A VINDICATION OF THE Ministers of the Gospel in, and about London, from the unjust Aspersions cast upon their former Actings for the Parliament, as if they had pro­moted the bringing of the KING to Capitall punishment.

WITH A short Exhortation to their People to keep close to their Covenant-Ingagement.

Isaiah 62.1.

For Zions sake I will not hold my peace, and for Ierusalems sake I will not rest, untill the righteousnesse thereof go forth as brightnesse, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Prov. 24. 21, 22.

My son, fear thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with them that are given to change.

For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both?

LONDON, Printed by A. M. for Th. Ʋnderhill at the Bible in Woodstreet. 1648.

A VINDICATION OF THE MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL in, and about London, from the unjust Aspersions cast upon their former Actings for the Parliament, as if they had promoted the bringing of the KING to Capitall punishment.

IT cannot be unknown how much we, and other Ministers of this City and Kingdom that faithfully adhered to the Parliament, have injuriously smarted under the scourge of evil tongues and pens, ever since the first eruption of the unhappy differences and unnaturall warre between the King and Parliament, for our obedience to the Commands and Orders of the Honourable Houses, in their contests with his Majesty, and conflicts with his Armies.

We are not ignorant of the over-busie entermedlings of Prelates and their party heretofore, in over-ruling civil affairs to the great endangering of Kingdoms, and of this in particular, when private interests, ambitious designes, revenge, or other sinister ends, engaged them beyond their sphere. Howbeit, it cannot reasonably (as we conceive) be denied, that Ministers, as subjects, being bound to obey the Laws and to preserve the Liberties of [Page 2] the Kingdom, and having an interest in them and the happinesse of them, as well as others, may and ought, (without incurring the just censure due to busie­bodies and incendiaries) to appear, for preserving the Laws and Liberties of that Common-wealth whereof they are members, especially in our case, when it was de­clared by the Parliament, that all was at stake, and in danger to be lost. No, nor as Ministers ought they to hold their peace, in a time wherein the sins of Rulers and Magistrates as well as others, have so far provoked God as to kindle the fire of his wrath against his people. And yet, for this alone, the faithfull servants of God, have in all ages, through the malice of Satan and his instruments been traduced as Arch-incendiaries, when only their ac­cusers are indeed guilty of both laying the train, and of putting fire to it, to blow up a Kingdom.

An Ahab and his sycophants think none so fit to bear the odium of being the grand Troubler of Israel, as Elijah. Thus, the popish device was, to charge the Gun-powder Treason (had it taken effect) upon the Puritans: And, if you beleeve Tertullus, even a Paul is a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition throughout the world, a ringleader of a sect, and what not, but what he is? Yea, Christ himself (though a friend to Monarchy, even of heathenish Rome.) is pro­claimed an enemy to Caesar, to open a way to his destru­ction, by their malice, who never cared for the interest of Caesar.

Wherefore, although with us, who have had expe­rience of like usage, it be a small thing to be thus judged of men, when we regard only our own particular persons: For, if they call the master of the house Beel-zebub, how much more those of his houshold? yet when we consider [Page 3] how much it concerns the honour of our Master, and the good of all, to preserve our ministeriall function imma­culate (our good names, being in that relation, as need­full to others, as a good conscience to our selves) we dare not but stand by and assert the integrity of our hearts, and the innocency of all our actings (in refe­rence to the King and Kingdome) for which we are so much calumniated and traduced.

This we are compelled to at this time, because there are many who very confidently (yet most unjustly) charge us to have been formerly instrumentall, toward the taking away the life of the King. And because also there are others who in their scurrilous Pasquils and Li­bels (as well as with their virulent tongues) present us to the world as a bloudy seditious sect, and traiterous ob­structors, of what all the godly people of the Kingdome doe earnestly desire for establishing of Religion and Peace, in that we stick at the Execution of the King, while yet we are (as they falsly affirm) content to have him convicted and condemned: all which we must, and do from our hearts disclaim, before the whole world.

For when we did first engage with the Parliament, (which we did not till called thereunto) we did it with loyall hearts and affection towards the King, and his posterity. Not intending the least hurt to his Person, but to stop his party from doing further hurt to the Kingdome; not to bring his Majesty to justice (as some now speak) but to put him into a better capacity to doe justice: To remove the wicked from before him, that his throne might be established in righteousnesse; not to de­throne, and destroy him, which (we much fear) is the ready way to the destruction of all his Kingdomes.

