LONDON: Printed for Samuel Gellibrand, and are to be sold at his shop at the sign of the Brazen-Serpent in Pauls Church-yard. 1643.

The Un-deceiver.

ALl Neuters are in a state of Enmity, and therefore in an accursed condition; He that is not with me, is against me, saith our Saviour, Luke 11. 23. And, Curse ye Meroz, said the Angel, curse them bitterly, because they came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty, Iudges 5. 23. Solon made a law, that in such unna­turall divisions as wee are too well acquainted with, all that would not apply themselves to one side or other, should be put to death, because they would not adventure their private persons for the publique good; for men not to declare themselves at such a time, was not accounted Moderation, but Treachery; because it is cleer and evident, that men of that strain did but wait for an opportunity to advance themselves, and be­tray the Common-wealth, by going over to the stronger side, as some have lately done since the taking of Bristoll: Pitie it is that Solons law is not in force.

But there are divers who are startled out of their Neutrality and indifferencie, who are still at their Wits end, and know not which side to take; if they take part with the Parliament, they are afraid they shall resist the Ordinance of God; and if they go over to the King and Queen, they are afraid they shall joyn with those who labour to overthrow the Church and Kingdom, by bringing in of Popery and Slavery both at once.

For the satisfaction of these ignorant and perplexed souls, it concerns them to peruse the Parliamentary-Covenant, and the Court-Covenant, for one of these Covenants must now be taken by every Man in the Kingdom.

The Court-Covenant:

First, for the Court-Covenant, there is nothing in it to assure us of the Princely Truth and Goodnesse of Prince Rupert, or Prince Maurice, who have a greater command in the Army, then His Majesty himself: 2. We are not yet assured of the Queens Truth and Goodnesse, nor of the Truth and Goodnesse of those Papists, English and Irish, who vow and swear, that they will maintain the true Protestant Religion: 3. We cannot be assu­red, [Page 4] much lesse rest assured, and fully assured of His Majestics Princely Truth, who hath broken so many solemn Protestations; nor of His Goodnesse, who sets His hand and seal to such unmer­cifull and bloody Commissions, witnesse that Commission never to be forgotten, which was sent to Tompkins the Queens Agent, to bear him and his fellows out in a Plot as black as that of the Gunpowder-Treason.

Secondly, Moreover, every man that takes the Court-Cove­nant must say, I do beleeve that the raising and employing of Forces by His Majesty, for the purpose and cause before mention­ed, to be most just and necessary. But all the question is, Whether the King did raise, and doth employ all His Forces and the Queens, for the purpose aforesaid, that is, the maintenance of the Protestant Religion; or rather it is out of question, that He doth not employ them to that purpose.

Thirdly, it is to be wondred at, that the Cavaliers, Negro's, Welsh & Irish, &c. should endeavour to procure the re-establish­ment of the Peace and quiet of this Kingdom; and that they should help His Majesties Subjects to recover, nay enjoy their Liberty and Property, according to the Law of the Land; for they imprison the persons of good Subjects; Is that the way to help them to their liberty? They take away their Estates; Is that the way to make them enjoy their Property? And is all this done according to the Law of the Land?

Fourthly, they vow that they will not hinder or prejudice the Designes of His Majesty, in the conduct or employment of His Army. Now, what Designes His Majesty had upon Bristoll last March, and what Designes He had upon London but the other day, is well known; And shall any Man binde himself from hindring such black and bloody Designes, nay binde himself by a Covenant made with God, from hindring Designes so extreme­ly displeasing to the God of Heaven? Let even Heathens judge in this particular; for it is against the very light of Nature, to promote this unnaturall War, and such unchristian, nay inhu­mane and barbarous Designes.

Fiftly, it is very strange that any Englishman should beleeve, that the Subjects of England are not bound by any Order or Or­dinance of Parliament; for an Order of the House of Commons doth oblige all the Commons of England; and an Ordinance of [Page 5] Lords and Commons doth oblige all the Subjects of England.

