MOSES and the Royal Martyr (King CHARLES the First) ParallelΥd. In a Sermon
Preached the 30th of January, 1683/84 In the Cathedral-Church of St. Peters, Exon.
By Tho. Long, one of the Prebendaries.
London: Printed by J.C. and F. Collins, for Daniel Brown at the black Swan and
Bible without Temple-bar; and are to be sold by Walter Davies in Amen-corner. 1684.
Gregory Nyssen being desired by his friend Cesarius to give him the Pattern of a holy life, transcribes the History of MosesΥs Heroick Actions, and reducing them to Moral Duties, proposeth them for his imitation. If ever the memorable Actions of that man of God were copied to the life, it was done by our ROYAL MARTYR, who so imitated whatever was excellent in Moses, that it may be thought that God took of the Spirit of Moses, and put it upon him. So like him he was in his life, that in his death he was not separated. So he lived, and so he died, as Moses the servant of the Lord died in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ The Text and the time requires me to run a Parallel between Moses and the Royal Martyr; whose Obsequies we then duly celebrate, when we not onely bewail and detest that execrable Murther, and renounce those Principles, and repent of those Sins which betrayed that good man into the hands of deceitful and cruel men, but do heartily endeavour to imitate that Christian Example of Faith and Patience which God by him that commended unto us.
Parallel, I shall extend,
I. To his private and personal Excellencies, as he was Moses.
2. To his publick and political Capacity, as he was
the servant of the Lord (i.e.) by way of Eminency as he was a King in Jesurun, Deut. 33. 5. who ruled the People of God in the integrity of his heart, and with all his might.
And it is observable, that
Moses was born when there was a Generation of men that dealt subtily with the people of God; but God endued him with so much Patience, as well as Meekness and Resolution, that no difficulty was insuperable to him.
The first Grace that appeared in him was his
Humility and Meekness; of which the Scripture testifieth, that he was the meekest man on the earth, Numb. 12.3. And though this were as another Vail on the face of our Moses for a time, to obscure the splendour of his Vertues, yet even that tended to his greater glory and admiration among such as did more intimately converse with him. He lived long in a retired condition, being educated in all the Wisdom of the Egyptians, that might qualified him for the Government to which God has designed him: yet his Meekness appeared first in a diffidence of his own judgment; which though it were grounded on strong Reason, and mature Deliberation, yet he always submitted to such as he thought better skilled in their several Sciences; though usually when the Kings Opinion was neglected, and theirs followed, the success failed: and when Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed; when he let them down, Amalek prevailed.
His Affability, another branch of Meekness, was such, that the meanest Subject had a gracious access to him; nor needed there any Favourite or
Advocate to mediate for him, save the justness of his Cause; which he would alway bear with great Patience, and determine with Prudence and Justice. And if at any time he perceived an Egyptian smiting one of his Brethren, he would voluntarily interpose, and avenge the Oppressed.
As for the Power which he exercised over his
Passions, he was as much a King in that, as in any other Vertue. The Stoical Philosophy never prescribed any better Apathy than he practiced; never discovering any Passion, but when the Cause of God and his Church was concerned: now was he ever know to act any thing by way of revenge, though none was more provoked, and though he had a Jus utriusque gladii. His Enemies indeed made a self-denying Ordinance, but none besides himself did practise it. His moderation even in words was so great, that he seldom spake unadvisedly with his lips; and if he did, after insufferable Affronts and Injuries, call his implacable Enemies Rebels, he did no more than Moses, Num. 20. 10. Hear Now, ye Rebels: and yet he mitigates the harshness of that title with the Epithite of a Religious Rebellion, and a misguided Zeal; and prays for them in the words of our Saviour, Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
Innocency did so arm and fortifie him against allpoteron anqroptei h qew, e mikrw ex amasin. whether he was a Reproaches and Injuries, that when he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatned not; insomuch that Philo says it was doubted of Moses, God, or man, or mixt person. And without doubt our Moses was in St. PeterΥs sense, Partaker of the Divine Nature. And if it be true what both Philosophy and Divinity affirm, That he is a more valiant man that overcomes himself, than he that subdues many Cities, Alexander himself was not so great a Conqueror, who lost all the glories of his former Conquests, by yielding up to a base Lust: bet never did any rebel-thought rise up against the Reason or Religion of our Moses, which was not presently and easily suppressed.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ So that none of his Age better deserved his Motto of More than Conqueror. And as he was an Absolute Master of his Irascible, so of his Concupiscible Appetites: for wherever he was of
so sound a Constitution, and equal temperature of body, that he might be naturally thought inclinable to Excess, and lived amidst such plenty and variety of Temptations, that nothing but the grace of God could restrain him; that Grace was sufficient to preserve his righteous Soul, in the midst of a Profane Generation.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ A professed Enemy he was to three
great Debauchers of the Nation; Wine, Women, and Tobacco; so that, as Philo said of Moses, Frugalitatem colebat, ut nemo alius in universum a deliciis abhorrens, animo malebat vivere quam corpori.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ As for his
Diet, he would feed heartily, but not nicely, nor intemperately: Hunger was his best Sauce, and he ever observed his set-hours. He was none of those Princes that brought a Wo to the Land, by rising early to follow strong drink, and continue till wine inflame them, &c. Isai. 5. 11. but guided himself and others by the wholesome Rules of temperance: And by these means he enjoyed that double blessedness of a sound mind in a healthy body.
Apparel was sutable to his mind; a plain man; no example of Expensiveness, or aping new Fashions: He thought it more necessary to adorn his Soul, on which he bestowed more time and thoughtfulness than on his Body; by which onely he outshined all the Gallantry of the Court; in which respect should we compare him with other Princes, it will be hard to find out a Parallel. For all circumstances considered, Solomon in all his glory was not like him.
