Tts Convoy through the COUNTIES
Essex, Kent, Surrey,
Sussex, and Middlesex,
To Westminster and to London.
By way of premonstration.
‘1 Pet. 2.17. Fear God, Honor the King.’
Deut. 17.15. Thou shalt in any wise set a King over thee, whom
the Lord thy God shall choose.
Verse 16. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the
people to return to Egypt.
Verse 17. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart
turn not away: Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver
‘Verse 18 And it shall be when he sitteth upon the Throne of his
Kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book.’
‘Verse 19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the
days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God.’
Printed for Laurence Chapman, and are to be sold at his shop, next door
to the Fountain Tavern in the Strand, near the Savoy. 1648
Deut. 17.15. Thou shalt in any wise set a King over thee, whom
the Lord thy God shall choose.
Verse 16. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the
people to return to Egypt.
Verse 17. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart
turn not away: Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver
PUBLISHED FOR Laurence Chapman
1. Vicissitudes Progress:
Its Convoy through the Counties of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Middlesex, to Westminster and to London.
THe mutation of things cause oblivion; yet Vicissitude seems to bring new things into the world: But there is no new thing under the Sun, That which hath been, is, and that which is, will be hereafter; onely by reason of the mutability of mens mindes, we think those things to be new which we have forgotten to be before: All things descend, and mount again by changes, so as in revolution of time, we receive that for new and good, which was a little before thrust out as evil, and unsufferable: Such mutations cause Divisions, Factions, Alteration in Religion, change of Government, and strange Transmutations in States, Cities, Kingdoms and Empires. Men naturally seek after Novelties, and so they desire Ease and Liberty; any tye of Obedience is burthensom, therefore are not long content in any condition, neither with a King, nor without a King; will be sick for a Parliament, and sick of a Parliament; complain of defects in Governors, yet cast off all Government: The desires of men are violent, whirled about, and hurryed after Change without consideration; and their Concupiscence restless, not restrained by Conscience, Law nor Punishment: though Conscience check within, and the Magistrate curb without, Conscience is smothered, and Magistracy trampled in the dust; God is rejected in his own Ordinance.
Magistracy is Gods Ordinance; the Office and Authority of the Magistrate is of Divine Right under the Law, and under the Gospel; [Page 3] a stamp of Divine power is put upon it, Magistrates are stiled by Gods own Name, I have said ye are gods: they are furnished with Authority from God, and bear his person, are in his stead, ordained to be a terror to the evil, and a praise to them that do well: The Magistrate is the minister of God, to execute wrath upon him that doth evil; to this end God hath given Authority to the Magistrate to make penal Laws, and to execute the penalties against the offenders, according to the offence; and to such Laws Christ requires men to be obedient, Submit to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake (ye , for conscience sake) whether it be to the King as Supreme, or unto Governors or Rulers sent by him, &c. For so is the will of God: But the Magistrate must not command any thing contrary to Gods Word; for then we must rather suffer then obey: Nor is the Magistrate to bring clear Texts of Scripture for every particular Command. Where no clear Text forbids, we are bound to submit in all things tending to Government, Civil and Ecclesiastical.
There is diversity in Magistracy, The King as Supreme, and Governors sent by him, &c. a Kings Authority is derivative, Emperors or Kings have sole Rule: where there is absolute Monarchy, there Will is a Law; as it was in Caldea, Persia, &c. but Kings and Parliaments govern together, where there is mixt Monarchy, and a free People, as once it was in France, and is still in England and Scotland (by Gods blessing) and in these Kingdoms Parliaments (as to Governments) have the chief place of Magistracy, yet still the King is Supreme, as King; but Kings Act by their Counsel: Now Parliaments are not ordained only to be the Kings great Councel, but are the full Representative Body of the People, intrusted with all their Rights, and is part of the Regal Power; for the King is vertually in Parliament, though he be personally absent; it is the highest Court of Justice, a mean between the King and People, to judge or ballass between Incroaching Prerogative, and Insulting Liberty: Parliament onely is Judge, consisting of King, Lords and Commons; not the King, nor the People, Parliaments being invested in all Rights belonging to the Subject, are bound to uphold them, they cannot without perjury, and Traytors to Posterities, give away the Peoples Interest, Nor may the People, without extreme ingratitude and baseness, but maintain Parliaments therein, with hazard [Page 4] of Life and Estate: Men in City and Country, Trade, Traffique, moyl and toyl, as Moles in the earth; Why? to leave Estates to their Children: and will you sell their Freedom by deserting a Parliament, and so leave your Children Bond-slaves, not able to say this or that is mine, but the Kings, or his to whom He shall give it?
