« ForrigeFortsett »
ments; let them then unanimously declare and proceed against them, as professed publick enemies, traytors to their native country; who by their former and late treacheries, rebellions, and unwarrantable proceedings against all their superiors, transcending all precedents in profane or sacred stories, have actually in law, justice, forfeited not only all their commissions, commands, and arrears of pay, but all their very lives, lands, estates; and that our whole three nations, by their solemn league and copenant, for their own future preservation, are obliged to bring them to publick justice, as themselves have proceeded against hundreds, nay, thousands of other delinquents, not half so criminal as themselves; and, thereupon, intreat all other officers, soldiers in the army, who have any fear of God, or love to themselves, their posterities, or native country, remaining in their breasts, as Moses did the congregation of Israel, in the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who mutinied the people against him and Aaron, Numb. xvi. " Depart, I pray ye, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram on every side.” And as many officers, soldiers, as shall, there. upon, desert the tents of their rebellious commanders, and contribute their assistance for the speedy calling, and safe fitting of a free, lawful parliament, without any future mutinies, to interrupt or dissolve it, when convened according to the premised statute of 16 Car. chap. 1. let them be assured of their full arrears, and of indemnity for what is past, which none else but a free and lawful parliament can grant them, all other indemnities being void in law. And, if this will not satisfy, let them beware, lest the earth cleave asunder, that is under them, and then open her mouth, and swallow them up alive, with their houses, men, goods, and all appertaining to them, and they perish from among the congregation, as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with their families and adherents did, by this or some other exemplary judgments, and a universal insurrection of our three whole discontented, oppressed, ruined nations against them, which they may justly fear and expect, if they believe there is a righteous God, that judgeth in the earth,' a Lord of Hosts able to scatter, punish, execute vengeance on them here, and cast them into hell for ever hereafter, for their manifold, unlamented, reiterated, transcendent rebellions; or repute these texts canonical, which I shall recominend to their sad. dest meditations : Prov. xxix. 10. ” He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy:" As the late anti-parliamentary junctos and protectors have been. Prov. xi. 21. “ Though hand go in hand, yet the wicked shall not go unpunished.” Psal. Ixviii. 21. “ God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses." Ezek. xxiv. 14. “ I the Lord have spoken it, it shall come to pass, I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; but according to thy ways, and according to thy doings I will recompense, and they shall judge thee, saith the Lord.” Col. iji. 25. “ He that doth wrong shall receive
according to the wrong done, and there is no respect of persons with God;" who can, in a moment, as easily destroy an whole army, and great host of men (as he did * Sennacherib's, Jerobo. am's, and other armies) as any one single person.
October the last, 1659, the day of king-condemning John Brad. shaw's death, and translation to his proper place, and arraignment, in the bighest court of justice.
LET ME SPEAK TOO:
HUNBLY PROPOSED TO THE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY, CONCERNING
THE LATE ALTERATION OF GOVERNMENT'.
The last testimony amongst men, both Greeks and Barbarians, which no time will abolish, is that which, by oath, calleth the Gods to be Sureties of their covenants. PROCOPIUS.
Psal. xv. 4.--Having sworn to his own hurt, he changeth not.
London: Printed 1659. Quarto, containing eight pages.
GENTLEMEN, AS it pleased the Lord of Hosts to conduct you through many difficulties hitherto, with whom to this time I have kept pace, and wherein I cannot accord, I humbly with all affection propose my scruples, being willing to be delivered from any error, and misapprehension in any kind, and that, which is given with the right-hand, will not, I hope, be taken with the left: And let me ac. quaint you, it is not private interest, or worldly gain, is any ground at all to in. cline me to query; for I was never no courtier, nor received any benefit by it, nor was ever like to do, nor ever received the least personal injury from the long parliament.
