THE LAST SPEECH OF Col. Eusebius Andrewes.
AS soon as he came upon the Scaffold, kissing the block he said, I hope there is no more but this block between me and Heaven; and to the Leiutenant of the Tower he said, I hope I shall neither tire in my way, nor go out of it. After he had been a good while upon the Scaffold, turning to the rail, he speaks to the people as followeth. Christian Gentlemen and People, Your busi∣ness hither to day, is to see a sad spectacle, a man to be in a mo∣ment unman'd, and cut off in the prime of his years, taken from further opportunities of doing good either to himself, his friends, the Commonwealth, or especially to GOD, It seldom happens but upon very good cause. And though truly, if my general known course of life were but inquired into, I may modestly say, there is such a moral honesty upon it, as some may be so sawey as to expo∣stulate why this great judgement is fall'n upon me; but know I am able to give them and my self an answer, and out of this breast to give a better accompt of my Judgement and Execution then my Judgers themselves or you are able to give; It is Gods wrath upon me for sins long unrepented, of many judgements withstood and mercies slighted; therefore God hath whipped me by his severe rod of correction, that he might not loose me; I pray joyn with me in prayer, that it may not be a fruitless rod, that when by this rod I have laid down my life, by this staffe I may be comforted, and received into glory. I am very confident by what I have heard since my sentence, there is more exception made against proceedings Page 2 against me, then I ever made. My Tryers had a Law, and the value of that Law is indisputable, and for me to make a question of it, I should but shame my self and my d•scretion In the strictness of that Law, something is done by me, that is applicable to some clause therein, by which I stand condemnable: the means where by I was brought under that interpretation of that which was not in my self intended maliciously, being testimony given (by persons whom I pit•y) so false, yet so positive, that I cannot condemn my Judges, for passing sentence against me, according to legal justice, for equi∣ty lieth higher breasts.
As for my accusers, or rather, betrayers, I pitty, and am sorry for them, they have committed Judas his crime; but I wish and pray for them, Peters tears, that by Peters repentance they may escape Judas his punishment, and I wish other people so happy, they may be taken up betimes, before they have drunk more blood of Chri∣stian men, possibly less deserving then my self.
It is true, there have been several addresses made for mercy, and I will put the obstruction of it upon nothing more then upon my own sin, and seeing God sees it fit (I having not glorified him in my life) I might do it in my death, which I am content to do: I profess in the face of God, particular malice to any one of the State or Parliament, to do them a bodily injury I had none.
For the cause in which I had a great while waded, I must needs say, my engagement or continuance in it hath laid no scruple upon my Conscience, it was on principles of Law: the knowledge where∣of I profess, and on principalls of Religion, my judgment satisfied, and Conscience rectified, that I have pursued those wayes for which I bless God I find no blackness upon my Conscience, nor have I put it into the bead-roll of my sins.
I will not presume to deside controversies; I desire God to ho∣nour himself in prospering that side that hath right with it, and that you may enjoy peace and plenty, when I shall enjoy peace and plenty, beyond all you possess here; in my conversation in the world, I do not know where I have an enemy with cause, or that there is such a person to whom I have a regret; but if there by any whom I cannot recollect, under the notion of Christian men I parden them, as freely as if I had named them by name, I freely forgive them, being in free peace with all the world, as I desire Page 3 God for Christs sake, to be at peace with me. For the business of death, it is a sad sentence in it self, if men consult with flesh and blood: But truly without boasting, I say it, or if I do bo•st, I boast in the Lord, I have not to this minute, had one consultation with the flesh about the blow of the Axe, or one thought of the Axe, more then as my Passe-port to glory.
I take it for an honour, and I owe thankfulness to those under whose power I am, that they have sent me hither to a place how∣ever of punishment, yet of some honour to die a death, some∣what worthy of my blood, answerable to my birth and qualificati∣on, and this courtesie of theirs, hath much helped towards the pacification of my mind.
I shall desire God that those Gentlemen in that sad beadrol to be tried by the High Court of Justice, that they may find that really there that is nominall in the Act; an High Court of Justice, a Court of high Justice high in its righteousness, though not in its severity, no more clouded with the testimony of such as sell blood for profit. Father forgive them, and forgive me as I forgive them.
I desire you now that you would pray for me, and not give over praying till the hour of death, not till the minute of death, for the hour is come already, that as I have a very great load of sins; so I may have the wings of your prayers, to help those Angels that are to convey my soul to Heaven, and I doubt not, but I shall there see my Saviour, my gallant Master the King of England, & another Mr. whom I much honoured, my Lord Capel; hoping this day to see Christ in the presence of the Father, the King in the presence of him, my Lord Capel in the presence of them all; and my self there to rejoyce with all other Saints and Angels for evermore.
Dr. Swadling (he being upon the Scaffold) spake as followeth unto the Collonel.
You have this morning in the prsence of a few, given some ac∣compt of your Religion, and under general notions or words, have given an accompt of your faith, charity, and repentance.
To those on the scaffold, If you please to hear the same questions asked here, you shall, that it may be a general testimony to you all, that he died in the favour of God.
Now Sir, I begin to deal with you: do you ac∣knowledge that this stroak you are by and by to suffer, is a just pu∣nishment laid upon you by God, for your former sins?
I dare not only not deny it, but dare not but confess it, I have no opportunity of glorifying God more, then by taking shame to my self, and I have a reason of the justice of God in my own bosome, which I have put to your bosome.
