AN ARGUMENT Shewing, That a Standing Army, With Consent of PARLIAMENT, Is not Inconsistent with a Free Government, &c.

2 Chron. 9. 25. And King Solomon had four thousand Stalls for Horses and Chariots, and twelve thousand Horsemen; whom he bestowed in the Chariot-Cities, and with the King at Jerusalem.

LONDON: Printed for E. Whitlock near Stationers. 1698.


THE Present Pen and Ink War rais'd against a Standing Army, has more ill Consequences in it, than are at first Sight to be Discern'd. The Pretence is specious, and the cry of Liber­ty is very pleasing; but the Principle is Mortally Con­tagious and Destructive of the Essential Safety of the Kingdom; Liberty and Property, are the Glorious Attri­butes of the English Nation; and the dearer they are to us, the less Danger we are in of Loosing them; but I cou'd never yet see it prov'd, that the danger of loo­sing them by a small Army was such as we shou'd expose our selves to all the World for it. Some Peo­ple talk so big of our own Strength, that they think England able to Defend it self against all the World. I presume such talk without Book; I think the prudentest Course is to prevent the Trial, and that is only to hold the Ballance of Europe as the King now does; and if there be a War to keep it abroad. How these Gentlemen will do that with a Mi­litia, I shou'd be glad to see Proposed; 'tis not the King of England alone, but the Sword of England in the Hand of the King, that gives Laws of Peace and War now to Europe; And those who would thus write the [Page] Sword out of his Hand in time of Peace, bid the fairest of any Men in the World to renew the War.

The Arguments against an Army have been strong­ly urg'd; and the Authors with an unusual Assurance, Boast already of their Conquest, tho' their Armour is not yet put off. I think their Triumph goes be­fore their Victory; and if Books and Writing will not, God be thanked the Parliament will Confute them, by taking care to maintain such Forces, and no more, as they think needful for our safety abroad, without danger at home, and leaving it to time to make it ap­pear, that such an Army, with Consent of Parliament, is not inconsistent with a Free Government, &c.

An ARGUMENT, shewing, that a Standing Army, with Consent of Par­liament, is not Inconsistent with a Free Government, &c.

IN the Great Debates about a Standing Army; and in all the Arguments us'd on one side and 'tother, in the Case it seems to me, that both Par­ties are Guilty of running into the Extreams of the Controversie.

Some have taken up such terrible Notions of an Ar­my, that take it how you will, call it what you will; be it Rais'd, Paid or Commanded by whom you will, and let the Circumstances be alter'd never so much, the Term is synonimous, an Army is an Army; and if they don't Enslave us, the Thanks is not to our good Conduct; for so many Soldiers, so many Masters: They may do it if they will; and if they do not do it now, they may do it in another Reign, when a King shall arise who knows not Ioseph, and therefore the Risque is not to be run by any means: From hence they draw the Consequence, That a Standing Army is In­consistent with a Free Government, &c. which is the Title to the Argument.

This we find back'd by a Discourse of Militia's, and by a Second part of the Argument, &c. and all these Three, which seem to me to be wrote be the same [Page 2] Hand, agree in this Point in General▪ That the War being at an end, no Forces at all are to be kept in Pay, no Men to be Maintained whose Profession is bearing Arms, whose Commission is to Kill and Slay, as he has it in the Second Part; but they must be Dis­mist, as Men for whom there is no more Occasion a­gainst an Enemy, and are dangerous to be kept up, least they find Occasion against our selves.

The Advocates for the Necessity of a Standing Army, seem to make light of all these Fears and Jealousies; and Plead the Circumstances of the Kingdom, with Rela­tion to our Leagues and Confederacys abroad, the Strength of our Neighbours, a Pretender to the Crown in Be­ing, the Uncertainties of Leagues, and the like, as Arguments to prove an Army necessary. I must own these are no Arguments any longer than those Circum­stances continue, and therefore can amount to no more than to argue the necessity of an Army for a time, which time none of them has ventured to Assign, nor to say how, being once Establish'd, we shall be sure to be rid of them, in case a new King shou'd succeed before the time be expir'd, who may not value our Liberty at the rate his present Majesty has done.

I desire calmly to consider both these Extreams, and if it be possible, to find out the safe Medium which may please us all.

