but power, and occasion to do mischief.
But our sinnes being ripe, there was no preventing Gods Justice . . .
For thou (O Lord) has made us see, that Resolutions of future Reforming doe not always satisfie the Justice, nor prevent they Vengeance for former miscarriages.
Yet I doe not repent of My calling this last Parliament; because, O Lord, I did it with upright intentions, to Thy glory, and My Peoples good.
The miseries which have ensued upon Me and My Kingdomes, are the just effects of thy [Gods] displeasure upon us . . .
. . . I shall have no cause to repent the miseries this Parliament hath occasioned, when by them thou has brought Me and My People, unfeignedly to repent of the sinnes we have committed.
Chapter 2 – Upon the Earle of Staffords death
Though I cannot in My judgement approve all he did . . . yet I could never be convinced of any such criminousness in him, as willingly to expose his life to the stroke of Justice, and malice of his enemies.
I never met with a more unhappy conjuncture of affaires, then in the buisinesse of that unfortunate Earle . . .
. . . I was perswaded by those, that I think wished me well, to chuse rather what was safe, then what seemed just: preferring the outward peace of My Kingdoms with men, before that inward exactnesse of Conscience before God.
And indeed I am so farre from excusing or denying that complyance on My part (for plenary consent it was not) to his destruction, whom in my Judgement I thought not, by any cleare Law, guilty of death: That I never bare any touch of Conscience with greater regret . . .
I see it a bad exchange to wound a mans owne Conscience, thereby to salve States sores; to calme the stormes of popular discontents, by stirring up a tempest in a mans owne bosome.
. . . In all likelihood, I could never have suffred, with My People, greater calamities . . . had I vindicated Stafford’s innocency, at least by denying to Signe that destructive BILL, according to the Justice, which My Conscience suggested to Me, then I have done since I gratified some mens un-thankful importunities with so cruell a favour.
. . . I hope God hath forgiven Me and them, the sinfull rashnesse of that businnesse.
. . . as to make Me repent that unjust Act, (for so it was to Me) and for the future to teach Me, That the best rule of policy is to preferred the doing of Justice, before all enjoyments, and the peace of My conscience before the preservation of My Kingdomes.
Nor hath anything more fortified My resolutions against all those violent importunities, which since have sought to gaine alike consent from Me, to Acts, wherein my Conscience is unsatisfied, then the sharp touches I have had for what passed Me, in My Lord of Strafford’s Businesse.
Nor were the crimes objected against him so cleare, as after a long and faire hearing to give convincing satisfaction to the Major part of both Houses . . .
. . . (though under the colour and formalities of Justice, and the pretences of avoyding publick mischeifes) which may (I hope) be some evidence before God and Man, to all Posterity, that I am far from bearing justly the vast load & guilt of all that bloud which hath been shed in this unhappy Warre; which some men will needs charge on Me . . .
. . . who am, and ever shall be, more afraid to take away any mans life unjustly, then to lose my owne.
Against thee have I sinned, and done this evill in they sight, for thou sawest the contradiction between my heart and my hand.
. . . while I was perswaded by shedding one mans bloud to prevent after-troubles, thou hast for that, among other sinnes, brought upon me, and upon my Kingdomes, great, long, and heavy troubles.
It is too much that they have once overcome me, to please them by displeasing thee: O never suffer me for any reason of State, to goe against my Reason of Conscience . . .
Chapter 3 – Upon His Majesties going to the House of Commons
My going to the House of Commons to demand Justice upon the Members, was an act, which My enemies loaded with all the obliquities and exasperations they could.
. . . that there needed nothing to such evidence, as I could have produced against those I charged, save only a free and legall Triall, which was all I desired.
Nor had I any temptation of displeasure, or revenge against those mens persons, further then I had discovered those (as I thought) unlawfull correspondences they had used, and engagements they had made, to embroyle my Kingdomes . . .
. . . I wanted not such probabilities as were sufficient to raise jealousies in any Kings heart, who is not wholly stupid and neglective of the publick peace, which to preserve by calling in Question half a dozen men, in a fair and legall way . . .
. . . as they were not raised out of any malice, so neither were they in Reason to be smothered.
What flames of discontent this sparke . . . soon kindled, all the world is witnesse . . .
. . . The aspersion which some men cast upon that action, as if I had designed by force to assault the House of Commons, and invade their priviledge, is so false, that as God best knows, I had no such intent . . .
That I went attended with some Gentlemen, as it was no unwonted thing for the Majesty and safety of a King so to be attended, especially in discontented times . . .
Those men, and their adherents were then looked upon by the affrighted vulgar, as greater protectors of their Lawes and Liberties, then my self, and so worthier of their protection.
I endeavoured to have prevented, if God had seen fit, those future commotions, which I fore-saw, would in all likelihood follow some mens activity (if not restrained) and so now hath done to the undoing of many thousands . . .
But to over-awe the freedome of the Houses, or to weaken their just Authority by any violent impressions upon them, was not at all my designe; I thought I had so much Justice and Reason on my side . . .
Chapter 4 – Upon the Insolency of the Tumults
I NEVER thought anything (except our sins) more ominously presaging all these mischiefes, which have followed, then those Tumults in London and Westminster, soone after the Convening of this Parliament; which were not like a storm at Sea, (which yet wants not its terror) but like an Earth-quake, shaking the very foundation of all; then which nothing in the world hath more horrour.
Nor doth any thing portend more Gods displeasure against a Nation, then when he suffers the confluence and clamours of the vulgar, to passe all boundaries of Lawes, and reverence of Authority.
Which those Tumults did to so high degrees of Insolence, that they spared not to invade the Honour and Freedome of the two Houses . . . Nor did they forbear most rude and unseemly deportments both in contemptuous words and actions, to My selfe and My Court.
. . . they must be a guard against those feares, which some men scared themselves and others withall . . .
Generally, who ever had most mind to bring forth confusion and ruine upon Church and State, used the midwifery of these Tumults: whose riot and impatience was such, that they would not stay the ripening and season of Counsels, or fair production of Acts, in the order, gravity, and deliberatenesse befitting a Parliament; but ripped up with barbarous cruelty, and forcibly cut out abortive Votes, such as their inviters and Incouragers most fancyed.
What good man had not rather want anything he most desired, for the Publique good, then obtaine it by such unlawfull and irreligious meanes?
Force must crowd in what Reason will not lead.
That which made their rudenesse most formidable, was, that many Complaints being made, and Messages sent by My selfe and some of both Houses; yet no order for redresse could be obtained with any vigour and efficacy, proportionable to the malignity of that now far-spread disease, and predominant mischiefe.
Such was some mens stupidity . . . that they joyed to see their betters shamefully outraged, and abused . . . So insensible were they of Mine, or the two Houses common safety and Honours.
Nor could ever any order be obtained, impartially to examine, censure, and punish he knowne Bou-tefeus and impudent Incediaries . . .
. . . I thought My selfe not bound by My presence, to provoke them to higher boldnesse and contempts; I hoped by my withdrawing to give time, both for the ebbing of their tumultuous fury, and others regaining some degrees of modesty and sober sense.