You acknowledge you deserve more then this stroak of the Axe, and that a farre greater misery is due to you, even the pains and torments of Hell that the damned there endure?
I know it is due in righteous judgment, but I know again, I have a satisfaction made by my elder Brother Christ Jesus, and then I say it is not due, 'tis due from me, but quitted by his righte∣ousness.
Do you believe to be saved by that Mediator and none others?
By that and that only, renouncing all secondary causes whatsoever.
Are you truly and unfainedly sorry before God, as you appear to us, for all those sins that have brought you hither?
I am sorry, and can never be sorrowful enough, and am sorry I can be no more sorry.
If God should by a miracle (not to put you to a vain hope) but if God should as he did to Ezekiah, renew your dayes; what life do you resolve to lead hereafter?
It is a question of a great length, and requires a great time to answer. Men in such streights would promise great things; but I would first call some friends to limit, how far I should make a Vow, that I might not make a rash one, and so offer the sacrifice of fools; but a Vow I would make, and by Gods help endeavour to keep it.
Do you wish health and happiness upon all lawful Au∣thorities and Government?
I do prize all obedience to lawful Government, and the adventuring against them is sinful, and I do not justifie my self, what ever my judgment be for my thus venturing against the pre∣sent Government. I leave it to God to judge whether it be righ∣teous, if it be, it must stand.
Are you now in love and charity with all men? do you freely forgive them?
With all the world freely, and the Lord forgive them, and forgive me, as I freely forgive them.
You have for some late years laid down your Gown, and took up the Sword, and you were a man of note in those parts where you had your residence. I have nothing to accuse you for want of diligence in hindering the doing of injuries, yet possibly there might be some wrong done by your Officers, or those under you to some particular men: if you had your Estate in your hands, would you make restitution?
The wrongs themselves you bring to my mind, are not great, nor many; some things of no great moment, but such as they are, my desire is to make restitution, but have not where∣withall.
If you had ability, would you likewise leave a legacy of thankfulness to Almighty God, something to his poor Servants, to his lame Members, to his deaf Members, to his double Members?
My will hath alwayes been better then my ability that way.
Sir, I shall trouble you very little further, I thank you for all those heavenly Colloquies I have enjoyed by being in your Company these three dayes; and truly I am very sorry I must part with so heavenly an associate. We have known one another here∣tofore; but never so Christian-like before, I have rather been a Scholler to learn from you, then an Instructer: I wish this Stage wherein you are made a spectacle to God, Angels, and the World, may be a School to all about you; for though I will not diminish your sins, nor shall I conceale, nor hypocrize mine own, for they are great ones betwixt God and my self, yet I think there is few here have a lighter load upon them then you have, if we consider things well, and I only wish them your repentance, and that mea∣sure of faith God hath given you, and that measure of courage you have attained from God, and that constant perseverance God hath crowned you with hitherto.
His name be praised.
Here the Doctor prayed with him almost a quarter of an hour, after which, the Col. turning himself again to the People, spake as followeth. One thing more I desire to be clear in. There lieth a com∣mon Page [unnumbered] imputation upon the Cavaliers, that they are Papists, and under that name we are made odious to those of the contrary opinion. I am not a Papist, but renounce the Pope With all his dependencies, when the distractions in Religion first sprang up, I might have been thought apt to turn from this Church to the Roman, but was utterly unsatisfied in their Doctrine, in point of faith, and very much, as to their Dissipline. The Religion which I profess, is that which passeth under the name of Protestant, though that be rather a name of distinction, then properly essential to Religion. But the Religion which was found out in the Reformation purged from all the errors of Rome, in the Reign of Edward the 6. practiced in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, K. Iames, and K. Charles, that blessed Prince deceased, that Religion before it was defaced. I am of which I take to be Christs Catholique, though not the Roman Catholique Religion: in the profession and practice whereof, I will live and die, that for my Religion. Then he turned him∣self unto the Executioner, I have no reason to quarrel with thee, thou art not the hand that throws the stone, I am not of such an Estate to be liberal, but there is 3 l. for thee, which is all I have. Now tell me what I lack. Executioner. Your hair to be turned up Col. Shew me how to fit my self upon the block. After which his doublet being of, and hair turned up, he turned again to the People, and prayed a good while. Before he laid down upon the block, he spake again to the People, viz. There is not one face that looks upon me, though many faces, and perhaps different from me in opinion and practice, but (me thinks) hath something of pitty in it, and may that mercy which is in your hearts, fall into your own bosoms when you have need of it; and may you never find such blocks of sin to stand in the way of your mercy, as I have met with. I beseech you joyn with me in prayer. Then he prayed (leaning on the Scaffold) with an audible voice for about a quarter of an hour; having done, he had some private conference with Dr. Swadling, then taking his leave of his friends, Sheriffs, and ac∣quaintance, saluting them all with a courteous valediction, he prepared himself for the block, kneeling down said, let me try the block, which he did, after casting his eyes up, and fixing them very intentively upon Heaven, he said, when I say Lord Jesus receive me, Executioner do thine Office, then kissing the Axe he laid down, and with as much un∣daunted, yet Christian courage as possibly could be in man, did he ex∣pose his throat to the fatall Axe, his life to the Executioner, and com∣mended his soul into the hands of God, as into the hands of a faithful and merciful Creator, through the merritorious passion of a gracious Redeemer, saying the foremencioned words, his head was smitten of at one blow.