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not have their weaker notions anticipated by the more knowing senators; and partly, for that the senate might not be diverted from the mature resolutions of the more antient, by the interpositions of the younger men; they, as all free states, ever allowing free members to express themselves, according to their several capacities: and methinks it was a happy method. So your opinions and inclinations of the assembly being discovered and ripened to resolution by such gradations, the sentences of the sages sounded as judgments, not orations; their wisdom and gravity put a seasonable period to others, perhaps otherwise endless discourses.

Their precedent encourages me (who worst may) to break the ice. Children can lay their fingers on the sore, point out their pain; and infant graduates in parliament may gruan out the grievances of a diseased commonwealth ; but they must be doctors in the art of government, that can apply apt remedies to recover it.

Mr. Speaker, antient and approved hath been that parallel of the body politick with the body natural: It is the part of the patients in either distempered, to impart freely their griefs to the physicians of the body or state, if they expect a cure.

This commonwealth is, or should be, but one body: This house the great physician of all our maladies; and, alas, Mr. Speaker, of what afflicted part shall we poor patients complain first? Or rather, of what shall we not complain?

Are we not heart-sick? Is there in us that which God requires, unity, purity, and singularity of heart? Nay, is not religion (the soul of this body) so miserably distracted, that, I speak it with terror of heart, it is to be feared, there is more confusion of religions amongst us, than there was of tongues at the subversion of Babel: And is it not then high time that we understand one another, that we were reduced to one faith, one government?

Sir, is the head whole: The seat of government and justice, the fountain from whose sweet influence all the inferior members of this body should receive both vigour and motion : Nay, hath not rather a general apoplexy, or palsy, taken, or shaken, all our members? Are not some dead?" Others buried quick? Some dismembered, all disordered, by the diversion of the course of justice ?

Is the liver (nature's exchequer) open; from whose free distribution each limb may receive its proper nutriment, or rather is it not wholly obstructed i Our property taken from us? So that it may properly be said of us, Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra; our ancestors drank the juice of their own vines, reaped and eat the fruit of their own harvest. But now the poor man's plough goes to furrow the seas, to build ships : We labour not for ourselves, but to feed excrescences of nature, things grown up out of the ruins of the natural members, monopolists.

Sir, these are marime vitalia; religion, justice, property: The heart, the head, the liver, of this great body; and these distempered or obstructed, can the subordinate parts be free? No, sir, the truth is, all is so far out of frame, that to lay open every particular grievance were to drive us into despair of cure: In so great confusion, where to begin first, requires not much less care than what to apply.

Mr. Speaker, I know it is a plausible motion to begin with setting God's house in order first: Who presses that, moves with such advantage, that he is sure no man will gain-say him. It is a well-becoming zeal, to prefer religion before our own affairs; and indeed it is a duty not to be omitted, where they are in equal danger: But, in cure of the body politick or natural, we must still prefer the most pressing exigents.

Physicians know that consumptions, dropsies, and such-like lingering diseases, are more mortal, more difficult to cure, than slight external wounds: Yet, if the least vein be cut, they must neglect their greater cures to stop that, which, if neglected, must needs exhaust the stock of nature, and produce a dissolution of the whole man.

A defection from the duties of our religion is a consumption to any state; no foundation is firm that is not laid in Christ.

The denial of justice, the abridgment of our liberties, is such an obstruction as renders the commonwealth leprous; but the wounds in our property, let out the life-blood of the people.

The reformation of church-government must necessarily be a work of much time, and, God be thanked, the discase is not desperate: We serve one God, we believe in one Christ, and we all acknowledge and profess one Gospel.' The difference is only de modo, we vary but in ceremonies; to reduce which to the primitive practice, must be a work of great debate, is not a work for us alone to settle.

The stop of justice can get injurc but particulars. It is true, there may be many, too many instances of strange oppressions, great oppressors; but it will be hard to judge the conclusion. Et sic de cæteris.