If there be any Person who has an ill Design in push­ing thus against the Soldery. I am not to expect, that less than a Disbanding the whole Army will satis­fie him; but such who have no other End than preser­ving our Liberties entire, and leaving them so to Po­sterity, will be satisfied with what they know is suffici­ent to that End; for he who is not content with [Page 3] what will fully answer the End he proposes, has some other End than that which he proposes. I make no Reflections upon any Party, but I propose to direct this Discourse to the Honest well meaning English▪ Freeholder, who has a share in the Terra firma, and therefore is concern'd to preserve Freedom to the In­habitant that loves his Liberty better than his Life, and won't sell it for Money; and this is the Man who has the most reason to fear a Standing Army, for he has something to loose; as he is most concern'd for the the Safety of a Ship, who has a Cargo on her Bo­tom.

This Man is the hardest to be made believe that he cannot be safe without an Army, because he finds he is not easie with one. To this Man all the sad Instances of the Slavery of Nations, by Standing Armies, stand as so many Buoys to warn him of the Rocks which o­ther Free Nations have split upon; and therefore 'tis to this Man we are to speak.

And in order to state the Case right, we are to distin­guish first between England formerly, and England now; between a Standing Army able to enslave the Nation, and a certain Body of Forces enough to make us safe.

England now is in sundry Circumstances, different from England formerly, with respect to the Manner of Fighting, the Circumstances of our Neighbours, and of our Selves; and there are some Reasons why a Militia are not, and perhaps I might make it out cannot be made fit for the Uses of the present Wars. In the An­cient Times of England's Power, we were for many years the Invaders of our Neighbours, and quite out of fear of Invasions at home; but before we arriv'd to that Magnitude in the World, 'tis to be observed we [Page 4] were hardly ever invaded, but we were conquer'd, William the Conqueror was the last; and if the Spa­niard did not do the same, 'twas because God set the Elements in Battel array against them, and they were prevented bringing over the Prince of Parma's Army; which if they had done, 'twould have gone very hard with us; but we owe it wholly to Providence.

I believe it may be said, that from that Time to this Day, the Kingdom has never been without some Stand­ing Troops of Souldiers entertain'd in pay, and al­ways either kept at Home or employ'd Abroad; and yet no evil Consequence follow'd, nor do I meet with any Votes of the Parliament against them as Grievan­ces, or Motions made to Disband them, till the Days of King Charles the First. Queen Elizabeth, tho' she had no Guard du Corps, yet she had her Guards du Ter­res. She had even to her last hour several Armies, I may call them, in Pay among Forreign States and Princes, which upon any visible Occasion were ready to be call'd Home. King Iames the First had the same in Holland, in the Service of Gustavus Adolphus King of Sweden, and in the Unfortunate Service of the King of Bohemia; and that Scotch Regiment, known by the name of Douglass's Regiment, have been, (they say) a Regiment Two hundred and fifty Years. King Charles the First had the same in the several Expeditions for the Relief of Rochel, and that fatal Descent upon the Isle of Rhe, and in his Expeditions into Scotland; and they would do well to reconcile their Discourse to it self, who say in one place, If King Charles had had Five thousand Men, the Nation had never struct one stroak for their Liberties; and in another, That the Parliament were like to have been petitioned out of doors by an Army a hundred and fifty Miles off, tho there was a [Page 5] Scotch Army at the Heels of them: for to me it ap­pears that King Charles the First had an Army then, and would have kept it, but that he had not the Purse to pay them, of which more may be said hereaf­ter.

But England now stands in another Posture, our Peace at Home seems secure, and I believe it is so▪ but to maintain our Peace abroad, 'tis necessary to enter into Leagues and Confederacies: Here is one Neighbour grown too great for all the rest; as they are single States or Kingdoms, and therefore to mate him, several must joyn for mutual Assistance, according to the Scotch Law of Duelling, that if one can't beat you ten shall. These Alliances are under certain Sti­pulations and Agreements, with what Strength and in what Places, to aid and assist one another; and to per­form these Stipulations, something of Force must be at hand if occasion require. That these Confederacies are of absolute and indispensible necessity, to preserve the Peace of a weaker against a stronger Prince, past Experience has taught us too plainly to need an Argu­ment.

There is another constant Maxim of the present State of the War; and that is, carry the War into your Enemies Country, and always keep it out of your own. This is an Article has been very much opposed 'tis true; and some, who knew no better, would talk much of the fruitless Expence of a War abroad; as if it was not worth while to defend your Confederates Coun­try, to make it a Barrier to your own. This is too weak an Argument also to need any trouble about; but this again makes it absolutely necessary to have al­ways some Troops ready to send to the assistance of those Confederates if they are invaded. Thus at the [Page 6] Peace of Nimeguen, six Regiments were left in Hol­land, to continue there in time of Peace, to be ready in case of a Rupture. To say, that instead of this we will raise them for their assistance when wanted, would be something, if this potent Neighbour, were not the French King, whose Velocity of Motion the Dutch well remember in 1672. But then, say they, we may send our Militia. First, The King can't command them to go; and Secondly, if he could, no body wou'd ac­cept them; and if they would go, and would be ac­cepted of, they would be good for nothing: Is we have no Forces to assist a Confederate, who will value our Friendship, or assist us if we wanted it? To say we are Self-dependent, and shall never need the Assistance of our Neighbour, is to say what we are not sure of, and this is certain it is as needful to maintain the Re­putation of England in the Esteem of our Neighbours, as 'tis to defend our Coasts in case of an Invasion; for keep up the Reputation of our Power, and we shall never be Invaded.

