Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

more glorious in heaven, by how much they are more malicious on earth. These arrogant wretches, that can at their pleasure fetch Solomon from heaven to hell, and Trajan and Falconella from hell to heaven; Campian and Garnet from earth to heaven, Queen Elizabeth from earth to hell; shall find, one day, that they have mistaken the keys, and shall know what it is to judge, by being judged. In the mean time, in spite of the gates of Rome, Memoria juste in benedictionibus. To omit those virtues which were proper to her sex, by which she deserved to be the Queen of Women; how excellent were her masculine graces of learning, valour, wisdom, by which she might justly challenge to be the Queen of Men! Šo learned was she, that she could give present answers to embassadors in their own tongues; or, if they listed to borrow of their neighbours, she paid them in that they borrowed: so valiant ; that her name, like Zísca's drum, made the proudest Romanists to quake: so wise, that whatsoever fell out happily against the common adversary in France, Netherlands, Ireland, it was by themselves ascribed to her policy * What shall I speak of her long and successful government, of her miraculous preservations, of her famous victories, wherein the waters, winds, fire, and earth fought for us, as if they had been in pay under Hert? of her excellent laws, of her careful executions ? Many daughters have done worthily, but thou surmountest them all; Prov. xxxi

. 29. Such was the sweetness of her government, and such the fear of misery in her loss, that many worthy Christians desired their eyes might be closed before hers; and how many thousands therefore welcomed their own death, because it prevented hers ! Every one pointed to her white hairs, and said, with that peaceable Leontius I, “When this snow melts, there will be a flood.” Never day, except always the fifth of November, was like to be so bloody as this: not for any doubt of Title, which never any loyal heart could question, nor any disloyal ever did, besides Dolman $, but for that our Esauites comforted themselves against us, and said, The day of mourning for our mother will come shortly, then will we slay our brethren. What should I say more? Lots were cast upon our land; and that honest politician, which wanted nothing but a gibbet to have made him a Saint, Father Parsons, took pains to set down an order, how all English affairs should be marshalled, when they should come to be theirs.

2. Consider now the great things that the Lord hath done for us. Behold, this day, which should have been most dismal to the whole Christian world, he turned to the most happy day, that ever shone forth to this Island. That now we may justly insult with those Christians of Antioch, τα σα τα μαντεία μάξιμε μωρέ * ; Where are

* Didymus veridicus.
+ O nimium dilecta Deo cui militat æther:

Et conjurati veniunt ad classica venti. CLAUDIAN.
+ Soc. 1. iii. c. 19. Τακτησι της χιονος λυθεσης, &c.
P. ii. p. 117. Il Theod. iii. 15,

Dol. P. i. p. 216.

*

your prophecies, O ye fond Papists ? Our snow lies here melted : where are those floods of blood that you threatened ? Yea, as that blessed soul of hers gained by this change of an immortal crown for a corruptible; so, blessed be the name of our God, this land of ours hath not lost by that loss. Many think, that, this evening, the world had his beginning : surely, a new and golden world began this day to us; and, which it could not have done by her loins, promises continuance, if our sins interrupt it not, to our posterities.

I would the flattery of a Prince were treason: in effect it is so; for the flatterer is èuvés Pantys, “a kind murtherer.” I would it were so in punishment. If I were to speak before my sovereign King and Master, I would praise God for him, not praise him to himself. A preacher, in Constantine's time, saith Eusebius *, ausus est Imperatorem in os beatum dicere, “ presumed to call Constantine a happy Emperor to his face;" but he went away with a check: such speed may any parasite have, which shall speak, as if he would make princes proud, and not thankful! A small praise to the face may be adulation, though it be within bounds : a great praise in absence may be but justice. If we see not the worth of our king, how shall we be thankful to God that gave him? Give me leave therefore freely to bring forth the Lord's Anointed before you; and to say with Samuel, See you him whom the Lord hath chosen ; 1 Samuel X. 24.

As it was a great presage of happiness to Mauritius the Emperor, that an šum804, "a familiar Devil,” removing him from place to place in his swathing bands, yet had no power to hurt him t; so that those early conspiracies, wherewith Satan assaulted the very cradle of our dear Sovereign, prevailed not, it was a just bodement of his future greatness and beneficial use to the world.

And he, that gave him life and crown together, and miraculously preserved them both, gave him graces fit for his deputy on earth to wield that crown, and improve that life to the behoof of Christendom.

