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in their Sibboleth: witness your answer of the twenty-sixth of May, l6±6, unto our city remonstrance, in the latter end of page 2.
We had many pamphlets commended daily unto us, The Integrity of a Parliament, how that it could have no sinister end; as if a multitude could be void of knaves to contrive, and of fools to concur in mischief. Many plots were discovered daily against our religion and our laws, in which ye Machiavels of Westminster, ye Malevolo's might have claimed the chiefest livery, as Beelzebub's nearest attendants in that kind; but they must be fathered still upon our old justicers, and indeed they can do little, that cannot bely an enemy. Ye thought it best to cry whore first, that in them you might by little and little undermine our King and us; and sacrifice our religion, our laws, our goods, our lives and liberties, yea, our very souls too, for ye have silenced almost all our able guides, and daily burn their escripts, unto your own boundless lusts, ambition, pride, covetousness, and pleasure. These were the originals, the springs of your after-acted villainies; not that candour and zeal so often dissembled in your glossy declarations. It is now sufficiently manifest by your actions, the truest interpreters of men's intentions. How would you have us think you really intend as you pretended, when the courses you run conduce to the very contrary ends? Whilst the King and his faithfuls retained their places of dominion, we enjoyed such golden days of peace and plenty, as we must never see again, so long as you harpyes, you sucking purse-leeches and your implements be our masters.
Were we not enough damnified with your soldiers, during the time of the war, but you must still burden us with them, now it is ended? Did not taxations then light heavy enough upon us, but you must continue them still? How could you consume more than twenty millions of money upon such slender armies in so few years? The soldiers have had little, else, save bread and cheese, which have come from the country, over and above those vast sums; Oh! your'coffers are not yet full enough; some of your monkey-brats are not yet provided for; but hye you hence, it is best, you urchins, you caterpillers of our commonwealth, to New England and the Spaw, after our gold you have sent away, lest on a sudden we send you to Styx without a penny in your mouths to pay your passage to your God Pluto. Our brethren of Scotland, and the Lord Inchequin, will find you more work than the boys in Moorfields and the Strand: your goodly glossings and rabble-serving collusions have been but like watermen upon the Thames, looking one way and rowing another; and now you see your holy cause will not succeed by opposition, you come up, and would close, since money will not work upon our brethren of Scotland, with our city in the presbyterian government, in the restitution of the militia and Tower: but for the protestant religion, and our old rubrick, you still wave them.
I pray you let me ask your honesties a question? Could Say and his confederates have their nocturnal meetings so frequently, and not have some treasonable designs, which the rest of the houses and ourselves might not be privy to? We may see now the reason of your bill, to sit as long as you listed; we trusted, such rare men were you in leading our faith and belief so in a string, the ground thereof had been the redressing of the many grievances of the kingdom, and transaction of the Irish affairs, as was pretended; but it proves otherwise; that which, had you been honest, would have made this nation the happiest under Heaven, you have made the bane and ruin of all good people: you have demeaned yourselves meet, as an aged gentleman said of you, when he heard the King had signed you that bill: you would, said he, grow so ambitious that you Mould set all the kingdom on fire; and, when once you had got your fingers into its purse, you would become so insatiably covetous, that you would never seek the settlement of peace; whether this man guessed aright or no, let any one who hath, his five sensesjudge.
We likewise call to mind your other bill for his Majesty's referring the choice of his privy-council unto you, coloured by your outcries against those his old faithfuls, and your dishonest proceedings against them; your framing scandalous petitions amongst yourselves, and sending them abroad for hands; a notable way to work upon exasperated minds, and to exasperate minds to work upon against them; but a. way which mayi destroy any innocent man. While the shepherd had his dogs, you wolves could not raven his flocks; but since you supplanted them, what pranks you and your creatures, your substitutes have plaid, we have seen and felt; and you or they, or all of you, may one day answer for: we may say now, as no kingdom or state ever yet could, there is scarce one honest man in office amongst us; but no marvel: we know the proverb, Like master, like men.