Therefore, as they are the naked and plain result of an unbiassed mind, I hope you will the rather bear with them and me; I know some amongst you, which, I am sorry to see, take all ill, and resent oothing to be reason, but that which comports with their own bumours; as for them, I am in little hope, either to receive or give satisfaction.
This only I would farther say, that the former blessings.of God, and his mercy unto you, is no argument at all, that he will ever continue the same, but will, as he hath done to other people, more highly declare himself against you, in case you take sanctuary at unrighteous ways and courses, and what are not justifiable be. fore God and men : You have I loved above all the nations of the earth, I therefore will punish you for your iniquity. I do not know any one action, that ever brought yonr principles into suspicion, and that you bear not the same good-will to righteous and just proceedings, as this last of dethroning his Highness without any reason or eause given, at least worthy such severity: All that I have further to say is, that, if you have done well, and have the testimony of a good conscience, the Lord establish you; if not, God give you repentance, and make restitution.
• 9 Kings, xiii, 35. 2 Chron. xiii. 16, 17.
tectors, with parliament or parliaments alone, or a free state so called ; and what other government soever be more jure divino, than another? And the reason of this query is this: Because no one government, but hath been as beneficial a government to the people as the other: And there is nothing in any new-devised
way of rotation, which, in itself, is seemingly rational, but whether other governments are not' every way as rational, and freer from inconveniences in the practice of it, than the other, and far more, if well considered ?
2. Whether the late protector was not proclaimed, as protector and supreme magistrate, by the commanders in chief of the army, in the greatest solemnity imaginable ; first, at the Exchange in London, Westminster, and, afterwards throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the greatest testimonies of the soldiers good-will and liking, and of the people's reception and entertainment with a nemine contradicente 2,
3. Whether the officers and soldiers of the army afterwards, upon more serious deliberation, did not generally address themselves unto the protector as supreme magistrate, and so did further thereby oblige themselves, and, by such a kind of transaction, subjected themselves by way of the most solemn engagements unto him, as supreme magistrate?
4. Whether the people, from all quarters of the nation, did not, after the most solemn manner, address themselves likewise unto him, with the most cordial, zealous, and pathetical expressions, that it was possible, for a poor people, tired out with war and blood, to utter: thinking with themselves, that now they were arrived at the fair haven of peace and safety? And, withal, let this be considered also, that if an agreement of the people, so much talked of by some, be that which would be as a fundamental basis for a government to be settled upon; then, lo here it is. I think it may be said, without the least kind of presumption, that no prince, or king of England, or any other government, since this was a land, had a greater testimony, and witness, and agreement of the people, both religious and others, than this protector hath, having about four or five-hundred-thousand hands, and twice as many hearts besides ?
5. Whether he was not acknowledged and recognised by the freest parliament chosen many years, as supreme magistrate?
6. Whether the Lord Fleetwood, Desborough, Lambert, Bury, Hewson, Cooper, &c. did not swear to be true to him as protec. tor when they sat in parliament; and how hateful to God and men, yea, to the very heathens have such things been ? Ezek. xvii. 12, 13, 14, 15, speaking of the faith that the Hebrew kings had given to the Babylonians, “ Shall he prosper, shall he escape that doeth such things ? Or, shall he escape that breaks the covenant, and be
delivered?” Verse 16, “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despiseth, and whose covenant he brake, even with himn in the midst of Babylon he shall die.” Verse 18, 6 Seeing he despiseth the oath, by breaking the covenant (when, lo, he had given his hand) and hath done all these things, he shall not escape."
Philo. An oath is God's testimony of a thing in question?
Austin. He that swears by a stone, if he swear falsly, is per. jured; and afterwards saith, The stone heareth not thy words, but God punishes thy fraud.
7. Whether the late protector, for so it seems he must be called, ever gave any reason or ground at all, for these gentlemen to dethrone him, and to protest against him and his government? I could wish, and many thousands more, the reasons might be seen, for nothing hath passed or been observed by diligent observers and partners with you in the same cause, that might render him unlovely or unacceptable to any person whatsoever. However, if . there be any grounds or considerations, that might induce the army to such a grand transaction as this; first, to reject and slight him, and then to give reasons, if there be any, is to hang a man first, and to try him afterwards ?
