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by the spirit of God in his people, the blood of the saints, and the dreadful effects of Providence?
8. Whether the great and high concernments, formerly the travel, the hopes and aims of many amongst us, were at all upon the hearts of those in power, or their late assembly; to wit, a farther reformation of things, in the regulation of law; the desolation of oppressive courts, and committees; the abrogation of tythes, and supernumerary offices; the removal of all unnecessary burthens and publick grievances, with all such laws, customs, and proceedings, as were calculated for the interest of mere will and power of antichristian and arbitrary greatness? But, on the contrary, hath not the result of late proceedings been such, as hath already, in part, healed the wound that these had received, and holds out a clear intendment to restore them again to their former power, splendor, and exaltation, to the making void, as much as in them lies, the dear effect of all the blood, prayers, appeals, and glorious deliverances, which have been laid out upon that account?
9. Whether the hard proceedings against James Nailer, in his usage and punishment (although his principle be not hereby owned) doth not, in a great measure, very nearly concern many godly, sober, and peaceable people in the three nations? Have they any good assurance, they may not hereafter be dealt withal after the like manner? And whether the several professions amongst us, that, by the national faith, shall be concluded unorthodox, may not, from these beginnings, and other foundations already laid, expect to receive the like entertainment at the hands of this generation; as the godly and faithful followers of Christ have at the hand of the worldly powers, and national church, in times past?
10. Whether the oath ex officio, used by the bishops, in their court of high commission, judging the opinions, and racking the consciencesof good people formerly, be not like to come in use again; seeing swearing begins to grow so much into request, and to be so common, not only at court amongst great men, but also in their parliaments, appointing commissioners (together with the excise and customs) to let it to farm; for do they not give power (as appears in their act for new buildings) to cause men to swear, who, sometimes, it is to be feared, forswear themselves? Whether the land hath not formerly mourned, because of oaths? And is it not by this means likely to do so again?
11. Whether the spirit of the star-chamber and council-board did not also rise up, and act vigorously in the house, putting them upon the project of punishing persons for building new houses, for new families, which the Lord hath been pleased to multiply? As if his blessing, of increasing the people in and near London, were a judgment or curse; and the increasing of dwellings for them, a crime to be punished by a* mulct or fine; And, if the Lord shall be pleased to with-hold the sword and pestilence, for seven years to come, as he hath done the
• All houses without the walls of the City, fnr ten miles distance round, that, from thirtyseven years past, to the 89th of September, 1657, have been built upon new foundations, are, by the lace act, to pay a full year's rent to the Protector, as they may he let at a rack rent; in execution whereof so much oppression hath beeo exercised already, as would take up too much room to declare it.
last seven or ten years past, and continue the like increase of new families, must not the aforesaid families either supplant the old, or go build new houses at Jamaica? Such being the present case already, that a house is hardly to be gotten for a family to live in. Which things being considered, might it not be desired, that those gentlemen of the long robe, and the great swordsmen their brethren, who have had such a fellow-feeling of the conditions and estates of the poor tradesmen and artificers, as to impose this burthen upon them, would lend them their inns of court and chancery, White-Hall, St. James's, and other great houses, before the poor new families should lie out of doors, or have no houses to dwell in?
12. Whether extreme necessity did not at first introduce that so much abhorred tax (by the English) of excise, only to maintain the war, wherein they were then engaged, for justice and freedom, against a negative voice in the late king? And his claiming the sole power of the militia,as of right belonging to him? And whether the said tax was not intended to be continued for so long time only, till that necessity was over, and no longer, and the nation then to be reduced to its freedom again? And if so, whether there be not greater reason that that burthen should cease, and be taken off the people, than now in a time of peace (together with the customs) be made perpetual, and a standing revenue to hold up and maintain those very usurpations, and grievances, viz. a negative voice over the people's representers in parliament: And the sole power of the militia in the hands and disposal of a protector, for the extirpation whereof it was first employed?
13. Whether the excise be not a tax far more burthensome than shipmoney in the days of the king? And whether the late • continuing of it for two or three years on the people, without the least shew of parliamentary authority, was not an act as criminal and obnoxious to justice, as was the levying of ship-money in that day? And surely had this late convention been of English spirits, and not basely unworthy; would they not rather have broken this yoke to pieces, and freed them from that devouring oppressing tax, than made it f heavier, and, by a law, bound it upon their shoulders for ever?
14. Were not these late acts for continuance of excise and customs for ever, with the delegated powers therein contained, to swear, fine and imprison persons at pleasure, together with the act of farming out the same, with that of the new buildings, calculated and designed on purpose against the merchants, tradesmen, artificers, and the whole City of London, with the parts adjoining, to bring them down, and make them poor and low, that so, like a great tame ass, subdued to the yoke, they may be ridden at pleasure,; and, as fit for nothing else but to bear the burthen of the whole nation? And, whether they be well rewarded by these new law-makers, for their former forwardness in the good old cause; in lending their money, and adventuring their lives at Gloucester, Newport Pagnel, Aulton, and other places, for the delivering their country from those very yokes, which are now, by a law, re-established, and imposed upon us? , ,
^ • Which was done by the Protestor (so called) aud his council, Do parliament sitting: As the king and his council formerly raised ship-mon*y.
t Can any other be expected from mercenary soldiers, lawyers, salary-men, and other courtparasites?
15. Whether these pretended law-makers had not more of a selfish, than a publick spirit, in declining the way of subsidy, and advancing their nineteen-hundred thousand pounds pir year", for the support of their new government, by laying two-thirds of the same on the merchants, tradesmen, and artificers; and the other third on the real and personal estates of the nation? Have they not hereby slipped their own shoulders from under the burthen; and unworthily laid it heavy on the industrious people; whilst the lawyers great places and fees, with the swordsmen's salaries, and land purchased with the price of other men's blood, pay little or nothing at all?
