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exactor of gravity and reverence in all mention of religion, that he could never endure any light or profane word, with what sharpness of wit soever it was covered : and though he was well pleased and delighted with reading verses made upon any occasion, no man durst bring before him any thing that was profane or unclean. That kind of wit had never any countenance then. He was so great an example of conjugal affection, that they who did not imitate him in that particular durst not brag of their liberty : and he did not only permit, but direct his bishops to prosecute those scandalous vices, in the ecclesiastical courts, against persons of eminence and near relation to his service.

His kingly virtues had some mixture and allay, that hindered them from shining in full lustre, and from producing those fruits they should have been attended with. He was not, in his nature, very bountiful, though he gave very much. This appeared more after the Duke of Buckingham's death, after which those showers fell very rarely; and he paused too long in giving, which made those to whom he

gave

less sensible of the benefit. He kept state to the full, which made his Court very orderly, no man presuming to be seen in a place where he had no pretence to be. He saw and observed men long, before he received them about his person : and did not love strangers nor very confident men.

He was a patient hearer of causes, which he frequently accustomed himself to at the Council Board ; and judged very well, and was dexterous in the mediating part: so that he often put an end to causes by persuasion, which the stubbornness of men's humours made dilatory in courts of justice.

He was very fearless in his person; but, in his riper years, not very enterprising. He had an excellent understanding, but was not confident enough of it; which made him oftentimes change his own opinion for a worse, and follow the advice of men that did not judge so well as himself. This made him more irresolute than the conjuncture of his affairs would admit. If he had been of a rougher and more imperious nature, he would have found more respect and duty; and his not applying some severe cures to approaching evils, proceeded from the lenity of his nature and the tenderness of his conscience, which, in all cases of blood, made him choose the softer way, and not hearken to severe counsels, how reasonably soever urged. This only restrained him from pursuing his advantage in the first Scottish expedition, when, humanly speaking, he might have reduced that nation to the most entire obedience that could have been wished. But no man can say he had then many who advised him to it, but the contrary, by a wonderful indisposition all his council had to the war, or any other fatigue. He was always a great lover of the Scottish nation, having not only been born there but educated by that people, and besieged by them always, having few English about him till he was King ; and the major number of his servants being still of that nation, who he thought could never fail him. And among these, no man had such an ascendant over him, by the humblest insinuations, as Duke Hamilton had.

As he excelled in all other virtues, so in temperance he was so strict, that he abhorred all debauchery to that degree, that, at a great festival solemnity where he once was, when very many of the nobility of the English and Scots were entertained, being told by one who withdrew from thence what vast draughts of wine they drank, and “that there was one Earl who had drank most of the rest down, and was not himself moved or altered,” the King said, “ that he deserved to be hanged ;” and that Earl coming shortly after into the room where his Majesty was in some gaiety, to shew how unhurt he was from that battle, the King sent one to bid him withdraw from his Majesty's presence ; nor did he in some days after appear before him.

So many miraculous circumstances contributed to his ruin, that men might well think that heaven and earth conspired it. Though he was, from the first declension of his power, so much betrayed by his own servants, that there were very few who remained faithful to him, yet that treachery proceeded not always

from any

treasonable purpose to do him any harm, but from particular and personal animosities against other men. And afterwards, the terror all men were under of the Parliament, and the guilt they were conscious of themselves, made them watch all opportunities to make themselves gracious to those who could do them good; and so they became spies upon their master, and from one piece of knavery were hardened and confirmed to undertake another; till at last they had no hope of preservation but by the destruction of their master. And after all this, when a man might reasonably believe that less than a universal defection of three nations could not have reduced a great King to so ugly a fate, it is most certain, that in that very hour when he was thus wickedly murdered in the sight of the sun, he had as great a share in the hearts and affections of his subjects in general, was as much beloved, esteemed, and longed for by the people in general of the three nations, as any of his predecessors had ever been. To conclude, he was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian, that the age in which he lived produced. And if he were not the greatest king, if he were without some parts and qualities · which have made some kings great and happy, no other prince was ever unhappy who was possessed of half his virtues and endowments, and so much without any kind of vice.

