HINC ILLAE LACHRYMAE. OR THE Impietie of Impunitie.

Containig a short, serious and most certain Demonstration of the main (if not, only) rise and Originall of all the grand grievances, and Ob­structions of Piety and Justice, over the whole KINGDOME.

Together with a Soveraign Salve, and precious Plaisture, for the Unquestionable Cure thereof (by Gods blessing) if it be seriously and seasonably applyed, according to direction herein, hum­bly prescribed.

By a faithfull Friend to the Truth and a most humble Servant to all the Loyall and Religious Presbyterian Members of Parliament.

EZECHIEL 13.22. With lyes, ye have made the heart of my people sad, whom I have not sadded, And strengthed the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wickedness.
MAY. 18, 7. We unto the World, because of Offences, it inevitably will be that Offences come, but woe to that man (or those men) by whom the Offences do come.
GALAT. 1.7, 8. There be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospell of Christ. But, though I, or an Angel from heaven (or one like an Angel, for pretended purity and Saint-ship) preach any other Go­spel (or broach any other damnable destructive opinions) than that which I have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

LONDON, Printed in the year. 1648.

The Impiety of Impunity.

WHen the Lord, the most righteous Iudge of the whole world, and the most potent and prudent Moderator of all things in heaven and earth, be­gan, first, to settle the Common-wealth of Jsrael, and to give those his people good Lawes, and holy and wholesome Institutions, which, if a man doe and perform he shall even live, ye happily, live, in them, Ezech. 20.11. He then also gave them speciall Cautions and Commands to keep and doe them, as is most cleare, Levit. 19.15. Ye shall doe no unrighteousnesse in judgment, thou shalt not respect the person of the poore, nor honour the person of the mighty; but in righ­teousnesse shalt thou judge thy neighbour. And remarkably excellent (for all that sit in seates of judicature) is that, Deut. 1.17. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, but you shall heare the small as well as the great; you shall not bee afraid of the face of man, for the judge­ment is Gods. So that (hence) it is evident, that it is not enough for a people to have good Lawes and pious and provident Precepts, but there must also be a speciall care had to a just and impartiall judging of Gods people according to those Lawes, neither to pervert or wrest them (Deut. 16.19.) according to mens Schismaticall hu­mours; nor to slight or neglect them for want of a righteous and severe execution of them; which, indeed makes Magistrates and Iudges, but meere Scare-Crows in a Common-wealth, and just like the signe or picture of George on horse-backe with his Sword bran­disht and flourisht over his head, but never striking with it; wher­as it is the exact and impartiall execution of Lawes, indeed, which is the life and luster of Laws, and the firme establishment of States and Kingdomes. Now, then this being thus only in briefe hinted; [Page 2]now for application of these premises to our present purpose. It is most undeniably true, that (by Gods great mercy) England hath as good and wholsome Lawes and Ordinances, both old and new, for the well and orderly regulating of al things both in Church and State, I beleive, as any Nation in the World: Nay, may we not (with holy David) say most truly, God hath not dealt so, almost with any Nation under heaven, as with us, and as for his judgments, they have not known them, as we have, both in the power, purity, and plenty of them; O that we had hearts enough practically thankfull for so rich and rare a mercy! But, may not that question bee put to too many of our Judges and Magistrates, yea, even in our High and Honourable Supreame Court of Parliament, which the foresaid kingly Prophet David did put to the Judges of his dayes, Psa. 58 1, 2. Do ye, indeed speake Righteousnes, O ye Congregations? Do ye judge uprightly, O yee sons of men? yea rather, in heart and tongue, ye worke wickednesse. So, may not I bee humbly bold, in the bitternesse of my Soule, to sigh out this very same most sad complaint of the Prophet (not, as those late audacious Incendiaries, those Jesuiticall-spirited and mur­muring Masters of misrule, who plead most unjustly for Liberty (or rather for Licentiousnes) of Conscience, I mean those spiritually proud Sectaries and fiery Salamanders of Contention, Master Iohn Goodwin, together with his most seditious brother Iohn Lilburne, Overton, and diverse others of that rotten rout, unworthy the naming, who swelter and swagger, with their restlesse spirits and pens, against any Authority, Dominions and Dignities, save only such as themselves would wickedly set up to please their own seditious and pernicious Palates: But, as the Lord, the most righteous Iudge, and only searcher of the hearts and reignes of his Children knowes, in the spirit of meeknesse, sorrow, and sobriety) may not I (I say) too justly, thus complaine against some of our Parliamentary Judges, in these our dayes, and of these I meane (mainly, and specially) di­verse disaffected Schismaticall Members of both Houses of Parliament, who (being got or crept in among our other most famous and faith­full Parliamentany Worthies, whom from my heart, I highly honour and love, but by what meanes they have thus crept in, I know not, but it were singularly worth the serious search and Scrutiny to know how they came in, and by what right they sit as Iudges and Senators there) who doe most unjustly and partially (for their Schis­mes sake, and other most unworthy Selfe-ayms, and Interests) wrest the judgments and Ordinances of the Land, yea of the Lord God [Page 3]himselfe, and accept the persons of most bold blasphemous Sectaries, Anabaptists, Antinomians, Anti-Scripturists, Seekers, and (who closely and craftily include and imbrace all those others in their bo­somes) disorderly and dissembling Independents; whereby they ex­treamly strugle in upholding these, to with-hold and hinder (if not totally to overturne, eradicate and ruinate) the glorious worke of our Parliamentary promised, yea our Covenant plighted thorough Reformation, especially in matters of our Religion, and godly Church Discipline (for which I mainly complain and plead in this discou [...]se) calumniating and disgracing it, with the most opprobrious titles, and injurious termes of a bloudy, tyrannicall, and Antichristian De­formation; and most falsly and fraudulently magnifying (yea, even deifying) their owne sandy Congregationall way with the specious Epithites and Encomiums of Milkie-paths (forsooth) glorious wayes, Christs Kingdome and such like most loud lying and eluding glosses; Thus, wilfully (I feare) forgetting that which the holy Spirit of God sayes, by Solomon the wisest King that ever was; Prov. 24.24, 25. He that sayth to the wicked thou art righteous, him shall the people curse, and Nations shall abhorre him. But, to them that rebuke him shall bee delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. Now, that our slye and subtile Sectaries and Independents (every where) are most deeply dyed, even in grain, with this foule and faulty spot, which is not the spot of Gods Children, but (Deut. 32.5.) of a perverse and crooked ge­neration, let these following testimonies, fallen out (besides their ma­nifold former Calumnies and Slanders, by them cast upon the pi­ous Presbyterian Church-Government, and upon the Reverend, and pious Pastours and faithfull friends and furtherers of it, published in their most wicked printed Pamphlets, and recited by Reverend and religious Mr Edwards in the third part of his Gangrana, p. 200, 201, 202, 203, &c.) and whereof I my selfe, together with many other religious and substantiall Citizens of London, were eye and eare wit­nesses at Westminster) be sufficient to demonstrate and make evident to any impartial and unprejudiced Christian, or, that is not wicked­ly obstinate and wilfully incredulous, which were as follow.

