TO THE EARLE OF PEMBROOKE: Concerning the Times, and the sa [...] Condition both of Prince and People.

The Land mourneth because of Oaths.

Printed in the Yeare, 1648.

To the Right Honourable, PHILIP Earle of Pembrook, and Mountgomery, Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and one of His Majesties most Honou­rable Privy Counsell, &c.

My Lord,

THis Letter requires no Apology, much lesse any par­don, but may expect rather a good reception, and thanks, when your Lordship hath seriously perused the contents, and ruminated well upon the matter it treats of, with your second and third thoughts, which usually carry with them a greater advantage of wisedome: It concernes not your body, or temporall estate, but things reflecting upon the noblest part of you, your Soule, which being a beame of Immortality, and a type of the Almighty, is in­comparably more precious, and rendreth all other earthly things to be but bables and transitory trifles. Now, the strongest tye, the solemnest engagement and stipulation that can be betwixt the Soule and her Creator, is an Oath. I doe not understand common tumultuary rash oaths, pro­ceeding from an ill habit, or heat of passion upon sudden contingencies, for such oaths bind one to nought else but to repentance: No, I mean serious and legall oaths, taken with a calm prepared spirit, either for the asserting of truth, and conviction of falshood, or for fidelity in the execution of some Office or binding to civill Obedience and Loyaltie, which is one of the essentiall Parts of a Christian. Such publick oaths legally made with the Royall assent of the So­veraigne, [Page 4] whom they receive both legalitie and life, else they are invalid and unwarrantable; as they are religious acts in their own nature, so is the taking and observance of them part of Gods honor▪ & there can be nothing more derogatory to the high Majesty and holinesse of his name, nothing more dangerous, destructive, & damnable to humane souls, then the infringment and eluding of them, or omission in the perfor­mance of them. Which makes the Turks, of whom Chri­stians in this particular may learn a tender peece of huma­nity, to be so cautious, that they seldome or never administer an oath to Greek, Jew, or any other Nation; and the reason is, That if that Party sworn doth take that Oath upon hopes of some advantage, or for evading of danger or punish­ment, and afterwards rescinds it, they think themselves to be involved in the Perjury, and accessary to his damnation: Our Civill Law hath a Canon consonant to this, which is, Mortale peccatum est ei praestare juramentum, quem scio veri­similiter violaturum; 'Tis a mortall sin to administer an Oath to him who I probably know will break it; To this may allude another wholesome saying, A false Oath is damnable, a true Oath dangerous, none at all the safest. How much then have they to answer for, who of late years have fram'd such for­midable coercive generall oaths, to serve them for engines of State, to lay battery to the Consciences and Soules of poor men, and those without the assent of the Soveraign, and op­posite point blank to former Oaths they themselves had ta­ken: these kind of Oaths the City hath swallowed lately in grosse, and the Country in detaile, which makes me confi­dently beleeve, that if ever that saying of the holy Prophet, The Land mourns for Oaths, was applyable to any part of the habitable earth, it may be now applied to this desperate Island

But now I come to the maine of my purpose, and to those Oaths your Lordship hath taken, before this distra­cted [Page 5] time, which, the world knowes, and your Conscience can testifie, were divers; They were all of them Solemn, and some of them Sacramentall Oaths (and indeed, every So­lemn Oath among the Ancients was held a Sacrament:) They all implyed, and imposed an indispensible fidelity, Truth and loyalty from you to your Soveraigne Prince, your Liege Lord and Master the King: I will m [...]ke some instances: Your Lordship took an oath when Knight of the Bath, To love your Soveraigne above all earthly Creatures, and for His Right and Dignity to live and dye:

By the oath of Supremacy you swear to beare faith and true alleagiance to the Kings Highnesse, and to your power to de­fend all Iurisdictions, Priviledges, Preheminences, and Au­thorities belonging to His Highnesse.

Your Lordship took an oath when Privie Counsellor, to be a true and faithfull Servant unto Him, and if you knew or understood of any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against His Majesties Person, Honour, Crown, or Dignity, you sweare to let, and withstand the same, to the uttermost of your po­wer, and either cause it to be revealed to Himselfe, or to others of His Privy Counsell: The oaths you took when Bedchamber man, and L. Chamberlain bind you as strictly to His Person.

Your Lordship may also call to memory when you were installed Knight of the Garter, (whereof you are now the oldest living, except a K. of Denmark) you solemnly swore to defend the Honour, and Quarrels, the Rights and Lordship of your Soveraigne: Now the Record tells us that the chiefest ground of instituting that Order by that heroicke Prince Edward the Third, was, That he might have choice gallant men, who by Oath and Honour should adhere unto him in all dangers, and difficulties, and that by way of reciproca­tion, he should protect and defend them▪ Which made Alfonso Duke of Calabria, so much importune Henry the [Page 6] Eight to install him one of the Knights of the Garter, that he might ingage King Harry to protect him against Charles the eighth, who threatned then the conquest of Naples.

