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ness and contentment in the devolving of these kingdoms, unto our royal person, for any addition or increase of glory, power, or riches, as in this, that it is so manifest an evidence unto us, especially the manner of it considered, that we stand, though unworthy, in God's favour, who hath put more means into our hands to reward our friends and servants, and to pardon and obliterate injuries, and to comfort and relieve the hearts and estates of our people and loving subjects, and chiefly to advance the holy religion and Church of Almighty God, and to deserve well of the Christian commonwealth, especially we cannot but gratulate and rejoice in this one point, that it hath pleased God to make us the instrument, and, as it were, the corner-stone, to unite these two mighty and warlike nations of England and Scotland into one kingdom. For although these two nations are situate upon the continent of one island, and are undivided either by seas or mountains, or by diversity of language; and although our neighbour kingdoms of Spain and France have already had the happiness to be re-united in the several members of those kingdoms formerly disjoined : yet in this island it appeareth not in the records of any true history, no nor scarcely in the conceit of any fabulous narration or tradition, that this whole island of Great Britain was ever united under one sovereign prince before this day. Which as we cannot but take as a singular honour and favour of God unto ourselves; so we may conceive good hope that the kingdoms of Christendom stand
ing distributed and counterpoised, as by this last union they now are, it will be a foundation of the universal peace of all Christian princes; and that now the strife that shall remain between them, shall be but an emulation who shall govern best, and most to the weal and good of his people.
Another great cause of our just rejoicing is, the assured hope that we conceive, that whereas our kingdom of Ireland hath been so long time torn and afflicted with the miseries of wars, the making and prosecuting of which wars hath cost such an infinite deal of blood and treasure of our realm of England to be spilt and consumed thereupon; we shall be able, through God's favour and assistance, to put a speedy and an honourable end to those wars. And it is our princely design and full purpose and resolution, not only to reduce that nation from their rebellion and revolt, but also to reclaim them from their barbarous manners to justice and the fear of God; and to populate, plant, and make civil all the provinces in that kingdom: which also being an action that not any of our noble progenitors, kings of England, hath ever had the happiness throughly to prosecute and accomplish, we take so much to heart, as we are persuaded it is one of the chief causes, for the which God hath brought us to the imperial crown of these kingdoms.
Further, we cannot but take great comfort in the state and correspondence which we now stand in of peace and unity with all Christian princes, and otherwise, of quietness and obedience of our own people at home: whereby we shall not need to expose that our kingdom of England to any quarrel or war, but rather have occasion to preserve them in peace and tranquillity, and openness of trade with all foreign nations.
Lastly and principally, we cannot but take unspeakable comfort in the great and wonderful consent and unity, joy and alacrity, wherewith our loving subjects of our kingdom of England have received and acknowledged us their natural and lawful king and governor, according to our most clear and undoubted right, in so quiet and settled manner, as, if we had been long ago declared and established successor, and had taken all men's oaths and homages, greater and more perfect unity and readiness could not have been. For considering with ourselves, that notwithstanding difference of religion, or any other faction, and notwithstanding our absence so far off, and notwithstanding the sparing and reserved communicating of one another's minds; yet all our loving subjects met in one thought and voice, without any the least disturbance or interruption, yea, hesitation or doubtfulness, or any shew thereof; we cannot but acknowledge it is a great work of God, who hath an immediate and extraordinary direction in the disposing of kingdoms and flows of people's hearts.
Wherefore, after our most humble and devout thanks to Almighty God, by whom kings reign, who hath established us king and governor of these kingdoms; we return our hearty and affectionate thanks unto the lords spiritual and temporal, the knights and gentlemen, the cities and towns, and generally unto our commons, and all estates and degrees of that our kingdom of England, for their so acceptable first-fruits of their obedience and loyalties offered and performed in our absence; much commending the great wisdom, courage, and watchfulness used by the peers of that
our kingdom, according to the nobility of their bloods "vand lineages, many of them mingled with the blood
royal; and therefore in nature affectionate to their rightful king; and likewise of the counsellors of the late queen, according to their gravity and oath, and the spirit of their good mistress, now a glorious saint in heaven, in carrying and ordering our affairs with that fidelity, moderation, and consent, which in them hath well appeared : and also the great readiness, concord, and cheerfulness in the principal knights and gentlemen of several counties, with the head officers of great cities, corporations, and towns: and do take knowledge by name of the readiness and good zeal of that our chiefest and most famous city, the city of London, the chamber of that our kingdom : assuring them, that we will be unto that city, by all means of confirming and increasing their happy and wealthy estate, not only a just and gracious sovereign lord and king, but a special and bountiful patron and benefactor.
And we on our part, as well in remuneration of all their loyal and loving affections, as in discharge of our princely office, do promise and assure them, that as all manner of estates have concurred and consented in their duty and zeal towards us, so it shall be our continual care and resolution to preserve and main
tain every several estate in a happy and flourishing condition, without confusion or over-growing of any one to the prejudice, discontentment, or discouragement of the rest : and generally in all estates we hope God will strengthen and assist us, not only to extirpate all gross and notorious abuses, and corruptions, of simonies, briberies, extortions, exactions, oppressions, vexations, burthensome payments, and overcharges, and the like; but further to extend our princely care to the supply of the very neglects and omissions of any thing that may tend to the good of our people. So that every place and service that is fit for the honour or good of the commonwealth shall be filled, and no man's virtue left idle, unimployed, or unrewarded ; and every good ordinance and constitution, for the amendment of the estate and times, be revived and put in execution.
In the mean time, minding by God's leave, all delay set apart, to comfort and secure our loving subjects in our kingdom of England by our personal presence there, we require all our loving subjects joyfully to expect the same : and yet so, as we signify our will and pleasure to be, that all such ceremonies and preparations as shall be made and used to do us honour, or to express gratulation, be rather comely and orderly, than sumptuous and glorious; and for the expressing of magnificence, that it be rather employed and bestowed upon the funeral of the late queen, to whose memory, we are of opinion, too much honour cannot be done or performed.