Note: This is part of the Leveller Collection of Tracts and Pamphlets.
(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)
T.232 [1652.05] John Lilburne, As you Were (May 1652).
John Lilburne, As you Were, Or, The Lord General Cromwel and the Grand Officers of the Armie their Remembrancer Wherein as in a glass they may see the faces of their Soules spotted with Apostacy, Ambitious breach of promise, and hocus-pocus-juggleing with the honest Soldiers and the rest of the Free-people of England. to the end that haveing seene their deformed and fearfull visage, they may be returning to doe their first pretended workes, wipe of their spots, mend their deformities & regaine their lost Credit: in a word, save themselves and the gaspeing Libertyes of the surprized and enslaved English Nation: least enlargement and deliverance arise to the English from another place, but they and their Fathers house shall be destroyed. Ester 4. and 14. All which is contained in a Letter directed to the Lord Generall Cromwel, to be communicated to the Grandees of his Army, written by L. Colonel John Libvrne May 1652 from his Lodging in the pleasant Citty of Refuge seated upon the bankes of the renowned River Rhine, & commonly called by name Vianen.
Exodus 9: 34, 35. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the haile, and the thunders were ceased, he sinned more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. Neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses.
Ezekiel 16: 48: 51: 52. As I live, saith the Lord God, (to Jerusalem) Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor hir daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy Daughters. Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sin, but thou hast multiplyed thine abominations more than they, and hast Iustified thy Sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done. Thou alsoe which hast Iudged thy Sisters, beare thyne owne shame for thy sins, that thou hast committed also, and bear they shame, in that thou hast Iustified thy Sisters.
Matthew 21: 19. And when Jesus saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee hence forward for ever, And presently the fig tree withered away.
Proverbs 27: 6. Faithfull are the wounds of a Friend: but the kises of an enemie are deceitfull.
Printed May 1652.
This tract has several parts:
Not listed in TT.
IT is said in Job the 35 and the 9 and 10 that by reason of the multitude of oppressions, they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out, by reason of the arme of the mighty, but none saith, where is God my maker, who gives songs in the night. And if this be my case in the highest, I know no man that can rationally blame me: If I cry out with all the shrillnes and loudnes I can. And that it is my case; my Lord, is evident, 1 In that I am banished for ever out of my Native Country and upon paine of death must be gone by such a day, as appeares by your votes of the 15 of January last, recorded in my late Printed Apologie to the people of the Netherlands, page 48, 49, 50. 2ly You have made it death and loss of Estate for any man whatever to afford me in England or its territories, for love or money, a nights lodgeing after that day, as appeares by your printed Act of the 30 of January last, recorded in the said Apologie page 62, 63. 3ly All your ports were at that time with strictnes stopt to prevent people from goeing out of England, without passes under the hand or hands of some in Authority; and yet. 4ly When according to your votes, I was willing to be gone and came to your speaker for a pass to inable me to goe, it was positively denied me by him, as I have truly related in the said Apologie page 59. and the want of such a pass, in the eye of reason, had cost me my life, had I not found favour at Dover, in the eyes of those, whose faces before to my knowledge, I had never seene in my daies. And yet this is not all; for, besides, I am fined seven-thousand pound, which was more then visibly I was worth. and, if it had bin immediately executed or leavyed, according to the severity in your said votes and Act, it had not left me a penny to hire an horse to carry me to the sea-side, no nor there to hire a boate to carry me on ship-board, nor there to give any recompence to the Master of the ship to carry me away to save my life; nay nor there to buy me a bit of victuals to susteine life as I goe; nay nor when I am set ashore in a land of strangers, to pay for one nights lodgeing for my refreshment. Nay, that which is more then all this is, that there is not in any of your foresaid votes or Act of Parliament, six pence provision made to buy bread to support the lives of my poore wife and tender babes, although by Magna Charta chapter the 14 and the statute of the 3 of Edward the 1 chap. 6, both which are lawes to this day unrepealed, & they expressly and positively say, “a freeman shall not be amerced for a small fault” but after the manner of the “fault and for a great fault after the greatnes thereof, saveing to him his continement” that is is to say “his freehold, countenance or livelyhood, and a merchant likewise saveing to him his merchandise, and a vilane, farmer, or husbandman saveing to him his waynage, or plough. “And none of the said amercements or fines shall be assessed save by the oath of honest and lawfull men of the vicinage” that is to say Juries. Nay and yet notwithstanding all this, I have by your directions (for any thing I know to the contrary) given to your endeared and bosome agent Mr. thomas Scot, a spie clapt upon me at Dover, as I came over, called Captaine Wendy Oxford, who must stand upon the pillory at Westminster and the exchange of London, and semingly be bannished from England the better to inable him undiscerned to contrive my murder, ruine and distruction. whose roguery with Mr. Scots against me I have infallibly found out from step to step, and by the assistance of God, as soone as I can have a little leasure shall print it to publique vew. of which villany of his, when I gave him a hint of it, at my owne chamber, at or upon the 2 of Aprill last old Style, and by my letter to him dated the next day: with in 2 or 3 days after that he left Amsterdam, and departed with his two Gentil-women, called by him his wife and maide, although some doe with confidence give very strong reasons to demonstrate, they neither of them are such, but a couple of arrant common whores, but averball hue and cry I then sent after him, which I suppose with this, &c. Will for ever spoile him of being a spy heere after (as well as something else hath alredy spoyled Mr. Cheshire his brother knave, to be a spy at Middelborow who now is forced to fly to Westminster for Shelter) and render him uncapable to receive any more bills of exchange from Mr. Thomas Scot, for the paying him his sallery, to inable him to drinke drunke night and day, to feast, whore it, swear, rant it and domineer rather like a bedlam then a man; or to send one of his sluts over to give Mr. Scot if he want it a tast of hir (which kind of flesh is notoriously at Westminster knowne he loves as well as Oxford doth) as well as to convey his intelligence over and to solicet him, if he ly not in, sicke of the French Pox to procure him a passe to come over, and to meet him, at Graves-end or Dover, &c. and to discourse with him for setling all his affairs.
And yet my Lord this is not all, but that which is the highest, of aggrevations is, that all this that is done unto me, (and principally by your selfe) is inflicted upon me, without (I doe avow it and upon my life dare ingage to make it good) all shaddow of ground, cause, provocation or cullour of law or Justice; For, alas my Lord, I was at most upon your owne principles, but an accessarie and not principall; And to inflict a higher and greater punishment upon me then upon Mr. Primat the principall, and now to set him at liberty from his imprisonment, and to keepe me still in my banishment, and under the lash of my foresaid extraordinary great fine: where is in England either the Law, equity or justice, to avow and warrant it? And my LORD, admit Mr. Primates Petition about which I am banished, had bin all false, and not proved, (which yet I avow to the contrary) and admit, it conteines in it so high things against Sr. ARTHVR HASELRIGE, as if proved, would have occasioned as great a sentence to him, as you have given to me; and therefore per legem talionis you have done by me, as you have done. Truly MY LORD I will joyne yssue with you there, if that be your ground, as by some of your members while I was in England, I understood, it was one of your principallest. Yet remember, you say in your Declarations, “that the Law of England is the Inheritance and birth-right of the Meanest man therof” as well as “of the greatest, and that you are bound in duty and conscience both to God and Man to dispense it equally to all, without favour or affection:” and therfore be but just to me my Lord and I have done with you. For your Attorney Generall Prideaux (that unbrac’t Drum, that makes a great sound & noyse, without any tune or harmony) accused & indicted me of high-treason, and had me tryed before about 40 judges at Guildhall London in October 1649 for my life therefore: and if he had proved it against me, I must have died therfore as a traytor, and have forfeited all my estate. And therfore by your owne rule and your owne Law of proceedings with me in my present case; because he accused me, & could not prove it, “he ought to be hanged therefore, and to forfeit 4 parts of 7 of his estate to me.” which when I was at London by common repute, he was judged by his Land, Postmaster-Generall-ship, attorney-Generall-ship and the most vast fees, that he [being a Parliament man of an unaccountable Parliament, and thereby so great) takes to plead all manner of base Causes, to the threatening, outfaceing & overaweing both Judges, Iurors and Lawyers, to have incomeing thereby annually about twenty thousand pounds. Although a few yeares agoe, since this eternall Parliaments first sitting, I could never heare he was judged to be worth two hundred Pounds per annum.
Now, I say my Lord, performe this to me, & I will pay you my seven-thousand-pound fine, without any more to doe. But besides, remember also, were not you (My Lord) at Darby-house in Cheynel-row with the Councel of State, upon the 28 of March 1649, the cheife man to mannage an accusation of high-treason against me, and got me committed therefore. The Narrative of which in breife, is conteined in the 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, pages of the second edition of the Picture of the Councel of State, printed at London 1649. and yet when it came to the yssue, there could never one word of it be proved, allthough I lay prisoner in the Tower, almost a yeare there upon, and therfore by your owne rule and law of proceedings with me, ought not you your selfe [my Lord] to be HANGED therefore? and to forfeit 4 parts of seven of your great estate to me therefore? For shame my LORD, once in your life, learne to be just and remember what you said against Mr. Herbert, the Kings attorney Generall, in the Case of the LORD KIMBOLTON and the 5 Members 1 part of the booke of the Parliaments Declarations page 52, 53, 101, 123, 201, 203, 208, 210, 278, 459, 660: and give me not too much cause to picture-draw you so, that all the artificial or pensil-limners in the world, shall not be able to compare with it. You know, I have a quick & sharpe pen (My Lord) and therefore give me not cause to challenge you, or any of your Champions, to draw into a short Epitomy, or into a larger charge, all that evill that in your owne thoughts you can colourably imagine the Buyshops, Starr-chamber, Counsell-table, High-commission, or any persons therein were guilty of; nay or any persons since their downe-fall by you executed for the highest of treasons, tyrannyes & oppressions were guilty of: & yet, comparatis comparandis, for me to aver that you outstrip them all, and in particulars to undertake upon my life to make it good: and that those saying of God, by the Prophet Ezekiel, chap: 16, 48, 51, 52, [mentioned on the Title-page) may as truly and as justly be verified of you, as they were of Iudah or Ierusalem & that you have outstrip’t (comparatis comparandis) all those whome you your selfe count the most wicked men, that you have pulled downe, “and thereby have done in actions as much as in you lies, to justifie all their wickedness” that in words you have condemned. And besides, my Lord, what faith, what truth, what honesty? can be imagined to be in that man, or that generation of men? that by a constant series of his or their actions, visiby and apparently declare, “he or they hold it lawfull to commit any manner of wickednes & basenes whatsoever that can be named under the sunn, for the accomplishment of his or their proposed end” whether in it selfe, it be wicked or righteous: yea to cheat, breakefaith with, and murther the nighest relations a man can converse with, when they cross his ends.
Yea & for that end onely, to raise warrs upon warrs, to the devastation of Kingdomes & Nations; The gulled, cheated & abused peoples lives, really & truly being of no more value with him or them, then so many dead doggs, serving him or them for no other end, but to be his “foote-steps to climbe up to the top of absolute and arbitrary Power & pretended Authority, or unlimited & unbounded Kingship. And, that you (my Lord) particularly are the man, that is guiltie of all this, in my judgement and apprehension, your owne quondam darling, “and heart-indeared & heart secret-knowing Freind, the Major of your owne Regiment of Horse, Robert Huntington” in his printed impeachment of you, delivered to both house of Parliament against you, the 2 of August 1648, hath punctually declared it, which impeachment, is reprinted in the 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60 & 61 pages of that Booke for makeing of which I was arraigned for a Traitor at Guildhall October 1649, being intituled An Impeachment of high-Treason against Oliver Cromwell, &c. and for which Impeachment of his, I could never heare, that you endeavoured so much as publicly to question, him therfore, or to put forth a vindication against it. Which may well get beleife in un-biased men, that you acknowledge all that he hath there said against you, to be true. And as much as I have said of him, and his Impeachment, may be said of the Authors of those three notable bookes and of the bookes themselves called Putney-Proiects; The Levellers vindicated, being the stated case, of the late treacherously defeated BVRFORD-troopes; and the HVE-AND-CRIE of the young men & apprentises of London after the lost fundamentall laws & liberties of England. Vnto which three bookes, a great many mens names are set, as the avowers & justifiers of them, and to my knowledge, the most of their names are true: for I particularly know the most of the men my selfe, & yet I could never heare that any one of them, was so much as questioned for decyfering you there, as they have done. Although to my knowledge, you know some of the men as well as I doe, and might severall times since those bookes were writ & published, as easily have laid your hands upon them, to have called them to an account therefore, as I can take up the pen & inke that I write here with.
I say, laying the forementioned Bookes or discourses together, with what followes in this discourse page 13, 14, 15, to 24 & compareing them with your practise, I thinke they sufficiently prove you to be the man above mentioned, that walks by the Principles of Atheisme & Machiavellsme, and holds it lawful to doe any thing in the world that comes in your way, that will most serve your turne, for the accomplishment of your owne ends, be they never so bloodie, wicked, or tyrannicall.
But MY LORD you have forced me when I was quiet, to come upon the stage againe much against my will and studious indeavours. And yet, when I did, I fairely sought peace with you, and sent you in writeing my propositions for peace, grounded only upon your owne promises, neglecting to insist upon any thing of concernement to my selfe, and gave you, or your true Freind Mr. William Kiffen, to whom I sent it, twentie one dayes, to returne me an answer, at least of his receit thereof; all which appeares in the following discourse page 29, 30, 31. But heareing nothing at all from him and feareing that it is intecepted, I am forced to print it. The Copie whereof, with some small additions, thus followeth.
For my loveing Freind Mr. WILLIAM KIFFIN, merchant
at his House in Dukes-place London, these with hast,
post hast, to be communicated to his Excellency the Lord
Generall Cromwell, &c.
