THE INEXPEDIENCY OF THE EXPEDIENT. Or an ANSWER to a Printed Paper, Entituled AN EXPEDIENT For Preventing any Difference between His HIGHNESS and the PARLIAMENT, About

  • The Recognition.
  • The Negative Voice.
  • The Militia.

Wherein is discovered the pernitious ASP that is hid under some pretended Flowers, which may offend and sting some weak Judgments, and may cause a swelling, and a rankling tumor in the Commonwealth.

Set out to undeceive the good People of these Nations, who by an over-hasty credulity may be misled thereby, and brought into strange musings, and perhaps murmurings (if no worse) concerning the present, most perfect, and most firmly established Government.

By Charles Noble, a faithful Subject, and a great honorer of his present Highness, and a true Lover of his Countrey.

London, Printed for Tho. Pierrepont at the sign of the Sun in Pauls Churchyard. 1659.

The Inexpediency of the Expedient.

VVHen I first beheld the foresaid Paper with its Painted Face, and Tired Head like another Jezabel looking out of the Window, I had thought that long ere this, it would have been thrown down, and tore in peeces by some able and powerful hand in an An­swer; but finding as yet of no essay that way, and knowing withal, that silence does nourish and feed an Error; that it doth feast and banquet it so, that it is strengthned and con­firmed, and shoots up and sprouts and grows by it: And least it might acquire the title of an undoubted truth, and sit, and rule, and prescribe in the hearts of some with a nemine con­tradicente; therefore I thought it my duty (weak as I am) to encounter this great Champion, who so boldly stalks and vaunts himself, and throws down his Gantlet, and bids defi­ance, and that in the sight of the Sun, to all that will abet our present Government, and so by a covert Consequence, and by a tacite Inference, to all that will abet our present most Illustrious Governor.

And though I am in the way of writing, but as a dry Tree, and as a withered Leaf; and though I am for the present made an Eunuch, and do lie under a Castration by being de­prived of the Armor of Books, which might assist me in this combat, and so a good Cause may receive some hurts and wounds, through the unskilfulness, or weakness, or naked­ness of the Defendant; yet though I have neither Sword, nor Spear, nor Helmet of Brass, nor Coat of Male upon me: Yet naked as I am, with a sling and a stone, I shall encounter this Goliah. And least I should seem to build the Gates of Mindus, which were bigger then the City, I shall directly come to an Answer to all that is in that Paper, and to all the [Page 4]Six Stanza's (if they may be so called) or Sections, or Pau­sings, or Chasmas, or Distinguishments that are there set down.

I shall begin with the Frontispeice, which like an intoxi­cating Philter fairly made up and gilded, has yet within it poysonous and destructive hintings, such, as should they be swallowed, would send up into unsteady Brains, vain and phanatick vapors, and fill them with a dismal and a vertigi­nous giddiness. It is called (An Expedient for the preventing any difference between his Highness and the Parliament,) when the Remedy that is prescribed, is the very Seed and Sperm, the very Nursery, and Fomenter, and Vivary of that differ­ence: For the Recognition, the Negative Voice, and the Militia, what is said unto them, shall receive their censure and solution, according as they shall fall in those places that the Printed Paper has allotted them. Onely concerning the Author, I shall say but this little, which is in effect his own words, That he is A nameless Lover of his Countrey. And however the great Byass of some special interest or self-end may lean so hard upon his judgment, that it may make it stand bent, yet surely his parts are great, and so no doubt is his policy, which he possibly may make use of to his design­ed advantage: For since it is a Maxime, That it is better to buy of Enemies, then to reward Friends; He may happily put him­self into that posture, still looking and with a purpose to be bought off. But I may not pretend to the knowledge of any mans thought, I shall leave that to the great Cordignostick that is above, and shall fall to the words that follow.

THe Preface, is like a strong and subtile poison that boils in the veins, and works so powerfully upon the spirits, that moderation and reason is utterly laid by, and a mad Con­clusion made from a suggested, a forged, and a false Principle. Though (says he) I look not upon the present Dispute about the Negative Voice and the Command of the Militia, as like to give us much trouble; (For, Usurpations and Tyrannies once judged by God, never recover to rise again in the same form:) Yet to satisfie those doubts and fears of those honest Souls who see not what strength they have on their side, &c.

