Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Par­liament, that this bee forthwith printed.

Hen. Elsinge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

ENGLANDS COMPLAINT, OR The Church her Lamentation, pittifully bemoaning her selfe to her Children, to move them to compassi­onate her, now in this troublesome time, and to bring them to a mutuall agreement and reconciliation.

IT was the Fathers complaint over his children▪ Heare O Heavens, and hearken O Earth, for I have nourished and brought up children, but they have re­belled against me: Even so now it is, and may well be the Mothers: Heare O yee Heavens, and hearken O Earth! For I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me, in seeking to destroy me, and to bring me to utter ruine and desolution Ah woefull Mother of a stubborn and disobedient off-spring. How did I sit as a Queen (rejoycing and solacing my selfe in the midst of the Nations) and said, I shall see no sorrow? But now (behold) that which I feared not is come upon me, it is come upon me suddenly and in a moment, and paines as upon a woman in travell. My lovers and acquaintance begin to forsake me, and stand a far off, looking upon my trouble. I am forsaken of mine own chil­dren, even those I brought up upon my breasts, and dandled upon my knees. Behold therefore if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, and like unto that, wherein the Lord begin­neth [Page 2] to visit me. Pity me ô my children, ô pity me and let not your fainting and disconsolate mother, sinke down betweene your hands. O be not so cruell and hard-hearted as by your civill discord, by intestine war, by schisme, faction and divisi­on, to rend and teare out the bowels of your mother! which hath so lovingly nurst & brought you up, so tenderly kept you, and Pelicane like hath fed you with her own heart bloud, even the bloud of Saints & Martyrs. O make not my sorrow greater, in despising of me. I am black, but comely: I am black in re­gard of some enormities, misdemeanors, and imperfections; but comely as the tents of Kedar, and as the curtaines of Salomon▪ Regard ye me not, because I have some spots and wrinckles in outward shew and appearance? yet (behold) within I am all faire and beautifull: For the King's daughter is all glorious within: It is the Romane strumpet that doth adorne and set herselfe forth to the eye, that would seem all beautifull without, when as within she is full of rottenesse, dead mens bones, and all uncleanesse. It is the note of a false and erroneous Church, to boast its selfe of its purity. I confesse my fault, I acknow­ledge my deformity and desire to be reformed. Therefore plead with me my children, convince me of my errors▪ Let our controversie be decided by a lawfull assembly, which the King and Parlia [...]ent may appoint. But (alas) how shall they appoint that, about the which they are in controversie already? If that which should be my curing, bee my wounding, how great is my misery. Let the righteous smit me, but let not their precious baulme breake my head. Fall not out my deare chil­dren, neither destroy your selves for the blemishes and imper­fections of your mother. O give eare and listen to my coun­sell: least I be constrained to call upon the Father of those children, to be a Iudge and a Witnesse against them.

Give eare and help me, ô my King! for the children are brought to the birth, and there is no strength to bring forth. Dread Soveraign your Nobles and Peeres do sit in Parliament, for a redresse & reformation of things; and there is no strength [Page 3] to bring to passe without your Royall consent. God himselfe is about a work, a great work, a work of Reformation, tending to his own glory and our good, ô be not you a means to hinder or prevent it, or that that which should be for our cōfort, turn to our utter ruine or destruction. Remember that you also have a King above you, to whom you must give an accompt of all your ways at the last day: Resist him not, withstand no lon­ger, least hapily you be found to fight against God himselfe. Remember that you are not only a Defender of the Faith, but also that you should be a nursing Father. O let not posterity re­cord you a destroyer of your people and Countrey. Let not the frogs of Egypt or the Locusts of the bottomlesse pit any longer whisper in your Royalleares, to seduce and deceive you, they croke only for their own advantage, and to bring you and yours back again to the Egyptian bondage, and to Romish captivity.