If our Defence from Insurrections or Invasions, were the only necessary part of a future War, I shou'd be the readier to grant the Point, and to think our Mi­litia might be made useful; but our business is Princi­piis Obsta, to beat the Enemy before he comes to our own door. Our Business in case of a Rupture, is to aid our Confederate Princes, that they may be able to stand between us and Danger: Our Business is to pre­serve Flanders, to Garrison the Frontier Towns, and be in the Field in Conjunction with the Confederate Ar­mies: This is the way to prevent Invasions, and De­scents: And when they can tell us that our Militia is proper for this work, then we will say something to it.

[Page 7]I'll suppose for once what I hope may never fall out, That a Rupture of this Peace shou'd happen, and the French, according to Custom, break suddenly into Flanders, and over-run it, and after that Holland, what Condition wou'd such a Neighbourhood of such a Prince, reduce us to? If it be answer'd again, Soldiers may be raised to assist them. I answer, as before, let those who say so, read the History of the French King's Irruption into Holland in the year 1672. where he con­quer'd Sixty strong fortified Towns in six Weeks time: And tell me what it will be to the purpose to raise Men, to fight an Enemy after the Conquest is made?

'Twill not be amiss to observe here that the Repu­tation and Influence the English Nation has had abroad among the Princes of Christendom, has been always more or less according as the Power of the Prince, to aid and assist, or to injure and offend, was Esteem'd. Thus Queen Rlizabeth carried her Reputation abroad by the Courage of her English Souldiers and Seamen; and on the contrary, what a ridiculous Figure did King Iames, with his Beati Pacifici, make in all the Courts of Christendom? How did the Spaniard and the Empe­ror banter and buffoon him? How was his Ambassador asham'd to treat for him, while Count Colocedo told Count Mansfield, That his New Master (meaning King Iames) knew neither how to make Peace or War? King Charles the First far'd much in the same manner: And how was it altered in the Case of Oliver?

Tho' his Government did a Tyrant resemble,
He made England Great, and her Enemies tremble.
Dialogue of the Houses.

And what is it places the present King at the Helm of the [Page 8] Confederacies? Why do they commit▪ their Armies to his Charge, and appoint the Congress of their Plenipoten­tiaries at his Court? Why do Distressed Princes seek his Mediation, as the Dukes of Holstien, Savoy, and the like? Why did the Emperor and the King of Spain leave the whole Management of the Peace to him? 'Tis all the Reputation of his Conduct and the English Valour under him; and 'tis absolutely necessary to sup­port this Character which England now bears in the World, for the great Advantages which may and will be made from it; and this Character can never Live, nor these Allyances be supported with no Force at Hand to perform the Conditions.

These are some Reasons why a Force is necessary, but the Question is, What Force? For I Grant, it does not follow from hence, that a great Army must be kept on Foot in time of Peace, as the Author of the Second Part of the Argument says is pleaded for.

Since then no Army, and a great Army, are Ex­treams equally dangerous, the one to our Liberty at Home, and the other to our Reputation Abroad, and the Safety of our Confederates; it remains to In­quire what Medium is to be found out; or in plain Eng­lish, what Army may, with Safety to our Liberties, be Maintained in England, or what Means may be found out to make such an Army serviceable for the Defence of us and our Allies, and yet not dangerous to our Con­stitution.

That any Army at all can be Safe, the Argument de­nies, but that cannot be made out; a Thousand Men is an Army as much as 100000; as the Spanish Arma­do is call'd, An Armado, tho' they seldom fit out above Four Men of War; and on this Account I must crave [Page 9] leave to say, I do Confute the Assertion in the Title of the Argument, that a Standing Army is Inconsistent with a Free Government, and I shall further do it by the Authority of Parliament.

In the Claim of Right, presented to the present King▪ and which he Swore to observe, as the Pacta Conventa of the Kingdom, it is declar'd, in hac verba, That the Rai­sing or Keeping a Standing Army within the Kingdom in time of Peace, unless it be by Consent of Parliament, is against Law.