Mark in what slie, in what amphibious, in what Epecine insinuations he endeavors to wimble himself into the belief of those honest souls whom he tearms so, whom he hood­winks and muffles, and even reeses and smoaks with doubts and fears, that he may amuse them and blind their eyes, which could not else but see the Imposture and the Hocus-Pocus which he useth. He looks not upon the present Dispute about the Negative Voice and the Militia, as like to give much trouble; when there is no Dispute about it, (unless the clandestine and slie Redarguings that are occultly laid down in this printed paper be that Dispute, or be a rise and fomentation to such a Dispute) nor indeed can there be, in any right reason, unless there be a dividing the bark from the tree, or the marrow from the bone, which is the perishing and destroying of both: I hope that is not the intention, though the words Usurpations and Tyrannies bear but an il­favored, and an incongruous, and a splenatick interpretation, and have the smatch and relish, and rank taste of the spirit of envy, if not of rebellion. Besides when 'tis added, There is reason and equity sufficient to stop the mouth of such a claim by any single person in this Nation; Is not this speaking out as the Jews of old, We will not have this man reign over us? We will not have this man our Supreme Magistrate: Or if our Supreme, his Supremacie shall be so manacled, and so fettered, and so re­strained, as the Heathens Idols were of old, who were chained [Page 6]up with golden chains, lest at any time they should depart from them, or do hurt to them: Or we'll make him so im­potent, and bring him to such a pass, that we'll do with him as the Persians did with their god Fire, whom upon the least disgust they would take and carry to the Water, and threaten his extinguishment, if he denied them any thing.

But I shall hasten from these ill-boding foggs, as from the opening of a noisom Vault, which sends forth such a pesti­lential Vapor that oftentimes doth strike the head with a stupifying diziness, and oftentimes with Lethargies which lead to death: And I shall come to the rise and occasion of this Government, whereby the nature and power of it will best appear; which is set down in the first Section.

Sect. I.

And here little more needs to be added for the clearing and asserting the indubitable Rights of this present Govern­ment, then what may be gathered from the words and con­cessions that are laid down in the Section it self. The present form of Government (faith he) as it varies from a Republique, was begotten by Necessity. See, the very life and ground of any Action, that may render it authentick and passable, is the Necessity of it; and this Necessity by his own concession was the parent and sire of this Government. And if, as the proverb is, Necessity has no law, or be above law, or be at least a law to it self; what childish and untoward waywardness is it, to dispute or contest, or any ways to limit or recall a vo­luntary act of this great Master?

It was found that the Parliament, by long standing, like water, grew corrupt and putrid, and was as gall and worm­wood, or the potion of Jealousie to all palats; it was not only bitter, but it caused swellings, even swellings and risings of heart: So that (as 'tis confessed) the people threw them­selves into the arms and protection of his present Highness late Father (of blessed memory) whom they found so stout and so [Page 7]faithful, (and withal successful) that they looked for all peace and happiness (in which they were not at all deceived) under his most wise and prudent government. Well, this being freely done, and by the honest people (as he says) who were accessory to the devolving the Power here; wherefore is the voice of murmuring and dissatisfaction heard? why is there a suppo­sition now only of his truth and righteousness? why doth he come with a Non putavi, 'twas never dream'd nor thought of A Monarchal or Family-interest? As if they had acted hand over head and knew not what they did, (which would be loth to be owned) and yet it must be so, or the Author must be said not to know what he writes.

There were other wiser heads (as he calls them) that by their high Places had approached nearer this temptation in their own hearts, which did foresee and were aware what might be the con­sequence and product of this overhasty credulity and trust, as afterwards indeed it came to pass. And here lies the rancor and spightfulness that makes him even foam at the mouth, that there were thoughts of heart by some in high places, that their turn might be next: And to see themselves Tantalized and plaid at Chop-cherry with, by the glisterings only and shews of a Crown, which they have missed of, this is a goad in the side, a thorn in the eye, and as the thrusting through with a sword.

Sect. II.