As for his Chastity, considering the Temptations that attended a person of his Complexion, he was another Joseph, not onely a Worthy, but a Wonder of the World; insomuch as he was suspected of a natural Impotency and Frigidity, until God blessed him with a numerous Issue. Never was he suspected by his greatest Enemies of any
unclean Lust. So that he deserved that Character which the Historian required in CΎsarΥs Wife, Oportet uxorem CΎsaris non solum omni crimine, verum etiam omni criminis suspicione vacare. He was above the suspition of being a Wanton; yet to his death did the malice of his Enemies pursue his Reputation, giving order to some that were appointed, to see his dissected, to enquire whether there were not a defect of nature in his body; who found, to their shame, that it was no decay of nature, but the strength of Grace that refrained him. His conjugal love to his endeared Spouse, whom her Enemies painted blacker than MosesΥs Egyptian Wife, admitted no muttering of Accusations: he was often condemned by them of too much, never for too little affection towards his Royal Spouse; who, as she could never incline his Heart to her Idols, as SolomonΥs was, so his Love and Learning together had undoubtedly wrought her to a better opinion of the Protestant Religion, had not their vile Practices disgraced that holy Profession. Such was the Chastity of his holy Conversation, that he was coupled rather in the fear of God, than any carnal consideration: So that his very Body, as well as the Soul, was the Temple of the Holy Ghost.
The whole course of his life gives such reputation to his
dying words, that no sober man can doubt of the truth of that Charge he gave the Princess Elizabeth, to tell her Mother, That his thoughts had never strayed from her, and his love should be the same to the last. And as Philo says of Moses, Non quicquam ventri dabat prΎter tributum naturΎ necessarium, nec voluptatam sub ventre nascentium nisi liberorum causa meminerat; though he lived amidst infinite Provocations, he resisted them all, and made everything subservient to Vertue.
It is thought a sufficient
Panegyrick for some Princes, that they are sine vitiis, without any predominant Vice; or at east if they are conspicuous in any one Verte: but our Royal Martyr, as he wanted all the Vices, so he had all the Vertues of his worthy Ancestors, and even of Moses himself. He was so like Moses, that he partook of the same infirmities: he was not , but of a slow speech and stammering tongue; but that was abundantly supplied by a sound Judgment and sententious Elegancy. He did not eulalein, make long and popular Harangues, like the old Roman Gracchi, our Extempore-men, to lead the People by Noise and Clamour; but he could apo teach them Maximes and Principles of Reason and Religion; and was, as Moses, mighty in word and deed. For,
In the next place, he was, as the Scripture testifies of
Moses, Learned in all the Wisdom of the Egyptians, Acts 7. 22. Now the Sciences taught in Egypt were, as Philo says, Numeros & Geometriam, Musicam & occultu Hieroglyphica, prΎcipue vero Mathematica. And for these, you have the testimony of an Adversary, what a Proficient he was. Lilly in his Discourse of Monarchy or no Monarchy, says, He had singular skill in Limning and Pictures; a good Mathematician, not unskilful in Musick; well read in Divinity, excellently in History, and no less in the Laws and Statutes of the Nation; of a quick and sharp Conception; would write his mind singularly well, and in good Language and Stile: he would apprehend a difference between party and party with great readiness, and methodize a long matter, and contract it in a few lines: Insomuch that I have heard Sir Robert Holborn oft say, he had a quicker Conception, and would easier understand a Case in Law, and with more sharpness drive the matter to a head, than any of the Privy-Council: and when the King was not at the Council, Sir Robert cared not to be there. He had also among other special Gifts, the Gift of Patience, so that if any offered him a long discourse, he would without any interruption or distate hear it out. He had exquisite judgment by the eye, to discover the vertuous from the wanton; and honoured vertuous men. He was nothing at all given to Luxury, but extreme sober in his Food and Apparel. He would argue logically, and frame his Argument artificially, &c. The like we have from another, though bitter Enemy of his, and a Sollicitor against him at his Tryal, Cooke, in his Apologie for their proceedings against him, p. 35. He was well known (faith he) to be a hard Student in his younger days----He had more learning and dexterity in State-affairs undoubtedly, than all the Kings in Christendom; and for his Parts, if they had been sanctified (said that unsanctified wretch) he was another Solomon. This Testimony being true, how sharply were they to be rebuked that persecuted him to death!
But we must search farther, to find out the Excellencies of
Moses. Diodorus Siculus notes, that he was bred up in PharaohΥs Court, Ut urbanitatem, Elegantium, Liberalitatem, aliasque virtutes Regias quasi Rector populi futurus addisceret. And though our Moses were a Nonsuch in all these, yet all these were nothing in respect of that Wisdom which he was taught of God. Though his whole life was no more than what Moses spent in his retirement, yet he attained to a proportionable measure of all useful knowledge. For as he marked many good Authors throughout with his own hand, so he transcribed their choice Precepts into his heart. So studious and reserved he was, that Prince Henry took the Archbishops Cap and put it on his head, saying, If I live, Charles, IΥll make thee Archbishop of Canterbury. Being at the age of thirteen years, on Easter-Munday 1613. he was strictly examined in order to his Confirmation, by the Archbishop and the Bishop of Bath and Wells; as Dr. Hackwel his Tutor, who was present, and heard his Answers, which gave great satisfaction to them all, relateth. On which occasion the Doctor wrote his Treatise of Confirmation.