How your Lordship hath acquitted your selfe of the per­formance of these Oaths, your Conscience (that bosome re­cord) can make the best affidavit; Some of them oblige you to live and dye with King Charles, but what Oaths or any thing like an Oath binds you to live and dye with the House of Commons, as your Lordship often gives out you will, I am yet to learne: Unlesse that House which hath not po­wer as much as to administer an Oath, (much lesse to make one) can absolve you from your former Oaths, or haply by their omnipotence dispence with you for the observance of them. Touching the Politicall capacity of the King, I feare that will be a weak plea for your Lordship before the Tri­bunall of Heaven, and they who whisper such Chimeras in­to your eares abuse you in grosse; but put case there were such a thing as politicall capacity distinct from the personall; which to a true rationall man is one of the grossest Buls that can be, yet these forementioned Oaths relate most of them meerly unto the Kings Person, the individuall Person of King Charles, as you are His domestick Counsellor, and cubicular Servant.

My Lord, I take leave to tell your Lordship (and the Spectator sees sometimes more then the Gamester, that the world extreamly marvels at you, more then others, and it makes those who wish you best to be transformed to won­der, That your Lordship should be the first of your Race who decerted the Crowne, which one of your Progenitors said, he would still follow, though it were thrown upon a hedge: Had your Princely Brother been living, he would have been sooner torne by wild horses, than have binded a­gainst it, or abandoned the King his Master, and fallen to [Page 7] such grosse Idolatry as to worship the Beast with many heads. The world also stands astonished, that you should confede­rate to bring into the bowels of the land, and make Elogi­ums of that hungry people which have been from all times so crosse and fatall to the English Nation, and particu­larly to your own honour: Many thousands doe wonder that your Lordship should be brought to persecute with so much animosity and hatred, that reverend Order in Gods Church which is contemporary with Christianity it selfe, and whereunto you had once designed, and devoted one of your dearest Sonnes so solemnly.

My Lord, if this Monster of Reformation (which is like an infernall Spirit, clad in white, and hath a cloven head as well as feet) prevailes, you shall find the same destiny will attend poore England, as did Bohemia which was one of the Flourishingst Kingdoms upon this part of the earth; The Common People there, repin'd at the Hierarchy and riches of the Church, thereupon a Parliament was pack'd, where Bishop were demolished; What followed? The Nobles and Gentry went down next and afterwards the Crown it selfe; and so it became a popular confus'd Anarchicall State, and a Stage of bloud a long time; so that at last, when this Ma­got had done working in the braines of the foolish people, they were glad to have recourse to Monarchy againe, after a world of calamities; though it degenerated from a succes­sive Kingdome to an Elective. Me thinks, my Lord, under favour, that those notorious visible judgements which have fallen upon these Refiners of reform'd Religion should un­beguile your Lordship, and open your eyes: For the hand of heaven never appeared so clearly in any humane actions: Your Lordship may well remember what became of the Hothams, and Sir Alexander Cary, who were the two fatall wretches that began the War first, one in the North, the [Page 8] other in the South; Your Lordship may be also pleased to re­member what became of Brooks the Lord, and Hambden; the first whereof was dispatched by a deaf and dumb man out of an ancient Church which he was battering, and that sudden­ly also, for he fell stone dead in the twinkling of an eye; Now, one of the greatest cavils he had against our Lythirgie was a clause of a Prayer there against sudden Death, besides the fagge end of his Grace in that journey was, that if the design was not pleasing to God, he might perish in the acti­on: For the other wiseaker, he be sprinkled with his bloud▪ and received his death upon the same clod of earth in Buck­ingham shire, where he had first assembled the poore Coun­try people like so many Geese to drive them gagling in a mutiny to London, with the Protestation in their Caps, which hath been since torn in Flitters, and is now grown ob­solet and quite out of use. Touching Pym and Stroud, those two worthy Champions of the Vtopian cause, the first being opened, his stomack and guts were found to be full of pellets of bloud; the other had little or no brain at all left in his skul being dead, & lesse when he was living: For Hollis who carried the first scandalous Remonstrance (that work of night, & the verdict of a sterv'd jury) to welcome the King from Scotland and was the first of the five Members who were impeached by his Majesty; he hath been since, your Lordship knowes, the chiefe of the Eleven Members Impeached by themselves, but with this difference, That they had justice against him, though the King could get none: But now that St. Hollis with the rest are a kind of Runnagates beyond the Seas, scorn'd by all mankind, and baffled every where, yea, even by the Boors of Holland, and not daring to peep in any populous Town but by owle-light.