I being (on Tuesday, Februarie 2. 1646. and on the Thursday following, Febr. 5th. in the afternoon) at the Committe for Com­plaints, to heare the examination of one Kiffin a Glover, a sly and sottish Mechanicall preaching Anabaptist, and one Mr. Knowles, another of his Anabaptisticall brethren, which last, had cast off his former regular Ordination in the Church of England, as being [Page 4]sinfull (forsooth, as himselfe then confest) and had a pretended Or­dination from a true reformed-Church (as he falsly termed it) in a private House, by a company of Sectaries, there disorderly assem­bled: Together also with one Gorton, another Non-sense Anabap­tisticall Preacher, forsooth, and a most notorious base fellow, and audacious Malefactor in New-England, who had there been fetter'd in Irons, and whipt, and was like to have been hang'd for his most impious and audacious blasphemies and misdemeanours; upon oc­casion of the mentioning whereof, in that Court, I heard an emi­nent Independent Gentl. of that Committee, say openly in the face of the Court, I (sayes hee) ye may see how they begin already, what think ye, will they not do hereafter, if they get power and may be suffered? And with the said Gorton, was then also examined one Patience a Botcher, or Tayler; ordained also (forsooth) to bee a Preacher, in a true reformed-Church (as he also falfly and foolishly termed it) in a House in Bell-Alley in Colleman-Street, by the Saints, forsooth, of that Church, Men and Women (Hee-Saints and Shee-Saints, and all of them it seemes, Church-Officers with them) upon tryall of his gifts, by these Saints, as thus he also himselfe confest. At the hearing of whom examined, my heart was (at the first) affected with no little joy and comfort, to heare and observe, even all along, the Christian Courage, and godly Zeal of that ancient and pious Patriot Sir Robert Harlow religi­ous and renowned Major Generall Massey, Colonell Hollys, Mr. Tate, Mr. Baynton, and some other worthy Presbeterian Mem­bers of the House, then present at this Committee (as formerly at a­nother sitting, I observed the singular zeale of my most highly ho­noured good friend, Mr. Grimstone, much honoured Colon. Har­vy, and others) both in their frequently and fervently speaking and pleading for the Cause of God, then in agitation before them. But when I on the other side saw and observed, in this Committee, very many known and professed Independents, to sit as Iudges there, and too frequently and fiercely (me thought) to act and plead for, yea and to put words into the mouths of those Delinquent Sectaries, and (though all of them were, I say, known adversaries to our pious Presbyterian Church-Government, intended, as we stedfastly hope, by the better-part of the honourable Parliament, yet these I say) to sit as Iudges there, and to speake such encouraging words (and that in open Court) to the Delinquents, and then also to have power to Vote on their behalfes; and contrawise also, to observe and heare [Page 5]them use such discouraging carriages, and dishearting expressions to the honest and pious Covenant-engaged and Ordinance animated Prosecutors of the Offenders. This made me fetch a deep Sigh, in­deed, as being much amazed at it, and I must confesse, my heart was very much daunted and damped with griefe to see and observe such a most unequall and palpably injurious mismanaging of so great and godly a work as we hoped and expected this would and should have been unto us. And it was indeed unto me a wonder­full and strange Paradox of Prudence and Iustice (as I humbly con­ceive) that the apparent and profest enemies of the Presbyterian-Cause and Reformation, should thus sit as Judges and Parties to af­front us, and frown upon us, for our loyall, religious, and just act­ings against such crafty and accursed adversaries of the Truth. Which made me begin seriously to consider with my self, how im­probable (if not almost impossible) it was for us in such a case and condition of times and things, ever to expect a full and free course or current of justice against them. And hereupon, indeed, my sad thoughts began to reflect backward, and to think upon the by-past-times of the tyrannicall Prelates, when pious and peaceable Pro­fessours were (under the names and notions of factious and Scisma­ticall) cited in their High-Commission-Courts, and there judged by those known enemies of their causes; where, indeed I confesse, they were all profest adversaries (but here, our truly seditious and Schismaticall Delinquents, and the honest prosecutors of them also find an unhappy mixture of Foes with Friends) whereby though the pious Professors themselves could there find, indeed, neither expect any justice; yet the wicked Apparators and Persecutors of those true Saints and Servants of the Lord, were countenanced and en­couraged by those their Prelaticall Masters, yea and liberally re­warded by them: But, here, in this Committee for Complaints, where the cause being far otherwise, the case is also in some sense clean con­trary, and (if I may be humbly bold to speak plain English) in some respects, with us much worse, and more unjust, when the most pernicious and audacious Schismaticall offenders are fami­liarly much countenanced and encouraged, and the honest and Covenant-Conscientious Prosecutors of them are disgra­ced, flouted, frown'd upon, yea and imprisoned for their pious pains, and religious actings for God and his most righteous Cause: whereby, I say, our Case is thus like to be far worse than that of the Prelates dayes (comparatis comparandis) and our grievances, yea [Page 6]I say, our Soul grievances, so far (we fear) from being redressed, that they are like to be much more encreased, if this most unjust course of judicature should (which God forbid) be continued, and that Sectaries be thus suffered (both in Parliament and country-Com­mittees) to sit, as uncontroleable Iudges, who are so far from either doing or suffering justice to be done upon the most seditious and factious disturbers of our pious Peace and unquestionable Truths of God, and of all godly ecclesiasticall and civill Order; that they both countenace (at least as much as in their power and policy con­sists, and truly that's not little now adayes) and very greatly en­courage them in their unsufferable Schismaticall impundencies and blasphemous impieties, both against God and Man, and all under base and abusive pretences of tendernesse of Conscience, forsooth, and Christian Liberty to speake and do whatsoever they list, without controle; otherwise, they cry out of Antichristian Persecution. But mark here (good Reader) what wise King Solomon most per­tinently sayes to this very purpose, even touching Impunity to be the grand cause of the great growth of Impiety, yea and of Impuden­cy also therein, Ecclesiastes 8.11. Because sentence against an evill work is not speedily executed; therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them (mark this notable and emphaticall expression) to doe evill. And certainly (if ever) this Scripture is now adayes to the full confirmed, to the unexpressible griefe of our Soules be it spoken.

But now to come to a more particular manifestation of the truths which I only in briefe have mentioned before, concerning the most irregular and extrajudiciall and inequitable carriage of things by our Sectarian Judges in the Court of the Committee for Com­plaints, at Westiminster, to the palpable and apparent heartning and animating of the most notorious Schismaticks in their most blasphe­mous and impious pranks and practices; and to the most strange, and almost incredible disheartning (as much as in them is) of the pious Presbiterian-Partie, from their just zeal and commendable activity in the Cause of GOD, and forwarding the work of Re­formation. Witnesse first, (therefore I say for confimation of these my affirmations) the most unequall and unwarrantable miscarriage of things by some of the disaffected party of the foresaid Committee, at the examination of an old and bold blasphemous Schismatick, commonly called the Chicken-man; who after this notorious Secta­rie had made a repetition (whereunto he was commanded by the [Page 9] Court) of his Sermon, forsooth, which he had Preached (or ra­ther prated) in a private house, for which he was complained of, and when he had and a ciously delivered, even in the face of the Court divers very dangerous and most false opinions of his; yet was so far and free from punishment, or somuch as any bare discourage­ment (for ought we yet can heare or know) that one of the said Committees was heard to say to one of his disaffected brethren of this Committee, sitting by, concerning this beggerly Chicken-man and his impious preaching; here is Gold in an earthen vessell. And the said Chicken-man himselfe confessed (as will be testified) that he had 5s. given him by some of the said Committe, for his brave boldnesse (it should seeme) in thus affronting the authority of Par­liament. Witnesse likewise the great encouragement and counte­nancing of the Schismaticall impiety, and disorderly audaciousnesse of those two foresaid Anabaptists, Mr. Knowlis, and Kiffin the Glover, at their examination forementioned, at the very begin­ning whereof an eminent disaffected Member of the Committee stood up, and the Court being set, and the pious Chair-man in his place, bee spake very much (in the first place) to the Chair-man, and very affectionately in those Schismaticks behalfe (whereby they might easily see and know before haud, they had at least, one fast friend in the Court) for a fair proceeding for them, in their examination; which I humbly conceive and verily beleeve was never denyed them, or otherwise intended toward them. And when Kiffin, in particular, was closely examined for his disorderly and Schismaticall private preach­ing (as never having been duly ordained thereunto) another of the Committee did in my sight and hearing, even as it were check the religious Chaire-man, learned and much honoured Colonell Leigh, for justly endeavoring strickly to examine the said Delinquent. And this same Gentl. to the said Anabaptists farther great encourage­ment, at the same time, apparantly justified (and that in the face of the Court) those audacious fellowes, in their unordained and irre­gular preaching, even contrary to the Parliaments own Ordinance, using these words, or the like, in effect. That the Parliament did not intend, nor was it (as he conceived) the sense of the House, by that Ordinance, to hinder guifted-men from Preaching, this being one thing [...] which many had fought, and spent their bloud, and ventur'd their [...]ives; but it was mainly to restraine Prelaticall and Iesuiticall [...]reaching, which was a meanes to encourage the Cavaleers and Malig­ [...]ants against the Parliament. And when some of the honest and [Page 10]religious Witnesses gave in their testimony against the Delinquent, divers of the audacious and unruly Anabaptists and other sorts of Sectaries (whereof there were very many then in the Court, and so use to be, to affront and floute the Presbyterian Citizens with un­sufferable scoffs and jeeres to their faces) fell a hissing and to loud laughing at the Witnesse, to the great offence and disturbance of the Court (which I my selfe heard and saw round about me) and noble Sir Robert Harlow most zealously and justly finding much fault with their so uncivill and unmannerly miscarriage of them­selves, and expressing much displeasure at it; One of the disaffected Members of the Committee put a smooth jeere upon it, and said, He conceived it was rather an acclamation or applauding of the witnesse, than any disparagement to him. Which, how likely hissing and laugh­ing mixt together, can make up such a sense let any judicious man judge.

