Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 7 (1650-1660) (2nd ed)

Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 7 (1650-60) (2nd revised and enlarged edition)

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Key (revised 21 April 2016)

T.78 [1646.10.12] (3.18) Richard Overton, An Arrow against all Tyrants and Tyranny (12 October 1646).

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Tracts from 1650-60 (Volume 7)

[move to vol. 6??] T.216 (7.1) Richard Hollingworth, An Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers (18 December, 1649/1650).

Richard Hollingworth,, An Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 9 May 2018

Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.216 [1649.12.18] (7.1) Richard Hollingworth,, An Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers (18 December, 1649/1650).

Full title

Richard Hollingworth,, An Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers: wherein the Difference betwixt Civill Authority and Usurpation is stated. That the Obedience due to lawfull Magistrates, is not owing, or payable, to Usurped Powers, is maintained. The Obligation of Oaths, and other Sanctions to the former, notwithstanding the Antipolitie of the latter is Asserted. And the arguments urged on the contrary part in divers late printed discourses are answered. Being modestly, and inoffensively managed: by one studious of Truth and Peace both in Church and State.

Tyrannus sine titulo ille est qui imperium ad se, absque legitimâ ratione rapit, huic quisque privatus resistat, & sipossit e medio tollat. Vide sacram Theolog. per Dudleium Fennerum. cap. 13. de polit. civili. pag. 80.
Si Invasor imperium arripuerit, neque paction ulla sequuta sit, aut fides illi data, sed sola vi retineatur possessio, à quolibet privato jure potest interfici Grotius de jure pacis ac belli, p. 86.
Luke 21.8. But when ye shall hear of Warres, and commotions (or seditions) be not terrified.

London, Printed in the yeer, 1650.

Estimated date of publication

18 December, 1649/1650. [Thomason records the date he collected this pamphlet as "18 December, 1649 but the pamphlet is dated "1650" on the front page.]

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 779; Thomason E.585 [2]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.) Many of the margin notes contained Latin text which was undreadable. We have done our best to decipher them.

Text of Pamphlet

The Contents of the First Part.

  • CHAP. I.  Of Vsurpation, what it is. A Case propounded, wherein it is not hard to determine whether Vsurpation be chargeable, or not.
  • CHAP. II.  Of yeelding Obedince to a Power usurped as above said. That it is not lawfull to give up ones self to the Allegiance of such a Power.
  • CHAP. III.  This Question discussed. Whether submission to, and acting under a usurped Power, for the time, be lawfull, with a reservation of allegiance to the lawfull Power, supposed to be expulsed.
  • CHAP. IV.  The obligatorinesse of the Oaths and Covenant, urged in the second Chapter against Obedience to Vsurpers, made good against divers late Authors.
  • CHAP. V.  The Reasons brought for obedience to Vsurpers, and acting under them, Answered.

To the Reader.

Christian Reader,

If thou knewest the Gentleman the Authour of this Tract, thou wouldest reade it for his sake. And if thou once reade it through without prejudice, thou wilt respect it for its own sake.

His eminent fidelity to the Parliament, according to their first declared principles, is evidenced, as heretofore by severall appearings and sufferings in their behalf, so now by this Tract. It is weighty for the matter, and wisely handled for the manner and method of it. A strain of Religion, and strength of Reason running all along through it. His weapons are spirituall, the Word of God and right reason, not carnall policy or power, weapons now most in use.

He judgeth of actions (as wise men doe) by themselves, not by their successes: he accounts not prosperous vice a vertue, nor prevalent resistance of lawfull Magistracy lesse sinfull, then if it had not been prevalent, nor the Mahumetan party to be any whit the more blessed or beloved of God, because by force or fraud (through Gods permission) they at first raised, and have for sundry centuries of years continued to themselves a large Empire by the ruine of many millions of Christian Souls: knowing that the prosperity of fools (that is of Hypocrites and wicked men) shall at last destroy them. Prov 1. 32.

By that wisdome which is from above, which is first pure then peaceable, he rightly seeks after Peace, by clearing up Truth, promoting righteousnesse: proportioning to each their own due, and placing them in their own rank and station, Truth, order, rightteousnesse are foundations and pillars, if not parts of true Peace; without these either there is no peace (as if the servants of this City being more & stronger, then their Masters should slay or banish them, & quietly divide amongst themselves their Lands and Goods, were this a Peace?) or if it may be called a peace, it is but a base brutish, [Editor: illegible word] practise, and destroy the mightle and holy people. Dan. 23, 24, 25.

This Authors zeal for the obligation of solemne Oaths, Vows, and Covenants may well be born with; if it be a fault, there is but little (too little) of it in England. But the good man though he sweareth to his own hurt, changeth not. Psal. 15. 4.

I will say no more, but Tolle lege, take up and read, understand what thou readest; Remember and practise what thou understandest to be the will and minde of God, and pray for such (whether of the Gentry, Ministery, or others) as long, and labour for thy Information, and reformation, if them wandrest; and for thy confirmation, and consolation if thou walkest aright. The God of truth and peace be with thee. Amen.


Of Vsurpation, what it is; a Case propounded, wherein it is not hard to determine whether Vsurpation be chargeable, or not.

USurpation is an intrusion into the Seat of Authority, a presuming to possesse, and manage the place & power thereof without a lawfull calling, right, or title thereunto. A lawfull call or title to that rule, and Government which is supreme (of which I have to speak) is derived, or comes from God, There is no power but of God, (saith the Apostle) the powers that be are ordained of God: Rom. 13. 1. It were a sense too large, and not to be defended to take these words absolutely, and unlimitedly of all power, in regard either of title, or measure, and use. An unjust power in regard of Measure, or the stretching of Power beyond its due bounds, or the abuse of it is generally denyed to be of God by way of warrant; and an unjust power in regard of title, or an Authority set up, and admitted against, or without right, God himself denyes to be of him. They have set up Kings, but not by me; they have made Princes, and I knew it not: saith he, Hosea 8.4. Which speech is by the current ofa Expositors applyed to Jeroboam, and his successors, coming in to be Kings of Israel in that manner as they did; For although Jeroboam had a prediction (yea, suppose it a grant) that he should be King of ten Tribes, 1 King. 11. 29. yet the people, at Solomons death, had no command, or direction from God to cast off Rehoboams government, and make him their King; it was therefore sedition, and rebellion in them; and both a manifest breach of the fifth Commandment;Vide Paræum in Hos. 8. 4. and of the positive Law of God, Dent. 17. 14, 15. and Jeroboam was faulty in that, though he had Gods preconcession of a Kingdom over ten Tribes; yet having had no order from him about the time, manner, or the particular ten which they should be; he did not seek and tarry for a further direction, and calling from God; as David did in the like caseb. And although the Lord, when it was done, testified that the thing was from himc; yet we must understand it to have been so by his permissive counsell, and generall concourse, or providence onely, as all actions as they are actions, and all events that are evils of punishment; and as they are such, are, though the actors among men that bring them be never so sinfull in them; but not by his approbation, appointment, or constitution; the event was from God; but not the sinfull means by which it was accomplished; he ordered the evil carriage of men to that effect, but he gave them no order for that evil carriage: so that though, in a sense, it was of him; yet in regard of authorizing, it was without, and against him, and, in the Apostles sense, none of Gods ordinance. But of this we shall have occasion to speak again hereafter.

God giveth a calling, or invests with a right to Soveraignty, either immediately, by making and declaring the choice, and designing the person himself; or mediately, by committing it to the people to elect, and constitute both their form of Government, and the persons that are to sway it over them, which he hath done to all Nations; yet with a reservation to himself of power to interpose with his own immediate designation when he pleaseth: and when he doth not so, the vote of the people is the voice of God, (ordinarily) and they passing their consent when a Magistrate is to be set over them, that power, so constituted, is of God, as his ordinance. And this may be the reason why that, which in one place is called the ordinance of God, is, in another called the ordinance of man, or an humane creature: 1 Pet. 2. 13. By the former way the Judges and Kings of Israel had, or ought to have had their admission to rule,d and that was extraordinary, and peculiar to that people; the latter is the onely ordinary, lawfull, and warrantable way of creating a right, and title to the helme of Magistracy in other Nations. And as in the former the call of God was sometimes personall, or of one single person; as was that of Moses, Joshus, Samuel, Saul, and others: and again, sometimes lineall, or of a whole race: as was that of David and his seede: So it is in the latter,f the peoples constitution of their Governors may either be individuall, or intransient; as in those kingdoms, or States which are called (in a strict acception) Elective; or it may be continuated, and successive; as in those Kingdoms, or Principalities which are called hereditary, and possessed by descent: both wayes Princes are by the peoples Election, and Consent; and the latter is preferred, by many wise Statists, before the formerg.

I shall not insist on the distinctions, that might be observed touching the manner of the peoples passing their consent; nor determine which of them is sufficient, and which not, to make this right or title, whether it must be antecedent to possession, or may be consequent, expresse, or tacite: collective, or representative: absolute, or conditionated: free, or enforced: revocable, or irrevocable. The consideration of these is not materiall to the resolution of what is in question; it sufficeth that it be yeelded, that the peoples consent is (besides that which is by commission immediately sent and signed from heaven) the onely derivation of a lawfull call, or claim to Governmenth. When our Saviour Christ (who being such an extraordinary person, might have warrant to do what would have been presumption in any other) was appealed to in a cause that appertained to the civill Magistrates decision; he refused to deal in it, with these words, Who made me a Judge, or a divider over you? according to which words of him, who was the truth, he that may rule, must be placed in that office by some body, and may not undertake it of himself: no man may take this honour to himself, or be his own advancer to the Throne; but he must be installed by another: and what other creature, besides the Nation it self, can challenge a power to appoint over it its Rulers is not to me imaginable. Angels are not of this Oeconomie, do not intermeddle in this businesse, and for other people, or forrein States they are but in an equalitie, and have no partnership in this matter; they have no more to do to impose Governors over their neighbours, then they have reciprocally over them; and to whichsoever may attempt it towards the other, by the analogy of our Saviours words, it may be said,Luk. 12. 13, 14. Who made thee a Judge, or Rule-maker over me?

A calling from the people, who are to be subject being so necessary, and essentiall to a humanely constituted Magistracie; it is easie to discern what is Usurpation, viz: that which is opposite to it, or privative thereof, which is a snatching hold of the Scepter, and wresting it out of the hands of those who are to dispose of it, or have it committed to them: it is ordinarily termed, a tyrannie in regard of title, or without title: The distinction betwixt lawfull Magistrates and Tyrants is thus given by Aristotle:h Kings do reign, not onely according to the Law, but over them that consent to them; Tyrants rule over men against their wils.Etenim si nolentibus imperatut, regnum protinus esse definit. Tyrannis efficirur quæ vi dominatur. If any govern against the minde of the governed, it ceaseth to be a Kingdom, and becometh a Tyrannie which ruleth by force. All lawfull power then is founded upon the wils of those over whom it is set; Contrariwise Usurpation is built upon the will and power of them that hold the Government; it is a self-created, or self authorised Power, such was that ofi Cinna, and Carbo, who made themselves Consuls, without any Court-election, in the time of the Romane sociall war betwixt Sylla and Marius and that ofk Julius Cæsar who made himself Consul, together with Publius Servilius; such was that of the Chaldeans over the Jews, Hab. 1. 7. Their judgement and their dignity shall proceed of themselves, saith the Prophet, that is, as Deodate expounds it, they received no Law,Verum regnum est imperium voluntate civium delatum: at si quis vel fraude, vel violentia dominatur manileste Tyrannis est. idem. li. 5. num. 112. nor assistance from any; their right consists in their will, and the execution in their power.

Usurpation being defined, we may proceed to distinguish of it according to severall heights, or degrees it is capable of; as 1. It is either where the Throne is vacant, and undisposed of (which may happen sundry wayes, as when a Common-wealth is new erected, or the possessors of the Government resigne, or are extinct, and none left to lay claim to it) or, where it is full, and possessed de jure, and the Rulers are onely violently extruded, and kept out.

2. Usurpation is either meerly in point of Title, and administration of a received and settled Government; or by way of innovating in the Government it self; over-turning the constitution of it, and forming it a new.

3. It may come to be acted either from those without, viz: Forreiners, and strangers to the State; or by Natives, and naturall Subjects of the Kingdome.

4. It is done by these, either against the single tye and duty of obedience and Allegiance owed to the present lawfull Authority; or against Allegiance bound with Oaths and sacred Covenants. All the sorts of each of these distinctions are direct, and formall usurpations, but the latter of each far surpasseth the other respectively, and a conspiration of them all makes an Usurpation of a meridian altitude; when a party owing obedience and subjection to a long continued, and undoubted lawfull power, and solemnly sworn to submit too, and support that Government, shall rise up, and presume to thrust out the possessors, and invest it self, yea, and not onely seize on the Power; but of its own minde, and will, or, by its force alone, abolish the settled, and set up a new mould of government; this is Usurpation to the culmen or height of it.

Having thus found out what Usurpation, and what the Zenith of it is; we may put a case wherein it will be easie to give a Judgement cleerly. Suppose a Nation in America, whose fundamentall government is, and hath been anciently and confessedly constituted, and placed in a King, an House of Peers, and an House of Commons sitting in a collaterall, or coordinate rank, in regard of supremacy of power; the King being the supreme in order (unto whom, in such an association, Oaths of Allegiance and supremacy are generally sworn) next to him the Peers as the Upper, and the Commons as the Lower House of Parliament. Suppose also, the King, according to his place, summoning them, and they conformably assembling together in Parliament, and he and they personally concurring to act in the highest affairs of government; in the processe whereof differences arise betwixt the King, and the said two Houses; which grow to that height, as that he in person departs from them, a war breaks out betwixt them; the Kingdom is divided by partieship with them, on the one side or the other; the two Houses continue acting joyntly, no: onely in managing their military defence; but in the other publick, both religious and civill affairs of the Kingdom; they petition, remonstrate, and declare for a necessitie of an association, and conjunction of the King and the two Houses as the fundamentall constitution, and government of the Kingdome; they enter into, and prescribe to the people Protestations, Vows, Oaths, and Covenants, for the upholding of the Authority and Power of both so constituted: they professedly fight for that associated Power, they proclaim them Enemies and Traitors, they prosecute them with fire and sword, sequestration of estates, and other punishments, that go about to divide them asunder, or oppose the aforesaid Authority; and all this they do, and avow as the indispensably necessary discharge of their trust. Suppose after all this, the Army raised and imployed by the said two Houses in the aforesaid war, consederating in their Leaders (as by the immediate sequell manifestly appears) with a small party in the Lower House; Remonstrates to that House (without any addresse to the other) many high and strange things they would have done by them, and amongst the rest, that the King be proceeded against, as for treason, and other capitall crimes; in like manner his two eldest Sons, if they render not themselves within a day to be set them: that it be declared that the peoples Representatives in the House of Commons shall have the supreme Power, and all other shall be subject to them; in which demands, that House not being so obsequious to them as they expect, but standing upon the collegueship of that Government, which they with their associates, the King, and the House of Peers are intrusted with; the Army, forthwith, marcheth up to the doores, and by force of Arms seizeth on, and shuts up in hold one sort of them; and by a strong guard set at their doores shuts out another, suffering onely a small number of them, and such as please them to sit in the House. Suppose lastly, this little number, left in the House, shall approve of, and second these proceedings of this Army; and by their act, or Vote confirm the seclusion of that greater number of the Members of that House; and, taking upon them to Act in the name of that House, shall Enact or declare themselves to be the onely Supreame Authority in the Nation, and by that pretended solitarinesse, and supremacy of power shall take away, and abolish the other House of Parliament, destroy the life of the King, deny, and disanull the Title of his Heirs, and Successors, to the Crown and Kingdome; abollish the office of a King, and ordain and govern solitarily over the people, as their onely supreame Power, and require their obedience, and subjection as to such. The quare, in this case thus propounded is, whether this said party, as thus acting, and as to this latitude of Authority, be usurpers, yea, or no? whether this their removing others from the Seat of Supreame Power, and assuming it peculiarly to themselves, be, or be not Usurpation (as Usurpation hath been before prescribed) and that to the very apex, or highest pinacle of it; yea, whether they be, or be not guilty of a double Usurpation?

First, in usurping the name and Authority of that House. It may haply be said for this. 1. That possibly they may make a quorum, or as many in number as are required to act. R: But are they not supposed to be under actuall and present force, which hath been, without contradiction by any, adjudged a ground of nullity to Parliamentary proceedings. For though all are not required to be present, yet the House must be free for all to come to, that their acts may be free and authorative.

2ly, That perhaps they may be most willing, voluntary, and free in their acts, and the force that hath taken away others may be no force but a security to them, being of the same principles, apprehensions, and designes with them. R: But though they as men may be free, yet taking upon them the name of the House, are they free as an House? the House includeth virtually every Member of it, many whereof being violently excluded by those that guard the meeting place, how free soever those persons are that sit, how can the House be said to be free? nay, doth not their voluntarinesse and free complyance make the Usurpation compleater? Could they be said to be enforc’d to declare, and act such things, we might by a favourable interpretation, onely judge their Acts to be null; but when their proceedings flow from their own wils, and they so concur to the exclusion of others more then themselves from the exercise of the power they with them are intrusted with, and assume to themselves a power, never confirmed on them by the people, but meerly of their own creation, how can this be lesse then Usurpation to the life?

2ly, In usurping (in the name of that House) the sole supremacy of Power in the Nation. It will be pleaded: perhaps, that the House of Commons, in the supposed case, is the onely Representative of the people, to whom alone the Nation hath committed the Supreme Power. R: 1. That House is not a Representative of the whole Nation, but onely of the Commons, which though the bulk, and far more numerous part; yet cannot stand for the whole in choosing a Representative, but onely for themselves. 2. If it could be made good, that to that House, the whole Nation, in the originall constitution of Government, had committed the sole Power; the quare would easily be cast in the negative: but how will that be proved? The case, as it is put, presupposeth Antiquitie, and by past practise: and the actings of the present House of Commons, untill brought under force, to proclaim the quite contrary. 3. If nothing, ab origine, can be shewed for that, did the King that summoned this Parliament, or the People that chose this House of Commons, supposed in the Case, passe over any such prerogative to them de novo; If either of them did, let us hear how. 4. It is too grosse an absurdity to be charged upon the supposed present, and all former Representatives; that being intrusted by the people with the sole Supremacy, they have of themselves associated to them the King, and the House of Peers, it being beyond the power of the constituted, and onely in the Constitutors to make such an alteration in the fundamentall Constitution; as Representatives cannot make Representatives or Proxies, so can they not take in Associates, or advance others, not impowered by them that impowered them into a Collegueship with them. I leave it therefore to every Reader to determine the Case, and passe Judgement. Whether the sole supreme Power, in the presupposed party, be derived to them legitimately, or be not a Self-created-power, and so a meer Usurpation, and that of the fullest dimension; being against a lawfully settled Government, in prejudice both of the just Magistrates and the people: and in contradiction to both the single tye of Subjects Allegiance to Soveraignty, and the sacred sanction of Vows, Oaths, and Religious Covenants.


Of yeelding obedience to a Power usurped at abovesaid. That it is not lawfull to give up ones self to the Allegiance of such a Power.

COncerning Obedience to an usurped Authority, I meet with two opinions, which I shall severally examine. 1. Is of those who hold obedience as due, and necessary; and that in as full a manner to such, as it is to the lawfullest Power. This is held, and argued for in a Tract, entituled, The lawfulnesse of obeying the present Government: as also in A Discourse, wherein is examined, what is particularly lawfull; &c. By Ant. Ashcam Gent: See in his 2d. Part, cap: 9. Although indeed they both propound their opinion in the Title of their Discourse for obedience as lawfull; yet, in the prosecution, they plead for it in that fulnesse of latitude as due, and necessarie. This their Tenent they strive to maintain in relation to the present State of England. I shall deal with it in reference to the case above proposed, and in thesis 2. Is of those who, reserving their obedience as due and devoted to the lawfull Power, supposed to be still existent; do yet conceive they may submit and act under a usurped Power for the time, and during the intervall of its prevalency.

I begin with the former; wherein it is asserted by one of the foresaid Authorsa, (nd the other comes not short of him in the sense and current of his Discourse) That upon the issue of a warre, and the Expulsion of a just party, a man may lawfully give up himself to the finall Allegiance of the unjust party. Against this Position must my Judgement stand, which dictates to me that I owe no obedience to an Usurper; and to yeeld up my self in obedience or Allegiance unto Usurpers, who have no other title but their usurpation, is unjustifiable, and unlawfull, and that upon these grounds.

1. I cannot (if I would) yeeld up my self in obedience to him that hath no authority over me; take him as a Usurper, and my Allegiance is incompatible to him; obedience and authority; Magistrate, and Subject, are tearms of relation, and do Se mutuo ponere & tellere: they are inseparable from one another; if there be no Magistracy in him, there can be no obedience properly, and formally in me to him. I may (either warrantably or unwarrantably) do an act possibly which he commandeth, but that cannot be truly and properly said to be an act of obedience to him: his authority is null, of no realityb. He is no Magistrate, but a private person; my fellow Subject, (if one of the Nation) or a forreiner to me; his commanding over me and others is, as if a private Souldier should take upon him to give orders to his Company, or an inferiour Officer to an Army; or a servant should offer to rule over his fellow-servants.

In saying he is a usurper, you say enough for the nullifying of his Authority, and my obedience; whatever strength he may have to compell, he hath no Authority to command me: He is a Magistrate that hath the Subjects committed to his charge and care, say the Leyden Divinesc in their Synopsis, and principality, Lypsiusd defines to be, A government delivered by Custome, or Law, and constitution to him that sustains is; and undertaken and managed by him for the good of the Subjects. Another defines a Magistrate to bee A publick person, elected by succession, let, or suffrage; which hath the right and power of Consultation, Judgement, and Command.

2. I may not (if I could) yeeld up my self as a Subject to the Usurper; in so doing, I should take away the right of the lawfull Magistrate which he hath over me, and injure him in the allegiance which I stand tyed in to him, and he still retaineth the claim of at my hands. The Magistrate is (in the case in hand) granted to be in being; he is but deprived of possession and enjoyment, not of property or title; he is yet standing in the relation of a Magistrate to me; and is onely outed of his station perforce. The obedience of a Subject is not so arbitrary, or loose a thing, as that I may place and remove it at pleasure, or as affairs go; but it is a debt which I must render to him unto whom it is due.Rom. 13. 7. Neither is Soveraignty so common, ambulatory, or prostitute a matter, as that its title ceaseth unto him that is violently extruded, or dispossessed of it, and becometh any ones that by force captivates it to himself; the expulsed Magistrate still standing upon his claim and right, and the power in possession having no title but his injurious and forcible entrance; the Subject is not disobliged from him that is expelled, nor at his choice to transfer his obedience to another, neither can the violent intruder challenge it. But in respect of the consequence of that which I here assert as unto resolution in this case, and for that I find the Gentleman, in the afore-named Discoursef positively delivering the direct contrary to it; and that which is (as I think) very strange doctrine both in Christianity and politiques, viz: That we are bound to own Princes so long as it pleaseth God to give them power to command us; and when we see others possest of their Powers,Part. 1. Chap. 5 page 22, 23. Part. 2. cap 9. page 90. we may then say, that the King of kings hath changed our Vice-royes; And further, that the point of right is a thing alwayes doubtfull;—possession generally is the strongest title that Princes have. And if possession was really the truest evidence to us of their (to wit, the expelled Princes) rights, then it is equitable to follow it still, though it be perhaps in a person of more injustice then they were. And the other book, I before cited, (viz: The lawfulnesse of obeying the present Government) maintains the same thing (both whose arguments, for what they say, I shall take notice of, when I have layed down mine own sense and Reasons) I shall therefore here labour to make good these two things: 1. That meer forcible extrusion deprives not any lawfull Magistrate of his right and title to supreame Power. 2. That violent possession gives no right to the Seat of Authority; and consequently the Subjects allegiance is not turned about by the changes of powerfull possession, and dispossession.

1. Forcible extrusion or dispossession divests not of Dominion, that the state of the Subjects allegiancee should be altered by it.

First, if the vindication or recovery of a Princes, or peoples right of Dominion, out of which he, or they are elected, or excluded be a justifiable ground for his, their, and others in their behalf leavying and waging war, and prosecuting with the sword those that withstand the said recovery; then the right of him that is expulsed by force is not cancelled, or disanulled. The reason of this consequence is of it self evident, for nothing can be the ground of a war but a just and reall title, either to be defended, or recovered; but I assume, the recovery or redemption of a Princes or peoples right to a Kingdome with-held, or wrested from him or them, is a just ground of drawing the Sword, and commencing a war. This is proved (if it needeth any proof) by the war of the Judges & people of Israel, against the Kings and Nations that at severall times invaded and ruled over them; against whom they rose up, and rescued themselves, and the Dominion of their Land from them: the story of which acts, we have in the book of Judges, and by the warres of Samuel and Saul against the Philistines recorded in the 1. Book of Samuel: as also by Davids warlike undertaking against, and suppression of Absolom, who had carried away all Israel after him, into a Rebellion against David, & expulsed him out of the Land, 2 Sam. 15. &c. and 19. 9. In like manner by Jehoiada’s and the peoples rising in Arms against Athalia, the usurping Queen, in the right of Joash; and their suppressing, and destroying her,1 Macca. chap. 1. &c. and enthroning him by force of Arms. 2 King. 11. And by the wars of the Maccabees against Antiochus, Epiphanes, and his successors.g And the many undoubtedly lawfull wars of other Princes and States in such causes as these, which to insist on is superfluous in so clear a matter.

Secondly, If right and title to Soveraignty be not built upon possession, but upon the Law of the Land, or other consent of the people, then it is not lost by dispossession; this consequence is founded upon that which a learned Statisth saith, Is a received maxime almost unshaken, and infallible, Nihil magis nature consentantum est, quam ut iisdem modis res dissalvantur quibui constituantur: There is nothing more agreeable to nature, then that things should be disolved by the same means they are constituted. From which he Infers, very pertinently to our case in hand, That if the part of the people, or Estate be somewhat in the Election, you cannot make them nulles or ciphers in the prorivation or translation. But the right and title of Soveraignty is not built upon possession, (which the proof of the latter Position will clear) but upon the peoples consent, which hath gone for so currant an axiome, especially of late, that it will certainly passe without contradiction.

Thirdly, If a private property be not lost by losse of possession, neither (or rather much lesse) can such a publique property be lost by that means; there can be no such difference made betwixt them as to enervate this consequence, and however, who sees not the incongruitie of this, that that which is the conservatory and protection of a private mans property, should be of a so much more slipperie tenure then it; but a private property is not lost by dispossession, if it were, for what use serveth the Law, or Magistracy? one main end of which hath been, to vindicate the Subjects right from usurpation, or what call you property? But he that either hath any, or granteth such a thing to be as property, will let this assumption passe.

Fourthly, If violent extrusion take away a Soveraignes right, then rebellion where it prospers and prevails is no treason; for there can be no treason, or other crime imputed as against the Crown, dignity, or authority of them, whose right therein is extinct and null; so that they are onely (according to this opinion) traitors or rebels, that rise up in Arms, and rebellion against the lawfull Power, and do not succeed and speed according to their desires. By this account, treason and rebellion shall consist, not in the maliciousnesse of the intent or attempt; but in the misfortune of successe, or impotency of the prosecution of it.

Fifthly, If force dissolve Magistracy; then that prohibition of resistance under pain of domination. Rom. 13. 2. is in vain, in that it concerns onely them that cannot resist effectually, and is no more then if he had said, resist not ye that want power to do it, lest if ye do, ye incur damnation: for they that have power, and please to use it to the deposing of the Magistrate, being that in so doing they put an end to his fight, how can guilt remain on them?

2. Violent intrusion into, and possession of the Seat of Authority gives no right to it; and consequently neither draws allegiance after it, nor evacuates it in relation to another.

First, an unjust action cannot produce, or create a right.i Morall good, and evill are at such distance, that the one cannot be the cause, the other the effect; but violent intrusion into Authority is an unjust action: Luk. 12. 14. Man who made me a Judge, &c. and that whether it be by one that should be a Subject to that power, Rom. 13. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth, &c. ver. 5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, &c. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. or by a Forreiner, Judg. 11. 12. 27. 2 Chron. 20. 10.

2ly, If violent occupation made a right;k then it were lawfull for any, that could make a sufficient strength for it, to rise up in Arms, invade, and seise on any Kingdome or Territory, he can prevail over; yea to kill and destroy men and Countreys for Empire and Dominion, asl Cæsar inclined to hold; for that which is of it self the way and means to place a man in a lawfull estate, or calling, and makes him a lawfull possessor of it, must needs be lawfull: but it cannot be held lawfull for any, that can finde power, and advantage, to invade Crowns and Countreys, as is evident by the proof of the Assumption of the preceeding Argument.

3ly, If possession by power give a title; then its unlawfull for an oppressed Prince, or people to raise warre, or use any other means to expell an Invader, or remove such as have come in, and hold meerly by force; for its unlawfull to resist, or fight against a just Magistrate, Rom 13. 1, 2. But it is lawfull for an oppressed Prince or people, by Arms, or otherwise to free themselves from a forcible Usurper, as manifestly appeareth by those presidents given in the proof of the assumption of the first argument for the former Proposition, to wit, the wars of Israel in the book of Judges, and 1. of Samuel, of David, Jehoiadah, and the Maccabees, and by the known Law and practise of all Nations, and consent of all Divines, and Christians, who with one vote allow defensive and recuperative Arms, excepting the Anabaptists, and some ancient Hereticks of their stamp.

4ly, All force ought to presuppose a right in that about which it is conversant; whether for the defence or recovery of its wars (saith Francis Lord Verulam,m &c.) (I speak not of ambitious predatorie wars) are suits of appeal to the tribunall of Gods justice, when there are no superiors on earth to determine the cause, and they are as civill Pleas, either Plaints or Defences: Force therefore cannot create a right, seeing it is to follow it, and both give it the precedencie in time, and own it as its ground-work; Adde to this, that the Sword is committed to the Magistrate (and to him alone, saith Peter Martyrn) as its subject or owner; so that the Magistrate is before it, not made by it. The Sword makes not the Magistrate, (that is, it is not its principle of Generation,) but the Magistrate à warranto authorizeth the Sword; the sword may make for his conservation, but not for his Creation.

5ly, If force give a title (renitente populo) then that late so much decantated Aphorisme, All Power (to wit, Authority) is from the People, must be called in again; yea all Donations, Elections, Compacts and Covenants betwixt Prince and people are void, and null businesses. A third person that can get hold or power, and lists to usurp, may dissolve and evacuate them all; yea the Prince that comes in by them, when once he hath possession of the Power, holds by his power, and not by them, and can no longer, nor further look to retain his right to Authority then he can enforce it; and what Turkish and tyrannicall practises doth this doctrine put him upon of necessitie, if he will sit fast.

Mr. Ashcam part. 1. ca. 2. Sect. 4.6ly, No man naturally is more a Magistrate then another: Magistracy being in truth not a naturall, but a civill relation; as is that of husband and wife, master and servant: it must therfore be founded on some mutuall and reciprocall act, or agreement of both parties, to wit, Rulers and Subjects; and cannot result out of the action of one alone of them, nor can neither partie be meerly passive, in contracting such a relation. A mutuall civill obligation cannot arise but of the joynt or interchangeable concurrance of both.

7ly, Power and right, as also possession and right, are separable, as all experience demonstrates; so it was in the controversie betwixt David and Absolom, and so it frequently happens to be: successe and victory doth not seldome follow the wrong party; and he would be thought irrationall amongst all men, wheresoever in the world, but where reason it self is brought under tyrannie, that should say, successe is the onely Arbitrator of Controversies of right, and is ever infallible.

8ly, Strength and Authority also are two distinct and separable things, and rarely meet in the same subject, but where either bruitishnesse, or all miseries prevail; man hath dominion given him over the beasts, many whereof are (and were by creation) stronger then he; What is a Generals natural strength to that of the Army over which he commands? What is a Kings, or a Counsels personall strength to that of the body of the people over which it sways? yea what is the hand in the naturall body to all the members under its government, in point of force? We see a small board or two, put in the place of a rudder, guides the whole vessel. Amongst some beasts indeed the strongest rules; but amongst men it is not regularly so: yea, among some unreasonable Animals, not force, but fitnesse designed by Election obtains the rule. Bees, they say, choose their king, of whomo Plinie observes, that either he hath no sting, or Nature hath denyed him the use of it; being onely armed with majestie. And Aristotle saith,p It is by a kinde of naturall equitie and merit, that he that is of a sage and disercet understanding should rule; on the other hand he should obey, and be in subjection, that hath more strength of body, and Arms to perform service.

9ly, Where there is no title but power, there can be no rule for Government but power and will: onely that which gives right to Magistracy must set bounds to it; how can they be tyed to Laws, in exercising Government, that are tyed to none in coming by it? If the basis or bottome of Government be power, that must also be the measure of it;q so that a Magistrate, so holding, is confined to no justice, or Law; restrained from no violence, or sacriledge that his Power may extend to. That power, against whose forcible intrusion the Laws, and Constitutions made by Prince and people, for the settling of the Crown or Soveraigne rule, are of no validity, can reasonably have no obligation upon it from any other Laws made by the same parties;r the Authority that makes the Law is the Soul that quickens it; the Law springs from Authority, as the act doth from its habit or principle; so that grant, or prostitute Authority to the Sword as its right, and you subvert all settled Laws, whether fundamentall or superstructory; and this all experience, as well as reason, dictates; for where, or in what Age did meer force assume the Empire without a lawlesse arbitrarinesse challenged to it self?

10ly, If you yeeld the Sword such a right where it can be master in the publick or civill State; why should it not have the same interest in the private, domesticall, and personall? So that pyrates, theeves, and robbers, may justly claim a right to that which they can lay their hands on, and be accountable to none for their spoil and rapine.

[Editor: illegible text]11ly, Whereas the Apostle to the Romans Chap. 13. 2. forbiddeth resistance (or contraordination) to the lawfull power ordained of God, and that upon pain of damnation to be received by him that doth it, if force give a right to that power; his action, that resists with victory, shall be justifiable, and the resister shall gain a Crown instead of receiving damnation; and none shall fall under the guilt and penalty of resistance, but he that offers to resist, and cannot make it good. The sense then which this Position puts upon this text is catachresticall, and it glosseth the words so, as to be an incouragement to resist the power, for he that resisteth the power prosperously (according to it) possesseth justly that ordinance of God, and in truth purchaseth to himself (not damnation, but) domination.

Having thus, I hope, sufficiently cleered the duty of Allegiance to be not the violent intruders, but the oppressed and violently extruded Magistrates; I shall proceed to other Reasons against Subjects giving up themselves to the obedience of a usurping party.

3. If I should do that, I should yeeld assistance to the Usurper in his wrong doing, and usurpation; and so become a partaker of his sin: obedience to one, as the supreame Magistrate, is a comprehensive thing, and includes many duties towards him at a power, viz: Receiving Commission from him for offices, or acts otherwayes not competible to me; maintaining and defending him in his power by pay, counsell, intelligence, Arms, and prayers; all which I am bound to yeeld the Usurper, to my power, if I resigne mine allegiance up to him: and how shall I do these things, and not 1. support, and have communion with him in his wickednes. 2. Combine against, betray, and resist the right of the injuriously dethroned Magistrate. 3. And make my self uncapable of obedience, or being a Subject to the lawfull Power hereafter.

4. It were a publick wrong to the Nation I am a member of so to bestow mine allegiance; were I and the Countrey free from all tye of subjection (in the presupposed Case) to the expulsed Magistrate; yet I could not lawfully make such a private bargain of my allegiance, its the part and duty of a particular person in a Nation (that is joyned together as one body politick or Common-wealth) not to choose his head, or supreame Governor by his single election, or vote, but, when a new Magistracy is to be erected, or Magistrate advanced, to attend the common and generall vote of the people, or body politick he is of; solitarily, or with a small party to alter the state and posture of my publick allegiance (in this case) would be sedition, and faction; the current of the people or community I am of it to be followed, at least where they justly dispose of the Soveraignty over them. It was in it self a loyall, and right resolution (had it been in such a case as this, and not misapplyed) which Hushai exprest, Nay, but whom the Lord and this people, and all the men of Israel choose; his will I be, and him will I follow; It would be to me (I confesse) a difficult case, and harder then I will here undertake to resolve, if the body of the Kingdom (in the case in hand) should either collectively, or representatively conspire; notwithstanding their oaths, vows, and Covenants, to abrogate the ancient Soveraigne Power, and to set up the Usurpers; but that’s not the present case, here is no generall consent of the Kingdom presupposed, or pleaded for in behalf of the Usurper; the dispute is about obedience to meer Usurpation. And in this state of things, to leave every man free, to make over his allegiance by himself, is to open a doore to more divisions then ever yet were in any Age, or Nation, and would confound all, not an heptarchy; but a chiliarchy,1 Sam. 10. 27. 2 Sam. 19. 41. 20. 1. or myriarchy might follow. When Saul had a generall vote of the people to be King, they were children of Belial that refused him; and at Davids re-invelling after Absoloms treason, and fall, the men of Israel challenged them of Judah for going about to restore the King without them; the far greater part of the Kingdom, and that man of Belial, Sheba, the son of Bichri, was justly pursued with the sword unto death, for blowing a trumpet of defection from David, when they both had consented to re-advance him.

5. But there is a bar yet behinde, of as main a strength as any yet stood on, to keep back such a submittance to the Usurper, and that is the Oaths, Vows, Protestations, and Covenants presupposed above to be taken by the people, for their owning, obeying and defending the power or Magistracy displaced, and in opposition to whose right the Usurper comes and continues in.

I have hitherto discussed the question in a case without reflection upon any particular Kingdom, or reall Subject; and so I shall do still, onely I shall borrow leave, in the prosecution of this Argument, to presuppose, in the aforesaid Case, the Oaths and Covenant were the same that have been taken in this Kingdom of England. The Author of the book called, The lawfulnesse of obeying the present Government, in his 11. page moveth an inquiry thus: It were good to consider whether there be any clause in any Oath, or Covenant, which, in a fair and common sense, forbid obedience to the Commands of the present Government, and Authority: and proceeding, he onely makes enquiry into one clause of the Oath of Allegiance, which he thives to bow to his sense, and passeth by all besides. I shall speak to what he saith on that clause anon; and shall here onely interrogate, or propound by way of quære, concerning divers clauses in the Oaths, Protestations, Vows and Covenants.

First, concerning the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, whereas in the former, it is sworn, I shall bear faith, and true Allegiance to his Majestie, his Heirs, and Successors: and him and them will defend to the uttermost of my power, against all conspiracies, and attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against his, or their persons, their Crown, or dignity. And in the latter, I shall bear faith, and true allegiance to the Kings Highnesse, his Heirs, and lawfull Successors: and, to my power, shall assist, and defend all jurisdictions, priviledges, preheminencies, and Authorities granted to the Kings Highnesse, his Heirs, and Successors; or united and annexed to the Imperiall Crown of this Realm. First, do not these Oaths binde, whomsoever hath taken them, clearly, plainly, and in terminis to an Allegiance, over-living his Majesties person, and pitched upon his Heirs and Successors; so that he is not free from the Oaths at his Majesties decease, or then left at randome to pay his allegiance to whom he will choose? 2. Do they not intend, by His Majesties Heirs and Successors, the same persons, joyning them together with the copulative (and) and not using the discretive (or) and the former Oath twice comprizing both in the following clauses under the same terme or pronoune, (viz: them, theirs) so that, according to these Oaths, His Heirs, are of right his successors, and none can be his Successor, (whilest he hath an Heir, and longer the Oath lasts not) but his Heir; and If any conspiracy or attempt should be made to prevent his Heir from being and continuing his successor, or to make any one his successor that is not his heir, (if he hath one) is not the Subject sworn, by vertue of this Oath, to continue his allegiance to his Heir as the right successor, and to defend him in that his right to his uttermost? 3. And doth not the tearm (lawfull) annexed to Successors (in the Oath of Supremacy) manifestly exclude all cavill of a distinction betwixt Heirs and successors; the word (lawfull) (whether you interpret it of legitimation of birth, or proximity of succession in regard of line, according to the Law of the Land, entailing the Crown upon his Majesties issue; or rather both the latter including the former, restraining successors from meaning any other then his heirs? 4. And do not both these Oathes binde the swearer to assist and defend to his uttermost power, against all attempts, Monarchy, or the Kingly Office, and Government (in the race of his Majestie) cleerly expressed by many tearms, to wit, Their Crown or dignity, all jurisdictions, priviledges, preheminences, and Authorities, granted to the Kings Highnesse, his heirs, and successors, or united, and annexed to the Imperiall Crown of this Realm. How then can he yeeld obedience to them that are not his heirs, nor lawfull successors, nor do so much as wear his Crown, or sway the Regall Scepter? How can he not oppose, and withstand them in the assistance and defence of the right of his Majesties heirs and lawfull successors?

2. Concerning the Vow and Protestation of the 5. of May, 1641, and the Solemn League and Covenant. 1. How can any that hath taken the said Protestation according to it, maintain and defend the true Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery, and Popish innovations within this Realm, contrary to the same Doctrine; and yet yeeld obedience to an usurping authority, coming in, and holding in derogation of, and opposition to the lawfull Prince; when as the publick doctrine of that Church (layed down in the 2. Tome of Homilies, and the last Homily thereof approved of by the 35. Article of Religion) fully and flatly refuteth, and condemneth any Subjects removing, or disposing their Prince, upon any pretence whatsoever?

2ly, How can any man according to the Protestation, maintain and defend, the power and privileges of Parliament, and according to the Covenant preserve the rights and privileges of Parliament; and yet yeeld obedience to a small party of one of the Houses of Parliament, as the Supreame Power, the said party excluding the rest of that House, and the other House wholly; and deposing the lawfull Prince, and abolishing the Office of the King, whose presence, personall, or legall, and politicall, hath been declared inseparable from the Parliament, and joyning with an Army, that with force hath demanded, and carried on these things?

3. How can be, according to the Protestation, maintain and defend the lawfull rights, and liberties of the Subjects, and, according to the Covenant, preserve the liberties of the Kingdom; and yet obey, and own a meerly usurped power. Whereas the most fundamentall civill Liberty of a Kingdom, and Subjects is to have a Government over them, set up by the constitution, or consent of the people; not obtruded on them by those, who of their own will and power, without any calling from them, assume it to themselves?

4. How can he, according to the Covenant, preserve and defend the Kings Majesties Person, and Authority, &c. and yet yeeld obedience to those usurpers, who, after his death, cast down his Authority, and place themselves instead thereof as the Supreame Power; whereas his Authority, in the plain intention of the Covenant, is to be preserved and defended beyond the tearme of his life, and in his posterity; as it appears from this clause compared with those words in the preface, Having before our eyes the glory of God,—the honour and happinesse of the Kings Majestie, and his posterity?

5. Lastly, how doth he, according to the Protestation, to his power, and as far as lawfully he may, oppose, and by all good wayes, and means endev’ur to bring to condigne punishment all such as shall either by force, practise, counsels, plots, conspiracies, or otherwise, do any thing to the contrary of any thing in this present Protestation contained; and, according to the Covenant, not suffer himself directly, or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion, or terror to be divided, or withdrawn from this blessed Union and conjunction; whether to make defection to the contrary part, or give himself to a detestable indifferencie, or neutrality in this cause, which so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the Kingdome, and honour of the King, but, all the dayes of his life, zealously, and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same, according to his power, against all lets and impediments whatsoever, that yeeldeth allegiance, and obedience to a party standing, and leading all those that agree to obey them in so palpable contradiction, and opposition to some materiall points, and concernments of Religion, divers most fundamentall rights of the Parliament and people, and all the Authority and whole being of the King, contained and covenanted for, in the aforesaid Protestation and Covenant respectively.


The question discussed, Whether submission to, and acting under a usurped Power for the time, be lawfull, with a reservation of Allegiance to the lawfull Power supposed to be expulsed.

I Now come to enquire into the other opinion before mentioned, viz: That one may submit, and act under a usurped Power, for the time, and during the intervall of its prevalency; with reservation of allegiance, as due and cordially devoted to the lawfull Power expulsed. And about this we shall not insist long, because we finde not much contestation or difficulty.

In regard of the justnes, and necessity of some things which may be the subject, or matter of the Usurpers command, and the Arbitrarinesse of others, and the lawfulnesse of either, not depending upon the command or warrant of a superior, but resulting out of the nature of the action it self; so that a private man might do it, were there no Magistrate to command it, or no command from the Magistrate for it. We must needs grant, there are things which may be done upon the Usurpers command or injunction, (though not because or by vertue of it) for the command of him that unwarrantably assumeth power, cannot, by it self, make that unlawfull which were lawfull if that were not. For instance, the performance of acts of common equity, charity, order, publick utility, and self-preservation is requisite: suppose it be in concurrence with a Usurpers command, and in thus doing we do materially, but not formally obey him; the ground of acting, in such things, being not at all any relation, or principle of subjection to him; but conscience of obedience to the will of God, and doe respect to others, and our own safety, and good. Under this sort of actions I comprehend:

1. Taking up Arms for the preservation of our selves and the Countray against a common Enemy, upon the Usurpers summons; the which we might do of our selves, were there no Authority; or if a just Authority were in being, yet if it could not, or did not, maturely enough call us forth to it.

2. Payment of taxes, and bearing other impositions for the usurping Power, where, and while we are under his compulsive power, because such contributions may, and will be taken whether I will pay them or not; and I yeeld them under his enforcement, as a ransome for my life, or liberty, or somewhat else that is better to me then the payment; and consequently I am to choose the parting with it as the lesse evil, rather then with that which is better, which to loose is to incur a greater evill for the avoidance of a lesse. In this point Mr. Ascham, the afore named Author, (Part. 2. Chap. 1. page 35.) determineth well (had he not contradicted (as I understand him) that he delivers in this and the next Chap. with that assertion of his part. 1. cap. 6. page 25.) distinguishing rightly betwixt that which cannot be had, nor the value of it, unlesse I actually give it; and that which may be taken whether I contribute it or no. Of this latter kinde is paying of Taxes in this case;a herein I am but morally passive, as a man that is fallen into the hands of a pack of bloodie theeves; and, being demanded it, takes his purse out of his pocket, and delivers it to them, though with his own hand (saith that Author) he puts his purse into their hands, yet the Law cals not that a gift, nor excuseth the thief for taking it, but all contrary. Or a man, apprehended by a party of the invading Enemies, or Usurpers Army, walks or rides along with them to their muster or battell, when as he cannot escape them, and otherwise they would draw him. But it is commonly objected thus. Obj. This payment or other charge is taken, and will be used to an evill use as to maintain Usurpation. R: But that’s beyond my deliberation, not in my power to prevent; it will not be avoided by putting them to force it from me, but rather more gain will accrue to them, and damage to me, if I stand out; my denying will be made an occasion by them to take more: this case is like that of entering into a Covenant with those that in covenanting we know before hand will swear by a false god, wherein, Divinesb resolve, the partie swearing by the true God participateth not in his sin that swears by a false one, in as much as he communicates with him in the Covenant, not in the oath taken on his part, and provides thereby for his necessarie security; and thus did Abraham, and Jacob, in their respective Covenants with Abimelech and Laban.

3. Complaining, petitioning, or going to Law before the Magistrates or Courts authorized by the Usurpers. (Provided, you give not the Usurpers, to whom you petition, such Titles as you give to the lawfull Magistrate.) In thus doing, I seek my necessary self preservation; neither do I yeeld,Excusantur à peceato inducendi tyrannutn ad actum, & opus ilicitum petentes ab illo iustitiam quia non retunt actun illititum, sed justitam illius ottin illiciti pie interpre. tandx sunt petitiones tam iustitiæ quam tionestu uratiæ quæ ofteraneur Tyrannis, seillcerss vis, seu ex que vis detinere, & exercere hoc diminium, utere illo juste, utere honesle, utere pie, utere ad utilitatem publicam, & priratorum, prout deceret dominium nec intendunt, nec petunt actum usurpatum, led qualitattm iamctam inactu usurpato exercendo. Caietam Iummula, Tit. Remp. tyrannice, &c. or ascribe to them to whom I have recourse any just power of judicature, or participate in their sin of usurping it; onely I acknowledge they have might and ability in their hand to right me; which, though they ought not to assume, yet I may take the benefit of their unjust use of it; as a poore man may receive relief at the hands of him that hath gotten those goods he distributeth unjustly; and I may receive my money, with a good conscience, from the hands of a thief that is willing to return it to me, though he took it by robbery, from another thief that robbed me of it; and if the party, with whom I have a controversie for my right, will agree to refer the matter, betwixt us, to a private person as an Arbitrator, and stand to his arbitrement; that is a lawfull means of coming by my own, though by his help, and award that hath not claim of Authority over me; my submitting therefore my private right to the judgement of an usurping Magistracy, is no placing or owning a publick power of judicature to be in him. It hath been ordinary (and there is no doubt of the lawfulnesse of it) for a Souldier to ask quartor, a prisoner liberty, a man his plundered goods of his Enemy: yet in all this there is no concession of a legall power in that Enemie to be a Judge over the said Petitioners, either in case of life, goods, or liberty; onely in the form of addresse to the Usurper, we had need be cautelous that such a style be not used as will be a plain concession of his title to the power which he usurps.

But, in granting liberty of concurrence with some commands of an usurped Authority, we neither yeeld any obedience at all to be due, or performable to it; nor can we allow a correspondence with it in divers things, and therefore we are to put a difference.

First, betwixt things that are in themselves necessary, and those that are of a middle or an indifferent nature in themselves considered. In the latter; though, in some cases, I may act upon the Usurpers injunction; as our Saviour payed tribute where he was not bound to it, to avoid scandall; yet I must be cautious, 1. of owning, justifying, or upholding the usurpation, or injustice of the party commanding, the very appearance whereof I must as much as I can avoid. So did our Saviour, in paying the tribute gatherers their demand, by declaring his freedome, and the consideration upon which he payed, viz: not the equity of the demand, but his willingnesse to prevent scandall. And therefore in the observing of a duty of Religion, necessary in it self, and appointed, by unjustifiable Authority, to be kept on such a set day, which is in it self, arbitrary, the best way is, to take another day for it, for the shunning of the appearance of the evill of obeying an unjust power. 2. Of doing any thing that I may foresee will bring a worse scandall being acted, then the omission of it would; it being required of a Christian, where scandall-takeing lyes both wayes (as not seldome it doth) to shun the offence that is of worse consequence, which is usually that which is more generally taken, or by persons more considerable, or worthy of tender respect. The Apostle Paul, condemning Judaisme in Peter, and others at Antioch, practised in favour of a few, where the most part were Gentlle Christians, Gal. 2. 11. &c. but admitted it at Jerusalem, where the greater sort were beleeving Jews, Act. 21. 20, &c.

2. Betwixt morall, or prudentiall acts competible to private men, or subjects, and politicall acts, or judiciall proceedings that flow from power, and Authority inherent in the person that acts them, or are the issues of distributive justice, and either come forth from a person clothed with Government, or unto which is requisite a stamp of Authority to make them lawfull, and justifiable: as to bear the office of a Magistrate, or Commander in Civill or Military affairs, or to be any under Agent, or servant in carrying on, or assisting the Government. An Usurper, in giving out Commissions, Commands or Warrants for proceedings of this nature, I conceive may not, in this kinde, be obeyed. Men are not to act as subordinate rulers, or agents, under such a power, or as sent by him as supreame in the Apostles sense, 1 Pet. 2. 14. For,

1. The Usurpers authority being indeed null, and of no effect, he being in truth but in a private mans capacity, as to the power he assumes; he cannot communicate, or derive any authority unto me, whereby I may act, that which before I could not; so that those actions, which require the seal of Authority to make them lawfull, and which without it would be irregular and sinfull, it must needs be clearly unlawfull for me to do, by vertue of his Commission. Conscientious advised men will generally judge it presumption, violence, oppression, bloodshed, respectively for a private man to take upon him of himself, to imprison, chastise, amerce, or put to death any supposed, or really manifested malefactor; and if I have no other humane warrant but the Usurpers, it leaving me but in a private mans capacitie, will leave my actions of that nature under no better a character. If I should, being about such undertakings, be asked that question of our Saviour, Lick. 12. 14. Man, who made thee a judge, or a divider over us? What satisfaction would it be to him that so enquireth, or to mine own conscience to alledge the name of the Usurper, who, as to supreme Authority, and consequently to the making of a competent Officer of Justice, is as good as no body.

2ly, So to act would make me a usurper also, and bring me in to be a partner in the supreame usurpers sins; in as much as politicall or State instruments, to wit, their subordinate agents, share together with the superior in the morall qualification of the work of Government.

3ly, This were manifestly to uphold, and maintain Usurpation; thus I should contribute assistance and support to the unjust power, and oppose the right of him, or them against whom he holds it; they that favour this kinde of acting as requisite, in regard of the subjects protection, and safetie, seem not to consider, that a subordinate officers acting looketh upward, as well as downward; and he that is such a one to the Usurper, serves his turn of subsistence in an unlawfull possession as much, or more then the subjects benefit. For first, he acknowledgeth and justifieth his authority as sufficient and valid by officiating under, and by it. 2. He keeps up that authority, and extends it to as many as he hath to do with: 3. He gives an example and encouragement to others to embrace and propagate it, as he himself doth. 4. He layes an ingagement upon himself to stand or fall with the Usurper; and so to do his utmost for him. 5. He involves himself, either wittingly, or blindfoldly in a concurrence with those counsels, and actions, which both in their own nature, and in the intention, and projection of the Usurper, directly tend to the Usurpers establishment, and the impeachment of the lawfull Governors claim, and re-advancement.

Upon these grounds, and the like, the secluded and the so-joyned members (in the case stated. Chap. 1.) had need be advised well before they enter, or act among the presupposed Usurpers: though they might be admitted by them without questioning, or purging, I question how they can enter amongst them without self-soyling: though they should, in going in, resolve to act honestly, yet, I see not how they can be untainted in a concession with those, who in their present comprehension or totality, assume a power not legally in them, and act legislatively, and otherwise in the highest sphere of Supreamacie: a force being upon the House, and the majority of Members, and the Authority of the King, and the Lords-House being professedly excluded by them. They that are out may do well to resolve, before they joyn, how it can be lawfull for them that sit to act at all (though never so just things) the whole, or body, to which they belong, being so mangled in its Members, and manacled in its freedome. And, if at all they may act, how according to Law, conscience, and their Oaths and Covenants, they can govern in that solitarinesse of supreamacie,Et magnum sit τν πολιτικοιτ
[Editor: illegible word]τφν σιμμαζαν,
[Editor: illegible word] sit in Consilium tyrinni, si in aliqna de re buna deliberaiutus sit. Quare si quid ejusmoli evenerit ut accersamur, quid censeas mihi saciendum, ut qui scribien. Nihil enim mihi adhue accidit. quod majoris coasilit ed. M. T. Cicero, epist. ad T. Pomp. Atticum. I. to ep. 1.
and deposition of their compeers: if they think these things unjustifiable in them that sit, have they not cause to be warie how they involve themselves in such mens actings, whilest they stand in that posture? Besides, that they in coming in help to strengthen the usurpers by increasing their number, and giving them countenance in the eye of the Kingdom, as much as if they in all things concurred with them; for without the House, who knows how men sway, or give their votes? And, on the other hand, they weaken and much prejudice the claim of the lawfull Power, by appearing on the contrary party, putting themselves into an incapacity to act for it, as otherwise they might, and ingaging themselves to assist, or at least, not to oppose the Usurpers.

Finally, let them recollect, before they enter that doore, what they have sworn to his late Majestie, his Heirs, and lawfull Successors; what to the Parliaments Power, rights and priviledges, and what to the Kingdom, and Subjects lawfull rights and priviledges; and deliberate how they, keeping of those things, and sitting down with these men, will be reconciled. I finde that even wise Heathens have scrupled at this, without the supposition of such Oaths.


The obligatorinesse of the Oaths and Covenant, urged in the 2d. Chap: against obedience to Vsurpers, made good against divers late Authors.

BEfore I take in hand to answer Arguments that are brought for the confirmation of those two opinions for obedience to Usurpation, and against which I have argued in the preceding Chapters; it will be convenient in this place to take notice of such allegations and Exceptions, as are made against the obligation of the Oaths and Covenants before urged as binding out from that obedience: sundry late Authors having pleaded that the Oaths, and Covenant either are not now in force, but expired, or do not extend too, and binde in the case to which they are applyed. I begin with the Remonstrance presented to the House of Commons, Novemb: 20. 1648. which unto the clause in the Solemn League and Covenant, Art: 3. obliging to endevour to preserve and defend the Kings Majesties person and Authority, in the preservation and defence of the true Religion, and liberties of the Kingdom: alledgeth divers things, some of which concern onely the obligation to the preservation of the Kings person, those are past consideration, other reflect upon it in relation to his Authority, as unto which I have urged it to be still in force, and therefore shall examine what the Remonstrance saith for the invalidating of it as unto that, bringing in onely so much of its argumentation, as can be construed to tend to this purpose: and of this nature I observe two Allegations.

1. The words (in the preservation and defence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdoms) are a restriction to the engagement for preservation of the Kings person, and Authority, so as to oblige them to no further, nor in any other way then shall be consistent with the preservation and defence of the true Religion, and liberties of the Kingdoms, but if by reason and experience we finde the preservation and defence of her person to be not safe, but full of visible danger (if not certainly difficult [Editor: illegible word]) to Religion, or publick interest, then surely (by the covenant it self) the preservation of his person or authority is not to be endevoured so far, or in such away, or at least the Covenant obligeth not to it, but against it: page 55, 56.

1. It is not necessary nor proper to take the words, in the preservation, &c. as restrictive to the engagement either way, that is either for the preservation and defence of the Kings person and Authority on the one hand; or of the true Religion and Liberties of the Kingdoms on the other: It is not necessarie (I say) for those words in the Article (in our severall vocations) are an expresse, and fully sufficient restriction, taking in, and binding to all lawfull and just wayes of preserving and defending each of them, and excluding all unlawfull. Neither is it proper, [in] there being clearly conjunctive, and as much as [with] and equally looking both wayes, that is, both to the preservation and defence of that which goes before, and that which follows, unto the preservation and defence of all which (though they be not of equall worth or intrest, so that one of them must come behinde the other in the order of our endevours of their preservation and defence, yet) the Covenant binds equally (in regard of the firmnesse of the obligation) yet if any shall still contend, that clause to be restrictive in that manner which the Remonstrance saith, I will not strive in a verball contention with him; for the taking of it so no more lesseneth our obligation to the preservation of the Kings Authority, then if it had not been inserted; we being tyed notwithstanding it, so all just wayes of preservation therof, and no more had been involved if it had been left out.

2. But the sinews of this Argument lyeth in the pretended or implyed inconsistency betwixt the preservation and defence of Religion and the Kingdoms liberties; unto which I say:

1. There is doubtlesse a fair consistencie, non-opposition, or agreement betwixt the safetle of every one of these, the being of each of them may and can stand with the other, it is a groundlesse surmise, and grosse absurditle to imagine an inconsistency betwixt the just intrests of any of them, our taking of them together into the Covenant yeeldeth thus much; if there were any incoexistency amongst them, we could not have sworn to their joynt preservation; or if we did, the Oath was of impossibles, and so (as to this branch) both unlawfull and void, or non-obliging in the making of ita.

2. An endevour to preserve the one and the other will well enough stand together; a lawfull power indeed actually and effectually to preserve them all may happen to be wanting, and any one of them may fall under danger, and I may want just means to relieve it, but an endevour (which can onely Import a doing what is within power and warrant) may be yeelded still to the preservation of every of them.

3. Seeing then that an inconsistibility either of the things one with another, or of the endevouring their preservation cannot be pleaded as possibly incident or occurrent, evident it is, that there cannot at any time lye a necessitie of taking away of any of them, and that the obligation of the Covenant to the endevour of preserving every of them continually stands in force during their respective existence, and consequently it bindeth out from intending, seeking, attempting, or prosecuting the abolishing or destruction of any of them; for that is indeed truly inconsistent with the said endevour, and therefore a palpable violation of the Covenant.

It must here be granted, that the lawfull and necessary defence and preservation of one of them, sometimes may so imploy me that I cannot at that time by the same means act for the others safety; yet what I act for one, may put the other in hazard, and in the issue not onely be accompanied with, but (though against my will, and endevours to the utmost of my lawfull capacity) contingently, and besides my intention prove the losse and ruine of the other: and this is incident not from any contrariety or Inconsistency that is betwixt them, but both because they are distinct, and separable things, and so cannot alwayes, and by the same medium be concurrently prosecuted: and because some of them are more worthy then the other, which must therefore have the preheminency thus far, that if they cannot altogether with my best endeavours be secured, I am to prefer the security of the most precious, and expose any of the other rather to danger then it. As for instance, it will (I soppose) be admitted to be agreeable to the Covenant, for the Kingdoms rather to omit the safe-guarding of their Liberties, and put them to the hazard then the true Religion, where both cannot be joyntly put out of danger: but all this amounts not to a disobligement from the endevour of preserving them all; nor to a liberty upon any emergency of active, direct, and purposed making away, or removing of any of them, though under pretence of securing the other. I have read of one Alcon, who finding his son fast on sleep upon the grasse, and a Serpent creeping upon his breast, he not apprehending how otherwise it was possible to save his son, took his Bowe, and shot at the Serpent upon the boyes breast, which (though to the manifest endangering of his life) yet he chose rather to take that course, then by suffering the Serpent to leave his life to a more certain destruction; and either his art or good hap was such, as that he prevented and slew the Serpent, and preserved his Son:b those whom we are bound and most solicitous to preserve, we may upon an extreame exigence put in some hazard that we may preserve them; but there is a great difference betwixt this, and a deliberate purposed, declared prosecuting them to destruction.

Manilius ll 3.3. But how doth the Remonstrancer prove the Assumption, viz: The inconsistency pretended betwixt the endevour of the preservation of the Kings person and Authority, and the preservation of Religion and liberty? thus he saith, By reason, and experience we finde the preservation and defence of his person and Authority, to be not safe, but full of visible danger (if not certainly destructive) to religious or publick Interest.

If the one could be said to be certainly destructive to the other, you would have said it without an [if not] but it seems you have not confidence to assever so much, and yet they cannot be purely inconsistent without such a destructivenesse; so that your own extenuation sufficiently discovers the weaknes of your proof, all that you affirm is, That there is no safetie, but a full visible danger in the preservation which you impugne.

1. The danger you pretend is in the disposall and use of the things to be preserved, not in the nature of the things. For Instance, the Kings Authority is politically and morally good, the ordinance of God, and if well used may be eminently advantagious; if evilly used may be dangerous enough to Religion and liberties: the like may also be said or the privileges of the Parliament, and of the liberties of the Kingdoms in relation to Religion, and to each other; will you thence infer an inconsistency of these with Religion, or a disobligement from the Covenant for preservation and defence of these?

2. As there may be danger that way to the things specified, so there may be danger and insecurity to the same things on the other hand, viz: in the destruction of the Kings person (suppose it were undone) and Authority, and let impartiall Reason and Experience judge, whether the preservation or destruction thereof hath more danger in it to Religion, and the Kingdoms Liberty.

3. But seeing there may be some danger on each side, and in the preservation of the Kings Authority, there is no more pretended but danger, and that but of suffering, not of sin, it is apparent, that as there is no such inconsistency as is intimated, so the obligation of the Covenant to the preservation of the Kings Authority stands good, and our safest way is to avoid the horrid sin, and greater danger of Covenant-breaking, by standing upon the said preservation.

2ly, The other thing which the Remonstrance alledgeth, and is to be cleared is this. Where severall persons joyning to make a Covenant, do make a covenanting clause therein to the good or benefit of another person not present, no party to the agreement, but whom, and whose Interest they would willingly provide for as well as for their own, to the end he might joyn with them in the agreement, and partake the benefit thereof as well as themselves, if this absent party (when it is tendered to him for his conjunction) shall not accept the Agreement, but refuse to joyn in, and oppose it, and begin, prosecute and multiply contests with all the Covenanters about the matters contained in it. Surely that person in so doing by his once refusing upon a fair and full tender, sets the other Covenanters free from any further obligation, by vertue of that Covenant, at to what concerns his benefit or interest therein. Now whether this be not your case, &c.

1. True indeed, a releasement from Covenants and promissory oaths, which concern matters betwixt man and man is granted lawfull some wayes: But, 1. this must be done by the party with whom the Covenant, and to whom the Oath is madec, but as the Remonstrancer acknowledgeth, this Covenant was made the King being not present, nor a party covenanting, or covenanted with but a third person, the persons covenanting, and covenanted with mutually (as by the Introductory part is manifest) were the Noblemen, Barons, Knights, &c. in the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, it was it may be desired, and hoped that the King and his Issue would afterwards approve and joyn in it, but the Covenant was actually plighted, and therefore did actually binde in every branch of it they not taking it; and (the parties with whom we covenanted not releasing us) the pretended refusall of the King could be no discharge from it. 2. A releasement can be made by the party covenanted with and sworn too, onely where the Covenant is for the particular and proper interest of that party, or so far onely as concerneth him, but not to the prejudice of a third parties concernment without his consentd; but the Covenant (even in that part of it) was not meerly or chiefly of a private or personall importance to the King himself, but was, and is of a publick interest to the Covenanters themselves and the Kingdoms; the Kings refusall therefore and opposition to it could be no release from it: we say on all hands, the King is for the Kingdom as the means is for the end. We have ten parts in the King, said the men of Israel of David; and at another time they said and sware, Thou shalt no more go out with us to battell, that thou quench not the light of Israel. What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse, the ten Tribes said, when they made a revolt from, and rebelled against Reheboam.

The Introduction of the Covenant in laying down the concernments and ends for the making of it, expresseth it self thus: Having before our eyes the glory of God, and the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happinesse of the Kings Majestie, and his posterity, and the true publick liberty, safety, and peace of the Kingdoms wherein every ones private condition is included. And a little afterwards, We have for the preservation of our selves, and our Religion from utter ruine and destruction, resolved, and determined to enter into a mutuall and solemne, League and Covenant, &c. And Art: 6. it styleth its cause, This Common cause of Religion, liberty and peace of the Kingdoms: which cause, it saith presently after, so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the Kingdoms, and honour of the King.

2. The King never refused to agree to, nor did he oppose the matter of this particular clause: as touching this there could be no dissent on his part, his prescribing and standing upon the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, wherein this clause is contained, his avowing the difference and was on his part to be for the defence of his person, and authority; his putting forth Oaths to them that adhered to him for the preservation of these, makes it as clear as noon-day that he refused and opposed not this branch. Now upon this consideration, the Remonstrancer hath not onely failed in his allegation, but overthrown his own argument; he saying in the place before cited, Although the Kings refusing sets the Covenanters free from any further obligation by vertue of that Covenant, at to what concerns his interest and benefit therein, yet the Covenant as to other matters concerning the right and benefit of the Covenanters one from another stands still obliging, and in force. I may by the same reason say, the Kings refusing the Covenant upon exception against other clauses, not this, and his opposing other matters in the Covenant, not this, could not dis-ingage or release the Covenanters from this, about which there was not the least dissent or reluctancy, but a concurrence full enough on his part; so that the Covenant must stand still obliging and in force as to this part.

3. If the Kings said refusall and opposition could have discharged us from this member of the Covenant as to his own person and interest in the Authority, yet with all your straining you cannot stretch them to our release from preservation and defence of the Kingly Authority in relation to his posterity, who were in proximity to him interested in it; and for whose interest therein the Covenant was also madee; and whose refusall of it, nor yet a tender of it to them, you do not, cannot once plead.

I have done with the wrong glosse of the Remonstrancer endeavouring to impeach the obligation of this clause of the Covenant. I finde another (a deare friend of his) tampering with it also to elude the tye of it; and he offers it no lesse violence, but in a more unhandsome and grosse manner. It is that Polemick, or Army-Divine, Mr. J. G. in his Defence of the Honourable Sentence, &c. The man in that book undertaketh, and bends his skill to a double unhappie, and crosse designe, to wit, to varnish and guild over that which is very foule, and to besmear and obscure that which is very clear. In his prosecution of the latter he fals upon this sentence of the Covenant, in dealing with which he correspondeth with the Remonstrancer, and as this hath challenged to himself a prerogative to enforce men and Magistrates, so doth he arrogate to himself to be a bold enforcer of words and Covenants; a more strange and presumptuous perverting of plain words, I never read nor heard, then that which he useth to this clause, when he saith, page 51. Evident it is, that those words in the Covenant in the preservation and defence of the true Religion, and liberties of the Kingdoms, import a condition to be performed on the Kings part, without the performance whereof, the Covenant obligeth no man to the preservation or defence of his Person or Authority. And this condition he makes to be, page 52, 53. That he preserve and defend the true Religion, and liberties of the Kingdom: and of this his paraphrase of the words he saith, If this be not the clear meaning and importance of them, the Covenant is a Barbarian unto me, I understand not the English of it. The vast exorbitancy, audaciousnesse, and impietie of this his wresting, and straining of these plain words, I leave the Reader to take the measure of: I shall onely endeavour to free them from this his distortion.

1. Let the words themselves speak, they do not say in his preservation and defence, &c. but in the preservation and defence, &c. plainly referring to the same preservation and defence of Religion and Liberties which is before promised, and sworn in this and the preceding Articles, and as evidently referring to the same persons preservation, and defence of them here, which are to preserve and defend them in the former clauses, and which are to preserve and defend the Kings Majesties person and Authority in this, viz: the Covenanters. If the Covenant had intended to pitch the preservation and defence in this clause upon another person, or persons, as the performers besides those to whom the same actions are referred immediately before, it would have pointed them out distinctly; but when it expresses no other, ordinary construction will attribute them to the parties before nominated; and no regular construction can put them upon any other. This reading is plain English to him that knows the language, and will understand, and Mr. G. proves himself a barbarous dealer with the covenant, in that he will have it, either to admit of his antigramaticall sense, or to be a Barbarian to him. I dare appeal to Mr. Gs. own conscience, if it be not either speechles, or a Barbarian to him, whether, when he took this Covenant, he understood this clause in the meaning he would now thrust upon it; or rather hath not played the Dœdalus since, in shaping, and bringing forth this sense to serve his turn, and defend what hath been since acted.

2. In making this the importance of those words, Mr. G. contradicts his friend, or Patron the Remonstrancer, in his expounding of them, and takes away the very medium, or ground of his argument before brought in out of his book, page 55, 56. and answered above. For he page 55. takes those words either at a restriction to the engagement for preservation of the Kings person and Authority, to wit, at obliging no further then it consistent therewith: yea he proposeth whether the said engagement may not be so understood as to be fulfilled in the preservation of Religion and Liberties; neither of which senses can carry that clause to the King as the performer: and in page 56. he explaineth this preservation, and defence of Religion, and liberties to be the Parliaments Covenanted utmost endeavour to preserve them. Let Mr. J. G. then leave endeavouring to reconcile the Covenant and his cause which are at too great odds to be reconcileable, and go make the Remonstrancer and himself friends, who differ so diametrically in their sense of these words.

3. How will Mr. G. make this sense of his, and the proceedings against the late King stand together? for before the King was so proceeded against, he had consented to all that was positively proposed to him for Religion, at least for 3. yeers; and for the privative part propounded, to wit, the Abolition of Episcopacy he had not denyed it, but granted the present suspension, and referred the utter extirpation of it to the deliberation of the Assembly, and ordering of Parliament; against whose consent he had agreed nothing should be done for the restoring of it: and had granted fully the Parliaments overtures for Liberties. Neither doth the Remonstrancer, or any other (as far as I have observed) insist on the shortnesse of the Kings concessions in any particulars of either nature, as the ground of those capitall proceedings, but on the inexpiablenesse of his former facts, and the unsafenesse of trusting him for future upon any tearms. If then the King, immediately before the fatall prosecution against him, did (as his present state would permit) concur so amply in the preservation of Religion and Liberties, they were bound that had taken this Covenant by vertue of this clause taken in Mr. Gs. sense, whatever had been his former carriage) then to endeavour the preservation of his person and Authority. The Covenant in this branch is indefinite, and unrestrained in regard of time; it doth not say (suppose Mr. Gs. meaning had been its words) we shall preserve the Kings person and Authority, if he shall (within a yeer or two after this) preserve Religion, and Liberties; but obligeth the Covenanters whenever the King should joyn in preserving Religion and Liberties (as Mr. G. understandeth it) to the preservation of his person and Authority. Here then Mr. G. instead of weakning the Covenant, as to the end it was urged by those whom he opposeth, hath by wringing turned it against himself, and that his adored cause which he would have defended and that with more strength then is in any of those reasons (or rather shifts and colours) brought by himself for any other Roscius — for it.

4. If that indeed were the sense of that clause which he would out-face us into the accepting of, what can be said against the binding of it to the preservation and defence of the kingly Authority still? (though the then King be deceased) it being before proved, that this clause obligeth to it in reference to the Kings posterity, against whom there can be Objection of a fail in this supposed condition, it being unperformable without default whilest possession of the Authority is with-held; and the Authority being with-held before, either any refusal of the supposed condition, by him that should perform it, or any overture so him, for the obtaining of it be made.

I have thus done with the exceptions made against the obligatorinesse of the Covenant, in the matter in hand; I now passe to the Examination of what is pleaded against the force of the Oaths of Allegiance amongst the impugners of them; Ile begin with him whom I had last to deal with, Mr. J. G. who in the same book, pag: 58, 59, 60. thinks to discharge us from these bonds, with a Reason framed as followeth.

(In recitall whereof I shall rehearse as much of him as expresseth his Argumentation, omitting those two hetorogeneous instances [of keeping back a mad mans sword, and of a States dis-engagement from league with another State that hath first broken league with it] as impertinent both to his reason and our case.)

Peter Martyr (saith Mr. G.) well abserves concerning the promises of God [that they are to be understood according to the present state and condition of things when they are mad.] meaning that no performance of them is intended by God in case men shall decline from that integrity under which, and in relation unto which such promises were made unto them: so neither are the promises of men, whether made with oath, or without to be so understood, or if the makers of them stood bound to perform the terms of them under any possible change or alteration what soever in the persons to whom they are made. Chrysostome writing upon those words, Matth. 19. 28. Shews, that Judas, though the promise of sitting upon a throne was made unto him as well as unto any other, yet by reason of that change which afterwards appeared in him, through his wickednesse, forfeited and lost his right of interest in that promise, nor doth any promise though confirmed with an oath, of allegiance, obedience, or subjection unto a King, and his Successors, or posterity, binde any longer or otherwise, either before God or men, then whilest, and or this King or his successors, shall continue in the some department of themselves in the discharge of their trust, and administration of their power, whereby they commended themselves to us at the time when we sware such allegiance to them, and in consideration and expectation whereof the same war sworn by us; therefore the King being so notoriously changed, &c. evident it is that God himself by the tenor and impartment of his promises, and Jesus Christ by the like tenor and import of his, fully and fairly acquits us from all engagements, and tyes which the Oath of Allegiance at the time of our taking it layed upon us.

2 Pet 1. 4. Psal. 138. 2.What? and must the exceeding great and precious promises of God, and his fidelity and truth therein, which he hath magnified above all his Name, be thus traduced? must the honour of God, which it so much concerned in taking, and violated in breaking an Oath, be yet much more impeached in the bringing in, and mis-reporting of his example to patronise mens falshood and perjury therein? And when an Oath cannot lawfully be dispensed with, or justly rendred non-obliging, must the forcible and ungodly bursting of it asunder be fathered on him, who in the Truth, the Amen, the faithfull and true witnesse?

But to endeavour a vindication briefly.

1. Mr. G. you have here done that learned and solid Divine P. Martyr a double wrong. 1. In curtailing his sentence, and breaking it off in the middle, suppressing those following words which would have cleared his sense to be none of yours. 2. In mis-translating the words which you cite, his words truly rendered and rehearsod out are these, Therefore those promises of God, (to wit, that of our Saviour, Matth. 19. 28; which he had in the Section last before brought in, with Chrysostomes interpretation upon it, quoted by you, and those of Gen. 9. 2. Jer. 18. 7, 8. with Chrysostome also upon them) are to be understood with reference to the present state of things, wherefore when we hear the promises of God, it behoves us thus to conceive, either they have some condition annexed, or they are layed down absolutely; Furthermore either they are of force onely for the present time, or they must be fulfilled in after timef. It is by this recitall evident, how you by leaving out the word [ille] have falsified P. Martyrs text, who is speaking onely of some particular promises, conditionally made, and (as he saith) respecting the present time which he distinguisheth from others; but you would have him understood of any promises, and draw an universall negative from his words.

2. You are not content to misconstrue this servant of God, but you dare to mis-represent, and mistate the minde of God himself; you say indefinitely of the promises of God, That no performance of them is intended by God, &c. where as the Scripture is clear (and most unhappie were men if it were otherwise) that 1. there are absolute promises wherein performance is intended by God, notwithstanding men shall decline in these said integrity, and whereunto such promises have no relation as to their validity or fulfilling. Take for instance, Psal. 89. 33, 34. Hosea 14. 4. Ezek. 36. 25. &c. Heb. 8. 10. &c. 2. In conditionall promises, though there may be partiall and temporary declinings in men from their said integritie (as there was eminently in Peter, one of those parties to the promise, Matth. 19. 28.) yet God performeth the promise to true beleevers, through, and for Christs sake, In whom all the promises are yea and Amen, and that alwayes,2 Cor. 1. 20. if it be a promise of the life which is to comes and often, if it be a promise of the life that now is, namely, when it is good for them, according to those promises, Psal. 84. 11. Rom. 8. 28. 1 Cor. 3. 21. And if there be a performance by God, certainly there was an intention in him of that performance, notwithstanding such declining, For he worketh all things after the counsell of his own will. And for this you might have hearkened to P. Martyr your own Author, In the place whither he referreth you in the Section quoted by you, speaking thus. But because the conditions of legall promises could not be performed by men, God out of his own mercy hath substituted Evangelicall promises in their place, which though they have conditions annexed, yet they are held out gratis. And a little further he saith, The Evangelicall promise may stand good without those conditions. How this is, he presently after explains thus. Therefore impossible conditions are annexed, that men warned of their infirmity, and fully understanding it, they may betake themselves to Christ, of whom they being received into favour, and justification being obtained, they may obtain those very promises, for us to them they of Legall are made Evangelicallg.

3. You rest not in this mis-alledging of Gods promises, (though in it, you betray audaciousnesse, and unsoundnesse enough) but you rise higher in presumption, making an odious comparison, or rather equalitie between God and man, in promises and covenants, whereas the case of the covenanting of these two is far enough different; for if it were granted, that God in some of his conditionall promises intendeth no performance nor obligation on his part, but upon condition of mans perseverance, must there needs be therefore an equivalency, or conformity throughout thereunto in mans Covenants with man? must they therefore be all of them so made or understood? or rather is there not of right a vast disparity? God is no mans debtor, he is not bound to man, there is no right in the creature from God, he can claim nothing from him, otherwise then by promise: God may do what he will with his own, and all is his own. But with man it is not so,Alia enim tatio est obligation is ubi debitum sundatur inpremissione, ubi veto promissio sundatur in debito longè alia. D. Sand. de jutament, prælect 6. Sect. 9. either towards God, or man, he stands in divers relations, and is tyed in many duties, even towards men, before he covenant or swear, unto which single tye, the bonds of Oaths and expresse and solemn Covenants are often in weightie matters added, for confirmation and greater security. And thus it is in the point in hand, there is Allegiance due without the interposition of an Oath, or any such engagement by particular persons; we are in a settled State, born Subjects, and both claim the immunity and protection, and owe the duty of such, without personall indenting, or oath-taking; and this obedience is owing to Princes, or Magistrates without condition of Religion, or Justice on their part performed; the Scripture is clear for an irrespective (and in regard of the Rulers demeanor) absolute subjection: Exid. 20. 12. 21. 25. Rom. 13. 1, 2, &c. Tit. 3. 1. 1 Pet. 2. 13. 1 Sam. 24. 6. 7. 26. 9, 10, 11. Jer. 27. 12. 29. 7. Matth. 22. 21. And the Doctrine of orthodox Divines generally is, that obedience is due to the most degenerate, tyrannicall, and oppressive Magistratesh. When therefore this necessary and unconditionated duty (as to the parties behaviour) becomes the subject of an oath, or personall engagement, it is not capable of capitulations or conditions to be performed by the persons sworn to, upon which the obligation of the oath shall be dependent; to admit such qualifications, would frustrate the end of a promissory oath, which is to give assurance and security (and that the strongest men can give) to the party unto whom the oath is made, of what, either was before, or is then made due by promise; instead whereof the inserting of conditions of this nature in this case would make what was before clearly owing now more dubious and uncertain to the expectation of the proprietor: and would be apt to beget in the debtor a perswasion, (upon non-performance of conditions) of a discharge as well from the matter, as from the obligation of the Oath.

4. Of Humane Covenants, or promissory oaths, whereof the subject or matter is arbitrary, and we are not otherwise bound to then by Covenant, or Oath, there are severall sorts,i some are absolute, having no expresse condition annexed, but are simply undertaken, saving that those generall and constant provisoes of every promise or oath which need now expressing, are to be understood therein, viz: that the thing when it comes to be performed be lawfull and possible, and notwithstanding the understanding of which the obligation is absolute. As for instance, such was that promise and oath of Joseph to his father Jacob, Gen. 47. 29, 30, 31, &c. and that of the children of Israel to each other, Judg. 21. 5. And that of Jonathan to David, 1 Sam. 20. 12, 13. Others again are conditionall, wherein something future, that is contingent, or depending upon mans will is particularly, and expresly comprised as a qualification of the matter to be performed, the failing of which is a discharge of the person engaging from the promise or oath. Such was that of the servant to Abraham, Gen. 24. 2. 3. 4. 8. 9. And that of the Spics to Rahab, Joshus 2 12. to 21. Now then for Mr. G. to say generally of all oaths and promises whatsoever, whether they be of things in their own nature necessary, or of things arbitrary; whether they be absolute, or conditionall; and to say specially of all promises and oaths of Allegiance, or subjection, and particularly of these oaths in question, that they are conditionall, and binde no longer, nor any otherwise then whilest, and as the partie covenanted with, or sworn to, behaves himself as he did at the time of covenanting, is both in it self, and by what is here said, as also by the ordinary practise of men in Indentures, and oaths apparently inconsistent, and absurd; and to infer such an universall loosening of men from Oaths and Covenants, of what nature soever, upon the parties miscarriage to whom the engagement is made, from the conditionallty of some divine promises, is (besides the impietie of it above denoted) an insupportable non sequitur, and by Mr Gs. sophistry never to be maintained; yet this is all the Logick of this Argument.

Having thus (I hope) sufficiently taken away the Exceptions of this Author against the force of the Oath of Allegiance, I leave him thaining and travailing about that stone of Sisiphus, (to wit, the guilt of Royall blood) which he labours to foul away in that his book, and proceed to another.

The next I meet with that strikes at the obligation of this Oath, is one that asserteth himself to be of those whom he that I had last to do with, professeth himself a Champion against, that is, the Presbyterian part, but in this (as far as my ken will reach) he is alone for them: I mean the Author of The lawfulnesse of obeying the present Government, who in his 11. and 12 pages pleadeth against is with the Reasons which follow, being here set down by parcels, with my Answer to them so distinguisht.

1. It were good (saith he first) to consider, whether there be any clause in any Oath or Covenant, which in a fair and common sense forbids obedience to the Commands of the present Government, and Authority, much lesse when no other can be had, and so the Common-wealth must go to ruine.

1. The many clauses of severall Oaths, and of the Covenant and Protestation, which strictly forbid such obedience, I have urged [Chap. 2.] whither I refer him.

2. But by his last sentence recited [much lesse when no other, &c.] together with his marginall quotation [of a Popish Schoolman or Casuist telling us, When a thing sworn is too difficult, or he that swore is by the change of abilities or estate rendered lesse apt to perform: or lastly, when the thing sworn is an hindrance to the swearer from consulting the publick good, then there is a lawfull cause of dispensing in the Oath] he seems as if he would insinuate a cessation of the Oath in our case, unto which I say.

1. Take dispensation, in the usuall Popish acception, and all power of dispensing in Oaths and Vows, in whomsoever it be supposed to be, is denyed with one consent, (as far as I have observed, or ever heard) by Protestant professors: and it is a meer popish doctrine, and papall arrogation exploded from amongst us.k And this Oath hath it self precluded and cut off all use of this shift of a dispensation in these words. I do beleeve, and in conscience am resolved, that neither the Pope, nor any other person whatsoever, hath power to absolve me of this Oath, or any part thereof. And this I the rather note, upon occasion of this Authors quoting a Doctor of the Papacy for the dispensabilitie of an Oath, in regard that some of late (if I mistake not) have taken upon them to discharge people from this Oath, or (which is all one) from the Allegiance therein sworn to. Unto which act I shall onely speak thus much, either they assume power to do this as the party to whom the Oath is taken, or as a superior, by the analogie of that Law, Numb: 30. 3, 4. But, 1. they cannot do it as the party sworn to in that Oath, for they are not that partie in the Oath, the King, and his Heirs, and Successors are the onely persons to whom, and in whose behalf the Oath is taken, and consequently they onely that can release from it as parties; nay they are the party swearing, and therefore far from a capacity of discharging others from that Oath, as presently I shall shew. 2. Neither can they do it as a superior by the equity of that Law, Numb: 30. For, 1. their lawfull superiority in the case they now stand, is the matter under question. 2. The power of a superior to undo the Oath, or bond of the inferior, prevails onely in those matters wherein the party is under the power of the superior, and not in other matters, which are without the extent of the superiors authorityl. Now this Oath concerns a duty owing to another, which they that interpose to discharge from it have no right to dispose of. 3. But however the superior can onely by the Law cited, or any other right come in to make void the Oath of the inferior, which was taken without his knowledge and consent,Animad
vertendum tamen est penes hos non esse satultatem reseindendi quodll. her [Editor: illegible word] subditorum; sedillud [Editor: illegible word] cuius materia est [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] subitsts Alsled. Theol. Cas. cap 15.
and that also he may onely do in the day that he hears of it; but if he either allow the making of it, or declare not against it presently, when he comes to know of it, he hath no power thenceforth to recall it, as is clear by the Text. Now the Oath of Allegiance was so far from being disallowed, or declared against as soon as it was known, that it was inacted and injoyned by both Houses of Parliament, and moreover it was constantly to be taken by all the Members of the Lower House at their entrance into that House; so that besides their incompetency to discharge from the Oath who have assented to it; Let any man shew how they who are parties to the oath, and have themselves taken it can disanull it; the obliged parties disanulling is a strain above Papall dispensation.

