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essence of their nationality. The restoration of the bishops, after their office had long been virtually abolished, to ecclesiastical power and civil dignities, was particularly of fensive to the nobility and to the people.

It seems like a judicial infatuation, that in such a state of things, Charles, even under the advice of so narrow and short-sighted a mind as Laud, should venture on the mad enterprise of reinstating in the church of Scotland, the system of doctrine, worship and government, which in the dialect of Oxford is now called " Catholicity." From the beginning of his reign, this illtaught and ill-advised king had maintained a constant quarrel with his English subjects. Having found successive Parliaments sternly bent on the redress of grievances, and reluctant to afford supplies without some security for a better adminis, tration of the laws and for a better protection of the rights of Englishmen, he had undertaken to reign without Parliaments; and for twelve years he had governed in absolute defiance of the ancient constitution of the realm. During those twelve years, it seemed likely that the Teutonic liberties of England would go the same way with those of France and Spain. During those twelve years it was, that some four thousand Englishmen emigrated to America, and planted here a new and fairer England than that which they left behind them. During those twelve years it was, that such patriots as Sir John Eliot, were wearing out their weary lives in prison; and such as Hampden appealed in vain to servile judges, the mere minions of the crown. The only hope for England was, that some occasion might arise which should make the calling of a Parliament a matter of inevitable necessity. At such a crisis, Laud and his master ran the risk of an experiment on the jealousy and Vol. I.


turbulence of the Scottish nation. A service-book was prepared, with a few variations from that of England, some of which were calculated to make it more obnoxious to Protestant minds; and without consulting either the Parliament of the kingdom, or the general assembly, or any of the synods of the kirk, the king attempted to introduce it simply by his absolute authority. Sunday, the 23d of July, 1637, was the day fixed upon for beginning the use of this new liturgy in all the churches in Scotland. On that day, an immense concourse appeared at St. Giles's church in Edinburgh, where archbishops, bishops, and high officers of the kingdom, were to aid by their presence in securing for the new book a favorable reception. The dean began his reading. Instantly there arose among the populace that thronged the old cathedral, such a noise of clapping, cursing, and crying, that nothing else could be heard. The bishop of Edinburgh ascended the pulpit to appease the tumult, "whom," says Fuller in his quaint way, "a stool aimed to be thrown at him had killed, if not diverted by one present, so that the same book had occasioned his death and prescribed the form of his burial." That stool, we may say, in its parabolic flight, took off the heads of Strafford, Laud, and Charles. It was the signal-shot of what Oxford politicians in this country, as well as in England, still call "the great rebellion."

Immediately all Scotland was in commotion. The old 66 NATIONAL COVENANT" against popery, which had been adopted in 1581 by King James and his court, and in 1590, by the nation generally, was revised and enlarged to adapt it to the times, and was enthusiastically sworn to by all classes of people. This covenant became a bond of union, a test of partisanship, an oath of allegiance to the liberties of the

kingdom and to the Presbyterian reformation. In the progress of the disturbances, the king was induced to call a general assembly of the kirk-a body which for many years had not been permitted to convene. The assembly, notwithstanding the efforts of the government, and of the bishops with their dwindling party, was made up of covenanters; and after seven days, the king's commissioner attempted to dissolve it. But it would not be dissolved. It went on, annulling, rescinding, renouncing, reforming, with a high hand, till not a vestige remained of all that goodly fabric of episcopacy, which James and Charles had been so sedulously rearing, and of which the new liturgy was to have been the topstone.

Nothing remained but war. The king, in the exercise of the despotic power which he had assumed, found means to raise an army in England, with which to subdue his unmanageable subjects in Scotland. The Scotch, on the other hand, raised an army in the name of the king and covenant, to defend the kingdom against English invaders. Should the king succeed in the subjugation of Scotland by an English army, England itself would thenceforward be held in more complete subjection. On the border the two armies


near enough to look each other in the face; whereupon the king, perceiving no doubt that his army could hardly be relied on, suddenly agreed to a pacification, and both armies were disbanded. But as the Scotch had no intention of surrendering their religion or their liberty, so the king had no intention of giving up his designs. In a few months, by the advice of Laud and Strafford, the war was renewed; and so necessary was the subjugation of the covenanters deemed, and so much confidence had the king and court in Strafford's power of overawing and swaying a representative assembly, that it was

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Again the most desperate efforts were made, and all sorts of arbitrary and illegal measures adopted, to raise money and an army for carrying on the war against Scotland. The Scotch, knowing that the great body of the English nation was on their side, did not wait to be invaded, but passed the Tweed with their army, and suddenly found themselves in possession of the three northern counties of England.