When his Father King
James sent him to Spain, he charged his Attendants not to begin Disputes concerning Religion: But if you be engaged, let George, saith the King, hold the Conclusion, and Charles will maintain the Premises; for I dare venture him against the best studied Divine of them all. Nor was his Learning confined to one part, but he digested all the Wisdom of his Age. His Pen was incomparably the most Princely, and best polished in his time. In the Camp, none discoursed more like a Souldier; in the Council, none so like a Senator: among the Lawyers, as an Oracle; among the Bishops, as another Constantine. He always triumphed over his Enemies, as Spartianus says of the Emperour Trajan in Imagine; overthrowing them by his Arguments, whom he could not reach by his Arms. His Pen did what his Sword could not do; for that, like JonathanΥs Arrows, was never employed in vain.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ In his Deliberation with his
Council, he led them by Argument, not by Authority: and though he left them to the liberty of their own Determinations, yet were they never so successful, as when his Majesties advice was followed insomuch as they all said, If he had been a Counsellor to any other Prince, he had been esteemed as an Oracle. When his Secretaries had drawn up publick Dispatches for foreign Princes, he would often take the Pen in hand, and saying pleasantly, I am a pretty good Cobler, would make such advantageous alterations both in words and matter, as were approved by them all. So that even his Enemies would say, If he had not been born to be a King, no man deserved it better than he: which Sir H. Martin testified of him, in that House where the Question was proposed in favour of Cromwel, Whether they should have a King or no King. If we must have a King (saith he) I had rather have him than any Gentleman in the Nation. So that it seems he had no other fault, than that he was born to be a King, and God had anointed him above his fellows.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Which brings me to the
second part of the Parallel; How like our Royal Martyr was to Moses in his publick and political Capacity, as he was the servant of the Lord; for so is the King callΥd, Rom. 13.4 , Gods Minster or Servant, by way of eminence, and immediate relation; the man of God, I Chron. 23.14. The man of Gods right hand.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Now the
Regalia which both adorn and support the Throne, are Mercy and Truth, which preserve the King, Prov. 20.28. & Prov. 29.14. The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And first, of his
Mercy and Clemency, which, as the holy Oyl, kept his Crown fresh and fragrant, an added a beauty to all the other Jewels that adorned it. In all the former Vertues he excelled others, in this he exceeded himself; Like the Oyntment on the head of Moses, it ran down to the skirts of his Garment, to the meanest of his Subjects, and the most malicious of his Enemies. If it be possible that any Vertue can be in excess, this of Clemency was so in him. I thank God, saith he, I never found but my Pity was above my Anger: nor have my Passions ever so prevailed against me, as to exclude my compassionate Prayers for them whom devout errors, more than their own malice, have betrayed to a Religious Rebellion. Here is Charity indeed, that could cover such a multitude of sins! His usual Prayer for them was, That Repentance might be their greatest punishment. Being asked by Colonel Hammond his Jaylor, what regret his Spirit had against his Enemies; he answered, I can forgive them, Colonel, with as good an appetitee, as ever I eat my meat after hunting; and that IΥll assure you was no small one. Moses in his charity did not onely wish that all the people were Prophets, but that God would blot him out of the book of life, (i.e. LegislaturΎ, or vitΎ temporalis) so the people might be spared. To procure a Calm, says the Royal Martyr, I could be content to be the Jonas thrown over board. Next to his Wife and Children, he profest to love his Enemies dearest: and so far was he from seeking to destroy the living, that he wisht he could revive them that were dead. He gave so long, till his Enemies left him nothing more for them to ask, or him to grant: he gave not onely to the one half, but the whole of his Kingdom. He forgave and pardoned those who were self-condemned, and had never charity enough to pardon themselves, but like Cain and Judas, though their Murthers and Treasons greater than could be forgiven. He pardoned those, whom God himself hath said he will never pardon, such as continued obstinately to offend out of malicious wickedness. Yet did the Charity of Moses not onely pordon that stiff-necked people himself, but kept wrestling with God to pardon them also. Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and I will make of thee a great Nation: Yet still Moses prayed and prevailed, Exod. 32. 10, &c. It is said of Archbishop Cranmer, that the way to make him a friend, was to do him an injury. The less our Royal Martyr was beloved by his Enemies, the more he loved and pitied them. Though the most tender mercies of his Enemies towards him were very cruelty, his greatest cruelty towards them, was his too tender mercy, which they ungrateful wretches so abused, as to turn his Bounty into Lasciviousness, kicking at those bowels that yearned towards them, and turning his Acts of free and undeserved Grace, into sins of Presumption: for some of them did say, They knew the King had Charity enough to forgive them all; as indeed he did, to the lats moment of his life.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Secondly. His Justice and
Innocency was another Regale. No man, woman, or child could ever complain, of any thin taken from them by force or fraud in which they had a right: Liberty and Property, Mercy and Truth met together, and kissed each other; Righteousness and Peace like a mighty stream flowed through the Land, and made glad the City of God; and so secured the Nation in Peace and Plenty, as the Waters that compass the Land round about. No drop of Bloud was shed during seventeen years of his undisturbed Reign, save of an ear or two of such turbulent men, who survived to be the Authors of shedding whole Rivers of more innocent bloud.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ As for the third