JOHN MILTON,

Born 1608_Died 1674.

TRACTS ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

Remon. They cannot name any man in this nation, that ever contradicted Episcopacy, till this present age.

Answ. What an over-worn and bed-rid argument is this, the last refuge ever of old falsehood, and there

fore a good sign, I trust, that your castle cannot hold out long. This was the plea of Judaism and idolatry against Christ and his apostles, of papacy against reformation; and perhaps to the frailty of flesh and blood in a man destitute of better enlightening, may for somewhile be pardonable: for what has fleshly apprehension other to subsist by than succession, custom, and visibility : which only hold, if in his weakness and blindness he be loath to lose, who can blame? but in a Protestant nation that should have thrown off these tattered rudiments long ago, after the many strivings of God's Spirit, and our fourscore years vexation of him in this our wilderness since reformation began, to urge these rotten principles, and twit us with the present age, which is to us an age of

ages,

wherein God is manifestly come down among us, to do some remarkable good to our Church or State, is as if a man should tax the renovating and re-ingendering Spirit of God with innovation, and that new creature for an upstart novelty ; yea, the new Jerusalem, which, without your admired link of succession, descends from heaven, could not escape some such like

If you require a farther answer, it will not misbecome a christian to be either more magnanimous or more devout than Scipio was; who, instead of other answer to the frivolous accusations of Petilius, the tribune, “ This day, Romans,” saith he, “I fought with Hannibal prosperously ; let us all go and thank the Gods that gave us so great a victory;" in like mannor will we now say, not caring otherwise to answer this un-protestant-like objection, “in this age, Britains, God hath reformed his church after many hundred years of Popish corruption ; in this age he hath freed us from the intolerable yoke of prelates and papal discipline; in this age he hath renewed our protestation against all those yet remaining dregs of superstition. Let us all go, every true protested Britain throughout the three kingdoms, and render thanks to God the father of light and fountain of every grace, and to his son Christ our Lord ; leaving this Remonstrant and his adherents to their own designs, and let us recount even here without delay, the patience and long suffering that God hath used towards our blindness and hardness time after time. For he being equally near to his whole creation of mankind, and of free power to turn his benefic and fatherly regard to what region or kingdom he pleases, hath yet ever had this island under the special indulgent eye of his providence : and pitying us the first of all other nations, after he had decreed to purify and renew his church that lay wallowing in idolatrous pollutions, sent first to us a healing messenger to touch softly our sores, and carry a gentle hand over our wounds: he knocked once and twice and came again, opening our drowsy eye-lids leisurely by that glimmering light which Wickliff and his followers dispersed; and still taking off by degrees the inveterate scales from our nigh perished sight, purged also our deaf ears, and prepared them to attend his second warning trumpet in our grandsires' days. How else could they have been able to have received the sudden assault of his reforming Spirit, warring against human principles and carnal sense, the pride of flesh that still cried up antiquity, customs, canons, counsels and laws, and cried down the truth for novelty, schism, profaneness and sacrilege: when as we that have lived so long in abundant light, besides the sunny reflection of all the neighbouring churches, have yet our hearts riveted with those old opinions, and so obstructed and benummed with the same feshly reasonings, which in our forefathers soon melted and gave way against the morning beam of reformation. If God had left undone this whole work so contrary to flesh and blood till these times, how should we have yielded to his heavenly call, had we been taken, as they were, in the starkness of our ignorance ; that yet after all these spiritual preparatives and purgations, have our earthly apprehensions so clammed and furred with the old leaven. O if we freeze at noon, after their early thaw, let us fear lest the sun for ever hide himself, and turn his orient steps from our ingrateful horizon, justly condemned to be eternally benighted. Which dreadful judgment, O thou the ever-begotten light and perfect

censure.

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