Sixthly, it is beyond admiration, that the Roysters or Cava­liers vow that they will not obey any Act or Declaration made by the Kings Majesty solely, which is not according to some known Law, Custome of the Realm, or Statute enacted by the King, Lords and Commons in Parliament: When as their taking up of Arms against the Parliament, and such as are quiet in the Land, is directly contrary to the Laws of the Land, and to all enacted Customes, as shall be shewn anon; nay sure they are not able to prove, that it hath been a Custome to take up Arms against the Parliament, we need not put them to prove that it hath been a Legall Custome.

Finally, though the Covenant did declare but now, that a De­claration made by the Kings Majesty solely, doth not oblige, yet here in the close there is a shrewd intimation, that His Maj [...]st [...]es Warrant is sufficient to justifie a mans bearing of Arms; their practise doth declare their intention; for if they have but the Kings Warrant, they presently take up Arms, and are not so vain to stay till the Lords and Commons give them leave to take up Arms against the Parliament. But as wise as they are in framing a Covenant, a Parliament-Captain may assent to the last words of the Covenant; for he that takes up Arms by the Authority of Parliament, doth take up Arms by Authority justly derived from His Majesties immediate Warrant; for they are His Majesties highest Court and Councell, called by His Majesties Writ, and what they do as the Supreme Court, they do by the Kings own Authority.

So much for the Court-Covenant, taken by the Roysters, Ca­valiers, Papists, Delinquents, &c. in the Kings Army, and by too many simple and cowardly men, who are under the power of the Army of the King or Queen.

The Parliamentary-Covenant:

In the next place, I shall give cleer satisfaction to such Obje­ctions as are urged against the Parliamentary-Covenant; some stumble at the Penitentiall, others at the Civill part of the Co­venant.

First, they say they are not prepared to enter into so strict a Covenant. To this it is answered; 1. That they have above twice as much time given them to prepare, as is usually given to prepare [Page 6] for the Sacrament. 2. Our Covenant of Reformation, is a Co­venant of Grace; and therefore we do not enter into this Cove­nant, presuming upon our own, but trusting upon the free and effectuall Grace of God.

Others there are, who tell us that a Beleever need not, nay ought not to repent: Sure these men know not what Faith or Repentance means, for it is impossible for any man but a Belee­ver to repent. From whence do penitent purposes arise, or peni­tent tears flow, but from the love of God, and hatred of Sin; now no man but a Beleever can love God, or hate Sin; and ther­fore no man but a Beleever can repent. It is cleer and evident that no man will repent, till he doth beleeve that it is to some purpose to repent. He repents of his sin, who repents from his sin, Heb. 6. 1. Now no man but a Beleever can repent from his sin.

And the self-same men are not ashamed to say; that the sins of Beleevers are not charged upon their own persons, much lesse upon the Kingdom or Nation, and therefore they should lye and be forsworn, if they should say and swear that the Nation fares the worse for their sins.

To which I answer, that it is one thing to say that God doth inflict satisfactory punishments; and another to say, he doth in­flict exemplary chastisements upon Beleevers, nay upon the Kingdom for their sake; for God may pardon the sin of a people, and yet take vengeance of their inventions, Psal. 99. 8. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, 2 Sam. 24. 1. and God smote the people with pestilence, and yet David a penitent Beleever, cryes out, Loe I have sinned, and I have done wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done, in the 17. Verse of that chapter. If it may go ill with a Beleever for a rash word, because he speaks unadvisedly when his spirit is provoked, Psal. 106. 32, 33. If God may visit their iniquity with stripes, from whom he doth not take his loving kindnesse, Psal. 89. 32, 33. then certainly God may so far impute iniquity to Beleevers, as to afflict them with temporall chastisements. I read that the heart of Asa was per­fect all his dayes, and therefore he was a Beleever, 2 Chron. 15. 17. but I read likewise, that the Kingdom was troubled with wars, because Asa dealt foolishly, 2 Chron. 16. 9. and therfore the whole Kingdom may fare the worse for a Beleevers sake. If you ask why the sword did not depart from Davids house, the reason [Page 7] is given, because he despised God, and took the Wife of Vriah, 2 Sam. 12. 10. Hath not God written bitter things enough against his people of late, to recall them from this errour? God hath put it past dispute, that the Kingdom fares the worse for the carnall confidence, security, unthankfulnesse, and unfruitfulnesse even of Beleevers. And if any do yet make it a question, Whether or no they should be humbled in these dayes of Humiliation, God will soon put it out of question. Oh let us tremble under the hand of God, and say with David, Psal. 119. 120. My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgements.