YOu and I have bin long acquainted all have had much converse together & although you were in my late troubles before my triall at GVILD-HALL my adversary in print; yet not lookeing upon you by your opposition, as a man that out of malice designedly laboured to take away my life, but rather as a man surprised in your understanding, and thereby induced to beleive the plausible arguments of my (pretended Religious) adversaries, as though by my contest with them, an undeniable gap was opened, to let in them that are commonly called the public adversaries to devoure all: and so were against the then season as unfit and dangerous in your apprehension, but not against the things themselves held forth by me and my Camerades, which you judged just and righteous and fit to be established in due time, when that feare was over. In which regard that opposition of yours to me, I judged most fit to be buryed in the grave, and not with any disgust of mind to be remembred. And therfore it is that of late, some part of that former familiarity that was betwixt us, hath bin renewed and since my banishment I find by several Letters from my wife, that you have bin very civil and respectfull to her, for which I returne you many (AND MY HEARTIEST) thankes. ONE OF HER LETTERS dated the 2. of Feb: last I have answered in print, and caused that answer to be published here as well in DVTCH as ENGLISH; which I hope before the date herof is reprinted at London againe, since which I have received two Letters more from her, the maine substance of both of which are, to presume, with all the mournfull arguments that possibly thee can use, to be quiet and to abstaine from printing, and Withall she tells me, it is the advice of all my Freindes in generall who come continually to her, to get her to write to me about it. But haveing in my aforesaid printed Epistle, given her undeniable reason WHY I AM COMPELLED TO PRINT, which I hope with my former Letters to her, will so qualifie and season her Spirit, that I may presume now, that both my feares are over, which were first, that I was afraid through sorrow about me and her owne distressed condition [as she calls it) she should either miscarry of her childe, or else secondly that she should be overwhelmed with greife and so her burthen should become too heavie for her to beare. But hopeing that both of these dangers are over, I must now confess unto you, that that little trouble which used formerly to accompany me, thorough the hopes hereof is as good as at an end. And therfore to you shall I judge it convenient for me, [and I hope no way mischevous to your selfe] to answer freindly and resolutely some other clauses in her latter Letters, and some clauses in other Letters of some of my Freindes, which I have lately received, and then positively to tell you without deceit or flattery my future resolutions, [by the assistance of God] on purpose because I know you are great with the GENERALL and I thinke with the NOW LORD-DEPVTY OF YRELAND LAMBERT, but I am sure of it, with LEIVTENANT-GENERALL FLEETWOOD and MAIOR-GENERALL HARRISON that you may shew this Letter unto them all, being the great swordmen of England, that so they may lay their heads together obout it, (if they please) and then let God worke his pleasure
In a large Letter to my wife of the 13 of February last, I told her, and now with comfort and rejoiceing tell you, that I bless God, that I have this testimony in mine owne Conscience; that the Cause for mannageing of which I am bannished, did at the first and all along to this very houre doth appeare to my understanding & judgement, upon the strictest scrutinie betwixt God and mine owne soule, that I am able to make, to be as righteous and as just a cause, as ever was in the World, and allso however Mr. HILL THE CHAIR-MAN reported it to the house, yet Mr. PRIMATES PETITION was as fully proved, before him and the Committee of Parliament in every circumstance of it, so far as its capable of proofe, [saveing that single clause of SIR ARTHVR HASILRIGS holding private correspondence, with some of the Commissioners,] as any petition in the world need to be proved, but it was no wonder it went as it did, when SIR ARTHVR HASILRIG WITH Mr. HIL THE CHAIRMAN, WITHOVT A THIRD MAN, DREW VP THE GREATEST PART OF THE REPORT, IN THE SPEAKERS CHAMBER, WHILE THE HOVSE WAS SITTING, as one that tooke them at it told me with his owne tongue. Which report we were never permitted to see, nor none for us, nor to heare red, although we earnestly intreated for it, and by importunity endeavoured it. And besides I am confident of it there was not three men, that judged the cause in the House, that ever at the Committee, were constant hearers of it from the beginning to the end. And by what I have heard from Parliament men, that were at the Committee severall daies, Mr. HILL NEVER REPORTED TO THE HOVSE, ONE TENTH PART OF OVR EVIDENCES AS WEE LAID THEM DOWNE BEFORE THE COMMITTEE, AND THE SAID Mr. HILL WAS OPENLY IN THE HOVSE TAXED WITH SEVERALL MATERIALL OMISSIONS, BY A PERSON OR PERSONS THAT HEARD NOT ONE HALFE OF IT AT THE COMMITTEE. And besides, when the GENERALL HIMSELFE set his shoulders to the worke, with all the might he had in the World, to have the sentence so pass and goe on, it is unimaginable it could goe otherwise then it did, for one THAT IS FAMILIAR WITH HIM AND THAT WISHETH ME WELL, TOLD ME, IT WAS IN THE GENERALLS HOVSE BY HIM AND A CABAL OF PARLIAMENT MEN AGREED OF, TWO OR THREE DAIES, BEFORE IT WAS VOTED OR DECLARED IN THE PARLIAMENT. And some dayes after it was passed, the GENERALL HIMSELFE IN THE OPEN HOVSE (as one that heard him told me) IN A-SPEECH OF HIS DID AVERR AND DECLARE VPON HIS CONSCIENCE, THAT THE SENTENCE IT SELFE PASSED AGAINST ME, WAS AS HONEST AND AS JVST A SENTENCE, AS WAS EVER PASSED BY THAT HOVSE. But I doubt not (through the assistance of God) in a short time, to make it clearly and evidently to appeare in every circumstance, that it is the MOST VNJVST, ILLEGAL AND VNRIGHTEOVS SENTENCE, THAT EVER WAS passed by any authority or power in the World, that ever professed to governe by Lawe, As in abundance of their declarations, they have professed before God and the World, they ought and would doe. But at the present, I shall only trouble you with one instance and that in a short Declaration of theirs intitled, a Declaration of the Parliament of England for maintainning the fundamental Lawes of this Nation, dated Feb. 9. 1648. made by them since they tooke of the Kings head declaredly for Tyrannie, Oppression and and exerciseing an Arbitrary power in which they positively declare, that they are fully resolved to maintaine & shall & will uphold, preserve and keepe, the fundamentale Lawes of this Nation, for and concerning the preservation of the lives, properties and Liberties of the people, with all things incident thereunto, with the alterations touching Kings and House of Lords, allready resolved in this present Parliament for the good of the People. Which short declaration of theirs, is fully backed by them with a larger delaration, made the 17 of March after. And although, there be an absolute necessity that lies upon me, as speedily as I can to goe to the press with such a thing; yet in what I write or print by the assistance of God allmighty, I shall keepe within the bounds of a Christian, THAT VALVES HIS PEACE WITH GOD ABOVE ALL EARTHLY TREASVRES IN THE WORLD, and of a rationall man, THAT HATH PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOME AND JVSTICE INGRAFTED IN HIM, THAT HE WILL NOT BALKE OR CHANGE FOR ALL THE FEARES OF ALL THE DEATHS IN THE EARTH; and of an English-man, THAT LOVES HIS NATIVE COVNTRIE ABOVE ALL OTHER COVNTRIES IN THE WORLD, and in a great measure, hath the sense of his duty in acting towards its Freedome and wellfare, INGRAVEN VPON HIS VERY HEART; and as a discreet man, That will not meddle with the NaTions affaires or governement where he soiournes, or doe any thing to the utmost of his power, that may give the least discontent, to those Magistrates under whose protection in his bannishment he lives. And besides, I bless God, I have both publicly and privately walked, in all peace quietnes, and uprigtnes towards the General and Parliament since I owned their authority, and neither directly nor indirectly medled with them, to give them the least offence, or to occasion in them the least cause of jealousy of me for undermineing or endeavouring to undermine their power and authority, and therfore can I the more glorie and rejoyce under their harsh and cruell dealeing with me. But the Lord is rightous, and i am confident will speedily returne it sevenfold into the bosomes of those who were the principal causers of it Judges: 1: 6: 7: and 2 Sam: 21, 1: 2: 5, 6: 14: and 2 Sam: 12: 31: compared with the 11: of Judges 17: 18: 19: 20: 23: 27: Ester 7: 9: 10: and 8: 11. and 9: 2: 3: 4: 5: 15. Isaiah: 10: 12: 13: 18. Mat: 7: 2. Marke: 4: 24. Luke 6: 37: 38. Rom: 2: 3. James: 2: 12. Revelations: 18: 6: 7: 8.
But to returne back; by my wives Letters I perceive, the LORD GENERALL gives a verie unworthy and strange kind of character of me, which seemes to worke beleife upon the Spirits of some of my Freinds; and further saith, that I may thinke my sentence greater then my offence, if they did not feare other things by me, of which also it seemes some of my Freinds are satisfied.
In Answer to all which; I say, its true upon the 28 of March 1649 the present Lord Generall caused me to be fetched out of my bed by a multitude of armed horse and foote and got me sent to the tower for a traitor, yet when I came to my triall for my life, there was never any thing of that laid unto my charge for which at first I was imprisoned, but only actions pretended to be done by me many moneths after my imprisonment, when I lay under so many barbarous provocations, put upon me by the Generall and his confederates, AS HAD BIN SVFFICIENT (according to Solomons saying) TO MAKE A WISE MAN MAD. But how just it was to goe about to take away my life, upon that score, I leave you to judge.
Its also true. I am now banished by the GENERALL HIS MEANES and the public pretended grounds and reasons therof are contained in the Parliaments printed Narrative and Act passed against me recorded in the 49: 50: 51: 62: 63 pages: of my late Apoligy to the people of the netherlands and I am sure of it in both of them they lay no crime at all in Law unto my charge; as I have allready fully proved in my said printed Apologie to the people of the Netherlands page: 65: 66: 67. But if the Generall or any other for him have any thing in imagination feare or supposition to lay to my charge, let him or them stand up and say their utmost, I crave no favour at their hands; but yet I appeale to your Conscience, how just it is, to disfranchise a man of all his birthrights and bannish him forever out of his native Contrie, for things they feare he will act against them. Its consest, the Generall must now needs have something to say for himselfe against me, as well as his or Hasilriggs Agents in times by-past had: who a little before my tryall at Guildhall Octob. 1649, in their printed Bookes against me, clothed me in beares and Wolves skins, that so the people as their doggs might worry me without compassion or consideration. And therfore it was that they printed me to be an Atheist, a denier of God and the Scripture & given up to all licentiousnes and an absolute confederate with Prince Charles, to set up his absolute will & prerogative in the English Nation. All or any of which things they them selves knew to be as true, as the sea burnt. But read my Answer thereto Printed at the Latter end of the first part of my tryall at Guildhall, page 158, 159.
Its also true, my old Freind Mr. Cornelius Holland a little before my second tryall averred to my wife, that at the Counsel of State they had Letters of mine under mine owne hand written to the Prince; and the LORD BRADSHAW did the same, to some eminent Freinds of mine but when I bid defiance to them, and challenged them to produce them they were not albe to doe it, and it proved no more then some of Mr. Thomas Scots rotten and pockie lies.
Its also true, that when I was tried for my life at GVILDHALL, and confidently and justly alleadged for my selfe that by the two statutes of the first of Edward the sixt Chapter the 12 and the 5 and 6 of Edward the 6 Chapter the 11 still in force, there ought to bee two direct & plaine evidences or witnesses to prove every fact of treason alleadged against me: Yet those two worthles and bloody fellowes Attorny Generall Prideaux and the Lord Keeble, could and did falsely and lieingly (not haveing the least graine of the feare of God or common-honesty or shame before their eyes) averre, that there was a statute made after them in the 1 and 2 of Q. Mary that overthrew and abolished those two forementioned statutes of Edward the 6: and that now, one witnes to prove the treason alleaged against me, was sufficient to take away my life, and this they averred againe and againe unto the jurie upon their reputations to be true, after that I had often before the Jury, and all the populous auditory that then was present, to their faces told them, it was false and untrue, and that there was no such law made in Queen Maries time, and holding the statute booke in mine hand, I challenged them againe and againe to name the Chapter that it might be read, the which they could not doe and yet like most bloodie and false men, they would have taken away my life by their lies, if I had not understood the Law as well as themselves and had not had confidence enough to have told them they lied to their faces, before the jury and all that great auditorie of People, all which you may fully read at large in the first part of the booke of my triall page 124, 125, 141, 142, 143, 147.
Now I say, laying all these things together, and considering that these three base unworthy men, are still as great with the Generall as ever they were; I doe not wonder, if he have relations enough at his fingers end to make me odious. But upon what foundation or bottome, they should be grounded, (seeing mine owne Conscience is clare and innocent) I cannot imagine; unless it be something in relation to that averment, of Mr. REYNOLDS the sollicitor Generall, who lately at a Committee of Parliament (as by a Letter from London I am informed) openly averred, I held correspondency with the Scottish King; but whether he charged it upon me as done by me before my banishment, or since, the letter doth not declare. And therfore at present I can answer it but by Guess; and say,
I beleive my adversaries have some pangs of Conscience in them (“For I am confident the wickedest and most feared Atheist or machiavel, or doer of despight unto the Spirit of grace in the World is not totally without them”) that now and then pricks them, as it “did profane Esau, who for one morsell of meat sold his birth-right, and afterward when he would have inherited the blessing was rejected and found no place of repentance though he sought it carefully with teares” Heb: 12, 17. the same may be said of wicked Cain and cursed Iudas) for that injustice which they have done unto me in banishing me without a Cause, and thereby, as much as in them lies; not only destroying of me, but also of my poore wife and harmeles babes. Which crueltie of theirs, it may be, either flies in their faces, [“for if wee sinn willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaines no more sacrifice for sin, but a certaine fearfull lookeing for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devoure the adversaries and it is a fearfull and dreadfull thing to fall (in wrath) into the hands of the liveing God” Heb. 10. 26, 27, 31. Or they feare may be much resented and laid to heart, (as I know it is) by the People of England of all sorts, who in time it may be may make some of them smart for their unjust and barbarous dealeing with me. For saith the present Lord cheife Justice St. John, in his Argument of late against the Earle of Strafford printed and published by the speciall order of the house of Commons in the year 1641: pag. 43, he that would not have others to have law, why should he have any himselfe, why should not that be done to him, that his selfe would have done to others? It’s true (saith he) we give law to hares, and deers, because they be beasts of chase, it was never accounted either cruelty or foule play to knock foxes and wolves on the head, as they can be found, because these be beasts of pray: And it is a righteous and just thing both in the fight of God and man, to measure unto them as they have measured unto others, Judges 1: 6: 7. Matth: 7: 2. Marke 4: 24. Luke 6: 37: 38. Rom: 2: 1. and therfore upon the Principles of Machiavel, they count it necessary to bespatter me and load me with that, which though in it selfe never so false, yet they beleive and hope may make me loose mine Interest in England, which I have in the affections of thousands of mine honest and indeared Freinds there. Who I know doe looke upon me, as a single-hearted, honest, just, plaine-spoken English-man, that hath bin valiaunt and couragious for the regaining and preserveing their Freedomes and liberties, though accompanied with frailties and infirmities, which all, yea the best of the sonns of men are subject to. And if they could make me loose mine Interest with mine honest Freinds; I were then but single Iohn Lilburne nothing at all considerable either to be loved or feared, in hopes and confidence to preserve which, I further say; If Mr. Reynolds by my corresponding with the Prince, meane that I did it at any time in the least before I was banished; I bid defiance to him, and challenge him, to instance if he can, averring that his accusation is most false.