Moreover, I beleeve your Lordship hath good cause to re­member, that the same kind of riotous Rascals which rabled [Page 9] the King out of Town, did drive away the Speaker in like manner with many of the [...] Membfps, amongst whom your Lordship was fairly on his way, to seek shelter of their Jani­zaries: Your Lordship must needs find what deadly fewds fall dayly 'twixt the Presbyterian and Independent, the two fiery brands that have put this poore Isle so long in combu­stion. But 'tis worthy your Lordships speciall notice, how your dear Brethren the Scots (whom your Lordship so highly magnified in some of your publike Speeches) who were at first brought in for Hirelings against the King for them, offer themselves now to come in against them for the King; Your Lordship cannot be ignorant of the sundry clashes that have been 'twixt the City and their Memberships, and 'twixt their Memberships and their men of war, who have often wav'd and disobeyed their com­mands: How this tatterdemallian Army hath reduc'd this cow'd City, the cheated Country, and their once all-com­manding Masters to a perfect passe of slavery, to a true a­sinin condition; They crow over all the ancient Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdome, though there be not found amongst them all but two Knights; and 'tis well knowne there be hundred of private Gentlemen in the Kingdome, the poorest of whom, is able to buy this whole Host, with the Generall himselfe, and all the Commanders: But 'tis not the first time, that the Kings and Nobility of England have been baffled by petty comp [...]nions: I have read of Iack Straw, Wat Tyler and Ket the Tanner, with divers o­thers that did so, but being suppressed, it tended to the ad­vantage of the King at last; and what a world of examples are there in our story, that those Noblemen who banded against the Crown, the revenge of heaven ever found them out early or late, at last.

These, with a black cloud of reciprocall Judgements [Page 10] more, which have come home to these Reformers very dores, shew, that the hand of Divine Justice is in't, and the holy Prophet tells us, When Gods judgements are upon Earth, then the Inhabitants should learn Iustice.

Touching your Lordship in particular, you have not, un­der favour, escap'd without some already, and I wish more may not follow; your Lordship may remember you lost one Son at Bridgenorth, your deer Daughter at Oxford, your Son-in-Law at Newbury, your Daughter-in-law at the Char­ter-house of an infamous disease, how sickly your eldest Son hath been; how part of your House was burnt in the coun­try, with others, which I will not now mention.

I will conclude this point with an observation of the most monstrous number of Witches that have swarm'd since these Wars, against the King, more (I dare say) then have been in this Island since the Devill tempted Eve; for in two Counties only, there hath been neer upon three hun­dred arraign'd, and eightscore executed; what a barba­rous devilish office one had, under colour of examination, to torment poor silly Women with watchings, pinchings, and other artifices to find them for Witches: How others by a new invention of villany were connived at for seizing upon young children, and hurrying them on ship-board, where they were so transform'd, that their Parents could not know them, and so were carried over for new schisma­ticall Plantations. My Lord, there is no villany that can en­ [...]er into the imagination of man, hath been left here un­committed; no Crime, from the highest Treason, to the meanest Trespasse, but these Reformers are guilty of. What horred acts of prophanesse have been perpetrated up and down! The Monuments of the dead have been rifled! Horses have been watred at the Church Font, and sed up­on the holy Table! Widowes, Orphanes, and Hospitalls, [Page 11] have been commonly robbed, and Gods House hath been plundred more then any. With what infandous blasphe­mies hath the Pulpits rung, one crying out, That this Par­liament was as necessary for our Reformation, as the comming of Christ was for our Redemption: Another belching out, that if God Almighty did not prosper this Cause, 'twere fitting he should change places with the Devill: Another, that the worst things our Saviour did, was the making of the Domini­call Prayer, and saving the Thief upon the Crosse. O Immor­tall God, is it possible that England should produce such Monsters, or rather such infernall fiends shap'd with hu­mane bodies! yet your Lordship sides with these men, though they be enemies to the Crosse, to the Church, and to the very name of Iesus Christ; I'le instance onely in two, who were esteem'd the Oracles of this holy Reformation, Peters and Saltmarsh; The first is known by thousands to be an infamous, jugling, and scandalous villain, among o­ther feats, he got the Mother and Daughter with Child, as it was offered to be publikely proved: I could speake much of the other, but being dead, let it suffice that he dyed mad and desperate. These were accounted the two Apostles of the Times.

