CONSIDERATIONS UPON The present state of the Affairs of this KINGDOME. In relation to the three severall Petitions which have lately been in agitation in the Honourable City of LONDON.

AND A Project for a fourth Petition, tending to a speedy ACCOMMODATION of the present unhappy Dif­ferences between His MAIESTY and the PARLIAMENT.

Written upon the perusing of the speciall PASSAGES of the two Weeks, from the 29 of November, to the 13 of December, 1642. And Dedicated to the Lord Maior and Aldermen of the said City.

By a Country-man, a Well-willer of the City, and a Lover of TRUTH and PEACE.

PHILIP. 4.5.

Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

JOB 13.7.

Will ye speak wickedly for God, and talk deceitfully for him?

2 COR. 13.11.

Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one minde, live in Peace, and the God of Love and of Peace shall be with you.

London, Printed Anno 1642.

HE hath not the heart of an English-man, or of a Christian in his brest, whose bowells do not rowl within him, when he consi­dereth the miserable Distractions of this divided Kingdom, threatning a Germane desolation thereof, and of the Church of God therein. I have therefore much won­dered to see so many religious men, and good Patriots, more ready to bring Fuell and Breath to the kindling and encreasing, then tears to the quenching, or hands to the putting out of that fire, which in a short time, hath al­ready seized on all the Parts of the Kingdom, and if it burn a while after the rate it hath begun, is like soon to make us the scorn, as we have long been the envy of all our Neighbours. But I was altogether astonished to finde the sheet of the speci­all Passages of the other week, to begin with these words; This Week hath produced matters much conducing to the Peace and Safety of the Kingdom; A Petition against an Accomodation (unlesse the King come to the Parliament) from divers well-affected Citizens of LONDON. And yet I would not be thought to differ from men so well-affected in this judgement, That the Kings return to that his great, and most faithfull Counsell were not the most sure and speedy way to recover a right understanding between His Majestie and His Parliament; and that happy­nesse of a well established Peace throughout the whole King­dom, which no man without breach of Charity, can suspect His Majesty doth not most sincerely affect, and so much more then any one of His Subjects, as His interest therein is grea­ter. But because I conceive it as hard to induce His Majesty thereunto, as to perswade the Parliament to adjourn to ano­ther place, till those vehement, though groundlesse Jealousies [Page 4] which either of them hath of each other, be extinguished, or at least allayed: I can therefore by no means approve of the counsell for good, being, as I doubt, impracticable, though I believe as much as another of the good intentions of the per­sons that gave it. For if there be cause to fear, That the King will never be drawn to agree to any reasonable tearms of Ac­commodation, while His Majesty is imprisoned by the Ca­valiers, and encircled by those wicked Counsellors, who by this Writer are presumed to be about him, and to have power to seduce Him: Can it be reasonably thought, That the Ca­valiers will be lesse vigilant to keep His Majesty from making an escape, Or those Counsellors to charm Him from stirring from them, though it be for the Peace of the Kingdom, till their own be first made with the Parliament? But the Petitio­ners advice is, To have those Cavaliers and Councellors pur­sued, and His Majesty freed from them by that means; per­haps this may prove a thing easier to say then to do, as expe­rience hath shewed. Let us not so soon forget what we have lately learned, at our great charge. His Majesty had erected His Standard at Nottingham, to which there was no such mighty nor hasty confluence as was expected. The Cavaliers (which tearm I would not consent to abuse, if it were not at the present impossible to reduce it to the right use again) had attempted Warwick and Coventry, and failed in both. They had marched against the Forces of the Parliament neer South­am, in no very unequall strength, though the numbers were somewhat unequall, and had fallen off in a disorderly Re­treat, without striking stroke. This was likely to give so much discouragement to the Kings Party (not too forward to shew it self before) that it was thought a matter of much difficulty, if not impossibility, for His Majesty to raise His Forces, then very weak, to a compleat Army, in time to op­pose that of the Parliament, then ready to march, and a­bundantly provided of all necessaries for the War. Hereup­on [Page 5] the Parliament rejected a reiterated Offer of His Majesties to treat, and with high Wisedom, as then in hope the King might have been necessitated to have abandoned certain De­linquents, or they the Kingdom, besides the weighty Reasons expressed in their Answers. But whether by Gods blessing upon the sincerity of His Majesties Protestation, most so­lemnly renewed neer Wellington, with a necessary Exception thereunto; Or by the Industry and courage of some persons active enough before, but then quickned by their desperate Condition; Or by what other more secret providence or means I know not; sure I am, That in a