16. Whether the gentlemen of this convention be not the very offspring of the old courtiers, and their dependants, the late patentees suppressed and turned out of the long parliament, at their first sitting, as unworthy to come there; in that they have bought and sold the people of this nation, by letting, and taking to farm their rights and properties? Did ever any company of men before abuse parliamentary authority so, as these men have done; in making an act to let to farm the good people of this nation, their properties and goods, to such as will bid most; and authorising their members to become like panders, to give entertainment to all comers, who have a mind to become patentees, and contract with them for power, to use the English free people as they please?
17* Whether the pretence, of advancing a revenue to the state, be a plea sufficient to warrant their oppressing, impoverishing, and inslaving the people of this nation, to fill the state's coffer; or rather the lusts of some great statesmen? And whether such, as buy dear, must not sell dear, and use such means to raise their money again, as will eat up the people to the very bones? Were not Sir Abraham Daws, Sir John Worsenham, and Sir Nicholas Crisp, counted criminal, and fined accordingly, for being such farmers? And whether the gentlemen that do, and shall now adventure to farm, may not, in time, come to be subjects of like justice, as was deservedly executed upon Empson and Dudley, with their confederates, for their raking and peeling the people of this nation formerly? •
18. Whether the raising up again the ruins of the fallen courts and monarchy, and the giving up the grand interests of the people, so lately redeemed with the price of much precious blood, out of the clutches of tyranny into the hands of one single person again ; and this done without the advice and consent, and against the hopes and expectations of the most faithful and honest part of the nation, be not an act highly unworthy the day that is upon us, and a fundamental ground of dissatisfaction to all, in whom there yet remains any sense of the late most honourable cause, and of the experiences and appearances that attended us, while we abode uncorrupted in the faithful and fervent prosecution thereof?
Upon the whole: Whether these things, brought forth of late, be the natural issue of those noble beginnings formerly amongst us; or rather the degenerate fruits of that bitter root of apostasy that hath sprung up since, and of late more effectually manifested itself, under the face of authority; in an assembly of men, made up of persons ridden by the clergy, and acted by principles of self-security, and advancement of sons and kinsmen, servants, of low-spirited conquered Scots, curbed cavaliers, and young boys; of corrupt lawyers, and others; who prostitute their light and principles to their Diana, to uphold their gain and profits; and of a declined sort of independant, baptized, ranting, and mercurial divinity professors; and lastly, of mercenary soldiers and swordsmen, who have, out of fear, or covetous ends, apostatised, and unworthily betrayed as honourable and precious a cause as ever was on foot since the world began, of all which this juncto was made up and constituted.
This had come sooner into thy hands, had not Providence hindered. What is wanting, either for matter or form, thou art desired (who ait capable thereof) to make a supply in this or some other manner, more for the discovery of wickedness, and pleading for righteousness; and however the apostates of the day (with their protector) may be displeased and rage thereat; yet, consider the encouragement our Lord Protector gives thee hereunto, Isa. ix. 16. Who complains (that in a day of transgressing, flying and departing away from God, of oppression; yea, when truth failed, and he that departed from evil made himself a prey, and there was no judgment) that none called for justice, nor any man pleaded for truth, &c. and wondered there was no intercessor. Let not that lively active spirit, that once appeared for God, against tyranny and wickedness in the late king's days, now die; when the same spirit and wickedness is again revived and acting, even by them who were so instrumental to destroy the late generation, for these very things. Your friend, who, having in some measure been instrumental herein, hath no other apprehensions in his own spirit, but that he may before long be known, and dealt withal as others have been formerly upon the like account ; yet the matter, herein contained, being such as (if justice could take place) might not only be signed to, pleaded for, but would certainly overcome, he is so far from being discouraged, or in the least damped in his spirit from the publishing hereof, that he had much rather (the Lord assisting) be exposed to a state of imprisonment all his days, yea, to death itself, than withdraw his assistance in the least measure, in this or any other thing, wherein he apprehends he may be useful to witness against the apostasy of this day, to revive the good old cause, and bring injustice and righteousness to the people.
VOL. VI. II Iv
A SECOND NARRATIVE OF THE LATE PARLIAMENT
Wherein, after a brief reciting some remarkable passages in the former narrative, is given an account of their second meeting, and things transacted by them: As, also, how the Protector (so called) came swearing, 'By the living God,'and dissolved them,after two]|or three weeks sitting. With some queries sadly proposed thereupon. Together, with an account of three and forty of their names, who were taken out of the house, and others that sat in the other house, intended for a house of lords; but, being so unexpectedly disappointed could not take root, with a brief character and description of them. All humbly presented to publick view. By a Friend to the good old cause of justice, righteousness, the freedom and liberties of the people, which hath cost so much blood and treasure, to be carried on in the late wars, and are not yet settled.
Cursed be the man before the Lord that riseth up and buildeth the city Jericho, he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall be set up the gates of it. Josh. vi.
I have seen the foolish taking root; but suddenly I cursed his habitation: His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. Job V. 3, 4.
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot find their enterprise. Job v. 12.
His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors. Job xviii. 14.
Printed in the fifth year of England's slavery, under its new monarchy, 1658.
THE late parliament (so called) having made their new model of government, called,'The humble petition and advice,' before they had well licked their golden calf, or given the brat of their brain a name were called upon to adjourn, and break up: And so, making more'haste than good speed, they left things very raw and imperfect, which afterwards occasioned great contests; and, in fine, their dissolution. .
According to the time they adjourned unto, they assemble again, bein" January°23, l657, where, after the usual solemnities of devotion performed, they repair to the house, where they found some of their number commissioned, and impowered by the Protector, to swear them. The copy of which oath here follows: