A DECLARATION CONCERNING The present Treaty of Peace, between his Majesty and both Houses of PARLIAMENT.

Containing the severall Reasons, why the wel-af­fected Subjects of this Kingdome ought to imbrace either Peace, or Warre, His Majesty assenting, or dissenting the present Propositions, propounded by the High Court OF PARLJAMENT.

LONDON Printed for J. H. and Hen. Hutton, 1643.

A Declaration concerning the presene Treaty of Peace, betweene His Majesty, and both Houses of Par­liament.

THe Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, (having taken into serious consideration, the mani­fold distempers of this Kingdome, occasioned by a malignant party, too prevalent with his Majesty, by which meanes this Kingdome is at this time ingaged in a civill, and destructive war, through many difficulties have endeavou­red all possible meanes to give a period to these calamities which lye, and dayly encrease upon this Nation, especially to close the divisions that have happened between his Ma­jesty and both Houses of Parliament, for which end they have concluded of a Treaty, and sent such Propositions to his Majesty, as are both full of honour and security to his Majesty, and his Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Yet notwithstanding all the endeavours of that high [...] honourable Councell, so mallicious and envious are many men in this Kingdome, both about his Majesty, and in this Citie, that they labour rather to increase these divisions, then to cure those desperate wounds which their former ma­lignancy hath made in this distracted and distepered King­dome, they cease not, but adde more fuell to that fire which flames to high already, for by their scandalous reports they dayly stigmatize and brand that honourable Assembly with false and libellous reproaches, terming them factious, se­ditious, peace-breakers, with many other contumelious base slanders, when it is apparent, that the said reports are ray­sed by persons of mean condition, and evill affected to the Religion and peace of the Kingdome, for all wise men know and all honest men must of necssity confesse, that the high Court of Parliament hath, and doth lahour earnestly to settle a religious Peace in these his Majesties Realmes, and Dominions.

By these delusive practizes they make the world believe that they are the onely desirers of peace,, when indeed they rather desire a continuance of the Warres, they having no other meanes to defend and maintain that cause, which they favour, (namely) Popery, and Prerogative.

Therefore that their practizes may be made apparent, & that the world may discern whether they desire a true and religious peace, or whether for some sinister end to them­selves, they counterfit, and under that notion, gain power to perfect their destructive designes, here is set down the severall reasons why we ought to desire peace, or embrace Warre, contained in this following discourse.

The Reasons to induce us to desire Peace.
  • 1. In respect of God.
  • 2. In respect of our selves,
  • 3. in respect of Ireland,

1. In respect of God, that the Lord of Hostes may be Slorified thereby for it must be a religious peace that must propagate the Gospell, and cause Religion to flourish and increase in this Kingdome, and not a civill and destructive Warre.

That this is apparent, we may behold a pleading and blee­ding president in Ireland, a Kingdome that not many yeares agoe was inhabited by creatures that scarce knew that there was a God, having no other instructers, then naturall instinct, yet that place being setled in Peace, it was become a fruit­full plantation, being inhabited by protestant proffessors, to the Glory of God, and admiration of Forraign Nations, but on the contrary, looke upon it now, involved in bloud, overrun with that rebellious Rout of blood-thirsty Papists, who have the same Designes on foot here in this Kingdome to further our destruction, and roote out and utterly extir­pate the Protestant profession out of these his Majesties Dominions, there you may behold how some few Months War hath ruined and destroyed the fruits of above twenty yeares Peace, so that now it is become an habitation for Wolves and Tigers, and the Temples of God, defiled with Idolatrous Images.

Therefore this may serve as one especiall reason why this Kingdome ought to seeke peace, it being for the glory of God, and propagation of the Gospell; therefore I wish all men would take up the saying of Christ, Mat. 5.9. Bles­sed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the Sonnes of God.