But, take from us the property of our estates, our subsistence, we are no more a people; this is that vein, which hath been so deep cut, so far exhausted, that to preserve our being, we must, doubtless, first stop this current; then settle rules to live by, when we are sure to live.

Mr. Speaker, he, that well weighs this little word, property, or propriety in our estates, will find it of a large extent; the leeches, that have sucked this blood, have been excise, benevolences, loans, impositions, monopolies, military taxes, ship-money, cum multis aliis : all which spring from one root.

And is it not high time to grub up that root, that brings forth such fruit? shall we first stand to lop the branches one by one, when we may down with all at once? he, that, to correct an evil tree, that brings forth bad fruit, shall begin at the master-bough, and so lop down'wards, is in danger to fall himself, before the tree falls. The safer and speedier way is to begin at the root; and there, with subinission to better judgments, would I lay to the axe.

The root of most of our present mischiefs, and the ruin of all posterity, do I hold to be that extrajudicial (judgment I cannot say, but rather) doom, delivered by all the judges, under their hands out of court, yet recorded in all courts, to the subversion of all our fundamental laws and liberties, and annihilation, if not confiscation of our estates : that, in case of danger, the king may impose upon his subjects,

and that he is the sole judge of the danger, necessity, and proportion; which, in brief, is to take what, when, and where he will : Which, though delivered in the time of a gracious and merciful prince, who, we hope, will not wrest it beyond our abilities, yet, left to the interpretation of a succeeding tyrant, if ever this nation be so unfortunate to fall into the hands of such, it is a record, wherein every man may read himself a slave, that reads it, having nothing he can call his own, all prostitute to the will of another.

What to do in such a case we are not to seek for precedents; our honourable ancestors taught us, in the just and exemplary punishments of Chief Justice Tresilian and his accomplices (for giving their judgments, out of parliament, against the established laws of parliament, how tender they were of us, how careful we ought to be to continue those laws, to preserve the liberty of our posterity.

I am far from maligning the person, nor in my heart wish I the execution of any man; but, certainly, it shall be a justice well becoming this house, to lay their heads at his majesty's mercy, who had laid us under his feet, who had made us but tenants at will of our liberties and estates.

And, though I cannot but approve of mercy, as a great virtue in any prince, yet I heartily pray it may prove a precedent as safe and useful to this oppressed state, as that of justice.

Mr. Speaker, blasted may that tongue be, that shall in the least de gree derogate from the glory of those halcyon days, our fathers enjoyed, during the government of that ever-blessed, never-to-be-forgot royal Elisabeth! But certainly I may safely say, without detraction, it was much advantage to the peace and prosperity of her reign, that the great examples of Empson and Dudley were then fresh in memory. The civility of our laws tells us, That kings can do no wrong; and then is the state secure, when judges, their ministers, dare do none. Since our times have found the want of such examples, it is fit we should leave some to posterity. God forbid, that all should be thought, or found guilty! There are, doubtless, some ring-leaders ; let us sist them out. In publick government, to pass by the nocent is equal injustice, as to punish the innocent. An omission of that duty, now, will be a guilt in us, render us shamed in history, cursed by posterity; our gracious and, in that act of voluntary justice, most glorious king hath given up, to the satisfaction of his afflicted people, the authors of their ruins; the power of future preservation is now in us; et qui non servat patriam, cum potest, idem facit destruenti patriam.

What though we cannot restore the damage of the commonwealth, we may yet repair the breaches in the bounds of monarchy; though it be with our loss and charge, we shall so leave our children's children fenced, as with a wall of safety, by the restoration of our laws to their ancient vigour and lustre.

It is too true, that it is to be feared the revenues of the crown, sold out-right, would scarce remunerate the injuries, or repay the losses of this suffering nation since the pronouncing of that fatal sentence. What proportionable satisfaction, then, can this commonwealth receive in the punishment of a few inconsiderable delinquents ? But it is a rule valid in law, approved in equity, that, Qui non habent in crumena, luant in corpore; and it is without all question, in policy, exemplary punishments conduce more to the state, than pecuniary reparations ; hope of impunity lulls every bad great officer into security, for his time; and, who would not venture to raise a fortune, when the allurements of honour and wealth are so prevalent, if the worst that can befall, be but restitution ?

