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at the place of execution, made a long address to colonel Tomlinson; and afterwards turning to the officers, he said, 'Sirs, excuse me for this same: I have a good cauae and a gracious God: I will say no more.' Then turning to colonel Hacker, he said, 'Take care that you do not put me to pain;' and said, 'This and please you—' A gentleman coming near the axe, he said, 'Take heed of the axe—pray take heed of the axe.' Then speaking to the executioner (who was masked) he said, 'I shall say but very short prayers, and when I thrust out my hands—.' Then he asked the bishop for his cap, which, when he had put on, he said to the executioner, 'Does my hair trouble you?' who desiring it might be all put under his cap, it was put up by the bishop and executioner. Turning to the bishop, he said, 'I have a good cause, and a gracious God on my side.' To which the bishop answered, 'There is but one stage more, which, though turbulent and troublesome, yet it is a very short one; it will soon carry you a very great way. It will carry you from earth to heaven; and there you will find, to your great joy, the prize you hasten to,—a crown of glory.' The king added, 'I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance is, no disturbance in the world.' The bishop replied, 'You are exchanged from a temporal to an eternal crown, a good exchange.' Then the king asked the executioner if his hair was well. After which, putting off his cloak, doublet, and his George, he gave the latter to the bishcp, saying, 'Remember.' After this he put on his cloak again over his waistcoat, inquiring of the executioner if the block was fast, who answered it was. He then said, 'I wish it might have been a little higher.' Hut it was answered him, it could not be otherwise now. The king said, * When I put out my hands this way, then—.' He prayed a few words standing, with his hands and eyes lift up towards heaven, and then stooping down, laid his neck on the block. Soon after which the executioner putting some °f his hair under his cap, the king thought he had been going to strike, bade him stay for the sign. After a little time the k'ng stretched forth his hand, and the executioner took off his head at one stroke. When his head was held up, and the people at a distance knew the ratal stroke was over, there was nothing
to be heard but shrieks, and groans, and sobs, the unmerciful soldiers beating down poor people for this little tender of their affection to their prince Thus died 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."*
Sir Philip Warwick, an adherent to this unfortunate king, says, "His deportment was very majestic; for he would not let fall his dignity, no not to the greatest foreigners that came to visit him and his court: for though he was far from pride, yet he was careful of majesty, and would be approached with respect and reverence. His conversation was free; and the subject matter of it, on his own side of the court, was most commonly rational; or if facetious, not light. With any artist or good mechanic, traveller, or scholar, he would discourse freely; and as he was commonly improved by them, so he often gave light to them in their own art or knowledge: for there were few gentlemen in the world that knew more of useful or necessary learning than this prince did; and yet his proportion of books was but small, having, like Francis the First of France, learnt more by the ear than by study. His way of arguing was very civil and patient; for he never contradicted another by his authority, but by his reason; nor did he by petulant dislike quash another's arguments; and he offered his exception by this civil introduction, 'By your favour, Sir, I think otherwise, on this or that ground;' yet he would discountenance any bold or forward address unto him. And in suits, or discourses of business, he would give way to none abruptly to enter into them, but looked that the greatest persons should in affairs of this nature address to him by his proper ministers, or by some solemn desire of speaking to him in their own persons. His exercises were manly, for he rid the great horse very well; and on the little saddle he was not only adroit, but a laborious hunter, or field-man. He had a great plainness in his own nature, and yet he was thought, even by his friends, to love too much a versatile man ; but his experience had thoroughly weaned him from this at
