An Appeal to all Rational men, that love their God, Justice and Countrey, more then their Honor, Plea∣sure and Money, Concerning the Kings Tryal.
MY Lord President, and this High Court, erected for the most Comprehensive, Impartial, and Glo∣rious piece of Justice, that ever was Acted and Executed upon the Theatre of England, for the Trying and Judging of Charls Stuart, whom God in his wrath gave to be a king to this Na∣tion, and will, I trust, in great love, for his notorious Prevari∣cations and Blood-guiltiness, take him away from us; He that hath been the Original of all Injustice, and the Principal Author of more mischiefs to the Free-born People of this Nation, then the best Arithmetician can well enumerate, stands now to give an account of his Stewardship, and to receive the good of Justice, for all the evil of his Injustice and Cruelty. Had he Ten thou∣sand lives, they could not all satisfie for the numerous, Horid and Barbarous Massacres of Myriades, and legions of Innocent per∣sons, which by his Commands, Commissions and Procurements (or at least all the world must needs say, which he might have prevented; and he that suffers any man to be kill'd, when he may save his life without danger of his own, is a Murtherer) have been cruelly slain, and inhumanely murthered, in this renowned Albion; Anglia hath been made an Aceldama, and her yonger sister Ireland a Land of Ire and Misery; and yet this hard-hearted man, as he went out of the Court, down the stairs Jan. 22. said (as some of his Gnard told me and others) That he was not troubled for any of the blood that hath been shed, but for the blood of Page 6 one man (peradventure he meant Strafford) He was no more affected with a List that was brought in to Oxford of Five or six thousand slain at Edgehill, then to read one of Ben: Johnsons Tragedies: You Gentlemen Royalists that fought for him, if ye had lost your lives for his sake, you see he would have no more pitied you by his own confession, then you do a poor Worm; and yet what heart but would cleave, if it were a Rock, melt, if it were Ice, break, if it were a Flint, or dissolve, if it were a Diamond, to consider that so much precious Protestant blood should be shed in these three kingdoms, so many gallant valiant Men of all sorts and conditions, to be sacrificed and lose their lives, and many of them to dye so desperately in regard of their Eternal conditi∣ons, and all this meerly and onely for the satisfying and fulfilling of one mans sinful lust and wicked will; a good Shepherd is he that lays down his life, or ventures it to save the Sheep; but for one to be so proudly wedded to his own conceits, as so maliciously to oppose his private Opinion, against the publique Judgement and Reason of State, and to make head against the Parliament, who acknowledged him to be head thereof, so far as to give him the Honor of the Royal Assent, in settling the Militia and Safety of the People: I say, for a Protestant Prince, so beloved at home, and feared abroad, that in love, and by gentle means might have had any thing from the Parliament, for him to occasion the shedding of so much blood, for a pretended Prerogative, as hereafter will ap∣pear nothing in effect but to fix and perpetuate an absolute Tyran∣ny; I can say no less, But, O Lucifer, from whence art thou faln, and what hereticks are they in politicks, that would have had such a man to live? much more that think his Actions to have merited love and praise from Heaven and Earth. But now to diffect the Charge.
1. That the kings of England are trusted with a limited power to govern by Law, the whole stream and current of Legal Authorities run so limpid and clear, that I should but weary those that know it already, and trouble those that need not know the particular cases; for it is one of the Fundamentals of Law, That the king is not above the Law, but the Law above the King: I could easily deraign it from 1 Edward 3. to the Jurisdiction of Courts, That the king has no more Power or Authority then what by Law is concredited and committed to Page 7 him; but the most famous Authority is Fortescue, Chancellor to H. 6. (and therefore undoubtedly would not clip his Masters Pre∣rogative) who most Judicially takes a difference between a Go∣vernment wholly Regal and Seignoral; as in Turkey, Russia, France, Spain, &c. and a Government Politique and mixt, where the Law keeps the beam even between Soveraignty and Subjection, as in England, Denmark, Swede, and Poland; the first, where the Edict of a Prince makes the Law, resembles an impetuous inun∣dation of the waters, whereby the Corn and Hay, and other Fruits of the Earth are spoiled, as when it is Midwinter at Midsummer; the latter is like a sweet smooth Stream, running by the pleasant Fields and Meadows: That by the Law of Eng∣land the King ought not to impose any thing upon the people, or take any thing away from them to the value of a farthing, but by common consent in Parliaments or National meetings; and that the people of Common-Right, and by several Statutes ought to have Parliaments yearly, or oftner if need be, for the Redress of publique grievances, and for the Enacting of good and whol∣some Laws, and repealing of old Statutes of Omeri which are pre∣judicial to the Nation: And that the king hath not by Law so much power as a Justice of Peace, to commit any man to Prison for any offence whatsoever, because all such matters were commit∣ted to proper Courts and Officers of Justice: And if the King by his verbal command send for any person to come before him, if the party refused to attend, and the messenger endevoring to force him, they fell to blows; if the messenger killed the party sent for, this by the Law is Murther in him, but if he killed the messenger, this was justifiable in him, being in his own defence, so as to sue forth a pardon of course; these and many other Cases of like nature are so clear & well known, that I wil not presume to multiply particulars.
That the king took an Oath at his Coronation to preserve the Peace of the Nation, to do Justice to all, and to keep and observe the Laws which the people have, himself confesses: And it was charged upon the late Arch-Bishop, that he Emasculated the Oath,* and left out very material words, Which the people shall chuse, which certainly he durst not have done, without the kings special Command; And it seems to me no light presumption, that from that very day he had a Design to alter and subvert the Funda∣mental Laws, and to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Go∣vernment; Page 8 but though there had been an Oath, yet by special Office and duty of his place, every King of England is obliged to Act for the peoples good, for all power, as it is originally in the people (he must needs be extream ignorant, malicious, or a self-destroyer, that shall deny it) so it is given forth for their preservation, nothing for their destruction; for a king to rule by lust and not by Law, is a creature that was never of Gods making, not of Gods approbation, but his permission; And though such men are said to be Gods on Earth, 'tis in no other sence then the Devil is called the God of this world: It seems that one passage which the king would have offered to the Court (which was not permitted him to dispute the Supreme Authority in the Nation, and standing mute, the Charge being for High Treason, it is a conviction in Law, was, That 1 Sam. 8. is a Copy of the kings Commission, by vertue whereof, he as a king might rule and govern as he list, that he might take the Peoples Sons and appoint them for himself, for his Chariots, and to be his Horsemen, and take their Daughters to be his Confectionaries, and take their Fields and Vineyards, and Oliveyards, even the best of them, and thair goodliest yong men, and their Asses, and give them to his Officers, and to his Servants; which indeed is a Copy and Patern of an absolute Tyrant, and absolute Slaves, where the peo∣ple have no more then the Tyrant will afford them: The holy Spi∣rit in that Chapter does not insinuate what a good king ought to do, but what a wicked king would presume to do. Besides, Saul and David had extraordinary callings, but all just power is now de∣rived from, and conferred by the people; yet in the case of Saul, it is observable, that the people out of pride to be like other Na∣tions, desired a king, and such a king as the Heathens had, which were all Tyrants; for they that know any thing in History, know that the first four Monarchs were all Tyrants at first, til they gain∣ed the peoples consent. Nimrod the great Hunter was Ninus that built Nineveh, the first Tyrant and Conquerer that had no Title, & so were all kingdoms, which are not Elective till the peoples sub∣sequent consent, and though it be by descent, yet 'tis a continuati∣on of a Conquest till the people consent, & voluntarily submit to a Government, they are but Slaves, & in reason they may free them∣selves if they can: In France the king begins his Raign, from the day of his Coronation; the Archbishop asks the people if he Page 9 shall be King; the twelve Peers, or some that personate them, say, yes, they girt the sword about him, then he swares to defend the Lawes: And is any thing more naturall then to keepe an Oath? And though vertuous Kings have prevailed with the People to make their Crownes Hereditary, yet the Coro∣nation shews the shell, that the kernell hath been in▪ Samu∣el was a good Judge, and there was nothing could be object∣ed against him, therefore God was displeased at their inordi∣nate desire of a King; and it seemes to me that the Lord de∣clares his dislike of all such Kings as the heathens were, that is, Kings with an unlimited power, that are not tied to laws; for he gave them a King in his wrath, therein dealing with them as the wise Physitian with the distempered and impatient Patient, who desiring to drink wine, tels him the danger of in∣flammation, yet wine he will have, and the Physitian considering a little wine will do but little hurt, rather then his Patient by fretting should take greater hurt, prescribes a little whitewine, wherein the Physitian doth not approve his drinking of wine, but of two evils chooseth the least. The Jewes would have a King for Majestie and Splendor, like the Heathens; God per∣mits this, he approves it not; it seems to me that the Lord re∣nounces the very Genus of such Kings as are there mentioned, and the old word Conning (by Contraction king,) does not signifie power or force to do what he will, but a knowing, wise, discreete man, that opens the Peoples eyes, and does not lead them by the noses, but governe them with wisedome and discretion for their owne good. Therefore Gentlemen-Royal∣ists, be not so mad as to misconstrue, either the Oaths of Alle∣giance or Supremacy or any League or Covenant that any man should sweare to give any one leave to cut his throat; the true meaning is that the King of England was supreme in this land, in opposition to the Pope, or any other Prince or Potentate, as the words of the Oath do import, that no foraigne State Prince or Potentate, &c. In case of any forraigne invasion, the King was by Law to be Generalissimo, to command the People for their owne safety, and so it was expounded by the Parlia∣ment in 13. Eliz. which for some reason of State was not per∣mitted to be printed with the Statutes, besides God told Page 10 those Kings whom he had formerly annoynted, what their duty was; not to exalt themselves overmuch above their brethren, to delight themselves in the Law of God; out of which I inferre that the Turkes, Tarters, Muscovites, French, Spaniards, and all people that live at the beck and nod of tyrannicall men, may and ought to free themselves from that tyranny, if, and when they can; for such Tyrants that so domineer with a rod of iron▪ do not governe by Gods permissive hand of approbati∣on or benediction, but by the permissive hand of his Provi∣dence, suffering them to scourge the People, for ends best known to himselfe, untill he open a way for the people to work out their owne enfranchisements.