This plainly lays the whole stress of the thing, not against the thing it self, A Standing Army, nor against the Season, in time of Peace, but against the Circum­stance, Consent of Parliament; and I think nothing is more Rational than to Conclude from thence, that a Standing Army in time of Peace, with Consent of Parliament, is not against Law, and I may go on, nor is not Inconsistent with a Free Government, nor Destru­ctive of the English Monarchy.

There are Two Distinctions necessary therefore in the present Debate, to bring the Question to a narrow Compass.

First, I distinguish between a Great Army and a small Army. And

Secondly,I distinguish between an Army kept on Foot without Consent of Parliament, and an Army with Consent of Parliament.

And whereas we are told, an Army of Soldiers is an Army of Masters, and the Consent of Parliament don't alter it, but they may turn them out of doors who Rais'd them, as they did the Long Parliament. The [Page 10] First distinction answers that; for if a great Army may do it, a small Army can't; and then the Second Distin­ction regulates the First. For it cannot be supposed, but the Parliament when they give that Consent which can only make an Army Lawful, will not Consent to a larger Army then they can so Master, as that the Li­berties or People of England, shall never be in danger from them.

No Man will say this cannot be, because the Number may be supposed as small as you please; but to avoid the Sophistry of an Argument, I'll suppose the very Troops which we see the Parliament have not Voted to be Disbanded; that is, those which were on Foot be­fore the Year 1680. No Man will deny them to be a Standing Army, and yet sure no Man will imagine any danger to our Liberties from them.

We are ask'd, if you establish an Army, and a Reve­nue to pay them, How shall we be sure they will not con­tinue themselves? But will any Man ask that Questi­on of such an Army as this? Can Six Thousand Men tell the Nation they won't Disband, but will continue themselves, and then Raise Money to do it? Can they Exact it by Military Execution? If they can, our Militia must be very despicable. The keeping such a Remnant of an Army does not hinder but the Militia may be made as useful as you please; and the more useful you make it, the less danger from this Army: And however it may have been the Business of our Kings to make the Militia as useless as they could, the present King never shew'd any Tokens of such a Design. Nor is it more than will be needful, for 6000 Men by them­selves won't do, if the Invasion we speak of should ever be attempted. What has been said of the Appearance of the People on the Purbeck fancied Invasion, was very [Page 11] true; but I must say, had it been a true One of Forty Thousand Regular Troops, all that Appearance cou'd have done nothing, but have drove the Country in order to starve them, and then have run away: I am apt enough to grant what has been said of the Impracti­cableness of any Invasion upon us, while we are Ma­sters at Sea; but I am sure the Defence of England's Peace, lies in making War in Flanders. Queen Eliza­beth found it so, her way to beat the Spaniards, was by helping the Dutch to do it. And she as much Defend­ed England in aiding Prince Maurice, to win the Great Battel of Newport, as she did in Defeating their Invin­cible Armado. Oliver Cromwel took the same Course; for he no sooner declared Wat against Spain, but he Em­bark'd his Army for Flanders: The late King Charles did the same against the French, when after the Peace of Nimeguen, Six Regiments of English and Scots were al­ways left in the Service of the Dutch, and the present War is a further Testimony: For where has it been Fought, not in England, God be thanked, but in Flan­ders? And what are the Terms of the Peace, but more Frontier Towns in Flanders? And what is the Great Barrier of this Peace, but Flanders; the Consequence of this may be guess'd by the Answer King William gave when Prince of Orange, in the late Treaty of Nime­guen; when, to make the Terms the easier, 'twas offe­red, That a Satisfaction shou'd be made to him by the French, for his Lands in Luxemburgh; to which the Prince reply'd. He would part with all his Lands in Lux­emburgh to get the Spaniards one good Frontier Town in Flanders. The reason is plain; for every one of those Towns, tho' they were immediately the Spaniards, were really Bulwarks to keep the French the further off from his own Country; and thus it is now: And [Page 12] how our Militia can have any share in this part of the War, I cannot imagine. It seems strange to me to re­concile the Arguments made use of to magnifie the Ser­viceableness of the Militia, and the Arguments to en­force the Dread of a Standing Army; for they stand like two Batteries one against another, where the Shot from one dismounts the Cannon of the other: If a small Army may enslave us, our Militia are good for nothing; if good for nothing, they cannot defend us, and then an Army is necessary: If they are good, and are able to defend us, then a small Army can never hurt us, for what may defend us Abroad, may defend us at Home; and I wonder this is not consider'd. And what is plainer in the World than that the Parliament of England have all along agreed to this Point. That a Standing Army in time of Peace, with Consent of Parliament, is not against Law. The Esta­blishment of the Forces in the time of K. Charles II. was not as I remember ever objected against in Parliament, at least we may say the Parliament permitted them if they did not establish them: And the Present Parliament seems enclin'd to continue the Army on the same foot, so far as may be suppos'd from their Vote to disband all the Forces raised since 1680. To affirm then, That a Stand­ing Army, (without any of the former Distinctions) is In­consistent, &c. is to argue against the General Sense of the Nation, the Permission of the Parliament for 50 years past, and the Present apparent Resolutions of the best Compo­sed House that perhaps ever entred within those Walls.

