THE REAL CAUSE OF THE NATIONS Bondage and Slavery, here Demonstrated, And the VVay of their Freedome, from their sore and hard bondage Asserted. Presented unto the PARLIAMENT Of the Common-wealth of England, Who have a Power and Opportunity put into their hands to do good (and to fulfil the expected ends of many) if they improve it. From one that hath seen the Corruption which bondageth the whole Creation, and that waits for the Redemption of the Creature from under it, RICHARD HUBBERTHORN.

I will restore thy Judges as at the first, and thy Councellors as at the beginning, afterwards thou shalt be called the City of Righteousness, the faithful City,

Isai. 1. 26.
(Not before.)

When this is fulfilled in England, it shall be truly called a free Nation, or Common-wealth, (Not before)

LONDON, Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth near Aldersgate, 1659.

THere hath been a time when the prudent hath kept si­lence, but now Wisdom hath opened her mouth, and will be justified of all her Children, for the Lord is reviving the Spirit that hath been impriso­ned, and taking the yoak from off the disciples necks, and is going on in the Name of his power, to make his creature a free creature, & his people a free people, and the Nation that serves him, & obeys his Law, a free Nation; and the thundrings of his power is gone forth, and his Light is risen to discover and de­stroy that which hath deceived the Nations, and to give a dis­cerning unto all, of their freedom from their bondage, and in what it stands; and that is to be cast out which gendreth to the bondage of Soul, Spirit or Conscience, in any exercise of worship, or obedience unto God, which springs from the measure of his own life, which must not be hindered, nor quenched by any Law, Power or Pretence whatsoever. There­fore from the free Spirit of Life and Liberty in Christ Jesus, this is Proclaimed to the whole Nation, and the Nations round about, to take off their bondage, and to take away their re­proach, which hath lain upon them for want of the Life of Christ, which is now risen to do its own work, and perfect its own praise, and to deliver its own seed wheresoever it hath been in Captivity, the power of life must deliver it, from all that which causeth shame and reproach, which is the iniqui­ty and transgression of the life of Christ, which is the Ori­ginal Cause of bondage to every Nation, which the Lord hath promised to take away in one day, Zac. 3. 9. And his work and power shall be known by its fruit, Which is to take away their sin, Esa. 27. 9. One great yoak of bondage which is upon the subjects and seed of God in this Nation, and o­thers, is, that ministery, which is not free, neither will Mini­ster without money, and the people is not free to hear them, yet a yoak of bondage is laid upon them, to pay them; and this iniquity is established by a Law; so here is neither free preach­ing, nor free hearing, unto which the free Spirit raised up in this Nation, declareth thus;