Witnesse, here also, that most licentious and illegitimate abuse offered to the Liberty of the free-born Subjects and Citizens of London, in that palpable and most worthily punishable affront, and illegall imprisonment of those 3. worthy, religious, discreet, and conscientiously active Gentl. and Citizens of London, Captiane Wigmerpoole, Mr. Patrick Bamford, and Mr. Valentine Feige, who were all three, at one instant, most injuriously imprisoned, for only acting about a most honest Petition and Remonstrance, which was to have been recommended by the Citizens, to the Lord Major and Common-Councell of London, to be, by them presented to the Parliament, in the name of the whole City; and all this in such a regular and modest manner, as had been by the Parliament it selfe ordered and prescribed to them; yet notwithstanding (I say) for this honest and orderly acting of theirs, these 3 aforesaid Gentl. were imprisoned, by some Sectarian Parliament-Members, contra­ry to the intention, and order of Parliament, as that whole Committee for Complaints publikely acknowledged in Court, and worthy Sr. William Strickland (who then sate in the Chair) protested against it as unlawfull, and none of his act or consent. And those Schisma­ticall Members that commanded this most unlawfull imprisonment; being, since that, discovered who they are. And shall the Sectarian Party complain (as in Teuledaye's seditious cause they did) of wrong done to them, in the obstructing and hindring their most pernici­ous and seditious petitions, and dare they most abusively impeach 11. worthy Members of the House of Commons, for this very thing▪ [Page 11]as one soule fault and offence against the subject; but indeed mainly, because they are faithfull Presbyterians? And shall not these Sectari­an-Members be much more justly impeached of most illegall and injurious infringement of the Subjects Libertyes (equally as pre­cious to us, as Parliament Priviledges are to them) and be inforced to give just repairations to those injured Gentl. for their false im­prisonment? And, truly, I much marvaile, that they themselves are so silent, all this while, in this their owne so just vindication of themselves therein. And (which, though here in the last, yet not in the least place, but which deserves to bee in the first and prime place, as being first acted. Witnesse, in a speciall manner, the most impious and slanderous abuses cast upon the whole Assembly of venerable Divines, both formerly, and still to this very day (and that without all feare of punishment on the offenders part) in most scurrillous and scandalous Pamphlets, by the pernicious Pens of blattering and barking Sectaries of all sorts: But more noto­riously in that most high affront, and great discouragement, yea and disparagement too (as much as in them was) intended to be put upon the said reverend, and religious Assembly, by the Sectarian disaffected party, in the House of Commons, it felse, by whose meanes the Assembly of Divines were most unjustly denyed per­mission by the Authority of that House to vindicate their Inte­grity against an all over most slaunderous Remonstrance, published in print against the whole Assembly by 7 of the most Capitall and Cardinall Schismaticks of the same Assembly; yea, though our Divines had most earnestly petitioned the House of Commons, yet were deny­ed this most just favour from them, and were, thereupon, inforced to fly unto the most honourable House of Peeres, for justice therein, and, there, by Gods good providence, most honourably obtained it, to their unterminated and indelible honour and praise, be it ever mentioned. And truly (Christian Reader) if these things were not too apparently thus, viz. That the very Fountaine and Spring of all the sad and bad obstructions of the work of Reformation were not at this Conduit-Head, the Parliament; and that all sorts of Sectaries, and their Boulsterers and Abbettors (notwithstanding all Petitions and Complaints against them) were not, There, strong­ly and strnagely countenanced and encouraged; how durst Mecha­nicks, Souldiers, and Troopers in the Army, & al Sectaries both in City and Country, so audaciosly and disorderly take upon them to Preach without Due-Ordination, yea and to re-Baptise men and women, youths [Page 2]and maids, so frequently and familiarly, yea and obscurely too, naked in Rivers, and that in cold weather, sometimes with great danger of death, yea death it selfe, in some, so plunged overhead and eares in the water? How durst many, both Commanders and Common-Souldiers in the army (yea, that army of Saints, for sooth, so magnified, and cryed-up, for Piety and Civilty) so audaciously in high contempt of the Authority of Parliament, scorn and cast away Ordinances of Parliament, produced for the protection and safe­guard of godly and grave Ministers, abused, beaten, and with great violence kept out, yea and sometimes pulled out of their Pul­piss by those sainted Souldiers and Commanders? Yea, how durst some of them be so bold, so impious, so blasphemous against God and his Christ, as (horresco referens) to bring a Horse into a Church, to piss into the Font, and with that pisse (in high and horrid con­tempt of that sacred Ordinance of Christ himselfe for Baptizing of Infants) to baptise the horse in the Font, to signe it with the signe of the crosse, to have Godfathers and Godmothers for it, and to name it Baal-Esau (an act alone, if there were nothing else in the Army, enough to bring Gods wrath upon them most deservedly) all this be­ing strongly justified by reverend Mr. Edwards, Gangr. pt. 3. p. 17.

