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much as any man breathing does or can ; but Church in Oxford,) often say, that it would for all that, the government must not be never be well with the nation, till this school ruined, nor private interests served to the was suppressed; for that it naturally bred detriment of the public, though upon the men up to an opposition to the government. most plausible pretences whatsoever. And And so far indeed he was in the right. For therefore it will certainly concern the whole it did breed up people to an opposition to that nobility, gentry, and all the sober commonalty government which had opposed and destroyed of the nation, for the sake of God, their prince, all governments besides itself; nay, and even their country, and their own dear posterity, itself too at last; which was the only good to lay this important matter to heart. For thing it ever did. But if, in those days, some unless these * lurking subterraneous nests of four or five bred up in this school, (though disloyalty and schism be utterly broken up not under this master,) did unworthily turn and dismantled, all that the power and wit of aside to other by-ways and principles; we man can do to secure the government against can however truly say this of them, that th faction, which once destroyed it, will though “they went out from us, yet they signify just nothing. It will be but as the were never of us." For still the school itself pumping of a leaky vessel, which will be sure made good its claim to that glorious motto of to sink for all that, when the devouring ele- its royal foundress, Semper eadem; the temper ment is still soaking and working in at a and genius of it being neither to be corhundred undiscerned holes, while it is cast out rupted with promises, nor controlled with only at one.

threats. 2. My other request to you, great men, is, For though, indeed, we had some of those that you would, in your respective stations, fellows for our governors, (as they called countenance all legal, allowed, free grammar- | themselves,) yet thanks be to God, they were schools, by causing (as much as in you lies) never our teachers ; no, not so much as when the youth of the nation to be bred up there, they would have perverted us, from the pulpit. and no where else; there being sometimes, I myself, while a scholar here, have heard a and in some respects, as much reason why prime preacher * of those times, thus addressparents should not breed, as why they should ing himself from this very pulpit, to the leadnot baptize their children at home.

ing grandees of the faction in the pew under But chiefly, and in the first place, let your it. “ You stood up,” says he, “ for your kind and generous influences upon all occa liberties, and you did well.” And what he sions descend upon this royal and illustrious meant by their liberties, and what by their school, the happy place of your education. standing up for them, I suppose, needs no A school, which neither disposes men to explication. But though our ears were still division in church, nor sedition in state ; encountered with such doctrines in the church, though too often found the readiest way (for it was our happiness to be taught other docchurchmen especially) to thrive by; but trine in the school; and what we drank in trains up her sons and scholars to an invincible there, proved an effectual antidote against the loyalty to their prince, and a strict, impartial poison prepared for us here. + conformity to the church. A school so un And therefore, as Alexander the Great taintedly loyal, that I can truly and know- admonished one of his soldiers (of the same ingly aver, that in the very worst of times in name with himself) still to remember that which it was my lot to be a member of it) | his name was Alexander, and to behave himwe really were king's scholars, as well as self accordingly; so, I hope, our school has all called so. Nay, upon that very day, that along behaved itself suitably to the royal name black and eternally, infamous day of the king's and title which it bears; and that it will make murder, I myself heard, and am now a wit the same august name the standing rule of all ness, that the king was publicly prayed for in its actings and proceedings for ever; still rethis school but an hour or two (at most) be- member with itself, that it is called the king's fore bis sacred head was struck off. And this school, and therefore let nothing arbitrary or loyal genius always continued amongst us, tyrannical be practised in it, whatsoever has and grew up with us; which made that noted been practised against it. Again, it is the corypheus of the independent faction, (and king's school, and therefore let nothing but some time after, namely, 1651, promoted by what is loyal come out of it, or be found in Cromwell's interest to the deanery of Christ- it; let it not be so much as tinctured with any

thing which is either republican or fanatical; The reader is desired to cast his eye upon a printed piece,

that so the whole nation may have cause to entitled, A Letter from a Country Divine to his friend in Lon wish, that the king may never want such a don, concerning the education of the dissenters, in their private school, nor the nation may ever want such a academies, in several parts of this nation; humbly offered to the consideration of the grand committee of parliament for religion,

king. A prince, great in every thing which now sitting, Printed at London, for Robert Clavell in Saint * Mr William Strong. Paul's Church-yard, 1703.