[Page 3] That every one that will Minister, must do it freely, and as of the Ability which God giveth him, and as the Oracle of God, and that no profession of people may maintain anothers Minister; but that there may be a free Preaching, and a free Hearing among all People, that so it may be a free Nation, and they that will have Teachers according to their own lusts and judgements, they to maintain them; and that there may never any such iniquity be established by a Law, as for one sort of people to maintain anothers Minister, for this hath caused heart-burnings, envy and strife, insomuch that little Justice could be done for the Nation, by reason of the cry of complainers and oppressors, as at every Parliament, every high Court, every Assizes, and Sessions, and petty Courts, there hath some (pretended Minister or other been pre­senting Addresses, Petitions or Complaints, and so hath stopt the Just and Lawful proceedings of the affairs of the Nation; which interruption may easily be prevented, and the Courts of Justice freed from such brawling and unceaseable com­plaints, which hath been more interruption to Justice, then any thing in the Nation besides, and hath more hindered the peoples deliverance from being a free people, and a free Na­tion, then any thing in the Nation besides; so let every form and profession of Religion maintain their own Minister, and maintain their own Poor, which are crying at their Meeting-house doors, and in the streets, in the Name of their God, for some relief, that so there may not be a beggar in England; for herein the Christians in name, are become even a re­proach among the Heathens, to see their own flesh stand naked and uncovered in the streets, and Steeple-house doors, and at their doors, and they turn their ears from the Poor, and forgets God, and looses the bowels of Compassion, and are not merciful, as the Father which is in Heaven is merciful; and so walks not according to the Scriptures, but is a disgrace to Religion, and even a reproach among the Heathen; so let no more the cry of the Priests, nor of the poor be heard in our land; the one crying for Laws, to persecute and receive mo­ney of those, who they preach not unto, which receives no teaching from them; which cry is intollerable, to be heard or suffered in a free Common-wealth; And the other for want [Page 4] of the creatures of God, when as others spend the creatures of God upon their lusts excessively, and so the Creation is out of order; but those that are come into the Gospel Ministration, and to be taught of the Lord, and have received Christ Je­sus the Lord, and walk in him; it is not so amongst us, for the creatures of God are not spent upon the lust, nor destroyed; neither is there a beggar amongst us, who are truly of us, in the obedience of truth; so that we do not desire that any peo­ple or profession in the Nation should maintain our poor, for they are our own flesh, without respect of persons; for if any of us have of this Worlds good, & see our Brother stand in need, & shuts up the bowels of compassion from him, the love of God doth not dwell in us; neither doth any other maintain those that Minister unto us the Word and Doctrine; so we according to the royal Law of Liberty, desire to do unto others, as we would have them do unto us; and thus to be a free people and a free Nation. So every form & profession will enjoy their own Minister, till they come to know Him, unto whom the gathe­rings of the people must be, viz. Christ; so that neither Par­liament, Assizes, Sessions nor Courts will have any thing to do in matters of Religion, but to keep the peace of the Nation; And then he that hath the Word of God, may speak his Word faithfully and freely, without interruption; so that the Gos­pel of God may have its free course, and be glorified. And that great oppression of Tithes (which lyes heavy upon the whole Nation) which God raised up his Spirit in the Army once to testifie against, may be taken away, that what was then pretended may be now fulfilled, and the people eased of their oppressions which they have long felt the burthen of, and groaned under, that so (as a free people) they may be delivered from that bondage, and the Law may be disannulled by which that bondage is imposed upon them. So this will beget love in the nation, and all persecution, cruelty and bitterness will cease, and every one may freely and quietly enjoy the fruit of his own labour; then with much freedom and chear­fulness, will every one Minister of his substance unto all ne­cessary uses, knowing that the earth and the fulness of it is the Lords; and when this universal love and free Spirit is begot­ten among people, then will Righteousness establish the Na­tion; [Page 5] and that will be brought forth, which many sincere hearts and tender Consciences hath waited for, several years; and many have been even almost weary and faint, in their minds, in waiting for that, which they once had a lively sight of, and hopes to enjoy, in the Lords Promise of Liberty and Freedom opened in their understandings ten years since, in­somuch that some have been ready to tempt God, and say, that he was slack concerning his Promise; and some, for want of long patience, hath left off expecting that which they once believed and hoped for; but God is reviving the hopes of the contrite ones, and in them that had said, there was no hope in them, is he renewing strength, to believe that God will give Judges as at the first, and Councellors as at the beginning; the Judges at the first, were not to Judge for gifts, nor for rewards; nor the Priests was not to preach for hire, nor the Prophets were not to Divine for money, but the Judges did Mi­nister Justice freely between man and man; and the Priests did Minister the Law freely, which was added upon all trans­gression; so in those dayes here were no Priests that troubled the Courts, Judges, nor Councellors, with Addresses, Petitions, or Complaints for maintenance; no suing at the Law, no Imprisoning mens persons for wages, nor no spoiling of mens goods, and there was not such delayes in executeing judgement upon transgressors as is now, for the Judges sat in the gate, and executed judgement speedily upon the offender, & cleans­ed the land of evil doers, and so every one was to wait on his Ministry, which he had received from the Lord, and are to do so now, if they do it unto the Lord; he that judgeth for God, is not to respect any mans person in judgement, and he that hath the word of the Kingdom is to Minister it freely, and then the peo­ple will Minister their carnal things, freely, to every one that hath need; so that, whereas even from the Priest to the people, al hath been given to covetousness, strife & debate; every one now will be given to love and freenesse one to another; for he that hath spiritual things, will Minister them freely, and he that hath carnal things, will Minister them freely, and so will all come from under the execution of the Law, and from all strife and contention.

[Page 6] Another great oppression, wherein iniquity is upheld by a Law, is in the Ministration of the Law between man and man, it not being done fre­ly, so not, as in the begining.

HE that doth Minister the Law, let him do it freely for the Lord, and for righteousnesse sake; and let him be as one of the Judges in the beginning, and as one of the coun­cellors, whose eyes were not blinded with gifts and rewards; and so it will come to be a free nation, and then every man will not seek his own, but every one anothers good, & then will pure love spring up to one another, & one will seek to preserve and save another, and not devour & destroy one another about earthly things as now they do; so Christs spirit will be found among all sorts of people, Ministers of the Law, Ministers of the Gospel, and subjects of the nation, which were to save mens lives, not to destroy them; and then the Scriptures which can­not be broken will be fulfilled, and peace will be extended as a river, and righteousnesse as a mighty stream.