very short space of time, the Scale was so far turned, even beyond the expectation of Cavaliers and Counsellors, as may be shewed under their hands, that His Majesties Army gave Battell to that of the Parliament, fought it so well, that it is not yet agreed who had the Victory. But if the Cavaliers were defeated, they marched within seven miles of the Parliament after their Defeat, there stood in Battell again, and thence made one of the most reso­lute, if not the most souldierly Retreats hath been heard of in our Age; so improsperous is the excesse of confidence in the successe of War, as well as of Duells: and let us therefore be­ware of stumbling again at that stone, as the Petitioners might have observed the Parliament to be. Why His Majesty hath no Money; and without the strength of that sinew of War, His Cavaliers, as gallant as they are, can have but paralitique Arms. A vain conceit, That silver and gold should not soon be brought under the power of Brasse and Iron; Or that he that is grown well-nigh Master of the Field, should not in humane reason soon become Master of this whole Kingdom for want of Money or Ammunition: I forbear to say by what means, lest I should be thought to have a minde to give crafty coun­sell to the wicked Counsellors, of which they have no need, nor I any disposition, if I had ability, to help them. And [Page 6] besides, may it not be feared, That the Parliament may ere long have no superfluity of that all-working Engine, when the Petitioners, who have born the greatest part of the charge of the Warre, and whose Purses have been so open hither­to, upon the security of the publike Faith onely, are now fallen so much from their former speed, that the Parliament hath found it necessary to promise a speedy re-embursement of the Monies now desired to be advanced, out of the first that shall come in upon the Ordinance of Assessement; of which, what the effect will be, upon that generation of men that were not forward to set up their rest upon this War, when the Game was much fairer then now it is, peradventure there may be some little question. O but if we should chance to need any help, the Petitioners have been assured it is ready to come from Forraign parts: For the Penner of the Passages had told them, before he told us, in the beginning of his second half Sheet, That the States of Holland and Zealand, and the States generall, have unanimously agreed on a Declaration to be sent into England, desiring to joyn with this Kingdom in mutuall assistance each of other, and with Scotland likewise. Then which (understanding it (as this Writer doth) of those States, so joyning with the Parliament, standing in the tearms it doth with the King) I had rather see any tolerable Accommodati­on of the differences between the Parliament and His Majesty; and yet I wish His Majesty, by advice of His Parliament, were in such a League with those States, as much as any other man doth, that hath an eye therein to the publike Interest onely. So much is the master of the Passages above the reach of my understanding in Affairs of State, if he have not over-reached his own, when he conceived of this Production of this Week, as of a thing much conducing to the Peace and Safety of this King­dom: of which stretches (the Issue of partiality and a good wit) I presume every intelligent Reader hath observed many [Page 7] in his former weekly Accounts, which is all I know of him, not having the least imagination who the man is. But the best is, that he hath been abused by his Intelligencer on the other side, as well in the News, as in the goodnes of it; which I would not so confidently affirm, having my self no Corre­spondent there, if it were a thing unknown to any man that knoweth the Fundamentall Constitution of that State, and the present temper thereof, That an unanimous concurrence in any matter of this nature among any of those States, against the minde of the Prince of Orange, is a thing only not impossible. And howsoever the wisedom of the Parliament of England is too great to be caught, with the Bait of such an Overture, which under the shew of helping us to bear our burthens, would shuffile an incomparable heavier of their own upon our shoulders, of which we should quickly come to bear more then our part. I will therefore here pray the Petitioners to beware of believing all they reade in Print hereafter; and so I leave them, I hope not ill satisfied with me, when I have here publikely professed my sincere concurrence with them in the main matter of the chief of their former Petitions, though I cannot subscribe to this.

The unadvisednesse of this Petition, and it may be the seem­ing inequality, between being assessed and forced to pay Monies in a great proportion, towards the maintenance of this War, without any hope of re-payment (for ought can be dis­cerned by the Ordinance) and the Loan of like, or it may be lesse sums, upon engagement of the publike Faith for re-emburse­ment with Interest, seemeth to have stirred up a great multi­tude of dis-affected persons (as they are stiled by the Contri­ver of the Passages) to subscribe a Petition for Peace in more absolute tearms then it may be was altogether fit, yet may bet­ter be excused, then the petitioning against Peace in the most complying Language can be devised.