Nay, more, How durst that base and bold traitorly Tayler, loyce, so impudently, and independently (it seemd) assault (as we all know of late, he hath done) the Kings Person in his bed, together with his armed traiterous Troopes, and most audaciously wrest and wring his Majesty out of the Parliaments hands, forcing noble Colonell Graves to flye away, and so imprisoning both the King himselfe and the Parliaments Commissioners in their Harpiean paws and power; And in all this their traiterous actings and proceedings, their Ge­nerall, Sir Thomas, Fairfax to be silent, and at most, to plead igno­rance thereof, and (notwithstanding that, now, he sees and knowes it, yet) suffers that traiters head still upon his shoulders, and exe­cutes not Marshall-Law upon him, and some of the other prime Actors therein (which, I humbly conceive, by the rules of Marti­all discipline, he might and should have done) the best way, I sup­pose, to purge his own innocency therein, and to cleare his integri­tie to the Parliament, and to make all honest men to believe he had no hand therein, and gave no consent thereunto. And yet, in all this, I cannot but mightily admire and wonder at the most strange stupidity, and inchanted besottednesse of the Malignant party, also, that they should be so bewitcht by that Hypocriticall and most dis­sembling [Page 3]Army of Saints, forsooth, as to believe that they doe all this in honour to the Kings Person and dignity, whereas, they and we all know tis one of these Schismaticks prime principles (as Lil­burne, and all his desperate adherents hold and publish in print) ut­terly to cast off Monarchy and Magistracy. And I my selfe can ju­stifie that one of the principall Colonells now in the Army, and a Member of the House of Commons, and one of them that had his hand in print with the others, that by name, impeached the eleaven Members: Yea, I say, one of the most smooth-mouth'd Saints in that whole Army, having not long since, had conference with mee in London, and I at that time pleading with him, in the behalfe of the King, professing it was my minde and judgment, that all good and godly courses were to be used to work His Majesty (if possible, by Gods gracious help) to true repentance and godly reformation with us; but, hee answered me presently, That the King was a a man of bloud, and must be brought to justice for it, unlesse he could cleare himselfe. And doe these men, then (thinke our Malignants) intend any good to the King or his posterity. Yea, (to goe on) and were it not for our Parliament Sectaries, how durst our audaci­ous Sectaries and Schismaticks pen, print and publish (even almost without controle, I am sure without just and mightily merited pu­nishment in the most of them) such base, blasphemous and notori­ously seditious books, such as lying Lilburnes base Pamphlets, Good­wins abhominably blasphemous Hagio Ma: against GOD and all sound power of Godlinesse, against the King, and the Lords and Commons in Parliament, to stirre up the hearts of the people (if it were possible for them, and that the over-powring hand of God did not most mightily and mercifully crosse and confound their most de­villish and desperate designe therein) to rise up in rebellion against them all, and so to bring all things both sacred and civile, into a most unexpressible and woefull Chaos and confusion? which how neere they are come to it, at this time (by all the strangely grasped power which the Army hath now got into their clutches) wee all see and stand amazed and wonder at. And, how durst the (of late) degenerous Gentry of that unconquered County of Kent, who (for­merly) began so bravely, but afterward I say, turned their backes so unworthily upon Piety and Iustice, as to endevour to bring that people into one of the greatest and basest Yoakes of slavery and ar­bytrary Tyranny that ever any people endured, or, indeed, could endure, viz. Not so much as to dare to grown out their griefes, no [Page 14]not in a modest way of petitioning for ease of them; and so to make that an accursed leading-case to all the Counties and Commit­tees over the Kingdome? And, were it not that the Sectaries in the Parliament, and their nauseons neutrall Sidemen, were so potent, po­liticke and confident to carry on any designe suitable to their self-aymes and interests, especially, their damnable Diana, an intolerable toleration of Liberty of Conscience; how durst a certaine company of them (in most high affront to the famous City of London (which hath deserved so well of the Parliament) and apparent injury to their famous and faithfull late Lord Major, Alderman Adams in the time of his renowned Majoralty) sodainly enter his house at 12. or 1. of the Clocke at night, forcing him out of his bed, at that time of the night, and (as it was generaly reported) searching his house, yea and his very pockets of his wearing cloathes, as if he had bin a very Traitor, and all this but only out of meer Chymaera's, con­ceipts, and jealousies of him, being a most pious and zealous Pres­byterian, but, they were not able to finde ought against him, to lay to his charge (such was his intact integrity, and unspotted loyalty) for which so injurious dealing with him, and thus affronting him in his peaceable house and bed of rest, had he presently clapt them up in prison, in the City (as, tis believed, he might, they so illegal­ly assaulting him, the Cities supreme Magistrate) he had done most worthily, but we hope time will call them to accompt for this and the rest of their most ingratefull dealings with so renowned and honourable Citizens, who have by their persons, lives, bloud, and almost incredible summes of treasure, (next under God) beene the main preservers of the Parliament to this very day; yet, which hath, I say, with such black and grosse ingratitude, rewarded all their cost and kindnesse, by discountenancing and retarding their justest de­sires, calling and counting their most famous and faithfull Petitions and Remonstrances, seditious and candalous papers; and now of late especially, abusing the whole City (to please a rebellious Army) as touching their Militia, and by an Ordinance of the Sectaries and their Sidemen (for, none else, certainly would or did assent unto it) of both Houses, condemning the Citizens most honest Petition, and necessitated Reingagement to stand to their Covenant, of high Treason, and the Authors thereof and Actors therein to bee Tray­tors (to a most disloyall Army) thus, making our sacred Covenant, so solemnly commanded by both Houses, taken over the whole King­dome, a most dangerous snare unto us all, and hereby bringing all [Page 15]honest and Conscientious Covenanters into a most intricate Laby­rinth and dangerous Dilemma, viz. That, if they will not (in the present and most eminent emergency of the Church and States great danger) act according to their Covenant, they are accursed, as forsworne Perjurers to their great God; And if they doe act according to it, they are proclaimed Traytors, to the Parliament or Army, rather. O inauditum & infandum-nefas! And if these things were not thus, how durst those mercenarie-Scriblers of the weekly Diurnalls, and that botching Moderate-Intelligencer (as now adayes he tearms himselfe, being by his own feare and shame whipt out of his for­mer title, the Parliament-Scout, forsooth, and the rest of their bra­zen-fac'd brethren, the other mendacious News-mongers, the un­doubted hirelings and pandors of Independents, and all other sorts of Sectaries, how durst these, I say, so audaciously stricke with the fist of slander, one week; and stroake with the fingers of flattery, the next weeke, the untainted integrity and resplendent re­putation of our most loyall and loving Brethren of Scotland, as they have done? making their incomparable fame and faithfullnesse to stand or fall, every weeke, at the reversion of the beggarly shreds of their botching pens and pleasures; yea notwithstanding, that those our most deare Brethren had heretofore requested the Par­liament to punish, or, at least, to restraine or silence their insolencies, in thus using and abusing them, as indeed they do to all others of the Presbiterian-party, on whomsoever their saucy humours please to spit upon, and all this without the least appearance of punish­ment or restraint? Yea how, I say, durst all these, and more than these most gross and grievous enormities and foule deformities in Government thus boldly break-out among us, were it not that such a company of disaffected Members did thus sit Iudges, as aforesaid in the Parliamentary Committee for Complaints at Westminster, yea and in the very body it selfe of the whole Parliament, both Lords and Commons, whether, all the Schismaticks and Sectaries over the whole Kingdome, both City and Country, doe too well know all their business are at the last and utmost exigent to be transacted and heard, and where they are sure such a company of their fast friends, shall sit as their Iudges, and therefore whatsoever Complaints are made against them, they do but laugh in their sleeves at us, and contemn all our threats or menacings of them, as being well as­sured that by these their Patrones meanes, either our complaints shall be totally stifled, as abortive-Embrio's; or if heard, so pinch't [Page 6]and pin'd with most tedious-tyrings and languishing delayes, that wee weere (for the most part) better sit still in silence, and groan under our grievances, than torture and turmoile our selves with remedilesse wrestlings, to little or no purpose. Which things (and many more to these effects, too tedious here to be cited) being thus, alasse, to what end is all this noise of our so hoped and long­ed-for Reformation, in the serious Suppression of Blasphemies, Schismes, and Errours, and in the substantiall settlement and com­pleting of our promised Presbyterian-Government? Why do the honest-hearted, active and religious Covenant-engaged Citizens of London, thus toyle and tyre themselves, day by day, with too lank and empty hopes, and pining expectations of redresse of al these high dishonours of almighty God, and great grievances on the hearts and consciences of his people, in bringing seditious Secta­ries, as Delinquents and bold Affronters of the Supreme Court of the Kingdome, the Parliament, to this Committee, where they continually find such a company of their Jndependent friends sitting as Iudges of those Offenders whom these very Judges (as being known Parties with them in Judgement and Opinion) do ardently love and like, yea hug in their hearts, and as much as possibly they can, do labour to maintain, countenance, commend, and encourage in their most erroneous, yea blasphemous and seditious practises. witness, blasphemous Best, that bold and abominable Beast, indeed, not worthy to live; seditious, lying Lilburne, Overton, and such like turbulent trash; who (though some of their persons are (I confess) or have bin (but, with no little struggling) only impriso­ned, where truly, they are (just as the Romish Jesuites were) bet­ter maintained, than abroad, yet) are still strangely permitted to foment and scatter in scurrillous Pamphlets, their most blasphe­mous opinions, and pernicious practises; yea, and are most un­worthily and wickedly justified and commended, even by very many of our Sectarian disaffected Members of Parliament? A­lasse, what's become, now adayes, of the pristine power, dignity, equity, gravity, and awefull and lawfull severity of our former ancient English-Parliaments? Heretofore it was as terrible, cri­minall, and punishable to speak (especially to write) against the justice, acts and edicts of the Parliaments of England, as to speak or write treason against the Person, or Crown of the King. But that now, in these our dayes, every base and ignoble Sectarie should be thus permitted presumptuously to speak, write and [Page 15]preach against it, and that, with the most false and ignominious acrimony of spirits and pens, that possibly may be, I am confident­ly perswaded, it is not to be paralell'd by any by-past ages or Hi­stories. What? hath amiable Astraea quite forsaken our Parlia­ments on earth, and is impartiall and Majesticall justice no where to be found? for if not there, where shall we find it? Shall ho­nest, peaceable and humble hearted Presbyterians be thus, enforced (which God forbid, and which, as yet, we heartily abhorre) to feare and suspect that those audacious and contumelious asper­tions, and (we hope and believe) most slanderous Calumnies of se­ditious lying Lilburne and the rest of his rebelliously rayling and scribling Comrades, are like to prove too true assertions? and all because of such delatory obstructions, yea, even vitious violations and infringements of the course and current of justice, and the Subjects hereditary just Liberties, equally as precious to them, as due priviledges are to the Parliament: God forbid, I say, we should have continued cause to feare it. But, if it be otherwise; How, then, comes it to passe, that the wheeles of the glorious worke of a deeply desired, and most duely promised and long expected Refor­mation turne and roule so slowly and heavily? How is it, that Votes and Ordinances for the advancement of pure Religion, the power of godlinesse and our Covenanted Presbyterian Church Disci­pline, are so extremely delayed, and with such admired difficulty, even as it were, but, pedetentim, or guttatim, obtained and produ­ced; and when any doe come forth, how is it that they are so void of expected and necessitated strength and corroboration for their work intended (or rather, by some, but deceitfully pretended? But only by reason (as it is Ʋox populi, which men commonly say, is Vox Dei.) that those disaffected Members especially of the Ho­nourable House of Commons doe so craftily and vigilantly watch their owne seasonable opportunities (by the improvident and some­times, I confesse, necessitated absence, and thereby paucity, too of­ten, of the honest and truly pious and zealous, Presbyterian party, either to null them, or at least, to delay, obstruct, and invalidate them, and to make them of little or no solid use, when they come forth unto us? Wherein, also, (which fetches a most just and deep figh from my soule) the known Independents are not a little, backt and abetted (a most foule shame to be spoken of them) by many who formerly (at least in shew) were clearely for us; but, now a-dayes (though we beleive; not properly principled the Schismeticall-way [Page 16]yet) are mightily byassed, wheeled and blown about (I know not by what unhappy fate, or flate of winde, unlesse, as I heare and [...] a Golden-ayre or Silver-blast) in voting and acting for the [...] almost, on all occasions; who they are, I spare to name, though I could, many of them, Et digito monstrare quod his est; but, they themselves best know, and are conscious to their own hearts of this their great evill of so unworthy doubling Tergiversation; and though we pitty and pray for their Soules, yet they may and must be assured, we look upon their persons with very sore-eyes and sowr faces. Great and grave Senators of England (I speake to the truly pious Presbyterian party thereof in both Houses) I beseech you, for the Lords sake, think often and earnestly on that faithfull (for, hea­ven and earth shal perish before one jot or title of Gods Word shal not come to passe) yea think upon, even with trembling, that fearefull threat­ning of the Lord our God, Jerem. 48, 19. (which also, I have for­merly made serious use of in another piece of mine, entituled, In­stices Plea.) Cursed be he that doth the worke of the Lord negligently (or, deceitfully, as some translations notably render it) and cursed is he that withholdeth his sword from bloud. Yea, I say, from bloud, when the Lord requires it, even the bloud of Blasphemers, and bloudy Malignants, especially in these our late and most lamenta­ble lawlesse Wars, on the Royall Party; for then, to spare, is so farre from Piety or pitty, that it is egregious impiety to God and our sacred Covenant, and Diabolicall cruelty against men; yea and a most dangerous hazarding of the ruine of your own lives, if not of Parliament, State, and the whole Kingdome, as Ahab for spa­ring Benhadad, and Saul for sparing Agagg, found it too true; and we may justly feare the like, when such (whom God hath appoin­ted to death) live so confident (and that, not without cause) that the bitternesse of the feare of death is over past with them; and all by reason of the strange Impunity of the bloudy Impiety, even of grand Offenders of all sorts to this very day. There was a time (I must and doe ingeniously confesse) when the great (and, then very just) apologie and plea of our great and wise Parliamentary Master-Builders, why the work of Reformation, in Religion (for I desire mainely to harp upon this string, as the summum, though I will not say, Ʋnicum necessarium) and speedier building of Gods House, Church-Discipline went not on more soundly and seriously, was, That the prudence and providence of the Parlia­ment must, first, see to the very being, before the well being of the [Page 17]Kingdome which then indeed, was in continuall hazard of ruine and destruction by the great hostile powers on the Kings party; True, I easily and willingly grant this: But, now that the Lord hath most graciously banisht those our great and just feares, hath like dust, dispell'd our enemies, and given us opportunity (even ever since the ruine of Sir Iacob Ashleys forces, and the rendition of Oxford) to build our own houses in most sweet security (and which we doe indeed, with both hands, but scarcely care to build Gods House with one hand) O what, now hinders this best and most bles­sed worke? but, onely and unquestionably, these Parliamentary Schismaticks, these our meere pretending Master Builders, who prove indeed, the main-molesters of it? And, dare they indeed, call and count themselves Master-Builders, and yet, still, are the principall causes that Gods house must either lye wast (as much as in them is) as being most unwilling (some of them) that we should have any Government at all; or at best, now and then permit it to be patch't up with such poore peices (as I toucht before) as rather amaze us with sorrow to see, than animate us with any just com­fort to enjoye; whereof, I said before, truly, I know no grea­ter ground, or unquestionable cause to complaine (next to our grosse ingratitude to God for so great a good as is Opportunity, now so long and so fairly offered us, but so loosly and lazily, if not lewd­ly abused by us) than the intollerable (I had almost said the inexpi­able) impiety of the impunity of our unsufferable Schismaticks and Sectaries, especially the admitting & tollerating of men disaffected to Church discipline, at the Fountain head, whereby all the streams of justice and equity, thence issuing into City or Country, are la­mentably poysoned and polluted (a thing most worthy of unexpres­sible punishment) and thus suffering Independents to sit in such prime places of Iudicature, and in Parliamentary, and Country Commit­tees, to the most strange and strong obstruction and impeding of all our hopes or happinesse from our most renowned Parliament, in generall, even the pious Presbiterian-party thereof in both the most Honourable Houses. Well, though these our disaffect Pre­tenders smooth up themselees, and wipe their lips with an All is well with them; yet let them give mee leave to tell them one thing' to their just shame and sorrow of Soule (if it may be) and that is; what a Heathen Prince hath pronounced against them, and tis backt also with Scripture authority and approbation; viz. That honest-hearted King (of a Heathen,) King Darius, into [Page 18]whose heart, the Lord having put a resolution to forward the building of Gods House at Ierusalem; Ezra, 6. Which work had been much opposed and impeded by the enemies thereof, yet, now I say, the King having resolved that the work should be se­riously set upon, and that none should hinder it; the Text sayes, ver. 11. He made a Decree that whosoever should go about or endia­vour to alter the Kings word, therein, the timber of his house should be pull'd down, and a Gibbet should be made thereof, and he to be de­stroyed and hanged thereon; and that his house should be made a jaxe, or dunghill, for this; even for daring to be so bold and impious as to offer to hinder the work of building of Gods House. Mark this, O all ye Schismaticall-spirits, who, now adayes, so impi­ously and audaciously have so long and lewdly endeavoured to hinder the building of Gods House, among us in England, even the glorious worke of Reformation in Religion, the settlement of the purity of Doctrin, and of the godly order and holy harmony of Church-Discipline. Hear it, I say, and tremble at it, and bee a­sham'd to heare a heathen-King so zealous for God (and you to be so cold) and so justly to pronounce your deserved punishment; and take heed least the Lord, the righteous judge (if too long and impenitently provoked by you) even for this, this great Sin of thus impeding & opposing the blessed work of a thorough Reformation among us be most severely revenged on you. And let me tel you al my dear brethren in general, both one & another, and my self too; never let us think tis possible that our temporall affaires of full trading, paying of the Kingdoms debts, ease of excise, and other tedious taxations, freedome from fears of new wars and commo­tions among our selves, the totall disbanding of our Armies, dismantling of Garrisons, and sueh like desired nationall com­forts shall thrive and prosper or answer our hopes and expectati­ons, so long as Religion in its power and purity is so slighted, Gods faithfull and painfull Ministers are so wickedly denyed, not only honourable, but even competent maintenance, and are, besides, so scorned and abused, and so long as Gods House, Church-Disci­pline, is so strangely neglected and delayed, and all sorts of Schis­mes, Erronrs, Heresies, and most blasdhemous Opinions are with such accursed and most impious impunity permitted among us, and especially, I say, that horrid and kingdome confounding sin of, thus, most fearfully violating our sacred and solemn Covenant with our God, wherein, with deep attestations and protestati­ons, [Page 19]holding up our hands and lifting up our hearts to the high God of heaven, we vowed the utter ruinating and extirpating of all those forementioned sores, evills, and plague provoaking crying-crimes, yea, and whatsoever else was contrary to the power of Godlinesse. Touching which Covenant, heare me but one word more (ô all ye of the Schismaticall generation, in generall) concerning your most unconscionable and double dealing, and de­luding of us therein also, and then I shall hasten to the maine thing I ayme at in this discourse, which is, that having so con­spicuously and evidently layd open the heart grinding and grie­ving Sore and Core of the kingdomes present and pressing sor­row; I may also humbly make bold to tender the application of a Plaisture, which (I humbly conceive) is most likely (by Gods blessing) to make an undoubted comfortable cure thereof; but, to the thing in hand.