Or secondly, if he meane, that I have corresponded with him since I was bannished, then I desire him to explaine what he calls corresponding, or else I know not fully how to answer him. But this at present I shall say, and that in truth and faithfullnes as before the Lord allmighty, that knowes my heart and beares witnes to me that I lie not, that since the day the Parliament voted my bannishment, I have neither writ Letter line or sillabe to the Prince or any about him, nor received Letter, line or sillabe from him or any about him. Neither have I dictrated any Letter or any part of a Letter to him or any about him, or appertaineing to him. Neither have I heard any Letter red to this very houre, that hath bin writt, or pretended to be writt to him or any about him.
Its true, since I came to Amsterdam, I have bin very much threatened by some of the rudest sort of the Cavaliers; first by three of them, that came to the lodgeing where I lay the first night, where they were very uncivil and debaucht, as I am informed, and very probably might have done me a mischief had I then bin there, and secondly, since that, one more of them, hath to some English people whom I have cause to trust, threatened to ruine and destroy me, and others of them, and they of some port and quality, in the presence of some that are no meane ones, and that I know love me intirely, have sworne within these few daies most bitterly, that I am a spie from Cromwell and a rogue that deserve to be knockt on the head. Laying all which together and those many and strong invitations, that I have had to come into some of their companies, I have judged the hand and finger of Mr. Thomas Scot, that fellow all most starke rotten with the French-poxe, and some of his agents or spies, have absolutely bin at the bottome of this, which to me appears thus. I know my walkings, as to man, are and have bin so upright and just (as to man) that all my adversaries in England are not able to blemish them, and I beleive my adversaries know as much, being I know they have allready searched as with a candle into the bottome and secretest of my actions and wayes; and therfore know, that unless they can in the thoughts of my Freinds blemish me, in reference to the Prince, whom they have declared a traitor and therfore would be glad they had the least ground in the world to averre me to my Freinds to be apostatised from my principles, by corresponding with him or his partie, knowing they can have no plausible way in their owne thoughts to keepe my darts of from them, and to disenable me to worke out mine owne restauration to the full enjoyment of my native English birth rights, but this. For if they could but colourably hold out this, they would easily by virtue of severall of their acts, declare all those traitors that write but a Letter to me, or receive but a Letter from me.
And therefore I believe Mr. Scot hath by speciall instructions from His Master the Generall, ordered some of his spies, that lie in the bosome of the Cavaliers, to provoke them to speake big words against me, yea and it may be to endeavour to take away my life, on purpose to necessitate me through feare to keepe company with them, and to grow familiar with them, that so they might have some ground to write over to him thereof, and therby erne their promised salary from him, and write their secrets to him betwixt their inkie lines eather with Sack or the Juice of a limon (according to his common instructions) which by holding betwixt him & the Fire, he can easily read, although a stranger that should intercept his Letters (As peradventure I or some for me have allready done) that knows not his devices, could not doe it.
But Sir, not to put a cloake upon things, I’ll deale plainly and freely with you. I judgeing there was and is such a designe upon me as is before expressed, and haveing many invitations to talke with some of the Kings partie; least a constant deniall so to doe, should give cause to them to conclude and judge me infallibly to be a spie indeed, or to be as base and vile as some of them doe imagine me to bee, therefore in order to mine owne preservation and that I might not be intrapped nor destroid, before I did that in reference to my bannishment, that my braine hath allready modellised unto my selfe, “I have beene of late in severall of their companies and talked my mind rationally and freely to them, in justification of MINE OWNE PRINCIPLES;” and I am confident of it, have made as much advantage to my selfe of their discourses with me, as any of them can doe of mine. And I must confess unto you, had I bin formerley addicted to set up the present Scottish Kings Interest, yet by my discourseing with them, I did find so much ground and reason, as quite to discourage me for the future, so much as to thinke of any such thing, in their way.
First, because I find the KING by their discourse, although a man judged by them of parts, yet is he not of that Depth of judgement and soliditie, as that he dare trust his owne judgement and understanding, in the management of any great disigne. And I am confident that if he trust to the multitude of his Councellours, there are some of them men that will talke their minds freely, (especially to company in a Taverne,) by meanes of which it is impossible but the Parliaments gold and silver, which the helpe of Mr. Thomas Scots “agents or spies, which he hath in all Nations of Europe (But especially neare unto the Prince) by their intelligence will be to hard for them all, and thereby know the bottome of their greatest designes, before they be a quarter ripe for execution.
Secondly, because, by my discourse with some of them I find, that not only the Prince himselfe, but his cheifest Councellours, are for his comeing in by force and conquest; which is a principle I as much hate as any man in the World doth: and have given as cleare testimonie against such a Principle and practise in any person what soever as any man upon the face of the earth ever did or durst doe, I am confident of it. But besides; I have prosessed to be a man of Conscience and one that could die for his principles and never could be threatned from them, nor courted out of them, by anie persons in the World what soever. And it hath bin one of my maine principles, and so declared by the constant series of my practise, that evil must not be done by any, that good may come thereby. The Apostle by the Spirit of God, haveing concluded the damnation of such practisers to be just, Romanes 3, 8. but if I should out of Machiavel or any other Politic Author learne such Principles, as to joine with the Prince or any other Interest whatsoever, out of a designe of being revenged of my adversaries, to conquer the People of England, that thereby he or any else might rule over them by his will and pleasure: I should not only account my selfe, one of the greatest murtherers in the World but also one of the basest fellowes that ever breathed upon the face of the earth. Knowing very well: that none is to rule over the sonns of men by will and pleasure but God only and alone. But truly, I am afraid my LORD GENERALL CROMWELL HIMSELFE hath really that latitude in his Principles, that will easily lead him out and permit him to act such a practise, as I dare pawne my head, by his actions for many yeares together, clearly to evince and Manifest. And it may without a speedy reconciliation in short time prove the subject of my pen. And therefore he haveing such Principles within himselfe, may judge thereby that I have the like, and thereby may be left to as large an elbow-roome as himselfe takes.
But for disputacions sake, at present, admit that I am so. Yet truly I must tell you, I have red Machiavil and the History of the Kings of Israel and of Iudah contained in the Scripture, and many other Histories and also within this 15 yeares have seene aboundance of experince even in England it selfe; out of all which I cannot see the least ground to draw any manner of inference, to induce me to side with a man or Interest of men, that are beaten out of all, and totally to forsake mine owne Interest among those, that live under those, that are in possesion of all manner of power and strength; or to thinke that ever by a forreign Arme or power of force, he can ever probably overturne them. Especially considering experience teacheth me, assuredly to knowe that his bare attempting and endeavouring of it, joines them in England all together in one against him; although in many other things they are much divided amongst themselves. I am sure of it in Scripture I read, that when Absalom had a mind to be King of Israel, he did not presently goe about to raise force to obtaine it, although he nor none of his interest were ever beaten before, but he courted the People and stole away their hearts, by observeing to them his Fathers negligence to doe the people right, when they came to complaine, and handsomely reproveing of it in him, by telling the People there was no man deputed by the King to heare them: and therefore before the People he wished O that he were made a Judge in the Land, that every man that had a suit or cause might come unto him, and he would doe them justice; and when any man came nigh to doe him obeysance, he complemented to the purpose with them, and put forth his hand and tooke them and kissed them: by meanes of which he rivetted himselfe in the Peoples hearts and affections: and in process of time thereby he made his Father King David to flie before him, 2 Sam: 15: 1, 2, 3, 4, &c. So likewise JEHV for his owne ends, could cry out, come with me and see my zeale for the Lord 2 Kings 10, 16.
And as I have red the Scripture, so I have seene much experience in England, and first, I have observed the Parliament by their curious oylie and sweet declarations in reference to the People out-courted and out bid the King (who in his, stood upon the punctillioes of his prerogative) and therby won the hearts of the people from him, which proved his ruine. And afterward, in process of time, the independent party (or the great men of the Armie) served the Presbyter or the Parliament the same trick, and therfore (Sir) had I nothing of God in me, but only a graine or two of reason left me, I should never side with anie partie in the World, in endeavouring the overturning the men that rule in England, unles it were a partie that in boones and priviledges did in reference to the People outbid all parties that ever went before them in Just and rationall things and soe to ty their hands, that if they would, they should not without the apparet running the hazard of there owne ruine doe any mischeef and therfore it is that by all the honest and industrious meanes that a laborious or studious man can invent or take, will I by the assistance of God preserve my Interest in their owne bowells, amongst those honest and gallant men that live amongst them, which have held forth that in worth and exellency, that in it selfe is good and profitable for all sorts of reasonable men that are not sotts and brute beasts in their understandings, that never any held out before them, videlicet: THE AGREEMENT OF the people DATED MAY THE 1. 1649. And this Interest, I shall Increase, widen, and strenghten as much as possible I can with all persons what soever that will embrace it, not doubting but that in the conclusion it will prove like Aarons rod that devoured the rods of all the Egiptian conjurers Exodus the 7 and the 20 “Swallowing up all Interests into it selfe.” And you may remember when I was indited for my life at Guildhall October 1649, that it was laid unto my charge in the said Inditement as an act of treason that I had held out in print the same thing to the Prince by name: the words of which as they were conteined in the inditement, yow may read, in the first part of the historie of my said tryall page 58, 59, 60. And I must now acknowledge unto yow, that a learned, (and I am sure of it as honest a) judge as ever I knew in England, videlicet: Baron Rigby upon a serious discourse with him: told me, in these verie words, “that if God should suffer the Prince to follow the advice conteined in the three foresaid pages; that in one three or 4 moneths after, he would not give Sixepence for all the Parliaments Interest in England.” And least I should faile of my purpose, in maintaineing the peace of mine owne Conscience, and my Interest among my foresaid honest Freinds in England, I have for many yeares together and still doe give unto my selfe this mot to, “that honesty is the best Policy” as being the truest, most lasting and successfull in the world, all things being truly and duly weighed, and considered from first to last. In the maintaining of which I have for many yeares walked, and doe resolve by the assistance of God allmighty, so to doe to my dieing day, allthough all the sorrowes of the world should be my portion therfore.
And therefore it is, that I have fixed my resolution “to be irrevocably” one of those, that doe and shall hold forth such a thing to the people of England, as is truly able to take of all their jealousies and feares from them, that if I should get up with my Interest, I intend by my selfe or by my Interest, to doe that with them, which the forementioned persons did when they had obteined their ends to get uppermost, “which was to ride the people and abuse them rather worse then those that were before them, whom they had pulld downe:” and walke in larger wayies of wickednes then their predecessors, as may be clearly seen in Absalom and Jehu. for which, God cut them short as is verified by 2 Sam: 15, 10, 11, 12, 14, 23. and Chap. 16, 20, 21. and Chap. 17. 1, 2, 18, 23, 26. and 2 Kings 10, 29, 30, 31, 32. and “who ever shall read but the Parliaments first Remonstrance” dated December 1641 “printed in the first part of the booke of their declarations” page 3, 4, 5, &c. “and their declaration of the 19 of May 1642 page 207, 214. and their declaration of the 26 of May 1642 page 263, 264, 267, 270. and their declaration of August 1642 page 491, 492, 494, 496 and their Reply to the Kings answer of theirs of the 26 of May 1642 page 693. and read also their said booke page 36, 342, 656, 660, 690, and their declarations of the 6 of May 1643 and of the 17 of April 1646 in the 2 de part of the booke of their declarations” fol: 95, 879, and you shall clearly find they held forth most glorious expressions to the People; of regaining their “lost Lawes liberties and freedomes” as that which was not only their principal aime, but also as that which was their obliged duty, and (say they) “woe be to us” if we discharge not our duty, in order to which, “they adjure and call out upon all those that have any sense of piety, honour or compassion to come in and helpe a distressed state.” But they walkeing in too nigh an affinity “to Absaloms and Iehues” latter steps, the Army layes seige unto them, and tells them foundly and particularly of it: and holds forth in effect the same things which they had done before them, but with a great deale of more lustre and glorie then they had done. As appeares, by the Booke of the Armies declarations page 23, 25, 26, 35, 37, 39, 42, 43, 44.
Which pages being red with seriousnes, will make it clearly appeare, “that their words were smoother then oile, nay dropped like the hony combe, into the mouths of the hungry oppressed People. How were their words seemingly bedewed with teares of pitty and compassion to the distressed people? how did they represent their hearts divided and rent in sunder with heareing the doleful cryes and beholding the bloodie teares of the oppressed? what professed gallant resolutions did the seeming deepe impressions that the peoples miseries had made upon their hearts, beget in them? how did they appearingly slight their estates and the injoyment of their nearest relations? yea and of their dearest blood in comparison of the Peoples liberties? what gallant principles of freedome and righteousnes, did they then profess? how lowd were their cries against all arbitrary powers whatsoever, and all seekers of private and particular Interests? how positive and absolute were they in their resolutions, to have all the Liberties of the Nation cleared and secured? how did they seeme impatient of any delaies or protraction of time?
