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At the General Council of Officers 1 at Putney, 28th October 1647. - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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At the General Council of Officers1 at Putney, 28th October 1647.
The Officers being met, first said
That the meeting was for public businesses; those that had anything to say concerning the public business, they might have liberty to speak.
Mr. Edward Sexby:
Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and myself are three. They have sent two soldiers, one of your own regiment and one of Colonel Whalley’s, with two other gentlemen, Mr. Wildman and Mr. Petty.
Commissary-General Ireton [said]:
That he had not the paper of what was done upon all of thea [matters discussed]. It was referred to the committee, that they should consider of the paper that was printed, The Case of the Army Stated,2 and to examine the particulars in it, and to represent and offer something to this Council about it. They are likewise appointed to send for those persons concerned in the paper. The committee met, according to appointment, that night. It was only then resolved on, that there should be some sent in a friendly way (not by command or summons) to invite some of those gentlemen to come in with us, I think.
I was desired by the Lieutenant-General to know the bottom of their desires. They gave us this answer, that they would willingly draw them up and represent them unto you. They are come at this time to tender them to your considerations, with their resolutions to maintain them.
We have been by Providence put upon strange things, such as the ancientest here doth scarce remember. The Army acting to these ends, Providence hath been with us, and yet we have found little [fruit] of our endeavours. The kingdom and Army calls for expedition. And really I think all here, both great and small, both officers and soldiers, we may say we have leaned on,a and gone to Egypt for help. The kingdom’s cause requires expedition, and truly our miseries (with our fellow soldiers’) cry out for present help. I think, at this time, this is your business, and I think it is in all your hearts to relieve the one and satisfy the other. You resolved if anything [reasonable] should be propounded to you, you would join and go along with us.
The cause of our misery [is] upon two things. We sought to satisfy all men, and it was well; but in going [about] to do it we have dissatisfied all men. Web have laboured to please a king, and I think, except we go about to cut all our throats, we shall not please him; and we have gone to support an house which will prove rotten studs1 —I mean the Parliament, which consists of a company of rotten members.
And therefore we beseech you that you will take these things into your consideration.
I shall speak to the Lieutenant-General and Commissary-General concerning one thing. Your credits and reputation havec been much blasted, upon these two considerations. The one is for seeking to settle this kingdom in such a way wherein we thought to have satisfied all men, and we have dissatisfied them—I mean in relation to the King. The other is in reference to a Parliamentary authority, which most here would lose their lives for—to seed those powers to which we will subject ourselves, loyally called. These two things are, as I think conscientiously, the cause of all those blemishes that have been cast upon either the one or the other. You are convinced God will have you to act on. But onlye consider how you shall act, and [take] those [ways] that will secure you and the whole kingdom. I desire you will consider those things that shall be offered to you; and, if you see anything of reason, you will join with us, that the kingdom may be eased and our fellow soldiers may be quieted in spirit.f These things I have represented as my thoughts. I desire your pardon.
I think it is good for us to proceed to our business in some order, and that will be if we consider some things that are lately past. There hath been a book printed, called The Case of the Army Stated, and that hath been taken into consideration, and there hath been somewhat drawn up by way of exception to things contained in that book. And I suppose there was an answer brought to that which was taken by way of exception, and yesterday the gentleman that brought the answer, he was dealt honestly and plainly withal, and he was told that there were new designs adriving, and nothing would be a clearer discovery of the sincerity of [their] intentions thana their willingness, that were active, to bring what they had to say to be judged of by the General Officers and by this General Council, that we might discern what the intentions were. Now it seems there be divers that are come hither to manifest those intentions, according to what was offered yesterday; and truly I think that the best way of our proceeding will be to receive what they have to offer. Only this, Mr. Sexby, you were speaking to us two—[I know not why], except you think that we have done somewhat, or acted somewhat, different from the sense and resolution of the General Council. Truly, that that you speak to, was the things that related to the King and things that related to the Parliament; and if there be a fault, I may say it (and I dare say), it hath been the fault of the General Council, and that which you do speak you speak to the General Council, I hope, though you name us two, both in relation to the one and to the other.d Therefore truly I think it sufficient for us to say, and ’tis that we say—I can speak for myself, let others speak for themselves—I dare maintain it, and I dare avow I have acted nothing but what I have done with the public consent and approbation and allowance of the General Council. That I dare say for myself, both in relation to the one and to the other. What I have acted in Parliament in the name of the Council or of the Army, I have had my warrant for it from hence. What I have spokenb in another capacity,c as a member of the House, that was free for me to do; and I am confident that I have not used the name of the Army, or interest of the Army, to anything but what I have had allowance from the General Council for, and [what they] thought it fit to move the House in. I do the rather give you this account, because I hear there are some slanderous reports going up and down upon somewhat that hath been offered to the House of Commons [by me] as being the sense and opinion of this Army, and in the name of this Army, which (I dare be confident to speak it) hath been as false and slanderous a report as could be raised of a man. And that was this: that I should say to the Parliament, and deliver it as the desire of this Army, and the sense of this Army, that there should be a second address to the King by way of propositions. I dare be confident to speak it. What I delivered there I delivered as my own sense, and what I delivered as my own sense I am not ashamed of. What I delivered as your sense, I never delivered but what I had as your sense.
Colonel [Thomas] Rainborough:a
For this the Lieutenant-General was pleased to speak of last, it was moved that day the propositions were brought in. That [day] it was carried for making a second address to the King, it was when both the Lieutenant-General and myself were last here;1 and whenb we broke off here, and when we came upon the bill, it was told us that the House had carried it for a second address. And therefore the Lieutenant-General must needs be clear of it. But it was urged in the House that it was the sense of the Army that it should be so.
I desire not to speak of these things, but only to put things into an orderly way, which would lead to what the occasion is that hath brought these gentlemen hither that are now called in. Yet I cannot but speak a word to that that was last touched upon.
If I had told any man so (which I know I did not), if I did, I did tell him what I thought. And if I thought otherwise of the Army, I protest I should have been ashamed of the Army and detested it; that is, if I had thought the Army had been of that mind [that] they would let those propositions sent from both kingdomsc be the things which should be [final] whether [for] peace or no, without any further offers; and when I do find it, I shall be ashamed on ’t, and detest any days’ condescension with it. And yet for that which, Mr. Sexby tells us, hath been one of the great businesses [cast] upon the Lieutenant-General and myself, I do detest and defy the thought of that thing, of any endeavour or design or purpose or desire to set up the King; and I think I have demonstrated it, and I hope I shall do still, [that] it is the interest of the kingdom that I have suffered for. And as for the Parliament, too, I think those that know the beginnings of these principles that we [set forth] in our declarations of lated for clearing and vindicating the liberties of the people, even in relation to Parliament, will have reason [to acquit me. And] whoever do know how we were led to the declaring of that point, as we have [done], as one [fundamental], will be able to acquit me that I have been far from a design of setting up the persons of these men, or of any men whatsoever, to be our law-makers. And so likewise for the King: though I am clear, as from the other, from setting up the person of one or other, yet I shall declare it again that I do not seek, or would not seek, nor will join with them that do seek, the destruction either of Parliament or King. Neither will I consent with those, or concur with them, who will not attempt all the ways that are possible to preserve both, and to make good use, and the best use that can be, of both for the kingdom. And I did not hear anything from that gentleman (Mr. Sexby) that could induce or incline me to [abandon] that resolution. To that point I stand clear, as I have expressed. But I shall not speak any more concerning myself.
The committee met at my lodgings as soon as they parted from hence. And the first thing they resolved [was this]. On hearing there was a meeting of the Agitators, though it was thought fit by the General Council here [that] they should be sent for to the regiment[s], yet it was thought fit [by the committee] to let them know what the General Council had done, and to go on in a way that might tend to unity; and [this] being resolved on, we were desired by one of those gentlemen that were desired to go, that lest they should mistake the matter they went about, it might be drawn in writing, and this is it:
That the General Council, [&c.]a
This is the substance of what was delivered. Mr. Allen, Mr. Lockyer, and Mr. Sexby were sent with it, and I think it is fit that the Council should be acquainted with the answer.
Mr. William Allen:
As to the answer, it was short—truly I shall give it as short. We gave them the paper, and read it amongst them, and to my best remembrance they then told us that they were not all come together whom it did concern, and so were not in a capacity at the present to return us an answer, but that they would take it into consideration, and would send it as speedily as might be. I think it was near their sense.
(The answer of the Agitators read.1 )
Whereas it was appointed by the Council, and we of the committee did accordingly desire, that these gentlemen,b being members of the Army and engaged with the Army, might have come to communicate with the General Council of the Army and those that were appointed by them for a mutual satisfaction: by this paper they seem to be of a fixed resolution—setting themselves to be a divided party or distinct council from the General Council of the Armyc —that there was nothing to be done as single persons to declare their dissatisfaction, or the grounds for informing themselves better or us better, but that they [would speak] as all the rest should concur, so thata they seemed to hold together as a formed and settled party, distinct and divided from others; and withal [they] seemed to set down these resolutions [as things] to which they expect the compliance ofn others, rather than their compliance with others to give satisfaction.
But it seems, upon something that the Lieutenant-General and some others of that committee did think fitb [to offer], the gentlemen that brought that paperc have been since induced to descend a little from the height, andd to send some of them to comee as agents particularly, or messengers from that meeting or from that council, to hear what we have to say to them, or to offer something to us relating to the matters in that paper. I believe there are gentlemen sent with them, that (though perhaps the persons of them that are members of the Army mayf give the passages in)g they may be better able to observe them. And, therefore, if you please, I move that they may proceed.