Another Objection is, That the King hath vowed to be reven­ged on the Parliament, and therefore we must not Covenant to defend the Parliament; because by this means our Oath would be contrary to the Kings.

Sol. It is answered in a word, When Saul swore that Ionathan should dye, the people swore he should not dye, 1 Sam. 14. 44, 45. And yet Doctor Fern grants that these were good Subjects, be­cause they used onely a loving violence; and yet here was not onely a Resistance, but a Rescue and resistance with an oath, and an oath contrary to the Kings oath. We may then swear, that if we can prevent it, none of our Ionathans, no good Parliament­man, or Common-wealths-man shall be put to death, unlesse he be legally condemned, but that if it lye in our power, we will rescue them, as the people rescued Ionathan.

It is farther Objected, That this Covenant is not onely against the Kings Oath, but against our own Oath, the Oath of Alle­giance.

For answer, be pleased to observe, That the Law doth direct aswell as oblige, and we are obliged to follow the direction of the Law; our duty then according to our Allegiance, is nothing else but our duty according to Law; if that the King command any thing against Law, obedience to such a passionate command is not Allegiance, but Dislegiance or disobedience; for he that disobeys the Law, disobeys the King. Now it is cleerly against the known Laws of the Land, to joyn with those Forces which labour might and main to overthrow the Laws of the Kingdom, and the Religion established by Law, under a pretence of de­fending the King. 2. The Oath of Allegiance concerns our resi­stance of Forreign force; and therefore the valiant Governour [Page 8] of Glocester denyed to give up the city to Prince Rupert or Prince Maurice, because it was against his Oath of Allegiance, to subject himself and the City to any Forreign Prince. 3. The Parliament-Forces were raised for the defence of King and Parliament. 4. The King is our Liege-Lord, as well as we are his Liege-people; and therfore He is to command according to Law, and we to obey His Legall commands. That the illegall Summons of a King is not to be regarded, is evident, 2 Kings 1. from the ninth verse to the sixteenth, here is a Royall command sent by Military Officers, the Summons was peremptory, Thou man of God, the King hath said, Come down: And yet the Prophets refusing to obey this command, is justifyed by two miracles from heaven. 5. In the Oath of Allegiance we promise to defend the Authority of the King; now we are ready to obey the Kings Authority, but we are not bound to obey the Kings pleasure. If the King command a thing which He hath no Authority to command, and enforce His command upon His goods Subjects by an Army, they that resist, do not in this case resist the ordinance of God, but the violation of his ordinance; and though it be a resisting of the Supreme Per­son, yet it is not a resisting of the Supreme Power; because the King hath no Power or Authority to give, much lesse to enforce that command. 6. In the Oath of Allegiance we promise to de­fend the Government of the Kingdom; now the King himself in His answer to the Nineteen Propositions tells us, That the King­dom is not governed by himself alone, but by the Lords and Com­mons also; for though in one place he saith, The Commons were never intended for any share in Government; yet he saith, The House of Commons is an excellent Conserver of Liberty, and solely entrusted with the first Propositions concerning the Lea­vies of Money, the sinews of War; and with the Impeaching of those, who for their own ends have got a command from the King to break the Law: Nay farther, that there is a Power le­gally placed in both Houses, which is more then sufficient to prevent and restrain the power of Tyrannie. This Power of the two Hou­ses, this sufficient, this more then sufficient power of restrain­ing Tyrannie, must be defended by us, according to our Oath of Allegiance; for the Kingdom is governed by the Courts of Iu­stice, and if the highest Court the Parliament be overthrown, what Iustice is there to be hoped for in lower Courts; The [Page 9] Government of the Kingdom will be overthrown. His Majesty addes in the place fore-cited, page 20. That if one Estate be suffered to encroach upon the rest (and the King is now most likely, nay doth most dangerously encroach upon the other two Estates) there will be a totall subversion of, or overthrow of the Fundamentall Laws, and that excellent Constitution of this Kingdom, which hath made this Nation so many yeers both famous and happy. Finally we are bound by our Oath of Allegiance, to defend the Subjects as well as the King, and therefore we are perjured, if we do not now defend our fellow-Subjects from that violence which is daily offered them, by those who pretend some Com­mission from the King. We are therefore much encouraged by the Oath of Allegiance, to defend the Parliament and our Coun­try from all illegall oppressions, and by the grace of God we will keep our Oath.

