Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 3, 1639-40. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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Speeches in the Long Parliament
When the Author of these Collections came to the Press with this his Second Part, he had no intention to have gone further than to the third of November 1640. but finding his Collections to end as the King and his Nobles came from York after the Great Council there broke up and arrived at London immediately before the Parliament met; and finding the King in his Speech the first day at the opening of the Parliament, to take notice of the Proceedings at the Great Council, and at the Treaty at Rippon, the Author hath adventured to give an Account of some Proceedings of that Parliament during the first six Months, where many Speeches were made concerning the State and Condition of the Kingdom, and the Grievances the People had undergone: some of which Speeches you have at large, and Abstracts of others of them, with some few remarkable Passages in the Parliament during that time.
The King's Majesty's Speech at the Opening of the Parliament at Westminster, Novemb. 3. 1640.
'The knowledge I had of the Desires of my Scotish Subjects was the cause of my calling the last Assembly of Parliament; wherein had I been believed, I sincerely think that things had not fallen out as now we see. But it is no wonder that Men are so slow to believe that so great a Sedition should be raised on so little ground. But now, my Lords and Gentlemen, the Honour and Safety of this Kingdom lying so near at the stake, I am resolved to put myself freely and clearly on the Love and Affection of my English Subjects, as these of my Lords as did wait on me at York, very well remember I there declared.
'Therefore, my Lords, I shall not mention mine own Interest, or that Support I might justly expect from you, till the common Safety be secured; tho I must tell you, I am not ashamed to say, those Charges I have been at, have been merely for the securing and good of this Kingdom, tho the Success hath not been answerable to my Desires: Therefore I shall only desire you to consider the best way both for the Safety and Security of this Kingdom; wherein there are two parts chiefly considerable: First, The chastising out of the Rebels; and, Secondly, That other in satisfying your just Grievances, wherein I shall promise you to concur so heartily and clearly with you, that all the World may see my Intentions have ever been and shall be to make this a glorious and flourishing Kingdom. There are only two things that I shall mention to you: First, The one is to tell you that the Loan of Money which I lately had from the City of London, wherein the Lords that waited on me at York assisted me. will only maintain my Army for two Months from the beginning of that time it was granted. Now, my Lords and Gentlemen, I leave it to your Considerations, what Dishonour and Mischief it might be, in case for want of Money my Army be disbanded before the Rebels be put out of this Kingdom. Secondly, The securing the Calamities the Northern People endure at this time, and so long as the Treaty is on foot: And in this I may say, not only they, but all this Kingdom will suffer the harm; therefore I leave this also to your Consideration, for the ordering of these great Affairs, whereof you are to treat at this time. I am so confident of your love to me, and that your Care is for the Honour and Safety of the Kingdom, that I shall freely and willingly leave to you where to begin. Only this, that you may the better know the State of all the Affairs, I have commanded my Lord Keeper to give you a short and free Account of those things that have happen'd in this Interim, with this Protestation. That if this Account be not satisfactory as it ought to be, I shall whensoever you desire, give you a full and perfect Account of every Particular. One thing more I desire of you, as one of the greatest means to make this a happy Parliament, That you on your parts, as I on mine, lay aside all Suspicion one of another, as I promised my Lords at York. It shall not be my fault if this be not a happy and good Parliament.'
The King's Majesty's Speech in Parliament the fifth of November 1640. when he declared his Approbation of William Lenthall of Lincolns-Inn Esq; to be Speaker.
I Do expect that you will hastily make relation to the House of Commons of those great Affairs for which I have called you hither at this time, and so the Trust I have reposed in them; and how freely I put my self on their Love and Affections at that time: And that you may know the better how to do so, I shall explain myself as concerning one thing I spake the last day. I told you that the Rebels must be put out of this Kingdom. It's true, I must needs call them so, so long as they have an Army that do invade us; aud altho I am under Treaty with them, and I under my Great Seal do call them my Subjects, and so they are too; But the State of my Affairs in short is this. It's true, I did expect when I did will my Lords and Great Ones at York, to have given a gracious Answer to all their Grievances; for I was in good hopes by their Wisdoms and Assistances, to have made an end of that Business. But I must tell you, that my Subjects of Scotland did so delay them, that it was not possible to end there. Therefore I can no ways blame my Lords that were at Rippon that the Treaty was not ended; but must thank them for their Pains and Industry: and certainly had they as much Power as Affections, I should by that time have brought these Distempers to a happy Period: So that now the Treaty is transported from Rippon to London, where I shall conclude nothing without your knowledge, and I doubt not but by your Approbation: for I do not desire to have this great Work done in a Corner; for I shall lay open all the Steps of this Misunderstanding, and Causes of the great difference between me and my Subjects of Scotland; and I doubt not hut by your Assistance to make them know their Duty, and to make them return whether they will or no.
(fn. 1)Mr. Edward Hide, Of a crying Grievance in the North.
'I Am commanded by the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, to present to your Lordships a great and crying Grievance, which tho it be complained of in the present Pressures but by the Northern Parts, yet by the Logick and Consequence of it, it is the Grievance of the whole Kingdom. The Court of the President of the North, or as it is more usually called, the Courts of York, which by the Spirit and Ambition of the Ministers trusted there, or by the natural Inclination of Courts to enlarge their own Power and Jurisdiction, hath so prodigiously broken down the Banks of the first Channel in which it ran, as it hath almost overwhelm'd that Country under the Sea of Arbitrary Power, and involved the People in a Labyrinth of Distemper, Oppression and Poverty.
'My Lord of Strafford came to that Government, in December 4 Caroli, and since the Commission hath been three several times renewed. But into that Commission of the 8th and 13th Years of the King's Reign, a new Clause was inserted for the granting, sequestring and establishing Possessions according to Instructions, which crowded in a mass of new exorbitant and intolerable Power; our Complaint is against this Commission itself, and against the whole Body of those Instructions.
'The ninth Instruction requires an Obedience to such Ordinances and Determinations, as be or shall be made by the Council Table or High Commission Court. A Grievance of so transcendent a nature, that your Lordships noble Justice will provide a Remedy for it, with no less Care than you would rescue the Life and Blood of the Common-Wealth. There are among them in the whole fifty eight Instructions, scarce one that is not against, or besides the Law.
'Whether his Majesty may cantonize out a part of his Kingdom to be tried by Commission, tho according to the Rules of Law, since the whole Kingdom is under the Laws and Government of the Court established at Westminster, and by this reason the several parts of the Kingdom may be deprived of that Privilege, will not be now the Question. That his Majesty cannot by Commission erect a new Court of Chancery, or a Proceeding according to the Rules of the Star-Chamber, is most clear to all who have read Magna Charta, which allowed no Proceedings, nisi per legale judicium Parium, & per legem terræ.
(fn. 2)Geo. Lord Digby, Of Grievances in the West.
'It's true, Mr. Speaker, the County of Dorset hath not digested its Complaints into that formal way of Petition, which others (I see) have done. But the County of Dorset have intrusted their Complaints to my Partner and my delivery of them by word of Mouth, unto this honourable House; and there was given unto us in the County-Court the day of our Election, a short Memorial of the heads of them, which was read in the hearing of the Freeholders there present, who all unanimously with one Voice signified upon each Particular, that it was their Desire that we should represent them to the Parliament, which with your leave I shall do, and these they are.
- 1. 'The great and intolerable Burden of Ship-Money, touching the legality whereof they are unsatisfied.
- 2. 'The many great Abuses in pressing of Soldiers and raising Moneys concerning the same.
- 3. 'The multitude of Monopolies.
- 4. 'The new Canon, and the Oath to be taken by Lawyers, Divines, &c.
- 5. 'The Oath required to be taken by Church-Officers, to present according to Articles new and unusual.
(fn. 3)Sir Jo Culpepper, Of Grievances in Kent, Monopolies, &c.
'I Stand not up with the Petition in my Hand as others have done before me; I have it in my Mouth, and in charge from them that sent me hither to present the Grievances of the County of Kent.
- 1. 'The great increase of Papists by the remiss execution of those Laws which are made to suppress them.
- 2. 'The intruding and countenancing of divers new Ceremonies in matters of Religion, as placing the Communion-Table Altarwise, and bowing or cringing to or towards the same.
- 3. 'A great Grievance by the military Charges. 1. Of Coat and Conduct Money. 2. The enhansing the Price of Gunpowder, whereby the Trained Bands are discourag'd in their Exereising. 3. The last Summer was Twelvemonth, a thousand of our best Arms were taken from the Owners and sent into Scotland. The compulsory way was this: If you will not send your Arms you shall go yourselves. This had not wont to be done to the Trained-Bands, a Militia of great Strength and Honour, and of no Charge to the King.
'The next Grievance is the Canons, besides the Oath, &c. made by a Convocation that ended with the Parliament; yet afterwards the same Men without any new Election were shuffled into a sacred Synod, and without Parliament assumed unto themselves power to make Laws, to grant Benevolence, and to moddle with our Freehold concerning the same.