What “Valiant Champions did these men appeare to bee for Englands Freedome? how did old English valour and undaunted courage to oppose the stoutest enemies of the Public Interest and advantage, sparkle forth in then upon June 4, 5, 1647. When they boldly engaged in opposition to the Parliament and their special orders, not to disband nor to divide, nor suffer themselves to be disbanded or divided, untill they had security that the free borne people of England should not be subject to the like injury, oppression and abuse as had bin lately attempted to be exercised upon them? Did ever the most faithfull patriots to the most noble Nation of England pass a larger engagement to their Countrie then this? who could have forborne to conclude, that these would have bin our worthy Ehuds” (of whose valour and bravery for his Country you may read in Judges the 3. 12, 13, 14, &c.) “that would have peirced the bowells of every oppressour and destroyer of England? who could upon the sight of this engagement but imagin, that these would never have given themselves rest, untill they had seen the top-stone laid in the beautyous Fabric of Englands native Freedome? did they not oblige themselves in this ingagement, to bid defiance to every oppressor and abuser of the People in Parliament, Committees, amongst Iudges or Lawyers and all others whatsoever? were they not hereby bound to stand like the Jewes with good Nehemiah, with their swords in their hands, not only untill Englands breaches were repaired, but also untill the strongest possible iron gates were composed and set up to defend the Conscientious Persons, Liberties and Estates of all English men from oppressors? indeed could any engage to procure more perfect Freedome for the People, then they did in this engagement? can more be said then this, that they would have security, that the People should not be subjest to the like injuries or abuses, as had bin attempted? All men know there had bin attempts to offer all kinds and degrees of wrong and abuse to the people, and therefore they promised and engaged to secure them for the future from them all.
Secondly; how were the purest, and most exact principles of Freedome and of righteousnes, professed by these, to be the only grounds upon which they thus engaged, even against the Parliament? The undefiled Law of Nature, was declared to be the rule of their proceedings. In their Declaration of June 14, 1647. the establishment of common and equall right and Freedome to the whole Nation, was promised should be their Study, all purposes and designes to advance any private Interest, were most solemnly dis-avowed and disclaimed. Yea when the Parliament unvoted and expunged at their desire from their journal Booke, those votes wherby the Soldiers were declared enemies for petitioning in order to their satisfaction; “yet these men professed such principles of Freedome and common good, that they slighted that particular reparation given them, in that great case of common concernement” And in their Remonstrance of the 23 of June 1647 declared, “that they did not value or regard their owne injuries or reparations in comparison to the consequence of the one or prejudice of the other” videlicet, “the future security of common right and Freedome in the Nation.
Nay; how did these pretended heroic patriots seeme to disdeigne selfish private Interests or advantages? “they seemed to thinke it too base, sordid and unworthy for their pure Spirits to be a mercenary Armie, to serve the Arbitrary power of a state for money or gold, and therfore they disavowed their standing as such an Armie and declared; that they tooke up Armes in judgement and conscience, as called forth by the Parliaments Declarations to the defence of their owne and the Peoples rights Freedomes and Liberties?” and were not their avowed Principles as purely free, as thus truly public? for they declared, “the equitable sense of the Law to be supreme to the Letter, and to dispense with it, when the Safety of the People is concerned. And likewise. That all authority is fundamentally seated in the Office and but ministerially in the persons.” Were ever clearer principles, of Freedome planted in any heroic hearts then proceded from these mens mouthes; and “they penned even by Ireton himselfe the present Generall his sonn in Law, and apeece of his heart and soule? did not every” discerning eye, see the tendency of these gallant pure principles to be perfect Freedome and common justice? Were not the hearts of the oppressed people by the sight of these declared principles and ingagements upon them, “Filled with liveing hopes of perfect Freedome from all Kinds of tyrannie and oppression, though sheltred under never so visible and specious formes of Parliamentary power, &c.? did not every unprejudiced and truly English heart, expect that the crooked wills of men should no more have bin the measure of Englands Freedome, But only the streightest rule of Nature?
Thirdly; what fiery zeale and burning Indignation, did these our seeming saviours breath forth against those they judged the invaders of our native Freedomes and obstructers of their speedy settlement? “Were not their words speares and swords and hot burning coales, against Sir Philip Stapleton and the rest of that faction?” Did not these our hopefull and seeming Patriots, “teach the tongues of the whole Soldiery to cry aloud at New-market and Triploe heaths justice, justice, justice! against those invaders of Englands Freedomes? Was it not the first borne of their desires? yea were they not so transported with zeale for the removall of those membres whom they called apostates; that in their said remonstrance of June 23, 1646 dated at St. Albans, “they prefixed a certaine day to the Parliament for their suspension from the house, menaceing and threatening them to take an extraordinary way, unless that by the prefixed day they were suspended?” And appearingly so sollicitous were they of purgeing the house from all obstructers of justice, common good and Freedome; that when the Parliaments commissioners on July the 7, 1647 incited them to hasten the treaty betweene the Armie and Parliament for a settlement; they answered “that no comfortable effect of a trealy could be expected, so long as the Parliament was constituted of some persons, whose Interests were contrary to common good booke of their Declarations page 78” thus they presented themselven even jealous for the peoples sake, and industrious even to emulation for freedome and justice.
Fourthly; how tedious irkesome to these our seeming deliverers were the delaies in clearing and secureing the peoples liberties, when the hopes of the People deferred made their very hearts sick: page 77? How did they profess the nearest and dearest sympathy with the peoples oppressions in their said Declaration of June 14? And did they not upon July 23 declare, that their respect to the peoples safety inforced them to admit of no longer delayes, and that they could allow the house not above four or 5 daies wherein they might give assurance and security to them and to the People of a safe and speedy proceeding to settle the Armies and Nations Rights and Freedomes?
Thus the speedy settleing of common right and Freedome was visibly and declaredly the choycest object of all their actions and intentions, that was seemingly the golden ball of all their contention, “the fruit that their soules so exceedingly seemed to lust” after, and the ultimate pretended end of all their painfull and hazardous race? “Whatsoever they desired for themselves, was professed to be insisted upon onely, in relation to the public ends afore said.” Did not their Hearts seeme so far inflam’d with desire of the settlement of the peoples right and Freedomes, “that no quiet, rest, content, or satisfaction of mind could possess them so long as the People groaned under tyranie and oppression?” yea they seemed so far to preferr the peoples good before their owne advantage, “that they declared they would never have entred into so hot a contest with the Parliament for reparations for their private wrongs and abuses suffered from them, or their incroachments upon their particular Freedomes, had not their suffering those particular wrongs, bin prejudicial to common and universal right and Freedome.
Now Sir; Behold these your great commanders and seemingly Religious Freinds thus cloathed with the glorious garment of their owne Declarations, of such a curious texture; thus adorned with variety of the fairest promises as so many “bright oriental pearles,” and doe they not appeare like “Absolom, without spot or blemish from head to foote” 2 Samuel 14, 25, “are they not like to Saul higher by the head then all the people 1 Sam: 9, 2. “can you forbeare to cry, there is none in the world like unto them?” Did ever more hopefull sonns spring from Englands fruitfull wombe? Did ever more lightsome starrs arise in this Horizon? “Did not their hearts seeme to be the thrones of righteousnes, and their brests the habitation of goodnes and compassion to the oppressed and afflicted? was not justice as a robe to them, and mercy as a diademe? did they not appeare” to goe forth in the strength of the Lord, To breake the Jawes of the wicked and oppressors, to pluck the spoile out of their teeth? Did they not then give such hopes of deliverance to those who were bound in chaines of tyrranie, and of releife to the poore afflicted, who had none to helpe them, “that the eares that heard their words rejoyced? and the blessing of many which were ready to perish, came upon them?
And what Egle-eye could at first discerne, “that this glorious cloathing, was but painted paper?” what jealous heart could have imagined, “that these promiseing Patriots, were only sweet mouthed dissemblers?” Who could have harboured the leasts suspition that these seeming visible starrs of heaven, “were but blazing Comets?” that would quickly turne their backs as they have perfectly done upon all these glorious promises and declarations, and prove the vilest apostates that ever the earth bore? and have made it their worke, “to imprison, arreigne, condemne, shoot and murder men that have but put them in mind of their owne serious promises and ingagements, in which the present General himselfe hath bin the cheif ringleader. And I wish that you and many of those that “outwardly profess godlynes and honesty in England” were free from a zealous countenanceing of him in it. Although both they and hee cannot but know, that the righteous god of Heaven and earth, “brought a desperate famine upon Israel for three yeares together, because Saul had broke and violated that solemne contract, and engagement, that the Israelites had made with the heathen Gibeonites” although it was not voluntary, but obteined by fraud and deceit. Yet nothing would appease the wrath of God, and satisfie the “Gibeonites, but the hanging up of seven of the sonns of Saul before the Lord, who was the man that had broken and violated the contract with them.” At the doeing of which, “the anger of God was turned away from Israel.” All which appeares by Joshua 9, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17. and 2 Sam: 21: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14. And though it were that god prospered IEHV while he was doeing his worke in cutting of the “wicked house of Ahabs” & made him prosperous and victorious in all his encountres, wherby his heart was so elevated and lifted up that he cried out Come see my zeale for the Lord, yet when he turned his back upon God and the waies of Justice and righteousnes, “god then cut him and Israel short, and gave them up with a mighty slaughter to their Enemies” the 2 Kings. Chap. 10. Therfore as a man that intirely loves my native Countrey I shall request you to commend unto the serious and hearty consideration of the LORD GENERALL and his Confederates the Advice of their valiant and learned Champion Mr. MILTON, who haveing much spent his eloquence to rout the forces of SALMASIVS, in the Epilogue of his Latin booke, “called a Defense of the People of England” turnes his speech to his Masters that had set him on worke, whom he with much faithfullnes and Freedome bespeakes on this manner. “One thing is remaineing and that haply of the greatest moment, that you o my Countrymen and Fellow-Cityzens should your owne selves undertake the refutation of this your adversary; which I doe not see how you can otherwise possibly effect, save by endeavouring with tooth and naile to make your gallant actings the eternall confutation of all your Enemies raileings. God did graciously give care to your Vowes and most ardent petitions, when being oppressed with more then a single bondage” you fled to him for succour. You in the first place among all Nations has he gloriously delivered from Tyranny and Superstition, the greatest plagues, doubtles, of humane life, and most prejudiciall to all virtue and true Gallantry. “Into you it is that he hath infused that height of courage, as that you have not doubted to be the first of Mankind, that have by a famous judgement tryed a King and punnished him being condemned, after that you had by your Armes procur’d his Conquest and surrender. After which so glorious a transaction, you ought” not now to thinke, much less to act any thing that is Mean and Low. “Which that it may be your commendation, you have no more to doe, but to take this course; namely, to make it appeare to all the World, that you are as well able in the middest of peace and disarmed, most valiantly to conquer Ambition, Avarice, Mammon and those corruptions of manners that attend prosperity; wich are wont to conquer other Nations and generations of men; as you have bin to vaquish your Enemies in a time of Warr; and to shew forth as much Iustice, Temperance and Moderation in the preservation of your Liberties, as ever you have manifested courage in casting the yoake of bondage from of your necks.” By these arguments and these alone, “by such testimonies as these alone, you will be able to evince, that you are none of those public Enemies, Traitors, Theives, Murderers, Parricides, Fantastic Enthusiasts whom this man railes upon; that you have not, moved with ambition or a desire to invade anothers right, nor pricked and spurred on with sedition, any base lusts, madnes or fury, murdered a King: but that you have, being inflamed with the love of liberty, religion, justice, common honesty and your native Countrey, punished a tyrant. But if (which I beseech thee o good God may never come to pass) your minds shall be otherwise enclined, if haveing bin valiant in warr, you shall in time of peace prove base and unworthy; you who have had manifest experience of Gods fighting in such a manner for you and against your enemies; if casting behind your backs so rare and never to be for gotten an example of divine Presence” you shall forget to feare God and execute Righteousnes; “for my part I shall certainly grant and confess, (for it will be past all denial,] that all those things are true which malignant liers and railers have at any time most ignonimiously thought or said of you;” and that you shall in a short time find God more incensed with wrath against you, then ever yet your enemies have found him averse or you have felt him benigne, favourable and fatherly-affected unto you, more then to all the Nations at this time inhabiting the face of the whole earth and soe far for Mr. Miltons excellent and faithfull advice to them. And therefor now to goe on.