But before I speak of the warre, it will be necessary for the satisfaction of rationall men, to open and prove the Kings wicked designe, wherewith he stands charged. Now that he had from the beginning of his raigne, such a designe and indea∣vour so to teare up the foundations of Government, that Law should be no Protection to any mans person or estate, will clearly appeare by what follows.
1. By his not taking the Oath so fully as his Predecessours did, that so when the Parliament should tender good laws to him for the Royal assent, he might readily answer that he was not by Oath obliged to confirme or corroborare the same.
2. By his dishonourable and perfidious dealing with the People at his Coronation, when he set forth a Proclamation, that in regard of the infection then spread through the Kingdome, He promised to dispense with those knights, that by an old statute were to attend at the Coronation, who were thereby re∣quired not to attend, but did notwithstanding with in few months after take advantage of their absence, and raised a vaste summe of money out of their estates at the Councel Table, where they pleading the said Proclamation, for their justification, they were answered that the law of the land was above any Procla∣mation, like that Tyrant that when he could not by law execute a virgin, commanded her to be deflored, and then put to death.
3. By his altering the Pattents and Commissions to the Judges, wch having heretofore had their places granted to them so long as they should behave themselvs therin, he made them but during Page 11 pleasure, that so if the Judges should not declare the Law to be as he would have it, he might with a wet singer remove them▪ and put in such as should not only say but swear if need werethat the Law was as the king would have it▪ for when a man shall give five or ten thousand pounds for a Judges place during the kings plea∣sure, and he shall the next day send to him to know his opinion, of a difference in law between the king and a subject, & it shalbe intimated unto him, that if he do not deliver his opinion for the king, he is likely to be removed out of his place the next day, which if so; he knows not how to live, but must rot in a Prison for the money which he borrowed to buy his place, as was well known to be some of their cases, who underhand and closely bought great places; to elude the danger of the statute, whether this was not too heavy a temptation for the shoulders of most men to bear, is no hard matter to determine; so as upon the matter, that very act of his made the King at the least a potentiall Tyrant; for when that shall be law, which a King shall declare himselfe, or which shall be declared by those whom he chooses, this brings the People to the very next step to slavery.
But that which does irrefragably prove the design▪ was his rest∣lesse desire to destroy Parliaments, or to make them uselesse: And for that, who knowes not but that there were three or four National meetings in Parliament in the first foure yeares of his Reign, which were called for supply to bring mony into his cof∣fers in point of Subsidies, rather then for any benefit to the Peo∣ple, as may appear by the few good Lawes that were then made. But that which is most memorable, is the untimely dissolving of the Parliament in 4o. Car. when Sir John Elliot and others (who managed a Conference with the House of Peers concerning the Duke of Buckin ham, who amongst other things was charged concerning the death of King James) were committed close prisoner to the Tower, where he lost his life by cruel indurance. Which I may not passe over without a special Animadversion: for sure there is no Turk or Heathen but will say that if he were any way guilty of his Fathers death, let him die for it.
I would not willingly be so injurious to the honest Reader, as to make him buy that again which he hath formerly met with in Page 12 the Parliaments Declaration or elswhere; in such a case a mar∣ginal reference may be sufficient. Nor would I herein be so presumptuous as to prevent any thing that happily may be in∣tended in any Declaration for more general satisfaction; but humbly to offer a Students mite which satisfies my self, with sub∣mission to better judgments.
How the King first came to the Crown, God and his own Conscience best knew. It was well known & observed at Court, that a little before, he was a professed enemy to the Duke of Buckingham; but instantly upon the death of King James, took him into such special protection, grace and favour, that upon the matter he divided the Kingdom with him. And when the Earl of Bristol had exhibited a Charge against the said Duke, the 13. Article whereof concerned the death of King James, He in∣stantly dissolved that Parliament, that so he might protect the Duke from the justice thereof, and would never suffer any legal inquiry to be made for his Fathers death. The Rabbines observe that that which stuck most with Abraham about Gods command to sacrifice Isaac, was this: Can I not be obedient, unlesse I be unnaturall? What will the Heathens say, when they heare I have killed my only son? What will an Indian say to this case? A King hath all power in his hands to do justice; There is one accused upon strong presumptions at the least, for poisoning that Kings Father; The King protects him from justice; Whether do you believe that himself had any hand in his Fathers death? Had the Duke been accused for the death of a begger, he ought not to have protected him from a Judicial Trial. We know that by Law it is no lesse then misprision of Treason to conceal a Trea∣son; and to conceal a Murder, strongly implies a guilt thereof, and makes him a kind of Accessary to the fact. He that hath no nature to do justice to his own Father, could it ever be ex∣pected that he should do justice to others? Was he fit to con∣tinue a Father to the people, who was without natural affection to his own Father? Will he love a Kingdome, that shewed no love to himself, unlesse it was that he durst not suffer Inquisition to be made for it? But I leave it as a riddle, which at the day of Judgement will be expounded and unridled, for some sinnes Page 13 will not be made manifest till that day; with this only, That had he made the Law of God his delight, and studied therein night and day, as God commanded his Kings to do; or had he but studied Scripture half so much as Ben: Johnson or Shakespear, he might have learnt, That when Amaziah was setled in the* Kingdom, he suddenly did justice upon those servants which had killed his father Joash: he did not by any pretended prerogative excuse or protect them, but delivered them up into the hands of that Justice which the horridnesse of the fact did undoubtedly demerit. *
That Parliament 4. Car. proving so abortive, the King sets forth a Proclamation, That none should presume to move him to call Parliaments, for he knew how to raise monies enough without the help of Parliaments, therefore in 12 years refuseth to call any. In which interval and intermission, how he had op∣pressed the people by incroachments and usurpations upon their liberties and properties; and what vast summes of mony he had forceably exacted and exhausted by illegal Patents and Mono∣polies of all sorts, I referre the Reader to that most judicious and full Declaration of the state of the Kingdeme, published in the beginning of this Parliament. That Judgment of Ship-mony did upon the matter formalize the people absolute slaves, and him an absolute Tyrant: for if the King may take from the people in case of necessity, and himself shall be Judge of that necessity, then cannot any man say that he is worth 6d. for if the King say that he hath need of that 6d. then by Law he must have it; I mean that great Nimrod, that would have made all England a Forrest, and the People which the Bishop call his sheep, to be his Venison to be hunted at his pleasure.
Nor does the common objection, That the Judges and evil Counsellors, and not the King, ought to be responsible for such male-Administrations, injustice and oppression; beare the weight of a feather in the ballance of right reason. For, 1. Who made such wicked and corrupt Judges? were they not his own Crea∣tures? and ought not every man to be accountable for the works of his own hands? He that does not hinder the doing of evil, if it lies in his power to prevent it, is guilty of it as a com∣mander Page 14 thereof. He that suffered those black Starres to inflict such barbarous cruelties and unheard of punishments, as Brand∣ings, Slitting of Noses, &c. upon honest men, to the dis∣honour of the Protestant Religion, and disgrace of the Image of God shining in the face of man, He well deserv'd to have been so served. But, 2. He had the benefit of those illegal Fines and Judgments. I agree, That if a Judge shall oppresse I. S. for the benefit of I. D. the King ought not to answer for this, but the Judge, unlesse he protect the Judge against the complaint of I. S. and in that case he makes himself guilty of it. But when an unjust judgment is given against I. S. for the Kings benefit, and the Fine to come immediately into his Coffers; he that receives the mony, must needs be presumed to consent to the judgement. But, 3. Mark a Machiavei∣policy; Call no Parliaments to question the injustice and corruption of Judges for the Peoples relief, And make your own Iudges, and let that be Law that they declare; whether it be rea∣sonable or unreasonable it is no matter.