Give eare and way (dread Soveraigne) to your Parliament, and trusty Counsellors, who not only know and are privy to the enormities of the Land, and the disastors of the Kingdom, but also are willing to redresse and reforme them, having their hearts touched with zeale to Gods glory, love and duty to your Majesty, care of their Countrey, and seeke and indeavour the good and welfare both of Church and Commonwealth. They desire not to rule, but to be ruled, neither are they wil­ling to usurp soveraignity, but to acknowledg you their leidge Lord, they desire to bring in no innovation, but to reduce the Church and Countrey to their ancient Lawes and Liberty. They indeavour to bring your Majesties subjects to your obe­dience, and our Religion to that purity, it was in Christ and his Apostles time. For this they have humbly sued to your High­nesse, for this they strive and contend. They desire (being Pro­testants) to conforme themselves to all other Protestant-Churches, and not to halt any longer between two opinions: between Christ and Beliall, betweene the Truth and Anti­christ, between Rome and England, or between a Papist and a [Page 4] Protestant, or being luke warme, to deserve to be spued out. It is no dishonour for a King to be ruled by a wise, and reli­gious Councell: Your Majesty intends no other Law or Discipline; but what was in force in Queene Eliza [...]th her time, and in the dayes of your Father our▪ late Soveraigne of famous Memory: the Parliament intends nothing else. Onely they indeavour to breake and disa [...]ull that absolute Soveraignty, your Highnesse doth seeme to challenge; whereby they find not only your Subjects Liberty infring­ed; but also themselves and the whole Land brought into an unaccustomed bondage and servitude. You blame them for taking up Armes. It is not against your Majesty, but for you. It is for the peoples liberty and safety; and in so much as it is for them, it is for you: because the Ho­nour, welfare, and happinesse of a King, consists not o [...] ­ly in the multitude of his people, but also in the Liberty▪ Peace, and safety of his Subjects. Your Highnesse will a­leadge, that they have no Law for what they doe. I an­swer, they have and are a Law in themselves; for Parlia­ments both have made Lawes, and d [...]nanull'd them. And though they seeme to enterprize that which was never seene nor heard off before, and from the which your Ma­jesty may seeme to be dissenting; yet if either i [...] be groun­ded upon, or according to Gods word, or make for the peace, and welfare of the Kingdome, it is lawfull. For wherefore were Counsellors ordained, but to be Rulers in the Kingdome, and the eye and direction of the King: but it is well knowne, that the Parliament is your Maje­sties great Councell, and by the same you ought and must be guided and directed.

Give eare and pitie me, O my Parliament, and help thy rufull and disconsolate mother, commiserate my wofull and distressed condition. Behold how I sit mourning all alone, and there is none to comfort me; looke upon my breaches, and upon my ruine and desolation, which seemes [Page 5] to bee at hand, if it be not spee [...]ly prevented, my sonnes doe faint, and begin to bleed, my Widdowes and Virgins mourn, and sit comfortlesse in the streetes, my honour is gone, my beauty failes mee, my wealth i [...] consumed, and joy and mirth is fled away. Oh let mee not be a hissing to the Nations. but labour, O labour with speed to bind up my wounds, and to cure my soares, labour with his Maje­sty for a peace and reconciliation, labour to gaine him by love and humility, and that he may see you are his friends, and that you desire his enemies to be as the dust before the winde, and the Angell of the Lord to scatter them, but that upon himselfe, and his post [...]rity, his Crowne may e­ver flourish. And if your swords mu [...] be drawne, O let it be drawne in defence of him, and in defence of your selves, in defence of the Kingdome, and in defence of the Lawes, and [...]berties of the same. Be zealous, be valiant, for the battel is the Lords and no [...] yours, and the c [...]use is Gods, and not mans. Be faithfull unto the death, and Christ hath promised you a Crowne of life. Subdue the proud, spare the lowly, and let all you [...] actions be seasoned with mode­ration and discretion. Sp [...]re not, O spare not to take us the Fox [...]s, even the little Foxes; that spoyle our Vines? and while yee have rooted out all Superstition, Errout, and Heresie: and while you have restored your mother to her ancient splendor beauty, and dignitie.