Oh, but we wrong you, you are special patriots; it is you presbyterians may be no further trusted, you be the honesties, there is no nay, and take it as granted, though nothing more questioned, or so questionable. We thought your exclusion of bishops out of the upper house, and bedaubing them with the goodly habiliments of Arminianism and popery, had been for some other end than that for which you expelled the eleven members; to paucify the number of those you conceived would countervote you, that you might easily do what you lusted, and lead the left shallowlings, nolens volens, in the trace of darkness; and that you might unquestioned, culhinnire, after fresh maidenheads, and neighbours beds. Ill courses cannot endure good discipline; for this very cause, had the prophets and fathers of old, nay, our blessed Saviour and his Apostles, lived here in England in these days, they had certainly been made new papists by this quintessence of villainy, this wicked piece of a parliament, and their hellish helpers. We thought your votes against pluralities hail been for promotion of the gospel, not division of the clergy, and to make the wiseakers, the look-like geese, the naughty part of them (that will be any thing for preferment, omnium horarum homines) for you; neither did we, till now of late, imagine your possessing yourselves of his Majesty's shipping and Cinque Ports (so finely shadowed with the remembrance of the late spoiled Spanish fleet, and your desires of the kingdom's 9afety)had been the prologue to this treacherous tragedy you have since actedj much less ourselves should be the last scene thereof; yet herein we must needs acknowledge Heaven just in our punishment, for it was we, presbyterians, that inabled you to your impious illegal courses of slaughter, plunder, and sequestration, contrary to the known laws of this realm, yourselves know it very well, against the King and his servants, who, 1 am now persuaded in my conscience, being farther discerning than ourselves, aimed at nothing, but bringing you to the trial of the law for your treasons, that we might enjoy the benefit of the laws of our land, and the protestant religion, as it stood established by our law. God forgive us our amisnesses.
I pray you, if a man might ask your high and mightinesses a question, what meant your displacing of the Earl of Essex, and your after poisoning him; (for it is certain you did so, many of us know it, deny it as much as you will) and your putting of your scoundrel army, and their mechanick captains, under the command of Fairfax and Cromwell, two atheistical independents? What meant your late force done upon our city, and the eleven members, your displacing and imprisoning our lord mayor and aldermen? For it was you that went away to the army that set on them, though now you say, you knew nothing of the last plot. Had those that were cavalierish plaid us such tricks of leger-de-main, we would have cast in their teeth Whatnot?
But you, our dear brethren, are men of another stamp, yet it is hard to say, whether barrel better herring. I hope you did it out of simplicity, with a good, charitable, pure intent, to promote and set forward the holy cause. You would fain say something for yourselves, but I know not what: you meant well; but the ape hath discovered himself to be so, by cracking of nuts. Thus doth malice, ambition, and indiscreet zeal, make many men lose their wits they know not where. Indeed, such tricks befit well your independent cause, not to be promoted, but by collusion; but your transported saucy spirits may haply, in the end, be taught to be more submiss, and sparing in abusing them, from whom you had your power. You would fain come off with us now, but stay a little, good Mr. Mufties; you thought it easy to inslave us English, to strangle in the birth our classical projects, our consistorial practices, and conventual designs of zealous brethren in the land; such. illuminates you counted us; you sure thought our brains made of the pap of an apple, and our hearts of aspen-leaves: religion, which should be the rule, must be only a result of policy, a stalking-horse to catch fools, and be pretended only to serve Babylonian turns. But go you, serve Baal and Ashtaroth, if ye like it; we will no popular cantonings of dismembered scripture; none of your missives prophetical determinations in their heretical conventicles; we will not build our salvation upon the facing impudence of such light skirts, such hellish impostors; let the truth they teach, and your parliamentary proceeding, come to scanning, the Turkish Alcoran, and Cade's, and Ket's, and Piercy's, and Nevil's actions will be as warrantable, as suitable with the word of God, and law of this land. Though you have eclipsed the lamp of light, you must not think us as geese, which, when they are driven on by night, and a long staff held over them, will go without noise or reluctancy, holding down their heads: we, protestants, are not so crest-fallen, as that we shall go on, as you independents would dispose us; if your gifted men, with their new learning, for old they have none, can teach us more than yet we know, or you, with your Dew policy, can contrive us better laws than those we have, we will yield, and thank them for such instructions, you for such legislations. I beseech you, will your wisdoms, or common sense, or understanding, or what you will call it, approve of nothing in our common-prayer book, that you present us with an inane nihil, a new Directory of a noddy synod, or find you so many deficiencies in monarchical government, that you should seek to introduce an ochlocracy, a people sway? You know the King can do no wrong, and we know, that by him we had redress, which very few could obtain from you or your officers, of wrongs, why then sought you to depose him, and to change the regal government? O, it was to crown yourselves, and undo us. But hear ye, sequitur superbos ultor a tergo Dens,, if you believe there is one, pride will have a fall. Lo! even the very touching of the crown hath already crushed you> hath made the people every where forsake you, and all the wiles and flatteries in your bosoms will not regain them. Would you not give the Maker leave to dispose of his creature? Shall not he govern by what substitutes he pleases, but they must be supplanted by you? Behold, ye misborn elves of Lucifer, your impious actions; in this very thing ye join yourselves unto Apollyon, ye incamp against God that made you, and know assuredly, that, though ye may escape punishment in this life, ye must die, and rise, and come to judgment; but we hope our brethren of Scotland will shew you the suburbs of hell in this world. Our people see enough now your jugglings, and how you turn cat in the pan, and shift off things from yourselves to your army. Yet, while ye seemed to look and run two several ways, and now ye do so again, but, like Sampson's foxes, ye joined together in the tail. We observed, how that the army, when the kingdom murmured at the surprisal of the city, professed themselves your servants, and your carriage of those businesses, and that you, and the heads of your army, have since taken an oath, to live and die together; and that you shift off the imprisonment of our lord-mayor and aldermen from yourselves to Fairfax, and he to you again; but they must lie in prison howsoever, they must not be restored unto their places. I pray you, whose hands then will the militia and Tower be in, if they be restored, presbyterians or independents? Take notice, my fellow citizens, of this slur; if we should assist them in another war, we should again be baffled and muffled by them.