Their next Objection is, That there is nothing in this Cove­nant concerning the Defence of the Kings person.

To which it is answered, That we have already engaged our selves to defend the Kings person in a former Covenant, when we took the Protestation, and therefore there was no necessity of repeating it in this Covenant. 2. The Kings person is most endan­gered by those very forces who call themselves the Kings Guard; for they put the King upon most dangerous attempts, they urge him to go into the field, which if they loved him, they would ne­ver do. David was beloved of his Subjects, and therefore his Subjects would not suffer him to go down into the Battell. The King said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you my self al­so. But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth, for thou art worth ten thousand of us, 2 Sam. 18. 2, 3. It is true, the Kings per­son is in danger, but who's in the fault? Not the Parliament, for they have like his great Counsell advised him, like Christians prayed for him, like Subjects petitioned him, like States treated with him, but all in vain. The Delinquents then are in fault, who cryed out, that the King was in danger, and now indeed they have made it good, for the King was in no danger till he came in­to their hands, onely they themselves were in danger of a Legall Tryall, and therefore under pretence of protecting the King, the truth is, they endanger the King, to protect themselves from a Court of Iustice. If they did not love themselves better then the [Page 10] King, they would adventure themselves, and keep the King out of danger.

It is farther objected, that it seems unlawfull to enter into Co­venant against those Forces which are raised by the King.

There are three things very considerable for the satisfying of this doubt; 1. Whether the Forces which are raised by the King, have been legally raised. 2. What kinde of Forces they are which are raised. 3. Against whom they employ their strength now they are raised.

For the first, It is the known Law of the Land, that the King ought not to raise any Forces, whilest a Parliament is sitting, without consent of Parliament. 2. The Ports, Forts, Navie, Am­munition of England, belong to the Kingdom in point of Interest and Propriety, and to the King onely in point of Trust, for the use, service, and defence of the Kingdom. 3. It is against the in­tent and scope of the late Law of Presse or Levie, made this very Parliament; The King himself then hath delivered His deliberate Iudgement concerning this point, and declared the raising of For­ces without consent of Parliament, to be Illegall. What scruple then can remain? It being most lawfull to defend our selves from unlawfull force.

The second point considerable is, what kinde of Forces they are which are raised: First, there are two Forreign Princes cal­led in, who do plunder, rob, murther, domineer at pleasure: and all wise men will confesse, that the neerer they are to the Crown, and the better they are esteemed and beloved in the Army, the more danger there is to the King and His Royall Issue. Some Statesmen, not long since, were so jealous of that Family, that they would not have had it mentioned in our Prayers; but we are now grown so secure, that they may be trusted with an Ar­my. But we have not onely Forreign Princes, and barbarous Welsh-men, but wilde Irish, professed Rebels, and more black Regiments then one. 2. There are Delinquents up in Arms, some that broke prison, others that fled beyond the Seas to avoid the stroke of Iustice; now these are protected contrary to Law, they cannot be pardoned before tryall, nor should they be kept from tryall, nay it is a question whether the King alone can par­don them after tryall, for they who have offended against the three Estates, must be pardoned by all three, if Equity and Rea­son [Page 11] may prevail. 3. Papists are armed, contrary to Law. Now whether the Common-wealth of England, legally assembled in Parliament, may not protect the Kingdom against an Army of Malignants, Fugitives, Delinquents, evil-Counsellors, Papists, Rebells, Forreigners, we appeal to the conscience of mankinde, let the world judge.