Give eare and help me O my Nobles, my Gentry, and Commonalty, pitie mee, O pity mee, and let not the Mothers ruine & desolation be your consolation. Make not my rent greater, by the mutuall discord, and by imbrew­ing you [...] hands in one anothers blood. Side with the King, but side with you [...] Parliament also; and so side with both, that you may bee sure you side with God. Which you cannot doe, if either you take part with the King, against the Parliament, or with the Parliament (in any unjust or un [...]awfull thing) against the King. But the Parliament (you [Page 6] have heard) seeks your good, it desireth your welfare, the glory of God, the honour of the King, & the peace and welfare of the Land. Lay down therefore your weapon [...], and think [...]ot you are for the King when you seeke the destruction of one another, for the Kings ea [...]e and welfare consist [...] in your mutuall love and unity. Lay downe your courage and haughtie mindes. How long will yee contend, & bend your swords against your selves, and against your brethren: know yee not that it will be bitternes in the later end; & that when ye have left destroying, you shall be destroyed? Against whom do ye fight, against an enemy, against a forraigne [...]? or stranger: no but a­gainst God, against the King, against the Parliament, against your friends, against your selves: Are yee wretched and ma [...]d, that be [...] cause strangers doe or will not destroy you, that you will destroy your selves? Who hath bewitched you; but bee only that is the com­mon enemy of mankind, and seekes your ruine and overthrow? O listen no longer unto him, give no more eare; you are not acquainted with warre; nor shedding of blood. Put up therefore your swords, and fight no longer, for it is enough O father of my children, pitie thy children, and let it greive thee, to see them slaughter down one another, before thy face: knowing that when they are destroyed, thou canst not be safe. It is false seduc [...]rs, and such as smell of the smoake of the bōttomlesse pit, that bre [...]ks your peace, and sets you together by the eares. Why then against them (with the Parlia­ment) seek to bend your swords, Domestick, & home-bred enemies are worse then alie [...]s and strangers, indeavour to root out these, and your feares and jarres are at an end.