'The next Grievance is Ship-Money; this cties aloud, it strikes the First-Born of every Family, I mean our Inheritance. If the Laws give the King Power in any Danger of the Kingdom whereof he is judge, to impose what and when he please, we owe all that is left to the Goodness of the King.
'There is one Grievance more, but it compriseth many, it is a Nest of Wasps or swarm of Vermin which have over-crept the Land, I mean the Monopolies and Pollers of the People: these, like the Frogs of Egypt, have gotten possession of our Dwellings, they sup in our Cup, they dip in our Dish. they sit by our Fire, we find them in the Wash-House and Powdering-Tub, they share with the Butler in his Box; they have marked and sealed us from Head to Foot, they will not abate us a Pin: These are the Leaches that have sucked the Common-Wealth so hard, that it is almost become hectical.
(fn. 4)Mr. Waller, Of Ship Money, Judges, and Intermission of Parliaments.
'The Articles against Judge Crawley you have heard read, and they have told you how these Brothers of the Coif are become fratres in malo, how these Sons of the Law have torn out the Bowels of their Mother.
'This Imposition of Ship-Money springing from a pretended Necessity, was it not enough that it was now grown annual, but they must entail it upon the State for ever, at once making Necessity inherent to the Crown, and Slavery to the Subject? Necessity, which dissolving all Law, is so much more prejudicial to his Majesty than to any of us, by how much the Law has invested his Royal State with a greater Power, and ampler Fortune; for so undoubted a Truth it hath ever been, that Kings as well as Subjects are involved in the Confusion which necessity produceth.
'That this was a supposititious imposed Necessity, and such as they could remove when they pleased; at the last Convention in Parliament, a Price was set upon it, For twelve Subsidies you shall reverse this Sentence. It may be said, so much Money would have removed the present Necessity; but here was a Rate set upon future Necessity, For twelve Subsidies you shall never suffer Necessity again, you shall for ever abolish that Judgment. Here this Mystery is reveal'd, this Vizor of Necessity is pulled off, and now it appears this Parliament of Judges had very frankly and bountifully presented his Majesty with twelve Subsidies to be levied on your Lordships, and the Commons. Certainly there is no Privilege which more properly belongs to a Parliament, than to open the Purse of the Subject; and yet these Judges, who are neither capable of sitting among us in the House of Commons, nor with your Lordships otherwise than as your assistants, have not only assumed to themselves this Privilege of Parliament, but presumed at once to make a Present to the Crown of all that either your Lordships or the Commons of England do, or shall hereafter possess.
'On every County a Ship is annually imposed; and who would not expect but our Seas by this time should be covered with the number of our Ships? Alas, my Lords, the daily Complaints of the decay of our Navy tell us how ill Ship-Money hath maintained the Sovereignty of the Seas: and by many Petitions which we receive from the Wives of those miserable Captives at Algier, (being between four and five thousand of our Countrymen) it doth evidently appear that to make us Slaves at home is not the way to keep us from being made Slaves abroad; so far has this Judgment been from relieving the present, or preventing the future Necessity, that as it changed our real Propriety into the shadow of a Propriety, so of a feigned it hath made a real Necessity.
'And here, my Lords, I cannot but take notite of the most sad Effects of this Oppression, the ill Influence it has had upon the antient Reputation and Valour of the English Nation: and no wonder, for if it be true that Oppression makes a wise Man mad, it may well suspend the Courage of the Valiant. The same happened to the Romans, when for Renown in Arms they most excelled the rest of the World: the Story is but short. 'Twas in the time of the Decemviri, (and I think the chief troublers of our State may make up that number) the Decemviri, my Lords, had subverted the Laws, suspended the Courts of Justice, and (which was the greatest Grievance both to the Nobility and People) had for some Years omitted to assemble the Senate, which was their Parliament: This, says the Historian, did not only deject the Romans, and make them despair of their Liberty, but caused them to be less valued by their Neighbours. The Sabines take the Advantage, and invaded them. And now the Decemviri are forced to call the long-desired Senate, whereof the People were so glad, that Hoslibus belloque gratiam habuerunt. This Assembly breaks up in discontent: nevertheless the War proceeds, Forces are raised, led by some of the Decemviri, and with the Sabines they meet in the Field. I know your Lordships expect the Event: my Author's words of his Countrymen are these, Ne quid ductu aut auspicio Decemvirorum prospere gereretur, vinci se patiebantur. They chose rather to snffer a present Diminu tion of Honour, than by Victory to confirm the Tyranny of their new Masters. At their return from this unfortunate Expedition, after some Distempers and Expostulations of the People, another Senate, that is a second Parliament, is called; and there the Decemviri are questioned, deprived of their Authority, imprisoned, banished, and some lose their Lives; and soon after this Vindication of their Liberties, the Romans by their better Success made it appear to the World, that Liberty and Courage dwell in the same Breast, and are never to be divorced. No doubt, my Lords, but your Justice shall have the like effect upon this dispirited People: 'tis not the Restauration of our antient Laws alone, but the Restitution of our antient Courage which is expected from your Lordships.'
(fn. 5)Mr. Edward Hide, Of Grievances by Judges in the case of Ship-Money.
'There cannot be a greater Instance of a sick and languishing Common-Wealth, than the business of this day. Good God! how have the guilty these late Years been punished, when the Judges themselves have been such Delinquents! 'Tis no marvel that an irregular, extravagant, arbitrary Power, like a Torrent, hath broke in upon us, when our Banks and our Bulwarks, the Laws, were in the custody of such Persons. Men who had lost their Innocence could not preserve their Courage, nor could we look that they who had so visibly undone us themselves, should have the Vertue or Credit to rescue us from the Oppression of other Men. 'Twas said by one who always spoke excellently, That the twelve Judges were li***ke the twelve Lions under the Throne of Solomon, under the Throne in Obediences, but yet Lyons : Your Lordships shall this day hear of six, who (be they what they will be else) were no Lyons, but who upon vulgar Fears delivered up the pretious Forts they were trusted with, almost without Assault, and in a tame easy Trance of Flattery and Servitude, lost and forfeited, shamefully forfeited, that Reputation, Awe and Reverence, which the Wisdom, Courage and Gravity of their venerable Predecessors had contracted and fasten'd to the places they now hold.
Lord Digby, Of frequent Parliaments.
'Surely there is no Man will conclude with me, that as the want of Parliaments hath been the Causa Causarum of all the Mischiefs and Distempers of the present Times; so frequency of Parliaments is the sole Catholick Antidote that can preserve and secure us for the future from the like danger.
'To which Camillas advised the Romans, Let a Prince consider what it is that moves a People principally to Affection and Dearness towards their Sovereign, he shall see that there needs no other Artifice in it, than to let them enjoy unmolested what belongs unto them of Right; and a wise Prince that would be happy, will servently labour to regain Love.
(fn. 6)Sir Benj. Rudyard, Of frequent Parliaments.
'IT hath been boasted, that the King should never call a Parliament till he had no need of his People; these were words of Division and Malignity. The King must always according to his occasions have use of his Peoples Power, Hearts, Hands, Purses. The People will always have need of the King's Clemency, Justice, Protection: and this Reciprocation is the strongest, the sweetest Union.
'It hath been said too of late, That a Parliament will take away more from the King than they will give him. It may well be said, that those things which will fall away of themselves, will enable the Subject to give him more than can be taken any way: Projects and Monopolies are but leaking Conduit-Pipes; the Exchequer itself at the fullest, is but a Cistern, and now a broken one; frequent Parliaments only are the Fountain; and I do not doubt but in this Parliament as we shall be free in our Advices, so shall we be the more free of our Purses, that his Majesty may experimentally find the real difference of better Counsels, the true solid grounds of raising and establishing his Greatness, never to be brought again (by God's Blessing) to such dangerous, such desperate Perplexities.
Lord Digby, Of Intermission and breaking of Parliaments.
'AS it cannot be denied, Mr. Speaker, that since the Conquest, there hath not been in this Kingdom a fuller concurrence of all Circumstances, to have made a Kingdom happy, than for these twelve Years last past; so it is most certain that there hath not been in all that deduction of Ages such a Conspiracy (if one may so say) of all the Elements of Mischief, to bring a flourishing Kingdom (if it were possible) to swift Ruin and Desolation.
'I will be bold to say, (and I thank God, we have so good a King, under whom we may speak boldly of the Abuse by ill Ministers, without Reflection upon his Person) That an accumulation of all the publick Grievances since Magna Charta), put one upon another, unto that hour in which the Petition of Right past into an Act of Parliament, would not amount to so oppressive, I am sure not to so destructive, a height and magnitude, to the Rights and Property of the Subject, as one Branch of our beslaving, since the Petition of Right.
