OR, A Vindication of the Souldiers to the People of this Common-wealth, &c. laying open the manifold wrongs, abuses, and cheats put upon them, and the People who have duely payd their Taxes, to the enriching of some, the severall calamities and ruine both of people and Souldiery.

THe Souldery having since the beginning of these late unnanatural Wars (being soothed up by long expected Liberty) hazarded their Blood and succeeding Fortunes for promoting of Equity and Justice; and having from time to time evidenced their unalterable Affections to these primitive Principles, Dem. turned statesman, though by an unworthy matchivilian Pen▪ they are termed a changing and mutable Crew, ready to embrace all Governments; and that their miscarriages are no ways pardonable. Give us but leave in the plain language of Souldiers to publish our Vindication to the known and unbiassed judg­ments of these Nations, to whom we are willing to submit our Case, lest we be judged rash in rendring those that are really culpable guilty without reason, and fools if we conceal what may conduce to a general good.

At the beginning of these intestine and clandestine broyles, mens minds and consciences were so much abused for want of Liberty, that the godly of these Nations were enforced to engage in an unanimous way, to petition first the Almighty for those endeared promises of Soul-comforts; and thereafter the lawful Power by him established; but seeing it pleased God either for the punishment of the then power, their passing by the faults of Great Ones and men in Authority, and op­pressing the poor needy Subject, or the Nations in general for their murmurings and back slidings, we dare not judge: But thus it fell out, that the late King and Parliament did so far disagree, that Armies were raised on both sides; the King to defend his Power and Laws by him established; the Parliament to remove the iniquities then used by the Clergy, and supercilious carriages of many high minded, and Bishop-oppressors, who to the disgrace both of their Church, King and Country; en­grossed not only the wealth of the Land, but carried themselves above the gravity and dignity of their Functions; as also the removal of bad Councel from him, who were known some of them, to be the most blaspeming and unworthy Atheists ever God (whose name should and must be glorified by all men) suffered to live under Heaven. Albeit, on the other hand (though Jesuitical and Hellish Pamphlels renders us incapable of charity) we do really express the integrity of our Soules, that we ap­prehend there were as good, sober, religious and pious men with him, as ever shall succeed them, of the undoubtedly an­cient Nobility and Gentry of Britain. But he being obstinate and unwilling to curb those insolencies which introduced these untimely insurrections against him and his posterity; until he found his own time, was so far from yeilding to the reasonable desires of the godly at that time (whose integrities were as candid to the welfare of these now distracted and impoverished na­tions, as to the salvations of their own souls) that he gave way both to forraign and domestick Interests to blow the bellow and to enflame all. But the Wars being bloody, inhumane, and barbarous in many respects, seeing Country men murther­ed one another, nay more, the Father Warr'd against the Son, and the Son against the Father, yea, and Brother against Bro­ther. After the loss of so many thousands of innocents, some Matchivilians must still (to promote their hellish ends) pre­vent the King one while from his condescendency to the Parliaments just demands; and the Parliaments in another way to hear his reasons to the contrary: But thus Heaven frowning at the unworthiness of such juggling brings things so to pass, that he is overthrown, and we become Masters of the field: all which hazardous and hard encounters the poor Souldiery were for­ced cheerfully to undergo; and did with loyal hearts and hands endure. Then was it our expectation to see Liberty flourish, and all corrupt Judicatories removed; but on the contrary, we now see (as we are fellow sufferers) our poor Countries to be more cheated than before, and we slighted in the highest nature; nor dare we sollicit the Supream Court of Justice to en­form them of the tyrannies committed against us and these Nations from time to time, because of self-seeking-men set over us, who by our means were raised from the meanest Mechanicks to Lord-like Inheritances.

Nay, this is not enough, but when we offer in the least to commiserate our conditions, or make known our Cases to our Masters the Parliament, for whom we have expended our lives and fortunes, we are enjailed, beaten, and abused by our Officers, in a most barbarous manner. All which we trust the Almighty will consider, and impower us to redress both the injuries of you the good people of these Nations, and our selves.

Thus have we lived to abolish the tyrannies and oppressions of past times, but never expected to have erected and establi­shed worse, as their Successors, whose maskt designs and specious pretences, are not only made known to the meanest of the Nation, but will appear more palpable every day. Now we beseech the Lord of life to pardon both your and our sins, and to enable us more and more to make discoveries of such Apostates, seeing Religion consists more in the Practique, than in the Theorick.

LONDON, Printed 1659. ⟨June 8⟩

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