May it please your Honour: [I desired] to give you satisfaction in that there was such a willingness that we might have a conference. Whereupon I did engage that interest that was in me that I would procure some to come hither, both of the soldiers and of others for assistance. And in order thereunto, here are two soldiers sent from the Agents, and two of our friends also,h to present this to your considerations, and desirei your advice. According toj my expectations and your engagements,k you are resolved every one to purchase our inheritances which have been lost, and free this nation from the tyranny that lies upon us. I question not but that it is all your desires. And for that purpose we desire to do nothing but what we present to your consideration. And if you conceive that it must be for us to be instruments, (that we might shelter ourselves like wise men before the storm comes) we desire that all carping upon words might be laid aside, and [that you may] fall directly upon the matter presented to you.
We have [here met on purpose], according to my engagement, that whatsoever may be thought to be necessary for our satisfaction, for the right understanding one of another,m [might be done], that we might go on together. For, though our ends and aims be the same, if one thinks this way, another another way,a that way which is the best for the subject [is] that they [both] may be hearkened unto.
(The answer of the Agitators, the second time read.1 )
[For the privileges here demanded], I think it will be strange that we that are soldiers cannot have them [for] ourselves, if not for the whole kingdom; and therefore we beseech you consider of it.
These things that you have now offered, they are new to us: they are things that we have not at all (at least in this method and thus circumstantially) had any opportunity to consider of,b because they came to us but thus, as you see; this is the first time we had a view of them.
Truly this paper does contain in it very great alterations of the very government of the kingdom, alterations from that government that it hath been under, I believe I may almost say, since it was a nation—I say, I think I may almost say so. And what the consequences of such an alteration as this would be, if there were nothing else to be considered, wise men and godly men ought to consider. I say, if there were nothing else [to be considered] but the very weight and nature of the things contained in this paper.c Therefore, although the pretensions in it, and the expressions in it, are very plausible, and if we could leap out of one condition into another that had so specious things in it as this hath, I suppose there would not be much dispute—though perhaps some of these things may be very well disputed. How do we know if, whilst we are disputing these things, another company of men shall [not] gather together, andd put out a paper as plausible perhaps as this? I do not know why it might not be done by that time you have agreed upon this, or got hands to it if that be the way. And not only another, and another, but many of this kind. And if so, what do you think the consequence of that would be? Would it not be confusion? Would it not be utter confusion? Would it not make England like the Switzerland country, one canton of the Swiss against another, and one county against another? I ask you whether it be not fit for every honest man seriously to lay that upon his heart? And if so, what would that produce but an absolute desolation—an absolute desolation to the nation—and we in the meantime tell the nation: ‘It is for your liberty; ’tis for your privilege; ’tis for your good.’ (Pray God it prove, so whatsoever course we run.) But truly, I think we are not only to consider what the consequences are if there were nothing else but this paper, but we are to consider the probability of the ways and means to accomplish [the thing proposed]: that is to say, whether,a according to reason and judgment, the spirits and temper of the people of this nation are prepared to receive and to go on along with it, and [whether] those great difficulties [that] lie in our way [are] in a likelihood to be either overcome or removed. Truly, to anything that’s good, there’s no doubt on it, objections may be made and framed; but let every honest man consider whether or no there be not very real objections [to this] in point of difficulty.b I know a man may answer all difficulties with faith, and faith will answer all difficulties really where it is, butc we are very apt, all of us, to call that faith, that perhaps may be but carnal imagination, and carnal reasonings. Give me leave to say this. There will be very great mountains in the way of this, if this were the thing in present consideration; and, therefore, we ought to consider the consequences, and God hath given us our reason that we may do this. It is not enough to propose things that are good in the end,e but suppose this model were an excellent model, and fit for England and the kingdom to receive,f it is our duty as Christians and men to consider consequences, and to consider the way.
But really I shall speak to nothing but that that, as before the Lord I am persuaded in my heart, tends to uniting of us in one, [and] to that that God will manifest to us to be the thing that he would have us prosecute. And he that meets not here with that heart, and dares not say he will stand to that, I think he is a deceiver. I say it to you again, and I profess unto you, I shall offer nothing to you but that I think in my heart and conscience tends to the uniting of us, and to the begetting a right understanding among us; and therefore this is that I would insist upon, and have it cleared among us.
It is not enough for us to insist upon good things. That every one would do. There is not [one in] forty of us butg could prescribe many things exceeding plausible—and hardly anything worse than our present condition, take it with all the troubles that are upon us. It is not enough for us to propose good things, but it behoves honest men and Christians (that really will approve themselves so before God and men) to see whether or no they be in a condition—whether, taking all things into consideration, they may honestly endeavour and attempt that that is fairly and plausibly proposed. For my own part I know nothing that we are to consider first but that, before we would come to debate the evil or good of this [paper], or to add to it or subtract from it. Anda if we should come to any [such] thing,b I am confident (if your hearts be upright as ours are—and God will be judge between you and us) you do not bring this paper with peremptoriness of mind, but to receive amendments, to have anything taken from it that may be madec apparent by clear reason to be inconvenient or unhonest.
But [first of all there is the question what obligations lie upon us and how far we are engaged].d This ought to be our consideration and yours, saving [that] in this you have the advantage of us—you that are the soldiers you have not, but you that are not [soldiers]—you reckon yourselves at a loose and at a liberty, as men that have no obligation upon you. Perhaps we conceive we have; and therefore this is that I may saye —both to those that come with you, and to my fellow officers and all others that hear me: that it concerns us as we would approve ourselves before God, and before men that are able to judge of us, if we do not make good [our] engagements, if we do not make good that that the world expects we should make good. I do not speak to determine what that is; but if I be not much mistaken, we have in the time of our danger issued out declarations; we have been required by the Parliament, because our declarations were general, to declare particularly what we meant. And (having done that) how far that obliges or not obliges [us], that is by us to be considered—if we mean honestly and sincerely and tof approve ourselves to God as honest men. And therefore, having heard this paper read, this remains to us: that we again review what we have engaged in, and what we have that lies upon us.g He that departs from that that is a real engagement and a real tie upon him, I think he transgresses without faith; for faith will bear up men in every honest obligation, and God does expect from men the performance of every honest obligation. And therefore I have no more to say but this: we having received your paper, we shall amongst ourselves consider what to do; and before we take this into consideration, it is fit for us to consider how far we are obliged, and how far we are free; and I hope we shall prove ourselves honest men where we are free to tender anything to the good of the public. And this is that I thought good to offer to you upon this paper.
Mr. [John] Wildman:
Being yesterday at a meeting where divers country gentlemen and soldiers and others were, and amongst the rest the Agents of the five regiments, and having weighed their papers, I must freely confess I did declare my agreement with them. Upon that, they were pleased to declare their sense in most particulars of their proceedings, to me, and desired me that I would be their mouth, and in their namesa represent their sense unto you. And upon that ground I shall speak something in answer to that which your Honour last spake.
I shall not reply anything at present, till it come to be further debated, either concerning the consequences of what is propounded, or [the contents] of this paper; but I conceive the chief weight of your Honour’s speech lay in this, that you were first to consider what obligations lay upon you, and how far you were engaged, before you could consider what was just in this paper now propounded; adding that God would protect men in keeping honest promises. To that I must only offer this. That, according to the best knowledge [I have] of their apprehensions, they do apprehend that whatever obligation is past must afterwards be considered when it is urged whether [the engagement]b were honest andc just or no; and if it were not just it doth not oblige the persons, if it be an oath itself. But if, while there is not so clear a light, any person passes an engagement, it is judged by them (and I so judge it) to be an act of honesty for that man to recede from his former judgment, and to abhor it. And therefore I conceive the first thing is to consider the honesty of what is offered; otherwise it cannot be considered of any obligation that doth prepossess. By the consideration of the justice of what is offered, that obligation shall appear whether it was just or no. If it were not just, I cannot but be confident of the searings of your consciences. And I conceive this to be their sense; and upon this account, upon a more serious review of all declarations past, they see no obligations which are just, that they contradict by proceeding in this way.
Sure this gentleman hath not been acquainted with our engagements. For he that will cry out of breach of engagement in slight and trivial things and things necessitated to—I can hardly think that man that is so tender of an engagement as to frame, or [at least] concur with, this book in their insisting upon every punctilio of [the] Engagement,1 can be of that principle that no engagement is binding further than that he thinks it just or no. For hea hints that,b if he that makes an engagement (be it what it will be) have further light that this engagement was not good or honest, then he is free from it. Truly, if the sense were put thus, that a man finds he hath entered into an engagement and thinks that it was not a just engagement, I confess something might be said that [such] a man might declare himself for his part [ready] to suffer some penaltyc upon his person or upon his party.d The question is, whether it be an engagement to another party. Now if a mani venture into an engagement from him[self] to another, and finde that engagement [not] just and honest, he must apply himself to the other party and say: ‘I cannot actively perform it; I will make you amends as near as I can.’ Upon the same ground men are not obliged [to be obedient] to any authority that is set up, though it were this authority that is proposed here—I am not engaged to be so actively to that authority. Yet if I have engaged that they shall bind me by law, though afterwardsf I find they do require me to a thing that is not just or honest,j I am bound so far to my engagement that I must submit and suffer, though I cannot act and do that which their laws do impose upon me. If that caution were put in where a performance of an engagement might be expected from another, and he could not do it because he thought it was not honest to be performed—if such a thing were put into the case, it is possible there might be some reason for it. But to take it as it is delivered in general, [that we are free to break, if it subsequently appear unjust], whatever engagement we have entered into, though it be a promise of something to another party, wherein that other party is concerned, wherein he hath a benefit if we make it good, wherein he hath a prejudice if weg make it not good: this is a principle that will take away all commonwealth[s], and will take away the fruit of this [very] engagement if it were entered into; and men of this principle would think themselves as little as may be [obliged by any law] if in their apprehensions it be not a good law. I think they would think themselves as little obliged to think of standing to that authority [that is proposed in this paper].
