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place to the end. And, therefore, as a good prince in the faithful execution of his office, is an instrument of the greatest good to society, and thereby is entitled to his people's affection and allegiance, and to all ihole greater honours and advantages, which such a discharge of his trust justly merits : fo, on the other side, if the prince abuses the trust reposed in him, by attempting and endeavouring to enslave and make miserable the people committed to his care ; then, and in such a case, it is the business and duty of the society, to use all proper means to preserve and secure the common happiness. And, if the case should come to such a desperate issue, as that the safety of such a prince, and the safety of the jociety, come in competition, so as of necessity one of these must give place to the other; then, in reason, the safety of such a prince, ought to give place, to that of the society, as the means ought in reason to give place to the end. And, to suppose, that the safety of such a prince, ought to be prefer'd to the security of the society, is prodigiously unreasonable and absurd : because it supposes, that the means is preferable to, and more valuable than its end; which is a manifest absurdity. And, it is upon this principle, viz. that the publick good is always to be prefer'd, (and I think upon this only,) that our governours can in
reason be justified, in appointing the two anniversaries before mentioned. For,
First, when a prince faithfully executes the trust reposed in him, by guarding and securing the characters, the properties, the liberties, the persons and lives, and thereby the happiness of his people, and makes the common good the rule and measure of his government ; then, and in such a case, the person and life of the prince are sacred and inviolable. And, as he is entitled to the highest honours and rewards, which the society can confer upon him, seeing he is an instrument of the greatest good to them: so, all attempts upon the person and life of such a prince, are crimes of the deepest dye ; because, they are not so much committed against the person and life of the prince, as against the society, whose faithful guardian he is, and from which, those crimes receive their highest aggravations. Whoever therefore, is an enemy to, and opposes such a prince, is an enemy to, and opposes the common good. And, whoever takes away the life of such a prince, does what in him lies, to destroy the common happiness; which surely, is the greatest of crimes. And,
Such a prince, our publick office of divine service appointed for the 30th of January, fupposes King Charles the First to have been. In it, he is called a blessed martyr; his cause, is considered as a righteous cause; and his blood, is called innocent and righteous blood. By which surely, nothing less can be intended, than that he was innocent of the crimes charged upon him; that the cause he undertook was the good of the publick ; and that he dyed a martyr to that cause; and consequently, that he was such a good prince, as I have before described. Now, admitting this to be the case; then, and under that consideration, the person and life of King Charles were sacred and inviolable, and all accempts made against him were crimes of the deepest dye, and consequently, à deluge of horrible sin and wickedness must, at that time, have broken in and overflowed this nation. And as, our publick form of divine service supposes this to have been the cafe: so, this is the only racional ground, for keeping the 30th of January as a day of fasting; that is, a day for the grave, 10lemn, and publick remembrance of the wicked and bad actions of our ancestors; which remembrance, when rightly applyed, miniiters wholesom lessons of counsel and instruction to us. What those leffons are, I Thall new hereafter.
It is not my business to enquire, whether King Charles was that good prince, or not, which I have described above: all that is necessary for me to observe is, that our pub. lick form of divine service supposes him to
have been such; and that this supposition is the only rational ground, for keeping that anniversary. For, if we view the case in the other light, and suppose King Charles to have been guilty of what his accusers at the time of the civil war charged upon him; that is, if he attempted and endeavoured to undermine and destroy the common good, by setting up and exercising an arbitrary and despotick power over the people of this nation; or in other words, if he attempted and endeavoured to subvert and make void the laws and constitutions of this kingdom, by which the liberties and properties of the people, and thereby, the common happiness is secured, (which some have thought to be the truth of the case, but whether it were so, or not, I think, must be collected from the best and most impartial histories and memoirs, that we have of those times ;) I say, if this was the truth of the case, then, the opposition which was made to those attempts, was like that at our late happy revolution, not only justifiable, but commendable and praise-worthy, -as it was absolutely necessary, to the guarding and securing the common good, which in reason ought always to be preferred. Then, that is, upon the present suppofition, the keeping such a day of fasting would be very absurd; because then, ihe thing chiefly and principally to be remembred would be, not the misfortunes and suf
ferings ferings of the prince, which in this view of the case, he must have brought upon himself, these being the consequences of his bad government, as that introduced and brought upon him, all the troubles, distresses, and sufferings which he afterwards fell into ; (tho', on the other side, this may not by any means excuse or justify all that was done against him ;) I say, in this view of the cafe, the thing chiefly and principally to be remembred would be, not the misfortunes and sufferings of the prince, but, the happy deliverance of the people; which deliverance, the keeping a day of fasting, would be very unsuitable and improper to preserve the memory of. This case would then, be like that of the revolution, with respect to which, we do not remember the misfortunes which King James brought upon himself; but only, the happy deliverance of our church and nation, from popery and savery;, and the means, by which that deliverance was brought about. And then, that is, in this view of the case, our publick form of divine service would be a mockery: because then, King Charles's blood would not have been innocent blood; his cause would not have been a righteous cause; neither would he have dyed a martyr for the good of his country, but the contrary. However, our publick form of divine service, supposes this, not to have been the case.