Parliaments (as I said) are intrusted with all the Rights of the Subjects, so they have part of the Regal power stampt upon their Authority; therefore they must give to Cesar his due, and to the People their dues: Kings are nursing fathers, Protectors of their People, Defendors of their Lives, Rights and Liberties, therefore Kings: What Kings are above the People, is originally from the People, they being instituted and chosen by the People for defence, security and commodity: The people are also for such protection, to yield to Kings, willing, loyal and chearful obedience and subjection. That which makes is greater then that which is made, but the People make Kings, no King can make a People; therefore the safety of the People, and a Kingdom, is to be preferred before the Honor of a King.
It is true, there is Honor, Supremacy and Prerogative belongs as Right to a King, to some more, and to some less, while he is a King; but if he be a Tyrant, and seek to destroy what he ought to preserve, What Honor is due, and by whom? I expect an Answer: In the mean time, I dare boldly say, That the Parliament of England at this day are willing to give to their King, and to His, as to any of his Progenitors, all His Just Rights and Honor; provided His Majesty endeavor the Right of Patronage, Defence and Security of the Peoples Rights: The Parliament must not give the Peoples Interest to the King, Nor may the People sell the Rights of their Posterities for a morsel of meat, except they will be as prophane Esau, who sold his Birthright for a meass of pottage, cursed to posterities.
But the great Question is, What is Right? The Law will decide that Controversie; the People ask but what their Forefathers enjoyed, and what they bought with the greatest price: If Law may take place, the Controversie is quickly ended: Law is the Rule of Justice, and Justice is the end of the Law; take away the Authority of the Law, and Justice hath no foundation: but if Will, not [Page 5] Law, must be Judge on either party, England is in a sad and despicable condition, it is a symptome of inevitable ruine to King and People. The King and the People have both one Law to be their Rule, one God to fear and serve, one Judge, and one Throne of Judgement where both must appear, and there will be no respect of person : It were wisdom to consider what answer must be given, Who shall then give account of the wrong done? and for the blood of the slain, which cryes, and cryes loud from the earth to heaven, in all parts of His Majesties three Kingdoms?
And who but His Majesty (next under God) can stop those sanguine showers, and binde up the bleeding veins of his people? It can no way be done but by the establishing of our Laws, securing Religion, priviledges of Parliament, and liberties of the People; by this means the King, his Successors and the people (by Gods blessing) shall be Cemented together inseparable, secured from future breakings out; His Majesty being to them, as the heart in the Body, and the blood in the Veins, which uncorrupted is the fountain of Life and Health, but corrupted, is the cause of all distempers, and must be purged, else the whole Body will perish.
The distempers from the Head or Heart are defusive, and each Member feels its part: Hence comes the general complaint, all cry for ease, but few or none seek the right means of ease, but as sick men desire change, weary of every place, loath every wholsome thing, shift from pillow to pillow, from bed to bed, from one place to an other, still the distemper grows: Then the Physitians are blamed, railed on, and reviled, because they were deemed petty gods, able to cure all, but finding them but men, we'll not be advised by them, what they prescribe for cure, the people reject, and what they tell us cherisheth the disease, the people desire; this (as to a person, so) to a body Politick, not onely prolongeth the cure, but increaseth the distempers, all this cometh by the mutability in men.