† Namely, Westminster-Abbey, where this sermon was Dr John Owen.

appointed to have been preached.



deserves to be accounted great ; a prince, who committed “when there was no king in has some of all the Christian royal blood in Israel ;” and when (as a natural consequent Europe running in his veins ; so that to be a thereof) men resolved to live at large; every prince, is only another word for being of kin one, without check or control, doing, as the to him : who, though he is the princely centre text tells us, “what was right in his own of so many royal lines, meeting in his illustri- eyes;" or (according to the more sanctified ous person, is yet greater for his qualifications language of our late times) “as the Spirit than for his extraction; and upon both ac moved him.” Such a liberty of conscience, counts much likelier to be envied, than it seems, had they then got, for serving the equalled, by any or all the princes about him. Devil after his and their own way. In a word, and to conclude all; a prince so As for the infamous actors in this tragical deservedly dear to such as truly love their scene, we have them boldly owning their country and the prosperity of it, that, could shameless fact in open field, avowing it with it be warrantable to pray for the perpetuity sword in hand, and for some time defending of his life amongst us, and reign over us, we the same with victory and success against could not do it in words more proper and their brethren, then the peculiar people and significant for that purpose, than that God church of God, twice routed and slaughtered would vouchsafe to preserve the one, and cou before them in a righteous cause; a cause tinue the other, till we should desire to see a managed by all the rest of the tribes engaged change of either.

in it,

and that not more with the proper arins To which God, the great King of kings of war in one hand, than with a commission and Lord of lords, be rendered and ascribed, from God himself in the other. In which as is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and the like respects, so great a resemblance and dominion, both now and for evermore. must needs be acknowledged between this Amen,

and the late civil war amongst ourselves here in England, that the proceedings of forty-one, and some of the following years, may well pass for the Devil's works in a second edition,

or a foul and odious copy, much exceeding ILLUSTRIOUS, BLESSED, AND NEVER-DYING MEMORY

the foulness of the original. CHARLES THE FIRST,

I profess not myself either skilled or de

lighted in mystical interpretations of scripKING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND,

ture ; nor am I for forcing or wiredrawing the sense of the text, so as to make it designedly foretell the king's death and murder; nor to make England, Scotland, and Ireland (as some enthusiasts have done) the adequate scene for the prophetic Spirit to declare future

events upon; as if, forsooth, there could not SERMON L.

be so much as a few houses fired, a few ships PRETENCE OF CONSCIENCE NO EXCUSE

taken, or any other calamitous accident be

fall this little corner of the world, but that FOR REBELLION.

some apocalyptic iguoramus or other must

presently find and pick it out of some abused, KING CHARLES THE SECOND,

martyred prophecy of Ezekiel, Daniel, or the

Revelation. No; I pretend not to any such CHAPEL IN WHITEHALL,

illuminations. I am neither prophet nor prophetic prelate, but account it enough for my purpose, if I can bring my present business and the text together, not by design, but accommodation ; and as the words themselves

are very apposite and expressive, so I doubt " And it was so, and all that saw it said. There was no such

not but to find such a parallel in the things deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of

expressed by them, that it may be a question, it, take advice, and speak your minds." - JUDGES, xix 30.

whether the subject of the text, or of this

mournful day, may bave a better claim to the THE occasion of these words was a foul expression. and detestable fact, which had happened in The crime here set off with such high one of the tribes of Israel ; and the occasion aggravations, was an injury done to one of that fact was (as the text not obscurely single Levite, in the villainous rape of his intimates) the want of kingly government concubine ; a surprising passage, I confess, to amongst the Israelites at that time : it being us who have lived in times enlightening men noted as a thing of particular remark, (in to the utmost hatred and contempt of the Judges, xxi. 25,) that this villainy was ministry, as a principal part (or rather whole)











