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learned their infinite screw. His glass and text are equally handled, that is, once an hour; nay, sometimes, he sallies, and never returns, and then we should leave him to the company of Lorimers, for he must be held with bit and bridle. Who ever once has been at his church, can never doubt the history of Balaam. If he have got any new tale or expression, it is easier to make stones speak, than him to hold his peace. He hates a church where there is an eccho, for it robs him of his dear repetition, and confounds the auditory as well as he. But, of all mortals, I admire the short-hand men, who have the patience to write from his mouth; had they the art toshorten it into sense, they might write his whole sermon on the back of their nail; for his invention consists in finding a way to speak nothing upon any thing; and, were he in the grand seignior's power, he would lodge himself with his mutes; for nothing, and nothing to purpose, are all one. I wonder in conscience, he can preach against sleeping at his opium-sermons. He preaches, indeed, both in season, and out of season; for he rails at popery, when the land is almost lost in presbytery, and would cry fire, fire, in Noah's flood. Yet all this he so acts with his hands, that, in this sense too, his preaching is a handicraft. Nor can we complain, that plays are put down, while he can preach, save only his sermons have worse sense, and . less truth. But he blew down the stage, and preached up the scaffold; and, very wisely, lest men should track him, and find where he pilfers all his best similies, (theonly thing wherein he is commendable, St.Paul himself having culled sentences from Menander's Thais, though it was his worst, that is, unchaste comedy.) Sometimes the assembler will venture at the original, and then, with the translator of Don Quixot, he mistakes sobs and sighs for eggs and collops. But commonly, for the want of Greek and Latin, he learns Hebrew, and straight is illuminated, that is, mad; his brain is broke by a brickbat, cast from the tower of Babel; and yet this empty windy teacher has lectured a war quite round the kingdom: He has found a circulation of blood for destruction (as famous Harvey for preservation) of mankind. It was easy to foresee a great mortality, when ravens were heard in all corporations; for, as multitude of frogs presage a pestilence, so croaking lecturers foretold an assembly. Men come to church, as the great Alexander went to sacrifice, led by crows. You have seen a small elder-tree grow in chinks and clefts of church-walls; it seems rather a weed, than a tree, which, lend it growth, makes a rent in the wall, and throws down the church. Is not this the assembler? Grown from schisms, which himself begot, and, if permitted, will make the church but a floor or churchyard: Yet, for all this, he will be called Christ's minister and saint, as the rebels against King John, were the army of God. Sure, when they meet, they cannot but smile; for the dullest amongst them needs must know, that they all cheat the people; such gross low impostors, that we die the death of the Emperor Claudius, poisoned by mushrooms. The old hereticks had skill and learning, some excuse for a seduced church; those were scholars, but these are assemblers, whose very brains, as Manichseus's skin, are stuffed with chaff; for they study little, and preach much, ever sick of a diabetes; nor do they read, but weed authors, picking up cheap and refuse notes, that, with Caligula,
they gather cockle-shells, and, with Domitian, retire into their study to catch flies. At fasts and thanksgivings, the assembler is the state's trumpet, for then he doth not preach, but is blown, proclaims news very loud, the trumpet and his forehead being both of one metal; and yet, good man, he still prays for boldness; he hacknies out his voice, like a crier, and is a kind of spiritual adjutant, receives orders, and spreads them. In earnest, the states cannot want this tool, for, without him, the saints would scarce assemble; and, if the zealots chance to fly out, they are charmed home by his sounding brass. There is not, on earth, a baser sycophant; for he ever is chewing some vote or ordinance, and tells the people how savoury it is; like him, who licked up the emperor's spittle, and swore it was sweet. Would the two houses give him cathedral lands, he would prove Lordsand Commons to be jure divino; but, should they offer him the self-denying ordinance, he would justify the devil, and curse them to their faces; his brother kirk-man did it in Scotland. It is pleasant to observe, how finely they play into each other's hands; Marshall procures thanks to be given toSedgwick, for his great pains; Sedgwick obtains as much for Marshall, and so they all pimp for one another; but yet, to their great comfort be it spoken, their whole seven years sermons, at Westminster, are now to be sold in Fetter- lane and Pye-corner. Before a battle, the assembler ever speaks to the soldiers, and the holding up of his hands must be as necessary as Moses's against the Amalekites; for he pricks them on, tells them, That God loves none.but the valiant; but, when bullets fly, himself runs first, and then cries, All the sons of Adam are cowards! Were there any metempsychosis his soul would want a lodging; no single beast could fit him, being wise as a sheep, and innocent as a wolf; his sole comfort is, he cannot out-sin Hugh Peters; sure as Satan hath possessed the assembler, so Hugh Peters hath possessed Satan, and is the devil's devil; he, alone, would fill a whole herd of Gadarenes; he hath sucked blood ever since he lay in the butcher's sheets, and now, like his sultan, has a shambles in his countenance, so crimson and torrid, you may there read, how St. Laurence died, and think the three children were delivered from his face. This is St. Hugh, who will level the assembler, or the devil's an ass. Yoke these brethren, and they two couple like a sadduce and a pharisee, or a Turk and a Persian, both Mahometans. But the assembler's deepest,'.highest abomination, is his solemn league and covenant; whereby he strives to damn or beggar the whole kingdom, outdoing the devil, who only persuades, but the assembler forces to perjury or starving. And this, whoever lives to observe it, will, one day, sink both him and his faction; for he, and his oath, are so much one, that, were he half-hanged and let down again, his first word would be, covenant! covenant!
