THE LOYALTY OF THE LAST Long Parliament: OR, A LETTER TO AN English Gentleman AT FLORENCE.

SHEWING, That the late Parliaments (Address'd against) did not so much Intrench on the PREROGATIVE, as that of XVIII YEARS Continuance, of whom His Majesty said, NEVER any KING was so happy in a House of Commons, as I in this.—King's ANSWER, 20 Febr. 1663.

LONDON Printed for Francis Smith, Senior. 1681.

THE LOYALTY OF THE LAST Long Parliament, And their APPROVERS; In a LETTER to an English Gentleman at Florence.

SIR,

I Received yours of Sept. 1. Stilo Novo, wherein you are pleased to discover to me your Sentiments con­cerning the state of the Parties among us, and the division of Minds about publick Affairs; whence I readily perceive how obnoxious you that live in Po­pish Countries, are to Mis-informations and False-con­ceptions of the state of your own Country: For whilst you take your Measures either from publick Prints, or private Letters, written either by the Popish or Yorkian Party, (and such are all that are brought over and en­tertain'd by the Men of Intelligence where you are;) You are altogether as unable to give a right Judgment, as he that determines a Cause having heard only one Party.

Hence it is, you imagine that we here are now again divided in our Minds and Actings relating to Govern­ment, just as we were forty years ago, and that they are the same Men, or those that succeed in the same Prin­ciples, that are now prosecuting the same Ends, even the alteration of Government both in Church and State, and instead of Episcopacy and Monarchy, to intro­duce [Page 4] Presbytery and Democracy. Indeed it cannot be wonder'd that you who have liv'd so many years out of your own Country amongst strangers, should harbour such conceits, when even here (where men have such plentiful means of true Information) the Popish and Mercenary Agents working upon Prejudice in some, Ma­lice, Envy and Revenge in others; Jealousie in one sort, and affectation of Prudence in another: Prevail with many to forget Coleman's Letters, Sir Edmund­bury Godfrey's Murder, and the Tryal of my Lord Staf­ford, much more the dreadful Burning of London; the the two Armies, one of 73, the other of 78. The De­claration of Indulgence, the Popish Designs of Clifford, the Impeachment of Danby, and the Popish Lords by divers Parliaments; the many Sham-plots, especially that discover'd by Dangerfield, or the Meal-tub Plot; the Subornation of Witnesses to take away the Life of the Duke of Buckingham, and Dr. Oates by odious Ac­cusations; the Assassination of Justice Arnold, and At­tempts to corrupt Bedlow, and others: not to speak of the Tryal and Judgment given and executed upon Cole­man, and upon Godfrey's Murderers, and upon the Je­suits; and many other things, which demonstratively prove the Plot of introducing Popery and Slavery into these Nations, or in Coleman's own phrase, Of utter sub­duing a pestilent Heresie, &c. And according to my Lord D. of Governing without a Parliament. It cannot be wonder'd at, I say, that such as you should falsly con­ceive of the State of these Kingdoms: But if you will have the patience to look a little back upon some few things that are past, and compare them with things pre­sent, you will easily perceive that it is not some factious men of Commonwealth Principles, nor the Clamours of Non-conformists against Popery and Arbitrariness, that forms the discontented and agrieved People among [Page 5] us, but it is in truth the old and loyal Friends of the KING, RELIGION and GOVERNMENT of England; such as assisted His Majesty and his Royal Fa­ther in their Wars and Councels, and the Successors and Adherents of such who constitute the Bulk of the substantial Men and Protestants in the Nation, with whom the Dissenters joyn and fall in. These are the men who for these nine or ten years last past, have seen and set themselves against the Popish and Arbitrary Designs carried on by Cabal Councels and Parasites. Indeed the Discovery of the horrid Popish Plot and Treasons did open the eyes of many, who would not see these mis­chievous Designs till they had a Meridian Light.

