OUr present breaches call out to every honest Christian to be­come a continuall centinell, watching against the incessant as­saults of such as indeavour to undermine the peace of this King­dome, therefore seeing a storme Inevitably falling its good to meete it with understanding rightly informed, that so we may know how to propose the way of truth to others, and how to prosecute it our selves. It hath ever been, and still is, the constant practice of the common ene­my to set at variance not onely the Princes of severall Nations, but each King­dome against it selfe, dividing betwixt Prince and people, and incensing sub­ject against subject, that so they might the more easyly accomplish their wicked intentions in our divisions; and how zealously this designe of the adverse party hath beene carried on of late yeeres in these Kingdomes of Eng­land, Scotland, and Ireland, I thinke there is no intelligent ones but they can readily trace it in sundry particulars, and now at last having crowned their endeavours with the accursed fruits of ingaging this Kingdome in a civill [Page] war, they drive on furiously in the pursuance of this their hellish designe, which must of necessity usher in ruine, and destructions, if not speedily opposed and crushed: and let all good Christians be carefull lest by their own back­wardnesse they make good that base assertion of some malignants, That the Protestant profession is too tame to withstand them.

Now therefore since our present breaches call for a contribution from every one, its no more then our owne interest requires, that wee apply our selves to the common good, and that we may the better know our duty, and how we are to dispose of our selves either in the assisting of the one side, or in resisting of the other as we are thereunto called, Let us briefely take a view,

  • 1. Of the chiefe authors and fomenters of these unhappy distractions.
  • 2. Of the ends they drive at.
  • 3. Of the meanes they use to accomplish those ends.
  • 4. Of the dangerous inconveniences that will insue if these be not opposed.

1. For the Authors of our present miseries, the severall Declarations of Parliament tell us that they consist of Papists, of an ambitious and dissolute Clergy, of delinquents obnoxious to the Justice of Parliament, together with some part of the Nobility and Gentry that either feare reformation, or else seeke to lay the Foundation of their owne honour and preferment in the ruine of the Kingdome, and we appeale to all the World, whether all of them or at least the greatest party of them that have withdrawne His Majesty from his Parliament, and are now about him, do not come within the compasse of this definition, being such as have constantly laboured to bury the hap­pinesse of this Kingdome in the ruine of the Parliament; and therefore they that trust these Men too much, questionlesse they know them too little: for surely there is no man unlesse hee bee willfully blinde and stupid, but will conculde that the many eyes of those famous Peeres (that have sometimes beene adjudged the ablest States-men in this Kingdome) accompanied with so many choyce worthies out of all parts in the Land, should see more plainely and discerne more cleerely into those things that tend ro the good and safety of King and people, then those dimme lights about of Majesty which can see no further then their owne personall preferments and base am­bitious aymes do lead them; now accordingly let people adhere to the Coun­sells and commands of the one or the other, as in reason they shall finde cause.

2. Consider the ends that this malignant party hath hitherto and still continues to drive at (and their practices shall be judged) one chiefe and maine end they drive at, is the destruction of this present Parliament, and in it all future Parliaments, and together with them, the alteration of Religion, the subversion of the Lawes of the Kingdome, with the utter abollition of the [Page] rightfull liberties and priviledges of the Subjects. All this will cleerely appeare if you take but a briefe survey of their proceedings from time to time, first their love (or rather indeed inveterate hatred) to this Parliament appeares in the many consultations they had, and attempts they made (as is plaine by the depositions of many) to bring up the Northerne Army against the Parliament; and likewise in that unjust charge of Treason which was pretended against some members of both Houses, and the Kings com­ming with a company of Cavaleeres to the House of Commons to fetch them away by force, and then that which addes vigour to all the rest, their with­drawing of His Majesty, from his great and best councell into the Northerne parts of this Kingdome under pretence that His Person was in danger at Whitehall, which was a notorious black lye. Then for their love to Religi­on, I thinke that is manifest to the World by their conversation, their af­fecting of Blood, rapine, Torture, Oppression and Cruelty, their frequent Swearing, God damme mee, and God sincke mee; together with that sweet harmony and mutuall corespondency betwixt Romanists and they, the Counsells of Jesuiticall Papists having a cheife influence into their proceedings, Judge if these render them defendours of the true Protestant Religion. And then the great care they take for upholding and main­taining the Lawes of the Land, appeares by their love to Parliaments which are the Lawes protectors, as also by their favourable construction of the Commission of Array, the puting of the Sword of Justice into the hands of divers Popish and ill affected persons, giving them places in the Com­missions of the Peace, and outing of others which it seemes were too zealous of the good of King and Kingdome. And lastly their care of preserving the liberties of the subject appeares by those many illegall taxations of old, and of their late endeavours to possesse the World of an absolute, and unlimitted power in Princes. Thus for the ends.

3. Consider the meanes they use to accomplish these their ends; the maine whereof is to raise up a spirit of divisions and continually to in­crease a disunion, first betwixt His Majesty and his loyall subjects, and then betwixt one subject and another; for they well know that where verity is accompained with unity, it makes a people invincible; and therefore the better to carry on this their truth-detesting designe, first the King must be dealt with that the Major part of Parliament (being seduced by a few Trayterous, factious spirits) endeavour to deprive him of his just prerogative, and to trample upon his Crowne, and having thus impudently suggested a thing as false as the Father of lyers can invent, then no stone must be left unrowled whereby this misunderstanding betwixt the King and his people may be increased. After this the Subjects they must be dealt with, by many speci­ous pretences, and smoath expressions, and heartlesse Protestations of the [Page] zeale of these men both for the good of King and people, and of the earn­ing desires they have after a reformation (as heretofore established) and that all their counsells and designes tend this way; And then they secretly stab the sides of those worthies in Parliament by their calumniations, and false aspersions, telling you of their countenancing, or at least not suppres­sing the Tumults of Sectaries, Anabaptists and Brownists that swarm in the Kingdome, and hence they will affirme that all our distractions have their rise, Its well we know to the contrary, however grant it were so, yet these men will be found to be the cause of the cause of our distractions, for had not they by their divellish subtleties ingaged the Kingdome in this in­testine broyle, and brought our religion, lives and liberties and all to the stake, wee need not to have doubted, but that the Parliament with the as­sistance of the assembly of Divines would by this time in so me good mea­sure have composed the divisions in the Church. But the truth is the Ma­lice of these men is so generall against all goodnesse, that it had beene a slander if these worthies in Parliament had not beene slaundered by them, for envy and slaunder do alwaies attend good deeds in a bad age. Many other meanes that these malignants have used in the pursuance of their de­structive designes might bee added. Their frequent attempts of fetching in forreigne Forces to invade us, and providing great supplyes of amu­nition beyond Seas to destroy us, Their complying with Papists, Atheists, fugitives, and other notorious delinquents, to the end they might en­slave us, if these be not sufficient to render their intentions many miles dist­ant from their Protestations of endeavouring the common good, let the World judge.

