Sad and Serious Politicall Considerations

Sad and serious Politicall
Touching the invasive War against our
Presbyterian Protestant Brethren in Scot-
land, their late great Overthrow, and the
probable dangerous consequences thereof to
both Nations and the Prorestant Religion.
Which may serve as a
for such Ministers and People, who out of
Conscience did not observe the publike Thanks-
giving, against their Covenant, for the great slaughter
of those their Brethren in Covenant.
Printed in the Yeer 1650.




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11. That to prevent this Peace and Settlement; the The History of Independency. Officers of the Army (who love to make a Trade of War, thereby to gain and keep all Civill and Ecclesiasticall power in their own hands, and to inrich themselves with our three Kingdoms spoils and ruine) confederating with some few Members of the Commons House against their Trust, duty, Oaths, Protestations, the very Letter of this solemn League and Covenant, and all the ends thereof; forcibly seized, condemned and beheaded the late King, secured and secluded the greatest part of the Commons House addicted to the Presbyterian Government, suppressed the whole House of [Page 8] Lords, disinherited the Kings Posterity of the Crown, subverted the fundamentall Government of the Kingdome; usurped all Regall and Parliamentall Authority to themselves; and by colour thereof, now trample all Laws, Liberties, and Priviledges of Parliament under feet; remove all or most zealous Presbyterians (though never so eminent Actors and sufferers for Religion and the publique weal) out of all Offices and places of power and Trust throughout the Nation; discourage and discountenance all or most Presbyterian Ministers, especially the most pious; banish some, imprison others, recall the Sequestrations, and substract the Augmentations, and Tithes of all or most of them, to starve and ruine them; withdraw themselves from their Ministery, suborn or tolerate their monethly Prognosticators, and Diurnalists to revile and rail openly against them in print, without the least controul, and to prognosticate their and their Presbyterian Gouernments downfall, to incense the people against them and it; invent and prescribe new Oaths, Ingagements, Publications, Observations of Thanksgivings, and Humiliations, and other snares and engines, thereby to insnare either their Consciences, or indanger their Estate letters, Liberties, Ministery, Persons in their plundring Committees, and new Arbitary Judicatories; declare against the solemn League and Covenant as expired, abolished, yea, and dangerous and unlawfull to be kept, set up and inforce an Anti-Covenant Engagement to frustrate, null, and abjure it, debar all from all publike Offices, Preferrments, Augmentations, degrees of Learning, the practise of the Law, and the very benefit of the Laws of England, (for which we have so long contested with the Kings Party) who will not out of conscience or Loyalty subscribe it; oppose and traduce the Presbyterian Government, as Papall, Antichristian and Tyrannicall; exempt all Sectaries whatsoever from all Penall Laws, in not repairing to any publike Ordinances or Churches; Authorize them freely to meet when and where they please in private Conventicles, (where running Priests and Jesuites may and wil easily seduce [Page 9] them) without the least danger or disturbance: and because their brethren of Scotland stick close to their Presbyterian Government and Covenant, and have closed with their King at last, according to their Covenant and Allegiance, and will not disinherit him as they have done; they thereupon have recalled Cromwell out of Ireland from prosecuting the Irish Papists and Royalists, made him their Generall instead of the Lord Fairfax, and sent him in to Scotland, without any real provocation on their part, to invade them with an Army, where he entred without the least resistance, seized some of their Towns and Garrisons, provoked them oft times to fight, when they declined fighting, and at last gave them battle in their own Countrey, routed their whole Army, and though he lost not forty men in the fights yet he and his Forces, out of their Christian charity cut down near 4000. of them in the pursuit, maimed and wounded above 5000. more, whereof many are since dead, and more like to die; took 10000. of them prisoners, 5000. whereof are sent Captives into England; since which he hath taken Edenborough and Leith, prosecutes his Victory with all vigour, sends up all the Scots Colours to Westminster, where they are publiquely hung up in the Hall for triumph. And for this great slaughter and overthrow of our Presbyterian Brethren, a solemn publike day of Thanksgiving hath been prescribed to be strictly observed throughout the Nation, and celebrated in many places accordingly, to involve the whole Nation in a double guilt of their bloud: First by their Contributions to pay the Army sent against them, next by publike Thanksgiving to God for their destruction, and that in those very Churches and places, where we not long since lifted up our hands and subscribed our Names, when we took the forementioned Leagal and Covenant in the presence of God himself, Angells and men, A Collect on, of Ordinances Ordinances , p. 424.425.426. sincerely, really. and constantly to preserve their Religion in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, Government, and with our Estates and lives mutually to preserve the Right and Priviledges of their Kingdome and Parliament, and to bring all to condigne punishment, as [Page 10] Malignants, Incendiaries, and evill Instruments, who should indeavour the dividing of one of the Kingdomes from another, and each one of us, according to our place and Interest, to indeavour that both Kingdomes may remain conjoyned in a firm peace and Union to all posterity; and that we shall not suffer our selves directly or indirectly by whatsoever combination, perswasion, or terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from this blessed Union, which so much concerns the glory of God, and good of the Kingdomes, but shall all the daies of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power against all lets and impediments whatsoever, &c. which how well and really we have performed, let that Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts in whose presence and Name we made and subscribed this Covenant, judge, and our own consciences, as we shall answer the contrary at that great day, if we seriously repent not of it now, whilest we have time, and space of repentance given us.