That this is the Naked Truth, will appear plainly to you, if you consider, with what earnest desire, joy and applause, His Majestry was restored to his Crown; was ever any people so transported with Joy and Triumph as the people of England? Insomuch, that even those who where obnoxious to, and suffered Capital Punish­ments afterwards, were lull'd into a hope of Impunity by the universal Congratulation. Then as soon as might be, was the King's Long Parliament call'd, whilst the people was in this passion, and they chose (to be sure) those especially whom they apprehended most grateful to the King and his Prerogative, and most averse to the Principles and Practices of foregoing times. This appear'd in all the Votes, Addresses, and Bills of that Parliament for many years; wherein they set them­selves with all their skill to assert the King's Power and Authority against Parliamentary Pretensions, and had almost rais'd his Revenue to such a prodigious height, that he should never need Supplies from his People. They were so fully addicted to please the King, that he Answ. 20 Fe [...] 1663. says, Never any King was so happy in a House of Commons, as He in this. And surely he judg'd aright concerning [Page 6] them, if the King's happiness consist in the Parliaments Concurrence with Cabinet Dictates.

Notwithstanding the Gentlemen of this House began, after the dreadful Burning of London, (which to a Committee of their House was prov'd by many shrewd Evidences, to be done by contrivance of the Papists) to make Addresses against the Papists to repress their Insolencies. But in the Year 1672, after the Plotters had procur'd the Exchequer to be shut up, and the Proper­ties of many Thousands of the People in it, and that the Tripple League (which cost the people so great Sums of Money in favour of it) was dissolv'd, and a War against Holland in Conjunction with France was commenc'd; and the penal Laws against Papists and Dissenters dis­penc'd with by Declaration: the Commons in Parlia­ment saw clearly which way they were driving, and therefore as soon as they were permitted to sit, Addrest the King against that Declaration of Indulgence, inform­ing Him, That penal Statutes in matters Ecclesiastical, cannot be suspended but by Act of Parliament. And though [...]br. 4. [...]672. His Majesty tell them in answer, That they question His Power in Ecclesiasticks, which he finds not done in the Reign of any of his Ancestors: Yet they reply, That his Majesty hath been very much misinformed, since no such Power was ever claim'd or exercis'd by any of his Predecessors. In fine, His Majesty was induced to cancel that Declaration, and declare it should be no President for the future.

Hereupon I would gladly ask our Boasters of Loyal­ty, and Exclaimers against the late Parliaments, (ex­cepting open and secret Papists, for whose Interest this Indulgence was procur'd) whether they approv'd of what the King did, or of what the Parliament did in this Affair. If of the Declaration, then they had the Presbyterians and Dissenters in Generall on their sides, owning the Prerogative by taking Licences for exercise­ing [Page 7] Worship and Religion contrary to Law: if they did not approve of the Declaration, but of the Address, then let them acknowledge that at this turn, the Dissenters were more Loyall (as they call it) and greater Adorers of Prerogative then themselves, and that it is not the King's Prerogative which these love, but their own Malignity, and the Prerogative for the sake of that; so that if the King should use his Prerogative contrary to their minds, they would be as much against it as now they are for it: Judge they as they will concerning it, it's a plain Case, that the Parliament, which sprang out of the most Ardent Affection that ever was in a People towards their Prince, and out of the greatest Detestati­on of Republican Principles, yet resolv'd that the King was deceiv'd by his Cabal Councillors in a matter, which in the direct consequence of it tended to the interrupting the free course of the Laws, and altering the Legislative Power. And since the discovery of Coleman's Letters, I think there's none doubts but that Indulgence was the effect of Popish Councils; and the Papists were the Per­sons who designed the greatest advantage to their cause by it, If any Favour was intended for Dissenters by it, it's strange that His Majesty should not pass a Bill for Nulling of the Rigorous Act of the thirty five of Queen Elizabeth, when it had already past both Houses of Par­liament.

In the same Session of Parliament it was, that the Par­liament pass'd a Bill for imposing a Test against Popery upon all that should bear any Office Civil or Military in the Kingdom, which the Duke of York submitting to, had his Commission of High Admiral vacated, but his Advice and Influence still vigorous. By this means al­so my Lord Clifford was discover'd to be Popish, and quitted his High Office of Lord Treasurer and great Minister of State. Was it not high time for those in [Page 8] Parliament that had any love to their Religion and Go­vernment, to look about 'em? Or was it sawcily done for the Parliament to concern themselves with the King's Councellors, and find fault with their manag­ment? Nay, they proceeded so far in the next Session, as to Address against the consummation of the Marriage between his Royal Highness and the Dutches of Mode­na (which was already done by Proxy) because she was a Papist. And after they had receiv'd one Answer from his Majesty in this matter, The Commons in Par­liament proceed to give their reasons against it, praying him to relieve his Subjects from those fears and apprehensi­ons which at present they lie under, from the Progress made in that Treaty—That for another Age at the least, this Kingdom will be under continual Apprehensions of the GROWTH of POPERY. And the danger of the Octo. 31. 1673. Protestant Religion. Here we see that the language of fears and apprehensions of the Growth of Popery, and danger of Protestantism, is as well the language of the King's happiest Parliament, that ever was, as of the un­happiest Parliament of Forty One.

