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all they pay for it. Your lordships will easily recover that estimation and reverence that is due to your high condition, by the exercise and practice of that virtue from whence your honours first sprang; the example of your justice and piety will inflame the hearts of the people towards you, and from your practice they will make a judgment of the king himself. They know very well that you are not only admitted to his presence, but to his conversation, and even in a degree to his friend. ship: for you are his great council. By your example they will form their own manners, and by yours they will make a guess at the king's; therefore under that obligation, you will cause your piety, your justice your affability, and your charity, to shine as bright as is possible before them. They are too much in love with England, too partial to it, who believe it the best country in the world ; there is a better earth, and a better air, and better, that is, a warmer sun; in other countries; but we are no more than just when we say, that England is an inclosure of the best people in the world, when they are well informed and instructed; a people in sobriety of conscience the best devoted to God Almighty ; in the integrity of their affections, the most dutiful to the king; in their good manners and inclinations, most regardful and loving to the nobility ; no nobility in Europe so entirely beloved by the people; there may be more awo and fear, and terror of them, but no such respect towards them as in England. I beseech your lordships do not undervalue this love; they have looked upon your lordships, and they will look upon your lordships again, as the greatest example and pattern of duty to the king; as their greatest security and protection from injury and injustice, and for their enjoying whatsoever is due to them by the law, and as the most proper mediators and interposers to the king, if, by any failure of justice, they should be exposed to any oppression and violence; and this exercise of your justice and kindness towards them will make them the more abhor and abominate
that party upon which a commonwealth must be found. ed, because it would extirpate, or suppress, or deprive them of their beloved nobility, which are 'such a support and security to their full happiness.
And you, gentlemen of the house of commons, who are now returning to your country laden with a trust not inferior or less weighty than that you brought from thence : you came up their deputies to the king, and he returns you now his deputies to them; his plenipotentiaries to inform and assure them that he thinks himself the happiest and greatest prince in the world ; not from the situation of his dominions and the power of his great navy, with which he can visit his neighbours, and keep them from visiting him, nor from the noble revenue you have settled upon him, which he will improve with all good husbandry ; but being possessed of the affections and' hearts of such subjects, that he doth so intirely love them and depend upon them, that all his actions and all his councils shall tend to no other end but to make them happy and prosperous ; that he thinks his honour and his interest'principally to consist in providing for, and ad. vancing the honour and interest of the nation.
That you may have the more credit in what you say, he will not take it unkindly if you publish his defects and infirmities ; you may tell them that he is so confi. dent in the multitude of his very good and faithful sub. jects, that he is very hard to be pursuaded that his few ill and unfaithful subjects can do him much harm; that he so much depends on the affections of honest men, and their zeal for his security, that he is not so solicitous and vigilant for his own safety as he ought to be, amidst so many combinations of which he is so well informed; that his servants, who with grief and anguish importune him not to take so little care of his own safety, can obtain no other answer from him than what Cæsar heretofore gave to his zçalous friends : Mari me malle quam timere, He will die any death rather than live in fear of his own subjects, or that they should be in fear of him.
You may tell them, as a great infirmity, that a troubled and discontented countenance so afflicts him, thạt he would remove it from them at his own charge, as if he himself were in the fault. And when he hath been informed of any less kind or jealous thing said amongst you, (as your windows are never so close shut but that the sound of your words goes to the several corners of the town,) his majesty hath been heard to say no more but “ What have I done? I wish that gentleman and I were acquainted, that he knew me better." Oh, gentlemen, you cannot be yourselves, nor you cannot make others too jealous or too zealous for such a prince's safety, or too solicitous for such a prince's satisfaction and content; to whom we may very justly say, as the king of Tyre writ to Solomon, “Because God hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them." Even his own defects and infirmities are very necessary towards the full measure of your prosperity.
My lords and gentlemen, God hath enabled us to in. vert one argument, which I hope may, to a good degree, repair the much mischief it hath heretofore done. It hath been urged very unreasonably, yet successfully urged, in the worst times, that it was not faith, but presumption, to expect that God would restore a family with which he seemed to have a controversy, and hath humbled so far ; that he would countenance a party that he had so much discountenanced, and almost de. stroyed. We may here much more reasonably, and therefore I hope as effectually, press the miracles that God Almighty hath lately wrought for king and people, as an evidence that he will not again easily forsake them. We may tell those who are using all their endeavours to embroil the nation in new troubles, that it is not probabic that a nation against which God hath seemed these late years to have pronounced his judgments in the very language of the prophets : Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from the beginning hitherto, to a nation rooted out and trodden down, whose lands the rivers have spoiled; the Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof, that he should reduce that perverseness to the greatest meekness and resignation. That he should withdraw his judgment from this nation, and in a moment restore it to all the happiness it can wish, and to no other end but to expose it to the mercy and fury of a few disconténted persons, the worst of the nation, is not easy to be believed.
We may tell these who still contrive the ruin of the church, (the best, and best reformed church in the christiani' world, reformed by that authority, and with those circumstances as a reformation ought to be made,) that God would not so miraculously have snatched this church as a brand out of the fire, would not have raised it from the grave after he had suffered it to be buried so many years, by the boisterous hands of profane and sacri. legious persons under its own rubbish, to expose it again to the same rapine, reproach, and impiety. That church which delights itself in being called catholic, was never so near expiration, never had such a resurrection. That so small a pittance of meal and oil should be sufficient to preserve and nourish the poor widow and her family so long, is very little more miraculous than that such a number of pious, learned, and very aged bishops should so many years be preserved in such wonderful straits and oppressions until they should plentifully provide for their own succession. That after such a deep deluge of
. sacrilege, profaneness, and impiety had covered, and, to common understanding, swallow it up, that the church should again appear above the waters, God be again served in that church, and served as he ought to be, and there should be some revenue left to support and encourage those who serve him ; nay, that many of those who seemed to thirst after that revenue till they had possessed it should conscientiously restore what they had taken away, and became good sons and willing tenants to that church they had so lately spoiled, may make us all
piously believe that God Almighty would not have been at the expense and charge of such a deliverance but in the behalf of a church very acceptable to him, and which shall continue to the end of the world, and against which the gates of Hell shall not be able to prevail.
We may tell those desperate wretches who still harbour in their thoughts wicked designs against the sacred person of the king, in order to the compassing of their . own imaginations, that God Almighty would not have led him through so many wildernesses of afflictions of all kinds ; conducted him through so many perils at sea, and perils by land; snatched him out of the midst of this kingdom when it was not worthy of him, and when the hands of his enemies were even upon him, when they thought themselves so sure of him, that they would bid
so cheap and so vile a price for him, he could not in that : article have so covered him with a cloud, that he tra,
velled, even with some pleasure and observation, through the midst of his enemies. He would not so wonderfully have new modelled that army, so inspired their hearts, and the hearts of the whole nation, with an honest and impatient longing for the return of their dear sovereign ; and in the mean time have so tried him, (which had little less providence in it than the other,) with these unnatural, or at least unusual disrespects and reproaches abroad, that he might have a harmless and an innocent appetite to his own country, and return to his own peo. ple with a full value, and the whole unwasted bulk of his affections, without being corrupted and biassed by extraordinary foreign obligations. God Almighty would not have done all this but for a servant whom he will always preserve as the apple of his own eye, and always defend from the most secret imaginations of his enemies.
If these argumentations, gentlemen, urged with that vivacity as is most natural to your own gratitude and affections, recover as many (and it would be strange if they should not) as have been corrupted by the other logic, the hearts of the whole nation, won to a man, will