But then how came it to passe that we had any more Parliaments? Had we not a gracious King to call a Parli∣ament when there was so much need of it? and to passe so many gracious Acts to put downe the Starre-Chamber, &c? Nothing lesse, It was not any voluntary free Act of grace, not the least ingredient or tincture of love or good∣affection to the people, that called the short Parliament in 16▪ but to serve his owne turne against the Scots, whom he then had designed to enslave; and those seven Acts of grace which the King past, were no more then his duty to do, nor halfe so much but giving the people a take of their own grists, and he dissents with them about the Militia, which commanded all the rest; he never intended thereby any more good and security to the people, then he that steal∣ing the Goose, leaves the feathers behinde him: But to answer the question, thus it was;
The king being wholly given up to be led by the counsels of a Jesuited Party, who indeavoured to throw a bone of dissenti∣on Page 15 among us, that they might cast in their net into our troub∣led waters, and catch more fish; for St. Peters Sea perswaded the King, to set up a new forme of Prayer in Scotland, and laid the bait so cunningly that whether they saw it or not, they were undone; if they saw the mystery of iniquity couched in it they would resist, and so merit punishment for rebelling; if they swallowed it, it would make way for worse; well, they saw the poison and refused to taste it; the King makes warre; and many that loved honour and wealth more then God, assist∣ed him; down he went with an Army, but his treasure wasted in a short time▪ fight they would not for feare of an after∣reckoning; some Commanders propound that they should make their demands, and the King grants all, comes back to London, and burnes the Pacification, saying it was coun∣terfeit, they reassume their forts, he raises a second warre a∣gainst them, and was necessitated to call a Parliament, offering to lay down shipmoney for twelve subsidies; they refuse; the King in high displeasure breakes off the Parliament, and in a Decla∣ration commands them not to thinke of any more Parlia¦ments, for he would never call another.
There was a King of Egypt that cruelly opprest the People, they poore slaves complaining to one another, he feared a rising, and commanded that none should complaine upon paine of cruell death; Spies being abroad, they often met, but durst not speake, but parted with tears in their eyes, which declared that they had more to utter, but durst not; this struck him to greaterfears, he commanded that none should look upon one anothers eyes at parting; therefore their griefes being too great to be smothered, they fetcht a deep sigh when they parted, which moved them so to compassion∣ate one anothers wrongs that they ran in and killed the Ty∣rant. The long hatching Irish treason was now ripe, and therefore it was necessary that England and Scotland should be in Combustion, least we might help the Irish Protestants; well, the Scots get Newcastle, he knew they would trust him no more, he had so often broke with them, therefore no hopes to get them out by a treaty; many Lords and the Ci∣ty Page 16 petition for a Parliament, the King was at such a neces∣sity, that yield he must, to that which he most abhorred, God had brought him to such a straite, he that a few moneths before assumed the power of God, Commanding men not to thinke of Parliaments to restraine the free thoughts of the heart of man, was constrained to call one which they knew he would breake off when the Scots were sent home, therefore got a Confirmation of it, that he should not dissolve it without the consent of both Houses, of which he had no hopes, or by force which he suddenly attempted, and the Eng∣lish Army in the North, was to have come up to confound the Parliament and this rebellious and disloyall City, as the King called it, and for their paines was promised thirty thousand pounds and the plunder as by the examinations of Colonel Goring, Legge, &c. doth more fully appeare.
And here by the way I cannot but commend the City Malignants, He calls them Rebels, they call him a graci∣ous King; He by his Proclamation at Oxford prohibits all commerce and entercourse of trade betweene this populous City (the life and interest whereof consists in trade, with∣out which many thousands cannot subsist) and other parts of the kingdome, still they do good against evill, and pe∣titioning him so often to cut their throats, are troubled at nothing so much as that they are not reduced to that* former and a worse bondage then when there was a Lord Warden made in the City, and the King sent for as much of their estates as he pleased. But surely the Oxford-shire* men are more to be commended; for when the King had commanded by his Proclamation, that what Corne, Hay, and other provision in the County of Oxford could not be fetcht into the said City for his Garison, should be con∣sumed and destroyed by fire, for feare it should fall into the hands of the Parliaments friends; a cruelty not to be parallel'd by any Infidell, Heathen, or pagan King, nor to be presidented amongst the most avowed and professed ene∣mies, much les•e from a King to his Subjects; they resolved never to trust him any more.
Page 17 But the great Question will be, What hath been the true ground and occasion of the War? which unless I clear, and put it out of question, as the Charge imports, I shall fall short of what I chiefly aym at, viz. That the King set up his Standard of War, for the advancement and upholding of his Personal Interest, Power, and▪ pretended Prerogative, against the Publique Interest of Common-Right, Peace and Safety; and thus I prove it:
1. He fought for the Militia by Sea and Land, to have it at his absolute dispose, and to justifie & maintain his illegal Commissions of Array; and this he pretended was his Birthright by the Law of England: which if it were so, then might he by the same Reason command all the money in the kingdom: for he that carries the Sword, will command the Purse.
2. The next thing that he pretended to fight for, was his Power to call Parliaments when he pleased, and dissolve them when he list: If they will serve his turn, then they may sit by a Law to in∣slave the People; so that the People had better choose all the Courtiers and Kings Favorites at first, then to trouble themselves with ludibrious Elections to assemble the Freeholders together, to their great labor & expence both of time & coyn, and those which are chosen Knights & Burgesses to make great preparations, to take long Journeys to London themselves & their Attendants, to see the King & Lords in their Parliament robes ride in state to the House, and with Domitian, to catch Flies; and no sooner shall there be any breathings, or a Spirit of Justice stirring & discovered in the House of Commons, but the king sends the Black-Rod, and dissolves the Parliament, and sends them back again as wise as they were be∣fore, but not with so much money in their purses, to tell stories to the Freeholders of the bravery of the king and Lords.
3. Well, but if this be too gross, and that the People begin to murmure and clamor for another Parliament, then there goes out another Summons, and they meet, and sit for some time, but to as much purpose as before; for when the Commons have presented any Bill for Redress of a publique Grievance, then the king hath several games to play to make all fruitless; as, first his own Ne∣gative Voyce that if Lords and Commons are both agreed▪ then he will advise; which (I know not by what strange Doctrine) hath been of late construed to be a plain denyal, though under favor at the first it was no more but to allow him two or three days time Page 18 to consider of the Equity of the Law; in which time if he could not convince them of the Injustice of it, then ought he by his Oath and by Law to consent to it.
4. But if by this means the king had contracted hard thoughts from the people, and that not onely the Commons, but many of the Lords, that have the same noble blood running in their veins, as those English Barons, whose Swords were the chief In∣struments that purchased Magna Charta: then, that the king might be sure to put some others between him and the peoples hatred, The next prerogative that he pretended to have, was to be the sole Judge of Chivalry, to have the sole power of confer∣ring Honors, to make as many Lords as he pleased, that so he may be sure to have two against one, if the House of Commons (by reason of the multitude of Burgesses, which he likewise pretend∣ed a power to make as many Borough-Towns and Corporati∣ons as he pleased) were not pack'd also: And this is that glo∣rious priviledge of the English Parliaments, so much admired for just nothing; for if his pretended Prerogative might stand for Law, as was challenged by his adherents, never was there a purer cheat put upon any people, nor a more ready way to enslave them, then by priviledge of Parliament, being just such a mockery of the people, as that Mock-Parliament at Oxford was, where the kings consent must be the Figure, and the Representative stand but for a Cypher.
5. But then out of Parliament the people are made to believe, That the king hath committed all Justice to the Judges, and di∣stributed the execution thereof into several Courts; and that the king cannot so much as imprison a man, nor impose any thing up∣on, nor take any thing away from the people, as by Law he ought not to do: But now see what prerogative he challenges.
1. If the King have a minde to have any publique spirited man removed out of the way, this man is killed, the murtherer known, a Letter comes to the Judge, and it may be it shall be found but Man∣slaughter; if it be found Murther, the man is condemned, but the King grants him a Pardon, which the Judges will allow, if the word Murther be in it; but because it is too gross to pardon Mur∣ther, therefore the king shall grant him a Lease of his life for seven years, and then renew it (like a Bishops Lease) as he did to Major Prichard, who was lately Justiced, who being a Servant Page 19 to the Earl of Lindsey, murthered a Gentleman in Lincolnshire, and was condemned, and had a Lease of his life from the king, as his own friends have credibly told me.
2. For matter of Liberty: The King or any Courtier sends a man to Prison, if the Judge set him at liberty, then put him out of his place, a temptation too heavy for those that love Money and Honor more then God, to bear; therefore any Judgement that is given between the King and a Subject, 'tis not worth a rush, for what will not money do?
Next he challenges a Prerogative to enhance and debase mo∣neys, which by Law was allowed him, so far as to ballance Trade, and no further; that if gold went high beyond Sea, it might not be cheap here, to have it all bought up and transported: but under colour of that, he challenges a Prerogative, that the king may by Proclamation make Leather currant, or make a Six pence go for Twenty shillings, or a Twenty shillings for Six pence: which not to mention any thing of the project of Farthings or Brass money, He that challenges such a Prerogative, is a potential Tyrant; for if he may make my Twelve pence in my pocket worth but Two pence, what property hath any man in any thing that he en∣joys?
Another Prerogative pretended was, That the king may avoid any Grant, and so may cousen and cheat any man by a Law; the ground whereof is, That the kings Grants shall be taken accord∣ing to his intention▪ which in a sober sence I wish, that all mens Grants might be so construed according to their intentions, ex∣prest by word or writing; but by this means it being hard to know what the king intended, his Grants have been like the Devils Ora∣cles, taken in any contrary sence for his own advantage.