We are engaged by that solemn Protestation which was taken all England over, by the Kings consent, to use our utmost power and diligence to bring such persons as these to their deserved punishment; and the wisest of Kings assures us, that this is the onely means to establish the Kings Throne, and consequently to quiet the Kingdom, Prov. 25. 5. Take away the wicked from before the King, and His Throne shall be established in righteousnesse. The direction is especially given to Magistrates and Courts of Iustice, and therefore to the highest Court the Parliament; for the King being blinded and seduced by them, is not likely to put them away, but rather to protect, prefer them. Now the Parlia­ment hath used all fair wayes to take away these Malignants from before the King, they have presented an humble Petition, they have presented a Legall Summons, they are now forced to send a Legall Army, that these protected Delinquents may be brought to a Legall tryall; for their Legall Summons was deri­ded, the Messenger committed and abused, witnesse the Summons sent to the Fourteen Yorkshire Gentlemen for disturbing the Peace; the Gentlemen being cited to appear before the Parlia­ment, refused, and alleaged His Majesties Warrant for their stay. We need say nothing of the protection and rescue of Beckwith that Iesuited Papist, the Story is sufficiently known.

The third thing considerable is, against whom these Forces; raised by the King and Queen, employ their strength; The King hath now declared, That he will not Treat any more with the Lords and Commons under the notion of a Parliament, and His Souldiers presently shoot or apprehend any man that declares himself for King and Parliament, and some of them drink Healths upon their knees to the confusion of the Parliament.

Now to fight against the Parliament, is to fight against the King and the Kingdom both at once; against the King, because the Parliament is the Kings Court, His highest Court, from whence there is no appeal, and therefore they who oppose [Page 12] that Court, are guilty of the highest Rebellion, because they oppose the Kings highest Power and Authority: The Parlia­ment then fighting for the maintenance of the Kings Authori­ty in that Court, and the Cavaliers fighting against it, is cleer and evident, that the Parliament fight for the King, and the Ca­valiers against Him, because they that oppose the Kings Autho­rity in His Courts, do manifestly oppose the King. And if the King in person be so far seduced, as to oppose the Authority of that Court, we ought not to assist the King, in opposing of His own Authority; for by that means we should disobey His Au­thority, that we might obey His pleasure, which every wise man and good Subject will count most absurd. Malignants and Cava­liers might learn by the Lord of Straffords case, That the Kings personall or verball command will not bear them out against the Kings Legall Power and Authority in His highest Court. More­over, to fight against the Parliament, is to fight against the Kingdom, for the Parliament is the Representative Body of the Kingdom, and if that Court be overthrown, then farewell Reli­gion, Liberty, Law and all. Finally, the Kings Army employ their strength against all strict and pure Protestants, they do either plunder, imprison, or murther them in all places where ere they come; whereby it is evident, that they fight against the Religion established by Law, and endeavour by force and violence to root all cordiall and sincere Protestants out of the Kingdom: In a word, they would by an absolute Conquest make all the Subjects of England slaves, to that so much affected absolute and Arbitrary Power, and make all the wealth, &c. of the Kingdom a pre­sent booty to their Pride, Lust, Malice, Covetuousnesse, and what not?

But the great question is, Whether the Parliament hath Power to raise an Army without the consent of the King?

First, the King hath consented that this Parliament should not be dissolved, without the consent of Lords and Commons, but should have the full Power and Priviledges of a Parliament. Now the Parliament by its ordinary Power, as a Court of Iudica­ture, can declare, and enforce Law, and therefore may in case of resistance, compell stubborn Delinquents by force of Arms to abide a Legall tryall; for this may bee done by an inferiour Court, and therefore much more by the highest Court. Now [Page 13] this Power being setled in the Parliament by Law, it is setled there by the Kings consent; And therefore no man can say, that the Parliament doth raise Forces without the Kings consent. But on the other side, the King cannot raise Forces by His own perso­nall command, without consent of the Parliament, because the King in His own person is not a Legall Court of Iustice.