To speak plain, the cause of the distempers in England, Scotland, and Ireland, is either in the King or People, or in King and People: The Essex men in their commanding Petition, implyedly lay the fault in the Kings absence from His two Houses of Parliament, ye all know His Majesty withdrew Himself from them; yet those Petitioners would vent their spleen against the Parliament, because they do not Treat with His Majesty Personally; as if a Treaty would change [Page 6] the Kings heart: but they forget their former complaints, and cryes under Royal burthens, arbitrary pressure, that lay upon them before this Parliament began, because (as I told you) mutation causeth oblivion; the other Countreys, Kent, Surry, Sussex, &c. in their sedicious way seem to Petition for a Personal Treaty, or rather command it to he had, and fix Peace as the aym, to fool other Counties, as themselves were fooled by the Enemy: but while Peace is in their mouthes, War was in their hearts and hands; their Petitions spake Peace, but their association with arch Incendiaries and Delinquents, proclaimed War; this is evident, as their folly to be so fool'd, to act their own ruine by their own hands.
For my part, I blame not any modest way of Petitioning, for it is the Peoples Interest, nor do I blame any of these Counties for Petitioning for a Treaty, I really believe a Treaty is the best way to settle the Kingdom; but I justly blame the uncivil way of Petitioning, and abhor the practice of taking Arms against a Parliament: It is possible a Treaty may conclude all differences, but not very certain, yet it would be more advantagious to the Parliament then to the King; my Reason is, because the People conceive the King will consent to any thing that is right, and that He is now another man, will confirm Law, and secure the Subjects Liberty, &c. it is the desire of my heart that it may be so, for I truly honor the King: But if His Majesty upon tryal shall refuse to do what the people say he will do, and hath offered, or what shall be sufficient to secure their Rights, it will then plainly appear to them, and to all the world where the fault is, and the hearts of the people will and must cleave to the Parliament for safety.
But before there can be a Treaty, there must be some Security, else the Parliament (and with it) all good Subjects may be destroyed together; for if they that have been the Original of these bloody Wars, drew his Majesty from his Parliament, and endeavored an Arbitrary Government, and Innovation of Religion, and procured this War, stand still in power (as we see they are able to raise a new War) be not brought to Just punishment, or some restraint laid on them, they will be incouraged to take advantage of a Treaty to do the same again and worse: for except security be first given, they may change the Scene, from a Treaty to a Tragedy, but a Treaty is now resolved on, as soon as it may be with conveniency [Page 7] and safety: no time nor endeavor is omitted, the people see it, and know it: Besides, the King having formerly published several Declarations, and Proclamations, rendring the Parliament, and all that have adhered to them, to be Traytors, and Rebels; Those Declarations and Proclamations must first be recall'd, else how shall the Parliament be in a fit capacity to Treat; but the Petitioners say not a word of this, nor so much as once mention their Solemn Covenant, which shews what kinde of Spirits they are of, and what is their design, nor are any to judge of this but onely the Parliament, what is safe, and what not. It is true, there have been obstructions to Treaties and to Peace, but that was never the Parliament, but particular men that seek their own ends; to some such we know War is Peace, and Peace will be their loss: But we know great bodies move slow, and great businesses cause long debates, and the Parliament have had a Brother Kingdom to joyn in all Treaties and Peace; a business once well done, is done for ever, but done to halfs, is worse then undone, and will prove unrepairable prejudice to the publique; time, endeavor and patience will help all.
Object. The Parliament have had time enough, sate many years, done nothing as to Settlement, either in Church or Commonweal, but all things grow worse, except to some that have sought themselves, and gotten estates out of others loss; they intend to have no King at all, Voted no more Addresses to be made to Him, but have kept up an Army to over rule the Kingdom, &c.
To this I answer, They have sate long, and with great difficulty they have endured much, taken great pains, yet cannot effect that which we desire; the Reason is, because there are some joyned with them in the work, like Sheba, sons of Bichri, that would not have a King nor Peace; others like the revolted promiscuous Samaritans, of Sanballats confederacy, adversaries to Reformation, who under pretence of building Gods house, pull down what others endeavor to build; as in Ezra and Nehemiahs time, besides the people of the Land (the great complainers) have (as then they did) Weakned their hands troubled them, yea, hired Counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose; so that this Parliament have been forced to tread unknown paths, and met with unheard of oppositions, as no Parliament of England ever did before them; then [Page 8] no marvel if the work be long: But to say, that things are worse then they were, is a scandal: It is true, things are very ill, and much the worse by the complainers calumnies, and seditious Petitions, thwarting one another: And whereas you say they have sought themselves, you must distinguish between the Parliament and particular men; that some men in Parliament have been meer selfseekers, I with sorrow of heart acknowledge, but the people sent them thither, therefore the people that make no better choyce are in fault, not the Parliament; But why are the good despised? one mans fault doth not make another to be guilty, no more then Peter and the rest of the eleven Apostles, were to be condemned because Judas was also an Apostle, yet a Thief, a Traytor and a Devil: You say they intend to have no King, thats clearly false and injurious; Why then did the Parliament offer Proposals to the King so often from time to time?