Let me begin with that, which the heathen man required to the happiness of any state, his Learning and Knowledge: wherein I may safely say, he exceedeth all his one hundred and five predecessors. Our Conqueror, King William, as our Chronicles I report, by a blunt proverb, that he was wont to use against unlearned princes, made his son Henry a Beauclerc to those times. But a candle in the dark will make more shew, than a bonfire by day. In these days, so lightsome for knowledge, to excel, even for a professed student, is hard and rare. Never had England more learned Bishops and Doc. tors; which of them ever returned from his Majesty's discourse without admiration? What king christened hath written so learned volumes ? To omit the rest, his last, of this kind, wherein he hath so held up Cardinal Bellarmin and his master Pope Paulus, is such, that Plessis and Moulin, the two great lights of France, profess to receive their light in this discourse, from his beams; and the learned Jesuit Salkeild could not but : be converted with the necessity of those demonstrations : and I may boldly say, Popery, since it was, never received so deep a wound from any work, as from that of his. What king ever moderated the solemn acts of an University in all professions, and had so many hands clapped in the applause of his acute and learned determinations ? - Briefly, such is his entire arquaintance with all sciences, and with the queen of all, Divinity, that he might well dispute with the infallible Pope Paulus Quintus for his triple crown: and I would all Christian quarrels lay upon this duel.

* Euseb. de vità Const. I. iv.c, 4.

+ Evagr. I. v. c. 21,

Malmesbur.

His Justice in governing matcheth his knowledge how to govern: for, as one that knows the commonwealth cannot be unhappy, wherein, according to the wise heathen's * rule, Law is a Queen and Will a Subject, he hath ever endeavoured to frame the proceedings of his government to the laws, not the laws to them. Witness that memorable example, whereof your eyes were witresses : I mean the unpartial execution of one of the ancientest barons of those parts, for the murder of a mean subject; wherein not the favour of the block might be yielded, that the dishonour of the death might be no less than the pain of the death.

Yet who will not grant his Mercy to be eminent amongst his virtues, when Parsons himself yields it? And if a virtue so continuing, could be capable of excess, this might seem so in him. For that, which was said of Anastatius the Emperor, that he would attempt no exploit, though never so famous, if it might cost the price of Chris. tian blood † ; and that, which was said of Mauritius, that by his good will he would not have so much as a traitor die I; and that of Vespasian, that he wept even for just executions $; and, lastly, that of Theodosius, that he wished he could recal those to lite again that had wronged him | ; may, in some sense, be justly veritied of our merciful Sovereign. I pray God the measure of this virtue may never hurt himself: I ain sure the want of it shall never give cause of complaint to his adversaries.

But, among all his heroical graces, which commend him as a Man, as a Christian, as a King; Piety and tirinness in Religion calls me to it, and will not suffer me to defer the mention of it any longer. A private man unsettled in opinion, is like a loose tooth in the head, troublesome and useless; but a public person unstayed, is dangerous. Resolution for the truth is so much better than knowledge, by how much the possessing of a treasure is better than knowing where it is. With what zeai did bis Majesty fly upon the blasphemous novelties of Vorsuus! How many solicitations, threats, promises, pro:fers, hath he trampled under his feet in former times; for but a promise of an inditlerent connivace at the Romish religion! Was it not an answer worthy of a king, worthy of marble and brass, that he made unto their agent for this purpose, in the times of the greatest peril of resistance, “ Thai ali the Crowns and

* Plato.

+ Evagr. l. iii. c. 34. Il Socr. l. vii. c. 22,

| Evagr. I. vi, c, 1.

s Sueton. Vesp. banks I.

[ocr errors]

Kingdoms in this world should not induce him to change any jot of his profession *?” Hath he not so engaged himself in this holy quarrel, that the world confesses Rome had never such an adversary? and all Christian Princes rejoice to follow him, as their worthy leader in all the battles of God; and all Christian Churches, in their prayers and exclamations, style him, in a double right, fender of the Faith,” more by desert, than inheritance.

But because, as the sun-beams, so praises, are more kindly, when they are cast oblique upon their objects, than when they fall directly; let me shew you him rather in the blessings we receive from him, than in the graces which are in him. And, not to insist upon his extinguishing of those hellish feuds in Scotland, and the reducing of those barbarous borderers to civility and order, two acts worthy of eternity and which no hand but his could do, Consider how great things the Lord hath done for us by him in our Peace, in our Freedom of the Gospel, in our Deliverance.

