« AnteriorContinuar »
ye have a while ago made an ordinance for the levying of tweitty-thou sand pounds per month for their maintenance; so ye made out before in August, 1644, for the promotion of that service, but the cavaliers took sixty-thousand pounds of that money at Leicester: Dublin ye had not then: I pray you, was that the way to Cork and Kinsale, or roughall? Ye blame the cavaliers of Cheshire for stopping some clothes bound for Ireland, and yet the apparel, given by those of the city for those soldiers use, was all (which was worth any thing) sold to the brokers in Long-lane; only u few rags, that would not make money here, were sent away. A man might here go far enough to put you out of your own practice; who, if we had not so much honesty, as to forbear calumniating your enemies, should have had so much discretion, as not to accuse another of that which, had ye had that good sign of a bad cause in you, blushing, might ashame you, being by recrimination retorted upon yourselves. We have heard much of your outcries against the whore of Babylon, and your charging, with much bitterness and vehemency, of her vices upon the see of Rome, and its disciples, whose footsteps ye trace in your seditious courses; but, if ye would look a little into the signification of the word, and into yourselves and your proceedings; what towers of Babel ye are erecting; what imaginations, what anarchy and confusion ye are setting up; what missionaries ye send abroad to broach all sorts of damned heresies,those locusts of the bottomless pit,your gifted men, as ye call them ; your suppression of godly and learned divines and their writings; and your countenancing and licensing any thing that savours of the Stygian lake, ye would find something reflecting upon yourselves. The word Babel signifies confusion; and that, which is chiefly observable of a whore, is her prostitution of herself to all, her wiles, by which she inticeth her lovers, and wherewith indeed she retains them to her: Now, whether ye have not prostituted yourselves unto all, let England judge. In the beginning ye sollicited, by five or six several letters, Sir Arthur Aston, a known papist, before his Majesty entertained him; and yet you cried out against the King for accepting his service. Ye sent five-hundred Jews (enemiesunto the Christian faith) in your army to Newberry; there were an hundred of them slain upon the ground, known by the mark of circumsision; ye have pleased, and run on with the rude multitude, the frothy scum of the people, in their worst and wickedest humours. Ye have suffered them to deface the earthly beauty of God's earthly houses; to rend and tear in pieces our common-prayer-book, and the priest's surplice, a badge of innocency; to pull down crosses, the proper cognisance, by which the world might know to what master this kingdom did belong; and now at last ye invite men to deny the master too. Ye countenance atheists and hereticks, and frown on them that desire to quell them; nay, ye fight with them, and kill them. Ye have continually, during the whole time of the war (and since too, now ye might better have restrained them) suffered every rapscallion, that bore arms amongst you, to abuse and trample on, as he pleased, the freeholders of the country; to lord it over them; to beat and command them and their houses, where they quartered, or passed by. Rogues, that before mended pots and kettles, or begged with butter-milk canns about the country, must now call for rost, VOL. VI. K
and beat all the house, if it be not to be had: neither, when such, grievances were made known unto you, did ye curb or check the sauciness of your soldiers herein, but rather deride the plaintiffs. How stood, think ye, such abusiugs witli the freedoms of the English farmers, and with the national covenant and protestation? And, as a whore hath ever her sleights, by which she inveigles her lovers, so have ye had yours: as the Venetian courtesans, at their first coming to the city to serve their duke, send out a crier through the streets, to proclaim their beauties, and the price thereof; so ye, in the beginning of your session?, sent abroad your declarations in. the specious notions of liberty, property, and privilege; and the price, some proposition-money, or some place; and, even as whores, when they have drawn in silly shallowlings, will ever find some trick to retain them, till they have brought them to a morsel of bread, especially if they doubt their starting; so have you still drawn our apprehensions off your perfidious actions, and kept our brains busied and deluded with your diurnals and your ordinances, which you have ever studied for, and set forth to this very end, not that which you express in the front of them, the satisfaction and right information of the kingdom. When you had discovered your cloven feet in August, and saw the people's grumblings, you thought an ordinance for making up accounts would be a piece of satisfaction for the present; and you knew the vulgar's brains retain not long the phantasms of things: but what performance was of that, I have before in some part, as I could, shewed.
