The English Man's Complaint.

IF Kings were as wife and good as their Office re­quires them to be, Monarchy, certainly, would be the happiest Form of Government in the World; but since experience tells us they are like us in all things, Kingship excepted, and are for the most part but the worse for. That, it has been the Wisdom of all Nations to take the best caution and security of them for their freedoms that they could get. This, I and many more expected at the hands of our Senators, after not only the harms of others, but our own might have taught them how to make use of so happy an oppertunity; but as less then a years time has shown us the vanity of our hopes in them, I presume they are not less instructed of the vanity of their own in him, it being visible, to all the thinking World, that he is not able to support him­self three Months longer, upon the measures he takes, between King James and a Common-wealth, for one of them will be quickly too hard for him, and only one of them can prevent the other. And because no man has had a greater Sence of this Providence then my self, and that I have been perticularly conversant with those that went into this abdicating Interest, I find my self touch'd in duty and honour to be early and free with them upon the Jealousies that fill my Heart; and the Hearts of many good Men, about the present state of our affaires.

They have been guilty of sins, both of Omission and Commission: They have neglected the main things they ought to have made the Object and advantage of this change, and they have visibly acted the quite contrary. And last of all, several things have happened, both at home and abroad, that render the continuance of our present Goverment impractable; therefore we must not only suffer, but seek another state or change, and that speedily. The faults of Omission are these; they have made a King, but have not made it impossible for that King to be like the Kings that went before him, he ha­ving the same power over the Rights of the People, and they lying as open to the mercy and stroke of ambition, and arbitrary Power as before, which is only changing of Hands, and not Things; Men, and not Measures and Securities. That this is the case, let it be considered he is unaccountable, which contradicts their Principles they chose him upon. He has the same Power over Par­liaments that his Predecessors had, which are accounted the true Conservators of the Peoples freedoms. Their Ele­ctions are as insecure as ever. Their Meetings as uncertain, being neither Yearly, Duenneally nor Triennially. Neither are they Masters of their own Sessions, to Adjourn and Prorogue as they please. And if they have prepared the most useful or necessary Law in the World, as the case now stands, he may refuse to pass it, by Proroguing or Dissolving them, which renders the whole Constitution of Parliaments precarious, and at his Will and Pleasure. Much less does the Parliament nominate his Council, or is he oblig'd to act in the Intervals of Parliaments by the Advice and Approbation of a Council; but on the contrary to these Rights and Securities, he can call, pro­rogue and dissolve Parliaments at pleasure, whose very E­lections lie as open to Fraud & Violence as ever; Char­ters & Corporations being in no better condition then they were. He picks and chuses his Council. He Names all the great Officers of the State, Navy, Army and Church, as well as of his Houshold; and he absolutely commands the Malitia, as yet; which is having the whole in his Power, for thereby he has a Mortgage upon every man; the Gain or Honour of his Office being a Bribe to byass him to the pleasure of the Prince: That already they have not been able to keep themselves from the distinction of Court and Country party, who the other day objected it to their Enemies as a Vice in Government. This has something in it very absurd, and it reproaches the honesty or understanding of some Peo­ple, that when they say they can make Kings, they ei­ther can't or won't take care to limit and regulate them to our Safety: by which means the King, that is made by the People, may rule without them, instead of ruling for them, and govern jure divino, though he be created jure humano, which renders his execution Independent of his Commission, and himself in all things impunible. We have herein left the Principles that lead us to leave King James and changed the very measures upon which we changed the Government. We made use of Re­publican Reasons for our alteration, and, for ought I see, we go upon Tory methods to establish it. This renders our case much worse then it was in the time of King Charles and King James; in that then we had Kings that were suspected, to be sure not belov'd, and the first not feared from his humour, and the last, at last as little apprehended from his Interest: But this Gentleman en­ters upon the Reputation of Protestancy, and has our own choice & Religion both to blind us, & bind us. Being there more popular, and not more limited, we are not more safe, but our Liberties more exposed: And unless such a King has irresistable Grace, or stronger tyes upon him, the Reasons of our preferring him may be the Instances of our danger. Let these serve as brief hints of the pernitious Omissions we have made, about the Constitu­tion of our Government, and give me leave now to point at our Sins of Commission.