3. Continuance detracts from the value of any favour. Little do we know the price of Peace. If we had been in the coat of our forefathers, or our neighbours, we should have known how to esteem this dear blessing of God. Oh, my dear brethren, we never knew what it was to hear the murdering pieces about our ears; to see our Churches and houses flaming over our heads; to hear the fearful cracks of their falls, mixed with the confused outcries of men, killing, encouraging to kill or resist, dying, and the shriekings of women and children: we never saw tender babes snatched from the breasts of their mothers, now bleeding upon the stones, or sprawling upon the pikes; and the distracted mother ravished, ere she may have leave to die. We never saw men and horses lie wallowing in their mingled blood, and the ghastly visages of death deformed with wounds t: the impotent wife hanging with tears on her armed husband; as desirous to die with him, with whom she may not live: the amazed runnings to and fro of those that would fain escape, if they knew how; and the furious pace of a bloody victor: the rifling of houses for spoil, and every soldier running with his load, and ready to fight with other for our booty: the miserable captive driven manacled before the insulting enemy. Never did we know how cruel an adversary is, and how burdensome a. helper is in war. Look round about you: all your neighbours have seen and tasted these calamities: all the rest of the world have been whirled about in these woeful tumults; only this Island hath, like the center, stood unmoveable. Only this Isle hath been like Nilus, which, when all other waters overflow, keeps within the

That we are free from these and a thousand other miseries of

* Watson. B. Barl. Answer to Parsons, page 115. è Com. Northamp. lib.
+ Tum verò et gemitus moricntum, et sanguine in alto

Armáque, corporáque, et permixti cæde virorum
Semianimes volvuntur equi-Virgil. Æn. xi. 633.
Nam cùm tristis hyems alias produxerit undas,
Tum Nilum retinene ripæ. CLAUD. Epigr.

war, whither should we ascribe it, but, next under God, to his Anointed, as a King, as a King of Peace? For both anarchy is the mother of division, as we see in the state of Italy; wherein, when they wanted their king, all ran into civil broils; the Venetians, with them of Ravenna ; Verona and Vincentia, with the Paduans and Tarvisians; the Pisans and Florentines, with them of Lucca and Sienna *. And, besides, every king is not a Peace-inaker: ours is made of peace. There have been princes, which, as the Antiochians said of Julian t, taking occasion by the bull which he stamped in his coin, have gored the world to death. The breasts of some princes have been like a thunder-cloud; whose vapours would never leave working, till they have vented themselves with terror to the world : ours hath nothing in it, but a gracious rain to water the inheritance of God. Behold, he, even he alone, like to Noah's dove, brought an olive of peace to the tossed Ark of Christendom. He, like another Augustus, before the second coming of Christ, hath becalmed the world, and shut the iron gates of war; and is the bond of that peace, he hath made. And, if the peacemaker both doth bless and is blessed, how should we bless him, and bless God for him, and hold ourselves blessed in him!

4. Now, what were Peace without RELIGION, but like a Nabal's sheep-shearing; like the fatting of an Epicurean hog; the very festival revels of the Devil? But, for us, we have Gloria in ercelsis Deo, sung before our Pax in terris ; in a word, we have Peace with the Gospel. Machiavel himself could say, in his Discourses, that two continued successions of virtuous princes fanno grandi effetti, “ cannot but do great matters I." We prove it so this day; wherein religion is not only warmed, but locked in her seat so fast, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. There have been princes, and that in this land, which, as the heathen politicians compared his tyrant, have been like to ill physicians, that have purged away the good humours, and left the bad behind them; with whom any thing hath been lawful, but to be religious. Some of your grey

hairs can be my witnesses. Behold the evils we have escaped : shew us our blessings. Here hath been no dragging out of houses, no hiding of bibles, no creeping into woods, no Bonnering || or butchering of God's Saints, no rotting in dungeons, no casting of infants out of the mother's belly into the mother's fames; nothing but God's truth abundantly preached, cheerfully professed, encouraged, rewarded. What nation under heaven yields so many learned Divines ? What times ever yielded so many preaching Bishops ? When was this City, the city of our joy, ever so happy this way, as in these late successions > Whither can we ascribe this health of the Church, and life of the Gospel, but, next to God, to his example, his countenance, his endeavours? wherein I inay not omit how right he hath trod in the steps of that blessed Constan

* Ocho Fris. lib. vii. cap. 29. + Sorr. I. vii. c. 92. Discors. I. i. c. 20. Due continuove successioni di principi rirtuosi janno grandi effetti. 8. de Rep. · || Alluding to the cruelries of Bonner, in Qucen Mary's days. EDITOR.

§ Plato

« PreviousContinue »