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How the old parties of this country have become extinet.
*« There hath been within the compass of few years much talk, and God knows, too many ill effects too of factions in this kingdom; and we have lived in our days to see the two great parties of late known by the names of Whig and Tory directly change their ground; and those, who were formerly the anticourtiers become as pliant and obsequious, as ever they were, who had been the most found fault with on that score. But we are humbly of opinion, that at this time of day neither of those parties have the game in their hands, as they have forinerly perhaps fancied to themselves. But they, who shall be so honest and so wise constantly to prefer the true interest of England to that of any other country or people, preserve the religion and the laws, protect and promote the trade of the nation, thriftily and providently administer the publick treasure, and study to maintain the sovereignty of our seas, so naturally, so anciently, and so justly the true defence of this kingdom; that body, whomsoever it shall be composed of, shall have the weight of England on its side; and if there can be any of another frame, they must in the end prove fo many miserable rotten reeds,”
* Preface to Clarendon's Hift. p. 8.
The general idea of these horrid scenes of blood and devastation, which for twenty years together overwhelmed this unfortunate land, is faithfully expressed by the noble historian, who reports them. * « Though the hand The ideas and
judgments of and judgment of God will be very visible in our ancestors
of the rebellion infatuating a people (as ripe and prepared for destruction) into all the perverse actions of folly and madness, making the weak to 'contribute to the designs of the wicked, and suffering even those by degrees, out of conscience of their guilt, to grow more wicked than they intended to be; letting the wise to be imposed upon by men of small understanding, and permitting the innocent to be pofsefled with laziness and sleep in the most visible article of danger; uniting the ill, though of the most different opinions, opposite interests, and distant affections, in a firm and constant league of mischiefs ; and dividing those, whose opinions and interests are the same, into faction and emulation more pernicious to the publick, than the treason of the others; whilst the poor people under pretence of zeal to religion, law, liberty, and parliaments (words of pretious esteem in their just signification) are furiously, hurried into
+ Clarendon's Hift. of the Civil Wars, vol. i. p. 3 & 4.
actions introducing atheism, and diffolving all the elements of christian religion; cancelling all obligations, and destroying all foundations of law and liberty, and rendring not only the privileges, but the very being of parliaments desperate and impracticable; I say, though the immediate finger and wrath of God must be acknowledged in these perplexities and distractions, yet he, who shall diligently observe the distempers and conjunctions of time, the ambition, pride, and folly of persons, and the sudden growth of wickedness, from want of care and circumfpection in the first impressions, will find all these miseries to have proceeded, and to have been brought upon us from the same natural causes and means, which have usually attended kingdoms swoln with long plenty, pride, and excess, towards some signal mortification and castigation of heaven. And it may be, upon the consideration how impoffible it was to foresee many things, that have happened, and of the necessity of overlooking many other things, we may not yet find the cure so desperate, but that by God's mercy the wounds may be again bound up; and then this prospect may not make the future peace less pleasant and durable.”. The real effects of this convulsive state of
ufurpation and tyranny could not be so senfibly felt, nor probably so truly and pathetically expressed, as by those resolute patriors * in 1659, who had seen and suffered
• Notwithstanding I have endeavoured to shew the tendency and the effects of certain principles and doctrines imported from Geneva into this country, as contradi&tory to and subversive of the fundamental principles of our government, yet I am far from concluding, that every person profefling the presbyterian religion, though it be generally supposed to have originated also from Geneva, is infected with them. They are in fact principles of state policy, not tenets of a revealed religion. Much less would I be supposed to intimate, that the profefsion of the presbyterian religion, as it is by law established in Scotland, or as it is tolerated in England, is in any manner incompatible with the strictest duties of a loyal subject of this country. There cannot be a stronger instance of this, than the part which the more respectable members of the presbyterians took in the restoration of king Charles the Second. So says Lord Clarendon (vol. iii. p. 601) “ With these commissioners from the parliament and from the city, there came a company of their clergymen to the number of eight or ten, who would not be looked upon as chaplains to the rest, burs being the popular preachers of the city (Reynolds, Calamy, Cafe, Manton, and others, the most eminent of the presbyterians) desired to be thought to represent that party. They intreated to be admitted all together to have a formal audience of his majesty; where they presented their duties, and magnified the affections of themselves and their friends, who, they said, had always, according to the obligation of their covenant, wished his majesty very well; and had lately, upon the opportunity, that God had put into their hands, informed the people of their duty;
of those who
the whole series and rigour of them; by their bold and spirited declaration, they opened the deluded eyes, and rouzed the depressed spirits of the nation to bear up manfully against the storm, and so at length brought the shattered
wreck of the state vefsel safe into harbour. The sentiments * " They said, that since God had suffered brought about the spirit of division to continue in this na
tion, which was left without any settled foundation of religion, liberty, and property, the legislative power usurped at pleasure, the army raised for its defence mised by their superior officers, and no face of government remaining, that was lawfully constituted; therefore they being sensible of their duty and utter ruin, if these distractions should continue, had taken arms in vindication of the freedom of parliaments, of the known laws, liberty, and property, and of the good people of this nation groaning under insupportable taxes ; that they cannot despair of the blessing of
which they presumed, his majesty had heard had proved