Regale, which is truth and Faithfulness; he was, as Moses, faithful in all Gods house; Deo, Sacerdotio, Populo: To God, to his Priests, and People: not permitting willingly any pin to be wanting that was for necessary or decent use in all the Tabernacles of the Lord; nor enjoyning any thing but what was agreeable to the pattern in the Mount, (i.e.) to the Word of God, and primitive practice. He was indeed a Nursing Father to the Church of God; he carried it in his bosom, and ingraved it on his heart. His care was, that the Daughter of Sion might not onely be all glorious within, but that her Garments might be of fine Needlework. So zealous was he to preserve her Revenues, that if it were true of any since our Saviours time, it was true of him, The zeal of Gods house did consume him. His love to the Church as far exceeded that of David to Jonathan, as that surpassed the love of women. He offered to sell part of the Crown-lands, to preserve those of the Church; which that scurrilous Milton called his Ephesian Goddess, perceiving that he was willing to sacrifice his life and all for its Prosperity: for if he would have consented to the Alienation of those Lands, he might have patcht up a Peace with his Adversaries, and in probability have saved his life: but no importunity of his Favourites, no necessities of his own, could gain his consent to any Sacrilegious Act. Tell me not (said he to a great Counsellor) what I may do to save my life, but what I may do with a safe Conscience: I have done what I can to the saving of my life, without losing my Soul: I can do, I will do no more: Gods will be done: I shall never think my self less than my self, while I am able to preserve the integrity of my Conscience: Leave me that, and let what will befal me: I shall chuse any afflication, rather than sin. And again, Though I am sensible enough of the danger that attends my care of the Church, yet I am resolved to defend it, or make it my Tombstone---Nimirum hoc est regnare.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Nor was he careful onely to preserve the Church during his own life, but provided for its prosperity after his death. Charging his
dearest Son, that he should not let his heart receive the least check or dissatisfaction against the Church, or esteem any thing little or despicable, so as not speedily to suppress Errours and Schisms. Nor can any man impute these Resolutions to his Wilfulness, but Conscience, who shall consider with what strength of Argument he defended the Church against [11/12] its Adversaries of all sorts. His discourse with the Marquess of Worcester, (though printed to his great disadvantage, and but partially related) shewed his Learning in Popish Controversies, and his aversion from that Perwasion. His Papers to Henderson shew his acquaintance with the Fathers and Modern Divines in our present Controversies. He alone disputed a whole day in the Isle of Wight (concerning Church-affairs especially) on the Propositions sent him, against fifteen Counsellors and four Divines, to the Conviction of them all; who coming prejudiced against him, as a man of slender parts, went away admiring how he became so learned; and willing they were his Concessions might have been admitted as a ground to treat of Peace. Mr. Vines, the best Disputant of the Party, said he was sorry the King was not better understood; for he thought him the best Divine of any Lay-man in England.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Now who can distrust the
truth and fidelity of such a King towards his Subjects, that was so stedfast and faithful to God and his Church? the love of God and of our Brethren being inseparable. His many Protestations of his innocency as to the things whereof his Enemies accused him, especially as to Popery, at York in the head of his Army, as Oxford upon taking the Holy Sacrament at the hands of the Archbishop of Armagh, and in this place (St. Peters, Exon) after the Defeat of EssexΥs Army in Cornwal, and at several other places, being compared with his great Knowledge, Candor, and Integrity, were enough to convince any but such hardned Pharaohs and Egyptians as Moses had to deal with.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ So that his Enemies most notoriously
condemned themselves, when they so falsly accused him of Inconstancy in the Established Religion; which they so quickly razed to the very foundation with their Swords, and he so resolutely defended with his last bloud. But as neither the Divinity of our SaviourΥs Person, Doctrine, and Institutions, nor his miraculous Works could satisfie the unbelieving Jews, who were resolved [12/13] to put him to death; so could neither the Piety of his life, his Meekness and innumerable Condescentions and Messages for Peace restrain these Jewish Infidels from imbruing their hands in his innocent Bloud, and entailing the guilt thereof on them and their children.
great men did not receive his Religion by Tradition from his Fathers, or by an implicit Faith in his Teachers (as most men now do; which makes them so wavering and unstable, leaping from one Perswasion to another:) he searched into the fundamental grounds and principles, he considered and confuted all the Objections against it; and from hence it was that he stood as a Temple built upon a Rock, immovable, notwithstanding all his and its Adversaries violent Assaults. So that the best Reformed Church in the World stood and fell with him; and, blessed be God, hath had a Resurrection with his Son our dear Soveraign.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ As for his constant attendance on the Publick Worship, which he duly frequented, he performed that with that incomparable Devotion and Reverence, without which all Religion is in vain. And if at any time he had omitted his duty of praying twice a day, which he scarce ever did in all the time of War, consecrating some place as a Chappel in the open Field; so tender was his Spirit, that he exacted it of himself at another time. As Philo observes of Moses, Si quando ab officio defuisset severe a se pΟnas exigebat. He had that tenderness of Conscience which was onely talked of by others: for as soon as the wrath of God was gone out against the Land, like Moses, he
ran and stood in the gap, and humbled himself witheikwn basilikh doth. I have seen his Fasting and Supplications to divert the wrath of God. And for his secret Meditations and Vows, he hath raised such a Monument to himself, and given such an Example to the World, as all men may admire, but few or none can imitate. King Francis the First said, that of all Books in the World, next to that of the Gospel, he would have that of Moses his Pentateuch to be preserved. And indeed those Books [13/14] are, as Philo says, the onely Records of the Creation and miraculous providence of God, wherein also the fundamentals of all Laws are preserved. And next to Holy Writ, and the Records of the Church, there is no Book savours so much of Divine Rhetorick, and the Primitive Spirit of Christian Devotion, as the Majesties Picture drawn in the Text of DavidΥs Psalms: a fit shadow for the Devotion of his Soul: but this which was drawn by his own unimitable Pen, will be a more lasting Monument, and give him a better Immortality than all the Regal Memoirs of the best-deserving Princes: by this, as Sampson, he conquered more at his death, than he had done in all his life-time. Vota dabant, quΎ bella negarunt: his Pen obtained what his Sword could not. As none but CΎsar was fit to write his own Comment, so the King did it in such a stile, as will perpetuate his Fame to the end of the World. And for my part, I shall like it the better, for that which that scurrilous Milton said to defame it, viz. that his Party admired it, and were stricken with such blindness, as next to the darkness of Egypt, happened not to any people more gross or misleading. For which saying perhaps it was, that he himself was smitten with blindness long before his death. I conclude this point of the truth and fidelity of our Moses, with that which Philo says of his: Qualis erat Oratio, talis erat vita, ut in instrumento musico nil discrepavit, mentent actis exprimens, facta dictis accommodans.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ I shall not presume to extend my
