A DECLARATION OF His Highness the Lord Protector, upon his actual Dissolution of the Parliament of England, on Mun­day the 22th of January, 1654. With the Grounds and Rea­sons which moved him thereunto. And his Protestation to the People, touching the Law of the Land, the Discipline of the Church, and their ancient Rights and Priviledges.

EXamined, and perused, by the Original Copy; And ordered to be printed and published for general satisfaction.


London, Printed by Robert Wood, [...]

A Declaration of his Higbness the Lord Protector, concerning the dissolution of the late Parliament.

WHereas his Highness the Lord protect­or having, for some moneths by-past, taken a serious Review of the fruitless Transactions of the late Parliament; and finding, the whole National inte­rest so much depending upon their Actions, that with­out removing the Cause, the Disease would not cease, conceived himself oblieged, both to God and Man, to deliver the people of England out of Thraldom; which could no ways be made effective, but by removing of those Cedars, which suffered Bryers to grow up with­out [Page 4]Restriction; And withall considering that the five moneths (according to the Instrument of the Govern­ment for the time alotted to sit) being expired his High­ness (on Munday the 22 of January) sent a Message to the Parliament to meet him in the Painted Chamber, where about 12 of the clock he met with them; and de­clared himself as followeth:

THat he conceived what he had formerly declared, would have proved so memorable a Memento, that no means would have been left unassayed, or attempt­ed, by this Parliament, to have produced glorious things for the people laying open unto them how good a con­dition they found the Commonwealth in, and that the English people are as good a people to do for as any in the World.

Then his Highness declared unto them how God had owned them, and that they knew one another at home, and were known abroad, and that though he held him­self concerned to be owned by them in consultations for the good of the Common wealth; yet since they signed the Recognition at their entrance into the Parlia­ment he heard not of them, could not tell whether they were alive or dead, thus they were as free a parliament as ever sate in England, he never interrupted them, or intermixed himselfe with any of their transactions, but took all care for their security to protect them, and the Nations in peace and safety, that they never came to ad­vise with him for the good of the Nations, that he ex­pected and so did the good people of the Common wealth, that they should have made some good Laws for the case and benefit of the people, but instead of that [Page 5]their chief businesse was to alter the Government by which they were called, and which they found setled; and if they could not any of them in conscience have acted by that Authority by which they were called to sit in parliament. that they might have done fairely to have told the people so in the Counties where they were chosen, that so they might have chosen others.

That it was objected by some, that they had signed the en­gagement to be faithfull to the Common wealth as establisht, when they signed it, without a King or House of Lords, which ingagement was a trap to catch men and a snare to the Con­science. But howsoever that when it was taken, there was no Government setled, it was never intended that there should be a perpetuall Parliament, neither was it declared to be that Go­vernment, and divers of the Members of Parliament then sit­ting were weary of sitting, and would willingly (as themselves have said) have adjourned and gone home if they could tell how, but that they feared if they should then have risen before a Government was setled, that they feared to be bloodily but­chered when they came home. And that the Government which issued out upon their dissolution was his present Govern­ment, by a single person and a Parliament, and that to the greatest content of the people. And that he is perswaded it would have been a great joy to them if he could have attain­ed to have had the Government so setled as this Parliament found it, that there might not be on the one side the extream of Monarchy by a Kingly Power, nor on the other extream a Democrasy of confusion, for if it was sworn to be true and faithfull to a Government, then not to a Democrasy, or none at all. And that the present Government is owned by the people very unanimously in all the Counties and parts of the Common­wealth.

That he was sorry the Parliament had not, during their sit­ting, answered the expectations of the people. And that there are some Trees that will grow no where but under other Trees.

That if they would not suffer others to grow under them was a thing very hard. But they had suffered weeds, thorns, and bryers to grow under their shaddow.

And then his Highnesse mentioned and declared severall par­ticulars of the late plot discovered, and shewed how it was the most sad and bloody design that ever was against England, and the most dangerous, had not God stept in, and wonderfully be­yond the actings of men, appeared in the preventing of it; all the Armes that could be got for money bought up in the City, persons ingaged in all parts of England, and by a base people, such as the thoughts of it was most sad, under whose butchery; we should not have dyed as by the hands of men, but of beasts.

That these were suffered to grow under their shaddow, no care taken to root them out, onely the Lord appeared in it, and prevented it.

Then his Highness again declared, That there was occasion ta­ken by divers discontented and loose persons, to design under their present distractions, and an endevour used to divide the Army, and some drawn to act.

His Highness further declared, That there were some (whom he could name) that went into the City, and pressed them that they would come to the Parliament with Petitions to carry on their purposes.

And that the Parliament having delayed the Act for the As­sements, there were some of the Souldiery, for want of pay, dri­ven to burden the people by Free quarter, for they could not feed upon stones, which the long Parliament would rather have lost their lives than have suffered: And that forces were ready to have come out of Scotland, to march into England, but the wis­dome of the General there prevented it.

His Highnesse again declared to the Parliament, that there were many honest Godly Gentlemen amongst them, that he hoped, were men fearing God, whom hee could chearfully [Page 7]venture to lay down his life for. That he protested his desires are meerly for the good and safety of the Common-wealth.

And however some say they know not what the cause is that hath been talked of, yet he doth thank the Lord he doth know what the cause is he hath gone upon, which the Lord hath so owned and blest; and which he doubts not but that for the sake of Gods choyce ones in this Nation, the Lord will still ap­pear for them.

However, the Independents are abused, and laboured to be crushed, yet hee knows them to be godly, and ventured their blood and lives further than others; and minded them what a settlement there was made of provision for the godly and able Ministers of the Land, and also shewed how the people of God, though different in judgment in some circumstances, should own and love one another, and that though sometimes Gods Children be froward, yet we should not cast them off; God is more merciful, and will own the least dram of Grace in his ten­der Lambes.

His Highness further declared, that there were divers honest men of the Rebaptized Judgment, that are sound in other things; God forbid, but that they should be looked upon through the Spirit of Meekness.

And that whereas some say, that the Lord Protector doth all to make his own Family great, he did protest, that if to the In­strument they should have added but this one thing, that the Government should have been Hereditary, and no other altera­tion at all, that for that very thing he would have rejected it, because it would be an unfaithfulnesse to his trust; Fo, a wise, godly, and honest Father, may have a foolish, wicked, and nough­ty Son.

This Declaration, or speech, with many other excellent particulars, he went through. And in the conclusion, said, That he did not think it for the good of the Nation, nor to answer their ex­pectations, to continue their sitting any longer: Therefore he did declare, that he did dissolve the Parliament. VVhereupon, they made no desire at all to his Highness to sit longer, nor any speech at all to him; but their time of five months being expired, took their leaves of his Highness, and de­parted.


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