1. R. In the famous Case of Altonwoods, there is vouched the Lord Lovels Case, That the king granted Lands to the Lord Lovel and his Heirs males, not for service done, but for a valuable con∣sideration of money paid: The Patentee well hoped to have en∣joyed the Land, not onely during his life, but that his Heirs males, at least of his body, should have likewise enjoyed it: but the Judges finding, it seems, that the king was willing to keep the money, and have his Land again (for what other reason no mortal man can fathom) resolved that it was a void Grant, and that nothing passed to the Patentee. I might instance in many Page 20 cases of like nature, through out all the Reports, as one once made his boast that he never made or past any Patent or Charter from the Crown, but he reserved one starting hole or other, and knew how to avoid it, and so meerly to cousen and defraud the poor Patentee. So that now put all these Prerogatives together: 1. The Militia by Sea and Land. 2. A liberty to call Parliaments when he pleased, and to adjourn, prorogue or dissolve them at pleasure. 3. A Negative voice, that the people cannot save themselves without him, and must cut their own throats, if commanded so to do. 4. The nomination and making of all the Judges, that upon peril of the loss of their places, must declare the Law to be as he pleases. 5. A power to confer Honors upon whom, and how he pleases: A covetous base wretch for Five or Ten thousand pounds to be Courted, who deserves to be carted. 6. To pardon Mur∣therers, whom the Lord says shall not be pardoned. 7. To set a value and price of Moneys as he pleases, that if he be to pay Ten thousand pounds, he may make Leather by his Proclamation to be currant that day, or a Five shillings to pass for twenty shillings; and if to receive so much, a Twenty shillings to pass for Five shil∣lings. And lastly, a Legal theft to avoid his own Grants: I may boldly throw the Gantlet, and challenge all the Machiavels in the world, to invent such an exquisite platform of Tyrannical Do∣mination, and such a perfect Tyranny without maim or blemish, as this is, and that by a Law, which is worst of all. But the truth is, these are no Legal Prerogatives, but Usurpations, Incroach∣ments and Invasions upon the Peoples Rights and Liberties, and this easily effected without any great depth of policy; for tis but being sure to call no Parliaments, or make them useless, and make the Judges places profitable, and place Avarice upon the Bench, and no doubt but the Law shall sound as the king would have it: But let me thus far satisfie the ingenuous Reader, that all the Judges in England cannot make one Case to be Law that is not Reason, no more then they can prove a hair to be white that is black which if they should so declare or adjudge, it is meer nullity; for Law must be Reason adjudged, where Reason is the Genus, and the Judgement in some Court makes the Differentiae; and I never found that the fair hand of the common Law of England, ever reached out any Prerogative to the king above the meanest man, but in three cases: 1. In matters of honor and preeminence to his per∣son, Page 21 and in matters of Interest, that he should have Mines Royal of Gold and Silver, in whose Land soever they were dis∣covered; and Fishes Royal, as Sturgeons and Whales, in whose streams or water soever they were taken, which very rarely hap∣pened, or to have tythes out of a Parish that no body else could challenge; for says the Law, The most Noble Persons are to have the most Noble things: 2. To have his Patents freed from deceit, that he be not overreached or cousened in his Contracts, being imployed about the great and arduous affairs of the Kingdom. 3. His Rights to be freed from incursion of time, not to be bound up by any Statute of Non▪claim; for indeed possession is a vain plea, when the matter of Right is in question, for Right can never dye; and some such honorable priviledges of mending his plea, or suing in what Court he will, and some such prerogatives of a middle indifferent nature, that could not be prejudicial to the people: but that the Law of England should give the King any such vast im∣mence precipitating power, or any such God▪like state, that he ought not to be accountable for wicked actions, or Male-Admini∣strations and Misgovernment; as he hath challenged and averr'd in his answer to the Petition of Right, or any such principals of Ty∣ranny, which are as inconsistent with the peoples Liberties and Safety, as the Ark and Dagon, light and darkness▪ in an inten∣sive degree, is a most vain and irrational thing to imagine; and yet that was the ground of the War, as himself often declared, and that would not have half contented him, if he had come in by the Sword. But some rational men object, How can it be murther, say they, for the king to raise Forces against the Parliament? since there is no other way of determining differences between the king and his Subjects, but by the Sword, for the Law is no com∣petent Judge between two Snpreme powers; and then if it be onely a contending for each others Right, Where is the malice, that makes the killing of a man murther? Take the answer thus, first, How is it possible to imagine two Supreme powers in one Nation, no more then two Suns in one Firmament; if the king be Supreme, the Parliament must be Subordinate; if they Su∣preme▪ then he Subordinate: But then it is alleaged, That the king challenged a power onely co-ordinate, that the Parliament could do nothing without him, nor he without them: Under favor, two powers co-ordinate is as absurd as the other, for though in Page 22 quiet times the Commons have waited upon the king, and allow∣ed him a Negative voyce in matters of less concernment, where delay could not prove dangerous to the people, yet when the Commons shall Vote that the kingdom is in danger, unless the Militia be so and so setled, now if he will not agree to it, they are bound in duty to do it themselves: and 'tis impossible to ima∣gine that ever any man should have the consent of the people to be their king upon other conditions (without which no man ever had right) to wear the diadem; for Conquest makes a Title amongst Wolves and Bears, but not amongst men.
When the first agreement was concerning the power of Parlia∣ments, if the king should have said, Gentlemen, are you con∣tent to allow me any Negative Voyce, that if you Vote the king∣dom to be in danger, unless such an Act pass, if I refuse to assent, shall nothing be done in that case? surely no rational man but would have answered, May it please your Majesty, we shall use all dutiful means to procure your Royal Assent, but if you still refuse, we must not sit still and see our selves ruined, we must and will save our selves whether you will or no; and will any man say that the kings power is diminished because he cannot hurt the people, or that a man is less in health that hath many Phisitians to attend him? God is Omnipotent that cannot sin, and all power is for the peoples good, but a Prince may not say that is for the peoples good, which they say and feel to be for their hurt. And as for the malice, the Law implies that; as when a thief sets upon a man to rob him, he hath no spite to the man, but love to the money: but it is an implyed malice, that he will kill the people unless they will be Slaves.
Q. But by what Law is the King condemned?
R. By the Fundamental Law of this kingdom, by the general Law of all Nations, and the Unanimous consent of all Rational men in the world, written in every mans heart with the Pen of a Diamond in Capital Letters, and a Character so legible that he that runs may read, viz. That when any man is intrusted with the Sword for the protection and preservation of the people, if this man shall imploy it to their destruction, which was put into his hand for their safety, by the Law of that Land he becomes an Enemy to that people, and deserves the most exemplary and severe punishment that can be invented: And this is the first necessary Page 23 Fundamental Law of every kingdom, which by Intrinsecal rules of Government must preserve it self: and this Law needed not be exprest, That if a King become a Tyrant, he shall dye for it, 'tis so naturally implyed; we do not use to make Laws which are for the preservation of Nature, that a man should eat, and drink, and buy himself cloaths, and injoy other natural comforts; no kingdom ever made any Laws for it: And as we are to defend our selves naturally, without any written Law, from hunger and cold, so from outward violence; therefore if a king would de∣droy a people, 'tis absurd and rediculous to ask by what Law he is to dye. And this Law of nature is the Law of God written in the fleshly tables of mens hearts, that like the eldest Sister, hath a prero∣gative right of power before any positive Law whatsoever; and this Law of nature is an undubitable Legislative authority of it self, that hath a suspensive power over all humane Laws. If any man shall by express Covenant under hand and seal give power to another man to kill him, this is a void Contract, being destructive to humanity; and by the Law of England any Act or Agreement* against the Laws of God or Nature, is a meer nullity: for as man hath no hand in the making of the Laws of God or Nature, no more hath he power to marre or alter them. If the Pilot of a Ship be drunk, and running upon a Rock, if the passengers cannot otherwise prevent it, they may throw him into the Sea to cool him; And this Question hath received Resolution this Parliament: When the Militia of an Army is committed to a General, 'tis not with any express condition, That he shall not turn the mouths of his Canons against his own Soldiers, for that is so naturally and necessarily implyed, that it's needless to be exprest; insomuch as if he did attempt or command such a thing against the nature of his Trust and Place, it did ipso facto estate the Army in a right of disobedience, unless any man be so grosly ignorant to think that obedience bindes men to cut their own throats, or their compani∣ons: Nor is this any secret of the Law which hath lyen hid from the beginning, and now brought out to bring him to Justice; but that which is connatural with every man, and innate in his judge∣ment and reason, and is as ancient as the first king, and an Epide∣mical binding Law in all Nations in the world: For when many Families agree, for the preservation of Humane Society, to invest any king or Governor with power and authority, upon the ac∣ceptance Page 24 thereof, there is a mutual Trust and confidence between them, That the king shall improve his power for their good, and make it his work to procure their safeties, and they to provide for his honor, which it done to the Commonwealth in him, as the Sword and Ensigns of Honor carried before the Lord Major are for the honor of the city; now as when any one of this people shall compass the death of the Governor, ruling well; this is a Treason punishable with death for the wrong done to the Com∣munity, and Anathema be to such a man: so when he or they that are trusted to fight the peoples Battels, and to procure their wel∣fare, shall prevaricate, and act to the inslaving or destroying of the people, who are their Liege Lords, and all Governors are but the peoples creatures, and the work of their hands, to be accompt∣able as their Stewards (and is it not senseless for the vessel to ask the Potter by what Law he calls it to account) this is high Treason with a witness, and far more transcendent then in the former case, because the king was paid for his Service, and the Dignity of the Person does increase the offence; for a great man of noble Educa∣tion and knowledge to betray so great a Trust, and abuse so much love as the Parliament shewed to the king by Petitioning him as good Subjects, praying for him as good Christians, advising him as good Counsellors, and treating with him as the great Coun∣sel of the kingdom, with such infinite care and tenderness of his honor (a course which Gods people did not take with Rehoboam, they never petitioned him, but advised him, he re∣fused their counsel, and hearkened to yong Counsellors, and they cry, To thy tents, O Israel, and made quick and short work of it) after all this, and much more longanimity and patience) from the Lord to the Servant, for him not onely to set up a Standard of War, in defiance of his dread Soveraign, The People (for so they truly were in Nature, though Names have befool'd us) but to persist so many years in such cruel persecutions, who with a word of his mouth might have made a Peace. If ever there were so su∣perlative a Treason, let the Indians judge; and whosoever shall break and violate such a trust and confidence, Anathema Mara∣natha be unto them.