2. But to speak to these causes of dispensing with an Oath according to the Casuists Divinity, which the Author applyeth to the case in hand. 1. When the thing sworn is too difficult, or the swearer is by the change of ability,Reg. 2. num. 16. or estate, rendred lesse apt to perform. If by this difficulty of the thing, and unaptnesse of the person sworn, he mean, the thing is become impossible, and the partie utterly unable to observe it. All reasonable men will grant so far as the impossibility lyes and so long as it continues the Oath binds not, but this is not to our Authors purpose, for to cease from an act, that is, from obedience to the present Government, can never be impossiblem. But if he intend by difficultie and unaptnesse, that the thing sworn to will bring hard tearms upon the swearer, or breed him temporall losse, and trouble, this is no cause to infringe the tye of an Oath, or give a discharge from it; He that hath sworn to his own hurt, must not therefore change from it: Psal. 15. 4.

2. When the thing sworn is an impediment to the swearer from consulting the publick good.Obligatio tollitur quoad id solum quod est factu impossibile quoad reliqum vero maner, & qui non potest omne quod debet, debts tamen omne quod potest. Idem Sect. 12.

1. If the thing sworn should become privative of, or opposite to, the publick good, or well-being of the Nation in Its own nature, & necessarily, it were unlawfull, and consequently the oath would be void, for to a sinfull thing there can be no obligation. But if it be onely of that nature which they call impeditive of a greater good, that is, if it stand in the way (not of the good of the Kingdom simply, and absolutely respected, but onely) of some higher degree of good supposed to be attainable; this consideration will not bear that weight, as to frustrate an oath. As for example, when a people that hath sworn obedience to a lawfull form of Government, which yet is not absolutely the best, as suppose to a Democracy, or Aristocracy, or that hath sworn obedience to a lawfull Prince, who yet is not simply the ablest that can be found for regall parts and qualifications, such may not take themselves discharged from their Oath, because there may be a better modell of Government, or a better qualified person to make a Prince sound out, and for that cause cast off their present Government and King, and set up another because comparatively better. It was doubtlesse better for the people of Israel, that the Gibeonites had been destroyed, as the rest of the Canaanites were (if there had been no oath to the contrary) then that they were spared (besides that the sparing of them was against an expresse positive Law:Est regula iuris,rei impossibilis nulla est obligatio. Deut. 20. 16.) and so the congregation judged, and therefore grudged at the sparing of of them: yet in that case the Oath for sparing them stood inviolable. Josh. 9. 15. 18, 19. 2 Sam. 21. 1, 2, &c. It was in like sort for the Kingdoms greater good, that Zedekiah and his people should be free from Nebuchadnezzar subjection, yet that was not a dissolution of that Kings Covenant and Oath, Ezek. 17. 12, 13, &c. 2. It will at no hand be granted, that to withhold obedience from a usurped Power is in it self impeditive of the publick good at all, I know inconveniencies are by this Author urged to follow, if such a Power be not obeyed; as that, Else all Authority must fall to the ground, and so confusion, (which is worse then titular tyrannie) be admitted. But all Authority hangs not upon the back of Usurpation, this may come down shortly again, and that recover it self, and stand upright. Present quietnesse and security are like to be but in a sickly state, obey, or obey not; and for justice, as there is none where every man is left to himself, so there is usually little to be had from the hands of an unjustly gotten Power; Dominion being wont to be worn as it was come byn. An Issachar-like bowing down under the Common-wealths oppressions is not for publick good (neither were we told thus when the Parliament began to stand up, and awaken the people to shake off Expilation and oppression) the Orator will tell us, Servitude is the worst of Evils, and to be repelled at the charge not onely of war, but deatho. Nay Religion will dictate to us in the words of the wisest earthly King, That righteousnesse exalteth a Nation; and, The throne is establisht by righteousnesse. Under Usurpation then we can expect no settlement; and to submit to it, is to help to fasten that which is certain to fall, and to fall with the greater confraction, by how much it is more favoured. Commotion and tumultuousnesse is sure (in reason) to follow violent domination. Let Israels many and turbulent changes of their Kings (after their departure from the house of David) be a president for it, of whose kings for their speedie and fatall ends, it may be said, as it was of many of the Romane Cæsars, that they rather seemed to be kings in a Scene, or personated on the Stage then reall Authorities. The standing off from obedience is but like to speed the Commotions, and make them easier. To perswade men to couch down under Usurpation, when it is gotten up to save troubles, is as if a man that is got into the briars should stick therein, because he may take himself in offering to get out; or he that hath a festered sore, or grown disease in his body, should let it alone, and go on, because it will stir the humours, and cost him some pain to be cured.

2. The same Author proceeds, And whether it, (to wit, any clause in any Oath or Covenant) forbids obedience to the present Authority, more then to Laws that have been formerly enacted, by those which came into Authority meerly by Power. 1. You have not yet produced any former Princes that had any hand in the making of a Law, that came into the regall Authority meerly by power; for although some of them got possession by the Sword, yet (to omit the alledging of other title) they were confirmed, by the Kingdoms consent in Parliament, before they concurred in Enacting Laws for the Kingdom. 2. The Laws you reflect on were not meerly made by those Princes whom you pretend to have come in meerly by Power, but were constituted by Parliamentary Enacting; And for any former Parliaments coming into the Authority meerly by force, you neither do nor can alledge any thing.

3. He urgeth further. If it be said, that in the Oath of Allegiance, allegiance is sworn to the King, his heirs and successors, if his heirs be not his successors, how doth that Oath binde? Either the word successors must be superfluous, or it must binde to successors as well as to heirs; and if it binde not to a successor that is not an heir, how can it binde to an heir that is not a successor? And if you will know the common and usuall sense (which should be the meaning of an Oath) of the word Successors, you need not so much ask of Lawyers and learned persons, as of men of ordinary knowledge, and demand of them who was the successor of William the Conquerour, and see whether they will not say W: Rufus, and why succeeded Rich: the 3d: and whether they will not say, Hen: the 7th: and yet neither of them was heir: so in ordinary acception the word Successor is taken for him that actually succeeds in Government, and not for him that is actually excluded.

This Author in these lines raiseth much dust, that it may serve him for a double end: 1. To obscure the genuine sense of this clause of the Oath, that it may not seem to make against him, as indeed it doth; and then to detort and wrest it, to the advantage of his Usurpers interest. 1. He would cast a mist upon the words of the Oath, to over cloud its true sense, and this he attempts in the fore cited Discourse untill you come to this mark ∥: he endeavours i: by placing an ambiguity in the word [Successors], and setting it at odds with the word [Heirs] whereas this clause of the Oath is clear enough in it self, and far enough from the use he would make of it; and firm enough to the sense which he opposeth. Which that I may evince, I desire the Reader to observe these two things.

1. That the Oath intends by Heirs, and Successors, the same persons which may evidently appear, 1. By the manifest drift of the Oath, and intention of the Authority that prescribed it, which is the continuance and assurance of the Crown (upon concession of his then Majesties just title) to his Heirs in succession after him, and one another lineally, and the defence of them therein against all other corrivals or opposers; this I cannot see which way will be gainsayed; and being so, it will inforce us to grant the Oath, and Oath-giver, could not mean by successors any other then heirs. 2. In that the words [heirs and successors] are joyned by the copulative [and], whereas if they should have intended different parties, the discretive [or] should, in true syntaxis have been put betwixt them. 3. In that his heirs and successors are immediately in the Oath denoted by the same pronounce [them], and again by the same possessive [their] in those words, (and him and [them] will defend to the uttermost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against his or [their] persons, [their] Crown or dignity) but if they be not the same persons, how come they to be thus particled together? especially how can they immediately after his Majestie be instituted to the same Allegiance, and defence therein in relation to the same Crown and dignity; admit them divers, and the Oath will import a contradiction: and will any man imagine, so irrationall a thing as that Authority hath so long imposed, and the Kingdome, especially the most intelligent persons in it, have universally taken an Oath so irreconcileable to it self. 4. The Law of the Land (unto which this Oath must needs be yeelded to be consonant) ordains his Heirs to be his Successors.

2. That the Oath understands by Successors, those onely that are so de jure, and not any others, that contrary to right may intrude into the royall Seat, and injuriously make themselves successors onely de facto. For, 1. In the Oath we swear Allegiance, and defence to Successors; now what man of conscience would ever impose, or take an Oath of this nature to any (but in his intention) a just party, for to such a one alone could he swear in righteousnesse according to Jer. 4.2. 2. The Oath appropriates the Crown and dignity to Successors, as theirs, in these words, [their Crown and dignity] now theirs, and their right are all one. 3. The Oaths of Allegiance, and Supremacy must needs accord, and this may be the best Explanatorie of that: now this, viz: the Oath of Supremacy prefixeth the word [lawfull] to Successors, and confineth our allegiance to his lawfull Successors in these words, The Kings highnesse, his Heirs, and lawfull Successors: which epithite will not permit the word Successors, either in that or in the Oath of Allegiance (unlesse you will unreasonably make them jarring) to be carried to any successor but him that is such of right. And this reason will also irrefragably confirm the former Proposition, viz: that the Oath intends by Heirs and Successors, the same persons, for who are his lawfull Successors? the Law will tell you, his Heirs.

By these two Propositions (sufficiently cleared I hope) we may understand how the Oath (in that clause) binds; and that, 1. There is no superfluitie in the word Successors; for an Identity in sense of divers words is no vain Tautalogie, many words signifying the same thing being ordinarily used (and especially in Oaths, and such like punctuall forms, and particularly in the Oaths of Allegiance, and Supremacy in divers other clauses) for explication, and significancies sake. And though heirs and successors in the clause in hand mean the same persons, yet it may be in a divers consideration, as thus: They are Heirs in his Majesties life time, and Successors at his death respectively. 2. That the Oath binds neither to his Heirs, nor Successors disjunctively, or the one taken from the other, but to both conjunctively, as one: and taking Successors aright, that is, for lawfull successors, we need not, cannot say that it binds either to a successor that is not an heir, or to an heir that is not a successor, viz: de jure, though perhaps he may be prevented, or delayed from actuall succession, or rather possession.

2. But this Author will have [Successors] to signifie such as are so de facto, and do actually succeed in Government; And by this means this passage of the Oath shall make for the Usurper if he be in possession. I have said (I think) that which is enough to fore-stall this alreadie, but let his Argument be heard, and receive a formall Answer; it is in effect thus.

The common and ordinary acception of the word Successor, means him that actually succeeds in Government; but the word Successor in this Oath, must be understood in the common and ordinary acceptiont Ergo, the word Successor in this Oath must mean him that actually succeeds in Government.

1. I answer to the major by denying it if taken universally; and if it be not, the Syllogisme is false: the major not being universall in the first figure. For although one common sense of the word Successor, is he that actually succeeds whether by right or wrong, yet that’s not the sole usuall acception of the word, and this I shall evince the same way that he goes about to prove his acceptation to be the common one; and in so doing, confute also his proof of his major which is thus. If you would know (saith he) the common sense of the word Successors, ask not so much Lawyers and learned persons, as men of ordinary knowledge, and demand of them who was William the Conquerours successor? they will say, W: Rufus. Who succeeded Rich: the 3d: they will say, H: the 7th: and yet neither of them was heir. R. Although I yeeld not his rule to be the best (for if Successor be a tearme used in the Law (as it is in this Oath prescribed by Law) Lawyers, and learned men in the Law, were there any obscurity would be the fittest Interpreters of it; for it is a maxime, we must beleeve every one in his own facultie or Actp) yet I shall refer the matter to it so the question may be rightly propounded, and as the case in hand will allow. This Author propounds it fallaciously, and unapplicably to the present purpose, in that he demands de præterite, and so as the question onely interrogates of an actuall Successor [who was successor, or did succeed such a one?] and then the answer (whether made by men learned or unlearned) must needs bring in him that did succeed in fact. But let the question be put de future, and thus onely it is sutable to a promissory oath which respecteth the future time, and a thing to be done in it; and consequently to this Oath which is promissory, and runs de future. I shall bear faith and true Allegiance; and I will defend, &c. and was taken of a successor not that had succeeded, but that was to succeed, and it will be this, who is to be his Majesties successor? and then let even the man of ordinary knowledge answer it, and see whether he will not say, not every one that can catch it, but he that hath right to the Crown. And by this sitting of the question to the current of the Oath, and the resolution that the thing it self gives to it, as the proof of his Proposition is taken off, so the contradictory to it is necessarily inferred, to wit, that the sole, common and ordinary acception of the word Successor, is not him that actually succeeds in Government. But if the word Successor be capable of a divers acceptation, what obligation can there be to successors in the Oath? R: Although Successor in common usage may be taken two wayes, to wit, either for a successor in fact, or a successor in right, yet in the Oath it can be taken but in the latter sense. For, 1. It is a rule for the finding out of the sense of an Oath agreed on among Casuists, that in Oaths injoyned, or imposed by others, we must construe them in that sense which is known, or may most probably be judged to be the prescribersq; but his end in this Oath being the support of his Crown in a lineall succession from himself, according to his right settled by the Laws, his sense intended by Successors could onely be, they that are such de jure, and the same that are his heirs. 2. To take the word in the other sense, viz: for Successors de facto, how unjustly soever possessed is inconsistent. 1. With the nature of an Oath, which must be taken in righteousnesse: Jer. 4. 2. that is, to oblige onely to that which is just. 2. With the word Heir, which being placed first in the Oath, must first be served; and successor can be onely understood in congruity with it. 3. With the Oath of Supremacy, which bindeth us to the lawfull Successors. 4. With the Law of the Land, which appointeth succession to the Heir. 5. With a possibility of keeping the Oath, for if heirs and successors mean divers persons, how can the Oath of Allegiance, and defence of the Regall dignity be observed towards both?

Having vindicated this passage of the Oath of Allegiance from this Authors distortion, I cannot let him passe without without a brief animadversion or two more. 1. Whilest he contends about the sense of Successors, and would have it understood of actuall succeeders, that it may favour the Usurpers, he forgets what is the object of that succession, viz: a Crown, and regall dignity, wherein by vertue of that Oath those Successors are to be defended: wheras they whose power he pleads for, (and in whose behalf he undertook to answer this clause, as not forbidding obedience to them) have not onely put by the rightfull Successor, but abolished the Crown and Regall dignity it self; unto what then would he have his mecenates to be successors? or how will he reconcile obedience to them with defence of the Crown, and royall dignity? 2. It is to be admired, that a person of so fair a character (as is given him by the worthy Authors of the Religious Demurrer) should begin this Section of his with a generall deliberative, (It were good to consider, whether there be any clause in any Oath or Covenant, which forbids obedience to the Commands of the present Government,) and yet take no notice of any thing in this or the other Oaths and Covenants, save of this clause onely in this Oath, which it seems he thought he could not onely loosen from obliging against him, but draw over to be accident to him, which how well he hath performed, I leave the Reader to consider. And I further admire how (seeing he accounteth Oaths sacred bonds, and reverend obligements) he feared not to use such enforcement to the clear letter of so tender and sacred a thing; for though any body can say a tyrant sine titule, or a Usurper is a Successor de facto when he is in, yet that he is such a successor as the Oath intends, viz: one that we are sworn in allegiance to, and are bound by that Oath to defend to the uttermost of our power, &c. Having withall (probably at the same time) sworn in the Oath of Supremacy Allegiance to the lawfull Successors, and to our power to assist, and defend all jurisdictions, priviledges, &c. belonging to those Successors, is a grosser interpretation, then I hope he himself will own when he considers it, or any considering and conscientious men can receive. And I could wish he would consider, whether when he took the Oath he had this sense in his minde, or rather it be not newly excogitated, upon the coming into question of these late transactions; and how neerly this practise entrencheth upon perjuryr.

4. But having said what he thinks fit to the clause, he will have one glance at the urgers of it. Yet with all this quære may be added, while the son is in the same posture in which the father was, how comes this Oath at this time to stand up, and plead for disobedience in regard of the Son, that was asleep, and silent in regard of the Father?

1. They that plead this Oath for disobedience, or rather denying obedience to the present Power in regard of the Sons right, did the same in regard of the Father; when it was apparent, that not a meer defence of Religion and Liberties, and a recovery of the Kings personall presence to the Parliament was the end of the war, but the Fathers death, and the Sons dis-inheriting, with the deflowering of the Crown, and over-turning of the Throne it self. Witnesse (amongst other testimonies) what the London, Essex, Lancashire, and Banbury Ministers have declared publickly in their respective writings, they are alike sworn to, have according to their power and vocations, stood for the Authority of both, and not allowed the deposition of either, or the usurpation of their Power by others: they have prayed against, bewayled, stood astonied at, witnessed against the proceedings that have been against both of them: and to this day they lament that the clear Word of the Lord, held forth by their testimonies, hath not prevailed for the prevention or retractation of those direfull, and (the world throughout) scandalous courses.

2. The Son cannot yet be in the same posture his Father was in, whilest an overture or proposall for satisfaction hath not once been made to him, wherein he is in the view of the Kingdom more harshly and extreamly dealt with then even his Father was; and as his Fathers sufferings as to life were without president, so are his as to succession to the Crown.

Mr. Ashcom (whom I had in hand before, Chap. 2.) hath divers strange, and unapproveable passages reflecting upon the Oaths under debate; which I shall cull out as I meet with them in severall places. In his 2d. part, Chap. 8. Sect. 6. he layes down foure Cases, wherein he saith, Subjects are freed from their sworn Allegiance. His three first, (viz: 1. If a Prince abandon. 2. If he alienate. 3. If Nero-like through mad furie or folly, he seek in an hostile way the destruction of his whole Kingdom) will I presume be taken not to concern our case in hand; the fourth possibly may be judges applicable to it, which therefore I shall take notice of: and a brief animadversion will serve, he delivering it (as he doth other odde and unfound stoffe) with a pythagoricall magisteriousnesse, and without the assistance of reason to induce a perswasion to it in the Reader.

Fourthly, (saith he) if the Prince have part of the supreame right, and the people the other part, then notwithstanding an Oath of Allegiance to him, he may be opposed if he invade the other part of Supreame right. And a few lines after he affirms with Gestius, He may lose his right by the Law of War. And in the next Section he saith of all those foure Cases, and therefore of this, That they shew how we are absolved in our own consciences from all Oath and Contract, when one party forfeits his Conditions first.

The defensive opposing of a Prince, invading his Compeers part by the party invaded where the Supreame right is so shared, (supposing the Oath of Allegiance to be cautioned according to that sharing) I shall not dispute, it being beside the present question; but his losing his right by the Law of War; and the Subjects absolution from Oath upon that his supposed forfeiture of conditions, I shall a little call into question. 1. He tels us (if we will take it upon his word) if the Prince invade the others right, he may lose his right by the Law of War. What the Law of War means (if diverse, or varying from Gods, and other humane Laws) I understand not, nor is it materiall; in discerning into the permanency, or cessation of right, and of an oath concerning it, we are to have recourse to the Law of God, and Nature; and if by these the Princes title, and Subjects oath remain firm, notwithstanding his invading the peoples right, the Law of war like Alexanders Sword may violently cut in sunder, but it cannot unloose either the single tye of right, or the superadded of an oath. How should this forfeiture come? if any wayes, by way of satisfaction for the trespasse upon the others right. But theologicall Justice appoints not, that where one invadeth anothers right, the Invaders right should thereupon be cancelled; and that it may be lawfull for the invaded, upon that injury received, to invest himself therewith, and finally to alienate and disposse him of it. A liberty of defence it permitteth to the Invaded in relation to his own right, and a prosecution of the Invader unto his full satisfaction for the wrong inferred by him, and for that end (if there be no other mean but war left to effect it) the invaded (if he have power of war) may sease the Invaders right unto a just recovery or restitution of his own; but that being compassed, and proportionable satisfaction for the trespasse being given or gained, the Invaded party must sit down therewith, and not extend his line over all his late Invaders right. Every transgression towards man cals for satisfaction; and whoso doth wrong, is bound to make reparation; and his right is responsible, or obnoxious sofar: but it is more then summum jus to carry this compensation to a totall and perpetuall translation of the Injurers possession to the Injured: totall confiscation is too high a penalty to be set upon every encroachment. Look into the laws and rules of satisfaction in Scripture, as Exod. 22. 1, 2, &c. Levit. 6. 4, 5. 2 Sam. 12. 6. Luk. 19. 8. and it will appear the deepest amounts but to a fourefold restitution of the damage. Nay look into that order (which comes home to our Case) concerning the Princes of Israel, who having formerly used oppression, violence, spoil, and exaction towards the people of God, are not therefore adjudged to be deprived of their whole Inheritance (Office, and all) but are onely reduced to their own portion: Ezek. 45. 7, 8, 9. But because this Gentleman flies to the Law of War for this his extreame dealing with Princes, hear what a learned Judge, and profound Statesman delivers, in the case, in relation to that very rule. It is the Lord Verulam, who (insisting on the fullnesse of a war on the King of Englands part with Spaine, for the recovery of the Palatinate, although the Paulsgrave in whose behalf that war should be commenced,Considerations touching war with Spaine, written by the right honourable Frane’s Lord Verulam pag. 3, 4, 5, 6. should be accounted to have made an unjust war in Bohemia, by means whereof he came to lose the Palatinate) resolves thus: An offensive warre is made, which is unjust to the Aggressour, the prosecution, and race of the war carrieth the Defendant to assail, and invade the ancient and indubitate patrimonie of the first aggressor, which is now turned Defendant, shall he sit down, and not put himself in defence? or, if he be dispossest, shall be not make a war for the recovery? No man is so poore of judgement as will affirm it. This resolution he confirms with many instances worthy to be perused in the Author; and in the end with this Reason: Wars are vindict, revenges, reparations; but revenges are not infinite, but according to the measure of the first wrong or damage. And within a few lines after he saith of the case he is arguing: It is the more clear on our part, because the possession of Bohemia is settled with the Emperour. For, though it be true, that Non datur compensatio injuriarum, yet were there somewhat more colour to detain the Palatinate, as in the nature of a Recovery in value, or compensation, if Bohemia had been lost, or were still the stage of War. According to the rule of Justice then, yea even that of War, the peoples right being recovered, and satisfaction given or tendered for the securing of it for future, the late invasive Prince should injoy his right again, and the oath that was given for the securing of it stands in force, and obligeth to it. And this may be further cleared, in that the Solemne League and Covenant was prescribed, and taken when the King was judged to be in the actuall invasion of the peoples rights; when the people could not be reasonably required to swear the said Covenant in behalf of the Kings right, if such an invasion did forfeit it, and absolve the Subjects from their oaths to him; and if they did then swear, they cannot afterward plead an absolution from their Oaths by vertue of that invasion. And if the late Kings actions could be a forfeiture of all rights, and dissolution of all Oaths as to himself (which I cannot yeeld) yet how can either of them be said to be disanulled in relation to his Heir, upon whom the right legally descends, and unto whose title the Oaths were sworn. If it be said, he was partaker in the same actions, the Religious Demurrer will tell you,1. part, pag. 8. that the right and title to the Crown upon his Fathers death, deth quit him from all stain by the Laws of the Land.

2ly, Whereas he would infer this absolution from all oaths, by the Princes forfeiture of his Conditions first. What Conditions doth he mean? 1. If he understand any conditions to be in the Subjects Oaths which are to be fulfilled by the Prince, upon which tearms the Subjects Oaths shall binde, he is besides the book; the Oaths of the people put no conditions upon the Prince, but are all absolute and irrespective, and run without ifs, or and’s; in like manner as the obligation of Subjects allegiance to their Soveraigne is irrespective according to Divine Institution, as I have before (in this Chap.) proved. If this Author fancy any such conditions in the peoples Oaths, let him shew where they lye, and what they are. 2. If he mean conditions in the Kings Oaths of Government, they are also unconditioned, or not dependant on tearms to be kept on the Subjects part: and, as the Subjects miscarriage is not a releasement of the King from his Oath of Government, so the Kings failing is no discharge of the Subject from his Oath: the validity, or obligation of either cannot be said to hang on the performance of the other; unlesse it could be proved that each part swore with respect to the others observation of his duty and oath, which neither the tenor of the Oaths, nor the subject matter of them will permit to be granted; nor hath this or any other Author that I have seen, said any thing to prove that.

3ly, If by conditions he mean the capitulations which the Kingdom may be supposed to have made with him at his Installment in the Throne, upon the keeping,At si duo homines mutuo se obligent promissis diversi generis, aut non codem tempore, aut alias citra mutuum respectum: violata ab uno fides non liberat alterum obligatione; sed uterque renetur id servare quod ipse juravit, etiamsi alter quid suarum crat partium non effecetit, exempli gratia. Rex aliquis simpliciter, & citra respectum ad sidelitatem [Editor: illegible word] iurat le regnum administratum iustè & secundum leges: subditi alio tempore simpliciter & citra respectum ad Principis officium iurant se el debitam [Editor: illegible word] & abedientium præstituros, utrique obligantur quod lui est officii sideliter facere, et si delecerit altera [Editor: illegible word] suo o licio: ita ut neque Rex solums sit a suo iuramento, si [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] obsequm a non [Editor: illegible word] nec subditisuo, si Rex a [Editor: illegible word] tramite [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] D Sanderf de Iurament. oblig. prælect. 4. Sect. 8. or breaking whereof he should enjoy, or lose his dignity; there are no such capitulations made either with him personally, or with any of his predecessors to be alledged; they are inconsistent with the Supreame Power entrusted with him. The truth is, it is a weak error, though somewhat apt to possesse the minds of unconsidering men, that in those estates of life ordained of God for the help of man, wherein there is a mutuall relation, and answerable offices to be performed (as of Magistrate, and Subject; parent, and childe; husband, and wife, Master, and servant) where there is a departure from duty on the one side, there is a cessation of the debt of duty on the other. If this were so, it were a frivolous thing for men, subject to corruption, to contract any relations; and there would be no place left for the exercise of gentlenesse, patience, charity, betwixt relatives, nor for the inferiors passive obedience in case of innocencie; but this is directly contradicted by that of the Apostle Peter, 1 Pet 2. 18, 19, 20. and those rules of the Apostles, Rom. 12. 17. 1 Thes. 5. 15. 1 Pet. 3. 9. There are indeed some particular cases wherein the beneficiall duty of those relations is expireable, as is that of the married in case of adultery; that of parents when their children are rebellious [Editor: illegible word] that of Magistrates towards a Subject capitally offensive. But such particulars are warranted by Scripture; otherwise, wherein God hath not given a discharge, man may not. Now let any case, wherein the Subject is disengaged by Divine Warrant upon the Magistrates mis-administration, be produced, and made out to extend to the point in hand, and it will be yeelded; But this is yet to be done. But I go on to another passage of the Author.

In the same Chap: Sect: 7. he hath these words. Now I shall endeavour to shew how a man may take an Oath from an unjust invading party, contrary to those Oaths which perhaps he took first from the just party, who possibly brake no conditions with him. This his undertaking he prosecutes in Sect: 10. while he saith thus. I conceive but two wayes of taking such opposite Oaths. To take an Oath in contradiction of a former Oath, is so high a matter, that the way to it had need to be very clear; and It can be no way allowable save one, that is, when the former Oath ceaseth to oblige; let us examine therefore whether his two wayes fall under this one. When it is in stopping wherein as man may justly presume that the right party for a time releases him of his former Oath or duty to him. 1. The swearers presumption that the partle sworn to, doth releve him from his former Oath, unesse he hath actually released him, and declared so to him, is unto him no dis-obligation; there can be no just presumption of such a releasement, without such an antecedent act of the same party without it evidently appearing, it is but a groundlesse presumption, and highly impious: it is [Editor: illegible word] to the taking of an opposite Oath, the content of the party [Editor: illegible word] to being not passed, or made known to him, this [Editor: illegible word] is but the swearers own act, and his own act cannot discharge him; what is it that must be the ground of this [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word]. The obliged persons perswation of the equity in [Editor: illegible word] of the thing? that’s but his own judgement, the party he is bound to may haply judge otherwise; however it is at the best but a probable, not a certain ground to conclude upon, that another doth a thing because it is just, and that the party thereupon consents to a release is but his own fiction, till he hath so exprest himself to him. This were an easie way of escaping out of any promissory oath to man, and would be ordinary if it would hold; for men would be apt to induce themselves to beleeve an expediencie and justnesse of an absolution from the party, when their oaths pinch them in the performance; but this presumption is but a superficiall device.

1. The party sworn (in the case in hand) standing upon his title, preventeth this presumption, and plainly declareth the contrary: 3. In the Solemne League and Covenant, the party sworn to (as before hath been manifested) is not the King, but the people of all ranks within the three Kingdoms entring into the same Covenant: and how can they be presumed to release one, whilest they hold themselves bound by it? 4. The Protestation of the 5. of May, 1641. is a Vow; now Divines resolve, that though an Oath may be cancelled by the party to whom it is made, yet a Vow no man can remit, because it is made to God as the party, and no man hath to do in altring the right wherein we are bound to him. The things therefore concerning the Government included in that Vow, cannot so much as be pretended to be unloosed by this way.Dico relaxationem istam in juramentis, fædetibus, pactl, altisque contractibus humanis locsi habere, non itern in votis. ratlo diserminis est, quis vota Dto siunt ut parti; ab homiue autem ea sola relixari fas estquæ homini lacta sunt D. San l. de jurament. oblig. prælect. 7. Sect 8.

2. His other way he thus layes down. A man cannot by Oath be obliged further to any power, then to do his utmost; and the Oath is to be understood conditionally, if the action, or passion may be for that Powers advantage. In an Army each man being obliged by Oath to lose his life for the Prince, rather then turn back, or avoid any danger; this Army having done its utmost, is beaten; and now the Souldiers can do no more for their Prince then dye; in those straights therefore it is not repugnant to their Oath to ask quarter, or a new life, and having taken it, they are bound in a new and just obligation of fidelity to those whom they were bound to kill few houres before. They who live under the full Power of the unjust party, may be said to take quarter, and to be in the same condition with the former: and so have the liberty to oblige themselves to that which the Prince now cannot but expect from them, viz: to swear to those under whose Power they live, that they will not attempt any thing against them. All that this amounts to is, it is præter, non contra plus juramentum; and as the condition which is the ground of this promissory Oath is such, that it is impossible for a man in it to advance his parties cause, so it is impossible for him to be bound to an impossibility. Here is much strength of confidence in asserting, but none of Reason to awarrant, and prove what is here intended to be concluded. That a Souldier, or Subject, being sworn to serve his Prince to the utmost of his power, may ask, and take quarter, and passively submit to a captivating Enemy, when he is fully under his power, I shall not call into question; his Oath binding him to do what he can, for his Soveraigne forbids him not to yeeld when he can do no longer; and for him to suffer death, or harder usage by contesting with his enemy, when he lyes at his mercy, as his Oath binds not to it, so it is for his Princes disadvantage, there being yet hope that his life may be reserved, and his liberty recovered, for his Princes further service according to his Oath, in regard whereof he is rather in that case bound to ask, and take quarter, then bound out from it, but what of all this? will it thence follow, That the Souldier, or Subject thus brought under an adverse party to his Prince, oueth fidelity, and may oblige himself by Oath to that party not to attempt against him? If his Allegiance and Oath were expired, there were some probable way for it; but here is little said, or can be said for that. Let us particularly examine, what this man alledgeth.

1. He hath done what he could, and the Oath bound him to no more. R: He hath done what he could hitherto, and so far hath kept his Oath; but if the Oath was (as the Oaths in the case under debate are) not limited to that particular designe, or battell, wherein the Prince hath the worse, and his sworn followers are fallen into the unjust parties hands, but to indure whilest life lasts, and the Prince hath any service for him, he hath not done what possibly he may yet do, nor hath he satisfied his Oath, so that it can demand no more of him.

2. He hath a new life given him of his conquering Enemy, and thence becomes bound to him. This is but a rhetoricall flourish, or complement, and hath no Logick in it, his life is the same it was, and therefore the man is still under the same obligation of his duty and oath which he was before under. If this Author can prove his life to be really another, I will grant an evacuation of all his former contracted obligations. And in truth although the custome of War cals an Enemies sparing of the life of a worsted person Mercy, yet if that persons cause were good, though he hath found bad successe, he hath not forfeited his life to his prevailing Enemy, neither is he beholding or in debt to him for it, no more then a true man oweth his life to those theeves that onely rob him; or a weak man is indebted for his life to a strong man, because he kils him not. 3ly. This is besides, and not against the former Oath. 1. If it be not against it, you are besides your undertaking, and prevaricate it, for you promised to show how a man might take an Oath contrary to his former Oaths. 2. But it is plainly against the former, for to swear to do the utmost that can be for, the Prince, and to swear not to attempt any thing against that Princes Enemy which hath dispossest him of his right can be no other then contraries. 4. It is impossible for him to be bound to an impossibility, and it is now impossible for him to advance his parties cause. That which is in it self,Sed rei impossibility ex accidente tancum aliquautum diversaest extio. Vt si quia [Editor: illegible word] foir re centurn intra unensem, quod non est per se impossibile casit aliquo in opino int. rian impedtatur, ut non possit tantum pecumæ lummam te [Editor: illegible word] æsi utn const [Editor: illegible word] non obligetur in soro conseientiæ ad saciendum quod promisit, seif: ad solvondu n toru n debitum debito tempore quod iam redditum est et impossibale; oblignut men [Editor: illegible word] um quod in se est, viz ad solvendum qo ntum potest, & quam cito potest [Editor: illegible word] in que est quia cum in hoc [Editor: illegible word] impossibilitas impediti obligationem: obligatio tollnor quoid idio um quod est factu impossibile, quoad reliquum vero maner, & qui non sorest [Editor: illegible word] quod debet, debet tamen omne quod potest. D Sanders, de Iur. oblig. prælest 2. Sect 12. or in its own nature impossible, an oath cannot binde to; but that which is in it self probable, and therefore promised under an Oath, may by accident, or by the interposition of some casuall impediment become impossible, this is very ordinary, and this kinde of impossibility doth not dissolve an Oath, but only suspends it for the time, untill the present impediment be removed: so that though the Oath binde not to the hic and nunc of the accident all impossibility, yet it stands in force till, and obligeth to the thing as it is in it self possible, and may (the obstacle being removed) be hereafter feasible. 2. Whilest it is impossible for him to advance his parties cause, it is a frivolons thing for him to swear that he will attempt nothing for his party against the Enemy, for so he onely swears not to attempt an Impossibility; and when this impossibility ceaseth, the former Oath to his Prince taketh place: so that this objected Impossibility can be no warrant for such a latter oath..

Our Author in his Chap: 9. Sect. 3. thus opposeth the obligation of the Oaths: God saith, By me Princes reigne the governing Powers which are, are of God. God hath declared that he will chastise, and change Princes, and Governors; and when we see the changes and chastisements, we may be sure they are by Gods order, yea, though the invading or succeeding Governors like John, Nebuchadnezzar, or those who by cruelty sheev us nothing but Gods wrath. Wherefore it can be no lesse then sin in us, or treason against God, to saye: we will never obey any, but this, or that Prince, or State, or any but of such a Family: for this depends on Gods Providence and Justice, which sets bounds to the duration of Governors, and Governments. 1. It is certain that all the Kings and Potentates of the Earth are set up and pulled down by God, and every change of Governors, even the advancement of those who are heavie scourges to the people, is in a sence by and from him; and it is as certain, that some Princes in some sence are not of God, as is clear enough, Hosea 8.4. We must therefore distinguish thus. 1. A thing is said to be of God, in that it was fore-seen, and pre-ordained of him before it came to passe; and falleth out by his providence and disposall. And thus every act or event is by him, whether it be right, or wrong, agreeable or repugnant to his revealed will or Commandment: 2 Chron. 25. 20. 2 Sam. 24. 1. So are all thefts, robberies, oppressions, murthers, violent dispossessions, and occupations. Thus even Antichrists power that is derived to him by the divell is yet given him of God, Rev. 13. 5. 7. 17. 17. And so was Pilates power to crucifie Christ: Joh. 19. 10, 11. 2. To be of God, importeth the thing to be injoyned, warranted or approved by his word, or revealed will; and thus Gomaliel useth the tearms, when he speaks hypothetically of the Apostles preaching and working miracles. If it be of God, in opposition to that which is of men, although in the former acception nothing is of men, but it is of God also. Act. 5. 38, 39. Now to discern what is of God, so as to impose upon us, we must not go to his secret will or providence, many things come about to us that way which we are not bound to embrace and acquiesce in, but may, yea ought to use remedy against, and strive to avert, or remove, such as are tentations to sin, diseases of the body, captivity, oppression, dishonour, defamation, and such like. These evils, albeit we are patiently and submissively to bear them for the present, as they come from Gods correcting hand, when they are come to passe; yet we are allowed and required to seek the preventing of them when threatned, and the removall of them when befallen; Unjustly advanced Magistrates are of this nature; A passive submission under whom as a divine castigation, whilest we can finde no redresse, is expedient; but an embracement of them (as those that are authorised and warranted by God) active obedience to them, and maintenance or support of them (which is the matter in question) cannot upon this ground be inferred as necessary. To do evill, because it is in the power of our hand by Providence, or to perswade others, or our selves to sit down under intolerable wrongly because they are come to passe that way, is an ungodly and so [Editor: illegible word] construction of Divine Providence, and of a late invention in these every way erring times.

2ly, This Author in urging obedience upon this account, not onely crosseth Scripture and reason, but contradicteth himself in what he saith elsewhere: for the making good of this, I shall onely present the Reader with his own words pa. 79. God many times finding some Nations grosly [Editor: illegible word] and obnoxicus to his severest [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] gives them up as a prey to another Crown, thus were the seven Nations; and afterwards Israel it self was then in the hands of Nebuchadnezer: which particular case is not a generall argument, or consequence (as some would have it) for the moment of Government, or latitude of subjection in all Kingdoms. And pag. 89: he speaking of Antichrists dominain, saith, There is one kinde of usurpation which by no possession or prescription can ever become lawfull; and a Christian can never submit himself to it, without wounding his conscience and faith. And yet let this man say if this power of Antichrist be not of God, and by his providence in the sense wherein his Argument runs. 3. Whoever said, that men might swear they will never obey any but this or that Prince, State, or Family? or who ever knew it required, or done? All oaths, and particularly those of obedience, carry sill in them a caution of possibilitie; and when the matter becomes in it self impossible, the Oath ceaseth, and is void: We therefore swear to obey Princes, and States, whilest is pleaseth God to continue them to us; and this tye a present interruption of Government (though to an invaders full possession) cannot dissolve: the oath, and allegiance of Israel contracted with David, 1 Chron. 11.4. continued till his death, though Absolon rose up against him, drew all Israel after himself, and drave him out of the Land: 2 Sam. 19.9. But when a Prince or Family is irrecoverably lost to a Kingdom the Oath expireth.


The Reasons brought for obedience to the Usurpers, answered.

THe next, and last part of my work is to answer those Arguments that I have met with, which are brought for the obedience which I have disallowed in the 2d. and 3d. Chapters: the book entituled, The lawfulnesse of obeying the present Government, saith the most for such obedience of any that I know; it therefore I shall chiefly deal with.

1 Argument.First, his first and main Argument is taken from that of the Apostle, Rom. 13. 1, &c. from this text his Argument set in scame is this: If the Apostle commands submission and obedience, and that for conscience sake unto those in his time that came unlawfully into their power, and authority, then obedience to such may be now lawfull. But the Apostle commands submission, and obedience, and that for conscience sake unto those that in his time came unlawfully into their power and authority. Ergo. The major will not be stood upon. The minor is to be denyed; And for his full confutation therein, and vindication of the Apostle in this text, I shall, 1. by way of Elenthus make good the contradictory to this Proposition. 2. Answer what he brings for the maintenance of it.

1. Then I am to clear this contradictory to his minor, viz: That the Apostle in commanding obedience to the higher powers, can onely be understood of such as possesse their Authority lawfully, or have a just title, and regular calling thereunto. And this I shall undertake to do out of the Apostles own words, or by the characters he gives of the Powers he would have obeyed.

1. There is (saith the Apostle) no power but of God.

1. To be of God here must import not meerly a permisive counsell, or providence, but a divine approbation, authorization, and vocation; they are said to be of God thus, that come in by Gods way, or are called to their places as God hath appointed in his Word; and that, not the former onely, but this stricter sense of being of God must be here taken, appears thus. 1. Otherwise the Apostle had said no more for Magistrates in this Character then the Scripture saith of plagues, faminess and other judgementsa, yea of the sins of men, which in the first and larger sense are said to be of God, 2 Sam. 24. 1. 2 Chron. 25. 20. 2. A derivation of them from God in regard of providence meerly, could be no argument for obedience, non-resistance to them, and maintenance of them; for we are not to subject ourselves to, support, and refrain from resisting a thing meerly upon this ground, because it comes by providence; then a forrein Enemy that invades us, or a robber must be submitted unto, and may not be resisted; the plague or other sicknesses in the body, nay the outward temptations to sin might not be prevented or removed, for all these come by proidence But the Apostle alledgeth their being of God, here as an argument for subjection to, non-resistance, and maintenance of them.

2. By Powers in this place, this Author tels us, he means not meerly power, or authority abstracted from persons, but persons clothed with that Authority. Now that persons clothed with Authority may be said to be of God, there must be not onely Gods institution of the office, or magistracy in the abstract, for the meer ordaining of the office makes not this or that man a Magistrate more then another, but also his ordering of the persons to the office, but they that are thus ordered of God (viz: not providentially alone, but by way of vocation, approbation, and authorization, as it is above proved, the sense of the words [of God] must import) to the Magistrates place, must needs be granted to be lawfully possest of it, or to have to it a just title. This universall negative therefore of the Apostle, There is no power but of God, must not be taken in the simply universal sense, as if there were no other power in the world but such, but as a restrained universall, to wit, There is no lawfull power but of God:Hoses 1. 4. and so alone can I conceive it consistable with that of the Prophet, They have set up Kings, but not by me; they have made Princes, and I know it not. These two sayings of the holy Ghost must needs be true, and therefore must not be contradictoried? which they are not, If you take them uttered in a divers respect, the former of a lawfull, the latter of an illegall magistracie.

Jude 4.2ly, The powers here are said to be ordained of God: and v. 2. to be the ordinance of God; that is, not by his decree, or handiework meerly, of ungodly men are said to be ordained to condemnation; and the being and posture of heaven and earth are said to be Gods ordinances,Ier. 33. 25. but by his word or written sanction, a person in this acception is to be tearmed Gods ordinance, that is, by divine rule put into a place, or state: those Magistrates then onely can be said to be ordained of God; and his ordinance, that (for the substance at least) enter by the doore that he hath made, or the means and manner he hath prescribed. The sons of Aaran in their priesthood, and the Levites in their ministery were Gods ordinance, in as much as they were ordained according to Gods appointment. Whereas Korah, and his company,Levit. 8. though they officiated as Priests, yet they were not so, because they wanted that ordination. A man and a woman are by Gods ordinance husband and wife, who are espoused together according to divine rule, and not they who onely perform the acts of such one to another. In like manner, not whosoever can get into the seat of Authority by any means are Gods ordained, but they who come in according to Gods prescript and regulation.Numb. 8. Absolem, and Adenijab, though they go; into the kingdom of Israel, were not Gods ordinance; but David, and Solemon, whose places they usurped were, these being put into the place by Gods direction.

Gen. 14.3ly, The Power here may not be resisted under pain of damnation: v. 2. But, 1. An usurped Power, or they that get men under their command by force without right, may be resisted, and subdued. Abraham and his confederates justly took up Arms, and by them rescued Lot, and the Sodemites from Chederlaomer, and his participhants. The Judges and Tribes of Israel righteously warred against, and vanquished the Nations that successively obtained and exercised dominion over them, in the book of Judges: so did Samuel and Saul against the Philistines, that were for a time their masters:1 Sam. 2, 8, 9, &c. 1 Sam. So did David, whilest he was king in Hebron, with the house of Judah, against [Editor: illegible word] Abner, and all Israel: so did David and his man against Absolom and the people that followed him so did Jehoiadah in the right of Joash, against Athalia. Lastly, thus did the Maccabees against Antiochus and his race;3. 1. Which examples I but mention, having urged the most of them beforeb 2 Sam. 18. And indeed to imagine the Apostle here to tye men conscientiously, and under pain of damnation to obey,2 King. 11. and sit down without any reluctancy under, yea to maintain, assist, and fight, for them, who do by force, without any right at all, usurp Authority over them; though they were Turks, theives, Irish, Rebels, Papists, or whoever, the worst of men, and cruellest of Tyrants, and though the sufferers should come to have strength in their hands to relieve themselves, is an imposition (I think) beyond the thoughts of any sober minde, and that which none, but they of the Anabaptisticall spirit will advisedly own, and them also we may rather finde saying, then doing so; the proceedings of the Parliament, yea of all parties on both sides in the late warre disclaim this doctrine; yea the Army it self may be judge in this matter, who must either condemne this sense, or all their own warlike actions; this would make the Apostle not onely to put an insupportable passivenesse upon people, but to discourage just Magistracy, if opposed, and grown weak, whereas his manifest scope is to uphold it. 2, They that come in by meer force, with expulsion of the just Magistrate, have apparently committed this crime of resisting the Power that is the ordinance of God, and so have incurred the sentence of damnation, or condemnation (which may be understood of punishment by men) and its a strange conceit to think, that the Apostle doth here at once both condemne their act, and confirm their authority gotten by it, and that the same persons should by the same means be both the resisters that are [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word], or set in an opposite order to that ordinance, and condemned for it, and the power and ordinance it self that is to be obeyed, and not resisted. 3. If they that come in by force against the just Magistrate are the resisters of the Power here to be submitted unto, then those that shall obey those resisters in the full latitude of obedience here injoyned (which comprehends assistance and maintenance of them) do become therein resisters of the said just Power also: so that obedience to the Usurpers is rather forbidden, then taught in this text.

4ly, The Power here to be obeyed, is the minister of God to thee, a revenger to execute wrath, &c. v: 4. 1. No man can be called a minister of God, but he that is called of God to that service, wherein he is his Minister, not onely the office must be authorized, but the person must be invested with it by God; there must be some act of God, either immediately or mediately put forth towards the person, or this relation to him of being his Minister cannot be founded; now whosoever is the subject of such a divine act or vocation, hath without controversie a just title to Magistracie. 2. He that is a Revenger to execute wrath under and for God, (that is not by providence onely, as thieves, robbers, and forrein invaders are, but by place and calling) not for destruction, but for good, he must receive a warrant from God for it: vengeance is Gods alone, by property, so that none can take it in hand but by deputation from him others whatever power they have to do it, are expresly prohibited to be avengers, immediately before this text, Chap. 12. 17. Now he that receives a warrant from God for it, is lawfully impowered.

By every one of these Characters assisted by the Apostle, to the Magistracy spoken of in this text, it must needs be evinced, That the Apostle in commanding obedience to the higher Powers, can onely be understood of such as possesse their Authority lawfully, or have a just title thereunto: and this is the contradictory to his Minor, which I undertook to make good.

2. I come in the 2d. place to give Answer to what he urgeth for the proof of his Minor, which may be gathered up thus. The Romane Emperors, Claudius and Nero, came unlawfully into their Power, or Authority: but the Apostle commands submission and obedience to them; Ergo.

In this Syllogisme both his premises are peccant, and may be denyed. 1. For the minor the Apostle speaks in the generall of powers, without particular application to the Roman, or any otherc; the carrying of them to the Romane Emperors is this Authors own. If he shall say he may safely argue a thesi, ad hypothesin, or from the generall to the particular, t’is true, if he hold to such hypotheses, or particulars as are contained under the thesis or generall: but it is not granted to him, that the Apostle in this text speaks illimitedly, and without exception of all men that by any means may get power into their hands; but on the contrary it is stood upon, that he intends his precept onely of lawfully called Magistrates, (the which I have above proved) he cannot therefore include under the Apostles generall, them whom he supposeth to have unlawfully got into their power, this were Transire à genere in genus, or to argue A dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter. Neither can he be allowed to argue after that manner here, seeing he hath begun his Argument ab hypothesis, ad thesis, or from the particular to the generall, for this were to walk in a round, and to prove this by that, and that by this circularly. As for that which he hinteth on as if he would prove the minor by it, viz: this Epistle was written in the time of Claudius, or Nero, it hath no shadow of proof in it: for they were not the onely Powers then in being: there were others even among the Romanes as wel as they, himself nameth the Consuls, and Senate, as those to whom the power of right belonged, and they were then existent, and in some possession and use of the power: although the Emperours ruled with them, and in some things over-ruled them, as they were haply in other things ruled by themd; there being a kinde of mixture of power, and alternatenesse of prevalency betwixt them. Now that the Emperors were then in place (whereas others also were in power) is no more a proof that the Apostle commands obedience to the Emperours, then the being of false Apostles, and Ministers among the Churches, when the Apostle wrote to Christians to obey, and follow them that had the rule over them, proves that he commanded them obedience to those false Apostles and Ministers.

2ly, The major Proposition (That the Emperour, Claudius and Nero came unlawfully into their Authority) must also be denyed: taking [unlawfully] in the sense of the question, or case in hand, that is, in regard of title: for, although the tumultuousnes of the Souldiers, and the craft of the persons interested, were ingredients in the manner of their entrance, yet they were not the basis of their claim, or ground-work of their title: but they had, or came to have, before this precept of the Apostle could Intervene, sufficient challenge thereto, otherwise; we must therefore distinguish betwixt an error, or unlawfulnesse in the way, or manner of a Princes coming in, or obtaining possession of the throne, and an unlawfulnesse in regard of title, or of that which is of the substance or essence of his calling to that place. The former is that which can onely be objected against these two Emperours; the latter is the unlawfulnesse in the case, or question, viz: when the Rulers hold meerly by usurpation, or have no other colour of claim but force, or other intrusion: and to argue from the former to the latter, is plainly fallacious, being A dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter. But let us hear what unlawfulnesse the Author urgeth against the Emperours, and see whether it be not shore of that which is under debate, multis parasangis.

The Consuls and Senate (he saith) anciently had the chief power of Government, these at the death of C: Caligula entred into a consultation how they might restore the Common-wealth to her ancient freedome, which by the Cæsars had been taken from them, Claudius in the intrim is proclaimed Emperour by the Souldiers, and takes it upon him: Nero his successor was also first saluted Emperour, by the Souldiers: Britannicus, who was Claudius Son being kept in by the cunning of Nero’s Mother.

Unto all this the Answer is easie. Notwithstanding all these disorderly proceedings, these two had a title (for substance) sound and good enough to the rule they bare: take for this a short narration out of History.

The Romane State was often changed, and received many forms of Government successivelye, the beast in the Apocalyps wherein the great Waore sitteth, is by the current of expositors understood to be the City or State of Rome: and his seven heads are construed to be seven forms of Regiment that have been in it, viz: Kings, Consuls, Tribunes, Decemviri, Dictators, Emperours, and Popes.f If Antiquity must decide which of these Governments had the best title to be over the Romanes, it will give it to the Cæsars, for the kingly (from which that of Emperours essentially differs not) was the first in time among themg. If possession must determine it, the Emperours were at this present in the Throne, and had been for a considerable time, for foure of them had reigned in succession to one another before Claudius came in. It the consent and constitution of the people (which is the truest groundwork) must carrie it, the Emperours also were supported with this title, both originally, as to the form of Policy, at the first setting up of kings, in the infancy of this State, and personally at their respective comings in. By what means this consent was gained from the people, it is not necessary to insist, it were easie to prove, that if there were any unworthy carriage in it, it was as much at least on the submitters as on the Cæsars part.* Julius Cæsar (the first of them) had a concurrent agreement of the State which was (for substance) valid enough;h so had Augustus after himi: the same had Tiberius his next successor.k Caligula the next to him had the cheerfullest, and most affectionate assent that ever Prince hadl. By this time the Government of the Cæsars had by these reiterated acts of consent, establishment from the people sufficient to give it a just title, and free it from usurpation; The next that followed was Claudius, who was left by Tiberius joynt Heir with Caligulam, but was put by for the time by the excessive love which the people bare unto Caligulan; after whose death, the Consuls, Senate, and City Regiments talked indeed of standing up for a publick liberty. But Claudius being saluted Emperour by some of the watch, and the cry of the City Souldiers being at length that one should have the rule; the Consuls, and Senate, perceiving the Souldiers bent that way, and thereupon fearing a combustion, and suspecting their own inability to make good their designe, they being divided also among themselves, and other competitors for the Empire beginning to start up, and Agrippa the king of the Jews, strongly counselling and perswading them to it, they withered, and shrunk in with their undertaking, and at last accepted of Claudiuso: as for Nero who came in next, Britannieus indeed was neerer to the Empire in succession then he, but Agrippina, mother to Nero had prevailed with her husband Claudius to adopt Nero, and prefer him before his own Son Britannieus; which he did with the Senates consent p: Nero accordingly succeeded him, and had the consent of the State at his inauguration, without any reluctancyq.

It appears by all this, that the Cæsars, and particularly Claudius, and Nero, (insisted on by this Author) had other foundation for their Empire besides the Souldiers promoting, and sufficient to give them a lawfull calling, and title to their rule, and to excuse them from Usurpation, such as hath been afore described. And that Claudius came in (though crosse to some unripened motions, and consultations of theirs, yet) not against any Act or Decree of the Senate; but with their concurrent or subsequent approbation.

If it be objected in behalf of the Usurpers in our case, that they also have a consent of the people, by the act of the presupposed House of Commons. I answer, besides what hath been said in the close of the first Chapter, of the peoples noncommittance of any power to their Representees, to alter any thing in the constitution of the Supreame Power, or to erect a new one; all that they have to do, being to manage that proportion which is committed to them: there are moreover two main things that Impeach that Acts validity. 1. That the Lords who are an eminent integrall part of the Kingdom, as also the far greater part of the elected Commons, are, not only absent (so that a very small part of the Kingdom, even locally considered is represented by them that sit) but not permitted to come in, and professedly shut out (and consequently the parts of the Kingdom which they represent are excluded) at the passing of this consent. 2. That the object and actors in this consent, the promoted and promoters are the same persons; on whom is the new Supreme Power conferred, but on themselves that confer it? You cannot finde two parties in this act, an agent, and a patient; so that it is so far from being a legitimate contract, or transaction, that it is no politicall act at all. What reckoning shall we make of that consent which men bestow on themselves, in relation to an interest of power over others? if such a grant could create a right, few men that could get strength would lack preferment.

Having thus answered this Authors main Argument, I shall in the rest be briefer. 2. He alledgeth, In this Nation many persons have been settled in supreame Authority by meer force, without title of Inheritance, not any three immediately suceeding each other have come to the Crown by true line all succession. Five Kings on a row (the Conquerors being the first) had no title at all by proximity of blood, Hen: the 7th by meer power came in, was made King, in, and by an Army, upon this foundation of military power he got himself crowned at Westminster, and called a Parliament, wherein the Crown was entailed upon him, and his Heirs. Those that came in thus, the main body of this Nation did obey, yes doth yeeld subjection unto their Laws to this day. Not to stand to examine what he asserts in these premises: 1. The mistake of this Argument is, that because the Kings by him mentioned came not in by true succession, or proximity of blood, they therefore must needs be granted to have come in by force alone, or otherwise unlawfully; whereas though, some of them entred by the Sword, others by anticipation, yet they all, whose persons were, and Laws now are obeyed, had the concurrent, or subsequent consent of the Lords and Commons in Parliament, and that without their Houses being dismembred, and a force set at their doores. 2. The Laws made by those Princes were not made by them alone, but by them with the Parliament; and by them, not as so entring, but as received by Parliament, and so legally invested. 3. The three last Princes of this Realm did come in by an indubitate lineall succession, and proximity of blood, and the Son of the last is in being, and claiming by that title. It is observable then that this title should be denied, and cut off, when it was at the clearest state. 4. No doubt there have been unjustifyable proceedings about the Crown by some of the former possessors of it: which have been followed with remarkable punishments, and publick calamities sufficiently pointing out their injustice, and fore-warning others from making them their examples to practise by. What hath been, is no warrant to conscience that the same may be done.

3ly, He cites some Divines, and Casuists as concurrent with him in his opinion. Their words are too many for me to recite, and the nature of this kinde of Argument exacteth no long Answer. In a word therefore. 1. Axorius his words allow obedience to Tyrants in regard of title, with restriction, and in some cases, (such as are granted by me, Chap. 3d.) But your part is to prove obedience to them, in its full latitude as you have propounded your thesis, without limitation, and concluded (though not validly) by your first Argument.

2. Alfred distinguisheth of Tyrannus, titulo, & exercitio, a Tyrant in regard of title, and in regard of use: and his words immediately before these alledged by you are spoken of the latter, and so may therefore these be understood; but the former onely is the subject of our question. Besides within a few lines before he hath this passage: A Tyrant without title, who is an invader, every private man may, and ought to destroy, for he is not a Prince but a private personr. Which wil not stand with the words quoted by you, if understood of a Tyrant in regard of title.

3. Pareus in your place speaks nothing pro, or con, of obedience to Usurpers, but is explicating how the Apostle is to be taken in those words, The powers that be, are of God, ordained of God: and he distinguishes thus in the words brought in by you. The power which is of God is one thing, the getting, and use of the power is another, which is indifferent, sometimes lawfull, sometimes unlawfull, ut in dubiiss. Whither if you had followed him, you should have found him answering the doubt about Nimrods power thus We must discern betwixt the power which is ever of God, and betwixt the getting and usage of the power, which as to men is often most unjust not of God, but of mens lusts, and Satans malicet By which words it is evident, you have but half quoted him, as well as impertinently; and if his Authority may sway with you, unjustly gotten power is not of God, in regard of the person, or man, owning it, and consequently not to be obeyed by vertue of Rom. 13.

4. For the rest I have not their books to peruse, but their sayings set down by you reach not the case at all. This therefore I offer you produce any one, or more Authors, of any account amongst Protestants, that allow obedience to an unlawfull Power, [in the full latitude of obedience to a Magistrate, where there is re-ingagement of conscience pleaded by Law, ancient inheritance, and oaths sworn to another Power in being, claiming, and endeavouring to recover his right] and I will (by Gods assistance) return you a particular Answer.

4ly, His next Reason is, Either that authority which is thus taken by power must be obeyed, or else all Authority and Government must fall to the ground, and so confusion be admitted.

First, why must this needs follow? 1. May not Usurpation fall to the ground, how strongly soever it be set up, and lawfull Government be raised up again? The experience of former times hath observed, That no ill gotten power can be long livedu. Although (saith Cicero) Laws should be plunged over head, and Liberties over-awed by the power of a party, they will sometimes recover again. There is no strength of any power so great, that it can contiune by keeping men in aw, &c.

2ly, If Usurpation have a party to joyn with it, that party will suffice to administer such justice as that Authority will afford; if it have no party, it fals to the ground (for it subsists onely perforce) and a clear way is open for the right Government to take place: which will be so much the more readily entertained, by how much it hath been interrupted*.

2ly, However things succeed, evill of sin must not be done, that good of profit may be attained. It must first be proved lawfull to obey, before this Reason can be heard, which will onely plead its expediencle, if it be honest. Though commodum may be consulted, especially publicum, yet we must first be satished of the justum of it. It was not long ago pleaded, Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum. And we were not told thus, when the late wars for Laws and Liberty were first begun: If this be a cogent reason now, it was to have been so then; and we might better have prevented the miseries of a war by harkening to it, then by refusing it, have, by so dear a means, purchased to ourselves an harder condition, and now be bound to bide under it for that very reason.

3ly, If Government fall, and Confusion come, let them bear the gullt that have wrought these effects: we that detract from obedience shall onely bear the misery of it, which will be lighter to us, it may be hoped, then their greatnesse with the guilt it is gotten, and kept by, will be to them.

Fifthly, he addes, Otherwise the King being for the Commonwealth, and not the Common-wealth for the King, the end should be destroyed for the means, the whole for a part. First, the King as a man, yea as a royall person, or most noble part of the Common-wealth, is not the prime matter to be layed on the ballance; but if the King may be lookt at as ours, and so as we are in piety, and justice bound to him, to seek his preservation, and yeeld him our obedience; thus considering him, equity and a good conscience are the things stood for as the end; which although they may undergo the notion of means in reference to the Common-wealths good, yet they are desirable, and to be sought absolutely, and for themselves; and the subordinate means of the Common-wealths politicall good, must be subordinated or submitted to them, and that end is onely so far, and by such means to be pursued, as will consist with these. 2ly, The Parliament, and the Army also, are no more then a means, or a part in relation to the collective Common-wealth. Must not the rights of these therefore be stood for, with the hazard of the whole? If this rule might have guided moor in relation to their claims, such courses and events as have been, had been prevented. 3ly, Though certain destruction of the end, or whole, must not be run upon for the means, or part, yet those may be hazarded for the saving of these from certain destruction. As we see it ordinarily, men do adventure their lives and liberties for the preservation, or recovery of their estates by war; and their whole bodies for the regaining of their healths, or one wounded, or festered member, by Physick or Chyrurgery. 4ly, We are not active in the destroying of the end, or whole (if they be destroyed) and we were better both to suffer their destruction, and suffer in it, then sinfully to concur in destroying the means, or a part, or in substituting an unlawfull means, or part for the legitimate, that we might preserve them.

Sixthly, If a masters mate had thrown the master over-board, and by power would suffer no other to guide the ship but himself, if the marriners will not obey him commanding aright for the guiding of the ship, the ship and themselves must needs perish. 1. I conceive the marriners may in this case obey the Masters Mate for self-preservation, till they come to shore; in like manner that we may obey an Usurpers power, that is, act according to his command in a thing which is not onely law full, but simply necessarie both to be done, and to be done by us, as in the case of self-preservation, by repelling a forrain Enemy, or common danger of certain and important consequence; but shall it be inferred from hence, that the marriners are bound to obey the Mate, or we an Usurper, in all other things of his own concernment, or separable from self-preservation, and every other necessary duty. I am bound to submit my self to the wholesome, and necessary direction of my Pastor, and Physician in their respective ordering, touching my soul and body: must I say therefore I must resigne up my self in obedience to them in all other matters? 2ly, The case is not parallel. For, 1. The mariners (without respect to their exigence) in that posture are bound to obey none, the Master being dead, and so are conscience free. But the people (in the case) have a Magistrate surviving, and challenging power over them, to whom they have sworn Allegiance. 2ly, The Mariners are supposed without obedience to the Mate, to be sure of destruction: but by what hath been above said, it cannot be pleaded that the Nation, or the scruplers at obedience without obeying are sure to perish.

Seventhly, you quote a saying out of Cajetanx, but it suits not with the obedience you stand for; he in all that Discourse speaks nothing at all for any obedience to Tyrants in respect of title, his subject being the point of going to such Tyrants for Law and Justicey, (of which I have spoken Chap. 3.) and his whole speech being confined to it.

Eightly, lastly, (for I will not follow you in repeating again what you had said before, and I have answered above) What can the common people do in this case? they cannot judge of titles; but they see who doth visibly, and actually exercise Authority. 1. Bruit beasts do indeed onely see him that actually leads, or drives them; and therefore they follow without making difference betwixt the owner and a thief: but are men, though but common people so stupid? The people you speak of are not altogether so bruitish, they themselves disprove you, if you observe (as it is easie to discern) whom they generally abhor from, and whom they look towards: and whoso shall compare their visible bent with your present book, they whom you make but like Balsams dumb Asse, yet in this case do speak with mans voice, and forbid the madnesse, &c. 2ly, If they be so incapable of discerning of titles, wherefore hath not onely the late King, but the Parliament published so many Declarations, and Appeals to the people, wherein they plead for the Justnesse of their title, to what they stood and fought for? yea why hath the Parliament drawn the people into the Protestation, the 2d. Vow, and Oath, and the Solemne League and Covenant, all which concern the severall claims and rights of King and Parliament? either they are thereby supposed to be somewhat competent to judge of those titles; or it was both vainly, and irreligiously done to lead them into such sacred bonds, which we may neither take, nor cause others to take, but in judgement. Jer. 4. 2.

3ly, Although they, yea the primest Statesmen, may finde it difficult enough to judge of titles in some nice, and intricate cases that may happen, yet the present case is not so deep or doubtfull, the right of title in this question is written with clear and capitall letters, in Laws, Oaths, and actions open before all. Yea this Author in the title and current of his book, (as doth Mr. Ashcams in his) plainly enough grants where the right of title is.

This Author in the latter end of a second Edition of his book, viz: beginning at pag. 15. addeth some things upon the question of active obedience, and acting under this present power, and government. Although this Edition come in late, and in some passages is but an amplification in tearms, not in matter, of what he had said before; yet I shall take a brief notice (whether sufficient let the Reader judge) of the things in it, that may seem materiall.

First, he premiseth, That the present Power is in possession of the whole Land, and no visible force to oppose, and so it is not like that between David and Absolom, when David had an Army in view. Consult the text, and you shall finde the case exactly parallel. 1. The present Power is in possession of the whole Land; you say, you mean of this side the Sea, not of Ireland also; sutable hereunto Absolom was possest of all the Land unto Jordan, yea, and he went over Jordan, and pitched in Gilead, and all the people throughout all the Tribes of Israel had anointed him King over them: on the other hand David and his men fled out of Jerusalem, and out of the Land, beyond Jordan, and stayed not till be came to Mahanaim by the ford Jabeck. 2 Sam. 15. 14, &c. 17. 22. 24, 25. 26. 19. 9, 10.

2ly, You adde, And no visible Force to oppose, whereas David had an Army in view. David had no Army in view within that land before spoken of: all that he had was at Mahanaim. And though there be no visible Force to oppose in England, yet there is said to be a considerable Force in Ireland, and it may appear by the Preparations sent thither. Besides there is one thing indeed wherein Davids condition, and his whom the present Power excludeth, differ, but not to the advantage of this Authors Reason, which is, that David had no other Kingdom to own, and declare for him, which yet he hath.

Secondly, You come with Arguments. 1. Obedience to such a Power in good things is lawfull. But acting for Justice and order in a good thing: Ergo: I have before distinguisht betwixt morall acts which are for private men to do, though there were no Authority; and politicall acts, which flow from magistracy. The latter sort of acts may not be done in obedience to an usurped Power, for the Reasons given before. The execution of justice is a good act in it self, but it is not good to be done by every man, nor upon every mans command; but is onely good in him that is lawfully authorized to it.

2ly, You say, what reason is it, that those that will not act because they hold it unlawfull, should expect that others should do an unlawfull act to benefit them? To this set Cajetan (an Author cited by you, and that in the place you cited from him) answer you; They are excused from the sin of inducing the Tyrant to an act unlawfull for him, that ask Justice of him, because they do not petition him for the unlawfull act, but for the justice of that unlawfull act: is in honestly done to perswade him to use his power lesse sinfully. This Petition is in effect thus [Editor: illegible word]. Seeing them with hold and exercise this power, use it justly, use it honestly, use it religiously; use it to the benefit of the publick, and of private men, as it would became the Power. It is plain such Petitioners intend not to ask the Tyrant to usurp the act of Judicature, because they had rather he would give it over: but seeing he doth usurp dominion, and judgement, they intend he should use justly and honestly his usurped Power and Judgement: and that which they intend, that they petition for: so that they neither intend nor petition for an usurped act, but an holy quality in the exercising of that usurped act*.

Again, Why should others give right to them, that will not give right to others? A fallacious, and frivolous interrogation in the true meaning of it. In commutative justice (wherein the rule of doing as we would be done unto) onely holds, with reference to persons that are to do it) they who refuse magistraticall acts, are ready to render every mans right to him. But this question would have a private man (such as they are) to have no distributive justice, or right by the Magistrate done him, even when the Magistrate is lawfull, because he cannot, and therfore will not vicissim administer distributive justice to the Magistrate. Every common Judgement knows that a private subject is to receive judiciall right, but not to give it.

3ly, It is cleared before in this Discourse, that those who have gotten to be Powers (though by force) ought to give justice to those whose government they have undertaken, but (supposing them to be but one, or a few) this they cannot do without subordinate agents; to disallow acting under them then, is to say in effect they shall not give justice. 1. Suppose them but one or a few, and they cannot get or keep the place by force. Suppose them many, & they have no need (in that respect) of others to be their under agents. 2ly, If this that you say be cleared, or so much as said before, I have forgotten it, though I have read all that is before, and rest confident there is no such thing. When you shew where this is said and cleared, I shall them find by what reasons it is maintained, and so give you an Answer thereunto. In the meantime, that which is here but barely affirmed, it is sufficient for me to deny. It you could clear this, the whole question were decided. If he ought to give justice, he hath a speciall warrant, and calling to it, and how Force can give such a calling you have not yet assayed to clear, the contrary I have brought many reasons for (Chapter 2.) and am therefore before hand with you in this point. It will be confest, that if a man will take upon him to administer judgement he were better, or it is a lesse evill in him, to do right, then wrong therein: but of two evils of sin, neither is to be admitted.

4ly, This Doctrine of not acting is the very doctrine of Levelling. For when no man may act, every man may take freely from is neighbour, &c. 2. Levelling may be the consequent of non acting, but it cannot be the consequent of it; it is the consequence of those doings, who take away the settled Magistracy. 2. Levelling in point of goods, you like not it seems: but why do you not as well abhor from it in point of Government? that’s but levelling the private, this is levelling the publick interest; that Levelling can never come in, till this Levelling go before, and lead the way, but who are Levellers this latter, and (as you see) worse way, but they that teach, or practise the deserting of the lawfull, establisht Magistrate, and the competency, yea duty, of any that have force to play the Magistrate. Hence ariseth that which they cal an interpretative consent of the people: because it is supposed every rationall man doth consent that there should be order, property, and right, given under a tyrant, rather then all to be under confusion, &c. 1. Every rationall man consents indeed that there should be order, property and right; and his being under a tyrant (by experience of the want) confirms his consent to the necessity thereof: but that such things should be maintained magistratically by a tyrant (in regard of title) you see (if all that are your Antagonists in this question be not stark Irrationals) some rationall men deny. And in this they appear rationall, in that they would hear some reason for it, before they consent to it. Which rather then you will strain yourself to give (for truly it is hard to do) you choose to suppose them that will not consent without it, to be out of the number of rationall men. 2ly, This shift of an interpretative consent of the people, that the Usurper shall administer judgement, will not serve you. For, 1. It will be difficult to finde out, and agree, when such an interpretative consent is given by the people. 2ly, What thing is it? as near as I can conjecture it is possibly. 1. Either that these men shall be the Power, or Magistrate; and then, 1. Either the people had power to give this consent, and this makes these men no Usurpers, but lawfull Magistrates, & so puts them out of the compasse of this question. 2. Or they had no power, being pre-ingaged, and then this consent is void, and null, because it prejudicates anothers right. 2. Or it is, that these men, though they have no consent of theirs to be Magistrates, but come in, and hold against their wils, and by their own meer force, and against anothers right, yet they shall for present execute judgement, because it cannot be had otherwayes. This consent (suppose it really past by the people) cannot bottome their acting, or others under them. For it is in the essence of it an unlawfull act, and therefore of no force. It is of the same validity as was that of the people which joyned with Korah, and his company, who gave consent, that though Korah, and the rest were no Priests, yet they should offer incense; or as that would be, if the people of a Congregation now, that can procure no lawfull Minister, should take a private man, and say, this man is no Minister, yet he shall, in this defect of one, preach, and administer the Sacraments to us. Such consents are contradictions to the establisht ordinance of God, appointing that no stranger to those functions shal execute those acts. In like sort it is in this point of Magistracy.

5ly, How could Ezra, and Nehemiah justifie their acting under the Persian Monarch, who had no right to the Crown of Judah, either by blood or just conquest. 1. That the Persian Monarch had not that right, you say, but prove it not, but if just conquest give a title, Cyrus the first Persian King justly warred against Balshasar the last Chalcedon Monarch as Historiansa say, and therefore justly conquered him, and his Empire; under which the Jews were then subjected, and that by speciall warrant from God. Jer. 27. 12. to 16. 29. 1. to 8. 21. 8, 9. 38. 17. to 21. 2ly, But Cyrus had both an indubitable title to that Empire, and an unquestionable Commission for what he did in reference to the Jews releasement from captivity, and restauration of their Temple, Religion, and Civill State; and that from God himself, by immediate designation. Hear what he himself saith in his Proclamation, unto which he was stirred up in spirit by the Lord. Thus saith Cyrus King of Persia, all the kingdoms of the earth, hath the Lord God of heaven given me, and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem which is in Judah. 2 Chron. 36. 22, 23. Ezra 1. 1, 2. And compare this with what the Lord saith not onely of, but to this Cyrus. Isa. 44. 28. 45. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 13. and a clear calling or title to the Empire of the world, and to the acting of what he did in reference to Judea, will appear to be in him. It is conceived that Cyrus had certain knowledge of this Commission, recorded and given to him by name, in that Prophesie of Isaiah, and that by means of Daniel the Prophetb; and that which is therein written he understood to be his charge given of God, which he mentioneth in the aforesaid Proclamationc. Adde to this that Mr. Divdati interpreteth that speech of God to Cyrus, viz: I girded thee. Isa. 45. 5. of the Lords making him King, and giving him power and authority: v. 1. And that of ver. 13. I have raised him up in righteousnesse, he understands thus. That is, by a firm decree of my justice, and by a just calling. Now if Cyrus the first of the Persians had a valid title, what can controul his Successors right in Judea?

2ly, If there had been no right in the Persian King over Judea, yet the acting of Ezra and Nebemiah, could be no president or warrant for a now acting under a usurped Power in the case we have in hand. 1. Consider the speciall qualification, and call of these two persons.Ezra 7. 1. 2. 1. For Ezra, he was a Scribe, and a Priest, and some think one of the highest, to wit, that he was that Josedech, who was the father of Festus the high Priest (this is Jerems opiniond; and so might be authorized by vertue of that office, to transact all that he is said to have done in his book. 2. He is said by some of the Ancients to be a Prophet, Neither can he be denyed so to be, (saith a late learned and solid Divinee) in that he was a Pen-man of Scripture. 3ly, And besides these functions, he seems to have had a speciall call of God in his undertaking what he did: it is said, The hand of the Lord his God was upon him, when he first enterprized his work: Ezra 7. 6. which phrase is often reiterated upon the severall passages of his imployment. Chap. 7. 9. 28. &c.

2ly, Nehemiah was the Governor. Neh. 8. 9. 10. 1. 12. 26. it is not any where said (that I finde) that he was sent with that power by the Persian King, but it is more probable he was chosen to that office by the people of Judah, both because he was one that was very zealous for the interest and publick advantage of that Nation, and by reason he came thither some yeers* after Ezra, and acted in conjunction with him. Neb. 8. 9. Now in Artaxerxes letter to Ezra, at his first going up from Babylon to Jerusalem, it is committed to Ezra’s trust, To set Magistrates and Judges up among the people: Ezra 7. 25. with this proviso, After the wisdome of thy God that is in thine hand; by which is meant the Law of God. But by the Law of God the people of Israel were to create their own Magistrates and Kings, Deut. 16. 18. 17. 14, 15. And besides his Governorship it seems he had (in like manner to Ezra) a divine instigation, and vocation to his work. It is said, That God put that in his heart to do at Jerusalem; which he went about, and when he was come thither,Neb. 2. 12. [Editor: illegible word] he told them of the band of his God which was good upon him: upon which report, they said, Let us rise up and build.

2. Let it be more narrowly observed, what Ezra’s Commission was from Artaxerxes, and it will be found, 1. That he himself was not authorized to fine, imprison, and put to death, as this Author affirmeth; let the text be better marked, Chap. 7. 26. 2. In the charge of setting up Magistrates and Judges, it cannot be thought he was intended to do it; otherwise then as a private man, or Priest might be instructed to do it, viz: with the peoples concurrence; For he (as I even now observed) was to manage that businesse after the wisdom of his God that was in his hand, to wit, according to divine Law, which appointeth the people to do it.

3ly, That in all this Commission he and the rest that went up with him were authorized to do no more, and in no other manner then the Law of God required: Ezra 7. 14. 18. 23. 25. and consequently they were warranted before by it, to do all that they did, and this of Artaxerxes was but an encouragement, & strengthening of them to it. 4ly, Whatsoever he acted, Chap. 10. in the matter of the Oath, Proclamation and reformation in the point of marriage. Besides that there was nothing done by him in it, that was solely appertaining to the Magistrates office; all that he transacted was by the motion, appointment, and consent of the Congregation, the Princes and the Elders: Ezra 10. 1. 3. 7. 8. &c. ver. 12. 19. yea even by the free assent of the parties. 3ly, As for all the authoritative actings of Nehemiah, which he alledgeth they must be attributed to his place of Governor, and whence that is to be derived, I have spoken before.

Lastly, You bring in the Judgement of two or three Popish Divines. Which I shall altogether passe over, for that their reasons taken from the tacite, or interpretative consent of the people, the confusion that comes in by having no government, and the expedience of choosing the lesser of two evils, I have answered before. Only one thing brought in, by the last of them being not before answered, I shall here reply to; which is as followeth.

It is manifest that the Romanes by tyranny did possesse Judea, in that very time wherein Christ and John Baptist did preach, yet Christ, Matt. 22. did teach, that tribute was to be given to Cæsar. yea himself did give it, John Bapt: Luk. 3. commanded the souldiers this onely, that they should do violence to no man, and be content with their wages wherein he did rather perswade them to continue in the service of Cæsar.

First, To that of Christ, Matth. 22. wherein the main of this allegation lyeth. wch is stuck at by many, I have two things to say.

First, His Answer to the Question about the lawfulnesse of giving tribute to Cæsar is to be weighed, and therein it may be questioned, whether he positively taught that tribute was to be rendred to Cæsar. His words are. Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsars: and unto God the things that are Gods. Here Christ delivers a precept of giving to God and Cæsar each their right in the generall, without asserting, or explaining what the right of either is in particular, or making application to the case, then before him; he seems to leave them that moved the question to do that. His words determine not the point either way expresly; all that can be inferred from the plain current of them, is a conditionall rule equally favouring the affirmative, and negative; if it be Cæsars due, render it; if not, &c. Such a waving answer will not appear unbeseeming him, if it be considered who they were that propounded the quære, to wit, the Pharissees with the chief Priests and Scribes; and with what intention it was put forth by them, viz: to entangle him, and so to betray him to the Governor for his destruction: See v: 15. and Luk. 20. 19, 20. and how well this was known to him: v: 18. The case was put not so much of conscience, as of designe; and there was this biformed, or cornuted trap in it. If he should disallow that tribute paying, they would accuse and prosecute against him, before the Romane Governor as an enemy to Cæsars, if he should hold with it, they would traduce him to the people, as one that consented to the Romanes tyranny, and sacriledgea; Upon this ground he might prudently (and justly enough) give an Answer not to satisfie the doubt, but to silence the propounders. And unto this interpretation Mr. Calvin inclineth*. He so tempered (saith he) his answer by his admirable wisdome, that he might render himself obnoxious to neither party if he did indeed so expresly command tribute paying to Cæsar in these words, which were publickly, and before all uttered in the Temple with what face or colour could they, within two or three dayes after, accuse him unto Pilate; as one whom they found perverting the Nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar. Luk. 23. 2. This accusation would import to us, his Answer under question to have been so positive, and punctuall, for tribute paying; for though no doubt these men accused him maliciously, and would not stick to do it falsly, yet they would have some hint, or appearance of occasion for it, as in other their accusations they by straining, and misconstruction had.

2ly, But unto those who will not beleeve, but that in the said words he teacheth paying tribute to Cæsar: I further answer. Let the notion under which he is supposed to enjoyn it be observed, and the so understanding him will help not to strengthen, but to answer the Argument. He commands them to render that which he speaks of to Cæsar as a due or right: b Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsars; now if tribute or any thing else belonging to a Magistrate were Cæsars due and right, then was Cæsar no Usurper, but a lawfull Magistrate, for tribute of due can onely belong to a rightfull Soveraigne. A debt on the Subjects part of tribute must needs infer a right to it in the Magistrate, to whom it is payable; and a right in him to it must needs infer a right in him to all allegiancec. How it came about that the Romanes were invested with the Soveraignty of Judea, is not necessary for me to clear, when there is (taking the words in this latter sense) so plain a proof that it was so in these words of our Saviour.

But for the Readers sake, I will observe thus much out of History to him. About 152 years before the birth of our Saviour, the government of Judea came to be in the Maccabees who were Priests. At that time Judas Maccabeus being in fear of that grand Enemy of the Jews, Antiochus sought aid of, and entred into a League of friendship with the Romanes;d which continued till about 60 yeers before the birth of Christ, when Hircanus and Aristobulus, the Sons of Alexander falling into contention for the Kingdom; and Aristobulus the more warlike man having possess himself of it, and usurped it from Hircanus the elder brother, in whom the right then was, the said Hircanus fled to the Romanes for remedy, and by the mediation of Antipater, he procured Pompey (then nigh that Countrey with an Army) to undertake his aid; who thereupon besieged Jerusalem: Hircanus his party within the City immediately delivered it up to him, and Aristobulus friends withdrew into that part where the Temple stood, which was by Pompey taken by storme; and by this means that City came into the hands of the Romanes, and Hircanus was restored to the high priesthood and kingdome of Judea. Who, with the party that cleaved to him against Aristobulus, having gained the upper hand of those that usurped over them, they were fain by the same means to keep it, by which they got it, to wit, by the Romane power and protectione. Whence it may appear, that the Jews under Hircanus, were not brought under the Romane subjection by meer force, but (through the necessity of their affairs, whereinto they were driven by the factions within themselves) from their own consent and choice. And to this dedition of the Jews to the Romanes,Non propter inopiam [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] facultates sed ut in cos qui [Editor: illegible word] ludæ orum seditiones accederet. De bello Iudaic & li. 1. ca. 8. agreeth that saying of Josephus concerning Pompey, when he had taken Jerusalemf: He did as becometh a good Generall, rather by good turns, then by terror conciliate the people to himself. And another passage in the same Author plainly proves it. He telleth that Antipater replying to the accusations of Antigonus the Son of the aforesaid Aristobulus, layed in by him against Hircanus, and himself before Cæsar, complainseth of Antigonus, That be sought not relief of Cæsar, because he was poore, but that he might kindle Jewish sedition against those who had made a sedition of themselves. And thus continued this relation and subordination of the Jews unto the Romanes, to our Saviours time, and that still with a faction,Nam divisi trant Iudæi Interse, ita ut part dandum [Editor: illegible word] tributura Cæsari, pars negaret qui [Editor: illegible word] facienant cum Pharilæis, qui sentisbant populum Dei debere liberum esse nec tributa pindere Implæ porestant Cæsaris, qui dindum sentisbant facitbant cum Herode, qui Cælaris paries tueba [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] ideo [Editor: illegible word] dicebantur. part of them adhering to the Cæsarian Authority, and part reluctating; which division among themselves occasioned the question to be really controverted amongst them, which is here insidiously propounded to Christ about the lawfulnesse of giving tribute to Cæsar; the party that was for the negative were the Pharisees faction, whose reputing and speaking of the Romanes as Usurpers, might occasion that vulgar opinion of their power which we meet with in some Authors, viz: that they were indeed in our Saviours time tyrants without title over Judea; Although it is evident (by what is here said) that they came into their Authority by the consent of the Juster, and better authorized party, and at this time had one part agreeing to them.

2ly, That which is further alledged, viz: That our Saviour himself payed Cæsar tribute, and that John Baptist perswaded the souldier to continue in his service, is taken off sufficiently by what is already said; for if Cæsar was a lawfull Prince to the Jews, these things make nothing for the Arguer.

I have thus gone through, and endeavoured to give a satisfactory Answer to every Argument, which by this Author, or any other I have observed to be urged for the obedience which in this Treatise I impugne. If I had been apprehensive of, or could have extracted any materiall argumentative grounds out of Mr. Ascams Discourse, for his high assertions mentioned in my 2d. Chapter, I had here taken notice of them. If he hath any brief and slander hints of Reasons, I suppose them to be Answered in what I have already said.Museul in loc. Vide [Editor: illegible word] Ians. in comment, in concord, ca. 156.



 [a ] Zanchius, Iunius, Geneva Interpret. Pareus, Diodates Anotations of Divines in locum.

 [b ] 2 Sam. 2. 1.

 [c ] 1 King. 12. 24.

 [d ] [Editor: illegible word] 7. 14.

 [e ] 2 Sam 7. 12.

 [f ] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] ipsi. nec boni fine. quos represset [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] Gentium repagule duplici, Electionis & successionis, &c. Iusti Lipsi polit: l. 2. c 4.

 [g ] Minore discrimine sumi principem quam quam quaeri. Tacit. Hist. l. 2.

 [h ] Quirtum vera regalis Monarchiæ genus est quæ iam temporibus Heroicis voluntate civium, & patria legibus stque institutis approbata est. Aristot politicli 3. num. 85. Luk. 12. 13, 14.

 [h ] Reges enim non solum secondum legibus, sed etiam volentibus, Tyranni autem invitis imperant. Arislot. polit. l. 3. num. 87.

 [i ] Deinde Clana, Cubo sese, sine comitiis consules creabant in [Editor: illegible word] Chro. Carion. li. 2.

 [k ] Ex Dictatore Consulem se cum P. Stevilio ipse tacit. Cluver. Hist. li. 7. pag. 235.