Some may interpret it as an effect of Pusillanimity for any man for popular terrours to desert his publique station. But I think it a hardinesse, beyond true valour, for a wise man to set him self against the breaking in of a Sea; which to resist, at present, threatens imminent danger; but to withdraw, give it space to spend its fury, and gaines a fitter time to repaire the breach. Certainly a Gallant man had rather fight to great disadvantages for number and place in the field, in an orderly way, then skuffle with an undisciplined rabble.
Some suspected and affirmed that I meditated a Warre (when I went from Whitehall only to redeem My Person, and Conscience from violence) God knows I did not then think of a Warre.
. . . ‘Tis evident I had then no Army to flie unto, for protection, or vindication.
. . . I was resolved to beare much, and did so, but I did not think My self bound to prostitute the Majesty of my Place and Person, the safety of My Wife and Children, to those, who are prone to insult most, when they have objects and opportunity most capable of their rudenesse and petulancy.
Had this Parliament . . . sate full and free, the Members of both Houses being left to their freedome of Voting . . . I doubt not but things would have been so carried, as would have given no lesse content to all good men . . .
. . . as Swine are to Gardens and orderly Plantation, so are Tumults to Parliaments . . . turning all into disorders and sordid confusions.
I am prone sometimes to think, That had I called this Parliament to any other place in England . . . the sad consequences in all likelihood, with Gods blessing, might have been prevented.
But we must leave all to God, who orders our disorders, and magnifies his wisdome most, when our follies and miseries are most discovered.
But thou O Lord . . . who rulest the raging of the Sea, and the madnesse of the People.
I looke upon My sinnes, and the sinnes of My people, (which are the tumults of our soules against thee O Lord) as the just cause of these popular inundations which thou permittest to overbeare all the banks of loyalty, modesty, Lawes, Justice, and Religion.
Restore, we beseech thee, unto us, the freedoms of our Councels and Parliaments . . .
Chapter 5 – Upon His Majesties passing the Bull for the Triennial Parliaments: And after settling this, during the pleasure of the two Houses
THAT the world might be fully confirmed in My purposes at first, to contribute, what in Justice, Reason, Honour, and Conscience, I could, to the Happy successe of this Parliament, (which had in Me no other designe but the Generall good of My Kingdomes) I willingly passed the BILL for Triennial Parliaments: which . . . might (if well applied) prevent any distempers from getting any head or prevailing . . .
But I did not imagine that some men would thereby have occasioned more worke then they found to doe, by undoing so much as they found well done to their hands.
Such is some mens activity that they will needs make worke rather then want it; and chuse to be doing amisse, rather then doe nothing.
By this Act [Bill of Sitting] of highest confidence, I hoped for ever to shut out, and lock the dore upon all present Jealousies, and future mistakes: I confesse I did not thereby intend to shut My self out of dores, as some men have now requited me.
True, It was an Act unparaldl’d by any of My Predecessours; yet cannot in reason admit of any worse interpretation then this, of an extreame confidence I had, that My Subjects would not make ill use of an Act, by which I declared so much to trust them, as to deny My self in so high a point of My Prerogative.
For good Subjects will never think it just or fit that My condition should be worse by My bettering theirs . . .
A continuall Parliament (I thought) would but keep the Common-weale in tune, by preserving the Lawes in their due execution and vigour, wherein My interest lies more than any mans, since by those Lawes, My rights as as KING, would be preserved no lesse then My subjects; which is all I desired.
. . . but I could not easily nor suddenly suspect such ingratitude in Men of Honors. That the more I granted them, the lesse I should have, and enjoy with them.
I still counted My self undiminished by My largest concessions, if by them I might gaine and confirm the love of my People.
. . . That some mens ambition will not give them leave to enjoy what I intended for their good.
Nor doe I doubt, but that in Gods due time, the Loyal and cleared affections of My people will strive to returne such retributions of Honour, and Love to Me or My Posterity, as may fully compensate both the acts of My confidence and My sufferings for them . . .
The Injury of all Injuries is, That which some men will need load Me withal; as if I were a wilfull and resolved Occasioner of My owne and My Subjects miseries . . .
God knows, though I had then a sense of Injuries; yet not such, as to thnk them worth vindicationg by a War . . .
The Tumults indeed threatned to abuse all Acts of Grace, and turne them into wantonnesse;
Nor If I had justly resented any indignities put upon Me, or others, was I then in any capacity to have taken just revenge in an Hostile and Warlike way . . .
God knows I longed for nothing more then that My self, and My Subjects might quietly enjoy the fruits of My many condescendings.
It had been a Course full of sinne, as well as of Hazard, and dishonour for Me to goe about the cutting up of that by the Sword . . .
. . . If some men had not feared where no fear was, whose security consisted in scaring others.
. . . That although I may seeme lesse a Polititian to men, yet I need no secret distinctions or evasions before God.
Nor had I any reservations in My owne Soule, when I passed it [Bill of Sitting]; nor repentings after, till I saw the My letting gsome men go up to the Pinnace of the Temple, was a temptation to them to cast Me down head-long.
. . . without a miracle, Monarchy it selfe, together with Me, could not be dashed in pieces, by the precipitious fall they intended.
But God hath hitherto preserved Me, and made Me to see, That it is no strange thing for men, left to their owne passions, either to doe much evill themselves, or abuse the over-much goodnesse of others, whereof an ungrateful Surfet is the most desperate and incurable disease.
I cannot say properly that I repent of that Act, since I have no reflexions upon it as a sin of my will, though an error of too charitable a judgement: Onely I am sorry other mens eyes should be evill, because mine were good.
I see while I thought to allay others feares, I have raised Mine owne; and by selling them, have unsetled My selfe.
Thus have they requited Me evil for good, and hatred for My good will towards them.
Tis easie for Thee to keep Me safe in the love and confidence of My people . . .
Chapter 11 – Upon the 19 Propositions first sent to the King; and more afterwords
Some things here propounded by Me have been offered by Me; Others are easily granted; The rest (I think) ought not to be obtruded [forced] upon Me, with the point of the Sward; nor urged with the injuries of War . . .
I cannot yield to them without violating my conscience . . .
’tis strange, there can be no method of peace, but by making war upon My soul.
Here are many things required of Me, but I see nothing offered to Me . . .
They cannot ask more than I can give may I but reserve My self the Incommunicate Jewel of my Conscience; and not be forced to part with that, whose loss nothing can repair or requite.
My yielding so much (as I have already) makes some men confident I will deny nothing.
The love I have of my People’s peace, hath (indeed) great influence upon me; but the love of Truth, and inward peace hath more.
Should I grant some things they require, I should not so much weaken my outward state of a King; as wound that inward quiet of my Conscience, which out to be, is, and ever shall be (by God’s grace) dearer to me than my Kingdoms.
. . . how can it be other than extreme injury to confine my Reason to a necessity of granting all they have in mind to ask . . .
But they would have me trust in their moderation, and abandon mine own discretion; that so I might verify what representations some have made of me to the world, that I am fitter to be their Pupil than their Prince.
Truly I am not so confident of my own sufficiency, as not willingly to admit the Counsel of others: But yet I am not so diffident of my Self, as brutishly to submit to any men’s dictates and at once to betray the Sovereignty of Reason in my Soul, and the Majesty of my own Crown to any of my Subjects.
They may remember, that at best they sit in Parliament, as my Subjects, not my Superiors; called to be my Counsellors, not Dictators: Their Summons extends to recommend their advice, not to command my Duty.