[Page 8]And the direct contradiction of these two exorbitant Peti­tions, and the high Contestation of the Petitioners about them, seemeth to have moved the wise Senate, and Common-Counsell of the City to enter into a deliberation about the fra­ming of of a third (mentioned in the Passages of this last week) which I would not be thought to have the presumption to censure further then this, That (knowing what I know) I do much doubt, the infusion of the grievances annexed thereunto, may make it too strong a Medicine for our disease, considering his stomack from which it must receive all the operation it can have towards our cure.

The News of these three divers Petitions all on foot at the same time, in the same City, hath stirred thoughts in me of the danger of a City divided in it self, and of another of greater consequence, particularly and inseparably involved in the division of the City of London, that being such an Epi­tome of the whole Kingdom of England, That out of the Hi­story of what is doing there, whether good or evill, a wise man may ever write an infallible Prophesie of what will ere long be in agitation in the whole Land. And the considera­tion of the aforesaid dangers, joyned to the hope I have, That in contemplation of them, the City will think it no presum­ption in us good people of the poor plundered Country, in such an over-grown storm as this, to desire to be allowed an Oar in the rowing of that Boat to shore, in which we, and all that we have, are imbarked, as well as they, have raised up my spirits to make an Essay whether it may be possible to project such a way, tending to the bringing of the King and Parlia­ment together again, as may be sutable to the severall Intenti­ons of the respective Petitioners of the City; and so by Gods blessing, a means to reduce them, and by them, the whole Bo­dy of the Kingdome to that Unity, which if I might but live to see, I should then cheerfully sing my Nunc dimittis. [Page 9] And because experience hath taught me, that the rarity and greatnesse of affaires and accidents of State, doth I know not how dazle the eyes of men unaccustomed, and unacquainted with the judging and handling of them, and that the best way to dispell this mist, is to looke on such things and courses which are usuall in common life, and by them to take the right pro­portions, and measure, and way of managing of the other lesse knowne, my first indeavours shall be to finde out such a para­lell for that businesse now in hand. And as I know no compa­rison doth run better, or more fit then that of a man and his wife with the King and his Parliament, so I would our present di­stempers were not too like the condition of a Woman and her Husband first parted upon Jealousy, and other discontents be­tweene them, and then not knowing how with credit to come together againe, when the great encrease of both their discom­forts, occasioned by their separation, hath sufficiently disposed them unto it. For in this case, which is of too common know­ledge if through the working of their owne good nature, of the solicitation of others, they shall take a resolution to make haste to meet againe at one great stop by passing over all that hath passed betweene them in silence, (which seemeth to be the way on which the opposite Petitioners are yet agreed) it is a hun­dred to one, that once within a moneth, or a yeare or two, some new falling out upon old reckonings will happen betweene them, and then this second breach will be harder to make up then the former. On the otherside, if they shall resolve to live asunder till satisfaction shall be given for every cause of distaste, and till every ground of difference between them shall be fully reconciled, by the going of friends, or sending of Papers between them (which is the way of the third Petition) the adventure is no lesse, that pick thanke tale-bearers, and such other persons, as either are gainers by their being at odds, or in danger by their reconcilement, will give so many cunning interruptions to the [Page 10] length of such a Negotiation, that one of their lives will be ended before the Treaty be concluded; in this case therefore it hath e­ver beene found best to goe a middle way by compounding all the principall grounds of their separation before their returne into the same house, and to leave the rest to be agreed betweene themselves, which after they have had a new taste of the con­tentment of living as they ought together, will easily be done in that field where all quarrells betweene Husband and Wife should be fought out. In imitation of which proceeding appro­ved by many experiments, let us first enquire after the Originall grounds of the present wide differences betweene the King and his Parliament, and then, after the most probable expedients, to agree them. And if I be not mistaken, this great inundation, which in a short time hath almost overwhelmed the whole Kingdome, hath arisen from theree so small springs, that a man, who hath not observed the times, and places, at wch other rivers and torrents fell into their channells, would be astonished to behold the height of the deluge they are now risen to. They were the mis-understanding between his Majesty and the Parli­ament touching the perpetuation, and freedome thereof, and about the Protection of reputed delinquents on the one side and on the other. And in the present conjuncture of affayres, I can imagine no possible meanes of overcoming these three Funda­mentall and mother poynts of difference, before the whole Kingdom be over-run with plundering, but by passing three new Acts of Parliament: The first of them may be drawne up two wayes, either in the forme of a generall Amnestie from the be­ginning of the world without any exception of any persons. Or else if this motion shall be rejected on both sides (as it may be it will) then to insert a limitation of time from which the Am­nestie shall begin, and to which it shall extend, as to certaine crimes to be particularly specified, and excepted in the Act, as it useth to be done in generall pardons, and the tryall of persons [Page 11] that may happen to be charged with them, to bee therein also particularly referred to such Judges to whom by Law it doth appertain, which in appearance can bee no new, nor moot case. For in the present equality of Forces; I despaire of agreement, if any persons shall be excepted by name.