Three days after this, they Address to his Majesty for a General Fast, and that upon these Grounds, (viz.) Being passionately sensible of the Calamitous condition of this Kingdom, not only by reason of the War (which was then mannaged against the Dutch) wherein it is at present involved, but many other intestine differences and divisi­ons amongst us, which are chiefly occasioned by the undermi­ning contrivances of Popish Recusants, whose numbers and insolencies are greatly of late increased, and whose restless practises threaten a Subversion both of Church and State. What is the difference now between this Seventy Three Parliament, and that of Forty One.

Feb. 7. Following, they shew there resentment of the Black-heath Army, and resolve, That the continuing of [Page 9] any standing forces in this Nation, other than the Militia, is a great grievance and vexation to the People. What? This Loyal Parliament talk of grievances and vexation to the People in the King's management of his Preroga­tive.

This House of Commons (as well as some that have been since) take upon them to pray the King to remove some of his Great Councellors from his Presence and their Publick Imployments. But their Address against Duke Lauderdale, Feb. 23. 75. is very remarkable, both for the matter and language of it; for thus they say—Though we have great cause to rest assured of the continuance of your Majesties Gracious Disposition towards us, yet we find upon a serious examination of the State of this King­dom, that there is a great jealousie arisen from some State-proceedings in the Hearts of your Subjects; That some Persons in great imployment under your Majesty have fo­mented designs, contrary to the Interest of your Majesty and People, intending to deprive us of our antient Rights and Liberties, that thereby they might the more easily introduce the Popish Religion, and an ARBITRARY Form of GOVERNMENT, to the Ruine and Destruction of the whole Kingdom. Here's a Charge with a Witness: all the worst of Forty one Forms of Declaiming against the Government. This is the Generall Charge; let's hear the Particular—The said Duke of Lauderdale did Publickly affirm in the Presence of your Majesty sitting in Council; And before divers of your Majesties Subjects then attending, that your Majesties Edicts ought to be obey­ed, for your Majesties Edicts are equal with Laws, and ought to be observed in the first place. Thereby justifying the said Declaration [of 15 March, 71.] and the proceedings there­upon, and declaring his Inclinations to Arbitrary Councels, in terrour of your Majesties good Subjects. They conclude thus; We do therefore in all humility implore your Sacred [Page 10] Majesty—That for the ease of the hearts of your people, who are possest with extream grief and sorrow to see your Majesty thus ABƲSED, and the Kingdom endangered; That your Majesty would graciously be pleased to remove the said Duke of Lauderdale from all his Imployments, &c. Is not this Writing after the 41 Copy? Is not this striking at His Majesty and the Government through his Ministers sides? What! that House of Commons tell His Majesty he is abused, and the Kingdom endanger'd, which was chosen, and nourish'd, and indulg'd for 18 years toge­ther, to be an ensample to all succeeding Parliaments.

But to proceed in His Majesties Answer to their Ad­dress of the 20, or 26th of May, 77. advising him to en­ter into a League Offensive and Defensive with the States against France: He tells them, How highly he was of­fended at that great invasion of his Prerogative. And in His Majesties Answer to their Address of Jan. 31, he re­minds them of it: But (says He) you take no notice of it, but on the contrary, add to your former ill Conduct, new In­vasions equally offensive to His Majesties Authority, as con­trary to His (and He thinks) most other mens judgments. Unhappy House of Commons now, how ever happy heretofore, thus to interfere with His Maiesties Autho­rity and Judgment too.