8. But, if there be no substantial grounds, as it is presumed, there none can be, even as little as you may blame the sun for running his course, so harmless hath he been: Whether then there hath been, in any age, more unfaithfulness in justice, greater co. venant-breakers, persons so rebellious, men that have rendered the blessed gospel of Christ and professors thereof more uncomely, than this generation hath done let the world judge, for, indeed, they have already given their verdict in the case, which is more the pity.
9. Whether your invitation of the long-parliament, to return to their trust, be not a transparent figment? Who trusted them? The people. But the people since have delivered their trust else. where; for, when the late protectors did send out writs, the people might have staid at home, there were noue forced to chuse, but freely they have elected others: And, if so be the free choice and election of the people make a parliament, and they are also free to chuse, as often the providence of God shall put opportunity into their hands, then it is very doubtful whether this be any other thing than only a parliament so called, the people having freely declared themselves otherwise.
Obj. But if it be objected, that these gentlemen, with others, made a vote in the long-parliament, that they should not be dissolved, nor disturbed, until they themselves pleased or saw cause.
Ans. It is a good way of arguing if it would serve, for if ten or more lords, or great men, should chuse stewards and trustees to manage their estates for the best advantage, as usually they do; and, after they felt and tasted the sweets of their trust, they should enter into a combination, and resolve and agree amongst them.
selves, that now, having the sole disposal of their lords estates, that they would not be put out of their stewardship, until they themselves pleased: Do you think that they that did thus trust these good stewards were obliged by their stewards resolution ? Doubtless, no: But if, at any time afterwards, their lords should appoint other stewards, doubtless, they ought to officiate, and the others to shift for themselves, except they liked to entertain them the second time; and, whether this be not the present case in hand, and these as much a parliament as the other stewards, is
10. Whether this parliament, if it needs must be so called, with seventy more gentlemen for a senate, be not like to infringe the people's rights, and give less satisfaction, than one single person with a parliament? The first reason is, this parliament of fifty or sixty, or th reabouts, and seventy more besides, have every one of them a long train; there is never a one but is a file-leader, that is, hath, at least, six or ten at his heels, to be provided for one way or other; and all hungry as hawks, ready to catch at any thing, and nothing will serve but the blood of the people, for they must be fed with something.
2. Reason. It is against the standing rules of reason, the professed principles of the army, for any power or authority to have the militia, and the command of the people's purses, which this parliament, or people, hath, which is both destructive and pernicious; though the command of the people's purse was never desired or practised by a single person; and, whether a government, settled by parliament, under one head, to execute the laws of the go. vernment so made by parliament, he not more pleasing and rational than to have a body consisting of so many heads, which is monster. like? The people, generally, doubtless, had rather have their laws executed by one person, which they love and honour, than to have a hundred, or a hundred and fifty men equal, or worse than them. selves, to domineer over them, as it is too apparent they were accustomed to do: Besides, you will find, in case of any exorbitancy in a government, that one for his trust is sooner dealed with than many.
11. Whether the good old cause, so much talked of, be not generally mistaken? For what is this cause so much magnified, but that which you have possessed and enjoyed as free in this protec. tor's time, as in the long-parliament; nay, and more also by far? Now let us first enquire what it is: If first the basis of all our fierce and fiery contests with all sorts, as well the pulling out the longparliament themselves, as against the king and bishops, was not for liberty of conscience, and for a toleration of men of different minds in God's 'worship and service: Let every man examine the times, the army's declarations, and the course of things every year since the first beginning, and you will find the kindle-coal of all differences was in this, that sometimes prelacy, and then presbytery, both in England and Scotland, had an itch to be beating their fellow-servants; and, to ward the dint of their blow, presently