The Voice of Conscience, To All Well Meaning Citizens
Voice of Conscience,
All well meaning CITIZENS.
July 16, 1648
IF you desire to see a longer and more bloody Warre, and London (as the chief seate thereof) weltring in its own blood, your Wives, Children, and Families, starved and pined to death, through poverty, famine, and want of Trade, if you would overthrow Parliaments for ever, and subject both them and all the people, to the will of the King and his Courtiers.
If you desire to s [...]e Forreiners invade you on all hands, and many Armies at once quartered throughout the Land, pulling hard for a new Conquest of this miserably divided Nation, and if you desire to see your Wives and Daughters ravished before your faces, and your Childrens brains dash against the stones by lustfull and bloodthirsty Cavaliers.
Follow then the steps and advice of your wealthy, headstrong Aldermen & Common-Councelmen, in their hasty pu suance of a personall Treaty with the King: or (which will come to one) in [...]ving him out of the Armies power, for if you do, flatter not your selves, but be assured, as certain s God is in Heaven, you will see those miseries come to passe, and that swiftly too, you will be in an instant, without hope of remedy.
But if you abhorre and would prevent these mischiefes, then avoid and detest their engagement, from it is from a Serpent, it being a viper bred in your own bowels, to destroy you; and if you have unadvisedly subscribed it, repent speedily and recall your hands.
They most gr tly delude you, and abuse the Parliament, in pretending they are able, nay willing to prevent or suppress Tumults, trust them once and they'l never neede to desire more, they'l soone make it past a Treaty, and when you lye at their mercy, complaining of the breach of their engagement, they'l deride and spurn you, and you shall not dare to open your mouthes against them, but if ye do, it shall be your death, night nor day you shall not with safety go out of doores, but st bbings and pistollings will be common at noone day.
O therefore, all ye that honour God, see this exceeding danger, before it be too late, have patience, waite upon God in his way, run not to Egypt for helpe, leane not on so broken a Reed, consider how this City hath been threatned, and by whom, how often plots have been covered under Treaties, destroy not all your mercies through impatience: forsake not a just God (who hitherto hath preserved you) for any unjust man, that hath long sought by all meanes to destroy and enslave you: Leap not out of the pan into the fire.
Waite but a little while, and ye will see both City and Nation floorish; distrust not, he that believeth maketh not haste, feare not, and ye will soone see the salvation, that God is preparing for you by just meanes: This way which now ye are put upon, being the most dangerous that can be, and such as cannot be blessed; And had you Aldermen and Common councelmen any thing of God in them, they would rather seek satisfaction for all the innocent blood that hath been spilt, then for a personall Treaty; which in stead of ending your troubles (as they would make you believe) wil be but the begining of new sorrowes. Which (indeed) is just with God, for as he justly punisheth sin without respect of persons, so he requireth that all whom he hath authorized with power, should impartially do the like; for of all the sins and abominations of the Land, murther and innocent blood (chiefly of so many Thousands and ten Thousands) is one of the most crying sins and great abhominations, and untill that be done away by just satisfaction according to the Lawes both of God & man, there is no appearance of any wel-grounded Peace (whereof the Scots and their confederates so much boast) but rather of utter ruine to all the three Nations.
For as the lives & estates of Saul & Ahab were taken, the one for sparing Agag King of Ameleck and the other Benhadad King of Syria, so it is as likely and possible, as it is just and equitable, that God wil in the first place so deale with those who have justly accused the grand enemy of our peace, if they instead of prosecution, make an unjust agreement, contrary to the revealed will of God.