This sharp Answer and Reproof bears date 4th of Febr. 77. but in March following the Parliament having pre­par'd a Poll-Bill for furnishing His Majesty with money, for entring into an actual War against the French King, His Majesty past that Bill, March 20. Thus with great vigour and animosity, to the universal joy of the whole Nation, Drums were beat up, and all preparations made for the War, and a bitter Book, intituled, Christianissi­mus christianandus, published by Allowance, against the French; but the Conspiritors at Court intended no such thing, for the then Lord Treasurer's Letter to Mr. Mon­tague [Page 11] then Ambassador in the French Court, bares date 5 daies after, viz. Mar. 25. wherein he gives him directi­ons for proposing Conditions of Peace between the King and ours with the Confederates, and such as for which (says he) the King expects to have six Millions of Livers yearly for three years—because (he adds) it will be two or three years before he can hope to find his Parliament in humour to give him supplies, after the having made any Peace with France. This I take notice of, to let you see, Sir, how different Sentiments and Designs that Pre­rogative Parliament and the great Ministers had in the transacting of State-matters. But before this Letter was discover'd, the Commons in their Address of May, 10, 78. did deeply resent the Councils the King took in these Affairs. 'For they tell his Majesty, that the re­fusing of their advice [given the 26 of May before, and reiterated the 31 of January ensuing] and dismissing the Parliament in May last, was the accasion of these ill Consequences, which have since succeeded both at home and abroad. All which have arisen from those misrepresentations (say they) of our proceedingss which have been suggested to your Majesty by some particular persons in a Clandestine way, without the Participation and Advice, as we conceive, of your Council-board, as though we had invaded upon your Majesties Prerogative of making Peace and War: Whereas we did only, &c. upon which Grounds your Majesty was induced to give us such Answers, to those two Addresses rejecting our advice, as thereby your Majesties good Subjects have been infinitely discoura­ged, and the State of your Majesties Affairs reduced to a most deplorable condition. We do therefore most humbly desire, that for the good and safety of this Kingdom and the satisfaction of your Subjects, your Majesty would Graciously be pleased to remove those Councellors, &c,

These things were done and said by this Parliament, even before the discovery of the horrid Popish Plot, and Treasons. For how vigorously they acted after that discovery in the Prosecution of Coleman, the Jesuits and Godfrey's Murderers, in the Impeachment of the Popish Lords and Danby, for High Treason, in throwing out the Popish Lords from sitting in the Lords House, and other matters, (for which they were subjected to an Honourable Death or Dissolution) I shall not need to mention, because they are fresh in every ones memory: One thing of an elder date I will call to mind, wherein the temper of that House against Popish and Arbitrary designs, does notably appear it was their rejecting of two Bills past in the House of Lords, and sent down to the Commons, The one was tituled, An Act for the more effectual Conviction and Prosecution of Popish Recusants; which they rejected with great contempt, for being ready to put the question for throwing it out, it was mov'd they should stop a while to see if any Member of their House had the face to speak for it. It appearing so evidently to them that this Bill tended directly contrary to its Title. The other Bill was to be An Act for fur­ther securing of the Protestant Religion, by Educating the Children of the Royal Family therein, and for the provi­ding for the continuance of a Protestant Clergy. In this Bill there was a Test to be presented to every future King and Queen of this Realm against Popery. A fine Project, which clearly implied, that any King or Queen in future may be a Papist, and then the security of the Protestant Religion, &c. was to lye in this Paper-Statute, Maugre all the Wit, Policy, Craft, Power, secret and open violence of all Jesuits, and Papists with the Crown of England on their sides. But the Com­mons rejecting this, did not only shew disaffection to Popish Cabal Councils, but also their judgment in seeing [Page 13] into the malice of those contrivancies, that had already over reach'd the House of Peers with the Bishops in it, and that in the great concern of Religion their proper Province.

But because the Impeachment of the Earl of Danby, is a full discovery of the sence of that House touching Court Councils and Actions, give me leave to mind you of it more particularly.

The first Article saith, That he hath Trayterously en­croacht to himself Royal Power, by treating in matters of Peace and War with Forraign Ministers, &c. against the Express Declaration of His Majesty and His Parliament, &c. For when the King at the instance of the Parlia­ment, had made provision for War, had raised an Ar­my, and money for that end. Then did he treat of peace with the French Ministers, and with the French King by the English Ambassador, as aforesaid.