That which put on any of us at first to appear for the Parliament was, The Propositions and Orders of the Lords and Commons in Parliament (Jun. 10. 1642.) for bring­ing in of money and plate, &c. wherein they assured us that whatsoever should be brought in thereupon, should not be at all employed upon any other occasion, then to maintain The Protestant Religion, The Kings Authority, his Person in his royall dignity, the free course of justice, the Laws of the Land, the Peace of the Kingdome, and the Pri­viledges of Parliament, against any force which shall oppose them.

And in this we were daily confirmed and encouraged more and more, by their many subsequent declarations and protestations, which we held our selves bound to beleeve, knowing many of them to be godly and con­scientious men, of Publike spirits, zealously promoting the common good, and labouring to free this Kingdome from tyranny and slavery, which some evill instruments about the King, endeavoured to bring upon the Nation.

As for the present actings at Westminster, since the time that so many of the Members were by force seclu­ded, divers imprisoned, and others thereupon withdrew from the house of Commons (and, there not being that conjunction of the two Houses, as heretofore) we are wholly unsatisfied therein, because we conceive them to be so farre from being warranted by sufficient Autho­rity, as that in our apprehensions they tend to an actu­all alteration (if not subversion) of that which the ho­nourable House of Commons, in their Declaration of April 17. 1646. have taught us to call the Fundamentall con­stitution and government of this Kingdome, which they therein assure us (if we understand them) they would never alter.

Yea, we hold our selves bound in duty to God, Re­ligion, the King, Parliament and Kingdome, to professe before God, Angels and men, That we verily beleeve that which is so much feared to be now in agitation, the taking away the life of the King, in the present way of Trial, is, not only not agreeable to any Word of God, the principles of the Protestant Religion (never yet stained with the least drop of bloud of a King) or the fundamen­tall constitution and government of this Kingdom; but, contrary to them, as also to the Oath of Allegiance, the Protestation of May 5. 1641. and the solemn League and Covenant: from all, or any of which Engagements, we know not any power on earth, able to absolve us or others.

In which last, we have sworn (with hands lifted up to the most high God) That we shall with sincerity, reality, and constancy, in our severall vocations, endeavour, with our estates and lives, mutually to preserve and defend the Rights and Priviledges of the Parliaments, and the liberties of the Kingdomes, and to preserve and defend the Kings Majesties Person, and Authority, in the defence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdomes: That the world may bear wit­nesse with our consciences of our Loyalty, and that we have no thoughts our intentions to diminish his Majesties just power and greatnesse.

And we are yet further tied by another Article of the same Covenant; Not to suffer our selves, directly or indi­rectly, by whatsoever combination, perswasion or terrour, to be divided or withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary party, or to give our selves to a detestable indifferency, or neutrality in this Cause which so much concerns the glory of God, the good of the [Page 6] Kingdomes, and honour of the King: but shall all the daies of our lives, Zealously and constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power against all lets and impediments whatsoever. And this we have not only taken ourselves, but most of us have by com­mand of the Parliament administred it to others, whom we have thereby drawn in to be as deep as our selves in this publike engagement.

Therefore, According to that our Covenant, we doe in the Name of the great God (to whom all must give a strict account) warn and exhort all who either more im­mediatly belong to our respective charges, or any way depend on our Ministry, or to whom we have administred the said Covenant (that we may not by our silence suffer them to run upon that highly provoking sin of Perjury) to keep close to the waies of God, and the rules of Re­ligion, the Laws, and their Vows, in their constant maintaining the true Reformed Religion, the fundamen­tall Constitution, and Government of this Kingdome, (not suffering themselves to be seduced from it, by be­ing drawn in to subscribe the late Models, or Agree­ment of the people Declared by both Houses (for the sub­stance of it) to be Destru­ctive to the be­ing of Parlia­ments, and to the fundamen­tall Govern­ment of the Kingdom, in Decemb. 1647▪ yea, condemned heretofore by the Ge­neral, and his Councel of Warre, and one of the souldi­ers shot to d [...]a [...]h for pro­moting it., which directly tends to the utter sub­version of the whole frame of the fundamentall govern­ment of the Land, and makes way for an universall tole­ration of all heresies and blasphemies (directly contrary to our Covenant) if they can but get their Abettors to cover them under a false guise, of the Christian Religion) as also in preserving the Priviledges of both Houses of Parliament, and the Union between the two Nations of England and Scotland: to mourn bitterly for their own sins, the sins of the City, Army, Parliament and King­dome, and the wofull miscarriages of the King him­self, [Page 7] (which we cannot but acknowledge to be many and very great) in his Government, that have cost the three Kingdomes so dear, and cast him down from his Excellency into an horrid pit of misery, almost beyond example. And to pray that God would both give him effectuall repentance, and sanctify that bitter cup of Di­vine Displeasure, that the Divine providence hath put in­to his hand; as also that God would restrain the violence of men, that they may not dare to draw upon themselves and the Kingdome the bloud of their Soveraign.

