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Eikon Basilike: Ch. 7

Upon the Queenes departure, and absence out of England.

ALTHOUGH I have much cause to be troubled at My Wifes departure from Me, and out of My Dominions; yet not Her absence, so much, as the scandall of that necessity, which drives her away, doth afflict Me. That She should be compelled by My owne Subjects, and those pretending to be Protestants, to withdraw for Her safety: this being the first example of any ProtestantSomeone following the western non-Catholic Christian belief systems inspired by the Protestant Reformation. Subjects, that have taken up Arms against their King, a Protestant: for I look upon this now done in England, as another Act of the same Tragedie which was lately begun in Scotland; the brands of that fire being ill quenched, have kindled the like flames here. I fear such motions (so little to the adorning of the Protestant profession) may occasion a farther alienation of mind, and divorce of affections in Her, from that Religion, which is the only thing wherein we differ.

Which yet God can, and I pray he would in time take away; and not suffer these practises to be any obstruction to Her judgement; since it is the motion of those men, (for the most part) who are yet to seek and settle their Religion for DoctrineThe set of beliefs upheld by a religion or political party., Government, and good manners, and so not to be imputed to the true English Protestants; who continue firme to their former setled Principles and Lawes.

I am sorry My relation to so deserving a Lady, should be any occasion of her danger and affliction; whose merits would have served her for a protection among the savage Indians; while their rudenesse and barbarity knowes not so perfectly to hate all Vertues, as some mens subtilty doth; among whom I yet thinke few are so malicious as to hate Her for Her selfe. The fault is, that she is My wife.

All justice then as well as affection commands Me, to study her Security, who is only in danger for My sake; I am content to be tossed, weather-beaten, and shipwrackt, so as she may be in safe Harbour.

This comfort I shall enjoy by her safety in the midst of My Personall dangers, that I can perish but halfe, if she be preserved: in whose memory, and hopefull Posterity, I may yet survive the malice of My enemies, although they should be satiated with My bloud.

I must leave her, and them, to the Love and Loyalty of My good Subjects; and to his protection, who is able to punish the faults of Princes, and no lesse severely to revenge the injuries done to Them, by those who in all duty and Allegiance, ought to have made good that safety, which the Lawes chiefly provide for Princes.

But common civility is in vaine expected from those, that dispute their Loyalty: Nor can it be safe (for any relation) to a King, to tarry among them who are shaking hands with their Allegiance, under pretence of laying faster hold on their Religion.

Tis pitty so noble and peacefull a soule should see, much more suffer, the rudenesse of those who must make up their want of justice, with inhumanity, and impudence.

Her sympathy with Me in My afflictions, will make her vertues shine with greater lustre, as stars in the darkest nights; and assure the envious world, that she loves me, not My fortunes.

Neither of us but can easily forgive, since We do not much blame the unkindnesse of the Generality, and Vulgar; for we see God is pleased to try both our patience, by the most selfe-punishing sin, the Ingratitude of those, who having eaten of our bread, and being enriched with Our bounty, have Scornfully lift up themselves against Us; and those of Our owne Houshold are become Our enemies. I pray God lay not their sin to their charge: who thinke to satisfy all obligations to duty, by their Corban of Religion: and can lesse endure to see, then to sin against their benefactours as well as their Soveraignes.

But even that policy of my enemies is so farre veniall, as it was necessary to their designes, by scandalous articles, and all irreverent demeanour, to seeke to drive her out of My Kingdomes; lest by the influence of her example, eminent for love as a Wife, and Loyalty, as a Subject, she should have converted to, or retayned in their love, and Loyalty, all those whom they had a purpose to pervert.

The lesse I may be blest with her company, the more I will retire to God, and My owne Heart, whence no malice can banish Her. My enemies may envy, but they can never deprive Me of the enjoyment of her vertues, while I enjoy My self.

Thou O Lord, whose Justice at present sees fit to scatter us, let thy mercy, in thy due time, reunite us, on earth, if it be thy will; however bring us both at last, to thy heavenly Kingdome.

Preserve us from the hands of our despitefull and deadly enemies; and prepare us by our sufferings for thy presence.

Though we differ in some things, as to Religion, (which is my greatest temporall infelicity) yet Lord give, and accept the sincerity of our affections, which desire to seek, to find, to embrace every Truth of thine.

Let both our Hearts agree in the love of thy selfe, and Christ crucified for us.

Teach us both what thou wouldst have us to know, in order to thy glory, our publique relations, and our soules eternall good, and make us carefull to doe what good we know.

Let neither Ignorance of what is necessary to be knowne, nor unbelief, or disobedience to what we know, be our misery or our wilfull default.

Let not this great Scandall of those my Subjects, which professe the same Religion with me, be any hindrance to her love of any Truth thou wouldst have her to learne, nor any hardning of her, in any errour thou wouldst have cleared to her.

Let mine and other mens constancy be an Antidote against the poyson of their example.

Let the Truth of that Religion I professe, be represented to her Judgment, with all the beauties of Humility, Loyalty, Charity, and Peaceablenesse; which are the proper fruits, and ornaments of it; not in the odious disguises of Levity, Schisme, Heresie, Novelty, Cruelty, and Disloyalty, which some mens practices have lately put upon it.

Let her see thy sacred and saving Truths, as Thine; that she may believe, love and obey them as Thine, cleared from all rust and drosse of humane mixtures.

That in the glasse of thy Truth she may see thee, in those mercies which thou hast offered to us, in thy Sonne Jesus Christ, our onely Saviour, and serve thee in all those Holy duties, which most agree with his holy doctrineThe set of beliefs upheld by a religion or political party., and most imitable example.

The experience we have of the vanity, and uncertainty of all humane Glory, and greatnesse in our scatterings and Eclypses, let it make us both so much the more ambitious to be invested in those durable honours, and perfections, which are onely to be found in thy self, and obtained through Jesus Christ.