 [a ] A Discourse, wherein is examined. &c. by Ant: Ashcam Gent: Part. 2. Chap. 9. pa. 84.

 [b ] Tyrannus, ab quet titolo qui est invasor, quillbet privatur potest, debet e media tollere: neque enim ille Rex est, sed privata persona, &c. Alsted. Theol. Cas. cap. 17. Regul 8.

 [c ] Magistratus subditos sider, ac cutæ suæ commissos tanquam Dei minister puber. nat. Synops. put. [Editor: illegible word] disput. 50. thes. 3.

 [d ] Principatus est imperium moribus aut legibus delatom susceptum, gestumque parentium bo. no. Iust. Lyps. polit. li. 2. c. 3.

 [e ] Magistratus est publica persona successions, sorte, aut suffragio electa, &c Io: Cab Sphæra, Cin l. 4. cap. 15.

 [f ] Discourse of Ant: Ashcame part. 2. ca 9. page 18.

 [g ] Ioseph. de Bell: Iudaic. lib. 1. cap. 1. Cron. Casion. lib. 2.

 [h ] Considerations touching a warre with Spaine, written by Francis Lo: Verulam, &c. pa. 3d.

 [i ] Non est æquum ut ex actu injusto, ius sibi quis acquirat D. Sand. do Iuramenti oblig. Prælect. 6. sect. 4.

 [k ] O pubes domitura Deos, quodcunquæ videtis pugnan do dabitur: præstat victoria mundum. Cl. Claudiani Giganto machia.

 [l ] Cicero seribens de officiis tertio libro semper Cæsarem in ore habuisse Euripidis versus, quos sic ipse convertit: nam si violandum est ius regnami gratia violandum est. ahis rebus pietatem colas Sueron. in Iul. Cæs.

 [m ] Considerations touching a warre with Spaine. pa. 2d.

 [n ] Gladius (ut ad Romanes hibetur) pace flatibus est [Editor: illegible word] Loc. commun. [Editor: illegible word] 4. ca. 20. loc. 12.

 [o ] Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. 11. Chap. 17.

 [p ] Arist. politic. lib. 1. num. 8. Naturali enim jure meritoq; [Editor: illegible word] ut qui provida mente sagacique fuerit, is imperet, ac duminatur, qui autem corpore viribus & lacertis hæc ipsa obtre onssie, is contra subjiciatur, & serviat.

 [q ] Nec quisquam imperium slagitie quæsitum bonis artibus exercuit. Tacit. Histor. 2.

 [r ] Magistratus eâ lex animata. P. Martyr.

 [a ] Nolite igitus fortunam iu culpam convcrtere; neque regis injuriam hojus crimen putate; nec confillum ex necessitate, nec voluntatem ex vi interpretari. Cicero Orat. 39. pro C. Ra bino possumo. So he defendeth Posthumus his changing his Romantic gown for a cloak at Alexandria as compelled by K: Ptolomie.

 [b ] Augustious ad publicolans. Epist. 154. Gen. 2 l. 31. 31. 31.

 [a ] Regula juris rei impossibilis nulls obligatio.

 [b ] Ars erat esse [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] tura petie [Editor: illegible word] Et parner invenem somnoque & morte leravit.

 [c ] Si li cui juratur ratum habuerit iuramentum, & velin servari, non potest [Editor: illegible word] alia quacunq, terria persona [Editor: illegible word] ratle est, quia nemo potest [Editor: illegible word] alteri acquisitum, nisi ipse consenserit adimere. D Saunderson de [Editor: illegible word] 1. rom oblig. prælect. 7. Sect, 8.

 [d ] Dico sexto, relaxationem partis valere ad vinculum juramenti solvendum, quantum ipsius interest: non tamen valers in præiudicium terriæ personæ. Ratio est, quia potest quibbet per actum suum de iure proprio quantum vult remitteret sed non pocest quisquam de alieno iure quicquam demere, ipso vel inconsulto vel invita, si alterius [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] aliquo suo iure obligationem non solvi, obligatio non solvitur, Ibid.

 [e ] Having before our eyes the honour and Happinesse of their Kings majesty and his posterity.

 [f ] Promissiones [Editor: illegible word] illæ Ded [Editor: illegible word] præsenti [Editor: illegible word] intelligendæ furit. Quamoth [Editor: illegible word] Dei promissiones [Editor: illegible word] sic oportet cogliare: vel conditionem ahquam conjunctam habent vel abso [Editor: illegible word] ponuntur. Dein vel in hoc tantum tempus valent velin posterun sunt implendæ. P. Martyr loc. com class. 3. ca. 13. Sect. 5. mis cited by him ca. 12.

 [g ] Sed cum illæ ab hominibus præstari non [Editor: illegible word] Deus ex sua [Editor: illegible word] subject promissiones Evangelitas [Editor: illegible word] loco: quæ quim vis conditiones adiectas habent tamen afferuntur gratis. Promissio Evancelica sine allis conditionious conflare potast, [Editor: illegible word] conditiones impossibiles adiecta sont, ut homines [Editor: illegible word] infirmitatis admonerentur ca que ponitus intellecta, so conferent ad Christum à quo recepti in gratiam, adepte iam [Editor: illegible word] illa eadem promissa possens obtinete. Nam quod ad [Editor: illegible word] iam ex legalibus redduniur Evingelicæ. P. Mart. Ioc. com. Class 3 c. 12. Sect. 4.

 [h ] Cal. Instit. 1. 4. c. 20. Sect. 24. 25. &c. P. Mart. Ioc. com. clas. 4. ca. 20. Sect. 12. 18 19. Alsted, Theol. cas. cap. 17. Reg. 8. num. 9. Schar. symph. 5. epoe. Quæst. 44. & 45. cue Perk. cas. consci. B. 3. cha. 6. Sect. 1.

 [i ] Vide Alsted. Theol case 5. Reg. 2. num 3.

 [k ] Vide D. Sanderson de jur. oblig. Pralect. 7. Sect. 3. & 4s They say, in omni voto, aut juramen to subintelligi debere illam conditionem si Domino l’apæ placuerit,

 [l ] Vide D Sander. de iuram, oblig. prælect. 5. Sect. 5. & prælect 7. Sect. 6.

 [m ] Qui sacit quod in se suit ut adimpleret quod promiserat inramenti sidem exolvit. D. Sanders de luram. oblig. prælect 2, Sect. 10.

 [n ] Nec quisquam imperium slagitie quæsitum bonis artibus exercuit Tacit.

 [o ] Et nomen pacis dulce est. & ipsa res salutaris, sed inter pacem & seruitutem plurimum interest; pax est tranquil a liberton servitus malorum omnium postremum, non modo bello sed morte etiam repeltendum. Cicero in M. Anton Philip 1 æ. Prov. 14. 34. 16. 12.

 [p ] Credendum est cui libet artifici in arte fus.

 [q ] Vide D Sanders. de juramoblig. prælect. 6. Sect. 9. Ant. Aschami Discourse 2d. part. Chap. 41.

 [r ] Alterum perjurii genus est [Editor: illegible word] juraveris, non syncerè agere, sed novo alique. excogitato commento iuramentivim (salvis tamen verbis) declinare & eludere D. Sanders. de Iuram. oblig. prælect. 6. Sect. 7.

 [a ] Fanatici dicant potestates omnes sic a Deo esse, sicut pestes, morbl, & pænæ a Deosunt. Pareus in loc.

 [b ] Tyrannum absque titulo qui est invaser, quilibee privatus potest, debere medio tollere, neque enim ille Rex est, sed private persons. Alsted Theol. Cas ca. 17. Reg. 8.

 [c ] Non de hoe vel il & principe loquitur, sed de ipsare, Chrysost. apud Pareum in loc.

 [d ] Quinetlam speciem quendam libertatis induxit, conservatis senatui & Magistratibus, & maiestate pristinâ & poreslace; neque tam privatum quidquam, neque tam magnum rublici privatique negotia suit, de quo non ad P. C. [Editor: illegible word] &c. Vide Sueton. Tibet ca. 30, 31, 32. Heb. 13. 7. 27.

 [e ] Tacit. Annal. l. 1. c. 1.

 [f ] Brightman, Mede. Symonds, Napier. Forbs, [Editor: illegible word] Apuc, 17.

 [g ] Vibem Romam’s principio Reges habuete. Tacit. Annal. l. 1. c. 1.

 [* ] Vide Tacit. Annal. li. 1. ca. 1, 2,.

 [h ] Tum vero absent [Editor: illegible word] Dictator creatus pacifq; & belli dominus. Cluveti Histor., mundi, lib. 7. pag. 236. Vide Chreniton. Carton l. 2. pa. 180, 181. Muneribus, monumentis. longlariis, epulis multitu linem impentam [Editor: illegible word] suos præmiis, adversarios elementiæ [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] Quid multa? [Editor: illegible word] jam liberæ civititi, pattim meru, pattim patientia consuetudinem serriendi. Cicero in N. Anton Philip 12. Orat. 44.

 [i ] Cæsari quia arms [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] pro [Editor: illegible word] Romano imperium à Senatu datum, cum Consularibus ornamentis. Cluveti Histor. lib. 7. pag. 240.

 [k ] Sex. [Editor: illegible word] & Sex. Apuleius Coss primiia verba [Editor: illegible word] Cæsaris [Editor: illegible word] apudque cos Seina Strato, & C. Tutranius: mox Senatus milesque & populus Tacit. Annal. l. 1. ca 2. Vide [Editor: illegible word] in Tiber. c. 14.

 [l ] Sic imperium adepti as popusum Romanum, vel ut ita dicam, hominum penus vnti compotem fruit, [Editor: illegible word] us Princeps, &c Vide Sneton. In Caliguls. c. 13, 14.

 [m ] Vide Sueton. in Tiber. c. 76.

 [n ] Vide eundem in Calig c. 14.

 [o ] Verum postere die Senatu segniore in exequendis conatibus, per tædium, ac dis. sentionem diversa censentium, & multitudine quæ circumstabat [Editor: illegible word] rectorem jam, & nominatim exposcente, armatos pro concione jurare in nomen [Editor: illegible word] passus est. Sueton in Claudi c. 10. [Editor: illegible word] cius imperium non parum contuit Agrippa Res Iudæorum, autor & Claudio [Editor: illegible word] dignitatis, & Senatui non offendi [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] Senate segniore in exequendis conatibus, & milite urbano Prætorianis se aggregante, in Claudii [Editor: illegible word] iuratum est. Cluver. Histor. lib. 3. pag 267. Hoc exemplo optimates deserti in magno [Editor: illegible word] esse cæperone, ac deinceps videntes fibl adversationem [Editor: illegible word] non esse, secuti [Editor: illegible word] ad Claudlum translerant. Claudius [Editor: illegible word] in castris [Editor: illegible word] senatum, & indulgenti homort complexus, egressut cum patribus confestim obtulit Deo hostias, [Editor: illegible word] mosest proimperio supplicari. Ioseph. de bello Iudaic. lib. 2. ca. 10. Vide eundem Antlq. Iudaic. lib. 19 c. 3.

 [q ] Sententiam inclitam secuts pattum consulta; nec dubitatum est apud [Editor: illegible word] Tacit. Annal. lib. 12. c. 14.

 [r ] Alfred Theol: cus cap. 170 reg. 8.

 [s ] Aliud est potesta quæ a Den est, aliud acquisitio, & usur; out statis, quæ [Editor: illegible word] alias legitima, alias illegitima. Par. in Rom. 13.

 [t ] Discernend [Editor: illegible word] inter potestatem ‘quæ’ [Editor: illegible word] Deo est, & inter acquisitionem. & [Editor: illegible word] pationem quæ quoad homine [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] non a Deo sed ab hominum affectibus, & Satana malitia. Ib. in Dub. 3.

 [u ] Nulla quaesita setlete potentia diuturna esse potest. Q Curt. apud Lyps. Polit. lit 2. c 4. Quam via enim demersæ sint leges alicujus opibus quimris tremilacta libertas, emergunt tamen hæc aliquande — nec vero ulla via imperii tinea est quæ prements metu possie esse diuturna. Testis est Phalarls, culus est preter cæteros nobilitata crudelitas — la quem universa Agrigentinorum moltitudo impertum, socit Quid? Macedones nonos Demetrlum reliquerunt, universique se ad Pyrrhum contuletunt? Quid? Lacedemonios in Iuste imperantos nonne repente omnes fers socit deserverunt, spect uoresque se otiosos præbuetunt leuctricæ calamitatis? Cicero de officiit lib 2. Ad tempus [Editor: illegible word] insidiosa & violenta valere possunt inventa hominum, sed absque iostitia, & æquitate prevalete non possunt dio: quippe vana & infirma sunt stratagemata civitatis quæ columna virtuos non sulciuneur. Boter Tractit. lib. 8. cap 6.

 [* ] Arelote: autem morsus sunt [Editor: illegible word] libertatu. quam retentæ. Cicero de offic. lib. 2.

 [x ] [Editor: illegible word] Tit. Rempub. Tyrannice, &c.

 [y ] Nunquid [Editor: illegible word] Tyranno peccent illi qui recurrunt ad ipsum pro justitia.

 [* ] Excusatar à [Editor: illegible word] inducendi Tyrannum ad actum, & opus fibi illicitum petences ab illo iustitiam: quia non petunt actum illicitum, sed justitism illius actus illiciti. Sanctè suadetur, quod minus male utatur dominio illo; scils si vis. seu ex quo vis detinere, & exercert hoc dominium, utere illo iusle, utere [Editor: illegible word] utere pie, utere ad [Editor: illegible word] public [Editor: illegible word] & privatorum prout deceret dommium. Conslat [Editor: illegible word] quod non [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] petere, ut tyrannut utatur tyrannide, ut usurpet actum [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] malient ut [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] & iudle [Editor: illegible word] led ex quo usurpat libi dominium ac iudicium, intendunt ut [Editor: illegible word] ut pic utatur usurpito dominio, & [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] & qu dintenduor hoc petunt; [Editor: illegible word] qued nec intendunt, non patunt actum usurpatum. sed qualitatem sanctum in actu usurpato [Editor: illegible word] Caietan Summul Tit. Remp. Tyrannies, &c.

 [a ] [Editor: illegible word] fiducia [Editor: illegible word] inferi bellum Cyro [Editor: illegible word] justurn bellum adversus Tyrannum Babylonicum Chr. Cation. li. 2. pag. 69. Balshasar conspicatus Cyri, & Medorum potentiam coalescere, Cræsum ad infringendas corum [Editor: illegible word] incitat. Cluveni Hist. li 6. pa. 64.

 [b ] Agnovit hoc ipse Cyrus, & publico est edicto ad hunc modum testatus: Hæc dicit [Editor: illegible word] Persarum, &c primo Esdra. Musculuin [Editor: illegible word] 45. 18 Cyrus lecto vaticinio Isaiæ de se nominatim edito Isa. 45. proposuit edictam quo Iudæ is in Babylonis captirus, reditum in partiam, & facultatem, in slaur and i templi concessit. [Editor: illegible word] Chronol. in 1 l. Herodat p. 147. Arbitror [Editor: illegible word] & runc cum rexit Persiam Daniel, præsos in Sufis fuisse ejus auditorum Cyrum [Editor: illegible word] & [Editor: illegible word] dediciste veram de Deo, & de [Editor: illegible word] doctrinam, & prædictiones Isaiæ [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] nomen Cyri expresse [Editor: illegible word] est. Chron Cation. li. 2. p2. 69.

 [c ] See Annotations of I [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] on 2 Chron. 36. 22. & Ezra 1. 2. Diodat. Ibid. Musculu: in Isa. 45. 1. 13.

 [d ] [Editor: illegible word] in August. de clret. Dei lib. 28. cap. 36.

 [e ] Mr. Roberts his Clavis Bibliorum on Ezra.

 [* ] Ezra 7. 7. [Editor: illegible word] with Mehe. 1. 1.

 [a ] Marlorat, Muscal. Dieterius [Editor: illegible word] Deodate.

 [* ] Ita temporarit responssi admirabill sua sapientia, [Editor: illegible word] neutri parti se redderts [Editor: illegible word] Calv. apud Marlorat. in locum.

 [b ] Render as a debt. Rom. 13. 7. Annot of Divines.

 [c ] Non dicit date ergo, [Editor: illegible word] illi interog assent, [Editor: illegible word] date se dicit zeddito tanquam ce quæ erus suut, quæ. que ab eo accepistis. Reddire, inquit, Cæsarl, sed quæ Cæsat tis sent, [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] sua iurt postulare potest, Jansen. com. in cove. c. 116.

 [d ] Ioseph: de bello Iudaic l. 1. c. 1. [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] carlon li. 2. pag. 138.

 [e ] Iose, de bello Iudaic l. 1. c. 4. 5. 6. Antiq. Iudaic l. 14 ca. 1. 2. &c. [Editor: illegible word] carian li. 2. pa. 118. Stella in lo c 20. 22.

 [f ] Per quæ sicut [Editor: illegible word] imperatorem decust bene voleutia potius quam timore plebem [Editor: illegible word] De bello [Editor: illegible word] li. 1. ca. 1.




T.217 (7.8) Gerrard Winstanley, An Humble Request, to the Ministers of both Universities (9 April, 1650).

Winstanley, An Humble Request

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  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
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T.217 [1650.??] (7.8) Gerrard Winstanley, An Humble Request, to the Ministers of both Universities (9 April, 1650).

Full title

Gerrard Winstanley, An Humble Request, to the Ministers of both Universities, and to all Lawyers in every Inns-a-Court To consider of the Scriptures and points of Law herein mentioned, and to give a rational and christian Answer, whereby the difference may be composed in peace, between the poor men of England, who have begun to digge, plow, and build upon the common Land, claiming it their own, by right of Creation. And the Lords of Mannours that trouble them, who have no other claiming to Commons, then the Kings will, or from the Power of the Conquest, and if neither Minister nor Lawyer, will undertake a reconciliation in this case, for the beauty of our Common-Wealth. Then we appeale, to the Stones, Timber, and dust of the Earth you tread upon, to hold forth the light of this business, questioning not, but that Power that dwells every where, will cause light to spring out of darkness, and Freedom out of Bondage. By Gerard Winstanley.

I Cor. 6.5. I speak to your shame; that there is not a wise man among you, no not one, that shall be able to judge between his Brethren.

London, Printed by J.C. and are to be sold at the two Bibles, at the West end of Pauls Church-yard, 1650.

Estimated date of publication

c. 1650 (no month given).

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Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet


THe occasion of the publication of this Request to the Ministers and Lawyers was this: Upon a discourse between Parson Plat, Lord of the mannor of Cobham, and Gerard winstanley, about the matter of digging upon the Commons in his Lordship.

Mr. Plat did promise and engage himself with loving expressions, and words savouring of much moderation, tenderness and reason, that if Gerard Winstanley could prove by Scriptures, the lawfulnesse of the work, that is, that the earth was made to be a common Treasury, and ought to remain so to whole Mankind, without respect of persons: That he would never hereafter molest the Diggers, but quietly suffer them to build and plant the Commons in his Lordship: And that he would bring in his Estate, and become one in that community.

This which here followes is a Copy of those Scriptures I delivered to him, which he had not then time to read over; but upon discourse at the same time, upon the same Scriptures, he did not gain-say, but by his words of Gentleness declared a condescension, to the light of that universall freedom, held forth thereby to Mankind.

For the present I offer this to the consideration of all rational and Christian-spirited men, to judge in the case; And according as Mr. Plat gives answer, I shall be as ready to declare and publish.

For the present farewell.

per me, Gerard Winstanley.

To the Ministers of both Universities, and the Lawyers of every Inns-a-Court.

Gentlemen, Brethren, and Englishmen,

YOu all heare of the difference between Lords of Mannours, and the poor People of England. The poor people say, the common Land is their due, by right of Creation, and by the Lawes of a Common-wealth. And being encouraged herefrom, do build houses, and plant them corn for their Livelihood, upon the Commons and wast Land, that they may live like men, in their right of Creation; and that they may enjoy the benefit of a free Common-wealth, as they are Englishmen.

The Lords of Mannours say, it is not their Creation-right; thereupon beat them, pull down their houses, and much abuse them, pushing the poor with their hornes of power, like unrational Beasts.

And though the difference rise higher and higher between them, both in point of Conscience, and point of Law yet hitherto, there does not any appear to reconcile the difference,

But Gentlemen, let it not be said hereafter among posterity but that there were some wise men among you, that were not blinded by passion, covetousness, and self-interest; but that you would adventure to speak for righteousness, and that took the cause of the poor into your hands.

This difference between Lords of Mannours and the poor, about the common Land, is the greatest controversie that hath rise up this 600. yeares past.

If reason and righteousness which is the foundation of Scriptures, and just Lawes do give it us: let us have our freedom quietly; if neither reason nor righteousness give us this freedom, we will lie still, and never trouble you more.

Therefore I leave these following Scriptures and Considerations to you, and rest,

April 9th.

A fellow-Commoner of England, and true
friend to Freedom,


The whole Earth: By the Law of Creation, is the Common treasury of free Livelyhood, to whole Mankind. And those Lords of Mannors, and others, that deny any part of mankind, this creation-freedome in the earth, are sinners in the highest degree, and are upholders of the fall & curse of Mankind.

To prove this by Scripture.

IT is plaine, that the Scriptures consists of Three Parts. First, they declare the righteous Law of Creation, wherein God gives to all Mankind, equall freedome, without respect of persons.

Secondly, they declare the fall of Mankind from this righteous Law; and the various unrighteous actings of Mankind, under his falne estate, or power of darknesse, by whom he is taken prisoner.

Thirdly, they declare the restoration of Mankind to his creation-rigteousnesse: By whom he is restored: And the actings and conversation of Mankind upon his resurrection from under that dark, or faln estate.

Ile begin with the First, and take notice how the Scriptures gives an universal freedome in the Earth to whole Mankind.

Gen. 1. 26.In Genesis, God said, Let us make Man: By Man, in the singular number implies, Mankind. And let them have dominion: By Them, in the plurall number, implies, whole Mankind in all his branches.

Ver. 27. & Ver. 29Againe: he created Man; that is: Mankind. Male and female, created he Them. And bid them, in the plurall number; increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth: and after Mankind, in his varietie of branches, did increase and fill the earth. Then the creating Power, or God, gives 2 Commands more.

First, To subdue the Earth. And this implies, plowing, diging, and all kind of manuring. So then observe. That bare and simple working in the Earth, according to the freedome of the Creation, though it be in the sweat of mans browes, is not the curse.

But for one part of Mankind, to be a Task-master, and to live Idle; and by the Beast-like power of the sword, does force another part of Mankind to worke as a servant and slave. This is the power of the curse, which makes mankind eat his bread in sorrow by the sweat of his browes.

The Second Command from God, was this, to Mankind. That he should have dominion over the Fish, Fowle, Beasts, Hearbs, Plants. And this implies; that whole Mankind, spread abroad in variety of bodies, and yet but the unity of one Creation, Mankind is the Lord of the Earth: As David saith; The earth is the Lords:Psal. 24. 1. that is, Mankinds.

But there is not the least tittle spoken, that one part of Mankind should subdue, and rule in oppression over another, for this came in after the fall, and is the Beastly Power that hath beene suffered to reigne,Dan. 7. 25. for a time, times, and dividing of time.

When Mankind lives in the unity of the one Spirit of Righteousnesse; he lives in the light, and the light lives in him; which is Christ in him, the light of the Father, or the restoring Power.

But when Mankind lives in division, contention, and covetousnesse, one part of Mankind hedging themselves into the earth by force and sword, (as experience shewes, the strongest sword, rules over the weakest) and thereby shutting out another part of Mankind, making them slaves.

Jam. 4. 1. 2 Cor. 4. 4.Now Mankind lives under the power of the Fall, In darknesse, and darknesse lives in him. And this darknesse is the Devill, or sonne of bondage, which causes all division and sorrow.

This same Creation-Right, or common freedome in the earth among Brethren, was confirmed by Covenant from God, to Noah,Gen. 9. 9. and his Seed, without limitation or respect of persons.

So that, we see when that Almighty power did work a restoration in the earth, he gave the earth still to be in common; shutting out none, from enjoying the benefit of his Creation: But when Mankind began to quarrell about the earth; and some would have all, and shut out others, forcing them to be servants;Jer. 45. 5. This was Mans fall, it is the ruling of the curse, and is the cause of all divisions, wars, and pluckings up.

Gen. 17. 8.This same Creation-Right, or Universall Freedome in the earth, was confirmed by Covenant to Abraham, and his Seed, not limiting, or restraining any part. Now in this Covenant to Abraham, God points out the work of restoration by Christ, the restoring Power, who shall be the joy and blessing of all Nations.

So that in the work of restoration, God brings Mankind to this universall freedome in the Earth, without respect of persons, according to the righteous Law of the first creation of all things.

In the next place, the Scriptures declare the Fall of Mankind from this righteous Law of Creation.

Psal. 49. 12And the fall of Man, is declared in these words: Mankind being in honour, abideth not; that is: he being made the Lords of the Earth, and had dominion over the Fish, Fowle, and Beasts, and was free in himselfe; yet he abode not in that honour.Rev. 19. 19. 20.

For one part of Mankind, seeking to enslave another part, setting up one to be a King, or Lord, casting another at his foot-stoole, the stronger part hedging himselfe into the Earth, by Armies and Selfewill Lawes, and thereby hedged out others, did hereby become like the Beasts that perishes.

Rev. 12. 14.And how is that? even as the beasts, that pushes one another with their hornes, so does Mankind; so that Mankind,Dan. 7. 25. in their Actings each to other, is become a Beast: And this Beastly Power was to reigne for a time, times, and dividing of times.

Therefore, whosoever upholds this Beastly Power, and yet saies they are the Sons of Christ, or restoring power, they lie, they deceive themselves, and the truth is not in them.

Gen. 4. 3.The Scriptures likewise declares the actings of Mankind under the fall, or in darknesse. Cain rose up in discontent, and killed his brother Abel. The quarrell rise about the Earth; for Abels industry made the earth more fruitfull then Cain; thereupon Cain would take away Abels labour from him by force.

These two Brothers did type out, or fore-run all the acting betweene man and man, from that time to this; being a plaine declaration of that darknesse, into which Mankind is falne.

Deut. 5. & Cha. 18. 18Moses Law of equity, was but the moderation, or the curbing in of the Fall of Mankind: for his Law was not the restorer: but, saith he, there is one comes after me, mightier then I, and him ye shall heare, which is Christ, the restoring Spirit.

Gen. 23. 4.All the wars and divisions in Israels time, and since: and all buying and selling of Land, and the fruits of the earth, which is the art of cheating one another, is but the actings-of Mankind in darknesse,Gal. 4. 29. under the power of the fall; for, both Kings, Rulers, and all people, have had their checks from God, for their unrighteous walking, or cruelty against Abels plain-hearted Spirit. And all the great combultions that hath been,Jam. 4. 1. and yet is, in the world, is but politick, covetous, murdering Cain; holding Abel, or the honest plaine dealing heart under him; or the son of bondage, persecuting the son of freedome.Isa. 33. 1.

Now in the Third Particular. The Scriptures declares the restoration of Mankind, to his Creation-righteousnesse; or that the Sonne of Righteousnesse shall rise up, and expell the darknesse.

Gen. 3. 15.And there are 3 degrees of this First the Scriptures declares promises of restoration; as in these words: The Seed of the Woman shall bruise the Serpents head. Abraham’s Seed shall be the joy and blessing of all Nations.Gal. 3. 8. 2 Thes. 2. 8. The bright appearing of Christ, the restoring Power, shall destroy Anti-Christ, or that darknesse in man, called the Mystery of iniquity, that rules in, and enslaved Mankind. And in the latter dayes,Heb. 8. 10. 1 Joh. 2. 27. they shall be all taught of God, and the Spirit of truth, shall lead them into all truth. And such like.

Now these, and such like promises, declares the restoring of Mankind to his originall righteousnesse,Joh. 6. 45. and that they shall be brought to be of one heart, and of one mind; and that they shall be freely willing to let each other enjoy their Creation-rights, without restraining,Mat. 7. 12. or molesting one another; but every one doing as they would be done by.

Isa. 2. 4. & Chap. 11.Secondly, the Scriptures declares Prophecies, foretelling the restoration, in such words as these. The Swords shall be beaten into Plow-shares, and Spears into pruning-books, and Nations shal learn war no more; but the Lion and the Lamb shall feed together: the wast places shall be builded, and the desolate land shall be tilled, where as it lay desolate in the fight of all that passed by.Ezek. 36. 34. 35.

Joel 2. 21.This shewes, that the Commons, Heaths, and waste land, that hath lain barren, by reason of the unrighteousnesse of Kings, and Lord of Mannors,Psal. 107. 34. that would not suffer the enslaved poore to till, and manure it, shall in the day of Christs Power, be manured, and be made fruitfull, that there may be no beggery nor misery among Mankind, but that every body may freely enjoy their creation rights.Zachar. 8.

Rom. 8. 10.Thirdly, the Scriptures declares the resurrection of the spirit of freedome within Man-kind. As in these words; The whole creation groaneth and travelleth in pain, waiting for a restoration.Rom. 7. 24. And Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sinne That is, who will deliver mee from my covetousnesse, pride, envy, uncleannesse, selfe-love, and this great power of darkness in me, that hinders me, that I cannot doe to others, as I would have them doe to me: And that enslaves mee within, so that I cannot quietly suffer others to enjoy their creation rights in the earth.

The Apostles were hated, slandered, persecuted, and bore all patiently, rather then strive againe, that they might hold forth the righteous law of creation: This shewes the resurrection of the spirit of Love in them.

Jesus Christ was slandred, beaten, reviled, and at last put to death, for no cause; yet hee reviled not againe, but suffered all patiently, that he might honour his Father. The spirit of Righteousness; this shewes the resurrection of the spirit from under darknesse, and a growing up of freedome and light.

This spirit of Love, Patience, Humility, and Rigteousnesse, is called the light of the world, and the salt of the earth, which brings mankind into a moderate, meeke, Loving,Math 7. 12. and seasonable condition: It is the restoring spirit, teaching all men to doe as they would be done by. He that hath this spirit,Rev. 11. 15. will never strive to be a Lord of Mannor, or a divider of Land;Dan. 7. 27. for he will quietly suffer every one to enjoy the freedome of his creation. This spirit destroyes all enmitie: This is the Gospel: This is Christ, appearing to be the joy of all Nations, which the Ministers of Christ must preach if they be faithfull to Christ.Eph. 2. 15.

This is the spirit of poverty, that hath been a servant in the world a long time, but now is appearing and rising up to draw all men after him.

This poore man is hee, that saves Man-kinde from utter ruine, and yet he is despised by Ignorance. This poore man spread abroad in sonnes and daughters, shall inherit the Earth:Psal. 37. 9. 10. This is he that will give Man-kind a full freedome in the earth, and take off all bondages, therefore he is called the blessing of the earth. But the power of covetousnesse, which is the divider of land, is called the curse of the Earth, and murtherer.

Luk. 3. 5. 6.Jesus Christ bid the young man sell all that hee had, and give to the poore: This speech extends to all men, as well as to that selfe-conceited young man.

When Christ appeares in glory, in the day of his power, hee will make crooked wayes streight, and ruffe wayes smooth, throw downe the Mountaines, and fill up the Valleyes.

This declares the universall restoration of Man-kind to the law of righteousness, from whence he fell; for when once the Law of Love and truth is written in the heart of Man-kinde, they will never quarrell one with another about the earth, who shall have it, and who not, for it is the birth-right and Inheritance of all.

Matth. 20. 25.For saith Christ, though the Gentles seeke Dominion and Lordship one over another, yet saith Christ, it shall not be so among you who are my followers.

Now these of the Parliament, Armie, Clergy, Lawyers, and people of England that professes to follow Christ: and yet exercises Lord-ship over their brethren, not suffering their brethren quietly to live by them on the Earth; they doe deceive themselves, and are hypocrites.Jam. 5. 1.

Therefore woe, woe, woe, to you Rich men (and Lords of Mannors) howle and weepe.Isa. 16. 4. The oppressor shall fall: and he that takes the sword, and rules by it over brethren, shall perish by it. He that hedges himselfe into the earth,Matth. 26. 52. and hedges out his brother, not suffering his brother to enjoy the benefit of his creation; That man is a Thiefe, and a Murtherer, and an Enemie to Christ.Exod. 20. 13. 15.

And here I conclude, that these fore-mentioned Scriptures being but a gleaning of the Bible, gives a full warrant to all poore men, to build them houses, and plant corne upon the Commons and unnurtured land, for their comfortable livelihood, as they are part of Man-kind, being the right of their creation.

And whosoever denies or hinders them of this freedome, doth deny God, Christ, and Scriptures, and overthrows true and pure undefiled religion.

True Religion, and undefiled, is to let every one quietly have earth to manure, that they may live in freedome by their labours; for it is earth that every one seekes after, that they may live in peace, let them say what they will.

The practise of the Gentry is to have the Earth to themselves: It is that the Armie fights for: It is that the Clergy preaches for; for if you deny him Tithes, or a Maintenance, you shall not heare of him.

Nay, is it not the bottome of all National lawes, to dispose of the Earth: and does not this appear to be true, by the practise of Lords of Mannors and the Gentrie, that cannot be at rest for vexing and fretting, because poore men begins to see their creation-freedome, and begins to build upon, and plant the Commons.

And men that in other cases are mild and seemingly loving, are like Lions and Devils, ready to kill and destroy these poore diggers; and not only the Gentry, but the Clergy generally are mad against this worke: Well, the power of darknesse, and the fall, rules in these men; for if the restoring spirit, Christ, were in them, they would doe as they would be done by.

And seeing the Scriptures confirms this creation Right to whole man-kind, then in the next place it followes,

That all the Title and Power, which Lords of Mannors have to the Common land, whereby they beate the people off from this their freedome, Is no other but the will of Kings, who were Conquerours, and ruled successively by swordly power, inslaving the creation Man-kind in England.

First then consider, That King CHASLES and his Lawes was the Successor of the person and power of William the Conquerour; for he did not rule by the law of creation, suffering every one to enjoy their creation-right on the earth: But by the lawes of a Conquest, which intitles some to the earth, and shuts out others.

Secondly, That K. Charles, and that Kingly Lordly conquering government, is cast out of England, by the victory of the Armie over him, and by words and Acts of Parliament. If they doe not againe lose this their honour and peace too, by their selfe-love and covetousnesse, suffering the enemie to cheate them by policy, and thereby being in Kingly power again, who could not overcome them in the Field.

And seeing Kingly and Lordly power is declared against both by Army and Parliament, the people wants nothing now but possession of the Common-wealths freedome; for our freedome must not lye within the clasps of a Booke, in words that may be read; nor in the bare title of a Victory: but it must be freedome really enjoyed, or else it will do us no good.

The first Parliament law, which encourages the poore Commoners of England, to plant the Commons and wast land, it this; wherein they declare England to be a free Common-wealth: This Law breakes in pieces the Kingly yoake, and the lawes of the Conquerour, and gives a common freedome to every English-man, to have a comfortable livelihood in this their own Land, or else it cannot be a common-wealth.

Secondly, The Parliament did make this law, presently after the Kings head was cut off; That they would establish all the old ancient fundamentall lawes, wherein the Lives, Liberties, persons and estates of the people of England without exception, were concerned.

By this they give a common freedome to every English-man to have and enjoy the land for their comfortable livelihood by their labours, without restraint of any.

For the Ancient fundamentall Law is Salus populi, the safety, peace, and preservation of the whole body of the people, excepting none.

And this fundamentall law, called Salus populi, was that which gave life and strength to the Parliament and Army to take up Armes against the King; for they had not the least letter of any written law for their warrant at that time, all the lawes being for the King, and none against him.

Now if there be any Ancient Lawes of the Conquerour unrepealed, whereby the people are hindered of a quiet enjoyment of a Common-wealths freedome, they are all blotted out and abolished by this Act of Parliament, which hath declared

Therefore the poor people, being part of our Commonwealth, and being impoverished by the Kingly Lordly & Power, which is now cast out, are freed from the oppressions of all those Lawes, whereby their lives, liberties, persons and creation-rights, were enslaved: And Salus populi, is the fundamentall Law, that gives that life and strength and courage to build upon and plant the common Land, for their comfortable livelihood. This is the Commonwealths Law, and the Commonwealths Freedom.

3. Thirdly, The Parliament have made an act to free the People, from yielding obedience to the King, and to all that hold claiming under the King. This Law likewise throwes down the power of the Conquest, and makes Englishmen free in their Land, that they may live comfortably in their English Commonwealth, and quietly enjoy their Land now, which they could not, while the conquering Kingly and Lordly Power ruled.

4. Fourthly, The Parliament hath made an Engagement, to maintain this present Commonwealths Government, against King and house of Lords. This likewise is but a confirmation of the first, to make England a free Commonwealth. And that all Englishmen may enjoy the comfortable livelihood in the Land, as Brethren, without restraint; for if I have not freedom to live in peace, and enjoy food and rayment by my Labors freely, it is no Commonwealth at all.

Now in the purchasing of this declared freedom, the common people of England, have spent their Estates, as well as the Gentry, partly by their free hearts in lending money to the Parliament, partly by Taxes, partly by free quarter, and partly by plunder in times of Warre. By all which our proprieties are wasted, and the fruit of our labours laid down and accepted of, both by Parliament and Army, to be a price to purchase Salus populi, the peoples creation-freedom, out of the oppressing power of Kingly power.

Therefore in reason and justice, I conceive, that if the poor people do build houses, and plant corne upon the Commons of England, for a livelihood, they are protected and warranted both by Scriptures, and the Lawes of the present Commonwealth: And we expect the Officers of the Law, will be as faithful to us, to put us in possession, as our Law-books are to declare our common freedom.

And whereas some Justices do say, that for poor men to dig and plant upon the Commons, they do bring themselves within the statute, to be punished for vagrants, idle or wandring rogues: to this I answer.

1. That the Justice cannot call these men vagrants, or wandring rogues; for by the letter of the Law, it is no vagrancie to dig and work; but when men are idle, wanderers, begging up and down, these the Law lookes upon as punishable.

But the Diggers they set themselves to work, according to the Law of creation, as they are Englishmen, upon the Commons of England, claiming the priviledges of the Common-wealth, according to the Lawes of a Common-wealth, that they may not beg, nor be forced to steale through want, and so be hanged by the Kingly and Lordly Law.

2. Secondly, Their digging upon the Commons for a livelihood, is no Riot, though some Justices would make it; for they do not fight against any. And their meeting together, is no unlawfull or riotous meeting, unlesse the gathering together of many people in one field, to dig, plow, or reap, be a Riot, or an unlawfull meeting.

These Lawes against Riots, or unlawfull meetings, as they call it, was the Law of the fearfull Kingly Conqueror, lest the common people by their often meeting should understand their creation-freedom, and so should joyn together, to conquer and cast out him that had conquered them.

Yet the Gentry and Lords of Mannors, who are part of the Kingly and Lordly Power, they have met divers times in Troops, and have beaten and abused the Diggers, and pull’d down their houses. Yet we do not heare that the Clergy, Lawyers, or Justices, who would be counted the dispensers of righteous justice, do speak against them for Rioters, but against the poor labouring men still, checking the Labourers for idleness, and protecting the Gentry that never work at all: therefore if idle persons, who wander up and down idly, be punishable by the Statutes; Then judge whether it be not the idle Gentry, rather then the laborious poor man.

These things I leave to the consideration of all rationall men to judge of, they being the foundation, whereupon our work of community in the earth, according to the Law of creation, being reason and justice is builded. And I desire any rational man, Minister or Lawyer, to answer these, either to confirm us, or else to raise up this foundation of Scriptures and Law, not by take him Jaylor, which is the language of the Beast; but by reason which is the voice of the man.

Though this work of digging upon the Commons, have many enemies, yet I am assured of the righteousnesse of the work, and it shall take root in one place or other, before many yeares passe over Englands head, I can set no time, but I wait for the consolation of Israel to arise up, and break forth in others, as I have a taste of him in my self.

The voice of the Dragon is, kill him, pull down his house, beat him, arrest him, take him Jaylor, imprison him, he is a rogue.

But the voice of the Lamb is, love your enemies, let him live, the earth is his creation-right as well as mine: therefore let us do as we would be done unto.

Ministers and Lawyers, will you all stand looking on, and see the Lords of Mannors exercise Kingly Power over the poor men that claime their creation-right in the earth, and be silent?

You would be called dispensers of Justice: here is a point of justice for you to decide: this is the point upon which you shall either stand or fall, be saved or damned; for you are put upon the tryal.

The week before Easter, Parson Plat, Minister of Horsley, being the Lord of the Mannor of Cobham, where the Diggers were at work. And Thomas Sutton, the impropriator of Cobham, came in person, and brought divers men, whom they hired to pull down a poor mans house, that was built upon the Commons, and kikt and struck the poor mans wife, so that she miscarried of her Child, and by the blowes and abuses they gave her, she kept her bed a week.

And at this time I went to Mr. Plat, and spoke with him, about our freedom in the Commons, he answered me, if I could make it good by Scriptures, he would never trouble us more, but let us build and plant: Nay he said, he would cast in all his estate, and become one with the diggers.

The next week after I carried him this writing afore printed, being Munday in Easter week, and upon our discourse, he seemed to consent to many things, and was very moderate, and promised me to read it over, and to give me an Answer: moreover he promised me, that if the diggers would not cut the wood upon the Common, he would not pull down their houses: And the diggers resolved for peace sake, to let the wood alone till people did understand their freedom a little more.

And upon Fryday in Easter week, he came and brought his answer, which was this. He came accompanied with about 50. men, and had hired 4. or 5. of them, to fire down the diggers houses: some that stood by said, do not fire them, the wood will do some good; his answer was, no, no, fire them to the ground, that these Heathens, who know not God, may not build them again; for if you let the wood alone, they will build again.

Thereupon at the Command of this Parson Plat, they set fire to six houses, and burned them down, and burned likewise some of their housholdstuffe, and wearing Clothes, throwing their beds, stooles, and housholdstuffe, up and down the Common, not pittying the cries of many little Children, and their frighted Mothers, which are Parishioners borne in the Parish. And yet some of these hired men, lives not in the Parish, and some are strangers newly come into the Parish: and so were bewitched by the covetous make-bate Priests, to do this heathenish turkish act.

The poor diggers being thus suddainly cast out of their houses by fire, both they, their wives and Children were forced to lie upon the open Common all night: yet the rage of Parson Plat and his Company rested not here, but in the night time, some of them came again upon the Commons, while the diggers were quiet, and some of them in bed, and said, we have Authority from our Master, that is Mr. Plat, to kill you, and burn the rest of your goods, if you will not be gone: thereupon Sir Anthony Vincents Servant, called Davy, struck at one, and cut some of their Chaires and other Goods to peeces, frighting the women and Children again. And some of the Diggers asked them, why they would do thus cruelly by them, they answered, because you do not know God, not will not come to Church.

Surely if the God of these men, by their going to Church, teach both their preacher and they, to do such cruel deedes; we will neither come to Church, nor serve their God. Mr. Plat in his Sermons can say, live in peace with all men, and love your Enemies: therefore if the Diggers were enemies, he ought to love them in action; but it is a true badge of an hypocrite, to say, and not to do.

Let every Mans actions be tryed, and see who serves God. They or the Diggers. Mr. Plat and the Gentlemen, (so would be called) that were with him, were full of rage, and gnashed their tongues with vexation; but the Diggers are patient, chearfull, quiet in spirit, loving to those that have burned their houses.

Therefore the poor Diggers have got the Crown, and weare it, and the Priests and Gentry have lost their Crown: The poor have striven with them 12. moneths, with love and patience: The Gentlemen have answered them all the time with fury; they would have the Earth and all freedom, but they will not suffer the poor to have either earth or freedom, but what they hire of them.

But though the Devill be let loose to swell against us, in these Gentry that rule over us, by Kingly Power, or Law of Norman Conquest, notwithstanding, they have taken the Engagement, to cast out Kingly Power: yet his time to be chained up drawes nigh: and then we are assured this righteous work of earthly community, shall have a most glorious resurrection out of his ashes.

Nay farther, if this satisfies not Mr. Plat, but he & Tho: Sutton, of Cobham, have hired three men, to attend both night and day, to beat the Diggers, and to pull down their tents or houses, if they make any more; and if they make Caves in the earth, they threaten to murther them there, so that they will not suffer the poor Diggers to live, neither above nor below ground: if they beg, they whip them by their Law for vagrants, if they steal they hang them; and if they set themselves to plant the Common for a livelihood, that they may neither beg nor steale, and whereby England is inriched, yet they will not suffer them to do this neither: And so hereby these Gentlemen, take away both creation-right, and Common-wealths right from the poor Diggers; for they command the poor enslaved Tenants and Neighbors likewise not to suffer any of the Diggers to have any lodging in their houses, nor to sell them any meat for their money.

And thus the fury of Parson Plat, exceedes the fury of any other Lord of Mannor. The chief setters on to burn these houses, and to abuse the Diggers, was Parson Plat, Sir Anthony Vincent his Tenants and Servants, were most of them there; likewise Thomas Sutton and William Star, these are they that say the Commons belong to the poor, and yet these rich men are agrieved to see the poor make use of the Commons: the actors in this Turkish designe, were furious beyond the fury of the Beasts; but many of those that came were threatned by Vincent his chief men, to be turned out of their Livings, if they came not, so that this is not an act of the tenants by free consent, but the Gentlemen hired others to do it.

These men do so powerfully act the Image of the Beast, that they will neither buy nor sell with any freely, nor let any have land houses, or work under them but such as have the mark of the Beast; that is, such as are filled with fear of them, and are obedient to their beastly Power. And some of them say, they do God good service, if they can destroy or kill the Diggers. Thus the Scriptures are fulfilled. Rev. 13. 17.

And now they cry out the Diggers are routed, and they rang bells for joy; but stay Gentlemen, your selves are routed, and you have lost your Crown, and the poor Diggers have won the Crown of glory.

For first you have not routed them by Law, for you durst not suffer the Diggers plead their own cause, so that it never came to any tryal; and you have no Law to warrant your Lordly power in beating of the Diggers, but the will of Kingly swordly power, which is self-will, and Club-law.

Secondly, You have not routed the Diggers by dispute; for your impatient, covetous, and proud swelling heart, would not suffer you to plead rationally with them.

Neither thirdly, have you routed them by Scriptures; but the Diggers have routed you by your own Law; by reason, by Scriptures, and patient suffering all your abuses and now your name shall rot, and your own power shall destroy you.

When the Scribes and Pharisees of old, (these Lords of Mannors Ancestors) had put Jesus Christ to death, they rejoyced, and sent gifts one to another, and made merry, and in such like words, said they had routed him. And so now these English Pharisees, because they have acted the power of the Beast, and to the eye of the Beast, seeme to stand uppermost for a time, they say they have routed the Diggers.

But they are mistaken, for the Diggers keep the field of patience, quietness, joy and sweet rest in their hearts, and are filled with love to their enemies; but the Gentlemen are so impatient, they cannot rest for fretting, jearing, rayling, and gnashing their tongues with vexation.

They wil not suffer the Diggers to look to the Corne which is planted upon the Commons, being about eleven Acres: neither will they look to it themselves, but let the Cattle spoile it, that they may say, see, their labor comes to nothing. Are not these men the curse of England, that wil not suffer others to live by them and will rather spoile corne in these dear times, then let the poor enjoy their own righteous labors upon the Commons?

This work of digging, being freedom, or the appearance of Christ in the earth, hath tried the Priests and professors to the uttermost, and hath ripped up the bottom of their Religion, and proves it meere witchcraft, and cosonage; for self love and covetousnesse is their God, or ruling power. They have chosen the sword, and they refuse love; when the Lamb turnes into the Lion, they will remember what they have done, and mourne.

And thus I have faithfully declared all the businesses, and though the power of their coverousnesse, self-loving flesh, hath for the present trod our weak flesh down; yet the strength of our inward man, hath overcome them; and is the Lord God Almighty, above that power that rules in them.

We have declared our Testimony, and now let freedom and bondage strive who shall rule in Mankind: the weapons of the Sonnes of bondage being carnall, as fire, club, and sword; the weapons of the Sonnes of freedom being spiritual, as love, patience, and righteousnesse.





T.218 (7.2) Mary Stiff, The good Womens Cryes against the Excise of all their Commodities (4 January 1650).

Mary Stiff, The good Womens cryes

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 7 Nov. 2017



Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.218 [1650.01.04] (7.2) Mary Stiff, The good Womens Cryes against the Excise of all their Commodities (4 January 1650).

Full title

Mary Stiff, The good VVomens Cryes against the Excise of all their Commodities. Shewing, as the businesse now stands, they are in no Case able to bear such heavy Pressures, and insupportable Burthens, occasioned by the Iuncto’s new Impost on their Wares, whereby they are like to fall into great want of Trading, and putting off their Commodities at the prizes formerly, to the utter undoing of their deare Husbands and Families for ever. Therefore having a Fellow-feeling of one anothers lamentable and languishing Cases, (notwithstanding any Act to the contrary) have put forwards themselves to seeke redresse of their aggrievances, and inabilities of their over-burthened Husbands insufficiencies, and unsatisfying performances in their severall Occupations; have convened together in a Feminine Convention in Doe-little-lane, and tendred their aggrievances and complaints to the consideration of the Common-wealth; desiring speedy redresse therein. Written by Mary Stiff, Chair-woman, in Vineger Verse.
Westminster. Printed at the Signe of the Hornes in Queen-street, neere my Lord Fairfax’s House, and are to be sold at the Dildoe in Distaffe-Lane, 1650.

Estimated date of publication

4 January 1650.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

E. 589. (1.) TT1, p. 782.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The good VVomens CRYES against the Excise, on all their Commodities.

Good People all that heare our Cryes,

Pitty poore Womens Miseries.

WE cannot now set on the Pot, with a Sheeps-head dyd of the rot, Oynon nor Oatemell use God-wot; (pox take them:) When that we goe to salt our meat, or to make Pyes to bake and eat, this damn’d Excise lies in the heat that bakes them: We cannot wash our Smocks or Shirts, when we have gilded them by squirts, but straight in an Excise-man blurts, and smells too’t. Excise for Soape the Knave requires, Excise for Log-wood us’d by Dyers, to maintain Rogues, Knaves, Flooks, and Lyars, pray looke too’s. Tobacco two shillings the pound, the Devill sure will them confound, good people pray come curse them round, and spare not. Excise on Ale, Excise on Salt, Excise on Cloath, Excise on Malt; Excise on what so ere you call’t, and feare not. All Linnen fine or course must pay, Excise, or else they’l tak’t away, Lord who ere thought to see this day, in England? for Feather-beds, for Chairs, for Stooles; for Childrens Babyes, Caps for Fooles, and for all handy-crafts-mens tools, these Knaves stand Excise for Paper I must pay, or else my Muse must pine away; they care not what I write or say, in anger. Excise they have for Pots and Pans, for Pigins, Noggins, and for Cans, yet Harry Martins ware free stands, to bang her Excise as strong as Aquvaite the Juncto hath to make them mighty; and when they’r warm’d, O then they’l fight, ye, with ten whores: Excise on Sugar browne and white, Excise on Candles that wee light, but when King Charles comes, then wee’l fight, and quit scores. Excise on Spirits they doe lay, but from such Spirits Lord we pray, deliver us and chase away, these vermin; they doe Excise Wine by the Tun, and all the Liquors that doe run, a Halter catch them, or a Gun, that harme men: Sweet Sugar-Candy cannot scape, no more then can the juice of Grape; Ferriting, Shoostrings, Laces, Tape, they get by: Hatbands, Ribands, Gloves, and Hats; and for our Beds the very Mats, Tinder-Boxes and Rat-Traps, they live by. Excise for Pepper, Currans, Figs; for Capons, Rabbits, and for Pigs, for Childrens Tops and Whirlygigs, pox rate them. For Earthen Ware and Skins of Leather, a Halter tye them fast together, that they may hang in wind and weather, to state them: Excise on Cheese and Butter too, the more for to augment our woe, good God what will these Rebells doe? to begger’s. Excise on Glasses brittle Ware; Excise on all save of our care, we must lie hard, and hardly fare, guds doggers: Excise on Pewter, Tin, Lead, Brasse; to furnish out each ignorant Asse; and Assessments for Sir Thomas, and Cromwell: thus doe they rack, thus doe they rave; the more we give, the more they crave; else plundered by each Rogue and Knave, and Rake-hell. The Bishops Lands and all their store, they’ve lately sold, and yet are poore, and like the Horse-Leach cry more, more, and threaten. But if all things hit but aright, and Charles the second comes to fight; the Rebells will be hang’d downe-right, or beaten: Tom Ladle then will rue his folly, and Bradshaw Jack be melancholly, the Loyallists be briske and jolly, to heare it; Though these have murthered the King, they must not thinke to scape the string; a joyfull sight to see them swing, ne’re feare it. The roguerie that these Knaves have hatch’d, in all the world cannot be match’d, but in their snare they will be catch’d, in halters: Wee’l Bonfires light with Cromwells Nose, and Tyburne deck with Charles I is foes, and Gregory shall have all their Clothes, when’t alters . Then will the Sisters snot and snivell, and all the Saints make pittious drevil, when Cromwel marches to the devil in earnest Corbet will close Mourner bee, and Mildmay swing in a whimsie; Hie then quoth Lenthall, up goe we, in true jeast. Such Hypocrits can never scape, that murther, steale, and commit Rape; for them the mouth of hel doth gape, wide ope; were ever people deceiv’d thus? was ever King so glorious? or Religion reform’d thus? by Pope: Gun-powder Traytors did but intend, to bring their King to such an end; but that the Devill was not their friend, betray’d them; but these have in an open Hall, with impudence gone beyond all; nor did those bloody Traytors fall, dismay them. They butcher’d Charles at his owne gate, they tooke his Jewells, Money, Plate; and call themselves a Free State, by plunder: They sold his Haire, his Blood, and Crowne; they keep the Prince too from his own, were ever such damn’d Traytors knowne, O wonder! They sold his Houshold-stuffe & Goods, his Mannors, Forrests, Chases, Woods; yet seek to shed his Childrens bloods, like Devills: They damn’d their souls by treacherie; sacriledge, and perjurie; of covetousnesse no end we see, of evills. Our Husbands they no work can get, our Children starve for want of meat, and all we earne must make Knaves great, in bravery; whilst Cromwells Trull sits like a Queen; in Cloath of Silver, Sattin green, eats all the dainties can be seen, by slavery: Then doth her Stallion feed his fill, and of his Lust then has his will; Morley must make, and Noll must kill, ’tis pretty: each stinking Pusse, that t’other day, served the Hogs, and went to hay, now’s clad in the Queens rich aray, ’th’City Whilst Fairfax with’s bable-Nose, weares the Kings rich Gloves and Cloaths, and of his Hangings doth dispose, God save us: his Fro that came from Rotterdam and makes the simpleton a R— as proud as is the Devills Damme, out-brave us: whilst Mistris Pride, that stinks of graines, must have two maids beare up her traines, although her legges be full of Blaines, and itchie. These be the Nobles of our Land, greatest in power and command; for which you worke, you fight, you stand, they’l sit ye. When Bradshaw’s Doxie doth lie in, she has the Queens Childbed linnen, as if the Brat to Charles were Kin, her Bastard: That great Lollpoop’s no sooner up, but has his Caudle in the Kings Cup; and like his blood, doth swallow’t up, base dastard: Then doth he unto White-hall hie, with brace of Pages hanging by, to invent more tyranny and treason: but if good women, you’l be rul’d, wee’l be by him no longer fool’d, and that his courage should be cool’d, is reason. Ione Burnet then upright did stand, and silence with her voice command, would take the businesse in hand, to pox him: to Westminster straight she hies, under the Cloister where he lies, and all her cunning there she tries, to crosse him precending great busines she had; of which he said he should be glad, but in the end it proved so to Bradshaw into a roome he tooke her then, and soone commanded out his men; and stoutly they fell to it then, without Law. Ione Burnet then came back a pace, when Iack had quibl’d her Law-Case, & shriv’d Ione like a-Babe of Grace, and after, to the Committee Ione back did come, and told them the great worke was done; they gave her thanks, and home she run, in laughter. The Women then did chuse a Cryer; and so adjourn’d unto the fire, and did Iones witty trick admire, with wonder; this was the businesse of that day, they all adjourn’d and went their way; and met again the next Thursday, like thunder. The first thing that they took in hand, was the abuses of the Land, and how in haste they might disband, the Army; Then up stood Dall, and Sis, and Sue; and said, that Women the Lurdanes slew, that rob’d good people of their due; and harm ye: Quoth Iudeth then, one of my name kill’d Holofernes of great fame; and Ioel did doe the same to Sisera: did not Ester the Iews preserve; when Haman did from Justice swerve? more lies upon us when we starve, O Mordecay Hang Haman up agen I cry, that hath sentenc’d us Iews to dye, revenge is fit for tyranny, a Gallowes. Iack Bradshaw shall the same fate feele, and so shall Cooke, Wild, Iermin, Steele, all drunk into perdition reele, what follows? I dare not them with Hell affright, the Worm of Conscience so doth bite, they cannot rest by day nor night in quiet: and when that they doe goe to eat, they still feare poyson in their meat, their jealousie is wonderous great in diet. When they doe think to rest in bed, some bloody vision frights their head, of righteous Charles they murthered at White-hall; but if we doe not end the strife, which must be with their cursed life; of Children, Father, Sonne and Wife, be hang’d all. The Independent race we know, hold Tenents tending to our woe, and Englands fatall overthrow, do study: but if we cannot understand, how they have late overcome the Land, and now have all at their command, w’are mudds. No Law but th’Sword they will rule by, their boundlesse wills &c tyranny; good women all their Acts desie, and curse them: their Father Lucifer and Pride, with Cromwell that damn’d Regicide, and the Citie hath them supply’d, and nurst them. The Common Cuckolds of Guild-hall, with Atkins, fob, Tychburn, and all, that Canaans Grapes hath turn’d to Gall, and VVorm wood; Caryl, Carter, Gouge; and Nye, that can sweare, forsweare, fawn, and lye, to every wind their sayles they’l try, were nere good: Then in come Meg and loyall Doll, and bid a pox of God take Noll, and all the Rebells in VVhite-hall, confounded; quoth Meg the Devill take them all; quoth Doll I hope to see them fall, or else be hang’d before VVhite-hall, each Roundhead. Quoth Sis, a plague take Bradshaw Iack, quoth Sue, the devill take the pack; Heaven grant they ne’re may hanging lack, nor curses: and when they’r at the point to die; Heaven nor Physitian hear their cry, all Ministers comfort them deny, and Nurses. Quoth Moll, some plague give them their hire, that they may dye like Pym their Squire, like Dortslaw, or like Macquire, be hanged: quoth Besse, a while Ide have them stay, till. Destruction makes them way; and when the King shall win the day, be hanged, Quoth Kate, my wishes they shall have, each perjured Rebell, Foole, and Knave, may hang in Chaines and want a grave, to bury: quoth Ruth, professe I doe not think, but that the Knaves begin to stink; being even now at Destructions brink, to ferry. Quoth Prue, Charon will surely take then in, and Furyes whip them for their sin; not sparing VVeaver, not Evelyn, nor Grimston: quoth Deb, may Fairfax, Pride, and Rich, Hewson, and Ioyce, that lowsie stitch, have fire and scorpions at at their breech, and Brimston; quoth Peg, good Sisters I could curse, but ’twill but make them worse and worse, like Foxes they thrive better thus, in Treason: give them but Rope, they’l hang themselves, and wrack their hopes on Rocks and Shelves, and thats the end of all such Elves in Reason. Lets all set forwards and redresse our grievances, quoth Madge and Besse, and snatch these Sonnes of Wickednesse, in sunder: content (quoth Meg) my Distaffe shall upon their pates so heavy fall, that Ile goe neere to beat them all, with wonder. Lets chuse a Generall (quoth Kate) and we their Pride will soone abate; it is not done with talke and prate; but action: they then proceeded to a Choice, and every Woman had her Voice, and so they chose them lusty Joyce, call’d Blackston. A Virago strong and stout that had bin try’d full many a bout, and ne’re would turne tayle, nor give out, but forward: shee’d made an Asse of many a man, that none before her long could stan: when she but drew, away they ran a full yard. They all agreed to raise new force, Side-saddles, Pistols, women, Horse, with Spits, and Fire-forks, to take course, with the Army. This news came quickly to VVhite-hall, and did so fright the Rebells all, that they to Counsell straight did fall, to harme ye: one said ’twas fit that women should, take the Engagement, if they would, or else they should by them be fool’d, and flouted. Their Members too, that were but weake, would be disabled to speake, and then their Trade must surely breake, when outed. Let Bradshaw be made High-Constable, and Denby President of State-Table, and then, come women we are able, to stand too’t; quoth Denby, I accept the place, ’cause the black patches in my face, will make the women run apace, and ne’re doo’t. Quoth Harry Mild-may it is fit, that straight we doe new forces get, one beat me in the Gravill-pit, and craz’d me: quoth Martin, I will never turn, although they did my weapon burne, and once in fight my heart did earne, they maz’d me. But let them come, Ile fight againe, and so I hope will Harry Veine, it is not fit such queans should reigne, and vapour: and though my Body be not sound, I still have force to keep my ground, & with half weapon can them wound, then caper. Quoth Weaver, pray be not dismayd, I fear we are all on’s betrayd, the plot’s discovered by my Maids great belly: A lack quoth Bradshaw, as you are men, lets make an Act to banish them, ten miles from London, surely then, Ile tell ye: we may sit still by free consent, gather Excise and Assessment, and all live Kings by Praliament ev’rlasting. Pray here me though, quoth Baron Wild, Mr. Weavers Maid that seems with Child, I search’d her and my shirt desoyl’d, ’twas fasting: I sent her then to Justice Lowder, left in her breech shee carried powder, and hee got her a place to shroud her, till layed. But if you take it for a plot, referre her case to Mr. Scot, least the House and Tower should God-wot, betrayed. A generall feare surpriz’d them all, they doe like Babels builders call; who sayes that Pride won’t have a fall deceive us: now they have rob’d us of our Gold, murther’d our King and his Goods sold, they will ’tis thought run from their Hold, and leave us.

Pray stop them not, give them free way to goe,

The longer they stay here, the more’s our woe.

Mary Stiff, Cler. to the House.




T.219 (7.3) Gerard Winstanley, An Appeale to all Englishmen (26 March, 1650).

Winstanley, An Appeale to all Englishmen

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 7 Nov. 2017


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.219 [1650.03.26] (7.3) Gerard Winstanley, An Appeale to all Englishmen (26 March, 1650).

Full title

Gerard Winstanley, An Appeale to all Englishmen, to judge between Bondage and Freedome, sent from those that began to digge upon George Hill in Surrey; but now are carrying on, that publick work upon the little Heath in the Parish of Cobham, neare unto George Hill, wherein it appeares, that the work of digging upon the Commons, is not onely warranted by Scripture, but by the law of the Common-wealth of England likewise.
London, March. 26. 1650.

Estimated date of publication

26 March, 1650.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 790; Thomason 669.f.15 [23]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

An Appeale to all Englishmen, to judge between Bondage and Freedome, sent from those that began to digge upon George Hill in Surrey; but now are carrying on, that publick work upon the little Heath in the Parish of Cobham, neare unto George Hill, wherein it appeares, that the work of digging upon the Commons, is not onely warranted by Scripture, but by the Law of the Common-wealth of England likewise.

BEhold, behold, all Englishmen, The Land of England now is your free Inheritance: all Kingly and Lordly entanglements are declared against, by our Army and Parliament. The Norman power is beaten in the field, and his head is cut off And that oppressing Conquest that hath raigned over you by King and House of Lords, for about 600. yeares past, is now cast out, by the Armies Swords, the Parliaments Acts and Lawes, and the Common-Wealths Engagement.

Therefore let not Sottish covetousnesse in the Gentrey, deny the poore or younger Brethren, their just Freedom to build and plant Corne upon the common wast Land: nor let slavish fear, possesse the hearts of the poor, to stand in awe of the Norman Yoake any longer, seeing it is broke. Come, those that are free within, turn your Swords into Plough-shares, and Speares into pruning-hookes, and take Plow and Spade, and break up the Common Land, build you Houses, sow Corne, and take possession of your own Land, which you have recovered out of the hands of the Norman oppressour.

The common Land hath lain unmanured all the dayes of his Kingly and Lordly power over you, by reason whereof, both you and your Fathers, (many of you) have been burthened with poverty, And that Land which would have been fruitfull with Corne, hath brought forth nothing but heath, mosse, furseys, and the curse, according to the words of the Scriptures: A fruitful Land is made barren, because of the unrighteousnesse of the People that ruled therein, and would not suffer it to be planted, because they would keep the Poor under bondage, to maintain their own Lordly Power, and conquering covetousnesse.

But what hinders you now? will you be slaves and beggers still, when you may be Freemen? will you live in straits, and die in poverty, when you may live comfortably? will you allwayes make a profession of the words of Christ and Scripture: the sum whereof is this. Do as you would be done unto, and live in love? And now it is come to the point of fulfilling that righteous Law: wil you not rise up & act, I do not mean act by the sword, for that must be left? But come, take Plow & Spade, build & plant, & make the wast Land fruitfull, that there may be no begger nor idle person among us; for if the wast Land of England were manured by her Children, it would become in a few yeares the richest, the strongest, and flourishing Land in the World, and all Englishmen would live in peace and comfort; And this freedom is hindered by such as yet are full of the Norman base blood, who would be free men themselves, but would have all others bond-men and Servants, nay slaves to them.

The Law of the Scriptures gives you a full freedom to the Earth, and makes Man-kind free in all his Members; for God, or the creating spirit, is no respector of persons.

The Ministers who preache up the Law of the Scriptures, plead for their Freedom in the Earth, and say, The Labourer is worthy of his hire. But these Ministers, are faulty in two things. First, They will set themselves to work, in that they will run before they be sent, and then force the People by the power of the Sword-Law, to give them wages, or Labourers hire. And they will not take 12 d. a day as other Labourers have, but they will compell 100 l. or more to be paid them yearly. Secondly, They lay claime to Heaven after they are dead, and yet they require their Heaven in this World too, and grumble mightily against the People that will not give them a large temporal maintenance. And yet they tell the poor People, that they must be content with their Poverty, and they shall have their Heaven hereafter. But why may not we have our Heaven here, (that is, a comfortable livelihood in the Earth) And Heaven hereafter too, as well as you, God is no respector of Persons?

Therefore say we, while we have bodies that must be fed and cloathed, let us have Earth to plant, to raise food and rayment by our labours, according to the Law of our Creation, and let us live like men of your own Image and forme.

But if you say, that this is onely old Adams condition to look after the Earth; but the new Adam Christ, lookes after Heaven above, and mindes not the Earth. As one publick Minister told us, why truly then we say, you make old Adam who brings in the curse to be more rational and tender over our bodies; then the second Adam Christ who brings in the blessing to all Nations.

But if it be old Adams condition to desire a Livelihood as we are men, and to live free from straits: Then I would have all those Ministers to cast aside their 100 l. or 200 l. a yeare, and go and beg their food and rayment of others, and expect their Heaven hereafter, as they bid the poor men do.

But you covetous blind deceivers, know this, that as old Adam brings Man-kind into bondage and straits, so the second Adam brings Man-kind into Freedom, plenty and peace, here in this Earth while bodies are living upon earth: therefore he is said to be the joy of all Nations here on Earth, and the restorer of the whole Creation, that groanes under bondage here on Earth.

Well Englishmen, The Law of the Scriptures, gives you a free and full Warrant to plant the Earth, and to live comfortably and in love, doing as you would be done by: And condemns that covetous Kingly and Lordly power of darkness in men, that makes some men seeke their freedom in the Earth, and to deny others that freedom. And the Scriptures do establish this Law, to cast out Kingly and Lordly self-willed and oppressing power, and to make every Nation in the World a free Common-wealth. So that you have the Scriptures to protect you, in making the Earth a common Treasury, for the comfortable Livelihood of your bodies, while you live upon Earth.

Secondly, You have both what the Army and Parliament have done to protect you, as it will appeare by this graduall consideration.

First, King Charles was the successour of the Norman conquest, and raigned as a Conquerour over England, for his Power held the Land from us, and would rather see us die in poverty, or hang us up, then suffer us to plant the Commons for our livelihood. And Lords of Mannours hold claiming to their Copy-holds, and to the Commons, under or from the King: so that Kings and Lordly power, is the power of the Conquest over the people.

Secondly, Our Common-wealths Army have fought against the Norman Conquest, and have cast him out, and keepes the field. By vertue of which victory, both the Title of the King, and the Title of Lords of Mannors to the Land as Conquerors is lost. And the Land now is as free to others as to them; yea, according to Davids Law, to them that staid at home with the stuffe, as to them that went our to warre: And by this victory, England is made a free Common-wealth. And the common Land belongs to the younger Brother, as the Enclosures to the elder Brother, without restraint.

Then Thirdly, The Parliament, since this victory, have made an Act or Law, to make England a free Common-wealth. And by this Act they have set the People free, from King and House of Lords that ruled as Conquerors over them, and have abolished their self will and murdering Lawes, with them that made them.

Likewise they have made another Act or Law, to cast our Kingly Power, wherein they free the People from yielding obedience to the King, or to any that holds claiming under the King: Now all Lords of Mannours, Tything Priests and impropriators, hold claiming or Title under the King, but by this Act of Parliament we are freed from their Power.

Then lastly, The Parliament have made an Engagement, to maintain this present Common-wealths Government, comprised within those Acts or Lawes against King and House of Lords. And calles upon all Officers, Tenants, and all sort of People to subscribe to it, declaring that those that refuse to subscribe, shall have no priviledge in the Common-wealth of England, nor protection from the Law.

Now behold all Englishmen, that by vertue of these 2. Lawes, and the Engagement, the Tenants of Copyholds, are freed from obedience to their Lords of Mannors, and all poor People may build upon, and plant the Commons, and the Lords of Mannours break the Lawes of the Land & the Engagement, & still uphold the Kingly and Lordly Norman Power, if they hinder them, or seek to beat them of from planting the Commons.Jerard Winstanley.
Richard Maidley.
Thomas James.
John Dickins.
John Palmer.
John South, Elder.
Nathaniel Helcomb.
Thomas Edcer.
Henry Barton.
John South.
Jacob Heard.
Thomas Barnat.
Anthony Wren.
John Hayman.
William Hitchcock.
Henry Hancocke.
John Barty.
Thomas Starre.
Thomas Adams.
John Coulton.
Thomas South.
Robert Saycar.
Daniel Freland.
Robert Draper.
Robert Coster.

Neither can the Lords of Mannors compell their Tenants of Copy-holds, to come to their Court-Barons, nor to be of their Juries, nor take an Oath to be true to them, nor to pay fines, Heriots, quit-rent, nor any homage, as formerly, while the King and Lords were in their power. And if the Tenants stand up to maintain their Freedom, against their Lords oppressing power, the Tenants forfeit nothing, but are protected by the Laws and Engagement of the Land.

And if so be, that any poor men build them houses, and sow Corne upon the Commons, the Lords of Mannors cannot compell their Tenants to beat them of: And if the Tenants refuse to beat them off, they forfeit nothing, but are protected by the Lawes and Engagement of the Land. But if so be, that any fearfull or covetous Tenant, do obey their Court-Barons, and will be of their Jury, and will still pay Fines, Heriots, quit-Rents, or any homage as formerly, or take new Oaths, to be true to their Lords, or at the Command of their Lords, do beat the poor men off from planting the Commons; then they have broke the Engagement, and the Law of the Land, and both Lords and Tenants are conspiring to uphold or bring in the Kingly and Lordly Power again, and declare themselves enemies to the Army, and to the Parliament, and are traytors to the Commonwealth of England. And if so be they are to have no protection of the Lawes, that refused to tak the Engagement, surely they have lost their protection by breaking their Engagement, and stand lyable to answer for this their offence, to their great charge and trouble, if any will prosecute against them. Therefore you Englishmen, whether Tenants or labouring men, do not enter into a new bond of slavery, now you are come to the point that you may be free, if you will stand up for freedom; for the Army hath purchased your freedom. The Parliament hath declared for your freedom, and all the Lawes of the Commonwealth are your protection, so that nothing is wanting on your part, but courage and faithfulness, to put those Lawes in execution, and to take possession of your own Land, which the Norman Power took from you, and hath kept from you about 600. yeares, which you have now recovered out of his hand. And if any say that the old Lawes and Customes of the Land, are against the Tenant and the poor, and intitle the Land onely to the Lords of Mannours still, I answer, all the old Lawes are of no force, for they are abolished, when the King and House of Lords were cast out. And if any say, I but the Parl: made an Act to establish the old Lawes, I answer, this was to prevent a sudden rising upon the cutting off the Kings head; but afterwards they made these 2. Lawes, to cast out Kingly Power, and to make England a Commonwealth. And they have confirmed these 2. by the Engagement, which the People now generally do own and subscribe: therefore by these Acts of freedom, they have abolished that Act that held up bondage. Well, by these you may see your freedom, and we hope the Gentry hereafter, wil cheat the poor no longer of their Land, and we hope, the Ministers hereafter will not tell the poor they have no right to the Land, for now the Land of England,And divers others that were not present when this went to the Presse. is and ought to be a common Treasury to all Englishmen, as the severall portions of the Land of Canaan, were the common Livelihood to such and such a Tribe; both to elder and younger Brother, without respect of persons. If you deny this, you deny the Scriptures. And now we shall give you some few encouragements out of many, to move you to stand up for your freedom in the Land, by acting with Plow and Spade upon the Commons.

1. By this meanes within a short time, there will be no begger nor idle person in England, which will be the glory of England, and the glory of that Gospel, which England seemes to prosesse in words. 2. The Wast and common Land being improved, will bring in plenty of all Commodities, and prevent famine, and pull down the prizes of Corne, to 12 d. a Bushel, or lesse. 3. It will prove England to be the first of Nations, or the tenth part of the City Babylon, which falls off from the covetous beastly Government first; and that sets the Crown of freedom upon Christs head, to rule over the Nations of the world, and to declare him to be the joy and blessing of all Nations. This should move all Governours to strive, who shall be the first that shall cast down their Crownes, Scepters, and Government at Christs feete, and they that will not give Christ his own glory, shall be shamed. 4. This Commonwealths freedom, will unite the hearts of Englishmen together in love so that if a forraign enemy endeavour to come in, we shall all with joynt consent rise up to defend our Inheritance, and shall be true one to another. Whereas now, the poor see, if they fight, and should conquer the Enemy yet either they or their Children are like to be slaves still, for the Gentrey will have all. And this is the cause why many run away and faile our Armies in the time of need. And so through the Gentries hardness of heart against the poor: The Land may be left to a forraigne enemy for want of the poores love sticking to them; for say they, we can as well live under a forraign enemy working for day wages, as under our own brethren, with whom we ought to have equal freedom by the Law of righteousness. 5. This freedom in planting the common Land, will prevent robbing, stealling, and murdering, and Prisons will not so mightily be filled with Prisoners; and thereby we shall prevent that hart-breaking spectacle of seeing so many hanged every Sessions as there are. And surely this imprisoning and hanging of men is the Norman power still, and cannot stand with the freedom of the Commonwealth, nor warranted by the Engagement; for by the Lawes and Engagement of the Commonwealth, none ought to be hanged, nor put to death for other punishments may be found out And those that do hang or put to death their fellow Englishmen, under colour of Lawes, do break the Lawes and the Engagement by so doing, and casts themselves from under the Protection of the Commonwealth, and are traytors to Englands freedom, and upholders of the Kingly murdering power. 6. This freedom in the common earth, is the powers right by the Law of Creation and equity of the Scriptures, for the earth was not made for a few, but for whole Mankind, for God is no respector of Persons.*

March. 26. 1650.


 [* ] Now these few Considerations, we offer to all England, and we appeale to the judgment of all rational and righteous men, whether this we speak, be not that substantiall Truth brought forth into action, which Ministers have preached up, and all religious men have made profession of; for certainly, God who is the King of righteousness, is not a God of words only, but of deedes; for it is the badge of hypocrisie, for a man to say, and not to do. Therefore we leave this with you all, having peace in our hearts, by declaring faith fully to you, this light that is in us, and which we do not onely speake and write, but which we do easily act & practise. Likewise we write it, as a Letter of congratulation, and encouragement to our dear fellow Englishmen, that have begun to digge upon the Commons, thereby taking possession of their freedom in Willinborow in Northamptonshire: And at Cox Hall in Kent, waiting to see the chains of slavish fear to break and fall off from the hearts of others in other Countries, till at last the whole Land is filled with the knowledge & righteousness of the restoring power, which is Christ himself, Abrahams seed, who will spread himself til he become the joy of all Nations.



T.220 (7.4) Marchamont Nedham, The Case of the Common-wealth of England stated (8 May, 1650).

Nedham, The Case of the Common-wealth of England stated

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 8 Nov. 2017


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.220 [1650.05.08] (7.4) Marchamont Nedham, The Case of the Common-wealth of England stated (8 May, 1650).

Full title

Marchamont Nedham, The Case of the Common-wealth of England stated, or, The Equity, Utility, and Necessity of a Submission to the present Government cleared out of Monuments both Sacred and Civill, against all the Scruples and Pretences of the opposite Parties, viz. Royallists, Scots, Presbyterians, Levellers. Wherein is discovered severally the vanity of their Designes, together with the Improbability of their Successe and Inconveniences which must follow (should either of them take effect) to the extreme prejudice of the Nation. Two Parts. With a Discourse of the excellencie of a Free-state above a Kingly-government. By Marchamont Nedham, Gent.

Salustius. Incredebile est memoratu, quantum adeptâ libertate, in brevi Romana civitas creverit.
Fr. Guicciard. Histor. lib. 10. Liberae Civitates DEO summoperè placent; cò quòd in iis, magis quàm in alio genere Rerumpub. commune Bonum conservetur, Jus suum cuique aequaliter distibuatur, Civi|um animi vehementiùs ad Virtutem & Laudem accendantur, RELIGIO colatur, Sacra peragantur.

London, Printed for E. Blackmore, and R. Lowndes.

Estimated date of publication

8 May, 1650.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 796; Thomason E. 600. (7.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To the Reader.

PErhaps thou art of an Opinion contrary to what is here written: I confesse, that for a Time I my Self was so too, till some Causes made me reflect with an impartial eie upon the Affairs of this new Government.

Hereupon, beginning seriously to search into the nature of it, with the many Pleas and Objections made against it; And supposing those learned men who wrote before these Times, were most likely to speak Truth, as being un-interested in our Affairs, and un-concerned in the Controversie, I took a view of their Reasons and Iudgments; and from thence made so many Collections, that putting Them in order, and comparing all together, They soon made a Conquest over mee and my Opinion.

I know the high Talkers, the lighter, & censorious part of People will shoot many a bitter Arrow to wound my Reputation, and charge mee with Levity and Inconstancie, because I am not obstinate like themselves, against Conscience, Right Reason, Necessity, the Custome of all Nations, and the Peace of our own. But this Sort of men I reckon inter Bruta animantia; among whom to doe well is to hear ill; who usually speak amisse of those things that they do not, or will not understand. From Them therefore I appeale to the great Tribunall, where it is known I have in this dealt faithfully; And to the more sober Intelligences, here below, with whom these Papers must needs find the more free entertainment, because free from partiality, and the least Tincture of Faction.

And that they may be the fitter to walk abroad in the world, I have divided them into Two Parts, and accommodated Them with a Method, suitable to those two Parties whereof the world consists; viz: the Consciencious man, and the Worldling. The former will approve nothing but what is just and equitable; and therefore I have labored to satisfie him (as I have done my Self) touching the Justice of Submission: The latter will imbrace any thing, so it make for his Profit; and therefore I have shewn him the Inconveniences and Dangers, that wil follow his opposition of a settlement. Now, though the other should continue obstinate in their erroneous pretences; yet of this latter sort, I dare promise my Self an abundance of Proselyts, the greater part of the world being led more by Appetites of Convenience and Commodity, than the Dictates of Conscience: And it is a more current way of perswasion, by telling men what will be profitable and convenient for them to do, than what they ought to doe.

But Prethee read, and then doe what thou list: I have only one word more; & that is to our modern Pharisee, the Consciencious Pretender, and principall Disturber of the publique Peace. If hee will not be convinced by so clear Testimonies, but raise more dust about our ears, to amaze the People, it must be concluded; That all this noise of Church-Reformation, Conscience, and Covenant, is a mere malicious Designe to drive on a Faction, for the casting down of our present Governers, that they may set up Themselves in the Seat of Authority.—Farewell, and be wise. Being convinced of the Truth of these Things, I conceive my Self obliged, to shew others the same way of Satisfaction.

The Contents of the First Part.

  • Chap. I.  THat Governments have their Revolutions, and fatall Periods.
  • Chap. II.  That the Power of the Sword is, and ever hath been, the Foundation of all Titles to Government.
  • Chap. III.  That Non-submission to Government justly deprives men of the benefit of its Protection.
  • Chap. IV.  That a Government erected by a Prevailing Part of the People, is as valid de Jure, as if it had the ratifying Consent of the whole.
  • Chap. V.  That the Oath of Allegiance, and Covenant, are no justifiable Grounds to raise a new Warre, in, or against the Common-wealth of England.

The Intent of the First Part is, to prove the Necessity and Equity: Of the Second, to manifest the Utility and Benefit of a Submission.

The Case of the Common-wealth, stated.

Part I.
Chap. I. That Governments have their Revolutions and fatall Periods.

Ecclesiastes cap. 1.THe best of Preachers, Solomon, taking the World for his Text, found no other Application could be made of it then this, That All under the Sun is vanity; and this he proveth (as did the wisest of Philosophers) by the perpetuall rotation of all things in a circle, from* Generation to Corruption. Inest rebus cunctis quidam velut orbis, &c. There is (saith Tacitus) as it were a wheeling of all Things, and a Revolution of Manners as well as Times. Nor are the huge Bodies of Common-wealths exempted from the same Fate with Plants, Brutes, Men, and other petty Individualls; and this by a certaine destiny, or decree of Nature, who in all her Productions, makes the second moment of their perfection, the first toward their dissolution. This was observed to our purpose in the present case, by the Master of Roman Eloquence, Idipsum à Platone, Philosophiâq; didici, naturales esse conversiones Rerumpub. ut eæ tum à Principibus teneantur, tum à populo, tum à singulis. I have learned (saith he) out of Plate’s Philosophy, that Common-weals are altered by Turnes into the severall Formes of Government, Aristocracy, Democracy, and Monarchy. Nor can any reason be given for it, besides those rapid Hurricanoes of fatall necessity,Prudent. lib. post. in Sym. which blow upon our Affaires from all points of the Compasse,

————Sicut variæ nascentibus————

Contingunt pueris animæ, sic urbibus affert

Hora, diésq; suum, cum primùm mænia surgunt,

Aut genium, aut fatum.————

————Certum est & inevitabile fatum,

Ovid.Quod——ratio vincere nulla potest; quodq;

———————Omnia certe sine gubernat.

————————Sic omnia verti

Cernimus, atq́, alias assumere pondera gentes;

Concidere has.————

Ovid Metam.The English of all is, That as men are borne into the world with Soules; so Cities have a Fate or Genius given them, at the first founding of their Walls; and this Fate is so sure and inevitable,De Fato vide Lips. polit. l. 1. c. 4. & l. 6. c. 2. & in Nobis ad lib. 1. polit. cap. 4. that no reason or wit of man can conquer it, but it directs all things to the appointed end. Now that you may understand what Fate is, Minucius Felix calls it, Quod de unoqueq́, nostrum fatus est Deus, that which God hath spoken or determined concerning every man. It is (saith Seneca) that Providence which pulls downe one Kingdome or Government, and sets up another; nor is this done leisurely, and by degrees, but it hurles the powers of the world on a sudden, from the highest pinnacle of glory, to nothing.Clapmar. 124. Vide Richter axiom. pol. à pag. 1. usque ad 50. Hence it is, saith the same Author, (almost in the language of Scripture) that a Kingdome is translated from one Family to another, the Causes whereof are lockt up in the Cabinet of the Deity, though Holy Writ hath left the maine cause of such Changes upon record, viz. the wickednesse and injustice of Rulers. It is the weight of Sinne, which causeth those fatall Circumvolutions in the vast frame of the world;Senec. 2. Nat. quæst. all things being as changeable as the Moone, and in a perpetuall Flux and Reflux, like the Tides that follow her Motion; so that what hath been is that which shall be, and there is no new thing under the Sun.Epist. 92.

It was the weight of Sin which sunke the old world in a Deluge, and hath been the occasion (no doubt) of all succeeding alterations, by permission of Divine Providence,Besold. 309. who leaves the men of the world to the fulfilling of their lusts, that he may accomplish his own Fatalities or Decrees by an execution of Vengeance. Hence it comes to passe, that the best established and mightiest Governments of the world have been but Temporary; witnesse the foure great Monarchies, the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman; and the time or Age of a Government hath by some been reputed* for the most part 500. years. As for example, the Assyrian Empire lasted 520. years, till it was ruined by the Medes and Persians.

Isocr. Symm.The Athenian, from their first King Cecrops to Codrus the last, continued 490 yeares, and then it was translated to a popular Government.

Idem.The Lacedemonian Common-wealth, flourished much about the same number of yeares, from the time of their Founder Lycurgus, to the dayes of Alexander the Great, under whom it fell.

Numerous quingentesimus est fatalis. Ultra quingentos annos nou durane Regua, ut oftendunt historiæ omnium Temperum. Peucer. in lest. Chron. Ann. 70. & 1569.The Roman was governed by Consuls about 500. years too, from the expulsion of their Kings, till it was reduced again into a monarchy by Augustus.