'The Branch I mean is the Judgment concerning Ship-Money, this being a true Representation of England in both Aspects. As for unmatch'd Oppression and enthralling of free Subjects in a time of the best King's Reign, and in memory of the best Laws enacted in favour of Subjects Liberty, let any Man find a truer cause than the Ruptures and Intermission of Parliaments. Let him and him alone be against the settling of an inevitable way, for the frequent holding of them.
(fn. 7)Lord Faulkland, Of Uniformity.
'He is a great stranger in Israel who knows not, that this Kingdom hath long labour'd under many and great Oppressions, both in Religion and Liberty; and his Acquaintance here is not great, or his Ingenuity less, who doth not both know and acknowledge, that a great if not a principal cause of both these, have been some Bishops and their Adherents.
'A little Search will serve to find them to have been the Destruction of Unity, under pretence of Uniformity, to have brought in Superstition and Scandal, under the Titles of Reverence and Decency, to have defiled our Church by adorning our Churches, to have slacken'd the strictness of that Union which was formerly between us and those of our Religion beyond the Sea; an Action as unpolitick as ungodly.
'We shall find them to have tithed Mint and Anise, and have left undone the weightier Work of the Law; to have been less eager upon those who damn our Church, than upon those, who, upon weak Conscience, and perhaps as weak Reasons, (the dislike of some commanded Garment, or some uncommanded posture) only abstained from it; nay, it hath been more dangerous for Men to go to some Neighbour's Parish, when they had no Sermon in their own, than to be obstinate and perpetual Recusants; while Masses have been said in security, a Conventicle hath been a Crime; and which is yet more, the conforming to Ceremonies hath been more exacted, than the conforming to Christianity; and we shall find them to have been like the Hen in Esop, which laying every day an Egg with such a proportion of Barley, her Mistress encreasing her proportion in hopes she would encrease her Eggs, she grew so fat upon that addition, that she never laid more; So though at first their Preaching were the occasion of their Preferment, they after made their Preserment the occasion of their not Preaching.
(fn. 8)Mr. Bagshaw about Episcopacy.
'I Do distinguish and suppose a twofold Episcopacy, the first in Statu puro, as it was in the primitive times; the second in Statu corrupto, as it is at this day, and is so intended and meant in the London Petition. Now I hold that Episcopacy in this latter sense is to be taken into consideration, as a thing that trencheth not only upon the right and liberties of the Subject (of which I shall have occasion to speak hereafter) but as it is now it trencheth upon the Crown of England in these four Particulars, wherein I know this House will willingly hear me.
'First, It is maintained by the Bishop of Exeter, in a Book which he hath writ to this purpose, That Episcopacy it self, both in the Office and in the Jurisdiction, is Jure Divino, of Divine Right; which Position is directly contrary to the Laws of England, of which I will cite but two or three instead of many more. The Statute of Carlisle, 35 Ed. 1. mentioned in Caudry's Case, in the fifth Report, faith, That the Church of England is founded in the state of Prelacy by the Kings of England and their Progenitors; which likewise appears by the first Chapter in Magna Charta, in these words, Concessimus Deo & Ecclesie Anglicanae omnes libertates, &c. and in the 25th year of Edward 3. in the French Roll which I have seen, there the Arch-Bishop and Clergy petition the King for their Liberties, in these words thus englished, That for the Reverence of God and holy Church, and of his Grace and Bounty, he will confirm all those Liberties, Privileges and Rights granted and given by him and his noble Progenitors, to the Church by their Charters: which plainly sheweth that they have their Episcopal Jurisdiction from the Kings of England, and not Jure Divino, by Divine Right. And this is likewise acknowledged by themselves in the Statute of 37 H.8. cap. 17. that they have their Episcopal Jurisdiction, and all other Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction whatsoever, solely and only, by, from, and under the King.
'The second thing that is trenching upon the Grown is this, That it is holden at this day that Episcopacy is inseparable to the Crown of England; and therefore it is commonly now said, No Bishop no King, no Mitre no Scepter : which I utterly deny, for it is plain and apparent, that the Kings of England were long before Bishops, and have a subsistence without them, and have done, and may still depose them.
'The third is likewise considerable, as trenching upon the Crown, which is that was said under the Gallery, That Episcopacy was a third Estate in Parliament; and therefore the King and Parliament could not be without them. This I utterly deny; for there are three Estates without them, as namely, the King, who is the first Estate; the Lords Temporal the second, and the Commons the third; and I know no fourth Estate. Besides, the Kings of England have had many Parliaments, wherein there have been no Bishops at all: as for example, Ed. 1. 24 of his Reign held his Parliament at Edmondsbury excluso Clero; and in the Parliament 7 Rich. 2. cap. 3. and 7 R. 2. 12. it doth appear that they were enacted by the King, with the assent and agreement of the Lords Temporal and Commons, where the Estates of Parliament are mentioned, and not the Clergy. Divers other Statutes might likewise be named to this purpose, which I omit.
'The fourth and last thing is, of the Bishops holding of the Ecclesiastical Courts in their own Names, and not in the Name of the King, nor by Commission from him, contrary to the Statute of 1 Ed. 6. cap. 2. and contrary to the practice of Bishop Ridley, Coverdale and Ponnet, who took Commissions from the King for holding their Ecclesiastical Courts, as may be seen this day in the Rolls.
'And although it will be objected, That by a late Proclamation in the year of our Lord God 1637. wherein the Opinion of the Judges is mentioned, it is declared upon their Opinion, That the Act of 1 Ed. 6. was repealed, and that Bishops may now keep Courts in their own Names, and send Process under their own Seals; yet it is well known, that the Statute of 1 Queen Mary, which repealed the Statute of 1 Ed. 6. was it self repealed by the Statute of 1 Jac. cap. 25. Whereupon it was holden upon a full debate of this Point in Parliament 7 Jac. which I have seen, That upon consideration of the Statutes of 1 Jac. and 8 Eliz. cap. 1. and 8 Eliz. cap. 1. that the Statute of the first of Edward the sixth was revived, and that Bishops ought not to keep Courts in their own Names. So that for these Reasons so nearly concerning the Right of the Crown of England in the point of Episcopacy, I am for a thorough Reformation of all Abuses and Grievances of Episcopacy; which Reformation may perhaps serve the turn, without alteration of the Government of England, into a form of Presbytery, as it is in other Kingdoms, of Scotland, France, Geneva and the Low Countries; which for mine own part, had I lived in these Kingdoms, I should have been of the opinion of the Protestant Party in point of Presbytery, &c.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard about Church-Government.
'Certainly, Sir, this Superintendency of eminent Men, Bishops over divers Churches, is the most primitive, the most spreading, the most lasting Government of the Church; wherefore whilst we are earnest to take away Innovations, let us beware we bring not in the greatest Innovation that ever was in England.
'I do very well know what very many do very frequently desire: But let us very well bethink our selves, Whether a popular democratical Government of the Church (though fit for other places) will be either suitable or acceptable to a Regal Monarchical Government of the State?
'Every Man can say, (it is so common and known a Truth) That sudden and great Changes both in Natural and Politick Bodies, have dangerous Operations. And give me leave to say, That we cannot presently see to the end of such a consequence, especially in so great a Kingdom as this; and where Episcopacy is so wrapped and involved in the Laws and Life of it.
Sir Edward Deering about Episcopacy.
'Give me leave by word of mouth to interpose my thoughts of God's true Religion, which is violently invaded by two seeming Enemies; but indeed they are like Herod and Pilate, fast Friends for the destruction of Truth: I mean the Papists for the one part, and our Prelating Faction for the other. Between these two in their several progresses, I observe the concurrence of some few parallels, fit, as I conceive, to be represented to this honourable House.
'First, With the Papists there is a severe Inquisition, and with us (as it is used) there is a bitter High Commission; both these contra fas & jus are Judges in their own case: yet herein their Inquisitors are better than our High Commissioners: they (for ought I ever heard) do not sævire in suos, punish for Delinquents and Offenders, such as profess and practise their Religion, according as it is established by the Laws of the Land where they live.
'But with us, how many poor distressed Ministers, nay, how many scores of them in a few years past have been suspended, degraded and excommunicated, though not guilty of the breach of any established Laws? The Petitions of many are here with us, more are coming, all their Prayers are in Heaven for their redress: Down therefore with these Money-changers: They do confess Commutation of Penance; and I may therefore most justly call them so.
'Secondly, With the Papists there is a mysterious artifice; I mean their Index Expurgatorius, whereby they clip the tongues of such witnesses, whose evidence they do not like. To these I parallel our late Imprimatur Licensers for the Press, so handled, that Truth is suppress, and Popish Pamphlets fly abroad cum privilegio; witness the audacious Libels against true Religion, written by D. C. D. D. D. P. D. M. D. S. D. S. D. R. and many more: I name no Bishops, but I add &c. Nay, they are already grown so bold in this new Trade, that the most learned Labours of our antient and best Divines must be new corrected and defaced with a Deleatur, by the supercilious Pen of my Lord's young Chaplain, fit perhaps for the Technical Arts, but unfit to hold the Chair for Divinity.