Q. But why was there not a written Law to make it Treason for the King to destroy the people, as well as for a man to compass the Kings death?
Page 25Resp. Because our Ancestors did never imagine, that any King of England would have been so desperately mad, as to leavy a War against the Parliament and people: as in the Common in∣stance of Paricide, the Romans made no Law against him that should kill his Father, thinking no childe would be so unnatural to be the death of him who was the Author of his life; but when a childe came to be accused for a Murther, there was a more cruel punishment inflicted, then for other Homicides: for he was thrown into the Sea in a great Leather Barrel, with a Dog, a Jackanapes, a Cock, and a Viper, significant companions for him, to be deprived of all the Elements, as in my Poor mans Case, Fol. 10. Nor was there any Law made against Parents that should kill their children; yet if any man was so unnatural, he had an exemplary punishment.
Obj. But is it not a Maxime in Law, That the King can do no wrong?
Resp. For any man to say so, is blasphemy against the great God of Truth and Love: for onely God cannot erre, because what he wills is right, because he wills it; and 'tis a sad thing to consider how learned men, for unworthy ends, should use such art to subdue the people, by transportation of their sences, as to make them believe that the Law is, That the King can do no wrong.
First, For Law, I do aver it with confidence, but in all humility, That there is no such Case to be found in Law, That if the King Rob, or Murther, or commit such horrid Extravagancies, that it is no wrong: Indeed the case is put in H. 7. by a chief Judge, that If the King kill a man, 'tis no felony to make him suffer death; that is to be meant in ordinary Courts of Justice: But there is no doubt but the Parliament might try the King, or appoint others to judge him for it. We finde Cases in Law, that the King hath been sued even in Civil Actions.
In 43 E 3. 22. it is resolved, That all maner of Actions did lie against the King, as against any Lord; and 24 E. 3. 23. Wilby a learned Judge said, that there was a Writ Praecipe Henrico Regi Angliae.
Indeed E. 1. did make an Act of State, That men should sue to him by Petition; but this was not agreed unto in Parliament, Thelwall title Roye digest of Writs, 71. But after, when Judges Page 26 places grew great, the Judges and Bitesheeps began to sing Lullaby, and speak Platentia to the king, that My Lord the King is an Angel of light: Now Angels are not responsible to men, but God, therefore not kings: And the Judges they begin to make the king a God, and say, that by Law his stile is Sacred Majesty▪ though he swears every hour; and Gracious Majesty, though gracious men be the chief objects of his hatred; and that the king hath an Omnipotency and Omnipresence.
But I am sure there is no Case in Law, That if the king leavy a War against the Parliament and people, that it is not Treason. Possibly that Case in H. 7. may prove, That if the king should in his passion kill a man, this shall not be Felony to take away the kings life: for the inconveniency may be greater to the peo∣ple, by putting a king to death for one offence and miscarriage, then the execution of Justice upon him can advantage them: But whats this toa leavying of War against a Parliament? never any Judge was so devoid of understanding, that he denyed that to be Treason. But suppose a Judge that held his place at the kings pleasure did so, I am sure never any Parliament said so. But what if there had in dark times of Popery been an Act made, That the king might Murther, Ravish, Burn and perpetrate all mis∣chiefs, and play Reaks with impunity, will any man that hath but wit enough to measure an Ell of cloath, or to tell Twenty, say, That this is an Obligation for men to stand still and suffer a Monster to cut their throats, and grant Commission to rob at Suters hill, as such and no better are all Legal thefts and oppressions: The Doctor says, That a Statute against giving an alms to a poor man is void: He is no Student, I mean, was never bound Prentice to Reason, that says, A king cannot commit Treason against the people.
Ob. But are there not Negative words in the Statute of 25 Ed. 3. That nothing else shall be construed to be Treason, but what is there exprest?
Res. That Statute was intended for the peoples safety, that the kings Judges should not make Traytors by the dozens to gra∣tifie the king or Courtiers; but it was never meant, to give liberty to the king to destroy the people; and though it be said, That the king and Parliament onely may declare Treason, yet no doubt, if the king will neglect his duty, it may be so declared Page 27 without him for when many are obliged to do any service, if some of them fail, the rest must do it.
Obj. But is there any president, that ever any man was put to death that did not offend against some written Law? For where there is no Law, there is no transgression.
R. 'Tis very true, where there is neither Law of God, nor Nature▪ nor positive Law, there can be no transgression, and there∣fore that Scripture is much abused to apply it onely to Laws po∣sitive. For
First, ad ea quae frequentius, &c. 'Tis out of the sphaere of all earthly Law-givers to comprehend and express all particular cases that may possibly happen, but such as are of most frequent concur∣rence; particulars being different, like the several faces of men different from one another, else Laws would be too tedious, and as particulars occur, rational men will reduce them to general rea∣sons of State, so as every thing may be adjudged for the good of the Community.
2. The Law of England, is Lex non scripta, and we have a direction in the Epistle to the 3. Rep. That when our Law Books are silent, we must repair to the Law of Nature and Reason; Holinshed, and other Historians, tell us, That in 20 H. 8. the Lord Hungerford was executed for Buggery, for which there was then no positive Law to make it Felony; and before any Statute against Witchcraft, many Witches have been hanged in England, because it is death by Gods Law: If any Italian Mountebanck should come over hither, and give any man poyson that should lie in his body above a year and a day, and then kill him, as it is report∣ed they can give a man poyson that shall consume the body in three years, will any make scruple or question to hang up such a Rascal? At Naples, the great Treasurer of Corn being intrusted with ma∣ny Thousand quarters, at three shillings the bushel, for the com∣mon good, finding an opportunity to sell it for five shillings the bushel to Forraign Merchants, inriched himself exceedingly thereby, and Corn growing suddenly dear, the Counsel called him to account for it, who proffered to allow three shillings for it, as it was delivered into his Custody, and hoped thereby to es∣cape, and for so great a breach of Trust, nothing would con∣tent the people but to have him hanged; and though there was no positive Law for it, to make it Treason, yet it was resolved by Page 28 the best Politicians, that it was Treason to break so great a Trust by the Fundamental Constitution of the Kingdom, and that for so great an offence he ought to dye, that durst presume to inrich himself by that which might indanger the lives of so many Citi∣zens; for as society is natural, so Governors must of necessity, and in all reason provide for the preservation and sustenance of the meanest member, he that is but as the little toe of the body politique.
But I know the ingenuous Reader desires to hear something concerning Ireland, where there were no less the 152000 men, women, and children, most barbarously and satannically murther∣ed in the first four moneths of the Rebellion, as appeared by sub∣stantial proofs, at the kings Bench, at the tryal of Maoquire. If the king had a hand, or but a little finger in that Massacre, every man will say, Let him dye the death; but how shall we be assured of that? How can we know the Tree, better then by its fruits? For my own particular, I have spent many serious thoughts about it, and I desire in doubtful cases, to give Charity the upper hand; but I cannot in my conscience acquit him of it. Many strong pre∣sumptions, and several Oathes of honest men, that we have seen the kings Commission for it, cannot but amount to a clear proof. If I meet a man running down stairs with a bloody Sword in his hand, and finde a man stabbed in the Chamber, though I did not see this man run into the body, by that man which I met, yet if I were of the Jury, I durst not but finde him guilty of the murther; and I cannot but admire that any man should de∣ny that for him, which he durst never deny for himself: How of∣ten was that monstrous Rebellion laid in his dish? and yet he durst never absolutely deny it: never was Bear so unwillingly brought to the stake, as he was to declare against the Rebels; and when he did once call them Rebels, he would suffer but forty Copies to be print∣ed, and those to be sent to him seal'd; and he hath since above forty times called them his Subjects, and his good Subjects; and sent to Ormond to give special thanks to some of these Rebels, as Mus∣kerry and Plunket, (which I am confident by what I see of his height of Spirit and undaunted resolution at his Tryal, and since acting the last part answerable to the former part of his life; He would rather have lost his life, then to have sent thanks to two such incarnate Devils, if he had not been as guilty as themselves) Page 29 questionless if the King had not been guilty of that blood, he would have made a thousand Declarations against those Blood-hounds and Hell-hounds, that are not to be named but with fire and brimstone, and have sent to all Princes in the world for Assi∣stance against such accursed Devils in the shape of men: but he durst not offend those Fiends and Fire-brands; for if he had, I verily believe they would soon have produced his Commission under his hand and seal of Scotland at Edenburgh, 1641. A copy whereof is in the Parliaments hands, attested by Oath, dispersed by copies in Ireland, which caused the general Rebellion.