2. In case that the whole frame of the State be endangered, & the Cōmonwealth like to be ruined, The Parliament hath a priviledge to do what in their wisdom seems meet for the preservation of the kingdom, For the safety of the people is the highest Law, an higher Law then Statute-Law, for all Statutes must give place to it, and therefore the Parliament need not urge Statute for those things which they do by Priviledge, as the highest Counsell, and the highest Court; nay when they seem to break Statutes accor­ding to their Letter, they fulfill them according to their scope and intent, for the scope and intent of all Laws, is to preserve the kingdom, by preserving the Properties, Liberties, Lives of the people, and preventing or restraining Acts of Oppression and Tyrannie; That the Parliament hath such a Power, a Legall and sufficient Power, to prevent and restrain Tyrannie, is ac­knowledged by the King himself, as hath been already shewn.

3. This Priviledge of the Parliament tends not onely to the preservation of the kingdom, but to the preservation of the King himself; For as it is in the naturall body, if there be a mortall wound in the body, the head dyes aswell as the body; so is it in the Body Politique, if there be a mortall wound given to the State and Common-wealth, the king and the kingdom will both perish together, for it is impossible He should be a king without a kingdom.

4. The two Estates of Lords and Commons have more power to preserve the kingdom, then the king hath to destroy it; for the two Estates, by the very Fundamentalls of Government, are bound to prevent the dissolution of the established frame, and the primary intention of the frame in such States as ours, justifies the exercise of any Power conducing to the safety of the community and Government established, as is proved at large in a modest Treatise of Monarchy, lately published by an earnest desirer of his Countries Peace, in the Second and Fourth Chapters of the First Part, and in the Third and Fift Chapters of the Second [Page 14] part. For it is cleer and evident, that the two Estates were pur­posely Ordained to prevent or restrain the excesses of the third, and therefore their Power is not wholly dependent upon, and derived from the third, because then their Power would be insuf­ficient to compasse that very end for which they were Ordained; For to go about to restrain and limit a Governour, by a Power wholly subject to, and depending on himself, is all one, as to leave him at large without any limitation at all. Besides, it is manifest that the two Estates have a share in the highest act of the highest Power, to wit, the making of Laws, and therefore they have a share in the highest Power it self, and by vertue of that Power may supply the defects, and curb the wilfulnesse of a Passionate King, who affects an Absolute or Arbitrary Government.

5. The Parliament hath a Power to re-call all the Illegall Commissions which the King hath granted to Forreign Princes, Papists, Delinquents, Cavaliers, or any other, and to disanull or damn them, by pronouncing them to be void in Law, and there­fore of none effect. And, nothing is more usuall, then for a Par­liament to damn Illegall Commissions, Patents, Writs, &c. and therefore no Commission of Array can justifie the proceedings of those hot spirits who are risen in Rebellion against the Parli­ament, the State and Common-wealth of this Realm.

But you'l say, that in this Vow you do likewise promise to defend and maintain others in whatsoever they shall do in pur­fuance of this Vow and Covenant, and you do not know what excesses your Confederates may run into.

The answer is easie, You are bound to assist them according to your power or vocation; if then they demand some assistance that is beyond your power, you are not bound to an Impossibili­tie, this yoke is easie, and burthen light. Again, if they call upon you to do any thing that is sinfull, that is not a Vocation, but a Temptation, you may refuse. Besides, you are to assist him in the pursuance of this Vow; now every man that takes this Cove­nant, doth in the beginning of it, Covenant to amend his wayes; and therefore you may remember your friend or neighbour, that he must set upon a work worthy of a Reformed Protestant, be­cause he hath entred into a Covenant of amendment or Refor­mation, and then you will, according to your power and vocati­on, assist him in the pursuance of his Vow of Reformation, though [Page 15] it cost you your life; for that Text must in these times work powerfully upon all tender consciences: We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren, 1 Ioh. 3. 16. not onely for our Brethren in a spirituall sence, but for our brethren in civil respects; If I would have my brethren of the same Town or City, my brother-Subject, my brother-English-man, to lay down his life for me, I am bound by the Law of Nature, To do as I would be done by; namely, to lay down my life for him: Let us therefore in obedi­ence to the Law of God, the Laws of the Land, and the Authority of the highest Court of the Kingdom, according to our power and vocation, take away the wicked from before the King; if we love the King let us do it, for by that means the Kings Throne will be established: Let us lay down our lives for God and our brethren, that Religion, Kingdom, Throne, Law, Liberty, Peace and all may be established;

Amen, Amen.


Ja: Cranford.

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