You have moved rumours likewise oftentimes, and tell us again so every day, of sending for the King, and settling the kingdom, only to keep the people in suspence; and, by vain hopes of you, to retard our endeavours for our own relief: by that you may still, by disarming towns, get more power to continue your tyranny, now growing towards an end. For you never intend it, you are such notorious abominable traitors, you have so much abused his Majesty, his late royal mother, and his royal spouse, his children, and us his people, that you dare not do it. How often, of late, have we heard, that Hampton-court hath been making ready, and that Cromwell hath been gone to fetch him this day, and that, and the other; and it nothing so.
Your diurnals buzzed us in the ears with much good news of many victories (lest we should have set from Dan to Bethel towards the temple) even the first year of the war, when our armies went to wreck every where; and we had soon found it, had not our brethren of Scotland come in to our assistance; yet you send them, you say, to prevent mis-information: but when they began to speak against you (as after your taking away the militia of this city of London, a thing I never heard nor read before, that any parliament had to do withal) they must be silenced till the people's thoughts were drawn aside. We have been often flattered in the country with easement of our taxes and free quarter, if we would pay one small weekly payment, and quarter but a little longer ; and, lo! presently you have sent (I am sure to many places of the kingdom) for whole multitudes of vast sums, one in the neck of another, that we have almost nothing left. Thus have you, in your consultations, even from the beginning of you? sessions, even unto this very day, devised nothing but how to delude and beggar us all, and how to keep war on foot; else why accepted you not those many fair offers of a gracious King, but still, as you got more power, incroached both upon him and us? Why send you not for him home, but still delay us? It is not far to him. We will study a way henceforth to ease ourselves of such magistrates, such sheep-clad wolves. It is not your going back to the articles presented at Hampton-Court shall now make your atonement with us: you never took a way yet to make him a glorious King, or to reform, but deform religion; or to settle us under our ancient laws, or in our native liberties. Had you power, we know your minds; we give you no thanks for your pretending to settle presbytery, since you wanted power to hinder it; nor for your late ordinance against hereticks. Put on your considering caps somewhat closer to your cocks-combs, aud see now if you can re-ingratiate yourselves with our city: see if it will thank you to transfer its militia and Tower (out of these in whose they now be) into other Independents hands, and yet you did not that till very now: see if you can engage your brethren in the city, and us in a new war, and we shall observe who be ready in the same: see if you can or dare force us presbyter nans, or our apprentices, to accompany you, and they shall carry away your weapons, and join with our friends your enemies. You must' no more look to force or mugle men with the name of a parliament, being but a prevailing party, and fill your coffers by deceit: we will believe you no further; nor Fairfax, though he goes again to hear*the lord primate preach at the temple, or proclaim for King, or King and parliament. Carry you the King captived along with you which way ever you go; as strictly as you have watched him, he hath given the prince power to contract for him; we are got before-hand with you in that: counterfeit his seal, and make what proclamations you will hereafter in his name, none will believe you. We have been told the ends of your laying open Rochester: but, if our brethren of the association cannot get into a readiness to stop your passage, the power of three kingdoms shall shortly follow you.
We heard of your late designs against our city, before we took notice of them, and we hear your intentions are to proceed, and to draw up both horse and* foot to atchieve the same. I saw some of their leaders here the other day, and their men not far off; it is not denying and seeming to over-run your said designs, that shall make us negligent of our own safety: if ye knew not thereof, why do ye (to obstruct discoveries) refer the examination to men accused , viz, Ireton? How can you daub over this? Or why (if you set not on Fairfax in August last against our city) did ye go from the houses to him i And why did ye not since vote him a traitor, as ye did the Lord Inchiquin? my brethren, look over diurnals, and ye shall see him ever acting in relation to the houses. Our brethren of Essex came but peaceably with a petition, and this prevailing party derides them gone, calling them Essex calves; but, thanks to fate, yet delays, that, if they can quiet them a while, they may after make them the spoil of the Independent army they declare against. Look to it, gentlemen, disperse riot yourselves till ye see it disbanded, and the King settled.
Ye must ever have some cloke for your knavery. When your late design against our city grew ripe, your mayor (a very horse and a traitor to our city, as many others of the common-council and captains are) must quarrel with the boys at their recreations, that ye might get another colour to draw your army again upon the city, and do that which then ye durst not, get down our chains, that, when the time of your necessity came, ye might disarm us, command our purses, and force us and our servants, against our consciences, though now again ye are forced to pull in your horns: and bring ye up your country soldiers, as we hear ye have, we shall make you aking hearts e're ye obtain your wills. Ye are loth to leave us, but, since we know your good-will, we shall look to you as we can: we trust our brethren of the association will be ready to assist us. We have heard now of your private compliance with Irish natives, and your letters lately taken at sea, wherein ye promise liberty of conscience, and many immunities, if they will let you alone.
Thus have I given you a little sight of the Babylonian Bel-like idol, a brazen parliament, and of the collusion and veracity of the idol attendants, this prevailing party of both houses, who have so long deluded you with devices, and, like Bel's priests, wasted upon themselves and theirs, those vast contributions and levies which should have been expended on the publick service; and do desire, now time is like to serve for it, ye would endeavour your own freedom from the yoke of these men.
God save the King and kingdom.
'CASE OF CONSCIENCE RESOLVED:
Concerning ministers meddling with state matters in their sermons: and how far they are obliged by the covenant to interpose in the affairs of civil government. By J. D. minister of the gospel. March 15, Imprimatur, Joseph Caryl.
London, printed by R. L. for R. W. 1649. Quarto, containing thirty page*,
The good intention of this pamphlet, and the masterly way of reason. ing with which it is composed, and, in particular, the too often necessity to declaim against that cacochemy of the popular preachers, or court-flatterers, recommend it to the curious; and, as it is most scarce, a few of them only having escaped the injuries of time, after most of the impression had been seized and destroyed by the faction
which so lately had been guilty of preaching the King to death, I have recommitted it to the press, as a good monitor, both in correction and instruction, to the preachers of God's word, that they may not prostitute their function or office, either for or against a court; and to the hearers, that they may not applaud, nor be deceived by those, whose sermons, instead of teaching them the way of godliness, are calculated to find out the high way to preferment for their teachers, who have changed their characters, by leaving tha service of God, and becoming the servants of the state.
YOU have desired to know of me the reasons why I make it a scruple of conscience, to do as others on all sides have done hitherto, viz. to intermeddle with matters of state in my sermons? I shall briefly let you know the grounds of my scruple concerning this matter, and, leaving them to your conscionable consideration, suggest some impartial thoughts, which, perhaps, may ease you of the scruples, which you have on the other hand; for which, you think it either unlawful for you, or unexpedient for your flock, to leave intermeddling in those matters.
Let us first agree what we mean by matters of state.
As for myself, I conceive, state-matters to be all manner Of counsels* designs,. endeavours, and actings, which are undertaken or prosecuted, by those that manage with power, or authority, publick affairs; relating to the outward possessions, rights, freedoms, privileges, prerogatives, and persons of men, as they are members of an outward commonwealth, or worldly kingdom. Concerning which matters, I think it not at all lawful for me to interpose my judgment in the pulpit, or to intermeddle towards the people, farther than the apostle hath commanded, Rom. xiii. 1,—8. and 1 Tim. ii. 2. and lit. iii. 1. And the reasons, why I conceive it not lawful so to do, are these:
First, 1 know no law, either of God or man, obliging me to meddle with such matters, by interposing my judgment concerning them in the pulpit: and if no law either expresly commanding, or by a good inference warranting this intermeddling, can be shewed, I understand not how it can be counted lawful for any so to do.
Secondly, 1 find a law both of God and man, forbidding me to judge of matters, which belong not unto me, or which particularly concern other men.
The law of God is this: 'Be not busy in other men's affairs, 1 Pet. iv.15. And what have I to do to judge them that are without? 1 Cor. v. 12. And who artthou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or fallcth, Rom. xiv. 4. And judge not, that ye be not judged,' Matt. vii. I. Now, when I reflect upon myself, in reference unto these laws, my conscience doth tell me, that I am not called to manage the affairs of state, but that they belong to other men; and, therefore, that I ought not to be busy in them, and trouble my head about them. And, if I judge the magistrate's employment (as a civil magistrate) to be without the church, I have scarce so much-nure I am, no more right than the apostle Paul had to judge of them. Now