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land; it exceedingly raiseth his repute abroad, and enableth him to keep his foes in fear, his subjects in awe, his neighbonrs and confederates in security; the three main things which go to aggrandise a prince, and render him glorious. In sum, it is the parliament that supports and bears up the honour of his crown, and settles his throne in safety, which is the chief end of all their consultations: For whosoever is entrusted to be a member of this high court, carrieth with him a double capacity; he sits there as a patriot, and as a subject: As he is the one, the country is his object, his duty being to vindicate the publick liberty, to make wholesome laws, to put his hand to the pump, and stop the leaks of the great vessel of the state; to pry into, and punish corruption and oppression: to improve and advance trade; to have the grievances of the place he serves for redressed, and cast about how to find something that may tend to the advantage of it.
But he must not forget that he sits there also as a subject, and according to that capacity, he must apply himself to do his sovereign's business, to provide not only for his publick, but his personal wants; to bear up the lustre and glory of his court; to consider what occasions of extraordinary expences he may have, by increase of royal issue, or maintenance of any of them abroad; to enable him to vindicate any affront or indignity, that might be offered to his person, crown, or dignity, by any foreign state or kingdom; to consult what may inlarge his honour, contentment, and pleasure. And as the French Tacitus (Comines) hath it, The English nation was used to be more forward and zealous in this particular than any other; according to that ancient eloquent speech of a great lawyer, Domus Regis vigilia defendit omnium, otium iltius labor omnium, delicto: illius industria omnium, vacatio illius occupatio omnium, salus illius periculum omnium, honor illiut objectum omnium, i. e. Every one should stand centinel, to defend the king's houses; his danger should be the safety of all, his pleasures the industry of all, his ease should be the labour of all, his honour the object of all.
Out of these premisses this conclusion may be easily deduced, that, The principal fountain, whence the king derives his happiness and safety, is his parliament: It is that great conduit-pipe which conveighs unto him his people's bounty and gratitude; the truest looking-glass, wherein he discerns their loves; now the subjects' love hath been always accounted the prime cittadel of a prince. In his parliament he appears as the sun in the meridian, in the altitude of his glory, in his highest state royal, as the law tells us.
Therefore whosoever is averse or disaffected to this sovereign lawmaking court, cannot have his heart well planted within him: He can be neither good subject, nor good patriot; and therefore unworthy to breathe the English air, or have any benefit, advantage, or protection from the laws.
MISCHIEFS AND UNREASONABLENESS
OP ENDEAVOURING TO DEPRIVE
HIS MAJESTY OF THE AFFECTIONS OF HIS SUBJECTS, By misrepresenting him and his Ministers.
tinuiB animi vanis timoribus 4c suspiciouibus implentur, calunmue & maledieta in TYincipea sine ullo veri fahive discrimine avidd accipiuntur, ande communicatitur.
lam. Strada de beiio Belg.
This Loyal Tract, containing the true sense of every good subject, was originally published to deter thesnbjects of Great Britain and Ireland, from fomenting that discontent against kingly government, which brought these nations into that horrid rebellion, that began in the year 1641, and deserves to be recorded, so long as monarchy sways these kingdoms; and always necessary to be read, so long as that best of governments is struck at by by designing men; or i traversed in the conversation of the causelessly discontented subject, have only taken the liberty to strike out some expressions that were f in order to render it the more general and useful at all times.
IT is tiie common unhappiness of all states, that some persons every where are proud of being thought wise at suspecting, and of an extraordinary reach in foreseeing evils, which, perhaps, never come to pass. The vanity of appearing more acute and sagacious than their neighbours does so possess them, that they make it their business and •mployment, to discover or to invent approaching mischiefs. And, if we look into those histories which give us an account of the grand transactions and revolutions of kingdoms; which do not barely tell things as tales, and say, only such and such things happened, but do search into the real causes of, and acquaint us what occasioned them; We shall find, that this humour has frequently been of greatest consequence, and that none have contributed more to the unhappiness and destruction of a nation, than the over-politick and notable men; who, by shew of concern for the publick,and great insight into intrigues and cabals, have laboured to bring the government into suspicion, and to alienate the hearts of the people from their prince. But we need not appeal to foreign occurrences, or elder times. The miseries which these three kingdoms for several years groaned under, do sufficiently attest it; and they who understand any thing of England's troubles*, in the grand rebellion, are not ignorant that the grave men of fears and jealousies, who discovered what no man could ever find out since; and the seditious preachers, who endeavoured to gain the people's hearts by
• Fad. Tha view of ths lata troubles in England, p. 96. 4c alibi.
aspersing their king, and shewing them dangers and enemies round about them, where none meant to hurt them; who with scripture phrases, and sacred railing, and profane abuse of God's word to base and malicious purposes, demonstrated their governors to be the designers of their ruin, were not the least promoters of all our shameful confusions.
But either we are so unwilling to reflect upon what then followed, or so inclinable to gratify our own little humour that way, that we top generally tread in the steps of the fomenters of those disturbances, without the least misgivings of what it may end in. We are as politick and as sharp-sighted, and as disingenuous as they were in 1641. We do, indeed, enjoy our liberties and properties, and the free exercise of our religion, peace, and plenty, justice equally distributed to all, are governed by known laws, and no man is oppressed, and yet we have grievances to complain of; dangers we foresee do threaten us; we groan, and sigh, and cry out at the badness of the times, are apprehensive of strange designs on foot, and cannot afford our governors one good word. Indeed, they among us who have a great reach, and would be thought politicians of the first rate, do give only notable hints, emphatical nods, intimate somewhat of our fears, but darkly; speak dubiously of what may happen, wish the king better advised, whisper somewhat about evil counsellors, and the like. But the vulgar part of us are more rash, and blunder it out more plainly, and prophesy of arbitrary government; cry out that we are sold and betrayed, and not far from being enslaved.
Some men have so strange fond conceits of themselves, that they are too ready to fancy their own petty interests and absurd desires so twisted and interwoven with the publick happiness of the nation, that, from any little disppointment of their ill-laid projects, they will take occasion to predict some signal mischiefs, if not ruin to the commonwealth. For they look on themselves as persons no less in favour with God, nor less wise in their designs than others; and how can publick mischiefs be brought on us, but by the ill administration of those who are concerned in the government? And when this prophetical foundation is once laid, then every accident which happens shall minister some jealousies and suspicions; every suspicion shall beget another; and can a man think much, and say nothing of such matters?
Besides, some men strangely affect the favour and good word of the common people; and what readier way to obtain it, than by persuading them that they are not so well governed as they ought to be? Some things will happen amiss, let men do what they can; and the common people who see the immediate and obvious effects of some inconveniencies, to which all sorts of governments are subject, have not the judgment to discern the secret lets and difficulties, which in publick proceedings are innumerable and inevitable. And does not the reproving the supposed disorders of state shew the persons, who do so, to be principal friends to the common interest, and honest men of singular freedom of mind? And what can be more popular and plausible?
Once more. When every private and ordinary person turns statesman, and with a judicious gravity canvasses and determines the particular interests and designs of kings and princes; when he, perhaps, who has hardly wit enough to govern his own little family, takes upon him to settle the affairs of Christendom, and fancies himself able to give this or the other prince advice how to govern his subjects, and enlarge his dominions: In fine, when men spend their time, they should employ in their several callings to gain their livelihood, in running about after news, and make themselves poor by idleness and negligence; what can we expect among these people but perverse censures and silly conclusions, seditious repinings and discontents?
But, certainly, no wise man can think the worse of any government, because unthinking people speak ill of it; nor will he, who is but a little above the multitude, think himself in danger, and bound to vex and to be discontented, because they are not pleased.
Indeed, we have been so long used to concern ourselves in matters that do not belong to us, to arraign, and, at our pleasure, to condemn the government; that either our governors must publish to the world all their designs and consultations, and inform the people of all their motives to such or such resolutions (which would be the most absurd thing in the world, and the greatest contradiction to all the uses and ends of government), or else they must expect to have evil censures passed on them for all they do, to be complained of as enemies to their country, and betrayers of their trust. A humour fit for the senseless rabble, but below any one of parts and ingenuity.
