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and, with the reft of the nation, he was made
She profeffes the antient catholick faith; and yet the Romanist condemns her of novelty in her doctrine. She practifes church government, as it hath been in ufe in all ages, and in all places, where the church of 'Chrift hath taken any rooting, both in, and ever since the Apostles times; and yet the feperatift condemns her for antichriftianism, in her difcipline. The plain 'truth is, fhe is between these two factions, as between two milftones; and unless your Majefty look to it, to whofe truft fhe is committed, fhe'll be ground to powder, to an irreparable both difhonour, and lofs to this kingdom. And 'tis very remarkable, that 'while both thefe prefs hard upon the church of England, both of them cry out upon perfecution, like (A) Dedicafroward children, which fcratch, and kick, and bite, tion to his and yet cry out all the while, as if themfelves were conference killed (4). Thefe paffages, long as they are, will be with Fisher, deem'd curious by many. They difcover the man, and Folio. his measures, and fhew what his adverfaries had to ex- Lond. 1673. pect. Lord Strafferde, though of a much more elevated understanding, came not a whit behind the prelate in rigour. His own account of part of a fpeech at the council board, in England, written to his intimate friend, Sir Chriftopher Wandesford, mafter of the rolls in Ireland, will fully fhew this. I will give his juftification of himfelf, on the accufation of rigour, at large. 'craved admission to justify myself in fome particulars, wherein I had been very undefervedly and bloodily traduc'd. So I related unto them all that had palt betwixt myself, Earl of St. Albans, Wilmot, Mountnerris, Piers, Crosby, and the jury of Gallway, that hereupon touching and rubbing in the courfe of my fervice upon 'their particulars, themfelves and friends have endea'voured to poffefs the world, I was a fevere and an auftere hard-conditioned man, rather indeed a bafha of Buda, than the minifter of a pious and chriftian King. Howbeit, if I were not much mistaken in
made to feel and fear the yoke of tyranny. We
myfelf, it was quite the contrary, no man could fhew wherein I had expreffed it in my nature, no friend I had would charge me with it in my private converfation, no creature had found it in the managing of my own private affairs, fo as if I ftood clear in all the fe refpects, it was to be confeffed by any equal mind that it was not any thing within, but the neceffity of his Majefties fervice, which enforced me into a feeming ftrictnefs outwardly. And that was the reafon indeed, for where I found a crown, a church, and a • people fpoil'd, I could not imagine to redeem them from under the preffure with gracious fmiles and gentle looks, it would coft warmer water than fo. True it · was, that where a dominion was once gotten and fettled, it might be flayed and kept where it was by foft and moderate counfels, but where a fovereignty (be it fpoken with reverence) was going down the hill, the . nature of men did fo easily slide into the paths of un'controul'd liberty, as it would not be brought back
without ftrength, not to be forced up the hill again but by vigour and force. And true it was indeed, I ⚫ knew no other rule to govern by, but by reward and punishment, and I muit profefs that where I found a 'perfon well and intirely fet for the fervice of my maf
ter, I fhould lay my hand under his foot, and add to his refpect and power all I might, and that where I found the contrary, I fhould not handle him in my " arms, or footh him in his untoward humour, but if he came in my reach, fo far as honour and juftice would warrant me, I must knock him foundly over the knuckles, but no fooner he become a new man, apply himself as he ought to the government, but I also change my temper, and exprefs myfelf to him, as unto that other, by all the good offices I could do him. If this be fharpnefs, if this be feverity, I defired to be better inftructed by his Majefty and their lordships, for in truth it did not feem fo to me; however, if I
< were once told, that his Majefty liked not to be thus ⚫ ferved, I would readily conform myself, follow the bent and current of my own difpofition, which is to be quiet, not to have debates and difputes with any. Here his Majefty interrupted me and faid, that was no feverity, wifhed me to go on in that way; for, if I ferved him otherwife, I fhould not ferve him as he (1) Letters expected from me ().' Thus it was the welfare of and Difthe church, and the neceffity of his Majefty's fervice, re- patches, vol. quired perfecution and oppreffion, and forc'd thefe men, i. p. 20. if you'll believe them, to act contrary to their own inclinations. But whatever was the occafion, the government, of which they had the chief direction, was very fevere. The fevere cenfures in the ftar-chamber, and the greatne's of the fines, and the rigorous proceedings to impofe ceremonies, the fufpending and filencing multitudes of minifters, for not reading in the church the book for fports to be exercis'd on the Lord's day, caufed many of the nation both minifters • and others to fell their eftates and to fet fail for New • England, where they held a plantation by patent from the King (m).' The Lord Brooke, and the Lord Say and Seale had actually pitched upon a fpot in New England, whither they purpofed to tranfport themfelves, when the exceffes of the court threatned deftruction to the freedom of their country. In 1635, the two lords fent over Mr. George Fenwicke to pre
pare a retreat for them and their friends, in conse‐ (») Walquence of which a little town was built, and called by pole's Catatheir joint names Saybrooke (n). Among others, thus logue of inclined, was the patriot Hampden, and his coufin Oli- Noble Auver Cromwell (0) but being on board they were ftop'd thors, vol. i. by a proclamation, whereby all merchants, matters P:: and owners of fhips were forbidden to fet forth any (0) Neale's fhip or fhips with paffengers, till they firft obtained Hiftory of fpecial licence on that behalf from fuch of the lords tans, p. 332. of his Majefties privy council as were appointed f or vol. ii. 8vo. the Lond. 1733.
