Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

best example,) yet they will then, thus limited, have so little matter in their hands, or power to endanger our liberty, and the people so much in theirs to prevent them, having all judicial laws in their own choice, and free votes in all those which concern generally the whole commonwealth, that we shall have little cause to fear the perpetuity of our general senate, which will be then nothing else but a firm foundation and custody of our public liberty, peace, and union, through the whole commonwealth, and the transactions of our affairs with forien nations.

“ If this expedient be not thought enough, the known expedient may at length be used of a partial rotation.

Lastly, If these gentlemen convocated, refuse these fair and noble offers of immediate liberty and happy condition, no doubt there be enough in every county who will thankfully accept them, your Excellency once more declaring publicly this to be your mind, and having a faithful veteran army, so ready and good, to assist you in the prosecution thereof. For the full and absolute administration of law in every county, which is the difficultest of these proposals, hath been of most long desired, and the not granting it held a general grievance. The rest, when they shall see the beginnings and proceedings of these constitutions proposed, and the orderly, the decent,

the civil, the safe, the noble effects thereof, will be soon convinced, and by degrees come in of their own accord, and be partakers of so happy a government."

He next published “Brief Notes upon a late Sermon, entitled, “The fear of God and the King;' preached, and since published, by Matthew Griffith, D. D. and Chaplain to the King. Wherein many notorious wresting of Scripture, and other falsities, are observed."

“I affirmed, in the preface of a late discourse, entitled, “The ready way to establish a free Commonwealth, and the dangers of re-admitting Kingship into this Nation,' that the humour of returning to our old bondage, was instilled of late by some deceivers; and to make good what I then affirmed was not without just ground, one of those deceivers I present here to the people, and if I prove him not such, refuse not to be so accounted in his stead.”

“He begins,” says Monk, “in his epistle to the General, [Monk,]and moves cunningly for a license to be admitted physician both to church and state; then sets out his practice in physical terms, an wholesome electuary, to be taken every morning next our hearts;' tells of the opposition which he meets with from the college of state physicians ; then lays before you his drugs and ingredients:

strong purgations in the pulpit, contempered of the myrrh of mortification, the aloes of confession and contrition, the rhubarb of restitution and satisfaction. A pretty fantastic dose of divinity from a pulpit mountebank, not unlike the fox, that turning pedlar, opened his pack of wares before the kid; though he now would seem to personate the good Samaritan, undertaking to describe the Rise and Progress of our National Malady, and to prescribe the remedy, which how he performs we shall quickly see.

“He commences his address,” says Milton, “ with an infamous calumny and address to his Excellency, [Monk,] that he would be pleased to carry on what he had so happily begun, in the name and cause, not of God only, which we doubt not, but of his anointed, meaning the late king's son; which is to charge him most audaciously and falsly with the renouncing of his own public promises and declarations both to the parliament and the army, and we trust his actions, ere long, will deter such insinuating slanderers from thus approaching him for the future."

“The text, “My son, fear God, and the king, and meddle not with them that be seditious or given to change.' " That we have no king,” MilTON says,

“since the putting down of kingship in this commonwealth, is manifest by this last parliament, who, to the time of their dissolving,

He says,

not only made no address at all to any king, but summoned this next to come by the writ formerly appointed of a free commonwealth, without restitution, or the least mention of any kingly right or power; which could not be, if there were at present any king in England. The main part, therefore, of your Sermon, if it mean a king in the usual sense, is either impertinent and absurd,” &c.

“Nor are you happier in the relating or moralizing your fable. “The Frogs (being once a free nation, saith the fable) petitioned Jupiter for a king : he tumbled among them a log; they found it insensible. They petitioned then for a king that should be active: he sent them a crane, (a stork, saith the fable,) which straight fell to picking them up. This you apply to the reproof of them who desire change: whereas the true moral shews rather the folly of those, who being free, seek a king; which for the most part, as a log, lies heavy upon his subjects, without doing aught worthy of his dignity and the charge to maintain him, or, as a stork, is ever picking them up or devouring them.”

He thus concludes : “As for your Appendix annexed, of the ‘Samaritan revived,' finding it so foul a libel against all the well effected of this land since the very time of ship money; against the whole Parliament, both Lords and Commons,

[ocr errors]

except those that fled to Oxford; against the whole reformed church, not only in England and Scotland, but all over Europe (in comparison of whom you and your Prelatical party are more truly Schismatics and Sectarians, nay, more properly Fanactics in your fanes and gilded temples, than those whom you revile by those names,) and meeting with no more Scripture or solid reason in your «Samaritan wine and oyl,' than hath already been found sophisticate and adulterate; I leave your malignant narrative, as needing no other confutations than the just censure already passed upon it by the council of state.”

After having told the Parliament, the soldiers, and others, what they had to expect from “the Son of Charles returning,” he thus concludes: “What I have spoken, is the language of that which is not called amiss, the good old cause : if it seem strange to any, it will not seem more strange, I hope, than convincing to backsliders. Thus much I should perhaps have said, though I were sure I should have spoken only to trees and stones, and had none to cry to, but with the prophet, О Earth, Earth, Earth! to tell the very soil itself what her perverse inhabitants are deaf to. Nay, though what I have spoke should happen (which Thou suffer not, who didst create mankind free; nor thou next, who didst redeem us from being servants of men !) to be the last

« AnteriorContinuar »