Obj. He did not give Commission to kill the English, but to take their Forts, Castles, Towns and Arms, and come over and help him.
And is it like all this could be effected without the slaughter of the poor English? Did the king ever call them Rebels, but in for∣ty Proclamations wrung out of him by force, by the Parliaments importunity? Murthering the Protestants was so acceptable to him, and with this limitation, That none should be published with∣out his further directions, as appears under Nichols his hand, now in the Parliaments custody: But the Scots were proclaimed Rebels before they had killed a man, or had an Army, and a Prayer a∣gainst them, injoyned in all Churches, but no such matter against the Irish.
Well, when the Rebels were worsted in Ireland, the King makes War here to protect them, which but for his fair words had been prevented, often calling God to witness, He would assoon raise War on his own children; And men from Popish principles assist him. Well: We fought in jest, and were kept between winning and losing: The king must not be too strong, lest he revenge himself: nor the Parliament too strong, for the Commons would rule all, till Naseby fight, that then the king could keep no more days of Thanksgiving so well as we: Then he makes a Cessation in Ireland, and many Irish came over to help him: English came over with Papists, who had scarce wiped their Swords since they had killed their wives and children, and had their Estates.
But thus I argue, The Rebels knew that the king had proclaim∣ed them Traytors, and forty Copies were Printed; and the first clause of an Oath enjoyned by the General Councel of Rebels, Page 30 wrs, To bear true Faith and Allegiance to King Charls; and by all means to maintain his Royal Prerogative, against the Puritans in the Parliament of England. Now is any man to weak in his in∣tellectuals, as to imagine, That if the Rebels had without the kings command or consent murthered so many Protestants, and he thereupon had really proclaimed them Rebels, That they would after this, have taken a new Oath, to have maintained his Prerogative: No, those bloody Devils had more wit, then to fight in jest. If the king had once in good earnest proclaimed them Rebels, they would have burnt their Scabbards, and would not have stiled themselves, The King and Queens Army, as they did. And truly, that which the king said for himself, That he would have adventure d himself, to have gone in Person into Ire∣land, to suppress that Rebellion, is but a poor Argument to in∣force any mans belief, That he was not guilty of the Massacre: For it makes me rather think, That he had some hopes to have re∣turned in the head of 20 or 30000 Rebels, to have destroyed this Nation: For when the Earl of Leicester was sent by the Parlia∣ment to subdue the Rebels, Did not the king hinder him from go∣ing? and were not the cloaths and provisions which were sent by the Parliament, for the relief of the poor Protestants there, seized upon by his command, and his men of War, and sold or exchanged for Arms and Ammunition, to destroy this Parliament? And does not every man know, That the Rebels in Ireland gave Letters of Mart, for taking the Parliaments Ships, but freed the kings as their very good friends? And I have often heard it credibly re∣ported, that the king should say, That nothing more troubled him, but that there was not as much Protestant blood running in England and Scotland, as in Ireland. And when that horrid Re∣bellion begun to break forth, How did the Papists here triumph and boast, that they hoped ere long to see London streets run down in blood? and yet I do not think, that the king was a Papist, or that he designed to introduce the Popes Supremacy in Spiritual things, into this kingdom: But thus it was, A Jesuitical party at Court was to prevalent in his Counsels, and some mungrel Pro∣testants that less hated the Papists, then the Puritans, by the Queens Mediation joyned altogether to destroy the Puritans, hoping that the Pa pists, and the Laodicean Protestant would agree well enough togeth er. And lastly, if it be said, that if the king Page 31 and the Rebels were never faln out, what need had Ormond to m ake a pacification or peace with them by the kings Commission, un∣der the Great Seal of Ireland. Truly there hath been so m uch daubing, and so little plain dealing, that I wonder how there comes to be so many beggars.
Concerning the betraying of Rochel, to the inslaving of the Protestant party in France, I confess, I heard so much of it, and was so shamefully reproached for it in Geneva, and by the Pro∣testant Ministers in France, that I could believe no less, then that the king was guilty of it. I have heard fearful exclamations from the French Protestants against the king, and the late Duke of Buckingham, for the betraying of Rochel. And some of the Ministers told me ten years since, That God would be revenged of the wicked king of England, for betraying Rochel: And I have often heard Deodati say, concerning Henry the fourth of France, That the Papists had his body, but the Protestants had his heart and soul; but for the king of England, The Protestants had his body, but the Papists had his heart: Not that I think he did be∣lieve Transubstantiation (God forbid I should wrong the dead) but I verily believe, That he loved a Papist, better then a Pu∣ritan.
The Duke of Roan, who was an honest gallant man, and the kings God-father, would often say, That all the blood which was shed in Daulphin, would be cast upon the king of Englands score: For thus it was, The king sent a Letter to the Rochelers by Sir William Breecher, to assure •hem, That he would assist them to the uttermost against the French king, for the liberty of their Re∣ligion; conditionally, That they would not make any peace with∣out him; and Mountague was sent into Savoy, and to the Duke of Roan, to assure them from the king, That 30000 men should be sent out of England, to assist them against the French king, in three Fleets, One to land in the Isle of Ree, a second in the River of Bourdeaux, and a third in Normandy: whereupon, the Duke of Roan being General for the Protestanrs, not suspect∣ing that the French durst assault him in Daulphin (because the king of England was ready to invade him, as he had promised) drew out his Army upon disadvantage: Whereupon the French king imployed all his Army into Daulphin against the Protestants, who were forced to retreat, and the Duke of Roan to flie to Geneva,Page 32 and the Protestants to accept of peace upon very hard conditions, to stand barely at the Kings devotion for their liberties, without any cautionary Towns of assurance, as formerly they had, being such a peace as the Sheep make with the Wolves, when the Dogs are dismist. And the Protestants have ever since cryed out to this very day, It is not the French King that did us wrong, for then we could have born it, but it was the King of England, a profest Protestant that betrayed us. And when I have many times intreated Deodati and others, to have a good Opinion of the King, he would answer me, That we are commanded to forgive our enemies, but not to forgive our friends.
There is a French Book printed about two years since, called Memoires du Monsieur de Roan, where the Kings horrid per∣fidiousness, and deed dissimulation, is very clearly unfolded and discovered: To instance but in some particulars, The King having solemnly ingaged to the Rochelers, that he would hazard all the Forces he had in his three Kingdoms, rather then they should perish; did in order thereunto, to gain credulity with them, send out eight Ships to Sea, commanded by Sir John Pennington, to assist the Rochelers as was pretended, but nothing less intended; for Pennington assisted the French King against the Rochelers, which made Sir Ferdinando Gorge to go away with the great Neptune, in detestation of so damnable a plot; and the English Masters and Owners of Ships, refusing to lend the Ships to destroy the Rochelers, whom with their souls they desired to releive, Pen∣nington in a mad spite, shot at them.
Subise being Agent here in England for the French Protestants, acquainted the King how basely Pennington had dealt, and that the English Ships had mowed down the Rochel Ships like Grass, not onely to the great danger and loss of the Rochelers, but to the eternal dishonor of this Nation, scandal of our Religion, and disadvantage of the general Affairs of all the Protestants in Christendom. The King seems to be displeased, and says, What a knave is this Pennington? but whether it was not fained, let all the world judge: But the thing being so plain, said Subise to the King, Sir, why did the English Ships assist the French King, and those that would not, were shot at by your Admiral? The French Protestants are no fools; how can I make them believe that you intend their welfare? The King was much put to it for a ready Page 33 answer, but at last thus it was patcht up, That the French king had a design to be revenged of Genoa for some former affront; and that the king lent him eight English Ships to be employed for Genoa, and that sailing towards Genoa, they met with some of the Rochelers accidentally▪ and that the English did but look on, and could not help it, not having any Commission to fight at that present; wherein the Rochelers might and would have declined a Sea-fight, if they had not expected our assistance. But still the poor Protestants were willing, rather to blame Pennington then the king; who in great seeming zeal, being surety for the last peace between the French king, and his Protestant Subjects, sends Devick to the Duke of Roan, to assure him, That if Rochel were not speedily set at liberty (which the French king had besieged, contrary to his Agreement) he would employ his whole strength, and in his own person see it performed; which being not done, then the king sends the Duke of Buckingham to the Isle of Ree, and gives new hopes of better success to Subise, commanding the Admiral and Officers in the Fleet, in Subises hearing, to do no∣thing without his advice: But when the Duke came to land at the Isle of Ree, many gallant English men lost their lives, and the Duke brought back 300 Tuns of Corn from the Rochelers, which he had borrowed of them, pretending a necessity for the English men, which was but feined, knowing it was a City impregnable, so long as they had provision within. I confess the Rochelers were not wife to lend the Duke their Corn, considering how they had been dealt with: But what a base thing was it, so to be∣tray them, and to swear unto them, That they should have Corn enough sent from England, before they wanted it: And for a long time, God did miraculously send them in a new kinde of Fish, which they never had before. But when the Duke came to Court, he made the honest English believe, that Rochel would suddenly be relieved, and that there was not the least danger of the loss of it; but Secretary Cook, an honest understanding Gen∣tleman, and the onely friend at Court to the Rochelers, laboring to improve his power to send some succor to Rochel, was suddenly sent away from Court upon some sleeveless errand, or as some say, to Portsmouth, under colour of providing Corn for Rochel;Page 34 but the Duke soon after went thither, and said, His life upon it, Rochel is safe enough: and the next day, Subise being at Ports∣mouth, he prest the Duke of Buckingham most importunately to send relief to Rochel then or never; the Duke told him that he had just then heard good News of the victualling of Rochel, which he was going to tell the King: which Subise making doubt of, the Duke affirmed it by an Oath, and having the words in his mouth, he was stabd by Felton, and instantly dyed: the poor Rochellers see∣ing themselves so betrayed, exclaimed of the English, and were constrained through Famine to surrender the City; yet new assu∣rances came from the King to the Duke of Roan, that he should ne∣ver be abandoned, and that he should not be dismaid nor astonisht for the loss of Rochel.