Is it not true Sir, that successive or new Parliaments equally chosen by the People of England are confessed on all hands, to be the very soule and life of all their Freedomes? and doe not the Law-bookes of England shew, that a Parliament (which in its owne constitution is excellent good physick but never was intended nor ever safely can be used for constant diet, because it has allwaies bin pretended by the members thereof to be unlimited and arbitrary) “was called and held fresh and fresh some times twice a yeare and that even before the Conquest” as is declared by Lambert in his collection of Lawes before the conquest, amongst the Lawes of King Edgar chapter the 5, and by Sir Edward Cooke in his margent in the 9 page of his 4 part of Institutes, in the Chapter of High-Court of Parliament which with other of the liberties of England, being by force of armes subdued by the Norman Conqueror, although the people of England forced him three severall times to take his oath, after his being owned for King, to maintaine the English peoples Lawes and liberties, as being not able nor judgeing his conquest so good, just and secure a plea, to hold his new-gat crowne by, “as an after mutuall compact or Agreement with the People, or their representatives” over whom he was to rule. And therfore, as the Lord Cooke, in the foresaid Chapter page the 12 declares “a Parliament or a kind of one was held even in the Conquerors time.” See also to this purpoose, the Lawbooke of the 21 of Edward the 3 folio the 60 and “the first part of the Lord Cookes Institutes” lib: 2. Chap. 10. Section 164. fol: 110. a. and came to be more Frequently used in his Successors time, “yea even to be once in two yeares in Edward the 1 or 2 his time”. at which notwithstanding the people then grumbled as being an absolute abridgement of their ancient and undoubted libertie, ‘to meet more frequently in their nationall and public assemblies” to treat and conclude of things for their weale & better being. The want of which in ancient time, ‘lost the Island of Brittanie to the Romans” as the said Lord Cooke declares in the said 4 part of his Institutes folio 9, out of Tacitus in the life of Agricola page 306. whereupon it was enacted in full Parliament in Edward the third his time, that the King (who was the Peoples Officer of trust) “should assemble & call the People together in Parliament once every yeare or oftner if need required;” as appeares by the statute of the 4 of Edward the 3 Chapter the 14. But because this was not constantly used by that King, but that sometimes he made intervalls of three or fower yeares betwixt Parliament & Parliament, which was still a diminution of the very Soule and Life of all the Peoples liberties videlicet Frequent & Often new Parliaments: therfore in the 36 yeare of his raigne, annuall Parliaments are provided. In these very words; Item for maintenance of the said articles & statutes and redress of divers mischeifs & greivances which daily happen, a Parliament shall be holden every yeare; as another time was ordained by a statute of the fourth of Edward the third Chapter the 14. and though in after ages it hath many times bin otherwise practised, yet the statutes being still in force, the parliaments answer to the King in their booke of Declarations, pag: 709 holds good, that the practise is not argument against the right. But the late King Charles exceedingly faileing to put these Lawes in execution, in the Frequent calling of Parliaments; & also when he had called them dissolved them at his pleasure & so made them useles to the Nation; Both which the Parliament most notably declared was against his trust, in their Declaration of November the 2, 1642. first part of the booke of their Declarations, page 70, & 702, 709, &c. of which the Parliament most bitterly complained in their first Remonstrance Booke of Declarations Part 1 page 5, 6, 11 & in page 10, 11, ibidem, they positively declare, “that his destroying of those two grand Freedomes of the People videlicet, frequent, new, & successive Parliaments & free debates therein; had corrupted and distempered the whole frame & government of the Nation & brought in nothing but destruction & waies of tyranny. For the preventing of which for the future, the Parliament got an Act to pass in the 16 yeare of the late King, which was the first yeare of this long-lived Parliament, to confirme every tittle of the two fore mentioned acts for annuall Parliaments; & further, in that act they say thus, that whereas it is by experience found, that the not holding of Parliaments according to the two forementioned acts, hath produced sundry & great mischeifes & inconveniencyes to the Kings Majesty, the Church & comment weale, for the prevention of the like mischeifs & inconveniencyes for the time to come; be it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majesty with the consent of the Lords Spirituall and temporall and the Commons in this present. Parliament assembled, that the said [last Forementioned) Lawes & statutes be from henceforth duly kept and observed. And most excellent & worthy to be written in Letters of gold, were and are those arguments that the Lord George Digby (though since a Cavalier) used in his public speech in the house of Commons January 19, 1640 at and for the passing of the last forementioned Law; which speech of his is recorded in a printed booke called speeches & passages of Parliament, page 12, 13 & to page 21.
And hath not the PRESENT GENERALL in his verball expressions confirmed all these things as most righteous and just? for, was it not hee or his sonn in law IRETON (lately deceased) that drew that excellent declaration of the Army dated Iune the 14, 1647 printed and published in the booke of their Declarations page 41, 42, 43 where they positively declare, “that they were so farr from designeing, or complying to have an arbitary power fixed or setled for continuance in any persons whatsoever, as that (say they) if we might be sure to obteine it, we cannot wish to have it so in the persons of any whom we could most confide in, or who should appeare most of our owne opinions and principles, or whom we might have most personal assurance of or Interest in, but we doe & shall much rather wish that the authority of this Nation in Parliaments” (rightly constituted, that is, “freely, equally & successively chosen” according to their originall intention) “may ever stand & have its course & therfore we shall applie our selves chiefly to such things, as (by haveing Parliaments settled in such a right constitution) may give most hopes of justice & righteousnes to flow downe equally to all, in that its ancient channel, without any overtures, tending either to overthrow, that foundation of order & government in this Kingdome, or” to engross that power for perpetuity into the hands of any particular persons, or partie whatsoever. “And for that purpose, though (as we have found it doubted by many men, minding sincerely the public good, but not weighing so fully all consequences of things) it may and is not unlike to prove, that, upon the ending of this Parliamet, & the election of a new, the Constitution of succeeding Parliaments as to the persons elected may prove for the worse many waies; yet, since neither in the present purgeing of this Parliament, nor in the Election of new, we cannot promise to ourselves, or the Kingdome, an assurance of justice, or other positive good from the hands of men, but those who for the present appeare most righteous & most for common good (“haveing an unlimited power fixed in them for life or pleasure”) in time, may become corrupt, or settle into parties, or factions; “or, on the other side, in case of new Elections, those that should so succeed, may prove as bad or worse then the former.” We therfore humbly conceive that (“of two inconveniencyes the less being to be chosen”) the maine thing to be intended in this case (“and beyond which humane providence cannot reach, as to any assurance of positive good”) seemes to be this, viz. To provide, “that how ever unjust or corrupt the persons of Parliament-men, in present or future may prove; or what ever ill they may doe to particular Parties (or to the whole in particular things) during their respective termes, or periods” yet they shall not have the tempation or advantage of an unlimited power fixed in them during their owne pleasures, “wherby to perpetuate injustice and oppression upon any (without end or remedie) or to advance and uphold any one particular partie, faction, or interest whatsoever, to the oppression or prejudice of the community, & the enslaveing of the Kingdome to all posterity; but that the people may have an equall hope or possibility, if they have” made an ill choyce at one time, to mend it in another: “and the members of the House themselves may be in a capacity, to tast of subjection as well as rule, & may so be enclined to consider of other mens cases, as what may come to be their owne. And speakeing a little” after of the Parliament whose power they say is so arbitrary & in a manner unlimitted; in which regard, “it is most unfitt & dangerous” (as to the Peoples interest] “to be fixed in the persons of the same men dureing life or their owne pleasures;” they add, that “Neither by the Originall constitution of this state, was it, or ought it to continue so, nor does” it (where ever it is & continues so) “render that state any better then a meere Tyrannie, or the People subject to it, any beter then Vassals: But in all states where there is any face of common Freedome, and particularly in this state of England (as is evident, both by many positive Lawes, & ancient constant custome) “the people have a right to new and successive elections unto that great and supreme trust, at certaine periods of time, which is so essentiall & fundamentall to their Freedome, as it cannot, or ought not to be denied them, or with-held from them, and without which the house of Commons, is of very little concernment to the interest of the Commons of England. And therefore a little” below they positively desire, that some determinate period of time may be set for the continuance of this and future Parliaments, “beyond which none shall continue and upon which the writts may of course yssue out and new Elections successively take place accordingly. And thus (say they) a firme foundation being laid in the Authority and constitution of Parliaments for the hopes, at least, of common and equal right and Freedome to our selves and all the Free-borne people of this Land, we shall for our parts freely and cheerfully committ our stock or share of interest in this Kingdome into this common bottome of Parliaments” and though it may (for our particulars) goe ill with us in one Voiage, yet we shall thus hope (if right be with us) to fare better in another. And did not the present Generall in his proposalls of the 1 of August 1647 published to the view of the whole Nation, “press that a certain period may by act of Parliament be set for the ending of this present Parliament, and that such period be within a yeare at most?” See the booke of the Armies Declarations page 112. And did not the present Generall in his Remonstrance of the 8 of August 1647 declare, “that it was his ernest indeavour and the indeavor of the Armie, to settle a sound and lasting peace on good termes for the Interest of the Nation? but in stead of the hoped for fruit of their labours and hazards and of the Nations vast expence (in the dispenceing of justice and righteousnes and the settleing and upholding of common right and Freedome to the people of England) wee found (saith the Generall &c.) immediatly the cross workings of a strong and prevalent partie in the parliament and Kingdome, who [walkeing under the maske of the Parliaments Freinds but being in truth men of corrupt and private ends and Interests, different from and destructive to the real and common Interest of the Kingdome) made use of their power to obstruct & pervert justice, to injure, oppress and crush the peaceable and well-affected people of the Kingdome; to abridge and overthrow all just Freedome and liberty, and drive on designes to set up a partie and faction in the Parliament and Kingdome, and (by the advantage of a PERPETVAL PARLIAMENT] to dominere over and enslave the Kingdome to posterity, and for that end to make such a peace with the King (if any] as without any just provision, for the common and true Interest of the People and the security therof for future;” which [saith the Generall &c.) we were called out to vindicate and defend and had so long fought for, those being (saith he &c.) those just and public ends for which so much blood and treasure hath bin spilt and spent in the late warrs. See the booke of the Armies Declarations page 129, 132, 134. Did not the Armie in their grand Remonstrance, of 16 of November 1648 presented by them to the Parliament by the hands of COLL. EWERS (once my Major] and other Officers, and tendered by them to the consideration of the whole Kingdome, say as much for the necessity and utility of constant, equall, and successive Parliaments, as it is allmost impossible for any men in the world with tongues or penns to say more. Reade their expressions in page 15, 45, 46, 52, 56, 66, 67, 69. and are not these part of their words, where speaking to the Parliament, doe they not earnestly desire them; First, “that they would set some reasonable and certaine period to their owne power, by which time (say they) that great and supreme trust reposed in you shall be returned into the hands of the people for and from whom you received it, that so you may give them satisfaction and assurance, that what you have contended for against the King (for which they have bin put to so much trouble, cost and loss of blood) hath bin only for their Liberties & Common Interests & not for your owne personall Interest or power. Secondly, that there may be a sound settlement of the peace and future Government of the Kingdome upon grounds of common Right Freedome and Safety, to the effect here following.
First, that from the end of this, there may be a certaine succession of future Parliaments) ANNV ALL OR BIENNIALL with secure provision. 1 For the certainty of their meeting, sitting and ending. 2 For the equall distribution of Elections thereunto, to render the House of commons as neare as may be an equall representative of the whole people electing. 3 For the certainty of the peoples meeting (according to such distributions) to elect, and for their full Freedome in elections. Provided that none who have ingaged or shall ingage in warr against the right of Parliament and Interest of the Kingdome therein, or have adhered to the Enemies thereof, may be capable of electing or being elected (at least during a competent number of yeares) nor any other, who shall oppose or not joyne in agreement to this settlement. 4 That it be declared, that (as to the whole Interest of the people of England) such representatives have and shall have the SVPREME POWER & trust, as to the makeing of Lawes, Constitutions and Offices, for the ordering, preservation, and government of the whole, and that in the NEGATIVE they may not render up or give or take away any of the foundations of common-right, liberty or safety conteined in this settlement & agreement: And this to be established by a Generall contract or agreement of the People, which they there require may have their Subscriptions thereunto, and that withall it may be provided, that none may be capable of any benefit by the agreement who shall not consent & subscribe thereunto, nor any King be admitted to the Crowne, or other person to any Office or place of public trust without express accord and subscription to the same: and also they press the Parliament to consider such special overtures as have bin tendred to them, in the petitions of wellwishers to public good “and especially and particularly That large petition from many in and about London dated the 11th of September 1648:” that so they may when they lay downe their trust (which they press may be speedily) leave a good favour behind them, both to the name of Parliaments & also of men prosessing Godlynes and therein cheifly to the honour of Allmighty God, who hath (in his rich grace and mercy) done such wonders for them.
And did not the present Generall & the rest of the Officers of the Armie draw up and cause to be presented unto the House upon the 20 of January 1649 or rather 1648 by Lieutenant Generall Hammond, Coll: Okey and other Officers of the Armie, a petition and a draught of such an Agreement, which was afterwords by their order printed at London “by Iohn Partridge, Rich: Harford, Giles Calvert & George Whittington” all Bookesellers in London? In which said petition they use these very words. “Now as nothing did in our owne hearts more justifie our late undertakeings towards many members in this Parliament, then the necessity therof in order to a sound settlement in the Kingdome and the integritie of our intentions to make use of it only to that end; So we hold our selves obliged to give the people all assurance possible, that our opposeing the corrupt closure endeavoured with the King, was not in designe to hinder peace or settlement, (therby to render our employments, as Soldiers, necessary to be continued) and that neither that extraordinary course we have taken, nor any other proceedings of ours, have bin intended for the setting up of any particular Party or Interest, by or with which to uphold ourselves in power and dominion over the Nation, but that it was and is the desire of our hearts in all we have done” (with the hindering of that imminent evill and destructive conjunction with the King) “to make way for the settlement of a peace and government of the Kingdome, upon grounds of common Freedome and safety.
And the introduction of the said agreement is in these very words; “An agreement of the people of England and the places therewith incorporated, for a secure & present peace upon grounds of common right Freedome and safety.
“Haveing by our late labours and hazards made it appeare to the world, at how high a rate wee value our just Freedome, & God haveing so far owned our cause, as to deliver the Enemies thereof into our hands; we doe now hold our selves bound in mutuall duty to each other, to take the best care we can for the future, TO AVOID BOTH THE DANGER of returning into a slaveish condition & the chargeable remedie OF ANOTHER WARR. For as it cannot be imagined, that so many of our Country men would have opposed us in this quarrel, if they had understood their owne good, so may we hopefully promise to our selves, that WHEN OVR COMMON RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES SHALL BE CLEARED, their endeavours will be disappointed, that seeke to make them selves our Masters. Since therefore our former oppressions, and not yet ended troubles; have been occasioned, either by want of frequent national meetings in councel, or by the undue or unequal constitution thereof, or by rendring those meetings uneffectuall. We are fully “resolved & agreed (God willing) to provide, that hereafter our Representatives be neither left to an uncertainty for time nor be unequally constituted, nor made useles to the ends for which they are intended” In order whereunto we declare & agree;
(1) THAT, TO PREVENT THE MANY INCONVENIENCYES, APPARENTLY ARISEING FROM THE LONG CONTINVANCE OF THE SAME PERSONS IN SVPREME AVTHORITY, this present Parliament end and disolve upon or before the last day of April, in the yeare of our Lord 1649.