To this House the whole Nation has left the Case, to act as they see cause; to them we have committed the Charge of our Liberties, nay the King himself has only told them His Opinion, with the Reasons for it, with­out leading them at all; and the Article of the Claim of Right is left in full force: For this Consent of Parli­ament [Page 13] is now left the whole and sole Judge. Whether an Army or no Army; and if it Votes an Army, 'tis left still the sole Judge of the Quantity, how many, or how few.

Here it remains to enquire the direct Meaning of those words, Vnless it be by Consent of Parliament▪ and I humbly suppose they may, among other things, include these Particulars.

  • 1. That they be rais'd and continued not by a Tacit, but Explicite Consent of Parliament; or, to speak di­rectly, by an Act of Parliament.
  • 2. That they be continued no longer than such Explicite Consent shall limit and appoint.

If these two Heads are granted in the word Consent, I am bold to affirm▪ Such an Army is not Inconsistent with a Free Government, &c.

I am as positively assur'd of the Safety of our Liber­ties under the Conduct of King and Parliament, while they concur, as I am of the Salvation of Believers by the Passion of our Saviour; and I hardly think 'tis fit for a private Man to impose his positive Rules on them for Method, any more than 'tis to limit the Holy Spi­rit, whose free Agency is beyond his Power: For the King, Lords and Commons, can never err while they a­gree; nor is an Army of 20 or 40000 Men either a Scarcrow enough to enslave us, while under that Union.

If this be allow'd, then the Question before us is, What may conduce to make the Harmony between the King, Lords and Commons eteernal? And so the Debate about an Army ceases.

[Page 14]But to leave that Question, since Frailty attends the best of Persons, and Kings have their faux Pas, as well as other Men, we cannot expect the Harmony to be im­mortal; and therefore to provide for the worst, our Parliaments have made their own Consent the only Clause that can make an Army Legitimate: But to say that an Army directly as an Army, without these Di­stinctions, is destructive of the English Monarchy, and Inconsistent with a Free Government, &c. is to say then that the Parliament can destroy the English Monarchy, and can Establish that which is Inconsistent with a Free Government; which is ridiculous. But then we are told, that the Power of the Sword was first placed in the Lords er Barons, and how they serv'd the King in his Wars with themselves and their Vassals, and that the King had no Power to Invade the Priviledges of the Ba­rons, having no other Forces than the Vassals of his own Demeasnes to follow him: And this Form is applauded as an extraodinary Constitution, because there is no other Limitation of a Monarchy of any Signification than such as places the Sword in the hand of the Subject: And all such Government where the Prince has the Power of the Sword, tho' the People have the Power of the Purse, are no more Monarchies but Tyrannies: For not only that Government is tyrannical which is tyrannically exercis'd, but all Governments are tyran­nical which have not in their Constitution sufficient Security against the Arbitrary Power of their Prince; that is, which have not the Power of the Sword to Imploy against him if need be.

Thus we come to the Argument: Which is not how many Troops may by allow'd, or how long; but in short, No Mercenary-Troops at all can be maintain'd without Destroying our Constitution, and Metamorphizing our Government into a Tyranny.

[Page 15]I admire how the Maintainer of this Basis came to omit giving us an Account of another Part of Hi­story very needful to examine, in handing down the True Notion of Government in this Nation, viz. of Parliaments. To supply which, and to make way for what follows, I must take leave to tell the Reader, that about the time, when this Service by Villenage and Vassalage began to be resented by the People, and by Peace and Trade they grew rich, and the Power of the Barons being too great, frequent Commotions, Civil Wars, and Battels, were the Consequence, nay sometimes without concerning the King in the Quar­rel: One Nobleman would Invade another, in which the weakest suffered most, and the poor Man's Blood was the Price of all; the People obtain'd Priviledges of their own, and oblig'd the King and the Barons to accept of an Equilibrium; this we call a Parliament: And from this the Due Ballance, we have so much heard of is deduced. I need not lead my Reader to the Times and Circumstances of this, but this Due Ballance is the Foundation on which we now stand, and which the Author of the Argument so high­ly applaudes as the best in the World; and I appeal to all Men to judge if this Ballance be not a much nobler Constitution in all its Points, than the old Gothick Mo­del of Government.