Parallel betweencarisma, or gift of healing, as was very wonderful, and highly beneficial to the Nation, in the curing of thousands that were otherwise incurable. But that which causeth me to mention this, was that Cure which Moses wrought upon Moses and the Royal Martyr for working of Miracles; though God gave him such a Miriam, who was troubled with a kind of Kings Evil, being smitten with a Leprosie somewhat like it, for [14/15] her murmuring against Moses; but was cured by his Prayer, Numb. 12. 13. Moses cryed to the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And when the rude Souldiers that guarded his Majesty denied a poor afflicted woman that was very importunate to have access to him, deriding her as a superstitious woman; the Royal Martyr observing and pitying her condition, told her, Though he could not touch her, he would pray to God to heal her: and she went to her home, and was healed. But to return.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ By these
Supporters of the Royal Throne, his Kingdoms were preserved in Peace and Prosperity for near seventeen years together: there was no decay of Trade, no leading into Captivity, no Wars nor rumors of Wars among us. The King himself was the greatest sufferer, being left in some straights, and engaged in expensive affairs by his Father: which his Adversaries taking notice of, instead of easing him by timely supplies, they adde to it by murmurings, and reviving the old Quarrel between the KingΥs Prerogative and the Priviledges of the People. For the decision of which, our Moses summons an Assembly of the Princes and Heads of the People, hoping that they would take part of the burden of the Government from his shoulders, which was too heavy for him to bear alone, as Moses complainedto God, Numb. 11. v. 14. wherefore by Gods decree he calls the Elders of the people to stand with him, v. 16. but v. 26. we hear of Eldad and Medad, two Field-Chaplains that separated from the Tabernacle, and prophesied in the Camp against Moses. Miriam also, ch. 12.1. a zealous woman, spake against Moses because of an Ethiopian woman whom Moses had married: whom God reproved, testifying of Moses, that he was faithful in all his house; and v. 8. saying, How were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And this Leven: though but a little at first, fermented the whole lump: for ch. 16.1. Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, with 250 Princes of the assembly, famous in the Congregation, men of renown, began to make set [15/16] Speeches against Moses and Aaron: and so incensed the people, that, as Josephus says, they came with a confused tumult to apprehend and stone Moses, and with noise and uproar they came to the very door of the Tabernacle where Moses was, crying out, that the Tyrant was to be cut off, and the people delivered from thraldom, having great burdens laid on them, Dathan and Abiram come also with their armed Servants to resist Moses in case of force. And now Corah, a man of popular Eloquence, talks aloud, That Moses had lifted up himself without any Commission above the People, thinking to exercise an Arbitrary power over them, who were all holy, and to whom, as Saints, the power of Dominion did belong: and accused them as men of bloud, v. 41. Ye have slain the people of the Lord; though as yet neither Moses nor Aaron had used any other weapons but their Prayers and Tears to appease the rage of the people, and to turn away the wrath of God from them. But from this time began the Affliction of Moses, whom God seemed to have raised up to this very end, that he might shew in him the power of his grace; how able he is to support a weak vessel, amidst an ocean of troubles: for as Philo says of Moses, Tota vita Mosis Martyrium Deo reddidit, his whole life was but a Martyrdom: from the time that he was drawn out of the Bulrushes of Tweed, where he was exposed in a languishing condition, till he died on Mount Abarim, before his Royal Palace; his Enemies made him to pass through fire and water more than seven times, that he might be as tryed Gold, the more precious and splendid: for though, as Moses Bush, he was still burning, yet was he not consumed; but they made him, in a better sence than ever they intended, a glorious King. Non eripit terrena, qui regna dat CΟlestia.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And now
our Moses hath another Pharaoh and his Egyptian Armies to deal with, who by vile arts had stollen the hearts of the people from him, and were deaf to all his Messages and Intreaties for Peace; God having given them up [16/17] to the hardness of their hearts, with a Quis constituit te. Who made thee a Judge and Ruler over us? Acts 7. 27. They had wrested the Rod of Government out of his hands; and being cast to the ground, it became a Serpent: and all the Plagues of Egypt which befel the obdurate people, could not reclaim them. The rivers were turned into bloud, Exod. 7. 20. And murmuring seditious Libels and Declarations, like the Frogs of Egypt, were croaking in every house and chamber. ch. 8. 6. Poverty and Oppression, like swarms of biting Lice and Flyes, filled the Land, ch. 8. 17. 24. A grievous Murrain there was upon the Beasts, ch. 9. 3. and Botches, and Blains, and Pestilence upon men, ch. 9. 10. The Cannons and Murdering-pieces were as loud and fatal as the Thunder and Storms of Hail, v. 23. And destroying Souldiers, like Armies of Locusts, covered the face of the land, consuming every herb, and all the fruit of the trees. And though Pharaoh saw and confessed that these Plagues would destroy him and his servants, yet would he not submit to God, and his servant Moses, to let the people go and serve their God. But mercenary Preachers, like so many Balaams and Magicians, were still hired to oppose and blaspheme God and Moses their King.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Herein indeed the
sufferings of the Royal Martyr exceeded those of Moses, That they were Egyptians who thus oppressed Moses, but they were his own natural, or rather unnatural Subjects, that dealt thus cruelly with our Royal Martyr; in whom not onely all the sufferings of Moses, but of all the Martyrs met, to afflict and consume him. For he was not onely deprived of all the comforts of his Life, Wife and Children, Counsellors and Chaplains, as if they intended to destroy his Soul as well as his body; but moreover he had tryal of cruel mockings, of bonds and imprisonment: he was tempted too; but would not accept deliverance by betraying the Cause of God and his Church: and at last was sawn asunder, and slain with the sword, Heb. 11.36. And to aggravate all these Impieties, I may adde, that they were done to him of whom the world was not worthy. [17/18]
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ He suffered in his
Body, being not allowed convenient Food and Raiment, as if they would try whether he could live by Manna and Miracle: He was forced to borrow money to buy him bread; and wanting Linen when he was at Holdenby, being advised to make his case known to them at Westminster, he said, he would not give them the satisfaction of knowing his wants. Next, he suffered in his good name, as if they would bury him alive under a heap of Reproaches; sometimes they reported him to be an easie and misguided fool, led away by wicked Counsellors; and anon, as an obstinate and cruel Tyrant.