But I forget, a character should be brief, though tedious length be his best character; therefore I will give you, what he denies the sequestered clergy, but a fifth part; for weigh him single, and he has the pride of three tyrants, the forehead of six jailers, and the fraud of twelve brokers; or take him in the bunch, and their whole assembly is a club of hypocrites, where six dozen of schismaticks spend two hours for four shillings a-piece.
WORD FOR THE ARMY,
TWO WORDS TO THE KINGDOM.
To clear the one, and cure the other. Forced in much Plainness and Brevity from their faithful Servant, Hugh Peters.
Nunc nunc properandus et acri
Fingendus sine sine rotd.
London, printed by M. Simmons, for Giles Calvert, at the Black Spread-Eagle, at the West End of Paul's, 1647. Quarto, containing fourteen pages.
THOUGH I have looked upon the scribblings of this age as the fruits of some men's idleness, and most men's folly, and therefore should not willingly have owned myself, if found among that rabble: yet, when it grows so unlimitedly high, and impudently brazen, that some men I know, men even above flattery, and so sleek and smooth, in their uprightness (among whom I place the present general and his second) that I had thought nothing ofthat kind could stick, and yet these besmeared by uncircumcised pens.
I. Two things I resolved, which now I offer to the world. The first is an humble petition to the parliament, that they would please to try their now well-backed authority, that some one faithful discreet man may be chosen to divulge gazettes, courants, or news, who shall be accountable to the state, for what he prints or communicates to the kingdom; and that two of each party (for parties there are) shall undertake for what is printed on the behalf of either, that so all scandalous and slanderous personal affronts may be avoided, and matters worth time and reading may be published: or, if none of these may be gotten, at least men may put their names to their papers, that honest men may know where to find an accuser; for, si sat sit accusare, quis erit innocens f I list not to answer objections may be made hereunto; since this boundless kind of boldness were better curbed to some inconvenience, then continued to a mischief, even the poisoning the whole nation: it should not be a wise man's quaere, what strength, wit, acute- ness, &c. runs through such a paper? but, cuibono?
II. My second resolve is, though not to answer every late pamphlet punctually, which rather than do, I might undertake to cleanse the stablein the story: yea, though my share lies so much in them, that it would be costly to purchase clean handkerchiefs to wipe off every spattering on my face, and I could as shortly, and more truly, answer
Vol. vi. a
all, as he did Bellarmine, with, Thou lyest; knowing no public instrument, in no age, in no place, can travel without others dashing and dogs barking: yet, to prevent stones from speaking, and graves from opening, or some horrid unheard of thing from appearing, to satisfy the wide-mouthed world, and the black mouthed pamphleteers; I shall, in plainness and faithfulness, shew you the army's wounds since they put up their sword, and, with them, the state's disease; and, in humility, offer the cure, and leave all to a wonder-working God.