and really promise to make His Majesty greater then His Progenitors, if they intended not to establish their King? Let but His Majesty yet secure the Kingdom, and I shall not need to say this Objection is false: That a Vote past the House to make no more Addresses to the King is true, because He might see (He refusing their Proposals) they intended to settle the Kingdom without Him; but that Vote was onely restrictive, No more Addresses without consent of Parliament, yet as Parliament should see cause, they might notwithstanding that Vote, make as many Addresses as they would, but not perpetually, there must be an end of offering: In a word, whatever failing have been in actions or success, it is not to be laid upon Parliament, but particular men and faction, private designs and self-interest.
There have been factions and factious men, and that hath added to the Kingdoms misery; Is it not so in all Societies? What City, Town or County in this Kingdom is free? and is the thing that threatens desolation, pride and covetousness is the cause of it; besides Romanists, Episcopalists and Libertines have broached strange Opinions and old Heresies, such as have been condemned by the purest Primative Churches, and are contrary to Scripture, sound Doctrine, and the power of godliness: these have strengthned factions; and factions have bred quarrels and sidings, by which we have weakened our selves, and strengthened the Enemy, and acted their design all along, so [Page 9] as we may truly say, if God give us to destruction, our destruction is of our selves, and all this is Gods just judgement upon the Nation, Because we received not the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, therefore God sent us strong delusions, that we might believe a lye, And mixed a perverse Spirit in the midst of us, causing us to erre.
And for your Objection, as to the keeping up the Army, I say, it is Gods great mercy that there is such an Army on foot in the Kingdom at this day, they are the means under God by which we or any thing that is ours are preserved, yet I will not justifie any thing not just in any; evil must not be done that good may come of it, yet God in his wise providence turneth evil to good; as the selling of Joseph into Egypt was a wicked act in his brethren, but was the means (by Gods providence) of preserving them and their old father from death: Surely no Army in all the Christian world have been more prosperous, sucessful and faithful, as to an Army, they have prevailed in all their attempts against the Enemy like Joshua and Caleb, and deserve honor and reward above ordinary Soldiers, notwithstanding they be men of infirmities as other men, In many things we offend all; How shall we look to be forgiven, if we will not forgive? or how can we forgive an Enemy, if we will not forgive a friend one trespass? especially such a friend as hath delivered us, and doth deliver us from the wrath of a cruel Enemy.
I have a word or two (by your patience) to whisper to the famous City, London: I say famous City, for so ye once were, for your zeal to God, bounty to your friends, and gallantry against your Enemies; you were a terror to the Enemy, a comforter to your friends, a supporter to the Kingdom, and a refuge to the distressed that fled to you for shelter, your selves like Zebulun and Nepthtali, Were a people that jeoparded their lives in the high places of the field, To the help of the Lord against the mighty: Give me leave by way of complaint to ask you, How comes it to pass that you are fallen back, revolted, lost your first love, violated your Covenant, I speak not to the Magistratical part of the City (who still hold to their first principles) but to the generality of the inhabitants (especially to the yonger sort) who of friends are become Enemies: I have observed (but few take notice) that of late very many Delinquents have put their Sons Apprentice in this City; you may see their end by their practice.
