(25)   Sir Nathaniel Coppinger[1]


A seasonable speech by Sir Nathaniell Coppinger, spoken in the High Court of Parliament, October 24th, 1641.  For the bringing of the Archbishop of Canterbury to his long-expected tryall, and concerning the expulsion of Papists, in respect of their late dangerous plots; and the correcting of separatists in regard to their errours.  Vera floreat Ecclesia.  London, printed by B.A., for T. Bates, 1641.  4to, 3 leaves, not paged.

Sir Nathaniell Coppinger his worthy speech in Parliament, spoken October 24th, 1641.

 Mr. Speaker, - Since the contagious time did dissipate us a while, and it hath pleased the Mighty and Almighty God to recollect us againe, let us unanimously concurre in ratifying, determining, and establishing the weighty affairs of this Kingdom; for it is not unknowne to you all, what plots, and formidable conspiracies have beene invented against our brethren, the Scots, who are blessedly convented in that assembly, and God knowes what stratagems are now plotted against ourselves.  Therefore, I acknowledge it very expedient, and requisit, that all our consultations bee firmely concatenated in the indissoluble linke of unanimity.

The Papists have beene alwayes mortall enemies to our state, and especially to our religion, and if they be not prevented with the expedition of justice, I feare they will adde constructively to their former intentions.  They swarme most confusedly in our streets, daily, studying to subvert, and fully eradicate the true reformation of Christian religion.

And their hourely intent is to supplant the foundation of our pious lawes, and to diffuse aspersions upon our Church.  They expalliate their knaverie, and have done so a long time, although, thanks be to God, they have nowe been discovered, and many of their stratagems apparently demonstrated to the publique spectacle of the world.

You know in what danger our Scottish Brethren were incident unto.  Therefore I beseech you, lay it to your serious cogitations, and if it be possible, let us labour to prevent their treason - growing malice.  It hath bin oftentimes moved unto us, to expell them utterly from our Dominions, but as yet we have not enacted it.

And for my part, I pray God we may confirme the first motion, and what we have heretofore in action conceived fit, let us now indeed perfect.  For I am confident thereof; that our state and commonwealth cannot be secure, until we exenterate those deadly exulcerators of our religion.  In the meane while, give me leave to pause - And now I thinke on't, we have a second crew, and but a little inferiour to the former, I meane the Separatists.

They are the new crept in caterpillars of our kingdome, who by their private malice doe as much contaminate the purity of religion as the former.  Alas! can we not keepe the middle way.  Can we not walke in the middle and secure path of piety, but we must thus variously deviate; either swelling too high in Papisticall opinions, or else sinking too low in Brownisticall Heresies.

Oh, that we had a second Cicero to cry out againe, O tempora!  O mores!  The poets feigned that Phaeton, when he neglected the middle way, wherein his father did direct him, was incontinently destroyed with a precipitious ruine.  The Mythologie and affabulation hereof, may agree with our times; for there may be a golden morale contained in a leaden table.  And I doubt, if we likewise neglect the middle and true ground of religion all things will turne into a suddaine confusion; for according to the Poet, Medio tutissimus ibis.  But stay! what should the cause be of these digested distractions of impurity.  I conceiv there is some proper and peculiar author of all these malignities.  For according to the Philosophers' rule, Nullus effectus datur sine causa; there can be no effect without a cause naturally; neither can I imagine, but that our corrupted springs of piety doe flow from one polluted fountaine.  You know my meaning, my mentall reservation includes Canterbury, that incendiary of this kingdom; therefore let us not deferre or procrastinate the business any longer, but call him to an answer, with all possible expedition.

He hath hanged as Abraham's ram in the Bryars a long time; therefore I thinke it high time now to sacrifice him on his own altar.  I beseech you, take all these precedent premisses into your serious and grave considerations, and let not this kingdom, which hath a long time languished in various and erroneous opinions, be any longer frustrated of the peacefull expectations of all men.  Once more, I beseech you, let us proceed in our determinations begun; for the whole nation depends upon us; therefore I crave your judicious resolutions herein.

 Let the Petition be read, and let us enter upon the worke.

[1] His name does not appear in the Parliament which met in November, 1641.


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