In the dayes of rare Queen Elizabeth, of ever blessed memo­ry, and so along, to later times, wee all know, or have heard, how the crafty Romish Iesuits, having found by long experience, that their tying up of the Consciences of their Popish-Proselytes from taking the Oath of Supremacy, and from receiving the Sa­crament of the Lords Supper with us Protestants (whom, you know, they called and counted Hereticks) proved a great pre­judice to the progresse and growth of their great designe, Ʋni­versall Papall-Monarchy: at last, they grew so cunning and craf­ty, that, for the advancement and propagating of the Catholick Cause (as they call'd it) they would give dispensations, (by the Popes indulgences) to take that Oath, and to Communicate with us, in the Lords Supper also, if they were put unto it, rather, I say, than to hinder their other dark and devillish designe. And is it not just thus with our palpable and Jesuiticall-Spirited Inde­pendents and Sectaries, that generation of Iuglers (if ever there were any in the world) now adayes among us: I mean mainly the sub­tile Seducers, and learned Ringleaders of them; for, was there not a time (and that, not long time agone) when their novell and most nauseous upstart-Schisme beganne, first, to rise and grow up among us; that, O, then, for an Independent, a Separatist, or Sectary to be put to the taking of our sacred and solemn Covenant, O, it was most tart and terrible, and would by no means be en­dured by them, but they startled at it, and flew from it, as from a hideous Hobgobling, or a Noli me tangere. But, now, of later [Page 20]times, and in these our more moderene dayes, they also having like the Ingling Iesuits) craftily and cunningly found by practice and experience, that this Bolt was like to shut them out of the Parliament, Conutry-Committees and other eminent, gainfull, grace­full, and over-awing places, both Martiall and Majesteriall: they now, therefore (just, I say, like the Jesuits of Rome) for the pro­pagation of their Cacolick Cause also, I meane, Tolleration of All-Religions, and diabolicall and accursed Liberty of Conscience, aliàs, most prophane Libertinisme; doe most dissemblingly, falsly and fraudulently using the said Sacred Covenant, as those Jesuits did the Sacred Scriptures, only as a Nose of wax, or a Saylers Breechs, to help them in a storme, or at a dead-lift) give selfe-dis­pensation of Liberty to their Consciences to submit to the ta­king thereof, as well, and readily (to see to) as the best of us all, but, still, with the Jesuits old tacite-trick of Equivacation or men­tall-Reservation, taking it in their own-sense, as most malevolently hating the litterall and genuine sense thereof, and the positive and plain intentions and ends of the Parliament in generall, in the Co­venant; as is, and long hath been apparent by their practises and professions also both by word and pen, among us, not only in the Parliamentary and Country-Committees, but also, and most especial­ly, in the Army, where, most Insolently and audaciously (as was toucht before) the Commanders, Officers, and Souldiers slight, reject, and scorn all Ordinances of Parliament, yea and the very Cove­nant it self, as it relates to Church-Government, especially, and suppression of Errours, Schismes, and Blasphemies; yea not with­standing that some of them pretend they have taken the Covenant, which must needs shew and assure us most undoubtedly in what sense, and with what Conscience, and to what ends they tooke it. The serious consideration whereof makes me, here also, to fetch a­nother deep sigh for his Excellency Sir Tho. Fairfax, who of late, hath not a little overclouded and eclipsed the former radiant lustre, and most specious splendor of his (then) justly merited Fame and Honour, both by some late strange miscarriages in the Army in ge­nerall, and also in so improvidently, and (doubtless) insnaredly ad­mitting and entertaining, as his chief Chaplains for the Army, two dangerous and audacious Soul-seducing Schismaticks, as Mr. Dell, & Mr. Saltmarsh, together with their bold & blustring brother Peters, who are most pernicious & pestilent instruments to infect & poy­son the whole Army, if it be possible, with their seditious and dam­nable [Page 21] Doctrins: by which deceitfull designe of theirs, (I say) forementioned in thus taking the Covenant, they most Satanically keep-up, and drive-on their owne hopefull and underhand mischeivous Machinations, and thereby also mightily molest, ob­struct and retard, almost all our pious Presbyterian-Actings accor: ding to our Conscience and Covenant, as the fear of the Lord (whose vowes are upon us) do most importunately command us, and our fervent and deeply obliged love to Truth and Peace doth constantly constraine us. And thus wee see (to our sad sighing, indeed,) that no bands, nor bounds will hold or keep in these vild and wild Beasts, but that most craftily and unconscionably they break through all, and we have now (therefore) but one on­ly way (under God alone) which is the last and maine thing I aime at in this discourse, to help our selves out of the tearing and ty­ring troubles of these Bryers and Brambles, our Sectaries and Schismaticks; and that (I humbly conceive) is only this, and it is backt also with a fresh and experienced pregnant example among our selves, some few years past, which is, as followeth.