'But herein the Roman Index is better than our English Licenses; they thereby do prove the current of their own established Doctrines a point of Wisdom; but with us, our Innovators by this Artifice do alter our settled Doctrines: nay, they do superinduce Points repugnant and contrary: And this I do affirm, and can take upon my self to prove.
'One Parallel I have more, and that is this: Amongst the Papists there is one acknowledged Pope, supreme in Honour over all, and in Power; from whose Judgment there is no appeal. I confess, Mr. Speaker, I cannot altogether match a Pope with a Pope; yet one of the antient Titles of our English Primate was Alterius orbis Papa; but thus far I can go (ex ore suo) it is in Print; he pleads fair for a Patriarchal, and for such a one whose Judgment (he beforehand professeth) ought to be final, and then I am sure it ought to be unerring: Put these two together and you shall find, that the final determination of a Patriarch will want very little of a Pope; and then we may say, mutato nomine de te fabula narratar: he pleadeth Popeship under the name of a Patriarch; and I much fear the end and top of his Patriarchal plea may be as that of Cardinal Pool, his Predecessor, who would have two Heads, one Caput Regale, the other Caput Sacerdotale, a proud parallel to set up the Miter above the Crown.
'But herein I shall be free and clear, if one there must be, be it a Pope, be it a Patriarch, this I resolve upon for my own choice, Procul a Jove, procul a fulmine, I had rather serve one as far as Tyber, than to have him come to me so near as the Thames : a Pope at Rome will do me less hurt, than a Patriarch may do at Lambeth.
'I have done, and for this third Parallel, submit it to the Wisdom and Consideration of this grave Committee for Religion; In the mean time I do ground my motion upon the former two, and it is this in brief.
'That you would be pleased to select a Sub-Committee of four, six, eight, nine, or ten at the most, and to impower them for the discovery of the great numbers of oppressed Ministers, under the Bishops tyranny for these ten years last past: we have the Complaints of some, but more are silent; some are patient and will not complain; others are fearful and dare not: many dead, and many beyond the Seas, and cannot complain.
'And in the second place, That the Sub-Committee may examine the Printers, what Books by bad License have been corruptly issued forth; and what good Books have been (like good Ministers) silenced, clipped or cropped.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard, about Episcopal Clergy.
'I Do verily believe, that there are many of the Clergy in our Church who do think the simplicity of the Gospel too mean a Vocation for them to serve in: They must have a specious, pompous, sumptuous Religion, with additionals of Temporal Greatness, Authority, Negotiation: notwithstanding they all know better than I, that Fathers, School-men, Councils, are against their mixing themselves in Secular Affairs.
'They have amongst them an Apothegm of their own making, which is, No Miter, no Scepter; when we know by dear experience, that if the Miter be once in danger, they care not to throw the Scepter after; to confound the whole Kingdom for their interest.
'And Histories will tell us, That whensoever the Clergy went high, Monarchy still went lower; if they could not make the Monarch the Head of their own Faction, they will be sure to make him less: Witness one example for all, the Pope's working the Emperor out of Italy.
'Some of ours, as soon as they are Bishops, adepto fine cessat Motus, they will preach no longer; their Office then is to Govern. But in my opinion they govern worse than they preach, though they preach not at all; for we see to what pass their Government hath brought us.
A Branch of the Lord Digby's Speech about Episcopacy.
'I Know it is a tender subject I am to speak of, wherein I believe some within these Walls are engaged with earnestness in contrary opinions to mine; and therefore it will be necessary, that in the first place I beseech the patience of this House, that they will be pleased to hear me without interruption, though somewhat I say should chance to be displeasing; I hope there will be somewhat from me ere I conclude, that may be of service to this House.
'Sir, If I thought there were no further design in the desires of some, that this London Petition should be committed, than merely to make use of it as an Index of Grievance, I should wink at the faults of it, and not much oppose it.
'There is no Man within these Walls more sensible of the heavy Grievance of Church Government than my self; nor whose affections are more keen to the clipping of those wings of the Prelates, whereby they have mounted to such insolencies, nor whose zeal is more ardent to the searing them, so as that they may never spring again.
'But having reason to believe that some aim at a total extirpation of Bishops, which is against my heart, and that the committing of this Petition may give countenance to that design, I cannot restrain my self from labouring to divert it, or at least, to set such notes upon it, as may make it ineffectual to that end.
'Truly, Sir, when this Petition was first brought into the House, I considered it in its nature, in the manner of the delivery of it in the present conjuncture of affairs, both Ecclesiastical and Civil, to be a thing of the highest consequence that any Age hath presented to a Parliament, and the same thoughts I have of it still.
'I profess I looked upon it then with terror, as upon a Comet or Blazing Star, raised and kindled out of the stench, out of the poisonous exhalation of a corrupted Hierarchy: Methought the Comet had a terrible tail with it, Sir, and pointed to the North; the same fears dwell with me still concerning it, (and I beseech God they may not prove prophetical:) I fear all the prudence, all the forecast, all the virtue of this House, how unitedly soever collected, how vigorously applied, will have a hard work of it. Yet to hinder this Meteor from causing such Distempers and Combustions by his influence, as it then portended by its appearance; whatever the event be, I shall discharge my Conscience against it, freely and uprightly, as unbyast by popularity, as by any Court respects, &c.
Of Episcopacy Jure Divino, yet perhaps formalized by the Apostles.
THE rest of your Lordship's Letter is fitter to be answered by my own hand, and so you have it; and since you are pleased so worthily and Brother-like to acquaint me with the whole Plot of your intended Work, and to yield it up to my Censure and better Advice (so you are pleased to write) I do not only thank you heartily for it, but shall in the same Brotherly way, and with equal freedom put some few Animadversions, such as occur on the sudden to your further consideration, aiming at nothing but what you do, the Perfection of the Work, in which so much is concerned.
And first for Mr. George Graham, I leave you free to work upon his business and his ignorance as you please, assuring my self, that you will not depart from the gravity of your self, or the cause therein. Next, you say in the first Head, That Episcopacy is an Antient, Holy and Divine Institution. It must needs be Antient and Holy, if Divine: Would it not more more full, went it thus? So Antient as that it is of Divine Institution. Then you define Episcopacy by being joyned with Imparity, and Superiority of Jurisdiction: This seems short, for every Arch-Presbyter's or Arch-Deacon's place is so; yea, and so was Mr. Henderson in his Chair at Glasgow; unless you will define it by a distinction of Order: I draw the Superiority not from that Jurisdiction which is attributed to Bishops Jure Positivo, in their Audience of Ecclesiastical Matters, but from that which is intrinsical and original in the Power of Excommunication.
Since they challenge their Presbyterian Fiction to be Christ's Kingdom and Ordinance (as your self expresseth) and cast out Episcopacy as opposite to it, we must not use any mincing Terms, but unmask them plainly; nor shall I ever give way to hamper our selves for fear of speaking plain truth, though it be against Amsterdam or Geneva: and this must be sadly thought on. Concerning your Postulata, I shall pray you to allow me the like freedom: among which the two first are true, but, as express, too restrictive; for Episcopacy is not so to be asserted to Apostolical Institution, as to bar it from looking higher, and from fetching it materially and originally in the ground and intention of it, from Christ himself; though perhaps the Apostles formalized it. And here give me leave a little to enlarge. The Adversaries of Episcopacy are not only the furious Aerian Hereticks (out of which are now raised Prynne, Bastwick, and our Scottish Masters) but some also of a milder and Jubtiller Alloy, both in the Genevian and Roman Faction; and it will become the Church of England so to vindicate it against the furious Puritans, as that we lay it not open to be wounded by either of the other two, more cunning and more learned Adversaries. Not to the Roman Faction; for that will be content it shall be Juris Divini Mediati, by, from, for, and under the Pope; that so the Government of the Church may be Monarchical in him; but not Immediati, which makes the Church Aristocratical in the Bishops. This is the Italian Rock, not the Genevian, for that will not deny Episcopacy to be Juris Divini; so you will take it ut suadentis vel approbantis, but not imperantis; for then they may take and leave as they will which is that they would be at.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard, About Religion.
'We are here assembled to do God's business and the King's, in which our own is included, both as we are Christians, and as we are Subjects: Let us first fear God, then shall we honour the King the more; for I am afraid we have been the less prosperous in Parliaments, because we have preferred other matters before him. Let Religion be our Primum quærite, for all things else are but terrena in respect of it; yet we may have them too, sooner and surer, if we give God his precedence.