Such Armies of Propositions having so little, In My Judgement, of Reason, Justice, and Religion on their side, as they had Tumult and Faction for their rise, must not go alone, but ever be backed and seconded, with Armies of Soldiers: Though the second should prevail against My Person, yet the first shall never overcome Me, further than I see cause; for, I look not at their number and power so much, as I weigh their Reason and Justice.
. . . ’tis fit I should use their advice, which is the end for which I called them to the Parliament.
But yet I cannot allow their wisdom such a completeness and inerrability as to exclude My self; since none of them hath that part to Act, that Trust to discharge, nor that Estate and Honour to Preserve as My self; without whose Reason concurrent with theirs ( as the Sun’s influence is necessary in all nature’s productions) they cannot beget, or bring forth any one complete and authoritative Act of public wisdom, which makes the Laws.
. . . That they are not the joint and free desires of those in their Major number, who are right to Sit and Vote in Parliament.
For, many of them savour very strong of that old leaven of Innovations, masked under the name of Reformation . . .
. . . as that they should unanimously desire, and affect so enormous and dangerous innovations in Church and State, contrary to their former education, practice, and judgement.
Nor on the other side, will I consent to more than Reason, Justice, Honour, and Religion persuade me, to be for God’s glory, the Church’s good, my People’s welfare, and my own peace.
I will study to satisfy my Parliament, and my People; but I will never, for fear, or flattery, gratify any Faction, how potent soever; for this were to nourish the disease, and oppress the body.
Thou never madest me a King, that I should be less than a Man; and not dare say, Yea, or Nay, as I see cause; which freedom is not denied to the meanest creature, that hath the use of Reason, and liberty of speech.
Thou seest, O Lord, with what partiality, and injustice, they deny that freedom to Me their KING, which Thou hast given to all Men; and which Themselves pertinaciously challenge to themselves; while they are so tender of the least breach of their privelages.
. . . make me wise by thy Truth, for they honour, my Kingdom’s general good, and my own soul’s salvation, and I shall not much regard the world’s opinion, or diminution of me.
The less others consider what they ask, make me the more solicitous what I answer.
Though Mine own, and My People’s pressures are grievous, and peace would be very pleasing; yet Lord, never suffer Me to avoid the one, or purchase the other, with the least expense or waste of My Conscience; whereof thou O Lord only are deservedly more Master than My self.
Chapter 12 – Upon the Rebellion, and troubles in Ireland
The commotions in Ireland were so sudden, and so violent, that it was hard at first either to discerne the rise, or apply a remedy to that precipitant Rebellion.
It fell out, as a most unhappy advantage to some mens malice against me . . .
. . . it is no news for some of my Subjects to fight, not onely without my Commissin, but against my Command, and Person too; yet all the while to pretend, they fight by my Authority, and for my Safety.
But who ever faile of their Duty toward me, I must bear the blame . . .
Therefore iwth exquisite malice they have mixed the gall and vinegar of falsity and contempt, with the cup of my Affliction; Charging me not only with untruths, but such, as wherein I have the greatest share of losse and dishonour by what is committed; whereby (in all Policy, Reason, and Religion, having least cause to give the least consent, and most grounds of utter detestation) I might be represented by them to the world the more inhumane and barbarous: like some Cyclopick monster, whom nothing will serve to eat and drink, but the flesh of my own Subjects . . .
God knowes, as I can with Truth wash my hands in Innocency, as to any guilt in that Rebellion . . .
Had my many offers (to got to Ireland) been accepted, I am confident neither the ruine had been so great, nor the calamity so long, nor the remedy so desperate.
But some kind of Zeale counts all mercifull moderation, lukewarmnesse . . .
I have enough to doe to look to my owne Conscience, and the faithfull discharge of my Trust as KING . . .
I have scarce leisure to consider those swarmes of reproaches, which isue out of some mens mouthes and hearts, as easily as smoke, or sparks doe out of a fornace; Much less to make such prolix Apologies, as might give those men satisfaction . . .
‘Tis Kingly to doe well, and heare ill: If I can but act the one, I shall not much regard to beare the other.
I thank God I can heare with patience, as bad as my worst enemies can falsly say.
Which (whatever my Enemies please to say, or thinke) I looke upon, as that of my other Kingdomes, exhausted out of my owne veins; no man being so much weakned by it, as my selfe . . .
Thou seest how much cruelty among Christians is acted under the colour of Religion; as if could not be Christians, unlesse we cricifie one another.
As my publique relations to all, make Me share in all My Subjects sufferings; so give Me such a pious sense of them, as becomes a Christian King, and a loving Father of My People.
Let the scandalous and unjust reproaches cast upon Me, be as a breath, more to kindle my compassion . . .
O Lord, thou seest I have enemies enough of men . . .
Chapter 13 – Upon the Calling in of the Scots, and their Comming
. . . Nor is it so proper to hew out religious Reformations by the Sword, as to polish them by faire and equall disputations among those that are most concerned in the differences, whom not force, but Reason ought to convince.
. . . For, in was concluded there, that the English Clergy must conforme to the Scots patterne before ever they could be heard . . .
I could have wished fairer proceedings both for their credits, who urge things with such violence; and for other mens Consciences too, who can receive little satisfaction in these points which are maintained rather by Souldiers fighting in the Field, then Schollars disputing in free and learned Synods.
Sure in matters of Religion those truths gain most on mens Judgements and Consciences, which are least urged with secular violence, which weakens Truth with prejudices; and is unreasonable to be used, till such meanes of rationall convictin hath been applied, as leaving no excuse for ignorance . . .
. . . yet I believe it would be hard to prove that Christ had given those Scots, or any other of my Subjects, Commission by the Sword to set it [the Scottish reform] up in any of my Kingdomes . . .
. . . Christ and his Apostles . . . but that he, or they ever commanded to set up such a parity of Presbyters, and in such a way as those Scots endeavour; I think is not very disputable.
If Presbytery . . . that was to be planted and watered with so much Christian bloud; whose effusions run in a stream so contrary to that of the Primitive planters . . . which was with patient shedding of their own bloud, not violent drawing of other mens; sure there is too much of Man in it, to have much of Christ . . .
Yet there was never any thing upon the point, which those Scots had by Army or Commissioners to move me with . . .
But we must leave the successe of all to God, who hath many wayes . . . to teach us those rules of true Reason, and peaceable Wisdome . . . which I think my self so much more bound in Conscience to attend, with the most judicious Zeal and care, by how much I esteem the Church above the State, the glory of Christ above mine Own; and the salvation of mens Soules above the preservation of their Bodies and Estates.
Nor may any men, I think, without sinne and presumption, forcibly endeavour to cast the Churches under my care and tuition, into the moulds they have fancied, and fashioned to their designes, till they have first gained my consent, and resolved, both my own and other mens Consciences by the strength of their Reasons.
Other violent motions, which are neith Manly, Christian, nor Loyall, shall never either shake or settle my Religion . . .
. . . Faction, whose proper engine is force . . .
But men are prone to have such high conceits of themselves, that they care not what cost they lay out upon their opinions . . .
Yet I was not more scandalized at the Scots Armies comming in against my will, and their forfeiture of so many obligations of duty, and gratitude to me: then I wondered, how those here, could so much distrust Gods assistance . . .
