ENGLAND'S GLORY, Begun in I. Restoring our Religion. II. Rectifying our Coin. To be Compleat in III. Reforming our Manners.

Tit. II. 14.

Who gave himself for us, that he might Redeem us from all Iniquity, and Purge us to be a Peculiar People Zea­lous of Good Works.

LONDON: Printed for Rich, Baldwin, at the Oxford-Arms in War­wick-Lane. 1698.

TO THE Two Honourable Houses.

WHEN in good Repair, as at this pre­sent, you are the Object Britannia's Eyes are most intently fixt upon, beholding with Joy and Admiration.

With Joy, because she can make her Addres­ses with so much ease and freedom. With Ad­miration, because you can perform your Un­dertakings.

The Third House comprising both, as the Heav'ns the Terraqueous Globe, is the Roy­al Pallace of the British Monarch; whose Ma­ster, conveying Life and Lustre from the King of Kings, compleats our England's Glory: And un­to this, your Access is as free as ours is unto you.

Britannia thus lives and moves; the Al­mighty God having given her so excellent a be­ing. And here's a most happy Union of all [Page]the Three, composing that Noble Body, the King and his Subjects, Barons, and Commons.

The good Constitution of health in this Body, has been very illustrious now of late unto this Age, as much or more than to our Ancestors; tho they have seen several happy Reigns: Therefore are the Eyes of all Europe upon our Britannia, as a Body of the finest Fa­brick, and most Curious Composure: Even Majesty it self making long Voyages to see a Solomon.

As the Queen of the South came from far unto Jerusalem, so the Emperor of the North is come to London.

The Queen of Sheba came to see that Prince who built the first Temple. The second Tabernacle then, which now is building, de­serves certainly the most Royal hand, and the most Wise hearted amongst the Princes of the Earth, being so much more Excellent than the first; as unseen are more than seen things; Spiritual more than Temporal Glory; an house not made with hands, more than the stateliest Pile of Building upon Earth; the Gates of Sion, more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

It is not Temples made with hands which delight the Holy one of Israel; But those of Mens Spirits and Bodys, cleansed by the Ho­ly Ghost, and prepar'd: Typified by our Lords sweeping out the Defilements of Jeru­salems Temple: Therefore the CHƲRCH OF ENGLAND, before she saith, Take not thy Holy Spirit from us, Begs that God will make clean our Hearts within us; Plainly evincing that an unclean heart, does no more then bable in that Petition for the Spirits residence.

Now if these three houses, wherein dwells the Government, do begin to make such Preparation; The Countrey will also cer­tainly be made sensible of their Duty: And then we shall hear that blessed Proclamation, Prepare to meet thy God O Israel!

The Essentials of a Leet seem to be such, as by the Romans were called, Fasti, where the Praetor might keep a Court; which was not done without these three words spoken, Do, Dico, Addico, Do I give way to Actions? Di­co, I speak the Law. Addico, I Judge matters and Men.

Now in this method of Governing the Poor, the Power of a Governing Leet [Page]is Restor'd to the Decenners or Freeholders, &c. Viz. Dico, upon VIEW I speak, directing and advising to Industry. Addico, I appoint such a daily Task to he performed. Do, give In­formation to the Magistrate, of the Poors Carriage and Behaviour.

England's Glory, &c.

ENglands Peace calls for Englands Gratitude; If that be not forthcoming, her Peace can't be last­ing. If we go to Individuals, too many are a­gainst the Nations Peace; And therein against their own, and the Peace of their posterity. But when People willfully Impair their own sight, it's but just with God to strike them with a Total Blindness: If we can't perswade, yet we may Pray for our Enemies, as our Master did, Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do.

It is but sad in some places, if we go to Individuals; therefore we rejoyce in our Representatives, the Ho­nourable House of Commons, in our Nobility, the up­per House of Parliament, in our King, the Happy head of that Fair and Beautiful Body: To the Bon Repos, whereof it's every Subjects Duty and Interest to con­tribute; For hereunto the Almighty hath brought us, by the Councel of a Wise and Faithful Parliament, and the Conduct of a just and Valliant King: Not only stiled so, but upon Tryal found so: And is not this indeed, He that never Broke his Word?