Give eare and help mee, ó my Iudges and grave Counsellours! where is now your ayde? What is there no Balme in Gileaed, for to cure my s [...]are and maladie? is there no wisedome nor understand­ing in you? Is Wisedome perished from the ancient. and Counsell from the prudent? Is there no knowledge in the Land? Or are yee like unto Ephraims silly Dove; altogether without heart? what is the cause that you are silent now in these troublesome times, sure­ly something is▪ the matter, that your mouth is stopt. I doubt (some of you) have beene those that have gone downe into Aegypt for help, and increast my trouble. I doubt yee have taken counsell, but not o [...] the Lord, and covered with a covering, but not by his Spirit, that yee might adde sinne to sinne, and devoure the Land in his presence. You have mislead the King, misguided the State, and for your owne advantage, and for filthy lucres sake; Which now [Page 7] is the cause of my greife, the cause of my feare and danger, the cause that his Majesty is so hardly wonne to a right understanding be­tweene Him and his Parliament, so hardly reclaimed from his wonted conceipt a [...]d opinion of things. Yet now at the length put to your helping hands, freely confesse your faults and errours, and by all possible meanes labour to bring a right understanding be­tweene the King and his great Councell, and to reconcile him to his Subjects and to recover his Subjects love to him. Cursed be they, that wish not prosperity to Zion and pray for the peace of our Ieru­salem. Give eare and help me, ô my Clengy. But a [...] si [...]full Nation, a se [...]d of evill doers, how ca [...] or will yee help, when as the most of y [...]u seeks [...]o destroy. You mind Popery, you seeke Hierar [...]hy, you usurpe soveraignyt, you are a people laden with iniquity: Your greatnesse is and will be your ru [...]ne and downefall; and not of you onely, but also of the whole Nation and Kingdome, for your sakes: You worship and adore Tables, you commit Sacriledge▪ and are in love with Mammon more then with God. You fleece Christs sheep but seed them not; you sell and make merchandize of soules, of Heaven, and Christ, and all you have & do abuse the King, you seduce the Noble, you delude the people. You can [...]ot be content with one living, but you must seek to scrape all into your hands, you cannot be content with meat drinke & rayment; but you must build Houses, plant [...]ine-yards and lay living to living, while there is left no place for the poore to live beside you. And to the end you may bee great, and that your posterity may prayse your doings, you alwayes side with the stronger party; and to gaine the world, yee would even loose your soules, forgoe the Gospell, and betray Christ, for this cause you are more ready to blo [...] the fire that is kindling, then to quench it. You like and skill so well of superstition, and Ido­latry, that you neither can nor will forgoe the Roman Monarchy, seeing it was the first of you rising, & is as yet the only prop of your greatnesse: no wonder then, that King and people be seduced, wh [...]n­as those that should be our guides, doe mistead us, and are mislead themselves, for if the light that is in us, be darknesse; how great is that darknesse. You are or should be the light of the world, but re­sei [...]ble the darknesse of Aegypt; dark Lanterns that do lead thou­sands to eternall perdition and destruction; So that Satan needs no▪ other agents upon Earth but you, you are so accustomed to ease, that you cannot take paines, and therefore downe with preaching, play­ing bec [...]mes you better then praying, and feasting then fasting. And if you preach at any time, it is to shew your selves, your Learning, [Page 8] your Eloquence, and to obraine your base sinister endes; even to get a living, preferment, or the like, or to maintaine and uphold the Pa­pa [...]l dignity, your pompe, your pride, and vaine glory, or to move se­dition and faction in the Land, and to breed division between the King and his Subjects, and betweene the Governours and their in­feriours. You are in and of the flesh, and therefore cannot savour the things that are either of God, or of his spirit. The Apostles travelled from country to country on foot, preaching the Gospel of the King­dome, being poore, naked, d [...]stitute, and despised; yee ride in coaches like Princes, and j [...] it up and downe in long Robes and costly ap­parell, f [...]ring deliciously every day. Yee have greetings i [...] the mar­kets, the chiefe roomes at Feasts, and of men to bee called Rabbi. O how unlike are yee to the Apostles, whiles yee would seeme to imi­tate th [...]m, & pretend to be their successours, finally & in a word, yee are the sole and onely cause of all my evill; and of the trouble and danger that is come upon mee. Pity me therefore, ô my children, and repent, and doe the first workes: Least God remove the light of his countenance, and of his Candlestick from among us, and take his word and Gospell, and give it to a Nation or people more thankfull than wee, and that will bring him forth the fruit thereof in due sea­son. Let us breake off our sinnes by speedie repentance, and our ini­quities by shewing mercy to the poore, if it may be a lengthaing of our tranquillity. Let us pray for the peace and welfare of Ierusalem, & for the safeguard and protection of our King and Country, know­ing that it is for our sins, that he and the Land is troubled. Let us, [...] let us by a mutuall love and concord seek to reconcile our selves one to another; knowing that our jarring is but the rejoycing of our E­nemies, and that our fall will bee their r [...]sing; whereas our friends cannot chuse but mourne and lament at our misery and ruine. Let us every one turne from our evill wayes, and from the violence that is in our handes; who knowes whether the Lord will turne and re­pent him of his fierce anger, that we perish not? O Let not this po­tent and flourishing Land and Nation come to a perpetuall and ut­ter desolation. Let not Satan delude you my children, to make you a h [...]ssing or a mocking stock to other Nations, but remember your mothers former and ancient splendor and brightnesse remember your zeale, your love, your faith religion and happinesse, and be not overcome of evill; but overcome evill with goodnesse. The which that we may all do God of his infinite and endless [...] mercy and good­nes give, grant, and give us his grace, for Christs sake, Amen.


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