'We well know what disturbance hath been brought upon the Church for vain and petty trifles: How the whole Church, the whole Kingdom hath been troubled where to place a Metaphor, an Altar. We have seen Ministers, their Wives, Children and Families undone against Law, against Conscience, against all bowels of Compassion, about not dancing upon Sundays. What do these sort of Men think will become of themselves, when the Master of the House shall come, and find them thus beating their Fellow-servants? These inventions were but Sieves made of purpose to winnow the best Men, and that's the Devil's occupation: They have a mind to worry Preaching; for I never yet heard of any but diligent Preachers that were vex'd with these and the like devices. They despise Prophecy; and, as one said, they would fain be at something like the Mass, that will not bite, (a muzzled Religion.) They would evaporate and despirit the power and vigour of Religion, by drawing it out into solemn specious Formalities, into obsolete antiquated Ceremonies, new furbished up.
(fn. 9)Mr. Grimston, about Bishops Jurisdiction.
'They might as well have made a new Law, and enjoyned the Execution of that, as enjoyned and urged the taking of the Oath, not being established by Act of Parliament; and in point of mischief, the safety of the Common-wealth, and the freedom and liberties of the Subject, are more concerned in the doing of the one, than if they had done the other.
'Whereas, Mr. Speaker, it hath ever been the Tenet of our Church, that all things necessary to salvation are comprehended and contained in the Doctrine of our Church only. And that hath always been used as an Argument, until this very present, against Antidisciplinarians, to stop their mouths withal; and that for that reason they might with the less regret and offence confirm and submit themselves to the Discipline of our Church.
'And for prevention, in case the wisdom of the State in this great Council should at any time think fit to alter any thing in the Government of our Church, they would anticipate and forestall our Judgments, by making us swear before-hand that we would never give our consent to any alteration.
'Nay, Mr. Speaker, they go a little further, for they would have us swear, That the Government of the Church by Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Deans, Arch-Deacons, &c. is Jure Divino, (their words are) as of right it ought to stand. Whereas, Mr. Speaker, we meet not with an Arch-Bishop, or a Dean, or an Arch-Deacon, in all the New Testament: and whatever may be said of the Function of Bishops is one thing, but for their Jurisdiction, it is merely Humana institutione, and they must thank the King for it.
'What they meant and intended by this New Oath, and their Book of Canons, and their Book of Articles, which they would have our Church-Wardens sworn unto, to enquire of, and to present thereupon, I must confess I know not, unless they had a purpose therein to blow up the Protestant Religion, and all the faithful Professors of it, and to advance their Hierarchy a step higher, which I suppose we all fear is high enough already.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard of the King and Kingdoms business.
'NOW to the King's business more particularly, which indeed is the Kingdom's; for one hath no existence, no being, without the other, their relation is so near: yet some have strongly and subtilly laboured a divorce, which hath been the very bane of both King and Kingdom.
'When Foundations are shaken, it is high time to look to the building. He hath no heart, no head, no soul, that is not moved in his whole man to look upon the distresses, the miseries of the Common-wealth, that is not forward in all that he is, and hath, to redress them in a right way.
'The King likewise is reduced to great straits, wherein it were undutifulness beyond inhumanity to take advantage of him: Let us rather make it an advantage for him, to do him best service when he hath most need: Not to see our own good, but in him and with him; else we shall commit the same crimes our selves, which we must condemn in others.
Lord Faulkland, Of ill Counsellors about the King.
'It hath often been said, and I think can never be too often repeated, that the Kings of England can do no wrong : but tho they could, yet Princes have no part in the ill of those Actions which their Judges assure them to be just, nor in what their Counsellors say are prudent, nor in what their Divines say are conscientious, if they mislead the King.
'This Consideration leadeth me to that which is more necessary at this Season, than any farther laying open of our Miseries; that is the way to the Remedy, by seeking to remove from our Sovereign such unjust Judges, such pernicious Counsellors, and such disconscientious Divines, as have of late Years, by their wicked Practices, provoked Aspersions upon the Government of the most gracious and best of Kings.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard, Of evil Ministers of State.
'His Majesty is wiser than those that have advised him, and therefore he cannot but see and feel their subverting destructive Counsels, which speak louder than I can speak of them; for they ring a doleful deadly knell over the whole Kingdom. His Majesty best knows who they are: for us let the matter bolt out the Men; their Actions discover them.
'They have always peremptorily pursued one obstinate pernicious Course; first they bring things to an extremity, then they make that extremity of their own making, the reason of their next Action, seven times worse than the former, and at this pass we are at this instant.
'They have almost spoiled the best instituted Government in the world, for Sovereignty in a King, Liberty to the Subject; the proper ionable temper of both which, makes the happiest State for Power, for Riches, for Duration.
'They have unmannerly and stubbornly cast all their Projects, all their Machinations upon the King, which no wise or good Minister of State ever did, but would still take all harsh, distasteful things upon themselves, to clear, to sweeten their Master.
'They have not suffered his Majesty to appear unto his People in his own native Goodness, but they have eclipsed him by their interposition: although gross condense Bodies may obscure, and hinder the Sun from shining out, yet is he still the same in his own splendour. And when they are removed, all Creatures under him are directed by his Light, comforted by his Beams: But they have framed a superstitious seeming Maxim of State for their own turn; That if a King will suffer Men to be torn from him, he shall never have any good Service done him; when the plain Truth is, that this is the surest way to preserve a King from having ill Servants about him. And the divine Truth likewise is, Take away the Wicked from the King, and his Throne shall be established.
'Mr. Speaker, I confess I have now gone in a way much against my Nature and somewhat against my Custom heretofore used in this place. But the deplorable dismal Condition both of Church and State, have so far convinced my Judgment, as it hath wrought upon my disposition; yet am I not vir Sanguinis; I love no Man's Ruine: I thank God I neither hate any Man's Person, nor envy any Man's Fortune; only I am zealous of a thorow Reformation in a time that exacts, that extorts it. Which I humbly beseech this House may be done with as much lenity, as much moderation, as the publick safety of the Kingdom can possibly admit.
Lord Digby, For a Triennial Parliament.
'What Friendship, what Union can there be so comfortable, so happy, as between a Gracious Soveraign and his People? and what greater Misfortune can there be to both, than for them to be kept from entercourse, from the means of clearing Misunderstandings, from interchange of mutual Benefits?
'Let no Man object any derogation from the King's prerogative by it. We do but present the Bill, 'tis to be made a Law by him, his Honour, his Power, will be as conspicuous, in commanding at once that a Parliament shall assemble every third Year, as in commanding a Parliament to be called this or that Year; there is more of his Majesty in ordaining primary and universal Causes, than in the actuating particularly of subordinate Effects.
'Where is the power of imposing Taxes? where is the power of restoring from Incapacities ? where is the Legislative Authority? In the King. But how ? In the King circled in, fortified and surrounded by his Parliament.
'Mr. Speaker, In chasing ill Ministers, we do but dissipate Clouds that may gather again; but in voting this Bill for a Parliament every three Years, we shall contribute, as much as in us lies, to the perpetuating our Sun, our Sovereign, in his Vertical, in his Noon-day Lustre.
Mr. Grimston, Of Grievances between the April and November Parliament 1640.
'I Shall pass from what was done the last Parliament, and come to what hath been done since that Parliament ended. There are some worthy Gentlemen now of this House that were Members of the last Parliament, that carried themselves in the Matters and Business then and there agitated and debated, with great Wisdom and unexampled Moderation. But what had they at last for all their pains, in attending the publick Service of the Common-Wealth? As soon as ever the Parliament was ended, their Studies and Pockets were searched as if they had been Felons and Traitors, and they committed to several Gaols: Mr. Bellasis, Sir John Hotham, and Mr. Crew sent to several Prisons.
Mr. Edward Hide, Concerning the business of Knighthood.
'In the Charge concerning Knighthood, Master Maleverer appears upon the process of the Court, pleads and submits to his Fine, Ponit se in gratiam curiæ. The Barons refuse to impose any Fine, they had no power to do that, he must treat with certain Commissioners appointed for that purpose, and compound with them; your Lordships have not met in the same Men such Contradictions of Crimes. Who would suspect the same Men in one Charge, to have rhe metal to usurp the Power, and exercise the jurisdiction of the highest Court, the Court of Parliament, and presently to want the Spirit to do that which was so restrained and peculiar to their places to have done, as that none else could do it? They had no power to fine; as if the sole business of sworn Judges in a Court of Law, were to summon and call Men thither, and then to send them on Errands to other Commissioners for Justice.