We remember that ordinance of yours, in or about August last, wherein you threaten imprisonment, plunder, and slaughter, by Fairfax and his army, unto those that shall refuse to pay any of your illegal, and, now that the war is ended, unnecessary impositions, by way of excise, loan, mizes, weekly and monthly assessments; though, to go after the rest of levies, the advancement of yourselves and implements, and your brats, not publick service of the kingdom. 1 pray you, may I ask your knaveships (neither better nor worse, but even so) how stands that ordinance with our liberties and properties, the two wonted sons of) our former declarations? And you have, the other week, stopped the payment of debentures, and pensions, to those that have lost their limbs and husbands in your service, to let us see which way our monies must go, and your soldiers what they shall have at last from you.
We guess the reason of your sending away the King to the Isle of Wight; the people's hearts were too much hazarded, when he was near; yourselves, and your taxations, could not be long enough lived; you feared petitions and impeachments, if he should get power to call you to his bar, and that your accounts should be reviewed: You have carried yourselves well in your places the while, have you not f Or thought you to tutor him, with a bit and a bob, into observance of you, as men do apes? When you had him there, and mued up in a stinking newbuilt room, under seven locks, and made him his own scullion, when his fire wanted repair, and Haman bestowed some buffets on him, and all appearance of succour kept from him, you thought he would, for his enlargement, do any thing; but know you, we take notice what it was you would have had him done, and of these your subtle ways to bring it to pass; that, which you sollicited him for, was the signing of the four bills, which had been, if you could have forced it from him, the utter ruin of us all, and of our posterity after us; you would have brought us into a worse condition than Turkish slaves; you would have had more power from the King to abuse (now you have a rascal army in readiness to inforce) than himself, or any of his predecessors, had to use over this free-born nation. What Mordecai's would not have bowed to you? Or whoever should impeach you of evil, should have been straightway made more miserable than Job; the Sabaeans, your committees, should fall upon his oxen, his cows, and sheep; yoursequestrators should fall upon his rents, and the Chaldeans should fall upon his camels; your troops should fall upon his horses, and you yourselves would starve him in prison; you would find some publick use for his private estate. We thank you heartily for your good projects; Are these they you have been these seven years in hatching? If the King had signed you those bills, how should any man make his will, and bar you from being his executors? But we hope God, in his due time, will release us, and pay you the wages of your wicked ways; our King's suffering for us shall for the future teach us our duty better towards him: We know what offers of gracious acts he hath from time to time proposed; but, because they were conducing to our good, not your ambition and avarice, therefore you refused them, and say they were not fit for you to receive. We think yet upon your late declaration against him, when you had before-hand traduced him all over the countries, by your miscreant imps of the father of lyes, trooping independents, as guilty of his late father's death, and shut him up, not giving him leave to answer it, or so much as notice of it, but bidding Haman tell him you would try hfm for his life: This was an honest part in you, was it not? Yes, like as honest as your other dealings; you drew low upon the lees of malice, when you had nothing left but a recapitulation of former lyes and slanders; you shall have thanks foi it, yes marry shall ye. Send again your petitions toTaunton-Deane, in Somersetshire, and Rumford, in Essex, or somewhere else, happily somebody may thank you now; Will you take my counsel, and thank one another: So shall you not go without thanks. You rake-shames, hot-burning coals be your portions,