Of this sort the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus act will challange the preference. It is what can never be an­swer'd by us Whiggs, to stab such a Law, nay, our own Law three times successively. In this the Toryes out­witted us, for they have humoured us into a contradi­ction of our own Principles. Next, it has been a dan­gerous Error, that so many Members of bath Houses have so fast and so firmly got into Places of Profit. This is a Scandal to the Cause, our old Clamours and Pre­tentions considered; and all the World sees the Influ­ence it has had to stifle this Reformation in its very birth, Suffering so many Foreign Troops that are the Mer­cinaries of this Prince, to continue amongst us, and more come in upon us, when there are so many moderate Church-men and Dissenters, of unquestionable valour and sincerity, ready to serve in their Station, purely for the sake of the Protestant Religion and a National Interest, is both unjust, unwise and unsafe. It was likewise a fatal Error to be busie in sending ten or twelve Thousand men into Holland, before we sent twelve Hundred into Ireland, which shows some Body's heart is as Foreign as his Birth. Just so we have done by Sea; been busie a­bout a Fleet, and careless of our Trade, that as a witty Member of the House of Commons said, The Dutch have run away with our Trade, and the French with our Ships, notwithstanding our Fleet. It is certain they left Brest when they should have staid there (by which means the French joyned their Fleets) & are come home, when there is most use of them abroad, whereby the French are left to scour our Seas. Many are employed that either do not understand their business, or are not in our Interest, because they can give most Money. Sol­diers, especially, the Dutch, have been quarter'd upon private Houses, and Gentlemen's Seats have not escaped them. Martial Law has been executed to Death, before [Page 2] the Act passed. Schombergh sent too soon, since he went so late, unless he had carried his Horse and Provisions with him, and while we have entertain'd the World with an Opinion that the Irish will not fight, we at last decline to fight the Irish, and have lost our Army.

But these are little Errors, and lie remotely, in com­parison of some that affect the very center or head of our Affairs. The King himself shews us he is infected with Dominion, and that by two broad instances, Scotland and his Ministers at home. For he has not only already vi [...]la­ted the very Fundamentals of the Constitution of that Kingdom he swore to maintain, when he received that Crown, but huff's those men of Quality that came up from that Nation to represent the breach of those Con­ditions upon which he took the Crown. And for the present Ministers of his Government here, the very naming of them, is giving the Reason, both for the Sins of Omission and Commission: And indeed how should we hope to have our Liberties establish'd under them, who in the late Reigns were the Authors of the Miseries we call'd in this Prince in hopes to be delivered from; and by what we have already seen of their manage­ment, we must conclude they have either a King James in their Belly, or in their Hearts, the Principles of making more then a King James of King William. And truly they have carried him a good way towards it, when they have made him afraid of protecting that gallant Gentleman, Lievtenant General Ludlow, because for sooth, he was a Common-wealths-man, & one of the Judges of King Charles the first, though upon his Principles, we have abdicated the Son, which is to refuse him the be­nefit of the Reasons, upon which we pretend to save our selves. This makes me believe a Story of this King, which I was even sorry to hear, that upon some Bodies telling him t'other day, the Common-wealths-men began to be very busie, he should say, Let me alone with them, for after I came into the Government of Holland, they never could do any thing: And it is certain, his party were the Tories of that State.

