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· had neither blood nor merit fit to wear, nor estates to bear up their titles, but were fain to invent projects to pillage the people, and pick their pockets, for the maintenance of vice and lewdness."
But the grand cause of difference between James and his subjects, and that which, in the reign of his son, led to the subversion of the monarchy, was the difference of their religious principles. The King was suspected of a secret attachment to popery, which, while he had not the courage to avow, led him to be a strenuous supporter of the discipline and ceremonies of the church of England. There was no class of people whom James detested so much as the Puritans. The Scotch Presbyterians had thwarted him on many occasions; they had treated his person with indecent familiarity, and his power with disrespect; and the republican spirit by which they were animated could not but be extremely odious to a prince who prided himself in cherishing the most arbitrary maxims of absolute monarchy.
Soon after his accession to the English throne, a conference was held at Hampton Court, between the churchmen and dissenters, where the King appeared in person, not as a judge, but with all the zeal of a warm partisan, and mingled in the debates with great eagerness. His chancellor exclaimed that he had often heard the priesthood was united to royalty, but
he was now convinced of that truth by the learned arguments i of his majesty. Archbishop Whitgift carried his flattery still
higher, in declaring, he was persuaded that the King spoke from the immediate inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
forty years in a wilderness and barren soil, am now arrived at the land of promise.” This man was afterwards made gentleinan of the bedchamber, master of the wardrobe, and invested with such honors and; offices as he was capable of; but had yoù seen how the Lords did vie courtesies to this poor gentleman, striving who should engross that commodity by the largest bounty, you could not but have condemned them of much baseness."
" And now,” says Mrs. Hutchinson, " the King had upon his heart the dealings both of England and Scotland with his mother, and harboured a secret desire of revenge upon the godly of both nations, yet had not the courage to assert his resentment like a prince, but employed a wicked cunning he was master of, and called kingcraft, to undermine what he durst not openly oppose, the true religion. This was fenced with the liberty of the people, and so linked together, that it was impossible to make them slaves till they were brought to be idolaters of royalty and glorious lust, and as impossible to make them adore these gods while they continued loyal to the government of Jesus Christ. The payment of civil obedience to the King and the laws of the realm satisfied not; if any durst dispute his impositions in the worship of God, he was presently reckoned among the seditious and disturbers of the public peace, and accordingly persecuted : if any were grieved at the dishonour of the kingdom, or the griping of the poor, or the unjust oppressions of the subject, by a thousand ways, invented to maintain the riots of the courtiers, and the swarms of needy Scots the King had brought in to devour, like locusts, the plenty of this land, he was a Puritan: if any, out of mere morality and civil honesty, discountenanced the abominations of those days, he was a Puritan, however he conformed to their superstitious worship: if any showed favor to any godly, honest person, kept them company, relieved them in want, or protected them against violent or unjust oppression, he was a Puritan: if any gentleman in the country maintained the good laws of the land, or stood up for any public interest, for good order or government, he was a Puritan: in short, all that crossed the views of the needy courtiers, the proud encroaching priests, the lewd nobility and gentry, whoever was zealous for God's glory and worship, could not endure blasphemous oaths, ribald conversation, profane scoff's, sabbath breach, derision of the word of God, and the like; whoever could endure a sermon, modest babit or conversation, or any thing good, all these were Puritans; and, if Puritans, then enemies to the King and his government, seditious, fractious hypocrites, ambitious disturbers of the public peace, and finally, the pest of the kingdom.