of their religion: nevertheless we see how, ate avowed enemies to the church, the fury of even in those “ dark times of the law,” (as whose lust and ambition nothing could allay, our late saints used to call them,) the resent but a full power and liberty (which they ment of the wrong done to this poor Levite quickly got) to seize her privileges, prostitute rose so high, that it was looked upon as a her honours, and ravish her revenues ; till at sufficient ground for a civil war; and accord- length, being thus mangled, divided, and broke ingly made the concern of all Israel to revenge in pieces, (as the Levite's concubine was this quarrel upon the whole tribe of Ben before her,) she became a ghastly spectacle to jamin, for abetting the villainy. This was all beholders, to all the Israel of God. the unanimous judgment of the eleven tribes, Such, therefore, was then the woful condition and a war was hereupon declared ; in which of our church and clergy, upon the Puritans' the conduct and preemiuence was by divine invasion of their rights, at the breaking out designation appointed to the royal tribe of of the late civil war: in which, as we hinted Judah; the sceptre being judged by God before in the Levite's case, so amongst ourselves himself most concerned to assert the privileges also, the cause of our oppressed church was of, and revenge the injuries done the crosier; owned and sheltered by the royal standard, the crown to support the mitre; and, in a and the defence of the ministry (as most proword, the sovereign authority to vindicate perly it should be) managed by the defender and abet the sacerdotal, as well as to be blessed of the faith. But, alas! the same angry by it.

Providence still pursuing the best of kings But now, to come to the counterpart of the and causes with defeat after defeat, the lion story, or the application of it to our present falling before the wolf, as Judah (the royal

He who dates the murder of king tribe) sometimes did before Benjamin, the Charles the First from the fatal blow given king himself came to be in effect first unkinged, upon the scaffold, judges like him who thinks, and all his royalties torn from him, before the that it is only the last stroke which fells the year forty-five ; and then at last, to complete tree. No; the killing of his person was but the whole tragedy in his person as well as the consummation of the murder first begun office, Charles was murdered in forty-eight. in his prerogative: and Pym, and some like And this is the black subject and occasion him, did as really give a stroke towards the of this day's solemnity. In my reflections cutting down this royal oak, as Ireton or upon which, if a just indignation, or indeed Cromwell himself. Few, I believe, but have even a due apprehension of the blackest fact heard of that superfine, applauded 'invention which the sun ever saw since he hid his face of theirs, of a double capacity in the king upon the crucifixion of our Saviour, chance to personal and politic : and, I suppose, the two give an edge to some of my expressions, let all noted factions, which then carried all before such know, the guilt of whose actions has then, distinguished in him these two, that made the very strictest truths look like satires so, to keep pace with one another, each of or sarcasms, and bare descriptions sharper them might destroy him under one.

than invectives; I say, let such censurers For as for those* whose post-dated loyalty (whose innocence lies only in their indemnity) now consists only in decrying that action, know, that to drop the blackest ink and the which had been taken out of their hands by bitterest gall upon this fact, is not satire, but others more cunning, though no less wicked propriety. than themselves; who, having laid the pre And now, since the text here represents mises, afterwards ridiculously protest against the whole matter set forth in it, in these most the conclusion ; they do but cover their pre- significant and remarkable words, that“ there varication with a fig-leaf, there being no was no such deed done or seen for many ages more difference between both parties, but only before ;” and with which words I shall clothe this, that the former used all their art, skill, the sad subject before us; I conceive the and industry to give these infamous contrivers most proper prosecution thereof, as applied to of this murder the best colour and disguise this occasion, will be to shew wherein the they could; whereas their younger brother, unparalleled strangeness of this deed consists. the Independent, thought it the safest and And for this, since the nature is not to be surest way to disguise only the executioner. accounted for, but from a due consideration of

Well, then, when a long sunshine of mercy the agent, the object, and all that retinue of had ripened the sins of the nation, so that it circumstances which do attend and specify it was now ready for the shakings of divine under a certain denomination, I shall accorvengeance, the seeds of faction and rebellion dingly distribute my discourse into these having for a long time been studiously sowed materials. by seditious libels, and well watered with 1. I shall consider the person that suffered. schismatical lectures ; the first assault was II. I shall shew the preparation and intromade against the clergy, by a pack of inveter- duction to his suffering.