cast. He kept up the dignity of his court, limiting persons to places suitable to their qualities, unless he particularly called for them Besides the women who attended on his beloved queen and consort, the lady Henrietta Maria, sister of the French king, he scarcely admitted any great officer to have his wife in the family. His exercises of religion weie most exemplary; for every morning early, and evening, not very late, singly and alone, in his own bed-chamber, or closet, he spent some time in private meditation, (for he dared reflect and be alone,) and through the whole week, even when he weiit to hunt, he never failed, before he sat down to dinner, to have part of the liturgy read to him and his menial servants, came he ever so hungry or late in: and on Sundays and Tuesdays he came, commonly at the beginning of service.well attended by his court lords and chief attendants, and most usually waited on by many of the nobility in town, who found those observances acceptably entertained by him. His greatest enemies can deny none of this; and a man of this moderation of mind could have no hungry appetite to prey upon his subjects, though he had a greatness of mind not to live precariously by them. But when he fell into the sharpness of his afflictions, (than which few men underwent sharper,) I dare say I know it, (I am sure conscientiously I say it,) though God dealt with him, as he did with St. Paul, not remove the thorn, yet he made his grace sufficient to take away the pungency of it; for he made as sanctified an use of his afflictions as most men ever did As an evidence of his natural probity,whenever any young nobleman or gentleman of quality who was going to travel, came to kiss his hand, he cheerfully would give them some good counsel leading to moral virtue, especially a good conversation; tell
ing them, that if he heard they kept good company abroad, he should reasonably expect they would return qualified to serve their king and country well at home; and he was careful to keep the youth in his time uncorrupted. The kind's deportment at his trial, which began on Saturday the 20th of January, 1648, was very majestic and steady ; and though usually his tongue hesitated, yet at this time it was free, for he was never discomposed in mind; and yet, as he confessed himself to bishop Juxon, who attended him, one action shocked him very much; for whilst he was leaning in the court upon his staff, which had a head of gold, the head broke off on a sudden: he took it up, but seemed unconcerned; yet told the bishop, it re illy made a great impression on him; and to this hour (says he) I know not possibly how it should come. It was an accident I myself have often thought on, and cannot imagine how it came about; unless Hugh Peters, who was truly and really his gaoler, (for at St. James's nobody went to him but by Peters's leave,) had artificially tampered upon his staff. But such conjectures are of no use."
In the Lansdowne collection of MSS. a singular circumstance before the battle of Newbury is thus related :—
"The king being at Oxford went one day to see the public library, where he was shown, among other books, a Virgil, nobly printed and exquisitely bound. The lord Falkland, to divert the king, would have his majesty make a trial of his fortune by the tortei Virgiliana,vsb\ch every body knows was not an unusual kind of au<rury some ages past. Whereupon the king opening the book, the period which happened to come up was part of Dido's imprecation against /Eneas, which Mr. Drydtn translates thus :—
Yet let a race untamed, and haughty foes,
His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose;
Oppressed with numbers in th* unequal field,
His men discouraged and himself expelled,
Let him for succour sue from place to place,
Torn from his subjects and his sons' embrace,
First let him see his friends in battl. slain,
And their untimely fate lament in vain;
And when at length the cruel war shall cease,
On hard conditions may he buy his peace.
Nor let him then enjoy supreme command,
Hut fall untimely by some hostile hand.
And lie uiburied on the barren sand.
.IZtuiit, b. iv. I. Kf».
"It is said, king Charles seemed concerned at this accident, and that the lord Falkland observing it, would likewise try his own fortune in the same manner, hoping he might fall upon some passage that could have no relation to his case, and thereby divert the king's thoughts from any impression the other might have
upon him But the place that Falkland stumbled upon was yet more suited to his destiny* than the other had been to the king's; being the following expressions of Evander upon the untimely death of his son Pallas, as they ate translated by the same hand :—
0 Pallas! thou hast failed thy plighted word
1 warned thee, but in vain; for well I knew
Remarkable 30th of January Sermon.
