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First, I shall endeavour to make some Estimate from hence of the Greatness of that Guilt, which was contracted by the shedding the Blood of the Royal Martyr : And this must be done by a Comparison of the two Cases, whereby the Difference between them will evidently appear, particularly from the few following Considerations.
1. Jonah had been greatly disobedient unto God, and fled from his Presence, as unwilling, and resolving not to deliver the Message which God commanded him, and which properly belonged to his Office; at which the very Mariners expressed a great Surprize, when he told them of it, (ver. 10.) Then were the Men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this ? And if the Prophet that denounced Evil against Samaria, was punished by God in an exemplary Manner, for hearkening to the Suggestions of a lying Prophet, contrary to the express Command of God himself, that he should eat no Bread, and drink no Water in that Place t; and if thereupon he had the Sentence of Death pronounced upon him, by the Mouth of the fame Prophet that had deceived him, and at the fame Table where he had transgressed, and a Lion soon after in the Way met him and flew him; if this Prophet,
+ 1 Kings xiii. 9.
say, was so signally punished for only suffering himself to be betrayed and deluded by a lying and false Spirit, how could Jonah hope to escape, who had been guilty of such a wilful, deliberate, and presumptuous Act of Disobedience? And therefore the Mariners, if they had had no other Reason, might have hoped to be excused, for vindicating the Cause of God, in casting his rebellious Prophet into the Sea: And yet we see how cautious and scrupulous they were in this Cafe. But was there any Thing like this in the Case of King Charles the First? He was so far from being disobedient to God, that he suffered for his Obedience to him. 'Twas his Zeal for Religion, that created him the greatest Opposition ; 'twas his Stedfastness in the Faith, that raised him Enemies in the State ; and his true Concern for the Church, that made him submit to die, rather than not defend it. He was likewise so far from fleeing from the Presence of God, as Jonah did, that he was forcibly driven from his own Palace and usual Place of Worship; made an Exile in his own Kingdom ; constrained to wander like holy David, from Place to Place to find Refuge ; pursued as a Partridge upon the Mountains; cut off from all personal Communication with his Royal Confort, his Parliament, and his Children : And when he could no longer shelter and secure himself from the Rebel-Army, he
entrusted his Person with those Men, who by the basest Treachery soon after set a Price upon his Head, and sold him into the Hands of those that sought his Life. At first he was in the keeping of the more moderate of the Party, but was soon ravished from them by the Hands of the Violent ; who, when they had him, resolved to make short Work of it, and by taking off the King, to finish and compleat their long-projected Scheme of an impious Anarchy or tyrannical Aristocracy.
2. The Mariners in the Text were in the utmost Danger of their Lives. A mighty Tempest lay upon them, and they could neither by hard rowing bring the Ship to Land, nor hope to live long in the open Sea. Add to this, that Jonab, by his own Confession, was the Occasion of the Danger they were in, and that God sent this Tempest upon them, for his Sake or upon his Account, and that they could not be safe, but by casting him into the Sea: And yet they were still afraid to do it. How distant, how widely distant, was this from the Temper of those in this Nation, who first raised Storms and Tempests in the State, and then gave Occasion to the mournful Solemnity of this Day? And yet had the Face to charge all the Miseries and Misfortunes of those Times, upon that righteous King, as the Heathens used to charge the Primitive
Christians with all the Calamities that happened in the Roman State. But there were lo many Trumpeters of Sedition and Rebellion in that Reign, and such furious ungovernable Spirits, that watched all Opportunities to raise Combustions, to distress and embarrass the King in all his Designs and Proceedings, and to widen the Breach between him and his People, that they seemed to aim at nothing less than to set all in a Flame. But suppose the King had been the Author or Occasion of the Troubles they complained of, could nothing fatisfy them, or cool their Resentments, but the Effusion of his Blood, and depriving him of his Liberty, his Crown, and his Life? The Mariners would not offer the least Violence to a Man that endangered their own Lives, nor suffer a Hair of his Head to perish, till he himself constrained them to take this Method to pacify the Divine Indignation; and they had so far afterwards the Approbation of God for what they did, that the Storm immediately ceased, and the Sea was calm. But the Regicides of this Day plainly shewed by their horrid Deed, that they feared neither God nor Man, but acted according to the Extent of their ufurped Power, making their Strength the Law of Justice, and, under Colour of removing one pretended Evil, involved the Nation in a Deluge of Wickedness and Calamity.
3. The Mariners proceeded with the greatest Deliberation, and with the greatest Reluctance in what they did, and would not at last comply with Jonah's Advice, of casting him forth into the Sea, before they had tried all other Means of Preservation, and not even then till they had implored the Mercy and Forgiveness of God, if they happened in this Case to be mistaken, or to do amiss. But the Actors in this Day's dismal Tragedy, plunged themselves headlong, and all at once, into the very Depths of Wickedness. The Fact indeed was too horrid and ghastly, to bear any such Thing as cool Reasoning, or serious Consultation; and tho' they erected what they called An High Court of Justice for the Trial of the King; yet even in this Sham-Court, and under this Mock-Authority, neither was the King permitted to speak for himself, nor would any Evidence have been admitted on his Side, if any such had dared to appear : So that they themselves, were both Accusers, Witnesses, and Judges, at the same Time, and in the same Cause. So far were they from consulting others, or acting with Caution in this Matter, that they used the most wicked Artifice to conceal their Design ; and when that could not be done, they shut their Ears against the loud Cries of great Part of the Nation; were deaf to the earnest Remonstrances of the Presbyterians; to all