There was (as we all well remember, at the beginning of this present Parliament) a great Complaint (and that, not without great and just cause) against Popish Lords and Prelates, sitting in the House of Peeres, and of rotten-hearted Malignant Members in the House of Commons, who, in those times, mightily mo­lested and obstructed the most waighty and great affaires of the Parliament, and so consequently perturbed the good of the whole kingdome, especially, then also, in matters of Religion, and due execution of Iustice upon offenders: whereupon the most famous and ever to be honoured and renowned City of London bravely began to Petition the Parliament for the expulsion of them out of both Honses, and immediately thereupon, almost all the well-affected Counties of the kingdome followed their worthy exam­ple, and most eagerly and earnestly fell a petitioning against them, and continually came flocking up to London to the Parliament in most numerous and mighty multitudes, to that purpose, yea and so importunately prest their desires therein, till at last, by Gods wonderfull providence, and the Parliaments most favourable ac­ceptance of their Petitions, and (so far, then from calling or ac­counting it a breach of Priviledge of Parliament, that) they gave them all great thanks for their Love and Zeale therein: And all these things thus concurring together strook (as it was apparent) [Page 22]such terror and amazement into the hearts of the Popish-Lords, Prelates and Malignants in both Houses, that speedily upon it (partly by the Prelates own remarkable pride and folly, and part­ly by an univerfall Conscience-accusing fright and terrour at these things) both Houses of Parliament were most admirably freed of them; and all things, thereupon, presently after, were carry­ed on most prosperously, and with singular smooth successe, to the great comfort and universall high content of the whole king­dome, (and so continued a long time after) untill these present crafty Sectarian Mombers unhappily crept into the house of Commons, and others have since been poysoned by them. And have not We (my deare Presbyterian Brethren, for, to you, now I apply this my main and most earnest desire) in these our dayes, as great and just cause (considering all I have already said before, and much more that might be said therein) as ardently and earn­estly to complaine, protest, and petition against some disaffected Lords in the House of Peeres, and against many Independent Mem­bers in the House of Commons, who (next to our own sins) are the main, if not only, restlesse Remora's, and most dangerous di­sturbers and delayers, yea mockers and deluders of our Covenant­engaged Reformation, to Gods most high dishonour, the most just­ly incensing of his devouring-wrath against us, and the deepe heart-wounding griefe and sorrow of all the truly pious and peaceable people throughout the whole kingdome, by reason of their hopes thus unhappily damped and delayed, yea, I say, jeered and abused by those Sectaries and Schismaticks in the House of Com­mons. Slight not (I beseech you, my dear Presbyterian-Brethren, both in City and Country) this my serious, and I hope seasonable advice, by supine security in regard of the present seeming sere­nity of things, which hath been the bane of many famous and flourishing States and Common-weales; and yet (all things con­sidered) we have little cause to conceit so of the present times. But, if they were so, yet know that I have read, long since, in Plutarch's Lives of a Governour of Thebes or Athens (if my memory much faile me not) to whom a faithfull friend of his sent a Letter wherein was the discovery of a dangerous plot against him and his City, which was intended to be attempted on him that very ensuing night on which his Letter came to him the im­mediate evening before to have prevented the danger of it, had it been timely taken: But he (being a deboyst drunken Prince, [Page 23]notwithstanding that the messenger told him his Mr. desired the speedy reading of it, and return of his answer) presently put the Letter into his pocket, and only returned this answer; Res seriae ad crastinum; Waighty matters to morrow. But, that very night the Designe was set upon, his enemies suddainly brake in upon him, slew this Prince in his bed, and surprised his City. Take heed timely, therefore, I say, and beartily pray you, my deare Brethren, of slighting this my coun sell; our danger is, un­doubtedly, very great, and I know not how neare it is (yea and who knowes what a day or a night may bring forth) though for the present, things seeme faire and cleare about us, as here you heard it in this foresaid pertinent and applicable example. The King, himself (Proh dolor) stands out still (and for my part, I cannot much wonder at him, therein, he being so mightily ani­mated thereunto by Sectaries and Schismaticks who pleading for Liberty of Conscience, stand out boldly against the Parliament, and will use what kind of worship and serving God they please, yea and are extremely connived at, and to lerated therein: And why may not King Charles also plead for and be permitted the Liberty of his Conscience, and be tolerated to have his Prelaticall Chaplains (as now also the Sectaries in the Army have already begun pretty fairly to give the King all this, and promise and pretend much more, till they have their wills of him) and allowance of his Common-Prayer Booke, and refuse to be directed, in Gods worship, by our Directory, and resuse to hear our pious preachers, as well as our Sectaries and Schismaticks, who familiarly resuse both, yea, almost, all of ours; running into houses and corners to practise what they please in matters of Religion? Why may not King Charles, I say, expect thus much liberty of Conscience, and, as I said before, be, thus, hardned by our meanes to stand out stillmost stifly against us; besides, Malignant-Royalists grow thick and numerous within our City and adjacent Countries round about us; bloody­minded Anabaptists, & such like seditious Schismaticks, as cruelly as craftily, yea as vigorously as viruently do drive on their designes among us, especially that of intolerable Toleration, and accursed Liberty of Conscience, against all godly Government and religious Order, wherein the most desperate Atheists and Malignants (for the present) joyne and combine most eagerly with them; yea, our own hoped freinds, within us, grow mightily disconetnted, [Page 24]and mutinously-minded (witnesse Smithfields late firy-uproare at the strange miscarriage of things in the Parliament, and con­tinued taxations on the poorer sort of people; and thou, ô loy­all London, the Kingdomes most famous and magnificent Metro­polis, art in as great danger of suddain distresse, as ever, if occa­fion (which the Lord in his great mercy forbid) be mischeivous­ly offered, thy grandest Guard (under God) the City Militia, being for the greatest part of it (notwithstanding all thy petiti­oning about it) even to this day (according to that Apologue of the poor Sheepes Mastives committed to the keeping and custody of Wolves and Foxes) I mean, in known Sectaries and notorious Schismaticks and Neutralls hands and commands, in whom thou canst not with any cleare safety trust or confide. And therefore againe and again, I humbly and heartily beseech you, whom it, thus, mainly concernes, timely to looke about you, and to be ad­vised, as you tender your lives, Wives and Children, Peace and Prosperity; yea, your All that is most precious to you, even your pure Religion especially, your sacred Covenant, Countries Liberties and just Freedomes; and speedily take some honest, lawfull, and lau­dable importunate course by Petitioning, & soliciting even with­out denyall, for the timely calling into the House of Commons, of all the pious and loyall Presbyterian Members, and especially of the insufferably abused, because most injuriously and slander­ously accused 11. Members, if they be not come in already, and for the serious expunging and expelling of known and pernicious pragmaticall Sectaries out of both Houses of Parliament, as being the maine, if not only causes (as I have most abundantly shewn) of all our present and most pressing, yea oppressing fears, and growing and groaning Calamities.