After Augustus it stood in this Form, about 500. years more, under Emperors, till Valentinian, the last Emperor of the West. was slain at Rome, at which time the Empire was rent in pieces. The Vandals, under the conduct of Gensaricus, possessed Themselves first of France, then of Spain, at length of Africk, and in Italy of Rome it self. The Scots and English shook off the imperiall yoke in Britain. The Burgundians and Franks seized part of France. The Gothes another part of it, and part of Italy, the Country of Aquitain, with the seats of the ancient Cantabrians and Celtiberians in Spain, whilst the Lombards laid hold on Gallia Cisalpina. By which means, the Emperors had no certain power in the West, after the time of Valentinian; so that relinquishing Rome, the old Imperiall City, they erected an Exarchate at Ravenna,Illud est ab antiquissimâ memeriâ proditum, Civitates omnes Anno quingentesines converti, aut everti. Bodin. lib. 4 de Republ. cap. 1. which was soon destroyed likewise by the Lombards.

Now, though 500. years be reputed the usuall period of Governments; yet some have not atteined above half the number: As the Persian monarchy; which from Cyrus the first to Darius the last, florished no longer than about 230 years.

The Grecian having completed 250, after many Struglings and bloudy Bickerings betwixt the Competitors, was divided into the severall Kingdomes of Macedonia, Syria, Pontus and Egypt.Etsi periodus fatalis regnorum & Rerumpublicarum, plerumque congrunt ad Annos quingentos; tamen muite regna circa medium haius Periodi defecerunt. Strigel. 1. Reg. 15. Peucer. de Divin. p. 10.

The* Kingly government of the Romans was abolished, near the one hundred and fiftieth year after its Institution.

The Lombards domineered in Italy 240. years, till they were subdued by Charlemain, and their last King Desiderius banished with his Wife and Children.

But this is not all; I can tell you of many Royall Families and famous Governments, that have had their fatall periods in a very short revolution of time, not exceeding 100. years. As, in the one hundreth year after the Empire of Augustus, the Roman government came into the hands of Princes that were strangers, as Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, by nation Spaniards.

In the year of our Lord 200. Artaxerxes erected a new Kingdom of the Persians out of the Ruines of the Parthians.

In the year 300. the Roman Empire was committed to the tutelage of Princes Christian, as Constantius and Constantine the Great.V. P. Greg. lib. 21. de repub. cap. 5. & Greg. Richt. in Axiom pol.

Anno Domini 400. divers new Kingdoms were raised out of the Ashes of the Empire, inflamed by Divisions, viz. in Italy, France, Spain, Africk, Asia, and England.

Anno 500. the Western part of the Roman Empire was extinct, untill the time of Charlemain, and swallowed up at Constantinople in the Grecian.Annos 100. est fatalis principibus Families. Matthias Christianus in specul. 171. vide Richt. in Axio. Occ. 23.

I could rockon up many more of these short-liv’d Governments. But this may suffice to shew, that (sooner or later) they all have their fatall Periods; their Crowns are laid the in dust, and their Glories buried in the Grave of oblivion. No wonder then, if our English Monarchy, having arrived to almost 600. yeares since the Conquest, should now (according to the common Fate of all other Governments) resigne up her Interest to some other Power, Family, or Form. The late Commotions and Contests betwixt King and Parliament,The Empire hath been usually translated from Family to Family, at the end of the one hundreth year. were as so many sharp Fits and feaverish distempers (which by a kind of Antiperistasis are ever most violent in old Age) upon the approaching Instants of dissolution. The Corruption of the old Form hath proved the generation of another, which is already setled in a way visible and most Substantiall, before all the world; so that ’tis not to be doubted but (in despight of* opposition) it will have a season of continuance (as others have had) according to the proportion of time allotted by Divine Providence. And this I am the more apt to beleeve, in regard of it’s confirmation by a continued Series of many signall Victories and Successes, to the envie of all Opposers, and amazement of the world: Besides, I suppose it cannot be exemplyfied in History, that ever Kings were suddenly re-admitted, after they had been once expelled out of a Nation.Ibid. If any one case of this kind may be produced, there are an hundred to the contrary: So that if it be considered likewise, how the Worm works in many parts of Europe to cast off the Regall yoke (especially) in France, Scotland, Ireland,Contesimas periodos fatales esse reguic, [Editor: illegible word] regils Stirpibus, oftendens bistoriarum monumeta. Peu. in ores. de miraculasâ Stellâ. and other places) it must needs be as much madnesse to strive against the stream, for the upholding of a power cast down by the Almighty, as it was for the old Sons of Earth to heap up Mountains against Heaven. And when all is done, * we shall find it but labor in vain; that we have but fortified Castles in the Aire against fatall Necessity, to maintain a phantasie of pretended Loyalty; the consequence whereof will be, that at length in coole Bloud we may have leisure to consider, how foolishly we have hazarded our lives and Fortunes, and sacrificed the lives of others, with the common good and peace of the Nation, for the satisfying of an Opiniated humor.

Cap. II. That the Power of the Sword is, and ever hath been, the Foundation of all Titles to Government.

TO cleare this, we need doe no more but take a review of those Governments mentioned in the former Chapter, in their Rise and Revolutions. The World, after the Flood, in time grew more populous, and more exceeding vitious, being inclined to rapine, Ambition &c. so that the Pater-familias way of Government being insufficient to correct those grand enormities, there was need of some one more potent than the rest, that might restraine them by Force.Vide Pererium supra Genesiu. Upon which Ground it was, that Nimrod, first of all men, complotted a new and arbitrary way of Government, backing it with Power by a Party of his owne, that those Crimes which could not be cured by Perswasion, might be cut off by Compulsion; and that by a Power seated in his owne Sword and Will, he might oppose the wilfulnesse of others: But he, afterwards abusing this Power, by stretching his owne will too farre over other men’s wills, to the prejudice of their wel-being, and oppression of the Church, became the first Tyrant in the world;Gen. cap. 10. and therefore was called a mighty hunter, as having used his power to no other end, but to lay the Foundations of Idolatry and Tyranny.

Thus you see the Power of the Sword to be the Originall of the first Monarchy, and indeed the first politicall Form of Government that ever was; for the maintenance whereof he fortified himself in the lofty Tower of Babel, the Beginning of the Babylonian or Assyrian Government, which last name it took under Ninus, and from him continued in a Succession of 36 Kings, down to Sardanapalus; who was overcome in Battell by a conspiracy of his Captaines;Vide Justinum, & alios. among whom Arbaces the Governor of Medices being chief, reigned in his stead, & by his Sword Translated the Title into his own Family, from the Assyrians to the Medes; with whom it continued in a Succession of 9 Princes, till the Sword made King Astyages give a Surrender to Cyrus the Persian, the last of whose Successors, Darius, yeilded it up upon the same Termes to Alexander the Great, who erected the grand Monarchy of the Grecians.Veluti, è speculâ quadam, libertati omnium insidiatus, dum conteutiones civitatum alit, auxiliti inserioribus serento, victos pariter victorésque subire regiä servitutem coegit. Just. lib. 8. King Philip, the Father of this Alexander, was confined at first within the narrow compasse of Macedonia, too narrow for his Ambition; and therefore by fomenting quarrels betwixt the Thebans, Phocians, Lacedemonians, and Athenians, he found meanes to undermine them one after another, and by his Sword made way for a Title, through those petty Common-weales, to the Monarchy of Greece; which being improved the same way by his Sonne to the Dominion of the whole World, was lost againe to the Romans by King Perseus, the last of the Macedonians; all whose Glories, with those of his Predecessors, served in the end onely to aggravate his misfortunes, and magnifie the Triumphs of a Roman Consul. But the Title to that of Macedonia and the other Provinces, had been lost from the Family of Alexander above 150 yeares before, it being immediatly upon his death, bandyed by the great men of his Army, and his Mother, Wives, and Children slaine by Cassander; who, with Antigonus, Seleucus, and Ptolomie, having by Conquest rid their hands of all other Competitors, shared the Empire betweene Themselves, Cassander reigning in Macedonia, Antigonus in Asia, Seleucus in Syria, and Ptolomie in Egypt; all whose Successors successively resigned their Titles (as did Perseus the Successor of Cassander) to the Sword of the Romans.

If we looke to the Originall of the Romans, we find Romulus and his Successors, founding a Kingdom upon the ruines of their Kindred, Friends, and Neighbors. Next, the Kingly Title gained by the Sword and Subtilty, was the same way derived to divers of the 7 Kings, and at length extinguish’d in Tarquin by the Sword of the Senate; wherewith They drave, and kept him out of his Dominions, and made a Title to those also of other Nations, so farre, that in the end They entituled Themselves Lords of the whole Earth; and so continued, till Cæsar wresting the Sword out of their Hands, became Master both of it and Them. Most of the Successors of Cæsar likewise made way by the Sword to the Imperiall Chaire; as Augustus by the ruine of Lepidus and Conquest of Anthony; Claudius, Nero, and most of the rest, by policy, murther, and the Favor of the Soldiery. At length the Sword divided the Empire into East and West, and in the same manner likewise each of them suffered many Titular Subdivisions, till new Titles were raised in the West, by the Sword of the Gothes and Vandals; in the East, by the Turks and Saracens.

If this be not obvious enough out of profane Histories, take a view of those in holy Writ, where you shall find the Sword the onely Disposer, and Dispenser of Titles to Common-weales & Kingdomes. We find Jacob on his Death-bed, bequeathing one Portion to Joseph above the rest of his Brethren; and that was a Parcell which he tooke out of the hand of the Amorite with his Sword,Gen. 48. v. 22. and with his Bow; unto which Parcell the Scripture mentions not any Title that Jacob had, but by his Sword. And as for the Title which his Posterity had unto the Land of Canaan, though it were allotted Them by divine promise and dispensation; yet (as to the eye of the world) They were to lay Claime and take possession by the Power of the Sword, and so accordingly They received Commission to ratifie their Title, by a Conquest of the Canaanites; after which, Jure gentium, it became for ever unquestionable.

In the History of the Kings of Israel, we read, that most of their Titles have been founded upon powerfull usurpation: such was that of Jeroboam; who, though the Kingdome were designed to him by a Declaration from Heaven in the mouth of the Prophet, erred notwithstanding in his over-speedy invading the Soveraignty by Force; and that Act of his is branded with the black Character of Rebellion. Yet being thus gotten into the Throne, God would not suffer him to be disturbed, saying,1 Kings 13. 24. the Thing was from him; that is, by his permission; And so he that was a Traytor in Rebellion, being once invested by a meere permissive Act of Providence, came to have a positive Right, to the prejudice of him that was his Soveraigne, and to the exercise of Jurisdiction over those, that had been of late his Fellow-Subjects.

1 Kings 15. 27.After Jeroboam reigned his Son Nadab, who was conquered and slaine in Battell at Gibbethon, by Baasha, who with his Sword setled the Crown upon his owne head, which was worne afterward by his Sonne Elah, till he likewise was slaine, and the Crown by force of Armes usurped by Zimri;Cap. 16. from whom also it was snatched in the same manner by Omri; who died peaceably, and left the Succession to his Sonne Ahab, without the least Scruple all this while on the Peoples part, in point of Submission and Obedience to these usurped Powers. Adde to these Usurpations that of Nebuchadnezzar over the holy City, which he tooke by Force of Armes, and carried away many of the Jewes, with their King Jehoiakim into Captivity to Babylon;2 Chron. c. 36. an Action as full of Injustice and Cruelty as most that we read of: yet Nebuchadnezzar being once in possession by Conquest, his Title became Right and good; as may appeare by the Report given concerning Zedekiah the Successor of Jehoiakim, of whom it is said, that he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar;Ver. 13. which implies an investiture of Right in Nebuchadnezzar by the Sword, or else that Resistance of Zedekiah could not be called Rebellion.

To come a little nearer, and give you a Sight of this Truth in Moderne Practises, it will be very convenient a little to examine the Rights and Titles of present Princes to their severall Principalities, within Christendome; whom if we trace up to their Originalls, we shall finde to have no other dependance than upon the Sword. What Pretence had Ferdinand the Spaniard to seize upon the Kingdome of Navarre,Vide Anto. Nebrilsensem de bello Navarriensi. but onely to satisfie the Spleen of Pope Julius 2d, and his owne Ambition against the French? for which cause, to make his way the easier, he set upon John Albret unawares, and forced him with his Queen and Children quite out of his Dominions; which he afterward held in possession, and brought the People under his Allegiance.

In the same manner, Philip the second, with an Army under the Command of the Duke of Alva, set upon Don Antonio King of Portugall, and after he had subdued the Kingdome, laid Claime to the Crowne as his owne by Right; which he and his Successors held, till that now of late, in the Reigne of Philip the fourth, it was recovered againe by the Sword of Don John of Braganza. Faire Titles to the Succession were pretended on both Sides; but if either have the better this way, it must be Don John, as being descended from Edward, a third Sonne, whereas the Spaniard descends from Elizabeth, the youngest Daughter, of Emanuel King of Portugall. Yet it seemes Possession hath hitherto been held the best Title, and the Portugalls having of late outed the Spaniard, made bold to stop his mouth with this Answer:Vide Autorem Lusitaniæ liberatæ. That his Predecessor Philip 2d, had no Right to the Crowne, it being contrary to their Fundamentall Lawes, that any Foreiner should succeed in the Kingdome: And that it was lawfull for a Kingdome oppressed by Armes, by Armes againe to recover its antient liberty: which is enough to shew, that the Spaniard neither had, nor hath, any Title, beside his Sword, to lay Claim to the Kingdome of Portugall.

That Arragon was fairly annexed to the Crowne of Castile, by the Marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, cannot be denied; yet it is notorious to all the world, that the Spaniard hath since this union usurped much more in Arragon by Force, than his Predecessors injoyed before by Right, and dealt no otherwise with that Kingdome, than if it were his by Conquest, exercising an absolute Tyranny therein,Covaruv. pr. Quast. 1. as well as other his Dominions. To this end he abolished the antient and most excellent Constitution of that eminent Office, called, the Justice of Arragon; whereto some one Person was chosen by the Vote of the People, who in most Cases had a Power to controll the King. This was so great an Eye-sore to Philip the second, that (as Petrus Matthæus saith) he number’d these among the most glorious of his Actions, That he had lessened the Power of the Arragonians, deprived them of their greatest Priviledges, and demolished that grand Office, called, the Justice, the Bulwarke of their Liberty: So that what Title the Spaniard now hath to Tyrannize in Arragon, is founded onely upon Force and Usurpation. If we turne our eyes likewise upon his other Dominions, in America, and those here in Europe; as Sicily, Naples, Milain, Flanders, &c. his Title stands in all upon the same Termes, viz: a Possession by the Power of the Sword.Ut patet ex aurea Bullà Caroli IV. c. 17.

And this is just as much Right as his Kinsman the Emperour had to lay claime to the Kingdome of Bohemia, and afterward to seize upon the Palatinate; Bohemia being an Elective Kingdome that had Power of themselves to choose whom they pleased for King,See Instrumentum Pack. and so made choice of the Prince Elector Frederick, whom the Emperour made bold to drive out of that and his owne Countrey by Force of Armes, because he accepted of the Election; And not onely so, but after Frederick was dead, prosecuted the warre,Feuda Germanica, pracipuè diguitatum illustrium, ex provisione Legie fundamentalls, & consuetudine perpetuæ observation, ita ad Liberos & Agnatos pertinent, ut nec crimine lasæ Majestatis consiscari, nec bello justo, iu præjudicum Liberorum amitti possint. ut aiunt J. C. Germani. to the prejudice of his Heire, the present Pr. Elector, whom he hath constrained to quit his Dignity of the first Electorship, and resigne it, with the best part of his Dominions, upon hard Termes, to the Duke of Bavaria; so that what Title the Emperour hath to Bohemia, and the Duke to the rest, is derived rather from the Sword of Mars, than the Scepter of Jove by right of Succession.

This Act of violence against the Prince Elector gave an Alarm to the other Protestant Princes of Germany, to defend their Estates by Armes from the Incroachments of the Emperour; and therefore to avoid the Inconveniences of emulation between Themselves, They made choice of the Swede to be their Chiefe; who, moved partly by the Common Interest of Religion, but especially for severall Injuries done him by the Emperour, (as may be read in that King’s Manifesto) undertooke the warre, and with his Sword hath carved out a Title to many faire Countries and Priviledges, within the Empire.

What Title have the Swisses, the Hollanders, Geneva, &c. to their Liberty, but the Sword? On the other side, what Title have the Medices to dominere over the free States of Florence, and Siena, to the utter ruine of their Liberties, but onely Force? whereby Cosmus introducing an absolute Tyranny, under the name of Duke made himselfe more than a King, and (in emulation of the Muscovite) glorified his Successors with the Stile of Great Dukes of Tuscany.See Instrument. Pack.

How the Pope’s Temporall power (which was once so small) in Italy, came to be thus considerable, is easily known, if we take an Accompt of the Actions of Alexander the sixth, who, of all the Popes that ever were,Plemon Reguil est iu Florentino Ducam, quale plerumque subsequitur Armis oppressã Libertatẽ. Besold. in Sympli. cap. 4. shewed what a Pope was able to doe with Money and Armes, and having a mind to make his Sonne, Cæsar Borgia, a Prince in Italy, he taught him how to make use of the French Forces to build himself a Fortune in Romania, upon the mine of the Barons of that Country. And though the Pope’s Intent thereby was not to enlarge the Church-Dominions, but to make his Sonne great; yet after his Sons death, it turned to the Churches advantage, the succeeding Pope seizing upon all, as Heire of Borgia’s Usurpations, founded upon Blood and Treachery. After this Pope, succeeded Julius, who finding the Church thus made great, the Barons of Rome quite extinct, and their Parties worne out by Alexanders persecutions, found also the way open for heaping up moneys, never practised before Alexander’s time; wherewith acquiring Forces,Nic. Mach. de Principe. c. 11. He endeavoured to make himselfe Master also of Bolonia, to extinguish the Venetians, and chase the French out of Italy; in most of which Designes he gain’d happy Successe. And thus you see, how his Holinesse himselfe came by a Title to his Temporall Possessions; yet as among the Jewes, none but the high Priest might enter the Sanctum Sanctorum, so the Roman high Priest, that none might presume to enter upon his Territories, hath ever since gilded these magna latrocinia, these great Robberies, with the faire Title of Saint Peters Patrimony; so that having entailed it on himselfe first by the Sword of Peter, it hath been the easier ever since, by vertue of the Keyes, to lock the right Owners out of possession.

Out of Italy let us passe into France, and there we finde Charles the seventh, who, when his Title to the Crowne was adjudged in Parliament lesse valid, than that of the Queene of England, appealed to his* Sword, as the only Protector and Patron of Titles. Of this Truth, the Realme of France is a most sad example at this day, where the Tyranny of their Kings is founded and preserved by Force, not onely upon the shoulders of the Peasant, but on the destruction of their antient Princes, and the majesty of Parliament; which retaines not so much as a shadow of their old Liberty. What is become of the Dutchies of Normandy, Britany, Aquitaine, Burgundy, &c? what Title had the French Kings to those Countries, till They worm’d and worried out the right Owners by Force of Armes? what Claim had They to this absolute Domination over Parliaments, but Tyrannicall usurpation? yet Lewis the eleventh gloried in the Action, as if the Fleurs de Lys never flourished so well,Lehmann. 2. cap. 4. as when they were watered with the Blood and Teares of the People. For, according to the antient Constitution, that Kingdome retained a mixture of Aristocraticall power; so that the then supreme Court of Parliament at Paris had a Principall share in the Government, and nothing was imposed on the People, but by the Consent of their Deputies: But now, having been mined out of their Authority by the powerfull Incroachments of their Kings, and being over awed by armed Powers held continually in Pay for the purpose, their Authorty is defunct, and their common Interest in the Affaires of the Publique translated into a private Councell d’Estat, which depends upon the meer will of the King:Senatus Parisiensis in Iudicã curiam transmutatus, Besold. And so the Parliament of Paris, which was once the Supreme Councell, having surrendred its Title to the Sword of the King, serves now onely for a petty Court of Judicature, and a meer Mock-show of Majesty —— Thus we see the French King’s Title to what he holds at home; and if we looke abroad, he hath but the same Right to what he got in Catalonia and Flanders: And yet we must needs say, it is as good every jot as that of the Spaniard, whose best Plea is, that his Theeveries there have been of a longer Prescription:See Maluezzi, in the Events of the Spanish Monarchy. And upon the same Termes, of late yeares, They have both laine at Catch for the Dutchy of Savoy, and severall parcels of Germany.

Here likewise I might sift the Title of the Family of Oldenburgh (the stock of the late King) to the Crown of Denmark, and of Denmark it self to the Dutchy of Holstein; but to bring this discourse to a Period, I shall draw nearer home, and make it as clearly appear likewise; that the Power of the Sword ever hath been the Foundation of all Titles to Government in England, both before, and since the Norman Conquest.Cæsar in Commons. First, the Sword of Cæsar triumphed over the Liberties of poor Britaines, and gave the Romans here a Title to their Dominion. Afterwards, their Liberty returning again, when the Roman Empire fell to pieces, a new Title was setled by the Sword of our Progenitors the Saxons; who submitted for a Time,See the English Chron. upon the same Termes also, to the Danes, till the Saxons, impatient of the yoke, out-acted (by way of Precedent) the Parisian Massacre, or Sicilian Vespers, and made use of their Knives, instead of their Swords, to recover their own Title against the Danish Tyranny, Now, if in these nationall Revolutions of Government, I should examine those also of the Regall Families, we cannot from any examples produce more pregnant Instances, concerning the Transitions of Title, from Family to Family, meerly upon the accompt of the Sword: But I wave those, and will take a view of our own Affaires at a lesse remote distance, and see whether William the Conquerour translated the Government, upon any better Termes into the hands of the Normans.

Histor. Norman.And upon examination it appears, he had no better Title to England, than the rest before-mentioned had at first to their severall Countries, or than his Predecessor Rollo had to Normandy it self. For, about 120. yeares before, it hapned that this Rollo issued in the head of a barbarous Rout, out of Denmark and Norway; first, into the Dutchies of Frize and Henault; afterward he seated himself by Force in the possession of Rohan; in a short time of all Normandy, and missed but a little of the Conquest of Paris.

From him, this William was the sixth Duke of Normandy; who, though a Bastard, legitimated his Title, by the successe of severall Battels, against six or seven of his Competitors, more clear in Bloud than himself; by which means having secured his Claim at home, he became the more confident to tempt his Fortune with a designe upon England. As for any Right to the Crown, he had none, save a frivolous Testamentary Title, pretending that it was bequeathed to him by the last Will of his Kinsman, K. Edward the Confessor; upon which pretence he betook himself to Armes, and with a Collection of Forces out of Normandy, France, Flanders, and other Countries, landing in Sussex, he gave Battell at Hastings, and established himself a Title by Conquest upon the destruction of King Harold, and of the * Lawes and Liberties of the Nation, as may be seen in all our Chronicles.

After him, his Sonnes, the two succeeding Kings, William Rufus, and Henry the first, made good their Succession by the Sword, against Robert, their elder Brother, as did King Stephen a Stranger against Maud the Empresse, the right Heire of that Henry. Next to Stephen succeeded Henry the second, the Son of Maud, who, as Heire of his Predecessors way of Usurpation, Quarter’d the Armes of England with the Lordship of Ireland, by the Sword; as his Successor Edward the first, by the same means, cemented the Principality of Wales to the Kingdome of England; with the Blood of Leoline and his Brother David, the last of the Welch Princes.See the Chronicles. Next, Edward the second was forced by Armes to surrender his Right to his Sonne Edward the third, whose Grand-child Richard the second was in like manner by force of Armes deprived by Henry of Lancaster, whose Sonne Henry the fifth made good not onely that Title, but carved out a new one with his Sword to the Crowne of France, in defiance of the Salick Constitution; and left it so confirmed unto his Sonne Henry the sixth, that he was Crowned King of France at Paris, and so continued, till (Fortune turning) his Title was Cancell’d there by the Sword of the French, as it was likewise in England by that of Edward the fourth; whose Sonne Edward the fifth left the Crowne in the bloody hands of Richard the third, from whence it was wrested by Henry the seventh. This Henry (from whom the late King derived his Claime) came in with an Army, and (as one hath well observed) by meere Power was made King in the Army, and by the Army; so that in the very Field where he got the Victory, the Crowne was set upon his Head, and there he gave Knighthood to many of his Commanders. Upon this Foundation of Military Power, he got himselfe afterwards solemnly Crowned at Westminster. And soone after, upon Authority thus gotten, he called a Parliament, and in that Parliament was the Crowne entailed upon Him and his Heires. Thus both his Crowne and his Parliament were founded upon Power: As for any just Title, he could have none; for, he descended from a Bastard of John of Gaunt, which (though legitimated for common Inheritances, yet) expresly was excluded from Succession to the Crowne. And for his Wives Title, that came in after his Kingship, and his Parliament, which had setled the Crowne before upon him and his Heirs. And he was so farre from exercising Authority in her Right, that her Name is not used in any Lawes, as Queen Mary’s was, both before and after her Marriage with the Spanish King.

Now, having made it evident out of the Histories of all Times, our own, and other Nations, that the Power of the Sword ever hath been the Foundation of Titles to Government, it is as cleare likewise out of the same Histories, that the People never presumed to spurne at those Powers, but (for publique Peace and quiet) paid a patient Submission to them, under their various Revolutions. But it were vaine to raise more dust out of the Cobwebs of Antiquity in so limpid a Case, confirmed by the Practises of all Nations: Looke nearer our owne Times into the warres of Germany, and those betwixt the French and Spanish of late Time in Catalonia and Flanders; one while you might have seen the same Towne under the Power of the Emperour, another while under the Swede; this yeare under the French, the next under the Spaniard, and upon every new alteration, without scruple, paying a new Allegiance and Submission, and never so much as blamed for it by the Divines of their owne, or any other Nation. Moreover, none can deny, but that as Henry the seventh, and the rest before-mentioned, came into this Kingdome by meer Power, without Title of inheritance; so the whole Body of this Nation (as one observes) swore Fealty and Allegiance to them, and obeyed them whilst they ruled; yea, doth yeild Subjection to their Lawes at this very day. And the learned in the Lawes doe continually plead, judge, justifie, and condemne, according to those Lawes; So that herein the very voice of the Nation, with one consent, seemes to speak aloud: That those whose Title is supposed unlawfull, and founded meerly upon Force, yet being possessed of Authority may lawfully be obeyed.Vide Grotium, de jure Belli, l. 3. cap. 15. Bello ut alia acquirl possunt, ita & jus Imperantis, &c. Not may They onely, but they must, else by the Judgement of Civilians, such as refuse may be punished as seditious and Trayterous; the Victors being ever allowed (Jure gentium) to use all meanes for securing what They have gotten, and to exercise a Right of Dominion over the Conquer’d Party. Whosoever therefore shall refuse Submission to an established Government, upon Pretence of Conscience, in regard of former Allegiances, Oathes, and Covenants; or upon supposition that it is by the Sword unlawfully erected, deserves none but the Character of peevish, and a man obstinate against the Reason and Custome of the whole world. Let his pretence be what it will, Resistance, in the eye of the Law of Nations, is Treason; and if he will needs perish in the Flames of his owne phren’tick Zeale, he can at the best he reckoned but the Mad-mans Saint, and the Foole’s Martyr.

Horat.Nescio an Anticyram ratio illi destinet amnem.

Chap. III. That Non-submission to Government justly deprives Men of the benefit of its Protection.

IF at any time it seeme good to the wise disposer of States and Kingdomes (who puts down one, and sess up another) to permit the expulsion of such as were formerly in possession, and admit others in their places, it cannot in reason be expected, that those which refuse obedience to their Authority should receive the Benefit of Protection; and that for severall considerations.

First, because Protection implyes a Return of obedience and Friendship, from the persons protected, to those that protect them; otherwise they put themselves into the condition of Enemies, and by the Law of Nations, which indulges a liberty unto all that are in power to provide for their owne security, they may be handled as Publique Enemies, and Out-lawes; wherefore in this Case, so little of Protection is due to them, that they may be punished as Traitors, by some shamefull Execution. And it appeares out of Grotius,De Iure Belli. lib. 3. cap. 20. in case of Non-submission, to new Lords after a Victory, the Throats of every Refuser are wholly at their mercy; and all this, De Jure.

Secondly, there being a necessity of some Government at all times, for the maintenance of Civill conversation, and to avoid Confusion, therefore such as will not submit, because they cannot have such a Governour as Themselves like, are in some sense meere Anarchists,3. Polit. cap. 4. 1 Polit. cap. 2. & lib. 2. c. 4. & 6. and destroy the two maine ends of all Civill Communion: The first whereof Aristotle sets downe to be Publique Safety, in relation whereunto each Member of the Commonwealth is concerned to have a care of the whole: The second is Publique Equity, for the Administration of Justice, encouragement of Vertue, and punishment of Vice, without which it’s impossible to enjoy Peace or Happinesse. Where this humour reignes, there those two can never be secured, nor any politicall eutaxie,Arist. 1. Polit. cap. 5. Bellarm. de Laicis, cap. 5. Molina. de Iure & Iust. Tract. 2. dist. 26. good Order, or Tranquillity maintained, which is the very Soul of Government; forasmuch as (say the Civilians) the essence of a Common-weal consists, Ratione Imperandi & parendi; in Imperii & Subjectionis rectâ ordinatione, in a due course of Commanding and Obeying, Rule and Subjection: From whence (say they) we may conclude, Regere & Subjici, that Rule and Subjection are founded upon the Law both of God and Nature, and they must needs be Transgressors against both, that upon any Pretence whatsoever shall refuse to obey those Powers that are set over them, and open a Gap to Confusion, ipsa Tyrannide deteriorem, offar worse consequence than any Tyrannicall usurpation.

Thirdly, private and particular Persons have no Right to question how those came by their Power that are in Authority over Them; for, if that were once admitted,Iudicium sibi privatus funere non deber, sed possessionem sequi. lib. 1. c. 4. there would be no end of disputes in the world touching Titles. It is ground enough for the submission of particular Persons in things of politicall equity, that those which have gotten the Power, are irresistable, and able to force it, if They refuse: For, as touching this Case (saith the most excellent Grotius) Private persons ought not to take upon them to meddle with these Controversies in point of Title, but rather to follow them that are in possession. For, all Power is from God; and, our Saviour told Pilate, the Power that he had was given him from above,Respectu prima Cause omniz Imperia legitima esse concedo; sed si quæras de causis intermediis, &c. though all the world knowes that Pilate was but a Deputy-governour, and (in a civill acceptation) received his Power from Cæsar, who was an Usurper. To this accords that of Bodinus 1. de repub. cap. 6. who saith that all Governments are lawfull, in respect of the first Cause, viz. God; but on the other side, if we regard secondary Causes, all Governments have had their Beginning and Foundation upon Force and Violence. Now, since all commanding Powers hold their Supremacy from God, and that by the Law of Nations, They have a Right to exercise their Power over those whom they hold in possession; Therefore by the Law of God (which damnes resistance against those Powers)Rom. 13. and by the same Law of Nations, they which refuse submission to those Powers, (be They just or unjust by the way of Acquisition) may be justly deprived of their Possessions and Protection.

Tract. de Mejest. cap. 1.To those Testimonies before Cited, let me adde one more, to conclude, out of Bocerus. Contra Rempublicam quamcunq́, superiorem non recognoscentem, si quis aliquid moliatur; is, ut Criminis Majestatis reus puniatur: Non quidem ex lege Juliâ; sed Jure gentibus communi, quod cujustibet Imperantis tuetur Majestatem. If any man attempt ought against any Common-wealth whatsoever, that acknowledges no Superiour, he may be punished as guilty of Treason. And this, by the Custome and Law of Nations, which provides for the Authority and Safety of all that are in Power. Now (saith the same Author) If any person will not acknowledge,De Regalibus, cap. 3. num. 307. nor submit to those that rule the Common-wealth, it is to be presumed that he hath some designe in hand to their Prejudice, and he may be punished accordingly; which punishment (the Crime being Treason) amounts to losse of Life, as well as Possession and Protection.

Chap. IV. That a Government erected by a prevailing Part of the People is as valid de Jure, as if it had the ratifying consent of the whole.

SInce after the miserable Confusions of a Civill War, there is in the end a necessity of some Settlement, it cannot in Reason be imagined (when the Controversie is decided by the Sword) that the Conquerors should, as to the manner of settlement, submit to the will of the Conquered Party, though more in number than Themselves; nor are they obliged to settle the Government again, according to the former Lawes and Constitutions, but may, in this case, use such means as* nature instructs them in, and erect such a Form as They themselves conceive most convenient for their own Preservation. To this truth we have the Testimony of the most Learned Grotius, which I will set down at large. In belle Civili, scripta quidem Jura, id est civilia, non valent; at valent non scripta, id est, quæ natura dictat, aut gentium consensus constituit. In a Civil war, (saith he) written Laws, that is, the established Laws of a Nation, are of no Force, but those only which are not-written, that is, which are agreeable to the dictates of Nature, or the Law & custom of Nations. And then that only in Law (saith he) which shall be declared by the prevailing Party.Grotius ibid. Jur dicitur esse id quod validiori placuit, ut intelligamus fine suo carere Jus, nisi vires ministras habeat. That onely which it pleaseth the stronger Party to enact is said to be Law, since it cannot accomplish the outward end of a Law,Nic. Mach. de Principe, cap. 6. except it be attended by Force to constrain obedience. Hence came it (saith the Florentine Secretary) that all the Prophets that were arm’d, prevailed; but those that were unarm’d were too weake. And therefore it behoves all Legislators to be so provided, that if the People will not be ruled, they may compell them by Force.See Grotias ib. Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus, would never have been able long to continue the Authority of their Lawes, had they been without Arms at Command. And Solon himself, the great Athenian Law-giver, declares, he could never have established his Lawes at Athens, had he not had Power to second Them; and that all those great matters which he effected in founding a Common-wealth, he did,

Vim Iusq; paritis copulans vincii Iugo.μ[Editor: illegible letter] [Editor: illegible letter]ίον τε ί δί[Editor: illegible letter]ω συμαμόσας.

by coupling Law and Force, making Authority and Power walk hand in hand together.

Grot. lib. 1. c. 4.Moreover, as to the late Contest betwixt King and Parliament, Grotius speaks very home to justifie the Parliament’s late Proceedings in positive Terms: Si rex partem habeat summi Imperii. partem alteram populus aut Senatus, Regi in partem non suam involanti, vis justa opponi poterit, quia eatenus Imperium non habet: Quod ubi fit, potest Rex etiam suam Imperii partem belli Jure amittere; that is in English, If the Authority be divided betwixt a King and his People in Parliament, so that the King hath one part, the People another; the King offering to incroach upon that part which is none of his, may lawfully be opposed by force of Arms, because he exceeds the Bounds of his Authority. And not only so, but he may lose his own part likewise, by the* Law of Arms. From whence I plainly infer; that if a King may thus, by Right of war,Evcutus belli, velut æquus judex, unde Ius stabat, victoriam dedit, Livius. 21. lose his share and Interest in Authority and Power, being conquered; then on the other side, by Right of war, the whole must needs reside in that Part of the People which prevailed over him, there being no middle Power to make any Claim: And so the consequence is cleare likewise, That the whole Right of Kingly Authority being by military decision resolved into the prevailing Party, what Government so ever it pleases them next to erect, is as valid de Jure, as if it had the Consent of the whole Body of the People.

These Premises thus laid upon-a sure Ground, shew the weaknesse of his, who wrote that so much magnified Pamphlet, entituled, [An Exercitation concerning Usurped Powers, &c.] For the Designe of that gilded Structure, raised upon the sandy Foundation of a false Hypothesis, is, obliquely to charge the present Powers in England as Usurpers, though he have laid the Scene in America. To this purpose, he spends his first Chapter; where telling what Usurpation is, he defines it an Intrusion into the Seat of Authority, without any lawfull Right, Title, or calling; and insinuates it to the prejudice of the present Governers, as if they were guilty of this Intrusion, without Right or Title. In applying this, he first alledgeth, that the Right and Title to Government is in a King, Lords, & Commons, co-ordinate in power, not in the Commons alone. This indeed was true, till the King (as I shewed before) lost his Title by Right of war, and untill the Lords likewise lost theirs, by complyance with the Enemies and Invaders of the Nation; for which cause they Themselves also, by Right of war, forfeited all their Interests and Priviledges, as Enemies; and so the whole Authority devolved naturally into the hands of the Commons.

But here the Exercitator objects also, that the present Governers have usurped over the majority of the House of Commons, in that they were thrust out of the House by Force. But (for Answer) since by the equity of all Lawes, Accessaries are punishable as well as those that are principall in the Crime, therefore by the same Right of war, the secluded Members also, in adhering to the conquered Party, even after the Victory, and favouring the Invaders, were justly deprived of their Interest, and the supreme Authority descended lawfully to those Members, that had the Courage to assert their Freedoms, secure their own Interest, themselves and their Adherents from future Inconveniences, and take the Forfeiture of those Prerogatives and Priviledges of the King, Lords, and secluded Commons, as Heires apparent, by the Law of Arms, and Custom of Nations, to an Investiture in the whole Supremacie.

One Objection more he hath; how that a Calling from the People being necessary and essentiall, to a humanely constituted Magistracie, our present Governers ought to have such a Call; but not having it, They are therefore concluded guilty of Usurpation. This is the summ of the Objection, though not Syllogistically deciphered. To which I answer, 1. That if only a Call from the People constitute a lawfull Magistracie, then there hath very rarely ever been any lawfull Magistracie in the world, nor among us long before and since the Conquest. The Proofe of this may be confirmed, by a Review of those Instances set downe before in the second Chapter; where it is evident, that all the world over, most Princes came into the Seat of Authority not only without a Call, but absolutely against the wills of the People, and so, many of them exercise thee Soveraignty to this very day: And particularly, here in England, most of our own Kings reigned without any Call, but made way by their Swords; there being of those 25 Princes that have King’d it among us, not above half a dozen that came to the Crown in an orderly Succession, either by lineall or collaterall Title: And not any any one of those half dozen but laid Claim to it, by vertue of their Predecessors Usurpations, without any Call from the People; only in thee Investiture They had their consent, because out of a love of publique Peace none would, or out of Fear, none durst offer to question their Titles. Now, if the former part of this Objection were true, that a Call were the only Essentiall, constituting a lawfull Government, then it would follow, that, as all the world, so we and our Ancestors have lived and paid obedience for the most part, under an unlawfull Magistracie; which sure no sober man will affirm. But if any will be so mad as to say it, I only propound to him this sober Quare, Why we may not now as lawfully submit to the present Magistracie, in case it were unlawfull, as our Ancestors did heretofore to theirs, for the publique Peace of the Nation?

2. As to the Assumptive part of this Objection, which insinuates, that our present Governours have no Call or Consent of the People,Majestatem rexlem durare constat, quamdiu, vel vi majore, vel omnium quorii interest conseusu, non mutatur. Besold. de maiest. cap. 1. Dicitur verò summa quia non alium nisi deum & gladium recognoscit; atq; [Editor: illegible word] suæ Originis quasi Author existit, &c. I answer, That if by the Consent be meant the Consent of the Body of the People, or of the major part of their Representatives, this may hold requisite in a State not divided by Civill War, but at Peace within it self; where it is most consonant to reason, that in case there be occasion to elect a supreme Magistrate or Magistrates, the election should be carried by the greater number of Voices, in such manner as Voices are usually given in that State; But now in a Civil War the case is altered, when the Controversie touching Government is decided by the Sword: For, ipsa Facto the Sword creates a Title for him, or those, that bear it, and installs them with a new Majesty of Empire, abolishing the old; Because, as the Civilians say, The ancient Majesty of a State or Commonweal continues no longer, if it be changed either by a greater power, or by consent of the People; where (you see) Force and Power in put is equall Balance with popular Consent, in relation to change of Government. And as if it were the best pedegree of supremacy, they define the Supreme Authority to be that which holds claim from God and the Sword; and therefore is also as it were the Author of it’s, own Originall, without dependance on any other; so that (say they) every Common-wealth, be it never so small, which acknowledgeth no Superiour but God and the Sword, hath a Right of Majesty, or politicall Supremacy. Camman, disput, de Juribus Majest. 1. Thes. 70. 75. &c. To this accords that of Grotius before-recited; That as in War all other things fall to the Conquerors,Arnisæus de Majest. cap. 1. Bello ut alia acquiri possunt, itâ & Ius imperantis in Populum, & Ius quod in Imperio habet ipse Populus. Grot. de Iure bellid. 3. c. 15. by way of Acquisition; so likewise a Right to govern the People, and even that Right also which the People themselves have to Government; so that what Government so ever it pleases them to erect, the People having lost their Right of election to them, must be as valid de Jure, as if it had the Peoples Consent. But as in this case, there is no need of their expresse positive Consent to justifie a new Government; so a tacit or implied consent is sufficient; which Consent (as one saith well) is the very dictate of Nature or common Reason, because it is better to have some Justice than none at all; and there is a necessity of some coercive power or government, lest all be left to Disorder, Violence, and Confusion, which none (even of the conquered Party) can be so unnaturall as to desire; and therefore (saith* Suarez) They do tacitly consent, that Justice be administred by the Conquerers, because it is a lesse evill to be governed by Them, than altogether to want due coaction and direction.

Object.Now, ere I conclude this Chapter, I must needs wipe away one Objection very frequent in the mouthes of many: That this transmission of Title by Right of war holds good, when Nation is engaged against Nation; but in one single Nation within it’s self it cannot; because (say they) it seems unreasonable that a Nation should challenge a Conquest over it self.

Answ.To this I answer, that warlick Acquisitions hold as good in civill Divisions within the same Nation, as in war betwixt Nation and Nation: For, where a Nation is engaged in a Civill war, and divided into Parties,In Tractat. de Legatis. the eye of the Law of Nations lookes not on them as one Nation, but as two, according to that of Grotius: In regno diviso, gens una, pro tempore, quasi duæ gentens habentur, In a divided State, one Nation, during the time of its Nationall Divisions, is esteemed as two Nations; so that what Preeminence Nation may gaine over Nation by right of forein war, the same may be obtained likewise by one part of a Nation against the other, by Right of civil war: And what the forein Conquerer may doe in changing the Government, abolishing old Lawes, and establishing new, the same may be done also by the Civill Victor, for his own Security.

Thus by all the Premises it is undeniably evident, in a way of application; That the present prevailing Party in England have a Right and just Title to be our Governers; and that this new Government erected by Them, to the subversion of the old, is as valid de Jure, as if it had the ratifying Consent of the whole Body of the People; Nor can They, in any sence, be counted Usurpers, as is most irrationally intimated by the slight Exercitator.

Chap. V. That the Oath of Allegiance, and Covenant, are no justifiable grounds to raise a new Warre, in, or against the Common-wealth of England.

HAving in the former Chapters cleared the Right and equity of the present Government, in point of Title, from the slanderous Character of Usurpation, I shall in the next place descend to examine the vain Phansies of such as refuse a Submission thereto, upon pretence of Conscience, in regard of former Obligations. These People are represented unto us under the ordinary Notions of Royalists and Presbyterians; the former pleading the Oath of Allegiance; the later, the solemne League and Covenant, as a Ground for their Refusall.

As for the Oath of Allegiance; In a word, Allegiance is but a politicall Tie, for politick ends, grounded upon politicall Considerations; and therefore being politically determined, when those Considerations are altered by new Circumstances, (be it in relation to Cæsar, or the Senate) the old Allegiance is extinct, and must give place to a new. The same description may serve likewise for the Covenant; For, even that part of it which relates most to Religion, will be found wrap’t up altogether in matters of Discipline and Church-politie, to serve politick ends and Interests, if the Actions of our English and Scot’ch Presbyters, may be admitted as a Comment upon the Text. I grant, both those Oaths are Religious Acts, as they are solemnized with the Invocation of God, as a Witness; but as all Actions are qualified from their principall End; so the main end of those Oaths being Obedience to the Prince in order to the good of the Publique, they are of a politicall Nature; and when such an alteration of Affairs shall happen as extinguishes his Title, I conceive, we are not obliged, in this Case, to pay him that Submission which by Oath we promised, but ought rather to sweare a new one, to those that succeed him in the Government.

For, in promissory State-Oaths (as these two are) it is granted by all, that there lurk severall tacit Conditions, inseperable from the nature of all Oaths and Engagements, and which are as it were the life and soule of the Obligation.Sanders. de Iura. Pralect. 2. sect. 1. These tacit Conditions, or (as Dr Sanderson calls them) Suppositions, are set downe by divers Authors, which I shall orderly apply to the matter in Question: one tacit Condition annexed to every Oath, is, That the words of it be duly interpreted, in a fair and equitable construction, not wresting it out of hatred or affection to any Party. This Condition hath been but ill observed by the Scots, and others, in relation to their Covenant, who will not admit any construction, but what may serve only to advance their own Designes,Ibid. in sect. 8. and heap hatred upon others: witness their pleading for it in an absolute Sence, or their own sence, whenas the principall parts of it are limited by expresse Conditions; viz: that part which concerns the maintenance of the King, and the Privileges of Parliament, is circumscribed with this Clause [In (or no otherwise than in order to) the preservation of Religion and Liberty.] And the other which relates to Religion, is in the manner of Reformation, qualified with another Clause, viz: [According to the word of God,] so that the old statu quo of King and Parliament was sworn to in a Sence but secondary, and subordinate, to shew that the usuall Priviledges of both might be quitted, if they proved inconsistent with Religion and Liberty; as also that any Reformation might be exploded, to make way for one more consonant to the word. And certainly, if the present Presbyterian Whipsters knew any other way more probable to advance their Kirk Dominion, than by making a pretended Plea for Prerogative a Stalking-horse to the Designe, believe both King and Lords, had been left long since to God’s blessing and the warm Sun (as they say) in despair of any Comfort from the Kirk’s Benediction. It seems now to me likewise, That they added this Clause [according to the word] not out of any love to a reall Reforming, but onely that they might have a Plea for the pulling down of Episcopacie, to introduce another Form more suitable to their own ambitious ends, since that Form that they contend for is as little consonant to the word as the other, because they take little thence besides the bare name of Presbyterie, to patch up a Reformation. These things the world must needs believe of them, till they lay aside their Self designings, and admit of an equitable Interpretation of the Covenant in the limitations expressed, or according to that* Latitude prudentialis, the prudentiall latitude, spoken of by Dr Sanderson, which ought to be considered in all Oaths, when the Sence and meaning of them is in question. For, as we ought by all means to beware, that we give not our Selves too great a liberty of Interpretation, to the end that we may shake off the obligation of an Oath; so none ought to fasten such a Sence upon an Oath, or any part of it, for their own profit or commodity, which any other pious and prudent man (indifferent and un-interested in the businesse) would not collect and conclude out of the words of the Oath.

Moreover, if we did grant the Scots their own Interpretation; yet it can be of small Consequence to their ends, since the Covenant it self is extinct, by reason of the Breach first made by themselves: Let Grotius determin this Truth, who lib. 2. cap. 15. saith, Si pars una Fœdus violaverit, poterit altera à Fœdere discedere: num Capita Fœderis singula conditionis vim habent. If one Party breake a Covenant, the other is no longer bound to it: For, each particular head of a Covenant, carries with it the force of a Condition; which Condition in relation to the Covenanters is, that either of them observe it with Fidelity to each other. But the Scots have been so far from observing, that the whole Nation have been involved in the Breach of it, by dividing the King from the People, the People from each other, and at length by a perfidious Nationall Invasion: so that except they can shew us some new Foundation whereon that Breach is repaired, the Covenant must needs be defunct in point of obligation. For,Grotius ubi supra. (saith the same Author) Fœdus tacitè renovatum, intelligi non debet: Non enim facilè prœsumitur nova obligatio, nisi ex actibus qui nullam aliam interpretationem recipiunt. A Covenant being once at an end, cannot be supposed to be renewed tacitly: For, a new Obligation is not easily to be presumed, but by such Acts as declare it, and admit no other Construction. Therefore, till the Scots and their Partisans can produce evidences of a renovation of the Covenant, by positive Acts of State, they must of necessity grant, that all Covenant-obligations & Relations are expired, between the two Nations of England & Scotland.

Seneca lib. 4. De Beneficits, c. 36.A second tacit Condition latent in Oaths promissory, is expressed in these words, out of the Divinity of the Stoicks, by Seneca. Tunc fidem fallam, & inconstantiæ crimen audiam, si cum omnia tadem sint, quæ erant promittente me, non prœstitero Promissum: Alioqui, quicquid mutatur libertatem facit de integro consulendi, & fidem meam liberat. Then (saith he) let me be accused of falshood and Inconstancie, if when all things remaine the same as they were at the time that I promised, I shall not then perform my Promise. Otherwise, any alteration whatsoever leaves me wholly at liberty, and freeth me from my Engagement. And a little after (saith he)* Affaires ought to be in the same condition they were, when thou didst promise, to bind thee to the performance. And in his 39 Chapter he becomes more particular, and saith, In all promises do lurke these tacit Conditions or Exceptions, Si potero,Si aliquid intervenit uovl, quid miraris cum conditio promisteutis mutata sit, mutatum esse Consilium? if I am able, Si debeo, if I ought, Si hæc ita erunt, if Things continue as they now are. If you require the performance of my Promise, bring Affairs into the same posture that they were in when I made it: But if any new alteration happen, why dost thou wonder, my condition being otherwise than it was when I promised, that I am changed in my Intentions? Render things the same, and I am still the same.

And that this holds good in Christian Divinity, as well as Stoicall, appears out of the afore-mentioned Doctor, whose Doctrine is equivalent, and his Terms convertible with those of Seneca,Sanders. Prolect. 2. sect. 10. declaring that all Promises have these tacit Conditions, Suppositions, or Exceptions; Si Deus permiseris, if God permit, which answers to Seneca’s Si potero? Quoad licet, as far as lawfully I may, which answers to his Si debto; Rebus sic stantibus, as long as things thus stand, which answers to his Si hæc ita erunt; According to which severall Suppositions in order, I shall examine both the Oaths of Allegiance and Covenant, and prove their Non-obligation.

1. Si Deus permiserit.First, No man that enters into an Oath or Covenant, can be so stupid, as to promise the performance of any thing, without this tacit Reservation within his own Soule, that he will doe it if God permit him, considering we can doe nothing without him, who exerciseth his wisdom and Soveraignty in the disposition of all humane Affairs, according to that of the Apostle James, who bids us say, If the Lord will,James 4. we will doe this or that. If so, then having sworn in the Oathes before-mentioned, to continue true and faithfull to the King and his Heires, &c. it cannot be meant otherwise, then with this Clause, If God please to permit their continuance in the Government: But we plainly see God is not pleased to permit their continuance, since all men will confesse, that (at least) by a permissive Act of Providence, another Form of Government is erected quite contrary to the Old: Therefore if we consider the Oath of Allegiance and Covenant, according to this first Supposition, they are now of no force and obligation; but it may serve to satisfie a private mans Conscience, if in times past, he have done his utmost to perform the duties required by those Oathes, during the former establishment. The Reason is (saith the same* Doctor) Because seeing all things are subjected to Divine Providence and Pleasure, and that it is not in the power of any man to regulate all Accidents which happen in the future; therefore he that hath used his whole endeavour to perform what he promised hath paid his Allegiance, and fulfilled the Intent of his Oath; the Obligation ceasing when things cannot possibly be effected (as the Doctor saith) ex Impossibilitate Facti. Prælect. 2. Sect. 12.

2. Quoad lices2. As concerning the Dr’s Quoad licet, the second tacit Condition or Exception, it is to be presumed no man swears to any thing, but with this Reservation, as far as lawfully he may. If so, then in case it so happen, that we cannot lawfully act in prosecution of those things which we have sworn to, our obligation ceaseth ex Impossibilitate Juris; as in the former, by an Impossibility of Power in us to effect what we were obliged unto, so in this, by an Impossibility of Right in us to act in order thereunto: For, saith he, that is said to be Impossible by an Impossility of Right, which a man hath no lawfull Power to endeavour. But as to the restauration of Kingly Government, now that another is established (by as good a Title (I have proved) as ever the Kingly was) I would fain know what Right, or lawfull Power, any private man hath, and which way he can ground it upon the Oath of Allegiance and Covenant,Grot. de Iure Belli. l. 1. c. 4. to endeavour the destruction of the New Form of Government, and a restitution of the Old. For, private Persons have no Right to Question those that are in Power, and are no competent Judges in Controversies of that nature, nor ought they to meddle with Them, but (as Grotius saith) rather to follow Possession. Yea, put case they were unlawfully possest, Usurpers, Invaders, and Tyrants, yet the same Author saith,Ibid. Privato vi dejicere summi Imperii Invasorem not licet, It is not lawfull for any private Person to endeavour the thrusting them out by Force.

Nor is this founded onely upon humane Reason, but also upon Scripture. That place in the 13. to the Romans [There is no power but of God, The Powers that be are ordained of God] is sufficient to convince every private Conscience of the necessity of Submission; that is, to submit to them so far, as not to presume to dispute how they came by their Power; and this Course is most agreeable to the Sense of all Expositors, the Practice of all Times, and the voice even of naturall Reason, since the opening of a gap to question Supreme Powers, and touch the tender eye of their Authority, would let out all into Confusion; Tumult following Tumult, like Billow upon Billow, till the world were over-whelm’d with a Sea of Miseries and Distractions.

Object.But some may object; If there be such a necessity of submission to Supreme Powers without questioning them, how then can this Parliament be justified in having questioned the King, at their first sitting,Answ. for divers of his Actions? I Answer, there is a difference betwixt Supreme Power, and the Exercise of it. The Controversie was not at first concerning his Right of Government, but the abuse of it by way of male-administration; in defence of which abuses he took Arms, and so by the Law of Arms losing his Right, (as is proved before) the Power descended to those that are now in possession, whose Right we ought no more to question than at first we did his; their Power deriving as naturall a pedegree from Heaven as his did, and being as legally confirmed by the Law of Armes and Nations, as ever that was which he held from his Predecessors. Now, in that the 13. to the Romans commands a submission and obedience in generall Termes, it is not meant to all Powers in the arbitrary exercise of their Power in time of Peace, but to all Supreme Powers in point of Title, be it setled upon them by* Right of War, Inheritance, or any other way. And to support this exposition, give me leave here to introduce two of the main Pillars of Reformation, Bucer, and Calvin, men famous in their generations; whose Testimonies may serve once for all, touching that so much controverted Chapter to the Romans. The Apostle (saith Calvin upon the place) seemes here to goe about to take away the frivolous curiosity of men, who use often to enquire by what Right those which have Command did get their Authority; But it ought to suffice us, that they are in preeminence; For, they did not get up to this height by their own strength, but are set over us by the hand of God. And saith Bucer also, on the same place, When a Question is made whom we should obey, it must not be regarded what he is that exerciseth the Power, or by what Right or Wrong he hath invaded the Power, or in what Form he dispence it, but onely if he have Power. For, if any man doth excell in Power, it is now out of doubt, that he hath received that Power from God; Wherefore, without all exception thou must yeild thy self up to him, and heartily obey him.

Seeing now, all Supreme Powers are of God, and that the Apostle commands subjection to them, but damns Resistance, it is clear then, as to our case here in England, that we owe Submission to the present Governours; and that no private man hath any warrant out of the Word to satisfie his Conscience in the lawfulnesse of such Actions, as tend to disturb or thrust them out of possession; therefore, according to this second Supposition of the Doctor, no Oath being of Force to bind the Conscience, farther than a man may lawfully Act, it followes evidently (the case thus standing) that the Old Allegiance is cancell’d, and we bound to admit a New; and that both it and the Covenant have now no Influence at all over us, but are utterly void, and of none effect.

3. Rebus sic Stantibus. 3. The third tacit condition or Supposition implied in all Oathes is (saith the Doctor) Rebus sic Stantibus, as long as things continue thus; it being to be presumed, that when I swear to perform any Thing, I doe it with this tacit Reservation, if I be not hindred by an alteration of Affaires: But if such an Alteration happen, that neither the same Persons nor Things are in Being which I swore to maintain, my Oath is at an end. and the obligation ceaseth; which now is our very Case here in England, the Government being changed, and new Governours set over us. For this, the Learned Grotius hath one Instance very pertinent to our purpose.Non teuebitur, si cesses qualitas sub qua alicui suravit; ut si Magistratus desiuet esse Magistratus. Grot. lib. 2. cap. 13. de Iure belli. An Oath (saith he) binds a man no longer, if the quality or condition of the person to whom he swore, he altered: As for example, if he that was a Magistrate cease to be a Magistrate. In evidence whereof, the same Author alledgeth a saying of Cæsar’s to the Souldiers of Domitius, when Domitius was a Prisoner. They were unwilling to serve Cæsar, because of the military Oath they had taken for the other: But to take away this Scruple, saith Cæsar to them, Sacramento quidem vos tenere qui potuit, quum projectis fascibus & deposito Imperio, privatus & captus ipse in alienam venisset potestatem? how can he hold you bound by Oath any longer, being outed of his Authority and Command, remaining a private man, and a Prisoner, under the power of another? Alas,* your Oath ended together with his Authority.

Ibid.Thus also, according to this third Supposition of the Doctor’s, it is plainly to be inferred; that since Affaires of State stand not now in England, as they were when we took the Oath of Allegiance, or the Covenant, but a new Government is erected; therefore our obligation to the former is totally extinguished. And if the obligation be extinct (as I have proved in the severall Particulars before-mentioned) then the consequence is as plain; that neither of those Oathes can be a Ground sufficient, to justifie any Royalist or Presbyterian, in denying a Submission to the present Government, or to raise a new War within the Nation.

Part II.

HAving in the former Part (as I think) fully manifested the necessity and equity, my designe in the next is, to shew the utility and Benefit of a Submission: This I shall doe, by stating the nature of the Designes of the severall Parties claiming an Interest in this Nation;

Viz: { Royalists.
{ Scots.
{ Presbyterians.
{ Levellers;

as they stand in opposition to the present Government, and would each of Them introduce a New Form of their owne. And that you may the better understand Them and their Affairs, I shall in a plain Method (for the more easie Conviction) proceed upon these Particulars:

First, The great Improbability of effecting their Designes.

Secondly, The grand Inconveniences which must needs follow, in case either of Them be effected, to the prejudice of the whole Nation.

Thirdly, The Excellency of a free State or Common-wealth, as it is now established in England, and what happinesse we may reap thereby.

After I have handled the 2 former, as They hold relation to the severall Parties, I shall bring up the Rear with the Third, by way of Conclusion.

Chap. I. Concerning the Royall Party.

THE Royallists are of 2 Sorts. First, such as adhere to the Prince out of necessity; Secondly, such as adhere to him out of humor. The former are Those, who being hopelesse of a Return, or of the recovery of their Fortunes, by way of Reconcilement, are constrained to run any hazard abroad with the head of their Party, and turn every stone to over-turn the present Powers here in England, that They may set up Themselves. The latter Sort of Royallists, are such, as though they served heretofore under the Royall Standard, yet, through the Favour of the Parliament, have re-gained possession of their Estates: And therefore being re-invested with their Fortunes, They are loth as yet to attend the Prince in person, though they follow him with their wishes, and would be glad to imbrace any Designe underhand, or perhaps (when time serves) appear here again in the Field, to make way for his Advancement. These may (not improperly) be called humorous Royallists, because they have only an obstinate and vain glorious humor for the ground of their behaviour, without any respect of Advantage to Themselves, but are ridden by the other to carry on the high-Royall designe of Particular persons, and ran a new hazard of their own. To restore the single Family of a Prince, suppressed by the Almighty, they seeme willing to Venture the destruction of all their own Families; and to serve the ends of certain Persons about him, men whose Fortunes are desperate, they are apt to foole themselves into the losse of their owne; as they must needs doe, if the Prince mis-carry in his Enterprize, whereas if he should carry it with Successe, They will be then where they were, They can be but Masters of what they have already. The high Ranters and Fugitives are they that will be look’t on at Court; Those Bell-weathers of Royalty will bear away the Bell of Preferment, whilst the poore Countrey-Royallists (both Gentry and Yeomen) shall be glad to drudge and plow, to pay those yet unknown Taxations, which must needs be collected, to satisfie the forlorn Brethren of the Sword, the many yonger Brothers, and Strangers, which will come in with the Grandees, in hope to purchase a Fortune by squeezing the Publique.

All which being considered, it is a wonder to see, how They feed Themselves with Phant’sies, who pretend in this Nation to the restitution of Royalty; how their eyes are dazled with that Sun which seems to rise upon their Party, supposing the golden Age must needs return again with him, and that he will climb up to the Meridian, in spight of all opposition! But to give them a Cooler for these Conceits, I shall more particularly, according to the Method before-propounded, shew first the Improbability of Successe in the new Royall Designes; and then, the grand Inconveniences that would follow such a Successe, that all mistaken Persons may see, how far they wander (to the hazard of themselves) out of that way, which leads to the future happiness of this Nation.

As to the Improbability of the Prince’s Successe in his Design, First, he is like to have but a slender Supply of forein Aids: For, the Affairs of Christendom are at this time so disposed, that some Princes want leisure; others, ability to assist Him: And divers there are which refrain, for particular Reasons of State. The Spaniard hath other Fish to frie, keeping a serious eie upon France, and lying at Catch against Portugall. Besides, there are severall Reasons (not fit here to mention) which may dispose him rather to imbrace the Amity of this Common-wealth, as it is now established; and whereof there is some hope (were there no other ground) in that he hath given our Agent a friendly reception.

So likewise hath the King of Portugall too another Agent; and how far he is from neglecting our Friendship, may appear by his Demeanour toward our Fleet, in the Port of Lisbon, where he hath given them the like Freedom and entertainment as he doth to Rupert, carrying himself indifferently between both, though he seem a little to incline somewhat more toward Rupert; not out of any good will, but only in regard of his Preengagement to that Party.

The King of France hath his hands full enough at home, so that he hath little list or leisure to mind Affairs abroad; being jealous not only of the Spaniard, but even of his own Subjects, by reason of their regreet at the insupportable Taxes, the Discontents and Bandyings of his Parliaments in the severall Provinces, and the Partisans of the Imprisoned Princes; all which seem to threaten (if not the Monarchy it Self, yet) the Family of the Monarch.

Denmark hath hitherto given but a coole Acknowledgment of so neare an Alliance, having been (at the best) but a Retiring-place for Montrose, seconding this with some other slight superficiall Courtesies; one of the best of which was (to rid their hands of their Guest) by lending him a few Bottoms, first, to seek his better Fortune in Swethland, and then to waft him and his Forlorn hope, toward their long homes, into Scotland.

Some such triviall Supplies likewise may be expected from the Swede, with a few Complements from the Emperour and German Princes, their Jealousies of each other not permitting them to spare their Forces: For, whosoever considers the Delayes and Shifts made by the Emperour and his Party, in performing the Articles of Peace; and on the other side, the resolution of the Swede and that Party to have them fully performed (together with those heart-burnings among them, which break out often into Flames in every Corner) may easily imagine the Peace of Germany is not long-lived, and therefore that neither of those Princes will part with many of their Soldiery.

The Hollanders esteem it a safe way to conform themselves ever to the Prevailing Party in England, having Reason, above all others, to prize the Friendship and amity of the English Nation. And though some common Courtesies are expressed there to the Prince by way of Entertainment; yet these are done rather to comply with the desires of the Prince of Orange, than out of any inclination or Affection to the Royall Party; whereas the Sence of the States Provinciall (and in them the meaning of the whole People) is, to preserve a strict Correspondence with the Common-wealth of England. Nor doe they relish those close Combinations between the Prince of Orange and his Brother; fearing so great an Alliance may dispose Orange to aspire, and establish a greater Interest of his own than is meet for a Member of a Republique, if Monarchy come to its height again in England; which they ought by no means to desire, but rather that England should continue as it is; not only for the former Reason, but also, for that such a Neighbourhood would be concerned in reason, to admit Them into a nearer Friendship & Complication of Interests, than ever they can hope from a Monarchy.——

These things being considered, the Prince hath small hope of Successe, in regard of any considerable Supplies from forein Princes.

Secondly, Put case he can, by the help of the many fugitive English, the Scots, and Supplies drain’d out of the Dregs of severall Countries, make shift to patch up an Army, or two, to trie his Fortune; yet ’tis ten to one but They ruin his Designe. For, first, the introducing of Forrainers will soon alienate the Affections of the English, as experience hath proved in all times. Secondly, Auxiliatores conducti ex diversis locis, nec disciplina inter se, nec affectione consentiunt. Mercenary Auxiliares that are collected out of severall Nations, seldome agree either in disciplin, or Affection. The reason of this is given by the same Author: For (saith he) since the Customes of Nations are diverse, therefore men of severall Countries, differing both in habit and manners, can not long continue together, without discovering an Antipathy or Contrariety in their natures, even to the ruine of that Party with whom they are ingaged.

To passe by the Testimonies of many other States-men, we have two very pertinent ones afforded us out of our own Affaires: witnes that emulation discovered between the Sctots and English in the Hamiltonian Invasion; and also of late, between the English and Irish under Ormond in Ireland, whereupon the English chose rather to joyn with the Parliament-Party, than continue any longer ingaged with the Irish. Lastly, Those Forrain Mercenaries will, upon the least misfortune of War, desert the Prince, and take up Armes under the Parliament. For (as saith Patritius) The* Faith of Mercenaries depends upon Fortune, and if she turn to the Adverse Party, thither They follow, and incline their hopes and affections. Yea, so little trust is to be given to these Mercenaries, that notwithstanding their Condition be good, yet (saith another) They are easily corrupted with Money, and with rewards and promises of better Pay, bought over to any other Party; respecting gaine much more than the Cause of their Engagement. Judge then, how the Prince is like to thrive with his Forrain Auxiliaries, if he shall have any, either in England or Scotland; for, the Reason of these Things holds good in one Nation, as well as another.

Thirdly, since it appears how small Successe he is like to have by the Aides of other Princes, let us see whether he have any better hopes by forrain Aid out of Scotland or Ireland, to make a Conquest of England. As for Ireland, he hath but poor expectations thence, since the Lord Lieutenant hath swept away those Adversaries with the Besome of Vengeance, and made way by a continued chain of miraculous Successes, to Shackle that rebellious Nation; and doubt not ere long, to bind their Princes with Chaines, and their Nobles with links of Iron, since every mouth brings in fresh Laurels of Victory, to their Terror and amazement. But Ireland being given for lost, let us see next, whether the Royalists are like to receive any more comfort from Scotland: Its an old saying, nullum bonum ex Aquilone, no good comes out of the North; and of all others, Royallists should be the least apt to believe any Benefit to come out of that Nation, from whence proceeded the Ruin and Destruction of the late King, and all their Party; nor can they hope much better of them in time to come. For, first, They adhere to the Prince, not out of any love to his Interest, but onely in hope to settle their own upon his Shoulders; and therefore if they can make a better Bargain elswhere, they wil cast him off, or (if he be in their power) sell him off (as they did his Father) upon the first occasion. What else can he expect from a Party, whose Interest was first founded upon the ruine of his Great Grandmother, continued and augmented to the perpetuall vexation of his Grandfather, and at length prosecuted to the destruction of his Father? Secondly, it is impossible to reconcile the two Parties, Royall and Presbyterian, even as impossible (King James was wont to say) as to reconcile God and the Devill. Thirdly, if They cannot be reconciled or stand together, then whatsoever Agreement may be made, it will be but from the Teeth outward; nor can there be an union betwixt them upon any designe, but in the prosecution thereof they will mind the Advancement of their severall Interests, which must make them jealous of each other, divided and partiall in their Counsels, and cause the inward rancor to break out, to the prejudice and utter ruine of the whole Engagement. Fourthly, let the Scots invade us again upon the Royall. or what score else they please. They will never be endured (especially in the Northern Parts) having heretofore by their perfidious and Tyrannical behaviour, fixed an odious Impression upon the Spirits of the People, and quickned the old Antipathy betwixt the two Nations: So that, if the Prince come in with them, or by them, he will fare never the better, (but much worse) for their Sakes, or their Company. Lastly, they come (if they dare come) a most nasty, lowsie, beaten Generation, against one of the most generous, best accomplished, and most Victorious Armies in Cristendome; an Army that must needs be dishonoured by such an Enemy, from whom never Credit nor Advantage is to be gotten; yet it is meet they should be chastized, since the Almighty, out of love to the future Peace of our Nation, seemes to decree, that Belial and Dagan; Montrose, and the Kirk, with her Worthies should be sent after Hamilton. This indeed, would be a fair step to Reformation, by setting out the Corruption of that Country, which sticks like a Scab, upon the faire Body of this Fortunate Island.

Now, in the last place, to conclude this particular touching the Improbability of the Princes Successe, since he hath little Ground to hope for any by the assistance of other Nations, let us examine what hope he hath from our own. Severall Reasons may be given to the contrary; As first, the People’s hatred of Foreiners, and their fear of that Plague, universall Free-quarter, with their aversnesse to war, having tasted some time of the Sweets of Peace; And though they are sensible of some necessary Burthens, yet considering another War will increase new ones, more exorbitant, every man would be content with things as they are; for, the Common pleople (as the Poet saith)Juvenal.

—————Duas tantùm res anxius optat,

Panem, & Circenses.—————

will be satisfied with Bread and Quietnesse, rather than hazard their Ease and Security, to serve the Ambition of others.

Secondly, They will be the lesse apt to engage in any new Insurrections and Parties, since the last thrived so ill, to the Prejudice and shame of all the Undertakers: Examples make Men wise; and though many of them escaped without punishment, in regard this* Government was not then declared; yet now that it is established, and Laws are made to defend it against all that offend in time to come, men will beware (I suppose) how they meddle, since they can expect nothing lesse after another War, than the punishment of Traitors.

Thirdly, Put case the Counties were resolv’d upon New Insurrections, yet what can be done by unweildy Bodies of raw Men, taken from the Streets, the Plow, or the Harrow; rude, and unacquainted with Military Disciplin, against a well-disciplin’d Army of Old Souldiers? Consider what became of those vast numbers in Kent, Essex, &c. with what ease they were dispersed, and how soon they vanished into nothing!

Fourthly, It is not like, that the Gentry, men of Estates, will stir in any considerable number, to hazard their Possessions, being yet scarce warm in them, after a Purchase made upon dear rates of Composition; But if any are so mad as to venture on new Designes, they might do well to consider, how hard a matter it is to carry them on without discovery, seeing the State hath a Party and Friends, in all Countries and Corporations. Besides, if They could carry it so close, as to bring any petty designe into Action, yet they cannot but be snap’t, and nip’t in the Bud, the Militia being so well setled, and a Party ready in Armes in every County.——Now, all these parcells of discourse being well weighed together, I leave every mans Intellect to make the Conclusion; what slender probability of Successe there is, by the assistance of Foreiners or Natives in the present Royall Designe against England.

Having thus, in the former part of this Chapter, shewn the Improbability of Successe in the new Royall enterprize, which were enough to wean Wise men from engaging upon that Score, I shall (according to the Method propounded) in the next place state those Grand Inconveniences, which would unavoidably follow to the prejudice of the whole Nation, in case the Royallists should proceed with Successe, to the ruin of this Government: The very consideration whereof should (me thinks) be sufficient to startle all understanding men, from wishing well to that Party.

First, since there can be no Medium of Reconcilement bewixt our present Governours and the Son of the late King, it is granted by all, that if ever he come into possession, it must be by Conquest, and the Power of the Sword: If so, then he will be as absolute as was William the Conqueror, and we all must be in the same slavish Condition, as our Fore-fathers were, under the Tyranny of that Norman Bastard.Cic. ad Att. 7. Epist. 5. That Government which heretofore was called Monarchicall will then be exactly Tyrannicall, according to that saying of prudent Cicero in one of his Epistles; Ex victoriâ cùm multa mala, tum certè Tyrannis existit. As many other mischiefs, so certainly, a Tyranny ever followes a Conquest. And therefore it was, that when* Henry, the Son of Maud the Empresse, contended for the Crown by Arms against King Stephen, and was like to prevaile, the Estates of the Realm wrought an Accommodation betwixt them, upon this Ground, because they conceived it dangerous for them, and the whole State, to have a young Prince get the Mastery by his Sword: For, Princes ever improve such kinds of Victory to an Advantage over the People, and Successe makes them cruell; witnesse the savage Proceedings of Edward the Second, against his Lords,Daniel. in Edw. the Second. after he had overthrown them in Battell, in the Northern Parts; executing their Persons, and confiscating their Estates, as Traitors; so that he is noted in our Chronicles, to be the first of all our Kings, after the Conquest, who, to prosecute his Revenge, gave a Precedent of Butchering the Bodies of the English, by Beheading and Quartering. This may be enough to shew, that to bring any Prince into possession by the Sword, is to instate him in a Tyranny.

Secondly, Though the Prince of himself should not be inclined to Tyranny, yet his Followers having a Power over him,Besold. in Cap. de morbic rerumpub. p. 312. will soone perswade him to it. Nam Legitimum Regnum convertitur in Tyrannidem, aut Dominatum, cum Aulo-politicis (qui plerúnq́, odio prosecuuntur libertatem) facilè aurem præbet Princeps. For (saith one) a well regulated Government is soon changed into a Tyrannicall domination, when a Prince gives ear to Court-politicians, who (for the most part) are enemies to Liberty. And as to our present case Machiavel speaks very aptly;Mach. de Repub. l. 1. c. 16. That a Nation which hath cast off the yoke of Tyranny or Kingship, (for in his language they are both the same thing) and newly obtained their liberty, must look to have all those for Enemies, that were Familiars and Retainers to the King or Tyrant, who having lost their Preferments, will never rest, but seek all occasions to re-establish themselves upon the ruines of Liberty, and to aspire again unto a Tyranny; that exercising an arbitrary Power, they may take more sharp Revenge, against all those that dare but pretend unto Liberty.

Thirdly, seeing that (as things thus stand) to have a King again invested by the Power of his own Sword, were all one as to have a Tyrant erected, with an Arbitrary Power to doe what he list, it will not be amisse to take a view of the effects and Consequences of Tyranny, As first, a* trampling of all Lawes under Foot. Secondly, using all sorts of(a) Cruelties and Rapine. Hence it is, that Cato called a King(b) Carnivorum Animal, a Ravenous Creature; and by Homer in the first of his Iliads, a King is called Δπμοβόο[Editor: illegible letter]ς βασιλυς, a Devourer of the People, so that no mans Life or Estate is in safety, if they have a mind to bereave them of either; and for this purpose, Tacitus saith, they alwayes(c) keep false Accusations and Witnesses in Lavender. Thirdly, no(d) good man can live safe by them, nor any man that is eminent for Valour or Vertue; according to that of the Tragedian Seneca,

Servare Cives Principi & patriæ graves,

Clare tumentes genere, qua dementia est?

aliena virtas formidolosa est. Salust. Nec minus periculum ex magnâ fonâ, Tacit. Agric.

Who acting the Part of a Tyrant, saith, It is a madnesse to preserve great Persons, when they once grow burdensome to their Prince and Country. Thus Tarquin taught his Son Lucius to secure his Tyranny, by striking off the Heads of those Poppies in his Garden, which grew higher than their Fellowes; whereupon, his ingenious Son gave the world to understand, as well as himself, what his Fathers meaning was, when afterward he destroyed all the principall men among the Gabians, by Force, Treachery, and false Accusations. No matter whether things be justly done, or not; for, a Tyrants Maxims are such as this, out of Lucian,

Sceptrorum vis tota perit, si pendere justa


That Prince’s Scepter is not worth a Rush, who stands upon Justice and honesty. Cæsar hath left it upon Record of himselfe, as Thucydides hath of Euphensus, and Euripides of Estocles: That all Lawes may be violated, to make way to a Domination: That* a man may be wicked to obtain, or maintain, an absolute Soveraignty: That a Princea ought to account nothing unjust which is profitable. To which may be added one more out ofb Seneca, That where a Prince hath no power to doe ought but what is just, he reignes but by Courtesie. These are the usuall Rules by which Tyrants steer their Courses; and therefore it concernes all men to forbeare their assistance, to any that endevour to re-settle a King by the power of the Sword, left he seat himself as a Conqueror, and so slip into an absolute Tyranny. For,

It is seldom, that Kings forbear an arbitrary Power, if they can by any means usurp it, over the People: And though there may sometimes happen a good King that will not make use of it to their Prejudice; yet even then the People are not safe, because (saith Salust) it is in his power to be wicked if he please.

Fourthly, If he come in by the Sword, there will be no Act of Oblivion passed before-hand; and if he gaine possession, it is a Question then, whether he will grant any afterward; or if (for fashion sake) he doe grant one, how farre it shall extend, and whether it may not be eluded, to make way for revenge against particular Persons, who (perhaps) little dream of an Inquisition for past Offences, as being of the moderate Sort of Offenders against the regall Person and Prerogative. All these Quares are well worthy every mans Consideration, since revenge is esteemed inter Arcana Imperii, one of the speciall mysteries in the Cabinet-Counsels of Royalty: For, with them, as Tacitus saith, Ultio in Questu habetur, Revenge is counted great gaine, and prized as the prime Jewell of a Crowne. It is so* sweet a Morsell, that even the best of Kings could not refraine it; as may be seen in the practises of David and Solomon.2 Sam. 19. 18. We read how David pardoned Shimti for a time; and he seemed so earnest in the doing it, that one would have thought, the Offence should never have been remembred; Also, how he forbore to revenge himself upon Joah all his owne daies; yet being to die, he gives charge to his Son Solomon, not to let them escape unpunished, but that he should bring their hoar heads unto the grave with blood,1 Kings 2. which afterward (upon slight occasions) was executed accordingly. So Solomon himself likewise,Ibid. though he forgave his Competitor and Brother Adonijah, and bade him go to his house in peace; yet he lay at catch still for some new occasion to be revenged: And therefore for a petty passion of love toward the Shunamite Lady, in demanding her to be his Wife, poor Adonijah was laid to sleep with his Fathers.Daniel. In our owne Chronicles we find also, how that when Henry the third had in the end gained the better by his Sword, over the Earl of Leicester and the People, he meditated nothing but revenge against all that had opposed him, razing the Castles of his Barons, confiscating their Estates, and taking forfeiture of the Charters of many Corporations; especially of the Londoners, whom he spightfully vexed ever after in body and purse, upon every opportunity. So likewise Richard the second, because the Londoners were not willing to back him in his Irregularities, but had appeared crosse to his Designs, watched every way to be revenged on them;Ibidem. and upon a slight occasion of a Tumult in the City (which neverthelesse the Mayor soon suppressed) he deprived them of the best part of their Priviledges, and put them to the expence of no lesse than Twenty thousand pounds; a fine considerable summe in those daies of Antiquity, to be added to that invaluable losse of their Liberties, for so poor a matter as a petty Tumult about a Quarrel with a Bishop’s Servant. But when Kings have been dis-obliged by any City or persons (by hook or by crook, sooner or later) they shall feel their displeasure: And therefore Machiavel adviseth never to trust them;Mach. de Prin. For, whosoever (saith he) thinks by new Courtesies to take out of their minds the remembrance of old Injuries, is extremely deceived.

Fifthly If Kings are thus revengefull, then what may we expect but the fatall Consequences of that humor? It is an old Saying;

———Regnabit sanguine multe,

Ad Regnum quisquis venit ab exilio; that is,

His Reigne will be very bloody, that comes from banishment to a Kingdome; whereof they shall be first sensible that have opposed his Interest; and such are all those in this Nation that have appear’d for the Parliament, against the Encroachments of the Prerogative. Nor let them flatter themselves, that they shall scape better than others, because they never opposed this Princes person; It will be ground sufficient for his hatred, that They bandied against his Father, and the Prerogative, to which he is heire. Nor is it likely he will forget the observation made by one of his Chaplains, in a Sermon before him at the Hague; how that the Presbyterians held his Father by the haire,Dr. Crighton. and the Independents cut off his head; Nor is it to be supposed that we should have many Parliaments hereafter; For, besides the Provocations given by Parliament, it is against the nature of King’s to love.* Parliaments or Assemblies of their People; and it was left as a Legacie by King James to his Family, in his Basilicon Doron; That his Successors should neglect Parliaments as much as might be: So that consider how this Prince is engaged, not only by the Interest of the Crowne, his particular personall Interest of Revenge, but also by the Præcepts of his Grand father, and the common Inclination of all Monarchs, and we may easily imagin what will become of Parliaments, and Parliament-Patriots, if ever he get possession.

Sixthly, Whereas many now adhere to him in their hearts, in hope they shall be eased of Excise and Taxes, &c. if he be restored, they are exceedingly mistaken. I remember a Passage out of the Stories of France; that the Duke of Orleans having,Du Serres. upon a difference betwixt him and the King, laid a Tax upon some of the Provinces, by their owne consent, to maintein his Army; afterward, allured with fair promises, they inclined the Duke to accord with the King, hoping to be eased of the Imposition; but they fell short of their desires; for, that which they had voluntarily imposed upon Themselves, was setled upon Them perforce by the King, when he once had them in possession: And so that Tax, which was called the Gabel, continues upon them to this very day, as a Token of their Folly. Now, let not us flatter our selves here in England, that we shall fare any better (in point of Excise, or other Payments) upon the Prince’s restitution. If now we have Burthens, we must then looke to have Furrows made upon our backs: If now we are (through necessity) put to endure a few whips, we shall then (of set purpose) be chastised with Scorpions. It is not an Excise, or an Army that we shall scape, but be visited with whole Legions of forein Desperadoes, which must be fed with greater Payments than ever, and (God knowes) when we shall be rid of them, if the Prince settle upon their shoulders. Consider, how many hungry Scots gape after this gude Land, who, with those of other Nations, must be Satisfied out of the Purses of our owne, whilst those that are their Leaders will be gratified, with this, that, and the other Mans Lands and Possessions. And that this Insinuation is no Fiction, but well grounded upon Precedents out of our owne Histories, in the Practises of our Kings, may appear by the Proceedings of the Conquerer; who being forced to extraordinary Courses to satisfie his forein Soldiery, made bold so frequently with the Estates of his Subjects, that the great Lords of the Kingdom, fearing it would come to their Turns at last to part with their Possessions, by way of prevention, fled out of the Land, some into Scotland, some into Denmarke, and other Parts, to trie if by aide from abroad, they might recover Themselves and their Fortunes again at home: But by this means they happened to lose all so much the sooner; for, miscarrying in the Designe, their Estates were possess’d, and their Offices supplied by the Norman Favorites. Thus also, King Stephen, himself being a Foreiner, and relying most upon forein Arms to preserve him in possession, was constrained to take the same Course, for the satisfaction of his forein Auxiliaries, which consisted most of Flemings and Picards, whom he especially trusted in his greatest Actions, neglecting and oppressing the English. Thus did Henry the third also in his wars with the Barons; against whom bringing in Foreiners, He, for reward, invested them with others Lands and Honors, and laid heavy Impositions besides upon the whole Kingdom, to make Them Satisfaction. And in those variations of Fortune between the two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, as often as either of Them had occasion to make use of forein Arms to assert their Titles, the Estates of the Adverse Party, and the Purses of the People, were sure to goe to wrack for the Pay of the Soldiery. From hence then it appears, that if the Prince put himself in possession by Arms, we shall be so far that way from any ease of our burthens, that they will be doubled, and trebled, yea, and tenfold upon us.

Lastly, The Prince’s Confederation with the Scots, and our English Presbyters, (were there no other Reason) might be enough to terrifie any ingenuously minded People from giving their assistance be they Royalists, or not: For if the Kirke be able to bind the Prince to hard Conditions, and prove (like the Sons of Zerniah) too strong for him so that his Interest how to theirs, then in stead of a Regall (which is more tolerable) we must all stoop to the intolerable yoke of a Presbyterian Tyranny that will prove a plague upon the Consciences, Bodies, and Purses of this free Nation. The Scots by this means will effect their Designe upon us, by stretching their Covenant union to an equality of Interest with us in our owne Affairs: And the English-Grandees of that Party will seat themselves again in the House, and exclude all others, or else a New Parliament shall be called of Persons of their owne Faction; so that if They should carry the day, all the Comfort we shall have by casting off the present Governers; will be only that we shall have these furious Jockies for our Riders: Things (perhaps) shall be in the old Status quo, as they were when the late King was it. Holden by, whose Son must then lay his Scepter at the Foot-stoole of the Kirke, or else they will restore him by leisure (as they did his Father) into the exercise of Royalty: By which means we should be brought again, as far as ever we were, from a condition of Settlement, and the Commonwealth reduced to Ashes by endlesse Combustions. On the other Side, put case the Prince have the better and of the Staffe of the Presbyters, (they relying upon his Courtesie, as well as the rest of the People) then, in case he carry the day, They, and All, are at his mercy, and no Bar will be in the way to hinder him from an Ascent unto an unlimited Power: so that you plainly see, this present Combination of Royallists and Presbyters (which soever of them be most prevalent) must of necessity put the Nation in hazard between Scylla and Charybdis, that we cannot chuse but fall into one of the pernicious Gulphs, either of Presbyterian, or Monarchicall Tyranny.

All these Particulars being seriously considered; how Improbable it is in the first place that the Prince should goe on with Successe in his Designe; and then, what miserable Inconveniences must needs follow such a Successe (in case he prevaile) not only to the Prejudice of any one Party, but of All, I may undeniably conclude, that all mistaken Royallists, as well as others, who live now under the Protection of the present Government, are concerned out of necessity, and in respect to their owne well being and benefit, to wish well thereunto, rather than prosecute the private Interest of a single Family, and of a few Fugitives its Dependants, to the hazard of their owne Families, with the Peace and happinesse of their native Country.

Chap. II. Concerning the Scots.

I Am sorry I must waste Paper upon this Nation; but seeing They make Themselves Considerable by being troublesome, it will not be amisse to found the Depth of their present Design; which that I may the better doe, give me leave to trace them in their Encroachments, from the first to the last, upon the English Nation. Not to mention those of elder date, let us begin with King James, who being a native Scot, out of love to his Country-men (or rather to himself, that he might keep them quiet, by stopping their mouths with the sweet morsels of England) was pleased to admit many of them into his Court, then into his Councell, and to be partakers of Honors and Offices, equall to the best of our English. His Son, the late King, knowing danger might come of discontent out of the Northern Corner, followed the same Course that his Father tooke, to oblige Them; holding them in Pension, giving accesse to all Beggars, with such faire Entertainment, that most of Them staid here, and not returned empty. This heaping of Favors upon Some, stirred up the Appetites and Emulation of others; who seeing themselves neglected, and not like to share in any of these Enjoyments by the Favor of the King, bethought them of an other way, to make Themselves as considerable as the rest of their Country-men, and gain an Interest with the English. Seeing they could not thrive with the Court, They would trie what They could doe without it.