Chapter 14 – Upon the Covenant
. . . the applicaton of Oaths can hardly be made and enjoyned with that judgment, and certainty in ones selfe, or that charity and candour to others of different opinion, as I think Religion requires . . .
The enjoyning of Oaths upon People must needs in things doubtfull be dangerous, as in things unlawfull, damnable . . .
. . . for by such politicke and seemingly pious strategems [of using oaths], they think to keep the popularity fast to their Parties under the terrour of perjury . . .
Yet as things now stand, good men shall least offend God and Me, by keeping their Covenent in honest and lawfull waies . . .
. . . for every man soone growes his own Pope, and easily absolves himselfe of those ties, which, not the commands of Gods word or the Lawes of the Land, but onely the subtilty and terrour of a Party casts upon him . . .
Indeed, such illegal waies seldome, or never, intend the engaging men more to duties, but onely to Parties . . .
I see the Imposers of it are content to make their Covenent like Manna . . . agreeable to every palate and relish, who will but swallow it . . .
I willingly forgive such mens taking the Covenent, who keep it within such bounds of Piety, Law, and Loyalty, as can never hurt either the Church, My self, or the Publique Peace . . .
No man can be more forward than My self to carry on all due Reformations, with mature judgement, and a good Conscience . . .
Still I see, while the breath of Religion fills the Sailes, Profit is the Compasse, by which Factious men steer their course in all seditious Commotions.
But no necessity shall ever, I hope, drive ME or Mine to invade or sell teh Priests Lands . . .
I had rather live as my Predecessour Henry 3 sometime did, on the Churches Almes, then violently to take the bread out of Bishops and Ministers mouths.
If the poverty of Scotland might, yet the plenty of England cannot excuse the envy and rapine of the Churches Rights and Revenues.
There are waies enought to repaire the breaches of the State without the ruines of the Church; as I woud be a Restorer of the one, so I would not be an Oppresour of the other . ..
“Make them at length seriously to consider, that nothing violent and injurious can be religious.”
Chapter 15 – Upon the many Jealousies raised, and Scandals cast upon the KING, to stirre up the People against Him
If I had not My own Innocency, and Gods protection, it were hard for Me to stand out against those stratagems & conflicts of malice, which by Falsities seek to oppresse the Truth; and by Jealousies to supply the defect of Reall causes, which might seem to justifie so unjust Engagements against Me.
. . . I can more willingly loose My Crownes, than My Credit; nor are My Kingdomes so deare to Me, as My Reputation and Honour.
. . . A good name being the embalming of Princes, and a sweet consecrating of them to an Eternity of love and gratitude among Posterity.
Those foule and false aspersions were secret engines at first employed against My peoples love of Me . . .
Wherein yet, I thanke God, the detriment of My Honour is not so afflictive to Me, as the sin and danger of My peoples soules . . .
. . . wherein they [the people] doe not onely, not consider their sin and danger, but glory in their zealous adventures . . .
. . . while I am rendred to them so fit to be destroyed, that many are ambitious to merit the name of My Destroyers . . .
. . . Imagining they then feare God most, when they least honour their King.
I thanke God, I never found but My pity was above My anger; nor have My passions ever so prevailed against Me . . .
I had the Charity to interpret, that most parat of My Subjects fought against My supposed Errours, not My Person; and intended to mend M, not to end Me . . .
. . .so he [God] hath by these afflictions prepared Me, both to doe him better service, and My people more good, than hitherto I have done.
The worst some mens ambition can do, shall never perswade Me, to make so bad interpretations of most of My Subjects actions; who possibly may be Erroneous, but not Hereticall in point of Loyalty.
The sense of the Injuries done to My Subjects is as sharp, as those done to My self; our welfares being inseparable . . .
If they had been My open and forraigne Enemies, I could have borne it; but they must be My own Subjects, who are next to My Children, dear to Me . . .
I had rathere prevent My peoples ruine then Rule over them . . .
Yet I had rather suffer all the miseries of life, and die many deaths, then shamefully to desert, or dishonourably to betray My own just Rights and Soveraignty . . .
As liars need have good memories, so Malicious persons need good inventions . . .
I would leave the Authors to be punished by their own evill manners, and seared Consciences . . .
. . . to think or speak well of Me, and not to Blaspheme him [God]; so many were perswaded that these two were utterly inconsistent, to be at once Loyall to Me, and truly Religious toward God.
Nor did My using the assistance of some Papists, which were my Subjects, any way fight against My Religion, as some men would needs interpret it . . .
. . . different professions in point of Religion cannot (any more than in civill Trades) take away the community of relations either to Parents, or to Princes . . .
The noise of My Evill Counsellours . . . who wer so eager in giving Me better counsell that they would not give Me leave to take it with freedome, as a Man; or honour, as a King; making their counsels more like a drench that must be powred downe, than a draught which might be fairly and leisurely dranke . . .
I will not justifie beyond humane errours and frailties My self, or My Counsellors: They might be subject to some miscarriages, yet such as were farre more reparable by second and better thoughts, than those enormious extravagances, wherewith some men have now even wildred, and almost quite lost both Church and State.
The event of things at last will make it evident to My Subjects, that had I followed the worst Counsels, that My wors Counsellours ever had the boldnesse to offer to Me, or My self inclincation to use; I could not so soon have brought both Church and State in three flourishing Kindomes, to such a Chaos of confusions, and Hell of miseries, as some have done . . .
But other mens insatiable desire of revenge upon Me, My Court, and My Clergy; hath wholly beguiled both Church and State, of the benefit of all My, either Retractions, or Concessions . . .
Another artifice used to withdraw My peoples affections from Me, to theri designes, was, The noise and ostentation of liberty . . .
Time will best informe My Subjects, that those are the best preservers of their true liberties, who allow themselves the least licentiousnesse against, or beyond the Lawes.
They will feel it at last to their cost, that it is impossible those men should be really tender of their fellow-subjects liberties, who have the hardinesse to use their King with so severe restraints . . .
In point of true conscientious tendernesse . . . I have oft declared, how little I desire My Lawes and Scepter should intrench on Gods Soveraignty . . .
The truth is, some mens thirist after Novelties, others despair to relieve the necessities of their Fortunes, or satisfie their Ambition, in peacable times . . .
For Mine Honour, I am well assured, that as Mine Innocency is clear before God . . . so My reputation shall like the Sun . . . rise and recover it self to such a degree of splendour . . . For never were any Princes more glorious, that those whom God hath suffer’d to be tried in the fornace of afflictions, by their injurious Subjects.
But ’tis no wonder if men not fearing GOD, should not Honour their KING.
Chapter 16 – Upon the Ordinance against the Common-Prayer-Booke
So hardly can the pride of those that study Novelties, allow former times any share or degree of wisdome or godlinesse.
I could never see any Reason, why any Christian should abhorre, or be forbidden to use the same Formes of prayer, since he praies to the same God . . .
One of the greatest faults some men found with the Common-Prayer-Book, I beleeve, was this, That it taught them to pray so oft for Me . . .
. . . since the advantage of Errour consists in novelty and variety, as Truths in unity and constancy . . .
Evermore defend and deliver they Church from the effects of blind Zeale, and over-bold devotion.