But Subise spoke his minde freely at Court, that the English had betrayed Rochel, and that the loss of that City was the apparent perdition and loss of Two and thirty places of strength from the French Protestants in Langurdock, Piedmont, and Daulphin, therefore it was thought fit that he should have a fig given him to stop his mouth: Well, not long after, two Capuchins were sent into England to kill honest Subise, and the one of them discovered the other; Subise rewarded the discoverer, and de∣manded Justice here against the other who was a Prisoner, but by what means, you may easily imagine, that assassinate Rascal, in∣stead of being whipt, or receiving some more severe punishment, was released and sent back into France with money in his purse, and one of the Messengers that was sent from Rochel to complain of those abominable Treacheries, was taken here, and as the Duke of Roan writes, was hanged for some pretended Felony or Treason, and much more to this purpose may be found in the Duke of Roans Memorials; but yet I know many wise sober men do acquit the King from the guilt of the loss of Rochel, and lay it upon the Duke, as if it were but a loss of his reputation; they say that the Duke of Buckingham agitated his affairs neither for Religion, nor the honor of his Master, but only to satisfie his passi∣on in certain foolish Vows which he made in France, entred upon a War; and that the business miscarryed through ignorance, and for want of understanding to manage so difficult a Negotiation, Page 35 he being unfit to be an Admiral or a General.
I confess that for many years I was of that Opinion, and thought that the King was seduced by evil Councel, and some thought that Buckingham and others ruled him as a childe, and durst do what they list: but certainly he was too politique and subtile a man to be swayed by any thing but his own judgement; since Naseby Letters I ever thought him principal in all Transacti∣ons of State, and the wisest about him but accessaries; he never acted by any implicite faith in State matters, the proudest of them all durst never cross him in any Design, when he had once resolved upon it: Is any man so soft-brained to think that the Duke or Pen∣nington durst betray Rochel without his Command? would not he have hanged them up at their return, if they had wilfully transgressed his Commands? A thousand such excuses made for him, are but like Irish Quagmires, that have no solid ground or foundation in reason: He was well known to be a great Sudent in his yonger days, that his Father would say, He must make him a Bishop: He had more learning and dexterity in State Affairs un∣doubtedly, then all the kings in Christendom: If he had had grace answerable to his strong parts, he had been another Solomon, but his wit and knowledge proved like a sword in a mad-mans hand; he was a stranger to the work of Grace and the Spirit of God, as the poor creature confest to Mr. Knowls after he was condemned; and all those Maeanders in State, his serpentine turn∣ings and windings, have but brought him to shame and confusion; but I am fully satisfied, none of his Councel durst ever advise him to any thing, but what they knew before he resolved to have done; and that they durst as well take a Bear by the tooth, as do, or con∣sent to the doing of any thing, but what they knew would please him; they did but hew and square the timber, he was the Master builder, that gave the form to every Architecture, and being so able and judicious to discern of every mans merits. Never think that the Duke or Pennington, or any Judge or Officer, did ever any thing for his advantage without his command, against Law or Honor.
Upon all which premises, may it please your Lorship, I do humbly demand and pray the Justice of this High Court, and yet Page 36 not I, but the innocent blood that hath been shed in the three kingdoms, demands Justice against him: This blood is vocal, and cryes loud, and yet speaks no better, but much louder then the blood of Abel; for what proportion hath the blood of that righ∣teous man, to the blood of so many thousands? If king Ahab and Queen Jezabel, for the blood of one righteous Naboth (who would not sell his inheritance for the full value) were justly put to death, what punishment does he deserve, that is guilty of the blood of thousands, and fought for a pretended prerogative, that he might have any mans Estate that he liked, without paying for it? This blood hath long cryed, How long Parliament, how long Army, will ye forbear to avenge our blood? will ye not do Justice upon the capital Author of all Injustice? When will ye take the proud Lyon by the beard, that defies you with imperious exultations, Whats the House of Commons? whats the Army? as Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord? and who is Moses? I am not ac∣countable to any power on earth, those that were murthered at Brainford, knockt on the head in the water, and those honest souls that were kild in cold blood at Bolton and Leverpool in Lan∣cashire, at Bartomley in Cheshire, and many other places, their blood cryes night and day for Justice against him, their wives and children cry, Justice upon the murtherer, or else give us our fathers and husbands again; nay, should the people be silent, the very stones and timber of the houses would cry for Justice against him. But, my Lord, before I pray Judgement, I humbly crave leave to speak to two particulars, 1. Concerning the Prisoner: When I consider what he was, and how many prayers have been made for him, though I know that all the world cannot restore him, nor save his life, because God will not forgive his temporal punish∣ment, yet if God in him will be pleased to adde one example more to the Church, of his unchangeable love to his elect in Christ, not knowing but that he may belong to the election of grace; I am troubled in my spirit, in regard of his eternal condition, for fear that he should depart this life, without love and reconciliati∣on to all those Saints whom he hath scorned under the notion of Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Independents and Sectaries: It cannot be denyed, but that he hath spent all his days in unmeasurable Page 37 pride; that during his whole raign, he hath deported himself as a God, been depended upon, and adored as God; that hath challenged and assured an Omnipotent power, an earthly Omni∣potence, that with the breath of his mouth hath dissolved Parlia∣ments; his Non placet hath made all the Councels of that Supreme Court to become Abortives: Non curo hath been his Motto, who in stead of being honored as good Kings ought to be, and no more, hath been idolized and adored, as our good God onely ought to be; A man that hath shot all his arrows against the up∣right in the Land, hated Christ in his members, swallowed down unrighteousness, as the Ox drinks water, esteemed the needy as his footstool, crusht honest publique spirited men, and grieved when he could not afflict the honest more then he did, count∣ed it the best art and policy to suppress the righteous, and to give way to his Courtiers so to gripe, grinde, oppress and overreach the free People of the Land, that he might do what he list (the remembrance whereof would pierce his soul, if he knew the preciousnesse of it) but all fins to an infinite mercy are equally pardonable, therefore my prayer for this poor wretch shall be, That God would so give him repentance to life, that he may be∣leeve in that Christ, whom he hath imprisoned, persecuted and murthered in the Saints; that he which hath lived a Tyrant, and hated nothing so much as holinesse, may die a convert, and in love to the Saints in England, that so the tears of the oppressed and the afflicted, may not be as so many fiery stinging serpents, causing an eternal despairing, continual horror to this miserable Man, when all Tyrants shall be astonisht, and innocent blood will affright more then twelve legions of Devils. All the hurt I wish to him is, That he may look the Saints in the face with com∣fort, for the Saints must judge the world; and however it may be he or this adherents may think it a brave Roman spirit, not to repent of any thing, nor expresse any sorrow for any sin, though never so horrid, taking more care and fear not to change their countenance upon the Scaffold, then what shall become of them after death? Yet I beseech your Lordship that I may tell him and all the Malignants now living but this, Charls Stuart, unlesse you depart this life in love and reconciliation to all those Saints and Page 38 godly men whom you have either ignorantly or maliciously oppo∣sed, mockt and persecuted, and still scorn and jeer at, as Heretiques and Sectaries, there is no more hopes for you ever to see God in comfort, then for me to touch the Heavens with my finger, or with a word to annihilate this great building, or for the Devil to be saved, which he might be, if he could love a Saint as such: No, Sir, it will be too late for you to say to those Saints, whom you have defied, Give me some of your holiness, that I may be∣hold Gods angry countenance; You can expect no answer, but, Go, buy Sir of those Soul-hucksters, your Bishops, which fed you with chaff and poyson, and now you must feed upon fire and brimstone to all eternity.