Truly, sir, I have little to say at the present to that matter of the paper that is tendered to us. I confess, there are plausible things in it, and there are things really good in it.h There are those things that I do with my heart desire; and there are those things, for the most part of it, [that]—I shall be so free as to say—if these gentlemen (and other gentlemen that will join with them) can obtain, I would not oppose, I should rejoice to see obtained. There are those things in it, divers [of them]. And if we were, as hath been urged now, free; if we were first free from consideration of all the dangers and miseries that we may bring upon this people, [the danger] that when we go to cry out for the liberty of it we may not leave a being [in it], free from all [those] engagements that do lie upon us, and that were honest when they were entered into: I should concur with this paper further than, as the case doth stand, I can. But truly I do account we are under engagements; and I suppose that whatsoever this gentleman that spoke last doth seem to deliver to us, holding himself absolved from all engagements if he thinks it, yet those men that came with him (that are in the case of the Army) hold themselves more obliged; and therefore that they will not persuade us to lay aside all our former engagements and declarations, if there be anything in them, and to concur in this, if there be anything in it that is contrary to those engagements which they call upon us to confirm. Therefore I do wish that we may have a consideration of our former engagements, of things which are generally the engagements of the Army. Those we are to take notice of; and sure we are not to recede from them till we are convinceda that they are unjust. And when we are convinced of them, that they are unjust, truly yet I must not fully concur with that gentleman’s principle, that presentlyb we are, as he says, absolved from them, that we are not bound to them, or we are not bound to make them good. Yet I should think, at least, if the breach of that engagement be to the prejudice of another whom we have persuaded to believe by our declaring such things, [so] that wec led them to a confidence of it, to a dependence upon it, to a disadvantage to themselves or the losing of advantages to them; [I say, I think then that] though we were convinced they were unjust, and satisfied in this gentleman’s principle, and free and disengaged from them, yet we who made that engagement should not make it our act to break it. Though we were convinced that we are not bound to perform it, yet we should not make it our act to break [it]. And sod I speak to enforce this upon the whole matter.e As forf the particulars of this Agreement, [there are other questions]: whether they have that goodness that they hold forth in show, or whether [there] are not some defects in them which are not seen, [so] that, if we should rest in this Agreement without something more, they wouldg deceive us; and whether there be not some considerations that would tend [more] to union. Buta withal [I wish] that we who are the Army and are engaged with [its] public declarations, may consider how far those public declarations, which we then thought to be just,b do oblige, thatf we may either resolve to make them good if we can in honest ways, or at least not make it our work to break them. And for this purpose I wish—unless the Council please to meet from time to time, from day to day, and to consider it themselves, to go over our papers and declarations and take the heads of them—I wish there may be some specially appointed for it; and I shall be very glad if it may be so that I myself may be none of them.
I shall crave your pardon if I may speak something freely; and I think it will be the last time I shall speak here,1 and from such a way that I never looked for. The consideration that I had in this Army and amongst honest men—not that it is an addition of honour and profit to me, but rather a detriment in both—isc the reason that I speak something by way of apology first. This paper I saw by chance, and had no resolution to have been at this Council, nor any other since I took this employment upon me, but to do my duty. I met with a letter (which truly was so strange to me that I have been a little troubled, and truly I have so many sparks of honour and honesty in me) to let me know that my regiment should be immediately disposed from me. I hope that none in the Army will say but that I have performed my duty, and that with some success, as well as others. I am loath to leave the Army,d with whom I will live and die, insomuch that rather than I will lose this regiment of mine the Parliament shall exclude me the House, [or] imprison me; for truly while I am [employed] abroad I will not be undone at home. This was it that called me hither, and not anything of this paper. But now I shall speak something of it.e
I shall speak my mind, that, whoever he be that hath done this, he hath done it with much respect to the good of his country. It is said, there are many plausible things in it. Truly, many things have engaged me, which, if I had not known they should have been nothing but good, I would not have engaged in. It hath been said, that if a man be engaged he must perform his engagements. I am wholly confident that every honest man is bound in duty to God and his conscience, let him be engaged in what he will, to decline it when [he sees it to be evil]: he is engaged, and [as] clearly convinced, to discharge his duty to God as ever he was for it. And that I shall make good out of the scripture, and clear it by that, if that be anything. There are two [further] objections are made against it.
The one is division. Truly I think we are utterly undone if we divide, but I hope that honest things have carried us on thus long, and will keep us together, and I hope that we shall not divide. Another thing is difficulties. Oh, unhappy men are we that ever began this war! If ever we [had] looked upon difficulties, I do not know that ever we should have looked an enemy in the face. Truly, I think the Parliament were very indiscreet to contest with the King if they did not consider first that they should go through difficulties; and I think there was no man that entered into this war, that did not engage [to go through difficulties]. And I shall humbly offer unto you—it may be the last time I shall offer, it may be so, but I shall discharge my conscience in it—it is this. That truly I think,a let the difficulties be round about you—have you death before you, the sea on each side of you and behind you—[and] are you convinced that the thing is just, I think you are bound in conscience to carry it on; and I think at the last day it can never be answered to God, that you did not do it. For I think it is a poor service to God and the kingdom, to take their pay and to decline the work.b I hear [it] said [that] it’s a huge alteration, it’s a bringing in of new laws, and that this kingdom hath been under this government ever since it was a kingdom. If writings be true there havec been many scufflings between the honest men of England and those that have tyrannized over them; and if it be [true what I have] read, there is none of those just and equitable laws that the people of England are born to, butd are entrenchment[s on the once enjoyed privileges of their rulers] altogether. But [even] if they were those which the people have been always under, if the people find that they are [not] suitable to freemen as they are, I know no reason [that] should deter me, either in what I must answer before God or the world, frome endeavouring by all means to gain anything that might be of more advantage to them than the government under which they live. I do not press that you should go on with this thing, for I think that every man that would speak to it will be less able till he hath some time to consider it. I do make it my motion: That two or three days’ time may be set for every man to consider, and [that] all that is to be considered is the justness of the thing—and if that be considered then all things are—[so] that there may be nothing to deter us from it, but that we may do that which is just to the people.
Truly I am very glad that this gentleman that spoke last is here, and not sorry for the occasion that brought him hither, because it argues we shall enjoy his company longer than I thought we should have done—
If I should not be kicked out—
And truly then, I think, it shall not be long enough. But truly I do not know what the meaning of that expression is, nor what the meaning of any hateful word is here. For we are all here with the same integrity to the public; and perhaps we have all of us done our parts, not affrighted with difficulties, one as well as another, and, I hope, have all purposes henceforward—through the grace of God, not resolving in our own strength—to do so still. And therefore truly I think all the consideration is that. Amongst us we are almost all soldiers; all considerations [of not fearing difficulties], or words of that kind, do wonderfully please us; all words of courage animate us to carry on our business, to do God’s business, that which is the will of God. And I say it again, I do not think that any man here wants courage to do that which becomes an honest man and an Englishman to do. But we speak as men that desire to have the fear of God before our eyes, and men that may not resolve in the power of a fleshly strength to do that which we do, but to lay this as the foundation of all our actions, to do that which is the will of God. And if any man have a false conceita —on the one hand, deceitfulness, [pretending] that which he doth not intend, or a persuasion, on the other hand, [to rely on fleshly strength]—I think he will not prosper.
But to that which was moved by Colonel Rainborough, of the objections of difficulty and danger [and] of the consequences: they are proposed not to any other end, but [as] things fitting consideration, not forged to deter from the consideration of the business.b In the consideration of the thing that is new to us, and of everything that shall be new, that is of such importance as this is, I think that he that wishes the most serious advice to be taken of such a change as this is—so evident and clear [a change]—whoever offers that there may be most serious consideration, I think he does not speak impertinently. And truly it was offered to no other end than what I speak. I shall say no more to that.
But to the other, concerning engagements and breaking of them: I do not think that it was at all offered by anybody, that though an engagement were never so unrighteous it ought to be kept. No man offered a syllable or tittle [to that purpose]. For certainly it’s an act of duty to break an unrighteous engagement; he that keeps it does a double sin, in that he made an unrighteous engagement, and [in] that he goes about to keep it. But this was only offered, that before we can consider of this [paper] (and I know not what can be more fitly [offered]) we labour to know where we are, and where we stand. Perhaps we are upon engagements that we cannot with honesty break. But let me tell you this, that he that speaks to you of engagements here, is as free from engagements to the King as any man in all the world. I know it, anda if it were otherwise, I believe my future actions would provoke some to declare it. But, I thank God, I stand upon the bottom of my own innocence in this particular; through the grace of God I fear not the face of any man, I do not. I say, we are to consider what engagements we have made; and if our engagements have been unrighteous, why should we not make it our endeavours to break them? Yet if [they be] unrighteous engagements it is not [wise to hasten] a present breach of them unless there be a consideration of circumstances. Circumstances may be such as I may not now break an unrighteous engagements, or else I may do that which I dob scandalously, [even] if the thing [itself] be good. But if that be true concerning the breaking of an unrighteous engagement, it is much more verified concerningc engagements disputabled whether they be righteous or unrighteous. If so, I am sure it is fit we should dispute [them], and if, when we have disputed them, we see the goodness of God enlightening us to see our liberties, I think we are to do what we can to give satisfaction to men.e If it were so, [it ought to appear that] as we made an engagement in judgment and knowledge, so we go off from it in judgment and knowledge. But there may be just engagements upon us, such as perhaps it will be our duty to keep; and if so, it is fit we should consider. And all that I said [was] that we should consider our engagements, and there is nothing else offered, and therefore what need [that] anybody be angry or offended? Perhaps we have made such engagements as may in the matter of them not bind us; [yet] in some circumstances they may. Our engagements are public engagements. They are to the kingdom, and to every one in the kingdom that could look upon what we did publicly declare, could read or hear it read. They are to the Parliament. And it is a very fitting thing that we do seriously consider of the things. Andf this is what I shall shortly offer. That because the kingdom is in the danger it is in, because the kingdom is in that condition it is in, and time may be ill spent in debates, and it is necessary for things to be put to an issue (if ever it was necessary in the world it is now), I should desire this may be done. That this General Council may be appointed [to meet] against a very short time, two days—Thursday—if you would against Saturday, or at furthest against Monday; that there might be a committee out of this Council appointed to debate and consider with those two gentlemen, and with any others that are not of the Army, that they shall bring, and with the Agitators of those five regiments; that so there may be a liberal and free debate had amongst us, that we may understand really, as before God, the bottom of our desires, and that we may seek God together, and see if God will give us an uniting spirit.