Consider, I [Page 10] pray, the saying of our Savior Christ, No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the Kingbom of God: Do not ye lightly esteem the Rock of your Salvation; ye began well, why suffer you your selves to be seduced by the Enemy? ye did believe the Cause to be just (and so indeed it was, as ever any war, as to the defensive part) Errors in the managing, alters not the cause, nor can warrant your falling off: The quarrel is the same, the Enemy is the same, and your Interests are the same that they were at the first; How comes it then that ye are changed? Surely this is an evil change; you now make Leagues with the same Enemy against whom ye so lately were engaged, notwithstanding the Enemy still hates you, and seeks to destroy you:
Nay, ye know the Enemy is Gods Enemy, and an Enemy to the Truth, and to your Religion and Liberties: Will you pull down what with so great difficulty you have built up? Why do ye suffer Horse to be at this day listed in your City by that Enemy, and do not apprehend them that do it? You do not onely evil your selves, but you cause and encourage others to do like you: The eyes of the Kingdom are upon you, as formerly by your good example, many were forward to the help of the Lord against the mighty: so now by your evil example many draw back, and are seditious, yea, strengthen the hands of the enemy, that they may be mighty again, and then they will destroy you: Was Meroz cursed because they came not out to help the Lord against the mighty? and can London be blessed if they help the mighty against the Lord; yet Meroz was not engaged by any Covenant, nor by so great an interest as London is: Wo unto the rebellious City, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me, that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may adde sin unto sin. May it not be said of London, as once of Jerusalem, How is the faithful City become an Harlot? It was full of Judgement, Righteousness lodged in it, but now murtherers; thy silver is become dross, &c. You that could not have endured to hear reproach in private against the Authority of Parliament, now are reproachers your selves, and joy to see and read base and scurrilous Pamphlets, and encourage them that vent them in your streets, to all parts of the Kingdom.
It cannot be but you must be brought into the refining furnace; shall God visit the corrupted streams, and not visit the fountain that corrupteth? the sword hath gone round through all Counties and Towns, and shall it escape London? it is not to be hoped, without there be a general Reformation, and a Humiliation [Page 11] to divert it: If London drink the dregs of Gods wrath, it will be bitter, look to it, and look for it, ye that are secure in your sins, and wish the Enemy may enter your streets, you shall not escape when that day cometh, for God will finde you out, and make them that you account your friends to be your destroyers; remember therefore from whence ye are fallen, and to what you are changed, and do your first works.
Objection, We are the same we were, we are not changed, but the cause is not that it was; our first Engagement was for Defence of our Laws, our Religion, Priviledges of Parliament, and Liberty of the Subject, and withal, to preserve the Person and Honor of the King in the preservation of these; but our Laws are changed, our Religion lost, Parliament forced to do and undo, our Liberties infringed, Trade discouraged and decayed, the King contemned, the Peace of the Kingdom retarded, and we who have born the heat of the day, spent our blood and wasted our Estates, are now rejected as Malignants, because an Army may not govern over our City, to force a change in our Religion and Government, &c. all which is contrary to our first engagement, but is the design of the Army.
For answer, you are not the same you were, though grant you (or many of you) have had discouragement; but the truth is, you are poisoned in judgement by your frequent converse with Delinquents, who works upon your discontents and jealousies, and breed jealousies to that end between you and the Army, between the Presbyterian and the Independent, so as you dare not trust one another, no not so much as a Christian dare trust a Turk; but upon meer jealousie they have put you upon designs against the Army, and the Army upon revenge against you, neither justifiable among Christians: Is this the way of God? or can men that are godly do such things? these are fruits of ungodliness from City and Army: In a word, your Laws are not changed nor changing, but they are broken in pieces by both your disobedience; your Religion is not lost, but it is thrust out of your Churches, as out of your houses and affections, by your neglect of Duties, your prophanation of Sabbaths, contempt of Holiness, and your ordinary practice of execrable Impieties, which is grown bold and audacious, impious in the sight of God and men; so as to swear, to be drunk, to whore, to break the Sabbath, scoff at holy Fasts, revile Magistracy, to deride the Ministers, and the very Gospel [Page 12] is to be secure; but to be observed, not to be one of them that do thus, or to reprove any their wicked practices is death, or threatning of ruine at the least, is this to be as ye were? when ye durst not be prophane, but fill'd your Churches on Sabbath days and Fasts days (not the Fields and Brothel houses as now) You say the Parliament is forced, God forbid, though 'tis too true it hath been so, but by whom?