I can't be of their Opinion therefore, who would have us like none of our Friends and Neighbours; But that whilst they are keeping strong Guards, we must Disband ours. Would not this in us look more Vain, after the Worlds experience of thousands or years, then if it had been done by our Fore-Fathers, who lived when Moats and Castles were first invented? This truely I do believe, that as we are, the very Conduct of Common prudence is sufficient to secure us, against any hand, but that which is above us: And that is the only Hand to be fear'd, now we have Peace with us, and time before us, should we neglect Reformation of that Evil habit of Idleness in the Poor, which like Tares has been sown, and coming up whilst England has been sleeping; And that too in the day time, after the Debauches of her Revelling Nights.

Negligent Masters, do but rarely meet with Indu­strious Servants. But now that God hath blest us with a Prince that delights in the Noblest things, TO DO GOOD TO MANKIND; (And not like those narrow Souls, who tho they leave the rest of the World in dark­ness, would be drawing all the very Sun-Beams to their side of the Globe, without Pity or Commiseration unto others) every true Englishman surely will consider, how the very Heavens now smile upon Great Britain and Ireland, &c. Ay and more then any other Parts of the World (tho some others have a great share) as presaging that these Beloved Isles, who have been Honour'd and own'd more then other places, both in the first spreading of Christi­anity, and in every Reformation since, shall now again lead the Van, When the greatest Reformation of all is approaching. And this brings to mind that Prophetick [Page 3]Poem, upon occasion of the Death of the Earl of Ex and which hath its Prediction as followeth,

His led Acts thy Freedoms Birth shall Cause,
Secure Religion produce wholesom Laws,
No more the Poor, the Rich one shall devour,
No more shall right yeild to oppressive Power.
No more shall Rapine make the Countrey Groan.
Nor Civil Wars shall Reign within the Town.
The Iron Scepter, and the Tyrants Hand,
Shall cease henceforth to bruise thy happy Land.
Rome's Hocus pocus Ministers no more,
Shall cause Mankind their Jugling Priests adore.
Thy Learned Clergy shall confound them all,
And they like Ely's Sons unpitied fall.
Dark mists of Errors then must fly away,
And Hells Delusions shrink from the bright Day.
Truths sacred Light, in full abundance shall
Ʋpon thy Teachers and thy People fall.
So when th' Eternal Son was Born to die
For all the World; the lesser Gods did flye.
His Bright appearance struck their Prophets down,
And Death-like silence did their Gods Intomb.
The Tuneful spheres with Hallelujahs Rung,
Heavens mighty Host with Man one Chorus Sung.
Ne'r fading Glory unto God above,
Peace upon Earth, to Men Eternal Love.
Thus the Creation shouted with one Voice,
Thus Heaven and Earth did at his Birth Rejoyce.
And thus shall all Repeat this Song again,
When upon Earth he shall begin to Reign.
This Belov'd Isle shall be the chosen place,
Here shall the King of Kings begin his Race.
[Page 4]
Judea was his Cradle and his Tomb,
Britain shall be his Throne in time to come.

Now if Heaven smile upon our Nation, we are no better then Putrify'd Corrupt Members, if we promote not her Happiness to our Power: Nay, those that have but bare Mite, ought here to cast in with me into the Eng­lish Treasury; And those that have Talents give ac­cordingly; as our great Men (God be thanked) now in­cline to do very freely.

The very Stars that in their Courses fought against Sisera, are now in a blessed Confederacy; have blessed the Confederate Princes, to prepare all things for the King of Peace and Glory; Rejoycing at the approaching of that Kingdom, we and our Fore-Fathers have pray'd, might come. The next mercy, to the Restauration of our Religion, was the Rectifying of our Coin; The next in Course, is the Reformation of our manners. And here the cryes of the Poor, being the loudest, seem to call for the first Relief: And so our Government may think sit to begin with the Idle Poor, because in Gene­ral speaking they are.

  • 1. The most undutiful to God.
  • 2. The most burdensome to the Rich.
  • 3. The most Cruel to their needy Brethren.

1. The most undutiful to God. Now this is a main thing; We as Christians pretend to take care of our Children by bringing them to Church, &c Why do we not so with the Poor? If England must be as an Israel to God, we know God hath appointed that the Poor shall never cease. They shall be always with us; for the [Page 5]constant exercise of Love and Charity: That we may not think we were Born for our selves, or those of our Houshold only; This would be the ready way to forget God utterly the Poor being as sure our Lords Repre­sentatives in this present World, as the Knights, Citi­zens, and Burgesses are ours, in this present Parliament: And as what these do is our Act, so what the Poor has given them is our Lords Receipt: Nay, he is pleas'd to call it a Loan unto himself.