In this prosperous

state of their affairs, they renewed their addresses to the king, and one point of their petition was, that a free Parliament might be called in England, to aid in the establishment of a lasting peace. The king, thus humbled and defeated, and at the same time assailed with clamorous petitions from all quarters, was com pelled to agree to an arrangement by which an English Parliament was immediately to be summoned; commissioners from Scotland were to proceed to London for the nego tiation and conclusion of a treaty; the Scotch army, remaining at Newcastle, was to receive eight hundred and fifty pounds a day for its sup port; and neither that army nor the king's, was to be disbanded, till the treaty should be concluded. Accordingly, on the third day of November, 1640, the Parliament, memorable in history as "the Long Parliament," was assembled to aid in the work of restoring and confirming peace between the two king

doms. No man could expect of a Parliament convened in such circumstances, any thing else than the most strenuous endeavors to reform the constitution, by limiting the royal prerogative which recent usurpations had greatly extended, and by obtaining such securities for the faithful administration of the government, as might make the Magna Charta no longer a dead letter. The Scotch covenanters' army, quartered at Newcastle, was a security, that till the conclusion of the treaty between the kingdoms, this Parliament would not be subject to that sudden dissolution which had arrested the endeavors of so many preceding Parliaments. Thus the Scotch felt, that England owed to them all its hopes of liberty and reformation. Their commissioners for the treaty could not but be admitted to the councils of the parliamentary leaders. Their manner of proceeding, their covenant, their assembly, their form of ecclesiastical order, the persons of their principal men, were regarded with a sort of grateful complacency. Their preachers, who came to London with the commissioners, and who performed the services of the Scotch kirk every Lord's day at St. Antholin's church—an edifice assigned to the commissioners for that purpose, according to a rule of international courtesy-were heard with enthusiastic admiration. From that time the Scotch were excited with the idea of bringing the English church to a conformity with their own; and no one influence on the proceedings of Parliament was more inauspicious to the success of their endeavors in behalf of English liberty, than the necessity of not offending the spirit which reigned in the covenanting realm of Scotland. Improving the advantage which the dilatory progress of the treaty afforded them, the Parliament proceeded to a series of reforming enactments, which if they had been

carried into effect in good faith on the part of the executive, would have made the constitution of England very much what it now is in respect to the securities which it creates for justice and liberty. Had the king understood his actual position, and submitted to it,—could he have seen that his attempt to change the constitution and to make himself absolute, had failed forever, and that the only safe policy was to concur heartily in such changes as might give his subjects security for the future if not indemnity for the past, it would not have been difficult to satisfy the expectations of the nation. But it soon became manifest to the Parliament, that in dealing with the king, they were dealing with one who was capable of any treachery; and that nothing could be safely trusted to his fidelity. Funds for the great expense incur red during the progress of the slow treaty with the Scotch, were obtained in London on the credit of the Parliament. But what if this Parliament should be suddenly dissolved as preceding Parliaments had been? As the court and the Parliament became more openly hostile to each other, and the probability of an early dissolution was increased, it was found that the credit of the Parliament was regarded as an inadequate security for new loans; and the king, in a fatal day, fatal for himself and for his subjects, was induced to give his assent to a bill hastily carried through both houses, by which he divested himself of the power of dissolving that Parliament without its own consent. In other words, for the sake of remedying a present inconvenience, he consented to make that Parliament perpetual. Thenceforward, the house of commons instead of being merely a representative body, was a perpetual corporation, admitted by the king, under all the forms of law, to a partnership in the sovereignty. Of a body of men possessed of such pow.

ers, and entrenched in so complete an independence both of the king and of their several constituencies, what could be expected but that they would regard themselves as called to the great work of remodeling at their leisure, and to their own complete satisfaction, the constitution of the kingdom?

In reforming the government, and especially in limiting the abused prerogative of the sovereign, one of the first things to be thought of was the ecclesiastical constitution. The church was in effect a great dependency of the crown, quite as much so as the army or the navy; and as things then were, far more likely than either to answer the purposes of an arbitrary and usurping sovereign. The multiplied tendencies to tyranny in the state, and to corruption in the church, which were involved in such an arrangement, had become a matter of sad experience. During those twelve years of systematic and settled usurpation, the king's prime minister in England was William Laud, at the beginning of the period bishop of London, and at the close archbishop of Canterbury. His successor in the see of London sustained, in addition to the spiritual superinten dence of that great diocese, whatever secular cares were involved in a diligent and able administration of the office of lord high treasurer of England. Nearly all the bishops, and the great majority of the ten thousand clergymen of the establishment, had been found to be the willing tools of the usurping king, on the principle that the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib. When the king was resorting to illegal methods of raising money, the clergy were employed to preach to the people his right, by God's appointment, to the property of the subject. Thus for example, one of them (Sibthorp) preached that "if princes"-not the laws of the land made according to the constitution