For it is this spirit which I have mentioned, in Lawyer & Priests (which did) not Minister freely, but for covetous ends hath made merchandize of peoples souls and estates, that hath broken the peace of this Nation, as many hath had a deep experience, even when the Army was in its first purity and zeal for God and his truth, that spirit did creep into their councels and cor­rupted them, and did creep into Parliaments, and corrupted them, and when there was any appearance of a Monarchy, or go­vernment, arising in that Nation, that spirit crept into every high Court, and corrupted it, so that whole Nations are cor­rupted with that spirit, so that till that spirit be purged out, there is not like to be a free Nation, or a free people, for it was that spirit which brought Israel into bondage, which was once a free Nation, and not in bondage to any man, while the Judges judged freely, and the Priest preached freely, and the Prophets prophesied freely without mony, or without price; then was Israel a free Nation, and a free people, and the glory of all Nations; but when the Judg­es judged for giftes and rewards, and the Priests preached for hire, and the Prophets divined for money; then they became as corrupt as the Nations of the Gentiles round about them, and then they came into bondage and captivity, and then profain­nesse [Page 7] went forth from the Priests into all the earth, as it doth from those in England which are in the same state; now see that sin and covetousnesse is a reproach to any people, as Salo­mon saith, Prov. 14. 23. and it is that which brings them into bondage from being a free people; now if none may Minister the Law, but those that do it freely, as unto the Lord, and as his Ministers, then that covetous, self-seeking spirit will be purged out in Judges, Councellors, Lawyers, Attorneys, and Solicitors, which would devour the creation, to spend upon their own lusts, that seeks for great places, to inrich themselves and destroy others, so that equity, Law and Justice is lost, and the free Ministration of it in this Nation; so that in many cas­es, a man had better suffer himself to be defrauded, then to seek to the Law for Justice, the administration of it is become so corrupt, and the law is so perverted by them, that a man is not suffered to plead his own cause, but is forced to hire a Law­yer, or an Attorney; and men are not suffered to bear a true and faithful witnesse, nor to have the truth and justnesse of their cause confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses, without swearing, and so people is still kept in bondage by de­ceit and oppression from having the liberty of their pure con­sciences; and so neither Law, Judges, nor Councellors are now as at the beginning, nor such as ought to be in a free Common-wealth.

Now whereas in your late proceedings, it is ordered and granted, that every one shall have their free liberty; first as an English man; secondly, as a Christian, which liberty hitherto we have not enjoyed; for as English men, we have not had our just liberty in the Nation; first, as concerning the Law; secondly, as concerning the Worship of God; for in this our own nati­on, and in our own Counties, where we have been well known (and also just and true, and of good report, and no evil justly laid to our charge) have we been shamefully abused, whipped, stoned, prisoned, and both our bodies and goods spoiled, ac­counted as vagrants, and not permitted, as English men, to have the liberty of the Law, because we, as Christians, could not trans­gresse the commandment of Christ, which saith swear not at all; so that if we may have our liberty as English men, then not to be persecuted in our own countrey as vagrants, where we are [Page 8] known to be no such persons; and from hence let a true t [...] mony, in yea or nay, be taken in our law without an oath, [...] he that can take liberty to swear, and so to break Christs c [...] mand, will take liberty to lye also. And secondly, if we [...] injoy our liberty as Christians; then we are not to be force [...] [...] a law to maintain the Anti-christian ministers, nor to be fo [...] to swear contrary to Christs command; and also that act, [...] Law, is to be abolished, which is to persecute any for trave [...] on the first day of the week, yea, when many of that day [...] but travelled to the worship of God, hath been imprisoned, some their horses taken from them, & never yet had them ag [...] and this is contrary to the Christians liberty, for the Chr [...] ans, and the disciples of Christ, in the primative time, tra [...]led upon that day, and Christ himself travelled upon that [...] as you may read in Luke 24. 15. where two of the Disciples [...]veled from Jerusalem to a village called Emaus, (and [...] being risen from the dead travelled with them) which was [...] Jerusalem about 60 furlongs, and that same day they trave [...] back again from Emaus to Jerusalem, verse 33. which in [...] is about 15 miles, and if they had travelled other 15 miles [...] it was but the Christians liberty, and no law to the contr [...] so let that be repealed, which binds and limits us from [...] the Christians liberty, and from walking as they walked.

And let not any magistrate be incouraged by you to [...]ny cruelty or persecution, from his will, upon any for the [...]ercise of their consciences in the fear of God, in obedie [...] to his will; for the day of your tryal is come, and the [...] which will make all things manifest, and every work of [...] sort it is.

An opportunity hath been put into the hands of many, to [...] for God who had no heart to improve it, but hath impro [...] their own interest for their own ambition, and God hath [...] them as a reproach, and a by-word among the people, [...] have sought their own, and not anothers good, and have bused the power put into their hands; therefore you that [...] not yet lost your day, nor time, redeem it, least the Lord [...] you by also, as not fit to do his work, as he hath done [...]


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