But it is not only Domestick Errors that make me dis­spond, though they are enough to sink this Government, but the very Nation is in hazard, in reference to our Affairs abroad, more then ever; and I would not, while we reproach the Governments that went before us, that we should do worse for the Common Safety. What condition we are in as to France and Ireland, the charge it has been to the People, and how much greater it is like to be, and that we have now a more Melancholly prospect of the Conclusion of the War then we had six Months ago, are felt as well as seen. I need not tell my Country-men, that our Interest is grounded upon Trade, and that whatever lessens that, lessens us; and that, that Country that rivals us in that point, is our Enemy by In­terest, and we can hardly have a greater: But perhaps it may surprize them, to tell them at this time, that Hol­land is that Country: But so it is, and the indifferent World sees it, and even the Partial amongst us, begin to feel it. It would have been the Wisdom of this King as soon as he became so, to have consider'd his Interest changed upon his being so. Instead of that, we have ever since had our English Interest govern'd by Dutch Councils, and we have felt the effects of it; which our Enemies are sure to improve to our dishonour and danger; as if we had deliver'd up the Wealth and Glory of England to Holland, instead of making that Country an Hand-maid, to her gteatness. And truly it is a scurvy Dilemma, that we are brought into, that we cannot hope for peace with France, nor to be long at Peace with Holland, and keep our Trade, nor to support a War with both, if to out-live our own Factions: and this the Dutch know as well as we, and therefore, you see, they Loose no time, but make the War their great gain: For as we let them manage it they add Our share to their own: This is the language of all Ports, both abroad and at home. Sink therefore we must, when our Friends help to do it, and the King we have made, will not see it. If this par­tiality proceeded only from the sence he has of the kind­ness the States have shown him, one would hope it were but to be once done; but I am told there is more in it; that he intends to purchase them to himself at our Cost, for a worse purpose, viz, an unreasonable greatness: and it falls pat with the Dutch interest, for with them, it is a Maxim, the less we are free, the less they have to fear; nothing being more cavileer in England then a Dutch Republican. This, if I know any thing, compleats our misery, that we are got into a War, for the sake, of a Country that, is, in reason of State, the most; firm ene­my to our Liberties at home and our Traffick abroad, and that will only be of our side as long as we let them go away with our Trade; but the hour we show, we understand them, we may depend upon it, they will make up with France, and leave us in the lunch. It is not enough that the parliament will give mo­ny; I do not doubt that; but that, may be our mi­sery as it may be given. Let us first consider, for what we give it? it will be said, to pull down France; But that is the Emperors work, whose Competitor he is, and not ours. But as things now move, shall not we set up Holland, that is our Competitor every where, and in every thing? Taxes must rise heavily upon such prospects of our Affairs. There is in my O­pinion a nearer way to the Mill then all this, and I think the only one Let the Parliament but make it plain to the People, that they have the be­nefit of the Change, and I will pass my word for them, they will be at the charge of it; But that they should assist such a Revolution, and op­pose their Persons to all hazards, and their Estates to the Consump­tion that will follow it, and at last sit down with a less Trade abroad, and with something worse then the worst part of King Charles the second's Reign at home, is, I hope, too gross to pass upon the Nation. They that long since owed their Heads to the Publick, must not now think to set up for the Guides of it. The reflection of a Common­weath is too stale a Calumny to put a zealous & just claim of Rights out of countenance.

It was flung at the brave Lord Russel, & at all the Patroons & Martyrs of the people, but in vain are their Attainders reversed, while their En­deavours are impeached. That a Common-Wealth should be an Objecti­on now, to such a settlement of our Freedoms as can only save us, is a most severe One against the Goverment, especially when the same Gentlemen have the Power of making it, that made it once before. We can go upon no other Principles, except we will set up that Ar­bitrery Power we have ventur'd all to oppose. Nick-names must not scare us, nor vain Flatteries abuse us: We must have our Liberties, or shift for our selves, and that quickly, before he brings in more Foreign Forces upon us. A Reproach we can never wipe off, that what we objected against King James, should be endured from a Stranger in so diftrustful a manner, and a Parliament fitting, unconsulted. I will end with this Question;

Is it not a breach of publick Faith and Safety, for a Prince, of his own Head to call in Foreign Force to rule a People, that called him in but t'other day to rule and protect them by their own Laws & Arms? It shows a plain dissolution of Trust and Confidence in the People, that trusted him, as well as a Violation of the Conditions of the re­lation. And if so, are not the Obligations of the People discharged? nay, are they not obliged before God and Man, to take speedy care of their own future Safety one way or other? Now or Never.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.