But now let us think a little what will be the end of all these things? The most experienced and ablest disturbers have always first struck at the reputation of the government, and frequently with great fuccess. For can there be obedience where there is not so much as respect? Will their knees bow whilst their hearts insult? and their actions submit, whilst their apprehensions and tongues do rebel?
And when the people are thus prepared with jealousies and discontents, and some accidents happen, which offer an opportunity, then out steps some bold hypocritical rebel, and heads the discontented party; puts forth remonstrances of grievances and misdemeanors in the government, and engages to remedy them; and the devil, who is never wanting to men, that are set upon mischief, sets forward the work, till it improve into an open and detestable civil war. All histories are full of examples; and we are not so happy as not to know, and to be one.
Away, therefore, with our murmuring and querulousness; we do but assist evil men, and vex and trouble ourselves by them. Let us do our duty, every one in his place, and leave the great business of all to God, and to the king, whom he has given us. Let not our curiosity, or what is worse, make us over-careful and solicitous about many things which belong not to us, but rather take the advice given us in scripture, 'Study to be quiet, and do our own business, and wait with patience and modesty.' The reports, which we hear concerning our governor's determinations, are very uncertain, and often false ; and set about by seditious and unquiet men, who perhaps underhand work for that design, which they seem to the world to be most violently set
against. And as to those, which are true, we, who know not the circumstances of them, must be very arrogant and presumptuous, if we take upon us to judge of their conveniency or inconveniency. But this we may be assured of, that all our malicious and seditious discourses will very little promote the safety of ourselves, or of our governors; and that there are those who have better information and greater abilities than we, who will be as much concerned for their lives, their liberties, and their religion, as any of us can pretend to be. Let us assist them with our prayers, and the reformation of our lives; which are the most effectual means to secure our other interests.
To inforce this yet farther. It is by God that kings reign, and from him alone can they receive their authority ; and since he has sufficiently declared that he would have us be submissive and respectful, patient and obedient; if we murmur against them, we murmur at God's management of the world; we arraign Providence, and shew, that, let us talk as much as we will of it, we are not for it but when it is for us.
Let us question, as a good man among the Jews did : 'Whose ox has our king taken, or whose ass has he taken? or whom has he defrauded? Whom has he oppressed? or of whose hands has he received any bribes, to blind his eyes therewith Y
We talk of arbitrary government; What man has lost his life or estate under his government, but by due form and procedure of law? We talk of tyranny; can any man charge this prince with the least act of cruelty? Did he ever shew any thing of a bloody revengeful spirit? Or can we read of a more merciful, and condescending, and obliging king that ever ruled in Europe? And all the returns that we make to so much justice, and sweetness, and goodness, are unkind, and rude, and undutiful reflexions. We most ungratefully endeavour to render him as odious in the eyes of the world as we can; and not only so, but settle a way of putting a most invidious interpretation on all his future actions. But, should we endeavour to ruin the reputation of one of the meanest of our neighbours, would it not be a great sin in the eyes of God, and a great injury and wrong to him; and would not we esteem it so in our own case, if we were so dealt with by others ? and do we not think it a sin of much greater magnitude, to speak evil of dignities, to revile God's vice-gerent, and to lay his honour in the dust? Certainly we must be very partial to ourselves if we judge otherwise. And indeed, this is a crime of so extensive a bad influence, and so much mischief, that they who consider the injury the publick receives by it, admire that no severer punishments are appointed by the laws for those who are guilty of it; and they who consider the heinousness of the sin, do not less wonder that our divines do not more frequently lay open the guilt of it to the people.
To make an end. Could all our complaints and unquietness take away the pretended occasions of them; could our fancying ourselves in an ill condition deliver us out of it; could our persuading ourselves that our liberty and religion is in danger, make both secure ; and our wilful fears and jealous surmises prevent real evils: It were unkind to dissuade you from murmuring, and he would prove your enemy