72. The King's answer to the Propositions of Parliament.
[Despatched by the King September 9, 1647. Rushworth, vii. 810.
See Great Civil War, iii. 361, 366.]
His Majesty cannot choose but be passionately sensible (as he believes all his good subjects are) of the late great distractions, and still languishing and unsettled state of this kingdom; and he calls God to witness, and is willing to give testimony to all the world, of his readiness to contribute his utmost endeavours for restoring it to a happy and flourishing condition.
His Majesty having perused the Propositions now brought to him, finds them the same in effect which were offered to him at Newcastle: to some of which, as he could not then consent without violation of his conscience and honour, so neither can he agree to others now, conceiving them in many respects more disagreeable to the present condition of affairs than when they were formerly presented to him, as being destructive to the main principal interests of the army, and of all those whose affections concur with them: and His Majesty having seen the Proposals of the army to the Commissioners from his two Houses residing with them, and with them to be treated on in order to the clearing and securing the right and liberties of the kingdom, and the settling a just and lasting peace, to which Proposals, as he conceives his two Houses not to be strangers, so he believes they will think with him, that they much more conduce to the satisfaction of all interests, and may be a fitter foundation for a lasting peace, than the Propositions which at this time are tendered to him.
He therefore propounds (as the best way in his judgment in order to peace) that his two Houses would instantly take into consideration those Proposals, upon which there may be a personal treaty with His Majesty, and upon such other Propositions as His Majesty shall make, hoping that the said Proposals may be so moderated in the said treaty as to render them the more capable of His Majesty's full concessions, wherein he resolves to give full satisfaction unto his people for whatsoever shall concern the settling of the Protestant profession, with liberty to tender consciences, and the securing of the laws, liberties and properties of all his subjects, and the just privileges of Parliament for the future; and likewise by his present deportment in this treaty, he will make the world clearly judge of his intentions in the matter of future government: in which treaty His Majesty will be pleased (if it be thought fit) that Commissioners from the army (whose the Proposals are) may likewise be admitted.
His Majesty therefore conjures his two Houses of Parliament by the duty they owe to God and His Majesty their King, and by the bowels of compassion they have to their fellow subjects, both for relief of their present sufferings, and to prevent future miseries, that they will forthwith accept His Majesty's offer, whereby the joyful news of peace may be restored to this distressed kingdom.
And for what concerns the kingdom of Scotland mentioned in the Propositions, His Majesty will very willingly treat upon those particulars with Scotch Commissioners, and doubts not but to give a reasonable satisfaction to that His Majesty's kingdom.
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