'The Commissions in Edw. 1. time granted to Tiptoffe and others, were and have been to compound with those who desired to compound, not otherwise; they had no Power to compel any, to fine any; that Trust by the Law was and is only in the Judges; so that if this Duty were a Right to his Majesty, and the Persons liable refuse to compound, for ought these Judges can do, the King must lose his Duty, they can impose no Fine, only they have found a Trick, which they call the course of the Court, to make his Majesty a Saver. Appear while you will, plead what you will, submit to the Mercy of the Court, Issues shall go on still, as if you did neither, till you have done somewhat the Court will not order you to do, nor is bound to take notice of when you have done: Your Lordships will help us out of this Circle, and that you may see how incapable they are of any excuse in this Point, the very Mittimus out of the Chancery gives them express command among other things, Vt finis omnium illorum qui juxta Proclamationem prædick. Ordinem ante praedict, diem suscepisse debuerunt, capiatis, &c. 'Tis only worth your Lordships observation, this misfortune commonly attends (and may it ever) those absolute difused Rights, that be the thing in it self in a degree Lawful, the Advisers and Ministers of it so fail in the Execution, that as it usually proves as grievous to the Subject, so by some Circumstances it proves as penal to the Instruments, as if it were in the very nature of the thing against all the Laws of Government.
Lord Digby, Of the Convocation, and the Oath with an &c.
'Concerning the Acts of that Reverend new Synod, made of an old Convocation, Doth not every Parliament Man's Heart rile, to see the Prelates thus usurp to themselves the grand Preheminence of Parliament? The granting of Subsidies, and that under so preposterous a Name as of a Benevolence, for that which is a Malevolence indeed; a Malevolence I am confident in those that granted it against Parliaments, and a Malevolence surely in those that refuse it, against those that granted it; for how can it insinuate less? when they see wrested from them what they are not willing to part with, under no less a penalty than the loss both of Heaven and Earth: of Heaven by excommunication; and of the Earth by deprivation; and this without redemption by appeal. What good Christian can think with patience on such an ensnaring Oath as that which is by the new Canons enjoined to be taken by all Ministers, Lawyers, Physicians, Graduates in the Universities? where besides the swearing such an Impertinence, as that things necessary to Salvation are contained in Discipline, besides the swearing those to be of divine Right, which amongst the Learned was never pretended to, as the Arch in our Hierarchy: besides, the swearing not to consent to the Change of that, which the State may upon great reason think fit to alter: besides the bottomless Perjury of an &c. besides all this, Men must swear that they swear freely and voluntarily what they are compelled unto: and lastly, that they swear that Oath in the literal Sense, whereof no two of the Makers themselves, that I have heard of, could ever agree in the understanding.
Mr. Grimston, Of Synods, Convocation, and the Oath, &c.
'They have in this Synod granted a Benovolence, but the nature of the things agreed not with the name, for in plain English it is six Subsidies to be paid by the Clergy in six Years, and the Penalty they have imposed upon the Refusers for Non-payment, is to be deprived of their Functions, to be stript of their Freehold, and to be excommunicated; and this Act of their Synod is not published amongst their Canons, for which they might have some colourable seeming Authority; but it comes out in a Book alone by itself in the Latin Tongue, supposing (as I conceive) that Laymen are as ignorant as they would have them: and thus they think they dance in a Net.
'And as in this, so in most of their new Canons, if they be throughly considered, any judicious Man may easily discern and perceive, that they do therein like Watermen that look one way and row another; they pretend one thing, but intend nothing less. And certainly, Mr. Speaker, in this they have flown to a high pitch, for a Synod called together upon a pretence of reconciling and settling Controversies and Matters in Religion, to take upon them the Boldness thus out of Parliament to grant Subsidies, and to meddle with Mens Freeholds; I dare say the like was never heard of before: and they that durst do this will do worse, if the Current of their raging Tyranny be not stopt in time.
Sir Benj. Rudyard, About Puritans.
'A Romanist hath bragged and congratulated in print, That the Face of our Church begins to alter, the Language of our Religion to change. And Sancta Clara hath published, That if a Synod were held non intermixtis Puritanis, setting Puritans aside, our Articles and their Religion would soon be agreed. They have so brought it to pass, that under the name of Puritans, all our Religion is branded, and under a few hard words against Jesuits, all Popery is countenanced.
'Their great Work, their Masterpiece now is, to make all those of the Religion to be the suspected Party of the Kingdom. If we secure our Religion, we shall cut off and defeat many Plots, that are now on foot by them and others. Believe it, Sir, Religion hath been for a long time, and still is, the great Design upon this Kingdom. It is a known and practised Principle, That they who would introduce another Religion into the Church, must first trouble and disorder the Government of the State, that so they may work their ends in a Confusion which now lies at the door.
Lord Digby, Of Apostates to the Common-Wealth.
'Let me appeal to all those that were present in this House, at the agitation of the Petition of Right, and let them tell themselves truly, of whose promotion to the management of Affairs do they think, the generality would at that time have had better hopes, than of Mr. Noy and Sir T. Wentworth? both having been at that time, and in that business, as I have heard, most keen and active Patriots; and the latter of them, the first mover and insister to have this Clause added to the Petition of Right, That for the Comfort and Safety of his Subjects, his Majesty would be pleased to declare his will and pleasure, that all his Ministers should serve him, according to the Laws and Statutes of the Realm.
'And to whom now can all the Inundations upon our Liberties, under pretence of Law, and the late shipwreck at once of all our Property, be attributed more than to Noy? and those and all other Mischiefs whereby this Monarchy hath been brought almost to the Brink of Destruction, so much to any, as to that grand Apostate to the Common-Wealth, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland?
Mr. Grimston, Concerning the Parliament which met in April 1640.
'These Petitions which have been now read, they are all Remonstrances of the general and universal Grievances and Distempers that are now in the State and Government of the Church and Common-Wealth; and they are not them alone, but his Majesty's gracious Expressions the first day of Parliament, that call me up to speak at this present, contrary to my own Intentions.
'His Majesty, who is the Head of the Body Politick, and the Father of the Common-Wealth, hath first complained, declaring his sensibleness of our Sufferings; and amongst other things, hath put us in mind of our Grievances, and hath freely left it to ourselves (for our redress and repair therein) to begin and end, as we shall think fit. And this draws me on with much Chearfulness and Zeal, to contribute my poor Endeavours to so great a Work.
'I conceive it will not be altogether impertinent, for your Direction and Guidance in that great place, which by the favour of his Majesty and the House you now possess, a little to recollect ourselves, in the remembrance of what was done the last Parliament, and where he ended.
'Mr. Speaker, The last Parliament as soon as the House was setled, a Subsidiary Aid and Supply was propounded, and many Arguments used to give the Precedency before all other Matters and Considerations whatsoever.
'On the other side, a multitude of Complaints and Grievances of all sorts, as well concerning our Eternal as our Temporal Estates, were presented and put in the other Ballance; the Wisdom of the great Council weighing both indifferently; and looking not only upon the dangers then threatned from Scotland (which are now upon us) but likewise taking into their Consideration, the Condition and Constitution of the present Government here at home, concluded that they were in no capacity to give, unless their Grievances were first redressed and removed.
'It then was, and still is, most manifest and apparent, that by some Judgments lately obtained in Courts of Justice, and by some new ways of Government lately started up amongst us, the Law of Property is so much shaken, that no Man can say, he is Master of any thing; but all that we have, we hold as Tenants by Courtesie, and at Will, and may be stript of it at pleasure.
'Yet we were desirous to give his Majesty all possible Satisfaction and Contentment, as well in the manner of Supply for Expedition, as in the substance and matter of it: we confined and limited our selves but to three particulars only, and to such matters as properly and naturally should have Reference and Relation to those three Heads.
- '1. The first was, The Privileges of Parliament.
- '2. The second, Matters of Religion.
- '3. The Propriety of our Goods and Estates.
'Concerning the Violations of the first sort, it was Resolved by Vote that the Speaker refusing to put a Question, being thereunto required by the House, or to Adjourn the House upon any Command whatsoever, without the Consent and Approbation of the House it self, were Breaches and Violations that Highly Impeached our Privileges.
Sir Benjamin Rudyard, Of the Vertical Point.
'His Majesty hath clearly and freely put himself into the Hands of this Parliament; and I presume there is not a Man in this House, but feels himself advanced in this high Trust; but if he prosper no better in our Hands, than he hath done in theirs, who have hitherto had the handling of his Affairs, we shall for ever make ourselves unworthy of so gracious a Confidence.
'I have often thought and said, that it must be some great Extremity, that would recover and rectify this State; and when that Extremity did come, it would be a great Hazard, whether it might prove a Remedy or Ruin. We are now, Mr. Speaker, upon that Vertical Point, and therefore it is no time to palliate; for this will but foment and hasten our own undoing.
(fn. 10)Mr. Hollis, About the Integrity of a Judge.
'These Gentlemen have represented unto your Lordships, the sad Object of Justice perverted, Liberty oppressed, of Judgment turned into Wormwood; the Laws, which should be the Bars of our Gates, to protect us, keep us, and all that is ours in Safety, made weak and impotent, to betray us unto the Hands of Violence, instead of Props to support us; become broken Reeds to deceive us, and run into our Sides when we lean upon them, even so many Snares to entrap and entangle us.