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[...] Fourthly, to swear and ingage to set up and tolerate none but the Roman Religion in his Kingdoms, when he shall be restored to them by their assistance and Forces: Fifthly, to promise satisfaction of the greatest part of their expences in this war, out of the Puritans and Protestants estates, who have been in Arms, or any ways acted, or contributed assistance of moneys against his Father or him, and to make full reparations of all damages to such Papists, who have left their estates and fortunes to assist his Father or him. Upon these terms he may easily gain the joynt assistance of all Popish Kings, Kingdoms, and States in Europe, through the Popes powerfull mediation. And if hereupon, through their aid, he should so far prevail as to get into actuall possession of his Thrones and Kingdoms by the meer power of the [Page 15] sword, without any terms or conditions by way of Treaty, of which there will be little probability; we can then expect nought else but these dismall consequences. First a totall eradication of our reformed Religion, and of all zealous professors thereof, especially such who have acted any waies against the King or his Father, a full repeal of all penal Laws, against Jesuites, Priests, Papists, and a publike profession and practise of the Romish Religion, and of that only throughout our Kingdoms. Secondly, a totall subversion of all our former Laws and Liberties, and a full exercise of all arbitrary and tyrannicall power over our lives and estates. Thirdly, an absolute confiscation of all our Lands and Estates, together with our lives, to satisfie the Kings debts, gratifie his Assistants, and repair the losses of his faithfull Catholikes, whom we have undone by adhering to his party. Fourthly, an absolute inslaving of our whole Nation to these forraign Conquerours; if not a totall banishment, and extirpation of them out of their native soil; the case of the Ancient Gildas. de excidio Britanniae. Britanniae. Fox Acts & Monuments. Vol. 1. Britains, when conquered and driven out of this their Countrey by Saxons, and the extraordinary Pestilence and Famine sent amongst them for their sins, and then a dieu both to our Religion and Nation. But in case the King should not prevail to conquer us by their power, the least we can expect is, First, a continuall long lasting Warre, and open hostility by Land and Sea with all Romish Kings and States, the very charge whereof, now we are almost quite undone and beggered already, which will utterly ruine and undo us. Secondly, losse of Trade and Commerce with all those Kingdoms and States, with whom we are in hostility; which will utterly break us in one year or two for want of venting our Native commodities, our chiefest inablement to maintain the Wars. Thirdly, intolerable uncessant Taxes of all sorts, which will every moneth grow heavier and greater then other, which accompanied with want of Trade, will cause a generall Insurrection at last both of poor and rich against those in power, and put all into confusion, to the enemies great advantage. Fourthly, a necessity of seizing and selling all Colledges, [Page 16] Corporations, Companies, Hospitalls and Gleab-Lands throughout the Realm; and of new Projects to make new Delinquents, of purpose to raise moneys to defray the extraordinary expences of the Armies and Navies: And what garboils this will produce, all prudent persons may easily conjecture. Fiftly, a generall decay of Religion, Piety, Learning, Law, and all Arts, Sciences, Trades. Sixthly, an extraordinary new effusion of Christian bloud. Seventhly, an inundation of all kind of sin, wickednesse, Atheism, Heresie, Blasphemy, Murders, Rapes, Robberies, Oppressions, Whoredome, Drunkennesse, Dissolutenesse, Barbarousnesse, and disobedience to Laws, Magistrates, Ministers, Parents, and other disorders. Eighthly, Free-quarter, insolences of Souldiers, spoiling, plundring, if not pestilence and famine, the usuall Concomitants of Warre, which will reduce us to a condition worse then nothing in conclusion.