The second Article, That he hath Trayterously endea­voured to subvert the antient and well establisht Form of Government in this Kingdom, and instead thereof to intro­duce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical way of Government, and the better to effect this His purpose he did design the raising of an Army, upon pretence of a War against the French King; and to continue the same as a standing Army with­in this Kingdom: And mis-imployed the money given for the disbanding of that Army to the continuance of it.

3. Article, That he Traiterously intending to hinder the Meetings of Parliaments, and to deprive His Majesty of their Council, and thereby to alter the constitution of the Government, did negotiate a Peace for the French King—for the doing whereof he endeavoured to procure a great summ of money of him; for the carrying on his Trayterous designs.

4. Article, That he is Popishly affected, and hath Tray­terously [Page 14] concealed the late horrid Popish Plot—and hath supprest the Evidence, and reproachfully discountenanc'd the Kings Witnesses, &c.

5. Article, That he hath wasted the Kings Treasure, by issuing out of His Majesties Exchequer—for unneces­sary Pensions and secret services, to the value of 231602. l. within two years, &c.

6. Article, That he hath by indirect means procured from His Majesty to himself, divers considerable Gifts and Grants of Inheritance of the antient Revenue of the Crown, even contrary to Acts of Parliament.

Here we have a great Favorite, and mighty Minister of State accused for High Treason, in respect of great Transactions of Government for a long time together: And the accused person thought not fit to stand upon his justification, and put himself upon his Tryal, but pleads his Majesties pardon, thereby implicitely confessing his guilt. And that is of the highest nature that can be, no less then subverting the antient and well establish­ed Form of Government in this Kingdom, and introdu­cing an Arbitrary and Tyranical way of Government.

But that which is more to my purpose is, the conside­ration of the persons that exhibit this charge, I have told you already who they were, such a House of Com­mons, so Loyal, so oblig'd in Interest and Affections to Prerogative, so abominating all Principles and pre­tences against it, or that may seek to intrench upon it, as never can a better on that account be expected in England; now if this House find such horrid Crimes in Court-councellors. And if the three Parliaments we have had since, have but proceeded in the same Methods which this Parliament took, and led them into, then the infe­rence from these Premises are very Obvious; as,

1. That the Court is in the Opinion of the Kings best Subjects and Friends liable to be abus'd by not only ill [Page 15] and hurtfull, but by treasonous, and destructive Coun­cels.

2. That (which is the thing I under took to shew you) not only the best, the wisest, the loyalest, but the Body of the Nation is of this mind, and will ever be so, as there is great reason to conclude.

3, That they who would perswade His Majesty and the People, that the actions of the late Parliament which are but the same, or of the very same Nature with those of this Long Parliament are irrugelar, factious, sediti­ous, injurious to the Kings Prerogative and the Govern­ment, do in plain consequence find fault with the con­stitution of the Government and legislative Power of England, by King, Lords and Commons, and desire and endeavour the subverting of it.

That the Body of the People, the loyalest, and most substantial part of the Nation is thus minded and will in reason alwaies be so, appears from the Nature of the Long Parliament and the continuance of it, and the Successors of it. For that Parliament continued about 18 years, and we have had three since in these 3 years, and all agreeing in the same Councels, in opposition to Court Councels and actings. Now if the People can never be expected in any circumstances, to be better inclin'd to chuse a Prerogative Parliament than they were at the choice of that, and that the Parliaments since have been of the same temper and judgment, and this for 21 years, 3 lives of single persons, how can it be imagin'd we should ever have a more Prerogative Parliament. And then my third Inference follows, that they who Inveigh against these Parliaments, do in true construction inveigh against the constitution of Parliaments in England, and desires the Subversion of the Government. For if all the Individuals be naught the Species must needs be naught, which subsists in these Individuals. If all [Page 16] Parliaments that have been these threescore years have been in these mens Opinion seditious and injurious to the Kings Rights, and are ever like to be so, surely there ought to be a Reformation, for injury ought not to be done to the Kings Rights, and there remains no way to remedy this but the alteration of the antient English constitution, and either to throw off Parliaments wholly, or to reduce them to the present State of the French Parliaments, that they may not dare to oppose, or not to affirm and ratifie every of the Kings Edicts, or according to the Scoth Oracle, Duke Lauderdale, That the Kings Edicts are not only equal to Laws, but ought to be obeyed in the first place.