We see the bad effects of this bold erroneous opinion; what was at first but corrupt law, by encouragement taken from their impunity, is since become false doctrine; the people taught in pulpits, they have no property; kings instructed in that destructive principle, that all is

their's; and it is thence deduced into necessary state policy, whispered in council, that he is no monarch who is bounded by any law.

By which bad consequences, the best of kings hath been, by the infusion of such poisonous positions, diverted from the sweet inclinations of his own natural equity and justice; the very essence of a king taken from him, which is the preservation of his people; and, whereas salus populi is, or should be suprema lex, the power of undoing us is masqued under the stile of what should be sacred royal prerogative.

And is it not high time for us to make examples of the first authors of this subverted law, bad counsel, worse doctrine ?

Let no man think to divert us from the pursuit of justice, by poisoning the clear streams of our affections with jealous fears of his majesty's interruption, if we look too high. Shall we therefore doubt of justice, because we have need of great justice? We may be confident, the king well knows, That his justice is the band of our allegiance; that it is the staff, the proof of his sovereignty ?

It is an happy assurance of his intentions of grace to us, that our loyalty hath at last won him to tender the safety of his people ; and certainly (all our pressures well weighed, these twelve years last past) it will be found, the passive loyalty of this suffering nation hath outdone the active duty of all times and stories : As the poet hath it,

Fortiter ille facit, qui miser esse potest. I may as properly say, fideliter fecimus, we have done loyally to suffer so patiently.

Then, since our royal lord hath in mercy visited us, let us not doubt, but, in his justice, he will redeem his people. Qui timide rogat, docet negare. But, when religion is innovated, our liberties violated, our fundamental laws abrogated, our modern laws already obsoleted, th property of our estates alienated, nothing left us, we can call our own, but our misery and our patience; if ever any nation might justifiably, this certainly may now, now most properly, most seasonably cry out, and cry loud, Vel sacra regnet justitia, vel ruat cælum.

Mr. Speaker, the sum of my humble motion is, That a special committee may be appointed to examine the whole carriage of that extrajudicial judgment; who were the counsellors, sollicitors, and subscribers to the same; the reasons of their subscription; whether according to their opinions, by importunity, or pressure of others, whether pro forma tantum ; and, upon report thereof, to draw up a charge against the guilty; and then, Currat ler, fiat justitia.

MR. JOHN MILTON'S

CHARACTER OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT

AND ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES,

In 1641.

Omitted in his other Works, and never before printed, and very seasonable

for these Times. London, printed for Henry Brome, at the Gun at the West end of St. Paul's,

1681. Quarto, containing sixteen Pages.

TO THE READER.

THE reader may take notice, that this character of Mr. Milton's was a

part of his History of Britain, and by him designed to be printed: but, out of tenderness to a party [whom neither this nor much more lenity has had the luck to oblige}, it was struck out for some harshness, being only such a digression, as the history itself would not be discomposed by its omission; which I suppose will be easily discerned, by reading over the beginning of the third book of the said

history, very near which place this character is to come in. It is reported, and from the foregoing character it seems probable, that

Mr. Milton had lent most of his personal estate upon the publick faith ; which, when he somewhat earnestly and warmly pressed to have restored [observing how all in offices had not only feathered their own nests, but had inriched many of their relations and creatures, before the publick debts were discharged], after a long and chargeable attendance, met with very sharp rebukes; upon which, at last despairing of any success in this affair, he was forced to return from them poor and friendless, having spent all bis money, and wearied all his friends. And he had not probably mended his worldly condition in those days, but by performing such service for them, as afterwards he did, for which scarce any thing would appear too great.

OF
F these, who swayed most in the late troubles, few words, as to this

point, may suffice. They had arms, leaders, and successes to their wish; but to make use of so great an advantage was not their skill.

To other causes therefore, and not to the want of force, or warlike VOL. y..

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