I wish the City as well as the Army were not guilty of some forcings: Your Liberties are not infringed, except you count that infringment, that you are restrained from destroying your selves and your posterities: Nor is your Trading discouraged, but furthered by the Parliament; it is true, by your own divisions you have caused Forrain Merchants to be jealous to trust or trade with you at present: You know a little before this Parliament begun, your Trade was discouraged and lost, Who did that? (the Parliament redeem'd it) when all Trading was cut off by Monopolies, so as you all cryed out you were undone without remedy, when that projecting old Lord Goring was a more smoking Monopolizer then ere he was a Soldier, yet now you flie to ayd him, is not this a change?
do you think to mend Trading by bringing in old Monopolizers; be sure as you live they cannot live without their old trade, you do well to love them that hate you, but you shall finde they will grow rich, and make London poor; the eye of envy hath been upon you long, you have been thought too great to be ruled, now they will rule you if ye provide not against it, and make you as little as your yonger brethren: It may be the revolting of our Ships may prejudice your Trade a little, but that's your own faults, who have given ill examples, and discouragement to Land and Sea, it is the fruit of your own devices: That the Peace of the Kingdom hath been retarded, I deny not; I blame not the City, nor Parliament more then the Army, who were thought very faulty in that particular, I believe they have repented of it, and I hope God hath forgiven it, therefore I accuse none; it is sure we mist time, it were well it were redeemed: But to your Objection, that you have born the heat of the day, and are now rejected, &c. I say little, but wish those that desire peace to the Kingdom, to be at peace one with another; I know the Army were too high, and so were the City too: but let's be friends, it was bad in both, let's forget it: As to your Allegations against the Army, I must say, (and do so esteem it) it is a very great mercy [Page 13] that God preserved this Army against such a time as this, when Men and Devils had combined to swallow us up at once, the design hath been Two years hatching, the solicitous Petitions for speedy Disbanding of the Army, was one branch of it: The Enemy was confident of success, nothing but the Lord Fairfax Army obstructed: Let England bless God, that the Lord Fairfax had now an Army ready; and that the Army, notwithstanding so much discouragement, so freely and gallantly adventured their dearest lives to defend us: Be grateful to the Army, they are our defence, let them be still owned for our Army, willingly, till the Enemy be secured; fear them not, they will not disturb the Parliament, nor the City, but defend both, nor will they change Laws, nor tolerate Heresie, nor awe the City, I (have fear'd it as others, but) now believe the contrary: possibly they may desire a lawful moderation, between rigid penalty (to such as are truly conscientious) & loose Liberty in such as hold unsound Doctrines, what they have done amiss theyl do no more; Once have I spoken (saith holy Job) but will not answer, yea twice, but will not proceed any farther; This I say for the Army really.
Now give me leave, a word to the Army: To obey is better then the fat of Lambs; Obedience is to be preferred before Sacrifice, and Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft: Soldiers (though noble) are but Servants to them that imploy them, they are to defend them, and offend the Enemy; not to rule the Common-weal, nor settle the Government of Christs Church, Christ hath appointed others for that office; nor will Jesus Christ own such a Government as shall be set up by Policy, juggling and carnal devices: God needs not mans lye, nor will he prosper that thing to a good man (though the thing be good in it self) that is gotten by deceit. I pray tell me, if I should tell you I am journeying into the North from London to Barwick, and you see me go forward in a way to the South, would you not be jealous that I meant not as I said? Actions speak better truths then protestations.
I have also a word to say to my neighbor-counties, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Surrey and Middlesex: I have seen your Names to a Declaration, and several Letters written to several Towns, Cities, and particular men in the North and Northwest, perswading upon your strength and example, to Insurrection, Treachery, and horrid Disobedience: But I hope it was not your own hands, nor with your hearts, but theirs, that have seduced you, fooled you, and in the nick of time, by your examples, would have seduced the whole Kingdom: [Page 14] I mean, old Courtiers, Monopolizers, Tobacco-men, and Cavaliers, who at this day by all kinde of fraud and force seek to make up an Army to destroy the kingdom, notwithstanding they know a Treaty is resolved on, and preparing with all speed, both Honorable and Safe: But the kingdom, by Gods providence, have been wiser then to destroy themselves, as you have done; yet if any had been as bad as you, they might have had better plea for it then you; for, all parts of the kingdom have suffered much, you nothing; they have been plundred of all, driven from their habitations, lyen wallowing in their bloods, while you were in safety under the Parliaments wing, injoyed your Trade, your rich crops, your lands fully stockt, you bought cheap and sold dear, that ye grew rich, and were waxen fat, then like Jeshurun, you kicked, against God, and your friends that fed you, associated with your Enemies that would destroy you, and brought the Sword to your own doors, yea into your bowels: I pity your folly, and pray God you may be sensible of it, and be warned for after time.