Hereupon, being men of Power in their owne Country, They became most Zealous Assertors of the Presbyterian Discipline against the Episcopall, by which means they gained the Friendship of all the Religious Party in England, then persecuted by the Bishops, who were at Court the only Favourites: Hereupon, these Leaders of the Scotish Presbyterians, beginning to grow active and forward in establishing their own Form at home, and also to propagate it abroad by encouraging their Friends, gave such an Alarm to the Bishops, that they (to crosse the Designe) fell foule upon all of the Opinion here in England; and not only so, but pressed the King to establish an Episcopall Uniformity in both Kingdoms, even in Scotland as well as England. The forcing of this upon the Scots was a Cause of the Commotions in that Kingdom; whereupon a war ensued betwixt the King and Them through the instigation of the Bishops; which was soon ended, to the Advantage of the Scots in Money and Credit, and to the dishonor of the King and the Episcopall Party.

This happy Successe wrought a very reverend opinion of them, in the hearts of the well-affected Party in England, who stood for the purity of Religion, and a liberty of Conscience, against Episcopall power and Innovations; as also for the Lawes and Liberties of the Nation, invaded by the Prerogative. And for redresse of these things the King was necessitated to call a Parliament; who not obtaining such Reliefe of Grievances as they expected, by reason of a Corrupt Councell of Bishops and others about the King, which alienated him from his great Councell the Parliament, and afterward caused Him to break out into a warre against Them, were constrained likewise to take Armes, in defence of our Liberties. Hereupon, recourse was had to the Scots for their assistance, who, having the same Enemies at Court, and being equally involved in the same common Danger, it was supposed they were concerned in Reason to joyn with the Parliament, without any Dispute or Scruple. But They, considering now was the Time to make their Markets (if ever) and their owne Interest as much English as might be, came not off so roundly as was hoped, but fell to bartering like Hucksters, and no Bargain would be (forsooth) without a Covenant. They would not joyn, except They might be (in a manner) all one with us, and this Union must be sealed with that solemn League and Covenant. What their meaning was therein, we shall know by and by, by taking a view of their Actions ever since, which are the most sure Interpreters: Yet even at that time,See the grand Case of Conscience concerning the Engagement, stated, &c. some men had their eyes in their heads, and many Objections were made at divers Expressions in the Covenant, and many Desires for explanation of some Articles more fully. But the Scots standing stiffe upon their owne Terms, and no Conjunction like to be obtained without the Covenant, and the necessity of the Parliaments Affairs admitting no delay, we were glad to take it as it was offered, without further question or Demurrer.

It was no sooner taken here at London, but immediatly every one began to make his Advantage (through the multitude & ambiguity of Expressions) and by it to promote his severall Interest; as if it had been made to engage unto a particular Party, not to unite two Nations in a common Interest. But above all, the Scots, having had the honor of this Invention, conceived themselves much injured by any, that denied them the Prerogative of making an Interpretation; and in matter of Religion, urged their owne Discipline as the only Patern to Reform the Church by; and their Plea had been fair enough out of the Covenant, could they have proved it, to be [according to the word of God;] which Clause was most luckily inserted. Notwithstanding all the Reasons to the Contrary, the Scotish Module was still pressed: The Scot was willing to ride, and having (as he thought) the English-man fast bridled with a Covenant, he began to switch and spur. The Throne of the Kirke was the Stalking-horse to catch geese; and if that could have been setled, then there had been no denying Them whatsoever they would ask; They would have seated themselves surely in this fat Soile; There would have been no removing them out of our Councels, whereof the necessity of our Affairs had made them Members and Partakers. For, had the Kirke-Interest been once confirmed among us, then by vertue of that Authority which they use to controll the Civill power, the Parliament must have been subservient to all their ends. And since it would have concerned the English Clergy (to make their Party strong, and maintein Correspondencies for their owne preservation) to have gratified their Scotish Founders in all their Desires, the Scots might easily have translated the Covenant-union to as good as an absolute Nationall union, by gaining a Joynt-Interest with us in our Affairs for ever, and consequently, in all the Profits, great Offices, Councels and Concernments of this Nation.

Now, whether this were their Designe or not in the Covenant ab origine, I shall not determine; but let it be judged by their insolent behaviour here among us after they were admitted to our Counsels: And therefore in the next place I shall examine their Proceedings, which most evidently represent them in their Intentions.——it sufficed them not, after they were come in, that they had an equall Power with us in Publique Affairs, in the Committee of both Kingdoms at Derby-house (which was willingly allowed them for a time, so far as concerned the Common Cause of both Nations, in prosecuting the war) but driving a Powerfull Party in both Houses, They tooke upon them to meddle with matters relating to the future Peace and Settlement of this Nation, distinct from their owne, and to provide for an equall Interest with us therein. The first most notable Evidence of this (though there had been many before) was discovered at the Vxbridge-Treaty, where Propositions of both Houses for Peace being presented to the King, it was found the Scots had so far provided for Themselves by their Party in the Houses, That in time to come, the ordering of the English Militia, the Power of making War and Peace, and all other Prerogatives of Government, were to be administred by a proportionable number of Scots, as well as English: A thing so ridiculous, and an Encroachment so palpable, that the King Himself, in one of His Answers, took notice of it, and said, He was not so much an Enemy to the English Nation, as to signe those Propositions; or somewhat (I am sure) to this Purpose.

A second evidence or discovery of their Encroachments was made, upon their delivering in divers Papers to the Parliament, at severall times, wherein They disputed their Claim, and ventured their Logick upon the Letter of the Covenant, to prove an Interest in disposall of matters meerly relating to our welfare; which they re-inforced afterwards with new Recruits of Argument, when the King came into their Army.

But not knowing well how to maintaine their Arguments, They were contented for that time, to quit Them and their King too, upon such Terms, as are notorious to all the world; who being at length reduced under the Power of the Parliament and Army, Propositions of Peace were sent to him at Hampton-Court, wherein no such Provision being made for the Scotish Interest, as was in those at Uxbridge, their Commissioners here protested against them, accused the Parliament of Breach of Covenant, and complained highly in one of their Declarations that they should bee so neglected. This may serve as a third evidence of their Covenant-designe of Encroachment; whereto may be added one more, when the King was at Carisbrooke-Castle, whither the Commissioners of Parliament were no sooner arived with Propositions againe, but the Scots Commissioners were at hand, and for the same reason protested furiously against Them. By which insolent demeanors and expressions, from time to time, and crying up the Covenant for their defence, it is clear enough what their Intentions were when they urged it upon us, and that notwithstanding all the specious Pretences of brotherly Love, their Designe in it hitherto hath beene, onely to scrue themselves into an equall Interest with us in this Nation.

Having smelt out their Project thus farre, give me leave to trace them on to the end, as briefly as may be. The Royall Party being totally suppressed, and so no further occasion to make use of the Scotish Army, the Parliament, with some difficulty, made shift to send them home into their own Kingdome: But being defeated of their Aims and expectations, they could not so rest; having failed of their ends by pretending for Parliament, they resolved next to trie what they could doe upon the Kings Score, and so the Grandees turn’d the Tables, in hope of an After-game, by closing with Hamilton upon the Royall Accompt; not doubting but if they gained the day this way, to recompence their Travels with much more Advantage. The Covenant, like a nose of wax, apt to be turned any way, served this enterprize every jot as well as the former, though the Designe were different from what it was, the great ones not caring much what became of the Kirk-Interest, since they had agreed for the security of their owne; which must needs have been very considerable, if they could have redeemed the King, and restored him into the condition of an absolute Monarch. Therefore the Kirk seeing themselves left thus in the Lurch, thundered out their Curses amaine upon that Hypocriticall Engagement, as destructive to the Covenant.

But the Grandees being at a losse in this likewise upon Hamilton’s Defeat, and followed home to their owne dores by the brave English Army, were glad to cry Peccavi to the Kirk, and also to our English Commanders, whom they dismissed with many promises of fair Carriage for the future. Within a while after, a new dore of hope being opened to them by the supposed Succession of the late Kings Son, They to ingratiate with him, proclaime him their King; and here the Grandees and the Kirk joyning hands againe, become friends, and offer their Service for his restitution, upon Terms of the Covenant; which is their Plea now at this very day: So that the Covenant, which was pretended to be framed at first, for the preservation of this Parliament and the Liberties of the People, against the usurpations of regall Power, is, now that the Scots can serve their designe no longer that way, become the Ground of their present Combination with the Prince, and their Presbyterian Brethren in England, for the destruction of our Liberties; being resolved this way, since they have failed in all the rest, to trie whether they can accomplish their profane Projects through the Covenant, by insinuating themselves into Places of Honour, Profit, and Power, that they may domineere in the possessions, as their Pharisaicall Priests would over the Consciences of the English.

Thus having made way, in discovering what the designe of the Scots ever hath beene, and is at this Instant, under the faire Covert of the Covenant, certainly, no man that is master of an English spirit, but will abhorre the Hypocriticall pretences and Encroachments of that perfidious Nation. And therefore now that all men may beware how they be drawne into an Engagement with them, I shall (according to my way) manifest first, the Improbability of their Successe, and then the Inconveniences which must necessarily follow, in case their designe be successefully effected.

First, As to the Improbability of Successe, consider by way of Comparison, the great difference between the English and Scotish Soldiery. Ours are heightned with extraordinary Pay, bravely accomplished, strong Horse, well disciplin’d, veterane Soldiers, better Spirited by reason of a more generous education; and to all these add the Advantage of being Englishmen, and the Reputation of having been so long victorious; let these considerations be laid in the balance against the Scots; fresh men (for the main) newly raised, a People of farre lesse generous Soules, poor in Body, Pay, and other Accommodations, save what they have purchased by proguing here in England. Judge then in reason what these are able to doe against so brave an Army that contemns and scornes Them, as having beaten them with a handfull (in comparison of their numbers) home to their owne dores; an Army, that to all worldly Advantages, hath hitherto had a speciall Protection from Heaven, God having Sealed them for his owne by many miraculous victories and Successes, to the wonder of the whole world.

Secondly, consider that our English Army are all of a Nation, Natives, and unanimous, especially upon the appearance of any Invaders; whereas the Scotish will be made up of divers Factions, Royallists and Presbyterians, that come in pursuance of different ends; which (for the time that they continue together) must needs be a cause of many Confusions and partialities of Counsells, to the prejudice of their Enterprises and Proceedings; a spring of perpetuall Emulations, that will soone untwist the Confederacy; so that in short time they must fall asunder like a Rope of Sand, and the private Soldiery be disposed to entertaine thoughts of some new Engagement, to the ruine of the first.

Thirdly, We shall not only be provided for them here, if they dare be so unworthy as to invade us; but ’tis like this Common-wealth may find work for them at home, and (to cure their madnesse) divert the humour with Phlebotomie, by way of Revulsion.

Fourthly, It is like they will be farre from running much hazard to gain Successe unto the Designe. For, if they prove a little unfortunate, the humour will alter; one good beating will make them understand, there is another way of Interest and Thriving, than under the wings of Royalty. It may chance to make them remember (because they cannot forget) how long they have lived without a King in Scotland, while the Grandees and the Kirk did all; and that the English have dealt more ingenuously to have no King, than a Presbyterian Mock-King. One Rout (with this consideration) puts them presently into the humour of a Republique, as well as England. And then they will have no more work to doe, but to raise the Market, and get Chap-men for their King to put him off handsomly, that they may pay their Army, and goe home again like Scots.

Lastly, the Scots having no just Ground of a Warre against England, can hardly be prosperous in the Attempt. The Covenant can be none, being extinct, as I have proved in the former part of this Treatise; besides, I shall adde one Reason more: It cannot in common sense be supposed to have been intended as an eternall obligation, binding both Nations for ever, or to bind the English Nation with an implicite Faith, to whatsoever the Scots should expound to be righteous and necessary, to be done here for ever by way of Government. But it appeares intended onely for a certain time, for the prosecution of certaine Ends which were common to both Nations as Affaires then stood; and therefore being of a transient nature, because those Ends (by the alteration of Time, and other Circumstances) are found either not possible, or inconvenient, the obligation expires of it self. This being the state of the Covenant, neither the Scots, nor any other Party can found a Warre upon it in Reason or Justice. If so, then having no other Ground for a Warre, but Covetuousnesse, Emulation and Ambition, which (as I shewed in the Preamble of this Chapter) have been cloaked under the Covenant, in all their Ingagements, the hand of Heaven will assuredly be against them for their unchristian Practises, as may appear by these examples following.

Strig. in Chron. part 2. p. 186.First, The Athenians, carried on with Covetousnesse, Emulation, and a desire to possesse themselves of the Riches of the Lacedemonians, were the Author of the Peloponesian Warre; the consequence whereof was, that it ended with the subversion of their City walls, and the miserable slavery of their People.Peucer. in lect. Chron. d. 18. The same end likewise had the Carthaginians, for moving an ambitious War against the Romans by the Instigation of Hanniball; as also had the Thebans for their unjust invading the Macedonians.Iul. An. 73.

It is observable likewise how that* Babilonian Queen and Virago (as Diodorus Siculus tels us) being greedy after the Wealth of the Indians, invaded them by an unjust Warre,Diod. Sic. rerii antiq. l. 2. c. 5. in hope to make a Conquest; but the Issue was, that she was forced to flie home again most shamefully for the safety of her life. Thus Xerxes, invading Greece with a world of Men, and Ships, was in the end glad of a poor Fishing-boat to get home out of Europe,Bella injusta infelices Successus, tristes, & Tragicos exitue semper habent. to a worse destiny in Asia; being slaine immediately after his Return, by his Uncle Artabanus. Upon the like occasion, Cyrus lost his Army, and his life; and to quench his Bloud-thirsty humour, his Head was cut off, and cast into a Hogs-head fill’d with Bloud, by the Scythian Queen.Strig. 2. Reg. 14. p. 187. Thus likewise, Mark Anthony, not content with half the Empire of the World, invading his Partner Octavius for the whole, lost all, and being taken alive at mercy, laid violent hands on himself to prevent the Fury of the Conquerour. Thus Crassus,Philip. Chron. Tom. 1. Epist. per Peuc. edit. pag. 248. another Roman, being of the Scotch Religion, a sacred hunger after Gold, invaded the Parthians without cause, against the advice of the Senate; in which expedition he lost his Army and Life, and the Parthians considering what he came for, poured Molten Gold into his Mouth, in Triumph and Mockery.

To these Examples out of profane History, let me adde a few out of the Sacred. You may read 2 Kings 15. how Senackerib, the King of Assyria, made an impious invasive War against Hezekiah King of Judah; the consequence whereof was the Confusion of his Army, and Revenge followed him to his own home so close at the heels, that it was executed upon him by his owne Sons, while he was at his superstitious devotion, in the midst of his Idols. Nor have wicked Princes onely beene punished for invading the good, but you may read also that the good have had ill Successe in invading the bad. Thus good Josiah, a most religious Prince,2 Chron. 35. warring without cause against Pharaoh Necho King of Ægypt, received his deaths wound at Megiddo, and after his death, the same King Pharaoh, to right himself of the Injury done him by Josiah waged Warre, and by Gods permission subduing the Land, made the whole Nation Tributary, and took King Jebenhaz, the Sonne of Josiah, and carryed him Prisoner into Egypt.

Also, another good King of Judah, by name, Amaziah, provoking Jehnash, a wicked King of Israel, without cause,2 Kings 14. to Battel, was utterly Routed, the City of Hierusalem taken, the Walls demolished, the Temple spoiled, and Amaziah himself carried away Prisoner, to shew how much the Lords of Hosts, and God of Battell, is displeased with unjust Wars, that he will not prosper them, though made by his own People against the wicked that are his Enemies.

2 Sam. Chap. 2, 3, & 4.But there is one example more, which (me thinks) is very pertinent to our purpose; and that is of Ishbosheth, the Son of King Saul, who laying claim to the Kingdome after his Father, by prerogative of Succession, made War against David, who was chosen King by Gods own appointment: But to shew that Hereditary Succession is no Plea to justifie a Warre against the Powers that are ordained by him, he placed marks of displeasure against all that took part with Ishbosheth, so that in the end Ishbosheth had his Head strook off by some Commanders of his own Party, and brought to David. Now, I leave this unto those that list, to make the Application: And withall, they may doe well to consider how the Spaniard prospered in 88. in his Invasion against England; how ill he hath thrived ever in his Attemps against the Hollander: And as for the Scots, I suppose, that as it concerns them to consider the sad example of the late Hamiltonian Invasion; so they and their Adherents may learn from all these together, That God will never prosper them, if they proceed in their unrighteous Combination.

Having shewn the Improbability of the Scots successe, I shall in the next place discover the great Inconveniences and hazards that our Nation must needes undergoe, in case it should happen.

First, It being evident, that their designe in urging the Covenant upon us, hath been to insinuate themselves into an equall Interest with us in our own Nation, it is to be supposed, that having hitherto been defeated of their long-expected Prey, they come now to prosecute it with the greater appetite: And it is to be presumed they will not serve their King with the Covenant, at an easier rate than they intended it should have cost the Parliament.

Secondly, It is to be feared, this so much desired Interest of theirs may (if opportunities fall out right for their Turns) be driven on farther by the Sword; than yet we are aware of. A Nationall Union hath been whisper’d often among them heretofore; and there’s no doubt but they will bid high for it, if ever they have occasion; And then it must needs be a very fine world, when we are confounded with a Miscelany of Scotish and English; when Scots shall be Competitors with us in point of Priviledge, vie wealth with us in our own Possessions, Honours, and Dignities; and either impose new Lawes upon us, or alter the Old, as may make most for their Advantage.

Thirdly, That these things may be, is probable enough, since their King having no other rewards to give them, it is impossible he should satisfie the Grandees and Leaders any other way, than by promising large accessions of Interest, with other mens Honours and Possessions; even those men’s (perhaps) that are the Moderate Sort of Trangressors; For, in such Cases it is usuall to stretch all Offences upon the Wrack, to supply the necessities of the Conquerour; and then if this happen, ’tis like a Scotch Covenanters stomack, will allow no distinction betwixt Presbyter and Independent, but may digest the estate of an English Covenanter, without so much as a Scruple of Regreet, or Compassion.

Lastly, it is a very great wonder, since the present Stage-play of the Covenant, and the Actors, are brought on this side the Curtain, and we know what they are through all their disguise, and what they aime at, That yet many of our English should be so stupid, as to be led away with their Cheates and Pretences for a King and Reformation: Also, since it is evident, that their chief Leaders and Sticklers gape onely after Profit and Preferment, and (according to the Custome of all Forreiners in Arms) will make no difference between Friend and Foe, so they may satisfie their covetous and ambitious Ends; since the whole People likewise must of necessity be harassed with innumerable Taxes, to pay the Rabble of their Souldiery; certainly, no true English heart can be so degenerous, as to forward or countenance them, in their invading this Nation.

Now, for a Conclusion to the whole; that these Particulars may appeare more solid then mere Insinuations, give me leave to confirme them by many Authentick examples; it being an ordinary Case in the world, That* Commonwealths and Kingdomes have been oppressed often by those Foreiners, that came or were invited in as Friends to give their assistance. Here before I proceed, let me call to minde a Story of the Hedghog, in the Fable; who being almost dead with Cold, chanced to light upon a Foxes Kennel; where asking for entertainment, the Fox more compassionate than wise grants his Request. But the Hedghog, as soone as he recovered warmth, began to bristle and prick the Fox, who complaining of his unworthy carriage, the Hedghog made Answer, that if he found him troublesome, he might leave him, and seek a new Lodging. I shall make no application, but leave those that would entertaine the Scots as their Friends, to consider whether they should finde more Courtesie from them, if They had power here, then the Fox did from the Hedghog, or than other Nations have had from the friendly Pretences of Forain Auxiliaries.

Justin.Concerning this, there are severall Precedents. The Macedonians being invited by the Thebans, to assist them against the Phocians, made a shift not onely to seat themselves among the Thebans, but under the Conduct of King Philip, made way to the Conquest of all Greece: So the Persians comming as Friends to aid one Party in a civill division in Caria, suppressed both, and deprived that Common-wealth of its liberty.Xenoph. lib. 7. And the Carthaginians, in the first Punick Warre, received more Prejudice from the Celtæ, their Confederates and Brethren in Covenant, than from the Romans their Enemies.

Pezel. part. 4. pag. 613.The Goths and Vandals being invited by the Emperour Theodosius, for his assistance, deprived him of Italy and Spain. Afterward, the Longbeards or Lombards being called in by Narses against the Goths, seated themselves for above 200 years in that part of Italy, which from them was called Lombardy.

Circa annum Christi. 870. Chytræus in Apocalyp. cap. 9.A Quarrel hapning between the two Saracen Sultans of Persia and Babylon, the Persian called in the Turks. under the Conduct of their Captain Tangrolipix out of Scythia, who seated Themselves first in a part of his Dominions.

In the Chronicles of Judah, we read how King Ahaz invited Tilglath-pilneser King of Assyria to his Assistance, against the Edomites; who comming as a Friend, did him exceeding prejudice, and laid a Designe then for the Conquest of Hierusalem,2 Chron. 28. which was afterward effected. Josephus tels us likewise, how that Pompey being called to assist Hircanus, in the recovery of the Kingdome of Judæa,Josephus de bello Jud. lib. 1. c. 12. out of the Hands of his yonger brother Aristobulus, took occasion hereby to reduce it under the Roman obedience.

In the time of the Emperour Fredrick the 3. the Princes of Italy being in contention, the Pope called in the Spaniard and severall other Princes, to compose the Quarrel; which being done, a new one arose betwixt the Auxiliary Princes for the Lordship of Italy;In Chron. Phil. lib. 5. but the Spaniard drave away the rest, and made bold to keep possession for himselfe. Thus likewise, the Spaniards being invited into Sicily and Naples, to free them from the French, did indeed expell the French, but possessed both Kingdomes themselves. On the other side, a Controversie arising between Lewis and John Sforza for the Dutchie of Milain, John called in the Spaniards to his Party, and Lewis the French: But the French driving out John and the Spaniards, made themselves at that time Masters of the Duke-dome, and carried their Friend Lewis away Prisoner into France.

Sam. Daniel.Thus in old time our Ancestors the Saxons, being called in by Vortigern the British King, to assist him against the Invasions of the Picts and Scots, turned their Armes against the Britains, and driving them into Wales, transmitted the possession of this Island to us, their Posterity.Joh. Bodinus lib. 5. cap. 5. So the Scots likewise (as Bodin saith) being called in to the assistance of the Picts against the Britains, possest themselves of the best part of that Kingdom, which they hold at this day.

And now I would know of the Admirers of the Scotish Nation, what assurance they can have, that in case The Scots come in hither with their King upon their Shoulders, and their fine Flourishes of pretended Friendship, what assurance they can have, that they shall not serve us the same sauce, as their Ancestors did the Picts, and as ours did the Britans, or as others did other Nations, whom they oppressed under as glorious Pretences, in case They should get the Power in their hands: Especially since of late time, They have made so many palpable Discoveries of Encroachment upon the English Nation.

Seeing therefore that their Covenant Cause appears a Cause for intrenchment upon our Nationall Interest, rather than for Religion or Monarchy, I may reasonably conclude, that it concerns all Parties whatsoever (if not for the Improbability of their Successe, and the Miseries that would follow it, yet) out of a detestation of their Designe, to abhor Them in their Invasion.

Chap. III. Concerning the English Presbyterians.

WHence it was, and for what ends, Presbytery was first brought into this Nation, is not here to be disputed: But if we grant the Intentions of its first Fautors to be pure in the Fountain; yet it appears polluted in the Streams, by the Corruption of their Successors: For, as the primitive Pretences of it were high and glorious, in the innocence of its Cradle; so being grown up to a full Stature, it hath (after the manner of all other things that participate of worldly mixtures) in time contracted so many adulterations of worldly Interest, that it hath lost the Beauty which it once appeared to have, and serves every Sophister, as a Cloake, to cover his ambitious Designe.

But since it is arived, notwithstanding, to such a hight in the opinions of many, as to be cried up for the only patern of Government under the Gospel, this is to be imputed to the blind Zeal of those that are led, and the deceitfulnesse of the Leaders, rather than to the Intention of its learned Founder, Mr. Calvin. For, it doth not appear that ever he stretch’t his Module so far, as the necessity and universality of a Divine Right; but seems only to have hewn part of the Building out of the rock of the Scriptures, and peeced up the residue by politique and prudentiall Rules, such as he conceived might found nearest the Text, and serve most conveniently to cement the dis-joynted Members of the then broken and tumultuous Common-wealth of Geneva, into an entire and well-compacted Body.

It was no sooner lick’t into Form there; but (as it is the Fate of all things new) it began to be much extoll’d and admired; and the Fame thereof spreading in England, as well as other Parts, wrought in many of our Country-men an Itching desire to goe thither, and instruct Themselves in the Nature and Customs of the Government; where, of Spectators they soon became Proselytes, and returning home with new Affections, looked with an eye of disdain upon the Bishops; as if Themselves had indeed found out the Patern in the Mount, because (forsooth) the words, Presbytery, Elder, Deacon, & Assembly, &c. found more Gospel-like than Diocesse, Church-Warden, Arch-deacon, and high Commission, &c. with these Terms,* the ordinary Sort of Religious persons, not able to see through this Shell of words, into the Kernell or Substance of the businesse, were easily led to a belief of high Matters; whereas this new Form, like the Trojan Horse, brought an Army of mischiefs in the Belly of it; wth were never so fully discovered, as till this Parliament. For, immediately after that the Episcopall Form was abolished here, as corrupt and Antichristian, the chief Sticklers of the Presbyterian Clergy began to shew their Teeth; and sitting in an Assembly cheek by Jole with the Parliament, intermedled with their Affairs, labored to twist their Church discipline with the Interest of State, claimed in their open Pleas, Discourses, and their Confession of Faith, a Power in themselves distinct from the Civill, and demanded the Voting of this in both Houses, as Jure Divino, that so the Parliament might for ever cut the Throat of their owne Authority, and Magistracy.

These, and many other Pranks they played, in hope to erect their intended Domination: And though (being often required) they were as little able as the Bishops to shew their Pedegree from the Apostles, or to derive the lineaments of their form from the Body of the Scripture; yet they pressed it on still, and wanted not their Party in Parliament, with the assistance of the Scots, (whose Interest it was) to second them. And here it might be wondred, that so many knowing men, and of able Parts, should prove so degenerous, as to prostitute Themselves, and the Majesty of the Nation, to serve the ambitious ends of a few Priests; but that they had their Ends in it too, and were willing to follow the Example of the Scotish Grandees, by gratifying the new Clergy in the form of a Nationall Church, with Accruments of worldly pomp and Power, the better to support their Owne in the States.

For this Cause it was, that They stooped so unworthily to the Designe of the Scots and the Clergy; and being all of them combined in Interest, they were in a manner necessitated, to countenance and comply with each other in their mutuall Encroachments, to the dishonor of our Nation, the debasing of Parliaments, and the extreme hazard of the Liberty of our Soules and Bodies. All which being considered, you may see, how exceedingly we are obliged to our present Governers, that they strove so mightily against the stream to prevent Them all in their severall Designings; and what necessity lay upon Them to expell that corrupt Interest out of Parliament, and to follow the Counsell of the Poet, in cutting* off a rotten Part for the preservation of the whole, by the Power of the Sword. By reason of this necessary and magnanimous Act, it is, that they have made Themselves so many Enemies in the Presbyterian Party: For, the Scots, being defeated of their English Interest, the Secluded Members of their Hopes and Priviledges, and the Clergy of their Kirk-domination, incline all immediately to face about to the Prince, and to hedge in him and his Interest with their owne, as well as they can, in hope of private Revenge and a Recovery, without any regard at all to the good and Peace of the Publique. Then Gentlemen, if they prevaile, ye will be but in the old posture again, As you were; yea, and far worse than you were, since all those Church-usurpations which were then but in designe, must needs be confirm’d by a new alteration.

For this Cause it is, there are so many Presbyterian Juglings in private, such Murmurings abroad, and so many Mutinies in the Pulpit; such well-acted Lamentations for the glory of the Kirke, and the losse of their Diana, that every Prayer is a Stratagem, most Sermons meer plots against the State, and upon their Hearers. Thus the Nature of their Designe being discovered, give me leave in the next place to manifest the Vanity of their Hopes, that if men will not forbear for shame of its hypocrisie, they may yet, in consideration of the many sad Consequents, which may follow.

As to the Improbability of their Successe,

First, Our English Presbyterians are very inconsiderable now in England, because above three Parts in four are fallen off, since they were able to see through the Pretences of the Grandees of their Party; so that the small Remainder can doe little of Themselves, and all their hope leans upon Scotland, that bruised Reed.

Secondly, As their Party is but small of its Self; so there is small likelyhood of an Increase, because all the Rest of this Nation are Opposite to them and their waies, being either Comon-Wealth’s-men, or Royallists. And though they use all Indeavours to draw in the Royall Party to their own, yet it can never be effected, by reason that the old Antipathie will revive upon every little occasion. For, the Royallists looke upon them still, as the Authors of their Misery; and the Prince (who is Head of that Party) though He may feed Them with fair Promises, can never cordially imbrace them, being the old Enemies of his Family: Nor will he count them any whit the lesse guilty for their hypocriticall protesting against the Death of his Father; For, They reduced him Diminutione Capitis, into the condition of a Captive; They spoil’d him as a King, before others executed him as a private man; They deprived him of his earthly Crowne, and kept him languishing, whereas his owne Party say, others were more courteous in sending him to an heavenly. In short, I affirm, that the present Powers have done nothing now in altering the Government, but what was done in effect before, or must have been done by the Presbyterian Party.

Thirdly, But suppose (what in reason cannot be supposed) that the Prince could forget old Injuries, and that the necessities of the chiefe of his Party should bring down their Stomacks to a compliance with Presbyterie; yet the main Body of that Party will never comply, in a course so destructive to every mans Interest of Conscience and Liberty; nor venture their Lives and Estates to establish a Faction, which they beleeve to aspire toward an intolerable Tyranny, over Magistrates and People.

Lastly, the Presbyterians Themselves may doe well to consider, what Successe they are like to have in their union with a Prince, whose Interest is already declared to bee Revenged for the ruine of his Father. Though They laid him not downe upon the Block, yet They brought him to the Scaffold, and when time serves, the Philosopher’s Maxime will prove good Logick at Court, Qui vult media ad finem,Beda. Axiom. ex Aristotele. vult etiam & ipsum finem; He that wills the meanes conducing to the end, wills also the end it selfe: Ergo (will the Courtiers say) since the Preshyterians put such Courses in practise, as tended to the Kings Ruine, they certainly intended it, and are as guilty as others.

This Story is recorded by Machievel. in his first book de Repub.But to illustrate this a little, give me leave to close up this particular with a notable example——It hapned that Clearchus, the Tyrant of Heraclea, was by a Conspiracy of the Grandees driven out of his Dominions, They hoping when he was gone, to have all power in their owne hands; but there started up a Party of the People, which prevented them, and setled the State in a condition of Liberty and Fredome. Hereupon, the Grandees, in disdain and revenge against this new Party, conspired against the Common-wealth, and brought back Clearchus into possession. The Tyrant being thus restored, instead of gratifying them that had a hand in his restitution, consulted to satisfie both his owne Revenge upon them, for having opposed him at first, and also the discontents of the People against them, for their having deprived them of their late Liberty: And therefore all the reward they received for bringing him back was, that he Sentenced them all to a most shamefull Execution. This is the Story, and now I leave those Presbyterians, that dreame of high Successe in bringing back the Prince, to make application.

As for the Inconveniences which the Presbyterian Designe would bring upon the whole Nation, guesse at them by these Particulars following.

I shall passe by those Inconveniences which must ensue their Combination with the Scots, having sufficiently mentioned them in the former Chapter, and consider those only that would follow the establishment of their Presbyteriall Discipline; First, Besides the many mischiefs it would bring upon the Nation in generall, the Royalists (of all others) can receive no content in it, being absolutely destructive to Regall Dignity. It never was embraced yet by any one Nation, in a Nationall Form, but by Scotland. This (as one* hath observed) was done, during the minority of King James, when the Lords and Clergy ruling all as they listed at length parted Stakes (though the Clergy then got, and still hold the better) that when he came to Age, he found the Fable of Ixion’s Juno moralised upon himself: For, as he imbraced a Cloud instead of a Goddesse; so the King, when he thought to grasp his Scepter, laid hold on a Manacle, which kept his hands so fast, during his abode there, that he could never Act but what they pleased to let him, according to their owne Directory of Kirk and State. And in processe of time, this heat of Presbytery proved such an Hectick in the Body Politick of Scotland, that the substance of Kingly Power was utterly consumed, and nothing left (as we see at this day) but the bare Bones, the very skeleton of a Monarchy: witnesse the absolute Power exercised by their Parliament, and the Generall Assembly of the Kirk-men; but especially of this latter, which, like to the Rod of Aaron, is in such a budding thriving condition, that it hath devoured the Rod of Moses, as his did those of the Magicians of Ægypt, and proves a Scourge to the Magistracy and People.

Secondly, the difference betwixt the present Powers, and Them, is onely this; That they would not have a King so much as in Name; the Presbyterians would have no more but the Name of King, a Scar-crow of Royalty: The State in down-right terms have declared themselves Free; the other pretend to maintain the Monarchicall Form, yet actually destroy the very Fundamentalls of Monarchy: And now I would faine know of the deluded Royalist, which of the two deals most ingenuously; and if the Presbyters take place, wherein he can conceive his Party will receive any Advance or Advantage: For, besides that, this mad Discipline destroyes Bishops, and clips the wings of Regality, it will intrench also upon the Lawyers, curb the Gentry in their own Lordships, by a strange way of parochiall Tyranny, and bring all People into the condition of mere Gally-slaves, while the blind Priests sit at the Stern, and their Hackney-dependants, the Elders, hold an Oar in every Boat. For,—————

Thirdly, were those Priests seated here (as they are in Scotland) in a sure Succession, then (as it hath been long since* observed in Print) a Correspondence being cherished between a Clergy of the same garb and humour, in both Countries, They might finely tosse Thunderbolts of excommunication on both sides, to gratifie each other, and so be able to terrifie all Persons, that dare be averse in either Nation, and promote such onely to places of Honour, and Profit, whose poorer Spirits will vassalize their Genius, to serve the ends of their Kirk-domination. In hope of this it is, that we have so much bauling about the Covenant; and rather than faile of it, Oh, how they pant after the Scots, who cannot chuse but laugh in their sleeves at them, to see them drive on the worke, at the perill of their Necks; the new Scotish Combination being (as I have shewn) but a fresh On-set to the first Designe of encroaching upon English Interest, and the mainteining of a Faction here to serve the Aims of Scotland, and the Ambition of a few Scotified English, (some particular Grandees among the Laity, and obscure Rabbies of the Clergy) who are content to share dominion with the Scots; and so they may doe that, care not though they betray the whole Common-wealth and State of the Nation.

Fourthly, it being cleare, that the Plot of Presbytery is carryed on merely for these unworthy ends, what madnesse is it for any men that pretend wisdome, to hazard Themselves and their Fortunes, to draw on the guilt of innocent bloud by embroyling their Countrimen, only to serve a Faction, whose practises (when they are invested with power) will be (as they ever have been) to make them share with others in the Common calamity at present, and entaile Slavery upon their posterity for ever.

Fifthly, that I may give you a little more light in these Things, consider, that the Reason why the Presbytery contended for is so destructive of Liberty, is, because of the* Popish Trick taken up by the Presbyterian Priests, in drawing all Secular Affairs, within the compasse of their spirituall Jurisdiction: And this they doe by meanes of that awe, wherein they pretend to hold the Consciences of the Magistrate and People; the one being lyable as well as the other, by Suspensions and Excommunications, to be exploded at pleasure as Scandalous Sinners. This appears by that large extent of their Authority in judging of scandalous Sins, which reaches almost to every action of humane life; So that all the people besides their Favourites (from the Counsellor to the Beggar) must at every Turn stoop like Asses, to be ridden by them and their arbitrary Assemblies.

Lastly, the Setling of Presbyterie in such a mode, would erect a Power Ecclesiasticall distinct from that of the Civill: For, it is a Maxim among all Presbyters, and we find it pleaded for at large, in the Confession of Faith set forth by the Assembly of Divines [That there ought to be a Jurisdiction in the Church (that is, in their way of Discipline) distinct from the Civill:] which Tenet of distinction must needs be the same, in effect, with that of the Church of Rome’s Supremacie; seeing, those which plead now for a Power without the Civill, will not be long before they arive to such a height of Presumption, as to act above it or against it, in persuance of their owne Designes. It will be impossible to keep such a Church-Discipline within its limits in any Common-wealth, which makes the same Persons Civill Subjects, and Ecclesiasticall Superiors.—— To passe by many other Examples of the strange Inconvenience of that Disciplin, in this one Particular, I shall only produce one of late memory, about the Ingagement of Hamilton: who (as I signified in the Preamble of the former Chapter) preparing to invade this Nation without the Kirke’s approbation, was by Them opposed, and all his Party also in Parliament (which were the Major Vote:) And after he had gotten as Authentick an Authority, as that Nation was conceived able to give him for his Designe; yet notwithstanding, the Assembly (because they saw the Grandees had deserted Them, and left the Kirk-Interest in the Lurch) protested against Hamilton’s Proceedings, and in him, against the Authority of Parliament whereby he was inabled, cursing Him and his Adherents.

Now therefore, considering what the Nature and Designe of their Presbyterie is, what small Successe its Abettors are like to find, and what mischievous Inconveniences must unavoidably follow it, I leave every reasonable man, within the Closet of his owne Soule and Conscience, to make a Conclusion; whether he ought not rather to Engage with the Common-wealth, than with this unreasonable Party.

Chap. IV. Concerning the Levellers.

WHat these People aime at, and how they would settle, is as hard for me to determine, as in what point of the Compasse the wind will sit next, since they are every jot as giddy and rapid in their Motions. Yea, the very Settlement which they pretend to, would, were their Desires granted, put the Common-wealth into an utter Impossibility of Setling, as I shall prove by and by, when I come to Particulars.

In the mean time, that you may know what They are, and how they came to be distinguished by this Title, give me leave to trace Them from their Originall, and manifest how they were divided in Affection from the Parliament; which appears to be occasioned only by a meer misinterpretation or mistake of some Passages in divers Declarations of the Parliament and Army touching the Liberties of the People; wherein they professed, That the compleat Settlement of the Liberties and Peace of the Nation is that blessing of God, than which, of all worldly things, nothing is more dear and precious in their Thoughts. From this, and the like Expressions, a certain Sort of men, of busie pates, and that have a mind to seem Sombody, immediatly tooke upon them to frame such Comments, and Chimera’s of Liberty, as might fit their own Ends and Phantsies; And in time, disseminated such strange Principles of pretended Freedom, among the common Sort of Soldiery and People; that it became evident to all the world, they sought not Liberty, but Licentiousnesse.

And the first time that they began to appeare considerable in view, was in the year 1647, when that memorable contest hapned betwixt the Army, and the corrupt Party then prevalent, in both Houses and the City: At which time, though they did good Service in helping to reduce the one, and purge the other; yet no sooner had the Parliament recovered it Self into a State of Innocence and Freedom, and begun to Act in such a way, as they conceived necessary to establish the Liberties of the Nation, but these men made bold to carp at their Proceedings, and crie out against Them and the superior Officers of the Army, as perfidious, and Betrayers of the publique Interest; because Themselves (a hot-headed Rabble, and the meanest of the People) might not have it setled after their owne humor.

From whence it appears, the first Cause of the Difference between the Parliament and Them, was their bold and impudent behaviour, in presuming to direct their wisdom what to doe, and and taking upon them, Dictator-like, to define what is Liberty, and what not, and how it ought to be established; as if Themselves alone were infallible, and the only Champions of Universall Freedom, and the Parliament such, as either regarded it not, or sought it’s destruction. And, notwithstanding that they have manifested their great wisdom, courage, and care ever since, in carrying on the work of Freedom to this height, wherein we now see it, to the absolute confutation of these mens Calumnies; yet their restlesse Spirits proceed still in the same violent Course, having of late, in a presumptuous manner, presented a mutinous scandalous Remonstrance, which (neverthelesse) they call an humble Petition, to the Parliament; wherein they take advantage, by the present Necessities of the Common wealth, to slander Them in their Proceedings, as Oppressors of that Liberty which they so Zealously mainteine; and for the necessary Defence whereof, they are constrained to continue divers Payments upon the People, at present, to purchase ease in the future.

See the Agreement of the People.Having thus discovered the vanity of their Quarrell, in the next place give me leave to shew what their Designe is: And this They professe, in that Pamphlet, called, the Agreement of the People (set forth May 1. 1649.) to be a Popular Form, or a Government by the People, as the only Preservative of Peace and Liberty; wherein it is required, That the Supreme Authority of England, and the Territories therewith incorporate, may reside henceforward in a Representative of the People consisting of 400 persons, and no more; whereto, all of 21 yeares and upwards, are allowed a Right to chuse, and be chosen Members, except Servants and Vagabonds. And because all persons have an equality of Right to chuse and be chosen, without respect of Birth, quality, or wealth, all Orders of men being Levell’d in this Particular, therefore the Promoters of this way, are not improperly called Levellers; so that this Term of Levelling is equivalent with Aristotle’s σονεμία, which is translated æqualitas Juris,6. Polit. cap. 1. the Equality of Right before-mentioned; And the same Author saith, this Plea for Equality of Right in Government, at length introduceth a Claim for Equality of Estates, and the making of such Lawes as the* Agrarian Lawes enacted by the popular Boutefeus in Rome, whereby it was made criminall, for any man to grow Richer than ordinary. But of this, more anon.

Now therefore, since it appears, how injurious their Calumnics are, and how perilous their designe is, to the Parliament and Common-wealth, I suppose it were time lost to stand to prove the Improbability of their Successe, seeing all Persons of Credit and Fortune, are concerned, to abhorre and detest this Wild Project: And though the four Champions made Proclamation in the head of their Agreement;See the Preanble of the Agreement. That according to the nature of Truth, it hath made its own way into the understanding, and taken root in the hearts and Affections of most Men; yet you must know these men they speak of, are onely the rude multitude, who understand no more of the businesse, than that it may prove a hopefull way, to mend their own out of other men’s Fortunes, and satisfie their naturall Appetites of Covetousnesse and Revenge, upon the Honourable and Wealthy. In consideration whereof, I come next to give you a more exact and lively Draught, of the manifold miserable Inconveniences of that Government, (or rather, Confusion) so earnestly contended for by the Levelling Party.

First, Such a Democratick, or Popular Forme, that puts the whole multitude into an equall exercise of the Supreme Authority, under pretence of maintaining Liberty, is, in the Judgment of all States men, the greatest enemy of Liberty; For, the multitude is so Brutish, that (as the Emperour Claudius said) they are* ever in the extreames of kindnesse or Cruelty; being void of Reason, and hurried on with an unbridled violence in all their Actions, trampling down all respects of things Sacred and Civill, to make way for that their Liberty, which Clapmarius calls a most dissolute licentiousnesse, or a licence to doe even what they list; according to that of the Lyrick,

———In vitium Libertas exoidit, & vim

Dignam lege regi.————

when Liberty becomes the greatest Vice, and degenerates into Violence. Such a Liberty as this is recorded by Tacitus, to have been among the Parthians, an uncertaine loose kind of People,* living rather without government, than in Liberty; or as Salust speaks of the Aborigines, a rude sort of men, without Lawes, without Government, free, and dissolute. And Livy tells you, how things were come to that passe in the popular State of Rome, that no regard was had either to the Senate, or Magistracy, or Military Discipline, or to the Lawes and Customs of their Ancestors. When Affairs are in this condition, then (as Aristotle saith) Mera Δημο[Editor: illegible letter][Editor: illegible letter]ία est extrema tyrannis, meer Democracy (or liberty) is extreme Tyranny; and (as Besoldus) Plebs perniciosissimus fit Tyrannus, the People becomes a most pernicious Tyrant. Hence it is, saith Guicciardin, Histor. lib. 2. very pertinently to our purpose, That many times, when a People have got loose from the yoke of a Tyranny or Kingly Government, out of a desire of Liberty, they proceed from one Extreme to another, & sese, nisi retineantur, in effrænatam licentiam præcipitant; quæ quidem & ipsa, Jure Tyrannis potest appellari, and except they be restrained, run headlong to Licentiousnesse; which also may be rightly called a Tyranny. To which accords that of Peucerus, who most excellently describes the Effects of it in these words:* The study of popular Air, applause, and humor, is a madnesse no whit inferior to Tyranny it Self. Those which seek after it, as Leaders of the People, become far more cruell and mischievous than single Tyrants can be: For, single Tyrants are the lesse able to doe mischief, because, they are constrained to stand in fear of others; but the furious Multitude fearing no colours, are hurried on like a Torrent, and beare downe all the Bankes of opposition. So that (as Clapmarius saith) reckon up those stflagitious Enormities of Kingly Government together;Clapm. &c Flag. Dom. cap. 19. as breach of Faith, violation of things Sacred, depriving men of their Possessions, with all the Acts of Injustice and cruelty, and they abound much more in a meer Popular State (or Levelling popularity) than any other. And therefore, ( Bodin concludes) since it is the high Road to Licentiousnesse and Tyranny, it is justly condemned by all wise men of the world.

Bodin. 6. cap. 4.Secondly, Nor is it only a meer Tyranny in it Self; but so far destructive of a Free State (especially a Free-State newly erected) that it soon causes a change of it into the Form of a regall Tyranny;Petr. Gregor. 5. according to that Maxim of Politicians,de Repub. cap. 3. Facilis est transitus a regimine Democratico ad Monarchicum, The passage is quick and easie from a meer Popularity to Monarchy; And that, because of those Discontents, Emulations, and Tumults, which arise continually among them, and whereby their Leaders so tire them out, that in a little time, they willingly yeild themselves under the yoke of any one Person, who seems willing and able to deliver, and ease Them by a Settlement. Thus Rome, that stately Mistresse of the World, who disdained to stoop under Victorious Cæsar, falling afterward into Popular Divisions, and Discords, more fierce than ever, soon grew weary, and willing to bow her neck under* Augustus. Plutarch compares those popular Tumults to the pangs of a Woman in Travell, calling them δίνας Reipub: the Pains of a Common-wealth, that must needs bring forth into the world some great Kingdom or Tyranny. Now the Person invested after this manner, is usually some one of their Leaders; who by soothing and carrying them on upon high and glorious Pretences of Liberty, gaines so much confidence and Power among Them, that in the end he bereaves them of liberty to disturb him, or themselves any further. Thus, and by such Arts as these, Julius Cæsar first erected the Imperiall Tyranny at Rome, as Pisistratus likewise made himself absolute at Athens, and Dionysius the Tyrant at Syracusa; who pretending Themselves great Patrons of Liberty, stirred the People up against the Senate and Counsellers of State, as Enemies to that Liberty, whereof they were indeed the only Keepers. And it is not to their Leaders alone, that they expose the publique Liberty, but oftentimes to those out of whose hands it was first recovered: Thus, Agathocles the Tyrant of Sicily, Periander, and severall others, have by this means, after they had been expelled, regained a possession: And therefore it cannot be improper here, to return the Language of our Levellers in their late Petition, home to themselves; that since They, and divers others dis-affected Persons, are so unwilling to imbrace the Common-wealth, in it’s present state and true condition of Liberty, They are to be reckoned the only Causers of those Taxes and other Inconveniences now lying upon us, whereas if they would unite (as they ought) our Burthens would be inconsiderable, because the Royall and forein Confederates would have the lesse Confidence to assail us, and force these Necessities upon us, were we once free from those Divisions, distractions, and dis-satisfactions, which Presbyters and Levellers occasion here among us.

Thirdly——It cannot but be sad to consider, what Tumults and Combustions must needs happen every year, by reason of those prodigious multitudes, that are admitted to make choice of the Persons to be intrusted in the Representative: And though there be one Clause in the Agreement, which seems to provide against Riots at every chusing of the Members, yet it is impossible to devise any means to prevent those Inconveniences which will arise in a self-opinionated Multitude upon such an occasion,Sciuditur incertum studia in cõtraria vulgus. wherin they all conceive themselves to have an equall Interest and power, and touching which it can hardly be expected any Conclusion can be made, till from Arguments they proceed to Cuffs, and so in the end, the Club carry the Election.

Contzen. 1. polit. cap. 20.Fourthly, It hath ever been the Custom in these meer Popular Forms, for the most part to make choice of the lowest of the People, such whose Persons are held in Admiration by the rest of their Fellows, and like to satisfie them in all their phren’tick humors; a lively sad example whereof we have in the popular State of Athens,Greg. Tolos. l. 4. de Repup. c. 3. where they chose such Persons to participate of the supreme Authority, as would countenance them, and share with them, in slaying or condemning the richer Sort, and then seizing upon their Possessions, plundering their Houses, and many more such fine effects of Levelling Liberty. Hence it is, they shift and change their Governers so often,Plebs Rectores meliores vocat cos, qui magis ci indulgeas. I &illegible; rejecting, at every new Election, such as they have found averse to their licentious waies, as Enemies of Liberty, under pretence of putting Better in their places; that is, such as indulge them in these and the like Courses.

Fifthly, by this means, unlearned, ignorant Persons, neither of Learning nor Fortune, being put in Authority, the Common-wealth cannot remain safe either in peace or war; for, through covetousnesse and private necessity, they will exercise rapin and Injustice in time of Peace, and by reason of their Ignorance in the Affairs of Government, the State must needs run a hazard in time of War, or any other publique extremity. Here, let me call to mind a Passage of the Romans, mentioned by Aquinas*; among whom it hapned, that two Persons being chosen by the Consuls, for the Government of Spaine, they were after the Election found fault with, the one being very Poore, the other accused of being Covetous: And when it had been long debated, which of Them should be intrusted, at length Scipio, to end the controversie, stood up, and concluded neither, because Persons so qualified must needs be corrupt in their Government, and ever sucking the Body politick, like Leeches, wheresoever they can lay hold: yet such Persons as these, poor, and unexpert in Affairs, if they are Busie-bodies, and have a nimble Faculty of prating, are usually adored by the Vulgar, as the only Statesmen.

Sixthly, It is ordinary with the grand Demagogues, or Leaders of the People, to make Sale of Elections, and all Offices of Judicature, Honor and Authority; and upon these Terms they many times admit the better Sort into Places of power, and turn them out again at pleasure: So that (*as Plato and Plutarch say) meer Popularity is no Government, but is as it were a Market, wherein all Offices of Government are exposed to Sale; and He ordinarily gains the best bargain of Authority, that hath the longest Purse, and most powerfull Tongue, to perswade the Clerks of the Market; whereby it is to be supposed on the other side, that the Purchasers will see Themselves no Losers; it being a matter of Course, that such as buy Authority should fell Justice.

Seventhly, The Plea of our Levellers for yearly Representatives, with this Caution, That no Man shall be chosen a Member of 2 Representatives together, and that in the Intervalls we may be Governed by a Committee of their owne Members, without a standing Councell of State, is very irrationall. For, what understanding can a Succession of mean and new elected Persons have of the publique Affairs, so as to manage them with Skill and Advantage, in so short a Time, seeing it is use and experience that fits a man for the carriage of Grand Concernments of State. We find in the Roman State (when it was most Popular) that the Multitude were never so mad as to cast off, though they took upon them now and then to controll, the Senate, which was their standing Councell; and without which no Common-wealth can continue of any long standing: And therefore it is, that rather than such a Councell of State should be wanting,* Aristotle adviseth us to intrust them with Affaires altogether, they having all those Advantages of Observation, Custom, and Experience, which cannot be expected from a tumultuary Succession, of raw and unexpert Statists. As for example, we read, in what a flourishing condition the Common-wealth of Athens continued, as long as Affairs were ordered by that Famous Councell,Thucydides l. 2. pag. 63. the Areopagites; and no sooner did the power come into the hands of the People, but afterwards all turned to confusion. It were much to be wonder’d, that the State of Rome stood so long in a Popular Form, (but that we know) it was also underpropp’d by the Wisdome and Authority of the Senate, and had many eminent Pillars to support it; as Menenius Agrippa, Furius Camillus, Papirius Cursor, Fabius Maximus, Cato Censor, Marcus Scaurus, and Pompey, upon whose Vertues its subsistence depended, and not upon those Tumultuary Sots, the Many. Thus likewise, the popular State of the Thebans subsisted a while, by the singular Wisdome and Valour of Pelopidas and Epaminondas; who were no sooner gone, but the Popularity sunk of it self, and came to nothing. How much safer then must it needs be for the People of this Nation, to leave the Succession of Representatives, and the Form of a Councell in the future, with the time and manner of their Constitution, and Rules for Election, to be ordered by the wisdome and discretion of Parliament, than after the humour of some obscure persons, whose Knowledge and Interest in the Publique matters, is no whit comparable to theirs, and therefore not to be valued in competition with them, for the ordering of such Affaires, as so highly concern the Good and Peace of the Publique.

Eighthly, this Popular Form is the only enemy of true generosity and vertue: For, how much the more excellent any man hath approved himself, either in Conduct or Counsell, so much the more he is suspected hated, and calumniated, by the ungratefull multitude. In the popular state of Rome, They had Lex Repetundarum,Lex Repetundarum. a Law whereby the multitude were inabled to call all publique Magistrates and Officers to Accompt; a course seeming plausible enough in it selfe: But hence proceeded those Libere Accusationes, whereby the People having liberty to accuse Magistrates, proceeded to Calumniations,Liberæ accusationes, & Calumniationes. and continually vexed with false and unreasonable Charges, even those who had been most faithfull, and done very famous Services for the Common-wealth; just as our Levellers now exclaim against the Parliament, and would (if they might) rage against them about publique Accompts, as appeares by their old Agreement, and their late Petition; the consequence whereof would be, that in the end they should be Ostracised, and receive an* Oystershell, or an Olive-leaf, in recompence of all their Labours.

Thus, the most famous Captain Alcibiades, having done many Services for the Athenian Populacy, was, only for a petty misfortune (and no other Cause) in mannaging the Warre of Sicily, called home, and banished both from his Command and Country. At length, being sent for home again, he made them Victorious over their Enemies the Lacedemonians; yet notwithstanding so great merits, he was, upon another Turn of popular Air for a misfortune in Asia, sent the second time into banishment by those Levellers.

Phil. Camerar. Cout. 2. oper. Succis. cap. 51.So likewise, another famous Athenian Captain, Themistocles, received no other reward than Banishment, for all his meritorious Atchievements. And Miltiades, who erected the Grecian Trophies in Persia, and asserted the Liberties of Greece against all their Enemies, was used farre worse, being kept a Prisoner all his life, and after his death, they not only neglected to give him Buriall, but (to stretch their ingratitude yet further) condemned his Sonne Cinson to a perpetuall Imprisonment. In like manner, they used Phocion, the most deserving of all the Athenian Commanders, but with much more cruelty; for, they murther’d him with their own hands, and afterward denyed him Buriall: Whereupon, Bodinus relating the Story out of Plutarch, makes this observation; That When the Multitude begin to insult against the most deserving Men, they runne beyond all Shame and Reason.

Nor was it thus only in Greece, but we finde the same humour also among the Roman Levellers, whereof that illustrious Family of the Scipio’s was a sad Example. For, Scipio Major, he that for his Famous exploits against Carthage, was Sirnamed Africanus, having rescued Rome from the Brink of Destruction, and freed her from the fear of that pernicious Rivall, was, at his return home, so afflicted and vexed with injurious Calumnies of the unthankfull Rabble, that for quietnesse sake he spent his dayes in a voluntary exile, and at his death, commanded such an* Epitaph to be fixed upon his Monument, as might testifie to After-times the great ingratitude of his People. They accused his Brother also, Sirnamed Asiaticus, of defrauding the Common-wealth, and kept him a Prisoner. In the same manner, they calumniated likewise the most meritorious Scipio Nasica; so that to decline the popular Fury, he departed with the good will and consent of the Senate, as employed by them upon an Embassy to Pergamus, from whence he never returned. By this it appears then, that all generous Spirits are concerned in reason, to abhor the Levelling way of Government.

Ninthly,a Aristole saith, where this Levelling popular Form is erected, there is a necessity that all persons who are become eminent or potent, either by fortune, or vertue, should receive many high and heinous Injuries from the Vulgar. And Tacitus gives the reason why it was thus in the Roman State; because (saith he) the Common Rabble have a kind of inveterate hereditary hatred against the more noble, and worthy persons, especially such as are Councellours of State; as appears by their frequent calumniating the Senators, punishing them sometimes with Banishment, as they did Furius, and many others, and often with unreasonable Fines, as they didb C. Dempronius, Q. Pomponius, and Virginius, &c. And all this,Tacit. for the most part without any cause, but meerly to exercise their Spleen, which takes the same course of enmity likewise against all that are Wealthy, be they High or Low. For, it is reckoned inter Arcana, a prime mystery of Popular Government, to use all private tricks and ways of Milking and Gelding the Purses of the Rich. Nor is that alone sufficient, but they fly out ever and anon into violence, and from Plundering they proceed to that flat Levelling of Estates, as is evident by those Licinian and Agrarian Lawes made by the Populacy of Rome, whereby it was provided, that no man should grow too Rich, nor be Master of above fifty Acres of Land. And touching this, there is an insolent Passage recorded by Livy, how that when the Senate seemed unwilling to permit the Division of certain Lands among the common sort, the Tribunes, or Ringleaders of the People, asked the Senators, how they durst possesse more than fifty Acres apeece, yet find fault with a division made of two apeece to the People! And the same Author tells us, so many Quarrels and Tumults arose about division of Lands, that the Senat knew not which way to prevent them, till they disburdened the Common-wealth, by sending forth Colonies, and satisfying them with Lands, in the remote Parts of Italy, and other Places.

Lastly, from Levelling they proceed to introduce an absolute Community. And though neither the Athenian nor Roman Levellers, ever arived to this high pitch of madnesse; yet we see there is a new Faction started up out of ours, known by the name of Diggers; who, upon this ground, That God is our common-Father, the earth our Common-Mother, and that the Originall of Propriety was mens pride and Covetousnesse, have framed a new plea for a Returne of all men ad Tuguria, that like the old Parthians, Scythian Nomades, and other wild Barbarians, we might renounce Townes and Cities, live at Rovers, and enjoy all in common.

Now for a conclusion, all these Considerations being put together, you may easily spell what Leveller is, what the meaning is of those Zealous Pretenders to Liberty and Freedome, and what their Pretence may come to, it being the ready Road to all licentiousnesse, mischief, mere Anarchy and Confusion; which whosoever followes, may stay long enough, ere he see the performance of those glorious promises, set forth in their late Petition, wherein the People are made to believe fine things; but I leave them to judge, whether this be the way, [to sit down securely under their owne Vines, under the glorious administration of Justice and Righteousnesse.]

Odi profanum vulgus, & arces.


Chap. V. A discourse of the excellency of a Free-State, above a Kingly Government.

HAving in the former Chapters Stated the Designes, and given an Accompt of those grand Inconveniences, which of necessity will ensue a Successe of the opposite Parties, this next discourse must needs be very pertinent, by way of conclusion, to manifest the excellency of the present Government, which They all endeavour to destroy. And though there needed no other Argument to prove it, and recommend it to the world, than this; That it is the onely Bank, which preserves us from the Inundations of* Tyranny on the one side, and Confusion on the other; yet it wants not (of it selfe) those many Advantages, above all other Forms, which render it most convenient to promote the Peace, wealth, and honour of the English Nation.

Yet it is a wonder to see, how lightly men prize this invaluable Jewell of Liberty, which hath cost the Common-wealth so much Blood and Treasure, trampling the precious Pearl under their Feet, like Swine; so that the Parliament meet now with as many difficulties to preserve, as ever they had to purchase it. But for this, there are two speciall Reasons, which may be collected out of the Florentine’s subtile discourses upon Livy; who compares such as have been educated under a Monarchy or Tyranny, to those Beasts which have been caged or coop’t up all their lives in a Den, where they seem to live in as much pleasure, as other Beasts that are abroad; and if they be let loose, yet they will returne in againe, because they know not how to value or use their Liberty: So strong an Impression is made likewise, by education and Custome from the Cradle, even upon men that are endued with reasonable Souls, that they chuse to live in those Places and Customes of government, under which they have been bred, rather than submit to better, which might make more for their Content and Advantage. Hence it is, that those poore Slaves under the Turk, Persian, Tartar, Muscovite, Russian, French, and Spaniard, with other Eastern, Northern, and Western Tyrants, are so enamored of their Chains, that they admire their owne condition above all others, and (like the Indians) adore the Devill which torments them, because they are ignorant of a better Deity to protect Them.

But besides education and custome under another Forme, there is second Reason why men are so degenerous in Spirit, as to vassalize Themselves, and neglect the maintenance of their Liberty; and that is, a generall Corruption and Depravation of manners, by luxurious Courses, when a Nation is even swallowed up with Riot and Luxury; so that being Slaves to their owne Lusts, they become the more easily inslaved unto the Lusts of another. The Truth of this may be observed in the variation of the Roman State; which in its primitive innocence, was so sensible of Liberty, that when Brutus and Colatinus had once expell’d the Tarquins, the People almost readily joyned with Them as one man, in defence of their Freedom; yea,Florus. they were so zealous of it for a long time, that no Relations or Considerations whatsoever of former merits, could availe with them to spare those that attempted ought against it: For, when the Sons of Brutus were found guilty of a conspiracy, to bring back the Tarquinian Family, They condemned them to death, and their owne Father was as forward as any, to bring them to Execution: So the famous Manlius likewise, to whom Rome owed both her selfe and Liberty, being by him preserved against the Galls, in the greatest extremity, was notwithstanding, upon a discovery of his after-Intent to surprize their Liberty, thrown headlong down the Tarpeian Rock, within view of the Capitoll which he had so nobly defended. By which Actions you may perceive, that when Rome was in its pure estate, vertue begat a desire of Liberty, and this desire begat in them an extraordinary Courage and Resolution to defend it; which three walked a long time hand in hand together, and were the Causes, that the first Founders of their Freedome had so little difficulty, in mainteining themselves, against those Invasions which hapned afterward, by the Tarquins and their Royall Confederates. But in processe of Time, when the Romans had lost that ancient vertue, which purchased their Liberty, and an Empire over the world; being softned in their manners, and conquer’d by their vices whose Dominions they had conquered, they soone bowed under the yoke of Imperiall Tyranny; And though there appeared afterward some sparks of ancient courage and love of liberty among Them, when They took off Cæsar himselfe, Caligula, Nero, and in the end rid Themselves quite of that Tyrannicall Stock of the Cæsars; yet (I say) because those Sparks were kindled only in a few of the more noble Soules, and the generality corrupt and degenerate from their old vertue, therefore such heroick minds as endeavored, could by no means engage Them to assert their Liberty.

It is observable also in all times, the Northern and more manly People, that have no Acquaintance with luxurious Diets and Apparrell, nor care much to obtain Them, nor to taste of those melting Enchantments of more wanton Nations, are endued with a greater courage and Sence of Liberty; whereas those People that inhabit the delicate parts of the world (as in Asia, and other Countries, where civility hath degenerated into effeminacy) They ever have lived, and doe (for the most part) continue in miserable Slavery, at the will of imperious Tyrants: And if at any time there have happen’d worthy Resolutions in vertuous Spirits, to recover their Freedom, They have (for the most part) failed in the Enterprise, by reason of the Corruption of their Party, which causeth men at length to decline the common Cause, through pusillanimity, Faction, Treachery, or Apostacie; being more superstitiously inclinable to adore the greatnesse of a Tyrant,Mach. l. 1. c. 17. de Repub. than really affectionate to the worth of Liberty. For this Cause it was, that in elder time, the People of Naples, Milain and Florence, lost their Freedoms, as soon as they had gotten it; and of late also the Neapolitans failed in their Attempt, being a soft effeminate people, easily bribed and courted out of their Designe, with Spanish Gold and Complement; whereas the Swisses, Hollanders, and divers other hardy People, stuck close to their Leaders, and by their constancy, Industry, and Zeal of Liberty, accomplished the work.

By which parcell of discourse we may collect, whence it is, that our present Governers meet with so many difficulties and oppositions from their owne Country-men here in England, viz: by reason of our former education under a Monarchy, with the generall debaucheries of all sorts of People, which render them Admirers of the Pomp of Tyranny, and Enemies to that Freedom which hath been so dearly purchased. They are Lovers of Vanity more than of Themselves or their Country, humorous, and led with an admiration of old Customs to their owne hazard, rather than they will steer a new and reasonable Course of farre more Convenience and Commodity; so that if the Common-wealth had not a Party of its owne throughout the Nation, men of valor and vertue, free from those Corruptions of Excesse and Riot, and sensible of Liberty, it were then in reason to be expected, they could not long maintain their Station: But being supported by Counsellers, grave, serious, abstemious and vigilant, and by a Soldiery, whose valiant Commanders are severe and strict in Discipline, both Morall and Military, when I consider this, with the many other Advantages which their Enemies have not, their Foundation seems to me impregnable, and prompts me to this Omen; That being every way qualified like those Roman Spirits of old, they will be Courted and confirm’d by the Roman Fortune.

For shame or fear then (if not for love) let men forbear an opposition, and consider what an honor it is to be in the List of that Party, which have ennobled Themselves by their owne vertue and the love of Liberty; For, as Cato saith in Plutarch, even the greatest Kings or Tyrants are much inferior to those that are eminent in Free-States and Common-weales; nor were those mighty Monarchs of old worthy to be compared with Epaminondas, Pericles, Themistocles, Marcus Curius, Amilcar, Barca &c. and other excellent Captains in Free-States, which purchased Themselves a Fame in defence of their Liberties. And though now the very name of Liberty is grown odious or ridiculous among us, it having been a Stranger a long time in these Parts; yet in antient time, Nations were wont to reckon themselves so much the more noble, if they were free from the yoke of regall Tyranny; which was the cause why there were then so many Free-States in all parts of the world. In our Country here, before the time that Cæsar’s Tyranny tooke place, there was no such thing as Monarchy: For, the same Cæsar tells us, how the Britains were divided into so many severall States;Cæsar. Cõment. lib. 5. relates how Cassevessanus was, by the Common Councell of the Nation, elected in this their publique danger, to have the principall administration of the State, with the businesse of Warre: and afterward, how the severall Cities sent their Hostages unto him. Whereby we perceive it was of old no Monarchy, but like to the Gaules, with whom it was then one also in Religion, divided into provinciall Regiments;* without any entire rule or Combination; onely in case of common perill, by Invasion, &c. they were wont to chuse a Commander in Chief, much like the Dictator chosen by the Romans upon the like occasion. And now we see all the Westerne World (lately discovered) to bee, and generally all other Countries are, in puris naturalibus, in their first and most innocent condition, setled in the same Form, before they come to be inslaved, either by so predominant power from abroad, or some one among Themselves more potent and ambitious than his Neighbors. And such was the State heretofore, not onely of our Nation, but of Gaule, Spaine, Germany, and all the West parts of Europe, before the Romans did by strength and cunning unlock their Liberties. And such as were then termed Kings, were but as their Generalls in War, without any other great Jurisdiction.

Mach. lib. 1. Cap. 1.If we reflect likewise upon the ancient State of Italy, we find no other Forms of Government but those of Free-states and Common-weals; as the Tuscans, Romans, Samnits, and many others; nor is there any mention made of Kings in Italy besides those of the Romans, and Porsenna. Concerning the ruine of whose Family, though Histories are silent; yet we read, that Tuscany (whereof Porsenna was King) became afterwards a Free-state, and continued so Zealous of Liberty ever after, and such haters of Monarchy; that they denyed the Veians their assistance against the Romans, for no other reason, but because those Veians had made choice of a King to protect them in their necessity; saying, that they scorned to joyn with those men who had subjected themselves to the Government of a single Person.

Nor is it onely a mere gallantry of Spirit which incites men to the love of Freedome; but experience tells us it is the most commodious and profitable way of Government, conducing to the enlargement of a Nation every way in Wealth and Dominion.* It is incredible to be told (saith Salust.) how exceedingly the Roman Common-wealth increased in a short time, after they had obtained their Liberty. And Guicciardin affirmes, that Free States are most pleasing to God; because that in them more regard is had to the cõmon good, more care for impartiall distribution of Justice to every Man, and the minds of Men are more inflamed with the love of Glory and Vertue, and become much more zealous in the Love of Religion, than in any other Form of Government whatsoever. It is wonderfull to consider how mightily the Athenians were augmented both in Wealth and Power, in the space of one hundred years, after they had freed themselves from the Tyranny of Pisistratus; but the Romans arrived to such a height as was beyond all imagination, after the expulsion of their Kings. Nor doe these things happen without speciall reason, forasmuch as it is usuall in Free States to be more tender of the Publique, in all their Decrees, than of Particulars, whereas the case is otherwise in a Monarchy; because in this Forme the Princes pleasure usually weighs down all Considerations of the Common Good. And hence it is, that a Nation hath no sooner lost its Liberty, and stoop’t under the yoke of an Usurper, but it immediately loseth its former Lustre; the Body fills with ill humours, and may swell in Title, but cannot thrive either in Dominion or Riches, according to that proportion which it formerly enjoyed; because all new Acquisitions are appropriated as the Princes Peculiar, and in no wise conduce to the ease and benefit of the Publique.

It is observable likewise in the course of Hereditary Monarchies; that though a Nation may have some respit and recruit now and then, by the Vertue and Valour of a Prince, yet this is very rare; and when it doth happen, it usually lasts no longer than his life, because his Successor (for the most part) proves more Weak, or Vicious, than himself was Vertuous. For, as Dantes the Italian Poet saith,

Non sicut in ramos ex imo Stipite succus

Instuit, in liberos sic orta parentibus ipsis.

Descendit virtus.————

Vertue is not transmitted from Father to Sonne, as the Sap of a Tree is from the Root to the Branches. Vertue is lost in the descent,Lib. de Repub. 2. cap. 11. and comes not by Traduction: Therefore (Machiavel saith) not he that placeth a vertuous Government in his own Hands or Family, and Governs well during his naturall life; but he that establisheth a lasting Form for the Peoples constant Security, is most to be commended. It is recorded in* History, that the Hereditary course of Government was so odious to the Hungarians, that when Ferdinand the first, King of the Romans, laid claim to that Crown, as Heir in his Wives Right, They chose rather to make a League with the Turk, than subject their State to the Inconveniences of an Hereditary Succession.

Regibus est aliie, potiundi jure paterno

Certa fides, sceptrumq́, patris novus accipit hæres.Gunt. lib. 1.

Nos, quibus est melior libertas, jure vetusto,

Orba sue queties vacat inclyta principe Sedes,

Quedlibet arbitrium statuendi Regis habemus.

The German Poet Ganther (who reduced much of Policy into Poetry) in these Verses commends the fashion of his own Country, that since they had accepted the Regall or Imperiall Form of Government, they were accustomed to trust their own Judgments in making choice of their Emperour, rather than receive him blindly from the hand of Chance of Fortune: Nor doe I find any that think a Monarchy tolerable otherwise than upon Terms of Election, except it be Lipsius, and such partiall Pen-men as Himself, who were held in pension or relation by Hereditary Tyrants. For, besides that common Reason disswades men from taking Governers at Adventure, without respect of wisdom or vertue; so if we take a view of the miserable events of it in all Histories, it must needs deterre men from the love of such a Succession: And therefore the Argument usually brought in defence of it, that it is the only way to prevent the Inconveniences of an Interregnum where the Heire is uncertain, is of no validity; since it hath caused ten thousand times more bloody Disputes between Pretenders in point of Title, than ever happened in those Inter-regnall Controversies, which have risen betwixt Competitors by way of Election; witness the tedious fatall Bickerings which happened in France and other Nations among Princes of the Blood, and here in England, between the two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster. It is observed also, out of the antient Roman History, that all those Emperors which ruled by right of Inheritance,Mach. de Repub. cap. x. proved most of them no better than savage Beasts, and all of Them wicked, except Titus; but such as were advanced by Election approved Themselves noble and vertuous, as you may see in those five that Succeeded Nerva to Marcus: And no sooner did the Empire return again into a Course of Inheritance, but it run to a losse, and at length to the ruine of its glory and greatnesse.

But, to wave this digression touching Hereditary and elective Monarchies, I affirm, that neither of Them are to be compared with a Free-State, nor to be admitted, unlesse it be the latter by way of Election; and then only in case of extreme necessity, as the Roman Common-wealth was wont now and then to create their temporary Dictators,Dictator was a King pro Tempore. into whose single Hands they transmitted the whole Power of ordering Affairs, in time of urgent and imminent danger, to avoid the Inconvenience of delay which might be occasioned through the variety of Opinions, and multiplicity of Counsels: Howsoever elective Kings are found fault with, because They usually practise such Sleights, that in a short time, the Government which They received for their own Lives, becomes entailed upon their Families.

It is to be considered also,Claud. 6. Consol. Honor. That the Kingly are not much lesse destructive, than the Levelling popular Tyrannies to gallant and worthy men.

————Sort ista Tyrannis

Convenit; invideant clairs, fortesque trucident.

Nor is it the worse Sort of Kings or Tyrants only, that hate brave and deserving Persons; but even the most moderate, and those that seem to be the best conditioned become jealous and distastfull; supposing the Fame and gallantry of their Subjects, detracts from their owne estimation: And therefore They usually consult which way to dishonor or destroy Them; by which means men are terrified from the Love of glory and vertue.* Demosthenes tells us, Philip the Macedonian was so full of vain-glory, that he would arrogate the worthy Deeds of his Friends, and other men, to himself, and make them seem to be his owne: And he ever hated those Commanders and Governers which were victorious and successfull, more than such as were either carelesse or unfortunate. His Son Alexander was of the same humor too: For, when Antipater had gained a victory, which he intended himself to have had the honor of he could not forbear to utter his Indignation, reckoning himself injured by the merits of his Subject and Servant. And at another time, he caused Parmenio to be put to death, for no other cause, but because he hated him, being suspitious of his extraordinary merits. Thus the Emperour Vespasian likewise behaved himself toward the Generall Antonius, by whose means Rome was secured for him against Vitellius, and the Imperiall Diadem plated on his stead; which was no sooner done, but Vespasian, in stead of a Reward, casheered him of his Command, and all other Imployment whatsoever; so that sinking under the Burthen of his owne despair; and the others Ingratitude, he lived not long after. In like manner, Alphonsus Albuquerquius, after he had brought most part of the East Indies under the obedience of his Master the King of Portugall, was sent for home; and outed of his Command, died for meer griefe and sorrow. Nor did Consaluus the great or Ferdinando Cortese, fare any better for all their Services:* Consaluus, after he had driven the French out of the Kingdom of Naples, and subdued it to Ferdinand of Arragon, was by him, at his coming to Naples put out of his Command, and carried into Spaine in little better condition than a Prisoner, where his heart broke for griefe immediatly. How miserable then is the condition of the most generous Spirits under Tyrannous Royalty,Destrui per hæc fortunens suam Cæsar, imparemq; rento merito rebatur. Nam beneficia usq; cô læta sunt, dum videaeur posse exelui: tibi muliton [Editor: illegible word] pro [Editor: illegible word][Editor: illegible word][Editor: illegible word] Tacit. Annal. 4. wherein Princes count themselves dis-obliged by the bravest Actions of their Subjects! And Tacitus tells of one of the Cæsars upon the like occasion, that he conceived it prejudiciall to his owne honor and Fortune, and supposed himselfe insufficient to recompence extraordinary merits. For, good Turns seem then only acceptable to Princes, when they may be ensily requited; otherwise, they return Hatred in stead of Thanks. Cominæus also reports it from Lewis of France his owne mouth; That he much more loved those whom himself had obliged by bounty and courtesie, than such as had obliged him by their deserts.

Yea, so dangerous a Thing is Vertue in Princes Courts, that is is as much as a man’s life is worth to be commended for it. And to this purpose we have a story in Polybius lib. 6. how that one Apesles being Enemy to Aratus, a Favorite of King Philip the Macedonian, tooke occasion to extoll him most highly to the King, as a Person admired by all for his many rare and incomparable Vertues;Τατ᾿ [Editor: illegible letter]ιν, Κεάλων, [Editor: illegible letter]ίχί[Editor: illegible letter]α τς τυ[Editor: illegible letter]αννις φιλίας. knowing this was the way to bring him out of the King’s Favor; which was (saith one) a new way of Revenge, and it tooke effect to the destruction of Aratus: For, after a while, be became so much disrelished, that the King gave him a Dose in convenient Season, which rid him away by a lingring Sicknesse. And Aratus so well understood how the Case was with him, that when his Friend Cephalon came to visit him in his Chamber, and asked how it came to passe that he spit Blood? O Cephalon (said he) these are the rewards of Kingly Friendship and Acquaintance. Our owne Histories, and our Neighbours of France, might furnish us with Instances enough of the same nature; but at home here looke no further than Harry the 8th, and we find him ever and anon be-dabled with the Blood of the most deserving Persons,Plutarch. in Atato. as well as most of his Predecessors. What persecution hath hapned since, is notorious to all of the meanest Reading and observation; so that seeing it appears there is as little Security for the bravest Spirits, in a Regall, as in a popular Tyranny, certainly, all Persons of generous Thoughts and Resolutions are much more concerned to dislike it, and apply Themselves to the love of a Free-State; it being concluded by Aristotle the best of Governments, and is by experience known to be most conducing to the Advancement of a Nation every way in Honor, Profit, and Dominion; having ever produced many more excellent Heroes, than any other Form, upon the Stage of Action; as is evident in the Grecian, Roman, and modern Stories.

But one great Argument of exception (I perceive among some) against this Government is; because men are permitted the Freedom of their Soules and Consciences in the profession of Religion. This they conceive inconsistent with the publique Peace; that no State can be of continuance with such a Toleration; and that it is agreeable to the Word of God. To the latter part of this Assertion, I answer; That prudent Toleration of opinions in matter of Religion could never be proved yet, by any of our Episcoparians and Presbyterians, in all their Writings, to be repugnant to the Word; being as farre to seek this way, as they are to convince us of the sacred necessity of a Nationall Unifortunity. Severall Instances there are to shew, how this Common-wealth hath punished those wild Pretenders, that professe manifest Libertinism and Blasphemy; many of whom at this day are in Custody: And as long as these Ill Weeds are rooted out of the Garden of the Church, the wholesome tender Plants will thrive in Beauty and Vertue, under their severall measures, and dispensations.

And that variety of Opinions can be no way destructive of Publique Peace (as is pretended) is evident by the Customs of other Nations, both Heathen and Christian. The * Egyptians have now among them no lesse than four severall Sects, differing in Doctrine and Discipline, and all derived from the Superstition of Mahomet. Yet their great Pontifes and Priests, live in amity together, void of hatred and strife; and the common People also behave themselves accordingly, without brauling or enmity. And it is usuall for the more learned sort of Them, to Dispute with each other, and defend the Opinions of their Party; which they are allowed to doe with all Liberty, so long as they flie not out into language against any of the four Doctors, who were the first Patrons of those Opinions. Wherein if any chance to Offend, they are punished by Fine and Imprisonment.

Lips. lib. adversús Dialo. gist.Lipsius tells us, that in the Isle of Japan, there are no lesse than nine Religions, every man being at liberty to professe which he please: So that in the same House you might see the Husband of one Religion, the Wife of another, the Son of a third; and yet no heart-burning nor difference among them, to the disturbance of the Family. The Turk (we see) also allowes an equall Liberty to Christans and Jewes, yet his Empire hath long continued firme and peaceable, notwithstanding the variety of Opinions tolerated among those of his own Sect, and others. The case is the same likewise in severall Christian dominions; as Poland, Transyluania, Hungary, and even in the Protestant Dominions in Germany. Yet the experiment is brought nearer home to us by our Neighbours the States of Holland, who by a prudent toleration of severall Professions, have established themselves in such a measure of Peace, Plenty, and Liberty, as is not to be equalled by any of the Nations round about Them. And the Reasons why those Nations continue in Peace, notwithstanding their difference in Religious Opinions, are confessed by the same Lipsius (a great Roman Catholick) to be these: First, because the Prince, and he that is the High Priest, among them, carry themselves with the same Aspect upon all, giving no Countenance to one more than another. Secondly, because they severely punish such as offer to disturb their Neighbours about any matter relating to Religion. Thirdly, because they suffer not that Religion to be evill spoken of, which is publiquely professed by the Prince or State: whereby it is implyed, that a Toleration of different opinions in Religion, can be no prejudice to the Peace of a Nation, so long as these Rules are observed; but rather a grand Preservative of publique Quiet; whereas persecutions for matter of Religion have ever been all the world over the great Incentives of Sedition. And since it is of unavoidable necessity, that (while the world stands) there will be divisions of Opinion, certainly such a Course must needs be most rationall, which shall provide wayes of remedy against such Inconveniences as may follow them, rather than Inventions of Torture and Torment to thwart and stifle Them; because the understandings of men can can no more be compelled than their Wills, to approve what they like not. So that from hence it appeares plainly, the great Pretenders of Nationall Uniformity in Religion, those high imperious Uniformity-mongers, that would have men take measure of all Opinions by their own, are the greatest disturbers of States and Kingdomes; and seeme of the same humour with the Tyrant Mezentius, who, if his Guests were too long for his Bed, cut them shorter, and if they hapned to be too short, he had Engines of Torture to stretch them longer; being resolved to fit them all to his own measure and humour.

Severall other Objections there are against this new Government, in the mouthes of many People; but they are founded upon outward Sence, more than inward Reason; they raise Arguments from those Things which are the effects of present necessity, and not of the nature of the Government it self; whereas if men would unanimously joyne in an establishment, no such necessity would be: But as now, so alwayes all alterations of Government (though for the better) have been declaimed against by the more ignorant sort of People, supposing those Burthens will remain for ever, which Governours are constrained to lay upon Them for present subsistence and security: yet hath been ever observed likewise, that the more willing and forward People have been to settle in Peace under a new Government, the sooner they have been eased of all their Grievances and Pressures; according to that saying of *Curtius, Obsequie mitigantur Imperia. And therefore in this case, Cicero adviseth all men that would be safe, to submit unto necessity.

Whence is it that Taxes continue, but from absolute necessity? and this necessity is much augmented by the peevish humours of People; who remaining unsetled, give cause of Jealousie to the State, and of hope to their Enemies; so that they are forced to keep up an Army for security. When things stand thus, aTacitus affirmes, there can be neither Peace nor Security without Armies, nor Armies Without Pay, nor Pay Without Taxes. And therefore (saith he) they aime at a destruction of the Government, that would take away those Profits whereby the Common-Wealth is supported; From whence (by the way) may be collected, what the meaning of our Levellers is, in demanding a present Release of all Taxes and Payments. And whereas great Complaint is made against the Imprisoning men in unusuall wayes, and trying them by extraordinary Courts and Commissions of Justice, know that of Tacitus takes place ever upon extraordinary occasions. b Magna exempla semper habent aliquid ex iniquo, quod tamen adversus singulos utilitate publicâ rependitur. Great examples are not tyed strictly to the Rule; and though some particulars suffer by swerving from it; yet recompence is made in that Profit, which redounds to the good and safety of the Publique: For, it cannot in Reason be presumed, that such ordinary Proceeedings as are used in Times of Peace, can be sufficient to secure a Common-wealth, during the necessities of Warre, at which time *Lawes use to be silent, and those Courses are judged most and equitable, and have ever been allowed so by all States and States-men, which are dictated by common reason and prudence, for their necessary preservation.Æneid. 1. To this accords that of Queen Dido in Virgil.

Res dura, & Regui novitas, me talia cogunt


And that of Hercules in the Tragedian;Seneca.

Quod civibus tenere te invitis scias,

Strictus tuetur Ensis.————

Therefore if men will not submit and settle, but keep the State by their obstinacie, under the Necessities of warre, They must (if they plot, or attempt any thing against them) expect such proceedings and Consequences as attend the Sword when it is drawn: But would they close cordially in Affection, and he resolved once to settle, in opposition to all Invaders and Intruders, and let the Common-wealth have leave to take breath a little, in the possession of a firme peace, then they would soone find the Rivulets of a Free-State, much more pleasing than the troubled Ocean of Kingly Tyranny; begetting Fertility and verdure (as they run along) in all the Medows, and reviving those Pastures, which Royalty was wont to drown and Swallow. Had they but once tasted the sweets of Peace and Liberty both together, They would soone be of the opinion of * Herodotus and Demosthenes, that there is no difference between King and Tyrant, and become as Zealous as the ancient Romans were, in defence of their Freedom. And though this discourse may sound like that concerning the Joyes of Heaven in the ears of ordinary People, as of Blessings afarre off; yet since it is in your Power to hasten them, why stand ye off, and delay? yee may (if you please) by an unanimous obedience, quickly open the Fountains of future happinesse, that Justice may run downe as a mighty streame, in the Channel of the Lawes, and righteousnesse and Peace imbrace each other.

Seneca in Herc. Fur.

Si aterna semper Odia mortales gerant,

Nec cœptus unquam cedat ex animis furer,

Sed Arma falix teneat, infalix paret;

Nihil relinquent bella. Tum vastis ager

Squallebit Arvis, subdita tectis face

Altus sepultas obrust gentes cinis.

Pacem reduci velle, Victori expedit,

Victo necesse est.————



 [* ] Continua est rebus generatio & corripio. Arist. de gen. & corr. lib. 12. cap. 10. 3 Annal. Certic cunt cuncta Temporibus. Nasei debeus, crescere & extingui. Seneca consol. ad Hel.——Numina rebus Crescendi posucre modum. Lucan. Cic. de divia. Numeri fatales, vel periodi. Plat.