The second is an act for the securing of the Parliament, and all the Members thereof, as wel against all tumultuary Assem­blies of the people, as from all attempts by way of force, though under pretence of authority from the King. In which act it must bee remembred to bee particularly specified, that the person of the King, for the time being is, and ever shall be taken as a part of the Parliament, as indeed it ought to be taken in, whensoever the Parliament is spoken of as an entire body, which must have a head, though as the head and body may be contradistinguished at other times, so may the King and Parliament be also by the same reason.

The third is an act for the assurance of an Annuall Parlia­ment in the same manner that a Trienniall is now assured, but with two additions: One for the security of the Members of both Houses to bee conducted to the place appointed for the holding of the Parliament, and for their safe remaining thereby the Sherifes of the respective Counties through which they are to passe, and in which the Parliament shall happen to be kept, or by such other Officers as may be thought more fit, which un­der correction was an omission in the act for the Trienniall Par­liament. And another, as well for the prevention of the unsea­sonable dissolution of Parliaments, without the consent of both Houses, as for the assurance of the dissolution of every Parlia­ment within the space of one yeare, in which there may be two Sessions thereof at such times, and of such length as shall be judged most convenient. I do expect, that this overture should be abominated by some on both sides, and that is an argument to me, that it is the most equitable proposition can be made for the agreeing of this supreme point of difference to the benefit [Page 12] of His Majesty, of the Parliament, and people of this King­dome, as will be found upon a just calculation of the convenien­cies thereof in relation to the inconveniences of present consti­tutions. For as all the incommodities which the King & King­dome have felt by the too long intermission, and abrupt break­ing up of Parliaments, will be prevented by this order for the frequency, and continuance of them; so the determining of them at a certain time, and the making of two Sessions in each of them, may by Gods blessing prove an effectuall Antidote against those high distempers, of which the King, and Parlia­ment, and Kingdome doe all complain now, whosoever hath been in the fault, or whatsoever hath been the true cause of them. And I cannot conceive why His Majesties voluntary yeel­ding to this abridgement of the Right of the Crown, in the point of dissolving of Parliaments, for the good of his people, should be esteemed more dishonourable to him, then it was to his most famous Progenitors, to assent to severall Laws for the yearly calling of Parliaments, and other Regulatings of their power for the same reason.

After the passing of these three Acts to the purpose afore­said, I doe with all humble submission propound to considera­tion, Whether His Majesty and the Parliament may not with Honour securely meet to establish the purity of Religion, and of the true Worship of God, and right Government of his Church in such a manner as may be most for his glory, and the peace of his people: To settle the Rights of the Crown, the Priviledges of Parliament, the Freedome of Elections thereun­to, and of proceeding therein, and all other the Liberties of the Subject in such a manner, that there may never hereafter be any more such mistakings about them, as we groan under at present. And at the same time hand in hand to settle such a constant, Royall Revenue upon the Crown, as hath been often promised by this Parliament, and to deliberate, and resolve upon the most easie, ready, and equall way to raise such summes of money up­on emergent occasions as may be for the security of all the pro­fessors [Page 13] of the Protestant Religion against all Antichristian Power, &c. Which are matters of such difficultie, and length, that if the Armies now on foot shall be maintained till they bee all agreed by Treaty, the whole Kingdome is in danger of being ruined before it be concluded.