'And all this by the Perfidiousness of those who are entrusted with our Laws, who call themselves the Guardians and Interpreters of the Law: but by their accursed Glosses have confounded the Text, and made it speak another Language and another Sense, than ever our Ancestors the Law-makers intended.
'But what Honour then is he worthy of, who meerly for the Publick, hath suffered himself to be divested and deprived of his particular Interest; such a Judge, as would lose his Place, rather than do that which his Conscience told him was prejudicial to the Common-wealth, Is not he worthy of double Honour?
'And this did that Worthy Reverend Judge, the Chief Judge of England at that time, Sir Randal Crew, because he would not, by subscribing, countenance the Loan in the first Year of the King, contrary to his Oath and Conscience, he drew upon himself the Displeasure of some great Persons about his Majesty, who put on that Project, which was afterwards condemned by the Petition of Right, in the Parliament of Tertio, as unjust and unlawful, and by that means he lost his Place of Chief Justice of the Kings-Bench, and hath these fourteen Years, by keeping his Innocency, lost the Profit of that Office, which upon a just Calculation, in so long a Revolution of time, amounts to 26000 l. or thereabouts.
'He kept his innocency, when others let theirs go; when himself and Commonwealth were alike deserted, which raises his Merit to a higher pitch: For to be honest when every body else is honest, when honesty is in fashion, and is Trump (as I may say) is nothing so meritorious; but to stand alone in the breach, to own honesty when others dare not do it, cannot be sufficiently applauded, nor sufficiently rewarded. And that did this good old Man do, in a time of general Desertion, he preserved himself pure and untainted.
'My Lords, The House of Commons are therefore Suiters unto your Lordships, to join with them in the Representation of this good Man's Case unto his Majesty, and humbly to beseech his Majesty to be so good and gracious unto him, as to give him such Honour, (the quality of this case considered) as may be a noble Mark of Sovereign Grace and Favour, to remain to him and his Posterity, and may be in some measure a proportionable compensation for the great loss he hath with so much Patience and Resolution sustained.
The Lord Andever, concerning the Star-Chamber.
'Since your Lordships have already looked so far into Privileges of Peers, as to make a strict Inquisition upon Foreign Honours; let us not destroy that among our selves, which we desire to preserve from Strangers.
'And if this Grievance I shall move against, have slept till now; it is very considerable, left Custom make it every day more apparent than other: Your Lordships very well know, there was a Statute framed 3 Hen. 7. authorizing the Chancellor, Treasurer and Privy Seal, and the two Chief Justices, calling to them one Bishop, and a Temporal Lord of the King's Council, to receive Complaints upon Bill of Information, and cite such Parties to appear as stand accused of any Misdemeanour; and this was the Infancy of the Star-Chamber: but afterwards the Star-Chamber was by Cardinal Woolsey 8 H. 8. raised to Man's Estate; from whence (being now altogether unlimited) it is grown a Monster, and will hourly produce worse effects, unless it be reduced by that Hand which laid the Foundation: for the Statutes that are ratified by Parliament, admit of no other than a Repeal.
'First, The very words of the Statute clearly shew, that it was a needless Institution; for it says, They who are to judge, can proceed with no Delinquent otherwise than if he were convicted of the same Crime by due process of Law.
'The second Reason is, from Circumstance, or rather à consuetudine; and of this there are many Examples both domestick and foreign: but more particularly, by the Parliaments of France abbreviated into a standing Committee by Philip the King, and continued according to his Institution until Lewis the Eleventh came to the Crown, who being a subtil Prince, buried the Volume in the Epitome: for to this day, whenever the three Estates are called, either at the death of the old King, or to crown the new, it is a common Proverb, Allons voire le van des estates. My Lords, Arbitrary Judgments destroy the Common Laws, and in them the two great Charters of the Kingdom; which being once lost, we have nothing lest but the Name of Liberty.
'Then the last Reason is, (though it was the first Cause of my standing up) the great Eclipse it hath ever been to the whole Nobility; for who are so frequently vexed there, as Peers and Noblemen? and notwithstanding their Appeal to this Assembly is ever good, whilst that famous Law of the 4 Ed 3. remains in force for the holding of a Parliament once a year, or more if occasion require, yet who durst a Year ago mention such a Statute, without the incurring the danger of Mr. (fn. 11)Kilvert's Persecution? Therefore I shall humbly move your Lordships, that a select Committee of a few may be named to consider of the Act of Parliament it self, and if they shall think it of as great prejudice as I do, that then the House of Commons in the most usual manner may be made acquainted with it either by Bill or Conference; who also happily think it a burthen to the Subject; and so when the whole body of Parliament shall join in one Supplication, I am confident his Majesty will desire that nothing shall remain in force, which his People do not willingly obey.
The Barons of the Exchequer being charged for not doing Justice to Mr. Rolls and other Merchants of London, who had their Goods seized upon in November 4 Car. by the Officers of the Custom-House, for refusing to pay the Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage: And having sued out a Writ of Replevin directed to the Sheriffs of London, the Court awarded an Injunction, commanding the Sheriff not to execute the same, and denied restitution.
'There cannot be a greater Instance of a sick and languishing Commonwealth, than the business of this day. Good God! How have the guilty these late Years been punished, when the Judges themselves have been Delinquents. 'Tis no such marvel, that an Irregular, Extravagant, Arbitrary Power, like a Torrent, hath broke in upon us, when our Banks and our Bulwarks, the Laws, were in the Custody of such persons. Men who had lost their Innocence, could not preserve their Courage: nor could we look, that they who had so visibly undone us themselves, should have the vertue or credit to rescue us from the oppression of other Men. 'Twas said by one, who always spoke excellently, That the twelve Judges were like the twelve Lions under the Throne of Solomon: under the Throne in obedience, but yet Lions. Your Lordships shall this day hear of Six, who (be they what they will be else) were no Lions, who upon Vulgar fears delivered up the precious Forts they were trusted with, almost without assault; and in a tame easie trance of Flattery and Servitude, lost and forfeited (shamefully forfeited) that reputation, awe and reverence, which the Wisdom, Courage and Gravity of their Venerable Predecessors had contracted and fastened to the Places they now hold: And even rendred that Study and Profession (which in all Ages hath been, and I hope now shall be of an honourable estimation) so contemptible and vile, that had not this blessed Day come, all Men would have had that quarrel to the Law it self, which Marius had to the Greek Tongue, who thought it a mockery, for a Man to learn that Language, the Masters whereof lived in bondage under others. And I appeal to these unhappy Gentlemen themselves, with what a strange negligence, scorn and indignation the Faces of all Men, even of the meanest, have been directed towards them, since (to call it no worse) that satal Declension of their Understandings in those Judgments, of which they stand here charged before your Lordships. But, My Lords, the work of this Day is the greatest instance of a growing and thriving Commonwealth too; and is as the dawning of a fair and lasting day of Happiness to this Kingdom: 'tis in your Lordships Power (and I am sure 'tis in your Lordships Will) to restore the dejected broken People of this Island to their former Joy and Security, the successors of these Men to their old Privilege and Veneration, & sepultas prope leges revocare.
'As for that Presumptuous Decree against Mr. Rolls and others, and in truth, whatsoever Gloss they put upon it, it is no other than a plain Grant of the Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage to his Majesty upon all Merchandize. After their Goods seized for Non-Payment of that pretended Duty, the Proprietors brought Replevins (which is the natural and genuine Remedy appointed by Law in case of Property, and grounded upon Property) the Court awards an Injunction to stay these Replevins, the Goods were in the King's Possession, and no Replevin would lie against the King.
'My Lords, In this Argument I am not willing to say much: 'tis enough that your Lordships know, Tonnage and Poundage is not a Duty to the Crown, but a Subsidy, and so granted in subsidium sometimes pro una vice tantum; sometimes for Years, and then ceased when the time did expire; that when it was first granted for life, it was with this Clause, It a quod non trahatur in Exemplum futuris Regibus: but 'tis abundantly enough known, that his Sacred Majesty cannot be tainted with the Advices and Judgments of these Men, but looks on this Duty singly as the mere affection and bounty of his Subjects, the which no doubt he shall never want.
(fn. 12)Mr. Rous part of his Speech concerning Dr. Mainwaring and the Altar Clergy.
'Your Lordships have heard of a great Design to bring in Popery, you have heard of Armies of Soldiers, and particularly of the Popish Irish Army, the Burden and Complaint of the Commons. But there is another Army not so much spoken of, and that is an Army of Priests: for since Altars came in, they delight to be called Priests. It is a saying of Gregory the Great, that when Antichrist comes, Præparatus est exercitus Sacerdotum; There is an Army of Priests ready to receive him. This is fulfilled in our time: for certainly this Army of Priests doth many ways advance the Design and Plot of Popery. A first is, by the subversion of our Laws and Government; our Laws and Popery cannot stand together; but either Popery must overthrow our Laws, or our Laws must overthrow Popery: But to overthrow our Laws, they must overthrow Parliaments, and to overthrow Parliaments they must overthrow Property; they must bring the Subjects Goods to be arbitrarily disposed, that so there may be no need of Parliaments: this hath been done by Doctor Mainwaring, (whom we find wanting yet not in the Seats, but in the Bar of the Lords House.)