Chapter 17. Of the differences between the KING and the two Houses, in point of Church-Government
. . . I find it impossible for a Prince to preserve the State in quiet, unless he hath such an influence on Church-men; and they such a dependence on Him, as may best restratine the seditious exorbitancies of Minsters tongues; who with the Keyes of Heaven have so farre the Keys of the Peoples hearts, as they prevaile much by heir Oratory to let in, or shut out, both Peace and Loyalty.
. . . till of late yeares, the tumultuarinesse of People, or the factiousnesse and pride of Presbyters, or the covetousness of some States and Princes, gave occasion to some mens wits to invent new models [of government], and propose them under special titles of Christs Government, Scepter, and Kingdome; the better to serve their turns, to whom the change was beneficial.
I wonder how men came to looke with so envious an eye upon the Bishops power and authority . . .
. . . all Christian Churches . . . appropriated also the name of Bishop, without any suspicion or reproach of arrogancy, to those, who were by Apostolilcall propogation rightly descended & invested into that highest and larget power of governing even the most pure and Primitive Churches; which, without all doubt had many such holy Bishops, after the pattern of Timothy and Titus; whose speciall power is not more clearly set down in those Epistles (the chief grounds and limits of all Episcopall claime, as from divine right) . . .
This I write rather like a Divine, than a Prince, that Posterity may see (if ever these papers be publique) that I had faire grounds both from Scripture-Canons, & Ecclesiastical examples, wheron My judgement was stated for Episcopall Government.
Nor was it any policy of State, or obstinancy of will, or partiality of affection, either of men, or their Function which fixed Me . . .
And not onely in Religion, of which, Scripture is the best rule, and the Churches Universall practice the best commentary, but also in right reason, and the true nature of Government, it cannot be thought that an orderly Subordination amongy Presbyters, or Ministers, should be any more against Christianity, then it is in all secular and civill Governments, where parity breeds Confusion and Faction.
I can no more beleeve, that such order is inconsistent with true Religion, then good features are with beauty, or numbers with harmony.
So that I conceive it was not the favour of Princs or ambition of Presbyters, but the wisdome and piety of the Apostles, that first setled Bishops in the Church . . .
Not that I am against the managing of this Presidency and Authority in one man, but the joynt Counsell and consent of many Presbyters: I have offered to restore that, as a fit meanes to avoid those Errours, Corruptions, and Partialities, which are incident to any one man . . .
Nor can I see what can be more agreeable both to Reason and Religion, then such a frame of Government which is paternall, not Magisteriall . . .
. . . but also the difference of some Ministers gifts, and aptitudes for Government above others, doth invite to imploy them, in reference to those Abilities, wherein they are Eminent.
A little moderation might have prevented great mischiefs . . .
And now I appeale to God above, and all the Christian world, whether it be just for subjects, or pious for Christians, by violance, and infinite indignities, with servile restraints to seek to force Me their KING and Soveraigne, as some men have endeavoured to doe, against all these grounds of My Judgement, to consent to their weak and divided novelties.
It is most sure, that the purest Primitive and best Churches flourished under Episcopacy; and may so still, if ignorance, superstition, avarice, revenge, and other disorderly and disloyall passions had not so blowne up some mens minds against it . . .
Furthermore, as to My particular engagement above other men, by an Oath agreeable to My judgement, I am solemnly obliged to preserve that Government, and the Rights of the Church. [He speaks of his coronation oath]
Were I convinced of the unlawfullnesse of the Function, as Antichristian, (which some men boldly, but weakly calumniate) I could soone, with Judgement, break that Oath, which erronously was taken by Me.
. . . How can any man that wisheth not My damnation, perswade Me at once to so notorious and combined sins, of Sacriledge and Perjury?
I have oft wondred how men pretending to tender-nesse of Conscience, and Reformation, can at once tell Me, that My Coronation Oath binds Me to Consent to whatsoever they shall propound to Me (which they urge with such violence) . . . yet at the same time these men will needs perswade Me, That I must, and ought to dispence with, and roundly break that part of My Oath, which binds Me (agreeable to the best light of Reason and Religion I have) to maintain the Government, and legall Rights of the Church.
Yet upon this Rack chiefly have I been held so long, by some mens ambitious Covetousnesse, and sacriligeous Cruelty; torturing (with Me) both Church and State, in Civill dissentions; till I shall be forced to consent . . .
. . . for I think it farre better to hold to primitive and uniforme Antiquity, than to coply with divided novelty.
O let me not beare the infamous brand to all Posterity of being the first Christian KING in this Kingdome, who should consent to the oppression of they Church . . .
Chapter 18 – Upon the Uxbridge-Treaty, and other offers made by the KING
I look upon the way of Treaties, as a retiring from fighting like Beasts, to arguing like Men; whose strength should be more in their understandings, than in their limbs.
. . . having greater confidence of My Reason, than My Sword . . .
As I am very unwillingly compelled to defend My self with Armes, so I very willingly embraced any thing tending to Peace.
The Treaty of Uxbridge gave the fairest hopes of an happy composure; had other applied themselves to it with the same moderation, as I did, I am confident the War had then ended.
I was willing to condescend, as farre as Reason, Honour, and Conscience, would give Me leave . . .
I see, Jealousies are not so easily allayed, as they are raised . . .
. . . Some men are more afraid to retreat from violent Engagements, than to Engage . . .
I believe, I am very excusable both before God, and all unpassionate men . . .
Chaper 19 – Upon the various events of the Warre; Victories, and Defeats
The various Successes of this unhappy war, have at least, afforded Me variety of good Meditations . . .
From small beginnings on My part he let Me see, that I was no wholly forksaken by My peoples lover, or his protection.
My sins sometimes prevailed against the justice of My Cause . . .
There is no doubt but personall and private sins may oft-times over-balance the Justice of Publick engagements . . .
. . . nor doth God account every gallant Man (in the worlds estee) a fit instrument to assert in the way of War a righteous Cause . . .
. . . The more men are prone to arrogate to their own skill, valour and strength, the lesse doth God ordinarily work by them for his own glory.
I am sure that the event of successe can never state the Justice of any Cause, nor the peace of mens Consciences, nor the eternall fate of their Soules.
I never had any victory which was without My sorrow, because it was on Mine owne Subjects . . .
. . . And yet I never suffered any Defeat, which made Me despare of Gods mercy and defence.
I never desired such Victories, as might serve to conquer, but onely restore the Lawes and Liberties of My people . . .
I wished no greater advantages by the War, then to bring My Enemies to moderation, and My Friends to peace.
The different events were but the methods of divine justice, by contrary winds to winow us . . .
My often Messages for Peace shewed, that I delighted not in Warre: as My former Concessions sufficiently testified, how willingly I would have prevented it; and My totall unpreparedness for it, how little I intended it.
The conscience of My Innocency forgade Me to feare a warre; but the love of My Kingdomes commanded Me (if possible) to avoid it.
I am guilty in this Warre of nothing, but this, That I gave such advantages to some men, by confirming their power, which they knew not to use with that modesty, and gratitud, which became their Loyalty and My confidence.
Had I yeilded lesse, I had been opposed lesse; had I denied more, I had been more obeyed.
‘Tis now too late to review the occasions of the Warre; I wish onely a happy conclusion, of so unhappy beginnings . ..