died often as a King and Confessor, when he survived as a man; that at last he might endure a double Martyrdom; and die as his Saviour did, with a Crown of Thorns on his head, and a Reed in his hand, while they that crucified him bowed before him and mocked him. And as if this Impiety were not great enough, they mock the Justice of God and the Land, by setting up the highest Court of Injustice that ever was heard of in the world. With great Reason therefore and undaunted Resolution he denied their Authority; to which if he had submitted, they would have established Iniquity by a Law, and urged the Kings submission against the Laws and Liberties of any of his Subjects. He therefore required a Reason of their usurping that Authority over him. Bradshaw told him, The Vote of the Commons was the Reason of the Nation: against which, when the King offered his Reasons, Bradshaw replied, That Reason was not to be heard against the highest Judicature. To which the King replying, Shew me that Court where Reason is not to be heard; he answered, We shew it here, the Commons of England: so evident it is that they had lost their Reason as well as their Religion, and had banished all fear of God with the Reverence of man. This is that Bradshaw, who a little before, some say but three weeks, when he was made a Serjeant at Law, took the Oath of Allegiance, that at the same time he might condemn himself with Perjury, [18/19] when he betrayed his Master. Yet all these Indignities drew onely some smiles of Indignation; and pitying of those unreasonable and cruel men; and so he received that Ugly Sentence, as he callΥd it, as the Primitive Martyrs were wont to do, with a Deo gratias; blessing God, that as he had sent him Afflictions, so he had given him Patience to endure them. And now they make haste to lead him away, and crucifie him: and that he might be more like his Saviour, one of the rude Souldiers that guarded him spit in his face; which he meekly wiping off, said, My Saviour suffered more for my sake. The Sunday before his death, a Guard of barbarous Souldiers were crowded into his Chamber, drinking and smoaking Tobacco, to which he had a natural antipathy, cursing and upbraiding him to his face: so that Daniel was not so ill at ease in the Lions Den, as his righteous Soul among those men of Belial. And to disturb him yet more, he was lodged so near the place of Execution, that he might hear every stroke of those who wrought all night on the Scaffold. Peters and Goodwin, two Army-Chaplains, would have given him Vinegar and Gall to drink, in the words of Isai. 14. 18. 19. &c. but a better Angel was sent from Heaven with a Cup of Consolation: for on the very day of his death was read the History of our Saviours Passion, Mat. 27. and thanking the Bishop of London, who then ministred unto him, for his choice of so seasonable a Lesson, the Bishop told him it was not by his choice, but by the course and order of the Church, that that lesson was appointed to be read; which he owned as a gracious providence and favour from his God. Nor were they more hasty for his Execution, than he was for a deliverance from them: for he desired the Guard to mend their pace, assuring them, that he never marched in the head of any Army with better courage to fight for his Earthly, than he did now for the Heavenly Crown. He was not appaled when he saw a red Sea before him, and Armies of Egyptians on every side: he did not, as Moses, exceedingly [19/20] quake and fear, but was more concerned for his Murtherers than for himself. And Philo says of Moses, Non calligavit oculus, nec mutatus est Splendor GratiΎ vultus ejus, Deut. 34. 7. his eye and countenance retained the same Majesty and Splendor on the Scaffold, as on the Throne: and as Philo goes on, Jam jam assumendus, & in ipsis stans carceribus, unde ad cΟlestem metam erat evolaturus, tunc quoq; afflatus Divinitus viven adhuc Prophetavit. He being yet alive, blessed all the tribes of Israel, and prophesied of their future prosperity, Deut. 33. Being now to go up into Mount Nebo, and die, he went as from his Prison to a Throne, and from a glimpse of that earthly Canaan which he was deniΥd to enter, to possess that heavenly Canaan which was open to receive him.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Which brings us to the last part of our
Royal Martyr was like Moses in his death also: for, so died Moses the servant of the Lord in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. He began to die as a King, when Aaron the Saint of the Lord, his chief Minister about the Tabernacle, and the things belonging to the Worship of God, was violently pluckt from him, not for consenting to, but for his endeavour to suppress those golden Calves which the people had made, and set up to themselves as their Gods, not to go before them towards Canaan, but to lead them back to Egypt, whither they were returning. He died on Mount Hor, the Tower-hill. Jethro also, his great Counsellor, was taken from him by the same bloudy hands. And the circumstance of the place where Moses died, is very considerable in our Parallel: for he must go up from the plains of Moab, the land of his inheritance; (for so Moab signifieth de Patre, the Land which descended to him from his Fathers) to Mount Abarim, where stood the Metropolis of Moab, and where the greatest concourse of people was: for [Hebrew] signifies transitus. Near Abarim stood the Hill Nebo, where was the Royal Palace: and adjoyning to that was the Vetrix Pisgah, the [20/21] Baqueting-house, where he had a prospect of the Land of Canaan, which God has promised to give him as an Inheritance; yet here die he must, not so much for his own sins, as for the sins of the people, who had now cast off all fear of God, and what then should a King do among them? Hosea 10.3. But our Moses must die (say the Rebel-people) according to the word of the Lord. Certainly there was not word of the Lord Jehovah, that the people should put their King to death: it must be some enthusiastick dream of an infatuated spirit from the God of this world, that inspired them with such a Revelation. The word which God spake concerning Moses, (Deut. 32. 49.) was onely this: Ascende & morere, Go up and die. He had an ascention, even before his dissolution: An ascention I call it, because God had promised ( Exod. 33. 14.) to go up with him, and to give him rest; to gather him to his fathers, and hide him in the clifts of the rock until the storm was over, Exod. 33.22. So that though God had told him that it was a terrible thing that God would do with him, Exod. 34.10. yet having the presence of an All-sufficient God, with whom he might converse as a man talketh with his friend face to face, Exod. 33.11. and having seen all the goodness of the Lord pass before him, and proclaiming the Lord God to be gracious and merciful, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that would by no means clear the guilty, Exod. 34. 6,7. this made the face of our Moses to shine, even when that black vail was laid over it.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And now he gives