And give me leave to tell it you again, I am confident there sits not a man in this place that cannot so freely act with you [that], if he sees that God hath shut up his way that he cannot do any service in that way as may be good for the kingdom,a he will be glad to withdraw himself, and wish you all prosperity. And if this heart be in us, as is known to God that searches our hearts and trieth the reins, God will discover whether our hearts be not clear in this business. And therefore I shall move that we may have a committee amongst ourselves [to consider] of the engagements, and this committee to dispute things with others, and a short day [to be appointed] for the General Council. And I doubt not but, if in sincerity we are willing to submit to that light that God shall cast in among us, God will unite us, and make us of one heart and one mind.b Do the plausiblest things you can do, do that which hath the most appearance of reason in it, that tends to change: at this conjuncture of time you will find difficulties. But if God satisfy our spirits this will be a ground of confidence to every good man; and he that goes upon other grounds, he shall fall like a beast. I shall desire this: that you, or any other of the Agitators or gentlemen that can be here, will be here, that we may have free discourses amongst ourselves of things, and you will be able to satisfy each other. And really, rather than I would have this kingdom break in pieces before some company of men be united together to a settlement, I will withdraw myself from the Army to-morrow, and lay down my commission. I will perish before I hinder it.
May it please your Honour: I was desired by some of the Agents to accompany this paper,c having manifesteda my approbation of it after I had heard it read several times. And they desired that it might be offered to this Council, for the concurrence of the Council if it might be.f I find that the engagements of the Army are at present the thingse which is insisted to be considered. I confess my ignorance in those engagements; but I apprehend, at least I hope, that those engagements have given away nothing from the people that is the people’s right. It may be they have promised the King his right, or any other persons their right, but no more. If they have promised more than their right to any person or persons, and have given away anything from the people that is their right, then I conceive they are unjust. And if they are unjust [they should be broken], though I confess for my own part I am very tender of breaking an engagement when it concerns a particular person—I think that a particular person ought rather to set down and lose than to break an engagement. But if any menb have given away anything from another whose right it was to one or more whose right it was not, I conceive these men may [break that engagement]—at least many of them think themselves bound not only to break this engagement, but to [re]place [it with another] to give every one his due. I conceive that for the substance of the paper, it is the people’s due. And for the change of the government, which is so dangerous, I apprehend that there may be many dangers in it, and truly I apprehend there may be more dangers without it. For I conceive, if you keep the government as it is and bring in the King, there may be more dangers than in changing the government. But however, because (from those things that I heard of the Agents) they conceive that this conjuncture of time may almost destroy them, they have taken upon them a liberty of acting to higher things, as they hope, for the freedom of the nation, than yet this General Council have acted to. And therefore, as theirc sense is,d I must make this motion. That all those that upon a due consideration of the thing do find it to be just and honest, and do find that if they have engaged anything to the contrary of this it is unjust and giving away the people’s rights, I desire that they may, and all others [may], have a free liberty of acting to anything in this nature, or any other nature, that may be for the people’s good, by petitioning or otherwise; whereby the fundamentals for a well-ordered government [and] for the people’s rights may be established. And I shall desire that those that conceive them[selves] bound up would desist, and satisfy themselves in that, and be no hindrances in that to hinder the people in a more perfect way than hath been [yet] endeavoured.
Captain [Lewis] Audley:a
I suppose you have not thought fit, that there should be a dispute concerning thingsb at this time.c I desire that other things may be taken into consideration, delays and debates. Delays have undone us, and it must be a great expedition that must further us; and therefore I desire that there may be a committee appointed.
Lieutenant-Colonel [William] Goffe:
I shall but humbly take the boldness to put you in mind of one thing which you moved enow. The motion is, that there might be a seeking of God in the things that now lie before us.
I shall humbly desire that that motion may not die. It may be that there ared some particular opinions among us concerning the use of ordinances and of public seeking of God. No doubt formse have been rested upon too much; but yet since there are so many of us that have had so many and so large experiences of an extraordinary manifestation of God’s presence when we have been in such extraordinary ways met together, I shall desire that those who are that way [moved] will take the present opportunity to do it. For certainly those things that are now presentedf are well accepted by most of us,g though I am not prepared to say anything either consenting or dissenting to the paper, as not thinking it wisdom to answer a matter before I have considered. Yet [I am troubled] when I do consider how much ground there is to conceive there hath been a withdrawing of the presence of God from us that have met in this placeh —I do not say a total withdrawing; I hope God is with us and amongst us. It hath been our trouble night and day, that God hath not been with us as formerly, as many within us, so without us, [have told us], men that were sent from God in an extraordinary manner to us. I mean [that though] the ministers may take too much upon them, yet there have been those that have preached to us in this place, [in] several places, we know very well that they spake to our hearts and consciences, and told us of our wanderings from God, and told us in the name of the Lord that God would be with us no longer than we were with him. We have in some things wandered from God, and as we have heard this from them in this place, so have we had it very frequently pressed upon our spirits [elsewhere], pressed upon us in the City and the country. I speak this to this end, that our hearts may be deeply and thoroughly affected with this matter. For if God be departed from us, he is somewhere else. If we have not the will of God in these counsels, God may be found among some other counsels. Therefore, I say, let us show the spirit of Christians, and let us not be ashamed to declare to all the world that our counsels and our wisdom and our ways, they are not altogether such as the world hath walked in; but that we have had a dependency upon God, and that our desires are to follow God, though never so much to our disadvantage in the world if God may have the glory by it.
And, I pray, let us consider this: God does seem evidently to be throwing down the glory of all flesh. The greatest powers in the kingdom have been shaken. God hath thrown down the glory of the King and that party; he hath thrown down a party in the City. I do not say that God will throw us down—I hope better things—but he will have the glory. Let us not stand upon our glory and reputation in the world. If we have done some things through ignorance or fear or unbelief, in the day of our straits, and could not give God that glory by believing as we ought to have done,a I hope God hath a way for to humble us for that, and to keep us as instruments in his hand still. There are two ways that God doth take upon those that walk obstinately against him: if they be obstinate and continue obstinate, he breaks them in pieces with a rod of iron; if they be his people and wander from him, he takes that glory from them and takes it to himself. (I speak it, I hope, from a divine impression.) If we wouldb continue to be instruments in his hand, let us seriously set ourselves before the Lord, and seek to him and wait upon him for conviction of spirits. It is not enough for us to say, ‘If we have offended we will leave the world, we will go and confess to the Lord what we have done amiss, but we will do no more so.’ Aaron went up to Hor and died; and Moses was favoured to see the land of Canaan—he did not voluntarily lay himself aside. I hope our strayings from God are not so great but that a conversion and true humiliation may recover us again; and I desire that we may be serious in this, and not despise any other instruments that God will use. God will have his work done; it may be, we think we are the only instruments that God hath in his hands. I shall only add these two things. First,c that we [should] be wary how we let forth anything against his people, and that which is for the whole kingdom and nation. I would move that we may not let our spirits act too freely against them till we have thoroughly weighed the matter, and considered our own ways too. The second is, to draw us up to a serious consideration of the weightiness of the work that lies before us, and seriously to set ourselves to seek the Lord; and I wish it might be considered of a way and manner that it should be conveniently done, and I think to-morrow will be the [best] day.
I know not what [hour] Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe means for to-morrow, for the time of seeking God. I think it will be requisite that we do it speedily, and do it the first thing, and that we do it as unitedly as we can, as many of us as well may meet together. I think it would be good that to-morrow morning may be spent in prayer, and the afternoon might be the time of our business. I do not know whethera these gentlemen do assent to it, that to-morrow in the afternoon might be the time?b For my part I shall lay aside all business for this business, either to convince or be convinced as God shall please.c
I think we have a great deal of business to do, and we have been doing of it these ten weeks. I say, go about what you will, for my part I shall not think anything can prosper unless God be first [publicly] sought.d It is an ordinance that God hath blessed to this end.e
If that be approved of, that to-morrow [morning] shall be a time of seeking the Lord, and that the afternoon shall be the time of business, if that doth agree with your opinion and [the] general sense, let that be first ordered.
That which Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe offered hath [made] a very great impression upon me; and indeed I must acknowledge to God, [and] tog him, that as he hath several times spoke in this place (and elsewhere) to this purpose, he hath never spoke but he hath touched my heart; and that especially in the point [of] that one thing that he hints.h In the time of our straits and difficulties, I think we none of us—I fear we none of us—I am sure I have not—walked so closely with God, and kept so close with him, [as] to trust wholly upon him, as not to be led too much with considerations of danger and difficulty, and from that consideration to waive some things, and perhaps to do some things that otherwise I should not have thought fit to have done.i Every one hath a spirit within him—especially [he] who has that communion indeed with that Spirit that is the only searcher of hearts—that can best search out and discover to him the errors of his own ways and of the workings of his own heart. And though I think that public actings [are necessary in relation to] public departings from God, [which] are the fruits of unbelief and distrust, and not honouring Goda by sanctifying himb in our ways,c and [though], if there be any such thing in the Army, that is to be looked upon with a public eye in relation to the Army;d [yet] they do more publicly engage God to vindicate his honour by a departing from them, that do so. But I think the main thing is for every one to wait upon God, for the errors, deceits, and weaknesses of his own heart; and I pray God to be present with us in that. But withal I would not have that seasonable and good motion that hath come from Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe to be neglected, of a public seeking of God, and seeking to God, as for other things so especially for the discovery of any public deserting of God, or dishonouring of him, or declining from him, that does lie as the fault and blemish upon the Army.e Therefore I wish his motion may be pursued, that the thing may be done, and for point of time as was moved by him. Only this to the way. I confess I think the best [way] is this, that it may be only taken notice of as a thing by the agreement of this Council resolved on, that to-morrow in the morning, the forenoon we do set apart, we do give up from other business, for every man to give himself up that wayf in private by himself [if he so chooses]—though not in public,g I cannot say. For the public meeting at the church, it were not amiss that it may be thus taken notice of as a time given from other employments for that purpose, andh every one as God shall incline their hearts, some in one place, and some another, to employ themselves that way.1
(Agreed for the meeting for prayer to be at Mr. Chamberlain’s.)
That they should not meet as two contrary parties, but as some desirous to satisfy or convince each other.
Mr. [Maximilian] Petty:
For my own part, I have done as to this business what was desired by the Agents that sent me hither. As for any further meeting to-morrow, or any other time, I cannot meet upon the same ground, to meet as for their sense, [but only] to give my own reason why I do assent to it.
I should be sorry that they should be so sudden to stand upon themselves.
To procure three, four, or five (more or less) to meet, for my own part I am utterly unconcerned in the business.
I have hereat this day answered the expectations which I engaged to your Honours; which was, that if we would give a meeting you should take that as a symptom, or a remarkable testimony, of our fidelity. I have discharged that trust reposed in me. I could not [absolutely] engage for them. I shall go on still in that method: I shall engage my deepest interest, for any reasonable desires, to engage them to come to this.
I hope we know God better than to make appearances of religious meetings covers for designs or for insinuation amongst you. I desire that God, that hath given us some sincerity, will own us according to his own goodness and that sincerity that he hath given us. I dare be confident to speak it, that [design] that hath been amongst us hitherto is to seek the guidance of God, and to recover that presence of God that seems to withdraw from us. And to accomplish that work which may be for the good of the kingdom is our end. Buta it seems as much to us in this as anything, we are not all of a mind.b And for our parts we do not desire or offer you to be with us in our seeking of God further than your own satisfactions lead you, but only [that] against to-morrow in the afternoon (which will be designed for the consideration of these businesses with you) you will do what you may to have so many as you shall think fit, to see what God will direct you to say to us, that whilst we are going one way, and you another, we be not both destroyed. This requires [guidance from the] Spirit. It may be too soon to say it, [yet ’t]is my present apprehension: I had rather we should devolve our strength to you than that the kingdom for our division should suffer loss. For that’s in all our hearts, to profess above anything that’s worldly, the public good of the people; and if that be in our hearts truly and nakedly, I am confident it is a principle that will stand. Perhaps God may unite us and carry us both one way. And therefore I do desire you, that against tomorrow in the afternoon, if you judge it meet, you will come to us to the Quartermaster-General’s quarters—where you will find us [at prayer] if you will come timely to join with us; at your liberty, if afterwards to speak with us.c There you will find us.
I desire to return a little to the business in hand, that was the occasion of these other motions. I could not but take some notice of something that did reflect upon the Agents of the five regiments, in which I could not but give a little satisfaction [as] to them; and I shall desire to prosecute a motion or two that hath been already made. I observed that it was said,a that these gentlemen do insist upon engagements in The Case of the Army,b and therefore it was saidc to be contrary to the principles of the Agents, that an engagement which was unjust couldd lawfully be broken.e I shall only observe this: that though an unjust engagement, when it appears unjust, may be broken; yet when two parties engage [each that] the other party may have satisfaction,j because they are mutually engaged each to other one party that apprehends they are broken [is justified] to complain of them; and so it may be their case, with which, I confess, I made my concurrence.
The other [thing I would mention] is a principle much spreading, and much to my trouble, and that is this: that when persons once be engaged, though the engagement appear to be unjust, yet the person must sit down and suffer under it; and that therefore, in case a Parliament, as a true Parliament, doth anything unjustly, if we be engaged to submit to the laws that they shall make, thoughf they make an unjust law, though they make an unrighteous law, yet we must swear obedience. I confess, to me this principleg is very dangerous, and I speak it the rather because I see it spreading abroad in the Army again—whereas it is contrary to what the Army first declared: that they stood upon such principles of right and freedom, and the Laws of Nature and Nations, whereby men were to preserve themselves though the persons to whomh authority belonged should fail in it; and they urged the example of the Scots, and [argued that] the general that would destroy the army, they might hold his hands; and therefore if anything tends to the destruction of a people, because the thing is absolutely unjust thati tends to their destruction, [they may preserve themselves by opposing it].1 I could not but speak a word to that.
The motion that I should make upon that account is this. That whereas [it is said] there must be a meeting [to examine differences and promote union], I could not find [but] that they were desirous to give all satisfaction, and they desire nothing but the union of the Army. Thus far it is their sense. [But they apprehend] that the necessity of the kingdom is such for present actings, that two or three days may lose the kingdom. I desire in the sight of God to speak—I mean plainly: there may be an agreement between the King [and the Parliament] by propositions, with a power to hinder the making of any laws that are good, and the tendering of any good [laws].a And therefore,b because none of the people’s grievances are redressed,c they do apprehend that thus a few days may be the loss of the kingdom. I know it is their sense: that they desire to be excused, that it might not be thought any arrogancy in them, but they are clearly satisfied that the way they proceed in is just, and [they] desire to be excused if they go on in it; and yet, notwithstanding, [they] will give all satisfaction. And whereas it is desired that engagements may be considered, I shall desire that only the justice of the thing that is proposed may be considered. [I would know] whether the chief thing in the Agreement,1 the intent of it, be not this, to secure the rights of the people in their Parliaments, which was declared by this Army, in the declaration of the fourteenth of June, to be absolutely insisted on. I shall make that motion to be the thing considered: Whether the thing be just, or the people’s due? And then there can be no engagement to bind from it.
Truly, sir, by what Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe moved, I confess, I was so taken off from all [other] thoughts in this business that I did not think of speaking anything more. But what this gentleman hath last said hath renewed the occasion, and indeedd if I did thinke all that he hath delivered [to] be truth and innocence—any, if I did not think that it hath venom and poison in it.—I would not speak it.
First, I cannot but speak something unto the two particulars that he holds forth as dangerous things—indeed he hath clearly yoked them together, when before I was sensible of those principles and how far they would run together; that is that principle of not being obliged, by not regardingf what engagements men have entered into, ifg in their future apprehensionsh the things they engaged to are unjust; and that principle, on the other hand, of not submitting passively to that authority we have engaged to for peace’ sake. For he does hold forth his opinion in those two points to clear their way; and I must crave leave on my part to declare [that] my opinion of thati distinction doth lie on the other way.
I am far from holding that if a man have engaged himself to a thing that is not just—to a thing that is evil, that is sin if he do it—that that man is still bound to perform what he hath promised; I am far from apprehending that. But when we talk of just, it is not so much of what is sinful before God (which depends upon many circumstances of indignation to that man and the like), but it intends of that which is just according to the foundation of justice between man and man.a And for my part I account that the great foundation of justice,b [that we should keep covenant one with another]; without which I know nothing of [justice]c betwixt man and mand —[in] particular matters I mean, nothing in particular things that can come under human engagement one way or other.e There is no other foundation of right I know, of right to [any] one thing from another man, no foundation of that [particular] justice or that [particular] righteousness, but this general justice, and this general ground of righteousness, that we should keep covenant one with another.f Covenants freely made, freely entered into, must be kept one with another. Take away that, I do not know what ground there is of anything you can call any man’s right. I would very fain know what you gentlemen, or any other, do account the right you have to anything in England—anything of estate, land or goods, that you have, what ground, what right you have to it. What right hath any man to anything if you lay not [down] that principle, that we are to keep covenant? If you will resort only to the Law of Nature, by the Law of Nature you have no more right to this land, or anything else, than I have. I have as much right to take hold of anything that is for my sustenance, [to] take hold of anything that I have a desire to for my satisfaction, as you. But here comes the foundation of all right that I understandg to beh betwixt men, as to the enjoying of one thing or not enjoying of it: we are under a contract, we are under an agreement, and that agreement is what a man has for matter of landi that hej hath received by a traduction from his ancestors, which according to the law does fall upon him to be his right. That [agreement is] that he shall enjoy, he shall have the property of, the use of, the disposing of [the land], withk submission to that general authority which is agreed upon amongst us for the preserving of peace, and for the supporting of this law. This I take to be [the foundation of all right] for matter of land. For matter of goods, that which does fence me from that [right] which another man may claim by the Law of Nature, of taking my goods, that which makes it mine really and civilly, is the law. That which makes it unlawful originally and radically is only this: because that man is in covenant with me to live together in peace one with another, and not to meddle with that which another is possessed of, but that each of us should enjoy, and make use of, and dispose of, that which by the course of law is in his possession, and [another] shall not by violence take it away from him. This is the foundation of all the right any man has to anything but to his own person. This is the general thing: that we must keep covenant one with another when we have contracted one with another.a And if any difference arise among us, it shall be thus and thus: that I shall not go with violence to prejudice another, but with submission to this way. And therefore when I hear men speak of laying aside all engagements to [consider only] that wild or vast notion of what in every man’s conception is just or unjust, I am afraid and do tremble at the boundless and endless consequences of it. What [are the principles] you apply to this paper? You say,b ‘If these things in this paper, in this engagement, be just, then’—say you—‘never talk of any [prior] engagement, for if anything in that engagement be against this, your engagement was unlawful;c consider singly this paper, whether it be just.’d In what sense do you think this is just? There is a great deal of equivocation [as to] what is just and unjust.
I suppose you take away the substance of the question. Oure [sense] was, that an unjust engagement is rather to be broken than kept. The Agents think that to delay is to dispose their enemy into such a capacity as he may destroy them.f I make a question whether any engagement can be [binding] to an unjust thing. [If] a man may promise to do that which is never so much unjust, a man may promise to break all engagements and duties. But [I say] this: we must lay aside the consideration of engagements, so as not to take in that as one ground of what is just or unjust amongst men in this case. I do apply this to the case in hand: that it might be considered whether it be unjust to bring in the King in such a way as he may be in a capacity to destroy the people. This paper may be applied to [the solution of] it.
You come to it more particularly than that paper leads. There is a great deal of equivocation (and that I am bound to declare) in the point of justice.
Sir, I was saying this: we shall much deceive ourselves, and be apt to deceive others, if we do not consider that there area two parts of justice. There may be a thing just that is negatively [so], it is not unjust, not unlawful—that which is not unlawful, that’s just to me to do if I be free. Again, there is another sense of just when we account such a thing to be a duty—not only a thing lawful, ‘web may do it,’ but it’s a duty, ‘you ought to do it.’ And there is a great deal of mistake if you confound these two. If I engage myself to a thing that was in this sense just, that’s a thing lawful for me to do supposing me free, then I account my engagement stands good to this. On the other hand, if I engage myself against a thing which was a duty for me to do, which I was bound to do, or if I engaged myself to a thing which was not lawful for me to do, which I was bound not to do: in this sense I do account this [engagement] unjust. If I do engage myself to what was unlawful for me to engage to, I think I am not then to make good actively this engagement. But though this be true, yet the general end and equity of engagements I must regard, and that is the preserving right betwixt men, the not doing of wrong or hurt byc men, one to another. And therefore if [in] that which I engage to, though the thing be unlawful for me to do, [yet] another man be prejudiced [by my not doing it, I may not merely renounce my engagement]. Though it be a thing which was not lawfuld for me to do, yet I did freely [engage to do it], and I did [engage] upon a consideration to me; and that man did believe me, and he suffered a prejudice by believing in case I did not perform it: [then], though Ie be not bound by my engagement to perform it,f yet I am [bound] to regard that justice that lies in the matter of engagement, so as to repair that man by some just way as far as I can. And he that doth not hold this, I doubt whether he hath any principle of justice, or doing right to any, at all in him. That is: [if] he that did not think it lawful hath made another man believe it to his [possible] prejudice and hurt, and another man be [actually] prejudiced and hurt by that, he that does not hold that he is in this case to repair [it] to that man, and free him from [the prejudice of] it, I conceive there is no justice in him. And therefore I wish we may take notice of this distinction when we talk of being bound to make good [our] engagements, or not.
This I think I can make good in a larger dispute by reason. If the things engaged to were lawful to be done, or lawful for me to engage to, then [I] by my engagement amg bound to [perform] it. On the other hand, if the thing were not lawful for me to engage, or [if it were] a duty for me to have done to the contrary, then I am not bound positively and actively to perform it. Nay, I am bound not to perform it, because it was unlawful [and] unjust by another engagement. But when I engage to another man, and he hath a prejudice by believing,a I not performing it, I am bound to repair that man as much as may be, and let the prejudice fall upon myself and not upon any other. This I desire we may take notice of, on that part, to avoid fallacy. For there is [an] extremityb to say, on the one hand, that if a man engage what is not just he may act against it so as to regard no relation or prejudice; [as] there’s an extremityc for a man to say, on the other hand, that whatsoever you engage, though it be never so unjust, you are to stand to it.
One word more to the other part which Mr. Wildman doth hold out as a dangerous principle acting amongst us, that we must be bound to active obedience to any power acting amongst men—
You repeat not the principle right—‘To think that we are bound so absolutely to personal obedience to any magistrates or personal authority, that if they work to our destruction we may not oppose them.’
That we may not deceive ourselves again [by arguments] that are fallacious in that kind, I am a little affected to speak in this, because I see that, [in] those things the Army hath declared, the abuse and misapplication of them hath led many men into a great and dangerous error and destructive to all human society. Because the Army hath declared, in those cases where the foundation of all that right and liberty of the people is (if they have any),d that in these casese they will insist upon that right, and that they will not suffer that original and fundamental right to be taken away, and because the Army, when there hath been a command of that supreme authority, the Parliament, have not obeyed it, but stood upon it to have this fundamental right settled first, and [have] required a rectification of the supreme authority of the kingdom—therefore, for a man to infer [that] upon any particular [issue] you may dispute that authority by what is commanded, whetherf [it] is just or unjust, [this would be the end of all government]. If in your apprehension [it is unjust, you are] not to obey (and so far it is well); and if it tend to your loss, [it is no doubt unjust, and you are] to oppose it!
If it tend to my destruction—that was the word I spoke.
Let us take heed that we do not maintain this principle [till it] leads to destruction. If the case were so visible as those cases the Army speaks of, of a general’s turning the cannon against the army, the bulk and body of the army, or [of] a pilot that sees a rock [and] does by the advantage of the stern1 put the ship upon’t; if you could propose cases as evident as these are, there is no man but would agree with you.2 But when men will first put in those terms of destruction, they will imagine anything a destruction if there could be anything better [for them]; and so it is very easy and demonstrable that things are counted so abhorred and destructive, whena at the utmostb a man should make it out by reason, that men would be in a better condition if it be not done, than if it be done. And though I cannot but subscribe to [it], that in such a visible way I may hold the hands of those that are in authority as I may the hands of a madman; yetc that no man shall think himself [bound] to acquiesce particularly, and to suffer for quietness’ sake, rather than to make a disturbance (or to raise a power, if he can, to make a disturbance) in the state—I do apprehend and appeal to all men whether there be not more folly or destructiveness in the spring of that principle than there can be in that other principle of holding passive obedience. Now whatsoever we have declared in the Army [declarations], it is no more but this. The Parliament hath commanded us [to do] this; we have said, no. First we have insisted upon [the] fundamental rights of the people. We have said, we desire [first] to have the constitution of the supreme authority of this kingdom reduced to that constitution which is due to the people of this kingdom, and, reducing the authority to this, we will submit to it, we will acquiesce, we will cast our share into this common bottom; and if it go ill with us at one time, it will go well at another.3 The reducing of the supreme authority to that constitution, by successived election, as near as may be,e we have insisted upon as an essential right of the kingdom; and no man can accuse the Army of disobedience, or holding forth a principle of disobedience, upon any other ground.
Let me speak a word to this business. We are now upon that business which we spake of consulting with God about,a and therefore for us to dispute the merit of those things, I judge it altogether unseasonable unless you will make it the subject of debate before you consider it among yourselves. The business of the Engagement lies upon us. They [claim that they] are free in a double respect: they made none; and if they did, then the way out is now, and [it is a way] which all the members of the Army, except they be sensible of it, [may take], and, at one jump, jump out of all [engagements]. And it is a very great jump, I will assure you. As we profess we intend to seek the Lord in the thing, the less we speak in it [now] the better, and the more we cast ourselves upon God the better.
I shall only speak two things to Mr. Wildman in order to our meeting. Methought he said, if there be delay he fears this business will be determined, the propositions will be sent from the Parliament, and the Parliament and King agree, and so those gentlemen that were in that mind to go on in their way, will be cut off in point of time to their own disadvantage. And the other thing he said was that these gentlemen who have chosen Mr. Wildman, and that other gentleman,1 to be their mouth at this meeting to deliver their minds, they are, upon the matter, engaged byb what they have resolved upon, and they come as engaged men upon their own resolution. If that be so, I think there neither needs consideration of the former [nor the latter]. For you will not be anticipated. If that be so, you [can] work accordingly. And though you meet us, yet, having that resolution in your way, you cannot be prevented by any proposition, or any such thing; [even] though we should have come hither [with propositions] and we should [not] meet to-morrow as a company of men that really would be guided by God.