. . . for, the most prosperous successes on either side, impaire the welfare of the whole.
Those Victories are still miserable, that leave our sinnes insubdued . . .
Peace itself is not desireable, till repentance have prepares us for it.
When we fight more against our selves, and lesse against God, we shall cease fighting against one another . . .
. . . both in conquering, and being conquered, I am still a Sufferer . . .
Chapter 20 – Upon the Reformations of the Times
No Glory is more to be envied that that, of due Reforming either Church or State, when deformities are such . . .
What dissolutions of all Order, and Government, in the Church; what novelties of Schismes, and corrupt opininons; what undecencies and confusions in sacred administrations; what sacrilegious invasions upon the Rights and Revenues of the Church; what contempt & oppressions of the Clergy; what injurious diminutions and persecutings of Me, have followed . . . the talke of Reformation . . .
The great miscarriage I think is, that popular clamours and fury, have been allowed the reputation of Zeale . . . so that the study to please some Parties hath indeed injured all.
. . . For I conceive, that where the Scripture is not so clear and punctuall in precepts, there the constant and Universall practice of the Church, in things not contrary to Reason, Faith, good Manners, or any positive Command, is the best Rule that Christians can follow.
. . . nor can in Justice merit the glory of the Churches thorow Reformation; since they leave all things more deformed, disorderly, and discontented, then when they began . . .
. . . Had Religion been first considered (as it merited) much trouble might have been prevented.
But some men thought, that the Government of this Church and State, fixed by so many Lawes, and long Customes, would not run into their new moulds, till they had first melted it in thefire of a Civill Warre . . .
Publick Reformers had need first Act in private, and practise that on their own hearts, which they purpose to trie on others . . .
I am sure the right Methods of Reforming the Church cannot consist with that of perturbing the Civill State . . .
. . . for next to fear God, is, Honour the King.
I doubt not but Christs Kingdome may be set up without pulling down Mine . . .
Christ’s Government will confirm Mine, not overthrow it . . .
As good ends cannot justifie evill means, so nor will evil beginnings ever bring forth good conclusions . . .
Chapter 21 – Upon His Majesties Letters taken and divulged
. . . for although the confidence of privacy may admit greater freedom in writing such Letters . . . yet the Innocency of My chief purposes cannot be so obtained . . .
. . . by those My Letter may be convinced, that I can both mind and act My own, and My Kingdomes Affaires, so as becomes a Prince; which Mine Enemies have alwayes been very loath should be beleved of me, as if I were wholly confined to the Dictates and Directions of others; whom they please to brand with the names of Evill Counsellours.
Its probable some men will now look upon me as my own Counsellour . . .
. . . Although I know they are very unwilling I should enjoy the liberty of my own Thoughts, or follow the light of my own Conscience, which they labour to bring into an absolute captivity to themselves; not allowing me to think their Counsels to be other than good for me, which have so long maintained a War against Me.
. . . The taking away of my Credit is but a necessary preparation to the taking away of my Life, and my Kingdomes . . .
Chapter 22 – Upon His Majesties leaving Oxford, and going to the Scots
Although God hath given Mee three Kingdomes, yet in these He hath not now left Me any place, where I may with Safety & Honour rest my head: Shewing me that himself is the safest Refuge . . .
What Providence denies to Force, it may grant to Prudence . . .
Necessity is now my Cousellour . . .
This my confidence of Them, may disarme and overcome them; my rendring of my Person to Them, may engage their affections to me . . .
. . . and so necessitous may the state of Princes be, that their greatest danger may be in their supposed safety, and their safety in their supposed danger.
It is some skill in play to know when a game is lost; better fairly to goe over, than to contest in vaine.
I thank God no successe, darkens or disguisese Truth to me . .
Reason is the divinest power.
. . . what God hath denied of outward strength, his grace, I hope, will supply with inward resolutions . . .
I shall never think my self lesse than my self while I am able thus to preserve the Integrity of my Conscience, the only Jewell now left to me, which is worth keeping.
. . . it is not any perversnesse of will, but just perswasions of Honour, Reason, and Religion, which have made me thus farre to hazard my Person, Peace, and Safety, against those, that by force have sought to wrest them from Me.
Chapter 23 – Upon the Scots delivering the KING to the English; and His Captivity at Holmeby
Gods providence commands me to retire from all to himself, that in him I may enjoy my self, which I lose, while I let out my hopes of others.
The solitude and captivity, to which I am now reduced, gives me leisure enuoght to study the worlds vanity, and inconsistancy.
God sees ’tis fit to deprive me of Wife, Children, Army, Friends, and Freedome, that I may be wholly his, who alone is all.
They have no great cause to triumph, that they have got my Person into their power; since my Soule is still my owne; nor shall they ever gaine my Consent against my Conscience.
‘Tis evident now, that it was not Evil Counsellours with me, but a good Conscience in me, which hath been fought against; nor did they ever intend to bring me to my Parliament, till they had brought my mind to their obedience.
What Tumults and Armies could not obtaine, neither shall Restraint . . .
. . . the greatest injuries my Enemies seek to inflict upon me, cannot be without my owne consent.
Although they should destroy me, yet they shall have no cause to despise me.
If my Captivity or death must be the price of their redemption, I grudge not to pay it.
After-times may see, what the blindnesse of this Age will not . . .
. . . may at length shew my Subjects, that I chuse rather to suffer for them, than with them . . .
Chapter 24 – Upon their denying His Majesty the Attendance of His Chaplaines
The truth is, I never needed or desired more the service and assistance of men judiciously pious, and soberly devout.
. . . But to deny Me the Ghostly comfort of My Chaplaines seemes a greater rigour and barbarity, then is ever used by Christians on the meanest Prisoners, and greatest Malefactors. . .
. . . while they seek to deprive Me of all things else, They are afraid I should save my Soul.
Some remedies are worse then the disease, and some comforters more miserable then misery itself . . .
I am so much a friend to all Church-men . .
I pity all of them, I despise none . . .
In Devotions I love neither profane boldnesse, nor pious non-sense; but such an humble and judicious gravity as shews the Speak to be at once considerate both of Gods Majesty, the Churches honour, and his own Vilenesse . . .
I am equally scandalized with all prayers, that sound either imperiously, or rudely, and passionately . . .
I confess I am better pleased, as with studied and premeditated Sermons, so with such publique Formes of Prayer, as are fitted to the Churches and every Christians daily & common necesseties; because I am be them better assured, what I may joyn My heart unto, than I can by any mans extamporary sufficiency . . .
Though the light of understanding, and the fervency of affection, I hold the maine and most necessary requisites both in constant, and occasionall, solitary, and sociall Devotions.
So that I . . . prefer the service of My own Chaplains before that of their Ministers, as I do the Liturgy before their Directory.
But, I had rather be condemned to the woe of Vae Soli, than to that of Vae Vobis Hypocritis, by seeming to pray what I doe not approve.
It may be, I am esteemed by My Denyers sufficient of My selfe to discharge My duty to GOD as a priest, though not to Men as a Prince.
Indeed, I think both Offices, Regall and Sacerdotall, might well become the same Person . . .
For such as seek to deprive Me of Kingly Power and Soveraignty; would not lesse enforce Me to live many Months without all Prayers, Sacraments, arid Sermons, unlesse I become My owne Chaplaine.
