THE EXCISE-MENS LAMENTATION: OR, An Impeachment in behalf of the Comons of this Nation, against their insulting Publicans, and cruell Oppressors and Extortioners: With their Acknowledgment, Confession, and Testimony, touching their proceed­ings in each County;

And the vast and mighty Summes vvhich they most wickedly retained: Collected by their unlimitted Power, Spungie Hearts, and long-stretched Consciences.

Also, the rising of the Welch-men against a party of them at Monmouth; and the man­ner how Mr. CROW (the Farmer of Excize) ran naked into a Tub of feathers; where, af­ter a short time, he was taken, and a great Oath and Charge inflicted upon Him.

Published for information of the People.

London, Printed for G. Horton. 1652.

THE EXCISE-MENS LAMENTATION: OR, Their strange Creed, and Letany, &c.

O God the Father have mercy upon Us, miserable Excize-men; for we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and left undone those things which we ought to have done, and there is no truth in Us; Lord pardon all our high, unjust, and illegal proceedings, [Page 4]and deal not with Us after our sins, nor reward Us after our iniquities. And we beseech thee Lord powr thy grace into our hearts, that as we have known Christ thy sons incarnation by the message of an Angel: so by his cross and passion, we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection. But Lord, open thou our hearts, and let our purses shew forth thy praise; that so we may with cheerfulnesse and alacrity return and give in a most just and due account of all those vast and great sums, which we have wickedly, fraudulently, and deceitfully gained by an unlimited and out-stretched Conscience; for we must ingenuously acknowledge and confess, that our carriage and proceedings hath been so high rigid and harsh both to the Rich and Poor, that with a wet finger we could easily cleer and lay up 500 l. per annum, whereas before this blessed Reformati­on, we were not masters of 50 pence at the yeares end: But alas! all these great and ill-gotten Reve­nues, after some time of Extortion, began to dissolv and melt like snow in warm gleams: Therefore, we now earnestly desire to abandon those ways of wic­kedness; humbly beseeching the Lord to give us hearts to dread him, and for the time to come dili­gently to live after his Commandements.

Yet notwithstanding many there are who still re­main very rigid and cruel to the Poor; and having lately put in practice their cruell proceedings at Monmouth, the poor people taking ball'd Time by the fore-lock, unanimously rose, and fell upon he quarters of one Mr. Crow (the Farmer of Excize) beat off his guard, but he himself ecaped in his shirt, and ran and himself in a Tub of Feathers; but all would not save him; for at last he became a Bird in hand, and (contrary to his expectation) set him free with all his feathers; who having made him swear on the Bible, that he should become an honest man, they dismissed him without wounds, but half frighted him out of his wits.

Others there are who take upon them the Mini­sterial Office; but mum! onely I say, if there must needs be a trade driven, and an imployment found for the pragmatique active hands of the Common­wealth, Let them even turn aside to those Publicans, and Extortioners, who have devoured Widowes houses, and brought good families to a morsell of bread; O that the soldier may be resolv'd the Op­pression is intollerable, and that the Commonalty may be confirmed where the Knave lies; for till this fair reckoning be made, it is impossible but there must be an inward core and grudg between man and man.

O but let us consider, when the Revenue of the Ministery is once taken off, what iti­nerant piece of Homily, will venture the merchandise of his labour for an uncertain­ty of bread? into what contempt and scan­dal would that glorious calling crumble in­to, when every Clodpate shal sit in Judg­ment, whether a Divine deserve his Sunday dinner? Tis true indeed, such pitiful shreds of predication as the world may produce, may preach through plain song to the hu­mor of the Vulgar, and the people perhaps delight to have it so: but yet let me tell you 'twill be a doleful Message, when judgments become their own Prophets, and the plagues of heaven find no fore runners of their hor­rid presence. O but these are times of revela­tion, and men are more familiar with the Deity then in the dayes of old! I grant in­deed there is abundance of pretended inti­macy [Page 7]with divine workings, else certainly the modern confidence were a strange pre­sumption; but nevertheless (with submission to the supream censure) the Widow would hardly have found her groat by puting out the candle; neither we in slighting the Ordi­nances of God, which are the ministeriall means of our illumination, shal ever by the feel of our groping invention be able to di­rect our straying feet in the wayes of Righ­teousness, under the ridiculous notion of prophetical inspiration; no, though we cut our selves with Knives, and cry mightily; for that Spirit may either be asleep, or in a journy, or in pursuit; but resolution brooks no counsel: nay, then we have no refuge but our tears and prayers; And happier then are the dead, that are already dead, then the living which are yet alive. Questionless, but there are tendet hearts, which would show [Page 8]the bowels of their compassion in healing up these Ulcers: yet if you would know the reason of this obstruction, Saint Paul sayes, There was a Law in his members warring against the Law of his mind, and bringing him into subjection to the Law of sin and death: Therefore, since we have found the malady, let us endeavor to suppress its fury in the bud, every man mend one, and let the general prayers mediate for all; for man must die, and the good and evil of his Works follow him to his sadder doom or happiness; and then, my hearts,

An honest Conscience, Is worth a Common-Wealth.


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