2 In respect of our selves. That every man whose per­sonall subsistence depends on his artificiall practice, hath cause to embrace peace, I need not declare: for the remem­brance of what they enjoyed by peace formerly, and the sense of what they suffer by this present war is an effectuall motive to induce them to desire the same.

3 In respect of Ireland, because without a speedy peace that Kingdome is irrecoverably lost, and made a prey to those bloudy and insulting tyrants, and being lost, then we lie open to the bloudy practices of the same power which hath so great a party in that Kingdome, then we have small hope to resist, being already divided amongst our selves.

These considerations (doubtlesse) have been the motives of this present Treaty, there being no desire, I presume, in any Member of that honourable Assembly inclining to war, if upon honourable termes our Religion, lives, lawes and liberties may be secured.

But on the contrary part, if the Propositions propoun­ded by the Parliament should not take effect, then the Com­mons ought rather to embrace warre, and that for these reasons.

  • 1 In respect of religion, that being Gods cause.
  • 2 In respect of the Lawes, that being the Kings cause.
  • 3 In respect of the Parliament, that being the subjects cause.
  • 4 In respect of the unjustnesse of our enemies cause, be­ing an unbounded Prerogative, and an Antichristian religi­on (the onely aime of the Papists the chief incendiaries in these unnaturall wars) grounded upon flattery and ceremo­ny, contrary to Gods Word, and the lawes of the King­dome.

1 In respect of religion. That we had many innovati­ons [Page]crept into the Church, I think the greatest Hierarchist will not deny, and that the beginning to purge the Church of those innovations, was the first step to this division, can­not be denied. Now that a Nation ought to take up armes to oppose those that shall not onely bring in such innovati­ons and idolatrous worship into the Church, but also raise forces to abet and maintain the same, is apparent: for that land or people that shall suffer idolatry to remain in it, is threatned to be destroyed, Jer. 44.21. and how should a na­tion have power to purge their land of idolaters and idola­try, but by rising with one heart and one mind, like the Tribes of Israel against the Benjamites, to punish those that have committed iniquity in our Israel.

2 In respect of the Lawes, that being the Kings cause: That the Lawes are the authority of the King (I presume none will question) and if so, then consequently those men that shall labour to destroy the power and authority of the Law, do as much as in them lies to destroy the authority of the King, since the Kings Authority is derived from the Law, and not the Law from the King alone. Now that they endeavour to destroy the Law of this Land is appa­rent, in their practices to dissolve this Parliament, contrary to all Law, when the King himself hath confirmed this Parlitment by a known law: in doing whereof they en­deavour to destroy his Majesties power, and make his word of no effect. Therefore for this cause all those that are true subjects to their King, are bound in this point to take up arms for the defence of the Lawes, in which consists His Majesties honour and Regall Authority.

3 In respect of the Parliament, that being the subjects cause. That in the continuance of Parliaments consists the benefit of the subject, is apparent by the many pressures [Page]that were throwne upon them in the intervals of Parlia­ments, when the Lawes were abused, and the subjects op­pressed by those persons which should have preserved them from oppression, is manifested by these late yeers experi­ence, and that by the wisdome of this Palliament those things have been redressed for the present, and those oppres­sors for ever disabled of the like practices, except they can compasse their ends by this war, therefore we are bound in respect of our own security to ioyn with the Parliament in the defence of this cause, which tends only to the future se­curity and liberty of the subiect.

Lastly, in respect of our enemies cause, an unbounded Prerogative, and an idolatrous Religion, grounded upon flattery and ceremony. That Prerogative is preiudiciall to the subiect, let France be your example, and that Ceremony contrary to Law and Religion, is a rag of Rome, look into Luthers Works, where he shewes the reasons of his falling off from the See of Rome, and then no doubt the greatest Royallist will cry down Prerogative, and the moderatest Conformist will shun their Ceremonies, and prove a Refor­mist, and ioyne with the high Court of Parliament in the maintenance of a cause so acceptable to God, so serviceable to the King, and so beneficiiall to the Commonwealth.

FINIS.

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