As I owe the Clergy the protection of a Christian KING, so I desire to enjoy from them the benefit of their gifts and prayers . . .
. . . And however, as to that Spirituall Government, by which the devout Soule is subject to Christ, and through his merits daily offers itself and its services to GOD, every private believe is a King and Priest, invested with the hounour of a Royall Priesthood . . .
. . . yet as to Ecclesiastical orderk, and the outward polity of the Church, I think confusion in Religion will as certainly follow every mans turning Priest or Preacher, as it will in the State, where every one affects to rule as King.
I was alwaies bred t obe more modest, and I think more pious Principles . . .
. . . I must confesse I beare with more grief & impatience the want of My Chaplaines, than of any My Servants; and next (if not beyond in some things) to the beign sequestered from my Wife and Children . . .
If his Spirit will teach Me and help My Infirmities in prayer, reading and meditation (as I hope he will) I shall need no other, either Oratour or Instructer.
Thou art company enough [speaking to God], and comfort enough: Thou art my King, be also my Prophet and my Priest. Rule me, teach me, pray in me, for me; and be thou ever with me.
Chapter 25 – Penitentiall Meditations and KING’S solitude at Holmeby
We have been mutually punished in our unnatural divisions . . .
May my People and they Church be happy, if not by me, yet without me.
Chapter 26 – Upon the Armies Surpisall of the KING at Holmeby, and the ensuing distractions in the two Houses, the Army, and the City.
What part God will have me now to act or suffer in this new and strange scene of affaires, I am not much solicitous . . .
. . . Better swim down such a stream, than in vain to strive against it.
These are but the strugglings of those twins, which lately one womb enclosed, the younger striving to prevaile against the elder . . .
That the Builders of Babel should from division fall to confusion, is no wonder . . .
. . . for those that pretend to build Jerusalem, to divide their tongues and hands, is but an ill omen . . .
Well may I change my Keepers and Prison, but not my captive condition, onely with this hope of bettering, that those who are so much professed Patrons for the Peoples Liberties, cannot be utterly against tehe Liberty of their KING . . .
In this the seem more ingenuous . . . sometimes complaining of exacting their conformity to laws, are become the greatest Exactors of other mens submission to their novell injunctions, before they are stamped with the Authority of Lawes . . .
No man is so blind as not to see herein the hand of divine justice; they that by Tumults first occasioned teh raising of Armies, must now be chastened by their owne Army for new Tumults.
So hardly can men be content with one sin, but adde sin to sin, till the latter punish the former . . .
But who can unfoled the riddle of some mens justice?
. . . while they are Judges of others, they are forced to condemn themselves.
I see Vengeance pursues and overtakes . . . them that thought to have escaped and fortified themselves most impregnably against it . . .
Who the Laws cannot, God will punish, by their owne crimes and hands.
They will find that Brethren in iniquity are not farre from becomming insolent enemies, there being nothing harder then to keep ill men long in one mind.
Nor is it possible to gaine a faire period for those notions which go rather in a round and circle of fansies, then in a right line of reason tending to the Law . . .
. . . we shall fully see how much more happy we are, to be subject to the knowne Laws, then to the various wils of any men . . .
Vulgar compliance with any illegall and extravagant waies, like violent motions in nature, soon grows weary of it self . . .
Deliver Me from the strivings of My Peopl, and make Me to see how much they need My prayers and pity . . .
Discover . . . the waies of peace . . . which consists not in the divided will of Parties, but in the point and due observation of Lawes.
[The people] . . . fight more against themselves than ever they did against Me.
Chapter 27 – To the Prince of Wales
But this advantage of wisedome you have abaove most Princes; that you have begun, and now spent some yeares of discretion, i the experience of troubles, and exercise of patience, wherein Piety, an dall Vertues, both Morall and Politicall, are commonly better planted to a thriving . . . then in the warmth, and serentity of times; or amdist those delights, which usually attend Princes Courts in times of peace and plenty; which are prone, either to root up all plants of Vertue and Honour . . .
I had rather you should be Charles le Bow, then le Grand, good than great . . .
With God I would have you begin and end . . .
The best Government, and highest Soveraignty you can attain to is, to be subject to him, that the Scepter of his Work and Spirit may rule in your heart.
The true glory of Princes consists in advancing Gods Glory in the maintenence of ture Religion, and the Churches good: Also in the dispensation of civill Power, with Justice and Honour to the Publick Peace.
Piety will make you prosperous; at least it will keep you from being miserable . . .
Above all, I would have you, as I hope you are already; wel-grounded and setled in your Religion . . .
. . . yet I would have your own Judgement and Reason now seal to that sacred bond which education hath written, that it may be judiciously your own Religion, and not other mens custome or tradition, which you professe.
In this I charge you to persevere, as coming nearest to Gods Word for Doctrine, and to the primitive example for Government, with some little amendment . . .
Your fixation in matters of Religion will not be not more necessary for your soules then for your Kingdomes peace, when God shall bring you to them.
For I have observed, that the Devill of Rebellion, doth commonly turn himself into an Angell of Reformation . . .
Take heed to abetting any Factions, or appying to any publick Discriminations in matters of Religion, contrary to what is in your Judgement, and the Church well setled . . .
. . . your partiall adhering, as head, to any one side, gaines you not so great advantages in some mens hearts . . . as it loseth you in others; who think themselves, and their profession first despised, then persecuted by you . . .
. . . take such a course as may either with calmnes & charity quite remove the seeming differences and offences by impartiality, or so order affaires in point of Power that you shal not need to fear or flatter any Faction. For if ever you stand in need of them, or must stand on their courtesie, you are undone: The Serpent will devour the Dove.
[In regard to religious rebellion] Their interest is alwaies made Gods; under the colours of Piety . . .
Let nothing seem little or despicable to you in matters which concerne Religion and the Churches peace . . .
When you have done justice to God, your owne soule and his Church, in the profession and preservation both of truth and unity in Religion: the next main hinge on which your prosperity will depend, and move, is, that of civill Justice . . .
. . . give very much to Subjects industry, liberty, and happinesse; and yet reserve enough to the Majesty and prerogative of any King, who ownes his People as Subjects, not as Slaves . . .
Never charege you Head with such a Crowne, as sheall by its heavinesse oppresse the whole body . . .
Your Prerogative is best shewed, and exercised in remitting, rather than exacting the rigor of the Lawes . . .
. . . there being nothing worse than legall Tyranny.
In these two points, the preservation of established Religion, and Lawes, I may (without vanity) turne the reproach of My sufferings . . .
. . . The Troublers of My Kingdomes having nothing else to object against Me but this, That I preferre Religion, and Lawes established before those alterations they propounded.
I have offered all for Reformation and Safety, that in Reason, Honour, and Conscience I can . . .
. . . My counsell and charge to You, is, That You seriously consider the former, reall, or objected miscarriages, which might occasion My troubles, that You may avoid them.
Never respose so much upon any mans single counsell, fidelity and discretion, in managing affaires of the first magnitude . . .
Provided the differences amount not to an insolent opposition of Lawes, and Government, or Religion established, as to the essentials of them, such motions and minngs are intolerable.
Alwaies keep up solid piety, and those fundamentall Truths (which mend both hearts and lives of men) with impartiall favour and justice.