The second Section begins something smoothly, but yet is but as the playing of the Porpus before a storm. The Pro­tector (says he) did clearly run Bias to the honest Intentions of those that wisht him the administration of the Power, when he made himself a Civil Ruler. See here a contradiction: They wisht him the administration of the Power; and the next words, He made himself. a Civil Ruler. What was then upon the hearts and wishes of those that were instrumental to his late Highnesses most deserved advancement to the Supreme au­thority, [Page 8]lies not in my discernment, no otherwise then by a demonstrative conjecture, which leads me to a belief that they really wished what they so willingly acted, and that they would not have been so ready and so sollicitous to make him a Protector, that they would ever afterwards wish him to be otherwise; especially it being (as he says) that changes in States and Governments being brought forth with such pangs and throwes as are very uneasie and dangerous, and so they may not be imagined to be every days work: Therefore it was indeed in vain to re­tract or withdraw the trust committed, or to divorce the Militia from the Scepter, either in his Person, or in the Per­son of his Successor; for be it what it will, That was fought against in the person of the late King. This I am certain of, That take away the Power of the Power, take away the Militia from the Protectorship, take away the Sword from the Magistrate, and then the Power, and the Protectorship, and the Magistracy will be but like great Gilt Letters, and all Consonants without Vowels, which at best will make but a harsh and insignificant noise: Where the power of Compel­ling is taken away, the desire of Serving grows quickly cold, abates and dies.

Sect. III.

In this third Section, the bone that so sticks in the throat shews it self. 'Tis put upon the Disgust of the Patriots in the late Parliament: When I am confident the knowing good People of this Nation, whose Representative they only were, would not at all difrelish the word, nor be disquieted at it. 'Tis called Hereditary succession, and (by his own words) there was then in Parliament powerful strivings for Hereditary suc­cession. Now should that have taken place, the buds of all others hopes had been nipt, their branches that ways had been lopt off, and their very roots had been laid bare and digg'd up: Therefore to keep up their spirits from a despondencie, and an utter dying in them, The Nomination of the Immediate Suc­cession [Page 9]was indulged (as 'tis phrased) to his late Highness; and that but upon a very high confidence of the spirit, and principles of his late Highness, to carry him above all private respects, in the executi­on of the trust of Nomination. By this 'tis plain and evident what is drove at; Hereditary succession is twice named, and once hinted in the words, Above all private respects, in the trust of Nomination. So that had his late Highness waved all his own Relations and concernments, had he shut up his Princely bow­els of nature and humanity, and passing by his own Illustrious Sons, had pitch'd upon the Nomination of one of those that looked, and long'd, and hoped, and lingred after it; then question not but Hereditary succession had gone down easily, then the Match betwixt the Militia and the Scepter had ad­mitted of no scruples, and it should have been too late for any to forbid the banes. But in regard he did nominate for his Successor his Royal Son (whom God long preserve) from hence these fretful, peevish scruples do arise.

Sect. IV.

In this Section, and in the other that follows, there is, as I may so say, a Scale of Votes. 'Tis put to the Question, Whether or no his present Highness being in possession of the Government, may not therewith take the power of the Militia which was invested in his Father? And whether the Negative Voice also descends not unto him with the Civil Go­vernment? 'Tis resolved by the Author negatively: The ground he lays must be viewed. For the Militia (he says) it is true, the supreme Command of all the Armies in the Three Nations was in his late Highness, but not as he was Protector, but as he was General, which he was before he was Protector; so that the Protector or Civil Government was annexed to the Militia, not the Militia to the Civil Government, &c. To the solution of this, I must have recourse to the Humble [Page 10]Petition and Advice, where the confusion being foreseen that might commence for want of a Nomination of a Successor, It was petitioned to his late Highness in these words; That your Highness would be pleased during your life-time to appoint and declare the Person who shall immediately after your death succeed you in the Government of these Nations. Which his late Highness accordingly did; he nominated and appointed the most Illustrious RICHARD to succeed him in the Govern­ment in the three Nations. Now could it be supposed that he would have him succeed in part of his Government, and not in the whole? Or can it be imagined that he would ap­point him to the Scepter, and leave the Militia in the power and at the dispose of any other person? especially since 'tis alleaged by the Author, that the Military power and capacity must serve as a strength and security to the person of the Pro­tector, in the due exercise of the power of Civil administration (be it) onely intrusted with him. So that if the now present Protector be to administer Justice, as undoubtedly he is, and ever will do, it would be but an idle dream to think he either should or could do it, should the sword of Justice be ever wrested from his hand: Or if he be lookt upon as a Protection and a Defence unto his people under his dominions, how can that great benefit be reasonably expected, when he shall be di­vested of all power and means to do it? So that whatever power was thought fit to be intrusted in the person of his late High­ness, (which was indeed, and also thought fit for all the power the three Nations could cast upon him) whatever trust was reposed in him under what capacity soever, whether as General or Protector, or Protector or General, or both, or more, the same power, the same trust indubitably is devolved upon the person of his now present Highness. First by the Humble Petition and Advice it was thrown upon his late High­ness; and according to that Petition and Advice, it is now thrown upon the present Protector. And I question not but that we shall have all great cause to bless God, that hath set over us so good and so pious a Ruler, one who is of such a [Page 11]spirit, of such Integrity and Faithfulness, that it may be as justly said of his Highness, as it was of his late renowned Father, The like qualified Person is not to be found in the Three Nations.