And for the excellency common utility & safety of settleing the distressed Nation of England upon such an agreement, after the shakeing the foundations of the government therof, by so many bloody warrs, in their printed Declaration annexed to the said agreement wherby they recommend it to the serious consideration of the people of England, they have these verie words; Wee shall not otherwise commend it (that is the said agreement) then to say it conteines, the BEST AND MOST HOPEFVLL FOVNDATIONS FOR THE PEACE AND FVTVRE WELL GOVERNMENT OF THIS NATION, THAT WE CAN DEVISE OR THINKE ON WITHIN THE LINE OF HVMANE POWER, and such wherein all the people interested in this Land [that have not particular Interests of advantage & power over others, divided from that which is common & public) are indifferently & equally provided for, save where any have justy forfeited their share in that common Interest by opposeing it, and so rendred themselves incapable thereof (at least) for some time. And we call the Consciences of all that read or heare it to wittnes, whether we have therein provided or propounded any thing of advantage to our selves in any capacity above others, OR OVGHT, BVT WHAT IS AS GOOD FOR ONE AS FOR ANOTHER. And a little further in the said Declaration, they aver and say.
And we for our parts, being far from any desire or thought to assume or exercise a law-giveing, or judicial power over the Kingdome, or to meddle in anything save the fundamentall settleing of that power in the most EQVALL & hopefull way for COMMON RIGHT, FREEDOME AND SAFETY (as in this Agreement) and haveing not meanes nor time for; nor the necessity of some present generall settlement, admitting the delay of such a consideration, as seemes requisite in relation to such numerous particulars, we have purposely declined the inserting of such things into this agreement.
And did not the present GENERALL & the rest of his Officers publish a Declaration dated in December 1648: which expresseth the reasons of their then advance with their Army to London, to purge (OR RATHER PLVCK VP BY THE ROOTES) the Parliament? and doe they not in that Declaration positively declare, that the Parliaments treating with the King and rejecting all better & wholsomer counsells given them IS NO LESS THEN A TREACHEROVS OR CORRVPT NEGLECT OR AN APOSTATIZING FROM THE PVBLIC TRVST REPOSED IN THEM. Yet not ASSVMING to themselves [as there in words they say] a standing power of judgement (AS OF RIGHT OR TRVST) to conclude others thereby, acknowledging that to lie most properly in those whom the people DVLY CHOOSE AND TRVST TO IVDGE FOR THEM. But considering that such power, where ever it is, IS COMMITTED BVT IN TRVST, and that neither this Nation, nor any other people DID EVER GIVE VP THEIR NATVRALL CAPACITIES OF COMMON SENSE OR REASON, as to the ends & fundamentalls of that trust. And as for the Parliaments breach of trust, there being no formal power of man in beeing to appeale to, in the present case, they positively declare, They cannot but exercise that common judgement which in their NATVRALL CAPACITY is left to them, and therfore considering that the Parliaments then BREACH OF TRVST, was so transcendently great, as that it was an hazard of totall destruction to that Interest, & to those people, for which especially (they say) the trust was reposed. And seeing there is no orderly & open way left for a just succession of another formal and proper judicature to bee appealed unto in due time, therfore they there renounced the then Parliament, AS NO PARLIAMENT AT ALL, & with confidence APPEALED TO THE COMMON IVDGEMENTS OF INDIFFERENT AND VNCORRVPTED MEN, exciteing all those that yet were faithfull to their trust in the Parliament to COME OVT & joyne with them, and in such a case of extremity they promise to looke upon them [not as a Parliament, but) as persons materially haveing the cheife trust of the Kingdome remaining in them, THOVGH NOT A FORMALL STANDING POWER, to be continued in them or drawne into ordinary president; yet the best and most rightfull that can be had, as the present State and exigency of affaires then stood; and wee shall (say they) accordingly owne them, adhere to them & be guided by them, in their FAITHFVLL PROSECVTION OF THEIR TRVST, which they there declare, to be onely in order unto (MARKE IT WELL) and VNTILL THE INTRODVCEING OF A MORE FVLL AND FORMALL POWER IN A JVST REPRESENTATIVE TO BE SPEEDILY INDEAVOVRED AND RATIFIED BY AN AGREEMENT AND SVBSCRIPTION OF THE PEOPLE THEREVNTO.
And did not the present Generall (for upon him I principally looke, and judge him in a manner to be all in all, and not only one man but; his word in England, to be more then ten thousand) lay it as an act of treason, to the late King Charles, charge his in his (for so I may truly call it) late impeachment of him, dated the 20 of January 1648: that he had KEPT OF FREQVENT AND SVCCESSIVE PARLIAMENTS OR NATIONAL MEETINGS IN COVNCEL, which (as before is averred) ought to be once every yeare or oftner if need require? And did not the Generalls then two principall agents, to wit, the LORD PRESIDENT BRADSHAW and Mr. JOHN COOKE now Lord cheife justice in Ireland, notably with all their Eloquence and Rhetoric aggravate that against the King, as a most transcendent crime? see the 11 page of the Lord Bradshawes last speech against the King, being upon the 27 of January 1648, and Mr. Iohn Cooke his State of the Kings Case page 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20. in the last of which, Mr. JOHN COOKE averrs, THAT THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND NOT ONLY BY SEVERAL STATVTE LAWES OVGHT TO HAVE A PARLIAMENT ONCE A YEARE OR OFTNER IF NEED REQVIRE, BVT ALLSO OF COMMON RIGHT THEY OVGHT TO HAVE IT; and that the Kings makeing of Parliaments when he called them, VSELES to the END for which they were instituted, was a crime in him EQVALL to his not calling them, for nine or ten yeares together. And I wish the present Generall, were not much more guiltie then ever the King was, of all those tamperings, juggleings & mathiavilian devices, that he speakes of in his 17, 18 and 20 pages, to make a Parliament useles in any thing, BVT TO SERVE HIS OWNE LVSTS AND OPPRESS THE PEOPLE THEREBY. So that then by Mr. Iohn Cookes conclusion, to speake in his owne words, the Generall may throw the gauntles & challenge all the MACHIAVELS IN the world to invent such an EXQVISITE PLATFORME of tyrannicall domination & such a PERFECT TYRANNIE without MAIME or BLEMMISH as he is Prince or Emperour of, and that by a Law, which saith Mr. JOHN COOKE is worst of all.
And did not the present Generall before the late battel at Worcester, ingage and promise before God & several Officers of his Armie, & of the good people of England; that if God blessed him with that victorie, he would immediately be the effectual instrument to procure unto the people of England their naturall common, legal and undoubted birth-right, TO ELECT AND CHOOSE A NEW PARLIAMENT? and did he not after the battaile, engage the same? and did he not come up to London and in the Parliament House immediately after his comeing up express himselfe full of zeale for the immediate calling a new-Parliament, “As that which they were bound in Conscience and duty both to God and Man forthwith to call”? And were not the Spirits and Hearts of thousands and ten thousands of the honest people of England refreshed thereby, and cried him up as their earthly Saviour & Redeemor therfore? yet was his carriage therein any other then A PERFECT CHEAT AND DECEIT, on purpose in peace & quietnes to get disbanded & scatterd all those forces that in their hearts longed for it, and in their words expressed so much, and it may be he feared were at Worcester twice so many, as hee, & all those that durst then joyne with him against it which necessitated him to give them good woords, and faire promises; till he got all the “new-raised forces (who were full of Life for a new Parliament) disbanded, & all his owne Regiments that he was jealous of disperst & scattered into small companies abroad in the Nation; and under the pretence of ease of the Peoples taxes, ordered hee not his Officers to disband a certaine number our of their troopes & companies of the most choycest men that he was afraid were Possessed with such principles? and did he not to the saddening of the Vniversality of honest mens hearts in England, when hee imagined he had done his worke to his hearts desire, vote & declare the Parliament should (after they had sate almost twelve yeares) sit three yeares longer if they pleased, and at the three yeares end they may sit as long as they or hee lives, if he please. So that the people shall never have a New Parliament.
And upon this, did not you and divers other honest men, Leaders or Preachers to severall of the most CONSCIENTIOVS CONGREGATIONS OF INDEPENDENTS AND ANABAPTISTS in and about the Cittie of London, repair to him, and with greise of heart freely and fully to his face lay open his wickednes in this very thing, as the most gross hypocrisie and basenes that could be acted by a man? against which, did you not tell him, you judged your selves bound in duty and conscience before God & the world to beare wittnes; & against this his practise to endeavour as of duty and of right, to the hazard of your lives and all that in this world you could call yours, “immediately to procure a new Parliament? and when by your discourses with him, he grew choleric & hot, and would not well endure freely to be spoke to, did not some of the “cheifest Independents amongst your companie” tell him to his face, “that seeing he was so altered & changed from what he used to be, that now he would not endure plainely to be told his owne, you would leave him in his declined condition and goe home to your closets, and by prayer cry aloud to God against him? and have not some of the cheifest of the same company (I meane Independents] since declared to some of their acquaintance, that they absolutely found and judged the Generall (now by cleare experience) to be as false & as juggleing a man as the worst or highest of his adversaries had ever reported him to bee? and that his juggleing & deceit would be quickly the apparent hazard of the ruine of all the honest men in England? And did not you all lay your heads together and abstract the very quint-essence of your braines into reasons deducted both from the Right, Profit and Necessity of haveing a New Parliament out of hand, & the duty that lies upon your Consciences particularly, to stickle vigorously for the procureing of it? and did you not deliver the said reasons in writeing to the Generalls owne hands; and upon his continuing obstinate against your just desires, have you not since kept Severall fasts at great All-hallowes in thames street London, from morning till night, twelve 14, or 16, of you praying in one day? and have not your hearts bin listed up to God, earnestly to beg assistance from him, to inable you to goe on couragiously and actively with faithfullnes and success, not withstanding all opposition to the contrary to accomplish fully that great good for the people of England “to wit: the procureing a new-elected Parliamen for them? And hath not the Generall himselfe with his Sycophantizeing agents & Chaplaines Mr. or Dr. OWEN the new Deane of Christ-church, Mr. LOCKYER, Mr. SYDRACH SIMPSON, AND Mr. PHILIP NYE bin extremely enraged and mad with you therfore, and used to severall of you not only threats, but also sugred perswasions to cause you to desist there from; & have you not nevertheless persevered and gone on; and sent your Letters and agents to all (or the most part of] your Freinds, in all the Counties of England or Wales: to excite them to joyne with you therein? and can you now without horror of Conscience upon any pretences whatsoever, and an apprehension of the Wrath, Vengeance, and curse both of God and man to seaze immediatly upon you and your Families, goe back, sit still, or grow cold or lukewarme? especially if you but seriously read, ponder and meditate upon, what I have here writt unto you, which is all the Inference that at present I shall draw from the premises.
Only I shall now take the Libertie, to give you the reasons why I write these lines to you & the
First is, Because I know no man of mine ancient acquaintance, that prosesseth Religion, Zeale, Conscience or Common-good, as your selfe doth, that is so familiarly acquainted with all the fower forementioned great Sword-men, or the major-part of them, as your selfe is: and so well heard by them as you are: and because I hate to grapple in good earnest with the greatest adversary I have in the world, but I will (if it bee possible,) tell him before hand what weapons I will bee at with him, that so he may if he please choose a Composure, if not let him doe his pleasure, and I shall doe the best I can for my selfe.
Secondly, because I understand since I saw you, you have bin very civil and respective, to my poore distressed & disconsolate wife. and least by any after actions of mine you should repent of any civilitie you have alreadie done her, or be unwilling to doe her any more hereafter, & because I would give as much satisfaction to her (whom my soule hath loved & still doth love) (if I know any thing of mine owne heart (as intirely as ever husband loved a wife) as far as with a good conscience & mine owne Safetie I possibly can; and that I am a rationall man & willing to stoope, for her Satisfaction, so Farr as with the maintaineing of mine owne peace it may bee.
The Generall haveing medled with me, without the least shadowe of ground or cause, or the least provocation given him by me, I am confident of it; and thereby pickt a quarrell with me as “Benhadad the King of Assyria did with the King of Israel, who would not be contented with any thing that the King of Israel could profer to him, unless he would give him every thing that was pleasaunt in his eyes, as appeares the” 1 Kings 20 who paid deare enough for his Insolency as in that Chapter you may read. And I for my part, challenge the Generall to instance if he can, any one seemeing provocation that I have of late given him, for I am sure of it, since our last outwardly solemne reconcilement, I never in the least Disserved him, but waited upon him, since his comeing from Worcester at his owne House, and had an houre or two’s private discourse with him in his Gallerie, & gave him all the ingagements from me that are fit, either for a man of Honour, Conscience, or Integritie to give to a great man, whose absolute vassall he cannot bee. And he assured mee he would receive no Information against me behind my back, but he would send for me and speak with me, before it should stick or find beleife with him, protesting he had absolutely buried in the grave of forgetfullnes the remembrance of all by-past things betwixt us, and now should be as ready to serve me, as any Freind I had in England, commending my Ingenuitie and proffers to him in the difference betwixt SIR ARTHVR HASILRIG & my Freinds, which was in the first place; I proffered the Generall that so hee might see, [as I told him] that I had no desire to ruffle with any that I knew hee was intimate with & that I had a very high apprehension of his Integritie & of the Justice of the cause, which for my Freinds I mannaged against SIR ARTHVR HASILRIG and therfore First, that if his Honour with deliberation would vouchsafe to heare the buysines fully, I would engage if SIR ARTHVR would doe the like, that my Freinds should engage themselves in a bond of 20 thousand pound finally to stand to his Judgement and therein to acquiesce without further struggleing. But he told me his occasions were great & many and would not permit him time fully to heare so large a busynes, as he was afraid it was. Vnto which I replied My Lord;
Then in the 2d place if your Lordship please to propound this unto Sir Arthur, that if he please to choose any two Officers in your Armie, of those that hee leaves wee will choose two more.