Now I hope Sir, you cannot imagine that the Body of the People can be weary of their Old English Govern­ment, or that any but such as I spoke of at first, persons obxnoious to the Justice of Parliaments, their Friends and Favourers, Deputies, the envious and revengeful Papists, or indifferent to any Religion, or those that hate all that are not of their minds, or whose Interest it is to desire a French Government, together with some dull Spirits that think it the only way to peace and quietness, yield up all to Court-councels of what kind so ever; such as these are the Party, the Faction, the Clamorers against the late Parliaments, and in them against all English Par­liaments whatsoever.

Here, Sir, I that to have concluded, having in my Opinion said enough to shew that the present Lovers of Parliament Councels, are both the greatest part or body of the Kingdom (which appears from their choice of Representatives, for the Commons in Parliament do best speak the Voice of the people) and also the most loyal and true Lovers of His Majesty and the English Government, but I crave your leave to add some more things that occur to my mind in reference to this matter.

And you may remember (if at least you were then in Eng­land) that in the Year 75. there was a great Contest between the Lords House and the House of Commons, about Privi­ledges, insomuch that the Lords enter'd into a Debate, and put the Question, Whether they should Petition His Majesty to dissolve that Parliament and call a new one, which had been carried in the Affirmative, if they had decided it by the grea­ter number of Lords, then present at the Debate; but they but they call'd in the Aid of Voices by Proxy, and so conclu­ded it Negatively: thereupon the affirming Lords make Pro­testation against it, and give their Reasons; which Reasons and many other Objections against the continuance of that Parliament, were answered in a Pamphlet, intituled, A Packet of Advices to the Men of Shaftsbury: which tho' it was writ­ten by a mercenary Pen, yet there's no doubt (that I ever heard) of it's being written at the Instigation of the then Lord Treasurer, and contains as high praises of that Parliament as can be given; I'le instance but in one or two passages, pa. 15.

A Parliament (saith that Author) which hath had the honour to re-settle the Crown and Kingdom, after it had, by a wonderful hand of God, been but newly rescu'd out of the ruines of a late Re­bellion; a Parliament that hath done perhaps more for the preser­vation of this well-temper'd Monarchy, than many other of the best Parliaments put together ever did before: and I may boldly say, because it can be prov'd by Instances of Fact, that they have done more towards the containing of Monarchy Power, in its just bounds, than any Parliament ever did, that may be counted to have been the most popular and publick hearted. And p. 56. the ge­nerality of this House of Commons are known to be men of the best Quality and of Estates, and of the best Ʋnderstanding; they understand what the true Interest of the Crown is, and—as they have ever been, so they still are right and firm to it and the Government. This was the Earl of D. judgment of this House in those days; but when they came to Impeach him of High Treason, then the dangers of Dissolving them are quite blown away; and now it's advisable, that His Majesty [Page 18] should meet his People in frequent Parliaments. I would ask the Clamores against the late Parliaments, Whether they did not heartily approve of the Character given to that Parlia­ment in the Book cited, and of the Treasurer and other Coun­cellors Advice to continue it? If they did, how can they think that good Counsel which induced his Majesty to Dis­solve it; and that at a time when the people were never more full of Fears of the Designs of Papists against the King's Life, the Religion and Government of the Kingdom? Or was this House of Parliament all of a suddain fallen from their Loy­alty, their Understanding and firmness to the Crown and Government? There was a long Bill of Pensioners said to be found amongst them, such as the Treasurer had gratified with the Sum of 231602 l. in two years time; I presume these were not the cause of their Dissolution: It was not the Trea­surers Interest to cast of these Servants, whom he bought at of dear a rate. It was the generality of that House which he had by his Agent so much extoll'd, whom he now falls out with, and by whose Influence, judge you, they were dissolv'd! What clearer Demonstration would any man have, that the Cabal Councellors, and the most substantial and loyal people of the Kingdom were now at odds: For to be sure those Mem­bers of this Parliament which had behav'd themselves well, and according to the minds of those most loyal Freeholders, Citizens and Burgessers that chose them at first, would be in high estates with them still; and this they manifested by choosing them into the Parliaments that succeeded. Accord­ingly we find near 200 besides Court-dependants of the same individual men in the next Parliament. Those that were left out, were either Pensioners or Dependants on Cabal Coun­cellors: Those that were chosen were the ablest men of Parts and estates; whence it came to pass, that these were the lead­ing-men still in the House of Commons, and thereforet read in the very same steps, and prosecuted the Treasurer and his Adherents, the Papists and their Abbetters, just as they had done before; with only this advantage, that they were [Page 19] freed from a heavy clog of Court-pensioners, where by they were more unanimous and more uniform in their Votes and Addresses, than they could be whilst those were among them.