If he cast himself upon Forraign Protestant Kings, Princes and States alone, the far better, though unlikelier of the two; yet this will certainly prove, 1. A great dishonour to God, and scandall to reformed Religion, to see them so unnaturall and unchristian as to imbrue their hands in one anothers bloud. 2. An extraordinary ground of joy and triumph to the Pope and his Confederates, to behold their enemies thus murthering, invading, and destroying each other by their mutuall dissentions; when they by all their power and policy were unable to accomplish their ruine, and do them so great mischief. 3. A great indangering of all the Protestant Churches and States in Europe, by incouraging their Popish Adversaries to invade and ruine them, whilest thus ingaged in an unbrotherly and unchristian Warre between themselves, and weakening, impoverishing and destroying each other. 5. An effusion of much precious Protestant bloud, which will Gen. 4.10, 11. Jer. 51.35. Ezek. 35, 5.6, 7, 8, 9. cry for vengeance to heaven against the originall Authors and Occasioners of such a Warre. 6. If the King shall inthrone himself, and regain his Kingdomes by their assistance; though the profession of the Protestant Religion may still be continued, yet we may justly fear, 1. That [Page 17] the purity and power of Religion will be much abated. 2. That our Lawes and Liberties will be much indangered and Eclipsed. 3. Our estates confiscated to make them reparations, and satisfie the Kings Ingagements. 4. Their removall hence will be disputable, when once possessed of our Country; as the history of the Danes invasions of this Island heretofore, and the Saxons full possession thereof, with the Britains expulsion, will manifest. 5. If the King and they be repulsed by us, yet this will prove a seminary of lasting wars and breaches between us and most Protestant Kingdoms and States; It will hinder all commerce between them and us, to the destruction of Merchandize and Trade; destroy the Protestants strength and interest; impoverish us through Taxes, fill us with discontents, augment our divisions, if not conclude in our beggery and ruine.

If he throw himself upon forraign Papists and Protestants joyntly, then, First, the Wars are like to be more generall, dangerous and costly to us, and of longer continuance. Secondly, The divisions and dangers from at home are like to prove the greater, since all discontented and oppressed Protestants and Papists will then be apt upon all occasions and advantages to joyn with that forraign party they best affect, and from whom they may expect the most favour and the best conditions. Thirdly, If the King prevail, then both Parties must be satisfied, and his debts defrayed out of our estates; both gratified with a free toleration and exercise of that Religion throughout his Realms as both sides professe: and between them both all will be plundered, impoverished, ruined, and perchance inforced to quit the whole Kingdom to one or both of them, who will challenge an interest therein by conquest and the longest sword, and hardly part with it when once possessed thereof. Fourthly, If the King and they should be foiled by us, yet the wars and differences would survive, all commerce and trading lost, Armies and Navies must still be maintained, and Garrisons in all our Kingdoms to secure us; taxes, oppressions, and all publike grievances continued and [Page 18] multriplied, and thereby new intestine commotions raised; which of themselves alone will destroy us without any other letter enemy,

And suppose the King himself should miscarry in these Warres, yet the Title and Right of the Crowns of our three letter Kingdoms suirviving to his Brothers, or if they miscarry, to his Sister, matched to the Prince of Aurenge; or if they all should fail, descending to the Queen of Bohemia, and Prince Elector Palattine; their severall new Titles and Interests will find means to infest us with new Warres, till they have either obtained their rights, or ruined both themselves and us. So that unlesse God put so much wisdome, and spirit to the English Nation, as to restore the King to his just Rights upon safe and honourable terms, according to their Oaths, Covenant, Protestations, Declarations to all the world, and Principles of their Religion; we can in humane probability expect nought else, but the utter ruine, both of our Religion, Nation, Kingdoms, and totall extirpation by Forraign enemies.