III. Shew the quality of the agents who • The presbyterian faction,

| acted in it,


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IV. Describe the cireumstances and manner in Christendom is the church of England; of the fact. And,

and the great thing that does now cement V. Point out the dismal and destructive and confirm the church of England is the consequences of it.

blood of this blessed saint. Of all which in their order; and,

He was so skilled in all controversies, that I. For the first of them ; the person suf we may well style him in all causes ecclesiasfering. He was a king; and, what is more, tical, not only supreme governor, but modesuch a king, not chosen, but born to be so ; rator, nor more fit to fill the throne than the that is, not owing his kingdom to the vogue chair ; and withal so exact an observer and of the populace, but to the suffrage of nature. | royal a rewarder of all such performances, Ile was a David, a saint, a king, but never a that it was an encouragement to a man to be shepherd. Some of all the royal blood in a divine under such a prince. Christendom ran in his veins, that is to say, Which eminent piety of his was set off many kings went to the making of this one. with the whole train of moral virtues. His

And his improvements and education fell temperance was so great and impregnable, no ways below his extraction. He was accurate amidst all those allurements with which the in all the recommending excellencies of courts of kings are apt to melt even the most human accomplishments, able to deserve, had stoical and resolved minds, that he did at the he not inherited a kingdom ; of so controlling same time both teach and upbraid the court ; a genius, that in every science he attempted, so that it was not so much their own vice, as he did not so much study as reign ; and ap his example, that rendered their debauchery peared not only a proficient, but a prince. inexcusable. Look over the whole list of And to go no farther for a testimony, let his our kings, and take in the kings of Israel to own writings witness so much, which speak boot, and who ever kept the bond of conjugal him no less an author than a monarch; com affection so inviolate ? David was chiefly posed with such an unfailing accuracy, such eminent for repenting in this matter, Charles a commanding majestic pathos, as if they had for not needing repentance. None ever of been writ, not with a pen, but with a sceptre. greater fortitude of mind, which was more And for those whose virulent and ridiculous resplendent in the conquest of himself, and calumnies ascribe that incomparable piece to in those miraculous instances of passive valour, others, I say, it is a sufficient argument that than if he had strewed the field with all the those did not write it, because they could not rebel's armies, and to the justness of his own write it. It is hard to counterfeit the spirit cause joined the success of theirs. And yet of majesty, and the inimitable peculiarities of withal so meek, so gentle, so merciful, and an incommunicable genius and condition. that even to a cruelty to himself, that if ever

At the council-board he had the ability the lion and the lamb dwelt together, if ever still to give himself the best counsel, but the courage and meekness united, it was in the unhappy modesty to diffide in it; indeed breast of this royal person. his only fault; for modesty, is a paradox And, which makes the rebellion more ugly in majesty, and humility a solecism in supre- and intolerable, there was scarce any person macy.

of note amongst his enemies, who, even fightLook we next upon his piety and unparal- | ing against him, did not wear his colours, leled virtues ; though without an absurdity that is, carry some peculiar mark of his I may affirm, that his very endowments of former favours and obligations. Some were nature were supernatural. "So pious was he, his own menial servants, and “ate bread at that had others measured their obedience to his table,” before they “lifted up their heel him by his obedience to God, he had been the against him.” Some received from him honmost absolute monarch in the world; as emi ours, some offices and employments. I could nent for frequenting the temple, as Solomon mention particulars of each kind, did I think for building one. No occasions ever interfered their names fit to be heard in a church, or with his devotions, nor business of state ate from a pulpit. In short, he so behaved himout his times of attendance in the church. self towards them, that their rebellion might So firm to the protestant cause, though he be malice indeed, but it could not be revenge. conversed in the midst of temptation, in the And these his personal virtues shed a suitvery bosom of Spain, and though France lay able influence upon his government. For the in his, yet nothing could alter him, but that space of seventeen years, the peace, plenty, he espoused the cause of religion even more and honour of the English, spread itself even than his beloved queen.

to the envy of all neighbour nations. And He every way filled the title under which when that plenty had pampered them into we prayed for him. He could defend his such an unruliness and rebellion as soon religion as a king, dispute for it as a divine, followed it, yet still the justness of his governand die for it as a martyr. I think I shall ment left them at a loss for an occasion ; till speak a great truth, if I say, that the only at length ship-money was pitched upon, as fit thing that makes protestantism considerable to be reformed into excise and taxes, and the

burden of the subject to be took off by plunders dition of the person who suffered, let us in and sequestrations.

