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to be expected ; and that all men were prohibited, upon penalty of censure, so much as to speak of a parliament. The king had always the disadvantage (the great weakness) to harbour persons about him, who with their utmost industry, false information, and malice, improved the faults and infirmities of the court people; and again, as much as in them lay, rendered the people suspected, if not odious to the king.”—Clarend. V. 1. p.4.
Welwood, speaking of the king's ministers, says,
Some of them drove so fast, that it was no wonder the wheels and chariot broke, and it was in great part to the indiscreet zeal of a mitred head (Bishop Laud) that had got an ascendant over his master's conscience and councils, that both the monarchy and hierarchy owed afterwards their fall."—Welw. Mem. p. 35.
“ All those who were not submissive enough to the king were looked upon as puritans, and frequently oppressed as such. So by a fatal policy, men well affected to the church of England, but enemies to arbitrary power, were driven, in spite of themselves, to side with the puritavs, in order to strengthen their party, and enable them to oppose the designs of the court."-—Rapin, Vol. X. p. 258.
The parliament which opposed and levied war against the king, consisted chiefly, almost entirely, of persons who were members of the church of England, and well affected to it. They were men attached to the constitution, as well in church as state, and enemies only to the abuse of power in both.—The subversion therefore of the civil and ecclesiastical constitution which afterwards happened, was not owing to any settled design at first, but to certain accidents and conjunctures not to be foreseen by the most acute understanding.”—Tindal's Cont. p. 5.
" In the house of commons, says Lord Clarendon, were many persons of wisdom and gravity, who being possessed of great and plentiful fortunes, though they were undevoted enough to the court, had all imaginable duty to the king, and affection to the government established by law; and without doubt the MAJOR PART of that body consisted of men who had no mind to break the peace of the kingdom, or to make any considerable alteration in the government of church or state.” -Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 184.
Yea, his lordship acknowledges, " that as to the church the major part even of those persons (i. e. of the anti-courtiers and leaders of the house of commons, viz. Bedford, Say, Pym, Hollis, St. John &c.) would have been willing to have satisfied the king: the rather because they had no reason to think the two houses, or indeed either of them, would have been induced to have pursued the contrary.” — Ibid. p. 212.—“ In the house of commons, though of the chief leaders, Nath. Fiennes and young Sir Harry Vane, and shortly after Mr. Hampden, (who had not before owned it) were believed to be for root and branch : yet Mr. Pym was not of that mind, ror Mr. Hollis, nor any of the northern men, or those lawyers who drove on most furiously with them ; all who were pleased with the government itself of the church.”-- Ibid. p. 233. So then, the most FURIOUS DRIVERS in the parliament were men well attached to the church.
Yea, “ The committee sent to the parliament with their answer to the king at York, concerning Sir John Hotham's refusing him entrance into Hull, and who were ordered to attend hi majesty there (as a kind of spies upon him) viz. Lord Howard of Escrigg, Lord Fairfax, Sir Hugh Cholmly, Sir Philip Stapleton, and Sir Harry Cholily, were all reputed moderate men, and had not been thought disaffected to the government in church or state.”—Clarend. Vol. 11, p._515, 518.-His lordship further assures us, “There was throughout the whole kingdom a love of the established government in church and state, especially of that part of the church which concerned the liturgy or Book of Common Prayer, which was a most general object of veneration with the people.”—Clarend. Vol. 111. p. 128.
“ Accordingly, the commons seventeen days after their first meeting made an ORDER, That none should sit in their house, but such as would receive the communion according to the usage of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND."---Tind. Cont. Int. p.5.As for the peers, Lord Clarendon observes, “ that when the bill for taking away the votes of the bishops in parliament was brought into the house, there were only two lords (Say and Brook) that appeared as enemies to the whole fabrick of the church, or to desire a dissolution of the episcopal government.
He also describes the principal members of the house of commons to be well affected, or at least not averse, to the government of the church, as Pym, Hollis, Whitelock, Selden, &c. It seems therefore unjust to charge in general the members of this parliament with having, from the beginning, designs of subverting the constitution, or to blame their opposition to the proceedings of the court, since frequency of parliaments, redress of grievances, and calling the king's arbitrary ministers to acount, were the ends proposed by the major part of both houses, without the least thought of destroying the civil or ecclesiastical government."-Clarend. Vol. 1.
The Duke of Newcastle, the king's general in the north, in his declaration, affirms, “That the quarrel between the king and the two houses was not grounded upon any matter of religion, the rebels professing themselves to be of the same of which his majesty was known to be."-Clarend. Vol. 111. p. 175.-“The militia, says Nelson, was the apple of contention : and though they have endeavoured to make it bellum episcopale, yet, most certainly, it was a war begun, not for the mitre, but for the sceptre and the sword.”—Introd. to Coll. p. 77.
“ It was not a few of either house, says Welwood, but indeed all the great PATRIOTS that concurred at first to make inquiry into the grievances of this reign. Sir Edward Hide (afterwards Lord Clarendon) the - Lords Digby, Falkland, Capel, Mr. Grimstone (speaker of the house of commons) which brought in king Charles II. Mr. Hollis (since Lord Hollis) all of which afterwards suffered on the king's side: and in general most of those who took the king's part in the succeeding war, were the men who appeared with the greatest zeal for the redress of grievances, and made the sharpest speeches on those subjects. Their intentions were certainly noble and just, and tended to the equal advantage of king and people."--IVelwood's Mem. p. 43.
“ The general temper and humour of the kingdom, Lord Clarendon assures us, was little inclined to the papist, and less to the puritan. The murmur and discontent that was, appeared to be against the excess of power exercised by the crown, and supported by the judges in Westminster-hall. Very much the major part even of those members who still continued with the house (long after the war commenced, and after the bill for the extirpation of episcopacy had passed) were cordially aftected to the government of the church establishment, at least not affected to any other. -And in truth very few of them desired the extirpation should take effect. The church was not repined at, nor the least inclination to alter the governient and discipline of it, or to change the doctrine shewn. Nor was there any considerable number of persons of valuable condition who did wish either. The cause of so prodigious a change as happened a few years after was too visible from the effects. The archbishop's (Laud's) heart was so set upon the advancement of the church; in which he well knew he had the king's full concurrence, which he thought would be too powerful for any opposition, and that he should need no other assistance.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 92. Vol. III. p. 117. Vol. III. p. 174. Vol. 1. p. 92. To the violent and illegal measures, therefore, by which that furious archbishop sought to advance it was its consequent overthrow, without all peradventure, principally owing.
“Even when the covenant was subscribed by both houses, and enjoined to be taken by the people, it is far, says Tindal, from appearing that the presbyterians were the majority in the parliament: but there seem to be very strong arguments to the contrary.”—Tind. Cont. Int. p. 10.—Lord Clarendon represents them as “an handful of men, not exceeding the proportion of three to ten, i. c. not a third part of the house of commons." Clarend. Vol. 11. p. 320. Again, “ The number of those who really intended these prodigious alterations was very inconsiderable.”—Page 662.“ And even the independent party, his lordship declares, comprehended many who were not so much enemies to the state, or to the church, as not to desire heartily that a peace might be established upon the foundations of both, so their own particular ambition might be complied with."Vol. iv. p. 746.