Or 3dly; if he like better to choose two Members of Parliament, wee will choose two more; and I will engage my Freinds shall bind themselves in the foresaid bonds, to stand to their final judgement, provided that wherein they cannot agree, that so we may have an end, your Lordship shall decide it. Vnto which he replied, it was so faire, as fairer could not be offered by any man in the world, and most solemnly engaged himselfe unto me (to use his owne words) to speake effectually to Arthur about it, and at that time tooke of me my printed Booke, against SIR ARTHVR and the “fower unjust commissioners at Haberdashers Hall: And promised me seriously to peruse it. But although I was often in his way on purpose to waite upon him to receive his commands about it; yet I never heard more of it from him, although this discourse betwixt him and me, was many weekes before Mr. Primates appeale to the Parliament. Therfore, I say, considering all these things, I must have a care how I trust a twice reconciled Enemy, especially one that hath made so many and so glorious transcendent promises to the Nation of England, and all sorts of honest Men contained in it, as hee hath allready done severall times over, (as is before truly repeated) AND MAKES NO CONSCIENCE AT ALL TO PERFORME ANY ONE OF THEM. Yet for peace sake & for affections sake to my endeared and poore wife, I will the third time now goe as low in my propositions, as possible with any safety or imaginable security I can; upon the granting of which, I will ingage to sit still and write no more against him, unless he breake the engagement first. And therefore in order to a third reconcilement, I propose in the first place, that seeing by Common right, severall ancient and moderne statute Lawes yet in force, the Parliaments and Armies fore-cited Declarations, and the Unanimous confession of all Interests and parties” whatsoever, “a new and successive Parliament once a yeare, is the undoubted birthright of the people of England” & seeing by the Generalls owne forementioned Declarations, this Parliament, THAT NOW IS, IS NO PARLIAMENT AT ALL, nor upon “his owne principles, never was since he declared and avowed they were traitors to their trust” which in the yeare 1648 he did, as has bin truly before recited; and seeing by his and his Armies owne confession (as is before truly mentioned) there is no other Safe, Secure, Honest or Iust way to provide for the calling of future Parliaments in England, but by a “Popular Agreement signed amongst and by the people; that therfore he would immediately declare, and give good Cautionary security, that within three, foure or 5 Moneths time, the people of England shall choose and have sitting a new Parliament, either upon the principles of our Agreement dated at the Tower of London May 1, 1649: or upon the principles of their owne forementioned Agreement, delivered by them to the House of Commons & upon these conditions I will wave all things concerning my selfe, or the Collierie of Harraton, or my Freinds related therunto. And further; to manifest to all the world, that my present necessitated and compelled struggleing, is not to appropriate to my selfe either Government, Rule, Domination, Riches or Greatnes; I will be willing to give my full consent unto it under my hand and seale, that an act shall be passed, by this present Parliament, to make me by name uncapable of being chosen of the next Parliament, or bearing any Office in the Common-wealth of England, dureing its sitting, or comeing into England, till it bee sate.
Now, Sir, it may be the Generall may be full of Indignation and scorne, that such a nothing as my selfe should dare to make such a proposition to him, of whom it may truly by reason of his greatnes be said, as it is said in the 41 of Job of the LEVIATHAN, ‘that when he raiseth up himselfe, the mighty are afraid, the sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the speare, the dart, nor the habergeon. He esteemeth iron as straw & brass as rotten wood. the arrow cannot make him flee: sling stones are turned with him into stubble, darts are counted as stubble, he laugheth at the shakeing of a speare; upon earth there is not his like, who is made without feare. But if the Generall doe rage and scorne at what I say; In calmnes I answer him.
In the first-place with the words of himselfe and his Armie, as they are written in the 70 and last page of their grand Remonstrance from St. Albans 16 Novemb: 1648 which thus followes. Wee hope (say they) ‘that in Age of so much light, mere will or resolution will not be held forth or pursued against what has bin said. But that, what reason or righteousnes, there is in the things which we have said will be considered & folowed, nor let it find prejudice with you,’ (meaneing the Parliament) from any disdaigne towards those from whom is comes [being in the condition of an Armie looked upon as servants under you] ‘since servants may speake to their Masters and ought to be heard & regarded even when they speake for their owne right only, & rather when they speake for the good and safety of them they serve, but much more, when they speake of that wherein they have some joint Interest with them; and yet more, when,’ (those their immediate Masters being themselves also servants and trustees for the benefit of others) they speake for the Interest of those for whom they are employed.
But if the Generall shall hold forth nothing but mere will and resolution against what I have heere said, then in the
Second place, Let me tell both you & him, I am confident of it, very speedily in one Kind or another, he will meet with one way or another, as bad a portion as hee or they did, against whom that Remonstrance was made.
But thirdly, I answeer him in the words of the Scripture Samuel 2. 22, 26, 27, 28 and Chapter 23, 2, 3. where David speaking of God saith, With the mercyfull thou wilt shew they selfe mercyfull & with the upright man thou wilt shew thy selfe upright; with the pure thou wilt shew thy selfe pure, and “with the froward thou wilt shew thy selfe unsavoury” and the afflicted people thou wilt save, “but thine eyes are upon the haughtie” that thou maiest bring them downe. And David further goeing on saith, the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue, the God of Israel said, the rock of Israel spake to me: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruleing in the feare of God.” And also I further answer with those sayings of the Spirit of God, in the 2d of I say the 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & the 3d of I say the 11, 13, 14, 15, where it is said, ‘The lofty lookes of man shall be humbled, and the haughtynes of man shall be bowed downe” and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, upon every one that is lifted up & he shall be brought low, and upon all the Cedars of Lebanon, that are high, and lifted up, and upon all the oakes of Bashan, and upon all the high mountaines, and upon all the Hills that are lifted up & upon every high-tower and upon every fenced wall. Woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him; for the reward of his hands shall be given him for the Lord standeth up to plead and standeth to judge the people, the Lord will enter into judgement with the Ancients of his people and the Princes thereof, for yee have eaten up the vineyard, the Spoile of the poore is in your houses. What meane you that you beat my people to peices and grind the faces of the poore saith the Lord God of Hosts? & chap: 5, 15, 16. And the mighty man shall bee humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled but the Lord of Hosts shall be exalted in judgement, and God that is holy shall be Sanctified in righteousnes. And chap: 13, 6, 11. Houle yee for the day of the Lord is at hand, it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty, and I will saith God punnish the World for their evill and the wicked for their iniquity and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, & will lay low the haughtynes of the terrible, and chap: 23: 9. The Lord of Hosts hath purpos’d it, to staine the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the Earth, and chapter 24, 5, 6, 20, 21. the Earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the Lawes, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. therefore hath the curse devoured the Earth and they that dwell therein are desolate. the Earth shall reele to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage, and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall and not arise againe. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punnish the Hosts of the high ones that are on high, and the Kings of the Earth upon the Earth, and Chap: 26. 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11. trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength, for he bringeth downe them that dwell on high, the loftie Citty he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground, he bringeth it even to the dust. the foote shall tread it downe, even the feet of the poore and the stepps of the needy. the way of the just is uprightnes; thou most upright, dost weigh the paths of the just. But let favour be shewed to the wicked yet will he not learne righteousnes. In the Land of uprightnes will he deale unjustly & will not behold the Majestie of the Lord. and chap: 28, 2, 3. Behold the Lord hath a mightie and strong one, which as a tempest of haile and a destroying storme, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast downe to the earth with the hand the Crowne of pride. And Chap: 29, 20, 21. For the the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed and all that watch for iniquity are cut of: that make a man an offender for a word, & lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate. that turne aside the just for a thing of naught. And Chap. 40, 23, 29, 30, 31. Where it is said of God, that the bringeth Princes to nothing and maketh the judges of the earth as vanity, and giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might hee increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that waite upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as Ægles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walke, and not faint.
Fourthly, I answer, when God will have a thing brought to pass, the sounding of Ramnis-hornes shall be sufficient to blow downe the walls of Jericho Joshua the 6. For when God will worke who shall let him? I say 33. 13. And when the Allmighty will have a man to act, in desperate & visibly improbable designes for him, he will compass him about, with such necessityes to goe on with his worke, that there is no evadeing it, and put him into Jeremies condition (as many times I my selfe have bin) when he forced him to cry out. “O Lord, thou hast deceived me, & I was deceived, thou art stronger then I, thou hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cryed out, I cryed, Violence and spoile; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and derision daily. then said I, I will not make mention of him, nor speake any more in his name. But his word was within me, as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and i ‘was weary with forbeareing, and i could not stay. For I heard the defameing of many, feare on every side. Report, say they, and wee will report it: all my familiars watched for my halting, saying, peradventure he will be intised and wee shall prevaile against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the Lord is with me, as a Mighty terrible one, therfore my persecutors shall stumble and they shall not prevaile: they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper, their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. But O Lord of Hosts that tryest the righteous and seest the reynes and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them for unto thee have I opened my cause, bee not a terrour unto me, thou art my hope in the day of evill. Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded, let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed; bring upon them the day of evill, and destroy them with double destruction Jeremy 20, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. and chap. 17. 17, 18. And give me leave without offence to say to my Lord Generall Cromwell, as God in something the like case said in the 22 Jeremy 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. Woe unto him that buildeth ‘his house by unrighteousnes, and his chambers by wrong, that useth his neighbours service without wages, and giveth him not for his work: that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windores, and it is seeled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reigne, because thou clothest thy selfe in Cedar? did not thy Father eat and drinke and doe judgment and justice and then it was well with him? he judged the cause of the poore and the needie, then it was well with him, was not this to know me, saith THE LORD? But thine eyes and thine heart, are not but for thy Coveteousnes and For to shed innocent blood, and for oppression and for violence to doe it. therfore, saith the Lord, thou shalt be buryed with the buryal of an Asse, without lamentation, saying Ah my Brother! or Ah Lord! or Ah his glory! Therfore let not the Generall for all his greatnes despise the day of small things. For who would have beleived or immagined 10 yeares agoe, that Oliver Cromwell a meane private inconsiderable man in comparison, should by this day have had 3 Nations at his becke and command [for I am sure of it when he & I about 10 yeares agoe by the Parliaments authoritie were first made captains, my particular Interest in England, was soe far beyond his, that I could then have easily raised a hundred volenteers to have followed my banner for his one,] and injoy really a greater power in them, then ever any of there most Absolute Kings this 500 yeares had.
Fiftly, I answere that I have heard from travellers that the ELEPHANT (which of all the beasts in the world is the most warlike one, carrying a Castle able to secure many men upon it’s backe and being in many places in the East-Indies soe expert in warr, that if an Iron chaine be tyed to its trunke, it will with it mowe downe whole rows of men, and yet for all this) of all the creatures in the world is the most affraid of the little silly contemptible pismire, the which if it Creepe up it’s trunke and git into it’s brains (as some tyms they doe) the little creature will more mad, that great, furious, strong beast, then the shakings of multitudes of speares, and the powring of shewers of warlike darts and arrows upon it.
I wish my LORD GENERALL for his owne sake haveing done soe great things in England as he hath done, may seriously consider what he will git at my hands when he hath done the worst he can to me, for if I fall I can (as I have often through the goodnes of God) rise againe, but soe can not he, for his fall if it come will bee soe great, it will breake his necke; and I looke upon him as my grand adversary, and against great nor small must I now not fight, nor contest with to the purpos, saveing only himselfe; And truly I am apt to thinke (how contemptable soever he may Judge me to be) that if he force me to it to the utmost nesessitie; I shalbe able (through the strength of almighty God) to trouble him as bad, as the greatest Army of Cavileers that ever he fought with in his life did, and to make his very hartstrings to ake for skin for skin yea all that a man hath will he give for his life; But peace with him, (not only for my owne good, but the good and benifit of the whole Nation) is the thing I desire from my hart and soule.
Therefor, I will heere presume to advice him as Joab advises David, when he had like to have taken in the City of Rabbath, and therefore advised him, to gather his people together & take it in himselfe, least he tooke it, and it should be called by his name, even soe, say I, a New Parliament is the people of Englands right, and the obtaineing of one for them, is even at the very doore, I am sure of it; therfore let my Lord Generall arise, and gather his Army about him, and effectually, and in good earnest revive his or our Agreement and speedily procure thereby a New Parliament for the people, which I dare avow, infalliby to demonstrate, he may as easily, freely and safely doe it, if he will but say the word, as kiss his owne hand, & I will maintaine it he hath no real dureable safety in the world, but in the doeing of it. but I thinke Politicus in his notable preambles to his thursday newes-bookes, hath already sufficiently cleared that point. I say therfore, if he will in the hearts of the honest and understanding people of England be esteemed and bee really their darling, let him arise and doe it with all his might quickly, least I or some other contemptible or unthought of instrument or instruments, doe it for the people in despight of him, and so runaway with the honour of it, and have it called by our name. For let him remember, when the Scots first invaded England in the yeare 1639 by their declareing “they came in for to procure the English people their liberties and that they might enjoy a Parliament, which they had bin without ten or eleven yeares together, they tied the Kings hands behind his back therby, and won the Zealous stout English peoples hearts away from him, and thereby procured for the English People a Parliament in spight of the teeth of all that opposed it.” Nay and thereby made the Kings owne Soldiers knock their commanders on the head, that were leading them against the said Scots. I say no more at present, but bid himselfe make the farther application, only adding, that I am confident of it, that hee will be the highlyest esteemed man to the people of England, that is in the world, that can or shall be an Instrument upon the principles aforesaid, to procure a New Parliament for them, thereby rationally & probably to free & deliver them from their unsupportable and un-imaginable oppression, bondage and slavery which they are under, worse and greater by a thousand degrees then over it was in the worst of the late Kings times. For now, I will maintaine it, there is no man in England, that can rationally or upon any probable grounds call either his land, his trade, his Estate, his life, his wife or his children his owne, or be sure to enjoy them free from violence one single day to an end. And in the multitude of instances, I need to give you no more then mine owne which is now upon me.