In that the Tyranny of the Barons was intollerable, the Misery and Slavery of the Common People insup­portable, their Blood and Labour was at the absolute Will of the Lord, and often sacrifice to their private Quarrels: They were as much at his beck as his Pack of Hounds were at the Sound of his Horne; whether [Page 16] it was to march against a Forreign Enemy, or against their own Natural Prince▪ So that this was but ex­changing one Tyrant for Three hundred, for so many the Barons of England were accounted at least. And this was the Effect of the Security vested in the People, against the Arbitrary Power of the King; which was to say the Barons took care to maintain their own Ty­ranny, and to prevent the Kings Tyrahnizing over them.

But 'tis said, the Barons growing poor by the Luxury of the Times, and the Common People growing rich, they exchang'd their Vassalage for Leases, Rents, Fines, and the like. They did so, and thereby became enti­tuled to the Service of themselves; and so overthrew the Settlement, and from hence came a House of Com­mons: And I hope England has reason to value the Alteration. Let them that think not reflect on the Freedoms the Commons enjoy in Poland, where the Gothick Institution remains, and they will be satis­fied.

In this Establishment of a Parliament, the Sword is indeed trusted in the Hands of the King, and the Purse in the Hands of the People; the People cannot make Peace or War without the King, no [...] the King cannot raise or maintain an Army without the People; and this is the True Ballance.

But we are told, The Power of the Purse is not a suffi­cient Security without the Power of the Sword: What! not against Ten thousand Men? To answer this, 'tis necessary to examine how far the Power of the Sword is in the Hands of the People already, and next whether the Matter of Fact be true.

[Page 17]I say the Sword is in part in the Hands of the People already, by the Militia, who, as the Argument says are the People themselves. And how are they Ballanc'd? 'Tis true, they are Commissioned by the King, but they may refuse to meet twice, till the first Pay is reimburst to the Countrey: And where shall the King Raise it without a Parliament? that ve­ry Militia would prevent him. So that our Law there­in Authorizing the Militia to refuse the Command of the King, tacitly puts the Sword into the Hands of the People.

I come now to Examine the Matter of Fact, That the Purse is not an Equivalent to the Sword, which I deny to be true; and here 'twill be necessary to Examine▪ How often our Kings of England have Rais­ed Armies on their own Heads, but have been for­ced to Disband them for want of Moneys, nay, have been forced to call a Parliament to Raise Money to Dis­band them.

King Charles the First is an Instance of both these; for his First Army against the Scots he was forced to Dismiss for want of Pay; and then was forced to call a Parliament to Pay and Dismiss the Scots; and tho' he had an Army in the Field at the Pacification, and a Church Army too, yet he durst not attempt to Raise Money by them.

I am therefore to affirm, that the Power of the Purse is an Equivalent to the Power of the Sword; and I believe I can make it appear, if I may be allow­ed to instance in those numerous Armies which Gaspar Coligny, Admiral of France, and Henry the Fourth King of Navar, and William the First P. of Orange brought [Page 18] of Germany into France, and into the Low Countries, which all vanished, and could attempt nothing for want of a Purse to maintain them: But to come nearer, what made the Efforts of King Charles all Abortive, but Want of the Purse? Time was he had the Sword in his Hand, when the Duke of Bucking­ham went on those Fruitless Voyages to Rochell, and himself afterwards to Scotland, he had Forces on Foot, a great many more than Five Thousand, which the Argument mentions, but he had not the Purse, at last he attempted to take it without a Parlia­ment, and that Ruin'd him. King Charles the Second found the Power of the Purse, so much out­ballanced the Power of the Sword, that he sat still, and let the Parliament Disband his Army for him, al­most whether he would or no.

Besides the Power of the Purse in England, differs from what the same thing is in other Countries, because 'tis so Sacred a thing, that no King ever touch'd at it but he found his Ruine in it. Nay, 'tis so odious to the Na­tion, that whoever attempts it, must at the same time be able to make an Entire Conquest or no­thing.

If then neither the Consent of Parliament, nor the smalness of an Army proposed, nor the Power of the Sword in the Hands of the Milia, which are the Peo­ple themselves, nor the Power of the Purse, are not a sufficient Ballance against the Arbitrary Power of the King, what shall we say? Are Ten Thousand Men in Arms, without Money, without Parliament Authority, hem'd in with the whole Militia of England, and Dam'd by the Laws? Are they of such Force as to [Page 19] break our Constitution? I cannot see any reason for such a Thought. The Parliament of England is a Bo­dy of whom we may say, That no Weapon Formed a­gainst them cou'd ever Prosper; and they know their own Strength, and they know what Force is needful, and what hurtful, and they will certainly maintain the First and Disband the Last.