2. Concerning my self, I bear no more malice to the Mans person, then I do to my dear Father; but I hate that cursed prin∣ciple of Tyranny, that hath so long lodged and harbored within Him, which hath turned our waters of Law into blood; And there∣fore upon that Malignant principle, I hope this High Court (which is an habitation of Justice, and a Royal Palace of principles of Freedom) will do speedy Justice, That this Lyon which hath devoured so many Sheep, may not onely be removed out of the way, but that this Iron Scepter, which hath been lifted up to break this poor Nation in pieces like a Potters vessel, may be wrested out of the hands of Tyrants, That my honorable Clients (for whom I am an unworthy Advocate) The people of England, may not onely taste, but drink abundantly of those sweet Waters of that Well of Liberty, which this renowned Army hath digg'd with their swords, which was stopt by the Philistines, the fierce Jew, and uncircumcised Canaanite, the hopes whereof made me readily to hearken to the call to this service, as if it had been immediately from Heaven, being fully satisfied, That the prisoner was long since condemned to dye by Gods Law (which being more Noble and ancient then any Law of man, if there had been a Statute that he should not dye, yet he ought to be put to death not withstand∣ing) and that this High Court was but to pronounce the Sentence and Judgment written against him: And though I might have been sufficiently discouraged, in respect that my reason is far less then others of my profession; yet considering that there are but two Page 39 things desireable, to make a dumb man eloquent, namely, A good Cause, and good Judges, The first whereof procures the Justice of Heaven, and the second Justice upon Earth; And thinking that happily God might make use of one mean man at the Bar, amongst other learned Counsel, that more of his minde might appear in it (for many times the less there is of man, the more Gods glory does appear, and hitherto very much of the minde of God hath appeared in this action) I went as chearfully about it, as to a Wed∣ding; And that the glory of this administration may be wholly given to God, I desire to observe to the praise of his great name, the work of God upon my own spirit, in his gracious assistance and presence with me, as a return of Prayer, and fruit of Faith, believing that God never calls to the acting of any thing so plea∣sing to him, as this most excellent Court of Justice is, but he is present with the honorable Judges, and those that wait upon them: I have been sometimes of Counsel against Felons and Prisoners, but I never moved the Court to proceed to Judgement against any Felon, or to keep any man in Prison, but I trembled at it in my thoughts, as thinking it would be easier to give an account of mer∣cy and indulgence, then of any thing that might look like rigor; but now my spirits are quite of another temper, and I hope it is meat and drink to good men, to have Justice done, and recreation to think what benefit this Nation will receive by it.
And now, my Lord, I must as the truth is, conclude him guilty of more transcendent Treasons, and Enormous Crimes, then all the Kings in this part of the world have ever been: And as he that would picture Venus, must take the eyes of one, the cheeks of another beautiful woman, and so other parts to make a compleat beauty: so to delineate an absolute Tyrant, the cruelty of Richard the third, and all the subtilty, treachery, deep dissimulation, abo∣minable projects, and dishonorable shifts, that ever were separately in any that swayed the English Scepter, conspired together to make their habitation in this Whited-wal; therefore I humbly pray, That as he hath made himself a president in committing such hor∣rid acts, which former Kings and Ages knew not, and have been afraid to think of, That your Lordship, and this High Court, out of your sublime wisdoms, and for Justice sake, would make him an Page 40 example for other kingdoms for the time to come, That the Kings of the Earth may hear, and fear, and do no more so wickedly; That he that would not be a patern of Vertue, and an example of Justice in his life, may be a president of Justice to others by his death.
Courteous Reader, for thy full satisfaction in Reason of Law, how the late King was by the Law of the Land accountable for his Tyrannous, and Trayterous Exorbitances, I refer thee to my Lord Presidents most Learned and Judicious Speech, before the Sentence read: And I have one word to adde, That High Court was a Resemblance and Representation of the great day of Judge∣ment, when the Saints shall judge all worldly powers, and where this Judgement will be confirmed and admired, for it was not only bonum, but bene; not onely good for the matter, but the maner of proceeding: This High Court did not onely consult with Hea∣ven for wisdom and direction (a president for other Courts to be∣gin every solemn action with Prayer) but examined witnesses se∣veral days upon Oath to inform their consciences, and received abundant satisfaction in a judicial way (which by the Law of the Land was not requisite in Treason, the Prisoner standing mute) as Judges, which before was most notorious and known to them, as private persons, and having most perspicuously discerned, and weighed the merits of the Cause in the Ballances of the Sanctu∣ary, Law and right Reason, pronounced as righteous a sentence as ever was given by mortal men. And yet what Action was ever so good, but was traduced? Not onely by unholy men, but by the holy men of the world; that professors should pray for Ju∣stice, and then repine at the execution of it: Blessed Lord! How does the God of this world storm, now his kingdom is shaking? An enlightened eye must needs see that it is the design of Heaven to break all humane glory with an iron Scepter, that will not kiss his golden Scepter, and to exalt Justice and Mercy in the Earth. I confess, if the greater part of the world should approve such High and Noble Acts of Justice, it might be suspected, because the most people will Judge erroneously; but that Christians that have fasted and prayed many years for Justice, should now be angry to see it done, what is it? but like foolish passengers that having been Page 41 long at sea in dangerous storms, as they are entring into the quiet haven, to be mad with the Pilot because he will not return into the angry Seas: but I shall observe one passage in the Lord Presidents Speech, as a Schollar may presume to say a word after his Master, concerning the many menaces & minatory dangerous speeches wch are given forth concerning this High Court: If men must be kill'd for the faithful discharge of their duties to God & their Countrey, I am sure the murtherer will have the worst of it in conclusion, if he should not be known here (though murther is a sin that seldom goes unpunisht in this world, and never did any Jesuit hold it meri∣torious to kill men for bringing tyrants and murtherers to Justice, or to do such horrid acts in the sight of the Sun) It was a noble say∣ing of the Lord President, That he was afraid of nothing so much as the not doing of Justice: and when he was called to that High place which was put upon him, he sought it not, but desired to be excused more then once: not to decline a duty to God and the peo∣ple for fear of any loss or danger (being above such thoughts by many Stories, as actions testifie) but alledging, That of himself, out of an humble spirit, which if others had said of him, I am sure they had done him a great deal of wrong: And though he might have been sufficiently discouraged, because it was a new unpresidented Tribunal of condemning a King (because never did any king so Tyrannize and Butcher the People, finde me but that in any Histo∣ry, and on the other side the leaf you shall finde him more then beheaded, even to be quartered, and given to be meat to the fowls of the Air) yet the glory of God, and the love of Justice, constrained him to accept it, and with what great wisdom and undauntedness of Resolution, joyned with a sweet meekness of spirit he hath performed it, is most evident to all, the Malignants themselves being Judges. Concerning this High Court, to speak any thing of this glorious Administration of Justice, is but to shew the Sun with a candle (the Sun of Justice now shines most glo∣riously, and it will be fair weather in the Nation; but alas, the poor Mole is blinde still, and cannot see it, but none so blinde as they that will not see it) however, it is not proper or conveni∣ent for me at present, to speak all the truth that I know (the Generations that are to come will call them blessed) concerning Page 42 the Integrity and Justice of their proceedings, lest I that a ma• servant should be counted a Sycophant, which I abhor in my soul, as my body does poyson; and this I will be bold to say (which I hope God guides my hand to write) This High Court hath cut off the head of a Tyrant, and they have done well; undoubtedly it is the best action that they ever did in all their lives, a matter of pure envy, not hatred, for never shall or can any men in this Nation, promerit so much Honor as these have done, by any execution of Justice comparable to this; and in so doing, they have pronounced sentence not onely against one Tyrant, but Ty∣ranny it self; therefore if any of them shall turn Tyrants, or consent to set up any kinde of Tyranny by a Law, or suffer any unmerciful domineering over the Consciences, Persons, and Estates of the Free People of this Land, they have pro∣nounced Sentence against themselves: But good trees cannot bring forth bad fruits; therefore let all desperate Malignants re∣pent ere it be too late, of any such ungodly purposes, and fight no longer against God. Every man is sowen here as a seed or grain, and grows up to be a tree, it behoves us all to see in what ground we stand: holy and righteous men will be found to be timber for the great building of God in his love, when Tyrants and Enemies to Holiness and Justice, will be for a threshold or footstool to be trodden upon, or fit for the fire.
Lastly, for my self, I bless God, I have not so much fear as comes to the thousand part of a grain; it is for a Cain to be afraid, that every man that meets him will slay him! I am not much solicitous, whether I dye of a Consumption, or by the hand of Ravilliacks, I leave that to my heavenly Father: If it be his will that I shall fall by the hand of violence, it is the Lord, let him do what he pleaseth: If my Indentures be given in before the term of my Apprenticeship be expired, and that I be at my Fa∣thers house before it be night, I am sure there is no hurt in all this: If I have but so much time left, I shall pray my Father to forgive the Murtherer; the blood of Christ can wash away sins of the deepest stain, but when he sees his childrens blood sprinkled up∣on the bloody wretch, he loves every Member as he loves him∣self. But know this, ye that have conceived any desperate inten∣tions Page 43 against those Honorable Justices, who have made you Free∣men, unless you will return to Egypt: If God in wrath to you▪ and love to any of his people, should suffer you to imbrue your hands in any of their innocent blood, either you will repent or not; if you repent, it will cost you ten times more anguish and grief of heart, then the pleasure of the sin can cause delight, and what a base thing is it to do that which must be repented of at the best? But if you repent not, it had been better for you to have never been born. But let every man be faithful in doing his duty, and trust God with the success, and rejoyce in Christ in the testimony of a good Conscience; for he that hath not a soul to lose, hath nothing to lose: but blessed be God, I have no soul to lose, therefore I desire onely to fear him, whom to fear, is the beginning of wisdom: And for all Malignants to come in, and joyn with honest men in settling this Nation upon Noble Princi∣ples of Justice, Freedom, and Mercy to the poor, will be their best and greatest understanding.