Lastly, that the crafty devices and fraudulent pretences of these arch impostours may not be believed, nor their impudent expressions, threatned violence, and seeming courage may not bee feared, It were good that people were rightly informed of the manifould benefits that must needs re­dound to themselves and posterity, by declining the wayes and Coun­sells of these men, and by adhering to the faithfull Counsells and obey­ing the just commands, of the Parliament by whose Wisdome and industry so many excellent workes have beene wrought for us, whose proceedings from their first meeting to this instant have beene so spotlesse, that the enemys of the State have beene angry with them, because they could not be an­gry with them, finding no just cause wherein to accuse them, whereupon they have beene forced to broach many notorious untruths from time to time, thereby scandalizing the proceedings of Parliament, which time ha­ving confuted and given them the lye to their Teeth, hath not a little re­downed to the disgrace of themselves and the cause they favour; And doubtlesse those that have vented their minds against this Parliament, by [Page] such invective speeches upon all occasions, they would not be backward to nominate that factious party in both Houses (acording to the pro­mise made in a Message, &c.) had they had either ground or reason for it. But as hitherto wee can neither heare the crimes of such as have beene im­peached, nor the Names of such as are thus threatned; for could wee see any thing but mere words, wee should the sooner believe that the King was necessitated to desert the Parliament. I would wish the Commons of England were able to build their hopes upon any probable grounds that they should receive good from these men, that have thus shamefully and despightfully spit their venome upon the heads of our Tribes. Nay I feare there is few that can apprehend a possibility, that His Ma­jesty should really make good those solemne Protestations, of defend­ing our Religion, Lawes and Liberties, so long as these Achi­tophels are about him. In the late breach betwixt Scotland and us, doubt­lesse had not the Kings eares been shut against the wholsome advice of his Scottish subjects, whilst they were open to the destructive counsels of some evil affected ones in England, the fidelity of the Scots and the treachery of those counsellers had been sooner discovered. Therefore if we doe not stand to the cause now, and render our selves loyal to our Soveraigne, and faithful to the State wherein we live, by withstanding and opposing the destructive counsels and waies of those about his Majesty, who endeavour nothing more then to enslave the free subjects of this Nation, and to keepe them continually under the harrow of oppression, we may forever bid adieu to all that we now en­joy. It ought therefore to be every mans wisdome and care seriously to con­sider, that in forsaking this Parliament, they forsake themselves, their Reli­gion, Lawes, and Properties, and all that can properly be called theirs, for our Liberties receive their life from the Law, and the Law its life and prote­ction from Parliaments; so that in case we refuse to protect them that pro­tect the Lawes which are the protection of our Liberties, of necessity all must fall to the ground, and the will of the Prince and Favourites shall be the Law of the people, and so honest men will be out of hopes, and delinquents out of feare of justice.

There is not any age that can produce a story of a Parliament, freely ele­cted and held, that ever did injure a whole Nation; neither have we ever heard of Prince or people that casting themselves upon this well constituted Assem­bly that they were ever defrauded or prejudiced by them. But some we have heard of that never prospered having once diserted this great Councell. And indeed it may seeme strange to any reasonable man, that the Lords and Com­mons who are so deeply interressed in the Kingdome, and who must of neces­sity have a large share in the miseries thereof, that they should take such pains [Page] early and late in contributing to their owne inevitable destruction and to the ruining of the freedoms of this Nation. But put the case that we by our wil­fulnesse and grosse stupidity should so farre provoke the Parliament as to de­sert us and our interest, and to pursue their owne by complying with those Councels that are now about his Majesty, let the World judge what were likely to be the portion of the Communalty of this Kingdom, should the Par­liament betray that trust we have reposed in them, themselves might live like Princes, but we like slaves.

It hath of late been the maine designe of our adversaries by their subtill insinuations to render the Parliament a voyd assembly because the King refu­ses to joyne with them. This was well answered by him that said, if the Par­liament might not save the Kingdome without the King, he was sure the King might destroy the Kingdome in despight of the Parliament. It must needs sound harsh in the eares of a free people, that the King withdrawne by evill Councell may at pleasure take away the very essence of Parliaments meerely by his owne dissent, thereby stripping them of all power in matters of judi­cature that they may not determine any thing for the good and safety of the Kingdome. If this be true, it must needs follow, that its both vaine and need­lesse to trouble the whole Kingdome to make choice of its representative body, since being convened and disserted by the King, they must stand as cy­phers, and surely that time which was spent in preparing and passing the Bill for triennial Parliaments, and that for the not dissolving of this, was but lost labour, for not to exist, and to exist without any power, are things little diffe­ring in such a case as this.