And certainly if we seriously consider, 1. The infinite divisions, discontents, & oppressions that are every where amongst us. 2. The Heresies, Blasphemies, Sects, and Schisms that are lately broached, and publikely countenanced by us. 3. The Generall contempt and neglect of the publike Ordinances of God, and free toleration granted to all to withdraw themselves from them, without the least censure or punishment. 4. The generall contempt, hatred, discountenancing, reviling, and persecuting of godly and faithfull Ministers throughout the Nation, and the snares that are daily laid to intrap and ruine them. 5. The extraordinary Apostacy of many Professors, from the truth, purity, and power of Religion, almost to professed Atheism, contempt of the Word, Prayer, Preaching, Sacraments, and all other Ordinances, to meer licentiousnesse, lukewarmnesse, and Prophanenesse. 6. The generall inclination of the people to errours, Enthusiasmes, and seducing spirits. 7. The little cordiall reall love and affection between Professors of Religion, and the great animosities, [Page 19] hatreds and divisions amongst them, both in Opinions Practise and affection. 8. The little conscience of Oaths, Protestations, Covenants, Promises; and great hypocrisie, covetousnesse, oppression, self-seeking, envy, hatred, and malice that is in the Nation, and amongst those especially, who professe themselves Saints of the highest form. 9. The universall inundation of all kind of sin and wickednesse, and open profession thereof in all places. 10. The extraordinary Injustice, Tyranny, Cruelty and Mercilesnesse that all parts of the Land complain of, and groan under. 11. The great effusion of Christian bloud, and of the bloud of our Christian Brethren in Covenant, that our whole Land is polluted with; and our rejoycing in this bloud-guiltinesse, instead of repenting and mourning for it. 12. Our present decay of Trade and Merchandize. 13. Our intolerable Taxes and Impositions of letter all sorts. 14. The extreme poverty of our Kingdom, and increase of poor people in all parts, which have little work or none, and will not starve. 15. The divisions of our Forces into Ireland and Scotland, where standing Armies and Garrisons must be constantly maintained for fear of revolt. 16. Our great breaches with France and Portugall, and no good quarter with any Forraign States or Kingdomes, which as yet will neither own, nor hold full and open correspondency with our new Governours or Government. 17. The revolt of most of our Forraign plantations from us, and the late Declaration against them, as Traytors, and Rebells, who count us such. 18. The Negotiations with the Pope and Popish Kingdomes, and most Protestant Princes and States to incense them all against us, as enemies to all Magistracy and publike Government, and to mankind it self, as Salmatius hath published us in print. 19. The spreading the pestlence in many places, and the feared famine throughout the Realm. 20. The manifold injuries and afronts offered to all the Nobility, and most of the Gentry of the Nation, and the whole Nation it self, in the change of the Government, without and against their consent, in continuing and increasing their burthens, Taxes, and out-lawing many of them, because they [Page 20] will not subscribe the Ingagement, in erecting new High Courts to take away their lives, without any legall Triall by their Peers, for offences punishable by no common Law. 21. The Execution of so many Protestants, and not of one Papist whatsoever by these or other Courts of Justice, though the chief contrivers of our late unhappy Wars, and discontinuance of all Capitall proceedings against Priests and Jesuites, since the abolishing of the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, made principally against them and the Popes Usurpations and practises. 22. The injustice of our present cause and Warre, meerly against Monarchy, Presbytery, and old English Peers and Parliaments, purposely to support the present Government, set up by the meer power of the sword, yea founded on the bloud of a Protestant King, and ruine of the very best of Parliament, to prevent a settlement of peace and Religion by an unbloudy Treaty. And then compare them with the Premises, and Cardinall Richelieu his Instructions and advice to the late French King, a little before his death, (published by an Italian of good note, and printed in Italy. Anno. 1645.) to foment the late differences between the late King and Parliament all he could; and if possible by the solicitation of his instruments, to draw the Commons to change our Monarchy into a meer Republike, thereby to imbroil all our Kingdomes in civill Warres against each other, as the only and best policy of all, to weaken and destroy both our power and Religion, and advance the interest of France and Catholike Religion, which we see now accomplished according to his advice; and then we have just cause to fear an inevitable approaching ruine, both of our Religion and Nation, notwithstanding our late Victories and Successes; which do but weaken, impoverish, destroy our selves, and promote the designs of our common enemies, unlesse God give us a timely sight and Reformation of this our impolitick oversight, and incline our hearts to a generall peace and unity throughout our Kingdome, by restoring every man to his just right and inheritance, from the highest to the lowest, and abolishing all future seeds and occasions [Page 21] of our intestine Warres: The serious consideration of all which Premises, are a sufficient satisfactory Apology for all Ministers or others, now questioned for the Non-observance of the late Thanksgiving day, for the great rout and slaughter of our Protestant Presbyterian Brethren of Scotland, against all their persecutors. We shall therefore close up all with Abners Speech to Ioab, in case of the civill Wars between the House of David and Saul; wherein the Israelites (of the same Religion and Nation) unnaturally fought and slew each other, Ioabs souldiers pursuing and slaughtering Abners, whom they had discomfited in battell, addressing to those in present power, 2 Sam. 2.26, 27, 28. Then Abner called to Ioab, and said, shall the sword devoure for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitternesse in the latter end? how long shall it be then ere thou bid the people return from following their Brethren? And Ioab said, as God liveth, unlesse thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following their Brethren. So Ioab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, AND PURSUED AFTER ISRAEL NO MORE, NEITHER FOUGHT THEY ANY MORE: which we heartily pray may be the fruit and issue of these sad and serious Meditations of those who drive on no other design, but the preservation of Religion and their native Countrey from totall and finall desolation.


This is a selection from the original text


consume, fear, power, religion, suffering, trade, war

Source text

Title: Sad and Serious Politicall Considerations

Author: William Prynne

Publication date: 1650

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing / P4058 Physical description: [2], 21 p. Copy from: Yale University Library Reel position: Wing / 223:10a

Digital edition

Original author(s): William Prynne

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp, 7-10(11. That to prevent... space of repentance given as.), 14-21(Fourthly, because that party... FINIS


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