the next place see the engines and preparaThe king, now, to scatter that cloud which tions by which they gradually ascended to the began to gather and look black both upon perpetration of this bloody fact. And indeed church and state, made those condescensions it would be but a poor, preposterous discourse, to their impudent petitions, that they had to insist only upon the consequent, without scarce any thing to make war for, but what taking notice of the antecedent. was granted them already ; and having thus It were too long to dig to the spring of this stript himself of his prerogative, he made it rebellion, and to lead you to the secrecies of clear to the world, that there was nothing its first contrivance. But, as David's phrase left them to fight for, but only his life. After is upon another occasion, it was framed and wards, in the prosecution of this unnatural fashioned in the lowest parts of the earth," war, what overtures did he make for peace ! and there it was “ fearfully and wonderfully Nay, when he had his sword in his hand, his made,” a work of darkness and retirement, armies about him, and a cause to justify him removed from the eye of all witnesses, even before God and man, how did he choose to that of conscience also ; for conscience was compound himself into nothing, to depose not admitted to their councils. and unking himself, by their hard, uncon But the first design was to procure a Levite scionable, inhuman conditions ! But all was to consecrate their idol, that is to say, a facnothing; he might as well compliment a tious ministry to christen it the cause of God. mastiff, or court a tiger, as think to win They still owned their party for God's true those who were now hardened in blood, and Israel ; and being so, it must needs be their thoroughpaced in rebellion. The truth is, duty to come out of Egypt, though they prohis conscience uncrowned him, as having a

vided themselves a red sea for their passage. mind too pure and defecate to admit of those And then for their assistance they repair maxims and practices of state, that usually to the northern steel ;* and bring in an unmake princes great and successful.

natural, mercenary army, which like a shoal Having thus, with a new, unheard of sort of locusts covered the land. Such as inherited of loyalty, fought against, and conquered him, the character of those whom God brought as they commit him to prison ; and then the scourges upon his people the Jews. For still king himself notes, that it has been always we shall read that God punished his people observed, that there is but little distance from with an army from the north. (Jer. 1. 3,) the prisons of kings to their graves. "Out of the north there cometh up a nation which I farther subjoin, that where the which shall make her land desolate.” (Jer. observation is constant, there must needs be iv. 6,)“ I will bring evil from the north, and some certain standing cause of the connection a great destruction." of the things observed. And indeed it is a Now, to endear and unite these into one direct transition from the prison to the grave, interest, they invented a covenant, much like a carceribus ad metam, the difference between those who are said to have made " a covenant them being only this; that he who is buried with hell, and an agreement with death.” It is imprisoned under ground, and he who is was the most solemn piece of perjury, the imprisoned is buried above it. And I could most fatal engine against the church, and bane wish, that as they thus slew and buried his of monarchy, the greatest snare of souls, and body, so we had not also buried his funeral.

mystery of iniquity, that ever was hammered But to finish this poor imperfect descrip- by the wit and wickedness of man. I shall tion, though it is of a person so renowned, not, as they do, abuse scripture language, and that he neither needs the best, nor can be call it “the blood of the covenant,” but give injured by the worst; yet in short, he was a it its proper title, it was “the covenant of prince whose virtues were as prodigious as his blood.” Such an one as the brethren Simeon sufferings, a true pater patriæ, a father of his and Levi made, when they were going about country, if but for this only, that he was the the like design. Their very posture of taking father of such a son.

it was an ominous mark of its intent, and And yet, this the most innocent of men, their holding up their hands was a sign that and the best of kings, so pious and virtuous, they were ready to strike. so learned and judicious, so merciful and It was such an oglio of treason and tyranny, obliging, was rebelled against, driven out of that one of their assembly,+ of their own prohis own house, pursued like a “partridge upon the mountains," and like an exile in his own This is no reflection upon the Scotch nation, nor intended dominions, inhnmanly imprisoned, and at for such, there having been persons as eminent for their loyalty, length, for a catastrophe of all, barbarously piety, and virtue, of that country as of any other ; but it remurdered ; though in this his murder was the

flects upon that Scotch faction, which invaded England with less of the two, in that his death released him

an army, in assistance of the rebels, and together with them from his prison.

de a shift to destroy the monarchy and the church in both

kingdoms. II. Having thus seen the quality and con † Mr Philip Nye.


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