It may be said here, 'Tis not the fear of Ten Thousand Men, 'tis not the matter of an Army, but 'tis not the Thing it self; grant a Revenue for Life, and the next King will call it, My Revenue, and so grant an Army for this King, and the next will say, Give Me my Ar­my.

To which I Answer, That these things have been no oftner ask'd in Parliament than deny'd; and we have so many Instances in our late Times of the Pow­er of the Purse, that it seems strange to me, that it should not be allowed to be a sufficient Bal­lance.

King Charles the Second, as I hinted before, was very loath to part with his Army Rais'd in 1676. but he was forced to it for want of Money to pay them; he durst not try whether when Money had Rais­ed an Army, an Army cou'd not Raise Money. 'Tis true, his Revenues were large, but Frugality was not his Ta­lent, and that ruin'd the Design. King Iames the Se­cond was a good Husband, and that very Husbandry had almost Ruin'd the Nation; for his Revenues being well managed, he maintain'd an Army out of it. For 'tis well known, the Parliament never gave him a Pen­ny towards it; but he never attempted to make his Ar­my [Page 20] Raise any Money; if he had; 'tis probable his Work had been sooner done than it was.

But pray let us Examine abroad, if the Purse has not Governed all the Wars of Europe. The Spaniards were once the most powerful People in Europe; their Infantry were in the Days of the Prince of Parma, the most In­vincible Troops in the World. The Dutch, who were then his Subjects, and on whom he had Levied immense Sums of Money, had the 10th Penny demanded of them, and the Demand back'd by a great Army of these very Spaniards, which, among many other Reasons caused them to Revolt. The Duke D'Alva afterwards attempted for his Master to raise this Tax by his Army, by which he lost the whole Netherlands, who are now the Richest People in the World; and the Spaniard is now become the meanest and most despicable Peo­ple in Europe, and that only because they are the Poorest.

The present War is another Instance, which having lasted Eight Years, is at last brought to this Con­clusion▪ That he who had the longest Sword has yield­ed to them who had the longest Purse.

The late King Charles the First, is another most lively Instance of this Matter, to what lamentable Shifts did he drive himself? and how many despi­cable Steps did he take, rather than call a Parlia­ment, which he hated to think of. And yet, tho' he had an Army on Foot, he was forced to do it, or starve all his Men; had it been to be done, he wou'd have done it. 'Tis true, 'twas said the Earl of Strofford propos'd a Scheme, to bring over an Army out [Page 21] of Ireland, to force England to his Terms; but the Experiment was thought too desperate to be attempted, and the very Project Ruin'd the Pro­jector; such an ill Fate attends every Contrivance a­gainst the Parliament of England.

But I think I need go no further on that Head: The Power of Raising Money is wholly in the Par­liament, as a Ballance to the Power of Raising Men, which is in the King; and all the Reply I can meet with is, That this Ballance signifies nothing, for an Army can Raise Money, as well as Money Raise an Army; to which I Answer, besides what has been said already; I do not think it practicable in Eng­land: The greatest Armies, in the Hands of the greatest Tyrants we ever had in England, never durst attempt it. We find several Kings in Eng­land have attempted to Raise Money without a Parliament, and have tryed all the means they could to bring it to pass; and they need not go back to Richard the Second, to Edward the Se­cond, to Edward the Fourth, to Henry the Eighth, or to Charles the First, to remind the Reader of what all Men who know any thing of History are acquainted with: But not a King ever yet at­tempted to Raise Money, by Military Execution, or Billetting Soldiers upon the Country. King Iames the Second had the greatest Army and the best, as to Discipline, that any King ever had; and his desperate Attempts on our Liberties show'd his good Will, yet he never came to that Point. I won't deny, but that our Kings have been willing to have Armies at Hand, to back them in their Arbitrary [Page 22] Proceedings, and the Subjects may have been aw'd by them from a more early Resentment; but I must observe, that all the Invasion of our Rights, and all the Arbitrary Methods of our Gover­nors, has been under pretences of Law. King Charles the First Levy'd Ship-Money as his due, and the Proclamations for that purpose cite the pretended Law, that in Case of Danger from a Foreign Enemy, Ships shou'd be fitted out to De­fend us, and all Men were bound to contribute to the Charge; Coat and Conduct Money had the like Pretences; Charters were subverted by Quo War­rantoes, and Proceedings at Law; Patriots were Murther'd under Formal Prosecutions, and all was pretended to be done legally.