instruction to his Successor Joshua, concerning the Church and People of God; not doubting but that God, under his conduct, would bring that stiffnecked people into Canaan. And then with an undaunted courage, adresseth himself to his last Combat, being assured of victory over all his Enemies: and more like an Orator from his Desk, than a dying man on the Scaffold, he thus exhorteth the People, as it is recorded by Josephus. [21/22]
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ I thought it requisite, lest I should fail of my duty, to lay open the way that leadeth to your happiness. Obey God, and keep his Laws, which I have given you, not innovating any thing in Religion. heaken to the counsel of Eleazar the Priest, and Joshua my successor, with the Senate. Be not stiff-necked, and think it not your liberty to mutiny against the commandments of your Prince. God forbid you should be so exasperated against them as against me: for I have been more often in hazard of my life by your means than by my enemies. I speak not this to upbraid you, but to admonish you, and make you wiser for the time to come, in obeying the Laws of your Country, in abhorrding the Gods of the Nations, and adhering to the Religion in which I die. God having prefixed the date and place of my departure, I give him thanks, and submit. And thus after
mutual embraces between him and Eleazar the Priest, blessing the People, praying for himself and his enemies, he laid down his earthly Tabernacle, his Crown of Thorns, and distracted Kingdoms, to receive an immarcessible Crown of Glory, and a Kingdom that cannot be moved, eternal in the Heavens. And thus he died, as the Rabbins interpret the Text, with a kiss of GodΥs mouth; or according to the Word of the Lord.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And now
exeunt Tyrrani: His Murtherers having killed the Heir, they go and take possession; but the Land spewed them out one after another, till Shiloh came, to whom it did belong. But as soon as the People had time to consider their great loss, and the Books of the Law written by Moses, and left as a Legacy to the People, and were made sensible by of the Rapine and Oppression of his Murtherers, they wept extremely, saith Josephus; the men rent their clothes, the women beat their breasts, and sadness covered all faces; his very Enemies being ashamed of that Horrible Parricide. It was pity (said some) his Concessions had not been better considered. Had he not been a King (said others of them) he might have lived longer. And even those who had betrayed and murthered him, [22/23] would, like Judas and Pilate, have washt their hands from his bloud, if it had been possible. The Actors in this Tragedy would still keep themselves as unknown as the Executioner. It was not we, say the Presbyterians; nor we, say the Independents: nor did the one destroy him as a King, and the other as a man; but both were Regicides, and doth lift up their hands against the Lords Anointed. The London-Ministers endeavoured, but in vain, to wash their hands from that bloud: but their Vindication carrieth a Confutation with it: for they say, The woful Miscarriages of the King himself, which we cannot but acknowledge to be many and very great in his Government, that have cost the three Kingdoms so dear, and cast him down from his Excellency into a horrid Pit of Misery almost beyond example. Was this a more likely means to preserve his life, or to destroy it? to charge him with all the miseries of the late War. And a Leader of this Party says, that the removal of our Ceremonies onely, might countervail for all the Bloud and Treasure spilt and spent in those Distractions. Jenkins Sermon, Sept. 24. p. 23. which was spoken in 1656, about 8 years after the Kings death. They did not indeed erect a high Court of Justice to arraign him, but they raised Armies to fight against him: And it is to be believed (saith Mr. Baxter) that man would kill him whome he fights against. And Mr. Marshal, p. 19. of a Letter of his, says, That if the King had been slain in battel, it had been none of the Parliaments fault: for he might have kept himself farther off if he pleased. And they might have kept themselves at home, and done their own business, and not the Devils work, in pursuing their King to his Prison, which hath usually beenΚ the Grave of Kings, as it was his. And in this the Army-men, in a Book called Bonds and Bounds, argued not amiss: If by the Covenant (say they, p. 45.) we were indispensably obliged to preserve his (i.e. the Kings) Person, how comes it to pass that we were obliged by the same Covenant to wage War against him? I have heard of a distinction between his [23/24] Person and his Power, but never between his Person and Himself. So that if the Covenant would have dispensed with any Souldier of England or Scotland to kill his person by an accident of War (as his life was oft in danger, before he was brough to the Scaffold) his death had been violent, and the obligations to preserve him had ended; and yet according to this argument, the Covenant had not been broken: why then should these men think the World so dull, as not to understand plainly enough that the Covenant provided for his death more ways than one? And in brief, the Actions of the two Parties differed onely as Diminutio & obtruncario Capitis: They that took away his Regal Power, did diminuere caput Regis; they that took away his Life, did obtruncare Caput: they that first gave Commission to raise a War against him, and they that slew him, were equally guilty; for they are all Principals in such an execrable Treason.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Nec dum finitus Orestes. The immortal hatred of these persons would not permit the dead body of Moses to be
gathered with his Fathers, and be at rest: for we read in St. Jude, v. 9. of the Devil and his Angels disputing with Michael and his Angels about the body of Moses: either while it was yet alive, the Devil intending to send some evil Spirit to dispatch him secretly, which the good Angels opposed; or being dead, to deny him a Burial-place with his Ancestors; for the same reason perhaps that the Apostate Julian removed the Bones of Babilas the Martyr, because the Devils Oracle could not assist him while the Martyr lay so near it: and therefore he must be buried at a distance in the Valley, lest the Regicides should be minded of their guilt, and the People inraged at the remembrance of their loss. But as Pliny, de viris Illustribus, speaking how the Romans were incensed to revenge the death of Romulus their Founder, Proculus stept forth and said to them, Be not troubled, O ye Romans, for I saw your King in a glorious Chariot ascending up into Heaven: So, to allay our sorrows, and cause us to [24/25] lay aside all thoughts of revenge, I say, his Enemies have so far kept their words with him, as to make him a glorious King.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Thus fell the
