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lar in explaining the several parts and properties of this great duty of brotherly love, the apostle to the Thessalonians will plead my excuse.
Touching brotherly love (saith he) ye need not that I write unto you, for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” So that nothing remains to add, but our prayers to God, that he would please to restore and continue this duty of brotherly love or charity among us, the very bond of peace and of all virtues.
THE MARTYRDOM OF KING CHARLES I.
PREACHED AT ST PATRICK'S, DUBLIN, JAN. 30,
1725-6, BEING SUNDAY.
GENESIS, XLIX. 5, 6, 7.
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruel
ty are in their habitations. 0 my soul, come not thou into their secret ; unto their
assembly, mine honour, be not thou united : for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will
they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce ; and their
wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
KNOW very well, that the church hath been often censured for keeping holy this day of humiliation, in memory of that excellent king and blessed martyr Charles I., who rather chose to die on a scaffold, than betray the religion and liberties of his people, wherewith God and the laws had entrusted him. But at the same time, it is manifest that those who make such censures, are either people without any religion at all, or who derive their principles, and perhaps their birth, from the abettors of those who contrived the murder of that prince, and have not yet shown the world that their opinions are changed. It is alleged, that the observation of this day hath served to continue and increase the animosity and enmity among our countrymen, and to disunite protestants; that a law was made, upon the restoration of the martyr's son, for a general pardon and oblivion, forbidding all reproaches upon that occasion; and since none are now alive who were actors or instruments in that tragedy, it is thought hard and uncharitable to keep up the memory of it for all generations.
Now, because I conceive most of you to be ignorant in many particulars concerning that horrid murder, and the rebellion which preceded it; I will,
First, relate to you so much of the story as mày
be sufficient for your information : Secondly, I will tell you the consequences which
this bloody deed had upon these kingdoms : And, lastly, I will shew you to what good uses
this solemn day of humiliation may be applied.
As to the first; in the reign of this prince, Charles the martyr, the power and prerogative of the king were much greater than they are in our times, and so had been for at least seven hundred years before; and the best princes we ever had, carried their power much farther than the blessed martyr offered to do, in the most blameable part of his reign. But, the lands of the crown having been prodigally bestowed to favourites in the preceding reigns, the succeeding kings could not support themselves without taxes raised by parliament; which put them under a necessity of frequently calling those assemblies;
and the crown lands being gotten into the hands of the nobility and gentry, beside the possessions of which the church had been robbed by king Henry the Eighth, power, which always follows property, grew to lean to the side of the people, by whom even the just rights of the crown were often dis. puted.
But farther: Upon the cruel persecution raised against the protestants, under Queen Mary, among great numbers who fled the kingdom to seek for shelter, several went and resided at Geneva, which is a commonwealth governed without a king, and where the religion, contrived by Calvin, is without the order of bishops. When the protestant faith was restored by Queen Elizabeth, those who fled to Geneva returned among the rest home to England, and were grown so fond of the government and religion of the place they had left, that they used all possible endeavours to introduce both into their own country; at the same time continually preaching and railing against ceremonies and distinct habits of the clergy ; taxing whatever they disliked as a remnant of popery ; and continued extremely troublesome to the church and state, under that great queen, as well as her successor king James 1. These people called themselves puritans, as pretending to a purer
faith than those of the church established. And these were the founders of our dissenters. They did not think it sufficient to leave all the errors of popery; but threw off many laudable and edifying institutions of the primitive church, and, at last, even the government of bishops; which, having been ordained by the apostles themselves, had continued without interruption, in all Christian churches, for above fifteen hun. dred years. And all this they did, not because
those things were evil, but because they were kept by the papists. From thence they proceeded, by degrees, to quarrel with the kingly government; because, as I have already said, the city of Geneva, to which their fathers had flown for refuge, was a commonwealth, or government of the people.
These puritans, about the middle of the martyr's reign, were grown to a considerable faction in the kingdom, and in the lower house of parliament. They filled the public with the most false and bitter libels against the bishops and the clergy, accusing chiefly the very best among them of popery; and at the same time, the house of commons grew so insolent and uneasy to the king, that they refused to furnish him with necessary supplies for the support of his family, unless upon such conditions as he could not submit to without forfeiting his conscience and honour, and even his coronation oath. And in such an extremity, he was forced upon a practice, no way justifiable, of raising money; for which, however, he had the opinion of the judges on his side; for wicked judges there were in those times as well as in ours. There were likewise many complaints, and sometimes justly, made against the proceedings of a certain court, called the starchamber, a judicature of great antiquity: but it had suffered some corruptions, for which, however, the king was nowise answerable. I cannot recollect any more subjects of complaint with the least ground of reason; nor is it needful to recollect them, because this gracious king did, upon the first application, redress all grievances by an act of parliament, and put it out of his power to do any hardships for the future. But that wicked faction in the house of commons, not content