You have the raving thoughts of a simple Countryman wed­ded to a solitaty life in a desert, which he hath long and often there revolved in his own minde, and at length conferred them with divers wiser men, whose having approved of them upon their second thoughts, more then at the first, hath much confir­med him that he is in the right, and that encouraged him to take the present occasion, humbly to recommend them to the serious, and mature consideration of the Honourable City of London, which hath hitherto ever had the honour to settle the troubles of this Kingdome on that side to which it hath enclined; but he is very jealous it may be in danger to lose now, unlesse it be re­duced to unity in it selfe. And if peradventure any part of that he hath written should have the happinesse to receive such ap­probation of so wise a Senate, that they should think of convey­ing it higher, he doth then further humbly propound, Whether the Petitioning for a day of most solemne Fast to bee specially designed for the seeking of Gods face in the behalf of this King­dome (which it hath been strange to him we have hitherto been content to do, by the voluntary devotion of private men upon the Monthly Fasts, without any publique direction from King, Church or State, as if this Kingdome were an Appendixe of Ireland, and not that of England) and a Declaration that the monthly Fast is also joyntly intended to be kept for the purpose any other request may be made for the procuring of a speedy and aforesaid, may not bee a fit addition to lasting peace.

For conclusion, since it is the part of wise men, in every busi­nesse of great concernment, to fore cast the contrary events may fall out, and the respective issues of them: I shall onely humbly beseech my Lord Major, and the sage Court of Aldermen, first [Page 14] to anticipate in their thoughts upon the one hand, that it is not more impossible the Kings Forces should ere long obtain the re­mainder of those advantages towards the severall Seas, and upon the severall Rivers of this Kingdome, or those other within the Land, which it is apparent they aime at, then it was for them a while since, to prevaile in any of those they have already gotten; and then to ask themselves what the consequence is like to be, if the body of the City or Country should grow weary of this war before such a peace be made, as is desired by all good men, and in reason may be attained while the affairs stand yet in ballance by their meanes, who by bearing the greatest purse in this State, may ever have the lowdest voyce in all Counsels to which they shall be admitted. And then upon the other hand to figure to themselves by strength of imagination, That the Forces of the Parliament have freed the King from the restraint he is suppo­sed to be in now, and to have him so freed in their power, and then to put this question to themselves, What use they can make of this Victory, if his Majesty (who by all that know him, is known to be the most intelligent, and most resolved King this day living in the whole Christian world) should by the power of his own understanding continue as fixed in his resolution, not to make any greater or other alteration in Legibus Angliae, concer­ning Church or State, then hee hath already declared himselfe willing to do in his severall Answers and Declarations set forth before, and since the beginning of these troubles, and particular­ly in His Majesties Answer to the Nineteen Propositions, when he was environed with Evill Counsellors, and Cavalliers; And yet more particularly to put these two questions to themselves, How His Majesty imagined to bee in the hands of the Parlia­ments Forces, shall bee gotten to London against his will: And whether it bee for the good of their City, that His Majesty should for ever make his residence other where, especially if he should do it upon any alienation of his affection from the Inha­bitants thereof, or any sort of them. After the debating of which [Page 15] matters within themselves, I shall onely take the boldnesse to exhort them to carry themselves like wise men; which short word is enough to the wise.

And yet I would not have the Counsellors or Cavaliers grow insolent by running away too fast in their phancies with any of the things I have mentioned. For if the designe or hope of any of them be at last to introduce an Arbitrary Government, by dissolving this Parliament by force, without the consent of the Houses, which is Treason by the knowne Law of the Land, and a Treason infinitely aggravated by the many publicke, and I doubt not most sincere Protestations of his Majesty made to the contrary, they may read their destiny in the Lord Straffords fortune. Or if there be any of them, who perchance having as much care as another to preserve the temporall Liberties of the Subject intire, may yet have a mischievous machination in his head either to re-introduce a great part of the doctrine and pra­ctice of Popery into this Church under the name of the Prote­stant profession: or but to hinder such a further Reformation as is yet necessary for the setting up of the power of Godlinesse in the hearts of the people of this Land and of the Kingdome anne­xed therunto, which is to undermine his Throne who is King of kings, and Lord of lords: let them remember what King David a truly brave Cavalier sung to his Harpe in the first Psalm of his making, He that fitteth in Heaven shall laugh them to scorne, the Lord shall have them in derision! and that which Solomon his son, the wisest Counsellor that ever was on earth, hath left us upon record in his Proverbs, There is no wisdome, nor understanding, nor councell against the Lord. The Horse is prepared against the day of battaile; but safety is of the Lord.

My humble advise therefore to them shall be, that while it is yet time they would lay the prudent advise of the wise Gamaliel to heart. And now I say unto you, Refraine from these men, and let them alone. For if this Counsell or this worke be of men, it will come to naught; but if it be of God, yee cannot overthrow it, least happily yee be found even to fight against God.


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