I know but one Instance in all our English Story, where the Souldery were employ'd as Soul­diers, in open Defyance of Law, to destroy the Peoples Liberties by a Military Absolute Power, and that stands as an Everlasting Brand of Infamy upon our Militia; and is an Instance to prove, beyond the Power of a Reply, That even our Militia, under a bad Government, let them be our selves, and the People, and all those fine things never so much are under ill Officers and ill Manage­ment, as dangerous as any Souldery whatever, will be as Insolent, and do the Drudgery of a Tyrant as effectually.

In the Year when Mr. Dubois and Mr. Papillon, a Member of the Present Parliament, were chosen Sheriffs of London, and Sir Iohn Moor, [Page 23] under pretence of the Authority of the Chair, pretended to nominate one Sheriff himself, and leave the City to choose but one, and confirm the Choice of the Mayor, the Citizens struggled for their Right, and stood firm to their Choice, and several Adjournments were made to bring over the Majority of the Livery, but in vain: At length the Day came when the Sheriffs were to be sworn, and when the Livery-men as­sembled at Guild-hall to swear their Sheriffs, they found the Hall Garrison'd with a Company of Train­ed-Bands under Lieutenant Coll. Quiney, a Citizen himself, and most of the Soldiers, Citizens and Inhabitants; and by this Force the Ancient Livery­men were shut out, and several of them thrown down, and insolently used, and the Sheriffs thrust away from the Hustings, and who the Lord Mayor pleased was Sworn in an open Defiance of the Laws of the Kingdom, and Priviledges of the City. This was done by the Militia to their Everlasting Glory, and I do not remember the like done by a Standing Army of Mercenaries, in this Age at least. Nor is a Mi­litary Tyranny practicable in England, if we con­sider the power the Laws have given to the Ci­vil Magistrate, unless you at the same time ima­gine that Army large enough to subdue the whole English Nation at once, which if it can be ef­fected by such an Army as the Parliament now seem enclined to permit, we are in a very mean Condition.

[Page 24]I know it may be objected here, that the Forces which were on Foot before 1680. are not the Ar­my in Debate, and that the Design of the Court was to have a much greater Force.

I do not know that, but this I know, that those Forces were an Army, and the Design of all these Oponents of an Army is in so many words, against any Army at all, small as well as great; a Tenet absolutely destructive of the present Interest of England, and of the Treaties and Alliances made by His Majesty with the Princes and States of Europe, who depend so much on his Aid in Guard of the present Peace.

The Power of making Peace or War is vested in the King: 'Tis part of his Prerogative, but 'tis implicitly in the People, because their Negative as to Payment, does really Influence all those Actions. Now If when the King makes War, the Subject shou'd refuse to assist him, the whole Nation would be ruin'd: Suppose in the Leagues and Confedera­cies His Present Majesty is engag'd in for the Main­tenance of the present Peace, all the Confederates are bound in case of a Breach to assist one another with so many Men, say Ten thousand for the Eng­lish Quota, more or less, where shall they be found? Must they stay till they are Rais'd? To what purpose would it be then for any Confederate to depend upon England for Assistance?

[Page 25]It may be said indeed, if you are so engag'd by Leagues or Treaties, you may hire Foreign Troops to assist till you can raise them. This Answer leads to several things which would take up too much room here.

Foreign Troops require Two things to procure them; Time to Negotiate for them, which may not be to be spar'd, for they may be almost as soon rais'd; Time for their March from Germany, for there are none nearer to be hir'd, and Money to Hire them, which must be had by Parliament, or the King must have it ready: If by Parliament, that is a longer way still; if without, that opens a worse Gate to Slavery than t'other: For if a King have Money, he can raise Men or hire Men when he will; and you are in as much danger then, and more than you can be in now from a Standing Ar­my: So that since giving Money is the same thing as giving Men, as it appear'd in the late K. Iames's Reign, both must be prevented, or both may be allow'd.

But the Parliament we see needs no Instructions in this Matter, and therefore are providing to re­duce the Forces to the same Quota they were in before 1680. by which means all the fear of Inva­ding our Liberties will be at an end, the Army be­ing so very small that 'tis impossible, and yet the King will have always a Force at hand to assist his Neighbours, or defend himself till more can be Raised. The Forces before 1680. were an Army, [Page 26] and if they were an Army by Consent of Parlia­ment, they were a Legal Army; and if they were Legal, then they were not inconsistent with a Free Government, &c. for nothing can be Inconsistent with a Free Govern­ment, which is done according to the Laws of that Government: And if a Standing Army has been in England Legally, then I have proved, That a Standing Army is not Inconsistent with a Free Govern­ment, &c.


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