If the Lord will have the Poor in his Israel receive Food for their Bodys, a fortiori then for their Souls, be­ing the more Noble part. The Poor are thus to be with us, and thus to receive from us, to keep alive (warm at least) our Love unto God, since we are fallen such a distance from him. And here's the force of the Argu­ment, if we love not our Brother whom we have seen How shall we Love God whom we have not seen? The Poor then are to be as our Children, with no difference, only the Quantum we are to give unto each. But why bring we not the Poor to Church? They can't be allow­ed the excuses Children sometimes make, that they have not Cloaths good enough to go in. The nearer the Poor live to us, the more we ought to be concern'd for them: And indeed much of our Poor are not only our Brethren, Relative as Christians and Natives, but really as our Flesh and Blood also; And certainly those of us, whose Families have been with, or before King Willi­am the First, must have of Poor Relations, in a near or more Remote Degree of Consanguity: And I think the Ancient Gentry, are as free in owning them as the New. But if our Children were no better lookt after, then our more remote Relations that are Poor, our Children might soon become as Rude; and Wild as our Poor Relations.

Let us then consider, if for want of Discipline we be not guilty before God, almost as far as Old Ely: and let us but put these Queries to our selves, if wee are not Guilty of.

  • 1. Their breaking of the Sabbath.
  • 2. Their Sloath and Idleness.
  • 3. Shall we do well in putting those to Death, our [...]lves have Conniv'd at in the Looseness of their Life.

2. The Idle Poor are most burdensome to the Rich, specially the meaner sort, that Pay the Poors Tax with [...]he sweat of their Brows, and hard Labour. And here [...]he Poet's in the right. Who's in the Fault? It's easy [...]o know which:

The Idle Poor do Rob
The Labouring Rich.

And indeed Labouring Families can't provide so com­ [...]ortably for their own, as otherwise they might; a great discouragement to Dilligence and Industry: Besides how easily would Taxes be paid for Defence, or otherwise in a just War, should half or more of the Poors Tax be abated, By any happy thought amongst us. And is not the sharping and disingenuous dealing of many Men in their Trade and Callings, occasioned by the Burden of the Poors Idleness, and that in respect of. First, the want of those hands that lye Idle, which otherwise would bring Commodities more plentiful, work being done at easier Rates. Secondly, in respect of the great burden of the Tax, to these that are needers and might be helpers.

Lastly, The Idle Poor are Cruel to their Impotent Brethren, the Sick, Lame, Aged, &c. Who are not reliev­ed like Christian Poor, the Idle snatching their Meat out of their Mouths, by their dissembling Clamours and Idle outcrys. And all this hardship too, whilst we pay [Page 7]near a Tenth to the Poor, besides that to the Parson. How are the Impotent, honest Poor in London, every day Robb'd by, Mumpers, and Canting Beggars? which might and ought to be better discover'd and understood. Now let the remainder of this Poor Discourse, for order sake, be wrapt up within these four following Conside­rations.

  • 1. The cause of Decay in our English Industry.
  • 2. The present mischiefs by Idle Poor.
  • 3 The remedy Propos'd.
  • 4 The method of proceeding therein.

For the first Consideration, the cause of Decay in English Industry seems to have been,

1. A Connivance at the Poors Tipling, Drunken­ness, and Idling.

2. The laying aside of that which prevented all the Evil, the Laudable English Law, of View of Franc­pledge.

For the first, It is plain, the Poor took Encouragement to do ill, from the very Charity of the Government (as bad Children from their Parents tenderness) I mean the Stat. of 43 Eliz. touching the Poor: For the Poor finding they had as good a Freehold in the Lands of England as the Free-holders themselves, whose Lands must pay to the Poor, tho themselves wanted, the Free holders had but an old Song for their Money.

Hang Sorrow, cast away Care,
The Parish is bound to find us.

Now Inferior Magistrates that will Connive at such Catterpillers we may call them Good Natur'd Men if we will but how shall we call them Good Patriots in their Countrey?

