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First, I fhall endeavour to make fome Eftimate from hence of the Greatness of that Guilt, which was contracted by the shedding the Blood of the Royal Martyr: And this must be done by a Comparison of the two Cafes, whereby the Difference between them will evidently appear, particularly from the few following Confiderations.
1. Jonah had been greatly disobedient unto God, and fled from his Prefence, as unwilling, and refolving not to deliver the Meffage which God commanded him, and which properly belonged to his Office; at which the very Mariners expreffed a great Surprize, when he told them of it, (ver. 10.) Then were the Men exceedingly afraid, and Jaid unto him, Why haft thou done this? And if the Prophet that denounced Evil against Samaria, was punished by God in an exemplary Manner, for hearkening to the Suggeftions of a lying Prophet, contrary to the exprefs Command of God himself, that he fhould eat no Bread, and drink no Water in that Place; and if thereupon he had the Sentence of Death pronounced upon him, by the Mouth of the fame Prophet that had deceived him, and at the fame Table where he had tranfgreffed, and a Lion foon after in the Way met him and flew him; if this Prophet,
↑ Kings xiii. 9.
Ifay, was fo fignally punished for only fuffering himself to be betrayed and deluded by a lying and falfe Spirit, how could Jonah hope to escape, who had been guilty of fuch a wilful, deliberate, and prefumptuous Act of Difobedience? And therefore the Mariners, if they had had no other Reason, might have hoped to be excufed, for vindicating the Caufe of God, in cafting his rebellious Prophet into the Sea: And yet we see how cautious and fcrupulous they were in this Cafe. But was there any Thing like this in the Cafe of King Charles the First? He was so far from being difobedient to God, that he fuffered for his Obedience to him. 'Twas his Zeal for Religion, that created him the greateft Oppofition; 'twas his Stedfaftnefs in the Faith, that raised him Enemies in the State; and his true Concern for the Church, that made him fubmit to die, rather than not defend it. He was likewife fo far from fleeing from the Prefence of God, as Jonah did, that he was forcibly driven from his own Palace and ufual Place of Worship; made an Exile in his own Kingdom; conftrained to wander like holy David, from Place to Place to find Refuge; purfued as a Partridge upon the Mountains; cut off from all perfonal Communication with his Royal Confort, his Parliament, and his Children: And when he could no longer shelter and fecure himself from the Rebel-Army, he entrufted
entrusted his Person with those Men, who by the baseft Treachery foon after fet a Price upon his Head, and fold him into the Hands of those that fought his Life. At first he was in the keeping of the more moderate of the Party, but was foon ravished from them by the Hands of the Violent; who, when they had him, refolved to make short Work of it, and by taking off the King, to finish and compleat their long-projected Scheme of an impious Anarchy or tyrannical Ariftocracy.
2. The Mariners in the Text were in the utmost Danger of their Lives. A mighty Tempest lay upon them, and they could neither by hard rowing bring the Ship to Land, nor hope to live long in the open Sea. Sea. Add to this, that Jonah, by his own Confeffion, was the Occafion of the Danger they were in, and that God fent this Tempest upon them, for his Sake or upon his Account, and that they could not be fafe, but by cafting him into the Sea: And yet they were still afraid to do it. How distant, how widely diftant, was this from the Temper of those in this Nation, who first raised Storms and Tempefts in the State, and then gave Occafion to the mournful Solemnity of this Day? And yet had the Face to charge all the Miferies and Misfortunes of thofe Times, upon that righteous King, as the Heathens used to charge the Primitive Chriftians
Chriftians with all the Calamities that happened in the Roman State. But there were fo many Trumpeters of Sedition and Rebellion in that Reign, and fuch furious ungovernable Spirits, that watched all Opportunities to raise Combuftions, to distress and embarrass the King in all his Designs and Proceedings, and to widen the Breach between him and his People, that they seemed to aim at nothing less than to set all in a Flame. But fuppofe the King had been the Author or Occafion of the Troubles they complained of, could nothing fatisfy them, or cool their Refentments, but the Effufion of his Blood, and depriving him of his Liberty, his Crown, and his Life? The Mariners would not offer the leaft Violence to a Man that endangered their own Lives, nor fuffer a Hair of his Head to perish, till he himself constrained them to take this Method to pacify the Divine Indignation; and they had fo far afterwards the Approbation of God for what they did, that the Storm immediately ceased, and the Sea was calm. But the Regicides of this Day plainly fhewed by their horrid Deed, that they feared neither God nor Man, but acted according to the Extent of their ufurped Power, making their Strength the Law of Juftice, and, under Colour of removing one pretended Evil, involved the Nation in a Deluge of Wickedness and Calamity. 3. The
3. The Mariners proceeded with the greatest Deliberation, and with the greatest Reluctance in what they did, and would not at last comply with Jonah's Advice, of cafting him forth into the Sea, before they had tried all other Means of Prefervation, and not even then till they had implored the Mercy and Forgiveness of God, if they happened in this Cafe to be mistaken, or to do amifs. But the Actors in this Day's dismal Tragedy, plunged themselves headlong, and all at once, into the very Depths of Wickedness. The Fact indeed was too horrid and ghaftly, to bear any fuch Thing as cool Reafoning, or ferious Confultation; and tho' they erected what they called An High Court of Justice for the Trial of the King; yet even in this Sham-Court, and under this Mock-Authority, neither was the King permitted to fpeak for himself, nor would any Evidence have been admitted on his Side, if any fuch had dared to appear: So that they themselves, were both Accusers, Witneffes, and Judges, at the fame Time, and in the fame Caufe. So far were they from confulting others, or acting with Caution in this Matter, that they used the most wicked Artifice to conceal their Defign; and when that could not be done, they shut their Ears against the loud Cries of great Part of the Nation; were deaf to the earnest Remonftrances of the Prefbyterians; to all