 [* ] Peucerus de divinat. gen. fol. m. 30. & Gregor. Richter. axiom. polit. 1. & Occonom. 5. cum inultis aliic. Herod.

 [* ] Hoc est, anno ab V. C. 244.

 [* ] Irriti sunt conatun bumani. Vide Richter. 684.

 [* ] Nulla vis bumani vel virtus, meruisse unquam potuit, ut quod præscripsit fatalis ordo, non fiat. Ammian. lib. 23.

 [* ] Ad [Editor: illegible word] gladii sui appellavit. Girard. l. 21. Pasquier. 5. cap. 7.

 [† ] Jactitare solebas, suà potissimum opera effectum fuisse, ut Reguil Gallicanum quasi ex Tutelâ, ad plenam Pubertatem fueris redactum. Besoldus in Synopsi. c. 4.

 [* ] Norman, ille Spurius, Guilhelmus dictus, Anglicanum Regnum vi occuptoit; Legésq; tulit, nullas a cepit. Besoldus in Synopsi. lib. 1. cap. 14.

 [* ] Necessitas summa reducit res ad rerum Ius naturæ. Grotius de Iure belli. l. 2. c. 6. Grotius, inter Prolegomena de Iure Belli.

 [* ] Iure belli.

 [† ] Si qui fare suo uti non possion, corñ jus accrescit præsentibus. Grotius de Jure Belli, lib. 2 c. 5.

 [* ] Lib. de legib. 3. cap. 10.

 [* ] Sanders ibid. novo sensum aliquam juramento à nobis prœstito, aut ejus alicuè parti affingamus, proprii commodi aut utilitatis causà, quam non quivis vir alius pius & prudens (quiest liberioris Iudicii, utpote cujà nibil interest) ex ipsis verbis facilè eliceres.

 [* ] Omnia debent esse cadem quæ fuerint cum promitteres, ut promittentis sidem teneas.

 [* ] Quia cũ omnia divine Providentiæ & voluntali subsint, nec sit in cujusvis hominis potestate omnes futures Casus præstare; qui fecit quod in se fuit ut adimpierec quod promisrat, Iuramenti fidem exeluit. Rei Impossibilis Sanders. Ibid.

 [* ] Potestates apud Ammlanum aliosque Ammiznum penes quos saut Iura militaria. Arnold. Clapmar. de Iure Imperii. lib. 1. cap. 10. Viactur Apostolus voluisse tollere frivolä bominum curiosiatem &c. Calv. in Rom. cap. 13. Quum quætitur cui parendü, non est spectandum qualis sit qui potestatem exercet, nec quo Iurc, vel injuria, qulo potestatem invaserit. Dacet. in Rom. 13.

 [* ] Sacramentum capitis diminutione sublatum.

 [† ] Petr. Greg. Tolos. lib. 11. de Repub. cap. 3. pag. 656.

 [* ] Mercenarii militia fides ex fortund pendet: qua inclinante ad hostes, ipsi etiam spem atq; animum ed inclinant. Francise. Patrit. lib. 9. de Reg. Tit. 15.

 [† ] Soleut plus lucrum quam causam sequi bellaudi: Et ita facile ab hostibus, vel majore stipeudio, vel donis, corrumpi possuns. Petr. Greg. Tolos. ubi supra.

 [* ] See the new Acts of Treason, and the Act for establishing an High Court of Iustice.

 [* ] He was afterwards King, by the name of Henry 2. See Daniel. in the life of King Stephen.

 [* ] Leges opprimis Timor. Sen. Herc. Fur.

 [(a) ] Auferre, trucidare, rapere. Tac. in Agric.

 [(b) ] Plutarch in vitâ Catonis.

 [(c) ] Delatores per pramia eliciunt. Tacit. Annal. 4.

 [(d) ] Boni quàm mali suspectiores sunt, semperque quem ex malâ.

 [† ] Regni causà iam violandum esse.

 [* ] Regni causà sceleratum esse.

 [a ] Principi nibit est injustũ quod fructuasum.

 [b ] Ubi honesta tantùm dominantì licens, procariò reguatur.

 [† ] Quamvis bonus asq, clement fit, qui plua potest, tamen quia mate esse licet, formidatur. Salust. ad Cæs.

 [* ] Dulce matum vindicta.

 [* ] Monarchæ non amant Ordinum Conventua crobriores. Besold. de Simulachris Rerumpub.

 [* ] Semiramis.

 [* ] Ab istis exercitibus, quos defendendt sui causæ attraxcrunt, evertuntur. Peucer. Auxiliætores, ut selet, postea finne domins. Strigel. 2. Paralip. 28.

 [* ] Maxima pars vulgi capitur Ambagibus.

 [* ] Immedicabile vulnus Euse recidendum est. Ovid.

 [† ] See the Irish Bishop’s Sermon at the Hague, in print.

 [* ] See the Case of the Kingdome Stated. Anne 1647.

 [* ] See the Case of the Kingdom, ut supra.

 [* ] In vedire at Spiritualia.

 [† ] Not out of any good will toward England, but because their discipline was not like to be set up here, if Hamilton had prevailed.

 [* ] Indeque frequeniantur Agrariæ Leges; qua probibent, me quis nimis dives efficirur. Besold. in Synops. de Democr.

 [* ] Plebs ut prone iu miscricordiā, ita immodica in savitiam.

 [† ] Clap. de Arcan. dom. pop.

 [* ] Incerti nimirum, solutiq; & magis sine dominio, quam in Libertate. 2. Annal. Genus bominum agreste, sine legibus, sine Imperio, liberū, atque solutum. Salust.

 [† ] Quouiā ca demum Libertas Romæ est, non Senatū, non Magistratus, non Leges, non mares majorum, non Instituta [Editor: illegible word] non Disciplinam vereri Militiæ. Liv. l. 5.

 [* ] Tales longè sunt crudeliores, et longè plus necent quam soli Tyranni, &c.

 [† ] Omnium prope Judicio populari eo qudd inibi liceutia pro libertate habeatur.

 [† ] Componi non possunt, nisi Imperio ad unum devoluto Clapm. de Arc. Imp. l. 2. cap. 14.

 [* ] Eam Rempublican discordile civilibus fesson, nomine Principis, sub Imperium accepit. Tacit. Ann. 1.

 [† ] Tumultus populares parturiunt regnum.

 [* ] Aquin. de Regim. Princ. l. 4. cap. 15.

 [* ] Δ[Editor: illegible letter]μοε[Editor: illegible letter][Editor: illegible letter]ία ε[Editor: illegible letter] [Editor: illegible letter] ος, [Editor: illegible letter] πολ[Editor: illegible letter][Editor: illegible letter]εία λλ πά[Editor: illegible letter][Editor: illegible letter]ων πολ[Editor: illegible letter]ν πολί[Editor: illegible letter]είων. Plato.

 [† ] Ex Favore & pretio, populus distribuebat Magistraeus. Polyb. 6. [Editor: illegible word] à preparuts. 1. disc.

 [* ] Summa Rerii sit penes pancos, qui anticellum reliquos virtute & sapiencia Polit. 1.

 [† ] Bodinus. 6. de Repub. cap. 4.

 [* ] Ostracismus used at Athens, as Petalismus else-where; when the People banished any eminent man, the Sentence was written either upon the Shell of a Fish, or an Olive-leafe. Arist. 3. polit. c. 13.

 [* ] Ingrata patria, ne ossa quidom mea habes.

 [a ] Ubi Imperium plebis est, ibi Patricios ac nobites, multis magn squo Injurils, affici necesse est. Arist. 3. polit. cap. 7. Inveratissinum suit in Rep. Romana odium plebis atversùs Patricios.

 [b ] Livius lib. 4. & 5.

 [† ] Clapm. de Arcan. l. 2. C. 13.

 [† ] Auderentue postulare, ut cùm bina Iugera agri plebi dividerentur, ipsis plus quinquaginta jugera habere liceret? Liv. l. 10.

 [* ] If this Government be destroyed, we must expect a regall, or a Presbyterian, or a popular Tyranny.

 [† ] Mach. de Repub. l. 1. c. 16. 17. & 18.

 [† ] Eio suit dami Industriæ, forle justum Imperii animus in consulendo liber; neq; libidini, neque delicto obnexius. Salustius; de Catone in suâ Concione ad Romanes Consules.

 [* ] Sam Daniel. of the State of Britain.

 [* ] Incredibile est memoratus, quatum alepta libertate, in brevi Romana Civitae creverit. Salust.

 [† ] De summoperè placent; cò quod in iis, magis quàm in alio genere Rerumpublicarum, commune bonum conservetur, Ius suum cuique æqualiter distribuatur, Civium animi vehementius ad virtutem, &c. Fr. Guicciard. lib. 10. Hist.

 [* ] Yam obstiuatè Ius suum usericat ut Turelcæ perfidiæ se committere maluerint, quàm Sceptris hæreditariũ eum potivi. Besold. de Successione regia. cap. 5.

 [* ] Orat. ad Epist. Philippi.

 [† ] Curtius, l. 6. suæ demptũ glerie existimans quicquid cecisset aliene.

 [* ] Sepulveda. Comm. ad Arist. Polit. 3. c. 9.

 [* ] Joh. Leo. lib. 8.

 [* ] Curt. apud Alex. lib. 8.

 [† ] Omnes intelligant, salvi esse velint, necessitari esse parendum. Cic. de offic. lib. 2.

 [a ] Tac. Hist. 4. Dissolutionem Imperii doccut, si fructus quibus Republica sustinetur, diminusantur.

 [b ] Tac. Annal. 14.

 [* ] Inter Arma silent Leges.

 [* ] See Axiom. polit. Rich. 57. p. 152.



T.221 (7.5) Anon., The Humble Petition of divers well-affected People (31 August, 1650).

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 9 Nov. 2017


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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.221 [1650.08.31] (7.5) Anon., The Humble Petition of divers well-affected People (31 August, 1650).

Full title

Anon., To the Honourable, the Commons assembled in Parliament. The Humble Petition of divers well-affected People inhabiting in the Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamblets, and places adjacent. Promoters and approvers of the petition of the 11. of September, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

31 August, 1650.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 810; Thomason 669.f.15 [54]

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

To the Honourable, the Commons assembled in Parliament.

The Humble Petition of divers well-affected People inhabiting in the Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamblets, and places adjacent. Promoters and approvers of the Petition of the 11. of September, 1648.


THat if it be altogether uncomfortable to say unto the naked and destitute of daily food, be you warmed and filled, when nothing is given needful for the body, how extreamly grievous would it be to say unto such, ye are warmed, ye are filled, when their cold and hunger is increased; but nothing ministred for sustentation.

And yet except we should stifle our Consciences, betray the truth, and by a sinful silence, even break our hearts; we cannot but attest and bear witnes, that, of this sad and woful nature is our misery.

For how uncomfortable, yea, what torment of spirit, must it necessirily be to a people that have done and suffered so much and so many several kinds of afflictions, for recovery of our Native Liberties, and for redress of grievances, not only to be frustrated in all our hopes, and to be deprived of them by those who can and ought in Conscience to restore the one, and to redress the other, (being oblieged thereunto by all possible tyes both to God and Man,) but to be born down continually, by private and publick discourses, (yea, and to have it dangerous for any to deny) that we are a free people, that we have injoyed the first, and that this is the second year of Englands Liberty, when God he knoweth, we find and feel the contrary: our just fundamental Liberties, being never more invaded and restrained, our burthens never more grievous, and which maketh them ten fold more grievous: our very groans, sighes and complaints (of late) meet with no relief, but are attended with threats, bonds, imprisonments, yea death it self; a condition sufficient to distract us, but that God, we trust, supports us for better things, in dread of whose awful and glorious name, we dare neither by speech nor silence call good evil, nor evil good; we dare not say, our Liberties are restored, or our grievances as yet redressed.

And although there are a sort of men, formerly full of complaints, for want of those Liberties, and frequent in Petitions for them, whose mouthes being since stop’t with Offices and imployment of gain, Honour, or domination, or by relations to such as have them, that are not only silent themselves, as to any complaint now, but make it their works to suppress and silence all others, and to boast of the happiness and freedom of these sad times; yet the woful lamentations of well minded people, throughout the Land, bear witness against them; and the things themselves bear witness against them, and against all such unchristian delusions: We judge our selves bound in Conscience, to bear our witness perpetually, though 10000. High Courts of Justice (those new English Monsters;) were set up to terriefie or devoure us, chusing rather to suffer for a cause so evidently righteous, then to enjoy the pleasures of corruption, for a season; and it will be good that all such mockers, remember that it will be bitterness in the latter end.

And that it may not be said unto us, as it was to the over-grieved Israelites, ye are idle, ye are idle, or that we intend to asperse or scandalize Authority, (a hard measure we frequently meet withall.) In the bowels of Christ Jesus we beseech you, bear with us in comparing times with times, and the things of the former times of bondage, with the present; so much cryed up, for Liberty and Freedom.

And surely it will be found, and cannot be denyed, that if it were a breach of known liberty, and a sore grievance that any Laws should be made, or Customs brought in, contrary to our Native Liberties contained in Magna Charta: such being null and void in themselves, and not to be obeyed, though made in full Parliament: (as appeareth in the case of Empson and Dudley) how exceeding grievous must the late Act declaring what shall be treason, that for unlicensed Printing, and that for erecting the High Court of Justice, &c. appear in these times; was imprisonment for debt, confest by all to be an incroachment upon our just Right? and is it not lamentable, it should be continued to the ruine of the poorer, and to the sheltering of the richer sort of debters, as it is known to be? was it grievous, that all men were made liable to be attached by Pursevants, to be adjudged, fined, imprisoned, by the Councel-board High Commission and Star-Chamber, without being tryed by Juries, to be examined against themselves, and imprisoned in illegal Prisons, and remote Castles, and there to be most barbarously abused? And doth not the same dealing from a continued Parliament, a Councel of State and Committees, executed by Messengers, and Souldiers too, violently hauling and terrifying people, prove much more grievous? If Tythes were then a burthen to the industrious and conscientious, is it not much heavier now, being exacted upon treble damages? If Customs then were accounted an unreasonable burthen, distructive to traffique and navigation, can they be less, being required with more strictness and severity? If Patents and Projects, and Ship-money, were intolerable burthens and grievances: how much more burthensome and destructive to Trade, is the Excise and the perplexities thereon depending to all Trades-men, and consequently to all industrious people? If the great number of Officers belonging to the High Commission Star-Chamber Councel-board, to Pattentees, Projectors, Bishops, Courts, and the like, bred and fostered an interest against the common freedom of the People, to their excessive charge and trouble: all such being arguers for arbitrary power, and maintained by the sweat of other mens browes, is it not so and much more, by those many imployed about Customs, Excise, and in Committees: in so much, as men can hardly say any thing, or discourse together, for fear of being insnared in their words by some of them? If it were then deemed most injurious, to make it dangerous to mention a Parliament: is it not most lamentable, that it should be now as dangerous to move for a new Parliament, after so long continuance, and so many grievances unremoved? If Conscience then were oppressed by Oaths of Allegiance and supremacy is not the enforcement of the Engagement upon penalty of being out-law’d, a greater grievance? If Conscience in divine worship were free only to some, is not its freedom restrained now? or should we for that one part of our just freedom, sell all the rest of our Birth-right, (God forbid) and the liberty of Printing more restrained, (except to books maintaining the most tyranous principles as the Book entituled, The Case of the Common-wealth of England stated, and the like, which to the shame of these times were freely licenced. If those times were judged of cruelty, in censuring men to be whipt, gag’d, and pillor’d, for small or verbal things; how can that time escape that makes the like verbal things Capital, as is evident in many Acts of this Parliament? If it were deemed of dangerous consequence, that almost all Officers & Magistrates, both civil & military, as Judges, Sheriffs, and Justices, &c. were not chosen in a free way by the People, (as by right they ought) but were chosen and imposed by the Court, thereby to incline all men and things to the bent of one particular party or Interest, rather then to the impartial good of all, is it not as prejudicial to be so now? If monopolizing of the principal Marchandizes of the Nation by Companies, were then esteemed a most pernitious evil, they remain still much after the same manner, and so also do Law-sutes, and all proceedings in Law, continue as full of tedious chargable perplexities as ever, and the numbers of Lawyers, Attorneys, Solicitors, Goalers, and their Officers, all feeding themselves fat, as the other Officers forementioned) by the spoyles of the distressed, never more countenanced, yea, 1000. pounds a peece per annum, added to the Judges above their ordinary Fees, which alone was formerly accounted a large proportion, and great preferment. If tryals by extraordinary packt Commissions of Oyer and Terminer, and Tryals by Court-Martials, (though of loose and dissolute people) were esteemed utterly destructive to the Lives & Liberties of the People, (as appeareth by the Petition of Right,) are not those kinds of Tryals more frequent now, or can any thing exceed in dangerous Tryals by HighCourts of Iustice, a Court against which no legal defence or priviledge is permitted, it being to be admired, that in times pretending liberty, there should be found persons to serve in such a Court. If these are the effects of Freedom, then are we free indeed; but if they are, we have lost our understandings. If then be considered the manifold miseries accompanying these ten years strife for liberty, as decry of Trade, excessive Taxes, Poverty and War: to supply which, a new and never before heard of grievance is added, as the loss of Servants and Children, through a liberty given them, to betake themselves to Arms, though against their Master or Parents liking, to the impoverishment of whole Families, and to the unexpressible grief of many tender-hearted Fathers and Mothers. And then if the Parliaments Declarations in behalf of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, with all things concerning Life, Limb, Liberty, and Estate, be duly weighed, and after them, those of the Army, manifesting a most deep sense of the long suffering of the Nation, for want thereof: would it not pierce and grieve the most hard and stony heart, that yet all things should remain in this woful condition, as is evident they now do? And that through discontents, divisions, and distractions, arising from so continued an unsettlement, and the presumption of enemies thereupon, a War should frequently be threatned within the bowels of the Land, (as more then once hath been seen) and that a more dangerous one then any yet is now already begun, and yet no regard taken for the real restoration of our liberties, or redress either of old or new grievances, (the only means of reconcilement) but in place thereof, all mouthes are stopt with the meer Title of a free Common-wealth, and of a free people, to the heightening of all discontents, and withholding from the Army the assistance of thousands of zealous cordial people, that upon the real (but not verbal) restoration to just Liberties, and the real redress of those known grievances, would readily assist them.

And therefore as you tender the preservation of Parliaments, from utter annihilation, (a thing much to be feared upon prevalence of an Enemy, which God defend) the supply and recruit of this Army, the speedy ending of this most threatning War, as you regard the end for which the people chose you, or that for which the Army reserved you; when they excluded the greater number of your own Members: as you regard you own safeties, or that which is above all the known will of God in the keeping of a good Conscience, and performance of all your promises and vowes, made in his all-seeing presence: We beg and beseech you for the tender mercies of Christ, that you will be pleased instantly to make a plenary restoration to our fundamental liberties, and really redress all the grievances forementioned; and for a clear pledge of your full purpose therein, that you will immediatly and for ever abolish the High Court of Justice, (that Serpent ready with open mouth to devoute us: and from which, none can be safe, whilst treacherous Informers can be found) and to null all things and proceedings appertaining thereunto, as a Plant, which our fore Fathers never planted, but would have ventured all they had willingly, to have rooted out any jurisdiction of so forraign a breed, so expresly opposite to all English Liberties, as is manifest by what trouble and danger they under went in all former times.

But if so be the whole work be too hard for you, or that you cannot agree therein, before the War growes to fast upon you; We beseech you then to remember the humble Petition and advice of his Excellency and Councel of Officers, the 20. of Jan. 1649. with those other Petitions to the same effect, concerning the way of settlement by an agreement of the People, and that you will be pleased to give countenance and protection to all peaceable people, in entering into such an agreement as themselves shall judge most effectual to their own safety, Freedom and well-being, and whereby they may set such express bounds and limits, to all kinds of Authorities, so restore and establish their fundamental Liberties, and so unrevocably remove their burthens, and redress their grievances, as shall not be in the power of future Authorities or persons (without certainty of punishment) to supplant the one, or to re-impose the other; and this work we trust in God, you will freely incourage, having acknowledged by your votes, the People to be the original power, from whom all just Authorities are derived, which were unavailable, if you should (which God forbid) withhold them from exercising the same, in a work wherein they are so nearly concerned: and which once effected, would render the Nation absolutely free, (not in word only) but in deed and in truth, to the exceeding joy of your humble, (but as yet grieved Petitioners, and of all well-minded people) restore it to much more unity within it self, and so, would become more formidable to all sorts of Enemies, your labours would be exceedingly abated. And in countenancing so just, so due a work, would bring great Honour to God, Peace, Freedom, and prosperity to the Common-wealth, be at rest in your own Consciences, guarded by the cordial volentary affection of the People, whilst you live here, and remain as a sweet favor to all Posterity. And thus as faithful Witnesses to the Truth, and in behalf of the Nations just Rights, we have discharged our Consciences, referring the Issue and our selves wholly to God, whom we continually worship in spirit and in truth; and before whose righteous judgement we must all one day appear: and therefore although for the Truths sake, our portion in this life should be scofs, reproaches, afflictions, poverty, imprisonment, or Death: We have chosen it, rather then at that great and terrible day of the Lord, to have our portion with the Hypocrite, or that our Consciences should then testifie against us, that we have made lyes our refuge. This is printed only for the better gathering of Subscriptions, ’tis desired you would make no other use of it.

Aug: 31 1650.



T.222 (7.6) Anon., The Soap-makers Complaint for the losse of their Trade (24 September 1650).

The Soap-makers Complaint

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 9 Nov. 2017


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.222 [1650.09.24] (7.6) Anon., The Soap-makers Complaint for the losse of their Trade (24 September 1650).

Full title

Anon., The Soap-makers Complaint for the losse of their Trade, by reason of a double Excise laid first upon the materials they make their soap of; and then secondly, by reason of an Excise of 4s. 8d. per barrel laid upon the soap after they have made it, which hath occasioned the spreading of their Trade into Holes and Corners in all parts of the Nation; by reason of which , they commonly steale the Excise of 4 s. 8 d. per Barrel, and so are able to sell under those that by reason of the visibility and fixedness of their houses are forc’d to pay it. With Certain Proposals unto the parliament for the totall taking off the said 4s. 8d. per barrel; and in regard of their urgent necessities for money of raising them a greater Revenue (in a more juster, equaller, and righteous way) then now of late they have enjoyed, both from the Excise of Soap and its Materials, without any restraint at all to any man whatsoever that hath a desire to make Soap.
All which, are clearly demonstrated in the following petition presented to the Parliament the twenty fourth day of September, 1650. And in their joynt and avowed answer to the proposals of certain unworthy trade and liberty-destroying projectors. Which said answer was presented and read unto the Honourable the Committee of Parliament for regulating the Excise, the 17 of October 1650. being subscribed by John Hayes, Alderman. Col. John Hardwick. Leiv. Col. John Lilburn. Simon Wedden. Tho. Poultney. Tho. Howlet. Tho. Woodstack. Edward Whitwel. Richard Cox. Rober. Drinkwater. Jo. Baker. Roger Pears. All which, they have onely published for the better and clearer information of the judgments and understandings of every individual member of Parliament, in the equity, justnesse, and utility of their desires, against they come to passe their finall determinations upon their humble and just requests.

London, Printed in the year 1650.

This text contains the following parts:

  1. The Petition
  2. Answer
  3. Proposition to the Grand Commissioners of the Excise
  4. Answer Oct. 17, 1850
  5. Acount or Certificate of the Commissioners
Estimated date of publication

24 September 1650.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, pp. 812–13; E. 615. (2.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To the Supreme Authority, the Parliament of the Common-wealth of England.

The humble Petition of the Sope-makers of London, whose names are hereunto subscribed.


THAT one of the greatest means (under God) of the comfortable subsistence of this Island in all ages, hath been the giving encouragement to the industrious mannagers of Trade and Traffick: which by reason of those long and many continued troubles, both at home and abroad upon the Nation, and those extraordinary Imposts upon most Commodities, hath bred such consumption in the Trade of the Nation, that it hath brought thousands of Families (that formerly lived comfortably) into extraordinary wants and straits: And amongst all the Trading people of this Land, your Petitioners humbly conceive, that none whatsoever groan under a more insupportable burthen then your Petitioners do, as appears by these particulars following.

First, For that being Sope-makers, they pay Excise for all imported materials they make their Sope of; as for Pot-ashes, Oyl, and Tallow, and not onely so, But

Secondly, As if they with some few others were strangers to the Commonwealth of England, and not capable of the enjoyment of the Liberties and Freedoms thereof; A heavy and grievous burthen is laid upon their shoulders, when as it toucheth not the little fingers of the Generality of the people of this Nation: viz. That after they have with a great deal of hazard, labour, and toyl, made their materials into Sope, then they are constrained to pay 4s. 8d. Excise out of every Barrel they make; so that thereby in effect. they pay Excise for the sweat of their browes, and the labour and toil of their hands; and this is required of them, and that whether they gain or lose by their Commodity; which is a burthen so intollerable, as (if not speedily removed) will unavoydably ruine them; of which, about five years since they most grievously complained, and were thereupon largely promised ease thereof, but never enjoyed it to this day: And therefore now they are necessitated humbly to tender these following reasons for the speedy removal of it for ever.

First, Because, that although by the late wars in Poland by the Tartars, Pot-ashes (by reason of their scarcity) grew of late years to so great a price, that many in England were incouraged to make Pot-ashes, for which they neither pay Excise nor Custome; and yet by reason of the late plenty of Out-landish ashes, by means of which at London, not being able to get their accustomed price for theirs, that for two or three years by past, they have borne, they make them in holes and corners in the Country into Sope, where constantly (as partly may appear by the books of Excise at the grand Office thereof) stealing the Excise of the 4s. 8d. per Barrel, and paying originally no Custome nor Excise, either for their Pot-ashes, or their Tallow, by reason whereof (although for want of skil &c. They make base and unmarchantable Soape) they are able so much to undersel your Petitioners, as that of late they are much impoverished in their trade, the chief means of their livelyhood: And therefore though it have formerly appeared unreasonable to your Honors to lay Excise upon Native Commodities; we hope it will now, much more, appear unreasonable to continue Excise upon Native and bare handy labour, and the sweat of the browes of English men, denominated in words, to be free by birth.

Secondly, Because by the aforesaid meanes the Excise of Sope is so decayed, as that the new incomb of the revenue of it is humbly conceived to add little advantage to the publick purse.

Thirdly, And principally, your Petitioners are English men by birth and breeding, and pay all other manner of taxes freely and willingly, with other people of their Neighbourhood; And several of them also have freely and resolutely with their swords in their hands adventured their lives, and all that is dear to them for the Common Liberties of the Nation, and in the eye of the Law are guilty of no manner of Acts, that renders them either in reason or Justice worthy of being punished with a punishment above the generallity of the Nation; neither can they in any sense, see any reason at all why an Excise should be set upon the sweat of their browes, when almost the whole people of the Land go free in that particular.

Therefore, forasmuch as you have altered the Government of this Nation, from a Kingdom to a Common-wealth, and stiled the last year, the first year of England’s freedom, by God grace: And forasmuch as by your primitive Declarations you declare, that the meanest Commoner of England is equally intituled by birth-right unto the common enjoyment of the Liberties of the Nation with the greatest Subject: And forasmuch as by your late Declaration in Feb. 1648. You positively declare, you are firmly resolved to maintain, preserve, and defend the fundamental Lawes of the Nation, with all things incident and belonging unto the lives, liberties, and properties of the people: Amongst all which Fundamental Laws they are sure of it) this is one of the chiefest; that no one little handful of people shall be burthened in bearing, or contributing to the common charge of the Nation in such a way, as that the Universality, are not touched at all in that kinde.

Wherefore they most humbly pray, (and the rather, for that you are now about settling new Commissioners or Governors of the Excise) that you would make them like the universallity of their brethren, the freemen of England, and totally for ever of your selves, without referring them any more to any Committees whatsoever, take off the Excise of the sweat of their browes, and the labour of their hands; (viz) the aforesaid 45. 8d. per Barrel Excise upon Sope; that so they may thereby once again look upon themselves, as Denizens, and not Aliens to England, and thereby be incouraged, without murmuring, or secret repining of heart, to venture their all, for the common preservation of the Land of their Nativity.

For which they shall ever pray, &c.

The Copy of the forementioned Answer thus followeth:
TO THE HONOURABLE, the Committee of Parliament for the Regulating the NEW IMPOST of EXCISE where Colonel George Thompson hath the Chair.

The humble Answer of the Soap-makers of London, whose names are hereunto subscribed in behalf of themselves and all the rest of the Subscribers of their late Petition to the Parliament.

MAy it please this Honourable Committee to vouchsafe unto us without offence the same liberty with our pens, that you have before (we humbly thank you therefore) already granted us with our tongues, viz. free liberty to speak for our selves and for the removall of our burthens.

So it is, may it please your Honours that by wofull experience we finding our Estates and Trades daily sinking by reason of a double Excise upon the things we trade in, after we have born the burthen of it for seven years together, as long as it was possible for us to stoop under it and not to have our backs broke by it; for the prevention of which, we lately presented our humble Petition to the Parliament, truly stating our case and humbly craving relief in our oppressions, the copy of which is hereunto annexed; which said Petiton was read in Parliament the 24 day of September last: upon the reading of which, they were pleased to make an Order, the Copy of which thus followeth:

Die Martis 24 September 1650.

ORdered by the Parliament, that it be referred to the Committee of Excise, to take into consideration as well the Excise set upon the materials whereof Soap is made, as also the Excise upon Soap it self, and what is fit to be done in both or either, and report their opinions therein to the House.

Henry Scobell Cler. Parl.

By which Order the state of our business is referred to the consideration of this Honourable Committee; upon whom tending the third of this present October, which time you were pleased to afford unto us liberty to open unto you the equity and justice of our Petition, and more fully to state unto you our grievances, as also to answer severall of your Objections, arising from the losse that would upon the removal thereof accrue unto the State in its Revenue; and upon the whole you were then pleased to make an Order that the Commissioners of the Excise should be authorised to send up unto your Honours an accompt what Excise hath been made of Soap, and the materials it is made of every year since the first imposition of Excise upon it, and that we should tend upon your Honors the tenth day of this present October to hear your further result upon our businesse, which we did accordingly; and then instead of receiving satisfaction for the removall of the grievances complained of in our Petition, you were pleased to shew and read unto us certain Propositions made unto you by persons whose names certainly we cannot learn, though we earnestly entreated the knowledge of them from you, and from whom we desire no other favour, but that they will with us appear face to face before you, where we doubt not but by word of mouth to make those propositions (when they have said for them what they can) to appear unto your judgments to be as irrational unjust, and as inconsistent with the peace, safety and freedom of this Nation as the principals and habitual practice of those persons that made them are, (if they be the men that by private hands are told us to be) but upon our giving to your Honors a present and considerable satisfactory answer to the said propositions, and upon our earnest desire that we might have from your Clark copies of papers, and a weeks time to present unto you a written Answer to them, you were honorably pleased to grant it; for which we return you our most humble thanks, and therewith tender unto you a copy of the said propositions, and our humble and joynt avowed answer unto them, which thus followeth.

Propositions made to the grand Commissioners of the Excise Anno Dom. 1650. Annoque secundo Libertatum Angliæ.

First, that till the totall of so much be advanced as was the last year, we the undertakers will expect no Sallary.

Secondly, that to make that double which we will engage to do, we shall onely expect 2. s. per l. and that not out of that bare sum, but out of the overplus which shall be produced above the double.

Thirdly, that whatsover we do bring in unto the State or Commissioners above the double of the last years produce, we for our extraordinary pains and industry in it may have a fourth part.

Fourthly, that there be a reasonable allowance for under Officers as the Commissioners shall think fit.

Whereby these ensuing benefits will inevitably follow, viz.

  • 1To the State a far larger advance of the Excise then formerly.
  • 2To the Trade, the great ones shall not be so much as formerly enabled to destroy the inferiour sort.
  • 3That upon no man whatsoever, there shall be any oppression or injury to him, but a communicative justice shall flow equally to all, according to the true intent and meaning of all former Ordinances and Acts of Parliament in that kind provided.
  • 4That nothing shall be altered in the former constitution by Ordinance and Acts of Parliament.
Unto all which we most humbly and submissively answer.

And first, to the title Propositions made, &c. Propositions, what are they? many times, if not most times fictious Chymeraes or the like, more then realities or undeniable truths; and if these propositions had carried in them from just, honest, and good men well-affected to the common and just tranquillity of this Nation, a certain assurance to the State (from able men that never broke and compounded three or four times over in a few years) that they should have had a revenue out of the Excise of Soap double to what they have lately enjoyed without prejudice to the whole and present makers of Soap, (all but themselves) or without hazard of losse of the Soap Trade to the Hollanders and those Sea-men that have already attained so much art as to supply with Holland Soap a great part of the great trade of New Castle and Lynn, and steal their Soap ashore without paying any considerable proportion of Excise or Custom therefore, which inables the to sel much under the price that those can afford it that pays both, or without running the apparent hazard of doing ten times so much prejudice to the State then the losse of all the revenue of Excise of Soap comes to, there had been something in their Propositions worth regarding, and we could have born with their endeavours, (viz. the parties that we suppose and are informed made the said propositions) to have made up their broken and re-broken fortunes, and all their by-past engrossing of commodities, as well to the sufficient burning of their own fingers as prejudicing the Common-wealth and all their by-past and visible malignity against the Parliament upon the late Kings score, for which one of them hath pretty wel smarted; but if to us the quite contrary of all fore-mentioned doth so clearly appear, as that we hope and are confident undeniably to make it appear to the judgements and understandings of this Honorable Committee, we hope you will freely bear with our zeal and detestation against the said Propositions, and the persons that we suppose to be the Authors of them; which that we may undeniably doe, we in their own method thus proceed.

And to their first Proposition, viz. That they desire no salary till they have advanced asmuch as was made of Soap the last year, which was 2801 l. 1 s. 2 d. and the year before that it was 2557 l. 17 s. 1 d.

To which we answer, it is an easie matter to raise money upon the Excise of Soap, but the difficult thing to do it, is to do it justly, without oppression to the whole, and without the particular ruine of those in their Trades and Estates that pay it; which they never look after or speak of; it being their maxim or principle, as appears by their propositions; so they get money they care not how unjustly they come by it: It’s true, the King made the Soapmakers pay him for the Excise of soap in his time above Thirty Thousand pounds per Annum, and there is no doubt but upon the same principals he went upon such men as the proposers are; might raise the Parliament now as much, but God forbid that ever our eyes should see that fatal ruine upon the Parliament, that we have beheld upon the person of the King and his Posterity, for that and things of the like nature, that need no other prospective glass to behold the mischief of; but what is to be found in your own first and grand Remonstrance to the whole Nation, of December 1641. and indeed and in truth, we know not what more truly to stile their proposals, then a perfect and compleat shooing horn, or introduction to a designe (under the pretence of getting the State money) to make the Parliament as odious as ever the King was; and so by consequence, fit the people with as earnest desires to shake off the Parliaments Government, as ever they were to shake off the Kings; in and by which, they might not onely accomplish their own particular ends (in getting money enough (although they collected 2801l.01s. 02d. for nothing) but also the Princes in laying designes by hightned discontents, to bring him to reigne upon his Fathers Throne; to which we are sure of it some of their principles leads them sufficiently (if they be the men whose names are given unto us) and so much for their first proposition.

And as for the second, which is to make the forementioned sum of 2801l.1s. 2d double, which amounts to 5602l.2s. 4d per Annum, and to have 2s. per pound for it, which whether by it be meant the whole 5602l.02s. 4d. or the moetic we know not; which sallarie shall onely arise out of the sum that they will raise and collect more then the double. In answer to which in the first place, we beseech you with us seariously to consider in probability, which way they must go to worke to do it, if it be not first in the Roard the King troad in; which you your selves have already condemned, both in his practice of it, and also in his Person by executing him for it, &c. or, Secondly they must reduce (by way of restraining all others) the whole Trade into certain fixed know hands and houses, where they may keep a man in every house, of their own confiding in to take an exact account of every halfe firkin of Soap that is made; and how dangerous and clamorous this would be, we leave it to be determined by the words declared in your own Declarations: or Thirdly, admit they leave every man free in City and Countrie, to make it as now they do; it is impossible for those in London that have fixed houses, to pay the excise exactly and not to break, as the proposers have done, because there are so many makers of it in the Countrie, in holes and corners (one Brasier in London within these twelve months or little more, having made above a hundred small boyling pans to be set up in obscure places) that pay little or no Excise, as by the Excise books may easily appear, although they make amongst them all, a very large quantity of Soap, the names of which its possible they may find out, and get power enough to break open their dores at all houres in the night, and to break all their vessels in peeces, in case they ever catch them stealing the Excise of one Barrel of Soap, the which will be a total beggeting of them, and an absolute exposing of them to some desperate madd courses, or starve, either of which in these troublesome times, may prove of more dangerous consequence to the State then now can be imagined, and principally will be gain to the proposers in a double capacity; First in regard they are both as we are informed, Soap-makers, and in process of time, their proposals and Acts upon them, may drive all or the greatest of the Trade of Soap-making for England into their own hands, and being their own searchers they will sweetly lick their own fingers, and soundly raise their prizes at their pleasures, being men as is too plainly evident by their actions of no manner of honesty or conscience: or Secondly, if they cannot get the greatest part of the Trade into their own hands, yet we do beleeve that with rigorous courses, they may get as much money by some of the three forementioned wayes, as will raise them 5602l. 2s.4d. and as much overplus as will pay them 2s.per l. for their Salarie, which Salarie will amount to their particular selves (for in their fourth proposition, they desire Salaries for their under Officers) to 560l. per Annum. besides a fourth part of their overplus, if they raise more, which it’s possible they may in some of the foresaid wayes, which Salarie with 2 or 3000l. of the States money they may possibly get into their hands, will make their broken Estates pretty whole, and enable them to live beyond sea for a time, in as ruffling a way as they have done in England, for both of them being not justly worth two groats (God blasting them in all their wicked and shirking wayes) we are confident they will not stand by it, nor can put in no honest and responsible security for the true performance of what they propose.

And as for their third proposal, which to our understanding thus runs, That what by their crooked and rigorous wayes, they bring in by way of Excise upon soap more then 5602l. 2s. 4d.per. Annum; they may have first 5s.per. l. for a fourth part out of it to themselvs; and then their Salarie of 560l. per Annum out of the remainder of it, and out of the remainder of that the Sallaries of their officers; so that suppose by their extraordinary ridged wayes (for such they must run or be totally ruinated and their security, especially if they put in good security to the State, absolutely to bring into their purses double the last years Excise) they collect 2000l. per Annum, over and above the forementioned 5602l. 2s. 4d. they must have out of it 500l. for the fourth part, and 560l. for their 2s. per l. sallarie which makes up 1060l. besides the sallaries of their under officers, which to our understandings will annually, well nigh take up the remaining 940l. of the said 2000. If they exactly provide an Excise man to search and keep accompt in all places of this Nation where Soapmaking is lately set up; there being at New Castle besides the Holland Trade, one or two already, the like at Yorke, Hull, Gainsborough, Lynn, Yarmouth, Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Titchfield, Southampton and Plimouth, besides scoares of places in Countrie Market Townes, and small Villages, as Rading, Newbury, Coventrie, &c.

Yea within these few dayes, a mault man at Bowl, hath bought a Pan to boyle Soap in; so that whatsoever the State seems to gaine, they themselves will be sufficient gainers (for worke for nothing, it is undeniable they neither will nor can) having by their Propositions propounded at least 500l. per Annum, for each of themselves, besides what they are likely to get by boyling Soap themselves, in their large offices they already have, where being their own overseers for Excise, it is not to be questioned but they will thereby be enabled to drive a great Trade, and save themselves from paying little or no Excise; by meanes of which we are sure of it they will thereby become the great ones they speak of (in their forementioned second proposal under their beneficial head) that absolutely will be able to eat up the little ones. And at the most the State by this account, will have but 5602l. 2s. 4d. which how jestly or advantagioussy got, we crave leave here in writing (as well as formerly we have done by word of mouth) a little to insert unto this Honorable Committee; and in the first place as then we did, so now we humbly desire you to take notice, that when the Excise of Soap was first laid upon us, it was in the year 1643. when the Parliaments straights were very great, by reason the King had then the greatest part of the Nation under his command, by meanes of which it was impossible for the Parliament to raise a support of money in that ordinary and laudible long accustomed way of subsidies and Fifteens, and therefore were necessitated & compelled for preventing the then unavoidable ruine of themselves and their adherents, to flie to that extraordinary way of Excise, to raise their supportation from the Trading people of the Land, which made the Trades-men the more chearfully pay it, in regard they universally hoped it should continue no longer upon them, then that the lands of the Nation could come regularly to be taxed in that usual and accustomed way of subsidies and fifteens, at which first beginning, the Excise of our Soap was but 3s. per barrel, which for the first year brought in as appears by the aforesaid certificate of the Excise Commissioners 5058l. 05s.01d. and for the second year 4181l.10l. 12d. since which time it hath been raised to 4s.8d. per Barrel, and the last year brought but in 2803l.01s.02d. and the year before that 2557l.17s. 1d. which Excise as we have truely declared in our foresaid Petition, hath in a manner destroyed our Trade, and wasted our Estates, and if continued, must unavoidably force us to give over the way of our livelyhood (to which most of us have been brought up unto from our youth, and served toyling Apprentiships for) or begger us, which we humbly conceive you cannot but apprehend, must sorrowfully cause many sighings, mournings, groanings, and bitter complaints amongst us and our families, but if after we have humbly petitioned for the removal of our said sad insupportable burthens, and be by the Parliament (as by the reading of their Order we hoped and beleeved) referred to you for ease and redress, and instead thereof shall meet with proposals, which if by you countenanced, makes us far worse for our complaining then we were before, and you in the consequence of it no gainers, but absolute losers by raising up such a world of clamours and mournfull outcryes, as must of necessary follow upon the execution of that the proposers clearly drive at; and so much for the third and fourth proposals.

And now most Honorable and Noble Senators, as you have the hearts and spirits within you, of compassionaters of your Countryes miseries, and affections to its welfare and prosperity, as our adversaries have assumed the boldness to propose, fictious, uncertain, and loosing wayes of advance of money to the State (as if they were well-willers to the Nations happinesse, which their actions never gave clear demonstrations of) so we beseech you give us leave without offence most humbly to propose to you, reall, certain, and gaining ways of advance of money to the Nation in such a way as no man in his trade, or calling, or manner of living, shal have any just occasion to except against. For the equality of it, which way we verily beleeve you must come to or else totally destroy the whole Trade of the Nation, and make absolute beggars of all the industrious Trading people of the Nation, the consequences of which, our souls even tremble to think of; but having been we fear too large already, and this being a thing of universall and generall concernment, and wil take up more time then we have allotted to us to bring in this our Answer in, therefore wee humbly crave leave to averre at our utmost perils our ableness within lesse then fourteen days after the presentation hereof, to prescribe in writing to your Honours, if commanded thereunto, what we have said a few lines above, and that it may at present clearly appear unto you that we are no haters of your supplies, nor neglecters of the studying of all just ways to doe it, in answer to your own grand Objection against our desires contained in our said Petition, which is, that your publique charges are great at present, and your straits are many, and therefore to take off our Excise would not onely be a president to the rest, of evill consequence to you, but a lessening of your Revenue, which your present affairs cannot admit of.

In answer to which, we humbly present to your consideration (although we conceive that those that presse the screwing up Excise to the highest, are no well-willers to the durable peace and tranquillity of England, but the quite contrary) that our materials pay but 6 d. per l. when Grocery, &c. pay 12 d. per l. Excise, and then when we have made it into Soap it pays 4 s. 8 d. per Barrel, which at our last being before your Honours, we truly illustrated and declared to you came now upon some sorts of Soap very nigh to 4 s. per l. Excise, which was intollerable to visible fixed houses, especially considering the Trade is so universally defused into the Countrey as now it is, which is truly and particularly declared before, and therefore we humbly entreated you that you would totally take off the 4 s. 8 d. per Barrel Excise upon Soap after it is made, and use us like the generality of the rest of the people of England, by compelling us to pay no more then 12 d. Excise upon every 20s. worth of our materials we buy, so long as you shall continue Excise upon the Nation; by which proposition we humbly enforce the acceptance therof with the following reasons.

First, because we doe verily believe (upon the perusall of our notes and papers since our last being before you) to make it evident, and that you shall finde it by experience, that if you please to lay 12d Excise upon every pounds worth of our materials, viz. Outlandish Pot-Ashes and all imported Oyls and Tallow, it will clearly bring you in as great a sum as for these two last years you have enjoyed from both the materials and Soap, which we humbly conceive will be equall to all, and free many Soap-makers from those indirect means that sometimes they are forced to use for their livelihood, and also from that bondage and slavery they are in thereby to their Apprentices and Journymen, and then with all our hearts let all those that have a minde whereever they are boyle Soap as well as we; and that it will do this, we illustrate from the Custome-house Books, thus:

1. It is supposed that all imported materials belonging to Soap, as Pot-Ashes, Oyls, and Tallow, cannot be brought into the Port of London, &c. (being of so grosse a body as they are, and usually put into such great Casks as they are) and be stoln ashoar without being Customed, and so consequently Excised, which may be collected within the common charge of your ordinary Officers, and so save that 8 d. per l. that by the foresaid Certificate of the Commissioners of Excise is confessed Soap stands in.

2. We find that the Port of London hath heretofore (when the Trade was free from intanglements) vented yearly for many years together 2000 fats of Pot-ashes at the least, which estimated at thirteen hundred weight a fat one with another, make twenty six thousand hundred weight, and reckon them at the medium price of 30 s. per cent. it will come to in money 35000 l. the Excise of which at 12 d. per l. will amount unto 1950 l. besides the quantity of English Pot-Ashes then spent, which we reckon nothing for.

The Port of London hath heretofore vended of all sorts of Fish Oyls in making Soap per Annum, at the least two thousand tuns, besides Oyl Olive, and that two thousand tun at the medium price calculating it at 18 l. per tun, will amount unto at 12 d. per l. Excise, to 1800 l. and the Excise of sweet Oyl considering the quality of its price that is spent in Soap, may be computed about 500 l.

Tallow of all sorts imported from beyond Sea hath been about 300 tun per Annum, and which at the medium price as it hath usually been about 36 l. per tun, the Excise of which at 12 d. per l. will amount to 540 l. in all which is reckoned no other Oyls that is spent in other uses in the Nation, the addition of 6 d. per l. to its Excise, would make up the same about 6000 l. per Annum, which with the saving of the charge of 8 d. per l. the collecting of Soap Excise stands in, would put a full ballance to all that in point of present gain or losse can rationally and justly be said in the present controversie for the whole Excise of Soap and its imported materials for these three years last past by the foresaid Certificate amounts but to 16545 l. 4 s. 11 d. into which is reckoned the Excise made of all sorts of Oyl spent in all England for all other uses as well as Soap, and divide it equally into three years proportion, and it amounts but to 5515 l. 1 s. 7 d. per Annum. which comes but to an equivalent proportion to our foresaid Proposition, and by computation rather fals short of it then otherwise.

But if it should be objected, that it is apparent by the foresaid Certificate of the Commissioners of the Excise, that there is not Annuall for these late years any such quantities of Soap-materials comes in as will in any reasonable proportion raise the sums you speak of for Excise at 12 d. per l. and so you put but a fallacy upon the State.

Unto which with all humility we answer, it is true, by reason of the wars, for divers late years in Poland (the chiefest place from whence Pot-Ashes came) it hath made them scarce, and sometimes raised from the usuall price of betwixt 20 s. and 30 s. per cent. to 7 l. 8 l. 9 l. and 10 l. per hundred, the greatness of which price raised Soap sometimes to 9 d. and 10 d. per l. in which regard the Hollander hath stept into a great part of our Trade, and cannot be prevented by verbally laying double Excise upon his Soap, in regard the Sea-men that usually transport it hither, doth it commonly upon their own accompt, and usually steal, both the Custome and Excise of it, by which means if Excise be kept at its height, the common Sea-man (if he play the good husband, and tread not in the road way of a common spend-thrift) will in a little time become a better Merchant then his Master that fraights him, and in process of time exhaust both his Purse and Trade, and so break his back.

But secondly, This scarcity and dearness of Pot-ashes in Poland, made many here in England aswel as in Denmark, Russia, New England, Virginia, and several places of Germany, rush with violence upon the making of Pot-ashes, which occasioned such a glut all of a sudden, as hath brought down of late the best, Poland Pot-ashes to about 40s. per centum, and will in probability so continue, if not fall in one years time to be a great deal cheaper, which will in an extraordinary measure (as in a large proportion is already visible to be seen) cause that vast quantity of English Pot-ashe, that of late years have been made in England to cease, (that hitherto hath paid no Excise at all) in regard in England they cannot make them to affoord them so cheap, in proportion to Out-landish ashes, seeing the peace in Poland hath restored them to a full capacity of enjoyment of the fulness of their usual Trade of making Pot-ashes, which with that large addition is likely to come out of Germany and other parts, is likely to make them as cheap as ever they were; and so by consequence fill the Custom-house books, with as large quantities of entries as used to be, which will not onely add to your present Customs, but encourage the cloath Trade, which hath heretofore been the onely commoditie bartred for the bringing in of Pot-ashes, which hath of late been usually beyond sea, bought onely for ready money (which is not at all done by any Pot-ashes that is made in England, and which will by consequence restore us to the free enjoyment of our Trade, especially if the Excise of 4 s. 8 d. per Barrel be totally taken off, that so fixed houses do not pay and bear all the charge, and holes and corners nothing; which is easily prevented, and your incombs by Excise onely (besides the increase of much Custom) made in probability, as much if not more, if the charge be laid totally upon the materials at 12 d. per l. as Grocers, &c. pay for their Commodities; and truely, seeing Soap is in a manner as essentially necessary and useful to the sons of men of all sorts, and kinds of both rich and poor, as victual and fireing are, which are some of the essential and necessary supports of man kinde; we see no reason, but that as tender a regard should be had to it as the other; all which we tender to the grave judgement of this Honorable Committee, not doubting but you will grant us our reasonable desires and totally for ever, take off all and every part of the 4 s. 8 d. per barrel Excise upon Soap, and for the future be satisfied with the receipt of 12 d. per l. upon all the imported materials, and totally throw aside the propositions as fictions or dangerous proposals, or else if you do any more upon them, we humbly desire that the authors of them and we may be brought face to face before your Honours to argue out the utility, equity, and justice of each of our proposals; for which favour we shall ever be bound to remain

Your Honours humble and devoted Servants

October 17.

John Hayes       

John Lilburne     

Ja. Barker.        

Roger Peares     

Tho. Poultney     

Simon Wedden   

John Hardwick   

Tho. Howlet      

Tho. Woodstack

Edward Whitwel 

Richard Cox       

Rob. Drinkwater.

The forementioned Account or Certificate of the Commissioners of Excise, thus followeth.

In obedience to an order of the Honorable Committee for Regulating the Excise or New-Impost, dated October 3. 1650. to certifie unto the Committee what sum and sums of Money have been yearly received for the Excise of Soap, Potashes, sweet Oyl, Whale, and Train Oyl, and of Tallow, since the Duty of Excise was first imposed thereupon; The account of the said Excise to be particular and distinct each from other, with the Charges for Collecting of the same each year.

The Commissioners for Excise do by their Accomptent humbly certifie by the account books in London certainly, and from the Sub-Commissioners accounts, as near as can be collected by estimate.

That there hath been Received
for Excise of
Soap Potashes Sweet
    Whale } Oils
TallowNota the into first years Seap paid Excise but 3s. per Barrel.
London, from Sept. 11.
1643. to Sept. 11. 1644.
l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d.
4658. 05. 01 328. 06. 05 1240. 17. 11 00. 00. 00
The several Counties from
the Sub-Commis. viz. the said year.
l. s. d. 400. 00. 00
Bristol      }
Linn Regis 28. 00. 00 } 02. 06. 00 25. 00. 00
Colchester 14. 10. 06 } 05. 00. 00 33. 16. 00
Exeter 17. 18. 06. } 03. 06. 00 26. 10. 00
Norwich 48. 07. 00 } 06. 07. 06 15. 04. 06
Newcastle 26. 04. 04 } 12. 00. 00 23. 09. 00.
Weymouth 30. 06. 08 } 02. 06. 06 30. 01. 09
York 28. 06. 00 } 01. 00. 06 43. 06 03
Southampton 43. 09. 00 } 02. 02. 00 12. 18. 00. 00. 00. 00First Year. }
Dartmouth 27. 7. 06 } 00. 16. 06 55. 01. 09.
Hull 16. 19. 06 } 03. 05. 04. 49. 16. 00
Yarmouth 12. 16. 00 } 01. 00. 00 36. 05. 09
Boston 13. 05. 00. } 01. 10. 00 15. 10. 00.Note the Excise of Tallore commenced July 8. 1644.
Bridgwater 15. 00. 01. } 02. 05. 00 29. 00. 00
Dover 13. 06. 06. } 00. 06. 08 36. 06. 00
Isle wight 24. 01. 06. } 03. 06. 00 08. 15. 00
Plymouth 40. 01. 02. } 03. 02. 00 09. 00. 00
Total of the Counties 400.l. 400. 00. 00 50. 00. 00 450. 00. 00 00. 00. 00
That there hath been received
for Excise of
Soap Potashes Sweet
    Whale } Oils
London from Sept. 11. 1644.
to Sept. 29. 1645.
l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d.
3681. 10. 11.½ 521. 1. 1.½ 1675. 17. 10 100. 7. 05
The several Counties from
the Sub-Commis. viz. the said year.
l. s. d. } 500. 00. 00.
{ Bristol
{ Linn-Regis 30. 16. - } 2. 9. - 36. 10. -
{ Colchester 17. 15. 6 } 6. 00. - 56. 12. - 9. 5. 6
{ Exeter 26. 4. 6 } 3. 01. - 13. 9. 6 10. 3. 5
{ Norwich 53. 7. - } 6. 9. 6. 26. 15. 9
{ Newcastle 29. 6. 4 } 13. 00. - 51. 6. 3
{ Weymouth 32. 10. 8 } 2. 8. 6. 66. 1. 9
{ York 29. 7. - } 1. 5. 6. 3. 7. 6. 00. 16. 4
II. Year. { Southampton 47. 12. - } 2. 5. - 64. 6. 3. 5.
{ Dartmouth 28. 13. 6 } 1. 15. - 53. 12. - 5. 6. -
{ Hull 20. 1. 6 } 4. 2. 6 42. 9.
Nota, Sope paid Excise the 24: Novemb: 1645 4 s. 8d. per Barrel. { Yarmouth 20. 6. - } 1. 12. - 11. 6. -
{ Boston 26. 1. - } 1. 15. - 15. 9. -
{ Bridgwater 31. 11. 6 } 2. 00. - 26. 5. 6 2. 00 9
{ Dover 26. 12. 6 } 1. 9. - 10. 12. 1. 5. -
{ Isle Wight 34. 7. - } 2. 19. - 5. 9. - 00. 18. -
{ Plymouth 45. 8. - } 2. 9. - 6. 8. 6
Total of the Counties 500. l. 500. 00. 00 55. 00. 00 500. 00. 00 30. 00. 00
London from the 29 Septemb.
1645. to the 29 Septemb. 1646.
4701. 12. 4 315. 10. 11 1199. 6. 6 154. 2. 2
The several Counties from the
Sub Commissioners viz. the said year.
{ Bristoll 245. 6. 4 } 1200. 5. 1. 0 0 235. 6. 6 25. 11. ½
{ Lynn Regis 180. 5 2. 11. 0 0 36. 9. 9. 0 1. 10
{ Colchester 64. 8. 5. 16. 0 0 59. 10. 0 18. 9. 6
{ Exeter 30. 6. 8 } 3. 12. 6 0 9. 6. 6. 21. 19. 10½
{ Norwich 86. 15. 6. 13. 9 0 22. 3. 3. 0 0 0
{ New Castle 52. 2. 2. 0 0 39. 16. 0 0 0 0
{ Weymouth 32. 16. 8 } 3. 9. 4 0 51. 11. 6 0 0 0
{ Yorke 36. 18. 9 } 2. 3. 1 0 5. 7. 10 0 0 0
III. Year. { Souththampon 80. 9. 9 } 2. 16. 0 0 69. 10. 4. 0 0 0
{ Dartmouth 86. 16. 10 } 2. 6. 0 0 19. 6. 6 0 0 0
{ Hull 40. 9. 0 } 5. 4. 0 0 32. 6. 6 0 0 0
{ Yarmouth 86. 15. 0 } 1. 16. 0 0 12. 12. 6 0 0 0
{ Boston 34. 8. 0 } 1. 19. 0 0 15. 6. 0 0 0 0
{ Bridgwater 36. 0 0 } 2. 3. 6 0 12. 8. 9 0 0 0
{ Dover 56. 4. 0 } 2. 11. 9 0 9. 16. 4 0 0 0
{ Isle Wight 20. 0 0 } 2. 16. 3. 0 3. 0 3 0 0 0
{ Plymouth 30. 1. 0 } 3. 0 6 0 9. 10. 9 0 0 0
Total of the Counties 1100. l. 1200. 56. 1. 10. 643. 9. 3. 66. 3. 2
That there hath been received
for Excise of
Soap Potashes Sweet
    Whale } Oyles
London from the 29 of Septem.
1646. to the 29 Septem. 1647.
l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d.
2957. 19. 4. 524. 1. 3. 1763. 19. 322. 3.
The several Counties from the
Sub Commissioners viz. the said year.
Bristoll 255. 11. 2 } 1082. 17. 1 3. 2. 0 200. 9. 9 27. 9. 9 }
Lynn Regis 120. 16. 10 } 2. 8. 29. 6. 6.
Colchester 74. 12 0 } 5. 10. 46. 8. 15 19. 3 }
Exeter 66. 8. 0 } 3. 8. 8. 3. 3 12. 6. 0 }
Norwich 34. 5. 2 } 4. 10. 4 20. 6. 6
Newcastle 82. 12. 0 } 9. 5. 26 6. 9
Weymouth 36. 15. 0 } 3. 6. 6 49 8. 3
Yorke 52. 12. 0 } 2. 1. 3. 2. 2.
Southampton 20. 5. 6 } 2. 15. 71. 6. 6 4. 5IV. Year.
Dartmouth 28. 10. 0 } 1. 10. 10. 9. 9
Hull 35. 5. 4 } 3. 2. 26. 3. 3.
Yarmouth 25. 6. 0 } 1. 10. 14. 2. 9
Boston 40. 9. 0 } 1. 2. 6 36. 8. 7
Bridgwater 55. 9. 1 } 2. 10. 26. 9. 9
Dover 64. 0 0 } 2. 3. 16. 3
Isle Wight 30. 0 0 } 1. 25.
Plymouth 60. 0 0 } 19. 5. 3. 12. 1
Total of Counties 1082. 17. 1 1082. 17. 1 50 600. 60.
London from 29 Sept. 1647. to 29 Sept. 1648. 2418. 3. 5. 443. 12. 11 1161. 4. 10.½ 167. 18.
The several Counties from
the Sub Commis. viz. the said year.
Bristoll 230. 9. 9 } 800. 2 186. 9. 6 16. 18
Lynn Regis 80. 5. 5 } 1. 10. 23. 4. 4
Colchester 56. 10. 3. 5. 39. 6. 14. 10. 6 }
Exeter 34. 16. 7 } 4. 6. 6 3. 5. 6 5. 9. 6 }
Norwich 25. 5. 9 } 00. 7. 16.
New Castle 10. 12. 2. 19. 10 12. 5. 6
Weymouth 16. 4. 1. 17. 8 39. 5.
Yorke 26. 2. 12. 1. 1.
Southampton 56. 5. } 1. 15 9 45. 6. 6.
Dartmouth 17. 6. } 2. 6. 8. 9. 9 3. 2V. Year.
Hull 40. 3. 6. 16. 2. 3.
Yarmouth 16. 0. 18. 17. 8. 1.
Boston 25. 8. 8 } 1. 17. 26. 9. 7
Bridgwater 44. 1. 2. 16. 8 36. 9. 9
Dover 48. 3. 18. 7 24. 3. 5
Isle Wight 33. 1. 2. 16. 2. 3.
Plymouth 40. 4. } 1. 8 2. 10. 3
Total of the Counties 800l. 800. 40. 500. 40.
That there hath been received
for Excise of
Soap Potashes Sweet
    Whale } Oils
{ London, from Sept.
29. 1648. to Sept. 29. 1649.
l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d. l. s. d.
1907. 17 54 8 3 13 9 ½ 139. 00.
{ The several Counties from the
Sub-Commis. viz. the said year.
l. s. d. } 650. 00. 00
{ Bristol 239. 05. 05 } 01. 12. 00. 130. 5. 9 12. 8. 5.
{ Linn Regis 60. 03. 03 } 01. 06. 00 19. 06. 06
{ Colchester 45. 00. 06 } 02. 10. 00 25. 03. 00 07 09. 07
{ Exeter 22. 08. 04. } 03. 05. 00 02. 03. 03 06. 06. 00
{ Norwich 15. 03. 03 } 01. 18. 00 14. 16. 00
{ Newcastle 17. 08. 06 } 01. 06. 00 09. 06. 00
{ Weymouth 23. 19. 11 } 00. 18 06 25. 05. 09
VI. Year. { York 23 07. 00 } 02. 05. 00 00. 15. 00
{ Southampton 10. 03. 03 } 01. 06. 00 35. 05. 00. 00. 00. 00
{ Dartmouth 04. 06. 06 } 01. 15. 00 06. 06. 03. 03. 16. 00
{ Hull 16. 08. 00 } 02. 03. 00 12. 03. 06
{ Yarmouth 19. 06. 00 } 01. 05. 00 15. 09. 05
{ Boston 23. 06. 07 } 00. 19. 00 22. 09. 01
{ Bridgwater 33. 15. 00 } 01. 16. 00 24. 06. 04
{ Dover 28. 16. 00 } 02. 17. 06 16. 18. 05
{ Isle wight 30. 01. 00 } 01. 08. 00 15. 00. 06
{ Plymouth 40. 01. 06 } 01. 10. 00 25. 00. 03
Total of the Counties 650.00.00 650. 00. 00 30. 00. 00 400. 00. 00 30. 00. 00
London from the 29 Septemb.
1649. to the 29 Septemb. 1650.
2103. 1. 2 350. 17. 1938. 1 ½ 228. 17. 7 ½
The several Counties from
the Sub Commis. viz. the said year.
{ Bristoll 249. 6. 4 } 700. 1. 19. 0 0 153. 6. 3 13. 9
{ Lynn Regis 76. 8. 6. } 1. 12. 0 0 26. 9. 9. 0 0
{ Colchester 66. 10. 3. 6. 0 0 23. 05. 0 6. 15. 6
{ Exeter 34. 9. 4. 5. 6 0 15. 8. 0. 7. 8. 0
{ Norwich 26. 5. 5 } 1. 19. 0 0 17. 9. 3. 0 0 0
{ New Castle 28. 6. 8 } 1. 18. 0 0 11. 9. 0 0 0 0
{ Weymouth 33. 9. 9 } 1. 16. 6 0 36. 10. 10 0 0 0
{ Yorke 42. 5. 2. 16. 0 2. 9. 0 0 0 0
VII. Year. { Souththampon 26. 3. 3 } 1. 17. 9 0 46. 7. 0. 0 0 0
{ Dartmouth 16. 8. 8. } 2. 5. 0 0 19. 15. 0 2 7. 6
{ Hull 26. 5. 5 } 3. 6. 6 0 26. 9. 3 0 0 0
{ Yarmouth 24. 3. 3 } 1. 5. 3 0 22. 7. 7 0 0 0
{ Boston 26. 5. 5 } 1. 14. 0 0 34. 9. 6 0 0 0
{ Bridgwater 7. 6. 0 } 2. 12. 0 0 16. 19. 0 0 0 0
{ Dover 16. 3 2 } 3. 16. 0 0 23. 9. 5 0 0 0
{ Isle Wight 6. 1. 0 } 2. 9. 0 0 12. 9 1 0 0 0
{ Plymouth 8. 3 0 } 1. 2. 0 0 11. 7. 1 0 0 0
Total of the Counties 700. l. 700. 40. 500. 30. 0 0
Total of they years for
London & the Countrey }
27761. 6. 5. 3352. 0. 13932. 1374. 9. 4.

The charges of Collecting the same each year cannot be certainly known or computed, for that Potashes and Oyls are contained within the Office for Grocery, Druggestry, Saltery, those two Commodities being under the general article of Saltery in the Schedule of rates: and the Commodities under Saltery, together with those under Grocery & Druggestry, are so numerous, as not to proportion any particular Commodity for the charges of it distinctly, from any other Commodities; The like for Tallow under the first Additional; And for Soaps is the like.

But by estimate Soap is about 8 d. in 20 s. received for the charges, And for Pot-ashes, Oyls, and Tallow, each of them is about 7 d. charges in Collecting of every 20 s.

Excise Office in Broadstreet
   London, Octob. 10.

Tho. Smith, Accomptant
to the Chief Commissioners for Excise.

Nota, That whereas Robert Booth late Salter, and John Walker Silk-man, now Soap-makers, did appear before the Honourable Committee for Regulating the Excise, Octob. 23. 1650. And there did own the proposals to be theirs, and that the Answer thereunto was scandalous: Unto which it was averred, that every perticular in the said Answer should be made good against the said Booth and Walker

By Lieut. Colonel

John Lilburne.




T.223 (7.7) George Walker, Anglo-Tyrannus, or the Idea of a Norman Monarch (3 December, 1650).

Walker, Anglo-Tyrannus

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 26 Apr. 2018


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.223 [1650.12.03] (7.7) George Walker, Anglo-Tyrannus, or the Idea of a Norman Monarch (3 December, 1650).

Full title

George Walker, Anglo-Tyrannus, or the Idea of a Norman Monarch, represented in the paralell Reignes of Henrie the Third and Charles kings of England, wherein the whole management of affairs under the Norman Kings is manifested, together with the real ground, and rise of all those former, and these latter contestations between the princes, and people of this Nation, upon the score of Prerogative and Liberty. And the impious, abusive, and delusive practises are in short discovered, by which the English have been bobbed of their freedome, and the Norman Tyrannie founded and continued over them. By G.W. of Lincolnes Inne.

Nihil medium Libertas habet, quae aut tota est, quod debet, aut amissa parte sui tota fuit, et extinguitur : Quam ideirco non ignavis, neque Brutis, etc ad serviendum natis, sed erectis animabus Deus immortalis conservandam tradit. Henisius orat. 4. — Iustitia, pietas fides, Privata bona sunt, qua juvat Reges eant.

London printed for George Thompson at the Signe of the white horse in Chancery Lane, 1650.

Estimated date of publication

3 December, 1650

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 819; Thomason E. 619 [1].

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To the Right Honourable the Lord President Bradshaw.

My Lord,

THough I may seem bold, I am not so blind, but that I perceive your Lordship taller by the head than most I can set by you, and so come for patronage in hopes of a favourable smile, being sure to have frownes enough from them, who not able to look over the heads of others, croud as it were hood-wink’d after those that goe before them. It was the ancient practice of enslaved Rome, after death to Deifie her Tyrants, and this her badge of slavery we in England have long worn as a Livery of our bondage; whose Kings (when dead) must be of Famous, and Blessed Memory, though they liv’d most infamous for Cowardice, and detestable for Tyranny; and though this was acted to flatter their Successors at first, yet by custome it hath so prevailed, that notwithstanding the cause is now taken away, the effect remains among the multitude (to whom Logick must give place in their irrationall actings) and from a naturall necessity is become a divine institution; so that immortall, as earthly Crownes are givem them Iure Divino, to dye Saints, as they live Kings: Indeed Rome may have somthing pleaded in her excuse, for she had her infernall Gods, whom by sacrifice she endeavoured to appease from doing mischief, so little inferiour was her superstition to her slavery, which was as great as tyranny could create. I know our royall Idolaters will lay hold of the Horns of this, De mortuis nil nisi bonum; but it can afford them little safety, and me lesse danger, whom the Metaphysicks have taught, that bonum & verum convertuntur, that J cannot write good, unlesse J write truth; thus what they have taken for their shield is the dart which pierceth their Liver, and by what they would ward off, they are smitten with the blow of high-treason, themselves being the only and grand transgressors against the majesty of History, whose Prerogative it is not onely to reward the good, with honour and renown, but also to punish the evill, with ignominie and reproach. The case standing thus, I am assured of your Lordships protection, against all storms such inchantments may raise against me, whose rationall eye being able to pierce these foggs doth perceive what hath so long been invelop’d in the mist.

Thus my Lord, having looked aside at selfe, yet I constantly kept your Lordship in my eye,, and your honour stood fore-right, my safety but on one side in my choice, not out of presumption that my weak endeavours could adde any thing to you, but in assurance that others seeing what profit they have received, what misery they have escaped in the book, will return to the Dedication, and with honour read your name, who have been so great an instrument under God of their deliverance.

God hath chosen you to judge between a King and a people, and your sentence hath shewn you are sufficiently informed of what this Discourse treats: yet as a Pharos may be usefull to delight a man with the prospect of those rocks, shelves, and sands be hath escaped, to whom it was a sea mark to guide safe into the Port; so may your Lordship with comfort cast your eye upon the ensuing Discourse, viewing the dangers you and all good Patriots have past, especially having had so great an hand in the steerage into the Harbour.

And now give me leave to mention your worthy acts, that it may be known I am not unmindfull of a good turn, it is the onely thanks I am able to repay in the behalf of my Countrey and self: I know some will be apt to condemne such an action as savouring of flatterie, but the most free from that vice, the most severe, the most rigid in the School of vertue, a Cato himself hath done the like, and that not onely upon the Score of gratitude, but to encourage and incite to further gallantry, and the most censorious of them may perchance perceive their own black Shadows by your light, and from your example take out a new lesson of duty to their countrey whom they ought to serve before themselves.

You have undauntedly stood the shock of what ever slavish malice could bring against you, and have been eminent in vindicating the right God and nature invested the nation with from the power of usurping tyranny, no counterfeit rayes, no glittering impostures gilded with pretences of sacred, and Majestick have dazzeled your eyes, but with a steddy and impartiall hand you have guided the Scale of justice, wherein that bubble of worldly honour hath been found too light to counterpoise those sinnes of murder and oppression, which brought such heavy judgements on the land, whose yoke hath been broken, whose guilt hath been removed in a great measure, by having justice executed without respect of persons.

[Editor: illegible Greek text] saith the Philosopher, to do good to one is honourable, to a nation is heroicall; to perform the first, is the private mans duty, to be able to do the latter is the publick magistrates divinity. God hath not onely given you power, but a mind also to employ it well, you have been good as wel as Great, and God hath preserved you, & honored you in your integrity, of which we have received such sure signs, that it must argue us more severe than just, more suspicious than Charitable, but to doubt that the Honour of God, the good and freedome of your Countrie shall not still possesse the first part of your affections, and be the ultimate end in all your actions, that so the good will of him that dwelt in the Bush being with you and your fellow Builders may enable you to perfect the great work of Reformation to his glory, your own honours, and the happinesse and freedome of this nation, all which are unfeignedly desired by him who craving pardon for this bold approach as by duty obliged subscribes.

My Lord

Your Lordships most humble servant

George Walker.

To the Reader.

HE must rise betimes (saith the proverb) who will please all, which may cease our wonder that the Common-wealth is so displeasant to some, which hath gotten up so late, yet better late than never. But though some dotarts square all by antiquity, supposing none so wise, which are not so old, and guesse at the understanding by the gray hairs, which in truth are rather a badge of imperfection, and the declension of nature, and which came into the world at the back doore, being a part of that fatall offspring begot between the Serpents craft, and our first Parents disobedience: I speak not this in scorn of age, which I honour when found in the way of righteousnesse and truth, nor in deniall of its advantage over youth by experience, but to oppose that errour spred amongst many that all wisdome deceased with their Grandsires, and they are onely to travell in their tracks, an opinion more agreeable to a pack horse, than a man endued with a rationall soul, which is not to lie idle, and which indeed the word of God, and universall experience which even make fools wise contradicts, the one infallibly declaring that in the latter dayes the Spirit of Truth shall more abundantly be poured forth into earthen vessels; the other visibly informing us of the daily advantages we have above our ancestors to attain Knowledge; for admit they were such Gyants in understanding, yet we poore dwarfes being upon their shoulders may see further than they: but I say though some doe thus, yet the sons of reason measure by another standard, as knowing that if worth should be prised by antiquity, the rotten would becom of more value than the ripe, to such therefore do I present this Discourse, who judge by reason, not passion, which so often makes the Crow seem white, the Bells to tink as the fools do think: and in confidence Reader that thy ingenuity is such that no byas of interest will wheel thee narrow, and thy capacity able to draw thee from running wide of reason, the only mark men in civil games should bowl at, I have taken the pains to present thee with a map of Englands condition under her Monarchs, wherein thou mayst view how justly Magna Charta is cast in our Governours teeths to beget a belief of their being more tyrannous than our Kings were: admit it be not observed in every tittle now, what are we the worse, when some fresher and more apposite remedy is applyed to heal us? let us consider that it was constituted under another Government, and so cannot square to the present, and that the makers of it were but men, nay and such as had not that roome to act in as we have, and so could not foresee or at best provide for all that now providence hath wrought amongst us: but I shall not detain thee with a long Preface from the Book, wherein an ingenuous and rationall spirit will discern, that if our present Governours had been boundup to former rules, we could never have attained that estate which now by Gods mercy and their prudence we enjoy, and may so still if our own perversnesse hinder us not. Truly that Fable in Pliny of certain monstrous people in Africk which had one foot, and that so big, that they covered and shaded with it their whole body, may be a perfect embleme of our Kingly Government, which being at first instituted for a firm basis and prop to the body politick, what by the fatall sloath and stupidity of the people, and the industrious craft, and activity of Monarchs was turned topsie turvie, and had got so between heaven and us, that it wholly deprived us of that free light and happinesse which God and nature held forth unto us; and thus in stead of a support was become a burden under the weight of which the whole groaned, nay was almost pressed to death; but thou being a member and sound, canst not but be as sensible of this as I, and for dead flesh and rotten limbs, corrosives, and cuttings are onely proper, it will be weaknesse in me therefore to doubt of the plaudit to the Common-wealth, so farewell till we meet in the book.

Anglo-Tyrannus, Or the Idea of a Norman MONARCH &c.

FAtall and Bloody have Crowns, and Scepters been in generall to all Nations, in particular to this in England, and that not only in regard of the strife between competitours, who in purple gore deeply dyed their regall roabs, and by the slaughtered carcasses of their Rivals, and partakers, ascended the Imperiall throne, but in respect of the iterated contests between Prerogative, and Liberty, the Kings aiming at uncontrolable absolutenes, the people claiming their Native Freedome.

The verity of this assertion we may see deeply imprinted in bloody Characters, throughout the whole series of English history, yea so deeply, that it may even create an envy in us of the Turkish happinesse, and beget a wish after their bondage, who though they go for absolute slaves, yet cannot shew such dire effects of tyranny, as we and our ancestors have felt and groaned under.

That policy of State (impious and inhumane enough) of destroying the younger Brothers of the Ottoman line, though decried by us and all who write Christians, yet compared with our Monarches politick arts and actings, may seem to have been founded on the advice of their own, and mankinds better genius to prevent the efusion of blood, and deliver millions from the shambles; there a few males of his own Family fall a victime to their Tyrant, when whole Hecatombs can scarse appease the thirsty ambition of an English pretender; ther one house suffers, here none escapes, as but to instance in one contest between Henry the sixth and Edward the fourth, wherein was fought ten bloody battles, besides all lesser scirmishes, thousands of Lords, Gentlemen, and Commons slaine, and one halfe of the Nation destroyed, to set up a King to trample upon the other; for in that quarrell between the Houses of Lancaster and Yorke fell 80998. persons, 2. Kings, 1. Prince, 10. Dukes, 2. Marquesses, 21. Earls, 2. Viscounts; 27. Lords, 1. Prior, 1. Iudge, 139. Knights, 441. Esquiers: this hath been the happiness and peace which a successive, and hereditary Monarchy hath afforded England.

For our liberty, we can indeed shew many of our Kings large, and good deeds, but few or none of their actions, their hands alwaies having been too hard for their Seals, Parchments, and Charters we purchased of them with the price of Millions, both in Blood, and Treasure, but let us but pass by their promises, and view their performances, and we may set aside Turkie, and term England the slave: and this appears in our Chronicles, where though in the Theorie and System the English Government hath been limited, and bounded by good, and distinguishing lawes, yet in the exercise and practic part of every Kings raign, we shall find it deserve as bad a name as others, who are called most absolute. The Poets fable of Tantalus hath been verified in us, who though we have been set up to the chinne in freedom, and have had liberty bobbing at our lips, yet never could we get a drop to squench our thirsts, or a snap to stay our stomacks, this being added to our sufferings, to want in the midst of seeming abundance, and as the vulgar have it, to starve in a Cooks shop, a trick those Lords we term absolute were never ingenuous enough to torment their slaves with.

Were there then no more but this, we might well command those Roman and Turkish Tyrants with a Cede Majeribus, to give place to ours: How much of a punie did thy wish favour dull Caligula, that all Rome had but one neck that thou mightest smite it off at a blow? How short of art doth thy rage fall unskillfull Sultan with a Bowstring or Scymiter to snach life from an offending slave? Behold, and blush you who weare the title of Master Tyrants, at the Norman exactnesse, which hath thought it beneath a Princes anger to give sudden death a quick riddance, and not worth the name of slavery unlesse he can make his vassals feel the lingring effects of his Tyranny: it was not enough for us to be slaves unless we knew it, lest otherwise not desiring freedom, we should not have been so sensible of their power; we must with Erasmus be hung between Heaven, and Hell, that we might see our losse as well as feel it; but yet this was not enough, something must be added to make their Tyranny most exquisite, for we could not enjoy this condition unlesse we paid soundly for it; how many Battles have been fought for a piece of Parchment to instruct us but with our miseries? and how many millions granted to our Kings but to play the Hocus-pocusses and cheat us to our faces.

Happy and thrice happy may England call the condition of Turke, Russe, or Moor, who depending only upon their Tyrants wils, know no Law but their Commands, a head now and then paies the shot there, when two and twenty of the chiefest Lords heads must off at once here, besides thousands of Gentlemen and Commons butchered, for but acting according to those Lawes which their King and his predecessors had an hundred times sworn to grant, and maintain inviolable; as but to instance in the Raign of Edw. 2. omitting the innumerable carcasses of Englands noblest Sonnes, which have bin so often forced to rampire in parchment liberty from the fury of other Tyrant, and as their last wills to deliver a few writen Charters to their sons, who were also to fight, and pay for them as they did, and be as much the better then too as they were: For to sum up all, these our so dear liberties were of no other use than to drein our purses as well as veins, that when Englands generous bloud seemed encreased too to tamely suffer Norman Lords to trample on her upon this pretence it might be let out; or when her Kings wanted mony, they might by these lures draw subsidies to their fists, and so hang them by till the next occasion; but I humbly conceive that if our Ancestors had taken that course a Naturall once did, when he was chosen to judg between a Cook, and a Country-man, and as their Kings fed them with a sight of Liberty, supplied them againe with chinking of money, & have executed justice without respect of persons, they had in all probability diverted those plagues, which the crying sins of oppression and murder have brought down from Heaven upon this Nation. But let us descend from Generalls, and view but the Raign of Henry the third, the very Idea of Tyranny, and exact copie after which all other Kings have writ, especially the last, and we shall not only behold the map of our Ancestors miserie, and folly, but also perceive our own happinesse, and Gods mercie in not suffering us to be deluded and baffeled as they were.

In the midst of the civill flames kindled between Tyranny and liberty, King Iohn expiring, his sonne Henry the third, a child of nine years of age, by the power of William Marshall Earl of Pembrook, and the consent of most of the Barons, ascends the Throne: and here we may observe the unadvised lenitie of the English Lords, who not considering what was bred in the bone would not easily out in the flesh, so easily accepted of the Sonne, though the Father had plaid the Tyrant, and Traitor to the height, giving the Crown to the Pope (he would be a slave himself rather than they should not) trampling upon the people, yea detesting the whole Nation, as his grief because Corne was so cheap when he thought he had wasted al may make out: But Gods time was not come, and he was pleased to set their example to guide posterity from splitting on that Rock, I mean such of them who when they have eyes will make use of them.

But to say the truth they were Lords, whom Kings knew so well to cajole, or at worst set so together by the ears, that they could command them into their traps at list; let but one have that Earldome, the other this Lordship, and their turns were served, others may shift for themselves if they can; besides it was none of their interest to stub up Tyranny by the roots, for then down had gon their branches too; for they knew that when that tree was feld, the Rooks nest, must to ground with it; but we may be silent in this and give experience leave to speak for us.

And yet let us but look a little further than the gilded, and embroydered superficies, and we shall perceive that these Lordlings estate was but even by so much more free, and happy than the Commons, by how much that King of Cypresses condition was bettered, when his Iron shackles and chains were converted into silver fetters: they enjoyed a little more gaudie servitude, and to speak to the capacity of our Countryman were as the Fore-horses in the teame, which though they weare, the Feather, and have the Bels about their eares, yet must draw themselves as well as those that follow; nay and if they did seem unwilling to lead, they were sure to be lash’d by the Royall Carters till the bloud came, and have their gay trappings to boot pul’d over their eares: and this the wise and generous of them knew, and often endeavoured to remedy, but were still prevented by the envy and jealousie one of another, which was created and cast in among them by their Kings, as partly will appeare in the following story.

Henry being thus Crowned at Glocester, and many great Barons daily resorting to his party (moved both by the proud carriage of the Frenchmen, and the confession of the Viscount Melun, That Lewis had taken an Oath, and all his Lords, to destroy the English Nobility) raiseth a great Army, defeateth at Lincolne his enemies, and forceth Lewis to condescend to an accord, depart the Land, and abjure his claim to the Crown, which for two years he had worn over the greatest part of the Land: for Iohn by his tyranny so galled the Peoples neckes, that for ease they were forced to get a new yoke, and elect Lewis, the French Kings sonne, to defend them against his cruelty, such effects wrought the violence of an unruly King, and the desperation of an oppressed people.

3. YeareThe agreement on Henrys part was to restore to the Barons, and people all rights and heritages, with the Liberties for which the discord arose between John, and them, to pardon al that had aided Lewis, and set free all Prisoners of Warre, and to doe this he takes his Oath, or for him the Popes Legat, and Protectour.

4. Year.The Protectour dyes, a man of great wisdom and valor, and who had managed affairs to the great settlement of the State: and the King is again Crowned, and Escuage of 2. markes a Knights Fee granted him in Parliament he promising to confirm their Liberties when he came of age.

8. Year.Henry having gotten some of his Fathers old Counsellors about him, begins to play Rex, and obtains a Bull from the Pope, whereby he was adjudged of age sufficient to receive the Government into his own hands (the power of making & altering times and seasons it seems being then in the Romish Prelats Power) and now sith He would be of age, in the Parliament at Westminster, the Archbish. of Canterbury and the Lords desire him to confirm according to Covenant their promised Liberties. This was impiously oppugned by some (as Princes shall ever find mouths to expresse their pleasures) of his Ministers, who urged it to have been an act of Constraint; yet at last it was promised to be ratified by the King, and so by that usual shift of prolongation was put off for that time, to the greater vexation of that following; for this all his Raigne caused the imbroylments, rendred Him odious to the people, and made him a far lesse King by striving to be more than he was, a just reward of violations.

But this pause turned the bloud, and shewed how sensible the State was, in the least stoppage of that tender veine: For the Lords began to assemble at Leicester, but the Archbish of Canterbury (whom the King by fair words sooth’d into a fools paradice) by menacing excommunication brought them in; the King also to be even with them, demands a restauration of all those things they had received from his Ancestors, and to terrifie them for the future, falls upon the chief sticklers, taking divers Lordships from them, thus were they forced to sit down with losse of both Lands and Liberties, and such of them whose spirits could not brook the sight of the Coutt abusive proceedings secretly to jogge away into the Countrey.

The Royall gamster having dealt so well for himself, yet on the sudden is put to his trumps, yea forced to shuffle, and cut too; Money is wanting to maintain his Wars in France, and this his ranting Counsellours cannot help him too; they who were so high in the last Parliament, are fain now to lower their sails, the Lions hide must be patched up with the Foxes skin, he must promise and do any thing for present cash: A Parliament therefore is summoned to Westminster, and of them a relief demanded,IX. Yeare, but no pennie, without a Pater noster, no money unless their Liberties be confirmed; and now necessity which makes the Old Wife trot, perswades Henry to be so gracious to himselfe as to comply with them. Thus Magna Charta and Charta de Foresta were confirmed, which though purchased before, and then entred upon and possest by the people, yet have been paid for to some purpose if we consider the sums given since, and to little or none if we sum but up the profit our Landlords let us reap by them. Thus the Petition of Right and other later acts were obtained by us, which being acts of grace were to cease when our King pleased to turn gracelesse, which he never did, nor intended to doe untill the first opportunity, wherein a small rub called impossibility might be removed out of his way.

These Lawes thus obtained; downe go the forests, and men repossess their habitations, which the Norman Lords had outed them of and bestowed upon Wild Beasts, yet more inoffensive than themselves, for if Cato have any credit, we must believe Kings to be de genere Bestiarum rapacium, no better nor worse than ravenous beasts, and indeed that undeniable Author Doctor Experience hath by arguments not to be disputed against confirmed that wise Romans assertion; indeed the last of Romans who abhorred to outlive the freedom, and honour of his Country.