My Lord, 'tis high time for you to recollect your selfe, to enter into the private closet of your thoughts, and sum­mon them all to counsel upon your pillow; consider well the slavish condition your dear Countrey is in, weigh well the sad case your liege Lord and Master is in, how He is be­reav'd of His Queen, His Children, His Servants, His Li­berty, and of every thing in which there is any comfort; observe well, how neverthelesse, God Almighty works in Him, by inspiring Him with equality and calmnesse of mind, with patience, prudence, and constancy; how He makes His very crosses to stoop unto Him, when His Sub­jects [Page 12] will not: Consider the monstrousnesse of the Propo­sitions that are tendred Him, wherein no losse then Crown Scepter, and Sword, which are things in-alienable from Ma­jesty, are in effect demanded; nay, they would not onely have Him transmit, and resign His very intellectuals unto them; but they would have Him make a sacrifice of His Soule, by forcing Him to violate that solemn Sacramentall Oath He took at His Coronation, when He was no Minor, but come to a full maturity of reason and judgement: make it your own case, my Lord, and that's the best way to Judge of His: Think upon the multiplicitie of solemn astringing Oaths your Lordship hath taken, most whereof directly and solely enjoyn Faith and Loyalty to His Person; Oh my Lord! wrong not your Soule so much, in comparison of whom your body is but a ragge of rottennesse.

Consider that acts of Loyaltie to the Crown, are the fai­rest columns to beare up a Noblemans name to future ages, and register it in the temple of immortality. Reconcile your self therfore speedily unto your liege Lord and Master, think upon the infinite private obligations you have had both to Sire and Son: The Father kiss'd you often, kisse you now the Sun lest He be too angry; And Kings, you will find, my Lord, are like the Sun in the Heavens, which may be clou­ded for a time, yet is he still in his Spheare, and will break out again, and shine as gloriously as ever; Let me tell your Lord­ship, that the people begin to grow extream weary of their Physitians, they find the remedy to be far worse then their former disease; nay, they stick not to call some of them meer Quacksalvers, rather then Physitians; Some go fur­ther, and say, they are no more Parliament, then a Pye­powder Court at Bartholomew-faire, there being all the es­sentiall parts of a true Parliament wanting in this, as fair­nesse of elections, freedome of Speech, fulnesse of Mem­bers, [Page 13] nor have they any Head at all; Besides, they have broken all the fundamentall rules and priviledges of Par­liament, and dishonoured that high Court more then any thing else: They have ravish'd Magna Charta, which they are sworne to maintain, taken away our birth-right, and transgressed all the Laws of heaven and earth: Lastly, they have most perjuriously betrayed the trust the King reposed in them, the trust their Countrey reposed in them; so that if reason and Law were now in date, by the breach of their Priviledges, and by betraying the double trust that is put in them, they have dissolved themselves ipso facto, I can­not tell how many thousand times, notwithstanding that monstrous grant of the Kings, that fatall Act of continu­ance; And truely, my Lord, I am not to this day satisfied of the legality (though I am satisfied of the forciblenesse) of that Act, whether it was in His Majesties power to passe it or no; for the Law ever presupposeth these Clauses in all Con [...]essions of Grace, in all Patents, Charters, and Grants whatsoever the King passeth, Salvo jure Regio, salvo jure Coronae.

To conclude, as I presume to give your Lordship these humble cautions, and advice in particular, so I offer it to all other of your rank, office, and orders, who have souls to save, and who by solemn indispensable Oaths have ingaged them to be true and loyall to the Person of King Charles. Touch­ing His politicall capacity, which fancy hath been exploded in other Parliaments (except in that mad infamous Parlia­ment, where it was first hatched) and Acts p [...]ssed that it should be high and horrible Treason to seperate or distin­guish the Person of the King, from His Power; I believe, as I said before, this will not serve their turne at the dreadfull Bar of Divine Justice in the other world: Indeed that Rule of the Pagans makes for them, Si Iusjurandum violandum [Page 14] est [...]dis causa violandum est, If an Oath be any way frangible▪ tis frangible for a Kingdome: We find by wo­full experience, that according to this maxime, they have made themselves all kings, by violation of so many Oaths; They have monopolized the whole power and wealth of the Kingdome into their own hands; they cut, shuffle, deal, and turn up what trump they please, being Judges and Par­ties in every thing.

My Lord, He who presents these humble advertisements to your Lordship, is one who is inclin'd to the Parliament of England in as high a degree of affection as possibly a free­born Subject can be; One besides, who wisheth your Lord­ships good, with the preservation of your safety and honour, more really, then he whom you intrust with your secretest affairs, or the white Iew of the upper house who hath infused such pernicious principles into you; moreover, one who hath some drops of bloud running in his veines, which may claime kindred with your Lordship: And lastly, he is One, who would kisse your feet, in lieu of your hands, if your Lordship would be so sensible of the most desperate case of your poor Country, as to employ the interests, the opinion and power you have, to restore the King your Master by English wayes, rather then a hungry forrain people, who are like to bring nothing but destruction in the Van, confu­sion in the Reare, and rapine in the Middle, should have the honour of so glorious a work,

My Lord,
So, humbly hoping your Lordship will not take with the left hand, what I offer with the right, I rest, Your most truely devoted Servant.

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