Object. But, here, if any object (as, indeed, it hath been ob­jected to me already, upon occasion of this very motion of mine, in private) that, though Sir, wee acknowledge your counsell is good & pertinent to our condition; yet, we beleeve tis not (now) so feazable and seasonable in regard of the times and the generall disaffectednesse of most men, and the present policy and power of the Independents in the Parliament and else-where?

Answ. To all which I answer, first, who drave out the Po­pish-Lords, Prelates, and other Malignant-Members (farre more firmly fastned and rivetted in among us, even by a Law, although [Page 25] Such (which Independents are not, as Such) both in Parliament and in all other parts of the Kingdome, than these our Parliamentary Jndependents are, or, I trust, ever shall or can be) who, I say, thrust and threw these out of both Houses of Parliament? Was it not the Lord God himselfe, by his speciall blessing on the una­nimous confluence of importunate Petitioners, protesting against them from all parts of the Kingdome? Even the Lord our God, who is yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever, and can any thing be impossible for him to bring to passe, who, within these six yeares last past, hath all along, done, almost, all things mira­culously for us, which we knew not how to have done for our selves? Take but this one example hereof; did not the Lord be­yond our expectation (even to our just admiration) make the Pre­lates themselves (in a speciall manner) by their proud Protestati­on against the Parliaments just proceedings, and their Petitioning to the King for his protecting of them against the power of the Parliament) to overthrow and throw themselves out of the Par­liament, even into imprisonment in the Tower of London? And are not our Sectaries of these dayes, think you, as spiritually, yea and carnally proud and ambitious too as ever the Prelates were in their generation? and are they not every way as pernicious and pestilentiall to Church and State, and many of them most illegally and abusively elected and shuffled in to be Members of the House? Secondly, for our great, yea, exceeding great encouragement here­in, hath not the Lord (upon occasion of the late solemn Fast over the whole kingdome, against Heresies and Schismes, voted in Parl. Feb. 4, 1646, and religiously performed and kept accordingly March 10th, then next ensuing) put into the harts of the most reli­gious and renowned Lords and Commons in Parliament, to renew, & as I may say, revow, and publish to the whole world (to Gods high honour, and our unexpressible comfort) their cordiall and zealous detestation of Heresies, Schismes, and Blasphemous Opini­ons, together with their religious resolution peremptorily to pro­ceed agaidst them; and for fuller satisfaction herein, I will give the Reader, their one words, in that most excellent Ordinance of theirs, worthy to be ingraven by us in fair Characters of Gold; which were, as followeth.

Die Jovis, Febr. 4, 1646.
An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament as­sombled, [Page 26]concerning the growth and spreading of Er­rours, Heresies, and Blasphemies, setting apart a day of publik Humiliation, to seeke Gods assistance for the suppressing and preventing the same.

