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firmation by the English state, to preserve our laws and liberties established by St. Edward; which are inconsistent with the said title and innovations: neither can any man say, that, because the oath binds also to the confirmation of other King's grants, therefore these innovations are included; for grants imply a precedent asking, and how far these innovations were from ever being asked I have before shewn; and moreover, the confirmation is especially limited to the laws of King Edward, as being both the most desired and desirable. And, for parliament and people, they are bound both by their natural and official duties, and moreover by their late solemn covenant, unto the vindication of their naturral rights and liberties, of which the said title and innovations are the greatest opposers, as I have before shewn.
That, until this title and innovations are abolished, there can be no honour, freedom, or happiness to this nation; that the inception of that enterprise is the most hopeful means for curing the present divisions; and that there is no colourable objection against the perform
Proof. FOR, nntil the cause be taken away, the effect is not like to cease. I have before shewn how destructive these abuses are to our honour, rights, and unity; while they remain, we are in the quality of captive slaves, and our kings in the semblance of foreign and usurping lords: and, as these evils were the cause of the first fracture, and consequent antipathy in this kingdom, betwixt crown and subject, so there can be no solid closure between them, until they are repealed. These being removed, the whole nation, both King and people, will be restored into the quality of one natural body, which, as "Fortescue hath aptly ob: served out of Aristotle, hath a set form of duty and affection constituted betwixt the head and members. And, as touching this work's expediency toward re-uniting divided Englishmen, it is evident; for, if the common honour and happiness of the nation be the scope of their designs, they have no other highway to their end, but this. Also it may be learned from the common practice of distracted states, whose usual emedy is the assaulting of a common enemy; of which sort are these abuses, being a common usurpation, that hath a more general, hostile, and mischievous malignity against our nation in it, than any other adversary we have at this day, save that it wants strength and formidable. ness, for that there is no man amongst us hath any colourable cause to defend it. Moreover, until this be redressed, all else, that is done, is but as building of castles in the air, that have no firm foundation, but may be blown down with the king's arbitrary breath, as I have before proved. And, if any object the troublesomeness and difficulty of rooting out the innovations, I answer: that that particular may be consummated at leisure; that we have taken more pains about things of lower *
* See Mr. Prynne's Citation of him, in his S. P. p. 38.
concernment; and that the restoration of our rights ought not to seem unto us more laborious, or difficult, than did to our enemies the introducing of the contrary.
Proposition 8. *
That all Englishmen, that are active in maintaining the said title and innovations, are the most flagilious traitors, both to their King and country, that ever were.
1T is apparent from the premisses, it being also evident, that, in comparison of such, Strafford in his worst appearance was a good patriot; and, as for the defaults of former times in this particular, they are not now pretendible for excuse; for that now Heaven holds forth power and opportunity far more liberally than ever heretofore, or, perhaps, than hereafter, for asserting of truth, and establishing of righteousness, in this kingdom.
THE BRITISH BELLMAN.
Printed in the year
Anno Domini, 1648. Quarto, containing twenty-four pages.
ORDERED, That a competent number of these books be forthwith printed, for the service of the King and kingdom, and be dispersed through all counties, cities, boroughs, and towns corporate, and all other markettowns whatsoever, within this realm of England, and dominion of Wales; and that all, who love their king and country, and hate rebellion and treason, do forthwith make all provision and speed that may be, to rise, and take by force, or otherwise, all garisons they can, in all parts of the kingdom, and summon in the country to them, for the speedier suppression of these abominable malicious rebels and traitors, this prevailing party in the parliament houses, and their army, who, by wicked craft and subtlety, have undone three flourishing kingdoms already, and yet would again engage us in another war with our brethren of Scotland. It is also desired, that our brethren of the association would keep their men in the field, and, when Cromwell is gone for Wales, fall upon the other part of the army, remaining in the country near us, with all the power of horse and foot they can make, and we will endeavour, in the city, to second them to the utmost of our power; now is the time for us to free ourselves from slavery, and put an end unto taxations, we shall never have a settlement else.
Yes, O yes, if any one can give me notice of four great ships, laden with money, lately at Gravesend, to be passed without search, by ordinance of parliament, and can help to take them, he shall be well paid for his pains, and have many thanks. O yes, O yes, if there be any more fools or knaves, that will go soul and body to the devil, for an heretical, perfidious piece of a parliament, incendiaries, boutifeu's, Faux's of faction and sedition, with brazen faces, and seared consciences; having nothing but perjury and lyes in their mouths; falshoods, treasons, and mis-religions in their hearts; daily murders, robberies, and oppressions in their actions; let them repair to the red-nosed rebel, thieftenant Oliver, or his black general Tom. Who helps to disthrone the king, to change monarchical government, to subvert the protestant religion, and laws of our land. to cry down presbytery and crown, the kinglings, the buffoons, the mountebanks of Westminster? Who saves the lordly Lurdanes, after seven years misrule, undoing of the kingdom, imprisoning, and abusing of the King, and suffering Haman to strike him, from taking leave of their allies at Tower-hill and Tyburn? . . O yes, who sacrifices the city and country another seven years to their insatiable avarice Who helps them to pill and poll them by their ravenous implements, the committees and their substitutes, for more money to send beyond sea O yes, who buys bishops, malignants lands Who buys Paul's steeple Who buys the King's cast shoes and boots? Who buys his guards coats? Who buys sun and moon? O yes, Who sends them thanks for their ordinance for forcing taxations for their four last bills and declaration against the King? Who beats the boys from cats-pellet, and stool-ball Who fights with Poyer, with the Lord Inchequin, with Colonel Jones of Dublin, and our brethren of Scotland 2 Who, and they shall have new snapsacks in hand, blue bonnets, and capon tails, when the Scotch and Welch be conquered, promises enough for the present, and as much pay at last as those that have been turned off with nothing. In the beginning of this hell-spewed sessions, we had as large promises of happy accruements to this church and nation as subtle treason could in sly and specious language possibly suggest. We had them ushered in with a protestation in the first place; in which our religion, our laws, our King's honour, his parliaments privileges, our own liberties and properties were the common themes. We had them waited upon with an oath after, and a covenant, which nevertheless were only to be as the passages at which Jephtha's soldiers tried the lisping Ephraimites in their Sibboleth: witness your answer of the twenty-sixth of May, 1646, 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 collnsions 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 would 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 senses judge. 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 may 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, adhinnine, 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 had 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 safety) had been the prologue to this treacherous tragedy you have since acted, much less ourselves should be the last scene thereof; yet herein we must needs acknowledge Heaven just in our punishment, for it was