First, let me tell you, negatively, the evils, commonly charged upon the army, are not the army's evils. We have generally causam pro rum causa, in which Mr. Prynne was wont to exceed, who spoke much more than he meant to stand to: the sum of all his is the army's rebellion. Another pedantick sounds a retreat, who, being nameless, will not endure a charge; the marrow of his divinity, non-obedience. Another brings the army to the bar, where he pleads with a company of balled threatenings, and would fright Fairfax with a sight of a king at Whitehall. One cries, they sin against Caesar; another, they have deflowered the parliament; another, they have ravished the city; another, they are sectaries, enemies to government, false to God, to man, friends, enemies to themselves. They have lost Ireland, ruined England: Oh! taxes and free-quarter: Oh! this trinkling with the court, cries one: Oh! their doubtful carriage with the court, cries another: Cavaliers shall up, cries one: we shall never see good day, says another. I do not think Paul heard such a confused noise, when himself could hardly get leave to speak: that the word army must answer all the doubtful mischievous deadly questions in the world: for example; Who brings famine? the army. Who the plague? the army. Who the sword? the army. Who hinders trade? the army. Who incenseth Scotland? the army. Who hardens the king? the army. Who confounds all? the army. And if it should be asked the cavaliers and malignants, who conquered you? they would answer, the army: if the presbyters, who disappointed you? the army: if the independents, who leaves you in the dark? the army: and if Haman were asked, what he would do with these Jews? we know the answer: alas, poor army: qualis de te narraturfabula? But to my purpose; the grand complaint (which, as most insisted upon, so is most likely to have vulgar acceptance) is the army's disobedience to the parliament, by which the state was endangered to lose all consistency; in respect of which, the apprentices routing the house is but duty or innocency; or, at worst, a parallel practice. To which this is my plain and full answer.
It is confessed they were not willing to disband at W^lden, being urged thereunto, and denied in Essex, when expected and pressed: but consider, 1st, It was required but conditionally, with regard to their security, indemnity, and arrears, and none of these performed; it was not such a monstrum horrendum.
2dly, They were free Englishmen as soldiers, and must maintain their
obligation to the state, as well as answer the major and more corrupt votes of the house.
3dly, Nature commanded their self-preservation, when such instruments were sent to disband them, and command them for Ireland, of whose non-integrity they had good experience.
♦thly, When not long before they could not have leave to petition their faithful general, how should they expect any thing, being disbanded?
5thly, This piece of disobedience was not new unto them, when the same practice was familiar from men more mercenary in the north, and their denial never counted rebellion, but glibly swallowed.
6thly, I answer, and I desire it may be observed: the first force ever put upon the parliament was long before this, and that nearer hand: did not the city remonstrance hang like a petard upon the parliament door week after week, and every ward in course, to attend and fire it? Speak, gentlemen of the house, how you were accosted and saluted, and in what language, till you were forced to speak pure London.
7thly, I do here offer to make good upon oath, that the commanding party, in the house, had more force upon them to disband us, than we put upon the house in refusing. For proof whereof, master Anthony Nicholls, lately with us at Kingston, before his flight, being urged by myself, before another sufficient witness, to speak to this point, calling for a testimony from heaven, professed, that, when the army offered at first to go for Ireland, he with the other impeached members fully condescended to it, and they gave him the agitation thereof; but, as he protested, the ministers in London came to them with violence, pressing the contrary upon this ground: that this army would soon conquer Ireland, fill it with schisms, and not only command it, but in a short time give law to England; and therefore would hear of nothing but the disbanding it, which, quoth he, put us upon that violent course: now who forced these ministers? I do not say; but you see who forced those parliament-men, and we know they would force the army; and upon denial the army are the forcers. And, if the city remonstraters durst speak, they can tell you who forced them to force the parliament: and if the apprentices would break silence, they could tell you who spit in their mouths, aud clapped them on the back.
In all this I speak not my delight, but my grief, that so many pulpits should plainly witness this force, as history tells us who poisoned king John. And though we have not been ignorant of this kind of violence (which I had rather attribute to my brethren's zeal, than their malice) yet you see how tenderly we have dealed with those: we knowing many godly amongst them, who have not yet declared against them, complained of one of them; nay, though this army, from first to last, never had any of these brethren to offer one sermon to us to encourage us in dangers, to rejoice with us in our success; nay, though they know we want helps, and have been forced to use such help, as they have reviled us for, and so would have us make brick without straw; nay, though we know most hard measure met us; Ido profess I conceive evenGangroena himself might have marched through the army unmolested,