[But] if any come to us to-morrow only to instruct us and teach us,c I refer to every sober-spirited man to think ofd and determine how far that will consist with the liberty of a free deliberatione or an end of satisfaction. I think it is such a pre-engagement that there is no need of talk of the thing. And I see then, if that be so, things are in such an irrevocable way—I will not call it desperate—as there is no hope of accommodation or union, except we receive the counsels—I will not call it the commands—of them that come to us. I desire that we may rightly understand this thing. If this be so, I do not understand what the end of the meeting will be. If this be not so, wef will [not] draw any meng from their engagements further than the light of God shall draw them from their engagements; and I think, according to your own principle, if you be upon any engagement you are liable to be convinced—unless you be infallible. If we may come to an honest and single debate, how we may all agree in one common way for public good; if we [may] meet so, we shall meet with a great deal the more comfort, and hopes of a good and happy issue, and understanding of the business. But if otherwise, I despair of the meeting; or at least I would have the meeting to be of another notion, a meeting that did represent the Agitators of five regiments to give rules to the Council of War. If it signify this, for my own part I shall be glad to submit to it under this notion. If it be a free debate what may be fit for us all to do, with clearness and openness before the Lord, and in that sincerity, let us understand [it], that we may come and meet so. Otherwise, I do verily believe, we shall meet with prejudice, and we shall meet to prejudice—really to the prejudice of the kingdom, and of the whole Army—if we be thusa absolutely resolved upon our way and engaged beforehand. The kingdom will see it is such a real actual division as admits of no reconciliation, and all those that are enemies to us, and friends to our enemies, will have the clearer advantage upon us to put us into inconveniency. And I desire if there be any fear of God among us, I desire that we may declare ourselves freely, that we do meet upon these terms.
I wish that the motion of Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe might have taken effect, not only to the time and place for meeting, [but without further preliminary] as he desired. But, sir, since it is gone thus far, and since I hear much of fallacy talked of, I fear it as much on the one side as the other.h It is made ab wonder of, that some gentlemen without should have principlesc to break engagements, yet [no wonder of], that some gentlemen within should so much insist upon engagements. I do not consider myself as jumping, but yet I hope when I leap I shall take so much of God with me, and so much of just and right with me, as I shall jump sure. But I am more unsatisfied against [another of] those things that have been said, and that is as to another engagement. For all that hath been said hath been [as to engagements] between party and party: if two men should make an agreement and the like, and there were no living one withd another if those engagements were not made [good]. Yet I think under favour that some engagements may be broke. No mane takes a wife but there is an engagement,f and I think that a man ought to keep it;g yet if another man that had married her before claims her, he ought to let him have her and so break the engagement. Buta whereas it is toldb [us that] this engagement is of another nature, that the party to whom we make the engagement relied upon [it], and becomes thereby prejudiced, [and so] we ought to take it rather upon ourselves than to leave it upon them—this may serve in a particular case: if any menc here will suffer they may. But if we will make ourselves a third party, and engage between King and Parliament, [it is not a particular case], and I am of that gentleman’s mind that spoke: the King’s party would have been about our ears if we had not made some concessionsd as concerning them.e Here is the consideration now: do we not engage for the Parliament and for the liberties of the people of England, and do we not engage againstf the King’s party?g We have got the better of them in the field, but they shall be masters of our houses. Never wereh engagements broken more than [as] we do [break them]. We did take up armsi with all that took part with the Parliament, and we engaged with them; [but now we are to be engaged to bring the King in]. For my part, it may be thought that I am against the King; I am against him or any power that would destroy God’s people, and I will never be destroyed till I cannot help myself. Is itj not an argument, if a pilot run his ship upon a rock, or [if] a general mount his cannon against his army, he is to be resisted? I thinkk that this [is] as clear[ly] the very case as anything in the world. For clearly the King and his party could not have come in upon those terms that he is [to] come in [on], if this very Army did not engage for him; and I verily think that the House had not made another address, if it had not been said that it was the desire of the Army and the Army were engaged to it. Therefore, I say, I hope men will have charitable opinions of other men. For my part, I think I shall never do anything against conscience, and I shall have those hopes of others. That which is dear unto me is my freedom. It is that I would enjoy, and I will enjoy if I can. For my own part, I hope there is no such distance betwixt these gentlemen [and you] as is imagined, but they will hear reason that may convince them out of it. I do verily believe they are so far from a disunion that they will be advised by this Council in general, or by any honest man of this Council in particular. I have not the same apprehensions that two or three days will undo us, but I think a very little delay will undo us; and therefore I should only desire—it may be because I have spoken some other may answer me—the less we speak, it may be the better. And as this Agitator, whom I never saw before, saysl that he will use his interest, I hope that God will do something in that for our next meeting to-morrow, that when we do meet we shall have a very happy union.
That he could break engagements in case they [were] proved unjust, and that it might [so] appeara to his conscience.b Whatsoever hopes or obligations I should be bound unto, if afterwards God should reveal himself, I would break it speedily, if it were an hundred a day; and in that sense we delivered our sense.
Provided that what is done tends to destruction, either [to] self-destruction or to [the destruction of] my neighbour especially. Unlawful engagements [are] engagements against duty, and an engagement to any person to bring him in [in] such a way as he may be enabled to engage [us to his further designs], it is that which may tend to destruction.
I thinkc you were understood to put it upon an issue where there is clearly a case of destruction, public destruction and ruin. And I think this will bring it into consideration whether or no our engagements have really in them that that hath public destruction and ruin necessarily following; or whether or no we may not give too much way to our own doubts and fears. And whether it be lawful to break a covenant upon our own doubts and fears, will be the issue. And I think [it best] if we agree to defer the debate, [and] to nominate a committee.
One word. I am of another opinion. Not that the engagements of the Army are looked upon as destructive, but the not-performance of the engagements of the Army is that which is destructive.
I think Mr. Wildman’s conclusion is, that they are destructive because they are destructive to our neighbours.
That if such an engagement were, it does not bind.
Then ifd such a meetinge were [for] a compliance, or [at least] not for a law [to us] but for [free debate, it might tend to mutual] satisfaction. Butf whereas the only ground [on] which the thing seems to me to be represented [is] that these gentlemen think that their own Agreement is so clear, so infallibly just and right, that whosoever goes about to take it from them, or whoever does not agree to it, is [about] a thing unlawful,aI do think those gentlemen have not so much ground of confidence to each part of that Agreement as it lies there.b But something may be seen in that if you come—in the debatingc of it. And therefore in that relation, and not [merely to enforce] your own principles, [I desire] that you would admit of so much conference as to question it.
Mr. [Nicholas] Lockyer:
I have gathered from two men’s mouths, that destruction is something near, and the cause of the destruction, as they understand, is the going of the proposals to the King. I think it were very necessary that, if it be true as is supposed, the proposals may be brought hither when they do go, that we may see what they are.
The question is whether the propositions will save us, or [whether they will] not destroy us. This discourse concludes nothing.
Captain [John] Merriman:
One party fears that the King will rise by the proposals, another that he will lose. [But] I think that most men’s eyes are open to see that they are like to prove a broken reed, and that your chariot wheels do move heavily, and that this Agreement,d which is the ground of most of your discourse,e [in] the fundamental business of it, is the desire of most of this Council.f You both desire a succession of Parliaments, to have this Parliament that it might not be perpetuated. And I thinkg that whenh this Oedipus riddle is un-opened, and this Gordian knot untied, and the enemies of the same [unmasked, it will be found that the dictates of]i the Spirit of God are the same in both, and the principles of both are the same. You have both promised to free the people, which you may do by taking off tithes and other Antichristian yokes [from] upon them, and [to] give contentj to the soldiers. And I hope that when you meet together it will be for good, and not for evil.
Whereas this gentleman that we have requested to come along with us hath declared some part ofk our resolutions with them,l and we are resolved that we will have the peace of the kingdom if we can; yet, notwithstanding, if a furtherm [guidance] for the manner of procuring of it is what God shall direct unto us, I would not have you judge that we will deny that light, till that you know what we will do. No man can judge so of any man. A man cannot be called to be [of] a peremptory will, or self-willed, and [be judged to] come resolved nolens volens, [till you know what he will do]. We desire that better thoughts may be of us.
Lieutenant [Edmund] Chillenden:
I hope that these gentlemen of the five regiments, their ends are good, and [I] hope their hearts do tend to peace; and I shall move this: that they would willingly come to-morrow, and join with us in our counsels together. And also I shall humbly move: that, after we have sought God in the business,a God will make it out to us, to see wherein we have failed, and that their being with us [will conduce to that] and [to] our vigorous proceeding in it, and [that] these gentlemen of the five regiments, they will manifest this [same spirit] by a sweet compliance in communicating counsels.
That which this gentleman1 hath moved I like exceeding well; he hath fully declared himself concerning the freedom of their spirit as to principles. In general they aim at peace and safety, and really I am persuaded in my conscience it is their aim [to act] as may be most for the good of the people; for really if that be not the supreme good to us under God (the good of the people), our principles fall. Now if that be in your spirits and our spirits, it remains only that God show us the way, and lead us [in] the way; which I hope he will. And give me leave [to add] that there may be some prejudices upon some of your spirits, and [upon] such men that do affect your way, that they may have some jealousies and apprehensions that we are wedded and glued to forms of government; so that, whatsoever we may pretend, it is in vain for [you] to speak to us, or to hope for any agreement from us to you. And I believe some [entertain] such apprehensions as [that we are engaged to secure] some part of the legislative power of the kingdom where it may rest besides in the Commons of the kingdom. You will find that we areb far from being [so] particularly engaged to anything to the prejudice of this—further than the notorious engagement[s] that the world takes notice of—that we should not concur with you that the foundation and supremacy is in the people, radically in them, and to be set down by them in their representations. And if we do so [concur, we may also concur] how we may run to that end that we all aim at, or that that does remain [within our power], and therefore let us only name the committee.