Now I would conclude my whole Message to all honest English men, whether upon the Land or in Ships: Let not jealousie grow among you, forget what is past, let not friends become Enemies, labor to be all of one minde and love one another, be gentle, courteous, peaceable, do good to all, do injury to none, joyn as one against the co~mon Enemy; pray to God earnestly to change the Kings heart, and make the Parliament to agree in one minde, that God may accept both, and that there may be a happy composure of things between the King and his people, that he may inherit his throne with all Honor, and the people every one sit under their own vine, in peace and content.
In the mean time let none be so foolish, as to think by destroying the Parliament, they can have the least ease of any burthen, task, or other pressure; for, if the King come upon such terms, as to be brought in by an army of Cavaliers, your burthens will be greatly increased, for they will exact all sums of money borrowed by the King, or by any for him, in any other Kingdoms; or what loss any of their friends (so called) have sustained, or what arrears are due to any of their Soldiers; and all that the Queen hath borrowed in France, Holland, Denmark, &c. must be made good out of your Estates: Besides, your Freedoms & Liberties will be lost for ever, and a toleration of Popery must be of necessity granted, His Majesty cannot deny that, they will have it; for therefore the papists in all parts ingaged in this War, and lent great sums of mony, and owe vasts sums to the Catholicks beyond the Seas, all which you must pay: Nor shal you be able to help your selves, a continued army will be kept to awe you, the Subject must be disarmed, and no ammunition to be had but by Ticket: Then will the people mourn, curse themselves, and tear their hair, when too late, without remedy; cry out of their misery, and bewail their eternal Slavery brought upon themselves, their children, and childrens children to lasting ages.
I onely inminde you of these things, as Samuel did the people, when they impatiently asked a King, before Gods time was to give a King to them, he [Page 15] told them what they should suffer; I do the same to you, not to disswade you from the King, but to perswade you for your good, and the Kings honor, to stay Gods time; and in the interim beg a new heart of God for the King, such as David had; God hath promised to give it. Supplicate the Parliament with all humility, speak plainly (as to your Grievances) as free men, but honor and maintain the Priviledges of Parliament as your Freehold, your Estate, your Lives, for it is more to you then all; enthral not your selves, and God will not enthral you: He that hath been with you, will not forsake you, except you forsake him. Do not tempt God.
God is doubtless working a wonderful work at this time in the world, greater then that of bringing Israel out of Egypt: God doth not shake the very foundations of Empires, Kingdoms, Cities and People for nothing, nor for any small change in the world: Antichrist is falling, he must fall, and will fall suddenly; The scattered Jews, now like vagabonds in all Nations, must be gathered together, and shall believe Jesus Christ to be the true Messiah; There shall be but one Shepherd, and one Sheepfold; Some Kingdoms and Nations must be consumed to dust, some must be purged in the fire of Afflictions; as fire tryeth silver, so variety of afflictions must try the Saints; but there must be a falling away first, and there must be Errors and Heresies, that they that be approved may be made manifest; and that is in these days, and at this time: then God will put his Law into our hearts, and we shall all know God, and be of one minde, one heart, and one way; and in the end all opposers of Christ, and Reformation, all Papists, Atheists and Hereticks, all prophane Cavaliers, and loose licencious men, that now rebel against God, the Magistrate, Law, Religion, &c. shall all come to confusion, nothing more sure; they make Lyes their Refuge, and make a Covenant with Death, are at agreement with Hell, and say no hurt shall come to them; but the overflowing scourge shall sweep away that Refuge, and they shall perish suddenly; they for a time are Gods rods to afflict his people, though they exercise their own malice, rage and fury against Gods truth, and think to bury Reformation in the womb; They all combine, take counsel together, hold confederacies, and are associated in power, yet they shall be broken in pieces; all their counsel shall be frustrate, their confederacy blasted, and their designs come to nought.