THE Lords and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England having entred into a solemn-Covenant, to endea­vour, sincerely, really and constantly the Reformation of Religi­on, in Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship, and the extirpation of Popery, Superstition, Heresie, Schisme, Prophanenesse, and whatsoever shall bee found contrary to sound Doctrin, and the power of godlynesse; and having found the presence of GOD wonderfully assisting us in this cause, especially since our engage­ment in pursuance of the said Covenant: Have thought it fit (least we partake in other mens sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues) to set forth this our deep sense of the great dishonour of God, and perillous condition that this kingdom is in, through the abominable blasphemies (mark their zealous expressions here) and damnable Heresies vented and spread a­broad therein, tending to the subverssion of the faith, contempt of the Ministery, and Ordinances of Jesus Christ: And as we are resolved to imploy and improve the utmost of our power that nothing be said or done against the Truth, but for the Truth; so wee desire that both our selves, and the whole kingdome may bee deeply humbled before the Lord, for that great reproach and con­tempt which hath been cast upon his Name and saving Truths, and for that swift destruction which we may justly feare will fall upon the immortall soules of such who are, or may be drawne away by giving heed to seducing Spirits. In the hearty and ten­der compassion whereof, Wee the said Lords and Commons doe order and ordaine that Wednesday being the 10th day of March next, to be set apart for a day of publick Humiliation for the growth and spreading of Errours, Heresies and Blasphemies, to bee observed in all places within the kingdome of England, and [Page 27]dominion of Wales, and town of Berwick, and to seek to God for his direction and assistance for the suppression and preventing the same. And all Ministers are hereby enjoyned to publish this present Ordinance upon the Lords day preceeding the said 10th of March.

See, hence, then may dear Presbyterian Brethren, first, as I toucht before, if here be not singular encouragement unto you all in Ci­ty and Country, to set seriously and speedily upon this worke of modest and lawfull petitioning, as a foresaid. Secondly, whether you are not most likely to receive kind acceptance, in so doing, and thanks for your paines and care therein. And thirdly, (if the Parliamentary Independents hinder not, as they are most likely to be the main, if not only, obstacles therein) what unquestionable good & desired success (as by this excellent Ordinance may easily be gathered) is likely to follow thereon. And fourthly, and lastly, consider from all the foresaid premises, thus, now put together, whether all truly pious Protestants and Presbyterians over the whole kingdome have not as great and just cause to bend all their zeale and combined power of Petitioning aginst the Sectaries and Schismaticks in Parliament (as the unquestionable causes of the great growth of all the Errours and Schismes among us; and as the most unhappy obstructers and hinderers of the most long and zealously desired building and settlement of the Presbyterian Church-Government) as ever they had against Papists, Prelates, or Royall-Malignants? Which, if they see not, certainly they are wilfully blind, or if seeing, yet are basely content, willingly, to yeeld to a most ignominious and slavish security and Laodicean­luke-warmnesse to the unexpressible misery that inevitably accom­panyes the being justly spued out of Gods presence and protection of love, by most lewdly allowing a most abhominable Tolera­tion of all religions, and so by an unquestionable consequence of having no religion among us, and then also no God to helpe us. O, then, that it would please the Lord to put into the hearts of his honest and heroick Servants both in City and Country, now againe, most stoutly and strenuously to shew their godly zeal and faithfull fervour of Spirit against those enemies of our Covenant in this the Churches as great necessity and importunity, as ever it was in, with a joynt and unanimous consent (as then they most happily and honourably did, and that with singular approbation and commendation of both Houses of Parliament, and with desired [Page 28]successe too) to petition Both Houses (in a warrantable, mo­dest, fair, and befitting manner) for the removeall of the persons of such Parliamentary Independents out of their Houses, as are the known fautors and favourers of all Schismaticall Covenant-con­temners and Ordinance violaters, in reference to their contempt and obstructing of the Presbyterial Church-Government and power of godlynesse, even as perniciously and impiously (though more clandestinely and craftily) as ever the Popish Lords, Prelates or Malignants formerly were in their way; and therein most invin­cibly to endeavour the just exonerating of our soules of the king­domes great and groaning spirituall grievances (the best way of all others to remove all our temporall disturbances also) in the un­sufferable abuses both of God and man among us, even the intole­rable growth and spurious spreading of blasphemies, heresies, er­rours, and schismes, together with the most abhominable impunity of the Broachers and Abettors of them, and for the holy and hap­py compassing and completing of one of the maine ends of our sacred Covenant with our God, and with our most loyall and lo­ving brethren of Scotland, namely, the solid and substantiall set­ling of the Presbyterian Church-Discipline, according to the word of God, and the example of the best Reformed-Churches. And, O that it might please the Lord, (who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and who can most easily turne them as the Rivers of water) to put into the hearts of our most renowned, noble, and precious Patriots, the unbyassed and honourable Presbyterian friends of Truth and pious Peace, in Both Houses of Parliament, who (cordially and christianly casting away all ignoble selfe­seeking aymes and interests) do religiously and conscientiously cohere and correspond, with sound and settled judgements and resolutions, to set up Christs kingdome, according to the Aposto­licall institution in Gods word, to be happy and honourable means (for the more smooth and certaine carrying on of this said bles­sed businesse) to purge (if it bee possible) Both their Houses in general, and inparticular, of al Committees, from such incompetent and unequall judges as Sectaries and Independents are (who ever they be) from sitting in such seates of Iudicature, to hear, over­rule, vote and determine such waighty Causes, as are matters of Religion and Church-Reformation, as, wherein, they themselves are so faulty and offensive, yea devoted enemies to the Church and [Page 29] Children of God, in poynt of Godly-Government and Church-dis­cipline: wherein, that the Lord, the great God of wisdome, the only guider of every good action, and the only giver of every good gift, would direct and erect the hearts of our truly pious Parlia­mentary Patriots and sound Presbyterian Lords and Commons, with profound wisedome, impregnable fortitude of Spirit, and invincible Christian Courage, impartially and efficaciously to vote, act, and execute (in pursuance also of their most excellent and religious Ordinance against the growth of damnable errours and blasphemies, forementioned) in the first place, to remove those sorely offensive rubs and Remora's out of their Houses, which thus have and doe (and till they bee removed, unquestionably will) most sadly interrupt, impede and retard the somuch and so long desired glorious work of Reformation, it is, and ever shall be a speciall part of my most serious and incessant prayers: That, so, this being at length holily and happily effected, Iudgement may run downe in our streets like waters, and Righteousnesse as a mighty and strong streame. That, so, our God may [in Christ] take plea­sure in us, and delight to doe us good, all our dayes, and to our succeeding Posterity after us, Amen.

A Post-script.

CHristian Reader, I have thought fit (in this last place) to desire thee to take serious notice (but not without a most deep sigh from thy Soul) that where­as the Parliament intended (as we then hoped) to have done some great and re­markable work, for the just impeding of the growth of blasphemous Errours, Schismes, and Heresies among us, as is most abundantly evident by that most excel­lent Ordinance of the 4th of March, 1646, forementioned; yet (notwithstand­ing that Ordinance, and the solemn day of Humiliation kept over the whole king­dome the 10th. of March following) nothing hath been done therein, ever since, which is now above 5. Moneths past; but, contrariwise a most foule and filthy greater growth and increase of them, in all parts and places of the kingdome, without the least controul or restraint by any authority. O consider, I beseech thee (good Reader) in the feare of the Lord, what a horrid and hideous face of most abhominable hypocrysie and dissimulation does this neglect therein repre­sent to the Lord our God, and the whole world, unto our everlasting indelible shame! And, vvhence, my Christian Brethren, can you possibly conceive this most black sin hath its rise and originall, but mainly, if not only, from the Secta­ries in our Parliament, who, as we have apparently seen, all along, have, without all question, most strongly and strangely, and yet most craftily and cunningly crost and crusht all motions and means of carrying on this or any other waighty work of Reformation among us? And will not our God be avenged on such a genearati­on as this? And, shall they prosper, shall they escape, or shall they be delivered that do such things, and that (thus) break their Covenant with their God? Ezekiel, 17.15, 16.


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