But we have a greater Testimony than this, that Cabal Councils and Parliament Councils were at a great distance; for His Majesty himself in his Declaration of April 20. 79. whilst this new Parliament was sitting, for the dissolution of his Old Privy Council, and the choosing a new one, tells us, That He had been induc'd to use the Advices of some few—for many years past: He is sorry for the ill success he has found in this course, and sensible of the ill posture of Affairs from that, and some unhappy Ac­cidents, which have raised great Jealousies and Dissatisfactions a­mong his good Subjects, and thereby left the Crown and Government in a Condition too weak for those Dangers we have reason to fear both at home and abroad. Hereupon he resolves for the future to take the Advice of this Privy Council and the Parliaments.

I think this is an unexceptionable Evidence of the illness of Cabal Councellors, and the great difference between them and Parliaments: And I hope men shall not incur the reproach of Disloyal, Fanatick, Whigs, Enemies to the King and Govern­ment, &c. for adhearing to, and commending the Counsels and Actions of Four Parliaments successively, whereof the 18 years Parliament has such Testimonies to their Ability and Loyalty, as they surpass in their opinion for any that has gone before them, or that in moral possibility can come af­ter them; excepting those that have already succeeded them, wherein their very selves made the most considerable and leading number: insomuch that all these Four Parliaments may in reason be reckon'd One Long Parliament, with this difference, that in the Three last they were reform'd and purg'd from many diseased and corrupt Members, which had been poyson'd by Court Empericks: Shall men, I say, be made Enemies for adhering to this House of Parliament, which represents both the Persons, Judgments and Affections of all the substantial and unbyass'd Commons of England? And that against either the same Councellors, or those that suc­ceed [Page 20] them in the same Spirit; especially at the time, when the only se­curity of the Papists and guilty Caballers, and the only hope they have of carrying on their Plots and Designs, lies in fomenting these Diffe­rences and Animosities among His Majesties Protestant Subjects, and hindring the effectual sitting of Parliaments: How many Sham-plots have they set on foot, to throw guilt upon these Protestants that are most eager in their Prosecution. How many persons have they labour'd to Suborn to charge Treason, to take away at once the Lives and Inno­cency of those whose only security lies under Divine Providence, in the safety of the King and the Government, can you think Sir, that any o­ther persons can possibly be in these endeavours, and in that party but such as I have already discribed unto you? You hear perhaps of many Addresses, which disaprove of the late Parliament-councels and acti­ons, and they are said to come from numerous Bodies of men: But I conceive you will easily grant, that the temper of their Representati­ves in Parliament doth better shew the temper of the People than those Addresses, which many times are gained by sinister Arts, and from a few that take upon them the Name of the Many.

Besides there is so much clear reason and wisdom in the House of Commons assembled in Councels, that even those persons that are chosen by the Caballers Interest, if at least they have any sparks of Ingenuity left in them, do sometimes become quite other men, and have other Sen­timents than they had before.

Have we not known some, who by this change have reap'd the Cur­ses and Dam'ems of their Electors; so that the mind of the people can­not be known till they meet together in Parliament. And I perswade my self that many of those that are now of a contrary mind, could they but be admitted to hear the Debates in Parliament, would give their Suffrage to the same things they condemn. But I seem now to have said enough in this matter, tho' very little to what might be said, and al­most all I have said is plain matter of Fact: As for my reasoning a little upon it, I refer it to your judgment whether it is not genuine and clear. But if you chance to shew my Letter to any of your Popish Conversants, they'l turn it off with a scoff, and think you must take that for an Ans­wer; but they are much mistaken in you, or else I am, who still retain that hearty affection for you, which I profest at your departure hence: and I am sure I shall never cease to love you, and hope I shall never have any cause not to Honour you for your Affection to all true Pro­testants and Lovers of English Government.

Sir,
Yours, &c. T. B.

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