best of Kings by the worst of men, that had generally sworn Allegiance to him, and often perjured themselves by Covenants and Engagements against him. He fell before his own Palace, and at the Gates of his great, but unrelenting City. He fell in the midst of his Age, and maturity of his Strength, and fulness of Grace, the Prodigy of Wisdom and Meekness: He fell by the Sword, and for the sins of a stiff-necked and rebellious People. He fell not alone, but out Religion, our Laws, and Liberties fell with him: and out of the Ashes of that PhΟnix, they all rose again, and resumed their first strength and splendour. If we number him among the good Kings, none of them was so wise; if among the wise, none of them was so good. Charles le Bon was not so wise, no Charlemain ever so good. If the names of all the best Princes were to be engraved in a Ring, the name of this King would serve as a Diamond to give vertue and luster to it. Carolus Primus nulli Secundus; his Murther therefore was a Murther (all circumstances considered) not to be parallelΥd by any but the Passion of our great Lord and common Saviour; and, next to that, to be detested and abhorred of all men.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And this is the first
Use and Conclusion that I shall draw from these Premises; That we seriously lament and repent for those Impieties which the sins of the Nation drew upon it self, and from which the Land is not purged to this day: For as God threatned Israel for the sin of making the golden Calves, that when he visited, he would visit that sin upon them; from whence the Jews observed, that in every judgment there was an ounce ( i.e. some greater weight for the sin) of the golden Calf: So we may justly believe, that by those dreadful Plagues and Conflagrations that have been on the Land, and especially on the great City, God would call to our remembrance that great sin for which his anger is not yet turned away, but his wrath is stretched out still. And because amendment of life is the best signe of Repentance, let us imitate his Example in Meekness and peaceableness of Spirit, in Temperance and Chastity, even to our greatest Enemies; but especially in his Love to that Church which adhered so faithfully to him, and which therefore he so loved, as to lay down his life for it; and in whose Doctrine and Communion if you keep your selves, you will be free from that great iniquity of Rebellion and Conspiracies, which are like the sin of Witchcraft. Which word reminds me of one Admonition more, That you would consider the nature of this sin, which comes so nigh to the sin of Witchcraft, that it seldom admits of any repentance: for a sad observation, and yet too true it is, that among all the Regicides that were executed for that actual Murther of the Father (which how horrid it was, you have heard) and among those that died for the intended Murther of the Son, whom God long preserve! though they all acknowledged or were proved guilty of the Fact, not one repented of the sin, notwithstanding that God hath threatned such resistance with damnation: and though such may escape the judgment of men, it will be a fearful thing for them in their impenitency to fall into the hands of God.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ 2. Let us be careful of being corrupted by
such Principles as will led us directly to the practice of Rebellion; as, That there is any earthly Power above or co-ordinate with the King, whether it be that of the Pope and his Conclave, or that of the Presbyter and his Consistory, or that of the People and their Representatives; as if the Original of the Kingly Authority were in them, and they might give or re-assume it as they please: That the King, though he be singulis major, yet he is universis minor: That Dominion is founded in Grace; on which Maxime, as a Popish Prince may be cut off by his Protestant Subjects, so a Protestant Prince may be cut off by his Popish Subjects; and then as often as any jealous, seduced, or discontented Subjects shall judge, or be perswaded, that their Prince is of a different Perswasion from themselves in matters of Religion, they may think it lawful to resist him: and so, no King nor Government in Christendom can be secure.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ 3. Take heed also of entering into
Covenants, Associations, and Engagements, without and against the King: from these, as from the Trojan Horse, whole Armies have issued out.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ 4. Take heed also of being perswaded that your
former Oaths and Obligations to Obedience are dissolved, by the addition of new Vows and Covenants; which would vacuate all Oaths of Fidelity between men, and make then as SampsonΥs Withs, to be broken at pleasure.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ 5. Take heed of that
keen distinction, which divides between the Kings Person and his Power, and teacheth that it is lawful by his authority to fight against his Person, contrary to the Law of God and the Land; and of all those other Paradoxes which the famous University of Oxford hath condemned and burnt, as tending to Rebellion.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ Lastly, Beware of all those
seditious suggestions of discontented, ambitious and factious men, that do insinuate Jealousies and suspitions of evil Government, and labour to make Parties and raise Sects and Divisions in Church or State, such as Corah raised against Moses and Aaron, and Absolon and Achitophel against David: for from hence come murmurings, and speaking evil of Dignities, Strife and Envyings, bitter Zeal and Contentions, Wars and Fightings, Confusions, and every evil thing. And take the more heed of those things at this time especially, when there are as yet some of the old Incendiaries kindling the Coals of Sedition and Rebellion, and leading multitudes of seduced Souls step by step into those ways and methods which ended in our late Civil Wars, and would carry us head-long a second tinme into the same Confusions. I conclude with SolomonΥs advice: My son, fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change: for their calamity shall come upon them suddenly; and who knoweth the ruine of them both? Prov. 24. 22.
ΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚΚ And one point of
Charity more I shall commend, as most seasonable at this time, which may help to imbalm the memory of the Royal Martyr, and cause our Prayers to ascend as Incense, by joining our Alms with them; that as we seek to break off our sins by repentance, so we would purge out our iniquities by giving to the poor, whose number and necessities the hand of God in this Extream Weather hath increased among us. Methinks I hear them crying to us, Give something for King Charles his sake. And our Liberality at this time will be such a testimony of our Religious affection to the memory of that good King, as Mary MagdalenΥs Oyntment which she poured on ChristΥs head, Mat. 26. 12. She hath wrought a good work; in that she poured out this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. And if we be ready to do good, willing to communicate, we are assured that with such Sacrifices God is well pleased.