You were pleased to say that [there was] something that gave you another occasion of the meeting (if it were only designed to lie upon you, [I would not protest]): that which should be offered by these gentlemen. I hope that you did not conceive that any such ground did lie in my breast.1 Buta I would speak this word to the quickening of us to a good hope:b I am verily persuaded if God carry us out to meet sincerely, as with free spirits to open ourselves before the Lord, we may [not] be found going on according to our will. I desire such prejudices may be laid aside.
A meeting is intended to-morrow; but that we may fully end, I would humbly offer to you: whether these gentlemen have a power to debate; and if they have not, that they may have recourse to them that sent them, to see what [powers] they will give [them], that we may offer our reasons and judgment upon the thing, and [may] act upon that principle upon which we agree.c If we unite and agree to it, it will put on other things. [When we have] formallyd made an agreement, we must be serious in it, and to that end [it is desired] that we may have a full debate in it. Otherwise it will be useless, and endless, our meeting.
That gentleman says he will do what he can to draw all or the most of them hither to be heard to-morrow; and I desire Mr. Wildman, that if they have any friends that are of a loving spirit, that would contribute to this business of a right understanding, [they would come with him]. And I say no more but this, I pray God judge between you and us when we do meet, whether we come with engaged spirits to uphold our own resolutions and opinions, or whether we shall lay down ourselves to be ruled [by God] and that which he shall communicate.
He did tell you he would improve his interest, which is as full satisfaction to what Mr. Allen says, as could be. If they shall come [though] not [with power] to do, yete I hope they will come withf full powerg to debate. I think there needs no more.2
 i.e. the General Council of the Army, which also included representatives of the regiments.
 See Appendix, pp. 429-36. The committee referred to is one appointed at a meeting of the General Council of the Army on 22nd Oct.
 The uprights in a lath-and-plaster wall (Firth).
 i.e. 23rd September (Firth).
 Followed by blank in manuscript. The substance of the answer is probably contained in Two Letters from the Agents of the Five Regiments of Horse (28th October) and in the letters appended to the Agreement of the People (3rd November); see pp. 437-8, 445-9.
 A trooper whose name was at this point unknown to Clarke, but was later discovered to be Everard; i.e. Robert Everard, Agent of Cromwell’s Regiment.
 No blank follows in manuscript. This suggests that the answer read was the same as that read before, for which a blank was left. But the course of the debate suggests that what was here read was not an apology, but a set of proposals, probably those printed on 3rd and 4th November, as An Agreement of the People (see pp. 443-5).
Solemn Engagement of the Army (pp. 401-3); see Case of the Army Truly Stated (pp. 429-32).
 Rainborough refers to his having been transferred to naval service.
 Perhaps the Agent from Whalley’s Regiment.
 From this point to the next long speech (by Cromwell, p. 23) the report is fragmentary. Some arguments, presumably springing from the Puritan distrust of outward forms, resulted in removing the projected prayer-meeting from the church to the Quartermaster-General’s lodgings. Probably also there were expressions of fear lest the officers should use the gathering to insinuate their own opinions in others. Cromwell protests against the spirit of antagonism, and later seems to reply to a specific charge.
 Wildman is paraphrasing the Representation of the Army (14th June 1647); see p. 404.
 By this title, a favourite with the Levellers, Wildman designates the proposals submitted in the name of the Agents.
 i.e., by his position there, to command and steer the ship.
 By citing Ireton’s own arguments from the Representation of the Army, Wildman has forced him to agree to the general validity of what he says.
 Cf. pp. 407-8.
 Maximilian Petty.
 i.e., Everard (Buff-Coat).
 Goffe’s purpose is to clear himself of the suspicion of having suggested the prayer-meeting with any ulterior object.
 The report of the meeting concludes with the names of the committee appointed (Cromwell, Ireton, Hammond, Deane; Colonels Rainborough, Rich, Scroope, Tomlinson, Overton, Okey, Tichborne, Sir Hardress Waller; Messrs. Sexby, Allen, Lockyer, Clarke, Stenson, Underwood), and with its terms of reference: ‘To confer with the Agitators of the five regiments, and such gentlemen as shall come with them, about the “Engagement” now brought in, and their own declarations and engagements.’ The Agitators, here mentioned, are the newly appointed Agents of the five regiments; the ‘Engagement’ is the set of proposals (otherwise referred to as the Agreement) handed in by the Agents. Here (and elsewhere) ‘Engagement’ is probably Clarke’s mistake.
[(b)] + labour’d to;
[(e)] + to;
[(f)] + and.
[(b-c)] tr Member of the House;
[(d)] + and.
[4. (a)]Rainborow (thus throughout);
[(c)] + to;
[(d)] + in relation to the Parliament.
[5. (a)] + blank;
[(b)] + might come;
[(c)] + and.
[(b)] + for;
[(c)] + cannott;
[(d-e)]to come some of them to send;
[(f)] + nott;
[(g)] + itt;
[(h)] + and;
[(j-k)]your expectations and my engement.;
[(k)] + that;
[(m)] + wee have heere Men on purpose (which gives emendation above: met on purpose);
[(n)] + any.
[7. (a)] + butt;
[(b)] + them;
[(c)] + and;
[(d)] + they shall.
[(b)] + and;
[(e-f)] tr consider the way;
[(g)] + wee.
[(a-b)] tr betweene you and us;
[(c)] + appear to bee;
[(d)] This necessary emendation is supplied by Wildman’s statement of ‘the chief weight’ of Cromwell’s speech [p. 10];
[(e)] + to the officers;
[(g)] + and.
[10. (a)] + to;
[(b)] + for;
[(c-d)]uppon their persons or uppon their ptie.;
[(f)] + though;
[(h)] + and;
[(i)] + may;
[(j)] + yett.
[12. (a)] + of them;
[(b)] + though;
[(c)] + made them and;
[(d-e)]uppon the whole matter I speake this to inforce;
[(g)] + nott.
[(b)] + how farre they;
[(c)] tr speake somethinge;
[(d)] + and;
[(e)] + butt;
[(f)] + att least.
[14. (a)] + that;
[(b)] + and that;
[(d)] + that they;
[(b)] + butt.
[16. (a)] tr in all the world;
[(c-d)]a disputable Engagemt.;
[(e)] + butt;
[(f)] + that.
[17. (a)] + butt;
[(b)] + and;
[(e)] + that
[(f)] + and.
[19. (a)]Awdeley (thus throughout);
[(b-c)] tr you have nott;
[(d)] + or may bee;
[(e)] + they;
[(f)] + as they are;
[(g)] + and;
[(h)] + from us.
[20. (a)] + and;
[(b)] + bee instruments;
[(c)] tr That wee.
[(b-c)] tr as well may meete together;
[(d-e)] tr doing of itt these ten weekes;
[(f)] MS. gives this speech to Lieut.Generall. Firth adds it to Goffe’s. Cromwell is clarifying (though perhaps also somewhat modifying) Goffe’s motion, as Ireton recognizes when he speaks of the motion as Goffe’s [p. 22];
[(h)] + is that;
[(i)] + and.
[(c-d)] tr that doe soe;
[(e)] + and;
[(f)] + either;
[(g)] + though;
[(h)] + that.
[(a-b)] tr withdraw from us;
[(c)] + and.
[24. (a-b)] tr therefore itt was said;
[(c-e)] tr that itt was said;
[(g)] + mee;
[(h)] + that;
[(j)] + yett.
[25. (a-b)] tr grievances are redrest;
[(c)] + because that;
[(d-e)]I think if;
[(f)] + neither;
[(g-h)] tr engaged to are unjust;
[(i)] + blank.
[26. (a)] + and that without which I know nothing of betwixt Man and Man. The phrase and that . . . nothing of is later repeated, where apparently the whole passage belongs [see b];
[(b)] + betweene man and man and that;
[(c-d)] tr from above [see a];
[(e)] + butt;
[(f)] + that;
[(g-h)] tr butt heere comes;
[(i-j)]what a man;
[(k)] + the.
[27. (a)] + wee must keepe Covenant with itt;
[(b)] + that;
[(c)] + or;
[(d)] + and;
[(e)]ours + blank;
[(f)] + If;
[(g)] + and;
[(g-h)] tr satisfie one another.
[(e-f)]bee bound . . . nott to perform itt;
[29. (a)] + and;
[(c)] + on this hand, As;
[(d-e)]because in these cases that;
[(f)]what; Firth thinks the end of the speech ‘past amending’; but with Wildman’s reply the sense can be determined.
[(b)] + iff;
[(e)] + which.
[31. (a)] + itt;
[(c-d)] tr or an end of satisfaction;
[(f)]that they. ‘The reporter changes into oratio obliqua for a moment’ (Firth);
[32. (a)] tr Army;
[(c)] + without;
[(e)] + that;
[(f-g)] tr if those Engagemts. were nott made;
[(h)] + and.
[33. (a-b)] tr is of another nature;
[(d)]considerations. Firth notes that the report at this point is ‘hopelessly confused.’ I have amended it in the general sense of his paraphrase;
[(d-e)] tr is the consideration now;
[(i)] + and;
[(k)] + clearly;
[(l)]said (inserted, another hand).
[34. (a-b)] tr proved unjust;
[(c)] + clearly;
[(d)] + that;
[(d-e)] tr were a compliance or; and substituted for itt. ‘The report [of this speech] is so fragmentary that it is difficult to follow Ireton’s argument’ (Firth);
[35. (a-b)] tr infallibly just and right that;
[(e-f)] tr a succession of Parliaments;
[(i)] + and;
[(k-l)]their resolutions with us;
[36. (a)] + that;
[(b)] + as;
[(g)] + nott.