Sect. V.

In the next place comes the other Vote, which is passed to the condemning the Negative Voice. The Negative Voice (says he) was never disputed with his late Highness (where it was suffered to sleep as in a safe hand) for his Personal Vertues. If it was never disputed with his late Highness, why is it disputed now? And if it was suffered to sleep in his days, as in a safe hand, why is it not suffered to sleep in those hands now, which assuredly are as safe? And were not his present High­ness endued with Personal Vertues more then ordinary, he would not certainly suffer such harsh and unpleasant Speeches to pass by without some eminent resentment: For whereas it is urged, That his late Highness for his Personal Vertues had the Negative Voice sleeping by him, as in a safe hand, without the least question, may it not be reasonably, if not necessarily inferred, That since the business is in dispute with his present Highness, that the eclipsing or abating of such Personal Vertues in him (which I renounce the thought of) is laid as the ground and rise of this dispute? And if the Negative Voice may not be concredited nor trusted with any Power, or Person, since the taking away the King or Kingly Government, why was it trusted so before in the hands of his Highness Father? And if with him, is it ima­ginable that it should be given up, or abate, or go less now?

And whereas it is alleaged to be a thing superfluous as well as dangerous, to grant the Supreme Power a Negative Voice; for that its deem'd the Parliament to be quick sighted enough, and to be so wise in their generation as to be able to judge, what [Page 12]is good and behoveful for the Nation, wherein their stakes and interests lie. It is easily granted, That they can spy enough as to their own concerns and interests, but whether or no, if they be left at large, and to do what ever they please, they may not possibly at sometime or other be tampering with that, that may not at all sute with the conveniency and con­cernment of another. The words following have an odde tang with them, In a Commonwealth (says he) as we are (or should be) no distinct Person or Family-Interest, ought to be owned. And this is not the first time he has been up with this Family Interest in this Paper, by which it appears, that the word is hard of digestion, and lies very heavy upon his stomack, as you will further see in the next Section.

Sect. VI.

Here is the Negative Voice quite out of doors, and put to Kennel (as it were) with Kingship; and having by this the World in a string, as may be imagined, they here proceed to run riot, and with full cry they pursue and hunt, both the Supreme Power, and the Other House.

First, (he says) We have no Civil Head now that is Master of the Commonwealth, but a Servant to it, (though an honor­able Servant, and it is fit he should be so maintained.) It is true, though the greatest Prince be but a Servant to his Countrey, out of meer Natural Love and Affection, yet it was never disputed, but that the Supreme Ruler, was stiled and owned to be a Civil Head.

And yet one thing more may be hinted as to the Servant (whom they term so) how honorable and glorious soever they may nominate him, and how liberal and large soever his Exhibition and Maintenance may be, yet it is not always safe to give too over-hasty a credulity and reliance upon some Masters. But the resolution he says is easie, and it may be [Page 13]so; for it is like Penelopes Web, that one hand unravels what the other makes up.

First, he says, Let his present Highness be acknowledged and confirmed as Supreme Magistrate in these Three Nations; and next he says, Let the Officers of the Army chuse their General, and let him have his Commission from the Protector and Parlia­ment. If this last be granted, and that the Officers chuse their General, it is in anothers Brest whether the first shall stand good or no; or whether his present Highness shall in­deed be acknowledged or confirmed as the Supreme Magi­strate in the Three Nations, which is evident by the next Proposition, which is accented thus.

Let his Highness, now being with the Parliament, have the power of disposing and commanding these Forces, and of making War and Peace. So that the sense is obvious, That whilst his Highness is with the Parliament, he shall command the For­ces (if his Commands will be hearkned too, when there is another General) but when the Parliament breaks up, then he shall have no such power; which is further intimated in the following words.

A single person (says he) cannot hurt us, if an unfit power be not concredited and intrusted with him; and what that unfit power is, it cannot be surmised, unless it be the power of the whole Army; and if that may not be trusted with his High­ness, with what safety may he trust it in anothers hands, and put it out of his own.