In a late Reign, so blind were some that they very fair­ly led the way, the blind led the blind, and yet thought the World look't upon their Actings as pleasant Commedys, that indeed were confounded Farces. A frolick went once to such a height, that a Knot of J— coming hot out of the Tavern, one hand must go into the R — Post, and the other drink the K—health: And at the very Market Cross, too, of a Burrow Town: So that some might think it a Peice of Petit Tr—to exclaim against it, yet so did not I then, no more than now. The Second cause, is the laying aside the very Essence and proper being of a Leet. It is the declared Opinion of many of our Sages of the Law, that this laying aside, was an unspeakable Damage to the English Government: Whilst there was a Capital Pledge to Answer for all Immoralities or every Person, and Family, within the Decenary, or District of Ten Families to view and observe, there was a very exact Eye upon every Family and Person throughout this Realm (for every Person is within some Leet.) And the Capital Pledge and Decenary, upon offence com­mitted were fined, and suffered by their Purse to the Kings Majesty: and very good Reason; If they would suffer his Subjects to Debauch, and so loose him The best of his Treasure, why should not they Answer out of theirs?

This brings to mind what I have heard was done in a Leet belonging to a Noble Man of this Kingdom, not many Years since, The place was so full of Poor, and most of them Idle, that their Tax in the Parish a­mounted in ordinary to about 900, sometimes near 1000 l. per Annum, A By Law was made to put in Exe­cution, the Laws against Tipling, so far as the Poor [Page 9]should be concerned, and the Constables to search the Houses for that purpose. Likewise the Grand Jury Complaining, that if their Parish Poor would work, there was enough within the Parish, (Being a place of Trade) to find them Imployment, and so much, that Cloathiers were forc't to Travel many Miles out of the Parish for to get their work done, when their own Poor might do it. There was a By Law made, that every Housholder should go upon the view of the Poor, and that weekly by turns; That so the Over­seers of the Poor might be informed of the Poors Car­riage in order to Relief for the wanting, and punish­ment for the Idling, as far as the Justices of Peace had Power

This was undertaken and for some time the Poor were daily visited, and their work observed; And this Ac­compt thereupon given by the Viewers, that if such course was followed, two parts in three of the Poors Tax, be­ing then about 900 l. would in a little time be brought off, viz. From 9 to 300 l. per Annum, for they found the working Poor more diligent, and pleased that these methods were finding out the fault, and that they were working. Again the Idle were so quickned, that upon sight of the Viewers, and they would make to their work in all haste; and the Viewers thought by giving a Penny or two in a House, that was diligent, would be great Encouragement.

The second consideration is the present mischiefs by the Idle Poor, and such Families as are so.

1. If they are not a Brood, and Nest of Idleness and Impudence, and likely with sorrow, to be left so to our Posterities, if not in this Good Reign prevented?

2. If they feed not upon the Labours of others? Drones in the Bee-hive of business?

3. If so bad, it's not almost an Imprudence to put their tainted children, for Apprentices, upon Sober Fami­lies?

4. If they are not the Nurseries of most that go to Bridewel and the Gallows? What abundance of Lives might be saved by good Education!

5. If Swearing, Drunkenness, and Sabbath breaking, lies not much at their Doors?

6. If their begging in the Streets, Lodging in Barnes, and want of wholesom Food, brings not on them abun­dance of Diseases and Lameness, with great charge to the Countrey?

7. If instead of being, poor in Spirit, most agreeable to meaness, they are, not insufferably Proud, and Stub­born? So that Provisions made, for them at the Work­house, they'll tell you is below them; they'll not be used like, Slaves there? They have heard of English Li­berties, and would have them extended to their Sloath and Idleness. Do they not already so shame with their Badges, as to cover them from sight if any ways possible?

8 If the Pride of the poor, together with the many miscarriages of those intrusted with a Stock, and the difficulty to find Good Men for the purpose, have not hindered the project of a Work-house.

9. If Houses of Correction do not fail mightily in their end for being commonly Tipling Houses by a good shower of Ale may quench their Zeal.

10. The poor being so increased since the time of Queen Eliz. If it would not be an unequal burden to the Church Wardens and Overseers, to make their daily visits?

The third consideration is the Remedy: And thus proposed, viz. By a common concern, and General, as that of the Winchester Watch, only this to be weekly, in turns, through the whole Year. In some places it may not come three or four times in a Year, to a Family where many Families are, and where but few, it's little trouble: And a careful Servant may do it for the Master, which Method seems to be,

  • 1. Reasonable.
  • 2. Easy.
  • 3. Safe and Sure.

1. Reasonable because a Duty Incumbent upon every Leet, or Decennarie, being no more but to revive and en­force an Ancient Law, Imprudently laid aside.

2. Easy, because so many hands to the work; and only a little Care and Pains; no Cost.

3. Sure, because little venturing of a Stock, and if there were, it's every day lookt after by the owners. Thus the Eye of all England is every day observing the behaviour of their Poor: Nor can their be much Loy­tering, because tho the viewers are not every hour of the day with the Poor, yet it's not known at what hour they may come. Thus every Hamlet, or the like Division, may Revive the Old English Service of the Leet, or Decennarie.

