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Vane was kept imprisoned. On one of the Scilly islands, thirty miles from the mainland, separated from family and friends, was the prisoner's home. He wrote here of "Government," "religion," "life," "death," "friends," "enemies." There are grand, and beautiful, and sustaining thoughts on every page of these writings. It must have buoyed up his spirit to think them and to write them. There have been those who have spoken and written nobler things for liberty. In active career, they had nobility. But they could not suffer well. Their prison was only a dungeon. Their sickness or death make us blush for human frailty. But Vane was greater now than ever. His lonely place of confinement supplies him with images with which to express noblest thoughts. Do storms beat about it? he consoles himself that "though the storm that comes will be terrible, yet some are safest in storms." Does he look about upon his prison, and forward into the event which lies beyond; he thinks "death brings us out of a dark dungeon, through the crannies whereof, our sight of light is but weak and small, and brings us into an open liberty, an estate of light and life, unveiled and perpetual."

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The King and his Chancellor had, after two years, got their evidence together, and it was resolved to bring the statesman to his trial. The grand jury indicted him as a "false traitor." He was refused the benefit of counsel. Six eminent lawyers were engaged for the prosecution. He was asked to plead to the indictment. He states many convincing reasons why he could not, and closes his legal argument with a declaration of his Christian faith and of his purity of conscience in the whole matter of his public life. The court promised him that if he would plead, he should have counsel. He reluctantly consents and pleads guilty.

Four days later he was brought to court. He asked for his promised counsel, and the insolent judges told him they would be his counsel. The evidences of his public acts against the King were adduced. Vane was called upon for his defence. He commenced a long, elaborate, and eloquent argument of Constitutional law. He explained that he had no evidence because he had not been supplied with his indictment, and

knew nothing of the charges upon which he was to be tried. Moreover, he had been a close prisoner. By law-suits brought maliciously during his imprisonment, his estates had come into heavy debt, so that his family could not furnish him any assistance. The jury retired to their room, and in half an hour brought him in guilty. Ile returned to his cell in the tower with a lighter heart and a cheerful and thankful flow of spirits. He had been afraid he should not do justice to the good old cause; afraid lest he should seem to speak for himself rather than for it. His fears were over. He had defended himself only by defending it.

It was now Charles's duty to fulfill his pledge to the Houses, and remit the sentence that was to be pronounced. But Vane's advocacy of the cause at his trial was reported to Charles. Charles wrote to his Chancellor-"Certainly he is too dangerous a man to let live, if we can honestly put him out of the way."

On the 11th of June, Vane was in court to receive his sentence. Had he anything to say? The judges supposed not. They were mistaken. Vane was determined that these judges should be put in their true light before the world. He claimed his right to have the indictment read in Latin, (the custom of the courts), so that he could take advantage of verbal exceptions. A sharp debate followed; he prevailed. He next claimed counsel to make exceptions according to law. He made the court distinctly refuse it. He offered now a bill of exceptions, which he had prepared himself, and demanded that the judges should sign it. He showed that they were obliged by law to sign it. They refused. He insisted on their re fusing, one by one, in so many words. He next requested the reading of the King's promise to the Parliament to save his life. They disputed about it, but his claim was allowed. Then he quietly remarked that there were certain questions which must be settled before sentence could be passed. He began to state them. The judges grew desperately impatient and excited. Vane, however, went on, closed, folded up his papers and appealed from that tribunal to the highest and last. The sentence of death was passed and his execution fixed to

Saturday, June 14th, 1662. At the hour of midnight, June 13th, the sheriff brought the warrant for execution. Vane said there was no dismalness in it. He slept quietly four

hours. Early in the morning, his wife, children, and friends, were assembled in his prison. He prayed a remarkable prayer for them. At the appointed hour he told the sheriff that he was ready. The sled was brought. Any way, he said, "for I long to be at home, and to be dissolved and to be with Christ, which is best of all." The people, thronging the windows and high places, blessed him. Why should they not, was it not for their Cause? The prisoner ascended the scaffold and stood cheerfully and nobly before the people. He essayed a brief statement of his case, but the trumpeters drowned his voice. He knelt down in a prayer. At its close he added, "I bless the Lord that I have not deserted the righteous cause for which I suffer." He laid his head on the block, and in an instant was no more.

Henry Vane died in the glowing and prophetic expectation that his Cause could not die. Nay, he even saw it as in the very morning of its triumph. "There have been," he says, "garments rolled in blood, in which Thou didst own Thy servants; though through the spirit of hypocrisy and apostasy these nations have been thought unworthy to enjoy the fruits of deliverance. Thou hast, therefore, another day of decision yet to come."

It was coming on the same year that he died, 2,000 ministers of his Puritan faith renounced their livings for the same Cause. A few years later, William Russell and Algernon Sidney paid it the tribute of their lives. But a quarter of century went by quickly, and then came the Revolution of 1688, and the utter ruin of the House of Stuart. Since that epoch, the struggle for the more perfect toleration of religion, for the more complete and equitable representation of the people, has gone on, winning slowly its triumphs. Where it has not won the field, it has at least shown more and more transparently that it is the one noble and righteous struggle of the nation, and all phases of the struggle show, as certainly the present phases of it do, that there can be no perfect, ideal solution of

it, until the Church is severed from the State, and the State comes into the power of the people, and the people are leavened thoroughly with that Puritan Religion, which submits to the one Moral Governor and Redeemer of the world, and that Puritan education, which makes all the people equal learners in this great school of God. Till this solution is reached, there will have to be many "another day of decision" on the same old battle-field.

In one of those writings, which now seem veritable prophesies, Vane had expressed his belief that America would be the last field the Good Cause was to be tried on. It was tried; by men too, who had drunken deep at the fountains opened in that elder conflict. Our fathers of the Revolution drew their inspiration and their arguments from the wells of the English Commonwealth. The party of Statesmen who sympathized with America in 1776, drew from the same sources. And today it will be found that the heart of England, which has any true beating with our American heart, got its blood, physical or spiritual, from the Revolutionary men of 1640. It has been the ominous fortune of the leaders in our Rebellion to claim to represent the cavaliers of two centuries since. Their desperate. coadjutors at the North have thought it good policy to abjure the New England States, in their schemes of reconstruction, on similar grounds. Must it be so? Is this old contest of Puritans and Cavaliers to have its "other day of decision" here? We trust not. But if so, welcome be the stigma of the Puritan name, if we may be the heirs of its splendid history! Be ours the heir-looms of the statesmanship of Milton and Vane, and of the steady, pious, invincible courage of Cromwell and Blake; and ours the prestige of Marston Moore, Naseby, Dunbar, and Worcester.

And yet this sketch of Vane's career, as well as all careful reading of Political History, may tone down empty exhilara tion. For Liberty is seen to be no easy, nor sudden, nor, alas! permanent attainment. It is not gained by any one night of watching or day of toil. It has never been won except at cost of most precious lives. And often, when it seemed just within reach, the hand of treachery or of ambition has stricken it

down. But it remains, nevertheless, the Cause, the Good Cause. And it has ever been the instinct of men, even when themselves most faithless and unworthy, to build the toombs of the martyrs and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous. Surely it will be our impulse, who have not forsworn the principles of Sir Henry Vane, to cherish, in these times of civil war, his saintly memory.

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