If ye believe the Prophets, ye shall prosper; if ye will not believe the Prophets, ye shall not be established. Suppose you should see many thousand dryed straws march furiously against a burning coal, and compass it about, thinking to overwhelm it, and smother it, Whether will prevail, think you, at the last? Those multitudes of straws may for a time ecclipse the light of the fire, but the heat will encrease, till at length it break forth into a flame, and will in a moment consume them every one. Thus all wicked men, now combined-against God and Reformation in Doctrine and life (for thats the inward cause of all this hurly burly) though God may for a time suffer them, and himself by them, afflict men for their self-seeking, and self-ascribing, and miscarriages of businesses, so as these men may ecclipse the light of truth, yet it shall surely break out as a devouring flame, and consume them all; It is hard to kick against pricks: These are trying times, times for exercise of every grace in men, Faith, Hope, Patience, Humility, &c. Graces would not be seen, nor known, nor should be rewarded, but by the exercise of every one, The just shall live by his faith.
There is a twofold life which men live by, There is the life of Sense, and the life of Faith; The life of Sense is meer Natural, such was the lives of the best of Heathen men, and such is the life of most in the world (called Christians) that live but as heathen and publicans, as without God in the world; They look onely upon outward means and events, trust to the arm of flesh, when that fails they sink, as men without hope: But the life of Faith is, To believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him; Faith sees things that are not, and beholds things that are promised, as if they were; when all outward means fail by which they hoped for accomplishment of the thing hoped for, they still are the same; If the Figiree blossom not, nor fruit be in the Vine, the Olive fail, and the field yield no meat, though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stall, yet they rejoyce in the Lord, and will trust in the God of their Salvation; Faith makes not haste, but stays Gods time, seeks no indirect means, resists no workings of God, but traceth God in his footsteps, and observes the several turnings and windings of Providences, is constant in duty, and leaves the Success to God: If we would do thus, and lay aside all byends, carnal policy, and hurtful jealousies, it would be well with us quickly.
I wish I could perswade men to their own good, to be patient, and to wait upon God, suffer God to work his own work in his own way, by his own means, in his own time, though he seem long, he will come suddenly, and none can hinder; for it is the work of God that is now in mens handling, not mans work: and when all outward means and hopes fail; and things seem to drive contrary to the thing we hoped, then is it nearest to be done, that no flesh may boast; all men shall clearly see and acknowledge God alone hath done it, although the horrid prophaneness of these times may bring sweeping Judgements upon men, Sword, Fire, Famine, Pestilence, all which are threatned at this day, and effects of Gods anger for sin; yet all the sins of the times shall not hinder Gods work of Reformation, for he doth it not for mans righteousness, but for his own Names sake; and he delivereth a people that they may be righteous, not beeause they are righteous.
Now in the last place, it is the earnest request and desire of my heart, That all good men will joyn with me, to make our humble and frequent supplications to God, and our earnest Petitions to the Parliament for these ensuing particulars, which granted will amend all:
First, That God will make our hearts clean, and to trust in God, seek his face, be obedient to Parliaments, submit to all just commands, defend their Priviledges, and uphold them to all posterity.
Secondly, That all Members of Parliament may deny themselves, seek Gods glory, bonor the King, study the Peoples Peace, and the happiness of the Kingdom, repent of their own sins, covetousness, oppression, pride, excess, and the like, and become examples of piety by their own practice (because example is more prevalent to teach then precept) Then, that they will freely and cordially pass by all unkindenesses, and sailing among themselves, forget all, and forgive one another, abandon all jealousies, be all of one minde, love as dear brethren, endeavor to keep a constant full House, maintain free Elections, free Debates, carried on by strength of Reason, sound judgement, and argued without prejudice, upon publique grounds, waying all self-interest and byends. This shall ever be my Supplication, as many as will joyn with me shall partake of the blessing by it: But if all shall refuse me, thus He live, and thus He dye, and pray for the King and Parliament.