“ The Puritan party (continues the same well-informed and judicious writer), being weak and oppressed, had not faith enough to disown all that adhered to them for worldly interests, and indeed it required more than human wisdom to discern at the least all of them, wherefore they in their low condition, gladly accepted any that would come over to them, or incline towards them, and their enemies, through envy at them, augmented much their party, while with injuries and reproaches they drove many, that never intended it, to take that party, wbich in the end got nothing but con: fusion by those additions. While these parties were thus counterworking, the treasure of the kingdom being wasted by court-caterpillars, and Parliament called to supply the royal coffers, therein there wanted not some, that retained so much of the English spirit, as to represent the public grievances, and desired to call the corrupt ministers of state to account; but the King, grudging that his people should dare to gainsay his pleasure, and correct his misgovernment in his favorites, broke up Parliaments, violated their privileges, imprisoned their members for things spoken in the House, and grew disaffected to them, and entertained other projects of supply by other grievances of the people. The prelates, in the mean time, finding they lost ground, meditated reunion with the popish faction, who began to be at a pretty agreement with them; and now there was no more endeavour, in their public sermons, to confute the errors of that church, but to reduce our doctrines and theirs to an accommodation. The King, to bring it about, was deluded into the treaty of a match for his son with the Infanta of Spain; and the Prince, with the Duke of Buckingham, were privately sent into Spain, from whence he with difficulty came back, but to the great rejoicing of the whole people in general, who were much afflicted at his going thither. During this treaty the Papists got many advantages of the King, to the prejudice of the Protestant interest at home and abroad, and the hearts of all but the Papists were very much saddened, and the people, loth to lay the miscarriage at the King's own door, began to entertain an universal hatred of the Duke of Buckingham, raised from a knight's fourth son to that pitch of glory, and enjoying great possessions acquired by the favor of the King, upon no merit but that of his beauty and prostitution. The Parliament had drawn up a charge against him, and though the King seemed to protect him, yet, knowing the fearfulness of his nature, and doubting his constancy, it was believed he added some help to an ague that killed the King: however, King James died, the Duke continued as high in the favor of the next succeeding as of the deceased prince; whereupon one, not unaptly, says of him, “ he seemed as an unhappy exhalation, drawn up from the earth, not only to cloud the setting but the rising sun."
Such is the portraiture which a most observing and penetrating writer draws of the government of James I. The seeds of civil dissension were deeply sown in his reign, but it was reserved for his son and successor, a prince of far greater virtues than his father, yet alloyed with many faults, to reap the bitter harvest of them. “ The face of the court (observes Mrs. Hutchinson) was much changed in the change of the King; for King Charles was chaste, temperate, and serious; so that the fools and bawds, mimicks and catamites, of the former court, grew out of fashion; and the nobility and courtiers, who did not quite abandon their debaucheries, had yet that reverence to the King to retire into corners to practise them: men of learning and ingenuity in all arts were in esteem, and received encouragement from the King, who was a most excellent judge and a great lover of paintings, carvings, grav
ings, and many other ingenuities, less offensive than the tawdry and profane abusive wit, which was the only exercise of the other court. But as, in the primitive times, it is observed, that the best emperors were some of them stirred by Satan to be the bitterest persecutors of the church, so this King was a worse encroacher upon the civil and spiritual liberties of the people by far than his father. He married a Papist, a French lady, of a haughty spirit, and a great wit and beauty, to whom he became a most uxorious husband. By this means the court was replenished with Papists, and many who hoped to advance themselves by the change, turned to that religion; all the Papists in the kingdom were favored, and by the King's example matched into the best families; the Puritans were more than ever discountenanced and persecuted, insomuch that many of them chose rather to abandon their native country, and leave their dearest relations, and retire into any foreign soil and plantation, where they might, amidst all outward inconveniences, enjoy the free exercise of God's worship. Such as could not flee were tormented in the bishop's courts, fined, whipt, pilloried, imprisoned, and suffered to enjoy no rest, so that death was better than life to them; and, notwithstanding their patient sufferance of all these things, yet was not the King satisfied till the whole land was reduced to perfect slavery. The example of the French King was propounded to him, and he thought hiinself no monarch so long as his will was confined to the bounds of any law; but knowing that the people of England were not pliable to an arbitrary rule he plotted to subdue them to his yoke by a foreign foe, and till he could effect it, made no conscience of granting any thing to the people, which he resolved should not oblige him longer than it served his turn; he was a prince that had nothing of faith or truth, justice or generosity, in him: he was the most obstinate person in his self-will that ever was, and so bent upon being an absolute, uncontroulable sovereign, that he was resolved either to be such a king or none. His