but "if PRINCES commanded any thing which subjects might not perform, because it is against the laws of God or of nature, or impossible, yet subjects are bound to undergo the punishment, without resisting, or railing, or reviling, and so to yield a passive obedience where they can not yield an active one." Another (Manwaring) used such language as this, "The king is not bound to observe the laws of the realm concerning the subject's rights and liberties; but his royal will and pleasure in imposing taxes, without consent of Parliament, doth oblige the subject's conscience on pain of damnation. Those who refuse obedience transgress the laws of God, insult the king's supreme authority, and are guilty of impiety, disloyalty and rebellion. The authority of both houses of Parliament, is not necessary for the raising of aids and subsidies, as not suitable to the exigencies of the state." This bold doctrine was preached and printed just before the Parliament of 1628; and after the house of lords in that Parliament, as the highest judicature of the realm, had passed sentence upon the author, and condemned him to fine and imprisonment, disabling him from preaching at court and from holding any ecclesiastical or secular preferment, he was not only pardoned by the king as soon as the Parliament had been dissolved, but he and others who had signalized themselves in the same way, were selected to receive from the government distinguished tokens of regard. Such were the doctrines of the court; and such might be expected to be the doctrines of the church so long as the church should continue to be a dependency of the crown. Accordingly the whole enginery of the ecclesiastical establishment was brought to bear in the great enterprise of subverting all the limits of the monarchy, and of making the king's power absolute. Of the canons which under the advice of Laud,

and with corrections from his pen, were attempted to be imposed upon the church of Scotland, the first pronounced an excommunication against all who should affirm the power and prerogative of the king not to be equal with that of the Jewish kings. And in 1640, just before the emergency which occasioned the Long Parliament, a convocation of the clergy of all England, in a session the lawfulness of which was, at the best, very questionable, adopted a body of canons additional to those previously established by law, the first of which laid down a doctrine "concerning the regal power" which deserves to be distinctly commemorated, as showing to what a depth of political baseness the clergy had been brought by the dependence of the church on the king. The canon ordains and decrees that "every parson, vicar, curate, or preacher," shall once every quarter publicly read on Sunday in the place where he serves, "the following explanation of the regal power: That the most high and sacred order of kings is of DIVINE RIGHT, being the ordinance of God himself, founded in the prime laws of nature and revelation, by which the supreme power over all persons civil and ecclesiastical, is given to them: That they have the care of God's church, and the power of calling and dissolving councils both national and provincial: That for any persons to set up in the king's realms an independent coercive power, either papal or popular, is treasonable against God and the king; and for subjects to bear arms against their king, either offensive or defensive, UPON ANY PRETENSE WHATSOEVER, is at least to resist the powers ordained of God; and though they do not invade, but only resist, St. Paul says they shall receive damnation: And though tribute and custom, aid and subsidy be due to the king by the law of God, nature and nations, yet subjects have

a right and property in their goods and estates; and these two are so far from crossing one another, that they mutually go together for the honorable and comfortable support of both." That is, in fewer words, though the king by the law of God, nature and nations, has a right to levy taxes, the subjects have a right to what is left of their goods and estates after the king has taken what he judges to be necessary for the uses of government. Thus in the controversy between a usurping king and a people who for ages had gloried in the idea of their freedomin the controversy whether the king's power was absolute and the immediate gift of God to him, or a power circumscribed by the laws of the land, and bounded by the existence of coördinate powers-in the controversy whether the king had a right to "tribute and custom, aid and subsidy," without a grant from Parliament, the church, which even in the darkest ages of popery had been to an honorable extent the antagonist of tyrants and the friend of the masses, deserted the cause of right and law and liberty, and became the handmaid of royal usurpation. Who can wonder that the patriotic party were bent on some searching and thorough reformation of the ecclesiastical establishment?

It is common with a certain class of writers, to speak of the Long Parliament as made up of men hostile from the first to every sort of episcopacy, and determined to introduce into England the same system which was then so triumphant in Scotland. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The great body of the house of commons were undoubtedly Puritans, as the word was then used by the court party,— that is, they were opposed to archbishop Laud's opinions and practices; but that they came together with a preconceived determination to introduce presbyterianism, there is no evidence. On the contrary, a

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