And now, we have good reason to expect that they who brought us under such a bond, and thereby led us into the necessity of this present Vindication and ma­nifestation of our judgements and discharge of our con­sciences, should defend us in it. However, we resolve rather to be of their number that tremble at his Ter­rours who is a consuming fire, and will not fail to avenge the quarell of his Covenant, upon all that contemn it, then to be found among those who despise the Oath by break­ing his Covenant (after lifting up the hand) although it had been made but in Civil things only, Lev. 26. Ezek. 17. 2 Sam. 21. and that with the worst of men.

  • C. Burges, D.D. Preacher of the Word in Pauls Lond.
  • Will Gouge D.D. Pastor of Black-friers.
  • Edm. Stanton D.D. Pastor of Kingston.
  • Tho. Temple D.D. Pastor of Battersey.
  • [Page 8]Geo. Walker Pastor of John Evang.
  • Edm. Calamy Pastor of Aldermanbury.
  • Jer. Whitaker Pastor of Mag: Bermunsey.
  • Dan. Cawdrey Minist. of Martins in the Fields.
  • William Spurstow Minist. of Hackney.
  • La. Seaman Pastor of Alh. Breadstreet.
  • Simeon Ashe Min. of Michael Basingshaw.
  • Tho Case Minist. of Magd. Milkstreet,
  • Nich. Proffet Minister at Fosters.
  • Thom. Thorowgood Minist. of Crayford.
  • Edw. Corbet Minist. of Croyden.
  • Henry Roborough Pastor of Leonards East-Cheap.
  • Arthur Jackson Pastor of Michaels Wood-street.
  • Ja Nalton Pastor of Leonards Fosterlane.
  • Tho Cawton Past. of Bartholomewes Exchange.
  • Charles Offspring Pastor of Antholins.
  • Sa. Clark Minister of Bennet Fynk.
  • Jo. Wall Minister of Michael Cornhill.
  • [Page 9]Fran. Roberts Pastor of the Church at Au­stins.
  • Mat. Haviland Pastor of Trinity.
  • John Sheffield Minister of Swithins.
  • William Harrison Minister of Gracechurch.
  • William Jenkyn Minist. of Christchurch.
  • John Viner Pastor of Buttolph Algate.
  • Elidad Blackwell Pastor of Andrew Vndershaft.
  • John Crosse Minister at Mathews Fridaystreet.
  • John Fuller Minister at Buttolph Bishopsgate.
  • William Taylor Pastor of Stephens Colemanstreet.
  • Peter Witham Pastor of Albanes VVoodstreet.
  • Fran. Peck Pastor of Nich. Acorne.
  • Christopher Love Pastor of Anne Aldersgate.
  • John VVallis Minister of Martin Ironmonger­lane.
  • Tho. Watson Pastor of Stevens VValbrook.
  • Tho. Bedford Pastor of Martins Outwich.
  • William VVickins Pastor of Andrew Hubbard.
  • [Page 10]Tho. Manton Minister of Stoke Newington.
  • Thomas Gouge Pastor of Sepulchers.
  • William Blackmore Pastor of Peters Cornhill.
  • Robert Mercer Minister of Brides.
  • Ra Robinson Pastor of Mary Woolnorth.
  • John Glascock Min. at Ʋndetshaft.
  • Thomas Whately Minister at Mary Wool-Church.
  • Jonathan LLoyde Pastor of Iames Garlick Hithe.
  • John Wells Pastor of Olaves Iury.
  • Benjamin Needler Pastor of Margaret Moses.
  • Nath. Staniforth Minister of Mary Bothaw.
  • Steven Watkins Minister of Mary Overies.
  • Jacob Tice Pastor of Buttolph Billingsgate.
  • Iohn Stileman Minister at Rotherhithe.
  • Iosias Bull Pastor of North Cray.
  • Ionathan Deverux late Minister at Andrews Holburne.
  • [Page 11]Paul Russell Preacher at Hackney.
  • Iosuah Kirby Minister of the Word.
  • Arthur Barham Pastor at Hellens.

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