'A second way by which this Army of Priests advanceth the Popish Design, is the way of Treaty. This hath been both by Writings and Conference. Sancta Clara himself on his part, labours to bring the Articles of our Church to Popery; and some of our side strive to meet him in that way. We have a Testimony that the Arch-Priest himself hath said, It were no hard matter to make a Reconciliation, if a wise Man had the handling of it. But I verily believe, that as the State of Papacy stands, a tar wiser Man than he cannot reconcile us, without the loss of our Religion. For the Pope being fastned to his Errors, even by his Chair of Inerrability, he sits still unmoved, and so we cannot meet, except we come wholly to him. A Man standing in a Boat tied to a Rock, when he draws the Rope, doth not draw the Rock to the Boat, but the Boat to the Rock. An Sancta Clara doth (in this somewhat honestly) confess it; for he saith, that he dealt in this way of Treaty, not to draw the Church to the Protestants, but the Protestants to the Church.
'A third way is a way of Violence. This Violence they exercise partly by Secular Arms, and partly Priestly Arms, which they call Spiritual: for Secular Arms, we have their own confession, that the late War was Bellum Episcopale; and we have the Papists confession, that it was Bellum Papale; for in their Motives they say, that the War concerns them not only as Subjects, but as Catholicks, for so they falsly call themselves.
Mr. Plydal, about Episcopacy.
'I Have heard, since I had the honour to sit here, many grievances presented, and truly Sir my heart bleeds within me when I think of them, especially those that concern Religion. But what should I speak of grievances concerning Religion, when Religion it self is become a Grievance, nay the very Nurse and Mother of all grievances, all scandals, all reproaches?
'Sir, Not to trouble you with any long Discourse, if I have any sight, that Bark both of Church and State hath a long time floated betwixt Scylla and Charybdis, Popery on the one side, and I know not what to call it on the other; in many respects both alike dangerous, unless the Italians Proverb may alter the case, God defend me from my reputed Friends, and I will defend my self from my profest Enemies.
'Sir, We are intrusted by God, the King and the Country, with the managing of this Bark, fraught with the Fortunes of three great Kingdoms: Now should we so decline the former Rock, that we dash on the other side, I humbly offer it to this Honourable Assembly, whether she might not have just cause to say, she had changed her Pilot rather than her Condition, and only shifted places to find her Ruine: for Sir, there is as much beyond Truth, as on this side it; and would we steer a right Course, we must be sure to keep the Channel, lest we fall from one extream to another; from the dotage of Superstition, to the frenzy of Profaneness; from bowing to Idols, to worship the Calves of our own Imaginations.
'I beseech you consider what libellous Pamphlets are now printed, what Sermons are now preached, not building hay and stubble, but utterly subverting the Foundations of Truth; what irreverence in Churches, what profanation of God's Service, to the scandal of Christianity, the reproach of Religion, and the intolerable grief of all good men; of which I may take up the words of Petrus de Aliaco to the Council of Constance, Nisi celeriter fiat resormatio, audeo dicere quod licet magna sint quæ videmus, tamen in brevi incomparabilia majora videbimus, & post ista tam horrenda major a alia auatemus.
'Sir, I take God to record, I am no Mans advocate, no Mans enemy, but a faithful lover of Truth and Peace, and a dutiful Son of our distressed Mother, the Church of England; in whose behalf, and our owe, my motion shall be shortly this, That the Ministers Petition, with so much of their Remonstrance as hath been read, may be committed, and the rest of it, concerning matter of Doctrine, may be referred to some Learned and approved Divines, who have spent their time in that noble Study. For give me leave to tell you, there is a vulgus among the Clergy, as among the Laity, Et in utroque modicum; and for these and all things, which strike at the root and branch, as they please to call it, I shall humbly move, that we rather consider how to satisfy the Petitioners with some timely declaration from both Houses, of the Lawfulness and Conveniency of Episcopal Government, derived from the Apostles, and so long established in this Kingdom, rather than to venture upon any alteration, the consequence whereof the wisest Man cannot foresee. And in truth, Sir, would we once begin (for my own part) I know not how or where we should stay. Nevertheless if any one doubt the superiority of Bishops over Priests and Deacons in Ecclesiastical Government, or in Ordination, I shall be ready, whensoever this House shall command me, to make it good, and I think by as pregnant testimonies as we are able, to prove the difference betwixt Canonical and Apocryphal Scripture, the necessity of Insants Baptism, or that the Apostles were the Authors of their own Creed. But Sir, I hope you will save your self and me that labour, and rather devise some set way to bind up the Church's wounds, which (God knows) are too wide already, that so the Clergy and Laity being made Friends, and all reduced to the model of our Ancestors since the Reformation, we may all together preserve the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace; and so his Majesty having graciously and prudently express himself, I am the more confident, we shall not only put an end to all mis-intelligence betwixt Prince and People, but also highly advance the Protestant Cause, and give a deadly blow to the See of Rome.
The Speeches before-mentioned concerning Grievances, and the debates and discourses of other Members did so convince the rest of the House, as when any Question was put concerning any considerable Grievance, not one Member of the House gave a No thereunto. Here follow a few of those Votes amongst many.
'That the Charge imposed upon the Subjects for the providing and furnishing of the Ships, and Assessments for raising of Money for that purpose, commonly called Ship-Money, are against the Laws of the Realm, the Subjects Right of Property, and contrary to former Resolutions in Parliament, and to the Petition of Right.
'That the Extrajudicial Opinions of the Judges published in the Star-Chamber, and Inrolled in the Courts of Westminster, in hæc verba, &c. in the whole and in every part of them, are against the Laws of the Realm, the Right of Property, and the Liberty of the Subject, and contrary to former Resolutions in Parliament, and to the Petition of Right.
'That the Writ following in hæc verba, &c. and the other Writ commonly called the Ship-Writ, are against the Laws of the Realm, the Right of Property, and the Liberty of the Subject, and contrary to former Resolutions in Parliament, and to the Petition of Right.
'That the Clergy of England convented in any Convocation or Synod, or otherwise, have no power to make any Constitutions, Canons, or Acts whatsoever in matter of Doctrine, Discipline or otherwise, to bind the Clergy or the Laity of the Land, without common Consent of Parliament.
'That the several Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, treated upon by the Arch Bishops of Canterbury and York Presidents of the Convocation for the respective Provinces of Canterbury and York, and the rest of the Bishops and Clergy of those Provinces, and agreed upon with the King's Majesties Licence in their several Synods begun at London and York, 1640. do not bind the Clergy or Laity of this Land, or either of them.
'That these Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical treated upon by the Arch-Bishops of Canterbury and York, (Presidents of the Convocations for the respective Provinces of Canterbury and York) and the rest of the Bishops, and Clergy of those Provinces, and agreed upon with the King's Majesties Licence, in their several Synods begun at London and York, in the Year 1640. do contain in them many matters contrary to the King's Prerogative, to the Fundamental Laws and Statutes of the Realm, to the Right of Parliament, to the Property and Liberty of the Subjects, and Matters tending to Sedition, and of dangerous consequence.
'That the several Grants of the Benevolences, or Contribution granted to his Most Excellent Majesty by the Clergy of the Provinces of Canterbury and York in the several Convocations or Synods holden at London and York, Anno Dom. 1640. are contrary to the Laws, and ought not to bind the Clergy.
After the passing of these Votes against the Judges, and transmitting of them unto the House of Peers, and their concurring with the House of Commons therein, an Address was made unto the King shortly after, that his Majesty for the future would not make any Judge by Patent during pleasure, but that they may hold their places hereafter, Quamdiu se bene gesserint; and his Majesty did readily grant the same: and in his Speech to both Houses of Parliament, at the time of giving his Royal Assent to two Bills, one to take away the High Commission Court, and the other the Court of Star-Chamber, and regulating the power of the Council Table, he hath this Passage, If you consider what I have done this Parliament, discontents will not sit in your Hearts; for I hope you remember that I have granted that the Judges hereafter shall hold their Places, Quamdiu se bene gesserint.
And likewise his Gracious Majesty King Charles the Second observed the same rule and method in granting Patents to Judges, Quamdiu se bene gesserint, as appears upon Record in the Rolls, (viz.) to Serjeant Hide to be Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, Sir Orlando Bridgeman to be Lord Chief Baron, and afterwards Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, to Sir Robert Forster and others; Mr. Serjeant Archer now living (notwithstanding his Removal) still enjoys his Patent, being Quamdiu se bene gesserit, and receives a share in the Profits of that Court, as to Fines and other Proceedings by virtue of his said Patent, and his Name is used in those Fines, &c. as a Judge of that Court.