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THE READY AND EASY
WAY TO ESTABLISH A FREE COMMONWEALTH
AND THE EXCELLENCE THEREOF,
THE READY AND EASY WAY TO
ESTABLISH A FREE COMMON.
LTHOUGH since the writing of this treatise
writs for new elections have been recalled, and the members at first chosen re-admitted from exclusion; yet not a little rejoicing to hear declared the resolution of those who are in power, tending to the establishment of a free commonwealth, and to remove, if it be possible, this noxious humour of returning to bondage, instilled of late by some deceivers, and nourished from bad principles and false apprehensions among too many of the people ; I thought best not to suppress what I had written, hoping that it may now be of much more use and concernment to be freely published, in the midst of our elections to a free parliament, or their sitting to consider ely of the government; whom it behoves to have all things represented to them that may direct their judgment therein ; and I never read of any state, scarce of any tyrant, grown so incurable as to refuse counsel from any
in a time of public deliberation, much less to be offended. If their absolute determination be to enthral us, before so long a Lent of servitude they may permit us a little shroving-time first, wherein to speak freely, and take our leaves of liberty. And because in the former edition, through haste, many faults escaped, and many books were suddenly dispersed ere the note to mend them could be sent, I took the opportunity from this occasion to revise and somewhat to enlarge the whole discourse, especially that part which argues for a perpetual senate. The treatise thus revised and enlarged is as follows :
The Parliament of England, assisted by a great number of the people who appeared and stuck to them faithfulest in defence of religion and their civil liberties, judging kingship by long experience a government unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous, justly and magnanimously abolished it, turning regal bondage into a free commonwealth, to the admiration and terror of our emulous neigh. bours. They took themselves not bound by the light of nature or religion to any former covenant, from which the king himself, by many forfeitures of a latter date or discovery, and our own longer consideration thereon, had more and more unbound us, both to himself and his posterity ; as hath been ever the justice and the prudence of all wise nations that have ejected tyranny. They covenanted 'to preserve the king's person and authority, in the “preservation of the true religion and our liberties;'