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conversation with such as are. Let them be sorry that being called to assemble about reforming the church, they fell to progging and soliciting the parliament, though they had renounced the name of priests, for a new settling of their tithes and oblations, and doublelined themselves with spiritual places of commodity beyond the possible discharge of their duty. Let them assemble in consistory with their elders and deacons, according to ancient ecclesiastical rule, to the preserving of church discipline, each in his several charge, and not a pack of clergymen by themselves to bellycheer in their presumptuous Sion, or to promote designs, abuse and gull the simple laity, and stir up tumult as the prelates did, for the maintenance of their pride and avarice.
These things if they observe, and wait with patience, no doubt but all things will go well without their importunities or exclamations, and the printed letters which they send subscribed with the ostentation of great characters and little moment, would be more considerable than now they are. But if they be the ministers of Mammon instead of Christ, and scandalize his church with the filthy love of gain, aspiring also to sit the closest and the heaviest of all tyrants, upon the conscience, and fall notoriously into the same sins whereof so lately and so loud they accused the prelates; as God rooted out those wicked ones immediately before, so will he root out them their imitators, and, to vindicate his own glory and religion, will uncover their hypocrisy to the open world, and visit upon their own heads that Curse ye Meroz,' the very motto of their pulpits, wherewith so frequently, not as Meroz, but more like atheists, they have blasphemed the vengeance of God, and traduced the zeal of his people.
PROVERBS xxviii. 15. As a roaring lion and a raging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
16. The prince that wanteth understanding, is also a great oppressor; but he that hateth covetousness, shall prolong his days! 17. A man that doth violence to the blood of any person, shall fly to the pit; let no man stay him.
SALLUST. CONJURAT. CATALIN. Regium imperium, quod initio, conservandæ libertatis, atque augendæ reipublicæ causâ fuerat, in superbiam, dominationemque se convertit.
Regibus boni, quam mali, suspectiores sunt, semperque his aliena virtus formidolosa est. Impune quælibet facere, id est regem esse-IDEM BELL. JUGURTH.
PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY.
To descant on the misfortunes of a person fallen from so high a dignity, who hath also paid his final debt both to nature and his faults, is neither of itself a thing commendable, nor the intention of this discourse. Neither was it fond ambition, or the vanity to get a name, present or with posterity, by writing against a king. I never was so thirsty after fame, nor so destitute
of other hopes and means, better and more certain to attain it; for kings have gained glorious titles from their favorers by writing against private men, as Henry Eighth did against Luther; but no man ever gained much honor by writing against a king, as not usually meeting with that force of argument in such courtly antagonists, which to convince might add to his reputation. Kings most commonly, though strong in legions, are but weak at arguments; as they who ever have accustomed from the cradle to use their will only as their right hand, their reason always as their left. Whence, unexpectedly constrained to that kind of combat, they prove but weak and puny adversaries. Nethertheless, for their sakes who through custom, simplicity, or want of better teaching, have not more seriously considered kings, than in the gaudy name of majesty, and admire them and their doings as if they breathed not the same breath with other mortal men, I shall make no scruple to take up, for it seems to be the challenge both of him and all his party, to take up this gauntlet, though a king's, in the behalf of liberty and the commonwealth.
And further, since it appears manifestly the cunning drift of a factious and defeated party, to make the same advantage of his book, which they did before of his regal name and authority, and intend it not so much the defence of his former actions, as the promoting of their own future designs, making thereby the book their own, rather than the king's, as the benefit now must be their own more than his, now the third time to corrupt and disorder the minds of weaker men, by new suggestions and narrations, either falsely or fallaciously representing the state of things to the dishonor of this present government, and the retarding of a general peace, so needful to this afflicted nation, and so nigh obtained, I suppose it no
injury to the dead, but a good deed rather to the living, if by better information given them, or, which is enough, by only remembering them the truth of what they themselves know to be here misaffirmed, they may be kept from entering the third time unadvisedly into war and bloodshed; for as to any moment of solidity in the book itself, (save only that a king is said to be the author, a name than which there needs no more among the blockish vulgar to make it wise, and excellent, and admired, nay, to set it next the Bible, though otherwise containing little else but the common grounds of tyranny and popery, dressed up, the better to deceive, in a new protestant guise, trimly garnished over) or as to any need of answering, in respect of staid and well principled men, I take it on me as a work assigned rather, than by me chosen or affected; which was the cause both of beginning it so late, and finishing it so leisurely in the midst of other employments and diversions.
And though well it might have seemed in vain to write at all, considering the envy and almost infinite prejudice likely to be stirred up among the common sort against whatever can be written or gainsaid to the king's book, so advantageous to a book it is, only to be a king's; and though it be an irksome labor to write with industry and judicious pains, that which neither weighed nor well read, shall be judged without industry or the pains of well judging, by faction and the easy literature of custom and opinion; it shall be ventured yet, and the truth not smothered, but sent abroad, in the native confidence of her single self, to earn, how she can, her entertainment in the world, and to find out her own readers; few perhaps, but those few of such value and substantial worth, as truth and wisdom, not respecting numbers and big names, have been ever wont in all ages to be contented with.
And if the late king had thought sufficient those answers and defences made for him in his lifetime, they who on the other side accused his evil government, judging that on their behalf enough also hath been replied, the heat of this controversy was in all likelihood drawing to an end; and the further mention of his deeds, not so much unfortunate as faulty, had, in tenderness to his late sufferings, been willingly forborn, and perhaps for the present age might have slept with him unrepeated, while his adversaries, calmed and assuaged with the success of their cause, had been the less unfavorable to his memory.
But since he himself, making new appeal to truth and the world, hath left behind him this book, as the best advocate and interpreter of his own actions, and that his friends by publishing, dispersing, commending, and almost adoring it, seem to place therein the chief strength and nerves of their cause, it would argue doubtless in the other party great deficience and distrust of themselves, not to meet the force of his reason in any field whatsoever, the force and equipage of whose arms they have so often met victoriously. And he who at the bar stood excepting against the form and manner of his judicature, and complained that he was not heard, neither he nor his friends shall have that cause now to find fault, being met and debated with in this open and monumental court of his erecting; and not only heard uttering his whole mind at large, but answered; which to do effectually, if it be necessary that to his book nothing the more respect be had for being his, they of his own party can have no just reason to exclaim. For it were too unreasonable that he, because dead, should have the liberty in his book to speak all evil of the parliament; and they, because living, should be expected to have less freedom, or any for them to speak home the plain