Never was there any age, wherein the hearts of people were more per­plexed betwixt command and command then in this; We finde the King commanding and the Parliament forbidding, the King affirming and the Parliament denying, now in this uncertainety each man is doubtfull how to dispose of himselfe for the common good. If people could rightly distinguish betwixt protection and oppression, Monarchy and tyranny, they would the better understand their duty in such times as these. Question­lesse the duty that we owe unto our Soveraigne, it doth not deny us this pri­viledge of having respect to our owne safety. Now no man will deny the King to be the Lords annoynted, his Deputy, and Vice-gerent, and that every sub­ject ought to honour, and obey him so farre as his commands thwart not the commands of God; this comes not in question, neither is it questioned, whether an absolute obedience is to be yeelded to the unlawfull commands of an evill Magistrate, for I presume none of our adversaries will affirme that; neither is the question, whether Subjects may make an offensive warre taking up armes against their Soveraigne (as some have falsely and de­spightfully [Page] suggested.) But the question is meerly about our owne safety, and just defence, and may be thus stated. When as the King is seduced by wicked men who have a constant opportunity of instilling their poysonous counsels into his sacred eares, venting such destructive arguments as may most con­duce to their own ends, thereby prevailing over his innocent thoughts and purposes to his people (the most candid dispositions being subject to dange­rous inconveniences by the constant concurrence of evill examples and counsels) and carrying him on to take up armes against his loyall Subjects, The question is, whether in such a case of extreame danger it be lawfull for the subject to take up armes in his owne defence.

That a defensive warr is lawfull and warrantable in such a case as this, will appeare by these reasons.

1. Because the end of all government is to make provision for the good and safety of the people (that being the supreame Law) if then Princes being intrusted shall refuse to joyne with the people in their necessary defence, the people may without dis-loyalty save themselves, it being contrary to the nature and intent of such a trust, that necessary defence should be barred and natureall preservation denied to a people. It must needs be a direct over­throwing of the very foundation of policy for a people by preserving sub­jection to their Prince to give way to the destruction of the Common­wealth.

2. If the people might not preserve their owne peace against the unjust invasion, and causelesse violence of their Prince, we must conclude that God hath left man destitute of any sufficient humane helpe of saving himselfe; for grant that, and this will follow, that when a Kingdome is exposed to eminent dangers, the people must of necessity yeeld their necks and submit their lives to the wils of cruell men, since the King denies them meanes of safety.

3. The Law of nature binds each private man to defend himselfe against the Magistrate as a private man assaulting him by violence and not pursuing him in a legall way, and to repell force by force, the example of Naboth will cleerely demonstrate this, when Ahab commanded him to give him his Vine­yard, Naboth refuses to comply with the Kings command it being unlawfull for him to part with the inheritance of his fathers: Well, Ahab by the insti­gation of his wife still pursues the designe, and the thing must be put to the tryall, and to this end witnesses must be suborned, and these to give in testi­mony to the Elders and Nobles so and so. Now in this case Naboth was bound to submit to his censure being tryed in a legall way, & so to leave the undeser­vednesse of his death charged upon the consciences of the false witnesses. But [Page] now had Ahab come violently upon Naboth and attempted the killing of him for not subjecting to his unlawfull command, will any man affirme that it had been unlawfull for Naboth to have defended himselfe against the unjust inva­sion and violence of Ahab? If then it be lawfull for a private person thus to defend himselfe (as doubtlesse it is) then much more it is lawfull for a whole Nation.

4. This is warrantable by Scripture examples, 2 Chron. 26. 17, &c. When Vziah the King entred into the Temple, and would have burnt Incense to the Lord, which was not lawfull for him to doe, Azariah the Priest and foure score more withstood him and caused him to depart the Sanctuary, 1 Sam. 14. 45. When Saul would have unjustly put Ionathan to death the people rescued him out of his hands and told the King plainely that he should not die, severall other examples there be in Scripture which doe cleerely demon­strate this truth, That the unlawfull acts and commands of Princes may be opposed,

To conclude, that which gives men security in troublesome times, is the justnesse of the cause they endeavour to vindicate, let Achitophels plot, Sam­ballats mocke, Rabshekahs waile, and seducers wax every day worse and worse, yet Magna est veritas & praevalebit, The waies of the wicked though for a time they may prosper, yet they shall never be blessed; God hath hitherto carred on the worke of reformation with a strong hand, in despight of all Anti-reformers, and doubtlesse the Churches cause shall prevaile though se­cond causes should faile, yet the zeale of the Lord of Hoasts will performe this.


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