Take heed that outward circumstance and formalities of Religion devour not all . . .
. . . with an equall eye, and impartiall hand, distribute favours and rewards to all men . . .
I have, You see, conflicted with different and opposite Factions . . . but they are divided to so high a rivalry, as sets them more at defiance against each other, than against their first Antagonists.
Time will dissipate all factions . . .
. . . As the Wolfe is not lesse cruell, so he will be more justly hated, when he shall appeare no better than a Wolfe under Sheeps cloathing.
. . . that you study really to exceed (in true and constant demonstrations of goodnesse, piety, and virtue, towards the People) even all those men, that make the greatest noise and ostentations . . .
. . . the abused Vulgar shall have learned, that none are greater Oppressours of their Estates, Liberties, and Consciences, than those men, that entitle themselves, The Patrones and Vindicators of them, onely to usurp power over them . . .
. . . Let then no passion betray You to any study of revenge upon those, whose owne sinne and folly will sufficiently-punish them in due time.
But as soone as the forked arrow of factious emulations is drawn out, use all princely arts, and clemency to heale the wounds; that the smart of the cure may not equall the anguish of the hurt.
As Your quality sets You beyond any Duell with any Subject; so the noblenesse of Your mind must raise You above the meditating any revenge, or executing Your anger upon the many.
The more conscious You shall be to Your owne merits, upon Your People, the more prone You will be to expect all love and loyalty from them . . .
. . . You will hve more inward complacency in pardoning one, than in punishing a thousand.
. . . I doe require and entreat You as your Father, and your KING, the You never suffer Your heart to receive the least check against, or disaffection from the true Religion established in the Church of England.
I tell You I have tried it, and after much search, and many disputes, have concluded it to be the best in the world . . .
. . . That scarce any one who hath been a Beginner, or an active Prosecutor of this late Warre against the Church, the Lawes, and ME, either wa, or is a true lover, Em-bracer, or Practiser of the Protestant Religion, established in England: which neither gives such rules, nore ever before set such examples.
. . . let not counterfeit and disorderly Zeale abate Your value and esteem of true piety . . .
Nor would I have You to entertain any aversation, or dislike of Parliaments; which in their right constitution with Freedome and Honour, will never injure or diminish Your greatnesse . . .
. . . the publique interest consists in the mutuall and common good both of Prince and People.
Nothing can be more happy for all, than in faire, grave, and Honourable waies to contribute their Counsels in Common, enacting all things by publique consent; without tyranny or Tumults.
We must not starve our selves, because some men have surfeited of wholsome food.
Keep You to true principles of piety, vertue, and honour, You shall never want a Kingdome.
When they have destroyed Me . . . as I doubt not but My bloud will cry aloud for vengeance to heaven; so I beseech God not to pour out his wrath upon the generality of the People, who have either deserted Me, or engaged against Me, through the artifice and hypocrise of their Leaders . . .
The deception will soone vanish, and the Vizards will fall off apace . . .
This maske of Religion on the face of Rebellion . . . will not long serve to hide some mens deformities.
. . . for so it now plainly appears, since My Restraint and cruell usage, that they sought not for Me, as was pretended . . .
. . . establish Your Kingdomes in righteousnesse, Your Soule in true Religion, and Your honour in the love of God and Your People.
. . . my owne Conscience, which, I thank God, is dearer to Me than a thousand Kingdomes.
Meditations upon Death, after the Votes of Non-Addresses and His MAJESTIES closer Imprisonment In Carisbrooke-Castle
As I have leisure enough, so I have cause more than enough, to meditate upon, and prepare for My Death . . .
. . . there are but few steps between the Prisons and Graves of Princes.
It is Gods indulgence, which gives Me the space, but Mans cruelty, that gives Me the sad occasions for these thoughts.
I thank God, My prosperity made Me not wholly a stranger to the contemplations of mortality.
. . . Death being an eclipse, which oft happeneth as well in clear, as cloudy daies.
I am not so old, as to be weary of life; nor (I hope) so bad, as to be either afraid to die, or ashamed to live . . .
. . . My Enemies have used all the poyson of falsity and violence of hostility to destroy, first the love and Loyalty, which is in My Subjects; and then all that content of life in Me, which from these I chiefly enjoyed.
Indeed, they have left Me but little of life . . .
The assaults of afflilction may be terrible, like Sampson’s Lyon, but they yeild much sweetnesse to those, that dare to encounter and overcome them . . .
That I must die as a Man, is certain . . .
. . . that I may die a King, by the hands of My own Subjects, a violent, sodain, and barbarous death; in the strength of My years; in the midst of My Kingdomes; My Friends and loving Subjects being helplesse Spectators; Me Enemies insolent Reviliers and Triumphers over Me, living, dying, and dead, is so probable in humane reason . . .
I know My Life is the object of the Devils & wicked mens malice . . .
I confesse it is not easie for Me to contend with those many horrours of death, wherewith God suffers Me to be tempted; which are equally horrid, either in the suddennesse of a barbarous Assasination: or in those greater formalities, whereby My Enemies (being more solemnly cruell) will, it may be, seeke to adde . . .
. . . That I may be destroyed, as with greater pomp and artifice, so with lesse pity, it will be but a necessary policy to make My death appeare as an act of Justice . . .
. . . [Charles death will be] done by Subjects upon their Soveraigne; who know that no Law of God or Man invests them with any power of Judicature without Me, much lesse against Me: and who, being sworn and bound by all that is sacred before God and Man, to endeavor My preservation, must pretend Justice to cover their Perjury.
It is, indeed, a sad fate for any man to hav his Enemies to be Accusers, Parties, and Judges; but most desparate, when this is acted by the insolence of Subjects against their Soveraraigne . . .
Nothing makes meane spirits more cowardly-cruell in managing their usurped power against their lawfull Superiours, than this, the Guilt of their unjust Usurpation . . .
Nor will he [God] suffer those men long to prosper in their Babel, who build it with the bones and cement it with the bloud of their Kings.
I am confident they will find Avengers of My death among themselves . . .
At present, the will of My Enemies seems to be their onely rule, their power their measure, and their successe their Exactor, of what they please to call Justice . . .
. . . the greatest temptations to sinne are wrapped up in seeming prosperities . . .
. . . I shall have the pleasure of dying, without any pleasure of desired vengeance.
They cannot deprive Me of more than I am content to lose . . .
The glory attending my death will farre surpasse all I could enjoy, or conceive in life.
My chiefest comfort in death consists in my peace, which I trust, is made with God . . .
. . . many times those undertakings of men are lifted up to Heaven in the prosperity and applause of the world, whose rise is from Hell, as to the injuriousnesse and oppression of the designe.
The prosperous winds which oft fill the sayles of Pirats, doth not justifie their piracy and rapine.
If I must suffer a violent death, with my Saviour, it it but mortality crowned with martyrdome . . .
[martyrdom is] . . . where the debt of death, which I owe for sinne to nature, shall be raised, as a gift of faith and patience to God.
The Trophees of my charity will be more glorious and durable over them, than their ill-managed victories over me.
Nor do I wish other, than the safe bringing of the ship to shore, when they have cast me overboard . . .
. . . they shall not have the satisfaction to have destroyed my Soul with my Body . . .