But it is frankly granted, That the single Person may stand; for (says he) when we engaged against a King, it was not against a single Person simply but so circumstanced as Arbi­trary, Tyrannical, with a luxurious Court, &c. We engaged not against what might be useful (no Rational man would do) but what we found hurtful: Therefore the single Person may stand. It is possibly he may do so, but how, or how long, or with what safety, there's the Quere; for the next words are omi­nous and direfully portentous. We gave not up the substance [Page 14]of our Cause, be not baffled in that, says he; and with an in­gemination, give not up the very heart and substance of our Cause, part not with that. And what that Cause may produce, and what sad effects that may beget; the great God above onely knows, who onely knows what might be meant by that Cause: For whilst the Officers in the Army are covertly in­vited to keep their integrity (as questionless they will, ac­cording as they have vouched it, and protested it to their lives and fortunes) I hope it is no other integrity, nor to no other Person then to his present Highness, who ought of special right to be invested Generalissimo, and to have the pri­mary and sole Command of the Army, and to have not meer­ly an Honorable, but the onely Interest in the commanding the Militia.

Now for the Other House (as he calls them) he gives them a short pass and sends them away, some to go whither they will, and others (whom the Parliament shall think fit) to pass into the Council of State: Never heeding, nor so much as casting an eye upon the Humble Petition and Advice, which plainly says, That the persons so Summoned and Assem­bled together (it is laid down before, how, and by whom, and after what manner, and how many shall be called) shall be, and are hereby declared to be the Other House of Par­liament, and shall and may without further Approbation of this House (meaning the House of Commons) from such time of their meeting, proceed to do, and perform all such matters and things, as the Other House of Parliament. So that if they are constituted a House of Lords, meerly with the single Impress of the Supreme Signature, and Summon­ing, without any further Approbation of the House of Commons, whom he calls the Parliament, then hands off for any Person or Persons else to intermeddle with them, or to dispute their existency, or to limit and binde up their power.

The Humble Petition and Advice hath butted and bounded [Page 15]our Interests, that there might not be any straying in our thoughts of new Models or Platforms of Government; there were presumptuous thoughts of old in some Astrolo­gers, that made them give out (how vainly it is easily ima­gined) That if they had been at the making of the Heavens, they would have contrived them better, and put a goodlier shape upon them, then now they have. Such a spirit of giddiness hath possest some brains now, that they could form a better Commonwealth, beyond that of the fancied Utopia, that they could make better Laws, a better Government, a better Governor; and that makes their fingers so busie, and to nib so about the Knot that ties up, and is the very Bond of our Peace.

To conclude, (I may say it with sorrow) See if the grudging spirit of the revolting Israelites be not strayed and got into some bosoms here amongst us. The Scripture at large records it, and it cannot be unknown to any man of any reading, what Gideon did for the deliverance of Israel: The Midianites oppressed them sore, so that they were forced to make themselves dens in the mountains and caves in the rocks to hide themselves; there was left no suste­nance for Israel, neither Sheep, nor Oxe, nor Ass; they had Enemies like Grashoppers for multitude, and they and their camels were without number; they could make no resistance: And yet in these straits the Lord raised up Gideon, and by a handfull of men with a few pitchers and lamps he delivered them from all their Enemies: Upon this the men of Israel cry up a Gideon! Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy sons son! And they had rest forty years. But Gideon dies, and mark their ingratitude, They shewed no kindness to the house of Gideon.

Are not there some such spirits in this Nation! Was not his late Highness, of precious memory, as another Gideon to this Nation? Might it not be said of him, as the Angel said to Gideon, The Lord is with thee, thou valiant man? [Page 16]Were not our fears horrible fears, and our Enemies many Enemies? and not only so, but were they not potent Ene­mies? were not they politique Enemies? were they not a­betted by most of the Christian Nations, besides their own Party, and that no small one, in our very bowels, and in the heart of our Nation among us? And yet this our Gideon, though with many and sore Battels, gave us at length our. Liberties which we now enjoy. Did not this our Gideon highly merit at our hands, to lift him up, and to cry, Do thou and thy son, and thy sons son rule over us! But this our Gideon now rests from his labors: And what kindness is shewed to the House of this Jerubbaal, this our Gideon, the Printed Paper to which this is intended as an Answer, will plainly shew.

The End.

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.