Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

34 LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. illustration of his fidelity to his engagements. A law was passed (which was never executed, and which the king not many years afterwards set aside by proclamation) for the prevention of unlaw- ful pastimes on the Lord's day. Some other proceedings helped to show the strong and determined spirit of the commons in rela- tion to the questions between the party of the court and the pre- lates on the one hand, and the party of the people and the Puritans on the other. The king saw that, if such aparliament continued, he must be content with the conditionofadimited mon- arch, and must secure the affections of the people by conducting his administration for their benefit. Determinednot to yield, he dissolved 'the parliament, and made a feeble and unpopular effort to raise money by way of loan, taxing individuals according to their estimated ability, and promising repayment at the end of eigh- teen months. The resources thus secured were soon exhausted in an ill-con- ducted and abortive enterprise, the object of . which was to inter- cept and plunder the Spanish fleet as it returned laden with the product ofthe mines of South America. ''Another parliament was called, which, like 'the preceding, first voted a limited supply, and then immediately took up the subject of grievances. An impeach- ment of the duke of Buckingham,the obnoxious prime minister, was undertaken with much 'zeal. Theking, who seems to have had little knowledge of the genius of the nation which he govern- ed, and as little of the principlesof human nature, took every op- portunity to manifest his contempt of the commons. Besides lesser measures of irritation, he imprisoned two members of the house, employed as managers of the impeachment ; and then was obliged to release them. He sent his commands to the house to enlarge and finish the bill for a supply ; for, though the supplywas voted, it had not yet become a law. At the same time he threat- ened them, both by a message, and in the speeches of his minis- ters, that, if he found them still uncomplying, he should try "new counsels."* After a short session, the parliament was dissolved, * " I pray you consider, ". said Sir Dudley Carleton, vice chamberlain, in the house of commons, " what these new counsels are, or may be. I fear to de- clare those that I conceive. In all Christian kingdoms, you know that parlia- ments were in use anciently, by which those kingdoms were governed in a most flourishing manner ; 'untilthe monarchs began toknow their own strength, and seeing the turbulent spirit oftheir parliaments, at length they, bylittle and little,began to stand on their prerogatives, and at last overthrew the ,pa throughout Christendom, except here only with us. Let us be careful, then, to preserve the king's good opinion ofparliaments, whichbringeth suchhappiness to the nation, and makes us envied ofall others, while there is this sweetness between his majesty and the commons; lest we lose the repute of afree people, by our turbulency inparliament." Hume's History ofEngland. Vol. III. pp. 360, 361. Philad. 1828.