On the 30th of January, 1755, the rev. John Watson, curate of Ripponden, in Yorkshire, preached a sermon there which he afterwards published. The title-page states it as "proving that king Charles I did not govern like a good kiug of England" He also printed "An Apology for his Conduct yearly on the 30th of January." In these tracts he says, " For some years last past I have preached on the 30th of January, and my labours were employed in obviating the mistakes which I knew some of my congregation entertained with regard to the character of king Charles I.; and in proving that if it was judged rebellion in those who took up arms against that unfortunate prince, who had made so many breaches in the constitution, it must be ;.n aggravation of that crime, to oppose the just and wise measures of the present father of his country, king George. The chief reason for publishing the sermon is to confute a commonly received opinion that I npplauded therein the act of cutting oil' the king's head, which any one may quickly see to be without foundation. For when I say that the resistance he met with was owing to his own mal-administration, nothing else can be meant than the opposition he received from a wise, brave, and good parliament: —not that shown him by those furious men who destroyed both the parliament and him, and whose conduct I never undertook to vindicate. It has been observed that I always provide a clergyman to read prayers for me on the 30th of January; but not to read that service is deemed criminal, because in subscribing the 36lh canon I
obliged myself to use the form prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. The office for the 30th of January is no part of the Liturgy of the church of England. By the liturgy of the church I mean the contents of The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacrament*, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, &c, established by the act of uniformity, in the year 1662; and whatever has been added since, I suppose no clergyman ever bound himself by subscription to use; the reason is because the law requires no more.1'
Mr. Watson then says, on ihe authority of Wheatly, in his " Illustiation of the Common Prayer," Johnson in his "Clergyman's Vade Mecum,'' and the author of "The Complete Incumbent,1* that the services for the 30th of January and the 29th of May are not confirmed by act of parliament, and that penalties, do not attach for the non-celebration oi the service on those days. "1 cannot in conscience read those prayers," says Wntson,"wherein the king is called a Martyr. I believe the assertion to be false, and therefore why should I tell a lie before the God of Truth! What is a martyr? He is a witness, for so the word in the original impaits. Robert Stephens tells us, that they ;ire martyrs who have died giving a testimony of divinity to Christ, but if this be true king Charles can be no martyr, for he was put to death by thosp who believed in the divinity of Christ as well as he. What were the grounds then for giving him this glorious title i his dying rather than give up episcopacy? I think lord Clarendon hath proved the contrary: he consented to siiirvmd c|>i—
txird Falkland engaged in a thouglitlcM tkirmifrh and perianal in it.
copacy for three years, and that money ihould be raised upon the sale of the church lands, and only the old rent should De reserved to the just owners and their Successors. My charity leads me so far, that I hope king Charles meant well when lie told the princess Elizabeth that he should die a martyr, and when he repeated it on the scaffold. But this might be nothing else but a pleasing deception of the mind; and if saying that he died a martyr made him such, then the duke of Monmouth also was the- same, for he died with the same words in his mouth, which his grandfather, king Charles, had used before. King Charles II. seems to have had no such opinion of the matter; for when a certain lord reminded his majesty of his swearing in common discourse, the king replied, 'Your martyr more more than ever I did,' which many have deemed a jest upon the title which his father had got. In fact, we, of this generation, should never have judged, that he who swore to preserve the religion, laws, and liberties of liis country inviolate, and yet broke through every one of these restraints—that he, who put an English fleet into the hands of the French to crush the protestants there, who were struggling to maintain their religion and liberties— that he, who contrary to the most solemn promises, did sacrifice the protestant interest in France—that he, who concurred with Laud in bringing the church of England to a kind of livalship, for ornaments, &c, with the church of Rome—that he, who could consent, when he married the French king's daughter, that their children were to be educated by their mother until thirteen years of age—that he, who gave great church preferments to men who publicly preached up popish docVines; and that protected known papists from the penalties of the law, by taking leveral very extraordinary steps in their behalf—that he, who permitted an agent, or a kind of nuncio from Rome, to visit the court publicly, and bestowed such offices as those of lord high treasurer, secretary of stale, chancellor of the exchequer, &c, on papists—that he, who by proclamation could command the Lord s day to be profaned (for I can call it no ess) by revels, plays, and many soils of ill-timed recreations, punishing great numbers of pious clergymen for refusing to publish wnat their consciences forbad them to read: and to name no more— that he, who could abet tha Irish massa
cre, wherein above three hundred thousand protestants were murdered in cold blood, or expelled out of their habitations, (fide' Temple's Irish Rebellion,' page 6 ) I say, we, at this period of time, should not have thought such a one worthy to bo deemed a martyr for the cause of protestantism; but that it has been a custom in the church for near a century to call him so. However, it is time seriously to consider whether it is not proper to correct this error; at least, it should be shown to be no error if we must keep it, for, at
