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They were therefore gentlemen, members of the church of England, who began the quarrel with the king, and first drew the sword against him. The Earl of Essex, the parliament's general, and whose very name raised an army, was episcopal. Lord Clarendon says of him, that he was rather displeased with the person of the archbishop and some other bishops, than indevoted to the function; and was as much devoted as any man to the book of Common Prayer, and obliged all his servants to be constantly present with him at it. Of the admiral who seized the king's ships, and employed him, in the service of the parliament, the same noble historian says, he never discovered any aversion to episcopacy, but professed the contrary. Sir John Hotham, who shut the gates of Hull against the king, and was the first man proclaimed a traitor by him, he declares to have been very well affected to, and to have unquestioned reverence for the government both in church and state : the same of Sir Henry Vane, and of Lenthall the speaker; and of Pym, a person of the greatest influence in the house, that he professed to be very entire to the doctrine and discipline of the church. Nay we are told, by the same great author, that all those who were countenanced by the Earl of Essex, or in his confidence, were such as desired no other alteration in the church or government, but only of the persons who acted in it. And Mr. Baxter says, That the great officers in Esser's army were CONFORMISTS; and some of them so zealous for the liturgy and diocesans, that they would not hear a man as a minister that had not EPISCOPAL ordination. It is also known that a noted clergyman, Dr. Williams, archbishop of York, accepted a commission from the parliament, and went into the army,* (and did in person assist the rebels, as Lord Clarendon expresses it, to take a castle of the king's, in which there was a garrison, and which was taken by a long siege.) So that it is, I think, past dispute with reasonable men, if there was any fault in opposing the king's measures and taking up arms against him, it must be imputed to the church of England, for they were first and the deepest in the quarrel.”— Bennet's Memor. p. 287.-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 923. Vol. iv. p. 564. V. 11. p. 389. V. 111. p. 214. V. iv. p. 620. V. 1. p. 63. V. 111. p. 462. Vol. 11. p. 350.
Finally, by the noble historian's own account, the horrors of that war and the ocean of blood it spilt had happily been prevented, but for the fatal inflexibility of the king himself, and his obstinate refusal of the counsel and persuasions of his most intimate counsellors and faithfullest friends. For even after his standard was erected at Nottingham, and the parliament by messages had invited him to return, his lordship informs us, hopes of an army seeming desperate, he was privately advised by some, whom he trusted as much as any, and whose affections were as entire to him as any men's, to give all other thoughts over, and instantly to make all imaginable haste to London, and to appear in the parliament house before they had any expectation of him. And they conceived there would be more likelihood for him to prevail that way, than by any army he was likely to raise. And it must be solely attributed to his majesty's own resolution that he took not that course.”—Ibid. Vol. 111. p. 11, 12.
To the temerity of the king, therefore, and the rashness of his own single and private resolution,
• He was commander in chief of the parliament forces in North Wales.
in opposition to the advice of his wisest and best friends, were the consequent troubles owing : they all are for pacific measures; the king Alone is for war; and plunges himself and his kingdom in blood.
Besides the lives of so many thousand brave Britons as fell in this fatal war, it cost immense
“ From the year 1641 to 1647, there was levied, on the parliament's side only, in money and money-worth above forty millions.”—Tindal's Sum. p. 131.
The King's Illegal ways of raising Money. THE power of raising money is justly accounted the grand bulwark of the people's liberties; for the moment this is seized by the king, and yielded by the people, he becomes absolute, they vassals and slaves. “When once kings may impose duties, as they think fit, there is an end of liberty.”—Le Clerc, on Clarend. Hist. p. 21. This has been ever the sense of the British nation, which has made them always, with great reason, extremely jealous of this right; knowing their freedom to depend entirely upon it. But king Charles not liking the restraints of parliaments, and desinging to reign absolute, strikes at this essential and vital part of our constitution, and resolves to raise money without the ceremony of parliament, and by the mere dint of his royal prerogative and will." He told the parliament in plain terms by the lord keeper, and frequently himself, that he knezo how to find money without the help of parliament."--Rapin, Vol. x. p. 284.
To compass this point :-- First, the pulpits are set to work; and the clergy began by the authority and name of God, and the awful sanctions of religion, to promote the schemes of the court. They got ministers hired for that purpose, to preach up as a scripture doctrine, that subjects were obliged to obey the king's will and pleasure without examination.”—Rapin, Vol. x. p. 114. The Doctors Sybthorp and Manwaring in their sermons and writings solemnly declare—“That the prince doth whatsoever pleaseth him. Where the word of a king is, there is power, and who may say unto him, what dost thou? That the king is not bound to observe the laws of the realm concerning the subjects rights and liberties; but that his royal will and command in imposing loans and tares, without common consent in parliament, doth oblige the subjects conscience upon pain of ETERNAL DAMNATION. That those who refuse to pay such loans, offend against the law of God, and the king's supreme authority, and become guilty of impiety, disloyalty, and rebellion And that the authority of parliament is vor NECESSARY for the raising of aids and subsidies, &c." -Ibid. p. 114. These doctrines were so highly relished at court, That Archbishop Abbot," a pious, learned, and moderate divine, who scorned to sacrifice his country's liberty to the ambition of his prince, was “ suspended from all his archiepiscopal functions, and confined to his country house in a moorish unhealthy place, for refusing to licence Sybthorp's sermon. Manwaring was severely censured and fined by the house of lords, ordered to be imprisoned, suspended for three years, and declared incapable of any ecclesiastical dignity or secular office.” Ibid. p. 115. But the king (as if in deterinined defiance of the house of lords, and as resolved to let them see, that he liked the doctrine preached, and would stand by and reward the preacher,)
upon the rising of the house presently remits his fine; gives him his pardon; rewards him first with two good livings, then with the deanry of Worcester, afterward successively with the bishopricks of St. David's and Chichester : all this, while he lay under the censure of parliament. Sybthorp, the other incendiary, was made prebendary of Peterborough, with a good living annexed to it : though Wood, the Oxford historian, confesses, he had nothing to recommend him but forwardness and servile flattery.”—Neal, Vol. 11. p. 180.
“ It cannot be denied,” says Lord Clarendon, " but there was sometimes preached at Whitehall matter very unfit for the place, and very scandalous for the persons; who presumed often to determine things out of the verge of their own profession.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 77.
This absolute authority over the purses of his subjects, with which the clergy had vested him, the king very soon vigorously exerted. By an old obsolete law, certain knights were obliged to attend the king's coronation; but the plague then raging in divers parts of the country," his Majesty set forth a proclamation, that in regard of the infection then spreading through the kingdom he would dispense with those knights, who by an ancient statute were to attend at that solemnity, and they were thereby REQUIRED NOT TO ATTEND. However, within a few months after, he took advantage of their absence, and raised a vast sum of money out of their estates at the council table.” Fining them heavily for not giving that attendance, which he had not only dispensed with, but expressly required them not to give.- Hist. Ştu. p. 89.