Upon what has been said, and yet follows, It's hum­bly submitted as well as offered, if these, or any of these, may be considerations thought on in the Act, which the Government has been much thought full about, for bet­ter ordering the Poor.

1. If Good Penalties be laid upon the Administrators of such an Act, who fail in the Execution.

2. If small Woolen Cloaths go not oat of the Nation undy'd; Which would much imploy the Poor and Ad­vance the Crown Revenues: and if any Subject have some present Interest in those Whites, the Dyers may Compound it.

3. If Attorneys and Solicitours (who converse most with People of all sorts) be convict as common Swear­ers, or Drunkards, they be turn'd out of the Roll, and Debar'd practice.

4. If Justices of Peace Clerks, take nothing of Fees, where the Poor are concern'd?

If in the Commission of Peace, to Gentlemen, there be added some of the richest and most under­standing Tradesmen, who may Encourage Work and Industry?

5. And will it not be good Husbandry to discover needy Families in time, who are ready to starve under the shame of Begging? want work, and would do it: Thus preventing Sickness and Distempers, and saving thereby many Thousands of Pounds Yearly in this Na­tion.

The Fourth and Last consideration, is the methods to he taken in order to the Reformation of the Poor. But these are already under far greater and better Judg­ment; However, this Mite goes, with other Mens Greater Talents, into the Publick Treasury.

1. If there be such a General and daily View of the Poor, and of those suspected to be so?

2. If Justices of Peace have power to order a whip­ping at the Cross, &c. Or remit for the first and second offence, after striped? Will not this, save the Parish Money in sending to the House of Correction? And more like to have a good Issue then any Correction there

3. And may not publick shame before Neigh­bours be more Awful, then present whipping in a House of Correction? And those too, favourable enough, if there be Interest, which is not hard to make in a House of Tipling.

4. If a Bell be hung near the Cross, to give notice of the Execution, which will be soon known by the Name of the IDLE BELL? So the very sight of it, bring diligence more into the thoughts of our Poor.

5. If the Inhabitants that thus go their weeks be cal­led, Viewers and Taxers of the Poor; And appoint the Tax for Children or a Family where there is need?

6. If the Poor be constrained on Sundays to Publick Worship under the like Penalty?

7. Also restrained from Cursing and Swearing, Tip­pling and Drinking contrary to Law: For they fear no Pecuinary Punishment?

These or some other Methods which others may hand unto the Government, Joyning with what's already re­solved upon for a Law, it's humbly hoped may aid and assist the last Acts about the Poor: For how can the Parish fairly turn out of the Poor List, unless they ac­quaint themselves by their own Inspection, which ought to be, for the Officers have not now that trust of ad­mitting whom they please?

And how can the late Act for forcing Apprentices be easy to the Freeholders, &c. Unless the Poors manners be reformed? And if this remedy should not prove so speedy as this Age could wish, yet it will make for the advantage of Posterity we design our Estates for.

Besides, the Preventive part of our Law is more de­sirable to the Law-makers then the Executionary part of [Page 14]it. To add this further, may it not be convenient to give Liberty of surcharging to the Poors Tax, where Men are Tradesmen, and will not Imploy their own Towns Poor in what they can do, the Church Wardens and Overseers seeing the work to be truely and well done. Also may it not be agreeable that there be in all publick places of Worship, Stoles, or Forms in the Isles, and other spare places, that no respect be wanting that is due to Christian Poor.

The Pulpit has call'd long this way much in vain; The Reverend Bishops therefore being part of our con­stitution, have been considering how to effect this great cure, I wish every one that can contribute any thing this way, would be Free and Generous in the mutter. And I think if the Gentleman with his waighty reason for Disbanding the Guards or this Kingdom, had Imploy'd it this way, to keep us from the danger of being eaten up, (forasmuch as he can see so little of danger) the Nation had been much more indebted to him.

To conclude, we owe uncessant thankfulness unto Al­mighty God, that has thus manifestly owned and assisted the Government; So far, that indeed wonders have been done, and may be done; for every undertaking hath been Prosperous: First, restoring Religion, then Recti­fying our Coin. Why should we doubt the reforming of manners, now Heaven's thus liberal? [...]ow can we miss it? Unless (in Asking) by a too soon giving over, as King Joash did his smiting of the Ground.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.