And now if we will believe one Writer, the very Doggs rejoyced, being freed from the customary danger of losing their clawes; but though the Gentleman is so sanguine now, yet he afterwards becomes as cholerick, and from playing with, turns to play the very Curre, barking and snarling at all those Lords which stood for these Lawes: O the ridiculous power of slavish flattery, working more than a brutish change in low Souls, making a man out of his own mouth judg himself lesse deserving of Liberty because less sensible of it than a Dogge that will fawne and wag his taile at him who unchains him, whilst he crouches, and licks his fingers who enslaves and fetters him. But take one observation along: That as the Norman Conqueror first appropriated all old Forests, and dispeopled places to make new ones, and still when any parcell of Liberty was regained, those Forest Tyrannies were diminished; so now when that Norman yoak is thrown off our necks, Forests and Parks are broken open with it; a certain signe that tyranny is expired now that its pulse is ceased in the main Arterie. Thus the Historian reports the Grove of Bayes dyed, which was planted by Augustus, when Nero was executed, in whom ceased that proud, and bloody Family.

10. Year.Another Parliament is called, wherein nothing was done by reason of the Kings sicknesse, but only the Legats unreasonable demands denyed, the Pope being become more than quarter-master in England, by the Kings good Fathers means; in this year also the Londoners were fined 5000 marks, and the Burgesses of Northampton 1200 pounds (for their former aiding Lewis) contrary to the Oath and Pardon passed at the agreement, as the Prelates were before, who were made to pay such large sums that the Legat got 12000 marks for his share.

11. Year.A Parliament is summoned at Oxford, where the King declaring himself to be of lawfull age, assumes the power of Government to himself; this he had done before by the Popes Bull, but it was requisite for his design to grow child again, and the Pope was contented to have his Bull turn Calf to help his Son, whom he knew might make him amends; and now to shew what metall he was made on, he cancels and disanuls the Charters as granted in his nonage, and so of no validitie. Here we may behold the wretchless impudence of these Royall Creatures, he that had before in the eighth year of his Raign, made himself of age for his own ends, yet now is not ashamed upon the same score to pretend nonage in the ninth year, wherein he confirmed both the Charters: Thus if the King say 8. is more than 9. the people must believe it, for it is treason no doubt to question their Soveraignes words or actions, and Rebellion to chop Logick with him,

And now this cancelling having annulled all hopes of a subsidie, He hath a new shift to drain the peoples purses, by making a new Seal, and forcing all which held any thing by the old to renew their Patents, fining at the pleasure of the Chief Iusticiarie, not according to their ability; It seemes the Old Seal was under age too, and for this he had a Bul, but whether from the Pope, or somebody else, is the question.

These perfidious and oppressive courses so incense the people, that the Lords appoint a Randezvouz at Stamford, intending it seems to bait these Buls, & by force to keep them from goring. The King is startled at this news, hearing his Brother the Earl of Cornewall was also joyned to them, and by feare brought to promise a redresse, and so pacifies them at Northampton, and buyes his brother to side with him, with his mothers Dower, and all the Lands in England belonging to the Earl of Britain, and late Earl of Bullogue. These are the uneven paths which necessity forces Tyrants to stagger through, scraching up here, and leaving a piece there, using the Rake with this hand, and the Fork with that; Peter must be rob’d to pay Paul; these pilled and polled, to bribe the other: but these shifts will be quickly thredbare, by which, what is got in the Hundred is loft in the Shire.

13. Year.The King having bound himself, by his Procurators at Rome, to the payment of Tenths, it seems the Pope would not do a job of journeywork for nothing, cals a Parliament that the Legat might demand them; but though the Legat was impudent enough to ask the question, yet the Laity were so modest as to deny him; the Clergy being over-reachd by Segrave one of the Kings Counsell consented, and found a very hard bargain of it; for the ravenous Legat exacted them at a set day, and those that miss’d it, were sure to be hit home with an Excommunication. Thus between the Lyon and the Wolf, the Flock went to wrack; for no doubt but the King had a feeling in the cause, or his Counsell would never have beene so diligent in the businesse;14. Year. but all this would not do, he therefore exacts great summes of the Clergy (whom the Pope could rule and would, it being his turn now) and the City of London for redemption of their liberties, (an excellent way to make them free, for they seldom are so of themselves, yet have they given down largely in this Cause, to their Honour be it spoken, and may they be so moderate as not to kick over the palle in the upshot) and forces the Iews to pay the third of all their moveables to maintain his Warres he then began in France, whither he goes, leaving them to pray, that he might deal more Christianly with them for the future.

15. Year.But his evill gotten goods thrived not, and the King, besides an infinite expence of treasure, having lost divers Nobles and valiant men, without any glory returns home, bringing with him the Earle of Britaigne, and many Poictovins, to suck up what could further he wrung from the poor people of England: and in order to this calls a Parliament, wherein upon pretence and promise of sending supplyes into Spaine against the Saracens, he obtains a fifteenth of the Laity, and Clergy, but the Popes turn it seems was come, who falls a cursing all that had any hand in with-holding Tithes from those multitudes of strangers which he had preferr’d to benefices, and the King makes a strict inquisition after them, & forces them all to runne to Rome for absolution of this horrible sin of resisting his Pastors in the main work of their Ministery, few of them having more English than would serve to demand their tithes but it was enough with the Pope they had that, whose special care was to see the Flock might be fleec’d, for teaching, that might have spoyl’d devotion to Rome, which ignorance is the surest Nurse too: a strange way to Heaven that the blindest hit best. Christs servants are the Children of Light; Sure then his Holinesse must be Vicar to the Prince of Darknesse, whose best Subjects see least.

16. Year.A Parliament also is called at Westminster, which expecting deeds from him, before they would do any thing, and he not being poor enough, nor so shiftlesse as to fall to mending so soon, breaks up with a flat denyall of any money: Hereupon by the advice of the Bishop of Winchester, sith the Parliament was so drie, he fals to squeeze his own Spunges, and amongst the rest his darling Hubert de Burgh Earl of Kent, and his Chief Iusticiarie feels the weight of Kingly kindnesse, which loves a man so long as he is usefull; but if any advantage shall accrue, it is very Rebellion should affection be so saucy as to plead privilege against Royall profit, and now kenning of Kingcraft, for Kings to be more nice than wise. O the wretched estate of that man, who to curry favour with a Tyrant, cares not how he acts, nor what he does! aside he is thrown so soon as his great Master hath served his turn on him, and being down is sure to be trampled on to some purpose by the enraged people, who in the servants misery seek a recompence for the Masters tyranny; and this hath been told us by a King and Prophet long ago, Put not your trust in Princes, men of high degree are a lye. And now the Bishop of Winchester is the Court Minion, but as he tript up the Earl of Kents heels: so will he be laid on his back shortly, and the same noose he made for others, will catch the Woodcock himselfe ere long; who was returned from the Holy Wars abroad, to begin it seems wicked discord at Home: for he shewing the king, that Foraigners were the only journey-men to drive on his trade of Tyranny, and fittest instruments to keep the English in slavery, causes him, who for his own ends cared neither whom nor what he made use of, to displace all the chief Counsellors, and Barons of the kingdom, and to bestow all places of concernment, either Military or Civill, on strangers.

These strains of so strange and insufferable violences so exasperate the Nobility, that many combine for defence of the publique, and the Earl of Pembroke in all their names tels the King how pernicious and dangerous these courses would prove, whom the Bishop of Winchester insolently answers, That it was lawfull for the K. to call what strangers he would to defend his Crown, and compell his proud & rebellious Subjects to their due obedience, that is, tame slavery; The Lords netled with this Prelats peremptorinesse, which the King bore him out in, depart with more indignation, vowing to spend their Lives in this cause concerning their liberties so much, hereupon the K. sends for whole Legions of Poictovins, & then summons them to appear in the Parl. called on purpose to intrap them, but they were so wise as to avoid the snare, & so resolute as to send him word, That unles he would mend his manners, by the common Counsel of the kingdom, they would expell both him and his evill Councellors the Land; But all this avayled them not, for upon their refusall to repair to him at Glocester, the King without the judgment of his Court, or their Peers, causes them to be proclamed Out-Laws, seizes upon all their Lands, which he divides among his Poictovins (the Ianisaries that guarded and boulstered out this Grand Sultan and his Visier Basha Winchester in their tyrannies) and directs out Writs to attach their Bodies.

But now give me leave a little to digresse, and shew how our bloud-hounds have run counter on the same foile, have acted the most of this seene in our dayes. For thus, though our King wanted not so great a stock of strangers to set up with, there being so many base spirited Englishmen, which would be instrumentall in enslaving their Countrey, a thing our noble and generous Ancestors abhorred to do; yet German horse were to have bin brought over to help to improve the Trade, and lye for factourage of Tyranny in every County. Thus the Earl of Strafford tels the King he had an Army in Ireland, which might be brought over to bring England under the yoak, a Counsel which cost the Giver his Head; Thus were Swedes, Danes, French, Scots, Irish, and Dutch sent for over, and invited by the King to help him. Thus the Members were illegally proceeded against, the Lords summoned to York, and the Parliament commanded to Oxford, and all that refused handled without mittens, their Estates being conferred on those who would engage for Tyranny, and themselves proclamed Traytors and Rebels, indeed these things considered, it was no marvell God was so often called to witnesse, that Tyranny was not intended, and impiety used to create credulity, God mocked that men might be abused, sith no reason could be given to gain our belief, and make us give our own eyes the lye.

The Lords though much weakned by the revolt of some of themselves (the King having won the Earl of Cornwall, and Winchester with a thousand marks bought the Earls of Chester, and Lincoln to his party) repair into Wales, at that time very sensible of their oppression and the Earl of Kent, to cry quittance with the K. and make amends for his former faults, breaks prison and joyns with them: hereupon the K. in person marches against them, but he is beaten, and forced to retreat with dishonor to Glocester, his Foraigners also being again sent against them runne the same chance, their Generall and thousands of them being slain on the place, being frustrated therefore in his design of force, the King employes a Fryer to cajole the Earl of Pembroke, General of the Forces raised by the Barons, but all the flatteries, promises, and threats of that crafty instrument, could not shake the constancy of that Noble Lord, who gallantly told him, That he feared no danger, nor would ever yeeld to the Kings will, which was guided by no reason; that he should give an evill example to relinquish the justice of his Cause, to obey that will which wrought all injustire, whereby it might appeare be loved worldly possessions, more than Right and Honour. Thus the promise of restauration of his former estate, with the addition of great Lands in Herefordshire, nothing prevailed with him, in whose heroik Mind Honour and his Conntryes good were Commanders in chief.

No way therefore now being left but that, the King tryes what may be done by Treachery, and takes a truce with them: in the mean while seizing all those great possessions which were left the Earl in Ireland, by his famous Ancestor the Earl Strongbow, that thereby he might draw the Earl over thither; this design takes effect, and the Earl endeavouring to regain his livelihood lost his life circumvented by treachery. Thus noblest souls are soonest intrapt, who measuring others their own thoughts are the least suspicious; but his death wrought such effects as caused the King to disown the businesse, and lay the load upon his Counsellors shoulders.

19 YearIn a Parl. at Westminst. the King being plainly told his own the Bishops threatning to proceed by Ecclesiasticall censure both against him, and his Counsellors, and seeing no way to subsist and get his ends but by temporizing, consents to them, calls home the Lords, removes the strangers, and brings his new officers to account; now the storm fals so violently, that Winchester with his Bastard are forced for shelter to take Sanctuary, untill by large Fines the King was appeased, who to get money was very ready to doe any thing.

20. Year.Escuage is granted toward the marriage of his Sister, whom he bestowed on the Emperour with 30000 marks for a Dowry, besides an Imperiall Crown, and other Ornaments to a great value.

21. Year.The King marries Elianor, Daughter to the Earl of Provence; a match which beside the distance of the place, was infinitely disadvantagious, having no Dowry, getting a poor kindred, which must needs draw means from this kingdome.

A Parliament also is assembled at London, (which the King would have held in the Tower, but that the Lords refused to come) in which Sheriffs were removed for corruption, and the new ones sworn to take no bribes: Now the King endeavours to change his officers, and to take the Seale from the Chancellor, the Bishop of Chichester; who refuses to deliver it which he had by the Common Councell of the kingdom, without assent of the same, and having carryed himself unblamably in his office is much favoured by the people. Also he receives some old cast officers into favour, such was his levity and irresolution, moved with any Engine to doe and undo, and all out of time and order, wherein he ever loses ground; and goes about by the Popes Authority to revoke his former Grants, which addes to the already conceived displeasure of the people.

22. Year.In another Parliament, or the same adjourned, the King demands relief, and upon promise to confirm the Charters, and not seek to infringe them upon any pretence, as want of the Popes confirmation, &c. a thirtieth part of all moveables is granted yet upon condition that it should be gathered by four Knights in every shire, and laid up in Abbies or Castles, that if the King performed not his promise, it might be returned, that he should leave the Counsell of Aliens and use only that of his Naturall Subjects. Which being done, and to make shew on his part, some old Counsellors suddenly removed, and others chosen, which were sworn to give him good and faithfull advice (yet I hope he had a Negative voice, and might chuse whither he would hearken unto them and be no King or no?) the Parliament concluded, and with it ended all his goodly Promises.

For he presently hastens to Dover, receiving a Legat without acquainting the Lords with the cause of his comming, exacts the Subsidie contrary to order, is wholly swayed by the Counsell of his Queens Vncle an Alien, sends for his father in Law to help away with his monie, marries Simon Mountford to his sister the Widdow of William Earl of Pembroke, a professed Nunne, and of a banished Frenchman makes him Earl of Leicester: But the Legat and Earl of Leicester proved better than was expected (no thanks to the King, who doubtlesse was no Prophet) the one endeavouring to pacifie, not soment divisions, which before was held a property inseparable from his office; The other becomming amost earnest assertor of the English Liberties, as the Sequele will manifest.

The Lords incensed with these perfidious and tyrannous dealings, Remonstrate against him, and tell him of the profusion of his Treasure, gotten by Exaction from the Subject, and cast away upon strangers, who onely guide him, of the infinite sums he had raised in his time, how there was no Archbishoprick or Bishoprick, except York Lincoln, and Bath, but he had made benefit by their vacancies, besides what fell by Abbyes, Earldoms, Baronies, and other Escheats; and yet his Treasure which should be the strength of the State was nothing encreased. Lastly, That despising his Subjects Counsels he was so obsequious to the will of the Romans, that he seemed the Popes feudary: the King hearing this harsh note, and perceiving the Londoners and whole people ready to rise against him, first by the Legat attempts to win his Brother, now the head of the Lords party,23. Year. to side with Him, but failing in this he cals a Parliament, whether the Lords come armed: Whereupon to gain time, the businesse is referred to the order of certain grave personages, Articles drawn, sealed, and publikely set up with the cals of the Legat and divers great men, the King taking his Oath to stand to their determinations: but whilst the businesse was debating, he corrupts his Brother, and the Earl of Lincoln, whereby the Lords are weakned, the businesse is dash’d, and the miseries of the Kingdom continued.

24. Year.Simon Montford is thrown out of favour, and the Seal taken from him, and his brother Geoffrey a Knight Templer, put out of the Counsel, Men much maligned, as evil Counsellors, so inconstant are Tyrants in their favours: they lost their places for refusing to passe a grant of 4 pence upon every sack of wool made by the King to the Earl of Flanders the Queens Vncle, to whom the next year he gave a pension of 300 marks per annum out of the Exchequer: and here by their dejection we may observe, that Officers under bad Princes are not alwayes so bad as men account them, and that when the Master playes the wreaks, the servant bears the burden.

But it seems one Gulph sufficed not to swallow up the substance of the Kingdom, and therefore the Pope adds extortion to the Kings exaction, and sends to have 300 Romans preferred to the next vacant benefices in England, which mandate so amazed the Archbishop of Canterbury, that seeing no end of these Concussions of the State, and liberties of the Church, he gives over his Sea, and payes 800 marks to the Pope for his Fine: We need never doubt sure but that they paid well for it who were to have it, when so much was given by him that left it. He demands a tenth also of the Clergy; who flying to the King for protection against the Popes rapine, were referred to the Legat: yea and the chief of them offered to be delivered up unto him by the King, who joyned with the Pope we may see to aw and punish the Kingdom: and though they in the Councell then called stood out for a while against the Legat, yet at length by the Treason of division, the body of the Councel is entred into, and the Pope prevails in this businesse.

Neither was Pope, and King enough, the Queenes kindred must have a share, one of whose Vncles comes into England, is feasted sumptuosly, Knighted, and the Earldom of Richmond with other gifts bestowed on him, and the Arch-Bishoprick of Canterbury conferred on his Son; but the poor Jews fasted for this, who were forced to pay 20000 marks at two Terms that year.

25. Year.The King being set agogg to be doing in France, by his Father in Law and others, the authors of his first Expedition, summons a Parliament, and moves the matter therein; but it was generally opposed as a design not feasible and expensive, besides the unlawfulnesse of breaking Truce; Money also was denyed, though the King came in person most submissively craving their aid, with a letter from the Pope to boot in his hand. Neverthelesse, what by gifts and loans from particular men, by begging and borrowing, he scraped so much together, that he carryed over with him 30 barrels of Sterling Coin, and yet before the end of the year he got Escuage toward his charges, which he lay spending at Bourdeaux to little or no purpose.

He sent for Grain & Bacon, & had 10000 quarters of Wheat 5000 of Oates, and as many Bacons shipt away,27. Year. most of which perished by Ship-wrack, the very Elements seeming discontented, as well as the English Lords at his unworthy carriage in undervaluing their Counsels, and preferring strangers, upon whom he consumed his treasure in such sort, as caused his Brother and most of the English Lords to desert him and come over, the wiser they, for the Earl of Leicester and others which staid behind, ranne behind hand too as wel as the King, by borrowing large sums to defray their expences; at last He was driven to make a dishonorable Truce with the French King, and return, having not gained so much as 30 emptie barrels were worth.

The Stangers having made up their mouths of him abroad, follow him hither also, so greedy were these Harpies after prey, and so easy and ready was he to be made one to them: and now the Countesse of Provence the Queens Mother bringing another doughter with her arrives at Dover, is sumptuously entertained, and sent away richly rewarded; her daughter being immediately bestowed on the Earle of Cornewall, who it seemes had as good a stomack to forraigne flesh as the King his brother, that he could fall too so soone without sauce; but the Earle was well beforehand in the world, and so might the better dispence with the want of a portion.

Next slips in Martin the Popes collectour, furnished with such ample power of cursing, suspending, excommunicating, pardoning (having whole droves of blanke Bulls which might be filied up according to occasion) and all other accoutrements belonging to, and necessary for St. Peters successors trade, which was fishing for money not men, that the former Legats were but fleas if compared with this horse-leech, who sucketh so sorely, that the King, what to pacifie the people, and what for fear nothing would be left him, should this cormorant fish on, humblie beseeches the Pope, that Fleece, Skin, Flesh and all might not be torn away, and nothing but the Bones left him for his fees, but he might have had as much kindnes of a Wolfe for a good word, and as soon have kept that hungrie Beast from the folde by a Petition, as his Holinesse, who though he appeare in sheeps cloathing, hath the wolfes conditions, and is onely to be hunted or cudgeled from worrying the flocke.

No doubt this tender hearted Vicar had such a care of their soules, that regarding neither his owne, nor their bodies, he endeavoured to begger them if possible, in hopes that being poore they would receive the Gospell; and in truth next unto Gods goodnes, the Popes wickednes was the meanes of this nations receiving the truth, who by his pride and covetousnesse caused Henry the 8th (a King as proud as he for his heart, and in more want for his purse) to kick him out, which was the first step to Reformation of Religion.

Yet though the King could obtain no redress of the Pope, he prevails with him to lay on more loads, getting Letters to the Lords Spirituall and Temporall to help him to money in the Parliament now assembled at Westminster, which notwithstanding the Kings personall, and Popes literall entreaties, will grant none untill he give assurance of Reformation, and the due execution of Lawes; they require also that 4 Peers should be chosen as conservators of the Kingdom, which should he sworn of the Kings Counsell, fee Iustice observed, and the treasure issued out; That the cheife Iusticiar and Chancellor should be of the four, or chosen by the Parliament, together with two Iustices of the Benches, two Barons of the Exchequer, and one Iustice for the Iewes, that as their function was publike, so might also their Election be: but as the Devill would have it (sayes one) the Popes Nuncio spoyls all by demanding money of them towards the Popes Wars against the Emperour, a Son in Law to England, having married one of her Daughters; thus was not the Pope ashamed to demand money for the King, but to sing the second part to the same tune in the same Parliament, on his own behalf; an impudency so monstrous, that we might well question it, came it not from that strumpet of Rome; and seting aside doctrine, by practice we may easily perceive, who is meant in the Revelation by the Whore of Babylon; but the peremptory demand received an absolute repulse, & the Pope could get nothing, but they granted Escuage, towards marriage of his eldest daughter, to the King, twenty shillings of every Knights fee.

The King also upon a light occasion makes a great and expensive preparation against Scotland, and the Earl of Flanders thirsting after his money comes over with a ragged Regiment to help, whose unnecessary presence was nothing acceptable to the Barons, as if the strength of England could not be sufficient without him for that action, which was as suddainly ended as undertaken, by a faire conclusion of peace.

29. Year.The King assembles another Parliament, which would grant Him no more money, though he told them his debts were so great that he could not appear out of his Chamber, for the clamour of those to whom he owed money for his Wine, Wax, and other necessaries of his House, hereupon he falls to other violent courses, and first he picks a quarrell with the Londoners, and makes them pay 15000 marks for receiving a banished man into their City, notwithstanding they produced his pardon under the great Seal, which they were told was purchased when the King was under age: Thus, because the Lyon would have it so, the Asses ears must be horns, well fare the Fox therefore which had the wit not to come to Court.

Observe here the happy estate of our Ancestors under Monarchy, who, if they gained but this advantage (though attended with many inconveniences and mischiefs, incident to all Nations in their Kings minority) of receiving a few good Grants, and enjoying a pittance of Freedom, once in 4 or 5 ages when their King was too young to play Rex, and there hapned a wise and honest Protector; yet were sure to pay through the nose for it afterwards with double and treble interest for forbearance.

Then employes one Passeleave in a peremptory Commission to enquire of all Lands which had been dis-forested, and either to fine the occupiers at pleasure, or take them from them, and sell the same to others, if they would give more for them, and in this such rigour was shewn, that multitudes were undone, yet Passeleave should have been preferred to the Bishoprick of Chichester for his good service, had not the Bishops opposed the King therein.

Thus have we not seen with our own eyes, whole Counties almost to be challenged for Forest, and our selves like to have been forced to purchase our own estates from Charles, to save our habitations from becomming the places of Wilde Beasts?

The Lords also making bold to open the Popes packet to Martin, found therein such vilany, that the Nuncio was forthwith commanded out of the Land, who so basely had behaved himself, that he both needed, and yet could hardly obtain a safe Conduct to preserve him from the violence of the enraged people; and now the King being incensed also at the Popes oppressions, or at least seeming to be so, sith his cheats were made publike, the Parliament make use of the good mood he was in, and lay before him, how that Italians Revenues in England, amounted to sixtie thousand marks yearly, besides the Popes Exactions, which so moved him that he caused all to be notified, & by Commissioners sent to the Generall Councell at Lions demanding redresse; which together with Martins usage, so vexed the Pope, that he endeavoured to set the French King upon his back.

In the Parliament holden at Westminster,30. Year. upon the Popes rejecting the Consideration of these grievances, and despising the Kings Messages (saying, that he began to Frederize) it was Enacted and Ordained, under great penalty, That no Contribution of money should be given to the Pope by any Subject of England, and the same confirmed in a Parliament at Winchester, and another at London: The King also bustles against the Popes Exactions, in such sort that it gave hope of redress; but this heat was soon clull’d by the Popes threats, of so irresolute and wavering a nature was the King, Woman-like, giving over what he manfully undertook; but this may seem to confirm what was hinted before, that what he did was rather out of policy to delude the people (whose rage was risen so high, that he fear’d to meet it) than a just sence of their misery, who in all things else which stood with his humour or advantage was more than enough stubborn and stiffe.

And now the Pope having given, or rather taken the foile, continues his former rapine, yet fearing if he kicked too hard, he might be thrown out of the Saddle, he seems openly to surcease, and promises never to send any more Legats into England, and underhand effects his will by other Ministers, termed Clerks, who had the same power, though a different title, the former being too eminent for his clandestine transactions, which the King furthers him in all he can, so cordiall was the reconcilement, which shewes it was not effected by fear.

And to give them their due, both play’d their parts very dexterously (if the term may be proper for a sinister practice). The Pope ranting as high in the Counsel, as the King vapoured in the Parlament, saying, It is fit that we make an end with the Emperour, that we may crush these petty Kings; for the Dragon once appeased or destroyed, these lesser Snakes will soon be trodden down. But had he thought Henry one in earnest, he would not so soon have received him into his bosome.

31. YearPeter of Savoy, before made Earl of Richmond, comes over again, (it may seem the King by his pretended forwardnes against the Pope, had got some money) bringing with him young wenches out of Provence, which were married to Noblemen, who were the Kings wards, as to the Earls of Lincoln, Kent, &c. and to be sure Peter lost nothing by such bargains, though the Nobility were abused in a barbarous, and tyrannicall manner.

32. Year,Comes again the Countesse of Provence, who lost nothing by the voyage, though she had delivered Provence and sixteen Castles as a dowry with her Daughter, married to Charls the French Kings Brother, unto the French, contrary to equity, (the Queen of England being the eldest Daughter) and Covenant too, having promised it to the King, and received for five years 4000 marks annuall pension in consideration of the pact; so fatally infatuated was this King, that he cared not how he lavished out upon such cheats, what he scrued and wrung from his Subjects.

And besides Thomas of Savoy titular Earl of Flanders, who came over with her, three of the Kings half-Brothers are sent for over to be provided of Estates in England, which it seems he intended to divide between his own and his Wives beggarly kindred; & truly by this Kings actions a man would guesse he thought he had been set up onely to impoverish his Subjects, and enrich Aliens; and as he, so almost every King plaid their prizes, the only difference being that strangers were not alwayes the objects of their profusenesse; yet King James imitated him in every circumstance, who gave away so fast unto Scots the English Lands (and they to relieve their penury fell’d the woods so lustily) that for ought could be guessed, Trees would have been as thin here as in Scotland, had not the Lords, by money, hyred his jester Green to give a stop to his Carriere (they themselvs not daring to give check to the Magisteriall Scot in his vanity) by making a Coat with Trees and Birds on them, and telling him, questioning and wondering at the humor, That if the Woods were fell’d so fast by his Countrey men a little longer, Birds must perch upon Fools Coats, for no Trees would be left them to sit upon: Thus also was the Lord Cobham and Sir Walter Rawleys estates conferr’d on favourites; and they made Traytors, that Court Hang-bies might be made Lords and Gentlemen; and to say the truth, in this point, all or most of our Monarchs have so behaved themselves, as if, with the Countrey fellow at Doctors Commons, they thought England was dead detestable, had made them her executioners, and they were come to the Crown to diminish her goods.

But to return where we left. Henry was so lavish, and his Guests so unwilling to seem unmannerly, and refuse his kindnesse, that his baggs were now become as empty, as his barrels were before; A Parliament therefore is summoned at London, and money demanded; but they put him in minde of his Guests, and besides sharply reprehended Him, For his breach of promise in requiring another aid, having vowed and declared, upon his last supplie, never more to injure the state in that kinde; for his violent taking up of provisions for diet, wax, silkes, robes, but especially wine, contrary to the will of the owner, whereby Merchants will withdraw their Commodities, and all Trade and Commerce utterly ceases, to the detriment and infamy of this Kingdome; That his Judges were sent in Circuit under pretence of justice to fleece the people: That Passeleave had wrung from the Borderers on Forests vast sums of money, they wonder therefore he should now demand relief from the impoverished Commons; They advise him to pull from his favourits, inriched with the Treasure of the Kingdom, to support his prodigality, sith his needlesse expences amounted to above 800000 l. since he began his destructive Raign. (postquam Regni cæpit esse dilapidator) thus plainly durst our generous Ancestors tell a Tyrant his own to his teeth. Then they reprove Him, For keeping vacant in his hands, Bishopricks, and Abbeys, contrary to the Liberties of the Church, and his Oath taken at his Coronation. Which it seems was judged more than a Ceremony in those dayes, though in ours, the contrary hath so falsly, and impudently been asserted. Lastly, They generally complain, for that the chief Iusticiar, Chancellor, Treasurer, &c. were not made by the Common-Councell of the Kingdom, according as they were in the time of his magnificent predecessors, & as it was fit and expedient; but such advanced as followed his will, in whatsoever tended to his gaine, and sought promotion not for the good of the Kingdom, but their own profit.

Here we may observe that it was no new doctrin, which our Parliament in the beginning taught us, but that it was practised, as well as thought fit so to be, by our Ancestors, though the Royall Pen-men in their Declarations boldly and publickly avowed the contrary.

With this reprehension the King was netled, as his speech the next Session makes out, for though he promised amendment they would not beleeve him, and therefore prorogued the Parliament till Midsummer, that they might see whether he would be as good as his word. (We must know Kings were not grown so impudent and daring then, as to dissolve Parliament at their own pleasures.) But he mended like sour Ale in Summer, his heat it seems increasing with the Seasons, and in the next Session, with an Imperious and Magisteriall brow thus expostulates with them, Would you curb the King your Lord at your uncivill pleasure, and impose a servile condition on him? will you deny unto him what everyone of you as you list may doe? it is lawfull for everyone of you to use what Counsell, and every Master of a Family to prefer to any office is his house whom he pleases, and displace again when he list, and will you rashly deny your Lord the King to do the like? Whereas servants ought not to judge their Master, and Subjects their Prince, or hold them to their conditions. For the Servant is not above his Lord, nor the Disciple above his Master; neither should he be your King, but as your Servant, who should so encline to your pleasure. Wherefore know I wil yeild to none of your desires.

A brave ranting speech, yet I hope it will not be denyed but they were evill Counsellors, which put this into that Kings mouth, though they have been, who penned the late Kings Declarations, which were so like this speech, as they could not be more, though Charls his Declarations had been spit out of Henries mouth; in both we may perceive the humour equally proud in the Kings, and jointly mischievous in their Counsellors, the first accounting their Subjects but their slaves, the second making themselves such to curry favor with their Lordly Masters; for let what palliations or disguizes soever of evill Counsellors be made to cover the shame of evill Princes, wise men know, and it hath alwayes been found by experience, that the Tyranny of the Kings, bears the first, and the slavery of the instruments but the second part, in the causality of the mischiefs, and that these Lions rampant, wil make use of none but Asses couchant, which are most willing, as wel as most able, to bear the load.

Thus Henry he heaps his favours upon Strangers most, because they were aptest to serve his turn; and thus many in our dayes have been preferred and inriched, not because the King loved Laud, Wentworth, Buckingham, Denby, &c. better than others, but because these were the fittest instruments to drive on the trade of Tyranny.

But to the story. Henry would have money, and the Parliament would have a redresse of grievances, which his speech absolutely denyes they should, and so they break up in discontent: but though his stomach was so high, his purse was so low as he was forced to sell his plate, and jewels of the Crown. We see here that the late King had a President for what he did, and a very goodly one too; but what will not Princes devoted to Tyranny sacrifice, to obtain their lustings? give, pawn, sell all they can lay their clutches on to carry on their design, which being accursed, and abominable, none will be subservient to, but they will be soundly paid paid for it: and truly these slavish wretches buy their Gold too dear, selling their fame, together with their honesty for a little trash, which commonly is torn from them by the hand of justice, which makes them behold the losse of all they accounted and purchased so dear, before it puts out their eyes by a shamefull death: no marvell therfore Tyrants are so beggarly, being forced to hire their journymen at such high rates.

He sends his letters Imperiously deprecatory to aid him with money, which with much grudging they do,33. Year to the sum of 20000l. having the Christmas before required New-years gifts of the same Londoners, in hope (no doubt) but to get some of his plate and jewels again, which they had bought of him a little before: Also by calling the Nobles and wealthiest persons apart, he scrapes up something; yet when the Abbot of Borrough denyed him a 100 marks as he required, he told him it was more Charity to give an alms to him, than to a Beggar that went from dore to dore; to this lownesse had his profuse and tyrannicall courses exposed him.

The Iewes also were fleeced by the King again, of whose sufferings we may take a guess, by what one of them protested upon the faith he owed to his law to be true, to wit, that the King had within 7. years space taken from him thirty thousand marks in Silver, besides 200 in Gold given to the Queen.

And the Londoners, in requitall of their bounty, forced to shut up their shops, and keep St. Edwards Fair 15 dayes together at Westminster, in a very wet and dirty season, being also fined 1000 marks for beating some of the Kings Servants who came and reviled them, as they were at their sport of running at the Quintan: Thus his very Servants were willing to be beaten, that their Master might get money by it.

35The Monks of Duresme refusing to preferre his halfe Brother to that Bishoprick, he goes to Winchester to make sure of that by his presence for him: where entring the Chapter-House, he gets into the Chaire, begins a Sermon, and takes this Text, Iustice and Peace have kissed each other; which he thus handles. To me, and other Kings belongs the rigor of justice; to you, who are men of quiet, and religion, peace; and this day I hear you have for your own good been favourable to my request: Justice and Peace hath kissed each other. Once I was offended with you, for withstanding me in the election of your late Bishop, but now I am friends with you for this and will both remember and reward your kindnes. As by a woman came destruction into the world, so by a Woman came the remedy: I to satisfie my Wife, and prefer her Uncle, disquieted, and damnified you: So now to advance my Brother by the Mother, will reconcile my self to you, &c. Thus went he on blasphemously wresting and abusing Scripture: yet could not the Geese beware when the Fox preached, for he gains his desire, and that Chair was more propitious to him, than the Speakers was to Charls, into which, in imitation of Henry, he violently thrust himself.

At York the marriage of his Daughter with the King of Scots, was solemnized in the height of riot, and lavish expence, to recruit which, the King is forced to find a new shift to get money; He will needs take the Crosse upon him, and away to the Holy Wars, and to carry out the businesse the more impudently, takes his Oath, laying his right hand on his breast, and after on the Book, to perform the journey; Which all knew was pretended onely to get Cash: and now his good friend at need the Pope, with a great deal of gravity, ushers on the Imposture, granting him a tenth of both Clergy and Laity for three years; which had it been collected, would have amounted to six hundred thousand pound: A summe which might have afforded him a large Bribe for a dispensation.

36. Year.A Parliament is called to London about this tenth, which was denyed by all, this put the King in such rage, that he drave all out of his Chamber, as if he had been mad: but comming to himself again, he falls to his old trick of dealing with them apart, and first sends for the Bishop of Ely, who plainly telling him He neither could nor would goe contrary to the whole State, and diswading him from the journey, by the example of the King of France, on whom they might see the punishment of Got to be faln for his rapine, made on his peoples substance, &c. drove him into such a passion, that he commanded the Bishop to be thrust out of dores.

Being thus disappointed by the Parliament, he fals to his former violent courses, and maintenance of his strangers in all their riots and oppressions, insomuch that it was the generall exclamation, Our Inheritance is given to Aliens, and our houses to strangers: but we shall perceive the oppressions then on foot, if we consider but what was told the King by divers to his face.

The Countesse of Arundell being harshly denyed, by the King about a Ward detained from her in regard of a smal parcell of Land held in capite, which drew away all the rest, thus spake, My Lord, why turn you away your face from Iustice, that we can obtein no right in your Court? you are constituted in the midst betwixt God and us; but neither govern your selfe, nor us discreetly as you ought; you shamefully vex both the Church and Nobles of the Kingdom, by all means you can. To which the King floutingly answered, saying, Lady Countesse, have the Lords made you a Charter, and sent you to be their Prolocutrix? She replyes, No Sir, They have not made any Charter to me; but the Charter which your Father and you made, and swore so often to observe, and so often extorted from your Subjects their money for the same, you unworthily transgresse, as a manifest breaker of your faith: where are the Liberties of England so often written, so often granted, so often bought? I, though a Woman, and with me all your naturall and faithfull people, appeal against you to the Tribunall of that high Iudge above, and Heaven and Earth shall be our witnesse, that you have most unjustly dealt with us, and Lord God of revenge, avenge us. Behold a generous and knowing Lady, it was the sufferings of her Country, not her self (of which we find no mention) extorted this true and resolute complaint from her. Vpon the ruines of Henries fame, hath Isabell raised an eternall trophie of her Vertue, which shall stand conspicuous in English History, so long as any memory of England remains.

Thus the Master of the Hospitallers tels the King, saying, he would revoke those Charters and Liberties inconsiderately granted by him and his Predecessors, and for it alleging the Popes practice, who many times chashiered his Grants. So long as you observe Iustice you may be a King, & as soon as you violate the same, you shall leave to be a King A Truth more Sacred than his Majesty could be, and not to be violated for the sake of millions of Tyrants.

But above all for wonder, is that of the Fryars Minors, who returned a load of Freeze he sent them with this Message, that he ought not to give alms of what he had Rent from the poor. Indeed obedience is better than sacrifice, but had this conscience been used by all the Romish Clergy, their bellies had been leaner, though their souls might have got by it their temporalities lesse, though their spirituality more; and this act deserves an Euge to these, though it create an Apage, to others, & rises in judgment condemning those great Clergy men, who have been lesse than these Minors in Conscience and Honesty.

At last, the King having a mind to have another bout beyond Sea, summons a Parliament at London,37. Year. and now there is no doubt, but he would be so gracious as to grant them what they could desire. O what a blessed thing is want of money, and how bountifull are Kings when they are quite beggared? they will pull down Star-chambers, High-Commission courts, Monopolies, suffer Favourites to be called to account for Treasons and vilanies they set them a work to do, when they can do no other, can neither will nor chose; and will grant trienniall Parliaments, and passe Acts that a Parliament shall sit so long as it will and which it might have done without their leave, when all the devices and power they can make are not able to hinder it; well though that proverb says, Necessity hath no law, yet with reverence to it’s antiquity, I must contrarily affirm, that had it not been for necessity England had never had good law, made nor kept, neither ever should so long as the Norman yoake was in fashion.

This Gaffer Necessity at the first word obtains what all the Lords, Prelats, Parliaments, so long demanded in vain; Henry so the Parliament will but relieve him, will ratifie and confirm their Liberties, they do it, granting him a tenth of the Clergy for three years, and Escuage three marks of every Knights Fee of the Laity for one year, towards his journey into the Holy Land, indeed Gascoigne; which how holy soever Henry accounted it, he could never yet bring any reliques out of it, though he had carried many a Crosse into it and he accordingly ratifies those often-confirmed Charters, in the most solemn and ceremoniall manner that the Religion of that time, and the wisdom of the State could then devise to do.

For the Parliament having so often found by experience, that no civill promise or verball profession, would hold in these Norman Lords; raptur’d by Prerogative, and devoted to perjury to maintain tyranny; take now a more Ecclesiasticall, and divine way of Obligation, swearing to Excommunicate all who should be found infringers of the Charters.

And the King with all the great Nobility, all the Prelats in their Vestments, with burning Candles in their hands, assemble in the great Hall at Westminster to receive that dreadfull sentence; The King having received a Candle, gives it to a Prelat, saying, it becoms not me being no Preist to hold this, my heart shall be a greater testimony; and withall lays his hand spred upon his Brest the whole time the sentence was pronounced, which was Authoritare Dei Omnipotentis, &c. which done he causes the Charter of King Iohn his Father to be read likewise openly; in the end, having thrown away their Candles, which lay smoaking on the ground, they cryed out, So let them which incurre this sentence be extinct, and stinke in Hell; and the King with a loud voice said, As God me help I will, as I am a Man, a Christian, a Knight, a King Crowned and Annointed, inviolably observe all these things.

Never were Lawes (saith that witty Historian) amongst men (except those holy Commandements on the Mount) established with more Majesty of Ceremony to make them reverend, and respected, than these were; they wanted but Thunder and Lightning from Heaven, which likewise if prayers could have effected, they would have had, to make the sentence gastly and hideous to the infringers thereof.

Yet no sooner was this Parliament dissolved by a sacred and most solemne conclusion, but the King presently studies to infringe all, and with a part of the money he then got, purchasing an absolution of the Pope, returnes to his former oppressive courses, with more violence and hardnesse; and for ought we know our late King had the like to help him over all those styles, for Master Prynne tells us, there was an English Lieger in Rome, and our own eyes, that there were Nuntio’s here at home, to continue a correspondence between the Pope, and his Royall Favorite.

Thus what the King does, the Pope undoes for money, so cursed a thirst after Gold was in both: It is no wonder therefore some of Henry’s late successors were hying so fast to Rome, who being troubled with the same disease, stood in need of the same Mountebanke: and no doubt but Venus hath obtained Armour of proof of Vulcan for her wandring AEneas, so that the King of Scots is well provided against the Covenants pearcing him to the heart, by the care of his Mother, and art of his holy Father.

But to returne to Henry, whom we see the greatest security that could be given, and that under the greatest penalty, an Oath could not hold; who would therefore suppose that he or any Kings of such metall should ever be believed againe by any who write themselves men (Creatures in whose composition are many ounces of reason) when the only Chaine upon earth besides Love to tye the Conciences of men, and humane society together (which should it not hold, all the frame of Government must fall asunder, and men like Beasts be left to force, that whosoever is the stronger may destroy the other) hath been so often and suddainly broken by the Norman tyrants, in whom this perjury ran in a bloud almost to a miracle? or who could think Master Prynne who in print takes notice of their frequent violations, would ever be drawn by corrupt interest to have his Countries Liberties sent to Sea to seek their fortunes in so rotten a Bottome.

These Deeds being done, succeeds one so monstrous, that we must almost run half way to Credulity to be able to meet it; for this perjured Prince was not ashamed to send his Brother over to summon the Estates, and demand of them (the Wounds yet fresh and bleeding made by his impieties) another Subsidy, but the Parlament denied him, to the great exasperation of the Tyrant: yet the Earl of Cornwall forced the Iews to pay a great Summ, that he might not return empty handed to his Brother, who staid untill he had consumed all that ever he could get in this Iourney, which with the other two made before, cost him seven and twenty hundred thousand pounds, more than all his Lands there were They to be sold were worth, besides thirty thousand Marks, with Lands, Rents, Wards, Horses, and Iewels, to an inestimable price, thrown away upon his half-brothers.

After all this he returns, and the first that felt their good Lord was come again, were the Londoners, and the Iews, who paid soundly for his Welcome. The Londoners presenting him with an hundred pounds were returned without Thanks or Money, for he was not altogether so unmannerly as to deny to receive it, then being perswaded Plate would be better welcome, they send him a fair Vessell, worth two hundred pounds; this had some Thanks, but yet would not serve the turn.

39. Year.For the Pope having bestowed the Kingdom of Sicil on the Kings younger Son (which the Earl of Cornwall wisely refused, knowing the Pope was never so liberall of any thing which was his own) the King to gain this makes all the mony he can get out of his Coffers, and Exchequer, or borrow of his Brother, or scrape from the laws, or extort by the rapine of his Iustices itinerants, which he gives to the Pope to maintain his Wars against Conrade King of Sicil, (you see there was a right Owner of what the Pope was so liberal) and yet all this would not do, for the Pope writes for more, who was loath to be a Niggard of anothers Purse; upon this Henry sends him Letters Obligatory, signed with his Seal, with Blanks left to put in what Summs he would, or could get of the Merchants of Italy, desiring him to stick upon no interest, all which was so effectually performed, that he was put in Debt no lesser Summ than three hundred thousand Marks, and yet no Sicil was got.

Vpon this a Parlament is summoned, and of them money required, which though they promised to grant upon condition he would swear without all cavillation to observe the Charters, and let the Chief Iusticiar, Chancellour and Treasurer be elected by the common Councel of the Realm, would not be hearkned to: for though he cared not a fig for his Oath, yet it seems those Officers might have restrained him from disposing of his Cash at list, and not suffer his Holinesse to have a Penny, whereby he might have wanted his Dispensation, or else the humor of Tyranny was so high, that all his penury was not able to check it for one moment.

The King thus being left unprovided, the Bishop of Herefore Agent for the Prelates at Rome, like a trusty Steward findes a shift to help him, for getting certain Authentick Seals from them, upon pretence of dispatching some businesse for them, by Licence of the Pope and King, he sets them to writings of such Summs of Money taken up of Italian Merchants for their Vse, and so makes them pay the Kings scores.

He seizes also the Liberties of the City of London, into his hands, upon the pretence of their letting a Prisoner escape, making them fine three thousand Marks to himself, and six hundred to his Brother; he requires of the Iews, upon pain of hanging, a Tallage of eight thousand Marks; and thus having fleeced them, he set them to farm to his Brother; who upon Pawns lent him a huge masse of Money; then the City Liberties are seized again, but upon payment of four hundred Marks restored.

And to add to all, one Ruscand a Legat from the Pope comes and demands the Tenth of England, Scotland, and Ireland; to the use of the King, and Pope, preaching the Crosse against the King of Sicil, but the Clergy protesting rather to lose their Lives and Livings than yield thus to the will of the Pope, and King, who they said, were as the Shepherd and the Wolf combined to macerate the Flock, were ordered to some tune, for the Legat suspended & excommunicated them, and the King if they submitted not in forty days spoiled them of all their Goods as forfeited.

40. Year.All men by Proclamation that could dispend fifteen pound per annum were commanded to come in, and receive the Order of Knighthood, or else pay their Fines, as was before done in the 37. year: and every sheriffe was fined 5 marks for not distreyning on all whom the Proclamation reached; this trick was shown in our dayes, lest any oppression should scape unexercised.

41. Year.A Parliament was held, wherein the Prelats and Clergy offened him upon condition the Charters might be observed, 52000 marks, but it satisfied him not, for he demanded the Tenths for 3. years, without deduction of expences, and the first fruits for the same time.

42. Year.Another was called to London, wherein upon the Kings pressing Them for reliefe to pay his depts, He is plainly told, They will not yeeld to pay him any thing, and if unadvisedly he without their consents and counsells bought the Kingdom of Sicill, and had been deceived, he should impute it to his own imbecility, and have been instructed by the provident example of his Brother, who absolutely refused it, in regard it lay so far off, so many Nations between, the cause of the Popes, the infidelity of the People, and the power of the pretenders. They also repeat the Kingdoms grievances, The breach of his promises, and most solemn Oathes: the insolence of his Brethren, and other strangers, against whom by his Order, no Writ was to pass out of the Chancery; how they abounded all in riches, and himself was so poor that he could not repress the Welsh, who wasted his Countrey, but going against them was forced to return with dishonor. The King seeing his friend Necessity was at his Elbow, humbles himself, tels them, how he had often by evil Counsell been seduced, and promises by his Oath, which he takes on the Tombe of Saint Edw, to reform all these Errors: but the Lords not knowing how to hold this ever-changing Proteus, for security adjourn the Parliament to meet at Oxford, in which time they provided for their own, and the Kingdoms safety.

The King in the mean while is put to his shifts, and upon promise of high preferment, gets the Abbot of Westminster to put his and his Covents Seal to a Deed obligatory, as a surety for three hundred marks; sending by Passeleave this Deed, with his Letters, unto other Monasteries, to invite them to do the like; but notwithstanding his threats, telling them How all they had came from the benignitie of Kings, and how their Soveraigne was, Lord of all they had. They refused to yeeld to any such deed, saying, They acknowledged the King to be Lord of all they had, but so as to defend, not to destroy the same.

And now the Parliament meets at Oxford, and in this it is Enacted that the Poictovins and strangers should avoid the Land, with many other profitable Laws for that time. The Charters are confirmed, and the King and Prince sworn to restore the ancient Lawes and Institutions of the Realm, and to observe inviolable the Ordinances of that Parliament. Now the chief Iusticiar, Chancellor, and all other great and publike Officers, are elected by the common and publike Counsell, which power was, as we may see before, usurped by the Norman Tyrants, and worn as an especiall flowr of their Crowns, and fruit of our slavery: for it is manifest to any, unlesse such as will wink, that our English Kings were but as Generals in War, without any other great jurisdiction; our wise Ancestors knowing such atrust enough for one, and therefore kept the Election of other Great Officers in their own power, untill in was wrested out of their hands by the Norman Tyrants, and that not so much by the Sword, as by craft; thus though William sirnamed the Bastard had defeated Harold in the field; yet upon his Coronation he swore to maintain the ancient Laws, Liberties, and Customes of the English Nation, and again renewed his Oath, and granted the same too by Charter, but when he was throughly setled in his seat he perfidiously broke all, imposed the Norman Lawes, and those in the Norman tongue, as a badge of our slavery, and a means to entrap the English, who not understanding them, knew not how to avoid the incurring the penalties; whereby his Normans mouths up were made with their Estates, & thus his Successors were forced to swear and forswear to maintain themselves in their Kingships.

The Poictovins and strangers being banished, presently followes the death and sicknesse of divers Noblemen, who had been poysoned by their practice: and a Steward of the Earl of Glocester was executed for it, he having received a great sum of VVilliam de Valence the head of the Poictovins to work the seat. And though the Kings Favourites cryed out that he was condemned only upon presumption, yet the evidence will appear very strong, if we consider, that his Lord, and his Lords Brother were poysoned, the latter dying, the former lying sick a long while, having his body swell’d, his nails and hair fallen off, and this Steward convinced to have received a great sum of the Poictovin their Enemy, for whom he could make out no service to be ever done, unlesse what was layed to his charge; besides, a Iew being converted a little after, confessed the poyson was prepared in his house.

43. Year.The Earl of Cornwall (now King of the Romans) returns into England, and upon his arrivall takes an Oath to observe inviolably, and obey the Statutes and Ordinances made by the late Parliament at Oxford.

44. YearA Parliament was summoned at Westminster, wherein were read and confirmed all the Statutes of Oxford, and such pronounced acursed by the Prelats, which should attempt in word or deed to infringe any of the same: Whereupon Escuage is granted to the King, forty shillings of every Knights Fee; a very considerable sum in those dayes, for there were above forty thousand Knights Fees in England at that time.

But the King having an intent to break more Oaths, and knowing that now it would not so easily be done, makes a Voyage over Sea to conclude a peace with France, that he might not be interrupted in the game he ment to play at home, having dispatched Messengers secretly to Rome, for absolution of his Oath, and to Scotland for aydes to be ready upon occasion.

45. YearWhen he had concluded with the King of France, having made an absolute resignation of the Dutchy of Normandy, the Earldoms of Anjou, Poicton, Tourenne and Main, upon the receipt of 300000 Crowns, and a Grant to enjoy what he had in Guion, Xantongue, &c. doing homage and fealty to the Crown of France, He returns, and comes to London, where he presently fortifies the Tower, caused the Gates of the City to be Warded, and then to pick a quarrel commands the Lords to come to a Parliament to be holden in the Tower, which they refusing, as he knew they would, he takes an Oath of all above 12 years of age in London, to be true to Him and His Heirs, and sets armed men to defend the City Gates, For fear sure the Parliament should have come in, and so spoyled the design, For neither Henry or any of our former Kings were ever so daring as to contest with a Parliament in the field or set up their standards against it, but were alwayes forced to grant its demands, or quietly sit down without having their own turne served, when the Parliament was willing to dissolve.

46. YearAnd now Henry being provided for the work, causes the Popes Bull, purchased for absolving himself, and all others sworn to maintain the Statutes of Oxford, to be read publickly at Pauls-Crosse, and makes Proclamation that all should be proceeded against as Enemies to his Crown and Royal dignity, who should disobey the absolution; and such was the blindnesse and slavery of many in those times, that one Bull begot thousands of Calves in an instant: and yet it seems veal was never the cheaper, for his Son the Prince was forced to rob the Treasury at the New Temple to buy him Provision, every one refusing to lend him or the King a groat, so great credit had their perfidie got them.

47. YearMany being clapt up in prison who would not be perjured, the Lords, and others whose consciences were more tender both of their Oath and Liberties than to believe the Pope, or trust the King, assemble together in arms for defence of themselves and their liberties, and first they send to the King humbly beseeching him to remember his many Oathes, and promises, but when that would not availe them, they advance towards London, where the King lay in the Tower waiting the gathering of his forces, and the comming over of strangers which he expected; and now the Bishops (who as they were seldom in any good, so would be sure to be cheif in every bad action) make such a stir to prevent bloudshed forsooth (of which their tendernesse hath alwaies been well enough knowne) that the controversy must be referred to the French King to decide; much honour got England, and much liberty was like to get by such an Arbitratour, while she is forced to creep to forraigners, to know whether they will please to let her enjoy liberty or no, after 47 years oppression under Henry, besides what his good Father and Grandsiers had loaded her with.

But the Lords being perswaded that their Liberties and Rights depended not upon the will of any one Man refused to stand to the partiall award of the French in the English Tyrants behalfe. Thus concluded this business (as all others commonly did, which Bishops had a foot in a with a mischief to the Common-wealth, the King gaining by it not only time for raising, but a seeming justice for his using of Forces to compell the Lords to stand to the sentence, by which their liberties were adjudged from them.

No doubt those wise and generous Barons not only disliked, but disdained such an Vmpire, as being sensible of the advantages Henry, of the dishonour their Countrey, and of the discommodity their cause would reap by him; but that those Fathers in evill under the angelical shape of peacemakers, necessitated them to accept of him, to avoid the obloque of being Incendiaries, the involvers of their Country in a miserable civill war.

Let the English High Priests then, to their eternall infamy, carry a frontlet engraven with Mischeif to England on their foreheads, who were the fatall instruments of enforcing their Country to submit her liberty to a forraigne Tyrants decision, whose corrupt interest lay in adding fewell to the flames, which contented the Noblest Fabricks, the uprightest and firmest pillars in the English Nation.

49 YearYet that Henry might make a little better market for himselfe, he Summons a Parliament at Westminster, where whilst openly nothing but redressing grievances, composing differences, exclaiming against jealousies raised to scandalise the King, good man, as if he intended to leavy War against his people, by factious spirits, proceeds from Henry, he underhand prepares for War, endeavouring to divide the Barons, and strengthen himself by all the plots and clandestine tricks he could; at last having by sprinkling Court holy-water, and promising fifty pound Lands per-annum to such as would desert the Lords party, drawn divers to revolt unto him, he secretly withdraws from Westminster to Windsor, and from thence to Oxford, & so on, traversing the Country, to patch up, and peece together an Army: And here we may see it was no new thing which was acted by his late successor, who in al his actions made it appeare that he was a right chip of the old block.

Now pretences of the Barons insolencies against the King, and oppressions of the Subjects, Declarations of his being forced to take up arms for defence of the just Lawes and Liberties of the people, and his own safety, with protestations of his good intentions, and divers other such knacks are every where on the wing, as we have had flying up and down at the tayls of the Royall paper Kites of our times.

The Lords being thus left in the lurch, are not wanting in preparing for defence, being unanimously backt by the citizens of London, who have hitherto had the Honour of bravely standing for Liberty; yet first they send to the King, putting him in mind of his oathes and promises, and desiring him to observe the great Charter and Oxford Statutes, but the Drums and Trumpets make such musick in his ears, that Henry will heare no talk of any Law, but what his will and Sword shall give; and for their good Counsell, returnes them as tokens of his love the title of Rebels, and Traytors, which he as frankly bestows on their persons, as he doth their Lands on his followers.

By these course Complements the Lords perceiving which way the game was like to go, leave off putting their confidence in the King, and trust their cause to God and their good Swords; then choosing the Earls of Leicester and Glocester for their Generalls (whose hands no manacle of alliance could lock from defending their Countries Liberties, though the first had married the Sister, the second the Neece of the King) they take the Feild, many Towns are taken by each party, and many skirmishes passe, wherein sometimes the one party, sometimes the other get the better; at length divers Scotch Lords, and others with great forces being joyned to the King, he marches against Northampton, where he heard Peter Montford was assembling forces for the Barons: the Town was very resolutely defended, untill by the Treachery of some Monks within say some, by the subtilty of the Kings Forces say others, (who advancing close under the Wall, undermined it, whilst the Captains within parlying with the King on the other side) a breach was made so large that forty Horse might enter a brest, by which Henry gained it by assault.

This Town being taken ran the same fortune Leicester lately did, for Henry drunk with successe, and rage, like a violent Torrent swept all before him, killing, burning, and spoiling where ever his Army came; but here, so unmanly was the cruelty of the Tyrant, that he would have hanged all the Oxford Schollers (a band of which were in the Town) for their valour shewed in the brave resistance of his forces, had not some of his Counsellers perswaded him from so doing, for feare (the only curb to an ignoble soule) of exasperating their freinds against him by his cruelty, many of the Schollers being young Gentlemen of good quality.

Here by the way we may observe the miserable effects of bad Governours in the Vniversities, by whom suth degeneratenesse was wrought in our youth, that none in our times were found more desperate engagers against the cause of Liberty, than young Schollers, who heretofore were the most resolute Champions for it: Let us therefore make no sinister constructions, when we see our Governours diligent in purging the fountaines, if we desire to have the streams run cleere.

But Northampton put a period to Henries fortune, for although he caused the Barons to raise their siedge from Rochester, yet in the height of his jollity he was defeated at Lews, such was the wages of Pride and Rage: And thus the Sunne setting at Leicester, went down at Naseby upon Charls, whose successe kept time with his presumption and cruelty.

And now Henry is pitched down at Lewes, where the Barons petitioning for their liberties, and desiring Peace, are answered by his proclaming them Rebells and Traitors; and sending his own, his Brothers and Sons Letters of defiance unto them: But this was too hot to hold, for the Lords perceiving what they must trust to, notwithstanding the great numbers of the Enemy, the Banished, Poictovins being returned with great forces for his aide, bravely resolve to give him battel, and as gallantly perform their resolutions, for fighting like men for their Liberties, they gain the day, and take Him, his Brother and his Sonne, with many English and Scotch Lords prisoners.

This victory was received with such universall joy, that when news came of the Queens having a great Army of strangers ready to set sale for England, such multitudes appeared on Barham Down to resist them, that it could hardly have been thought that so many men were in the Land: and at this appearance of the English the forreiners vanish and are disperst, being terrified to hear the English were so unanimous in the defence of their Country and its freedome; Oh were we but thus united now within our selves we need never fear the combination of forreiners.

But these noble souls being more valiant than wary, more pitifull than just, upon a few feigned shews of amendment, and fawning promises of not entrenching upon their liberties, receive the Snake into their bosomes, which will reward their kindnesse with their ruine as soon as he is able.

49. Year.For in the Parliament assembled at London, the cry of blood and oppression being stopt and smothered up, Henry again is seated on the Throne, upon that poore and Threadbare satisfaction of himself and his sonne, taking their Oaths to confirm the Charters and Statutes before at Oxford, and those now newly made: sure Mercury was ascendent at Henries nativity, so potent were his starres in deluding those who had been so oft mock’d, and beguil’d before; when in reason we might suppose his former frequent violations and reiterated perjuries should have taught them what trust was to be given to a Kings oath, in whose eye Tyrranny was so beautifull, that he never dallied to make market both of soul and body, so he might but purchase his desired Paramour.

These oaths being past in order to the performance after the royall mode, the Earl of Glocester is tampred with to leave the Barons; and by the artifice of those masters in the art of Division, who in all times knew how to work upon the covetous, ambitious and envious humours of great men, drawn to desert the cause of liberty: and of this we our selves have had a sad and fatall experience, how many great ones were cajold by Charles at Newcastle, Holnbie and the Islle of Wight, even to the great danger of our Cause; nay the very House was not free, as those Tuesday nights votes may, and the Frideyes had informed us with a witnesse had not Providence wrought miraculously for us, for it can be made out by good witnesse that there was a resolution to have dissolved the Parliament, and proclamed the Army Traitors, had they all met.

But Gold was too drossie to make Glocesters towring soul stoop, and his free spirit could not be shackled with silver fetters, some other Lure must be used to bring him down: and now Leicester was mounted to so high a pitch in the peoples favour, that Glocesters weaker wings could not reach him, which whilest with an aspiring eye he gazes after, his sight was so dazzled with the others motion as gave check to his pursute of the game. The crafty Prince marking his advantage, so works upon the weaknesse of this young Lord, that by it he effects what he could not do by his own force; thus Diamonds are cut by their own dust, and the Champion of Englands liberty must be the man can ruine it: accursed be that for sorceresse envy, so fatall then to Englands freedome, so mischievous lately to the same, whose menacing power had it not been stopp’d by the new modell, had totally routed the Parliaments whole force, so many Divisions of them being charged through, and through, and needs must that Army become a Chaos, wherein Commanders consist of jarring Principles.

Glocester now being come to his fist, away flies Edward to the Lord Mortimer, notwithstanding his assurance given not to depart the Court: that fable of the wise men of Gotams hedging in the cuckow, hits many of our ancestors home, who with oaths and promises went about to keep in their Kings, when one of the Norman brood could flie over such a fence with the very shell upon his head: and as the first part of that storie may be applyed to us, so the second is not altogether insignificant for our Kings, whom we shal alwayes find (together with such as sing after them) in one tune, crying out disloyall, disloyall, as if they could say as well as do nothing else: yet a Christian may conceive such a sound should make them tremble, by bringing the sinnes of their fathers and their own iniquities into their remembrance, did they but believe there were a God, who will measure the same measure out unto them which they have meted to others, and will visit the sinnes of the fathers upon the children.

Glocester and Edward having done the Prologne, the Tragedy begins, wherein the Scenes were so well laid, that every actor was ready to enter, and each had his part so well by heart, that it is plain they had been long conning their lessons; for no sooner were these two gone, but the Earles, Warren, Pembroke, with a whole shoale of Poictovins, and other strangers, come to land in Wales, which with the scattered reliques of the battell at Lewes, gathered from all parts, embody in great numbers before the Lords who stood faithfull were aware of them, yet they prepare for them as fast as they can: but their fortune was now in the wane, their pity and credulity had brought them into the snare, and their lives must go for suffering him to escape whom God had delivered into their hands: for to condemne the innocent and absolve the guilty, are equally abominable in the sight of heaven: and our ancestors to their cost have made experience of the truth of the Proverb, Save a thief from the Gallows, and he shall be the first will cut your throat.

First the Armies meet at Killingworth, where the Lord Simon Montford sonne to the Earl of Leicester is defeated; this bad newes meeting Leicester in Wales hastens him to repair the breach made in their fortunes, and he meets the enemy near Evesham, where in a bloody field fighting most valiantly, he loses life and victory both, and with him many more of the most noble English fall a victime to perjured Tyranny, whose rationall and undaunted souls disdaining a Brutish slavery, freely offered up their bodies on the High places of the field, a rich oblation for Englands freedome, which together expired, and lay butchered by them.

The losse of this battell was imputed to the cowardice of the Welsh, who in great numbers ranne away in the beginning of the fight, not to the injustice of the cause, of which the people had a sacred opinion: but the truth is, there was an accursed thing, an Achan in Leicesters host, old Henry attended with whole troops of perjuries, [Editor: illegible word] and oppressions, against whom incensed heaven was injustice engaged.

And now that the world might take notice Tyranny was again in the saddle, cruelty in the height of revenge pranceth through the field; for the dead body of noble Leicester was most barbarously abused and cut in pieces, the head with the privy members fastened on either side the nose being sent as a Trophy to the Lord Roger Mortimers wife, a present indeed as fitting for a Lady to receive, as it was becoming a Prince, who was Leicesters nephew to send, but the people made a Saint of him whom his enemies by making reliques of, rendred themselves little better than Devils, and the dismembred body gave a fragrant sent, whilest the dismemberers rotted and stank alive, thus after death Leicester leads a triumph over Tyranny, which may instruct us how far a free and generous soul is above its reach.

And here notwithstanding the calumnies and reproaches wherewith the Royall party backed with successe, and parasiticall Chronologers then and since have loaded Leicester; yet we may take a guesse of the worth of that noble Lord by the love of the people, and malice of the Tyrant: the former cannonizing him for a Saint, do what the latter could for his heart: and sure the common people had more than ordinary cause, which could make them practice after an unusuall manner, which was to judge contrary to event: had his pride and his sonnes insolency been such as some would make them (who endeavour with their shame to make a cloak for their adversaries knaverie) Henry need never to have been so timerous as he was, who not onely confessed he feared the father more than any storm, but could never be quiet untill he expell’d both mother and sonnes the Land, though she was his sister, a Lady of eminent note, both daughter and sister to a King, and they upon delivering up their strengths were seemingly received into favour: thus dreadfull and hatefull to a tyrant are free and generous spirits, which must expect such usuage, when they are within the verge of his power, and such effects of an act of oblivion must our noble Patriots have felt from Charles, had not providence in heaven been pleased to have put bounds to the paralell, By erecting us a pillar with a ne plus ultra upon it.

Let each following line then teach here thankfulnesse to Heaven, wherein we shall read, from what a labyrinth and maze of misery divine mercy hath freed our unworthy selves; in which our forefathers were miserably imprisoned and devoured and let us pride the clue which hath led us out among our choicest jewels; that giving glory to the hand, and honour to the instrument, we may in some measure walk worthy of the mercies we have received.

Henry now again where he would be, breaths nothing but bloud, and revenge against all who had stood for liberty, following, and pursuing them with such unheard of fury, that had not some potent favorites interposed, he had burnt the whole City of London: Thus the Metropolis of England had been laid in ashes, which so generously and often hath ventured for Liberty, had not God had a work to doe, wherein London was to be gloriously instrumentall, and so delivered it out of the paw of the Lyon.

A Parliament now is summoned to Winchester (which considering the season, was likely to do the people much good) and in this all who took part with the Lords are disherited, all the Statutes of Oxford are repealed, the wealthiest Citizens of London cast into prison, the City deprived of it’s Liberties, and all the posts and chains taken away; These things being put in execution (for such Acts must be kept) another Parliament meets at Westminster, wherein the Acts of Winchester are confirmed; Thus topsie turvie is the world changed, that Assembly, the onely refuge and Assilum for the people to fly to, & so lately the assertor of their Freedoms is becom the Mint, wherein the Tyrant stamps for current what he lists, and makes the basest metall passe for Gold, backing his lust with pretence of Law: O now I warrant you Henrye’s conscience is tender in keeping Acts of Parliament, and it is no lesse than a piaculum to go about to infringe them.

Henry in this latter comming to Westminster,50. Year. to shew his goodnesse and bounty, freely bestows on his Hang-bies sixty Citizens houses, together with their furniture, and all the lands, goods and chattels belonging to their owners; Yet at length he was pleased to pardon the City upon the payment of twenty thousand marks, and giving Hostages of the best mens Sonnes, to be kept in the Tower at their Parents charges.

Businesse thus dispatched at London, away hies Henry to Northampton, where the Popes Legat holding a Synod, curses all those who stood for Liberty: and Henry had been undutifull had he not helped his Holy-Father, who all along had bin so kind to him, the good man was agreed with before, it was all the reason then in the World that the Pope should make his market; thus the poor slaves were to purchase their fetters double, so costly was slavery unto England; justly then may such be termed niggards and base, who will grumble now though with around him to purchase their Liberty. And now it seems Henry made not his journey for nothing, for the gratefull Pope by his Legat this Synod, grants the tenths of the Church for a year unto him, so bountiful in rewarding one another were these Foxes, with what they lurched from the Geese.

51. Year.Henry passing his time in such pranks as these, at last Glocester finding his turning not to serve his tongue as he expected, takes his time, changes his footing, and assembling an Army seizes on London: this puts the King and Legat so to their trumps, as brought both unto their last stake, making the one pawn the shrines, jewels, and reliques, the other spend the curses and excommunications of the Church most liberally; but the Legat might have been sent packing with his Sonne at his back in Pontificalibus, had not Henries Golden Gods wrought the miracle, which having thousands of Angels at command, quickly brought in great Armies of Forraigners, by whose and Glocester was forced to submit, he and all his partakers finding for their offence to Henry, who, no doubt, made them pay fee putting him into such a fear, as well as unto such a charge, (which could be no small sum, were he like some of his late successors in defraying only the charges laid out for guilded clouts) besides what must be given to set the little Dagons in their places againe, and appease their and their Priests fury: Thus Glocester received the reward of his base deserting Leicester, being forced by his kind Master to find sureties for his good behaviour.

And now this Earl being brought under the yoak, Henry turns against those Barons who stood out, and were possest of the Isle of Elie. These he first attempts by the Legat (his forlorne Hope and reserve too it seems) who is beaten back with this repulse, That unles the Statutes of Oxford might be observed, and Hostages delivered, that they might peaceably enjoy the Island, untill they should perceive how the King would performe his promises, they were resolved to stand it out, and with the venture of their bodies seek to preserve their Souls, upon which lay most sacred and solemne ties. So great an incouragement was the opinion of their cause, that it made them stand upright and undaunted after all these storms; and so great a distrust had Henries perfidie created, that his subjects durst not let him come within their swords point, without Hostage given to keep him to his word; and indeed this Tyrants gaine by their violations, that none dare believe them but will rather fight it out to the last, as expecting revengefull and treacherous usage from them.

This Answer to the Legat so netled Henry, that he could not choose but wince; and well it might, for his galled conscience could not endure the mention of keeping an Oath, which was a tacit exprobration of him, no more than his tyrannicall humour could of the Oxford Articles, which carried in them a found of Liberty, a thing he supposed he had by the sword ript out of English breasts.

And no doubt but it must be thought great incivility in these Barons to dare to believe their eyes before royall perjuries, and great saucinesse in them, to make, or pretend to make more conscience of Oathes then their King; for what was this other than to endeavour to appear more religious, more honest, more true, and more just than their sacred Soveraigne? Away with such precise, and puritannicall fellowes; there can never be a good world so long as such are suffered to goe unpunished; into the High Commission Court with these Sectaries, that the Legat may hamper them; bring these seditious fellowes before the King, and the Honorable privy Councell, that they may receive the reward of their presumptuous questioning the legality of obeying King and Cardinall, right or wrong; nay, what is more, they are not contented to be slaves as others are, let them be tryed for Traitours and Rebells, for they have taken up Arms against the King, and talke of defending their Liberties by the Sword; Thus rang the peale among the flattering Courtiers, and the like verdict hath been past upon us by the Royall jury men, who in all things have followed these their foremen. Here we may perceive then through the veile of pretended Protestantisme, and Conscience, the t rise of the Royalists assertions, for the Parasiticall Papist hath done the like, to whom the reformed Religion was unknown or abhorred, flattery being the motive, not Conscience, the desire to cologue with a Tyrant, not the fear of displeasing God.

And upon these worthy considerations Henry and his faction decree ruine to these Barons, and the fate of Liberty was unable to resist their vowes; for Prince Edward with a great Army quickly forces them out of their strengths in that Isle whose courage was greater than their force, and their resolutions more numerous than their party; thus were the last glimmerings of Freedom extinguished, and the whole Land envolved in darknesse, the English being left to grope in a blind obedience after the will of their Tyrannicall Master.52. Year

Henry by treacherie having thus triumphed over liberty, He convenes a Parliament at Marlborough, where in a flourish he confirms the great Charter, either on purpose to make their teeth water, or to quiet the grumblings on foot against his Tyranny, by this act of grace, which was likely to be kept now the Bugbears of prerogative, those resolute Lords and Gentlemen were destroyed.

Now twentieths, & fifteenths, or what ever he would demand are readily granted, and glad he would be so contented, and all things go as well as Henry can wish, who promises to be a good Lord to them, so long as they shall continue humble vassals, contented slaves unto him; no mumbling or talking must be of Oxford Acts, which it was high treason but to think on, so wise the world was now grown over those former mad Parliaments.

And thus after he had at least twenty times confirmed, and as often violated those just decrees, notwithstanding all the solemnities, both civill, morall, and ecclesiasticall, used in the acts of ratification, and after all the hard strivings, and wrastlings between tyranny, and liberty, with such bad successe to the people, whose foolish credulity and sinfull pitty undid them, in the seven and fiftyeth yeare of his raign Henry and Magna Charta slept together, his Sonne Edward succeeding him in his Tyranny, to which he was Heire, as to the Crowne; for he made an higher improvement of his royalty, and got the domination of this State in so high and eminent manner, that (as one saith) he seemed to be the first Conquerour after the Conquerour, his little finger was heaviour than his Fathers loynes, laying insupportable taxes on both Clergy and Laity even unto the halfe of their Estates, the Barons and people not daring to quitch, or move for removall of grievances, untill at last needing a vast Summe to maintaine his Wars, he Summoned a Parliament, wherein he was pleased to confirme the Charters to stop their mouthes and open their purses, and this he often did when his occasions urged him to it, which like all other royall promisers he performed by leasure; Never was Royalty more Majestick, and glorious than in this Kings Raign, and the people lesse able to oppose; but I shall conclude his Character with what DANIEL saith of him, he was more for the greatnesse of the Kingdom than the quiet of it; for having been nurst up in slaughter, he as it were thirsted after bloud, so that never any King before or since, (except our last Charls) shed, and caused so much to be split in the age following within this Isle of Britaine.

But all that we shall observe from his Raigne is this, that as it was said of the Emperour Frederick, He was a good Emperour, but a bad Man, so the most warlike, politick, and temperate Princes have been the greatest Tyrants and oppressors of the people, the vicious and debauched by their lewd lives and unmartiall natures, giving the people more advantage and better opportunity to regain and revive the claim of their liberties, which the other by craft, force, and a kind of respect created by their morality kept them from: needs then must that trust of powr be dangerous to the Nation which lighting upon the most able person proves most destructive to the peoples just and native freedome.

Thus having briefly represented the most signall and materiall passages throughout this tedious and long reigne of Henry the third, in this short Discourse, where as in a perspective the Reader may not onely descry actions farre distant in time, and near hand, as done in our dayes, but also take an exact view of the whole mannagement of affairs under the Norman Monarchie, together with the real ground and rise of all those former, and these latter contestations between the Kings and people of this Nation, upon the score of Prerogative, and liberty. I shall forbear to swell into a volumne by raising unnecessary observations, which I shall leave (as I have done the paralell, where it was plain to every eye) to be spun out by each Readers fancie, being assured that the most shuttleheaded adorer of our Monarchy must blush in affirming that a fine piece, which it appears hath been wrought of such course threds and will onely in short set before you those Tyrannicall, abusive, and delusive practises by which our ancestors have been bobbed of their Freedome; and the Norman Tyranny founded and continued over them.

William the Norman sirnamed the Bastard, taking the opportunity of the Divisions among the English, invades the Land, and overthrows Harolds, weakned much in a fight with the invading Norwegians, where though he got the victory, he lost the bodies of many, and the hearts of most of his Souldiers by his partiall dividing of the Spoils.

Harold slain, and William victorious he is received, and crowned King by consent of the English, upon taking his oath to maintain the ancient Lawes and liberties of the Nation. And now being as he thought settled in the Throne, he begins to play Rex, in English the Tyrant, spoiling the English of their estates, which they were forced to purchase again of him, who neverthelesse retained a propriety in them, and would have all held of himself as Landlord: thus came in the slavish Tenures, and the English, amongst whom were no bondmen before, both Nobility and Commons, were made subject to the intollerable servitude of the Norman.

The English thus exasperated take up arms to regain their liberty, and that so unanimously; under the conduct of Edgar Etheling, then tearmed Englands Darling, and Edwin and Morchar Earls of Mercia and Northumberland, that the tyrant not daring to fight them, assayes to pacifie them by large promises of addressing their grievances, and restoring their liberties, and by the help of some Clergy men he so prevails, that meeting at Berkhamsted an accord is made, William taking his personall oath upon the Reliques of the Church of Saint Albans, and the holy Evangelists, from thenceforth to observe inviolably the ancient Lawes, especially those of Saint Edward, whom the Norman wickednesse had sainted among the people, so transcendent was tyranny already grown.

The English deceived by these specious shews lay down their arms, and repair to their homes, and now William having obtained his end, takes his advantage, and sets upon them disperst, and never dreaming of any assault, imprisoning, killing, banishing all he could lay hands on, and forcing the rest to fly into Scotland, overthrowing their ancient Lawes, and introducing others in a strange language, appropriating the old Forests, and making new ones, by depopulating the Countrey, and pulling down Churches, Abbies, and Houses for thirty miles together, and yet prohibiting the people the liberty of hunting upon great penalties, the ancient priviledge and delight of the English thus by treachery and perjury cheating the English of their liberties, whom by force he could not bring under his yoke, he laid the foundation upon which his Successours have erected the stately trophies of Tyranny amongst us.

But the English being of a generous and free nature were so impatient of the yoke, that upon all opportunities they did endeavour to break it; whereupon our Kings were forced still to make use of other props to uphold their tottering edifice, which perjury alone was too rotten to sustain, and by the Pope, Prelates, and Lords, working upon the credulous, superstitious, and unstable vulgar, did even to admiration shore up their Babel to the confusion of liberty.

1. The Pope was the chief Hobgob in in those dark times, that scared the people out of their wits; for through the superstitious ignorance of men, he had usurped the power of God; this Iugler with the counterfeit thunder of his Excommunications, and curses, which his Bulls upon all occasions bellowed forth against the assertors of Liberty, and with the pretended omnipotency of his dispensations with the oathes of the Tyrant, so amazed the people, that he not onely domineered himself, but, like the Lord Paramount for great Fines let the Land out, to be harrowed, and the inhabitants to be handled like villains and slaves to his Royall and well beloved sonnes (indeed he was a dear father to most of them) our immediate Landlords.

2. The proud Prelates, the Imps of that great Diabolo of Rome, were many of them strangers, and all of them the Creatures of the Popes, and Kings (who would choose none, but such as were fit for their designs, by their good wills, and with their ill wills could out any that should thwart them) and so either regarded not our sufferings, or were bound to augment them to please their Patrons, as well as to pamper themselves, who being Diocesan Monarchs were no foes to Arbitrary power that themselves might tyrannize ad libitum over their Sees.

And no doubt but Kings were so crafty as to perswade them No King, no Bishop, heretofore, to heighten their zeal to the Royall cause, as Prelats of late have stiffened them with No Bishop, no King, in obstinacy for Prelacy; yet these later have been Prophets against their wils, at their fall, who in their jollity had little or no will to be Preachers, and were so effectuall in their doctrine, that they confirmed their calling to be jure divino, though Scripture was never so clear against it, in the Royall conscience, to whom a Crown and Scepter must appear most sacred.

And now the Father, and Sonnes, the Pope and Prelates profit requiring it, what could there be imagined, but that it must be stamp’d with a divine right? alas it was easie with them to take sacred from an Oath, and confer it upon the perjured Violater; they had their holy oyle sent from Heaven by an Angel to Thomas Becker that Metropolitan Saint, and Martyr of Canterbury, with which Kings were anointed, and divers other holy devices to make them sacred, not to be touched by prophane Civill Lawes, or questioned by any but men in holy orders; who being ghostly Fathers, might lash, curse, depose, and devote to the Knife, Sword, &c. (notwithstanding Sacred, and Majesty, and holy Vnction, and all the rest) Emperours, or Kings, if stubborn, or encroaching upon the usurpations of Holy Church.

For you may observe that clause in the Coronation Oath to maintaine the rights and privileges of Holy Church, to be indispensable in former times as well as these latter, wherein conscience was onely made of preserving Episcopacy: Thus one part of the Oath was not to be violated upon pain of the highest censures; all the rest but a mere formality, and we poor Lay-slaves not to question our Kings doings, but in a blind and brutish obedience perform all their commands, just or unjust, good or wicked, our Clergy Impostures making the Pulpits ring with to obey is better than sacrifice, for Rebellion is as the sinne of VVitchcraft, &c. Sacred writ being wrack’d to torment us, and the Scriptures perverted to subvert our Liberties, and notwithstanding the Cheat was so palpable, the peoples understandings were lost in the Fogge, which these Gipsy Magicians raised by their Charmes.

Behold then the reason of Episcopacies being so sacred and divine in the judgment of Kings, who were so devoted to Tyranny that they ventured all to maintain it.

3. The Nobility were made the Whifflers to make roome for the Monarchicall Masquers: and although many of these were so generous, that they disdained to be slaves, and so potent and valiant, that they regained their fredoms, and brought the Tyrants on their knees, yet so ambitious and envious were the most of them, that they were easily divided and made to ruine one another, every one chosing rather to be a slave to a Tyrant, than be equall’d by his fellow, and gaping for advancement over the rest by his obsequiousness to his great master, thus by envy and Court preferment; being bewitch’d, they still undid what they had well done, and made the peoples taking up of arms for Liberty the step to their own preferment, betraying them to curry favour with their oppressor.

Thus were the people still betrayed by their Leaders, and so disabled and disheartned for the future to claim their rights by the present losse and expence of bloud and treasure: and those who faithfully stood by them severely prosecuted and murdered; when the Tyrants though vanquished, still escaped upon swearing a little amendment, and were set up again to take revenge upon the peoples, and to reward and preferre their own partakers. Thus were good patriots dishearnted and deprest, whilst that the Imps of Tyranny were emboldened, and set aloft to the utter ruine of Englands Freedom.

Lastly, when it was apparent that the noble and free spirits of the English could never be so deprest but that still they would up again, and so might at last, in spite of all opposed break the yoke, with the noise of Parliaments and Charters, Kings often stilled the Peoples cries, when indeed the former were so stuffed with a King, Lords, and Prelats, that the peoples Representatives sate for little more than cyphers to make up thousands and ten thousands, when the others pleased to set the figure before them: and the latter were of little or no use to the People, who received no benefit by them, but stood Kings in great stead, helping them to Millions, when all other shifts fayled to get money.

And now these things premised, I appeal to the judgment of all rationall creatures, whether it be not so perspicuous that the dimmest eye, on this side blindnesse, not winking out of design must perceive.

1. That continuall claim hath been made by the English to their rights and Liberties, so that in point of Law no precentended succession, continued by force, fraud, and perjury, case be a just plea to barre us of our inheritance, our Native Freedome, which we have now gained possession of, the most high and just judge having given sentence for us upon our appeal, and of his free grace enabled us to enter in despight of those who so long kept possession against our Ancestors.

2. That it would be the highest imprudencie, if not folly and madnesse, in us for the future to trust the most promising and insinuating Princces with our liberties and priviledges, which can be no longer expected to be preserved by them, than they may serve as footwools to advance them in the Throne of absolute Tyranny.

3. That the whole frame of just Government, hath been dissolved by our Norman Lords, who have made their own proud wills the rules, and their own greatnesse and absolutenesse the end of their Government. Sic volo sic jubeo, was Lex terre, I mean the Law which was onely in practice; and if this be not tyranny let our Royalists enquire of Lipsius no small Champion of Monarchy, who makes not the grandeur of the Court, but the Good of the Common-wealth the mark that Princes are set up to aim at: neque enim principatus ipse finis est, absit, aut altitudo illa & splendor, sed populi horum, it is not the greatnesse and lustre of the Prince, but the good of the people that is the end of Principality, and that eloquent Panegyrist in his Oration in the Romane Senate shews that the Empereall dignity consisted not in sound or shew; for saith he though we adorned our Emperours with majesty and pomp, yet is there farre more due from them to us the authours and granters of their power, as to take care of the Common-wealth, and setting aside self interest to intend the good of the people, &c. neque enim specie temus, ae nomine fortuna Imperii consideranda est, sunt trubea & fasces, & stipatio, & fulgur, & quicquid aliud huic dignitati adstruximus sed langè majora sunt qua vicissim nobie auctoribus, fautoribusque patentiæ debens, admittere in animum totius Reipublica curam, & oblitum quodanmodo sui Gewibus vivere, &c. Yet thus to have taught his duty and the peoples soveraigne power had been little lesse than treason with one of our Monatchs, which a Romane Emperour disdained not to hear in the open Senate, though he was accounted a more absolute Lord by farre than one of our Kings, and we were entitled to more liberty than the Romans.

But to conclude, so great corruption hath invaded Monarchy in generall; and so universally is it fallen from its primitive purity, that it is most evident its fate is not farre off, quin ruet sua mole, and will be buried in its own rubbish, for there are Symptomes by which the dissolution of politick bodies may be guess’d at as well as naturall, and too much surfetting will being both into the dust.

And let us omit the tyrannies, murders, and idolatries, and take a view but of the perfidies, and perjuries, the main pieces of King craft, by which Monarchs have carried on their Designs a long while in the world, and we may without a spirit of prophecy foretell what is likely to befall Royall families even by the light of nature, and a common observation of providence, for a very heathen Poet tells us,

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That though God may for a while deferre his Iudgement against the violator of his oath and promise, yet himself, wife and children shall dearly pay for it at last, an oraculous truth and confirmed in our eyes, and which may deterre all of us who are on this side sorcery or obduration, from daring to engage against heaven, and oppose the Almighty in the execution of Iustice upon an offending family, by which we shall onely draw down vengeance upon our own heads to the eternall confusion of both souls and bodies, for great is Jehovah, and onely to be feared, and there is none can deliver out of his hand.




T.224 (7.9) William Walwyn, Juries justified (2 December, 1650/1651)

Walwin, Juries justified

Editing History

  • 1st edition uncorrected: added 27 June, 2015
  • Date corrections completed: 10 Nov. 2017


Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.224 [1650.12.02] (7.9) William Walwyn, Juries justified (2 December, 1650/1651).

Full title

William Walwyn, Juries justified: or, A word of Correction to Mr. Henry Robinson; for his seven Objections against the Trial of Causes, by Juries of twelve men. By William Walwin.

Job. 22. 28. Remove not the Ancient Land-Mark which thy Fathers have left.

Published by authority. London, Printed by Robert Wood; and are to be sold at his house, near the Flying-Horse in Grubstreet, 1651.

Estimated date of publication

2 December, 1650/1651.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 819; Thomason E.618 [9]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Juries Justified: OR, A Word of Correction, to Mr. Henry Robinson.