For, have I done the Generall, or the Nation or any particular man in it any wrong, oppression or injustice? if it be said I have, I challenge the sight of my whole charge and a particular declaration, that I shall enjoy the benefit of the Petition of right, and the Parliaments and Generalls pass freely to come into England,, and there to stay for a time and returne back againe, without let or molestation, and I doe hereby engage with speed to meet (by Gods assistance) the greatest and stoutest adversary that I have in England there at the barr of iustice. And I am sure, if they can legally prove me guilty of any wickednes or oppression acted upon but the meanest man in England, my reputation is gone, and then all my Interest in that nation is not worth a groat. So that afterward the Generall need not in the least to be afraid of any thing that I can say or doe against him. For then it would signifie no more then the wind that blowes.
Sir, to draw towards a Conclusion. As the Generall used to give his earthly Lords, Masters & Creators the Parliament, a few and set number of dayes viz: 4 or 5 at most, to answer his demands in: so from the date hereof, I give you three weekes, or one and twenty daies exclusive, to returne me what answer you please about this Letter, promissing till they be past, not to print and publish it; provided, by the very first post after this, you write me word you have received it, or else I shall judge Mr. Thomas Scot hath catcht it” as I am informed from London, he hath allready done some other of my Letters. for which, and for setting his spies upon me in these Countries, which I have very visibly found out, and for all his old roguery exercised towards me, and plotted against me, I must be forced when I am a little at leisure in print to pay him: and particularly for all his notorious codpeice Simony that I know of, in attempting to lie with two of my female Freinds at one time and in one bed in the same chamber, at the sugar-loafe neare the Muse by Charing-cross, being one of those many Lecherous houses he haunts and hath the command of. Which COLONEL THOMAS PRIDE now a Member of the Armie, many moneths agoe at the Parliament doore TOLD Mr. SCOT partly of to his face, but he the said Scot durst never question him therfore, nor the two woemen that (as I remember the Story from Colonel Prides mouth) were then mentioned to him to be the parties; and for his strong attempting to hire one of my quondam Freinds with the guift of two hundred pound land a yeare, firmely to be setled upon him and his heirs for ever, to sweare against me at Guildhall, at my late tryall to take away my life. I say, if it come into his hands, I beleive the Generall shall never see this Letter, till he see it in print, which I desire to avoid if it be possible.
It may be, at the sight of this, the Generall will be mad, and revenge himselfe on my Estate, and my Wife and poore Children. But let him take heed what he doth, for it is the Judgement of Christ, that the same measure a man meats should be measured to him againe. And the truth of it is, if my sentence, to morrow, WERE TAKEN OF, 1500 POVND would not, all things considered, in my worldly busynes, set me in so good a condition as I was in, the day before it passed against me. For being in many intanglements in the world, haveing scarce recovered to stand upright upon mine owne leggs, it hath allready as good as broke my back, with reference to the world. And in my absence, I heare every unworthy man, that can but pretend any thing against me, to reach me or my poore wife, takes his advantage of my absence to abuse her, and trample upon her. And Sir Arthur Hasilrig, I heare, must be doeing againe, “with his gross Knave William Huntington of Billingham in the County of Durham, against both of whose base and lying dealeings with me, preferred to the Parliament in November last against me, I made my particular and cleare defence, to the then silencing of them both, in a sheet and an halfe of paper, and presented it in print to the Parliament the 28 of November 1651 being intitled, “to every individuall Member of the supreme Authority the Parliament of the Common-wealth of England The humble Address of Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilburne, by way of answer to a most false and scandalous printed Petition delivered at the House doore against him, by one William Huntington upon Weddensday the 26 of November 1651. In which I am confident I have made as cleare, rational and just a defence for my selfe, as any man in the World, can make to any accusation laid unto his charge, unto which to this very day I never saw any thing by way of reply, neither doe I beleive its possible rationally and justly to reply any thing yet unto it. And I hereby bid defiance to him & all my adversaryes I have in England, to lay a farthing tokens-worth of basenes justly to my charge for 15 yeares together.
And I wish with all my soule, you would seriously read my said defence, my wife being able to furnish you therwith. But further, if I have wronged the man, which I absolutely deny in the least that I have done it, to the value of a single pin: I proffered him many times faire enough, as in the said defence you may read, but he would never accept thereof, and besides, the Law was open for him when I was in England and still is, and is his inheritance as well as mine, and though I be heere beyond the seas, so that he cannot arrest me; yet let him put in his Declaration in a legal Court in England, as its commonly there reputed, and send me a Copie thereof & I will give Authority to a Freind to answer it legally for the Law is yet my inheritance, and the heart of the greatest and stoutestman in England, I will make to ake if possibly I can, that shall endeavour to deprive me of the benefit thereof, allthough I die at his feet therfore. But let not Sr. Arthur Hasilrig take upon him arbitrarily to arbitrate my estate, as I heare he is about to doe, when I give him no power and authority so to doe. If he persevere in it, it will but ad unto that great guilt of his, that I am perswaded in time will justly carry him to the Scaffold at Tower-hill or else where, which I beleive I shall live to see with mine owne eyes.
Sir; if towards peace I receive not a satisfaction answer to this Epistle, I must deale truly with you, my condition already is such, that it will force me with all the Eloquence & Rethoric that I have, to cry out aloud, as the Parliament in the day of their distrese did when they required and desired, all those that had any sense of piety, honour or compassion, to come forth and helpe a distressed state, part 1 of the Booke of their Declarations page 493. so, must and shall I by Gods assistance, with the mournfullest dittyes and bleeding teares of oppression cry out for helpe & supply, that my soule is able to powre out, either to God, to Men, or Woemen, of all Nations, relations and conditions (and publish it as farr as English, Dutch, French or Latine wil carry them, especially to all truehearted English-men, that have fought for their Liberties and Freedomes, or stood by the stuff whiles others did it, who ought to have as good a share in the liberties contended for, as those sonns of wickednes and Belial as David calls them 1 Sam: 30. 22. that would now ingross all to themselves. Who though Christians in name, may yet infinitely be condemned and reproved by the Righteousnes and justice OF NEHEMIAH, though a jew, in the like case. “Who although he 12 yeares together was Governour over his Countreymen in martial and civil affaires in the daies of their distress, yet neither he nor his Brethren all that time did eat the bread of the Government, nor bought any land, but provided for strangers at his owne cost, and at his owne table: because of the reproach of the heathen their Enemies & because of the feare of God. Nehem: 5. 9, 14, 15, 16., Nay he would not suffer the rich men in that day to exact usury of the poore men. and righteous Abraham (though not so full of religious pretences as the Lord Generall Cromwel) when he had redeemed from Captivity by force of Armes the People of the “wicked Citty Sodome, whose King would have given him for his paines all the goods he had redeemed with them; yet he scorned it, and would not take any thing that was his or theirs, noe not to the value of a show-latchet, least the heathen should say he had made Abraham rich, Genesis 14, 15, 22, 23. I say I must be forced to all sorts of people to cry out bitterly for helpe and assistance, to enable me to print thousands and ten thousands of my mournfull ditties and lamentations, and to beare the charges of my messengers and agents, by whom I must send them gratis, into all the parts & coasts of England, Scotland & Ireland; and all the Isles thereunto belonging; that possibly I can get them conveighed unto. and I doubt not; but allthough the Magistrates of Amsterdam, have allready seazed upon some of my Apologies and thereby stopt the public sale of them, being almost ten-sheets of paper in english and dutch, yet that I shall either beg or borrow mony enough, to inable me within a little time, to give them, and ten thousands of other printed papers away gratis. For I doubt not, but the Spirit of magnanimity, zeale & conscience will worke so powerfully in some of my rich Countreymen &c. (that now have no assurance by reason of that arbitrary and tyrannicall power they are under of keepeing what they possess and enjoy, nor of their lives, nor of their Liberties, wives nor children, to find out wayes and meanes to send me a supply of money, to inable me like a man of mettle, courage and industry; to struggle for the obtaineing of a New Parliament for them and my selfe: to bind up, heale and cure; all the breaches of our greatly distressed and distempered Nation: & thereby to secure unto them and my selfe the Free enjoyment of our ancient ond undoubted birth-right liberties, that so in peace and quietnes with rejoyceing and praising of God, for all his Fatherly goodnes and loveing kindnes manifested to poore England, we may sit downe in security, peace, & tranquillity of mind, under our owne vines. So committing you, as my owne soule, to the sweet and gracious protection of the Lord God allmighty, the rock & Refuge, of all those that truly have a portion in him, I rest
From my Study at Mrs. Bezars house
in Sheepes-alley in the Holy-way-street,
In Amsterdam this present Fryday
being the 2 April 1652. old Style.
Yours and Englands true and
through-pac ’t Friend
Jo: Lilburne, Semper idem.
I Doe assure you I tooke all the care that possibly I could, that this foregoeing Letter, written to your fast and real Freind Mr. William Kiffen might be delivered to your Lordship, but seeing I have staid the outrunning of the time I did prefix in the 30 page foregoeing, and have not heard one word as yet from any body in the world, what is become of it. Although I writ divers Letters to severall persons, signifieing that I had sent such an Epistle over, yea & also gave a hint of it to your Lordship in my Letter to your selfe sent by the Post, the Copie of which thus soloweth.
AT my discourse with you in your Gallery about 4 or 5 Moneths agoe, I had thought I had given your Lordship so full satisfaction in every thing, that might remove all jealousies from you, of my disserveing you in any Kind; that of all men in the Parliament, I little imagined to have found your honour to be the principall man to bannish me into a strange Countrie, where for the Safety of my Life I am forced to print an Apologie. And because you are named in it, I judge it but manlike to send you a Copie of it. And, if I had not bin travailing last post day, I had sent it to you then. And I have also by this post sent to a Freind three sheetes of Paper in writing to communicate to your Lordship. the which, if you please to read them, you will find that you are deeply concerned in them.
I have no more to say to your honour, but to desire God for you (if it be his pleasure) to make you speedily as righteous in actions, as you were some yeares agoe in Declarations, and to take leave to say, I am yet as much honest
April 2 1652
John Lilburne as ever I was in my life,
that neither loves Flattery, nor feares Greatnes
ANd now my Lord, besides that Apologie which I sent your Honour, I have also here in Dutch and English printed the reasons wherefore I was necessitated to print that Apologie, and they are dated they 4 of March last old style. and in the said Apologie to the People of the Netherlands pag: 71 I promised them speedily to print in Dutch the manifestation & Agreement of the 1 of May 1649 therein named. which, being two sheets, I have accordingly prepared for them, with about as much more additions by way of appendix to my Apologie. But seeing that upon the Magistrates stopping the public selling my said Apologie and by the “cheife Scout or high-Sherif of Amsterdam” giveing me some reasons therefore, which begot from me this Replication: “that I was a man commonly reputed to have some stock of reason in me, but being but a private individual man, and also a stranger of another Nation and banished from thence, and come here to take up sanctuary, and therfore in mine owne understanding I should judge my selfe totally void of reason or judgement, if I should press to enjoy that at their hands, which they themselves judged prejudicial to their whole nation, or any part of it, they themselves alone (and not I in the least), being the only and proper Judges of their owne good and wellfare; and therfore with all respect to them must acquiesce in their pleasure. In this regard I say (my Lord] to avoid offence, I judge it not fit to publish the said Appendix till such time as one where or an other, I can freely obtaine licence, to print avowedly, what in that kind I have to say.
Now (my Lord) it may be, severall of my Freinds in England, may wonder why all this time, I have not published the full state of the case betwixt Sr. Arthur Hasilrig, Mr. Primate and my selfe. But, I must Apologize for my selfe, that to secure my person and reputation hath taken me up much time, as also the Magistrates stopping my Apologetical Narration, hath forced me to spend much money and time to travell and looke out for my selfe, where Safely to abide and print without offence. Besides, that busynes is a long worke, & although I brought over with me above 150 sheetes of written paper of that busynes, as it was taken at the said committee in short-hand; yet for a long time, I have wanted some part of the beginning and latter end of it, as also copies of severall orders and of depositions, & I could not for want thereof goe on with it, but now by Gods assistance I shall apply my selfe unto it, with all the vigour that possibly I can.
And this, before I conclude, give me leave further to aver unto your Lordship. I am an English-man borne and bred, & to breath in the ayre of England, is as much my right as yours; & I have contested & fought with my sword in my hand for the enjoyment of my share in the Lawes & Liberties thereof, & never was convicted of doeing any action that forfeited my portion therein. And therfore, by the assistance of God, I will turne all the stones in the world, that it is possible for a resolute man & an industrious man & a man of braines to turne, to make way for my comeing to England againe & for my liveing there, in a rational security, although in the indeavouring thereof, I run the hazard of being exposed to all the miseryes and deaths, that it is possible for a man to be exposed to. And yet I hope, through the strength of God, I shall undertake nothing, but righteous and honest wayes for the procureing thereof. But this I assure you my Lord, I groundedly thinke, that I or any man else that will not be your absolute slave, can never live in a rational & probable Safety in England, so long as your will is an absolute Law there. Therefore, My Lord, sit as fast as you can: In the strength of the Lord God almighty, have at you; and if I perish I perish. But if you will let us have in England new and annuall Parliaments, upon the termes before premised, I have done, & in your doeing thereof shall rest.
Yours to serve you therein,
From my lodgeing at that pleasant City of much refuge, that little Zoar, commonly called
VIANEN May 1652.
POSTSCRIPT, My Lord, if you set any of your Champions to write against me be sure they set their Names to their discourses, or else truly my Lord I shall take you your selfe for the Author of every paper that comes out against me, & so nominally reply upon you.