Present, many of the well-meaning members of the church are offended at it" The writer cited, goes on to observe, "My second objection against reading this service is, that I judge it to be contrary both to reason and the contents of the Bible, to say that 'the blood of kinr; Charles can be required of us or our posterity.' There is not, I suppose, one man alive who consented to the king's death. We know nothing of it but from history, therefore none of us were concerned in the fact; with what reason then can it be averred that we ought to be responsible for it, when it neither was nor is in our power to prevent it. But what if we disclaim the sins of our forefathers, or are the* posterity of those who fought fur the king, are we still to be in danger of suffering i Such seems to be the doctrine of this service, where all, without exception, are called upon to pray that they 'may be freed from the vengeance of his righteous blood.' I could prove, from undoubted records, that the family I came from were royalists; but I think it sufficient to say, that 1 never did nor ever will consent, that a king shall be beheaded, or otherwise put to death; therefore let others say what ihey will, I look upon myself to be innocent, and why should I plead with God as if I thought myself guilty? But we are told that they 'were the crying sins of this nation which brought down this heavy judgment upon us.' I think it is more clear, that a series of ill-judged and ill-timed acts, on the part (if the king, brought him into the power of his opposers, and that, afterwards, the ambition of a few men led him to the scaffold. Let it only be remembered, that at the beginning of his reign he entered into a war for the recovery of the Palatinate against the consent of his parliament; and when he could not get them to vote him money enough for his purpose he extorted it illegally from his subjects; refusing to join the parliament in redressing the grievances of the nation; often threatening them; and even counteracting their designs; which, at last, bred so many disputes, tiat he overstepped all bounds, and had lie misprudence to attempt the seizing of ,ve members in the house; on which the ritizens came down by land and water, with muskets on their shoulders, to defend the parliament: soon after which so great a distrust arose between the two houses and him, that all likelihood of agreement wholly ceased. This was the cause »vhereon to make war—sending the queen to Holland to buy arms, himself retiring from the capital, and soon after erecting his standard at Nottingham. Not succeeding, he was made prisoner, and when many expected his restoration, a violent opposition in the army broke forth; a design was formed to change the monarchy into a republic, and to this, and nothing else, he fell a sacrifice. If the real cause of the king's death wss the wickedness of those times, does it not follow that his death was permitted by God as a punishment for that wickedness; and if so, why should we fear that Godwill still visit for it? Will the just and merciful Judge discharge his vengeance on two different generations of men for the offences committed by one? Such doctrine as this should be banished from every church, especially a christian one; for it has no foundation in reason or revelatiou." The reasons of this clergyman of the established church for his dissent from the established usage are still further remarkable.
Mr. Watson states other objections to this service. "In the hymn used instead of Venite exultemus, it is said, They fought against him without a cause: the contrary of which, when it is applied to king Charles, I think has been owned by every historian. The parliament of England were always more wise and good, than to raise armies against the kings who gave them no occasion to do so; and I cannot but entertain this favourable opinion of that which began to sit in the year 1640. There is nothing more true than that the king wanted to govern by an arbitrary power. His whole actions showed it, and he could never be brought to depart from this. Either, therefore, his people must have submitted to the slavery, or they must have vindicated their freedom openly; there was no middle way. But should they have tamely received the
yoke? No, surely; for had they done so, they had deserved the worst of evils: and the bitter effects thereof, in all probability, had not only been derived to us. but our posterity. Happy Britons, tha* such a just and noble stand was made! May the memories of those great patriots that were concerned in it be ever dear to Englishmen; and to all true Englishmen they will!
"In the same hymn it is likewise affirmed that False witnesses rote up againtt him, and luid to hit charge things that he knew not. Which on this occasion cannot be truly said, because as the chief fact to be proved was the king's being in arms, it cannot be supposed that out of more than 200,000 men who had engaged with him, a sufficient number of true witnesses could be wanting. What, therefore, Mr. Wheatly could think when he said that his hymn is as solemn a composure, and as pertinent to the occasion as can be imagined or contrived, I cannot tell. I am sure a broad hint is given therein, that the clergy in king Charles's time were a set of wicked people, and that it was through their unrighteousness, as well as that of the laity, that the king lost his life. The words are these, « For the sins of the people, and the iniquities of the priests, they shed the blood of the just in the midst of Jerusalem.' Let those defend this passage who are able, for I own myself incapable of doing it consistently."
M r. Watson says, " I am not by myself in thinking that this service for the 30th of January needs a review; many sensible, worthy men think further—that it is time to drop it; for they see that it is unseasonable now, and serves no other end than as a bone of contention in numberless parishes, preventing friendship, and good will being shown towards such of the clerey as cannot in all points approve of it; excepting that (as I have found by experience) it tends to make bad subjects. A sufficient argument this, was there no other, why it should either be altered, or taken away; but I presume not to dictate; and, therefore, I urge this no further: had I not a sincere regard for the church of England, I should have said less; but notwithstanding any reports to the contrary, I declare myself to be a hearty well-wisher to her prosperity. Did I not prefer her communion to that of any other, I would instantly leave her, for I am not so abandoned as to play the hypoci:te that I detest, and have often deiestnl it