THough a silence had seiz’d me, equal to his that was born and continued dumb, till his father was in danger of being murthered; yet retaining still a sincere and vigorous affection to my Native Countrey, and seeing this mans Knife offering at the throat of our preservers (such I esteem our Juries) for Englands, and for this its fundamental essential liberty, I could not hold my peace; but must tell Mr Robinson, he deals most injuriously with his Country, whereof he must either speedily repent, or be made ashamed: For how doth it appear, That there is not a competent number of understanding and fit men to be had in the lesser divisions of a County, for trial of all causes upon all occasions? which is his first frivolous objection. If by lesser Divisions, he means Hundreds, who doth not know it to be a most notorious slander? there being not the least in England, but affordeth a double competency of understanding and fit men; yea, should he mean Parishes, I verily beleeve, a sufficiency might even there be found, for trial of all the causes of each Parish; but that needs not, the divisions of Hundreds being more commodious, and the Hundred Courts being of ancient continuance, might soon be reduced to the former use; in which Courts (before the Conquest) all causes or matters in question, upon especial penalty were finally to be decided, in every Month.

And though William the Conquerour was so unjust and unworthy (indeed so perjured) as to alter this course so far, as to ordain that four times in the year, for certain days, the same businesses should be determined in such place as he would appoint, where he constituted Judges to attend for that purpose, and others, from whom (as from his own bosom) all litigators should have justice, from whom was no appeal; and appointed others for the punishment of malefactors: yet he never attempted to take away Juries, as finding by the resolute strugling of the people against what he did, that they would never bear it. So as this Mr Robinson does what he can, to induce the present Parliament, to deal worse with us then the Conquerour did with our Predecessors not minding as it should seem, how heinous an offence it hath been always judged, for any to endevour the subversion of the fundamental Laws of the Nation: nor regarding how frequently this Parliament have avowed to maintain inviolable, those fundamentals, in all things touching life, liberty, and estate, with all things incident thereunto; so as he invites them to do that, then which nothing could be more dishonourable. Insomuch, as it is a difficult thing to conceive, whence it is that he should engage himself in such a subject, nor can I imagin; except it be from his proneness to invention, a humour for the most part got by travel, but proving very unhappy to this Nation; as might be instanced, in our exchange of many of our substantial honest plain customs, for Frenchified and Italianated inventions, which have had no small share in our late distempers, new platforms of Government, sent English-fugitives abroad, to reduce us into the like depth of bondage with our neighbours, having been received with too great applause; but it is strange the ill success of the inventers & attempters, few of which have escaped exemplar punishment, should not as Land-marks warn travellers from such Shipwracks. And of all our English travellers (I say) well fare Col. Henry Marten, who returned a true English-man, and continued so ever after; always manifesting a most zealous affection to his Countries liberties, and especially to this, of Trials by 12 men or Juries; as eminently appeared by his demeanor upon the Bench at Redding, where it being his lot to give the charge to the Grand-Jury, in the first place, he wisht them to be rightly informed of their own places and authority, affirming it to be judicial, when as their own (meaning the Justices) was but ministerial; and therefore desired them not to stand bare any longer, but to put on their hats, as became them, and not to under-value their Country, which virtually they were; or words to this effect: which I the rather mention, to set traveller against traveller; for had he been a meer Country Justice, and not seen the world abroad, this our Anti-Juriman, possibly would have said it had been a vapour, sutable to one that had never been farther then the smoke of his own Chimney; for so our inventive innovating travellers, use to silence those that oppose their corrupt reasonings: And I have good hope our fear is our greatest harm, for certainly the Honourable Parliament would never have referred the care of the Regulating of Law and its proceedings, in so special a manner to Colonel Marten, but that they approve of his affection to Trials per Juries.

But it may be, he lays the most weight of his first Objection upon the word Understanding; that there is not a competent number of Understanding and fit men: Understanding indeed is very good, but as I take it, there is not so great a want thereof in England, as there is of Conscience, a faculty that puts on to the doing of what is approved to be ones duty, and to the resistance of what is not: a little quantity whereof (in my opinion) were very wholesom for one that is troubled with the rising of such Objections. But as for understanding sufficient to judge between right & wrong, in any case, where proof is to be made by witnesses openly and freely to be examined, and where a man shall be sure to have the help of eleven more equally engaged under oath to be careful therein; truly I wonder, that (any man not suspicious of his own judgment, or not over-weening it) should so much as doubt, that a competency of such understanding fit men, are not in every lesser Division or Hundred to be found.

Indeed, understanding is in great reputation; and so is utterance too; but yet nothing is so precious as a true conscience; not such a one as is satisfied with, touch not, tast not, handle not; nor with saying Carbun: nor with observation of days and times, no nor with saying Lord, Lord; but with doing judgment and justice, in delivering the Captive, and setting the Oppressed free; in feeding the Hungry, clothing the Naked, visiting the Sick and the imprisoned; and in faithfully keeping all promises and compacts amongst men, without which civil societies cannot be maintained.

And certainly, any one that hath such a good Conscience, would make a Conscience of removing so ancient a Land-mark, which our fore-fathers have set, Job. 22. 28. and more of such good Consciences I beleeve are to be found amongst our ancient English Gentry, and other our Free-holders, than among our sharp-sighted, smooth tongued Travellers; and such as (to the honour of our English nation) have in all times served their Country justly and faithfully, judging the causes both of rich and poor without fear or favour, as justly as can be expected amongst men, yea, without respect to persons or opions, as truly honouring God in their hearts, and trembling at an Oath taken to deal justly; and who with their lives and fortunes, in all times, have preserved this, the most essential Liberty of England.

For howsoever men in these days make bold to trample Magna Charta under their feet, making sport at the many absurd prerogative and superstitious things therein contained; it is to be noted, that these things are but as a French garb or cloathing, which the Conqueror and his successours, by main strength, forced our fore-fathers to put on: but yet, as an Englishman is to be known from a Frenchman amongst a thousand, though he labor to fashion himself as the most Frenchified Gallant; so are our true English Liberties, contained in Magna Charta, as easie to be differenced from amidst that superstitious and in some measure, tyrannical heap cast upon them, and which that worthy Parliament, in the third year of the late King, called out to, purpose, and reduced into that excellent Law (as this Parliament stiled it since his death) the Petition of Right, and wherein trials per Juries is the principal.

And therefore this is a strange kind of service or gratitude to the Parliament in Mr. Robinson, for so many profitable places and favoure conferred upon him, to invite them to take away Juries, and to erect another way of trial of Causes, whereby he must necessarily render them more odious to the people, than the worst of those they have removed; for certainly, had either party when these publick differences began, proposed the taking away of Juries, they had never had a thousand men to have taken part with them; so as if his counsel should take place, I wonder where the Parliaments Cause would be, which they have ever, hithereo, held forth, for the concurrence of the People is it not also as easie to judge for whom he labours to beget friends, by his so doing, it being no new thing with him to play the Lapwing.

As in also doth he repay the Army; for whereas they publish to all the world, That they esteemed all present enjoyment (whether of life or livelihood, or nearest relations,) a price but sufficient to the purchase of so rich a blessing, viz. That they, and all the free-born people of England might sit down in quiet under their own vines, under the glorious Administration of Justice, and Righteousness, and in full possession of those Fundamental Rights and Liberties, without which, they could have little hopes to enjoy either any comforts of life, or so much as life it self, but at the pleasure of some men, ruling meerly according to Will and Power.

What more fundamental liberty than the trial of causes by Juries of twelve men? What more constant, more glorious administration of Justice and Righteousness? Yet this true or false lover of the Army, insinuates, nay, invites the taking of this away, as the end of their conquest, as if they had conquered, not for the establishment of our fundamental liberties, but for their extirpation: if these are his mites he so much boasts of, to cast into the work of Reformation, sure it is not for the English, but the Scotch Treasury; where if he should be as acceptable as (time was) one was at Oxford and Newcastle, the new Office of Addresse may serve turn for private parties, with any body, and is a fit contrivance for him to be hic & ubique as formerly: What think yee of it? is it, or is it not? Is it not more likely, than that England should not be able to afford a sufficient number of judicious and conscionable men for Juries? for my part I professe I think it is.

And how I pray doth it appear, that People are generally unwilling to be called upon for Jurie-men, whereby they neglect their own affairs? which is his second objection. What an unheard of grievance hath this tender hearted man found: out! even the most insensible burthen of serving upon Juries; wherein his care appears above and beyond all that ever petitioned the Parliament: not one Petition of the well-affected, in all their large Petitions, so much as minding or desiring to have it removed, no, not a one of the ill-affected: manifestly shewing, that either he is better then the best, or worse then the worst affected: say Scotch, or English, whether is it? (for he desires us to be tried by God and his Country) is it not right sterling. But certainly Mr Robinson is troubled, the plain people should be put upon occasions to understand themselves in any measure, or be able to discern of one anothers causes, but would have them so wholly fixt upon their own particular affairs, that they might remain as ignorant of the laws of the land, as in time of Popery they were of the laws of God; then, knowing no more but what the Priest pleased: and now he would have them put all their understandings (in the affairs of law) into the pockets of such Judges, as he in his own brain fancies, and would perswade them to it for their own good, then they might the better follow their more profitable callings; he finding, it seems that every man is born for himself, and not so much as a Jury-mans time to be spent for the publique: sure ’twill not be long but he will also find, Constables, Headboroughs, and all other Officers to their hands; but by the way, not without good pay, for so he carefully proposeth for his Judges, and so large as they may live upon it when they are out of their Offices; and thus he will devise waies to raise monies in such sort I warrant ye, as shall be no waies burthensome to the people, no so much as felt by them, if you will beleeve him, but so long till he hath brought you into his fooles Paradice, when he hath you there, beleeve or no, all is one, he will make you pay, and say too you feel it not; to such an end drives his Mountebank promises, in all he hath yet undertaken; for he hath made some believe, that he will shew how all the vast charges of the Common-wealth should be constantly defrayed without burthen to the people; but sure his meaning is, that he would have them at such a passe, as they should not dare to say the contrary, if he but say it is so: otherwise; where are the mountains he hath so often promised, are they in his office of addresse, or are they not? ’tis like there’s more, then such as truly love the Liberties of their Country can imagin.

Well, all the Jurie-men in England shall be excused from any further service, because they are generally unwilling: off with your hats, Country-men, and thank him; he onely takes care of you and your affairs: Not a Parliament man, God be praysed, hath had this wicked care of you, as for a poor complement, a little drawing back from your duty, to take you at your words, and smile you out of all your liberties at once; for beleeve it, lose this and lose all: No more complements, I beseech you; but upon the first call, pack up and be going, for if once Mr. Robinson take you napping, he may chance shew you a new Florentine trick for it.

For he further objecteth, that though they do come to avoid the penaltie, they seldome take the course to be rightly qualified and fitted to judge of the matter in controversie. But doth it appear to be a truth, that they come (only) to avoid the penalty? It may be some do so, & yet they may bring their consciences with them; (which, some think, have been as frequently found under Felt Hats and Worsted Stockings, as with people of a finer Stuff,) and then I hope, it is well they are there; but that one Swallow should make a Summer, or one Woodcock a Winter, is against our English proverb; and as ill reasoning it is, to imply (as he doth) that none come, but to avoid the penalty, when as it is impossible for him to know it, or to think it, so as to beleeve it: but some say, our decoy Ducks may twattle any thing, for what is this and all the rest but twatling? They seldome take the course to be rightly qualified and fitted to judge of the matter in controversie, What cours trow hath he seen beyond the seas in his travels, that are wanting here? are not our Juries and Jurie-men sufficiently known before hand, who shall be upon this, and who upon that cause, that the parties concerned might apply themselves to them by great letters and gifts, to make them sensible? what a horrible defect is this, and it seems would be perfectly supplied by such Judges as he fancies; then indeed they might be rightly qualified to judg, as should be best for their own and their Patrons advantage: And truly, in this way sure he ayms to be a Judg himself, and no doubt would soon come to have a feeling of the Cause; but if he do, I hope his itch will not yet be cured, and that he shall scratch where it doth not itch, first, as he hath done formerly; though now provender prick him to spur-gal his Country, as now he doth.

For yet again he sticks them in the sides, with this; That, Most commonly, one or two active and nimble-pated men over-sway all the rest of the Jury; and too often for the worst: which is his 4th Objection. But truly, with us in England, our nimble-pated men are not in so great credit, as possibly they are in other parts, we are generally of somewhat a more dullish complexion, which renders most so considerate as to suspect those few nimble-pated men as are amongst us; and for the most part not without cause: so as the nimble-pated seldom carry anything, except they have reason and equity of their side, and then the more they sway therewith the better: And those dull men (as he accounts them now it serve his turn) were he to deal with them in buying, selling, letting or setting, I beleeve he would not think them so easily caught with Chaff or Nut-shels: Nor is right and wrong so difficult to be discerned in Causes and Controversies, but that an ordinary capacity (careful to keep a good conscience, and that is tender of an oath) shall soon perceive the true state thereof; and be able to do right therein according to evidence: Nor will this nimble-pated Mr Robinson with all his quickness of wit, be able to make this (the most desperat project he ever undertook, or was ever offered at in England) pass for currant Coyn with our dullest apprehensions; and in time may be made to know, that none are so apt to mistakes as the quick-sighted; nor any so sottish, as those that are conceiptedly wise.

Another gird he gives Our good men and true, is; That, Though never so many of them dissent in judgment from the rest, they must notwithstanding all concur in the Verdict, or be wearied into it; which is his 5th Objection: And truly (how strong soever he beleeves it) nothing in my opinion is more commendable in the institution of Juries, than the provision that all must agree, and agree necessarily and finally in so short a time; for should it rest on a major part, there might be some won for partiality, and some won for complaint in the parties against whom the Verdict is given; and some cause of quarrel ever after amongst the Jury-men themselves: but in that all 12 must be agreed, all these mischievous inconveniences are manifestly to be avoided; and in that it is provided that they must make an end before they shall either eat or drink, it supposeth (what is said before) that right and wrong are not hard to be discerned, and that those that are convinced of the truth and yet desire to carry it otherwise, wanting that strength of a good conscience, to bear them out in such a strait of time, will yeeld to the truth rather than die in it; which those that labour to keep a good conscience, even dare to die: besides, had they further time, what means would be un-assayed to corrupt their Verdict? So as all things justly considered, doubtless it is the best provision that ever was in the world.

But he hunts farther to finde matter against them, and hath found; That if they give corrupt or erroneous Verdict, there cannot justly be any penalty inflicted on them, because they may pretend, they did at first declare themselves unfit for such employment; that they undertook it not willingly, but were compelled thereunto: This is a long-winded Objection. But (if any part of it were true, as I do not see it is) may they not justly be unfit for a corrupt Verdict? what a vast difference is there in judgment between our forefathers and some of their white sons? They no doubt, in the time of the institution of Juries, fore-saw as much as this man objects, and yet provide the most heavie and reproachful punishment for a false Verdict, found per Attaint, as ever the wit of man devised; As, that every one of their Houses should be razed to the ground, their Trees stockt up by the roots, and all their Ground turn’d up and made useless, &c.

And all this justly too, as being fully convinced, it could not be, except it were wilfully and wickedly done, and deserving to bee made exemplary; and is so good a provision against corruption, that very seldom hath such a case befaln: but either men have had consciences for right, or have been deterred from daring to be confederates in so high a wrong, as to give a false or corrupt Verdict; as knowing it in vain to say in excuse, as this man goes on: That they undertook it unwillingly, and were compelled thereunto; and when they saw there was no avoiding it, they endeavoured to proceed therein according to the uprightness of their Consciences, if they be thought to have done amiss, it was but what they could not remedy, and are heartly sorry for it. Such Childish toyes, as fitter for Children than men, were of no value with them; and therefore supposing every man, a Man, and bound to serve his Country in any place as he shall be lawfully called thereunto (willing or unwilling) and to discharge his trust judiciously and faithfully, or to suffer for it.

His last Objection is; That, The keeping the Jury without Fire-light, Bread, or Drink, as the Law requires, may possibly make the major part of them, if not all, agree upon a Verdict contrary to their Consciences, to be freed from any of these exigencies; at least, some of them to strike up with the rest in a joint-Verdict, since it is well near impossible for twelve men, all circumstances considered, much more in a doubtful case, to bee of one opinion; and though the case were never so clear, yet one peremptory man of a strong constitution, whether his judgment be right or wrong, may sterve all the rest, unless they will give Verdict as he will have them. Certainly, he thinks most men of such a kinde of tenderness in conscience, as soon is crackt a sunder; beleeve it Sir, a true English conscience is of more solid stuff, and will endure every one of these, yea death it self, rather then be so base and unworthy; and certainly, but from unworthiness could not be supposed: For if a man were but resolved how base a thing it were so to do, how could he once think of striking up with the rest, in a joint false Verdict (conscience in this case being more powerful then the strongest constitutions?) And as for any absurdity in their being kept without fire-light, &c. it supposes that they have had time enough at the Trial (or might have had) to be fully satisfied from the examination of the Witnesses, in the right state of the Cause; which then they are to look to, and to clear all their scruples by what questions they please, and well to understand themselves and one another before they discharge the Witnesses or go together: And this standing for good, what cause is there they should have any longer time then is admitted them? Except to to make them liable to corruption.

For my part, I have heard many discourses touching Juries, but never any material exception against the way of Trials by them: Indeed I have heard divers complain and wonder, that the way of proceeding before Causes come to Juries, should be so tedious, so full of charge, trouble, and perplexity; since in their accompt, there is very little more requisite in any Cause, but a convenient time for preparation and appearance, as about a Month or two; and then one chief Officer (a Judg or the like) Witnesses, and a Jury, and time for Trial, and so an end: A dispatch as speedy, with less charge, and more certainty, than any new thing proposed by this new Inventor; most of the accustomed pleading, serving rather to perplex then clear the Cause to the understanding of the Jury: Which ocasioned that at a certain Trial (time was) after the state of the Cause was set forth in the Declaration (the Councel beginning to speak) the Foreman of the Jury, cals to the Judg and tels him, he had an humble suit to his Lordship; well (says the Judg) what is it? My Lord (said he) it is, that now the state of the Cause hath been set forth, we may proceed immedily to the examination of Witnesses, and so to give our Verdict, whil’st we remember what is material, and that we may spare the labour of these Gentlemen the Councel on both sides, whom I see are prepared to speak largely thereunto; for truly (my Lord) if they shall fall to work as they use to do, our understandings will be so confounded by their long discourses, and many niceties, as we shall not be able so rightly to judge thereof as now we shall, this was his humble motion; but the Judg having formerly been a Pleader, laught at the honest man, and so did all the Court, except some plain people that had so little understanding as to think there was reason in it. But such was the sport of those times, and perhaps may make some merry now, but yet they may consider that mocking is catching, and that laughter oft ends in Lachrymæ. ’Tis but a story, yet a true one, and may one day be acted to the life, and with a general applause, so it be well and throughly done: And do this man what he can, the many good mens lives and estates, that have been preserved by Juries, will never be forgotten whil’st England is England; and wherein I deem my self so much concerned, as in gratitude I justly owe my Country this service; but have done it gently, as judging gentle Correction to be the best; and the rather, because the Objector is of my acquaintance, which made me indeed unwilling to undertake him, lest it might be deemed disagreeable to friendship; but seeing no body else did, and since he knew my minde to be against his Propositions, and much more against his endeavour to deprive us of our Juries, and yet would publish them, to the prejudice of Common Right, (against which in all his writings he hath uttered most irradicating expressions) I take it, this Word of Correction is properly bestowed on him; and I hope profitably for the Common-wealth, having indeed been born withall too long: for whil’st the Husbandmen sleep, envious men will be sowing their Tares.

To Correct all the rest of the errours in his little Treatise, were an endless labour; nor will this my present labour (I hope) be absolutly needful, for certainly Juries cannot in time of Parliament be in any danger; and then, they standing, his project fals: Only I thought it necessary to appear a friend to this my Countries principal liberty, when any one should adventure to appear so palpable an enemy; wishing with all my heart, that hee may consider the nature of what he hath done, remembring, that as there was a Law (amongst the Locrines I take it) that he that moved to have any new Law established, should appear as if he were going to Execution, and if that he moved were not approved, he was indeed to suffer: Even so among us, there is a Law called the Excomengement, wherein all are accursed, that shall move for any Law to be made, contrary to our ancient Rights; and to subvert the Fundamental Law, hath been always adjudged a capital offence; and though with help of a little Fasting spittle, a man may play with Quicksilver, yet ’tis a fond thing to take fire into ones bosom, and venture upon a charm only to keep it from burning. It were much better to pray unto God to give no more wit, nor strength, nor power, than men have good consciences to make a right use of, to his glory, and their spiritual good: Which is and shall be ever, the hearty prayer of

William Walwin.




T.274 John Milton, Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defence] (1651).


The Prose Works of John Milton: With a Biographical Introduction by Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In Two Volumes (Philadelphia: John W. Moore, 1847). Vol. 2.

T.274 [1651.??] John Milton, Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defence] (1651). </titles/milton-the-prose-works-of-john-milton-vol-2#lf0233-02_head_002>.


[first published 1692.]


Although I fear, lest, if in defending the people of England, I should be as copious in words, and empty of matter, as most men think Salmasius has been in his defence of the king, I might seem to deserve justly to be accounted a verbose and silly defender; yet since no man thinks himself obliged to make so much haste, though in the handling but of any ordinary subject, as not to premise some introduction at least, according as the weight of the subject requires; if I take the same course in handling almost the greatest subject that ever was (without being too tedious in it) I am in hopes of attaining two things, which indeed I earnestly desire: the one, not to be at all wanting, as far as in me lies, to this most noble cause, and most worthy to be recorded to all future ages: the other, that I may appear to have avoided myself that frivolousness of matter, and redundancy of words, which I blame in my antagonist. For I am about to discourse of matters, neither inconsiderable nor common; but how a most potent king, after he had trampled upon the laws of the nation, and given a shock to its religion, and begun to rule at his own will and pleasure, was at last subdued in the field by his own subjects, who had undergone a long slavery under him; how afterwards he was cast into prison, and when he gave no ground, either by words or actions, to hope better things of him, he was finally by the supreme council of the kingdom condemned to die, and beheaded before the very gates of the royal palace. I shall likewise relate (which will much conduce to the easing men’s minds of a great superstition) by what right, especially according to our law, this judgment was given, and all these matters transacted: and shall easily defend my valiant and worthy countrymen (who have extremely well deserved of all subjects and nations in the world) from the most wicked calumnies both of domestic and foreign railers, and especially from the reproaches of this most vain and empty sophister, who sets up for a captain and ringleader to all the rest. For what king’s majesty sitting upon an exalted throne, ever shone so brightly, as that of the people of England then did, when shaking off that old superstition, which had prevailed a long time, they gave judgment upon the king himself, or rather upon an enemy who had been their king, caught as it were [6] in a net by his own laws, (who alone of all mortals challenged to himself impunity by a divine right,) and scrupled not to inflict the same punishment upon him, being guilty, which he would have inflicted upon any other? But why do I mention these things as performed by the people, which almost open their voice themselves, and testify the presence of God throughout? who, as often as it seems good to his infinite wisdom, uses to throw down proud and unruly kings, exalting themselves above the condition of human nature, and utterly to extirpate them and all their family. By his manifest impulse being set on work to recover our almost lost liberty, following him as our guide, and adoring the impresses of his divine power manifested upon all occasions, we went on in no obscure, but an illustrious passage, pointed out and made plain to us by God himself. Which things, if I should so much as hope by any diligence or ability of mine, such as it is, to discourse of as I ought to do, and to commit them so to writing, as that perhaps all nations and all ages may read them, it would be a very vain thing in me. For what style can be august and magnificent enough, what man has parts sufficient to undertake so great a task? Since we find by experience, that in so many ages as are gone over the world, there has been but here and there a man found, who has been able worthily to recount the actions of great heroes, and potent states; can any man have so good an opinion of his own talents, as to think himself capable to reach these glorious and wonderful works of Almighty God, by any language, by any style of his? Which enterprise, though some of the eminent persons in our commonwealth have prevailed upon me by their authority to undertake, and would have it be my business to vindicate with my pen against envy and calumny, (which are proof against arms) those glorious performances of theirs, (whose opinion of me I take as a very great honour, that they should pitch upon me before others to be serviceable in this kind of those most valiant deliverers of my native country; and true it is, that from my very youth, I have been bent extremely upon such sort of studies, as inclined me, if not to do great things myself, at least to celebrate those that did,) yet as having no confidence in any such advantages, I have recourse to the divine assistance; and invoke the great and holy God, the giver of all good gifts, that I may as substantially, and as truly, discourse and refute the sauciness and lies of this foreign declamator, as our noble generals piously and successfully by force of arms broke the king’s pride, and his unruly domineering, and afterwards put an end to both by inflicting a memorable punishment upon himself, and as thoroughly as a single person did with ease but of late confute and confound the king himself rising as it were from the grave, and recommending himself to the people in a book published after his death, with new artifices and allurements of words and expressions. Which antagonist of mine, though he be a foreigner, and, though he deny it a thousand times over, but a poor grammarian; yet not contented with a salary due to him in that capacity, chose to turn a pragmatical coxcomb, and not only to intrude in state-affairs, but into the affairs of a foreign state: though he brings along with him neither modesty, nor understanding, nor any other qualification requisite in so great an arbitrator, but sauciness, and a little grammar only. Indeed if he had published here, and in English, the same things as he has now wrote in Latin, such as it is, I think no man would have thought it worth while to return an answer to them, but would partly despise them as common, and exploded over and over already, and partly abhor them as sordid and tyrannical maxims, not to be endured even by the most abject of slaves: nay, men that have sided with the king, would have had these thoughts of his book. But since he [7] has swoln it to a considerable bulk, and dispersed it among foreigners, who are altogether ignorant of our affairs and constitution; it is fit that they who mistake them, should be better informed; and that he, who is so very forward to speak ill of others, should be treated in his own kind.

If it be asked, why we did not then attack him sooner, why we suffered him to triumph so long, and pride himself in our silence? For others I am not to answer; for myself I can boldly say, that I had neither words nor arguments long to seek for the defence of so good a cause, if I had enjoyed such a measure of health, as would have endured the fatigue of writing. And being but weak in body, I am forced to write by piecemeal, and break off almost every hour, though the subject be such as requires an unintermitted study and intenseness of mind. But though this bodily indisposition may be a hindrance to me in setting forth the just praises of my most worthy countrymen, who have been the saviours of their native country, and whose exploits, worthy of immortality, are already famous all the world over; yet I hope it will be no difficult matter for me to defend them from the insolence of this silly little scholar, and from that saucy tongue of his, at least. Nature and laws would be in an ill case, if slavery should find what to say for itself, and liberty be mute: and if tyrants should find men to plead for them, and they that can master and vanquish tyrants, should not be able to find advocates. And it were a deplorable thing indeed, if the reason mankind is endued withal, and which is the gift of God, should not furnish more arguments for men’s preservation, for their deliverance, and, as much as the nature of the thing will bear, for making them equal to one another, than for their oppression, and for their utter ruin under the domineering power of one single person. Let me therefore enter upon this noble cause with a cheerfulness, grounded upon this assurance, that my adversary’s cause is maintained by nothing but fraud, fallacy, ignorance, and barbarity; whereas mine has light, truth, reason, the practice and the learning of the best ages of the world, of its side.

But now, having said enough for an introduction, since we have to do with critics, let us in the first place consider the title of this choice piece: “Defensio Regia pro Car. Primo, ad Car. Secundum: a Royal Defence (or the king’s defence) for Charles the First, to Charles the Second.” You undertake a wonderful piece of work, whoever you are; to plead the father’s cause before his own son: a hundred to one but you carry it. But I summon you, Salmasius, who heretofore skulked under a wrong name, and now go by no name at all, to appear before another tribunal, and before other judges, where perhaps you may not hear those little applauses, which you used to be so fond of in your school. But why this royal defence dedicated to the king’s own son? We need not put him to the torture; he confesses why. “At the king’s charge,” says he. O mercenary and chargeable advocate! could you not afford to write a defence for Charles the father, whom you pretend to have been the best of kings, to Charles the son, the most indigent of all kings, but it must be at the poor king’s own charge? But though you are a knave, you would not make yourself ridiculous in calling it the king’s defence; for you having sold it, it is no longer yours, but the king’s indeed: who bought it at the price of a hundred jacobusses, a great sum for a poor king to disburse. I know very well what I say: and it is well enough known who brought the gold, and the purse wrought with beads: we know who saw you reach out greedy fists, under pretence of embracing the king’s chaplain, who brought the present, but indeed to embrace the present itself, and by accepting it to exhaust almost all the king’s treasury.


But now the man comes himself, the door creaks, the actor comes upon the stage.

  • In silence now, and with attention wait,
  • That ye may learn what th’ Eunuch has to prate.
  • Terent.

For whatever the matter is with him, he blusters more than ordinary. “A horrible message had lately struck our ears, but our minds more, with a heinous wound concerning a parricide committed in England in the person of a king, by a wicked conspiracy of sacrilegious men.” Indeed that horrible message must either have had a much longer sword than that which Peter drew, or those ears must have been of a wonderful length, that it could wound at such a distance; for it could not so much as in the least offend any ears but those of an ass. For what harm is it to you, that are foreigners? are any of you hurt by it, if we amongst ourselves put our own enemies, our own traitors to death, be they commoners, noblemen, or kings? Do you, Salmasius, let alone what does not concern you: for I have a horrible message to bring of you too; which I am mistaken if it strike not a more heinous wound into the ears of all grammarians and critics, provided they have any learning and delicacy in them, to wit, your crowding so many barbarous expressions together in one period in the person of (Aristarchus) a grammarian; and that so great a critic as you, hired at the king’s charge to write a defence of the king his father, should not only set so fulsome a preface before it, much like those lamentable ditties that used to be sung at funerals, and which can move compassion in none but a coxcomb; but in the very first sentence should provoke your readers to laughter with so many barbarisms all at once. “Persona regis,” you cry. Where do you find any such Latin? or are you telling us some tale or other of a Perkin Warbec, who, taking upon him the person of a king, has, forsooth, committed some horrible parricide in England? which expression, though dropping carelessly from your pen, has more truth in it than you are aware of. For a tyrant is but like a king upon a stage, a man in a vizor, and acting the part of a king in a play; he is not really a king. But as for these gallicisms, that are so frequent in your book, I won’t lash you for them myself, for I am not at leisure; but shall deliver you over to your fellow-grammarians, to be laughed to scorn and whipped by them. What follows is much more heinous, that what was decreed by our supreme magistracy to be done to the king, should be said by you to have been done “by a wicked conspiracy of sacrilegious persons.” Have you the impudence, you rogue, to talk at this rate of the acts and decrees of the chief magistrates of a nation, that lately was a most potent kingdom, and is now a more potent commonwealth? Whose proceedings no king ever took upon him by word of mouth, or otherwise, to villify and set at nought. The illustrious states of Holland therefore, the genuine offspring of those deliverers of their country, have deservedly by their edict condemned to utter darkness this defence of tyrants, so pernicious to the liberty of all nations; the author of which every free state ought to forbid their country, or to banish out of it; and that state particularly that feeds with a stipend so ungrateful and so savage an enemy to their commonwealth, whose very fundamentals, and the causes of their becoming a free state, this fellow endeavours to undermine as well as ours, and at one and the same time to subvert both; loading with calumnies the most worthy asserters of liberty there, under our names. Consider with yourselves, ye most illustrious states of the United Netherlands, who it was that put this asserter of kingly power upon setting pen to paper? who it was, that but lately began to play [9] Rex in your country? what counsels were taken, what endeavours used, and what disturbances ensued thereupon in Holland? and to what pass things might have been brought by this time? How slavery and a new master were ready prepared for you; and how near expiring that liberty of yours, asserted and vindicated by so many years war and toil, would have been ere now, if it had not taken breath again by the timely death of a certain rash young gentleman. But our author begins to strut again, and to feign wonderful tragedies; “whomsoever this dreadful news reached, (to wit, the news of Salmasius’s parricidial barbarisms,) all of a sudden, as if they had been struck with lightning, their hair stood an end, and their tongues clove to the roof of their mouth.” Which let natural philosophers take notice of, (for this secret in nature was never discovered before,) that lightning makes men’s hair stand on end. But who knows not that little effeminate minds are apt to be amazed at the news of any extraordinary great action; and that then they show themselves to be, what they really were before, no better than so many stocks? “Some could not refrain from tears;” some little women at court, I suppose, or if there be any more effeminate than they, of whose number Salmasius himself being one, is by a new metamorphis become a fountain near akin to his name, (Salmacis,) and with his counterfeit flood of tears prepared over night, endeavours to emasculate generous minds: I advise therefore, and wish them to have a care;

  • ———Infamis ne quem malè fortibus undis
  • Salmacis enervet.———
  • ———Ne, si vir cum venerit, exeat indè
  • Semivir, et tactis subitò mollescat in undis.
  • Abstain, as manhood you esteem,
  • From Salmacis’ pernicious stream:
  • If but one moment there you stay,
  • Too dear you’ll for your bathing pay.—
  • Depart nor man nor woman, but a sight
  • Disgracing both, a loath’d hermaphrodite.

“They that had more courage” (which yet he expresses in miserable bald Latin, as if he could not so much as speak of men of courage and magnanimity in proper words) “were set on fire with indignation to that degree, that they could hardly contain themselves.” Those furious Hectors we value not of a rush. We have been accustomed to rout such bullies in the field with a true sober courage; a courage becoming men that can contain themselves, and are in their right wits. “There were none that did not curse the authors of so horrible a villany.” But yet, you say, their tongues clove to the roof of their mouths; and if you mean this of our fugitives only, I wish they had clove there to this day; for we know very well, that there is nothing more common with them, than to have their mouths full of curses and imprecations, which indeed all good men abominate, but withal despise. As for others, it is hardly credible, that when they heard the news of our having inflicted a capital punishment upon the king, there should any be found, especially in a free state, so naturally adapted to slavery as either to speak ill of us, or so much as to censure what we had done. Nay, it is highly probable, that all good men applauded us, and gave God thanks for so illustrious, so exalted a piece of justice; and for a caution so very useful to other princes.

In the mean time, as for those fierce, those steel-hearted men, that, you say, take on for, and bewail so pitifully, the lamentable and wonderful death I know not who; them I say, together with their tinkling advocate, the dullest that ever appeared since the name of a king was born and known in the world, we shall even let whine on, till they cry their eyes [10] out. But in the mean time, what schoolboy, what little insignificant monk, could not have made a more elegant speech for the king, and in better Latin, than this royal advocate has done? But it would be folly in me to make such particular animadversions upon his childishness and frenzies throughout his book, as I do here upon a few in the beginning of it; which yet I would be willing enough to do, (for we hear that he is swelled with pride and conceit to the utmost degree imaginable,) if the undigested and immethodical bulk of his book did not protect him. He was resolved to take a course like the soldier in Terence, to save his bacon; and it was very cunning in him, to stuff his book with so much puerility, and so many silly whimsies, that it might nauseate the smartest man in the world to death to take notice of them all. Only I thought it might not be amiss to give a specimen of him in the preface; and to let the serious reader have a taste of him at first, that he might guess by the first dish that is served up, how noble an entertainment the rest are like to make; and that he may imagine with himself what an infinite number of fooleries and impertinencies must needs be heaped up together in the body of the book, when they stand so thick in the very entrance into it, where, of all other places, they ought to have been shunned. His tittle-tattle that follows, and his sermons fit for nothing but to be wormeaten, I can easily pass by; as for any thing in them relating to us, we doubt not in the least, but that what has been written and published by authority of parliament, will have far greater weight with all wise and sober men, than the calumnies and lies of one single impudent little fellow; who being hired by our fugitives, their country’s enemies, has scraped together, and not scrupled to publish in print, whatever little story any one of them that employed him put into his head. And that all men may plainly see how little conscience he makes of setting down any thing right or wrong, good or bad, I desire no other witness than Salmasius himself.

In his book, entitled, “Apparatus contra Primatum Papæ,” he says, “there are most weighty reasons why the church ought to lay aside episcopacy, and return to the apostolical institution of presbyters: that a far greater mischief has been introduced into the church by episcopacy, than the schisms themselves were, which were before apprehended: that the plague which episcopacy introduced, depressed the whole body of the church under a miserable tyranny; nay, had put a yoke even upon the necks of kings and princes: that it would be more beneficial to the church, if the whole hierarchy itself were extirpated, than if the pope only, who is the head of it, were laid aside,” page 160. “That it would be very much for the good of the church, if episcopacy were taken away, together with the papacy: that if episcopacy were once taken down, the papacy would fall of itself, as being founded upon it,” page 171. He says, “he can show very good reasons why episcopacy ought to be put down in those kingdoms that have renounced the pope’s supremacy; but that he can see no reason for retaining it there: that a reformation is not entire, that is defective in this point: that no reason can be alleged, no probable cause assigned, why the supremacy of the pope being once disowned, episcopacy should notwithstanding be retained,” page 197.—Though he had wrote all this, and a great deal more to this effect, but four years ago, he is now become so vain and so impudent withal, as to accuse the parliament of England, “for not only turning the bishops out of the house of lords, but for abolishing episcopacy itself.” Nay, he persuades us to receive episcopacy, and defends it by the very same reasons and arguments, which with a great deal of earnestness he had confuted himself in that former book; to wit, [11] “that bishops were necessary and ought to have been retained, to prevent the springing up of a thousand pernicious sects and heresies.” Crafty turncoat! are you not ashamed to shift hands thus in things that are sacred, and (I had almost said) to betray the church; whose most solemn institutions you seem to have asserted and vindicated with so much noise, that when it should seem for your interest to change sides, you might undo and subvert all again with the more disgrace and infamy to yourself? It is notoriously known, that when both houses of parliament, being extremely desirous to reform the church of England by the pattern of our reformed churches, had resolved to abolish episcopacy, the king first interposed, and afterwards waged war against them chiefly for that very cause; which proved fatal to him. Go now and boast of your having defended the king; who, that you might the better defend him, do now openly betray and impugn the cause of the church, whose defence you yourself had formerly undertaken; and whose severest censures ought to be inflicted upon you.

As for the present form of our government, since such a foreign insignificant professor as you, having laid aside your boxes and desks stuffed with nothing but trifles, which you might have spent your time better in putting into order, will needs turn busybody, and be troublesome in other men’s matters, I shall return you this answer, or rather not to you, but to them that are wiser than yourself, viz. That the form of it is such as our present distractions will admit of; not such as were to be wished, but such as the obstinate divisions, that are amongst us, will bear. What state soever is pestered with factions, and defends itself by force of arms, is very just in having regard to those only that are sound and untainted, and in overlooking or secluding the rest, be they of the nobility or the common people; nay, though profiting by experience, they should refuse to be governed any longer either by a king or a house of lords.

But in railing at that supreme council, as you call it, and at the chairman there, you make yourself very ridiculous; for that council is not the supreme council, as you dream it is, but appointed by authority of parliament, for a certain time only; and consisting of forty persons, for the most part members of parliament, any one of whom may be president if the rest vote him into the chair. And there is nothing more common, than for our parliaments to appoint committees of their own members; who, when so appointed, have power to meet where they please, and hold a kind of a little parliament amongst themselves. And the most weighty affairs are often referred to them, for expedition and secrecy; the care of the navy, the army, the treasury; in short, all things whatsoever relating either to war or peace. Whether this be called a council, or any thing else, the thing is ancient, though the name may be new; and it is such an institution, as no government can be duly administered without it. As for our putting the king to death, and changing the government, forbear your bawling, don’t spit your venom, till, going along with you through every chapter, I show, whether you will or no, “by what law, by what right and justice,” all that was done. But if you insist to know, “by what right, by what law;” by that law, I tell you, which God and nature have enacted, viz. that whatever things are for the universal good of the whole state, are for that reason lawful and just. So wise men of old used to answer such as you. You find fault with us for “repealing laws, that had obtained for so many years;” but you do not tell us whether those laws were good or bad, nor, if you did, should we heed what you said; for you, busy puppy, what have you to do with our laws? I wish our magistrates had repealed more than they have, both laws and lawyers; if they had, they would have [12] consulted the interest of the Christian religion, and that of the people better than they have done. It frets you, that “hobgoblins, sons of the earth, scarce gentlemen at home, scarce known to their own countrymen, should presume to do such things.” But you ought to have remembered, what not only the Scriptures, but Horace would have taught you, viz.

  • ——Valet ima summis
  • Mutare, et insignem attenuat Deus,
  • Obscura promens, &c.
  • The power that did create, can change the scene
  • Of things; make mean of great, and great of mean;
  • The brightest glory can eclipse with night;
  • And place the most obscure in dazzling light.

But take this into the bargain. Some of those who, you say, be scarce gentlemen, are not at all inferior in birth to any of your party. Others, whose ancestors were not noble, have taken a course to attain to true nobility by their own industry and virtue, and are not inferior to men of the noblest descent. They had rather be called “sons of the earth,” provided it be their own earth, (their own native country,) and act like men at home, than, being destitute of house or land, to relieve the necessities of nature in a foreign country by selling of smoke, as thou dost, an inconsiderable fellow and a jack-straw, and who dependest upon the good-will of thy masters for a poor stipend; for whom it were better to dispense with thy labours, and return to thy own kindred and countrymen, if thou hadst not this one piece of cunning, to babble out some silly prelections and fooleries at so good a rate amongst foreigners. You find fault with our magistrates for admitting such “a common sewer of all sorts of sects.” Why should they not? It belongs to the church to cast them out of the communion of the faithful; not to the magistrate to banish them the country, provided they do not offend against the civil laws of the state. Men at first united into civil societies, that they might live safely, and enjoy their liberty, without being wronged or oppressed; and that they might live religiously, and according to the doctrine of Christianity, they united themselves into churches. Civil societies have laws, and churches have a discipline peculiar to themselves, and far differing from each other. And this has been the occasion of so many wars in Christendom; to wit, because the civil magistrate and the church confounded their jurisdictions. Therefore we do not admit of the popish sect, so as to tolerate papists at all; for we do not look upon that as a religion, but rather as a hierarchical tyranny, under a cloak of religion, clothed with the spoils of the civil power, which it has usurped to itself, contrary to our Saviour’s own doctrine. As for the independents, we never had any such amongst us, as you describe; they that we call independents, are only such as hold, that no classis or synods have a superiority over any particular church, and that therefore they ought all to be plucked up by the roots, as branches, or rather as the very trunk, of hierarchy itself; which is your own opinion too. And from hence it was that the name of independents prevailed amongst the vulgar. The rest of your preface is spent in endeavouring not only to stir up the hatred of all kings and monarchs against us, but to persuade them to make a general war upon us. Mithridates of old, though in a different cause, endeavoured to stir up all princes to make war upon the Romans, by laying to their charge almost just the same things that you do to ours: viz. that the Romans aimed at nothing but the subversion of all kingdoms, that they had no regard to any thing, whether sacred or civil, that from their very first rise, they never enjoyed any thing but what they had acquired by force, that [13] they were robbers, and the greatest enemies in the world to monarchy. Thus Mithridates expressed himself in a letter to Arsaces, king of the Parthians.

But how came you, whose business it is to make silly speeches from your desk, to have the confidence to imagine, that by your persuasions to take up arms, and sounding an alarm as it were, you should be able so much as to influence a king amongst boys at play; especially, with so shrill a voice, and unsavoury breath, that I believe, if you were to have been the trumpeter, not so much as Homer’s mice would have waged war against the frogs? So little do we fear, you slug you, any war or danger from foreign princes through your silly rhetoric, who accusest us to them, just as if you were at play, “that we toss kings’ heads like balls; play at bowls with crowns; and regard sceptres no more than if they were fools’ staves with heads on:” but you in the mean time, you silly loggerhead, deserve to have your bones well thrashed with a fool’s staff, for thinking to stir up kings and princes to war by such childish arguments. Then you cry aloud to all nations, who, I know full well, will never heed what you say. You call upon that wretched and barbarous crew of Irish rebels too, to assert the king’s party. Which one thing is sufficient evidence how much you are both a fool and a knave, and how you outdo almost all mankind in villainy, impudence, and madness; who scruple not to implore the loyalty and aid of an execrable people devoted to the slaughter, whom the king himself always abhorred, or so pretended, to have any thing to do with, by reason of the guilt of so much innocent blood, which they had contracted. And that very perfidiousness and cruelty which he endeavoured as much as he could to conceal, and to clear himself from any suspicion of, you, the most villainous of mortals, as fearing neither God nor man, voluntarily and openly take upon yourself. Go on then, undertake the king’s defence at the encouragement and by the assistance of the Irish. You take care, and so you might well, lest any should imagine, that you were about to bereave Cicero or Demosthenes of the praise due to their eloquence, by telling us beforehand, that “you conceive you ought not to speak like an orator.” It is wisely said of a fool; you conceive you ought not to do what is not in your power to do: and who, that knows you never so little, ever expects any thing like an orator from you? Who neither uses, nor is able to publish, any thing that is elaborate, distinct, or has so much as sense in it; but like a second Crispin, or that little Grecian Tzetzes, you do but write a great deal, take no pains to write well; nor could write any thing well, though you took never so much pains. “This cause shall be argued (say you) in the hearing, and as it were before the tribunal, of all mankind.” That is what we like so well, that we could now wish we had a discreet and intelligent adversary, and not such a hairbrained blunderbuss as you, to deal with. You conclude very tragically, like Ajax in his raving; “I will proclaim to heaven and earth the injustice, the villainy, the perfidiousness and cruelty of these men, and will deliver them over convicted to all posterity.” O flowers! that such a witless, senseless bawler, one that was born but to spoil or transcribe good authors, should think himself able to write any thing of his own, that will reach posterity, whom together with his frivolous scribbles, the very next age will bury in oblivion; unless this defence of the king perhaps may be beholden to the answer I give to it, for being looked into now and then. And I would entreat the illustrious states of Holland, to take off their prohibition, and suffer the book to be publicly sold. For when I have detected the vanity, ignorance, and falsehood, that it is full of, the farther it spreads the more effectually it will be suppressed. Now let us hear how he convicts us.



I persuade myself, Salmasius, that you, being a vain flashy man, are not a little proud of being the king of Great Britain’s defender, who himself was styled the “Defender of the Faith.” For my part, I think you deserve your titles both alike; for the king defended the faith, and you have defended him, so, that betwixt you, you have spoiled both your causes: which I shall make appear throughout the whole ensuing discourse, and particularly in this very chapter. You told us in the 12th page of your preface, that “so good and so just a cause ought not to be embellished with any flourishes of rhetoric; that the king needed no other defence, than by a bare narrative of his story:” and yet in your first chapter, in which you had promised us that bare narrative, you neither tell the story right, nor do you abstain from making use of all the skill you have in rhetoric to set it off. So that if we must take your own judgment, we must believe the king’s cause to be neither good nor just. But by the way I would advise you not to have so good an opinion of yourself (for nobody else has so of you) as to imagine that you are able to speak well upon any subject, who can neither play the part of an orator, nor an historian, nor express yourself in a style that would not be ridiculous even in a lawyer; but like a mountebank’s juggler, with big swelling words in your preface, you raised our expectation, as if some mighty matter were to ensue; in which your design was not so much to introduce a true narrative of the king’s story, as to make your own empty intended flourishes go off the better. For “being now about to give us an account of the matter of fact, you find yourself encompassed and affrighted with so many monsters of novelty, that you are at a loss what to say first, what next, and what last of all.” I will tell you what the matter is with you. In the first place, you find yourself affrighted and astonished at your own monstrous lies, and then you find that empty head of yours not encompassed, but carried round, with so many trifles and fooleries, that you not only now do not, but never did, know what was fit to be spoken, and in what method. “Among the many difficulties, that you find in expressing the heinousness of so incredible a piece of impiety, this one offers itself, you say, which is easily said, and must often be repeated; to wit, that the sun itself never beheld a more outrageous action.” But by your good leave, sir, the sun has beheld many things, that blind Bernard never saw. But we are content you should mention the sun over and over. And it will be a piece of prudence in you so to do. For though our wickedness does not require it, the coldness of the defence that you are making does. “The original of kings, you say, is as ancient as that of the sun.” May the gods and goddesses, Damasippus, bless thee with an everlasting solstice; that thou mayest always be warm, thou that canst not stir a foot without the sun. Perhaps you would avoid the imputation of being called a doctor Umbraticus. But alas! you are in perfect darkness, that make no difference betwixt [15] a paternal power, and a regal: and that when you had called kings fathers of their country, could fancy that with that metaphor you had persuaded us, that whatever is applicable to a father, is so to a king. Alas! there is a great difference betwixt them. Our fathers begot us. Our king made not us, but we him. Nature has given fathers to us all, but we ourselves appointed our own king. So that the people is not for the king but the king for them. “We bear with a father, though he be harsh and severe;” and so we do with a king. But we do not bear with a father, if he be a tyrant. If a father murder his son, he himself must die for it; and why should not a king be subject to the same law, which certainly is a most just one? Especially considering that a father cannot by any possibility divest himself of that relation, but a king may easily make himself neither king nor father of his people. If this action of ours be considered according to its quality, as you call it, I, who am both an Englishman born, and was an eyewitness of the transactions of these times, tell you, who are both a foreigner and an utter stranger to our affairs, that we have put to death neither a good, nor a just, nor a merciful, nor a devout, nor a godly, nor a peaceable king, as you style him; but an enemy, that has been so to us almost ten years to an end; nor one that was a father, but a destroyer of his country. You confess, that such things have been practised; for yourself have not the impudence to deny it: but not by protestants upon a protestant king. As if he deserved the name of a protestant, that, in a letter to the pope, could give him the title of most holy father; that was always more favourable to the papists than to those of his own profession. And being such, he is not the first of his own family, that has been put to death by protestants. Was not his grandmother deposed and banished, and at last beheaded by protestants? And were not her own countrymen, that were protestants too, well enough pleased with it? Nay, if I should say they were parties to it, I should not lie. But there being so few protestant kings, it is no great wonder, if it never happened that one of them has been put to death. But that it is lawful to depose a tyrant, and to punish him according to his deserts; nay, that this is the opinion of very eminent divines, and of such as have been most instrumental in the late reformation, do you deny it if you dare.

You confess, that many kings have come to an unnatural death; some by the sword, some poisoned, some strangled, and some in a dungeon; but for a king to be arraigned in a court of judicature, to be put to plead for his life, to have sentence of death pronounced against him, and that sentence executed; this you think a more lamentable instance than all the rest, and make it a prodigious piece of impiety. Tell me, thou superlative fool, whether it be not more just, more agreeable to the rules of humanity, and the laws of all human societies, to bring a criminal, be his offence what it will, before a court of justice, to give him leave to speak for himself; and, if the law condemn him, then to put him to death as he has deserved, so as he may have time to repent or to recollect himself; than presently, as soon as ever he is taken, to butcher him without more ado? Do you think there is a malefactor in the world, that if he might have his choice, would not choose to be thus dealt withal? And if this sort of proceeding against a private person be accounted the fairer of the two, why should it not be counted so against a prince? Nay, why should we not think, that himself liked it better? You would have had him killed privately, and none to have seen it, either that future ages might have lost the advantage of so good an example; or that they that did this glorious action, might seem to have avoided the light, and to have acted contrary to law and justice. You aggravate the matter by telling us, that it was not done in an [16] uproar, or brought about by any faction amongst great men, or in the heat of a rebellion, either of the people, or the soldiers: that there was no hatred, no fear, no ambition, no blind precipitate rashness in the case; but that it was long consulted on, and done with deliberation. You did well in leaving off being an* advocate, and turn grammarian, who from the accidents and circumstances of a thing, which in themselves considered sway neither one way nor other, argue in dispraise of it before you have proved the thing itself to be either good or bad. See how open you lie: if the action you are discoursing of be commendable and praiseworthy, they that did it deserve the greater honour, in that they were prepossessed with no passions, but did what they did for virtue’s sake. If there were great difficulty in the enterprise, they did well in not going about it rashly but upon advice and consideration. Though for my own part, when I call to mind with how unexpected an importunity and fervency of mind, and with how unanimous a consent, the whole army, and a great part of the people from almost every county in the kingdom, cried out with one voice for justice against the king, as being the sole author of all their calamities: I cannot but think, that these things were brought about by a divine impulse. Whatever the matter was, whether we consider the magistrates, or the body of the people, no men ever undertook with more courage, and, which our adversaries themselves confess, in a more sedate temper of mind, so brave an action, an action that might have become those famous heroes, of whom we read in former ages; an action, by which they ennobled not only laws, and their execution, which seem for the future equally restored to high and low against one another; but even justice, and to have rendered it, after so signal a judgment, more illustrious and greater than in its own self.

We are now come to an end of the 3d page of the first book, and have not the bare narrative he promised us yet. He complains that our principles are, that a king, whose government is burdensome and odious, may lawfully be deposed: and “by this doctrine,” says he, “if they had had a king a thousand times better than they had, they would not have spared his life.” Observe the man’s subtle way of arguing. For I would willingly be informed what consequence there is in this, unless he allows, that a king’s government may be burdensome and odious, who is a thousand times better than our king was. So that now he has brought things to this pass, to make the king that he defends a thousand times worse than some whose government notwithstanding is burdensome and odious, that is, it may be, the most monstrous tyrant that ever reigned. I wish ye joy, O ye kings, of so able a defender! Now the narrative begins. “They put him to several sorts of torments.” Give an instance. “They removed him from prison to prison;” and so they might lawfully do; for having been a tyrant, he became an open enemy, and was taken in war. “Often changing his keepers.” Lest they themselves should change. “Sometimes they gave him hopes of liberty; nay, and sometimes even of restoring him to his crown, upon articles of agreement.” It seems then the taking away his life was not done upon so much premeditation, as he talked of before; and that we did not lay hold on all opportunities and means, that offered themselves, to renounce our king. Those things that in the beginning of the war we demanded of him, when he had almost brought us under, which things if they were denied us, we could enjoy no liberty, nor live in any safety; those very things we petitioned him for when he was our prisoner, in a humble, submissive way, not once, nor twice, but thrice, [17] and oftener, and were as often denied. When we had now lost all hopes of the king’s complying with us, then was that noble order of parliament made, that from that time forward, there should no articles be sent to the king; so that we left off applying ourselves to him, not from the time that he began to be a tyrant, but from the time that we found him incurable. But afterward some parliament-men set upon a new project, and meeting with a convenient opportunity to put it in practice, pass a vote to send further proposals once more to the king. Whose wickedness and folly nearest resembles that of the Roman senate, who contrary to the opinion of M. Tullius, and all honest men, voted to send embassadors to M. Antony; and the event had been the same, but that it pleased God Almighty, in his providence, to order it otherwise, and to assert our liberty, though he suffered them to be enslaved: for though the king did not agree to any thing that might conduce to a firm peace, and settlement of things, more than he had before, they go and vote themselves satisfied. Then the sounder part of the house finding themselves and the commonwealth betrayed, implore the aid of that valiant and always faithful army to the commonwealth. Upon which occasion I can observe only this, which yet I am loth to utter; to wit, that our soldiers understood themselves better than our senators, and that they saved the commonwealth by their arms, when the other by their votes had almost ruined it. Then he relates a great many things in a doleful, lamentable strain; but he does it so senselessly, that he seems rather to beg of his readers, that they would be sorrowful, than to stir up any such passion in them. It grieves him “to think that the king should undergo a capital punishment, after such a manner as no other king ever had done.” Though he had often told us before, that there never was a king that underwent a capital punishment at all. Do you use to compare ways and manners, ye coxcomb, when you have no things nor actions to compare with one another? “He suffered death,” says he, “as a robber, as a murderer, as a parricide, as a traitor, as a tyrant.” Is this defending the king? Or is it not rather giving a more severe sentence against him, than that that we gave? How came you so all on a sudden to be of our mind? He complains “that executioners in vizards [personati carnifices] cut off the king’s head.” What shall we do with this fellow? He told us before, of “a murder committed on one in the disguise of a king [in personâ regis]:” now he says, it was done in the disguise of an executioner. It were to no purpose, to take particular notice of every silly thing he says. He tells stories of “boxes on the ear, and kicks, that,” he says, “were given the king by common soldiers, and that it was four shillings apiece to see his dead body.” These, and such like stories, which partly are false, and partly impertinent, betray the ignorance and childishness of our poor scholar; but are far from making any reader ever a whit the sadder. In good faith his son Charles had done better to have hired some ballad-singer, to have bewailed his father’s misfortunes, than this doleful, shall I call him, or rather most ridiculous orator, who is so dry and insipid, that there is not the least spirit in any thing he says.

Now the narrative is done, and it is hard to say what he does next, he runs on so sordidly and irregular. Now he is angry, then he wonders; he neither cares what he talks, nor how; repeats the same things ten times over, that could not but look ill, though he had said them but once. And I persuade myself, the extemporary rhymes of some antic juck-pudding may deserve printing better; so far am I from thinking aught he says worthy of a serious answer. I pass by his styling the king a “protector of religion.” [18] who chose to make war upon the church, rather than part with those church-tyrants, and enemies of all religion, the bishops; and how is it possible, that he should “maintain religion in its purity,” that was himself a slave to those impure traditions and ceremonies of theirs? And for our “sectaries, whose sacrilegious meetings,” you say, “have public allowance;” instance in any of their principles, the profession of which is not openly allowed of, and countenanced in Holland. But in the mean time, there is not a more sacrilegious wretch in nature than yourself, that always took liberty to speak ill of all sorts of people. “They could not wound the commonwealth more dangerously, than by taking off its master.” Learn, ye abject, homeborn slave; unless ye take away the master, ye destroy the commonwealth. That that has a master, is one man’s property. The word master denotes a private, not a public relation. “They persecute most unjustly those ministers, that abhorred this action of theirs.” Lest you should not know what ministers he means, I will tell you in a few words what manner of men they were; they were those very men, that by their writings and sermons justified taking up arms against the king, and stirred the people up to it: that daily cursed, as Deborah did Meroz, all such as would not furnish the parliament either with arms, or men, or money. That taught the people out of their pulpits, that they were not about to fight against a king, but a greater tyrant than either Saul or Ahab ever were; nay, more a Nero than Nero himself. As soon as the bishops, and those clergymen whom they daily inveighed against, and branded with the odious names of pluralists and nonresidents, were taken out of their way, they presently jump, some into two, some into three of their best benefices; being now warm themselves, they soon unworthily neglected their charge. Their covetousness brake through all restraints of modesty and religion, and themselves now labour under the same infamy, that they had loaded their predecessors with; and because their covetousness is not yet satisfied, and their ambition has accustomed them to raise tumults, and be enemies to peace, they cannot rest at quiet yet, but preach up sedition against the magistracy, as it is now established, as they had formerly done against the king. They now tell the people, that he was cruelly murdered; upon whom themselves having heaped all their curses, had devoted him to destruction, whom they had delivered up as it were to the parliament, to be despoiled of his royalty, and pursued with a holy war. They now complain, that the sectaries are not extirpated; which is a most absurd thing to expect the magistrates should be able to do, who never yet were able, do what they could, to extirpate avarice and ambition, those two most pernicious heresies, and more destructive to the church than all the rest, out of the very order and tribe of the ministers themselves.

For the sects which they inveigh against, I confess there are such amongst us, but they are obscure, and make no noise in the world: the sects that they are of, are public and notorious, and much more dangerous to the church of God. Simon Magus and Diotrephes were the ringleaders of them. Yet are we so far from persecuting these men, though they are pestilent enough, that though we know them to be ill-affected to the government, and desirous of and endeavouring to work a change, we allow them but too much liberty. You, that are both a Frenchman and a vagabond, seem displeased that “the English, more fierce and cruel than their own mastiffs,” as your barking eloquence has it, “have no regard to the lawful successor and heir of the crown: take no care of the king’s youngest son, nor of the queen of Bohemia.” I will make ye no answer; you [19] shall answer yourself. “When the frame of a government is changed from a monarchy to any other, the new modellers have no regard to succession:” the application is easy; it is in your book De primatu Papæ. “The great change throughout three kingdoms,” you say, “was brought about by a small number of men in one of them.” If this were true, that small number of men would have deserved to have dominion over the rest; valiant men over fainthearted cowards. “These are they that presumptuously took upon them to change,” antiquum regni regimen, in alium qui a pluribus tyrannis teneatur. It is well for them that you cannot find fault with them, without committing a barbarous solecism; you shame all grammarians. “The English will never be able to wash out this stain.” Nay, you, though a blot and a stain to all learned men, were never yet able to stain the renown and everlasting glory of the English nation, that with so great a resolution, as we hardly find the like recorded in any history, having struggled with, and overcome, not only their enemies in the field, but the superstitious persuasions of the common people, have purchased to themselves in general amongst all posterity the name of deliverers: the body of the people having undertook and performed an enterprise, which in other nations is thought to proceed only from a magnanimity that is peculiar to heroes. What “the protestants and primitive Christians” have done, or would do upon such an occasion, I will tell ye hereafter, when we come to debate the merits of the cause: in discoursing it before, I should be guilty of your fault, who outdo the most impertinent talkers in nature.

You wonder how we shall be able to answer the Jesuits. Meddle with your own matters, you runagate, and be ashamed of your actions, since the church is ashamed of you; who, though but of late you set yourself so fiercely and with so much ostentation against the pope’s supremacy and episcopal government, are now become yourself a very creature of the bishops.

You confess, that “some protestants, whom you do not name, have asserted it lawful to depose a tyrant:” but though you do not think fit to name them, I will, because you say “they are far worse than the very Jesuits themselves;” they are no other than Luther, and Zuinglius, and Calvin, and Bucer, and Pareus, and many others. “But then,” you say, “they refer it to the judgment of learned and wise men, who shall be accounted a tyrant. But what for men were these? Were they wise men, were they men of learning? Were they anywise remarkable, either for virtue or nobility?” You may well allow a people, that has felt the heavy yoke of slavery to be wise, and learned, and noble enough, to know what is fit to be done to the tyrant that has oppressed them; though they neither consult with foreigners nor grammarians. But that this man was a tyrant, not only the parliaments of England and Scotland have declared by their actions and express words; but almost all the people of both nations assented to it, till such time as by the tricks and artifices of the bishops they were divided into two factions: and what if it has pleased God to choose such men, to execute his vengeance upon the greatest potentates on earth, as he chose to be made partakers of the benefit of the gospel? “Not many wise, not many learned, not many powerful, not many noble: that by those that are not, he might bring to nought those that are; and that no flesh might glory in his sight.” And who are you, that babble to the contrary? dare you affect the reputation of a learned man? I confess you are pretty well versed in phrase-books, and lexicons, and glossaries; insomuch that you seem to have spent your time in nothing else. But you do not make [20] appear, that you have read any good authors with so much judgment as to have benefited by them. Other copies, and various lections, and words omitted, and corruptions of texts, and the like, these you are full of; but no footstep of any solid learning appears in all you have writ: or do ye think yourself a wise man, that quarrel and contend about the meanest trifles that may be? That being altogether ignorant in astronomy and physic, yet are always railing at the professors of both, whom all men credit in what things belong to their own sciences, that would be ready to curse them to the pit of hell, that should offer to deprive you of the vain glory of having corrected or supplied the least word or letter in any copy you have criticised upon. And yet you are mad to hear yourself called a grammarian. In certain trifling discourses of yours, you call Dr. Hammond knave in plain terms, who was one of this king’s chaplains, and one that he valued above all the rest, for no other reason but because he had called you a grammarian. And I do not question, but you would have been as ready to have thrown the same reproach upon the king himself, if you had heard that he had approved his chaplain’s judgment of you. Take notice now, how much I (who am but one of those many English, that you have the impudence to call madmen, and unlearned, and ignoble, and wicked) slight and despise you, (for that the English nation in general should take any notice in public of such a worm as you are, would be an infinite undervaluing of themselves,) who, though one should turn you topsyturvy, and inside out, are but a grammarian: nay, as if you had made a foolisher wish than Midas did, whatever you meddle with, except when you make solecisms, is grammar still. Whosoever therefore he be, though from among the dregs of that common people that you are so keen upon, (for as for those men of eminency amongst us, whose great actions evidenced to all men their nobility, and virtue, and conduct, I will not disgrace them so much, as to compare you to them, or them to you,) but whosoever, I say, among the dregs of that common people, has but sucked in this principle, that he was not born for his prince, but for God and his country; he deserves the reputation of a learned, and an honest, and a wise man more, and is of greater use in the world, than yourself. For such a one is learned without letters; you have letters, but no learning, that understand so many languages, turn over so many volumes, and yet are but asleep when all is done.


The argument that Salmasius, toward the conclusion of his first chapter, urged as irrefragable, to wit, that it was really so, because all men unanimously agreed in it; that very argument, than which, as he applied it, there is nothing more false, I, that am now about to discourse of the right of kings, may turn upon himself with a great deal of truth. For, whereas he defines “a king” (if that may be said to be defined which he makes infinite) “to be a person in whom the supreme power of the kingdom resides, who is answerable to God alone, who may do whatsoever pleases him, who is bound by no law:” I will undertake to demonstrate, not by mine, but by his own reasons and authorities, that there never was a nation or people of any account (for to ransack all the uncivilized parts of the world were to no purpose) that ever allowed this to be their king’s right, or put such exorbitant power into his hand, as “that he should not be bound by any law [21] that he might do what he would, that he should judge all, but be judged of none.” Nor can I persuade myself, that there ever was any one person besides Salmasius of so slavish a spirit, as to assert the outrageous enormities of tyrants to be the rights of kings. Those amongst us that were the greatest royalists, always abhorred this sordid opinion: and Salmasius himself, as appears by some other writings of his before he was bribed, was quite of another mind. Insomuch, that what he here gives out, does not look like the dictates of a free subject under a free government, much less in so famous a commonwealth as that of Holland, and the most eminent university there: but seems to have been penned by some despicable slave, that lay rotting in a prison, or a dungeon. If whatever a king has a mind to do, the right of kings will bear him out in, (which was a lesson that the bloody tyrant Antoninus Caracalla, though his step-mother Julia preached it to him, and endeavoured to inure him to the practice of it, by making him commit incest with herself, yet could hardly suck in,) then there neither is, nor ever was, that king, that deserved the name of a tyrant. They may safely violate all the laws of God and man: their very being kings keeps them innocent. What crime was ever any of them guilty of? They did but make use of their own right upon their own vassals. No king can commit such horrible cruelties and outrages, as will not be within this right of kings. So that there is no pretence left for any complaints or expostulations with any of them. And dare you assert, that “this right of kings,” as you call it, “is grounded upon the law of nations, or rather upon that of nature,” you brute beast? for you deserve not the name of a man, that are so cruel and unjust towards all those of your own kind; that endeavour, as much as in your lies, so to bear down and vilify the whole race of mankind, that were made after the image of God, as to assert and maintain, that those cruel and unmerciful taskmasters, that through the superstitious whimsies, or sloth, or treachery of some persons, get into the chair, are provided and appointed by nature herself, that mild and gentle mother of us all, to be the governors of those nations they enslave. By which pestilent doctrine of yours, having rendered them more fierce and untractable, you not only enable them to make havoc of, and trample under foot, their miserable subjects; but endeavour to arm them for that very purpose with the law of nature, the right of kings, and the very constitutions of government, than which nothing can be more impious or ridiculous. By my consent, as Dionysius formerly of a tyrant became a schoolmaster, so you of a grammarian should become a tyrant; not that you may have that regal license of doing other people harm, but a fair opportunity of perishing miserably yourself: that, as Tiberius complained, when he had confined himself to the island Capreæ, you may be reduced into such a condition, as to be sensible that you perish daily. But let us look a little more narrowly into this right of kings that you talk of. “This was the sense of the eastern, and of the western part of the world.” I shall not answer you with what Aristotle and Cicero (who are both as credible authors as any we have) tell us, viz. That the people of Asia easily submit to slavery, but the Syrians and the Jews are even born to it from the womb. I confess there are but few, and those men of great wisdom and courage, that are either desirous of liberty, or capable of using it. The greatest part of the world choose to live under masters; but yet they would have them just ones. As for such as are unjust and tyrannical, neither was God ever so much an enemy to mankind, as to enjoin a necessity of submitting to them; nor was there ever any people so destitute of all sense, and sunk into such a depth of despair, as to impose so cruel a law upon themselves and their [22] posterity. First, you produce “the words of King Solomon in his Ecclesiastes.” And we are as willing to appeal to the Scripture as you. As for Solomon’s authority, we will consider that hereafter, when perhaps we shall be better able to understand it. First, let us hear God himself speak, Deut. xvii. 14. “When thou art come into the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as the nations that are round about me.” Which passage I could wish all men would seriously consider: for hence it appears by the testimony of God himself; first, that all nations are at liberty to erect what form of government they will amongst themselves, and to change it when and into what they will. This God affirms in express terms concerning the Hebrew nation; and it does not appear but that other nations are, as to this respect, in the same condition. Another remark that this place yields us, is, that a commonwealth is a more perfect form of government than a monarchy, and more suitable to the condition of mankind, and in the opinion of God himself better for his own people; for himself appointed it, and could hardly be prevailed withal a great while after, and at their own importunate desire, to let them change it into a monarchy. But to make it appear, that he gave them their choice to be governed by a single person, or by more, so they were justly governed, in case they should in time to come resolve upon a king, he prescribes laws for this king of theirs to observe, whereby he was forbidden to multiply to himself horses and wives, or to heap up riches: whence he might easily infer, that no power was put into his hands over others, but according to law, since even those actions of his life, which related only to himself, were under a law. He was commanded therefore to transcribe with his own hand all the precepts of the law, and having writ them out, to observe and keep them, that his mind might not be lifted up above his brethren. It is evident from hence, that as well the prince as the people was bound by the law of Moses. To this purpose Josephus writes, a proper and able interpreter of the laws of his own country, who was admirably well versed in the Jewish policy, and infinitely preferable to a thousand obscure ignorant rabbins: he has it thus in the fourth book of his Antiquities, Ἁριςοϰρατία μὲν οὖν ϰράτιςον, &c. “An Aristocracy is the best form of government; wherefore do not you endeavour to settle any other; it is enough for you, that God presides over ye, but if you will have a king, let him guide himself by the law of God, rather than by his own wisdom; and lay a restraint upon him, if he offer at more power than the state of your affairs will allow of.” Thus he expresses himself upon this place in Deuteronomy. Another Jewish author, Philo Judæus, who was Josephus’s contemporary, a very studious man in the law of Moses, upon which he wrote a large commentary: when in his book concerning the creation of the king, he interprets this chapter of Deuteronomy, he sets a king loose from the law no otherwise than as an enemy may be said to be so: “They,” says he, “that to the prejudice and destruction of the people acquire great power to themselves, deserve not the name of kings, but that of enemies: for their actions are the same with those of an irreconcilable enemy. Nay, they, that under a pretence of government are injurious, are worse than open enemies. We may fence ourselves against the latter; but the malice of the former is so much the more pestilent, because it is not always easy to be discovered.” But when it is discovered, why should they not be dealt with as enemies? The same author in his second book, Allegoriar. Legis, “A king,” says he, “and a tyrant, are contraries.” And a little after, “A king ought not only to command, but also to obey.” All this is very true, you will say, a king ought to observe the laws, as well as any [23] other man. But what if he will not, what law is there to punish him? I answer, the same law that there is to punish other men; for I find no exceptions. There is no express law to punish the priests, or any other inferior magistrates, who all of them, if this opinion of the exemption of kings from the penalties of the law would hold, might, by the same reason claim impunity, what guilt soever they contract, because there is no positive law for their punishment; and yet I suppose none of them ever challenged such a prerogative, nor would it ever be allowed them, if they should.

Hitherto we have learned from the very text of God’s own law, that a king ought to obey the laws, and not lift himself up above his brethren. Let us now consider whether Solomon preached up any other doctrine, chap. viii. ver. 2, “I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. Be not hasty to go out of his sight; stand not in an evil thing; for he doth whatsoever pleaseth him. Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say unto him, what dost thou?” It is well enough known, that here the preacher directs not his precepts to the Sanhedrim, or to a parliament, but to private persons; and such he commands to “keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.” But as they swear allegiance to kings, do not kings likewise swear to obey and maintain the laws of God, and those of their own country? So the Reubenites and Gadites promise obedience to Joshua, Josh. i. 17, “According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee; only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.” Here is an express condition. Hear the preacher else, ch. ix. ver. 17, “The words of wise men are heard in quiet, more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.” The next caution that Solomon gives us, is, “Be not hasty to go out of his sight; stand not in an evil thing; for he doth whatsoever pleaseth him.” That is, he does what he will to malefactors, whom the law authorizes him to punish, and against whom he may proceed with mercy or severity, as he sees occasion. Here is nothing like tyranny; nothing that a good man needs be afraid of. “Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say to him, What dost thou?” And yet we read of one, that not only said to a king, “What dost thou?” but told him, “Thou hast done foolishly.” But Samuel, you may say, was an extraordinary person. I answer you with your own words, which follow in the forty-ninth page of your book, “What was there extraordinary,” say you, “in Saul or David?” And so say I, what was there in Samuel extraordinary? He was a prophet, you will say; so are they that now follow his example; for they act according to the will of God, either his revealed or his sacred will, which yourself grant in your 50th page. The preacher therefore in this place prudently advises private persons not to contend with princes; for it is even dangerous to contend with any man, that is either rich or powerful. But what then? must therefore the nobility of a nation, and all the inferior magistrates, and the whole body of the people, not dare to mutter when a king raves and acts like a madman? Must they not oppose a foolish, wicked, and outrageous tyrant, that perhaps seeks the destruction of all good men? Must they not endeavour to prevent his turning all divine and human things upside down? Must they suffer him to massacre his people, burn their cities, and commit such outrages upon them daily; and finally, to have perfect liberty to do what he lists without control?

  • O de Cappadocis eques catastris!
  • Thou slavish knight of Cappadocia!

Whom all free people, if you can have the confidence hereafter to set [24] your foot within a free country, ought to cast out from amongst them, and send to some remote parts of the world, as a prodigy of dire portent; or to condemn to some perpetual drudgery, as one devoted to slavery, solemnly obliging themselves, if they ever let you go, to undergo a worse slavery under some cruel, silly tyrant: no man living can either devise himself, or borrow from any other, expressions so full of cruelty and contempt, as may not justly be applied to you. But go on. “When the Israelites asked a king of God, they said, they would set up a king that should have the same rule and dominion over them, that the kings of their neighbour countries exercised over their subjects. But the kings of the East we know had an unlimited power,” as Virgil testifies,

  • “———Regem non sic Ægyptus et ingens
  • Lydia, nec populi Parthorum, et Medus Hydaspes
  • Observant.”———
  • “No Eastern nation ever did adore
  • The majesty of sovereign princes more.”

First, what is that to us, what sort of kings the Israelites desired? Especially since God was angry with them, not only for desiring such a king as other nations had, and not such a king as his own law describes, but barely for desiring a king at all? Nor is it credible, that they should desire an unjust king, and one that should be out of the reach of all laws, who could not bear the government of Samuel’s sons, though under the power of laws; but from their covetousness sought refuge in a king. And lastly, the verse that you quote out of Virgil does not prove, that the kings of the East had an absolute unlimited power; for those bees, that he there speaks of, and who reverence their kings, he says, more than the Egyptians or Medes do theirs, by the authority of the same poet:

  • “——Magnis agitant sub legibus ævum.”
  • “Live under certain fundamental laws.”

They do not live under a king then, that is tied to no law. But now I will let you see how little reason you have to think I bear you an ill-will. Most people think you a knave; but I will make it appear, that you have only put on a knave’s vizor for the present. In your introduction to your discourse of the pope’s supremacy, you say, that some divines in the council of Trent made use of the government, that is said to be amongst bees, to prove the pope’s supremacy. This fancy you borrow from them, and urge it here with the same malice that they did there. Now that very same answer that you gave them, whilst you were an honest man, now that you are become a knave, you shall give yourself and pull off with your own hand that vizor you have now put on: “The bees,” say you, “are a state, and so natural philosophers call them; they have a king, but a harmless one; he is a leader, or captain, rather than a king; he never beats, nor pulls, nor kills his subject bees.” No wonder they are so observant of him then: but in good faith, you had but ill luck to meddle with these bees; for though they are bees of Trent, they show you to be a drone. Aristotle, a most exact writer of politics, affirms that the Asiatic monarchy, which yet himself calls barbarous, was according to law, Politic. 3. And whereas he reckons up five several sorts of monarchies, four of those five he makes governments according to laws, and with the consent of the people; and yet he calls them tyrannical forms of government, because they lodge so much power in one man’s hand. But the kingdom of the Lacedemonians, he says, is most properly a kingdom, because there all power is not in the king.


The fifth sort of monarchy, which he calls παμβασιλεία that is, where the king is all in all: and to which he refers that that you call the right of kings, which is a liberty to do what they list; he neither tells us when nor where any such form of government ever obtained. Nor seems he to have mentioned it for any other purpose, than to show how unjust, absurd, and tyrannical a government it is. You say, that when Samuel would deter the people from choosing a king, he propounded to them this right of kings. But whence had Samuel it? Had he it from the written law of God? That cannot be. We have observed already, that the Scriptures afford us a quite other scheme of sovereignty. Had Samuel it then immediately from God himself by revelation? That is not likely neither; for God dislikes it, discommends it, finds fault with it: so that Samuel does not expound to the people any right of kings appointed by God; but a corrupt and depraved manner of governing, taken up by the pride and ambition of princes. He tells not the people what their kings ought to do, but what they would do. He told them the manner of their king, as before he told us the manner of the priests, the sons of Eli; for he uses the same word in both places (which you in the thirty-third page of your book, by a Hebrew solecism too, call םׁשפח.) That manner of theirs was wicked, and odious, and tyrannical: it was no right, but great wrong. The fathers have commented upon this place too: I will instance in one, that may stand for a great many; and that is Sulpitius Severus, a contemporary and intimate friend of St. Jerome, and, in St. Augustin’s opinion, a man of great wisdom and learning. He tells us in his sacred history, that Samuel in that place acquaints the people with the imperious rule of kings, and how they used to lord it over their subjects. Certainly it cannot be the right of kings to domineer and be imperious. But according to Sallust, that lawful power and authority that kings were entrusted with, for the preservation of the public liberty, and the good of the commonwealth, quickly degenerated into pride and tyranny: and this is the sense of all orthodox divines, and of all lawyers, upon that place of Samuel. And you might have learned from Sichardus, that most of the rabbins too were of the same mind; at least, not any one of them ever asserted, that the absolute inherent right of kings is there discoursed of. Yourself in your fifth chapter, page 106, complain, that “not only Clemens Alexandrinus, but all other expositors mistake themselves upon this text:” and you, I will warrant ye, are the only man that have had the good luck to hit the mark. Now, what a peice of folly and impudence is this in you to maintain, in opposition to all orthodox expositors, that those very actions, which God so much condemns, are the right of kings, and to pretend law for them! Though yourself confess, that that right is very often exercised in committing outrages, being injurious, contumelious, and the like. Was any man ever to that degree sui juris, so much his own master, as that he might lawfully prey upon mankind, bear down all that stood in his way, and turn all things upside down? Did the Romans ever maintain, as you say they did, that any man might do these things suo jure, by virtue of some inherent right in himself? Sallust indeed makes C. Memmius, a tribune of the people, in an invective speech of his against the pride of the nobility, and their escaping unpunished, howsoever they misbehaved themselves, to use these words, viz., “To do whatever one has a mind to, without fear of punishment, is to be a king.” This saying you catched hold of, thinking it would make for your purpose; but consider it a little better, and you will find yourself deceived. Does he in that place assert the right of kings? or does he not blame the common people, and chide them for their sloth, in suffering their nobility to lord it over them, as if they were out of the [26] reach of all law, and in submitting again to that kingly tyranny, which, together with their kings themselves, their ancestors had lawfully and justly rejected and banished from amongst them? If you had consulted Tully, you would have understood both Sallust and Samuel better. In his oration pro C. Rabirio, “There is none of us ignorant,” says he, “of the manner of kings. These are their lordly dictates: mind what I say, and do accordingly.” Many passages to this purpose he quotes out of poets, and calls them not the right, but the custom or manner of kings; and he says, we ought to read and consider them, not only for curiosity’s sake, but that we may learn to beware of them, and avoid them. You perceive how miserably you are come off with Sallust, who though he be as much an enemy to tyranny as any other author whatsoever, you thought would have patronized this tyrannical right that you are establishing. Take my word for it, the right of kings seems to be tottering, and even to further its own ruin, by relying upon such weak props for its support; and by endeavouring to maintain itself by such examples and authorities, as would hasten its downfall, if it were further off than it is.

“The extremity of right or law,” you say, “is the height of injury, Summum jus summa injuria; this saying is verified most properly in kings, who, when they go to the utmost of their right, fall into these courses, in which Samuel makes the rights of kings to consist.” And it is a miserable right, which, when you have said all you can for, you can no otherwise defend, than by confessing, that it is the greatest injury that may be. The extremity of right or law is said to be, when a man ties himself up to niceties, dwells upon letters and syllables, and in the mean time neglects the intent and equity of the law; or when a written law is cunningly and maliciously interpreted; this Cicero makes to have been the rise of that common saying. But since it is certain that all right flows from the fountain of justice, so that nothing can possibly be any man’s right that is not just; it is a most wicked thing in you to affirm, that for a king to be unjust, rapacious, tyrannical, and as ill as the worst of them ever was, is according to the right of kings; and to tell us that a holy prophet would have persuaded the people to such a senseless thing. For whether written or unwritten, whether extreme or remiss, what right can any man have to be injurious? Which, lest you should confess to be true of other men, but not of kings, I have one man’s authority to object to you, who, I think, was a king likewise, and professes that that right of kings, that you speak of, is odious both to God and himself: it is in the 94th psalm, “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, that frameth mischief by a law?” Be not therefore so injurious to God, as to ascribe this doctrine to him, viz. that all manner of wicked and flagitious actions are but the right of kings; since himself tells us, that he abhors all fellowship with wicked princes for this very reason, because, under pretence of sovereignty, they create misery and vexation to their subjects. Neither bring up a false accusation against a prophet of God; for by making him to teach us in this place what the right of kings is, you do not produce the right Samuel, but such another empty shadow as was raised by the witch of Endor. Though for my own part, I verily believe that that infernal Samuel would not have been so great a liar, but that he would have confessed, that what you call the right of kings, is tyranny. We read indeed of impieties countenanced by law, Jus datum sceleri: you yourself confess, that they are bad kings that have made use of this boundless license of theirs to do every thing. Now, this right that you have introduced for the destruction of mankind, not proceeding from God, as I have proved it does not, must needs come from the devil; and [27] that it does really so, will appear more clearly hereafter. “By virtue of this liberty, say you, princes may if they will.” And for this, you pretend to have Cicero’s authority. I am always willing to mention your authorities, for it generally happens, that the very authors you quote them out of, give you an answer themselves. Hear else what Cicero says in his 4th Philippic, “What cause of war can be more just and warrantable than to avoid slavery? For though a people may have the good fortune to live under a gentle master, yet those are in a miserable condition, whose prince may tyrannize over them if he will.” May, that is, can; has power enough so to do. If he meant it of his right, he would contradict himself, and make that an unjust cause of war, which himself had affirmed with the same breath to be a most just one. It is not therefore the right of all kings that you describe, but the injuriousness, and force, and violence of some. Then you tell us what private men may do. “A private man,” say you, “may lie, may be ungrateful:” and so may kings, but what then? May they therefore plunder, murder, ravish, without control? It is equally prejudicial and destructive to the commonwealth, whether it be their own prince, or a robber, or a foreign enemy, that spoils, massacres, and enslaves them. And questionless, being both alike enemies of human society, the one, as well as the other, may lawfully be opposed and punished; and their own prince the rather, because he, though raised to that dignity by the honours that his people have conferred upon him, and being bound by his oath to defend the public safety, betrays it notwithstanding all. At last you grant, that “Moses prescribes laws, according to which the king that the people of Israel should choose, ought to govern, though different from this right that Samuel proposes;” which words contain a double contradiction to what you have said before. For whereas you had affirmed, that a king was bound by no law, here you confess he is. And you set up two contrary rights, one described by Moses, and another by Samuel, which is absurd. “But,” says the prophet, “you shall be servants to your king.” Though I should grant that the Israelites were really so, it would not presently follow, that it was the right of their kings to have them so; but that by the usurpation and injustice of most of them, they were reduced to that condition. For the prophet had foretold them, that that importunate petition of theirs would bring a punishment from God upon them; not because it would be their king’s right so to harass them, but because they themselves had deserved it should be so. If kings are out of the reach of the law, so as that they may do what they list, they are more absolute than any masters, and their subjects in a more despical condition than the worst of slaves The law of God provided some redress from them, though of another nation, if their masters were cruel and unreasonable towards them. And can we imagine, that the whole body of the people of a free nation, though oppressed and tyrannized over, and preyed upon, should be left remediless? That they had no law to protect them, no sanctuary to betake themselves to? Can we think, that they were delivered from the bondage they were under to the Egyptian kings, to be reduced into a worse to one of their own brethren? All which being neither agreeable to the law of God, nor to common sense, nothing can be more evident, than that the prophet declares to the people the manner, and not the right of kings; nor the manner of all kings, but of most. Then you come to the rabbins, and quote two of them, but you have as bad luck with them here, as you had before. For it is plain, that that other chapter that rabbi Joses speaks of, and which contains, he says, the right of kings, is that in Deuteronomy, and not in Samuel. For rabbi Judas says very truly, and against you, that that discourse of [28] Samuel’s was intended only to frighten the people. It is a most pernicious doctrine, to maintain that to be any one’s right, which in itself is flat injustice, unless you have a mind to speak by contraries. And that Samuel intended to affrighten them, appears by the 18th verse, “And ye shall cry out in that day, because of your king, which ye shall have chosen you, and I will not hear you in that day, saith the Lord.” That was to be their punishment for their obstinacy in persisting to desire a king, against the mind and will of God; and yet they are not forbidden here either to pray against him, or to endeavour to rid themselves of him. For if they might lawfully pray to God against him, without doubt they might use all lawful means for their own deliverance. For what man living, when he finds himself in any calamity, betakes himself to God, so as to neglect his own duty, in order to a redress, and rely upon his lazy prayers only? But be it how it will, what is all this to the right of kings, or of the English people? who neither asked a king against the will of God, nor had one appointed us by God, but by the right that all nations have to appoint their own governors, appointed a king over us by laws of our own, neither in obedience to, nor against, any command of God