We know little more of Cromwell's actions,
(m) Rushworth, vol.
ii. p. 410.
tions, (his oppofition to the draining (N) of the fens, projected by a powerful nobleman, excepted) till the parliament fummoned, through
< the bufinefs of foreign plantations. Nothing could be more barbarous than this! To impofe laws on men which in confcience they thought they could not comply with; to punish them for their non-complyance, and continually revile them as undutiful and difobedient fubjects by reafon thereof, and yet not permit them peaceably to depart and enjoy their own opinions in a diftant part of the world, yet dependant on the fovereign: to do all this, was bafe, barbarous and inhuman. But perfecutors of all ages and nations are near the fame : they are without the feelings and without the underftandings of men. Cromwell er Hampden could have given little oppofition to the meafures of Charies in the wilds of North America. In England they engag'd with fpirit against him, and he had reafon to repent his hindring their voyage. May fuch at all times be the reward of thofe who attempt to rule over their fellow men with rigour: may they find that they will not be flaves to Kings or priests! But that they know the rights, by nature conferr'd on them, and will affert them! This will make princes cautious how they give themfelves up to arbitrary counfels, and dread the confequences of them. And may every minifter, who forgets or tramples on the laws of humanity, have his character at least as much branded as are Strafforde's and Laud's.
(N) He oppofed the draining of the fen, &c.] The fenny country reaches fixty eight miles from the borders of Suffolk, to Wainfleet in Lincolnshire, and contains fome millions of acres in the four counties of Cambridge, Huntington, Northampton and Lincoln. The draining of it had frequently been confidered and debated in Parliament in former times; but, though deem'd ufeful, was laid afide, through fear that it would foon return to its old ftate, like the Pontine marshes in Italy, after their drain
through neceffity, by Charles I. in November, one thousand fix hundred and forty; a parliament ever memorable in the British annals!
vol. i. c.
ing (p). The Earl of Bedford, and divers of the prin- () Cambcipal, gentlemen, whofe habitations confined upon den's Brithe fens, and who, in the heat of fummer, faw vaft tannia quantities of lands, which the fresh waters overflowed by Gibfon, in the winter, lie dry and green, or drainable: whe- 489, 499. ther it was publick fpirit, or private advantage, which Fol. Lond. ⚫ led them thereunto, a stranger cannot determine; they 1722. 'make propofitions unto the King to iffue out commiffions of fewers to drain thofe lands, and offer a proportion freely to be given to the crown for its countenance and authority therein: and as all these great and publick works muft neceffarily concern multitudes of perfons, who will never think they have exact justice done to them for that fmall pretence of right they have unto fome commons; fo the commiffioners, let them do what they can, could never fatisfy fuch a • body of men. And now the King is declared the principal, undertaker for the draining; and by this time the vulgar are grown clamorous against these firft popular lords and undertakers, who had joined with the King in the fecond undertaking, though they had much better provifions for them than their intereft was ever before: and the commiffioners must by multitudes and clamours be withftood; and, as a head of this faction, Mr. Cromwell, in the year 1639, at Huntington, appears; which made his activity fo well known to his friend and kinfman, Mr. Hampden, that he, in this parliament, gave a character of Cromwell, of being an active perfon, and one that would fit well (9) Warat the mark (q).'-Dugdale tells us, his boldness wick, p. and eloquence in this bufinefs gained him fo much 250. credit, as that, foon after, being neceffitated, through his low condition, to quit a country farm, which he held at St. Ives, and betake himfelf to mean lodg
ings in Cambridge, the fchifmatical party there chofe